2021 Impact Factor: 1.221
2021 CiteScore: 2.4
Hassan Vatandoost, Ph.D.
Vol 16 No 4 (2022)
Background: Since 1952 when Zika Virus (ZIKV): a Flavivirus, was first discovered in humans, it has not received enough scientific research compared to some of the other members of the family Flaviviridae; like Dengue Virus (DENV). However, this has not stopped the virus from infecting the human population globally. In particular, the global spread of ZIKV has led to a surge in observational studies.
Methods: Regarding recently published ZIKV-related literature, we are not aware of any reviews strictly focusing on ZIKV from the perspective of observational studies. Therefore, we reviewed recently published observational studies exploring the global spread of ZIKV and its association with Congenital ZIKV Infection (CZI) and clinical manifestations in adults. Online databases including google scholar, PubMed and Elsevier were used for retrieving relevant studies.
Results: ZIKV cases have been reported in different parts of the world, with certain regions reporting more cases than the rest, like Brazil. ZIKV causes a wide spectrum of diseases and disorders including microcephaly, developmental disorders, and Guillain-Barre syndrome to name a few. Furthermore, CZI in neonates mainly manifests into neurological disorders and diseases, whereas ZIKV in adults’ targets various organs.
Conclusion: ZIKV poses a serious threat to human population and observational studies provide a different perspective on the damaging capabilities of ZIKV in real-life settings. Moreover, there are gaps in the literature regarding ZIKV-related-complications that future experimental studies need to address. These complications include in-utero transmission, Guillain-Barre syndrome, cross-reactivity, sexual transmission, along with its persistence in the male reproductive tract.
Background: Leishmaniasis is one of the most important vector-borne and neglected tropical diseases in many parts of the world. The main objective of this study was to determine the biodiversity of phlebotomine sand flies (Diptera: Psychodidae, Phlebotominae) in Khuzestan and Kermanshah Provinces of Iran.
Methods: Sampling was conducted in Khuzestan and Kermanshah Provinces using sticky paper traps and CDC light traps. The samples were then stored in 96% alcohol-containing vials, mounted, and identified. Afterward, the alpha diversity (using Simpson’s, Shannon-Weiner’s diversity, evenness, Maghalef’s, Menhinick’s, Hill and indices) and beta diversity indices (using Sorensen’s and Jaccard’s coefficients) were calculated.
Results: A total of 4302 sand flies were caught and identified which comprised mostly of Phlebotomus papatasi, Ph. alexandri and Ph. sergenti. It was found that among the four counties of Ahvaz, Shush, Shushtar and Dezful in Khuzestan Province, Shush had the lowest, and Shushtar, the highest amount of species diversity and evenness. In the four studied counties of Kermanshah Province, species diversity in Kermanshah County had the lowest amount and Sarpol-e-Zahab, the highest. The species richness in Kermanshah County was the lowest, while Qasr-e-Shirin County had the highest amount.
Conclusion: An overview of the biodiversity of phlebotomine sand flies in Kermanshah County in Kermanshah Province, and Shush County in Khuzestan Province, showed less stability in community structure of these vectors, which can be counted as an alarm for emerging dominant vectors among the studied counties and have the potential to increase the prevalence of leishmaniasis.
Background: In this study aimed to show the role of autophagy acting as a seesaw between apoptosis and necroptosis in certain vital organs under the effects of the Aegaeobuthus nigricinctus venom and different dosages of the Androctonus crassicauda antivenom administration in mice.
Methods: In the venom group (VG), mice (n= 6) were inoculated with 2LD50 A. nigrocinctus venom. In the antivenom administered groups (AVG), the effects of the potency of the A. crassicauda antivenom were evaluated to have a neutralization effect against 20LD50 of the A. nigrocinctus venom. After histopathological examination, expressions of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) as an autophagy activator, receptor-interacting serine/threonine-protein kinase 3 (RIPK3) as a necroptosis activator, and caspase-3, caspase-9 as the markers of apoptotic cell death signals were evaluated by the immunoperoxidase method in addition to DNA in-situ fragmentations by the terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) method.
