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Krautz-Peterson G.,Tufts University | Simoes M.,Instituto Rene Rachou Fiocruz | Faghiri Z.,Tufts University | Ndegwa D.,Tufts University | And 4 more authors.
PLoS Pathogens

Adult schistosomes live in the host's bloodstream where they import nutrients such as glucose across their body surface (the tegument). The parasite tegument is an unusual structure since it is enclosed not by the typical one but by two closely apposed lipid bilayers. Within the tegument two glucose importing proteins have been identified; these are schistosome glucose transporter (SGTP) 1 and 4. SGTP4 is present in the host interactive, apical tegumental membranes, while SGTP1 is found in the tegumental basal membrane (as well as in internal tissues). The SGTPs act by facilitated diffusion. To examine the importance of these proteins for the parasites, RNAi was employed to knockdown expression of both SGTP genes in the schistosomula and adult worm life stages. Both qRT-PCR and western blotting analysis confirmed successful gene suppression. It was found that SGTP1 or SGTP4-suppressed parasites exhibit an impaired ability to import glucose compared to control worms. In addition, parasites with both SGTP1 and SGTP4 simultaneously suppressed showed a further reduction in capacity to import glucose compared to parasites with a single suppressed SGTP gene. Despite this debility, all suppressed parasites exhibited no phenotypic distinction compared to controls when cultured in rich medium. Following prolonged incubation in glucose-depleted medium however, significantly fewer SGTP-suppressed parasites survived. Finally, SGTP-suppressed parasites showed decreased viability in vivo following infection of experimental animals. These findings provide direct evidence for the importance of SGTP1 and SGTP4 for schistosomes in importing exogenous glucose and show that these proteins are important for normal parasite development in the mammalian host. © 2010 Krautz-Peterson et al. Source

Sousa G.R.,Federal University of Minas Gerais | Gomes J.A.S.,Federal University of Minas Gerais | Damasio M.P.D.S.,Federal University of Minas Gerais | Ferreira K.S.,Federal University of Minas Gerais | And 4 more authors.

The expression of immune response appears to be associated with morbidity in Chagas disease. However, the studies in this field have usually employed small samples of patients and statistical analyses that do not consider the wide dispersion of cytokine production observed in these patients. The aim of this study was to evaluate the plasma cytokine levels in well-defined clinical polar groups of chagasic patients divided into categories that better reflect the wide cytokine profile and its relationship with morbidity. Patients infected with Trypanosoma cruzi (T. cruzi) were grouped as indeterminate (IND) and cardiac (CARD) forms ranging from 23 to 69 years of age (mean of 45.6±11.25). The IND group included 82 individuals, ranging from 24 to 66 years of age (mean of 39.6±10.3). The CARD group included 94 patients ranging from 23 to 69 years of age (mean of 48±12.52) presenting dilated cardiomyopathy. None of the patients have undergone chemotherapeutic treatment, nor had been previously treated for T. cruzi infection. Healthy non-chagasic individuals, ranging from 29 to 55 years of age (mean of 42.6±8.8) were included as a control group (NI). IND patients have a higher intensity of interleukin 10 (IL-10) expression when compared with individuals in the other groups. By contrast, inflammatory cytokine expression, such as interferon gamma (IFN-γ), tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), interleukin 6 (IL-6), and interleukin 1 beta (IL-1β), proved to be the highest in the CARD group. Correlation analysis showed that higher IL-10 expression was associated with better cardiac function, as determined by left ventricular ejection fraction and left ventricular diastolic diameter values. Altogether, these findings reinforce the concept that a fine balance between regulatory and inflammatory cytokines represents a key element in the establishment of distinct forms of chronic Chagas disease. © 2014 Sousa et al. Source

Antas P.R.Z.,Instituto Oswaldo Cruz | Gomes J.A.S.,Federal University of Pernambuco | Rocha M.O.C.,Federal University of Minas Gerais | Eloi-Santos S.M.,Federal University of Minas Gerais | And 2 more authors.
PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases

CD25High CD4+ regulatory T cells (Treg cells) have been described as key players in immune regulation, preventing infection-induced immune pathology and limiting collateral tissue damage caused by vigorous anti-parasite immune response. In this review, we summarize data obtained by the investigation of Treg cells in different clinical forms of Chagas' disease. Ex vivo immunophenotyping of whole blood, as well as after stimulation with Trypanosoma cruzi antigens, demonstrated that individuals in the indeterminate (IND) clinical form of the disease have a higher frequency of Treg cells, suggesting that an expansion of those cells could be beneficial, possibly by limiting strong cytotoxic activity and tissue damage. Additional analysis demonstrated an activated status of Treg cells based on low expression of CD62L and high expression of CD40L, CD69, and CD54 by cells from all chagasic patients after T. cruzi antigenic stimulation. Moreover, there was an increase in the frequency of the population of Foxp3+ CD25HighCD4+ cells that was also IL-10+ in the IND group, whereas in the cardiac (CARD) group, there was an increase in the percentage of Foxp3+ CD25High CD4+ cells that expressed CTLA-4. These data suggest that IL-10 produced by Treg cells is effective in controlling disease development in IND patients. However, in CARD patients, the same regulatory mechanism, mediated by IL-10 and CTLA-4 expression is unlikely to be sufficient to control the progression of the disease. These data suggest that Treg cells may play an important role in controlling the immune response in Chagas' disease and the balance between regulatory and effector T cells may be important for the progression and development of the disease. Additional detailed analysis of the mechanisms on how these cells are activated and exert their function will certainly give insights for the rational design of procedure to achieve the appropriate balance between protection and pathology during parasite infections. © 2011 de Araújo et al. Source

Gaze S.,James Cook University | Gaze S.,Instituto Nacional Of Ciencia E Tecnologia Em Doencas Tropicais | Driguez P.,QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute | Pearson M.S.,James Cook University | And 18 more authors.
PLoS Pathogens

Schistosomiasis is a neglected tropical disease that is responsible for almost 300,000 deaths annually. Mass drug administration (MDA) is used worldwide for the control of schistosomiasis, but chemotherapy fails to prevent reinfection with schistosomes, so MDA alone is not sufficient to eliminate the disease, and a prophylactic vaccine is required. Herein, we take advantage of recent advances in systems biology and longitudinal studies in schistosomiasis endemic areas in Brazil to pilot an immunomics approach to the discovery of schistosomiasis vaccine antigens. We selected mostly surface-derived proteins, produced them using an in vitro rapid translation system and then printed them to generate the first protein microarray for a multi-cellular pathogen. Using well-established Brazilian cohorts of putatively resistant (PR) and chronically infected (CI) individuals stratified by the intensity of their S. mansoni infection, we probed arrays for IgG subclass and IgE responses to these antigens to detect antibody signatures that were reflective of protective vs. non-protective immune responses. Moreover, probing for IgE responses allowed us to identify antigens that might induce potentially deleterious hypersensitivity responses if used as subunit vaccines in endemic populations. Using multi-dimensional cluster analysis we showed that PR individuals mounted a distinct and robust IgG1 response to a small set of newly discovered and well-characterized surface (tegument) antigens in contrast to CI individuals who mounted strong IgE and IgG4 responses to many antigens. Herein, we show the utility of a vaccinomics approach that profiles antibody responses of resistant individuals in a high-throughput multiplex approach for the identification of several potentially protective and safe schistosomiasis vaccine antigens. © 2014 Gaze et al. Source

Thiele E.A.,Purdue University | Correa-Oliveira G.,Center for Excellence in Bioinformatics | Correa-Oliveira G.,Instituto Nacional Of Ciencia E Tecnologia Em Doencas Tropicais | Gazzinelli A.,Instituto Nacional Of Ciencia E Tecnologia Em Doencas Tropicais | And 2 more authors.
Tropical Medicine and International Health

Objective: The freshwater snail Biomphalaria glabrata is the principal intermediate host for the parasite Schistosoma mansoni within Brazil. We assessed the potential effects of snail population dynamics on parasite transmission dynamics via population genetics. Methods: We sampled snail populations located within the confines of three schistosome-endemic villages in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. Snails were collected from individual microhabitats following seasonal periods of flood and drought over the span of 1 year. Snail spatio-temporal genetic diversity and population differentiation of 598 snails from 12 sites were assessed at seven microsatellite loci. Results: Average genetic diversity was relatively low, ranging from 4.29 to 9.43 alleles per locus, and overall, subpopulations tended to exhibit heterozygote deficits. Genetic diversity was highly spatially partitioned among subpopulations, while virtually, no partitioning was observed across temporal sampling. Comparison with previously published parasite genetic diversity data indicated that S. mansoni populations are significantly more variable and less subdivided than those of the B. glabrata intermediate hosts. Discussion: Within individual Brazilian villages, observed distributions of snail genetic diversity indicate temporal stability and very restricted gene flow. This is contrary to observations of schistosome genetic diversity over the same spatial scale, corroborating the expectation that parasite gene flow at the level of individual villages is likely driven by vertebrate host movement. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Source

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