Publications by authors named "Mohammad Zahangir Alam"

21 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Prevalence and factors influencing gastrointestinal parasitic infections in sheep in Bangladesh.

Ann Parasitol 2021 ;67(2):187-194

Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Veterinary Science, Bangladesh Agricultural University, Mymensingh-2202, Bangladesh.

Gastrointestinal (GI) parasites are major contributors to decrease productivity in livestock over the world. A cross-sectional study was conducted in different areas of Bangladesh to determine the prevalence of GI parasitic infections and their association with the biotic and abiotic factors in sheep. A total of 572 faecal samples were collected from the selected areas of Bangladesh and microscopic examination was performed for the identification of parasites using flotation and sedimentation technique. Out of 572, 441 animals were found infected with one or more species of GI parasites with an overall prevalence of 77.1%. Nine types of parasites from four different classes were detected namely Strongyles (42.1%), Strongyloides sp. (27.1%) and Trichuris sp. (1.0%), Moniezia sp. (2.4%), Paramphistomum cervi (32.5%), Fasciola gigantica (6.1%) and Schistosoma sp. (3.5%), coccidia (16.6%) and Balantidium coli (7.9%). Nematodes infections (56.8%) were significantly highest among trematodes (37.9%), protozoa (24.4%) and cestode (2.4%). In the present study, all the biotic factors including sex, age, physiological condition of female and body condition score (BCS) of animals were insignificantly (p>0.05) associated with the prevalence of GI parasitic infection in sheep but among the abiotic factors, muddy housing of animals, rainy season, having no knowledge about GI parasites and illiteracy of farmers were significantly (p<0.05) associated with the GI parasitic infections. This epidemiological investigation will assist to build a suitable control program against GI parasites in sheep and thus, help to prevent production loss and increase livelihood of small holder farmers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.17420/ap6702.328DOI Listing
August 2021

Small-scale farmers' perception and practice on coccidiosis management in broiler farm at Gazipur, Bangladesh.

Ann Parasitol 2021 ;67(1):85-94

Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Veterinary Science, Bangladesh Agricultural University, Mymensingh, Bangladesh.

Farmers' knowledge and farm management practices can potentially help to mitigate the prevalence and severity of chicken coccidiosis, a devastating protozoan disease. Here, we assessed the farmers' perception and on-farm practices of coccidiosis management in small-scale broiler farms at Gazipur district, Bangladesh. A semi-structured questionnaire was used to obtain data from the randomly selected 119 small-scale broiler producers followed by detection of coccidiosis cases through gross and microscopic examination of 58 broilers. Overall bird-level prevalence of coccidiosis was 34.48% in this study. Survey data revealed that most of the farmers maintained all-in-all-out strategy (68.91%), good quality chicks (73.11%) and floor system rearing (96.63%) in their farms, and a mixture of old and new litter was used as bedding in all the study farms. Interval between flocks in 57.99% of farms was 8 to 14 days. Prevalence of coccidiosis was recorded in all surveyed farms, even though routine anticoccidial treatment. At the age of 15 to 18 days of broiler, 68.07% of farmers used chemoprophylaxis. Usage of amprolium was the highest (74.78%) followed by toltrazuril (55.46%), sulphaquinoxaline (23.52%), sulphaclozine (28.57%), sulphadimidine (24.36%) and sulphadimethoxine (24.36%). Traditional herbal medicines like extracts of bollygum (Litsea glutinosa), sal (Shorea robusta) and arjuna (Terminalia arjuna) bark and leaves were also in-use by 4.20% farmers during coccidiosis outbreak. In conclusions, this study explored the field scenario of coccidiosis, relevant farmers' knowledge and practices, and recommends the judicious use of drugs for safe broiler production.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.17420/ap6701.315DOI Listing
May 2021

Gastro-intestinal nematodes in goats in Bangladesh: A large-scale epidemiological study on the prevalence and risk factors.

Parasite Epidemiol Control 2020 May 4;9:e00146. Epub 2020 Apr 4.

Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Veterinary Science, Bangladesh Agricultural University, Mymensingh 2202, Bangladesh.

