Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Revista da Sociedade Brasileira de Medicina Tropical]]> http://www.scielo.br/rss.php?pid=0037-868220170001&lang=en vol. 50 num. 1 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> http://www.scielo.br/img/en/fbpelogp.gif http://www.scielo.br <![CDATA[Zika - The road from an obscure disease to an epidemic of information]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0037-86822017000100001&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en <![CDATA[Keeping track of hidden dangers - The short history of the Sabiá virus]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0037-86822017000100003&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Abstract Emerging infectious diseases are a global threat. In countries like Brazil, where biodiversity is high and public health conditions in terms of infrastructure and medical care are often precarious, emerging diseases are particularly worrisome. The lack of monitoring strategies to identify pathogens with the potential to cause outbreaks or epidemics is another problem in Brazil and other developing countries. In this article, we present the history of the Sabiá virus (SABV), a pathogen that was described in the 1990s in Brazil. Several aspects of the biology and ecology of the SABV remain unknown. The SABV has the potential to cause hemorrhagic fever in humans. To date, four cases of human infections have been reported worldwide; two were naturally acquired (both in Brazil), whereas the other two were linked to occupational exposure in the laboratory environment (one in Brazil and one in the USA). In this review, we summarize the basic biological and ecological characteristics of the SABV. This is the first work to gather all available data on the historical aspects involving the cases of SABV infection along with an update on its characteristic features. <![CDATA[Bacterial immunostat: <em>Mycobacterium tuberculosis</em> lipids and their role in the host immune response]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0037-86822017000100009&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Abstract: The lipid-rich cell wall of Mycobacterium tuberculosis is a dynamic structure that is involved in the regulation of the transport of nutrients, toxic host-cell effector molecules, and anti-tuberculosis drugs. It is therefore postulated to contribute to the long-term bacterial survival in an infected human host. Accumulating evidence suggests that M. tuberculosis remodels the lipid composition of the cell wall as an adaptive mechanism against host-imposed stress. Some of these lipid species (trehalose dimycolate, diacylated sulphoglycolipid, and mannan-based lipoglycans) trigger an immunopathologic response, whereas others (phthiocerol dimycocerosate, mycolic acids, sulpholipid-1, and di-and polyacyltrehalose) appear to dampen the immune responses. These lipids appear to be coordinately expressed in the cell wall of M. tuberculosis during different phases of infection, ultimately determining the clinical fate of the infection. This review summarizes the current state of knowledge on the metabolism, transport, and homeostatic or immunostatic regulation of the cell wall lipids, and their orchestrated interaction with host immune responses that results in bacterial clearance, persistence, or tuberculosis. <![CDATA[Molecular and clinical epidemiological surveillance of dengue virus in Paraíba, Northeast Brazil]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0037-86822017000100019&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en ABSTRACT INTRODUCTION: Despite being the most prevalent arboviral disease worldwide, dengue has been neglected lately. However, recent epidemics of arboviruses such as Zika and chikungunya in locations throughout the world have alerted health authorities to these diseases. This study evaluated the incidence pattern of dengue, its clinical characteristics, and co-circulation of serotypes from 2007 to 2015 in Paraiba State, Northeast Brazil. METHODS: Data on dengue cases from 2007 to 2015 were extracted from clinical reports of the National System for Notifiable Diseases [Sistema Nacional de Agravos de Notificação (SINAN)] of Brazil provided by the Paraiba Health Department. Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assays for dengue serotypes were carried out on plasma samples obtained from patients with suspected dengue. The data were analysed using descriptive statistics. RESULTS: According to clinical features, dengue fever [n = 39,083 (70.2%)] and dengue without warning signs [n = 15,365 (27.7%)] were the most common classifications of dengue. On RT-PCR, DENV 1 was the most commonly identified serotype (80.5%) in all years studied. Co-circulation of all four DENV serotypes was observed in 2013 and 2014. Furthermore, we observed an increase in dengue notifications in 2015, possibly due to the rise of Zika and chikungunya. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings support the hypothesis that co-circulation of the four DENV serotypes may be a reason for the increased prevalence of severe forms of dengue in the years studied. This study may contribute to directing research, health policy, and financial resources toward reducing poorly controlled epidemic diseases. <![CDATA[Prevalence and factors associated with syphilis in a Reference Center]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0037-86822017000100027&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Abstract INTRODUCTION: The implementation of the rapid test (RT) for syphilis increases access of vulnerable populations to early diagnosis and treatment, impacting the outcomes of infection. We aimed to assess the prevalence of and factors associated with syphilis in a Center for Testing and Counseling (CTC). METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional study at a Reference Center for sexually transmitted disease (STD) and acquired immune deficiency syndrome in Londrina, Northern Paraná State, Southern Brazil. Data regarding the 5,509 individuals who underwent RT from June 2012 to December 2014 were collected from patient records and the CTC Information System and served as the basis to check associations of syphilis cases (346) and cases without syphilis (5,163). Nine patients’ records were not found. OpenEpi was used to perform a prevalence analysis and determine odds ratios to assess the associations between sociodemographic and behavioral variables (independent variables) and cases of syphilis (dependent variable). An alpha value &lt;0.05 was considered statistically significant. RESULTS: The prevalence of syphilis was 6.3%; higher in males (7.5%) than in females (4.3%, p &lt;0.001). Syphilis was associated with an age of 25-34 years, little education, and single marital status. The main associated behavioral factors were men who have sex with men, drug users, STD patients, and those presenting with an STD in the last year. The use of alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, and crack was significantly associated with syphilis. CONCLUSIONS: Strategies for prevention and control of syphilis should be intensified, especially in populations identified as most vulnerable. <![CDATA[<em>Trypanosoma cruzi</em> I genotype among isolates from patients with chronic Chagas disease followed at the Evandro Chagas National Institute of Infectious Diseases (FIOCRUZ, Brazil)]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0037-86822017000100035&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en ABSTRACT INTRODUCTION: Trypanosoma cruzi is the etiologic agent of Chagas disease in humans, mainly in Latin America. Trypanosome stocks were isolated by hemoculture from patients followed at Evandro Chagas National Institute of Infectious Diseases (FIOCRUZ) and studied using different approaches. METHODS: For species and genotype identification, the stocks were analyzed by parasitological techniques, polymerase chain reaction assays targeted to specific DNA sequences, isoenzyme patterns, besides sequencing of a polymorphic locus of TcSC5D gene (one stock). RESULTS: The isolates presented typical T. cruzi morphology and usually grew well in routine culture media. Metacyclic trypomastigotes were found in cultures or experimentally infected Triatoma infestans. All isolates were pure T. cruzi cultures, presenting typical 330-bp products from kinetoplast DNA minicircles, and 250 or 200-bp amplicons from the mini-exon non-transcribed spacer. Their genetic type assignment was resolved by their isoenzyme profiles. The finding of TcI in one asymptomatic patient from Paraíba was confirmed by the sequencing assay. TcVI was found in two asymptomatic individuals from Bahia and Rio Grande do Sul. TcII was identified in six patients from Pernambuco, Bahia and Minas Gerais, who presented different clinical forms: cardiac (2), digestive with megaesophagus (1), and indeterminate (3). CONCLUSIONS: The main T. cruzi genotypes found in Brazilian chronic patients were identified in this work, including TcI, which is less frequent and usually causes asymptomatic disease, unlike that in other American countries. This study emphasizes the importance of T. cruzi genotyping for possible correlations between the parasite and patient’ responses to therapeutic treatment or disease clinical manifestations. <![CDATA[Analysis of the seroprevalence of and factors