Publications by authors named "Qasem Asgari"

34 Publications

Topical Extract Enhances Wound Healing in Cutaneous Leishmaniasis.

J Pathog 2021 11;2021:7860474. Epub 2021 Feb 11.

Student Research Committee, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.

Background: (Tabashir) has been shown to have antimicrobial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory effects due to the presence of ascorbic acid, vitamin B2, flavonoid, and phenolic compounds which can be beneficial in the process of wound healing. The current study aimed to evaluate the effects of topical Tabashir extract on cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) caused by in BALB/c mice.

Methods: Twenty-eight female BALB/c mice (4 weeks old, 18 ± 4 grams) were injected subcutaneously in tail-base with amastigotes. Treatment started when the CL lesions were appeared and continued for 21 days. Mice were then divided into four groups: 1, treated daily with 5% of Tabashir extract gel; 2, treated daily with 10% Tabashir gel; 1, irrigated daily only with normal saline; and 2, received vehicle gel daily. The wounds' sizes were measured every 3 days, using vernier caliper. The volume densities of vessels, collagens, and hair follicles, vessels' length density, and mean diameter were soteriologically determined.

Results: Tabashir enhanced wound closure rate through increasing the number of fibroblasts, collagen bundles, and vessels, according to histomorphometric evaluation while it did not affect the parasitic load. Findings of the in vitro study revealed that the extract has substantial mortality for the promastigotes.

Conclusion: Topical Tabashir showed promising effects on the healing process of skin wounds caused by CL in this experimental study. Further studies are suggested to find out the molecules which are involved in the healing process.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2021/7860474DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7892243PMC
February 2021

High Prevalence of Infection in Type I Diabetic Patients.

J Parasitol Res 2021 9;2021:8881908. Epub 2021 Feb 9.

Department of Parasitology and Mycology, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.

Background: Type I diabetes (TDM) is a genetic or autoimmune disorder, which may be stimulated by induced immune system components due to the underlying infectious diseases. This study was undertaken to find out any possible association between infection and TIDM.

Materials And Methods: One hundred and eighty-two blood samples were taken from individuals who were referred to outpatient clinics in Shiraz city, Southern Iran, during a 6-month period. The age of type I diabetic subjects ( = 91) and the control group ( = 91) was identical, which were less than 30 years. The sera were examined for IgG and IgM antibodies by ELISA and correlated with epidemiological factors such as age, sex, and family history of diabetes.

Results: Out of 91 diabetic patients, 54 (59.3%) were female and 37 (40.7%) were male. The highest frequency of diabetes belonged to 6-10- and 11-15-year groups ( = 0.17). infection prevalence in diabetic and control groups was 28.6% and 7.7%, respectively ( = 0.001). A significantly positive family history of diabetes was observed between diabetic patients (31 cases, 34.1%) and the control group (3 cases, 3.3%) ( = 0.01). Interestingly, IgG positivity was seen in 13 cases (41.9%) of patients with positive family history of type I diabetes and 13 cases (21.7%) of subjects with no positive family history of type I diabetes ( = 0.04).

Conclusion: Our study showed a higher prevalence of infection in type I diabetes patients. It is likely that the prevalence of TIDM decreases by increasing hygiene and preventing toxoplasmosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2021/8881908DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7889393PMC
February 2021

Anti- activity of 5-oxo-hexahydroquinoline derivatives: synthesis, and evaluations, and molecular docking analysis.

Res Pharm Sci 2020 Aug 28;15(4):367-380. Epub 2020 Aug 28.

Department of Medicinal Chemistry, School of Pharmacy, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, I.R. Iran.

Background And Purpose: The aim of this study was to evaluate the and anti- () effect of 5-oxo-hexahydroquinoline compounds. Moreover, molecular docking study of the compounds into the active site of enoyl-acyl carrier protein reductase (ENR) as a necessary enzyme for the vitality of apicoplast was carried out.

Experimental Approach: A number of 5-oxo-hexahydoquinoline derivatives (Z1-Z4) were synthesized. The tachyzoites of RH strain were treated by different concentrations (1-64 μg/mL) of the compounds. The viability of the encountered parasites with compounds was assessed using flow cytometry and propidium iodide (PI) staining. Due to the high mortality effect of Z3 and Z4 , their chemotherapy effect was assessed by inoculation of tachyzoites to four BALB/c mice groups ( = 5), followed by the gavage of various concentrations of the compounds to the mice. Molecular docking was done to study the binding affinity of the synthesized 5-oxo-hexahydroquinolines into ENR enzyme active site byusing AutoDock Vina® software. Docking was performed by a Lamarckian Genetic Algorithm with 100 runs.

Findings / Results: Flow cytometry assay results indicated compounds Z3 and Z4 had relevant mortality effect on parasite tachyzoites. Besides, experiments were also performed and a partial increase of mice longevity between control and experiment groups was recorded. Molecular docking of Z3 and Z4 in the binding site of ENR enzyme indicated that the compounds were well accommodated within the binding site. Therefore, it could be suggested that these compounds may exert their anti- activity through the inhibition of the ENR enzyme.

Conclusion And Implications: Compounds Z3 and Z4 are good leads in order to develop better anti- agents as they demonstrated both and inhibitory effects on tachyzoites viability and infection. Further studies on altering the route of administration along with additional pharmacokinetics evaluations are needed to improve the anti- impacts of 5-oxo-hexahydroquinoline compounds.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4103/1735-5362.293515DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7714012PMC
August 2020

Molecular and serological study on congenital toxoplasmosis in newborn of Shiraz, Southern Iran.

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2020 Nov 28. Epub 2020 Nov 28.

Basic Sciences in Infectious Diseases Research Center, School of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.