Goats greatly influence the economic sustainability of rural communities. However, parasitic diseases, especially gastrointestinal nematodes (GINs) are a major constraint on profitable small ruminants' production worldwide. During July- 2015 to June- 2016, we conducted a cross sectional study within seven topographic zones of Bangladesh to explore the level of infection and associated risk factors of GINs infections of goats. The study followed standard flotation and modified McMaster techniques. Among 1998 samples from goats; 1241 (62.1%) were found to be infected with one or more species of GINs by fecal examination for nematode eggs. The identified nematodes were strongyles (51.9%), sp. (19.0%) and spp. (2.9%). By coproculture, we identified spp., spp., spp. and spp. in the different topographic zones. According to univariate analysis; young age, other breed than Black Bengal, animals in poor condition, backyard rearing system, muddy housing, illiterate farmers and rainy season were found significantly associated with GINs infections. Besides, other breed than Black Bengal, animals in poor condition, backyard rearing system, muddy housing and illiterate farmers were identified as the risk factors of GINs infections in goats. This is the first detailed epidemiological investigation of GINs of goats in Bangladesh. The epidemiological findings are expected to help formulate effective control strategies against GINs infections in goats by improving health status of animals, management system and education level of the farmers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.parepi.2020.e00146DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7171516PMC
May 2020

Multiple anthelmintic resistance in gastrointestinal nematodes of small ruminants in Bangladesh.

Parasitol Int 2020 Aug 14;77:102105. Epub 2020 Mar 14.

Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Veterinary Science, Bangladesh Agricultural University, Mymensingh 2202, Bangladesh. Electronic address:

Anthelmintic resistance (AR) against gastrointestinal nematodes (GINs) of sheep and goats is a global concern. To address the problem, this study assessed the status of AR in different government and private sheep and goat farms in Bangladesh. We conducted fecal egg count reduction test (FECRT) and Egg hatch assay (EHA) experiments. For the detection of resistant larvae, pooled fecal samples from treated and non-treated groups were subjected to coproculture. Furthermore, 195 adult Haemonchus parasites were genotyped to ascertain benzimidazole (BZ) resistance allele from seven topographic zones of Bangladesh using allele specific PCR (AS-PCR). In FECRT, the percentage reduction along with 95% confidence intervals indicated that GINs were resistant to albendazole (ABZ), levamisole (LEV) and ivermectin (IVM). Coproculture revealed that Haemonchus spp., Oesophagostomum spp. and Trichostrongylus spp. were resistant to anthelmintics. ABZ resistance was also confirmed by in vitro EHA in all the farms except the private goat farm in Mymensingh. The genotype frequencies were 6% for homozygous resistant (rr), 59% for heterozygous (rS) and 35% for homozygous susceptible (SS) among different topographic zones. The allelic frequency of the mutation conferring resistance (r) ranged from 25% to 47% signifying resistance to BZ in nematodes of sheep/goats. The genotype frequencies (rr, rS and SS) and allelic frequencies (r and S) varied significantly (p˂0.05) in different zones in Bangladesh. Overall, the data suggest an alarming condition created by multiple AR in Bangladesh.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.parint.2020.102105DOI Listing
August 2020

Fish-borne trematode infections in wild fishes in Bangladesh.

Pathog Glob Health 2020 03 14;114(2):91-98. Epub 2020 Feb 14.

Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Veterinary Science, Bangladesh Agricultural University, Mymensingh, Bangladesh.

Fish-borne liver and intestinal flukes are helminth pathogens that have a negative impact on public health worldwide. We herein investigated the status of infection by the metacercariae (MC) of fish-borne trematodes (FBTs) in randomly selected freshwater wild fishes. Five species of fishes were collected and digested artificially using digestion fluid to recover MC. All fish species, namely, ticto barb () (14/16, 87.5%), banded gourami ( (8/12, 66.7%), freshwater garfish () (9/14, 64.3%), flying barb () (5/12, 41.7%), and reba carp () (7/11, 63.7%), were infected with FBTs. The overall infection rate was 66.2% and the mean intensity was 748.3 ± 2947.5 MC/100 g of fishes. The loads of MC in ticto barb, reba carp, freshwater garfish, banded gourami, and flying barb per 100 g of fishes were 1978.8 ± 5053.7, 268.3 ± 440.7, 140 ± 105.4, 134.3 ± 109.2, and 117.6 ± 102.3, respectively. The infection rate was significantly higher (P < 0.05) in the body (55.4%) than in the head (40%) of fishes. Morphological and morphometrical analyzes identified the MC of spp., spp., spp., spp., and spp. Collectively, the present results suggest that wild freshwater fishes are important intermediate hosts for FBTs, and play a critical role in the transmission cycle of these parasites in Bangladesh. The results also indicate that people of the country are at risk of these infections.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/20477724.2020.1727217DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7170315PMC
March 2020

Molecular detection of Toxoplasma gondii from aborted fetuses of sheep, goats and cattle in Bangladesh.

