Publications by authors named "Róbert Farkas"

132 Publications

Ticks and Tick-Borne Infections of Dogs in Two Jordanian Shelters.

Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis 2021 Jun 2. Epub 2021 Jun 2.

Department of Parasitology and Zoology, University of Veterinary Medicine, Budapest, Hungary.

Shelters in Jordan accommodate a huge number of dogs, which are rescued as stray dogs from different cities of the country, but their health receives almost no attention. The aim of this study was to examine tick infestation as well as tick-borne protozoa and bacteria of 80 randomly sampled dogs in two Jordanian shelters. Ticks identified as lato were found on 14 out of 27 animals in a shelter. No ticks were found on dogs in the other shelter. A total of 42 (52.5% [95% confidence interval: 41.7-63.1]) dogs were infected with one or two pathogens. The DNA of three protozoal (, , and ) and two bacterial ( and Bartonella merieuxii) species were detected in the blood samples. To the best of the authors' knowledge, except for , these species are reported for the first time from Jordan.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/vbz.2021.0026DOI Listing
June 2021

Characterization of the Arion vulgaris pedal gland system.

J Morphol 2020 09 10;281(9):1059-1071. Epub 2020 Jul 10.

Faculty of Life Science, Core Facility Cell Imaging and Ultrastructure Research, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.

The most common European gastropod species, Arion vulgaris, is one of the most troublesome pests for private garden owners and commercial agriculturists. The sticky and hard to remove secretion produced by these animals allows them to overcome most artificial and natural barriers. However, this highly adherent biopolymer has recently shown great potential for novel wound-healing applications in medicine. Nevertheless, our knowledge of the underlying gland system is still limited and few studies on the ventral gland system are available. We studied the lateral and ventral pedal glands in Arion vulgaris to determine their secretory content histochemically and through lectin assays. Using these histological and histochemical methods we differentiate five gland types with different mucus composition in the lateral pedal region of the foot of Arion vulgaris. These contain sulphated and carboxylated mucosubstances (positive Alcian blue staining) but lack hexose-containing mucosubstances (negative PAS staining). In the ventral pedal region, four gland types can be differentiated producing sulphated and carboxylated mucosubstances. Within the ventral mucus, a high affinity for the lectins PNA and WGA is observed. While the lateral glands are histochemically negative for PAS, a positive staining with the lectin JAC is observed. Arion vulgaris shows clear morphological differences from other arionid species. This raises the question whether the variation in the chemistry of the secretory material and mucus composition is the result of different functions and/or is related to the animals' different environmental conditions. A comparison of some glands of Arion vulgaris with those of the helicid species Helix pomatia and Cepaea hortensis indicates morphological similarities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jmor.21231DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7496283PMC
September 2020

Assessment of the results and hematological side effects of 3D conformal and IMRT/ARC therapies delivered during craniospinal irradiation of childhood tumors with a follow-up period of five years.

BMC Cancer 2020 Jul 29;20(1):702. Epub 2020 Jul 29.

Oncology Unit, Clinical Center, Department of Pediatrics Pécs, University of Pécs, József Attila út 7, Pécs, 7623, Hungary.

Background: Craniospinal irradiation (CSI) of childhood tumors with the RapidArc technique is a new method of treatment. Our objective was to compare the acute hematological toxicity pattern during 3D conformal radiotherapy with the application of the novel technique.

Methods: Data from patients treated between 2007 and 2014 were collected, and seven patients were identified in both treatment groups. After establishing a general linear model, acute blood toxicity results were obtained using SPSS software. Furthermore, the exposure dose of the organs at risk was compared. Patients were followed for a minimum of 5 years, and progression-free survival and overall survival data were assessed.

Results: After assessment of the laboratory parameters in the two groups, it may be concluded that no significant differences were detected in terms of the mean dose exposures of the normal tissues or the acute hematological side effects during the IMRT/ARC and 3D conformal treatments. Laboratory parameters decreased significantly compared to the baseline values during the treatment weeks. Nevertheless, no significant differences were detected between the two groups. No remarkable differences were confirmed between the two groups regarding the five-year progression-free survival or overall survival, and no signs of serious organ toxicity due to irradiation were observed during the follow-up period in either of the groups.

Conclusion: The RapidArc technique can be used safely even in the treatment of childhood tumors, as the extent of the exposure dose in normal tissues and the amount of acute hematological side effects are not higher with this technique.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12885-020-07168-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7388493PMC
July 2020

Implementation of eHealth and AI integrated diagnostics with multidisciplinary digitized data: are we ready from an international perspective?

Eur Radiol 2020 Oct 6;30(10):5510-5524. Epub 2020 May 6.

Institute of Applied Medical Engineering, Helmholtz Institute, University Hospital Aachen, RWTH Aachen University, Pauwelsstr. 20, 52074, Aachen, Germany.

Digitization of medicine requires systematic handling of the increasing amount of health data to improve medical diagnosis. In this context, the integration of the versatile diagnostic information, e.g., from anamnesis, imaging, histopathology, and clinical chemistry, and its comprehensive analysis by artificial intelligence (AI)-based tools is expected to improve diagnostic precision and the therapeutic conduct. However, the complex medical environment poses a major obstacle to the translation of integrated diagnostics into clinical research and routine. There is a high need to address aspects like data privacy, data integration, interoperability standards, appropriate IT infrastructure, and education of staff. Besides this, a plethora of technical, political, and ethical challenges exists. This is complicated by the high diversity of approaches across Europe. Thus, we here provide insights into current international activities on the way to digital comprehensive diagnostics. This includes a technical view on challenges and solutions for comprehensive diagnostics in terms of data integration and analysis. Current data communications standards and common IT solutions that are in place in hospitals are reported. Furthermore, the international hospital digitalization scoring and the European funding situation were analyzed. In addition, the regional activities in radiomics and the related publication trends are discussed. Our findings show that prerequisites for comprehensive diagnostics have not yet been sufficiently established throughout Europe. The manifold activities are characterized by a heterogeneous digitization progress and they are driven by national efforts. This emphasizes the importance of clear governance, concerted investments, and cooperation at various levels in the health systems.Key Points• Europe is characterized by heterogeneity in its digitization progress with predominantly national efforts. Infrastructural prerequisites for comprehensive diagnostics are not given and not sufficiently funded throughout Europe, which is particularly true for data integration.• The clinical establishment of comprehensive diagnostics demands for a clear governance, significant investments, and cooperation at various levels in the healthcare systems.• While comprehensive diagnostics is on its way, concerted efforts should be taken in Europe to get consensus concerning interoperability and standards, security, and privacy as well as ethical and legal concerns.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00330-020-06874-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7476980PMC
October 2020

Detection of Flea-Borne Pathogens from Cats and Fleas in a Maltese Shelter.

Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis 2020 07 8;20(7):529-534. Epub 2020 Apr 8.

Department of Parasitology and Zoology, University of Veterinary Medicine, Budapest, Hungary.

