Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz]]> vol. 112 num. 8 lang. pt <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[Chikungunya virus: clinical aspects and treatment - A Review]]> Chikungunya is a severe and debilitating disease. Currently, Brazil is experiencing an epidemic caused by three arboviruses, which has changed the way health professionals have diagnosed and treated infected patients. The difficulty of diagnosis and the lack of a protocol for patient treatment, which fits Brazilian health system models, have made it difficult to manage this disease. It is necessary to implement a multidisciplinary network of patient care, in which primary care units play the main role. This review aims to present current information regarding the clinical aspects and treatment of Chikungunya virus infection. <![CDATA[Clinical and serological tests for arboviruses in free-living domestic pigeons (<em>Columba livia</em>)]]> BACKGROUND In this study, we evaluated the role of free-living domestic pigeons (Columba livia) as a reservoir of arboviruses in the city of Belém, state of Pará, Brazil. We investigated the presence of antibodies against the most prevalent arboviruses. OBJECTIVES This study was aimed at evaluating some clinical and physical parameters of domestic pigeons, including the presence of antibodies to Amazon-endemic arboviruses. METHODS Eighty-five healthy pigeons were captured in Mangal das Garças Park, in Belém, and were bled. Upon capture, the birds were subjected to a clinical examination in search of alterations that could indicate the presence of arboviruses. Blood samples were converted to serum and tested using the haemagglutination inhibition (HI) technique with a panel of 19 antigens of arboviruses circulating in the Amazon. The confirmation assay for the positive reactions to the viral species tested by HI was a neutralisation test in new-born Swiss albino mice (Mus musculus) [mouse neutralisation test (MNT)]. FINDINGS A total of 10 (11.8%) serum samples tested positive for antiflavivirus antibodies by HI. All the samples positive for the HI test were subjected to MNT for detection of viruses and yielded negative results (logarithmic neutralisation index &lt; 1.7). MAIN CONCLUSION The results represent the first serological detection of antiarbovirus antibodies in domestic pigeons as potential hosts of arboviruses in Brazil. The detection of haemagglutination-inhibiting antibodies against genus Flavivirus indicated that there was recent contact between the analysed domestic pigeons and these arboviruses. Further studies are needed to evaluate the role of free-living pigeons in the maintenance cycle and spread of arboviruses in the Amazon. <![CDATA[Biosynthesized silver nanoparticles: are they effective antimicrobials?]]> BACKGROUND Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) are increasingly being used in medical applications. Therefore, cost effective and green methods for generating AgNPs are required. OBJECTIVES This study aimed towards the biosynthesis, characterisation, and determination of antimicrobial activity of AgNPs produced using Pseudomonas aeruginosa ATCC 27853. METHODS Culture conditions (AgNO3 concentration, pH, and incubation temperature and time) were optimized to achieve maximum AgNP production. The characterisation of AgNPs and their stability were evaluated by UV-visible spectrophotometry and scanning electron microscopy. FINDINGS The characteristic UV-visible absorbance peak was observed in the 420–430 nm range. Most of the particles were spherical in shape within a size range of 33–300 nm. The biosynthesized AgNPs exhibited higher stability than that exhibited by chemically synthesized AgNPs in the presence of electrolytes. The biosynthesized AgNPs exhibited antimicrobial activity against Escherichia coli, P. aeruginosa, Salmonella typhimurium, Staphylococcus aureus, methicillin-resistant S. aureus, Acinetobacter baumannii, and Candida albicans. MAIN CONCLUSION As compared to the tested Gram-negative bacteria, Gram-positive bacteria required higher contact time to achieve 100% reduction of colony forming units when treated with biosynthesized AgNPs produced using P. aeruginosa. <![CDATA[Risk factors for hepatitis B transmission in South Brazil]]> BACKGROUND Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is a major public health problem in Brazil. Several risk factors are involved in HBV infection and their identification by a rational and essential