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Vector competence of Australian <i>Aedes aegypti</i> and <i>Aedes albopictus</i> for an epidemic strain of Zika virus

4 April 2019 - 9:00pm

by R. Leon E. Hugo, Liesel Stassen, Jessica La, Edward Gosden, O’mezie Ekwudu, Clay Winterford, Elvina Viennet, Helen M. Faddy, Gregor J. Devine, Francesca D. Frentiu

Background

Recent epidemics of Zika virus (ZIKV) in the Pacific and the Americas have highlighted its potential as an emerging pathogen of global importance. Both Aedes (Ae.) aegypti and Ae. albopictus are known to transmit ZIKV but variable vector competence has been observed between mosquito populations from different geographical regions and different virus strains. Since Australia remains at risk of ZIKV introduction, we evaluated the vector competence of local Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus for a Brazilian epidemic ZIKV strain. In addition, we evaluated the impact of daily temperature fluctuations around a mean of 28°C on ZIKV transmission and extrinsic incubation period.

Methodology/Principal findings

Mosquitoes were orally challenged with a Brazilian ZIKV strain (8.8 log CCID50/ml) and maintained at either 28°C constant or fluctuating temperature conditions. At 3, 7 and 14 days post-infection (dpi), ZIKV RNA copies were quantified in mosquito bodies, as well as wings and legs, using qRT-PCR, while virus antigen in saliva (a proxy for transmission) was detected using a cell culture ELISA. Despite high body and disseminated infection rates in both vectors, the transmission rates of ZIKV in saliva of Ae. aegypti (50–60%) were significantly higher than in Ae. albopictus (10%) at 14 dpi. Both species supported a high viral load in bodies, with no significant differences between constant and fluctuating temperature conditions. However, a significant difference in viral load in wings and legs between species was observed, with higher titres in Ae. aegypti maintained at constant temperature conditions. For ZIKV transmission to occur in Ae. aegypti, a disseminated virus load threshold of 7.59 log10 copies had to be reached.

Conclusions/Significance

Australian Ae. aegypti are better able to transmit a Brazilian ZIKV strain than Ae. albopictus. The results are in agreement with the global consensus that Ae. aegypti is the major vector of ZIKV.

The Role of Interleukin-1 cytokine family (IL-1β, IL-37) and interleukin-12 cytokine family (IL-12, IL-35) in eumycetoma infection pathogenesis

4 April 2019 - 9:00pm

by Amir Abushouk, Amre Nasr, Emad Masuadi, Gamal Allam, Emmanuel E. Siddig, Ahmed H. Fahal

Mycetoma is a neglected tropical disease, endemic in many tropical and subtropical regions, characterised by massive deformity and disability and can be fatal if untreated early and appropriately. Interleukins (IL) -35 and IL-37 are newly discovered cytokines that play an important role in suppressing the immune system. However, the expression of these interleukins in patients with Madurella mycetomatis (M. mycetomatis) induced eumycetoma has not yet been explored. The aim of this study is to determine the levels of IL-1 family (IL-1β, IL-37) and IL-12 family (IL-12, IL-35) in a group of these patients and the association between these cytokines levels and the patients’ demographic characteristics. The present, case-control study was conducted at the Mycetoma Research Centre, Soba University Hospital, University of Khartoum, Sudan and it included 140 individuals. They were divided into two groups; group I: healthy controls [n = 70; median age 25 years (range 12 to 70 years)]. Group II: mycetoma patients [n = 70 patients; median age 25 (range 13 to 70 years)]. Cytokines levels were measured in sera using enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). There was a significant negative correlation between IL-1β and IL-12 levels and lesion size and disease duration, while IL-37 and IL-35 levels were significantly positively correlated with both lesion size and disease duration. The analysis of the risk factors of higher circulatory levels of IL-37 in patients of mycetoma showed a negative significant association with IL-1β cytokine, where a unit increment in IL-1β will decrease the levels of IL-37 by 35.28 pg/ml. The levels of IL-37 among the patients with a duration of mycetoma infection ≤ 1 year were significantly low by an average of 18.45 pg/ml compared to patients with a mycetoma infection’s duration of ≥ 5years (reference group). Furthermore, the risk factors of higher levels of IL-35 in mycetoma patients revealed a negative significant association with IL-12, as a unit increment in IL-12 decreases the levels of IL-35 by 8.99 pg/ml (p < 0.001). Levels of IL-35 among the patients with duration of mycetoma infection ≤ one year were significantly low on average by 41.82 pg/ml (p value = 0.002) compared to patients with a duration of mycetoma infection ≥ 5 years (reference group). In conclusion, this study indicates that both IL-35 and IL-37 are negatively associated with the levels of IL-1β and IL-12 in eumycetoma mycetoma infection; and high levels of IL-37 and IL-35 may have a negative impact on disease progression.