In a sanctuary located on the island of Malta, 23 clinically healthy cats randomly selected were sampled for blood and fleas. Only fleas were collected from 35 cats. All fleas were identified as , except for one specimen of . To the best of the authors' knowledge, this may be the first time to establish the occurrence of and , as well as of Mycoplasma haemominutum in the blood samples of 11 cats (47.82% [95% CI: 29.33-67.04]) with conventional PCR assays. One or more pathogens were found in 54 (96.42% [95% CI: 86.74-99.70]) out of 56 pooled flea samples, the most prevalent was . The DNA of , the commonest etiological agent of cat scratch disease, was detected first time in a pooled flea sample of a cat.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/vbz.2019.2553DOI Listing
July 2020

Efficacy of a novel oral chewable tablet containing sarolaner, moxidectin and pyrantel (Simparica Trio™) against natural flea and tick infestations on dogs presented as veterinary patients in Europe.

Parasit Vectors 2020 Mar 1;13(1):72. Epub 2020 Mar 1.

Department of Parasitology and Zoology, University of Veterinary Medicine, István u. 2, Budapest, 1078, Hungary.

Background: A novel chewable oral tablet containing sarolaner, moxidectin and pyrantel (Simparica Trio™) has recently been developed to provide persistent protection against flea and tick infections for a month, treatment of hookworm and roundworm infections and prevention of heartworm and lungworm disease in dogs. Two field studies were conducted to evaluate the safety and efficacy of Simparica Trio™ against natural flea and tick infestations on dogs in Europe.

Methods: Dogs with natural flea or tick infestations were allocated randomly to treatment on Day 0 with either Simparica Trio™ tablets (flea study: n = 297; tick study: n = 189) to provide 1.2-2.4 mg/kg sarolaner, 24-48 µg/kg moxidectin and 5-10 mg/kg pyrantel (as pamoate salt) or with NexGard® Spectra (afoxolaner + milbemycin oxime) according to the label instructions (flea study: n = 164; tick study: n = 91). Efficacy was calculated based on the mean percent reduction in live parasite counts compared to the respective pre-treatment counts on Days 14 and 30 in the flea study and on Days 7, 14, 21 and 30 in the tick study. To count the fleas, the dog's entire coat was systematically combed using an extra fine-tooth flea comb until all fleas were removed. For the tick counts, the dog's entire coat was searched manually. Resolution of the clinical signs of flea allergy dermatitis (FAD) was assessed in flea allergic dogs in the flea study. Palatability was assessed in both studies.

Results: Simparica Trio™ was well tolerated in both studies. Efficacy against fleas was ≥ 97.9% in the Simparica Trio™ group and ≥ 96.1% in the NexGard® Spectra group. Efficacy against ticks was ≥ 94.8% in the Simparica Trio™ group and ≥ 94.4% in the NexGard® Spectra group. Clinical signs of flea allergy dermatitis improved following treatment with Simparica Trio™. Simparica Trio™ tablets were voluntarily and fully consumed on ≥ 78% of the 485 occasions they were offered.

Conclusions: A single oral dose of Simparica Trio™ was safe and highly efficacious against naturally occurring flea and tick infestations for 1 month on dogs. Clinical signs of FAD improved following treatment. Simparica Trio™ was voluntarily and readily consumed by most dogs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13071-020-3946-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7049391PMC
March 2020

Field efficacy and safety of a novel oral chewable tablet containing sarolaner, moxidectin and pyrantel (Simparica Trio™) against naturally acquired gastrointestinal nematode infections in dogs presented as veterinary patients in Europe and the USA.

Parasit Vectors 2020 Mar 1;13(1):70. Epub 2020 Mar 1.

Department of Parasitology and Zoology, University of Veterinary Medicine, István u. 2, 1078, Budapest, Hungary.

Background: Gastrointestinal nematodes are parasites that commonly infect dogs, and infections can be subclinical or may cause considerable clinical disease. Some species are zoonotic and may also cause clinical disease in humans. Year-round treatment of dogs is recommended to eliminate existing infections, which also indirectly reduces the potential for subsequent human exposure to zoonotic species. Here we present two studies that evaluated the safety and efficacy of a novel chewable oral tablet containing sarolaner, moxidectin and pyrantel against gastrointestinal nematode infections in dogs presented as veterinary patients in Europe and the USA.

Methods: Dogs naturally infected with Toxocara canis, Toxascaris leonina, Ancylostoma caninum and/or Uncinaria stenocephala were enrolled in the European study, and dogs naturally infected with T. canis were enrolled in the USA study. The animals were treated once orally with Simparica Trio™ tablets to provide 1.2-2.4 mg/kg sarolaner, 24-48 µg/kg moxidectin and 5-10 mg/kg pyrantel (as pamoate salt) or with a commercially available product according to the label directions as positive control. Efficacy was based on the post-treatment reduction in geometric mean egg counts (per gram feces) 7 or 10 days after treatment compared to pre-treatment egg counts.

Results: Simparica Trio™ was well tolerated in both studies. In the European study, geometric mean egg counts for T. canis, T. leonina, A. caninum and U. stenocephala were reduced by ≥ 98.3% in the Simparica Trio™ group and by ≥ 97.4% in the afoxolaner + milbemycin oxime group. In the USA study, geometric mean egg counts for T. canis were reduced by 99.2% in the Simparica Trio™ group and by 98.6% in the ivermectin + pyrantel group. In the USA study, 48 and 10 dogs in the Simparica Trio™ and the ivermectin + pyrantel group, respectively, were co-infected with A. caninum and the reduction in the post-treatment mean fecal egg counts were 98.6% and 74.7%, respectively.

Conclusions: A single oral administration of Simparica Trio™ chewable tablets was well tolerated and was effective in the treatment of dogs with naturally occurring gastrointestinal nematode infections presented as veterinary patients in Europe and the USA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13071-020-3947-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7049394PMC
March 2020

Checklist of the hard tick (Acari: Ixodidae) fauna of Hungary with emphasis on host-associations and the emergence of Rhipicephalus sanguineus.

Exp Appl Acarol 2020 Mar 6;80(3):311-328. Epub 2020 Feb 6.

Department of Parasitology and Zoology, University of Veterinary Medicine, Budapest, Hungary.

Hungary is situated in the southern part of Central Europe, next to the northern boundary of the Mediterranean region. This geographical position may allow the northward expansion of Mediterranean ixodid tick species into Hungary, particularly in the era of warming climate. During the past 14 years numerous surveys have been published on the species and activity of hard ticks occurring in the country. However, it was 60 years ago that the last comprehensive review of ixodid ticks of Hungary was published, and only in Hungarian language. The purpose of the present checklist is to provide a comprehensive and complete overview of the ixodid fauna of Hungary, based on tick reports published so far in Hungarian or English, also including hitherto unpublished data. Altogether 27 hard tick species were identified in Hungary, of which 21 can be regarded as indigenous. Most importantly, the autochthonous occurrence of Rhipicephalus sanguineus sensu lato was not known prior to 2005, but during the last 14 years increasing numbers of cases have been reported, attesting the emergence of this tick species in Hungary. Whereas R. sanguineus sensu lato was always associated with dogs and cats in Hungary, other tick species show differences in host associations according to habitat type, seasonal activity and questing height. Changes in the distribution, abundance and seasonality of a few tick species were also noted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10493-019-00461-6DOI Listing
March 2020

The current situation of canine dirofilariosis in Hungary.