Results: Only in VG, caspases and TUNEL expressions were found to be higher after the envenomation process in contrast to the elevated RIPK3 expressions. mTOR expressions remained almost stable in the organs. In AG, mTOR expressions were further increased in the 30LD50 and 40LD50 groups.
Conclusion: There were an increased mTOR expression and stabilized caspases and TUNEL expression in these subgroups, the RIPK3 expressions were found to be low when compared with all of the antivenom administration groups. Increasing doses of the antivenom drifts more the cells to autophagy while cell fate in organs under envenomation getting rid of apoptosis and necroptosis pathways.
Background: Firmly identification of Leishmania in Phlebotomus papatasi and understanding of natural transmission cycles of parasites in sandflies are important for treatment and local control.
Methods: Modified and developed method of High Resolution Melting (HRM) as a preferable technique was employed to accurate identification of Leishmania in sandflies from Iranian border with Iraq, by targeting cytochrome oxidase II (COII) gene and designing suitable primers. PCR products cloned into pTG19-T vector, then purified plasmid concentration was measured at 260 and 280 nm wavelength. The melting curve plots were generated and DNA sequences were analyzed using Sequencher 3.1.1, CLC Main Workbench 5.5, MEGA 6, DnaSP5.10.01 and MedCalc® version 13.3.3 soft wares. Results: Among about 3000 collected sandflies, 89 female P. papatasi were identified and two with L. major. In amplified fragment of COII gene among 611 bp, 452 bp had no genetic variations with low polymorphic sites (P=0.001) and high synonymous (79.8%) as compare to non-synonymous sites (20.2%). L. major was discriminated in P. papatasi with 0.84 °C Tm and unique curve based on thermodynamic differences was an important criteria using HRM technique.
Conclusion: Subsequent war in Iraq made a high risk habitat for parasites transmission. It is important to discover accurate diagnostic procedures for leishmaniasis control.
Background: The primary aim of this study is to determine infection to Leishmania parasites in the wild population of Phlebotomus caucasicus and Phlebotomus mongolensis using molecular methods in some important zoonotic cutaneous leishmaniasis foci in Iran.
Methods: Sand flies were collected from active colonies of rodent burrows from 16 trapping sites using sticky trap paper. In order to detect and identify of Leishmania parasites in females Ph. caucasicus and Ph. mongolensis, the Nested–PCR amplification of ITS2-rDNA region was performed to generate amplicon with 245bp for Leishmania major, 206bp for L. gerbilli and 141bp for L. turanica.
Results: In the current study we found DNA of different gerbil parasites such as L. major and L. turanica, and mixed infection of L. major/L. turanica in Ph. caucasicus and Ph. mongolensis. It should be noted that, in Iran, natural infection with Leishmania parasites is recorded for the first time in this study in Ph. mongolensis.
Conclusion: Both species of Ph. caucasicus and Ph. mongolensis not only may participate in the ZCL transmission cycle between reservoir hosts, but also results of this study support the role of these species as secondary vectors in the transmission of leishmaniasis to humans.
Background: Owing to chitosan properties such as biocompatibility and antimicrobial activities, and several applications in biomedical field, some physicochemical and anti-bacterial properties, and the level of chitosan from three species of American cockroach, Periplaneta americana (Dictyoptera: Blattidae), the German cockroach, Blattella germanica (Dictyoptera: Ectobiidae) and the Mealworm beetle, Tenebrio molitor (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) were investigated.
Methods: The cuticle of adults derived from specimens was dried and grounded. The powders were demineralized as well as deproteinized after deacetylation via NaOH. At last, the chitosan yields from insects were studied for anti-bacterial activity on Gram-positive bacteria (Proteus mirabilis, Klebsiella pneumoniae), and Gram-negative bacteria (Enterococcus faecalis and Staphylococcus epidermidis). The Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) was used to analyze the chitosan composition.
Results: The chitosan ratios of the American and German cockroaches and the mealworm beetle were 5.80, 2.95, and 1.70% per 3 g of the dried bodies respectively. The chitin DD’s for the American cockroach, the German cockroach and the mealworm beetle were 36.8%, 31.5% and 27.3%, respectively. The bactericidal activity of chitosan obtained from the American cockroach at a concentration of 1% had the greatest effect on P. mirabilis compared to other concentrations, while chitosan obtained from the German cockroach at a concentration of 0.01% had the greatest effect on K. pneumoniae compared to other concentrations.
Conclusion: According to the results, the anti-bacterial influence of the chitosan is based upon the insect species and chitosan concentration. Probably, the variation relates to the changes in the chitin structure among the three insect species.
Background: Dengue fever as a mosquito-borne disease, has rapidly spread due to climate change, globalization, and human behavior. Iran is prone to dengue fever, as its vector recently has been found in the country. This study aimed to assess predictors of dengue preventive practices based on Precaution Adoption Process Model (PAPM) factors in West Azerbaijan province, northwest of Iran.
Methods: This cross-sectional study conducted on 405 health professionals of communicable disease sector who were interested in study participation. Data-gathering instrument was an online researcher-made questionnaire consisting of demographic characteristics (11 items), questions based on PAPM, and dengue preventive practices (85 items). Content validity and reliability of the instrument, content validity ratio, content validity index, and Cronbach α were utilized, respectively. Descriptive, analytical, and regression analysis using SPSS and STATA were examined.
Results: Regression analysis revealed that awareness of appropriate actions for dengue prevention was a stronger predictor of preventive practice in borderline and appropriate categories (β= 4.09, p< 0.001) and (β= 4.42, p< 0.001), respectively. Among factors of PAPM, beliefs about precaution effectiveness and difficulty in borderline (β= 1.04, p= 0.04) and appropriate (β= 1.12, p= 0.03) groups had direct and significant relation with dengue preventive practice.
Conclusion: The highest mean score of beliefs about hazard likelihood and severity factor was related to dengue prevention. Therefore, theory-based interventions that address beliefs about precaution effectiveness and difficulty can lead to assistance in acting. To improve dengue preventive practices, a well-designed promotive intervention that addresses associated factors in a context-specific manner is essential.
Background: Mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) have always been considered as the vector/s of viral and parasitic diseases. This study aimed to conduct a comprehensive survey on the species composition, spatial distribution, and biodiversity indices of mosquitoes in Kurdistan Province, western Iran.
Methods: This study was carried out in 10 counties of Kurdistan Province. The immature stages of mosquitoes were collected monthly from June to September. ArcGIS software was used to spatial analysis and create maps. Alpha diversity indices were calculated using the related formula.
Results: Totally, 5831 larvae belonging to the family Culicidae were collected. Twelve species were identified including: Anopheles claviger, An. maculipennis s.l, An. superpictus s.l, Culiseta. longiareolata, Cs. subochrea, Culex hortensis, Cx. mimeticus, Cx. perexiguus, Cx. pipiens, Cx. theileri, Cx. modestus and Cx. territans. Based on this analysis, the high-risk areas of the province are determined as Anopheles in the west, Culex in the north, and the Culiseta in the south of the province. Analyzing the Alpha biodiversity indices showed Baneh and Sarabad had the maximum and Bijar had the minimum mosquito biodiversity.
Conclusion: The western counties of the province are regarded as the hotspots for anopheline mosquitos. Moreover, reporting of malaria cases in the past, bordering with Iraq and the high traffic of travelers have made these areas as potential foci for malaria transmission. So that, routine entomological inspections are proposed to detect any suspicious vector or case entrance.
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