Abstract in English:A review of the role of the environment as a determinant of infectious and parasitic diseases is presented. Historical considerations and the several environmental classifications of diseases are introduced. In a broader perspective the subject is analyzed in view of the emergence of the environmental health area, with its new paradigms. A review of epidemiological studies about environmental sanitation conditions and measures is presented, analyzing the conclusions derived from 256 studies. Finally, an epidemiological study carried out in Betim, Minas Gerais is briefly described, in order to illustrate the potentiality of this kind of study. Setting priorities of interventions regarding diarrhea control was the aim of this investigation. Conclusion about the role of this approach to optimize preventive measures for the control of infectious and parasitic diseases, of sound importance to the reality of the developing world, is stated.
Abstract in English:Calomys callosus Rengger, 1830 (Rodentia: Cricetidae) is a mouse-like South American wild rodent, which is permissive to Schistosoma mansoni infection. In this paper we studied the effect of schistosomal infection in C. callosus mesenteric and omental milky spots (MS), subsidiary foci of coelom-associated lymphomyeloid tissue (CALT), during the acute, transitional (acute to chronic), and chronic phases of the infection. MS were morphologically analyzed by histological methods, using brigthfield and confocal laser scanning microscopies. The MS of infected animals were mainly of lymphomyelocytic (42 to 90 days) and lymphoplasmacytic (160 days of infection) types and showed frequent presence of lymphoid follicles with germinal centers, plasmacytogenesis and plasmacytosis, mastocytosis, megakaryopoiesis, erythropoiesis and less pronounced eosinopoiesis. These results indicate that MS are a preferential site of germinal-center-dependent and independent plasmacytogenesis, and a bone marrow-like organ, committed with various cellular lineages. The consequence of C. callosus MS reactivity for schistosomal infection is still unknown and is under investigation.
Abstract in English:Schistosoma mansoni infections are associated with a strong Th2 cytokine response. Treatment of mice with IL-12 or anti-IL-2 or anti-IL-4 before i.v. injection of eggs increased IFN-gamma production and downregulated Th2 responses and pulmonary granuloma size. Conversely, anti-IFN-gamma antibody treatment increased Th2 responses and granuloma size. Similar manipulation produced less dramatic results in infected mice. However, sensitization of mice with eggs + IL-12 before infection augmented the Th1 response and decreased Th2 cytokines, granuloma size and fibrosis. Antisera to IFN-gamma, TNF-alpha or IL-12 during IL-12-egg immunization partly restored granuloma size and fibrosis following infection. Variations in the size of granulomas in acute (8 week) infections may be influenced primarily by the number and state of activation of T cells. In chronic (12-16 week) infections immunologic downmodulation proceeded normally in mice without functional CD8+ cells and in IFN-gamma KO mice but not in B cell KO (muMT) mice or in mice deficient in FcR expression in spite of the fact that these mice downregulated their T cell and cytokine responses. It is evident that the participation of cytokines in granuloma formation and regulation is complicated and that the mechanisms controlling both these phenomena are likely to involve both T cells and antibody/FcR interactions.
Abstract in English:In 1975 the Special Programme for Schistosomiasis Control was introduced in Brazil with the objective of controlling this parasitic disease in six northeastern states. The methodology applied varied largely from state to state, but was based mainly on chemotherapy, This Programme was modified about ten years after it beginning with the main goals including control of morbidity and the blockage of establishment of new foci in non-endemic areas. In two states, Bahia and Minas Gerais, the schistosomiasis control programme started in 1979 and 1983, respectively. The recently made evaluation of those two programmes is the main focus of this paper. It must also be pointed out, that the great majority of the studies performed by different researchers in Brazil, at different endemic areas, consistently found significant decrease on prevalence and incidence, when control measures are repeatedly used for several years. Significant decrease of hepatosplenic forms in the studied areas is well documented in Brazil. After more than 20 years of schistosomiasis control programmes in our country, chemotherapy has shown to be a very important tool for the control of morbidity and to decrease prevalence and incidence in endemic areas. Nevertheless, in medium and long terms, sanitation, water supply, sewage draining and health education seem to be the real tools when the aim is persistent and definitive schistosomiasis control.
Abstract in English:This paper examines the results of spatial (microgeographical) water contact/schistosomiasis studies in two African (Egyptian and Kenyan) and one Brazilian communities. All three studies used traditional cartographic and statistical methods but one of them emploeyd also GIS (geographical information systems) tools. The advantage of GIS and their potential role in schistosomiasis control are briefly described. The three cases revealed considerable variation in the spatial distribution of water contact, transmission parameters and infection levels at the household and individual levels. All studies showed considerable variation in the prevalence and intensity of infection between households. They also show a variable influence of distance on water contact behavior associated with type of activity, age, sex, socioeconomic level, perception of water quality, season and availability of water in the home. Water contact behavior and schistosomiasis were evaluated in the Brazilian village of Nova União within the context of water sharing between household and age/sex groups. Recommendations are made for further spatial studies on the transmission and control of schistosomiasis.