Parasitol Res 2020 Jan 21;119(1):129-135. Epub 2019 Nov 21.

Centre for Bioinformatics, University of Veterinary Medicine, István u. 2, Budapest, H-1078, Hungary.

Between April and September 2017, blood samples were collected from 344 randomly selected dogs older than 1 year in 180 settlements of 19 counties in Hungary. The dogs lived exclusively outdoors, had never travelled and had neither been examined for Dirofilaria infection nor treated against mosquitoes with insecticides or/and filarioid worms with macrocyclic lactones. Dirofilaria infection was examined with a modified Knott's test for microfilariae, DiroCHEK®, for the presence of D. immitis antigen, as well as by multiplex and conventional PCR. Altogether, 77 (22.4%) dogs living in 58 settlements of 17 counties were found to be infected with one or both Dirofilaria species based on the PCR techniques. Twenty-eight (8.1%) and 38 (11.1%) dogs were infected with D. immitis and D. repens, respectively. Coinfections were recorded in 11 samples (3.2%) collected in 11 locations of 8 counties. The results confirmed that both dirofilarioses are endemic in dogs and the eastern areas of the country are hyperendemic for heartworm disease. Temperature showed a significant association with the prevalence of D. immitis (OR 2.41, 95% CI 1.24-4.86, p = 0.012) but not with that of D. repens (OR 1.37, 95% CI 0.78-2.47, p = 0.286). The prevalence of neither D. immitis (OR 0.99, 95% CI 0.98-1.00, p = 0.213) nor D. repens (OR 1.01, 95% CI 0.99-1.01, p = 0.094) showed a significant correlation with precipitation. The number of yearly growing degree days (GDD) based on the lifecycle of Dirofilaria in mosquitoes ranged between 3.73 and 7.57 for the Hungarian districts. The GDD showed a significant positive association with the prevalence of D. immitis (OR 2.38, 95% CI 1.43-4.15, p = 0.001) and a non-significant positive relationship with that of D. repens (OR 1.25, 95% CI 0.83-1.95, p = 0.291).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00436-019-06478-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6942023PMC
January 2020

Survey of lungworm infection of domestic cats in Hungary.

Acta Vet Hung 2019 09;67(3):407-417

Department of Parasitology and Zoology and Centre for Bioinformatics, University of Veterinary Medicine, István u. 2, H-1078 Budapest, Hungary.

From 61 settlements of 12 Hungarian counties, 303 domestic cats were included in this survey. Between autumn 2016 and spring 2018, fresh faecal samples were randomly collected and examined by flotation and by the Baermann-Wetzel method for the presence of lungworm infection. No eggs of were detected. Morphological identification of first instar larvae (L1) was also carried out. In the faeces of 60 cats (19.8%) from 17 settlements and Budapest, L1 of were found. More than half of the cats were from the western part of the country. The average number of larvae per gram of faeces was 190.2 ± 304.88. These results are in line with the former findings on the prevalence of aelurostrongylosis of domestic cats in Hungary. In addition, was also found for the first time in the faecal samples of three cats from the eastern part of the country, infected also with The average age (2.51 ± 1.26 years) of infected cats indicates that lungworm infection is more common among younger cats. No relationship was found between the lung-worm infection and the sex of cats. Non-neutered cats had a significantly higher proportion of lungworm infections. Two-thirds of the infected cats were apparently healthy, and only 19 individuals showed clinical signs of respiratory disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1556/004.2019.041DOI Listing
September 2019

Fine infrastructure of released and solidified Drosophila larval salivary secretory glue using SEM.

Bioinspir Biomim 2019 07 11;14(5):055002. Epub 2019 Jul 11.

Laboratory of Developmental Genetics, Institute of Experimental Endocrinology, Biomedical Research Center, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Dúbravská cesta 9, 84505 Bratislava, Slovakia.

The Golgi-derived large secretory granules of Drosophila salivary glands (SGs) constitute the components of the salivary glue secretion (Sgs). The Sgs represents a highly special and unique extracellular composite glue matrix that has not yet been identified outside of Cyclorrhaphous Dipterans. For over half a century, the only major and unambiguously documented function of the larval salivary glands was to produce a large amount of mucinous glue-containing secretory granules that, when released during pupariation, serves to affix the freshly formed puparia to a substrate. Besides initial biochemical characterization of the Sgs proteins and cloning of their corresponding Sgs genes, very little is known about other properties and functions of the Sgs glue. We report here observations on the fine SEM-ultrastructure of the Sgs glue released into to the lumen of SGs, and after it has been expectorated and solidified into the external environment. Surprisingly, in contrast to long held expectations, it appears to be a highly structured bioadhesive mass with an internal spongious to trabecular infrastructure, reflecting the state of its hydratation. We also found that in addition to its cementing properties, it is highly efficient at glueing and trapping microorganisms, and thus may serve a potentially very important immune and defense role. High hydration capacity, the speed by which this glue can dry, uniqueness of its protein composition and spongious infrastructure can provide inspiration for development of potential biomimetics that can attach completely different or incompatible surfaces with high efficiency and strength.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/1748-3190/ab2b2bDOI Listing
July 2019

Potential Technologies Review: A hybrid information retrieval framework to accelerate demand-pull innovation in biomedical engineering.

Res Synth Methods 2019 09 2;10(3):420-439. Epub 2019 Jun 2.

Science Management, Institute of Applied Medical Engineering, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jrsm.1350DOI Listing
September 2019

A protocol for processing the delicate larval and prepupal salivary glands of Drosophila for scanning electron microscopy.

Microsc Res Tech 2019 Jul 26;82(7):1145-1156. Epub 2019 Mar 26.

Laboratory of Developmental Genetics, Institute of Experimental Endocrinology, Biomedical Research Center, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava, Slovakia.

Although scanning electron microscopy (SEM) has been broadly used for the examination of fixed whole insects or their hard exoskeleton-derived structures, including model organisms such as Drosophila, the routine use of SEM to evaluate vulnerable soft internal organs and tissues was often hampered by their fragile nature and frequent surface contamination. Here, we describe a simple four-step protocol that allows for the reliable and reproducible preparation of the larval and prepupal salivary glands (SGs) of Drosophila for SEM devoid of any surface contamination. The steps are to: first, proteolytically digest the adhering fat body; second, use detergent washes to remove contaminating coarse tissue fragments, including sticky remnants of the fat body; third, use nonionic emulsifying polysorbate emulsifiers to remove fine contaminants from the SGs surface; and fourth, use aminopolycarboxylate-based chelating agents to detach sessile hemocytes. Short but repeated rinses in 100 μL of a saline-based buffer between steps ensure efficient removal of remnants removed by each treatment. After these steps, the SGs are fixed in glutaraldehyde, postfixed in osmium tetroxide, dehydrated, critically point-dried, mounted on aluminum stubs, sputter coated with gold-palladium alloy and examined in the SEM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jemt.23263DOI Listing
July 2019

Phylogenetic analysis of Spirocerca lupi and Spirocerca vulpis reveal high genetic diversity and intra-individual variation.

