Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Revista da Sociedade Brasileira de Medicina Tropical]]> vol. 47 num. 2 lang. pt <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[Scientific progress versus ecological influence on <em>Schistosoma mansoni</em> transmission]]> <![CDATA[Revisiting the concept of hepatosplenic schistosomiasis and its challenges using traditional and new tools]]> Different aspects of hepatosplenic schistosomiasis are revisited here. Manson's schistosomiasis causes periportal fibrosis and portal hypertension in approximately 6% of infected subjects, usually with preservation of their hepatic function. The assessment of liver involvement is of major importance in determining the prognosis and risk of complications from schistosomiasis, such as upper digestive bleeding secondary to variceal rupture. For many years, the diagnosis of hepatosplenic schistosomiasis and liver fibrosis was made by abdominal palpation and the finding of liver and/or spleen enlargement. However, there is no consensus regarding the clinical parameters of the liver and spleen to be considered in this physical evaluation. For the last three decades, abdominal ultrasound (US) has become the best imaging technique to evaluate liver fibrosis caused by schistosomiasis mansoni. However, US is a subjective procedure and is therefore examiner-dependent. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings have provided valuable information in addition to ultrasound and clinical examination. The combination of a comprehensive history and physical examination, basic laboratory tests (a stool examination for Schistosoma mansoni eggs and a blood cell count), biomarkers for liver fibrosis/portal hypertension and imaging methods seem to offer the best approach for evaluating patients with this disease. In situations where research is involved or in patients with severe disease, MRI may be considered. <![CDATA[Impact of the IL-18 gene polymorphism in response to antiviral therapy in chronic HCV genotype 4 patients]]> Introduction Interleukin (IL)-18 is a well-known major proinflammatory cytokine with broad biological effects. The major immunomodulatory functions of IL-18 include enhancing T cell and natural killer cell cytotoxicity. Serum levels of this cytokine were shown to increase in chronic hepatitis C patients compared to non-infected healthy people. An association between IL-18 gene promoter polymorphisms and pegylated interferon (PEG-IFN) and ribavirin treatment outcomes has been reported for individuals with chronic hepatitis C virus genotype 1 (HCV-1). In this study, HCV genotype 4 (HCV-4) patients were assessed for IL-18 gene polymorphisms and treatment outcomes or severity of liver disease because data concerning the impact of IL-18 gene polymorphisms on patients with HCV-4 infections are limited. Methods This study included 123 chronic HCV-4 Egyptian patients and 123 apparently healthy volunteer blood donors who served as a control group. HCV genotyping was performed using the line probe assay. IL-18 genotyping was performed using the TaqMan Real-Time PCR method in all 246 patient and control samples. Results In our study, all patients had HCV-4. IL-18 gene single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) (-607C/A) genotype distributions and allele frequencies did not differ between HCV patients and normal healthy subjects or between patient groups when compared according to the therapeutic response. Moreover, the presence of an IL-18 SNP was not associated with histological disease severity. We conclude that the presence of the IL-18 SNP rs1946518 does not affect the outcome of chronic HCV-4 treatment in Egyptian patients. Conclusions The IL-18 SNP rs1946518 does not affect response to treatment in chronic HCV-4 patients. <![CDATA[Do differences exist between chronic hepatitis C genotypes 2 and 3?]]> Introduction Six genotypes of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) have been identified thus far, and their distribution is well defined. Genotype 1, which is the most prevalent worldwide, is always compared to genotypes 2 and 3, particularly in terms of treatment response. However, little is known about the differences between genotypes 2 and 3 because these genotypes are analyzed together in most studies. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate differences in the clinical, epidemiological, laboratory, and histological parameters between HCV-2 and HCV-3. Methods Patients with chronic hepatitis C infected with genotypes 2 and 3 were studied retrospectively and compared according to clinical, laboratory, and histological aspects. Hepatitis C virus-ribonucleic acid (HCV-RNA) was analyzed quantitatively by TaqMan® real-time PCR, and the HCV genotype was determined by sequencing the 5′-untranslated region. Results A total of 306 patients with chronic HCV-2 (n=50) and HCV-3 (n = 256) were studied. Subtype 2b (n=17/50) and subtype 3a (n=244/256) were the most prevalent among patients infected with HCV-2 and HCV-3, respectively. The mean age was 47 ± 10 years, and there was a predominance of men in the group studied (61%). Comparative analysis between HCV-2 and HCV-3 showed a younger age (p=0.002), less prevalence of arterial hypertension (p=0.03), higher serum albumin levels (p=0.01), more advanced stage of liver fibrosis (p=0.03), and higher frequency of steatosis in patients with HCV-3 (p=0.001). After multivariate regression analysis, all the variables, except serum albumin, remained as variables associated with HCV-3 in the final model. Conclusions Clinical and histological differences exist between HCV-2 and HVC-3, which suggests the need for separate analyses of these genotypes. <![CDATA[Depressive symptoms and harmful alcohol use in hepatitis C patients: prevalence and correlates]]> Introduction It is important to understand the characteristics and vulnerabilities of people who have hepatitis C because this disease is currently an important public health problem. The objective of this study was to estimate the prevalence of depressive symptoms and harmful alcohol use in patients with hepatitis C and to study the association between these outcomes and demographic, psychosocial and clinical variables. Methods This cross-sectional, descriptive and analytical study involved 82 hepatitis C patients who were being treated with pegylated interferon and ribavirin at a public university hospital. The primary assessments used in the study were the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test and the Beck Depression Inventory. Bivariate analyses were followed by logistic regression. Results The prevalence of depressive symptoms was 30.5% (n=25), and that of harmful alcohol use was 34.2% (n=28). Logistic regression analysis showed that individuals who were dissatisfied with their social support (OR=4.41; CI=1.00-19.33) and were unemployed (OR=6.31; CI=1.44-27.70) were at a higher risk for depressive symptoms, whereas harmful alcohol use was associated with the male sex (OR=6.78; CI=1.38-33.19) and the use of illicit substances (OR=7.42; CI=1.12-49.00). Conclusions High prevalence rates of depressive symptoms and harmful alcohol use were verified, indicating vulnerabilities that must be properly monitored and treated to reduce emotional suffering in this population. <![CDATA[Clinical and laboratory characteristics associated with dyslipidemia and liver steatosis in chronic HBV carriers]]> Introduction Chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection and liver steatosis (LS) are the most common causes of chronic liver disease, and their coexistence is frequently observed in clinical practice. Although metabolic syndrome is the main cause of LS, it has not been associated with HBV infection. The aims of this study were to describe the lipid profile and prevalence of LS among HBV carriers and to identify the characteristics associated with LS in this group. Methods This retrospective cross-sectional study included hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg)-positive patients evaluated during 2011 and 2012. Results Of the 83 patients included, the mean age was 46.4±12.5 years, 53% were men, and 9.1% were hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg) -positive. These patients exhibited the following lipid profile: total cholesterol = 175.4±38.8mg/dL, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) = 113.0±32.7mg/dL, and triglycerides = 91.1±45.2mg/dL. Their fasting glucose was 95.3±14.5g/dL, and fasting insulin was 6.1±5.9µIU/mL. Liver steatosis was observed on abdominal ultrasound in 11.3% of individuals. Factors associated with the presence of LS included higher levels of total cholesterol, prothrombin activity, fasting insulin, and body mass index (BMI) as well as lower levels of aspartate aminotransferase (AST). Conclusions These findings suggest that LS in patients with chronic HBV appears to be a consequence of metabolic alterations and insulin action rather than of viral factors. <![CDATA[Investigation of class 1 integrons in <em>Klebsiella pneumoniae</em> clinical and microbiota isolates belonging to different phylogenetic groups in Recife, State of Pernambuco]]> Introduction The high prevalence of Klebsiella pneumoniae infections is related to the ability of K. pneumoniae to acquire and disseminate exogenous genes associated with mobile elements, such as R plasmids, transposons and integrons. This study investigated the presence of class 1 integrons in clinical and microbiota isolates of K. pneumoniae belonging to different phylogenetic groups and correlated these results with the antimicrobial resistance profiles of the studied isolates. Methods Of the 51 isolates of K. pneumoniae selected for this study, 29 were from multidrug-resistant clinical isolates, and 22 were from children's microbiota. The susceptibility profile was determined using the disk diffusion method, and class 1 integrons were detected through polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Results The results showed that