Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz]]> http://www.scielo.br/rss.php?pid=0074-027620120007&lang=en vol. 107 num. 7 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> http://www.scielo.br/img/en/fbpelogp.gif http://www.scielo.br <![CDATA[<b>New approaches in antimalarial drug discovery and development</b>: <b>a review</b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0074-02762012000700001&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Malaria remains a major world health problem following the emergence and spread of Plasmodium falciparum that is resistant to the majority of antimalarial drugs. This problem has since been aggravated by a decreased sensitivity of Plasmodium vivax to chloroquine. This review discusses strategies for evaluating the antimalarial activity of new compounds in vitro and in animal models ranging from conventional tests to the latest high-throughput screening technologies. Antimalarial discovery approaches include the following: the discovery of antimalarials from natural sources, chemical modifications of existing antimalarials, the development of hybrid compounds, testing of commercially available drugs that have been approved for human use for other diseases and molecular modelling using virtual screening technology and docking. Using these approaches, thousands of new drugs with known molecular specificity and active against P. falciparum have been selected. The inhibition of haemozoin formation in vitro, an indirect test that does not require P. falciparum cultures, has been described and this test is believed to improve antimalarial drug discovery. Clinical trials conducted with new funds from international agencies and the participation of several industries committed to the eradication of malaria should accelerate the discovery of drugs that are as effective as artemisinin derivatives, thus providing new hope for the control of malaria. <![CDATA[<b>Oral live attenuated human rotavirus vaccine (Rotarix<sup>TM</sup>) offers sustained high protection against severe G9P[8] rotavirus gastroenteritis during the first two years of life in Brazilian children</b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0074-02762012000700002&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en In a large Phase III trial conducted in 10 Latin American countries, the safety and efficacy of the live attenuated monovalent rotavirus vaccine RIX4414 was evaluated in 15,183 healthy infants followed up during the first two years of life. Belém was the only site in Brazil included in this multicentre trial. The study in Belém included a subset of 653 infants who were followed up until 24 months of age for protection against severe rotavirus gastroenteritis. These subjects were randomly assigned in a 1:1 ratio to receive two doses of vaccine (n = 328) or two doses of placebo (n = 325) at approximately two and four months of age. Of the 653 enrolled infants, 23 dropped out during the study period. For the combined two-year period, the efficacy of RIX4414 was 72.3% [95% confidence interval (CI) 37.5-89.1%] against severe rotavirus-related gastroenteritis, reaching a protection rate of 81.8% (95% CI 36.4-96.6%) against circulating wild-type G9 rotavirus strains. It is concluded that two doses of RIX4414 are highly efficacious against severe rotavirus gastroenteritis in Belém during the first two years of life and provide high protection against the worldwide emergence and spread of G9P[8] strains. <![CDATA[<b>Phaeohyphomycosis</b>: <b>a clinical-epidemiological and diagnostic study of eighteen cases in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil</b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0074-02762012000700003&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The goal of this study was to review 18 cases of phaeohyphomycosis in Rio Grande do Sul. The records of all of the patients with a diagnosis of phaeohyphomycosis between 1995-2010 were reviewed. Twelve of the 18 patients (66.6%) were male. The average age of the patients was 50 years old (range: 16-74 years). Eleven patients (61%) presented with subcutaneous lesions. Seven patients (38.8%) had received a solid organ transplant. In all of the cases, the presence of melanin in the fungal cells was determined by Fontana-Masson staining of tissue sections and documented. Among the 18 patients, a total of 11 different fungal species were isolated. The causative organisms included Exophiala jeanselmei, Alternaria, Curvularia, Cladophialophora and Colletotrichum gloeosporioides. To our knowledge, this review reports the first case of subcutaneous phaeohyphomycosis caused by C. gloeosporioides in a lung transplant patient. The number of reported cases of phaeohyphomycosis has increased in the last decade. In a number of cases, this increased incidence may be primarily attributed to iatrogenic immunodeficiency. <![CDATA[<b>In vitro susceptibility of <i>Plasmodium falciparum</i> Welch field isolates to infusions prepared from <i>Artemisia annua</i> L. cultivated in the Brazilian Amazon</b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0074-02762012000700004&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Artemisinin is the active antimalarial compound obtained from the leaves of Artemisia annua L. Artemisinin, and its semi-synthetic derivatives, are the main