Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz]]> vol. num. AHEAD lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[Slow clearance of <em>Plasmodium vivax</em> with chloroquine amongst children younger than six months of age in the Brazilian Amazon]]> Plasmodium vivax is the most widespread parasite causing malaria, being especially prevalent in the Americas and Southeast Asia. Children are one of the most affected populations, especially in highly endemic areas. However, there are few studies evaluating the therapeutic response of infants with vivax malaria. This study retrospectively evaluated the parasitaemia clearance in children diagnosed with vivax malaria during the first five days of exclusive treatment with chloroquine (CQ). Infants aged less than six months old had a significantly slower parasitaemia clearance time compared to the group of infants and children between six months and 12 years old (Kaplan-Meier survival analysis; Wilcoxon test; p = 0.004). The impaired clearance of parasitaemia in younger children with vivax malaria is shown for the first time in Latin America. It is speculated that CQ pharmacokinetics in young children with vivax malaria is distinct, but this specific population may also allow the detection of CQ-resistant parasites during follow-up, due to the lack of previous immunity. <![CDATA[<em>Plasmodium simium/Plasmodium vivax</em> infections in southern brown howler monkeys from the Atlantic Forest]]> Blood infection by the simian parasite, Plasmodium simium, was identified in captive (n = 45, 4.4%) and in wild Alouatta clamitans monkeys (n = 20, 35%) from the Atlantic Forest of southern Brazil. A single malaria infection was symptomatic and the monkey presented clinical and haematological alterations. A high frequency of Plasmodium vivax-specific antibodies was detected among these monkeys, with 87% of the monkeys testing positive against P. vivax antigens. These findings highlight the possibility of malaria as a zoonosis in the remaining Atlantic Forest and its impact on the epidemiology of the disease. <![CDATA[Blood shizonticidal activities of phenazines and naphthoquinoidal compounds against <em>Plasmodium falciparum</em> in vitro and in mice malaria studies]]> Due to the recent advances of atovaquone, a naphthoquinone, through clinical trials as treatment for malarial infection, 19 quinone derivatives with previously reported structures were also evaluated for blood schizonticide activity against the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. These compounds include 2-hydroxy-3-methylamino naphthoquinones (2-9), lapachol (10), nor-lapachol (11), iso-lapachol (12), phthiocol (13) and phenazines (12-20). Their cytotoxicities were also evaluated against human hepatoma and normal monkey kidney cell lines. Compounds 2 and 5 showed the highest activity against P. falciparum chloroquine-resistant blood-stage parasites (clone W2), indicated by their low inhibitory concentration for 50% (IC50) of parasite growth. The therapeutic potential of the active compounds was evaluated according to the selectivity index, which is a ratio of the cytotoxicity minimum lethal dose which eliminates 50% of cells and the in vitro IC50. Naphthoquinones 2 and 5, with activities similar to the reference antimalarial chloroquine, were also active against malaria in mice and suppressed parasitaemia by more than 60% in contrast to compound 11 which was inactive. Based on their in vitro and in vivo activities, compounds 2 and 5 are considered promising molecules for antimalarial treatment and warrant further study. <![CDATA[Antibody recognition of <em>Plasmodium falciparum</em> infected red blood cells by symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals in the Brazilian Amazon]]> In the Amazon Region, there is a virtual absence of severe malaria and few fatal cases of naturally occurring Plasmodium falciparum infections; this presents an intriguing and underexplored area of research. In addition to the rapid access of infected persons to effective treatment, one cause of this phenomenon might be the recognition of cytoadherent variant proteins on the infected red blood cell (IRBC) surface, including the var gene encoded P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1. In order to establish a link between cytoadherence, IRBC surface antibody recognition and the presence or absence of malaria symptoms, we phenotype-selected four Amazonian P. falciparum isolates and the laboratory strain 3D7 for their cytoadherence to CD36 and ICAM1 expressed on CHO cells. We then mapped the dominantly expressed var transcripts and tested whether antibodies from symptomatic or asymptomatic infections showed a differential recognition of the IRBC surface. As controls, the 3D7 lineages expressing severe disease-associated phenotypes were used. We showed that there was no profound difference between the frequency and intensity of antibody recognition of the IRBC-exposed P. falciparum proteins in symptomatic vs. asymptomatic infections. The 3D7 lineages, which expressed severe malaria-associated phenotypes, were strongly recognised by most, but not all plasmas, meaning that the recognition of these phenotypes is frequent in asymptomatic carriers, but is not necessarily a prerequisite to staying free of symptoms. <![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>]]> 