Female genital schistosomiasis and HIV/AIDS: Reversing the neglect of girls and women

4 April 2019 - 9:00pm

by Peter J. Hotez, Wendy Harrison, Alan Fenwick, Amaya L. Bustinduy, Camilla Ducker, Pamela Sabina Mbabazi, Dirk Engels, Eyrun Floerecke Kjetland

Application of long read sequencing to determine expressed antigen diversity in <i>Trypanosoma brucei</i> infections

3 April 2019 - 9:00pm

by Siddharth Jayaraman, Claire Harris, Edith Paxton, Anne-Marie Donachie, Heli Vaikkinen, Richard McCulloch, James P. J. Hall, John Kenny, Luca Lenzi, Christiane Hertz-Fowler, Christina Cobbold, Richard Reeve, Tom Michoel, Liam J. Morrison

Antigenic variation is employed by many pathogens to evade the host immune response, and Trypanosoma brucei has evolved a complex system to achieve this phenotype, involving sequential use of variant surface glycoprotein (VSG) genes encoded from a large repertoire of ~2,000 genes. T. brucei express multiple, sometimes closely related, VSGs in a population at any one time, and the ability to resolve and analyse this diversity has been limited. We applied long read sequencing (PacBio) to VSG amplicons generated from blood extracted from batches of mice sacrificed at time points (days 3, 6, 10 and 12) post-infection with T. brucei TREU927. The data showed that long read sequencing is reliable for resolving variant differences between VSGs, and demonstrated that there is significant expressed diversity (449 VSGs detected across 20 mice) and across the timeframe of study there was a clear semi-reproducible pattern of expressed diversity (median of 27 VSGs per sample at day 3 post infection (p.i.), 82 VSGs at day 6 p.i., 187 VSGs at day 10 p.i. and 132 VSGs by day 12 p.i.). There was also consistent detection of one VSG dominating expression across replicates at days 3 and 6, and emergence of a second dominant VSG across replicates by day 12. The innovative application of ecological diversity analysis to VSG reads enabled characterisation of hierarchical VSG expression in the dataset, and resulted in a novel method for analysing such patterns of variation. Additionally, the long read approach allowed detection of mosaic VSG expression from very few reads–the earliest in infection that such events have been detected. Therefore, our results indicate that long read analysis is a reliable tool for resolving diverse gene expression profiles, and provides novel insights into the complexity and nature of VSG expression in trypanosomes, revealing significantly higher diversity than previously shown and the ability to identify mosaic gene formation early during the infection process.

A Plant like Cytochrome P450 Subfamily <i>CYP710C1</i> Gene in <i>Leishmania donovani</i> Encodes Sterol C-22 Desaturase and its Over-expression Leads to Resistance to Amphotericin B

3 April 2019 - 9:00pm

by Ruby Bansal, Shib Sankar Sen, Rohini Muthuswami, Rentala Madhubala

Background

Leishmania donovani is a protozoan parasite, a primary causative agent of visceral leishmaniasis. Sterol produced via the mevalonate pathway, show differences in composition across biological kingdoms. The specific occurrence of Δ22-unsaturated sterols, containing a double bond at the C-22 position in the side chain occurs in fungi as ergosterol and as stigmasterol in plants. In the present study, we report the identification and functional characterization of a plant-like Cytochrome P450 subfamily CYP710C1 in L. donovani as the Leishmania C-22 desaturase.

Methodology

In silico analysis predicted the presence of a plant like CYP710C1 gene that encodes a sterol C-22 desaturase, a key enzyme in stigmasterol biosynthesis. The enzymatic function of recombinant CYP710C1 as C-22 desaturase was determined. To further study the physiological role of CYP710C1 in Leishmania, we developed and characterized an overexpressing strain and a gene deletion mutant. C-22 desaturase activity and stigmasterol levels were estimated in the wild-type, overexpressing promastigotes and heterozygous mutants.

Conclusion

We for the first time report the presence of a CYP710C1 gene that encodes a plant like sterol C-22 desaturase leading to stigmasterol biosynthesis in Leishmania. The recombinant CYP710C1 exhibited C-22 desaturase activity by converting β-sitosterol to stigmasterol. Axenic amastigotes showed higher expression of CYP710C1 mRNA, protein and stigmasterol levels compared to the promastigotes. Sterol profiling of CYP710C1 overexpressing L. donovani and heterozygous mutant parasites demonstrated that CYP710C1 was responsible for stigmasterol production. Most importantly, we demonstrate that these CYP710C1 overexpressing promastigotes are resistant to amphotericin B, a drug of choice for use against leishmaniasis. We report that Leishmania sterol biosynthesis pathway has a chimeric organisation with characteristics of both plant and fungal pathways.

Febrile temperatures increase <i>in vitro</i> antibody affinity for malarial and dengue antigens

3 April 2019 - 9:00pm

by Razvan C. Stan, Katia S. Françoso, Rubens P. S. Alves, Luís Carlos S. Ferreira, Irene S. Soares, Maristela M. de Camargo

Fever is a regulated increase of the body temperature resulting from both infectious and non-infectious causes. Fever is known to play a role in modulating immune responses to infection, but the potential of febrile temperatures in regulating antigen binding affinity to antibodies has not been explored. Here we investigated this process under in vitro conditions using Isothermal titration calorimetry and ELISA. We used selected malarial and dengue antigens against specific monoclonal antibodies, and observed a marked increase in the affinity of these antibody-antigen complexes at 40°C, compared to physiological (37°C) or pathophysiological temperatures (42°C). Induced thermal equilibration of the protein partners at these temperatures in vitro, prior to measurements, further increased their binding affinity. These results suggest another positive and adaptive role for fever in vivo, and highlight the favourable role of thermal priming in enhancing protein-protein affinity for samples with limited availability.

<i>Culex</i> species diversity, susceptibility to insecticides and role as potential vector of Lymphatic filariasis in the city of Yaoundé, Cameroon

3 April 2019 - 9:00pm

by Elysee Nchoutpouen, Abdou Talipouo, Borel Djiappi-Tchamen, Landre Djamouko-Djonkam, Edmond Kopya, Carmene Sandra Ngadjeu, Patricia Doumbe-Belisse, Parfait Awono-Ambene, Sevilor Kekeunou, Charles Sinclair Wondji, Christophe Antonio-Nkondjio

Background

Culex species are widespread across Cameroon and responsible for high burden of nuisance in most urban settings. However, despite their high nuisance, they remain less studied compared to anophelines. The present study aimed to assess Culex species distribution, susceptibility to insecticide, bionomics and role in Lymphatic Filariasis (LF) transmission in the city of Yaoundé.

Methods

Mosquito collections were conducted from March to December 2017 using Centre for Disease Control light traps (CDC-LT), human landing catches (HLC) and larval collections. Mosquitoes were identified using morphological identification keys. Mosquitoes from the Culex pipiens complex were further identified using Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) to assess the presence of sibling species. Bioassays were conducted with 2–5 day-old unfed females to assess mosquito susceptibility to DDT, permethrin, deltamethrin and bendiocarb following WHO guidelines. Dead, control and surviving mosquitoes from bioassays were screened by PCR to detect the presence of knockdown resistance (kdr) alleles. Pools of mosquitoes were examined by PCR to detect the presence of Wuchereria bancrofti.

Results

A total of 197,956 mosquitoes belonging to thirteen species were collected. The density of mosquito collected varied according to the collection methods, districts and seasons. Culex quinquefasciatus emerged as the most abundant and the only species of the Culex pipiens complex in Yaoundé. Culex species were found breeding in different types of breeding sites including polluted and unpolluted sites. All Culex species including Cx antennatus, Cx duttoni, Cx perfuscus and Cx tigripes were found to be highly resistant to permethrin, deltamethrin and DDT. Culex quinquefasciatus was also found to be resistant to bendiocarb. A high frequency of the West Africa kdr allele was recorded in resistant Cx. quinquefasciatus. Out of the 247 pooled samples of 25 Culex spp. examined for the presence of Wuchereria bancrofti, none was found infected.

Conclusion

The study confirms the high adaptation of Culex species particularly Culex quinquefasciatus to the urban environment and no implication of this species in the transmission of LF in Yaoundé Cameroon. Culex species predominance in urban settings highlight potential transmission risk of West Nile and rift valley fever in Yaoundé.

Connexin 43 plays an important role in the transformation of cholangiocytes with <i>Clonochis sinensis</i> excretory-secretory protein and <i>N</i>-nitrosodimethylamine

3 April 2019 - 9:00pm

by Eun-Min Kim, Young Mee Bae, Min-Ho Choi, Sung-Tae Hong

Background

Clonorchis sinensis is a group I bio-carcinogen responsible for cholangiocarcinoma (CHCA) in humans. However, the mechanism by which C. sinensis promotes carcinogenesis is unclear.

