Publications

Publications

wasp ovary
The malaria-causing parasite, Plasmodium falciparum completely remodels its host red blood cell (RBC) through the export of several hundred parasite proteins, including transmembrane proteins, across multiple membranes to the RBC. However, the process by which these exported membrane proteins are extracted from the parasite plasma ...
As part of ongoing efforts to isolate biologically active fungal metabolites, a cyclic pentapeptide, sheptide A (1), was discovered from strain MSX53339 (Herpotrichiellaceae). The structure and sequence of 1 were determined primarily by analysis of 2D NMR and HRMS/MS data, while the absolute configuration was ...
The vector-borne protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi causes Chagas disease in humans, dogs, and many other mammalian hosts. Canine Chagas disease is increasingly diagnosed in dogs of the southern United States where triatomine insect vectors occur, and there are limited veterinary testing options; only the indirect ...
Host cell invasion by Trypanosoma cruzi is a markedly silent process, with limited host transcriptional changes indicative of innate immune recognition, except for a modest type I IFN (IFN-I) response. In this study, we show that T. cruzi-induced IFN-β production was nearly abolished in primary ...
Apicomplexan parasites are a group of protists that cause disease in humans and include pathogens like Plasmodium spp., the causative agent of malaria, and Toxoplasma gondii, the etiological agent of toxoplasmosis and one of the most ubiquitous human parasites in the world. Membrane contact sites ...
Background: The American Heartworm Society canine guidelines recommend treatment with doxycycline prior to adulticide administration to reduce levels of Wolbachia and its associated metabolites, which are known to be a leading cause of pulmonary pathology. Studies have determined that doxycycline administered at 10 mg/kg BID for ...
Trypanosoma cruzi, the causative agent of Chagas disease, is a zoonotic, vector-borne, protozoan hemoflagellate with a wide host range. An 11-yr-old, captive-bred male De Brazza's monkey (Cercopithecus neglecus) presented with weight loss despite normal appetite. Examination revealed hypoglycemia, nonregenerative anemia, and many trypanosomes on a ...
Human bone marrow (BM) plasma cells are heterogeneous, ranging from newly arrived antibody-secreting cells (ASCs) to long-lived plasma cells (LLPCs). We provide single-cell transcriptional resolution of 17,347 BM ASCs from five healthy adults. Fifteen clusters are identified ranging from newly minted ASCs (cluster 1) expressing ...
Microbial pathogens use proteases for their infections, such as digestion of proteins for nutrients and activation of their virulence factors. As an obligate intracellular parasite, Toxoplasma gondii must invade host cells to establish its intracellular propagation. To facilitate invasion, the parasites secrete invasion effectors from microneme and ...
Background: Canine heartworm disease (CHD) caused by Dirofilaria immitis remains a common preventable disease with increasing incidence in some parts of the USA. The treatment guidelines of the American Heartworm Society (AHS) currently recommend monthly macrocyclic lactone administration, 28 days of doxycycline given orally every 12 ...
Trachoma, caused by ocular Chlamydia trachomatis infection, is targeted for global elimination as a public health problem by 2030. To provide evidence for use of antibodies to monitor C. trachomatis transmission, we collated IgG responses to Pgp3 antigen, PCR positivity, and clinical observations from 19,811 ...
Biomolecular condensation underlies the biogenesis of an expanding array of membraneless assemblies, including stress granules (SGs), which form under a variety of cellular stresses. Advances have been made in understanding the molecular grammar of a few scaffold proteins that make up these phases, but how ...
The genomes of kinetoplastids are organized into polycistronic transcription units that are flanked by a modified DNA base (base J, beta-D-glucosyl-hydroxymethyluracil). Previous work established a role of base J in promoting RNA polymerase II (Pol II) termination in Leishmania major and Trypanosoma brucei. We recently ...
The Chagas field has gone >50 years without tangible progress toward new therapies. My colleagues and I have recently reported on a benzoxaborole compound that achieves consistent parasitological cure in experimentally infected mice and in naturally infected non-human primates (NHPs). While these results do not ...
Acanthamoeba species, Naegleria fowleri, and Balamuthia mandrillaris are opportunistic pathogens that cause a range of brain, skin, eye, and disseminated diseases in humans and animals. These pathogenic free-living amoebae (pFLA) are commonly misdiagnosed and have sub-optimal treatment regimens which contribute to the extremely high mortality rates (>90%) when they ...