Vet Parasitol Reg Stud Reports 2019 12 22;18:100347. Epub 2019 Nov 22.

Department of Parasitology, Bangladesh Agricultural University, Mymensingh 2202, Bangladesh. Electronic address:

The study was planned to apply the PCR method for detection of T. gondii infection in sheep, goats and cattle aborted fetuses from Mymensingh, Bangladesh. A total of 58 fetal tissue samples (brain, liver, heart, skeletal muscle and placenta) of sheep (5), goats (5) and cattle (2) were selected for study. Aborted fetuses were taken from serologically positive mothers by indirect ELISA. Among them 24 and 34 samples were subjected for PCR assay by using TgB1 and TgTox4 primers respectively. DNA fragments were visualized under UV illumination after gel run. The results demonstrated 15.52% tissue samples from sheep and goat aborted fetuses were positive for T. gondii parasite. Among different tissue samples, brain, liver and heart showed presence of T. gondii parasite. None of tissue samples showed positive in case of cattle. The results of the PCR exhibited that T. gondii infection might be considered as one of the major causative agents for abortion in ewes and does. Further studies are needed to improve our knowledge on different genotypes of T. gondii that infect sheep, goat and cattle population in Bangladesh.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vprsr.2019.100347DOI Listing
December 2019

Genetic diversity patterns of Haemonchus contortus isolated from sheep and goats in Bangladesh.

Infect Genet Evol 2019 03 18;68:177-184. Epub 2018 Dec 18.

Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Veterinary Science, Bangladesh Agricultural University, Mymensingh-2202, Bangladesh. Electronic address:

Haemonchus contortus is the most prevalent parasitic nematode among the Trichostrongylids causing severe health hazards leading to production losses in small ruminants around the world. This study was conducted to explore genetic variation within and among H. contortus populations from seven topographic zones of Bangladesh in small ruminants using second internal transcribed spacer (ITS-2) of nuclear ribosomal DNA and the mitochondrial nicotinamide dehydrogenase subunit 4 (nad4) genes. To do this, a total of 95 adult H. contortus were collected from abomasa of slaughtered sheep and goats from seven different geographic zones of Bangladesh. After the extraction of DNA, ITS-2 of nuclear ribosomal DNA and partial region of the mitochondrial nad4 genes were amplified and sequenced for 95 and 85 worms, respectively. After editing and alignment, sequences were employed for analysis to determine sequence variation, genetic diversity and population genetic structure. Genetic analysis defined 19 distinct ITS-2 genotypes and 77 unique nad4 haplotypes among the H. contortus isolates. The nucleotide diversities were 0.0098 and 0.025 for ITS-2 and nad4 gene, respectively. Phylogenetic analysis (neighbor joining, maximum likelihood and maximum parsimony) of haplotypes indicated the existence of two populations without marked specification of host and locations within H. contortus populations in Bangladesh. By population genetic analysis, 93.67% of genetic variance was partitioned within the population. Very low genetic differentiation but high gene flow was observed among different populations of H. contortus in Bangladesh. This is the first study on genetic variability of H. contortus isolates of small ruminants in Bangladesh. Our study could be the basis for further molecular epidemiological studies, using more discriminative markers and tracing possible changes in the population structure of H. contortus.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.meegid.2018.12.021DOI Listing
March 2019

Potential of cell-free DNA as a screening marker for parasite infections in dog.

Genomics 2019 07 31;111(4):906-912. Epub 2018 May 31.

Laboratory of Parasitology, Department of Disease Control, Graduate School of Veterinary Medicine, Hokkaido University, Sapporo 060-0818, Japan.

