Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, Volume: 96 Supplement, Published: 2001
  • Foreword

    Tendler, Miriam
  • The schistosome vectors in the Americas

    Paraense, W Lobato
  • Schistosomiasis epidemiology and control: how did we get here and where should we go?

    Sturrock, RF

    Abstract in English:

    Although a disease of great antiquity, scientific studies of schistosomiasis began only 150 years ago. The complete life-cycle was not described until just before the First World War, making it possible at last to plan proper community control programmes. Inadequate tools prevented their effective implementation until well after the Second World War when new tools became available, thanks to the newly formed World Health Organization. Molluscicides spearheaded control programmes until the late 1970s but were then replaced by the newly developed, safe drugs still used today. Whatever the method used, the initial goal of eradication was, in the light of experience and cost, gradually replaced by less ambitious targets; first to stop transmission and then to reduce morbidity. The most successful programmes combined several methods to minimise reinfection after chemotherapy. Comparisons between different programmes are difficult without using appropriate, standardised diagnostic techniques and the correct epidemiological measurements. Some examples will be presented, mainly from our studies on Schistosoma mansoni in Kenya. Drug resistance on a scale comparable with malaria has not occurred in schistosomiasis but the likely withdrawal of all drugs except praziquantel leaves its control extremely vulnerable to this potential problem. An effective, affordable vaccine for use in endemic countries is unlikely to be ready for at least 5 years, and developing strategies for its use could take a further decade or more, judging from experience with drugs and molluscicides. In the interim, by analogy with malaria, the most cost-effective approach would the use of drugs combined with other methods to stop transmission, including molluscicides. The cost of molluscicides needs to be reduced and fears allayed about their supposedly adverse ecological effects.
  • The identification and characterization of new immunogenic egg components: implications for evaluation and control of the immunopathogenic T cell response in schistosomiasis

    Stadecker, Miguel J; Hernandez, Hector J; Asahi, Hiroko

    Abstract in English:

    In schistosomiasis, granuloma formation to parasite eggs signals the beginning of a chronic and potentially life-threatening disease. Granulomas are strictly mediated by CD4+ T helper (Th) cells specific for egg antigens; however, the number and identity of these T cell-sensitizing molecules are largely unknown. We have used monoclonal T cell reagents derived from egg-sensitized individuals as probes to track down, isolate and positively identify several egg antigens; this approach implicitly assures that the molecules of interest are T cell immunogens and, hence, potentially pathogenic. The best studied and most abundant egg component is the Sm-p40 antigen. Sm-p40 and its peptide 234-246 elicit a strikingly immunodominant Th-1-polarized response in C3H and CBA mice, which are H-2k strains characterized by severe egg-induced immunopathology. Two additional recently described T cell-sensitizing egg antigens are Schistosoma mansoni phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (Sm-PEPCK) and thioredoxin peroxidase-1 (Sm-TPx-1). In contrast to Sm-p40, both of these molecules induce a more balanced Th-1/Th-2 response, and are relatively stronger antigens in C57BL/6 mice, which develop smaller egg granulomas. Importantly, Sm-p40 and Sm-PEPCK have demonstrated immunogenicity in humans. The findings in the murine model introduce the important notion that egg antigens can vary significantly in immunogenicity according to the host's genetic background. A better knowledge of the principal immunogenic egg components is necessary to determine whether the immune responses to certain antigens can serve as indicators or predictors of the form and severity of clinical disease, and to ascertain whether such responses can be manipulated for the purpose of reducing pathology.
  • Information and education in schistosomiasis control: an analysis of the situation in the State of Minas Gerais, Brazil

    Schall, Virgínia; Diniz, Maria Cecília Pinto

    Abstract in English:

    This paper presents the main ideas discussed in the round-table "Social and Educacional Aspects of Schistosomiasis Control", during the VII International Symposium of Schistosomiais. Considering the perspectives of schistosomiasis control in Brazil, it is described the example of the State of Minas Gerais , where the disease has been registered for more than seven decades. The importance of an extensive evaluation is now more important, considering the recent change in the Brazilian health system, since the Federal responsibility for the tropical diseases control programs have been replaced by the municipalities coordination. In this way, it is urgent to develop effective alternatives to assist the municipal staffs in the control task. In the specific case of health education, one observes a wide gap between the planned objectives and what is in fact carried out. Instant objectives and the utilization of traditional techniques prevail, which do not take into account the active participation of the population involved. Based on the authors' experience in the scientific and health education, the paper analyzes: (1) some data from a case study in the metropolitan region of Belo Horizonte, which presents the social representation and perception of schistosomiasis by the population; (2) an analysis of 35 different informative and educative materials used in Brazil since the sixties, and (3) some recommendations resulted from the studies that were carried out.
  • Recent studies on Schistosoma intercalatum: taxonomic status, puzzling distribution and transmission foci revisited

