Abstract in English:In this review we discuss the ongoing situation of human malaria in the Brazilian Amazon, where it is endemic causing over 610,000 new acute cases yearly, a number which is on the increase. This is partly a result of drug resistant parasites and new antimalarial drugs are urgently needed. The approaches we have used in the search of new drugs during decades are now reviewed and include ethnopharmocology, plants randomly selected, extracts or isolated substances from plants shown to be active against the blood stage parasites in our previous studies. Emphasis is given on the medicinal plant Bidens pilosa, proven to be active against the parasite blood stages in tests using freshly prepared plant extracts. The anti-sporozoite activity of one plant used in the Brazilian endemic area to prevent malaria is also described, the so called "Indian beer" (Ampelozizyphus amazonicus, Rhamnaceae). Freshly prepared extracts from the roots of this plant were totally inactive against blood stage parasites, but active against sporozoites of Plasmodium gallinaceum or the primary exoerythrocytic stages reducing tissue parasitism in inoculated chickens. This result will be of practical importance if confirmed in mammalian malaria. Problems and perspectives in the search for antimalarial drugs are discussed as well as the toxicological and clinical trials to validate some of the active plants for public health use in Brazil.
Abstract in English:Domiciliated Rhodnius prolixus and sylvatic R. colombiensis were analyzed in order to confirm their genetic divergence and verify the risk that the latter represents in the domiciliation process, and to provide tools for identifying the sources of possible reinfestation by triatomines in human dwellings allowing control programs to be undertaken. Comparison of random amplified polymorphic DNA amplification patterns and cluster analysis suggests reproductive discontinuity between the two species. The calculated statistical F value of 0.24 and effective migration rate of 0.6 individuals per generation are insufficient to maintain genetic homogeneity between them and confirm the absence of present genetic flow. R. colombiensis presents higher intrapopulation variability. Polymerase chain reaction of ribosomal DNA supports these findings. The low genetic flow between the two species implies that R. colombiensis do not represent an epidemiological risk for the domiciliary transmission of Trypanosoma cruzi in the Tolima Department. The lower variability of the domiciliated R. prolixus could result in greater susceptibility to the use of pesticides in control programs.
Abstract in English:The metazoan parasite fauna of Hippoglossina macrops (n = 123) from northern Chile (30°S) is quantitatively described for the first time, and the role of host age and sex was evaluated. Twelve parasite species were recovered, including 5 ectoparasites (2 Monogenea, 2 Copepoda and 1 Piscicolidae) and 7 endoparasites (1 Digenea, 3 Cestoda, 2 Acanthocephala, and 1 Nematoda). The copepod Holobomolochus chilensis, the monogenean Neoheterobothrium sp., the adult acanthocephalan Floridosentis sp. and the hirudinean, Gliptonobdella sp. are new geographical and host records. The most prevalent ectoparasitic species were the monogenean, Neoheterobothrium sp. and the copepod, H. chilensis. Among endoparasites, the acanthocephalans Floridosentis sp. and Corynosoma australe were most prevalent and abundant. Prevalence and mean intensity of infection for most parasitic species were not affected by host sex, however the prevalence of Floridosentis sp. was significantly greater in males. Intensity of infection was positively correlated with host age for Neoheterobothrium sp., and negatively correlated for Floridosentis sp. and H. chilensis. The helminth species richness of the host H. macrops was lower compared to related flatfishes from the Northern Hemisphere. The relationship of the helminth fauna of H. macrops, its feeding habits and ecological habitats are discussed.
Abstract in English:Hospital based studies were conducted to investigate the occurrence of Plasmodium/intestinal helminth co-infections among pregnant Nigerian women, and their effects on birthweights, anaemia and spleen size. From 2,104 near-term pregnant women examined, 816 (38.8%) were found to be infected with malaria parasites. Among the 816 parasitaemic subjects, 394 (48.3%) were also infected with intestinal helminths, 102 (12.5%) having mixed helminth infections. The prevalence of the helminth species found in stool samples of parasitaemic subjects examined was, Ascaris lumbricoides (19.1%), hookworm (14.2%), Trichuris trichiura (7%) Schistosoma mansoni (3.4%), Enterobius vermicularis (2%), Hymenolepis sp. (1.6%) and Taenia sp. (1%). Mothers with Plasmodium infection but without intestinal helminth infection had neonates of higher mean birthweights than those presenting both Plasmodium and intestinal helminth infections and this effect was more pronounced in primigravids. The mean haemoglobin values of malarial mothers with intestinal helminth infections were lower than those with Plasmodium infection but without intestinal helminth infections but these were not statistically significant. Severe splenomegaly was predominant among parasitaemic gravidae who also harboured S. mansoni infection in two of the hospitals studied.
