Publications by authors named "Panagiota Ligda"

7 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Efficacy of a novel topical combination of esafoxolaner, eprinomectin and praziquantel against ear mite (Otodectes cynotis) infestations in cats.

Parasite 2021 2;28:26. Epub 2021 Apr 2.

Boehringer-Ingelheim Vetmedica GmbH, Kathrinenhof Research Center, Walchenseestr. 8-12, 83101 Rohrdorf, Germany.

Esafoxolaner, a purified enantiomer of afoxolaner with insecticidal and acaricidal properties, is combined with eprinomectin and praziquantel, nematodicidal and cestodicidal compounds, in NexGard Combo, a novel topical endectoparasiticide formulation for cats. The efficacy of this formulation was assessed against Otodectes cynotis in two laboratory studies conducted in South Africa and in the USA with local isolates, and in one field trial conducted in Europe. In each study, cats were randomly allocated to a placebo-treated control group and a novel formulation-treated group. In the laboratory studies, cats were treated at the minimum recommended dose; in the field trial, cats were treated at label dose. All included cats were diagnosed positive for O. cynotis prior to treatment by otoscopy. The main variable of efficacy was a comparison of the number of live O. cynotis collected in both ear canals of all cats in the treated and control groups, one month after treatment. Efficacy of the novel topical formulation exceeded 97% in the three studies. These studies demonstrated the high effectiveness of NexGard Combo in cats for the treatment of O. cynotis infestations. No health abnormalities were attributed to the treatment in any of the studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/parasite/2021022DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8019571PMC
April 2021

Mapping the canine vector-borne disease risk in a Mediterranean area.

Parasit Vectors 2020 Jun 3;13(1):282. Epub 2020 Jun 3.

Veterinary Research Institute, Hellenic Agricultural Organization Demeter, 57001, Thermi, Thessaloniki, Greece.

Background: The aim of this study was to determine exposure to vector-borne pathogens (VBPs) in populations of dogs living on Greek islands in the Ionian and Aegean seas.

Methods: In total, 1154 dogs with different lifestyles and of varying ages and breeds were randomly sampled and examined for the presence of clinical signs compatible with canine vector-borne diseases (CVBDs). Blood was collected from each individual animal. For the detection of antibodies against Leishmania spp., the WITNESS® Leishmania test was performed, and positive samples were further examined with indirect enzymatic immunoassay (ELISA). Antibodies to Borrelia burgdorferi, Ehrlichia canis or E. ewingii, as well as Anaplasma phagocytophilum or A. platys were investigated using the Snap® 4Dx® Plus test. Positive Ehrlichia spp. and Anaplasma spp. samples were further examined using an indirect ELISA for further identification of the species.

Results: In total, 25.6% of dogs were exposed to at least one of the pathogens investigated, with seroprevalences varying regionally. Of these seropositive dogs, 27.4% displayed clinical signs suggestive of CVBDs, such as cutaneous lesions, enlarged lymph nodes, pale mucous membranes, onychogryphosis and weight loss. The overall seroprevalence detected using the rapid tests was 15.3% for Leishmania spp., whereas 2.3% of the examined dogs were found to be positive for Anaplasma spp. and 7.5% for Ehrlichia spp. while B. burgdorferi was not detected. Twenty-four samples positive to A. phagocytophilum by ELISA were analysed by PCR for the presence of Anaplasma DNA. PCR and sequencing results showed the presence of A. platys DNA in 4 samples and E. canis DNA in 4 samples. The remaining samples (66.7%) were negative.

Conclusions: In the present study, exposure of dogs to VBPs was shown in the geographical areas investigated. Results confirm that on Greek islands VBPs represent a constant health risk for both native and visiting dogs, suggesting the presence of distinct "hot-spots" of VBP infections on different islands. In order to reduce the risk of transmission and the spread to non-endemic regions, the protection of dogs through use of repellents and vaccines, together with owner education, seem to be of paramount importance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13071-020-04153-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7268178PMC
June 2020

Host Species Determines the Composition of the Prokaryotic Microbiota in Sandflies.

