Human alveolar echinococcosis (AE), due to infection with the fox tapeworm Echinococcus multilocularis, though globally rare, is one of the most pathogenic helminthic zoonoses. AE has recently been shown however to be highly endemic in central western China amongst Han farming and Tibetan pastoral communities. Pilot studies indicate that such land-use practices, including deforestation, may increase the risk of human AE by optimizing transmission of the parasite between sylvatic hosts (foxes and rodents/small mammals) and between domestic- sylvatic hosts (dogs and small mammals). The long-term objective of this interdisciplinary project is to understand the ecology of E. multilocularis transmission and of human AE disease in the region and elsewhere.
The specific aims are to develop predictive models for relative risk of human disease and of transmission potential in animal cycles for these predominately agricultural or pastoral biotopes. Hypotheses relating to occurrence of optimal habitat patches for hosts within given landscapes (in Gansu), and of seasonal occurrence and spatial distribution of small mammal hosts in semi-nomadic communities (in Sichuan) will be tested using a number of tools and approaches. These include, landscape quantification by remote sensing, rodent/small mammal and fox ecology, host immunoassays for parasite detection or exposure, parasite molecular taxonomy, quantitative transmission dynamics for sylvatic and semi-domestic cycles, and of medical and veterinary epidemiology. Predictive models will be tested in the two regional sites in China.
|Wang, Xu; Liu, Jiayu; Zuo, Qingqiu et al. (2018) Echinococcus multilocularis and Echinococcus shiquicus in a small mammal community on the eastern Tibetan Plateau: host species composition, molecular prevalence, and epidemiological implications. Parasit Vectors 11:302|
|Marston, Christopher G; Danson, F Mark; Armitage, Richard P et al. (2014) A random forest approach for predicting the presence of Echinococcus multilocularis intermediate host Ochotona spp. presence in relation to landscape characteristics in western China. Appl Geogr 55:176-183|
|Giraudoux, Patrick; Raoul, Francis; Afonso, Eve et al. (2013) Transmission ecosystems of Echinococcus multilocularis in China and Central Asia. Parasitology 140:1655-66|
|Ito, Akira (2013) Nothing is perfect! Trouble-shooting in immunological and molecular studies of cestode infections. Parasitology 140:1551-65|
|Boufana, Belgees; Umhang, Gerald; Qiu, Jiamin et al. (2013) Development of three PCR assays for the differentiation between Echinococcus shiquicus, E. granulosus (G1 genotype), and E. multilocularis DNA in the co-endemic region of Qinghai-Tibet plateau, China. Am J Trop Med Hyg 88:795-802|
|Giraudoux, Patrick; Raoul, Francis; Pleydell, David et al. (2013) Drivers of Echinococcus multilocularis transmission in China: small mammal diversity, landscape or climate? PLoS Negl Trop Dis 7:e2045|
|Boufana, Belgees; Qiu, Jiamin; Chen, Xinwang et al. (2013) First report of Echinococcus shiquicus in dogs from eastern Qinghai-Tibet plateau region, China. Acta Trop 127:21-4|
|Galbreath, Kurt E; Hoberg, Eric P (2012) Return to Beringia: parasites reveal cryptic biogeographic history of North American pikas. Proc Biol Sci 279:371-8|
|Massoni, J; Durette-Desset, M C; Quéré, J P et al. (2012) Redescription of Heligmosomoides neopolygyrus, Asakawa and Ohbayashi, 1986 (Nematoda: Heligmosomidae) from a Chinese rodent, Apodemus peninsulae (Rodentia: Muridae); with comments on Heligmosomoides polygyrus polygyrus (Dujardin, 1845) and related species Parasite 19:367-74|
|Vaniscotte, A; Raoul, F; Poulle, M L et al. (2011) Role of dog behaviour and environmental fecal contamination in transmission of Echinococcus multilocularis in Tibetan communities. Parasitology 138:1316-29|
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