Parasitic infections are common in stray dogs and accurate knowledge of parasite communities in dogs would provide insight into the epidemiology of parasitic diseases. In this study, we used Illumina sequencing technology to evaluate cell-free DNA (cfDNA) as a marker for screening of parasitic infections in dogs. Plasma samples from 14 stray dogs captured in Bangladesh were used in the experiments. An average of 2.3 million reads was obtained for each sample. BLASTn analysis identified 150 reads with high similarity with parasites from 19 different genera. In particular, we detected sequences of Babesia spp. in five dogs; consistent with this, a previous study using conventional PCR showed that four of these dogs were positive for B. gibsoni. Several reads with similarity to Leishmania and filarial nematodes were also identified. These findings indicate that cfDNA in blood can be a potential screening marker for identifying parasite diversity in dogs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ygeno.2018.05.020DOI Listing
July 2019

Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii infection in ruminants in selected districts in Bangladesh.

Vet Parasitol Reg Stud Reports 2018 01 2;11:1-5. Epub 2017 Nov 2.

School of Veterinary Science, The University of Sydney, Camden, NSW, Australia.

To estimate the seroprevalence of toxoplasmosis and risk factors for seropositivity in sheep, goats and cattle in Dhaka, Mymensingh, Sirajganj and Chittagong districts in Bangladesh, 1104 sera samples (552 sheep, 300 goats and 252 cattle) were randomly selected and tested by an indirect enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (iELISA). The overall seroprevalence was 12.2% (135/1104), and was significantly (P=0.008) higher in goats (16.0%) than cattle (8.3%). The odds of seropositivity was 2.09 times (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.23-3.67) higher in goats than cattle. In sheep, herd type, district and pregnancy status were significant risk factors. The odds of seropositivity was 2.1 (95% CI: 1.00-4.84), 7.29 (95% CI: 12.71-423.41) and 10.88 (95% CI: 5.42-23.41 times higher in sheep-only flocks, in Mymensingh district and in pregnant sheep than in mixed flocks, Chittagong district and non-pregnant sheep, respectively. In cattle, breeds and district were significant risk factors. The odds of seropositivity was 5.79 (95% CI: 1.13-24.62) and 4.29 (95% CI: 1.38-16.34) times higher in Holstein Friesian cross cattle and in Mymensingh district than in indigenous cattle and Chittagong district, respectively. This study indicates that exposure of sheep, goats and cattle to oocysts of T. gondii is widespread, suggesting that the consumption of raw and undercooked meat of these animals might be a source of human toxoplasmosis. Risk factor information can be used to design control programs to reduce exposure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vprsr.2017.10.008DOI Listing
January 2018

Molecular and Serological Evidence of Leishmania Infection in Stray Dogs from Visceral Leishmaniasis-Endemic Areas of Bangladesh.

Am J Trop Med Hyg 2016 10 5;95(4):795-799. Epub 2016 Jul 5.

Laboratory of Parasitology, Department of Disease Control, Graduate School of Veterinary Medicine, Hokkaido University, Hokkaido, Japan.

Visceral leishmaniasis (VL), or kala-azar, is mainly caused by two closely related Leishmania species, Leishmania infantum and Leishmania donovani Leishmania infantum is responsible for zoonotic VL, with dogs as the main reservoir host in the Mediterranean, the Middle East, Asia, and South America. In the Indian subcontinent, VL is caused by L. donovani and is considered anthroponotic, although the only known vector, the sand fly, is zoophilic in nature. The role of domestic and stray dogs in VL transmission is still unclear in this area. We screened 50 stray dogs from VL-endemic areas of Bangladesh for serological and molecular evidence of Leishmania infection. We detected anti-Leishmania antibodies in six (12%) dog serum samples using rK39 immunochromatographic tests. We observed Leishmania kinetoplast DNA in 10 (20%) buffy coat DNA samples by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR), five of which were positive based on internal transcribed spacer 1-PCR. A sequencing analysis of the amplified products confirmed that the parasitic DNA was derived from L. donovani Our findings support the hypothesis that stray dogs are an animal reservoir for L. donovani in this endemic region. Further studies are required to determine the precise role of dogs in the epidemiology of VL in Bangladesh.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4269/ajtmh.16-0151DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5062775PMC
October 2016

Molecular evidence of spotted fever group rickettsiae and Anaplasmataceae from ticks and stray dogs in Bangladesh.

