Abstract in English:Morpho-biological diversity of Trypanosoma cruzi has been known since Chagas' first works in 1909. Several further studies confirmed the morphological differences among the parasite strains, which were isolated from different reservoirs and vectors, as well as from human beings. In the early sixties, antigenic differences were found in the parasite strains from various sources. These differences, coupled to the observation of regional variations of the disease, led to the proposal of the term cruzi complex to designate the taxon T. cruzi. Since then this protozoan has been typed in distinct biodemes, zymodemes and lineages which were consensually grouped into T. cruzi I, T. cruzi II and into non-grouped strains. T. cruzi genotypic characterization, initially carried out by schizodeme analysis and more recently by various other techniques, has shown a great diversity of the parasite strains. In fact, T. cruzi is formed by groups of heterogeneous sub-population, which present specific characteristics, including distinct histotropism. The interaction of the different infecting clones of the cruzi complex and the human host will determine the morbidity of the disease.
Abstract in English:Furnas dos Dionísios is an Afro-Brazilian black community whose descendants were mainly fugitive slaves that established themselves in the State of Mato Grosso do Sul (MS), Brazil. The population is comprised mainly of low socioeconomic individuals who are engaged in agricultural activities. The objective of this study was to investigate the prevalence of hepatitis B (HB) and its correlation with epidemiological data obtained from the community. The studied population totaled 260 individuals with ages varying from 1 to 79 years (median 20). One hundred thirty-three (51.2%) were females and 127 (48.8%) were males. A high prevalence for anti-HBc was observed (42.7%), with present infection detected in 9.2% of the subjects who were also HB surface antigens (HBs Ag) positive; 27.3% were anti-HBc and anti-HBs reactive, and 6.2% had anti-HBc as only marker. The prevalence for anti-HBc was proportional to age, reaching its highest peak in age categories greater than 50. No serological marker was detected in children under the age of 2 years, however anti-HBc was present in 12 subjects with ages between 2 and 14 years, of these 8 (7.4%) were HBsAg positive. Among individuals over the age of 15 years, 99 were anti-HBc reactive, of these 16 (10.5%) were also HBsAg positive, thus suggesting an increased prevalence of HBV carriers among children and adolescents. The risk factors observed in this community that were significantly associated with anti-HBc positivity were age (over 20 years) and having an anti-HBc positive mother. Both HBeAg and anti-HBe were detected in 44.4% of the samples tested. HBsAg subtypes found in the studied population were adw2 (77.7%) and ayw2 (23.3%). While intrafamilial transmission was most likely responsible for HBV infection among children, other routes such as sexual contact might be considered for individuals with ages over 15 years.
Abstract in English:The Culicoides communities have been analyzed between 1993/1998 in the area influenced by the Yacyretá Dam Lake (Paraná River, Argentina-Paraguay). Adults of Culicoides were collected monthly by using CDC light traps exposed for 24 h in 9 sampling sites located at both margins of the river; 21 species were recorded. Highest values of species richness were recorded during 1993/1994, being Quiteria and Corpus the sites with the higest number of species (10 and 11, respectively). The species diversity was elevated in Quiteria, Zaimán, Candelaria, Santa Tecla, Capitán Meza and Corpus (Shannon's diversity index 1.0-1.9) while Corateí, Ituzaingó and Aguapey showed less richness and diversity. The more abundant species were C. insignis, C. venezuelensis, C. leopoldoi, C. limai, C. flinti, C. debilipalpis, C. paraensis and C. guttatus. C. insignis, potential vector of bluetongue virus (BTV) to domestic and wild rumiants in the Neotropical region, is the predominant species in the area and was the only species widely distributed. C. paraensis, a proven vector of Oropouche virus to humans, is a common and abundant species. C. pusillus and C. lahillei, potential vectors of BTV and a filarial parasite, respectively, were occasionally collected. The taxonomic structure of communities was constant during the study period. The occasional species were not characteristic to one particular site and their presence could be related to non-intrinsic conditions.
Abstract in English:A total of 2,605 faecal specimens from children up to 10 years old with or without diarrhoea were collected. Samples were obtained from 1986 to 2000 in hospitals, outpatient clinics and day-care centers in Goiânia, Goiás. Two methodologies for viral detection were utilized: a combined enzyme immunoassay for rotavirus and adenovirus and polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Results showed 374 (14.4%) faecal specimens positive for Rotavirus A, most of them collected from hospitalized children. A significant detection rate of rotavirus during the period from April to August, dry season in Goiânia, and different frequencies of viral detection throughout the years of study were also observed. Rotavirus was significantly related to hospitalization and to diarrhoeal illness in children up to 24 months old. This study reinforces the importance of rotavirus as a cause of diarrhoea in children and may be important in regards to the implementation of rotavirus vaccination strategies in our country.