Toxoplasmosis is a zoonotic disease caused by an obligatory intracellular parasite, Toxoplasma gondii. The congenital form of the disease is a significant health problem around the world. This study aimed to determine the incidence of congenital toxoplasmosis in the newborn of Shiraz, Southern Iran, between 2013 and 2018. A total of 2498 blood samples of neonates were randomly collected by a standard heel puncture technique and dried on Guthrie cards from Shiraz newborn screening center. We provided questionnaire forms for mothers according to their demographic characteristics, such as age, place of residence, history of having cats as pet, and literacy level. ELISA immunocapture and PCR assays were applied to detect anti-Toxoplasma IgM and the parasite DNA in dried blood spot samples. The anti-Toxoplasma IgM antibody was detected in two out of the 2498 infants. Moreover, borderline titers were observed in 3 samples, which were considered suspicious, so these were retested after 18 months to detect IgG against Toxoplasma. Positive IgG titer was observed in two infants who had a positive IgM level. The genome of Toxoplasma was detected in one sample out of 2498. No significant differences were seen between the epidemiological factors with congenital infection. The incidence of congenital toxoplasmosis is estimated at 0.08% of studied samples. It seems that this incidence could present to the health ministry as a logical research achievement for the national screening program of newborns in Iran.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-020-11707-xDOI Listing
November 2020

The relationship between infection in mothers and neonate's gender.

J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med 2020 Nov 18:1-5. Epub 2020 Nov 18.

Department of Medical Parasitology and Mycology, School of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.

Background: The secondary sex ratio can be affected by various factors such as stress, immunosuppression, and age of parents in addition to mother infectious disease (Maternal infections). Toxoplasmosis is one of the critical maternal parasitic infections during pregnancy. Besides the complications of the acute form of the disease, hormonal shifts, and even alterations in the secondary sex ratio can be induced by the manipulative activity of the chronic form of the disease. Therefore, this study aimed to evaluate the correlation between infection in mothers and neonate's gender.

Methods: In this case-control study, 137 seropositive mothers to Anti- IgG(case) was compared to 137 age-matched subject -seronegative mothers(control) in terms of their neonate's gender. These individuals were randomly selected based on exclusions and inclusions criteria of the study from among 2014 mothers who had been tested for infection during pregnancy from 2015 to 2018 in Shiraz, Iran.

Results: From a total of 2014 studied pregnant mothers, 326 (16.2%) mothers were seropositive to anti- IgG, and 1688 (83.8%) were negative for IgG. It was found that the numbers of female and male neonates were 136 (45.48%) and 163 (54.51%) in the control group whereas, they were 165 (49.84%) and 166 (50.15%) in the case group, respectively. The sex ratio was 1.006:1 in -seropositive and 1.2:1 in -seronegative mothers. The number of male and females offsprings indicated a significant difference in -seronegative mothers (54.5%,  = .015). Moreover, comparing the number of males and females between the two randomly selected groups showed that female gender is significantly more than male gender in seropositive mothers to (54.8%,  = .014), which means that of 301 females, 165 offspring were born to seropositive mothers. No significant difference was observed for the sex ratio of aborted fetuses between groups. However, in the -seropositive group, the sex ratio of aborted fetuses showed that the aborted male fetuses were significantly higher in number. (31 male vs 13 female,  < .001).

Conclusion: Comprehensively, a significant relationship was found between chronic infection and secondary sex ratio. However, it is suggested that this relationship be investigated in further studies as well as an animal study.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14767058.2020.1849103DOI Listing
November 2020

Molecular Genotyping of in Sheep Aborted Fetuses Reveals Predominance of Type I Infection in Southwest of Iran.

Iran J Parasitol 2020 Jul-Sep;15(3):374-382

Department of Parasitology and Mycology, School of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.

Background: We aimed to detect in ovine aborted fetuses and evaluate its genetic variations in the southwest of Iran.

Methods: This cross-sectional study was performed on 100 aborted ovine fetuses collected from the different region of Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad Province, Iran, in lambing season during 2017 and 2018. DNA was extracted from the brain samples of all of the aborted fetuses and PCR amplified, targeting a 529 bp repetitive element gene of . Moreover, to find out the heterogeneity of the positive samples, PCR-DNA amplification of the two main genetic markers, B1 and GRA6, of were performed. Nucleotide sequencing and phylogenetic analysis were performed, using the BLAST program and MEGA-X software.

Results: The 529 bp gene of was detected in 2 out of 100 (2%) of the ovine aborted samples. The sequences analysis of GRA6 and B1 genes revealed that both isolates from the aborted fetuses of sheep belonged to type I of Intra-divergence was more seen in GRA6 gene whereas less divergence was observed in B1 gene.

Conclusion: Congenital infection with Type I of during the neonatal period is associated with abortion in ovine. Evaluation of more aborted samples from broader geographical areas is needed to elucidate the molecular epidemiology and also the genotypes of associated with abortion.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.18502/ijpa.v15i3.4202DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7548476PMC
October 2020

Viability and infectivity of tachyzoites exposed to Butanedione monoxime.

J Parasit Dis 2020 Aug 17:1-7. Epub 2020 Aug 17.

Department of Parasitology and Mycology, School of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.

The most important pathogenesis factor in the Apicomplexa parasites is invasion to the host cell. Given the inhibitory role of Butanedione Monoxime (BDM) on myosin-actin interaction, this study aimed to investigate the effects of this molecule on the vitality and infectivity of tachyzoites in order to provide a new option for vaccine development. The tachyzoites of the RH strain of were exposed to different concentrations (1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, and 128 μg/mL) of BDM, and mortality effect was assessed by flow cytometry. Then, the penetration ability of the tachyzoites was investigated in HeLa and macrophage cell lines. The infectivity of exposed tachyzoites to BDM were also investigated in mice through following up and detecting the etiological factor. The highest percentage of mortality (72.69%) was seen in the tachyzoites exposed to 128 μg/mL of the compound. The tachyzoites exposed to 32, 64, and 128 μg/mL of BDM began the proliferation in HeLa cells after 48 h, while this proliferation was initiated within 24 h in macrophage cells. All the mice inoculated with the BDM-treated tachyzoites died after 13 days. The mean survival time of the mice receiving tachyzoites exposed to 128 μg/mL of BDM was 12.4 days, which was significantly different from the negative control group ( = 0.001). BDM, as the inhibitor of myosin-actin interaction, and other substances that block the entry of parasites into cells may be suitable candidates for vaccine production against . Yet, future studies are required to be conducted on the issue.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12639-020-01259-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7430933PMC
August 2020

Glucantime-loaded electrospun core-shell nanofibers composed of poly(ethylene oxide)/gelatin-poly(vinyl alcohol)/chitosan as dressing for cutaneous leishmaniasis.

Int J Biol Macromol 2020 Nov 28;163:288-297. Epub 2020 Jun 28.

