Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz]]> http://www.scielo.br/rss.php?pid=0074-027620080050&lang=en vol. num. AHEAD lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> http://www.scielo.br/img/en/fbpelogp.gif http://www.scielo.br <![CDATA[Evaluation of four molecular methods for the diagnosis of tuberculosis in pulmonary and blood samples from immunocompromised patients]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0074-02762014005030542&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The present study analysed the concordance among four different molecular diagnostic methods for tuberculosis (TB) in pulmonary and blood samples from immunocompromised patients. A total of 165 blood and 194 sputum samples were collected from 181 human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients with upper respiratory complaints, regardless of suspicious for TB. The samples were submitted for smear microscopy, culture and molecular tests: a laboratory-developed conventional polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR) and the Gen-Probe and Detect-TB Ampligenix kits. The samples were handled blindly by all the technicians involved, from sample processing to results analysis. For sputum, the sensitivity and specificity were 100% and 96.7% for qPCR, 81.8% and 94.5% for Gen-Probe and 100% and 66.3% for Detect-TB, respectively. qPCR presented the best concordance with sputum culture [kappa (k) = 0.864)], followed by Gen-Probe (k = 0.682). For blood samples, qPCR showed 100% sensitivity and 92.3% specificity, with a substantial correlation with sputum culture (k = 0.754) and with the qPCR results obtained from sputum of the corresponding patient (k = 0.630). Conventional PCR demonstrated the worst results for sputa and blood, with a sensitivity of 100% vs. 88.9% and a specificity of 46.3% vs. 32%, respectively. Commercial or laboratory-developed molecular assays can overcome the difficulties in the diagnosis of TB in paucibacillary patients using conventional methods available in most laboratories. <![CDATA[The first report of the <em>vanC</em><sub><em>1</em></sub> gene in <em>Enterococcus faecium</em> isolated from a human clinical specimen]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0074-02762014005040019&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The vanC1 gene, which is chromosomally located, confers resistance to vancomycin and serves as a species marker for Enterococcus gallinarum. Enterococcus faecium TJ4031 was isolated from a blood culture and harbours the vanC1gene. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays were performed to detect vanXYc and vanTc genes. Only the vanXYc gene was found in the E. faecium TJ4031 isolate. The minimum inhibitory concentrations of vancomycin and teicoplanin were 2 µg/mL and 1 µg/mL, respectively. Real-time reverse transcription-PCR results revealed that the vanC1and vanXYc genes were not expressed. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and southern hybridisation results showed that the vanC1 gene was encoded in the chromosome. E. faecalis isolated from animals has been reported to harbour vanC1gene. However, this study is the first to report the presence of the vanC1gene in E. faecium of human origin. Additionally, our research showed the vanC1gene cannot serve as a species-specific gene of E. gallinarum and that it is able to be transferred between bacteria. Although the resistance marker is not expressed in the strain, our results showed that E. faecium could acquire the vanC1gene from different species. <![CDATA[Domestic, peridomestic and wild hosts in the transmission of <em>Trypanosoma cruzi</em> in the <em>Caatinga</em> area colonised by <em>Triatoma brasiliensis</em>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0074-02762014005040048&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The role played by different mammal species in the maintenance of Trypanosoma cruzi is not constant and varies in time and place. This study aimed to characterise the importance of domestic, wild and peridomestic hosts in the transmission of T. cruzi in Tauá, state of Ceará, Caatinga area, Brazil, with an emphasis on those environments colonised by Triatoma brasiliensis. Direct parasitological examinations were performed on insects and mammals, serologic tests were performed on household and outdoor mammals and multiplex polymerase chain reaction was used on wild mammals. Cytochrome b was used as a food source for wild insects. The serum prevalence in dogs was 38% (20/53), while in pigs it was 6% (2/34). The percentages of the most abundantly infected wild animals were as follows: Thrichomys laurentius 74% (83/112) and Kerodon rupestris 10% (11/112). Of the 749 triatomines collected in the household research, 49.3% (369/749) were positive for T. brasiliensis, while 6.8% were infected with T. cruzi (25/369). In captured animals, T. brasiliensis shares a natural environment with T. laurentius, K. rupestris, Didelphis