Parasit Vectors 2018 Dec 14;11(1):639. Epub 2018 Dec 14.

Koret School of Veterinary Medicine, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Rehovot, Israel.

Background: Spirocerca lupi is a parasitic nematode of canids that can lead to a severe and potentially fatal disease. Recently, a new species, Spirocerca vulpis, was described from red foxes in Europe, suggesting a high genetic diversity of the Spirocerca spp. infecting canids. The genetic variation and phylogenetic relationships of S. lupi collected from naturally-infected domestic dogs from Australia, Hungary, Israel, Italy, India and South Africa, and S. vulpis from red foxes from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Italy and Spain, was studied using mitochondrial and rDNA markers.

Results: A high intra-individual variation was found in the first internal transcribed spacer (ITS1) locus in all Spirocerca spp., ranging between 0.37-2.84%, with up to six haplotypes per specimen. In addition, a combination of phylogenetic and haplotype analyses revealed a large variability between S. lupi specimens collected from different geographical locations using the ITS1 (0.37-9.33%) and the cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (cox1) gene (1.42-6.74%). This genetic diversity led to the identification of two S. lupi genotypes circulating among dogs (PTP support > 0.829), including genotype 1 found in S. lupi from Australia, India, Israel and South Africa, and genotype 2 represented by specimens from Hungary and Italy. These genotypes presented pairwise nucleotide distances of 0.14%, 8.06% and 6.48 ± 0.28% in the small rDNA subunit (18S), ITS1 and cox1 loci, respectively. Additionally, Nei's genetic distance in the ITS1 showed a further subdivision of genotype 1 worms into 1A (Israel and South Africa) and 1B (Australia and India). A morphological analysis of the anterior and posterior extremities of genotype 1 and genotype 2 worms using scanning electron microscopy did not show any differences between the specimens, contrary to the morphological differences between S. lupi and S. vulpis.

Conclusions: These findings demonstrate the high genetic variability among Spirocerca spp. from different geographical locations, thereby expanding our understanding of the epidemiology, evolution and phylogenetic variability within the genus.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13071-018-3202-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6295112PMC
December 2018

A randomized, blinded, controlled, multi-centered field study assessing the treatment of gastrointestinal nematode infections in cats with fluralaner plus moxidectin spot-on solution (Bravecto® Plus).

Parasit Vectors 2018 Nov 19;11(1):589. Epub 2018 Nov 19.

MSD Animal Health Innovation GmbH, Zur Propstei, 55270, Schwabenheim, Germany.

Background: A spot-on formulation containing fluralaner (280 mg/ml) plus moxidectin (14 mg/ml) (Bravecto® Plus) was developed for the treatment of nematode infections as well as providing 12 weeks of protection against insect and acarine parasites in cats. The effectiveness and safety of this product against feline gastrointestinal nematodes was assessed in naturally-infested, client-owned cats under field conditions in Albania, Bulgaria, Germany and Hungary.

Methods: To be eligible for enrollment in this investigator-blinded study cats had to be at least 10 weeks-old, weigh at least 1.2 kg, be clinically healthy, and have a faecal sample testing positive for nematodes no more than eight days prior to treatment. Cats were stratified into blocks of three in order of presentation at each center and randomly allocated in a 2:1 ratio to be treated topically on Day 0 with fluralaner plus moxidectin (minimum dose rates 40 mg/kg and 2 mg/kg, respectively) or emodepside plus praziquantel (minimum dose rates 3 mg/kg and 12 mg/kg, respectively) (Profender®). Faecal samples were collected from cats prior to treatment and 14 ± 4 days later.

Results: There were 182 cats randomized to the fluralaner plus moxidectin group, and 91 to the emodepside plus praziquantel group. Prior to treatment the most commonly identified nematode egg was Toxocara cati, found in 79.1 and 82.4% of cats in the fluralaner plus moxidectin and emodepside plus praziquantel groups, respectively. Eggs of Toxascaris leonina were found in 8.2 and 6.6% of cats; of hookworms in 30.8 and 24.2%; and of Capillaria spp. in 7.1 and 4.3%, respectively. After treatment, faecal samples from 98.3% of fluralaner plus moxidectin treated and 96.6% of emodepside plus praziquantel-treated cats were free of nematode ova. Geometric mean faecal egg count reductions for T. cati, the only eggs found in post-treatment faecal samples, were 99.97% and 99.93%, respectively. Treatment with fluralaner plus moxidectin was non-inferior to emodepside plus praziquantel. Both products were safe and well tolerated by cats treated under field conditions.

Conclusions: This field study confirms that, in addition to 12-week extended duration flea and tick control, fluralaner plus moxidectin provides broad spectrum treatment of nematodes in cats.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13071-018-3169-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6240952PMC
November 2018

Endosomal vacuoles of the prepupal salivary glands of Drosophila play an essential role in the metabolic reallocation of iron.

Dev Growth Differ 2018 Sep 19;60(7):411-430. Epub 2018 Aug 19.

Institute of Biology and Medical Genetics, 1st Faculty of Medicine, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic.

In the recent past, we demonstrated that a great deal is going on in the salivary glands of Drosophila in the interval after they release their glycoprotein-rich secretory glue during pupariation. The early-to-mid prepupal salivary glands undergo extensive endocytosis with widespread vacuolation of the cytoplasm followed by massive apocrine secretion. Here, we describe additional novel properties of these endosomes. The use of vital pH-sensitive probes provided confirmatory evidence that these endosomes have acidic contents and that there are two types of endocytosis seen in the prepupal glands. The salivary glands simultaneously generate mildly acidic, small, basally-derived endosomes and strongly acidic, large and apical endosomes. Staining of the large vacuoles with vital acidic probes is possible only after there is ambipolar fusion of both basal and apical endosomes, since only basally-derived endosomes can bring fluorescent probes into the vesicular system. We obtained multiple lines of evidence that the small basally-derived endosomes are chiefly involved in the uptake of dietary Fe iron. The fusion of basal endosomes with the larger and strongly acidic apical endosomes appears to facilitate optimal conditions for ferrireductase activity inside the vacuoles to release metabolic Fe iron. While iron was not detectable directly due to limited staining sensitivity, we found increasing fluorescence of the glutathione-sensitive probe CellTracker Blue CMAC in large vacuoles, which appeared to depend on the amount of iron released by ferrireductase. Moreover, heterologous fluorescently-labeled mammalian iron-bound transferrin is actively taken up, providing direct evidence for active iron uptake by basal endocytosis. In addition, we serendipitously found that small (basal) endosomes were uniquely recognized by PNA lectin, whereas large (apical) vacuoles bound DBA lectin.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/dgd.12562DOI Listing
September 2018

Detection of tick-borne pathogens in ticks from dogs and cats in different European countries.

Ticks Tick Borne Dis 2018 09 3;9(6):1431-1436. Epub 2018 Jul 3.

Department of Parasitology and Zoology, University of Veterinary Medicine, István u. 2, H-1078 Budapest, Hungary.

