Abstract in English:It has been shown previously that the laticifer fluid of Calotropis procera (Ait.) R.Br. is highly toxic to the egg hatching and larval development of Aedes aegypti L. In the present study, the larvicidal potential of other laticifer fluids obtained from Cryptostegia grandiflora R.Br., Plumeria rubra L. and Euphorbia tirucalli L. was evaluated. We attempted to correlate larvicidal activity with the presence of endogenous proteolytic activity in the protein fraction of the fluids. After collection, the fluids were processed by centrifugation and dialysis to obtain the soluble laticifer protein (LP) fractions and eliminate water insoluble and low molecular mass molecules. LP did not visibly affect egg hatching at the doses assayed. LP from Cr. grandiflora exhibited the highest larval toxicity, while P. rubra was almost inactive. E. tirucalli was slightly active, but its activity could not be correlated to proteins since no protein was detected in the fluid. The larvicidal effects of LP from C. procera and Cr. grandiflora showed a significant relationship with the proteolytic activity of cysteine proteinases, which are present in both materials. A purified cysteine proteinase (papain) from the latex of Carica papaya (obtained from Sigma) was similarly effective, whereas trypsin and chymotrypsin (both serine proteinases) were ineffective. The results provide evidence for the involvement of cysteine proteinase activity in the larvicidal action of some laticifer fluids. C. procera is an invasive species found in areas infested with Ae. aegypti and thus could prove useful for combating mosquito proliferation. This is the first report to present evidence for the use of proteolytic enzymes as chemical agents to destroy Ae. aegypti larvae.
Abstract in English:Three Plumbago spp have been tested for mosquito larvicidal activity. The crude extracts exhibiting the highest larvicidal activity against Anopheles gambiae were hexane (LC50 = 6.4 μg/mL) and chloroform (LC50 = 6.7 μg/mL) extracts from Plumbago zeylanica Linn, chloroform (LC50 = 6.7 ug/mL) extract from Plumbago stenophylla Bull and ethyl acetate (LC50 = 4.1 μg/mL) extract from Plumbago dawei Rolfe. These LC50 values were within 95% confidence limits. 5-hydroxy-2-methyl-1,4-naphthoquinone (plumbagin) 1 (LC50 = 1.9 μg/mL) and β-sitosterol 2 were characterised from ethyl acetate extract of root bark of P. dawei, a native medicinal plant growing in Kenya, based on spectral analysis and comparisons with data in literature.
Abstract in English:Toxoplasma gondii causes posterior uveitis and the specific diagnosis is based on clinical criteria. The presence of anti-T. gondii secretory IgA (sIgA) antibodies in patients' tears has been reported and an association was found between ocular toxoplasmosis and the anti-T. gondii sIgA isotype in Brazilian patients. The purpose of this study was to provide an objective validation of the published ELISA test for determining the presence of anti-T. gondii sIgA in the tears of individuals with ocular toxoplasmosis. Tears from 156 patients with active posterior uveitis were analysed; 82 of them presented characteristics of ocular toxoplasmosis (standard lesion) and 74 patients presented uveitis due to other aetiologies. Cases of active posterior uveitis were considered standard when a new inflammatory focus satellite to old retinochoroidal scars was observed. The determination of anti-T. gondii sIgA was made using an ELISA test with crude tachyzoite antigenic extracts. Tears were collected without previous stimulation. Detection of sIgA showed 65.9% sensitivity (95% CI = 54.5-74.4), 71.6% specificity (95% CI = 59.8-81.2), a positive predictive value of 72% (95% CI = 60.3-81.5) and a negative predictive value of 65.4% (95% CI = 54.0-75.4). sIgA reactivity was higher in the tears of patients with active posterior uveitis due to T. gondii (p < 0.05). The test is useful for differentiating active posterior uveitis due to toxoplasmosis from uveitis caused by other diseases.
