Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz]]> vol. 109 num. 3 lang. es <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[The multifaceted resources and microevolution of the successful human and animal pathogen methicillin-resistant <em>Staphylococcus aureus</em>]]> Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is one of the most important bacterial pathogens based on its incidence and the severity of its associated infections. In addition, severe MRSA infections can occur in hospitalised patients or healthy individuals from the community. Studies have shown the infiltration of MRSA isolates of community origin into hospitals and variants of hospital-associated MRSA have caused infections in the community. These rapid epidemiological changes represent a challenge for the molecular characterisation of such bacteria as a hospital or community-acquired pathogen. To efficiently control the spread of MRSA, it is important to promptly detect the mecA gene, which is the determinant of methicillin resistance, using a polymerase chain reaction-based test or other rapidly and accurate methods that detect the mecA product penicillin-binding protein (PBP)2a or PBP2’. The recent emergence of MRSA isolates that harbour a mecA allotype, i.e., the mecC gene, infecting animals and humans has raised an additional and significant issue regarding MRSA laboratory detection. Antimicrobial drugs for MRSA therapy are becoming depleted and vancomycin is still the main choice in many cases. In this review, we present an overview of MRSA infections in community and healthcare settings with focus on recent changes in the global epidemiology, with special reference to the MRSA picture in Brazil. <![CDATA[Host genetic factors in American cutaneous leishmaniasis: a critical appraisal of studies conducted in an endemic area of Brazil]]> American cutaneous leishmaniasis (ACL) is a vector-transmitted infectious disease with an estimated 1.5 million new cases per year. In Brazil, ACL represents a significant public health problem, with approximately 30,000 new reported cases annually, representing an incidence of 18.5 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. Corte de Pedra is in a region endemic for ACL in the state of Bahia (BA), northeastern Brazil, with 500-1,300 patients treated annually. Over the last decade, population and family-based candidate gene studies were conducted in Corte de Pedra, founded on previous knowledge from studies on mice and humans. Notwithstanding limitations related to sample size and power, these studies contribute important genetic biomarkers that identify novel pathways of disease pathogenesis and possible new therapeutic targets. The present paper is a narrative review about ACL immunogenetics in BA, highlighting in particular the interacting roles of the wound healing gene FLI1 with interleukin-6 and genes SMAD2 and SMAD3 of the transforming growth factor beta signalling pathway. This research highlights the need for well-powered genetic and functional studies on Leishmania braziliensis infection as essential to define and validate the role of host genes in determining resistance/susceptibility regarding this disease. <![CDATA[Severity of chronic experimental Chagas' heart disease parallels tumour necrosis factor and nitric oxide levels in the serum: models of mild and severe disease]]> Heart tissue inflammation, progressive fibrosis and electrocardiographic alterations occur in approximately 30% of patients infected by Trypanosoma cruzi, 10-30 years after infection. Further, plasma levels of tumour necrosis factor (TNF) and nitric oxide (NO) are associated with the degree of heart dysfunction in chronic chagasic cardiomyopathy (CCC). Thus, our aim was to establish experimental models that mimic a range of parasitological, pathological and cardiac alterations described in patients with chronic Chagas’ heart disease and evaluate whether heart disease severity was associated with increased TNF and NO levels in the serum. Our results show that C3H/He mice chronically infected with the Colombian T. cruzi strain have more severe cardiac parasitism and inflammation than C57BL/6 mice. In addition, connexin 43 disorganisation and fibronectin deposition in the heart tissue, increased levels of creatine kinase cardiac MB isoenzyme activity in the serum and more severe electrical abnormalities were observed in T. cruzi-infected C3H/He mice compared to C57BL/6 mice. Therefore, T. cruzi-infected C3H/He and C57BL/6 mice represent severe and mild models of CCC, respectively. Moreover, the CCC severity paralleled the TNF and NO levels in the serum. Therefore, these models are appropriate for studying the pathophysiology and biomarkers of CCC progression, as well as for testing therapeutic agents for patients with Chagas’ heart disease. <![CDATA[Ecology of cutaneous leishmaniasis in Sinai: linking parasites, vectors and hosts]]> Cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) is a neglected clinical form of public health importance that is quite prevalent in the northern and eastern parts of Egypt. A