Vol 9 No 2 (2015)

Published: 2015-12-15

Review Article

  • XML | PDF | downloads: 742 | views: 704 | pages: 137-147
    Background: Ticks are important vectors and reservoirs of Crimean Congo Hemorrhagic Fever (CCHF) virus. Human beings may be infected whenever the normal life cycle of the infected ticks on non- human vertebrate hosts is interrupted by the undesirable presence of humans in the cycle. A total of 26 species of Argasid and Ixodid ticks have been recorded in Iran; including nine Hyalomma, two Rhipicephalus, two Dermacentor, five Haemaphysalis, two Boophilus, one Ixodes and two Argas as well as three Ornithodoros species as blood sucking ectoparasites of livestock and poultries. The present paper reviews tick vectors of CCHF virus in Iran, focusing on the role of ticks in different provinces of Iran using reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay.Methods: During ten years study, 1054 tick specimens; including two species of Argasidae and 17 species of Ixodidae were examined for their infection to CCHF virus genome. The output of all studies as well as related publications were discussed in the current paper.Results: The results show that Rhipicephalus sanguineus, Hyalomma marginatum, H. anatolicum, H. asiaticum and H. dromedarii were known as the most frequent species which were positive for CCHF virus.Conclusion: The status of ticks which were positive for CCHF virus revealed that unlike the most common idea that Hyalomma species are the most important vectors of CCHF virus, other ticks including Rhipicephalus,Haemaphysalis and Dermacentor can be reservoir of this virus; thus, considering geographical distribution, type of host and environmental conditions, different tick control measurements should be carried out in areas with high incidence of CCHF disease.

