Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, Volume: 106, Issue: 6, Published: 2011
  • Chronic phase of Chagas disease: why should it be treated? A comprehensive review Review

    Coura, José Rodrigues; Borges-Pereira, José

    Abstract in English:

    The pathogenesis and evolutive pattern of Chagas disease suggests that the chronic phase should be more widely treated in order to (i) eliminate Trypanosoma cruzi and prevent new inflammatory foci and the extension of tissue lesions, (ii) promote tissue regeneration to prevent fibrosis, (iii) reverse existing fibrosis, (iv) prevent cardiomyopathy, megaoesophagus and megacolon and (v) reduce or eliminate cardiac block and arrhythmia. All cases of the indeterminate chronic form of Chagas disease without contraindications due to other concomitant diseases or pregnancy should be treated and not only cases involving children or recently infected cases. Patients with chronic Chagas cardiomyopathy grade II of the New York Heart Association classification should be treated with specific chemotherapy and grade III can be treated according to medical-patient decisions. We are proposing the following new strategies for chemotherapeutic treatment of the chronic phase of Chagas disease: (i) repeated short-term treatments for 30 consecutive days and interval of 30-60 days for six months to one year and (ii) combinations of drugs with different mechanisms of action, such as benznidazole + nifurtimox, benznidazole or nifurtimox + allopurinol or triazole antifungal agents, inhibition of sterol synthesis.
  • Candida parapsilosis complex water isolates from a haemodialysis unit: biofilm production and in vitro evaluation of the use of clinical antifungals Articles

    Pires, Regina Helena; Santos, Jaime Maia dos; Zaia, José Eduardo; Martins, Carlos Henrique Gomes; Mendes-Giannini, Maria José Soares

    Abstract in English:

    Candida parapsilosis, currently divided into three distinct species, proliferates in glucose-rich solutions and has been associated with infections resulting from the use of medical devices made of plastic, an environment common in dialysis centres. The aims of this study were (i) to screen for Candida orthopsilosis and Candida metapsilosis (100 environmental isolates previously identified as C. parapsilosis), (ii) to test the ability of these isolates to form biofilm and (iii) to investigate the in vitro susceptibility of Candida spp biofilms to the antifungal agents, fluconazole (FLC) and amphotericin B (AMB). Isolates were obtained from a hydraulic circuit collected from a haemodialysis unit. Based on molecular criteria, 47 strains were re-identified as C. orthopsilosis and 53 as C. parapsilosis. Analyses using a formazan salt reduction assay and total viable count, together with microscopy studies, revealed that 72 strains were able to form biofilm that was structurally similar, but with minor differences in morphology. A microtitre-based colorimetric assay used to test the susceptibility of fungal biofilms to AMB and FLC demonstrated that the C. parapsilosis complex displayed an increased resistance to these antifungal agents. The results from these analyses may provide a basis for implementing quality controls and monitoring to ensure the microbiological purity of dialysis water, including the presence of yeast.
  • Clinical data and molecular analysis of Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates from drug-resistant tuberculosis patients in Goiás, Brazil Articles

    Alves, Sueli Lemes de Ávila; Metzker, Fabiana Sarcinelli; Araújo-Filho, João Alves de; Junqueira-Kipnis, Ana Paula; Kipnis, André

    Abstract in English:

    Drug resistance is one of the major concerns regarding tuberculosis (TB) infection worldwide because it hampers control of the disease. Understanding the underlying mechanisms responsible for drug resistance development is of the highest importance. To investigate clinical data from drug-resistant TB patients at the Tropical Diseases Hospital, Goiás (GO), Brazil and to evaluate the molecular basis of rifampin (R) and isoniazid (H) resistance in Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Drug susceptibility testing was performed on 124 isolates from 100 patients and 24 isolates displayed resistance to R and/or H. Molecular analysis of drug resistance was performed by partial sequencing of the rpoB and katGgenes and analysis of the inhA promoter region. Similarity analysis of isolates was performed by 15 loci mycobacterial interspersed repetitive unit-variable number tandem repeat (MIRU-VNTR) typing. The molecular basis of drug resistance among the 24 isolates from 16 patients was confirmed in 18 isolates. Different susceptibility profiles among the isolates from the same individual were observed in five patients; using MIRU-VNTR, we have shown that those isolates were not genetically identical, with differences in one to three loci within the 15 analysed loci. Drug-resistant TB in GO is caused by M. tuberculosis strains with mutations in previously described sites of known genes and some patients harbour a mixed phenotype infection as a consequence of a single infective event; however, further and broader investigations are needed to support our findings.
  • Influence of GB virus C on IFN-γ and IL-2 production and CD38 expression in T lymphocytes from chronically HIV-infected and HIV-HCV-co-infected patients Articles