drugs used to treat multi-drug-resistant Plasmodium falciparum (one of the human malaria parasite species). The in vitro susceptibility of P. falciparum K1 and 3d7 strains and field isolates from the state of Amazonas, Brazil, to A. annua infusions (5 g dry leaves in 1 L of boiling water) and the drug standards chloroquine, quinine and artemisinin were evaluated. The A. annua used was cultivated in three Amazon ecosystems (várzea, terra preta de índio and terra firme) and in the city of Paulínia, state of São Paulo, Brazil. Artemisinin levels in the A. annua leaves used were 0.90-1.13% (m/m). The concentration of artemisinin in the infusions was 40-46 mg/L. Field P. falciparum isolates were resistant to chloroquine and sensitive to quinine and artemisinin. The average 50% inhibition concentration values for A. annua infusions against field isolates were 0.11-0.14 μL/mL (these infusions exhibited artemisinin concentrations of 4.7-5.6 ng/mL) and were active in vitro against P. falciparum due to their artemisinin concentration. No synergistic effect was observed for artemisinin in the infusions. <![CDATA[<b>Biogeographical aspects of the occurrence of <i>Nyssomyia neivai</i> and <i>Nyssomyia intermedia</i> (Diptera: Psychodidae) in a sympatric area of the Brazilian savannah</b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0074-02762012000700005&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Nyssomyia intermedia and Nyssomyia neivai constitute a species complex associated with Leishmania transmission. The aim of this study was to analyse the ecological profiles of the Ny. intermedia and Ny. neivai populations in a sympatric area in the Brazilian savannah along the banks of the Velhas River. Captures were performed from July 2003-June 2005 in two distinct environments: a gallery forest with various degrees of anthropogenic modification and animal shelters. A total of 20,508 Ny. neivai (86%) and Ny. intermedia (14%) sandflies were collected. The difference between the proportions of the sandflies that were collected (Ny. neivai/Ny. intermedia) per bank was significant. The right bank presented a greater number of sandflies (65%) and more preserved vegetation. The abundance of Ny. neivai was higher than that of Ny. intermedia on both banks. The results demonstrate that anthropic activities can affect the sandfly populations in this area, thereby leading to a reduction in species abundance. Nevertheless, the environments with higher levels of antropogenic modification displayed sandfly population numbers that favour the Leishmania transmission cycle. <![CDATA[<b>The combination of three faecal parasitological methods to improve the diagnosis of schistosomiasis <i>mansoni</i> in a low endemic setting in the state of Ceará, Brazil</b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0074-02762012000700006&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Laboratory diagnosis of intestinal schistosomiasis mansoni can be accomplished through various methods of stool examination to detect parasites, ranging from the most classic tests (Kato-Katz) to several methods that are still undergoing validation. This study was conducted to assess two new parasite identification methods for diagnosing schistosomiasis mansoni in residents of a low endemic area in the municipality of Maranguape, in the state of Ceará, Brazil using the Kato-Katz method as a reference and serology (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) for the screening of patients. The Kato-Katz, the saline gradient method and the Helmintex® method parasite identification methods were employed only in subjects who exhibited positive serologic tests. The test results were then analysed and treatment of positive individuals was subsequently performed. After comparing the test results, we observed that the saline gradient method and the Helmintex® method were more effective in diagnosing schistosomiasis mansoni in the study area compared with the Kato-Katz method. <![CDATA[<b>Vector control intervention towards interruption of transmission of Chagas disease by <i>Rhodnius prolixus</i>, main vector in Guatemala</b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0074-02762012000700007&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en In Guatemala, the Ministry of Health (MoH) began a vector control project with Japanese cooperation in 2000 to reduce the risk of Chagas disease infection. Rhodnius prolixus is one of the principal vectors and is targeted for elimination. The control method consisted of extensive residual insecticide spraying campaigns, followed by community-based surveillance with selective respraying. Interventions in nine endemic departments identified 317 villages with R. prolixus of 4,417 villages surveyed. Two cycles of residual insecticide spraying covered over 98% of the houses in the identified villages. Fourteen villages reinfestated were all resprayed. Between 2000-2003 and 2008, the number of infested villages decreased from 317 to two and the house infestation rate reduced from 0.86% to 0.0036%. Seroprevalence rates in 2004-2005, when compared with an earlier study in 1998, showed a significant decline from 5.3% to 1.3% among schoolchildren in endemic areas. The total operational cost was US$ 921,815, where the cost ratio between preparatory, attack and surveillance phases