Abstract in English:Chronic granulomatous disease (CGD) is an inherited disorder of the innate immune system characterized by a defective oxidative burst of phagocytes and subsequent impairment of their microbicidal activity. Mutations in one of the NADPH-oxidase components affect gene expression or function of this system, leading to the phenotype of CGD. Defects in gp91-phox lead to X-linked CGD, responsible for approximately 70% of CGD cases. Investigation of the highly heterogeneous genotype of CGD patients includes mutation analysis, Northern blot or Western blot assays according to the particular case. The aim of the present study was to use reverse transcription (RT)-PCR for the analysis of molecular defects responsible for X-linked CGD in eight Brazilian patients and to assess its potential for broader application to molecular screening in CGD. Total RNA was prepared from Epstein B virus-transformed B-lymphocytes and reverse transcribed using random hexamers. The resulting cDNA was PCR-amplified by specific and overlapping pairs of primers designed to amplify three regions of the gp91-phox gene: exons 1-5, 3-9, and 7-13. This strategy detected defective gp91-phox expression in seven patients. The RT-PCR results matched clinical history, biochemical data (nitroblue tetrazolium or superoxide release assay) and available mutation analysis in four cases. In three additional cases, RT-PCR results matched clinical history and biochemical data. In another case, RT-PCR was normal despite a clinical history compatible with CGD and defective respiratory burst. We conclude that this new application of RT-PCR analysis - a simple, economical and rapid method - was appropriate for screening molecular defects in 7 of 8 X-linked CGD patients.
Abstract in English:The objective of the present study was to develop a simplified low cost method for the collection and fixation of pediatric autopsy cells and to determine the quantitative and qualitative adequacy of extracted DNA. Touch and scrape preparations of pediatric liver cells were obtained from 15 cadavers at autopsy and fixed in 95% ethanol or 3:1 methanol:acetic acid. Material prepared by each fixation procedure was submitted to DNA extraction with the Wizard® genomic DNA purification kit for DNA quantification and five of the preparations were amplified by multiplex PCR (azoospermia factor genes). The amount of DNA extracted varied from 20 to 8,640 µg, with significant differences between fixation methods. Scrape preparation fixed in 95% ethanol provided larger amount of extracted DNA. However, the mean for all groups was higher than the quantity needed for PCR (50 ng) or Southern blot (500 ng). There were no qualitative differences among the different material and fixatives. The same results were also obtained for glass slides stored at room temperature for 6, 12, 18 and 24 months. We conclude that touch and scrape preparations fixed in 95% ethanol are a good source of DNA and present fewer limitations than cell culture, tissue paraffin embedding or freezing that require sterile material, culture medium, laboratory equipment and trained technicians. In addition, they are more practical and less labor intensive and can be obtained and stored for a long time at low cost.
Abstract in English:Interferon (IFN)-alpha receptor mRNA expression in liver of patients with chronic hepatitis C has been shown to be a response to IFN-alpha therapy. The objective of the present study was to determine whether the expression of mRNA for subunit 1 of the IFN-alpha receptor (IFNAR1) in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) is associated with the response to IFN-alpha in patients with chronic hepatitis C. Thirty patients with positive anti-HCV and HCV-RNA, and abnormal levels of alanine aminotransferase in serum were selected and treated with IFN-alpha2b for one year. Those with HBV or HIV infection, or using alcohol were not included. Thirteen discontinued the treatment and were not evaluated. The IFN-alpha response was monitored on the basis of alanine aminotransferase level and positivity for HCV-RNA in serum. IFNAR1-mRNA expression in PBMC was measured by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction before and during the first three months of therapy. The results are reported as IFNAR1-mRNA/ß-actin-mRNA ratio (mean ± SD). Before treatment, responder patients had significantly higher IFNAR1-mRNA expression in PBMC (0.67 ± 0.15; N = 5; P < 0.05) compared to non-responders (0.35 ± 0.17; N = 12) and controls (0.30 ± 0.16; N = 9). Moreover, IFNAR1-mRNA levels were significantly reduced after 3 months of treatment in responders, whereas there were no differences in IFNAR1 expression in non-responders during IFN-alpha therapy. Basal IFNAR1-mRNA expression was not correlated with the serum level of alanine and aspartate aminotransferases or the presence of cirrhosis. The present results suggest that IFNAR1-mRNA expression in PBMC is associated with IFN-alpha response to hepatitis C and may be useful for monitoring therapy in patients with chronic hepatitis C.