Malaria is a deadly disease caused by the parasite Plasmodium and is transmitted through the bite of female Anopheles mosquitoes. The sporozoite stage of Plasmodium deposited by mosquitoes in the skin of vertebrate hosts undergoes a phase of mandatory development in the liver before initiating ...
Background: Mosquitoes serve as the vector of canine heartworm (Dirofilaria immitis), which represents a significant and persistent threat to canine health. A reduction in the longevity and/or reproductive success of mosquitoes that take a blood meal from fluralaner-treated dogs may consequently reduce the local transmission of ...
Trypanosoma cruzi naturally infects a broad range of mammalian species and frequently results in the pathology that has been most extensively characterized in human Chagas disease. Currently employed treatment regimens fail to achieve parasitological cure of T. cruzi infection in the majority of cases. In ...
Cripowellins from Crinum erubescens are known pesticidal and have potent antiplasmodial activity. To gain mechanistic insights to this class of natural products, studies to determine the timing of action of cripowellins within the asexual intraerythrocytic cycle of Plasmodium falciparum were performed and led to the observation that this class ...
Toxoplasma gondii is an obligate intracellular apicomplexan that causes toxoplasmosis in humans and animals. Central to its dissemination and pathogenicity is the ability to rapidly divide in the tachyzoite stage and infect any type of nucleated cell. Adaptation to different cell contexts requires high plasticity in ...
Trypanosoma brucei is the causative agent of African trypanosomiasis, a deadly disease that affects humans and cattle. There are very few drugs to treat it, and there is evidence of mounting resistance, raising the need for new drug development. Here, we report the presence of a ...
Objective Schistosomiasis is a neglected tropical parasitic disease caused by blood flukes of the genus Schistosoma. Schistosoma japonicum is zoonotic in China, the Philippines, and Indonesia, with bovines acting as major reservoirs of human infection. The primary objective of the trial was to examine the impact of ...
The carbazole CBL0137 (1) is a lead for drug development against human African trypanosomiasis (HAT), a disease caused by Trypanosoma brucei. To advance 1 as a candidate drug, we synthesized new analogs that were evaluated for the physicochemical properties, antitrypanosome potency, selectivity against human cells, metabolism in microsomes ...
Although parasite entry through breaks in the skin or mucosa is one of the main routes of natural transmission of Trypanosoma cruzi, little is known about the host cell types initially invaded nor the ability of those host cells to initiate immune responses at the ...
Parasitic diseases caused by kinetoplastid parasites are a burden to public health throughout tropical and subtropical regions of the world. TriTrypDB (https://tritrypdb.org) is a free online resource for data mining of genomic and functional data from these kinetoplastid parasites and is part of the VEuPathDB ...
Highlights Schistosomiasis is a devastating neglected helminthic disease. Praziquantel (PZQ) is the most important drug against schistosomiasis. Previous work identified a TRP channel of the melastatin type as a PZQ target. Molecular studies now reveal the basis for varied PZQ sensitivity of different helminths. Roberto ...
Previous studies have suggested that a relationship exists between severity and transmissibility of malaria and variations in the gut microbiome, yet only limited information exists on the temporal dynamics of the gut microbial community during a malarial infection. Here, using a rhesus macaque model of ...
Infection with the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi elicits substantial CD8+ T cell responses that disproportionately target epitopes encoded in the large trans-sialidase (TS) gene family. Within the C57BL/6 infection model, a significant proportion (30-40%) of the T. cruzi-specific CD8+ T cell response targets two immunodominant ...
Malaria, caused by Plasmodium parasites is a severe disease affecting millions of people around the world. Plasmodium undergoes obligatory development and replication in the hepatocytes, before initiating the life-threatening blood-stage of malaria. Although the natural immune responses impeding Plasmodium infection and development in the liver are key to controlling clinical malaria ...
Background: A drawback in the treatment of chronic Chagas disease (American trypanosomiasis) is the long time required to achieve complete loss of serological reactivity, the standard for determining treatment efficacy. Methods: Antibody-secreting and memory B cells specific for Trypanosoma cruzi and their degree of differentiation were evaluated ...
The recent development and mass administration of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) vaccines allowed for disease control, reducing hospitalizations and mortality. Most of these vaccines target the SARS-CoV-2 Spike (S) protein antigens, culminating with the production of neutralizing antibodies (NAbs) that disrupt the ...
Malaria is a deadly disease caused by the parasite, Plasmodium, and impacts the lives of millions of people around the world. Following inoculation into mammalian hosts by infected mosquitoes, the sporozoite stage of Plasmodium undergoes obligate development in the liver before infecting erythrocytes and causing clinical malaria. The ...
