Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz]]> vol. 110 num. 7 lang. es <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[ERRATUM]]> <![CDATA[Surveillance, health promotion and control of Chagas disease in the Amazon Region - Medical attention in the Brazilian Amazon Region: a proposal]]> We refer to Oswaldo Cruz’s reports dating from 1913 about the necessities of a healthcare system for the Brazilian Amazon Region and about the journey of Carlos Chagas to 27 locations in this region and the measures that would need to be adopted. We discuss the risks of endemicity of Chagas disease in the Amazon Region. We recommend that epidemiological surveillance of Chagas disease in the Brazilian Amazon Region and Pan-Amazon region should be implemented through continuous monitoring of the human population that lives in the area, their housing, the environment and the presence of triatomines. The monitoring should be performed with periodic seroepidemiological surveys, semi-annual visits to homes by health agents and the training of malaria microscopists and healthcare technicians to identify Trypanosoma cruzi from patients’ samples and T. cruzi infection rates among the triatomines caught. We recommend health promotion and control of Chagas disease through public health policies, especially through sanitary education regarding the risk factors for Chagas disease. Finally, we propose a healthcare system through base hospitals, intermediate-level units in the areas of the Brazilian Amazon Region and air transportation, considering the distances to be covered for medical care. <![CDATA[<em>Lutzomyia longipalpis</em> urbanisation and control]]> Since the description of Lutzomyia longipalpis by Lutz and Neiva more than 100 years ago, much has been written in the scientific literature about this phlebotomine species. Soares and Turco (2003) and Lainson and Rangel (2005) have written extensive reviews focused on vector-host-parasite interactions and American visceral leishmaniasis ecology. However, during the last two decades, the success of Lu. longipalpis in colonising urban environments and its simultaneous geographical spreading have led to new theoretical and operational questions. Therefore, this review updates the general information about this species and notes the more challenging topics regarding the new scenario of urbanisation-spreading and its control in America. Here, we summarise the literature on these issues and the remaining unsolved questions, which pose recommendations for operational research. <![CDATA[Computational drug design strategies applied to the modelling of human immunodeficiency virus-1 reverse transcriptase inhibitors]]> Reverse transcriptase (RT) is a multifunctional enzyme in the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 life cycle and represents a primary target for drug discovery efforts against HIV-1 infection. Two classes of RT inhibitors, the nucleoside RT inhibitors (NRTIs) and the nonnucleoside transcriptase inhibitors are prominently used in the highly active antiretroviral therapy in combination with other anti-HIV drugs. However, the rapid emergence of drug-resistant viral strains has limited the successful rate of the anti-HIV agents. Computational methods are a significant part of the drug design process and indispensable to study drug resistance. In this review, recent advances in computer-aided drug design for the rational design of new compounds against HIV-1 RT using methods such as molecular docking, molecular dynamics, free energy calculations, quantitative structure-activity relationships, pharmacophore modelling and absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion and toxicity prediction are discussed. Successful applications of these methodologies are also highlighted. <![CDATA[Yellow fever impact on brown howler monkeys (<em>Alouatta guariba clamitans</em>) in Argentina: a metamodelling approach based on population viability analysis and epidemiological dynamics]]> In South America, yellow fever (YF) is an established infectious disease that has been identified outside of its traditional endemic areas, affecting human and nonhuman primate (NHP) populations. In the epidemics that occurred in Argentina between 2007-2009, several outbreaks affecting humans and howler monkeys (Alouatta spp) were reported, highlighting the importance of this disease in the context of conservation medicine and public health policies. Considering the lack of information about YF dynamics in New World NHP, our main goal was to apply modelling tools to better understand YF transmission dynamics among endangered brown howler monkey (Alouatta guariba clamitans) populations in northeastern Argentina. Two complementary modelling tools were used to evaluate brown howler population dynamics in the