Abstract in English:The first steps in leishmaniasis are critical in determining the evolution of the disease. Major advances have recently been done in understanding this crucial moment. Fundamental research in parasite-vector interaction, parasite biology, insect saliva, and vertebrate host response have shed new light and uncovered a most fascinating and complex moment in leishmaniasis. We review here some of these aspects and we try to connect them in a logical framework.
Abstract in English:Dengue fever is currently the most important arthropod-borne viral disease in Brazil. Mathematical modeling of disease dynamics is a very useful tool for the evaluation of control measures. To be used in decision-making, however, a mathematical model must be carefully parameterized and validated with epidemiological and entomological data. In this work, we developed a simple dengue model to answer three questions: (i) which parameters are worth pursuing in the field in order to develop a dengue transmission model for Brazilian cities; (ii) how vector density spatial heterogeneity influences control efforts; (iii) with a degree of uncertainty, what is the invasion potential of dengue virus type 4 (DEN-4) in Rio de Janeiro city. Our model consists of an expression for the basic reproductive number (R0) that incorporates vector density spatial heterogeneity. To deal with the uncertainty regarding parameter values, we parameterized the model using a priori probability density functions covering a range of plausible values for each parameter. Using the Latin Hypercube Sampling procedure, values for the parameters were generated. We conclude that, even in the presence of vector spatial heterogeneity, the two most important entomological parameters to be estimated in the field are the mortality rate and the extrinsic incubation period. The spatial heterogeneity of the vector population increases the risk of epidemics and makes the control strategies more complex. At last, we conclude that Rio de Janeiro is at risk of a DEN-4 invasion. Finally, we stress the point that epidemiologists, mathematicians, and entomologists need to interact more to find better approaches to the measuring and interpretation of the transmission dynamics of arthropod-borne diseases.
Abstract in English:As a contribution to the public health authorities in planning prophylactic and therapeutic vaccine strategies, we describe the prevalence of human papillomavirus (HPV) types in women presenting abnormal cytological results in Pap smear screening tests in the Federal District, Central Brazil. We studied 129 cervical scraping samples from women whose cytological tests showed either pre-neoplastic or neoplastic lesions. Amplification of HPV DNA was performed by polymerase chain reaction using consensus primers MY09 and MY11 followed by identification of isolates by restriction fragment length polymorphism. We detected HPV DNA in 62% of the samples, including HPV-16 in 43.8%, HPV-58 in 12.5%, HPV-31 in 10%, HPV-53 in 6.3%, each of HPV-18 and HPV-33 in 3.8% of the isolates. Other types (HPV-35, -52, -66, -CP8304, -6, -11, and -CP8061) were less frequent (= or < 2.5% each). The prevalence of HPV-58 was relatively higher in this population than in data in South America, but similar to results obtained in other studies in Latin America, Europe, and Eastern Asia. Case-control studies need to be carried out to establish the association between the prevalence of HPV types specially the less frequent high-risk types and cervical cancer.
Abstract in English:Following the report of triatomine nymphs in a house in Arcadia, Miguel Pereira, state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the infested dwelling was checked. Several eggs and 46 specimens of Triatoma vitticeps (Stal, 1859) were collected. Among them, adults and nymphal instars accounted for 43.5% and 56.5%, respectively. Analysis of blood meals showed the ecletism of this species; 24 (52.2%) were single feeds, 18 insects (39.1%) fed on two hosts and 4 (8.7%) on three hosts. Trypanosoma cruzi infection rate of examined specimens was 13%. Finally one of the residents of the house was positive for anti-T. cruzi antibodies using indirect immunofluorescence.
Abstract in English:We report the first evidence of natural infection of Lymnaea columella with Fasciola hepatica in Argentina. A sample of 601 snails was collected in May 2003 in northeastern Corrientes, a province bounded on the north by Paraguay, on the east by Brazil and on the southeast by Uruguay. Among 500 examined snails, 44 (8.8%) were exclusively infected with F. hepatica. Parasite identification was based on morphological features of cercariae from snails, and of eggs and adult flukes from Wistar rats. We discuss the events suggesting that an enzootic transmission cycle of F. hepatica has been recently established in northeastern Corrientes.
