Neurocysticercosis is a leading cause of preventable epilepsy in the developing world. Sustainable community-based interventions are urgently needed to control transmission of the causative parasite, Taenia solium. We examined the geospatial relationship between live pigs with visible cysticercotic cysts on their tongues and humans with adult intestinal tapeworm infection (taeniasis) in a rural village in northern Peru. The objective was to determine whether tongue-positive pigs could indicate high-risk geographic foci for taeniasis to guide targeted screening efforts. This approach could offer significant benefit compared to mass intervention.
We recorded geographic coordinates of all village houses, collected stool samples from all consenting villagers, and collected blood and examined tongues of all village pigs. Stool samples were processed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for presence of Taenia sp. coproantigens indicative of active taeniasis; serum was processed by enzyme-linked immunoelectrotransfer blot for antibodies against T. solium cysticercosis (EITB LLGP) and T. solium taeniasis (EITB rES33).
Of 548 pigs, 256 (46.7%) were positive for antibodies against cysticercosis on EITB LLGP. Of 402 fecal samples, 6 (1.5%) were positive for the presence of Taenia sp. coproantigens. The proportion of coproantigen-positive individuals differed significantly between residents living within 100-meters of a tongue-positive pig (4/79, 5.1%) and residents living >100 meters from a tongue-positive pig (2/323, 0.6%) (p = 0.02). The prevalence of taeniasis was >8 times higher among residents living within 100 meters of a tongue-positive pig compared to residents living outside this range (adjusted PR 8.1, 95% CI 1.4–47.0).
Tongue-positive pigs in endemic communities can indicate geospatial foci in which the risk for taeniasis is increased. Targeted screening or presumptive treatment for taeniasis within these high-risk foci may be an effective and practical control intervention for rural endemic areas.
Taenia solium, aka the pork tapeworm, is an important cause of epilepsy in developing nations. People with intestinal tapeworms, a condition known as taeniasis, pass infectious eggs in their feces which contaminate the environment. These eggs can cause serious disease in both humans and pigs if they are ingested. Treating taeniasis is one way to potentially control transmission of the parasite in affected communities. However, this is difficult because people with taeniasis usually have no symptoms and therefore don't know they are infected. As a result, control programs may resort to offering treatment to entire communities in order to reach a few tapeworm carriers. Focusing detection and treatment on high-risk subgroups is another approach which might reduce unnecessary treatments. In this study, we found that people with taeniasis are more likely to be found living nearby pigs with visible signs of infection, specifically tapeworm cysts on their tongues. This suggests that routine tongue examination by pig owners and buyers could identify neighborhoods where detection and treatment of taeniasis may be more efficient.
To determine the frequency of spinal neurocysticercosis (NCC) in patients with basal subarachnoid NCC compared with that in individuals with viable limited intraparenchymal NCC (≤20 live cysts in the brain).
We performed a prospective observational case-control study of patients with NCC involving the basal cisterns or patients with only limited intraparenchymal NCC. All patients underwent MRI examinations of the brain and the entire spinal cord to assess spinal involvement.
Twenty-seven patients with limited intraparenchymal NCC, and 28 patients with basal subarachnoid NCC were included in the study. Spinal involvement was found in 17 patients with basal subarachnoid NCC and in only one patient with limited intraparenchymal NCC (odds ratio 40.18, 95% confidence interval 4.74–340.31; p < 0.0001). All patients had extramedullary (intradural) spinal NCC, and the lumbosacral region was the most frequently involved (89%). Patients with extensive spinal NCC more frequently had ventriculoperitoneal shunt placement (7 of 7 vs 3 of 11; p = 0.004) and tended to have a longer duration of neurologic symptoms than those with regional involvement (72 months vs 24 months; p = 0.062).
The spinal subarachnoid space is commonly involved in patients with basal subarachnoid NCC, compared with those with only intraparenchymal brain cysts. Spinal cord involvement probably explains serious late complications including chronic meningitis and gait disorders that were described before the introduction of antiparasitic therapy. MRI of the spine should be performed in basal subarachnoid disease to document spinal involvement, prevent complications, and monitor for recurrent disease.
