Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Revista do Instituto de Medicina Tropical de São Paulo]]> vol. 59 num. lang. es <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[Prevalence and titers of yellow fever virus neutralizing antibodies in previously vaccinated adults]]> ABSTRACT Introduction: The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends one single dose of the Yellow Fever (YF) vaccine based on studies of antibody persistency in healthy adults. We assessed the prevalence and titers of YF virus neutralizing antibodies in previously vaccinated persons aged ≥ 60 years, in comparison to younger adults. We also evaluated the correlation between antibody titers and the time since vaccination among participants who received one vaccine dose, and the seropositivity among participants vaccinated prior to or within the past 10 years. Methods: previously vaccinated healthy persons aged ≥ 18 years were included. YF virus neutralizing antibody titers were determined by means of the 50% Plaque Reduction Neutralization Test. Results: 46 persons aged ≥ 60 years and 48 persons aged 18 to 59 years were enrolled. There was no significant difference in the prevalence of YF virus neutralizing antibodies between the two groups (p = 0.263). However, titers were significantly lower in the elderly (p = 0.022). There was no correlation between YF virus neutralizing antibody titers and the time since vaccination. There was no significant difference in seropositivity among participants vaccinated prior to or within the past 10 years. Conclusions: the clinical relevance of the observed difference in YF virus neutralizing antibody titers between the two groups is not clear. <![CDATA[Morphological changes in the digestive system of 322 necropsies of patients with acquired immune deficiency syndrome: comparison of findings pre- and post-HAART (Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy)]]> ABSTRACT Involvement of the digestive system in AIDS pathologies or injuries is frequent. Aiming at comparing the frequency, the importance that these lesions have for death and the survival time in patients using or not using HAART, we studied 322 necropsies classified as follows: Group A - without antiretroviral drugs (185 cases); B - one or two antiretroviral drugs or HAART for less than six months (83 cases); C - HAART for six months or longer (54 cases). In the overall analysis of the digestive system, changes were present in 73.6% of cases. The most frequent was Candida infection (22.7%), followed by cytomegalovirus (19.2%), Histoplasma capsulatum (6.5%), mycobacteria (5.6%), and Toxoplasma gondii (4.3%). T. gondii infection was more frequent in group A compared with group C, and cytomegalovirus (CMV) was more frequent in group A compared with groups B and C (p &lt; 0.05); 2.2% of the deaths were due to gastrointestinal bleeding. Regarding the segments, only in the large intestine, and only cytomegalovirus, were more frequent in group A compared with group C. We conclude that digestive system infections are still frequent, even with the use of HAART. However, the average survival time in group C was more than three times greater than the one in group A and nearly double that of group B, demonstrating the clear benefit of this therapy. <![CDATA[Attraction factors for <strong><em>Paederus fuscipes</em></strong> ' dispersal, a vector of <strong><em>Paederus</em></strong> dermatitis towards human residential premises]]> ABSTRACT Paederus fuscipes, a vector of Paederus dermatitis in most tropical and subtropical countries of the world have a high prevalence in human dwellings due to their positively phototaxic behaviour which has caused a tremendous impact on human health. In this paper, P. fuscipes dispersal flights were studied for two seasons of the rice cultivation phases in residential premises built close to rice field areas (≈32-60 m and 164 m) in mainland Penang, Malaysia. We examined the effects of different light illuminance, building floor level and their association with rice stages as a focal cause of P. fuscipes dispersion from the rice fields towards human dwellings. The present study showed a significant interaction between different light illuminances and rice cultivation phases in attracting P. fuscipes to disperse and invade human dwellings. The highest number of P. fuscipes was captured near the bright light. P. fuscipes flights increased in line with each floor level, and the highest captures took place at higher building floor levels (levels 2 and 3) compared to lower building floor levels (ground floor and level 1) of a three storey apartment in both rice seasons. This finding not only conveys a better understanding on P. fuscipes dispersal pattern, but also draws public attention on the occurrence of dermatitis linearis caused by the Paederus beetles. <![CDATA[Clinical and laboratory features of HTLV-I asymptomatic carriers and patients with HTLV-I-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis from the Brazilian Amazon]]> ABSTRACT Clinical and laboratory parameters including blood and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) neopterin were investigated in human-T-lymphotropic-virus-type-I associated-myelopathy/tropical-spastic-paraparesis-HAM/TSP and in HTLV-I carriers. HAM/TSP (n = 11, 2 males/9 females, median age = 48 years), recently diagnosed HTLV-I carriers (n = 21, 15 females/6 males, median age = 44 years), healthy individuals (n = 20, 10 males/10 females, median age = 34.6 years) from the Brazilian Amazon (Manaus, Amazonas State) were investigated. Neopterin was measured (IBL ELISA Neopterin, Germany) in serum samples of all the participants, in CSF of 9 HAM/TSP patients as well as in 6 carriers. In HAM/TSP patients, CSF cell counts, protein and glucose were measured, the Osame’s motor-disability-score/OMDS was determined, and brain/spinal cord magnetic-resonance-imaging (MRI) was performed. HAM/TSP patients had normal CSF glucose, leukocyte counts; and normal protein levels predominated. Brain-MRI showed white-matter lesions in 7 out of 11 HAM/TSP patients. OMDS varied from 2-8: 9 were able to walk, 2 were wheel-chair-users. The median serum neopterin concentration in HAM/TSP patients was 6.6 nmol/ L; min. 2.8- max. 12.5 nmol/ L); was lower in carriers (4.3 nmol/L; min. 2.7- max. 7.2 nmol/ L) as well as in healthy participants (4.7 nmol/ L; min. 2.7- max. 8.0 nmol/ L) (p &lt; 0.05). CSF neopterin concentrations in HAM/TSP patients were higher than in serum samples, and higher compared to carriers (p &lt; 0.05). Carriers had similar serum-CSF neopterin concentrations compared to healthy participants. Variable clinical and laboratory profiles were seen in HAM/TSP patients, however our results support the neopterin measurement as a potential biomarker of disease activity. <![CDATA[<em>In vitro</em> efficacy of latex and purified papain from <em>Carica papaya</em> against <em>Strongyloides venezuelensis</em> eggs and larvae]]> ABSTRACT Latex from Carica papaya is rich in bioactive compounds, especially papain, which may help to control parasitic diseases. This study evaluated the efficacy of latex from C. papaya and purified papain against Strongyloides venezuelensis. The Egg Hatching Test (EHT) and the Larval Motility Test (LMT) using fresh and frozen latex (250mg/mL), lyophilized latex (34mg/mL), and purified papain (2.8 mg/mL) were performed. Albendazole (0.025 mg/mL) and ivermectin (316 ppm) were used as positive controls. EHT and LMT were carried out through the incubation of each solution with S. venezuelensis eggs or larvae (± 100 specimens), and results were analyzed after 48h (EHT) or 24, 48, and 72h (LMT). EHT showed that latex preparations at higher concentrations (1:10 to 1:100) resulted in partial or complete destruction of eggs and larvae inside the eggs. The result from the 1:1,000 dilution was similar to the positive control. LMT showed effectiveness in all the tested dilutions compared to negative controls. Purified papain showed a dose-dependent response in the EHT. Purified papain (2.8 mg/ mL) showed similar results to lyophilized latex at 1:1,000 in the EHT. Latex and purified papain from C. papaya were effective against S. venezuelensis eggs and larvae in vitro, suggesting their potential use as an alternative treatment for strongyloidiasis. <![CDATA[Synthesis and biological evaluation of novel imidazolidine derivatives as candidates to schistosomicidal agents]]> ABSTRACT Introduction: Schistosomiasis is an infectious parasitic disease caused by trematodes of the genus Schistosoma, which threatens at least 258 million people worldwide and its control is dependent on a single drug, praziquantel. The aim of this study was to evaluate the anti-Schistosoma mansoni activity in vitro of novel imidazolidine derivatives. Material and methods: We synthesized two novel imidazolidine derivatives: (LPSF/PTS10) (Z)-1-(2-chloro-6-fluorobenzyl)-4-(4-dimethylaminobenzylidene)-5-thioxoimidazolidin-2-one and (LPSF/PTS23) (Z)-1-(2-chloro-6-fluoro-benzyl)-5-thioxo-4-(2,4,6-trimethoxy-benzylidene)-imidazolidin-2-one. The structures of two compounds were determined by spectroscopic methods. During the biological assays, parameters such as motility, oviposition, mortality and analysis by Scanning Electron Microscopy were performed. Results: LPSF/PTS10 and LPSF/PTS23 were considered to be active in the separation of coupled pairs, mortality and to decrease the motor activity. In addition, LPSF/PTS23 induced ultrastructural alterations in worms, after 24 h of contact, causing extensive erosion over the entire body of the worms. Conclusion: The imidazolidine derivatives containing the trimetoxy and benzylidene halogens showed promising in vitro schistosomicidal activity. <![CDATA[Genetic variability of populations of <em>Nyssomyia neivai</em> in the <em>Northern State of Paraná</em>, Brazil]]> ABSTRACT The genetic study of sandfly populations needs to be further explored given the importance of these insects for public health. Were sequenced the NDH4 mitochondrial gene from populations of Nyssomyia neivai from Doutor Camargo, Lobato, Japira, and Porto Rico, municipalities in the State of Paraná, Brazil, to understand the genetic structure and gene flow. Eighty specimens of Ny. Neivai were sequenced, 20 from each municipality, and 269 base pairs were obtained. A total of 27 haplotypes and 28 polymorphic sites were found, along with a haplotypic diversity of 0.80696 and a nucleotide diversity of 0.00567. Haplotype H5, with 33 specimens, was the most common among the four populations. Only haplotypes H5 and H7 were present in all four populations. The population from Doutor Camargo showed the highest genetic diversity, and only this population shared haplotypes with those from the other municipalities. The highest number of haplotypes was sheared with Lobato which also had the highest number of unique haplotypes. This probably occurred because of constant anthropic changes that happened in the environment during the first half of the twentieth century, mainly after 1998. There was no significant correlation between genetic and geographical distances regarding these populations. However, the highest genetic and geographical distances, and the lowest gene flow were observed between Japira and Porto Rico. Geographical distance is a possible barrier between these municipalities through the blocking of haplotype sharing. <![CDATA[Epidemiological aspects of American cutaneous leishmaniasis (ACL) in an endemic area of forest extractivist culture in western Brazilian Amazonia]]> ABSTRACT The study sought to analyze clinical and epidemiological aspects of cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) in Xapuri, Acre, Brazil. Data from 2008 to 2014 registered in the notification records of the disease of the Information System of the Complaints of Notification (SINAN), and the data of the Information Department of the Unified Health System (DATASUS) available from 2007 to 2013 were used