Abstract in English:From August 1997 to August 1998, 334 specimens of Triatoma longipennis and 62 of T. picturata were collected in four groups of localities placed in the zone from Guadalajara, Jalisco to Tepic, Nayarit, in the West Coast of Mexico. Most T. longipennis were collected outdoors (69.2%) while most T. picturata (58.1%) were collected indoors. All collected specimens were examined for Trypanosoma cruzi infection, which was detected on 98 (29.3%) T. longipennis and 17 (27.4%) T. picturata. This study confirms the role of T. longipennis and T. picturata as some of the main T. cruzi vectors to humans in Mexico. Habitation Infestation Rate with T. longipennis was of 0.09 and with T. picturata was of 0.03 and the predominating ecotopes were pile of blocks, chicken coops, pigsties, wall crawls and beds.
Abstract in English:One hundred specimens of white croakers, Micropogonias furnieri (Desmarest 1823) (Osteichthyes: Sciaenidae) collected from Pedra de Guaratiba (23°01'S, 43°38'W), State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from September 1997 to August 1999, were necropsied to study their parasites. The majority of the fish (95%) were parasitized by metazoan. Twenty-eight species of parasites were collected. The nematodes were the 40.5% of the total number of parasites specimens collected. Dichelyne elongatus was the most dominant species. Lobatostoma ringens, Pterinotrematoides mexicanum, Corynosoma australe, D. elongatus, and Caligus haemulonis showed a positive correlation between the host's total length and parasite prevalence and abundance. The monogenean P. mexicanum had differences in the prevalence and abundance in relation to sex of the host. The mean diversity in the infracommunities of M. furnieri was H=0.499±0.411, with correlation with the host's total length and without differences in relation to sex of the host. One pair of ectoparasites showed positive covariation, and two pairs of endoparasites showed positive association and covariation between their prevalences and abundances, respectively. Negative association or covariations were not found. The dominance of endoparasites in the croakers parasite infracommunities reinforced the differences found in sciaenids from the South American Pacific Ocean, in which the ectoparasites are dominant.
Abstract in English:We analyzed the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) groups and their epidemiological pattern that were detected over the course of seven years in southern Brazil. The two RSV groups co-circulated each year, but frequencies of groups A and B varied both between and within yearly outbreaks. In 1991, group A predominated over group B (p=0.0016). RSV outbreaks analyzed showed a temperature-dependent pattern and no association with rainfall, similarly to other countries from southern South America. Knowledge of the variants is important in terms of both diagnosis and definition of a vaccine composition.
Abstract in English:Predictions that deforestation would reduce American cutaneous leishmaniasis incidence have proved incorrect. Presentations at a recent international workshop, instead, demonstrated frequent domestication of transmission throughout Latin America. While posing new threats, this process also increases the effectiveness of vector control in and around houses. New approaches for sand fly control and effective targeting of resources are reviewed.
Abstract in English:Localized cutaneous leishmaniasis (LCL), known as "chiclero's ulcer" in southeast Mexico, was described by Seidelin in 1912. Since then, the sylvatic region of the Yucatan peninsula has been identified as an endemic focus of LCL. The purpose of the present work was to describe the clinical picture of LCL caused by Leishmania (Leishmania) mexicana in the Yucatan peninsula. A total of 136 cases of LCL, based on isolation and characterization of L. (L.) mexicana by isoenzymes and/or monoclonal antibodies, were selected. Some variability of clinical features regarding number, type, size, form, location and time of evolution of the lesions was observed. The most frequently observed presentation was a single, ulcerated, rounded small lesion, located on the ear, with an evolution time of less than three months, with neither cutaneous metastases nor lymphatic nor mucosal involvement. This picture corresponds to previous studies carried out in the same endemic area where an organism of the L. mexicana complex has been incriminated as a major aetiological agent of classical "chiclero's ulcer", confirming that in the Yucatan peninsula LCL due to L. (L.) mexicana when located on the pinna of the ear is a remarkable characteristic.
Abstract in English:The use of untreated water for drinking and other activities have been associated with intestinal and extraintestinal infections in humans due to Aeromonas species. In the present study aeromonads were isolated from 48.7% of 1,000 water samples obtained from wells and other miscellaneous sources. Aeromonas species were detected in 45% of samples tested in spring, 34.5% in summer, 48% in autumn and 60% of samples tested in winter. Speciation of 382 strains resulted in 225 (59%) being A. hydrophila, 103 (27%) A. caviae, 42 (11%) A. sobria and 11 (3%) atypical aeromonads. Of 171 Aeromonas strains tested for their haemolytic activity, 53%, 49%, 40% and 37% were positive in this assay using human, horse, sheep and camel erythrocytes respectively. The results obtained indicate that potentially enteropathogenic Aeromonas species are commonly present in untreated drinking water obtained from wells in Libya (this may also apply to other neighbouring countries) which may pose a health problem to users of such water supplies. In addition, ceftriaxone and ciprofloxacin are suitable drugs that can be used in the treatment of Aeromonas-associated infections, particularly in the immunocompromised, resulting from contact with untreated sources of water.
