Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Revista do Instituto de Medicina Tropical de São Paulo]]> vol. 58 num. lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[INVESTIGATION OF BIOFILM FORMATION IN COAGULASE-NEGATIVE STAPHYLOCOCCI ISOLATED FROM PLATELET CONCENTRATE BAGS]]> Platelet Concentrates (PCs) are the blood components with the highest rate of bacterial contamination, and coagulase-negative staphylococci (CoNS) are the most frequently isolated contaminants. This study investigated the biofilm formation of 16 contaminated units out of 691 PCs tested by phenotypic and genotypic methods. Adhesion in Borosilicate Tube (ABT) and Congo Red Agar (CRA) tests were used to assess the presence of biofilm. The presence of icaADC genes was assessed by means of the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) technique. With Vitek(r)2, Staphylococcus haemolyticus was considered the most prevalent CoNS (31.25%). The CRA characterized 43.8% as probable biofilm producers, and for the ABT test, 37.5%. The icaADC genes were identified in seven samples by the PCR. The ABT technique showed 85.7% sensitivity and 100% specificity when compared to the reference method (PCR), and presented strong agreement (k = 0.8). This study shows that species identified as PCs contaminants are considered inhabitants of the normal skin flora and they might become important pathogens. The results also lead to the recommendation of ABT use in laboratory routine for detecting biofilm in CoNS contaminants of PCs. <![CDATA[ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE PATTERNS OF URINARY TRACT INFECTIONS IN A NORTHEASTERN BRAZILIAN CAPITAL]]> Urinary tract infection is a common problem worldwide. Its clinical characteristics and susceptibility rates of bacteria are important in determining the treatment of choice and its duration. This study assessed the frequency and susceptibility to antimicrobials of uropathogens isolated from community-acquired urinary tract infections in the city of Natal, Rio Grande do Norte State capital, northeastern Brazil, from 2007 to 2010. A total of 1,082 positive samples were evaluated; E. coli was the most prevalent pathogen (60.4%). With respect to the uropathogens susceptibility rates, the resistance of enterobacteria to ciprofloxacin and sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim was 24.4% and 50.6%, respectively. Susceptibility was over 90% for nitrofurantoin, aminoglycosides and third-generation cephalosporins. High resistance rates of uropathogens to quinolones and sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim draws attention to the choice of these drugs on empirical treatments, especially in patients with pyelonephritis. Given the increased resistance of community bacteria to antimicrobials, local knowledge of susceptibility rates of uropathogens is essential for therapeutic decision making regarding patients with urinary tract infections. <![CDATA[IDENTIFICATION OF CANINE VISCERAL LEISHMANIASIS IN A PREVIOUSLY UNAFFECTED AREA BY CONVENTIONAL DIAGNOSTIC TECHNIQUES AND CELL-BLOCK FIXATION]]> After the report of a second case of canine visceral leishmaniasis (CVL) in São Bento da Lagoa, Itaipuaçu, in the municipality of Maricá, Rio de Janeiro State, an epidemiological survey was carried out, through active search, totaling 145 dogs. Indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA), enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), and rapid chromatographic immunoassay based on dual-path platform (DPP(r)) were used to perform the serological examinations. The parasitological diagnosis of cutaneous fragments was performed by parasitological culture, histopathology, and immunohistochemistry. In the serological assessment, 21 dogs were seropositive by IFA, 17 by ELISA, and 11 by DPP(r), with sensitivity of 66.7%, 66.7% and 50%, and specificity of 87.2%, 90.2% and 94%, respectively for each technique. The immunohistochemistry of bone marrow using the cell-block technique presented the best results, with six positive dogs found, three of which tested negative by the other parasitological techniques. Leishmania sp. was isolated by parasitological culture in three dogs. The detection of autochthonous Leishmania infantum in Itaipuaçu, and the high prevalence of seropositive dogs confirm the circulation of this parasite in the study area and alert for the risk of expansion in the State of Rio de Janeiro. <![CDATA[ULTRASTRUCTURAL CHANGES IN Schistosoma mansoni MALE WORMS AFTER in vitro INCUBATION WITH THE ESSENTIAL OIL OF Mentha x villosa Huds]]> Introduction: The essential oil Mentha x villosa (MVEO) has a wide range of actions, including antibacterial, antifungal, antiprotozoal and schistosomicidal actions. The present study aimed to investigate the ultrastructural changes of MVEO on the tegument of adult Schistosoma mansoni. Materials and Methods: Different concentrations of MVEO were tested on S. mansoni adult worms in vitro. Ultrastructural changes on the tegument of these adult worms were evaluated using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Results: The MVEO caused the death of all worms at 500 μg mL-1 after 24 h. After 24h of 500 μg mL-1 MVEO treatment, bubble lesions were observed over the entire body of worms and they presented loss of tubercles in some regions of the ventral portion. In the evaluation by TEM, S. mansoni adult worms treated with MVEO, 500 μg mL-1, presented changes in the tegument and vacuoles in the syncytial matrix region. Glycogen granules close to the muscle fibers were visible. Conclusion: The ability of MVEO to cause extensive ultrastructural damage to S. mansoni adult worms correlates with its schistosomicidal effects and confirms earlier findings with S. mansoni. <![CDATA[COMPARISON OF PERMANENT STAINING METHODS FOR THE LABORATORY DIAGNOSIS OF TRICHOMONIASIS]]> Trichomonas vaginalis is the etiologic agent of trichomoniasis, the most common non-viral sexually transmitted disease (STD) in the world. The diagnosis is based on wet mount preparation and direct microscopy on fixed and stained clinical specimens. The aim of this study was to compare the performance of different fixing and staining techniques used in the detection of T. vaginalis in urine. The smears were fixed and submitted to different methods of permanent staining and then, the morphological aspects of the parasites were analyzed and compared. The Papanicolaou staining with ethanol as the fixative solution showed to be the best method of permanent staining. Our data suggest that staining techniques in association with wet mount examination of fresh specimens contribute to increase the sensitivity in the diagnosis of trichomoniasis. <![CDATA[OCCURRENCE OF Calodium hepaticum (BANCROFT, 1893) MORAVEC, 1982 EGGS IN FECES OF DOGS AND CATS IN LAGES, SANTA CATARINA, BRAZIL]]> This study aims to report the incidence of Calodium hepaticum among dogs and cats, pets or stray animals, captured by the Zoonosis Control Center (CCZ) in Lages, Santa Catarina, Brazil. Fecal samples from 108 pet dogs and eight pet cats, and from 357 stray dogs and 97 stray cats, captured by CCZ, were analyzed within the period from July 2010 to November 2012. Coproparasitological exams were performed by techniques of sedimentation, centrifuge-flotation, and simple flotation. Among 465 fecal samples from dogs and 105 from cats, the overall spurious infections for C. hepaticum eggs were 1.05%. For dogs, this positivity was 0.43% and for cats it was 3.81%. The two positive dogs were stray and out of the four cats, three were stray and one was a pet. Although the occurrence of C. hepaticum eggs was low, these data reveal the existence of infected rodents, especially in public places, since, out of the six infected animals, five (83.33%) were stray. These results are discussed and analyzed with an emphasis on the risk to public health. <![CDATA[THE SUSCEPTIBILITY OF RECENT ISOLATES OF Schistosoma mansoni TO PRAZIQUANTEL]]> Introduction: Schistosomiasis is a chronic disease caused by trematode flatworms of the genus Schistosoma and its control is dependent on a single drug, praziquantel (PZQ), but concerns over PZQ resistance have renewed interest in evaluating the in vitro susceptibility of recent isolates of Schistosoma mansoni to PZQ in comparison with well-established strains in the laboratory. Material and methods: The in vitro activity of PZQ (6.5-0.003 µg/mL) was evaluated in terms of mortality, reduced motor activity and ultrastructural alterations against S. mansoni. Results: After 3 h of incubation, PZQ, at 6.5 µg/mL, caused 100% mortality of all adult worms in the three types of recent isolates, while PZQ was inactive at concentrations of 0.08-0.003 µg/mL after 3 h of incubation. The results show that the SLM and Sotave isolates basically presented the same pattern of susceptibility, differing only in the concentration of 6.5 µg/mL, where deaths occurred from the range of 1.5 h in Sotave and just in the 3 h range of SLM. Additionally, this article presents ultrastructural evidence of rapid severe PZQ-induced surface membrane damage in S. mansoni after treatment with the drug, such as disintegration, sloughing, and erosion of the surface. Conclusion: According to these results, PZQ is very effective to induce tegument destruction of recent isolates of S. mansoni. <![CDATA[DENGUE DURING PREGNANCY: ASSOCIATION WITH LOW BIRTH WEIGHT AND PREMATURITY]]> The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of dengue virus infection during pregnancy and its correlation with low birth weight, prematurity, and asphyxia. A non-concurrent cohort study reveals the association of dengue during pregnancy with prematurity and low birth weight, when birth occurred during the maternal-fetal viremia period (p = 0.016 and p &lt; 0.0001, respectively). <![CDATA[SEROLOGICAL DETECTION OF HEPATITIS A VIRUS IN FREE-RANGING NEOTROPICAL PRIMATES (Sapajus spp., Alouatta caraya) FROM THE PARANÁ RIVER BASIN, BRAZIL]]> Nonhuman primates are considered as the natural hosts of Hepatitis A virus (HAV), as well as other pathogens, and can serve as natural sentinels to investigate epizootics and endemic diseases that are of public health importance. During this study, blood samples were collected from 112 Neotropical primates (NTPs) (Sapajus nigritus and S. cay, n = 75; Alouatta caraya, n = 37) trap-captured at the Paraná River basin, Brazil, located between the States of Paraná and Mato Grosso do Sul. Anti-HAV IgG antibodies were detected in 4.5% (5/112) of NTPs, specifically in 6.7% (5/75) of Sapajus spp. and 0% (0/37) of A. caraya. In addition, all samples were negative for the presence of IgM anti-HAV antibodies. These results suggest that free-ranging NTPs were exposed to HAV within the geographical regions evaluated. <![CDATA[LIVER BIOPSY: IMPORTANCE OF SPECIMEN SIZE IN THE DIAGNOSIS AND STAGING OF CHRONIC VIRAL HEPATITIS]]> Liver biopsy is the gold standard method for the grading and staging of chronic viral hepatitis, but optimal biopsy specimen size remains controversial. The aim of this study was to evaluate the quality of liver specimen (number of portal tracts) and to evaluate the impact of the number of portal tracts in the staging of chronic hepatitis. Material and Methods: 468 liver biopsies from consecutive patients with hepatitis C virus and hepatitis B virus infection from 2009 to 2010 were evaluated. Results: The length of fragment was less than 10 mm in 43 cases (9.3%), between 10 and 14 mm in 114 (24.3%), and ≥ 15 mm in 311 (64.4%); of these, in 39 (8.3%) cases were ≥ 20 mm. The mean representation of portal tracts was 17.6 ± 2.1 (5-40); in specimens ≥ 15 mm the mean portal tract was 13.5 ± 4.7 and in cases ≤ 15 mm was 11.4 ± 5.0 (p = 0.002). Cases with less than 11 portal tracts were associated with F3, and cases with 11 or more portal tracts with F2 (p = 0.001). Conclusion: this study demonstrated the good quality of liver biopsy and a relationship between the macroscopic size of the fragment and the number of portal tracts. <![CDATA[HUMAN T-LYMPHOTROPIC VIRUS 1 (HTLV-1) AND HUMAN T-LYMPHOTROPIC VIRUS 2 (HTLV-2): GEOGRAPHICAL RESEARCH TRENDS AND COLLABORATION NETWORKS (1989-2012)]]> Publications are often used as a measure of research work success. Human T-lymphotropic virus (HTLV) type 