Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, Volume: 108, Issue: 8, Published: 2013
  • Genetics of chloroquine-resistant malaria: a haplotypic view Review

    Awasthi, Gauri; Das, Aparup

    Abstract in English:

    The development and rapid spread of chloroquine resistance (CQR) in Plasmodium falciparum have triggered the identification of several genetic target(s) in the P. falciparum genome. In particular, mutations in the Pfcrt gene, specifically, K76T and mutations in three other amino acids in the region adjoining K76 (residues 72, 74, 75 and 76), are considered to be highly related to CQR. These various mutations form several different haplotypes and Pfcrt gene polymorphisms and the global distribution of the different CQR- Pfcrt haplotypes in endemic and non-endemic regions of P. falciparum malaria have been the subject of extensive study. Despite the fact that the Pfcrt gene is considered to be the primary CQR gene in P. falciparum , several studies have suggested that this may not be the case. Furthermore, there is a poor correlation between the evolutionary implications of the Pfcrt haplotypes and the inferred migration of CQR P. falciparum based on CQR epidemiological surveillance data. The present paper aims to clarify the existing knowledge on the genetic basis of the different CQR- Pfcrt haplotypes that are prevalent in worldwide populations based on the published literature and to analyse the data to generate hypotheses on the genetics and evolution of CQR malaria.
  • Chagas disease: control, elimination and eradication. Is it possible? Review

    Coura, José Rodrigues

    Abstract in English:

    From an epidemiological point of view, Chagas disease and its reservoirs and vectors can present the following characteristics: (i) enzooty, maintained by wild animals and vectors, with broad occurrence from southern United States of America (USA) to southern Argentina and Chile (42ºN 49ºS), (ii) anthropozoonosis, when man invades the wild ecotope and becomes infected with Trypanosoma cruzi from wild animals or vectors or when the vectors and wild animals, especially marsupials, invade the human domicile and infect man, (iii) zoonosis-amphixenosis and exchanged infection between animals and humans by domestic vectors in endemic areas and (iv) zooanthroponosis, infection that is transmitted from man to animals, by means of domestic vectors, which is the rarest situation in areas endemic for Chagas disease. The characteristics of Chagas disease as an enzooty of wild animals and as an anthropozoonosis are seen most frequently in the Brazilian Amazon and in the Pan-Amazon region as a whole, where there are 33 species of six genera of wild animals: Marsupialia, Chiroptera, Rodentia, Edentata (Xenarthra), Carnivora and Primata and 27 species of triatomines, most of which infected with T. cruzi . These conditions place the resident populations of this area or its visitors - tourists, hunters, fishermen and especially the people whose livelihood involves plant extraction - at risk of being affected by Chagas disease. On the other hand, there has been an exponential increase in the acute cases of Chagas disease in that region through oral transmission of T. cruzi , causing outbreaks of the disease. In four seroepidemiological surveys that were carried out in areas of the microregion of the Negro River, state of Amazonas, in 1991, 1993, 1997 and 2010, we found large numbers of people who were serologically positive for T. cruzi infection. The majority of them and/or their relatives worked in piassava extraction and had come into contact with and were stung by wild triatomines in that area. Finally, a characteristic that is greatly in evidence currently is the migration of people with Chagas disease from endemic areas of Latin America to non-endemic countries. This has created a new dilemma for these countries: the risk of transmission through blood transfusion and the onus of controlling donors and treating migrants with the disease. As an enzooty of wild animals and vectors, and as an anthropozoonosis, Chagas disease cannot be eradicated, but it must be controlled by transmission elimination to man.
  • Evidence of an increased incidence of day 3 parasitaemia in Suriname: an indicator of the emerging resistance of Plasmodium falciparum to artemether Articles

    Vreden, Stephen GS; Jitan, Jeetendra K; Bansie, Rakesh D; Adhin, Malti R

    Abstract in English:

    The emerging resistance to artemisinin derivatives that has been reported in South-East Asia led us to assess the efficacy of artemether-lumefantrine as the first line therapy for uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum infections in Suriname. This drug assessment was performed according to the recommendations of the World Health Organization in 2011. The decreasing number of malaria cases in Suriname, which are currently limited to migrating populations and gold miners, precludes any conclusions on artemether efficacy because adequate numbers of patients with 28-day follow-up data are difficult to obtain. Therefore, a comparison of day 3 parasitaemia in a 2011 study and in a 2005/2006 study was used to detect the emergence of resistance to artemether. The prevalence of day 3 parasitaemia was assessed in a study in 2011 and was compared to that in a study in 2005/2006. The same protocol was used in both studies and artemether-lumefantrine was the study drug. Of 48 evaluable patients in 2011, 15 (31%) still had parasitaemia on day 3 compared to one (2%) out of 45 evaluable patients in 2005/2006. Overall, 11 evaluable patients in the 2011 study who were followed up until day 28 had negative slides and similar findings were obtained in all 38 evaluable patients in the 2005/2006 study. The significantly increased incidence of parasite persistence on day 3 may be an indication of emerging resistance to artemether.
  • Aspidosperma (Apocynaceae) plant cytotoxicity and activity towards malaria parasites. Part I: Aspidosperma nitidum (Benth) used as a remedy to treat fever and malaria in the Amazon Articles

    Coutinho, Julia Penna; Aguiar, Anna Caroline Campos; Santos, Pierre Alexandre dos; Lima, Joaquim Corsino; Rocha, Maria Gabrielle Lima; Zani, Carlos Leomar; Alves, Tânia Maria Almeida; Santana, Antônio Euzébio Goulart; Pereira, Maria de Meneses; Krettli, Antoniana Ursine

    Abstract in English:

    Infusions of Aspidosperma nitidum (Apocynaceae) wood bark are used to treat fever and malaria in the Amazon Region. Several species of this family are known to possess indole alkaloids and other classes of secondary metabolites, whereas terpenoids, an inositol and the indole alkaloids harmane-3 acid and braznitidumine have been described in A. nitidum . In the present study, extracts from the wood bark, leaves and branches of this species were prepared for assays against malaria parasites and cytotoxicity testing using human hepatoma and normal monkey kidney cells. The wood bark extracts were active against Plasmodium falciparum and showed a low cytotoxicity in vitro, whereas the leaf and branch extracts and the pure alkaloid braznitidumine were inactive. A crude methanol extract was subjected to acid-base fractionation aimed at obtaining alkaloid-rich fractions, which were active at low concentrations against P. falciparum and in mice infected with and sensitive Plasmodium berghei parasites. Our data validate the antimalarial usefulness of A. nitidum wood bark, a remedy that can most likely help to control malaria. However, the molecules responsible for this antimalarial activity have not yet been identified. Considering their high selectivity index, the alkaloid-rich fractions from the plant bark might be useful in the development of new antimalarials.
  • Construction and characterisation of a complete reverse genetics system of dengue virus type 3 Articles

    Santos, Jefferson José da Silva; Cordeiro, Marli Tenório; Bertani, Giovani Rota; Marques, Ernesto Torres de Azevedo; Gil, Laura Helena Vega Gonzales

    Abstract in English:

    Dengue virulence and fitness are important factors that determine disease outcome. However, dengue virus (DENV) molecular biology and pathogenesis are not completely elucidated. New insights on those mechanisms have been facilitated by the development of reverse genetic systems in the past decades. Unfortunately, instability of flavivirus genomes cloned in Escherichia coli has been a major problem in these systems. Here, we describe the development of a complete reverse genetics system, based on the construction of an infectious clone and replicon for a low passage DENV-3 genotype III of a clinical isolate. Both constructs were assembled into a newly designed yeast- E. coli shuttle vector by homologous recombination technique and propagated in yeast to prevent any possible genome instability in E. coli . RNA transcripts derived from the infectious clone are infectious upon transfection into BHK-21 cells even after repeated passages of the plasmid in yeast. Transcript-derived DENV-3 exhibited growth kinetics, focus formation size comparable to original DENV-3 in mosquito C6/36 cell culture. In vitro characterisation of DENV-3 replicon confirmed its identity and ability to replicate transiently in BHK-21 cells. The reverse genetics system reported here is a valuable tool that will facilitate further molecular studies in DENV replication, virus attenuation and pathogenesis.
  • Predicting the geographic distribution of Lutzomyia longipalpis (Diptera: Psychodidae) and visceral leishmaniasis in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil Articles

