Journal of Venomous Animals and Toxins including Tropical Diseases, Volume: 15, Issue: 4, Published: 2009
  • XLVI Congress of the Brazilian Society of Tropical Medicine Foz do Iguaçu, Paraná State, Brazil - March 14th to 18th, 2010 central subject - environmental changes and Tropical diseases: challenges of the millennium Editor's Viewpoint

    Telles Filho, Flavio de Queiroz
  • Canine trypanosomiasis: etiology of infection and implications for public health Review Article

    Eloy, LJ; Lucheis, SB

    Abstract in English:

    Canine trypanosomiasis, caused by protozoans of the genus Trypanosoma, is divided into two primary types: the American form (Chagas disease), due to Trypanosoma cruzi infection, and the African form (sleeping sickness or surra), provoked by Trypanosomaevansi. This disease was originally enzootic and affected only wild animals, including mammals and birds, which served as reservoirs. Later, it spread to domestic animals such as horses, cattle and dogs. The disease became a zoonosis when contact between rural inhabitants and natural Trypanosoma foci occurred, due to ecological imbalances and increasing migration. Dogs are significantly involved in this context, because they are the main domestic animals and participate in the transmission and maintenance cycles of these parasites. This article reports etiological, epidemiological and public health aspects of canine trypanosomiasis, and the most important peculiarities of this zoonosis in dogs.
  • New additions to the scorpion fauna of Riyadh region, Saudi Arabia Original Papers

    Al-Asmari, AK; Al-Saief, AA; Abdo, NM; Al-Moutaery, KR

    Abstract in English:

    In this work, we present additional morphological data about the scorpion fauna of Saudi Arabia. This investigation was carried out in the central region (Riyadh) of the country and identified existing and newly discovered scorpion species for taxonomic documentation while determining the medically important ones. The survey covered the entire Riyadh region, including all major districts, and collected a total of 4,164 specimens. Morphological identification of collected animals was based on identification keys. There were two species (one with a subspecies) that belonged to the family Scorpionidae, namely Scorpio maurus kruglovi (0.02%) and Hemiscorpius arabicus (0.05%). The latter, currently, is part of the Hemiscorpiidae family that had been upgraded from a subfamily. Eight more species from the Buthidae family were found: Leiurus quinquestriatus (7.20%), Androctonus crassicauda (17.24%), Androctonus bicolor (64.60%), Compsobuthus arabicus (3.84%), Compsobuthus werneri (0.94%), Buthacusyotvatensis nigroaculeatus (2.31%), Buthacusleptochelys (3.24%) and Orthochirus innesi (0.55%). The major locations of collection were the outskirts of Riyadh city and the airport vicinity. The specimens were transported from all central region areas in 124 short trips.
  • Identification of bradykinin: related peptides from Phyllomedusa nordestina skin secretion using electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry after a single-step liquid chromatography Original Papers

    Conceição, K; Bruni, FM; Sciani, JM; Konno, K; Melo, RL; Antoniazzi, MM; Jared, C; Lopes-Ferreira, M; Pimenta, DC

    Abstract in English:

    Amphibian skin secretions are a source of potential new drugs with medical and biotechnological applications. Rich in peptides produced by holocrine-type serous glands in the integument, these secretions play different roles, either in the regulation of physiological skin functions or in the defense against predators or microorganisms. The aim of the present work was to identify novel peptides with bradykinin-like structure and/or activity present in the skin of Phyllomedusa nordestina. In order to achieve this goal, the crude skin secretion of this frog was pre-fractionated by solid phase extraction and separated by reversed-phase chromatography. The fractions were screened for low-molecular-mass peptides and sequenced by mass spectrometry. It was possible to identify three novel bradykinin-related peptides, namely: KPLWRL-NH2 (Pnor 3), RPLSWLPK (Pnor 5) and VPPKGVSM (Pnor 7) presenting vascular activities as assessed by intravital microscopy. Pnor 3 and Pnor 7 were able to induce vasodilation. On the other hand, Pnor 5 was a potent vasoconstrictor. These effects were reproduced by their synthetic analogues.
  • Epidemiological profile of snakebites in Morocco Original Papers