Abstract in English:Angiostrongylus costaricensis intermediate hosts are terrestrial mollusks mostly belonging to the Veronicellidae family. In the present investigation we focused on the mechanisms of larval expulsion from Sarasinula marginata infected with A. costaricensis. Twenty-five mollusks were individually infected with 5000 L1 and sacrificed at 30 min and 1, 2, 4, 6, and 8 h post-infection and at days 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 20, 21, 22, 25, 26, 28, and 30 post-infection; the mollusks were then fixed and stained. Diverse organs involved throughout the course of the migratory routes of larvae from oral penetration on were specified and the mechanisms of larval access to the fibromuscular layer through the kidney, rectum, and vascular system were defined. The elimination of L3, derived from oral and/or cutaneous infections, appears to depend on granulomas located close to the excretory ducts of mucous cells.
Abstract in English:Aspects related to hatching, time-lapse between presenting the blood-meal and beginning of feeding, feeding time, postfeed defecation delay, mortality, and fecundity for each stage of Meccus longipennis life-cycle were evaluated. The bugs were maintained in a dark incubator at 27 ± 1ºC and 80 ± 5% rh, were fed weekly and checked daily for ecdysis or death. The hatching rate observed for 300 eggs was 76.7% and the average time of hatching was 19.8 days. Mean time-lapse between presentation of the blood meal and the beginning of feeding was under 5 min in nymphal stages and postfeed defecation delay was under 10 min in most stages, except in fourth and fifth stages. Mean feeding time was longer than 10 min in most stages, except in fourth stage. One hundred thirty-one nymphs (N) (65.5%) completed the cycle and the average time from NI to adult was 192.6 ± 34.8 days. The average span in days for each stage was 18.1 for NI, 21.4 for NII, 29.5 for NIII, 45.5 for NIV and 55.9 for NV. The number of bloodmeals at each nymphal stage varied from 1 to 5. The mortality rate was 3.29 for NI, 6.8 for NII, 2.92 for NIII 3.76 for NIV, and 10.16 for NV nymphs. The average number of eggs laid per female in a 9-month period was 615.6. Based on our results, we conclude that M. longipennis has some biological and behavioral characteristics which influence its capacity of becoming infected and transmitting Trypanosoma cruzi to human populations in those areas of Mexico where it is currently present.
Abstract in English:Biomphalaria glabrata and Schistosoma mansoni relationship was studied by light microscopy (LM) and freeze-fracture replica technique (FFR). We observed very thin cytoplasmic extensions of hemocytes in the LM, which then surround immobilize the miracidia. FFR images showed that the contact site between hemocytes cytoplasmic extensions and the external tegumentary coat involved only superficial layers of miracidia. Numerous vacuoles and filopodia were observed in the hemocyte cytoplasm, the latter binding with those from neighboring cells. In spite of the close interfilopodia contact, no cellular junctions were seen at these sites nor between filopodia-miracidia contact areas. The observed migration of hemocytes and their disposition in layers surrounding the miracidia in vitro correspond to previous studies.
Abstract in English:The metabolism of lipids and carbohydrates related to flight activity in Panstrongylus megistus was investigated. Insects were subjected to different times of flight under laboratory conditions and changes in total lipids, lipophorin density and carbohydrates were followed in the hemolymph. Lipids and glycogen were also assayed in fat body and flight muscle. In resting insects, hemolymph lipids averaged 3.4 mg/ml and significantly increased after 45 min of flight (8.8 mg/ml, P < 0.001). High-density lipophorin was the sole lipoprotein observed in resting animals. A second fraction with lower density corresponding to low-density lipophorin appeared in insects subjected to flight. Particles from both fractions showed significant differences in diacylglycerol content and size. In resting insects, carbohydrate levels averaged 0.52 mg/ml. They sharply declined more than twofold after 15 min of flight, being undetectable in hemolymph of insects flown for 45 min. Lipid and glycogen from fat body and flight muscle decreased significantly after 45 min of flight. Taken together, the results indicate that P. megistus uses carbohydrates during the initiation of the flight after which, switching fuel for flight from carbohydrates to lipids.
