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Open access

V. Šnábel, A. Königová, M. Dolinská, A. Wolstenholme and M. Várady

Abstract

In an attempt to investigate the genetic and biochemical causes underlying resistance to anthelmintics, the trichostrongylid nematode Haemonchus contortus was examined by an allozymic analysis of nine candidate geneenzyme systems. Two strains resistant to benzimidazoles, two multidrug-resistant strains, and three strains susceptible to anthelmintics isolated from three continents were examined by isoelectric focusing. Two enzymes (mannose phosphate isomerase and peptidase-D) had polymorphic patterns. The peptidase-D zymograms indicated an association with the selection for resistance. Susceptible isolates gave more complex patterns due to the formation of a heterodimer controlled by the two active loci, whereas in resistant isolates, only a single locus with one electromorph was responsible for the profiles. A possible link between dipeptidases and the acquisition of resistance through the turnover of proteinrich collagen, and changes in membrane-associated genes that influence drug efflux, are discussed.

Open access

M. Babják, A. Königová, M. Urda-Dolinská and M. Várady

Summary

The aim of this study was to identify the most common gastrointestinal (GI) parasites in flocks of dairy goats on 30 farms in Slovakia. A total of 944 adult goats were examined during the pasturing seasons for 2014 – 2016. Eggs from one or more species of gastrointestinal parasites were identified in 906 of the samples (95.90 %). Strongyle eggs were present in most of the samples (92.00 %), followed by Strongyloides papillosus (14.05 %), Trichuris spp. (7.84 %), Nematodirus spp. (3.98 %), and Moniezia spp. (2.65 %). The counts of strongyle eggs per gram of faeces ranged from 0 to 11 000. Subsamples from each farm were used to prepare faecal coprocultures to identify the genera of the nematodes. Third-stage larvae of Trichostrongylus spp. (100 %) and Teladorsagia/Ostertagia spp. (96.60 %) were present on most of the farms, followed by Oesophagostomum spp./Chabertia ovina (86.60 %) and Haemonchus contortus (76.60 %). Teladorsagia/Ostertagia spp. were the dominant genera on 60 % of the farms.

Open access

A. Königová, G. Hrčková, L. Molnár, P. Major and M. Várady

Summary

Cathaemasia hians is an obligate trematode parasite of Black storks that are on the List of protected birds in Europe. In the present study, adult trematodes were isolated from the Black stork post mortem and morphological study revealed C. hians species. In total, 10 worms were found in the oesophagus and the ventriculus of the bird. Histopathological examination of the tissue samples of oesophagus, proventriculus and ventriculus was performed on paraffin sections using a set of staining procedures. The sporadic lesions were seen in the tela submucosa of oesophagus containing connective tissue mast cells, eosinophils and heterophils and some foci were surrounded by the fibrous tissue. In addition, a few inflammatory nodules had larval-like material inside, probably being of the same species. There were no visible morphological alterations in the epithelial layer of lamina propria mucosae of proventriculus, rich in goblet cells as well as in the tela submucosa. Majority of trematodes were localized in the ventriculus, where the lamina propria mucosae was damaged or disrupted sporadically. In these sites, in the tela submucosa, a various food-originated inorganic/organic material and eggs of C. hians were deposited, stimulating a weak inflammatory response. Nodules containing larvae were not observed in any of ventriculus tissue layers. This study demonstrated, for the first time, infection with adults of C. hians trematode in the Black stork nesting in Slovakia. The presence of larvae and eggs in the tissues of the upper gastrointestinal tract of bird was associated with mild inflammatory response but feeding behaviour of adult worms in the ventriculus probably contributed to the enhanced susceptibility of the lamina propria mucosae to mechanical damage by inorganic material. Although larval stages have not yet been documented in the intermediate hosts in Slovakia, our report indicates that the life cycle of C. hians might occur in Central Europe.