    Arfaoui, A; Hmimou, R; Ouammi, L; Soulaymani, A; Mokhtari, A; Chafiq, F; Soulaymani-Bencheikh, R

    Abstract in English:

    The present work aims to find the epidemiological profile of snakebites in Morocco through a retrospective study of 1,423 snakebite cases that occurred between 1992 and 2007. Data were obtained from medical charts of envenomation at the Poison Control and Pharmacovigilance Center of Morocco. Results revealed that 86% of the snakebites had occurred in rural areas and that males were significantly more affected than females at a sex ratio of 23:20. Furthermore, 35% of the bites happened during the summer, with a peak of 215 cases in June (15.1%). We also discovered that 67.3% of the patients were bitten during the day. The age group that comprised the most agriculturally active persons, from 20 to 44 years old, was the most affected by snakebites (551 cases). In terms of evolution, patients who were at least 60 years of age (8.89%) as well as those who were less than 10 years old (7.50%) presented higher mortality. According to clinical severity grades, the data revealed a 70% predominance of grade 2 cases (430). Deaths had occurred only in patients with grades 3 and 4. Furthermore, grade 4 patients presented 100% mortality whereas grade 3 registered 10.7%. The distribution of snakebites according to administrative regions in Morocco showed a predominance of the Souss-Massa-Daraa region both in terms of frequency (32%) and mortality (72.1%). Our study clearly displayed the severity and extent of the snakebite problem in the country, thus revealing that public health authorities should give more attention to this serious situation.
  • Venomous snakebites and antivenom treatment according to a protocol for pediatric patients in taiwan Original Papers

    Wang, JD; Tsan, YT; Yan-Chiao, Mao; Wang, LM

    Abstract in English:

    Children bitten by venomous snakes comprise emergency cases that present high morbidity and mortality, especially in some regions of Asia and Africa. Reports on clinical features and management of envenomated children are scarce. This observational study implemented a protocol for antivenom use in pediatric snakebite victims in Taiwan, between 1994 and 2007. The present work investigated demographics, clinical features and effects of antivenom therapy and the complications and prognosis for snakebites. A total of 55 children and adolescents, with a median age of 9.9 years (ranging from 2 to 18 years), was identified. Forty-five patients (82%) were bitten between May and September. Thirty-five patients (64%) received antivenom therapy, 28 of them (80%) within two hours after being bitten. No fatalities occurred and only five of 35 patients (14%) had major morbidity when treated according to the protocol. Thirty-one snakes (56%) were identified and 12 of them (38%) were Naja atra. This study indicates that a protocol for children affected by snakebites is valuable for guiding emergency physicians to treat these patients immediately. Further strategies are required to reduce the morbidity rate that occurs as a result of Naja atra bite.
  • Experimental murine chromoblastomycosis obtained from Fonsecaea pedrosoi isolate cultured for a long periodt Original Papers

    Machado, AP; Freymuller, E; Fischman, O

    Abstract in English:

    The present study aimed to describe F. pedrosoi propagules capable of causing chronic murine disease. Several changes in F. pedrosoi hyphae were identified in fungal cells cultured for a long period. Optical microscopy found many rounded cells with double-rigid melanin-rich walls. Terminal and intercalary chlamydoconidia were also frequently observed. Analyses of images from transmission electron microscopy (TEM) revealed several cells with walls composed of at least three layers and an outer layer enriched with melanin. Two groups of twenty BALB/c mice were subcutaneously infected in their footpads with F. pedrosoi cells at an inoculum concentration of approximately 1 x 10(4) cells/mL. In one group, long-term cultured F. pedrosoi cells were inoculated in one footpad, whereas in the other group, both footpads were infected. Active lesions were observed up to seven months post-infection, particularly in mice inoculated at two sites. After this period, animals were killed. Histological sections revealed characteristics bearing a strong resemblance to the human form of the disease such as tissue hyperplasia, granulomas with microabscesses and sclerotic cells. Based on this study, we identified fungal cells from old cultures capable of provoking chronic chromoblastomycosis under experimental conditions, especially when more than one site is infected.
  • Biotin-avidin sandwich elisa with specific human isotypes IgG1 and IgG4 for Culicidae mosquito blood meal identification from an epizootic yellow fever area in Brazil Original Papers