    Baggio-Zappia, Giovana Lotici; Barbosa, Aline de Jesus; Brunialti, Milena Karina Coló; Salomão, Reinaldo; Granato, Celso Francisco Hernandes

    Abstract in English:

    This study was designed to assess the effect of GB virus (GBV)-C on the immune response to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in chronically HIV-infected and HIV- hepatitis C virus (HCV)-co-infected patients undergoing antiretroviral therapy. A cohort of 159 HIV-seropositive patients, of whom 52 were HCV-co-infected, was included. Epidemiological data were collected and virological and immunological markers, including the production of interferon gamma (IFN-γ) and interleukin (IL)-2 by CD4, CD8 and Tγδ cells and the expression of the activation marker, CD38, were assessed. A total of 65 patients (40.8%) presented markers of GBV-C infection. The presence of GBV-C did not influence HIV and HCV replication or TCD4 and TCD8 cell counts. Immune responses, defined by IFN-γ and IL-2 production and CD38 expression did not differ among the groups. Our results suggest that neither GBV-C viremia nor the presence of E2 antibodies influence HIV and HCV viral replication or CD4 T cell counts in chronically infected patients. Furthermore, GBV-C did not influence cytokine production or CD38-driven immune activation among these patients. Although our results do not exclude a protective effect of GBV-C in early HIV disease, they demonstrate that this effect may not be present in chronically infected patients, who represent the majority of patients in outpatient clinics.
  • Lanfrediella amphicirrus gen. nov. sp. nov. Nematotaeniidae (Cestoda: Cyclophyllidea), a tapeworm parasite of Rhinella marina (Linnaeus, 1758) (Amphibia: Bufonidae) Articles

    Melo, Francisco Tiago de Vasconcelos; Giese, Elane Guerreiro; Furtado, Adriano Penha; Soares, Maurílio José; Gonçalves, Evonnildo Costa; Vallinoto, Antonio Carlos Rosário; Santos, Jeannie Nascimento dos

    Abstract in English:

    The family Nematotaeniidae, tapeworms commonly found in the small intestines of amphibians and reptiles, includes 27 recognised species distributed among four genera: Bitegmen Jones, Cylindrotaenia Jewell, Distoichometra Dickey and Nematotaenia Lühe. The taxonomy of these cestodes is poorly defined, due in part to the difficulties of observing many anatomical traits. This study presents and describes a new genus and species of nematotaeniid parasite found in cane toads (Rhinella marina) from eastern Brazilian Amazonia. The cestodes were collected during the necropsy of 20 hosts captured in the urban area of Belém, Pará. The specimens were fixed and processed for light microscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and three-dimensional (3D) reconstruction. Samples were also collected for molecular analyses. The specimens presented a cylindrical body, two testes and paruterine organs. However, they could not be allocated to any of the four existing nematotaeniid genera due to the presence of two each of dorsal compact medullary testes, cirri, cirrus pouches, genital pores, ovaries and vitelline glands per mature segment. Lanfrediella amphicirrus gen. nov. sp. nov. is the first nematotaeniid studied using Historesin analysis, SEM and 3D reconstruction, and it is the second taxon for which molecular data have been deposited in GenBank.
  • Tire-breeding mosquitoes of public health importance along an urbanisation gradient in Buenos Aires, Argentina Articles

    Rubio, Alejandra; Cardo, María Victoria; Vezzani, Darío

    Abstract in English:

    Used vehicle tires are a source of mosquito vectors and a means of their introduction and expansion. With the aim of assessing the effects of urbanisation on the main mosquito vectors in temperate Argentina, the infestation levels of Aedes aegypti (L.) and Culex pipiens L. were studied in used tires from highly urbanised cities to low-urbanised small towns in Buenos Aires. Immatures of both species accounted for 96% of the 9,722 individuals collected; the total individuals collected represented seven species. The percentage of water-filled tires containing mosquitoes [container index (CI)] was 33% and the percentage of infested sites [site index (SI)] was 65.2%. These indexes decreased significantly from low to high urbanisation levels for both mosquito species. The relative abundance (RA) of Ae. aegypti immatures was slightly higher toward large cities, but showed no difference for Cx. pipiens. The CI of shaded tires was significantly higher than the CI of exposed tires for both mosquito species. There was no difference in RA values between shaded and sunlit tires. The CI and the SI were highest during the summer across the urbanisation levels, except for Cx. pipiens, which continued to increase during the autumn in small towns. Results related to urbanisation gradient, sunlit exposure and seasonality are discussed.
  • Plasmodium falciparum gametocyte carriage, sex ratios and asexual parasite rates in Nigerian children before and after a treatment protocol policy change instituting the use of artemisinin-based combination therapies Articles

    Gbotosho, Grace Olusola; Sowunmi, Akintunde; Happi, Christian Tientcha; Okuboyejo, Titilope Modupe

    Abstract in English:

    The effects of artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) on transmission of Plasmodium falciparum were evaluated after a policy change instituting the use of ACTs in an endemic area. P. falciparum gametocyte carriage, sex ratios and inbreeding rates were examined in 2,585 children at presentation with acute falciparum malaria during a 10-year period from 2001-2010. Asexual parasite rates were also evaluated from 2003-2010 in 10,615 children before and after the policy change. Gametocyte carriage declined significantly from 12.4% in 2001 to 3.6% in 2010 (@@χ² for trend = 44.3, p < 0.0001), but sex ratios and inbreeding rates remained unchanged. Additionally, overall parasite rates remained unchanged before and after the policy change (47.2% vs. 45.4%), but these rates declined significantly from 2003-2010 (@@χ² for trend 35.4, p < 0.0001). Chloroquine (CQ) and artemether-lumefantrine (AL) were used as prototype drugs before and after the policy change, respectively. AL significantly shortened the duration of male gametocyte carriage in individual patients after treatment began compared with CQ (log rank statistic = 7.92, p = 0.005). ACTs reduced the rate of gametocyte carriage in children with acute falciparum infections at presentation and shortened the duration of male gametocyte carriage after treatment. However, parasite population sex ratios, inbreeding rates and overall parasite rate were unaffected.
  • Malaria diagnosis from pooled blood samples: comparative analysis of real-time PCR, nested PCR and immunoassay as a platform for the molecular and serological diagnosis of malaria on a large-scale Articles

    Lima, Giselle FMC; Levi, José E; Geraldi, Marcelo P; Sanchez, Maria Carmen A; Segurado, Aluísio AC; Hristov, Angélica D; Inoue, Juliana; Costa-Nascimento, Maria de Jesus; Di Santi, Silvia M

    Abstract in English:

    Malaria diagnoses has traditionally been made using thick blood smears, but more sensitive and faster techniques are required to process large numbers of samples in clinical and epidemiological studies and in blood donor screening. Here, we evaluated molecular and serological tools to build a screening platform for pooled samples aimed at reducing both the time and the cost of these diagnoses. Positive and negative samples were analysed in individual and pooled experiments using real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR), nested PCR and an immunochromatographic test. For the individual tests, 46/49 samples were positive by real-time PCR, 46/49 were positive by nested PCR and 32/46 were positive by immunochromatographic test. For the assays performed using pooled samples, 13/15 samples were positive by real-time PCR and nested PCR and 11/15 were positive by immunochromatographic test. These molecular methods demonstrated sensitivity and specificity for both the individual and pooled samples. Due to the advantages of the real-time PCR, such as the fast processing and the closed system, this method should be indicated as the first choice for use in large-scale diagnosis and the nested PCR should be used for species differentiation. However, additional field isolates should be tested to confirm the results achieved using cultured parasites and the serological test should only be adopted as a complementary method for malaria diagnosis.
  • Interaction of Trichomonas vaginalis and Tritrichomonas foetus with keratin: an important role in parasite infection Articles

    Vilela, Ricardo Chaves; Benchimol, Marlene

    Abstract in English:

    Trichomonas vaginalis and Tritrichomonas foetus are human and bovine parasites, respectively, that provoke the sexually transmitted disease trichomoniasis. These extracellular parasites adhere to the host epithelial cell surface. Although mucinases and proteases have been described as important proteins for parasite adhesion to epithelial cells, no studies have examined the role of the keratin molecules that cornify the vaginal epithelium. Here, we investigated the interaction of T. vaginalis and T. foetus with human keratin in vitro; additionally, adherence assays were performed in cattle with T. foetus to elucidate whether trichomonads were able to interact with keratin in vivo. We demonstrated that both T. vaginalisand T. foetusinteracted directly with keratin. Additionally, the trichomonads ingested and digested keratin, shedding new light on the Trichomonas infection process.
  • Molecular phylogeny of the Myzorhynchella Section of Anopheles (Nyssorhynchus) (Diptera: Culicidae): genetic support for recently described and resurrected species Articles

    Bourke, Brian Patrick; Nagaki, Sandra Sayuri; Bergo, Eduardo Sterlino; Cardoso, Jáder da Cruz; Sallum, Maria Anice Mureb

    Abstract in English:

    Phylogenetic relationships among species of the Myzorhynchella Section of Anopheles (Nyssorhynchus) were investigated using the nuclear ribosomal DNA second internal transcribed spacer (ITS2), the nuclear whitegene and mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI) regions. The recently described Anopheles pristinus and resurrected Anopheles guarani were also included in the study. Bayesian phylogenetic analyses found Anopheles parvus to be the most distantly related species within the Section, a finding that is consistent with morphology. An. pristinus and An. guarani were clearly resolved from Anopheles antunesi and Anopheles lutzii, respectively. An. lutzii collected in the same mountain range as the type locality were found within a strongly supported clade, whereas individuals from the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul, tentatively identified as An. lutzii based on adult female external morphology, were distinct from An. lutzii, An. antunesi and from each other, and may therefore represent two new sympatric species. A more detailed examination of An. lutzii sensu latoalong its known geographic range is recommended to resolve these anomalous relationships.
  • Genetic polymorphisms of NAT2, CYP2E1 and GST enzymes and the occurrence of antituberculosis drug-induced hepatitis in Brazilian TB patients Articles

    Teixeira, Raquel Lima de Figueiredo; Morato, Renata Gomes; Cabello, Pedro Hernan; Muniz, Ligia Mayumi Kitada; Moreira, Adriana da Silva Rezende; Kritski, Afrânio Lineu; Mello, Fernanda Carvalho Queiroz; Suffys, Philip Noel; Miranda, Antonio Basilio de; Santos, Adalberto Rezende

    Abstract in English:

    Isoniazid (INH), one of the most important drugs used in antituberculosis (anti-TB) treatment, is also the major drug involved in hepatotoxicity. Differences in INH-induced toxicity have been attributed to genetic variability at several loci, such as NAT2, CYP2E1, GSTM1 and GSTT1, that code for drug-metabolising enzymes. Our goal was to examine the polymorphisms in these enzymes as susceptibility factors to anti-TB drug-induced hepatitis in Brazilian individuals. In a case-control design, 167 unrelated active tuberculosis patients from the University Hospital of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, were enrolled in this study. Patients with a history of anti-TB drug-induced acute hepatitis (cases with an increase to 3 times the upper limit of normal serum transaminases and symptoms of hepatitis) and patients with no evidence of anti-TB hepatic side effects (controls) were genotyped for NAT2, CYP2E1, GSTM1 and GSTT1 polymorphisms. Slow acetylators had a higher incidence of hepatitis than intermediate/rapid acetylators [22% (18/82) vs. 9.8% (6/61), odds ratio (OR), 2.86, 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.06-7.68, p = 0.04). Logistic regression showed that slow acetylation status was the only independent risk factor (OR 3.59, 95% CI, 2.53-4.64, p = 0.02) for the occurrence of anti-TB drug-induced hepatitis during anti-TB treatment with INH-containing schemes in Brazilian individuals.
  • Genotypes of Cryptococcus neoformans and Cryptococcus gattii as agents of endemic cryptococcosis in Teresina, Piauí (northeastern Brazil) Articles

    Martins, Liline Maria Soares; Wanke, Bodo; Lazéra, Márcia dos Santos; Trilles, Luciana; Barbosa, Gláucia Gonçalves; Macedo, Regina Célia Lima de; Cavalcanti, Maria do Amparo Salmito; Eulálio, Kelsen Dantas; Castro, José Adail Fonseca de; Silva, Adalberto Socorro da; Nascimento, Fernando Ferraz do; Gouveia, Viviane Alves; Monte, Semiramis Jamil Hadad do