presence of the disease: Vortex, a stochastic demographic simulation model, and Outbreak, a stochastic disease epidemiology simulation. The baseline model of YF disease epidemiology predicted a very high probability of population decline over the next 100 years. We believe the modelling approach discussed here is a reasonable description of the disease and its effects on the howler monkey population and can be useful to support evidence-based decision-making to guide actions at a regional level. <![CDATA[Modulatory effect of iron chelators on adenosine deaminase activity and gene expression in <em>Trichomonas vaginalis</em>]]> Trichomonas vaginalis is a flagellate protozoan that parasitises the urogenital human tract and causes trichomoniasis. During the infection, the acquisition of nutrients, such as iron and purine and pyrimidine nucleosides, is essential for the survival of the parasite. The enzymes for purinergic signalling, including adenosine deaminase (ADA), which degrades adenosine to inosine, have been characterised in T. vaginalis. In the evaluation of the ADA profile in different T. vaginalisisolates treated with different iron sources or with limited iron availability, a decrease in activity and an increase in ADA gene expression after iron limitation by 2,2-bipyridyl and ferrozine chelators were observed. This supported the hypothesis that iron can modulate the activity of the enzymes involved in purinergic signalling. Under bovine serum limitation conditions, no significant differences were observed. The results obtained in this study allow for the assessment of important aspects of ADA and contribute to a better understanding of the purinergic system in T. vaginalis and the role of iron in establishing infection and parasite survival. <![CDATA[Viral aetiology of common colds of outpatient children at primary care level and the use of antibiotics]]> Although antibiotics are ineffective against viral respiratory infections, studies have shown high rates of prescriptions worldwide. We conducted a study in Brazil to determine the viral aetiologies of common colds in children and to describe the use of antibiotics for these patients. Children up to 12 years with common colds were enrolled from March 2008-February 2009 at a primary care level facility and followed by regular telephone calls and medical consultations. A nasopharyngeal wash was obtained at enrollment and studied by direct fluorescence assay and polymerase chain reaction for nine different types of virus. A sample of 134 patients was obtained, median age 2.9 years (0.1-11.2 y). Respiratory viruses were detected in 73.9% (99/134) with a coinfection rate of 30.3% (30/99). Rhinovirus was the most frequent virus (53/134; 39.6%), followed by influenza (33/134; 24.6%) and respiratory syncytial virus (8/134; 13.4%). Antibiotic prescription rate was 39.6% (53/134) and 69.8% (37/53) were considered inappropriate. Patients with influenza infection received antibiotics inappropriately in a greater proportion of cases when compared to respiratory syncytial virus and rhinovirus infections (p = 0.016). The rate of inappropriate use of antibiotics was very high and patients with influenza virus infection were prescribed antibiotics inappropriately in a greater proportion of cases. <![CDATA[Identification of the nicotinamide mononucleotide adenylyltransferase of <em>Trypanosoma cruzi</em>]]> The intracellular parasite Trypanosoma cruzi is the aetiological agent of Chagas disease, a public health concern with an increasing incidence rate. This increase is due, among other reasons, to the parasite’s drug resistance mechanisms, which require nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+). Furthermore, this molecule is involved in metabolic and intracellular signalling processes necessary for the survival of T. cruzi throughout its life cycle. NAD+ biosynthesis is performed by de novo and salvage pathways, which converge on the step that is catalysed by the enzyme nicotinamide mononucleotide adenylyltransferase (NMNAT) (enzyme commission number: The identification of the NMNAT of T. cruzi is important for the development of future therapeutic strategies to treat Chagas disease. In this study, a hypothetical open reading frame (ORF) for NMNAT was identified in the genome of T. cruzi. The corresponding putative protein was analysed by simulating structural models. The ORF was amplified from genomic DNA by polymerase chain reaction and was further used for the construction of a corresponding recombinant expression vector. The expressed recombinant protein was partially purified and its activity was evaluated using enzymatic assays. These results comprise the first identification of an NMNAT in T. cruzi using bioinformatics and experimental tools and hence represent the first step to