associated with Chagas disease in an endemic area in Northeastern Brazil]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0037-86822017000100044&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en ABSTRACT INTRODUCTION: Chagas disease (CD) is currently considered a neglected disease; hence, identifying the factors associated with its high prevalence is essential. This study aimed to identify the seroprevalence of and the possible factors associated with CD in inhabitants of the City of Limoeiro do Norte, Northeastern Brazil. METHODS: Between April and November 2013, blood collection was conducted and a semi-structured questionnaire was administered. Blood samples that showed positive or possible serology for anti-Trypanosoma cruzi antibodies based on indirect immunofluorescence, hemagglutination indirect, and an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay were analyzed. Associations between CD positivity and the study variables were analyzed using prevalence ratios (PR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI). RESULTS: A total of 812 individuals were analyzed, of which T. cruzi seropositivity was determined in 4.2% (34 individuals). Sociodemographic variables showing a significant association with T. cruzi positivity included age &gt;50 years (PR = 27.6; 95% CI = 6.66-114.4), elementary level education (PR = 5.15; 95% CI = 1.83-14.47), and retirement (PR = 7.25; 95% CI = 3.72-14.14). Positivity for T. cruzi was 6.17 times higher in those who had a history of living in rammed earth houses compared with those who did not (95% CI = 2.19-17.37). There was no evidence of vertical transmission in the individuals studied. Among the individuals infected with T. cruzi, the majority reported having a comorbidity (p &lt; 0.01). CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrated the seroprevalence of CD and identified factors associated with a high prevalence of CD. <![CDATA[<em>In vitro</em> and <em>in vivo</em> antileishmanial activity of <em>Artemisia annua</em> L. leaf powder and its potential usefulness in the treatment of uncomplicated cutaneous leishmaniasis in humans]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0037-86822017000100052&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en ABSTRACT INTRODUCTION: Cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) is a tropical disease that affects millions of individuals worldwide. The current drugs for CL may be effective but have serious side effects; hence, alternatives are urgently needed. Although plant-derived materials are used for the treatment of various diseases in 80% of the global population, the validation of these products is essential. Gelatin capsules containing dried Artemisia annua leaf powder were recently developed as a new herbal formulation (totum) for the oral treatment of malaria and other parasitic diseases. Here, we aimed to determine the usefulness of A. annua gel capsules in CL. METHODS: The antileishmanial activity and cytotoxicity of A. annua L. capsules was determined via in vitro and in vivo studies. Moreover, a preliminary evaluation of its therapeutic potential as antileishmanial treatment in humans was conducted in 2 patients with uncomplicated CL. RESULTS: Artemisia annua capsules showed moderate in vitro activity in amastigotes of Leishmania (Viannia) panamensis; no cytotoxicity in U-937 macrophages or genotoxicity in human lymphocytes was observed. Five of 6 (83.3%) hamsters treated with A. annua capsules (500mg/kg/day) for 30 days were cured, and the 2 examined patients were cured 45 days after initiation of treatment with 30g of A. annua capsules, without any adverse reactions. Both patients remained disease-free 26 and 24 months after treatment completion. CONCLUSION: Capsules of A. annua L. represent an effective treatment for uncomplicated CL, although further randomized controlled trials are needed to validate its efficacy and safety. <![CDATA[Serodiagnosis of visceral and cutaneous leishmaniasis in human and canine populations living in Indigenous Reserves in the Brazilian Amazon Region]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0037-86822017000100061&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en ABSTRACT INTRODUCTION: Leishmaniasis is endemic to the Northern, Northeastern, Central-Western, and Southeastern regions of Brazil. We aimed to assess the epidemiological situation of leishmaniasis in humans and dogs in indigenous villages located in the States of Mato Grosso and Tocantins using a serological survey conducted in May 2011. METHODS: Serum samples were collected from 470 humans and 327 dogs living in villages of the Urubu Branco and Tapirapé Karajá indigenous reserves. The samples