Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz]]> vol. 96 num. 4 lang. es <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>Transmission of tuberculosis in Havana, Cuba</b>: <b>a molecular epidemiological study by IS<i>6110</i> restriction fragment length polymorphism typing</b>]]> The combination of molecular and conventional epidemiological methods has improved the knowledge about the transmission of tuberculosis in urban populations. To examine transmission of tuberculosis in Havana, Cuba, with DNA fingerprinting, we studied 51 out of 92 Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains isolated from tuberculosis patients who resided in Havana and whose infection was culture-confirmed in the period from September 1997 to March 1998. Isolates from 28 patients (55%) had unique IS6110 restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) patterns, while isolates from 23 others (45%) had identical patterns and belonged to 7 clusters. Three clusters consisting of six, five and two cases were each related to small outbreaks that occurred in a closed setting. Three other clustered cases were linked to a large outbreak that occurred in another institution. Younger patients were more correlated to clustering than older ones. The finding that 45% of the isolates had clustered RFLP patterns suggests that recent transmission is a key factor in the tuberculosis cases in Havana. The IS6110 RFLP typing made it possible to define the occurrence of outbreaks in two closed institutions. <![CDATA[<B>Dynamics of <I>Haematobia irritans</I> <I>irritans </I>(Diptera: Muscidae) infestation on Nelore cattle in the Pantanal, Brazil</B>]]> From June 1993 to May 1995, horn fly counts were conducted twice a month on untreated Nelore cattle raised extensively in the Pantanal. Horn fly population showed a bimodal fluctuation and peaks were observed every year after the beginning (November/December) and at the end (May/June) of the rainy season, which coincided with mid-late spring and mid-late fall, respectively. Horn flies were present on cattle throughout the year in at least 64% of the animals. Mean horn fly numbers on animals did not exceed 85 flies/cow during peaks and were under 35 flies/cow in most of the remaining periods. The highest infestations (population peaks) were short and dropped suddenly within two weeks. Less than 15% of the animals in both herds could be considered as "fly-susceptible" - showing consistently higher infestations, or "fly-resistant" - showing consistently lower infestations. <![CDATA[<b>Simuliid<i> </i>blackflies (Diptera: Simuliidae) and ceratopogonid midges (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) as vectors of <i>Mansonella ozzardi</i> (Nematoda: Onchocercidae) in northern Argentina</b>]]> Mansonella ozzardi, a relatively non pathogenic filarial parasite of man in Latin America, is transmitted by either ceratopogonid midges or simuliid blackflies. In the only known focus of the disease in north-western Argentina the vectors have never been incriminated. This study investigated the potential vectors of M. ozzardi in this area. The only anthropophilic species of these Diptera families biting man at the time of the investigation were Simulium exiguum, S. dinellii, Culicoides lahillei and C. paraensis. Using experimentally infected flies S. exiguum and both species of Culicoides allowed full development of microfilariae to the infective stage, with C. lahillei being a more competent host than S. exiguum. Based on these data, biting rates and natural infectivity rates it is probable that at the begininning of the wet season C. lahillei is the main vector of M. ozzardi and both C. paraensis and S. exiguum secondary vectors. Additionally, it was found that a single dose of ivermectin was ineffectual in eradicating M. ozzardi from infected individuals in this area. <![CDATA[<b>Characterization of <i>Triatoma guasayana </i>biotopes in a hardwood forest of Santiago del Estero, Argentina</b>]]> Triatoma guasayana is a silvatic triatomine species distributed in Argentina, Bolivia and Paraguay. The study was performed in a secondary forest of Santiago del Estero, Argentina. The abundance of T. guasayana was evaluated by census in the following wild biotopes: quimiles (Opuntia quimilo), chaguares (dry bromeliads), logs and underground burrows. Ten biotopes of each type were dismantled in winter (August) and another 40 in summer (January); all fauna was recorded. The biotopes most infested by T. guasayana were quimiles (65%), followed by chaguares (55%), and logs (25%). Quimiles and chaguares were infested in both seasons, whereas logs were positive only in summer and burrows were never infested. Infestation and abundance were higher in summer than in winter. The biotope structure is a key factor for T. guasayana colonization. The larger number of refuges, the constant presence of blood sources and suitable inner microclimatic conditions offered by quimiles may favour the persistence of T. guasayana colonies. The richness of invertebrate fauna per type of biotope was ranked in the