Abstract in English:The Anopheles (Nyssorhynchus) albitarsis complex includes six species: An. albitarsis, Anopheles oryzalimnetes Wilkerson and Motoki, n. sp., Anopheles marajoara, Anopheles deaneorum, Anopheles janconnae Wilkerson and Sallum, n. sp. and An. albitarsis F. Except for An. deaneorum, species of the complex are indistinguishable when only using morphology. The problematic distinction among species of the complex has made study of malaria transmission and ecology of An. albitarsis s.l. difficult. Consequently, involvement of species of the An. albitarsis complex in human Plasmodium transmission is not clear throughout its distribution range. With the aim of clarifying the taxonomy of the above species, with the exception of An. albitarsis F, we present comparative morphological and morphometric analyses, morphological redescriptions of three species and description of two new species using individuals from populations in Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina and Venezuela. The study included characters from adult females, males, fourth-instar larvae, pupae and male genitalia of An. albitarsis, An. marajoara, An. deaneorum and An. oryzalimnetes n. sp. For An. janconnae n. sp. only characters of the female, male and male genitalia were analyzed. Fourth-instar larvae, pupae and male genitalia characteristics of all five species are illustrated. Bionomics and distribution data are given based on published literature records.
Abstract in English:A new species of the Culicoides (Hoffmania) hylas species group, Culicoides baniwa Felippe-Bauer is described and illustrated based on a female specimen from the state of Amazonas, Brazil. A systematic key, wing photographs, diagramme of the legs pattern, table with numerical characters of females and a synopsis of the 11 species of the C. hylas group are presented. This paper further presents a new record of Culicoides pseudoheliconiae Felippe-Bauer out of the previously defined geographic distribution of the hylas species group, in the province of Misiones, Argentina.
Abstract in English:Candida albicans is the most common fungal pathogen known to cause endovascular infections, such as vascular catheter sepsis, infections of vascular prostheses and infective endocarditis. A C. albicans isolate was used to determine the apoptotic potential of the fungus in a rat endocarditis model. This study confirms the ability of C. albicans to induce apoptosis in myocardial tissue.
Abstract in English:The primary culture of intestinal epithelial cells from domestic cats is an efficient cellular model to study the enteric cycle of Toxoplasma gondii in a definitive host. The parasite-host cell ratio can be pointed out as a decisive factor that determines the intracellular fate of bradyzoites forms. The development of the syncytial-like forms of T. gondii was observed using the 1:20 bradyzoite-host cell ratio, resulting in similar forms described in in vivo systems. This alternative study potentially opens up the field for investigation into the molecular aspects of this interaction. This can contribute to the development of new strategies for intervention of a main route by which toxoplasmosis spreads.
Abstract in English:E-2-chloro-8-methyl-3-[(4'-methoxy-1'-indanoyl)-2'-methyliden]-quinoline (IQ) is a new quinoline derivative which has been reported as a haemoglobin degradation and ß-haematin formation inhibitor. The haemoglobin proteolysis induced by Plasmodium parasites represents a source of amino acids and haeme, leading to oxidative stress in infected cells. In this paper, we evaluated oxidative status in Plasmodium berghei-infected erythrocytes in the presence of IQ using chloroquine (CQ) as a control. After haemolysis, superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase, glutathione cycle and NADPH + H+-dependent dehydrogenase enzyme activities were investigated. Lipid peroxidation was also assayed to evaluate lipid damage. The results showed that the overall activities of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase and 6-phosphogluconate dehydrogenase were significantly diminished by IQ (by 53.5% and 100%, respectively). Glutathione peroxidase activity was also lowered (31%) in conjunction with a higher GSSG/GSH ratio. As a compensatory response, overall SOD activity increased and lipid peroxidation decreased, protecting the cells from the haemolysis caused by the infection. CQ shared most of the effects showed by IQ; however it was able to inhibit the activity of isocitrate dehydrogenase and glutathione-S-transferase. In conclusion, IQ could be a candidate for further studies in malaria research interfering with the oxidative status in Plasmodium berghei infection.
Abstract in English:Previous studies have reported genetic differences between wild-caught sylvatic, domestic and laboratory pop-ulations of several Triatominae species. The differences between sylvatic and laboratory colonies parallel are similar to the differences observed between sylvatic and domestic populations. Laboratory colonies are frequently used as references for field populations, but the consequences of founder events on the genetic makeup of laboratory or domestic populations are rarely quantified. Our goal was to quantify the genetic change in Rhodnius pallescens populations artificially submitted to founder effects via laboratory colonization. We compared the genetic makeup of two sylvatic populations and their laboratory descendants using a panel of 10 microsatellite markers. Both sylvatic populations were initially collected from palm trees, but the colonies differed in the number of founder insects and amount of time kept in the laboratory. We evaluated allelic polymorphism, differences between expected and observed heterozygosity, estimates of population differentiation (Fst) and inbreeding (Fis, Fit) and cluster analyses based on Nei's distances. We found a unique genetic structure for each sample population, with significant differentiation between the field insects and each of the laboratory generations. These analyses showed strong founder effects and showed that genetic drift had led to a genetic equilibrium over several generations of isolation. Our results suggest that laboratory colonies of R. pallescens have a different genetic structure than their wild relatives and similar processes likely affect other Triatominae laboratory stocks.
Abstract in English:Two essential oils of Lippia alba (Mill.) N.E. Brown (Verbenacea), the carvone and citral chemotypes and 15 of their compounds were evaluated to determine cytotoxicity and antifungal activity. Cytotoxicity assays for both the citral and carvone chemotypes were carried out with tetrazolium-dye, which showed a dose-dependent cytotoxic effect against HeLa cells. Interestingly, this effect on the evaluated cells (HeLa and the non-tumoural cell line, Vero) was lower than that of commercial citral alone. Commercial citral showed the highest cytotoxic activity on HeLa cells. The antifungal activity was evaluated against Candida parapsilosis, Candida krusei, Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus fumigatus strains following the standard protocols, Antifungal Susceptibility Testing Subcommittee of the European Committee on Antibiotic Susceptibility Testing and CLSI M38-A. Results demonstrated that the most active essential oil was the citral chemotype, with geometric means-minimal inhibitory concentration (GM-MIC) values of 78.7 and 270.8 μg/mL for A. fumigatus and C. krusei, respectively. Commercial citral showed an antifungal activity similar to that of the citral chemotype (GM-MIC values of 62.5 μg/mL for A. fumigatus and 39.7 μg/mL for C. krusei). Although the citronellal and geraniol were found in lower concentrations in the citral chemotype, they had significant antifungal activity, with GM-MIC values of 49.6 μg/mL for C. krusei and 176.8 μg/mL for A. fumigatus.
Abstract in English:We investigated human papillomavirus (HPV) infection in two female populations from diverse socio-economic strata from the state of Rio de Janeiro and we also investigated the possible co-factors related to infection and the progression to cancer. In Group I, the reference group of this study, 10.7% of the patients presented HPV infection, as detected by generic PCR, while in Group II (low socio-demographic conditions) HPV was detected in 31.1% of the samples. HPV16 was the most prevalent virus type found in both Groups I and II (5.3% and 10%, respectively), followed by HPV 18 (1.3% and 4.7%, respectively). Although only a small sample was analysed, we detected differences among the groups regarding the rates of HPV infection, HPV types, age, ethnicity, familial income, schooling, marital status, parity, tobacco smoking and oral contraceptive use. For Group I, the Papanicolaou test was the most powerful independent factor associated with HPV status, followed by an age of under 30 years old, the number of sexual partners and black ethnicity. Our data are in agreement with the co-factors that are typically described for the developed world. For Group II, the Pap test was also the most relevant variable that was analysed, but the history of other sexually transmitted diseases and the use of alcohol were additional factors that were implicated in infection. These findings point out the need for the development of general and specific strategies for HPV screening of all Brazilian women.
Abstract in English:Intravenous drug injection has been reported as the main risk factor for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. The aim of the present study was to describe the prevalence and the epidemiological profile of HCV infection among abusers of illegal injected and non-injected drugs in Cuiabá, state of Mato Grosso, Central Brazil. A cross-sectional study including 314 male drug users from eight detoxification centres was performed. Out of 314 subjects studied, 48 (15.2%) were intravenous drug users. Participants were interviewed and had blood samples taken and tested for the presence of anti-HCV antibodies. Positive samples were tested for the presence of HCV RNA. Genotyping was performed on HCV RNA-positive samples. The overall prevalence of anti-HCV antibodies was 6.4% (n = 20). Out of 20 anti-HCV antibody-positive subjects, 16 (80%) were also HCV RNA-positive. Genotype 1 predominated (75%), followed by 3a (25%). Subtype 1a was more common than 1b. HCV infection was more prevalent among intravenous drug users (33%) than non-injecting users (1.5%). Logistic regression analyses showed independent associations between HCV infection and intravenous drug use, imprisonment and increasing age. In the present study, injecting drug use was the factor most strongly associated to HCV infection and inhaling or sniffing did not represent an increased susceptibility to infection.
Abstract in English:Epidemiological parameters, such as age-dependent force of infection and average age at infection (<IMG SRC="../img/13s1.gif" WIDTH=9 HEIGHT=12>) were estimated for rubella, varicella, rotavirus A, respiratory syncytial virus, hepatitis A and parvovirus B19 infections for a non-immunized Brazilian community, using the same sera samples. The for the aforementioned diseases were 8.45 years (yr) [95% CI: (7.23, 9.48) yr], 3.90 yr [95% CI: (3.51, 4.28) yr], 1.03 yr [95% CI: (0.96, 1.09) yr], 1.58 yr [95% CI: (1.39, 1.79) yr], 7.17 yr [95% CI: (6.48, 7.80) yr] and 7.43 yr [95% CI: (5.68, 9.59) yr], respectively. The differences between average ages could be explained by factors such as differences in the effectiveness of the protection conferred to newborns by maternally derived antibodies, competition between virus species and age-dependent host susceptibility. Our seroprevalence data may illustrate a case of the above-mentioned mechanisms working together within the same population.
Abstract in English:Parvovirus B19 (B-19) may cause chronic anaemia in immunosuppressed patients, including those infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). We studied single serum samples from 261 consecutive HIV-infected patients using an enzyme immunoassay to detect IgG antibodies to B-19. The seroprevalence of B-19-IgG was 62.8%. The differences in seroprevalence across gender, age, educational categories, year of collection of the serum samples, clinical and antiretroviral therapy characteristics, CD4+ count, CD4+ and CD8+ percentage and CD4+/CD8+ ratios were neither substantial nor statistically significant. There was a non-significant, inverse association between B-19 seropositivity and plasma HIV load and haemoglobin level. Our results indicated that 37.1% of patients might be susceptible to B-19 infection and remained at risk for being infected, mainly during epidemic periods. As B-19 infection can be treated with immune globulin preparations, it may be included in the diagnostic approach toward chronic anaemia in HIV-infected patients.
Abstract in English:During a five-year period, 932 clinical isolates from cancer patients treated in a Brazilian reference centre were identified as corynebacteria; 86% of the cultures came from patients who had been clinically and microbiologically classified as infected and 77.1% of these patients had been hospitalised (71.1% from surgical wards). The adult solid tumour was the most common underlying malignant disease (66.7%). The univariate and multivariate analyses showed that hospitalised patients had a six-fold greater risk (OR = 5.5, 95% CI = 1.15-26.30 p = 0.033) related to 30-day mortality. The predominant species were Corynebacterium amycolatum (44.7%), Corynebacterium minutissimum (18.3%) and Corynebacterium pseudodiphtheriticum (8.5%). The upper urinary tracts, surgical wounds, lower respiratory tracts, ulcerated tumours and indwelling venous catheters were the most frequent sources of C. amycolatum strains. Corynebacterium jeikeium infection occurred primarily in neutropenic patients who have used venous catheters, while infection caused by C. amycolatum and other species emerged mainly in patients with solid tumours.
Abstract in English:In spite of evident progress in the serology of Chagas disease, the requirement for new diagnostic antigens persists. We have evaluated different antigens obtained from Trypanosoma cruzi grown in medium rich in nutrients or under nutrient stress, autoclaved or sonicated and fractionated by differential centrifugation. The resulting antigens were evaluated for diagnosis of Chagas disease using ELISA. Immunofluorescence of the parasites demonstrated that nutrient stress induced changes in the distribution and density of antigens recognised by a pool of sera from experimentally infected mice. When evaluated using ELISA, it was evident that most fractions had good sensitivity but poor specificity. Surprisingly, the best specificity and sensitivity was observed with parasites cultured under nutrient stress and autoclaved. Furthermore this antigen had low cross reactivity with sera from other parasitic diseases, Leishmaniasis in particular. Western blot analysis demonstrated that autoclaving seems to non-specifically eliminate cross-reactive antigens. In conclusion, autoclaving epimastigotes of T. cruzi, after nutrient stress, allowed us to obtain an antigen that could be used in the serological diagnosis of Chagas disease.
Abstract in English:We describe the relationship between lesion outcome and histopathological hallmarks in susceptible (BALB/c) and resistant (C57BL/6 and IL-4-deficient BALB/c) mouse strains over the course of a 12-week-infection with Leishmania major in the ear. The infiltration of mononuclear cells and polymorphonuclear cells occurred within 6 h and mononuclear cells predominated one week post-infection. Permissive intracellular growth of the pathogen was associated with non-healing lesions. In contrast, tissue damage and clearance of the parasite was observed in healing lesions and was associated with inducible nitric oxide synthase expression. The identification of the structural components of tissue reaction to the parasite in this study furthers our understanding of subjacent immune effector mechanisms.
Abstract in English:The calyptrate dipterans are the most important decomposers of human cadavers. Knowledge of their species and distribution are of great importance to forensic entomology, especially because of the enormous diversity in Brazil. Carcasses of domestic pigs (Sus scrofa, L) were the experimental models used to attract calyptrates of forensic interest during the winters of 2006 and 2007 and the summers of 2006 and 2008. A total of 24,423 specimens from 44 species were collected (19 Muscidae, 2 Fanniidae and 23 Sarcophagidae), three of which were new records of occurrence and 20 of which were new forensic records for the state of Rio de Janeiro. Fourteen of these species were newly identified as forensically important in Brazil.
Abstract in English:Different urban structures might affect the life history parameters of Aedes aegypti and, consequently, dengue transmission. Container productivity, probability of daily survival (PDS) and dispersal rates were estimated for mosquito populations in a high income neighbourhood of Rio de Janeiro. Results were contrasted with those previously found in a suburban district, as well as those recorded in a slum. After inspecting 1,041 premises, domestic drains and discarded plastic pots were identified as the most productive containers, collectively holding up to 80% of the total pupae. In addition, three cohorts of dust-marked Ae. aegypti females were released and recaptured daily using BGS-Traps, sticky ovitraps and backpack aspirators in 50 randomly selected houses; recapture rate ranged from 5-12.2% within cohorts. PDS was determined by two models and ranged from 0.607-0.704 (exponential model) and 0.659-0.721 (non-linear model), respectively. Mean distance travelled varied from 57-122 m, with a maximum dispersal of 263 m. Overall, lower infestation indexes and adult female survival were observed in the high income neighbourhood, suggesting a lower dengue transmission risk in comparison to the suburban area and the slum. Since results show that urban structure can influence mosquito biology, specific control strategies might be used in order to achieve cost-effective Ae. aegypti control.
Abstract in English:Toxocara cati is a common feline parasite transmitted by the ingestion of embryonated eggs, by the transmammary route or by predation of paratenic hosts harbouring third-stage larvae in their bodies. In the present study, the larval distribution of T. cati in tissues and organs of Rattus norvegicus experimentally infected with 300 embryonated eggs was analysed. Third-stage larvae were recovered from livers, lungs, kidneys, eyes, brains and carcasses of infected rats, following tissue digestion with HCl 0.5% for 24 h at 37°C. Some differences from the known larval distribution of Toxocara canisin the same rodent species were found.
Abstract in English:Follow-up of the household contacts (HHC) of leprosy patients is still the best strategy for early detection of leprosy. HHC from a post-elimination region of Colombia studied in 2001-2002 were re-contacted in 2007. They were tested at both times by clinical examination, bacillary index (BI), PCR from a slit skin smear (SSS) and anti PGL-1 IgM titres. Thirty-two of 61 HHC (52%) were re-contacted. Nine HHC (28%) showed sero-conversion and one had a skin lesion (BI negative, nested PCR positive). Periodic evaluation of HHC can contribute to the detection of infected HHC as well as new and early leprosy cases.