Abstract in English:Malnutrition may be a consequence of energy deficit or micronutrient deficiency. It is considered the most relevant risk factor for illness and death, particularly in developing countries. In this review we described the magnitude of this problem, as well as its direct effect on the immune system and how it results in higher susceptibility to infections. A special emphasis was given to experimental models used to investigate the relationship between undernutrition and immunity. Malnutrition is obviously a challenge that must be addressed to health authorities and the scientific community.
Abstract in English:The immune response in leishmaniasis may result in a polarization of the T lymphocyte subpopulation, altering cell phenotype and resulting in immune protection or disease exacerbation. Leishmania may persist in the body either during asymptomatic infections or after treatment, which represents high risk under immunosuppression. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of infection with immunosuppression by dexamethasone associated with pentoxifylline on animal weight, spleen weight, spleen and hepatic parasitic load and immunopathology, as well as the IFN-γ and IL-10 production in spleen cell culture of Balb/c mice infected with Leishmania chagasi. The infection did not cause body weight gain in animals, but both the weight and size of the spleen were increased. The immunosuppression using dexamethasone associated with pentoxifylline affected body weight gain and spleen weight and size in both infected and non-infected animals. The immunosuppression did not significantly alter the course of the splenic or hepatic parasite burden. Dexamethasone and pentoxifylline significantly affected cytokine production, but did not influence the Th1/Th2 ratio in infected animals.
Abstract in English:Agkistrodon halys is one of several dangerous snake species in Iran. Among the most important signs and symptoms in patients envenomated by this snake is disseminated intravascular coagulation. A thrombin-like enzyme, called AH143, was isolated from Agkistrodon halys venom by gel filtration on a Sephadex G-50 column, ion-exchange chromatography on a DEAE-Sepharose and high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) on a C18 column. In the final stage of purification, 0.82 mg of purified enzyme was obtained from 182.5 mg of venom. The purified enzyme showed a single protein band by sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE), under reducing conditions, and its molecular mass was found to be about 30 kDa. AH143 revealed clotting activity in human plasma, which was not inhibited by EDTA or heparin. This enzyme still demonstrated coagulation activity when exposed to variations in temperature and pH ranging, respectively, from 30 to 40°C and from 7.0 to 8.0. It also displayed proteolytic activities on synthetic substrate. The purified enzyme did not show any effect on casein. We concluded that the venom of the Iranian snake Agkistrodon halys contains about 0.45% single procoagulant protein which appears to be a thrombin-like enzyme.
Abstract in English:This study was undertaken to evaluate the effect of pufferfish (Lagocephalus lagocephalus) meat poisoning on hepatic functions of Wistar rats. For this purpose, groups of rats (Lcr, Lcu+b and Lcu-b) received diet supplemented with 10% of raw or cooked meat, respectively, with or without cooking water of L. lagocephalus while groups Mcr and Mcu+b received diet supplemented with 10% of raw or cooked meat of Liza aurata, which were used as a negative control. In Lcu+b group, ALT, AST and ALP rates (hepatic enzyme markers) decreased after two months of treatment, indicating liver damage. We also observed an increase of 54 and 65% of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) in their livers respectively 48 hours and two months after treatment compared to controls. The catalase (CAT) activity in group Lcu+b decreased (p < 0.05) after two periods of treatment, whereas metallothionein (MT) level significantly increased and decreased, respectively after 48 hours and two months. In fact, in the histological analysis of the livers from Lcu+b treated group, we observed an increase in vacuolisation, necrosis, hepatocytes ballooning and sinusoids dilation. These results indicate that L. lagocephalus meat cooked with water produces hepatotoxicity and oxidative damage.
Abstract in English:In the present study, we screened the biological activity of extracts from the marine sponge Halichondria panicea collected in the Arabian Sea. Crude toxin was obtained by methanol, chloroform-methanol (2:1) and aqueous extraction. Subsequently, the protein concentration of each crude extract was determined. The impact of both sponge methanolic and aqueous extracts was found to increase activities of Na+-K+ ATP-ase and Mg++ ATP-ase. In the case of chloroform-methanol extract, higher concentrations increased acetylcholine esterase (AchE) activity. The methanolic and chloroform-methanol extracts exhibited hemolytic activity on chicken and human erythrocytes, whereas the aqueous extract failed to do so. Methanol and aqueous extracts produced an immunostimulating effect and all extracts revealed angiogenic activity. The aqueous extract yielded nine bands by SDS-PAGE on 12% gel.
