Deoxyribonuclease II (DNase II) is a well-known acidic endonuclease that catalyses the degradation of DNA into oligonucleotides. Only one or a few genes encoding DNase II have been observed in the genomes of many species. 125 DNase II-like protein family genes were predicted in the Trichinella spiralis (T. spiralis) genome; however, none have been confirmed. DNase II is a monomeric nuclease that contains two copies of a variant HKD motif in the N- and C-termini. Of these 125 genes, only plancitoxin-1 (1095 bp, GenBank accession no. XM_003370715.1) contains the HKD motif in its C-terminus domain.
Abstract We analyzed 32 specimens from nine species of Mustelidae for Trichinella; six infections from two Trichinella species were observed from three host species. This provides documentation of Trichinella in Mustela erminea and Martes foina in Romania and Trichinella spiralis in a mustelid host from Europe. Trichinella spiralis continues to be a public challenge characterized by a wide host range and geographical distribution ( Pozio 2007 ). During the past 20 yr, Romania has had the most reported human cases of trichinellosis in the world ( Blaga et al. 2007 ). Transmission occurs among domesticated swine, rats, and wild mammals that feed by scavenging or predation ( Pozio 2000 ). Trichinella transmission to humans may occur by consumption of meat of livestock infected after exposure to wildlife ( Pozio et al. 2009 ).
A clone, designated L20h-Ts3, was selected by immunoscreening of cDNA libraries of Trichinella spiralis worms collected 14h, 20h and 48h post-infection (p.i.) from mice intestines. L20h-Ts3 encodes the full-length of a conserved hypothetical protein of 13.1kDa involving putative interaction with the immune system. PCR analysis showed that L20h-Ts3 mRNA is constitutively expressed throughout T. spiralis life cycle and not restricted to intestinal stages. The L20h-Ts3 fusion protein was obtained in an Escherichia coli expression system and purified by Ni-affinity chromatography before inoculation into mice in order to produce polyclonal antibodies. Then, immunohistochemical study and Western blot analysis revealed its presence within the stichosome of T. spiralis and in excretory/secretory products strengthening a putative fundamental role for the parasite's survival such as host tissue invasion or modification of the host muscular cell phenotype. L20h-Ts3 fusion protein was recognized in Western blot as soon as 15-20 days p.i. by sera from pigs experimentally infected with 20,000 muscle larvae (ML) of T. spiralis. Thus, an indirect L20h-Ts3 ELISA was designed and evaluated using sera from experimentally infected pigs by comparison with the only ELISA currently available for trichinellosis purposes. A gain of precocity from 7 up to 14 days and detection up to 25 weeks p.i. was possible with the L20h-Ts3 ELISA offering a large window for trichinellosis detection. The L20h-Ts3 ELISA was less effective in the case of low infections in pigs. Nevertheless, these results show that the L20h-Ts3 ELISA has a real interest due to its precocity and stability of detection in time. The association of the L20h-Ts3 fusion protein with other antigenic proteins identified previously could appreciably improve the serological test and facilitate its standardization.
Freeze-tolerance of encapsulated Trichinella muscle larvae (ML) is mainly determined by Trichinella species, but is also influenced by host species, the age of the infection and the storage time and temperature of the infected meat. Moreover, the freeze-tolerance of the encapsulated species appears to be correlated to the development of thick capsule walls which increases with age. An extended infection period and the muscle composition in some hosts (e.g. herbivores) may provide freeze-avoiding matrices due to high carbohydrate contents. The present experiment compares freeze-tolerance of Trichinella spiralis and Trichinella britovi ML in wild boar meat 24 weeks post inoculation (wpi). Three groups of four wild boars were infected with 200, 2000 or 20,000 ML of T. britovi (ISS 1575), respectively. Additionally, three wild boars were inoculated with 20,000 ML of T. spiralis (ISS 004) and two animals served as negative controls. All wild boars were sacrificed 24 wpi. Muscle samples of 70 g were stored at -21°C for 19, 30 and 56 h, and for 1-8 weeks. Larvae were recovered by artificial digestion. Their mobilities were recorded using Saisam(®) image analysis software and their infectivities were evaluated using mouse bioassays. Samples frozen for 19, 30 and 56 h allowed recovery of mobile ML, but samples frozen for 1 or 2 weeks did not. Correspondingly, only T. spiralis and T. britovi larvae isolated from wild boar meat frozen for 19, 30 and 56 h established in mice. This study showed that freezing at -21°C for 1 week inactivated T. spiralis and T. britovi ML encapsulated in wild boar meat for 24 weeks.
