Abstract in English:Brazilian spotted fever is caused by the bacterium Rickettsia rickettsii, which is the most pathogenic species of the spotted-fever rickettsiae group and is transmitted by the bite of infected ticks. Amblyomma cajennense is the most important tick species involved in the cycle of this zoonosis in Brazil as it presents low host specificity, great number of natural reservoirs and wide geographic distribution. It was first described in the state of São Paulo in 1929 and later in Rio de Janeiro, Minas Gerais and Bahia. The number of cases decreased in the 1940's with the development of new plague control techniques and antibiotics. In the last decades, the number of new cases has increased. The current review aimed at reporting some of the epidemiological and public health aspects of this reemergent disease with new foci, mainly in the southeastern region of Brazil.
Abstract in English:Parthenogenesis, a rare phenomenon in Chelicerates, apart from mites, is reviewed in scorpions, notably Tityus serrulatus Lutz & Mello from Brazil, Tityus columbianus (Thorell) from Colombia and Tityus metuendus Pocock from Peru and Brazil. Thelytokous parthenogenesis (with all-female broods) is most often observed. The only known exception to this is T. metuendus in which arrhenotoky (all-male broods) has been observed. In the present paper, current ideas regarding parthenogenesis in scorpions are summarized. The notion of geographic parthenogenesis ('parthénogenèse géographique'), coined by Vandel in 1928, is discussed. This rule is tentatively exemplified by a new case of parthenogenesis reported in a scorpion of the genus Tityus C. L. Koch, inhabiting 'Pico da Neblina' in Brazil / Venezuela.
Abstract in English:Scorpions are venomous arthropods of the Arachnida class and are considered relatives of spiders, ticks and mites. There is not any study about the biochemical effects of Androctonus crassicauda (Olivier, 1807) venom. Therefore, in the present study, we aimed at evaluating the toxicity of the venom from A. crassicauda, which is responsible for a number of deaths of infants, children and adults in tropical and subtropical countries. For this purpose, rats (n=35) were divided into seven groups of five animals each; venom solutions (250µg/kg) were subcutaneously injected into rats; blood samples were taken from each animal at various times; and serum biochemical parameters were measured (levels of total proteins, total bilirubin, albumin, globulin, urea, creatinine, uric acid, glucose, cholesterol, triglycerides, sodium, chlorine, potassium and calcium, and the activity of the enzymes alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, alkaline phosphatase, gamma-glutamyl transferase, lactate dehydrogenase). Serum levels of glucose, cholesterol, aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase and uric acid increased in envenomed animals, compared to controls. There was a statistically positive correlation between Na+ and Cl- ions.
Abstract in English:Leptopspirosis is a syndrome with different clinical manifestations including the most severe and often fatal forms of pulmonary disease of unknown etiology. Pulmonary injury during the inflammatory process has been associated with the excessive number of alveolar macrophages (AMs) and polymorphonuclear leukocytes stimulated in the lungs and with the production of reactive oxygen and nitrogen intermediates and other inflammatory mediators. The aim of the present work was to evaluate the cellular immune response of AMs or inflammatory cells of hamsters during leptospirosis. The activity of AMs was determined by measuring nitric oxide (NO) and protein production as well as inflammatory cell infiltration in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid. Pulmonary activity during infection was monitored by measuring pH, pressure of oxygen (PaO2), and pressure of carbon dioxide (PaCO2) in blood samples. Cellular immune response and its role in the genesis of leptospirosis have been incriminated as the main causes of tissue and pulmonary injuries, which consequently lead to the pulmonary dysfunction in severe cases of leptospirosis. The present results show a low production of NO in both supernatant of alveolar macrophage culture and BAL. In the latter, protein production was high and constant, especially during acute infection. Total and differential cell count values were 2.5X10(6) on day 4; 7.3X10(6) on day 21; and 2.3X10(6) on day 28 after infection, with lymphocytes (84.04%) predominating over neutrophils (11.88%) and monocytes (4.07%). Arterial blood gas analysis showed pulmonary compromising along with the infectious process, as observed in parameter values (mean±SD) evidenced in the infected versus control group: PaO2 (60.47mmHg±8.7 vs. 90.09mmHg±9.18), PaCO2 (57.01mmHg±7.87 vs. 47.39mmHg±4.5) and pH (7.39±0.03 vs. 6.8±1.3). Results indicated that Leptospira infection in hamsters is a good experimental model to study leptospirosis. However, some of the immune parameters showed variations which might be associated with the animal species.
