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You H.,Queensland Institute of Medical Research | Gobert G.N.,Queensland Institute of Medical Research | Duke M.G.,Queensland Institute of Medical Research | Zhang W.,Queensland Institute of Medical Research | And 5 more authors.
International Journal for Parasitology | Year: 2012

Insulin receptors have been previously identified in Schistosoma japonicum that can bind human insulin. We used the purified recombined protein of the ligand domain of S.japonicum insulin receptor 2 (SjLD2) in three independent murine vaccine/challenge trials. Compared with controls, vaccination of mice with SjLD2 resulted in a significant reduction in faecal eggs, the stunting of adult worms and a reduction in liver granuloma density in all three trials. Furthermore, in the final trial, in which mature intestinal eggs were also quantified, there was a reduction in their number. These results suggest that development of a vaccine based on rSjLD2 for preventing transmission of zoonotic schistosomiasis is feasible. © 2012 Australian Society for Parasitology Inc. Source

Zhang W.,Queensland Institute of Medical Research | Li J.,Queensland Institute of Medical Research | Duke M.,Queensland Institute of Medical Research | Jones M.K.,Queensland Institute of Medical Research | And 7 more authors.
PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases | Year: 2011

Background: Schistosoma mansoni tetraspanin 2 (Sm-TSP-2) has been shown to be strongly recognized by IgG1 and IgG3 antibodies from individuals putatively resistant to schistosome infection, but not chronically infected people, and to induce high levels of protection against challenge infection in the murine model of schistosomiasis. Amplification by PCR of homologous sequences from male and female S. japonicum worms showed the presence of 7 different clusters or subclasses of S. japonicum TSP-2. We determined the protective efficacy of one subclass - Sj-TSP-2e. Methodology/Principal Findings: Following the alignment of 211 cDNAs, we identified 7 clusters encoding S. japonicum TSP-2 (Sj-TSP-2) based on sequence variation in the large extracellular loop (LEL) region with differing frequency of transcription in male and female worms. Quantitative PCR analysis revealed elevated expression of Sj-TSP-2 in adult worms compared with other life cycle stages. We expressed in E. coli the LEL region of one of the clusters which exhibited a high frequency of transcription in female worms, and showed the purified recombinant protein (Sj-TSP-2e) was recognised by 43.1% of sera obtained from confirmed schistosomiasis japonica patients. Vaccination of mice with the recombinant protein induced high levels of IgG1 and IgG2 antibodies, but no consistent protective efficacy against challenge infection was elicited in three independent trials. Conclusions/Significance: The highly polymorphic nature of the Sj-TSP-2 gene at the transcriptional level may limit the value of Sj-TSP-2 as a target for future S. japonicum vaccine development. © 2011 Zhang et al. Source

Liu L.,University of Sichuan | Huo G.-N.,University of Sichuan | He H.-B.,Hunan Institute of Parasitic Diseases | Zhou B.,Kunming Medical University | Attwood S.W.,University of Sichuan
BMC Evolutionary Biology | Year: 2014

Background: The Pomatiopsidae are reported from northern India into southern China and Southeast Asia, with two sub-families, the Pomatiopsinae (which include freshwater, amphibious, terrestrial and marine species) and the freshwater Triculinae. Both include species acting as intermediate host for species of the blood-fluke Schistosoma which cause a public health problem in East Asia. Also, with around 120 species, triculine biodiversity exceeds that of any other endemic freshwater molluscan fauna. Nevertheless, the origins of the Pomatiopsidae, the factors driving such a diverse radiation and aspects of their co-evolution with Schistosoma are not fully understood. Many taxonomic questions remain; there are problems identifying medically relevant species. The predicted range is mostly unsurveyed and the true biodiversity of the family is underestimated. Consequently, the aim of the study was to collect DNA-sequence data for as many pomatiopsid taxa as possible, as a first step in providing a resource for identification of epidemiologically significant species (by non-malacologists), for use in resolving taxonomic confusion and for testing phylogeographical hypotheses. Results: The evolutionary radiation of the Triculinae was shown to have been rapid and mostly post late Miocene. Molecular dating indicated that the radiation of these snails was driven first by the uplift of the Himalaya and onset of a monsoon system, and then by late-Pliocene global warming. The status of Erhaia as Anmicolidae is supported. The genera Tricula and Neotricula are shown to be non-monophyletic and the tribe Jullieniini may be polyphyletic (based on convergent characters). Triculinae from northern Vietnam could be derived from Gammatricula of Fujian/Yunnan, China. Conclusions: The molecular dates and phylogenetic estimates in this study are consistent with an Australasian origin for the Pomatiopsidae and an East to West radiation via Oligocene Borneo-Philippines island hopping to Japan and then China (Triculinae arising mid-Miocene in Southeast China), and less so with a triculine origin in Tibet. The lack of monophyly in the medically important genera and indications of taxonomic inaccuracies, call for further work to identify epidemiologically significant taxa (e.g., Halewisia may be potential hosts for Schistosoma mekongi) and highlight the need for surveys to determine the true biodiversity of the Triculinae. © 2014 Liu et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

