Abstract in English:Tissue healing is an adaptive biological response by which the organism repairs damaged tissue. The initial stage of healing is represented by an acute inflammatory reaction, in which inflammatory cells migrate to damaged tissue and phagocyte debris. At a later stage, fibroblasts and endothelial cells proliferate and generate a scar. The occurrence of inflammatory processes and healing imperfections have been a concern for hundreds of years, especially for individuals with healing difficulties, such as diabetics and carriers of peripheral circulation deficiencies. A wide variety of natural products have been used as anti-inflammatory and healing agents, with propolis being a remarkable option. Propolis has been used in popular medicine for a very long time; however, it is not a drug intended for all diseases. Currently, the determination of quality standards of propolis-containing products is a major problem due to their varying pharmacological activities and chemical compositions. The aim of this review is to discuss the use of propolis with emphasis on its anti-inflammatory and healing properties.
Abstract in English:This work succinctly describes the professional and scientific life of Dr. José R. Giglio, one of the most outstanding Brazilian researchers in the field of Toxinology. During his long and successful career, he has made major contributions, especially in elucidating the function, structure, and mechanisms of action of animal venom proteins (from snakes, scorpions and spiders) as well as the characterization of antibodies and several inhibitors of venoms and toxins. We present here a brief history of Dr. Giglio’s personal and professional life, also reporting some of his numerous published scientific articles on venoms from snakes (Bothrops, Crotalus, and other genera), scorpions (Tityus sp), spiders (Phoneutria sp), their isolated toxins and natural inhibitors. Thus, this work is a tribute to Dr. Giglio in his 73rd birthday, having devoted 48 years of his life studying animal venoms, an effort that has continued even after his formal retirement from university duties.
Abstract in English:Scientific development that has been achieved through decades finds in clinical research a great possibility of translating findings to human health application. Evidence given by clinical trials allows everyone to have access to the best health services. However, the millionaire world of pharmaceutical industries has stained clinical research with doubt and improbability. Study results (fruits of controlled clinical trials) and scientific publications (selective, manipulated and with wrong conclusions) led to an inappropriate clinical practice, favoring the involved economic aspect. In 2005, the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), supported by the World Association of Medical Editors, started demanding as a requisite for publication that all clinical trials be registered at the database ClinicalTrials.gov. In 2006, the World Health Organization (WHO) created the International Clinical Trial Registry Platform (ICTRP), which gathers several registry centers from all over the world, and required that all researchers and pharmaceutical industries register clinical trials. Such obligatory registration has progressed and will extend to all scientific journals indexed in all worldwide databases. Registration of clinical trials means another step of clinical research towards transparency, ethics and impartiality, resulting in real evidence to the forthcoming changes in clinical practice as well as in the health situation.
Abstract in English:The aim of the current work was to evaluate the occurrence of Cryptosporidium sp in AIDS patients in a region of São Paulo State, Brazil. Patients were divided into groups according to CD4+ T lymphocyte count and use of potent antiretroviral treatment. Two hundred and ten fecal samples from 105 patients were fixed in 10% formalin and subjected to centrifuge formol-ether sedimentation. Slides were stained with auramine and confirmed by modified Ziehl-Neelsen. Cryptosporidiosis occurrence was 10.5% with no relationship among gender, age or the presence of diarrhea. The number of oocysts in all samples was small, independent of CD4+ T lymphocyte count, HIV plasma viral load, and presence of diarrhea. These results may be due to the reduced prevalence of opportunistic infections in AIDS individuals after the advent of highly active antiretroviral therapy.
Abstract in English:Propolis shows biological properties such as antibacterial action. This bee product has a complex chemical composition, which depends on the local flora where it is produced. Salmonella serovars are responsible for human diseases that range from localized gastroenteritis to systemic infections. The aim of the present study was to investigate the susceptibility of Salmonella strains, isolated from food and infectious processes, to the antibacterial action of Brazilian and Bulgarian propolis, as well as to determine the behavior of these bacteria, according to the incubation period, in medium plus propolis. Dilution of ethanolic extract of propolis in agar was the used method. Brazilian and Bulgarian propolis showed an antibacterial action against all Salmonella serovars. The minimal inhibitory concentrations (MIC) of propolis were similar, although they were collected in different geographic regions. Salmonella typhimurium, isolated from human infection, was more resistant to propolis than Salmonella enteritidis.