Pathogens 2020 May 29;9(6). Epub 2020 May 29.

Laboratory of Plant and Environmental Biotechnology, Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, University of Thessaly, Viopolis 41500, Larissa, Greece.

Phlebotomine sandflies are vectors of the humans' and mammals' parasite spp. Although the role of gut microbiome in the biological cycle of insects is acknowledged, we still know little about the factors modulating the composition of the gut microbiota of sandflies. We tested whether host species impose a strong structural effect on the gut microbiota of spp. Sandflies were collected from the island of Leros, Greece, and classified to and , all being negative to spp. The prokaryotic gut microbiota was determined via 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing. species supported distinct microbial communities ( < 0.001). microbiota was the most distinct over-dominated by three and operational taxonomic units (OTUs), while another OTU prevailed in . Conversely, the microbiota of and was composed of several less dominant OTUs. Archaea showed low presence with the dominant OTUs belonging to methanogenic Euryarcheota, ammonia-oxidizing Thaumarcheota, and Nanoarchaeota. We provide first insights into the composition of the bacterial and archaeal community of sandflies and showed that, in the absence of host genotype is the major modulator of sandfly gut microbiota.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9060428DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7350354PMC
May 2020

Cryptosporidium and Giardia in surface water and drinking water: Animal sources and towards the use of a machine-learning approach as a tool for predicting contamination.

Environ Pollut 2020 Sep 11;264:114766. Epub 2020 May 11.

Laboratory of Infectious and Parasitic Diseases, Veterinary Research Institute, Hellenic Agricultural Organization - DEMETER, 57001, Thermi, Thessaloniki, Greece. Electronic address:

Cryptosporidium and Giardia are important parasites due to their zoonotic potential and impact on human health, often causing waterborne outbreaks of disease. Detection of (oo)cysts in water matrices is challenging and few countries have legislated water monitoring for their presence. The aim of this study was to investigate the presence and origin of these parasites in different water sources in Northern Greece and identify interactions between biotic/abiotic factors in order to develop risk-assessment models. During a 2-year period, using a longitudinal, repeated sampling approach, 12 locations in 4 rivers, irrigation canals, and a water production company, were monitored for Cryptosporidium and Giardia, using standard methods. Furthermore, 254 faecal samples from animals were collected from 15 cattle and 12 sheep farms located near the water sampling points and screened for both parasites, in order to estimate their potential contribution to water contamination. River water samples were frequently contaminated with Cryptosporidium (47.1%) and Giardia (66.2%), with higher contamination rates during winter and spring. During a 5-month period, (oo)cysts were detected in drinking-water (<1/litre). Animals on all farms were infected by both parasites, with 16.7% of calves and 17.2% of lambs excreting Cryptosporidium oocysts and 41.3% of calves and 43.1% of lambs excreting Giardia cysts. The most prevalent species identified in both water and animal samples were C. parvum and G. duodenalis assemblage AII. The presence of G. duodenalis assemblage AII in drinking water and C. parvum IIaA15G2R1 in surface water highlights the potential risk of waterborne infection. No correlation was found between (oo)cyst counts and faecal-indicator bacteria. Machine-learning models that can predict contamination intensity with Cryptosporidium (75% accuracy) and Giardia (69% accuracy), combining biological, physicochemical and meteorological factors, were developed. Although these prediction accuracies may be insufficient for public health purposes, they could be useful for augmenting and informing risk-based sampling plans.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2020.114766DOI Listing
September 2020

Investigations from Northern Greece on mussels cultivated in areas proximal to wastewaters discharges, as a potential source for human infection with Giardia and Cryptosporidium.

Exp Parasitol 2020 Mar 28;210:107848. Epub 2020 Jan 28.

