Abstract in English:Severe schistosomiasis is a rare event in Venezuela nowadays, after a successful national campaign by the Schistosomiasis Control Program. Unfortunately, this program has practically disappeared, and snail surveillance in field is not a priority, anymore. Thus, schistosomiasis has become a neglected disease in this country. However, surveys in different populations from the endemic area have shown particular epidemiological features described herein. In five communities we evaluated 2,175 persons and searched for the presence of Biomphalaria glabrata snails. Some markers were used for classifying schistosomiasis foci: mean age of the persons with Schistosoma mansoni eggs in the stools, serological tests, presence of B. glabrata snails, and intensity of infection. Places without B. glabrata snails and with few schistosomiasis cases were defined as "past transmission sites"; a site with abundant snails but few cases was defined as "potential risk"; "new transmission" foci were characterized by the presence of infected snails and young people passing eggs in the stools. A "re-emergent" focus has shared these last features, showing in addition a place where schistosomiasis had been reported before. Recent evidences of active transmission with the increasing dispersion of B. glabrata snails, point out the necessity for the re-establishment of the Schistosomiasis Control Program in Venezuela.
Abstract in English:Due to the semi aquatic habits and the overlap of the geographical distribution of the water-rat, Nectomys spp., with schistosomiasis endemic areas, these wild rodents are very likely to acquire Schistosoma mansoni infection in their daily activities. The role of the water-rat in the S. mansoni cycle would be substantiated if one could prove that these rodents acquire the parasite during their own activity time, a completely independent time schedule of human activities. To pursue this goal, we performed two field experiments in the municipality of Sumidouro, State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, a schistosomiasis endemic area where N. squamipes is found naturally infected. One experiment was devised as a series of observations of activity time of the water-rat. The other experiment was a test of the occurrence of late transmission of S. mansoni to the water-rat. The daily activity pattern showed that the water-rat is active chiefly just after sunset. At both diurnal and late exposition essays the water-rat sentinels got infected by S. mansoni. These findings clarify ecological and behavioral components necessary to the adaptation of S. mansoni to the water-rat as a non human definitive host and the existence of a transmission cycle involving this animals as a reservoir.
Abstract in English:A rather high prevalence of mansoni schistosomiasis has been observed in some localities of Bananal, State of São Paulo, during the past decade. The highest prevalence of schistosomiasis was found in the Palha District; it was thus considered adequate for an evaluation of public awareness of the risks involved in acquiring schistosomiasis, a likely outcome of certain behavior patterns. We interviewed 542 district-dwellers. The 5-to-39 age-group constituted 65.5% of the whole sample. Concerning the infection, 69.2% had hearsay information; 46.1% know the infection; 69.6% know how it is acquired; 31.5% know about the symptoms and 57.1% know what can be done to avoid infection; 17.7% declared to have acquired the infection at least once in their lifetime; 62.3% reported total or partial immersion in collections of water of Bananal, once or twice a week, 53.9% of these for bathing or fishing. Although most (91.7%) households have treated running water, are connected to the sewage network or have septic tanks, 9% of the people interviewed use to defecate on the field. It became clear that the educational messages aimed at this population had not been adequate, having failed to fulfil any expectations. The local people received only piecemeal and subjective information about their problem. The control of schistosomiasis requires an integrated practice, which includes the analysis of macro-determinant factors, such as basic sanitation, habitation, education and health care. In short, we require a multidisciplinary vision of the mechanisms of transmission of the infection, which depends upon adequate planning and well trained personnel, intent on their educational work, to attain satisfactory results.
Abstract in English:The Palha district, municipality of Bananal, State of São Paulo, Brazil, had 10.3% cases of Schistosoma mansoni diagnosed from 1994 to 2000 by coproscopy: about three times the municipality average. The immunofluorescent antibody test was used to assess gut-associated IgM antibody titers of samples from 452 inhabitants. It disclosed 129 (28.5%) positive cases. Subjects were classified according to age, sex, birthplace, and period of residence. Titers varied from 8 to 4,096 (geometric mean: 170.2). Seropositives were aged from 6 to 69 years (average: 24.5), 75% of them aged 34 or less, predominantly males (78 or 60.5%). Of all subjects, 65.7% were born and had been living in Bananal since; 24.2% came from neighboring municipalities and are residing in Bananal from two months to 89 years (average: 22.7 years). Further Kato-Katz coproscopy from 97 seropositives (geometric mean titer, 619) revealed S. mansoni eggs in 11 subjects (11.3%). Serology was deemed useful in screening subjects to be further investigated by coproscopy, considering that blood collection had better acceptance than supplying fecal samples. Higher than average serological titers may indicate new cases in endemic areas. Longitudinal studies associated with epidemiological investigation, including titer evolution are advised, as isolated data are difficult to interpret.