The excretory-secretory products (ESP) released by muscle stage of Trichinella spiralis have been suggested to be involved in nurse cell formation. However, the molecular mechanisms by which ESP modulate nurse cell formation remain unclear. In the present study, the ability of ESP of muscle larvae of T. spiralis (ML-ESP) to influence the proliferation and differentiation of murine myoblasts and the mechanisms were evaluated in vitro using C2C12 myoblast cell line, which were incubated for various times under grow or differentiation culture medium containing various concentrations of ML-ESP. The results indicated that ML-ESP promoted myoblast proliferation in a dose-dependent manner and increased the expression of the cell-cycle regulator cyclin D1 as well as that of proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA). Conversely, ML-ESP inhibited the differentiation of these cells, which was evidenced by a reduction in the levels of MHC and MRFs expression (MyoD and myogenin) as well as that of p21. In addition, ML-ESP also inhibited the phosphorylation of p38 MAPK in differentiating C2C12 myoblast. Taken together, these results imply that certain critical mediators contained in ML-ESP inhibit myogenesis through enhancing skeletal myoblasts proliferation and down-regulating the expression of MRFs as well as involving p38 MAPK signalling pathway, which provides insight into the mechanisms utilised by T. spiralis to interfere normal wound repair in infected muscle cells and affect nurse cell formation.
Trichinella spiralis is a zoonotic nematode and food borne parasite and infection with T. spiralis leads to suppression of the host immune response and other immunopathologies. The excretory/secretory (ES) products of T. spiralis play important roles in the process of immunomodulation. However, the mechanisms and related molecules are unknown. Macrophages, a target for immunomodulation by the helminth parasite, play a critical role in initiating and modulating the host immune response to parasite infection. In this study, we examined the effect of ES products from different stages of T. spiralis on modulating J774A.1 macrophage activities. ES products from different stages of T. spiralis reduced the capacity of macrophages to express pro-inflammatory cytokines (tumor necrosis factor ?, interleukin-1? , interleukin-6 , and interleukin-12) in response to lipopolysaccharide (LPS) challenge. However, only ES products from 3-day-old adult worms and 5-day-old adult worms/new-born larvae significantly inhibited inducible nitric oxide synthase gene expression in LPS-induced macrophages. In addition, ES products alone boosted the expression of anti-inflammatory cytokines interleukin-10 and transforming growth factor-? and effector molecule arginase 1 in J774A.1 macrophages. Signal transduction studies showed that ES products significantly inhibited nuclear factor-?B translocation into the nucleus and the phosphorylation of both extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase 1/2 and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase in LPS-stimulated J774A.1 macrophages. These results suggest that ES products regulate host immune response at the macrophage level through inhibition of pro-inflammatory cytokines production and induction of macrophage toward the alternative phenotype, which maybe important for worm survival and host health.
