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Circulating miRNAs: Potential Novel Biomarkers for Hepatopathology Progression and Diagnosis of Schistosomiasis Japonica in Two Murine Models

Background Schistosomiasis remains a major public health issue, with an estimated 230 million people infected worldwide. Novel tools for early diagnosis and surveillance of schistosomiasis are currently needed. Elevated levels of circulating microRNAs (miRNAs) are commonly associated with the initiation and progression of human disease pathology. Hence, serum miRNAs are emerging as ...

An Ex Vivo Model for Studying Hepatic Schistosomiasis and the Effect of Released Protein from Dying Eggs

Background We report the use of an ex vivo precision cut liver slice (PCLS) mouse model for studying hepatic schistosomiasis. In this system, liver tissue is unfixed, unfrozen, and alive for maintenance in culture and subsequent molecular analysis. Methods and Findings Using thick naive mouse liver tissue and sterile culture conditions, the addition of soluble egg antigen (SEA) ...

Suppression of the Insulin Receptors in Adult Schistosoma japonicum Impacts on Parasite Growth and Development: Further Evidence of Vaccine Potential

To further investigate the importance of insulin signaling in the growth, development, sexual maturation and egg production of adult schistosomes, we have focused attention on the insulin receptors (SjIRs) of Schistosoma japonicum, which we have previously cloned and partially characterised. We now show, by Biolayer Interferometry, that human insulin can bind the L1 subdomain ...

Characterisation of a secretory serine protease inhibitor (SjB6) from Schistosoma japonicum

Background Proteins belonging to the serine protease inhibitor (serpin) superfamily play essential physiological roles in many organisms. In pathogens, serpins are thought to have evolved specifically to limit host immune responses by interfering with the host immune-stimulatory signals. Serpins are less well characterised in parasitic helminths, although some are thought to be ...

Real-time PCR Demonstrates High Prevalence of Schistosoma japonicum in the Philippines: Implications for Surveillance and Control

Background The Philippines has a population of approximately 103 million people, of which 6.7 million live in schistosomiasis-endemic areas with 1.8 million people being at risk of infection with Schistosoma japonicum. Although the country-wide prevalence of schistosomiasis japonica in the Philippines is relatively low, the prevalence of schistosomiasis can be high, approaching 65% ...

Schistosoma japonicum Eggs Induce a Proinflammatory, Anti-Fibrogenic Phenotype in Hepatic Stellate Cells

Hepatic fibrosis induced by egg deposition is the most serious pathology associated with chronic schistosomiasis, in which the hepatic stellate cell (HSC) plays a central role. While the effect of Schistosoma mansoni eggs on the fibrogenic phenotype of HSCs has been investigated, studies determining the effect of eggs of S. japonicum on HSCs are lacking. Disease caused by S. ...

High Prevalence of Schistosoma japonicum and Fasciola gigantica in Bovines from Northern Samar, the Philippines

The cause of zoonotic schistosomiasis in the Philippines is Schistosoma japonicum, which infects up to 46 mammalian hosts, including humans and bovines. In China, water buffaloes have been identified as major reservoir hosts for schistosomiasis japonica, contributing up to 75% of human transmission. In the Philippines, water buffaloes (carabao; Bubalus bubalis carabanesis) have, ...

Transcriptional Responses of In Vivo Praziquantel Exposure in Schistosomes Identifies a Functional Role for Calcium Signalling Pathway Member CamKII

Wei Hu Michael J. Smout Paul J. Brindley Geoffrey N. Gobert Charles Cunningham, University of New Mexico, United States of America Treatment for clinical schistosomiasis has relied centrally on the

Heme and blood-feeding parasites: friends or foes?

Hemoparasites, like malaria and schistosomes, are constantly faced with the challenges of storing and detoxifying large quantities of heme, released from their catabolism of host erythrocytes. Heme is an essential prosthetic group that forms the reactive core of numerous hemoproteins with diverse biological functions. However, due to its reactive nature, it is also a potentially ...

