Abstract in English:In visceral leishmaniasis, phlebotomine vectors are targets for control measures. Understanding the ecosystem of the vectors is a prerequisite for creating these control measures. This study endeavours to delineate the suitable locations of Phlebotomus argentipes with relation to environmental characteristics between endemic and non-endemic districts in India. A cross-sectional survey was conducted on 25 villages in each district. Environmental data were obtained through remote sensing images and vector density was measured using a CDC light trap. Simple linear regression analysis was used to measure the association between climatic parameters and vector density. Using factor analysis, the relationship between land cover classes and P. argentipes density among the villages in both districts was investigated. The results of the regression analysis indicated that indoor temperature and relative humidity are the best predictors for P. argentipes distribution. Factor analysis confirmed breeding preferences for P. argentipes by landscape element. Minimum Normalised Difference Vegetation Index, marshy land and orchard/settlement produced high loading in an endemic region, whereas water bodies and dense forest were preferred in non-endemic sites. Soil properties between the two districts were studied and indicated that soil pH and moisture content is higher in endemic sites compared to non-endemic sites. The present study should be utilised to make critical decisions for vector surveillance and controlling Kala-azar disease vectors.
Abstract in English:The aim of the present study was to compare polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based methods - spoligotyping and mycobacterial interspersed repetitive units (MIRU) typing - with the gold-standard IS6110 restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis in 101 isolates of Mycobacterium tuberculosis to determine the genetic diversity of M. tuberculosis clinical isolates from Delhi, North India. Spoligotyping resulted in 49 patterns (14 clusters); the largest cluster was composed of Spoligotype International Types (SITs)26 [Central-Asian (CAS)1-Delhi lineage], followed by SIT11 [East-African-Indian (EAI) 3-Indian lineage]. A large number of isolates (75%) belonged to genotypic lineages, such as CAS, EAI and Manu, with a high specificity for the Indian subcontinent, emphasising the complex diversity of the phylogenetically coherent M. tuberculosis in North India. MIRU typing, using 11 discriminatory loci, was able to distinguish between all but two strains based on individual patterns. IS6110-RFLP analysis (n = 80 strains) resulted in 67 unique isolates and four clusters containing 13 strains. MIRUs discriminated all 13 strains, whereas spoligotyping discriminated 11 strains. Our results validate the use of PCR-based molecular typing of M. tuberculosis using repetitive elements in Indian isolates and demonstrate the usefulness of MIRUs for discriminating low-IS6110-copy isolates, which accounted for more than one-fifth of the strains in the present study.
Abstract in English:A cross-sectional clinical trial in which the serum anti-phenolic glycolipid (anti-PGL-1) antibodies were analysed in household contacts (HHC) of patients with leprosy as an adjunct early leprosy diagnostic marker was conducted. The families of 83 patients underwent clinical examination and serum anti-PGL1 measurement using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Of 320 HHC, 98 were contacts of lepromatous leprosy (LL), 80 were contacts of borderline lepromatous (BL), 28 were contacts of borderline (BB) leprosy, 54 were contacts of borderline tuberculoid (BT), 40 were contacts of tuberculoid (TT) and 20 were contacts of indeterminate (I) leprosy. Consanguinity with the patients was determined for 232 (72.5%) HHC. Of those 232 contacts, 183 had linear consanguinity. Forty-nine HHC had collateral consanguinity. Fifty-eight contacts (18.1%) tested positive for anti-PGL1 antibodies. The number of seropositive contacts based on the clinical forms of the index case was 17 (29.3%) for LL, 15 (25.9%) for BL, one (1.7%) for BB, 14 (24.1%) for BT, three (5.2%) for TT and eight (13.7%) for I. At the one year follow-up, two (3.4%) of these seropositive contacts had developed BT leprosy. The results of the present study indicate that the serum anti-PGL-1 IgM antibody may be useful for evaluating antigen exposure and as a tool for an early leprosy diagnosis in HHC.