Abstract in English:The prevalence and intensity of blood parasites in three species of wild doves were studied in the municipality of Junqueirópolis, in the western region of the State of São Paulo, Brazil. Three species of doves were surveyed: 331 specimens of Zenaida auriculata Des Murs, 1847, 62 specimens of Columbina talpacoti Temminck, 1811 and 57 specimens of Scardafella squammata Lesson, 1831. Haemoproteus columbae Kruse, 1890 was found in blood from all the doves species. The prevalence of this parasite was 100% in Z. auriculata, 51.6% in C. talpacoti and 19.3% in S. squammata. Specimens of Z. auriculata had a higher intensity of infection than the other doves species.
Abstract in English:We conducted a survey to determine the vectors of malaria in six localities of Serra do Navio municipality, State of Amapá, from 1990 to 1991. Malaria infection rates of 29.3%, 6.2% and 20.4% were detected by human blood smears in Colônia Água Branca, Porto Terezinha and Arrependido, respectively. There was no malaria infection detected in Serra do Navio. Fifteen species were identified among 3,053 anopheline mosquitoes collected by human bait and 64.4% were identified as Anopheles albitarsis s.l., 16.7% An. braziliensis, 9.5% An. nuneztovari and 5.8% An. triannulatus. An. darlingi, the main vector of malaria in the Amazon region of Brazil, was scare. Using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), a total positive rate of 0.8% (23/2876) was found for six species: fifteen An. albitarsis s.l., four An. nuneztovari, and one of each: An. braziliensis, An. triannulatus, An. oswaldoi and An. rangeli. Nine of 23 positive mosquitoes were infected with Plasmodium malariae, eight with P. vivax VK210, three with P. vivax VK247 and three with P. falciparum. Since An. albitarsis s.l. was collected feeding on humans, was present in the highest density and was positive by ELISA for malaria sporozoites, it probably plays an important role in malaria transmission in this area.
Abstract in English:The prevalence of antibodies to hepatitis B core antigen in 552 prime blood donors was of 9.4%. The majority (71.2%) has antibodies to hepatitis B surface antigen. The hepatitis B surface antigen was present in 0.7%, all of them antibodies to hepatitis B core antigen positive.
Abstract in English:Polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis was used to elucidate genetic variation at 13 isozyme loci among forest populations of Lutzomyia shannoni from three widely separated locations in Colombia: Palambí (Nariño Department), Cimitarra (Santander Department) and Chinácota (Norte de Santander Department). These samples were compared with a laboratory colony originating from the Magdalena Valley in Central Colombia. The mean heterozygosity ranged from 16 to 22%, with 2.1 to 2.6 alleles detected per locus. Nei's genetic distances among populations were low, ranging from 0.011 to 0.049. The estimated number of migrants (Nm=3.8) based on Wright's F-Statistic, F ST, indicated low levels of gene flow among Lu. shannoni forest populations. This low level of migration indicates that the spread of stomatitis virus occurs via infected host, not by infected insect. In the colony sample of 79 individuals, the Gpi locus was homozygotic (0.62/0.62) in all females and heterozygotic (0.62/0.72) in all males. Although this phenomenon is probably a consequence of colonization, it indicates that Gpi is linked to a sex determining locus.
Abstract in English:The eggshell fine structure of five sand fly species from Venezuela belonging to the genus Lutzomyia (L. migonei, L. ovallesi, L. absonodonta, L. gomezi and L. panamensis) was examined by scanning electron microscopy. The chorionic sculpturing of L. migonei, L. ovallesi, L. absonodonta and L. gomezi was characterized by series of columns arranged in palisade to form sinuous ridges. In inter-ridge areas, the basal layer was covered with fibrous material. The outer chorion of L. panamensis had a pattern known as "mountain- or volcano-like". The morphology of the posterior pole and aeropyle had a common structure in the five species, with some species-specific characters. The eggshell features of the five species are compared with those of other phlebotomine sand flies.