High quality RNA isolation from Aedes aegypti midguts using laser microdissection microscopy

Background Laser microdissection microscopy (LMM) has potential as a research tool because it allows precise excision of target tissues or cells from a complex biological specimen, and facilitates tissue-specific sample preparation. However, this method has not been used in mosquito vectors to date. To this end, we have developed an LMM method to isolate midgut RNA using Aedes ...

Comparative Gene Expression Profiling of P. falciparum Malaria Parasites Exposed to Three Different Histone Deacetylase Inhibitors

Histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors are being intensively pursued as potential new drugs for a range of diseases, including malaria. HDAC inhibitors are also important tools for the study of epigenetic mechanisms, transcriptional control, and other important cellular processes. In this study the effects of three structurally related antimalarial HDAC inhibitors on P. falciparum ...

Gene Atlasing of Digestive and Reproductive Tissues in Schistosoma mansoni

Background While considerable genomic and transcriptomic data are available for Schistosoma mansoni, many of its genes lack significant annotation. A transcriptomic study of individual tissues and organs of schistosomes could play an important role in functional annotation of the unknown genes, particularly by providing rapid localisation data and thus giving insight into the ...

High Prevalence of Schistosoma japonicum Infection in Carabao from Samar Province, the Philippines: Implications for Transmission and Control

Schistosoma japonicum is endemic in the Philippines, China and Indonesia, and infects more than 40 mammalian host species, all of which can act as reservoirs of infection. In China, water buffaloes have been shown to be major reservoirs of human infection. However, in the Philippines, carabao have not been considered important reservoir hosts for S. japonicum due to the low ...

An Immunomics Approach to Schistosome Antigen Discovery: Antibody Signatures of Naturally Resistant and Chronically Infected Individuals from Endemic Areas

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 ...

Differential Expression of Chemokine and Matrix Re-Modelling Genes Is Associated with Contrasting Schistosome-Induced Hepatopathology in Murine Models

The pathological outcomes of schistosomiasis are largely dependent on the molecular and cellular mechanisms of the host immune response. In this study, we investigated the contribution of variations in host gene expression to the contrasting hepatic pathology observed between two inbred mouse strains following Schistosoma japonicum infection. Whole genome microarray analysis was ...

A Cytochrome b561 with Ferric Reductase Activity from the Parasitic Blood Fluke, Schistosoma japonicum

Background Iron has an integral role in numerous cellular reactions and is required by virtually all organisms. In physiological conditions, iron is abundant in a largely insoluble ferric state. Ferric reductases are an essential component of iron uptake by cells, reducing iron to the soluble ferrous form. Cytochromes b561 (cyts-b561) are a family of ascorbate reducing ...

Differential gene expression in Schistosoma japonicum schistosomula from Wistar rats and BALB/c mice

Background More than 46 species of mammals can be naturally infected with Schistosoma japonicum in the mainland of China. Mice are permissive and may act as the definitive host of the life cycle. In contrast, rats are less susceptible to S. japonicum infection, and are considered to provide an unsuitable micro-environment for parasite growth and development. Since little is known ...

Tissue Specific Profiling of Females of Schistosoma japonicum by Integrated Laser Microdissection Microscopy and Microarray Analysis

Background The functions of many schistosome gene products remain to be characterized. A major step towards elucidating function of these genes would be in defining their sites of expression. This goal is rendered difficult to achieve by the generally small size of the parasites and the lack of a body cavity, which precludes analysis of transcriptional profiles of the tissues in ...

Apoptosis Governs the Elimination of Schistosoma japonicum from the Non-Permissive Host Microtus fortis

The reed vole, Microtus fortis, is the only known mammalian host in which schistosomes of Schistosoma japonicum are unable to mature and cause significant pathogenesis. However, little is known about how Schistosoma japonicum maturation (and, therefore, the development of schistosomiasis) is prevented in M. fortis. In the present study, the ultrastructure of 10 days post infection ...

Co-ordinated Gene Expression in the Liver and Spleen during Schistosoma japonicum Infection Regulates Cell Migration

Determining the molecular events induced in the spleen during schistosome infection is an essential step in better understanding the immunopathogenesis of schistosomiasis and the mechanisms by which schistosomes modulate the host immune response. The present study defines the transcriptional and cellular events occurring in the murine spleen during the progression of Schistosoma ...