Abstract in English:We examined the ability of IgG anti-crotalic PLA2 to cross-react with Bothrops spp. venoms, from snakes found in the northeast of Argentina. Immunoblotting and ELISA tests showed that IgG anti-crotalic PLA2 recognize antigens of bothropic venoms. Indirect hemolytic activity tests showed that the quantity of antibodies that neutralized 50% of Crotalus durissus terrificus venom (ED50: 2.1 mg IgG anti-crotalic PLA2/100 µg of venom) were also able to neutralize venom from other snakes in the following proportion: 34% of B. alternatus, 18% of B. diporus and 12% of B. jararacussu. Likewise, direct PLA2 activity neutralization tests showed a similar cross-neutralization pattern including 56% of B. alternatus, 29% of B. diporus and 30% of B. jararacussu. In addition, in a myotoxic activity neutralization test, measured by plasma activity of creatine kinase, 35% of B. alternatus venom and 26% of B. diporus venom were neutralized, while no neutralization was detected with B. jararacussu venom. This study presents original data concerning cross-reactions between bothropic venoms from Argentina and IgG anti-crotalic PLA2. Our results suggest that anti-crotalic PLA2 antibodies should not be used to neutralize PLA2 activity of B. alternatus, B. diporus and especially B. jararacussu venoms; nor to enrich commercial antivenoms against these Bothrops species.
Abstract in English:Six of the 15 species of venomous snakes found in Taiwan are responsible for most of the clinically significant envenomations in the country. These species are: Trimeresurus mucrosquamatus, Trimeresurus stejnegeri, Naja atra, Bungarus multicinctus, Deinagkistrodon acutus and Daboia russelii siamensis, which together can be subdivided into three groups based on their venom effects. Primary treatment consists of rapid administration of appropriate antivenoms. The present study aimed to identify a proper dose of antivenom for each snake group as well as to describe hemorrhagic, neurotoxic, and mixed effects of their venoms. A retrospective chart review identified 72 snakebite cases referred to an emergency department. Data on epidemiology, examination findings, snake identification, treatment, antivenom dose and complications were collected. After excluding 14 patients, data from 58 victims were analyzed. Most studied cases were male (86%). Significantly higher doses of antivenom were administered against neurotoxic envenomations (mean dose: three vials) compared with the other two (p < 0.05). Moreover, patients affected by neurotoxic bites were more likely to develop blurred vision and other complications (p < 0.05). Multivariate logistic regression analysis indicated that neurotoxic envenomation was a risk factor for complications (OR: 8.84, 95% CI: 1.06-73.73). Neurotoxic envenomations and complication occurrence were positively correlated with antivenom dosage. In conclusion, patients affected by neurotoxic envenomations received higher doses of antivenom than others whereas incidence of complications was associated with higher antivenom doses.
Abstract in English:Toxigenic types of Clostridium perfringens are significant causative agents of enteric disease in domestic animals, although type E is presumably rare, appearing as an uncommon cause of enterotoxemia of lambs, calves and rabbits. We report herein the typing of 23 C. perfringens strains, by the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technique, isolated from small intestine samples of bovines that have died suddenly, after manifesting or not enteric or neurological disorders. Two strains (8.7%) were identified as type E, two (8.7%) as type D and the remainder as type A (82.6%). Commercial toxoids available in Brazil have no label claims for efficacy against type E-associated enteritis; however, the present study shows the occurrence of this infection. Furthermore, there are no recent reports on Clostridium perfringens typing in the country.
Abstract in English:Bothrops lanceolatus venom contains a variety of enzymatic and biological activities. The present work investigated the hemolytic activity of this venom and its phospholipase A2 (PLA2). Bothrops lanceolatus venom (6.7 µg/mL) caused indirect hemolysis of cow, horse, rat and sheep erythrocytes, with horse erythrocytes being the most sensitive; no direct hemolysis was observed. Hemolysis in sheep erythrocytes was concentration-dependent (5-11.7 µg/mL) and markedly attenuated by heating the venom for 30 minutes at ≥ 40°C and by the PLA2 inhibitor p-bromophenacyl bromide. An acidic PLA2 (5 µg/mL) purified from B. lanceolatus venom also caused hemolysis. This PLA2 showed immunoprecipitin lines with antivenom against B. lanceolatus, which suggests that the enzymatic and hemolytic activities of this enzyme may be neutralized during antivenom therapy. These results indicate that B. lanceolatus venom and its PLA2 can cause hemolysis in vitro.
Abstract in English:The genus Pachycondyla is a large group of ants in the Ponerini tribe, known mostly from tropical and subtropical regions. Pachycondyla sennaarensis, the so-called Samsum ant in the Middle East, is distributed throughout the African tropics, Arabian Peninsula and Iran, where it is responsible for many cases of insect-induced dermal lesions and systemic reactions in humans. Populations of P. sennaarensis were studied in two regions of Iran and some aspects of their biology, ecology and medical importance are herein presented. Colonies of P. sennaarensis contain less than 850 workers that live in complicated underground galleries approximately one meter deep. Because of the harsh weather conditions of southern Iran, they can survive only in human disturbed habitats with higher humidity. Neither a real queen (without reproductive division of labor) nor a caste system is found in a P. sennaarensis colony. Observations indicated that P. sennaarensis is omnivorous, feeding on seeds of various plants, dead ants of other species, the larvae of dipterans and a few other invertebrates. The effect of the P. sennaarensis sting is usually mild, resulting in papule formation, erythema and dermal itching. The abdominal gland secretion of P. sennaarensis is a complex mixture of saturated and unsaturated hydrocarbons and small amounts of terpenoids, ketones, pyrazines and phenolic compounds that are accompanied by straight-chain hydrocarbons. So far, no case of anaphylaxis has been reported in Iran, a fact probably due to the lack of proteins in P. sennaarensis venom. It appears that P. sennaarensis populations vary considerably in their toxin composition according to their geographic range, which may ultimately explain symptoms of different severity among local residents.