none of the 22 microbiota isolates carried class 1 integrons. Among the 29 clinical isolates, 19 (65.5%) contained class 1 integrons, and resistance to sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim was identified in 18 of these isolates (94.7%). Among the K. pneumoniae isolates with class 1 integrons, 47% belonged to the KpI phylogenetic group, and one isolate (14.3%) carrying these genetic elements belonged to the KpIII group. Conclusions The wide variety of detected class 1 integrons supports the presence of high rates of antimicrobial resistance, genetic variability, and rapid dissemination of beta-lactamase genes among K. pneumoniae clinical isolates in recent years in hospitals in Recife-PE, Brazil. The findings of this study indicate that the surveillance of K. pneumoniae integrons in clinical isolates could be useful for monitoring the spread of antibiotic resistance genes in the hospital environment. <![CDATA[Incidence of congenital syphilis in the South Region of Brazil]]> Introduction The aim of this study was to establish the incidence rates of congenital syphilis in the South Region of Brazil from 2001 to 2009. Methods Temporal ecological and descriptive study based on the cases recorded by the System of Information of Notifiable Diseases. Results The incidence of congenital syphilis has been increasing in the South Region of Brazil since 2004; the highest incidence rates were in women who received prenatal care (113.5 new cases per 100,000 births, p&lt;0.001), who were diagnosed with syphilis at pregnancy (69.8 new cases per 100,000 births, p=0.001), and whose partner did not undergo treatment for syphilis (53.1 new cases per 100,000 births, p=0.001). Conclusions The population of the present study mostly consisted of adult black women with low educational levels who attended prenatal care, who were diagnosed with syphilis during pregnancy, and whose partners were not treated for syphilis. Based on these results, actions are recommended to reduce the incidence of this disease, which is preventable by early diagnosis and appropriate treatment. The present was merely an ecological study; therefore, further investigations are necessary to elucidate the causes of these findings. <![CDATA[Syphilis seroprevalence estimates of Santa Catarina blood donors in 2010]]> Introduction Knowledge of blood donor characteristics is essential to better guide clinical and serological screening for hemotherapy. The objective of this study was to determine the syphilis seroprevalence and the associated factors of blood donors in the State of Santa Catarina, Brazil. Methods This population-based study from the State of Santa Catarina used information obtained from blood donation records. We analyzed 83,396 blood donor records generated from donors who were considered eligible to donate between January and August 2010. The aim of the study was to estimate the syphilis seroprevalence and its relationship with educational level, age, gender, geographical region and having donated blood in the past 12 months. We used descriptive analyses and a Poisson regression to calculate the prevalence ratios for the variables of interest. Results We found a 0.14% overall seroprevalence and significant differences among the following: first-time blood donors (0.19%) versus repeat donors (0.03% to 0.08%); low educational levels (0.30%) versus medium and high educational levels (0.08% to 0.19%); and donors who did not report their residence (0.88%) or age (6.94%) versus those who did. Increased syphilis seroprevalence was also significantly associated with increased age. Conclusion High syphilis seroprevalence was associated with lower educational level, age, first-time donation and the failure to provide age or residence information. <![CDATA[Evaluation of the Chagas Disease Control Program in Açucena Municipality, Rio Doce Valley, State of Minas Gerais, Brazil]]> Introduction Açucena Municipality, Rio Doce Valley, State of Minas Gerais, Brazil temporarily (2001-2005) interrupted epidemiological surveillance for Chagas disease. The objective of this work was to evaluate the Chagas Disease Control Program (CDCP) in Açucena and to offer suggestions for improving local epidemiological surveillance. Methods This study was conducted in three phases: I) a serological investigation of schoolchildren aged 5 to 15 years using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) test performed on blood collected on filter paper followed by ELISA, indirect immunofluorescence (IIF) and indirect hemaglutination (IHA) on venous blood for borderline cases and those in the gray zone of reactivity; II) vector evaluation using the data obtained by local health agents during 2006-2010; and III) examination by ELISA, IIF and IHA of serum samples from the inhabitants of houses where infected Triatoma vitticeps was found and evaluation of their knowledge about Chagas disease. Results Five individuals had inconclusive results in the ELISA screening but were seronegative for Chagas disease. The