    Almeida, Paulo Silva de; Sciamarelli, Alan; Batista, Paulo Mira; Ferreira, Ademar Dimas; Nascimento, João; Raizer, Josué; Andrade Filho, José Dilermando; Gurgel-Gonçalves, Rodrigo

    Abstract in English:

    To understand the geographic distribution of visceral leishmaniasis (VL) in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul (MS), Brazil, both the climatic niches of Lutzomyia longipalpis and VL cases were analysed. Distributional data were obtained from 55 of the 79 counties of MS between 2003-2012. Ecological niche models (ENM) of Lu. longipalpis and VL cases were produced using the maximum entropy algorithm based on eight climatic variables. Lu. longipalpis showed a wide distribution in MS. The highest climatic suitability for Lu. longipalpis was observed in southern MS. Temperature seasonality and annual mean precipitation were the variables that most influenced these models. Two areas of high climatic suitability for the occurrence of VL cases were predicted: one near Aquidauana and another encompassing several municipalities in the southeast region of MS. As expected, a large overlap between the models for Lu. longipalpis and VL cases was detected. Northern and northwestern areas of MS were suitable for the occurrence of cases, but did not show high climatic suitability for Lu. longipalpis . ENM of vectors and human cases provided a greater understanding of the geographic distribution of VL in MS, which can be applied to the development of future surveillance strategies.
  • Large-scale patterns in morphological diversity and species assemblages in Neotropical Triatominae (Heteroptera: Reduviidae) Articles

    Fergnani, Paula Nilda; Ruggiero, Adriana; Ceccarelli, Soledad; Menu, Frédéric; Rabinovich, Jorge

    Abstract in English:

    We analysed the spatial variation in morphological diversity (MDiv) and species richness (SR) for 91 species of Neotropical Triatominae to determine the ecological relationships between SR and MDiv and to explore the roles that climate, productivity, environmental heterogeneity and the presence of biomes and rivers may play in the structuring of species assemblages. For each 110 km x 110 km-cell on a grid map of America, we determined the number of species (SR) and estimated the mean Gower index (MDiv) based on 12 morphological attributes. We performed bootstrapping analyses of species assemblages to identify whether those assemblages were more similar or dissimilar in their morphology than expected by chance. We applied a multi-model selection procedure and spatial explicit analyses to account for the association of diversity-environment relationships. MDiv and SR both showed a latitudinal gradient, although each peaked at different locations and were thus not strictly spatially congruent. SR decreased with temperature variability and MDiv increased with mean temperature, suggesting a predominant role for ambient energy in determining Triatominae diversity. Species that were more similar than expected by chance co-occurred near the limits of the Triatominae distribution in association with changes in environmental variables. Environmental filtering may underlie the structuring of species assemblages near their distributional limits.
  • Morbidity of Chagas heart disease in the microregion of Rio Negro, Amazonian Brazil: a case-control study Articles

    Coura, José Rodrigues; Viñas, Pedro Albajar; Brum-Soares, Lucia Maria; Sousa, Andréa Silvestre de; Xavier, Sérgio Salles

    Abstract in English:

    A case-control study on the morbidity of Chagas heart disease was carried out in the municipality of Barcelos in the microregion of the Rio Negro, state of Amazonas. One hundred and six individuals, who were serologically positive for Trypanosoma cruzi infection, as confirmed by at least two techniques with different principles, were matched according to age and sex with an equal number of seronegative individuals. The cases and controls were evaluated using an epidemiological questionnaire and clinical, electrocardiograph and echocardiograph examinations. In the seroepidemiological evaluation, 62% of the interviewees recognised triatomines and most of them confirmed that they had seen these insects in the piassava plantations of the riverside communities of the Negro River tributaries. Of the seropositive patients, 25.8% affirmed that they had been stung by the triatomines and 11.7% denied having been stung. The principal clinical manifestations of the seropositive individuals were palpitations, chest pain and dyspnoea upon effort. Cardiac auscultation revealed extrasystoles, bradycardia and systolic murmurs. The electrocardiographic alterations were ventricular extrasystoles, left and right bundle branch block, atrioventricular block and primary T wave alterations. The echocardiogram was altered in 22.6% of the seropositive individuals and in 8.5% of the seronegative individuals.
  • Comparison of automatic traps to capture mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) in rural areas in the tropical Atlantic rainforest Articles