Abstract in English:RotaTeq® (Merck & Company, Inc, Whitehouse Station, NJ, USA) is an oral pentavalent rotavirus vaccine (RV5) that has shown high and consistent efficacy in preventing rotavirus gastroenteritis (RGE) in randomised clinical trials previously conducted in industrialised countries with high medical care resources. To date, the efficacy and effectiveness data for RV5 are available in some Latin American countries, but not Brazil. In this analysis, we projected the effectiveness of RV5 in terms of the percentage reduction in RGE-related hospitalisations among children less than five years of age in four regions of Brazil, using a previously validated mathematical model. The model inputs included hospital-based rotavirus surveillance data from Goiânia, Porto Alegre, Salvador and São Paulo from 2005-2006, which provided the proportions of rotavirus attributable to serotypes G1, G2, G3, G4 and G9, and published rotavirus serotype-specific efficacy from the Rotavirus Efficacy and Safety Trial. The model projected an overall percentage reduction of 93% in RGE-related hospitalisations, with an estimated annual reduction in RGE-related hospitalisations between 42,991-77,383 in the four combined regions of Brazil. These results suggest that RV5 could substantially prevent RGE-related hospitalisations in Brazil.
Abstract in English:Phosphorylation and dephosphorylation of protein tyrosine residues constitutes a major biochemical regulatory mechanism for the cell. We report a transient increase in the total tyrosine phosphorylation of the Aedes aegypti head during the first days after emergence from the pupal stage. This correlates with an initial reduction in total head protein tyrosine phosphatase (PTP) activity. Similarly, phosphotyrosine (pTyr)-containing bands are seen in extracts prepared from both male and female heads and are spread among a variety of structures including the antennae, proboscis and the maxillary palps combined with the proboscis. Also, mosquitoes treated with sodium orthovanadate, a classical PTP inhibitor, show reduced blood-feeding activity and higher head tyrosine phosphorylation levels. These results suggest that pTyr-mediated signalling pathways may play a role in the initial days following the emergence of the adult mosquito from the pupal stage.
Abstract in English:Raphidascaris (Sprentascaris) lanfrediae sp. nov. is described from the intestine of the freshwater fish Satanoperca jurupari (Heckel) (Cichlidae) from the Guamá River, state of Pará, Brazil. The prevalence in fish (n = 59) was 27% with intensity of one-124 (mean 16) nematodes per fish. The new species is characterized mainly by the markedly larger size of ventricular appendix in relation to the oesophagus, presence of short male caudal alae, 14-16 subventral pairs of preanal papillae and six pairs of postanal papillae.
Abstract in English:Myxidium volitans sp. nov. (Myxozoa: Myxidiidae) parasitizing the hypertrophied green-brownish gallbladder of the teleost Dactylopterus volitans, collected in the Atlantic coast near Niterói, Brazil was described based on ultrastructural studies. The spores were fusiform, sometimes slightly crescent-shaped on average 21.7 ± 0.3 µm (mean ± standard deviation) (n = 50) long and 5.6 ± 0.4 µm (n = 30) wide. The spore wall was thin and smooth, comprising two equally-sized valves joined by a hardly visible sutural ridge. Spores containing two pyriform polar capsules (PC) (5.0 ± 0.4 × 2.3 ± 0.3 µm) (n = 30) are situated in each extremity of the spore. The PC wall was composed of hyaline layer (0.20-0.29 µm thick) and by a thin external granular layer. Each PC contains a polar filament (PF) with irregular arrangements that was projected from its apical region to the bases of PC and coiled laterally from bases to the tip of PC. Some regular striations and S-like structures in the periphery of the PFs with four-five irregular sections were observed. Based on the spore morphology, ultrastructural differences and the specificity of the host we describe this parasite as a new myxosporidian, named M. volitans sp. nov.
Abstract in English:Anaemia in falciparum malaria is associated with an increased risk of gametocyte carriage, but its effects on transmission have not been extensively evaluated in malarious children. Plasmodium falciparum gametocyte carriage, emergence, clearance, population sex ratios (SR) (defined as the proportion of gametocytes that are male), inbreeding rates and temporal changes in SR were evaluated in 840 malarious children. Gametocyte carriage pre-treatment was at a level of 8.1%. Anaemia at enrolment was an independent risk factor for gametocyte carriage post-treatment. The emergence of gametocytes seven days post-treatment was significantly more frequent in anaemic children (7/106 vs. 10/696, p = 0.002). In the initially detected gametocytes, the proportion of children with a male-biased SR (MBSR) (> 0.5) was significantly higher in anaemic children (6/7 vs. 3/10, p = 0.027). Pre-treatment SR and estimated inbreeding rates (proportion of a mother's daughters fertilised by her sons) were similar in anaemic and non-anaemic children. Pre-treatment SR became more female-biased in non-anaemic children following treatment. However, in anaemic children, SR became male-biased. Anaemia was shown to significantly increase gametocyte emergence and may significantly alter the SR of emerging gametocytes. If MBSR is more infective to mosquitoes at low gametocytaemia, then these findings may have significant implications for malaria control efforts in endemic settings where malaria-associated anaemia is common.