Original Article

  • XML | PDF | downloads: 411 | views: 437 | pages: 148-160
    Background: Zoonotic Cutaneous Leishmaniasis (ZCL), an important public health problem in Iran, is sensitive to climate conditions. This study aimed to examine dynamic relations between the climate factors and incidence of ZCL in Golestan Province, northern Iran during 2010–2012.Methods: Data of monthly climatic factors, including temperature variables, relative humidity variables, evaporation, total rainfall, and number of freezing and rainy days together with monthly ZCL incidence were used. Spearman rank correlation was carried out to explain associations between the monthly ZCL incidence rate and climate factors at 0, 1, 2, 3 and 4 months lagged periods. Pearson’s correlation analysis was conducted to examine the type and strength of relationships between the spatially averaged climate factors and ZCL incidence rate in district level. Stepwise multiple regression was used to find the best combination of independent climatic variables, which predict the ZCL incidence.Results: Spearman correlation analysis indicated that the highest correlations between climate factors and monthly ZCL incidence were established when the climate time-series lagged the ZCL incidence series, especially two month prior to disease incidence. Based on the results of the both Spearman rank correlation and Pearson correlation analyses, ZCL incidences in Golestan Province tend to be more prevalent in areas with higher temperature, lower relative humidity, lower total rainfall, higher evaporation and lower number of rainy days. The results of stepwise regression analysis indicated that minimum temperature, mean humidity, and rainfall had considerable effect on ZCL incidence.Conclusion: Climate factors are major determinants of ZCL incidence rate in Golestan Province and such climate conditions provide favourable conditions for propagation and transmission of ZCL in this endemic area.
  • XML | PDF | downloads: 749 | views: 795 | pages: 161-175
    Background: Cockroaches are of vital importance medically and hygienically. They are able to contaminate foods and act as vectors of pathogenic agents such as bacteria, protozoa, and parasites to human environment either mechanically or through their digestive system. Cockroaches belong to the phylum Arthropoda, class Insecta, and orderBlattodea or Blattaria. To date, over 4,500 cockroach species have been reported from different parts of the world. We overviewed the documents involved Iranian cockroaches to up-to-date checklist of cockroach species distributed in various provinces of Iran.Methods: An extensive literature review was performed in 2013 on Iranian handbooks, reports and published data available since 1986 to obtain a comprehensive list of Iranian cockroaches. Furthermore, in an entomological survey in Tehran, cockroach specimens were collected and identified based on morphological and the DNA sequences of the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit II (COII) gene (mt-DNA COII) characteristics.Results: Morphological characterization revealed presence of an un-described species very similar to Polyphaga aegyptiaca, P. indica and somehow to Pycnoscelus surinamensis, however, supplementary molecularanalysis revealed the species was associated with Polyphaga of Corydiidae (Polyphagidae). With regards to the report of the un-described species, the cockroach fauna of Iran includes three families, 14 genera, and 26 species.Conclusion: Some species has not been collected or reported recently and also many geographical regions of the country have not been studied yet, hence a systematic research is required to reveal the real cockroach list of the country. Geographical distributions, nomination changes, and synonyms of cockroach species are presented.
  • XML | PDF | downloads: 396 | views: 463 | pages: 176–183
    Background: Antivenom is still widely used in the treatment of envenomation as there are no vaccines or other effective agents available against animal venoms. Recently, neurotoxins named birtoxin family have been described from Parabuthus transvaalicus and Androctonus crassicauda. The aim of the present study was to test the antibirtoxinantibodies for their ability to neutralize the lethal effects of A. crassicauda scorpion venom.Methods: SDS-PAGE and Western blotting used the presence of components from A. crassicauda and P.transvaalicus scorpion venoms and to determine the degree of cross-reactivity. The Minimum Lethal Dose (MLD) of venom was assessed by subcutaneously (sc) injections in mice.Results: The MLD of the A. crassicauda venom was 35 μg/ 20g mouse by sc injection route. Western blotting showed the presence of components from A. crassicauda and P. transvaalicus scorpion venoms strongly cross react with the A. crassicauda antivenom. However, Western blotting of the A. crassicauda scorpion venom using the Refik Saydam Public Health Agency (RSPHA) generated antibody showed that not all the venom components cross reacted with the anti-birtoxin antibody. The antibodies only cross reacted with components falling under the 19 kDa protein size of A. crassicauda venom.Conclusion: The bioassays and Western blotting of A. crassicauda venom with the anti-birtoxin antibodies produced against a synthetic peptide showed that these antibodies cross reacted but did not neutralize the venom of A. crassicauda.
  • XML | PDF | downloads: 414 | views: 472 | pages: 184-194
    Background: The aims of this study were to determine the seroprevalence of canine ehrlichiosis and risk factors of this disease in companion dogs’ population of Mashhad, North East of Iran. Canine Monocytic Ehrlichiosis (CME) is a zoonotic disease transmitted by ticks, Rhipicephalus sanguineus, and caused by an obligate intracellular bacterium, Ehrlichia canis.Methods: During September 2009 until November 2010, 250 companion dogs from Mashhad, North-East of Iran, were examined for serum antibody detection against E. canis by means of immunofluorescence assay test (IFAT) and factors associated with a positive antibody response.Results: There was a very low prevalence of anti-E. canis antibodies (0.8%, 2/250) among studied dogs. The antibody titers for two seropositive dogs were 1:80 and 1:160, respectively. One (0.4%) of seropositive dogs was infested with, R. sanguineus. In blood smears from one of infested dogs (0.4%), typical morulae of E. canis was observed in lymphocytes. The results confirm that the lowest occurrence of reactive dogs indoors probably related to low tick infestion.Conclusion: This is the first report that describes serological evidences of canine monocytic ehrlichiosis in North- East of Iran. Results suggested that E. canis infection in owned pet dogs from North of Khorasan was not endemic from 2009 to 2010. Additional molecular studies are necessary to confirm E. canis infection and to identify the local strains of the organism.