Methodology

Using the human cholangiocyte line H69, we investigated cell proliferation and gap junction protein expression after stimulation with the hepatotoxin N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) and/or excretory-secretory products (ESP) of C. sinensis, which induce inflammation. NDMA and ESP treatment increased proliferation by 146% and the proportion of cells in the G2/M phase by 37%. Moreover, the expression of the cell proliferation-related proteins E2F1, Ki-67, and cancer related protein cytokeratin 19 and Cox-2 increased in response to combined treatment with NDMA and ESP. The gap-junction proteins connexin (Cx) 43 and Cx26 increased. In contrast, Cx32 expression decreased in cells treated with NDMA and ESP. Silencing of Cx43 reduced cell proliferation and significantly suppressed Cx26 and Cox-2 expression.

Conclusions

These results suggest that Cx43 is an important factor in CHCA induced by C. sinensis ESP and NDMA and further investigations targeting this pathway may allow prevention of this deadly disease.

A community-based knowledge, attitude, and practice survey on rabies among cattle owners in selected areas of Bhutan

1 April 2019 - 9:00pm

by Sangay Rinchen, Tenzin Tenzin, David Hall, Frank van der Meer, Basant Sharma, Kinzang Dukpa, Susan Cork

Rabies remains a disease of significant zoonotic and economic concern in rabies endemic areas of Bhutan. Rabies outbreaks in livestock threaten the livelihoods of subsistent farming communities and pose a potential public health threat. As a part of identifying approaches to prevent rabies in cattle, a Knowledge, Attitude, and Practice (KAP) survey was conducted among cattle owners in selected rural areas of the southern rabies high-risk zone and low-risk zone in eastern Bhutan. Between March and April 2017, 562 cattle owners (281 in the east and 281 in the south) were interviewed using a questionnaire. Eighty-eight percent of the participants had heard of rabies but only 39% of the participants who had heard of rabies had adequate knowledge about rabies. Multivariable logistic regression analysis showed that residing in the south [OR = 9.25 (95% CI: 6.01–14.53)] and having seen a rabies case [OR = 2.46 (95% CI: 1.6–3.82)] were significantly associated with having adequate knowledge about rabies. Based on our scoring criteria, 65% of the total participants who had heard of rabies had a favorable attitude towards rabies control and prevention programs. The participants residing in the east were two times more likely to have a favourable attitude than their counterparts in the south [OR = 2.08 (95% CI: 1.43–3.05)]. More than 70% of the participants reported engaging in farm activities such as examining the oral cavity of sick cattle and assisting cattle during parturition. Only 25% of the participants reported using personal protective equipment while undertaking these activities. Despite a high level of rabies awareness, we observed that there is a lack of comprehensive knowledge about rabies regarding susceptible hosts, transmission routes, the health outcome of rabies infection in humans, and appropriate health-seeking behaviours. This study highlights the need to strengthen rabies education programs in rural communities to address the knowledge gaps that have been identified.

Blackflies in the ointment: <i>O</i>. <i>volvulus</i> vector biting can be significantly reduced by the skin-application of mineral oil during human landing catches

1 April 2019 - 9:00pm

by Túllio Romão Ribeiro da Silva, James Lee Crainey, Felipe Arley Costa Pessoa, Yago Vinícius Serra dos Santos, Jordam William Pereira-Silva, Lorena Ferreira de Oliveira Leles, Ana Carolina Vicente, Sérgio Luiz Bessa Luz

Background

Standard human landing catches (sHLCs) have historically been a key component of Onchocerca volvulus transmission monitoring, but expose health-workers to potentially hazardous vector bites. Novel human-bait-free trapping methods have been developed, but do not always work where they are needed and may not generate O. volvulus surveillance data that is directly comparable with historic data.

Methodology

Simuliid sHLCs and mineral-oil protected HLCs (mopHLCs) were performed in a rural village of Amazonas state, Brazil. A four-hour direct comparisons of sHLCs and mopHLCs was carried-out using six vector collectors, each of whom used one leg for a HLC and one for a mopHLC. Two-person collection teams then exclusively performed either mopHLCs or sHLCs for a further set of 12 four-hour collections. Following the completion of all collections, simuliid-bite mark estimates were made from legs used exclusively in sHLCs and legs used exclusively in mopHLCs.