Abstract in English:A procedure is described for the rapid determination of the intra-erythrocyte concentration of 6-mercaptopurine (6-MP) and its metabolites, 6-thioguanine nucleotides (6-TGN) and 6-methylmercaptopurine (6-MMP). Erythrocytes (8 x 10(8) cells) in 350 µl Hanks solution containing 7.5 mg dithiothreitol were treated with 50 µl 70% perchloric acid. The precipitate was removed by centrifugation (13,000 g) and the supernatant hydrolyzed at 100°C for 45 min. After cooling, 100 µl was analyzed directly by HPLC using a Radialpack Resolve C18 column eluted with methanol-water (7.5:92.5, v/v) containing 100 mM triethylamine. 6-TG, 6-MP and the hydrolysis product of 6-MMP, 4-amino-5-(methylthio)carbonyl imidazole, were monitored at 342, 322 and 303 nm using a Shimadzu SPD-M10A diode array UV detector. The analytes eluted at 5.3, 6.0 and 10.2 min, respectively. The calibration curves were linear (r² > 0.998), and the analytical recoveries were 73.2% for 6-TG, 119.1% for 6-MP and 97.4% for 6-MMP. The intra- and inter-assay variations were highest for 6-MP (9.6 and 14.3%, respectively). The lowest detectable concentrations were 3, 3 and 25 pmol/8 x 10(8) erythrocytes for 6-TG, 6-MP and 6-MMP, respectively. The quantification limits (coefficients of variation <15%) were 8, 10 and 70 pmol/8 x 10(8) erythrocytes for 6-TG, 6-MP and 6-MMP, respectively. The method was applied to the analysis of 183 samples from 36 children under chemotherapy for acute lymphoblastic leukemia. The concentrations of the metabolites in the red cells of the patients ranged from 0 to 1934 pmol/8 x 10(8) erythrocytes for 6-TGN, and from 0 to 105.8 and 0 to 45.9 nmol/8 x 10(8) erythrocytes for 6-MP and 6-MMP, respectively. The procedure gave results that were in agreement with those obtained with other methods designed to detect cases of non-compliance with treatment, including patient interviews and medical evaluation, among others, demonstrating its applicability to monitoring the treatment of leukemic children.
Abstract in English:The relationship between the irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and food intolerance is not clear. We studied the cutaneous response to food antigens in 43 volunteers who were students and employees of the Faculty of Medicine of Universidade Federal Fluminense. Subjects were divided into 3 groups after evaluation for Roma II criteria for functional disease of the gastrointestinal tract: group I, 14 volunteers with IBS; group II, 15 volunteers with functional dyspepsia; group III, 14 volunteers without habitual gastrointestinal symptoms. The subjects were submitted to the skin prick test with 9 food antigen extracts, for a total of 387 skin tests (9 per volunteer). Of the 126 tests applied to group I, 24 (19.4%) were positive (a 3-mm wider papule than the negative control) and of the 135 tests applied to group II, 3 (2.3%) were positive. Of the 126 tests applied to group III, 6 (4%) were positive. The number of positive responses obtained in group I (IBS) differed significantly from the other 2 groups (P < 0.01). None of the volunteers with IBS reported intolerance to any isolated food. The higher reactivity to food antigens in group I compared to groups II and III suggests that intestinal permeability may be increased in patients with IBS.