1 and 2 are human retroviruses, which were discovered in the early 1980s, and it is estimated that 15-20 million people are infected worldwide. This article describes a bibliometric review and a coauthorship network analysis of literature on HTLV indexed in PubMed in a 24-year period. A total of 7,564 documents were retrieved, showing a decrease in the number of documents from 1996 to 2007. HTLV manuscripts were published in 1,074 journals. Japan and USA were the countries with the highest contribution in this field (61%) followed by France (8%). Production ranking changed when the number of publications was normalized by population (Dominican Republic and Japan), by gross domestic product (Guinea-Bissau and Gambia), and by gross national income per capita (Brazil and Japan). The present study has shed light on some of the defining features of scientific collaboration performed by HTLV research community, such as the existence of core researchers responsible for articulating the development of research in the area, facilitating wider collaborative relationships and the integration of new authors in the research groups. <![CDATA[AMINOGLYCOSIDE RESISTANCE GENES IN Pseudomonas aeruginosa ISOLATES FROM CUMANA, VENEZUELA]]> The enzymatic modification of aminoglycosides by aminoglycoside-acetyltransferases (AAC), aminoglycoside-adenyltransferases (AAD), and aminoglycoside-phosphotransferases (APH), is the most common resistance mechanism in P. aeruginosa and these enzymes can be coded on mobile genetic elements that contribute to their dispersion. One hundred and thirty seven P. aeruginosa isolates from the University Hospital, Cumana, Venezuela (HUAPA) were evaluated. Antimicrobial susceptibility was determined by the disk diffusion method and theaac, aadB and aph genes were detected by PCR. Most of the P. aeruginosa isolates (33/137) were identified from the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), mainly from discharges (96/137). The frequency of resistant P. aeruginosaisolates was found to be higher for the aminoglycosides tobramycin and amikacin (30.7 and 29.9%, respectively). Phenotype VI, resistant to these antibiotics, was the most frequent (14/49), followed by phenotype I, resistant to all the aminoglycosides tested (12/49). The aac(6´)-Ib,aphA1 and aadB genes were the most frequently detected, and the simultaneous presence of several resistance genes in the same isolate was demonstrated. Aminoglycoside resistance in isolates ofP. aeruginosa at the HUAPA is partly due to the presence of the aac(6´)-Ib, aphA1 andaadB genes, but the high rates of antimicrobial resistance suggest the existence of several mechanisms acting together. This is the first report of aminoglycoside resistance genes in Venezuela and one of the few in Latin America. <![CDATA[SIXTEEN YEARS OF DERMATOMYCOSIS CAUSED BY Candida spp. IN THE METROPOLITAN AREA OF PORTO ALEGRE, SOUTHERN BRAZIL]]> The yeasts of the genus Candida infect skin, nails, and mucous membranes of the gastrointestinal and the genitourinary tract. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of dermatomycoses caused by Candida spp., and their etiological aspects in the metropolitan area of Porto Alegre, Brazil. A retrospective study with data obtained from tertiary hospital patients, from 1996 to 2011, was performed. The analyzed parameters were date, age, gender, ethnicity, anatomical region of lesions, and the direct examination results. For all the statistical analyses, a = 0.05 was considered. Among positive results in the direct mycological examination, 12.5% of the total of 4,815 cases were positive for Candida spp. The angular coefficient (B) was -0.7%/ year, showing a decrease over the years. The genus Candida was more prevalent in women (15.9% of women versus 5.84% of men), and in addition, women were older than men (54 versus 47 years old, respectively). There was no difference between ethnic groups. The nails were more affected than the skin, with 80.37% of the infections in the nails (72.9% in fingernails and 7.47% in toenails). Our study corroborates the literature regarding the preference for gender, age, and place of injury. Moreover, we found a decrease in infection over the studied period. <![CDATA[EPIDEMIOLOGY OF SCORPION ENVENOMATION IN THE STATE OF <em>CEARÁ</em>, NORTHEASTERN BRAZIL]]> This report is a retrospective study of the epidemiology of scorpion sting cases recorded from 2007 to 2013 in the State of Ceará, Northeastern Brazil. Data were collected from the Injury Notification Information System database of the Health Department of Ceará. A total of 11,134 cases were studied and distributed across all the months of the studied period and they occurred mainly in urban areas. Victims were predominantly 20-29 years-old women. Most victims were bitten on the hand; and received medical assistance within 1-3 hours after being bitten. Cases were mostly classified as mild and progressed to cure. Scorpion envenomation in Ceará is an environmental public health problem that needs to be monitored and controlled throughout the year. <![CDATA[MOLECULAR SURVEILLANCE OF <em>Plasmodium vivax</em> AND <em>Plasmodium</em> falciparum <em>DHFR</em> MUTATIONS IN ISOLATES FROM SOUTHERN IRAN]]> In Iran, both Plasmodium vivax and P. falciparum malaria have been detected, but P. vivax is the predominant species. Point mutations in dihydrofolate reductase (dhfr) gene in both Plasmodia are the major mechanisms of pyrimethamine resistance. From April 2007 to June 2009, a total of 134 blood samples in two endemic areas of southern Iran were collected from patients infected with P. vivax and P. falciparum. The isolates were analyzed for P. vivax dihydrofolate reductase (pvdhfr) and P. falciparum dihydrofolate reductase (pfdhfr) point mutations using various PCR-based methods. The majority of the isolates (72.9%) had wild type amino acids at five codons of pvdhfr. Amongst mutant isolates, the most common pvdhfr alleles were double mutant in 58 and 117 amino acids (58R-117N). Triple mutation in 57, 58, and 117 amino acids (57L/58R/117N) was identified for the first time in the pvdhfr gene of Iranian P. vivax isolates. All the P. falciparumsamples analyzed (n = 16) possessed a double mutant pfdhfrallele (59R/108N) and retained a wild-type mutation at position 51. This may be attributed to the fact that the falciparum malaria patients were treated using sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) in Iran. The presence of mutant haplotypes in P. vivax is worrying, but has not yet reached an alarming threshold regarding drugs such as SP. The results of this study reinforce the importance of performing a molecular surveillance by means of a continuous chemoresistance assessment. <![CDATA[FACTORS RELATED TO ORAL CANDIDIASIS IN ELDERLY USERS AND NON-USERS OF REMOVABLE DENTAL PROSTHESES]]> This study examined the association between oral candidiasis in elderly users and nonusers of prosthesis and its predisposing factors. To this end, we performed a cross-sectional study where saliva samples from 48 patients were collected they used prosthesis and 43 patients (control group) who did not use. Among the 91 patients, Candida spp were isolated in 40 (83.3%) who used prosthesis and in 23 (53.5%) in the control group. A statistically significant association was determined between the two groups, the isolation of yeasts and dental prosthesis (p &lt; 0.05, OR = 4.3). The most common etiological agent was Candida albicans (37 isolates), with 23 (62.2%) in the denture group and 14 (37.8%) (control group). Among patients who presented clinical manifestations of oral candidiasis (n = 24), 83.3% (n = 20) belonged to the group that wore dentures, while only 16.7% (n = 4) belonged to the control group. Elderly patients with diabetes had 4.4 times higher estimated risk of developing oral candidiasis when compared with individuals without this condition. There was no statistically significant association between being user prostheses and have diabetes with the onset of candidiasis. No statistically significant association was determined between xerostomia, use of prosthesis and oral candidiasis. The use of prosthetics and poor oral hygiene in elderly patients predisposes to the development of oral candidiasis. <![CDATA[ANTIFUNGAL POTENTIAL OF PLANT SPECIES FROM BRAZILIAN <em>CAATINGA</em> AGAINST DERMATOPHYTES]]> Trichophyton rubrum and Trichophyton mentagrophytes complex, or Trichophyton spp. are the main etiologic agents of dermatophytosis, whose treatment is limited by the high cost of antifungal treatments, their various side effects, and the emergence of resistance amongst these species. This study evaluated the in vitro antidermatophytic activity of 23 crude extracts from nine plant species of semiarid vegetation (caatinga) found in Brazil. The extracts were tested at concentrations ranging from 1.95 to 1,000.0 mg/mL by broth microdilution assay against the reference strains T. rubrum ATCC 28189 and T. mentagrophytesATCC 11481, and 33 clinical isolates of dermatophytes. All plants showed a fungicidal effect against both fungal species, with MIC/MFC values of the active extracts ranging from 15.6 to 250.0 µg/mL. Selected extracts of Eugenia uniflora (AcE), Libidibia ferrea (AE), and Persea americana (AcE) also exhibited a fungicidal effect against all clinical isolates of T. rubrum and T. mentagrophytes complex. This is the first report of the antifungal activity of Schinus terebinthifolius, Piptadenia colubrina, Parapiptadenia rigida, Mimosa ophthalmocentra, and Persea americana against both dermatophyte species. <![CDATA[SEROVARS AND ANTIMICROBIAL RESISTANCE OF <em>Salmonella</em> spp. ISOLATED FROM TURKEY AND BROILER CARCASSES IN SOUTHERN BRAZIL BETWEEN 2004 AND 2006]]> Salmonella spp. causes diseases in fowls, when species-specific serovars (Salmonella Pullorum and S.Gallinarum) are present in flocks, and public health problems, when non-typhoid serovars are isolated, as well as possible bacterial resistance induced by the preventive and therapeutic use of antimicrobials in animal production. This study describes the serovars and bacterial resistance of 280Salmonella spp. strains isolated from turkey and broiler carcasses in Southern Brazil between 2004 and 2006. SalmonellaEnteritidis was the most prevalent serovar (55.7%), followed by Heidelberg (5.0%), Agona (4.3%), Bredeney (3.9%), Hadar (3.2%), and Typhimurium (2.9%). Tennessee and S. Enterica subspecies enterica(O: 4.5) were isolated only in turkeys, and Hadar (18.6%) was the most prevalent serovar in this species. Antimicrobial susceptibility tests were performed in 178 isolates (43 from turkeys and 135 from broilers). All isolates were sensitive to amoxicillin + clavulanic acid, polymyxin B, ciprofloxacin, and norfloxacin, and were resistant to bacitracin and penicillin. Broiler carcass isolates showed resistance to nalidixic acid (48.9%), nitrofurantoin (34.3%), neomycin (9.6%), tetracycline (5.2%), and kanamycin (8.9%); and turkey carcass isolates were resistant to nalidixic acid (62.8%), tetracycline (34.9%), and neomycin (30.2%), with a significant difference in turkeys when compared to broiler carcass isolates. These results indicate the need for judicious use of antimicrobials in livestock production, given that the serovars identified are potential causes of food poisoning. <![CDATA[<em>Candida albicans</em> PROTEIN PROFILE CHANGES IN RESPONSE TO THE BUTANOLIC EXTRACT OF <em>Sapindus saponaria</em>L.]]