Parasitic infection during pregnancy represents a serious stress factor and affects the course of pregnancy and the foeto-maternal relationship. The infection may not clinically manifest itself, however it can modulate the immune response of the offspring for a long-time. The influence of secondary Echinococcus multilocularis infection on the proportion of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells and the level of anti-Echinococcus antibodies were studied in Balb/c mice. The female mice were infected with homogenised metacestode material containing 2000 E. multilocularis protoscoleces (Group 1, 2). Group 1 was fertilised on day 60 post infection, while Group 2 remained unfertilised. Group 3 was uninfected and fertilised on the same day as Group 1. The numbers of both T cell subpopulations were higher in non-pregnant than in pregnant mice. In late pregnancy, the decline of CD4+, however, the increase of CD8+ T-cell subtypes were observed in both, infected and uninfected mothers, respectively. The strong humoral response with the high production of IgM and IgG2b antibodies in infected mice was detected. In infected mothers, IgG2b level was higher than in infected nonpregnant mice during almost whole monitored period. In Group 1, delivery caused suppression of Th2 immune response, represented by IgG1, under the level observed in uninfected mothers. The findings show the changes in helper regulatory and cytotoxic immunity mechanisms of infected mothers. In offspring of infected mothers all IgG subclasses were detected, however specific IgM were not transmitted neither transplacentary, nor transmammary.
Parasitic infection during pregnancy can affect the course of pregnancy, complicate the foeto-maternal relationship and increase abortion rate. The work was aimed to study the course of E. multilocularis secondary infection and reproductive parameters in infected mice. The Balb/c mice were bred in the exponential phase of the metacestode growth, after infection with two different doses (0.5 ml or 1.25 ml) of metacestode material. In comparison to uninfected control group, the effect of infection on reproductive parameters (natality, size of litters) and the course of disease during pregnancy and after the delivery were monitored. The weight of E. multilocularis larval stages was higher in both fertilised groups in comparison to unfertilised control. The number of deliveries and litter counts were similar in both, infected and uninfected mice. Present study confirmed only minor impact of alveolar echinococcosis on the reproduction of rodents, intermediate hosts of parasite.
Wild boars (Sus scrofa) can play a significant role in circulation and maintenance of certain parasites in the environment. The aim of this study was to determine the seroprevalence of trichinellosis, toxocarosis and ascariosis in wild boars hunted in the Slovak Republic in 2003 and 2004. Anti-Trichinella antibodies were detected in 1.3 % out of 1035 wild boars investigated. No significant differences were observed regarding the positivity of wild boars according to age and sex in both years. The examination of 1173 wild boars for anti-Toxocara antibodies revealed 7.2 % seropositive individuals. Anti-Ascaris antibodies were detected in 6.1 % out of 411 animals examined. Both, anti-Trichinella and anti-Toxocara antibodies were determined in 0.6 % cases. Presence of anti-Trichinella and anti-Ascaris antibodies was recorded in 0.8 % animals. Concurrent infection caused with Toxocara and Ascaris was observed in 1.5 % individuals. This study concentrates on the role of wild boars in circulation and on the maintenance of trichinellosis, toxocarosis and ascariosis in the Slovak Republic.
We tested the sera or meat juices of 215 red foxes (Vulpes vulpes), collected during 2009-2014 at different localities of Eastern Slovakia for the presence of anti- Toxoplasma and anti-Neospora antibodies. We also examined the brains or muscle tissues and uncoagulated blood samples for the presence of both parasite’s DNA. The mean seropositivity to T. gondii was 72.6% (95% Confidence Interval CI 66.1-78.4) and to N. caninum 33.9% (95% CI 27.7-40.7). We observed higher Toxoplasmaseropositivity in adults (71.1%) than in juveniles (60.0%). Neospora-seropositivity was almost the same in both age groups about of 30%. In general, we observed less frequently the DNA of parasites, T. gondii (14.5%) and N. caninum (20.3%) in the tissue samples and uncoagulated blood samples. Coccidioses are considerably common in red foxes and circulate in locations of Eastern Slovakia. The high infection rate in foxes is probably due to their infected prey. On the other hand, the contamination of the environment with oocysts and their subsequent transfer to other farm and wild animals is also possible.
