Abstract in English:Trypanosoma cruzi, a protozoan parasite that causes Chagas disease, exhibits unique mechanisms for gene expression such as constitutive polycistronic transcription of protein-coding genes, RNA editing and trans-splicing. In the absence of mechanism controlling transcription initiation, organized subsets of T. cruzi genes must be post-transcriptionally co-regulated in response to extracellular signals. The mechanisms that regulate stage-specific gene expression in this parasite have become much clearer through sequencing its whole genome as well as performing various proteomic and microarray analyses, which have demonstrated that at least half of the T. cruzi genes are differentially regulated during its life cycle. In this review, we attempt to highlight the recent advances in characterising cis and trans-acting elements in the T. cruzi genome that are involved in its post-transcriptional regulatory machinery.
Abstract in English:We performed spoligotyping on 114 strains of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) complex that had been isolated from patients in Minas Gerais Health Units during 2004. A total of 82/114 (72%) clinical isolates were clustered and 32/114 (28%) were unique. Seven shared types containing nine strains were newly created. A total of nine patterns corresponded to unreported orphan strains, as evaluated against all of the strains recorded in the SITVIT2 proprietary database in the Institut Pasteur de la Guadeloupe. The major clades were composed of isolates that belong to the following genotypes: Latin-America and Mediterranean (63/114, 55.3%) (the ill-defined T superfamily) (12/114, 10.5%), Haarlem (8/114, 7%), X clade (6/114, 5.3%), S clade (3/114, 2.6%) and the East-African Indian and Manu types, each with 1/114 (0.9%) isolates. A considerable number of strains (n = 20, 17.5%) showed patterns that did not fall within any of the previously described major clades. We conclude the bulk of tuberculosis (TB) (92/114, 80.7%) in our location is recent evolutionary strains that belong to the principal genetic groups 2/3. Further studies on epidemiology of TB are required to understand Mtb biodiversity and TB transmission in this region.
Abstract in English:Streblidae flies are specialised parasites of bat hosts, mainly phyllostomids. There is a high richness of streblids in the savannah-like Cerrado region; however, there is little quantitative data available in parasitological indices. Here, we describe the component community, prevalence and intensity of a streblid infestation on a phyllostomid bat assemblage in Serra da Bodoquena, a Cerrado region in Southwest Brazil. We conducted surveys by capturing and inspecting bat hosts during the seven-month period between October 2004-December 2005. All the ectoparasites found on the bats were collected in the field and then counted and identified in the laboratory. We captured 327 bats belonging to 13 species, of which eight species were parasitized by 17 species of streblids. Carollia perspicillata and Glossophaga soricina were infested with seven streblid species, whereas the other bat species were infested with four or fewer streblid species. Megistopoda proxima and Aspidoptera falcata flies were found on Sturnira lilium, and Trichobius joblingi was the most prevalent fly on C. perspicillata. Megistopoda aranea and Aspidoptera phyllostomatis were highly prevalent and had a high intensity of infestation on Artibeus planirostris. Overall comparisons of the available data suggest that the component communities of streblids vary more between the Cerrado and Atlantic Forest phytogeographical regions than between localities within the same phytogeographical region.
Abstract in English:Studies have shown that both carbon dioxide (CO2) and octenol (1-octen-3-ol) are effective attractants for mosquitoes. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the attractiveness of 1-octen-3-ol and CO2 for diurnal mosquitoes in the southeastern Atlantic forest. A Latin square experimental design was employed with four treatments: CDC-light trap (CDC-LT), CDC-LT and 1-octen-3-ol, CDC-LT and CO2 and CDC-LT with 1-octen-3-ol and CO2. Results demonstrated that both CDC-CO2 and CDC-CO2-1-octen-3-ol captured a greater number of mosquito species and specimens compared to CDC-1-octen-3-ol; CDC-LT was used as the control. Interestingly, Anopheles (Kerteszia) sp. was generally attracted to 1-octen-3-ol, whereas Aedes serratus was the most abundant species in all Latin square collections. This species was recently shown to be competent to transmit the yellow fever virus and may therefore play a role as a disease vector in rural areas of Brazil.
Abstract in English:Brevidensoviruses have an encapsidated, single-stranded DNA genome that predominantly has a negative polarity. In recent years, they have received particular attention due to their potential role in the biological control of pathogenic arboviruses and to their unnoticed presence in cell cultures as contaminants. In addition, brevidensoviruses may also be useful as viral vectors. This study describes the first genetic and biological characterization of a mosquito densovirus that was isolated in Brazil; moreover, we examined the phylogenetic relationship between this isolate and the other brevidensoviruses. We further demonstrate that this densovirus has the potential to be used to biologically control dengue virus (DENV) infection with in vitro co-infection experiments. The present study provides evidence that this densovirus isolate is a fast-spreading virus that affects cell growth and DENV infection.
Abstract in English:The degree of reproductive isolation between Meccus phyllosomus and the remaining five species of the genus Meccus, as well as between Meccus bassolsae and Meccus pallidipennis, Meccus longipennis and Meccus picturatus, was examined. Fertility and the segregation of morphological characteristics were examined in two generations of hybrids from crosses between these species. The percentage of couples with offspring (fertile) was high in the vast majority of sets of crosses, with the exception of that between ♀M. phyllosomus and ♂Meccus mazzottii. In sets of crosses involving M. bassolsae specimens, no first-generation (F1) individuals were morphologically similar to M. bassolsae, but instead shared the morphology of the other parental species. A similar phenomenon was observed in most sets of crosses involving M. phyllosomus. These results indicated that different degrees of reproductive isolation exist among the species of Meccus involved in this study. The biological evidence obtained in this study does not support the proposal that M. bassolsae is a full species. It could indicate that, on the contrary, it should be considered a subspecies of a single polytypic species. The biological evidence does support the proposal that M. phyllosomus is a full species.
Abstract in English:A new trypanosomatid species, Blastocrithidia cyrtomeni, is herein described using morphological and molecular data. It was found parasitising the alimentary tract of the insect host Cyrtomenus bergi, a polyphagous pest. The morphology of B. cyrtomeni was investigated using light and transmission microscopy and molecular phylogeny was inferred from the sequences of spliced leader RNA (SL rRNA) - 5S rRNA gene repeats and the 18S small subunit (SSU) rRNA gene. Epimastigotes of variable size with straphanger cysts adhering to the middle of the flagellum were observed in the intestinal tract, hemolymph and Malpighian tubules. Kinetoplasts were always observed anterior to the nucleus. The ultrastructure of longitudinal sections of epimastigotes showed the flagellum arising laterally from a relatively shallow flagellar pocket near the kinetoplast. SL RNA and 5S rRNA gene repeats were positive in all cases, producing a 0.8-kb band. The amplicons were 797-803 bp long with > 98.5% identity, indicating that they originated from the same organism. According to the sequence analysis of the SL-5S rRNA gene repeats and the 18S SSU rRNA gene, B. cyrtomeni is different from all other known species or isolates of Trypanosomatidae. Both analyses indicate that among known species, it is most closely related to Blastocrithidia triatomae.
Abstract in English:Oenocytes are ectodermic cells present in the fat body of several insect species and these cells are considered to be analogous to the mammalian liver, based on their role in lipid storage, metabolism and secretion. Although oenocytes were identified over a century ago, little is known about their messenger RNA expression profiles. In this study, we investigated the transcriptome of Aedes aegypti oenocytes. We constructed a cDNA library from Ae. aegypti MOYO-R strain oenocytes collected from pupae and randomly sequenced 687 clones. After sequences editing and assembly, 326 high-quality contigs were generated. The most abundant transcripts identified corresponded to the cytochrome P450 superfamily, whose members have roles primarily related to detoxification and lipid metabolism. In addition, we identified 18 other transcripts with putative functions associated with lipid metabolism. One such transcript, a fatty acid synthase, is highly represented in the cDNA library of oenocytes. Moreover, oenocytes expressed several immunity-related genes and the majority of these genes were lysozymes. The transcriptional profile suggests that oenocytes play diverse roles, such as detoxification and lipid metabolism, and increase our understanding of the importance of oenocytes in Ae. aegypti homeostasis and immune competence.
Abstract in English:Human rhinoviruses (HRV) are usually associated with mild respiratory symptoms in children. However, some studies have found that HRV can cause severe disease, especially when the patient is co-infected with a second virus. In this study, 532 nasopharyngeal aspirates (NPAs) were collected over a nine-year period from children at the Clinics Hospital of Uberlândia. The collected NPAs were then tested for HRV RNA using the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. Eighty-three specimens from children diagnosed with lower respiratory tract illness (LRTI) were positive for HRV RNA and were then tested for the presence of eight other respiratory viruses. A second virus was detected in 37.3% (31/83) of the samples. The most frequent clinical diagnosis was bronchiolitis, followed by other LRTI and then pneumonia. The frequency of severe disease in children infected with more than one virus was not significantly different from the frequency of severe disease in children infected with HRV alone. Children infected with both HRV and parainfluenza virus (1.5 m.o.) were significantly younger than those infected by HRV alone (5.0 m.o.) (p = 0.0454). Overall, these results suggest that infection with a second virus does not lead to a higher frequency of severe syndromes in children presenting with LRTI.
Abstract in English:The schistosomal parasite plays a critical role in the development of malignant lesions in different organs. The pathogenesis of cancer is currently under intense investigation to identify reliable prognostic indices for disease detection. The objective of this paper is to evaluate certain biochemical parameters as diagnostic tools to efficiently differentiate between colonic carcinoma and colonic carcinoma associated with schistosomal infection among Egyptian patients. The parameters under investigation are interleukin 2 (IL-2), tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) levels, tissue telomerase, pyruvate kinase (PK), glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G-6-PD) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) enzyme activities. The results revealed a significant elevation in the level of the tumour markers IL-2, TNF-α and CEA as well as the activities of LDH, telomerase and G-6-PD among non-bilharzial and bilharzial colonic cancer groups, with a more potent effect in bilharzial infection-associated colonic cancer. A significant inhibition in PK activity was recorded in the same manner as compared to normal tissues. The efficacy of this biomarker was also evaluated through detecting sensitivity, specificity, negative and positive predictive values. In conclusion, schistosomal colonic carcinoma patients displayed more drastic changes in all parameters under investigation. The combination of the selected parameters succeeded in serving as biomarkers to differentiate between the two malignant types.
Abstract in English:Rotavirus is an important cause of childhood diarrhoea. A monovalent rotavirus vaccine (Rotarix®) was introduced into the Immunization Program of Brazil in 2006. In this study, we describe the incidence and burden of disease of rotavirus diarrhoea in two cohorts of children (vaccinated and unvaccinated). We followed two groups of 250 children under one year old, who were enrolled in December 2006 from a low-income residential area in Northeast Brazil. The children were monitored every two weeks for two years. Stool samples from children with diarrhoea were examined for the presence of rotavirus. Rotaviruses were genotyped using real time-polymerase chain reaction. The mean numbers of all-cause diarrhoea episodes/child (adjusted for age) in the first year were 0.87 and 0.84, in vaccinated and unvaccinated children, respectively. During the second year, the number of episodes/child decreased to 0.52 and 0.42. Only 16 (4.9%) of 330 stool samples were rotavirus-positive (10 vaccinated and 6 unvaccinated children) and only PG2 rotaviruses were identified. All-cause diarrhoea episodes were more severe in unvaccinated children in the first year of age (p < 0.05), while vaccinated children had more severe episodes 18 months after vaccination. Rotavirus diarrhoea incidence was very low in both groups.
Abstract in English:Pauciconfibula patagonensis sp. nov. (Monogenea: Microcotylidae), parasite of gill filaments of the horsefish, Congiopodus peruvianus (Congiopodidae) collected in the Patagonian Shelf, Argentina, is described and illustrated. The new species is characterized by having intestinal caeca not confluent and entering into the haptor, vitelline follicles extending from the genital pore to near the posterior portion of haptor, two parallel rows each comprised of 16-20 microcotylid clamps in the haptor, 25-43 testes and a fusiform egg with one very long tangled polar filament. P. patagonensis is the only member of the genus known to parasitize a scorpaeniform host and represents the first record of a representative of this genus in the southern Atlantic Ocean.
Abstract in English:Liver transplant seems to be an effective option to prolong survival in patients with end-stage liver disease, although it still can be followed by serious complications. Invasive fungal infections (ifi) are related to high rates of morbidity and mortality. The epidemiology of fungal infections in Brazilian liver transplant recipients is unknown. The aim of this observational and retrospective study was to determine the incidence and epidemiology of fungal infections in all patients who underwent liver transplantation at Albert Einstein Israeli Hospital between 2002-2007. A total of 596 liver transplants were performed in 540 patients. Overall, 77 fungal infections occurred in 68 (13%) patients. Among the 77 fungal infections, there were 40 IFI that occurred in 37 patients (7%). Candida and Aspergillus species were the most common etiologic agents. Candida species accounted for 82% of all fungal infections and for 67% of all IFI, while Aspergillus species accounted for 9% of all fungal infections and for 17% of all IFI. Non-albicans Candida species were the predominant Candida isolates. Invasive aspergillosis tended to occur earlier in the post-transplant period. These findings can contribute to improve antifungal prophylaxis and therapy practices in Brazilian centres.
Abstract in English:In French Guiana, pyrethroids and organophosphates have been used for many years against Aedes aegypti. We aimed to establish both the resistance level of Ae. aegypti and the ultra low volume spray efficacy to provide mosquito control services with practical information to implement vector control and resistance management. Resistance to deltamethrin and fenitrothion was observed. In addition, the profound loss of efficacy of AquaK'othrine® and the moderate loss of efficacy of Paluthion® 500 were recorded. Fenitrothion remained the most effective candidate for spatial application in French Guiana until its removal in December 2010. Further investigation of the mechanism of resistance to deltamethrin demonstrated the involvement of mixed-function oxidases and, to a lesser extent, of carboxylesterases. However, these observations alone cannot explain the level of insecticide resistance we observed during tube and cage tests.
Abstract in English:In the present paper we describe the diversity of phlebotomine sandflies collected in three sandstone caves in the municipality of Presidente Figueiredo, state of Amazonas, Brazil. The phlebotomines were captured during 2006 with CDC light traps. Guano samples from inside the Gruta Refúgio do Maruaga were collected to investigate the presence of immature specimens. A total of 2,160 adult phlebotomines representing 15 species were captured. Pintomyia pacae was the dominant species in Gruta dos Animais (1,723 specimens) and Gruta dos Lages (50 specimens) and Deanemyia maruaga new comb (280 specimens) was the dominant species in Gruta Refúgio do Maruaga. A total of 18 guano samples were collected and seven of these samples included immature specimens. A total of 507 immature specimens were captured; 495 of these specimens were larvae and 12 were pupae. The presence of paca (Agouti paca) footprints near Gruta dos Animais and Gruta dos Lages suggests the association of Pi. pacae with this rodent. This finding may explain the abundance of Pi. pacae in these locations, while the species is relatively rare in the forest. Deanemyia maruaga is a cave species that uses guano to breed during its immature stages. Adult specimens of this species are apparently parthenogenetic and autogenous and represent the second record of parthenogenesis for the subfamily Phlebotominae.
Abstract in English:Three types of carbon dioxide-baited traps, i.e., the Centers for Disease Control Miniature Light Trap without light, the BioGents (BG) Sentinel Mosquito Trap (BG-Sentinel) and the Mosquito Magnet® Liberty Plus were compared with human landing collections in their efficiency in collecting Anopheles (Nyssorhynchus) aquasalis mosquitoes. Of 13,549 total mosquitoes collected, 1,019 (7.52%) were An. aquasalis. Large numbers of Culex spp were also collected, in particular with the (BG-Sentinel). The majority of An. aquasalis (83.8%) were collected by the human landing collection (HLC). None of the trap catches correlated with HLC in the number of An. aquasalis captured over time. The high efficiency of the HLC method indicates that this malaria vector was anthropophilic at this site, especially as carbon dioxide was insufficiently attractive as stand-alone bait. Traps using carbon dioxide in combination with human odorants may provide better results.
Abstract in English:We assessed the risk classification of dengue fever based on the capture of Aedes aegypti adults using MosquiTRAP, a type of sticky trap, in comparison with traditional larval infestation indices. A total of 27 MosquiTRAPs were installed, with one trap per block, and were inspected weekly between November 2008-February 2009. Infestation baseline data were obtained from a survey conducted prior to trap installation. The index generated by MosquiTRAP and house index (HI) classified the area "in alert situation". The set for risk of dengue occurrence proposed by the use of MosquiTRAP classify areas in the same way of the traditional HI.