same order as that of T. guasayana, suggesting similar microhabitat requirements for all studied arthropods. <![CDATA[<B>Environmental characteristics of the cemeteries of Buenos Aires City (Argentina) and infestation levels of <I>Aedes aegypti</I> (Diptera: Culicidae)</B>]]> Cemeteries with many water-filled containers, flowers, sources of human blood, and shade are favorable urban habitats for the proliferation of Aedes aegypti, a vector of yellow fever and dengue. A total of 22,956 containers was examined in the five cemeteries of the city of Buenos Aires, Argentina. The vector was found in four cemeteries that showed an average infestation level of 5.5% (617 positive out of 11,196 water-filled containers). The four cemeteries positive for Ae. aegypti showed significantly different (p<0.01) infestation levels. Vegetation cover and percentage of infestation were significantly correlated (p<0.01), but neither cemetery area nor number of available containers were significantly related to the proportion of positive vases. Our results suggest that the cemeteries of Buenos Aires represent a gradient of habitat favorableness for this vector species, some of which may act as foci for its proliferation and dispersal. <![CDATA[<b><i>Triatoma infestans</i> in Greater Buenos Aires, Argentina</b>]]> The Health Administration Agencies of many municipalities in Greater Buenos Aires (GBA) receive frequent reports on triatomines in houses. The aim of this work was to identify and describe the dispersal foci of Triatoma infestans in an urban neighborhood of GBA, and contribute to the knowledge of the epidemiological situation in the region. In June 1998, potentially infested places were entomologically evaluated. T. infestans was only detected in a hen building for egg production, which housed approximately 6,000 birds. A total of 2,930 insects were collected. Density was about 9 triatomines/m². The proportions of fifth instar nymphs and adults were significantly higher than those of the other stages (p<0.001). The number of triatomines collected largely exceeded the highest domestic infestation found in one house from rural endemic areas of Argentina. Though triatomines were negative for Trypanosoma cruzi, they could acquire the parasite by coming in contact with infected people living in GBA. Besides, the numerous and widely distributed places housing hens and chickens, would favor the settlement of the vector. Together, both facts may constitute a risk of parasitic vectorial transmission. It is recommended to intensify systematic activities of vector search and case detection in GBA. <![CDATA[<B><I>Cebus apella </I>(Primata: Cebidae) as a new host for <I>Fonsecalges johnjadini</I> (Acari: Psoroptidae, Cebalginae) with a description of anatomopathological aspects</B>]]> Mites collected from the auditory canal of Cebus apella (capuchin monkey), family Cebidae, were identified as Fonsecalges johnjadini (Psoroptidae, Cebalginae). It is the first record of this parasite from this monkey. This paper emphasizes the importance of clinical and anatomopathological examinations for parasitic diagnosis in wild animals. <![CDATA[<b><i>Simulium cuasiexiguum</i>, a new blackfly species (Diptera: Simuliidae) from the Minaçu area in the State of Goiás, Central Brazil</b>]]> During studies of Simuliidae at a suspected new focus of human onchocerciasis in central Brazil a new species of Simulium was found. Full descriptions of the adults and pupae of this species, S. cuasiexiguum, are described here, its affinities to closely related species in the subgenus Notolepria are discussed and its distribution in Brazil recorded. <![CDATA[<b>Serodiagnosis of chronic Chagas infection by using EIE-Recombinant-Chagas-Biomanguinhos kit</b>]]> A kit based on an enzyme immunoassay, EIE-Recombinant-Chagas-Biomanguinhos, developed by the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, was evaluated for the serodiagnosis of chronic Chagas disease. Evaluation was performed with 368 serum samples collected from individuals living in an endemic area for Chagas disease: 131 patients in the chronic phase with confirmed clinical, epidemiological, and serological diagnosis (indirect immunofluorescence, indirect hemagglutination or enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) and 237 nonchagasic seronegative individuals were considered negative control. The EIE-Recombinant-Chagas-Biomanguinhos kit showed high sensitivity, 100% (CI 95%: 96.4-100%) and high specificity, 100% (CI 95%: 98-100%). The data obtained were in full agreement with clinical and conventional serology data. In addition, no cross-reaction was observed with sera from patients with cutaneous (n=14) and visceral (n=3) leishmaniasis. However, when these sera were tested by conventional serological assays for Chagas disease, cross-reactions were detected in 14.3% and 33.3% of the patients with cutaneous and visceral leishmaniasis, respectively. No cross-reactions were observed when sera from nonchagasic seronegative patients bearing other infectious disease (syphilis, n=8; HTLV, n=8; HCV, n=7 