School of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran; Basic Sciences in Infectious Diseases Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran. Electronic address:

Leishmaniasis, one of the main concerns of the World Health Organization, is a parasitic disease caused by Leishmania species. The main objective of this study was to prepare a topical drug delivery system that can deliver glucantime to the site of cutaneous Leishmania wounds. Using the electrospinning method, a core-shell nanofibrous mat composed of macromolecules including polyethylene oxide, gelatin, poly (vinyl alcohol) and chitosan was prepared. The prepared nanofibers were characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), tensile test and in vitro drug release test. The anti-Leishmania activities of drug-loaded nanofibers against Leishmania promastigotes and its cytotoxicity on fibroblasts were determined respectively by flow-cytometry and indirect MTT methods. Results of morphological studies showed that uniform nanofibers were prepared without any bead with average diameter of 404 nm. The TEM investigation confirmed the core-shell structure of the fibers. The in-vitro drug release assay was executed using Franz diffusion cell, which indicted 84% of glucantime was released during the first 9 h. The results indicated that 4 and 6 cm of nanofibers mat were significantly killed promatigotes up to 78%. Moreover, the MTT assay also showed that the fabricated nanofibers do not possess any cytotoxicity towards fibroblast cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2020.06.240DOI Listing
November 2020

Alarming: high prevalence of Leishmania infantum infection in cats from southern Iran based on molecular and serological methods.

Ann Parasitol 2020 ;66(2):143-156

Department of Medical Parasitology and Mycology, School of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.

Recently, Leishmania infantum has increasingly been detected in stray cats in endemic regions of the world. Cats have been considered playing a role in the epidemiology of visceral leishmaniosis, an endemic zoonosis in Iran. The studies concerning feline leishmaniosis (FeL) allow the hypothesis that cats can be considered as potential reservoirs. The investigations on Leishmania infection in cats are very few in Iran and therefore we aimed to assess the L. infantum infection in stray cats and its possible role in transmission of the disease to human by direct agglutination test (DAT), ELISA, nested-PCR and confirmation via sequencing and phylogenetic analysis in Fars province, Iran. Whole blood samples were obtained from 174 stray cats. Anti-Leishmania antibodies were detected in the sera using DAT and ELISA. DNA was extracted from the buffy coat of each subject and PCR amplified, targeting Leishmania kDNA gene. PCR results were confirmed by sequence analysis. Prevalence of clinical signs in positive cats was 19.0%. Anti-Leishmania antibodies with different titers were detected in 48 (27.59%) and leishmanial DNA in 36 (20.69%) of the cats. The sequencing of PCR-positive cats revealed the parasite as L. infantum. A high seroprevalence of L. infantum was revealed, with higher levels in males, adult cats, and those living in rural districts and southern zones. Despite the reservoir task of cats in nature is still ambiguous, the high serological and molecular detection of L. infantum in stray cats indicates that cats are regularly bitten by infected sand flies in Fars province, southern Iran, and may have a potential reservoir role in the maintenance of L. infantum in the endemic areas of zoonotic visceral leishmaniosis in Iran. Anyway, Leishmania infection must be appraised in the differential diagnosis of cutaneous or systemic clinical signs in cats.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.17420/ap6602.249DOI Listing
August 2020

Evaluation of a PCR assay for diagnosis of toxoplasmosis in serum and peripheral blood mononuclear cell among HIV/AIDS patients.

J Parasit Dis 2020 Mar 11;44(1):159-165. Epub 2019 Dec 11.

6Student Research Committee, School of Medicine, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

Cerebral toxoplasmosis is one of the neurological infections with high morbidity and mortality in patients with AIDS, so the accurate method for diagnosis of cerebral toxoplasmosis seems necessary. In this study, nested PCR assay using B1 gene was evaluated in diagnosis of toxoplasmosis in serum and peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) among HIV/AIDS patients. One hundred eight blood samples from HIV/AIDS patients, including four patients with cerebral toxoplasmosis and 104 HIV/AIDS patients without cerebral toxoplasmosis were evaluated for the antibodies using Enzyme Linked immunosorbent Assay. DNA of serum and PBMC of these patients were extracted and nested-PCR was carried out. Of 108 participants, 95 cases (88%) were positive for IgG antibodies and one patient was found positive for IgM antibody. In general, four patients, including three patients with cerebral toxoplasmosis, who were positive for IgG antibodies and one patient without cerebral toxoplasmosis who was positive for IgM antibody were found to be PCR positive. DNA of was detected in both serum and PBMC in two cerebral toxoplasmosis patients; however DNA was detected in only PBMC in other cerebral toxoplasmosis patient. All cases with cerebral toxoplasmosis were also diagnosed by clinical and radiological manifestations. The results of this study showed that the numbers of positive samples by PCR in PBMC were higher than serum specimens for diagnosis of toxoplasmosis. If molecular method and immunological assay are complemented with magnetic resonance imaging, the results can be useful for diagnosis of cerebral toxoplasmosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12639-019-01176-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7046870PMC
March 2020

Cutaneous leishmaniasis associated with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE).

Infez Med 2019 Sep;27(3):345-349

Department of Parasitology and Mycology, School of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.

Cutaneous Leishmaniasis (CL) is a protozoan disease caused by Leishmania spp. and is endemic in the Americas, the Mediterranean basin, Middle East, and Central Asia. There are reports regarding the co-infection of CL with other diseases, especially immune system disorders. Herein, we presented a patient with several leishmania lesions who suffered from Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE). He was a 22-year-old man from Fars province, southern Iran who was treated with corticosteroid drugs to control the manifestations of SLE. The presence of leishmanial bodies was confirmed by microscopic and molecular methods. Treatment was performed based on sodium antimony gluconate (1.5 mg/5ml) for three weeks, resulting in acceptable outcomes. However, recurrence of the lesions was observed after two months when the medication was discontinued. This was the first report of Zoonotic Cutaneous Leishmaniasis (ZCL) in an SLE patient.
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September 2019

Molecular genotyping and serological evaluation of Toxoplasma gondii in mothers and their spontaneous aborted fetuses in Southwest of Iran.

Comp Immunol Microbiol Infect Dis 2019 Oct 30;66:101342. Epub 2019 Jul 30.

Department of Parasitology and Mycology, School of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran; Basic Sciences in Infectious Diseases Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran. Electronic address:

Background: Given the lack of routine screening and the high prevalence of toxoplasmosis in pregnant women in Iran, the current study aimed to find out the rate and features of Toxoplasma gondii infection in the spontaneously aborted human fetuses in Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad Province, Southwestern Iran.

