Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Revista do Instituto de Medicina Tropical de São Paulo]]> vol. 58 num. lang. es <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[INVESTIGATION OF BIOFILM FORMATION IN COAGULASE-NEGATIVE STAPHYLOCOCCI ISOLATED FROM PLATELET CONCENTRATE BAGS]]> Platelet Concentrates (PCs) are the blood components with the highest rate of bacterial contamination, and coagulase-negative staphylococci (CoNS) are the most frequently isolated contaminants. This study investigated the biofilm formation of 16 contaminated units out of 691 PCs tested by phenotypic and genotypic methods. Adhesion in Borosilicate Tube (ABT) and Congo Red Agar (CRA) tests were used to assess the presence of biofilm. The presence of icaADC genes was assessed by means of the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) technique. With Vitek(r)2, Staphylococcus haemolyticus was considered the most prevalent CoNS (31.25%). The CRA characterized 43.8% as probable biofilm producers, and for the ABT test, 37.5%. The icaADC genes were identified in seven samples by the PCR. The ABT technique showed 85.7% sensitivity and 100% specificity when compared to the reference method (PCR), and presented strong agreement (k = 0.8). This study shows that species identified as PCs contaminants are considered inhabitants of the normal skin flora and they might become important pathogens. The results also lead to the recommendation of ABT use in laboratory routine for detecting biofilm in CoNS contaminants of PCs. <![CDATA[ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE PATTERNS OF URINARY TRACT INFECTIONS IN A NORTHEASTERN BRAZILIAN CAPITAL]]> Urinary tract infection is a common problem worldwide. Its clinical characteristics and susceptibility rates of bacteria are important in determining the treatment of choice and its duration. This study assessed the frequency and susceptibility to antimicrobials of uropathogens isolated from community-acquired urinary tract infections in the city of Natal, Rio Grande do Norte State capital, northeastern Brazil, from 2007 to 2010. A total of 1,082 positive samples were evaluated; E. coli was the most prevalent pathogen (60.4%). With respect to the uropathogens susceptibility rates, the resistance of enterobacteria to ciprofloxacin and sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim was 24.4% and 50.6%, respectively. Susceptibility was over 90% for nitrofurantoin, aminoglycosides and third-generation cephalosporins. High resistance rates of uropathogens to quinolones and sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim draws attention to the choice of these drugs on empirical treatments, especially in patients with pyelonephritis. Given the increased resistance of community bacteria to antimicrobials, local knowledge of susceptibility rates of uropathogens is essential for therapeutic decision making regarding patients with urinary tract infections. <![CDATA[IDENTIFICATION OF CANINE VISCERAL LEISHMANIASIS IN A PREVIOUSLY UNAFFECTED AREA BY CONVENTIONAL DIAGNOSTIC TECHNIQUES AND CELL-BLOCK FIXATION]]> After the report of a second case of canine visceral leishmaniasis (CVL) in São Bento da Lagoa, Itaipuaçu, in the municipality of Maricá, Rio de Janeiro State, an epidemiological survey was carried out, through active search, totaling 145 dogs. Indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA), enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), and rapid chromatographic immunoassay based on dual-path platform (DPP(r)) were used to perform the serological examinations. The parasitological diagnosis of cutaneous fragments was performed by parasitological culture, histopathology, and immunohistochemistry. In the serological assessment, 21 dogs were seropositive by IFA, 17 by ELISA, and 11 by DPP(r), with sensitivity of 66.7%, 66.7% and 50%, and specificity of 87.2%, 90.2% and 94%, respectively for each technique. The immunohistochemistry of bone marrow using the cell-block technique presented the best results, with six positive dogs found, three of which tested negative by the other parasitological techniques. Leishmania sp. was isolated by parasitological culture in three dogs. The detection of autochthonous Leishmania infantum in Itaipuaçu, and the high prevalence of seropositive dogs confirm the circulation of this parasite in the study area and alert for the risk of expansion in the State of Rio de Janeiro. <![CDATA[ULTRASTRUCTURAL CHANGES IN Schistosoma mansoni MALE WORMS AFTER in vitro INCUBATION WITH THE ESSENTIAL OIL OF Mentha x villosa Huds]]> Introduction: The essential oil Mentha x villosa (MVEO) has a wide range of actions, including antibacterial, antifungal, antiprotozoal and schistosomicidal actions. The present study aimed to investigate the ultrastructural changes of MVEO on the tegument of adult Schistosoma mansoni. Materials and Methods: Different concentrations of MVEO were tested on S. mansoni adult worms in vitro. Ultrastructural changes on the tegument of these adult worms were evaluated using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Results: The MVEO caused the death of all worms at 500 μg mL-1 after 24 h. After 24h of 500 μg mL-1 MVEO treatment, bubble lesions were