were analyzed for the presence of Leishmania spp. antibodies using the indirect fluorescent antibody test (IFAT), enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) with a crude antigen (CA) and soluble antigen (SA), and Dual Path Platform (DPP®) immunoassay for canine visceral leishmaniasis. RESULTS: Of 470 human samples tested, two (0.4%) were positive using IFAT. Among 327 dog samples tested, 28 (8.6%) were positive using ELISA CA, five (1.5%) using ELISA SA, two (0.6%) using IFAT, and none using DPP® immunoassay with Leishmania infantum chagasi antigen. When Leishmania amazonensis antigen was used, 20 (6.1%) samples were positive using ELISA CA and four (1.2%) using IFAT. CONCLUSIONS: There was a low prevalence of infection in the region, and significant differences among the main serological methods used for the diagnosis of leishmaniasis. These findings indicated that the detection of Leishmania spp. requires further study and improvement. <![CDATA[Efficacy and safety of amphotericin B deoxycholate versus N-methylglucamine antimoniate in pediatric visceral leishmaniasis: an open-label, randomized, and controlled pilot trial in Brazil]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0037-86822017000100067&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en ABSTRACT INTRODUCTION Despite their high toxicity, antimonials and amphotericin B deoxycholate are commonly used for treating visceral leishmaniasis (VL). Few studies showing conflictive data about their efficacy and adverse events in pediatric population are available. This study aimed to evaluate efficacy and safety of amphotericin B deoxycholate vs. that of N-methylglucamine antimoniate in treating pediatric VL in Brazil. METHODS This was a randomized, open-label, 2-arm and controlled pilot clinical trial. Treatment naïve children and adolescents with VL without signs of severe illness were treated with N-methylglucamine antimoniate (20mg/kg/day for 20 days) or amphotericin B deoxycholate (1 mg/kg/day for 14 days). All patients were diagnosed with positive direct examination and/or positive PCR for Leishmania spp. performed in bone marrow samples. The primary efficacy end-point was VL cure determined after 180 days of completion of treatment. The analysis was performed using intention-to-treat (ITT) and per protocol (PP) analyses. RESULTS In total, 101 volunteers were assessed. Efficacy was similar for both groups. The antimonial (n=51) and amphotericin B groups (n=50) had a cure rate of 94.1% and 100%, and 94% and 97.9% according to ITT and PP analyses, respectively. All patients reported adverse events (AE). Serious AE incidence was similar in both groups. Five individuals were excluded from the study because of severe adverse events. CONCLUSIONS N-methylglucamine antimoniate and amphotericin B deoxycholate have similar efficacy and adverse events rate in pediatric patients with VL. <![CDATA[Antifungal activity of synthetic antiseptics and natural compounds against <em>Candida dubliniensis</em> before and after <em>in vitro</em> fluconazole exposure]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0037-86822017000100075&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en ABSTRACT INTRODUCTION: This study evaluated the susceptibilities of oral candidiasis-derived Candida albicans, fluconazole-resistant (FR) Candida dubliniensis, and fluconazole-susceptible (FS) C. dubliniensis to synthetic antiseptics [chlorhexidine gluconate (CHX), cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC), and triclosan (TRC)] and natural compounds (carvacrol, eugenol and thymol). METHODS: Susceptibility tests were performed based on the M27-A3 reference method. The fluconazole-resistant C. dubliniensis strains were obtained after prolonged in vitro exposure to increasing fluconazole concentrations. The geometric mean values for minimum inhibitory concentrations and minimum fungicidal concentrations were compared among the groups. RESULTS: Fluconazole-susceptible C. dubliniensis was more sensitive to CPC and TRC than FR C. dubliniensis and C. albicans were. However, eugenol and thymol were more active against FR C. dubliniensis. The fungicidal activities of CHX and TRC were similar for the three groups, and FR C. dubliniensis and C. albicans had similar sensitivities to CPC. CONCLUSIONS: The resistance of C. dubliniensis to fluconazole affects its sensitivity the synthetic antiseptics and natural compounds that were tested. <![CDATA[Invasive fungal infection in patients with hematologic disorders in a Brazilian tertiary care hospital]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0037-86822017000100080&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en ABSTRACT INTRODUCTION: Invasive fungal infections (IFIs) are an important complication in immunocompromised individuals, particularly neutropenic patients with hematological malignancies. In this study, we aimed to verify the epidemiology and diagnosis of IFIs in patients with hematologic problems at a tertiary hospital in Goiânia-GO, Brazil. METHODS: Data from 117 patients, involving 19 cases of IFIs, were collected. The collected data included diagnosis methods, demographics, clinical characteristics, and in vitro susceptibility to different antifungal agents. Among the 19 cases, 12 were classified as proven IFI and 7 as probable invasive aspergillosis with detection of galactomannan in blood and presence of lung infiltrates in radiographic images. Logistic regression analysis showed that the proven and probable IFIs were associated with increased risk of death. Statistical analysis demonstrated that age, sex, and underlying disease were not independently associated with risk of death in IFI patients. RESULTS: Most bloodstream isolates of Candida spp. exhibited low minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) to all antifungal agents tested. Voriconazole and amphotericin had the lowest MICs for Aspergillus spp. and Fusarium spp., but Fusarium spp. showed the least susceptibility to all antifungals tested. Amphotericin B, fluconazole, and itraconazole were found to be inactive in vitro against Acremonium kiliense; but this fungus was sensitive to voriconazole. CONCLUSIONS: Considering the high number of IFI cases, with crude mortality rate of 6%, we could conclude that IFIs remain a common infection in patients with hematological malignancies and underdiagnosed ante mortem. Thus, IFIs should be monitored closely. <![CDATA[Ultrastructural study of morphological changes in <em>Schistosoma mansoni</em> after <em>in vitro</em> exposure to the monoterpene rotundifolone]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0037-86822017000100086&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en ABSTRACT INTRODUCTION: Schistosomiasis, a parasitic disease caused by trematode flatworms of the genus Schistosoma, affects more than 200 million people worldwide, and its control is dependent on a single drug, praziquantel. Here, we report the in vitro effect of rotundifolone, a monoterpene isolated from Mentha x villosa (Lamiaceae), on Schistosoma mansoni adult worms. METHODS: The in vitro effect of rotundifolone on adult Schistosoma mansoni was evaluated by analysis of behavior and mortality and through a scanning electron microscopic analysis of ultrastructural changes in the tegument of the worms. RESULTS: At concentrations of 3.54 and 7.09μg/mL-1 rotundifolone, no worm mortality was observed at any of the sampling intervals. A minor reduction in movement of the tail, suckers, and gynecophoral canal membrane was observed after 96 h of exposure to 7.09μg/mL-1 rotundifolone. At 70.96μg/mL-1, a lack of movement was observed from 72h onwards and all worms were deemed dead; similar effects were observed at 48h with 177.4μg/mL-1, and at 24h with 354.8μg/mL-1 and 700.96μg/mL-1. Rotundifolone also caused death of all parasites and separation of coupled pairs into individual males and females after 24h at 354.8μg/mL-1. CONCLUSIONS: The main changes in the tegument induced by the different ROT treatments were: after 24h incubation, bubble lesions spread over the entire body and loss of tubercles occurred in some regions of the ventral region. <![CDATA[Prevalence and distribution of <em>Angiostrongylus cantonensis</em> (Nematoda, Angiostrongylidae) in <em>Achatina fulica</em> (Mollusca, Gastropoda) in Baixada Santista, São Paulo, Brazil]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0037-86822017000100092&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en ABSTRACT INTRODUCTION Angiostrongylus cantonensis is causes eosinophilic meningoencephalitis in humans. Worldwide expansion of this nematode is linked to the dispersion of their hosts. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of A. cantonensis infection in Achatina fulica in the nine municipalities that make up Baixada Santista, São Paulo, Brazil. METHODS Angiostrongylus cantonensis larvae were analyzed using optical microscopy. We performed polymerase chain reaction and restriction fragment length polymorphism using restriction endonuclease ClaI, directed to the internal transcribed spacer region 2 of A. cantonensis larval DNA. RESULTS Of the 540 snails analyzed, 117 (21.7%) were infected by A. cantonensis. For morphological and morphometric analyses, 60 larvae were used. Second-stage larvae were, on average, 358.2µm long and 26.4µm wide, while third-stage larvae were, on average, 450µm long and 