Principal findings

All of the 1669 captured simuliids were identified as the O. volvulus vector Simulium oyapockense. Overall, mopHLC simuliids captured per hour (S/H) rates were lower than those obtained with sHLC trapping (15.5 S/H versus 20 S/H). Direct comparisons of simuliid capture rates found that vector-collectors captured simuliids significantly more efficiently (x¯: 20.5 S/H) with mopHLC trapping than with sHLC trapping (x¯: 16.4 S/H): P-value = 0.002. MopHLCs performed in isolation were, however, observed to capture vectors less efficiently (x¯: 13.4 S/H) than sHLCs performed under similar conditions (x¯: 19.98 S/H). All six vector collectors had significantly higher simuliid capture per counted bite mark (SC/CBM) rates using mopHLCs than they were observe to have using sHLCs (x¯: 21 SC/CBM versus x¯: 1 SC/CBM; p-value = 0.03125).

Conclusions

Vector collectors captured significantly more simuliids per counted bite mark with mopHLCs than with sHLCs. Further investigations into the utility of mopHLCs for onchocerciasis xenomonitoring and beyond are merited.

Severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome can masquerade as hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome

29 March 2019 - 9:00pm

by Rui Qi, Xiang-rong Qin, Ling Wang, Hui-ju Han, Feng Cui, Hao Yu, Jian-wei Liu, Xue-jie Yu

Background

Severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS) is an emerging viral hemorrhagic fever with a high fatality rate and high frequency of person-to-person transmission and is caused by SFTSV, a tick-borne Phlebovirus. Because SFTS has similar clinical manifestations and epidemic characters (such as spatial and temporal distributions) with hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) in China, we reason that SFTS patients might be misdiagnosed as HFRS.

Methodology/principal findings

Acute-phase sera of 128 clinically diagnosed HFRS patients were retrospectively analyzed for Hantavirus IgM antibodies with ELISA. Hantavirus-negative patients’ sera were further analyzed for SFTSV IgM antibodies with ELISA. ELISA showed that 73 of 128 (57.0%) of clinically diagnosed HFRS patients were IgM antibody positive to Hantaviruses. Among the 55 Hantavirus-IgM negative patients, four (7.3%) were IgM antibody positive to SFTSV. The results indicated that the four SFTS patients were misdiagnosed as HFRS. The misdiagnosed SFTS patients had clinical manifestations common to HFRS and were unable to be differentiated from HFRS clinically.

Conclusions

Our study showed that SFTS patients could be clinically misdiagnosed as HFRS. The misdiagnosis of SFTS as HFRS causes particular concern because it may increase the risk of death of SFTS patients and person-to-person transmission of SFTSV without proper care for and isolation of SFTS patients.

Voltage-gated sodium channel intron polymorphism and four mutations comprise six haplotypes in an <i>Aedes aegypti</i> population in Taiwan

29 March 2019 - 9:00pm

by Han-Hsuan Chung, I-Cheng Cheng, Yen-Chi Chen, Cheo Lin, Takashi Tomita, Hwa-Jen Teng

Background

Knockdown resistance (kdr) to dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) and pyrethroids is known to link amino acid substitutions in the voltage-gated sodium channel (VGSC) in Aedes aegypti. Dengue fever primarily transmitted by Ae. aegypti is an annual public health issue in Taiwan. Accordingly, pyrethroid insecticides have been heavily used for decades to control mosquito populations in the summer and autumn. In Taiwan, an Ae. aegypti population with two VGSC mutations, V1016G and D1763Y, was described previously.

Methodology/Principal finding

Aedes aegypti (G0) were collected in Tainan and Kaohsiung in southern Taiwan. The VGSC gene polymorphisms of the kdr mutations and the intron flanked by exons 20 and 21 were verified. The first generation offspring (G1) were used to measure the resistance level to cypermethrin, a pyrethroid insecticide currently used in Taiwan. In addition to V1016G and D1763Y, we describe two new mutations, S989P and F1534C, which have not been reported in Taiwan. Moreover, we also identify two types (groups A and B) of introns between exons 20 and 21. Intriguingly, the kdr mutations S989P, V1016G and D1763Y are strictly located on the haplotype harboring the group A intron, whereas F1534C links to the group B intron. When those data were taken together, we proposed the following six haplotypes for VGSC genes in Taiwan today: (i)S989-intron A-V1016-F1534-D1763, (ii)S989-intron A-V1016G-F1534-D1763, (iii)S989P-intron A-V1016G-F1534-D1763, (iv)S989-intron A-V1016G-F1534-D1763Y, (v)S989-intron B-V1016-F1534-D1763 and (vi)S989-intron B-V1016-F1534C-D1763. Triple heterozygous mutations of either S989P/V1016G/F1534C or V1016G/F1534C/D1763Y can be found in one single Ae. aegypti mosquito. The proportions of the VGSC mutations were relevant to cypermethrin resistance. Notably, the presence of S989P and V1016G in the population could be a helpful reference to predict the resistance level to cypermethrin. This is the first study to demonstrate the coexistence of four kdr mutations in a population of Ae. aegypti.