observed over the entire body of worms and they presented loss of tubercles in some regions of the ventral portion. In the evaluation by TEM, S. mansoni adult worms treated with MVEO, 500 μg mL-1, presented changes in the tegument and vacuoles in the syncytial matrix region. Glycogen granules close to the muscle fibers were visible. Conclusion: The ability of MVEO to cause extensive ultrastructural damage to S. mansoni adult worms correlates with its schistosomicidal effects and confirms earlier findings with S. mansoni. <![CDATA[COMPARISON OF PERMANENT STAINING METHODS FOR THE LABORATORY DIAGNOSIS OF TRICHOMONIASIS]]> Trichomonas vaginalis is the etiologic agent of trichomoniasis, the most common non-viral sexually transmitted disease (STD) in the world. The diagnosis is based on wet mount preparation and direct microscopy on fixed and stained clinical specimens. The aim of this study was to compare the performance of different fixing and staining techniques used in the detection of T. vaginalis in urine. The smears were fixed and submitted to different methods of permanent staining and then, the morphological aspects of the parasites were analyzed and compared. The Papanicolaou staining with ethanol as the fixative solution showed to be the best method of permanent staining. Our data suggest that staining techniques in association with wet mount examination of fresh specimens contribute to increase the sensitivity in the diagnosis of trichomoniasis. <![CDATA[OCCURRENCE OF Calodium hepaticum (BANCROFT, 1893) MORAVEC, 1982 EGGS IN FECES OF DOGS AND CATS IN LAGES, SANTA CATARINA, BRAZIL]]> This study aims to report the incidence of Calodium hepaticum among dogs and cats, pets or stray animals, captured by the Zoonosis Control Center (CCZ) in Lages, Santa Catarina, Brazil. Fecal samples from 108 pet dogs and eight pet cats, and from 357 stray dogs and 97 stray cats, captured by CCZ, were analyzed within the period from July 2010 to November 2012. Coproparasitological exams were performed by techniques of sedimentation, centrifuge-flotation, and simple flotation. Among 465 fecal samples from dogs and 105 from cats, the overall spurious infections for C. hepaticum eggs were 1.05%. For dogs, this positivity was 0.43% and for cats it was 3.81%. The two positive dogs were stray and out of the four cats, three were stray and one was a pet. Although the occurrence of C. hepaticum eggs was low, these data reveal the existence of infected rodents, especially in public places, since, out of the six infected animals, five (83.33%) were stray. These results are discussed and analyzed with an emphasis on the risk to public health. <![CDATA[THE SUSCEPTIBILITY OF RECENT ISOLATES OF Schistosoma mansoni TO PRAZIQUANTEL]]> Introduction: Schistosomiasis is a chronic disease caused by trematode flatworms of the genus Schistosoma and its control is dependent on a single drug, praziquantel (PZQ), but concerns over PZQ resistance have renewed interest in evaluating the in vitro susceptibility of recent isolates of Schistosoma mansoni to PZQ in comparison with well-established strains in the laboratory. Material and methods: The in vitro activity of PZQ (6.5-0.003 µg/mL) was evaluated in terms of mortality, reduced motor activity and ultrastructural alterations against S. mansoni. Results: After 3 h of incubation, PZQ, at 6.5 µg/mL, caused 100% mortality of all adult worms in the three types of recent isolates, while PZQ was inactive at concentrations of 0.08-0.003 µg/mL after 3 h of incubation. The results show that the SLM and Sotave isolates basically presented the same pattern of susceptibility, differing only in the concentration of 6.5 µg/mL, where deaths occurred from the range of 1.5 h in Sotave and just in the 3 h range of SLM. Additionally, this article presents ultrastructural evidence of rapid severe PZQ-induced surface membrane damage in S. mansoni after treatment with the drug, such as disintegration, sloughing, and erosion of the surface. Conclusion: According to these results, PZQ is very effective to induce tegument destruction of recent isolates of S. mansoni. <![CDATA[DENGUE DURING PREGNANCY: ASSOCIATION WITH LOW BIRTH WEIGHT AND PREMATURITY]]> The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of dengue virus infection during pregnancy and its correlation with low birth weight, prematurity, and asphyxia. A non-concurrent cohort study reveals the association of dengue during pregnancy with prematurity and low birth weight, when birth occurred during the maternal-fetal viremia period (p = 0.016 and p &lt; 0.0001, respectively). <![CDATA[SEROLOGICAL DETECTION OF HEPATITIS A VIRUS IN FREE-RANGING NEOTROPICAL PRIMATES (Sapajus spp., Alouatta caraya) FROM THE PARANÁ RIVER BASIN, BRAZIL]]> Nonhuman primates are considered as the natural hosts of Hepatitis A virus (HAV), as well as other pathogens, and can serve as natural sentinels to investigate epizootics and endemic diseases that are of public health importance. During this study, blood samples were collected from 112 Neotropical primates (NTPs) (Sapajus nigritus and S. cay, n = 75; Alouatta caraya, n = 37) trap-captured at the Paraná River basin, Brazil, located between the States of Paraná and Mato Grosso do Sul. Anti-HAV