HELMINTHOLOGIA, 36, 3: 139 - 145, 1999

Parasites and parasitic diseases in prehistoric human populations in Central Europe


Department of Medical Parasitology, Clinical Institute of Hygiene, University of Vienna


Evidence of parasites and thus parasitic diseases in prehistoric human populations in Central Europe has been gained from coprolites and palaeofaeces preserved in salt mineral, samples of soil contaminated with palaeofaeces, textiles, bog mummies and from the famous glacier mummy. So far the following parasites were found (in brackets oldest records): Trichuris trichiura (5200-5300 yrs), Ascaris lumbricoides (3500 yrs), Ancylostoma duodenale (3500 yrs), Taenia sp. (> 2000 yrs), Diphyllobothrium sp. (5000-5100 yrs), Dicrocoelium dendriticum (> 2000 yrs) and Fasciola hepatica (5000-5100 yrs), and Pediculus h. humanus (> 2300 yrs). So far, no protozoa could be discovered in prehistoric remains in Central Europe T. trichiura was probably one of the predominant parasites of man in prehistoric periods and also Ascaris was at least from the second millennium BC onwards a frequent parasites. Both these findings reflect the poor standard of hygiene. The finding of eggs of Taenia sp. indicates that the salt-miners in Hallein ate raw or insufficiently cooked meat, whereas Diphyllobothrium is an indication of consumption of raw fish. Whether Dicrocoelium dendriticum and Fasciola hepatica were real parasites or whether the findings of eggs reflect pseudoparasitism (by uptake of raw liver of sheep), is still unclear. Also parasitism due to Ancylostoma duodenale needs confirmation.


HELMINTHOLOGIA, 36, 3: 147 - 158, 1999

Genome Analysis: Helping to Solve the Molecular Mysteries of Schistosomes


Biomedical Parasitology Division, Department of Zoology, The Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD, United Kingdom


Considerable progress has been made by the Schistosome Genome Project, primarily in gene discovery, involving comparison of cDNA libraries representing different stages of the parasite life-cycle. Genome analysis will provide greater insight in to some of the fundamental biological functions occurring during the complex schistosome life-cycle and will help to determine the molecular pathways involved. In this article we present an update of the Schistosome Genome Project and highlight interesting areas of molecular research relating to gene expression and development, host-parasite relationships and molecular systematics.


HELMINTHOLOGIA, 36, 3: 159 - 165, 1999

New approaches to control larval toxocarosis


Parasitological Institute, Hlinkova 3, 040 01 Kosice, Slovak Republic



HELMINTHOLOGIA, 36, 3: 167 - 170, 1999

New trends in the treatment of echinococcosis


WHO Collaborating Center for Prevention and Treatment of Human Echinococcosis; University of Franche-Comt ; 25030 Besan on, France; and for the WHO Informal Working Group on Echinococcosis.


The WHO Informal Working Group on Echinococcosis, founded in 1985, held two meetings on medical treatment and chemotherapy of echinococcosis (Besancon, France, 1992 and Al-Ain, 1994) to discuss progress in the treatment of CE and AE, and try to reach an international consensus on treatment strategies. The results of these discussions have recently been published as "Guidelines for treatment of cystic and alveolar echinococcosis in humans" (WHO bulletin, 1996). These guidelines, completed with some updated addition and with emphasis on the place of chemotherapy in the therapeutic strategy, will serve as a basis for the treatment strategies proposed below.


HELMINTHOLOGIA, 36, 3: 171 - 173, 1999

Application of molecular biology in plant nematology


*Dipartimento di Biochimica e Biologia Molecolare. Universita  di Bari, Italy. Istituto di Nematologia Agraria, CNR. Bari, Italy.


