Abstract in English:In this "Critical Review" we made a historical introduction of drugs assayed against Chagas disease beginning in 1912 with the works of Mayer and Rocha Lima up to the experimental use of nitrofurazone. In the beginning of the 70s, nifurtimox and benznidazole were introduced for clinical treatment, but results showed a great variability and there is still a controversy about their use for chronic cases. After the introduction of these nitroheterocycles only a few compounds were assayed in chagasic patients. The great advances in vector control in the South Cone countries, and the demonstration of parasite in chronic patients indicated the urgency to discuss the etiologic treatment during this phase, reinforcing the need to find drugs with more efficacy and less toxicity. We also review potential targets in the parasite and present a survey about new classes of synthetic and natural compounds studied after 1992/1993, with which we intend to give to the reader a general view about experimental studies in the area of the chemotherapy of Chagas disease, complementing the previous papers of Brener (1979) and De Castro (1993).
Abstract in English:With the purpose of evaluating the risk of transmission of the Chagas disease in the State of Colima, México, an entomological survey was performed to obtain triatominae and the rate of infection by Trypanosoma cruzi determined by examination of its dejections. Two hundred eighteen houses located in 16 villages were sampled. In each house the intradomestic and peridomestic habitats were examined by the man-hour-house method, sensor boxes and mouse-baited traps. Also, 12 silvatic places were explored around the same areas using the same techniques as the ones sampled. In total, 456 specimens were captured, of which 139 correspond to Triatoma phyllosoma pallidipennis; 80 to T. p. longipennis; one specimen of T. dimidiata and 236 nymphs of Triatoma sp. Two hundred ninety seven insects were captured in the intradomestic habitat, 132 in the peridomestic and 26 in the silvatic. The index of positive houses was 27%, located in the central area of the state. The rate of natural infection with T. cruzi showed 25.6%. This results confirmed the presence of two important vectors of the Chagas disease in Colima. Its preference for the domestic habitat and its high levels of natural infection with T. cruzi suggested the existence of a significant risk for its transmission in this area of the country.
Abstract in English:The presence of anti-Toxoplasma gondii IgM and IgG antibodies was studied in samples of blood serum taken from eighty dogs with nervous symptoms at the Serviço de Enfermidades Infecciosas dos Animais, Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia, Unesp, Botucatu, São Paulo, Brazil. The frequency of IgG titers were 16 (13.7%), 64 (13.7%), and 256 (5%), and for IgM titers were 16 (7.5%), 64 (15%), and 256 (8.7%). Positive reactions were more frequent in the older animals, males, from a rural environment, in constant contact with small animals, principally birds and rodents. There was a higher frequency of a positive reaction in dogs fed with kitchen food, especially in those fed with raw ingredients. The most common neurological pictures were alterations in consciousness, in movement, and in the hand-cart test. The percentage of reagents with specific IgM antibodies was high, indicating active infections, but the possibility of co-infection with the distemper virus can not be discarded, and this may be a predisposing factor for toxoplasmosis infection, once the distemper virus has a potent immunosupressive action.
Abstract in English:Diptera that breed in undisturbed cattle droppings in pastures present great diversity and abundance, and several species are of veterinary importance and may cause economic losses. To survey the diversity, abundance and seasonality of Diptera associated to this microhabitat, 83 samples of 10 dung pats each were taken from April 1992 to April 1994 in the vicinity of São Carlos, State of São Paulo, Southeastern Brazil. A total of 46,135 Diptera belonging to 20 families and at least 51 species were found to breed in the pats. The most abundant and diverse families were Sepsidae, Muscidae, Sarcophagidae and Sphaeroceridae. In general, the abundance was higher from October to March, the warm and wet months. The importance of some Diptera, both as horn fly enemies and as cattle dung decaying agents, is discussed.