> Candida albicans is an opportunistic human pathogen that is capable of causing superficial and systemic infections in immunocompromised patients. Extracts of Sapindus saponaria have been used as antimicrobial agents against various organisms. In the present study, we used a combination of two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (2D-PAGE) and matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) to identify the changes in protein abundance of C. albicans after exposure to the minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) and sub-minimal inhibitory concentration (sub-MIC) of the butanolic extract (BUTE) of S. saponaria and also to fluconazole. A total of six different proteins with greater than 1.5 fold induction or repression relative to the untreated control cells were identified among the three treatments. In general, proteins/enzymes involved with the glycolysis (GPM1, ENO1, FBA1), amino acid metabolism (ILV5, PDC11) and protein synthesis (ASC1) pathways were detected. In conclusion, our findings reveal antifungal-induced changes in protein abundance of C. albicans. By using the previously identified components of the BUTE of S. saponaria(e.g., saponins and sesquiterpene oligoglycosides), it will be possible to compare the behavior of compounds with unknown mechanisms of action, and this knowledge will help to focus the subsequent biochemical work aimed at defining the effects of these compounds. <![CDATA[CD19 LYMPHOCYTE PROLIFERATION INDUCED BY <em>Bifidobacterium animalis</em> subsp. <em>lactis</em> IN C57BL/6 MICE EXPERIMENTALLY INFECTED WITH <em>Toxoplasma gondii</em>]]> Toxoplasmosis is frequently acquired through the oral route by the ingestion of cysts or oocysts of Toxoplasma gondii. Once ingested, the parasites penetrate the intestinal epithelial cells and rapidly disseminate to all organs in the host. During T. gondii infection, the intestinal microbiota plays an important role in stimulating a protective immune response against the parasite. In this sense the use of probiotics is worthy of note since they are live microorganisms that have beneficial effects on the host through stimulation of the immune response that can be important in the control of T. gondii proliferation and dissemination in the host. In the present study, the action of the probiotic Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis was investigated in C57BL/6 mice infected with oocysts of ME49 strain of T. gondii. The probiotic had an immunomodulatory action, inducing CD19 lymphocyte proliferation and consequently increasing anti-T. gondii antibody level.Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactisprovided protection in supplemented mice, compared to the control group. In addition, supplemented animals had milder inflammatory process in the small intestine, indicating that the probiotic protects the intestinal mucosa during infection with T. gondii. It was concluded that the probioticB. animalis subsp. lactis induces humoral immune response capable of providing protection against T. gondii infection. <![CDATA[MALARIA DIAGNOSIS BY LOOP-MEDIATED ISOTHERMAL AMPLIFICATION (LAMP) IN THAILAND]]> The loop-mediated isothermal amplification method (LAMP) is a recently developed molecular technique that amplifies nucleic acid under isothermal conditions. For malaria diagnosis, 150 blood samples from consecutive febrile malaria patients, and healthy subjects were screened in Thailand. Each sample was diagnosed by LAMP, microscopy and nested polymerase chain reaction (nPCR), using nPCR as the gold standard. Malaria LAMP was performed using Plasmodiumgenus and Plasmodium falciparum specific assays in parallel. For the genus Plasmodium, microscopy showed a sensitivity and specificity of 100%, while LAMP presented 99% of sensitivity and 93% of specificity. For P. falciparum, microscopy had a sensitivity of 95%, and LAMP of 90%, regarding the specificity; and microscopy presented 93% and LAMP 97% of specificity. The results of the genus-specific LAMP technique were highly consistent with those of nPCR and the sensitivity of P. falciparum detection was only marginally lower. <![CDATA[ISOLATION AND GENOTYPING OF <em>Toxoplasma gondii</em> IN SERONEGATIVE URBAN RATS AND PRESENCE OF ANTIBODIES IN COMMUNICATING DOGS IN BRAZIL]]> The role of rodents in the epidemiology of toxoplasmosis was investigated inLondrina, Paraná State, Brazil. One hundred and eighty-one Rattus rattus and one Mus musculus were caught in 37 places. Blood and tissues were collected and submitted to the indirect fluorescence antibody test (IFAT) and the bioassay. Serum samples from 61 contacting dogs were also collected. Sixteen rats (8.8%) were positive for Toxoplasma gondii, but just two of them were positive by serology and bioassay test. Antibodies were found in nine (4.9%) rats. Tissues of nine rats bioassayed were positive and four isolates were obtained. Restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis was performed using 12 markers (SAG1, SAG2, SAG2-alt, C22-8, C29-2, L358, PK1, BTUB, GRA6, SAG3, Apico, CS3). Genotyping revealed that the four strains isolated from this study have been isolated before in cats and chickens from Brazil. None of the isolates was identified like clonal archetypal T-types I, II, and III. The rats presented lower serologic Toxoplasma gondii prevalence (8.8%) compared to contacting dogs (70.5%). <![CDATA[VISCERAL LEISHMANIASIS IN <em>PETROLINA</em>, STATE OF<em>PERNAMBUCO</em>, BRAZIL, 2007-2013]]> Visceral leishmaniasis is a life-threatening disease of great public health relevance in Brazil. The municipality of Petrolina is an endemic area in the State of Pernambuco, Brazil. This study was designed to assess the recent expansion of VL in the municipality ofPetrolina, Pernambuco. Patients data were obtained from the Brazilian National Information System for Notifiable Diseases (SINAN). A total of 111 records from 2007 to 2013 were investigated, of which 69 were residents in Petrolina. The disease has predominantly affected 1-4 year old children (34.8%). Most of the patients were males (59.4%). Co-infection with human immunodeficiency virus occurred in 14.5% of the cases. The criterion most frequently used was the clinical and epidemiological confirmation (59.4%), with clinical cure in 78.3% of cases and one fatal outcome. Visceral leishmaniasis is endemic in Petrolina with transmission levels varying from moderate to high. The present study has shown the precariousness of the use of diagnostic tests in primary healthcare units, and this misuse has interfered with the diagnosis and treatment of cases. <![CDATA[PRELIMINARY REPORT ON THE PUTATIVE ASSOCIATION OF IL10 -3575 T/A GENETIC POLYMORPHISM WITH MALARIA SYMPTOMS]]> Only a small percentage of individuals living in endemic areas develop severe malaria suggesting that host genetic factors may play a key role. This study has determined the frequency of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in some pro and anti-inflammatory cytokine gene sequences: IL6 (-174; rs1800795), IL12p40 (+1188; rs3212227), IL4 (+33; rs2070874), IL10 (-3575; rs1800890) and TGFb1 (+869; rs1800470), by means of PCR-RFLP. Blood samples were collected from 104 symptomatic and 37 asymptomatic subjects. Laboratory diagnosis was assessed by the thick blood smear test and nested-PCR. No association was found between IL6 (-174), IL12p40 (+1188), IL4 (+33), IL10 (- 3575), TGFb1 (+869) SNPs and malaria symptoms. However, regarding the IL10 -3575 T/A SNP, there were significantly more AA and AT subjects, carrying the polymorphic allele A, in the symptomatic group (c2 = 4.54, p = 0.01, OR = 0.40 [95% CI - 0.17- 0.94]). When the analysis was performed by allele, the frequency of the polymorphic allele A was also significantly higher in the symptomatic group (c2 = 4.50, p = 0.01, OR = 0.45 [95% CI - 0.21-0.95]). In conclusion, this study has suggested the possibility that the IL10 - 3575 T/A SNP might be associated with the presence and maintenance of malaria symptoms in individuals living in endemic areas. Taking into account that this polymorphism is related to decreased IL10 production, a possible role of this SNP in the pathophysiology of malaria is also suggested, but replication studies with a higher number of patients and evaluation of IL10 levels are needed for confirmation. <![CDATA[HIGH PREVALENCE OF <em>Blastocystis</em> spp. INFECTION IN CHILDREN AND STAFF MEMBERS ATTENDING PUBLIC URBAN SCHOOLS IN <em>SÃO PAULO</em> STATE, BRAZIL]]> After a gastroenteritis outbreak of unknown etiology in the municipality ofSebastião da Grama, SãoPaulo, Brazil, we conducted a parasitological survey to establish the epidemiological profile of enteroparasitosis in children and staff members attending the public urban schools in operation in town. The cross-sectional study evaluated 172 children aged 11 months to 6 years old and 33 staff members aged 19 to 58 years old. Overall, 96 (55.81%) children and 20 (60.61%) staff members were mono-parasitized, while 58 (33.72%) children and 4 (12.12%) workers were poly-parasitized. Protozoa (88.37%; 72.73%) was more prevalent than helminthes (3.48%; 0%) in children and staff members respectively.Blastocystis spp. was the most prevalent parasite in children (86.63%) and staff members (66.67%). The age of 1 year old or less was found to be associated with increased prevalence of giardiasis [OR = 13.04; 95%CI 2.89-58.91; p = 0.00] and public garbage collection was identified as a protective factor against intestinal helminth infections [OR = 0.06; 95%CI 0.00-0.79; p = 0.03]. Although most of the children tested positive for Blastocystis spp. and also presented clinical signs/symptoms (62.2%), this association was not statistically significant [OR = 1.35; 95%CI 0.53-3.44; p = 0.51]. Intestinal parasites still represent a public health concern and this study underscores the importance of further investigations to better understand the pathogenic role ofBlastocystis spp. <![CDATA[INFECTION BY <em>Rickettsia felis</em> IN OPOSSUMS (<em>Didelphis</em> sp.) FROM YUCATAN, MEXICO]]> Rickettsia felis is an emergent pathogen and the causative agent of a typhus-like rickettsiosis in the Americas. Its transmission cycle involves fleas as biological vectors (mainly Ctenocephalides felis) and multiple domestic and synanthropic mammal hosts. Nonetheless, the role of mammals in the cycle of R. felis is not well understood and many efforts are ongoing in different countries of America to clarify it. The present study describes for the first time in Mexico the infection of two species of opossum (Didelphis virginiana and D. marsupialis) by R. felis. A diagnosis was carried out from blood samples by molecular methods through the gltAand 17 kDa genes and sequence determination. Eighty-seven opossum samples were analyzed and 28 were found to be infected (32.1%) from five out of the six studied localities of Yucatan. These findings enable recognition of the potential epidemiological implications for public health of the presence of infected synanthropic Didelphis in households. <![CDATA[PREVALENCE OF BACTERIAL RESISTANCE IN HOSPITALIZED CIRRHOTIC PATIENTS IN SOUTHERN BRAZIL: A NEW CHALLENGE]]> Background &amp; Aims: An increased frequency of infections by multiresistant bacteria has been described in hospitalized patients. The aim of this study was to evaluate the bacterial resistance profile in cirrhotic patients. Methods: This is a retrospective observational study. We assessed the antimicrobial susceptibility of 5,839 bacterial isolates from patients with and without cirrhosis. Regarding the multidrug resistance, we evaluated 4,505 bacterial isolates from 2,180 patients. Results: Two hundred and fifty-one patients had cirrhosis (mean age 57.6 ± 11 years; 61.8% were male, 47.8% of cases associated with hepatitis C virus). Of the isolates of patients with and without cirrhosis, 174/464 (37.5%) and 1,783/4,041 (44.1%) were multiresistant, respectively (p = 0.007). E. coli was the most common multiresistant bacteria in both groups. Approximately 20% of E. coli and Klebsiella sp. isolates were ESBL-producers and 44% of S. aureus isolates were methicillin-resistant in cirrhotic patients. In cirrhotic patients admitted to the emergency department, hospital ward, and intensive care unit, 28.3%, 50% and 40% had multiresistant isolates, respectively. In patients with and without cirrhosis, 36.2% and 33.5% of isolates were resistant to third-generation cephalosporins, respectively. Conclusions: The empirical treatment of infections in hospitalized patients using broad-spectrum antibiotics should consider the observed pattern of bacterial resistance. <![CDATA[IMPACT OF THE PEGYLATED-INTERFERON AND RIBAVIRIN THERAPY ON THE TREATMENT-RELATED MORTALITY OF PATIENTS WITH CIRRHOSIS DUE TO HEPATITIS C VIRUS]]> Although the protease inhibitors have revolutionized the therapy of chronic hepatitis C (CHC), the concomitant use of pegylated-interferon (PEG-IFN) and ribavirin (RBV) is associated to a high rate of adverse effects. In this study, we evaluated the consequences of PEG-IFN