21.12µm wide. The tails of the larvae ended in a fine tip. CONCLUSIONS All municipalities comprising Baixada Santista had A. fulica that were naturally infected with A. cantonensis. All of the observed characteristics were typical of the species. <![CDATA[Subversion of immunoproteasome subunit expression in dengue virus serotype 2-infected HepG2 cells]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0037-86822017000100099&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Abstract: INTRODUCTION: Infection with all serotypes of dengue virus (DV) results in augmented antigen presentation by MHC class I molecules. However, the upregulation of immunoproteasome subunits only results from infection with two serotypes. This study aims to elucidate changes in the expression of immunoproteasome subunits resulting from infection with DV, particularly DV serotype 2 (DV2). METHODS: HepG2 cells were grown in various culture milieu. Total cellular RNA and proteins were extracted and quantified. RESULTS: Results demonstrated sequestration of immunoproteasome subunits LMP2 and LMP7 in DV2-infected cells. CONCLUSIONS: This study provides insights into the mechanisms underlying immune evasion by DV. <![CDATA[Spatial-temporal analysis of dengue deaths: identifying social vulnerabilities]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0037-86822017000100104&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Abstract: INTRODUCTION Currently, dengue fever, chikungunya fever, and zika virus represent serious public health issues in Brazil, despite efforts to control the vector, the Aedes aegypti mosquito. METHODS: This was a descriptive and ecological study of dengue deaths occurring from 2002 to 2013 in São Luis, Maranhão, Brazil. Geoprocessing software was used to draw maps, linking the geo-referenced deaths with urban/social data at census tract level. RESULTS: There were 74 deaths, concentrated in areas of social vulnerability. CONCLUSIONS: The use of geo-technology tools pointed to a concentration of dengue deaths in specific intra-urban areas. <![CDATA[Undiagnosed acute HIV infection identified through RNA testing of pooled serum samples obtained during a dengue outbreak in São Paulo, Brazil]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0037-86822017000100110&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Abstract INTRODUCTION: Improving HIV diagnostics and treatment is necessary to end the AIDS epidemic. Pooled plasma can be used to identify patients with acute HIV disease, even before serological tests. During dengue outbreaks, patients having symptoms common to other acute viral diseases might seek medical care. METHODS: We evaluated HIV RNA in pooled seronegative dengue samples. RESULTS: After excluding individuals with a known HIV diagnosis, an HIV-1 prevalence of 0.73% [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.23-1.76; 4/546 samples] was found. CONCLUSIONS: Promoting strategies to diagnose these individuals and provide them with medical treatment might be instrumental for controlling the HIV epidemic. <![CDATA[Platelet-derived growth factor A mRNA in platelets is associated with the degree of hepatic fibrosis in chronic hepatitis C]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0037-86822017000100113&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Abstract: INTRODUCTION: Transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGFB1) and platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) are the main cytokines related to hepatic fibrogenesis. METHODS: RNA isolated from the platelets and hepatic tissue of 43 HCV carriers was used for quantitative polymerase chain reaction to determine TGFB1, PDGFA, and PDGFB RNA expression. RESULTS: The mRNA expression of PDGFA in platelets was significantly lower in the group with advanced fibrosis than in the group with early-stage fibrosis. TGFB1 was more frequently expressed in platelets than in hepatic tissue, which was different from PDGFB. CONCLUSIONS: A pathway mediated by overexpression of TGFB1 via PDGFA in megakaryocytes could be involved in the development of fibrosis. <![CDATA[Relative validity of a food frequency questionnaire in patients coinfected with hepatitis C virus and human immunodeficiency virus]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0037-86822017000100117&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en ABSTRACT INTRODUCTION: Validation of food frequency questionnaires (FFQs) is recommended for accurate measurement of habitual food consumption. We assessed the relative validity of a FFQ in patients coinfected with hepatitis C virus and human immunodeficiency virus. METHODS: Each patient responded to a FFQ and three 24-hour food recalls. Pearson’s correlation and weighted Kappa index analyses were performed to identify the FFQ relative validity and concordance. RESULTS: De-attenuated correlation coefficients ranged from 0.35 (vitamin B1) to 0.81 (selenium). The concordance index ranged from 0.07 (vitamin C) to 0.51 (calcium). CONCLUSIONS: The FFQ showed satisfactory relative validity for most nutrients. <![CDATA[The development of <em>Panstrongylus herreri</em> under fluctuating environmental conditions]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0037-86822017000100121&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Abstract: INTRODUCTION: Panstrongylus herreri is a main Chagas disease vector, and its success as a vector stems from its ability to establish domiciliated colonies; we aimed to explore its biology and reproduction. METHODS: The average amount of blood ingested and the time from the beginning of a blood meal to the production of feces were recorded. RESULTS: Females exhibited a higher blood ingestion rate than males, but similar defecation times and frequencies were observed. CONCLUSIONS: Despite the detected decrease in oviposition rates, P. herreri’s potential as a Chagas disease vector in environments other than the Amazon forest cannot be discounted. <![CDATA[<em>In vivo</em> and <em>in vitro</em> activity of oil extract of garlic (<em>Allium sativum</em> Linnaeus) against <em>Schistosoma japonicum</em> cercariae]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0037-86822017000100126&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Abstract: INTRODUCTION: The activity of garlic oil extract against Schistosoma japonicum cercariae was evaluated. METHODS: The in vitro and in vivo cercaricidal activities against S. japonicum larvae were determined. RESULTS: Exposure to ≥ 10-6 (v/v) garlic emulsions for 30 min led to 100% cercariae mortality; pre-exposure treatment with ≥ 10-4 (v/v) garlic emulsions showed 100% preventive efficacy against S. japonicum infection, while pre-treatment with 10-5 and 10-6 (v/v) emulsions achieved 20%-40% preventive efficacy and 35.2%-63.6% worm burden reduction. CONCLUSIONS: Garlic oil extract has activity against S. japonicum larvae and a promising preventive efficacy against S. japonicum infection. <![CDATA[Human envenomations caused by Portuguese man-of-war (<em>Physalia physalis</em>) in urban beaches of São Luis City, Maranhão State, Northeast Coast of Brazil]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0037-86822017000100130&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en ABSTRACT INTRODUCTION: The clinical and epidemiological aspects associated with Portuguese man-of-war envenomation were investigated and characterized. METHODS: Data from recorded envenomation events between 2005 and 2013 were provided by the GBMar (Group of Firemen Maritime of Maranhão State) and SEMUSC (Municipal Secretary of Security with Citizenship). RESULTS: Most victims were children, and clinical manifestations included intense pain, edema, erythema, and rare systemic manifestations. CONCLUSIONS: The envenomation events were predictable and based on patterns involving multiple factors (environmental and/or human behavior); however, the initially applied measures did not match the current recommendations of the Health Ministry of Brazil. <![CDATA[Identification of São Paulo metallo-beta-lactamase-1-producing <em>Pseudomonas aeruginosa</em> in the Central-West region of Brazil: a case study]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0037-86822017000100135&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Abstract: Metallo-beta-lactamase production is an important mechanism for carbapenem resistance of Pseudomonas aeruginosa , which represents an emerging public health challenge. We report the case of a patient admitted to an intensive care unit, with sepsis caused by multidrug-resistant São Paulo Metallo-beta-lactamase-1-producing P. aeruginosa . This is the first case of infection by this pathogenic strain in the State of Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil. Thus, infection control measures are required for preventing future spread and outbreaks. <![CDATA[Paracoccidioidomycosis in a liver transplant recipient]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0037-86822017000100138&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en ABSTRACT Paracoccidioidomycosis is a granulomatous systemic mycosis that is endemic in Latin America; it is an extremely rare infection following solid organ transplantation. In this study, we describe the first report of disseminated paracoccidioidomycosis in a 3-year-old girl who underwent liver transplantation 2 years previously. The radiologic diagnosis and patient follow-up are described. In addition, we review the clinical evolution and treatment regimens for this infection. <![CDATA[Cellular immunodeficiency related to chronic dermatophytosis in a patient with <em>Schistosoma mansoni</em> infection: can schistosomiasis induce immunodeficiency?]