Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz]]> vol. 95 num. 1 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<B>Ecology of mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) in areas of Serra do Mar State Park, State of São Paulo, Brazil. I - Monthly frequency and climatic factors </B>]]> The ecology of mosquitoes were studied (Diptera: Culicidae) in areas of Serra do Mar State Park, State of São Paulo, Brazil. Systematized monthly human bait collections were made three times a day, for periods of 2 or 3 h each, in sylvatic and rural areas for 24 consecutive months (January 1991 to December 1992). A total of 24,943 specimens of adult mosquitoes belonging to 57 species were collected during 622 collective periods. Coquillettidia chrysonotum was the most frequent collected mosquito (45.8%) followed by Aedes serratus (6.8%), Cq. venezuelensis (6.5%), Psorophora ferox (5.2) and Ps. albipes (3.1%). The monthly averages of temperature and relative humidity were inserted in the ten-year average limits of maximum and minimum of the previous ten-years. Rainfall accompanied the curve of the ten-year averages. Those climatic factors were influential in the incidence of some species; temperature: Anopheles cruzii, An. mediopunctatus, Ae. scapularis, Ae. fulvus, Cq. chrysonotum, Cq. venezuelensis, Runchomyia reversa, Wyeomyia dyari, Wy. confusa, Wy. shannoni, Wy. theobaldi and Limatus flavisetosus; relative humidity: Ae. serratus, Ae. scapularis, Cq. venezuelensis and Ru. reversa; rainfall: An. cruzii, Ae. scapularis, Ae. fulvus, Cq. venezuelensis Ru. reversa, Wy. theobaldi and Li. flavisetosus. <![CDATA[<B>Ecology of mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) in areas of Serra do Mar State Park, State of São Paulo, Brazil. II - Habitat distribution</B>]]> The mosquito (Diptera: Culicidae) ecology was studied in areas of Serra do Mar State Park, State of São Paulo, Brazil. Systematized biweekly human bait collections were made three times a day, for periods of 2 or 3 h each, in sylvatic and rural areas for 24 consecutive months (January 1991 to December 1992). A total of 24,943 adult mosquitoes belonging to 57 species were collected during 622 collective periods. Aedes scapularis, Coquillettidia chrysonotum, Cq. venezuelensis, Wyeomyia dyari, Wy. longirostris, Wy. theobaldi and Wy. palmata were more frequently collected at swampy and at flooded areas. Anopheles mediopunctatus, Culex nigripalpus, Ae. serratus, Ae. fulvus, Psorophora ferox, Ps. albipes and the Sabethini in general, were captured almost exclusively in forested areas. An. cruzii, An. oswaldoi and An. fluminensis were captured more frequently in a residence area. However, Cx. quinquefasciatus was the only one truly eusynanthropic. An. cruzii and Ae. scapularis were captured feeding on blood inside and around the residence, indicating that both species, malaria and arbovirus vectors respectively, may be involved in the transmission of these such diseases in rural areas. <![CDATA[<B>Methicillin-resistant <I>Staphylococcus aureus</I> in human milk</B>]]> We collected and analyzed 500 samples of human milk, from five Brazilian cities (100 from each) to detect methicillin-resistant strains of Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) producing enterotoxins. We found 57 strains of MRSA, and the mecA gene, responsible for resistance, was detected in all of them using a specific molecular probe. We examined 40 strains for the presence of four enterotoxins, after selecting a subset that included all strains from each region, except for the largest sample, from which 10 were randomly selected. Among these two presented enterotoxin B, and growth in human colostrum and trypicase soy broth. After 5 h of incubation at 37°C, population sizes were already higher than 9.4 x 105 UFC/ml and enterotoxin was released into culture medium and colostrum. Our results stress the importance of hygiene, sanitary measures, and appropriate preservation conditions to avoid the proliferation of S. aureus in human milk. <![CDATA[<B>A new <I>Culicoides</B> </I><B>from The Amazonian Region, Brazil (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) </B>]]> A new Neotropical species of biting midge Culicoides (Haematomyidium), C. kampa Felippe-Bauer, Veras &amp; Castellon, is described and illustrated based on female specimens from the Amazonian Region. <![CDATA[<B>A new nematode species (Seuratoidea, Cucullanidae) parasitizing <I>Parauchenipterus striatulus </I>(Steindachner, 1876) (Pisces, Auchenipteridae) in Brazil </B>]]> A new species of a cucullanid nematode is described, illustrated and compared with Cucullanus brevispiculus Moravec, Kohn &amp; Fernandes, 1993 and C. rhamphichthydis Moravec, Kohn &amp; Fernandes, 1997, two species previously reported as parasitizing freshwater fish in South America. The new species is characterized mainly by markedly short spicules, deirids and excretory pore situated posterior to the oesophago-intestinal junction, presence of strongly sclerotized plates in the oesophastome and oesophagus divided into two distinct portions. <![CDATA[<B>The fine structure of the endogenous stages of <I>Isospora hemidactyli</I> carini, 1936 in the gecko <I>Hemidactylus mabouia </I>from North Brazil </B>]]> The ultrastructure is described of the meronts, microgamonts and young oocyst stages of Isospora hemidactyli of the gecko Hemidactylus mabouia from Belém, PA, north Brazil. The endogenous stages all develop in the nucleus of the gut epithelial cells. The nucleus remains intact up to the latest stages of the parasite's development, but degenerates by the time the oocyst appears. Merogonic division appears to be asynchronous, and some of the differentiated merozoites contained more than one nucleus. Microgamonts conform in structure with those of other eimeriids. Some of the type 2 wall-forming bodies disintegrate into smaller globules and ground substance of lower density. <![CDATA[<b><i>Cephalobellus lobulata</i> n. sp. (Oxyurida:Thelastomatidae) a parasite of <i>Neocurtilla claraziana</i> Saussure (Orthoptera: Gryllotalpidae) from Argentina </b>]]> Cephalobellus lobulata n. sp. (Oxyurida: Thelastomatidae) a parasite of the mole cricket Neocurtilla claraziana Saussure (Orthoptera: Gryllotalpidae) found in Argentina is described and illustrated. It is characterized by a short buccal cavity armed with three teeth, a striated cuticle with the first annule wide with four lobes and the second annule divided in twelve lobes. The male have three pairs of preanal papillae and two pairs of postanal papillae. <![CDATA[<B><I>Eimeria curvata </I>n. sp.(Apicomplexa: Eimeriidae) in <I>Columbina talpacoti </I>and<I> Scardafella squammata</I> (Aves: Columbidae) from Brazil </B>]]> Eimeria curvata is a new coccidian described in the doves Columbina talpacoti and Scardafella squammata from western of the State of São Paulo, Brazil. The oocysts are ovoid to ellipsoid, 18.3 (17-19) µm x 15.5 (15-17) µm, with a shape index of 1.2 (1.1-1.3). The wall is colorless, smooth and double-layered. A polar granule is present, but there is no micropyle or oocyst residuum. The sporocysts are elongate, 12.3 (11.5-13) µm x 5.8 (5.5-6) µm with a curved anterior portion and a smooth, thin, single-layered wall. The Stieda body is protuberant and nipple-like; there is no substieda body. The sporozoites lie head-to-tail in the sporocyst and contain a large refractile body at the extremities. The sporocyst residuum contains small granules uniformly distributed in the middle of the sporocyst. The prevalence of E. curvata n. sp. was 17.4% and 12.8% in C. talpacoti and S. squammata, respectively. <![CDATA[<B>Further studies on the molecular systematics of <I>Biomphalaria</I> snails from Brazil </B>]]> The polymerase chain reaction and restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region of the rRNA gene, using the enzyme DdeI were used for the molecular identification of ten species and one subspecies of Brazilian Biomphalaria. Emphasis is given to the analysis of B. oligoza, B. schrammi and B. amazonica. The RFLP profiles obtained using this enzyme were highly distinctive for the majority of the species and exhibited low levels of intraspecific polymorphism among specimens from different regions of Brazil. However, B. peregrina and B. oligoza presented very similar profiles that complicated their identification at the molecular level and suggested a very close genetic similarity between the two species. Others enzymes including HaeIII, HpaII, AluI and MnlI were tested for their ability to differentiate these species. For B. amazonica three variant profiles produced with DdeI were observed. The study demonstrated that the ITS contains useful genetic markers for the identification of these snails <![CDATA[<B>Inter-specific and developmental differences on the array of antennal chemoreceptors in four species of triatominae (Hemiptera: Reduviidae) </B>]]> The aim of the work was to investigate the pattern of chemoreceptor sensilla in adults and fifth stage nymphs of Rhodnius prolixus, R. neglectus, Triatoma