albiventris, Monodelphis domestica, Galea spixii, Wiedomys pyrrhorhinos, Conepatus semistriatus and Mus musculus. In animals identified via their food source, T. brasiliensis shares a natural environment with G. spixii, K. rupestris, Capra hircus, Gallus gallus, Tropidurus oreadicus and Tupinambis merianae. The high prevalence of T. cruzi in household and peridomiciliar animals reinforces the narrow relationship between the enzootic cycle and humans in environments with T. brasiliensis and characterises it as ubiquitous. <![CDATA[Assessment of immunological changes in Epstein-Barr virus co-infection in Egyptian chronic HCV patients]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0074-02762014005040049&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) plays a major role in liver pathology. Similar to other members of the herpesvirus family, EBV establishes a persistent infection in more than 90% of adults. The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of EBV and chronic hepatitis C co-infection (HCV) on biochemical and immunological responses in patients. The study was conducted in 62 patients and 33 apparently healthy controls. Patients were divided into three groups: group I, consisting of 31 patients with chronic hepatitis C infection (CHC), group II, consisting of eight patients with EBV infection and without HCV infection and group III, consisting of 23 patients with EBV and chronic HCV. The percentage of CD3+ cells, helper CD4+ cells and CD19+ B-cells was measured by flow cytometry. Human interferon-γ (IFN-γ) and interleukin (IL)-15 levels were measured by an ELISA. The levels of liver alanine aminotransferase and aspartate aminotransferase enzymes were higher in EBV/HCV patients compared to that in EBV and HCV mono-infected patients. EBV/HCV patients had significantly reduced percentages of CD3+ and CD4+ cells compared to EBV patients. Serum IFN-γ levels were significantly reduced in EBV/HCV patients (3.86 pg/mL) compared to CHC patients (6.76 pg/mL) and normal controls (4.69 pg/mL). A significant increase in serum IL-15 levels was observed in EBV/HCV patients (67.7 pg/mL) compared to EBV patients (29.3 pg/mL). Taken together, these observations suggest that HCV and EBV co-infection can potentiate immune response dampening in patients. <![CDATA[High prevalence of occult hepatitis B virus genotype H infection among children with clinical hepatitis in west Mexico]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0074-02762014005040058&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Studies on the prevalence of infection with hepatitis B virus (HBV) among children are scarce in Latin American countries, especially in Mexico. This study was aimed to investigate the prevalence of HBV infection, occult hepatitis B infection (OBI) and HBV genotypes among children with clinical hepatitis. In total, 215 children with clinical hepatitis were evaluated for HBV infection. HBV serological markers and HBV DNA were analysed. OBI diagnosis and HBV genotyping was performed. HBV infection was found in 11.2% of children with clinical hepatitis. Among these HBV DNA positive-infected children, OBI was identified in 87.5% (n = 21/24) of the cases and 12.5% (n = 3/24) were positive for both HBV DNA and hepatitis B surface antigen. OBI was more frequent among children who had not been vaccinated against hepatitis B (p &lt; 0.05) than in those who had been vaccinated. HBV genotype H was prevalent in 71% of the children followed by genotype G (8%) and genotype A (4%). In conclusion, OBI is common among Mexican children with clinical hepatitis and is associated with HBV genotype H. The results show the importance of the molecular diagnosis of HBV infection in Mexican paediatric patients with clinical hepatitis and emphasise the necessity of reinforcing hepatitis B vaccination in children. <![CDATA[Prevalence of human papillomavirus infection, distribution of viral types and risk factors in cervical samples from human immunodeficiency virus-positive women attending three human immunodeficiency virus-acquired immune deficiency syndrome reference centres in northeastern Brazil]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0074-02762014005040070&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive patients have a greater prevalence of coinfection with human papillomavirus (HPV) is of high oncogenic risk. Indeed, the presence of the virus favours intraepithelial squamous cell lesion progression and may induce cancer. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of HPV infection, distribution of HPV types and risk factors among HIV-positive patients. Cervical samples from 450 HIV-positive patients were analysed with regard to oncotic cytology, colposcopy and HPV presence and type by means of polymerase chain reaction and sequencing. The results were analysed by comparing demographic data and data relating to HPV and HIV infection. The prevalence of HPV was 47.5%. Among the HPV-positive samples, 59% included viral types of high oncogenic risk. Multivariate analysis showed an association between HPV infection and the presence of cytological alterations (p = 0.003), age greater than or equal to 35 years (p = 0.002), number of partners greater than three (p = 0.002), CD4+ lymphocyte count &lt; 200/mm3 (p = 0.041) and alcohol abuse (p = 0.004). Although high-risk HPV was present in the majority of the lesions studied, the low frequency of HPV 16 (3.3%), low occurrence of cervical lesions and preserved immunological state in most of the HIV-positive patients were factors that may explain the low occurrence of precancerous cervical lesions in this population. <![CDATA[Inflammatory response of endothelial cells to hepatitis C virus recombinant envelope glycoprotein 2 protein exposure]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0074-02762014005040090&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The hepatitis C virus (HCV) encodes approximately 10 different structural and non-structural proteins, including the envelope glycoprotein 2 (E2). HCV proteins, especially the envelope proteins, bind to cell receptors and can damage tissues. Endothelial inflammation is the most important determinant of fibrosis progression and, consequently, cirrhosis. The aim of this study was to evaluate and compare the inflammatory response of endothelial cells to two recombinant forms of the HCV E2 protein produced in different expression systems (Escherichia coli and Pichia pastoris). We observed the induction of cell death and the production of nitric oxide, hydrogen peroxide, interleukin-8 and vascular endothelial growth factor A in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) stimulated by the two recombinant E2 proteins. The E2-induced apoptosis of HUVECs was confirmed using the molecular marker PARP. The apoptosis rescue observed when the antioxidant N-acetylcysteine was used suggests that reactive oxygen species are involved in E2-induced apoptosis. We propose that these proteins are involved in the chronic inflammation caused by HCV. <![CDATA[JVG9, a benzimidazole derivative, alters the surface and cytoskeleton of <em>Trypanosoma cruzi</em> bloodstream trypomastigotes]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0074-02762014005040096&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Trypanosoma cruzi has a particular cytoskeleton that consists of a subpellicular network of microtubules and actin microfilaments. Therefore, it is an excellent target for the development of new anti-parasitic drugs. Benzimidazole 2-carbamates, a class of well-known broad-spectrum anthelmintics, have been shown to inhibit the in vitro growth of many protozoa. Therefore, to find efficient anti-trypanosomal (trypanocidal) drugs, our group has designed and synthesised several benzimidazole derivatives. One, named JVG9 (5-chloro-1H-benzimidazole-2-thiol), has been found to be effective against T. cruzi bloodstream trypomastigotes under both in vitro and in vivo conditions. Here, we present the in vitro effects observed by laser scanning confocal and scanning electron microscopy on T. cruzi trypomastigotes. Changes in the surface and the distribution of the cytoskeletal proteins are consistent with the hypothesis that the trypanocidal activity of JVG9 involves the cytoskeleton as a target. <![CDATA[Is imidacloprid an effective alternative for controlling pyrethroid-resistant populations of <em>Triatoma infestans</em> (Hemiptera: Reduviidae) in the Gran Chaco ecoregion?]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0074-02762014005040100&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The prevention of Chagas disease is based primarily on the chemical control of Triatoma infestans (Klug) using pyrethroid insecticides. However, high resistance levels, correlated with control failures, have been detected in Argentina and Bolivia. A previous study at our laboratory found that imidacloprid could serve as an alternative to pyrethroid insecticides. We studied the delayed toxicity of imidacloprid and the influence of the blood feeding condition of the insect on the toxicity of this insecticide; we also studied the effectiveness of various commercial imidacloprid formulations against a pyrethroid-resistant T. infestans population from the Gran Chaco ecoregion. Variations in the toxic effects of imidacloprid were not observed up to 72 h after exposure and were not found to depend on the blood feeding condition of susceptible and resistant individuals. Of the three different studied formulations of imidacloprid on glass and filter paper, only the spot-on formulation was effective. This formulation was applied to pigeons at doses of 1, 5, 20 and 40 mg/bird. The nymphs that fed on pigeons treated with 20 mg or 40 mg of the formulation showed a higher mortality rate than the control group one day and seven days post-treatment (p &lt; 0.01). A spot-on formulation of imidacloprid was effective against pyrethroid-resistant T. infestans populations at the laboratory