    Abstract in English:

    Throughout Brazil, Cryptococcus neoformans is the cause of cryptococcosis, whereas Cryptococcus gattii is endemic to the northern and northeastern states. In this study, the molecular types of 63 cryptococcal isolates recovered from the cerebrospinal fluid of meningitis patients diagnosed between 2008-2010 in Teresina, Piauí, Brazil, were analysed. Out of the 63 patients, 37 (58.7%) were human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive and 26 (41.3%) were HIV-negative. URA5-restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis identified 37/63 (58.7%) isolates as the C. neoformans VNI genotype, predominantly in HIV-positive patients (32/37, 86.5%), and 24/63 (38.1%) as the C. gattii VGII genotype, mostly in HIV-negative patients (21/26, 80.8%). The occurrence of C. gattii VGII in six apparently healthy children and in seven adolescents/young adults in this region reaffirms the endemic occurrence of C. gattii VGII-induced primary cryptococcosis and early cryptococcal infection. Lethality occurred in 18/37 (48.6%) of the HIV-positive subjects and in 13/26 (50%) of the HIV-negative patients. Our results provide new information on the molecular epidemiology of C. neoformans and C. gattii in Brazilian endemic areas.
  • How to increase the population of a Phlebotomus perniciosus (Diptera: Psychodidae) colony: a new method Articles

    Alarcón-Elbal, Pedro María; Montoliu, Begoña García; Pinal, Rocío; Delacour-Estrella, Sarah; Ruiz-Arrondo, Ignacio; Peribáñez, Miguel Ángel; Blas, Ignacio De; Molina, Ricardo; Castillo, Juan Antonio; Diéguez-Fernández, Lorenzo; Lucientes, Javier

    Abstract in English:

    The sandfly Phlebotomus perniciosus is the most widespread vector of Leishmania infantum in Spain. Laboratory colonisation represents the most feasible source of information on the biology of these insects, but in conducting any study, the density of individuals in the colony may drop to such an extent that it is sometimes difficult to recover the initial population levels. A new technique was tested for the recovery of sandfly eggs in three different colonies; the recovery rate was studied by comparing the standard method of mass rearing with this new method of colony management. The results demonstrate a mean increase of 18.4% in adult production, a growth in colony productivity that justifies the inclusion of this process in the routine maintenance of any colony of sandflies.
  • Granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor enhances the modulatory effect of cytokines on monocyte-derived multinucleated giant cell formation and fungicidal activity against Paracoccidioides brasiliensis Articles

    Nascimento, Magda Paula Pereira do; Bannwart, Camila Ferreira; Nakaira-Takahagi, Erika; Peraçoli, Maria Terezinha Serrão

    Abstract in English:

    Multinucleated giant cells (MGC) are cells present in characteristic granulomatous inflammation induced by intracellular infectious agents or foreign materials. The present study evaluated the modulatory effect of granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) in association with other cytokines such as interferon-gamma (IFN-γ), tumour necrosis factor-alpha, interleukin (IL)-10 or transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β1) on the formation of MGC from human peripheral blood monocytes stimulated with Paracoccidioides brasiliensis antigen (PbAg). The generation of MGC was determined by fusion index (FI) and the fungicidal activity of these cells was evaluated after 4 h of MGC co-cultured with viable yeast cells of P. brasiliensis strain 18 (Pb18). The results showed that monocytes incubated with PbAg and GM-CSF plus IFN-γ had a significantly higher FI than in all the other cultures, while the addition of IL-10 or TGF-β1 had a suppressive effect on MGC generation. Monocytes incubated with both pro and anti-inflammatory cytokines had a higher induction of foreign body-type MGC rather than Langhans-type MGC. MGC stimulated with PbAg and GM-CSF in association with the other cytokines had increased fungicidal activity and the presence of GM-CSF also partially inhibited the suppressive effects of IL-10 and TGF-β1. Together, these results suggest that GM-CSF is a positive modulator of PbAg-stimulated MGC generation and on the fungicidal activity against Pb18.
  • A comparative study of fat body morphology in five mosquito species Articles

    Martins, Gustavo Ferreira; Serrão, José Eduardo; Ramalho-Ortigão, José Marcelo; Pimenta, Paulo Filemon Paolucci

    Abstract in English:

    The insect fat body plays major roles in the intermediary metabolism, in the storage and transport of haemolymph compounds and in the innate immunity. Here, the overall structure of the fat body of five species of mosquitoes (Aedes albopictus, Aedes fluviatilis, Culex quinquefasciatus, Anopheles aquasalis and Anopheles darlingi) was compared through light, scanning and transmission electron microscopy. Generally for mosquitoes, the fat body consists of lobes projecting into the haemocoel and is formed by great cell masses consisting of trophocytes and oenocytes. Trophocytes are rich in lipid droplets and protein granules. Interestingly, brown pigment granules, likely ommochromes, were found exclusively in the trophocytes located within the thorax and near the dorsal integument of Anopheles, which is suggestive of the role these cells play in detoxification via ommochrome storage. This study provides a detailed comparative analysis of the fat body in five different mosquito species and represents a significant contribution towards the understanding of the structural-functional relationships associated with this organ.
  • The presence of Helicobacter pylori in the liver depends on the Th1, Th17 and Treg cytokine profile of the patient Articles

    Silva, Luciana Diniz; Rocha, Andreia Maria Camargos; Rocha, Gifone Aguiar; Moura, Sílvia Beleza de; Rocha, Márcia Maria Negreiros Pinto; Dani, Renato; Melo, Fabrício Freire de; Guerra, Juliana Becattini; Castro, Lúcia Porto Fonseca de; Mendes, Guilherme Santiago; Ferrari, Teresa Cristina de Abreu; Lima, Agnaldo Soares; Queiroz, Dulciene Maria Magalhães

    Abstract in English:

    The hypothesis that Helicobactermight be a risk factor for human liver diseases has arisen after the detection of Helicobacter DNA in hepatic tissue of patients with hepatobiliary diseases. Nevertheless, no explanation that justifies the presence of the bacterium in the human liver has been proposed. We evaluated the presence of Helicobacterin the liver of patients with hepatic diseases of different aetiologies. We prospectively evaluated 147 patients (106 with primary hepatic diseases and 41 with hepatic metastatic tumours) and 20 liver donors as controls. Helicobacter species were investigated in the liver by culture and specific 16S rDNA nested-polymerase chain reaction followed by sequencing. Serum and hepatic levels of representative cytokines of T regulatory cell, T helper (Th)1 and Th17 cell lineages were determined using enzyme linked immunosorbent assay. The data were evaluated using logistic models. Detection of Helicobacter pylori DNA in the liver was independently associated with hepatitis B virus/hepatitis C virus, pancreatic carcinoma and a cytokine pattern characterised by high interleukin (IL)-10, low/absent interferon-γ and decreased IL-17A concentrations (p < 10-3). The bacterial DNA was never detected in the liver of patients with alcoholic cirrhosis and autoimmune hepatitis that are associated with Th1/Th17 polarisation. H. pylori may be observed in the liver of patients with certain hepatic and pancreatic diseases, but this might depend on the patient cytokine profile.
  • Potential impact of a presumed increase in the biting activity of dengue-virus-infected Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae) females on virus transmission dynamics Short Communications

    Luz, Paula Mendes; Lima-Camara, Tamara Nunes; Bruno, Rafaela Vieira; Castro, Márcia Gonçalves de; Sorgine, Marcos Henrique Ferreira; Lourenço-de-Oliveira, Ricardo; Peixoto, Alexandre Afrânio

    Abstract in English:

    Recently, we showed that infection with dengue virus increases the locomotor activity of Aedes aegypti females. We speculate that the observed increased locomotor activity could potentially increase the chances of finding a suitable host and, as a consequence, the relative biting rate of infected mosquitoes. We used a mathematical model to investigate the impact of the increased locomotor activity by assuming that this activity translated into an increased biting rate for infected mosquitoes. The results show that the increased biting rate resulted in dengue outbreaks with greater numbers of primary and secondary infections and with more severe biennial epidemics.
  • Can thymic epithelial cells be infected by human T-lymphotropic virus type 1? Short Communications

    Moreira-Ramos, Klaysa; Castro, Flávia Madeira Monteiro de; Linhares-Lacerda, Leandra; Savino, Wilson

    Abstract in English:

    The human T-lymphotropic virus type-1 (HTLV-1) is the cause of adult T cell leukaemias/lymphoma. Because thymic epithelial cells (TEC) express recently defined receptors for the virus, it seemed conceivable that these cells might be a target for HTLV-1 infection. We developed an in vitro co-culture system comprising HTLV-1+-infected T cells and human TECs. Infected T cells did adhere to TECs and, after 24 h, the viral proteins gp46 and p19 were observed in TECs. After incubating TECs with culture supernatants from HTLV-1+-infected T cells, we detected gp46 on TEC membranes and the HTLV-1 tax gene integrated in the TEC genome. In conclusion, the human thymic epithelium can be infected in vitro by HTLV-1, not only via cell-cell contact, but also via exposure to virus-containing medium.
  • Survey of Leptospira spp in pampas deer (Ozotoceros bezoarticus) in the Pantanal wetlands of the state of Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil by serology and polymerase chain reaction Short Communications

    Vieira, Anahí Souto; Rosinha, Grácia Maria Soares; Oliveira, Carina Elisei de; Vasconcellos, Silvio Arruda; Lima-Borges, Paulo Andre; Tomás, Walfrido Moraes; Mourão, Guilherme Miranda; Lacerda, Ana Cristina Reis; Soares, Cleber Oliveira; Araújo, Flábio Ribeiro de; Piovezan, Ubiratan; Zucco, Carlos Andre; Pellegrin, Aiesca Oliveira

    Abstract in English:

    This work reports a survey of Leptospira spp in pampas deer (Ozotoceros bezoarticus) in the Pantanal wetlands of the state of Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil by serology and polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Seventy pampas deer were captured in the dry season and surveyed using PCR, microscopic agglutination test (MAT) (n = 51) and by both techniques (n = 47). PCR detected infections in two pampas deer and MAT detected infections in three. Through sequencing and phylogenetic analyses, the PCR-amplified fragment detected in deer was identified as Leptospira interrogans. Serovars Pomona and Butembo were detected using MAT and the highest titre was 200 for serovar Pomona. Epidemiological aspects of the findings are discussed.
  • Description of the cave organ in three species of the genus Belminus (Hemiptera: Reduviidae: Triatominae) by optical and scanning electron microscopy Short Communications

    Sandoval, Claudia Magaly; Nieves, Elsa; Angulo, Víctor Manuel; Aldana, Elis

    Abstract in English:

    The cave organ is a sensory receptor in the antenna pedicel of some Reduviidae. This paper describes this organ for the first time in three species of the genus Belminus, Belminus corredori, Belminus ferroae and Belminus herreri, by optical and scanning electron microscopy. The structures presented a general pattern similar to one reported for other species of Triatominae.
  • High prevalence and lack of diversity of Wolbachia pipientis in Aedes albopictus populations from Northeast Brazil Short Communications

    Albuquerque, Alessandra Lima de; Magalhães, Tereza; Ayres, Constância Flávia Junqueira

    Abstract in English:

    The use of Wolbachia as a tool to control insect vectors has recently been suggested. In this context, studies on the prevalence and diversity of this bacterium in wild populations are relevant. Here, we evaluated the diversity of two Wolbachiagenes (ftsZ and wsp) and the prevalence of this endosymbiont in wild Aedes albopictus. Using semi-nested polymerase chain reaction, our results showed that 99.3% of the individuals were superinfected with Wolbachia. In regards to genetic diversity, the two genes showed no variation within or among mosquito populations. An analysis of other Wolbachia markers may help to clarify the relationship between insect and endosymbiont.
  • Validation of an immunochromatographic assay kit for the identification of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex Short Communications

    Toihir, Al-Habib Omar Said; Rasolofo, Voahangy; Andrianarisoa, Samuel Hermas; Ranjalahy, Gabriel Marie; Ramarokoto, Herimanana

    Abstract in English:

    The performance of the immunochromatographic assay, SD BIOLINE TB Ag MPT64 RAPID®, was evaluated in Madagascar. Using mouse anti-MPT64 monoclonal antibodies for rapid discrimination between the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex and nontuberculous mycobacteria, the kit was tested on mycobacteria and other pathogens using conventional methods as the gold standard. The results presented here indicate that this kit has excellent sensitivity (100%) and specificity (100%) compared to standard biochemical detection and can be easily used for the rapid identification of M. tuberculosis complex.
  • Are all psittacine birds carriers of Cryptococcus neoformans? Readers' Opinion

    Marietto-Gonçalves, Guilherme Augusto; Grandi, Fabrizio
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