Open access

A. Königová, G. Hrčková, S. Velebný, M. Dolinská, L. Molnár and M. Várady

Abstract

The effect of albendazole therapy on the reduction of drugsusceptible and drug-resistant strains of Haemonchus contortus larvae on day 10 post infection (p.i.), distribution and the relative numbers of innate immunity cells — eosinophils/neutrophils and mast cells in the stomach wall of immunosupressed Mongolian gerbils on days 4/1, 7/4, 10/7 and 14/11 post infection/post therapy (p.i./p.t.) were investigated in the present study. The efficacy of albendazole was significantly lower on benzimidazole (BZ) resistant larvae (L3 and L4 stages) (58.92 %) than the efficacy on susceptible strain of larvae (94.15 %). H. contortus infection elicited strong inflammation in mucosal and submucosal layers of the stomach, where mucosal mast cells MMC) were in the highest numbers in the lamina propria mucosae on day 7/4 p.i./p.t. Reduction of larval numbers following treatment resulted in a gradual decrease of MMC and connective tissue mast cells (CTMC). The lower counts of CTMC in the submucosa were seen in gerbils infected with BZ-susceptible strain during the whole period post therapy. In case of infection with BZ-resistant strain, peroxidase containig cells (eosinophils) peaked on day 7/4 p.i./p.t., whereas infection with BZ-susceptible strain elicited massive accumulation of these cells on day 4/1 p.i./p.t., particularly in the submucosa. No marked differences in eosinophils localisation were observed between both groups after the therapy. Goblet cells were found only in the proximal parts of glandulae gastricae close to the mucosal surface and no differences in the distribution in the stomach wall of both groups of animals were observed. After therapy the higher larval counts in case of BZ-resistant strain were in the correlation with the lower decline of CTMC and eosinophils, but MMC numbers were not significantly different between both treated groups. Present data indicate that in early stage post infection, the distribution of individual innate immunity cells might be directly affected by the larvae, and that the genetic and consequently biological differences related to the resistance to benzimidazoles probably had the impact on the interactions of larvae with the different immune cells in their niche.

Open access

M. Urda Dolinská, A. Königová, M. Babják and M. Várady

Summary

Gastrointestinal parasitic nematodes in sheep cause severe economic losses. Anthelmintics are the most commonly used drugs for prophylaxis and therapy against parasitic helminths. The problem of drug resistance has developed for all commercially available anthelmintics in several genera and classes of helminths. In vitro and in vivo tests are used to detect anthelmintic resistance. Two in vitro methods (larval migration inhibition test and micromotility test) for the detection of ivermectin (IVM) resistance were compared using IVM-resistant and IVM-susceptible isolates of Haemonchus contortus. The degree of resistance for each test was expressed as a resistance factor (RF). The micromotility test was more sensitive for quantitatively measuring the degree of resistance between susceptible and resistant isolates. The RFs for this test for IVM and eprinomectin ranged from 1.00 to 108.05 and from 3.87 to 32.32, respectively.

Open access

A. Königová, L. Molnár, G. Hrčková and M. Várady

Abstract

Serratospiculiasis is a parasitic disease caused by filariid nematodes of the genus Serratospiculum, the subfamily Dicheilonematinae. Serratospiculum spp. parasitizes the air sacs and members of this genus have been found in various species of Falcons, Bald Eagles and Cooper’s Hawk from all around the world. In the present study, infection with Serratospiculum was confirmed for the first time in the Great Tit in Slovakia. Nematode infestation was identified post mortem. Lesions in the respiratory system (airsacculitis, pneumonia) were associated with the presence of this nematode. Smears of the necrotic lesions in the crop and oesophagus contained the large numbers of embryonated eggs. Faecal samples were examined by flotation method and Serratospiculum eggs were found. Adult parasites were cleared in lactophenol solution and morphological analysis of male reproductive organs (shape of male nematode spicules) indicated the species Serratospiculum amaculata. Scattered inflammatory cells were seen in the mucosal and submucosal layers of infected oesophagus and inflammatory foci were found mainly in the stroma of the air sacs.