and analyzed in the light of the statistics of the temporal series by the Prais-Winsten method and chi-squared test. A total of 906 cases were registered with 60.2% occurring in men and 39.7% in women. The groups from 0 to 4 years of age (48.0%) and from 5 to 19 years of age (23.3%) were the most affected. Regarding the clinical forms, 77.7% presented CL and 22.3% mucocutaneous leishmaniasis (MCL). Among the 896 cases with information on the diagnostic methods used, Montenegro’s skin test predominated (66.4%), with a positive result of 95.8% for CL and 99.3% for MCL. Treatment with N-methylglucamine antimony was performed in 99.4% of the cases, but discontinuously used in the majority of patients. This study presents information which may be used as a tool for the epidemiological surveillance and control of the disease in Xapuri, a region which depends essentially on forest resources and ecological tourism. <![CDATA[The epidemiology of cryptococcosis and the characterization of <em>Cryptococcus neoformans</em> isolated in a Brazilian University Hospital]]> ABSTRACT Cryptococcosis, a systemic disease caused by the fungus Cryptococcus neoformans/ Cryptococcus gattii is more severe in immunocompromised individuals. This study aimed to analyze the epidemiology of the disease, the molecular characteristics and the antifungal susceptibility of C. neoformans isolated from patients treated in a Brazilian university hospital. This retrospective study was conducted in the Clinical Hospital, Federal University of Uberlândia, and evaluated cases of cryptococcosis and strains of C. neoformans isolated from 2004 to 2013. We evaluated 41 patients, 85% of whom were diagnosed with AIDS. The fungus was isolated from the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of 21 patients (51%); 19.5% had fungemia and in 24% the agent was isolated from the CSF and blood, concurrently. Meningoencephalitis was the most frequent (75%) manifestation of infection. Despite adequate treatment, the mortality of the disease was 58.5%. Most isolates (97.5%) presented the VNI genotype (serotype A, var. grubii) and one isolate was genotyped as C. gattii (VGI); all the isolates were determined as mating type MATa and showed susceptibility to the tested antifungals (fluconazole, voriconazole, amphotericin B and 5-flucytosine). Although AIDS detection rates remain stable, opportunistic infections such as cryptococcosis remain as major causes of morbidity and mortality in these patients. <![CDATA[Phenotypic and genotypic detection of <em>Candida albicans</em> and <em>Candida dubliniensis</em> strains isolated from oral mucosa of AIDS pediatric patients]]> ABSTRACT The aim of this study was to assess a collection of yeasts to verify the presence of Candida dubliniensis among strains isolated from the oral mucosa of AIDS pediatric patients which were initially characterized as Candida albicans by the traditional phenotypic method, as well as to evaluate the main phenotypic methods used in the discrimination between the two species and confirm the identification through genotypic techniques, i.e., DNA sequencing. Twenty-nine samples of C. albicans isolated from this population and kept in a fungi collection were evaluated and re-characterized. In order to differentiate the two species, phenotypic tests (Thermotolerance tests, Chromogenic medium, Staib agar, Tobacco agar, Hypertonic medium) were performed and genotypic techniques using DNA sequencing were employed for confirmation of isolated species. Susceptibility and specificity were calculated for each test. No phenotypic test alone was sufficient to provide definitive identification of C. dubliniensis or C. albicans, as opposed to results of molecular tests. After amplification and sequencing of specific regions of the 29 studied strains, 93.1% of the isolates were identified as C. albicans and 6.9% as C. dubliniensis. The Staib agar assay showed a higher susceptibility (96.3%) in comparison with other phenotypic techniques. Therefore, genotypic methods are indispensable for the conclusive identification and differentiation between these species. <![CDATA[Scientometrics of zoonoses transmitted by the giant African snail <strong><em>Achatina fulica</em></strong> Bowdich, 1822]]> ABSTRACT The dissemination of the giant African snail Achatina fulica in several countries has triggered a great number of studies on the mollusk, including those on zoonoses related to health in humans. The current research is a scientific survey on articles published in four databases, namely, PubMed, Bireme, Scielo and Lilacs. Results indicate that Brazil has a prominent position in international scientific production on this subject, with focus on Angiostrongylus cantonensis occurrences. <![CDATA[Short and long term evaluation of the efficiency of PermaNet<sup>®</sup> 2.0 bed net against environmental factors and washing using bioassay tests]]> ABSTRACT The aim of the present study was to examine the resistance of PermaNet® 2.0 bed nets against repeated washing and environmental factors by using bioassay tests. After 5, 15 and 21 washings with detergents and by using bioassay tests, the resistance of 40 PermaNet® 2.0 bed nets was compared with that of 40 bed nets conventionally treated with one K-O tablet. To examine the long-term resistance, 31 PermaNet® 2.0 bed nets were also distributed among villagers, and were re-collected to perform bioassay tests after 1, 2 and 5 years. In the first phase of this study, the insecticidal effect of the conventionally-treated nets significantly decreased due to repeated washings (P &lt; 0.001); however, it was not significant regarding PermaNet® 2.0 bed nets (P = 0.92 in continuous exposure and P = 0.12 in mortality tests). In the long-term phase of this study, the time required for knockdown of PermaNet® 2.0 increased over the first 2 years and then decreased. In addition, the mortality rate decreased over the first 2 years and then increased. In conclusion, it seems that the technique used by the manufacturer for impregnation of PermaNet® 2.0 bed nets has an acceptable efficiency in comparison with conventional techniques. <![CDATA[Knowledge, attitudes and perceptions regarding lymphatic filariasis: study on systematic noncompliance with mass drug administration]]> ABSTRACT The aim of this study was to investigate the epidemiological characteristics, antigenic profile, perceptions, attitudes and practices of individuals who have been systematically non-compliant in mass drug administration (MDA) campaigns targeting lymphatic filariasis, in the municipality of Olinda, State of Pernambuco, Northeastern Brazil. A pretested questionnaire was used to obtain information on socioenvironmental demographics, perceptions of lymphatic filariasis and MDA, and reasons for systematic noncompliance with treatment. A rapid immunochromatographic test (ICT) was performed during the survey to screen for filariasis. It was found that the survey subjects knew about filariasis and MDA. Filariasis was identified as a disease (86.2%) and 74.4% associated it with the presence of swelling in the legs. About 80% knew about MDA, and the main source of information was healthcare workers (68.3%). For men the main reasons for systematic noncompliance with MDA were that “the individual had not received the medication” (p=0.03) and for women “the individual either feared experiencing adverse reactions”. According to the ICT, the prevalence of lymphatic filariasis was 2%. The most important causes of systematic noncompliance were not receiving the drug and fear of side-effects. For successful implementation of MDA programs, good planning, educational campaigns promoting the benefits of MDA, adoption of measures to minimize the impact of adverse effects and improvement of drug distribution logistics are needed. <![CDATA[Hemostatic disorders induced by skin contact with <em>Lonomia obliqua</em> (Lepidoptera, Saturniidae) caterpillars]]> ABSTRACT Patients envenomed by Lonomia sp caterpillars initially experience a mild burning pain, headache, nausea, vomiting, and skin and mucosal hemorrhages. Some patients can rapidly progress to a severe coagulopathy that presents as visceral or intracerebral hemorrhaging. We studied the hemostatic alterations that occurred in 14 patients who were envenomed by Lonomia obliqua in Southern Brazil and presented at the Hospital São Vicente de Paulo (Passo Fundo, RS), Brazil during the summers of 1993 and 1994 when Lonomia antivenom was not yet available for treatment. The patients were classified into to 4 clinical groups: 0 (two patients), I (eight patients), II (two patients), and III (two patients). The patients were admitted to the hospital between 4 hours and five days after contact with the caterpillars. In this study, the coagulation parameters of the patients were followed up for up to 172 hours after the accidents. The patients received no treatment with the exceptions of two patients who received blood transfusions and antifibrinolytic treatment. The observed abnormalities related to blood coagulation and fibrinolytic factors were similar regardless of the severity of the bleeding symptoms. These findings suggest that alterations in hemostatic parameters without thrombocytopenia are not predictors of the seriousness of such accidents. Thus, consumptive disorder and reactive fibrinolysis are not proportional to mild coagulopathy. Furthermore, these patients recovered. The hemostatic parameters of most of the patients normalized between 96 and 120 h after the accident. <![CDATA[Entomological survey in the state of <em>Piauí</em>, Northeastern Brazil, reveals intradomiciliary colonization of <em>Triatoma brasiliensis macromelasoma</em>]]> ABSTRACT This survey aimed to assess the presence of triatomine vectors of Chagas disease within the rural communities of São João do Piauí, Northeast Brazil. Intradomiciliary and peridomiciliary collection strategies were implemented wherein 279 specimens of Triatoma brasiliensis macromelasoma, both nymph and adult were found in 15 (50%) of the studied homes. Of the intradomiciliary insects, 73 (67.6%) were identified as nymph instars (1st instar [N1]= 6, N2= 14, N3= 28, N4= 7 and N5= 18). In the studied communities, a continuous interaction between triatomine bugs and humans could be shown. It is therefore urgent that suitable strategies for the control of the triatomine vector are implemented in this area. <![CDATA[Association of outcomes with comprehension, adherence and behavioral characteristics of tuberculosis patients using fixed-dose combination therapy in Contagem, Minas Gerais, Brazil]]> ABSTRACT The present study aimed to assess the association of outcomes with comprehension, adherence and behavioral characteristics of tuberculosis (TB) patients using fixed-dose combination (FDC) therapy in the city of Contagem, MG, Brazil. This study used standardized questionnaires to collect data. Outcomes included cure in 77.2% (64/ 83), noncompliance with treatment in 20.4% (17/ 83), and absence of organ failure or death cases. The rate of adherence to treatment was high (71.1% - 59/ 83), while the level of comprehension of the treatment was insufficient for the majority of patients (72.3% - 60/ 83). When a greater number of medicines was used, the chance of noncompliance with treatment increased exponentially (p = 0.00 - OR 1.72). Light-skinned black patients, alcoholics and those who live with HIV/ AIDS showed a significant association with noncompliance with treatment (p=0.039 - OR 3.38, p=0.002 - OR 4.68, and p=0.001 - OR 9.68, respectively). Comprehension also presented a significant association with noncompliance with treatment (p=0.01 and OR 5.76 and CI 1.49-22.29). The probability of noncompliance with treatment in the first few months was greater than in the subsequent months. This study demonstrates that if the TB patients had a better understanding of the treatment, the outcome would have been more favorable as regards a proper cure. <![CDATA[Oral Candida