Conclusions/Significance

Four kdr mutations (S989P, V1016G, F1534C and D1763Y) and two intron forms (Group A and B) were commonly found in local Ae. aegypti populations in Taiwan.

Limited differentiation among <i>Plasmodium vivax</i> populations from the northwest and to the south Pacific Coast of Colombia: A malaria corridor?

28 March 2019 - 9:00pm

by M. Andreína Pacheco, Kristan A. Schneider, Nora Céspedes, Sócrates Herrera, Myriam Arévalo-Herrera, Ananias A. Escalante

Background

Malaria remains endemic in several countries of South America with low to moderate transmission intensity. Regional human migration through underserved endemic areas may be responsible for significant parasite dispersion making the disease resilient to interventions. Thus, the genetic characterization of malarial parasites is an important tool to assess how endemic areas may connect via the movement of infected individuals. Here, four sites in geographically separated areas reporting 80% of the malaria morbidity in Colombia were studied. The sites are located on an imaginary transect line of 1,500 km from the northwest to the south Pacific Coast of Colombia with a minimal distance of 500 km between populations that display noticeable ethnic, economic, epidemiological, and ecological differences.

Methodology/Principal findings

A total of 624 Plasmodium vivax samples from the four populations were genotyped by using eight microsatellite loci. Although a strong geographic structure was expected between these populations, only moderate evidence of genetic differentiation was observed using a suite of population genetic analyses. High genetic diversity, shared alleles, and low linkage disequilibrium were also found in these P. vivax populations providing no evidence for a bottleneck or clonal expansions as expected from recent reductions in the transmission that could have been the result of scaling up interventions or environmental changes. These patterns are consistent with a disease that is not only endemic in each site but also imply that there is gene flow among these populations across 1,500 km.

Conclusion /Significance

The observed patterns in P. vivax are consistent with a “corridor” where connected endemic areas can sustain a high level of genetic diversity locally and can restore parasite-subdivided populations via migration of infected individuals even after local interventions achieved a substantial reduction of clinical cases. The consequences of these findings in terms of control and elimination are discussed.

Global expansion and redistribution of <i>Aedes</i>-borne virus transmission risk with climate change

28 March 2019 - 9:00pm

by Sadie J. Ryan, Colin J. Carlson, Erin A. Mordecai, Leah R. Johnson

Forecasting the impacts of climate change on Aedes-borne viruses—especially dengue, chikungunya, and Zika—is a key component of public health preparedness. We apply an empirically parameterized model of viral transmission by the vectors Aedes aegypti and Ae. albopictus, as a function of temperature, to predict cumulative monthly global transmission risk in current climates, and compare them with projected risk in 2050 and 2080 based on general circulation models (GCMs). Our results show that if mosquito range shifts track optimal temperature ranges for transmission (21.3–34.0°C for Ae. aegypti; 19.9–29.4°C for Ae. albopictus), we can expect poleward shifts in Aedes-borne virus distributions. However, the differing thermal niches of the two vectors produce different patterns of shifts under climate change. More severe climate change scenarios produce larger population exposures to transmission by Ae. aegypti, but not by Ae. albopictus in the most extreme cases. Climate-driven risk of transmission from both mosquitoes will increase substantially, even in the short term, for most of Europe. In contrast, significant reductions in climate suitability are expected for Ae. albopictus, most noticeably in southeast Asia and west Africa. Within the next century, nearly a billion people are threatened with new exposure to virus transmission by both Aedes spp. in the worst-case scenario. As major net losses in year-round transmission risk are predicted for Ae. albopictus, we project a global shift towards more seasonal risk across regions. Many other complicating factors (like mosquito range limits and viral evolution) exist, but overall our results indicate that while climate change will lead to increased net and new exposures to Aedes-borne viruses, the most extreme increases in Ae. albopictus transmission are predicted to occur at intermediate climate change scenarios.