Abstract in English:An entomological and serological survey was performed in three localities of the Department of Concepción, Province of Corrientes, Argentina in 1998 and 1999, to identify triatomines species involved in domestic and wild transmission of Chagas disease. Triatomines were collected by man/hour capture in 32 houses randomly selected and 44 nearby outdoor ecotopes. Trypanosoma cruzi infection in triatomines was assessed by direct microscopic observation (400x) of feces and polymerase chain reaction. Serological techniques used for people were Indirect Hemagglutination Test and Indirect Fluorescent Test. Triatomines were collected in 28.1% of the houses and 31.8% of the wild biotopes. Triatoma infestans (Klug 1834) was exclusively found indoors and T. cruzi infected 60% of them. Triatoma sordida (Stål 1859) was mainly found in extradomestic ecotopes where trypanosome infection rate reached 12.7%. Serological study of 98 local people showed that 29.6% were seroreactive; most of their houses were closed to wild biotopes colonized by T. sordida. Results indicate that there is an active T. infestans mediated transmission of Chagas disease in this zone that yields important human prevalence and that the populations of T. sordida in wild biotopes not only sustain the wild T. cruzi cycle but also represent an actual risk for people living in the area.
Abstract in English:Non-polio enteroviruses (Coxsackievirus A, Coxsackievirus B, Echovirus and EV 68-72) which belong to the enterovirus (EV) genus, Picornaviridae family, may be responsible for acute flaccid paralysis, aseptic meningitis, myocarditis, hepatitis, pleurodinia, neonatal sepsis, hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) even though 50-80% of infections are asymptomatic. EV 71 has been responsible for outbreaks and epidemics of HFMD and acute neurologic disease justifying its study in our country. The aim of this study was to detect neutralizing antibodies (NtAb) to EV 71 in individuals up to 15 years of age living in Belém, State of Pará, northern Brazil. Serum samples from 238 patients attending the Virology Sector of Evandro Chagas Institute in Belém, Brazil, were analyzed using microneutralization tests that included RD cells and BrCr strain. Overall 40.8% (97/238) of tested samples had NtAb to EV 71. Regarding the distribution per age group, 85.2% (92/108) of patients aged 0-3 years had no NtAb to this virus and 69.2% of those 12 to15 years of age were seropositive. These results confirm that EV 71 infection occurs in the city of Belém; and that a high rate of individuals in this study were infected aged 3 years and over and, when aged 15 years nearly 70% had EV 71 NtAb.
Abstract in English:Data obtained between 1990 and 1995 provide, for the first time, ecological information of the parasitic nematode Travassosnema travassosi travassosi Costa, Moreira & Oliveira, 1991 from Acestrorhynchus lacustris (Characiformes: Acestrorhynchidae) collected in the Tibagi River, Sertanópolis, Paraná, Brazil. These nematode occurred with low prevalences (7.7% to 28.6%) and intensities (1 to 3) during almost the whole year. The observation of mature females throughout the year indicate that liberation of larvae can occur during all the year around. This is the first report on the occurrence of T. travassosi travassosi inside the eyes. These nematodes were mostly located in humour of the eyes (87% of cases), being less frequently detected in tissues behind the eyes (13% of cases).
Abstract in English:Forty-six species of Lutzomyia and one species of Brumptomyia were identified among 20,008 sand flies collected in central Amapá. L. squamiventris maripaensis, L. infraspinosa, L. umbratilis and L. ubiquitalis accounted for 66% of the specimens caught in light traps, and L. umbratilis was the commonest of the 16 species found on tree bases. Seven species of Lutzomyia including L. umbratilis were collected in a plantation of Caribbean pine. Sixty out of 511 female sand flies dissected were positive for flagellates. Among the sand flies from which Leishmania was isolated, promastigotes were observed in the salivary glands and foregut of 13 out of 21 females scored as having very heavy infections in the remainder of the gut, reinforcing the idea that salivary gland invasion may be part of the normal life cycle of Leishmania in nature. Salivary gland infections were detected in specimens of L. umbratilis, L. whitmani and L. spathotrichia. Parasites isolated from L. umbratilis, L. whitmani and also from one specimen of L. dendrophyla containing the remains of a bloodmeal, were compatible with Le. guyanensis by morphology and behaviour in hamsters.