and RBV and their relationship with mortality in patients with cirrhosis. METHODS: Medical records of CHC who underwent treatment with PEG-IFN and RBV in a public hospital in Brazil were evaluated. All the patients with cirrhosis were selected, and their clinical and laboratory characteristics, response to treatment, side effects and mortality were evaluated. RESULTS: From the 1,059 patients with CHC, 257 cirrhotic patients were evaluated. Of these, 45 (17.5%) achieved sustained viral response (SVR). Early discontinuation of therapy occurred in 105 (40.8%) patients, of which 39 (15.2%) were due to serious adverse effects. The mortality rate among the 257 cirrhotic patients was 4.3%, occurring in 06/242 (2.4%) of the Child-A, and in 05/15 (33.3%) of the Child-B patients. In conclusion, the treatment of patients with cirrhosis due to HCV with PEG-IFN and RBV shows a low SVR rate and a high mortality, especially in patients with liver dysfunction. <![CDATA[<em>Echinococcus granulosus sensu lato</em> GENOTYPES IN DOMESTIC LIVESTOCK AND HUMANS IN GOLESTAN PROVINCE, IRAN]]> Cystic echinococcosis (CE) is a globally parasitic zoonosis caused by larval stages of Echinococcus granulosus. This study investigated E. granulosus genotypes isolated from livestock and humans in the Golestan province, northern Iran, southeast of the Caspian sea, using partial sequencing data of the cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (cox1) and NADH dehydrogenase 1 (nad1) mitochondrial genes. Seventy E. granulosus isolates were collected from animals in slaughterhouses: 18 isolates from sheep, 40 from cattle, nine from camels, two from buffaloes and one from a goat, along with four human isolates (formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissues) from CE patients of provincial hospitals. All isolates were successfully analysed by PCR amplification and sequencing. The sequence analysis found four E. granulosus genotypes among the 74 CE isolates: G1 (78.3%), G2 (2.7%), G3 (15%) and G6 (4%). The G1-G3 complex genotype was found in all of the sheep, goat, cattle and buffalo isolates. Among the nine camel isolates, the frequency of G1-G3 and G6 genotypes were 66.7% and 33.3%, respectively. All four human CE isolates belonged to E. granulosus sensu stricto. This study reports the first occurrence of the G2 genotype in cattle from Iran and confirms the previously reported G3 genotype in camels in the same country. <![CDATA[ANTHELMINTIC ACTIVITY OF CHLOROPHYLLIN AGAINST DIFFERENT LARVAL STAGES OF <em>Fasciola gigantica</em>]]> Fasciolosis is a food borne zoonosis, caused by the digenetic trematode Fasciola. Freshwater lymnaeid snails are the intermediate host of the trematodes. Chlorophyllin, a semi-synthetic derivative of chlorophyll and its formulations obtained from freeze dried cow urine (FCU) had their toxicity tested against redia and cercaria larvae of F. gigantica. The larvicidal activity of chlorophyllin and its formulations were found to depend on both, time and concentration used against the larvae. Toxicity of chlorophyllin + FCU (1:1 ratio) in sunlight against redia larva (8 h LC50: 0.03 mg/mL) was more pronounced than using just chlorophyllin (8 h LC50: 0.06 mg/mL). Toxicity of chlorophyllin + FCU in sunlight against redia (8 h LC50: 0.03 mg/mL) was higher than against cercaria (8 h LC50: 0.06 mg/mL). The larvicidal activity of chlorophyllin in sunlight (redia/cercaria larvae: 8 h LC50: 0.06 mg/mL) was more pronounced than under laboratory conditions (redia: 8 h LC50: 22.21 mg/mL/, cercaria 8 h LC50: 96.21 mg/mL). Toxicity of FCU against both larvae was lower than that of chlorophyllin and chlorophyllin + FCU. Chlorophyllin and its formulations + FCU were 357.4 to 1603.5 times more effective against redia/cercaria larvae in sunlight than under laboratory conditions. The present study has shown that chlorophyllin formulations may be used as potent larvicides against fasciolosis. <![CDATA[EPIDEMIOLOGY OF HONEYBEE STING CASES IN THE STATE OF <em>CEARÁ</em>, NORTHEASTERN BRAZIL]]> In the American continent, honeybee envenomation is a public health problem due to the high incidence and severity of the cases. Despite its medical importance, there is a lack of epidemiological studies on this topic in Brazil, especially referring to the Northeastern states. The present study has aimed to describe the epidemiological features of honeybee envenomation cases in the state of the Ceará, Northeastern Brazil, from 2007 to 2013. Data were collected from the Injury Notification Information System database of the Health Department of Ceará. A total of 1,307 cases were analyzed. Cases were shown to be distributed in all the months of the studied years, reaching higher frequencies in August. The majority of cases occurred in urban areas and involved men aged between 20 and 29 years. Victims were mainly stung on the head and torso, and they received medical assistance predominantly within 3 hours after being stung. Local manifestations were more frequent than systemic ones. Most cases were classified as mild and progressed to cure. The high number of honeybee sting cases shows that Ceará may be an important risk area for such injuries. Moreover, the current study provides data for the development of strategies to promote control and prevention of bee stings in this area. <![CDATA[PERFORMANCE OF CONVENTIONAL PCRs BASED ON PRIMERS DIRECTED TO NUCLEAR AND MITOCHONDRIAL GENES FOR THE DETECTION AND IDENTIFICATION OF <em>Leishmania</em> spp.]]> In visceral leishmaniasis, the detection of the agent is of paramount importance to identify reservoirs of infection. Here, we evaluated the diagnostic attributes of PCRs based on primers directed to cytochrome-B (cytB), cytochrome-oxidase-subunit II (coxII), cytochrome-C (cytC), and the minicircle-kDNA. Although PCRs directed to cytB, coxII, cytC were able to detect different species of Leishmania, and the nucleotide sequence of their amplicons allowed the unequivocal differentiation of species, the analytical and diagnostic sensitivity of these PCRs were much lower than the analytical and diagnostic sensitivity of the kDNA-PCR. Among the 73 seropositive animals, the asymptomatic dogs had spleen and bone marrow samples collected and tested; only two animals were positive by PCRs based on cytB, coxII, and cytC, whereas 18 were positive by the kDNA-PCR. Considering the kDNA-PCR results, six dogs had positive spleen and bone marrow samples, eight dogs had positive bone marrow results but negative results in spleen samples and, in four dogs, the reverse situation occurred. We concluded that PCRs based on cytB, coxII, and cytC can be useful tools to identify Leishmania species when used in combination with automated sequencing. The discordance between the results of the kDNA-PCR in bone marrow and spleen samples may indicate that conventional PCR lacks sensitivity for the detection of infected dogs. Thus, primers based on the kDNA should be preferred for the screening of infected dogs. <![CDATA[PREVALENCE, RISK FACTORS AND SYMPTOMS ASSOCIATED TO INTESTINAL PARASITE INFECTIONS AMONG PATIENTS WITH GASTROINTESTINAL DISORDERS IN NAHAVAND, WESTERN IRAN]]> We studied the prevalence of intestinal parasites (IPs), their risk factors and associated symptoms among patients with gastrointestinal disorders. A total of 1,301 participants aged 22 days-90 years were enrolled in this study. We used a structured questionnaire to obtain socio-demographic and stool examination to investigate intestinal parasite infections. Data analysis was performed using SPSS16. The overall prevalence of intestinal parasites (IPs) was 32.2% (419/1,301). Three hundred and fifty nine cases/1,301 (27.6%) were infected with a single parasite and 60/1,301 cases (4.6%) presented polyparasitism. The most common IP was Blastocystis sp. 350/1,301 (26.9%), followed by Entamoeba coli 38/1,301 (2.92%), Giardia lamblia 30/1,301 (2.3%) and Cryptosporidium spp. 17/1,301 (1.3%). Regarding the socio-demographic variables, educational status (p = 0.001), contact with domestic animals and soil (p = 0.02), age above 15 years (p = 0.001) and seasons (p = 0.001) were significantly associated to intestinal parasitic infections. Concerning clinical characteristics, the presence of IPs was significantly associated to diarrhea (OR = 1.57; CI 95% = 1.24-1.98; p &lt; 0.001) and dysentery (OR = 1.94; CI 95% = 1.03-3.66; p &lt; 0.04). Our findings suggest that IPs are one of the main causal agents of gastrointestinal disorders. Improving the knowledge on local risk factors such as poverty, low level of education, poor sanitation, contact with soil and contact with domestic animal is warranted. <![CDATA[EVALUATION OF THE THERAPEUTIC EFFICACY OF LEVAMISOLE HYDROCHLORIDE ON THIRD-STAGE LARVAE OF <em>Lagochilascaris minor</em> IN EXPERIMENTALLY INFECTED MICE]]> Lagochilascariosis, a disease caused by Lagochilascaris minor, affects the neck, sinuses, tonsils, lungs, the sacral region, dental alveoli, eyeballs and the central nervous system of humans. A cycle of autoinfection may occur in human host tissues characterized by the presence of eggs, larvae and adult worms. This peculiarity of the cycle hinders therapy, since there are no drugs that exhibit ovicidal, larvicidal and vermicidal activity. Given these facts, we studied the action of levamisole hydrochloride on third-stage larvae in the migration phase (G1) and on encysted larvae (G3) of L. minor. To this end, 87 inbred mice of the C57BL/6 strain were divided into test groups comprising 67 animals (G1-37; G3-30) and a control group (G2-10; G4-10) with 20 animals. Each animal was inoculated orally with 2,000 infective eggs of the parasite. The animals of the test groups were treated individually with a single oral dose of levamisole hydrochloride at a concentration of 0.075 mg. The drug was administered either 30 minutes prior to the parasite inoculation (G1 animals) or 120 days after the inoculation (G3 animals). The mice in the control groups were not treated with the drug. After the time required for the migration and the encysting of L. minor larvae, all the animals were euthanized and their tissues examined. The data were analyzed using the Student's unpaired t-test and the Levene test. The groups showed no statistically significant difference. Levamisole hydrochloride was ineffective on third-stage larvae of L. minor. These findings explain the massive expulsion of live adult worms, as well as the use of long treatment schemes, owing to the persistence of larvae and eggs in human parasitic lesions. <![CDATA[EVALUATION OF SUBLETHAL EFFECTS OF <em>Ipomoea cairica</em> LINN. EXTRACT ON LIFE HISTORY TRAITS OF DENGUE VECTORS]]> Plant derived insecticides have considerable potential for mosquito control because these products are safer than conventional insecticides. This study aimed to investigate sublethal activities of Ipomoea carica or railway creeper crude acethonilic extract against life history trait of dengue vectors, Aedes albopictus and Aedes aegypti. The late third instar larvae of Ae. albopictus and Ae. aegypti were exposed to a sublethal dose at LC50 and larvae that survived were further cultured. Overall, Ipomea cairica crude extracts affected the whole life history of both Aedes species. The study demonstrated significantly lower egg production (fecundity) and eggs hatchability (fertility) in Ae. albopictus. The sublethal dose of crude extracts reduced significantly the width of larval head capsule and the wing length of both sexes in both Aedes species. The significance of sublethal effects of I. cairica against Aedes mosquitoes was an additional hallmark to demonstrate further activity of this plant despite its direct toxicity to the larvae. The reduced reproductive capacity as well as morphological and physiological anomalies are some of the effects that make I. cairica a potential candidate to be used as a new plant-based insecticide to control dengue vectors. <![CDATA[<strong><em>In situ</em></strong> CUTANEOUS CELLULAR IMMUNE RESPONSE IN DOGS NATURALLY AFFECTED BY VISCERAL LEISHMANIASIS]]> SUMMARY Thirty-eight dogs naturally affected by visceral leishmaniasis were recruited in Araçatuba, São Paulo State, Brazil - an endemic area for visceral leishmaniasis. The animals were distributed into one