Ticks are known to transmit pathogens which threaten the health and welfare of companion animals and man globally. In the present study, mainly adult ticks were collected from dogs and cats presented at their local veterinary practice in Hungary, France, Italy, Belgium (dogs only) and Germany (cats only), and identified based on tick morphology. If more than one tick was collected from a host animal, ticks were pooled by tick species for DNA extraction and subsequent PCR examination for the presence of tick-borne pathogens. Out of 448 tick samples, 247 (95 from dogs and 152 from cats) were Ixodes ricinus, 26 (12 from dogs and 14 from cats) were I. hexagonus, 59 (43 from dogs and 16 from cats) were Dermacentor reticulatus and 116 (74 from dogs and 42 from cats) were Rhipicephalus sanguineus sensu lato (s.l.). In 17% of the I. ricinus samples Anaplasma phagocytophilum was found. Borrelia spp. were mainly identified in I. ricinus collected from cats (18%) and to a lesser extent in dog-sourced ticks (1%), with Borrelia afzelii (n = 11), B. garinii (n = 7), B. valaisiana (n = 5), B. lusitaniae (n = 3) and B. burgdorferi sensu stricto (n = 3) being identified. One I. hexagonus sample collected from a cat in France tested positive for B. afzelii. Babesia canis was detected in 20% of the D. reticulatus samples, mainly from Hungary. Rhipicephalus sanguineus s.l. was found positive for Hepatozoon canis (3%), A. platys (5%) and three Rickettsia species (7%; R. massiliae; R. raoultii and R. rhipicephali). Furthermore, a total of 66 R. sanguineus s.l. ticks were subjected to molecular analysis and were identified as R. sanguineus sp. II-temperate lineage, with seven haplotypes recorded. Amongst them, the most prevalent sequence types were haplotype XIII (n = 24; 69%) and haplotype XIV (n = 16; 52%) in France and in Italy, respectively, found both in cats and dogs. Although differences related to both country and host, were observed, the results of this study indicate that cats and dogs are exposed to tick-borne pathogen infected ticks, which may represent a medical risk to these host animals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ttbdis.2018.06.013DOI Listing
September 2018

The first feline and new canine cases of Thelazia callipaeda (Spirurida: Thelaziidae) infection in Hungary.

Parasit Vectors 2018 Jun 8;11(1):338. Epub 2018 Jun 8.

Népkerti Veterinary Clinic, Miskolc, Hungary.

Background: In Europe, the first Thelazia callipaeda infections were found in the eyes of some dogs in Italy three decades ago. Since that time, this vector-borne nematode species has been diagnosed in domestic and wild carnivores and humans in some western European countries. During the last few years, autochthonous thelaziosis of dogs, red foxes, cats and humans has also been reported from eastern Europe. The first cases of ocular infections caused by T. callipaeda have been described in dogs living in the eastern and southern part of Slovakia and Hungary.

Methods: Whitish parasites found in the conjuctival sac and/or under the third eyelid of one or both eyes of animals were removed and morphologically identified according to species and sex. To confirm the morphological identification with molecular analysis a single step conventional PCR was carried out.

Results: A total of 116 adult worms (1-37 per dog, median: 7, IQR: 14.5 and 7 from a cat) were collected from the eyes of 11 animals. Nematodes were identified as T. callipaeda according to the morphological keys and molecular analysis. The sequences of a portion of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (cox1) gene were identical to those representing T. callipaeda haplotype 1, previously reported in neighbouring and other European countries. Since the infected cat and dogs had never travelled abroad, all of the cases were autochthonous thelaziosis.

Conclusions: The present study reports the first case of thelaziosis in a cat and new cases in 10 dogs found in the southern and northern region of Hungary, respectively. Further studies are needed to clarify whether wild carnivores (e.g. red foxes, golden jackals) may act as reservoirs of this eyeworm species in the country.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13071-018-2925-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5993998PMC
June 2018

Molecular evidence of a badger-associated Ehrlichia sp., a Candidatus Neoehrlichia lotoris-like genotype and Anaplasma marginale in dogs.

Ticks Tick Borne Dis 2018 07 22;9(5):1302-1309. Epub 2018 May 22.

Plant Protection Institute, Centre for Agricultural Research, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest, Hungary.

The family Anaplasmataceae contains pathogenic and endosymbiotic bacteria of veterinary-medical importance. In this study, 90 blood samples from rural dogs, five blood samples from road-killed European badgers and 34 ticks, i.e. 27 Ixodes (Pholeoixodes) canisuga, six I. (Ph.) hexagonus and one Haemaphysalis concinna collected from the badgers were molecularly analysed for members of Anaplasmataceae. Apart from the molecular evidence of Anaplasma phagocytophilum in one dog and Wolbachia sp. associated with Dirofilaria repens in five dogs, four species/genotypes not yet known to occur in canine hosts have also been found. These included A. marginale in two dogs, a badger-associated Ehrlichia sp. in one dog, a Candidatus Neoehrlichia lotoris-like genotype in six dogs and the DNA of arthropod-associated wolbachiae in three dogs. In two badgers the DNA from the Candidatus N. lotoris-like genotype was identified. Among ticks, four I. canisuga carried the DNA of the above badger-associated Ehrlichia sp., one I. canisuga contained the Candidatus N. lotoris-like genotype, and in H. concinna Wolbachia DNA was present. In conclusion, results shown here should be interpreted as the first molecular evidence for exposure of dogs to three members of Anaplasmataceae, i.e. A. marginale, a badger-associated Ehrlichia sp. and a Candidatus N. lotoris-like agent. The presence of DNA in the blood of relevant animals may also indicate susceptibility to these bacteria, but in support of this, further studies are needed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ttbdis.2018.05.012DOI Listing
July 2018

Novel renal biomarker evaluation for early detection of acute kidney injury after transcatheter aortic valve implantation.

Proc (Bayl Univ Med Cent) 2018 Apr 23;31(2):171-176. Epub 2018 Feb 23.

Baylor Scott & White Research Institute, Plano, Texas.

Acute kidney injury (AKI) following transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) is associated with increased morbidity and mortality. The biomarkers neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL), kidney injury molecule-1 (KIM-1), and interleukin-18 (IL-18) are predictive of AKI after cardiac surgery, but there is little data regarding these biomarkers after TAVI. We evaluated the associations between NGAL, KIM-1, and IL-18 levels and the incidence and severity of AKI and changes in serum creatinine after TAVI. This was a prospective pilot study of 66 TAVI cases. Urinary biomarkers were measured at baseline and at 2, 4, and 12 hours after TAVI. Demographics, procedural features, and renal function until discharge were compared between patients with and without subsequent AKI. Seventeen patients (25.8%) developed AKI postoperatively (stage 1, n = 14; stage 2, n = 1; stage 3, n = 2). There were no significant differences in unadjusted mean NGAL, KIM-1, and IL-18 levels between patients with and without AKI at 2, 4, and 12 hours following surgery. After adjusting for the Society of Thoracic Surgeons risk of mortality, this study of three urinary biomarkers showed no association with AKI or creatinine after TAVI. Ongoing efforts to predict and modify the risk of AKI after TAVI remain challenging.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08998280.2017.1416235DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5914400PMC
April 2018

Effect of Climate and Land Use on the Spatio-Temporal Variability of Tick-Borne Bacteria in Europe.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2018 04 12;15(4). Epub 2018 Apr 12.