spp carriage and periodontal diseases in HIV-infected patients in Ribeirão Preto, Brazil]]> ABSTRACT The majority of HIV-infected patients develop Candida spp-associated clinical oral lesions. Studies have shown that asymptomatic oral colonization of Candida spp may lead to oral lesions or become a source of disseminated infections. The aim of this study was to verify the effects of periodontal conditions on Candida spp prevalence and Candida spp carriage in the oral cavity of HIV-infected patients compared to non-infected patients. Twenty-five patients not infected with HIV and 48 HIV-infected patients were classified according to periodontal conditions as being periodontal healthy or with periodontal disease. Candida spp carriage and classification were performed in oral rinse samples. Viral load and CD4+ T lymphocyte (CD4+L) counts were performed in blood samples from HIV-infected patients. No differences in Candida spp prevalence related to HIV status or periodontal condition were detected. However, Candida spp carriage was increased in periodontally affected HIV-infected patients when compared to periodontally healthy HIV-infected patients (p= 0.04). Periodontally healthy HIV-infected patients presented Candida spp carriage in similar levels as healthy or periodontally affected non-HIV-infected patients. Candida spp carriage was correlated with CD4+L counting in HIV-infected patients. We concluded that periodontal disease is associated with increased Candida spp carriage in HIV-infected patients and may be a predisposing factor to clinical manifestations of candidiasis. <![CDATA[Immune development in HIV-exposed uninfected children born to HIV-infected women]]> ABSTRACT Immunological and clinical findings suggestive of some immune dysfunction have been reported among HIV-exposed uninfected (HEU) children and adolescents. Whether these defects are persistent or transitory is still unknown. HEU pediatric population at birth, 12 months, 6-12 years were evaluated in comparison to healthy age-matched HIV-unexposed controls. Plasma levels of LPS, sCD14, cytokines, lymphocyte immunophenotyping and T-cell receptor excision circles (TREC) were assessed. HEU and controls had similar LPS levels, which remained low from birth to 6-12 years; for plasma sCD14, IL-2, IL-6, IL-7, IL-10, IL-12p70, IL-13, IL-17, IFN-γ, TNF-α, G-CSF, GM-CSF and MCP-1, which increased from birth to 12 months and then decreased at 6-12 years; and for TREC/106 PBMC at birth in HEU and controls. By contrast, plasma MIP-1β levels were lower in HEU than in controls (p=0.009) at 12 months, and IL-4 levels were higher in HEU than controls (p=0.04) at 6-12 years. Immune activation was higher in HEU at 12 months and at 6-12 years than controls based on frequencies of CD38+HLA-DR+CD8+T cells (p=0.05) and of CD38+HLA-DR+CD4+T cells (p=0.006). Resting memory and activated mature B cells increased from birth to 6-12 years in both groups. The development of the immune system in vertically HEU individuals is comparable to the general population in most parameters, but subtle or transient differences exist. Their role in influencing clinical incidences in HEU is unknown. <![CDATA[Knowledge and perceptions on toxoplasmosis among pregnant women and nurses who provide prenatal in primary care]]> ABSTRACT Background Toxoplasmosis is an infection that affects almost a third of the world population. In adults, it is often asymptomatic, although having important manifestation in children- infected by placental transmission. The prenatal is an important moment, requiring actions in women’s care during pregnancy, in order to prevent diseases that could compromise the mother and the child’s life. Methods This is a descriptive study of qualitative approach aimed to understand the perception of nurses and pregnant women about toxoplasmosis during primary – prenatal care. The study was conducted in five selected primary health care units, in the municipality of São Luis - MA. The sample consisted of 15 nurses working in nursing consultation and 15 pregnant women attended in prenatal care. For data collection, a semi-structured questionnaire and an interview guide covering issues related to knowledge and conduct on toxoplasmosis were used. For analysis, the content analysis technique was used. Results The answers were transcribed, organized and grouped thematically, where the following categories emerged: knowledge about examination requests; knowledge about toxoplasmosis; guidance during prenatal consultation; knowledge of nurses about the avidity test; procedures and guidelines on reagent cases. Pregnant women showed unawareness about toxoplasmosis and its effects. Nurses, although having basic knowledge about the subject, showed little applicability regarding pregnant women’s guidance. Conclusion The nurse plays an important role in educational activities regarding pregnant women, contributing to the quality of prenatal care. Pregnant women were shown to have some knowledge about toxoplasmosis, although they said they did not have assurance about prevention. <![CDATA[Sporotrichoid leishmaniasis: a cross-sectional clinical, epidemiological and laboratory study in Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil]]> ABSTRACT Background Atypical presentations of cutaneous leishmaniasis include sporotrichoid leishmaniasis (SL), which is clinically described as a primary ulcer combined with lymphangitis and nodules and/or ulcerated lesions along its pathway. Aims To assess the differences between patients with sporotrichoid leishmaniasis and typical cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL). Methods From January 2004 to December 2010, 23 cases of SL (4.7%) were detected among 494 CL patients diagnosed at a reference center for the disease in Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil. These 23 cases were compared with the remaining 471 patients presenting CL. Results SL predominated in female patients (60.9%, p = 0.024), with older age (p = 0.032) and with lesions in upper limbs (52.2%, p = 0.028). CL affected more men (64.5%), at younger age, and with a higher number of lesions exclusively in lower limbs (34.8%). Conclusions Differences in clinical and epidemiological presentation were found between SL patients as compared to CL ones, in a region with a known predominance of Leishmania (Viannia) braziliensis. The results are similar to the features of most of the sporotrichosis patients as described in literature, making the differential diagnosis between ATL and sporotrichosis more important in overlapping areas for both diseases, like in Rio de Janeiro State. <![CDATA[Efficiency of noninvasive sampling methods (swab) together with Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) for diagnosing American Tegumentary Leishmaniasis]]> ABSTRACT Traditional diagnostic methods used to detect American Tegumentary Leishmaniasis, such as histopathology using biopsy samples, culture techniques, and direct search for parasites, have low sensitivity and require invasive collection procedures. This study evaluates the efficiency of noninvasive sampling methods (swab) along with Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) for diagnosing American Tegumentary Leishmaniasis using skin and mucous samples from 25 patients who had tested positive for leishmaniasis. The outcome of the tests performance on swab samples was compatible with PCR results on biopsy samples. The findings have also shown that PCR-kDNA test is more efficient than PCR-HSP70 and qPCR tests (sensitivity of 92.3%, 40.7%, and 41%, respectively). Given the high sensitivity of the tests and the fact that the sampling method using swabs affords greater patient comfort and safety, it could be said that this method is a promising alternative to conventional biopsy-based methods for the molecular diagnosis of leishmaniasis. <![CDATA[The performance of serological tests for <em>Leishmania infantum</em> infection screening in dogs depends on the prevalence of the disease]]> ABSTRACT Dogs are considered the main reservoir of Leishmania infantum. This protozoan causes visceral leishmaniasis (VL), an uncontrolled urban zoonosis in Brazil. Serological tests and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) on peripheral blood were performed to identify infected dogs in scenarios of higher and lower prevalence of the disease (Teresina and Vitória). One-hundred infected and 57 non-infected animals from Teresina and 100 non-infected animals from Vitória were studied. Animal selection was not dependent on previous serology. The sensitivity (Teresina) and specificity (Teresina and Vitória) were as follows: indirect antibody fluorescence (IFAT) cut-off of 1:40 (IFAT 1:40): 96%, 18%, and 76%; IFAT 1:80: 90%, 33%, and 93%; direct agglutination test (DAT): 96%, 33%, and 98%; fast agglutination screening test (FAST): 93%, 68%, and 100%; immunochromatographic assay with a recombinant rK39 antigen (rK39): 88%, 74%, and 98%; enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA): 91%, 79%, and 98%; rapid dual-path platform test (TR DPP®): 98%, 60%, and 98%; and blood PCR: 29%, 93%, and 97%, respectively. In the high transmission area, none of the tests adequately discriminated L. infantum-infected from non-infected dogs. However, in the high transmission city, the area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve of FAST, DAT, ICrK39, ELISA and TR DPP® was high. <![CDATA[Virulence factors and genetic variability of vaginal Candida albicans isolates from HIV-infected women in the post-highly active antiretroviral era]]> ABSTRACT Vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC) in HIV-infected (HIV+) women is a serious public health problem. However, little is known about the virulence mechanisms of vaginal Candida albicans from HIV+ women in the post-highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) era. Here, we report a comparative analysis of the expression of key virulence factors and genetic variability of 26 vaginal C. albicans strains isolated from HIV+ women undergoing HAART and 18 from HIV-uninfected (HIV-) women. In general, we observed that C. albicans from HIV+ women receiving HAART showed lower expression of virulence factors compared with C. albicans from HIV- women, except for the proteinase activity which is highly expressed. The results in HIV-women further suggest that virulence factors appear to be expressed in response to the yeast stress, in the presence of an adequate immune response. Furthermore, the RAPD results showed a high heterogeneity among isolates from both groups of women. These findings in HIV+ women using HAART will help to improve the monitoring of vaginal yeast infections and the quality of life of patients. <![CDATA[Rotavirus genotypes as etiological agents of diarrhoea in general populations of two geographic regions of Brazil]]> ABSTRACT Rotavirus is the main global cause of severe childhood diarrhoea among children. In 2006, Rotarix® (G1P[8]) was introduced into Brazil’s National Immunization Program. The vaccine coverage rate was 84.4% in 2009. Evidences of increasing G2P[4] after 2006 opened up the discussion about the vaccine effectiveness to non-G1 strains. The aim of this study was to identify the circulating rotavirus genotypes in two Brazilian regions during 2009. A total of 223 positive samples by immunochromatography and latex agglutination assay from the Northeast (Bahia/Pernambuco States) and Southeast (São Paulo/Rio de Janeiro States) regions were included in the study. The samples were submitted to genotyping by nested-PCR according to VP7(G) and VP4(P) and 175 samples (78.5%) were able to be characterized. Considering the characterization of VP7, the G-types detected were G1, G2, and G4 in the Northeast, and G2, G3, G5, and G9 in the Southeast. Considering the characterization of VP4, the P-types detected were P[4], P[8], and P[6]/P[9] in the Northeast and the Southeast. The most frequent mixed types found were