Abstract in English:Previous investigations of sensory systems in opecoelid cercariae have focused on chaetotaxy and ultrastructure of sensory receptors. They revealed chaetotaxic patterns within family, genus, and species as well as different receptors. Chaetotaxic and ultrastructural observations have rarely been combined. We investigated the ultrastructure of cercarial sensory receptors in conjunction with chaetotaxy and neuromorphology in a species of Allopodocotyle. Cercariae were treated with acetylthiocholine iodide and silver nitrate, and some were processed for light, scanning (SEM), and transmission (TEM) electron microscopy. Five nerve regions were distinguished. Chaetotaxy was consistent with that of other opecoelids. Five types of receptors were distinguished with SEM. Types differed in number of cilium-like structures (one or more), length of cilium-like structure (short, moderately long, or long), presence or absence of a tegumentary collar, and length of tegumentary collar (low, moderately low, or very high). Internal ultrastructure of some types revealed unsheathed cilium-like structures, basal body, and thickened nerve collars. Possible subtegumentary and sheathed receptors are introduced. Some receptor types were site-specific. For example, receptors with multiple cilium-like structures were concentrated on cephalic region whereas receptors with short cilium-like structure were widespread throughout most regions. Ultrastructure and site-specificity observations suggest that most receptors are mechanoreceptors.
Abstract in English:Pseudempleurosoma gibsoni n. sp. (Monogenea: Ancyrocephalidae) is described from the oesophagus of Paralonchurus brasiliensis (Steindachner) from off the coast of Brazil. The type-species of Pseudempleurosoma Yamaguti, 1965, P. carangis Yamaguti, 1965, is redescribed and the diagnosis of the genus is amended. Metadiplectanotrema Gerasev et al. 1987 is considered synonym of Pseudempleurosoma. This genus now contains four species, including P. carangis, P. caranxi Gerasev et al., 1987 n. comb., P. myripristi Gerasev et al., 1987 n. comb. and the one new species.
Abstract in English:CD8+ T cells have been implicated as critical effector cells in protection against the pre-erythrocytic stage of malaria in mice and humans following irradiated sporozoite immunization. Immunization experiments in animal models by several investigators have suggested different strategies for vaccination against malaria and many of the targets from liver stage malaria antigens have been shown to be immunogenic and to protect mice from the sporozoite challenge. Several prime/boost protocols with replicating vectors, such as vaccinia/influenza, with non-replicating vectors, such as recombinant particles derived from yeast transposon (Ty-particles) and modified vaccinia virus Ankara, and DNA, significantly enhanced CD8+ T cell immunogenicity and also the protective efficacy against the circumsporosoite protein of Plasmodium berghei and P. yeti. Based on these experimental results the development of a CD8+ T cell inducing vaccine has moved forward from epitope identification to planning stages of safety and immunogenicity trials of candidate vaccines.
Abstract in English:Pro-inflammatory cytokines are believed to play an important role in the pathogenesis of dengue infection. This study reports cytokine levels in a total of 54 patients examined in Recife, State of Pernambuco, Brazil. Five out of eight patients who had hemorrhagic manifestations presented tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) levels in sera which were statistically higher than those recorded for controls. In contrast, only one out of 16 patients with mild manifestations had elevated TNF-alpha levels. The levels of interleukin-6 (IL), IL-1beta tested in 24 samples and IL-12 in 30 samples were not significantly increased. Interferon-g was present in 10 out of 30 patients with dengue. The data support the concept that the increased level of TNF-alpha is related to the severity of the disease. Soluble TNF receptor p75 was found in most patients but it is unlikely to be related to severity since it was found with an equivalent frequency and levels in 15 patients with dengue fever and another 15 with dengue hemorrhagic fever.
Abstract in English:Cryptosporidium parvum oocysts are the infective stages responsible for transmission and survival of the organism in the environment. In the present work we show that the oocyst wall, far from being a static structure, is able to incorporate antigens by a mechanism involving vesicle fusion with the wall, and the incorporation of the antigen to the outer oocyst wall. Using immunoelectron microscopy we show that the antigen recognized by a monoclonal antibody used for diagnosis of cryptosporidiosis (Merifluor®, Meridian Diagnostic Inc.) could be found associated with vesicles in the space between the sporozoites and the oocysts wall, and incorporated to the outer oocyst wall by an unknown mechanism.
Abstract in English:A crude antigenic preparation of Babesia bigemina was used to develop an ELISA for the detection of IgM antibodies. Optimal dilutions of the antigen, using positive and negative reference sera, were determined by checkerboard titrations. Negative sera from cattle imported from tick-free areas, serum samples collected from infected B. bigemina cattle were used to validate the test. The specificity was 94% and sensitivity of the Elisa 87.5%. Sera from 385 cattle deriving from areas free from tick-borne diseases, which were submitted to a preimmunization process, were screened by this technique. The Elisa detected seroconversion on the 14th day post-inoculation in animals either infested with Boophilus microplus ticks (infected with B. bigemina), or inoculated with B. bigemina infected blood. Antibody titers decreased after day 33; however, all animals remained positive until the end of the experiment (124 days). The ELISA described may prove to be an appropriate serological test for the detection of IgM antibodies against B. bigemina.
Abstract in English:An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay was standardized for the detection of cryptococcal antigen in serum and cerebrospinal fluid. The system was evaluated in clinical samples from patients infected by human immunodeficiency virus with and without previous cryptococcosis diagnosis. The evaluated system is highly sensitive and specific, and when it was compared with latex agglutination there were not significant differences. A standard curve with purified Cryptococcus neoformans antigen was settled down for the antigen quantification in positive samples.
Abstract in English:We evaluated the mutations in a 193bp of the rpoB gene by automated sequencing of rifampicin (RMP)-resistant and susceptible Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains isolated from Brazil (25 strains) and France (37 strains). In RMP-resistant strains, mutations were identified in 100% (16/16) from France and 89% (16/18) from Brazil. No mutation was detected in the 28 RMP-susceptible strains. Among RMP-resistant or RMP-susceptible strains deletion was observed. A double point mutation which had not been reported before was detected in one strain from France. Among French resistant strains mutations were found in codons 531 (31.2%), 526, 513 and 533 (18.7% each). In Brazilian strains the most common mutations were in codons 531 (72.2%), 526 (11.1%) and 513 (5.5%). The heterogeneity found in French strains may be related to the fact that most of those strains were from African or Asian patients.
Abstract in English:Once known some biological characteristics of six Trypanosoma cruzi strains, randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) analysis was made. Cluster analysis by UPGMA (unweighted pair group method analysis) was then applied both to biological parameters and RAPD profiles. Inspection of the UPGMA phenograms indicates identical clusters, so supporting that usefulness of biological parameters to characterization of T. cruzi strains still remains.
Abstract in English:Mosquito control with biological insecticides, such as Bacillus sp. toxins, has been used widely in many countries. However, rapid sedimentation away from the mosquito larvae feeding zone causes a low residual effect. In order to overcome this problem, it has been proposed to clone the Bacillus toxin genes in aquatic bacteria which are able to live in the upper part of the water column. Two strains of Asticcacaulis excentricus were chosen to introduce the B. sphaericus binary toxin gene and B. thuringiensis subsp. medellin cry11Bb gene cloned in suitable vectors. In feeding experiments with these aquatic bacteria, it was shown that Culex quinquefasciatus, Aedes aegypti, and Anopheles albimanus larvae were able to survive on a diet based on this wild bacterium. A. excentricus recombinant strains were able to express both genes, but the recombinant strain expressing the B. sphaericus binary toxin was toxic to mosquito larvae. Crude protease A. excentricus extracts did not degrade the Cry11Bb toxin. The flotability studies indicated that the recombinant A. excentricus strains remained in the upper part of the water column longer than the wild type Bacillus strains.
Abstract in English:Tetratrichomonas didelphidis (Hegner & Ratcliffe, 1927) Andersen & Reilly, 1965 is a flagellate protozoan found in the intestine, cecum, and colon of Didelphis marsupialis. The parasitic protozoa used in this study was found and isolated in the intestine of opossums in Pavlova starch-containing medium in Florianópolis, State of Santa Catarina, Brazil, from D. marsupialis and Lutreolina crassicaudata. The strains were cultivated in Diamond medium without maltose and with starch solution, pH 7.5 at 28°C. The specimens were stained by the Giemsa method and Heidenhain's iron hematoxylin. The light microscopy study of the trophozoites revealed the same morphologic characteristics as specimens previously described.
Abstract in English:The identification of breeding sites of sand flies is of great epidemiological interest. A soil emergence trap for investigating potential sand fly breeding sites is described. The trap was tested in two rural areas in the Mogi Guaçu River Valley where the American cutaneous leishmaniasis is an endemic disease. Seventy-three sand fly individuals of three species, Lutzomyia intermedia s. l., L. whitmani and L. pessoai, were collected on the forest floor and peridomicile.
Abstract in English:We used a slide culture technique to detect tubercle bacilli surviving in sputum smears (n=46) after conventional heat fixation and Ziehl-Neelsen staining. In all heat-fixed sputum smears, tubercle bacilli survived after time 0 (n=22), 24 h (n=7), 48 h (n=7), 72 h (n=4), and seven days (n=6). None of the stained sputum smears showed growth on slide cultures. Viable tubercle bacilli remaining in heat-fixed sputum smears for at least seven days may present an infection risk to laboratory staff. Thus, sputum smears should be stained immediately by the Ziehl-Neelsen method or stored in a safe container to avoid transmission of tuberculosis.