    Jourdane, Joseph; Southgate, Vaughan R; Pagès, Jean René; Durand, Patrick; Tchuem Tchuenté, Louis Albert

    Abstract in English:

    Schistosoma intercalatum, which causes human rectal schistosomiasis in Africa, still presents a great interest for its imprecise taxonomic status and its puzzling distribution in Africa. Two geographically isolated strains of S. intercalatum are recognized, the Lower Guinea strain and the Congo strain, which differ from each other in a number of morphological, biological and biochemical characteristics. Recent molecular data using RAPD markers indicate high divergence between the two strains, with values of Nei and Li's similarity indice allowing recognition of two genetically distinct taxa: experiments on pre- and post-isolating mechanisms are in progress in order to re-evaluate the taxonomic status of this polytypic species. With regard to its geographical distribution, S. intercalatum is characterized by the existence of two stable endemic areas (localized in Lower Guinea and North East of Democratic Republic of Congo) which correspond to the historical areas of species discovery, and the emergence during the last 15 years of new foci of the Lower Guinea strain outside previously known endemic areas. The absence of local adaptation of the Lower Guinea strain to its intermediate host, supported by experimental studies, may help to facilitate the spread of this strain. Nevertheless, the present restricted distribution of this species remains puzzling, because its potential snail hosts (bulinids) are widely distributed throughout much of Africa. Recent experimental and epidemiological studies suggest that interspecific sexual interactions between human schistosomes could have a role in limiting the distribution of S. intercalatum: the competitive sexual processes acting among human schistosomes show that S. haematobium and S. mansoni are always competitively dominant over S. intercalatum. These epidemiological observations lead the authors to distinguish three kinds of transmission foci for S. intercalatum.
  • Genetic epidemiology of fecal egg excretion during Schistosoma mansoni infection in an endemic area in Minas Gerais, Brazil

    Bethony, J; Gazzinelli, A; Lopes, A; Pereira, W; Alves-Oliveira, LF; Willams-Blangero, S; Blangero, J; LoVerde, PT; Corrêa-Oliveira, R

    Abstract in English:

    There is considerable variation in the level of fecal egg excretion during Schistosoma mansoni infections. Within a single endemic area, the distribution of egg counts is typically overdispersed, with the majority of eggs excreted coming from a minority of residents. The purpose of this study was to quantify the influence of genetic factors on patterns of fecal egg excretion in a rural study sample in Brazil. Individual fecal egg excretions, expressed in eggs per gram of feces, were determined by the Kato-Katz method on stool samples collected on three different days. Detailed genealogic information was gathered at the time of sampling, which allowed assignment of 461 individuals to 14 pedigrees containing between 3 and 422 individuals. Using a maximum likelihood variance decomposition approach, we performed quantitative genetic analyses to determine if genetic factors could partially account for the observed pattern of fecal egg excretion. The quantitative genetic analysis indicated that between 21-37% of the variation in S. mansoni egg counts was attributable to additive genetic factors and that shared environment, as assessed by common household, accounted for a further 12-21% of the observed variation. A maximum likelihood heritability (h²) estimate of 0.44 ± 0.14 (mean ± SE) was found for the 9,604 second- and higher-degree pairwise relationships in the study sample, which is consistent with the upper limit (37%) of the genetic factor determined in the variance decomposition analysis. These analyses point to the significant influence of additive host genes on the pattern of S. mansoni fecal egg excretion in this endemic area.
  • The distribution of Biomphalaria spp. in different habitats in relation to physical, biological, water contact and cognitive factors in a rural area in Minas Gerais, Brazil

    Kloos, Helmut; Souza, Cecilia de; Gazzinelli, Andrea; Soares Filho, Britaldo Silveira; Temba, Plinio da Costa; Bethony, Jeffrey; Page, Kristen; Grzywacz, Claudia; Lewis, Fred; Minchella, Dennis; LoVerde, Phillip; Oliveira, Rodrigo Corrêa

    Abstract in English:

    A total of 256 sites in 11 habitats were surveyed for Biomphalaria in Melquiades rural area (State of Minas Gerais) in August and November 1999 and in March 2000. Of the 1,780 Biomphalaria collected, 1,721 (96.7%) were B. glabrata and 59 (3.3%) B. straminea. Snails were found in all habitats except in wells, with the largest mean numbers in tanks, seepage ponds and canals, and the smallest numbers in springs, rice fields and fishponds. People's knowledge of the occurrence of Biomphalaria at the collection sites and the presence of Biomphalaria ova were strongly correlated with the occurrence of snails, and distance between houses and collection sites, as well as water velocity were inversely correlated with Biomphalaria occurrence (p < 0.001). The strongest predictor o f Biomphalaria occurrence was the presence of tilapia fish in fishponds. Fourteen Biomphalaria (0.8% of all snails) found at 6 sites were infected with Schistosoma mansoni. Suggestions are made for the utilization of local people's knowledge in snail surveys and further studies are recommended on the possible use of tilapia for biological control of Biomphalaria in fishponds, as well as modeling of S. mansoni transmission and reinfection.
  • Invading freshwater snails and biological control in Martinique Island, French West Indies