G2P[4]/G2P[NT](81.4%), G2P[6](5.2%), G1P[6](5.2%) in the Northeast, and G2P[4]/G2P[NT](78.8%), G2P[6](8.2%), G9P[8](4.7%) in the Southeast. Among immunized individuals whose age ranged from 0-4 years, the G2P[4]/G2P[NT] genotype was identified in 91,0% of cases, and among non-immunized individuals of the same age, the G2P[4]/G2P[NT] genotype was identified in 85.7% of the cases. In accordance with the high level of vaccine coverage, the data suggest that the circulation of G2P[4] in these regions had a considerable increase after the introduction of Rotarix®. <![CDATA[Prevalence of Hepatitis B and C virus infection among alcoholic individuals: importance of screening and vaccination]]> ABSTRACT Drug users have been reported to have an increased risk for acquisition of viral hepatitis. This study aims to evaluate the prevalence of HBV and HCV infection and usefulness of saliva for HBsAg and anti-HCV detection in alcoholic patients.A total of 90 alcoholic patients were recruited in 2013. HBsAg and anti-HCV were tested in serum and saliva, anti-HBc and anti-HBs were tested in serum using commercial enzyme immunoassays (EIA).Using serum samples, anti-HCV, HBsAg, anti-HBc and anti-HBs prevalences were 5.6%, 0%, 15.7%, and 29.2%. HBsAg detection in saliva showed 100% of specificity and anti-HCV detection demonstrated 100% of sensitivity and 94.7% of specificity. Low prevalence of HBV and high prevalence of anti-HCV were found and reinforced the recommendation of HBV vaccination to avoid the acute and chronic cases and HCV screening in this group to identify cases for antiviral therapy. Saliva samples could be used for anti-HCV detection in this population, what could increase the diagnosis access. <![CDATA[Cryptococcus neoformans and C. gattii isolates from both HIV-infected and uninfected patients: antifungal susceptibility and outcome of cryptococcal disease]]> ABSTRACT One of the factors causing treatment failure in cryptococcosis is the resistance of Cryptococcus spp. to antifungal drugs, which has motivated the susceptibility assessment of isolates from patients with cryptococcosis, different clinical conditions and infections outcomes. Clinical isolates of Cryptococcus spp. from three different groups of patients were studied in the present investigation: 19 HIV-positive patients with relapsing and/or refractory meningitis (Group 1), 30 HIV-positive patients who experienced a single and limited episode of cryptococcosis (Group 2), and 19 HIV-negative patients with cryptococcosis (Group 3). Eighty C. neoformans var. grubii isolates and 7 C. gattii isolates were studied. The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of amphotericin B, azole drugs and flucytosine was determined for Cryptococcus spp. by broth microdilution test and E-test. The MIC50 and MIC90 were 0.25 and 0.50 µg/mL for amphotericin B, 4.0 and 8.0 µg /mL for fluconazole, 0.06 and 0.25 µg/mL for itraconazole, 0.25 and 0.50 µg/mL for voriconazole, and 8.0 and 16.0 µg/mL for flucytosine, respectively. Amphotericin B and itraconazole showed higher MICs for C. neoformans var. grubii and C. gattii, respectively. The MICs of fluconazole and itraconazole obtained with the E-test were higher than those obtained with broth microdilution. Isolates from non-HIV coinfected were less sensitive to the azoles. There was no difference in the susceptibility of C. neoformans var. grubii isolates from patients with a favorable or unfavorable outcome or along the episodes of relapsing and/or refractory meningitis. <![CDATA[Intelligent monitoring of Aedes aegypti in a rural area of Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil]]> ABSTRACT The aim of this research was to monitor the presence of females of Aedes aegypti (Linnaeus, 1762) on the Seropédica municipality, Rio de Janeiro State, from 2010 to 2013. For this purpose, the Intelligent Dengue Monitoring (IM-Dengue) and Intelligent Virus Monitoring (IM-Virus) developed by Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (Ecovec – Minas Gerais, Brazil), were used. IM-Dengue is a tool that allows achieving a weekly overview of A. aegypti infestation, while IM-Virus is another tool that allows detecting dengue virus directly from the mosquito, by Real Time-PCR. Both tools were developed for diagnosis in a prepathogenesis period of the disease, before infection occurrence. Traps were distributed in 19 locations inside the municipality and the bugs were collected weekly during the years of the research. As a result, the presence of 163 females of A. aegypti was recorded over the period; there was no circulation of the virus in the municipality. In one of the 19 study sites, a high degree of disease transmission risk was verified. The study concluded that the municipality, as a whole, showed no risk of disease transmission throughout the field research period. <![CDATA[The epidemiology of snakebite in the Rio Grande do Norte State, Northeastern Brazil]]> ABSTRACT This report is a retrospective study of the epidemiology of snakebite cases recorded from 2007 to 2014 in the Rio Grande do Norte State, northeastern Brazil. Data was collected from the Injury Notification Information System database of the Health Department of Rio Grande do Norte. A total of 3,019 cases were studied. Cases were distributed over all months of the period studied and occurred mainly in rural areas. Snakes of the genus Bothrops, Crotalus, Micrurus, Lachesis and non-venomous snakes were responsible for 1,507, 185, 52, 6 and 673 cases, respectively. Snakebites predominated in males with age between 10 and 29 years old. Most victims were bitten on the feet and received medical assistance within 1-3 h after being bitten. Cases were mostly classified as mild and progressed to cure. Envenomation by snakebite in Rio Grande do Norte is an environmental public health problem that needs to be monitored and controlled throughout the year. Additionally, the training of health professionals is urgent in order to improve the registration of epidemiological information and medical care to victims. <![CDATA[Enveloped and non-enveloped viral-like particles in Trypanosoma cruzi epimastigotes]]> ABSTRACT Electron microscopy is routinely used to identify viral infections in protozoan parasites. These viruses have been described as non-enveloped and icosahedral structures with a diameter of 30-60 nm. Most of them are classified within the non-segmented dsRNA Totiviridae family. We observed virus-like particles (VLPs) through transmission electron microscopy in the cytoplasm of Trypanosoma cruzi epimastigotes grown in cultures. Clusters of electrodense enveloped VLPs having a diameter of 48 nm were also observed. These clusters appear to have been released from distended Golgi cisternae. Furthermore, a paracrystalline array of electrodense, non-enveloped VLPs (with a diameter of 32 nm) were found in distended Golgi cisternae or as smaller clusters at a distance from the RE or Golgi. We cannot rule out that the 48 nm enveloped VLPs belong to the ssRNA Flaviviridae family because they are within its size range. The localization of enveloped VLPs is consistent with the replication strategy of these viruses that transit through the Golgi to be released at the cell surface. Due to the size and shape of the 32 nm non-enveloped VLPs, we propose that they belong to the dsRNA Totiviridae family. This is the first description of cytoplasmic enveloped and non-enveloped VLPs in T. cruzi epimastigotes. <![CDATA[Socioenvironmental conditions and intestinal parasitic infections in Brazilian urban slums: a cross-sectional study]]> ABSTRACT Intestinal parasitic infections (IPIs) are neglected diseases with limited data regarding prevalence in Brazil and many other countries. In increasingly urban societies, investigating the profile and socioenvironmental determinants of IPIs in the general population of slum dwellers is necessary for establishing appropriate public policies catered to these environments. This study assessed the socioenvironmental conditions and prevalence of IPIs in slums of Rio de Janeiro, RJ State, Brazil. Methods A cross-sectional study covering an agglomeration of urban slums was conducted between 2015 and 2016 using participants observation, a socioeconomic survey, and the spontaneous sedimentation method with three slides per sample to analyze fresh stool specimens ( n =595) searching for intestinal parasites. Results Endolimax nana ( n =95, 16.0%) and Entamoeba coli ( n =65, 10.9%) were the most frequently identified agents, followed by Giardia intestinalis ( n =24, 4.0%) and Ascaris lumbricoides ( n =11, 1.8%). Coinfections caused by E. nana and E. histolytica/dispar and by Entamoeba coli/A. lumbricoides were significant. The use of piped water as drinking water, the presence of A. lumbricoides , and contamination with coliform bacteria and Escherichia coli were more common in major area (MA) 1. Children (0-19 years) had a greater chance of living in poverty (OR 3.36; 95% CI: 2.50- 4.52; p &lt;0.001) which was pervasive. The predominance of protozoa parasites suggests that a one-size-fits-all approach focusing on preventive chemotherapy for soil-transmitted helminths is not appropriate for all communities in developing countries. It is important that both residents and health professionals consider the socioenvironmental conditions of urban slums when assessing intestinal parasitic infections for disease control and health promotion initiatives. <![CDATA[Environmental aspects related to tuberculosis and intestinal parasites in a low-income community of the Brazilian Amazon]]> ABSTRACT We carried out a cross-sectional study from January to December 2015 on 1,425 inhabitants from a floating population in the Brazilian Amazon (Murinin district, Pará State) to describe the population-based prevalence of tuberculosis (TB) from 2011 to 2014, recent TB contacts (rCts) latently infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis (LTBI) , the coverage of the local health network, socio-environmental factors, and frequency of intestinal parasitic infection (IPI). We found that the sanitary structure was inadequate, with latrines being shared with other rooms within the same accommodation; well water was the main source of water, and 48% of families had low incomes. The average rate of TB was 105/100, 000 inhabitants per year; one third of TB patients had been household contacts of infected individuals in the past, and 23% of rCts were LTBI. More than half (65%) of 44% of the stools examined (representing 76% of the housing) had IPIs; the highest prevalence was of fecal-oral transmitted protozoa (40%, Giardia intestinalis ), followed by soil-transmitted helminths (23%). TB transmission may be related to insufficient disease control of rCts, frequent relocation, and underreporting. Education, adopting hygienic habits, improving sanitation, provision of a treated water supply and efficient sewage system, further comprehensive epidemiological surveillance of those who enter and leave the community and resources for basic treatment of IPIs are crucial in combating the transmission of these neglected diseases. <![CDATA[Epidemiological study of scorpion stings in the Rio Grande do Norte State, Northeastern Brazil]]> ABSTRACT This communication is a retrospective epidemiological study of the scorpion sting cases recorded from 2007 to 2014 in the Rio Grande do Norte State, Northeastern Brazil. The data was collected from the Injury Notification Information System database of the Health Department of Rio Grande do Norte State. A total of 20,555 cases were studied. The cases were distributed over all months of the period studied and occurred mainly in urban areas. Victims were predominantly 20-29 year-old women. Most victims were stung on the foot and received medical care within 1-3 h after being stung. The cases were mostly classified as mild and progressed to cure. Scorpion stings in Rio Grande do Norte State are an environmental public health problem that needs to be monitored and controlled throughout