Biologic and Molecular Characterisation of Parasites and Antiparasitic Activity of Natural Products: A Themed Issue Dedicated to Dr. Rafael A. Martínez-Díaz

A special issue of Microorganisms (ISSN 2076-2607). This special issue belongs to the section "Parasitology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2023) | Viewed by 7220

Special Issue Editors

Animal Health Department, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Interests: Parasitic Diseases; zoonosis; giardia; trichomonas; blastocystis; leishmania; epidemiology; natural products
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM), Arzobispo Morcillo S/N, 28029 Madrid, Spain
Interests: antiprotozoal activity; natural products; antiparasitic; antileishmanial; antitrypanosomal
Departamento de Microbiología y Parasitología, Facultad de Farmacia, Universidad Complutense, Plaza Ramón y Cajal s/n, 28040 Madrid, Spain
Interests: animal parasitology; human parasitology; protozoology; Entamoeba; ciliates; intestinal flagellates; taxonomy; epidemiology; morphology and molecular biology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Rafael A. Martínez-Díaz, Professor of Parasitology at the Faculty of Medicine in the Autonomous University of Madrid (Spain), was a tireless worker who dedicated more than 30 years of his life to contributing to the advancement of Parasitology. In addition to being an excellent researcher, “Rafa” was an exceptional teacher, much loved by his students for his wisdom, his patience, and his logical and orderly way of teaching.

Rafa was a person of great human qualities, among which his generosity, kindness, and education stand out. He also spent a significant amount of his time facilitating international cooperation with students of medicine. For many of us, in addition to a colleague who could always be trusted, he was also a loyal friend.

In the scientific field, Rafa excelled especially in two areas to which he devoted equal parts of his time: the biological, genetic, and epidemiological characterization of animal and human parasites, and the search for new treatments against various parasitosis, especially treatments based on natural products and their components.

In this Special Issue, contributions in both thematic areas are welcome in the form of original research, short communications, and reviews.

Dr. María Teresa Gómez-Muñoz
Dr. Azucena González Coloma
Prof. Dr. María Bailén
Prof. Dr. Francisco Ponce-Gordo
Guest Editors

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Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

14 pages, 2388 KiB  
Article
Seasonality in Synergism with Multi-Pathogen Presence Leads to Mass Mortalities of the Highly Endangered Pinna nobilis in Greek Coastlines: A Pathophysiological Approach
Microorganisms 2023, 11(5), 1117; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms11051117 - 25 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1051
Abstract
Mortalities of Pinna nobilis populations set at risk the survival of the species from many Mediterranean coastline habitats. In many cases, both Haplosporidium pinnae and Mycobacterium spp. are implicated in mass mortalities of P. nobilis populations, leading the species into extinction. In the [...] Read more.
Mortalities of Pinna nobilis populations set at risk the survival of the species from many Mediterranean coastline habitats. In many cases, both Haplosporidium pinnae and Mycobacterium spp. are implicated in mass mortalities of P. nobilis populations, leading the species into extinction. In the context of the importance of these pathogens’ role in P. nobilis mortalities, the present study investigated two Greek populations of the species hosting different microbial loads (one only H. pinnae and the second both pathogens) by the means of pathophysiological markers. More specifically, the populations from Kalloni Gulf (Lesvos Island) and from Maliakos Gulf (Fthiotis), seasonally sampled, were chosen based on the host pathogens in order to investigate physiological and immunological biomarkers to assess those pathogens’ roles. In order to determine if the haplosporidian parasite possesses a major role in the mortalities or if both pathogens are involved in these phenomena, a variety of biomarkers, including apoptosis, autophagy, inflammation and heat shock response were applied. The results indicated a decreased physiological performance of individuals hosting both pathogens in comparison with those hosting only H. pinnae. Our findings provide evidence for the synergistic role of those pathogens in the mortality events, which is also enhanced by the influence of seasonality. Full article
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17 pages, 808 KiB  
Article
Avian Oropharyngeal Trichomonosis: Treatment, Failures and Alternatives, a Systematic Review
Microorganisms 2022, 10(11), 2297; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms10112297 - 19 Nov 2022
Viewed by 3237
Abstract
Oropharyngeal avian trichomonosis is a potentially lethal parasitic disease that affects several avian orders. This review is focused on the disease treatments since prophylactic treatment is prohibited in most countries and resistant strains are circulating. A systematic review following the PRISMA procedure was [...] Read more.
Oropharyngeal avian trichomonosis is a potentially lethal parasitic disease that affects several avian orders. This review is focused on the disease treatments since prophylactic treatment is prohibited in most countries and resistant strains are circulating. A systematic review following the PRISMA procedure was conducted and included 60 articles. Successful and non-toxic treatments of avian oropharyngeal trichomonosis started with enheptin, a drug replaced by dimetridazole, metronidazole, ornidazole, carnidazole and ronidazole. Administration in drinking water was the most employed and recommended method, although hierarchy of the avian flocks and palatability of the medicated water can interfere with the treatments. Besides pigeons, treatments with nitroimidazoles were reported in budgerigars, canaries, finches, bald eagles, a cinereous vulture and several falcon species, but resistant strains were reported mainly in domestic pigeons and budgerigars. Novel treatments include new delivery systems proved with traditional drugs and some plant extracts and its main components. Ethanolic extracts from ginger, curry leaf tree and Dennettia tripetala, alkaloid extracts of Peganum harmala and essential oils of Pelargonium roseum and some Lamiaceae were highly active. Pure active compounds from the above extracts displayed good anti-trichomonal activity, although most studies lack a cytotoxicity or in vivo test. Full article
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14 pages, 519 KiB  
Article
Diversity of Blastocystis Subtypes in Horses in Colombia and Identification of Two New Subtypes
Microorganisms 2022, 10(9), 1693; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms10091693 - 24 Aug 2022
Cited by 26 | Viewed by 2132
Abstract
Blastocystis is a common intestinal protist in humans and animals worldwide. Wild and domestic animals are thought to be reservoirs of Blastocystis subtypes that also infect humans. There are limited studies on the prevalence and subtype distribution of Blastocystis in horses. In this [...] Read more.
Blastocystis is a common intestinal protist in humans and animals worldwide. Wild and domestic animals are thought to be reservoirs of Blastocystis subtypes that also infect humans. There are limited studies on the prevalence and subtype distribution of Blastocystis in horses. In this study, 185 fecal samples were collected from horses (1 month to 17 years of age) in four regions of Colombia (Sabana de Bogotá, Costa Atlántica, Llanos Orientales, and Bogotá D.C.). Blastocystis presence and subtypes were determined by PCR and next generation amplicon sequencing. Eighty-one (43.8%) horses were positive for Blastocystis, with positive horses in all four regions. Molecular characterization identified 12 Blastocystis subtypes, 10 known subtypes (ST1, ST3–ST6, ST10, ST14, ST25, ST26), and 2 novel subtypes (ST33 and ST34). The validity of the novel subtypes was confirmed via phylogenetic and pairwise distance analyses of the full-length SSU rRNA gene sequences. Mixed subtype infections were common (55.6% of Blastocystis-positive horses). ST10 was the most prevalent subtype, present in 82.8% of Blastocystis-positive horses. Potentially zoonotic subtypes were identified in 88.9% of the Blastocystis-positive horses. This constitutes the most comprehensive study of Blastocystis in horses. Our findings indicate that horses harbor potentially zoonotic subtypes and could contribute to the transmission of Blastocystis to humans. Full article
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