Abstract in English:Large-scale trials of a trapping system designed to collect silvatic Triatominae are reported. Live-baited adhesive traps were tested in various ecosystems and different triatomine habitats (arboreal and terrestrial). The trials were always successful, with a rate of positive habitats generally over 20% and reaching 48.4% for palm trees of the Amazon basin. Eleven species of Triatominae belonging to the three genera of public health importance (Triatoma, Rhodnius and Panstrongylus) were captured. This trapping system provides an effective way to detect the presence of triatomines in terrestrial and arboreal silvatic habitats and represents a promising tool for ecological studies. Various lines of research are contemplated to improve the performance of this trapping system.
Abstract in English:The black flies of the genus Inaequalium present a Neotropical distribution, with Panama at the northern limit, and the Argentinian pampas at the southern, but do not occur in the Central Amazon. This study offers a cladistic analysis establishing a hypothesis of relationships between the species of Inaequalium. A total of 37 characters have been considered in order to establish the hypothetic phylogenetic relationships. Cerqueirellum (Py-Daniel, 1983) was considered as outgroup. Data were analyzed using Henning 86 version 1.5. Wich the ie* command and implicit enumeration a unique possible cladogram was obtained in Inaequalium with 52 steps, and a CI of 0.76 and RI of 0.81. Two well-defined clades was obtained in the resulting cladogram, the "botulibranchium" species-group, includes I. travassosi, I. souzalopesi, I. botulibranchium and I. petropoliense, and the "inaequale" species-group, includes I. rappae, I. nahimi, I. inaequale, I. leopoldense, I. subnigrum, I. diversibranchium, I. mariavulcanoae, I. nogueirai, I. beaupertuyi, I. clavibranchium and I. subclavibranchium.
Abstract in English:The discovery of two atypical specimens of Rhodnius pictipes Stål, 1872 in French Guiana and the examination of the female holotype of R. amazonicus Almeida, Santos & Sposina, 1973, the only specimen of this species so far known, lead us to propose the rehabilitation of R. amazonicus synonymized with R. pictipes. The male is described for the first time and the female redescribed. Both external characters and genitalia distinguish R. amazonicus from R. pictipes. R. amazonicus shows affinities not only with pictipes but also with R. stali Lent, Jurberg & Galvão, 1993 and R. paraensis Sherlock, Guitton & Miles, 1977. A key is provided for these four species forming, in all likelihood, a natural group, i.e. the "pictipes group".
Abstract in English:A new myxoporean species is described from a freshwater fish in Brazil. Myxobolus absonus sp. n. was found infecting Pimelodus maculatus captured in the river Piracicaba, State of São Paulo, Brazil. Cysts were found free in the opercular cavity. The spores are large (length-15.7 ± 1.5 µm, width-10.2 ± 0.7 µm; mean ± S.D.) and oval in shape, with the anterior end slightly pointed. The spore valves are relatively thin, smooth, and asymmetrical in a frontal view. The polar capsules are pyriform in shape, and unequal in size; the largest are 6.4 ± 0.7 µm long and 3.6 ± 0.5 µm wide, while the smallest are 4.2 ± 0.6 µm long and 2.5 ± 0.5 µm wide.
Abstract in English:Araucnephia Wygodzinsky & Coscarón is a Neotropical black fly genus in which only one species from Central Chile is known. Another species has now been found in Corrientes province on the eastern side of the Iberá tropical swamps of Argentina, on the western border of the mountainous region of southern Brazil. This new species, A. iberaensis, is herein described and illustrated and information on its bionomics is recorded. It is an interesting species because previous to its discovery no black fly genus or subgenus from Central Chile region has been found in tropical areas, because these two regions are separated by the Monte and Pampas realms. Similarly, no Brazilian genus or subgenus has crossed the Andes mountains to Chile. A comparison with other Neotropical, Nearctic, Ethiopian (Afrotropical) and Australian Prosimuliini (sensu Crosskey & Howard) showed Araucnephia to be a valid taxon most closely related to Araucnephioides (sympatric in Chile). Araucnephia also shows great affinities with Lutzsimulium from Southeast Brazil and Argentina and Paracnephia from South Africa.
