Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz]]> vol. 113 num. 2 lang. es <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[Towards a standard protocol for antimony intralesional infiltration technique for cutaneous leishmaniasis treatment]]> BACKGROUND Despite its recognised toxicity, antimonial therapy continues to be the first-line drug for cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) treatment. Intralesional administration of meglumine antimoniate (MA) represents an alternative that could reduce the systemic absorption of the drug and its side effects. OBJECTIVES This study aims to validate the standard operational procedure (SOP) for the intralesional infiltration of MA for CL therapy as the first step before the assessment of efficacy and safety related to the procedure. METHODS The SOP was created based on 21 trials retrieved from the literature, direct monitoring of the procedure and consultation with experts. This script was submitted to a formal computer-aided inspection to identify readability, clarity, omission, redundancy and unnecessary information (content validation). For criterion and construct validations, the influence of critical condition changes (compliance with the instructions and professional experience) on outcome conformity (saturation status achievement), tolerability (pain referred) and safety (bleeding) were assessed. FINDINGS The median procedure length was 12 minutes and in 72% of them, patients classified the pain as mild. The bleeding was also classified as mild in 96.6% of the procedures. Full compliance with the SOP was observed in 66% of infiltrations. Despite this, in 100% of the inspected procedures, lesion saturation was observed at the end of infiltration, which means that it tolerates some degree of modification in its execution (robustness) without prejudice to the result. CONCLUSIONS The procedure is reproducible and can be used by professionals without previous training with high success and safety rates. <![CDATA[Whole-genome sequencing of <em>Leptospira interrogans</em> from southern Brazil: genetic features of a highly virulent strain]]> BACKGROUND Leptospirosis is the most widespread zoonotic disease. It is caused by infection with pathogenic Leptospira species, of which over 300 serovars have been described. The accurate identification of the causative Leptospira spp. is required to ascertain the pathogenic status of the local isolates. OBJECTIVES This study aimed to obtain the complete genome sequence of a virulent Leptospira interrogans strain isolated from southern Brazil and to describe its genetic features. METHODS The whole genome was sequenced by next-generation sequencing (Ion Torrent). The genome was assembled, scaffolded, annotated, and manually reviewed. Mutations were identified based on a variant calling analysis using the genome of L. interrogans strain Fiocruz L1-130 as a reference. FINDINGS The entire genome had an average GC content of 35%. The variant calling analysis identified 119 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), from which 30 led to a missense mutation. The structural analyses identified potential evidence of genomic inversions, translocations, and deletions in both the chromosomes. MAIN CONCLUSIONS The genome properties provide comprehensive information about the local isolates of Leptospira spp., and thereby, could facilitate the identification of new targets for the development of diagnostic kits and vaccines. <![CDATA[Anophelines species and the receptivity and vulnerability to malaria transmission in the Pantanal wetlands, Central Brazil]]> BACKGROUND Studies on malaria vectors in the Pantanal biome, Central Brazil, were conducted more than half a century ago. OBJECTIVES To update anopheline records and assess receptivity and vulnerability to malaria transmission. METHODS Five-day anopheline collections were conducted bimonthly in Salobra, Mato Grosso do Sul state, for one year. Indoors, mosquitoes were collected from their resting places, while in open fields, they were captured using protected human-baited and horse-baited traps near the house and at the Miranda River margin, respectively. Hourly biting activity outdoors was also assessed. Secondary data were collected on the arrival of tourists, economic projects, and malaria cases. FINDINGS A total of 24,894 anophelines belonging to 13 species were caught. The main Brazilian malaria vector Anopheles darlingi was the predominant species, followed by An. triannulatus s.l. Hourly variation in anopheline biting showed three main peaks occurring at sunset, around midnight, and at sunrise, the first and last being the most prominent. The highest density of all species was recorded near the river margin and during the transition period between the rainy and early dry seasons. This coincides with the time of main influx of outsider workers and tourists, whose activities mostly occur in the open fields and frequently start before sunrise and last until sunset. Some of these individuals originate from neighbouring malaria-endemic countries and states, and are likely responsible for the recorded imported and introduced malaria cases. MAIN CONCLUSION Pantanal is a malaria-prone area in Brazil. Surveillance and anopheline control measures must be applied to avoid malaria re-emergence in the region. <![CDATA[Alternative splicing