Resumo em Inglês:Lutzomyia intermedia and Lutzomyia whitmani occur sympatrically in the district of Posse, municipality of Petrópolis, in the State of Rio de Janeiro (114 km from the city of Rio de Janeiro), where sand flies were captured weekly for three consecutive years in both the peridomicile and forest, in two first years from 18:00 to 22:00 h, using a Shannon trap and CDC light traps. The anthropophilic habit was assessed by recording the specimens that bit the human captors. Considering the different capture types and sites, the following species were identified: Brumptomyia brumpti, B. cardosoi, B. guimaraesi, Lutzomyia amarali, L. longipalpis, L. microps, L. costalimai, L. edwardsi, L. firmatoi, L. migonei, L. termitophila, L. tupynambai, L. fischeri, L. pessoai, L. lutziana, L. shannoni, L. barrettoi, L. intermedia, L. whitmani, L. lloydi, and L. minasensis. L. intermedia (38.3%) and L. whitmani (38.6%) predominated. L. intermedia predominated in the peridomicile, where it displayed more intense anthropophily, while L. whitmani displayed greater density in the banana plantations and forest, preferential sites for biting humans. Studies on seasonality showed that while L. intermedia displayed greater density in the hottest months of the year (December, January, and February), L. whitmani was abundant in the coolest months (June, July, and August), although both occurred throughout the year.
Resumo em Inglês:The immature stages of Ochlerotatus albifasciatus develop in temporary pools. The present study aims at evaluating the seasonal dynamics of the aquatic stages of this mosquito, also analyzing the relationship among their presence and breeding success to some relevant climatic and environmental variables in the ephemeral rain pools of an urban park. Nineteen cohorts of O. albifasciatus that developed synchronously after rain events were recorded in all seasons. The proportions of mosquito-positive pools were significantly higher during the fall-winter period than in the spring-summer months (p < 0.001). The presence of this mosquito species was positively related to the amount of rain (p < 0.001), whereas negatively correlated to air temperature (p < 0.05) within a 5.2 to 29.7ºC range. The distribution of the number of cohorts per pool throughout the year was grouped (variance/mean: 3.96), indicating that these habitats were not equally suitable as breeding sites. The immature stages of O. albifasciatus were detected in pools belonging to all of the categories of surface area, depth, duration, vegetation cover, and insolation. However, the proportion of pools where immature mosquitoes were detected was positively and significantly related to surface, depth, duration, and vegetation cover. On the other hand, the proportion of mosquito-positive pools was higher at an intermediate insolation degree. Our results suggest that although preimaginal stages were present in all seasons, high temperatures may be unfavorable to larval development, and substrate vegetation may regulate water temperature. The positive relationship between the proportion of mosquito-positive pools and pool size and duration might reflect a strategy of O. albifasciatus to accomplish immature development.
Resumo em Inglês:The prevalence, virological and epidemilogical aspects of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) and the hepatitis B virus (HBV) infections vary among hemodialysis patients in different countries. Aiming at analyzing these aspects of HCV and HBV infections in hemodialysis patients in Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil, we studied three hemodialysis units including 434 patients. Serology was used to detect anti-HCV and HBsAg. Reverse trancriptase nested polymerase chain reaction (RT-nested-PCR) of the 5'-noncoding region was used to detect circulating HCV RNA and restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis for genotyping. Seroprevalence varied from 26.5% to 11.1% for hepatitis C and from 5.9% to 0% for hepatitis B. Risk factors observed for HBV and/or HCV infections were the number of patients per dialysis unit, duration of treatment, number of clinics attended, number of blood units transfused, and lower level scholarity. Alanine aminotransferase levels were altered with a higher frequency in HBV or HCV seropositive patients. Half of ten patients, negative for anti-HCV, had detectable viremia by RT-nested-PCR, indicating that this technique should be used to confirm infections in this group of patients. The HCV genotype 1 was the most frequently observed, followed by the genotype 2, but no correlation was detected between genotype and clinical or epidemiological data.