An innovative approach to screening and chemoprophylaxis among contacts of leprosy patients in low endemic settings: experiences from Cambodia

28 March 2019 - 9:00pm

by Arielle Cavaliero, Helena Greter, Thomas Fürst, Sambath Lay, Sarady Sao Ay, Jan Robijn, Peter Steinmann

The landscape of enteric pathogen exposure of young children in public domains of low-income, urban Kenya: The influence of exposure pathway and spatial range of play on multi-pathogen exposure risks

27 March 2019 - 9:00pm

by Danielle Medgyesi, Daniel Sewell, Reid Senesac, Oliver Cumming, Jane Mumma, Kelly K. Baker

Young children are infected by a diverse variety of enteric pathogens in low-income, high-burden countries. Little is known about which conditions pose the greatest risk for enteric pathogen exposure and infection. Young children frequently play in residential public areas around their household, including areas contaminated by human and animal feces, suggesting these exposures are particularly hazardous. The objective of this study was to examine how the dose of six types of common enteric pathogens, and the probability of exposure to one or multiple enteric pathogens for young children playing at public play areas in Kisumu, Kenya is influenced by the type and frequency of child play behaviors that result in ingestion of soil or surface water. Additionally, we examine how pathogen doses and multi-pathogen exposure are modified by spatial variability in the number of public areas children are exposed to in their neighborhood. A Bayesian framework was employed to obtain the posterior distribution of pathogen doses for a certain number of contacts. First, a multivariate mixed effects tobit model was used to obtain the posterior distribution of pathogen concentrations, and their interdependencies, in soil and surface water, based upon empirical data of enteric pathogen contamination in three neighborhoods of Kisumu. Then, exposure doses were estimated using behavioral contact parameters from previous studies and contrasted under different exposure conditions. Pathogen presence and concentration in soil varied widely across local (< 25 meter radius area) and neighborhood-level scales, but pathogens were correlated among distinct surface water samples collected near to each other. Multi-pathogen exposure of children at public play areas was common. Pathogen doses and the probability of multi-pathogen ingestion increased with: higher frequency of environmental contact, especially for surface water; larger volume of soil or water ingested; and with play at multiple sites in the neighborhood versus single site play. Child contact with surface water and soil at public play areas in their neighborhood is an important cause of exposure to enteric pathogens in Kisumu, and behavioral, environmental, and spatial conditions are determinants of exposure.

Determinants for progression from asymptomatic infection to symptomatic visceral leishmaniasis: A cohort study

27 March 2019 - 9:00pm

by Jaya Chakravarty, Epco Hasker, Sangeeta Kansal, Om Prakash Singh, Paritosh Malaviya, Abhishek Kumar Singh, Ankita Chourasia, Toolika Singh, Medhavi Sudarshan, Akhil Pratap Singh, Bhawana Singh, Rudra Pratap Singh, Bart Ostyn, Michaela Fakiola, Albert Picado, Joris Menten, Jenefer M. Blackwell, Mary E. Wilson, David Sacks, Marleen Boelaert, Shyam Sundar

Background

Asymptomatic Leishmania donovani infections outnumber clinical presentations, however the predictors for development of active disease are not well known. We aimed to identify serological, immunological and genetic markers for progression from L. donovani infection to clinical Visceral Leishmaniasis (VL).

Methods

We enrolled all residents >2 years of age in 27 VL endemic villages in Bihar (India). Blood samples collected on filter paper on two occasions 6–12 months apart, were tested for antibodies against L. donovani with rK39-ELISA and DAT. Sero converters, (negative for both tests in the first round but positive on either of the two during the second round) and controls (negative on both tests on both occasions) were followed for three years. At the start of follow-up venous blood was collected for the following tests: DAT, rK39- ELISA, Quantiferon assay, SNP/HLA genotyping and L.donovani specific quantitative PCR.

Results

Among 1,606 subjects enrolled,17 (8/476 seroconverters and 9/1,130 controls) developed VL (OR 3.1; 95% CI 1.1–8.3). High DAT and rK39 ELISA antibody titers as well as positive qPCR were strongly and significantly associated with progression from seroconversion to VL with odds ratios of 19.1, 30.3 and 20.9 respectively. Most VL cases arose early (median 5 months) during follow-up.

Conclusion

We confirmed the strong association between high DAT and/or rK39 titers and progression to disease among asymptomatic subjects and identified qPCR as an additional predictor. Low predictive values do not warrant prophylactic treatment but as most progressed to VL early during follow-up, careful oberservation of these subjects for at least 6 months is indicated.