level. <![CDATA[Molecular detection of Mayaro virus during a dengue outbreak in the state of Mato Grosso, Central-West Brazil]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0074-02762014005040108&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Mayaro virus (MAYV) is frequently reported in Pan-Amazonia. The aim of this study was to investigate the circulation of alphaviruses during a dengue outbreak in the state of Mato Grosso, Brazil. Serum samples from dengue-suspected patients were subjected to multiplex semi-nested reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction for 11 flaviviruses and five alphaviruses, to nucleotide sequencing and to viral isolation. MAYV was detected in 15 (2.5%) of 604 patients. Twelve were co-infected with dengue virus 4, which was isolated from 10 patients. The molecular detection of MAYV in dengue-suspected patients suggests that other arboviruses may be silently circulating during dengue outbreaks in Brazil. <![CDATA[Culture of mouse peritoneal macrophages with mouse serum induces lipid bodies that associate with the parasitophorous vacuole and decrease their microbicidal capacity against <em>Toxoplasma gondii</em>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0074-02762014005040119&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Lipid bodies [lipid droplets (LBs)] are lipid-rich organelles involved in lipid metabolism, signalling and inflammation. Recent findings suggest a role for LBs in host response to infection; however, the potential functions of this organelle in Toxoplasma gondii infection and how it alters macrophage microbicidal capacity during infection are not well understood. Here, we investigated the role of host LBs in T. gondii infection in mouse peritoneal macrophages in vitro. Macrophages cultured with mouse serum (MS) had higher numbers of LBs than those cultured in foetal bovine serum and can function as a model to study the role of LBs during intracellular pathogen infection. LBs were found in association with the parasitophorous vacuole, suggesting that T. gondii may benefit from this lipid source. Moreover, increased numbers of macrophage LBs correlated with high prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) production and decreased nitric oxide (NO) synthesis. Accordingly, LB-enriched macrophages cultured with MS were less efficient at controlling T. gondii growth. Treatment of macrophages cultured with MS with indomethacin, an inhibitor of PGE2 production, increased the microbicidal capacity against T. gondii. Collectively, these results suggest that culture with MS caused a decrease in microbicidal activity of macrophages against T. gondii by increasing PGE2 while lowering NO production. <![CDATA[Discrepancies between <em>Aedes aegypti</em> identification in the field and in the laboratory after collection with a sticky trap]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0074-02762014005040125&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Currently, sticky traps are regularly employed to assist in the surveillance of Aedes aegypti infestation. We tested two alternative procedures for specimen identification performed by local health agents: directly in the field, as recommended by certain manufacturers, or after transportation to the laboratory. A total of 384 sticky traps (MosquiTRAP) were monitored monthly during one year in four geographically representative Brazilian municipalities. When the same samples were inspected in the field and in the laboratory, large differences were noted in the total number of mosquitoes recorded and in the number of specimens identified as Ae. aegypti by both procedures. Although field identification has the potential to speed vector surveillance, these results point to uncertainties in the evaluated protocol. <![CDATA[Estimation of <em>Aedes aegypti</em> (Diptera: Culicidae) population size and adult male survival in an urban area in Panama]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0074-02762014005040136&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Traditional mosquito control strategies rely heavily on the use of chemical insecticides. However, concerns about the efficiency of traditional control methods, environmental impact and emerging pesticide resistance have highlighted the necessity for developing innovative tools for mosquito control. Some novel strategies, including release of insects carrying a dominant lethal gene (RIDL®), rely on the sustained release of modified male mosquitoes and therefore benefit from a thorough understanding of the biology of the male of the species. In this report we present the results of a mark-release-recapture study aimed at: (i) establishing the survival in the field of laboratory-reared, wild-type male Aedes aegypti and (b) estimating the size of the local adult Ae. aegypti population. The study took place in Panama, a country where recent increases in the incidence and severity of dengue cases have prompted health authorities to evaluate