IgG antibodies were detected in 4.5% (5/112) of NTPs, specifically in 6.7% (5/75) of Sapajus spp. and 0% (0/37) of A. caraya. In addition, all samples were negative for the presence of IgM anti-HAV antibodies. These results suggest that free-ranging NTPs were exposed to HAV within the geographical regions evaluated. <![CDATA[LIVER BIOPSY: IMPORTANCE OF SPECIMEN SIZE IN THE DIAGNOSIS AND STAGING OF CHRONIC VIRAL HEPATITIS]]> Liver biopsy is the gold standard method for the grading and staging of chronic viral hepatitis, but optimal biopsy specimen size remains controversial. The aim of this study was to evaluate the quality of liver specimen (number of portal tracts) and to evaluate the impact of the number of portal tracts in the staging of chronic hepatitis. Material and Methods: 468 liver biopsies from consecutive patients with hepatitis C virus and hepatitis B virus infection from 2009 to 2010 were evaluated. Results: The length of fragment was less than 10 mm in 43 cases (9.3%), between 10 and 14 mm in 114 (24.3%), and ≥ 15 mm in 311 (64.4%); of these, in 39 (8.3%) cases were ≥ 20 mm. The mean representation of portal tracts was 17.6 ± 2.1 (5-40); in specimens ≥ 15 mm the mean portal tract was 13.5 ± 4.7 and in cases ≤ 15 mm was 11.4 ± 5.0 (p = 0.002). Cases with less than 11 portal tracts were associated with F3, and cases with 11 or more portal tracts with F2 (p = 0.001). Conclusion: this study demonstrated the good quality of liver biopsy and a relationship between the macroscopic size of the fragment and the number of portal tracts. <![CDATA[HUMAN T-LYMPHOTROPIC VIRUS 1 (HTLV-1) AND HUMAN T-LYMPHOTROPIC VIRUS 2 (HTLV-2): GEOGRAPHICAL RESEARCH TRENDS AND COLLABORATION NETWORKS (1989-2012)]]> Publications are often used as a measure of research work success. Human T-lymphotropic virus (HTLV) type 1 and 2 are human retroviruses, which were discovered in the early 1980s, and it is estimated that 15-20 million people are infected worldwide. This article describes a bibliometric review and a coauthorship network analysis of literature on HTLV indexed in PubMed in a 24-year period. A total of 7,564 documents were retrieved, showing a decrease in the number of documents from 1996 to 2007. HTLV manuscripts were published in 1,074 journals. Japan and USA were the countries with the highest contribution in this field (61%) followed by France (8%). Production ranking changed when the number of publications was normalized by population (Dominican Republic and Japan), by gross domestic product (Guinea-Bissau and Gambia), and by gross national income per capita (Brazil and Japan). The present study has shed light on some of the defining features of scientific collaboration performed by HTLV research community, such as the existence of core researchers responsible for articulating the development of research in the area, facilitating wider collaborative relationships and the integration of new authors in the research groups. <![CDATA[AMINOGLYCOSIDE RESISTANCE GENES IN Pseudomonas aeruginosa ISOLATES FROM CUMANA, VENEZUELA]]> The enzymatic modification of aminoglycosides by aminoglycoside-acetyltransferases (AAC), aminoglycoside-adenyltransferases (AAD), and aminoglycoside-phosphotransferases (APH), is the most common resistance mechanism in P. aeruginosa and these enzymes can be coded on mobile genetic elements that contribute to their dispersion. One hundred and thirty seven P. aeruginosa isolates from the University Hospital, Cumana, Venezuela (HUAPA) were evaluated. Antimicrobial susceptibility was determined by the disk diffusion method and theaac, aadB and aph genes were detected by PCR. Most of the P. aeruginosa isolates (33/137) were identified from the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), mainly from discharges (96/137). The frequency of resistant P. aeruginosaisolates was found to be higher for the aminoglycosides tobramycin and amikacin (30.7 and 29.9%, respectively). Phenotype VI, resistant to these antibiotics, was the most frequent (14/49), followed by phenotype I, resistant to all the aminoglycosides tested (12/49). The aac(6´)-Ib,aphA1 and aadB genes were the most frequently detected, and the simultaneous presence of several resistance genes in the same isolate was demonstrated. Aminoglycoside resistance in isolates ofP. aeruginosa at the HUAPA is partly due to the presence of the aac(6´)-Ib, aphA1 andaadB genes, but the high rates of antimicrobial resistance suggest the existence of several mechanisms acting together. This is the first report of aminoglycoside resistance genes in Venezuela and one of the few in Latin America. <![CDATA[SIXTEEN YEARS OF DERMATOMYCOSIS CAUSED BY Candida spp. IN THE METROPOLITAN AREA OF PORTO ALEGRE, SOUTHERN BRAZIL]]> The yeasts of the genus Candida infect skin, nails, and mucous membranes of the gastrointestinal and the genitourinary tract. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of dermatomycoses caused by Candida spp., and their etiological aspects in the metropolitan area of Porto Alegre, Brazil. A retrospective study with data obtained from tertiary hospital patients, from 1996 to 2011, was performed. The analyzed parameters were date, age, gender, ethnicity, anatomical region of lesions, and the direct examination results. For all the statistical analyses, a = 0.05 was considered. Among positive results in the direct mycological examination, 12.5% of the total of 4,815 cases were positive for Candida spp. The angular coefficient (B) was -0.7%/ year, showing a decrease over the years. The genus Candida was more prevalent in women (15.9% of women versus 5.84% of men), and in addition, women were older than men (54 versus 47 years old, respectively). There was no difference between ethnic groups. The nails were more affected than the skin, with 80.37% of the infections in the nails (72.9% in fingernails and 7.47% in toenails). Our study corroborates the literature regarding the preference for gender, age, and place of injury. Moreover, we found a decrease in infection over the studied period. <![CDATA[EPIDEMIOLOGY OF SCORPION ENVENOMATION IN THE STATE OF <em>CEARÁ</em>, NORTHEASTERN BRAZIL]]> This report is a retrospective study of the epidemiology of scorpion sting cases recorded from 2007 to 2013 in the State of Ceará, Northeastern Brazil. Data were collected from the Injury Notification Information System database of the Health Department of Ceará. A total of 11,134 cases were studied and distributed across all the months of the studied period and they occurred mainly in urban areas. Victims were predominantly 20-29 years-old women. Most victims were bitten on the hand; and received medical assistance within 1-3 hours after being bitten. Cases were mostly classified as mild and progressed to cure. Scorpion envenomation in Ceará is an environmental public health problem that needs to be monitored and controlled throughout the year. <![CDATA[MOLECULAR SURVEILLANCE OF <em>Plasmodium vivax</em> AND <em>Plasmodium</em> falciparum <em>DHFR</em> MUTATIONS IN ISOLATES FROM SOUTHERN IRAN]]> In Iran, both Plasmodium vivax and P. falciparum malaria have been detected, but P. vivax is the predominant species. Point mutations in dihydrofolate reductase (dhfr) gene in both Plasmodia are the major mechanisms of pyrimethamine resistance. From April 2007 to June 2009, a total of 134 blood samples in two endemic areas of southern Iran were collected from patients infected with P. vivax and P. falciparum. The isolates were analyzed for P. vivax dihydrofolate reductase (pvdhfr) and P. falciparum dihydrofolate reductase (pfdhfr) point mutations using various PCR-based methods. The majority of the isolates (72.9%) had wild type amino acids at five codons of pvdhfr. Amongst mutant isolates, the most common pvdhfr alleles were double mutant in 58 and 117 amino acids (58R-117N). Triple mutation in 57, 58, and 117 amino acids (57L/58R/117N) was identified for the first time in the pvdhfr gene of Iranian P. vivax isolates. All the P. falciparumsamples analyzed (n = 16) possessed a double mutant pfdhfrallele (59R/108N) and retained a wild-type mutation at position 51. This may be attributed to the fact that the falciparum malaria patients were treated using sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) in Iran. The presence of mutant haplotypes in P. vivax is worrying, but has not yet reached an alarming threshold regarding drugs such as SP. The results of this study reinforce the importance of performing a molecular surveillance by means of a continuous chemoresistance assessment. <![CDATA[FACTORS RELATED TO ORAL CANDIDIASIS IN ELDERLY USERS AND NON-USERS OF REMOVABLE DENTAL PROSTHESES]]> This study examined the association between oral candidiasis in elderly users and nonusers of prosthesis and its predisposing factors. To this end, we performed a cross-sectional study where saliva samples from 48 patients were collected they used prosthesis and 43 patients (control group) who did not use. Among the 91 patients, Candida spp were isolated in 40 (83.3%) who used prosthesis and in 23 (53.5%) in the control group. A statistically significant association was determined between the two groups, the isolation of yeasts and dental prosthesis (p &lt; 0.05, OR = 4.3). The most common etiological agent was Candida albicans (37 isolates), with 23 (62.2%) in the denture group and 14 (37.8%) (control group). Among patients who presented clinical manifestations of oral candidiasis (n = 24), 83.3% (n = 20) belonged to the group that wore dentures, while only 16.7% (n = 4) belonged to the control group. Elderly patients with diabetes had 4.4 times higher estimated risk of developing oral candidiasis when compared with individuals without this condition. There was no statistically significant association between being user prostheses and have diabetes with the onset of candidiasis. No statistically significant association was determined between xerostomia, use of prosthesis and oral candidiasis. The use of prosthetics and poor oral hygiene in elderly patients predisposes to the development of oral candidiasis. <![CDATA[ANTIFUNGAL POTENTIAL OF PLANT SPECIES FROM BRAZILIAN <em>CAATINGA</em> AGAINST DERMATOPHYTES]]> Trichophyton rubrum and Trichophyton mentagrophytes complex, or Trichophyton spp. are the main etiologic agents of dermatophytosis, whose treatment is limited by the high cost of antifungal treatments, their various side effects, and the emergence of resistance amongst these species. This