Resumo em Inglês:The objective of the present study was to investigate the prevalence of Cryptosporidium (Apicomplexa, Cryptosporidiidae) in the snake Crotalus durissus terrificus (Serpentes, Viperidae). Fifty animals were evaluated for the presence of oocysts of Cryptosporidium sp. at the time of arrival and 30 and 60 days later. Intestinal washings with saline solution (1% body weight), fecal samples, and organ scrapings were collected during the study. Oocysts were concentrated by an ether-phosphate-buffered saline sedimentation technique and then separated by a density gradient centrifugation technique. Smears were made with the sediment and submitted to modified acid-fast and auramine-rhodamine staining. Cryptosporidium-positive smears were used as controls for the experimental findings. The overall prevalence of Cryptosporidium sp. oocysts was 14%. Among the positive snakes, oocysts were detected only in the intestinal washing in two specimens, only in the feces in four specimens, and in both materials at least once in one specimen. The positive snakes were predominantly from Santa Maria da Serra city State of São Paulo (57.1%). We also observed that all of the examinations that presented positive results were obtained at least 27 days after the capture of the animals.
Resumo em Inglês:This report describes the epidemiological and clinical-evolutive characteristics of eight patients with hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) in Uberaba, Minas Gerais, Brazil. A positive history of contact with rodents was present in 100% of the cases. The time between the onset of symptoms and hospital care was, on average, 3.6 days. All patients showed clinical and laboratory findings suggestive of HPS. Elevated urea and creatinine levels were observed in 6 (75%) cases, PO2 was < 60 mmHg in 100% of the cases, and a chest X-ray demonstrated a bilateral interstitial-alveolar infiltrate. The diagnosis was confirmed by the detection of IgM antibodies against Sin Nombre virus by ELISA. Three patients died as a direct consequence of HPS.
Resumo em Inglês:Cemeteries are ideal urban areas to study the importance of different types of containers as breeding sites of Aedes aegypti (L.). In the present study, the suitability of plastic, glass, ceramic and metal containers was evaluated in four patches within a cemetery of Buenos Aires City, Argentina. Between October 1998 and May 2000, we found 215 breeding sites of Ae. aegypti out of 13,022 water-filled containers examined. In two patches containing microenvironments sheltered from the sun, the use of the different types of containers was proportional to the offer (correlation coefficient = 0.99, P < 0.05 in both cases). In the remaining patches, plastic and metal containers were the most and less frequent breeding sites, respectively (P < 0.001 in both cases). The number of immatures per breeding site (median = 4.5) did not show significant differences among the four types of containers examined (H3, 215 = 1.216, P = 0.749). Differences found in patches from a same cemetery suggest that different microenvironmental conditions affect the suitability of each type of container for Ae. aegypti breeding. Plastic containers appeared as key breeding sites that should be removed to reduce the Ae. aegypti population in the study area.
Resumo em Inglês:Biomphalaria amazonica Paraense, 1996 was collected from a permanent pond in the outskirts of the Bolivian city of Santa Cruz. Identification of the collected specimens was made by comparison with the original description of the species and with topotypic material in the collection of Instituto Oswaldo Cruz. Phylogenetic analysis confirmed that these Bolivian specimens belong to B. amazonica.
Resumo em Inglês:A species of the Lutzomyia oswaldoi group is recorded from the Valcheta stream basin, Somuncura plateau, Patagonia. It represents the World southermost record of a species of Phlebotominae, apparently supporting the hypothesis about the relictual character of several components of the Somuncura plateau biota, particularly for those species belonging to the Paranaense lineages.
Resumo em Inglês:In a prospective field study conducted from July 2000 to June 2001, adult Aedes aegypti and Ae. albopictus mosquitoes were caught from the municipality of Nova Iguaçu, State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Virus isolation in Ae. albopictus clone C6/36 cell line and a semi-nested reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction detected only dengue virus type 3 in three pools of Ae. aegypti, despite the co-circulation of DEN-1, DEN-2 and DEN-3 serotypes in that area. No viruses were detected in Ae. albopictus mosquitoes. This virological surveillance consists in a sentinel system alerting for dengue outbreaks.