Abstract in English:The involvement of different sand fly species in the transmission of American cutaneous leishmaniasis (ACL) at different altitudes was evaluated in the municipality of Afonso Cláudio in the State of Espírito Santo, Brazil, from November 1995 to February 1997. CDC light traps and Shannon traps baited with human volunteers were hung simultaneously at three altitudes of a river valley: (a) 650-750 m in an area of active ACL transmission; (b) 750-850 m in a transitional area; and (c) 850-950 m in an area where no ACL transmission occurred. A total of 13,363 specimens belonging to 28 species was collected. The five most abundant man-biting species were Lutzomyia intermedia, which constituted 24.3% of the total, Lu. migonei (22.3%), Lu. whitmani (15.4%), Lu. fischeri (14.9%) and Lu. monticola (5.8%). Analysis of the distribution of these species at the three altitudes provided evidence that Lu. fischeri and Lu. monticola were not involved in ACL transmission, whereas Lu. migonei and Lu. whitmani might act as secondary vectors of Leishmania (Viannia) braziliensis and Lu. intermedia was probably the principal vector of the parasite. These results reinforce those published in the existing literature, which indicate that Lu. intermedia is the main vector of Le. (V.) braziliensis in Southeast Brazil, while Lu. migonei and Lu. whitmani are of secondary importance.
Abstract in English:Between June 4th and June 20th1996 rotavirus, adenovirus, and astrovirus (HAstrV) were investigated in fecal samples from 27 children under three years old with acute diarrhea, attending the Bertha Lutz day care center, in Rio de Janeiro. All fecal samples were analyzed by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE), reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), enzyme immunoassays (EIA), and electron microscopy (EM). Nine of them (33%) showed positive results for HAstrV by at least one of the employed methodologies. Eight were positive by RT-PCR and EIA, and six by EM. All positive samples were inoculated onto HT-29 (human colon adenocarcinoma) cultured cells for HAstrV isolation and seven were positive after three passages. The sequencing analysis of eight RT-PCR products (449 bp) from gene that codifies VP2 protein, showed a total nucleotide identity among them and 98% with HAstrV-1 (strain Oxford type 1). This is the first report of a gastroenteritis outbreak associated with HAstrv-1 in a day care center in Rio de Janeiro and it reinforces the importance of this virus in association with infantile acute gastroenteritis.
Abstract in English:We studied the stool samples of 151 school children in a district of the city of Portoviejo (Ecuador) in order to determine the prevalence and intensity of soil-transmitted helminthiasis (STH) and their relationships with anthropometric indices. The samples were analyzed with the semiquantitative Kato-Katz technique and the intensity of infections was categorized as light, moderate or high according to the thresholds set by the World Health Organization. Prevalence of soil transmitted helmintiasis was 65% (92 out of 141 collected samples), Ascaris lumbricoides was the most common STH (63%) followed by Trichuris trichiura (10%) and hookworm (1.4%). Heavy intensity infections were found in 8.5% of the stool samples, with T. trichiura showing higher worm burdens than A. lumbricoides. Sixteen percent of the children were below the third percentile for weight (wasted), while 27% were below the third percentile for height (stunted). A significant relationship was found between the worm burden and the degree of stunting. This study suggests that the periodic administration of an antihelminthic drug should be targeted to preschool and school children to allow a normal growth spurt and prevent stunting.
Abstract in English:The distribution of Anopheles gambiae and An. arabiensis across the ecological zones of Nigeria (arid savanna in the north gradually turns into humid forest in the south) was investigated. Results of the present study were compared to the distributions determined from samples of indoor-resting females reported by an earlier study over 20 years ago. Larvae were sampled in the rainy seasons of 1997 and 1999 from 24 localities, 10 of which were sampled in both years. Specimens were identified by the polymerase chain reaction method. Results showed that species composition changed significantly among the 10 localities in both years (chi2=13.62, P = 0.0002), but this change was significant in only four of the 10 localities. The identity of the prevalent (more abundant) species changed between 1997 and 1999 in only three of 10 localities. An. arabiensis was prevalent in several localities in the southern Guinea savanna, an area where it was virtually absent over 20 years ago. The data suggest that An. arabiensis has extend its range, although differences in sampling technique (larval sampling versus adult collection) can not be ruled out as a possible explanation.
