Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Revista do Instituto de Medicina Tropical de São Paulo]]> vol. 60 num. lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[Prevalence of Streptococcus agalactiae colonization in pregnant women from the 18<sup>th</sup> Health Region of Paraná State]]> ABSTRACT Introduction The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of GBS colonization in pregnant women in a public health service. Methods A study of 496 pregnant women at 35-37 gestational weeks was conducted from September 2011 to March 2014 in 21 municipalities of the 18th Health Region of Paraná State. Vaginal and anorectal samples of each woman were plated on sheep blood agar, and in HPTH and Todd-Hewitt enrichment broths. Results Of the 496 pregnant women, 141 (28.4%) were positive for GBS based on the combination of the three culture media with vaginal and anorectal samples. The prevalence was 23.7% for vaginal samples and 21.9% for anorectal ones. Among the variables analyzed in this study, only urinary infection was a significant factor (0.026) associated with GBS colonization in women. Conclusions Based on these results, health units should performs universal screening of pregnant women and hospitals should provide adequate prophylaxis, when indicated. <![CDATA[Evaluation of molluscicidal activity of three mangrove species (Avicennia schaueriana, Laguncularia racemosa and Rhizophora mangle) and their effects on the bioactivity of Biomphalaria glabrata Say, 1818]]> ABSTRACT Schistosomiasis is a disease of global extent reaching populations in social vulnerability. One of the control measures of this parasitosis is the use of molluscicidal substances that can fight snails of the genus Biomphalaria, intermediate hosts of Schistosoma mansoni. The aim of this work was to study the toxic activity of three mangrove species (Avicennia schaueriana Stapf. &amp; Leech, ex Moldenke, 1939, Laguncularia racemosa (L.) CF Gaertn, 1807 and Rhizophora mangle L. 1753) on the biological activities of snails Biomphalaria glabrata. Hydroalcoholic extracts were prepared from the stem and leaves of each of the three plant species to which mollusks were exposed. The phytochemical analysis of plants showed the presence of important metabolites in the leaves and stems of L. racemosa and R. mangle, such as tannins and saponins, but the absence of these metabolites in A. schaueriana. Leaf and stem extracts of the three plant species showed low molluscicidal activity, not reaching the standards determined by the World Health Organization (WHO, 1983). L. racemosa and R. mangle has interfered with motility, feeding and oviposition of snails, unlike the extracts of A. schaueriana, which had no effect on these activities. <![CDATA[Histopathological characteristics of cutaneous lesions caused by Leishmania Viannia panamensis in Panama]]> ABSTRACT Cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) is an endemic disease in the Republic of Panama, caused by Leishmania (Viannia) parasites, whose most common clinical manifestation is the presence of ulcerated lesions on the skin. These lesions usually present a chronic inflammatory reaction, sometimes granulomatous, with the presence of lymphocytes, plasma cells and macrophages. This study describes the histopathological characteristics found in the skin lesions of patients with CL caused by Leishmania (V.) panamensis in Panama. We analyzed 49 skin biopsy samples from patients with clinical suspicion of CL, by molecular tests (PCR for subgenus Viannia and HSP-70) and by Hematoxylin-Eosin staining. Samples were characterized at the species level by PCR-HSP-70/RFLP. From the 49 samples studied, 46 (94%) were positive by PCR and were characterized as Leishmania (V.) panamensis. Of these, 48% were positive by Hematoxylin-Eosin staining with alterations being observed both, in the epidermis (85%) and in the dermis (100%) of skin biopsies. The inflammatory infiltrate was characterized according to histopathological patterns: lymphohistiocytic (50%), lymphoplasmacytic (61%) and granulomatous (46%) infiltration, being the combination of these patterns frequently found. The predominant histopathological characteristics observed in CL lesions caused by L. (V.) panamensis in Panama were: an intense inflammatory reaction in the dermis with a combination of lymphohistiocytic, lymphoplasmacytic and granulomatous presentation patterns and the presence of ulcers, acanthosis, exocytosis and spongiosis in the epidermis. <![CDATA[Risk perception and level of knowledge of diseases transmitted by <em>Aedes aegypti</em>]]> ABSTRACT Diseases caused by viruses such as dengue, chikungunya and zika are mosquito-borne diseases transmitted by Aedes aegypti. We performed a cross-sectional study of healthcare personnel and the general population using questionnaires to identify the level of knowledge, attitudes and practices, and risk perception for dengue, chikungunya and zika. A total of 248 questionnaires were applied, 63.3% to healthcare personnel and 36.7% to the general population. Of the healthcare personnel, 53% were men, and in the general population 74% were women. Nahuatl and Spanish were spoken by both, healthcare personnel (28%) and the general population (23%). The level of knowledge, attitudes and practices and risk perception of the population and personnel showed significant differences (p&lt;0.05). Among healthcare personnel, nurses and vector operating staff had the lowest level of knowledge. On the other hand, the questions with the lowest scores were 1) symptoms of Zika in both groups, 2) circulating dengue serotypes in healthcare personnel and 3) symptoms of chikungunya in the general population. The results of this work allow us to identify information gaps in which knowledge, attitudes and practices, and risk perception need to be increased. <![CDATA[Prevalence of asymptomatic urethritis by <em>Chlamydia trachomatis</em> and <em>Neisseria gonorrhoeae</em> and associated risk factors among males living with HIV-1]]> ABSTRACT Objectives The increase in HIV transmissibility in non-ulcerative sexually transmitted infection is already well-established. It is estimated that symptomatic carriers of N. gonorrhoeae and C. trachomatis have a relative risk of 4.8-fold and 3.6-fold, respectively, for the sexual acquisition of HIV. This type of evaluation for asymptomatic urethritis is necessary to reinforce strategies to combat HIV transmission. This study aims to assess the prevalence of patients with asymptomatic urethritis among men diagnosed with HIV-1 and determine the risk factors associated with this infection. Methods We enrolled a total of 115 male patients aged 18 years or older who have been diagnosed with HIV infection and have no symptoms of urethritis or other sexually transmitted infections and who have been evaluated between May and August 2015 in a follow-up visit at the Immunology Outpatient Clinic of a Brazilian University Hospital. Results Four asymptomatic patients were positive for C. trachomatis and were considered asymptomatic carriers of urethritis. Prevalence was 3.47%. Patients who were positive for C. trachomatis urethritis had a lower mean age (p = 0.015). Conclusion The presence of asymptomatic sexually transmitted infection is a challenge in clinical practice. We recommend that, in outpatient practice, the habit of inquiring on previous sexual behavior to obtain more information about risks and associations with asymptomatic sexually transmitted infection, a routine physical examination and complementary tests to detect STI pathogens should be performed to discard these conditions. The development of rapid tests for this purpose should also be encouraged. <![CDATA[Visceral leishmaniasis in a Brazilian endemic area: an overview of occurrence, HIV coinfection and lethality]]> ABSTRACT The Brazilian municipality of Rondonópolis, Mato Grosso State, represents an important visceral leishmaniasis (VL) endemic area. This study described epidemiological and clinical aspects of the occurrence, VL/HIV coinfection and lethality related to VL in Rondonópolis. Data from autochthonous cases reported between 2011 and 2016 were obtained from official information systems. During this period, 81 autochthonous cases were reported, with decreasing incidence through 2016. Contrastingly, the lethality rate was 8.6% overall, but varied widely, reaching a peak (20%) in 2016. Almost 10% of patients had VL/HIVcoinfection. The occurrence of VL prevailed among men (56.8%), brown-skinned (49.4%), urban residents (92.6%), aged 0-4 years (33.3%). Housewives or retired (29.6%) were the most affected occupational groups. Lower age was the main difference among the total VL cases and those who were coinfected or died. Clinically, fever, weakness and splenomegaly were more frequent among all VL cases and VL/HIV coinfected individuals. Bacterial infections (p=0.001) and bleeding (p&lt;0.001) were associated with death due to VL. Pentavalent antimonial and liposomal amphotericin B were the first choices for treatment among all VL cases (71.6%) and those who died (71.4%), respectively. VL/HIV patients were equally treated with both drugs. These findings may support control measures and demonstrate the need for further investigations. <![CDATA[Opportunistic and non-opportunistic intestinal parasites in HIV/ AIDS patients in relation to their clinical