Department of Parasitology and Zoology, University of Veterinary Medicine, 1078 Budapest, Hungary.

The incidence of tick-borne diseases caused by sensu lato, and spp. has been rising in Europe in recent decades. Early pre-assessment of acarological hazard still represents a complex challenge. The aim of this study was to model questing nymph density and its infection rate with s.l., and spp. in five European countries (Italy, Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary) in various land cover types differing in use and anthropisation (agricultural, urban and natural) with climatic and environmental factors (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), Normalized Difference Water Index (NDWI), Land Surface Temperature (LST) and precipitation). We show that the relative abundance of questing nymphs was significantly associated with climatic conditions, such as higher values of NDVI recorded in the sampling period, while no differences were observed among land use categories. However, the density of infected nymphs (DIN) also depended on the pathogen considered and land use. These results contribute to a better understanding of the variation in acarological hazard for transmitted pathogens in Central Europe and provide the basis for more focused ecological studies aimed at assessing the effect of land use in different sites on tick-host pathogens interaction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15040732DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5923774PMC
April 2018

Molecular identification of badger-associated Babesia sp. DNA in dogs: updated phylogeny of piroplasms infecting Caniformia.

Parasit Vectors 2018 04 11;11(1):235. Epub 2018 Apr 11.

Department of Parasitology and Zoology, University of Veterinary Medicine, Budapest, Hungary.

Background: Piroplasms are unicellular, tick-borne parasites. Among them, during the past decade, an increasing diversity of Babesia spp. has been reported from wild carnivores. On the other hand, despite the known contact of domestic and wild carnivores (e.g. during hunting), and a number of ixodid tick species they share, data on the infection of dogs with babesiae from other families of carnivores are rare.

Methods: In this study blood samples were collected from 90 dogs and five road-killed badgers. Ticks were also removed from these animals. The DNA was extracted from all blood samples, and from 33 ticks of badgers, followed by molecular analysis for piroplasms with PCR and sequencing, as well as by phylogenetic comparison of detected genotypes with piroplasms infecting carnivores.

Results: Eleven of 90 blood DNA extracts from dogs, and all five samples from badgers were PCR-positive for piroplasms. In addition to the presence of B. canis DNA in five dogs, sequencing identified the DNA of badger-associated "Babesia sp. Meles-Hu1" in six dogs and in all five badgers. The DNA of "Babesia sp. Meles-Hu1" occurred significantly more frequently in dogs often taken to forests (i.e. the preferred habitat of badgers in Hungary), than in dogs without this characteristic. Moreover, detection of DNA from this Babesia sp. was significantly associated with hunting dogs in comparison with dogs not used for hunting. Two PCR-positive dogs (in one of which the DNA of the badger-associated Babesia sp. was identified, whereas in the other the DNA of B. canis was present) showed clinical signs of babesiosis. Engorged specimens of both I. canisuga and I. hexagonus were collected from badgers with parasitaemia, but only I. canisuga contained the DNA of "Babesia sp. Meles-Hu1". This means a significant association of the DNA from "Babesia sp. Meles-Hu1" with I. canisuga. Phylogenetically, "Babesia sp. Meles-Hu1" belonged to the "B. microti" group.

Conclusions: This is the first detection of the DNA from a badger-associated Babesia sp. in dogs, one of which also showed relevant clinical signs. Based on the number of dogs with blood samples containing the DNA of "Babesia sp. Meles-Hu1" in this study (i.e. exceeding the number of B. canis-positives), these findings should not be regarded as isolated cases. It is assumed that dogs, which are used for hunting or frequently visit forests, are more likely to be exposed to this piroplasm, probably as a consequence of infestation with I. canisuga from badgers or from the burrows of badgers. The above results suggest that "Babesia sp. Meles-Hu1" should be added to the range of piroplasms, which are naturally capable of infecting hosts from different families of Caniformia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13071-018-2794-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5896074PMC
April 2018

High mitochondrial sequence divergence in synanthropic flea species (Insecta: Siphonaptera) from Europe and the Mediterranean.

Parasit Vectors 2018 04 2;11(1):221. Epub 2018 Apr 2.

Koret School of Veterinary Medicine, Hebrew University, Rehovot, Israel.

Background: Adult fleas are haematophagous ectoparasites of warm-blooded vertebrates, particularly mammals. Among them, the cat flea (Ctenocephalides felis) and the human flea (Pulex irritans) have high veterinary-medical significance, owing to their cosmopolitan distribution and role in the transmission of important vector-borne pathogens. While the taxonomy of Ct. felis has been investigated on a morphological basis during the past decades, its molecular-phylogenetic analyses have been only recently conducted. This study expands the knowledge on Ct. felis from hitherto less studied geographical regions, and includes representatives from additional flea families, less investigated with molecular approaches.

Methods: Fleas were collected in four countries of the Mediterranean Basin (Croatia, Italy, Malta and Israel), as well as in Hungary, from domestic and wild carnivores, rodents and humans. The DNA extracts of representative fleas (n = 148), belonging to ten species of eight genera, were used for PCR amplification of part of their cytochrome c oxidase subunits 1, 2 (cox1, cox2) and 18S rRNA genes, followed by sequencing and phylogenetic analyses.

Results: The majority (65.6%) of Ct. felis felis cox2 sequences showed 99.4-100% similarity to each other (haplogroup A), whereas those from Malta and Israel had 98.1-98.7% sequence similarity (haplogroup B), and a third sequence from Israel (haplotype C) had as low as 96.3% sequence similarity in comparison with a reference sequence from group "A". Except for the shape of the head, no consistent morphological differences (e.g. in chaetotaxy) were found between haplogroups "A" and "C". Haplotypes of Ct. canis were genetically more homogenous, with 99.6-100% sequence similarity to each other. However, when P. irritans collected from humans was compared to those from three species of wild carnivores, these only had 96.6% cox2 similarity. The mouse flea, Leptopsylla segnis and the northern rat flea, Nosopsyllus fasciatus were both shown to have haplotypes with low intraspecific cox2 similarities (96.2 and 94.4%, respectively). Taken together, differences between mitochondrial lineages within four flea species exceeded that observed between two Chaetopsylla spp. (which had 97.3% cox2 similarity). The topologies of cox1 and cox2 phylogenetic trees were in line with relevant sequence comparisons. Conversely, 18S rRNA gene analyses only resolved differences above the species level.

Conclusions: Ctenocephalides felis felis, P. irritans, L. segnis and N. fasciatus were shown to have such a high level of mitochondrial gene heterogeneity, that the uniformity of these flea taxa should be reconsidered. Although the present results are limited (especially in the case of L. segnis and N. fasciatus), there appears to be no geographical or host restriction, which could explain the divergence of these genetic lineages.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13071-018-2798-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5879554PMC
April 2018

Tick- and fly-borne bacteria in ungulates: the prevalence of Anaplasma phagocytophilum, haemoplasmas and rickettsiae in water buffalo and deer species in Central Europe, Hungary.

BMC Vet Res 2018 Mar 20;14(1):98. Epub 2018 Mar 20.

Clinical Laboratory and Center for Clinical Studies, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.