infestans and T. sordida in order to study differences and similarities between genera and species. Three types of sensilla were analyzed by light microscopy: thin-walled trichoidea, thick-walled trichoidea and basiconica. The number of sensilla of each three types were counted. The length of the antennal segments were also used as a variable for the analysis. The statistical analysis showed that the number of these antennal chemoreceptors had significant differences between species and between adults and nymphs of each species. Discriminant analysis separates incompletely the fifth stage nymphs of the four species and showed similarity between them. Discriminant analysis performed with 12 variables of the antennae, allowed a complete separation of the adults of the four species. <![CDATA[<B>Palaearctic origin of <I>Leishmania</I> </B>]]> The hypothesis of a Palaearctic origin of Leishmania in the early Cenozoic, dispersal to the Nearctic in the late Eocene and to the Neotropical in the Pliocene is presented. It is further hypothesized that murid rodents and their immediate ancestors have been important mammalian reservoirs since the origination of Leishmania. Biochemical, molecular, biogeographical, entomological, mammalalogical and ecological support for these hypotheses are reviewed. <![CDATA[<B>First report of <I>Temnocephala brevicornis</I> Monticelli 1889 (Temnocephalidae: Platyhelminthes) in Argentina </B>]]> Temnocephala brevicornis Monticelli 1889, ectosymbiont of Hydromedusa tectifera Cope 1869, is reported for the first time for Argentina. Numerous temnocephalans from Arroyo Villoldo in the locality of Magdalena, Buenos Aires, Argentina were stained in toto to be studied. This commensal species in turtles was originally cited in association with Hydromedusa maximiliani (Mikan) and Hydraspis radiolata Mikan in Brazil. Afterwards, it was found on other fresh water turtle species in Brazil and Uruguay. <![CDATA[<B>Immune response in cattle vaccinated against rabies </B>]]> In order to determine the best type of rabies vaccine to use as a booster, 78 serological samples from singly vaccinated cattle were analyzed by counterimmunoelectrophoresis technique. The animals were divided into several groups, received the first vaccine dose with modified live virus vaccine (ERA strain) and were revaccinated with inactivated virus or modified live virus vaccines. Boosters were given at 2, 4, 8, 12 and 16 weeks following first vaccination. Results showed high titres in the cases of booster with inactivated vaccine. In all cases, however, detectable antibody titres declined quickly. <![CDATA[<b>Frequency of specific anti-<i>Toxoplasma gondii</i> IgM, IgA and IgE in Colombian patients with acute and chronic ocular toxoplasmosis</b>]]> We studied the frequency of specific anti-Toxoplasma IgM, IgA and IgE antibodies in serum of 28 immunocompetent Colombian patients, selected by ophthalmologists and with lesions that were compatible with ocular toxoplasmosis. Patients were classified in three groups: (i) group 1 consisted of ten patients with a first episode; (ii) group 2, with seven patients with a recurrence and (iii) group 3, consisted of eleven patients with chronic chorioretinal lesion without uveitis. We found that 10/28 (35%) of Colombian patients with ocular toxoplasmosis possessed at least one serological marker for Toxoplasma infection different from IgG. In group 1 (first episode), we found simultaneous presence of specific IgM plus IgA plus IgE in 1/10 (10%). In group 2 (recurrences) in 1/7 (14%) we found IgM and IgA test positives and in 1/7 (14%) we found IgM and IgE tests positives. In group 3 (toxoplasmic chorioretinal scar) the IgA serological test was positive in 2/11 (18%). These results show that serum IgM or IgA or IgE can be present during recurrences. <![CDATA[<B>Cellulose acetate as solid phase in ELISA for plague </B>]]> Antigen from Yersinia pestis was adsorbed on cellulose acetate discs (0.5 cm of diameter) which were obtained from dialysis membrane by using a paper punch. ELISA for human plague diagnosis was carried out employing this matrix and was capable to detect amount of 1.3 µg of antigen, 3,200 times diluted positive serum using human anti-IgG conjugate diluted 1:4,000. No relevant antigen lixiviation from the cellulose acetate was observed even after washing the discs 15 times. The discs were impregnated by the coloured products from the ELISA development allowing its use in dot-ELISA. Furthermore, cellulose acetate showed a better performance than the