    Pointier, Jean-Pierre

    Abstract in English:

    Eight alien freshwater snail species were introduced into Martinique Island during the last 50 years. The introduced snails include four planorbids (Biomphalaria straminea, Helisoma duryi, Amerianna carinata and Gyraulus sp.), three thiarids (Melanoides tuberculata, M. amabilis and Tarebia granifera) and one ampullarid (Marisa cornuarietis). Four of these species rapidly colonized the whole Martinican hydrographic system whereas the other four remained restricted to some particular sites. The invasion processes were documented during the last 20 years and showed (i) a rapid invasion of the island by several morphs of M. tuberculata at the beginning of the 80's; (ii) the introduction of T. granifera in 1991 and M. amabilis in 1997; and (iii) the rapid spread of these last two species throughout the island. In the years following its introduction, M. tuberculata was used in biological control experiments against the snail hosts of schistosomiasis, B. glabrata and B. straminea. Experiments were conducted with success in several groups of water-cress beds which constituted the latest transmission sites for schistosomiasis at the beginning of the 80's. A malacological survey carried out in 2000 all over the island showed the absence of B. glabrata but the presence of some residual populations of B. straminea. Long-term studies carried out in Martinique have shown that the thiarids are able to maintain relatively stable populations over a long period of time, thus preventing recolonization by the snail hosts. Within this context the invasion of the hydrographic system of Martinique by thiarid snails has resulted in an efficient and sustainable control of the intermediate hosts of schistosomiasis.
  • Studies on the biology of schistosomiasis with emphasis on the Senegal river basin

    Southgate, VR; Tchuem Tchuenté, L-A; Sène, M; De Clercq, D; Théron, A; Jourdane, J; Webster, BL; Rollinson, D; Gryseels, B; Vercruysse, J

    Abstract in English:

    The construction of the Diama dam on the Senegal river, the Manantali dam on the Bafing river, Mali and the ensuing ecological changes have led to a massive outbreak of Schistosoma mansoni in Northern Senegal, associated with high intensity of infections, due to intense transmission, and the creation of new foci of S. haematobium. Data on the vectorial capacity of Biomphalaria pfeifferi from Ndombo, near Richard Toll, Senegal are presented with sympatric and allopatric (Cameroon) S. mansoni. Comparisons are made on infectivity, cercarial production, chronobiology of cercarial emergence and longevity of infected snails. Recent data on the intermediate host specificity of different isolates of S. haematobium from the Lower and Middle Valley of the Senegal river basin (SRB) demonstrate the existence of at least two strains of S. haematobium. The role of Bulinus truncatus in the transmission of S. haematobium in the Lower and Middle Valleys of the SRB is reviewed. Both S. haematobium and S. mansoni are transmitted in the same foci in some areas of the SRB.
  • Preliminary analysis of Sm14 in distinct fractions of Schistosoma mansoni adult worm extract

    Thaumaturgo, Nilton; Vilar, Mônica Magno; Diogo, Catia Maria; Edelenyi, Ricardo; Tendler, Miriam

    Abstract in English:

    In previous studies it was shown that the recombinant molecule, r-Sm14, induces high levels of protection against Schistosoma mansoni infection in two outbred animal models and immune crossprotection against infection by Fasciola hepatica in Swiss outbred mice. r-Sm14 was derived from a living worm extract, called SE, and is being developed as the molecular basis of an anti-helminth bivalent vaccine against the two parasites, for medical and veterinary application. Present data refer to SDS-PAGE and Western Blotting analysis of four different preparations of S. mansoni adult worms focusing Sm14 identification. The extracts correspond to the initial fraction of the SE extraction process, containing products released by living worms (SEi); SE2, reextraction of adult worms in PBS; and SE of separated male and female adult worms. In all extracts it was possible to detect the component of 14 kDa, that was recognized by specific anti-rSm14 antibody raised in rabbits.
  • Control of calcium homeostasis in Schistosoma mansoni

    Noël, F; Cunha, VMN; Silva, CLM; Mendonça-Silva, DL

    Abstract in English:

    Calcium signalling is fundamental for muscular contractility of Schistosoma mansoni. We have previously described the presence of transport ATPases (Na+,K+-ATPase and (Ca2+-Mg2+)-ATPase) and calcium channels (ryanodine receptors - RyR) involved in control of calcium homeostasis in this worm. Here we briefly review the main technics (ATPase activity, binding with specific radioligands, fluxes of 45Ca2+ and whole worm contractions) and results obtained in order to compare the distribution patterns of these proteins: thapsigargin-sensitive (Ca2+-Mg2+)-ATPase activity and RyR co-purified in P1 and P4 fractions mainly, which is compatible with a sarcoplasmic reticulum localization, while basal ATPase (along with Na+,K+-ATPase) and thapsigargin-resistant (Ca2+-Mg2+)-ATPase have a distinct distribution, indicative of their plasma membrane localization. Finally we attempt to integrate these contributions with data from other groups in order to propose the first synoptic model for control of calcium homeostasis in S. mansoni.
  • T cell clones from Schistosoma haematobium infected and exposed individuals lacking distinct cytokine profiles for Th1/Th2 polarisation

    Mduluza, T; Ndhlovu, PD; Midzi, N; Mary, C; Paris, CP; Turner, CMR; Chandiwana, SK; Woolhouse, MEJ; Dessein, AJ; Hagan, P

    Abstract in English:

    T cell clones were derived from peripheral blood mononuclear cells of Schistosoma haematobium infected and uninfected individuals living in an endemic area. The clones were stimulated with S. haematobium worm and egg antigens and purified protein derivative. Attempts were made to classify the T cell clones according to production of the cytokines IL-4, IL-5 and IFN-gamma. All the T cell clones derived were observed to produce cytokines used as markers for the classification of Th1/Th2 subsets. However, the 'signature' cytokines marking each subset were produced at different levels. The classification depended on the dominating cytokine type, which was having either Th0/1 or Th0/2 subsets. The results indicated that no distinct cytokine profiles for polarisation of Th1/Th2 subsets were detected in these S. haematobium infected humans. The balance in the profiles of cytokines marking each subset were related to infection and re-infection status after treatment with praziquantel. In the present study, as judged by the changes in infection status with time, the T cell responses appeared to be less stable and more dynamic, suggesting that small quantitative changes in the balance of the cytokines response could result in either susceptibility or resistant to S. haematobium infection.
  • Preliminary results on the effects of CD40/CD40L interactions and SAC-induction on IFN-gamma expression in human schistosomiasis

    Montenegro, Silvia ML; Abath, Frederico GC; Domingues, Ana LC; Melo, Wlademir; Morais, Clarice NL de; Coutinho, Eridan M; Mahanty, Siddhartha; Wynn, Thomas

    Abstract in English:

    In this communication the authors analyzed the pattern of expression of IFN-gamma as a surrogate type 1 response in different clinical forms of schistosomiasis in response to stimulation involving T-cell dependent and T-cell independent pathways, to investigate which pathways were functional in human schistosomiasis, and to further characterize the nature of Th1 response impairment in this parasitic disease.
  • Quantitave and qualitative interferences of pentoxifillyne on hepatic Schistosoma mansoni granulomas: effects on extracellular matrix and eosinophil population

    Reis, Luis Felipe; Ventura, Túlio Galvão; Souza, Sônia Oliveira; Arana-Pino, Arturo; Pelajo-Machado, Marcelo; Pereira, Mario José S; Lenzi, Henrique Leonel; Conceição, Maria José; Takiya, Christina Maeda

    Abstract in English:

    Mast cells and eosinophils actively participate in tissue repair and are prominent components of Schistosoma mansoni granulomas. Since pentoxifillyne (PTX) is an immunomodulatory and antifibrotic substance, we aimed to characterize, by morphological techniques, the effect of this drug on fibrosis developed inside murine hepatic schistosomal granulomatous reaction, beyond the quantification of eosinophil and mast cell populations. The drug (1 mg/100 g animal weight) was administrated from 35 to 90 days post-infection, when the animals were killed. The intragranulomatous interstitial collagen network was analyzed by confocal laser scanning microscopy, the number of eosinophils and mast cells was quantified and the results were validated by t-student test. Treatment did not interfere on the granuloma evolution but caused a significant decrease in the total and involutive number of hepatic granulomas (p = 0.01 and 0.001, respectivelly), and in the intragranulomatous accumulation of eosinophils (p = 0.0001). Otherwise, the number of mast cells was not significantly altered (p = 0.9); however, it was positively correlated with the number of granulomatous structures (r = 0.955). In conclusion, PTX does not affect development and collagen deposition in S. mansoni murine granuloma, but decreases the intragranulomatous eosinophil accumulation possibly due to its immunomodulatory capability, interfering in cellular recruitment and/or differentiation.
  • Surgical hepatosplenic mansonic schistosomiasis in adolescents: repercussions of the post-treatment schistosomotic burden on the hepatic functional reserve

    Brandt, Carlos Teixeira; Braga, Maria Vírginia da Mota; Melo, Karina Leal; Sá, Helena Pinho; Carvalheira, Rodrigo

    Abstract in English:

    Schistosomiasis mansoni affects the hepatic functional reserve. Clinical treatment with oxamniquine is not 100% effective and there has been found strain of this parasite resistant to this drug. The aims of this investigation were: (1) to examine the presence of residual parasite burden after medical and surgical treatment on adolescents with surgical schistosomiasis mansoni and (2) to assess the effect on the hepatic functional reserve in patients with and without residual infection. Twenty nine children with hepatosplenic schistosomiasis mansoni and bleeding esophageal varices were treated with oxamniquine. They underwent splenectomy, ligature of the left gastric vein and autologous implantation of spleen tissue into the greater omentum. After a mean post-operative follow up of five years they underwent rectal biopsy for schistosomotic egg search. They were divided in patients with and without infection. In 20 patients the submucosal egg search was negative, however, in 9 it was positive. The hepatic functional reserve in the patients without infection was as follows: 17 were Child-Pugh A and 3 Child-Pugh B. In the patients who were still infected 6 were Child-Pugh A and 3 Child-Pugh B. The chi2 analysis of the hepatic functional reserve showed chi2 = 3.19 - p= 0.07. From the results the following conclusion can be drawn: residual infection or reinfection in the follow up period had not interfered with the distribution of the hepatic functional reserve of the patients in this series. However, there was a trend for a decrease of this parameter in patients with residual infection.
  • Autotransplant of spleen tissue in children with schistosomiasis: evaluation of splenic function after splenosis

    Brandt, Carlos Teixeira; Maciel, Dione Tavares; Caneca, Oyama Arruda Frei; Castro, Célia Maria Machado Barbosa de; Araújo, Lenísio Bragante de

    Abstract in English:

    Autotransplantation of spleen tissue has been done, in the past ten years, in children with schistosomiasis mansoni with bleeding varices. The purposes of this investigation were: (1) to study the morphology and function of the remnant spleen tissue; (2) to quantify the production of tuftsin; and (3) to assess the immune response to pneomococcal vaccine of these patients. Twenty three children, who underwent splenectomy and autologous implantation of spleen tissue into the greater omentum were included in this investigation. The average postoperative follow-up is five years. Splenosis was proved by colloid liver-spleen scans. Search for Howell-Jolly bodies assessed the filtration function. Tuftsin and the titer of pneumococcal antibodies were quantified by ELISA. Splenosis was evident in all children; however, it was insufficient in two. Howell-Jolly bodies were found only in these two patients. The mean tuftsin serum concentration (335.0 ± 29.8 ng/ml) was inside the normal range. The immune response to pneumococcal vaccination was adequate in 15 patients; intermediate in four; and inadequate in four. From the results the following conclusions can be drawn: splenosis was efficient in maintaining the filtration splenic function in more than 90% and produced tuftsin inside the range of normality. It also provided the immunologic splenic response to pneumococcal vaccination in 65% of the patients of this series.
  • Cloning and characterization of SmZF1, a gene encoding a Schistosoma mansoni zinc finger protein

    Souza, Paulo R Eleutério de; Valadão, Analina F; Calzavara-Silva, Carlos E; Franco, Glória R; Morais Júnior, Marcos A de; Abath, Frederico GC

    Abstract in English:

    The zinc finger motifs (Cys2His2) are found in several proteins playing a role in the regulation of transcripton. SmZF1, a Schistosoma mansoni gene encoding a zinc finger protein was initially isolated from an adult worm cDNA library, as a partial cDNA. The full sequence of the gene was obtained by subcloning and sequencing cDNA and genomic fragments. The collated gene sequence is 2181 nt and the complete cDNA sequence is 705 bp containing the full open reading frame of the gene. Analysis of the genome sequence revealed the presence of three introns interrupting the coding region. The open reading frame theoretically encodes a protein of 164 amino acids, with a calculated molecular mass of 18,667Da. The predicted protein contains three zinc finger motifs, usually present in transcription regulatory proteins. PCR amplification with specific primers for the gene allowed for the detection of the target in egg, cercariae, schistosomulum and adult worm cDNA libraries indicating the expression of the mRNA in these life cycle stages of S. mansoni. This pattern of expression suggests the gene plays a role in vital functions of different life cycle stages of the parasite. Future research will be directed to elucidate the functional role of SmZF1.
  • r-Sm14 - pRSETA efficacy in experimental animals

    Ramos, Celso Raul Romero; Vilar, Mônica Magno; Nascimento, Ana Lúcia Tabet Oller; Ho, Paulo Lee; Thaumaturgo, Nilton; Edelenyi, Ricardo; Almeida, Marília; Dias, Waldely de Oliveira; Diogo, Catia Maria; Tendler, Miriam

    Abstract in English:

    Previous studies carried out with Sm14 in experimental vaccination against Schistosoma mansoni or Fasciola hepatica infections were performed with recombinant Sm14 (rSm14) produced in Escherichia coli by the pGEMEX system (Promega). The rSm14 was expressed as a 40 kDa fusion protein with the major bacteriophage T7 capsid protein. Vaccination experiments with this rSm14 in animal models resulted in consistent high protective activity against S. mansoni cercariae challenge and enabled rSm14 to be included among the vaccine antigens endorsed by the World Health Organization for phase I/II clinical trials. Since the preparation of pGEMEX based rSm14 is time consuming and results in low yield for large scale production, we have tested other E. coli expression systems which would be more suitable for scale up and downstream processing. We expressed two different 6XHis-tagged Sm14 fusion proteins in a T7 promoter based plasmids. The 6XHis-tag fusions allowed rapid purification of the recombinant proteins through a Ni+2-charged resin. The resulted recombinant 18 and 16 kDa proteins were recognized by anti-Sm14 antibodies and also by antiserum against adult S. mansoni soluble secreted/excreted proteins in Western-Blot. Both proteins were also protective against S. mansoni cercariae infection to the same extent as the rSm14 expressed by the pGEMEX system.
  • Schistosomal myeloradiculopathy due to Schistosoma mansoni: report on 23 cases

    Nobre, Vandack; Silva, Luciana CS; Ribas, João G; Rayes, Abdunnabi; Serufo, JC; Lana-Peixoto, MA; Marinho, Rosana FZ; Lambertucci, JR

    Abstract in English:

    Schistosoma mansoni infection is likely to be responsible for a significant proportion of cases of myelopathy occurring in areas where schistosomiasis is endemic. The aim of this study is to describe the clinical, laboratory and therapeutic data of 23 patients with schistosomal myeloradiculopathy. The medical records of 23 patients with schistosomal myelopathy admitted to two general hospitals of Belo Horizonte (MG), in Brazil, from 1995 to 1999, were reviewed retrospectively. Seventeen patients were male (74%). The mean age for the whole group was 27 years. Lower limb weakness and associated lumbar and/or lower limb pain were reported by 20 patients (87%), and 16 (70%) were unable to walk. All individuals presented urinary retention and 19 (83%) complained of intestinal dysfunction. The treatment was based on the association of antischistosomal drugs and corticosteroids. Five patients (22%) presented a full response to treatment, 13 (57%) partial response without functional limitations and 4 (17%) partial improvement with limitations or no response. Three out of the 4 patients who stopped steroids before 45 days of treatment developed recurrence of the symptoms and signs of myelopathy. Our cases demonstrate the severe presentation of the disease and the data disclosed here suggest that treatment with steroids should be kept for months after clinical improvement.
  • Schistosomiasis mansoni is asssociated with pyogenic liver abscesses in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil

    Teixeira, Rosângela; Pfeilsticker, Francis Jardim; Santa Cecília, Giovanna DC; Nobre, Vandack; Fonseca, Lúcia Porto; Serufo, José Carlos; Coelho, Paulo Marcos Zech; Lambertucci, José Roberto

    Abstract in English:

    The association between pyogenic liver abscesses and schistosomiasis has been confirmed by clinical and experimental studies. In this retrospective study of 78 patients with pyogenic liver abscesses the association with schistosomiasis has been investigated. Pyodermitis, a known focus of bacteremia, was observed in 19 patients (24%). Blood eosinophilia was observed in 30 patients (39%). Staphylococcus aureus was cultured from abscesses in 17 out of 38 patients (45%). Forty-one out of 57 patients (53%) had stool examination. Schistosoma mansoni was the main parasite identified. Eggs of S. mansoni were also identified in liver biopsies in 7 out of 19 patients who did the exam. The large number of young patients with liver abscesses described here is different from what has been observed in developed countries. This clinical study provide support for the concept that granulomas of S. mansoni in the liver are foci for colonization with S. aureus, which in presence of staphylococcal bacteremia can form liver abscesses.
  • Hepatosplenic schistosomiasis in field-based studies: a combined clinical and sonographic definition

    Lambertucci, José Roberto; Cota, Gláucia Fernandes; Pinto-Silva, Rogério Augusto; Serufo, José Carlos; Gerspacher-Lara, Rogério; Drummond, Sandra Costa; Antunes, Carlos Maurício; Nobre, Vandack; Rayes, Abdunnabi

    Abstract in English:

    A combined clinical and sonographic classification of hepatosplenic schistosomiasis mansoni to be used in field-based studies is proposed herein. Seven hundred forty one individuals out of 892 (83%), living in an area endemic for schistosomiasis in Brazil, have been ubmitted to clinical and ultrasound examinations. Based on two stool examinations the overall prevalence for schistosomiasis in this area was 73%. Abdominal palpation was performed with patients in dorsal decubit, during deep breath, by two experienced physicians and a portable ultrasound was used for the evaluation of liver fibrosis, portal collaterals and spleen size. Four groups of individuals were identified using data obtained by abdominal palpation and ultrasound examination: (1) palpable spleen and intense periportal thickening in 9 individuals (1.2%); (2) spleen not palpable and intense periportal thickening in 15 (2%); (3) palpable spleen with light to moderate periportal thickening in 32 (4.3%), and (4) palpable spleen with a normal liver on ultrasound in 30 (4%). The definition of hepatosplenic schistosomiasis in field-based studies as the finding of Schistosoma mansoni eggs in the stools in an individual with splenomegaly is not acceptable anymore. Abdominal ultrasound should be combined with clinical examination to accurately identify hepatosplenics in endemic areas for schistosomiasis.
  • Report of the Second Satellite Symposium on Ultrasound in Schistosomiasis

    Richter, Joachim; Domingues, Ana Lúcia Coutinho; Barata, Cristina H; Prata, Aluizio R; Lambertucci, José Roberto

    Abstract in English:

    A group of experts on schistosomiasis and ultrasonography discussed the experiences and results obtained with the Niamey-Belo Horizonte Protocol on Ultrasonography in Schistosomiasis. A series of recomendations about qualitative and quantitative data obtained by ultrasound in studies performed in Africa and Brazil are presented. Imunological, genetic and epidemiological studies must rely on ultrasound for the identification of patients with periportal thickening/fibrosis.
  • The impact of repeated treatment with praziquantel of schistosomiasis in children under six years of age living in an endemic area for Schistosoma haematobium infection

    Mduluza, T; Ndhlovu, PD; Madziwa, TM; Midzi, N; Zinyama, R; Turner, CMR; Chandiwana, SK; Nyazema, N; Hagan, P

    Abstract in English:

    Praziquantel was given every eight weeks for two years to children aged under six years of age, living in a Schistosoma haematobium endemic area. Infection with S. haematobium and haematuria were examined in urine and antibody profiles (IgA, IgE, IgM, IgG1, IgG2, IgG3, and IgG4) against S. haematobium adult worm and egg antigens were determined from sera collected before each treatment. Chemotherapy reduced infection prevalence and mean intensity from 51.8% and 110 eggs per 10 ml urine, respectively, before starting re-treatment programme to very low levels thereafter. Praziquantel is not accumulated after periodic administration in children. Immunoglobulin levels change during the course of treatment with a shift towards 'protective' mechanisms. The significant changes noted in some individuals were the drop in 'blocking' IgG2 and IgG4 whereas the 'protecting' IgA and IgG1 levels increased. The antibody profiles in the rest of the children remained generally unchanged throughout the study and no haematuria was observed after the second treatment. The removal of worms before production of large number of eggs, prevented the children from developing morbidity.
  • Replacing oxamniquine by praziquantel against Schistosoma mansoni infection in a rural community from the sugar-cane zone of Northeast Brazil: an epidemiological follow-up

    Beck, Lilian; Favre, Tereza Cristina; Pieri, Otávio Sarmento; Zani, Luciana Carvalho; Domas, Glauce Gajo; Barbosa, Constança Simões

    Abstract in English:

    A group of 52 villagers was followed-up for three years regarding Schistosoma mansoni infection. All villagers were periodically surveyed by the Kato-Katz method. In March 1997 and March 1998 the positives were treated with oxamniquine (15-20 mg/kg), and in March 1999, with praziquantel (60 mg/kg). All infection indices decreased substantially between March 1999 and March 2000: prevalence of infection (from 32.7% to 21.2%), prevalence of moderate/heavy infection (from 7.7% to 1.9%), intensity of infection (from 23.1 epg to 7.4 epg) and reinfection (from 35.7% to 14.3%). Negativation increased from 53.8 to 82.4. An optimistic prognostic is assumed in the short term for the introduction of praziquantel in the study area.
  • Specific situations related to acute schistosomiasis in Pernambuco, Brazil

    Barbosa, Constança Simões; Montenegro, Silvia Maria Lucena; Abath, Frederico Guilherme Coutinho; Domingues, Ana Lúcia Coutinho

    Abstract in English:

    The present work reports on two epidemiological episodes resulting in acute schistosomiasis involving wealthy persons living in the State of Pernambuco, Brazil. The authors discuss the epidemiological, clinical and serologic characteristics of the acute infections and also the way in which the conditions for transmission occurred.
  • Possible competitive displacement of planorbids by Melanoides tuberculata in Minas Gerais, Brazil

    Guimarães, Carlos Tito; Souza, Cecília Pereira de; Soares, Delza de Moura

    Abstract in English:

    Several species of snails, including Pomacea haustrum, Marisa cornuarietis and Helisoma duryi, have been identified as probable competitors and/or predators of planorbid intermediate hosts of Schistosoma. During the last few years, studies carried out in the Caribbean region have shown reductions and even disappearances of populations of Biomphalaria glabrata and B. straminea in breeding places where the snail Melanoides tuberculata was introduced. Observations made over a period of 10 years in two lakes close to Belo Horizonte, MG, showed that there were marked reductions in autochthonous populations of B. glabrata and B. straminea after the arrival of M. tuberculata, both Biomphalaria species disappearing completely after eight years.
  • Freshwater snails and schistosomiasis mansoni in the State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: I - metropolitan mesoregion

