Abstract in English:This study aimed at identifying the best ovitrap installation sites for gravid Aedes aegypti in Mirassol, state of São Paulo, Brazil. Ovitraps were installed in ten houses per block over ten blocks. Four ovitraps were placed per residence, one in the bedroom, one in the living room, and two outdoors with one in a sheltered area and one in an outside site. Each week for eleven weeks, visits were made to examine the ovitraps and to change the paddles used for egg-laying. Eggs were analyzed according to the trap location. The results showed that the outdoor sites received significantly more oviposition than indoor sites. Additionally, in respect to the outdoor sites, the outside site received significantly more oviposition than the sheltered site. A b correlation was observed between positive traps and egg numbers. The results are discussed with respect to the best installation site of the traps and their implications in surveillance and control of dengue vectors.
Abstract in English:Hepatitis C virus (HCV) has been a significant problem for hemodialysis patients. However this infection has declined in regions where the screening for anti-HCV in blood banks and hemodialysis-specific infection control measures were adopted. In Brazil, these measures were implemented in 1993 and 1996, respectively. In addition, all studied units have implemented isolation of anti-HCV positive patients since 2000. In order to evaluate the impact of these policies in the HCV infection prevalence, accumulated incidence, and risk factors in hemodialysis population of Goiânia City, Central Brazil, all patients were interviewed and serum samples tested for HCV antibodies in 1993, 1996, 1999, and 2002. In the first six years (1993-1999), anti-HCV prevalence increased from 28.2 to 37.2%, however a b decrease in positivity was detected between 1999 and 2002 (37.8 vs 16.5%) when the measures were fully implemented. Also, a decrease of the anti-HCV accumulated incidence in cohorts of susceptible individuals during 1993-2002 (71%), 1996-2002 (34.2%), and 1999-2002 (11.7%) was found. Analysis of risk factors showed that length of time on hemodialysis, blood transfusion before screening for anti-HCV and treatment in multiple units were statistically associated with anti-HCV (p < 0.05). Our study showed a significant decline of hepatitis C infection in hemodialysis patients of Central Brazil, ratifying the importance of public health strategies for control and prevention of hepatitis C in the hemodialysis units.
Abstract in English:In this study it was compared the MAS-100 and the Andersen air samplers' performances and a similar trend in both instruments was observed. It was also evaluated the microbial contamination levels in 3060 samples of offices, hospitals, industries, and shopping centers, in the period of 1998 to 2002, in Rio de Janeiro city. Considering each environment, 94.3 to 99.4% of the samples were the allowed limit in Brazil (750 CFU/m³). The industries' results showed more important similarity among fungi and total heterotrophs distributions, with the majority of the results between zero and 100 CFU/m³. The offices' results showed dispersion around 300 CFU/m³. The hospitals' results presented the same trend, with an average of 200 CFU/m³. Shopping centers' environments showed an average of 300 CFU/m³ for fungi, but presented a larger dispersion pattern for the total heterotrophs, with the highest average (1000 CFU/m³). It was also investigated the correlation of the sampling period with the number of airborne microorganisms and with the environmental parameters (temperature and air humidity) through the principal components analysis. All indoor air samples distributions were very similar. The temperature and air humidity had no significant influence on the samples dispersion patterns.
Abstract in English:We report the frequency of the different diarrheagenic Escherichia coli (DEC) categories isolated from children with acute endemic diarrhea in Salvador, Bahia. The E. coli isolates were investigated by colony blot hibridization whit the following genes probes: eae, EAF, bfpA, Stx1, Stx2, ST-Ih, ST-Ip, LT-I, LT-II, INV, and EAEC, as virulence markers to distinguish typical and atypical EPEC, EHEC/STEC, ETEC, EIEC, and EAEC. Seven of the eight categories of DEC were detected. The most frequently isolated was atypical EPEC (10.1%) followed by ETEC (7.5%), and EAEC (4.2%). EHEC, STEC, EIEC, and typical EPEC were each detected once. The strains of ETEC, EAEC, and atypical EPEC belonged to a wide variety of serotypes. The serotypes of the others categories were O26:H11 (EHEC), O21:H21 (STEC), O142:H34 (typical EPEC), and O?H55 (EIEC). We also present the clinical manifestations and other pathogenic species observed in children with DEC. This is the first report of EHEC and STEC in Salvador, and one of the first in Brazil.
Abstract in English:Passive surveillance of infectious diseases with a high percentage of asymptomatic cases or long incubation periods, such as acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), does not reflect the current transmission dynamics. Thus, a multi-strategic surveillance, such as the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) sentinel surveillance proposed by the World Health Organization (WHO), is necessary. The Brazilian HIV sentinel surveillance was started in May 1992 with this purpose. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the feasibility and costs of HIV and hepatitis C virus (HCV) surveillance using dried blood spots (DBS) collected for neonatal screening of metabolic diseases in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. This was accomplished through the comparison of HIV and HCV seroprevalence with previous Brazilian studies. From December 2001 to June 2002, 24,905 newborns were tested for HIV and 4211 for HCV. HIV seroprevalence was 0.25% and the 95% confidence interval (CI) was 0.18, 0.31%; and HCV seroprevalence was 0.71% and the 95% CI was 0.46, 0.97%. These numbers are similar to previous Brazilian studies. Cost in this study was approximately US$ 3.10 per sample, which was roughly one third of the cost of the same exam at the Brazilian HIV sentinel surveillance. We conclude that it is possible and more cost-effective to use DBS for infectious diseases surveillance, albeit it is still necessary to compare these results with the usual sentinel methodology in a concomitant trial.
Abstract in English:The present work evaluated the epidemiology of human immunodeficiency virus 1/human T-cell lymphotropic virus (HIV-1/HTLV) coinfection in patients living in Belém (state of Pará) and Macapá (state of Amapá), two cities located in the Amazon region of Brazil. A total of 169 blood samples were collected. The sera were tested by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay to determine the presence of antibodies anti-HTLV-1/2. Confirmation of infection and discrimination of HTLV types and subtypes was performed using a nested polymerase chain reaction targeting the pX and 5' LTR regions, followed by restriction fragment length polymorphism and sequencing analysis. The presence of anti-HTLV1/2 was detected in six patients from Belém. The amplification of the pX region followed by RFLP analysis, demonstrated the presence of HTLV-1 and HTLV-2 infections among two and four patients, respectively. Sequencing HTLV-1 5' LTR indicated that the virus is a member of the Cosmopolitan Group, Transcontinental subgroup. HTLV-2 strains isolated revealed a molecular profile of subtype HTLV-2c. These results are a reflex of the epidemiological features of HIV-1/HTLV-1/2 coinfection in the North region of Brazil, which is distinct from other Brazilian regions, as reported by previous studies.
Abstract in English:Here we report the subcellular localization of an intracellular serine protease of 68 kDa in axenic promastigotes of Leishmania (Leishmania) amazonensis, using subcellular fractionation, enzymatic assays, immunoblotting, and immunocytochemistry. All fractions were evaluated by transmission electron microscopy and the serine protease activity was measured during the cell fractionation procedure using a-N-r-tosyl-L-arginine methyl ester (L-TAME) as substrate, phenylmethylsulphone fluoride (PMSF) and L-1-tosylamino-2-phenylethylchloromethylketone (TPCK) as specific inhibitors. The enzymatic activity was detected mainly in a membranous vesicular fraction (6.5-fold enrichment relative to the whole homogenate), but also in a crude plasma membrane fraction (2.0-fold). Analysis by SDS-PAGE gelatin under reducing conditions demonstrated that the major proteolytic activity was found in a 68 kDa protein in all fractions studied. A protein with identical molecular weight was also recognized in immunoblots by a polyclonal antibody against serine protease (anti-SP), with higher immunoreactivity in the vesicular fraction. Electron microscopic immunolocalization using the same polyclonal antibody showed the enzyme present at the cell surface, as well as in cytoplasmic membranous compartments of the parasite. Our findings indicate that the internal location of this serine protease in L. amazonensis is mainly restricted to the membranes of intracellular compartments resembling endocytic/exocytic elements.
Abstract in English:A total of 880 expressed sequence tags (EST) originated from clones randomly selected from a Trypanosoma cruzi amastigote cDNA library have been analyzed. Of these, 40% (355 ESTs) have been identified by similarity to sequences in public databases and classified according to functional categorization of their putative products. About 11% of the mRNAs expressed in amastigotes are related to the translational machinery, and a large number of them (9% of the total number of clones in the library) encode ribosomal proteins. A comparative analysis with a previous study, where clones from the same library were selected using sera from patients with Chagas disease, revealed that ribosomal proteins also represent the largest class of antigen coding genes expressed in amastigotes (54% of all immunoselected clones). However, although more than thirty classes of ribosomal proteins were identified by EST analysis, the results of the immunoscreening indicated that only a particular subset of them contains major antigenic determinants recognized by antibodies from Chagas disease patients.
Abstract in English:Trypanosoma cruzi expresses mucin like glycoproteins encoded by a complex multigene family. In this work, we report the transcription in T. cruzi but not in T. rangeli of a mucin type gene automatically annotated by the T. cruzi genome project. The gene showed no nucleotide similarities with the previously reported T. cruzi mucin like genes, although the computational analysis of the deduced protein showed that it has the characteristic features of mucins: a signal peptide sequence, O-glycosylation sites, and glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchor sequence. The presence in this gene of N- terminal and C- terminal coding sequences common to other annotated mucin like genes suggests the existence of a new mucin like gene family.
Abstract in English:We report the effect of Stryphnodendron adstringens on the trypanosomatid Herpetomonas samuelpessoai. The parasites were grown at 28ºC in a chemically defined medium containing crude extract and fractions at concentrations from 100 to 5000 µg/ml obtained from S. adstringens. Concentrations of 500, 1000, 2500, and 5000 µg/ml both crude extract and semi-purified fraction progressively inhibited the protozoans' growth. At a concentration of 100 µg/ml, crude extract or a semi-purified (F3) fraction did not affect the growth of the protozoans. The F3-9 - F3-12 sub-fractions, at a concentration of 1000 µg/ml, also showed increased inhibitory activity on H. samuelpessoai. The IC50 of the crude extract and the F3 fraction were 538 and 634 µg/ml, respectively. Ultrastructural and enzymatic alterations in the trypanosomatids were also evaluated. H. samuelpessoai cultivated in the presence of IC50 crude extract showed considerable ultrastructural alterations, such as marked mitochondrial swelling with a large number of cristae and evident Golgi complex vesiculation, as observed by transmission electron microscopy. Cells exposed to 538 µg/ml of crude extract at 28ºC for 72 h, showed decreased activity of the enzyme succinate cytochrome c reductase, a typical mitochondrion marker, as compared to untreated cells
Abstract in English:Preliminary studies were carried out to investigate the role of filarial specific antibodies, raised in an animal model against the filarial parasite, Brugia malayi (sub-periodic), in blocking their early development in an experimental mosquito host, Aedes aegypti (Liverpool strain). In order to generate filarial specific antibodies, Mongolian gerbils, Meriones unguiculatus, were immunized either with live microfilariae (mf) of B. malayi or their homogenate. Mf were harvested from the peritoneal cavity of Mongolian gerbils with patent infection of B. malayi and fed to A. aegypti along with the blood from immunized animals. Development of the parasite in infected mosquitoes was monitored until they reached infective stage larvae (L3). Fewer number of parasites developed to first stage (L1) and subsequently to L2 and L3 in mosquitoes fed with blood of immunized animals, when compared to those fed with blood of control animals. The results thus indicated that filarial parasite specific antibodies present in the blood of the immunized animals resulted in the reduction of number of larvae of B. malayi developing in the mosquito host.
Abstract in English:Angiostrongylus costaricensis lives in the cecal and mesenteric arteries of its vertebrate hosts, and causes an inflammatory disease in humans. To investigate unknown aspects of the abdominal angiostrogyliasis pathogenesis, infected Sigmodon hispidus were sequentially studied in different times of infection. The study revealed that L3 goes alternatively through two migratory courses during its development into an adult worm: lymphatic/venous-arterial and venous portal pathways. The former is considered the principal one, because it is used by most of the larvae. Like other metastrongylides, A. costaricensis passes over the pulmonary circulation to migrate from the lymphatic system to the arterial circulation, where they circulate during some days before reaching their definitive habitat. The oviposition by mature females began on 15th day. Eggs and L1 were detected mainly in the intestine and stomach, surrounded by inflammatory reaction constituted by macrophages, monocytes, and eosinophils. They were also spread to the lungs, mesenteric lymph nodes, pancreas, spleen, and kidneys. The larvae (L1) exhibited the centripetal capacity to invade the lymphatic and venous vessels of the intestine and mesentery. Adult worms that developed in the venous intrahepatic pathway migrated downstream to reach the mesenteric veins and laid eggs that embolized in the portal hepatic vessels.
Abstract in English:IgM-ELISA is an immunoenzymatic method useful for detection of IgM antibodies against a fraction of Schistosoma mansoni adult worm antigen (AWA) that is soluble in trichloroacetic acid (AWA-TCA). This method was applied to three groups of individuals with different clinical and epidemiological characteristics, and the results compared with those obtained by other diagnostic methods: immunofluorescence test for detection of IgM antibodies (IgM-IFT) or IgG antibodies (IgG-IFT), ELISA for detection of IgG antibodies (IgG-ELISA), and two parasitological methods, Kato-Katz and miracidium hatching. The IgM-ELISA presented a sensitivity of 98%, when the parasitologic fecal examination was defined as reference diagnostic method, and a specificity of 98 and 97.3%, respectively for the group of clinically healthy individuals and other helminth carriers. A comparative analysis between the results of IgM-ELISA and those obtained by other serologic tests showed a good degree of agreement, with Kappa indices ranging from 0.95 to 0.98. The diagnostic efficacy of 97.8%, as determined with schistosomiasis patients with low parasitic burden, suggests the excellent performance of the IgM-ELISA and its usefulness for the diagnosis of schistosomiasis when applied in low endemic areas.
Abstract in English:Paired samples of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and serum of 30 patients - 10 with active, 10 with inactive neurocysticercosis (NCC), and 10 control subjects - were evaluated by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) using two Taenia crassiceps metacestode extracts as antigen in order to detect IgG antibodies. In active NCC, high levels of IgG were detected (p < 0.05). The CSF samples showed 80% (CI 72-88) of reactivity in the saline extract (S) and 90% (CI 84-95) in sodium dodecyl sulphate (SDS) and the serum samples were reactive in 90% (CI 84-95) and 100% (CI 98-100) in the S and SDS antigenic extracts, respectively. The use of the paired samples of CSF and serum in active NCC showed equivalent results suggesting that the serum samples could be used as a screening in those patients whose CSF puncture is counter-indicated.
Abstract in English:This study aimed to analyze the final fermentation culture of Bacillus sphaericus 2362, standardize it and develop an active tablet formulation for use in urban mosquito breeding sites. It was performed in three phases: analysis and standardization of a B. sphaericus fermented culture; physical, chemical, and biological analysis of the active powder (solubility, residual humidity, particle size, resting angle, flowing off time, compacted density, and biological activity against Culex quinquefasciatus larvae); and the development of fast-disintegrating tablets. Five formulations with differing compositions were developed and a UV protector was added to the selected formulation. The formulation products with or without UV protector, as well as the active powder caused 100% larval mortality from 1 day to 2 months after a single treatment under simulated field conditions. These results show that the UV protector does not affect the initial larvicide activity of B. sphaericus, nor its persistence over a period of two months.
Abstract in English:Several Brazilian Aedes aegypti populations are resistant to the larvicidae temephos. Methoprene, that inhibits adult emergence, is one of the alternatives envisaged by the Brazilian Dengue Control Program (PNCD). However, at Brazil vector infestation rates are measured through larvae indexes and it has been claimed that methoprene use in the field could face operational problems. In order to define a standardized protocol, methoprene effect was evaluated in laboratory conditions after continuous exposure of larvae (Rockefeller strain) to a methoprene formulation available to the PNCD. Methoprene-derived mortality occurs mainly at the pupa stage and pupa development is inversely proportional to methoprene concentration. Number and viability of eggs laid by treated and control females are equivalent. A methoprene dose-dependent delay in the development was noted; however, b correlations were found for total mortality or adult emergence inhibition if data obtained when all control mosquitoes have emerged are compared to data obtained when methoprene-treated groups finish development. The cumulative record of total methoprene-induced mortality at the time control adults emerge is proposed for routine evaluation of field populations. Mortality of all specimens, but not of larva, could account for adult emergence inhibition, confirming the inadequacy of larvae indexes to evaluate methoprene effect.
Abstract in English:Resistance to cypermethrin of different Aedes aegypti Brazilian populations, collected at two successive periods (2001 and 2002/2003), was monitored using the insecticide-coated bottles bioassay. Slight modifications were included in the method to discriminate between mortality and the knock down effect. Although this pyrethroid was recently started to be used in the country to control the dengue vector, a decrease in susceptibility was noted between both periods analyzed, particularly in the city of Rio de Janeiro. The results indicate that resistance is due at least in part to a target site alteration.
Abstract in English:Several cases of therapeutic failure of praziquantel used for the treatment of urinary schistosomiasis have been reported. Alternative drugs, like niridazol and metrifonate, have shown a lower therapeutic effect and more side effects than praziquantel. Twenty-six Brazilian military men (median age of 29 years) with a positive urine parasitological exam who were part of a United Nation peace mission in Mozambique in 1994 were treated with 40 mg/kg body weight praziquantel, single dose. They swimmed in Licungo river (Mocuba city, Mozambique) during the weekends. After this, they presented haematuria, dysuria, polakiuria, and lumbar pain. Control cystoscopy examinations carried out between 6 and 24 months after each treatment (including two additional treatments at a minimum interval of 6 months) revealed the presence of viable eggs. Granulomas in the vesical submucosa were observed in 46.2% (12/26) of the individuals. A vesical biopsy confirmed the presence of granulomas in all of these patients and the presence of viable eggs in 34.3% (9/26) of individuals who no longer excreted eggs in urine. The eggs filled with miracidia showed characteristics of viability. Histopathological examination using different strains demonstrated therapeutic failure and the need for repeated treatment. In this study, we demonstrated a low efficacy of praziquantel in the treatment of schistosomiasis haematobia, and the necessity of the urinary bladder biopsy as criterion of cure.
Abstract in English:Antimalarial drugs including the antifolate, pyrimethamine-sulfadoxine (PS), can modulate the prevalence and intensities of gametocytaemia following treatment of acute malaria infections. They may also directly influence the transmission and spread of drug insensitivity. Little is known of the effects of co-trimoxazole (Co-T), another antifolate antimalarial, on gametocytes in children with acute malaria infections. We compared the effects of Co-T and PS on the prevalence and intensities of gametocytaemia and gametocyte sex ratios in 102 children aged 0.5-12 years presenting with acute and uncomplicated falciparum malaria. Compared to pre-treatment, both drugs significantly increased gametocyte carriage post-initiation of treatment. However, gametocyte carriage was significantly lower on day 14 in those treated with Co-T than PS. Significant increase in gametocytaemia with time occurred in PS - but not Co-T-treated children. Kaplan-Meier survival curve of the cumulative probability of remaining gametocyte-free in children who were agametocytaemic at enrolment showed that by day 7 of follow up, children treated with PS had a significantly higher propensity to have developed gametocytes than in Co-T-treated children (Log-rank statistic 5.35, df = 1, P = 0.02). Gametocyte sex ratio changes were similar following treatment with both drugs. PS and Co-T treatment of acute malaria infections in children from this endemic area is associated with significant increases in prevalence and intensities of gametocytaemia but these effects are more marked in those treated with PS than Co-T.