triatomine evaluation revealed the presence of three species: Triatoma vitticeps, Panstrongylus megistus and Panstrongylus diasi. Triatoma vitticeps was the most prevalent and widespread, with a higher (67%) index of Trypanosoma cruzi flagellates and evidence of colonization. Most of the inhabitants of the infested houses recognized triatomines and had basic knowledge about Chagas disease. Conclusions Although T. vitticeps is not clearly associated with Chagas disease transmission, these results highlight the importance of maintaining CDCP in endemic areas and the need for greater emphasis on epidemiological surveillance, especially in areas with important vectorial changes or that have been modified by human intervention. <![CDATA[A comparison of four DNA extraction protocols for the analysis of urine from patients with visceral leishmaniasis]]> Introduction Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) may offer an alternative diagnostic option when clinical signs and symptoms suggest visceral leishmaniasis (VL) but microscopic scanning and serological tests provide negative results. PCR using urine is sensitive enough to diagnose human visceral leishmaniasis (VL). However, DNA quality is a crucial factor for successful amplification. Methods A comparative performance evaluation of DNA extraction methods from the urine of patients with VL using two commercially available extraction kits and two phenol-chloroform protocols was conducted to determine which method produces the highest quality DNA suitable for PCR amplification, as well as the most sensitive, fast and inexpensive method. All commercially available kits were able to shorten the duration of DNA extraction. Results With regard to detection limits, both phenol: chloroform extraction and the QIAamp DNA Mini Kit provided good results (0.1 pg of DNA) for the extraction of DNA from a parasite smaller than Leishmania (Leishmania) infantum (&lt; 100fg of DNA). However, among 11 urine samples from subjects with VL, better performance was achieved with the phenol:chloroform method (8/11) relative to the QIAamp DNA Mini Kit (4/11), with a greater number of positive samples detected at a lower cost using PCR. Conclusion Our results demonstrate that phenol:chloroform with an ethanol precipitation prior to extraction is the most efficient method in terms of yield and cost, using urine as a non-invasive source of DNA and providing an alternative diagnostic method at a low cost. <![CDATA[Toxoplasmosis: an examination of knowledge among health professionals and pregnant women in a municipality of the State of Paraná]]> Introduction The aim of this study was to investigate the knowledge of toxoplasmosis among professionals and pregnant women in the public health services in Paraná, Brazil. Methods A cross-sectional observational and transversal study of 80 health professionals (44 nurses and 36 physicians) and 330 pregnant women [111 immunoglobulin M (IgM)- and IgG-non-reactive and 219 IgG-reactive] was conducted in 2010. An epidemiological data questionnaire was administered to the professionals and to the pregnant women, and a questionnaire about the clinical aspects and laboratory diagnosis of toxoplasmosis was administered to the professionals. Results The participants frequently provided correct responses about prophylactic measures. Regarding the clinical and laboratory aspects, the physicians provided more correct responses and discussed toxoplasmosis with the pregnant women. The professionals had difficulty interpreting the avidity test results, and the physicians stated that they referred pregnant women with high-risk pregnancies to a county reference center. Of the professionals, 53 (91.4%) reported that they instructed women during prenatal care, but only 54 (48.6%) at-risk pregnant women and 99 (45.2%) women who were not at risk reported receiving information about preventive measures. The physicians provided verbal instructions to 120 (78.4%) women, although instructional materials were available in the county. The pregnant women generally lacked knowledge about preventive measures for congenital toxoplasmosis, but the at-risk pregnant women tended to respond correctly. Conclusions This study provides data to direct public health policies regarding the importance of updating the knowledge of primary care professionals. Mechanisms should be developed to increase public knowledge because prophylactic strategies are important for preventing congenital toxoplasmosis. <![CDATA[Prevalence of latent tuberculosis and treatment adherence among patients with chronic kidney disease in Campo Grande, State of Mato Grosso do Sul]]> Introduction The primary strategy for tuberculosis control involves identifying individuals with latent tuberculosis. This study aimed to estimate the prevalence of latent tuberculosis in chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients who were undergoing hemodialysis in Campo Grande, State of Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil, to