Background: Hunting constitutes an important industry in Europe. However, data on the prevalence of vector-borne bacteria in large game animal species are lacking from several countries. Blood or spleen samples (239 and 270, respectively) were taken from red, fallow and roe deer, as well as from water buffaloes, mouflons and wild boars in Hungary, followed by DNA extraction and molecular analyses for Anaplasma phagocytophilum, haemoplasmas and rickettsiae.

Results: Based on blood samples, the prevalence rate of A. phagocytophilum infection was significantly higher in red deer (97.9%) than in fallow deer (72.7%) and roe deer (60%), and in all these compared to mouflons (6.3%). In addition, 39.2% of the spleen samples from wild boars were PCR positive for A. phagocytophilum, but none of the buffalos. Based on blood samples, the prevalence rates of both Mycoplasma wenyonii (Mw) and 'Candidatus M. haemobos' (CMh) infections were significantly higher in buffaloes (Mw: 91.2%; CMh: 73.3%) than in red deer (Mw: 64.6%; CMh: 45.8%), and in both of them compared to fallow deer (Mw: 30.3%; CMh: 9.1%) and roe deer (Mw: 20%; CMh: 1.5%). The prevalence of Mw and CMh infection significantly correlated with the body sizes of these hosts. Furthermore, Mw was significantly more prevalent than CMh in buffaloes, red and roe deer. Mycoplasma ovis was detected in mouflons, M. suis in wild boars, R. helvetica in one fallow deer and one mouflon, and an unidentified Rickettsia sp. in a fallow deer.

Conclusions: Forest-dwelling game animal species were found to be important carriers of A. phagocytophilum. In contrast, animals grazing grassland (i.e. buffaloes) were less likely to get infected with this Ixodes ricinus-borne pathogen. Water buffaloes, deer species, mouflons and wild boars harbored haemoplasmas that may affect domestic ungulates. Evaluated animals with larger body size had significantly higher prevalence of infection with haemoplasmas compared to smaller deer species. The above host species rarely carried rickettsiae.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12917-018-1403-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5859536PMC
March 2018

Morphological and molecular divergence of Rhipicephalus turanicus tick from Albania and China.

Exp Appl Acarol 2017 Dec 27;73(3-4):493-499. Epub 2017 Nov 27.

School of Medicine, Shihezi University, Shihezi, 832002, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, People's Republic of China.

Rhipicephalus turanicus is an important tick species potentially carrying tick-borne pathogens. Several tick species have obvious subspecies divergence. However few studies aimed to examine the existence of divergence within R. turanicus. Therefore, a detailed morphological and molecular analysis was conducted for comparing R. turanicus from the Mediterranean Basin (represented by Albania) and Central Asia (Northwestern China). Altogether 315 adult ticks of R. turanicus (103 from Albania and 212 from China) were morphologically and molecularly analysed. DNA samples were used for mitochondrial 16S rRNA and cox1 gene sequences analysis. In addition, as potentially genetic markers, three fragments including partial nad1-16S rRNA, nad2-cox1, cox1-tRNA-Lys, were designed and then phylogenetically analyzed. Based on detailed morphological observations, only basis capituli length:width ratio (females), the length, the width and the length:width ratio of the scutum (males) had differences between R. turanicus from China and Albania. Gene divergences of 16S rRNA, cox1, partial nad1-16S rRNA, nad2-cox1 and cox1-tRNA-Lys from China and Albania ticks were 3.53-4.84, 3.57-4.92, 3.57-4.07, 3.57-4.39 and 3.18-4.69%, respectively. The evaluated five genetic markers revealed two phylogenetic branches in R. turanicus. Obvious differences exist within R. turanicus based on morphological and genetic analysis. Three newly designed genetic markers (partial nad1-16S rRNA, nad2-cox1 and cox1-tRNA-Lys) in this study may be suitable genetic tools for identification and analysis in R. turanicus. Subspecies analysis of R. turanicus from other regions of the world should be initiated in the future.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10493-017-0189-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5727151PMC
December 2017

Possible Predictive Markers of Response to Therapy in Esophageal Squamous Cell Cancer.

Pathol Oncol Res 2019 Jan 4;25(1):279-288. Epub 2017 Nov 4.

Department of Oncology, University of Pécs, Edesanyak street 17, Pécs, 7624, Hungary.

The aim of the present study was to investigate the relationship between the intensity of biomarker expression and the response to radiochemotherapy in patients with advanced esophageal squamous cell cancer (ESCC). Ninety-two patients with locally advanced ESCC were examined retrospectively. Pre-treatment tumor samples were stained for proteins SOUL, Hsp 16.2, Growth Hormone-Releasing Hormone Receptor (GHRH-R) and p-Akt using immunhistochemistry methods. Kaplan-Meier curves were used to show the relationship between intensity of expression of biomarkers and clinical parameters and 3-year OS. A significant correlation was found between high intensity staining for Hsp 16.2, p-Akt and SOUL and poor response to NRCT. Application of a higher dose of radiation and higher dose of cisplatin resulted in better clinical and histopathological responses, respectively. Among the clinical parameters, the localization of the tumor in the upper-third of the esophagus and less than 10% weight loss were independent prognostic factors for increased 3-year OS. Hsp16.2, p-Akt and SOUL are predictors of negative response to NRCT, therefore these biomarkers may become promising targets for therapy. Furthermore, level of expression of p-Akt, weight loss and the localization of the tumor are significant factors in the prediction of OS in ESCC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12253-017-0342-zDOI Listing
January 2019

Contributions to the phylogeny of Ixodes (Pholeoixodes) canisuga, I. (Ph.) kaiseri, I. (Ph.) hexagonus and a simple pictorial key for the identification of their females.

Parasit Vectors 2017 Nov 3;10(1):545. Epub 2017 Nov 3.

BIOEPAR, INRA, Oniris, Nantes, France.

Background: In Europe, hard ticks of the subgenus Pholeoixodes (Ixodidae: Ixodes) are usually associated with burrow-dwelling mammals and terrestrial birds. Reports of Pholeoixodes spp. from carnivores are frequently contradictory, and their identification is not based on key diagnostic characters. Therefore, the aims of the present study were to identify ticks collected from dogs, foxes and badgers in several European countries, and to reassess their systematic status with molecular analyses using two mitochondrial markers.

Results: Between 2003 and 2017, 144 Pholeoixodes spp. ticks were collected in nine European countries. From accurate descriptions and comparison with type-materials, a simple illustrated identification key was compiled for adult females, by focusing on the shape of the anterior surface of basis capituli. Based on this key, 71 female ticks were identified as I. canisuga, 21 as I. kaiseri and 21 as I. hexagonus. DNA was extracted from these 113 female ticks, and from further 31 specimens. Fragments of two mitochondrial genes, cox1 (cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1) and 16S rRNA, were amplified and sequenced. Ixodes kaiseri had nine unique cox1 haplotypes, which showed 99.2-100% sequence identity, whereas I. canisuga and I. hexagonus had eleven and five cox1 haplotypes, respectively, with 99.5-100% sequence identity. The distribution of cox1 haplotypes reflected a geographical pattern. Pholeoixodes spp. ticks had fewer 16S rRNA haplotypes, with a lower degree of intraspecific divergence (99.5-100% sequence identity) and no geographical clustering. Phylogenetic analyses were in agreement with morphology: I. kaiseri and I. hexagonus (with the similar shape of the anterior surface of basis capituli) were genetically more closely related to each other than to I. canisuga. Phylogenetic analyses also showed that the subgenus Eschatocephalus (bat ticks) clustered within the subgenus Pholeoixodes.