was approximately 2:12:1. In 2008, Guatemala was certified for interruption of Chagas disease transmission by R. prolixus. What facilitated the process was existing knowledge in vector control and notable commitment by the MoH, as well as political, managerial and technical support by external stakeholders. <![CDATA[<b>A single nucleotide polymorphism, rs129679860, in the IL28B <i>locus</i> is associated with the viral kinetics and a sustained virological response in a chronic, monoinfected hepatitis C virus genotype-1 Brazilian population treated with pegylated interferon-ribavirin</b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0074-02762012000700008&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the interleukin (IL)28B locus have been associated with a sustained virological response (SVR) in interferon-ribavirin (IFN-RBV)-treated chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV)-infected patients in European and African populations. In this study, the genotype frequency of two IL28B SNPs (rs129679860 and rs8099917) in a cohort of chronic HCV-monoinfected patients in Brazil was evaluated and the SNP sufficient to predict the treatment response outcome was determined. A total of 66 naïve genotype-1 chronic HCV-infected patients were genotyped and the associated viral kinetics and SVR were assessed. The overall SVR was 38%. Both the viral kinetics and SVR were associated with rs129679860 genotypes (CC = 62% vs. CT = 33% vs. TT = 18%, p = 0.016). However, rs8099917 genotypes were only associated with SVR (TT = 53% vs. TG = 33% vs. GG = 18%; p = 0.032). In this population, the analysis of a single SNP, rs12979860, successfully predicts SVR in the IFN-RBV treatment of HCV. <![CDATA[<b>The performance of laboratory tests in the management of a large outbreak of orally transmitted Chagas disease</b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0074-02762012000700009&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Orally transmitted Chagas disease (ChD), which is a well-known entity in the Brazilian Amazon Region, was first documented in Venezuela in December 2007, when 103 people attending an urban public school in Caracas became infected by ingesting juice that was contaminated with Trypanosoma cruzi. The infection occurred 45-50 days prior to the initiation of the sampling performed in the current study. Parasitological methods were used to diagnose the first nine symptomatic patients; T. cruzi was found in all of them. However, because this outbreak was managed as a sudden emergency during Christmas time, we needed to rapidly evaluate 1,000 people at risk, so we decided to use conventional serology to detect specific IgM and IgG antibodies via ELISA as well as indirect haemagglutination, which produced positive test results for 9.1%, 11.9% and 9.9% of the individuals tested, respectively. In other more restricted patient groups, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) provided more sensitive results (80.4%) than blood cultures (16.2%) and animal inoculations (11.6%). Although the classical diagnosis of acute ChD is mainly based on parasitological findings, highly sensitive and specific serological techniques can provide rapid results during large and severe outbreaks, as described herein. The use of these serological techniques allows prompt treatment of all individuals suspected of being infected, resulting in reduced rates of morbidity and mortality. <![CDATA[<b>Polymerase chain reaction for the evaluation of <i>Schistosoma mansoni</i> infection in two low endemicity areas of Minas Gerais, Brazil</b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0074-02762012000700010&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This study aimed to evaluate the occurrence of schistosomiasis in areas with low endemicity using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) as a diagnostic method. We analysed faecal samples from 219 individuals residing in Piau and Coronel Pacheco, state of Minas Gerais, Brazil, using a single faecal sample from each individual and two slides of the Kato-Katz technique as a gold standard. Fifteen out of the 219 samples were positive with both methods of diagnosis. One sample was diagnosed as positive by the Kato-Katz technique only and 61 were diagnosed only by PCR. The positivity rates were 7.3% with the Kato-Katz method and 34.7% with PCR. When both techniques were assumed to have 100% specificity and positive individuals were identified by both methods, the sensitivity of the Kato-Katz method was 20.8% and the PCR sensitivity was 98.7%. The Kappa index between the two techniques was 0.234, suggesting weak agreement. The assessment of a single faecal sample by PCR detected more cases of infection than the analysis of one sample with two slides using the Kato-Katz technique, suggesting that PCR can be a useful diagnostic tool, particularly in areas with low endemicity. <![CDATA[<b>Fast test for assessing the susceptibility of <i>Mycobacterium tuberculosis</i> to isoniazid and rifampin by real-time PCR</b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0074-02762012000700011&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Mycobacterium tuberculosis is the bacterium that causes tuberculosis (TB), a leading cause of death from infectious disease worldwide. Rapid diagnosis of resistant strains is