Abstract in English:Trypanosoma rangeli, a parasite generally considered non-pathogenic for man, is the second species of human trypanosome to be reported from the New World. The geographical distribution of T. rangeli often overlaps with that of T. cruzi, the same vertebrate and invertebrate hosts being infected. Their differentiation thus becomes of real, practical importance, particularly as they share approximately half the antigenic determinants recognized by the humoral response. Little is known about the life cycle of T. rangeli in the vertebrate host, although thousands of human and wild animal infections have been reported. Recent studies have revealed 2 major phylogenetic lineages in T. rangeli having different characteristics, thus leading to better understanding of the epidemiology and interactions with this parasite's vertebrate hosts and triatomine vectors. Based on further genetic characterization analysis, the authors have proposed 2 alternative hypotheses and consider that T. rangeli could have had clonal evolution or have been subjected to speciation processes.
Abstract in English:To clarify the epidemiologic importance of Triatoma brasiliensis, the most important Chagas disease vector in the Northeastern of Brazil, capture data related to this species, its distribution, capture index, and percentages of natural infection by Trypanosoma cruzi were examined in 12 different Brazilian states. The Brazilian National Health Foundation collected these data from 1993 to 1999, a period during which a total of 1,591,280 triatomines (21 species) were captured in domiciles within the geographic range of T. brasiliensis. Of this total, 422,965 (26.6%) were T. brasiliensis, 99.8% of which were collected in six states, and 54% in only one state (Ceará). The percentage of bugs infected with T. cruzi varied significantly among states, ranging from 0% (Goiás, Maranhão, Sergipe, and Tocantins) to more than 3% (Alagoas, Minas Gerais, and Rio Grande do Norte) with an average of 1.3%. This latter value represents a dramatic reduction in the natural infection percentages since 1983 (6.7%) suggesting that, despite the impossibility of eradicating this native species, the control measures have significantly reduced the risk of transmission. However, the wide geographic distribution of T. brasiliensis, its high incidence observed in some states, and its variable percentages of natural infection by T. cruzi indicate the need for sustained entomological surveillance and continuous control measures against this vector.
Abstract in English:Species of Clostridium are widely distributed in the environment, inhabiting both human and animal gastrointestinal tracts. Clostridium difficile is an important pathogen associated with outbreaks of pseudomembranous colitis and other intestinal disorders, such as diarrhea. In this study, the prevalence of Clostridium spp. and C. difficile, from hospitalized children with acute diarrhea, was examined. These children were admitted to 3 different hospitals for over 12 months. Eighteen (20%) and 19 (21%) stool specimens from children with (90) and without (91) diarrhea respectively, were positive to clostridia. Only 10 C. difficile strains were detected in 5.5% of the stool samples of children with diarrhea. None healthy children (without diarrhea) harbored C. difficile. From these 10 C. difficile, 9 were considered as toxigenic and genotyped as tcdA+/tcdB+ or tcdA-/tcdB+, and 1 strain as nontoxigenic (tcdA-/tdcB-). They were detected by the citotoxicity on VERO cells and by the multiplex-polymerase chain reaction. Thirty clinical fecal extracts produced minor alterations on VERO cells. The presence of C. difficile as a probable agent of acute diarrhea is suggested in several countries, but in this study, the presence of these organisms was not significant. More studies will be necessary to evaluate the role of clostridia or C. difficile in diarrhoeal processes in children.
Abstract in English:Almost all individuals (182) belonging to an Amazonian riverine population (Portuchuelo, RO, Brazil) were investigated for ascertaining data on epidemiological aspects of malaria. Thirteen genetic blood polymorphisms were investigated (ABO, MNSs, Rh, Kell, and Duffy systems, haptoglobins, hemoglobins, and the enzymes glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, glyoxalase, phosphoglucomutase, carbonic anhydrase, red cell acid phosphatase, and esterase D). The results indicated that the Duffy system is associated with susceptibility to malaria, as observed in other endemic areas. Moreover, suggestions also arose indicating that the EsD and Rh loci may be significantly associated with resistance to malaria. If statistical type II errors and sample stratification could be ruled out, hypotheses on the existence of a causal mechanism or an unknown closely linked locus involved in susceptibility to malaria infection may explain the present findings.
Abstract in English:We analyzed, by env and gag heteroduplex mobility assay, 149 human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1) positive samples collected in Ceará during the year 2000. The prevalence of subtype B was 81.2% and the prevalence of subtype F and B/F recombinants were both 2.7%. Eight (5.4%) and 12 (8%) out of 149 samples showed indeterminate results in the env and gag analysis respectively. By FokI restriction fragment length polymorphism, 34% of the subtype B samples were identified as the typical Brazilian subtype B.In the present study, we identified HIV-1 subtype F and B/F in Ceará for the first time. Our results contribute to the understanding of HIV in Brazil, and may prove useful for the development of vaccine candidates.
Abstract in English:Outbreaks of gastroenteritis have occurred among consumers of raw or undercooked shellfish harvested from faecally polluted waters. A multiplex reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) was applied for the simultaneous detection of hepatitis A virus (HAV), poliovirus (PV) and simian rotavirus (RV-SA11) and compared with specific primers for each genome sequence. Three amplified DNA products representing HAV (192 bp), PV (394 bp) and RV (278 bp) were identified when positive controls were used. However, when tested on experimentally contaminated raw oysters, this method was not able to detect the three viruses simultaneously. This is probably due to the low concentration of viral RNAs present in oyster extract which were partially lost during the extracts preparation.
Abstract in English:Random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) markers were used to analyze 119 DNA samples of three Colombian Anopheles nuneztovari populations to study genetic variation and structure. Genetic diversity, estimated from heterozygosity, averaged 0.34. Genetic flow was greater between the two populations located in Western Colombia (F ST: 0.035; Nm: 6.8) but lower between these two and the northeastern population (F ST: 0.08; Nm: 2.8). According to molecular variance analysis, the genetic distance between populations was significant (phiST 0.1131, P < 0.001). The variation among individuals within populations (phiST 0.8869, P < 0.001)was also significant, suggesting a greater degree of population subdivision, not considered in this study. Both the parameters evaluated and the genetic flow suggest that Colombian An. nuneztovari populations are co-specific.
Abstract in English:We describe a streamlined reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction methodology for constructing full-length cDNA libraries of trypanosomatids on the basis of conserved sequences located at the 5' and 3'ends of trans-spliced mRNAs. The amplified cDNA corresponded to full-length messengers and was amenable to in vitro expression. Fractionated libraries could be rapidly constructed in a plasmid vector by the TA cloning method (Invitrogen). We believe this is useful when there are concerns over the use of restriction enzymes and phage technology as well as in cases where expression of proteins in their native conformation is desired.
Abstract in English:Blood-feeding and autogenous sub-colonies were selected from a laboratory, stock colony of Aedes togoi, which was originally collected from Koh Nom Sao, Chanthaburi province, Southeast Thailand. Comparative biology and filarial susceptibility between the two sub-colonies (blood-feeding: F11, F13; autogeny: F38, F40) were investigated to evaluate their viability and vectorial capacity. The results of comparison on biology revealed intraspecific differences, i.e., the average egg deposition/gravid female (F11/F38; F13/F40), embryonation rate (F13/F40), hatchability rate (F11/F38; F13/F40), egg width (F11/F38), wing length of females (F13/F40), and wing length and width of males (F11/F38) in the blood-feeding sub-colony were significantly greater than that in the autogenous sub-colony; and egg length (F11/F38) and width (F13/F40), and mean longevity of adult females (F11/F38) and males (F13/F40) in the blood-feeding sub-colony were significantly less than that in the autogenous sub-colony. The results of comparison on filarial susceptibility demonstrated that both sub-colonies yielded similar susceptibilities to Brugia malayi [blood-feeding/autogeny = 56.7% (F11)/53.3%(F38), 60%(F13)/83.3%(F40)] and Dirofilaria immitis [blood-feeding/autogeny = 85.7%(F11)/75%(F38), 45%(F13)/29.4%(F40)], suggesting autogenous Ae. togoi sub-colony was an efficient laboratory vector in study of filariasis.
Abstract in English:Trypanosoma cruzi, the protozoan responsible for Chagas disease, employs distinct strategies to invade mammalian host cells. In the present work we investigated the participation of calcium ions on the invasion process using primary cultures of embryonic mice cardiomyocytes which exhibit spontaneous contraction in vitro. Using Fura 2-AM we found that T. cruzi was able to induce a sustained increase in basal intracellular Ca2+ level in heart muscle cells (HMC), the response being associated or not with Ca2+ transient peaks. Assays performed with both Y and CL strains indicated that the changes in intracellular Ca2+ started after parasites contacted with the cardiomyocytes and the evoked response was higher than the Ca2+ signal associated to the spontaneous contractions. The possible role of the extracellular and intracellular Ca2+ levels on T. cruzi invasion process was evaluated using the extracellular Ca2+ chelator EGTA alone or in association with the calcium ionophore A23187. Significant dose dependent inhibition of the invasion levels were found when intracellular calcium release was prevented by the association of EGTA +A23187 in calcium free medium. Dose response experiments indicated that EGTA 2.5 mM to 5 mM decreased the invasion level by 15.2 to 35.1% while A23187 (0.5 µM) alone did not induce significant effects (17%); treatment of the cultures with the protease inhibitor leupeptin did not affect the endocytic index, thus arguing against the involvement of leupeptin sensitive proteases in the invasion of HMC.
Abstract in English:A massive and homogeneous amount of amastigote-like forms was detected in the stomodeal valve (SV) and the thoracic mid-gut (TMG) of Leishmania major-infected Phlebotomus papatasi, which received a second blood meal 13 to 21 days post-infection on healthy anaesthetized hamsters. After re-feeding, the infected sand flies were dissected out to examine the morphology of the parasite in SV, TMG and the abdominal mid-gut (AMG). Different promastigote forms were seen in the infected flies. Among these included typical promastigotes (nectomonads and haptomonads), paramastigotes, metacyclic promastigotes and, in some samples, the here-reported amastigote-like forms. The Leishmania amastigote-like forms were detected in the SV of sand flies with 14, 18 and 21 days of infection as well as in the TMG at 13 and 18 days post-infection. However, the amastigote-like forms were not detected in the AMG. Factors such as the acidic pH predominating the TMG and the SV, as well as the temperature of the ingested blood, among others, are suggested as contributing to the transformation of the typical promastigotes into the amastigote-like forms. The significance of this finding is discussed and the possible biological advantage for transmission of Leishmania is considered.
Abstract in English:Although there are some data concerning the nitric oxide and the cyclic 3'-5'guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) signaling pathway in trypanosomatids, there is no report about the cGMP-dependent enzymatic activity identification. In this sense, a cGMP dependent activity was detected on soluble fraction from Leishmania amazonensis promastigotes with a high metacyclic level. This information is valuable in order to explore the metabolic pathway of G kinase protein in this parasite.
Abstract in English:Description of a new serovar (S. IIIb 16:k:e,n,x,z15) and a new serological variant (S. IIIb 42:z10:e,n,x,z15:z60 ) belonging to the genus Salmonella isolated from stool specimens of Brazilian snakes (Crotalus durissus).
Abstract in English:The female of Sciopemyia servulolimai (Damasceno & Causey), based on three specimens captured during an epidemiological research project in the state of Ceará, Brazil, is described and illustrated for the first time.
Abstract in English:The number of larval instars of Simulium (Hemicnetha) rubrithorax Lutz (Diptera: Nematocera) was determined using the lateral length of the head capsule. In this study 1,035 larvae, of different sizes, were measured (639 from the state of Roraima and 396 from the state of Minas Gerais). A frequency distribution analysis was carried out on the measurements of the lateral length of the head capsule to determine the number of larval instars. The limits of each instar were defined by the lower frequency of the measurements falling in a range of values, by the presence of the "egg burster" that characterizes the first larval instar, and by the developmental stage of the gill histoblast. The determination of the instar number was tested using a Student's t-test (p < 0.05), the Dyar rule and the Crosby growth rule. The results indicate the existence of 7 larval instars for this species, although this result was not in accordance to the Crosby rule. Last-instar larvae from two widely separated geographical populations (Roraima and Minas Gerais), collected in habitats with different water temperature were compared and no differences (p > 0.05) were observed between them.
Abstract in English:A description is given of Physa acuta Draparnaud, 1805, based on topotypic specimens from the Garonne river basin, and additional samples from the environs of the French cities of Montpellier and Perpignan. It proved indistinguishable, in shell and anatomy, from topotypic Physa cubensis Pfeiffer, 1839, thus leading the authors to admit the synonymy of the two nominal species under the older name, P. acuta.
Abstract in English:A description is presented of the shell and anatomic characters of the planorbid mollusk Plesiophysa guadeloupensis ("Fischer" Mazé, 1883), based on topotypic specimens from a pond in Borricaud (Grande Terre, Guadeloupe). Comparison with previous descriptions of nominal species of Plesiophysa points to its identity with P. ornata (Haas, 1938), of which it is a senior synonym.
Abstract in English:Authors describe genitourinary changes in male hamsters infected and reinfected with Trypanosoma cruzi. Changes in genital organs have been described in human and in experimental chagasic infection. Genital dysfunctions in chronic chagasic patients affect ejaculation, libido and sexual potency, and testis biopsies may show arrested maturation of germ cells, oligozoospermia and azoospermia. Sixty-five male hamsters were inoculated and reinoculated with 2x10³ trypomastigotes of T. cruzi VIC strain, and 22 non-infected animals constituted the control group. Animals were necropsied and fragments from testis, epididymis, seminal vesicle and bladder were collected and stained with hematoxylin-eosin. Peroxidase anti-peroxidase procedure was utilized to detect tissue parasitism. T. cruzi nests were found in testis, epididymis and seminal vesicle of these hamsters. Such parasitism plays a role in the origin of genital lesions observed in humans and laboratory animals during chronic chagasic infection.
Abstract in English:Opportunistic infections, which affect acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (Aids) patients, are frequently disseminated and may cause bloodstream infections (BSI). The aim of this study was to evaluate the main causes of BSI in Aids patients with advanced stage of the disease, with special emphasis on the identification of fungemia. During a 21 months period, all patients with Aids (CD4 < 200) and febrile syndrome admitted to 3 university hospitals were systematically evaluated. For each patient presenting fever, a pair of blood cultures was collected and processed by using a commercial lysis-centrifugation system. One hundred and eleven patients (75 males) with a mean age of 36 years (median 33 years) and mean CD4 count of 64 cells/ml were included. Among the 111 patients evaluated we documented 54 episodes of BSI, including 46 patients with truly systemic infections and 8 episodes considered as contaminants. BSI were caused by gram-positive bacteria (43%), fungi (20%), gram-negative bacteria (15%), mycobacteria (15%), and mixed flora (7%). The crude mortality rate of our patients was 39%, being 50% for patients with BSI and 31% for the others. In conclusion, BSI are a common related to systemic infections on Aids patients with advanced stage of disease and is associated with a high rate of mortality.
Abstract in English:We investigated the presence of Candida dubliniensis among isolates previously identified as Candida albicans and maintained in a yeast stock collection from 1994 to 2000. All isolates were serotyped and further evaluated for antifungal susceptibility profile. After doing a screening test for C. dubliniensis isolates based on the capability of colonies to grow at 42°C, its final identification was obtained by randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) analysis using three different primers. A total of 46 out of 548 screened isolates did not exhibit growth at 42°C and were further genotyped by RAPD. Eleven isolates were identified as C. dubliniensis with RAPD analysis. Regarding serotypes, 81.5% of C. albicans and all C. dubliniensis isolates belonged to serotype A. Of note, 9 out of 11 C. dubliniensis isolates were obtained from patients with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (Aids) and all of them were susceptible to azoles and amphotericin B. We found 17 (3%) C. albicans isolates that were dose-dependent susceptibility or resistant to azoles. In conclusion, we found a low rate of C. dubliniensis isolates among stock cultures of yeasts previously identified as C. albicans. Most of these isolates were recovered from oral samples of Aids patients and exhibited high susceptibility to amphotericin B and azoles. C. albicans serotype A susceptible to all antifungal drugs is the major phenotype found in our stock culture.
Abstract in English:From May to August 1999, we evaluated 401 patients from a pediatric hospital of Havana City. One group was composed of 113 patients with diarrhea admitted to the Gastroenterology ward and a second consisted of 288 patients without diarrhea, admitted for other reasons, and hospitalized within the same time period. Three stool samples were collected from each child and were examined using three parasitological techniques. When we compared the frequency of parasite species between both groups, we found Cryptosporidium spp. and Cyclospora cayetanensis, only in the group of children with diarrhea (P < 0.01). However, no significant differences were found in the occurrence of the other intestinal parasites (P > 0.05). In addition, in those children infected with Cryptosporidium, the diarrhea had a more prolonged duration (P < 0.01), while those infected with Cyclospora, the abdominal cramps or pain, and acute diarrhea were more frequently detected (P < 0.01). Our results showed that emerging intestinal coccidia are pathogens strongly associated in this group of children with diarrhea.
Abstract in English:In experimental murine infections with Trypanosoma rangeli it has been observed development immune response to Trypanosoma cruzi. The aim of the present work was to analyze the result of antigenic stimuli and the protective effect with T. rangeli in T. cruzi infections. Mice groups immunized with metacyclic trypomastigotes of T. rangeli (Choachí-2V strain), derived from haemolymph and salivary gland and reinfected with T. cruzi virulent populations (Tulahuen strain, SA strain and Dm28c clone) from infected in vitro cells, showed decrease severity of disease outcomes, low parasitemia levels and 100% survival of all mice immunized, in comparison with groups infected only with T. cruzi populations, which demonstrated tissue affection, high parasitemia levels and the death of all animals. The above mentioned data contribute to understand the biological behaviour of T. cruzi and T. rangeli and their interaction with vertebrate host.
Abstract in English:The bioassay-guided fractionation of stems from Kielmeyera variabilis, traditionally used in Brazilian folk medicine, yielded assiguxanthone-B (1), kielcorin (4), 2,5-dihydroxybenzoic acid (3), and a mixture of xanthones containing assiguxanthone-B (1) and 1,3,5,6-tetrahydroxy-2-prenylxanthone (2) (1:1 w/w). The xanthone mixture inhibited Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus subtilis at a concentration of 6.25 µg/ml. When tested alone, the minimal inhibitory concentration of assiguxanthone-B was 25 µg/ml against B. subtilis. Kielcorin and 2,5-dihydroxybenzoic acid were inactive against both strains. None of the fractions was active against Escherichia coli or Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Viable cells of S. aureus were reduced by a 1-3 log CFU/ml within 12 h after exposure of one to eight times the MIC of the xanthone mixture. It is not known whether the tetrahydroxy-2-prenylxanthone or other components of the xanthone mixture are responsible for the main antibacterial activity or whether additive or synergistic action is involved
Abstract in English:The activity of several diarylheptanoid derivatives (curcuminoids) was previously evaluated against Leishmania amazonensis promastigotes and among them the most active compound was the [1-(4-methoxy-phenyl)-7-(3,4-methoxy-4-hydroxy-phenyl)-1,6-heptadien-3, 5-dione]. This derivative was chosen to be assayed in vivo in a treatment trial. For these experiments, the curcuminoid compound was used in a concentration equivalent to the IC50/24 h, obtained from the previous study. Balb/c mice were inoculated subcutaneously in the footpad with L. amazonensis infective promastigotes and 4 weeks after the inoculation, the animals were treated with different schemes, varying from 1 to 3 doses. In all the experiments, Pentamidine Isethionate was used as reference drug under the same experimental conditions. The results showed that one dose was not enough to heal the lesion, however, with 2 and 3 doses the efficiency of the assayed compound was clear. On the other hand, treatment with Pentamidine Isethionate using the three different schemes was not satisfactory when compared to the curcuminoid derivative.
Abstract in English:The latex action of Euphorbia splendens var. hislopii (Christ's Crown) against snails Lymnaea columella, intermediate host of Fasciola hepatica, derived from irrigation ditches of the Station of Pisciculture at Universidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro, was studied in the laboratory. Lab bioassays, using aqueous solutions of the latex, varying between 0.1 and 10 mg/l, have proven molluscicidal activity of the product collected on the same day the tests were performed, during the four seasons of the year, finding the following lethal concentrations (LC90): 1.51 mg/l in the spring; 0.55 mg/l in the summer; 0.74 mg/l in the fall and 0.93 mg/l in winter, after 24 h exposure of the snails, showing significant differences among the seasons of the year (ANOVA test, F = 11.01, G.L.= 3/33, p < 0.05), as well as among the concentrations (ANOVA test, F = 27.38, G.L.= 11/33, p < 0.05). In the summer, mortality reached 100% from concentration at 0.6 mg/l, the same during fall and in winter as of 1 mg/l, while in spring it only reached 100% mortality as of 2 mg/l. Mortality in the controls was low, reaching 5% in the summer and winter and 10% in the fall and spring. None of the samples died. During the assay, with an aqueous solution of the latex at a concentration of 5 mg/l, in order to check the time of duration of the product effect, in the laboratory, it was observed that the molluscicidal activity remained stable up to the 15th day after the beginning of the test with 100% mortality of L. columella, gradually losing its effect until the 23rd day, when we no longer observed animal mortality. In the control group, there was a random daily variation in mortality rate ranging 0-50% after 48 h of observation for 30 days.
Abstract in English:The enzyme trypanothione reductase is a recognised drug target in trypanosomatids and has been used in the search of new compounds with potential activity against diseases such as leishmaniasis, Chagas disease and African trypanosomiasis. 8-Methoxy-naphtho [2,3-b] thiophen-4,9-quinone was selected in a screening of natural and synthetic compounds using an in vitro assay with the recombinant enzyme from Trypanosoma cruzi. Its mode of inhibition fits a non-competitive model with respect to the substrate (trypanothione) and to the co-factor (NADPH), with Ki-values of 5 and 3.6 µM, respectively. When tested against human glutathione reductase, this compound did not display any significant inhibition at 100 µM, indicating a good selectivity against the parasite enzyme.
Abstract in English:The aim of this work was to study the larvicidal activity of Lippia sidoides essential oil against Aedes aegypti larvae. The essential oil and its hydrolate (saturated solution of essential oil in water) were obtained by vapor extraction and their chemical composition determined by GL-chromatography coupled to mass spectroscopy. Bioassays were run with the essential oil, pure and diluted hydrolate and with their main constituents thymol and carvacrol. The results obtained showed that L. sidoides essential oil and its hydrolate have larvicidal action against the mosquito A. aegypti, causing an almost instantaneous mortality. Thymol, an alkylated phenol derivative and one of the major components of L. sidoides essential oil, was identified as the active principle responsible for the larvicidal action, causing 100% larval mortality at the lowest tested concentration of 0.017% (w/v). These results suggest that the essential oil of L. sidoides is promising as larvicide against A. aegypti and could be useful in the search of newer, more selective, and biodegradable larvicidal natural compounds to be used in official combat programs and at home.