Abstract in English:Since the nineteenth century ships have been using ballast water (BW) for safety, stability, propulsion and maneuverability, as well as to redress loss of fuel weight and water consumption, and to maintain structural stress at acceptable levels. Ballast water has been spreading many non-native species around the globe, but little is known about the extent and potential significance of ship-mediated transfer of microorganisms. The global movements of ballast water by ships create a long-distance dispersal mechanism for human pathogens that may be important in the worldwide distribution of microorganisms, as well as for the epidemiology of waterborne diseases. Only a few studies have been carried out on this subject, most of them involving ballast water containing crustacean larvae and phytoplankton. Specialized microbiological studies on these waters are necessary to avoid a repeat of what happened in 1991, when epidemic cholera was reported in Peru and rapidly spread through Latin America and Mexico. In July of 1992, Vibrio cholerae was found in the USA and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) determined that it came from ballast water of ships whose last port of call was in South America. In Brazil, just a few studies about the subject have been performed. An exploratory study by the Brazilian National Health Surveillance Agency (Agência Nacional de Vigilância Sanitária - ANVISA) found in ballast water different microorganisms, such as fecal coliforms, Escherichia coli, Enterococcus faecalis, Clostridium perfringens, coliphages, Vibrio cholerae O1 and Vibrio cholerae non-O1. Until now, Brazil has been focusing only on organisms transported to its territory from other countries by ballast water, to avoid their establishment and dissemination in Brazilian areas. Studies that can assess the probability that water ballast carries pathogenic microorganisms are extremely important, as is the examination of ships that arrive in the country. Treatment of the human infections caused by BW exists but none is completely safe and efficient.
Abstract in English:The participation of dermatophytic antigens in the host-parasite balance is still poorly understood. One of the difficulties encountered by researchers is the lack of dominant and specific antigens that can be used in such studies. In order to contribute to a better understanding of this aspect of infection, the present study identifies antigen fractions obtained from exoantigen and cytoplasmic extracts of Trichophyton mentagrophytes. Sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) revealed the presence of 13 proteins in the exoantigen extract, whose molecular weight ranged from 12.5 to 90 kDa. The cytoplasmic extract contained 18 protein fractions ranging from 11 to 110 kDa. Immunoblotting showed the presence of immunodominant antigens against IgG, IgM and IgA antibodies. This affinity was observed in three proteins of the exoantigen extract and in three proteins of the cytoplasmic extract, with respective molecular weights of 33, 39 and 59, and 40, 55 and 82 kDa. These results are promising, especially when considering that these extracts contain antigenically distinct protein fractions which, once determined, may contribute to a better understanding of dermatophytoses, and may thus help in the development of alternative strategies for the diagnosis and treatment of this condition.
Abstract in English:The present study aimed to assess the effects of low-level laser (660 nm) on myonecrosis caused by the insertion of Bothrops neuwiedi venom in the gastrocnemius muscle of rats. Male Wistar rats were divided into three groups (n = 24 each): Group S (0.9% saline solution); Group V (venom) and Group VLLL (venom plus low-level laser). These categories were subdivided into four additional groups (n = 6) based on the euthanasia timing (3 hours, 24 hours, 3 days and 7 days). The groups V and VLLL were inoculated with 100 µL of concentrated venom (40 µg/mL) in the gastrocnemius muscle. The muscle was irradiated using a gallium-aluminum-arsenide laser (GaAlAs) at 35 mW power and 4 J/cm² energy density for 3 hours, 24 hours, 3 days or 7 days after venom inoculation. To evaluate the myotoxic activity of the venom, CK activity was measured and the muscle was histologically analyzed. The low-level laser reduced venom-induced CK activity in the groups euthanized at 3 hours, 24 hours and 3 days (p < 0.0001). Histological analysis revealed that low-level laser reduced neutrophilic inflammation as well as myofibrillar edema, hemorrhage and myonecrosis following B. neuwiedi envenomation. These results suggest that low-level laser can be useful as an adjunct therapy following B. neuwiedi envenomation.
Abstract in English:Whole-body extracts in methanol were obtained from the starfish Stellaster equestris. The crude toxin was fractionated stepwise using diethylaminoethyl (DEAE) cellulose column chromatography. The crude toxin was lethal to male albino mice at a dose of 1.00 mL (containing 531.0 µg/mL protein) when injected intraperitoneally (IP) but the toxicity was abolished in all cases except one upon fractionation. The crude toxin and all the adsorbed fractions exhibited potent hemolytic activity on chicken, goat and human blood. However, group B human erythrocytes were resistant to lysis by all fractions and group O by most of the fractions. Paw edema in mice was caused by the crude toxin and all fractions. Pheniramine maleate and piroxicam blocked the toxicity when administered earlier than, or along with, the crude or fractionated toxins but not when administered after the envenomation. Pretreatment with either of these drugs also blocked edema formation.
Abstract in English:Toxoplasmosis is a worldwide zoonosis caused by Toxoplasma gondii that can infect a large variety of animals, including humans. The present study aimed to evaluate the frequency of anti-T.gondii antibodies in dogs from a peripheral district of Botucatu and to establish the association among some epidemiological variables in order to evaluate risk factors for toxoplasmosis infection. Serum samples from dogs were screened using an indirect fluorescent antibody (IFA) test. Anti-T.gondii antibody prevalence was 56%. The highest titer was 1024 (1.79%) and the most frequent titers were 16 (57.14%) and 64 (33.93%). The chi-square (X²) test revealed significant association among variables such as dog access to street, ingestion of raw meat and presence of synantropic animals in the domestic environment. These results demonstrate that toxoplasmosis is present in dogs from Jardim Santa Elisa district.