Methods: This cross-sectional study was performed on 100 spontaneously aborted fetuses' tissues and their mother blood samples. The mothers' sera were evaluated for anti-Toxoplasma antibodies while their buffy coat and aborted fetuses tissues were evaluated for Toxoplasma DNA. PCR product at GRA6 locus was sequenced and phylogenetic analysis was done. Likewise, quantitative Real-Time PCR was performed to find out the parasite burdens in mothers buffy coat and fetuses tissues.

Results: Using serological method, anti-Toxoplasma IgG and IgM antibodies were detected in 7 (7%) and 3 (3%) out of 100 sera from women with spontaneous abortion. Real-time PCR method detected T. gondii DNA in the buffy coat of one seronegative and 2 (out of 3) IgM seropositive cases. None of the samples from aborted fetuses were infected with T. gondii. BLAST and phylogenetic analysis showed that the sequenced isolates belonged to type I of T. gondii and two identified T. gondii isolates were taxonomically grouped into one clade.

Conclusion: Our findings revealed type I genotype of T. gondii in two mothers with spontaneous abortion, without fetus involvement. It is necessary to examine more aborted fetuses' samples from different geographical areas to determine the association between Toxoplasma genotype and abortion.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cimid.2019.101342DOI Listing
October 2019

Bionomics of phlebotomine sand flies species (Diptera: Psychodidae) and their natural infection with and in Fars province, southern Iran.

J Parasit Dis 2018 Dec 22;42(4):511-518. Epub 2018 Aug 22.

5Research Center for Health Sciences, Institute of Health, Department of Medical Entomology and Vector Control, School of Health, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.

Phlebotominae sand flies are involved in human diseases, such as leishmaniasis, and cause a considerable number of deaths every year. Besides, some of them have been identified as allergen sources or the potential mechanical vectors related to nosocomial infections. The present study aimed to assess the monthly activity, fauna, and detection of protozoan agents in phlebotomine sand flies using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in re-emerging zoonotic cutaneous leishmaniasis foci of Shiraz and Kharameh in Fars province, southern Iran during 2016-2017. To determine the monthly activity, sand flies were caught from indoors and outdoors of both studied areas. Afterward, all female phlebotomine sand flies were processed for DNA extraction and PCR assays for and detections. During the study, 6975 sand flies of 16 species (eight and eight species) were caught in both foci. Sand flies' monthly activities started in early April and terminated in late November and October. Additionally, two active peaks of sand flies were observed in both foci; first in June and second in August to September. (47.1%) was the most dominant species in out/indoors of both Shiraz (31.1%) and Kharameh (16.0%). It was also the only species which was found infected with , indeed, 2.68% and 2.53% of were infected to in Kharameh and Shiraz, respectively. However, none of the female sand flies was positive for spp. Despite various control strategies, especially against , considerable cases of leishmaniasis are recorded from Iran every year. Phlebotomine plays the main role in transmission of in these foci. Therefore, further studies are needed to determine the role of different phlebotomine species in epidemiological aspects of leishmaniasis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12639-018-1027-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6261151PMC
December 2018

Molecular and Serological Detection of in Stray Cats in Shiraz, South-central, Iran.

Iran J Parasitol 2018 Jul-Sep;13(3):430-439

Dept. of Medical Parasitology & Mycology, School of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.

Background: Toxoplasmosis is a global zoonotic disease that causes critical medical complications in neonates and immunocompromised persons. Infection rates in cats, specifically stray cats, are believed to be the best sentry of the level of in the environment. Therefore, in this study, we surveyed infection in stray cats of Shiraz, one of the metropolises of Iran.

Methods: The appearance of antibodies and DNA of in samples from 145 stray cats was determined in order to appraise the prevalence of infection, by MAT and Nested-PCR.

Results: The rate of infection in the cats was 69% by PCR and 82.8% by MAT. Besides, the highest rate of infection was discerned in diaphragm (37.9%) and intercostal muscle (34.5%), while the lowest rate was related to ileum (6.9%). Moreover, the similarity between MAT with titers 1:20, 1:40 and PCR were 79.2% and 86.2%, respectively (=0.02 and =0.0001).

Conclusion: Nested-PCR and MAT are valuable techniques for molecular and serological detection of . The prevalence of infection in stray cats in Shiraz is high.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6243156PMC
November 2018

Sandflies species composition, activity, and natural infection with , parasite identity in lesion isolates of cutaneous leishmaniasis, central Iran.

J Parasit Dis 2018 Jun 25;42(2):252-258. Epub 2018 Apr 25.

2Research Center for Health Sciences, Institute of Health, Department of Medical Entomology and Vector Control, School of Health, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.

Zoonotic cutaneous leishmaniosis (ZCL) is a crucial public health challenge in Iran. Sandflies feed on reservoir rodents' blood infected with parasite and transmit it to other hosts. This study was conducted to find out the composition and monthly activity of sandflies as well as to identify the protozoan pathogens (/) by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in an emerging ZCL focus of Abarkooh, Yazd province, Iran, in 2016. A cross-sectional study was done in rural areas of Abarkooh. From April to November 2016, sticky traps were used indoor and outdoor to capture sandflies once every fortnight. Their composition and monthly activity were recorded. Following identification of sandflies and DNA extraction from them, PCR was used to identify their parasite and match it against samples taken from ZCL confirmed and suspected patients' lesions. After collection, a total of 2045 sandflies (779 indoor, 1266 outdoor) were identified to species level. Sandfly activity started early April in this area with two active peaks (one late May and the other late August) terminated about mid-November. Seven species and three species were identified. The most and the least abundant species were (40.1%) and (0.09%), respectively. Using PCR, only 6% (12:200) of sandflies were infected with parasite. No was detected in either sandflies or human lesions (176 specimen). Based on the highest abundance both indoor and outdoor of , this sandfly was considered the main vector of ZCL in this area. The capture of , , and from rodent burrows showed these species were likely involved in pathogen transmission in reservoir rodents' burrows.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12639-018-0994-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5962503PMC
June 2018

Effect of hydroalcoholic extract of in combination with meglumine antimoniate on treatment of -induced cutaneous leishmaniasis in BALB/c mice.

Int J Appl Basic Med Res 2017 Jan-Mar;7(1):53-56

Department of Parasitology and Mycology, School of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.

