Abstract in English:Despite highly active anti-retroviral therapy, cryptococcal meningoencephalitis is the second most prevalent neurological disease in Brazilian AIDS patients, being frequently a defining condition with several episodes. As knowledge of Cryptococcus neoformans isolates in the same episode is critical for understanding why some patients develop several episodes, we investigated the genotype characteristics of C. neoformans isolates in two different situations. By pulsed field gel electrophoresis and random amplifield polymorphic DNA analysis, 54 isolates from 12 patients with AIDS and cryptococcosis were analyzed. Group 1 comprised 39 isolates from nine patients with a single episode and hospitalization. Group 2 comprised 15 isolates from three patients with two episodes and hospitalizations. Except for three patients from group 1 probably infected with a single C. neoformans isolate, the other nine patients probably were infected with multiple isolates selected in different collection periods, or the infecting isolate might have underwent mutation to adapt and survive the host immune system and/or the antifungal therapy. However, the three patients from group 2 presented genetic diversity among isolates collected in both hospitalizations, possibly having hosted the initial isolate in both periods. These data, emphasize that Cryptococcus diversity in infection can contribute to strategies of treatment and prevention of cryptococcosis.
Abstract in English:This study aimed to analyze human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) mutation profiles related to antiretroviral resistance following therapeutic failure, and the distribution of hiv subtypes in the Northeast Region of Brazil. A total of 576 blood samples from AIDS patients presenting therapeutic failure between 2002 and 2004 were analyzed. The genotyping kit viroSeq® was used to perform viral amplification in order to identify mutations related to hiv pol gene resistance. An index of 91.1% of the patients presented mutations for nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (nrti), 58.7% for non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (nnrti), and 94.8% for protease inhibitors (pi). The most prevalent mutations were 184V and 215E for nrti, 103N and 190A for nnrti. Most mutations associated with PIs were secondary, but significant frequencies were observed in codons 90 (25.2%), 82 (21.1%), and 30 (16.2%). The resistance index to one class of antiretrovirals was 14%, to two classes of antiretrovirals 61%, and to three classes 18.9%. Subtype B was the most prevalent (82.4%) followed by subtype F (11.8%). The prevalence of mutations related to nrti and nnrti was the same in the two subtypes, but codon analysis related to PI showed a higher frequency of mutations in codon 63 in subtype B and in codon 36 in subtype F. The present study showed that there was a high frequency of primary mutations, which offered resistance to nrti and nnrti. Monitoring patients with treatment failure is an important tool for aiding physicians in rescue therapy.
Abstract in English:This study investigated rickettsial infection in animals, humans, ticks, and fleas collected in five areas of the state of São Paulo. Eight flea species (Adoratopsylla antiquorum antiquorum, Ctenocephalides felis felis, Polygenis atopus, Polygenis rimatus, Polygenis roberti roberti, Polygenis tripus, Rhopalopsyllus lugubris, and Rhopalopsyllus lutzi lutzi), and five tick species (Amblyomma aureolatum, Amblyomma cajennense, Amblyomma dubitatum, Ixodes loricatus, and Rhipicephalus sanguineus) were collected from dogs, cats, and opossums. Rickettsia felis was the only rickettsia found infecting fleas, whereas Rickettsia bellii was the only agent infecting ticks, but no animal or human blood was shown to contain rickettsial DNA. Testing animal and human sera by indirect immunofluorescence assay against four rickettsia antigens (R. rickettsii, R. parkeri, R. felis, and R. bellii), some opossum, dog, horse, and human sera reacted to R. rickettsii with titers at least four-fold higher than to the other three rickettsial antigens. These sera were considered to have a predominant antibody response to R. rickettsii. Using the same criteria, opossum, dog, and horse sera showed predominant antibody response to R. parkeri or a very closely related genotype. Our serological results suggest that both R. rickettsii and R. parkeri infected animals and/or humans in the studied areas.
Abstract in English:Triatoma mexicana was described by Herrich-Schaeffer in 1848. In 1940, a male specimen was found in Hidalgo. In 1970, this species was recorded in the state of Queretaro. Later, it was registered in Guanajuato and San Luis Potosi. In the present paper we performed an investigation in 545 dwellings from three counties in the state of Guanajuato, Mexico, from March 2003 to May 2004. The search and capture of triatomines were seasonally performed indoors and outdoors. Entomological indexes were calculated. The risk and no risk relations between triatomine presence and housing construction materials were analyzed. Fourteen triatomines were collected indoors and 151 outdoors. The vectors were collected in houses built with either risky and non-risky materials. Adults go indoors but do not settle there, hence, no relationship was found between the building materials and infestation of houses. Conventional interventions like house improvement or insecticide spraying are not efficient for the control of T. mexicana, because its developmental cycle is accomplished outdoors in the area surrounding the houses.
Abstract in English:As part of an ongoing study on the features of AIDS spread towards small cities and rural areas, we present a molecular survey of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) polymerase sequences recovered between 2004 and 2006 from 71 patients receiving care in the city of Saquarema, inner state of Rio de Janeiro. Phylogenetic reconstructions found the two prevalent lineages in the state (subtypes B [59 strains, 83.1%], F1 [6 strains; 8.4%], and BF1 recombinants [four strains; 5.6%]), as well as two (2.8%) CRF02_AG strains, which seems to be an emerging lineage in the capital. These CRF02_AG sequences were recovered from a married heterosexual couple who never traveled abroad, thus providing the first molecular evidence of autochthonous horizontal transmission of this lineage of major global importance. Also, three phylogenetic clusters of strains recovered from a total of 18.3% of the cohort were uncovered. Their close genetic relatedness suggests they were recovered from patients who probably took part in the same chain of viral spread. In conjunction with our previous surveys from inner Rio de Janeiro, these results suggest that although small cities harbor unique molecular features of HIV-1 infection, they also clearly reflect and may rapidly absorb the diversity recorded in large urban centers.
Abstract in English:Highly active antiretroviral treatment (HAART) of human immunodeficiency type 1 (HIV-1) infection is very effective in controlling infection, but elimination of viral infection has not been achieved as yet, and upon treatment interruption an immediate rebound of viremia is observed. A combination of HAART with an immune stimulation might allow treatment interruption without this rebounding viremia, as the very low viremias observed with successful HAART may be insufficient to permit maintenance of a specific anti-HIV-1 immune response. The objective of this study was to compare the humoral immune response of individuals undergoing successful HAART (NF=no failure) with that of individuals with evidence of failure of therapy (FT) and to verify if the viremia peaks observed in individuals with therapy failure would act as a specific stimulus for the humoral anti-HIV-1 immune response. Antibodies binding to gp120 V3 genotype consensus peptides were more frequently observed for FT, mainly against peptides corresponding to sequences of genotypes prevalent in the Rio de Janeiro city area, B and F. HIV-1 neutralization of HIV-1 IIIB and of four primary isolates from Rio de Janeiro was less frequently observed for plasma from the NF than the FT group, but this difference was more expressive when plasma from individuals with detectable viremia were compared to that of individuals with undetectable viral loads in the year before sample collection. Although statistically significant differences were observed only in some specific comparisons, the study indicates that presence of detectable viremia may contribute to the maintenance of a specific anti-HIV-1 humoral immune response.
Abstract in English:PCR analysis of 16S-23S internal transcribed spacer (PCR ribotyping) and tRNA intergenic spacer (tDNA-PCR) were evaluated for their effectiveness in identification of clinical strains of Klebsiella pneumoniae and differentiation with related species. For this purpose both methods were applied to forty-three clinical isolates biochemically identified as K. pneumoniae subsp. pneumoniae isolated from patients clinical specimens attended at five hospitals in three Brazilian cities. References strains of K. pneumoniae subsp. pneumoniae, K. pneumoniae subsp. ozaenae, K. oxytoca, K. planticola and Enterobacter aerogenes were also analyzed. Both PCR methods showed specific patterns for each species. A conserved PCR ribotype pattern was observed for all clinical K. pneumoniae isolates, while differing from other related analyzed species. tDNA-PCR revealed five distinct patterns among the K. pneumoniae clinical isolates studied, demonstrating a predominant group with 90,6% of isolates presenting the same pattern of K. pneumoniae type strain. Both PCR-based methods were not able to differentiate K. pneumoniae subspecies. On the basis of the results obtained, both methods were efficient to differentiate the Klebsiella species analyzed, as well as E. aerogenes. Meanwhile tDNA-PCR revealed different tRNA arrangements in K. pneumoniae, suggesting intra-species heterogeneity of their genome organization, the polymorphism of the intergenic spacers between 16S and 23S rRNA genes appears to be highly conserved whithin K. pneumoniae clinical isolates, showing that PCR ribotyping can be an useful tool for identification of K. pneumoniae isolates.
Abstract in English:A male of a new species Micropygomyia (Micropygomyia) ancashensis sp. nov. and a female of the Lutzomyia (Helcocyrtomyia) chavinensis Pérez & Ogusuku, 1999 captured in the Antonio Raymondi province, department of Ancash, Peru are described and illustrated. The new species belongs to the cayennensis series, being closest to Mi. lewisi (Feliciangeli Ordoñez & Férnandez) though presenting highly sclerotized pseudotracheae on the labella that seem to constitute an autapomorphy among American Phlebotominae, and a clypeus almost completely covered with setae, as in Warileya. The female of Lu. chavinensis is close to those of Lu. blancasi Galati & Cáceres 1990, Lu. noguchii (Shannon, 1929), and Lu. pallidithorax Galati & Cáceres 1994.
Abstract in English:We identified different diarrheagenic (DEC) Escherichia coli pathotypes isolated from 1,207 children with and without acute endemic diarrhea in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil collected as part of a case-control study. Since the identification of DEC cannot be based on only biochemical and culture criteria, we used a multiplex polymerase chain reaction developed by combining five specific primer pairs for Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC), Shiga toxin-producing E. coli/ Enterohaemorrhagic E. coli (STEC/EHEC), Enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC) and Enteroaggregative E. coli (EAEC) to detect these pathotypes simultaneously in a single-step reaction. In order to distinguish typical and atypical EPEC strains, these were tested for the presence of EAF plasmid. The prevalence of diarrheagenic E. coli in this sample of a global case-control study was 25.4% (259 patients) and 18.7% (35 patients) in the diarrhea group (1,020 patients) and the control group (187 patients), respectively. The most frequently isolated pathotype was EAEC (10.7%), followed by atypical EPEC (9.4%), ETEC (3.7%), and STEC (0.6%). Typical EPEC was detected only in one sample. The prevalence of the pathotypes studied in children with diarrhea was not significantly different from that in children without diarrhea.
Abstract in English:A case-control study on chronic Chagas heart disease (CCHD) was carried out between 1997 and 2005. Ninety patients over 50 years of age were examined for factors related to (CCHD). Fourty-six patients (51.1%) with Chagas heart disease (anomalous ECG) were assigned to the case group and 44 (48.9%) were included in the control group as carriers of undetermined forms of chronic disease. Social, demographic (age, gender, skin color, area of origin), epidemiological (permanence within an endemic zone, family history of Chagas heart disease or sudden death, physical strain, alcoholism, and smoking), and clinical (systemic hypertension) variables were analyzed. The data set was assessed through single-variable and multivariate analysis. The two factors independently associated with heart disease were age - presence of heart disease being three times higher in patients over 60 years of age (odds ratio, OR: 2.89; confidence interval of 95%: 1.09-7.61) - and family history of Chagas heart disease (OR: 2.833, CI 95%: 1.11-7.23). Systemic hypertension and gender did not prove to hold any association with heart disease, as neither did skin color, but this variable showed low statistical power due to reduced sample size.
Abstract in English:The enterococci are important nosocomial pathogens with a remarkable capacity of expressing resistance to several antimicrobial agents. Their ubiquitous nature and resistance to adverse environmental conditions take account for their ability to colonize different habitats and for their potential for easy spreading through the food chain. In the present study we evaluated the distribution of species and antimicrobial susceptibility among enterococcal isolates recovered from food obtained in retail stores in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The following species were identified among 167 isolates obtained from poultry meat and 127 from pasteurized milk: Enterococcus faecalis (62.6%), E. casseliflavus (17.3%), E. durans (6.5%), E. gallinarum (3.0%), E. gilvus (2.4%), E. faecium (2.0%), E. hirae (1.4%), and E. sulfureus (1.0%). The overall percentages of antimicrobial resistant isolates were: 31.2 % to tetracycline, 23.8% to erythromycin, 11.3% to streptomycin, 4.3% to chloramphenicol, 3.9% to gentamicin, 1.4% to norfloxacin, 1.1% to imipenem, 0.7% to ciprofloxacin, nitrofurantoin, and penicillin, and 0.4% to ampicillin. Intermediate resistance was detected in frequencies varying from 0.5% for linezolid to 58.2% for erythromycin. None of the isolates showed resistance to glycopeptides. High-level resistance to aminoglycosides was observed in 13.1% of the isolates. Multiresistance was observed in E. faecalis, E. casseliflavus, E. faecium, E. gallinarum, E. durans and E. gilvus.
Abstract in English:This study analyzed the involvement of tetA and tetE genes in the tetracycline resistance of 16 strains of genus Aeromonas, isolated from clinical and food sources. Polymerase chain reactions revealed that 37.5% of the samples were positive for tetA, and also 37.5% were tetE positive. One isolate was positive for both genes. Only the isolate A. caviae 5.2 had its resistance associated to the presence of a plasmid, pSS2. The molecular characterization of pSS2 involved the construction of its restriction map and the determination of its size. The digestion of pSS2 with HindIII originated two fragments (A and B) that were cloned separately into the pUC18 vector. The tetA gene was shown to be located on the HindIII-A fragment by PCR. After transforming a tetracycline-sensitive strain with pSS2, the transformants expressed the resistance phenotype and harbored a plasmid whose size was identical to that of pSS2. The results confirmed the association between pSS2 and the tetracycline resistance phenotype, and suggest a feasible dissemination of tetA and tetE among strains of Aeromonas. This study suggests the spreading tetA and tetE genes in Aeromonas in Brazil and describes a resistance plasmid that probably contributes to the dissemination of the resistance.
Abstract in English:Hepatitis C virus (HCV) isolates have been divided into six genotypes (1 to 6). The duration of hepatitis C standard treatment is 48 weeks for patients infected with HCV genotype 1 vs 24 weeks for those infected with genotypes 2 and 3. A total of 1544 HCV isolates from chronic patients living in the southern Brazilian states of Rio Grande do Sul (RS, n = 627) and Santa Catarina (SC, n = 917) were genotyped by restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) products. In RS, 338 (53.9%; 95% CI 50.0 - 57.8%), 34 (5.4%; 95% CI 3.8 - 7.4%) and, 255 (40.7%; 95% CI 36.9 - 44.6%) samples were from genotypes 1, 2, and 3, respectively. In SC, 468 (51%; 95% CI 47.8 - 54.2%), 26 (2.9%; 95% CI 1.9 - 4.1%) and, 423 (46.1%; 95% CI 42.9 - 49.3%) samples were from genotypes 1, 2, and 3, respectively. Genotyping results were confirmed by direct nucleotide sequencing of PCR products derived from 68 samples, without any discrepancy between PCR-RFLP and nucleotide sequencing methods. In conclusion, almost half of the hepatitis C patients from South of Brazil are infected by genotypes 2 and 3 and, these results have important consequential therapeutic implications as they can be treated for only 24 weeks, not 48.
Abstract in English:Uptake of transferrin by epimastigote forms of the protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi occurs mainly through a cytostome/ cytopharynx, via uncoated endocytic vesicles that bud off from the bottom of the cytopharynx. We have here examined whether detergent-resistant membrane (DRM) domains might be involved in this process. Purified whole cell membrane fractions were assayed for cholesterol levels and used in dot blot analyses. Detergent-resistant membrane markers (cholera B toxin and anti-flotillin-1 antibody) presented positive reaction by dot blots in cholesterol-rich/ protein-poor membrane sub-fractions. The positive dot blot fraction was submitted to lipid composition analysis, showing composition similar to that of raft fractions described for other eukaryotic cells. Immunofluorescence assays allowed the localization of punctual positive signal for flotillin-1, matching the precise cytostome/ cytopharynx location. These data were confirmed by immunofluorescence assays with the co-localization of flotillin-1 and the transferrin uptake site. Our data suggest that DRM domains occur and are integrated at the cytostome/ cytopharynx of T. cruzi epimastigotes, being the main route for transferrin uptake.
Abstract in English:This paper describes the modifications made to the original model of the Disney trap, with a view to easier handling of the same, greater practicability in the collection of sand flies, protection of the animal bait and durability of the trap in the field.
Abstract in English:Nuclear internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2) rDNA sequences were used for a molecular phylogenetics analysis of five Onchocerca species. The sister species of the human parasite O. volvulus was found to be the cattle parasite O. ochengi and not O. gibsoni, contrary to chromosomal evidence. The genetic differentiation of two African populations (representing the two African strains) and a Brazilian population of O. volvulus was also studied. Phylogenetic and network reconstruction did not show any clustering of ITS2 alleles on geographic or strain grounds. Furthermore, population genetics tests showed no indication of population differentiation but suggested gene flow among the three populations.
Abstract in English:The relationship between angiogenesis and fibrosis has been demonstrated in several pathological conditions, one of them being schistosomiasis. To observe whether suppression of angiogenesis would interfere with fibrosis, Thalidomide, an anti-angiogenesis drug, was administered during 30 consecutive days to mice with experimental schistosomiasis. Computerized morphometric measurements of fibrosis, and the counting of blood vessels from hepatic schistosomal lesions did not significantly differ when treated animals and their controls were compared at the end of the experiments. These rather unexpected results are presented under the understanding that they may be of interest during further studies on the anti-angiogenesis properties of thalidomide, and the relationship between angiogenesis and fibrosis.
Abstract in English:Seeking the identification of Angiostrongylus cantonensis as a potential etiological agent of three clinical cases of eosinophilic meningitis, mollusc specimens were collected in the state of Espírito Santo, Brazil. The snails were identified as Sarasinula marginata (45 specimens), Subulina octona (157), Achatina fulica (45) and Bradybaena similaris (23). Larvae obtained were submitted to polymerase chain reaction and restriction fragment length polymorphism diagnosis. Their genetic profile were corresponded to A. cantonensis. Rattus norvegicus experimentally infected with third-stage larvae, developed menigoencephalitis, and parasites became sexually mature in the lungs. Additionally, larvae obtained from A. fulica snails, from São Vicente, state of São Paulo, also showed genetic profiles of this nematode. This is the first record of Brazilian molluscs infected with this nematode species.
Abstract in English:Leishmania (Sauroleishmania) tarentolae has biotechnological potential for use as live vaccine against visceral leishmaniasis and as a system for the over expression of eukaryotic proteins that possess accurate post-translational modifications. For both purposes, new systems for protein expression in this non-pathogenic protozoan are necessary. The ribosomal RNA promoter proved to be a stronger transcription driver since its use yielded increased levels of recombinant protein in organisms of both genera Trypanosoma or Leishmania. We have evaluated heterologous expression systems using vectors with two different polypyrimidine tracts in the splice acceptor site by measuring a reporter gene transcribed from L. tarentolae RNA polymerase I promoter. Our data indicate that the efficiency of chloramphenicol acetyl transferase expression changed drastically with homologous or heterologous sequences, depending on the polypyrimidine tract used in the construct and differences in size and/or distance from the AG dinucleotide. In relation to the promoter sequence the reporter expression was higher in heterologous lizard-infecting species than in the homologous L. tarentolae or in the mammalian-infecting L. (Leishmania) amazonensis.