Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz]]> vol. 112 num. 3 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[The current status of the <em>Lutzomyia longipalpis</em> (Diptera: Psychodidae: Phlebotominae) species complex]]> Lutzomyia longipalpis s.l. is a complex of sibling species and is the principal vector of American visceral leishmaniasis. The present review summarises the diversity of efforts that have been undertaken to elucidate the number of unnamed species in this species complex and the phylogenetic relationships among them. A wide variety of evidence, including chemical, behavioral and molecular traits, suggests very recent speciation events and complex population structure in this group. Although significant advances have been achieved to date, differential vector capacity and the correlation between structure of parasite and vector populations have yet to be elucidated. Furthermore, increased knowledge about recent epidemiological changes, such as urbanisation, is essential for pursuing effective strategies for sandfly control in the New World. <![CDATA[Identification of circo-like virus-Brazil genomic sequences in raw sewage from the metropolitan area of São Paulo: evidence of circulation two and three years after the first detection]]> BACKGROUND Two novel viruses named circo-like virus-Brazil (CLV-BR) hs1 and hs2 were previously discovered in a Brazilian human fecal sample through metagenomics. CLV-BR hs1 and hs2 possess a small circular DNA genome encoding a replication initiator protein (Rep), and the two genomes exhibit 92% nucleotide identity with each other. Phylogenetic analysis based on the Rep protein showed that CLV-BRs do not cluster with circoviruses, nanoviruses, geminiviruses or cycloviruses. OBJECTIVE The aim of this study was to search for CLV-BR genomes in sewage and reclaimed water samples from the metropolitan area of São Paulo, Brazil, to verify whether the first detection of these viruses was an isolated finding. METHODS Sewage and reclaimed water samples collected concomitantly during the years 2005-2006 were purified and concentrated using methodologies designed for the study of viruses. A total of 177 treated reclaimed water samples were grouped into five pools, as were 177 treated raw sewage samples. Nucleic acid extraction, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification and Sanger sequencing were then performed.e FINDINGS CLV-BR genomes were detected in two pools of sewage samples, p6 and p9. Approximately 28% and 51% of the CLV-BR genome was amplified from p6 and p9, respectively, including 76% of the Rep gene. The detected genomes are most likely related to CLV-BR hs1. Comparative analysis showed several synonymous substitutions within Rep-encoding sequences, suggesting purifying selection for this gene, as has been observed for other eukaryotic circular Rep-encoding single-stranded DNA (CRESS-DNA) viruses. MAIN CONCLUSION The results therefore indicated that CLV-BR has continued to circulate in Brazil two and three years after first being detected. <![CDATA[Tuberculosis associated factors caused by <em>Mycobacterium tuberculosis</em> of the RD<sup>Rio</sup> genotype]]> BACKGROUND Tuberculosis (TB) continues to be a disease that affects many countries around the world, including Brazil. Recently, a subtype of Latin American-Mediterranean family strain was identified and characterised by RDRio. The strain has been associated with different characteristics of the disease. OBJECTIVES In the present study we investigated the association of epidemiological, clinical, radiological and bacteriological variables with pulmonary tuberculosis caused by RDRioMycobacterium tuberculosis strain in large regions of São Paulo. METHODS We conducted a cross-sectional study in 530 patients with pulmonary tuberculosis, diagnosed using sputum culture, from two regions of the São Paulo state in Brazil. The samples were brought to São Paulo reference laboratories for epidemiological, clinical, radiological and bacteriological analyses, and the data were obtained from a TB notification system. RDRio genotyping and Spoligotyping of the samples were performed. For the analysis of the categorical variables we used the chi-square test or the Fisher’s exact test, and for the continuous variables, the Mann-Whitney test. In addition, a logistic regression was used for multivariate analysis. Differences with p &lt; 0.05 were considered significant. FINDINGS The RDRio deletion was identified in 152 (28.7%) samples. In the univariate analysis, both the age groups above 25 years and alcohol consumption were associated with the RDRio deletion. The multivariate analysis confirmed the association of the RDRio deletion with the age groups: 25-35 years old [OR: 2.28 (1.02-5.07; p = 0.04)] and 36-60 years old (OR: 2.36 (1.11-5.05); p = 0.03], and also with alcohol consumption [OR: 1.63 (1.05-2.54); p = 0,03]. MAIN CONCLUSIONS In this study, we identified new factors associated with the M. tuberculosis of the RDRio deletion strains infection. <![CDATA[Sphygmomanometers and thermometers as potential fomites of <em>Staphylococcus haemolyticus</em>: biofilm formation in the presence of antibiotics]]> BACKGROUND