comprehensive study over seven years (January 2005-December 2011) was conducted to track CL transmission with respect to both sandfly vectors and animal reservoirs. The study identified six sandfly species collected from different districts in North Sinai: Phlebotomus papatasi, Phlebotomus kazeruni, Phlebotomus sergenti, Phlebotomus alexandri, Sergentomyia antennata and Sergentomyia clydei. Leishmania (-)-like flagellates were identified in 15 P. papatasi individuals (0.5% of 3,008 dissected females). Rodent populations were sampled in the same districts where sandflies were collected and eight species were identified: Rattus norvegicus (n = 39), Rattus rattus frugivorous (n = 13), Rattus rattus alexandrinus (n = 4), Gerbillus pyramidum floweri (n = 38), Gerbillus andersoni (n = 28), Mus musculus (n = 5), Meriones sacramenti (n = 22) and Meriones crassus (n = 10). Thirty-two rodents were found to be positive for Leishmania infection (20.12% of 159 examined rodents). Only Leishmania major was isolated and identified in 100% of the parasite samples. The diversity of both the vector and rodent populations was examined using diversity indices and clustering approaches. <![CDATA[In house reverse membrane hybridisation assay <em>versus </em>GenoType MTBDR<em>plus</em> and their performance to detect mutations in the genes <em>rpo</em>B, <em>kat</em>G and <em>inh</em>A]]> Drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB) threatens global TB control and is a major public health concern in several countries. We therefore developed a multiplex assay (LINE-TB/MDR) that is able to identify the most frequent mutations related to rifampicin (RMP) and isoniazid (INH) resistance. The assay is based on multiplex polymerase chain reaction, membrane hybridisation and colorimetric detection targeting of rpoB and katG genes, as well as the inhA promoter, which are all known to carry specific mutations associated with multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB). The assay was validated on a reference panel of 108 M. tuberculosis isolates that were characterised by the proportion method and by DNA sequencing of the targets. When comparing the performance of LINE-TB/MDR with DNA sequencing, the sensitivity, specificity and agreement were 100%, 100% and 100%, respectively, for RMP and 77.6%, 90.6% and 88.9%, respectively, for INH. Using drug sensibility testing as a reference standard, the performance of LINE-TB/MDR regarding sensitivity, specificity and agreement was 100%, 100% and 100% (95%), respectively, for RMP and 77%, 100% and 88.7% (82.2-95.1), respectively, for INH. LINE-TB/MDR was compared with GenoType MTBDRplus for 65 isolates, resulting in an agreement of 93.6% (86.7-97.5) for RIF and 87.4% (84.3-96.2) for INH. LINE-TB/MDR warrants further clinical validation and may be an affordable alternative for MDR-TB diagnosis. <![CDATA[Megazol and its bioisostere 4<em>H</em>-1,2,4-triazole: comparing the trypanocidal, cytotoxic and genotoxic activities and their in vitro and in silico interactions with the <em>Trypanosoma brucei</em> nitroreductase enzyme]]> Megazol (7) is a 5-nitroimidazole that is highly active against Trypanosoma cruzi and Trypanosoma brucei, as well as drug-resistant forms of trypanosomiasis. Compound 7 is not used clinically due to its mutagenic and genotoxic properties, but has been largely used as a lead compound. Here, we compared the activity of 7 with its 4H-1,2,4-triazole bioisostere (8) in bloodstream forms of T. brucei and T. cruzi and evaluated their activation by T. brucei type I nitroreductase (TbNTR) enzyme. We also analysed the cytotoxic and genotoxic effects of these compounds in whole human blood using Comet and fluorescein diacetate/ethidium bromide assays. Although the only difference between 7 and 8 is the substitution of sulphur (in the thiadiazole in 7) for nitrogen (in the triazole in 8), the results indicated that 8 had poorer antiparasitic activity than 7 and was not genotoxic, whereas 7 presented this effect. The determination of Vmax indicated that although 8 was metabolised more rapidly than 7, it bounds to the TbNTR with better affinity, resulting in equivalent kcat/KM values. Docking assays of 7 and 8 performed within the active site of a homology model of the TbNTR indicating that 8 had greater affinity than 7. <![CDATA[Anti-Mycobacterium tuberculosis activity and cytotoxicity of Calophyllum brasiliense Cambess (Clusiaceae)]]> We evaluated the in vitro anti-Mycobacterium tuberculosis activity and the cytotoxicity of dichloromethane extract and pure compounds from the leaves of Calophyllum brasiliense. Purification of the dichloromethane extract yielded the pure compounds (-) mammea A/BB (1), (-) mammea B/BB (2) and amentoflavone (3). The compound structures were elucidated on the basis of spectroscopic and spectrometric data. The contents of bioactive compounds in the extracts were quantified using high performance liquid chromatography coupled to an ultraviolet detector. The anti-M. tuberculosis activity of the extracts and the pure compounds was evaluated using a