Abstract in English:Several studies have been published about the clinical and biochemical manifestations produced by the venom of scorpions of the Buthidae family, but very few reports have indicated the manifestations induced by the venom of the Scorpionidae family. Hemiscorpius lepturus is an important scorpion species present in the south and southwestern part of Iran, causing morbidity and mortality in children and adults. For the present study, H. lepturus venom was extracted by electric shock and subcutaneously injected (6.3mg/kg) into a group of six rabbits. Blood collection was carried out before and three hours after venom injection for determination of osmotic fragility and levels of blood sugar, alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), creatine phosphokinase (CPK) and alkaline phosphatase (ALP). In vitro studies were also carried out to verify the osmotic fragility of red blood cells (RBCs) exposed to venom concentrations ranging from 0-90µg/2ml blood. Results showed the extreme effect of this venom on the lysis of RBCs both in vitro and in vivo. Venom injection caused significant (p>0.001) increase in ALT, AST, LDH and blood sugar levels. There was also an increase in CPK, and ALP levels after venom injection; however, it was not statistically significant. All animals died four hours after having received the venom. The current study revealed that the neurological effect of H. lepturus venom is similar to that of scorpions of the Buthidae family. However, they differ in RBCs lysis, which was highly significant when induced by H. lepturus venom, probably due to the presence of a type of phospholipase in this venom. Further studies are needed to provide a clearer view of the mechanism of action of H. lepturus venom.
Abstract in English:India is home to a number of venomous species. Every year in harvesting season, a large number of productive citizens are envenomed by such species. For efficient medical management of the victims, identification of the aggressor species as well as assessment of the envenomation degree is necessary. Species identification is generally based on the visual description by the victim or a witness and is therefore quite likely to be erroneous. Symptomatic identification remains the only available method. In a previous published work, the authors proposed a classification table for snake species based on manifested symptoms applicable in Indian subcontinent. The classification table serves the purpose to a great deal but as a manual method it demands human expertise. The current paper presents a neural network-based symptomatic species identification system. A symptom vector is fed as input to the neural network and the system yields the most probable species as well as the envenomation severity as the output. The severity status can be very helpful in calculating the antivenom dosage and in deciding the species-specific prognostic measures for efficient medical management.
Abstract in English:Purification of a lectin from Bothrops jararacussu venom (BjcuL) was carried out using agarose-D-galactose affinity gel. MALDI-TOF gave a major signal at m/z 32028, suggesting the presence of a dimmer composed of two identical subunits. Divalent cations were required for the lectin activity, as complete absence of such ions reduced hemagglutination. BjcuL was more effective at neutral pH and showed total loss of activity at pH values below 4.0 and above 9.0. Its agglutinating activity remained stable at 25°C until 60min, but increased when at 35°C for at least 15min. Adhesion assays to extracellular matrix (ECM) glycoproteins showed that the biotinylated lectin (0.039-5.0µg/100µl) was capable of binding to fibronectin and vitronectin in a dose-dependent manner. The binding was partially inhibited in the presence of D-galactose. BjcuL (1.25-10µg/30µl) potential was investigated for leukocyte rolling and adhesion to endothelial cells in living microvessels using intravital microscopy, which showed that it induced a dose-dependent increase in rolling and adherence of leukocytes, acting directly on endothelial cells of postcapillary venules. The specific association between lectins and their ligands, either on the cell surface or on the ECM, is related to a variety of biological processes. The complementary characterization of BjcuL, shown here, is useful to further understand the venom effects and as a background for future investigation for therapeutic strategies.
