Malaria control is reliant on insecticides to control the mosquito vector. As efforts to control the disease have intensified, so has the selection pressure on mosquitoes to develop resistance to these insecticides. The distribution and strength of this resistance has increased dramatically in recent years and now threatens the success of control programs. This review provides an update on the current status of resistance to the major insecticide classes in African malaria vectors, considers the evidence that this resistance is already compromising malaria control efforts, and looks to the future to highlight some of the new insecticide-based tools under development and the challenges in ensuring they are most effectively deployed to manage resistance.
Tick-borne diseases are common occurrences in both the medical and veterinary clinical settings. In addition to the constraints related to their diagnosis and clinical management, the control and prevention of these diseases is often difficult, because it requires the disruption of a complex transmission chain, involving vertebrate hosts and ticks, which interact in a constantly changing environment. We provide a contemporary review of representative tick-borne diseases of humans and discuss aspects linked to their medical relevance worldwide. Finally, we emphasize the importance of a One Health approach to tick-borne diseases, calling physicians and veterinarians to unify their efforts in the management of these diseases, several of which are zoonoses.
The use of pyrethroid insecticides in malaria vector control has increased dramatically in the past decade through the scale up of insecticide treated net distribution programmes and indoor residual spraying campaigns. Inevitably, the major malaria vectors have developed resistance to these insecticides and the resistance alleles are spreading at an exceptionally rapid rate throughout Africa. Although substantial progress has been made on understanding the causes of pyrethroid resistance, remarkably few studies have focused on the epidemiological impact of resistance on current malaria control activities. As we move into the malaria eradication era, it is vital that the implications of insecticide resistance are understood and strategies to mitigate these effects are implemented.
Highlights • The Asian tiger mosquito Aedes albopictus is currently the most invasive vector species worldwide. • Aedes albopictus are competent vectors for different arboviruses, including Dengue and Chikungunya viruses. • The public health relevance of this species is increasing in geographic extent and the number of people affected. • We present a brief summary of our current knowledge of the biology, ecology, vector competence, and vector control strategies. • Future research perspectives on this species were derived from a panel discussion among worldwide experts.
Liver fluke infection caused by Opisthorchis viverrini is a major public health problem in Thailand and adjacent countries. In addition to infection-associated morbidity, infection with O. viverrini and the related Clonorchis sinensis are unarguable risk factors for cholangiocarcinoma (CAA, bile-duct cancer). Here we review the pathogenesis of opisthorchiasis and the association between O. viverrini infection and bile-duct cancer, focusing on the molecular parallels between wound healing, chronic inflammation, and cancer development. We review a schema for human disease progression from fluke infection, chronic opisthorchiasis, advanced periductal fibrosis, and cholangiocarcinogenesis, and present a rationale for biomarker discovery to facilitate early intervention. We conclude by addressing post-genomic advances with a view to developing new control strategies to combat this infectious cancer.
lxodes ticks maintain a large and diverse array of human pathogens in the enzootic cycle, including Borrelia burgdorferi and Babesia microti. Despite the poor ecological fitness of B. microti, babesiosis has recently emerged in areas endemic for Lyme disease. Studies in ticks, reservoir hosts, and humans indicate that coinfection with B. burgdorferi and B. microti is common, promotes transmission and emergence of B. microti in the enzootic cycle, and causes greater disease severity and duration in humans. These interdisciplinary studies may serve as a paradigm for the study of other vector-borne coinfections. Identifying ecological drivers of pathogen emergence and host factors that fuel disease severity in coinfected individuals will help guide the design of effective preventative and therapeutic strategies.
Acceptable performance of grazing cattle frequently depends on the availability of effective broad-spectrum anthelmintics to remove, or prevent infection with, gastrointestinal nematodes. This control is increasingly threatened by populations of nematodes resistant to the most commonly used anthelmintics. Although this appears to have developed more slowly than in nematodes infecting small ruminants, the number of reports in the literature over the past five years suggests a rapidly escalating problem. This review discusses this literature, several issues unique to cattle parasitism and anthelmintics, and how previous research in small ruminants can improve the management of anthelmintic resistance in cattle.
Highlights • Two nitro drugs are currently used in the treatment of trypanosomatid diseases. • Several new nitroaromatics are being developed against the trypanosomatid diseases. • Many nitro drugs and drug candidates act as prodrugs which require bioactivation. • Nitroaromatics can have disparate mechanisms of action in trypanosomatid parasites.
Highlights • Coccidiosis is a major and recurring problem for livestock productivity and food security. • Current control methods are not perfect. • Progress on third generation anticoccidial vaccines has been slow. • New approaches based on genetics, genomics, and biology offer some renewed opportunities.
Highlights • We critically review the evidence for current vertebrate wildlife disease emergence. • Sufficient data on prior absence or difference are lacking for many infectious agents. • Host exposure to domestic infection sources is the primary driver of fish disease emergence. • Human-assisted exposure to wild infection sources is the primary driver for other taxa.
Highlights • Helminth infections are a major constraint on efficient livestock production. • Most current helminth diagnostic tests do not inform on production impact. • Helminth control should be integrated into the whole-farm economic context.