the year. <![CDATA[Oviposition behavior of Haemagogus leucocelaenus (Diptera: culicidae), a vector of wild yellow fever in Brazil]]> ABSTRACT Haemagogus leucocelaenus, which is considered a major vector of wild yellow fever, exhibits acrodendrophilic habits and mainly deposits its eggs in treeholes and bamboo internodes. The selection of nursery sites is essential in the life history and reproductive success of mosquitoes. The present work investigated the preferred oviposition height and period of Hg. leucocelaenus in an Atlantic forest area in Rio de Janeiro. Sampling was performed using oviposition traps that were placed on plant material at 0, 2, 4, 6, and 8 m above the ground, from August 2015 to July 2016. Eggs were more abundant during October and May, and the height of traps placement had no significant effect on the eggs number indicating that Hg. leucocelaenus explores different levels of forest habitats, a behavior that may favor the transmission of pathogens among arboreal animals including primates and humans. The findings of the present study are discussed from an ecological and epidemiological point of view. <![CDATA[Oral health conditions in leprosy cases in hyperendemic area of the Brazilian Amazon]]> ABSTRACT Leprosy is a hyperendemic chronic condition in the Rondônia State . Despite the significant impact of oral health on the quality of life and clinical evolution of leprosy patients, systematic evaluation of oral health status has been neglected. To analyze the dental-clinical profile, self-perceived oral health and dental health service access of leprosy cases in the municipality of Cacoal in Rondônia State , North Brazil, from 2001 to 2012. A descriptive, cross-sectional study design was performed based on dental evaluation and standardized structured instruments. We investigated clinically assessed and self-perceived oral health status, as well as dental health service access. A total of 303 leprosy cases were included; 41.6% rated their oral health as good, and 42.6% reported being satisfied with their oral health. Self-reported loss of upper teeth was 45.5%. The clinical evaluation revealed that 54.5% had active caries. Most (97.7%) cases reported having been to the dentist at least once in their life and 23.1% used public health services. The poor standard of oral health in this population may increase the risk for leprosy reactions, consequently reducing quality of life. Low access to public health dental services and poor self-perceived oral health reinforce the need to achieve comprehensive health care in this population. <![CDATA[Sandfly fauna (Diptera: Psychodidae) in an urban area, Central-West of Brazil]]> ABSTRACT Biological and ecological relations among vectors and their pathogens are important to understand the epidemiology of vector-borne diseases. Camapuã is an endemic area for visceral and tegumentary leishmaniasis. The aim of this study was to characterize the sandfly fauna present in Camapuã , MS, Brazil. Sand flies were collected every fortnight from May 2014 to April 2015 using automatic light traps in the domicile and peridomicile of twelve neighborhoods and forest. The collected specimens were identified based on morphology according to the valid identification keys. In total, 2005 sandflies of five genera and nine species were collected. Nyssomyia whitmani and Lutzomyia cruzi were the most abundant species. Males were more abundant, with a male-to-female ratio of 2.14. The highest diversity was observed in peripheral neighborhood, with abundant plant cover. The peridomicile presented greater abundance of sandflies, with the predominance of Ny. whitmani . No significant correlation between the absolute frequencies of the most abundant species and the precipitation variable was observed; however, there was a predominance of Lu. cruzi in the rainy season. We observed a high frequency of sandflies in urban area, especially vector species. The presence of Nyssomyia whitmani and Lutzomyia cruzi indicate the necessity for health surveillance in the municipality. Additional method of collection such as sticky trap is also recommended for appropriate faunestic study. <![CDATA[The influence of serial fecal sampling on the diagnosis of giardiasis in humans, dogs, and cats]]> ABSTRACT Giardia infection is a common clinical problem in humans and pets. The diagnosis of giardiasis is challenging as hosts intermittently excrete protozoan cysts in their feces. In the present study, we comparatively evaluated two methods of serial fecal sampling in humans, dogs, and cats from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The Faust et al. technique was used to examine fecal specimens collected in triplicate from 133 patients (52 humans, 60 dogs, and 21 cats). Specimens from 74 patients were received from the group assigned to carry out sampling on consecutive days - 34 humans, 35 dogs, and 5 cats, and specimens from 59 patients were received from the group assigned to carry out sampling on non-consecutive, separate days - 18 human beings, 25 dogs, and 16 cats. G. duodenalis cysts were found in stools of 30 individuals. Multiple stool sampling resulted in an increase in the number of samples that were positive for Giardia in both groups. The authors therefore conclude that multiple stool sampling increases the sensitivity of the Faust et al . technique to detect G. duodenalis cysts in samples from humans, cats and dogs. <![CDATA[Considerations of potential vectors and animal reservoirs in an emerging cutaneous leishmaniasis area in <em>São Domingos</em> ranch, <em>Paraná State</em> in Southearn Brazil]]> ABSTRACT The aim of this study was to better understand the dynamics of Leishmania sand flies and reservoirs in São Domingos ranch, Arapongas municipality, Paraná State, an anthropic environment in an endemic area of cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL). Sand flies were collected in wild animal burrows, residences and in the forest, with Falcão light trap (FA), Shannon trap (SH) and quadrangular pyramidal trap (QP). The search for Leishmania was made on sand flies, biological samples of wild rodents and dogs using PCR and culture; while parasite direct search (DS) was carried out on animal skin lesions; infection of gold hamsters; and indirect immunofluorescence (IIF) test in dog blood samples. Eighty eight (88) sand flies were collected with FA traps and 526 sand flies using the SH trap, with a predominance of Pintomyia fischeri. Six hundred and one (601) specimens of Brumptomyia brumpti were collected in armadillo burrows, with the QP trap. Seventeen (17) wild rodents were captured, six of them had skin lesions with characteristics of Leishmania infection. Even though no positive test was found for Leishmania, epidemiological surveillance should be maintained, remembering that the human buildings are situated only 50 m from the forest. Considering the species of wild animals and sandflies found in São Domingos, the negative test found do not exclude the existence of the Leishmania transmission cycle in this preservation area. <![CDATA[Prospective study of patients with persistent symptoms of dengue in Brazil]]> ABSTRACT Dengue is an arboviral infection clinically recognized as an acute and self-limited disease. Persistence of dengue symptoms is known, but it has been little studied. The aim of this study was to characterize persistent symptoms in 113 patients with dengue followed up clinically and by laboratory testing at a tertiary hospital. Symptoms that persisted for more than 14 days were observed in 61 (54.0%) patients, and six (6.2%) of them had symptoms for 6 months or more. The persistent symptoms identified were myalgia, weakness, hair loss, memory loss, reduced resistance to physical effort, headache, reasoning problems, arthralgia, sleepiness- and emotional lability. The progression to persistent symptoms was significantly associated with hospitalization, older age, more severe disease, the presence of bleeding and comorbidities upon univariate analysis. Upon multivariate analysis, the presence of persistent symptoms continued to be significantly associated only with increased age and dengue with warning signs. The platelet count during the acute phase of the disease was significantly lower in the group with persistent symptoms. In conclusion, the frequency of progression to persistent symptoms in dengue is relevant in patients seen at a tertiary hospital and the persistence of symptoms is more common in patients with dengue with warning signs. <![CDATA[A conventional PCR for differentiating common taeniid species of dogs based on in silico microsatellite analysis]]> ABSTRACT Canine taeniids are among the major tapeworms with remarkable medical and economic significance. Reliable diagnosis and differentiation of dog taeniids using simple and sensitive tools are of paramount importance for establishing an efficient surveillance system. Microsatellites as abundant unique tandem repeats of short DNA motifs are useful genetic markers for molecular epidemiological studies. The purpose of the present study was to find a primer pair for rapid differentiation of major tapeworms of dogs, Taenia hydatigena, T. multiceps, T. ovis and Echinococcus granulosus, by screening existing nucleotide data. All the mitochondrial genome records as well as non-coding ITS1 sequences of Taeniidae species were downloaded from Nucleotide database from NCBI. For prediction and analysis of potential loci of STR/SSR in ITS1 as well as mitochondrial regions, we used ChloroMitoSSRDB 2.0 and GMATo v1.2. software. Different tapeworm species were categorized according to different motif sequences and type and size of each microsatellite locus. Three primer sets were designed and tested for differentiating taeniid species and evaluated in a conventional PCR system. Four taeniid species were successfully differentiated using a primer pair in a simple conventional PCR system. We predicted 2-19 and 1-4 microsatellite loci in ITS1 and mitochondrial genome, respectively. In ITS1, 41 Di and 21 Tri motifs were found in the taeniids while the majority of the motifs in the mitochondrial genome were Tetra (89) and Tri (70). It is documented that the number and diversity of microsatellite loci is higher in nuclear ITS1 region than mostly coding mitochondrial genome. <![CDATA[Peginterferon still has a place in the treatment of hepatitis C caused by genotype 3 virus]]> ABSTRACT Despite recent advances in therapy for chronic hepatitis C (CHC), the disease caused by genotype 3 virus (GEN3) is still considered a treatment challenge in certain patient subgroups. The aim of this retrospective study was to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of the peginterferon (Peg-IFN) and ribavirin (RBV) combination treatment for GEN3/CHC patients, and to evaluate sustained virological response (SVR) indicators and early treatment interruption due to serious adverse events (SAE). This was a retrospective observational study of GEN3/CHC patients, co-infected or not by HIV and treated with Peg-IFN/RBV in nine Brazilian healthcare centers. The study sample included 184 GEN3/CHC patients; 70 (38%) were co-infected with HIV. The overall SVR rate was 57.1% (95% CI 50-64). Among co-infected and mono-infected patients, the SVR rate was 51.4% (36/70) and 60.5% (69/114), respectively (p=0.241). Thirty-four (18.5%) patients experienced SAE and interrupted treatment. SVR was negatively associated with the use of Peg-IFN alpha 2b (PR 0.75; 95% CI 0.58-0.99; p=0.045) and to early treatment interruption due to SAE (PR 0.36; 95% CI 0.20-0.68; p=0.001). Early treatment interruption due to SAE was associated with age (PR 1.06; 95% CI 1.02-1.10; p&lt;0.001) and occurrence of liver cirrhosis (PR 2.06; 95% CI 1.11-3.83; p=0.022). In conclusion, Peg-IFN/RBV might represent an adequate treatment option, mainly in young patients without advanced liver disease or when the use of direct-action drugs is limited to specific patient groups. <![CDATA[Epidemiological surveillance of land borders in North and South America: a case study]]> ABSTRACT This study aims to analyze the different binational/multinational activities, programs, and structures taking place on the borders of Brazil and the U.S. between 2013 and 2015. A descriptive exploratory study of two border epidemiological surveillance (BES) systems has been performed. Two approaches were used to collect data: i) technical visits to the facilities involved with border surveillance and application of a questionnaire survey; ii) application of an online questionnaire survey. It was identified that, for both surveillance systems, more than 55% of the technicians had realized that the BES and its activities have high priority. Eighty percent of North American and 71% of Brazilian border jurisdictions reported an exchange of information between countries. Less than half of the jurisdictions reported that the necessary tools to carry out information exchange were available. Operational attributes of completeness, feedback, reciprocity, and quality of information were identified as weak or of low quality in both systems. Statements, guidelines, and protocols to develop surveillance activities are available at the U.S.