resazurin microtitre assay plate. The cytotoxicity assay was performed in J774G.8 macrophages using the 3-(4,5-dimethyl thiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide colourimetric method. The quantification of the dichloromethane extract showed (1) and (2) at concentrations of 31.86 ± 2.6 and 8.24 ± 1.1 µg/mg of extract, respectively. The dichloromethane and aqueous extracts showed anti-M. tuberculosis H37Rv activity of 62.5 and 125 µg/mL, respectively. Coumarins (1) and (2) showed minimal inhibitory concentration ranges of 31.2 and 62.5 µg/mL against M. tuberculosis H37Rv and clinical isolates. Compound (3) showed no activity against M. tuberculosis H37Rv. The selectivity index ranged from 0.59-1.06. We report the activity of the extracts and coumarins from the leaves of C. brasiliense against M. tuberculosis. <![CDATA[Tuberculin skin test and interferon-gamma release assay values are associated with antimicrobial peptides expression in  polymorphonuclear cells during latent tuberculous infection]]> It has been reported that patients with progressive tuberculosis (TB) express abundant amounts of the antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) cathelicidin (LL-37) and human neutrophil peptide-1 (HNP-1) in circulating cells, whereas latent TB infected donors showed no differences when compared with purified protein derivative (PPD) and QuantiFERON®-TB Gold (QFT)-healthy individuals. The aim of this study was to determine whether LL-37 and HNP-1 production correlates with higher tuberculin skin test (TST) and QFT values in TB household contacts. Twenty-six TB household contact individuals between 26-58 years old TST and QFT positive with at last two years of latent TB infection were recruited. AMPs production by polymorphonuclear cells was determined by flow cytometry and correlation between TST and QFT values was analysed. Our results showed that there is a positive correlation between levels of HNP-1 and LL-37 production with reactivity to TST and/or QFT levels. This preliminary study suggests the potential use of the expression levels of these peptides as biomarkers for progression in latent infected individuals. <![CDATA[Immune response to the mumps component of the MMR vaccine in the routine of immunisation services in the Brazilian National Immunisation Program]]> A non-controlled longitudinal study was conducted to evaluate the combined vaccine against measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) immunogenicity in 150 children vaccinated in the routine of three health units in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2008-2009, without other vaccines administered during the period from 30 days before to 30 days after vaccination. A previous study conducted in Brazil in 2007, in 1,769 children ranging from 12-15 months of age vaccinated against yellow fever and MMR simultaneously or at intervals of 30 days or more between doses, had shown low seroconversion for mumps regardless of the interval between administration of the two vaccines. The current study showed 89.5% (95% confidence interval: 83.3; 94.0) seroconversion rate for mumps. All children seroconverted for measles and rubella. After revaccination, high antibody titres and seroconversion rates were achieved against mumps. The results of this study and others suggest that two MMR doses confer optimal immunoresponses for all three antigens and the possible need for additional doses should be studied taking into account not only serological, but also epidemiological data, as there is no serological correlate of protection for mumps. <![CDATA[A comparative cross-sectional study on the prevalence and morbidity of schistosomiasis in a community in northeastern Brazil (1979-2010)]]> A cross-sectional study on the prevalence and morbidity of schistosomiasis was conducted in the main settlement of the municipality of Alhandra, in the southern coastal region of the state of Paraíba, in 2010. The results of this study were compared with the results of a previous study conducted in the same area in 1979. The systematic sampling per family conglomerate included approximately 10% of the resident population in the urban area of Alhandra. Faecal examinations were performed using the Kato-Katz method. The clinical forms of the disease were classified in accordance with FS Barbosa as Type I - intestinal form, Type II - hepatointestinal form and Type III - hepatosplenic form. The prevalence of the infection in 2010 was 10.05%, whereas in 1979 it was 46.6% among untreated patients. The percentages of the three clinical forms in 2010 were as follows: 95.3% Type I, 4.6% Type II and 0% Type III; in 1979, the percentages were 94.4%, 3% and 2.6% for Types I, II and III, respectively. In 1979, 6.07% of the Biomphalaria glabrata specimens (the intermediate host in this area) excreted cercariae, where in 2010 only 1.27% of the specimens caught excreted the parasite. <![CDATA[Tumour necrosis factor -308 and -238 promoter polymorphisms are predictors of a null virological response in the treatment of Brazilian hepatitis C patients]]> Certain