Abstract in English:Ultrathin sections of tissue cysts isolated from the brain of Toxoplasma gondii infected mice were submitted to two different methodologies derived from the periodic acid - Schiff's reagent (PAS) technique. The use of osmium tetroxide vapor as a developing agent of the aldehyde oxidation to reveal polysaccharides with periodic acid resulted in positive reaction in amylopectin granules in bradyzoites, as well as in the wall and matrix of the cysts, with excellent increment of the ultrastructural morphology. This technique can be used for study of T. gondii-host cell intracellular cycle, the differentiation tachyzoite-bradyzoite, and also for the formation of cysts into the host cells.
Abstract in English:Weaning Swiss mice were percutaneously infected with 30 cercariae of Schistosoma mansoni and submitted to a shifting either from a deficient to a balanced diet or vice-versa, for 24 weeks. The nutritional status was weekly evaluated by measurements of growth curves and food intake. Hepatic fibrosis and periovular granulomas were studied by histological, morphometric and biochemical methods. All mice fed on a deficient diet failed to develop periportal "pipestem" fibrosis after chronic infection. An unexpected finding was the absence of pipestem fibrosis in mice on normal diet, probably related to the sample size. The lower values for nutritional parameters were mainly due to the deficient diet, rather than to infection. Liver/body weight ratio was higher in "early undernutrition" group, after shifting to the balanced diet. Volume density and numerical density of egg granulomas reached lowest values in undernourished animals. The amount of collagen was reduced in undernourished mice, attaining higher concentrations in well-fed controls and in "late undernutrition" (balanced diet shifted to a deficient one), where collagen deposition appeared increased in granulomas. That finding suggested interference with collagen degradation and resorption in "late" undernourished animals. Thus, host nutritional status plays a role in connective tissue changes of hepatic schistosomiasis in mice.
Abstract in English:Five parasites are described in the lizard Amphisbaena alba (Amphisbaenidae) from the state of Pará, North Brazil. Mature oocysts of Choleoeimeria amphisbaenae n. sp., are passed already mature in the faeces. They are ellipsoidal-cylindrical, average 33.7 x 22.8 µm and are devoid of micropyle, oocyst residuum or polar body. The colourless wall is smooth and of 2 layers. The 4 dizoic sporocysts have no Stieda body and average 13 x 9.3 µm. Endogenous stages develop in the epithelial cells of the gall-bladder in the manner described for the genus and may cause extensive tissue damage. Sporulation of Isospora capanemaensis n. sp., is completed 3 days after the oocysts are voided in the faeces. They average 14.8 x 14.5 µm and have no micropyle, oocyst residuum or polar body. The 2 tetrazoic sporocysts are pear-shaped, average 8.6 x 6.6 and have an inconspicuous Stieda body. Endogenous development is in the epithelial cells of the ileum, and heavy infections cause considerable tissue destruction. Multisporocystic oocysts passed in the faeces of one A. alba possibly originated from an invertebrate host ingested by the lizard. A globidium-like cyst in the digestive tract of A. alba measured 105 x 85 µm and contained many hundreds of merozoites. A stained kidney smear of the same lizard revealed the presence of an unidentified parasite producing multinucleate cyst-like stages.
Abstract in English:The aim of this note was to record for the first time the finding of Hemilucilia segmentaria acting as biological vector of Dermatobia hominis, during a study of the diversity of Calliphoridae at Reserva Biológica do Tinguá, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The insects were captured using traps baited with chicken vicera, for a period of 28-30 h twice per month. In the period of one year, 1987 insects were collected, 7.5% of which belonged to the H. segmentaria; of these a female was captured in May 2001, carrying a mass of 20 eggs on the left side of its abdomen.
Abstract in English:The subfamily Triatominae is actually represented by 137 species distributed among 6 tribes and 19 genera. Within this subfamily, the genus Panstrongylus, Berg 1879, is composed by 13 species widespread in sylvatic, peridomestic, and domestic habitats of Neotropical regions. These species are vectors of Chagas disease and consequently are found associated with its main hosts, such as birds and mammals. Interest in species of this genus has been increasing in the last few years. Reports of several authors indicate these Triatominae to invade and colonize houses, increasing their epidemiological significance. Morphometry was used in this study to investigate correlations among possible closely related species. We measured 224 specimens among 13 species through a set of metric variables of the head. The results indicated that the genus Panstrongylus seems to be homogeneous since 10 of the 14 species were shown to be closely related.
Abstract in English:The participation of cell adhesion molecules (CAMs) in the establishment of autoimmune and infectious myocarditis is an important matter of investigation and may have therapeutic implication. Trypanosoma cruzi infection induces a CD8-mediated myocarditis in patients with severe cardiomyopathy and experimental animals. Previously, we have proposed that this predominance of CD8+ T-cells is, at least in part, consequence of the differential expression of CAMs on circulating CD8+ lymphocytes. In the present study we investigated the participation of CAMs in shaping the phenotypic nature of the autoimmune CD4-mediated myosin-induced and the CD8-mediated T. cruzi-elicited myocarditis. We provide evidence that the prevalence of a certain T-cell subset inside the inflamed heart reflects the differential profile of the adhesion molecules VLA-4, LFA-1, and ICAM-1 displayed on a large proportion of this particular T-cell population in peripheral blood during the early phase of inflammation. Further, the expression of VCAM-1, ligand for VLA-4, and ICAM-1, counter-receptor for LFA-1, was up-regulated on vascular endothelium and paralleled the entrance of inflammatory cells into the cardiac tissue. Thus, this up-regulated expression of receptors-counter-receptors that regulate T-cell transmigration through the vascular endothelium may have an important role in the pathogenesis of the early phase of both autoimmune and infectious myocarditis.
Abstract in English:In this study we have examined certain aspects of the process of cell invasion and parasitophorous vacuole escape by metacyclic trypomastigotes and extracellular amastigote forms of Trypanosoma cruzi (G strain). Using Vero (and HeLa) cells as targets, we detected differences in the kinetics of vacuole escape by the two forms. Alcalinization of intercellular pH influenced both invasion as well as the escape from the parasitophorous vacuole by metacyclic trypomastigotes, but not the escape kinetics of extracellular amastigotes. We used sialic acid mutants as target cells and observed that the deficiency of this molecule facilitated the escape of both infective forms. Hemolysin activity was only detected in extracellular amastigotes and neither form presented detectable transialidase activity. Invasion of extracellular amastigotes and trypomastigotes in Vero cells was affected in different ways by drugs that interfere with host cell Ca2+ mobilization. These results are in line with previous results that indicate that metacyclic trypomastigotes and extracellular amastigote forms utilize mechanisms with particular features to invade host cells and to escape from their parasitophorous vacuoles.
Abstract in English:Plumbagin is a naturally occurring naphthoquinone isolated from roots of Plumbago scandens. The plant was collected at the Campus of Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. P. scandens is used as a traditional medicine for the treatment of several diseases. The antimicrobial activity of plumbagin was evaluated using the macrodilution method. The compound exhibited relatively specific activity against bacteria and yeast. The minimum inhibitory concentration test showed the growth inhibiton of Staphylococcus aureus at a concentration of 1.56 µg/ml and of Candida albicans at a concentration of 0.78 µg/ml. These results suggest the naphthoquinone plumbagin as a promising antimicrobial agent.
Abstract in English:The essential oil and the aqueous, hexane and methanolic fractions from Hyptis ovalifolia leaves were evaluated for their antifungal activity in vitro against 60 strains of dermatophytes: 10 strains of Microsporum canis, 10 of M. gypseum, 20 of Trichophyton rubrum and 20 of T. mentagrophytes. The extracts inhibited growth of the dermatophytes tested at different concentrations. The most biologically active was the essential oil from the leaves which inhibited 57 isolates (95%) at a concentration of £ 500 µg/ml.
Abstract in English:A total of 103 isolates of basidiomycetes, representing 84 species from different Brazilian ecosystems, were evaluated for their antifungal and antibacterial activity in a panel of pathogenic and non-pathogenic microorganisms. Tissue plugs of the fruiting bodies were cultivated in liquid media and the whole culture extracted with ethyl acetate. Crude extracts from Agaricus cf. nigrecentulus, Agrocybe perfecta, Climacodon pulcherrimus, Gloeoporus thelephoroides, Hexagonia hydnoides, Irpex lacteus, Leucoagaricus cf. cinereus, Marasmius cf. bellus, Marasmius sp., Nothopanus hygrophanus, Oudemansiella canarii, Pycnoporus sanguineus, Phellinus sp., and Tyromyces duracinus presented significant activity against one or more of the target microorganisms. Eight isolates were active only against bacteria while three inhibited exclusively the growth of fungi. Two extracts presented wide antimicrobial spectrum and were active against both fungi and bacteria. Differences in the bioactivity of extracts obtained from isolates from the same species were observed.
Abstract in English:We investigated the residual efficacy of four insecticide formulations used in Chagas disease vector control campaigns: cyfluthrin 12.5% suspension concentrace (SC), lambda-cyhalothrin 10% wettable powder (WP), deltamethrin 2.5% SC, and 2.5% WP on four types of circular blocks of wood, straw with mud, straw with mud painted with lime, and mud containing 5% of cement. Three concentrations of these insecticides were tested: the LC90 (previously determined on filter paper), the double of the LC90, and the recommended operational dose. For each bioassay test, 15 third-stage nymphs of Triatoma infestans (Klug) (Hemiptera: Reduviidae) were exposed for 120 h to each treatment at 24 h, 30, 60, 90, and 180 days post-spraying. Mortality rates, moulting history and behaviour were recorded at 24, 48, 72, and 120 h of exposure. Mortality rates were highest during the first 30 days post-spraying. Highest mortality rates (above 50%) were observed for deltamethrin 2.5% SC and lambda-cyhalothrin 10% WP on wood blocks up to three months post-spraying. Mud was the substrate on which treatments showed lowest persistence, with the other two substrates showing intermediate residual efficacy of all treatments. During the first 30 days WP formulations were not as effective as SC flowable formulations but, overall in the longer term, WP gave grater mortality rates of T. infestans nymphs exposed at up to six months post-spraying. Porous surfaces, especially mud, showed most variability presumably due to absorption of the insecticide. In contrast the less porous surfaces (i.e. wood and lime-coated mud) kept mortality rates high for longer post-treatment, irrespective of the insecticide concentration used.
Abstract in English:The molluscicidal evaluation of Euphorbia splendens var. hislopii (Crown of thorns) against Lymnaea columella snails, intermediate host of Fasciola hepatica, in irrigation ditches of the Pisciculture Station at Universidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro, was studied under limited field conditions. An aqueous solution of the latex at 5 mg/l was tested in two irrigation ditches (experimental and control ditches), after initial sampling of the snail population present. Twenty-four hours after application of the product, it was verified that 97.4% of free L. columella snails and 100% of snails of the same species captive in cages and used as sentinels at three points equidistant from the application site in the experimental ditch, died. For Biomphalaria tenagophila and Melanoides tuberculata snails, present in the experimental ditch, the mortality was 100%, for the species Pomacea spp. the mortality was 40%. No mortality was verified in the free mollusks, or in the sentinels in the ditch used as control. E. splendens var. hislopii latex is thus an efficient natural molluscicide, which may be used as an alternative control agent against L. columella.