and epidemiological status in a specialized medical service in <em>Goiás</em>, Brazil]]> ABSTRACT Patients infected with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) often have opportunistic infections, among which strongyloidiasis and coccidiosis are the most common parasitic infections that aggravate their health status. This study examined the prevalence of intestinal parasites, particularly of Strongyloides stercoralis and intestinal coccidia in patients with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)/ Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) who were treated at the Specialized Assistance Service (SAE) of Jataí, State of Goiás, Brazil, and analyzed its correlation with clinical, laboratory, and socio-epidemiological parameters. A total of 270 stool samples were analyzed by the Lutz technique, Rugai’s method, Agar Plate Culture, Ritchie’s method and specific staining, Ziehl-Neelsen modified technique, Kinyoun’s method and the rapid safranin method. The prevalence of intestinal parasites was 28.88% including 3.8% of S. stercoralis, Cryptosporidium sp. and Cystoisospora belli. There was a significant positive correlation between intestinal parasites and the clinical status and the use of antiretroviral therapy (ART), smoking, CD4+ lymphocyte counts and sexual orientation. In conclusion, the widespread use of antiretroviral therapy and health assistance contributed to the low prevalence of S. stercoralis and coccidiosis in patients with HIV/ AIDS who were followed up at the SAE. <![CDATA[Is the telomere length associated with neurocognitive disabilities in HIV-1-infected subjects?]]> ABSTRACT Objective: We evaluated the association between cognitive deficits and leukocyte telomere length (LTL) in HIV-1-infected individuals. Design: 73 HIV-1-infected patients undergoing neuropsychological evaluation and 91 healthy controls were included in this study. Fifteen HIV-1 positive patients did not have cognitive disorders whereas 26 had asymptomatic neurocognitive disorder (ANI), 13 presented mild to moderate neurocognitive disorder (MND), and 10 had HIV-associated dementia (HAD). Methods: DNA from the peripheral blood of HIV-1-infected patients was used for measurement of telomere length by real-time PCR. HIV-1 viral load was determined in blood. Results: LTL decreased with age in healthy controls (p=0.0001). Regardless of the HIV status, age-matched LTL from HIV patients, including those with ANI and MND, were shortened in comparison to the healthy control group (p=0.0073); however, no association was found among the HIV-1-infected individuals with cognitive deficits (p=0.01). In addition, no gender-related association with LTL was observed (p=0.80), smoking, physical exercise, and plasma viral load were not correlated to telomere length (p=0.66). Conclusions: We concluded that leukocyte telomere length may not be a marker of cellular senescence in individuals with HIV infection and neurocognitive disorders. <![CDATA[Distribution and risk factors of Ascarididae and other geohelminths in the soil of Uberlandia, Minas Gerais, Brazil]]> ABSTRACT Among the geohelminths, parasites from the Ascarididae family have a significant role in the human and animal health. This research aims to determine the prevalence of Ascarididae species in the soil in different areas located in a city of Minas Gerais State, Brazil (South America). The study was developed in squares, parks, sports clubs, orchards and municipal children's schools. Samples of sand/soil/grass were collected from January to August 2014. The optical microscope screening was performed through formal-ether and spontaneous sedimentation techniques. Out of the 183 collected samples, eight (4.4%) belonged to parks, 16 (8.7%) to sports clubs, 76 (41.5%) to squares, 23 (12.6%) to orchards, and 60 (32.8%) to schools. Out of the total, 28 (15.3%) contained Ascarididae eggs. Higher levels of positivity were demonstrated in the raining season (25.0%), in samples collected in the southern region of the town (25.1%), on ground soils (27.3%). Twenty-three (12.6%) were detected by the formal-ether sedimentation technique and 10 (5.5%) by spontaneous sedimentation technique. Therefore, it was concluded that the soils in the city of Uberlandia are contaminated with eggs and larvae of geohelminths, enabling dissemination of illnesses among animals and human beings. <![CDATA[Evaluation of <em>E. coli</em> inhibition by plain and polymer-coated silver nanoparticles]]> ABSTRACT Escherichia coli causes various ailments such as septicemia, enteritis, foodborne illnesses, and urinary tract infections which are of concern in the public health field due to antibiotic resistance. Silver nanoparticles (AgNP) are known for their biocompatibility and antibacterial activity, and may prove to be an alternative method of treatment, especially as wound dressings. In this study, we compared the antibacterial efficacy of two polymer-coated silver nanoparticles either containing 10% Ag (Ag 10% + Polymer), or 99% Ag (AgPVP) in relation to plain uncoated silver nanoparticles (AgNP). Atomic force microscopy was used to characterize the nanoparticles, and their antibacterial efficacy was compared by the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and bacterial growth curve assays, followed by molecular studies using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and (qRT- PCR). AgNP inhibited the growth of E. coli only at 0.621 mg/mL, which was double the concentration required for both coated nanoparticles (0.312 mg/mL). Similarly, bacterial growth was impeded as early as 8 h at 0.156 mg/mL of both coated nanoparticles as compared to 0.312 mg/mL for plain AgNP. SEM data showed that nanoparticles damaged the cell membrane, resulting in bacterial cell lysis, expulsion of cellular contents, and complete disintegration of some cells. The expression of genes associated with the TCA cycle (aceF and frdB) and amino acid metabolism (gadB, metL, argC) were substantially downregulated in E. coli treated with nanoparticles. The reduction in the silver ion (Ag+) concentration of polymer-coated AgNP did not affect their antibacterial efficacy against E. coli. <![CDATA[Pre-hospitalization, hospitalization, and post-hospitalization costs of patients with neurocysticercosis treated at the Instituto Nacional de Neurologia y Neurocirugia (INNN) in Mexico City, Mexico]]> ABSTRACT The objective of this study was to estimate the direct costs associated with the diagnosis and treatment of neurocysticercosis (NCC) during pre-hospitalization, hospitalization, and post-hospitalization periods for 108 NCC patients treated at the Instituto Nacional de Neurologia y Neurocirugia (INNN) in Mexico City, Mexico. Information on clinical manifestations, diagnostic tests, hospitalizations, surgical procedures, prescription medication, and other treatments was collected via medical chart reviews. Uncertain values for costs and frequency of treatments were imputed using bootstrap techniques. The average per-patient pre-hospitalization and hospitalization costs were US$ 257 (95% CI: 185 – 329) and US$ 2,576 (95% CI: 2,244 – 2,908), respectively. Post-hospitalization costs tended to decrease over time, with estimates for the first five years post-hospitalization of US$ 475 (95% CI: 423 – 527), US$ 228 (95% CI: 167 – 288), US$ 157 (95% CI: 111 – 202), US$ 150 (95% CI: 106 – 204), and US$ 91 (95% CI: 27 – 154), respectively. NCC results in a significant economic burden for patients requiring hospitalization, with this burden continuing years post-hospitalization. <![CDATA[Catalog of the entomologic collections of the Faculty of Public Health of the University of Sao Paulo - (2<sup>nd</sup> series ii): Triatominae (Hemiptera, Reduviidae)]]> ABSTRACT This article reports a list with 912 specimens of the subfamily Triatominae deposited in the Entomological Collection of the Faculty of Public Health of the University of Sao Paulo. The collection is composed of 1 holotype, 3 alotypes, 15 paralectotypes, 77 paratypes, distributed in 5 tribes and 12 genera: Tribus Alberprosenini: genus Alberprosenia Martinez &amp; Carcavallo, 1977; Tribus Bolboderini: genus Microtriatoma Prosen &amp; Martinez, 1952; Tribus Cavernicolini: genus Cavernicola Barber, 1937; Tribus Rhodnini: genus Psammolestes Bergroth, 1941; genus Rhodnius Stal, 1859; Tribus Triatomini: genus Dipetalogaster Usinger 1939; genus Eratyrus Stal 1859; genus Hermanlentia Jurberg &amp; Galvão, 1997; genus Linshcosteus Distant, 1904; 1944; genus Panstrongylus Berg 1879; genus Paratriatoma Barber 1938; genus Triatoma Laporte 1833. <![CDATA[Focal persistence of soil-transmitted helminthiases in impoverished areas in the State of Piaui, Northeastern Brazil]]> ABSTRACT This study aims to describe the prevalence, distribution, and factors associated with soil-transmitted helminthiases (STHs) in rural localities in Piaui, Brazil. Two cross-sectional surveys (n=605 subjects; 172 families) were carried out in order to obtain socio-demographic, anthropometric, spatial and parasitological data. Parasites were evaluated using Kato-Katz and centrifugal sedimentation techniques. Eggs were measured to assess infection with zoonotic Strongylida parasites. Kernel maps were constructed with Q-GIS. The prevalence of hookworm infection was 12.4% (75/605). Other helminthes found were Trichuris trichiura (n=1; 0.2%) and