originates different domain structure organization of <em>Lutzomyia longipalpis</em> chitinases]]> BACKGROUND The insect chitinase gene family is composed by more than 10 paralogs, which can codify proteins with different domain structures. In Lutzomyia longipalpis, the main vector of visceral leishmaniasis in Brazil, a chitinase cDNA from adult female insects was previously characterized. The predicted protein contains one catalytic domain and one chitin-binding domain (CBD). The expression of this gene coincided with the end of blood digestion indicating a putative role in peritrophic matrix degradation. OBJECTIVES To determine the occurrence of alternative splicing in chitinases of L. longipalpis. METHODS We sequenced the LlChit1 gene from a genomic clone and the three spliced forms obtained by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) using larvae cDNA. FINDINGS We showed that LlChit1 from L. longipalpis immature forms undergoes alternative splicing. The spliced form corresponding to the adult cDNA was named LlChit1A and the two larvae specific transcripts were named LlChit1B and LlChit1C. The B and C forms possess stop codons interrupting the translation of the CBD. The A form is present in adult females post blood meal, L4 larvae and pre-pupae, while the other two forms are present only in L4 larvae and disappear just before pupation. Two bands of the expected size were identified by Western blot only in L4 larvae. MAIN CONCLUSIONS We show for the first time alternative splicing generating chitinases with different domain structures increasing our understanding on the finely regulated digestion physiology and shedding light on a potential target for controlling L. longipalpis larval development. <![CDATA[Leishmanicidal compounds of <em>Nectria pseudotrichia</em>, an endophytic fungus isolated from the plant <em>Caesalpinia echinata</em> (Brazilwood)]]> BACKGROUND In a screen of extracts from plants and fungi to detect antileishmanial activity, we found that the ethyl acetate extract of the fungus Nectria pseudotrichia, isolated from the tree Caesalpinia echinata (Brazilwood), is a promising source of bioactive compounds. OBJECTIVES The aims of this study were to isolate and determine the chemical structures of the compounds responsible for the antileishmanial activity of the organic extract from N. pseudotrichia. METHODS Compounds were isolated by chromatographic fractionation using semi-preparative high-performance liquid chromatography, and their chemical structures were determined by analytical and spectral data and by comparison with published data. The antileishmanial activity of the isolated compounds was evaluated in intracellular amastigote forms of Leishmania (Viannia) braziliensis expressing firefly luciferase as reporter gene, and cytotoxicity was determined in Vero and THP-1 mammalian cell lines by MTT assay. FINDINGS Fractionation of the extract yielded seven compounds: 10-acetyl trichoderonic acid A (1), 6′-acetoxy-piliformic acid (2), 5′,6′-dehydropiliformic acid (3), piliformic acid (4), hydroheptelidic acid (5), xylaric acid D (6), and cytochalasin D (7). Compounds 1, 2 and 3 are reported here for the first time. Compounds 1, 2, and 5 were more active, with IC50 values of 21.4, 28.3, and 24.8 µM, respectively, and showed low toxicity to Vero and THP-1 cells. MAIN CONCLUSIONS N. pseudotrichia produces secondary metabolites that are more toxic to intracellular amastigote forms of L. (V.) braziliensis than to mammalian cells. <![CDATA[Ecological characterisation and infection of Anophelines (Diptera: Culicidae) of the Atlantic Forest in the southeast of Brazil over a 10 year period: has the behaviour of the autochthonous malaria vector changed?]]> BACKGROUND In southeastern Brazil, autochthonous cases of malaria can be found near Atlantic Forest fragments. Because the transmission cycle has not been completely clarified, the behaviour of the possible vectors in those regions must be observed. A study concerning the entomological aspects and natural infection of anophelines (Diptera: Culicidae) captured in the municipalities of the mountainous region of Espírito Santo state was performed in 2004 and 2005. Similarly, between 2014 and 2015, 12 monthly collections were performed at the same area of the study mentioned above. METHODS Center for Disease Control (CDC) light traps with CO2 were set in open areas, at the edge and inside of the forest (canopy and ground), whereas Shannon traps were set on the edge. FINDINGS A total of 1,414 anophelines were collected from 13 species. Anopheles (Kerteszia) cruzii Dyar and Knab remained the most frequently captured species in the CDC traps set in the forest canopy, as well as being the vector with the highest prevalence of Plasmodium vivax/simium infection, according to molecular polymerase chain reaction techniques. CONCLUSIONS P. vivax/simium was found only in abdomens of the mosquitoes of the subgenus Nyssorhynchus, weakening the hypothesis that this subgenus also plays a role in malaria transmission in this specific region. <![CDATA[Increased thiol levels in antimony-resistant <em>Leishmania infantum</em> isolated from treatment-refractory visceral leishmaniasis in Brazil]]> BACKGROUND Treatment-refractory visceral leishmaniasis (VL) has become an important problem in many countries. OBJECTIVES We evaluated the