Abstract in English:This article reports the anti-inflammatory effect of Blutaparon portulacoides (B. portulacoides), specifically the ethanolic extract of its aerial parts, on the edema formation and leukocyte influx caused by Bothrops jararacussu (B. jararacussu) snake venom and Bothropstoxin-I and II (BthTX-I and II) isolated from this venom as an alternative treatment for Bothrops snakebites. The anti-inflammatory effect of B. portulacoides ethanolic extract was compared with an animal group pretreated with dexamethasone. B. portulacoides ethanolic extract significantly inhibited paw edema induced by B. jararacussu venom and by BthTX-I and II. Also, results demonstrated that the extract caused a reduction of the leukocyte influx induced by BthTX-I. However, the extract was not capable of inhibiting the leukocyte influx induced by the venom and by BthTX-II. In conclusion, these results suggest that the ethanolic extract of this plant possess components able to inhibit or inactivate toxins present in B. jararacussu venom, including its myotoxins, responsible for the edema formation. However, the leukocyte migration caused by the venom and BthTX-II was not inhibited by the plant, probably due to the different mechanisms involved in the edema formation and leukocyte influx. This is the first report of B. portulacoides extract as anti-inflammatory against snake venoms and isolated toxins.
Abstract in English:The destruction of natural ecosystems has caused several problems to humans and other animals; herein we investigate the close relationship among vampire bats, humans and domestic animals. Toxoplasma gondii and Leptospira spp. infections are two worldwide zoonoses that provoke serious damage to animals. To determine the prevalence of bats seropositive for toxoplasmosis and leptospirosis in the Botucatu region, 204 serum samples of vampire bats (Desmodus rotundus) were tested for T. gondii antibodies by modified agglutination test (MAT-t) and for Leptospira spp. by microscopic agglutination test (MAT-l). No animal was tested positive for T. gondii while leptospiral positivity was 7.8% for Pyrogenes, Shermani and Javanica serovars, with titers varying from 100 to 1,600. Thus, it was verified that D. rotundus does not play a relevant role in toxoplasmosis epidemiology. However, these bats can be important in the maintenance of Leptospira spp. in the environment.
Abstract in English:A four-year-old male goat with a history of neurological disorder was euthanized. It presented uncommon nodules in the brain and lungs associated with multiple abscesses, predominantly in the spleen and liver. Histological examination of brain and lung sections revealed yeast forms confirmed to be Cryptococcus gattii after a combination of isolation and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) procedures. Moreover, Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis infection was diagnosed by PCR of samples from the lung, spleen and liver. The present report highlights the rare concurrent infection of C. gatti and C. pseudotuberculosis in an adult goat from São Paulo state, Brazil, and indicates the necessity of surveillance in the treatment of goats with atypical pulmonary infections associated with neurological disorders.
Abstract in English:Widow spiders (Latrodectus spp.), also known as "black widows", have a worldwide distribution and can cause latrodectism. To the best of our knowledge, in Brazil, only one case of Latrodectus geometricus (Koch, 1841) envenomation in a human has been reported. The aim of the present report is to describe a spider bite caused by Latrodectus geometricus in a patient who lives in Paranapanema, São Paulo state, Brazil.
Abstract in English:Envenomations caused by Loxosceles (brown spider) have been reported throughout the world. Clinical signs associated to bites of these spiders involve dermonecrotic lesions and intense local inflammatory response, besides systemic manifestations such as intravascular hemolysis, thrombocytopenia, disseminated intravascular coagulation and acute renal failure. The present study aimed to report and to describe dermonecrotic lesions probably caused by a Loxosceles envenomation in a four year-old poodle female dog, treated at the Dermatology Service of the Veterinary Hospital of the Veterinary Medicine and Animal Husbandry School, São Paulo State University, Botucatu, Brazil. Initially, the animal presented two skin lesions with blackish aspect that evolved into ulcerative crusts. The owner reported the presence of a brown spider near the place where the animal spent most of the time. Histological examination of lesions revealed necrosis of the epidermis extending to adnexa and panniculi, which is compatible with Loxosceles bite reaction. The animal was treated with systemic antibiotic and local curatives. Lesions healed by second intention in two months.