Hymenolepis nana (n=1; 0.2%). The hookworm positivity rate was significantly lower among subjects who had used albendazole when compared with individuals who had not used anthelmintics or had used antiprotozoal drugs in the last 6 months (8/134 [6.0%] vs. 59/415 [14.2%]; p=0.009). A total of 39/172 (22.7%) families had at least one infected member. The association between the number of dwellers and hookworm positivity in the family was present in a logistic regression multivariate model. Assessment of worm burdens showed 92.2% light, 6.2% moderate, and 1.6% heavy infections. Hookworm eggs (n=34) measured 57.2 - 75.4 µm in length and 36.4 - 44.2 µm in width (mean ± SD = 65.86 ± 4.66 µm L and 40.05 ± 1.99 µm W), commensurate with human hookworms. Hotspots suggest that transmission has a focal pattern. STHs persist in impoverished rural areas in Northeastern Brazil where currently available control strategies (mass drug administration) apparently do not allow the elimination of the infection. <![CDATA[Prevalence of schistosomiasis mansoni in indigenous Maxakali villages, Minas Gerais, Brazil]]> ABSTRACT Intestinal parasitic infections are a common health problem among Amerindian populations and schistosomiasis represents one of the most prevalent diseases in Maxakali people. The Kato-Katz is the diagnostic method recommended by WHO for epidemiological studies; however, one of the technique’s limitations is the failure to detect parasites in individuals with low parasite load. The aim of this study was to establish the prevalence of Schistosoma mansoni in indigenous Maxakali villages, evaluating the TF-Test® performance for diagnosis compared to the Kato-Katz technique. Stool samples from 545 individuals were processed by the TF-Test® (1 sample) and Kato-Katz (1 slide). The positivity rate for S. mansoni by Kato-Katz was 45.7%. The rate by the TF-Test® was 33.2%, and 51.9% by the combined parasitological techniques. The amplitude of parasite load was 24 to 4,056 eggs per gram of feces (epg), with a geometric mean of 139 epg. The co-positivity, co-negativity, and accuracy values by TF-Test® in relation to Kato-Katz were 59.0%, 88.5%, and 75.0%, respectively. The agreement between these techniques was moderate (k=0.486) as determined by the kappa index. Thus, the results of this study demonstrated that the performance of Kato-Katz was superior (p &lt;0.05) to that of TF-Test® in the detection of S. mansoni. The combination of TF-Test® and Kato-Katz resulted in an increased positivity rate of S. mansoni, demonstrating the high risk of infection to which indigenous populations are exposed and the importance of the implementation of control strategies in Maxakali villages. <![CDATA[Factors associated with the development of physical disabilities in Hansen’s disease]]> ABSTRACT Hansen’s disease is probably the human disease that causes more damage. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between the occurrence of the association of grade 1 and 2 physical disabilities in Hansen’s disease, as well as implications of joint analysis and strength of association with independent demographic and clinical variables. This is a quantitative, descriptive, retrospective, population-based and documentary study developed from 2009 to 2014 in a Hansen’s disease reference center in Joao Pessoa, PB. It involved 414 medical records, the diagnosis and discharge data on socio-demographic, clinical and simplified neurological evaluation variables. Data were analyzed using descriptive (absolute frequency and percentage) and inferential (Chi-Square and Prevalence Ratio (PR) statistics techniques. Both in the diagnosis and discharge, low education level, multibacillary classification and presence of affected nerves were statistically associated to the development of disabilities (p &lt;0.05). The gender showed association only at discharge (p &lt;0.05). Male gender, low education level, multibacillary classification and presence of affected nerves were identified as factors associated with the development of disabilities, and the individuals were more likely to develop disabilities at discharge. There is a need for development of surveillance actions for the population group identified for the detection and early treatment of the disease. Higher chances of developing disabilities in the discharge period makes the promotion of guidelines that standardize the care of these individuals imperative. <![CDATA[Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii and Toxocara canis in a human rural population of Southern Rio Grande do Sul]]> ABSTRACT Due to the growing population of pets, especially homeless dogs and cats, zoonoses still represent a significant public health problem. Toxoplasma gondii and Toxocara spp. are epidemiologically important zoonotic agents as they are etiological factors of human toxoplasmosis and toxocariasis, respectively. These parasites remain neglected even though they are substantially prevalent in rural areas. The aim of this study was to investigate T. gondii and T. canis seroprevalence and risk factors of seropositivity in a rural population in Pelotas municipality, Brazil. The study participants (n=344) were patients of a Basic Healthcare Unit (BHU) located in Cerrito Alegre. Blood samples were collected and tested for T. gondii antibodies by indirect immunofluorescence and T. canis antibodies by an indirect ELISA that targets an excreted-secreted antigen (TES). T. gondii seropositivity was 53.2%, with higher titers (1:256 - 1:1,024) in individuals who habitually eat pork, beef, or chicken, while T. canis seropositivity was 71.8% and concomitant T. gondii and T. canis seropositivity was 38.3%. Among the seropositivity risk factors assessed, only habitual undercooked meat consumption was significant (p = 0.046; OR = 3.7) for T. gondii and none of them were associated with T. canis seropositivity. Both parasites have a high prevalence in rural areas, which reinforces the need to invest in rural community education and health. <![CDATA[Hepatitis C in Brazil: lessons learned with boceprevir and telaprevir]]> ABSTRACT In 2012, the first-generation protease inhibitors telaprevir (TVR) and boceprevir (BOC) were introduced in the Brazilian health system for treatment of chronic hepatitis C, after their approval by the National Committee for Health Technology Incorporation (CONITEC). However, these medicines were discontinued in 2015. The short period of use in therapy and their high cost require a discussion about the consequences for patients and for the health system of the early incorporation of new therapies. The article presents a qualitative analysis of the incorporation process of both medications in Brazil and the results of a multicenter study that included patients treated with BOC or TVR between January 2011 and December 2015 in five Brazilian cities. The study included 855 patients (BOC: n=247) and (TVR: n=608). The document analysis showed that CONITEC’s decision to incorporate BOC and TVR was based on results of phase III clinical trials that compared sustained virologic response (SVR) rates of patients treated with BOC and TVR with rates of those that received placebo. However, these studies included a low percentage of cirrhotic patients. The SVR rates observed in this multicenter study were worse than clinical trials pointed out (BOC: 45.6%; TVR: 51.8%), but similar to those achieved with previously adopted therapies. The discontinuation rate due to adverse events was (BOC: 15.4%; TVR: 12.7%). Based on these unsatisfactory results, the study brings a discussion that goes beyond the therapy outcomes, exploring the incorporation of these high-cost medicines and the related decision-making process, contributing to future decisions in medicine policies and in the treatment of chronic hepatitis C. <![CDATA[Seroprevalence of <em>Bartonella</em> spp., <em>Coxiella burnetii</em>, and <em>Hantavirus</em> among people who inject drugs in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: a retrospective assessment of a biobank]]> ABSTRACT The increasing use of illicit drugs imposes a public health challenge worldwide. People who inject drugs (PWID) are more susceptible to health complications due to immunosuppression associated with drug use and non-hygienic self-administration of substances, contaminants, and liquids. PWID are subjected to increased risk of acquiring and transmitting different pathogens (frequently functioning as sentinel cases for (re)emerging pathogens), including those transmitted by arthropods and vertebrate reservoirs in unhealthy environments. A clear association between injection drug use and HIV, HBV, and HCV infections has been described; however, other infectious viral and bacterial agents have been seldomly assessed. In this study, we investigated the seroprevalence of Bartonella spp., Coxiella burnetii, and Hantavirus among 300 randomly selected PWIDs from Rio de Janeiro, as part of a multi-city cross-sectional study carried out in the 1990s. Point seroprevalences and respective 95% CIs are as follows: 9.3% for C. burnetii (95% CI: 6.0%-13.0%), 1.0% for Bartonella spp. (95% CI: 0.0%-3.0%), and 4.0% for Hantavirus (95% CI: 2.0%-7.0%). In addition to the blood-borne pathogens, the results of this study increase our knowledge on other transmissible infectious agents in PWID. The high seroprevalence of C. burnetii and Hantavirus found