Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz]]> vol. 112 num. 4 lang. es <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[Evaluation of the impact of serogroup C meningococcal disease vaccination program in Brazil and its regions: a population-based study, 2001-2013]]> BACKGROUND Meningococcal C conjugate (MenC) vaccine was introduced as part of the Brazilian National Immunisation Program in 2010 for children &lt; 1 year of age. OBJECTIVES The study objective was to evaluate the impact of this vaccination strategy. METHODS An observational, mixed ecological and analytical study was conducted, based on time series panel data from surveillance records (2001-2013). FINDINGS A total of 37,538 of meningococcal disease cases were recorded during the study period. Of these, 19,997 were attributed to serogroup C. A decrease in meningococcal disease serogroup C (MDC) incidence among children aged &lt; 1 year [65.2%; 95% confidence interval (CI): 20.5-84.7%] and 1-4 years (46.9%; 95%CI: 14.6-79.1%) were found in the three years following vaccination introduction. Vaccination impact on the reduction of MDC incidence varied from 83.7% (95%CI: 51.1-100.0%) in the Midwest region to 56.7% (95%CI: 37.4-76.0%) in the Northeast region. MAIN CONCLUSIONS Vaccination against MDC in Brazil had a positive impact on the population of children aged &lt; 1 year, across all regions, and on the 1-4 year-old cohort. Nevertheless, in our view there is scope for improving the vaccination strategy adopted in Brazil. <![CDATA[Ultrastructural alterations in <em>Schistosoma mansoni</em> juvenile and adult male worms after in vitro incubation with primaquine]]> BACKGROUND Praziquantel has been cited as the only drug for treating schistosomiasis. However, concerns over drug resistance have encouraged the search for novel drug leads. The antimalarial drug primaquine possesses interesting anti-schistosmal properties. OBJECTIVES This study is the first to document the potential role of primaquine as a schistosomicide and the ultrastructural changes induced by primaquine on juvenile or adult male worms of Schistosoma mansoni. METHODS Ultrastructural alterations in the tegumental surface of 21-day-old juvenile and adult male worms of S. mansoni were demonstrated following primaquine treatment at different concentrations (2, 5, 10, 15, and 20 µg/mL) and incubation periods (1, 3, 6, 24, and 48 h) in vitro, using both scanning and transmission electron microscopy. FINDINGS At low concentrations (2, 5, and 10 µg/mL) both juvenile and adult male worms were alive after 24 h of incubation, whereas contraction, paralysis, and death of all worms were observed after 24 h of drug exposure at 20 µg/mL. The tegument of juvenile and adult male worms treated with primaquine exhibited erosion, peeling, and sloughing. Furthermore, extensive damage of both tegumental and subtegumental layers included embedded spines, and shrinkage of muscles with vacuoles. The in vitro results confirmed that primaquine has dose-dependent effects with 20 µg/mL as the most effective concentration in a short incubation period. MAIN CONCLUSIONS The schistosomicidal activity of primaquine indicates that this drug possesses moderate in vitro activity against juvenile and adult male worms, since it caused high mortality and tegumental alterations. This study confirmed that the antimalarial drug primaquine possesses anti-schistosomal activity. Further investigation is needed to elucidate its mechanism of action. <![CDATA[Prevalence of hepatitis C virus and human immunodeficiency virus in a group of patients newly diagnosed with active tuberculosis in Porto Alegre, Southern Brazil]]> BACKGROUND Porto Alegre is the Brazilian state capital with second highest incidence of tuberculosis (TB) and the highest proportion of people infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) among patients with TB. Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection increases the risk of anti-TB drug-induced hepatotoxicity, which may result in discontinuation of the therapy. OBJECTIVES The aim of this study was (i) to estimate prevalence of HCV and HIV in a group of patients newly diagnosed with active TB in a public reference hospital in Porto Alegre and (ii) to compare demographic, behavioural, and clinical characteristics of patients in relation to their HCV infection status. METHODS One hundred and thirty-eight patients with TB were tested for anti-HCV antibody, HCV RNA, and anti-HIV1/2 antibody markers. HCV RNA from real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-positive samples was submitted to reverse transcription and PCR amplification. The 5′ non-coding region of the HCV genome was sequenced, and genotypes of HCV isolates were determined. FINDINGS Anti-HCV antibody, HCV RNA, and anti-HIV antibodies were detected in 27 [20%; 95% confidence interval (CI), 13-26%], 17 (12%; 95% CI, 7-18%), and 34 (25%; 95% CI, 17-32%) patients, respectively. HCV isolates belonged to genotypes 1 (n = 12) and 3 (n = 4). Some characteristics were significantly more frequent in patients infected with HCV. Among them, non-white individuals, alcoholics, users of illicit drugs, imprisoned individuals, and those with history of previous TB episode were more commonly infected with HCV (p &lt; 0.05). MAIN CONCLUSIONS HCV screening, including detection of anti-HCV antibody and HCV RNA, will be important to improving the management of co-infected patients, given their increased risk of developing TB treatment-related hepatotoxicity. <![CDATA[Polymorphisms in genes <em>TLR1</em>, <em>2</em> and <em>4</em> are associated with differential cytokine and chemokine serum production in patients with leprosy]]> BACKGROUND Leprosy or hansen’s disease is a spectral disease whose clinical forms mostly depends on host’s immune and genetic factors. Different Toll-like receptors (TLR) variants have been described associated with leprosy, but with some lack of replication across different populations. OBJECTIVES To evaluate the role of polymorphisms in genes TLR1, TLR2 and TLR4 and susceptibility to leprosy in a genetic case control study; to verify the association between genotypes of these markers and the immunological profile in the serum of patients with leprosy. METHODS Pre-designed TaqMan® assays were used to genotype markers at TLR1 (rs4833095, rs5743551), TLR2 (rs7656411, rs3804099) and TLR4 (rs1927914, rs1927911). A panel of cytokines and chemokines was accessed by enzime-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) test in the serum of a subgroup of patients with and without leprosy reactions. FINDINGS Our results show an association between the T allele of rs3804099 at the TLR2 gene and increased risk for leprosy per se [Odds ratio (OR) = 1.296, p = 0,022]. In addition, evaluating the association between different genotypes of the TLR1, 2 and 4 markers and cytokine/chemokine serological levels, IL-17 appears as an immunological marker regulated by the polymorphism of the three TLR genes evaluated, whereas different TLR1 genotypes were associated with differential production of IL-12p40 and MCP-1(CCL2). Furthermore, other relevant serum markers such as CXCL-10 and IL-6 seemed to be regulated by TLR2 variants and IL-1β was related to TLR4 genotypes. MAIN CONCLUSIONS All together our data points that the tested TLR markers may have a regulatory role in the immunity against Mycobacterium leprae, by driving the host’s production of key cytokines and chemokines involved in the pathogenesis of this disease. <![CDATA[Association of <em>NR1I2</em> gene polymorphisms and time of progression to AIDS]]> BACKGROUND The time of progression towards AIDS can vary greatly among seropositive patients, and may be associated with host genetic variation. The NR1I2 (PXR) gene, a ligand-activated transcription factor, regulates the transcription immune pathway genes and can therefore be targets of viral replication mechanisms influencing time of progression to AIDS. OBJECTIVE To verify the association of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) rs3814057, rs6785049, rs7643645, and rs2461817 in the NR1I2 (PXR) gene with progression to AIDS in HIV-1 infected patients. METHODS Blood samples were obtained from 96 HIV-1 positive individuals following informed consent. DNA was isolated and genotyped through real time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for the presence of SNPs in the NR1I2. Questionnaires on socio-demographic features and behaviors were answered and time of progression to AIDS was estimated based on medical chart analysis. FINDINGS Patients with the GG genotype for rs7643645 were shown to be related with a more rapid disease progression when compared to GA and AA genotypes. This result was maintained by the Multivariate Cox