Laboratory of Infectious and Parasitic Diseases, Veterinary Research Institute, Hellenic Agricultural Organization - DEMETER, 57001, Thermi, Thessaloniki, Greece. Electronic address:

Marine bivalves are usually cultivated in shallow, estuarine waters where there is a high concentration of nutrients. Many micro-pollutants, including the protozoan parasites Giardia duodenalis and Cryptosporidium spp., which also occur in such environments, may be concentrated in shellfish tissues during their feeding process. Shellfish can thus be considered as vehicles for foodborne infections, as they are usually consumed lightly cooked or raw. Therefore, the main objective of this study was to investigate the presence of both parasites in Mediterranean mussels, Mytilus galloprovincialis that are cultivated in Thermaikos Gulf, North Greece, which is fed by four rivers that are contaminated with both protozoa. Moreover, the occurrence of these protozoa was monitored in treated wastewaters from 3 treatment plants that discharge into the gulf. In order to identify potential sources of contamination and to estimate the risk for human infection, an attempt was made to genotype Giardia and Cryptosporidium in positive samples. Immunofluorescence was used for detection and molecular techniques were used for both detection and genotyping of the parasites. In total, 120 mussel samples, coming from 10 farms, were examined for the presence of both protozoa over the 6-month farming period. None of them were found positive by immunofluorescence microscopy for the presence of parasites. Only in 3 mussel samples, PCR targeting the GP60 gene detected Cryptosporidium spp. DNA, but sequencing was not successful. Thirteen out of 18 monthly samples collected from the 3 wastewater treatment plants, revealed the presence of Giardia duodenalis cysts belonging to sub-assemblage AII, at relatively low counts (up to 11.2 cysts/L). Cryptosporidium oocysts (up to 0.9 oocysts/L) were also detected in 4 out of 8 samples, although sequencing was not successful at any of the target genes. At the studied location and under the sampling conditions described, mussels tested were not found to be harboring Giardia cysts and the presence of Cryptosporidium was found only in few cases (by PCR detection only). Our results suggest that the likelihood that mussels from these locations act as vehicles of human infection for Giardia and Cryptosporidium seems low.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.exppara.2020.107848DOI Listing
March 2020

Protocol standardization for the detection of Giardia cysts and Cryptosporidium oocysts in Mediterranean mussels (Mytilus galloprovincialis).

Int J Food Microbiol 2019 Jun 16;298:31-38. Epub 2019 Mar 16.

Laboratory of Infectious and Parasitic Diseases, Veterinary Research Institute, Hellenic Agricultural Organization - DEMETER, 57001 Thermi, Thessaloniki, Greece. Electronic address:

Marine bivalve shellfish are of public health interest because they can accumulate pollutants in their tissues. As they are usually consumed raw or lightly cooked, they are considered to be a possible source of foodborne infections, including giardiosis and cryptosporidiosis. Although data indicating contamination of shellfish with Giardia cysts and Cryptosporidium oocysts have been published, comparing results from different studies is difficult, as there is no standardized protocol for the detection and quantification of these parasites in mussels, and different researchers have used different analytical approaches. The aim of this study was to identify and characterize the most sensitive protocol for the detection of Giardia cysts and Cryptosporidium oocysts in shellfish. In an effort to test the sensitivity and the detection limits of the protocol, every step of the process was investigated, from initial preparation of the mussel matrix through detection of the parasites. Comparative studies were conducted, including several methods previously applied by other researchers, on commercial mussels Mytilus galloprovincialis spiked with a known number of (oo)cysts of both parasites. As preparation of the mussel matrix plays an important role in the sensitivity of the method, different techniques were tested. These included: (ia) removal of the coarse particles from the matrix with sieving, (ib) extraction of the lipids with diethyl ether, and (ic) artificial digestion of the matrix with pepsin digestion solution, and (ii) the use or not of immunomagnetic separation (IMS) for the concentration of the (oo)cysts. Pre-treatment of the mussel homogenate with pepsin digestion solution, followed by IMS, then detection with a direct immunofluorescence assay, achieved the highest sensitivity: 32.1% (SD: 21.1) of Giardia cysts and 61.4% (SD: 26.2) Cryptosporidium oocysts were recovered, with a detection limit of 10 (oo)cysts per g of mussel homogenate. The outcome of the current study was the standardization of a protocol, with defined detection limits, for the detection of these two protozoan transmission stages in mussels, in order to be used as a reference technique in future studies. Further advantages of this protocol are that it uses the whole mussel as a starting material and does not require difficult handling procedures. The method has potential to be applied in larger surveys and, potentially, to other species of shellfish for the detection of these parasites. However, the composition (lipid to protein ratio) may be of relevance for detection efficiency for some other species of shellfish.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2019.03.009DOI Listing
June 2019