and HBV, n=12) were tested. In addition, sera of patients with inconclusive results for Chagas disease by conventional serology showed results in agreement with clinical evaluation, when tested by the kit. These results are relevant and indicate that the refered kit provides a safe immunodiagnosis of Chagas disease and could be used in blood bank screening. <![CDATA[<B>Comparison of polymerase chain reaction on fresh tissue samples and fecal drops on filter paper for detection of <I>Trypanosoma cruzi</I> in <I>Rhodnius prolixus</B></I>]]> PCR detection of Trypanosoma cruzi in Rhodnius prolixus using fresh tissue or fecal drops on filter paper showed comparable results: 38.7% infection rate using the fresh tissue sample and 37.9% by dried fecal drop. <![CDATA[<B>Anti-VP1 and anti-VP2 antibodies detected by immunofluorescence assays in patients with acute human parvovirus B19 infection</B>]]> Acute human parvovirus B19 infection is followed by an antibody response to the structural proteins of the viral capsid (VP1 and VP2). We used 80 sera collected from 58 erythema infectiosum and 6 transient aplastic crisis patients to test IgM and IgG antibodies against these two proteins in an immunofluorescence assay (IFA) using Sf9 cells infected with recombinant baculovirus expressing either VP1 or VP2 antigen. Although less sensitive than IgM capture enzyme immunoassay using native antigen (MACEIA), we could detect anti-VP1 or anti-VP2 IgM antibodies by IFA in 49 patients with acute infection (76.6%). Detection of IgG anti-VP1 and anti-VP2 by IFA, however, was as sensitive as IgG detection by indirect enzyme immunoassay. By applying IgG avidity IFA to sera of the 15 IgM IFA negative patients we were able to confirm acute infection in further 12 cases by IFA. Overall, acute infection was confirmed by IFA in 61 (95.3%) of the 64 patients. <![CDATA[<B>Detection of the acute phase of abdominal angiostrongyliasis with a parasite-specific IgG enzyme linked immunosorbent assay</B>]]> Angiostrongylus costaricensis may cause intestinal lesions of varied severity when it accidentally infects man in Central and South America. First-stage larvae have never been detected in stools. Therefore, a parasite-specific IgG ELISA was evaluated for the determination of the acute phase of infection. The specificity and the sensitivity of the immunoassay was shown to be 76.2% and 91.1%, respectively. Eight serum samples taken from patients with histopathological diagnosis, at different time points (3 to 15 months) after surgical treatment, showed a sharp and early decline in antibody reactivity. The titration of anti-A. costaricensis antibodies has proved to be a useful method for the diagnosis of acute abdominal angiostrongyliasis. <![CDATA[<b>TT virus infection in children and adults who visited a general hospital in the south of Brazil for routine procedure</b>]]> TT virus (TTV) is a newly described nonenveloped human virus, with a circular, negative-stranded DNA genome, that was first identified in the blood of a patient with posttransfusion hepatitis of unknown etiology. PCR primers and conditions used for TTV DNA amplification may greatly influence the level of TTV detection in serum. Three PCR assays, with different regions of the genome as targets, were used to test TTV DNA in 130 sera from children and adults visiting a hospital in the south of Brazil, most of them for routine procedure. Forty-four percent of adult sera and 73% of sera from children aged 0-10 years were TTV positive with at least one PCR assay. However, the three assays were able to detect only 33%, 35%, and 70% of the total positive samples. Our results showed a high prevalence of TTV infection in the south of Brazil, particularly among young children, and confirmed the necessity of performing several PCR assays to assess the true TTV prevalence in a determined population. <![CDATA[<B>Typing and susceptibility to penicillin of <I>Neisseria meningitidis</I> isolated from patients in Cuba (1993-1999)</B>]]> The susceptibility to penicillin of 111 Neisseria meningitidis strains was assessed by the agar-dilution procedure and serosubtypes were determined by a whole-cell enzyme-linked immunoassay using monoclonal antibodies reagents. Thirty-five isolates showed reduced sensitivity to penicillin (MIC > or = 0.1 mg/l and <= 1 mg/l) and no resistant strains were detected. The most common phenotype was B:4:P1.15 (77.5%) and a rising trend of non-typeable and non-subtypeable strains was detected. The increase in levels of minimal inhibitory concentrations of meningococci to penicillin gives cause for concern and the increase in non-typeable and non-subtypeable isolation demand the use of molecular biology techniques for their typing. <![CDATA[<B>Isoenzyme profiles of <I>Trypanosoma cruzi s</I>tocks from different areas of Paraguay</B>]]> Twenty one Trypanosoma cruzi stocks from humans, domiciliary triatomines and one sylvatic animal of different areas of Paraguay were subjected to isoenzyme analysis. Thirteen enzyme systems (15 loci in total) were studied. MN cl2 (clonets 39) and SO34 cl4 (clonets 20) were used as references. Relationships between stocks were depicted by an UPGMA dendrogram constructed using the Jaccard´s distances matrix. Among the Paraguayan stocks 14 zymodemes were identified (Par1 to Par14), Par 5 being the most frequent. Polymorphism rate and clonal diversity were 0.73 and 0.93, respectively. Average number of alleles per polymorphic locus was 2.5 (range 2-4). These measurements show a high diversity, which is confirmed by the dendrogram topology. All stocks belong to the same lineage, as MN cl2 reference strain (T. cruzi II). Moreover three distinct subgroups were identified and two of them correspond to Brazilian and Bolivian zymodemes, respectively. The third subgroup, the most common in Paraguay, is related to Tulahuen stock. The large geographical distribution of some zymodemes agrees with the hypothesis of clonality for T. cruzi populations. However sample size was not adequate to detect genetic recombination in any single locality. <![CDATA[<b>Genetic variability in Brazilian populations of <i>Biomphalaria straminea</i> complex detected by simple sequence repeat anchored polymerase chain reaction amplification</b>]]> Biomphalaria glabrata, B. tenagophila and B. straminea are intermediate hosts of Schistosoma mansoni, in Brazil. The latter is of epidemiological importance in the northwest of Brazil and, due to morphological similarities, has been grouped with B. intermedia and B. kuhniana in a complex named B. straminea. In the current work, we have standardized the simple sequence repeat anchored polymerase chain reaction (SSR-PCR) technique, using the primers (CA)8RY and K7, to study the genetic variability of these species. The similarity level was calculated using the Dice coefficient and genetic distance using the Nei and Li coefficient. The trees were obtained by the UPGMA and neighbor-joining methods. We have observed that the most related individuals belong to the same species and locality and that individuals from different localities, but of the same species, present clear heterogeneity. The trees generated using both methods showed similar topologies. The SSR-PCR technique was shown to be very efficient in intrapopulational and intraspecific studies of the B. straminea complex snails. <![CDATA[<B>Morphometry of submucous and myenteric esophagic plexus of dogs experimentally reinfected with<I> Trypanosoma</I> <I>cruzi</I> </B>]]> We carried out a morphometric study of the esophagus of cross-bred dogs experimentally infected or consecutively reinfected with Trypanosoma cruzi 147 and SC-1 strains, in order to verify denervation and/or neuronal hypertrophy in the intramural plexus. The animals were sacrificed in the chronic stage, 38 months after the initial infection. Neither nests of amastigotes, nor myositis or ganglionitis, were observed in all third inferior portions of esophageal rings analyzed. No nerve cell was identified in the submucous of this organ. There was no significant difference (p>0.05) between the number, maximum diameter, perimeter, or area and volume of the nerve cells of the myenteric plexus of infected and/or reinfected dogs and of the non-infected ones. In view of these results we may conclude that the 147 and SC-1 strains have little neurotropism and do not determine denervation and/or hypertrophy in the intramural esophageal plexuses in the animals studied, independent of the reinfections. <![CDATA[<b>Isotype specific immune responses in murine experimental toxocariasis</b>]]> In this work, a murine experimental model of toxocariasis has been developed in BALB/c, C57BL/10 and C3H murine strains orally inoculated with 4,000 Toxocara canis embryonated eggs, in order to investigate the isotype-specific immune responses against excretory-secretory antigens from larvae. T. canis specific IgG+M, IgM, IgG, IgA, IgG1, IgG2a and IgG3 were tested by ELISA. The dynamics of the specific immunoglobulins (IgG+IgM) production showed a contrasting profile regarding the murine strain. Conversely to the results obtained with the IgM isotype, the IgG antibody class showed similar patterns to those obtained with IgG+IgM antibodies, only in the case of the BALB/c strain, being different and much higher than the obtained with IgG+IgM antibodies, when the C3H murine strain was used. The antibodies IgG+IgM tested in BALB/c and C57BL/10 were both of the IgM and IgG isotypes. Conversely, in the C3H strain only IgG specific antibody levels were detected. The IgG1 subclass responses showed a similar profile in the three murine strains studied, with high values in BALB/c, as in the case of the IgG responses. <![CDATA[<b>Scanning and transmission electron microscopy of the tegument of <i>Paranaella luquei</i> Kohn, Baptista-Farias & Cohen, 2000 (Microcotylidae, Monogenea), parasite of a Brazilian catfish, <i>Hypostomus regani</i></b>]]> The surface topography and ultrastructure of the tegument of Paranaella luquei Kohn, Baptista-Farias & Cohen, 2000, a microcotylid monogenean parasite from the gills of Hypostomus regani (Ihering, 1905) (Loricariidae) was studied by scanning (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). By SEM, it was observed that the tegument presents transversal ridges, forming folds in the ventral and dorsal surfaces and microvillous-like tegumental projections in the anterior and median regions of body. These projections were also observed by TEM. The tegument is made up of a syncytium delimited by apical and basal plasma membranes, containing inclusion bodies and mitochondria, connected to the nucleated region by means of cytoplasmatic processes. The tegumental cells present a well developed nucleus and cytoplasm containing inclusion bodies, similar to those found on the external layer, mitochondria, rough endoplasmatic reticulum and free ribossomes. <![CDATA[<b>Stomach content analyses of <i>Simulium perflavum</i> Roubaud 1906 (Diptera: Simuliidae) larvae from streams in Central Amazônia, Brazil</b>]]> Stomach contents of Simulium perflavum Roubaud larvae were analyzed and compared with plankton and periphyton collected in five streams, in Central Amazonia (Manaus and Presidente Figueiredo counties), in Sep./Oct.1996 (dry season) and Feb./Mar. 1997 (rainy season). A total of 1,400 last-instar larvae were dissected; the stomach contents were analyzed using different methods: fresh and after oxidation. A total of 87 taxa (algae, diatoms and rotifers) were found in the stomach contents. In each stream, qualitative samples of plankton and periphyton were collected; these were mounted between slides and cover slips. A total of 94 taxa of plankton and 54 taxa of periphyton were collected. One species of Rotifera was present in the stomach contents, plankton and periphyton. Cluster analysis based on species composition of the organisms present in the stomach contents grouped the streams into two major groups, each belonging to a different drainage area. Correlations based on presence/absence of species of microalgae in the stomach contents, plankton and periphyton indicated significant associations (p<0.05) between stomach contents and plankton and between plankton and periphyton (z test); the Sorensen coefficient and cluster analysis corroborate the same associations. <![CDATA[<b>The effect of isolation on the life-history traits of <i>Pseudosuccinea columella</i> (Pulmonata: Lymnaeidae)</b>]]> A population of Pseudosuccinea columella was raised under laboratory conditions and its life tables were determined in isolated and paired snails. Isolated snails were significantly larger in shell size than paired snails from five weeks of age onward. Also, statistically significant differences were found for the number of eggs per mass per individual from week 5 to 9, isolated snails exhibiting the highest values. The intrinsic and finite rates of increase were greater in isolated than in paired snails. Either an inhibition of the reproductive output between individuals or the advantage of selfing may be the cause of the differences in this species, acting as a possible mechanism that increase the fitness of isolated snails. <![CDATA[<b>A comparative study of preservation and storage of <i>Haemophilus influenzae </i></b>]]> The aim of this study was to compare the efficacy of conservation by freezing the strains of Haemophilus influenzae at -20ºC and -70ºC. Skim milk supplemented with glucose, yeast extract and glycerol allowed highest viability of H. influenzae both at -20ºC and -70ºC from the media analyzed. Trypticase soy broth and brain heart infusion broth supplemented with glycerol, allowed excellent recovery. Use of cotton swaps as supporting material, with or without addition of cryoprotective agents, did not modify H. influenzae viability after six months of storage. Concentration of the initial inoculum positively affected viability when stored at -20ºC. Initial concentration did not influence survival after storage at -70ºC. Thawing at room temperature should not exceed 3 h as to get highest survival percentage. <![CDATA[<B>Resistance to starvation of <I>Rhodnius neivai</I> Lent, 1953 (Hemiptera: Reduviidae: Triatominae) under experimental conditions</B>]]> The period of resistance to starvation and the loss of weight until death of Rhodnius neivai in all stages of development were studied. Work was based on experiments conducted under controlled laboratory conditions. One hundred specimens of each nymphal instar were observed: 50 were fed on chicken and 50 on rabbit. Adult females and males were kept together and fed on each host. All bugs were weighed weekly until death. Laid eggs were collected weekly and observed during five weeks to obtain hatchability. Resistance to starvation was similar with both hosts and increased with the evolutionary stage, excepting the 5th nymphal instar and adults. With both hosts, loss of weight was abrupt in the first week and steady in the following weeks. In adults, on the first weeks after eating, there was little or no mortality, after which mortality increased rapidly with the starving time. Reproductive output was higher in the bugs fed on rabbit. R. neivai is among the least resistant triatomine species.