important for the control of TB. Real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assays may detect all of the mutations that occur in the M. tuberculosis 81-bp core region of the rpoB gene, which is responsible for resistance to rifampin (RIF) and codon 315 of the katG gene and the inhA ribosomal binding site, which are responsible for isoniazid (INH). The goal of this study was to assess the performance of RT-PCR compared to traditional culture-based methods for determining the drug susceptibility of M. tuberculosis. BACTEC TM MGIT TM 960 was used as the gold standard method for phenotypic drug susceptibility testing. Susceptibilities to INH and RIF were also determined by genotyping of katG, inhA and rpoB genes. RT-PCR based on molecular beacons probes was used to detect specific point mutations associated with resistance. The sensitivities of RT-PCR in detecting INH resistance using katG and inhA targets individually were 55% and 25%, respectively and 73% when combined. The sensitivity of the RT-PCR assay in detecting RIF resistance was 99%. The median time to complete the RT-PCR assay was three-four hours. The specificities for tests were both 100%. Our results confirm that RT-PCR can detect INH and RIF resistance in less than four hours with high sensitivity. <![CDATA[<b>Tuberculosis in a southern Brazilian prison</b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0074-02762012000700012&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The occurrence of tuberculosis (TB) in prisons has been described as an alarming public health problem in many countries, especially in developing nations. The objective of this study was to conduct a survey among prisoners with TB respiratory symptoms in order to estimate the incidence of the disease, to analyze the drug susceptibility profile and genotype the isolates of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in the city of Charqueadas, southern of Brazil. The TB incidence was 55/1,900 inhabitants in the prison; this corresponds to an incidence of 3,789/100,000 inhabitants, with a prevalence of 72/1,900 (4,960/100,000 inhabitants). Drug susceptibility test was performed and, among the analyzed isolates, 85% were susceptible to all drugs tested and 15% were resistant to at least one drug, of which 89% were resistant only to isoniazid (INH) or in combination with another drug. The genotype classification of spoligotyping analysis showed that 40% of the isolates belong to LAM family, 22% to T family, 17.5% to Haarlem family, 12.5% to U family and 3% to X family. The shared international spoligotypes most frequently found were 729 (27%), 50 (9.5%), 42 (8%), 53 (8%) and 863 (8%). In conclusion, it was observed that TB in this specific population had been caused, mostly, by strains that have been transmitted in the last few years, as demonstrated by the large level of genotype clustering. In addition, it was found specific large clusters, which were not often found in the general population from the same period and in the same region. <![CDATA[<b>Fitness evaluation of two Brazilian <i>Aedes aegypti</i> field populations with distinct levels of resistance to the organophosphate temephos</b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0074-02762012000700013&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en In Brazil, decades of dengue vector control using organophosphates and pyrethroids have led to dissemination of resistance. Although these insecticides have been employed for decades against Aedes aegypti in the country, knowledge of the impact of temephos resistance on vector viability is limited. We evaluated several fitness parameters in two Brazilian Ae. aegypti populations, both classified as deltamethrin resistant but with distinct resistant ratios (RR) for temephos. The insecticide-susceptible Rockefeller strain was used as an experimental control. The population presenting the higher temephos resistance level, Aparecida de Goiânia, state of Goiás (RR95 of 19.2), exhibited deficiency in the following four parameters: blood meal acceptance, amount of ingested blood, number of eggs and frequency of inseminated females. Mosquitoes from Boa Vista, state of Roraima, the population with lower temephos resistance level (RR95 of 7.4), presented impairment in only two parameters, blood meal acceptance and frequency of inseminated females. These results indicate that the overall fitness handicap was proportional to temephos resistance levels. However, it is unlikely that these disabilities can be attributed solely to temephos resistance, since both populations are also resistant to deltamethrin and harbour the kdr allele, which indicates resistance to pyrethroids. The effects of reduced fitness in resistant populations are discussed. <![CDATA[<b>Comparison of adverse events following immunization with pandemic influenza A (H1N1)pdm09 vaccine with or without adjuvant among health professionals in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil</b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0074-02762012000700014&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en A vaccination campaign against pandemic influenza A (H1N1)pdm09 was held in Brazil in March 2010, using two types of monovalent split virus vaccines: an AS03-adjuvanted vaccine and a non-adjuvanted vaccine. We compared the