host single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) affect the likelihood of a sustained virological response (SVR) to treatment in subjects infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV). SNPs in the promoters of interleukin (IL)-10 (-1082 A/G, rs1800896), myxovirus resistance protein 1 (-123 C/A, rs17000900 and -88 G/T, rs2071430) and tumour necrosis factor (TNF) (-308 G/A, rs1800629 and -238 G/A, rs361525) genes and the outcome of PEGylated α-interferon plus ribavirin therapy were investigated. This analysis was performed in 114 Brazilian, HCV genotype 1-infected patients who had a SVR and in 85 non-responders and 64 relapsers. A significantly increased risk of having a null virological response was observed in patients carrying at least one A allele at positions -308 [odds ratios (OR) = 2.58, 95% confidence intervals (CI) = 1.44-4.63, p = 0.001] or -238 (OR = 7.33, 95% CI = 3.59-14.93, p &lt; 0.001) in the TNF promoter. The risk of relapsing was also elevated (-308: OR = 2.87, 95% CI = 1.51-5.44, p = 0.001; -238: OR = 4.20, 95% CI = 1.93-9.10, p &lt; 0.001). Multiple logistic regression of TNF diplotypes showed that patients with at least two copies of the A allele had an even higher risk of having a null virological response (OR = 16.43, 95% CI = 5.70-47.34, p &lt; 0.001) or relapsing (OR = 6.71, 95% CI = 2.18-20.66, p = 0.001). No statistically significant association was found between the other SNPs under study and anti-HCV therapy response. <![CDATA[Good agreements between self and clinician-collected specimens for the detection of human papillomavirus in Brazilian patients]]> Women infected with human papillomavirus (HPV) are at a higher risk of developing cervical lesions. In the current study, self and clinician-collected vaginal and cervical samples from women were processed to detect HPV DNA using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) with PGMY09/11 primers. HPV genotypes were determined using type-specific PCR. HPV DNA detection showed good concordance between self and clinician-collected samples (84.6%; kappa = 0.72). HPV infection was found in 30% women and genotyping was more concordant among high-risk HPV (HR-HPV) than low-risk HPV (HR-HPV). HPV16 was the most frequently detected among the HR-HPV types. LR-HPV was detected at a higher frequency in self-collected; however, HR-HPV types were more frequently identified in clinician-collected samples than in self-collected samples. HPV infections of multiple types were detected in 20.5% of clinician-collected samples and 15.5% of self-collected samples. In this study, we demonstrated that the HPV DNA detection rate in self-collected samples has good agreement with that of clinician-collected samples. Self-collected sampling, as a primary prevention strategy in countries with few resources, could be effective for identifying cases of HR-HPV, being more acceptable. The use of this method would enhance the coverage of screening programs for cervical cancer. <![CDATA[Mycobacteria mobility shift assay: a method for the rapid identification of <em>Mycobacterium tuberculosis</em> and nontuberculous mycobacteria]]> The identification of mycobacteria is essential because tuberculosis (TB) and mycobacteriosis are clinically indistinguishable and require different therapeutic regimens. The traditional phenotypic method is time consuming and may last up to 60 days. Indeed, rapid, affordable, specific and easy-to-perform identification methods are needed. We have previously described a polymerase chain reaction-based method called a mycobacteria mobility shift assay (MMSA) that was designed for Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTC) and nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) species identification. The aim of this study was to assess the MMSA for the identification of MTC and NTM clinical isolates and to compare its performance with that of the PRA-hsp65 method. A total of 204 clinical isolates (102 NTM and 102 MTC) were identified by the MMSA and PRA-hsp65. For isolates for which these methods gave discordant results, definitive species identification was obtained by sequencing fragments of the 16S rRNA and hsp65 genes. Both methods correctly identified all MTC isolates. Among the NTM isolates, the MMSA alone assigned 94 (92.2%) to a complex or species, whereas the PRA-hsp65 method assigned 100% to a species. A 91.5% agreement was observed for the 94 NTM isolates identified by both methods. The MMSA provided correct identification for 96.8% of the NTM isolates compared with 94.7% for PRA-hsp65. The MMSA is a suitable auxiliary method for routine use for the rapid identification of mycobacteria. <![CDATA[The in vitro activity of fatty diamines and amino alcohols against mixed amastigote and trypomastigote <em>Trypanosoma cruzi</em> forms]]> Four diamines and three amino alcohols derived from 1-decanol, 1-dodecanol and 1,2-dodecanediol were evaluated in an in vitro assay against a mixture of trypomastigote and intracellular amastigote forms of Trypanosoma cruzi. Two of these compounds (6 and 7) showed