Conclusions: A simple, illustrated identification key is provided for female Pholeoixodes ticks of carnivores (including I. hexagonus and I. rugicollis) to prevent future misidentification of these species. It is also shown that I. kaiseri is more widespread in Europe than previously thought. Phylogenetic analyses suggest that the subgenus Pholeoixodes is not monophyletic: either the subgenus Eschatocephalus should be included in Pholeoixodes, or the latter subgenus should be divided, which is a task for future studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13071-017-2424-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5670724PMC
November 2017

Evidence for host specificity of Theileria capreoli genotypes in cervids.

Parasit Vectors 2017 Oct 10;10(1):473. Epub 2017 Oct 10.

Clinical Laboratory and Center for Clinical Studies, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.

Data on the prevalence of piroplasms in buffaloes and large game animal species are lacking from several central European countries. Therefore, to investigate the presence of Babesia/Theileria DNA in these hosts, 239 blood and 270 spleen samples were taken from cervids (red, fallow, and roe deer), as well as from water buffaloes, mouflons, and wild boars in southwestern Hungary, followed by DNA extraction and molecular analysis for piroplasms. All samples from buffaloes and wild boars were PCR negative. Based on spleen samples, the prevalence of piroplasms was significantly higher in red deer (41.7%) than in fallow deer (23.5%). Two genotypes of Theileria capreoli were identified, which showed significant association with their host species (i.e. genotype "capreoli-CE1" was exclusively found in roe deer, whereas red and fallow deer harbored only genotype "elaphi-CE1"). Genotype "elaphi-CE1" of T. capreoli was also detected in one mouflon. No Babesia spp. were identified. In conclusion, in the evaluated region, genotypes of T. capreoli show host-associations among cervids, and at least one of these genotypes may infect mouflons.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13071-017-2403-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5635527PMC
October 2017

Lungworms and gastrointestinal parasites of domestic cats: a European perspective.

Int J Parasitol 2017 08 26;47(9):517-528. Epub 2017 Apr 26.

Dipartimento di Medicina Veterinaria, Università di Bari, 70010 Valenzano, Bari, Italy. Electronic address:

With the exception of Aelurostrongylus abstrusus, feline lungworms have been poorly studied. Information on their distribution is patchy and mostly limited to case reports. In this study, the occurrence of feline lungworms and co-infecting gastrointestinal parasites has been investigated in 12 European countries (i.e. Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom). An average of 10 domestic cats, with regular outdoor access, was sampled each month for 12months, and freshly passed faeces were collected. Stools were processed using a McMaster assay and a quantitative Baermann-Wetzel method. Animals positive for lungworms and/or gastrointestinal parasites were treated with a formulation containing fipronil, (S)-methoprene, eprinomectin, and praziquantel (Broadline®, Merial), and re-sampled 28days post-treatment. The association between lungworm infection and risk factors was analysed using statistical medians/means and the efficacy of the treatment against each lungworm species was assessed. Of 1990 cats sampled, 613 (30.8%) were positive for at least one parasite, while 210 (10.6%) were infected by lungworms. The prevalence of lungworm infection varied between the sampled sites, with the highest recorded in Bulgaria (35.8%) and the lowest in Switzerland (0.8%). None of the cats from Austria or the United Kingdom were infected by lungworms. Aelurostrongylus abstrusus was the species most frequently detected (78.1%), followed by Troglostrongylus brevior (19.5%), Eucoleus aerophilus (14.8%) and Oslerus rostratus (3.8%). The overall efficacy of the treatment was 99% for A. abstrusus and 100% for T. brevior, O. rostratus and E. aerophilus. Data presented provide a comprehensive account of the diagnosis, epidemiology and treatment of feline lungworms in Europe, as well as of the occurrence of co-infections by gastrointestinal parasites.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijpara.2017.02.003DOI Listing
August 2017

Efficacy and safety of a new spot-on formulation of selamectin plus sarolaner in the treatment of naturally occurring flea and tick infestations in cats presented as veterinary patients in Europe.

Vet Parasitol 2017 Apr;238 Suppl 1:S12-S17

Zoetis, Veterinary Medicine Research and Development, 333 Portage St., Kalamazoo, MI 49007, USA.

Two randomised, blinded, multi-centre field studies were conducted in Europe (Germany, Italy, France, Hungary) to demonstrate the efficacy and safety of three monthly applications of a new spot-on formulation of selamectin plus sarolaner (Stronghold Plus, Zoetis) against natural flea or tick infestations in cats presented as veterinary patients. The spot-on formulation was administered at the commercial dose range of 6.0-12.0mg selamectin and 1.0-2.0mg sarolaner per kg bodyweight. In the flea study, the improvement in clinical signs associated with flea allergy dermatitis (FAD) was also monitored. Imidacloprid plus moxidectin (Advocate for Cats, Bayer) and fipronil (Frontline Spot on, Merial) were used as positive control products in the flea and tick studies, respectively. Treatments were administered on Days 0, 30 and 60. Efficacy was calculated based on the mean percent reduction of live parasite counts on post-treatment days 14, 30, 60 and 90 versus the pre-treatment count on Day 0. Non-inferiority of selamectin/sarolaner to the control products was assessed at each time-point using a non-inferiority margin of 15% at the one-sided 0.025 significance level. Cats were enrolled in a 2:1 ratio (selamectin/sarolaner:comparator). In the flea study, 277 cats were assessed for efficacy and safety, and an additional 170 cats were assessed for safety only. On days 14, 30, 60 and 90, efficacy against fleas was 97.4%, 97.3%, 98.8% and 99.4% in the selamectin/sarolaner-treated group and was 90.0%, 83.6%, 87.7% and 96.3% in the imidacloprid/moxidectin-treated group, respectively. Selamectin/sarolaner was non-inferior to imidacloprid/moxidectin at all time-points. For the 16 cats identified as having FAD at enrolment, clinical signs related to FAD improved following treatment administration. In the tick study, 200 cats were assessed for efficacy and safety, and a further 70 cats were assessed for safety only. Four tick species were identified. Overall efficacy against ticks was 96.7%, 92.6%, 98.8% and 99.5% in the selamectin/sarolaner-treated group and was 90.2%, 74.6%, 83.0% and 93.4% in the fipronil-treated group on Days 14, 30, 60 and 90, respectively. Selamectin/sarolaner was non-inferior to fipronil at all time-points, and was superior on Days 30 and 60. There were no serious treatment-related adverse events in any study. Thus, the new spot-on formulation of selamectin plus sarolaner administered at monthly intervals was safe and highly effective against natural infestations of fleas and ticks on cats, and improved clinical signs of FAD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vetpar.2017.03.008DOI Listing
April 2017
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