Abstract in English:The present study was designed to compare the homeostasis model assessment (HOMA) and quantitative insulin sensitivity check index (QUICKI) with data from forearm metabolic studies of healthy individuals and of subjects in various pathological states. Fifty-five healthy individuals and 112 patients in various pathological states, including type 2 diabetes mellitus, essential hypertension and others, were studied after an overnight fast and for 3 h after ingestion of 75 g of glucose, by HOMA, QUICKI and the forearm technique to estimate muscle uptake of glucose combined with indirect calorimetry (oxidative and non-oxidative glucose metabolism). The patients showed increased HOMA (1.88 ± 0.14 vs 1.13 ± 0.10 pmol/l x mmol/l) and insulin/glucose (I/G) index (1.058.9 ± 340.9 vs 518.6 ± 70.7 pmol/l x (mg/100 ml forearm)-1), and decreased QUICKI (0.36 ± 0.004 vs 0.39 ± 0.006 (µU/ml + mg/dl)-1) compared with the healthy individuals. Analysis of the data for the group as a whole (patients and healthy individuals) showed that the estimate of insulin resistance by HOMA was correlated with data obtained in the forearm metabolic studies (glucose uptake: r = -0.16, P = 0.04; non-oxidative glucose metabolism: r = -0.20. P = 0.01, and I/G index: r = 0.17, P = 0.03). The comparison of QUICKI with data of the forearm metabolic studies showed significant correlation between QUICKI and non-oxidative glucose metabolism (r = 0.17, P = 0.03) or I/G index (r = -0.37, P < 0.0001). The HOMA and QUICKI are good estimates of insulin sensitivity as data derived from forearm metabolic studies involving direct measurements of insulin action on muscle glucose metabolism.
Abstract in English:The objective of the present study was to describe, for the first time in Brazil, the use by a non-ophthalmologist of a community-based marginal rotation procedure by a posterior approach in the indigenous population from the Upper Rio Negro basin. Seventy-three upper eyelids of 46 Indians (11 males and 35 females) with cicatricial upper eyelid entropion and trichiasis were operated in the Indian communities using a marginal rotational procedure by a posterior approach by a non-ophthalmologist physician who had general surgery experience but only an extremely short period (one week) of ophthalmic training. Subjects were reevaluated 6 months after surgery. Results were classified according to the presence and location of residual trichiasis and symptoms were assessed according to a three-level subjective scale (better, worse or no change). Fifty-six eyelids (76.7%) were free from trichiasis, whereas residual trichiasis was observed in 17 eyelids (23.3%) of 10 subjects. In these cases, trichiasis was either lateral or medial to the central portion of the lid. Of these 10 patients, only 4 reported that the surgery did not improve the irritative symptoms. We conclude that marginal rotation by a posterior approach is an effective and simple procedure with few complications, even when performed by non-specialists. Due to its simplicity the posterior approach is an excellent option for community-based upper eyelid entropion surgery.
Abstract in English:We describe the impact of subtype differences on the seroreactivity of linear antigenic epitopes in envelope glycoprotein of HIV-1 isolates from different geographical locations. By computer analysis, we predicted potential antigenic sites of envelope glycoprotein (gp120 and gp4l) of this virus. For this purpose, after fetching sequences of proteins of interest from data banks, values of hydrophilicity, flexibility, accessibility, inverted hydrophobicity, and secondary structure were considered. We identified several potential antigenic epitopes in a B subtype strain of envelope glycoprotein of HIV-1 (IIIB). Solid- phase peptide synthesis methods of Merrifield and Fmoc chemistry were used for synthesizing peptides. These synthetic peptides corresponded mainly to the C2, V3 and CD4 binding sites of gp120 and some parts of the ectodomain of gp41. The reactivity of these peptides was tested by ELISA against different HIV-1-positive sera from different locations in India. For two of these predicted epitopes, the corresponding Indian consensus sequences (LAIERYLKQQLLGWG and DIIGDIRQAHCNISEDKWNET) (subtype C) were also synthesized and their reactivity was tested by ELISA. These peptides also distinguished HIV-1-positive sera of Indians with C subtype infections from sera from HIV-negative subjects.