Abstract in English:Some municipalities in Brazil have been requesting orientation for the implementation of health education programs related to the control of schistosomiasis. This demand was based on experiences in the development of health education researches, strategies and materials for school-age children, involving the communities and secretaries of health and education. Motivated by this request and the recently implemented plan of health services (Unified Health System - Sistema Único de Saúde - SUS) that gives autonomy to the municipalities to utilize health resources and services in Brazil, this paper presents an interactive perspective of planning health education research and programs. The purpose of this perspective is to stimulate a reflection on the needs and actions of institutions and people involved in health education research and/or programs to obtain sustainability, commitment and effectiveness - not only in the control of schistosomiasis, but also in the improvement of environmental conditions, quality of life and personal health. This perspective comprises interaction among three levels related to health education programs: the decision level, the executive level and the beneficiary level. The needs and lines of action at each of these levels are discussed, as well as the ways in which they can interact with each other. This proposal may lead to useful interactive ways of planing, organizing, executing and evaluating health education research and/or program, not only towards the prevention and control of the disease at stake, but also to promote health in general.
Abstract in English:The control of endemic diseases has not attained the desired level of effectiveness in spite of the use of modern efficient thecnologies. The classic interventionist approach for the control of schistosomiasis is centered on systemic control of the snail hosts combined to large scale medical treatment and is usually carried out without social preocupation due to the assisted communities. It is easy to understand the interest and the ethical compromise of public health research while producing studies in which the biological and social determinants as well as the cultural components should be considered and also encompass the historical dimensions and symbolic representations. In face of the recent political decision in favor of decentralizations of health administration to municipal level, we suggest, in the present paper, an integrated approach for the epidemiological diagnosis of an endemic situation at local level. Theoretical and methodological aspects from both, epidemiology and anthropology are discussed. Epidemiological methods can be used to detect the dependent variables (those related to the human infection) and the independent variables (demographic, economic, sanitary and social). Another methodological approach of anthropological /etnographic nature can be conducted in order to make an articulation of the knowledge on the various dimensions or determinant levels of the disease. Mutual comprehension, between researchers and the people under investigation, on the dynamic transmission process would be relevant for a joint construction, at local level, of programmed actions for the control of endemic diseases. This would extend reflections on the health/disease process as a whole.
Abstract in English:A mathematical model is proposed to analyze the effects of acquired immunity on the transmission of schistosomiasis in the human host. From this model the prevalence curve dependent on four parameters can be obtained. These parameters were estimated fitting the data by the maximum likelihood method. The model showed a good retrieving capacity of real data from two endemic areas of schistosomiasis: Touros, Brazil (Schistosoma mansoni) and Misungwi, Tanzania (S. haematobium). Also, the average worm burden per person and the dispersion of parasite per person in the community can be obtained from the model. In this paper, the stabilizing effects of the acquired immunity assumption in the model are assessed in terms of the epidemiological variables as follows. Regarded to the prevalence curve, we calculate the confidence interval, and related to the average worm burden and the worm dispersion in the community, the sensitivity analysis (the range of the variation) of both variables with respect to their parameters is performed.
Abstract in English:This paper reviews three different approaches to modelling the cost-effectiveness of schistosomiasis control. Although these approaches vary in their assessment of costs, the major focus of the paper is on the evaluation of effectiveness. The first model presented is a static economic model which assesses effectiveness in terms of the proportion of cases cured. This model is important in highlighting that the optimal choice of chemotherapy regime depends critically on the level of budget constraint, the unit costs of screening and treatment, the rates of compliance with screening and chemotherapy and the prevalence of infection. The limitations of this approach is that it models the cost-effectiveness of only one cycle of treatment, and effectiveness reflects only the immediate impact of treatment. The second model presented is a prevalence-based dynamic model which links prevalence rates from one year to the next, and assesses effectiveness as the proportion of cases prevented. This model was important as it introduced the concept of measuring the long-term impact of control by using a transmission model which can assess reduction in infection through time, but is limited to assessing the impact only on the prevalence of infection. The third approach presented is a theoretical framework which describes the dynamic relationships between infection and morbidity, and which assesses effectiveness in terms of case-years prevented of infection and morbidity. The use of this model in assessing the cost-effectiveness of age-targeted treatment in controlling Schistosoma mansoni is explored in detail, with respect to varying frequencies of treatment and the interaction between drug price and drug efficacy.