Context: Progressive resistance of parasite to available drugs including, meglumine antimoniate, has been reported from various regions of the world, especially Iran.

Aims: This study was conducted to evaluate the effect of hydroalcoholic extract of in a combination therapy with glucantime in the treatment of cutaneous leishmaniasis caused by .

Materials And Methods: Hydroalcoholic extract of was prepared from the plant. Amastigote form of was inoculated to the tail base of thirty mice. After their tails became wounded, mice were divided into six groups. The first group was used as control and the second group received 100 mg/kg of Echinacea extract (orally). The third group was treated by meglumine antimoniate with dose of 20 mg/kg. Combination therapy was used for group four, five, and six where the mice received a different concentration of extract (100-200 mg/kg) and glucantime (10-20 mg/kg). The size of the cutaneous lesion on tail base was measured regularly. Findings were analyzed by SPSS software and using Kruskal-Wallis test.

Results: The sizes of the lesion were increased in all mice of control group by the time. The mean size of lesions in mice receiving the extract and/or receiving the extract along with meglumine antimoniate was lower than those of control mice, but the differences were not statistically significant ( > 0.05). On the other hand, the differences between the group of mice which received meglumine antimoniate alone, and the rest of groups were statistically significant ( < 0.05).

Conclusion: extract in doses which have been used in this study and combination with meglumine antimoniate was not much effective against in BALB/C mice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4103/2229-516X.198524DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5327608PMC
March 2017

In vitro efficacy of ethanolic extract of Artemisia absinthium (Asteraceae) against Leishmania major L. using cell sensitivity and flow cytometry assays.

J Parasit Dis 2016 Sep 20;40(3):735-40. Epub 2014 Sep 20.

Department of Medical Entomology and Vector Control, Research Centre for Health Sciences, School of Health, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, P.O. Box 71645-111, Shiraz, Iran.

Leishmaniasis is one of the most neglected human diseases with an estimated global burden ranking second in mortality and fourth in morbidity among the tropical infections. Chemotherapy involving the use of drugs like glucantime is the mainstay treatment in endemic areas of Iran. Drug resistance is increasingly prevalent, so search for alternative therapy is gathering pace. Medicinal herbs, like wormwood Artemisia, have chemical compounds effective against a number of pathogens. In this study, the efficacy of ethanol extract from Artemisia absinthium (Asteraceae) against Leishmania major L. was investigated in vitro. The outcome of different effective doses (1-40 mg/ml) of ethanol extracts from this medicinal herb, A. absinthium, on a standard Iranian parasite strain of L. major was examined. The L. major promastigote cell sensitivity and mortality or viability effects due to the addition of herbal extract were measured using the MTT assay and the flow cytometry technique, respectively. There was complete agreement between the two assays. The lethal concentration (LC50) was measured as 101 mg/ml. Some contrasting relationships between the medicinal herb concentrations and the viability of parasites were observed; so that there was an increased multiplication of the parasite at low concentrations of the drug, but an anti-parasitic apoptotic effect was seen at high concentrations of A. absinthium. It was concluded that there might be one or more chemical constituents within the herbal extract of wormwood which at high concentration controlled cell division and affected the relevant activity within the only one giant mitochondrion in this flagellate parasite. At low doses, however, it showed the opposite effect of leading to mitotic cell divisions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12639-014-0569-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4996182PMC
September 2016

Natural transovarial and transstadial transmission of Leishmania infantum by naïve Rhipicephalus sanguineus ticks blood feeding on an endemically infected dog in Shiraz, south of Iran.

Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg 2016 07;110(7):408-13

Research Centre for Health Sciences, Department of Medical Entomology and Vector Control, School of Health, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

Background: The visceral leishmaniasis parasite, Leishmania infantum, is naturally transmitted through the bites of phlebotomine sand flies. Alternative routes of transmission are questioned. The main aim is to verify the passage of L. infantum kDNA in ticks, Rhipicephalus sanguineus, blood feeding on a parasitemic dog in Shiraz, south of Iran.

Methods: A total of 180 Leishmania-free ticks collected from fields and bred on lab rodents, were divided into eight groups and allowed to feed on a dog (Canis familiaris) for fixed periods of time. These and all third generation stages of ticks were checked for L. infantum kDNA using conventional PCR protocol.

Results: The infection rate was significantly higher in female than male ticks (p=0.043). The rates were higher among nymphs (25/60; 42%) than adult ticks (37/120; 30.8%). The kDNA of L. infantum was not detected in ticks 24 h post-feeding. It was, however, positive among the second to fourth groups of nymphs (4/10; 40%, 10/20; 50% and 11/20; 55%) and adult (12/30; 40%, 14/30; 46.6% and 11/30; 36.6%) ticks. Eggs and unfed larvae recovered from the third and fourth adult groups (2 weeks, 4 weeks) were 100% PCR-positive. The data revealed the passage of L. infantum kDNA in nymphs and adults of brown dog tick following fixed time intervals post blood feeding on an infected dog.

Conclusions: The natural transovarial and transstadial passage of kDNA through ticks was shown by PCR.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/trstmh/trw041DOI Listing
July 2016

Protozoan Parasites of Rodents and Their Zoonotic Significance in Boyer-Ahmad District, Southwestern Iran.

Vet Med Int 2016 21;2016:3263868. Epub 2016 Feb 21.

Department of Parasitology and Mycology, School of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.

Backgrounds. Wild rodents are reservoirs of various zoonotic diseases, such as toxoplasmosis, babesiosis, and leishmaniasis. The current study aimed to assess the protozoan infection of rodents in Boyer-Ahmad district, southwestern Iran. Materials and Methods. A total of 52 rodents were collected from different parts of Boyer-Ahmad district, in Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad province, using Sherman live traps. Each rodent was anesthetized with ether, according to the ethics of working with animals, and was dissected. Samples were taken from various tissues and stool samples were collected from the contents of the colon and small intestines. Moreover, 2 to 5 mL of blood was taken from each of the rodents and the sera were examined for anti-Leishmania antibodies, by ELISA, or anti-T. gondii antibodies, by modified agglutination test (MAT). DNA was extracted from brain tissue samples of each rodent and PCR was used to identify the DNA of T. gondii. Results. Of the 52 stool samples of rodents studied by parasitological methods, intestinal protozoa infection was seen in 28 cases (53.8%). From 52 rodents, 19 (36.5%) were infected with Trichomonas, 10 (19.2%) with Giardia muris, and 11 (21.2%) with Entamoeba spp. Also, 10 cases (19.2%) were infected with Blastocystis, 3 (5.8%) were infected with Chilomastix, 7 (13.5%) were infected with Endolimax, 1 (1.9%) was infected with Retortamonas, 3 (5.77%) were infected with T. gondii, and 6 (11.54%) were infected with Trypanosoma lewisi. Antibodies to T. gondii were detected in the sera of 5 (9.61%) cases. Results of the molecular study showed T. gondii infection in 3 (5.77%) of the rodents. Findings of this study showed that rodents in Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad province, southwestern Iran, are infected with several blood and intestinal parasites; some of them might be potential risks to residents and domestic animals in the region.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/3263868DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4779541PMC
March 2016