Abstract in English:Few data are available in the literature concerning the efficacy of standard hysteroscope disinfection procedures to prevent hepatitis B transmission. The aim of the present study was to determine the risk of hepatitis B virus (HBV) transmission during hysteroscopy among anti-HBc-seropositive women. Serum and hysteroscopic samples were collected from 62 women after diagnostic hysteroscopy. All samples were tested for serologic HBV markers. Polymerase chain reactions (PCR) were carried out to amplify regions C and S of the viral genome and only samples amplified by both pairs of primers were considered to be positive. Anti-HBc was repeatedly reactive in 48 (77%) of 62 serum samples, and HBsAg was detected in 8 (13%). At least one HBV serologic marker was found in 49 (79%) samples. Only one sample was HBsAg positive and anti-HBc negative. HBV-DNA was detected by PCR in 7 serum samples but in only 3 hysteroscopic samples obtained just after hysteroscopy. It is noteworthy that high levels of anti-HBc IgM were detected in one HBsAg-negative patient who showed an HBV-DNA-positive hysteroscopic sample. An elevated sample/cut-off ratio for anti-HBc IgM suggests recent infection and reinforces the need for testing for HBsAg and anti-HBc before hysteroscopy, since acute hepatitis B can be clinically asymptomatic. Viral DNA was not detected in any hysteroscopic samples collected after washing and disinfecting procedures with glutaraldehyde. We conclude that HBV-DNA can be found in the hysteroscope soon after hysteroscopy, but standard disinfecting procedures are effective in viral removal.
Abstract in English:Hepatitis C virus (HCV) was first described in 1989 as the putative viral agent of non-A non-B hepatitis. It is a member of the Flaviviridae family and has been recognized as the major causative agent of chronic liver disease, including chronic active hepatitis, cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. HCV is a positive RNA virus with a genome containing approximately 9500 nucleotides. It has an open reading frame that encodes a large polyprotein of about 3000 amino acids and is characterized by extensive genetic diversity. HCV has been classified into at least 6 major genotypes with many subtypes and circulates within an infected individual as a number of closely related but distinct variants known as quasispecies. This article reviews aspects of the molecular biology of HCV and their clinical implication.
Abstract in English:Large-scale vaccination with BCG, the live attenuated strain of Mycobacterium bovis, is being adopted around the world, although sporadic complications have occurred after the procedure. Lymphadenopathy is not uncommon especially in babies under one year (0.73% of vaccinated infants), but the swelling subsides within 2 months in most cases, with no medical or surgical treatment. Brazil adopted BCG vaccination program earlier in the seventies and by 1995 more than 96% of the infant population received this immunization. We report here the occurrence of lymphadenopathy in a two-year-old child vaccinated with the Brazilian BCG strain. The diagnosis was made using a lymph node biopsy and intestinal aspirates that yielded a positive mycobacterial culture. The isolate was resistant to isoniazid, rifampicin, pyrazinamide and thiophen-2-carbonic acid hydrazide, sensitive to streptomycin, ethambutol, and p-nitrobenzoic acid, and reacted positively to cyclo-serine and negatively to niacin. The pncA gene involved in bacterial activation of pyrazinamide contains in M. bovis a point mutation that renders pyrazinamidase unable to catalyze drug activation. Therefore, this polymorphism is a good option for developing methods to differentiate M. bovis and M. tuberculosis. Taking advantage of this difference we further analyzed the isolates by single-stranded conformation polymorphism electrophoresis of DNA following PCR of the pncA gene. The isolate identity was confirmed by RFLP electrophoretic analysis of the amplified fragment following Eco065I digestion, which selectively cleaves M. tuberculosis DNA. From this result it is proposed that RFLP of pncA gene represents an alternative for differential diagnosis of M. bovis.