 Plant parasitic nematodes are major pests for crops. They significantly damage agriculture worldwide. It has been estimated that plant parasitic nematodes reduce the yield of the world's 40 major food staples and cash crop by about 12.5 % (Sasser, 1980). Furthermore, much of the crop damage caused by nematodes is unrecognized. However in spite of the~ impact on world agriculture, the basic biology of plant parasitic nematodes is poorly understood (Bird Mck. D., 1996). This can be explained by the difficulties in accumulating sufficient bidldgical material to undertake biochemical and molecular biology studies. Most plant parasitic nematodes are microscopic, obligate root-parasites. One of the problems of working with plant parasitic nematodes is that they are difficult to grow: even when it is possible to collect enough material to perform a biochemical experiment, the eagerness to repeat the experiment is fiustrated by the need to wait until new material is accumulated again! The control of plant-parasitic nematodes relies on the application of nematicides to nematode infested fields, crop rotation and the use of resistant plant varieties as well. Only recently the development of new techniques has allowed researchers to address questions that can be answered in terms of biochemistry and molecular biology.


HELMINTHOLOGIA, 36, 3: 175 - 178, 1999

Trichinelloid nematodes parasitic in fishes


Institute of Parasitology, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Branisovská 31, 370 05 Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic


Recent investigations have shown that members of four trichinelloid families, Capillariidae, Trichosomoididae, Trichinellidae and Cystoopsidae, may occur in fishes. Capillariidae is the richest family for species, including, to date, 54 valid species and subspecies belonging to 9 genera, parasitizing the digestive tract and the liver of fishes. Trichosomoididae and Cystoopsidae, each with 1 genus in fishes, include a few highly specialized histozoic parasite species, whereas Trichinellidae is only represented by Trichinella larvae that may occur in fishes serving as paratenic hosts. Fishes are known to be the only intermediate hosts of Aonchotheca philippinensis, a causative agent of intestinal capillariosis of humans in eastern, southern and western Asia and North Africa. A necessity of further studies of fish trichinelloids is stressed.


HELMINTHOLOGIA, 36, 3: 179 - 184, 1999

How can Trichinella escape the host immune response


Dipartimento di Patologia Sperimentale, Biotecnologie Mediche, Infettivologia ed Epidemiologia; Sezione di Patologia Generale; Universita di Pisa, Via Roma 55, 56100 Pisa, Italy, E-mail: fbruschi@sanitpubb.med.unipi.it


This review deals with the mechanisms used by the nematode of the genus Trichinella to prevent or "down regulate" host immune response are descrbed in this review. All these mechanisms are discussed in details. The antigen-dependent mechanisms some of which are anatomic seclusion, stage-specificity, molecular mimicry and antigen shedding and renewal. The parasite can affect also directly the host immune response by immunomodulation. This can be exerted at central level through immune suppression, polyclonal lymphocyte activation and hypereosinophilia induction as well as at peripheral level by modifying the host leukocyte functions, inducing the production of blocking antibodies or of immune complexes, inhibiting the complement MAC assembly.


HELMINTHOLOGIA, 36, 3: 185 - 191, 1999

Echinococcus multilocularis in animal hosts: new data from western Europe


 Department of Parasitology, University of Hohenheim , 70599 Stuttgart, Germany


As recently as 1990, the geographical range of E. multilocularis was thought to be largely restricted to eastern France, southern Germany and parts of Switzerland and Austria. Within the previous decade, however, the parasite in western Europe was recorded in animal hosts (mainly foxes) from almost all of Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands. It is on debate whether or not this reflects an extension of the parasite's range, or whether its presence in the these areas remained previously undetected. In parts of the 'classical' endemicity areas, definite epidemiological changes have recently taken place. While fox population densities have increased drastically, this was in some areas accompanied by an increase of E. multilocularis prevalence rates, resulting in a much higher contamination of the environment with infectious eggs. In addition, foxes have now established large populations in settled areas and cities which may cause an increasing infection rsik for the human population. The current situation is reviewed, and data are presented on infection rates of various host species in the western part of Europe.


HELMINTHOLOGIA, 36, 3: 193 - 200, 1999

Echinococcus multilocularis: new epidemiological insights in Central and Eastern Europe.


