Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz]]> vol. 111 num. 11 lang. es <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[Influence of <em>IL-6</em>, <em>IL-8</em>, and <em>TGF-</em>β<em>1</em> gene polymorphisms on the risk of human papillomavirus-infection in women from Pernambuco, Brazil]]> Human papillomavirus (HPV) infections are strongly associated with the development of cervical intraepithelial neoplasias and invasive cervical cancer. Polymorphisms in cytokine-encoding genes and behavioural cofactors could play an important role in protecting an individual against viral infections and cancer. Here, we investigated whether IL-6 -174 G&gt;C, IL-8 +396 G&gt;T, and TGF-β1 +869 G&gt;C and +915 G&gt;C polymorphisms were associated with susceptibility to HPV infection in women from north-east (Pernambuco) Brazil. We analysed 108 healthy uninfected women (HC) and 108 HPV-positive women with cervical lesions. Genetic polymorphisms were assessed using Sanger sequencing and polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism. Comparison of the distribution of the genotypic and allelic frequencies of the IL-18 +396 T&gt;G polymorphism between HPV infected woman an uninfected controls showed that the GG genotype and G allele were both more frequent in the HC group, and were associated with protection from HPV infection (p = 0.0015; OR = 0.29 CI95% = 0.13-0.61; p = 0.0005; OR = 0.45 CI95% 0.29-0.7, respectively). Individuals from the control group could have previously had HPV infection that was spontaneously eliminated; however, it was undetectable at the time of sample collection. Based on our findings, we hypothesize that the IL-8 +396 G&gt;T polymorphism could interfere with susceptibility to HPV infection, by modulating the ability of immune system to fight the virus. <![CDATA[Nicotinamide mononucleotide adenylyltransferase of <em>Trypanosoma cruzi</em> (TcNMNAT): a cytosol protein target for serine kinases]]> Nicotinamide/nicotinate adenine dinucleotide (NAD+/NaAD) performs essential functions in cell metabolism and energy production due to its redox properties. The nicotinamide/nicotinate mononucleotide adenylyltransferase (NMNAT, EC enzyme catalyses the key step in the biosynthesis of NAD+. Previously, the enzyme NMNAT was identified in Trypanosoma cruzi (TcNMNAT), a pathogenic agent with epidemiological importance in Latin America. To continue with the functional characterisation of this enzyme, its subcellular location and its possible post-translational modifications were examined in this study. For this, polyclonal antibodies were generated in mice, with soluble and denatured recombinant protein being used to detect the parasite’s NMNAT. Immunodetection assays were performed on whole extracts of T. cruzi, and an approximation of its intracellular location was determined using confocal microscopy on wild and transgenic parasites, which revealed the cytosol distribution patterns. This localisation occurs according to the needs of the dinucleotides that exist in this compartment. Additionally, a bioinformatics study was performed as a first approach to establish the post-translational modifications of the enzyme. Possible phosphorylation events were experimentally analysed by western blot, highlighting TcNMNAT as a potential target for serine kinases. <![CDATA[Distribution of the members of the Pipiens Assemblage in the sympatric area from Argentina: which is where and when?]]> Given their medical and veterinary relevance, the members of the Pipiens Assemblage are a worldwide target of ecological research. The distribution of Culex pipiens s.s. and Cx. quinquefasciatus converge in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where hybrids have been detected. Each member of the assemblage exhibits a distinct eco-physiological behaviour that can affect its efficiency in pathogen transmission. Our aim was to identify the environmental drivers for the spatio-temporal distribution of each member, focusing on latitudinal and urbanisation gradients. Immatures of mosquitoes were surveyed in artificial containers found within 11 public cemeteries, raised up to the adult stage and identified by their male genitalia. The distribution of each member was associated with the environment in a Generalized Linear Model. The variable accounting for most of the heterogeneity was latitude; Cx. quinquefasciatus was collected more frequently at northern cemeteries, whereas Cx. pipiens and hybrids were more likely at the southern extreme. The urbanisation gradient was also associated with the occurrence of Cx. quinquefasciatus and hybrids at the high and low end, respectively. Other relevant variables were cemetery total area, the proportion with graves and the presence of plastic flowers in the containers. The spatial distribution of the members of the Pipiens Assemblage within the sympatric region in South America is driven by environmental features. The information presented herein provides essential baseline data for surveillance programs and control activities. <![CDATA[Symbiont modulates expression of specific gene categories in <em>Angomonas deanei</em>]]> Trypanosomatids are parasites that cause disease in humans, animals, and plants. Most are non-pathogenic and some harbor a symbiotic bacterium. Endosymbiosis is part of the evolutionary process of vital cell functions such as respiration and photosynthesis. Angomonas deanei is an example of a symbiont-containing trypanosomatid. In this paper, we sought to investigate how symbionts influence host cells by characterising and comparing the transcriptomes of the symbiont-containing A. deanei (wild type) and the symbiont-free aposymbiotic strains. The comparison revealed that the presence of the symbiont modulates several differentially expressed genes. Empirical analysis of differential gene expression showed that 216 of the 7625 modulated genes were significantly changed. Finally, gene set enrichment analysis revealed that the largest categories of genes that downregulated in the absence of the symbiont were those involved in oxidation-reduction process, ATP hydrolysis coupled proton transport and glycolysis. In contrast, among the upregulated gene categories were those involved in proteolysis, microtubule-based movement, and cellular metabolic process. Our results provide valuable information for dissecting the mechanism of endosymbiosis in A. deanei. <![CDATA[Hepatitis E virus infection in patients with acute