Abstract in English:The aim of the present study was to analyze the relationship between hematological and biochemical parameters and tuberculosis process activity time according to clinical complaint duration. It was a retrospective study analyzing medical records from 80 pulmonary tuberculosis patients at Botucatu Medical School University Hospital (Botucatu, São Paulo State, Brazil), who were divided into 2 groups according to clinical complaint duration: Group 1 (G1) - up to three months; Group 2 (G2) - over three months. Parameters included: age, gender, bacilloscopy, erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), platelet count, alpha1-globulin, alpha2-globulin, gamma globulin, mucoprotein, alpha1-acid glycoprotein values, and the presence of risk factors such as smoking, alcoholism, drug addiction, sexual promiscuity, contact with tuberculosis carriers, and previous treatment. Groups were compared by calculating t and p, and Chi-square (X²) and p. Comparisons revealed a tendency towards smoking with a higher frequency of smokers in G1 (0.05<p<0.10). G1 also tended to present greater platelet values than G2 (0.05<p<0.10) and presented significantly higher ESR values than G2 (p<0.05). Other factors did not show any significantly different behavior between groups (p>0.05). A correlation was found between ESR, platelet count, smoking and less than three months clinical duration.
Abstract in English:The present work evaluated histopathological aspects in experimental envenomation of dogs with Crotalus durissus terrificus venom. Twenty-eight mixed breed adult dogs were divided into three groups of seven animals each: Group I - only venom; Group II - venom + 50ml antiophidic serum + fluid therapy; Group III - venom + 50ml antiophidic serum + fluid therapy + urine alkalization. Lyophilized venom of Crotalus durissus terrificus was reconstituted in saline solution and inoculated subcutaneously at the dose of 1mg/kg body weight. Three animals of each group were subjected to euthanasia, and their muscular tissue, brain, spleen, kidneys, heart, lungs, stomach, small and large intestines, and popliteal lymph node fragments were collected for histopathological evaluation. There was myonecrosis in the inoculated limb, renal tubular degeneration, lymphoid hyperplasia of spleen, and unspecific reactive hepatitis. These results show the antigenicity and action of the venom on the immune system.
Abstract in English:This work evaluated the clinical and therapeutic aspects as well as serum levels of venom and antivenom IgG by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) in experimental envenomation of dogs with Crotalus durissus terrificus venom. Twenty-eight mixed breed adult dogs were divided into four groups of seven animals each, Group I: only venom; Group II, venom + 50 ml of anti-bothropic-crotalic serum (50mg) + fluid therapy; Group III, venom + 50 ml of anti-bothropic-crotalic serum + fluid therapy + urine alkalination; Group IV, 50 ml of anti-bothropic-crotalic serum. The lyophilized venom of Crotalus durissus terrificus was reconstituted in saline solution and subcutaneously inoculated at the dose of 1mg/kg body weight. The dogs presented clinical signs of local pain, weakness, mandibular ptosis, mydriasis, emesis and salivation. The venom levels detected by ELISA ranged from 0 to 90ng/ml, according to the severity of the clinical signs. Serum antivenom ranged from 0 to 3ug/ml and was detected for up to 138h after treatment. ELISA results showed the effectiveness of the serum therapy for the venom neutralization.
Abstract in English:Snake venom metalloproteases (SVMPs) comprise a family of snake venom toxins responsible for most of local and systemic effects observed during envenomation by snakes from the Viperidae family. The vascular system and more specifically the endothelium seem to be the preferential targets of these proteins. This work describes the effects of rACLF, a recombinant SVMP from Agkistrodon contortrix laticinctus on human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) in vitro. Our results showed that rACLF activates HUVECs by the release of mediators involved in inflammation and hemostasis such as prostacyclin and interleukin-8. We also demonstrated that rACLF increased the expression of ICAM-I and decay accelerating factor (DAF). Moreover, rACLF protects the HUVECs against apoptosis induced by serum deprivation. These results suggest that the endothelial cell activation induced by SVMPs may have a significant role in the development of the local inflammatory lesion observed in Viperidae envenomation.
Abstract in English:Scorpion stings are common in Turkey due to its geographical location, climate and socioeconomic structure. Scorpion envenomation cases are a considerable public health problem in all regions of the country. Important health-threatening scorpions in Turkey are Androctonus crassicauda, Leiurus quinquestriatus, Mesobuthus gibbosus and M. eupeus, all of which belong to the Buthidae family. They are described to be potentially dangerous to humans. So far, there is no study about scorpion sting incidence covering all geographical regions of Turkey; therefore, in this study, we analyzed the frequency of scorpion sting cases in the country. A total of 24,261 scorpion sting cases were reported during 2005. Most of which (about 80%) occurred in the Southeastern Anatolia (30.4%), Mediterranean Sea (24.9%) and Aegean regions (23.5%), where medically important scorpion species are found. The sting cases mostly occurred during the summer period. Our results suggest that scorpion stings are an important problem in Turkey. This simple descriptive study will help develop interventions to prevent scorpion stings, which should take local sting cases into consideration.