Parasitol Res 2016 Mar 16;115(3):949-55. Epub 2015 Nov 16.

Division of Collaboration and Education, Hokkaido University Research Center for Zoonosis Control, Kita 20, Nishi 10, Kita-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaido, 001-0020, Japan.

Emerging tick-borne diseases (TBDs) are important foci for human and animal health worldwide. However, these diseases are sometimes over looked, especially in countries with limited resources to perform molecular-based surveys. The aim of this study was to detect and characterize spotted fever group (SFG) rickettsiae and Anaplasmataceae in Bangladesh, which are important tick-borne pathogens for humans and animals worldwide. A total of 50 canine blood samples, 15 ticks collected from dogs, and 154 ticks collected from cattle were screened for the presence of SFG rickettsiae and Anaplasmataceae using molecular-based methods such as PCR and real-time PCR. The sequence analysis of the amplified products detected two different genotypes of SFG rickettsiae in ticks from cattle. The genotype detected in Rhipicephalus microplus was closely related to Rickettsia monacensis, while the genotype detected in Haemaphysalis bispinosa was closely related to Rickettsia sp. found in Korea and Japan. Anaplasma bovis was detected in canine blood and ticks (Rhipicephalus sanguineus and H. bispinosa). Unexpectedly, the partial genome sequence of Wolbachia sp., presumably associated with the nematode Dirofilaria immitis, was identified in canine blood. The present study provides the first molecular evidence of SFG rickettsiae and A. bovis in Bangladesh, indicating the possible emergence of previously unrecognized TBDs in this country.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00436-015-4819-yDOI Listing
March 2016

Molecular detection and genetic diversity of Babesia gibsoni in dogs in Bangladesh.

Infect Genet Evol 2015 Apr 22;31:53-60. Epub 2015 Jan 22.

Laboratory of Parasitology, Department of Disease Control, Graduate School of Veterinary Medicine, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan. Electronic address:

Babesia gibsoni is a tick-borne hemoprotozoan parasite of dogs that often causes fever and hemolytic illness. Detection of B. gibsoni has been predominantly reported in Asian countries, including Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, Bangladesh and India. The present study shows the first molecular characterization of B. gibsoni detected from dogs in Bangladesh. Blood samples were collected on FTA® Elute cards from 50 stray dogs in Mymensingh District in Bangladesh. DNA eluted from the cards was subjected to nested PCR for the 18S rRNA gene of Babesia species. Approximately 800bp PCR products were detected in 15 of 50 dogs (30%). Based on restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) and direct sequencing of the PCR products, all parasite isolates were identified as B. gibsoni. Furthermore, the BgTRAP (B. gibsoni thrombospondin-related adhesive protein) gene fragments were detected in 13 of 15 18S rRNA gene PCR positive blood samples. Phylogenetic analysis of the BgTRAP gene revealed that B. gibsoni parasites in Bangladesh formed a cluster, which was genetically different from other Asian B. gibsoni isolates. In addition, tandem repeat analysis of the BgTRAP gene clearly showed considerable genetic variation among Bangladeshi isolates. These results suggested that B. gibsoni parasites in a different genetic clade are endemic in dogs in Bangladesh. Further studies are required to elucidate the origin, distribution, vector and pathogenesis of B. gibsoni parasites circulating in dogs in Bangladesh.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.meegid.2015.01.011DOI Listing
April 2015

Multilocus Microsatellite Typing reveals intra-focal genetic diversity among strains of Leishmania tropica in Chichaoua Province, Morocco.

Infect Genet Evol 2014 Dec 13;28:233-9. Epub 2014 Oct 13.