Abstract in English:This paper describes some morphological aspects of Cylicocyclus brevicapsulatus (Ihle, 1920) (Nematoda: Cyathostominae) from Equus caballus in Brazil. The worms were studied using an optical microscope (measurements and illustrations) and a scanning electron microscope for a more detailed examination of the external morphology. The buccal capsule is very short, with a very thin wall, and the dorsal gutter is absent. Other morphological aspects are described including measurement of the spicules and gubernaculum.
Abstract in English:New host and geographical records are reported for the nematode Lappetascaris lutjani Rasheed, 1965, parasitizing the marine fish Trachipterus arawatae Clark, 1881 in Brazilian waters. Morphometric data and illustrations of the parasites are included.
Abstract in English:Humoral and cellular immune responses are currently induced against hepatitis C virus (HCV) core following vaccination with core-encoding plasmids. However, the anti-core antibody response is frequently weak or transient. In this paper, we evaluated the effect of different additives and DNA-protein combinations on the anti-core antibody response. BALB/c mice were intramuscularly injected with an expression plasmid (pIDKCo), encoding a C-terminal truncated variant of the HCV core protein, alone or combined with CaCl2, PEG 6000, Freund's adjuvant, sonicated calf thymus DNA and a recombinant core protein (Co.120). Mixture of pIDKCo with PEG 6000 and Freund's adjuvant accelerated the development of the anti-core Ab response. Combination with PEG 6000 also induced a bias to IgG2a subclass predominance among anti-core antibodies. The kinetics, IgG2a/IgG1 ratio and epitope specificity of the anti-core antibody response elicited by Co.120 alone or combined with pIDKCo was different regarding that induced by the pIDKCo alone. Our data indicate that the antibody response induced following DNA immunization can be modified by formulation strategies.
Abstract in English:Procedures for IgG depletion in visceral leishmaniasis (VL) and schistosomiasis sera using Sepharose-protein G beads also deplete IgE. In this study, the presence of IgG anti-IgE autoantibodies in sera from patients with VL (n = 10), and hepatic-intestinal schistosomiasis (n = 10) and from healthy individuals (n = 10) was investigated. A sandwich ELISA using goat IgG anti-human IgE to capture serum IgE and goat anti-human IgG peroxidase conjugate to demonstrate the binding of IgG to the IgE captured was performed. VL sera had higher titers (p < 0.05) of IgG anti-IgE autoantibodies (OD = 2.01 ± 0.43) than sera from healthy individuals (OD = 1.35 ± 0.16) or persons infected with Schistosoma mansoni (OD = 1.34 ± 0.18). The immunoblotting carried out with eluates from Sepharose-protein G beads used to deplete IgG from these sera and goat anti-human IgE peroxidase conjugate, showed a similar pattern of bands, predominating the 75 kDa epsilon-heavy chain and also polypeptides resulting from physiological enzymatic digestion of IgE. A frequent additional band immediately above 75 kDa was observed only in VL sera.
Abstract in English:Hepatic viscerotomy of paraffin-preserved old specimens, collected in the period from 1934 to 1967, were analyzed by immunohistochemical assays to detect hepatitis B, hepatitis D, dengue and yellow fever virus antigens. The material belongs to the Yellow Fever Collection, Department of Pathology, Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and the cases were diagnosed at that time according to clinical aspects and histopathological findings reporting viral hepatitis, yellow fever, focal necrosis and hepatic atrophy. From the 79 specimens, 69 were collected at the Labrea Region and the other 10 in different other localities in the Amazon Region. The five micra thick histological slices were analyzed for the presence of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) and hepatitis B core antigen (HBcAg) by immunoperoxidase technique. An immunofluorescence assay was applied to the detection of hepatitis D, yellow fever and dengue virus antigens. Nine (11.4%) histological samples were HBsAg reactive and 5 (6.3%) were HBcAg reactive. The oldest reactive sample was from 1934. Viral antigens related to the other pathologies were not detected in this study. Our results confirm that the methodology described may be used to elucidate the aetiology of hepatitis diseases even after a long time of conservation of the specimens.