    Marassá, AM; Paula, MB; Gomes, AC; Consales, CA

    Abstract in English:

    With a view toward investigating the feeding behavior of Culicidae mosquitoes from an area of epizootic yellow fever transmission in the municipalities of Garruchos and Santo Antônio das Missões, Rio Grande do Sul State, Brazil, specimens were collected by aspiration from September 2005 to April 2007. The engorged females were submitted to blood meal identification by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). A total of 142 blood-engorged samples were examined for human or monkey blood through species-specific IgG. Additional tests for specificity utilizing isotypes IgG1 and IgG4 of human monoclonal antibodies showed that only anti-human IgG1 was effective in recognizing blood meals of human origin. The results indicated a significant difference (p = 0.027) in detection patterns in samples of Haemagogus leucocelaenus recorded from human blood meals at Santo Antônio das Missões, which suggests some degree of exposure, since it was an area where epizootic outbreaks have been reported.
  • Risk factors for scorpion stings in the beni mellal province of morocco Original Papers

    Charrab, N; El Oufir, R; Soulaymani, A; Semlali, I; Mokhtari, A; Soulaymani, R

    Abstract in English:

    Scorpion stings comprise a serious problem throughout the globe, especially in regions where they are more frequent. In Morocco, Beni Mellal is one of the provinces most affected by this burden. This study aimed to trace the epidemiological profile of scorpion stings in Beni Mellal in order to improve patient care and prevent both morbidity and mortality. Our work is a retrospective study of scorpion stings based on medical charts of Beni Mellal. From 2002 to 2007, 8,340 cases were registered in this province with an average incidence of 1.36‰. The stings were more frequent in summer months, particularly July and August, and between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. (59.8%). The average age of victims was 26.54 ± 18.42 years. Children were affected in 30.3% of the cases. Of all registered cases, 67.3% of the patients received medical aid in less than an hour after the sting. The envenomation rate (Class II and Class III) was 12.4% and the overall case-fatality rate was 0.42% with a mortality rate of 0.005‰. Statistical analysis of the various studied factors revealed a significant connection among the envenomation class, patient age and evolution.
  • Microdilution procedure for antifungal susceptibility testing of Paracoccidioides brasiliensis to amphotericin b and itraconazole Original Papers

    Takahagi-Nakaira, E; Sugizaki, MF; Peraçoli, MTS

    Abstract in English:

    In vitro tests employing microdilution to evaluate fungal susceptibility to antifungal drugs are already standardized for fermentative yeasts. However, studies on the susceptibility of dimorphic fungi such as Paracoccidioides brasiliensis employing this method are scarce. The present work introduced some modifications into antifungal susceptibility testing from the European Committee on Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing (EUCAST), concerning broth medium and reading time, to determine minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) of amphotericin B and itraconazole against Paracoccidioides brasiliensis. Yeast-like cells of P. brasiliensis (Pb18 strain) were tested for susceptibility to amphotericin B and itraconazole in RPMI 1640 medium, supplemented with 2% glucose and nitrogen source and incubated at 35°C. The MIC of amphotericin B and itraconazole against Pb18 were respectively 0.25 µg/mL and 0.002 µg/mL. The results of minimal fungicidal concentration (MFC) showed that amphotericin B at 0.25 µg/mL or higher concentrations displayed fungicidal activity against Pb18 while itraconazole at least 0.002 µg/mL has a fungistatic effect on P. brasiliensis. In conclusion, our results showed that the method employed in the present study is reproducible and reliable for testing the susceptibility of P. brasiliensis to antifungal drugs.
  • Serological survey for Leishmania sp. infection in wild animals from the municipality of Maringá, Paraná state, Brazil Original Papers