Abstract in English:Angiostrongylus cantonensis and Gnathostoma spinigerum are the two most common causative parasites of eosinophilic meningitis (EOM). Serological tests are helpful tools for confirming the identity of the pathogen. Recent reports determined the specificity of such tests by using normal healthy controls. There have been limited studies done to rule out the cross-reactivity between these two causative parasites of EOM. This study aims to assess the specificity of the serological test in EOM by using each condition as a control for the other. Thirty-three patients with a diagnosis of EOM were enrolled. Sera from 22 patients with a positive 29-kDa antigenic diagnostic band of A. cantonensis were tested for the 21 and 24-kDa antigenic bands of G. spinigerum. Similarly, sera of 11 gnathostomiasis patients were tested for the 29-kDa diagnostic band for A. cantonensis. Only one patient in the angiostrongyliasis group had a positive result for the 21 and 24-kDa antigenic bands of G. spinigerum, while no gnathostomiasis patients showed a positive result for the 29-kDa antigenic band of A. cantonensis. The specificity of the 21 and 24-kDa antigenic bands for gnathostomiasis and the 29-kDa antigenic band for A. cantonensis was 95.5% and 100%, respectively. The antigenic bands for the diagnosis of gnathostomiasis and angiostrongyliasis in EOM were highly specific.
Abstract in English:Toll-like receptors (TLRs) recognise pathogen-derived molecules and influence immunity to control parasite infections. This study aimed to evaluate the mRNA expression of TLRs 2 and 4, the expression and production of the cytokines interleukin (IL)-12, interferon (IFN)-γ, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, IL-17, IL-10 and transforming growth factor (TGF)-β and the production of nitric oxide (NO) in the spleen of mice infected with Leishmania chagasi. It also aimed to evaluate any correlations between mRNA expression TLR2 and 4 and cytokines and NO production. Infection resulted in increased TLR2-4, IL-17, TNF-α and TGF-β mRNA expression during early infection, with decreased expression during late infection correlating with parasite load. IFN-γ and IL-12 mRNA expression decreased at the peak of parasitism. IL-10 mRNA expression increased throughout the entire time period analysed. Although TGF-β, TNF-α and IL-17 were highly produced during the initial phase of infection, IFN-γ and IL-12 exhibited high production during the final phase of infection. IL-10 and NO showed increased production throughout the evaluated time period. In the acute phase of infection, there was a positive correlation between TLR2-4, TNF-α, IL-17, NO, IL-10 and TGF-β expression and parasite load. During the chronic phase of infection, there was a positive correlation between TLR2-4, TNF-α, IL-17 and TGF-β expression and parasite load. Our data suggest that infection by L. chagasi resulted in modulation of TLRs 2 and 4 and cytokines.
Abstract in English:Maternal malnutrition during the lactation period in early development may have long-term programming effects on adult offspring. We evaluated the combined effects of parasitological behaviour and histopathological features and malnutrition during lactation. Lactating mice and their pups were divided into a control group (fed a normal diet of 23% protein), a protein-restricted group (PR) (fed a diet containing 8% protein) and a caloric-restricted group (CR) (fed according to the PR group intake). At the age of 60 days, the offspring were infected with Schistosoma mansoni cercariae and killed at nine weeks post-infection. Food intake, body and liver masses, leptinaemia, corticosteronaemia, collagen morphometry and neogenesis and the cellular composition of liver granulomas were studied. PR offspring showed reduced weight gain and hypophagia, whereas CR offspring became overweight and developed hyperphagia. The pre-patent period was longer (45 days) in both programmed offspring as compared to controls (40 days). The PR-infected group had higher faecal and intestinal egg output and increased liver damage. The CR-infected group showed a lower number of liver granulomas, increased collagen neogenesis and a higher frequency of binucleate hepatocytes, suggesting a better modulation of the inflammatory response and increased liver regeneration. Taken together, our findings suggest that neonatal malnutrition of offspring during lactation affects the outcome of schistosomiasis in mice.
