Parasitic Infections: Immunity, Vaccine and Drug Development

A special issue of Pathogens (ISSN 2076-0817). This special issue belongs to the section "Vaccines and Therapeutic Developments".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2023) | Viewed by 7768

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Escola Superior Agrária de Viseu (ESAV), Instituto Politécnico de Viseu (IPV), Viseu Portugal and Global Health and Tropical Medicine (GHTM), Instituto de Higiene e Medicina Tropical (IHMT), Universidade Nova de Lisboa (UNL), Lisboa, Portugal
Interests: canine leishmaniasis; parasite immunology; cellular immunology; molecular immunology; innate immune response; parasite–host interaction; neutrophils; macrophages
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E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. CISAS - Center for Research and Development in Agrifood Systems and Sustainability, Escola Superior Agrária, Instituto Politécnico de Viana do Castelo, Rua Escola Industrial e Comercial de Nun’Àlvares, 4900-347 Viana do Castelo, Portugal
2. Veterinary and Animal Research Centre (CECAV), UTAD, Associate Laboratory for Animal and Veterinary Sciences (AL4AnimalS) Quinta de Prados, 5000-801 Vila Real, Portugal
3. EpiUnit – Instituto de Saúde Pública da Universidade do Porto, Laboratory for Integrative and Translational Research in Population Health (ITR), Rua das Taipas, nº 135, 4050-091 Porto, Portugal
Interests: One Health; food safety; health literacy; parasitology; zoonoses
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Parasitic infections that affect humans and animals represent a major health problem. The genetic and biological complexity of protozoa, nematodes, trematodes, cestodes, and ectoparasites, some of which with elaborate life cycles, has compromised the development of new therapeutic and prophylactic tools. Furthermore, the sophisticated immune evasion mechanisms developed by many parasites and our lack of knowledge about the effective immune response capable of controlling some parasitic diseases and inducing high-quality immunological memory has delayed the development of effective vaccines. As many parasitic diseases are zoonotic, research involving the One Health approach is critical to increasing our ability to treat and prevent many of these diseases. This Special Issue aims to highlight the latest advances in parasitic infections, with a focus on parasitic immunity, vaccine development, and new drug discovery and development. We look forward to your contribution to this Special Issue.

Prof. Dr. Maria Pereira
Prof. Dr. Teresa Letra Mateus
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • immunization
  • treatment
  • parasites
  • zoonosis
  • drug therapy
  • drug resistance