    Voltarelli, EM; Arraes, SMAA; Perles,; Lonardoni, MVC; Teodoro, U; Silveira, TGV

    Abstract in English:

    Leishmania sp. infection was investigated in wild animals from the Ingá Park, in the municipality of Maringá, Paraná state, Brazil, where American cutaneous leishmaniasis (ACL) is an endemic disease. Sixty-five mammals, comprising Didelphis albiventris, Cerdocyon thous, Lycalopex vetulus, Cebus apella, Dasyprocta azarae, Dasypus novemcinctus, Procyon cancrivorus and Nasua nasua, were captured. Blood samples were collected for parasite cultivation. Antibodies were investigated by direct agglutination test (DAT) using Leishmania (Viannia) braziliensis as antigen. Flagellates were observed in blood cultures of 14 (35.9%) Didelphis albiventris. Anti-Leishmania antibodies were detected in 31 (51.6%) specimens of Cerdocyon thous, Lycalopex vetulus, Cebus apella, Dasyprocta azarae, Procyon cancrivorus and Nasua nasua. These results suggest that Cerdocyon thous and Lycalopex vetulus (crab-eating fox), Cebus apella (capuchin monkey), Dasyprocta azarae (agouti), Procyon cancrivorus (crab-eating raccoon) and Nasua nasua (coati) play an important role in the ACL transmission cycle in the northwestern region of Paraná, Brazil.
  • Cloning of a novel acidic phospholipase A2 from the venom gland of Crotalus durissus cascavella (Brazilian northeastern rattlesnake) Original Papers

    Guarnieri, MC; Melo, ESL; Melo, KMS; Albuquerque-Modesto, JC; Prieto-da-Silva, ARB; Rádis-Baptista, G

    Abstract in English:

    The phospholipase A2 superfamily encompasses 15 groups that are classified into: secreted PLA2 (sPLA2); cytosolic PLA2 (cPLA2); Ca2+-independent intracellular PLA2 (iPLA2); platelet-activating factor acetylhydrolase (PAF-AH); and lysosomal PLA2. Currently, approximately 700 PLA2 sequences are known, of which 200 are obtained from the venom gland of Crotalinae snakes. However, thus far, little information is available on cloning, purification and structural characterization of PLA2 from Crotalus durisssus cascavela venom gland. In the present work, we report the molecular cloning of a novel svPLA2 from C. d. cascavella (Cdc), a predominant rattlesnake subspecies in northeastern Brazil. The Cdc svPLA2 cDNA precursor is 689 nucleotides long and encodes a protein of 138 amino acid residues, with a calculated molecular mass of approximately 13,847 Da and an estimated isoelectric point of 5.14. Phylogenetic analysis of Crotalinae PLA2 reveals that Cdc PLA2 clustered with other acidic type IIA PLA2 homologues is also present in the venom of North American rattlesnakes. Hitherto, this study presents a novel PLA2 cDNA precursor from C. d. cascavella and data reported herein will be useful for further steps in svPLA2 purification and analysis.
  • Leptospira spp. antibodies in captive coatis (Nasua nasua Storr, 1780) (Carnivora: Procyonidae) Short Communications

    Langoni, H; Kawaguchi, MF; Oshika, JC; Da Silva, RC; Teixeira, CR

    Abstract in English:

    Leptospirosis is a worldwide infection that affects many species, including wild animals. The present study aimed to detect Leptospira spp. antibodies in 17 captive coatis (Nasua nasua) by the microscopic agglutination test (MAT). Nine (52.94%) animals tested positive and the following serovars were identified: Copenhageni (22.22%), Shermani (22.22%), Andamana (11.11%), Wolfii (11.11%) and Pyrogenes (11.11%). Two samples presented coagglutination, one (11.11%) for Hebdomadis and Wolfii, and another (11.11%) for Hebdomadis, Hardjo and Wolfii. The current study revealed the presence of the infection even in animals without any clinical signs, reinforcing the possibility that wild animals in captivity may be infected by leptospire serovars, thus enabling reservoirs.
  • Nutritional, immunological and microbiological profiles of burn patients Short Communications