among PWID is intriguing and suggests the need to carry out prospective studies, including molecular analyses, to confirm these findings and allow a better understanding of the putative relevance of these zoonotic infectious agents among PWID. <![CDATA[Occurrences of triatomines (Hemiptera: Reduviidae) and first reports of <em>Panstrongylus geniculatus</em> in urban environments in the city of Sao Paulo, Brazil]]> ABSTRACT This note reports on occurrences of triatomine species in the city of Sao Paulo, Brazil, registered between 1988 and 2017. Records of triatomines captured in Sao Paulo are based on specimens received spontaneously from Health Surveillance Centers, Health Centers and Zoonosis Control Centers in the city as well as from citizens. Species were identified morphologically at the Public Health Entomology Laboratory, Faculty of Public Health, University of Sao Paulo, where the triatomines, which are vectors of Chagas disease, were tested for Trypanosoma cruzi infection. The first reported occurrence of triatomine bugs in urban Sao Paulo was in 1988. The specimen, which was captured in Jardim Sao Luiz district, was from the genus Panstrongylus and was registered as Panstrongylus sp. but was not sexed. Since this first recorded occurrence, the following species have been found in the city: Panstrongylus geniculatus (2 occurrences), P. megistus (15 occurrences), Triatoma infestans (1 occurrence) and T. sordida (3 occurrences). In this paper, the importance of reporting occurrences of triatomine bugs in the city of Sao Paulo, one of the largest metropolis in the world, is discussed with an emphasis on P. megistus. The occurrences discussed here indicate the importance of entomological surveillance for these vectors even in urban centers although the possibility of vector transmission of Chagas disease in these centers is very low. <![CDATA[Epidemiological and clinical profile of HIV-infected patients from Southwestern Goias State, Brazil]]> ABSTRACT Knowledge about epidemiological distribution patterns of HIV infection in different geographic regions is relevant to understand the dynamics of the disease in Brazil. This study aims to characterize the epidemiological and clinical profile of HIV-infected patients from Southwestern Goias State, from 2005 to 2015. A standardized questionnaire was used to collect clinical-epidemiological, virological, and immunological data from the medical records of all HIV-infected patients (n=539) who were followed at the regional reference center of Jatai, Goias State, Brazil, from 2005 to 2015. We detected the prevalence of male patients and the heterosexual route of transmission, as well as an expressive number of young women infected with HIV. The HIV infection was more prevalent in reproductive ages (55.3%). Most patients presented clinical manifestations related to HIV infection at the time of diagnosis. Twenty-four patients presented coinfection with hepatitis C virus, syphilis, hepatitis B virus, leprosy or Chagas disease. Pneumonia caused by Pneumocystis jirovecii was the most common opportunistic infection, followed by neurotoxoplasmosis, tuberculosis, and neurocryptococcosis. Combined antiretroviral therapy improved CD4+ T-cell counts: the mean CD4+ T-cell counts after treatment was twice as high as those found at the first medical appointment; and highly active antiretroviral therapy promoted viral suppression in a significant number of patients. Considering the increasing distribution of HIV infection to the interior of Brazil, this descriptive study outlines the clinical-epidemiological characteristics of HIV infection in Southwestern Goias and contributes to develop local prevention strategies and public service plans. <![CDATA[Phylogenetic analysis and genotype distribution of Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) in Roraima, Brazil]]> ABSTRACT Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is a serious global health problem. HBV has a high viral genetic diversity, with 10 genotypes recognized. In Brazil, the Roraima State is the third in the Northern region regarding the number of hepatitis B cases. On the other hand, few data on HBV genotyping and phylogenetic analysis are available. The purpose of this study is to characterize the HBV genotypes circulating in Roraima State. Of the 113 chronic hepatitis B patients enrolled in this study, 40 were HBV-DNA positive. A fragment of 280 bp (S gene) was amplified by PCR and submitted to nucleotide sequencing. A dataset containing the viral sequences obtained in this study, plus 130 obtained from GenBank was used for genotyping by phylogenetic analysis. The HBV subgenotype distribution found was A1 (62.5%), A2 (7.5%), D2, D3, D4 (2.5%), F2a (12.5%), and F3 (10%). We characterized the genotypes and subgenotypes of HBV circulating among patients in the State of Roraima. In addition, our study shows for the first time the HBV/F3 genotype circulating in Brazil. In conclusion, our findings showed a high diversity of HBV genotypes in Roraima, which is also found in other Brazilian geographical regions. <![CDATA[Prospective cohort studies to evaluate the safety and immunogenicity of the 2013, 2014, and 2015 seasonal influenza vaccines produced by Instituto Butantan]]> ABSTRACT Annual vaccination is the most effective way to prevent seasonal influenza illness. Instituto Butantan (IB) performed clinical studies with its 2013, 2014 and 2015 seasonal trivalent influenza vaccines (inactivated split-virion). Prospective cohort studies were carried out to describe the safety and immunogenicity of Instituto Butantan influenza vaccines, in healthy adults and elderly, from 2013 to 2015. Immediately after the informed consent was signed, participants underwent blood collection followed by vaccination. On study days 1, 2 and 3 post-vaccination participants were contacted by the staff to evaluate the occurrence of solicited (local and systemic) and non-solicited adverse reactions. On study day 21 (+7) subjects returned to the clinical site for final safety assessments and blood collection to evaluate post-vaccination immunogenicity. The immunogenicity analyses were performed by means of hemagglutination inhibition (HI) assay. The immunogenicity endpoints were: seroprotection (SPR) and seroconversion (SCR) rates and the geometric mean HI antibody titer ratio (GMTR). The 2013 study was conducted at the Centro de Referência para Imunobiológicos Especiais (CRIE) and at the Centro de Pesquisa Clínica do Instituto da Criança, Hospital das Clínicas da Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de São Paulo while the 2014 and 2015 studies were conducted at CRIE. The vaccine composition followed the WHO recommendation for the Southern hemisphere seasonal influenza vaccine. Forty-seven healthy adults and 13 elderly participated in the 2013 study, 60 healthy adults and 60 elderly in the 2014 study, and 62 healthy adults and 57 elderly in the 2015 study. In the 2013, 2014 and 2015 studies, pain was the most frequent local adverse reaction and headache the most frequent systemic adverse reaction. All observed adverse reactions were classified as mild or moderate and none as severe. SPR &gt;70% and SPR &gt;60% were observed in adults and elderly, respectively, for the three vaccine viruses, in the 2013, 2014 and 2015 studies. SCR &gt;40% was observed in adults, for the three vaccine viruses, only in the 2014 study and SCR &gt;30% was observed in the elderly, for the three vaccine viruses, only in the 2013 and 2014 studies. GMTR &gt;2.5 among adults, for the three vaccine viruses was only observed in the 2013 study and GMTR &gt;2.0 was observed among elderly, for the three vaccine viruses, in the 2013, 2014 and 2015 studies. The 2013, 2014 and 2015 seasonal influenza vaccines produced by Instituto Butantan were safe and immunogenic according to the immunogenicity criteria defined by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). <![CDATA[Temporal analysis of the relationship between leptospirosis, rainfall levels and seasonality, Santa Catarina, Brazil, 2005-2015]]> ABSTRACT The objective of the study is to analyze the temporal trend of leptospirosis incidence, according to rainfall levels in Santa Catarina, according to seasonality, from 2005 to 2015. This is an ecological study of time series, with date of leptospirosis, rainfall levels and population. The incidence rates of leptospirosis, relative excess of incidence, Pearson's correlation coefficient (r) and an angular coefficient (β) were analyzed from the linear regression adjustment, with a 5% significance level. Distribution of leptospirosis cases, rainfall levels and cases reason/rainfall levels, stratified by month of occurrence were presented. There were 5,274 cases of leptospirosis, with the monthly average being 439 cases, ranging from 211 in September to 770 in January. The mean rate of leptospirosis was 7.03 per 100,000 habitants. The average rainfall level was 158.68 mm, with the lowest levels occurring in August, average of 124.9 mm, and the highest in January average of 213.20 mm. The positive correlation between leptospirosis rates and rainfall levels, during the period from January to December (r = 0.68, p = 0.023), indicates a positive temporal association between the amount of rainfall and the cases of the disease. The disease occurred all year round and presented a distinct seasonality