  • XML | PDF | downloads: 517 | views: 681 | pages: 195-203
    Background: Bovine ephemeral fever (BEFV) is an arthropod-borne disease of cattle and water buffaloes. BEFV occurs seasonally in tropical, subtropical and temperate regions of Africa, Asia and Australia. It has been known forthe past decades in Iran based on clinical signs but lack of an accurate diagnosis has made the real feature of disease obscured. This is the first scientific report on isolation and identification of the agent in which molecular diagnosis of BEFV was also set up with high sensitivity and specificity.Methods: The viral agent was successfully isolated through serial passages in brain of suckling mice and cell culture. In addition, the circulating virus during the autumn 2012 in Iran was molecularly characterized based on partial G gene.Results: Alignment of 3 virus sequences from different parts of Iran revealed that they are identical suggesting that the circulating viruses were most likely the same in this period. Phylogenetic analysis of the Iranian sequences with 17 sequences in the GenBank from the world showed that it is identical to the virus circulated in Turkey during the same period suggesting that the virus was circulated in a large geographic region.Conclusion: These results offer primary information about BEFV in Iran. To better understanding the epidemiology of the virus, further studies based on seroepidemiology, molecular epidemiology, entomology and meteorology together with finding the model of animal transportation in the region are necessary.
  • XML | PDF | downloads: 359 | views: 326 | pages: 204-214
    Background: The aim of the study was to identify the prevalence of different species of Plasmodium and haplotypes of pfcrt in Plasmodium falciparum from the selected area.Methods: Overall, 10,372 blood films of suspected malarial patients were examined microscopically from rural health center Sinawan, district Muzaffargarh, Pakistan from November 2008 to November 2010. P. falciparum positive samples (both whole blood and FTA blood spotted cards) were used for DNA extraction. Nested PCR was used to amplify the pfcrt (codon 72–76) gene fragment. Sequencing was carried out to find the haplotypes in the amplified fragment of pfcrt gene.Result: Over all slide positivity rate (SPR), P. vivax and P. falciparum positivity rate was 21.40 %, 19.37 % and 2.03% respectively. FTA blood spotted cards were equally efficient in the blood storage for PCR and sequencing. Analysis of sequencing results of pfcrt showed only one type of haplotype SagtVMNT (AGTGTAATGAATACA) from codon 72–76 in all samples.Conclusion: The results show high prevalence of CQ resistance and AQ resistant genes. AQ is not recommended to be used as a partner drug in ACT in this locality, so as to ward off future catastrophes.
  • XML | PDF | downloads: 418 | views: 537 | pages: 215-225
    Background: Envenomation by Hemiscorpius lepturus is not painful and the clinical manifestations include bloody urine due to hemoglobinuria or hematuria, dermonecrotic reactions,cardiac arrhythmia and in minority of cases acute renal failure which may lead to death following disseminated intravascular coagulation in infants. Cardiac effects of envenomation by H. lepturus venom including inotropic, chronotropic and arrhythmogenic properties are not studied as now in rat hearts with Langendorff apparatus.Methods: Rat hearts were allowed to equilibrate in its buffer and cardiotropic plus arrhythmogenic effects induced by injection of different doses of H. lepturus venom were detected and recorded by computer acquisition based data in Langendorff apparatus. The neutralizing effects of Razi Institute antivenom and autonomic drugs were assayed in parallel studies.Results: Hemiscorpius lepturus venom (25 μg/100 l) treatment caused a negative inotropic (65.4 ± 3.2 versus 110.2 ± 3.4) and chronotropic effects (186.3 ± 4.2 versus 302 ± 6.3) in comparison to normal saline. Arrhythmogenic aspects including bradycardia, QRS widening and ST depression were induced by venom injection. Pre venom treatment (20 min) of Razi Institute antivenom (10 μl) neutralized cardiotropic effects but post venom injection (15 min later) had no therapeutic role. Pre (10 min before) and post (15 min after) injection of adrenaline (10 μl) neneutralized cardiotropic effects while pre venom injection (20 min) of propanolol (10 μl) had aggravating effects.Conclusion: Our study paves the way for further in vivo investigation of cardiovascular effects of this venom for finding suitable treatments instead of its ordinary antivenom medication in cardiogenic shock induced by the venom.
  • XML | PDF | downloads: 358 | views: 469 | pages: 226-237
    Background: Within the framework to control mosquitoes, ovicidal, larvicidal and pupicidal activity of Annona senegalensis leaf extract and its 4 fractions against Anopheles gambiae and Culex quinquefasciatus were evaluated in the laboratory conditions.Methods: Ovicidal test was performed by submitting at least 100 eggs of mosquitoes to 125, 250, 500, 1000 and 2000 ppm concentrations, while larvicidal and pupicidal effects were assessed by submitting 25 larvae or pupae to the concentrations of 2500, 1250, 625 and 312.5 ppm of plant extract or fractions of A. senegalensis.Results: The eggs of An. gambiae were most affected by N-hexane (0.00% hatchability) and chloroform (03.67% hatchability) fractions compared to Cx. quinquefasciatus where at least 25 % hatchability were recorded at 2000 ppm. For larvicidal test, N-hexane (LC50= 298.8 ppm) and chloroform (LC50= 418.3 ppm) fractions were more effective than other fractions on An. gambiae larvae while, a moderate effectiveness was also observed with Nhexane (LC50= 2087.6 ppm), chloroform (LC50= 9010.1 ppm) fractions on Cx. quinquefasciatus larvae. The highest mortality percent of the pupae were also recorded with N-hexane and chloroform fractions on An. gambiae at 2500 ppm. As for Cx. quinquefasciatus only 50 % and 36 % mortality were recorded with N-hexane and chloroform fractions respectively.Conclusion: The extract of A. senegalensis was toxic on immature stage of mosquito species tested. By splitting methanolic crude extract, only N-hexane and chloroform fractions were revealed to possess a mosquitocidal effects and could be considered and utilized for future immature mosquito vectors control.