The lack of a long-term in vitro culture method has severely restricted the study of Plasmodium vivax, in part because it limits genetic manipulation and reverse genetics. We used the recently optimized P. cynomolgi Berok in vitro culture model to investigate the putative P. vivax ...
Insects often harbor heritable symbionts that provide defense against specialized natural enemies, yet little is known about symbiont protection when hosts face simultaneous threats. In pea aphids (Acyrthosiphon pisum), the facultative endosymbiont Hamiltonella defensa confers protection against the parasitoid, Aphidius ervi, and Regiella insecticola protects ...
Plasmodium cynomolgi causes zoonotic malarial infections in Southeast Asia and this parasite species is important as a model for Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium ovale. Each of these species produces hypnozoites in the liver, which can cause relapsing infections in the blood. Here we present methods ...
Human clinical trials are expensive, and when they fail, they create the impression that a problem is intractable, thus depressing interest in future attempts. For neglected tropical diseases, where there are likely limited numbers of "shots on goal", such failures need to be assiduously avoided ...
Chemical overexposures and war-related stress during the 1990-1991 Gulf War (GW) are implicated in the persisting pathological symptoms that many GW veterans continue to endure. These symptoms culminate into a disease known as Gulf War Illness (GWI) and affect about a third of the GW ...
Co-infected hosts, individuals that carry more than one infectious agent at any one time, have been suggested to facilitate pathogen transmission, including the emergence of supershedding events. However, how the host immune response mediates the interactions between co-infecting pathogens and how these affect the dynamics ...
Seventeen new cephalotane-type diterpenoids, fortalides A-Q (1-17), along with five known analogues, were isolated from the seeds of Cephalotaxus fortunei var. alpina. Their structures were determined by extensive spectroscopic methods, as well as electronic circular dichroism (ECD) and X-ray crystallographic data analyses. Some isolates exhibited unusual structural features ...
Trypanosoma brucei causes human African trypanosomiasis (HAT) and nagana in cattle. During infection of a vertebrate, endocytosis of host transferrin (Tf) is important for viability of the parasite. The majority of proteins involved in trypanosome endocytosis of Tf are unknown. Here we identify pseudokinase NRP1 ...
Trypanosoma cruzi naturally infects a wide variety of wild and domesticated mammals, in addition to humans. Depending on the infection dose and other factors, the acute infection can be life-threatening, and in all cases, the risk of chagasic heart disease is high in persistently infected ...
Background: Infectious diseases continue to burden populations in Malaysia, especially among rural communities where resources are limited and access to health care is difficult. Current epidemiological trends of several neglected tropical diseases in these populations are at present absent due to the lack of habitual ...
The mitochondrial respiratory chain is an essential pathway in most studied eukaryotes due to its roles in respiration and other pathways that depend on mitochondrial membrane potential. Apicomplexans are unicellular eukaryotes whose members have an impact on global health. The respiratory chain is a drug ...
O-GlcNAcylation is a prominent modification of nuclear and cytoplasmic proteins in animals and plants, and is mediated by a single O-GlcNAc transferase (OGT). Spindly (Spy), a paralog of OGT first discovered in higher plants, has an ortholog in the apicomplexan parasite Toxoplasma gondii, and both ...
Diego Huet co-authored an editorial on the research topic disruptive technologies for the study of host-pathogen interactions in Frontiers. Juan F Quintana, Clare Harding, Diego Huet, Adam Sateriale, Maria Bernabeu. Front Cell Infect Microbiol. 2022 Oct 13;12:1048342. doi: 10.3389/fcimb.2022.1048342. eCollection 2022 ...
Toxoplasma gondii belongs to the phylum Apicomplexa and is an important cause of congenital disease and infection in immunocompromised patients. T. gondii shares several characteristics with plants including a non-photosynthetic plastid termed apicoplast and a multi-vesicular organelle that was named the plant-like vacuole (PLV) or ...
NEU-4438 is a lead for the development of drugs against Trypanosoma brucei, which causes human African trypanosomiasis. Optimized with phenotypic screening, targets of NEU-4438 are unknown. Herein, we present a cell perturbome workflow that compares NEU-4438's molecular modes of action to those of SCYX-7158 (acoziborole). Following ...
Plasmodium vivax, one species of parasite causing human malaria, forms a dormant liver stage, termed the hypnozoite, which activate weeks, months or years after the primary infection, causing relapse episodes. Relapses significantly contribute to the vivax malaria burden and are only killed with drugs of ...
The mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake, which is important to regulate bioenergetics, cell death and cytoplasmic Ca2+ signaling, is mediated via the calcium uniporter complex (MCUC). In animal cells the MCUC is regulated by the mitochondrial calcium uptake 1 and 2 dimer (MICU1/MICU2), which has been proposed to act ...
Of the three nematodes responsible for lymphatic filariasis in humans, only Brugia malayi is actively maintained in research settings owing to its viability in small animal hosts, principal among which is the domestic cat. While the microfilaremic feline host is necessary for propagation of parasites on any ...
Prenyldiphosphate synthases catalyze the reaction of allylic diphosphates with one or more isopentenyl diphosphate molecules to form compounds such as farnesyl diphosphate, used in, e.g., sterol biosynthesis and protein prenylation, as well as longer "polyprenyl" diphosphates, used in ubiquinone and menaquinone biosynthesis. Quinones play an ...
Background: Sporozoites isolated from the salivary glands of Plasmodium-infected mosquitoes are a prerequisite for several basic and pre-clinical applications. Although salivary glands are pooled to maximize sporozoite recovery, insufficient yields pose logistical and analytical hurdles; thus, predicting yields prior to isolation would be valuable. Preceding oocyst ...
Trypanosoma cruzi, the agent of Chagas disease, probably infects tens of millions of people, primarily in Latin America, causing morbidity and mortality. The options for treatment and prevention of Chagas disease are limited and underutilized. Here we describe the discovery of a series of benzoxaborole ...
Anautogenous mosquitoes must blood feed on a vertebrate host to produce eggs. Each gonadotrophic cycle is subdivided into a sugar-feeding previtellogenic phase that produces primary follicles and a blood meal-activated vitellogenic phase in which large numbers of eggs synchronously mature and are laid. Multiple endocrine ...
The resilience of Plasmodium vivax, the most widely-distributed malaria-causing parasite in humans, is attributed to its ability to produce dormant liver forms known as hypnozoites, which can activate weeks, months, or even years after an initial mosquito bite. The factors underlying hypnozoite formation and activation are ...
Apicomplexan parasites cause persistent mortality and morbidity worldwide through diseases including malaria, toxoplasmosis, and cryptosporidiosis. Ca2+ signaling pathways have been repurposed in these eukaryotic pathogens to regulate parasite-specific cellular processes governing the replicative and lytic phases of the infectious cycle, as well as the transition between ...
Studying the microbial symbionts of eukaryotic hosts has revealed a range of interactions that benefit host biology. Most eukaryotes are also infected by parasites that adversely affect host biology for their own benefit. However, it is largely unclear whether the ability of parasites to develop ...
In June 2021, the World Health Organization (WHO), recognizing the need for new diagnostics to support the control and elimination of onchocerciasis, published the target product profiles (TPPs) of new tests that would support the two most immediate needs: (a) mapping onchocerciasis in areas of ...
E3-SCF (Skp1/cullin-1/F-box protein) polyubiquitin ligases activate the proteasomal degradation of over a thousand proteins, but the evolutionary diversification of the F-box protein (FBP) family of substrate receptor subunits has challenged their elucidation in protists. Here we expand the FBP candidate list in the social amoeba ...
Malaria is a devastating disease impacting over half of the world's population. Plasmodium parasites that cause malaria undergo obligatory development and replication in hepatocytes before infecting red blood cells and initiating clinical disease. While type I interferons (IFNs) are known to facilitate innate immune control ...
Abstract Sexually reproducing animals segregate their germline from their soma. In addition to gamete-producing gonads, planarian and parasitic flatworm reproduction relies on yolk cell-generating accessory reproductive organs (vitellaria) supporting development of yolkless oocytes. Despite the importance of vitellaria for flatworm reproduction (and parasite transmission), little ...
Chagas disease is a neglected pathology that affects millions of people worldwide, mainly in Latin America. The Chagas disease agent, Trypanosoma cruzi (T. cruzi), is an obligate intracellular parasite with a diverse biology that infects several mammalian species, including humans, causing cardiac and digestive pathologies ...
Plasmodium knowlesi poses a health threat throughout Southeast Asian communities and currently causes most cases of malaria in Malaysia. This zoonotic parasite species has been studied in Macaca mulatta (rhesus monkeys) as a model for severe malarial infections, chronicity, and antigenic variation. The phenomenon of Plasmodium antigenic variation was first ...