study evaluated the in vitro antidermatophytic activity of 23 crude extracts from nine plant species of semiarid vegetation (caatinga) found in Brazil. The extracts were tested at concentrations ranging from 1.95 to 1,000.0 mg/mL by broth microdilution assay against the reference strains T. rubrum ATCC 28189 and T. mentagrophytesATCC 11481, and 33 clinical isolates of dermatophytes. All plants showed a fungicidal effect against both fungal species, with MIC/MFC values of the active extracts ranging from 15.6 to 250.0 µg/mL. Selected extracts of Eugenia uniflora (AcE), Libidibia ferrea (AE), and Persea americana (AcE) also exhibited a fungicidal effect against all clinical isolates of T. rubrum and T. mentagrophytes complex. This is the first report of the antifungal activity of Schinus terebinthifolius, Piptadenia colubrina, Parapiptadenia rigida, Mimosa ophthalmocentra, and Persea americana against both dermatophyte species. <![CDATA[SEROVARS AND ANTIMICROBIAL RESISTANCE OF <em>Salmonella</em> spp. ISOLATED FROM TURKEY AND BROILER CARCASSES IN SOUTHERN BRAZIL BETWEEN 2004 AND 2006]]> Salmonella spp. causes diseases in fowls, when species-specific serovars (Salmonella Pullorum and S.Gallinarum) are present in flocks, and public health problems, when non-typhoid serovars are isolated, as well as possible bacterial resistance induced by the preventive and therapeutic use of antimicrobials in animal production. This study describes the serovars and bacterial resistance of 280Salmonella spp. strains isolated from turkey and broiler carcasses in Southern Brazil between 2004 and 2006. SalmonellaEnteritidis was the most prevalent serovar (55.7%), followed by Heidelberg (5.0%), Agona (4.3%), Bredeney (3.9%), Hadar (3.2%), and Typhimurium (2.9%). Tennessee and S. Enterica subspecies enterica(O: 4.5) were isolated only in turkeys, and Hadar (18.6%) was the most prevalent serovar in this species. Antimicrobial susceptibility tests were performed in 178 isolates (43 from turkeys and 135 from broilers). All isolates were sensitive to amoxicillin + clavulanic acid, polymyxin B, ciprofloxacin, and norfloxacin, and were resistant to bacitracin and penicillin. Broiler carcass isolates showed resistance to nalidixic acid (48.9%), nitrofurantoin (34.3%), neomycin (9.6%), tetracycline (5.2%), and kanamycin (8.9%); and turkey carcass isolates were resistant to nalidixic acid (62.8%), tetracycline (34.9%), and neomycin (30.2%), with a significant difference in turkeys when compared to broiler carcass isolates. These results indicate the need for judicious use of antimicrobials in livestock production, given that the serovars identified are potential causes of food poisoning. <![CDATA[<em>Candida albicans</em> PROTEIN PROFILE CHANGES IN RESPONSE TO THE BUTANOLIC EXTRACT OF <em>Sapindus saponaria</em>L.]]> Candida albicans is an opportunistic human pathogen that is capable of causing superficial and systemic infections in immunocompromised patients. Extracts of Sapindus saponaria have been used as antimicrobial agents against various organisms. In the present study, we used a combination of two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (2D-PAGE) and matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) to identify the changes in protein abundance of C. albicans after exposure to the minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) and sub-minimal inhibitory concentration (sub-MIC) of the butanolic extract (BUTE) of S. saponaria and also to fluconazole. A total of six different proteins with greater than 1.5 fold induction or repression relative to the untreated control cells were identified among the three treatments. In general, proteins/enzymes involved with the glycolysis (GPM1, ENO1, FBA1), amino acid metabolism (ILV5, PDC11) and protein synthesis (ASC1) pathways were detected. In conclusion, our findings reveal antifungal-induced changes in protein abundance of C. albicans. By using the previously identified components of the BUTE of S. saponaria(e.g., saponins and sesquiterpene oligoglycosides), it will be possible to compare the behavior of compounds with unknown mechanisms of action, and this knowledge will help to focus the subsequent biochemical work aimed at defining the effects of these compounds. <![CDATA[CD19 LYMPHOCYTE PROLIFERATION INDUCED BY <em>Bifidobacterium animalis</em> subsp. <em>lactis</em> IN C57BL/6 MICE EXPERIMENTALLY INFECTED WITH <em>Toxoplasma gondii</em>]]> Toxoplasmosis is frequently acquired through the oral route by the ingestion of cysts or oocysts of Toxoplasma gondii. Once ingested, the parasites penetrate the intestinal epithelial cells and rapidly disseminate to all organs in the host. During T. gondii infection, the intestinal microbiota plays an important role in stimulating a protective immune response against the parasite. In this sense the use of probiotics is worthy of note since they are live microorganisms that have beneficial effects on the host through stimulation of the immune response that can be important in the control of T. gondii proliferation and dissemination in the host. In the present study, the action of the probiotic Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis was investigated in C57BL/6 mice infected with oocysts of ME49 strain of T. gondii. The probiotic had an immunomodulatory action, inducing CD19 lymphocyte proliferation and consequently increasing anti-T. gondii antibody level.Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactisprovided protection in supplemented mice, compared to the control group. In addition, supplemented animals had milder inflammatory process in the small intestine, indicating that the probiotic protects the intestinal mucosa during infection with T. gondii. It was concluded that the probioticB. animalis subsp. lactis induces humoral immune response capable of providing protection against T. gondii infection. <![CDATA[MALARIA DIAGNOSIS BY LOOP-MEDIATED ISOTHERMAL AMPLIFICATION (LAMP) IN THAILAND]]> The loop-mediated isothermal amplification method (LAMP) is a recently developed molecular technique that amplifies nucleic acid under isothermal conditions. For malaria diagnosis, 150 blood samples from consecutive febrile malaria patients, and healthy subjects were screened in Thailand. Each sample was diagnosed by LAMP, microscopy and nested polymerase chain reaction (nPCR), using nPCR as the gold standard. Malaria LAMP was performed using Plasmodiumgenus and Plasmodium falciparum specific assays in parallel. For the genus Plasmodium, microscopy showed a sensitivity and specificity of 100%, while LAMP presented 99% of sensitivity and 93% of specificity. For P. falciparum, microscopy had a sensitivity of 95%, and LAMP of 90%, regarding the specificity; and microscopy presented 93% and LAMP 97% of specificity. The results of the genus-specific LAMP technique were highly consistent with those of nPCR and the sensitivity of P. falciparum detection was only marginally lower. <![CDATA[ISOLATION AND GENOTYPING OF <em>Toxoplasma gondii</em> IN SERONEGATIVE URBAN RATS AND PRESENCE OF ANTIBODIES IN COMMUNICATING DOGS IN BRAZIL]]> The role of rodents in the epidemiology of toxoplasmosis was investigated inLondrina, Paraná State, Brazil. One hundred and eighty-one Rattus rattus and one Mus musculus were caught in 37 places. Blood and tissues were collected and submitted to the indirect fluorescence antibody test (IFAT) and the bioassay. Serum samples from 61 contacting dogs were also collected. Sixteen rats (8.8%) were positive for Toxoplasma gondii, but just two of them were positive by serology and bioassay test. Antibodies were found in nine (4.9%) rats. Tissues of nine rats bioassayed were positive and four isolates were obtained. Restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis was performed using 12 markers (SAG1, SAG2, SAG2-alt, C22-8, C29-2, L358, PK1, BTUB, GRA6, SAG3, Apico, CS3). Genotyping revealed that the four strains isolated from this study have been isolated before in cats and chickens from Brazil. None of the isolates was identified like clonal archetypal T-types I, II, and III. The rats presented lower serologic Toxoplasma gondii prevalence (8.8%) compared to contacting dogs (70.5%). <![CDATA[VISCERAL LEISHMANIASIS IN <em>PETROLINA</em>, STATE OF<em>PERNAMBUCO</em>, BRAZIL, 2007-2013]]> Visceral leishmaniasis is a life-threatening disease of great public health relevance in Brazil. The municipality of Petrolina is an endemic area in the State of Pernambuco, Brazil. This study was designed to assess the recent expansion of VL in the municipality ofPetrolina, Pernambuco. Patients data were obtained from the Brazilian National Information System for Notifiable Diseases (SINAN). A total of 111 records from 2007 to 2013 were investigated, of which 69 were residents in Petrolina. The disease has predominantly affected 1-4 year old children (34.8%). Most of the patients were males (59.4%). Co-infection with human immunodeficiency virus occurred in 14.5% of the cases. The criterion most frequently used was the clinical and epidemiological confirmation (59.4%), with clinical cure in 78.3% of cases and one fatal outcome. Visceral leishmaniasis is endemic in Petrolina with transmission levels varying from moderate to high. The present study has shown the precariousness of the use of diagnostic tests in primary healthcare units, and this misuse has interfered with the diagnosis and treatment of cases. <![CDATA[PRELIMINARY REPORT ON THE PUTATIVE ASSOCIATION OF IL10 -3575 T/A GENETIC POLYMORPHISM WITH MALARIA SYMPTOMS]]> Only a small percentage of individuals living in endemic areas develop severe malaria suggesting that host genetic factors may play a key role. This study has determined the frequency of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in some pro and anti-inflammatory cytokine gene sequences: IL6 (-174; rs1800795), IL12p40 (+1188; rs3212227), IL4 (+33; rs2070874), IL10 (-3575; rs1800890) and TGFb1 (+869; rs1800470), by means of PCR-RFLP. Blood samples were collected from 104 symptomatic and 37 asymptomatic subjects. Laboratory diagnosis was assessed by the thick blood smear test and nested-PCR. No association was found between IL6 (-174), IL12p40 (+1188), IL4 (+33), IL10 (- 3575), TGFb1 (+869) SNPs and malaria symptoms. However, regarding the IL10 -3575 T/A SNP, there were significantly more AA and AT subjects, carrying the polymorphic allele A, in the symptomatic group (c2 = 4.54, p = 0.01, OR = 0.40 [95% CI - 0.17- 0.94]). When the analysis was performed by allele, the frequency of the polymorphic allele A was also significantly higher in the symptomatic group (c2 = 4.50, p = 0.01, OR = 0.45 [95% CI - 0.21-0.95]). In conclusion, this study has suggested the possibility that the IL10 - 3575 T/A SNP might be associated with the presence and maintenance of malaria symptoms in individuals living in endemic areas. Taking into account that this polymorphism is related to decreased IL10 production, a possible role of this SNP in the pathophysiology of malaria is also suggested, but replication studies with a higher number of patients and evaluation of IL10 levels are needed for confirmation. <![CDATA[HIGH PREVALENCE OF <em>Blastocystis</em> spp. INFECTION IN CHILDREN AND STAFF MEMBERS ATTENDING PUBLIC URBAN SCHOOLS IN <em>SÃO PAULO</em> STATE, BRAZIL]]> After a gastroenteritis outbreak of unknown etiology in the municipality ofSebastião da Grama, SãoPaulo, Brazil, we conducted a parasitological survey to establish the epidemiological profile of enteroparasitosis in children and staff members attending the public urban schools in operation in town. The cross-sectional study evaluated 172 children aged 11 months to 6 years old and 33 staff members aged 19 to 58 years old. Overall, 96 (55.81%) children and 20 (60.61%) staff members were mono-parasitized, while 58 (33.72%) children and 4 (12.12%) workers were poly-parasitized. Protozoa (88.37%; 72.73%) was more prevalent than helminthes (3.48%; 0%) in children and staff members respectively.Blastocystis spp. was the most prevalent parasite in children (86.63%) and staff members (66.67%). The age of 1 year old or less was found to be associated with increased prevalence of giardiasis [OR = 13.04; 95%CI 2.89-58.91; p = 0.00] and public garbage collection was identified as a protective factor against intestinal helminth infections [OR = 0.06; 95%CI 0.00-0.79; p = 0.03]. Although most of the children tested positive for Blastocystis spp. and also presented clinical signs/symptoms (62.2%), this association was not statistically significant [OR = 1.35; 95%CI 0.53-3.44; p = 0.51]. Intestinal parasites still represent a public health concern and this study underscores the importance of further investigations to better understand the pathogenic role ofBlastocystis spp. <![CDATA[INFECTION BY <em>Rickettsia felis</em> IN OPOSSUMS (<em>Didelphis</em> sp.) FROM YUCATAN, MEXICO]]> Rickettsia felis is an emergent pathogen and the causative agent of a typhus-like rickettsiosis in the Americas. Its transmission cycle involves fleas as biological vectors (mainly Ctenocephalides felis) and multiple domestic and synanthropic mammal hosts. Nonetheless, the role of mammals in the cycle of R. felis is not well understood and many efforts are ongoing in different countries of America to clarify it. The present study describes for the first time in Mexico the infection of two species of opossum (Didelphis virginiana and D. marsupialis) by R. felis. A diagnosis was carried out from blood samples by molecular methods through the gltAand 17 kDa genes and sequence determination. Eighty-seven opossum samples were analyzed and 28 were found to be infected (32.1%) from five out of the six studied localities of Yucatan. These findings enable recognition of the potential epidemiological implications for public health of the presence of infected synanthropic Didelphis in households. <![CDATA[CONTRIBUTIONS TO RICKETTSIOSES RESEARCH IN COLOMBIA (1917-1943), LUIS B. PATIÑO CAMARGO]]> Colombian physician Luis Benigno Patiño Camargo was one of the pioneers in the study of rickettsioses in South America, demonstrating for the first time in Colombia the presence of Rickettsia rickettsii as the etiological agent of a highly deadly exanthematic febrile syndrome in the 1930s. However, Patiño-Camargo performed other investigations from 1917-1943, which represent the first descriptions and scientific evidence of the presence ofR. prowazekii and R. typhi in Colombia. Almost 60 years after the latest research conducted by Dr. Patiño-Camargo, rickettsioses were again a matter of interest and research. In the last decade over 20 research studies have been published, showing new endemic areas forR. rickettsii, as well as the description of new rickettsial species in Colombia. <![CDATA[PARACOCCIDIOIDOMYCOSIS IN A RENAL TRANSPLANT RECIPIENT]]> Paracoccidioidomycosis (PCM) is the most common endemic mycosis in Latin America. The etiological agents, which comprise two species, Paracoccidioides brasiliensis and P. lutzii, are thermodimorphic fungi that usually affect previously healthy adults. They primarily involve the lungs and then disseminate to other organs. Such mycosis is rare in organ transplant recipients; there have been only three cases reported in literature, until now. We report a case of PCM in a renal transplant recipient with an unusual dermatological presentation. <![CDATA[AMERICAN CUTANEOUS LEISHMANIASIS WITH UNUSUAL CLINICAL PRESENTATION AND RESPONSE TO TREATMENT]]> The clinical manifestations and prognosis of cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) can be influenced by the immune response of the patient and the species of the parasite. A case of