Abstract in English:The present study compares the performance of stochastic and fuzzy models for the analysis of the relationship between clinical signs and diagnosis. Data obtained for 153 children concerning diagnosis (pneumonia, other non-pneumonia diseases, absence of disease) and seven clinical signs were divided into two samples, one for analysis and other for validation. The former was used to derive relations by multi-discriminant analysis (MDA) and by fuzzy max-min compositions (fuzzy), and the latter was used to assess the predictions drawn from each type of relation. MDA and fuzzy were closely similar in terms of prediction, with correct allocation of 75.7 to 78.3% of patients in the validation sample, and displaying only a single instance of disagreement: a patient with low level of toxemia was mistaken as not diseased by MDA and correctly taken as somehow ill by fuzzy. Concerning relations, each method provided different information, each revealing different aspects of the relations between clinical signs and diagnoses. Both methods agreed on pointing X-ray, dyspnea, and auscultation as better related with pneumonia, but only fuzzy was able to detect relations of heart rate, body temperature, toxemia and respiratory rate with pneumonia. Moreover, only fuzzy was able to detect a relationship between heart rate and absence of disease, which allowed the detection of six malnourished children whose diagnoses as healthy are, indeed, disputable. The conclusion is that even though fuzzy sets theory might not improve prediction, it certainly does enhance clinical knowledge since it detects relationships not visible to stochastic models.
Abstract in English:The objective of the present study was to determine the levels of amino acids in maternal plasma, placental intervillous space and fetal umbilical vein in order to identify the similarities and differences in amino acid levels in these compartments of 15 term newborns from normal pregnancies and deliveries. All amino acids, except tryptophan, were present in at least 186% higher concentrations in the intervillous space than in maternal venous blood, with the difference being statistically significant. This result contradicted the initial hypothesis of the study that the plasma amino acid levels in the placental intervillous space should be similar to those of maternal plasma. When the maternal venous compartment was compared with the umbilical vein, we observed values 103% higher on the fetal side which is compatible with currently accepted mechanisms of active amino acid transport. Amino acid levels of the placental intervillous space were similar to the values of the umbilical vein except for proline, glycine and aspartic acid, whose levels were significantly higher than fetal umbilical vein levels (average 107% higher). The elevated levels of the intervillous space are compatible with syncytiotrophoblast activity, which maintain high concentrations of free amino acids inside syncytiotrophoblast cells, permitting asymmetric efflux or active transport from the trophoblast cells to the blood in the intervillous space. The plasma amino acid levels in the umbilical vein of term newborns probably may be used as a standard of local normality for clinical studies of amino acid profiles.
Abstract in English:The objective of this multicenter prospective study was to determine the clinical efficacy and toxicity of a polychemotherapeutic third generation regimen, VACOP-B, with or without radiotherapy as front-line therapy in aggressive localized non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Ninety-three adult patients (47 males and 46 females, median age 45 years) with aggressive localized non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, 43 in stage I and 50 in stage II (non-bulky), were included in the study. Stage I patients received VACOP-B for 6 weeks plus involved field radiotherapy and stage II patients received 12 weeks VACOP-B plus involved field radiotherapy on residual masses. Eighty-six (92.5%) achieved complete remission and 4 (4.3%) partial remission. Three patients (3.2%) were primarily resistant. Ten-year probability of survival, progression-free survival and disease-free survival were 87.3, 79.9 and 83.9%, respectively. Eighty-four patients are surviving at a median observation time of 57 months (range: 6-126). Statistical analysis showed no difference between stages I and II in terms of response, ten-year probability of survival, progression-free survival or disease-free survival. Side effects and toxicity were negligible and were similar in the two patient groups. The results of this prospective study suggest that 6 weeks of VACOP-B treatment plus radiotherapy may be the therapy of choice in stage I aggressive non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Twelve weeks of VACOP-B treatment with or without radiotherapy was shown to be effective and feasible for stage II. These observations need to be confirmed by a phase III study comparing first and third generation protocols in stage I-II aggressive non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
