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[Comparative serology techniques for the diagnosis of <em>Trypanosoma cruzi </em>infection in a rural population from the state of Querétaro, Mexico]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0074-02762014005030413&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Immunological diagnostic methods for Trypanosoma cruzi depend specifically on the presence of antibodies and parasitological methods lack sensitivity during the chronic and “indeterminate” stages of the disease. This study performed a serological survey of 1,033 subjects from 52 rural communities in 12 of the 18 municipalities in the state of Querétaro, Mexico. We detected anti-T. cruzi antibodies using the following tests: indirect haemagglutination assay (IHA), indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA), ELISA and recombinant ELISA (rELISA). We also performed Western blot (WB) analysis using iron superoxide dismutase (FeSOD), a detoxifying enzyme excreted by the parasite, as the antigen. Positive test results were distributed as follows: ELISA 8%, rELISA 6.2%, IFA and IHA 5.4% in both cases and FeSOD 8%. A comparative study of the five tests was undertaken. Sensitivity levels, specificity, positive and negative predictive values, concordance percentage and kappa index were considered. Living with animals, trips to other communities, gender, age, type of housing and symptomatology at the time of the survey were statistically analysed using SPSS software v.11.5. Detection of the FeSOD enzyme that was secreted by the parasite and used as an antigenic fraction in WBs showed a 100% correlation with traditional ELISA tests. <![CDATA[Comparative serology techniques for the diagnosis of <em>Trypanosoma cruzi </em>infection in a rural population from the state of Querétaro, Mexico]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0074-02762014005030413&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Immunological diagnostic methods for Trypanosoma cruzi depend specifically on the presence of antibodies and parasitological methods lack sensitivity during the chronic and “indeterminate” stages of the disease. This study performed a serological survey of 1,033 subjects from 52 rural communities in 12 of the 18 municipalities in the state of Querétaro, Mexico. We detected anti-T. cruzi antibodies using the following tests: indirect haemagglutination assay (IHA), indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA), ELISA and recombinant ELISA (rELISA). We also performed Western blot (WB) analysis using iron superoxide dismutase (FeSOD), a detoxifying enzyme excreted by the parasite, as the antigen. Positive test results were distributed as follows: ELISA 8%, rELISA 6.2%, IFA and IHA 5.4% in both cases and FeSOD 8%. A comparative study of the five tests was undertaken. Sensitivity levels, specificity, positive and negative predictive values, concordance percentage and kappa index were considered. Living with animals, trips to other communities, gender, age, type of housing and symptomatology at the time of the survey were statistically analysed using SPSS software v.11.5. Detection of the FeSOD enzyme that was secreted by the parasite and used as an antigenic fraction in WBs showed a 100% correlation with traditional ELISA tests. <![CDATA[Current status of <em>Paragonimus</em> and paragonimiasis in Ecuador]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0074-02762014005040042&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en A review of national and international publications on paragonimiasis in Ecuador, epidemiological records from the Ministry of Public Health and unpublished research data was conducted to summarise the current status of the parasite/disease. The purpose of the review is to educate physicians, policy-makers and health providers on the status of the disease and to stimulate scientific investigators to conduct further research. Paragonimiasis was first diagnosed in Ecuador 94 years ago and it is endemic to both tropical and subtropical regions in 19 of 24 provinces in the Pacific Coast and Amazon regions. Paragonimus mexicanus is the only known species in the country, with the mollusc Aroapyrgus colombiensis and the crabs Moreirocarcinus emarginatus, Hypolobocera chilensis and Hypolobocera aequatorialis being the primary and secondary intermediate hosts, respectively. Recent studies found P. mexicanus metacercariae in Trichodactylus faxoni crabs of the northern Amazon. Chronic pulmonary paragonimiasis is commonly misdiagnosed and treated as tuberculosis and although studies have demonstrated the efficacy of praziquantel and triclabendazole for the treatment of human infections, neither drug is available in Ecuador. Official data recorded from 1978-2007 indicate an annual incidence of 85.5 cases throughout the 19 provinces, with an estimated 17.2% of the population at risk of infection. There are no current data on the incidence/prevalence of infection, nor is there a national control programme. <![CDATA[Current status of <em>Paragonimus</em> and paragonimiasis in Ecuador]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0074-02762014005040042&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en A review of national and international publications on paragonimiasis in Ecuador, epidemiological records from the Ministry of Public Health and unpublished research data was conducted to summarise the current status of the parasite/disease. The purpose of the review is to educate physicians, policy-makers and health providers on the status of the disease and to stimulate scientific investigators to conduct further research. Paragonimiasis was first diagnosed in Ecuador 94 years ago and it is endemic to both tropical and subtropical regions in 19 of 24 provinces in the Pacific Coast and Amazon regions. Paragonimus mexicanus is the only known species in the country, with the mollusc Aroapyrgus colombiensis and the crabs Moreirocarcinus emarginatus, Hypolobocera chilensis and Hypolobocera aequatorialis being the primary and secondary intermediate hosts, respectively. Recent studies found P. mexicanus metacercariae in Trichodactylus faxoni crabs of the northern Amazon. Chronic pulmonary paragonimiasis is commonly misdiagnosed and treated as tuberculosis and although studies have demonstrated the efficacy of praziquantel and triclabendazole for the treatment of human infections, neither drug is available in Ecuador. Official data recorded from 1978-2007 indicate an annual incidence of 85.5 cases throughout the 19 provinces, with an estimated 17.2% of the population at risk of infection. There are no current data on the incidence/prevalence of infection, nor is there a national control programme. <![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[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[Phlebotomine fauna, natural infection rate and feeding habits of <em>Lutzomyia cruzi</em> in Jaciara, state of Mato Grosso, Brazil]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0074-02762014005040112&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) in Brazil is transmitted by the phlebotomine Lutzomyia longipalpis and in some midwestern regions by Lutzomyia cruzi. Studies of the phlebotomine fauna, feeding habits and natural infection rate by Leishmania contribute to increased understanding of the epidemiological chain of leishmaniases and their vectorial capacity. Collections were performed in Jaciara, state of Mato Grosso from 2010-2013, during which time 2,011 phlebotomines (23 species) were captured (68.70% Lu. cruzi and 20.52% Lutzomyia whitmani). Lu. cruzi females were identified by observing the shapes of the cibarium (a portion of the mouthpart) and spermatheca, from which samples were obtained for polymerase chain reaction to determine the rates of natural infection. Engorged phlebotomines were assessed to identify the blood-meal host by ELISA. A moderate correlation was discovered between the number of Lu. cruzi and the temperature and the minimum rate of infection was 6.10%. Twenty-two females were reactive to the antisera of bird (28%), dog (3.30%) and skunk (1.60%). We conclude that Lu. cruzi and Lu. whitmani have adapted to the urban environment in this region and that Lu. cruzi is the most likely vector of VL in Jaciara. Moreover, maintenance of Leishmania in the environment is likely aided by the presence of birds and domestic and synanthropic animals. <![CDATA[Phlebotomine fauna, natural infection rate and feeding habits of <em>Lutzomyia cruzi</em> in Jaciara, state of Mato Grosso, Brazil]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0074-02762014005040112&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) in Brazil is transmitted by the phlebotomine Lutzomyia longipalpis and in some midwestern regions by Lutzomyia cruzi. Studies of the phlebotomine fauna, feeding habits and natural infection rate by Leishmania contribute to increased understanding of the epidemiological chain of leishmaniases and their vectorial capacity. Collections were performed in Jaciara, state of Mato Grosso from 2010-2013, during which time 2,011 phlebotomines (23 species) were captured (68.70% Lu. cruzi and 20.52% Lutzomyia whitmani). Lu. cruzi females were identified by observing the shapes of the cibarium (a portion of the mouthpart) and spermatheca, from which samples were obtained for polymerase chain reaction to determine the rates of natural infection. Engorged phlebotomines were assessed to identify the blood-meal host by ELISA. A moderate correlation was discovered between the number of Lu. cruzi and the temperature and the minimum rate of infection was 6.10%. Twenty-two females were reactive to the antisera of bird (28%), dog (3.30%) and skunk (1.60%). We conclude that Lu. cruzi and Lu. whitmani have adapted to the urban environment in this region and that Lu. cruzi is the most likely vector of VL in Jaciara. Moreover, maintenance of Leishmania in the environment is likely aided by the presence of birds and domestic and synanthropic animals. <![CDATA[Reduced susceptibility to vancomycin and biofilm formation in methicillin-resistant <em>Staphylococcus epidermidis </em>isolated from blood cultures]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0074-02762014005040120&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This study aimed to correlate the presence of ica genes, biofilm formation and antimicrobial resistance in 107 strains of Staphylococcus epidermidis isolated from blood cultures. The isolates were analysed to determine their methicillin resistance, staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec) type, ica genes and biofilm formation and the vancomycin minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) was measured for isolates and subpopulations growing on vancomycin screen agar. The mecA gene was detected in 81.3% of the S. epidermidis isolated and 48.2% carried SCCmec type III. The complete icaADBC operon was observed in 38.3% of the isolates; of these, 58.5% produced a biofilm. Furthermore, 47.7% of the isolates grew on vancomycin screen agar, with an increase in the MIC in 75.9% of the isolates. Determination of the MIC of subpopulations revealed that 64.7% had an MIC ≥ 4 μg mL-1, including 15.7% with an MIC of 8 μg mL-1 and 2% with an MIC of 16 μg mL-1. The presence of the icaADBC operon, biofilm production and reduced susceptibility to vancomycin were associated with methicillin resistance. This study reveals a high level of methicillin resistance, biofilm formation and reduced susceptibility to vancomycin in subpopulations of S. epidermidis. These findings may explain the selection of multidrug-resistant isolates in hospital settings and the consequent failure of antimicrobial treatment. <![CDATA[Reduced susceptibility to vancomycin and biofilm formation in methicillin-resistant <em>Staphylococcus epidermidis </em>isolated from blood cultures]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0074-02762014005040120&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This study aimed to correlate the presence of ica genes, biofilm formation and antimicrobial resistance in 107 strains of Staphylococcus epidermidis isolated from blood cultures. The isolates were analysed to determine their methicillin resistance, staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec) type, ica genes and biofilm formation and the vancomycin minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) was measured for isolates and subpopulations growing on vancomycin screen agar. The mecA gene was detected in 81.3% of the S. epidermidis isolated and 48.2% carried SCCmec type III. The complete icaADBC operon was observed in 38.3% of the isolates; of these, 58.5% produced a biofilm. Furthermore, 47.7% of the isolates grew on vancomycin screen agar, with an increase in the MIC in 75.9% of the isolates. Determination of the MIC of subpopulations revealed that 64.7% had an MIC ≥ 4 μg mL-1, including 15.7% with an MIC of 8 μg mL-1 and 2% with an MIC of 16 μg mL-1. The presence of the icaADBC operon, biofilm production and reduced susceptibility to vancomycin were associated with methicillin resistance. This study reveals a high level of methicillin resistance, biofilm formation and reduced susceptibility to vancomycin in subpopulations of S. epidermidis. These findings may explain the selection of multidrug-resistant isolates in hospital settings and the consequent failure of antimicrobial treatment. <![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[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[Community-acquired invasive liver abscess syndrome caused by a K1 serotype <em>Klebsiella pneumoniae </em>isolate in Brazil: a case report of hypervirulent ST23]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0074-02762014005040196&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[Community-acquired invasive liver abscess syndrome caused by a K1 serotype <em>Klebsiella pneumoniae </em>isolate in Brazil: a case report of hypervirulent ST23]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0074-02762014005040196&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[Molecular findings from influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 detected in patients from a Brazilian equatorial region during the pandemic period]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0074-02762014005040210&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en After the World Health Organization officially declared the end of the first pandemic of the XXI century in August 2010, the influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 virus has been disseminated in the human population. In spite of its sustained circulation, very little on phylogenetic data or oseltamivir (OST) resistance is available for the virus in equatorial regions of South America. In order to shed more light on this topic, we analysed the haemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA) genes of influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 positive samples collected during the pandemic period in the Pernambuco (PE), a northeastern Brazilian state. Complete HA sequences were compared and amino acid changes were related to clinical outcome. In addition, the H275Y substitution in NA, associated with OST resistance, was investigated by pyrosequencing. Samples from PE were grouped in phylogenetic clades 6 and 7, being clustered together with sequences from South and Southeast Brazil. The D222N/G HA gene mutation, associated with severity, was found in one deceased patient that was pregnant. Additionally, the HA mutation K308E, which appeared in Brazil in 2010 and was only detected worldwide the following year, was identified in samples from hospitalised cases. The resistance marker H275Y was not identified in samples tested. However, broader studies are needed to establish the real frequency of resistance in this Brazilian region. <![CDATA[Molecular findings from influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 detected in patients from a Brazilian equatorial region during the pandemic period]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0074-02762014005040210&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en After the World Health Organization officially declared the end of the first pandemic of the XXI century in August 2010, the influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 virus has been disseminated in the human population. In spite of its sustained circulation, very little on phylogenetic data or oseltamivir (OST) resistance is available for the virus in equatorial regions of South America. In order to shed more light on this topic, we analysed the haemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA) genes of influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 positive samples collected during the pandemic period in the Pernambuco (PE), a northeastern Brazilian state. Complete HA sequences were compared and amino acid changes were related to clinical outcome. In addition, the H275Y substitution in NA, associated with OST resistance, was investigated by pyrosequencing. Samples from PE were grouped in phylogenetic clades 6 and 7, being clustered together with sequences from South and Southeast Brazil. The D222N/G HA gene mutation, associated with severity, was found in one deceased patient that was pregnant. Additionally, the HA mutation K308E, which appeared in Brazil in 2010 and was only detected worldwide the following year, was identified in samples from hospitalised cases. The resistance marker H275Y was not identified in samples tested. However, broader studies are needed to establish the real frequency of resistance in this Brazilian region. <![CDATA[Diagnostic challenges of single plaque-like lesion paucibacillary leprosy]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0074-02762014005040212&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The diagnosis of single-lesion paucibacillary leprosy remains a challenge. Reviews by expert dermatopathologists and quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) results obtained from 66 single-plaque biopsy samples were compared. Histological findings were graded as high (HP), medium (MP) or low (LP) probability of leprosy or other dermatopathy (OD). Mycobacterium leprae-specific genes were detected using qPCR. The biopsies of 47 out of 57 clinically diagnosed patients who received multidrug therapy were classified as HP/MP, eight of which were qPCR negative. In the LP/OD (n = 19), two out of eight untreated patients showed positive qPCR results. In the absence of typical histopathological features, qPCR may be utilised to aid in final patient diagnosis, thus reducing overtreatment and delay in diagnosis. <![CDATA[Diagnostic challenges of single plaque-like lesion paucibacillary leprosy]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0074-02762014005040212&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The diagnosis of single-lesion paucibacillary leprosy remains a challenge. Reviews by expert dermatopathologists and quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) results obtained from 66 single-plaque biopsy samples were compared. Histological findings were graded as high (HP), medium (MP) or low (LP) probability of leprosy or other dermatopathy (OD). Mycobacterium leprae-specific genes were detected using qPCR. The biopsies of 47 out of 57 clinically diagnosed patients who received multidrug therapy were classified as HP/MP, eight of which were qPCR negative. In the LP/OD (n = 19), two out of eight untreated patients showed positive qPCR results. In the absence of typical histopathological features, qPCR may be utilised to aid in final patient diagnosis, thus reducing overtreatment and delay in diagnosis. <![CDATA[The peri-urban interface and house infestation with <em>Triatoma infestans</em> in the Argentine Chaco: an underreported process?]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0074-02762014005040225&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Peri-urban infestations with triatomine bugs, their sources and their dynamics have rarely been investigated. Here, we corroborated the reported occurrence of Triatoma infestans in a peri-urban area and in neighbouring rural houses in Pampa del Indio, in the Argentine Chaco, and identified its putative sources using spatial analysis and demographic questionnaires. Peri-urban householders reported that 10% of their premises had triatomines, whereas T. infestans was collected by timed manual searches or community-based surveillance in only nine (3%) houses. Trypanosoma cruzi-infected T. infestans and Triatoma sordida were collected indoors only in peri-urban houses and were infected with TcV and TcI, respectively. The triatomines fed on chickens, cats and humans. Peri-urban infestations were most frequent in a squatter settlement and particularly within the recently built mud houses of rural immigrants, with large-sized households, more dogs and cats and more crowding. Several of the observed infestations were most likely associated with passive bug transport from other sources and with active bug dispersal from neighbouring foci. Thus, the households in the squatter settlement were at a greater risk of bug invasion and colonisation. In sum, the incipient process of domestic colonisation and transmission, along with persistent rural-to-urban migratory flows and unplanned urbanisation, indicate the need for active vector surveillance and control actions at the peri-urban interface of the Gran Chaco. <![CDATA[The peri-urban interface and house infestation with <em>Triatoma infestans</em> in the Argentine Chaco: an underreported process?]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0074-02762014005040225&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Peri-urban infestations with triatomine bugs, their sources and their dynamics have rarely been investigated. Here, we corroborated the reported occurrence of Triatoma infestans in a peri-urban area and in neighbouring rural houses in Pampa del Indio, in the Argentine Chaco, and identified its putative sources using spatial analysis and demographic questionnaires. Peri-urban householders reported that 10% of their premises had triatomines, whereas T. infestans was collected by timed manual searches or community-based surveillance in only nine (3%) houses. Trypanosoma cruzi-infected T. infestans and Triatoma sordida were collected indoors only in peri-urban houses and were infected with TcV and TcI, respectively. The triatomines fed on chickens, cats and humans. Peri-urban infestations were most frequent in a squatter settlement and particularly within the recently built mud houses of rural immigrants, with large-sized households, more dogs and cats and more crowding. Several of the observed infestations were most likely associated with passive bug transport from other sources and with active bug dispersal from neighbouring foci. Thus, the households in the squatter settlement were at a greater risk of bug invasion and colonisation. In sum, the incipient process of domestic colonisation and transmission, along with persistent rural-to-urban migratory flows and unplanned urbanisation, indicate the need for active vector surveillance and control actions at the peri-urban interface of the Gran Chaco. <![CDATA[Ecoepidemiology, short history and control of Chagas disease in the endemic countries and the new challenge for non-endemic countries]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0074-02762014005040236&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Chagas disease is maintained in nature through the interchange of three cycles: the wild, peridomestic and domestic cycles. The wild cycle, which is enzootic, has existed for millions of years maintained between triatomines and wild mammals. Human infection was only detected in mummies from 4,000-9,000 years ago, before the discovery of the disease by Carlos Chagas in 1909. With the beginning of deforestation in the Americas, two-three centuries ago for the expansion of agriculture and livestock rearing, wild mammals, which had been the food source for triatomines, were removed and new food sources started to appear in peridomestic areas: chicken coops, corrals and pigsties. Some accidental human cases could also have occurred prior to the triatomines in peridomestic areas. Thus, triatomines progressively penetrated households and formed the domestic cycle of Chagas disease. A new epidemiological, economic and social problem has been created through the globalisation of Chagas disease, due to legal and illegal migration of individuals infected by Trypanosoma cruzi or presenting Chagas disease in its varied clinical forms, from endemic countries in Latin America to non-endemic countries in North America, Europe, Asia and Oceania, particularly to the United States of America and Spain. The main objective of the present paper was to present a general view of the interchanges between the wild, peridomestic and domestic cycles of the disease, the development of T. cruzi among triatomine, their domiciliation and control initiatives, the characteristics of the disease in countries in the Americas and the problem of migration to non-endemic countries. <![CDATA[Ecoepidemiology, short history and control of Chagas disease in the endemic countries and the new challenge for non-endemic countries]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0074-02762014005040236&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Chagas disease is maintained in nature through the interchange of three cycles: the wild, peridomestic and domestic cycles. The wild cycle, which is enzootic, has existed for millions of years maintained between triatomines and wild mammals. Human infection was only detected in mummies from 4,000-9,000 years ago, before the discovery of the disease by Carlos Chagas in 1909. With the beginning of deforestation in the Americas, two-three centuries ago for the expansion of agriculture and livestock rearing, wild mammals, which had been the food source for triatomines, were removed and new food sources started to appear in peridomestic areas: chicken coops, corrals and pigsties. Some accidental human cases could also have occurred prior to the triatomines in peridomestic areas. Thus, triatomines progressively penetrated households and formed the domestic cycle of Chagas disease. A new epidemiological, economic and social problem has been created through the globalisation of Chagas disease, due to legal and illegal migration of individuals infected by Trypanosoma cruzi or presenting Chagas disease in its varied clinical forms, from endemic countries in Latin America to non-endemic countries in North America, Europe, Asia and Oceania, particularly to the United States of America and Spain. The main objective of the present paper was to present a general view of the interchanges between the wild, peridomestic and domestic cycles of the disease, the development of T. cruzi among triatomine, their domiciliation and control initiatives, the characteristics of the disease in countries in the Americas and the problem of migration to non-endemic countries. <![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.