Extracellular vesicles (EVs) have emerged as a ubiquitous mechanism for transferring information between cells and organisms across all three kingdoms of life. In addition to their roles in normal physiology, vesicles also transport molecules from pathogens to hosts and can spread antigens as well as infectious agents. Although initially described in the host–pathogen context for their functions in immune surveillance, vesicles enable multiple modes of communication by, and between, parasites. Here we review the literature demonstrating that EVs are secreted by intracellular and extracellular eukaryotic parasites, as well as their hosts, and detail the functional properties of these vesicles in maturation, pathogenicity and survival. We further describe the prospects for targeting or exploiting these complexes in therapeutic and vaccine strategies.
Extracellular vesicles (EVs) have emerged as a ubiquitous mechanism for transferring information between cells and organisms across all three kingdoms of life. In addition to their roles in normal physiology, vesicles also transport molecules from pathogens to hosts and can spread antigens as well as infectious agents. Although initially described in the host-pathogen context for their functions in immune surveillance, vesicles enable multiple modes of communication by, and between, parasites. Here we review the literature demonstrating that EVs are secreted by intracellular and extracellular eukaryotic parasites, as well as their hosts, and detail the functional properties of these vesicles in maturation, pathogenicity and survival. We further describe the prospects for targeting or exploiting these complexes in therapeutic and vaccine strategies.
Toxoplasma gondii is a parasite of birds and mammals. Cats are the only definitive host and thus the only source of infective oocysts, but other mammals and birds can develop tissue cysts. Although feline infections are typically asymptomatic, infection during human pregnancy can cause severe disease in the fetus. Cat owners can reduce their pets’ exposure risk by keeping all cats indoors and not feeding them raw meat. Humans usually become infected through ingestion of oocyst-contaminated soil and water, tissue cysts in undercooked meat, or congenitally. Because of their fastidious nature, the passing of non-infective oocysts, and the short duration of oocyst shedding, direct contact with cats is not thought to be a primary risk for human infection.
Insect symbioses lack the complexity and diversity of those associated with higher eukaryotic hosts. Symbiotic microbiomes are beneficial to their insect hosts in many ways, including dietary supplementation, tolerance to environmental perturbations and maintenance and/or enhancement of host immune system homeostasis. Recent studies have also highlighted the importance of the microbiome in the context of host pathogen transmission processes. Here we provide an overview of the relationship between insect disease vectors, such as tsetse flies and mosquitoes, and their associated microbiome. Several mechanisms are discussed through which symbiotic microbes can influence the ability of their host to transmit pathogens, as well as potential disease control strategies that harness symbiotic microbes to reduce pathogen transmission through an insect vector.
Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK) is increasingly being recognized as a severe sight-threatening ocular infection worldwide. Although contact lens wear is the leading risk factor for AK, Acanthamoeba parasites are also an important cause of keratitis in non-contact lens wearers. Diagnosis of AK is challenging, and the available treatments are lengthy and not fully effective against all strains. The pathogenesis of Acanthamoeba is still under study, and the identification of the key factors involved in this process should be useful for the development of fully effective therapies. This review focuses on recent developments on AK pathogenesis and diagnosis as well as novel strategies for the evaluation of anti-amoebic agents that could be applied in the near future against these pathogens.
Triclabendazole (TCBZ) is the only chemical that kills early immature and adult Fasciola hepatica (liver fluke) but widespread resistance to the drug greatly compromises fluke control in livestock and humans. The mode of action of TCBZ and mechanism(s) underlying parasite resistance to the drug are not known. Due to the high prevalence of TCBZ resistance (TCBZ-R), effective management of drug resistance is now critical for sustainable livestock production. Here, we discuss the current status of TCBZ-R in F. hepatica , the global distribution of resistance observed in livestock, the possible mechanism(s) of drug action, the proposed mechanisms and genetic basis of resistance, and the prospects for future control of liver fluke infections using an integrated parasite management (IPM) approach.
Ixodes ticks maintain a large and diverse array of human pathogens in the enzootic cycle, including Borrelia burgdorferi and Babesia microti . Despite the poor ecological fitness of B. microti , babesiosis has recently emerged in areas endemic for Lyme disease. Studies in ticks, reservoir hosts, and humans indicate that coinfection with B. burgdorferi and B. microti is common, promotes transmission and emergence of B. microti in the enzootic cycle, and causes greater disease severity and duration in humans. These interdisciplinary studies may serve as a paradigm for the study of other vector-borne coinfections. Identifying ecological drivers of pathogen emergence and host factors that fuel disease severity in coinfected individuals will help guide the design of effective preventative and therapeutic strategies.
The worldwide use of artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) has contributed in recent years to a substantial reduction in deaths resulting from Plasmodium falciparum malaria. Resistance to artemisinins, however, has emerged in Southeast Asia. Clinically, resistance is defined as a slower rate of parasite clearance in patients treated with an artemisinin derivative or an ACT. These slow clearance rates associate with enhanced survival rates of ring-stage parasites briefly exposed in vitro to dihydroartemisinin. We describe recent progress made in defining the molecular basis of artemisinin resistance, which has identified a primary role for the P. falciparum K13 protein. Using K13 mutations as molecular markers, epidemiological studies are now tracking the emergence and spread of artemisinin resistance. Mechanistic studies suggest potential ways to overcome resistance.
Highlights • The tick microbiome is predominantly composed of Gram-negative bacteria of the phylum Proteobacteria. • Intracellular bacterial endosymbionts modulate the reproductive fitness and vectorial competence of ticks. • Bacterial endosymbionts stabilize the peritrophic matrix and maintain the epithelial barrier integrity of the gut of ticks. • Bacterial symbionts modulate the immune status of the gut and influence the vectorial competence of the tick.