Abundance, zoonotic potential and risk factors of intestinal parasitism amongst dog and cat populations: The scenario of Crete, Greece.

Parasit Vectors 2017 01 25;10(1):43. Epub 2017 Jan 25.

Veterinary Research Institute - Hellenic Agricultural Organization Demeter, Thermi, Thessaloniki, 57001, Greece.

Background: The objectives of this study were to evaluate the prevalence and infection intensity of intestinal parasites in different dog and cat populations in Crete, Greece, estimate the zoonotic risk and identify risk factors.

Methods: Faecal samples from shelter, household and shepherd dogs and shelter and household cats were analyzed using sedimentation/flotation techniques. Giardia and Cryptosporidium were detected by a quantitative direct immunofluorescence assay (IFA). PCR and sequencing was performed to evaluate the zoonotic potential of Giardia and Cryptosporidium positive samples.

Results: Totals of 879 dog and 264 cat faecal samples were examined. In dogs, the overall prevalence was 25.2% (CI: 22.4-28.1) for Giardia spp.; 9.2% (CI: 7.3-11.1) for Ancylostoma/Uncinaria spp.; 7.6% (CI: 5.9-9.4) for Toxocara spp.; 5.9% (CI: 4.4-7.5) for Cryptosporidium spp.; 4.6% (CI: 3.2-5.9) for Cystoisospora spp.; 2.7% (CI: 1.7-3.8) for Toxascaris leonina; 1.7% (CI: 0.9-2.6) for Capillaria spp.; 0.8% (CI: 0.2-1.4) for taeniid eggs; 0.2% (CI: 0-0.5) for Dipylidium caninum; and 0.1% (CI: 0-0.3) for Strongyloides stercoralis. In cats, the prevalence was 20.5% (CI: 15.6-25.3) for Giardia spp.; 9.5% (CI: 5.9-13.0) for Cystoisospora spp.; 8.3% (CI: 5.0-11.7) for Toxocara spp.; 7.6% (CI: 4.4-10.8) for Ancylostoma/Uncinaria spp.; 6.8% (CI: 3.8-9.9) for Cryptosporidium spp.; 4.2% (CI: 1.8-6.6) for Capillaria spp.; 0.8% (CI: 0-1.8) for taeniid eggs; and 0.4% (CI: 0-1.1) for Hammondia/Toxoplasma. Concerning the risk factors evaluated, there was a negative association between age and Giardia infection and between age and T. leonina infection intensity for dogs. Sequencing results revealed the presence of mainly animal-specific G. duodenalis assemblages C and D in dogs and assemblages F, C and BIV-like in cats, with only a limited number of (co-)infections with assemblage A. As for Cryptosporidium, the dog-specific C. canis and the pig-specific C. scrofarum were detected in dogs and the cat-specific C. felis was detected in cats.

Conclusions: High levels of parasitism in both dogs and cats were recorded. Giardia was the most prevalent parasite in all dog and cat populations except for shepherd dogs. Genotyping results suggest a limited zoonotic risk of Giardia and Cryptosporidium infections from dogs and cats in Crete. Taeniid eggs were more prevalent in shepherd dogs suggesting access to carcasses and posing a threat for cystic echinococcosis transmission. Infection rates of Toxocara spp. in both dogs and cats show that companion animals could be a significant source of infection to humans.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13071-017-1989-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5264337PMC
January 2017
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