Domestic pigs are the main representatives of the domestic cycle of Trichinella spiralis that play a role in transmission to humans. In Europe, backyard pigs of small household farms are the most important risks for humans to obtain trichinellosis. Rats might play a role in the transmission of Trichinella spiralis from domestic to sylvatic animals and vice versa. In order to be able to investigate the role of wild rats in the epidemiology of T. spiralis in The Netherlands, we studied the dynamics of antibody response after T. spiralis infections in experimental rats, using infection doses ranging from very low (10 muscle larvae, ML, per rat) to very high (16,000 ML per rat). To evaluate the feasibility of rats surviving high infection doses with T. spiralis, clinical and pathological parameters were quantified. Serological tools for detecting T. spiralis in rats were developed to quantitatively study the correlation between parasite load and immunological response. The results show that an infection dose-dependent antibody response was developed in rats after infection with as low as 10 ML up to a level of 10,000 ML. A positive correlation was found between the number of recovered ML and serum antibody levels, although specific measured antibody levels correspond to a wide range of LPG values. Serum antibodies of rats that were infected even with 10 or 25 ML could readily be detected by use of the T. spiralis western blot 2 weeks post infection. We conclude that based on these low infection doses, serologic tests are a useful tool to survey T. spiralis in wild rats.
Monitoring of Toxoplasma infection in animals destined for human consumption is a great challenge for human toxoplasmosis prevention. This study aimed to compare results obtained from a naturally infected population of sheep using different tests and targeting an original matrix: meat samples and muscle fluids collected at the slaughterhouse. A commercial ELISA test was performed on diaphragm fluids from 419 ovine carcasses collected at the slaughterhouse. A MAT (modified agglutination test) was performed on heart fluids obtained from the same animals. In addition, all hearts were bioassayed in mice. Serological test agreement, the relative sensitivity of ELISA MAT and mouse bioassay as well as a correlation between titres and parasite isolation probability were statistically evaluated. The overall agreement (kappa coefficient=0.64) of ELISA on diaphragm fluids and MAT on heart fluids is substantial and subsequently both tests can be used for epidemiological studies. Relative sensitivity was higher for MAT performed on cardiac fluids (90%) than ELISA on diaphragm fluid (61%). For both serological tests, relative sensitivity is lower in lambs younger than 12 months. Relative sensitivity of mouse inoculation was 42%. A significant correlation was obtained between increasing MAT titres and probability to isolate live parasite from the heart. When the fluid titre was higher than 1:16, parasites were isolated in 65% of cases. When it was lower, isolation failed in 95% of the cases. According to our results, cardiac fluids appear to be a relevant matrix for toxoplasmosis survey in meat.
Three expression cDNA libraries from Trichinella spiralis worms 14 h, 20 h and 48 h post-infection (p.i.) were screened with serum from pigs experimentally infected with 20,000 T. spiralis muscle larvae. Twenty-nine positive clones were isolated from the 14 h p.i. cDNA library, corresponding to 8 different genes. A putative excretory-secretory protein similar to that of T. pseudospiralis was identified. Three clones corresponded to a T. spiralis serine proteinase inhibitor known to be involved in diverse functions such as blood coagulation and modulation of inflammation. Screening of the 20 h p.i. cDNA library selected 167 positive clones representing 12 different sequences. The clone with the highest redundancy encoded a small polypeptide having no sequence identity with any known proteins from Trichinella or other organisms. Fourteen clones displayed sequence identity with the heat shock protein (HSP) 70. HSPs are produced as an adaptive response of the parasite to the hostile environment encountered in the host intestine but their mechanism of action is not yet well defined. From the 48 h p.i. T. spiralis cDNA library, 91 positive clones were identified representing 7 distinct sequences. Most of the positive clones showed high similarity with a member of a putative T. spiralis serine protease family. This result is consistent with a possible major role for serine proteases during invasive stages of Trichinella infection and host-parasite interactions.
Trichinella spiralis is transmitted and maintained in both a domestic and sylvatic cycle, whereby rats contribute to the spread of T. spiralis from domestic to sylvatic animals and vice versa. As a model for T. spiralis transmission in wildlife, we studied the potential of rats to act as a reservoir species for T. spiralis, by assessing experimentally its within-host infection dynamics, and simulating the between-host dynamics by a Monte Carlo approach. The distribution of parasite burden in individual rats is mathematically defined by roots of the dose response equation intersecting with the diagonal. In simulated between-host dynamics, up to 10(4) events of uninterrupted parasite transmission were observed. Histograms of parasite burdens per individual rat matched closely with the mixture of two gamma distributions, which were derived from the within-host infection dynamics. In conclusion, T. spiralis transmission persists in a population of rats when they cannibalize their own species. Rats should be included in the minimal set of wildlife species that maintain the life cycle of T. spiralis.