Abstract in English:Patients with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) usually are obese, insulin resistant and hyperinsulinemic. The known association between leptin, obesity andinsulin action suggests that leptin may have a role in PCOS but this has only been addressed peripherally. This study was designed to assess the relationship between serum leptin and the anthropometric, metabolic and endocrine variables of obese (body mass index, BMI ³30 kg/m²) and non-obese (BMI <30 kg/m²) PCOS patients. Twenty-eight PCOS patients and 24 control women subdivided into obese and non-obese groups were evaluated. Leptin, androgens, lipids, gonadotrophins and insulin-glucose response to the oral glucose tolerance test were measured by radioimmunoassay in all participants. The assays were done all in one time. The areas under the insulin curve (AUC-I) and the glycemia curve were calculated to identify patients with insulin resistance. Mean leptin levels were not significantly higher in patients with PCOS compared to the control group (21.2 ± 10.2 vs 27.3 ± 12.4 ng/ml). Leptin levels were found to be significantly higher in the obese subgroups both in patients with PCOS (26.9 ± 9.3 vs 14.1 ± 7.0 ng/ml) and in the control group (37.3 ± 15.5 vs 12.9 ± 5.8 ng/ml). The leptin of the PCOS group was correlated with BMI (r = 0.74; P < 0.0001) and estradiol (r = 0.48; P < 0.008) and tended to be correlated with the AUC-I (r = 0.36; P = 0.05). Of the parameters which showed a correlation with leptin in PCOS, only estradiol and probably insulinemia (AUC-I) did not show a significant correlation with BMI, suggesting that the other parameters were correlated with leptin due to their correlation with BMI. Estradiol correlated with leptin in PCOS patients regardless of their weight.
Abstract in English:Preterm delivery is the main cause of neonatal death and ultrasonographic cervical assessment has been shown to be more accurate than digital examination in recognizing a short cervix. This is a cross-sectional study, involving 1131 women at 22-24 weeks of pregnancy, designed to determine the distribution of cervical length and to examine which variables of demographic characteristics and obstetric history increase the risk of a short cervix (15 mm or less). The distribution of maternal demographic and obstetric history characteristics among patients with cervical length £15 mm was analyzed and compared to the findings for the general population. Risk ratios (RR) between subgroups were generated from this comparison. Median cervical length was 37 mm and in 1.5% of cases it was 15 mm or less. The proportion of women with a short cervix (<=15 mm) was significantly higher among patients with a low body mass index (RR = 3.5) and in those with previous fetal losses between 16-23 weeks (RR = 33.1) or spontaneous preterm deliveries between 24-32 weeks (RR = 14.1). We suggest that transvaginal sonographic measurement of cervical length be performed as part of a routine midtrimester ultrasound evaluation. There are specific variables of demographic characteristics and obstetric history which increase the risk of detecting a short cervix at 22-24 weeks.
Abstract in English:Dysregulation of the skin immune system (SIS) could explain the high prevalence of skin disorders in HIV+ individuals. The present study was carried out to determine whether alterations in the cell population of SIS and epidermal immunoactivation occur in the normal skin of HIV+ individuals. Forty-five biopsies were taken from the normal upper arm skin of 45 HIV+ patients and of 15 healthy controls. HIV+ individuals were divided into three categories according to their CD4 cell blood count (<200, 200-499 and ³500/µl). Hematoxylin-eosin was used to stain tissue sections for morphological analysis and immunohistochemistry was used for the evaluation of the frequency of macrophages, Langerhans cells, and CD lymphocyte subsets. In addition, semiquantitative analysis of LFA-1, ICAM-1 and HLA-DR was determined in epidermal cells. Macrophages, Langerhans cells, and CD lymphocyte subsets did not differ significantly between any of the patient categories and the control group. When all HIV+ individuals were compared as a group to the control group, a significant increase in dermal CD8+ T lymphocytes (P < 0.01) and lower CD4-CD8 ratios (P < 0.01) were observed in the HIV+ individuals. Epidermal ICAM-1 and HLA-DR expression was negative in both HIV+ and normal skin biopsies. No evidence of a depletion of the SIS population or of epidermal immunoactivation in normal skin from HIV+ individuals was demonstrable, suggesting that alterations in the central immune system are not necessarily reflected in the SIS of HIV-infected patients.