Abstract in English:For the development of vaccine strategies to generate efficient protection against chronic infections such as parasitic diseases, and more precisely schistosomiasis, controlling pathology could be more relevant than controlling the infection itself. Such strategies, motivated by the need for a cost-effective complement to existing control measures, should focus on parasite molecules involved in fecundity, because in metazoan parasite infections pathology is usually linked to the output of viable eggs. In numerous animal models, vaccination with glutathione S-transferases of 28kDa has been shown to generate an immune response strongly limiting the worm fecundity, in addition to the reduction of the parasite burden. Recent data on acquired immunity directed to 28GST in infected human populations, and new development to draw adapted vaccine formulations, are presented.
Abstract in English:The undisputed, worldwide success of chemotherapy notwithstanding, schistosomiasis continues to defy control efforts in as much rapid reinfection demands repeated treatment, sometimes as often as once a year. There is thus a need for a complementary tool with effect for the longer term, notably a vaccine. International efforts in this direction have been ongoing for several decades but, until the recombinant DNA techniques were introduced, antigen production remained an unsurmountable bottleneck. Although animal experiments have been highly productive and are still much needed, they probably do not reflect the human situation adequately and real progress can not be expected until more is known about human immune responses to schistosome infection. It is well-known that irradiated cercariae consistently produce high levels of protection in experimental animals but, for various reasons, this proof of principle cannot be directly exploited. Research has instead been focussed on the identification and testing of specific schistosome antigens. This work has been quite successful and is already at the stage where clinical trials are called for. Preliminary results from coordinated in vitro laboratory and field epidemiological studies regarding the protective potential of several antigens support the initiation of such trials. A series of meetings, organized earlier this year in Cairo, Egypt, reviewed recent progress, selecteded suitable vaccine candidates and made firm recommendations for future action including pledging support for large-scale production according to good manufacturing practice (GMP) and Phase I trials. Scientists at the American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have drawn up a detailed research plan. The major financial support will come from USAID, Cairo, which has established a scientific advisory group of Egyptian scientists and representatives from current and previous international donors such as WHO, NIAID, the European Union and the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation.
Abstract in English:Studies based on shell or reproductive organ morphology and genetic considerations suggest extensive intraspecific variation in Biomphalaria snails. The high variability at the morphological and genetic levels, as well as the small size of some specimens and similarities between species complicate the correct identification of these snails. Here we review our work using methods based on polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification for analysis of genetic variation and identification of Biomphalaria snails from Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay. Arbitrarily primed-PCR revealed that the genome of B. glabrata exihibits a remarkable degree of intraespecific polymorphism. Low stringency-PCR using primers for 18S rRNA permited the identification of B. glabrata, B. tenagophila and B. occidentalis. The study of individuals obtained from geographically distinct populations exhibits significant intraspecific DNA polymorphism, however specimens from the same species, exhibit some species specific LSPs. We also showed that PCR-restriction fragment of length polymorphism of the internal transcribed spacer region of Biomphalaria rDNA, using DdeI permits the differentiation of the three intermediate hosts of Schistosoma mansoni. The molecular biological techniques used in our studies are very useful for the generation of new knowledge concerning the systematics and population genetics of Biomphalaria snails.
Abstract in English:The relationship between schistosomes and their intermediate hosts is an extremely intricate one with strains and species of the parasite depending on particular species of snail, which in turn may vary in their susceptibility to the parasites. In order to gain a better understanding of the epidemiology of the disease we have been investigating the use of molecular markers for snail identification and for studying host-parasite relationships. In this paper we will draw on examples concerning schistosomiasis in West and East Africa to illustrate how a molecular analysis can be used as part of a "total evidence" approach to characterisation of Bulinus species and provide insights into parasite transmission. Particular emphasis is given to ribosomal RNA genes (rRNA), random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPDs) and the mitochondrial gene cytochrome oxidase I (COI). Snails resistant to infection occur naturally and there is a genetic basis for this resistance. In Biomphalaria glabrata resistance to Schistosoma mansoni is known to be a polygenic trait and we have initiated a preliminary search for snail genomic regions linked to, or involved in, resistance by using a RAPD based approach in conjunction with progeny pooling methods. We are currently characterising a variety of STSs (sequence tagged sites) associated with resistance. These can be used for local linkage and interval mapping to define genomic regions associated with the resistance trait. The development of such markers into simple dot-blot or specific PCR-based assays may have a direct and practical application for the identification of resistant snails in natural populations.
Abstract in English:Resistance and susceptibility of Biomphalaria snails to Schistosoma mansoni sporocysts occur in different degrees. Histopathology reflects these diferences. In a state of tolerance numerous sporocysts in different stages of differentiation are seen in the absence of host tissue reaction. However extensive diffuse and focal proliferation of amebocytes with sequestration and destruction of many parasitic structures appear in resistant snails. Some snails are totally resistant and when exposed to infecting miracidia may never eliminate cercarie. Sequential histopathological examination has revealed that in such cases the infected miracidia are destroyed a few minutes to 24 hr after penetration in the snail. However, B. glabrata that were exposed to S. mansoni miracidia and three moths later failed to shed cercariae, exhibited focal and diffuse proliferation of amebocytes in many organs in the absence of pasitic structures. These lesions were similar to those observed in resistant snails that were still eliminating a few cercariae, with the difference that no recognizable sporocystic structures or remmants were present. Histological investigation carried out in similarly resistant B. tenagophila and B. straminea presented essentially normal histologic structures. Only occasionally a few focal proliferative (granulomatous) amebocytic reactions were seen in ovotestis and in the tubular portion of the kidney. Probably, there are two types of reactions to miracidium presented by totally resistant snails: one would implicate the immediate destruction of the miracidium leaving no traces in the tissues; the other involving late reactions that seem to completely destroy invading sporocysts and leave histological changes.
Abstract in English:Recently, our group determined the relationship between serum CAA levels and fecal egg counts in two foci with very intense Schistosoma mansoni transmission: Maniema (Zaire), an area endemic for S. mansoni since several decades, and Ndombo (Senegal), where transmission has only been established since a few years. The objective was to study and compare age-related worm load and worm fecundity patterns in these two different endemic settings. Here, we will summarize the most important findings and conclusions of this study.
Abstract in English:Egg-induced lesions in the upper and the lower female reproductive tract are important complications of the infection with Schistosoma mansoni. The understanding of the pathophysiology and pathology of genital lesions is only rudimentary, simple and reliable diagnostic tools are not at hand, epidemiological data do not exist and how to treat best the women affected, is not known. In view of recent advances in the understanding of genital lesions induced by S. haematobium the existing literature is critically analysized and possible consequences of female genital schistosomiasis are outlined. We estimate that 6 to 27 % girls and women with intestinal schistosomiasis, at least temporarily, suffer from pathology induced by eggs sequestered somewhere in their genital organs. This is a mattern of concern and warrants more research into the epidemiology, pathology, diagnosis and therapy of this disease entity.
Abstract in English:In hospital-based series viral hepatitis B has been frequently described in association with schistosomiasis whilst in field-based studies the association has not been confirmed. The association between schistosomiasis and Salmonella bacteraemia has been well documented. More recently, acute schistosomiasis has been shown to be a facilitating factor in the genesis of pyogenic liver abscesses caused by Staphylococcus aureus. New evidences indicate an interaction between the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and schistosomiasis. In this paper, data on the association of schistosomiasis with other infections are updated.
Abstract in English:The authors present morphogenetic and biomechanical approaches on the concept of the Schistosoma mansoni granulomas, considering them as organoid structures that depend on cellular adhesion and sorting, forming rearrangement into hierarchical concentric layers, creating tension-dependent structures, aiming to acquire round form, since this is the minimal energy form, in which opposing forces pull in equally from all directions and are in balance. From the morphogenetic point of view, the granulomas function as little organs, presenting maturative and involutional stages in their development with final disappearance (pre-granulomatous stages, subdivided in: weakly and/or initial reactive and exudative; granulomatous stages: exudative-productive, productive and involutional). A model for the development of granulomas was suggested, according to the following stages: encapsulating, focal histolysis, fiber production, orientation and compacting and involution and desintegration. The authors concluded that schistosomal granuloma is not a tangled web of individual cells and fibers, but an organized structure composed by host and parasite components, which is not formed to attack the miracidia, but functions as an hybrid interface between two different phylogenetic beings.
Abstract in English:In chronic severe infection with Schistosoma mansoni, portal hypertension and related vascular alterations usually develop as a consequence of granulomatous response to eggs. In order to investigate a putative direct effect of worms on the reactivity of their host portal vein, mice infected only with male worms were used in the present study. An higher reactivity to 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) characterized by an increase in the maximal contraction and sensitivity was observed in portal vein from infected mice compared to healthy mice. Blockade of NO-synthase with l-NAME induced a small increase in 5-HT potency in portal vein from non-infected mice without changing the amplitude of the contractions, whereas it did not alter the reactivity of veins from infected mice. The present results show that unisexual infection of mice with male S. mansoni increased the reactivity of the portal vein to 5-HT which seems to be partially related to an alteration in the nitric oxide release by endothelium.
Abstract in English:We have undertaken a comparative immunephenotypic study of spleen cells from hepatosplenic patients (HS) and uninfected individuals (NOR) using flow cytometry. Our data did not show any significant differences in the mean percentage of T-cells and B-cells between the two groups. Analysis of activated T-cells demonstrated that HS present an increased percentage of CD3+HLA-DR+ splenocytes in comparison to NOR. Analysis of T-cell subsets demonstrated a significant increase on the percentage of both activated CD4+ T-splenocytes and CD8+ cells in HS. We did not find any difference in the mean percentage of CD28+ T-cells. Analysis of the B-cell compartment did not show any difference on the percentage of B1-splenocytes. However, the spleen seems to be an important reservoir/source for B1 lymphocytes during hepatosplenic disease, since after splenectomy we found a decreased the percentage of circulating B1-lymphocytes. We observed an increase on the percentage of CD2+CD3- lymphocytes in the spleen of HS suggesting that the loss of CD3 by activated T-cells or the expansion of NK-cells might play a role in the development/maintenance of splenomegaly.
Abstract in English:Nitric oxide (NO) is an important effector molecule involved in immune regulation and defense. NO produced by cytokine-activated macrophages was reported to be cytotoxic against the helminth Schistosoma mansoni. Identification and characterization of S. mansoni antigens that can provide protective immunity is crucial for understanding the complex immunoregulatory events that modulate the immune response in schistosomiasis. It is, then, essential to have available defined, purified parasite antigens. Previous work by our laboratory identified a fraction of S. mansoni soluble adult worm antigenic preparation (SWAP), named PIII, able to elicit significant in vitro cell proliferation and at the same time lower in vitro and in vivo granuloma formation when compared either to SEA (soluble egg antigen) or to SWAP. In the present work we report the effect of different in vivo trials with mice on their spleen cells ability to produce NO. We demonstrate that PIII-immunization is able to significantly increase NO production by spleen cells after in vitro stimulation with LPS. These data suggest a possible role for NO on the protective immunity induced by PIII.
Abstract in English:Schistosoma mansoni soluble egg antigens (SEA) were fractionated by isoelectric focusing, resulting in 20 components, characterized by pH, absorbance and protein concentration. The higher absorbance fractions were submitted to electrophoresis, and fraction 8 (F8) presented a specific pattern of bands on its isoelectric point. Protein 3 was observed only on F8, and so, it was utilized to rabbit immunization, in order to evaluate its capacity of inducing protective immunity. IgG antibodies from rabbit anti-F8 serum were coupled to Sepharose, and used to obtain the specific antigen by affinity chromatography. This antigen, submitted to electrophoresis, presented two proteic bands (F8.1 and F8.2), which were transferred to nitrocellulose membrane (PVDF) and sequenciated. The homology of F8.2 to known proteins was determined using the Basic Local Alignment Search Tool program (BLASTp). Significant homologies were obtained for the rabbit cytosolic Ca2+ uptake inhibitor, and for the bird a1-proteinase inhibitor. Immunization of mice with F8.1 and F8.2, in the presence of Corynebacterium parvum and Al(OH)3 as adjuvant, induced a significant protection degree against challenge infection, as observed by the decrease on worm burden recovered from portal system.
Abstract in English:This study was performed in order to define Schistosoma mansoni antigens able to function as modulator agents in BALB/c mice granulomatous hypersensitivity to parasite egg. The antigens P-24, P-35 and P-97 were purified by affinity chromatography from a fraction of S. mansoni adult worm antigenic preparation, denominated PIII, involved in the inhibition of granulomatous response to eggs. Immunization of mice with these antigens, in the presence of Corynebacterium parvum and Al(OH)3 as adjuvant, induced a significant protection degree against challenge infection, as observed by the decrease on worm burden recovered from portal system. In vitro blastogenesis assays revealed that purified antigens were able to induce significant proliferation of spleen cells from S. mansoni-infected mice. This protection was correlated to significant decrease in granuloma size induced by PIII. From these results, we concluded that PIII preparation contains antigens capable of mediating protective anti-parasite immunity and down-regulating granulomatous hypersensitivity to S. mansoni eggs.
Abstract in English:Previous investigations showed that Schistosoma mansoni infection aggravates protein malabsorption in undernourished mice and this can be reverted by administration of casein hydrolysate. The present study was undertaken to evaluate the effects of ingestion of casein hydrolysate for long periods. Albino Swiss mice were divided into eight groups. Diets contained 5% (undernourished ) or 20% (controls) casein levels. For each group there were sub-groups ingesting whole or hydrolysed casein for 12 weeks. Infection with S. mansoni developed in half of the animals under each diet. All undernourished mice developed malabsorption. Low albuminemia was detected in infected animals independently of the protein level in the diet. However, albuminemia was lower in infected controls than in undernourished non-infected mice, suggesting a deficient liver protein synthesis. Infected mice fed on a 20% protein hydrolysed diet exhibited low weight gain and high mortality rates. On the other hand, non-infected mice ingesting the same diet had the highest body weights. We are investigating the hypothesis that infected mice, even when fed normal diets, are unable to metabolise large amounts of amino acids due to the liver lesions related to schistosomiasis and as a result die of hepatic coma. In some of them, the excessive accumulation of ammonia in the blood enhances the outcome of an encephalopathy.
Abstract in English:The freshwater snails Biomphalaria straminea, B. intermedia, B. kuhniana and B. peregrina, are morphologically similar; based on this similarity the first three species were therefore grouped in the complex B. straminea. The morphological identification of these species is based on characters such as vaginal wrinkling, relation between prepuce: penial sheath:deferens vas and number of muscle layers in the penis wall. In this study the polymerase chain reaction restriction fragment length polymorphism technique was used for molecular identification of these molluscs. This technique is based on the amplification of the internal transcribed spacer regions ITS1 e ITS2 of the ribosomal RNA gene and subsequent digestion of these fragments by restriction enzymes. Six enzymes were tested: Dde I, Mnl I, Hae III, Rsa I, Hpa II e Alu I. The restriction patterns obtained with DdeI presented the best profile for separation of the four species of Biomphalaria. The profiles obtained with all the enzymes were used to estimate the genetic distances among the species through analysis of common banding patterns.
Abstract in English:This study focuses on the possibility of experimental hybridization among host snail species for Schistosoma mansoni in Brazil, with morphological characterization of the hybrids found. By using albinism as a genetic marker, intraspecific crossbreedings were performed between two strains of each species involved, in addition to interspecific crossbreedings; the only viable crossbreeding was between pigmented Biomphalaria glabrata (Paulista, PE) and albino B. tenagophila (Joinville, SC), with the formation of F1 and F2 generations. All offspring in F1 displayed black eyes and a renal ridge on the mantle, while F2 displayed dissociated morphological traits. With regard to reproduction, F1 was more efficient than F2. The experiment's results suggest post-zygotic reproductive isolation.
Abstract in English:This study was undertaken to determine the accuracy of splenic palpation for the diagnosis of splenomegaly, and to determine whether the frequency of individuals with a palpable spleen in an endemic area can be considered as an index of morbidity of schistosomiasis. For the clinical diagnosis of splenomegaly, two criteria have been tested: (A) presence of a palpable spleen and (B) presence of a palpable spleen whose border could be felt more than 4 cm below the costal margin. In an area of high prevalence of the disease (66.3%) 285 individuals aged 18 years or more have been submitted to abdominal ultrasonography and physical examination. Splenomegaly was defined as a splenic length greater than 120 mm by ultrasound and the sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values of criterion A were 72.2%, 90.5%, 35.1% and 97.8%. The values for criterion B were 27.8%, 98%, 50% and 95%, respectively. In an non endemic area, 517 individuals were submitted to the same protocol and 22 individuals had a palpable spleen, but no patient fulfilled criterion B for splenomegaly, and only one met the ultrasonographic criterion for splenomegaly. The authors concluded that abdominal palpation is a poor method for the diagnosis of splenomegaly.
Abstract in English:Data on the association of schistosomiasis and hepatitis B in field-based studies are scarce. Two areas have been selected for this study: i) Queixadinha, endemic for schistosomiasis, with a population of 693 individuals, and ii) Capão, a control non-endemic area, with 515 inhabitants. Sera of all individuals in both areas were tested for hepatitis B infection, yearly, from 1994 to 1997. In the first area hepatitis B was found in 32.1% of children up to one year old and reached a peak of 68.7% in the age range of 15 to 19 years. In the control area the prevalence of hepatitis B was under 5% up to 19 years of age and the highest prevalence was observed in adults over 45. HBsAg was detected in 9.4% of the individuals living in the endemic area for schistosomiasis and in 1.4% of the controls (OR=4.98; 95%CI=3.7-6.7). The index of chronicity of HBsAg was not statistically different in the studied areas (8.1% x 7.3%; OR = 1.09; 95%CI= 0.42-3.03), nor was it different for people with and without schistosomiasis in Queixadinha (8.7% x 7.0%). We conclude that the Schistosoma mansoni infection has not altered the course of hepatitis B in the studied area.
Abstract in English:A clinical study on the evolution of patients with schistosomiasis mansoni has been conducted since 1983 at the outpatient clinic of the Infectious and Parasitic Disease Service in the Clementino Fraga Filho University Hospital in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, comparing prevalence of positive tests for HBsAg, anti-HBsAg, and anti-HBc among patients infected with Schistosoma mansoni coming from various regions of Brazil and with different clinical forms of the disease. A non-significant predominance of HBsAg, anti-HBsAg, and anti-HBc was detected among patients with the hepatosplenic form of schistosomiasis, who presented a more severe clinical evolution with a higher frequency of hematemesis and/or melena, in addition to the development of macronodular cirrhosis and a worse prognosis as compared to patients with the toxemic form, schistosomiasis-infection and the hepatointestinal form.
Abstract in English:A schedule of repeated chemotherapy with oxamniquine, consisting of biannual treatment of school-aged (7-13 years) children and annual treatment of all other age groups, was used in a representative rural village from a highly endemic area of schistosomiasis in Pernambuco. Significant reductions in infection were obtained only after two cycles of treatment, as the overall prevalence decreased from 72.6% to 41.7% and the geometric mean egg counts per gram of faeces among positives fell from 188.4 to 76. In a school-aged cohort (n=29) three treatments at six-month intervals were necessary to significantly reduce the proportion of positives (from 75.9% to 51.7%). In a cohort of children under 7 years of age (n=20) the proportion of positives actually increased (from 30% to 45%) despite two annual treatments. Water contact was intense and host snail density was relatively high. As there is no short-term perspective of improved sanitation, auxiliary measures such as focal mollusciciding are needed for an adequate control of schistosomiasis in this and alike areas.
Abstract in English:The potential of an immunofluorescence test for detection of IgM antibodies against Schistosoma mansoni gut-associated antigens (IgM-IFT) was evaluated as a tool for studying aspects related to the schistosomiasis transmission in Ribeirão Pires, in the metropolitan area of the capital of the State of São Paulo, Brazil. Children from a school with about 400 students, 6 to 18 years, were followed-up for two years. In the five surveys, carried out at 6-month intervals, from October 92 to October 94, serological (IgM-IFT) prevalence indices of 5.3%, 5.8%, 6.2%, 2.9% and 3.3% were obtained. These indices were 7 to 10 times higher than the parasitological prevalence indices of 0.5%, 0.5%, 0.7%, 0.4% and 0% determined by the Kato-Katz method. Seroconversion from IFT negative to positive was indicating possible newly acquired S. mansoni infection in three children. But confirmation of infection by fecal examination was possible in only one child. The IgM-IFT can constitute a valuable tool for the improvement of the vigilance program in low endemic areas for schistosomiasis, better characterizing the S. mansoni transmission in such areas.
Abstract in English:The high sensitivity and the possibility of automation of the enzyme-linked-immunosorbent-assay (ELISA) has indicated this technique as one of the most useful serological test for epidemiological studies. In the present study, an ELISA for detection of IgG antibodies against adult worm antigens (IgG-ELISA) was investigated for epidemiological purposes, in a rural area of the municipality of Itariri (São Paulo, Brazil). Blood on filter paper (1,180 samples) from about 650 schoolchildren were submitted to ELISA and the data compared to the results of the parasitological method of Kato-Katz and also to the IgM-IFT (immunofluorescence test for IgM antibodies to gut associated antigens). The prevalence rates respectively of 8.5%, 43.0%, and 56.2% by the Kato-Katz, IgG-ELISA, and IgM-IFT methods suggest the poor sensitivity of the parasitological method for detection of Schistosoma mansoni eggs in individuals with low worm burden, situation commonly observed in low endemic areas. These results can partially explain the poor degree of agreement between the IgG-ELISA and the Kato-Katz, as suggested by the Kappa index of 0.170. Otherwise, the Kappa index of 0.675 showed substantial agreement between the two serological tests. Some discrepancy of results between the two serological techniques must be better investigated.