alternative strategies for vector control. Results suggest a life expectancy of 2.3 days for released male mosquitoes (confidence interval: 1.78-2.86). Overall, the male mosquito population was estimated at 58 males/ha (range 12-81 males/ha), which can be extrapolated to an average of 0.64 pupae/person for the study area. The practical implications of these results are discussed. <![CDATA[Social and immunological differences among uninfected Brazilians exposed or unexposed to human immunodeficiency virus-infected partners]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0074-02762014005040140&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Understanding the social conditions and immunological characteristics that allow some human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-exposed patients to remain uninfected represents an on-going challenge. In this study, the socio-demographic and sexual behaviour characteristics and immune activation profiles of uninfected individuals exposed to HIV-infected partners were investigated. A confidential and detailed questionnaire was administered and venous blood was tested using HIV-1/enzyme immunoassays, plasma HIV-1 RNA levels/bDNA and immunophenotyping/flow cytometry to determine the frequencies of CD4 and CD8 T cells expressing activation markers. The data analysis showed significant differences (p &lt; 0.05) for immune parameters in individuals who were uninfected, albeit exposed to HIV-infected partners, compared with unexposed individuals. In particular, the exposed, uninfected individuals had a higher frequency (median, minimum-maximum) of CD4+HLA-DR+ (4.2, 1.8-6.1), CD8+HLA-DR+ (4.6, 0.9-13.7), CD4+CD45RO+ (27.5, 14.2-46.6), CD4+CD45RO+CD62L+ (46.7, 33.9-67.1), CD8+CD45RA+HLA-DR+ (12.1, 3.4-35.8) and CD8+CD45RO+HLA-DR+ (9.0, 3.2-14.8) cells, a decreased percentage of CD8+CD28+ cells (11.7, 4.5-24.0) and a lower cell-surface expression of Fcγ-R/CD16 on monocytes (56.5, 22.0-130.0). The plasma HIV-1 RNA levels demonstrated detectable RNA virus loads in 57% of the HIV-1+ female partners. These findings demonstrate an activation profile in both CD4 and CD8 peripheral T cells from HIV-1 exposed seronegative individuals of serodiscordant couples from a referral centre in Belo Horizonte, state of Minas Gerais. <![CDATA[Drug discovery for Chagas disease should consider <em>Trypanosoma cruzi</em> strain diversity]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0074-02762014005040156&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This opinion piece presents an approach to standardisation of an important aspect of Chagas disease drug discovery and development: selecting Trypanosoma cruzi strains for in vitro screening. We discuss the rationale for strain selection representing T. cruzi diversity and provide recommendations on the preferred parasite stage for drug discovery, T. cruzi discrete typing units to include in the panel of strains and the number of strains/clones for primary screens and lead compounds. We also consider experimental approaches for in vitro drug assays. The Figure illustrates the current Chagas disease drug-discovery and development landscape. <![CDATA[Updated distribution of Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae) in Spain: new findings in the mainland Spanish Levante, 2013]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0074-02762014005040214&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en In 2004, Aedes (Stegomyia) albopictus (Skuse, 1894) was observed for the first time in Catalonia, northeastern Spain. A decade later, it has spread throughout the eastern Mediterranean region of the country and the Balearic Islands. Framed within a national surveillance project, we present the results of monitoring in 2013 in the autonomous communities of the mainland Levante. The current study reveals a remarkable increase in the spread of the invasive mosquito in relation to results from 2012; the species was present and well-established in 48 municipalities, most of which were along the Mediterranean coastline from the Valencian Community to the Region of Murcia. <![CDATA[<b>WITHDRAWN: Description of a new phlebotomine species from Argentina, <i>Evandromyia chacoensis</i> sp. n. (Diptera: Psychodidae: Phlebotominae)</b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0074-02762008005000019&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en <![CDATA[Serologic survey of West Nile virus in horses from Central-West, Northeast and Southeast Brazil]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0074-02762013005030052&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Since the emergence of West Nile virus (WNV) in North America in 1999, there have been several reports of WNV activity in Central and South American countries. To detect WNV in Brazil, we performed a serological survey of horses from different regions of Brazil using recombinant peptides from domain III of WNV. Positive samples were validated with the neutralisation