Background: Integrated surveillance for multiple diseases can be an efficient use of resources and advantageous for national public health programs. Detection of IgG antibodies typically indicates previous exposure to a pathogen but can potentially also serve to assess active infection status. Serological multiplex bead assays have ...
The protozoan Toxoplasma gondii is a highly successful obligate intracellular parasite that, upon invasion of its host cell, releases an array of host-modulating protein effectors to counter host defenses and further its own replication and dissemination. Early studies investigating the impact of T. gondii infection ...
Schistosomiasis is a helminthiasis infecting approximately 250 million people worldwide. In 2001, the World Health Assembly (WHA) 54.19 resolution defined a new global strategy for control of schistosomiasis through preventive chemotherapy programmes. This resolution culminated in the 2006 WHO guidelines that recommended empirical treatment by ...
Small and intermediate-size noncoding RNAs (sRNAs and is-ncRNAs) have been shown to play important regulatory roles in the development of several eukaryotic organisms. However, they have not been thoroughly explored in Cryptosporidium parvum, an obligate zoonotic protist parasite responsible for the diarrhoeal disease cryptosporidiosis. Using Illumina ...
The Plasmodium falciparum protein VAR2CSA allows infected erythrocytes to accumulate within the placenta, inducing pathology and poor birth outcomes. Multiple exposures to placental malaria (PM) induce partial immunity against VAR2CSA, making it a promising vaccine candidate. However, the extent to which VAR2CSA genetic diversity contributes to immune ...
Trypanosoma cruzi is a unicellular parasite that causes Chagas disease, which is endemic in the American continent but also worldwide, distributed by migratory movements. A striking feature of trypanosomatids is the polycistronic transcription associated with post-transcriptional mechanisms that regulate the levels of translatable mRNA. In this ...
The absence of a routine continuous in vitro cultivation method for Plasmodium vivax, an important globally distributed parasite species causing malaria in humans, has restricted investigations to field and clinical sampling. Such a method has recently been developed for the Berok strain of P. cynomolgi, ...
Malaria is a major global health problem which predominantly afflicts developing countries. Although many antimalarial therapies are currently available, the protozoan parasite causing this disease, Plasmodium spp., continues to evade eradication efforts. One biological phenomenon hampering eradication efforts is the parasite's ability to arrest development, ...
Background: Anautogenous mosquitoes commonly consume nectars and other solutions containing sugar but are thought to only produce eggs in discrete gonadotrophic cycles after blood-feeding on a vertebrate host. However, some anautogenous species are known to produce eggs if amino acids in the form of protein are ...
Studies on an organic extract of a marine fungus, Periconia sp. (strain G1144), led to the isolation of three halogenated cyclopentenes along with the known and recently reported rhytidhyester D; a series of spectrometric and spectroscopic techniques were used to elucidate these structures. Interestingly, two ...
Anopheles gambiae and Anopheles coluzzii are closely related species that are predominant vectors of malaria in Africa. Recently, A. gambiae form M was renamed A. coluzzii and we now conclude on the basis of a diagnostic PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism assay that Ag55 cells were ...
The catechol derivative RC-12 (WR 27653) (1) is one of the few non-8-aminoquinolines with good activity against hypnozoites in the gold-standard Plasmodium cynomolgi-rhesus monkey (Macaca mulatta) model, but in a small clinical trial, it had no efficacy against Plasmodium vivax hypnozoites. In an attempt to better understand the ...
Toxoplasma gondii is a member of the apicomplexan phylum, a group of single-celled eukaryotic parasites that cause significant human morbidity and mortality around the world. T. gondii harbors two organelles of endosymbiotic origin: a non-photosynthetic plastid, known as the apicoplast, and a single mitochondrion derived ...
A key component to achieving the global goal of elimination of lymphatic filariasis (LF) is the availability of appropriate tools for disease mapping, monitoring, and surveillance. However, the development of these tools for a neglected disease such as LF can be a challenge. The lack ...
SQ109 is an anti-tubercular drug candidate that has completed Phase IIb/III clinical trials for tuberculosis and has also been shown to exhibit potent in vitro efficacy against protozoan parasites including Leishmania and Trypanosoma cruzi spp. However, its in vivo efficacy against protozoa has not been reported. Here, we evaluated ...
Most mosquito species are anautogenous, which means they must blood feed on a vertebrate host to produce eggs, while a few are autogenous and can produce eggs without blood feeding. Egg formation is best understood in the anautogenous mosquito Aedes aegypti, where insulin-like peptides (ILPs), ...
