Publications by authors named "M Dolores Bargues"

108 Publications

Under pressure: phenotypic divergence and convergence associated with microhabitat adaptations in Triatominae.

Parasit Vectors 2021 Apr 8;14(1):195. Epub 2021 Apr 8.

Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK.

Background: Triatomine bugs, the vectors of Chagas disease, associate with vertebrate hosts in highly diverse ecotopes. It has been proposed that occupation of new microhabitats may trigger selection for distinct phenotypic variants in these blood-sucking bugs. Although understanding phenotypic variation is key to the study of adaptive evolution and central to phenotype-based taxonomy, the drivers of phenotypic change and diversity in triatomines remain poorly understood.

Methods/results: We combined a detailed phenotypic appraisal (including morphology and morphometrics) with mitochondrial cytb and nuclear ITS2 DNA sequence analyses to study Rhodnius ecuadoriensis populations from across the species' range. We found three major, naked-eye phenotypic variants. Southern-Andean bugs primarily from vertebrate-nest microhabitats (Ecuador/Peru) are typical, light-colored, small bugs with short heads/wings. Northern-Andean bugs from wet-forest palms (Ecuador) are dark, large bugs with long heads/wings. Finally, northern-lowland bugs primarily from dry-forest palms (Ecuador) are light-colored and medium-sized. Wing and (size-free) head shapes are similar across Ecuadorian populations, regardless of habitat or phenotype, but distinct in Peruvian bugs. Bayesian phylogenetic and multispecies-coalescent DNA sequence analyses strongly suggest that Ecuadorian and Peruvian populations are two independently evolving lineages, with little within-lineage phylogeographic structuring or differentiation.

Conclusions: We report sharp naked-eye phenotypic divergence of genetically similar Ecuadorian R. ecuadoriensis (nest-dwelling southern-Andean vs palm-dwelling northern bugs; and palm-dwelling Andean vs lowland), and sharp naked-eye phenotypic similarity of typical, yet genetically distinct, southern-Andean bugs primarily from vertebrate-nest (but not palm) microhabitats. This remarkable phenotypic diversity within a single nominal species likely stems from microhabitat adaptations possibly involving predator-driven selection (yielding substrate-matching camouflage coloration) and a shift from palm-crown to vertebrate-nest microhabitats (yielding smaller bodies and shorter and stouter heads). These findings shed new light on the origins of phenotypic diversity in triatomines, warn against excess reliance on phenotype-based triatomine-bug taxonomy, and confirm the Triatominae as an informative model system for the study of phenotypic change under ecological pressure .
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13071-021-04647-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8034103PMC
April 2021

Donkey Fascioliasis Within a One Health Control Action: Transmission Capacity, Field Epidemiology, and Reservoir Role in a Human Hyperendemic Area.

Front Vet Sci 2020 5;7:591384. Epub 2020 Nov 5.

Departamento de Parasitología, Facultad de Farmacia, Universidad de Valencia, Valencia, Spain.

A One Health initiative has been implemented for fascioliasis control in a human hyperendemic area for the first time. The area selected for this multidisciplinary approach is the Northern Bolivian Altiplano, where the highest prevalences and intensities in humans have been reported. Within the strategic intervention axis of control activities concerning animal reservoirs, complete experimental studies, and field surveys have been performed to assess the fascioliasis transmission capacity and epidemiological role of the donkey for the first time. Laboratory studies with altiplanic donkey-infecting and altiplanic snail vector isolates demonstrate that the donkey assures the viability of the whole fasciolid life cycle. Several aspects indicate, however, that does not reach, in the donkey, the level of adaptation it shows in sheep and cattle in this high altitude hyperendemic area. This is illustrated by a few-day delay in egg embryonation, longer prepatent period despite similar miracidial infectivity and shorter patent period in the intramolluscan development, lower cercarial production per snail, different cercarial chronobiology, shorter snail survival after shedding end, shorter longevity of shedding snails, and lower metacercarial infectivity in Wistar rats. Thus, the role of the donkey in the disease transmission should be considered secondary. Field survey results proved that liver fluke prevalence and intensity in donkeys are similar to those of the main reservoirs sheep and cattle in this area. Fasciolid egg shedding by a donkey individual contributes to the environment contamination at a rate similar to sheep and cattle. In this endemic area, the pronounced lower number of donkeys when compared to sheep and cattle indicates that the epidemiological reservoir role of the donkey is also secondary. However, the donkey plays an important epidemiological role in the disease spread because of its use by Aymara inhabitants for good transport, movements, and travel from one locality/zone to another, a repercussion to be considered in the present geographical spread of fascioliasis in the Altiplano due to climate change. Donkey transport of parasite and vector, including movements inside the zone under control and potential introduction from outside that zone, poses a problem for the One Health initiative.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fvets.2020.591384DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7674489PMC
November 2020

Sheep and Cattle Reservoirs in the Highest Human Fascioliasis Hyperendemic Area: Experimental Transmission Capacity, Field Epidemiology, and Control Within a One Health Initiative in Bolivia.