Abstract in English:Flaviviruses cause severe acute febrile and haemorrhagic infections, including dengue and yellow fever and the pathogenesis of these infections is caused by an exacerbated immune response. Dendritic cells (DCs) are targets for dengue virus (DENV) and yellow fever virus (YF) replication and are the first cell population to interact with these viruses during a natural infection, which leads to an induction of protective immunity in humans. We studied the infectivity of DENV2 (strain 16681), a YF vaccine (YF17DD) and a chimeric YF17D/DENV2 vaccine in monocyte-derived DCs in vitro with regard to cell maturation, activation and cytokine production. Higher viral antigen positive cell frequencies were observed for DENV2 when compared with both vaccine viruses. Flavivirus-infected cultures exhibited dendritic cell activation and maturation molecules. CD38 expression on DCs was enhanced for both DENV2 and YF17DD, whereas OX40L expression was decreased as compared to mock-stimulated cells, suggesting that a T helper 1 profile is favoured. Tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α production in cell cultures was significantly higher in DENV2-infected cultures than in cultures infected with YF17DD or YF17D/DENV. In contrast, the vaccines induced higher IFN-α levels than DENV2. The differential cytokine production indicates that DENV2 results in TNF induction, which discriminates it from vaccine viruses that preferentially stimulate interferon expression. These differential response profiles may influence the pathogenic infection outcome.
Abstract in English:Insecticide-treated nets provide a reduction in human-vector contact through physical barrier, mortality and/or repellent effects that protect both users and non-users, thereby protecting the wider community from vector-borne diseases like malaria. Long-lasting insecticide-treated nets (LLINs) are the best alternative. This study evaluated the bioefficacy of LLINs PermaNet® 2.0 and Olyset® under laboratory conditions with Anopheles albimanus. The laboratory strain was evaluated for insecticide susceptibility with selected insecticides used for malarial control. Regeneration time and wash resistance were evaluated with the standard bioassay cone technique following WHO guidelines. Heat assistance was used for Olyset® nets; the nets were exposed to four different temperatures to speed the regeneration process. The regeneration study of PermaNet® 2.0 showed that efficacy was fully recovered by 24 h after one and three washes and wash resistance persisted for 15 washes. Regeneration of Olyset® nets was not observed for nets washed three times, even with the different temperature exposures for up to seven days. Thus, for Olyset® the wash resistance evaluation could not proceed. Differences in response between the two LLINs may be associated with differences in manufacturing procedures and species response to the evaluated LLINs. PermaNet® 2.0 showed higher and continuous efficacy against An. albimanus.
Abstract in English:In this paper, we analysed the haemagglutinin (HA) gene identified by polymerase chain reaction from 90 influenza A H1N1 virus strains that circulated in Brazil from April 2009-June 2010. A World Health Organization sequencing protocol allowed us to identify amino acid mutations in the HA protein at positions S220T (71%), D239G/N/S (20%), Y247H (4.5%), E252K (3.3%), M274V (2.2%), Q310H (26.7%) and E391K (12%). A fatal outcome was associated with the D239G mutation (p < 0.0001). Brazilian HA genetic diversity, in comparison to a reference strain from California, highlights the role of influenza virus surveillance for study of viral evolution, in addition to monitoring the spread of the virus worldwide.
Abstract in English:The presence of intestinal helminths can down-regulate the immune response required to control mycobacterial infection. BALB/c mice infected with Mycobacterium bovis following an infection with the intestinal helminth Strongyloides venezuelensis showed reduced interleukin-17A production by lung cells and increased bacterial burden. Also, small granulomas and a high accumulation of cells expressing the inhibitory molecule CTLA-4 were observed in the lung. These data suggest that intestinal helminth infection could have a detrimental effect on the control of tuberculosis (TB) and render coinfected individuals more susceptible to the development of TB.