Regression considering sex, ethnicity, and presence of HLA-B*57, HLA-B*27, and CCR5del32 polymorphisms. MAIN CONCLUSIONS Recent studies reported the expression of the nuclear receptors in T-Lymphocytes, suggesting their possible role in the immune response. In addition, nuclear receptors have been shown to inhibit the HIV replication, although no such mechanism has been thoroughly elucidated to date. This is the first time an association between NR1I2 polymorphism and time of progression to AIDS is reported and supports an apparent relationship between the gene in the immune response and identifies another genetic factor influencing AIDS progression. <![CDATA[A tale of two neglected tropical infections: using GIS to assess the spatial and temporal overlap of schistosomiasis and leprosy in a region of Minas Gerais, Brazil]]> BACKGROUND Despite public health efforts to reduce the global burden of leprosy, gaps remain in the knowledge surrounding transmission of infection. Helminth co-infections have been associated with a shift towards the lepromatous end of the disease spectrum, potentially increasing transmission in co-endemic areas. OBJECTIVES Using this biologically plausible association, we conducted a geographic information systems (GIS) study to investigate the spatial associations of schistosomiasis and leprosy in an endemic area of Minas Gerais (MG), Brazil. METHODS Data on new cases of Mycobacterium leprae and Schistosoma mansoni infections from 2007-2014 were retrieved from the Brazilian national notifiable diseases information system for seven municipalities in and surrounding Vespasiano, MG. A total of 139 cases of leprosy and 200 cases of schistosomiasis were mapped to a municipality level. For one municipality, cases were mapped to a neighborhood level and a stratified analysis was conducted to identify spatial associations. FINDINGS A relative risk of 6.80 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.46 - 31.64] of leprosy was found in neighborhoods with schistosomiasis. Incidence rates of leprosy increased with corresponding incidence rates of schistosomiasis, and the temporal trends of both infections were similar. CONCLUSIONS The associations found in this project support the hypothesis that helminth infections may influence the transmission of leprosy in co-endemic areas. <![CDATA[Overexpression of miR-484 and miR-744 in Vero cells alters Dengue virus replication]]> BACKGROUND Dengue is considered one of the world’s most important mosquito-borne diseases. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding single-stranded RNAs that play an important role in the regulation of gene expression in eukaryotes. Although miRNAs possess antiviral activity against many mammalian-infecting viruses, their involvement in Dengue virus (DENV) replication remains poorly understood. OBJECTIVE To determine the role of miR-484 and miR-744 in DENV infection and to examine whether DENV infection alters the expression of both miRNAs. METHODS We used bioinformatics tools to explore the relationship between DENV and cellular miRNAs. We then overexpressed miR-484 or miR-744 in Vero cells to examine their role in DENV replication using flow cytometry, reverse transcriptase quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR), and western blotting. FINDINGS We found several cellular miRNAs that target a conserved region within the 3′ untranslated region (3′ UTR) of the genome of the four DENV serotypes and found that overexpression of miR-484 or miR-744 inhibits infection by DENV-1 to DENV-4. Furthermore, we observed that DENV RNA might be involved in the downregulation of endogenous miR-484 and miR-744. CONCLUSION Our study identifies miR-484 and miR-744 as two possible restriction host factors against DENV infection. However, further studies are needed to directly verify whether miR-484 and miR-744 both have an anti-DENV effect in vivo. <![CDATA[Vegetation loss and the 2016 Oropouche fever outbreak in Peru]]> BACKGROUND Oropouche virus causes Oropouche fever, an arboviral disease transmitted mainly by midges of the genus Culicoides and Culex mosquitoes. Clinical presentation of Oropouche fever in humans includes fever, headache, rash, myalgia, and in rare cases spontaneous bleeding and aseptic meningitis. Landscape change has been proposed as a driver of Oropouche fever emergence. OBJECTIVE To investigate the landscape