understanding NAD+ metabolism in these parasites. <![CDATA[Widespread nasal carriage of <em>Mycobacterium leprae</em>among a healthy population in a hyperendemic region of northeastern Brazil]]> A case-control study was conducted to determine the presence ofMycobacterium leprae DNA in nasal secretions of leprosy cases and nonleprosy individuals in Fortaleza, Brazil. It included 185 cases identified by physicians at the Dona Libânia National Reference Centre for Sanitary Dermatology (CDERM). A control group (Co) (n = 136) was identified among individuals from CDERM not diagnosed as leprosy cases. To augment the spatial analysis of M. leprae specific repetitive element (RLEP) positive prevalence, an external group (EG) (n = 121), a convenience sample of healthy students, were included. Polymerase chain reaction for the RLEP sequence was conducted for all participants. Prevalence of RLEP positivity for cases and Co were 69.2% and 66.9%, respectively, significantly higher than for EG (28.1%), and reported elsewhere. Male sex, belonging to a lower socioeconomic status (D/E), history of a previous contact with a case and being older, were associated with being a leprosy case. Our geographical analysis demonstrated that the bacillus is widespread among the healthy population, with clusters of RLEP positive multibacillary cases concentrated in distinct areas of the city. Our results suggest that in endemic areas, as in Fortaleza, surveillance for both nonhousehold leprosy contacts and members of the general population living in cluster areas should be implemented. <![CDATA[<em>Aspidosperma</em> (Apocynaceae) plant cytotoxicity and activity towards malaria parasites. Part II: experimental studies with<em>Aspidosperma ramiflorum</em> in vivo and in vitro]]> Several species of Aspidosperma plants are used to treat diseases in the tropics, including Aspidosperma ramiflorum, which acts against leishmaniasis, an activity that is experimentally confirmed. The species, known as guatambu-yellow, yellowperoba, coffee-peroba andmatiambu, grows in the Atlantic Forest of Brazil in the South to the Southeast regions. Through a guided biofractionation of A. ramiflorum extracts, the plant activity against Plasmodium falciparum was evaluated in vitro for toxicity towards human hepatoma G2 cells, normal monkey kidney cells and nonimmortalised human monocytes isolated from peripheral blood. Six of the seven extracts tested were active at low doses (half-maximal drug inhibitory concentration &lt; 3.8 µg/mL); the aqueous extract was inactive. Overall, the plant extracts and the purified compounds displayed low toxicity in vitro. A nonsoluble extract fraction and one purified alkaloid isositsirikine (compound 5) displayed high selectivity indexes (SI) (= 56 and 113, respectively), whereas compounds 2 and 3 were toxic (SI &lt; 10). The structure, activity and low toxicity of isositsirikine in vitro are described here for the first time in A. ramiflorum, but only the neutral and precipitate plant fractions were tested for activity, which caused up to 53% parasitaemia inhibition of Plasmodium bergheiin mice with blood-induced malaria. This plant species is likely to be useful in the further development of an antimalarial drug, but its pharmacological evaluation is still required. <![CDATA[Multibacillary leprosy patients with high and persistent serum antibodies to leprosy IDRI diagnostic-1/LID-1: higher susceptibility to develop type 2 reactions]]> Leprosy inflammatory episodes [type 1 (T1R) and type 2 (T2R) reactions] represent the major cause of irreversible nerve damage. Leprosy serology is known to be influenced by the patient’s bacterial index (BI) with higher positivity in multibacillary patients (MB) and specific multidrug therapy (MDT) reduces antibody production. This study evaluated by ELISA antibody responses to leprosy Infectious Disease Research Institute diagnostic-1 (LID-1) fusion protein and phenolic glycolipid I (PGL-I) in 100 paired serum samples of 50 MB patients collected in the presence/absence of reactions and in nonreactional patients before/after MDT. Patients who presented T2R had a median BI of 3+, while MB patients with T1R and nonreactional patients had median BI of 2.5+ (p &gt; 0.05). Anti-LID-1 and anti-PGL-I antibodies declined in patients diagnosed during T1R (p &lt; 0.05). Anti-LID-1 levels waned in MB with T2R at diagnosis and nonreactional MB patients (p &lt; 0.05). Higher anti-LID-1 levels were seen in patients with T2R at diagnosis (vs. patients with T1R at diagnosis, p = 0.008; vs. nonreactional patients, p = 0.020) and in patients with T2R during MDT (vs. nonreactional MB, p = 0.020). In MB patients, high and persistent anti-LID-1 antibody levels might be a useful tool for clinicians to predict which patients are more susceptible to develop