conventional PVC plates. <![CDATA[<B>Lipids shed into the culture medium by trypomastigotes of<I> Trypanosoma cruzi</I> </B>]]> Trypomastigote forms of Trypanosoma cruzi were metabolically labeled with [14C]-ethanolamine and [3H]-palmitic acid. Lipids shed to the culture medium were analyzed and compared with the parasite components. Phosphatidylcholine and lysophosphatidylcholine accounted for 53% of the total incorporated precursor. Interestingly, phosphatidylethanolamine and its lyso derivative lysophosphatidylethanolamine, although present in significant amounts in the parasites, could not be detected in the shed material. Shed lipids were highly enriched in the desaturated fatty acids C16:1 and C18:1 when compared to the total fatty acid pool isolated from the parasites. <![CDATA[<B>Establishment and characterization of a new continuous cell line from <I>Lutzomyia longipalpis</I> (Diptera: Psychodidae) and its susceptibility to infections with arboviruses and <I>Leishmania chagasi</I> </B>]]> Embryonic tissue explants of the sand fly Lutzomyia longipalpis (Lutz &amp; Neiva 1912) the main vector of Leishmania chagasi (Cunha and Chagas), were used to obtain a continuous cell line (Lulo). The tissues were seeded in MM/VP12 medium and these were incubated at 28ºC. The first subculture was obtained 45 days after explanting and 96 passages have been made to date. Lulo is composed of epithelioid cells, showed a 0.04 generations/hour exponential growth rate and population doubling time at 24.7 h. The cell line isoenzymatic profiles were determined by using PGI, PGM, MPI and 6-PGDH systems, coinciding with patterns obtained from the same species and colony's pupae and adults. The species karyotype characteristics were recognized (2n = 8), in which pair 1 is subtelocentric and pairs 2, 3 and 4 are metacentric. Lulo was free from bacterial, fungal, mycoplasmic and viral infection. Susceptibility to five arbovirus was determined, the same as Lulo interaction with Leishmania promastigotes. <![CDATA[<B>Colony polymerase chain reaction of stably transfected <I>Trypanosoma cruzi</I> grown on solid medium </B>]]> Tools for the genetic manipulation of Trypanosoma cruzi are largely unavailable, although several vectors for transfection of epimastigotes and expression of foreign or recombinant genes have been developed. We have previously constructed several plasmid vectors in which recombinant genes are expressed in T. cruzi using the rRNA promoter. In this report, we demonstrate that one of these vectors can simultaneously mediate expression of neomycin phosphotransferase and green fluorescent protein when used to stably transfect cultured epimastigotes. These stably transfected epimastigotes can be selected and cloned as unique colonies on solid medium. We describe a simple colony PCR approach to the screening of these T. cruzi colonies for relevant genes. Thus, the methodologies outlined herein provide important new tools for the genetic dissection of this important parasite. <![CDATA[<B>Medicinal products</B>: <B>regulation of biosynthesis in space and time </B>]]> We live in a "Demon-Haunted World". Human health care requires the ever increasing resistance of pathogens to be confronted by a correspondingly fast rate of discovery of novel antibiotics. One of the possible strategies towards this objective involves the rational localization of bioactive phytochemicals. The conceptual basis of the method consists in the surprisingly little known gearings of natural products with morphology, ecology and evolution of their plant source, i. e. an introspection into the general mechanisms of nature. <![CDATA[<b>Experimental toxoplasmosis in Balb/c mice. Prevention of vertical disease transmission by treatment and reproductive failure in chronic infection </b>]]> In a study of congenital transmission during acute infection of Toxoplasma gondii, 23 pregnant Balb/c mice were inoculated orally with two cysts each of the P strain. Eight mice were inoculated 6-11 days after becoming pregnant (Group 1). Eight mice inoculated on the 10th-15th day of pregnancy (Group 2) were treated with 100 mg/kg/day of minocycline 48 h after inoculation. Seven mice inoculated on the 10th-15th day of pregnancy were not treated and served as a control (Group 3). Congenital transmission was evaluated through direct examination of the brains of the pups or by bioassay and serologic tests. Congenital transmission was observed in 20 (60.6%) of the 33 pups of Group 1, in one (3.6%) of the 28 pups of Group 2, and in 13 (54.2%) of