antimony-resistance mechanisms of Leishmania infantum isolated from VL patients refractory or responsive to treatment with pentavalent antimony. METHODS Strains isolated from antimony-refractory patients (in vitro antimony-resistant isolates) and antimony-responsive patients (in vitro antimony-sensitive isolates) were examined. Morphological changes were evaluated by transmission electron microscopy after trivalent antimony exposure. P-glycoprotein (P-gp) efflux pump activity was evaluated using the pump-specific inhibitor verapamil hydrochloride, and the role of thiol in trivalent antimony resistance was investigated using the enzymatic inhibitor L-buthionine sulfoximine. FINDINGS Antimony treatment induced fewer alterations in the cellular structure of L. infantum resistant isolates than in that of sensitive isolates. P-gp efflux activity was not involved in antimony resistance in these isolates. Importantly, the resistant isolates contained higher levels of thiol compared to the sensitive isolates, and inhibition of thiol synthesis in the resistant isolates recovered their sensitivity to trivalent antimony treatment, and enhanced the production of reactive oxygen species in promastigotes exposed to the drug. MAIN CONCLUSIONS Our results demonstrate that isolates from patients with antimony-refractory VL exhibited higher thiol levels than antimony-sensitive isolates. This indicates that redox metabolism plays an important role in the antimony-resistance of New World VL isolates. <![CDATA[Comparative genomics of pathogenic <em>Leptospira interrogans</em> serovar Canicola isolated from swine and human in Brazil]]> Leptospira interrogans serovar Canicola is one of the most important pathogenic serovars for the maintenance of urban leptospirosis. Even though it is considered highly adapted to dogs, serovar Canicola infection has already been described in other animals and even a few human cases. Here, we present the genomic characterisation of two Brazilian L. interrogans serovar Canicola strains isolated from slaughtered sows (L0-3 and L0-4) and their comparison with human strain Fiocruz LV133. It was observed that the porcine serovar Canicola strains present the genetic machinery to cause human infection and, therefore, represent a higher risk to public health. Both human and porcine serovar Canicola isolates also presented sequences with high identity to the Chinese serovar Canicola published plasmids pGui1 and pGui2. The plasmids identification in the Brazilian and Chinese serovar Canicola strains suggest that extra-chromosomal elements are one more feature of this serovar that was previously unnoticed. <![CDATA[Making the invisible visible: searching for human T-cell lymphotropic virus types 1 and 2 (HTLV-1 and HTLV-2) in Brazilian patients with viral hepatitis B and C]]> With this study, the authors hope to alert clinicians regarding the presence of human T-cell lymphotropic virus type 1 and 2 (HTLV-1/-2) infections in patients with viral hepatitis B and C in Brazil. HTLV-1/-2 were detected in 1.3% of hepatitis B virus (HBV)- and 5.3% of hepatitis C virus (HCV)-infected blood samples sent for laboratory viral load measurements. A partial association of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 and HTLV-1/-2 infection was detected in patients with HCV (HIV+, 27.3%), whereas this association was almost 100% in HBV-infected patients (HIV+, all except one). The high prevalence of HTLV-1/-2 infection among patients with hepatitis C was of concern, as HTLV-1/-2 could change the natural course of subsequent liver disease. The authors suggest including HTLV-1/-2 serology in the battery of tests used when following patients with viral hepatitis in Brazil, regardless of the HIV status. <![CDATA[Single shot of 17D vaccine may not confer life-long protection against yellow fever]]> The yellow fever (YF) vaccine has been used since the 1930s to prevent YF, which is a severe infectious disease caused by the yellow fever virus (YFV), and mainly transmitted by Culicidae mosquitoes from the genera Aedes and Haemagogus . Until 2013, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended the administration of a vaccine dose every ten years. A new recommendation of a single vaccine dose to confer life-long protection against YFV infection has since been established. Recent evidence published elsewhere suggests that at least a second dose is needed to fully protect against YF disease. Here, we discuss the feasibility of administering multiple doses, the necessity for a new and modern vaccine, and recommend that the WHO conveys a meeting to discuss YFV vaccination strategies for people living in or travelling to endemic areas. <![CDATA[Genome of <em>Leptospira borgpetersenii</em> strain 4E, a highly virulent isolate obtained from <em>Mus musculus</em> in southern Brazil]]> A previous study by our group reported the isolation and characterisation of Leptospira borgpetersenii serogroup Ballum strain 4E. This strain is of particular interest because it is highly virulent in the hamster model. In this study, we performed whole-genome shotgun genome sequencing of the strain using the SOLiD sequencing platform. By assembling and analysing the new genome, we were able to identify novel features that have been previously overlooked in genome annotations of other strains belonging to the same species.