Prevalence of Intestinal Parasites among Food-handlers in Shiraz, Iran.

Iran J Parasitol 2015 Oct-Dec;10(4):652-7

Dept. of Medical Parasitology and Mycology, School of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.

Background: Parasitic intestinal infections are still among socioeconomic problems in the world, especially in developing countries like Iran. Food-handlers that directly deal with production and distribution of foods between societies are one of the most important sources to transmit parasitic infections to humans. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of intestinal parasitic infections among food-handlers in Shiraz, Iran.

Methods: In this cross-sectional study, 1021 feces samples were randomly collected from food-handlers in Shiraz, central Iran from August to September 2013. Two different methods, routine direct fecal examination and Formalin -Ethyl acetate concentration as a complementary technique, were done to detect parasites.

Results: The prevalence of parasitic organisms was 10.4% in the food-handlers. The most species of the protozoan parasites were G. lamblia, E. coli and B. hominis; meanwhile, only one infection by H. nana (0.1%) was detected in this group. Mixed infections were observed in 13.2% (n=14/106) of positive cases. The majority of participants were male (57%); however, data analysis showed significant statistical difference in the rate of infection between females 11.9% (n=53/444) and males 9% (n=52/577) (P=0. 024). There was no significant statistical difference in the rate of infection among different educational and occupation groups.

Conclusion: Although decreasing of helminthic infections is distinct, but infecting with protozoan parasites is still important in food-handlers. Concentration technique is more useful than direct smear technique, especially for detection parasites in low number. High level of education in our study showed that training courses in this group could be effective in the implementation of control and prevention programs.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4724844PMC
January 2016

Anti-Toxoplasma Activity of 2-(Naphthalene-2-γlthiol)-1H Indole.

Iran J Parasitol 2015 Apr-Jun;10(2):171-80

Dept. of Parasitology and Mycology, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.

Background: This study was undertaken to evaluate the viability, infectivity and immunity of Toxoplasma gondii tachyzoites exposed to 2-(naphthalene-2-ylthio)-1H-indole.

Methods: Tachyzoites of RH strain were incubated in various concentrations of 2-(naphthalene-2-ylthio)-1H-indole (25-800 μM) for 1.5 hours. Then, they were stained by PI and analyzed by Fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS). To evaluate the infectivity, the tachyzoites exposed to the different concentrations of the compound were inoculated to 10 BALB/c mice groups. For Control, parasites exposed to DMSO (0.2% v/v) were also intraperitoneally inoculated into two groups of mice. The immunity of the exposed tachyzoites was evaluated by inoculation of the naïve parasite to the survived mice.

Results: The LD50 of 2-(naphthalene-2-ylthio)-1H-indole was 57 μmol. The longevity of mice was dose dependent. Five mice out of group 400μmol and 3 out of group 800μmol showed immunization to the parasite.

Conclusion: Our findings demonstrated the toxoplasmocidal activity of the compound. The presence of a well-organized transporter mechanism for indole compounds within the parasite in conjunction with several effective mechanisms of these compounds on Toxoplasma viability would open a window for production of new drugs and vaccines.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4522292PMC
August 2015

Molecular Survey on Detection of Leishmania Infection in Rodent Reservoirs in Jahrom District, Southern Iran.

J Arthropod Borne Dis 2014 Dec 9;8(2):139-46. Epub 2014 Apr 9.

Department of Internal Medicine, Jahrom University of Medical Sciences, Jahrom, Iran.

Background: Zoonotic Cutaneous Leishmaniasis (ZCL) is endemic in many parts of Iran. Recently its incidence is considerable in different parts of Jahrom district, in Fars Province, southern Iran. The aims of our study were to investigate the prevalence of leishmania infection, and identify and characterize the Leishmania species present, among the rodents by molecular methods in a new endemic focus of ZCL, in an urban and rural area of the Jahrom district, Fars Province, southern Iran.

Methods: From May to November 2010), 55 rodents in four regions of Jahrom focus were caught and checked for leishmania infection by the microscopical examination of liver, spleen, ears, and footpads' smears.

Results: Overall 18 Meriones persicus, 15 Tatera indica, 14 Mus musculus, and 8 Rattus rattus were caught. Totally, four (16.5%) and two (13.3%) of the Me. persicus and Ta. indica, but only one of Mu. musculus and Ra. rattus were found smear-positive for leishmania amastigotes, respectively. In the nested-PCR assay 8 (14.6%) smears were found positive for Leishmania major, none was found positive for any other Leishmania species. Sequencing based detection of Leishmania confirmed the microscopic and PCR findings. All positive specimens were shown 95-96% similarity with L. major Friedlin.

Conclusion: Tatera indica and Me. persicus are incriminated as the main 'reservoir' hosts of L. major in the rural area of Jahrom, moreover, Mu. musculus and Ra. rattus have the minor but remarkable role in the maintenance of the disease in the urban regions of Jahrom focus.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4478425PMC
December 2014

Toxoplasma gondii: sexual transmission in mice.

J Parasit Dis 2015 Jun 20;39(2):253-7. Epub 2013 Jun 20.

Stem Cell and Transgenic Technology Research Center, Department of Pathology, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.

