Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz]]> vol. 111 num. 5 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[Emerging infectious disease and fast-track publication: when public health gets priority over the formality of scholarly publishing]]> <![CDATA[Zika virus damages the human placental barrier and presents marked fetal neurotropism]]> An unusually high incidence of microcephaly in newborns has recently been observed in Brazil. There is a temporal association between the increase in cases of microcephaly and the Zika virus (ZIKV) epidemic. Viral RNA has been detected in amniotic fluid samples, placental tissues and newborn and fetal brain tissues. However, much remains to be determined concerning the association between ZIKV infection and fetal malformations. In this study, we provide evidence of the transplacental transmission of ZIKV through the detection of viral proteins and viral RNA in placental tissue samples from expectant mothers infected at different stages of gestation. We observed chronic placentitis (TORCH type) with viral protein detection by immunohistochemistry in Hofbauer cells and some histiocytes in the intervillous spaces. We also demonstrated the neurotropism of the virus via the detection of viral proteins in glial cells and in some endothelial cells and the observation of scattered foci of microcalcifications in the brain tissues. Lesions were mainly located in the white matter. ZIKV RNA was also detected in these tissues by real-time-polymerase chain reaction. We believe that these findings will contribute to the body of knowledge of the mechanisms of ZIKV transmission, interactions between the virus and host cells and viral tropism. <![CDATA[Respiratory syncytial virus seasonality in Brazil: implications for the immunisation policy for at-risk populations]]> Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection is the leading cause of hospitalisation for respiratory diseases among children under 5 years old. The aim of this study was to analyse RSV seasonality in the five distinct regions of Brazil using time series analysis (wavelet and Fourier series) of the following indicators: monthly positivity of the immunofluorescence reaction for RSV identified by virologic surveillance system, and rate of hospitalisations per bronchiolitis and pneumonia due to RSV in children under 5 years old (codes CID-10 J12.1, J20.5, J21.0 and J21.9). A total of 12,501 samples with 11.6% positivity for RSV (95% confidence interval 11 - 12.2), varying between 7.1 and 21.4% in the five Brazilian regions, was analysed. A strong trend for annual cycles with a stable stationary pattern in the five regions was identified through wavelet analysis of the indicators. The timing of RSV activity by Fourier analysis was similar between the two indicators analysed and showed regional differences. This study reinforces the importance of adjusting the immunisation period for high risk population with the monoclonal antibody palivizumab taking into account regional differences in seasonality of RSV. <![CDATA[Abundance of <em>Lutzomyia longipalpis</em> in urban households as risk factor of transmission of visceral leishmaniasis]]> Urban occurrence of human and canine visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is linked to households with characteristics conducive to the presence of sand flies. This study proposes an ad hoc classification of households according to the environmental characteristics of receptivity to phlebotominae and an entomological study to validate the proposal. Here we describe the phlebotominae population found in intra- and peridomiciliary environments and analyse the spatiotemporal distribution of the VL vector Lutzomyia longipalpis of households receptive to VL. In the region, 153 households were classified into levels of receptivity to VL followed by entomological surveys in 40 of those properties. Kruskal-Wallis verified the relationship between the households’ classification and sand fly abundance and Kernel analysis evaluated L. longipalpis spatial distribution: of the 740 sand flies were captured, 91% were L. longipalpis; 82% were found peridomiciliary whilst the remaining 18% were found intradomiciliary. No statistically significant association was found between sandflies and households levels. L. longipalpis counts were concentrated in areas of high vulnerability and some specific households were responsible for the persistence of the infestation. L. longipalpis prevails over other sand fly species for urban VL transmission. The entomological study may help target the surveillance and vector control strategies to domiciles initiating and/or maintaining VL outbreaks. <![CDATA[Spatial and temporal country-wide survey of temephos resistance in Brazilian populations of <em>Aedes aegypti</em>]]> The organophosphate temephos has been the main insecticide used against larvae of the dengue and yellow fever mosquito (Aedes aegypti) in Brazil since the mid-1980s. Reports of resistance date back to 1995; however, no systematic reports of widespread temephos resistance have occurred to date. As resistance investigation is paramount for strategic decision-making by health officials, our objective here was to investigate the spatial and temporal spread of temephos resistance in Ae. aegypti in Brazil for the last 12 years using discriminating temephos concentrations and the bioassay protocols of the World Health Organization. The mortality results obtained were subjected to spatial analysis for distance interpolation using semi-variance models to generate maps that depict the spread of temephos resistance in Brazil since 1999. The problem has been expanding. Since 2002-2003, approximately half the country has exhibited mosquito populations resistant to temephos. The frequency of temephos resistance and, likely, control failures, which start when the insecticide mortality level drops below 80%, has increased even further since 2004. Few parts of Brazil are able to achieve the target 80% efficacy threshold by 2010/2011, resulting in a significant risk of control failure by temephos in most of the country. The widespread resistance to temephos in Brazilian Ae. aegypti populations greatly compromise effective mosquito control efforts using this insecticide and indicates the urgent need to identify alternative insecticides aided by the preventive elimination of potential mosquito breeding sites. <![CDATA[Assessing the mitochondrial DNA diversity of the Chagas disease vector <em>Triatoma sordida</em> (Hemiptera: Reduviidae)]]> Triatoma sordida is a species