Taenia solium causes taeniasis and cysticercosis, a zoonotic complex associated with a significant burden of epilepsy in most countries. Reliable diagnosis and efficacious treatment of taeniasis are needed for disease control. Currently, cure can be confirmed only after a period of at least 1 month, by negative stool microscopy. This study assessed the performance of detection by a coproantigen enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (CoAg-ELISA) for the early evaluation of the efficacy of antiparasitic treatment of human T. solium taeniasis. We followed 69 tapeworm carriers who received niclosamide as standard treatment. Stool samples were collected on days 1, 3, 7, 15, 30, and 90 after treatment and were processed by microscopy and CoAg-ELISA. The efficacy of niclosamide was 77.9% (53/68). Thirteen patients received a second course of treatment and completed the follow-up. CoAg-ELISA was therefore evaluated for a total of 81 cases (68 treatments, 13 retreatments). In successful treatments (n = 64), the proportion of patients who became negative by CoAg-ELISA was 62.5% after 3 days, 89.1% after 7 days, 96.9% after 15 days, and 100% after 30 days. In treatment failures (n = 17), the CoAg-ELISA result was positive for 70.6% of patients after 3 days, 94.1% after 7 days, and 100% after 15 and 30 days. Only 2 of 17 samples in cases of treatment failure became positive by microscopy by day 30. The presence of one scolex, but not multiple scolices, in posttreatment stools was strongly associated with cure (odds ratio [OR], 52.5; P < 0.001). CoAg-ELISA is useful for the assessment of treatment failure in taeniasis. Early assessment at day 15 would detect treatment failure before patients become infective.
Diagnosis of Taenia solium cysticercosis is an important component in the control and elimination of cysticercosis and taeniasis. New detection assays using recombinant and synthetic antigens originating from the lentil lectin-purified glycoproteins (LLGPs) of T. solium cysticerci were developed in a QuickELISA™ format. We analyzed a panel of 474 serum samples composed of 108 serum samples from donors with two or more viable cysts, 252 serum samples from persons with other parasitic infections, and 114 serum samples from persons with no documented illnesses. The sensitivities and specificities of T24H QuickELISA™, GP50 QuickELISA™, and Ts18var1 QuickELISA™ were 96.3% and 99.2%, 93.5% and 98.6%, and 89.8% and 96.4%, respectively, for detecting cases with multiple, viable cysts. T24H QuickELISA™ performs best among the three assays, and has sensitivity and specificity values comparable to those of the LLGP enzyme-linked immunosorbent blot. The QuickELISA™ are simple, rapid quantitative methods for detecting antibodies specific for T. solium cysticerci antigens.
Anomalous origin of the left coronary artery from the pulmonary artery (ALCAPA) is a rare coronary artery anomaly. This study shows the role of cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) in assessing young patients following surgical repair of ALCAPA.
6 patients, aged 9-21 years, with repaired ALCAPA (2 Tackeuchi method, 4 direct re-implantation) underwent CMR because of clinical suspicion of myocardial ischemia. Imaging used short and long axis cine images (assess ventricular function), late-gadolinium enhancement (LGE) (detect segmental myocardial fibrosis), adenosine stress perfusion (detect reversible ischaemia) and 3D whole-heart imaging (visualize proximal coronary arteries).
The left ventricular (LV) global systolic function was preserved in all patients (mean LV ejection fraction = 62.7% ± 4.23%). The LV volumes were within the normal ranges, (mean indexed LVEDV = 75.4 ± 3.5 ml/m2, LVESV = 31.6 ± 9.4 ml/m2). In 1 patient, hypokinesia of the anterior segments was visualized. Five patients showed sub-endocardial LGE involving the basal, antero-lateral wall and the anterior papillary muscle. Three patients had areas of reversible ischemia. In these 3, 3D whole-heart MRA showed that the proximal course of the left coronary artery was occluded (confirmed with cardiac catheterisation).
CMR is a good, non-invasive, radiation-free investigation in the post-surgical evaluation of ALCAPA. In referred patients we show that basal, antero-lateral sub-endocardial myocardial fibrosis is a characteristic finding. Furthermore, stress adenosine CMR perfusion, can identify reversible ischemia in this group, and was indicative of left coronary artery occlusion.