non-A, non-B, non-C hepatitis in Central Brazil]]> Hepatitis E virus (HEV) infection has a worldwide distribution and represents an important cause of acute hepatitis. This study aims to investigate the occurrence of HEV infection and factors associated with this infection in patients with acute non-A, non-B, non-C hepatitis in Central Brazil. From April 2012 to October 2014, a cross-sectional study was conducted among 379 patients with acute non-A, non-B, non-C hepatitis in the City of Goiania, Central Brazil. Serum samples of all patients were tested for serological markers of HEV infection (anti-HEV IgM and IgG) by ELISA. Positive samples were confirmed using immunoblot test. Anti-HEV IgM and IgG positive samples were tested for HEV RNA. Of the 379 serum samples, one (0.3%) and 20 (5.3%) were positive for anti-HEV IgM and IgG, respectively. HEV RNA was not found in any sample positive for IgM and/or IgG anti-HEV. After multivariate analysis, low education level was independently associated with HEV seropositivity (p = 0.005), as well as living in rural area, with a borderline p-value (p = 0.056). In conclusion, HEV may be responsible for sporadic self-limited cases of acute hepatitis in Central Brazil. <![CDATA[Culture media profoundly affect <em>Candida albicans</em> and <em>Candida tropicalis</em> growth, adhesion and biofilm development]]> As there are sparse data on the impact of growth media on the phenomenon of biofilm development for Candida we evaluated the efficacy of three culture media on growth, adhesion and biofilm formation of two pathogenic yeasts, Candida albicans and Candida tropicalis. The planktonic phase yeast growth, either as monocultures or mixed cultures, in sabouraud dextrose broth (SDB), yeast nitrogen base (YNB), and RPMI 1640 was compared, and adhesion as well as biofilm formation were monitored using MTT and crystal violet (CV) assays and scanning electron microscopy. Planktonic cells of C. albicans, C. tropicalis and their 1:1 co-culture showed maximal growth in SDB. C. albicans/C. tropicalis adhesion was significantly facilitated in RPMI 1640 although the YNB elicited the maximum growth for C. tropicalis. Similarly, the biofilm growth was uniformly higher for both species in RPMI 1640, and C. tropicalis was the slower biofilm former in all three media. Scanning electron microscopy images tended to confirm the results of MTT and CV assay. Taken together, our data indicate that researchers should pay heed to the choice of laboratory culture media when comparing relative planktonic/biofilm growth of Candida. There is also a need for standardisation of biofilm development media so as to facilitate cross comparisons between laboratories. <![CDATA[<em>Triatoma maculata</em> colonises urban domicilies in Boa Vista, Roraima, Brazil]]> During a medical entomology course in Boa Vista, Roraima, colonies of Triatoma maculata closely associated with pigeon nests were observed in concrete air-conditioner box located on the external plastered and cemented walls of a modern brick-built apartment block. In only one eight-hole ceramic brick, located inside one air-conditioner box, 127 specimens of T. maculata were collected. T. maculata is a recognised vector of Trypanosoma cruzi in the surrounding area and its domiciliation increases the risk of Chagas disease transmission. <![CDATA[Up-regulation of ATP-binding cassette transporters in the THP-1 human macrophage cell line by the antichagasic benznidazole]]> The effect of benznidazole (BZL) on the expression and activity of P-glycoprotein (P-gp, ABCB1) and multidrug resistance-associated protein 2 (MRP2, ABCC2), the two major transporters of endogenous and exogenous compounds, was evaluated in differentiated THP-1 cells. BZL induced P-gp and MRP2 proteins in a concentration-dependent manner. The increase in mRNA levels of both transporters suggests transcriptional regulation. P-gp and MRP2 activities correlated with increased protein levels. BZL intracellular accumulation was significantly lower in BZL-pre-treated cells than in control cells. PSC833 (a P-gp inhibitor) increased the intracellular BZL concentration in both pre-treated and control cells, confirming P-gp participation in BZL efflux. <![CDATA[Immune response in hamsters immunised with a recombinant fragment of LigA from <em>Leptospira interrogans</em>, associated with carrier molecules]]> Immunisation with the C-terminal region of leptospiral immunoglobulin-like A protein (LigANI) has shown promising results against leptospirosis. We evaluated the humoral immune response and protection induced by LigANI associated with carboxyl multi-walled carbon nanotubes (COOH-MWCNTs), CpG oligodeoxynucleotides (CpG ODNs), or Alhydrogel. Animals immunised with CpG ODNs were unable to develop a humoral immune response, whereas immunisation with LigANI and COOH-MWCNTs produced a high level of IgG antibodies, similar to that with LigANI and Alhydrogel, but it was not protective. The use of carbon nanotubes as an adjuvant in subunit vaccines against leptospirosis is a novel approach for improving specific IgG production. <![CDATA[Mapping of courses on vector biology and vector-borne diseases systems: time for a worldwide effort]]> Major emergency efforts are being mounted for each vector-borne disease epidemiological crisis anew, while knowledge about the biology of arthropods vectors is dwindling slowly but continuously, as is the number of field entomologists. The discrepancy between the rates of production of knowledge and its use and need for solving crises is widening, in particular due to the highly differing time spans of the two concurrent processes. A worldwide web based search using multiple key words and search engines of onsite and online courses in English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian and German concerned with the biology of vectors identified over 140 courses. They are geographically and thematically scattered, the vast majority of them are on-site, with very few courses using the latest massive open online course (MOOC) powerfulness. Over two third of them is given in English and Western Africa is particularity poorly represented. The taxonomic groups covered are highly unbalanced towards mosquitoes. A worldwide unique portal to guide students of all grades and levels of expertise, in particular those in remote locations, is badly needed. This is the objective a new activity supported by the Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR).