The chemical ecology of Biomphalaria glabrata: the effects of ammonia on the growth rate of juvenile snails.
When juvenile specimens of Biomphalaria glabrata were subjected to concentrations of ammonia ranging from 1-100 mug/ml in various media the following effects were observed: the addition of ammonia to borate buffered media caused mortality. Both borate and tris-buffered media caused a decrease in the growth rate of snails when compared with controls in SSW. The growth rates of the snails could be enhanced by increasing the concentration of ammonia to critical thresholds, but further increases beyond these thresholds resulted in growth inhibition. The toxicity of ammonia in ambient water was augmented by an an increase in pH. The possible causation and ecological significance of these effects are discussed. There are indications that the snails are physiologically well-adapted to utilize ammonia when required and also to control its excretion and uptake from the medium. (+info)
Interleukin 5 (IL-5) is not required for expression of a Th2 response or host resistance mechanisms during murine schistosomiasis mansoni but does play a role in development of IL-4-producing non-T, non-B cells.
During schistosomiasis, interleukin-5 (IL-5)-dependent eosinophil responses have been implicated in immunopathology, resistance to superinfection, synergistic interactions with chemotherapeutic agents, and the inductive phase of the egg-induced Th2 response. We examined these issues in IL-5-deficient (IL-5(-/-)) mice. IL-5(-/-) and wild-type (WT) mice were indistinguishable in terms of susceptibility to primary infections and the ability to resist secondary infections. Moreover, hepatic pathology was similar in both strains apart from a relative lack of eosinophils and, during chronic infection, a significantly larger mast cell component in the granulomas of IL-5(-/-) mice. Splenocyte cytokine production in response to soluble egg antigen (SEA) or anti-CD3 revealed no significant differences except for heightened tumor necrosis factor alpha production by cells from chronically infected IL-5(-/-) mice compared to WT animals. In contrast, ionomycin-stimulated non-B, non-T (NBNT) cells from IL-5(-/-) mice produced significantly smaller IL-4 amounts than did NBNT cells from WT animals. This difference was not apparent following plate-bound anti-immunoglobulin E or SEA stimulation. The absence of IL-5 failed to affect the induction of Th2 responses in naive mice. Peritoneal exudate cells recovered from egg-injected IL-5(-/-) or WT mice produced equivalent levels of IL-4 following restimulation with SEA or anti-CD3. (+info)
Geographic information systems and the environmental risk of schistosomiasis in Bahia, Brazil.
A geographic information system was constructed using maps of regional environmental features, Schistosoma mansoni prevalence in 30 representative municipalities, and snail distribution in Bahia, Brazil to study the spatial and temporal dynamics of infection and to identify environmental factors that influence the distribution of schistosomiasis. Results indicate that population density and the duration of annual dry period are the most important determinants of prevalence of schistosomiasis in the areas selected for study. Maximum rainfall, total precipitation during three consecutive months, annual maximum or minimum temperatures, and diurnal temperature difference were not shown to be significant factors influencing S. mansoni prevalence in local populations or distribution of snail hosts. Prevalence of the disease was highest in the coastal areas of the state. Higher prevalence tended to occur in areas with latossolo soil type and transitional vegetation. (+info)
Intranasal administration of synthetic recombinant peptide-based vaccine protects mice from infection by Schistosoma mansoni.
Schistosomiasis is the cause of a chronic debilitating disease which accounts for significant mortality and morbidity every year, especially in tropical and subtropical areas. An epitope derived from the protective surface protein 9B-Ag of Schistosoma mansoni, designated 9B peptide-1, was previously showed to be protective in mice when conjugated to bovine serum albumin and administered subcutaneously in complete Freund's adjuvant. In this work, this protective peptide was expressed in the flagellin of a Salmonella vaccine strain, and the isolated recombinant flagella were used for immunization of mice. Since during the invasion of the parasite into the host the schistosomula migrate first to the lungs, the intranasal route of administration was employed in order to halt the parasite at an early stage of the infection. Such intranasal immunization with this peptide expressed in flagellin, without the addition of adjuvants, resulted in a significant humoral response and also led to protection against challenge infection, manifested as a reduction of the worm burden by an average of 42%. (+info)
The epidemiology of a recent focus of mixed Schistosoma haematobium and Schistosoma mansoni infections around the 'Lac de Guiers' in the Senegal River Basin, Senegal.