Abstract in English:A heminested-PCR (hn-PCR) using primers to the nucleoprotein-coding gene in a nested set was evaluated in the detection of Brazilian strains of rabies virus (RV). A representative number of RV nucleoprotein sequences belonging to genotype 1 were aligned. Based on such alignment, primers were directed to highly conserved regions. All 42 clinical samples positive by both fluorescent antibody and mouse inoculation tests were also positive by the hn-PCR. Brain tissue that had been left to decompose, obtained from an experimentally inoculated mouse was tested by hn-PCR and yielded positive results. In conclusion, primers designed here were capable of amplifying Brazilian RV isolates obtained from a rural epidemiological cycle.
Abstract in English:This study sought the characterization of rotaviruses in a trial with a tetravalent rhesus-human rotavirus vaccine in Belém, Brazil in children who received three doses of vaccine or placebo in the 1st, 3rd and 5th months of life. Rotavirus electropherotypes, subgroups, G serotypes, G, [P] and [P],G genotypes were determined in 93.3%, 95.9%, 93.3%, 73.3%, 95.5% and 92.2% of isolates, respectively. Serotypes G1, G2 and G4 were detected in 58.9%, 30% and 4.4% of the cases, respectively. Rotavirus genotype G5 was detected for the first time in Northern region in 4.4% of the infections. Rotavirus genotypes P, P, P and P[8+6] were detected in 54.5%, 26.7%, 12.2%, and 2.2% of the cases, respectively. The predominant genotypes were P,G1 and P,G2 with 53% and 26.6% of the infections, respectively. Unusual strains accounted for 20.5% including P,G1, P,G1, P,G4, P,G5, P,G2, P,G5. Mixed infections involving P[8+6],G2 and P[8+6],G1 were also noted. The neonatal P strains associated with diarrhea were detected among children aged 9-24 months. To our knowledge, this study represents the first in Brazil to analyse, on molecular basis, rotavirus genotypes from children participating in a rotavirus vaccine trial. These results are of potential importance regarding future rotavirus vaccination strategies in Brazil.
Abstract in English:Several studies have shown that chronic alcoholics have increased susceptibility to infections due to higher exposure to infectious agents as well as breakdown in their immune defenses. As Strongyloides stercoralis infection is usually more relevant in immunocompromised patients, the aim of this study was to evaluate the frequency of S. stercoralis infection in alcoholics. Thus, coproparasitological examination was carried out in 145 subjects, from which 45 were chronic alcoholics (mean age of 45.7 ± 11.0 years), 10 were nonalcoholic cirrhotic patients (mean age of 50.2 ± 13.1 years), and 90 were asymptomatic nonalcoholic subjects (mean age of 46.7 ± 10.1 years), which served as controls. From the alcoholics, 9 had hepatic cirrhosis, 9 had chronic pancreatitis and 27 had neither cirrhosis nor pancreatitis. For the diagnosis of strongyloidiasis, the Baermann-Moraes and Lutz methods were used in three fecal samples from each subject. Samples were collected at alternated days, and three slides of each sample were analyzed for each method, thus totalizing 2,610 slides examined. The frequency of strongyloidiasis in the total alcoholic group (33.3%) and in the subgroups of alcoholics, i.e., patients with hepatic cirrhosis (44.4%), with chronic pancreatitis (33.3%), and those with no cirrhosis or pancreatitis (29.6%) was statistically higher than that found in the control group (5.5%). None of the individuals with nonalcoholic hepatic cirrhosis had S. stercoralis infection. Our results showed that the chronic alcoholism itself is an important factor that predisposes to strongyloidiasis.