atypical clinical presentation of CL, with development of non-characteristic lesions, poor response to therapy, and a long time to resolution is reported. Confirmatory laboratory tests included parasite detection, indirect immunofluorescence, Montenegro skin test, polymerase chain reaction, and parasite identification by multilocus enzyme electrophoresis. The parasite was identified as Leishmaniabraziliensis. The lesion was unresponsive to three complete courses of N-methylglucamine antimoniate intramuscular, and to treatment with pentamidine. The patient did not tolerate amphotericin B. The lesion finally receded after treatment with intravenous N-methylglucamine antimoniate. It is essential to ensure the accuracy of diagnosis and the appropriate treatment, which can include the use a second choice drug or a different route of administration. <![CDATA[INTESTINAL AND PULMONARY INFECTION BY <em>Cryptosporidium parvum</em> IN TWO PATIENTS WITH HIV/AIDS]]> We describe two patients with HIV/AIDS who presented pulmonary and intestinal infection caused by Cryptosporidium parvum, with a fatal outcome. The lack of available description of changes in clinical signs and radiographic characteristics of this disease when it is located in the extra-intestinal region causes low prevalence of early diagnosis and a subsequent lack of treatment. <![CDATA[BRAIN ABSCESS DUE TO <em>Staphylococcus aureus</em> OF CRYPTOGENIC SOURCE IN AN HIV-1 INFECTED PATIENT IN USE OF ANTIRETROVIRAL THERAPY]]> The spectrum of neurological complications associated with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection is broad. The most frequent etiologies include primary diseases (caused by HIV itself) or secondary diseases (opportunistic infections or neoplasms). Despite these conditions, HIV-infected patients are susceptible to other infections observed in patients without HIV infection. Here we report a rare case of a brain abscess caused by Staphylococcus aureus in an HIV-infected patient. After drainage of the abscess and treatment with oxacilin, the patient had a favorable outcome. This case reinforces the importance of a timely neurosurgical procedure that supported adequate management of an unusual cause of expansive brain lesions in HIV-1 infected patients. <![CDATA[<em>Rhipicephalus sanguineus</em> (ACARI: IXODIDAE) BITING A HUMAN BEING IN <em>PORTOALEGRE</em> CITY, <em>RIO GRANDE DO SUL</em>, BRAZIL]]> We report the finding of a female brown dog tick, Rhipicephalus sanguineus (Acari: Ixodidae) on the scalp of a male patient inPorto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. Human parasitism by this tick is rare and has seldomly been reported in the literature, despite its recognized importance since it can act as a vector of Rickettsia rickettsii, the agent of spotted fever. <![CDATA[SURVIVAL CAPACITY OF <em>Arcobacter butzleri</em> INOCULATED IN POULTRY MEAT AT TWO DIFFERENT REFRIGERATION TEMPERATURES]]> Arcobacter spp. are emerging enteropathogens and potential zoonotic agents that can be transmitted by food and water, being considered a public health risk. The high isolation rate of these bacteria from poultry products suggests that it may be a major source of human infections. One hallmark for differentiating the genus Arcobacter fromCampylobacter includes their growing capacity at low temperatures (15-30 °C) under aerobic conditions. However, little is known about the population density variation of these bacteria at different refrigeration temperatures. The aim of this study was to determine the survival behavior of two different Arcobacter butzleri concentrations (104 CFU/mL and 107 CFU/mL) inoculated on chicken legs and held at two different refrigeration temperatures (4 and 10 °C) throughout storage time. Results have shown that A. butzleri had growing capacity both at 4 and 10 °C. No statistical difference between the survival trends was found for both bacterial concentrations and temperatures tested. This study shows that A. butzleri is a robust species with regard to storage temperature, and represents a potential health risk for poultry meat consumers. <![CDATA[Leishmania infantum AS A CAUSATIVE AGENT OF CUTANEOUS LEISHMANIASIS IN THE STATE OF MATO GROSSO DO SUL, BRAZIL]]> Cutaneous leishmaniasis is caused by different species of theLeishmania genus. Leishmania(Leishmania) infantum, causing cutaneous leishmaniasis, has been described in patients living in areas where visceral leishmaniasis is endemic. In this study, it was possible to characterize this species in seven slides from cutaneous tissue imprints from patients with cutaneous leishmaniasis in the State of Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil. <![CDATA[INTRODUCTION AND TRANSMISSION OF ZIKA VIRUS IN BRAZIL: NEW CHALLENGES FOR THE AMERICAS]]> Cutaneous leishmaniasis is caused by different species of theLeishmania genus. Leishmania(Leishmania) infantum, causing cutaneous leishmaniasis, has been described in patients living in areas where visceral leishmaniasis is endemic. In this study, it was possible to characterize this species in seven slides from cutaneous tissue imprints from patients with cutaneous leishmaniasis in the State of Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil.