Journal of Venomous Animals and Toxins including Tropical Diseases, Volume: 17, Issue: 2, Published: 2011
  • Integrity in scientific publication Editorial

    SM, Rode
  • Interactions between environment, wild animals and human leptospirosis Review Articles

    Ullmann, LS; Langoni, H

    Abstract in English:

    Leptospirosis, a worldwide distributed zoononis caused by bacteria of the genus Leptospira (antigenically classified into serovars), may be direct or indirectly transmitted through infected urine or environment. Several domestic and wild animals are leptospirosis reservoirs. The disease presents occupational character since it is widely reported in professionals that work in humid environments - such as sewage workers and fishermen - and in places where rodents or susceptible animals are found, like slaughterhouses and veterinary clinics. In developing countries, outbreaks are related to lack of sanitation, overcrowding in inadequate housing and climatic conditions. In developed countries, sporadic cases occur in aquatic recreational activities including swimming and triathlon. The diagnosis of leptospirosis is complex due to the variety of symptoms, disease severity and the lack of techniques that are able to early detect the infection. Thus, leptospirosis causes numerous public health problems and educational activities are very important to its control.
  • Clinical and immunological aspects of envenomations by Bothrops snakes Review Articles

    Luna, KPO; da Silva, MB; Pereira, VRA

    Abstract in English:

    Accidents caused by snakes, especially in tropical and subtropical countries, still constitute a serious public health problem due to the lack of knowledge of health professionals and the precariousness of health systems in the regions where most accidents occur. Snake venoms contain a range of molecules that may provoke local swelling, pain, renal and respiratory insufficiencies. The study of the effects of each molecule on humans can help the development of complementary therapy. Similarly, the knowledge of clinical aspects of envenomations provides a better identification and implementation of appropriate treatment. In addition, to understand Bothrops envenomations and improve the therapeutic strategy, it is necessary to understand and study the role of important inflammatory mediators, particularly nitric oxide (NO), cytokines and the complement system.
  • In vivo pharmacological study on the effectiveness of available polyclonal antivenom against Hemiscorpius lepturus venom Original Papers

    Jalali, A; Pipelzadeh, M H; Seyedian, R; Rahmani, A H; Omidian, N

    Abstract in English:

    The available Razi Institute antivenom is still, empirically, used by intramuscular (IM) administration for the treatment of scorpion stings in humans by six medically dangerous species including Hemiscorpius lepturus (H. lepturus). The aim of this study was to assess the neutralizing ability and effectiveness of the antivenom in inhibiting hemoglobinuria, biochemical changes, increased microalbuminuria and urinary lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) following H. lepturus sting. Simultaneous intramuscular administration of 10 μL and 100 μL of antivenom, after 24 hours, had no significant preventive effect on the extent and degree of hemoglobinuria or proteinuria produced in venom-treated rats. After IM administration of antivenom, no significant changes in decreased red blood cell (RBC) count and hemoglobin were observed. Immediate intramuscular administration of 10 μL of antivenom had no significant effects on both LDH and microalbuminuria. The present findings did not present correlation with clinical signs. Therefore, to fully assess the efficacy of the available antivenom and make appropriate recommendations, more in vivo or in vitro investigations including antigen-antibody interaction, enzymatic analysis and route-dependent administration are required.
  • Effects of Bothrops moojeni venom on Leishmania amazonensis promastigote forms Original Papers

    Castilhos, P; Pereira, CG; Silva, ALN; Napolitano, DR; Oliveira, F; Souza, MA
  • Antimicrobial activity of propolis and essential oils and synergism between these natural products Original Papers

    Probst, IS; Sforcin, JM; VLM, Rall; Fernandes, AAH; Fernandes Júnior, A

    Abstract in English:

    In the present study, Apis mellifera propolis and essential oils (EOs) obtained from aromatic plants were evaluated as alternative antimicrobials. We aimed to establish the antimicrobial activity of ethanolic extracts of propolis (EEP) from Apis mellifera and of EOs from Caryophyllus aromaticus, Zingiber officinale, Cinnamomum zeylanicum and Mentha piperita against 32 Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli strains from human clinical specimens. The antimicrobials were diluted in agar and the minimal inhibitory concentrations (MIC) were found whereas MIC90% values were calculated. Time-kill curve assays using mixtures containing one quarter of MIC90% for EEP with all EOs as well cinnamon EO were performed. The cinnamon EO was found to be the most efficient, with MIC90% values of 1.22 and 0.96 mg x mL-1 respectively against S. aureus and E. coli, whereas MIC90% of EEP were 1.86 and 20.12 mg x mL-1 respectively against S. aureus and E. coli. The combinations of EEP with ginger and mint EOs, and cinnamon with ginger and clove EOs, showed synergistic effects. Consequently, further studies are necessary to confirm these activities in vivo and to evaluate the phytochemical characteristics of natural products.
  • Knowledge and attitudes of health care workers from intensive care units regarding nosocomial transmission of influenza: a study on the immediate pre-pandemic period Original Papers

    Fortaleza, CR; Fortaleza, CMCB

    Abstract in English:

    The transmission of influenza in health care settings is a major threat to patients, especially those with severe diseases. The attitude of health care workers (HCWs) may influence the transmission of countless infections. The current study aimed to quantify knowledge and identify attitudes of HCWs involved in intensive care units (ICUs) regarding the risk of nosocomial influenza transmission. A questionnaire was applied through interviews to HCWs who worked in one of the five ICUs from a teaching hospital. Questions about influenza were deliberately dispersed among others that assessed several infectious agents. Forty-two HCWs were interviewed: nine physicians, ten nurses and 23 nursing technicians or auxiliaries. Among the 42 HCWs, 98% were aware of the potential transmission of influenza virus in the ICUs, but only 31% would indicate droplet precautions for patients with suspected infection. Moreover, only 31% of them had been vaccinated against influenza in the last campaign (2008). Nursing technicians or auxiliaries were more likely to have been vaccinated, both by univariate and multivariable analysis. When asked about absenteeism, only 10% of the study subjects stated that they would not go to work if they had an influenza-like illness. Those findings suggest that, in non-pandemic periods, influenza control in hospitals requires strategies that combine continuous education with changes in organizational culture.
  • Polyclonal endemicity of Pseudomonas aeruginosa in a teaching hospital from Brazil: molecular typing of decade-old strains Original Papers

    Fortaleza, CMCB; Bacchi, CE; Oliveira, DE; Ramos, MC

    Abstract in English:

    Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections cause significant mortality and morbidity in health care settings. Strategies to prevent and control the emergence and spread of P. aeruginosa within hospitals involve implementation of barrier methods and antimicrobial stewardship programs. However, there is still much debate over which of these measures holds the utmost importance. Molecular strain typing may help elucidate this issue. In our study, 71 nosocomial isolates from 41 patients and 23 community-acquired isolates from 21 patients were genotyped. Enterobacterial repetitive intergenic consensus-polymerase chain reaction (ERIC-PCR) was performed. Band patterns were compared using similarity coefficients of Dice, Jaccard and simple matching. Strain similarity for nosocomial strains varied from 0.14 to 1.00 (Dice); 0.08 to 1.00 (Jaccard) and 0.58 to 1.00 (simple matching). Forty patterns were identified. In most units, several clones coexisted. However, there was evidence of clonal dissemination in the high risk nursery, neurology and two surgical units. Each and every community-acquired strain produced a unique distinct pattern. Results suggest that cross transmission of P. aeruginosa was an uncommon event in our hospital. This points out to a minor role for barrier methods in the control of P. aeruginosa spread.
  • Non-association between anti-Toxoplasma gondii antibodies and ABO blood group system Original Papers

    Rodrigues, ACF; Uezato, S; Vono, MB; Pandossio, T; Spegiorin, LCJF; Oliani, AH; Vaz Oliani, DCM; Brandão de Mattos, CC; de Mattos, LC

    Abstract in English:

    Toxoplasma gondii infects humans through the gastrointestinal tract (GIT), which elicits humoral immune response with specific antibodies. The expression of the ABO blood group glycoconjugates also occurs in this same system and may influence the human susceptibility of infection by T. gondii. The aim of the present study was to investigate the association between ABO blood group phenotypes and the presence of anti-T. gondii antibodies. Data - including age, results of serology tests for T. gondii infection and ABO blood group phenotypes - were assembled from the medical records of 1,006 pregnant women attended in the Base Hospital of the Medical School of São José do Rio Preto, Brazil, between 2001 and 2004. The chi-square test was used to compare the results with the level of significance set at 5%. Of the studied cases, 64.1% (645/1006) and 35.9% (391/1006) presented respectively positive and negative serology tests for anti-T. gondii antibodies. The mean age of those who tested positive was higher than those with negative serology tests (p = 0.0004). The frequencies of ABO blood group phenotypes were similar in those with and without anti-T. gondii antibodies (p = 0.35). In conclusion, the ABO blood group system is not associated with the presence or absence of anti-T. gondii antibodies.
  • Mutagenicity induced by the hydroalcoholic extract of the medicinal plant Plathymenia reticulata Benth Original Papers

    Della Torre, A; Albuquerque, LBL; Farrapo, NM; Oshima-Franco, Y; Santos, MG; Tavares, RVS; Rodas, ACD; Dal Belo, CA; Cardoso, CRP; Varanda, EA; Groppo, FC; Lopes, PS

    Abstract in English:

    Plathymenia reticulata Benth has an anti-inflammatory effect and is capable of neutralizing the neuromuscular blockade induced by Bothrops jararacussu or Crotalus durissus terrificus venoms, probably by precipitating venom proteins (an effect caused by plant tannins). The present study aimed to evaluate the mutagenic activity of P. reticulata by using the Salmonella mutagenicity assay (Ames test) and the micronucleus test in CHO-K1 cells. P. reticulata extract concentrations of 2.84, 5.68, 11.37, and 19.90 mg/plate were assayed by the Ames test using TA97a, TA98, TA100 and TA102 bacterial strains, with (+S9) and without (-S9) metabolic activation. Concentrations of 5, 1.6 and 0.5 μg/mL of P. reticulata extract were used for the micronucleus test. P. reticulata extract was mutagenic to TA98 (-S9) and showed signs of mutagenic activity in TA97a and TA102 (both -S9) strains. Micronucleus test CBPI values showed that the endogenous metabolic system increased the number of viable cells when compared to the non-activated samples and the micronucleus frequency increased when the cells were treated in the absence of S9. We concluded that P. reticulata extract may present direct mutagenic properties.
  • Renal- and calcium-dependent vascular effects of Polybia paulista wasp venom Original Papers

    Vinhote, JFC; Torres, AFC; Dantas, RT; Praciano, TP; Menezes, RRPPB; Sousa, DF; Brito, TS; Lima, FJB; Toyama, MH; Magalhães, PJ; Monteiro, HSA; Martins-Nunes, AMC

    Abstract in English:

    In the present study, the effects of Polybia paulista venom (PPV) on renal and vascular tissues were investigated. Isolated kidneys perfused with PPV (1 and 3 μg/mL) had increased perfusion pressure, renal vascular resistance, urinary flow, and glomerular filtration rate; and reduced sodium tubular transport. Histological evaluation demonstrated deposits of proteins in Bowman's space and tubular lumen, and focal areas of necrosis. The venom promoted a cytotoxic effect on Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cells. A significant increase in lactic dehydrogenase levels was observed in response to venom exposure. In isolated mesenteric vascular beds, pressure and vascular resistance augmented in a dose-dependent manner. PPV increased the contractility of aortic rings maintained under basal tension. This contractile response was inhibited when preparations were maintained in Ca2+-free medium. Likewise, verapamil, a voltage-gated calcium channel blocker, also inhibited the contractile response. In this study, phentolamine, a blocker of α-adrenergic receptor blocker, significantly reduced the contractile effect of PPV in the aortic ring. In conclusion, PPV produced nephrotoxicity, which suggests a direct effect on necrotic cellular death in renal tubule cells. The vascular contractile effect of PPV appears to involve calcium influx through voltage-gated calcium channels via adrenergic regulation.
  • Diagnosis of Giardia infections by PCR-based methods in children of an endemic area Original Papers