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]]> 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]]> 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]]> 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[<em>Anopheles gambiae</em> eicosanoids modulate <em>Plasmodium berghei</em> survival from oocyst to salivary gland invasion]]> Eicosanoids affect the immunity of several pathogen/insect models, but their role on the Anopheles gambiae response to Plasmodium is still unknown. Plasmodium berghei-infected mosquitoes were injected with an eicosanoid biosynthesis inhibitor, indomethacin (IN), or a substrate, arachidonic acid (AA), at day 7 or day 12 post-infection (p.i.). Salivary gland invasion was evaluated by sporozoite counts at day 21 p.i. IN promoted infection upon sporozoite release from oocysts, but inhibited infection when sporozoites were still maturing within the oocysts, as observed by a reduction in the number of sporozoites reaching the salivary glands. AA treatment had the opposite effect. We show for the first time that An. gambiae can modulate parasite survival through eicosanoids by exerting an antagonistic or agonistic effect on the parasite, depending on its stage of development. <![CDATA[Is imidacloprid an effective alternative for controlling pyrethroid-resistant populations of <em>Triatoma infestans</em> (Hemiptera: Reduviidae) in the Gran Chaco ecoregion?]]> 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]]> 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[G6PD deficiency in Latin America: systematic review on prevalence and variants]]> Plasmodium vivax radical cure requires the use of primaquine (PQ), a drug that induces haemolysis in glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficient (G6PDd) individuals, which further hampers malaria control efforts. The aim of this work was to study the G6PDd prevalence and variants in Latin America (LA) and the Caribbean region. A systematic search of the published literature was undertaken in August 2013. Bibliographies of manuscripts were also searched and additional references were identified. Low prevalence rates of G6PDd were documented in Argentina, Bolivia, Mexico, Peru and Uruguay, but studies from Curaçao, Ecuador, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, Suriname and Trinidad, as well as some surveys carried out in areas of Brazil, Colombia and Cuba, have shown a high prevalence (&gt; 10%) of G6PDd. The G6PD A-202A mutation was the variant most broadly distributed across LA and was identified in 81.1% of the deficient individuals surveyed. G6PDd is a frequent phenomenon in LA, although certain Amerindian populations may not be affected, suggesting that PQ could be safely used in these specific populations. Population-wide use of PQ as part of malaria elimination strategies in LA cannot be supported unless a rapid, accurate and field-deployable G6PDd diagnostic test is made available. <![CDATA[Influence of age on the haemoglobin concentration of malaria-infected patients in a reference centre in the Brazilian Amazon]]> Anaemia is amongst the major complications of malaria, a major public health problem in the Amazon Region in Latin America. We examined the haemoglobin (Hb) concentrations of malaria-infected patients and compared it to that of malaria-negative febrile patients and afebrile controls. The haematological parameters of febrile patients who had a thick-blood-smear performed at an infectious diseases reference centre of the Brazilian Amazon between December 2009-January 2012 were retrieved together with clinical data. An afebrile community control group was composed from a survey performed in a malaria-endemic area. Hb concentrations and anaemia prevalence were analysed according to clinical-epidemiological status and demographic characteristics. In total, 7,831 observations were included. Patients with Plasmodium falciparum infection had lower mean Hb concentrations (10.5 g/dL) followed by P. vivax-infected individuals (12.4 g/dL), community controls (12.8 g/dL) and malaria-negative febrile patients (13.1 g/dL) (p &lt; 0.001). Age, gender and clinical-epidemiological status were strong independent predictors for both outcomes. Amongst malaria-infected individuals, women in the reproductive age had considerably lower Hb concentrations. In this moderate transmission intensity setting, both vivax and falciparum malaria are associated with reduced Hb concentrations and risk of anaemia throughout a wide age range. <![CDATA[Estimation of <em>Aedes aegypti</em> (Diptera: Culicidae) population size and adult male survival in an urban area in Panama]]> 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[Drug discovery for Chagas disease should consider <em>Trypanosoma cruzi</em> strain diversity]]> 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[<b>WITHDRAWN: Description of a new phlebotomine species from Argentina, <i>Evandromyia chacoensis</i> sp. n. (Diptera: Psychodidae: Phlebotominae)</b>]]> <![CDATA[Serologic survey of West Nile virus in horses from Central-West, Northeast and Southeast Brazil]]> 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]]> 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]]> 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]]> 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]]> 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.