Abstract in English:Simple sequence repeat anchored polymerase chain reaction amplification (SSR-PCR) is a genetic typing technique based on primers anchored at the 5' or 3' ends of microsatellites, at high primer annealing temperatures. This technique has already been used in studies of genetic variability of several organisms, using different primer designs. In order to conduct a detailed study of the SSR-PCR genomic targets, we cloned and sequenced 20 unique amplification products of two commonly used primers, CAA(CT)6 and (CA)8RY, using Biomphalaria glabrata genomic DNA as template. The sequences obtained were novel B. glabrata genomic sequences. It was observed that 15 clones contained microsatellites between priming sites. Out of 40 clones, seven contained complex sequence repetitions. One of the repeats that appeared in six of the amplified fragments generated a single band in Southern analysis, indicating that the sequence was not widespread in the genome. Most of the annealing sites for the CAA(CT)6 primer contained only the six repeats found within the primer sequence. In conclusion, SSR-PCR is a useful genotyping technique. However, the premise of the SSR-PCR technique, verified with the CAA(CT)6 primer, could not be supported since the amplification products did not result necessarily from microsatellite loci amplification.
Abstract in English:This is the first report on occurrence of Biomphalaria straminea in the district of São José de Almeida (municipality of Jaboticatubas) State of Minas Gerais, Brazil. The presence of B. glabrata and B. tenagophila had already been reported in this area. Such municipality is part of the metropolitan region of Belo Horizonte and comprises 60% of the Tourist Complex of Serra do Cipó. Since the 1950s throughout the 1990s, a schistosomiasis prevalence ranging from 15 to 40% has been observed. Although no B. straminea specimen has been found naturally infected in the region, descendants of these snails collected in the area, showed to be experimentally susceptible to Schistosoma mansoni infection reaching rates from 14.6 to 28.6%. Even not being found naturally infected, in the State of Minas Gerais, the possibility that the species B. straminea may keep endemicity foci of schistosomiasis should be regarded, as in the Northeastern region of Brazil where the high density of this planorbid and the social-economic and sanitary conditions enable to the transmission.
Abstract in English:Identification of populations of Bulinus nasutus and B. globosus from East Africa is unreliable using characters of the shell. In this paper, a molecular method of identification is presented for each species based on DNA sequence variation within the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI) as detected by a novel multiplexed SNaPshotTM assay. In total, snails from 7 localities from coastal Kenya were typed using this assay and variation within shell morphology was compared to reference material from Zanzibar. Four locations were found to contain B. nasutus and 2 locations were found to contain B. globosus. A mixed population containing both B. nasutus and B. globosus was found at Kinango. Morphometric variation between samples was considerable and UPGMA cluster analysis failed to differentiate species. The multiplex SNaPshotTM assay is an important development for more precise methods of identification of B. africanus group snails. The assay could be further broadened for identification of other snail intermediate host species.
Abstract in English:We conducted monthly snail captures in Bananal, State of São Paulo, Brazil, between March 1998 and February 2001, to identify Schistosoma mansoni vectors, estimate seasonal population changes, and delimit foci. We also evaluated the impact of improvements in city water supply and basic sanitation facilities. We identified 28,651 vector specimens, 28,438 as Biomphalaria tenagophila, 49 of them (0.2%) infected with S. mansoni, and 213 as B. straminea, none of the latter infected. Vectors predominated in water bodies having some vegetation along their banks. Neither population density nor local vegetation could be linked to vector infection. We found the first infected snails in 1998 (from March to May). Further captures of infected snails ocurred, without exception, from July to December, when rainfall was least. Irrespective of season, overall temperature ranged from 16.5ºC to 21ºC; pH values, from 6.0 to 6.8. Neither factor was associated with snail population density. Frequent contact of people with the river result from wading across it, extracting sand from its bottom, fishing, washing animals, etc. Despite a marked reduction in contamination, cercaria shedding persists. Whatever the location along its urban course, contact with river Bananal, particularly of the unprotected skin, entails risks of infection.