Because of its role in human disease, there are increasing global requirements for reliable diagnostic and control methods for Trichinella in food animals to ensure meat safety and to facilitate trade. Consequently, there is a need for standardization of methods, programs, and best practices used in the control of Trichinella and trichinellosis. This review article describes the biology and epidemiology of Trichinella, and describes recommended test methods as well as modified and optimized procedures that are used in meat inspection programs. The use of ELISA for monitoring animals for infection in various porcine and equine pre- and post-slaughter programs, including farm or herd certification programs is also discussed. A brief review of the effectiveness of meat processing methods, such as freezing, cooking and preserving is provided. The importance of proper quality assurance and its application in all aspects of a Trichinella diagnostic system is emphasized. It includes the use of international quality standards, test validation and standardization, critical control points, laboratory accreditation, certification of analysts and proficiency testing. Also described, are the roles and locations of international and regional reference laboratories for trichinellosis where expert advice and support on research and diagnostics are available.
Trichinella is a food-borne parasitic zoonoses and human cases are still reported in Europe mainly due to the consumption of pig meat originating from small backyard farms. Infections originating from industrialized pig farming have not been reported for decades in Europe, due to control measures to prevent the transmission of Trichinella from wildlife by indoor housing and good management practices. Therefore, risk-based monitoring programs might replace individual carcass control in industrialized pig farming as described in EU legislation SANCO 2075/2005. Transmission of Trichinella species between wildlife and the risk that may pose to humans via consumption of contaminated pork meat has not been studied quantitatively. One pathway by which human trichinellosis can occur is the rat-pig-human route. To evaluate the transmission risk though this pathway the dose responses of rat, pig, and human were studied. Experimental T. spiralis infection was performed in rats with doses of as few as 10 parasites and the data set was analysed using a newly developed dose response model that describes larvae per gram (LPG). Experimental T. spiralis infection in pig was analysed in a similar way. Furthermore nine published outbreaks of human trichinellosis were analysed to determine the dose response in humans. The risk of human trichinellosis via the rat-pig-human transmission was simulated by the Monte Carlo method. A pair of female and male parasites representing the lowest infection pressure from the environment, led to the probability of human trichinellosis by consumption of 100g of raw pork meat equal to 5% via the studied rat-pig-human pathway. In the absence of rodent control near the farm, a low infection pressure from wildlife presents a relatively high risk of human trichinellosis via consumption of uncooked pork meat.
Herbivorous animals are usually, by virtue of their diet, outside the major transmission cycles of Trichinella spp. However, since 1975, the year of the first report of human trichinellosis caused by the consumption of infected horse meat, the domestic horse has appeared as a novel vector of Trichinella spp. infection to humans, with 15 outbreaks documented in France and Italy. Romania, one of the main countries exporting horses into the European Union (EU), experienced a dramatic increase of Trichinella spp. infection in both domestic pigs and humans in the 1990s. Some Trichinella spiralis-infected horses were exported to the EU during this period. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of Trichinella spp. infections in horses from Romania using both direct and indirect tests. Of 3000 serum samples tested in 2001, none were positive by ELISA using three different Trichinella antigens (crude; excretory/secretory, ES; stg-BSA antigens). Of 2992 serum samples tested in 2002, 17 (0.56%) showed optical density values higher than the cut-off in an ELISA using ES antigens and one was confirmed by western blot (WB). Four of the 17 ELISA positive horses, including the horse with a confirmed serology by WB, were subjected for intensive meat examination at slaughter, but no Trichinella spp. larvae were detected. Further, no Trichinella spp. larvae were detected by trichinelloscopy and artificial digestion of 25,838 horses slaughtered in Alexandria and Timisoara between 2001 and 2004. The false positive results obtained by serology confirm the previous work on the unreliability of serology for detection of Trichinella spp. infection in horses. Furthermore, the lack of detection of Trichinella spp. infected horses by artificial digestion, suggests a very low prevalence of infection in horses in Romania.