This study was performed to evaluate sexual transmission of Toxoplasma gondii in mice. RH strain tachyzoites were intraperitoneally inoculated into 10 Balb/C male mice and after 48 h, their semen were collected from epididymis and examined by giemsa staining and PCR. Twenty Balb/C female mice mated with four infected male mice four times and any mating time was 48 h whilst 20 female control mice mated with four uninfected male mice for 8 days. Female mate choice was assessed using a three-chambered cage. Four female mice were placed in a central chamber and in one side of it, two infected male mice were kept and in other side, two naïve male mice were placed. Due each quarter, every of the female movement was reported and then the female was replaced to middle chamber. Besides on the detection of DNA and whole parasite in semen, no abortion and death was seen in female mice. Pregnancy was seen only 4 out of 20 female mice which mated with infected males while 17 pregnancies were seen from 20 control female mice (P value = 0.0001). No statistical significant was seen in female mate choice between naïve male (45 movement) and infected male (36 movement). This study showed that toxoplasmosis could not transmit to female mice and their offspring due to mating and the parasite had not effect on female mate choice. It seems that infected male mice cannot entirely mate with females due to reduction of male weapon and body size, physiological vigor and energy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12639-013-0330-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4456535PMC
June 2015

Molecular and Serological Evaluation of Toxoplasma gondii Infection in Reared Turkeys in Fars Province, Iran.

Jundishapur J Microbiol 2014 Jul 1;7(7):e11598. Epub 2014 Jul 1.

Basic Sciences in Infectious Diseases Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, IR Iran.

Background: Toxoplasmosis is a parasitic disease caused by the protozoan Toxoplasma gondii. This parasite infects most of warm-blooded animals, including birds. Turkeys are one of these animals which might be infected by this parasite. Little is known about the prevalence of T. gondii in turkeys in Iran.

Objectives: The current study aimed to evaluate the rate of Toxoplasma infection in turkeys in Fars Province, Southern Iran.

Materials And Methods: Sera and tissues (brain, neck and tongue) of 54 turkeys were collected from Shiraz slaughterhouse in Fars province. Anti-Toxoplasma antibodies were assessed in the collected sera using modified agglutination test (MAT), while tissues were evaluated by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and bioassay methods.

Results: T. gondii antibodies (MAT titer: ≥ 1:40) were found in 89.8% of turkeys. T. gondii DNA was detected in 61.6% of turkey tissues and brain had the highest rate of infection. Brain tissues from each animal were bioassayed and Toxoplasma tissue cysts were found in 11.5% and Toxoplasma DNA in 62% of inoculated mice.

Conclusions: Results of this study validated a relatively high level of Toxoplasma infection in reared turkeys and turkey meat might be considered as an infection sources for human.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.5812/jjm.11598DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4216580PMC
July 2014

Taurine improves the wound healing process in cutaneous leishmaniasis in mice model, based on stereological parameters.

Adv Biomed Res 2014 7;3:204. Epub 2014 Oct 7.

Histomorphometry and Stereology Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.

Background: Cutaneous Leishmaniasis is a self-limiting disease caused by protozoan parasites of the genus Leishmania, which affects the skin with full-thickness wounds, which are prone to scar formation even after treatment. Taurine (Tu) is one of the most abundant amino acids that has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, which play an important role in the process of wound healing. Herein, we have investigated the effects of Tu on cutaneous Leishmaniasis wounds and L. major promastigotes.

Materials And Methods: Eighteen mice were induced with Leishmaniasis wounds (with L. Major) on the base of their tails and divided into three groups, T1: Treated with Tu injection, T2: Treated with Tu gel, and C: No treatment. Treatments were carried out every 24 hours for 21 days. The volume densities of the collagen bundles and vessels, vessel's length density and diameter, and fibroblast populations were estimated by stereological methods. Flow cytometry was used in order to investigate the direct Tu effect on parasites. The Mann-Whitney U test was used and P ≤ 0.05 was considered to be statistically significant.

Results: The numerical density of the fibroblasts, volume density of the collagen bundles, and length densities of the vessels in groups T1 and T2 were significantly higher than in group C (P < 0.05). The fibroblast numerical density of group T1 was higher than that of group T2 (P = 0.02). Incidentally, Tu had no direct effect on L. major parasites according to the flow cytometry analysis.

Conclusion: Tu showed the ability to improve the wound healing process and tissue regeneration although it had no direct anti-leishmaniasis effect.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4103/2277-9175.142314DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4202507PMC
October 2014

Knowledge, attitude, and practices related to cutaneous leishmaniasis in an endemic focus of cutaneous leishmaniasis, Southern Iran.

Asian Pac J Trop Biomed 2014 Jul;4(7):566-9

Department of Parasitology and Mycology, School of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.

Objective: To assess knowledge, attitudes, and practices (KAP) of inhabitants of an endemic area in Fars province toward cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL).

Methods: The study was carried out in Lapui district in Fars province, south of Iran, one of the most important foci of CL in this province. Sample size (237 residents) was calculated based on population. House-to-house survey was done to collect the data regarding knowledge, attitudes, and practices of the inhabitants. The head of each household was interviewed by a trained staff to assess his/her KAP related to CL. A semi-structured KAP questionnaire was used for data collection.

Results: Mean age of participants was 39 and more than half of the respondents were in the age group of 31-40. Males constituted 172 (72.5%) of subjects. Most of the respondents (84.3%) were literate. The majority of the study population (83%) had heard about Salak (local name for CL) and most of these respondents (91%) were aware that CL is presented with a cutaneous lesion. Nearly two-third of the participants (63.5%) stated the bite of mosquito (not specifically sandflies) for CL transmission. The respondents' attitude regarding the treatment of CL was not satisfactory since only 48% believed that CL can be treated by medicine. A noticeable proportion of respondents (21%) believed in indigenous medicine for the treatment of CL. A small proportion of respondents (14%) stated that traditional healers are good at treating this disease. More than two-third (69%) of respondents believed that the disease is preventable although most of interviewees did not know about preventive measures.

Conclusions: In this study, insufficient knowledge of community about infection nature, vector, transmission mode and preventive measures of CL, highlights the needs for a health education initiative to enhance the awareness of people about CL. This would improve inhabitants' contribution in control program of CL in this area.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.12980/APJTB.4.2014C744DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4032832PMC
July 2014

In Vitro and In Vivo Potential of RH Strain of Toxoplasma gondii (Type I) in Tissue Cyst Forming.

Iran J Parasitol 2013 Jul;8(3):367-75

Dept. of Medical Parasitology and Mycology, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran ; Center for Research of Endemic Parasites of Iran, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

Background: Based on recent studies, there are controversial reports on the capacity of tissue cyst forming of Toxoplasma gondii RH strain. In this study, the capacity was evaluated by in vivo and in vitro experiments.