Resumo em Inglês:Anopheles halophylus n.sp. is described from Central Brazil. It is distinguished from An. triannulatus (Neiva and Pinto) by morphological and morphometric characters, especially in the male genitalia, larva and egg. Illustrations of the male and female genitalia, egg, larva and pupa, and discussion of the status of names associated with An. triannulatus are provided.
Resumo em Inglês:The ultrastructure of Proechinophthirus zumpti Werneck, 1955, mainly the external chorionic features of the egg, is described through electronic microscopy techniques. This species was first cited in Argentina, infesting Arctocephalus australis (Zimmermann, 1873). The morphological adaptations of adults and nymphs are described in both species of Proechinophthirus parasitic on Otariidae: P. fluctus (Ferris, 1916) and P. zumpti.
Resumo em Inglês:Capillary gas-liquid chromatography was used to analyse the cuticular hydrocarbons of three triatomine species, Triatoma dimidiata, T. barberi and Dipetalogaster maxima, domestic vectors of Chagas disease in Mexico. Mixtures of saturated hydrocarbons of straight and methyl-branched chains were characteristic of the three species, but quantitatively different. Major methylbranched components mostly corresponded to different saturated isomers of monomethyl, dimethyl and trimethyl branched hydrocarbons ranging from 29 to 39 carbon backbones. Sex-dependant, quantitative differences in certain hydrocarbons were apparent in T. dimidiata.
Resumo em Inglês:Triatoma rubrovaria has become the most frequently captured triatomine species since the control of T. infestans in the State of Rio Grande do Sul (RS), Brazil. In order to evaluate the genetic variability of this species, field collections were performed in four municipalities where it has been reported and distant from 75 to 322 km. Specimens were analyzed by color pattern and isoenzymes. Nine enzymatic loci were interpreted from nine enzymatic systems. The Santiago population was isolated from the others with chromatic monomorphism and diagnostic alleles at Idh and Pgm loci. The study shows the existence of, at least, two distinct populations of T. rubrovaria in RS with different phenotypic and genetic pattern.
Resumo em Inglês:In laboratory bioassays we tested the predatory capacity of the copepod Mesocyclops annulatus on Aedes aegypti and Culex pipiens larvae. A single adult female of M. annulatus caused 51.6% and 52.3% mortality of 50 first instar larvae of Ae. aegypti and Cx. pipiens respectively, in a 72 h test period. When alternative food was added to the containers, mortality rates declined to 16% and 10.3% for Ae. aegypti and Cx. pipiens respectively. When 50 first instar larvae of each of the two mosquito species tested were placed together with a single adult female of M. annulatus, mortality rates were 75.5% for Ae. aegypti larvae and 23.5% for Cx. pipiens larvae in a three day test period. Different density of adult females of M. annulatus ranged from 5 to 25 females produced mortality rates of Ae. aegypti first instar larvae from 50% to 100% respectively. When a single adult female of M. annulatus was exposed to an increasing number of first-instar Ae. aegypti larvae ranging from 10 to 100, 100% mortality was recorded from 1 to 25 larvae, then mortality declined to 30% with 100 larvae. The average larvae killed per 24 h period by a single copepod were 29.
Resumo em Inglês:In Central Amazon, Brazil, the tabanid Phorcotabanus cinereus (Wiedemann) was recorded attacking the native duck Cairina moschata (Linnaeus) (Anseriformes, Anatidae). The flight and behavior of the tabanid during the attacks and the host's defenses were videotaped and analyzed in slow motion. The tabanid was recorded flying rapidly around the heads of the ducks before landing. Landing always took place on the beak, and then the tabanid walked to the fleshy caruncle on the basal part of the beak to bite and feed. Firstly the duck defends itself through lateral harsh head movements, and then, when it is being bitten, it defends itself by rubbing its head on the body, or dipping the head into water, when swimming. If disturbed, the fly resumed the same pattern of flight as before and would generally try to land again on the same host and bite in the same place. This feeding activity was observed predominantly between 9:30 am and 4:30 pm and always in open areas, near aquatic environments, from June 1996 to January 1997, the dry season in Central Amazon. To test the attractiveness of other animals to P. cinereus, mammals, caimans and domestic and wild birds were placed in suitable habitat and the response of P. cinereus observed. P. cinereus did not attack these animals, suggesting that this species has a preference for ducks, which are plentiful in the region.