from October to March. <![CDATA[Identification of <em>Biomphalaria</em> sp. and other freshwater snails in the large-scale water transposition project in the Northeast of Brazil]]> ABSTRACT The wide eco-bio-social intervention generated by the SaoFrancisco River Integration Project (PISF) may contribute to the dispersion or introduction of schistosomiasis intermediate hosts in areas without prior recording. The objective was to characterize the limnic malacofauna and its distribution along watersheds involved in the PISF. A cross-sectional study based on the collection of mollusks from 33 water bodies, from Aurora, Brejo Santo, Jaguaretama, Jaguaribara, Jati e Mauriti municipalities in the Ceara (CE) State was developed. The conchological characteristics were used to identify snails at the genus level. The snails of the genus Biomphalaria were analyzed for the presence of Schistosoma mansoni cercariae and the molecular identification (only mollusks from Brejo Santo-CE) for differentiation between species. The following species were found: Biomphalaria sp.; Drepanotrema sp.; Melanoides sp.; Physa sp.; and Pomacea sp. Pomacea sp. (75.8%) and Biomphalaria sp. (72.7%) were the most prevalent species. All municipalities showed Biomphalaria sp. Biomphalaria straminea (Porcos Stream) and Biomphalaria kuhniana was identified in the Boi 1 and Cipo reservoirs (Brejo Santo). The evaluated municipalities under the influence of the PISF present areas with potential for schistosomiasis transmission. It is necessary to intensify control actions and health surveillance in these areas. <![CDATA[Study of Aedes aegypti population with emphasis on the gonotrophic cycle length and identification of arboviruses: implications for vector management in cemeteries]]> ABSTRACT Aedes aegypti is the vector of the arboviruses causing dengue, chikungunya and zika infections in Mexico. However, its presence in public places has not been fully evaluated. In a cemetery from Merida, Yucatan, Mexico, the productivity of Ae. aegypti, the gonotrophic cycle, and the presence of Ae. aegypti females infected with arboviruses were evaluated. Immature and adult mosquitoes were inspected every two months between April 2016 to June 2017. For the gonotrophic cycle length, the daily pattern of total and parous female ratio was registered and was analyzed using time series analysis. Ae. aegypti females were sorted into pools and assayed for flavivirus RNA by RT-PCR and Sanger sequencing. Aedes aegypti immatures represented 82.86% (8,627/10,411) of the collection. In total, 1,648 Ae. aegypti females were sorted into 166 pools. Two pools were positive; one for dengue virus (DENV-1) and the other for zika virus (ZIKV). The phylogenetic analysis revealed that the DENV-1 is more closely related to isolates from Brazil. While ZIKV is more closely related to the Asian lineage, which were isolates from Guatemala and Mexico. We report some evidence of vertical transmission of DENV-1 in nulliparous females of Ae. aegypti. The gonotrophic cycle was four and three days in the rainy and dry season, respectively. The cemetery of Merida is an important focus of Ae. aegypti proliferation, and these environments may play a role in arboviruses transmission; probably limiting the efficacy of attempts to suppress the presence of mosquitoes in domestic environments. <![CDATA[Artificial blood feeding for Culicidae colony maintenance in laboratories: does the blood source condition matter?]]> ABSTRACT Culicidae colonization in laboratory is paramount to conduct studies aiming at a better understanding of mosquitoes' capacity to transmit pathogens that cause deadly diseases. Colonization requires female blood feeding, a necessary step for maturation of female's oocytes. Direct blood feeding on anesthetized mammals implies in a number of disadvantages when compared to artificial blood feeding. Consequently, laboratories worldwide have been trying to -feed female mosquitoes artificially in order to replace direct feeding. In this study, we compared the effects of direct blood feeding and artificial blood feeding on important life traits of three Culicidae species. Artificial feeding was performed using citrated or defibrinated sheep blood and citrated or defibrinated rabbit blood. Direct feeding was performed using anesthetized guinea pigs as the blood source and the experiment control. Results indicated that artificial feeding using sheep blood was not good enough to justify its use in the maintenance of laboratory colonies of Culicidae. However, artificial feeding using rabbit blood maintained a recovery rate always very close to the control, especially when blood was citrated. We concluded that artificial feeding using citrated rabbit blood can substitute direct feeding on mammals reducing the use of animals, eliminating the need to maintain a bioterium in the laboratory and reducing costs in scientific researches involving Culicidae vectors. <![CDATA[Knowledge on the HPV vaccine among university students]]> ABSTRACT The objective is to evaluate knowledge on HPV vaccine and its use among university students. This is a cross-sectional study with 301 participants, of which 202 medical students from UERJ and UNIFESO (101 freshmen = M1 and 101 from the 6th year = M2) and 99 UERJ literature students (50 freshmen = L1 and 49 of the last year = L2). Information was obtained by questionnaires. Input and statistical analysis were carried out with the EPI-INFO 3.5.2 Program. Results showed that, among medical students, 21% of M1 and 16% of M2 used the HPV vaccine (p=0.35), mostly adopted by women (M1=29.7% and M2=21.3%) than men (M1=5.4% and M2=7.5%). Similarly, female students showed more interest in using the vaccine (M1=85.1% and M2=80%) than male (M1=56.2% and M2=20.5%). Among literature students, only women received the vaccine (L1=6.5% and L2=22.2%) and no men were vaccinated (p=0.04). More women expressed interest in receiving the vaccine than men (♀ L1=76%, L2=65% and ♂, L1=47%, L2=40%). Comparison among genders regardless of the course showed that the vaccination rate is higher among women (p&lt;0.001), as is the interest in being vaccinated (p=0.004). We concluded that the majority of male university students know less about the HPV vaccine than the female ones, use less and are less interested in being vaccinated, in all the groups interviewed. Vaccination coverage is low among the university population and is higher among medical students. <![CDATA[First records of molluscs naturally infected with <em>Angiostrongylus cantonensis</em> (Nematoda: Metastrongyloidea) in Northeastern Brazil, including new global records of natural intermediate hosts]]> ABSTRACT Human neural angiostrongyliasis is an emerging infectious disease caused by nematode Angiostrongylus cantonensis. The present study investigated the presence of Angiostrongylus spp. in terrestrial molluscs collected from the following areas in the Metropolitan Region of Aracaju, Sergipe State, Brazil: Barra dos Coqueiros, Nossa Senhora do Socorro, Sao Cristovao and Aracaju. In total, 703 specimens representing 13 mollusc species were screened for Angiostrongylus spp. Larvae of Angiostrongylus spp. were found in three species. Larvae recovered from Achatina fulica were used for experimental infection in Wistar rats (Rattus norvegicus). For specific identification of nematodes, the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) was sequenced from both larvae and adults recovered from molluscs and rats, respectively. Infection with A. cantonensis was detected in all municipalities and in the following three host species: Bulimulus tenuissimus, Cyclodontina fasciata (Barra dos Coqueiros), and A. fulica (Aracaju, Nossa Senhora do Socorro and Sao Cristovao). Co-infections were also found with Caenorhabditis sp. and Strongyluris sp. larvae. This is the first study of the helminth fauna associated with the terrestrial malacofauna in Sergipe State, and confirms that these three snail species are involved in the transmission of A. cantonensis in the state. In addition, B. tenuissimus and C. fasciata are newly reported natural hosts of the parasite. <![CDATA[Isoenzymatic genotyping of Staphylococcus aureus from dairy cattle and human clinical environments reveal evolutionary divergences]]> ABSTRACT Background The genetic variability of 610 S. aureus isolates from the hands of professional dentists (A), dental clinic environment air (B), bovine milk from cows with and without mastitis (C), an insufflator for milking equipment (D) and milking environment air (E) was studied by isoenzyme genotyping and genetic and cluster analysis. Results Monoclonal and polyclonal patterns of S. aureus were detected in every bacterial population; however, isolates belonging to the same strain were not found among the populations, suggesting the genetic heterogeneity and the intrapopulation spread of strains. Genetic relationship analysis revealed the co-existence of highly related strains at low frequency among populations. Conclusion The data suggest that some strains can adapt and colonize new epidemiologically unrelated habitats. Consequently, the occurrence of an epidemiological genotypic identity can assume a dynamic character (spread to new habitats), however infrequently. A tendency of microevolutionary and genetic divergences among populations of S. aureus from human sources (AB) and bovine milk (DE), and especially the mammary quarter (C), is also suggested. This research can contribute to the knowledge on the distribution and dissemination of strains and the implementation of control measures and eradication of S. aureus in important dental clinic environments, as well as animal environments and dairy production. <![CDATA[Pathology and pathogenesis of human leptospirosis: a commented review]]> ABSTRACT Leptospirosis is an acute bacterial septicemic febrile disease caused by pathogenic leptospires, which affect humans and animals in all parts of the world. Transmission can occur by direct contact with infected animals or, more commonly, through indirect contact with water or soil contaminated with urine from infected animals. Leptospires enter the body by penetrating mucous membranes or skin abrasions and disseminate through the hematogenic route. In humans, leptospirosis may cause a wide spectrum of symptoms. Most cases have a biphasic clinical presentation, which begins with the septicemic phase followed by immune manifestations. The severe forms of the disease may be life threatening with multisystem damage including renal failure, hepatic dysfunction, vascular damage, pulmonary hemorrhage and muscle lesions. In this review, we present and discuss the pathogenesis of the human disease and the mechanisms of cell membrane injuries, which occur mainly due to the presence of leptospires and/or their antigen/s in the host tissues. <![CDATA[Acute kidney injury and pancreatitis due to scorpion sting: case report and literature review]]> ABSTRACT Despite the high number of accidents due to scorpion stings in Brazil, severe cases in adults are seldomly reported. In the Northeast region of Brazil, Tityus stigmurus is the most prevalent species. A 69 year-old woman who was stung by a scorpion attended the emergency room 5 hours after envenomation. She got worse due to abdominal pain. Clinical findings were concordant with class III scorpion envenomation (major systemic manifestations), complicated by acute kidney injury and acute pancreatitis. Intensive supportive therapy was adopted. In the follow-up, 3 months later, she was completely recovered. This report is being brought to recommend the thorough management of victims of scorpion accidents, enabling early diagnosis of severe complications, which could lead to death if aggressive supportive measures are not early and adequately taken. <![CDATA[American tegumentary leishmaniasis: diagnostic and treatment challenges in a clinical case]]> ABSTRACT This clinical case presents a patient with a raised and ulcerative lesion with erythematous edges in the mouth, on the lower lip that was unsuccessfully treated as herpes labialis. Clinical data and laboratory tests (Montenegro skin test, indirect immunofluorescence, direct parasite search and polymerase chain reaction) led to the diagnosis of American tegumentary leishmaniasis caused by Leishmania (Viannia) sp. Treatment with pentavalent antimonial (Glucantime®) for 120 days was not effective and administration of amphotericin B for 30 days resulted in wound healing. Glucantime® treatment protocol was longer than the recommended by the Brazilian Ministry of Health in the handbook of mucosal leishmaniasis. This suggests that amphotericin B should have been administered earlier, preventing the psychological and social problems faced by the patient. This study reports a rare clinical case of primary mucosal leishmaniasis on the lip that had a delayed diagnosis, highlighting the precariousness in the management of disease and showing that, despite the importance of leishmaniasis in Brazil, it is still neglected by health professionals. <![CDATA[First case report of atypical disseminated cutaneous leishmaniasis in an opium abuser in Iran]]> ABSTRACT Leishmaniasis is a worldwide tropical infectious disease caused by different species of intracellular protozoa parasites of the genus Leishmania . Herein, we report a 78-year-old man with unusual diffuse cutaneous leishmaniasis (DCL) who had a history of opium abuse and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). He had multiple papular, crusted and severely ulcerated lesions extended to his arm and chest. Direct smears and skin punch biopsy of the lesions were suggestive of leishmaniasis. Parasite DNA was amplified from ulcers, and identified as Leishmania major by PCR-RFLP, confirmed by sequencing analyses. The aim of the current study was to bring to attention this atypical form of disease in CL endemic countries. Thus, this is the first case of DCL in an opium abuser with COPD due to L. major in Northeastern Iran indicating that atypical and extensive forms of CL (DCL) owing to L. major are increasing in Iran. <![CDATA[Isolation of infectious Zika virus from a urine sample cultured in SIRC cells from a patient suspected of having rubella virus]]> ABSTRACT A great variety of viruses which cause exanthema share other clinical manifestations, making the etiologic identification a very difficult task, relying exclusively on the clinical examination. Rubella virus (RV) infection during the early stages of pregnancy can lead to serious birth defects, known as congenital rubella syndrome (CRS). In the present report, we described the presence of Zika virus (ZIKV) particles in urine samples and also ZIKV isolation in SIRC cells from the urine of a patient in acute phase of suspected rubella disease. The 50-year-old unvaccinated woman living in Sao Paulo, Brazil, was admitted to the emergency room with fever, headache, rash, arthralgia and prostration. Urine samples were collected for virus isolation and RT-qPCR. SIRC and Vero cells were inoculated with urine samples during 7 days. RT-qPCR was performed using measles virus (MV) and RV primers and both were found to be negative. After this result, RT-qPCR was performed for parvovirus B19, herpes virus 6 and ZIKV. The urine sample and the isolate were positive by Real Time PCR for ZIKV and negative for all other viruses tested. The sequences isolated are from the Asiatic lineage. <![CDATA[A case of envenomation by neotropical Opisthoglyphous snake <em>Thamnodynastes pallidus</em> (Linnaeus, 1758) (Colubridae: Dipsadinae: Tachymenini) in Brazil]]> ABSTRACT This is a case report of a bite by an Opisthoglyphous snake Thamnodynastes pallidus (Linnaeus, 1758) in an undergraduate herpetologist observed at the Universidade Federal da Paraiba (Rio Tinto, PB, Brazil). The female victim was bitten in her left hand between the index finger and the middle finger and presented symptoms of local envenomation such as bleeding, itching, pain in the wound and swelling. The patient was first seen at the University and afterwards at home during the 36 hours following the incident, when the symptoms disappeared. This is the first case report of an accident by T. pallidus in a human being in Brazil. <![CDATA[Secondary syphilis presenting as a corymbiform syphilide: case report and review]]> ABSTRACT It is essential that healthcare providers are familiar with the full spectrum of clinical presentations of syphilis. A rare manifestation of secondary syphilis is the corymbiform (or corymbose) arrangement, in which a central greater papule is surrounded by smaller satellite lesions. Very few reports of corymbiform syphilis are available in current biomedical databases. We present the case of a 28 year-old HIV-infected male patient on regular, successful antiretroviral therapy who developed an asymptomatic corymbiform maculopapular lesion in the medial aspect of the right thigh. There were also a few brownish macular lesions on the left sole. New serological tests for syphilis (which had been negative in the past) were reactive. The coymbiform lesion slowly regressed and the non-treponemal test reverted to negative after benzathine penicillin G treatment. A review of the literature is provided. This is the first report of corymbiform syphilis in an HIV-infected patient. <![CDATA[Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura associated with dengue and chikungunya virus coinfection: case report during an epidemic period]]> ABSTRACT The present report shows the occurrence of thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP) associated with acute dengue and chikungunya virus coinfection, manifesting as a severe disease with high mortality potential. The patient was a 28 year-old man with clinical and epidemiological diagnosis of arboviruses infections who developed thrombocytopenia and anemia, after which oral corticosteroid therapy was started. On the third day of hospitalization, he showed neurological alterations that simulated a cerebral vascular accident, but the imaging examination did not identify ischemic or hemorrhagic alterations. At that moment, the TTP hypothesis was raised so that plasmapheresis and corticosteroid pulse therapy were started, have been essential for the favorable evolution of the case. <![CDATA[Tinea nigra palmaris: a clinical case in a rural Ethiopian hospital]]> ABSTRACT Tinea nigra is an infrequent, superficial fungal infection, mainly caused by Hortaea werneckii, which is still underreported in Ethiopia. An asymptomatic 62-year-old male patient sought a rural hospital of Ethiopia, showing dark plaques on the palms of both hands. A superficial mycosis was suspected and a direct light microscopic mycological examination from skin scrapings revealed short