better activity against both proliferative stages of T. cruzi than the positive control benznidazole, three were of similar potency (1, 2 and 5) and two were less active (3 and 4). <![CDATA[Large indoor cage study of the suppression of stable <em>Aedes aegypti </em>populations by the release of thiotepa-sterilised males]]> The sterile insect technique (SIT) is a promising pest control method in terms of efficacy and environmental compatibility. In this study, we determined the efficacy of thiotepa-sterilised males in reducing the target Aedes aegypti populations. Treated male pupae were released weekly into large laboratory cages at a constant ratio of either 5:1 or 2:1 sterile-to-fertile males. A two-to-one release ratio reduced the hatch rate of eggs laid in the cage by approximately a third and reduced the adult catch rate by approximately a quarter, but a 5:1 release drove the population to elimination after 15 weeks of release. These results indicate that thiotepa exposure is an effective means of sterilising Ae. aegypti and males thus treated are able to reduce the reproductive capacity of a stable population under laboratory conditions. Further testing of the method in semi-field enclosures is required to evaluate the mating competitiveness of sterile males when exposed to natural environmental conditions. If proven effective, SIT using thiotepa-sterilised males may be incorporated into an integrated programme of vector control to combat dengue in Cuba. <![CDATA[High occurrence of <em>Calodium hepaticum</em> (syn. <em>Capillaria hepatica</em>) spurious infection in a village in the Atlantic Forest of southern Brazil]]> Calodium hepaticum (syn. Capillaria hepatica) is a nematode of the Capillariidae family that infects rodents and other mammals. In Brazil, human spurious infections of C. hepaticum have been detected in indigenous or rural communities from the Amazon Basin, but not in the southern states of the country. Here, we report the highest occurrence (13.5% of 37 residents) of C. hepaticum human spurious infection detected in Brazil and the first record in a southern region, Guaraqueçaba. The finding is explained by the area being located in the Atlantic Forest of the state of Paraná, surrounded by preserved forests and because the inhabitants consume the meat of wild mammals. <![CDATA[Current situation and perspectives regarding human Chagas disease in midwestern of the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil]]> Recognising the importance of Chagas disease in Brazil, Bambuí set up epidemiological surveillance for Chagas disease in 1974 and was the first municipality to do so. To ascertain the current epidemiology of Chagas disease in this municipality, 1.782 blood samples from the general population were analysed; 7.7% of samples were found to be seropositive for Chagas disease. A strong positive correlation between increasing age and Chagas disease was evident in both genders, with the highest prevalence in individuals aged over 60 years. Clinically, the cardiodigestive form of Chagas disease was the most common in these samples. These data confirm the interruption of Trypanosoma cruzi transmission, in parallel with a still important residual morbidity of Chagas disease in the county, thus supporting political decisions that will prioritise epidemiological surveillance and medical treatment of Chagas disease in the coming years. <![CDATA[Identification of blood meal sources of <em>Lutzomyia longipalpis </em>using polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis of the cytochrome B gene]]> An analysis of the dietary content of haematophagous insects can provide important information about the transmission networks of certain zoonoses. The present study evaluated the potential of polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) analysis of the mitochondrial cytochrome B (cytb) gene to differentiate between vertebrate species that were identified as possible sources of sandfly meals. The complete cytb gene sequences of 11 vertebrate species available in the National Center for Biotechnology Information database were digested with Aci I, Alu I, Hae III and Rsa I restriction enzymes in silico using Restriction Mapper software. The cytb gene fragment (358 bp) was amplified from tissue samples of vertebrate species and the dietary contents of sandflies and digested with restriction enzymes. Vertebrate species presented a restriction fragment profile that differed from that of other species, with the exception of Canis familiaris and Cerdocyon thous. The 358 bp fragment was identified in 76 sandflies. Of these, 10 were evaluated using the restriction enzymes and the food sources were predicted for four: Homo sapiens (1), Bos taurus (1) and Equus caballus (2). Thus, the PCR-RFLP technique could be a potential method for identifying the food sources of arthropods. However, some points must be clarified regarding the applicability of the method, such as the extent of DNA degradation through intestinal digestion, the potential for multiple sources of blood meals and the need for greater