approach is required to prevent the transmission of this infection in Brazil. OBJECTIVES To evaluate risk factors associated with HBV infection in South Brazil. METHODS A total of 260 patients with HBV and 260 controls from Caxias do Sul (state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil) participated in this study. All participants were given a standard questionnaire to yield the sociodemographic information and to identify HBV risk factors. HBV infection was detected by HBsAg test in all participants. FINDINGS HBV infection in these cases was strongly associated with history of a family member HBV-infected, mainly mother [odds ratio (OR) = 4.86; 95% confidence intervals (CI): 1.69–13.91], father (OR = 5.28; 95% CI: 1.58–17.71), and/or siblings (OR = 22.16; 95% CI: 9.39–52.25); sharing personal objects (OR = 1.40; 95% CI: 1.37–2.38); and having history of blood transfusion (OR = 2.05; 95% CI: 1.10–2.84). CONCLUSIONS HBV infection was strongly associated with having a family member infected with hepatitis B, sharing personal objects, and having history of blood transfusion. <![CDATA[Bone marrow cell migration to the heart in a chimeric mouse model of acute chagasic disease]]> BACKGROUND Chagas disease is a public health problem caused by infection with the protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi. There is currently no effective therapy for Chagas disease. Although there is some evidence for the beneficial effect of bone marrow-derived cells in chagasic disease, the mechanisms underlying their effects in the heart are unknown. Reports have suggested that bone marrow cells are recruited to the chagasic heart; however, studies using chimeric mouse models of chagasic cardiomyopathy are rare. OBJECTIVES The aim of this study was to investigate the migration of bone marrow cells to the heart after T. cruzi infection in a model of chagasic disease in chimeric mice. METHODS To obtain chimerical mice, wild-type (WT) C57BL6 mice were exposed to full body irradiation (7 Gy), causing bone marrow ablation. Then, bone marrow cells from green fluorescent protein (GFP)-transgenic mice were infused into the mice. Graft effectiveness was confirmed by flow cytometry. Experimental mice were divided into four groups: (i) infected chimeric (iChim) mice; (ii) infected WT (iWT) mice, both of which received 3 × 104 trypomastigotes of the Brazil strain; (iii) non-infected chimeric (Chim) mice; and (iv) non-infected WT mice. FINDINGS At one-month post-infection, iChim and iWT mice showed first degree atrioventricular block with decreased heart rate and treadmill exercise parameters compared to those in the non-infected groups. MAIN CONCLUSIONS iChim mice showed an increase in parasitaemia, myocarditis, and the presence of amastigote nests in the heart tissue compared to iWT mice. Flow cytometry analysis did not detect haematopoietic progenitor cells in the hearts of infected mice. Furthermore, GFP+ cardiomyocytes were not detected in the tissues of chimeric mice. <![CDATA[Protection mediated by chemokine CXCL10 in BALB/c mice infected by <em>Leishmania infantum</em>]]> BACKGROUND Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) caused by Leishmania infantum is characterised by the loss of the ability of the host to generate an effective immune response. Chemokines have a direct involvement in the pathogenesis of leishmaniasis, causing a rapid change in the expression of these molecules during infection by Leishmania. OBJECTIVES Herein, it was investigated the role of CXCL10 in controlling infection by L. infantum. METHODS RAW 264.7 macrophages were infected with L. infantum in vitro and treated or not with CXCL10 (25, 50 and 100 ng/mL). Parasite load, as well as nitric oxide (NO), IL-4 and IL-10 production were assessed at 24 and 48 h after infection. In vivo, BALB/c mice were infected and treated or not with CXCL10 (5 μg/kg) at one, three and seven days of infection. Parasite load, IFN-g, IL-4, TGF-β and IL-10 were evaluated one, seven and 23 days post treatment. FINDINGS In vitro, CXCL10 reduced parasitic load, not dependent on NO, and inhibited IL-10 and IL-4 secretion. In vivo, CXCL10 was able to reduce the parasite load in both liver and spleen, four weeks after infection, representing a higher decrease in the number of parasites in these organs, also induced IFN-γ at day 23 after treatment, correlating with the decrease in parasite load, and reduced IL-10 and TGF-β. MAIN CONCLUSIONS This study suggests a partial