the 24 pups of Group 3. Forty-nine Balb/c mice were examined in the study of congenital transmission of T. gondii during chronic infection. The females showed reproductive problems during this phase of infection. It was observed accentuated hypertrophy of the endometrium and myometrium. Only two of the females gave birth. Our results demonstrate that Balb/c mice with acute toxoplasmosis can be used as a model for studies of congenital T. gondii infection. Our observations indicate the potential of this model for testing new chemotherapeutic agents against congenital toxoplasmosis. <![CDATA[<B>Standartization of broth microdilution method for <I>Mycobacterium tuberculosis </B></I>]]> Indirect drug susceptibility tests of Mycobacterium tuberculosis was done to investigate the accuracy and feasibility of a broth microdilution method (BMM) for determining minimal inhibitory concentrations of conventional drugs against M. tuberculosis. Test drugs included isoniazid (H), rifampicin (R), ethambutol (E), streptomycin (S) and pyrazinamide (Z). Fifty isolates of M. tuberculosis from patients who had never received drug therapy, and H37Rv strain for control, were evaluated in the system. When comparing this method with the gold standard proportional method in Lowenstein-Jensen medium, sensitivity of 100% for all drugs and specifities of 91, 100, 96, 98 and 85% were observed respectively for H, R, E, S and Z. The BMM was read faster (14-20 days) than the proportional method (20-28 days). The microdilution method evaluated allows the testing of multiple drugs in multiple concentrations. It is easy to perform and does not require special equipment or expensive supplies. In contrast to radiometric method it does not use radioactive material. <![CDATA[<B>Haematophagy and cleptohaematophagy of <I>Clerada apicicornis</I> (Hemiptera: Lygaeidae), a potential biological control agent of <I>Rhodnius prolixus</I> (Hemiptera: Reduviidae)</B>]]> Because of its ability to prey on Triatominae in rural houses, Clerada apicicornis has been suggested as a potential biological control agent of Rhodnius prolixus. It has also been suggested as a potential vector of mammalian trypanosomes such as Trypanosoma cruzi, because of its ability to take blood directly from mammals. To help resolve these conflicting ideas, we assessed the haematophagic behaviour of C. apicicornis by carrying out feeding trials on laboratory animals. Cleptohaematophagic behaviour was also assessed by allowing C. apicicornis to feed on R. prolixus previously engorged with avian blood. The low proportion of blood meals taken directly from laboratory animals indicates a facultative haematophagy in this species, whereas a greater proportion of nymphs and adults were able to obtain vertebrate blood by predation on engorged R. prolixus. The results suggest that C. apicicornis is unlikely to be effective as a biological control agent, but is also unlikely to have a significant role in the transmission of vertebrate pathogens. <![CDATA[<b>A checklist of arthropods associated with pig carrion and human corpses in Southeastern Brazil </b>]]> Necrophagous insects, mainly Diptera and Coleoptera, are attracted to specific stages of carcass decomposition, in a process of faunistic succession. They are very important in estimating the postmortem interval, the time interval between the death and the discovery of the body. In studies done with pig carcasses exposed to natural conditions in an urban forest (Santa Genebra Reservation), located in Campinas, State of São Paulo, southeastern Brazil, 4 out of 36 families of insects collected - Calliphoridae, Sarcophagidae, Muscidae (Diptera) and Dermestidae (Coleoptera) - were considered of forensic importance, because several species were collected in large numbers both visiting and breeding in pig carcasses. Several species were also observed and collected on human corpses at the Institute of Legal Medicine. The species belonged to 17 different families, 6 being of forensic importance because they were reared from human corpses or pig carcasses: Calliphoridae, Sarcophagidae, Muscidae, Piophilidae (Diptera), Dermestidae, Silphidae and Cleridae (Coleoptera). The most important species were: Diptera - Chrysomya albiceps, Chrysomya putoria, Hemilucilia segmentaria, Hemilucilia semidiaphana (Calliphoridae), Pattonella intermutans (Sarcophagidae), Ophyra chalcogaster (Muscidae), Piophila casei (Piophilidae); Coleoptera - Dermestes maculatus (Dermestidae), Oxyletrum disciolle (Silphidae) and Necrobia rufipes (Cleridae).