Neurocysticercosis is the main cause of acquired epilepsy in developing countries and is an emerging disease in the United States. Introduction of the immunoblot assay provided a new tool for the diagnosis and monitoring of neurocysticercosis. This study analyzed the relationship between clinical characteristics of cerebral infection (number and type of lesions) plus the baseline response on immunoblot and the changes observed after therapy. Reaction to all 7 diagnostic bands was associated with severe infection (more lesions). Seventeen patients (35%) had no active lesions on computed tomography (CT) 3 months after therapy and were considered cured. Although most cured patients remained seropositive after 1 year, 3 became seronegative before 9 months. In these 3 cases, the lesions had resolved on CT at 3 months. Persistent seropositivity does not necessarily indicate active infection. Serologic follow-up will be clinically helpful only in rare cases in which early antibody disappearance occurs.
Taenia solium cysticercosis is an important cause of human disease in many developing countries. Porcine cysticercosis is a vital link in the transmission of this disease and impairs meat production. A treatment for porcine cysticercosis may be an effective way of preventing human disease that would also benefit pig farmers, facilitating control programs in disease-endemic regions. Previous research suggests that reinfection with cysticercosis or immunotherapy with cysticercal antigens may cause degeneration of cysticerci, potentially curing porcine cysticercosis. Therefore, a blinded, randomized, controlled study to assess the efficacy and safety of immunotherapy in 28 naturally parasitized pigs was performed. Four groups of pigs with similar weights were inoculated twice with membrane-enriched cysticercal antigens (MA), saline, aqueous-soluble crude cysticercal antigens (AA) in adjuvant (Freund's complete then incomplete), or adjuvant alone. Immunotherapy was well tolerated but had no consistent effect on the macroscopic appearance of cysticerci or eosinophil count. Histopathologic findings were variable, with both severe and minimal inflammatory reactions seen in adjacent cysticerci in all pigs. Nine (64%) of 14 pigs given immunotherapy developed new antibody bands on electroimmunotransfer blot compared with one (7%) of 14 control pigs (P < 0.01). Treatment with AA in adjuvant caused a significant increase in the proportion of cysticerci that failed to evaginate and were, therefore, not viable for infecting humans (34% for pigs given AA in adjuvant compared with 10% for adjuvant alone; P < 0.04). Although immunotherapy caused a statistically significant decrease in the viability of cysticerci, this immunologic reaction was not great enough to prevent human disease.
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is characterized by left ventricular hypertrophy, increased ventricular stiffness and impaired diastolic filling. We investigated to what extent myocardial functional defects can be explained by alterations in the passive and active properties of human cardiac myofibrils. Skinned ventricular myocytes were prepared from patients with obstructive HCM (two patients with MYBPC3 mutations, one with a MYH7 mutation, and three with no mutation in either gene) and from four donors. Passive stiffness, viscous properties, and titin isoform expression were similar in HCM myocytes and donor myocytes. Maximal Ca2+-activated force was much lower in HCM myocytes (14 ± 1 kN/m2) than in donor myocytes (23 ± 3 kN/m2; P < 0.01), though cross-bridge kinetics (ktr) during maximal Ca2+ activation were 10% faster in HCM myocytes. Myofibrillar Ca2+ sensitivity in HCM myocytes (pCa50 = 6.40 ± 0.05) was higher than for donor myocytes (pCa50 = 6.09 ± 0.02; P < 0.001) and was associated with reduced phosphorylation of troponin-I (ser-23/24) and MyBP-C (ser-282) in HCM myocytes. These characteristics were common to all six HCM patients and may therefore represent a secondary consequence of the known and unknown underlying genetic variants. Some HCM patients did however exhibit an altered relationship between force and cross-bridge kinetics at submaximal Ca2+ concentrations, which may reflect the primary mutation. We conclude that the passive viscoelastic properties of the myocytes are unlikely to account for the increased stiffness of the HCM ventricle. However, the low maximum Ca2+-activated force and high Ca2+ sensitivity of the myofilaments are likely to contribute substantially to any systolic and diastolic dysfunction, respectively, in hearts of HCM patients.