reactogenicity of the vaccines in health professionals from a Clinical Research Institute in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and there were no serious adverse events following immunization (AEFI) among the 494 subjects evaluated. The prevalence of any AEFI was higher in the AS03-adjuvanted vaccine at 2 h and 24 h post-vaccination [preva-lence ratio (PR): 2.05, confidence interval (CI) 95%: 1.55-2.71, PR: 3.42, CI 95%: 2.62-4.48, respectively]; however, there was no difference between the vaccines in the assessments conducted at seven and 21 days post-vaccination. The group receiving the AS03 post-adjuvanted vaccine had a higher frequency of local reactions at 2 h (PR: 3.01, CI 95%: 2.12-4.29), 24 h (PR: 4.57, CI 95%: 3.29-6.37) and seven days (PR: 6.05, CI 95%: 2.98-12.28) post-vaccination. We concluded that the two types of vaccines caused no serious AEFI in the studied population and the adjuvanted vaccine was more reactogenic, particularly in the 24 h following vaccination. This behaviour must be confirmed and better characterised by longitudinal studies in the general population. <![CDATA[<b><i>Wyeomyia exallos</i>, a new species of sylvatic mosquito (Diptera: Culicidae) from Brazil</b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0074-02762012000700015&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Wyeomyia exallos, a new mosquito species from Atlantic Forest of southeastern Brazil, is described based on morphological characters of the adult female, male, male genitalia, pupa and fourth-instar larva. The morphological characters of Wy. exallos sp. nov. are compared with those of different subgenera of Wyeomyia as well as of species without subgeneric position. It is proposed that the new species should be placed in genus Wyeomyia Theobald without subgeneric assignment. <![CDATA[<b>Hepatitis E virus in liver and bile samples from slaughtered pigs of Brazil</b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0074-02762012000700016&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The objective of this study was to detect and identify hepatitis E virus (HEV) strains in liver and bile samples from slaughtered pigs in the state of Paraná, Brazil. Liver and bile samples were collected from 118 asymptomatic adult pigs at a slaughterhouse in a major Brazilian pork production area. The samples were assayed using a nested reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction protocol with primer sets targeting open reading frames (ORF)1 and 2 of the HEV genome. HEV RNA was detected in two (1.7%) liver samples and one (0.84%) bile sample using both primers sets. The HEV strains were classified as genotype 3b on the basis of their nucleotide sequences. These data suggest that healthy pigs may be a source of HEV infection for consumers of pig liver and slaughterhouse workers in Brazil. <![CDATA[<b>Dengue virus type 4 in Niterói, Rio de Janeiro</b>: <b>the role of molecular techniques in laboratory diagnosis and entomological surveillance</b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0074-02762012000700017&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en In Niterói, state of Rio de Janeiro, dengue virus type 4 (DENV-4) was isolated for the first time in March 2011. We analysed the laboratory findings of the first cases and evaluated the use of molecular techniques for the detection of DENV-4 in Aedes aegypti that were field-caught. Conventional reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and SimplexaTM Dengue real-time RT-PCR confirmed DENV-4 infection in all cases. Additionally, DENV-4 was confirmed in a female Ae. aegypti with 1.08 x 10³ copies/mL of virus, as determined by quantitative real-time RT-PCR. This is the first time the SimplexaTM Dengue real-time assay has been used for the classification of cases of infection and for entomological investigations. The use of these molecular techniques was shown to be important for the surveillance of dengue in humans and vectors. <![CDATA[<b>Differential in vitro activity of the DNA topoisomerase inhibitor idarubicin against <i>Trypanosoma rangeli</i> and <i>Trypanosoma cruzi</i></b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0074-02762012000700018&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en In this study the effect of eight DNA topoisomerase inhibitors on the growth Trypanosoma rangeli epimastigotes in cell culture was investigated. Among the eight compounds tested, idarubicin was the only compound that displayed promising trypanocidal activity with a half-maximal growth inhibition (GI50) value in the sub-micromolar range. Fluorescence-activated cell sorting analysis showed a reduction in DNA content in T. rangeli epimastigotes when treated with idarubicin. In contrast to T. rangeli, against Trypanosoma cruzi epimastigotes idarubicin was much less effective exhibiting a GI50 value in the mid-micromolar range. This result indicates that idarubicin displays differential toxic effects in T. rangeli and T. cruzi. Compared with African trypanosomes, it seems that American trypanosomes are generally less susceptible to DNA topoisomerase inhibitors. <![CDATA[<b>Use of the Kala-Azar Detect<sup>®</sup> and IT-LEISH<sup>®</sup> rapid tests for the diagnosis of visceral leishmaniasis in Brazil</b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0074-02762012000700019&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The