Abstract in English:In this paper, the third of a series dealing with the survey of freshwater gastropods of the state of Rio de Janeiro, the results of collections carried out in the Mesoregion Baixadas from 2000 to 2002 are presented. Twenty-two species, belonging to seven families, were found. As to the snail intermediate hosts of Schistosoma mansoni, the most frequent species was Biomphalaria tenagophila besides some new findings of Biomphalaria straminea. No specimens were found harboring larval forms of S. mansoni although different kinds of cercariae had been observed.
Abstract in English:The intermediate hosts of Schistosoma mansoni, in Brazil, Biomphalaria glabrata, B. tenagophila and B. straminea, were identified by restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis of the mitochondrial gene cytochrome oxidase I (COI). We performed digestions with two enzymes (AluI and RsaI), previously selected, based on sequences available in Genbank. The profiles obtained with RsaI showed to be the most informative once they were polymorphic patterns, corroborating with much morphological data. In addition, we performed COI digestion of B. straminea snails from Uruguay and Argentina.
Abstract in English:The analysis of the genetic variability related to susceptibility to Schistosoma mansoni infection in the vector of the genus Biomphalaria is important in terms of a better understanding of the epidemiology of schistosomiasis itself, the possible pathological implications of this interaction in vertebrate hosts, and the formulation of new strategies and approaches for disease control. In the present study, the genetic variability of B. glabrata strains found to be resistant or susceptible to S. mansoni infection was investigated using DNA amplification by random amplified polymorphic DNA-polymerase chain reaction (RAPD-PCR). The amplification products were analyzed on 8% polyacrylamide gel and stained with silver. We selected 10 primers, since they have previously been useful to detect polymorphism among B. glabrata and/or B. tenagophila. The results showed polymorphisms with 5 primers. Polymorphic bands observed only in the susceptible strain. The RAPD-PCR methodology represents an adequate approach for the analysis of genetic polymorphisms. The understanding of the genetic polymorphisms associated to resistance may contribute to the future identification of genomic sequences related to the resistance/susceptibility of Biomphalaria to the larval forms of S. mansoni and to the development of new strategies for the control of schistosomiasis.
Abstract in English:Ecological changes from water resources development projects often affect the epidemiology of water-associated diseases. In order to investigate the occurrence and distribution of freshwater snails of medical and veterinary importance in the area of influence of the Serra da Mesa Hydroelectric a survey has been performed since 1997 and revealed the occurrence of well-established populations of Biomphalaria straminea (Dunker, 1848) in the 8 municipalities surrounding the lake. Areas of epidemiologic risk for schistosomiasis were selected and studies of parasite-mollusc compatibility were undertaken using specimens from 19 populations of B. straminea and 3 strains (CM, EC and PB) originally isolated from B. straminea. Among 1,135 specimens used 15 became infected (infection index of 1.3%) and 8 populations were susceptible to the schistosome strains: B. straminea from Campinorte (Castelão, susceptible to CM and EC strains, and Planeta Água, EC strain), Colinas (Tocantinzinho river, CM and EC strains), Minaçu (Canabrava river, EC strain), Niquelândia (Codemin, CM and PB strains, and Almas river, CM strain), Uruaçu (touristic area, PB strain) and Santa Rita do Novo Destino (Maranhão river, CM and EC strains). These results, associated with marked social and ecological changes occurred, strongly suggest the possibility of B. straminea coming to act as a vector of schistosomiasis in the studied area.
Abstract in English:The study of the Schistosoma mansoni genome, one of the etiologic agents of human schistosomiasis, is essential for a better understanding of the biology and development of this parasite. In order to get an overview of all S. mansoni catalogued gene sequences, we performed a clustering analysis of the parasite mRNA sequences available in public databases. This was made using softwares PHRAP and CAP3. The consensus sequences, generated after the alignment of cluster constituent sequences, allowed the identification by database homology searches of the most expressed genes in the worm. We analyzed these genes and looked for a correlation between their high expression and parasite metabolism and biology. We observed that the majority of these genes is related to the maintenance of basic cell functions, encoding genes whose products are related to the cytoskeleton, intracellular transport and energy metabolism. Evidences are presented here that genes for aerobic energy metabolism are expressed in all the developmental stages analyzed. Some of the most expressed genes could not be identified by homology searches and may have some specific functions in the parasite.