Abstract in English:The present study aimed at evaluating clinical and laboratory aspects during experimental envenomation by Crotalus durissus terrificus in dogs treated with antiophidic serum. Twenty-one dogs were divided into three groups of seven animals each. Group I received 1mg/kg venom (sc); Group II received 1mg/kg venom (sc), 50mg antiophidic serum (iv), and fluid therapy including 0.9% NaCl solution (iv); and Group III received 1mg/kg venom (sc), 50mg antiophidic serum (iv), and fluid therapy including 0.9% NaCl solution containing sodium bicarbonate diluted to the dose of 4mEq/kg. The clinical signs of ataxia, sedation, flaccid paralysis, mydriasis, eyeball paralysis, mandible ptosis, sialorrhea, vomiting and diarrhea observed in the dogs were very similar to those observed in humans. The decrease in hemoglobin, hematocrit, erythrocyte, platelet and fibrinogen levels, prolongation of clotting time, prothrombin time (PT) and activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT), as well as hypocellularity in the bone marrow characterized anemia, thrombocytopenia and blood incoagulability, as well as hypofibrinogenemia and decreased bone-marrow activity. Important bleeding was not observed. Increased numbers of leukocytes and neutrophils and decreased numbers of lymphocytes and eosinophils characterized an acute inflammatory response and stress caused by generalized pain. The employed antiophidic serum was effective and all animals survived.
Abstract in English:The present work shows laboratory aspects, electrocardiogram and histopathology results during experimental envenomation by Crotalus durissus terrificus in dogs treated with antiophidic serum. Twenty-one dogs were divided into three groups of seven animals each. Group I received 1mg/kg venom (sc); Group II received 1mg/kg venom (sc), 50mg antiophidic serum (iv) and fluid therapy including 0.9% NaCl solution (iv); and Group III received 1mg/kg venom (sc), 50mg antiophidic serum (iv) and fluid therapy including 0.9% NaCl solution containing sodium bicarbonate diluted to the dose of 4mEq/kg. Urinalysis showed brown urine, proteinuria, occult blood and myoglobinuria. Respiratory acidosis and hypotension were also observed. At the venom inoculation site, there was discreet edema, popliteal lymph node response, musculature presenting whitish areas and necrotic myositis with myoregenerative activity. There was not evidence of electrocardiographical and biochemical alterations.
Abstract in English:The present work is a complementary contribution to the comprehensive study of the scorpion sting syndrome in Saudi Arabia. It deals with the identification and determination of medically important scorpions and the other ones, which were collected from two regions (Jazan and Al-Medina Al-Munawara), based on their morphology (the molecular phylogeny and venom characteristics will appear in subsequent publications). The specimens collected from those two regions were brought to the Research Center laboratories in several batches. Morphological identification of the collected specimens was done employing identification keys. There were 646 specimens collected from Jazan Region. A single species, Nebo hierichonticus (Family Diplocentridae), and five genera with four identified species, Parabuthus liosoma, Hottentotta jayakari (salei?), Compsobuthus werneri, Leiurus quinquestriatus (Vachoniolus globimanus?), Vachoniolus spp. (other species) and Orthochirus innesi (Family Buthidae), were classified as extant scorpions in the region. Three hundred and ninety-six specimens from Al-Medina Al-Munawara Region were categorized into eight groups; four of them were identified. Three buthids, Leiurus quinquestriatus, Androctonus crassicauda, Orthochirus innesi and one scorpion specimen, Scorpio maurus, were identified and classified as extant scorpions in this region. The other four species are still not completely identified. They are Vachoniolus (Buthacus minipectinibus?) globimanus? (Unidentified-1), Compsobuthus spp (arabicus?) (Unidentified-2), Compsobuthus spp (werneri?) (Unidentified-3) and a single specimen of Androctonus spp (australis?) (Unidentified-4), all of which belong to the family Buthidae.
