Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz]]> vol. 104 num. 7 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<B>Proven and putative vectors of American cutaneous leishmaniasis in Brazil</B>: <B>aspects of their biology and vectorial competence</B>]]> The aim of the present review is to give relevant information on aspects of the biology and ecology, including the vectorial competence of Lutzomyia sand fly species suggested as vectors of American cutaneous leishmaniasis in Brazil. The disease, due to Leishmania (Viannia) braziliensis, has been registered in most municipalities in all the Brazilian states and its transmission is associated with more than one sand fly species in each geographical region. A variety of Leishmania species can be found in the Amazon basin, where different epidemiological chains have been detected with the participation of different phlebotomine vectors. Finally, a discussion is presented on some sand fly species found naturally infected by Leishmania, but for which there is as yet no evidence regarding their epidemiological importance. <![CDATA[<B>Species structure of sand fly (Diptera: Psychodidae) fauna in the Brazilian western Amazon</B>]]> We surveyed areas of the state of Rondônia in western Amazon for phlebotomine, which are potential vectors of leishmaniasis. A total of 5,998 specimens were captured, resulting in the identification of 48 species within the Lutzomyia (99.98%) and Brumptomyia (0.02%) genera. The predominant species was Lutzomyia davisi, followed by Lutzomyia umbratilis, Lutzomyia llanosmartinsi, Lutzomyia c. carrerai, Lutzomyia dendrophyla, Lutzomyia nevesi and Lutzomyia whitmani. All sand flies identified as vectors for cutaneous leishmaniasis in Brazil, i.e., Lu. davisi, Lu. umbratilis, Lu. c. carrerai and Lu. whitmani, were found in the surveyed areas. <![CDATA[<B>Seroprevalence of HBV, HCV and HIV co-infection in selected individuals from state of São Paulo, Brazil</B>]]> Few studies are available on hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) co-infection in populations living in small and medium-sized Brazilian cities. We evaluated the seroprevalence of these viruses in selected individuals from a clinic of infectology, who were referred to the University Regional Hospital of the West Region of state of São Paulo, Brazil. Among a total of 7,021 individuals seen in the clinic following receipt of preliminary ELISA results or having the suggested clinical signs of viral hepatitis or HIV, 1,228 were systematically screened. Isolated or associated HBsAg, HCV and HIV antibodies were found in 44.9% of the subjects. Anti-HIV antibodies were found in 24.7% of the patients, 20.3% of whom had an HIV monoinfection and 4.4% of whom were co-infected with hepatitis viruses (HCV: 4%; HBV: 0.4%). Anti-HCV antibodies were found in 14% of the patients and 5.9% had anti-HBsAg antibodies. HCV infection affected males more than females (p < 0.05) and individuals > 50-years old had an increased prevalence of anti-HCV compared to HIV (p = 0.0001) or HBV (p = 0.0063). HCV-RNA was detected in 73.5% of the samples with a predominance of genotype 1 (72.5%). A significant percentage (44.9%) of the selected individuals was positive for antibodies against HBV, HCV and/or HIV; these patients would otherwise have remained undiagnosed. <![CDATA[<B><I>Absonifibula estuarina</I> sp. n. (Monogenea: Diclidophoridae) parasite of juvenile <I>Cynoscion guatucupa</I> (Osteichthyes) from southwestern Atlantic Ocean</B>]]> Absonifibula estuarina sp. n. (Diclidophoridae, Absonifibulinae), is described from the gills of juvenile striped weakfish, Cynoscion guatucupa (Cuvier), from the southwestern Atlantic, Argentinean coast. This marine fish migrates to estuarine areas to spawn where exclusively juveniles are found parasitized; adult fish in marine water were never found to be parasitized by this monogenean. A. estuarina sp. n. is characterized mainly by the pedunculate clamps dissimilar in size, the shape of anterior jaw with sclerite 'a' attached to a sub-trapezoidal lamellate extension and fused to sclerites 'c' and 'd'. It differs from Absonifibula bychowskyi Lawler & Overstreet, 1976, the only known species of the genus, in the shape and arrangement of the genital corona, which is armed with six similar hooks disposed in circle and the sub-trapezoidal shape of lamellate extension ('b'). The restriction to juvenile sciaenids is a shared feature among the Absonifibulinae indicating an estuary-dependent life cycle. <![CDATA[<B>Evaluation of HA negatively charged membranes in the recovery of human adenoviruses and hepatitis A virus in different water matrices</B>]]> Human adenoviruses (HAdV) and hepatitis A virus (HAV) are shed in the faeces and consequently may be present in environmental waters, resulting in an increase in pathogen concentration that can affect water quality and human health. The aim of this study was to evaluate an adsorption-elution method which utilizes negatively charged membrane HA to determine the efficient recovery of HAdV and HAV from different water matrices and to combine this procedure with a qualitative molecular method (nested RT-PCR and nested PCR). The best efficiency recovery was achieved in distilled water and treated wastewater effluent (100%) for both viruses and in recreational lagoon water for HAV (100%). The efficiency recovery was 10% for HAdV and HAV in seawater and 10% for HAdV in lagoon water. The viral detection limit by nested PCR for HAV in water samples ranged between 20-0.2 FFU/mL and 250 and 25 TCID50/mL for HAdV. In conclusion, these results suggest that the HA negatively charged membranes vary their efficiency for recovery of viral concentration depending upon the types of both enteric viruses and water matrices. <![CDATA[<B>Fine structure of <I>Henneguya hemiodopsis</I> sp. n. (Myxozoa), a parasite of the gills of the Brazilian teleostean fish <I>Hemiodopsis microlepes</I> (Hemiodontidae)</B>]]> A fish-infecting myxosporean, Henneguya hemiodopsis sp. n., found infecting the gills of Hemiodopsis microlepis and collected from the Poty River near the city of Teresina, Brazil, was described based on ultrastructural studies. The parasite occurred within large whitish polysporic plasmodia (up to 200 μm in diameter) containing asynchronous developmental sporogonic stages, mainly mature spores. The spores measured 19.7 ± 0.9 μm in total length (n = 30) and the ellipsoidal spore body was 10.8 ± 0.5 μm long, 3.3 ± 0.4 μm wide and 2.5 ± 0.5 μm thick. The spores were composed of two equal shell valves adhering together along the straight suture line, with each valve having equal-sized caudal tapering tails measuring 8.7 ± 0.6 μm in length. The spores were surrounded by a thin anastomosed network of microfibrils, more evident on the tails. There were two symmetric elongated bottle-like polar capsules 3.5 ± 0.3 μm long and 1.0 ± 0.2 μm wide, each with a polar filament with five to six coils. Given the morphological and ultrastructural differences from previously described parasites and the specificity of the host species, we propose a new species, named H. hemiodopsis sp. n. <![CDATA[<B>In vitro activity of thienyl-2-nitropropene compounds against <I>Trypanosoma cruzi</B></I>]]> The in vitro activity of four 2-nitropropene derivatives, 1-(3-benzothienyl)-2-nitropropene (N1), 1-(3-thienyl)-2-nitropropene (N2), 1-(5-bromo-2-thienyl)-2-nitropropene (N3) and 1-(4-bromo-2-thienyl)-2-nitropropene (N4), were tested against cultures of the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi. Cytotoxicity studies were performed using Vero cells. The blood trypomastigotes, amastigotes and epimastigotes showed differential degrees of sensitivity towards the four tested compounds; the highest activity against the epimastigotes and blood tripomastigotes was exhibited by N1, followed by N3, N4 and finally N2. In contrast, whereas the compounds N1, N3 and N4 exerted similar magnitudes of activity against amastigotes, N2 was found to be a much less potent compound. According to our results, the compound N1 had the highest level of activity (IC50: 0.6 μM) against epimastigotes. <![CDATA[<B>Treatment and seroconversion in a cohort of children suffering from recent chronic Chagas infection in Yoro, Honduras</B>]]> Between 1999-2002, Médécins Sans Frontières-Spain implemented a project seeking to determine the efficacy and safety of benznidazole in the treatment of recent chronic Chagas disease in a cohort of seropositive children in the Yoro Department, Honduras. A total of 24,471 children were screened for Trypanosoma cruzi IgG antibodies through conventional enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) on filter paper. Recombinant ELISA (0.93% seroprevalence) showed 256 initially reactive cases, including 232 confirmed positive cases. Of these, 231 individuals were treated with benznidazole (7.5 mg/kg/day) for 60 days and were followed with a strict weekly medical control and follow-up protocol. At the end of the project, 229 patients were examined by the Honduras Secretariat of Health for post-treatment serological assessments; 88.2% seroconverted after 18 months and 93.9% seroconverted after three years. No differences were found in the seroconversion rates according to age or sex. Most of the side effects of the treatment were minor. These results support the argument that in areas where T. cruzi I is predominant and in areas affected by T. cruzi II, when vector transmission has been interrupted, Chagas disease diagnosis and treatment are feasible, necessary and ethically indisputable. <![CDATA[<B>Genus-specific kinetoplast-DNA PCR and parasite culture for the diagnosis of localised cutaneous leishmaniasis</B>: <B>applications for clinical trials under field conditions in Brazil</B>]]> The positivities of two methods for the diagnosis of localised cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) were estimated in 280 patients enrolled in a clinical trial. The trial was conducted in an endemic area of Leishmania (Viannia) braziliensis and trial participants were patients with skin ulcers and positive leishmanin skin tests. Patients underwent aspirative skin punctures of the ulcerated lesions and lymph nodes for in vitro cultures, which were processed under field conditions at the local health centre. Skin lesion biopsies were tested at a reference laboratory using kinetoplastid DNA (kDNA)-PCR to detect DNA. The median time required to obtain a positive culture from the skin samples was seven days and the contamination rate of the samples was 1.8%. The positivities of the cultures from skin lesions, kDNA-PCR and the combination of the two methods were 78.2% (95% CI: 73-82.6%), 89.3% (95% CI: 85.1-92.4%) and 97.1% (95% CI: 94.5-98.5%). We conclude that parasite culture is a feasible method for the detection of Leishmania in field conditions and that the combination of culture and PCR has a potential role for the diagnosis of CL in candidates for clinical trials. <![CDATA[<B>Molecular and antigenic characterisation of ribosomal phosphoprotein P0 from <I>Babesia bovis</B></I>]]> Babesia bovis is a tick-borne pathogen that remains an important constraint for the development of cattle industries in tropical and subtropical regions of the world. Effective control can be achieved by vaccination with live attenuated phenotypes of the parasite. However, these phenotypes have a number of drawbacks, which justifies the search for new, more efficient immunogens based mainly on recombinant protein technology. In the present paper, ribosomal phosphoprotein P0 from a Brazilian isolate of B. bovis was produced and evaluated with regard to conservation and antigenicity. The protein sequence displayed high conservation between different Brazilian isolates of B. bovis and several Apicomplexa parasites such as Theileria, Neospora and Toxoplasma. IgG from cattle experimentally and naturally infected with B. bovisas well as IgG1 and IgG2 from naturally infected cattle reacted with the recombinant protein. IgG from cattle experimentally infected with Babesia bigemina cross-reacted with B. bovis recombinant P0. These characteristics suggest that P0 is a potential antigen for recombinant vaccine preparations against bovine babesiosis. <![CDATA[<B>RFLP analysis of a PCR-amplified fragment of the 16S rRNA gene as a tool to identify <I>Enterococcus</I> strains</B>]]> Restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis of a PCR-amplified fragment of the 16S rRNA gene was performed on reference strains belonging to 21 different enterococcal species and on 75 Enterococcus isolates recovered from poultry meat, pasteurised milk and fresh cheese. PCR amplification generated a 275 bp fragment, which was digested with three restriction endonucleases (DdeI, HaeIII, HinfI). The strains were divided into five groups (groups A-E) on the basis of their restriction patterns. Five biochemical tests (arabinose, arginine, manitol, methyl-β-D-glucopyranoside and raffinose) were then performed in addition to RFLP analysis to narrow the identification of enterococcal strains to the species level. PCR-RFLP, in conjunction with the selected biochemical tests, allowed the precise identification of the 21 species of Enterococcus included in the present study. This proposed method is relatively simple and rapid and can be useful as an adjunct tool for accurate identification of Enterococcus. <![CDATA[<B>Characterisation of <I>pvmdr1</I> and <I>pvdhfr</I> genes associated with chemoresistance in Brazilian <I>Plasmodium vivax</I> isolates</B>]]> Plasmodium vivax control is now being hampered by drug resistance. Orthologous Plasmodium falciparum genes linked to chloroquine or sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine chemoresistance have been identified in P. vivax parasites, but few studies have been performed. The goal of the present work is to characterise pvmdr1 and pvdhfr genes in parasite isolates from a Brazilian endemic area where no molecular investigation had been previously conducted. The pvmdr1 analysis revealed the existence of single (85.7%) and double (14.3%) mutant haplotypes, while the pvdhfr examination showed the presence of double (57.2%) and triple (42.8%) mutant haplotypes. The implications of these findings are discussed. <![CDATA[<B>Comparative descriptions of eggs from three species of <I>Rhodnius</I> (Hemiptera: Reduviidae: Triatominae)</B>]]> The authors describe and compare the morphological and ultrastructural characteristics of eggs from the three most recent described species of the genus Rhodnius Stål, 1859, which have not previously been studied. These species are Rhodnius colombiensis (Mejia, Galvão & Jurberg 1999), Rhodnius milesi (Carcavallo, Rocha, Galvão & Jurberg 2001) and Rhodnius stali (Lent, Jurberg & Galvão 1993). The results revealed that there are similarities in the exochorial architecture of optical microscopy and scanning electron microscopy; these include the predominance of hexagonal cells that are common to all Rhodnius species and variable degrees of lateral flattening, which is common not only to species of this genus, but also to the Rhodniini tribe. Differences in overall colour, the presence of a collar in R. milesi, a longitudinal bevel in R. stali and the precise length of R. colombiensis can be useful distinguishing features. As a result of this study, the key for egg identification proposed by Barata in 1981 can be updated. <![CDATA[<B>Vector density and the control of kala-azar in Bihar, India</B>]]> Bihar, India has been in the grip of kala-azar for many years. Its rampant and severe spread has made life miserable in most parts of the state. Such conditions require a comprehensive understanding of this affliction. The numbers coming out of the districts prone to the disease in the north and south Ganges have provided us with several startling revelations, as there are striking uniformities on both sides, including similar vegetation, water storage facilities, house construction and little change in risk factors. The northern areas have been regularly sprayed with DDT since 1977, but eradication of the disease appears to be a distant dream. In 2007 alone, there were as many as 37,738 cases in that region. In contrast, the southern districts of Patna and Nalanda have never had the disease in its epidemic form and endemic disease has been present in only some pockets of the two districts. In those cases, two rounds of spraying with DDT had very positive results, with successful control and no new established foci. In addition, an eleven-year longitudinal study of the man hour density and house index for the vector Phlebotomus argentipes demonstrated that they were quite high in Patna and Nalanda and quite low in north Bihar. Given these facts, an attempt has been made to unravel the role of P. argentipes saliva (salivary gland) in the epidemiology of kala-azar. It was determined that patchy DDT spraying should be avoided for effective control of kala-azar. <![CDATA[<B><I>Trypanosoma cruzi</B></I>: <B> parasite antigens sequestered in heart interstitial dendritic cells are related to persisting myocarditis in benznidazole-treated mice</B>]]> We investigated whether sequestered Trypanosoma cruzi antigens found in heart interstitial dendritic cells (IDCs) contribute to the residual myocarditis found in mice following treatment with benznidazole, a specific chemotherapeutic drug. IDCs are antigen-presenting cells that are MHC-II-receptor dependent. Swiss mice were divided into two experimental groups: the 1st group was infected with the Colombian strain of T. cruzi, which is resistant to treatment with benznidazole, and the 2nd group was infected with clone 21SF-C 3, which has a medium susceptibility to the drug. Treatment of the Colombian strain group started on the 120th day post-infection and for the 21SF-C3 strain group treatment was started on the 90th day. In both groups, treatment lasted for 90 days. The animals were sacrificed either 150 or 200 days post-treatment. The myocardium was analysed by immunohistochemistry using anti-MAC3, 33D1, CD11b and CD11c monoclonal antibodies for IDCs or anti-T. cruzi purified antibodies. Parasite antigens were expressed on the IDC membranes in both treated and untreated mice. Myocarditis subsided following treatment, evidenced by both histological and morphometrical evaluation. A reduction in the number of IDCs carrying T. cruzi antigens in the treated group indicates that the elimination of parasites influences antigen presentation with concomitant decreases in inflammation. There is a correlation between the presence of T. cruzi antigens in these cells and the chronic focal, residual myocarditis seen in treated mice. <![CDATA[<B>Influence of blood meal and mating in reproduction patterns of <I>Triatoma brasiliensis</I> females (Hemiptera: Reduviidae) under laboratory conditions</B>]]> The influence of blood meal and mating on Triatoma brasiliensis (Neiva) female fecundity, fertility, life-span and the preoviposition period were investigated under laboratory conditions. Nourishment increased fecundity, fertility and adult lifespan, whereas mating increased fecundity, fertility and decreased the preoviposition period. Females also required more than one mating to reach their full reproductive potential. Results indicate that both nourishment and mating are important in T. brasiliensis proliferation. Such information will help towards developing effective control strategies of this vector of Chagas disease. <![CDATA[<B>Molluscicidal activity of <I>Hammada scoparia</I> (Pomel) Iljin leaf extracts and the principal alkaloids isolated from them against <I>Galba truncatula</B></I>]]> The molluscicidal activity of Hammada scoparia leaf extracts and the principal alkaloids isolated from them (carnegine and N-methylisosalsoline) were tested against the mollusc gastropod, Galba truncatula, the intermediate host of Fasciola hepatica in Tunisia. The results indicated that the molluscicidal activity was correlated with the presence of alkaloids. A significant molluscicidal value, according to the World Health Organization, was found with the methanol extract (LC50 = 28.93 ppm). Further fractionation of the methanolic extract led to the isolation of two principal alkaloids: carnegine and N-methylisosalsoline. These alkaloids are isoquinolines that have not previously been characterised for their molluscicidal activity. The N-methylisosalsoline possesses the highest molluscicidal activity (LC50 = 0.47 μM against G. truncatula). <![CDATA[<B>Anti-mycobacterial treatment reduces high plasma levels of CXC-chemokines detected in active tuberculosis by cytometric bead array</B>]]> Chemokines recruit and activate leukocytes, assisting granuloma formation. Herein, we evaluated plasma chemokines in patients with active tuberculosis (ATB) and after completing treatment (TTB) and compared them to BCG-vaccinated healthy controls (HC). Levels of chemokines were measured by cytometric bead array. Levels of CXCL8, CXCL9 and CXCL10 were higher in ATB patients compared to HC, but they decreased in TTB. Levels of CCL2 and CCL5 in ATB patients were similar to those observed in HC. Thus, the high levels of CXC-chemokines detected during ATB, which can modulate the trafficking of immune cells from the periphery to the site of infection, were reversed by anti-mycobacterial treatment. <![CDATA[<B>Tracing lineage by phenotypic and genotypic markers in <I>Salmonella enterica</I> subsp. <I>enterica</I> serovar <U>1</U>,4,[5],12:i:- and <I>Salmonella</I> Typhimurium isolated in state of São Paulo, Brazil</B>]]> Fifty-three Salmonella 1,4,[5],12:i:- and 45 Salmonella Typhimurium strains were characterised using phage typing, plasmid profiles and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) for comparison. The majority of the strains were subdivided into definitive type (DT) 41 (22.6%) and DT 193 (18%) and the 60-MDa plasmid was detected in 94.3% and 84.4% of strains, respectively. Genetic diversity was observed among all strains and 90% presented a > 70% similarity through PFGE analysis. These results suggest a close relationship between Salmonella 1,4,[5],12:i:- and Salmonella Typhimurium at the serotype level. <![CDATA[<B>Microsatellite markers for population genetic studies of the blowfly <I>Chrysomya putoria</I> (Diptera</B>: <B>Calliphoridae)</B>]]> The investigation of the genetic variation and population structure of Chrysomya species is of great interest for both basic and applied research. However, very limited genetic information is available for this genus across its geographical distribution. Here, we describe 12 polymorphic microsatellite loci isolated from Chrysomya putoria with expected heterozygosities ranging from 0.1402-0.8312. These markers are of potential applied interest for forensic entomologists and for the characterisation of the genetic structure of C. putoria from recently colonised regions, with great promise for understanding the colonisation dynamics and spread of the genus Chrysomya in the New World. <![CDATA[<B>A new consensus for <I>Trypanosoma cruzi</I> intraspecific nomenclature</B>: <B>second revision meeting recommends TcI to TcVI</B>]]> In an effort to unify the nomenclature of Trypanosoma cruzi, the causative agent of Chagas disease, an updated system was agreed upon at the Second Satellite Meeting. A consensus was reached that T. cruzi strains should be referred to by six discrete typing units (T. cruzi I-VI). The goal of a unified nomenclature is to improve communication within the scientific community involved in T. cruzi research. The justification and implications will be presented in a subsequent detailed report.