    Thiengo, Silvana C; Fernandez, Monica A; Boaventura, M Fernanda; Grault, Carlos E; Silva, Heucler FR; Mattos, Aline C; Santos, Sonia B

    Abstract in English:

    In order to elaborate a planorbid chart of the State of Rio de Janeiro a survey of freshwater gastropods in the Metropolitan Mesoregion of this State was performed and revealed the occurrence of 20 species: Antillorbis nordestensis (Lucena, 1954); Biomphalaria glabrata (Say, 1818); Biomphalaria schrammi (Crosse, 1864); Biomphalaria straminea (Dunker, 1848); Biomphalaria tenagophila (Orbigny, 1835); Burnupia sp.; Drepanotrema anatinum (Orbigny, 1835); Drepanotrema cimex (Moricand, 1839); Drepanotrema lucidum (Pfeiffer, 1839); Ferrissia sp.; Gundlachia ticaga (Marcus & Marcus, 1962); Heleobia davisi Silva & Thomé, 1985; Lymnaea columella Say, 1817; Melanoides tuberculatus (Müller, 1774); Physa cubensis Pfeiffer, 1839; Physa marmorata Guilding, 1828; Pomacea sp.; Pomacea canaliculata (Lamarck, 1822); Pomacea lineata (Spix, 1827) and Pomacea sordida (Swainson, 1823). Among the planorbid species B. tenagophila was the most frequent, occurring in all municipalities surveyed. The present study extends the distribution of B. straminea in the State of Rio de Janeiro and reports new records for A. nordestensis, B. schrammi, G. ticaga, H. davisi and the genera Burnupia and Ferrissia. An account about the current transmission areas of schistosomiasis mansoni in this Mesoregion is presented as well.
  • Infection by Schistosoma mansoni sambon 1907 in the first four months of life of Biomphalaria straminea (Dunker, 1848) in Brazil

    Fernandez, Monica Ammon; Pieri, Otávio Sarmento

    Abstract in English:

    Compatibility between Schistosoma mansoni and Biomphalaria straminea when exposed to the parasite on the first four months of age was assessed for five parasitological aspects: indices of infection and mortality, duration of precercarial and cercarial periods, and rate of cercarial emission. Infections were made on molluscs from laboratory colonies, at the following ages: 8, 13, 18, 21, 53, 83 and 114 days. Two B. straminea colonies were used (Camorim, PE and Picos, PI), and one B. glabrata colony (Ressaca, MG) was used as control. The main results are as follows: (I) infection was significantly associated with mollusc age, being proportionally higher in sexually immature than in mature molluscs for the three colonies; (II) for B. straminea from Camorim, mortality did not differ significantly between infected and non-infected snails; for B. straminea from Picos significantly more deaths occurred among infected than among non-infected snails, while the opposite was observed for B. glabrata from Ressaca; (III) for the three colonies, the precercarial period was significantly shorter for immature molluscs than for mature ones; (IV) the duration of the cercarial period was extremely variable for the three colonies; (V) sexual maturity did not influence cercarial emission for the three colonies.
  • Changes on Schistosoma mansoni (Digenea: Schistosomatidae) worm load in Nectomys squamipes (Rodentia: Sigmodontinae) concurrently infected with Echinostoma paraensei (Digenea: Echinostomatidae)

    Maldonado Júnior, Arnaldo; Coura, Renata; Garcia, Juberlan da Silva; Lanfredi, Reinalda Marisa; Rey, Luis

    Abstract in English:

    The water rat, Nectomys squamipes, closely involved in schistosomiasis transmission in Brazil, has been found naturally infected simultaneously by Schistosoma mansoni and Echinostoma paraensei. Laboratory experiments were conducted to verify parasitic interaction in concurrent infection. It was replicated four times with a total of 42 water rats and essayed two times with 90 mice pre-infected with E. paraensei. Rodents were divided into three groups in each replication. A wild strain recently isolated from Sumidouro, RJ, and a laboratory strain of S. mansoni from Belo Horizonte (BH) was used. Rats infected with E. paraensei were challenged 4 weeks later with S. mansoni and mice 2 or 6 weeks after the infection with S. mansoni. Necropsy took place 8 weeks following S. mansoni infection. The N. squamipes treatment groups challenged with S. mansoni RJ strain showed a significant decrease (80 and 65%) in the S. mansoni parasite load when compared with their respective control groups. There was a significant change or no change in the hosts challenged with the BH strain. The persistence time of E. paraensei within host was extended in relation to control groups, with a consequent enhancement of the number of recovered worm. An E. paraensei strain-specific influence on S. mansoni parasitism is reported. This paper presents some experimental data about this interaction in N. squamipes and Mus musculus.
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