epidemiology of the Oropouche fever outbreak that began in April 2016 in Cusco, Peru. METHODS We used information of vegetation and multivariate spatial analyses including ecological niche modeling. Vegetation was characterised using16-day composite enhanced vegetation index (EVI) images at 500 m spatial resolution from the MODIS sensor carried by the Terra satellite. FINDINGS Cases were distributed across seven Peruvian districts in two provinces. La Concepcion was the province with most of the affected districts. EVI time series across 2000 to 2016 suggested a decline in the vegetation in sites with Oropouche fever cases before the epidemic. Our ecological niche modeling suggests that other areas in Junin, Apurimac, and Madre de Dios departments are at risk of Oropouche fever occurrence. MAIN CONCLUSIONS Our results may provide a guide for future fieldwork to test hypotheses regarding Oropouche fever emergence and habitat loss in tropical Latin America. <![CDATA[Insights into cytochrome <em>bc</em><sub>1</sub> complex binding mode of antimalarial 2-hydroxy-1,4-naphthoquinones through molecular modelling]]> BACKGROUND Malaria persists as a major public health problem. Atovaquone is a drug that inhibits the respiratory chain of Plasmodium falciparum, but with serious limitations like known resistance, low bioavailability and high plasma protein binding. OBJECTIVES The aim of this work was to perform molecular modelling studies of 2-hydroxy-1,4-naphthoquinones analogues of atovaquone on the Qo site of P. falciparum cytochrome bc1 complex (Pfbc1) to suggest structural modifications that could improve their antimalarial activity. METHODS We have built the homology model of the cytochrome b (CYB) and Rieske iron-sulfur protein (ISP) subunits from Pfbc1 and performed the molecular docking of 41 2-hydroxy-1,4-naphthoquinones with known in vitro antimalarial activity and predicted to act on this target. FINDINGS Results suggest that large hydrophobic R2 substituents may be important for filling the deep hydrophobic Qo site pocket. Moreover, our analysis indicates that the H-donor 2-hydroxyl group may not be crucial for efficient binding and inhibition of Pfbc1 by these atovaquone analogues. The C1 carbonyl group (H-acceptor) is more frequently involved in the important hydrogen bonding interaction with His152 of the Rieske ISP subunit. MAIN CONCLUSIONS Additional interactions involving residues such as Ile258 and residues required for efficient catalysis (e.g., Glu261) could be explored in drug design to avoid development of drug resistance by the parasite. <![CDATA[Seasonality of sand flies (Diptera: Psychodidae) and <em>Leishmania</em> DNA detection in vector species in an area with endemic visceral leishmaniasis]]> BACKGROUND Leishmaniases are a serious health problem in southeast Brazil, including the city of Belo Horizonte (BH), Minas Gerais state (MG), where there are high rates of incidence and mortality due to visceral leishmaniases. BH is divided into nine sanitary districts (SD) of which one, the Venda Nova SD, was selected for this study because it has high rates of positivity for canine leishmaniasis and high incidence of human leishmaniasis. OBJECTIVES This study aimed to survey the sand fly fauna in Venda Nova SD from August 2011 to July 2013 and perform a descriptive analysis of the vector population. METHODS The sampling was carried out using automatic HP light traps at all covered areas of the Venda Nova SD, in a total of eighteen light traps. Sampled specimens were identified following Galati (2003), and females were submitted to molecular techniques for the detection and identification of Leishmania DNA. A simple environmental description was done for it area and Kernel estimation was used to infer vector density for each study site. FINDINGS A total of 2,427 sand fly specimens belonging to eight species and five genera were collected of which 95.3% were Lutzomyia longipalpis. The seasonal variation curve was delineated by this species. Lu. longipalpis was the most abundant at all collection points and in all months of the study, and exhibited a natural infection rate of 1.01% for Leishmania infantum and 1.77% for Leishmania braziliensis. MAIN CONCLUSIONS The results show the presence and adaptation of Lu. longipalpis to the anthropic environment of BH and reinforces its role as the main vector of L. infantum in the region.