characterize the sociodemographic and clinical profiles of patients with latent tuberculosis, to verify the association between sociodemographic and clinical characteristics and the occurrence of latent tuberculosis, and to monitor patient adherence to latent tuberculosis treatment. Methods This epidemiological study involved 418 CKD patients who were undergoing hemodialysis and who underwent a tuberculin skin test. Results The prevalence of latent tuberculosis was 10.3%. The mean patient age was 53.43±14.97 years, and the patients were predominantly men (63.9%). The population was primarily Caucasian (58.6%); half (50%) were married, and 49.8% had incomplete primary educations. Previous contact with tuberculosis patients was reported by 80% of the participants. Treatment adherence was 97.7%. Conclusions We conclude that the prevalence of latent tuberculosis in our study population was low. Previous contact with patients with active tuberculosis increased the occurrence of latent infection. Although treatment adherence was high in this study, it is crucial to monitor tuberculosis treatment administered to patients in health services to maintain this high rate. <![CDATA[Association between the degree of physical impairment from leprosy and dependence in activities of daily living among the elderly in a health unit in the State of Minas Gerais]]> Introduction In addition to the common alterations and diseases inherent in the aging process, elderly persons with a history of leprosy are particularly vulnerable to dependence because of disease-related impairments. Objective determine whether physical impairment from leprosy is associated with dependence among the elderly. Methods An analytical cross-sectional study of elderly individuals with a history of leprosy and no signs of cognitive impairment was conducted using a database from a former leprosy colony-hospital. The patients were evaluated for dependence in the basic activities of daily living (BADL) and instrumental activities of daily living (IADL), respectively) and subjected to standard leprosy physical disability grading. Subsequently, descriptive and univariate analyses were conducted, the latter using Pearson's chi-squared test. Results A total of 186 elderly persons were included in the study. Of these individuals, 53.8% were women, 49.5% were older than 75 years of age, 93% had four or less years of formal education, 24.2% lived in an institution for the long-term care of the elderly (ILTC), and 18.3% had lower limb amputations. Among those evaluated, 79.8% had visible physical impairments from leprosy (grade 2), 83.3% were independent in BADL, and 10.2% were independent in IADL. There was a higher impairment grade among those patients who were IADL dependent (p=0.038). Conclusion s: The leprosy physical impairment grade is associated with dependence for IADL, creating the need for greater social support and systematic monitoring by a multidisciplinary team. The results highlight the importance of early diagnosis and treatment of leprosy to prevent physical impairment and dependence in later years. <![CDATA[Thrombocytopenia as a surrogate marker of hepatosplenic schistosomiasis in endemic areas for Schistosomiasis mansoni]]> Introduction This study aimed to evaluate whether a low platelet count is a good surrogate marker of hepatosplenic schistosomiasis (HSS) in a rural area of Brazil. A small district in southeastern Brazil, with a population of 1,543 individuals and a 23% prevalence of schistosomiasis, was selected for this investigation. Methods In July 2012, 384 volunteers were subjected to clinical, ultrasonography (US), and laboratory examinations, including stool sample analysis. The HSS patients were classified into four groups: Group 1 consisted of patients with a spleen &gt;13cm and liver fibrosis; Group 2 consisted of patients with a palpable spleen and spleen&gt;13cm measured by US; Group 3 consisted of patients with a spleen &gt;13cm measured by US; and Group 4 consisted of patients with a palpable spleen. Results Eight patients were in Group 1 (2.1%), twenty-one were in Group 2 (5.5%), eight were in Group 3 (2.1%), and eighteen were in Group 4 (4.7%). A significant difference in the mean platelet counts was observed between the patients with and without HSS (p&lt;0.01). Based on the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve (platelet count &lt;143,000/mm3), the sensitivity was greater than 92% in all groups, and the specificity varied from 44.4% to 75%. Conclusions We concluded that in endemic areas, thrombocytopenia demonstrates good sensitivity for detecting HSS and may be used as a screening tool to identify patients with HSS. <![CDATA[Viral epidemiology of respiratory infections among children at a tertiary hospital in Southern Brazil]]> Introduction This study reports the pediatric epidemiology of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), influenza (IF), parainfluenza (PIV), and adenovirus (ADV) at Hospital de Clínicas de Porto Alegre. Methods Cases