► The passive stiffness of skinned HCM cardiac myocytes was similar to that of normal (donor) myocytes. ► Maximum Ca-activated force production was reduced by 40% in HCM vs donor myocytes. ► This loss of force could contribute to systolic dysfunction in HCM hearts. ► Myofibrillar Ca sensitivity was higher in HCM than in donor myocytes. ► The enhanced Ca sensitivity could compensate for the smaller maximum force but would tend to cause diastolic dysfunction. ► These characteristics were common to all HCM patients studied, suggesting the changes were secondary consequence of the underlying genetic variants.
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy; Skinned cardiac myocytes; Viscoelasticity; Ca2+ sensitivity; Cross-bridge kinetics
Taeniasis/cysticercosis caused by Taenia solium is a frequent parasitic infection of the human brain in most of the world. Rapid and simple screening tools to identify taeniasis and cysticercosis cases are needed for control programs, mostly to identify tapeworm carriers which are the source of infection and need to be treated, or as tools for point-of-care case detection or confirmation. These screening assays should be affordable, reliable, rapid, and easy to perform. Immunochromatographic tests meet these criteria. To demonstrate proof of principle, we developed and evaluated two magnetic immunochromatographic tests (MICTs) for detection of human Taenia solium taeniasis antibodies (ES33-MICT) and neurocysticercosis antibodies (T24-MICT). These assays detected stage-specific antibodies by using two recombinant proteins, rES33 for detection of taeniasis antibodies and rT24H for detection of cysticercosis antibodies. The sensitivity and specificity of the ES33-MICT to detect taeniasis infections were 94.5% and 96%, respectively, and those of the T24-MICT to detect cases of human cysticercosis with two or more viable brain cysts were 93.9% and 98.9%, respectively. These data provide proof of principle that the ES33- and T24-MICTs provide rapid and suitable methods to identify individuals with taeniasis and cysticercosis.
To prospectively evaluate homograft function with cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging 1 year after insertion into the pulmonary position, and to assess the impact of in situ homograft geometry, surgical factors, and ‘intrinsic’ homograft properties on early valve incompetence.
Methods and results
A total of 60 patients (mean age 21 ± 10 years; 35 females) with congenital heart disease underwent pulmonary valve replacement with homograft insertion and were prospectively enrolled into a study protocol that included serial echocardiography and CMR 1 year after surgery. None of the patients had homograft stenosis but 10 (17%) had significant homograft incompetence (i.e. pulmonary regurgitation fraction >20% on CMR). A higher incidence of ‘eccentric’ pulmonary forward flow pattern (P < 0.001, Fisher's exact test), more acute ‘homograft distortion angle’ (P < 0.001), larger relative ‘annular’ size (P < 0.01), and greater pre-homograft right ventricular outflow tract (RVOT) diameters (P = 0.01) at CMR was seen in those with worse homograft function. In a backward multivariate linear regression model, ‘eccentric’ pulmonary forward flow pattern (rpart = 0.36, P < 0.001), ‘homograft distortion angle’ (rpart = 0.31, P = 0.001), and pre-homograft RVOT diameter (rpart = 0.19, P = 0.03) were independently associated with the degree of pulmonary regurgitation (in %) at 1 year.
Using CMR, in this prospective cohort study, we have shown that significant valve incompetence is present in one-sixth of patients after homograft insertion into the pulmonary position, and that alterations in the in situ homograft geometry were associated with the likelihood of developing valve incompetence. These findings imply that mechanical factors may have an important impact on homograft performance.
Congenital heart disease; Surgical pulmonary valve replacement; Conduit function; Magnetic resonance imaging
Cysticercosis contributes to higher epilepsy rates in developing countries than in industrialized ones, yet no estimate exists for the associated burden of disease. We used epidemiological data on neurocysticercosis in Peru to calculate the burden of disease and applied our model to the other countries of Latin America where neurocysticercosis is endemic to determine a regional estimate. Analysis of 12 population-based community studies demonstrated that neurocysticercosis was endemic in highland areas and high jungles, with seroprevalences from 6% to 24%. In one community, the adult seizure disorder rate was 9.1% among seropositive persons versus 4.6% among seronegative persons; we used this difference for estimates. On the basis of average prevalence rates in areas of endemicity of 6%–10%, we estimated that there are 23,512–39,186 symptomatic neurocysticercosis cases in Peru. In Latin America, an estimated 75 million persons live in areas where cysticercosis is endemic, and ~400,000 have symptomatic disease. Cysticercosis contributes substantially to neurological disease in Peru and in all of Latin America.