leprosy T2R. <![CDATA[Incidence of active mycobacterial infections in Brazilian patients with chronic inflammatory arthritis and negative evaluation for latent tuberculosis infection at baseline - A longitudinal analysis after using TNFa blockers]]> Several studies point to the increased risk of reactivation of latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) in patients with chronic inflammatory arthritis (CIAs) after using tumour necrosis factor (TNF)a blockers. To study the incidence of active mycobacterial infections (aMI) in patients starting TNFa blockers, 262 patients were included in this study: 109 with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), 93 with ankylosing spondylitis (AS), 44 with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) and 16 with psoriatic arthritis (PsA). All patients had indication for anti-TNFa therapy. Epidemiologic and clinical data were evaluated and a simple X-ray and tuberculin skin test (TST) were performed. The control group included 215 healthy individuals. The follow-up was 48 months to identify cases of aMI. TST positivity was higher in patients with AS (37.6%) than in RA (12.8%), PsA (18.8%) and JIA (6.8%) (p &lt; 0.001). In the control group, TST positivity was 32.7%. Nine (3.43%) patients were diagnosed with aMI. The overall incidence rate of aMI was 86.93/100,000 person-years [95% confidence interval (CI) 23.6-217.9] for patients and 35.79/100,000 person-years (95% CI 12.4-69.6) for control group (p &lt; 0.001). All patients who developed aMI had no evidence of LTBI at the baseline evaluation. Patients with CIA starting TNFa blockers and no evidence of LTBI at baseline, particularly with nonreactive TST, may have higher risk of aMI. <![CDATA[Waterborne toxoplasmosis investigated and analysed under hydrogeological assessment: new data and perspectives for further research]]> We present a set of data on human and chicken Toxoplasma gondiiseroprevalence that was investigated and analysed in light of groundwater vulnerability information in an area endemic for waterborne toxoplasmosis in Brazil. Hydrogeological assessment was undertaken to select sites for water collection from wells for T. gondii oocyst testing and for collecting blood from free-range chickens and humans for anti-T. gondiiserologic testing. Serologic testing of human specimens was done using conventional commercial tests and a sporozoite-specific embryogenesis-related protein (TgERP), which is able to differentiate whether infection resulted from tissue cysts or oocysts. Water specimens were negative for the presence of viable T. gondii oocysts. However, seroprevalence in free-range chickens was significantly associated with vulnerability of groundwater to surface contamination (p &lt; 0.0001; odds ratio: 4.73, 95% confidence interval: 2.18-10.2). Surprisingly, a high prevalence of antibodies against TgERP was detected in human specimens, suggesting the possibility of a continuous contamination of drinking water with T. gondiioocysts in this endemic setting. These findings and the new proposed approach to investigate and analyse endemic toxoplasmosis in light of groundwater vulnerability information associated with prevalence in humans estimated by oocyst antigens recognition have implications for the potential role of hydrogeological assessment in researching waterborne toxoplasmosis at a global scale. <![CDATA[Risk factors associated with <em>Trypanosoma cruzi</em>exposure in domestic dogs from a rural community in Panama]]> Chagas disease, caused by Trypanosoma cruzi infection, is a zoonosis of humans, wild and domestic mammals, including dogs. In Panama, the main T. cruzi vector is Rhodnius pallescens, a triatomine bug whose main natural habitat is the royal palm, Attalea butyracea. In this paper, we present results from three T. cruzi serological tests (immunochromatographic dipstick, indirect immunofluorescence and ELISA) performed in 51 dogs from 24 houses in Trinidad de Las Minas, western Panama. We found that nine dogs were seropositive (17.6% prevalence). Dogs were 1.6 times more likely to become T. cruziseropositive with each year of age and 11.6 times if royal palms where present in the peridomiciliary area of the dog’s household or its two nearest neighbours. Mouse-baited-adhesive traps were employed to evaluate 12 peridomestic royal palms. All palms were found infested with R. pallescens with an average of 25.50 triatomines captured per palm. Of 35 adult bugs analysed, 88.6% showed protozoa flagellates in their intestinal contents. In addition, dogs were five times more likely to be infected by the presence of an additional domestic animal species in the dog’s peridomiciliary environment. Our results suggest that interventions focused on royal palms might reduce the exposure to T. cruzi infection.