Human echinococcosis, one of the most serious of parasitic zoonoses, is caused by the larval stages of taeniid cestodes of the genus Echinococcus. The study aimed to assess the reliability of the detection of specific antibodies to E. multilocularis and E. granulosus s.l. in human sera and to compare their diagnostic potential for their utilization in the practice. In the study, the somatic antigen of E. multilocularis (AgEm), antigen B (AgB), and the hydatid fluid antigen of E. granulosus and two commercial ELISA kits – Echinococcus granulosus (Bordier Affinity Products, Crissier, Switzerland) and NovaLisaTMEchinococcus IgG (NovaTec Immunodiagnostica, Germany) – were compared. Sera of patients with alveolar and cystic echinococcosis, and with different parasitic/other infections were used to evaluate the sensitivity, specificity and cross-reactivity of in-house and commercial ELISA methods. AgEm presented the highest values regarding the diagnostic indicators, showing 100 % specificity and 90.0 % sensitivity. The tests for serological diagnostics of cystic echinococcosis were less sensitive and specific. The Echinococcus granulosus kit had 83.8 % specificity and 88.2 % sensitivity, while AgB and AgHF showed 85.0 % and 86.3 % specificity, and 76.5 % and 100 % sensitivity, respectively. NovaLisaTMEchinococcus IgG proved to have 95.7 % specificity and 77.8 % sensitivity. The results point out that the combination of different serological tests and approaches in accordance with clinical and imaging findings is still essential to prove the correct diagnosis in suspected patients.
The study aimed to estimate the role of small rodents in the circulation of larval toxocarosis in light of their different habitats. From 2005 to 2008, a total of 1523 small rodents, belonging to 11 species, were captured in 5 different habitats of Slovakia. Anti-Toxocara antibodies were detected in 6.6 % animals. The dominant reservoirs of toxocarosis were striped-field mouse Apodemus agrarius (11.7 %) and mound-building mouse Mus spicilegus (10.7 %), while the seropositivity of voles was low. Sexually active adults were infected more frequently (10.8%) in comparison with inactive ones (5.2 %). According to habitats, seroprevalence of toxocarosis in windbreaks (2.4 %) was significantly lower (p < 0.05) than in agrocoenoses (6.7 %), alluvia (8.5 %) and ecotones (7.5 %). Log-linear analysis performed in A. agrarius indicates that type of habitat and sexual activity affect the seropositivity to Toxocara infection. The highest seroprevalence was observed in alluvium (21.2 %) while the lowest in windbreak (1.8 %) (χ2 = 17.232, p < 0.001) and sexually active mice were characterised by 22.5 % and sexually inactive by 6.4 % seroprevalence (χ2 = 30.634, p < 0.001). The occurrence pattern of toxocarosis in small rodents suggests that they are permanent reservoirs for Toxocara spp. in nature and significant indicators of Toxocara egg contamination in environs.
Red fox (Vulpes vulpes) presents major wildlife reservoir of parasitozoonoses, transmissible to humans and domestic animals. The study was aimed to find out the effect of anthelmintic baits on the occurrence of Echinococcus multilocularis and other intestinal helminths in red foxes. In two bait areas (B1 and B2) 20 baits per km2 were distributed monthly between August 2004 and April 2005. Fox fecal samples were collected in both bait areas and two control areas (C1 and C2) between August 2004 and August 2005. In bait area B1 the decrease of parasite species number, decrease of their prevalence and prevalence of E. multilocularis was observed. No significant decline was observed in bait area B2, probably due to consumption of baits by wild boars. Bait distribution represents the possibility of reduction of environmental contamination with parasites and their propagation stages. Especially on the periphery of towns and villages and in recreational areas it seems to be suitable way of human health protection.