One of the best-characterized tests for the diagnosis of neurocysticercosis is the enzyme-linked immunoelectrotransfer blot assay, developed at the CDC, which uses lentil lectin-purified glycoproteins (LLGPs) extracted from Taenia solium cysticerci. The purification of the LLGP antigens has been difficult to standardize, and the polyacrylamide gel system used for the immunoblot assay is not easily transferable to other laboratories. In this study, we developed a multiantigen printing immunoassay (MAPIA) to compare the performance of multiple recombinant Taenia solium proteins with the potential for the detection of cysticercosis and taeniasis. We prepared MAPIA strips using six cysticercosis and two taeniasis diagnostic proteins and compared the performance of the proteins with sera collected from defined cysticercosis and taeniasis cases. Of the six cysticercosis antigens, rT24H performed well in detecting cases with two or more viable cysts in the brain (sensitivity and specificity, 97% and 99.4%, respectively); the use of a combination of cysticercosis antigens did not improve the sensitivity of the test and decreased the specificity. None of the antigens could differentiate the different clinical presentations of cysticercosis. Both of the taeniasis antigens (rES33 and rES38) had the same sensitivity of 99.4% and specificities of 93.9% and 94.5%, respectively. Some cross-reactivity against rES33 and rES38 was found, especially with sera from cases infected with Schistosoma mansoni. We conclude that MAPIA is a simple and effective tool that may be used to compare antibody responses to different cysticercosis and taeniasis antigens and, in this case, may be useful for the rapid detection of T. solium cases.
Epilepsy is a serious neurological disorder and neurocysticercosis (NCC), the central nervous system infection by the larvae of Taenia solium, is the main cause of acquired epilepsy in developing countries. NCC is becoming more frequent in industrialized countries due to immigration from endemic areas. Previously reported epilepsy incidences range from 30 to 50/100,000 people in industrialized countries and 90 to 122/100,000 people in developing countries.
To determine the incidence of epilepsy in a cysticercosis endemic area of Peru.
A screening survey for possible seizure cases was repeated biannually in this cohort for a period of 5 years (1999–2004) using a previously validated questionnaire. All positive respondents throughout the study were examined by a trained neurologist in the field to confirm the seizure. If confirmed, they were offered treatment, serological testing, neuroimaging (CT scans and MRI) and clinical follow-up.
The cohort study comprised 817 individuals. The overall epilepsy incidence rate was 162.3/100,000 person-years, and for epileptic seizures, 216.6/100,000 person-years. Out of the 8 individuals who had epileptic seizures, 4 had markers for NCC (neuroimaging and/or serology).
The incidence of epilepsy in this area endemic for cysticercosis is one of the highest reported worldwide.