protective role of CXCL10 against L. infantum, mediated by IFN-g, not dependent on NO, and with suppression of IL-10 and TGF-β. These data may provide information for the development of new approaches for future therapeutic interventions for VL. <![CDATA[Description of an oral Chagas disease outbreak in Venezuela, including a vertically transmitted case]]> We describe the eleventh major outbreak of foodborne Trypanosoma cruzi transmission in urban Venezuela, including evidence for vertical transmission from the index case to her fetus. After confirming fetal death at 24 weeks of gestation, pregnancy interruption was performed. On direct examination of the amniotic fluid, trypomastigotes were detected. T. cruzi specific-polymerase chain reaction (PCR) also proved positive when examining autopsied fetal organs. Finally, microscopic fetal heart examination revealed amastigote nests. Acute orally transmitted Chagas disease can be life threatening or even fatal for pregnant women and unborn fetuses owing to vertical transmission. There is therefore an urgent need to improve national epidemiologic control measures. <![CDATA[Evidence for regulated expression of Telomeric Repeat-containing RNAs (TERRA) in parasitic trypanosomatids]]> The Telomeric Repeat-containing RNAs (TERRA) participate in the homeostasis of telomeres in higher eukaryotes. Here, we investigated the expression of TERRA in Leishmania spp. and Trypanosoma brucei and found evidences for its expression as a specific RNA class. The trypanosomatid TERRA are heterogeneous in size and partially polyadenylated. The levels of TERRA transcripts appear to be modulated through the life cycle in both trypanosomatids investigated, suggesting that TERRA play a stage-specific role in the life cycle of these early-branching eukaryotes. <![CDATA[<em>Culex quinquefasciatus</em> from areas with the highest incidence of microcephaly associated with Zika virus infections in the Northeast Region of Brazil are refractory to the virus]]> Zika virus (ZIKV) is widely distributed in Brazil and the Northeast Region (NE) is the most affected zone, showing the highest incidence of microcephaly associated with ZIKV congenital infections worldwide. We report attempts to infect three populations of Culex quinquefasciatus from severely affected sites in the NE and Southeast Region (SE) of Brazil with three strains of ZIKV isolated from these localities. An Aedes aegypti population from the SE was used as a positive control. All tested Cx. quinquefasciatus populations were refractory to the ZIKV isolates. For these reasons, we believe Cx. quinquefasciatus should not be considered a potential vector of ZIKV in Brazil. <![CDATA[Complete coding sequence of dengue virus serotype 4 isolated from field-caught mosquitoes in Thailand]]> This report is the first to characterise the complete coding sequence of a dengue virus serotype 4 (DENV-4) genotype I that was isolated from field-caught mosquitoes from an endemic area in Thailand in June 2013. The sequence was assembled from high-throughput sequencing reads generated by Illumina HiSeq. Three out of four observed intra-sample variants caused an amino acid variation in C, NS2B, and NS5 genes. The C4279T variant located in the NS2B gene can indirectly affect the proteolytic activity of the NS3 protein. The sequence provided in this study might be useful for the epidemiological study of DENV-4. <![CDATA[Surveillance of deaths caused by arboviruses in Brazil: from dengue to chikungunya]]> Did death occur DUE TO dengue, or in a patient WITH dengue virus infection? It seems a matter of semantics, but in fact, it underscores how challenging it is to distinguish whether the disease contributed to death, or was itself the underlying cause of death. Can a death be attributed to chikungunya virus, when some deaths occur after the acute phase? Did the virus decompensate the underlying diseases, leading to death? Did prolonged hospitalisation lead to infection, resulting in the patient’s progression to death? Were there iatrogenic complications during patient care? The dengue question, for which there has not yet been a definitive response, resurfaces prominently under the chikungunya surveillance scenario. We are facing an epidemic of a disease that seems to be more lethal than previously thought. The major challenge ahead is to investigate deaths suspected of occurring due to arbovirus infections and to understand the role of each infection in the unfavourable outcome.