Mosquito reproduction is regulated by a suite of hormones, many acting through membrane-bound receptor proteins. The Aedes aegypti G protein-coupled receptors AAEL024199 (AeCNMaR-1a) and AAEL018316 (AeCNMaR-1b) were identified as orthologs of the Drosophila melanogaster CNMa receptor (DmCNMaR). The receptor was duplicated early in the evolution of insects, and subsequently ...
The tetrahydro-β-carboline scaffold has proven fertile ground for the discovery of antimalarial agents (e.g., MMV008138 (1) and cipargamin (2)). Similarity searching of a publicly disclosed collection of antimalarial hits for molecules resembling 1 drew our attention to N2-acyl tetrahydro-β-carboline GNF-Pf-5009 ((±)-3b). Compound purchase, "analog by catalog", and ...
Virtual ligand screening of a publicly available database of antimalarial hits using a pharmacophore derived from antimalarial MMV008138 identified TCMDC-140230, a tetrahydro-β-carboline amide, as worthy of exploration. All four stereoisomers of this structure were synthesized, but none potently inhibited growth of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum ...
Acidocalcisomes are electron-dense organelles rich in polyphosphate and inorganic and organic cations that are acidified by proton pumps, and possess several channels, pumps and transporters. They are present in bacteria and eukaryotes and have been studied in greater detail in trypanosomatids. Biogenesis studies of trypanosomatid ...
Malaria remains a major public health issue, infecting nearly 220 million people every year. The spread of drug-resistant strains of Plasmodium falciparum around the world threatens the progress made against this disease. Therefore, identifying druggable and essential pathways in P. falciparum parasites remains a major area of research. One ...
Eating is fundamental and from this basic principle, living organisms have evolved innumerable strategies to capture energy and nutrients from their environment. As part of the world's aquatic ecosystems, the expansive family of heterotrophic protozoans uses self-generated currents to funnel prokaryotic prey into an ancient, ...
Platyhelminthes can perhaps rightly be described as a phylum of the good, the bad, and the ugly: remarkable free-living worms that colonize land, river, and sea, which are often rife with color and can display extraordinary regenerative ability; parasitic worms like schistosomes that cause devastating ...
The free-living amoeba Naegleria fowleri, which typically dwells within warm, freshwater environments, can opportunistically cause primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM), a disease with a mortality rate of >97%. The lack of positive treatment outcomes for PAM has prompted the discovery and development of more effective therapeutics, ...
Most mosquito species are anautogenous, which means they must blood feed on a vertebrate host to produce eggs, while a few are autogenous and can produce eggs without blood feeding. Egg formation is best understood in the anautogenous mosquito Aedes aegypti where insulin-like peptides (ILPs), ...
Developing transfection protocols for marine protists is an emerging field that will allow the functional characterization of protist genes and their roles in organism responses to the environment. We developed a CRISPR/Cas9 editing protocol for Bodo saltans, a free-living kinetoplastid with tolerance to both marine ...
Malaria is a prevalent and lethal disease. The fast emergence and spread of resistance to current therapies is a major concern and the development of a novel line of therapy that could overcome, the problem of drug resistance, is imperative. Screening of a set of ...
Bracoviruses (BVs) are endogenized nudiviruses in parasitoid wasps of the microgastroid complex (family Braconidae). Microgastroid wasps have coopted nudivirus genes to produce replication-defective virions that females use to transfer virulence genes to parasitized hosts. The microgastroid complex further consists of six subfamilies and ∼50,000 species ...
Natural products have made a crucial and unique contribution to human health, and this is especially true in the case of malaria, where the natural products quinine and artemisinin and their derivatives and analogues, have saved millions of lives. The need for new drugs to ...
Background: Kra monkeys (Macaca fascicularis), a natural host of Plasmodium knowlesi, control parasitaemia caused by this parasite species and escape death without treatment. Knowledge of the disease progression and resilience in kra monkeys will aid the effective use of this species to study mechanisms of resilience ...
Antibody secreting cells (ASCs) circulate after vaccination and infection and migrate to the BM where a subset known as long-lived plasma cells (LLPCs) persists and secrete antibodies for a lifetime. The mechanisms by which circulating ASCs become LLPCs are not well elucidated. Here, we show ...
Animal genomes commonly contain genes or sequences that have been acquired from different types of viruses. The vast majority of these endogenous virus elements (EVEs) are inactive or consist of only a small number of components that show no evidence of cooption for new functions ...