Abstract in English:Carbapenemase production is an important mechanism of carbapenem resistance among nonfermentative Gram-negative isolates. This study aimed to report the detection of blaOXA-58 gene in multiresistant clinical isolates of Acinetobacter baumannii recovered from inpatients in a public hospital. Polymerase chain reaction tests were performed to detect the blaOXA-23-like, blaOXA-24-like, blaOXA-58-like and blaOXA-51-like genes. The blaOXA-58 and blaOXA-23 genes were detected in one and three isolates, respectively. Sequencing of the blaOXA-58-like amplicon revealed 100% identity with the A. baumannii blaOXA-58 gene listed in the GenBank database. This is the first report of an OXA-58-producing A. baumannii isolate in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Abstract in English:In this study, we assessed the prevalence of human herpesvirus-7 (HHV-7) in 141 serum samples from children less than four years of age with exanthematic disease. All samples were negative for measles, rubella, dengue fever and parvovirus B19 infection. Testing for the presence of human herpesvirus-6 (HHV-6)-specific high avidity IgG antibodies by indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA) revealed two main groups: one composed of 57 patients with recent primary HHV-6 infection and another group of 68 patients showing signs of past HHV-6 infection. Another 16 samples had indeterminate primary HHV-6 infection, by both IgG IFA and IgM IFA. Serum samples were subjected to a nested polymerase chain reaction to detect the presence of HHV-7 DNA. Among patients with a recent primary HHV-6 infection, HHV-7 DNA was present in 1.7% of individuals; however, 5.8% of individuals tested positive for HHV-7 DNA in the group with past primary HHV-6 infection. Among the 16 samples with indeterminate diagnosis, 25% (4/16) had HHV-7 DNA (p < 0.002). We hypothesise that HHV-7 might be the agent that causes exanthema. However, a relationship between clinical manifestations and the detection of virus DNA does not always exist. Therefore, a careful interpretation is necessary to diagnose a primary infection or a virus-associated disease. In conclusion, we detected HHV-7 DNA in young children from the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Abstract in English:Benznidazole (Bz) exhibits toxic side effects in animal studies and clinical use. Reductive metabolism of Bz in liver microsomes modulates the duration of its chemotherapeutic effect and its toxicity. The rate of this metabolism depends on age and is less intense in newborns and youngsters than in adults. In the present study, we determined Bz blood levels in rats of different ages that received Bz intragastrically (100 mg/kg). We developed and validated a high-pressure liquid chromatography with UV detector method for determination of Bz levels in whole blood. Bz levels were significantly higher and persisted for longer periods of time in the blood of young rats when compared to that of adult animals.
Abstract in English:The susceptibility of 49 Mycobacterium tuberculosis clinical isolates to isoniazid (INH) and rifampisin (RIF) (28 multi-drug resistant-tuberculosis samples) was determined by a nitrate reductase assay (NRA) on blood agar. Agreement between the NRA and other testing methods was found to be 93.8% for both INH and RIF. The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value and negative predictive value for INH were 92.8%, 94.2%, 86.6% and 97%, respectively. The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value and negative predictive value for RIF were 90.4%, 96.4%, 95% and 93.1%. In conclusion, we show here that blood agar can be used effectively for the NRA test.
Abstract in English:Phlebotomine captures were performed in February 2010 in Salto (Salto department) and Bella Unión-Cuarein (Artigas department), Uruguay. Bella Unión is located across the Paraná River from Monte Caseros, Argentina, where a focus of canine visceral leishmaniasis (VL) was reported in 2009. No VL cases have ever been recorded in Uruguay and the last reported capture of Phlebotominae was in 1932 (Lutzomyia cortelezzii and Lutzomyia gaminarai). Light traps were placed in peridomestic environments, and Lutzomyia longipalpis, the main vector of visceral leishmaniasis, was found in Salto and Bella Unión. This is a first report of an area of potential VL transmission in Uruguay. Active and coordinated surveillance is required immediately the Uruguay-Argentina-Brazil border area.