The presence of the filariid nematode in the nonspecific species Great Tit (Parus major) common in Slovakia indicates the importance of monitoring of serratospiculiasis in the avian hosts. The parasite can cause serious health problems, even sudden death of their hosts, therefore suitable effective measures for their elimination should be implemented.

Open access

M. Várady, E. Papadopoulos, M. Dolinská and A. Königová

Abstract

Anthelmintic resistance among parasites of sheep and goats has been known to occur for at least four decades. Both species of host have similar genera of nematodes, but the nematodes in goat herds usually develop anthelmintic resistance more rapidly. In vitro tests show higher ED50 values in goats than in flocks of sheep. Sheep and goats differ in many ways; for example, goats have a higher metabolic rate and require higher dose rates for drugs. The immune system of goats is also different. Additionally, these animals are reared under different management systems, i.e. sheep graze pastures and goats browse bushes, and lambing/kidding periods are different. Most anthelmintics used in goats have not been licensed for this animal species, and correct dose rates have rarely been experimentally determined. Possible explanations for such differences are discussed.

Open access

J. Pavlinová, J. Kinčeková, A. Ostró, L. Saksun, Z. Vasilková and A. Königová

Abstract

Infections of various aetiology during pregnancy present a serious risk factor that can lead to abortion, premature birth, stillbirth, birth of newborn with genetic developmental defects, or seemingly healthy infant that may develop symptoms later in life. A total of 530 sera of patients from gynaecology departments were examined for antibodies against Toxoplasma gondii, Toxocara spp. and Listeria monocytogenes using ELISA (IgG, IgM). In women with habitual abortions we determined up to 42.1 % seroprevalence of IgG antibodies against T. gondii. The prevalence of antibodies was statistically significant (p < 0.0004) when compared to control group (25.1 %). In the patients diagnosed with sterility the prevalence of antibodies (26.3 %) was similar to that of control group. The prevalence of antibodies against Toxocara spp. (5.5 %) and Listeria monocytogenes (2.3 %) in patients with habitual abortions were similar to those of women in the general population.

Open access

A. Königová, J. Kinčeková, G. Hrčková, S. Velebný, M. Várady, J. Pavlinová and M. Kuchta

Abstract

A study involved 1800 hospitalised children (age: 9 months to 16 years) examined by ovoscopic analyses and confirmed the occurrence of Ascaris lumbricoides and Trichuris trichiura in 46 patients (2.55 %). Of these, 30 patients had Ascaris infection, 13 were positive for both nematodes and 3 patients had Trichuris infection. The mean count of A. lumbricoides eggs in positive cases was 1050 eggs per gramme (EPG) in range 150–4450 EPG. The mean count of T. trichiura eggs was 150 EPG (50–250 EPG). The highest intensities of A. lumbricoides and T. trichiura infections occurred in children 3–5 years of age living in poor hygienic conditions. Most common clinical conditions in all the patients included anaemia combined with complicated bronchopneumonia, colitis and gastritis. The strongest correlation between the parasite burden and selected laboratory test data (eosinophil count, haemoglobin, total serum iron) was found in children of 2 years of age (P < 0.05) and decreased with age.

Open access

I. Bondarenko, J. Kinčeková, M. Várady, A. Kőnigová, M. Kuchta and G. Koňáková

Abstract

A modified McMaster method has been used for the diagnosis and estimating helminth egg load in human faecal samples obtained from random consecutive patients in the areas non-endemic for helminth infections (Slovak Republic, North West Russia). Both positive and negative findings were in a 100 % concordance to those obtained with a reference method accepted in clinical diagnostic laboratories (microscopy of the native stool smear). The McMaster method was efficient in detecting nematode eggs in patients’ stool samples with egg load varying from very low (15–60 epg for T. trichiura) to moderate (1650–4500 epg for A. lumbricoides). Therefore, this method may be successfully (and with a better technical feasibility) used for the diagnosis of intestinal helminth infections in non-endemic areas, with further quantitative analysis of the sample when required.