Abstract in English:Scorpion stings constitute a common type of accident in Turkey due to the geographic location, climate and socioeconomic structure of this country. Moreover, envenomation cases are considered a public health problem throughout Turkey. Based on data in the literature, the main clinical features of scorpion envenomations are defined as systemic manifestations including sweating, hypertension and vomiting, and among prominent causes of death are cardiorespiratory manifestations, toxic myocarditis and pulmonary edema. The most important health-threatening scorpions found in Turkey are: Androctonus crassicauda, Leiurus quinquestriatus, Mesobuthus gibbosus and Mesobuthus eupeus, all of which belong to the Buthidae family. This study indicates that there is no data related to venom toxicity and in vivo effects of other scorpions found in Turkey - such as Mesobuthus caucasicus, Mesobuthus nigrocinctus and Hottentotta saulcyi - and that further research should be performed to determine their health effects.
Abstract in English:Staphylococcus aureus is the main agent of infections during peritoneal dialysis (PD). The presence of S. aureus in the nasal cavity has been extensively studied and suggested as a risk factor of dialysis-related infections, whereas coagulase-negative Staphylococcus (CNS) species are frequently considered part of the normal human microbiota. The aim of this study was to identify Staphylococcus in the nasal cavity, pericatheter skin and peritoneal effluent from PD patients, as well as to evaluate the antimicrobial activity evolution in vitro. Thirty-two chronic PD patients were observed during 12 months and had nasal and pericatheter skin samples collected for culture. When peritonitis was detected, samples were also collected from the peritoneal effluent for culture. The activity of several antimicrobial drugs (penicillin G, oxacillin, cephalothin, ofloxacin, netilmicin and vancomycin) against different Staphylococcus species was measured by using the agar drug diffusion assay (Kirby-Bauer method). Staphylococcus was separated into S. aureus, S. epidermidis and other CNS species in order to determine the in vitro resistance level. S. epidermidis resistance to oxacillin progressively increased during the study period (p < 0.05). Resistance to ofloxacin was inexpressive, whereas resistance to netilmicin and vancomycin was not detected. Of the oxacillin-resistant species (n = 74), 83% were S. epidermidis, 13% other CNS and 4% S. aureus (p < 0.05). Regarding multi-drug resistant strains (n = 45), 82% were S. epidermidis, 13% other CNS, and 5% S. aureus (p < 0.05). This study shows the relevance of resistance to oxacillin and CNS multi-drug resistance, particularly concerning S. epidermidis, in PD patients.
Abstract in English:It is well established that sea anemones comprise a rich source of cytolytic toxins. The present study reports the isolation and characterization of a cytolysin obtained from the sea anemone Heteractis magnifica collected in the Andaman Islands of the Indian Ocean. The crude extract was screened for hemolytic activity by a blood agar plate method and a 6-mm zone of clearance was observed after incubation. The hemolytic property of the crude extract, tested by the microtiter plate method, revealed positive results at concentrations as low as 120 ng/mL. Furthermore, it was favored by alkaline pH and was stable up to 60°C. On the other hand, the hemolytic effect was abolished by the addition of human serum. Purification steps involved ammonium sulfate precipitation and subsequent desalting by dialysis, followed by anion- and cation-exchange chromatographies. The purified fractions displayed the presence of a 19-kDa cytolysin when analyzed by SDS-PAGE. The conserved region of the cytolysin (with 303 bp) was amplified by RT-PCR and was sequenced. The sequence showed maximum homology (97%) with the already reported cytolysins from other sea anemone species.
Abstract in English:American cutaneous leishmaniasis (ACL) was investigated in dogs from an urban endemic area in Cianorte, Paraná state, Brazil. Of 169 studied dogs, none presented suspected ACL lesions. Eleven animals (6.6%) had anti-Leishmania braziliensis antibodies (titers > 40) detected by the immunofluorescent antibody test (IFAT) while four (2.4%) showed L. braziliensis-complex DNA by the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Although no associations were found between IFAT or PCR results and age, sex, origin, free-roaming animals or length of residence at the address, the majority of IFAT- or PCR-positive dogs were from the urban area of the city and were allowed to roam freely beyond their neighborhood. The presence of anti-Leishmania braziliensis antibodies and L. braziliensis-complex DNA in dogs from this urban area near a native-forest park indicates the importance of following up on these dogs to confirm the ACL diagnosis.