Epilepsy; Parasitic infection; Neurocysticercosis; Incidence study
Objective: Coarctation of the aorta has often been described as a simple form of congenital heart disease. However, rates of re-coarctation reported in the literature vary from 7% to 60%. Re-coarctation of the aorta may lead to worsening systemic hypertension, coronary artery disease and/or congestive cardiac failure. We aimed to describe the rates of re-coarctation in subjects who had undergone early coarctation repair (<2 years of age) and referred for clinically indicated or routine magnetic resonance (MR) surveillance. Methods: We retrospectively identified 50 consecutive subjects (20.2 ± 6.9 years post-repair) imaged between 2004 and 2008. Patient characteristics, rates of re-coarctation and LV/aortic dimensions were examined. Results: Forty percent of subjects had bicuspid aortic valves (BAV). There were 40 cases of end-to-end repair and 10 cases of subclavian flap repair. Re-intervention with balloon angioplasty or repeat surgery had been performed in 32% of subjects. The MRI referrals were clinically indicated in 34% and routine in 66% of patients. Re-coarctation was considered moderate or severe in 34%, mild in 34% and no re-coarctation was identified in 32% of patients. There was no significant difference in the number of cases of re-coarctation identified in the clinically indicated versus routine referrals for MR imaging (p = 0.20). There were no cases of aortic dissection or aneurysm formation identified amongst the subjects. The mean indexed left ventricular mass and ejection fraction was 72 ± 16 g/m2 and 66 ± 6%, respectively. Amongst those subjects with BAV there were larger aortic sinus (30 ± 1 mm vs 27 ± 1 mm, p = 0.03) and ascending aortic (27 ± 1 mm vs 23 ± 1 mm, p = 0.01) dimensions when compared to subjects with morphologically tricuspid aortic valves. Conclusions: We demonstrate that many years after early repair of coarctation of the aorta, MR surveillance detects significant rates of re-coarctation. These findings were independent of whether or not there was a clinical indication for imaging. Those patients with BAV disease had larger ascending aortic dimensions and may require more frequent non-invasive surveillance.
Coarctation; Aorta; Surgery; Magnetic resonance imaging
The Ross procedure offers good autograft function and low reoperation rates for the neoaortic valve; however, the rate of conduit dysfunction in the right ventricular outflow tract remains a concern. This study assessed percutaneous pulmonary valve implantation in this setting.
We retrospectively analyzed outcomes of 12 patients (mean age 28 ± 5 years) referred for percutaneous pulmonary valve implantation to treat right ventricle–pulmonary artery conduit failure 11.1 ± 3.3 years after Ross procedure.
Percutaneous pulmonary valve implantation was feasible in all 12 patients, with no procedural complications (procedure time 99 ± 16 minutes, fluoroscopy time 21 ± 6 minutes). Right ventricular outflow tract gradient during catheterization and pulmonary regurgitant fraction on magnetic resonance imaging fell after valve implantation (gradient 34 ± 6 to 14 ± 3 mm Hg, P < .01, regurgitant fraction 20% ± 6% to 2% ± 1%, P < .05). After restoration of right ventricular outflow tract function, indexed right ventricular end-diastolic volume decreased (91 ± 13 to 78 ± 12 mL · beat−1 · m−2, P < .01) and maximal cardiopulmonary exercise performance improved (peak oxygen consumption 25.4 ± 2.3 to 30.8 ± 3.0 mL · kg−1 · min−1, P < .01). During follow-up (18.8 ± 4.6 months), there was 1 device explantation (restenosis). The probabilities of freedom from right ventricular outflow tract reoperation were 100% at 1 year and 90% at 3 years.
Percutaneous pulmonary valve implantation provides an effective transcatheter treatment strategy to prolong the lifespan of right ventricle–pulmonary artery conduits after the Ross procedure, reducing the reoperation burden on patients with aortic valve disease.
CPEX, cardiopulmonary exercise; MRI, magnetic resonance imaging; PA, pulmonary artery; PPVI, percutaneous pulmonary valve implantation; RV, right ventricle; RVOT, right ventricular outflow tract
Neurocysticercosis accounts for 30%–50% of all late-onset epilepsy in endemic countries. We assessed the clustering patterns of Taenia solium human cysticercosis seropositivity and seizures around tapeworm carriers in seven rural communities in Peru.
The presence of T. solium–specific antibodies was defined as one or more positive bands in the enzyme-linked immunoelectrotransfer blot (EITB). Neurocysticercosis-related seizures cases were diagnosed clinically and had positive neuroimaging or EITB.
Eleven tapeworm carriers were identified by stool microscopy. The seroprevalence of human cysticercosis was 24% (196/803). Seroprevalence was 21% >50 m from a carrier and increased to 32% at 1–50 m (p = 0.047), and from that distance seroprevalence had another significant increase to 64% at the homes of carriers (p = 0.004). Seizure prevalence was 3.0% (25/837) but there were no differences between any pair of distance ranges (p = 0.629, Wald test 2 degrees of freedom).
