Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz]]> vol. 100 num. 8 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<B><I>Lutzomyia longipalpis </I>and the eco-epidemiology of American visceral leishmaniasis, with particular reference to Brazil</B>: <B>a review</B>]]> An historical review is given of American visceral leishmaniasis (AVL), with particular reference to the eco-epidemiology of the disease in Brazil. Following the first records of AVL in this country, in 1934, the sandfly Lutzomyia longipalpis (Lutz and Neiva, 1912) was incriminated as the principal vector. It is now generally accepted, however, that there exist a number of cryptic species under the name of Lu. longipalpis s.l. and that variations in the quantity of the vasodilatory peptide maxadilan in the saliva of flies from different populations of Lu. longipalpis s.l., may account for the variable clinical manifestations of AVL seen in different geographic regions. Distribution of AVL has been shown to extend throughout most of South and Central America, with the domestic dog serving as the principal reservoir of infection for man. However, while one hypothesis suggests that the causative parasite is Leishmania infantum, imported from Europe with the Portuguese and Spanish colonists, the demonstration of a high rate of benign, inapparent infection in foxes in Amazonian Brazil raised an opposing suggestion that the parasite is indigenous to the Americas. Recent reports of similar infections in native marsupials, and possibly rodents, tend to support this view, particularly as Lu. longipalpis is primordially a silvatic sandfly. Although effective control measures in foci of the disease will diminish the number of canine and human infections, the presence of such an enzootic in a variety of native animals will render the total eradication of AVL unlikely. <![CDATA[<B>Ticks, ivermectin, and experimental Chagas disease</B>]]> Following an infestation of dogticks in kennels housing dogs used for long-term studies of the pathogenesis of Chagas disease, we examined the effect of ivermectin treatment on the dogs, ticks, trypanosome parasites, and also on triatomine vectors of Chagas disease. Ivermectin treatment was highly effective in eliminating the ticks, but showed no apparent effect on the dogs nor on their trypanosome infection. Triatominae fed on the dogs soon after ivermectin treatment showed high mortality, but this effect quickly declined for bugs fed at successive intervals after treatment. In conclusion, although ivermectin treatment may have a transient effect on peridomestic populations of Triatominae, it is not the treatment of choice for this situation. The study also showed that although the dogticks could become infected with Trypanosoma cruzi, this only occurred when feeding on dogs in the acute phase of infection, and there was no evidence of subsequent parasite development in the ticks. <![CDATA[<B>Detection of dengue virus serotype 3 by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction in <I>Aedes aegypti</I> (Diptera, Culicidae) captured in Manaus, Amazonas</B>]]> The detection of dengue virus serotypes from Aedes aegypti in Manaus, state of Amazonas was carried out using the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction technique. Fourteen pools out 82 (17.1%) were positive for DENV3, providing a minimal infection rate of 2.1% of all analyzed infected female specimens of three different areas of the city. <![CDATA[<B>Detection of <I>Rickettsia rickettsii</I> in the tick <I>Amblyomma cajennense </I>in a new Brazilian spotted fever-endemic area in the state of Minas Gerais</B>]]> The present study evaluated rickettsial infection in Amblyomma spp. ticks collected in a farm in Coronel Pacheco, a Brazilian spotted fever (BSF) endemic area. A total of 78 A. cajennense and 78 A. dubitatum free-living adult ticks were collected and tested by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) targeting a fragment of the rickettsial gene gltA. Only one pool of three A. cajennense ticks showed the expected product by PCR. This pool was further tested by PCR using sets of primers targeting the rickettsial genes gltA, ompA, and ompB. All reactions yielded the expected bands that by sequencing, showed 100% identity to the corresponding sequences of the Rickettsia rickettsii gene fragments gltA (1063-bp), ompA (457-bp), and ompB (720-bp). The minimal infection rate of R. rickettii in the A. cajennense population was 1.28% (at least one infected tick within 78 ticks).The present study showed molecular evidence for the presence of R. rickettsii in A. cajennense from a BSF-endemic area in Coronel Pacheco, state of Minas Gerais. Although R. rickettsii has been previously reported infecting A. cajennense ticks in Brazil and other Latin American countries, the present study performed the first molecular characterization of R. rickettsii from the tick A. cajennense. <![CDATA[<B>Parvovirus B19 infections in state of Rio de Janeiro, Brasil: 526 sera analyzed by IgM-enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and polymerase chain reaction</B>]]> In this study were analyzed 526 sera; the patients aged from two