test. Our results showed that of 79 ELISA-positive horses, nine expressed WNV-specific neutralising antibodies. Eight of the infected horses were from the state of Mato Grosso do Sul and one was from the state of Paraíba. Our results provide additional evidence for the emergence of WNV in Brazil and for its circulation in multiple regions of the country. <![CDATA[Prevalence of plasmid-mediated quinolone resistance determinants among oxyiminocephalosporin-resistant Enterobacteriaceae in Argentina]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0074-02762013005030084&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en High quinolone resistance rates were observed among oxyiminocephalosporin-resistant enterobacteria. In the present study, we searched for the prevalence of plasmid-mediated quinolone resistance (PMQR) genes within the 55 oxyiminocephalosporin-resistant enterobacteria collected in a previous survey. The main PMQR determinants were aac(6')-Ib-cr and qnrB, which had prevalence rates of 42.4% and 33.3%, respectively. The aac(6')-Ib-cr gene was more frequently found in CTX-M-15-producing isolates, while qnrB was homogeneously distributed among all CTX-M producers. <![CDATA[Infection in a rat model reactivates attenuated virulence after long-term axenic culture of <italic>Acanthamoeba</italic> spp]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0074-02762013005030099&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Prolonged culturing of many microorganisms leads to the loss of virulence and a reduction of their infective capacity. However, little is known about the changes in the pathogenic strains of Acanthamoeba after long culture periods. Our study evaluated the effect of prolonged culturing on the invasiveness of different isolates of Acanthamoeba in an in vivo rat model. ATCC strains of Acanthamoeba, isolates from the environment and clinical cases were evaluated. The in vivo model was effective in establishing the infection and differentiating the pathogenicity of the isolates and re-isolates. The amoebae cultured in the laboratory for long periods were less virulent than those that were recently isolated, confirming the importance of passing Acanthamoeba strains in animal models. <![CDATA[Evaluation of a chemiluminescent enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for the diagnosis of <italic>Trypanosoma cruzi</italic> infection in a nonendemic setting]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0074-02762013005030112&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The disappearance of lytic, protective antibodies (Abs) from the serum of patients with Chagas disease is accepted as a reliable indicator of parasitological cure. The efficiency of a chemiluminescent enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay based on a purified, trypomastigote-derived glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored mucin antigen for the serologic detection of lytic Abs against Trypanosoma cruzi was evaluated in a nonendemic setting using a panel of 92 positive and 58 negative human sera. The technique proved to be highly sensitive {100%; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 96-100} and specific (98.3%; 95% CI = 90.7-99.7), with a kappa score of 0.99. Therefore, this assay can be used to detect active T. cruzi infection and to monitor trypanosomicidal treatment. <![CDATA[Schistogram changes after administration of antischistosomal drugs in mice at the early phase of <italic>Schistosoma mansoni</italic> infection]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0074-02762013005030135&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Mice infected with Schistosoma mansoni were treated with oxamniquine, praziquantel, artesunate at the pre-patent phase, aiming at observing schistogram alterations. Half of the animals were perfused five days post-treatment for counting and classification of immature worms, based on pre-established morphological criteria (schistogram); the remaining animals were evaluated 42 or 100 days after infection and perfusion of the portal-system was performed for collection and counting of adult worms and oogram. It was observed that oxamniquine and artesunate treatment administered at the pre-postural phase causes significant reduction in the number of immature and adult worms. However, there was little reduction with praziquantel when used at the dose of 400 mg/kg for treatments administered 14, 15, 21 or 23 days post-infection. Artesunate was responsible for significant alterations in development of young worms, as well as for a higher number of worms presenting intestinal damages. Immature adult worms were detected in mice treated with artesunate or oxamniquine at the pre-patent phase of infection and recovered by perfusion 100 days after infection. Schistogram proved to be a very useful tool for experimental evaluation of the activity of antischistosomal drugs and a good model to identify the most sensitive stages to drugs.