performances of two rapid tests and a standard serological test for the diagnosis of visceral leishmaniasis (VL) were compared using sera from 193 patients with VL and 85 controls. The Kala-Azar Detect®, IT-LEISH® and IFI-LH® assays showed sensitivities of 88.1%, 93.3% and 88.6%, respectively, and specificities of 90.6%, 96.5% and 80%, respectively. The sensitivity values were similar for both rapid tests, but the specificity and positive predictive values of IT-LEISH® were higher than the corresponding values for IFI-LH®. Both rapid tests showed satisfactory performances and can be used in primary health care settings; however, IT-LEISH® permits the use of whole blood, making this assay more suitable for bedside diagnosis. <![CDATA[<b>The prevalence of human cytomegalovirus DNA in gliomas of Brazilian patients</b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0074-02762012000700020&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Members of the Herpesviridae family have been implicated in a number of tumours in humans. At least 75% of the human population has had contact with cytomegalovirus (HCMV). In this work, we screened 75 Brazilian glioma biopsies for the presence of HCMV DNA sequences. HCMV DNA was detected in 36% (27/75) of the biopsies. It is possible that HCMV could be a co-factor in the evolution of brain tumours. <![CDATA[<b>Species diversity of sandflies (Diptera: Psychodidae) during different seasons and in different environments in the district of Taquaruçú, state of Tocantins, Brazil</b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0074-02762012000700021&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Phlebotomine sandflies are the vectors for the protozoan parasites that cause leishmaniasis. The present study investigated the species composition of sandfly fauna in the rural district of Taquaruçú, municipality of Palmas, state of Tocantins, Brazil and compared the diversity of species among intradomicile, peridomicile and forest environments during the dry and rainy seasons. Sandflies were collected using CDC light traps over the course of three months during the dry and rainy seasons. A total of 767 specimens were captured, belonging to different 32 species. The most abundant species were Micropygomyia goiana (Martins, Falcão & Silva), Sciopemyia sordellii (Shannon & Del Ponte), Evandromyia carmelinoi (Ryan Fraiha, Lainson & Shaw), Evandromyia termitophila (Martins, Falcão & Silva), Nyssomyia whitmani (Antunes & Coutinho) and Lutzomyia longipalpis (Lutz & Neiva). The highest species diversity (30) and the greatest percentage of specimens (78.3%) were obtained during the rainy season. During the dry season, the species richness and abundance were greater in domestic environments. However, during the rainy season, the forest displayed the highest species richness and the domestic environment exhibited the greatest species abundance. Several important vector species are reported in this study. <![CDATA[<b>An immunoenzymatic assay for the diagnosis of hepatitis A utilising immunoglobulin Y</b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0074-02762012000700022&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The detection of anti-hepatitis A virus (HAV) antibody levels by diagnostic kits in the convalescent period of disease generally use immunoglobulin G (IgG), which is expensive. An alternative to IgG is immunoglobulin Y (IgY), an immunoglobulin antibody encountered in birds and reptiles. The aim of this study was to develop a competitive immunoenzymatic assay to measure total anti-HAV antibody levels using anti-HAV IgY as the capture and conjugated immunoglobulins. For this purpose, anti-HAV IgY was conjugated to horseradish peroxidase (HRP) and the optimal dilution of HRP-conjugated antibodies was evaluated to establish the competitive immuneenzymatic assay. The results obtained from our "in-house" assay were plotted on a receiver operator curve, which showed a sensitivity of 95% and a specificity of 98.8%, demonstrating that a competitive anti-HAV IgY immunoenzymatic assay developed "in house" could be used as an alternative to commercial assays that utilise IgG. <![CDATA[<b>Erratum</b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0074-02762012000700023&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The detection of anti-hepatitis A virus (HAV) antibody levels by diagnostic kits in the convalescent period of disease generally use immunoglobulin G (IgG), which is expensive. An alternative to IgG is immunoglobulin Y (IgY), an immunoglobulin antibody encountered in birds and reptiles. The aim of this study was to develop a competitive immunoenzymatic assay to measure total anti-HAV antibody levels using anti-HAV IgY as the capture and conjugated immunoglobulins. For this purpose, anti-HAV IgY was conjugated to horseradish peroxidase (HRP) and the optimal dilution of HRP-conjugated antibodies was evaluated to establish the competitive immuneenzymatic assay. The results obtained from our "in-house" assay were plotted on a receiver operator curve, which showed a sensitivity of 95% and a specificity of 98.8%, demonstrating that a competitive anti-HAV IgY immunoenzymatic assay developed "in house" could be used as an alternative to commercial assays that utilise IgG.