Abstract in English:The detection of IgM antibodies for Schistosoma mansoni using gut-associated antigens (IgM-IFT) was compared to the parasitological Kato-Katz method for study of the transmission of schistosomiasis in an urban area in Campinas. About 400 schoolchildren whose ages ranged from 6 to 18 years, were observed for a period of two years. Blood samples on filter paper and fecal samples were collected, at intervals of six months. Serological (IgM-IFT) prevalence rates of 1.2%, 4.3%, 3.6%, 2.9% and 3.4% were obtained in five surveys carried out. S. mansoni eggs were detected in only one child out of the 225 children (0.4%) who were submitted to the Kato-Katz method (three slides for each fecal sample) in the 1st survey. Sixty eight children who submitted five blood samples, one for each survey, were found IFT negative throughout the study. No child was found to be IFT positive in all five surveys, and only four children showed IFT positive results in at least four surveys. Seroconversion from IFT negative to positive was observed from the 1st to the 2nd survey in six chidren, from the 2nd to the 3rd survey in three children, from the 3rd to the 4th survey in four children, and from the 4th to the 5th survey in two cases. However, confirmation of S. mansoni infection using the fecal examination was not possible in any of the cases. Also, in most of them the IFT result oscillated from negative to positive and vice versa. Our data implied that recent transmission of schistosomiasis in the study area was not possible.
Abstract in English:The aim of the present research was to evaluate the potential of Nectomys rattus, the "water rat", to develop Schistosoma mansoni infection. Comparison with N. squamipes was carried out. Both species of rodents were submitted to transcutaneous infection using different infective cercariae loads: 50, 100 or 500. N. rattus showed high susceptibility to S. mansoni, with an infection rate of 71%. Rodents were able to excrete viable eggs of S. mansoni in the feaces during all infection period. For both species, the small intestine, followed by the liver and the large intestine, presented the highest concentration of eggs among the surveyed organs. Infection caused no animal death. Moreover, N. rattus accomplished the parasite's life cycle, by infecting the snails Biomphalaria glabrata and later Mus musculus. These evidences indicate that both N. rattus, as for N. squamipes are potential reservoirs for schistosomiasis in Brazil. Considering the fact that N. rattus and N. squamipes exist in the same natural ecosystems of S. mansoni, we suggest that these rodents must be regarded as influential factors in epidemiology surveys.
Abstract in English:Aiming to detail data obtained through brightfield microscopy (BM) on reproductive, excretory and digestive system, specimens of Schistosoma mansoni eight weeks old, were recovered from SW mice, stained with Langeron's carmine and analyzed under a confocal laser scanning microscope CLSM 410 (Carl Zeiss). The reproductive system presented a single and lobate testis, with intercommunications between the lobes without efferent duct. Supernumerary testicular lobe was amorphous and isolated from the normal ones. Collecting tubules (excretory ducts), followed by the excretory bladder, opening to the external media through the excretory pore, were observed at the posterior extremity of the body. In the digestive tract, a cecal swelling was noted at the junction that originates the single cecum. It was concluded that through confocal laser scanning microscopy, new interpretations of morphological structures of S. mansoni worms could be achieved, modifying adopted and current descriptions. The gonad consists of a single lobed testis, similar to that observed in some trematode species. Moreover, the same specimens can be observed either by BM or CLSM, considering that the latter causes only focal and limited damage in tissue structures.
Abstract in English:A computer software for image analysis (IMAGE PRO PLUS, MEDIA CYBERNETICS) was utilized in male and females adult worms, aiming the morphological characterization of Schistosoma mansoni samples isolated from a slyvatic rodent, Nectomys squamipes, and humans in Sumidouro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and recovered from Mus musculus C3H/He. The following characters for males's testicular lobes were analyzed: number, area, density, larger and smaller diameter, longer and shorter axis and perimeter and extension; for females: area, longer and shorter axis, larger and smaller diameter and perimeter of the eggs and spine; oral and ventral suckers area and distance between them in both sex were determined. By the analysis of variance (one way ANOVA) significant differences (p<0.05) were observed in all studied characters, except for the density of testicular lobes. Significant differences (p<0.05) were detected for all characters in the female worms. Data ratify that sympatric isolates present phenotypic differences and the adult female characters are useful for the proper identification of S. mansoni isolates.
Abstract in English:Specific chemotherapy against schistosomiasis together with environmental changes occurring in endemic areas of Brazil are causing a revolution in the clinico-pathological presentation of the disease when comparing to date from 10 to 15 years ago. To update the subject, an inquire was made among the most experienced Brazilian investigators in this field. They agree that a decrease of about 50 to 70% in prevalence, and an even higher decrease in incidence are taking place in Brazil today. The prevalence of schistosome-infection has decreased in some areas and increased in other, with spreading sometimes occurring to peri-urban regions, indicating that schistosomiasis control depends on the application of multiple measures. General clinical and pathological manifestations related to hepatosplenic disease, such as ascites, gastric hemorrhages, big-spleen syndrome, cor pulmonale, glomerulopathy, etc. are also less severe nowadays than they used to be in the past