Abstract in English:Accidental envenomation caused by Tityus serrulatus scorpions is very common in Brazil and may result in serious cardiorespiratory alterations that are frequently fatal to children. In the present study, the effects of T. serrulatus venom on the cardiorespiratory system of recently weaned male Wistar rats were evaluated. Fifteen animals were distributed into three groups (n = 5). The control group A received 400 μL ultrapure water by subcutaneous injection, while the experimental groups B and C were injected with scorpion venom (100 and 450 μg, respectively, in 400 μL water). Electrocardiogram (ECG) traces were obtained prior to the experiment, at five-minute intervals up to 30 minutes after treatment. At 40 minutes after envenomation, the animals had severe acute symptoms and were subsequently anesthetized for blood collection by means of intracardiac puncture. Biochemical profiles for the cardiac muscle were established by colorimetric analysis of creatine kinase (CK) and CK-MB isoenzyme. Semiquantitative analysis of troponin was performed using the immunochromatographic assay. Following euthanasia, the lungs and hearts were removed and subjected to histopathological examination. All experimental animals had ECG alterations compatible with electrolytic imbalance, myocarditis and alterations of the cardiac conduction system. Envenomed animals had accentuated bradycardia at 25 and 30 minutes after venom inoculation. All experimental animals had myocardial lesions, which were confirmed by increased serum levels of CK and CK-MB, although there were no alterations in the serum concentration of troponin. Pulmonary hemorrhage was detected in whole lungs and microscopically confirmed by the presence of congested capillaries and erythrocytes in the alveolar parenchyma. In conclusion, T. serrulatus venom caused great cardiorespiratory damage to weaned rats.
Abstract in English:Crotalus durissus cumanensis, a rattlesnake endemic to Colombia and Venezuela, is considered one of the most lethal snake species in Latin America. The aim of the present study was to compare the protein content and biological activity of the venom obtained from eight specimens of C. durissus cumanensis, namely two adults from different localities of Colombia and six offspring born in captivity. Protein profiles of crude venoms were analyzed by SDS-PAGE and RP-HPLC, and biological activities were evaluated for lethality, edema, defibrination, hemolytic and coagulant activities to assess individual venoms of adults and a pool of young snake venoms. Transient edema appeared rapidly after venom inoculation, whereas hemorrhagic effect was not observed. Differences in protein profiles, lethality, hemolytic, coagulant and defibrinating activities between both adult snake venoms were observed; those from the mother snake exhibited higher activities. Venoms from young snakes were similar to the one obtained from the mother, but the coagulant effect was stronger in offspring venoms. Notably, biological effects of the father snake venom were not comparable to those previously described for C. durissus cumanensis from Venezuela and C. durissus terrificus from Brazil, confirming the high variability of the venom from Crotalus species.
Abstract in English:A cross-sectional study on HIV/AIDS was carried out in 108 outpatients from the university hospital of the Federal University of Mato Grosso do Sul, Campo Grande, Brazil, from July to December 2008, to investigate latent tuberculosis infection using the tuberculin skin test (TST). The prevalence of positive results was 13.9%. The CD4+ T cell count (p = 0.091) and the diagnosis time (p = 0.010) were statistically significant when compared with TST positivity. In the cohort of HIV/AIDS patients who had latent tuberculosis infection, the median diagnosis time was eight years. Undetectable viral load presented significant association (p = 0.046) with tuberculosis infection. The fact that numerous individuals with HIV/AIDS infection presented a negative reaction to the tuberculin skin test is probably related to alterations in the cellular immune response induced by HIV infection. The tuberculin test is a useful tool for the detection of latent tuberculosis infection and should be performed in all HIV/AIDS individuals at the time of the diagnosis and on a yearly basis, if negative. Both the early identification of the tuberculosis infection by the tuberculin skin test at the moment of immunological restoration and chemoprophylaxis in infected individuals are mechanisms to control HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis coinfection.
Abstract in English:Toxoplasmosis, a globally distributed feline-associated zoonosis caused by the protozoan Toxoplasma gondii, affects birds and mammals, including humans. This study assesses the consequences of acute T. gondii infection for NADH-diaphorase positive myenteric neurons in rat jejunum. Ten male Wistar rats (Rattus norvegicus) were divided into two groups: G1 (n = 5) and G2 (n = 5). Animals from G2 were orally inoculated with 500 genotype III (M7741) T. gondii oocysts. Twenty-four hours after inoculation, the animals were euthanized and had their jejuna removed, through laparotomy, and measured (length and width) to calculate their areas. Intestinal segments were submitted to NADH-diaphorase histochemistry to evidence the most metabolically active subpopulation of myenteric neurons. No changes were found in body weight; intestinal length, width or area; or neuron population density. Increase of body cell area and cytoplasm and decrease of nuclear area of the myenteric neurons of infected animals were observed by morphometric analysis.
Abstract in English:Snakebites comprise a serious health problem in several countries due to their global incidence, which exceeds 2.5 million per year, and the elevated number of victim fatalities. To counteract envenomations, antivenoms have been used regularly for more than a century. Apart from side effects including anaphylactic reactions, antivenoms are not able to efficiently neutralize local tissue damage, which contributes to increasing the severity and morbidity observed in patients. This fact, in turn, may be responsible for economic hardship, particularly in rural populations of developing countries. In the present work, we evaluated the antiophidian properties of 12 Brazilian plant extracts against the hemolytic, coagulant, hemorrhagic and proteolytic effects of Lachesis muta venom. Taken together, our data revealed that most of these aqueous products were capable of inhibiting those activities at different levels, except for Sapindus saponaria extract. In contrast, Stryphnodendron barbatiman extract completely neutralized all the analyzed biological activities. Thus, we may conclude that Brazilian flora may also be useful against L. muta accidents.