Correction: Alternative strategies for mosquito-borne arbovirus control

26 March 2019 - 9:00pm

by Nicole L. Achee, John P. Grieco, Hassan Vatandoost, Gonçalo Seixas, Joao Pinto, Lee Ching-NG, Ademir J. Martins, Waraporn Juntarajumnong, Vincent Corbel, Clement Gouagna, Jean-Philippe David, James G. Logan, James Orsborne, Eric Marois, Gregor J. Devine, John Vontas

Status and influencing factors of farmers’ private investment in the prevention and control of sheep brucellosis in China: A cross-sectional study

25 March 2019 - 9:00pm

by Heng Zeng, YouMing Wang, XiangDong Sun, Ping Liu, QuanGang Xu, Duan Huang, Lu Gao, ShiBing You, BaoXu Huang

Background

Brucellosis is one of the most common zoonoses worldwide, causing direct losses to the livestock industry and threatening human health. Little is known about the status and factors affecting farmers’ private investment in the prevention and control of sheep brucellosis in China.

Methodology/Principal findings

From April to October 2017, a cross-sectional, house-based study was conducted in 7 Chinese provinces. A total of 1037 households included in the study were analyzed. The average amount of private investment in the prevention and control of brucellosis was $0.73±0.54 per sheep. Multivariable analysis showed that factors facilitating private investment included older age of householder (OR = 1.07, 95%CI: 1.03–1.11), herd size >100 (OR = 2.49, 95%CI: 1.38–4.51), a higher percentage of income from sheep farming comparing to the total household income (OR = 1.14, 95%CI: 1.11–1.16), higher score of brucellosis knowledge (OR = 3.85, 95%CI: 1.40–10.51), actively learning related knowledge (OR = 2.98, 95%CI: 1.55–5.74), actively participating in related training courses (OR = 3.07, 95%CI: 1.52–6.18), care about other people’s attitudes (OR = 1.75, 95%CI: 1.35–2.28), concern about the health of neighbors’ livestock (OR = 1.75, 95%CI: 1.23–2.51). The analysis found a discouraging factor for private investment, supporting culling policy (OR = 0.67, 95%CI: 0.49–0.91).

Conclusions/Significance

In addition to providing interventions related to farmers’ knowledge, attitudes and practices, guidance must be offered to help farmers understanding the importance of private investment in the prevention and control of brucellosis.

Association between <i>IL1</i> gene polymorphism and human African trypanosomiasis in populations of sleeping sickness foci of southern Cameroon

25 March 2019 - 9:00pm

by Elvis Ofon, Harry Noyes, Vincent Ebo’o Eyanga, Flobert Njiokou, Mathurin Koffi, Pythagore Fogue, Christiane Hertz-Fowler, Annette MacLeod, Enock Matovu, Gustave Simo, for the TrypanoGEN Research Group, as members of The H3Africa Consortium

Background

Human African Trypanosomiasis (HAT) is a neglected tropical disease caused by infections due to Trypanosoma brucei subspecies. In addition to the well-established environmental and behavioural risks of becoming infected, there is evidence for a genetic component to the response to trypanosome infection. We undertook a candidate gene case-control study to investigate genetic associations further.

Methodology

We genotyped one polymorphism in each of seven genes (IL1A, IL1RN, IL4RN, IL6, HP, HPR, and HLA-G) in 73 cases and 250 controls collected from 19 ethno-linguistic subgroups stratified into three major ethno-linguistic groups, 2 pooled ethno-linguistic groups and 11 ethno-linguistic subgroups from three Cameroonian HAT foci. The seven polymorphic loci tested consisted of three SNPs, three variable numbers of tandem repeat (VNTR) and one INDEL.

Results

We found that the genotype (TT) and minor allele (T) of IL1A gene as well as the genotype 1A3A of IL1RN were associated with an increased risk of getting Trypanosoma brucei gambiense and develop HAT when all data were analysed together and also when stratified by the three major ethno-linguistic groups, 2 pooled ethno-linguistic subgroups and 11 ethno-linguistic subgroups.

Conclusion

This study revealed that one SNP rs1800794 of IL1A and one VNTR rs2234663 of IL1RN were associated with the increased risk to be infected by Trypanosoma brucei gambiense and develop sleeping sickness in southern Cameroon. The minor allele T and the genotype TT of SNP rs1800794 in IL1A as well as the genotype 1A3A of IL1RN rs2234663 VNTR seem to increase the risk of getting Trypanosoma brucei gambiense infections and develop sleeping sickness in southern Cameroon.

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