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0037-86822017000100141&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Abstract: Here, we describe a case of hepatosplenic schistosomiasis that progressed to widespread persistent dermatophytosis. Significant T and B lymphocytopenia was confirmed. T-cell deficit is associated with increased susceptibility to fungal infections of skin and mucous membranes. The accumulation of a large amount of blood cells in the spleen could have played a crucial role in the development of lymphocytopenia in the present case. Alternatively, the schistosomiasis-induced increase in prostaglandin E2 levels could have inhibited the production of interferon-γ, a cytokine fundamental to fungal resistance. This case shows the potential of hepatosplenic schistosomiasis to impair the immune response. <![CDATA[Adverse systemic reaction to benznidazole]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0037-86822017000100145&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Abstract Benznidazole, drug of choice for Chagas disease (CD), has been associated with a high incidence of adverse reactions that can become serious, necessitating discontinuation of the drug. We describe the case of a Bolivian patient living in Spain for 9 years, who, following treatment with benznidazole for CD in indeterminate chronic phase, presented with fever, skin lesions, digestive symptoms, general malaise, and laboratory abnormalities. After the discontinuation of benznidazole and, the intake of antihistamines and systemic corticosteroids, the patient presented a complete resolution of the symptoms. Optimization of dose strategies and development of more effective, and better-tolerated drugs is advisable. <![CDATA[Disseminated histoplasmosis diagnosed in a peripheral blood smear]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0037-86822017000100148&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Abstract Benznidazole, drug of choice for Chagas disease (CD), has been associated with a high incidence of adverse reactions that can become serious, necessitating discontinuation of the drug. We describe the case of a Bolivian patient living in Spain for 9 years, who, following treatment with benznidazole for CD in indeterminate chronic phase, presented with fever, skin lesions, digestive symptoms, general malaise, and laboratory abnormalities. After the discontinuation of benznidazole and, the intake of antihistamines and systemic corticosteroids, the patient presented a complete resolution of the symptoms. Optimization of dose strategies and development of more effective, and better-tolerated drugs is advisable. <![CDATA[Erratum]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0037-86822017000100149&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Abstract Benznidazole, drug of choice for Chagas disease (CD), has been associated with a high incidence of adverse reactions that can become serious, necessitating discontinuation of the drug. We describe the case of a Bolivian patient living in Spain for 9 years, who, following treatment with benznidazole for CD in indeterminate chronic phase, presented with fever, skin lesions, digestive symptoms, general malaise, and laboratory abnormalities. After the discontinuation of benznidazole and, the intake of antihistamines and systemic corticosteroids, the patient presented a complete resolution of the symptoms. Optimization of dose strategies and development of more effective, and better-tolerated drugs is advisable. <![CDATA[Erratum]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0037-86822017000100150&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Abstract Benznidazole, drug of choice for Chagas disease (CD), has been associated with a high incidence of adverse reactions that can become serious, necessitating discontinuation of the drug. We describe the case of a Bolivian patient living in Spain for 9 years, who, following treatment with benznidazole for CD in indeterminate chronic phase, presented with fever, skin lesions, digestive symptoms, general malaise, and laboratory abnormalities. After the discontinuation of benznidazole and, the intake of antihistamines and systemic corticosteroids, the patient presented a complete resolution of the symptoms. Optimization of dose strategies and development of more effective, and better-tolerated drugs is advisable.