of infection, hospitalizations in intensive care units (ICUs), nosocomial infections, and lethality rates were collected from 2007 to 2010. Results RSV accounted for most nosocomial infections. Intensive care units admission rates for ADV and RSV infections were highest in 2007 and 2010. During 2008-2009, H1N1 and ADV had the highest ICU admission rates. ADV had the highest fatality rate during 2007-2009. Conclusions Each virus exhibited distinct behavior, causing hospitalization, outbreaks, or lethality. <![CDATA[Hybrid capture II and PapilloCheck<sup>®</sup> tests for detection of anal high-risk human papillomavirus]]> Introduction This study evaluated the level of concordance between hybrid capture II (HCII) and PapilloCheck® for the detection of high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) in anal samples. Methods Anal cell samples collected from 42 human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)+ patients were analyzed. Results Considering only the 13 high-risk HPV types that are detectable by both tests, HCII was positive for 52.3% of the samples, and PapilloCheck® was positive for 52.3%. The level of concordance was 80.9% (Kappa = 0.61). Conclusions Good concordance was observed between the tests for the detection of high-risk HPV. <![CDATA[Molecular identification of the agent of Q fever – <em>Coxiella burnetii</em> – in domestic animals in State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil]]> Introduction Over the last recent years, the number of Q fever cases have has increased throughout the world. An epidemiological investigation was performed in the area in which the first molecular documentation of Q fever in Brazil was previously reported. Methods Indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA) and PCR of Coxiella burnetii targeting the htpAB gene were performed in samples from 14 dogs (blood); 1 cat (blood); 10 goats (blood, milk, vaginal swab and anal swab); 3 sheep (blood); and 2 horses (blood). Results Two dogs, two sheep and five goats were seroreactive. DNA was amplified from 6 milk and 2 blood samples from goats and from dogs, respectively. The sequence of the amplicons exhibited 99% sequence similarity with the homologous sequence of the htpAB gene of C. burnetii RSA 331 (GenBank - CP000890). Conclusions The results confirm C. burnetii infection in animals in Rio de Janeiro and reinforce the need for the surveillance of Q fever in Brazil. <![CDATA[Predictive factors of post-discharge surgical site infections among patients from a teaching hospital]]> Introduction Surgical site infections (SSIs) often manifest after patients are discharged and are missed by hospital-based surveillance. Methods We conducted a case-reference study nested in a prospective cohort of patients from six surgical specialties in a teaching hospital. The factors related to SSI were compared for cases identified during the hospital stay and after discharge. Results Among 3,427 patients, 222 (6.4%) acquired an SSI. In 138 of these patients, the onset of the SSI occurred after discharge. Neurological surgery and the use of steroids were independently associated with a greater likelihood of SSI diagnosis during the hospital stay. Conclusions Our results support the idea of a specialty-based strategy for post-discharge SSI surveillance. <![CDATA[Is autonomic function associated with left ventricular systolic function in Chagas heart disease patients undergoing treatment for heart failure?]]> Introduction The association between cardiac autonomic and left ventricular (LV) dysfunction in Chagas disease (ChD) is controversial. Methods A standardized protocol that includes the Valsalva maneuver, a respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) test, and an echocardiographic examination was used. Spearman correlation coefficients (rho) were used to investigate associations. Results The study population consisted of 118 ChD patients undergoing current medical treatment, with an average LV ejection fraction of 51.4±2.6%. The LV ejection fraction and diastolic dimension were correlated with the Valsalva index (rho=0.358, p&lt;0.001 and rho=-0.266, p=0.004, respectively) and the RSA (rho=0.391, p&lt;0.001 and rho=-0.311, p&lt;0.001, respectively). Conclusions The impairment of LV function is directly associated with a reduction of cardiac autonomic modulation in ChD. <![CDATA[Cutaneous and visceral leishmaniasis co-infection in dogs from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: evaluation by specific PCR and RFLP-PCR assays]]> Introduction During a diagnostic evaluation of canine visceral leishmaniasis (VL), two of seventeen dogs were found to be co-infected by Leishmania (Viannia) braziliensis and Leishmania (Leishmania) chagasi. Methods Specific polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and restriction fragment length polymorphism-PCR (RFLP-PCR) assays were performed. Results PCR assays for Leishmania subgenus identification followed by RFLP-PCR analysis in biopsies from cutaneous