Resumo em Inglês:Some reproductive parameters of adult stages of Amblyomma cajennense ticks were studied. The capacity of virgin females to reproduce by parthenogenesis was evaluated, during an experimental infestation, in absence of males, on a horse (Equus cabalus). Ticks were spread either completely free or in limited sites on the body of the animal. The engorged virgin females showed longer feeding periods and lighter body weights than those that had been fertilized. Some of these unmated females produced smaller egg masses, which had no embryonary development. On the other hand, females that had been inseminated produced larger egg masses, with normal embryonary development that led to viable larvae. Under the studied conditions, A. cajennense females did not reproduce by parthenogenesis.
Resumo em Inglês:Data on the frequency, distribution and mean intensity of the helminth fauna recovered from outbred and inbred mice conventionally maintained in Brazilian animal houses, are reported. The oxyurid nematodes Syphacia obvelata and Aspiculuris tetraptera presented overall frequencies of 91.5% and 8.5%, respectively. The frequency of S. obvelata in animals of three groups out of the four investigated ranged from 9% to 74% and A. tetraptera from 17% to 83%, since animals of one of the groups were negative for helminths. Infections due to a single species were observed in 62% of the animals, compared to 16% related to associations. The frequency of single infections in each group varied from 58.6% to 100% whereas associations varied from 24.1% to 41.4%. The analysis of specific mean intensities showed that S. obvelata was represented by 13.35 to 66.58 specimens/host and A. tetraptera by 5.85 to 16.75 specimens/host.
Resumo em Inglês:The ixodid Amblyomma aureolatum is suspected to play a role in the epidemiology of wild life-cycle hemoparasites, which frequently infect dogs in rural and hunting areas in Brazil. Little is known about its bionomics. The objective of the present study was to evaluate some bionomic aspects of A. aureolatum ticks in Brazil. One engorged female, collected from a dog (Canis familiaris) in São Sebastião das Águas Claras, State of Minas Gerais, was used to establish a colony in the laboratory. Subsequently its parasitic stage progeny were fed on domestic dogs and laboratory animals. The free-living stages were incubated at 27ºC ± 2°C and minimum 70% relative humidity in a BOD incubator. The egg incubation period ranged from 31 to 34 days; the parasitic period of larvae ranged from 4 to 6 days and ecdysis to nymphs occurred from day 19 up to day 22. The parasitic period of nymphs ranged from 5 to 8 days and the period of ecdysis to adults from 31 to 33 days. The parasitic period of adults ranged from 11 to 15 days, the pre-oviposition period from 6 to 12 days, and the oviposition period from 9 to 38 days. The total duration of the life cycle ranged from 116 to 168 days.
Resumo em Inglês:The nuclear phenotypes of Malpighian tubule cells in fifth instar nymphs of Triatoma infestans, one of the most important vectors of Chagas disease, were studied following sequential shocks at 0ºC, separated by intervals of 8 h and 24 h at 30ºC, under conditions of moderate fasting and full nourishment. The insects pertained to colonies reared in the laboratory and originated from domestic specimens collected in the Brazilian states of São Paulo (north) and Minas Gerais (south). Since nuclear phenotypes in this species are affected by single cold shocks, it was expected that these phenotypes could also be changed by sequential shocks. Nuclear phenotypes indicative of mechanisms of cell survival (nuclear fusion and heterochromatin decondensation) and cell death (apoptosis and necrosis) were observed concomitantly in all the conditions tested. Nuclear fusion and heterochromatin decondensation were not found relevant for the presumed acquisition of the cold-hardening response in T. infestans. The decreased frequency of apoptosis and necrosis following sequential cold shocks including under fasting conditions, indicated that tolerance to sequential cold shocks occurred in T. infestans of the mentioned origin.