Abstract in English:In the last decade microsatellites have become one of the most useful genetic markers used in a large number of organisms due to their abundance and high level of polymorphism. Microsatellites have been used for individual identification, paternity tests, forensic studies and population genetics. Data on microsatellite abundance comes preferentially from microsatellite enriched libraries and DNA sequence databases. We have conducted a search in GenBank of more than 16,000 Schistosoma mansoni ESTs and 42,000 BAC sequences. In addition, we obtained 300 sequences from CA and AT microsatellite enriched genomic libraries. The sequences were searched for simple repeats using the RepeatMasker software. Of 16,022 ESTs, we detected 481 (3%) sequences that contained 622 microsatellites (434 perfect, 164 imperfect and 24 compounds). Of the 481 ESTs, 194 were grouped in 63 clusters containing 2 to 15 ESTs per cluster. Polymorphisms were observed in 16 clusters. The 287 remaining ESTs were orphan sequences. Of the 42,017 BAC end sequences, 1,598 (3.8%) contained microsatellites (2,335 perfect, 287 imperfect and 79 compounds). The 1,598 BAC end sequences 80 were grouped into 17 clusters containing 3 to 17 BAC end sequences per cluster. Microsatellites were present in 67 out of 300 sequences from microsatellite enriched libraries (55 perfect, 38 imperfect and 15 compounds). From all of the observed loci 55 were selected for having the longest perfect repeats and flanking regions that allowed the design of primers for PCR amplification. Additionally we describe two new polymorphic microsatellite loci.
Abstract in English:The human nuclear protein RbAp48 is a member of the tryptophan/aspartate (WD) repeat family, which binds to the retinoblastoma (Rb) protein. It also corresponds to the smallest subunit of the chromatin assembly factor and is able to bind to the helix 1 of histone H4, taking it to the DNA in replication. A cDNA homologous to the human gene RbAp48 was isolated from a Schistosoma mansoni adult worm library and named SmRbAp48. The full length sequence of SmRbAp48 cDNA is 1036 bp long, encoding a protein of 308 amino acids. The transcript of SmRbAp48 was detected in egg, cercariae and schistosomulum stages. The protein shows 84% similarity with the human RbAp48, possessing four WD repeats on its C-terminus. A hypothetical tridimensional structure for the SmRbAp48 C-terminal domain was constructed by computational molecular modeling using the b-subunit of the G protein as a model. To further verify a possible interaction between SmRbAp48 and S. mansoni histone H4, the histone H4 gene was amplified from adult worm genomic DNA using degenerated primers. The gene fragment of SmH4 is 294 bp long, encoding a protein of 98 amino acids which is 100% identical to histone H4 from Drosophila melanogaster.
Abstract in English:Schistosomes undergo various morphological and metabolic changes during their development, reflected in a finely tuned regulation of protein and/or gene expression. The mechanisms involved in the control of gene expression during the development of the parasite are not understood. Two actin genes had been previously cloned and observed to be differentially expressed during the maturation of the parasite. The SmAct gene contains four putative cis-regulatory elements (TATA-, CCAAT-, E- and CArG-boxes). Our objective was to investigate in greater detail the expression pattern of two actin genes and verify if the binding of nuclear proteins to the promoter elements of SmAct correlated with the expression profile observed. We detected little variation in the expression of actin genes during the first seven days of schistosomula culture in vitro. However, we observed significantly higher levels of expression in males compared to female adults. CArG and CCAAT elements bound to a greater extent and formed distinct complexes with male in comparison to female nuclear extracts. In contrast, female extracts bound weakly to the E-box probe while no binding was observed with male extracts. Taken together these results describe cis-acting elements that appear to be involved in sexually regulated gene expression in Schistosoma mansoni.
Abstract in English:Sm8 is a major tegumental antigen of Schistosoma mansoni. The partial cDNA was isolated and analyzed. Sequence analysis revealed transmembrane compatible hydrophobic domains and a putative leucine zipper pattern. The mRNA and the protein are predominantly expressed in adult worms.
Abstract in English:Due to difficulties concerning morphological identification of planorbid snails of the genus Biomphalaria, and given a high variation of characters and in the organs with muscular tissue, we designed specific polymerase chain reaction (PCR) primers for Brazilian snail hosts of Schistosoma mansoni from available sequences of internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2) of the ribosomal RNA gene. From the previous sequencing of the ITS2 region, one primer was designed to anchor in the 5.8S conserved region and three other species-specific primers in the 28S region, flanking the ITS2 region. These four primers were simultaneously used in the same reaction (Multiplex-PCR), under high stringency conditions. Amplification of the ITS2 region of Biomphalaria snails produced distinct profiles (between 280 and 350 bp) for B. glabrata, B. tenagophila and B. straminea. The present study demonstrates that Multiplex-PCR of ITS2-DNAr showed to be a promising auxiliary tool for the morphological identification of Biomphalaria snails, the intermediate hosts of S. mansoni.
Abstract in English:We have previously confirmed the presence of common antigens between Schistosoma mansoni and its vector, Biomphalaria glabrata. Cross-reactive antigens may be important as possible candidates for vaccine and diagnosis of schistosomiasis. Sera from outbred mice immunized with a soluble Biomphalaria glabrata antigen (SBgA) of non-infected B. glabrata snails recognized molecules of SBgA itself and S. mansoni AWA by Western blot. Recognition of several molecules of the SBgA were inhibited by pre-incubation with AWA (16, 30, 36, 60 and 155 kDa). The only specific molecule of AWA, inhibited by SBgA, was a 120 kDa protein. In order to determine which epitopes of SBgA were glycoproteins, the antigen was treated with sodium metaperiodate and compared with non-treated antigen. Molecules of 140, 60 and 24 kDa in the SBgA appear to be glycoproteins. Possible protective effects of the SBgA were evaluated immunizing outbred mice in two different experiments using Freund's Adjuvant. In the first one (12 mice/group), we obtained a significant level of protection (46%) in the total worm load, with a high variability in worm recovery. In the second experiment (22 mice/group), no significant protection was observed, neither in worm load nor in egg production per female. Our results suggest that SBgA constitutes a rich source of candidate antigens for diagnosis and prophylactic studies.
Abstract in English:We evaluated the usefulness of the combination of three plasmids encoding tegumental (pECL and pSM14) and muscular (pIRV5) antigens of the Schistosoma mansoni on improving the protective immunity over the use of a single antigen as DNA vaccines. Female BALB/c mice were inoculated twice with 25 µg DNA plasmid within two weeks interval. The challenge was performed with 80 cercarias of a regional isolate of S. mansoni (SLM) one week after the last immunization. Six weeks after challenge, all mice were perfused for worm load determination. The following groups were analyzed: saline; empty vector; monovalent formulations of pECL; pSM14 and pIRV5 and also double combinations of pECL/pIRV5 and pIRV5/pSM14 and a triple combination of pECL/pIRV5/pSM14. The protection was expressed as a percentage of worm loads in each group compared with the saline group. The results obtained were 41% (p < 0.05); 52% (p < 0.05); 51% (p < 0.05); 48% (p < 0.05); 55% (p < 0.05); 45% (p < 0.05); 65% (p < 0.05) for each group respectively.
Abstract in English:In the present communication we analyzed the levels of IgG1, IgG2, IgG3, IgG4 and IgE isotypes to soluble egg antigen of Schistosoma mansoni by ELISA in individuals from an endemic area for schistosomiasis in Northeast Brazil. The analysis was performed before and after treatment to evaluate the age-dependent pattern, and to identify differences in the reactivities to antigens. Our results suggest that schistosomiasis treatment would not interfere with this sort of immune response.
Abstract in English:The production and regulation of interleukin (IL) IL-13, IL-4 and interferon-gamma was evaluated in different clinical forms of human schistosomiasis. The mechanisms of immune regulation are apparently different in the various clinical stages of the disease, some of them being antigen specific.
Abstract in English:Sm14 was the first fatty acid-binding protein homologue identified in helminths. Thereafter, members of the same family were identified in several helminth species, with high aminoacid sequence homology between them. In addition, immune crossprotection was also reported against Fasciola hepatica infection, in animals previously immunized with the Schistosoma mansoni vaccine candidate, r-Sm14. In the present study, data on preliminary sodium dodecyl sulphate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and Western blotting analysis of nine different helminth extracts focusing the identification of Sm14 related proteins, is reported. Out of these, three extracts - Ascaris suum (males and females), Echinostoma paraensei, and Taenia saginata - presented components that comigrated with Sm14 in SDS-PAGE, and that were recognized by anti-rSm14 policlonal serum, in Western blotting tests.
Abstract in English:Human schistosomiasis develops extensive and dense fibrosis in portal space, together with congested new blood vessels. This study demonstrates that Calomys callosus infected with Schistosoma mansoni also develops fibrovascular lesions, which are found in intestinal subserosa. Animals were percutaneously infected with 70 cercariae and necropsied at 42, 45, 55, 80, 90 and 160 days after infection. Intestinal sections were stained for brightfield, polarization microscopy, confocal laser scanning, transmission and scanning electron microscopies. Immunohistological analysis was also performed and some nodules were aseptically collected for cell culture. Numerous intestinal nodules, appearing from 55 up to 160 days after infection, were localized at the interface between external muscular layer and intestinal serosa, consisting of fibrovascular tissue forming a shell about central granuloma(s). Intranodular new vessels were derived from the vasculature of the external vascular layer and were positive for laminin, chondroitin-sulfate, smooth muscle alpha-actin and FVIII-RA. Fibroblastic cells and extracellular matrix components (collagens I, III and VI, fibronectin and tenascin) comprised the stroma. Intermixed with the fibroblasts and vessels there were variable number of eosinophils, macrophages and haemorrhagic foci. In conclusion, the nodules constitute an excellent and accessible model to study fibrogenesis and angiogenesis, dependent on S. mansoni eggs. The fibrogenic activity is fibroblastic and not myofibroblastic-dependent. The angiogenesis is so prominent that causes haemorrhagic ascites.
Abstract in English:Histopathologic and morphometric (area, perimeter, major and minor diameters) analysis of hepatic granulomas isolated from twelve naturally infected Nectomys squamipes were compared to four experimentally infected ones and six C3H/He mice. Liver paraffin sections were stained for cells and extracellular matrix. Both groups of N. squamipes presented peculiar granulomas consisting predominantly of large macrophages, full of schistosome pigment, characterizing an exudative-macrophage granuloma type, smaller than the equivalent granuloma type in mouse. Naturally infected animals exhibited granulomas in different stages of development, including large number of involutional types. Morphometric analysis showed that all measurements were smaller in naturally infected animals than in other groups. The results demonstrated that both N. squamipes groups reproduced, with small variations, the hepatic granuloma aspects already described in cricetidium (Calomys callosus), showing a genetic tendency to set up strong macrophage responses and small granulomas. Unexpectedly, natural infection did not engender distinguished histopathological characteristics distinct from those derived from experimental single infection, showing changes predominantly secondary to the duration of infection. It appears that the variability of the inocula (and the number of infections?) interfere more with the quantity than with the quality of the pathological changes, denoting some morpho-functional determinism in the response to schistosomal infection dependent on the animal species.
Abstract in English:The effects of a protein-restricted diet (8% protein, 81% carbohydrate and 11% lipids) on Schistosoma mansoni infectivity, fecal egg excretion and intestinal egg distribution in Swiss (SW) mice were studied. Pregnant mice received a deficient diet from the middle of gestation until delivery. Seven-days-old mice were exposed to 50 cercariae (BH strain, Brazil). Offspring mice had a free access to the deficient diet since lactation until adulthood. The controls were fed with a commercial mice diet. A parasitological examination was performed between six and eight weeks post-infection while both groups were necropsied one week later. Mice on the experimental diet showed a significant loss in body weight. There was no significant difference (p > 0.05) in pre-patent period, kinetics of egg excretion and worm recovery from mice on either diet. Significant differences (p < 0.05) were found concerning to the percentage of deposited eggs in the distal segment of the small intestine from hosts on the experimental diet.Our data suggest that experimental malnutrition induced for a long term has no detrimental effect on the acute schistosomiais infection in SW mice.
Abstract in English:A major advance in our understanding of the natural history of Schistosoma haematobium-related morbidity has come through the introduction of the portable ultrasound machines for non-invasive examination of the kidneys and bladder. With the use of generators or battery packs to supply power in non-clinical field settings, and with the use of instant photography or miniaturized thermal printers to record permanent images, it is possible to examine scores of individuals in endemic communities every day. Broad-based ultrasound screening has allowed better definition of age-specific disease risks in urinary schistosomiasis. Results indicate that urinary tract abnormalities are common (18% overall prevalence) in S. haematobium transmission areas, with a 2-4% risk of either severe bladder abnormality or advanced ureteral obstruction. In longitudinal surveys, ultrasound studies have shown that praziquantel and metrifonate therapy are rapidly effective in reversing urinary tract abnormalities among children. The benefits of treating adults are less well known, but research in progress should help to define this issue. Similarly, the prognosis of specific ultrasound findings needs to be clarified, and the ease of sonographic examination will make such long-term follow-up studies feasible. In summary, the painless, quick, and reproducible ultrasound examination has become an essential tool in the study of urinary schistosomiasis.
Abstract in English:In endemic areas with low prevalence and low intensity of infection, the diagnosis of hepatic pathology due to the Schistosoma mansoni infection is very difficult. In order to establish the hepatic morbidity, a double-blind study was achieved in Venezuelan endemic areas, with one group of patients with schistosomiasis and the other one of non-infected people, that were evaluated clinically and by abdominal ultrasound using the Cairo classification. Schistosomiasis diagnosis was established based on parasitologic and serological tests. The increase of the hepatic size at midclavicular and midsternal lines (in hepatometry) and the hard liver consistency were the clinical parameters able to differentiate infected persons from non infected ones, as well as the presence of left lobe hepatomegaly detected by abdominal ultrasound. The periportal thickening, especially the mild form, was frequent in all age groups in both infected and uninfected patients. There was not correlation between the intensity of infection and ultrasound under the current circumstances. Our data suggest that in Venezuela, a low endemic area of transmission of schistosomiasis, the hepatic morbidity is mild and uncommon. The Cairo classification seems to overestimate the prevalence of periportal pathology. The specificity of the method must be improved, especially for the recognition of precocious pathology. Other causes of hepatopathies must be investigated.
Abstract in English:Schistosoma mansoni is responsible for lesions that can alter the hemodinamic of the portal venous circulation, lung arterial and venous sistemic systems. Therefore, hemodinamic changes in the ocular circulation of mansonic schistosomotic patients with portal hypertension and hepatofugal venous blood flow is also probable. The purpose of this study was to determine the fluorescein contrast arrival time at the retina of young patients with the hepatosplenic form of schistosomiasis, clinically and surgically treated. The control group included 36 non schistosomotic patients, mean age of 17.3 years, and the case group was represented by 25 schistosomotic patients, mean age of 18.2 years, who were cared for at The University Hospital (Federal University of Pernambuco, Brazil), from 1990 to 2001. They underwent digital angiofluoresceinography and were evaluated for the contrast arrival time at the early retinal venous phase of the exam. Both groups were ophthalmologically examined at the same hospital (Altino Ventura Foundation, Recife, Brazil), using the same technique. There was retardation of the retinal contrast arrival time equal or more than 70 sec in the eyes of three schistosomotic patients (12%) and in none of the control group, however, the mean contrast arrival time between the two groups were not statistically different. These findings lend support to the hypothesis that there could be a delay of the eye venous blood flow drainage.
Abstract in English:The study had the objective to evaluate the benefits of surgical indication for portal hypertension in schistosomiasis patients followed from 1985 to 2001. Schistosoma mansoni eggs were confirmed by at least six stool examinations or rectal biopsy. Clinical examination, abdominal ultrasonography, and digestive endoscopy confirmed the diagnosis of esophageal varices. A hundred and two patients, 61.3% male (14-53 years old) were studied. Digestive hemorrhage, hypersplenism, left hypochondrial pain, abdominal discomfort, and hypogonadism were, in a decreasing order, the major signs and symptoms determining surgical indication. Among the surgical techniques employed, either splenectomy associated to splenorenal anastomosis or azigoportal desvascularization, esophageal gastric descompression and esophageal sclerosis were used. Follow-up of patients revealed that, independent on the technique utilized, a 9.9% of death occurred, caused mainly by digestive hemorrhage due to the persistence of post-treatment varices. The authors emphasize the benefits of elective surgical indication allowing a normal active life.
Abstract in English:After 57 years of successful control of schistosomiasis in Venezuela, the prevalence and intensity of infection have declined. Approximately 80% of the individuals eliminate less than 100 eggs/g of stools, therefore morbidity is mild and the majority are asymptomatic. The sensitivity of Kato-Katz decreases to approximately 60%. Available serological methods for the detection of circulating antigens only reach a 70% of sensitivity. Tests based on the detection of antibodies by immunoenzymatic assays have been improved. The circumoval precipitine test has shown a high sensitivity (97%), specificity (100%), and correlation with oviposition, being considered the best confirmatory diagnostic test. Additionally to the classical immunoenzymatic assays, the development of the alkaline phosphatase immunoassay, allowed to reach a 100% specificity with an 89% sensitivity. Recently, we have developed a modified ELISA in which the soluble egg antigen is treated with sodium metaperiodate (SMP-ELISA) in order to eliminate the glycosilated epitopes responsible for the false positive reactions. The specificity and sensitivity reaches 97% and 99%, respectively. Synthetic peptides from the excretory-secretory enzymes, cathepsin B (Sm31) legumain (Sm32) and cathepsin D (Sm45), have been synthesized. The combination of two peptides derived from the Sm31 have been evaluated, reaching a sensitivity of 96% when analyzed independently and with a 100% specificity. Antibodies raised in rabbits against peptides derived from the Sm31 and Sm32 are currently evaluated in two different antigen-capture-based assays. The development of a simple, cheap and reliable test that correlates with parasite activity is a major goal.
Abstract in English:As Schistosoma sp. control programs are chiefly based on treatment of infected population, adequate case finding has a crucial role. The available diagnostic methods are far from ideal, since the search for eggs in stools and the detection of circulating antigens lack sensitivity in low prevalence and post-treatment situations and antibody detection lacks specificity. In most endemic foci, repeated treatment of infected people leaves a number of non-diagnosed and consequently non-treated persons, enough to maintain a persistent residue of 5 to 10% prevalence. In an attempt to surpass these diagnostic limitations we have developed a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for the detection of Schistosoma sp. in feces that, in a first population study, has shown to be more sensitive than three-repeated stool Kato-Katz examination. The PCR may constitute a valuable tool for the diagnosis of the Schistosoma sp. infection in special situations, when high sensitivity and specificity are required and infrastructure is available.
Abstract in English:The effect of praziquantel treatment on the age-antibody relationship was studied in 174 children aged between 6 and 17 years from a schistosome endemic area in Zimbabwe. The children were co-infected with Schistosoma mansoni and S. haematobium with infection prevalences of 74% and 53% respectively. Antibody levels for the isotypes IgA, IgE, IgM, IgG1, IgG2, IgG3 and IgG4, directed against soluble egg antigen were measured using an indirect ELISA assay. Treatment resulted in a significant increase in levels of IgG2 and IgG3 while levels of IgA decreased significantly. In untreated children there were significant decreases in levels of IgG4. Treatment also resulted in significant alteration in the age-antibody profiles for the isotypes IgE, IgM, IgG1 and IgG2 in treated children but not in untreated children. The results are discussed in the context of factors believed to give rise to the age-antibody relationship; i.e. age-related exposure patterns, age-related development of acquired immunity, age-related hormonal changes and age-related changes in innate susceptibility to infection.
Abstract in English:Bananal is an important focus of Schistosoma mansoni in the State of São Paulo. Accordingly, programmed active search for human cases, annual coproscopic surveys and treatment of infected cases were started in 1998, aiming at producing a sharp prevalence rate drop by the year 2000. S. mansoni eggs were searched for in two Kato-Katz slides per patient. Cases were followed up according to the routine of the local Family Health Program. In 1998, 130 samples out of 3,860 showed S. mansoni eggs; in 1999, 105 out of 3,550, and in 2000, 64 out of 3,528. Prevalence rates were 3.4%, 2.9%, and 1.8%, and average egg-counts 59, 64, and 79 eggs per gram of feces respectively. Prevalence rates decreased steadily after treatment, but persistently positive cases showed no significant decrease in parasite burdens. Egg count variation depended on sex and age bracket. Persistent residual cases admittedly preclude the eradication of this infection by only searching for and treating carriers. In addition, resistance to therapy and low sensitivity of fecal examinations, can not be ignored. Moderate to heavy worm burdens, frequently associated with hepatomegaly elsewhere, produced no serious cases in Bananal.
Abstract in English:The control of schistosomiasis has been spectacularly successful in terms of controlling endemicity and severity of the disease during the last 50 years. It can be categorized into two stages. From 1955 through 1980, the transmission-control strategy had been widely and successfully carried out. By the end of 1980, the epidemic of schistosomiasis was successfully circumscribed in certain core regions including areas at the middle and low reaches of the Yangtze River and some mountainous areas in Sichuan and Yunnan provinces, where control of schistosomiasis had been demonstrated to be very difficult to be sustained. Therefore, since 1980, schistosomiasis control in China has been modified to employ a stepwise strategy, based on which morbidity control has been given priorities and if possible transmission control has been pursued. However, since snail-ridden areas remain unchanged so far, reinfections occur frequently. This necessitates a maintenance phase to consolidate the achievements in the control of schistosomiasis. In the mean time, we are challenged with some environmental, social and economical changes in terms of controlling schistosomiasis. Successfully controlling schistosomiasis in China is still a long-term task but will be achieved without doubt along with the economic development and the promotion of living and cultural standard of people.