Front Vet Sci 2020 27;7:583204. Epub 2020 Oct 27.

Departamento de Parasitología, Facultad de Farmacia, Universidad de Valencia, Valencia, Spain.

The Northern Bolivian Altiplano is the human fascioliasis hyperendemic area where the highest prevalences and intensities of infection by in humans have been reported. Four animal species are the reservoir species for in this area, namely, sheep, cattle, pigs, and donkeys. Livestock for the Aymara inhabitants is crucial because vegetable cultures are not viable due to the inhospitality of the very high altitude of 3,820-4,100 m. A One Health initiative has been implemented in this area in recent years, as the first such control action in a human endemic area ever. Among the different control axes included, special focus is devoted to the two main reservoirs sheep and cattle. Egg embryonation, miracidial infectivity, intramolluscan development, cercarial production, infected snail survival, and metacercarial infectivity were experimentally studied in altiplanic sheep and cattle isolates. These laboratory studies were performed using altiplanic isolates of the lymnaeid species , the only vector present in the hyperendemic area. Experiments were made at constant 12 h day/12 h night and varying 20/20°C and 22/5°C photoperiods. Infections were implemented using mono-, bi-, and trimiracidial doses. Results demonstrate that sheep and cattle have the capacity to assure transmission in this very high-altitude area. Field surveys included prevalence studies by coprology on fecal samples from 1,202 sheep and 2,690 cattle collected from different zones of the Northern Bolivian Altiplano. Prevalences were pronouncedly higher and more homogeneous in sheep (63.1%; range: 38.9-68.5%) than in cattle (20.6%; range: 8.2-43.3%) in each one of the different zones. Although similarities between the prevalences in sheep and cattle appeared in the zones of the highest and lowest infection rates, this disappeared in the other zones due to cattle treatments. Comparison with past surveys demonstrates that this hyperendemic area is stable from the disease transmission point of view. Therefore, the control design should prioritize sheep and cattle within the One Health action. Studies performed in the Bolivian Altiplano furnish a baseline for future initiatives to assess the transmission and epidemiological characteristics of fascioliasis in the way for its control in other high altitude Andean endemic areas.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fvets.2020.583204DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7655135PMC
October 2020

Equines as reservoirs of human fascioliasis: transmission capacity, epidemiology and pathogenicity in -infected mules.

J Helminthol 2020 Sep 10;94:e189. Epub 2020 Sep 10.

Departamento de Parasitología, Facultad de Farmacia, Universidad de Valencia, Avenida Vicente Andrés Estellés s/n, 46100Burjassot, Valencia, Spain.

Fascioliasis is a zoonotic disease caused by liver flukes transmitted by freshwater lymnaeid snails. Donkey and horse reservoir roles have been highlighted in human endemic areas. Liver fluke infection in mules has received very limited research. Their role in disease transmission, epidemiological importance and Fasciola hepatica pathogenicity are studied for the first time. Prevalence was 39.5% in 81 mules from Aconcagua, and 24.4% in 127 from Uspallata, in high-altitude areas of Mendoza province, Argentina. A mean amount of 101,242 eggs/mule/day is estimated. Lymnaeids from Uspallata proved to belong to ribosomal DNA internal transcribed spacer (ITS) markers ITS-1 and ITS-2 combined haplotype 3C of Galba truncatula. These lymnaeids were experimentally susceptible to infection by egg miracidia from mules. Infectivity, number of cercariae/snail and shedding period fit the enhanced F. hepatica/G. truncatula transmission pattern at very high altitude. This indicates that the mule is able to maintain the F. hepatica cycle independently. Individual burdens of 20 and 97 flukes were found. Mule infection susceptibility is intermediate between donkey and horse, although closer to the latter. Anatomo-pathology and histopathology indicate that massive infection may cause mule death. Haematological value decreases of red blood cells, haemoglobin, leucocytes and lymphocytes indicate anaemia and strong immunosuppression. Strongly increased biochemical marker values indicate liver function alterations. The mule probably played a role in the past exchanges with Chile and Bolivia through Mendoza province. Evidence suggests that mules could contribute to the spread of both F. hepatica and G. truncatula to human fascioliasis-endemic areas in these countries.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0022149X20000693DOI Listing
September 2020