Abstract in English:This paper describes patterns of infestation with Tunga penetrans (L., 1758) within the poor community of Araruama municipality, State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, assessed by the number of persons and domestic animals parasitized. The overall prevalence of infestation was 49.2% (211 parasitized hosts) of the 429 examined. Humans (p < 0.01) and dogs (p < 0.01) were the most important hosts with 62.6% and 35.6% respectively. Dogs were considered as the potential infestation source to humans. Considering sex and age groups, both measures showed a significant difference (p < 0.01): female (62.2% infested of 143 examined) and male (43.9% infested of 98 examined). All age classes were found infested with significant difference (G = 42.5; p < 0.01) and most of the infestation occurred in children in the 0-9-year old category (27.3%). In contrast and based on mean of chigoe burden per person, the parasitic intensity was significantly higher on male than on female in all age categories, except for the 50+ (H = 27.1; p < 0.01) and decreasing with the increase of age (chi2 = 69.7, A = -124.6, p < 0.01). Growing urbanization, improved housing and sewage systems, use of appropriate footwear, examination of the feet principally in young children, antitetanus prophylaxis and reduction of stray dogs population are the major prophylactic methods recommended.
Abstract in English:Triatoma nitida was found in 14 (0.4%) out of 3,726 houses located in six departments across Guatemala, which were surveyed from 1994 to 1998 by the man-hour collection method. Compared to previous information, the distribution of T. nitida in Guatemala has increased from five to nine departments; the species is present in mild climates at altitudes from 960 to 1,500 m. Fourteen percent of the intradomestic T. nitida were infected with Trypanosoma cruzi. The species was often found in conjunction with other triatomines (T. dimidiata and Rhodnius prolixus). The domestic and peridomestic presence of T. nitida in Guatemala was rare, but occasionally this species was colonizing human-made constructions. T. nitida appears to have a low importance as Chagas disease vector in Guatemala, as indicated by its scarce presence in the domestic habitats and defecation patterns. However, it clearly has potential to become a Chagas vector so we recommend an on-going study of the intradomestic presence of T. nitida following the control programs in Guatemala. Morphometric analysis of 47 T. nitida males from three localities showed quantitative differences between the populations, which indicates that geographic distance is an important factor in the structuring of T. nitida populations.
Abstract in English:Infestation parameters and indices of mites, ticks and fleas associated with wild rodents from northeastern Buenos Aires Province, Argentina, were studied. Host species similarity was also analyzed in relation to their ectoparasites. Fifty-five rodents were captured from January 2000 to March 2001. In total, 1,022 ectoparasites were collected and three ectoparasite-host associations were new records. However, this is the first study on Craneopsylla minerva wolffhuegeli infesting parameters. Ectoparasite total mean abundance and total prevalence were higher in Holochilus brasiliensis (MA = 47.7; P = 100%) and Scapteromys aquaticus (MA = 25.4; P = 95.4%), meanwhile specific richness and diversity were higher in Oligoryzomys flavescens (S = 6; H = 1.3) and Akodon azarae (S = 4; H = 1.0). On the other hand, the only individual of Calomys laucha was not parasited. S. aquaticus-H. brasiliensis, which preferred similar microhabitats, shared the same ectoparasite species (Css = 100). Whereas, A. azarae, which was mostly associated with grassland, showed the highest difference with the other hosts (Css < 0.4). Considering every ectoparasite species, H. brasiliensis showed the highest mean abundance, prevalence and preference. The results suggest that the particular characteristics of this rodent would give it better possibilities not only of being infested by ectoparasites, but also of transmitting them to its progeny.
Abstract in English:In the course of two trips to Central America (June 1967 and JulyAugust 1976) I had the opportunity of collecting topotypic specimens of Planorbis nicaraguanus Morelet, 1849, anatomically defined in this paper, and of P. yzabalensis Crosse & Fischer, 1879, the identity of the latter with Drepanotrema anatinum (Orbigny, 1835) is confirmed. The following planorbid species were also found: Helisoma trivolvis (Say, 1817) in Nicaragua, Guatemala, Costa Rica and Belize; H. duryi (Wetherby, 1879) in Costa Rica; Biomphalaria helophila (Orbigny, 1835) in Guatemala, Belize, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and El Salvador; B. kuhniana (Clessin, 1883) in Panama; B. obstructa (Morelet,1849) in Guatemala, Belize and El Salvador; B. straminea (Dunker, 1848) in Costa Rica; B. subprona (Martens, 1899) in Guatemala; D. anatinum (Orbigny,1835) in Belize, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Costa Rica; D. depressissimum (Moricand,1839) in Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama; D. lucidum (Pfeiffer, 1839) in Guatemala, Belize and Nicaragua; D. surinamense (Clessin, 1884) in Costa Rica and Panama; and Gyraulus percarinatus sp. n. in Panama. The occurrence of B. kuhniana and D. surinamense is first recorded in Central America, and Gyraulus percarinatus is the first representative of the genus provenly occurring in the American continent south of the United States. The following synonymy is proposed: Planorbis declivis Tate, 1870 = Biomphalaria helophila (Orbigny, 1835); Planorbis isthmicus Pilsbry, 1920 = Biomphalaria kuhniana (Clessin, 1883); Planorbis cannarum Morelet, 1849 and Segmentina donbilli Tristram, 1861 = Biomphalaria obstructa (Morelet, 1849); and Planorbis yzabalensis Crosse & Fischer, 1879 = Drepanotrema anatinum (Orbigny, 1835), confirming Aguayo (1933).
Abstract in English:The occurrence, prevalence and infection intensity of proteocephalidean larvae in naturally infected intermediate hosts of the Upper Paraná River floodplain are reported. A total of 5,206 zooplanktonic and benthic organisms were analyzed, namely cyclopid (2,621) and calanoid (1,479) copepods, cladocerans (704), rotifers (307), chironomid larvae (41) and ostracods (54). Eight cyclopid copepods - two copepodids, one male and five females - comprising 0.3% of the cyclopid copepods examined, were naturally infected. The male infected belonged to a species of Paracyclops, and the females to Paracyclops sp., Thermocyclops minutus and Mesocyclops longisetus.
Abstract in English:High doses of gamma radiation (10 Krad) in Biomphalaria tenagophila snails (Taim strain), which have been found to be resistant to Schistosoma mansoni, were not sufficient to impair their resistance to the parasite. The number of hemocytes, as well as their phagocytic activity, were not affected by irradiation, thus showing resemblance with mammal macrophages, which are resistant to gamma irradiation also.
Abstract in English:We have examined by gelatin-SDS-PAGE the protease activity in cell lysates of Giardia duodenalis trophozoites of two axenic strains isolated in Brazil from a symptomatic patient (BTU-11) and an asymptomatic carrier (BTU-10), and the reference strain Portland 1 (P1). The proteolysis band patterns showed differences among strains isolated from asymptomatic and symptomatic individuals. The lysate of the strain BTU-10, showed only five hydrolysis bands, while a greater number of bands (10-11 bands) was seen in strains BTU-11 and P1. The protease activity in all lysates was inhibited by cysteine (E-64 and iodoacetamide) and serine proteases (TPCK and TLCK) inhibitors, but not by PMSF and EDTA. In general, the results revealed protease activities in G. duodenalis trophozoites of Brazilian axenic strains and the predominance of cysteine proteinases. It should be stressed the inter-strain difference in hydrolysis band patterns observed between strains isolated from symptomatic patients and the strain obtained from an asymptomatic carrier.
Abstract in English:Amastigogenesis occurs first when metacyclic trypomastigotes from triatomine urine differentiate into amastigotes inside mammalian host cells and a secondary process when tissue-derived trypomastigotes invade new cells and differentiate newly to amastigotes. Using scanning electron microscopy, we compared the morphological patterns manifested by trypomastigotes and metacyclic forms of Trypanosoma cruzi during their axenic-transformation to amastigotes in acidic medium at 37°C. We show here that in culture MEMTAU medium, secondary and primary axenic amastigogenesis display different morphologies. As already described, we also observed a high differentiation rate of trypomastigotes into amastigotes. Conversely, the transformation rate of in vitro-induced-metacyclic trypomastigotes to amastigotes was significantly slower and displayed distinct patterns of transformation that seem environment-dependent. Morphological comparisons of extracelullar and intracellular amastigotes showed marked similarities, albeit some differences were also detected. SDS-PAGE analyses of protein and glycoprotein from primary and axenic extracelullar amastigotes showed similarities in glycopeptide profiles, but variations between their proteins demonstrated differences in their respective macromolecular constitutions. The data indicate that primary and axenic secondary amastigogenesis of T. cruzi may be the result of different developmental processes and suggest that the respective intracellular mechanisms driving amastigogenesis may not be the same.
Abstract in English:During an ecological study, carried out between 1994 and 1996 with Streptoprocne biscutata (Sclater) (Apodiformes: Apodidae) birds, that inhabit caves in the Quatro Barras County, State of Paraná, Southern Brazil, a new tick species of the subgenus Multidentatus was observed. The female, male, nymph, and larva of Ixodes (Multidentatus) paranaensis n. sp., are described. Of the 12 known species of the subgenus Multidentatus, only I. (M.) auritulus Neumann, 1904 and I. (M.) murreleti Cooley and Kohls, 1945 occur in the Neartic region and only I. (M.) auritulus occurs in the Neotropical region. As such, I. (M.) paranaensis n. sp. increases the number of species and the distribution area of the subgenus Multidentatus in the Americas.
Abstract in English:The sporogony of Hepatozoon caimani has been studied, by light microscopy, in the mosquito Culex fatigans fed on specimens of the caiman Caiman c. crocodilus showing gametocytes in their peripheral blood. Sporonts iniciate development in the space between the epithelium of the insect gut and the elastic membrane covering the haemocoele surface of the stomach. Sporulating oocysts are clustered on the gut, still invested by the gut surface membrane. Fully mature oocysts were first seen 21 days after the blood-meal. No sporogonic stages were found in some unidentified leeches fed on an infected caiman, up to 30 days following the blood-meal. When mosquitoes containing mature oocysts were fed to frogs (Leptodactylus fuscus and Rana catesbeiana), cysts containing cystozoites developed in the internal organs, principally the liver. Feeding these frogs to farm-bred caimans resulted in the appearance of gametocytes in their peripheral blood at some time between 59 and 79 days later, and the development of tissue cysts in the liver, spleen, lungs and kidneys. Transmission of the parasite was also obtained by feeding young caimans with infected mosquitoes and it is suggested that both methods occur in nature. The finding of similar cysts containing cystozoites in the semi-aquatic lizard Neusticurus bicarinatus, experimentally fed with infected C. fatigans, suggests that other secondary hosts may be involved.
Abstract in English:Seven species of Beatogordius (Nematomorpha) have been reported from South America. A reinvestigation could not reproduce a number of determinations indicated in the literature. B. deshayesi has been a misinterpretation and the status of B. irregularis appears to be very uncertain, because no generic characters could be found. The descriptions of B. alfredi and B. latastei confirm that these species belong to South America only. In B. abaiconus we found adhesive warts anterior of the male cloacal opening. These structures were to date only known from the genus Gordionus. In the posterior end of females from B. alfredi and B. variabilis, short paired rows of bristles were present which had to date only been known from the African species B. equinatus. Two new species, B. funis and B. palustre could be added to the genus.
Abstract in English:We report the molecular characterization of a novel reiterated family of transcribed oligo(A)-terminated, interspersed DNA elements in the genome of Trypanosoma cruzi. Steady-state level of transcripts of this sequence family appeared to be developmentally regulated, since only in the replicative forms the parasite showed expression of related sequences with a major band around 3 kb. The presence of frame shifts or premature stop codons predicts that transcripts are not translated. The sequence family also contains truncated forms of retrotransposons elements that may become potential hot spots for retroelement insertion. Sequences homologous to this family are interspersed at many chromosomes including the subtelomeric regions.
Abstract in English:Reactivity of snails against parasites exhibits a primitive focal reaction, with encapsulation, phagocytosis and destruction of parasite larvae by macrophage-like cells - the hemocytes. This reaction mimics granulomatous inflammation seen in higher animals. However, different from the latter, little is known about the participation of extra-cellular matrix in such snail defense reactions. Normal and Schistosoma mansoni-infected Biomphalaria glabrata of different strains were submitted to cytological, histological, ultrastructural and biochemical methods in order to investigate the behavior of extra-cellular tissues at the site of anti-parasite reactions. In spite of the presence of two cell-types in peripheral hemolymph, only one cell-type was present at the sites of tissue reactions. Although pre-existent collagen and elastic fibers and microfibrils sometimes appeared slightly compressed around focal reactions, no evidences of duplication, synthesis or deposition of connective-tissue extra-cellular components were observed within or around the zones of reactive cell accumulations. Thus, tissue reactions against S. mansoni in the snail B. glabrata appeared exclusively dependent on one specific population of hemocytes.
Abstract in English:Fourteen compounds were evaluated for their activity against Trypanosoma cruzi blood stream forms at the concentration of 500 µg/ml. Six compounds were active and re-tested at lower concentrations.
Abstract in English:We analyzed data from historical controls treated with meglumine antimoniate to compare the frequency of adverse events observed in patients with cutaneous leishmaniasis treated with the same dose of meglumine antimoniate contaminated with heavy metals in an endemic area of the State of Bahia, Brazil. Group A patients were treated in 2000 with the drug produced by Eurofarma Laboratórios Ltda., São Paulo, Brazil (lot A) and group B patients were treated in 1996 with the reference drug produced by Rhodia Farma Ltda., São Paulo, Brazil (lot B). We observed an unusual higher frequency of skin reactions in group A patients. However, all type of adverse events observed in group A were also observed in group B. The physico-chemical analysis of these lots revealed that lot A had lower pH and higher concentration of total and trivalent antimony, lead, cadmium, and arsenic. Our findings suggest that the skin reactions could be attributed to heavy metal contamination of lot A.