We observed a significant human cysticercosis seroprevalence gradient surrounding current tapeworm carriers, although cysticercosis-related seizures did not cluster around carriers. Due to differences in the timing of the two outcomes, seroprevalence may reflect recent T. solium exposure more accurately than seizure frequency.
Cysticercosis is a parasitic disease caused by the tapeworm Taenia solium, common in areas with limited sanitation or with migration from these populations. The adult parasite is hosted in the human intestine and releases large numbers of eggs with the feces. Human beings sometimes ingest eggs due to poor hygiene, and then eggs sometimes lodge on the brain and after a few years can cause intense headaches and seizures. During a study in seven rural communities in Peru, individuals exposed to T. solium eggs were often tightly clustered at the homes or immediate surrounding of the carriers of the adult parasite. However, no aggregation of cases of seizures was found near carriers. It appears that seizures do not cluster around carriers because several years pass between exposure to T. solium eggs and the onset of seizures. During these years the adult parasite has probably died or people had moved within or even outside their communities. Therefore, only a partial understanding of the epidemiology of cysticercosis is gained by studying seizures cases.
Infections due to Taenia solium in humans (taeniasis/cysticercosis) remain a complex health problem, particularly in developing countries. We identified two oncosphere proteins that might protect the porcine intermediate host against cysticercosis and therefore help prevent disease in humans. One of these proteins was further identified by two-dimensional gel-electrophoresis and micro-sequencing. The gene encoding this protective protein was also identified, cloned and characterized. The native 31.5 KD protein Tso31 has four variants at the cDNA level. The longest sequence from which the others seem to derive, encodes a 253 amino acid peptide. The predicted protein has a molecular weight of 25.1 KD, one putative N-glycosylation site, two fibronectin type III domains, and one C terminal transmembrane domain. The gene structure of the protein consists of four exons and three introns. The finding of one gene and four different cDNAs for Tso31 suggests the existence of a possible mechanism of differential splicing in this parasite. The Tso31 protein is exclusive to T. solium oncospheres with a putative protein structure of an extra-cellular receptor-like protein. The Tso31 protein was expressed as a recombinant protein fused to GST and tested in a vaccine to determine its effectiveness in protecting pigs against cysticercosis. Only two pigs out of eight vaccinated were protected and although the total median number of cyst decreased in vaccinated pigs compared to controls this decrease was not statistically significant (P=0.09).
Taenia solium; cysticercosis; taeniasis; cDNA; protein sequencing
The aim of the study was to compare the functional and structural properties of the motor protein, myosin, and isolated myocyte contractility in heart muscle excised from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy patients by surgical myectomy with explanted failing heart and non-failing donor heart muscle.
Myosin was isolated and studied using an in vitro motility assay. The distribution of myosin light chain-1 isoforms was measured by two-dimensional electrophoresis. Myosin light chain-2 phosphorylation was measured by sodium dodecyl sulphate–polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis using Pro-Q Diamond phosphoprotein stain.
The fraction of actin filaments moving when powered by myectomy myosin was 21% less than with donor myosin (P = 0.006), whereas the sliding speed was not different (0.310 ± 0.034 for myectomy myosin vs. 0.305 ± 0.019 µm/s for donor myosin in six paired experiments). Failing heart myosin showed 18% reduced motility. One myectomy myosin sample produced a consistently higher sliding speed than donor heart myosin and was identified with a disease-causing heavy chain mutation (V606M). In myectomy myosin, the level of atrial light chain-1 relative to ventricular light chain-1 was 20 ± 5% compared with 11 ± 5% in donor heart myosin and the level of myosin light chain-2 phosphorylation was decreased by 30–45%. Isolated cardiomyocytes showed reduced contraction amplitude (1.61 ± 0.25 vs. 3.58 ± 0.40%) and reduced relaxation rates compared with donor myocytes (TT50% = 0.32 ± 0.09 vs. 0.17 ± 0.02 s).
Contractility in myectomy samples resembles the hypocontractile phenotype found in end-stage failing heart muscle irrespective of the primary stimulus, and this phenotype is not a direct effect of the hypertrophy-inducing mutation. The presence of a myosin heavy chain mutation causing hypertrophic cardiomyopathy can be predicted from a simple functional assay.