Alveolar and cystic echinococcosis, serious parasitic diseases caused by larval stages of Echinococcus multilocularis and E. granulosus has been diagnosed in Slovakia for a long time. Study presents case of 49-years old patient with accidentally diagnosed one big (60 mm) and multiple small (2 - 24 mm) hypoechogenic structures localised in right liver lobe. According to positive serology to E. granulosus antigen and results of imaging examinations the patient was classifi ed as possible case of cystic echinococcosis and treated with mebendazole. Later, due to the worsening of clinical, laboratory and CT fi ndings surgical biopsy was performed and surgical biopsy and subsequent PCR examination of liver tissue confi rmed the diagnosis of alveolar echinococosis. Clinical picture of disease imitating cystic echinococcosis in presented case report, together with results of serological tests confi rmed importance of accurate differential diagnosis of echinococcosis. Each aspect of clinical and laboratory results should be considered responsibly, however, sometimes only molecular techniques can solve the problem of differential diagnosis.
Cystic echinococcosis (CE), caused by the cestode Echinococcus granulosus, is potentially dangerous for humans. The aim of this study was to examine serological and clinical findings regarding cysts localisation and individual responses in 54 patients with CE. The majority of patients in this study were females (63 %) and the average age was 46.3 years. Most of the patients lived in rural areas or kept a dog (46 %) for a long time. The most frequent symptoms were hypochondrial pain (48.9 %), epigastrial discomfort (27.7 %), vomiting (21.3 %), minor cough (12.8 %), urticaria (6.3 %), weakness (4.3 %), fever (2.1 %), side-or back-ache (4.3 %). However, 17 % of the patients showed no symptoms. In every case, the ultrasound (USG) and/or computer tomography (CT) investigations were positive. In most cases (53.2 % of the patients) a single cyst was found but 46.8 % of the patients had multiple cyst formations (from 2 to 9 cysts) located in the liver. Sporadic lung, splenetic, mesenterial, tibial and cerebral localisations were also found. The patients were individually treated with albendazol (10–15 mg/kg) five days prior and six months after the surgical treatment. Serum samples were investigated by the serological techniques: IHAT, ELISA and Western blot using hydatid fluid antigen. In the patient sera, the specific antibody levels were mostly increased after surgery. Different results were obtained only in two patients. In the first case, seroconversion was delayed. In the other case all ELISA results were negative, however, the Western blot analysis and surgery proved the presence of CE. The results suggest that the different antibody response of patients depends on the individual immune response. Multiple localization and various stages of CE cysts demonstrate the necessity of a complex approach for the confirmation of a correct diagnosis.
The aim of our study was to determine the prevalence of toxocariasis in Bratislava and smaller towns in western Slovakia. During 2006–2011, sand samples collected from 121 sandpits were investigated: 63 sandpits were from Bratislava City and 58 from sandpits in towns outside Bratislava (Malacky, Pezinok Stupava). In Bratislava, 27% of examined sandpits were contaminated with Toxocara spp. eggs. In smaller towns eggs of Toxocara spp. were found from three sandpits (6.8 %) of Pezinok and Stupava only. In Malacky, no faeces and no eggs were found in any sandpits. Faecal samples of 1436 dogs and 263 cats were investigated. T. canis eggs were found in the faeces of 16.5 % dogs and T. cati in 18.6 % of examined cats. Toxocariasis of dogs was significantly higher in smaller towns such as the city Bratislava (χ2 = 10.88 for P ≤ 0.001). The difference in prevalence of T. cati in cats bred in Bratislava and outside Bratislava was not confirmed (P ≤ 0.05). 382 pregnant women were examined by ELISA. Anti-Toxocara antibodies were detected in 32 women (8.4 %). The difference in seroprevalence of women coming from Bratislava (6.6 %) and smaller towns outside Bratislava (11.0 %) was not statistically significant (χ2 = 1.6; P ≤ 0.05).