Department of Tropical Medicine, III.Clinic of Infectious and Tropical Diseases, Faculty Hospital Bulovka, Studniekova 7, 128 00 Praha 2, Czech Republic


The explanation of present situation in the distribution of Echinococcus multilocularis developmental stages in the area of Central and Eastern Europe, formerly politically separated from Western Europe, is presented by comparison of historical and recent data. Since nineties, the parasitological examination of various mammals which focused namely to detect E. multilocularis in specific hosts, resulted in the findings of infectious agents of alveolar echinococcosis in new Central European countries, namely in Poland, Czech Republic and Slovak Republic. Because these results were obtained only few years ago, and no data are available from the past, it is impossible to say whether the parasite spreads from European countries where the occurrence of E.multilocularis has been with historically documented. Adult cestodes were detected mostly in foxes in all countries mentioned above but they were found also in one cat and one dog in the Czech Republic. Contrary to only recent findings of adult cestodes, the history of the observation of metacestodes is longer. Infections with larval stages in humans as well in animals are reported from Azerbaijan, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Byelorussia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Russia and Slovenia. These findings of larval stages suggest that the parasite was present in the whole territory of Central and Eastern Europe already in the past.


HELMINTHOLOGIA, 36, 3: 201 - 204, 1999

Is human trichinellosis an emerging zoonosis in the European community?


Laboratoire de Parasitologie-Mycologie, Hopital Cochin, Universite Rene Descartes 27 rue du Faubourg St Jacques, 75014, Paris, France,  Email : dupouyca @ imaginet.fr


The incidence of trichinellosis outbreaks seems to increase regularly in the European Union. These outbreaks (at least 36 reported by journals indexed in MEDLINE) involved several thousands of patients and were due to the consumption of imported horse meat (urban outbreaks), of wild boar meat (families of hunters), of pork (pigs bred in small farms). The emergence of the disease can be explained by a better knowledge of the disease (formerly misdiagnosed for flue), explosion of wild boars populations, modifications of consumers' habits, importation of horses from countries where trichinellosis is endemic, failure of the veterinary control to detect infected animals. A regular surveillance of trichinellosis cases in the EU is important to judge the evolution of the disease.


HELMINTHOLOGIA, 36, 3: 205 - 213, 1999

The economic importance of Heterodera schachtii in Europe


Biologische Bundesanstalt fur Land- und Forstwirtschaft, Institut fur Nematologie und Wirbeltierkunde, Toppheideweg 88, D-48161 Munster, Germany


In several European countries, the beet cyst nematode (Heterodera schachtii) has been a serious pest in sugar beet production for more than 150 years. No reliable data on yield losses are available, but it is estimated that the annual yield loss in the EU countries on the world market sugar price level amounts to 90 million Euro (ca. 95 million US $). In Germany, chemical agents are not registered for control. Therefore, different components for the integrated control of beet cyst nematode are assessed: Decisions based on economic thresholds are questionable, inasmuch as routine population assessments based on soil sample analyses are unreliable. Antagonists are widespread but have not proven useful for field control. Targeted application of nematicides to isolated patches of infection is not practicable. Selective pesticides and products preserving beneficial organisms are lacking. Intercropping of resistant radish in sugar beet has given negative results. A long rotation of one in five is effective but not economical. Resistant green manure crops can reduce nematode populations by 60% and more and thus make a three-year rotation possible. 17 oil radish and 16 mustard varieties are now registered as resistant and are used as catch crops after winter barley or all over the season in set aside fields. In Germany, the first sugar beet variety with resistance to H. schachtii was registered in 1998. In field trials on infested soil, sugar yield of the resistant variety was comparable or even superior to sugar yield of susceptible varieties. Transmission of the resistance is not complete, ca. 5 % of all plants are susceptible. The monogenic resistance can be broken by virulent nematodes. Strategies are needed to prevent the selection of pathotypes in field conditions.


HELMINTHOLOGIA, 36, 3: 215 - 223, 1999

List of papers published by research workers of Parasitological Institute SAS in a period of 1995 1999


Parasitological Institute, SAS, Hlinkova 3, 040 01 Kosice

 The Eighth International Helminthological Symposium held in Košice from September 28 to October 1, 1999 encouraged us to summarise papers published by research workers of the organising institution, the Parasitological Institute of the Slovak Academy of Sciences in Košice. The list involves a period from January 1995 to the end of June 1999. Papers are arranged according to topics of the current research programme of the Parasitological Institute SAS. Abstracts or full texts published in proceedings and miscellanies from local and international conferences were not included.

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