Abstract in English:The objective of the current study was to compare two rapid methods, the BBL Mycobacteria Growth Indicator Tube (MGIT TM) and Biotec FASTPlaque TB TM (FPTB) assays, with the conventional Löwenstein-Jensen (LJ) media assay to diagnose mycobacterial infections from paucibacillary clinical specimens. For evaluation of the clinical utility of the BBL MGIT TM and FPTB assays, respiratory tract specimens (n = 208), with scanty bacilli or clinically evident, smear negative cases and non-respiratory tract specimens (n = 119) were analyzed and the performance of each assay was compared with LJ media. MGIT and FPTB demonstrated a greater sensitivity (95.92% and 87.68%), specificity (94.59% and 98.78%), positive predictive value (94.91% and 99.16%) and negative predictive value (96.56% and 90.92%), respectively, compared to LJ culture for both respiratory tract and non-respiratory tract specimens. However, the FPTB assay was unable to detect nontuberculous mycobacteria and few Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex cases from paucibacillary clinical specimens. It is likely that the analytical sensitivity of FPTB is moderately low and may not be useful for the direct detection of tuberculosis in paucibacillary specimens. The current study concluded that MGIT was a dependable, highly efficient system for recovery of M. tuberculosis complexes and nontuberculous mycobacteria from both respiratory and non-respiratory tract specimens in combination with LJ media.
Abstract in English:Ocular toxoplasmosis can result in recurrent uveitis. Studies have shown that a correlation between active ocular toxoplasmosis and the presence of anti-Toxoplasma gondii secretory IgA (SIgA) in tears. This study compares anti-T. gondii SIgA levels in patients' tears during the acute and inactive phases of toxoplasmic uveitis. Twenty-nine positive tear specific SIgA for T. gondii patients with acute toxoplasmic uveitis were selected and were followed-up for at least two years, when the anti-T. gondii SIgA tears levels were determined. Specific SIgA for T. gondii was negative in 22 patients (75.86%) and positive in seven patients (24.13%) of whom six (85.7%) were followed over three years. Average SIgA levels during the acute phase are 1.54 and decrease significantly to 0.72 (p = 0.0001) during the inactive phase of disease. Because anti-T. gondii SIgA in the tear is negative in 75.86% of patients after the acute phase of infection, T. gondii SIgA levels may be used as a complementary diagnostic marker for active ocular toxoplasmosis.
Abstract in English:We report two ciprofloxacin and ofloxacin-resistant Neisseria gonorrhoeae strains that were isolated from the urethral discharge of male patients at the sexually transmitted diseases outpatient clinic of the Alfredo da Matta Foundation (Manaus, state of Amazonas, Brazil). The gonococci displayed minimal inhibitory concentrations (> 32.00 µg/mL) and three mutations in the quinolone resistance-determining region (S91F and D95G in GyrA and S87R in ParC). Both isolates were genotyped using N. gonorrhoeae multi-antigen sequence typing and the analysis showed that the ST225 which represented an emerging widespread multi-resistant clone that has also been associated with reduced susceptibility to ceftriaxone. We recommend continued surveillance of this pathogen to assess the efficacy of anti-gonococcal antibiotics in Brazil.
Abstract in English:Leprosy and hepatitis B virus (HBV) are highly endemic in some regions of the state of Mato Grosso, in central Brazil. The association of leprosy with HBV and hepatitis C virus (HCV) was assessed using a seroprevalence study and 191 leprosy outpatients were included. Demographic data and the clinical classification of leprosy were recorded. Evidence of previous HBV infection was present in 53 patients (27.7%, 95% confidence interval: 21.9-34.5) and two (1%) were HBsAg positive. Five (2.6%) had antibodies to HCV. The prevalence of previous exposure to HBV was higher than expected for an adult population in central Brazil. In contrast, the prevalence of anti-HCV antibodies was not much higher regarding the age range of participants. HBV markers were associated with a higher number of sex partners and the use of injections without proper sterilisation of the syringes. The number of HBV carriers was small, suggesting that there was no increased likelihood of chronification among these patients.
Abstract in English:In the present work, the hourly activity of Lutzomyia neivai was studied in the southern part of the province of Tucumán, Argentina, in an area of transmission of cutaneous leishmaniasis during two months of higher activity. In addition, the variables that influenced the abundance of Lu. neivai were evaluated. A total of 1,146 individuals belonging to Lu. neivai (97%) and Lutzomyia migonei (3%) were captured. The hourly activity of Lu. neivai was mainly nocturnal, with a bimodal pattern in both months. In January, the variable that most influenced the abundance of Lu. neivai was the temperature, whereas in April, that variable was humidity. These results may contribute to the design of anti-vectorial control measures at a micro-focal scale.