Jia T.-W.,National Institute of Parasitic Diseases | Utzinger J.,Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute | Utzinger J.,University of Basel | Deng Y.,Jiangsu Institute of Parasitic Diseases | And 5 more authors.
PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases | Year: 2011

Background:The Chinese government lists advanced schistosomiasis as a leading healthcare priority due to its serious health and economic impacts, yet it has not been included in the estimates of schistosomiasis burden in the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study. Therefore, the quality of life and disability weight (DW) for the advanced cases of schistosomiasis japonica have to be taken into account in the re-estimation of burden of disease due to schistosomiasis.Methodology/Principal Findings:A patient-based quality-of-life evaluation was performed for advanced schistosomiasis japonica. Suspected or officially registered advanced cases in a Schistosoma japonicum-hyperendemic county of the People's Republic of China (P.R. China) were screened using a short questionnaire and physical examination. Disability and morbidity were assessed in confirmed cases, using the European quality of life questionnaire with an additional cognitive dimension (known as the "EQ-5D plus"), ultrasonography, and laboratory testing. The age-specific DW of advanced schistosomiasis japonica was estimated based on patients' self-rated health scores on the visual analogue scale of the questionnaire. The relationships between health status, morbidity and DW were explored using multivariate regression models. Of 506 candidates, 215 cases were confirmed as advanced schistosomiasis japonica and evaluated. Most of the patients reported impairments in at least one health dimension, such as pain or discomfort (90.7%), usual activities (87.9%), and anxiety or depression (80.9%). The overall DW was 0.447, and age-specific DWs ranged from 0.378 among individuals aged 30-44 years to 0.510 among the elderly aged ≥60 years. DWs are positively associated with loss of work capacity, psychological abnormality, ascites, and active hepatitis B virus, while splenectomy and high albumin were protective factors for quality of life.Conclusions/Significance:These patient-preference disability estimates could provide updated data for a revision of the GBD, as well as for evidence-based decision-making in P.R. China's national schistosomiasis control program. © 2011 Jia et al. Source

Bieri F.A.,Queensland Institute of Medical Research | Bieri F.A.,University of Queensland | Gray D.J.,Queensland Institute of Medical Research | Gray D.J.,University of Queensland | And 11 more authors.
New England Journal of Medicine | Year: 2013

BACKGROUND: Soil-transmitted helminths are among the most prevalent sources of human infections globally. We determined the effect of an educational package at rural schools in Linxiang City District, Hunan province, China, where these worms are prevalent. The intervention aimed to increase knowledge about soil-transmitted helminths, induce behavioral change, and reduce the rate of infection. METHODS: We conducted a single-blind, unmatched, cluster-randomized intervention trial involving 1718 children, 9 to 10 years of age, in 38 schools over the course of 1 school year. Schools were randomly assigned to the health-education package, which included a cartoon video, or to a control package, which involved only the display of a health-education poster. Infection rates, knowledge about soil-transmitted helminths (as assessed with the use of a questionnaire), and hand-washing behavior were assessed before and after the intervention. Albendazole was administered in all the participants at baseline and in all the children who were found to be positive for infection with soil-transmitted helminths at the follow-up assessment at the end of the school year. RESULTS: At the follow-up assessment, the mean score for the knowledge of helminths, calculated as a percentage of a total of 43 points on a questionnaire, was 90% higher in the intervention group than in the control group (63.3 vs. 33.4, P<0.001), the percentage of children who washed their hands after using the toilet was nearly twice as high in the intervention group (98.9%, vs. 54.2% in the control group; P<0.001), and the incidence of infection with soil-transmitted helminths was 50% lower in the intervention group than in the control group (4.1% vs. 8.4%, P<0.001). No adverse events were observed immediately (within 15 minutes) after albendazole treatment. CONCLUSIONS: The health-education package increased students' knowledge about soil-transmitted helminths and led to a change in behavior and a reduced incidence of infection within 1 school year. (Funded by UBS Optimus Foundation, Zurich, Switzerland; Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry number, ACTRN12610000048088.) Copyright © 2013 Massachusetts Medical Society. Source

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