Control of malaria caused by Plasmodium vivax can be improved by the discovery and development of novel drugs against the parasite's liver stage, which includes relapse-causing hypnozoites. Several recent reports describe breakthroughs in the culture of the P. vivax liver stage in 384-well microtiter plates, ...
Toxoplasma gondii has evolved different developmental stages for disseminating during acute infection (i.e. tachyzoites) and for establishing chronic infection (i.e. bradyzoites). Calcium ion (Ca2+) signaling tightly regulates the lytic cycle of tachyzoites by controlling microneme secretion and motility to drive egress and cell invasion. However, the ...
Background: Over the past 20 years, schistosomiasis control has been scaled up. Preventive chemotherapy with praziquantel is the main intervention. We aimed to assess the effect of preventive chemotherapy on schistosomiasis prevalence in sub-Saharan Africa, comparing 2000-10 with 2011-14 and 2015-19. Methods: In this spatiotemporal modelling study, ...
Laboratory colonies of diamondback moth (DBM) larvae were established from larvae collected from four sites in Georgia and Florida where diamide, specifically chlorantraniliprole, insecticide resistance was recently documented. Based on dose-response experiments, these colonies exhibited 109- to 4,298-fold resistance to chlorantraniliprole, compared to a commercially ...
Bracoviruses (BVs) and ichnoviruses (IVs) evolved from different endogenized viruses but through convergence have been coopted by parasitoids in the families Braconidae and Ichneumonidae for similar functions in parasitizing hosts. Experimentally studying the role of endogenized viral genes in virion morphogenesis remains a key challenge ...
Plasmodium lactate dehydrogenase (pLDH) is a common target in malaria rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs). These commercial antibody capture assays target either Plasmodium falciparum-specific pLDH (PfLDH), P. vivax-specific pLDH (PvLDH), or a conserved epitope in all human malaria pLDH (PanLDH). However, there are no assays specifically ...
As lymphatic filariasis (LF) programs move closer to established targets for validation elimination of LF as a public health problem, diagnostic tools capable of supporting the needs of the programs are critical for success. Known limitations of existing diagnostic tools make it challenging to have ...
Cryptosporidiosis is a leading cause of waterborne diarrheal disease globally and an important contributor to mortality in infants and the immunosuppressed. Despite its importance, the Cryptosporidium community has only had access to a good, but incomplete, Cryptosporidium parvum IOWA reference genome sequence. Incomplete reference sequences hamper annotation, experimental design ...
Background: Most phages infect free-living bacteria but a few have been identified that infect heritable symbionts of insects or other eukaryotes. Heritable symbionts are usually specialized and isolated from other bacteria with little known about the origins of associated phages. Hamiltonella defensa is a heritable bacterial ...
Balamuthia mandrillaris, a pathogenic free-living amoeba, causes cutaneous skin lesions as well as granulomatous amoebic encephalitis, a 'brain-eating' disease. As with the other known pathogenic free-living amoebas (Naegleria fowleri and Acanthamoeba species), drug discovery efforts to combat Balamuthia infections of the central nervous system are ...
Trypanosoma cruzi, the agent of Chagas disease, accumulates polyphosphate (polyP) and Ca2+ inside acidocalcisomes. The alkalinization of this organelle stimulates polyP hydrolysis and Ca2+ release. Here, we report that histidine ammonia lyase (HAL), an enzyme that catalyzes histidine deamination with production of ammonia (NH3) and urocanate, is ...
Circulating memory CD8 T cell trafficking and protective capacity during liver-stage malaria infection remains undefined. We find that effector memory CD8 T cells (Tem) infiltrate the liver within 6 hours after malarial or bacterial infections and mediate pathogen clearance. Tem recruitment coincides with rapid transcriptional ...
The Eukaryotic Pathogen, Vector and Host Informatics Resource (VEuPathDB, https://veupathdb.org) represents the 2019 merger of VectorBase with the EuPathDB projects. As a Bioinformatics Resource Center funded by the National Institutes of Health, with additional support from the Welllcome Trust, VEuPathDB supports >500 organisms comprising invertebrate ...
Lymphatic filariasis (LF) is a major public health problem globally and in the Pacific Region. The Global Programme to Eliminate LF has made great progress but LF is persistent and resurgent in some Pacific countries and territories. Samoa remains endemic for LF despite elimination efforts ...