brownish hyphae. To our knowledge, this is the first case of tinea nigra from the Ethiopian highlands. This may be due to the actual rarity of the condition or to underreporting. <![CDATA[Performance of cryptococcal antigen lateral flow assay in serum, cerebrospinal fluid, whole blood, and urine in HIV-infected patients with culture-proven cryptococcal meningitis admitted at a Brazilian referral center]]> ABSTRACT Cryptococcal meningitis is the most common cause of opportunistic meningitis in HIV-infected patients in Brazil and causes unacceptable high mortality rates. In this study, HIV-infected patients with a first episode of culture-proven cryptococcal meningitis in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) were prospectively included in order to evaluate sensitivity of cryptococcal antigen (CrAg) lateral flow assay (LFA) in serum, CSF, whole blood (fingerstick), and fresh urine. In addition, HIV-infected patients with other neurological confirmed diseases were included in order to evaluate the specificity of CrAg LFA in serum. Twenty patients with cryptococcal meningitis were included and in 19 of them, CrAg LFA in CSF, serum, and whole blood were positive (95% sensitivity). In 18 patients, India ink test was positive in CSF (90% sensitivity), and in 16 cases, CrAg LFA was positive in urine (80% sensitivity). Thirty-six HIV-infected patients with other neurological diseases had negative results of CrAg LFA in serum (100% specificity). In conclusion, CrAg LFA in serum, CSF, and whole blood showed high sensitivity and specificity. Whole blood CrAg LFA seems to be a good and reliable strategy to improve AIDS-related cryptococcal meningitis diagnosis in Brazil. <![CDATA[Achatina fulica infected by Angiostrongylus cantonensis on beaches, in the west zone of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil]]> ABSTRACT Angiostrongylus cantonensis is considered the main etiological agent of eosinophilic meningitis in humans. At present, this zoonosis is considered an emerging disease mainly in the Americas. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of Achatina fulica infected by Angiostrongylus cantonensis in restinga areas along beaches in the west zone of Rio de Janeiro city, Brazil. The study areas included the following beaches: Barra da Tijuca, Recreio dos Bandeirantes, Reserva, Prainha and Grumari. Ninety specimens of Achatina fulica were collected. Positive molluscs were found only in Barra da Tijuca. Infection prevalence was 5.5%. The presence of this parasite in the beachfront areas, in the west zone of Rio de Janeiro city demonstrates the potential risk of infection for visitors and the expansion of this helminth in the State of Rio de Janeiro. <![CDATA[Nontuberculous mycobacteria in milk from positive cows in the intradermal comparative cervical tuberculin test: implications for human tuberculosis infections]]> ABSTRACT Although the tuberculin test represents the main in vivo diagnostic method used in the control and eradication of bovine tuberculosis, few studies have focused on the identification of mycobacteria in the milk from cows positive to the tuberculin test. The aim of this study was to identify Mycobacterium species in milk samples from cows positive to the comparative intradermal test. Milk samples from 142 cows positive to the comparative intradermal test carried out in 4,766 animals were aseptically collected, cultivated on Lowenstein-Jensen and Stonebrink media and incubated for up to 90 days. Colonies compatible with mycobacteria were stained by Ziehl-Neelsen to detect acid-fast bacilli, while to confirm the Mycobacterium genus, conventional PCR was performed. Fourteen mycobacterial strains were isolated from 12 cows (8.4%). The hsp65 gene sequencing identified M. engbaekii (n=5), M. arupense (n=4), M. nonchromogenicum (n=3), and M. heraklionense (n=2) species belong to the Mycobacterium terrae complex. Despite the absence of M. tuberculosis complex species in the milk samples, identification of these mycobacteria highlights the risk of pathogen transmission from bovines to humans throughout milk or dairy products, since many of mycobacterial species described here have been reported in pulmonary and extrapulmonary diseases both in immunocompetent and immunocompromised people. <![CDATA[Report of East-Central South African Chikungunya virus genotype during the 2016 outbreak in the Alagoas State, Brazil]]> ABSTRACT Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) causes a self-limiting disease characterized by the onset of fever, skin rash and persistent arthralgia. In the last decade, it has emerged as a serious public health problem causing several outbreaks around the world. Here, we report the CHIKV genotype characterization during the 2016 CHIKV outbreak in Alagoas State, Brazil. Partial E1 sequence from CHIKV-positive samples coming from different cities of Alagoas were submitted to DNA sequencing followed by phylogenetic analysis thus characterizing the virus genotype. The circulating CHIKV virus in Alagoas during 2016 outbreak belongs to the East-Central South African genotype. In this way, virus genotyping to monitoring the spread of CHIKV is needed to continued surveillance supporting the development of prevention strategies, mainly in endemic areas of mosquitoes and arboviruses co-circulation. <![CDATA[Fatal case of spotted fever in a patient from Northeastern Brazil]]> ABSTRACT Spotted fevers are diseases caused by bacterial agents belonging to the spotted-fever (SF) group of the genus Rickettsia. The first documented case of SF in Pernambuco State, Northeast Brazil, was reported here. Also, it is the first case described of fatal SF in Northeast region of Brazil. The patient was a resident of Arcoverde municipality and the probable site of infection lies in Sertania municipality, both in Pernambuco State, a semi-arid region of Brazil. The patient had not visited other areas where SF is endemic. The patient showed clinical manifestations and epidemiological exposure compatible with SF, and the infection was confirmed by molecular biology techniques. <![CDATA[The interplay between mutations in cagA, 23S rRNA, gyrA and drug resistance in Helicobacter pylori]]> ABSTRACT In this study, we evaluated the mutations of Helicobacter pylori associated with resistance to clarithromycin and levofloxacin. Furthermore, based on the proposed interaction between antimicrobial resistance and pathogenicity, we correlated the mutation profiles of the strains with the presence of the pathogenicity gene cagA. We analyzed 80 gastric biopsy specimens from H. pylori-infected patients for point mutations in the 23S rRNA gene region and in the gyrA gene, which are related to clarithromycin and levofloxacin resistance, respectively, and investigated the presence of the cagA gene in these strains. We observed that in the assayed biopsies, 8.7% (7/80) had mutations in the 23S rRNA gene region at positions 2143 and 2142, while 22.5% (18/80) had mutations in gyrA at codons 87 and 91. Moreover, absence of the CagA-EPIYA pathogenicity factor was observed in 68% (17/25) of resistant samples. The knowledge of the local profile of antimicrobial resistance and the complex interplay involving resistance and pathogenicity can contribute to an appropriate clinical approach. <![CDATA[Disseminated Clonal Complex 5 (CC5) methicillin-resistant <em>Staphylococcus aureus</em> SCCmec type II in a tertiary hospital of Southern Brazil]]> ABSTRACT Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is one of the leading causes of human infections worldwide, with major dominant lineage circulating in particular geographical regions. The Brazilian Epidemic Clone (BEC, SCCmec III, ST 239) has been predominant in most Brazilian hospitals. Here, we report the prevalence of MRSA SCCmec type II exhibiting different STs, most of them belonging to CC5 in a tertiary hospital in Southern Brazil. <![CDATA[Decline in hepatitis B and C prevalence among hemodialysis patients in Tocantins, Northern Brazil]]> ABSTRACT Infection control measures have been responsible for a decline in the prevalence of hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections in hemodialysis patients. In Brazil, these measures have been in place since 1996. The aim of this study was to evaluate the current HBV and HCV epidemiology among hemodialysis patients in the State of Tocantins comparing them with those found 14 years ago. There was a significant decline in hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) and anti-HCV prevalence from 4% and 13% in 2001 to 0.8% and 2.8% in 2014-2015, respectively (p &lt; 0.05). Variables related to hemodialysis environment such as working shift and length of time on hemodialysis treatment were no longer associated to HCV and HBV exposure in 2014-2015. A high prevalence of self-reported hepatitis B vaccination was observed in both periods, but only 30% of the individuals showed serological profile of effective previous immunization, suggesting a low compliance with surveillance of hepatitis B immunization in hemodialysis centers. The significant decline in viral hepatitis B and C prevalence in hemodialysis patients in Tocantins underscores the importance of infection control measures, but the low frequency of protective serological profile after immunization against hepatitis B points to the need for greater vigilance of the patients’ vaccination. <![CDATA[A globally applicable PCR-based detection and discrimination of BK and JC polyomaviruses]]> ABSTRACT BKV and JCV belong to the Polyomaviridae family and are opportunistic agents associated with complications in immunocompromised individuals. Although a single screening assay for both viruses would be convenient, the diversity of BKV and JCV serotypes and genotypes is a methodological challenge. In this paper, we developed a PCR method able to detect and segregate BKV and JCV, despite these genetic discrepancies. A duplex semi-nested PCR (duplex snPCR) was designed to target a conserved region (639nt-1516nt) within the VP2 gene. In the first PCR, a primer set common to all BKV and JCV serotypes/ genotypes was used, followed by a semi-nested PCR with internal primers for BKV and JCV segregation. The limit of detection of the duplex snPCR was as low as 10 copies of BKV or JCV plasmids/μL. Specific products were observed when JCV and BKV plasmids were mixed in the same reaction. In field sample testing, the duplex snPCR detected and distinguished both viruses in different biological samples. Results were confirmed by Sanger's sequencing. The geographical complexity of BKV and JCV serotypes and genotypes imposes limits to a simple and universal method that could detect each virus. However, we describe here a sensitive and reliable PCR technique for BKV and JCV diagnosis that overcomes these limitations and could be universally applied. <![CDATA[Evaluation of a new brand of immunochromatographic test for visceral leishmaniasis in Brazil made available from 2018]]> ABSTRACT Immunochromatographic tests based on the recombinant antigen K39 represent a major advance in diagnosing visceral leishmaniasis (VL) in recent years. Some performance variations are expected and have occurred in the use of several commercial rapid tests, especially in different geographical settings. This is the first evaluation in the Americas of the test recently provided by the public health system in Brazil for the diagnostic of VL, the OnSite™ Leishmania IgG/IgM Combo. In this first clinical test evaluation, 113 VL-positive patient samples and 73 negative controls were tested and a sensitivity of 91.2% and specificity of 94.5% were observed. These results indicate the need for further analysis and comparisons with the performance of other available commercial tests in order to define the impact of this new test on the quality of VL diagnosis in Brazil. <![CDATA[Potential role of zinc in the visceromegaly regression and recovery of hematological parameters during treatment of visceral leishmaniasis in children from an endemic area]]> ABSTRACT Leishmaniasis is a disease complex with various clinical symptoms caused by different species of parasites of the genus Leishmania. The visceral form of the disease, characterized by severe symptoms is fatal, if not treated. The high toxicity of current antileishmanial drugs and the need for long-term treatment make the therapy complicated, especially in a large number of infected children. Hence, the search for new therapies must be intensified. Oral administration of the trace element zinc has been considered in alternative treatments against different clinical forms of leishmaniasis. This study revealed that the administration of zinc in children with visceral leishmaniasis, during treatment with amphotericin B or glucantime, accelerates the regression of the spleen enlargement without interfering with the recovery of hematological parameters. <![CDATA[Preliminary report of body lice infesting homeless people in Brazil]]> ABSTRACT Leishmaniasis is a disease complex with various clinical symptoms caused by different species of parasites of the genus Leishmania. The visceral form of the disease, characterized by severe symptoms is fatal, if not treated. The high toxicity of current antileishmanial drugs and the need for long-term treatment make the therapy complicated, especially in a large number of infected children. Hence, the search for new therapies must be intensified. Oral administration of the trace element zinc has been considered in alternative treatments against different clinical forms of leishmaniasis. This study revealed that the administration of zinc in children with visceral leishmaniasis, during treatment with amphotericin B or glucantime, accelerates the regression of the spleen enlargement without interfering with the recovery of hematological parameters. <![CDATA[Presence of <em>Bartonella</em> spp. in domestic cats from a state park in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil]]> ABSTRACT Leishmaniasis is a disease complex with various clinical symptoms caused by different species of parasites of the genus Leishmania. The visceral form of the disease, characterized by severe symptoms is fatal, if not treated. The high toxicity of current antileishmanial drugs and the need for long-term treatment make the therapy complicated, especially in a large number of infected children. Hence, the search for new therapies must be intensified. Oral administration of the trace element zinc has been considered in alternative treatments against different clinical forms of leishmaniasis. This study revealed that the administration of zinc in children with visceral leishmaniasis, during treatment with amphotericin B or glucantime, accelerates the regression of the spleen enlargement without interfering with the recovery of hematological parameters. <![CDATA[Development of the PraziCalc mobile device-app to calculate praziquantel dosage in the treatment of schistosomiasis]]> ABSTRACT Leishmaniasis is a disease complex with various clinical symptoms caused by different species of parasites of the genus Leishmania. The visceral form of the disease, characterized by severe symptoms is fatal, if not treated. The high toxicity of current antileishmanial drugs and the need for long-term treatment make the therapy complicated, especially in a large number of infected children. Hence, the search for new therapies must be intensified. Oral administration of the trace element zinc has been considered in alternative treatments against different clinical forms of leishmaniasis. This study revealed that the administration of zinc in children with visceral leishmaniasis, during treatment with amphotericin B or glucantime, accelerates the regression of the spleen enlargement without interfering with the recovery of hematological parameters. <![CDATA[Dengue in Brazil in 2017: what happened?]]> ABSTRACT Leishmaniasis is a disease complex with various clinical symptoms caused by different species of parasites of the genus Leishmania. The visceral form of the disease, characterized by severe symptoms is fatal, if not treated. The high toxicity of current antileishmanial drugs and the need for long-term treatment make the therapy complicated, especially in a large number of infected children. Hence, the search for new therapies must be intensified. Oral administration of the trace element zinc has been considered in alternative treatments against different clinical forms of leishmaniasis. This study revealed that the administration of zinc in children with visceral leishmaniasis, during treatment with amphotericin B or glucantime, accelerates the regression of the spleen enlargement without interfering with the recovery of hematological parameters. <![CDATA[Molecular detection of <em>Borrelia burgdorferi</em> in free-living golden headed lion tamarins (<em>Leontopithecus chrysomelas</em>) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil]]> ABSTRACT Leishmaniasis is a disease complex with various clinical symptoms caused by different species of parasites of the genus Leishmania. The visceral form of the disease, characterized by severe symptoms is fatal, if not treated. The high toxicity of current antileishmanial drugs and the need for long-term treatment make the therapy complicated, especially in a large number of infected children. Hence, the search for new therapies must be intensified. Oral administration of the trace element zinc has been considered in alternative treatments against different clinical forms of leishmaniasis. This study revealed that the administration of zinc in children with visceral leishmaniasis, during treatment with amphotericin B or glucantime, accelerates the regression of the spleen enlargement without interfering with the recovery of hematological parameters. <![CDATA[ERRATUM: Pathology and pathogenesis of human leptospirosis: a commented review.]]> ABSTRACT Leishmaniasis is a disease complex with various clinical symptoms caused by different species of parasites of the genus Leishmania. The visceral form of the disease, characterized by severe symptoms is fatal, if not treated. The high toxicity of current antileishmanial drugs and the need for long-term treatment make the therapy complicated, especially in a large number of infected children. Hence, the search for new therapies must be intensified. Oral administration of the trace element zinc has been considered in alternative treatments against different clinical forms of leishmaniasis. This study revealed that the administration of zinc in children with visceral leishmaniasis, during treatment with amphotericin B or glucantime, accelerates the regression of the spleen enlargement without interfering with the recovery of hematological parameters.