of two groups, according to their clinical and laboratory features, as either symptomatic or asymptomatic dogs. Correlations between clinical features and inflammatory patterns, cellular immune responses, and parasitism in the macroscopically uninjured skin of the ear were investigated. Histological skin patterns were similar in both groups, and were generally characterized by a mild to intense inflammatory infiltrate in the dermis, mainly consisting of mononuclear cells. There was no difference in the number of parasites in the skin (amastigotes/mm²) between the two groups. Concerning the characterization of the cellular immune response, the number of positive inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS+) cells was higher in the dermis of symptomatic than in asymptomatic dogs (p = 0.0368). A positive correlation between parasite density and macrophages density (p = 0.031), CD4+ T-cells (p = 0.015), and CD8+ T-cells (p = 0.023) was observed. Furthermore, a positive correlation between density of iNOS+ cells and CD3+ T-cells (p = 0.005), CD4+ T-cells (p = 0.001), and CD8+ T-cells (p = 0.0001) was also found. The results showed the existence of a non-specific chronic inflammatory infiltrate in the dermis of dogs affected by visceral leishmaniasis, characterized by the presence of activated macrophages and T-lymphocytes, associated to cutaneous parasitism, independent of clinical status. <![CDATA[CUTANEOUS TUBERCULOSIS: A 26-YEAR RETROSPECTIVE STUDY IN AN ENDEMIC AREA OF TUBERCULOSIS, <strong><em>VITÓRIA, ESPÍRITO SANTO,</em></strong> BRAZIL]]> SUMMARY Background: Tuberculosis is a serious health problem in Brazil so that the knowledge on the aspects of cutaneous tuberculosis is medically important. Objective: To assess the characteristics of patients with cutaneous tuberculosis treated at the Cassiano Antonio Moraes University Hospital, located in the city of Vitória, State of Espírito Santo, Brazil. Methods: This is a retrospective, descriptive, observational and cross-sectional study using the medical records of 29 patients with cutaneous tuberculosis treated at the Dermatology and Pulmonology services of the hospital from 1986 to 2011. The inclusion criterion was the confirmation of cutaneous tuberculosis taking into account clinical, epidemiological, immunological, and bacteriological findings, as well as the response to specific treatment. Results: Of the 29 studied patients; 18 (62%) were women with average age of 37 years; the predominant clinical condition was erythema induratum of Bazin in 12 (41.4%) cases; and the cutaneous lesions were in the lower limbs in 19 (65.8%) patients. Extra-cutaneous involvement occurred in eight (27.6%) cases. The tuberculin tests were positive in 15 (79%) individuals and the assessment of the infectious agent was negative in most of the investigated cases. Conclusion: The study found a low frequency (0.44%) of cutaneous tuberculosis in an endemic area of tuberculosis. There was a predominance of infection in women aged thirty to forty years. Erythema induratum was the most common clinical condition, affecting mainly the lower limbs, in contrast to other Brazilian studies that found scrofuloderma as the most common manifestation, predominating in the cervical region of male children and adolescents. <![CDATA[SAND FLY SPECIES COMPOSITION (DIPTERA: PSYCHODIDAE: PHLEBOTOMINAE) IN THE MUNICIPALITY OF <strong><em>CANTAGALO</em></strong> , AN AREA WITH SPORADIC CASES OF HUMAN CUTANEOUS LEISHMANIASIS IN <strong><em>RIO DE JANEIRO</em></strong> STATE, BRAZIL]]> SUMMARY The municipality of Cantagalo is an area with sustained transmission of American Cutaneous Leishmaniasis (ACL). Monthly sand fly collections were performed for three years (June 2012 - May 2015) using a CDC light trap. A total of 3,310 specimens belonging to 12 species were trapped: Nyssomyia intermedia, Nyssomyia whitmani, Migonemyia migonei, Evandromyia lenti, Evandromyia cortelezzii, Micropygomyia quinquefer, Brumptomyia brumpti, Psathyromyia aragaoi, Micropygomyia schreiberi, Pintomyia fischeri, Sciopemyia sordellii, and Evandromyia edwardsi. The last seven species have not been previously recorded in this area. The highest abundance of species occurred between October and March. October was the month with the highest number of captured sand flies, one month before the peak in the summer rainfall. In October the highest number of Ny. intermedia, Ny. whitmani and Mg. migonei, were also collected, the three epidemiologically most important species. The high abundance of species with epidemiological importance for ACL transmission might explain the sporadic occurrence of the disease in the area. <![CDATA[DETECTION OF INTESTINAL PARASITES IN THE ENVIRONMENTS OF A PUBLIC SCHOOL IN THE TOWN OF <strong><em>DIAMANTINA</em></strong> , <strong><em>MINAS GERAIS</em></strong> STATE, BRAZIL]]> SUMMARY Intestinal parasites are a major public health problem in developing countries, most prevalent in areas where sanitation is poor and the population's hygiene is inadequate. They affect people of all ages, although school-age children are the most susceptible. In this study, we investigated the presence of intestinal parasites in the shared environments of a public school in the town of Diamantina, Minas Gerais State. From December 2012 to February 2013, samples were collected for three months (once a month) by using the Graham method (1941), in duplicate, by affixing a 6 x 5 cm clear tape, six times in each collection site, in a space of about 30 cm2. Then, each tape was positioned longitudinally on a microscope slide and the identification of the biological forms of the parasites was performed with the aid of a 40X objective from an optical microscope. Eleven sites were selected for sampling. Cysts of Entamoeba coli were the most frequently found in this study (50%), followed by Hymenolepis diminuta eggs (27.6%), Iodamoeba butschllii cysts (5.6%), Ascaris lumbricoides eggs (5.6%), Taenia species eggs (5.6%) and hookworm eggs (5.6%). The highest positivity rates were found in the samples drawn from the cafeteria's eating table. The results have indicated the need to improve the cleaning in the school environments, as well as the development of educational practices that may help in the preservation of public health. <![CDATA[CLINICAL CHARACTERISTICS, OUTCOMES AND RISK FACTORS FOR DEATH AMONG CRITICALLY ILL PATIENTS WITH HIV-RELATED ACUTE KIDNEY INJURY]]> SUMMARY Background: The aim of this study is to describe clinical characteristics, outcomes and risk factors for death among patients with HIV-related acute kidney injury (AKI) admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU). Methods: A retrospective study was conducted with HIV-infected AKI patients admitted to the ICU of an infectious diseases hospital in Fortaleza, Brazil. All the patients with confirmed diagnosis of HIV and AKI admitted from January 2004 to December 2011 were included. A comparison between survivors and non-survivors was performed. Risk factors for death were investigated. Results: Among 256 AKI patients admitted to the ICU in the study period, 73 were identified as HIV-infected, with a predominance of male patients (83.6%), and the mean age was 41.2 ± 10.4 years. Non-survivor patients presented higher APACHE II scores (61.4 ± 19 vs. 38.6 ± 18, p = 0.004), used more vasoconstrictors (70.9 vs. 37.5%, p = 0.02) and needed more mechanical ventilation - MV (81.1 vs. 35.3%, p = 0.001). There were 55 deaths (75.3%), most of them (53.4%) due to septic shock. Independent risk factors for mortality were septic shock (OR = 14.2, 95% CI = 2.0-96.9, p = 0.007) and respiratory insufficiency with need of MV (OR = 27.6, 95% CI = 5.0-153.0, p &lt; 0.001). Conclusion: Non-survivor HIV-infected patients with AKI admitted to the ICU presented higher severity APACHE II scores, more respiratory damage and hemodynamic impairment than survivors. Septic shock and respiratory insufficiency were independently associated to death. <![CDATA[CIPROFLOXACIN RESISTANCE PATTERN AMONG BACTERIA ISOLATED FROM PATIENTS WITH COMMUNITY-ACQUIRED URINARY TRACT INFECTION]]> SUMMARY Objective: To identify the main bacterial species associated with community-acquired urinary tract infection (UTI) and to assess the pattern of ciprofloxacin susceptibility among bacteria isolated from urine cultures. Methods: We conducted a retrospective study in all the patients with community-acquired UTI seen in Santa Helena Laboratory, Camaçari, Bahia, Brazil during five years (2010-2014). All individuals who had a positive urine culture result were included in this study. Results: A total of 1,641 individuals met the inclusion criteria. Despite the fact that participants were female, we observed a higher rate of resistance to ciprofloxacin in males. The most frequent pathogens identified in urine samples were Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Staphylococcus saprophyticus. Antimicrobial resistance has been observed mainly for ampicillin, sulfamethoxazole + trimethoprim and ciprofloxacin. Moreover, E. coli has shown the highest rate of ciprofloxacin resistance, reaching 36% of ciprofloxacin resistant strains in 2014. Conclusion: The rate of bacterial resistance to ciprofloxacin observed in the studied population is much higher than expected, prompting the need for rational use of this antibiotic, especially in infections caused by E. coli. Prevention of bacterial resistance can be performed through control measures to limit the spread of resistant microorganisms and a rational use of antimicrobial policy. <![CDATA[PREVALENCE AND RISK FACTORS OF SCHISTOSOMIASIS AMONG HAUSA COMMUNITIES IN <strong><em>KANO</em></strong> STATE, NIGERIA]]> SUMMARY Schistosomiasis remains one of the most prevalent neglected tropical diseases especially in Nigeria which has the greatest number of infected people worldwide. A cross-sectional study was conducted among 551 participants from Kano State, North Central Nigeria. Fecal samples were examined for the presence of Schistosoma mansoni eggs using the formalin-ether sedimentation method while the urine samples were examined using the filtration technique for the presence of S. haematobium eggs. Demographic, socioeconomic and environmental information was collected using a pre-validated questionnaire. The overall prevalence of schistosomiasis was 17.8%, with 8.9% and 8.3% infected with S. mansoni and S. haematobium, respectively and 0.5% presenting co-infection with both species. The multiple logistic regression analysis revealed that age &lt; 18 years (OR = 2.13; 95% CI; 1.34- 3.41), presence of infected family members (OR = 3.98; 95% CI; 2.13-7.46), and history of infection (OR = 2.87; 95% CI; 1.87- 4.56) were the significant risk factors associated with schistosomiasis in these communities. In conclusion, this study revealed that schistosomiasis is still prevalent among Hausa communities in Nigeria. Mass drug administration, health education and community mobilization are imperative strategies to significantly reduce the prevalence and morbidity of schistosomiasis in these communities. <![CDATA[EXPERIMENTAL SUBCUTANEOUS CYSTICERCOSIS BY <strong><em>Taenia crassiceps</em></strong> IN BALB/c AND C57BL/6 MICE]]> SUMMARY Human cysticercosis is one of the most severe parasitic infections affecting tissues. Experimental models are needed to understand the host-parasite dynamics involved throughout the course of the infection. The subcutaneous experimental model is the closest to what is observed in human cysticercosis that does not affect the central nervous system. The aim of this study was to evaluate macroscopically and microscopically the experimental subcutaneous cysticercosis caused by Taenia crassiceps cysticerci in BALB/c and C57BL/6 mice. Animals were inoculated in the dorsal subcutaneous region and macroscopic and microscopic aspects of the inflammatory process in the host-parasite interface were evaluated until 90 days after the inoculation (DAI). All the infected animals presented vesicles containing cysticerci in the inoculation site, which was translucent at 7 DAI and then remained opaque throughout the experimental days. The microscopic analysis showed granulation tissue in BALB/c mice since the acute phase of infection evolving to chronicity