Background: Antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 can be detected by various testing platforms, but a detailed understanding of assay performance is critical. Methods: We developed and validated a simple enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) to detect IgG binding to the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of SARS-CoV-2, which was then ...
Improved control of Plasmodium vivax malaria can be achieved with the discovery of new antimalarials with radical cure efficacy, including prevention of relapse caused by hypnozoites residing in the liver of patients. We screened several compound libraries against P. vivax liver stages, including 1565 compounds ...
Two-pore channels (TPCs) are a ubiquitous family of cation channels that localize to acidic organelles in animals and plants to regulate numerous Ca2+-dependent events. Little is known about TPCs in unicellular organisms despite their ancient origins. Here, we characterize a TPC from Toxoplasma gondii, the ...
Protein phosphorylation is involved in several key biological roles in the complex life cycle of Trypanosoma cruzi, the etiological agent of Chagas disease, and protein kinases are potential drug targets. Here, we report that the AGC essential kinase 1 (TcAEK1) exhibits a cytosolic localization and ...
Calcium ion (Ca2+) signaling is one of the most frequently employed mechanisms of signal transduction by eukaryotic cells, and starts with either Ca2+ release from intracellular stores or Ca2+ entry through the plasma membrane. In intracellular protist parasites Ca2+ signaling initiates a sequence of events that may facilitate ...
Background: Evidence indicates that whereas repeated rounds of mass drug administration (MDA) programs have reduced schistosomiasis prevalence to appreciable levels in some communities referred to here as responding villages (R). However, prevalence has remained high or less than anticipated in other areas referred to here as ...
African trypanosomes utilize glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored variant surface glycoprotein (VSG) to evade the host immune system. VSG turnover is thought to be mediated via cleavage of the GPI anchor by endogenous GPI-specific phospholipase C (GPI-PLC). However, GPI-PLC is topologically sequestered from VSG substrates in intact cells ...
Filariae are vector-borne nematodes responsible for an enormous burden of disease. Human lymphatic filariasis, caused by Wuchereria bancrofti, Brugia malayi, and Brugia timori, and onchocerciasis (caused by Onchocerca volvulus) are neglected parasitic diseases of major public health significance in tropical regions. To date, therapeutic efforts ...
Residual effects of the 1990-1991 Gulf War (GW) still plague veterans 30 years later as Gulf War Illness (GWI). Thought to stem mostly from deployment-related chemical overexposures, GWI is a disease with multiple neurological symptoms with likely immunological underpinnings. Currently, GWI remains untreatable, and the ...
Planting resistant cultivars is the most effective tactic to manage the thrips-transmitted tomato spotted wilt orthotospovirus (TSWV) in peanut plants. However, molecular mechanisms conferring resistance to TSWV in resistant cultivars are unknown. In this study, transcriptomes of TSWV-susceptible (SunOleic 97R) and field-resistant (Tifguard) peanut cultivars ...
Significance: Millions of people are infected with trypanosomatids and new therapeutic approaches are needed. Trypanosomatids possess one mitochondrion per cell, and its study has led to discoveries of general biological interest. These mitochondria, as their animal counterparts, generate reactive oxygen species (ROS) and have enzymatic and ...
Naegleria fowleri is a pathogenic free-living amoeba that is commonly found in warm freshwater and can cause a rapidly fulminant disease known as primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM). New drugs are urgently needed to treat PAM, as the fatality rate is >97%. Until recently, few advances ...
Plasmodium is a genus of apicomplexan parasites which replicate in the liver before causing malaria. Plasmodium vivax can also persist in the liver as dormant hypnozoites and cause clinical relapse upon activation, but the molecular mechanisms leading to activation have yet to be discovered. In this study, we ...
Cryptosporidiosis is ranked sixth in the list of the most important food-borne parasites globally, and it is an important contributor to mortality in infants and the immunosuppressed. Recently, the number of genome sequences available for this parasite has increased drastically. The majority of the sequences ...
Transient Receptor Potential (TRP) channels participate in calcium ion (Ca2+) influx and intracellular Ca2+ release. TRP channels have not been studied in Toxoplasma gondii or any other apicomplexan parasite. In this work we characterize TgGT1_310560, a protein predicted to possess a TRP domain (TgTRPPL-2) and determined its role ...
Gut microbes and diet can both strongly affect the biology of multicellular animals, but it is often difficult to disentangle microbiota-diet interactions due to the complex microbial communities many animals harbor and the nutritionally variable diets they consume. While theoretical and empirical studies indicate that ...