    David, EB; Coradi, ST; Oliveira-Sequeira, TCG; Ribolla, PEM; Katagiri, S; Guimarães, S

    Abstract in English:

    The present study was designed to estimate the prevalence of Giardia infection in preschool- and school-aged children living in an endemic area. Fecal samples from 573 children were processed by zinc sulfate centrifugal flotation, centrifugal sedimentation (using a commercial device for fecal concentration - TF-Test kit®) and polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based methods. Of the stool samples assessed, 277 (48.3%) were positive for intestinal parasites and/or commensal protozoa. Centrifugal flotation presented the highest diagnostic sensitivity for Giardia infections. The kappa index revealed that both coproparasitological techniques closely agreed on the Giardia diagnosis (86%) versus satisfactory (72%) and poor (35%) concordances for commensal protozoan and helminth infections, respectively. Concerning Giardia molecular diagnosis, from the 71 microscopy-positive samples, specific amplification of gdh and tpi fragments was noted in 68 (95.7%) and 64 (90%) samples, respectively. Amplification of gdh and tpi genes was observed, respectively, in 95.7% and 90% of microscopy-positive Giardia samples. For 144 microscopy-negative samples, gdh and tpi gene amplification products were obtained from 8.3% and 35.9% samples, respectively. The agreement between these genes was about 40%. The centrifuge-flotation based method was the most suitable means of Giardia diagnosis assessed in the present study by combining accuracy and low cost.
  • Prevalence and epidemiology of chronic hepatitis C among prisoners of Mato Grosso do Sul State, Brazil Original Papers

    Pompilio, MA; Pontes, ERJC; Castro, ARCM; Andrade, SMO; Stief, ACF; Martins, RMB; Mousquer, GJ; Murat, PG; Francisco, RBL; Pompilio, SAL; Rezende, GR; Elias-Junior, E

    Abstract in English:

    In Mato Grosso do Sul state, Brazil, the number of prisoners has increased in the recent years and the control of hepatitis C virus (HCV) has become more complex. The aim of the present study was to estimate the prevalence and identify the genotypes of HCV in prisoners as well as the factors associated with this infectious disease. Thereby, 443 men and 243 women from prisons were interviewed and subjected to blood collection. Anti-HCV reactive samples were analyzed by RT-PCR and genotyped. The overall seroprevalence of HCV infection was 4.8% (95%CI: 3.4 to 6.8%). Furthermore, the prevalence was higher in: men, injecting drug users, tattooed persons, those who were more than 50 years old, individuals who have been arrested multiple times, people with previous history of sexually transmitted disease (STD), persons who received blood transfusions or those with HIV/AIDS. The prevalence of RNA HCV by PCR was 3.0% (95%CI: 1.7 to 4.2%). Moreover, the coinfection of HIV and HCV was 33.3%. In addition, genotype 1 was the most frequent (85%) followed by genotype 3 (15%). The screening strategy for HCV and other infectious diseases in inmates is important as it establishes an early diagnosis, opportunity for treatment and allows the breaking of the transmission chain.
  • Rabies virus in a pregnant naturally infected southern yellow bat (Lasiurus ega) Short Communication

    Allendorf, SD; Albas, A; Cipriano, JRB; Antunes, JMAP; Appolinário, CM; Peres, MG; da Rosa, AR; Sodré, MM; Megid, J

    Abstract in English:

    Current knowledge on bat lyssavirus infections in their native hosts is limited and little is known about the virulence, virus dissemination and transmission among free-living insectivorous bats. The present study is a brief description of rabies virus (RABV) dissemination in tissues of a naturally infected pregnant southern yellow bat (Lasiurus ega) and its fetuses, obtained by reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). The RT-PCR was positive in samples from the brain, salivary gland, tongue, lungs, heart, kidneys and liver. On the other hand, the placenta, three fetuses, spleen, intestine and brown fat tissue tested negative. This research demonstrated the absence of rabies virus in the fetuses, thus, in this specific case, the transplacentary transmission was not observed.
  • Treatment of venous ulcers with fibrin sealant derived from snake venom Short Communication