Institute of Microbiology and Hygiene, Charité-University Medicine Berlin, Hindenburgdamm 30, 12203 Berlin, Germany. Electronic address:

In Morocco, cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) caused by Leishmania (L.) tropica is a major public health threat. Strains of this species have been shown to display considerable serological, biochemical, molecular biological and genetic heterogeneity; and Multilocus Enzyme Electrophoresis (MLEE), has shown that in many countries including Morocco heterogenic variants of L. tropica can co-exist in single geographical foci. Here, the microsatellite profiles discerned by MLMT of nine Moroccan strains of L. tropica isolated in 2000 from human cases of CL from Chichaoua Province were compared to those of nine Moroccan strains of L. tropica isolated between 1988 and 1990 from human cases of CL from Marrakech Province, and also to those of 147 strains of L. tropica isolated at different times from different worldwide geographical locations within the range of distribution of the species. Several programs, each employing a different algorithm, were used for population genetic analysis. The strains from each of the two Moroccan foci separated into two phylogenetic clusters independent of their geographical origin. Genetic diversity and heterogeneity existed in both foci, which are geographically close to each other. This intra-focal distribution of genetic variants of L. tropica is not considered owing to in situ mutation. Rather, it is proposed to be explained by the importation of pre-existing variants of L. tropica into Morocco.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.meegid.2014.09.037DOI Listing
December 2014

Population genetics of Leishmania (Leishmania) major DNA isolated from cutaneous leishmaniasis patients in Pakistan based on multilocus microsatellite typing.

Parasit Vectors 2014 Jul 16;7:332. Epub 2014 Jul 16.

Department of Disease Control, Laboratory of Parasitology, Graduate School of Veterinary Medicine, Hokkaido University, Kita 18 Nishi 9, Kita-ku, Sapporo 060-0818, Japan.

Background: Cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) is a major and fast increasing public health problem, both among the local Pakistani populations and the Afghan refugees in camps. Leishmania (Leishmania) major is one of the etiological agents responsible for CL in Pakistan. Genetic variability and population structure have been investigated for 66 DNA samples of L. (L.) major isolated from skin biopsy of CL patients.

Methods: Multilocus microsatellite typing (MLMT), employing 10 independent genetic markers specific to L. (L.) major, was used to investigate the genetic polymorphisms and population structures of Pakistani L. (L.) major DNA isolated from CL human cases. Their microsatellite profiles were compared to those of 130 previously typed strains of L. (L.) major from various geographical localities.

Results: All the markers were polymorphic and fifty-one MLMT profiles were recognized among the 66 L. (L.) major DNA samples. The data displayed significant microsatellite polymorphisms with rare allelic heterozygosities. A Bayesian model-based approach and phylogenetic analysis inferred two L. (L.) major populations in Pakistan. Thirty-four samples belonged to one population and the remaining 32 L. (L.) major samples grouped together into another population. The two Pakistani L. (L.) major populations formed separate clusters, which differ genetically from the populations of L. (L.) major from Central Asia, Iran, Middle East and Africa.

Conclusions: The considerable genetic variability of L. (L.) major might be related to the existence of different species of sand fly and/or rodent reservoir host in Sindh province, Pakistan. A comprehensive study of the epidemiology of CL including the situation or spreading of reservoirs and sand fly vectors in these foci is, therefore, warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1756-3305-7-332DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4223516PMC
July 2014

Genetic diversity of Leishmania donovani/infantum complex in China through microsatellite analysis.

Infect Genet Evol 2014 Mar 27;22:112-9. Epub 2014 Jan 27.

Laboratory of Parasitology, Department of Disease Control, Graduate School of Veterinary Medicine, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan. Electronic address:

The Leishmania strains from different epidemic areas in China were assessed for their genetic relationship. Twenty-nine strains of Leishmania infantum isolated from 1950 to 2001 were subjected to multilocus microsatellite typing (MLMT) using 14 highly polymorphic microsatellite markers. Twenty-two MLMT profiles were recognized among the 29 L. infantum strains, which differed from one another in 13 loci. Bayesian model-based and distance-based analysis of the data inferred two main populations in China. Sixteen strains belonged to one population, which also comprised previously characterized strains of L. infantum non-MON1 and Leishmania donovani. The parasites within this population are assignable to a distinct cluster that is clearly separable from the populations of L. donovani elsewhere, i.e. India, Sri Lanka and East Africa, and L. infantum non-MON1 from Europe. The remaining 13 Chinese strains grouped together with strains of L. infantum MON1 into another population, but formed a separate cluster which genetically differs from the populations of L. infantum MON1 from Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia and North Africa. The existence of distinct groups of L. infantum MON1 and non-MON1/L. donovani suggests that the extant parasites in China may have been restricted there, but not recently introduced from elsewhere.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.meegid.2014.01.019DOI Listing
March 2014

PCR-based detection of Leishmania donovani DNA in a stray dog from a visceral Leishmaniasis endemic focus in Bangladesh.