Methods: RH strain was subcutaneously inoculated to ten Wistar rats. After one month, their blood, brain, tongue and diaphragm were collected and evaluated by MAT, PCR, pathological and bioassay methods. The parasite was cultivated in the cell monolayer. To change to bradyzoite, the media pH was altered to 6.8. Biological aspect of the bradyzoites was evaluated by incubation in acidic pepsin and it's inoculation in ten BALB/c mice.

Results: All rats showed antibodies to Toxoplasma at titers ≥1:320 but no DNA and tissue cyst were detected in the tissues. Following intraperitoneal inoculation of rats' brain homogenate into BALB/c mice, no infection was established in none of the animals. During presence of cell culture, in acid media for a 3-5 days period, cyst-like structures were noticed when they were stained with PAS. The visible bradyzoites in the cysts that were incubated in acid pepsin medium were not able to kill any mice.

Conclusion: This study confirmed that Iranian RH strain has lost the potential of tissue cyst forming in rats and bradyzoites cultivated in cell culture lost their resistance to acidic condition, so this strain can be a candidate for future vaccine researches.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3887236PMC
July 2013

Direct Effect of Two Naphthalene-Sulfonyl-Indole Compounds on Toxoplasma gondii Tachyzoite.

J Parasitol Res 2013 21;2013:716976. Epub 2013 Oct 21.

Department of Parasitology and Mycology, Faculty of Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran 14177613191, Iran ; Department of Parasitology and Mycology, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.

Past studies have stated that the parasitostatic effect of IFN-γ is most likely due to the starvation of Toxoplasma gondii for tryptophan in the host cell. The aim of this study was to evaluate the direct effect of two new Naphthalene-Sulfonyl-Indole compounds as competitive molecules for tryptophan on viability and infectivity of Toxoplasma tachyzoites. Tachyzoites of RH strain were incubated in various concentrations (25-800 μM) of 1-(naphthalene-2-sulfonyl)-2,3-dihydro-1H-indole and 1-[5-(2,3-dihydro-1H-indole-1-sulfonyl)naphthalene-1-sulfonyl]-2,3-dihydro-1H-indole for 1.5 hours. Then, they were stained by PI and analyzed by FACS. To evaluate the infectivity, 2 × 10(6) tachyzoites exposed to the concentrations mentioned above were intraperitoneally inoculated into five mice from each group. Also, naïve parasites and parasites exposed to DMSO (control) were inoculated in both groups of mice. The LD50 of 1-(naphthalene-2-sulfonyl)-2,3-dihydro-1H-indole was 62 μmol whilst the quantity of 1-[5-(2,3-dihydro-1H-indole-1-sulfonyl)naphthalene-1-sulfonyl]-2,3-dihydro-1H-indole was more than 800 μmol. The infectivity of tachyzoites exposed to both of the compounds preserved and killed mice. No statistical correlation was seen between longevity of mice groups and different doses of the compounds. If we consider a well-organized transporter mechanism for indole compounds in the parasite, thus the designation of an antagonist that has indole groups can assist with the production of new drugs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/716976DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3818922PMC
November 2013

Toxocara nematodes in stray cats from shiraz, southern iran: intensity of infection and molecular identification of the isolates.

Iran J Parasitol 2013 Oct;8(4):593-600

Department of Medical Parasitology and Mycology, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran ; Center for Research of Endemic Parasites of Iran (CREPI), Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

Background: Toxocara is a common nematode of cats in different parts of Iran. Despite the close association of cats with human, no attempt has been done so far for molecular identification of this nematode in the country. Therefore, current study was performed on identification of some isolates of Toxocara from stray cats in Shiraz, Fars Province, Southern Iran, based on morphological and molecular approaches, and also determination of intensity of infection.

Methods: This cross-sectional study was carried out on 30 stray cats trapped from different geographical areas of Shiraz in 2011. Adult male and female worms were recovered from digestive tract after dissection of cats. Morphological features using existing keys and PCR-sequencing of ITS-rDNA region and pcox1 mitochondrial l gene were applied for the delineating the species of the parasites.

Results: Eight out of 30 cats (26.7%) were found infected with Toxocara nematodes. All the isolates were confirmed as Toxocara cati based on morphological features and the sequence of ribosomal and mitochondrial targets. Intensity of infection ranged from one to a maximum of 39 worms per cat, with a mean of 10.25±12.36, and higher abundance of female nematodes.

Conclusion: The most prevalent ascaridoid nematode of stray cats in the study area was T. cati and female nematodes were more abundant than that of males. This issue has important role in spreading of eggs in the environment and impact on human toxocariasis.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4266124PMC
October 2013

Molecular Genotyping of Toxoplasma gondii in Human Spontaneous Aborted Fetuses in Shiraz, Southern Iran.

Iran J Public Health 2013 1;42(6):620-5. Epub 2013 Jun 1.

Dept. of Parasitology and Mycology, School of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.

Background: Congenital toxoplasmosis is associated with variable complications including encephalitis, microcephaly, hydrocephaly, hepatitis, lymphadenopathy and even intrauterine death. Presence of Toxoplasma gondii in human placenta may induce congenital infection. The aim of this study was to determine the genotypes of Toxoplasma gondii infection in human spontaneous aborted fetuses in Shiraz, south of Iran.

Methods: Five hundred and forty two paraffin-embedded blocks of aborted placenta were collected, from two university-affiliated hospitals in Shiraz. Occurrence of spontaneous abortion was confirmed by examine of the slides. After re-cutting of the blocks and dewaxing, semi-nested PCR assay was used to detect the fragments of T. gondii B1 gene in the samples. Also direct molecular genotyping was performed on positive samples with Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism-PCR analysis on the SAG2 gene.

Results: Among the 542 tissue samples, the B1 gene was amplified from 78 (14.4%) of cases with the semi nested PCR and typed by RFLP. The genotype of Toxoplasma strains of 65 (out of 78) PCR-positive samples were evaluated and 54 out of 65 (83.1%) were found to be type II and 11 out of 65 (16.9%) were type I.

Conclusion: Considering the high level of Toxoplasma infection in aborted fetuses in this study, Toxoplasma might largely contribute to spontaneous abortion in this area of Iran.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3744259PMC
August 2013