Abstract in English:The aim of the present work was to study the effect of the crude extract of Curcuma zedoaria on peripheral blood cells and tumor progression in C57Bl/6J mice injected with B16F10 murine melanoma cells. The intraperitoneal therapy showed a significant increase in total white and red blood cell counts, a decrease in peritoneal cell number and tumor volume reduction, whereas the oral administration revealed a noteworthy augmentation only in total leukocyte count. These results contribute to evaluate the importance of alternative treatments that employ phytotherapic compounds against tumor progression and its possible immunomodulation.
Abstract in English:Accidents involving toad poisoning are frequent and dogs are the most common victims; they become poisoned by biting or ingesting a toad. When released in the organism, the venom is absorbed by both the oral mucosa and the digestive tract, initiating its toxic action. The aim of this work was to evaluate the clinical and electrocardiographic aspects of dogs subjected to experimental toad poisoning, as well as their response to treatment with propranolol. Twenty dogs were divided into two groups, a control group (n = 5) and a poisoned group (n = 15). After general anesthesia, the control group received a placebo, while the poisoned group received a venom aliquot through an orogastric tube. Results were tested through multivariate analysis (p < 0.05). The animals in the poisoned group had gastrointestinal symptoms including emesis, intense salivation, hyperemic or congested oral mucosa and pasty diarrhea. Non-responsive mydriasis, nystagmus, depression, stupor, tachypnea, opisthotonus and ataxia were also manifested by 100% of the poisoned animals. Affected dogs had an increase in blood pressure, statistically significant throughout study. Five poisoned animals developed ventricular tachycardia and were treated with propranolol (0.5 mg/kg IV). All propranolol-treated animals returned to normal sinus rhythm, which evidences the efficacy of this drug to treat ventricular arrhythmias caused by toad venom.
Abstract in English:This study aimed to verify the relationship between acute diarrhea provoked by rotavirus and different indicators of craniofacial malformations. In the Hospital for Rehabilitation of Craniofacial Anomalies, 8,724 children with cleft lip and cleft palate were divided into the following groups: acute diarrhea and infection due to rotavirus (C1, n = 62), acute diarrhea (C2, n = 153) and without acute diarrhea (C3, n = 8,509). In C1, 29.03% of the cases consisted of hospital infections associated with the hospitalization period while 38.71% of the patients were aged less than six months. The percentage of children not having breastfed was significantly higher in acute diarrhea groups. Additionally, there was a seasonal prevalence of rotavirus infection between May and October. Finally, the present findings indicate that rotavirus is a predominant etiological agent for gastroenteritis in children with craniofacial malformations. Moreover, among infants younger than six months of age, type of craniofacial malformation, breastfeeding difficulty, socioeconomic level and longer hospitalization period appear to contribute to higher infection morbidity.
Abstract in English:The milk of experimentally infected rats was investigated for the presence and possible transmission of Toxoplasma gondii. Wistar (Rattus norvegicus) female rats were divided into three groups and orally inoculated with bradyzoites. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was employed to detect the parasite in the milk. Transmission to the offspring was verified by indirect immunofluorescence antibody test (IFAT), modified agglutination test (MAT), bioassay tests and PCR. Rat milk samples were PCR-positive, pups were serum-reactive to T. gondii and tissue samples also presented positive DNA results through PCR.
Abstract in English:Scorpions rely predominantly on mechanosensory and chemosensory organs to guide their orientation behaviors. Once sensory organs are affected by the presence of dirt such as clay or prey bodily fluid, scorpions may display a cleaning behavior to reduce or eliminate its influence on their sensory capabilities. In the laboratory, cleaning behaviors of two buthid species, Mesobuthus eupeus (Koch, 1839) and Mesobuthus caucasicus (Nordmann, 1840), and one euscorpiid species, Scorpiops luridus Zhu Lourenço & Qi, 2005 from China, were observed before and after feeding. Moreover, two distinct cleaning behaviors in Scorpiops luridus and three in Heterometrus petersii (Thorell, 1876) (Scorpionidae) were noted for several times during daily activities. Based on these observations, we were able to conclude that different tools and the same tool with diverse applications are used for cleaning the same object in numerous scorpion species.
Abstract in English:Human injuries caused by South American porcupines (in Portuguese, ouriço-cacheiro) are rare. This study reports severe hand injuries provoked by the body spines of the animal in a human and discusses the circumstances involved in the accident, with emphasis on environmental factors.