Abstract in English:In Chagas disease, during the acute phase, the establishment of inflammatory processes is crucial for Trypanosoma cruzi control in target tissues and for the establishment of host/parasite equilibrium. However, in about 30% of the patients, inflammation becomes progressive, resulting in chronic disease, mainly characterized by myocarditis. Although several hypothesis have been raised to explain the pathogenesis of chagasic myocardiopathy, including the persistence of the parasite and/or participation of autoimmune processes, the molecular mechanisms underlying the establishment of the inflammatory process leading to parasitism control but also contributing to the maintenance of T. cruzi-elicited chronic myocarditis remain unsolved. Trying to shed light on these questions, we have for several years been working with murine models for Chagas disease that reproduce the acute self-resolving meningoencephalitis, the encephalitis resulting of reactivation described in immunodeficient individuals, and several aspects of the acute and chronic myocarditis. In the present review, our results are summarized and discussed under the light of the current literature. Furthermore, rational therapeutic intervention strategies based on integrin-mediated adhesion and chemokine receptor-driven recruitment of leukocytes are proposed to control T. cruzi-elicited unbalanced inflammation.
Abstract in English:A five-year domiciliary collection in the 22 departments of Guatemala showed that out of 4,128 triatomines collected, 1,675 were Triatoma dimidiata (Latreille, 1811), 2,344 were Rhodnius prolixus Stal 1859, and only 109 were T. nitida Usinger 1939. The Chagas disease parasite, Trypanosoma cruzi, was found in all three species. Their natural infection rates were similar in the first two species (20.6%; 19.1%) and slightly lower in T. nitida(13.8%). However there was no significant difference in the infection rates in the three species (p = 0.131). T. dimidiata males have higher infection rates than females (p = 0.030), whereas for R. prolixus there is no difference in infection rates between males and females (p = 0.114). The sex ratios for all three species were significantly skewed. More males than females were found inside houses for T. dimidiata (p < 0.0001) and T. nitida (p = 0.011); a different pattern was seen for R. prolixus (p = 0.037) where more females were found. Sex ratio is proposed as an index to show the mobility of T. dimidiata in different populations. T. dimidiata is widely distributed in the country, and is also the main vector in at least ten departments, but R. prolixus with higher vectorial capacity is an important vector in at least two departments.
Abstract in English:This paper reports a case of coinfection caused by pathogens of Lyme disease and babesiosis in brothers. This was the first case of borreliosis in Brazil, acquired in Cotia County, State of São Paulo, Brazil. Both children had tick bite history, presented erythema migrans, fever, arthralgia, mialgia, and developed positive serology (ELISA and Western-blotting) directed to Borrelia burgdorferi G 39/40 and Babesia bovis antigens, mainly of IgM class antibodies, suggestive of acute disease. Also, high frequencies of antibodies to B. bovis was observed in a group of 59 Brazilian patients with Lyme borreliosis (25.4%), when compared with that obtained in a normal control group (10.2%) (chi-square = 5.6; p < 0.05). Interestingly, both children presented the highest titers for IgM antibodies directed to both infective diseases, among all patients with Lyme borreliosis.
Abstract in English:The prevalence of Mycobacterium bovis and other mycobacterial species in livestock specimens and milk was evaluated. An emphasis was placed upon the distribution of these organisms in milk that is readily available to the public that was either untreated, pasteurized, or treated using ultra high temperature. Twenty-two pathologic specimens from livestock (bovine, swine and bubaline) in five Brazilian states and 128 bovine milk samples from retail markets in the State of São Paulo were examined for mycobacteria. Identification was made by classical biochemical tests, thin layer chromatography of mycolic acids and polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) analysis. Mycobacteria were isolated from 15 (68.2%) caseous lesions and from 23 (18%) milk samples. Eleven isolates were identified as M. bovis, and the remaining 27 nontuberculous mycobacterial isolates were represented by five species and six unidentified rapidly growing mycobacterial strains. The data demonstrate that animal products in Brazil are frequent reservoirs of mycobacteria and may pose a risk to the public.
Abstract in English:Project Horizonte, an open cohort of homosexual and bisexual human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1) negative men, is a component of the AIDS Vaccine Program, in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil. The objective of this study was to compare volunteers testing HIV positive at cohort entry with a sample of those who tested HIV negative in order to identify risk factors for prevalent HIV infection, in a population being screened for enrollment at Project Horizonte. A nested case-control study was conducted. HIV positive volunteers at entry (cases) were matched by age and admission date to three HIV negative controls each. Selected variables used for the current analysis included demographic factors, sexual behavior and other risk factors for HIV infection. During the study period (1994-2001), among the 621 volunteers screened, 61 tested positive for HIV. Cases were matched to 183 HIV negative control subjects. After adjustments, the main risk factors associated with HIV infection were unprotected sex with an occasional partners, OR = 3.7 (CI 95% 1.3-10.6), receptive anal intercourse with an occasional partner, OR = 2.8 (95% CI 0.9-8.9) and belonging to the negro racial group, OR = 3.4 (CI 95% 1.1-11.9). These variables were associated with an increase in the risk of HIV infection among men who have sex with men at the screening for admission to an open HIV negative cohort.
Abstract in English:The protein profiles of the New Guinea "C" dengue virus type 2 (DENV-2)prototype and those of a Brazilian DENV-2 isolated in the State of Rio de Janeiro in 1995 were compared. SDS-PAGE analysis showed that the virus from Rio de Janeiro expresses NS5 (93.0 kDa), NS3 (66.8 kDa) E (62.4 kDa) and NS1 (41.2 kDa) proteins differently from the New Guinea "C" virus. The immunoblot revealed specificity and antigenicity for the NS3 protein from DENV-2 Rio de Janeiro mainly in primary infections, convalescent cases, and in secondary infections in both cases and only antigenicity for E and NS1 proteins for both viruses in primary and secondary infections.
Abstract in English:The ultrastructural morphology of the ventral region of the head (rostrum and buccula) and proesternum (stridulatory sulcus) of nymphs from the 1st to 5th instars of Triatoma guazu Lent & Wygodzinsky, 1979 and Triatoma jurbergi Carcavallo, Galvão & Lent, 1998 was described. Morphological differences between the two species and of the five nymphal stages development of each species were observed. These structures showed systematic differential characteristics of the studied species and may be used to increase their taxonomic range.
Abstract in English:Nomimoscolex guillermoi n. sp. and N. dechambrieri n. sp. are described from the gymnotiform fish Gymnotus carapo from Argentina. The new species are placed into Nomimoscolex based on the cortical position of the vitelline follicles, and medullary position of the testes, ovary, and uterus. Both species were compared to the 13 species considered valid in the genus. The combination of features distinguishing N. guillermoi from N. dechambrieri is (1) the position of the vagina to cirrus pouch (anterior or posterior vs always anterior respectively), (2) the total number of testes (41-85 vs 108-130 respectively), (3) the distribution of the vitelline follicles (arranged in dorso-lateral and ventro-lateral bands vs lateral bands respectively), (4) the length of the uteroduct (ending 58% vs 35% from posterior margin of mature proglottis respectively), and (5) the presence of gland cells in the scolex (unicellular glands in the apical region and the external margin of suckers vs the presence of unicellular glands in the apex and other grouped in a cluster medially to the suckers respectively).
Abstract in English:Five species are included in the Simulium siolii group, which is placed in the subgenus Psaroniocompsa (Diptera: Simuliidae). Of these five species, only two (Simulium siolii Py-Daniel and Simulium tergospinosum Hamada) have been described in all their life stages, except eggs. Knowledge of the taxonomic characters of all life stages of a species is important in order to clarify interspecific and higher-level taxonomic relationships. The objectives of the present study are to describe the male of Simulium damascenoi Py-Daniel, to provide a list of black-fly species their bionomics and distributions in the state of Amapá, Brazil, and to provide an identification key for larvae and pupae for these species.
Abstract in English:Schistosoma mansoni adult worms with genital anomalies isolated from Nectomys squamipes (Muridae: Sigmodontinae) were studied by confocal laser scanning microscopy under the reflected mode. One male without testicular lobes (testicular agenesia/anorchism) and two females, one with an atrophied ovary and another with 17 uterine eggs, were identified. The absence of testicular lobes occurred in a worm presenting otherwise normal male adult characteristics: tegument, tubercles and a gynaecophoric canal with spines. In both female specimens the digestive tube showed a vacuolated appearance, and the specimen with supernumerary uterine eggs exhibited a developing miracidium and an egg with a formed shell. The area of the ventral sucker was similar in both specimens however the tegument thickness, ovary and vitelline glands of the specimen with the atrophied ovary were smaller than those of the one with supernumerary eggs. These reported anomalies in the reproductive system call attention to the need to improve our understanding of genetic regulation and the possible role of environmental influences upon trematode development.
Abstract in English:Data from the Chagas Disease Control Program indicate a growing domiciliary and peridomiciliary invasion of Triatoma rubrovaria in the State of Rio Grande do Sul, where it has become the most frequent triatomine species captured there since the control of T. infestans. Bionomic characteristics that could influence the vectorial capacity of T. rubrovaria as vector of Trypanosoma cruzi were evaluated: patterns of (i) feeding, (ii) defecation, and (iii) resistance to starvation, using insects fed on mice. Fifty three percent of the females showed a defecation pattern conducive to chagasic transmission, defecating either on or near the bite site. The averages of the resistance to starvation varied from 48.1 to 179 days, for the first and fifth nymphal stages, respectively. Our study shows that with respect to the patterns of feeding, defecation and resistance to fasting, T. rubrovaria presented similar rates to the ones observed for other effective vector species, such as T. infestans. Thus, based on our studies we conclude that T. rubrovaria has biological characteristics that can positively influence its capacity to become infected and transmit T. cruzi, and also to keep residual populations after chemical control interventions.
Abstract in English:The use of in situ techniques to detect DNA and RNA sequences has proven to be an invaluable technique with paraffin-embedded tissue. Advances in non-radioactive detection systems have further made these procedures shorter and safer. We report the detection of Trypanosoma cruzi, the causative agent of Chagas disease, via indirect and direct in situ polymerace chain reaction within paraffin-embedded murine cardiac tissue sections. The presence of three T. cruzi specific DNA sequences were evaluated: a 122 base pair (bp) sequence localized within the minicircle network, a 188 bp satellite nuclear repetitive sequence and a 177 bp sequence that codes for a flagellar protein. In situ hybridization alone was sensitive enough to detect all three T. cruzi specific DNA sequences.
Abstract in English:Leishmania (V.) braziliensis M2903 presents a small linear and stable 245 kb chromosome originating from a genomic amplification. Similar amplifications present in other species of Leishmania contain a gene coding for a biopterin transporter. Since Leishmania is auxotrophic for this metabolite, this amplification could result from the need to better capture biotpterin from growth media under specific circumstances. In this paper we show that this gene is also present in L. (V.) braziliensis small chromosome, which shares sequences with other genomic amplifications already described.
Abstract in English:In this work, a comprehensive phylogenetic study based on 600 base pair nucleotide and on putative 200 amino acid sequences of NS5 was carried out in order to establish genetic relationships among 15 strains of 10 Brazilian flaviviruses: Bussuquara, Cacipacore, dengue type 1, 2 and 4, Iguape, Ilheus, Rocio, Saint Louis encephalitis (SLE), and yellow fever. Phylogenetic trees were created by neighbor-joining and maximum parsimony methods. These trees showed Brazilian flaviviruses grouped into three main branches: yellow fever branch, dengue branch subdivided in types 1, 2 and 4 branches, and Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) complex branch including SLE virus strains, Cacipacore, Iguape, Rocio, Ilheus and Bussuquara. Viruses transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes, such as dengue and urban yellow fever, that are also the only Flavivirus causing hemorrhagic fevers in Brazil, were grouped in the same cluster. Encephalitis associated viruses, transmitted by Culex mosquitoes such as JEV complex branch including SLE virus strains, Cacipacore, Iguape, Rocio, Ilheus and Bussuquara were also grouped in the same clade.
Abstract in English:Dipteran polytene chromosomes provide an excellent model for understanding in species complexes, as well as for structural and functional cytogenetics. The status of species in the Culex pipiens complex is controversial and the use of polytene chromosomes for cytogenetic analysis in the subfamily Culicinae has been difficult because of methodological problems. In this study, Malpighian tubule polytene chromosomes were obtained from young (0 to 12 h, 20ºC) and old (20 to 42 h, 28ºC) laboratory-bred C. pipiens quinquefasciatus pupae. The chromosome maps for this species were constructed and compared with published data for C. pipiens pipiens and C. p. quinquefasciatus. Although the banding patterns were conserved between subspecies, analysis of the structural variations in the bands and interbands revealed differences apparently related to the physiological stage and ecogeographical strain. The organization of the centromeric regions in larval and pupal chromosomes showed greater similarity to each other than did those of pupal and adult chromosomes. The use of pupal polytene chromosomes for in situ hybridization with vector competence probes is discussed.
Abstract in English:Polytene chromosome preparations were obtained from larval, pupal and adult female Malpighian tubules of Aedes aegypti. The Malpighian tubules of the pupae (0-4 h old) from larvae reared at 20ºC provided the best cytogenetic analysis. The interaction of nucleic acids and proteins that influence the spreading of the chromosomes could be reduced with the preparation technique of the sheets submitted to a stronger treatment starting with the hypotony of tissue and successive bathings with acetic acid. A simple technique should facilitate molecular cytogenetics used in the location of resistance and vector competence genes.
Abstract in English:Immunodetection of human IgG anti-Toxocara canis was developed based on ELISA and on the use of polysiloxane/polyvinyl alcohol (POS/PVA) beads. A recombinant antigen was covalently immobilized, via glutaraldehyde, onto this hybrid inorganic-organic composite, which was prepared by the sol-gel technique. Using only 31.2 ng antigen per bead, a peroxidase conjugate dilution of 1:10,000 and a serum dilution of 1:200 were adequate for the establishment of the procedure. This procedure is comparable to that which utilizes the adsorption of the antigen to conventional PVC plates. However, the difference between positive and negative sera mean absorbances was larger for this new glass based assay. In addition to the performance of the POS/PVA bead as a matrix for immunodetection, its easy synthesis and low cost are additional advantages for commercial application.
Abstract in English:Antigenic characterization of Anaplasma marginale isolates, by identifying conserved and variable epitopes of major surface proteins (MSP), is an important tool for vaccine development against this rickettsia. The B cell epitopes of A. marginale isolates from three microregions of the State of Pernambuco and one from the State of Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil, were characterized by indirect fluorescent antibody technique (IFAT) and Western blot (WB) with 15 monoclonal antibodies (MAbs). The epitope recognized by MAb ANA22B1 (MSP-1a) was conserved by IFAT and WB (73-81 kDa). MSP-2 epitopes recognized by MAbs ANAO58A2 and ANAO70A2 were conserved by IFAT, while ANAO50A2 and ANA66A2 epitopes were polymorphic; in the WB, the MAbs ANAO50A2 and ANAO70A2 identified bands of 45 kDa only in the Pernambuco-Mata isolate. None of the isolates reacted with MAb ANAR75C2 (MSP-3). The MSP-4 epitope recognized by MAb ANAR76A1 was conserved by IFAT, as well as the MSP-5 epitope recognized by MAb ANAF16C1 by IFAT and WB (16 kDa). The MAbs ANAR17A6, ANAR83B3, ANAR94C1, ANAO24D5 and ANAR19A6 identified conserved epitopes by IFAT. MSP-1, MSP-2 and MSP-4, which previously showed partial protection in experimental trials, are also potential immunogens to be employed in Brazil, due to the B cell epitope conservation.
Abstract in English:From March 1999 to March 2000, we conducted a prospective multicenter study of candidemia involving five tertiary care hospitals from four countries in Latin America. Yeast isolates were identified by classical methods and the antifungal susceptibility profile was determined according to the National Committee for Clinical Laboratory Standards microbroth assay method. During a 12 month-period we were able to collect a total of 103 bloodstream isolates of Candida spp. C. albicans was the most frequently isolated species accounting for 42% of all isolates. Non-albicans Candida species strains accounted for 58% of all episodes of candidemia and were mostly represented by C. tropicalis (24.2%) and C. parapsilosis (21.3%). It is noteworthy that we were able to identify two cases of C. lusitaniae from different institutions. In our casuistic, non-albicans Candida species isolates related to candidemic episodes were susceptible to fluconazole. Continuously surveillance programs are needed in order to identify possible changes in the species distribution and antifungal susceptibility patterns of yeasts that may occurs after increasing the use of azoles in Latin American hospitals.
Abstract in English:We compared plasma tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) levels among asymptomatic/"indeterminate" Chagas disease patients (ASY) and patients across the clinical spectrum of chronic Chagas disease cardiomyopathy (CCC). Idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) patients and normal controls (NC) were included as controls. ASY Chagas disease patients had significantly higher plasma TNF-alpha levels than NC. TNF-alpha levels among severe CCC patients with significant left ventricular (LV) dysfunction were similar to those of DCM patients, showing average 2-fold higher levels than CCC patients without LV dysfunction and ASY patients, and 8-fold higher levels than NC. In Chagas disease, chronic TNF-a production prior to heart failure may play a role in CCC progression.
Abstract in English:The anti-Trypanosoma cruzi activity of natural products isolated from Azorella compacta was evaluated, with particular emphasis on their effect against intracellular amastigotes. Five diterpenoids from A. compacta derived from mulinane and azorellane were isolated and identified. Only two products, named azorellanol (Y-2) and mulin-11,3-dien-20-oic acid (Y-5), showed trypanocidal activity against all stages of T. cruzi including intracellular amastigotes. At 10 µM, these compounds displayed a strong lytic activity. It ranged from 88.4 ± 0.6 to 99.0 ± 1 % for all strains and stages evaluate, with an IC50 /18 h values of 20-84 µM and 41-87 µM, respectively. The development of intracellular amastigotes was also inhibited by nearly 60% at 25 µM. The trypanocidal molecules Y-2 and Y-5 did show different degrees of cytotoxicity depending on the cell line tested, with an IC50 /24 h ranging from 33.2 to 161.2 µM. We evaluated the effect of diterpenoids against intracellular T. cruzi forms by immunofluorescent identification of a specific membrane molecular marker (Ssp-4 antigen) of the T. cruzi amastigote forms. The accuracy and reproducibility of the measurements were found to be outstanding when examined by confocal microscopy.
Abstract in English:Two regulons, soxRS and marRAB, are associated with resistance to quinolones or multiple antibiotic in Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium. These regulons are activated by nitric oxide and redox-cycling drugs, such as paraquat and cause on activation of the acrAB-encoded efflux pump. In this study, we investigated the effect of nitric oxide (NO) alone and in combination with ofloxacin, ciprofloxacin, and pefloxacin against S. typhimurium clinical isolates and mutant strains in vitro. We did not observe synergistic effect against clinical isolates and SH5014 (parent strain of acr mutant), while we found synergistic effect against PP120 (soxRS mutant) and SH7616 (an acr mutant) S. typhimurium for all quinolones. Our results suggest that the efficiencies of some antibiotics, including ofloxacin, ciprofloxacin, and pefloxacin are decreased via activation of soxRS and marRAB regulons by NO in S. enterica serovar Typhimurium. Further studies are warranted to establish the interaction of NO with the genes of Salmonella and, with multiple antibiotic resistance.
Abstract in English:The main objective of this research is to evaluate the molluscicide activity of Physalis angulata L. Biomphalaria tenagophila specimens under laboratory conditions. Extracts and fractions were supplied by the Laboratório de Química de Produtos Naturais, Farmanguinhos-Fiocruz. Experiments were performed according to the methodology described by the World Health Organization for molluscicide tests using the concentrations from 0.1 to 500 mg/l of the extracts, fractions and of a pool of physalins modified steroids present in this species. The results show that ethyl acetate and acetone extracts from the whole plant, the ethanolic extracts of the roots and the physalins pool from stems and leaves were active. Only the whole plant extracts were available in sufficient quantity for the determination of LD50 and LD90 values.
Abstract in English:Interactions between two species that result in reduced growth rates for both and extinction of one of the species are generally considered cases of asymmetric interspecific competition. Exploitative or interference competition is the usual mechanism invoked. Here we describe another mechanism producing the same result, named apparent competition through facilitation (ACF), observed between Melanoides tuberculata and Biomphalaria glabrata populations. The superior competitor actually gives some benefit to the other species, whose population becomes unstable with progressively increasing oscillations, leading to extinction. A model of ACF using difference equations suggests initial dynamics distinct from traditional interspecific competition. The dynamics of two freshwater snails in the field and in laboratory experiments suggest ACF, and these relations should be considered in studies of schistosomiasis control. ACF could occur in natural populations, but might have gone undetected because the final result is similar to traditional interspecific competition.