-Mexico border area. The continuous systematic development of surveillance systems at these borders will create more effective actions and responses. <![CDATA[Difficulties in the revaccination program of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation recipients]]> ABSTRACT Hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) recipients should be routinely revaccinated after transplantation. We evaluated the difficulties met in the revaccination program and how a prospective and tailored follow-up could help to overcome these obstacles. HSCT recipients (n=122) were prospectively followed up and categorized into Group 1 (n=72), recipients who had already started the revaccination program, and Group 2 (n=50), recipients starting their vaccines. Whenever a difficulty was reported, interventions and subsequent evaluations were performed. Reported problems were related to patient compliance, HSCT center and/or vaccination center. Problems related to patient compliance were less frequent than those related to HSCT center modifications of previous recommendations, or to errors made by the vaccination center. The main gap found was vaccination delays (81.9%). Advisory intervention was needed in 64% and 46% of Group 1 and Group 2, respectively (p=0.05), and was partially successful in around 70% of the cases. Total resolution was achieved in more than 35% in both groups. Improvements are needed in the Brazilian vaccination program for HSCT recipients to assure a complete and updated revaccination schedule. HSCT centers should assign nurses and transplant infectious disease specialist physicians to organize the revaccination schedule and to monitor the program development. <![CDATA[Drug resistance, AmpC-β-lactamase and extended-spectrum β-lactamase-producing Enterobacteriaceae isolated from fish and shrimp]]> ABSTRACT The present study aims to detect the production of extended-spectrum beta-lactamases (ESBL) by enterobacteria isolated from samples of fresh shrimp and fish obtained from the retail trade of the city of Sobral, Ceará State, Brazil. All bacterial isolates were submitted to identification and antimicrobial susceptibility testing using aminopenicillin, beta-lactamase inhibitors, carbapenem, 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th generation cephalosporins, and monobactam. Three types of beta-lactamases - ESBL, AmpC and KPC - were investigated. 103 strains were identified, and the most frequent species in shrimp and fish samples was Enterobacter cloacae (n = 54). All the strains were resistant to penicillin and more than 50% of the isolates were resistant to ampicillin and cephalothin. Resistance to three 3rd generation cephalosporins (cefotaxime, ceftriaxone and ceftazidime) and one fourth generation cephalosporin (cefepime) was detected in two isolates of E. cloacae from shrimp samples. Phenotypic detection of AmpC was confirmed in seven strains. The ESBL was detected in two strains of E. cloacae from shrimp samples. No strain showed KPC production. These data can be considered alarming, since food (shrimp and fish) may be carriers of enterobacteria resistant to drugs of clinical interest. <![CDATA[Analysis of dengue cases according to clinical severity, São Luís, Maranhão, Brazil]]> ABSTRACT Severe dengue cases have increased in Brazil since 2001, with the first records in Maranhão dating back to 2002. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of severe dengue cases by age group and the possible risk factors. This was a study of secondary data on dengue in residents of São Luís, Maranhão, Brazil, using probable cases notified to the National Mandatory Reporting System (SINAN) from 2002 to 2011. The diagnosis and classification of dengue were based on the Brazilian Ministry of Health criteria: dengue fever (DF), dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) and dengue fever with complications (DWC). DHF and DWC were considered severe dengue, and DF was classified as non-severe dengue. A logistic regression analysis was performed with severe dengue as the outcome. During the study period, 1,229 cases of severe dengue were reported; of these, 812 in patients under the age of 15 (66%). Among the risk factors evaluated, age under 15 years old (OR = 3.10, 95% CI = 2.69-3.57, p-value = 0.001) was associated with severe dengue. The prevalence of severe dengue in children under the age of 15 was higher, and only this age group was associated with the occurrence of severe dengue. <![CDATA[Antioxidant effect of Morus nigra on Chagas disease progression]]> ABSTRACT Considering the widespread popular use of Morus nigra and the amount of scientific information on its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity, the effectiveness of this phytotherapeutic compound in the parasitemia progression during the acute phase of Chagas disease and its role in the development of the inflammatory process as well as its effects on the oxidative damage in the chronic phase of infection were evaluated. Thus, 96 male Swiss mice were randomly divided into eight groups, four groups were uninfected controls, and four groups were intraperitoneally infected with 5.0 x 104 blood trypomastigotes forms of T. cruzi QM2 strain. Four batches composed of one uninfected and one infected group were respectively treated with 70% alcohol solution and 25 μL, 50 μL and 75 μL of the phytotherapeutic compound. Levels of antioxidant elements (TBARS, FRAP, GSH and Sulfhydryl groups) were measured in plasma samples. The phytotherapeutic compound’s antioxidant activity was measured by polyphenol and total flavonoid quantification, DPPH, NO, and FRAP method. Our results showed that the vehicle influenced some of the results that may have physiological relevance in Chagas disease. However, an important action of M. nigra tincture was observed in the progression of Chagas disease, since our results demonstrated a reduction in parasitemia of treated groups when compared to controls, especially in the group receiving 25 µL. However, in the chronic phase, the 50-µL dosage presented a better activity on some antioxidant defenses and minimized the tissue inflammatory process. Results indicated an important action of M. nigra tincture on the Chagas disease progression. <![CDATA[Complications of chronic necrotizing pulmonary aspergillosis: review of published case reports]]> ABSTRACT Chronic necrotizing pulmonary aspergillosis (CNPA), a form of chronic pulmonary aspergillosis (CPA), affects immunocompetent or mildly immunocompromised persons with underlying pulmonary disease. These conditions are associated with high morbidity and mortality and often require long-term antifungal treatment. The long-term prognosis for patients with CNPA and the potential complications of CNPA have not been well documented. The aim of this study was to review published papers that report cases of CNPA complications and to highlight risk factors for development of CNPA. The complications in conjunction associated with CNPA are as follows: pseudomembranous necrotizing tracheobronchial aspergillosis, ankylosing spondylarthritis, pulmonary silicosis, acute respiratory distress syndrome, pulmonary Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) disease, superinfection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and and pneumothorax. The diagnosis of CNPA is still a challenge. Culture and histologic examinations of bronchoscopically identified tracheobronchial mucus plugs and necrotic material should be performed in all immunocompromised individuals, even when the radiographic findings are unchanged. Early detection of intraluminal growth of Aspergillus and prompt antifungal therapy may facilitate the management of these patients and prevent development of complications. <![CDATA[Acute kidney injury complicating bee stings – a review]]> ABSTRACT Bee stings can cause severe reactions and have caused many victims in the last years. Allergic reactions can be triggered by a single sting and the greater the number of stings, the worse the prognosis. The poisoning effects can be systemic and can eventually cause death. The poison components are melitin, apamin, peptide 401, phospholipase A2, hyaluronidase, histamine, dopamine, and norepinephrine, with melitin being the main lethal component. Acute kidney injury (AKI) can be observed in patients suffering from bee stings and this is due to multiple factors, such as intravascular hemolysis, rhabdomyolysis, hypotension and direct toxicity of the venom components to the renal tubules. Arterial hypotension plays an important role in this type of AKI, leading to ischemic renal lesion. The most commonly identified biopsy finding in these cases is acute tubular necrosis, which can occur due to both, ischemic injury and the nephrotoxicity of venom components. Hemolysis and rhabdomyolysis reported in many cases in the literature, were demonstrated by elevated serum levels of indirect bilirubin and creatine kinase. The severity of AKI seems to be associated with the number of stings, since creatinine levels were higher, in most cases, when there were more than 1,000 stings. The aim of this study is to present an updated review of AKI associated with bee stings, including the currently advised clinical approach. <![CDATA[Diagnosis of mycobacteria in bovine milk: an overview]]> ABSTRACT Tuberculosis remains as the world’s biggest threat. In 2014, human tuberculosis ranked as a major infectious disease by the first time, overcoming HIV death rates. Bovine tuberculosis is a chronic disease of global distribution that affects animals and can be transmitted to humans by the consumption of raw milk, representing a serious public health concern. Despite the efforts of different countries to control and eradicate bovine tuberculosis, the high negative economic impact on meat and milk production chains remains, given the decreased production efficiency (approximately 25%), the high number of condemned carcasses, and increased animal culling rates. This scenario has motivated the establishment of official programs based on regulations and diagnostic procedures. Although Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Mycobacterium bovis are the major pathogenic species to humans and bovines, respectively, nontuberculous mycobacteria within the Mycobacterium genus have become increasingly important in recent decades due to human infections, including the ones that occur in immunocompetent people. Diagnosis of mycobacteria can be performed by microbiological culture from tissue samples (lymph nodes, lungs) and secretions (sputum, milk). In general, these pathogens demand special nutrient requirements for isolation/growth, and the use of selective and rich culture media. Indeed, within these