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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22 pages, 1451 KiB  
Article
Effect of Local Administration of Meglumine Antimoniate and Polyhexamethylene Biguanide Alone or in Combination with a Toll-like Receptor 4 Agonist for the Treatment of Papular Dermatitis due to Leishmania infantum in Dogs
by Icíar Martínez-Flórez, Maria Jose Guerrero, Annabel Dalmau, Maria Cabré, Maria Magdalena Alcover, Diana Berenguer, Liam Good, Roser Fisa, Cristina Riera, Laura Ordeix and Laia Solano-Gallego
Pathogens 2023, 12(6), 821; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens12060821 - 10 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1145
Abstract
Papular dermatitis is a cutaneous manifestation of canine Leishmania infantum infection associated with mild disease. Although it is a typical presentation, nowadays, there is still no established treatment. This study evaluated the safety and clinical efficacy of local meglumine antimoniate, locally administered polyhexamethylene [...] Read more.
Papular dermatitis is a cutaneous manifestation of canine Leishmania infantum infection associated with mild disease. Although it is a typical presentation, nowadays, there is still no established treatment. This study evaluated the safety and clinical efficacy of local meglumine antimoniate, locally administered polyhexamethylene biguanide (PHMB) alone or PHMB in combination with a Toll-like receptor 4 agonist (TLR4a) for the treatment of papular dermatitis due to L. infantum and assessed parasitological and immunological markers in this disease. Twenty-eight dogs with papular dermatitis were divided randomly into four different groups; three of them were considered treatment groups: PHMB (n = 5), PHMB + TLR4a (n = 4), and meglumine antimoniate (n = 10)), and the remaining were considered the placebo group (n = 9), which was further subdivided into two sub-groups: diluent (n = 5) and TLR4a (n = 4). Dogs were treated locally every 12 h for four weeks. Compared to placebo, local administration of PHMB (alone or with TLR4a) showed a higher tendency towards resolution of papular dermatitis due to L. infantum infection at day 15 (χ2 = 5.78; df = 2, p = 0.06) and day 30 (χ2 = 4.; df = 2, p = 0.12), while local meglumine antimoniate administration demonstrated the fastest clinical resolution after 15 (χ2 = 12.58; df = 2, p = 0.002) and 30 days post-treatment (χ2 = 9.47; df = 2, p = 0.009). Meglumine antimoniate showed a higher tendency towards resolution at day 30 when compared with PHMB (alone or with TLR4a) (χ2 = 4.74; df = 2, p = 0.09). In conclusion, the local administration of meglumine antimoniate appears to be safe and clinically efficient for the treatment of canine papular dermatitis due to L. infantum infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Parasitic Infections: Immunity, Vaccine and Drug Development)
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13 pages, 1909 KiB  
Article
Clinical, Radiological, and Echocardiographic Findings in Cats Infected by Aelurostrongylus abstrusus
by Ettore Napoli, Michela Pugliese, Angelo Basile, Annamaria Passantino and Emanuele Brianti
Pathogens 2023, 12(2), 273; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens12020273 - 7 Feb 2023
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Abstract
Cats infected by Aelurostrongylus abstrusus may show a plethora of clinical signs, and pulmonary hypertension (PH) seems to be one of the possible alterations induced by the infection; however, data on this association are scant and contradictory. Therefore, the aims of this study [...] Read more.
Cats infected by Aelurostrongylus abstrusus may show a plethora of clinical signs, and pulmonary hypertension (PH) seems to be one of the possible alterations induced by the infection; however, data on this association are scant and contradictory. Therefore, the aims of this study were to investigate the association between aelurostrongylosis and PH and to evaluate the correlation between the number of A. abstrusus larvae expelled in the faeces and the clinical, echocardiographic, and radiological alterations. Fifteen cats (i.e., eight males and seven females) older than 3 months and naturally infected by A. abstrusus with different parasitic loads, expressed as larvae per grams of faeces (l.p.g.), were enrolled in the study. Each animal underwent clinical, echocardiographic, and radiographic examinations. Most cats (i.e., 10/15) showed pathological patterns on thoracic radiograms; particularly, the alveolar pattern (four cats), interstitial-nodular pattern (five cats), and bronchial pattern (one cat). No significant echocardiographic findings of PH were detected. No correlation between the number of l.p.g. and the severity of clinical signs was observed, but a significant correlation with activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT), radiographic alterations (interstitial nodular pattern), and ultrasonographic findings (RIVIDs) were noticed. These findings suggest that other factors such as animal age and health status, as well as comorbidity, may influence the presentation of the disease or the clinical manifestation and severity of the disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Parasitic Infections: Immunity, Vaccine and Drug Development)
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Review

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22 pages, 3379 KiB  
Review
The Complexity of Interferon Signaling in Host Defense against Protozoan Parasite Infection
by Silu Deng, Marion L. Graham and Xian-Ming Chen
Pathogens 2023, 12(2), 319; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens12020319 - 15 Feb 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3649
Abstract
Protozoan parasites, such as Plasmodium, Leishmania, Toxoplasma, Cryptosporidium, and Trypanosoma, are causative agents of health-threatening diseases in both humans and animals, leading to significant health risks and socioeconomic losses globally. The development of effective therapeutic and prevention strategies [...] Read more.
Protozoan parasites, such as Plasmodium, Leishmania, Toxoplasma, Cryptosporidium, and Trypanosoma, are causative agents of health-threatening diseases in both humans and animals, leading to significant health risks and socioeconomic losses globally. The development of effective therapeutic and prevention strategies for protozoan-caused diseases requires a full understanding of the pathogenesis and protective events occurring in infected hosts. Interferons (IFNs) are a family of cytokines with diverse biological effects in host antimicrobial defense and disease pathogenesis, including protozoan parasite infection. Type II IFN (IFN-γ) has been widely recognized as the essential defense cytokine in intracellular protozoan parasite infection, whereas recent studies also revealed the production and distinct function of type I and III IFNs in host defense against these parasites. Decoding the complex network of the IFN family in host–parasite interaction is critical for exploring potential new therapeutic strategies against intracellular protozoan parasite infection. Here, we review the complex effects of IFNs on the host defense against intracellular protozoan parasites and the crosstalk between distinct types of IFN signaling during infections. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Parasitic Infections: Immunity, Vaccine and Drug Development)
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