J Vet Med Sci 2013 Jan 10;75(1):75-8. Epub 2012 Aug 10.

Laboratory of Parasitology, Department of Disease Control, Graduate School of Veterinary Medicine, Hokkaido University, Sapporo 060-0818, Japan.

Although Phlebotomus argentipes as the only known vector of visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is zoophilic in nature, VL is considered to be anthroponotic in the Indian subcontinent. Peripheral blood samples from 85 stray dogs were examined for any molecular evidence of Leishmania infection in VL endemic areas of Bangladesh. Parasite DNA was detected in a blood sample from 1 of 85 (1.2%) stray dogs using ITS1-PCR, and PCR sequencing of the rRNA-ITS and cytochrome b gene confirmed that the parasitic DNA was Leishmania donovani. The results support the assumption that dogs are a probable animal reservoir for the Leishmania parasite in Bangladesh. It will be important to investigate the possible epidemiological role of dogs in domestic foci of VL endemic areas in Bangladesh.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1292/jvms.12-0134DOI Listing
January 2013

First molecular epidemiological study of cutaneous leishmaniasis in Libya.

PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2012 19;6(6):e1700. Epub 2012 Jun 19.

Faculty of Pharmacy, Al-Quds University, Abu-Dies, Jerusalem, Palestine.

Background: Cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) is a major public health problem in Libya. The objective of this study was to investigate, for the first time, epidemiological features of CL outbreaks in Libya including molecular identification of parasites, the geographical distribution of cases and possible scenarios of parasite transmission.

Methodology/principal Findings: We studied 450 patients that came from 49 areas distributed in 12 districts in north-west Libya. The patients' ages ranged from 9 months to 87 years (median age 25 years); 54% of the cases were males. Skin scrapings spotted on glass slides were collected for molecular identification of causative agent. The ribosomal internal transcribed spacer 1 (ITS1) was amplified and subsequently characterized by restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis. In total, 195 samples were successfully identified of which 148 (75.9%) were Leishmania major, and 47 (24.1%) Leishmania tropica. CL cases infected with L. major were found in all CL areas whereas L. tropica cases came mainly from Al Jabal Al Gharbi (46.4%), Misrata (17.8%) and Tarhuna districts (10.7%). A trend of seasonality was noticed for the infections with L. major which showed a clear peak between November and January, but was less pronounced for infections by L. tropica.

Conclusion: The first molecular study on CL in Libya revealed that the disease is caused by L. major and L. tropica and the epidemiological patterns in the different foci were the same as in other Mediterranean foci of CL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0001700DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3378605PMC
September 2012

Comparative microsatellite typing of new world leishmania infantum reveals low heterogeneity among populations and its recent old world origin.

PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2011 Jun 7;5(6):e1155. Epub 2011 Jun 7.

Institut für Mikrobiologie und Hygiene, Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany.

Leishmania infantum (syn. L. chagasi) is the causative agent of visceral leishmaniasis (VL) in the New World (NW) with endemic regions extending from southern USA to northern Argentina. The two hypotheses about the origin of VL in the NW suggest (1) recent importation of L. infantum from the Old World (OW), or (2) an indigenous origin and a distinct taxonomic rank for the NW parasite. Multilocus microsatellite typing was applied in a survey of 98 L. infantum isolates from different NW foci. The microsatellite profiles obtained were compared to those of 308 L. infantum and 20 L. donovani strains from OW countries previously assigned to well-defined populations. Two main populations were identified for both NW and OW L. infantum. Most of the NW strains belonged to population 1, which corresponded to the OW MON-1 population. However, the NW population was much more homogeneous. A second, more heterogeneous, population comprised most Caribbean strains and corresponded to the OW non-MON-1 population. All Brazilian L. infantum strains belonged to population 1, although they represented 61% of the sample and originated from 9 states. Population analysis including the OW L. infantum populations indicated that the NW strains were more similar to MON-1 and non-MON-1 sub-populations of L. infantum from southwest Europe, than to any other OW sub-population. Moreover, similarity between NW and Southwest European L. infantum was higher than between OW L. infantum from distinct parts of the Mediterranean region, Middle East and Central Asia. No correlation was found between NW L. infantum genotypes and clinical picture or host background. This study represents the first continent-wide analysis of NW L. infantum population structure. It confirmed that the agent of VL in the NW is L. infantum and that the parasite has been recently imported multiple times to the NW from southwest Europe.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0001155DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3110170PMC
June 2011

The paraphyletic composition of Leishmania donovani zymodeme MON-37 revealed by multilocus microsatellite typing.