    Gatti, MAN; Vieira, LM; Barraviera, B; Barraviera, SRCS

    Abstract in English:

    Venous ulcers of the lower limbs complicated by infection or chronicity represent a serious public health problem. The elevated number of those afflicted burdens the health services, interferes in quality of life and causes absenteeism. Although there are 2,500 items on the market, ranging from the simplest dressing up to the most complex types of dressing, treatment remains a challenge. Among the substances used, fibrin sealant is the one that promotes diminution of bacterial colonization and of edema, controls hemorrhaging, alters the pain threshold by protecting the nerve endings, hydrates the wound bed and forms granulation tissue that favors healing. Its disadvantages include higher cost and utilization of human fibrinogen that can transmit infectious diseases. The Center for the Study of Venoms and Venomous Animals (CEVAP) at São Paulo State University (UNESP) developed a new sealant made up of fibrinogen extracted from large animals and from an enzyme obtained from snake venom. The present study, developed in the Health Education Clinic (CEPS) of Sacred Heart University (USC) aimed to evaluate the effect of the new sealant on the healing process of venous ulcers in 24 adult patients, seven of whom were male and 17 female. Two study groups were formed as follows: Group 1 (G1) - control group of 11 patients treated with essential fatty acid (EFA) and Unna's boot, and Group 2 (G2) - 13 patients treated with essential fatty acid (EFA), fibrin sealant and Unna's boot. The follow-up lasted eight weeks and the sealant was applied at only the first and fourth weeks. The results showed that Group 2 presented worse lesion conditions as to healing, but, when comparing the two groups, it was noteworthy that the the sealant was effective in healing venous ulcers. There is evidence that the new sealant is recommended for leg ulcers with the following advantages: ease of application, preparation of the wound bed, diminution of pain and a higher number of discharges in the eighth week. More important, other positive characteristics are non-transmission of infectious diseases, absence of adverse reactions, and economic advantage of being produced by Brazilian technology. Finally, it is suggested that the weekly application of sealant, for at least eight weeks, could improve the healing process and consequently life quality.
  • Immunophenotypic characterization of patients with American cutaneous leishmaniasis prior to and after treatment in Pernambuco, Brazil Short Communication

    Almeida, AF; Castro, MCAB; Oliveira, AP; Souza, MA; Pereira, VRA

    Abstract in English:

    Leishmania infections induce a specific activation of host immunological response, particularly characterized by T cell expansion. Studies indicate the importance of the balance between CD4+ and CD8+ T cells, in which the first ones would have their number reduced during the healing process. Meanwhile, CD25+ T cells have been associated with the suppression of the immune response. Since the immune response has an essential role in both healing and progression of diseases, this study aimed to identify the percentage of CD3+, CD4+, CD8+, CD16+ and CD25+ T cells in the peripheral blood of patients afflicted with American cutaneous leishmaniasis (ACL) - before and after treatment - and healthy controls. Peripheral blood was collected and transferred to cytometry tubes containing monoclonal antibodies specific for cell surface markers CD3, CD4, CD8, CD16 e CD25. The immunophenotypic and morphometric parameters of cells were determined by flow cytometry and the results demonstrated a significant increase in the number of T CD8+ cells after treatment, suggesting a cytotoxic T cell response. An increase in CD25+ T cells in patients with active ACL and after treatment was also observed, suggesting the participation of these cells in the modulation of the exacerbated effector response.
Centro de Estudos de Venenos e Animais Peçonhentos (CEVAP/UNESP) Av. Universitária, 3780, Fazenda Lageado, Botucatu, SP, CEP 18610-034, Brasil, Tel.: +55 14 3880-7693 - Botucatu - SP - Brazil
E-mail: editorial.jvatitd@unesp.br