Abstract in English:In view of the importance of anticipating the occurrence of critical situations in medicine, we propose the use of a fuzzy expert system to predict the need for advanced neonatal resuscitation efforts in the delivery room. This system relates the maternal medical, obstetric and neonatal characteristics to the clinical conditions of the newborn, providing a risk measurement of need of advanced neonatal resuscitation measures. It is structured as a fuzzy composition developed on the basis of the subjective perception of danger of nine neonatologists facing 61 antenatal and intrapartum clinical situations which provide a degree of association with the risk of occurrence of perinatal asphyxia. The resulting relational matrix describes the association between clinical factors and risk of perinatal asphyxia. Analyzing the inputs of the presence or absence of all 61 clinical factors, the system returns the rate of risk of perinatal asphyxia as output. A prospectively collected series of 304 cases of perinatal care was analyzed to ascertain system performance. The fuzzy expert system presented a sensitivity of 76.5% and specificity of 94.8% in the identification of the need for advanced neonatal resuscitation measures, considering a cut-off value of 5 on a scale ranging from 0 to 10. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve was 0.93. The identification of risk situations plays an important role in the planning of health care. These preliminary results encourage us to develop further studies and to refine this model, which is intended to implement an auxiliary system able to help health care staff to make decisions in perinatal care.
Abstract in English:Air pollution has been associated with health effects on different age groups. The present study was designed to assess the impact of daily changes in air pollutants (NO2, SO2, CO, O3, and particle matter (PM10)) on total number of daily neonatal deaths (those that occur between the first and the 28th days of life) in São Paulo, from January 1998 to December 2000, since adverse outcomes such as neonatal deaths associated with air pollution in Brazil have not been evaluated before. Generalized additive Poisson regression models were used and nonparametric smooth functions (loess) were adopted to control long-term trend, temperature, humidity, and short-term trends. A linear term was used for holidays. The association between air pollutants and neonatal deaths showed a short time lag. Interquartile range increases in PM10 (23.3 µg/m³) and SO2 (9.2 µg/m³) were associated with increases of 4% (95% CI, 2-6) and 6% (95% CI, 4-8), respectively. Instead of adopting a two-pollutant model we created an index to represent PM10 and SO2 effects. For an interquartile range increase in the index an increase of 6.3% (95% CI, 6.1-6.5) in neonatal deaths was observed. These results agree with previous studies performed by our group showing the deleterious effects of air pollutants during the perinatal period. The method reported here represents an alternative approach to analyze the relationship between highly correlated pollutants and public health problems, reinforcing the idea of the synergic effects of air pollutants in public health.
Abstract in English:The purpose of the present study was to determine the vulnerability of women in prison to HIV infection. The study was carried out from August to October 2000 in a São Paulo State Penitentiary, where 299 female prisoners were serving time. We interviewed and obtained a blood sample from 290 females who agreed to enter the study. Sera were tested for the presence of antibodies to HIV, hepatitis C virus (HCV) and syphilis and the odds ratio (OR) was calculated for variables related to HIV positivity on the basis of a questionnaire. The overall prevalence data were: 13.9% for HIV (37 of 267), 22.8% for syphilis (66 of 290), and 16.2% for HCV (47 of 290). Sexual partnership variables were significantly related to HIV infection. These included HIV-positive partners (OR = 7.36, P = 0.0001), casual partners (OR = 8.96, P = 0.009), injectable drug user partners (OR = 4.7, P = 0.0001), and history of sexually transmitted disease (OR = 2.07, P = 0.05). In addition, a relationship was detected between HIV infection and drug use (OR = 2.48, P = 0.04) and injectable drug use (OR = 4.2, P = 0.002). Even women with only one partner presented a significant OR for HIV infection (OR = 2.57, P = 0.009), reflecting their vulnerability due to their trust in their partner, who did not use a condom. Although the use of injectable substances is associated with HIV infection, our results point to sexual behavior as the most important component of HIV transmission in the female prisoner population.