Resumo em Inglês:The behavioural response of Triatoma pseudomaculata to chemical substances present in their faeces or cuticle (footprints) was analyzed. Groups of larvae were simultaneously exposed to a clean filter paper and to another paper impregnated with a chemical stimulus in a circular arena. In these choice experiments, the insects aggregated significantly around papers impregnated with dry faeces. In addition, the bugs also showed a significant aggregation response to papers impregnated with compounds derived from their cuticle that were deposited by contact on the substrate. These results indicate that chemical compounds that affect the behaviour of T. pseudomaculata are present in the faeces and in the cuticle of this species. Results are discussed in relation to chemical communication in the Triatominae, as well as to the potential use of these substances in traps or sensors for the detection of this species.
Resumo em Inglês:A snail-conditioned water experiment was conducted in Pseudosuccinea columella to test the possible role of a chemical interaction between snails on the diminished growth and fecundity rates found for snails raised in pairs compared to those raised in complete isolation. The results permit to discard the hypothesis of an inhibition of growth and reproduction between snails due to factors released into the water.
Resumo em Inglês:Random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) analysis technique was undertaken in Aedes albopictus populations from three states in Brazil, Rio de Janeiro (RJ), Minas Gerais (MG) and Pernambuco (PE), to estimate the level of genetic variability and levels of genetic exchange between populations. Allele and genotype frequencies were measured on 47 RAPD loci. Average observed heterozigosity (Ho) ranged from 0.282 in MG to 0.355 in Casa Forte (PE) population. Genetic distances estimates indicated that RJ and MG were more genetically similar than populations from PE. Genetic variation observed in local Brazilian populations was attributed to genetic drift associated with restricted gene flow in recently established populations.
Resumo em Inglês:American trypanosomiasis is a common zoonosis in Colombia and Trypanosoma cruzi presents a wide distribution throughout the country. Although some studies based on enzyme electrophoresis profiles have described the population structure of the parasite, very few molecular analyses of genotipic markers have been conducted using Colombian strains. In this study, we amplified the non-transcribed spacer of the mini-gene by PCR, typing the isolates as T. cruzi I, T. cruzi zymodeme 3 or T. rangeli. In addition, the internal transcribed spacers of the ribosomal gene concomitant with the 5.8S rDNA were amplified and submitted to restriction fragment polymorphism analysis. The profiles were analyzed by a numerical methodology generating a phenetic dendrogram that shows heterogeneity among the T. cruzi isolates. This finding suggests a relationship between the complexity of the sylvatic transmission cycle in Colombia and the diversity of the sylvan parasites.
Resumo em Inglês:Since the internal defense system of mollusks consists of cellular and humoral mechanisms, we examined the role of hydrocortisone in mollusks defense cells and the influence of this steroid on the development of Schistosoma mansoni in its intermediary host. Hydrocortisone had an immunosuppressive action in Biomphalaria glabrata, as reflected in the reduced number of defense cells and the altered cell physiology. Histopathological analysis showed that hydrocortisone facilitated the intramolluscan development of S. mansoni, by reducing the extent of the inflammatory response, seen as a greater number of viable sporocysts with no surrounding hemocytes.
Resumo em Inglês:The role of Proechimys semispinosus as reservoir of Leishmania (Viannia) panamensis on the Colombian Pacific coast was experimentally evaluated. The susceptibility to L. chagasi also was assessed to determine the utility of this rodent as a model for studying reservoir characteristics in the laboratory. Wild-caught animals were screened for natural trypanosomatid infections, and negative individuals were inoculated intradermally (ID) in the snout or feet with 10(7) promastigotes of L. panamensis. L. chagasi was inoculated intracardially (10(7) promastigotes) or ID in the ear (10(8) promastigotes). PCR-hybridization showed that 15% of 33 spiny rats were naturally infected with L. Viannia sp. Animals experimentally infected with L. panamensis developed non-ulcerated lesions that disappeared by the 7th week post-infection (p.i.) and became more resistant upon reinfection. Infectivity to sand flies was low (1/20-1/48 infected/fed flies) and transient, and both culture and PCR-hybridization showed that L. panamensis was cleared by the 13th week p.i. Animals inoculated with L. chagasi became subclinically infected and were non-infective to sand flies. Transient infectivity to vectors of spiny rats infected with L. panamensis, combined with population characteristics, e.g., abundance, exploitation of degraded habitats and high reproductive rates, could make them epidemiologically suitable reservoirs.