Abstract in English:Scorpions are venomous arthropods of the class Arachnida and are considered relatives of spiders, ticks and mites. There are approximately 1,500 species of scorpions worldwide, which are characterized by an elongated body and a segmented tail that ends in a venomous stinger. No specific treatment is available for scorpion envenomation, except for the use of antivenom. The current study aimed at comparing protein content and lethality of Androctonus crassicauda venom extracted by two different methods (electric stimulation and maceration of telsons). The LD50 calculated by probit analysis was 1.1mg/kg for venom obtained by electric stimulation and 39.19mg/kg for venom obtained by maceration of telsons. In the electrophoretic analysis, protein bands of the venom sample obtained by electric stimulation were between 12 and 53kDa (total: five bands), and those of venom extracted by maceration appeared as multiple protein bands, relative to the other venom sample. Low-molecular-weight proteins, revealed by western blotting, played an important immunogenic role in the production of antivenom. Lethality and protein levels varied according to the extraction method; venom obtained by the maceration technique showed lower toxicity than that obtained by electric stimulation.
Abstract in English:Fibrin glue has been researched as an alternative method for tissue synthesis and is known for its capability to promote hemostasis at the application site, good approximation of wound edges and fast healing. The current study consisted in the application of fibrin glue derived from snake venom as treatment for experimental corneal ulcers. Twenty-one dogs had their corneas experimentally prepared through lamellar keratectomy (of standardized diameter and depth). Animals were divided into seven groups of three animals each. Six experimental groups were periodically evaluated and collection was carried out on the 1st, 3rd, 7th, 15th, 30th and 60th post-operative days, whereas one control group was evaluated throughout the experiment. Analyses consisted in the clinical evolution and in the histopathological study of all operated on eyes. Results indicated that fibrin glue was efficient in repairing keratectomy wounds in dogs and contributed to an earlier healing phenomenon, avoiding edema formation and keeping corneal clearness. The use of fibrin glue derived from snake venom showed to be easy to apply, feasible with animal models and of low cost, avoiding the lesion progress and allowing fast and appropriate corneal healing.
Abstract in English:A plasmid named pSH-G was constructed with the rabies-virus G-gene insert. This plasmid was transfected into eukaryotic BHK-21 cells and its stability tested. The presence of the pSH-G plasmid was confirmed by means of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) after each of ten cell passages, and the results were positive. The stable BHK-21/pSH-G+ clone obtained can be used in the study of rabies as well as in the production of vaccines.
Abstract in English:Cytomegalovirus (CMV) disease is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in solid organ transplantation. Disseminated toxoplasmosis after liver transplantation is a rare but fatal event. Serologic screening of the donor and the recipient is essential to prophylactic management, early diagnosis and therapeutic strategies to minimize the consequences of these infections. The aim of the present study was to determine the seroprevalence of CMV and Toxoplasma gondii (TG) in a Brazilian liver transplant waiting list (LTWL). Serological data were collected from 44 candidates on the LTWL between May 2003 and November 2004. Serological investigation of antibodies IgM and IgG against CMV (anti-CMV) and TG (anti-T. gondii) was performed using fluorometry commercial kits. IgG anti-CMV was positive in 37 patients (94.9%) out of 39 available results. There were not IgM anti-CMV positive results. Out of 36 analyzed patients, 22 (61.1%) presented positive IgG anti-T. gondii and none had positive IgM anti-T. gondii. The high CMV seroprevalence among our LTWL reinforces the need for appropriate protocols to avoid related complications, like reactivation and superinfection by CMV. Environmental and drug prophylactic strategies against primary infection and reactivation, as well as early diagnosis and treatment of toxoplasmosis complications, are essential for the good outcome of transplant patients.
Abstract in English:Postmortem examination of a Boer buck that died peracutely revealed bowel and liver diffusely congested and edematous. Kidney was apparently edematous. Clostridium perfringens type A was isolated from bowel and type D from kidney. Microscopic examination revealed large areas of necrosis in the renal cortex and medulla (pulpy kidney disease), hyperemia and centrilobular necrosis of the liver, necrosis of the small-intestine wall, pulmonary edema and congestion, intense hyperemia of the cerebellum, hyperemia and edema of the brain.