Microbes Infect 2009 May-Jun;11(6-7):707-15. Epub 2009 Apr 17.

Institut für Mikrobiologie und Hygiene, Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany.

Multilocus microsatellite typing (MLMT) was employed to compare strains of Leishmania donovani belonging to the MON-37 zymodeme (MON-37 strains) from Cyprus and Israel to MON-37 strains from the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East, China and East Africa as well as strains of other zymodemes. The MLMT data were processed with a distance-based method for construction of phylogenetic trees, factorial correspondence analysis and a Bayesian model-based clustering algorithm. All three approaches assigned the MON-37 strains to different distantly related genetically defined subgroups, corresponding to their geographical origin. Specifically, the Kenyan, Sri Lankan and Indian MON-37 strains were genetically closer to strains of other zymodemes from the same regions than to MON-37 strains from other areas. MON-37 strains from Cyprus and Israel were clearly different not only among themselves, but also compared to all the other MON-37 strains studied and could, therefore, be autochthonous. This study showed that the zymodeme MON-37 is paraphyletic and does not reflect the genetic relationship between strains of different geographical origin.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.micinf.2009.04.009DOI Listing
August 2009

PCR diagnosis of visceral leishmaniasis in an endemic region, Mymensingh district, Bangladesh.

Trop Med Int Health 2009 May 15;14(5):499-503. Epub 2009 Feb 15.

Institut für Mikrobiologie und Hygiene, Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany.

Detection of Leishmania parasites in a clinical sample is necessary to confirm a suspected case of leishmaniasis. We compared the sensitivity of internal transcribed spacer 1-PCR (ITS 1-PCR) assay for parasite diagnosis with that of microscopic detection in clinical samples from kala-azar (KA) or post-kala-azar dermal leishmaniasis (PKDL) suspects in Mymensingh. Of 39 specimens collected from 35 KA and four PKDL suspects, 26 were positive by microscopic examination of smears from bone marrow and skin exudates; 38 specimens spotted on filter paper and 27 of the 28 Giemsa-stained slides tested by PCR proved positive by ITS1-PCR.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-3156.2009.02254.xDOI Listing
May 2009

Multilocus microsatellite typing (MLMT) reveals genetic homogeneity of Leishmania donovani strains in the Indian subcontinent.

Infect Genet Evol 2009 Jan 8;9(1):24-31. Epub 2008 Oct 8.

Institut für Mikrobiologie und Hygiene, Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany.

In this population genetic study of Leishmania donovani parasites in the Indian subcontinent, 132 isolates obtained from patients in Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka suffering from Kala-azar (100), post-Kala-azar dermal leishmaniasis (PKDL) (25) and cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) (2), and from 5 patients whose clinical patterns were not defined, were analysed by using 15 hyper-variable microsatellite loci. Multilocus microsatellite typing (MLMT) data were analysed by using a Bayesian model-based clustering algorithm and constructing phylogenic tree based on genetic distances. In total, 125 strains from Bangladesh, Bihar (India) and Nepal formed a very homogeneous population regardless of geographical origin, clinical manifestation, and whether they presented in vitro or in vivo susceptibility to antimonial drugs. Identical multilocus microsatellite profiles were found for 108 strains, other strains differed in only one marker. Considerably different microsatellite profiles were identified for three Indian strains most closely related to L. donovani from Kenya, and for four strains from Indian and Sri Lankan CL cases. The circulation of a single homogeneous population of L. donovani in Bihar (India), Bangladesh and Nepal is, most probably, related to the epidemic spread of visceral leishmaniasis in this area.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.meegid.2008.09.005DOI Listing
January 2009
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