Trichinellosis is one of the most important zoonotic diseases in Romania. Even though the disease is a serious public health concern, only a limited number of Trichinella isolates have been identified at the species level; in the past, all larvae were assumed to be Trichinella spiralis. The present study was conducted to identify Trichinella spp. circulating among wild and domestic animals in Romania, using PCR-based methods. Trichinella spp. larvae originating from 54 wild and 23 domestic mammals were examined. No Trichinella spp. larvae were detected in muscle samples of 182 birds. T. spiralis and Trichinella britovi were the only two species identified in the 40 isolates that yielded a positive PCR result. Overall, T. britovi was more prevalent (n=26; 65%) than T. spiralis (n=14; 35%). T. spiralis was the predominant species found in domestic animals (n=9; 75%), while T. britovi was more prevalent in wildlife (n=24; 86%). No mixed infections were found. The highest prevalence of Trichinella infection was detected in wolves (11/35; 31%), in European wild cats (4/28; 14%), and in red foxes (5/71; 7%). The distribution of Trichinella spp. in Romania does not show a species-specific clustering; both of the two species found were present over the entire range of counties studied.
Consumption of sheep meat presents a risk of human contamination by Toxoplasma gondii. A nationwide study was conducted in France to evaluate the prevalence of Toxoplasma in fresh ovine meat. A sampling procedure was established to guarantee the representativity of consumption. As is the case for meat consumed, half of the samples were from France and half were imported from other countries. Animals were selected according to their age, as lamb (<12months) represents 90% of the meat consumed. Available data for French samples allowed the selection of 16 districts distributed in seven areas according to their density of production. Diaphragms and hearts from 433 sheep were collected. Diaphragms were collected from 398 imported carcasses. Fluids from hearts and diaphragms were tested serologically. All hearts were bioassayed in mice and parasite isolates were genotyped using PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism and microsatellite markers. Prevalence estimates were calculated, taking into account uneven distribution of production and age. For French meat, the effect of area, age and their interactions was evaluated. The overall estimate of Toxoplasma seroprevalence was 17.7% (11.6-31.5%) for lambs and 89% (73.5-100%) for adults (P<0.0001). No significant difference was observed between imported and French meat. In France, seroprevalence in lambs showed an increasing North-western to Southern gradient. The proportion of French carcasses carrying live parasites according to bioassay results was estimated at 5.4% (3-7.5%) (45 genotype II; one genotype III). This study offers an accurate drawing of the toxoplasmosis pattern amongst sheep consumed in France and a model for a zoonosis hazard control survey.
Trichinellosis has major economic impacts on animal husbandry and food safety, and the control and elimination of trichinellosis is a major objective of veterinary medicine. A gene encoding serine protease of Trichinella spiralis (Ts-Adsp) was identified by immunoscreening an adult T. spiralis cDNA library. In this study, the recombinant Ts-Adsp protein (rTs-Adsp) was cloned and expressed in a prokaryotic expression system and purified by Ni-affinity chromatography. To determine whether the purified rTs-Adsp is a potential vaccine candidate for the control of T. spiralis infection, we immunized BALB/c mice with this protein in combination with an alum adjuvant and subsequently challenged with T. spiralis larvae. The results showed that mice vaccinated with rTs-Adsp exhibited an average reduction in the muscle larvae burden of 46.5% relative to the control group. Immunization with the rTs-Adsp antigen induced both humoral and cellular immune responses, which manifested as elevated specific anti-rTs-Adsp IgG and IgE antibodies and a mixed Th1-Th2 response, as determined by Th1 (IFN-? and IL-2) and Th2 (IL-4, IL-10, and IL-13) cytokine profiling, with the Th2 predominant. Thus, purified rTs-Adsp is able to limit the invasion of T. spiralis , and this protein could be an effective vaccine candidate for trichinellosis.
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