  • XML | PDF | downloads: 623 | views: 8206 | pages: 238-245
    Background: In this study, we investigated the lethal potency, electrophoretic protein pattern and in vivo effects of Hottentotta saulcyi scorpion venom in mice.Methods: Scorpions were collected at night, by using a UV lamp from Mardin Province, Turkey. Venom was obtained from mature H. saulcyi scorpions by electrical stimulation of the telson. The lethality of the venom was determined by i.v. injections using Swiss mice. In vivo effects of the venom were assessed by using the intraperitoneal route (ip) injections into mice (20±1g) and monitored for 24 h. The protein profiles of the scorpion venom were analyzed by NuPAGE® Novex® 4–12 % gradient Bis-Tris gel followed by Coomassie blue staining.Results: The lethal assay of the venom was 0.73 mg/kg in mice. We determined the electrophoretic protein pattern of this scorpion venom to be 4, 6, 9, 31, 35, 40, 46 and 69 kDa by SDS-PAGE. Analysis of electrophoresis indicated that H. saulcyi scorpion intoxicated mice exhibited autonomic nervous system symptoms (tachypnea, restlessness, hyperexcitability, convulsions, salivation, lacrimation, weakness).Conclusions: Hottentotta saulcyi scorpion venom includes short-chain neurotoxins and long-chain neurotoxins according to the electrophoretic protein patterns. The stings of H. saulcyi scorpion must be considered of risk for humans in the southeastern region, Turkey.
  • XML | PDF | downloads: 396 | views: 626 | pages: 246-252
    Background: Small ruminants’ babesiosis caused by Babesia ovis, is transmitted during blood feeding by infected ticks and is the most economically important tick-borne disease in tropical and subtropical areas. This study was carried out to to estimate the infection rate of B. ovis in sheep and goats by PCR. We have analysed risk factors that might influence infection of sheep and goats with B. ovis.Methods: A total 402 blood samples were examined microscopically for the presence of Babesia infection. All samples were tested by PCR. During sampling, whole body of each animal and farm dogs was examined for the presence of ticks.Results: Forty-two animals (10.4%) were positive for Babesia spp. upon microscopic examination, whereas 67 animals (16.7%) yielded the specific DNA for B. ovis of which 52 animals were sheep and 15 animals were goats.Twenty-nine farms (72.5%) were found positive for B. ovis. The percentage of positive animals in each location varied from 13 % to 20 %. The relative risk of the presence of ticks in sheep and goats (P< 0.01) and farm dogs (P< 0.01) for PCRpositive results forB. ovis in sheep and goats was found 3.8 and 2.9, respectively. A total of 747 ticks identified as Rhipicephalus bursa, R. sanguineus and R. turanicus on the basis of morphological features.Conclusion: Other animal species besides dogs may also be risk factors for babesiosis in sheep and goats. Also, R. bursa may play an important role as a vector of the parasite in Iran.
  • XML | PDF | downloads: 494 | views: 507 | pages: 253-266
    Background: Ecological studies on mosquitoes are very important in vector control programs. There are a few studies about the ecology of mosquitoes in northern Iran. This study was carried out to detect fauna and larval habitat characteristics of mosquitoes.Methods: This study aimed to determine fauna and the ecology of mosquitoes in Neka County, Mazandaran Province, northern Iran from April to December, 2009. The larval collection was conducted using standard dipper, and the characteristics of larval habitat were investigated based on degree of transparency of water, type of water (stagnant or running), plant vegetation, sunny or shady, temperature and altitude of the natural or artificial breeding places.Results: The mosquito larvae were collected from 72 habitats and identified using systematic keys. Nine species of mosquitoes were identified: Anopheles claviger (0.31%), An. maculipennis (0.54%), An. plumbeus (10.28%), An. superpictus (0.01%), Culiseta annulata (1.07%), Cs. longiareolata (8.91%), Culex mimeticus (0.03%), Cx. pipiens (63.99%), and Ochlerotatus geniculatus (14.85%). The range of temperature in the larval habitats was 19.6–22.5 °C. Significant difference was observed in the rate of temperature among the species in the larval habitats (P< 0.05). A checklist of mosquitoes including seven genera and 32 species has been provided for Mazandaran Province.Conclusion: The most dominant species were Cx. pipiens. They were collected from the larval habitats like Border Rivers, ponds, rain water pools, discarded tires and tree holes. Culiseta annulata was included to the checklist of mosquitoes in Mazandaran Province.

Short Communication

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    Background: Rodents with a population greater than the entire population of other mammals on earth are the source of economic losses and health conflicts. One of the major health problems with the rodents is their role as reservoir hosts of zoonotic diseases. The aim of this study was to assess the infestation of commensal rodents with ectoparasites in Hamedan City, Western Iran.Methods: The samples were collected by live traps during years 2012–2013. After transferring the samples to the Entomological Laboratory of Hamedan University of Medical Sciences, their ectoparasites were collected andidentified.Results: A total of 171 slides were prepared from 105 captured commensal rodents: Mus musculus, Rattus rattus and R. norvegicus comprising three orders namely Mesostigmata: Hypoaspis (Laelaspis) astronomica, Dermanyssius sp, Pachylaelapidae (male). Metastigmata: Rhipicephalus sp and Anoplura: Polyplax spinulosa were recovered in Hamedan City. Seventy (66.6%) rodents were found infested with at least one species of ectoparasites.Conclusion: The results of our study indicate that ectoparasites infestation in commensal rodents of Hamedan city is high and more attention by local health authorities is needed to prevent zoonotic diseases.

Case Report