days to 65 years old presenting exanthema, which was the most frequent symptom observed, besides fever, adenomegaly, and arthralgia. These sera were negative by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (IgM-ELISA) for either rubella (495), toxoplasma (41), cytomegalovirus (12), measles (40), dengue (56), and they were submitted to nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for B19 DNA and commercial IgM-ELISA for B19. In 39 abortion cases, IgM or DNA were not detected, therefore they were not took into account for analysis. Specific DNA and IgM were detected respectively in 71 (14.5%) and IgM in 62 (12.7%) sera from 487 sera analyzed. IgM and DNA were simultaneously detected in 43 (8.8%), while agreement among the results by PCR and IgM-ELISA was observed in 440 (90.4%). The sera were collected from January 1999 to December 2000, most of them in 1999 (325), during winter and spring. The major number of clinical cases was observed in the age group from one to ten years old. IgM or DNA were detected in 23 from 51 municipal districts of the state of Rio de Janeiro, where the samples were collected. <![CDATA[<B>Antibodies to <I>Rickettsia rickettsii</I>, <I>Rickettsia typhi</I>, <I>Coxiella burnetii</I>, <I>Bartonella henselae</I>, <I>Bartonella quintana</I>, and <I>Ehrlichia chaffeensis</I> among healthy population in Minas Gerais, Brazil</B>]]> Rickettsial diseases except those belonging to spotted fever group rickettsioses are poorly studied in South America particularly in Brazil where few epidemiological reports have been published. We describe a serosurvey for Rickettsia rickettsii, R. typhi, Coxiella burnetii, Bartonella henselae, B. quintana, and Ehrlichia chaffeensis in 437 healthy people from a Brazilian rural community. The serum samples were tested by indirected micro-immunoflourescence technique and a cutoff titer of 1:64 was used. The seroprevalence rates for R. rickettsii, R. typhi, C. burnetii, B. henselae, B. quintana, and E. chaffeensis were respectively 1.6% (7 samples); 1.1% (5 samples); 3.9% (17 samples); 13.7% (60 samples); 12.8% (56 samples), and 10.5% (46 samples). Frequent multiple/cross-reactivity was observed in this study. Age over 40 years old, urban profession, and rural residence were significantly associated with some but not all infections rate. Low seropositivity rates for R. rickettsii, R. typhi, and C. burnetii contrasted with higher rates of seropositivity for B. quintana, B. henselae, and E. chaffeensis. These results show that all tested rickettsial species or antigenically closely related possible exist in this particular region. <![CDATA[<B>Shared and non-shared antigens from three different extracts of the metacestode of <I>Echinococcus granulosus</B></I>]]> Hydatid cyst fluid (HCF), somatic antigens (S-Ag) and excretory-secretory products (ES-Ag) of Echinococcus granulosus protoscoleces are used as the main antigenic sources for immunodiagnosis of human and dog echinococcosis. In order to determine their non-shared as well as their shared antigenic components, these extracts were studied by ELISA-inhibition and immunoblot-inhibition. Assays were carried out using homologous rabbit polyclonal antisera, human sera from individuals with surgically confirmed hydatidosis, and sera from dogs naturally infected with E. granulosus. High levels of cross-reactivity were observed for all antigenic extracts, but especially for ES-Ag and S-Ag. Canine antibodies evidenced lesser avidity for their specific antigens than antibodies from human origin. The major antigenic components shared by HCF, S-Ag, and ES-Ag have apparent molecular masses of 4-6, 20-24, 52, 80, and 100-104 kDa, including doublets of 41/45, 54/57, and 65/68 kDa. Non-shared polypeptides of each antigenic extract of E. granulosus were identified, having apparent masses of 108 and 78 kDa for HCF, of 124, 94, 83, and 75 kDa for S-Ag, and of 89, 66, 42, 39, 37, and 35 kDa for ES-Ag. <![CDATA[<B>A genotyping study of human immunodeficiency virus type-1 drug resistance in a small Brazilian municipality</B>]]> In Brazil, surveillance studies on antiretroviral drug resistance among drug-naïve and treatment-experienced patients have focused primarily on patients living in large urban centers. As the epidemic spreads towards small municipalities and the innermost parts of the country, it will be essential to monitor the prevalence of antiretroviral drug resistance in these areas. We report the first survey on the prevalence of antiretroviral drug resistance in a small Brazilian municipality. Between July 1999 and March 2005, 72 adult human immunodeficiency virus type-1(HIV-1)-infected patients received care at the Municipal HIV/AIDS Program of the small, southeastern municipality of Miracema, state of Rio de Janeiro. A genotyping study of antiretroviral drug resistance was performed in 54 patients. Among 27 samples from treatment-experienced patients, 9 (33.3%) harbored strains with reduced drug susceptibility. Among these, 6 had reduced susceptibility to reverse transcriptase (RT) inhibitors and 3 to both RT and protease inhibitors. No primary antiretroviral drug resistance was recorded among 27 drug-naïve