Abstract in English:The present case report refers to a patient from the State of Rondônia, North region of Brazil, attended with clinical suspicion of hepatic echinococcosis. Examination by imaging (ultrasonography and computerized tomography) revealed a conglomerate of cystic lesions, with mobile contents within the cyst. The serology (immunoblot) for Echinococcus sp. was positive (21 and 31 kDa bands). This case is the first reported in Rondônia, suggesting the need to investigate the polycystic echinococcosis in individuals with hepatic cysts from areas of tropical forest and hunting habits where wild life was present as wild dogs, cats and rodents, particularly Agouti paca (paca) and Dasyprocta aguti (agouti).
Abstract in English:A comparative study was made between sympatric isolates of Schistosoma mansoni: one from a wild rodent (R) Nectomys squamipes and another one from humans (H) isolated from a low endemic schistosomiasis transmission area in Brazil. Our purpose was to detect differences between them concerning chaetotaxy (number and pattern of distribution of the argentophilic papillae) of the cercariae by means of silver impregnation. No significant difference (x > 0.05) between isolates was noted. Nevertheless, a significant difference (x < 0.05) was observed in the cercarial index (ratio of the distance between the first and the second preacetabular papillae and the distance between the first and the second dorsal preacetabular papillae) of male and female cercariae in both isolates. Males presented a greater cercarial index than females. By means of multivariate analysis, male cercariae were distinguished from female cercariae through the following characteristics: average number of dorsal papillae on the right quadrant, average number of ventral middle papillae on the right quadrant (H isolate) and average number of dorsal middle papillae on the left quadrant (R isolate). The results suggest that R and H isolates belong to the same population that could complete its life cycle in rodent-snail-rodent fashion.
Abstract in English:Tabanid females are better known as hematophagous on man and other mammals, and linked to mechanical transmission of parasites. The association between tabanids and reptiles is poorly known, but has been gaining more corroboration through experiments and occasional observation in the tropics. The present study was conducted at a military base (CIGS/BI-2), situated 54 km from Manaus, Amazonas, in a small stream in a clearing (02°45'33"S; 59°51'03"W). Observations were made monthly, from April 1997 to March 1998, during two consecutive days. At the same time, other vertebrate animals were offered, including humans. However in this paper only data obtained on a common caiman, Caiman crocodilus (Linn.), and an anaconda, Eunectes murinus (Linn.), in diurnal observations from 05:30 a.m. to 18:30 p.m., will be discussed. A total of 254 tabanid specimens were collected, 40 from the anaconda and 214 from the caiman. Four tabanid species were recorded on these two reptiles: Stenotabanus cretatus Fairchild, S. bequaerti Rafael et al., Phaeotabanus nigriflavus (Kröber) and Tabanus occidentalis Linn. Diurnal activities showed species-specific patterns. The first three species occurred only in the dry season. T. occidentalis occurred during the whole observation period, and with increased frequency at the end of the dry season. We observed preferences for body area and related behavior of the host. Observations on the attack of tabanids on one dead caiman are also presented.
Abstract in English:Adult specimens of Cochliomyia macellaria, Chrysomya megacephala, Ch. rufifacies, Lucilia sp. (Calliphoridae), Musca domestica (Muscidae), Oxelytrum discicolle (Silphidae) and Sarcophagidae were recovered from 12 human cadavers in Cali, Valle, Colombia. Information regarding these findings is presented.
Abstract in English:Fourteen species in five genera of Streblidae and two species in two genera of Nycteribiidae, collected in Maracá Island, State of Roraima, Brazil are presented with comments on bat hosts and geographical distribution. A total of 42 specimens of Diptera and 17 bats were captured from 1987 to 1988, integrating the "Maracá Project". All species of ectoparasites represent new geographic records for Roraima.