genera, mycobacteria are classified as either fast- or slow-growth microorganisms. Regarding the latter ones, incubation times can vary from 45 to 90 days. Although microbiological culture is still considered the gold standard method for diagnosis, molecular approaches have been increasingly used. We describe here an overview of the diagnosis of Mycobacterium species in bovine milk. <![CDATA[Kidney involvement in malaria: an update]]> ABSTRACT Malaria is an infectious disease of great importance for Public Health, as it is the most prevalent endemic disease in the world, affecting millions of people living in tropical areas of the globe. Kidney involvement is relatively frequent in infections by P. falciparum and P. malariae, but has also been described in the infection by P. vivax. Kidney complications in malaria mainly occur due to hemodynamic dysfunction and immune response. Liver complications leading to hepatomegaly, jaundice and hepatic dysfunction can also contribute to the occurrence of acute kidney injury. Histologic studies in malaria also evidence glomerulonephritis, acute tubular necrosis and acute interstitial nephritis. It is also possible to find chronic kidney disease associated with malaria, mainly in those patients suffering from repeated episodes of infection. Plasmodium antigens have already been detected in the glomeruli, suggesting a direct effect of the parasite in the kidney, which can trigger an inflammatory process leading to different types of glomerulonephritis. Clinical manifestations of kidney involvement in malaria include proteinuria, microalbuminuria and urinary casts, reported in 20 to 50% of cases. Nephrotic syndrome has also been described in the infection by P. falciparum, but it is rare. This paper highlights the main aspects of kidney involvement in malaria and important findings of the most recent research addressing this issue. <![CDATA[Reactivation of cutaneous and mucocutaneous tegumentary leishmaniasis in rheumatoid arthritis patients: an emerging problem?]]> ABSTRACT Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic condition that is frequent in patients living in tropical areas exposed to leishmaniasis. RA therapy involves immunosuppressant drugs such as methotrexate (MTX), monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) and prednisone. We report an unusual presentation of cutaneous (CL) or mucocutaneous leishmaniasis (ML) in RA patients from an endemic area of leishmaniasis. A 51-year-old woman noted a cutaneous ulcer on her left ankle during MTX and prednisone RA therapy. Initially diagnosed as a venous stasis ulcer, the aspirate of the injury revealed the presence of Leishmania DNA. A 73-year-old woman presenting non-ulcerated, infiltrated and painful erythematous nodules inside her nostrils while receiving MTX, anti-TNF mAb, and prednisone for RA, had also the aspirate of injuries showing the presence of Leishmania DNA. Both patients healed after the therapy with liposomal amphotericin. The RA therapy has changed to low-dose prednisone, without further reactivation episodes. Both cases suggest that CL or ML can reactivate after administration of an immunosuppressant for RA treatment. Therefore, immunosuppressive treatments for RA should be carefully prescribed in patients from endemic areas or with a history of CL and ML. <![CDATA[First reported case of fulminant TB with progression of infection from lungs to the genitourinary region]]> ABSTRACT Although tuberculosis (TB) is a curable disease, it continues to be one of the leading infections associated with death in the world. Extra-pulmonary TB (EPTB) occurs in approximately 10% of the total cases, presenting with lymph nodes, pleura, bone and genitourinary tract as the most common locations. Genitourinary tuberculosis, the second most common EPTB, is very difficult to diagnose unless there is a high index of suspicion. Isolated TB orchitis or prostatitis without clinical evidence of renal involvement is a rare entity among genitourinary tuberculosis. We presented the first reported case of TB prostatitis and orchitis associated with pulmonary TB and the presence of an acute massive caseous pneumonia in an immunocompetent man. Despite the anti-TB therapy, the patient presented a rapid progression of disease and deterioration of general conditions taking to death, which occurred four days after TB treatment had started. Disseminated TB is a relatively uncommon cause of acute massive caseous pneumonia; however, there should always be suspicion of the disease, since it is a potentially treatable cause. This rare case supports the assertion that TB should be considered as an important differential diagnosis of genitourinary tumors irrespective of evidence of active TB elsewhere in the body. <![CDATA[An unusual abdominal wall mass in a child]]> ABSTRACT Abdominal tumors are one of the most common types of pediatric cancer. Therefore, they should always be included in the differential diagnosis of abdominal masses. Here, we present the case of a child whose initial hypothesis of diagnosis contemplated this possibility. Later, it was demonstrated that the abdominal mass found was secondary to a common parasitosis. A 2-year old, moderately malnourished and pale white boy was referred with a history of a rapidly growing, well-limited, middle abdominal mass. The mass was 10 by 3 cm, hard and poorly movable, apparently involving both abdominal rectus muscles. A complete resection was performed, revealing an abdominal wall abscess, with intense eosinophilic proliferation, secondary to a local and intense reaction to innumerous Ascaris lumbricoides eggs. Extra luminal infestations with Ascaris, that usually form peritoneal granulomas have been previously described. However, neither external trauma nor fistula, that could explain the superficial presence of the eggs, was found. This description reinforces the relevance of infectious diseases within the differential diagnosis of abdominal masses, particularly in areas with high prevalence of parasitic infestations. <![CDATA[Fatal Cryptococcus gattii genotype VGI infection in an HIV-positive patient in Barranquilla, Colombia]]> ABSTRACT Cryptococcosis is a major invasive fungal disease related worldwide with the AIDS population. New reports of HIV/AIDS cases to the national public health surveillance system (SIVIGILA) in Colombia have shown that there is a growing community at risk of contracting cryptococcosis throughout the country who do not have access to ART. Even though the most prevalent species Cryptococcus neoformans is mainly associated with the HIV population, we report a fatal case of cryptococcosis in an AIDS patient in Barranquilla, associated with Cryptococcus gattii VGI, isolated from blood culture. <![CDATA[Myiasis associated with an invasive ductal carcinoma of the left breast: case study]]> ABSTRACT Most breast cancers originate in the ductal epithelium and are referred to as invasive ductal carcinoma. In this study we report on the clinical procedures adopted to diagnose myiasis in association with infiltrating metastatic breast carcinoma in a female patient. A 41 years old woman came to the Federal Hospital of Andaraí complaining of intense itching, warmth, redness and hardening of the breast, which had acquired the aspect of an orange peel. A lesion in the left breast was cavitated, dimpled, had fetid odor, and had fibrotic and infected air nodules filled with exudate and Dipteran larvae. The tissue was cleaned and 33 larvae were extracted. The patient was hospitalized and received Ivermectin. Eighteen of the larvae extracted from the patient were placed in 70% alcohol, and twelve were placed in a container with sterile wood shavings under controlled conditions until they metamorphosed into adults. The taxonomic identification of the flies revealed that the culprit was Cochliomyia hominivorax. A histopathological exam conducted three months earlier had revealed infiltrating ductal carcinoma. Two months after the myiasis treatment, the breast tissue had healed. The patient had waited ten days from the onset of the myiasis to seek treatment, and that delay interfered negatively in the prognosis of both the neoplasm and the myiasis. This study is relevant to public health in view of the strong social impact of myiasis. <![CDATA[Sarcoid-like cutaneous lesions in chronic adult paracoccidioidomycosis: report of two cases]]> ABSTRACT This study reports two cases of chronic paracoccidioidomycosis with sarcoid-like cutaneous lesions. The patients began the treatment in 2013 at Hospital Universitário Clementino Fraga Filho (HUCFF) of the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ). The first case (mild form) was treated with trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (8 mg /kg per day, orally) for three months and, then, with half the dose for nine months; the second (moderate form), with itraconazole (200 mg per day, orally) for 12 months. We point out the rareness of the sarcoid-like cutaneous lesions and the differential diagnoses for other granulomatous diseases. <![CDATA[Disseminated cutaneous leishmaniasis caused by Leishmania braziliensis in Southern Brazil]]> ABSTRACT The authors report a case of disseminated cutaneous leishmaniasis caused by Leishmania (Viannia) braziliensis, in a 55 years old patient with 1,119 lesions distributed throughout the body. The patient resides in Sabáudia municipality, North of Paraná State, Southern Brazil, where there was no previous report of this form of leishmaniasis. Treatment with meglumine antimoniate was successful, although the diagnosis was made only five months later. <![CDATA[Refractory pemphigus foliaceus associated with herpesvirus infection: case report]]> ABSTRACT Pemphigus foliaceus (PF) is an autoimmune disease characterized by blistering of the skin. Infections caused by members of the herpesviridae family have been suggested as a possible triggering factor for pemphigus vulgaris (PV), but not for PF. The present study aimed to investigate the presence of Human herpesvirus (types 1, 2, 3) in corticosteroid refractory skin lesions from a patient with PF, by a Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay. The sample collected from cutaneous blisters has tested positive for herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV1) after sequence analysis of the amplified viral genomic segment. The study concluded that when PF patients present corticosteroid or immunosuppressants refractory lesions, herpetic infection should be considered. <![CDATA[Two simultaneous mycetomas caused by Fusarium verticillioides and Madurella mycetomatis]]> ABSTRACT Mycetoma is a chronic granulomatous disease, classified into eumycetoma caused by fungi and actinomycetoma due to aerobic filamentous actinomycetes. Mycetoma can be found in geographic areas near the Tropic of Cancer. Mexico is one of the countries in which actinomycetoma is endemic. We report an extraordinary case of an adult male with double eumycetoma caused by Madurella mycetomatis and Fusarium verticillioides on both feet. <![CDATA[An unusual case of bacillary angiomatosis in the oral cavity of an AIDS patient who had no concomitant tegumentary lesions – case report and review]]> ABSTRACT Bacillary angiomatosis (BA) is an angioproliferative disease of immunocompromised patients that usually presents as vascular tumors in the skin and subcutaneous tissues. It is caused by chronic infections with either Bartonella henselae or B. quintana. Oral cavity BA is exceedingly rare and even rarer without simultaneous cutaneous disease. We report herein the case of a 51-year-old HIV-infected man who presented severe odynophagia and an eroded lesion on the hard palate that progressed to an oronasal fistula. No cutaneous lesions were recorded. Doxycycline led to complete resolution. To the best of our knowledge, only six previous cases of oral BA without tegumentary disease have been previously reported and none of them progressed to fistula. <![CDATA[Nursing infant with acquired toxoplasmosis in the first months of life – a case report]]> ABSTRACT Toxoplasmosis is caused by Toxoplasma gondii and the probability of this infection occurring in the first months of life is usually low because its transmission is related to eating habits. A 6-month-old nursing infant was diagnosed with acute toxoplasmosis, which was identified through anti- T. gondii IgA, IgM and low-avidity IgG serologic assays, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and mouse bioassay test although its mother was seronegative. This serological divergence between mother and child led us to interview the mother regarding epidemiological factors. During this interview, she reported that she had given her 2-month-old baby a piece of undercooked beef to suck on. After some time, the baby presented fever and cervical lymphadenitis. This report emphasizes the importance of serological surveys of toxoplasmosis in nursing infants presenting with fever and lymphadenitis, in view of the possible acquisition of toxoplasmosis in the first months of life. <![CDATA[Chronic lymphadenopathy caused by a Brazilian strain of <em>Bartonella henselae</em>]]> ABSTRACT Bartonella henselae is a relevant causative agent of bartonelloses in humans. We described an immunocompetent patient with clinical manifestation of chronic cervical lymphadenopathy after a cat-scratch in her forearm. This case shows B. henselae infection persistence even after prolonged antibiotic treatment. <![CDATA[Secondary syphilis presenting as leucoderma syphiliticum: case report and review]]> ABSTRACT Leucoderma syphiliticum (LS), originally described as syphilide pigmentaire, encompasses a spectrum of dyschromic lesions that emerge during the course of secondary syphilis. Very few case reports are available in modern biomedical databases. We present the case of a 57-year-old HIV-infected male patient who presented with several round to oval, non-scaling, slightly raised and well-demarcated hypochromic lesions scattered over the trunk, abdomen, dorsum, and arms. Prior non-treponemal tests were negative for syphilis, but novel studies yielded positive results at high titers. Skin lesions slowly regressed and the hypochromic areas repigmented a few weeks after benzathine penicillin G treatment. This is the first report of LS in an HIV-infected patient. A review of modern and ancient literature was performed. The present case report emphasizes the need for clinicians to have a heightened awareness of the varied and unusual clinical phenotypes of syphilis. <![CDATA[<strong><em>Leptomonas seymouri</em></strong> and <strong><em>Crithidia fasciculata</em></strong> exoantigens can discriminate human cases of visceral leishmaniasis from American tegumentary leishmaniasis ones]]> ABSTRACT Exoantigens (exo) from Leptomonas seymouri and Crithidia fasciculata were used in an enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), showing 100% reactivity with sera from visceral leishmaniasis (VL) cases, and no reactivity with American tegumentary leishmaniasis (ATL) ones. Our results have indicated that these exoantigens can be applied in the discrimination of VL and ATL cases. <![CDATA[Molecular epidemiology of influenza A(H1N1)PDM09 hemagglutinin gene circulating in São <em>Paulo State</em> , Brazil: 2016 anticipated influenza season]]> ABSTRACT Compared to previous years, seasonal influenza activity commenced early in São Paulo State, Brazil, Southern hemisphere during the 2016 year. In order to investigate the genetic pattern of influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 in the State of Sao Paulo a total of 479 respiratory samples, collected in January by Sentinel Surveillance Units, were screened by real-time RT-PCR. A total of 6 Influenza viruses A(H1N1)pdm09 presenting ct values ≤ 30 were sequenced following phylogenetic analysis. The present study identified the circulation of the new 6B.1 subgroup (A/Sao Paulo/10-118/2016 and A/Sao Paulo/3032/2016). In addition, influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 group 6B has also been identified during January in the State of Sao Paulo. Despite amino acid changes and changes in potential glycosylation motifs, 6B.1 viruses were well inhibited by the reference ferret antiserum against A/California/07/2009 virus, the A(H1N1)pdm09 component of the vaccine for the 2016 influenza season. <![CDATA[Presence of rotavirus and free-living amoebae in the water supplies of Karachi, Pakistan]]> ABSTRACT Rotavirus and pathogenic free-living amoebae are causative agents of important health problems, especially for developing countries like Pakistan where the population has limited access to clean water supplies. Here, we evaluated the prevalence of rotavirus and free-living amoebae (Acanthamoeba spp., Balamuthia mandrillaris, Naegleria fowleri) in drinking water supplies of Karachi, Pakistan. Six water filtration plants that supply drinking water to the population of Karachi were investigated. Additionally, drinking water samples from households were analyzed for the presence of rotavirus and free-living amoebae. Rotavirus was present in 35% of the water samples collected from water filtration plants; however, domestic tap water samples had a prevalence of only 5%. Out of 20 water samples from filtration plants, 13 (65%) were positive for Acanthamoeba spp., and one (5%) was positive for B. mandrillaris. Out of 20 drinking water samples collected from different areas of Karachi, 35% were positive for Acanthamoeba spp. Rotavirus was detected in 5% of the drinking water samples tested. Overall, these findings showed for the first time the presence of rotavirus, in addition to pathogenic free-living amoebae in drinking water supplies of Karachi that could be an important public health risk for the affected population. <![CDATA[In vitro effects of Blepharocalyx salicifolius (H.B.K.) O. Berg on the viability of Echinococcus ortleppi protoscoleces]]> ABSTRACT Scolicidal agents are important in the treatment of cystic echinococcosis. This study evaluated the scolicidal activity of the plant Blepharocalyx salicifolius (H.B.K.) Berg against Echinococcus ortleppi protoscoleces. The parasite species was identified by amplifying a fragment of the gene cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (COX 1). B. salicifolius crude extract at concentrations of 100, 200, 300 and 400 mg/mL was analyzed at different times (5, 10, 15, 30, 45 and 60 min). N-butanol and ethyl acetate fractions (100 and 200 mg/ mL) were also analyzed at 5, 10, 15 and 30 min. Both fractions showed 100% scolicidal activity at the concentration of 200 mg/mL at 5 min. Gallic acid, identified as the major compound of the ethyl acetate fraction- was responsible for the observed scolicidal activity. The results showed that crude extract and fractions of B. salicifolius have scolicidal effect against E. ortleppi protoscoleces. <![CDATA[Selective malaria antibody screening among eligible blood donors in Jiangsu, China]]> ABSTRACT The risk of transfusion-transmitted malaria is a major concern in many countries. This study investigated the prevalence of malaria antibodies and parasitemia in eligible blood donors in Jiangsu, in Eastern China. Malaria antibodies were detected in 2.13% of the 704 plasma samples studied. We found that the prevalence of malaria antibodies was not significantly correlated with gender, occupation and frequency of donation, but it increased with age. No Plasmodium was observed in red blood cells and no Plasmodium DNA was detected in any of the antibody-positive samples. The prevalence of malaria antibodies was not higher than expected in Eastern China. <![CDATA[Characterization of <em>Leishmania (L.) infantum chagasi</em> in visceral leishmaniasis associated with hiv co-infection in Northeastern Brazil]]> ABSTRACT Visceral leishmaniasis, associated with HIV/AIDS coinfection, is becoming a more aggressive disease, complicating an accurate prognosis. A 21-year-old HIV-positive female presenting with clinical features of visceral leishmaniasis was enrolled in this study. Bone marrow cytology, Novy-MacNeal-Nicolle culture and kDNA PCR of peripheral blood were all positive. Typing methods, multilocus enzyme electrophoresis and ITS1-RFLP PCR of peripheral blood confirmed infection by Leishmania (L.) infantum chagasi . PCR has proved to be safer and more affordable than other characterization methods; ITS1-RFLP PCR can diagnose and type Leishmania spp. in both endemic and non-endemic areas, favoring the prognosis and allowing the appropriate treatment of patients. <![CDATA[First isolation report of Arcobacter cryaerophilus from a human diarrhea sample in Costa Rica]]> ABSTRACT Arcobacter cryaerophilus is an emerging enteropathogen and potential zoonotic agent transmitted by food and water. In Costa Rica, this bacterium has not been associated with cases of human gastroenteritis, even though it has been isolated from farm animals, especially poultry. This paper reports the first isolation of A. cryaerophilus from a human case of bloody watery diarrhea and the virulence genes associated with this isolate. <![CDATA[A novel case of human visceral leishmaniasis from the urban area of the city of Rio de Janeiro: autochthonous or imported from Spain ?]]> ABSTRACT Arcobacter cryaerophilus is an emerging enteropathogen and potential zoonotic agent transmitted by food and water. In Costa Rica, this bacterium has not been associated with cases of human gastroenteritis, even though it has been isolated from farm animals, especially poultry. This paper reports the first isolation of A. cryaerophilus from a human case of bloody watery diarrhea and the virulence genes associated with this isolate. <![CDATA[Perspectives on the Zika outbreak: herd immunity, antibody-dependent enhancement and vaccine]]> ABSTRACT Arcobacter cryaerophilus is an emerging enteropathogen and potential zoonotic agent transmitted by food and water. In Costa Rica, this bacterium has not been associated with cases of human gastroenteritis, even though it has been isolated from farm animals, especially poultry. This paper reports the first isolation of A. cryaerophilus from a human case of bloody watery diarrhea and the virulence genes associated with this isolate. <![CDATA[<em>Guillain-Barré</em> syndrome and dengue-like disease in 2015: temporal relationship in <em>Piauí</em> state and implications on Zika virus surveillance]]> ABSTRACT Arcobacter cryaerophilus is an emerging enteropathogen and potential zoonotic agent transmitted by food and water. In Costa Rica, this bacterium has not been associated with cases of human gastroenteritis, even though it has been isolated from farm animals, especially poultry. This paper reports the first isolation of A. cryaerophilus from a human case of bloody watery diarrhea and the virulence genes associated with this isolate. <![CDATA[What to expect from the 2017 yellow fever outbreak in Brazil?]]> ABSTRACT Arcobacter cryaerophilus is an emerging enteropathogen and potential zoonotic agent transmitted by food and water. In Costa Rica, this bacterium has not been associated with cases of human gastroenteritis, even though it has been isolated from farm animals, especially poultry. This paper reports the first isolation of A. cryaerophilus from a human case of bloody watery diarrhea and the virulence genes associated with this isolate. <![CDATA[Bacteremia caused by <em>Elizabethkingia meningoseptica</em> in a mechanically ventilated patient successfully treated with imipenem-cilastatin and ciprofloxacin]]> ABSTRACT Arcobacter cryaerophilus is an emerging enteropathogen and potential zoonotic agent transmitted by food and water. In Costa Rica, this bacterium has not been associated with cases of human gastroenteritis, even though it has been isolated from farm animals, especially poultry. This paper reports the first isolation of A. cryaerophilus from a human case of bloody watery diarrhea and the virulence genes associated with this isolate.