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(1/370) Comparison of serological and parasitological assessments of Onchocerca volvulus transmission after 7 years of mass ivermectin treatment in Mexico.

OBJECTIVE AND METHOD: To compare the utility of an ELISA using 3 recombinant antigens with that of the skin biopsy to estimate incidence of infections in a sentinel cohort of individuals living in an endemic community in southern Mexico during a set of 11 subsequent ivermectin treatments. RESULTS: The apparent community prevalence of infection and microfilarial skin infection before and after 11 treatments with ivermectin plus nodulectomy were 78% and 13%, and 0.68 mf/mg and 0.04 mf/mg, respectively, as measured by skin biopsy. Of a group of 286 individuals participating in all surveys, a sentinel cohort of 42 mf and serologically negative individuals had been followed since 1994. The annual percentage of individuals becoming positive in this cohort was 24% (10/42), 28% (9/33), 0%, and 4.3% (1/23) in 1995, 1996, 1997 and 1998, respectively. Likewise, the incidence in children 5 years and under (n = 13) within this sentinel cohort was 15% (2/13), 18% (2/11), 0% and 11% (1/9), respectively. All individuals became positive to both tests simultaneously, indicating that seroconversion assessed infection incidence as accurately as skin biopsy in the sentinel group. CONCLUSION: Incidence monitoring of a sentinel cohort provides an estimation of the parasite transmission in the community; it is less costly than massive sampling, and a finger prick blood test might be more acceptable in some communities.  (+info)

(2/370) Selective effect of 2',6'-dihydroxy-4'-methoxychalcone isolated from Piper aduncum on Leishmania amazonensis.

2',6'-Dihydroxy-4'-methoxychalcone (DMC) was purified from the dichloromethane extract of Piper aduncum inflorescences. DMC showed significant activity in vitro against promastigotes and intracellular amastigotes of Leishmania amazonensis, with 50% effective doses of 0.5 and 24 micrograms/ml, respectively. Its inhibitory effect on amastigotes is apparently a direct effect on the parasites and is not due to activation of the nitrogen oxidative metabolism of macrophages, since the production of nitric oxide by both unstimulated and recombinant gamma interferon-stimulated macrophages was decreased rather than increased with DMC. The phagocytic activity of macrophages was functioning normally even with DMC concentrations as high as 80 micrograms/ml, as seen by electron microscopy and by the uptake of fluorescein isothiocyanate-labeled beads. Ultrastructural studies also showed that in the presence of DMC the mitochondria of promastigotes were enlarged and disorganized. Despite destruction of intracellular amastigotes, no disarrangement of macrophage organelles were observed, even at 80 micrograms of DMC/ml. These observations suggest that DMC is selectively toxic to the parasites. Its simple structure may well enable it to serve as a new lead compound for the synthesis of novel antileishmanial drugs.  (+info)

(3/370) Improvement of in vitro and in vivo antileishmanial activities of 2', 6'-dihydroxy-4'-methoxychalcone by entrapment in poly(D,L-lactide) nanoparticles.

The inhibition of intracellular Leishmania amazonensis growth by 2', 6'-dihydroxy-4'-methoxychalcone (DMC) isolated from Piper aduncum was further enhanced after encapsulation of DMC in polymeric nanoparticles. Encapsulated DMC also showed increased antileishmanial activity in infected BALB/c mice, as evidenced by significantly smaller lesions and fewer parasites in the lesions.  (+info)

(4/370) Eotaxin expression in Onchocerca volvulus-induced dermatitis after topical application of diethylcarbamazine.

In persons with onchocerciasis, topical application of the anthelminthic diethylcarbamazine (DEC) induces clinical and histologic responses similar to acute papular onchodermatitis, including recruitment of eosinophils to the skin. To determine whether the eosinophil chemokine eotaxin is likely to be associated with eosinophil recruitment in onchodermatitis, DEC was applied to a 5-cm2 area on the skin of infected persons, and biopsies were taken from lesions 24 h later. Histologic analysis showed elevated dermal and epidermal eosinophils compared with tissue from an adjacent (untreated) site. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction showed that eotaxin gene expression in DEC-treated skin was elevated 2- to 17-fold compared with control tissue. Eotaxin immunoreactivity was noted in mononuclear cells and eosinophils in the perivascular region of the dermis and in lymphatic and vascular endothelial cells. Together, these observations are consistent with a role for eotaxin in recruitment of eosinophils to the dermis in early stage onchocercal skin disease.  (+info)

(5/370) Drug-resistant Drosophila indicate glutamate-gated chloride channels are targets for the antiparasitics nodulisporic acid and ivermectin.

The fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster was used to examine the mode of action of the novel insecticide and acaricide nodulisporic acid. Flies resistant to nodulisporic acid were selected by stepwise increasing the dose of drug in the culture media. The resistant strain, glc(1), is at least 20-fold resistant to nodulisporic acid and 3-fold cross-resistant to the parasiticide ivermectin, and exhibited decreased brood size, decreased locomotion, and bang sensitivity. Binding assays using glc(1) head membranes showed a marked decrease in the affinity for nodulisporic acid and ivermectin. A combination of genetics and sequencing identified a proline to serine mutation (P299S) in the gene coding for the glutamate-gated chloride channel subunit DmGluClalpha. To examine the effect of this mutation on the biophysical properties of DmGluClalpha channels, it was introduced into a recombinant DmGluClalpha, and RNA encoding wild-type and mutant subunits was injected into Xenopus oocytes. Nodulisporic acid directly activated wild-type and mutant DmGluClalpha channels. However, mutant channels were approximately 10-fold less sensitive to activation by nodulisporic acid, as well as ivermectin and the endogenous ligand glutamate, providing direct evidence that nodulisporic acid and ivermectin act on DmGluClalpha channels.  (+info)

(6/370) Fipronil modulation of gamma-aminobutyric acid(A) receptors in rat dorsal root ganglion neurons.

The gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptor is an important site of action of a variety of chemicals, including barbiturates, benzodiazepines, picrotoxin, bicuculline, general anesthetics, alcohols, and certain insecticides. Fipronil is the first phenylpyrazole insecticide introduced for pest control. It is effective against some insects that have become resistant to the existing insecticides. To elucidate the mechanism of fipronil interaction with the mammalian GABA system, whole-cell patch-clamp experiments were performed using rat dorsal root ganglion neurons in primary culture. Fipronil suppressed the GABA-induced whole-cell currents reversibly in both closed and activated states. The IC(50) values and Hill coefficients for fipronil block of the GABA(A) receptor were estimated to be 1.66 +/- 0.18 microM and 1.23 +/- 0.14 for the closed receptor, respectively, and 1.61 +/- 0.14 microM and 0.96 +/- 0.06 for the activated receptor, respectively. The association rate and dissociation rate constants of fipronil effect were estimated to be 673 +/- 220 M(-1) s(-1) and 0.018 +/- 0.0035 s(-1) for the closed GABA(A) receptor, respectively, and 6600 +/- 380 M(-1) s(-1) and 0.11 +/- 0.0054 s(-1) for the activated GABA(A) receptor, respectively. Thus, both the association and dissociation rate constants of fipronil for the activated GABA(A) receptor are approximately 10 times as large as those for the closed receptor. Experiments with coapplication of fipronil and picrotoxinin indicated that they did not compete for the same binding site to block the receptor. It is concluded that although fipronil binds to the GABA(A) receptor without activation, channel opening facilitates fipronil binding to and unbinding from the receptor.  (+info)

(7/370) GLC-3: a novel fipronil and BIDN-sensitive, but picrotoxinin-insensitive, L-glutamate-gated chloride channel subunit from Caenorhabditis elegans.

1. We report the cloning and expression of a novel Caenorhabditis elegans polypeptide, GLC-3, with high sequence identity to previously cloned L-glutamate-gated chloride channel subunits from nematodes and insects. 2. Expression of glc-3 cRNA in XENOPUS oocytes resulted in the formation of homo-oligomeric L-glutamate-gated chloride channels with robust and rapidly desensitizing currents, an EC(50) of 1.9+/-0.03 mM and a Hill coefficient of 1.5+/-0.1. GABA, glycine, histamine and NMDA all failed to activate the GLC-3 homo-oligomer at concentrations of 1 mM. The anthelminthic, ivermectin, directly and irreversibly activated the L-glutamate-gated channel with an EC(50) of 0.4+/-0.02 microM. 3. The GLC-3 channels were selective for chloride ions, as shown by the shift in the reversal potential for L-glutamate-gated currents after the reduction of external Cl(-) from 107.6 to 62.5 mM. 4. Picrotoxinin failed to inhibit L-glutamate agonist responses at concentrations up to 1 mM. The polycyclic dinitrile, 3,3-bis-trifluoromethyl-bicyclo[2,2,1]heptane-2,2-dicarbonitrile (BIDN), completely blocked L-glutamate-induced chloride currents recorded from oocytes expressing GLC-3 with an IC(50) of 0.2+/-0.07 microM. The phenylpyrazole insecticide, fipronil, reversibly inhibited L-glutamate-gated currents recorded from the GLC-3 receptor with an IC(50) of 11.5+/-0.11 microM. 5. In this study, we detail the unusual antagonist pharmacology of a new GluCl subunit from C. elegans. Unlike all other native and recombinant nematode GluCl reported to date, the GLC-3 receptor is insensitive to picrotoxinin, but is sensitive to two other channel blockers, BIDN and fipronil. Further study of this receptor may provide insights into the molecular basis of non-competitive antagonism by these compounds.  (+info)

(8/370) Antimonial-mediated DNA fragmentation in Leishmania infantum amastigotes.

The basic treatment of leishmaniasis consists in the administration of pentavalent antimonials. The mechanisms that contribute to pentavalent antimonial toxicity against the intracellular stage of the parasite (i.e., amastigote) are still unknown. In this study, the combined use of several techniques including DNA fragmentation assay and in situ and cytofluorometry terminal deoxynucleotidyltransferase-mediated dUTP-biotin nick end labeling methods and YOPRO-1 staining allowed us to demonstrate that potassium antimonyl tartrate, an Sb(III)-containing drug, was able to induce cell death associated with DNA fragmentation in axenic amastigotes of Leishmania infantum at low concentrations (10 microg/ml). This observation was in close correlation with the toxicity of Sb(III) species against axenic amastigotes (50% inhibitory concentration of 4.75 microg/ml). Despite some similarities to apoptosis, nuclease activation was not a consequence of caspase-1, caspase-3, calpain, cysteine protease, or proteasome activation. Altogether, our results demonstrate that the antileishmanial toxicity of Sb(III) antimonials is associated with parasite oligonucleosomal DNA fragmentation, indicative of the occurrence of late events in the overall process of apoptosis. The elucidation of the biochemical pathways leading to cell death could allow the isolation of new therapeutic targets.  (+info)