without cure, presenting 80% of larval stage cysticerci at 90 DAI. While C57BL/6 mice presented 67% of final stage cysticerci at 90 DAI, the parasites were surrounded by neutrophils evolving to the infection control. It is possible to conclude that the genetic features of susceptibility (BALB/c) or resistance (C57BL/6) were confirmed in an experimental subcutaneous model of cysticercosis. <![CDATA[DIAGNOSTIC PERFORMANCE EVALUATION OF THE SD BIOLINE MALARIA ANTIGEN AG PF/PAN TEST (05FK60) IN A MALARIA ENDEMIC AREA OF SOUTHERN ETHIOPIA]]> SUMMARY Rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) capable of detecting and differentiating Plasmodium species are needed in areas in which microscopy is unsuitable. This study was conducted to assess the diagnostic performance of the rapid test kit - SD BIOLINE Malaria Ag Pf/Pan(r) (05FK60) in an endemic area. Microscopy of Giemsa-stained blood films were performed to detect and estimate the Plasmodium density in malaria suspected patients. The performance of the SD BIOLINE Malaria Ag Pf/Pan test was evaluated using 272 Plasmodium-positive and 102 negative blood samples. The overall sensitivity of the SD BIOLINE Malaria Ag Pf/Pan test was 99.5% for P. falciparum and 92.6% for non-P. falciparum malaria infections. The respective specificity, PPV, and NPV of the test were 98.0, 98.4, and 99.0% for the diagnosis of P. falciparum, and 100.0 %, 100.0%, and 94.4% for non-P. falciparum species. The SD BIOLINE Malaria Ag Pf/Pan test showed an excellent performance in diagnosing Plasmodium infections in an endemic setting. Therefore, this point-of-care test could be used as an alternative to microscopy in places where P. falciparum is endemic and microscopy is unsuitable. <![CDATA[COMPARISON OF METHODS TO IDENTIFY <strong><em>Neisseria meningitidis</em></strong> IN ASYMPTOMATIC CARRIERS]]> SUMMARY Neisseria meningitidis is a cause of several life-threatening diseases and can be a normal commensal in the upper respiratory tract of healthy carriers. The carrier rate is not well established especially because there is no standard method for the isolation of N. meningitidis. Therefore, the aim of this study was to compare identification methods for the carrier state. Two swabs were collected from 190 volunteers: one was cultured and the other had DNA extracted directly from the sample. The Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) was performed to determine species and serogroups and compared the results between the methods. PCR for species determination used two pairs of primers and when there was only one amplicon, it was sequenced. The culture technique was positive in 23 (12.1%) subjects while the direct extraction method was positive in 132 (69.5%), p &lt; 0.001. Among the 135 subjects with positive N. meningitides tests, 88 (65.2%) were serogroup C; 3 (2.2%) serogroup B; 5 (3.7%) were positive for both serogroup B and C, and 39 (28.9%) did not belong to any of the tested serogroups. In this study, PCR from DNA extracted directly from swabs identified more N. meningitidis asymptomatic carriers than the culture technique. <![CDATA[<strong><em>Trichomonas vaginalis</em></strong> PREVALENCE AND RISK FACTORS FOR WOMEN IN SOUTHERN BRAZIL]]> SUMMARY Trichomonas vaginalis infections have been associated with other diseases so that epidemiological studies of the parasite are important and help to prevent the spread of the disease. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of T. vaginalis in female patients of 19 counties in southwestern Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. For diagnosis, was used direct examination, followed by applying a socio-epidemiological questionnaire. We analyzed 300 women and 9% were infected by Trichomonas vaginalis. The highest frequency occurred in women between 18 and 39 years old, single/divorced/widowed, whose family income was at one minimum wage or less, and they had not completed the primary school. Statistically significant risk factors were: women reporting two or more sexual partners in the last year were 3.3 times more likely to acquire the parasite, and those in use of oral contraceptives were 2.7 times more likely to have T. vaginalis. Importantly, 33% of the asymptomatic women were infected, and most of the negative results were from women presenting symptoms consistent with the infection. The findings emphasize that it is necessary to expand the knowledge of individuals about the disease, especially among women with the above mentioned risk factors and also to include the regular screening of Trichomonas vaginalis infections in health centers. <![CDATA[FREQUENCY OF ANTI- <strong><em>Toxocara</em></strong> spp. ANTIBODIES IN INDIVIDUALS ATTENDED BY THE <strong><em>CENTRO DE SALUD FAMILIAR</em></strong> AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONTAMINATION WITH <strong><em>Toxocara canis</em></strong> EGGS IN DOG FECES, IN THE COASTAL NIEBLA TOWN, CHILE]]> SUMMARY The frequency of anti-Toxocara spp. antibodies in individuals attended by the Centro de Salud Familiar in the coastal Niebla town, Chile, was related to the host and to environmental factors. IgG anti- Toxocara antibodies were detected with a commercial ELISA kit (SCIMEDX Corporation, USA). Samples with undetermined absorbance values were subjected to an additional ELISA standardized by the Instituto de Salud Pública, Chilean Health Ministry, a commercial ELISA (NOVATEC, Germany), and a commercial Western blot kit (LDBio Diagnostics, France). Hematological exams were performed using an automated blood counter and blood smears. Dog feces were collected from the ground along the main road in Niebla, including rural and urban locations. Ninety (25.4%) of the 355 examined individuals were positive by the ELISA test. The frequency of anti-Toxocara antibodies and the infection risk were significantly higher (p &lt; 0.05) among those individuals ≥ 40 years old with respect to the 20-39 years old group, in individuals from rural locations, those who did not have a safe drinking water supply in the house or who presented blood eosinophilia. The proportion of positive samples of dog feces and the mean number of Toxocara canis eggs/g of feces in urban and rural areas were similar (p &gt; 0.05). <![CDATA[DIAGNOSIS OF <strong><em>Strongyloides stercoralis</em></strong> INFECTION IN IMMUNOCOMPROMISED PATIENTS BY SEROLOGICAL AND MOLECULAR METHODS]]> SUMMARY Strongyloidiasis is a potentially serious infection in immunocompromised patients. Thus, the availability of sensitive and specific diagnostic methods is desirable, especially in the context of immunosuppressed patients in whom the diagnosis and treatment of strongyloidiasis is of utmost importance. In this study, serological and molecular tools were used to diagnose Strongyloides stercoralis infections in immunosuppressed patients. Serum and stool samples were obtained from 52 patients. Stool samples were first analyzed by Lutz, Rugai, and Agar plate culture methods, and then by a quantitative real time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). Serum samples were evaluated by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) using a soluble (AS) or a membrane fractions antigen (AM) obtained from alkaline solutions of the filariform larvae of Strongyloides venezuelensis. Of the 52 immunosuppressed patients, three (5.8%) were positive for S. stercoralis by parasitological methods, compared to two patients (3.8%) and one patient (1.9%) who were detected by ELISA using the AS and the AM antigens, respectively. S. stercoralis DNA was amplified in seven (13.5%) stool samples by qPCR. These results suggest the utility of qPCR as an alternative diagnostic tool for the diagnosis of S. stercoralis infection in immunocompromised patients, considering the possible severity of this helminthiasis in this group of patients. <![CDATA[COMPARISON OF 16S rRNA-PCR-RFLP, LipL32-PCR AND OmpL1-PCR METHODS IN THE DIAGNOSIS OF LEPTOSPIROSIS]]> SUMMARY Leptospirosis is still one of the most important health problems in developing countries located in humid tropical and subtropical regions. Human infections are generally caused by exposure to water, soil or food contaminated with the urine of infected wild and domestic animals such as rodents and dogs. The clinical course of leptospirosis is variable and may be difficult to distinguish from many other infectious diseases. The dark-field microscopy (DFM), serology and nucleic acid amplification techniques are used to diagnose leptospirosis, however, a distinctive standard reference method is still lacking. Therefore, in this study, we aimed to determine the presence of Leptospira spp., to differentiate the pathogenic L. interrogans and the non-pathogenic L. biflexa, and also to determine the sensitivity and specificity values of molecular methods as an alternative to conventional ones. A total of 133 serum samples, from 47 humans and 86 cattle were evaluated by two conventional tests: the Microagglutination Test (MAT) and the DFM, as well as three molecular methods, the 16S rRNA-PCR followed by Restriction Fragment Lenght Polymorphism (RFLP) of the amplification products 16S rRNA-PCR-RFLP, LipL32-PCR and OmpL1-PCR. In this study, for L. interrogans, the specificity and sensitivity rates of the 16S rRNA-PCR and the LipL32-PCR were considered similar (100% versus 98.25% and 100% versus 98.68%, respectively). The OmpL1-PCR was able to classify L. interrogans into two intergroups, but this PCR was less sensitive (87.01%) than the other two PCR methods. The 16S rRNA-PCR-RFLP could detect L. biflexa DNA, but LipL32-PCR and OmpL1-PCR could not. The 16S rRNA-PCR-RFLP provided an early and accurate diagnosis and was able to distinguish pathogenic and non-pathogenic Leptospira species, hence it may be used as an alternative method to the conventional gold standard techniques for the rapid disgnosis of leptospirosis. <![CDATA[ADVANCED LIVER INJURY IN PATIENTS WITH CHRONIC HEPATITIS B AND VIRAL LOAD BELOW 2,000 IU/mL]]> SUMMARY Introduction: According to the guidelines, the viral load of 2,000 IU/mL is considered the level to differentiate between inactive carriers and HBeAg(-) chronic hepatitis B patients. Even so, liver damage may be present in patients with lower viral load levels, mainly related to regional variations. This study aims to verify the presence of liver injury in patients with viral load below 2,000 IU/mL. Methods: Patients presenting HBsAg(+) for more than six months, Anti-HBe(+)/HBeAg(-), viral load below 2,000 IU/mL and serum ALT levels less than twice the upper limit of normality underwent liver biopsy. Clinical and laboratory characteristics were evaluated in relation to the degree of histologic alteration. Liver injury was considered advanced when F ≥ 2 and/or A ≥ 2 by the METAVIR classification. Results: 11/27 (40.7%) patients had advanced liver injury, with a mean viral load of 701.0 (± 653.7) IU/mL versus 482.8 (± 580.0) IU/mL in patients with mild injury. The comparison between the mean values of the two groups did not find a statistical difference (p = 0.37). The average of serum aminotransferases was not able to differentiate light liver injury from advanced injury. Conclusions: In this study, one evaluation of viral load did not exclude the presence of advanced liver damage. Pathologic assessment is an important tool to diagnose advanced liver damage and should be performed in patients with a low viral load to indicate early antiviral treatment. <![CDATA[POTENTIAL CROSS-CONTAMINATION OF SIMILAR <strong><em>Giardia duodenalis</em></strong> ASSEMBLAGE IN CHILDREN AND PET DOGS IN SOUTHERN BRAZIL, AS DETERMINED BY PCR-RFLP]]> SUMMARY Giardia duodenalis is an enteric parasite that has distinct genetic groups. Human infections are mainly caused by assemblages A and B, although sporadic infections by assemblages C and D have also been reported. Animals can be infected by a wide range of assemblages (A to H). The aim of this study is to identify the assemblages and sub-assemblages of G. duodenalis with zoonotic features in fecal samples of school-aged children, and in dogs that coexist in the same households in Lages, Santa Catarina, Brazil. Fecal samples of 91 children and 108 dogs were obtained and G. duodenalis cysts were detected in samples from 11 (12.08%) children and 10 (9.25%) dogs. DNA extracted from the 21 positive samples was analyzed by PCR-RFLP, using the gdh gene. Results showed the presence of sub-assemblages AI (2/11), AII (4/11), BIII (2/11), and BIV(3/11) among children and AI (5/10) and BIV(3/10) in dogs, with zoonotic characteristics, and the carnivore specific assemblage C (2/10). G. duodenalis was found to infect both children and dogs living in the same household, with the same sub-assemblage (BIV) indicating that pet dogs are a potential risk of transmission of G. duodenalis to humans. <![CDATA[EVOLUTION OF AMERICAN TEGUMENTARY LEISHMANIASIS CASES REPORTED IN <strong><em>PARANÁ</em></strong> STATE, BRAZIL]]> SUMMARY Leishmaniases are infectious diseases caused by protozoa of the genus Leishmania. They are widely distributed worldwide and endemic in 88 countries in four continents. The present study analyzed the reported cases of American Tegumentary Leishmaniasis (ATL) in Paraná State (Brazil) from January 2007 to December 2013. The data were grouped according to Regional Health (RH) districts and macroregions, which allowed visualization of the reality in each region in the state. A total of 2,879 ATL cases were reported and distributed among the 22 RH districts, with an average detection rate of 3.9 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. The northwestern region accounted for 50.1% of the total cases, and the northern region accounted for 26.0-76.1% of the reported cases. The 6th RH district did not report any cases. The 7th, 9th, and 18th RH districts had a higher cure rate (&gt; 80%), and lower cure rates were found in the 1st, 4th, and 12th RH districts. Reported unfavorable outcomes included treatment abandonment and death. Overall cure rates are based on the entire country, and unfavorable outcomes require greater attention of managers and health professionals to meet the goals of the Brazilian Ministry of Health. <![CDATA[PANCREATIC TOXICITY AS AN ADVERSE EFFECT INDUCED BY MEGLUMINE ANTIMONIATE THERAPY IN A CLINICAL TRIAL FOR CUTANEOUS LEISHMANIASIS]]> SUMMARY American tegumentary leishmaniasis is an infectious disease caused by a protozoan of the genus Leishmania. Pentavalent antimonials are the first choice drugs for cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL), although doses are controversial. In a clinical trial for CL we investigated the occurrence of pancreatic toxicity with different schedules of treatment with meglumine antimoniate (MA). Seventy-two patients were allocated in two different therapeutic groups: 20 or 5 mg of pentavalent antimony (Sb5+)/kg/day for 20 or 30 days, respectively. Looking for adverse effects, patients were asked about abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting or anorexia in each medical visit. We performed physical examinations and collected blood to evaluate serum amylase and lipase in the pre-treatment period, and every 10 days during treatment and one month post-treatment. Hyperlipasemia occurred in 54.8% and hyperamylasemia in 19.4% patients. Patients treated with MA 20 mg Sb5+ presented a higher risk of hyperlipasemia (p = 0.023). Besides, higher MA doses were associated with a 2.05 higher risk ratio (p = 0.003) of developing more serious (moderate to severe) hyperlipasemia. The attributable fraction was 51% in this group. Thirty-six patients presented abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting or anorexia but only 47.2% of those had hyperlipasemia and/ or hyperamylasemia. These findings suggest the importance of the search for less toxic therapeutic regimens for the treatment of CL. <![CDATA[ANTIFUNGAL SUSCEPTIBILITY TESTING AND GENOTYPING CHARACTERIZATION OF <strong><em>Cryptococcus</em></strong> <strong><em>neoformans</em></strong> AND <strong><em>gattii</em></strong> ISOLATES FROM HIV-INFECTED PATIENTS OF <strong><em>RIBEIRÃO PRETO, SÃO PAULO,</em></strong> BRAZIL]]> SUMMARY Cryptococcosis is a leading invasive fungal infection in immunocompromised patients. Considering the high prevalence and severity of these infections in immunocompromised patients attended at HC-FMRP-USP, the present research aimed to characterize the clinical isolates of Cryptococcus strains by biochemical and molecular methods and evaluate antifungal susceptibility of clinical isolates. Fifty isolates from 32 HIV-positive patients were obtained at HC-FMRP-USP. Most of the isolates (78.1%) were identified as C. neoformans, and 100% of C. neoformans and C. gattii strains were susceptible to amphotericin B, ketoconazole and fluconazole. All isolates were classified as serotype A (grubbii variety) by PCR and most of them were characterized in mating type MATa. PCR analysis of specific M13 microsatellite sequence revealed that VNI type was predominant among C. neoformans, while VGII was predominant among C. gattii. The strains did not show a significant resistance to the antifungals tested, and Canavanine-Glycine-Bromthymol Blue Agar (CGB) proved to be a reliable test presenting a good correlation with the molecular characterization. C. neoformans isolated from disseminated infections in the same patient showed molecular identity when different anatomical sites were compared; besides, the studied strains did not present a significant increase in resistance to antifungal agents. In addition, the homogeneity of the molecular types and detection of the mating types suggested a low possibility of crossing among the strains. <![CDATA[SEROPREVALENCE AND RISK FACTORS ASSOCIATED WITH <strong><em>Toxoplasma gondii</em></strong> INFECTION AMONG RURAL COMMUNITIES IN NORTHERN IRAN]]> SUMMARY Toxoplasmosis is the fourth most common cause of hospitalization and the second cause of death due to food-borne infections. We conducted a cross-sectional study to determine the prevalence, disease awareness and risk factors associated with toxoplasmosis among rural communities in Northern Iran. Data were obtained from serological testing and from participant's questionnaires and were analyzed using a logistic regression. Of the 630 participants, 465 (73.8%), and 12 (1.9%) had IgG and both IgG and IgM anti-Toxoplasma gondii antibodies, respectively. In the logistic regression analysis, T. gondii seropositivity was associated with the following factors: age, occupation, consumption of undercooked meat, and of unwashed raw vegetables or fruits (p &lt; 0.001). Our study showed a high prevalence of T. gondii infection in the general population of Northern Iran. A health program is needed to increase the public awareness of toxoplasmosis, and its associated risk factors. <![CDATA[STATUS OF THE AMERICAN TEGUMENTARY LEISHMANIASIS IN THE STATE OF <strong><em>RIO DE JANEIRO</em></strong> , BRAZIL, FROM 2004 TO 2013]]> SUMMARY The aim of the present study was to analyze the status of the American Tegumentary Leishmaniasis (ATL) in the state of Rio de Janeiro, from 2004 to 2013, through its spatiotemporal distribution. We also described variables considered relevant to the epidemiology of the disease, such as the clinical form, gender, ethnic group, age group, and progression of disease. This is a descriptive study, which used notified secondary data from the Brazilian Information System of Notifiable Diseases (SINAN), Ministry of Health, Brazil, regarding confirmed diagnoses. To help the calculation of coefficients of detection and mortality, we used population data from the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE). We analyzed 1,470 cases of ATL with the predominance of the cutaneous clinical form (1,292/87.89%). The data has also revealed seven deaths, a predominance of males (922/62.72%), and a higher incidence of ATL in the white ethnic group (731/49.72%). We observed a high incidence of ATL in the group of 20 - 39 years old (477/32.44%). We concluded that there was a decrease in the number of ATL cases in the state of Rio de Janeiro, based on a coefficient of detection of 1.44/100.000 inhabitants in 2004 decreasing to 0.20/100.000 inhabitants in 2013. The localities with the highest occurrences of ATL were the metropolitan region (843 cases) and the municipality of Rio de Janeiro (740 cases). In 2005, the highest incidence of the disease was observed (351 cases) in the study. Among the variables selected to describe the epidemiology of the disease, the following categories: cutaneous clinical form, male patients, white ethnic group, and the age group of 20 - 39 years old were more affected than the others. <![CDATA[CONTRIBUTIONS TO RICKETTSIOSES RESEARCH IN COLOMBIA (1917-1943), LUIS B. PATIÑO CAMARGO]]> Colombian physician Luis Benigno Patiño Camargo was one of the pioneers in the study of rickettsioses in South America, demonstrating for the first time in Colombia the presence of Rickettsia rickettsii as the etiological agent of a highly deadly exanthematic febrile syndrome in the 1930s. However, Patiño-Camargo performed other investigations from 1917-1943, which represent the first descriptions and scientific evidence of the presence ofR. prowazekii and R. typhi in Colombia. Almost 60 years after the latest research conducted by Dr. Patiño-Camargo, rickettsioses were again a matter of interest and research. In the last decade over 20 research studies have been published, showing new endemic areas forR. rickettsii, as well as the description of new rickettsial species in Colombia. <![CDATA[THE PROCESS OF <em>Leishmania</em> INFECTION - DISEASE AND NEW PERSPECTIVES OF PALEOPARASITOLOGY]]> Species of the genus Leishmania (Kinetoplastida, Trypanosomatidae) are causative agents of leishmaniasis, a complex disease with variable clinical spectrum and epidemiological diversity, constituting, in some countries, a serious public health problem. The origin and evolution of leishmaniasis has been under discussion regarding some clinical and parasitological aspects. After the introduction of paleoparasitology, molecular methods and immunodiagnostic techniques have been applied allowing the recovery of parasite remains, as well as the diagnosis of past infections in humans and other hosts. The dating of archaeological samples has allowed the parasitological analysis in time and space. This manuscript presents the state of the art of leishmaniasis and prospects related to paleoparasitology studies and their contribution to the evolutionary and phylogenetic clarification of parasites belonging to the genus Leishmania, and the leishmaniasis caused by them. <![CDATA[PARACOCCIDIOIDOMYCOSIS IN A RENAL TRANSPLANT RECIPIENT]]> Paracoccidioidomycosis (PCM) is the most common endemic mycosis in Latin America. The etiological agents, which comprise two species, Paracoccidioides brasiliensis and P. lutzii, are thermodimorphic fungi that usually affect previously healthy adults. They primarily involve the lungs and then disseminate to other organs. Such mycosis is rare in organ transplant recipients; there have been only three cases reported in literature, until now. We report a case of PCM in a renal transplant recipient with an unusual dermatological presentation. <![CDATA[AMERICAN CUTANEOUS LEISHMANIASIS WITH UNUSUAL CLINICAL PRESENTATION AND RESPONSE TO TREATMENT]]> The clinical manifestations and prognosis of cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) can be influenced by the immune response of the patient and the species of the parasite. A case of atypical clinical presentation of CL, with development of non-characteristic lesions, poor response to therapy, and a long time to resolution is reported. Confirmatory laboratory tests included parasite detection, indirect immunofluorescence, Montenegro skin test, polymerase chain reaction, and parasite identification by multilocus enzyme electrophoresis. The parasite was identified as Leishmaniabraziliensis. The lesion was unresponsive to three complete courses of N-methylglucamine antimoniate intramuscular, and to treatment with pentamidine. The patient did not tolerate amphotericin B. The lesion finally receded after treatment with intravenous N-methylglucamine antimoniate. It is essential to ensure the accuracy of diagnosis and the appropriate treatment, which can include the use a second choice drug or a different route of administration. <![CDATA[INTESTINAL AND PULMONARY INFECTION BY <em>Cryptosporidium parvum</em> IN TWO PATIENTS WITH