A village with mixed Schistosoma mansoni and S. haematobium infections (probably in a early endemic phase) was identified around the Lac de Guiers in the Senegal River Basin. In documenting the epidemiology of both schistosomes, we focused on prevalence and intensity of infection, transmission patterns and the impact of treatment. S. mansoni prevalences (near 100%) and egg counts (overall geometric mean eggs per gram of faeces (epg) of 589 were high in all age groups, with 35% of individuals excreting > 1000 epg, and showing a slow decline in egg output only after the age of 30 years. The overall prevalence (28%) and egg counts (2% > 50 eggs/10 ml) of S. haematobium were low, with mean counts of 6.3 eggs/10 ml. Maximal mean S. mansoni egg counts were found in 5-9 year-old boys and in 15-19 year-old girls; S. haematobium maximal counts in 1-4 year-old boys and in girls aged 5-9. Extremely high Biomphalaria pfeifferi infection ratios were recorded over the whole year. Following a single treatment, re-infection was rapid with prevalences and mean egg counts of both Schistosoma species reaching pretreatment levels within 7 months. (+info)
Changes in the behavioral and immunological parameters of the mollusk Biomphalaria tenagophila induced by disruption of the circadian cycle as a consequence of continuous illumination.
In the present investigation we studied some behavioral and immunological parameters of adult gastropod mollusk, Biomphalaria tenagophila, which have been reproducing for several generations under laboratory conditions. One group of gastropods was kept on a 14-h light/10-h dark cycle, corresponding to a regular circadian cycle, and another group was exposed to continuous light for 48 h. Animals were studied along (behavioral groups) or immediately after (immunological groups) 48 h of regular circadian cycle or continuous light conditions. Stopping/floating, dragging and sliding were the behavioral aspects considered (N = 20 for regular cycle; N = 20 for continuous illumination) and number of hemocytes/microl hemolymph was the immunological parameter studied (N = 15 for regular cycle, N = 14 for continuous illumination). Animals under continuous illumination were more active (sliding = 33 episodes, dragging = 48 episodes) and displayed a lower number of hemocytes (78.0 +/- 24. 27/microl) when compared with mollusks kept on a regular circadian cycle (sliding = 18 episodes, dragging = 27 episodes; hemocytes = 157.6 +/- 53.27/microl). The data are discussed in terms of neural circuits and neuroimmunological relations with the possible stressful effect of continuous illumination. (+info)
Profile of organic acid concentrations in the digestive gland and hemolymph of Biomphalaria glabrata under estivation.
Using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) analysis it was possible to determine simultaneously the concentration of organic acids (pyruvate, lactate, succinate, fumarate, malate, acetate, propionate, acetoacetate, and ss-hydroxybutyrate) in the digestive gland and the extracellular concentration of these same acids in the hemolymph of estivating Biomphalaria glabrata, the intermediate host of Schistosoma mansoni. After a 7 day period of estivation, there was a significant increase in the tissue levels of lactate, succinate, malate and acetate compared to non-estivating snails. After 14 days of estivation, the levels of lactate and acetate were also significantly elevated. The hemolymph concentrations of pyruvate and acetate increased significantly after 7 days and acetate concentrations continued to be significantly increased up to 14 days of estivation. The other organic acids studied, such as ketone body acetoacetate and ss-hydroxybutyrate or the volatile acid propionate, did not accumulate. Their tissue concentrations, however, increased on the 7th day of estivation and reached normal levels within two weeks of estivation for some of them. One should take into consideration how the reduction in metabolism can be handled under aerobic conditions, and what role anaerobic pathways may play in both energy formation and redox balance processes. (+info)
Growth changes induced by gamma radiation on Biomphalaria straminea (Dunker, 1848).
Doses of 60Co gamma radiation with 2.5; 5; 7.5; 10; 15; 20; 25; 30; 35; 40; 45; 50; 55; 60; 80; 160; 320 and 640 Gy were applied to 1, 080 snails Biomphalaria straminea, an intermediate host of Schistosoma mansoni, divided in groups containing 30 mollusks. In addition, 60 non irradiated snails were kept as control. Fifty percent of the population was kept in colonies (allowing cross fertilization) while the other half was maintained in sexual isolation (allowing self fertilization) and during one month their growth was observed through the daily measurement of the shell diameter. Results showed that after 20 Gy doses the growth in shell diameter of irradiated snails was greater than that of the control group after 30 days. At this dose the snail size was the greatest, among all isolated groups. The 80 Gy doses also induced the final shell diameter of isolated snails to be greater then that observed in the control groups. As this effect was most evident among the isolated snails, a possible hormonal role may have been involved in the observed phenomena, which is under investigation with the objective of identifying any future applications that this could have to schistosomiasis control. (+info)