that transmits Trypanosoma cruzi to humans. In Brazil, T. sordida currently deserves special attention because of its wide distribution, tendency to invade domestic environments and vectorial competence. For the planning and execution of control protocols to be effective against Triatominae, they must consider its population structure. In this context, this study aimed to characterise the genetic variability of T. sordida populations collected in areas with persistent infestations from Minas Gerais, Brazil. Levels of genetic variation and population structure were determined in peridomestic T. sordida by sequencing a polymorphic region of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene. Low nucleotide and haplotype diversity were observed for all 14 sampled areas; π values ranged from 0.002-0.006. Most obtained haplotypes occurred at low frequencies, and some were exclusive to only one of the studied populations. Interpopulation genetic diversity analysis revealed strong genetic structuring. Furthermore, the genetic variability of Brazilian populations is small compared to that of Argentinean and Bolivian specimens. The possible factors related to the reduced genetic variability and strong genetic structuring obtained for studied populations are discussed in this paper. <![CDATA[Effects of the encapsulation of usnic acid into liposomes and interactions with antituberculous agents against multidrug-resistant tuberculosis clinical isolates]]> Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) has acquired resistance and consequently the antibiotic therapeutic options available against this microorganism are limited. In this scenario, the use of usnic acid (UA), a natural compound, encapsulated into liposomes is proposed as a new approach in multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) therapy. Thus the aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of the encapsulation of UA into liposomes, as well as its combination with antituberculous agents such as rifampicin (RIF) and isoniazid (INH) against MDR-TB clinical isolates. The in vitro antimycobacterial activity of UA-loaded liposomes (UA-Lipo) against MDR-TB was assessed by the microdilution method. The in vitro interaction of UA with antituberculous agents was carried out using checkerboard method. Minimal inhibitory concentration values were 31.25 and 0.98 µg/mL for UA and UA-Lipo, respectively. The results exhibited a synergistic interaction between RIF and UA [fractional inhibitory concentration index (FICI) = 0.31] or UA-Lipo (FICI = 0.28). Regarding INH, the combination of UA or UA-Lipo revealed no marked effect (FICI = 1.30-2.50). The UA-Lipo may be used as a dosage form to improve the antimycobacterial activity of RIF, a first-line drug for the treatment of infections caused by Mtb. <![CDATA[<em>Anopheles darlingi</em> polytene chromosomes: revised maps including newly described inversions and evidence for population structure in Manaus]]> Salivary gland polytene chromosomes of 4th instar Anopheles darlingi Root were examined from multiple locations in the Brazilian Amazon. Minor modifications were made to existing polytene photomaps. These included changes to the breakpoint positions of several previously described paracentric inversions and descriptions of four new paracentric inversions, two on the right arm of chromosome 3 and two on the left arm of chromosome 3 that were found in multiple locations. A total of 18 inversions on the X (n = 1) chromosome, chromosome 2 (n = 7) and 3 (n = 11) were scored for 83 individuals from Manaus, Macapá and Porto Velho municipalities. The frequency of 2Ra inversion karyotypes in Manaus shows significant deficiency of heterozygotes (p &lt; 0.0009). No significant linkage disequilibrium was found between inversions on chromosome 2 and 3. We hypothesize that at least two sympatric subpopulations exist within the An. darlingi population at Manaus based on inversion frequencies. <![CDATA[Phylogenetic analyses of chikungunya virus among travelers in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2014-2015]]> Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is a mosquito-borne pathogen that emerged in Brazil by late 2014. In the country, two CHIKV foci characterized by the East/Central/South Africa and Asian genotypes, were established in North and Northeast regions. We characterized, by phylogenetic analyses of full and partial genomes, CHIKV from Rio de Janeiro state (2014-2015). These CHIKV strains belong to the Asian genotype, which is the determinant of the current Northern Brazilian focus, even though the genome sequence presents particular single nucleotide variations. This study provides the first genetic characterisation of CHIKV in Rio de Janeiro and highlights the potential impact of human mobility in the spread of an arthropod-borne virus. <![CDATA[Functional complementation of <em>Leishmania</em> (<em>Leishmania</em>) <em>amazonensis</em> AP endonuclease gene (<em>lamap</em>) in <em>Escherichia coli</em> mutant strains challenged with DNA damage agents]]> During its life cycle Leishmania spp. face several stress conditions that can cause DNA damages. Base Excision Repair plays an important role in DNA maintenance and it is one of the most conserved mechanisms in all living organisms. DNA repair in trypanosomatids has been reported only for Old World Leishmania species. Here the AP endonuclease from Leishmania (L.) amazonensis was cloned, expressed in Escherichia coli mutants defective on the DNA repair machinery, that were submitted to different stress conditions, showing ability to survive in comparison to the triple null mutant parental strain BW535. Phylogenetic and multiple sequence analyses also confirmed that LAMAP belongs to the AP endonuclease class of proteins. <![CDATA[Complete genome of the multidrug-resistant <em>Acinetobacter baumannii</em> strain KBN10P02143 isolated from Korea]]> Acinetobacter baumannii, a strictly aerobic, non-fermentative, Gram-negative coccobacillary rod-shaped bacterium, is an opportunistic pathogen in humans. We recently isolated a multidrug-resistant A. baumannii strain KBN10P02143 from the pus sample drawn from a surgical patient in South Korea. We report the complete genome of this strain, which consists of 4,139,396 bp (G + C content, 39.08%) with 3,868 protein-coding genes, 73 tRNAs and six rRNA operons. Identification of the genes related to multidrug resistance from this genome and the discovery of a novel conjugative plasmid will increase our understanding of the pathogenicity associated with this species.