Abstract in English:The present study evaluated snakebite cases recorded by the Southwest II Regional Health Bureau [Regional de Saúde Sudoeste II], Goiás State, Brazil. The following data were analyzed: accident period; patient's age and gender; bite site; envenomation severity; and time elapsed between the bite and medical treatment. We evaluated 211 cases recorded between January 2002 and December 2005, which resulted in an incidence coefficient of 32.4/100,000 inhabitants. Most accidents were due to the bite of snakes from the Bothrops genus (78.2%). The months between January and April had a larger number of accidents (93%-44.1%), although no significant differences were observed. Only one death occurred, resulting in a mortality rate of 0.5%. The lower limbs were the most frequently affected (66.3%). The majority of the victims were male (75.1%). The age group of most of the patients was from 21 to 30 years (20.8%). The accidents were classified as mild, moderate and severe, representing 44.9%, 47.6% and 7.5% of the cases, respectively. The time elapsed between the accident and medical treatment was less than 3h in most of the cases (80.7%), reflecting the high frequency of mild and moderate accidents (92.5%) as well as the large number of healed patients.
Abstract in English:From the beginning of the AIDS epidemic, pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP) has been distinguished as one of the most frequent opportunistic diseases with high morbid-mortality. As from 1996, the advent of the highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) has changed the characteristics of such epidemic by reducing its related diseases and, as a result, AIDS-related mortality. With the purpose to estimate PCP occurrence and HAART interference, 376 HIV-infected or AIDS patients were studied from January 1992 to December 2002. Among them, 58 (15.5%) PCP cases were found. There was a higher occurrence of PCP in the group of patients in which HAART was not used, with 40 (69.0%) of the episodes. As regards the studied period, a tendency to a linear reduction in annual PCP incidence was observed. The mean of T CD4+ lymphocytes in the patients with PCP (117 cells/mm³) was significantly lower when compared to that of the other individuals (325 cells/mm³). Therefore, this study suggests a temporal reduction in PCP occurrence related to HAART use with higher T CD4+ lymphocyte counts. Nevertheless, this opportunistic infection still shows significant incidence in AIDS patients. (NCT00516581).
Abstract in English:Phalotris matogrossensis (Serpentes, Colubridae) was reported as a new host for Haplometroides intercaecalis (Digenea, Plagiorchiidae). The host snake was obtained from the municipality of Anastácio, state of Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil. One specimen of H. intercaecalis was recovered from the esophagus of the host and identified by the intercecal position of the vitellaria in the pre-acetabular region. This paper describes the second report of the occurrence of this trematode in fossorial snakes of the genus Phalotris in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil.
Abstract in English:In true social hymenopterans, such as many species of bees, wasps and all species of ants, the main characteristics are the overlapping of generations, the care with the offspring and the division of labor among the members of the colony. The first biological feature means that in a same moment there are groups of individuals, with variable ages, that execute different activities in the colony. In order to study the division of labor among the members of the colony, or to estimate the life span of these insects, or even to analyze any kind of behavior in non-social insects, it is necessary to know the exact age of each individual. For this reason, the insects must be identified soon after emergence. The identification of insects with numbers is an important technological improvement in behavioral studies, mainly in honeybee colonies. The aim of this scientific note is to describe an easy and cheaper technique for marking hymenopterans.
Abstract in English:This work reports the second record of the scorpion Tityus bahiensis Perty from Venezuela. The specimen was found alive in a wardrobe at a hotel resort in Margarita Island, northeastern Venezuela. Morphological characterization allowed its assignment to the Tityus bahiensis population inhabiting the southernmost area of the species' geographic range, e.g. the state of São Paulo in Brazil, northern Argentina and Paraguay. The fact that the only available Venezuelan antiscorpion (anti-Tityus discrepans) serum does not neutralize the effects of alpha- and beta-toxin from Tityus serrulatus venom (which resembles in composition that of T. bahiensis) constitutes a warning to local clinicians confronted with envenomations by noxious species transported to Venezuela from Brazil by human agency.
Abstract in English:Loxoscelism is caused by envenomation by spiders that belong to the Loxosceles genus. In loxoscelism, a local necrotic lesion appears and, in many cases, loxoscelism or necrotic araneism is considered a serious public health problem. There is no diagnostic test available to help the physician make a diagnostic or therapeutic decision. Here, we report the case of a severe dermonecrotic araneism (loxoscelism) in Turkey probably due to the bite of Loxosceles rufescens. There was little erythema at the beginning, followed by severe necrosis after 20 days, and skin grafting was needed although the case was treated.