lesions and the spleen confirmed the presence of Leishmania (Viannia) braziliensis and Leishmania (Leishmania) chagasi in those fragments. Conclusions This report reinforces the importance of using serological and molecular techniques in the epidemiological surveillance of canine populations in endemic areas in which both diseases are known to co-exist. In such cases, a reassessment of the control measures is required. <![CDATA[<em>In vitro</em> antifungal activities of leaf extracts of <em>Lippia alba</em> (Verbenaceae) against clinically important yeast species]]> Introduction There are few studies reporting the antifungal activities of Lippia alba extracts. Methods A broth microdilution assay was used to evaluate the antifungal effects of Lippia alba extracts against seven yeast species of Candida and Cryptococcus. The butanol fraction was investigated by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Results The butanol fraction showed the highest activity against Candida glabrata. The fraction also acted synergistically with itraconazole and fluconazole against C. glabrata. The dominant compounds in the butanol fraction were 2,2,5-trimethyl-3,4-hexanedione, 3,5-dimethyl-4-octanone and hexadecane. Conclusions The butanol fraction may be a good candidate in the search for new drugs from natural products with antifungal activity. <![CDATA[Brain schistosomiasis in mice experimentally infected with <em>Schistosoma mansoni</em>]]> Introduction Human neuroschistosomiasis has been reported in the literature, but the possibility of modeling neuroschistosomiasis in mice is controversial. Methods In two research laboratories in Brazil that maintain the Schistosoma mansoni life cycle in rodents, two mice developed signs of brain disease (hemiplegia and spinning), and both were autopsied. Results S. mansoni eggs, both with and without granuloma formation, were observed in the brain and meninges of both mice by optical microscopy. Conclusions This is the first description of eggs in the brains of symptomatic mice that were experimentally infected with S. mansoni. An investigation of experimental neuroschistosomiasis is now feasible. <![CDATA[Puerperal brain cryptococcoma in an HIV-negative woman successfully treated with fluconazole: a case report]]> Cryptococcus spp. cerebral abscesses are uncommon in immunocompetent subjects. The recommended induction treatment is the administration of amphotericin B plus flucytosine combined with resection for lesions ≥3cm. In this paper, we describe an HIV-negative woman diagnosed with a large cryptococcoma in the immediate postpartum period. The lesion was not resected, and due to amphotericin B intolerance, she received an extended course of fluconazole monotherapy. There was no disease recurrence during the 4 years of follow-up. The abrupt onset of her symptoms following delivery suggests that she developed a postpartum immune reconstitution syndrome. This case also demonstrates that in specific situations fluconazole monotherapy can be attempted in immunocompetent patients with cryptococcoma. <![CDATA[Skin lesions simulating blue toe syndrome caused by prolonged contact with a millipede]]> Venomous animals are those that, by means of a hunting and defense mechanism, are able to inject their prey with a toxic substance produced in their bodies, directly from specialized glands (e.g., tooth, sting, spur) through which the poison passes. Millipedes are poisonous animals; they can be harmful to humans, and their effects usually manifest as erythematous, purpuric, and cyanotic lesions; local pain; and paresthesia. Here, we report a case of skin contact with a millipede for 6h resulting in skin lesions similar to blue toe syndrome. <![CDATA[Atypical presentation of ocular syphilis in an individual with AIDS]]> Venomous animals are those that, by means of a hunting and defense mechanism, are able to inject their prey with a toxic substance produced in their bodies, directly from specialized glands (e.g., tooth, sting, spur) through which the poison passes. Millipedes are poisonous animals; they can be harmful to humans, and their effects usually manifest as erythematous, purpuric, and cyanotic lesions; local pain; and paresthesia. Here, we report a case of skin contact with a millipede for 6h resulting in skin lesions similar to blue toe syndrome. <![CDATA[Healing with malaria: a brief historical review of malariotherapy for neurosyphilis, mental disorders and other infectious diseases]]> Venomous animals are those that, by means of a hunting and defense mechanism, are able to inject their prey with a toxic substance produced in their bodies, directly from specialized glands (e.g., tooth, sting, spur) through which the poison passes. Millipedes are poisonous animals; they can be harmful to humans, and their effects usually manifest as erythematous, purpuric, and cyanotic lesions; local pain; and paresthesia. Here, we report a case of skin contact with a millipede for 6h resulting in skin lesions similar to blue toe syndrome.