subjects. The relatively low prevalence of resistance mutations in the Miracema cohort argues against the concern that resource-poor settings should not implement widespread accessibility to standard of care antiretroviral combinations due to the possibility of sub-optimal adherence leading to the emergence and spread of drug-resistant strains. <![CDATA[<B>Clinical and pathological importance of <I>vacA</I> allele heterogeneity and <I>cagA</I> status in peptic ulcer disease in patients from North Brazil</B>]]> We have examined the prevalence of gene cagA and vacA alleles in 129 patients, 69 with gastritis and 60 with peptic ulcer diseases from North Brazil and their relation with histopathological data. vacA and cagA genotype were determined by polymerase chain reaction. Hematoxylin-eosin staining was used for histological diagnosis. 96.6% of the patients were colonized by Helicobacter pylori strains harboring single vacA genotype (nont-mixed infection). Among them, 11.8% had subtype s1a, 67.8% had subtype s1b, and 17% subtype s2. In regard to the middle region analysis, m1 alleles were found in 75.4% and m2 in 21.2% of patients. The cagA gene was detected in 78% patients infected with H. pylori and was associated with the s1-m1 vacA genotype. The H. pylori strains, vacA s1b m1/cagA-positive, were associated with increased risk of peptic ulcer disease and higher amounts of lymphocytic and neutrophilic infiltrates and the presence of intestinal metaplasia. These findings show that cagA and vacA genotyping may have clinical relevance in Brazil. <![CDATA[<B>Evaluation of the natural killer cytotoxicity and the levels of cytokines in rats with type I diabetes mellitus</B>]]> Type I diabetes mellitus (insulin-dependent DM = IDDM) is a chronic disease characterized by specific destruction of pancreatic beta cells, resulting in an absolute lack of insulin. Immune mechanisms, genetic susceptibility, and environmental factors are all implicated in the pathogenesis of Type 1 diabetes. This study was aimed at determining the efficiency of cytokines, natural killer (NK) cells in the pathophysiology of IDDM. Therefore, we evaluated the plasma levels of cytokines by specific enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and the cytotoxicity activity of NK cells by anti-candididal index in rats with type I diabetes. We found that the cytotoxicity activity of NK cells in IDDM groups significantly decreased compared to the control groups. The levels of interferon<FONT FACE=Symbol>-g</FONT> (IFN<FONT FACE=Symbol>-g</FONT>) in IDDM groups were slightly higher than in healthy controls. These results indicate that the changes of T H1 type cytokines such as IFN<FONT FACE=Symbol>-g</FONT> and NK cell activity can play a role in the etiology of IDDM. The data may provide new strategies for the treatment of IDDM. <![CDATA[<B>Studies in a co-infection murine model of <I>Plasmodium chabaudi chabaudi</I> and <I>Leishmania infantum</B></I>: <B>interferon<FONT FACE=Symbol>-g</FONT> and interleukin-4 mRNA expression</B>]]> This work aimed to study the T helper type 1/2 (Th1/Th2) cytokine profile in a co-infection murine model of Plasmodium chabaudi chabaudi and Leishmania infantum. Expression of interferon-gamma (IFN<FONT FACE=Symbol>-g</FONT>) and interleukin-4 (IL-4) was analyzed, in spleen and liver of C57BL/6 mice, by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction. High levels of IFN<FONT FACE=Symbol>-g</FONT> expression did not prevent the progression of Leishmania in co-infected mice and Leishmania infection did not interfere with the Th1/Th2 switch necessary for Plasmodium control. The presence of IL-4 at day 28 in co-infected mice, essential for Plasmodium elimination, was probably a key factor on the exacerbation of the Leishmania infection. <![CDATA[<B>Effect of food on immature development, consumption rate, and relative growth rate of <I>Toxorhynchites splendens</I> (Diptera: Culicidae), a predator of container breeding mosquitoes</B>]]> Food utilization by the larvae of Toxorhynchites splendens (Wiedemann) was studied in the laboratory by offering larvae of Aedes aegypti Linnaeus, Anopheles stephensi (Liston), and Culex quinquefasciatus (Say). Quantitative analyses of data indicated that immature development was significantly faster with increase in food availability. The regression analysis showed that the degrees of the relationship between immature duration (Id) and food availability were higher when offered early instars of prey (first and second instars) than late instars. Consumption rate (Cr) of the predator increased with increase in food availability and this relationship was highly significant when larvae of An. stephensi were offered as food. Consumption rate to food level decreased with increase in the age class of the prey. There was a significant negative correlation between Id and Cr. This aspect helps to increase population turnover of T. splendens in a shorter period when the prey is abundant. Conversely, the predator compensated the loss in daily food intake at low food level by extending Id thereby attains the minimum threshold pupal weight for adult emergence. There was an increase in the relative growth rate (RGR) of the predator when An. stephensi was offered as prey and this was related to the high protein content of the prey per body weight. There was a positive correlation between Cr and RGR. This adaptive life characteristic strategy of this predator is useful for mass-rearing for large scale field release programmes in the control of container breeding mosquitoes is discussed. <![CDATA[<B>Basic biology of <I>Pneumocystis carinii</i></B>: <B>a mini review</B>]]> Basic aspects of cell biology of Pneumocystis carinii are reviewed with major emphasis on its life cycle and the structural organization of the trophozoites and cyst forms. Initially considered as a protozoan it is now established that Pneumocystis belongs to the Fungi Kingdom. Its life cycle includes two basic forms: (a) trophozoites, which are haploid cells that divide by binary fission and may conjugate with each other forming an early procyst and (b) cysts where division takes place through a meiotic process with the formation of eight nuclei followed by cytoplasmic delimitation and formation of intracystic bodies which are subsequently released and transformed into trophozoites. Basic aspects of the structure of the two developmental stages of P. carinii are reviewed. <![CDATA[<B>Analysis of antenal sensilla patterns of <I>Rhodnius prolixus</I> from Colombia and Venezuela</B>]]> Antennal sensilla patterns were used to analyze population variation of domestic Rhodnius prolixus from six departments and states representing three biogeographical regions of Colombia and Venezuela. Discriminant analysis of the patterns of mechanoreceptors and of three types of chemoreceptors on the pedicel and flagellar segments showed clear differentiation between R. prolixus populations east and west of the Andean Cordillera. The distribution of thick and thin-walled trichoids on the second flagellar segment also showed correlation with latitude, but this was not seen in the patterns of other sensilla. The results of the sensilla patterns appear to be reflecting biogeographic features or population isolation rather than characters associated with different habitats and lend support to the idea that domestic R. prolixus originated in the eastern region of the Andes. <![CDATA[<B>Morphobiological aspects of <I>Rhodnius brethesi</I> Matta, 1919 (Hemiptera:Reduviidae) from the Upper and Middle Negro River, Amazon region of Brazil</B>: <B>I - scanning electron microscopy</B>]]> The occurrence of autochthonous cases of Chagas disease in the Amazon region of Brazil over recent decades has motivated an intensification of studies in this area. Different species of triatomines have been identified, and ten of these have be proven to be carriers of the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi or " cruzi-like " parasites. Studies conducted in the municipalities of Santa Isabel do Rio Negro and Barcelos, located on the Upper and Middle of the Negro River, microregion of Negro River, state of Amazonas have confirmed not only that Rhodnius brethesi is present in the palm tree Leopoldinia piassaba, but also that this insect was recognized by palm fiber collectors. A morphological study of eyes, inter-ocular and inter-ocellar regions, antennae, buccula, labrum, rostrum, stridulatory sulcus and feet, including the apex of the tibia, spongy fossette and ctenidium was conducted by scanning electron microscopy. The buccula and the stridulatory sulcus presented notable differences in specimens of different genera and also of different species. These data make it possible to suggest that the details presented in these structures can be included as diagnostic characteristics to be used in new dichotomous keys, thereby contributing towards studies of taxonomy and systematics and furnishing backing for comparative analysis of specimens collected from different localities. <![CDATA[<B><I>Candida</I> colonization in intensive care unit patients' urine</B>]]> The objective of this study was to identify possible predisposing factors for candiduria in intensive care unit (ICU) patients from Hospital das Clínicas, Universidade Federal de Goiás, Goiânia, Brazil, during one year. Urine samples from 153 ICU patients were obtained by catheterization on admission day and every seven days. Data such as sex, age, antifungal therapy, and variables as antibiotics, underlying diseases or comorbid conditions and stay in the hospital, were collected from patients who had at least one urine culture that yielded > 10³ yeast colonies/ml. Candiduria was recovered in 68 patients and the commonest predisposing factors were antibiotic therapy (100%) and indwelling urinary catheter (92.6%). The percentage of Candida spp. isolation increased during the extended periods in which patients remained in the ICU. C. albicans was isolated in 69.1%, and the other species non-albicans as C. glabrata, C. kefyr, C. parapsilosis, C. famata, C. guilliermondii, C. krusei, and C. tropicalis were isolated in lower percentage. The high frequency of candiduria and the possible predisposing factors found in ICU patients show that candiduria surveillance should be performed to help reducing nosocomial infections.