Contractile apparatus; Contractile function; Hypertrophy; Protein phosphorylation; Myosin; Myectomy; Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
Seroprevalence and Risk Factors for Human Herpesvirus 8 Infection, Rural Egypt, Salivary and nosocomial transmission are possible.
To determine whether human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8) is associated with schistosomal and hepatitis C virus infections in Egypt, we surveyed 965 rural household participants who had been tested for HHV-8 and schistosomal infection (seroprevalence 14.2% and 68.6%, respectively, among those <15 years of age, and 24.2% and 72.8%, respectively, among those ≥15 years of age). Among adults, HHV-8 seropositivity was associated with higher age, lower education, dental treatment, tattoos, >10 lifetime injections, and hepatitis C virus seropositivity. In adjusted analyses, HHV-8 seropositivity was associated with dental treatment among men (odds ratio [OR] 2.4, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.1–5.2) and hepatitis C virus seropositivity among women (OR 3.3, 95% CI 1.4–7.9). HHV-8 association with antischistosomal antibodies was not significant for men (OR 2.1, 95% CI 0.3–16.4), but marginal for women (OR 1.5, 95% CI 1.0–2.5). Our findings suggest salivary and possible nosocomial HHV-8 transmission in rural Egypt.
HHV-8; epidemiology; transmission; Africa; cancer; schistosomiasis; research
The Western blot for cysticercosis, which uses lentil lectin purified glycoprotein (LLGP) antigens extracted from the metacestode of Taenia solium, has been the “gold standard” serodiagnostic assay since it was first described in 1989. We report that the diagnostic antigens at 14, 18, and 21 kDa, as well as some larger disulfide-bonded antigens, are actually all members of a very closely related family of proteins, the 8-kDa antigens. The genes for 18 unique, mature proteins have been identified. Nine of these were chemically synthesized and tested in an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay with a battery of defined serum samples, including 32 cysticercosis-positive serum samples reactive with the 8-kDa antigens of LLGP on Western blotting, 34 serum samples from patients with other parasitic infections, and 15 normal human serum samples. One of the 8-kDa antigens, TsRS1, is 100% sensitive and 100% specific. TsRS1 will be one component of a cocktail of three to four synthetic or recombinant antigens, based on the diagnostic bands of the Western blot, which will be used for the serodiagnosis of cysticercosis.
Taenia solium neurocysticercosis is a common cause of epileptic seizures and other neurological morbidity in most developing countries. It is also an increasingly common diagnosis in industrialized countries because of immigration from areas where it is endemic. Its clinical manifestations are highly variable and depend on the number, stage, and size of the lesions and the host's immune response. In part due to this variability, major discrepancies exist in the treatment of neurocysticercosis. A panel of experts in taeniasis/cysticercosis discussed the evidence on treatment of neurocysticercosis for each clinical presentation, and we present the panel's consensus and areas of disagreement. Overall, four general recommendations were made: (i) individualize therapeutic decisions, including whether to use antiparasitic drugs, based on the number, location, and viability of the parasites within the nervous system; (ii) actively manage growing cysticerci either with antiparasitic drugs or surgical excision; (iii) prioritize the management of intracranial hypertension secondary to neurocysticercosis before considering any other form of therapy; and (iv) manage seizures as done for seizures due to other causes of secondary seizures (remote symptomatic seizures) because they are due to an organic focus that has been present for a long time.
Neurocysticercosis appears to be on the rise in the United States, based on immigration patterns and published cases series, including reports of domestic acquisition. We used a collaborative network of U.S. emergency departments to characterize the epidemiology of neurocysticercosis in seizure patients. Data were collected prospectively at 11 university-affiliated, geographically diverse, urban U.S. emergency departments from July 1996 to September 1998. Patients with a seizure who underwent neuroimaging were included. Of the 1,801 patients enrolled in the study, 38 (2.1%) had seizures attributable to neurocysticercosis. The disease was detected in 9 of the 11 sites and was associated with Hispanic ethnicity, immigrant status, and exposure to areas where neurocysticercosis is endemic. This disease appears to be widely distributed and highly prevalent in certain populations (e.g., Hispanic patients) and areas (e.g., Southwest).