knowledge regarding intraspecific variations in mtDNA. <![CDATA[Anthropophilic <em>Anopheles</em> species composition and malaria in Tierradentro, Córdoba, Colombia]]> Malaria is still a primary health problem in Colombia. The locality of Tierradentro is situated in the municipality of Montelíbano, Córdoba, in the northwest of Colombia, and has one of the highest annual parasite index of malaria nationwide. However, the vectors involved in malaria transmission in this locality have not yet been identified. In this study, the local anthropophilic Anopheles composition and natural infectivity with Plasmodium were investigated. In August 2009, 927 female Anopheles mosquitoes were collected in eight localities using the human landing catch method and identified based on their morphology. Cryptic species were determined by restriction fragment length polymorphism-internal transcribed spacer (ITS)2 molecular analysis. Eight species [Anopheles nuneztovari s.l. (92.8%), Anopheles darlingi (5.1%), Anopheles triannulatus s.l. (1.8%), Anopheles pseudopunctipennis s.l. (0.2%), Anopheles punctimacula s.l. (0.2%), Anopheles apicimacula (0.1%), Anopheles albimanus (0.1%) and Anopheles rangeli (0.1%)] were identified and species identity was confirmed by ITS2 sequencing. This is the first report of An. albimanus, An. rangeli and An. apicimacula in Tierradentro. Natural infectivity with Plasmodium was determined by ELISA. None of the mosquitoes was infectious for Plasmodium. An. nuneztovari s.l. was the predominant species and is considered the primary malaria vector; An. darlingi and An. triannulatus s.l. could serve as secondary vectors. <![CDATA[Intestinal parasites and genotyping of <em>Giardia duodenalis</em> in children: first report of genotype B in isolates from human clinical samples in Mexico]]> Giardia duodenalis is one of the most prevalent enteroparasites in children. This parasite produces several clinical manifestations. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of genotypes of G. duodenalis causing infection in a region of southeastern Mexico. G. duodenalis cysts were isolated (33/429) from stool samples of children and molecular genotyping was performed by polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) analysis, targeting the triosephosphate isomerase ( tpi ) and glutamate dehydrogenase ( gdh ) genes. The tpi gene was amplified in all of the cyst samples, either for assemblage A (27 samples) or assemblage B (6 samples). RFLP analysis classified the 27 tpi -A amplicons in assemblage A, subgenotype I. Samples classified as assemblage B were further analysed using PCR-RFLP of the gdh gene and identified as assemblage B, subgenotype III. To our knowledge, this is the first report of assemblage B of G. duodenalis in human clinical samples from Mexico. <![CDATA[Sandflies (Diptera: Psychodidae) associated with opossum nests at urban sites in southeastern Brazil: a risk factor for urban and periurban zoonotic <em>Leishmania</em> transmission?]]> Sandflies associated with opossum nests are reported for the first time in the yards of residences located in the urban area of the municipality of Monte Mor, situated in the metropolitan region of Campinas, state of São Paulo, Brazil. Eleven specimens of Evandromyia cortelezzii and one of Evandromyia lenti were captured in two Didelphis albiventris nests. Ev. cortelezzii is considered a secondary vector species for the transmission of Leishmania (Viannia) braziliensis and Leishmania (Leishmania) infantum in the Neotropics. This association may contribute to the introduction, establishment and maintenance of urban and periurban zoonotic transmission outbreaks of Leishmania and should therefore be investigated further. <![CDATA[Risk of symptomatic dengue for foreign visitors to the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil]]> Brazil will host the FIFA World Cup™, the biggest single-event competition in the world, from June 12-July 13 2014 in 12 cities. This event will draw an estimated 600,000 international visitors. Brazil is endemic for dengue. Hence, attendees of the 2014 event are theoretically at risk for dengue. We calculated the risk of dengue acquisition to non-immune international travellers to Brazil, depending on the football match schedules, considering locations and dates of such matches for June and July 2014. We estimated the average per-capita risk and expected number of dengue cases for each host-city and each game schedule chosen based on reported dengue cases to the Brazilian Ministry of Health for the period between 2010-2013. On the average, the expected number of cases among the 600,000 foreigner tourists during the World Cup is 33, varying from 3-59. Such risk estimates will not only benefit individual travellers for adequate pre-travel preparations, but also provide valuable information for public health professionals and policy makers worldwide. Furthermore, estimates of dengue cases in international travellers during the World Cup can help to anticipate the theoretical risk for exportation of dengue into currently non-infected areas.