Abstract in English:In 1997, 1998 and 1999 we performed several captures in the State of Piauí, in the counties of Barro Duro, Campo Maior, Castelo, Floriano, Picos, São Raimundo Nonato and Teresina. We used CDC light traps inside houses, in a primary forest and in one cave. Seventeen species were collected being Lutzomyia longipalpis, Lutzomyia samueli, Lutzomyia whitmani andLutzomyia lenti the most captured species. The genus Brumptomyia, L. whitmani, Lutzomyia sordellii, Lutzomyia carmelinoi, Lutzomyia termitophila, Lutzomyia peresi and Lutzomyia quinquefer are reported for first time in Piauí. We call the attention for the presence of L. whitmani and L. longipalpis, important vectors of leishmaniasis in various regions of South America.
Abstract in English:Toro Toro (T) and Yungas (Y) have been described as genetically well differentiated populations of the Lutzomyia longipalpis (Lutz & Neiva, 1912) complex in Bolivia. Here we use geometric morphometrics to compare samples from these populations and new populations (Bolivia and Nicaragua), representing distant geographical origins, qualitative morphological variation ("one-spot" or "two-spots" phenotypes), ecologically distinct traits (peridomestic and silvatic populations), and possibly different epidemiological roles (transmitting or nor transmitting Leishmania chagasi). The Nicaragua (N) (Somotillo) sample was "one-spot" phenotype and a possible peridomestic vector. The Bolivian sample of the Y was also "one-spot" phenotype and a demonstrated peridomestic vector of visceral leishmaniasis (VL). The three remaining samples were silvatic, "two-spots" phenotypes. Two of them (Uyuni and T) were collected in the highlands of Bolivian where VL never has been reported. The last one (Robore, R) came from the lowlands of Bolivia, where human cases of VL are sporadically reported. The decomposition of metric variation into size and shape by geometric morphometric techniques suggests the existence of two groups (N/Y/R, and U/T). Several arguments indicate that such subdivision of Lu. longipalpis could correspond to different evolutionary units.
Abstract in English:New records for helminth species recovered from elasmobranch fishes in Brazil are established. Digenean and acanthocephalan parasites of elasmobranch fishes are reported from the southern coast of Brazil: Otodistomum veliporum (Creplin, 1837) Stafford, 1904 (Digenea: Azygiidae) in the stomach and spiral valve of Dipturus trachydermus and in the spiral valve of Squatina sp. Cystacanths and juveniles of the acanthocephalans Corynosoma australe Johnston, 1937 and Corynosoma sp., in the spiral valve of Squatina sp., Galeorhinus galeus and Hexanchus griseus and in the stomach of Squalus megalops; a juvenile of Gorgorhynchus sp., in the spiral valve of Sphyrna zygaena. Dipturus trachydermus and Squatina sp. are new host records for O. veliporum. Digeneans and acanthocephalans are reported for the first time parasitizing elasmobranch fishes in Brazil.
Abstract in English:In the present study, some morphological structures of antennae, maxillary palps and caudal setae of fourth instar larvae of laboratory-reared phlebotomine sand flies (Lutzomyia longipalpis, L. migonei, L. evandroi, L. lenti, L. sericea, L. whitmani and L. intermedia) of the State of Ceará, Brazil, were examined under scanning electron microscopy. The antennal structures exhibited considerable variation in the morphology and position. A prominent digitiform distal segment has been observed only on the antenna of species of the subgenus Nyssomyia. The taxonomic relevance of this and other antennal structure is discussed. The papiliform structures found in the maxillae and the porous structures of the caudal setae of all species examined may have chemosensory function. Further studies with transmission electron microscopy are needed to better understand the physiological function of these external structures.
Abstract in English:A list of all type specimens of the Family Ceratopogonidae, present in the Entomological Collection of Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil is presented. This list includes the genera Bahiahelea, Culicoides, Dasyhelea, Downeshelea, Forcipomyia, Leptoconops, Mallochohelea, Monohelea, Neobezzia, Palpomyia and Sphaerohelea.
Abstract in English:Females of Ixodes (Haemixodes) uruguayensis Kohls & Clifford, 1967, a species whose adults were unknown until the present, were obtained in the laboratory from engorged nymphs collected on rodents (Scapteromys tumidus and Oxymycterus nasutus) in the counties of Maldonado and San José, Uruguay. Morphological characters of these females were identical to those given in the description of the female of Ixodes longiscutatum Boero, 1944. I. uruguayensis is, thus, relegated to a junior subjective synonym of I. longiscutatum. However, because of the unique morphological characters of the immature stages, the validity of the subgenus Haemixodes Kohls & Clifford, 1967 is not questioned. Therefore, the new status of Ixodes (Haemixodes) uruguayensis Kohls & Clifford, 1967 is Ixodes (Haemixodes) longiscutatum Boero, 1944.
Abstract in English:The western region of the Brazilian Amazon Basin has long been shown to be a highly endemic area for hepatitis B and hepatitis D viruses. Data concerning the prevalence of hepatitis C and E viruses in this region are still scarce. In this study we investigated the presence of hepatitis A, B, C, D and E viruses infection in communities that live along the Purus and Acre rivers in the states of Acre and Amazonas within the Amazon Basin. A total of 349 blood samples were collected and tested for hepatitis A-E serological markers (antibodies and/or antigens) using commercial enzyme linked immunosorbent assays. Anti-HCV positive sera were further assayed by an immunoblot. HBsAg positive sera were subtyped by immunodifusion. The overall prevalence for hepatitis A, B, C, and E were 93.7%, 66.1%, 1.7%, and 4%, respectively. A very high prevalence of delta hepatitis (66.6%) was found among HBsAg positive subjects. Hepatitis A, B and D viruses were shown to be largely disseminated in this population, while hepatitis C and E viruses infection presented low prevalence rates in this region. The analysis of risk factors for HBV infection demonstrated that transmission was closely associated with sexual activity.
Abstract in English:Thirty eight patients with indeterminate leprosy (HI), at least 4 to 6 years after discharge from multibacillary (MB) or paucibacillary (PB) schemes of anti leprosy multidrug therapy (MDT), were submitted to traditional diagnostic procedures for leprosy and to polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis of different clinical samples for detection of Mycobacterium leprae DNA. No significant difference was observed for any of the parameters analyzed between PB or MB schemes of treatment and no indications were found for more efficient outcome of HI using the MB scheme. Remarkably, 18 (54.5%) of the individuals were PCR positive in at least one of the samples: positivity of PCR was highest in blood samples and four individuals were PCR positive in blood and some other sample. Upon comparison of PCR results with clinical and histopathological parameters, no correlation was found between PCR-positivity and eventual relapse. This is the first report on detection of M. leprae DNA in PB patients, more than half a decade after completion of MDT, suggesting that live bacilli are present and circulating much longer than expected, although reinfection of the individuals can not be excluded. Overall, we feel that because of the high sensitivity of the assay, extreme care should be taken about association of PCR results, efficacy of treatment and disease status.
Abstract in English:The seroprevalence of Chlamydia pneumoniae and Mycoplasma pneumoniae in hantavirus seronegative patients, who had symptoms and signs compatible with pneumonia was established. For this purpose we used the indirect fluorescent antibody test. Titers <FONT FACE=Symbol>³</FONT> 1:16 for C. pneumoniae and M. pneumoniae were found in 8.6% and 17.1% of the serum, respectively, showing evidence of recent or current infection.
Abstract in English:With the objective to evaluate PCR-mediated detection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis DNA as a diagnostic procedure for diagnosis of tuberculosis in individuals attending ambulatory services in Primary Health Units of the City Tuberculosis Program in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, their sputum samples were collected and treated with a DNA extraction procedure using silica-guanidiniumthiocyanate. This procedure has been described to be highly efficient for extraction of different kind of nucleic acids from bacteria and clinical samples. Upon comparing PCR results with the number of acid-fast bacilli, no direct relation was observed between the number of bacilli present in the sample and PCR positivity. Part of the processed samples was therefore spiked with pure DNA of M. tuberculosis and inhibition of the PCR reaction was verified in 22 out of 36 (61%) of the samples, demonstrating that the extraction procedure as originally described should not be used for PCR analysis of sputum samples.
Abstract in English:A morphological study of the midgut of Lutzomyia intermedia, the primary vector of cutaneous leishmaniasis, in southeast Brazil, was conducted by light, scanning and transmission electron microscopy. The midgut is formed by a layer of epithelium of columnar cells on a non-cellular basal lamina, under which there is a musculature, which consists of circular and longitudinal muscular fibers. A tracheolar network is observed surrounding and penetrating in the musculature. Females were examined 12, 24, 48, 72 h and 5 days following a blood meal and were analyzed comparatively by transmission electron microscopy with starved females. In starved females, the epithelium of both the anterior and posterior sections of the midgut present whorl shaped rough endoplasmic reticulum. The posterior section does not present well-developed cellular structures such as mitochondria. Observations performed at 12, 24, 48 and 72 h after the blood meal showed morphological changes in the cellular structures in this section, and the presence of the peritrophic matrix up to 48 h after the blood meal. Digestion is almost complete and a few residues are detected in the lumen 72 h after blood feeding. Finally, on the 5th day after the blood meal all cellular structures present the original feature resembling that seen in starved sand flies. Morphometric data confirmed the morphological observations. Mitochondria, nuclei and microvilli of midgut epithelial cells are different in starved and blood fed females. The mitochondria present a similar profile in the epithelium of both the anterior and posterior section of the midgut, with higher dimension in starved females. The cell microvilli in the posterior section of the midgut of starved females are twice the size of those that had taken a blood meal. We concluded that there are changes in the midgut cellular structures of L. intermedia during the digestion of blood, which are in agreement with those described for other hematophagous diptera.
Abstract in English:The ultrastructure of the male reproductive system of Didymocystis wedli was studied for the first time, demonstrating spermiogenesis and spermatogenesis at different cell stages. The spermatozoa morphology was compared with that of other Digenea species. It was observed that the different cells of the spermatogenesis process follow the classic pattern reported for the majority of the parasitic platyhelminthes. During spermiogenesis, rootlet fibers, electrondense bodies and median cytoplasmic process were not observed. The mature spermatozoa of D. wedli were filiform, presenting nucleus, mitochondrion and two 9+1 axonemes, with a biflagellate distal extremity.
Abstract in English:Aminotransferases (GOT and GPT) activities in the hemolymph of Bradybaena similaris under experimental condition of starvation were studied. At the 10th day of starvation, GOT activity was 416.6% higher than that observed in the fed snails, being reduced and ranging values near to that shown by the control group onwards. GPT activity only varied significantly at the day-30 of starvation. The results were discussed.
Abstract in English:The community structure of insects, especially mosquito larvae, in water held in the fungus Aquascypha hydrophora (Berk.) Reid (Stereaceae) is reported. The study was done in the Adolpho Ducke Forest Reserve, 26 km east of Manaus, AM, Brazil, from September 1998 through November 1999. The most abundant entomofauna were immature Culicidae (n = 121) 91.7%, followed by adult Dytiscidae (n = 3) 2.3%, immature Chironomidae (n = 5) 3.8% and immature Tipulidae (n = 3) 2.3%. Culicidae associated with A. hydrophora comprised species of the subfamilies Anophelinae and Culicinae.
Abstract in English:The infestation of Rhynchopsyllus pulex on the bat Molossus molossus was observed using mist-nets opened between constructions in the Primatological Center, in Guapimirim, State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Abstract in English:The richness, diversity, abundance and prevalence of mite species associated with sigmodontine rodents of different species in Entre Ríos province, Argentina are studied. Five of the six species of mites were reported for the first time in the study area. The richness and diversity of mites was higher on Oligoryzomys flavescens and O. delticola than on Akodon azarae. Androlaelaps rotundus was dominant and exhibited higher values of mean abundance and prevalence on A. azarae, Mysolaelaps microspinosus on O. flavescens and Gigantolaelaps mattogrossensis on O. delticola.
Abstract in English:A total of 315 birds representing 75 species (23 families) from Villavicencio and San Miguel (Meta, Colombia) were examined for haematozoa. Fifty birds (15.9%) harbored blood parasites. Microfilariae were the most common haematozoans encountered, followed by species of the genera Haemoproteus, Plasmodium and Trypanosoma. This survey included 15 new host-parasite records and 8 species of birds that were examined for haematozoa for the first time. The prevalence registered in this research was similar to others recorded in the Neotropical region, but in sharp contrast with the prevalence of blood parasites in other major land masses.
Abstract in English:House dust mites have been reported to be the most important allergen in human dwellings. Several articles had already shown the presence of different mite species at homes in Brazil, being Pyroglyphidae, Glycyphagidae and Cheyletidae the most important families found. This paper is an annotated bibliography that will lead to a better knowledge of house dust mite fauna in Brazil.