    Barbosa, ASAA; Calvi, SA; Pereira, PCM

    Abstract in English:

    A burn is a lesion on an organic tissue resultant from direct or indirect action of heat on the organism. The present study aimed to evaluate the nutritional, immunological and microbiological status of burn patients at the Bauru State Hospital, São Paulo state, Brazil, in 2007. Eight patients, aged more than 18 years and injured up to 24 hours, were evaluated at the moment of hospitalization and seven days later. All victims were males with a mean age of 38 years. On average, 17.5% of their body surfaces were burned and 50% of the patients were eutrophic. There were significant alterations in levels of erythrocytes, hemoglobin, hematocrit, total protein and albumin due to increased endothelial permeability, direct destruction of proteins in the heat-affected area and blood loss from lesions or debridement. At a second moment, cytokines IL-6 and TNF-α had augmented significantly, with IL-6 presenting elevated levels in relation to controls at the first moment. Microbiological analysis showed that 100% of the samples collected at hospital admission were negative and after one week Staphylococcus aureus was found in all cultures. Therefore, a burn patient may be considered immunosuppressed and these results indicate significant nutritional, immunological and microbiological alterations that can interfere in his recovery.
  • Association between handling stress in the corral and rabies antibody titers in selenium-supplemented cattle Short Communications

    Reis, LSLS; Chiacchio, SB; Oba, E; Pardo, PE; Frazatti-Gallina, NM

    Abstract in English:

    This study determined the correlation between serum cortisol levels and rabies antibody titers in cattle primo-vaccinated against rabies and supplemented with dietary selenium (Se). Sixty Nelore male calves (10 to 12 months old) received daily and individual dietary supplementation with 0, 3.6, 5.4 and 6.4 mg Se (groups Gc, G3.6, G5.4 and G6.4, respectively). The animals were vaccinated against rabies (day 0) and subjected to handling stress in the corral for 120 days. Blood sampling procedures were performed on days 0, 15, 30, 60, 90 and 120. Cortisol levels increased until day 90, but had dropped significantly by day 120 (P < 0.01). Rabies antibody titers on days 30 and 90 were similar among Se-supplemented groups; in the control group, rabies antibodies decreased significantly from day 30 to 60, and 90 to 120. Serum cortisol levels and antibody titers were not correlated in most of the groups or blood sampling days. A positive correlation among these variables was found only in G6.4 on days 60 (R = 0.513; P = 0.05) and 120 (R = 0.644; P = 0.009). In conclusion, repeated handling in the corral stresses cattle, but without compromising rabies humoral immune response.
  • Toad poisoning in three dogs: case reports Case Report

    Barbosa, CM; Medeiros, MS; Riani Costa, CCM; Camplesi, AC; Sakate, M.

    Abstract in English:

    Toad poisoning is frequent in dogs, but has been infrequently addressed in published case reports and review articles. Dogs can be poisoned when they bite a toad or otherwise ingest the venom. The venom effects manifest soon after the accident, since the toxin is rapidly absorbed by the mucous membrane of the digestive system. Hospital records of three dogs, diagnosed with toad poisoning, were retrospectively reviewed from January 2005 to July 2007. Poisoned dogs may present only local irritation or systemic signs in the gastrointestinal, cardiac and neurological systems. All three cases presented herein had clinical signs of gastrointestinal alterations including vomiting, sialorrhea and diarrhea. Two dogs developed abnormal cardiac rhythm and two exhibited neurological signs. A poisoned animal requires emergency care and symptomatic therapy with intense monitoring of its clinical parameters. Although there have been reports on the low mortality of dogs poisoned by toads, one animal died even after appropriate therapy. The severity of clinical signs and the risk of death must be considered by the veterinarian.
  • Characterization of Bothrops jararaca snake venom effects on rat vas deferens Thesis

    Sciani, J. M.
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