Abstract in English:The histology and ultrastructure of venom glands in the scorpion Euscorpius mingrelicus (Kessler, 1874) are described and illustrated in the current study for the first time by employing light microscopy and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The venom apparatus is composed of a pair of venom glands and a stinger, both situated in the last segment of the metasoma. The venom glands are completely separate but similar. The two glands are segregated within the telson by striated muscle bundles, and their outer surfaces are surrounded by a cuticle. An internal layer constitutes the secretory epithelium. This epithelium is made up of simple columnar cells. The nucleus and organelles involved in cellular synthetic activity are situated basally. In the apical portion, near the gland lumen, there are many secretory granules of different sizes, shapes and electron densities.
Abstract in English:The two most venomous species of the family Buthidae, Leiurus quinquestriatus and Androctonus crassicauda, are found in Africa and in the Middle East. Potency and paraspecific activities of A. crassicauda antivenom (RSHC anti-Ac) were tested against L. quinquestriatus venom. The sera produced by Refik Saydam Hygiene Center (RSHC) showed strong reactivity against the venoms of A. crassicauda and L. quinquestriatus in western blotting and dot-blot analysis. RSHC anti-Ac presents immunoactivity and neutralizing potential against Leiurus quinquestriatus venom. Neutralization capacity of antivenom was found to be 400 µL against 40 minimum lethal doses (MLD) of A. crassicauda scorpion venom and 10 MLD of L. quinquestriatus venom. This study indicates that the RSHC anti-Ac could be used for treating L. quinquestriatus stings.
Abstract in English:The protein-containing extracts prepared from the venom ducts of Conus austini, Conus spurius and Polystira albida caused a concentration-dependent inhibition of spontaneous contractions in guinea pig ileum. The most potent extract was obtained from P. albida venom ducts (IC50 = 0.11 ± 0.02 µg protein/mL). The three extracts produced a moderate inhibition of contractions elicited by acetylcholine (ACh 1 µM), suggesting the presence of anticholinergic compounds. The contractile response elicited by nicotine (10 µM) was significantly reduced by the extracts prepared from the ducts of C. austini and P. albida, which indicates that the venom produced by these species contains toxins that target neuronal nicotinic receptors. All three extracts significantly inhibited contractions evoked by histamine (0.5 µM), particularly those from C. spurius and P. albida. These findings reveal the presence of antihistaminergic compounds not previously described in any conoidean venom. Finally, we found that only the extract prepared from C. spurius ducts decreased KCl (60 mM)-induced contractions, indicating that the venom of this snail contains compounds that block voltage-dependent Ca2+ or Na+ channels.
Abstract in English:The venom apparatus of the black scorpion Androctonus crassicauda has been characterized histologically and histochemically in the present study. The results showed that this apparatus consists of paired venom glands, each of which initially presents its own canal and posteriorily both fuse into a single common one. Each gland is covered by a sheath of striated muscle and is lined with extensively folded secretory epithelium (formed of non-secretory and secretory venom-producing cells). The outcomes also revealed that the venom-producing cells of both glands produce neutral mucosubstances, sialomucins, sulfomucins and proteins, but are devoid of glycogen. Cysteine, tyrosine, tryptophan and arginine were also detected along with activities of acid and alkaline phosphatases, mitochondrial adenosine triphosphatase, aminopeptidase, cholinesterase and non-specific esterases. Structure and secretion of scorpion venom glands are discussed within the context of the present results.
Abstract in English:The occurrence of Haplometroides buccicola (Digenea, Plagiorchiidae) in the esophagus of two Brazilian snakes is reported in the present study. The trematodes were collected from one Micrurus corallinus (Elapidae) and one Phalotris lativittatus (Colubridae); both snakes were found in Botucatu city, São Paulo State, Brazil. Morphological and morphometric analyses of the trematodes are presented. For the first time Micrurus corallinus has been recorded as a host for H. buccicola and this is the second time that P. lativittatus has been reported as a host for this trematode species.
Abstract in English:Leptospirosis is a public health problem worldwide and its etiology remains unclear. Its pathogenesis involves a complex interaction between host and infecting microorganism. The inflammatory reaction that controls the infection process also underscores many pathophysiological events occurring in leptospirosis. We investigated the presence of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) in renal tissues by immunohistochemical and histopathological examination in animals experimentally inoculated with Leptospira serovar Canicola. All the tests were carried out 2, 7, 14, 21 or 28 days after inoculation. Although TNF-α and IL-6 had been detected in tissues throughout the observation period, these cytokines appeared more intensely during the initial phase of infection. Therefore, both TNF-α and IL-6 were associated with the immunopathogenesis of leptospirosis. This profile suggests a high immunocellular response throughout the early infection stages followed by subsequent humoral response.
Abstract in English:Injuries caused by moray eels are not a common problem, but are distributed throughout the globe, affecting mainly fishermen while manipulating hooked or netted fish. On a lesser scale, scuba divers and snorkelers, practicing or not spear fishing, are occasional victims of bites. With more than 185 species distributed among 15 genera, mostly in tropical to temperate shallow water, moray eels easily come into contact with humans and occasional injuries are not uncommon. The current study reports one case of moray eel bite and discusses the circumstances in which the accident happened, as well as wound evolution and therapy.
Abstract in English:This report documents a case of envenomation by a Malagasy opisthoglyphous snake, Langaha madagascariensis. The snake bit the finger of a healthy adult man who was attempting to record its morphological measurements as part of a biodiversity survey which was being conducted in the extreme north of Madagascar. Symptoms of this case included severe local pain accompanied by observable swelling which lasted for several days. The present observations indicate that bite by L. madagascariensis potentially causes notable physiological effects in humans although the snake is generally calm and reluctant to bite unless provoked.