HIV/AIDS]]> We describe two patients with HIV/AIDS who presented pulmonary and intestinal infection caused by Cryptosporidium parvum, with a fatal outcome. The lack of available description of changes in clinical signs and radiographic characteristics of this disease when it is located in the extra-intestinal region causes low prevalence of early diagnosis and a subsequent lack of treatment. <![CDATA[BRAIN ABSCESS DUE TO <em>Staphylococcus aureus</em> OF CRYPTOGENIC SOURCE IN AN HIV-1 INFECTED PATIENT IN USE OF ANTIRETROVIRAL THERAPY]]> The spectrum of neurological complications associated with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection is broad. The most frequent etiologies include primary diseases (caused by HIV itself) or secondary diseases (opportunistic infections or neoplasms). Despite these conditions, HIV-infected patients are susceptible to other infections observed in patients without HIV infection. Here we report a rare case of a brain abscess caused by Staphylococcus aureus in an HIV-infected patient. After drainage of the abscess and treatment with oxacilin, the patient had a favorable outcome. This case reinforces the importance of a timely neurosurgical procedure that supported adequate management of an unusual cause of expansive brain lesions in HIV-1 infected patients. <![CDATA[<em>Rhipicephalus sanguineus</em> (ACARI: IXODIDAE) BITING A HUMAN BEING IN <em>PORTOALEGRE</em> CITY, <em>RIO GRANDE DO SUL</em>, BRAZIL]]> We report the finding of a female brown dog tick, Rhipicephalus sanguineus (Acari: Ixodidae) on the scalp of a male patient inPorto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. Human parasitism by this tick is rare and has seldomly been reported in the literature, despite its recognized importance since it can act as a vector of Rickettsia rickettsii, the agent of spotted fever. <![CDATA[OCULAR SYPHILIS IN A KIDNEY TRANSPLANT RECIPIENT]]> We present a case of ocular syphilis after a renal transplantation involving progressive vision loss without clinically identifiable ocular disease. Electroretinography showed signs of ischemia, especially in the internal retina. A serological test was positive for syphilis. Lumbar puncture revealed lymphocytic meningitis and a positive serologic test for syphilis in the cerebrospinal fluid. The patient was treated with penicillin, and had a quick vision improvement. In the case of transplant recipients, clinicians should always consider the diagnosis of ocular syphilis in cases with unexplained visual acuity decrement, as this condition may cause serious complications if not treated. <![CDATA[<strong><em>Bartonella henselae</em></strong> AS A PUTATIVE CAUSE OF CONGENITAL CHOLESTASIS]]> SUMMARY Severe anemia and cholestatic hepatitis are associated with bartonella infections. A putative vertical Bartonella henselae infection was defined on the basis of ultrastructural and molecular analyses in a three-year-old child with anemia, jaundice and hepatosplenomegaly since birth. Physicians should consider bartonellosis in patients with anemia and hepatitis of unknown origin. <![CDATA[CHYLOTHORAX IN PARACOCCIDIOIDOMYCOSIS]]> SUMMARY A previously healthy, 52-year-old woman presented with a nine months history of low fever and weight loss (&gt; 30 kg). Physical examination disclosed generalized lymphadenopathy, skin lesions, abdominal distension, mild tachypnea and a left breast mass. Laboratory tests showed anemia; (prerenal) kidney injury, low serum albumin level; and negative serology for HIV and viral hepatitis. Computed tomography (neck/chest/abdomen) showed generalized lymph node enlargement, splenomegaly, pleural effusion and ascites. We performed thoracocentesis and paracentesis, and the findings were consistent with chylothorax and chylous ascites (with no neoplastic cells). Biopsies of the breast mass, skin and lymph nodes were performed and all of them showed large round yeast cells with multiple narrow-based budding daughter cells, characteristic of Paracoccidioides brasiliensis. Consequently, paracoccidioidomycosis was diagnosed, and liposomal amphotericin B was prescribed, as well as a high protein and low fat diet (supplemented with medium chain triglycerides). Even so, her clinical status worsened, requiring renal replacement therapy. She evolved with pneumonia, septic shock and respiratory failure and subsequently died. To our knowledge, this is the first description of a case with chylothorax and breast mass due to paracoccidioidomycosis. Additionally, we discuss: 1- the importance of the inclusion of this mycosis in the differential diagnosis of chylothorax and breast mass (breast cancer), especially in endemic areas; and 2- the possible mechanism involved in the development of chylous effusions. <![CDATA[SURVIVAL CAPACITY OF <em>Arcobacter butzleri</em> INOCULATED IN POULTRY MEAT AT TWO DIFFERENT REFRIGERATION TEMPERATURES]]> Arcobacter spp. are emerging enteropathogens and potential zoonotic agents that can be transmitted by food and water, being considered a public health risk. The high isolation rate of these bacteria from poultry products suggests that it may be a major source of human infections. One hallmark for differentiating the genus Arcobacter fromCampylobacter includes their growing capacity at low temperatures (15-30 °C) under aerobic conditions. However, little is known about the population density variation of these bacteria at different refrigeration temperatures. The aim of this study was to determine the survival behavior of two different Arcobacter butzleri concentrations (104 CFU/mL and 107 CFU/mL) inoculated on chicken legs and held at two different refrigeration temperatures (4 and 10 °C) throughout storage time. Results have shown that A. butzleri had growing capacity both at 4 and 10 °C. No statistical difference between the survival trends was found for both bacterial concentrations and temperatures tested. This study shows that A. butzleri is a robust species with regard to storage temperature, and represents a potential health risk for poultry meat consumers. <![CDATA[Leishmania infantum AS A CAUSATIVE AGENT OF CUTANEOUS LEISHMANIASIS IN THE STATE OF MATO GROSSO DO SUL, BRAZIL]]> Cutaneous leishmaniasis is caused by different species of theLeishmania genus. Leishmania(Leishmania) infantum, causing cutaneous leishmaniasis, has been described in patients living in areas where visceral leishmaniasis is endemic. In this study, it was possible to characterize this species in seven slides from cutaneous tissue imprints from patients with cutaneous leishmaniasis in the State of Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil. <![CDATA[BIOFILM FORMATION OF Vibrio cholerae ON STAINLESS STEEL USED IN FOOD PROCESSING]]> Vibrio cholerae represents a significant threat to human health in developing countries. This pathogen forms biofilms which favors its attachment to surfaces and its survival and transmission by water or food. This work evaluated the in vitro biofilm formation of V. cholerae isolated from clinical and environmental sources on stainless steel of the type used in food processing by using the environmental scanning electron microscopy (ESEM). Results showed no cell adhesion at 4 h and scarce surface colonization at 24 h. Biofilms from the environmental strain were observed at 48 h with high cellular aggregations embedded in Vibrio exopolysaccharide (VPS), while less confluence and VPS production with microcolonies of elongated cells were observed in biofilms produced by the clinical strain. At 96 h the biofilms of the environmental strain were released from the surface leaving coccoid cells and residual structures, whereas biofilms of the clinical strain formed highly organized structures such as channels, mushroom-like and pillars. This is the first study that has shown the in vitro ability of V. cholerae to colonize and form biofilms on stainless steel used in food processing. <![CDATA[ASSOCIATION OF EPSTEIN-BARR VIRUS (EBV) BUT NOT HUMAN PAPILLOMAVIRUS (HPV) WITH GINGIVITIS AND/OR PERIODONTITIS IN TRANSPLANTED INDIVIDUALS]]> SUMMARY The aim of this study was to investigate the association of EBV and HPV with gingivitis and/or periodontitis according to the immunologic status. To this end, 74 oral biopsies from transplanted and non-transplanted individuals with the abovementioned oral manifestations were submitted to a screening by PCR for both viruses. According to the results, EBV was strongly associated with gingivitis and/or periodontitis in transplanted individuals (p = 0.011) but not HPV (p = 0.766). EBV-HPV co-detections did not enhance the presence of tissue injury as well. Although a causal relationship was not investigated in this study, the higher frequency of these two oncoviruses in lesion tissues must be investigated in follow-up studies, especially among immunocompromised individuals. <![CDATA[EVALUATION OF CIRCUMSPOROZOITE PROTEIN OF <strong><em>Plasmodium vivax</em></strong> TO ESTIMATE ITS PREVALENCE IN <strong><em>OIAPOQUE</em></strong> , <strong><em>AMAPÁ</em></strong> STATE, BRAZIL, BORDERING FRENCH GUIANA]]> SUMMARY Malaria is a major health problem for people who live on the border between Brazil and French Guiana. Here we discuss Plasmodium vivax distribution pattern in the town of Oiapoque, Amapá State using the circumsporozoite (CS) gene as a marker. Ninety-one peripheral blood samples from P. vivax patients have been studied. Of these, 64 individuals were from the municipality of Oiapoque (Amapá State, Brazil) and 27 patients from French Guiana (August to December 2011). DNA extraction was performed, and a fragment of the P. vivax CS gene was subsequently analyzed using PCR/RFLP. The VK210 genotype was the most common in both countries (48.36% in Brazil and 14.28% in French Guiana), followed by the P. vivax-like (1.10% in both Brazil and French Guiana) and VK247 (1.10% only in Brazil) in single infections. We were able to detect all three CS genotypes simultaneously in mixed infections. There were no statistically significant differences either regarding infection site or parasitaemia among individuals with different genotypes. These results suggest that the same genotypes circulating in French Guiana are found in the municipality of Oiapoque in Brazil. These findings suggest that there may be a dispersion of parasitic populations occurring between the two countries. Most likely, this distribution is associated with prolonged and/or more complex transmission patterns of these genotypes in Brazil, bordering French Guiana. <![CDATA[SILVER NANOPARTICLES-DISK DIFFUSION TEST AGAINST <strong><em>Escherichia coli</em></strong> ISOLATES]]> SUMMARY Nanotechnology can be a valuable ally in the treatment of infections. Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) are structures that have antimicrobial activity. The aim of this study was to produce AgNPs by green methods, characterize these structures, and assess their antimicrobial activity against Escherichia coli associated with the antibiotic ciprofloxacin. AgNPs were characterized by spectroscopic and microscopic techniques. Antimicrobial activity was evaluated by the disk diffusion method against 10 strains of E. coli. The synthesized AgNPs showed a spherical shape and a size of 85.07 ± 12.86 nm (mean ± SD). AgNPs increased the activity of ciprofloxacin by 40% and may represent a new therapeutic option for the treatment of bacterial infections. <![CDATA[INTRODUCTION AND TRANSMISSION OF ZIKA VIRUS IN BRAZIL: NEW CHALLENGES FOR THE AMERICAS]]> SUMMARY Nanotechnology can be a valuable ally in the treatment of infections. Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) are structures that have antimicrobial activity. The aim of this study was to produce AgNPs by green methods, characterize these structures, and assess their antimicrobial activity against Escherichia coli associated with the antibiotic ciprofloxacin. AgNPs were characterized by spectroscopic and microscopic techniques. Antimicrobial activity was evaluated by the disk diffusion method against 10 strains of E. coli. The synthesized AgNPs showed a spherical shape and a size of 85.07 ± 12.86 nm (mean ± SD). AgNPs increased the activity of ciprofloxacin by 40% and may represent a new therapeutic option for the treatment of bacterial infections.