The association between Staphylococcus haemolyticus and severe nosocomial infections is increasing. However, the extent to which fomites contribute to the dissemination of this pathogen through patients and hospital wards remains unknown. OBJECTIVES In the present study, sphygmomanometers and thermometers were evaluated as potential fomites of oxacillin-resistant S. haemolyticus (ORSH). The influence of oxacillin and vancomycin on biofilm formation by ORSH strains isolated from fomites was also investigated. METHODS The presence of ORSH on swabs taken from fomite surfaces in a Brazilian hospital was assessed using standard microbiological procedures. Antibiotic susceptibility profiles were determined by the disk diffusion method, and clonal distribution was assessed in pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) assays. Minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of oxacillin and vancomycin were evaluated via the broth microdilution method. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays were performed to detect the mecA and icaAD genes. ORSH strains grown in media containing 1/4 MIC of vancomycin or oxacillin were investigated for slime production and biofilm formation on glass, polystyrene and polyurethane catheter surfaces. FINDINGS ORSH strains comprising five distinct PFGE types were isolated from sphygmomanometers (n = 5) and a thermometer (n = 1) used in intensive care units and surgical wards. ORSH strains isolated from fomites showed susceptibility to only linezolid and vancomycin and were characterised as multi-drug resistant (MDR). Slime production, biofilm formation and the survival of sessile bacteria differed and were independent of the presence of the icaAD and mecA genes, PFGE type and subtype. Vancomycin and oxacillin did not inhibit biofilm formation by vancomycin-susceptible ORSH strains on abiotic surfaces, including on the catheter surface. Enhanced biofilm formation was observed in some situations. Moreover, a sub-lethal dose of vancomycin induced biofilm formation by an ORSH strain on polystyrene. MAIN CONCLUSIONS Sphygmomanometers and thermometers are fomites for the transmission of ORSH. A sub-lethal dose of vancomycin may favor biofilm formation by ORSH on fomites and catheter surfaces. <![CDATA[Invasive <em>Haemophilus influenzae</em> disease in the vaccine era in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil]]> BACKGROUND Haemophilus influenzae (Hi) serotype b (Hib) conjugate vaccine was incorporated into the infant immunisation schedule in Brazil in 1999, where Hib was one of the major etiologic sources of community-acquired bacterial meningitis. OBJECTIVES The purpose of this study is to describe the molecular epidemiology of invasive Hi disease in Rio de Janeiro state, Brazil, before and after vaccine introduction. METHODS Surveillance data from 1986 to 2014 were analysed. Hi isolates recovered from cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) or blood from 1993 to 2014 were serotyped by slide agglutination, genotyped by multilocus sequence typing (MLST), and the capsule type evaluation, differentiation of serologically non-typeable isolates, and characterisation of the capsule (cap) locus was done by polymerase chain reaction. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing was performed using E-test. FINDINGS From 1986 to 1999 and from 2000 to 2014, 2580 and 197 (42% without serotype information) confirmed cases were reported, respectively. The case fatality rate was 17% and did not correlate with the strain. Hib and b- variant isolates belonged to ST-6, whereas serotype a isolates belonged to the ST-23 clonal complex. Serotype a appeared to emerge during the 2000s. Non-encapsulated isolates were non-clonal and distinct from the encapsulated isolates. Ampicillin-resistant isolates were either of serotype b or were non-encapsulated, and all of them were β-lactamase-positive but amoxicillin-clavulanic acid susceptible. MAIN CONCLUSIONS Although Hi meningitis became a relatively rare disease in Rio de Janeiro after the introduction of the Hib conjugate vaccine, the isolates recovered from patients have become more diverse. These results indicate the need to implement an enhanced surveillance system to continue monitoring the impact of the Hib conjugate vaccine. <![CDATA[Characterisation of <em>iunH</em> gene knockout strain from <em>Mycobacterium tuberculosis</em>]]> BACKGROUND Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease caused mainly by the bacillus Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The better understanding of important metabolic pathways from M. tuberculosis can contribute to the development of novel therapeutic and prophylactic strategies to combat TB. Nucleoside hydrolase (MtIAGU-NH), encoded by iunH gene (Rv3393), is an enzyme from purine salvage pathway in M. tuberculosis. MtIAGU-NH accepts inosine, adenosine, guanosine, and uridine as substrates, which may point to a pivotal metabolic role. OBJECTIVES Our aim was to construct a M. tuberculosis knockout strain for iunH gene, to evaluate in vitro growth and the effect of iunH deletion in M. tuberculosis in non-activated and activated macrophages models of infection. METHODS A M. tuberculosis knockout strain for iunH gene was obtained by allelic replacement, using pPR27xylE plasmid. The complemented strain was constructed by the transformation of the knockout strain with pNIP40::iunH. MtIAGU-NH expression was analysed by Western blot and LC-MS/MS. In vitro growth was evaluated in Sauton’s medium. Bacterial load of non-activated and interferon-γ activated RAW 264.7 cells infected with knockout strain was compared with wild-type and complemented strains. FINDINGS Western blot and LC-MS/MS validated iunH deletion at protein level. The iunH knockout led to a delay in M. tuberculosis growth kinetics in Sauton’s medium during log phase, but did not affect bases and nucleosides pool in vitro. No significant difference in bacterial load of knockout strain was observed when compared with both wild-type and complemented strains after infection of non-activated and interferon-γ activated RAW 264.7 cells. MAIN CONCLUSION The disruption of iunH gene does not influence M. tuberculosis growth in both non-activated and activated RAW 264.7 cells, which show that iunH gene is not important for macrophage invasion and virulence. Our results indicated that MtIAGU-NH is not a target for drug development. <![CDATA[Poor sensitivity of rapid tests for the detection of antibodies to the hepatitis B virus: implications for field studies]]> Rapid tests (RTs) can be used as an alternative method for the conventional diagnosis of hepatitis B virus (HBV). This study aims to evaluate antibodies to HBsAg (anti-HBs) and antibodies to HBeAg (anti-HBe) RTs under different Brazilian settings. The following three groups were included: GI: viral hepatitis outpatient services; GII: low resource areas; and GIII: crack users and beauticians. Imuno-rápido anti-HBsAg™ and Imuno-rápido anti-HBeAg™ RTs were evaluated and showed specificities greater than 95% in all groups. The sensitivity values to anti-HBs were 50.38%, 51.05% and 46.73% and the sensitivity values to anti-HBe were 76.99%, 10.34% and 11.76% in the GI, GII and GIII groups, respectively. The assays had a low sensitivity and high specificity, which indicated their use for screening in regions endemic for HBV. <![CDATA[Comparison of four molecular approaches to identify <em>Candida parapsilosis</em> complex species]]> Since the description of Candida orthopsilosis and C. metapsilosis in 2005, several methods have been proposed to identify and differentiate these species from C. parapsilosis sensu stricto. Species-specific uniplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was performed and compared with sequencing of the D1/D2 region of the LSU 28S rDNA gene, microsatellite typing of C. parapsilosis sensu stricto, and PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism patterns in the ITS1-5.8S-ITS2 region of the rDNA gene. There was agreement between results of testing of 98 clinical isolates with the four PCR-based methods, with 59 isolates identified as C. parapsilosis sensu stricto, 37 as C. orthopsilosis, and two as C. metapsilosis. <![CDATA[Diagnosis of human herpes virus 1 and 2 (HHV-1 and HHV-2): use of a synthetic standard curve for absolute quantification by real time polymerase chain reaction]]> The use of quantitative real time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) for herpesvirus detection has improved the sensitivity and specificity of diagnosis, as it is able to detect shedding episodes in the absence of clinical lesions and diagnose clinical specimens that have low viral loads. With an aim to improve the detection and quantification of herpesvirus by qPCR, synthetic standard curves for human herpesvirus 1 and 2 (HHV-1 and HHV-2) targeting regions gD and gG, respectively, were designed and evaluated. The results show that synthetic curves can replace DNA standard curves in diagnostic herpes qPCR. <![CDATA[Chronic Chagas cardiomyopathy: a review of the main pathogenic mechanisms and the efficacy of aetiological treatment following the BENznidazole Evaluation for Interrupting Trypanosomiasis (BENEFIT) trial]]> Chagas cardiomyopathy is the most frequent and most severe manifestation of chronic Chagas disease, and is one of the leading causes of morbidity and death in Latin America. Although the pathogenesis of Chagas cardiomyopathy is incompletely understood, it may involve several mechanisms, including parasite-dependent myocardial damage, immune-mediated myocardial injury (induced by the parasite itself and by self-antigens), and microvascular and neurogenic disturbances. In the past three decades, a consensus has emerged that parasite persistence is crucial to the development and progression of Chagas cardiomyopathy. In this context, antiparasitic treatment in the chronic phase of Chagas disease could prevent complications related to the disease. However, according to the results of the BENEFIT trial, benznidazole seems to have no benefit for arresting disease progression in patients with chronic Chagas cardiomyopathy. In this review, we give an update on the main pathogenic mechanisms of Chagas disease, and re-examine and discuss the results of the BENEFIT trial, together with its limitations and implications.