Resumo em Inglês:Eighteen clinical isolates of Trichomonas vaginalis were obtained from women who attended health centers of the Goverment of Madrid. A total of 1,848 vaginal specimens recovered during the gynaecological examination were seeded in culture tubes containing liquid Diamond medium. Pathogenicity to mice was determined after intraperitoneal inoculation of mice by quantification of mortality and gross damage to abdominal organs. As could be expected, a broad variability was obtained, being some of the isolates more virulent than the reference strain. Regarding to metronidazole susceptibility, none resistant isolate was found but different degrees of susceptibility were determined.
Resumo em Inglês:Here we present a one-tube nested PCR test, which allows the detection of minimal quantities of Chlamydia trachomatis in human fluids. This assay includes the use of an internal control to avoid false negative results due to the presence of inhibitors. The results obtained show that this assay is robust enough to be used for clinical diagnosis.
Resumo em Inglês:The schizont maturation assay for in vitro drug sensitivity tests has been a standard method employed in the global baseline assessment and monitoring of drug response in Plasmodium falciparum. This test is limited in its application to synchronous plasmodial infections because it evaluates the effect of drug on the maturation of parasite especially from ring to schizont stage and therefore synchronized P. falciparum cultures are required. On the other hand, P. knowlesi, a simian malaria parasite has a unique 24-h periodicity and maintains high natural synchronicity in monkeys. The present report presents the results of a comparative study on the course of in vitro maturation of sorbitol synchronized P. falciparum and naturally synchronous P. knowlesi. Ring stage parasites were incubated in RPMI medium supplemented with 10-15% pooled homologous serum in flat-bottomed 96-well micro plates using a candle jar at 37°C. The results suggest that the ideal time for harvesting the micro-assay plates for in vitro drug sensitivity test for sorbitol-synchronized P. falciparum and naturally synchronous P. knowlesi are from 26 to 30 h and from 22 to 25 h, respectively. The advantages of using P. knowlesi in chemotherapeutic studies are discussed.
Resumo em Inglês:From October 2000 to April 2001, insecticide bioassays were conducted in 18 ranches from 10 counties in the states of Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul, in Central Brazil. Horn flies from wild populations were exposed to diazinon-impregnated filter papers immediately after collection on cattle, and mortality was recorded after 2 h. A high susceptibility to diazinon was observed in all tested populations. The LC50s ranged from 0.15 to 0.64 µg/cm², and resistance ratios were always lower than one (ranging 0.1-0.6). Pyrethroid products, most applied by backpack sprayers, have been used since the horn fly entered the region, about 10 years ago. The high susceptibility observed to diazinon indicates that this insecticide (as probably other organophosphate insecticides) represents an useful tool for horn fly control and resistance management, particularly in pyrethroid-resistant populations.
Resumo em Inglês:Samples from 20 lots of diphtheria-tetanus (adult use dT) vaccine and from 20 lots of diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTP) vaccine were used to standardize and validate the in vitro toxin binding inhibition (ToBI) test for the immunogenicity test of the tetanus component. The levels of tetanus antitoxin obtained by ToBI test were compared to those obtained using the toxin neutralization (TN) test in mice routinely employed to perform the quality control of the tetanus component in adsorbed vaccines. The results ranged from 1.8 to 3.5 IU/ml for dT and 2 to 4 IU/ml for DTP by ToBI test and 1.4 to 3 IU/ml for dT and 1.8 to 3.5 IU/ml for DTP by TN in mice. These results were significantly correlated. From this study, it is concluded that the ToBI test is an alternative to the in vivo neutralization procedure in the immunogenicity test of the tetanus component in adsorbed vaccines. A substantial refinement and a reduction in use of animals can be achieved.