    Sá, Ivy Luizi Rodrigues de; Sallum, Maria Anice Mureb

    Abstract in English:

    In several countries, surveillance of insect vectors is accomplished with automatic traps. This study addressed the performance of Mosquito Magnet® Independence (MMI) in comparison with those of CDC with CO2 and lactic acid (CDC-A) and CDC light trap (CDC-LT). The collection sites were in a rural region located in a fragment of secondary tropical Atlantic rainforest, southeastern Brazil. Limatus durhami and Limatus flavisetosus were the dominant species in the MMI, whereas Ochlerotatus scapularis was most abundant in CDC-A. Culex ribeirensis and Culex sacchettae were dominant species in the CDC-LT. Comparisons among traps were based on diversity indices. Results from the diversity analyses showed that the MMI captured a higher abundance of mosquitoes and that the species richness estimated with it was higher than with CDC-LT. Contrasting, difference between MMI and CDC-A was not statistically significant. Consequently, the latter trap seems to be both an alternative for the MMI and complementary to it for ecological studies and entomological surveillance.
  • Rapid detection of multidrug-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis using the malachite green decolourisation assay Articles

    Coban, Ahmet Yilmaz; Uzun, Meltem

    Abstract in English:

    Early detection of drug resistance in Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates allows for earlier and more effective treatment of patients. The aim of this study was to investigate the performance of the malachite green decolourisation assay (MGDA) in detecting isoniazid (INH) and rifampicin (RIF) resistance in M. tuberculosis clinical isolates. Fifty M. tuberculosis isolates, including 19 multidrug-resistant, eight INH-resistant and 23 INH and RIF-susceptible samples, were tested. The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), negative predictive value (NPV) and agreement of the assay for INH were 92.5%, 91.3%, 92.5%, 91.3% and 92%, respectively. Similarly, the sensitivity, specificity, PPV, NPV and agreement of the assay for RIF were 94.7%, 100%, 100%, 96.8% and 98%, respectively. There was a major discrepancy in the tests of two isolates, as they were sensitive to INH by the MGDA test, but resistant by the reference method. There was a minor discrepancy in the tests of two additional isolates, as they were sensitive to INH by the reference method, but resistant by the MGDA test. The drug susceptibility test results were obtained within eight-nine days. In conclusion, the MGDA test is a reliable and accurate method for the rapid detection of INH and RIF resistance compared with the reference method and the MGDA test additionally requires less time to obtain results.
  • A comparison of larval, ovitrap and MosquiTRAP surveillance for Aedes (Stegomyia) aegypti Articles

    Resende, Marcelo Carvalho de; Silva, Ivoneide Maria; Ellis, Brett R; Eiras, Álvaro Eduardo

    Abstract in English:

    In Brazil, the entomological surveillance of Aedes (Stegomyia) aegypti is performed by government-mandated larval surveys. In this study, the sensitivities of an adult sticky trap and traditional surveillance methodologies were compared. The study was performed over a 12-week period in a residential neighbourhood of the municipality of Pedro Leopoldo, state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. An ovitrap and a MosquiTRAP were placed at opposite ends of each neighbourhood block (60 traps in total) and inspections were performed weekly. The study revealed significant correlations of moderate strength between the larval survey, ovitrap and MosquiTRAP measurements. A positive relationship was observed between temperature, adult capture measurements and egg collections, whereas precipitation and frequency of rainy days exhibited a negative relationship.
  • Analysing deltamethrin susceptibility and pyrethroid esterase activity variations in sylvatic and domestic Triatoma infestans at the embryonic stage Articles

    Santo-Orihuela, Pablo Luis; Carvajal, Guillermo; Picollo, María Inés; Vassena, Claudia Viviana

    Abstract in English:

    The aim of the present work was to study the deltamethrin susceptibility of eggs from Triatoma infestans populations and the contribution of pyrethroid esterases to deltamethrin degradation. Insects were collected from sylvatic areas, including Veinte de Octubre and Kirus-Mayu (Bolivia) and from domiciliary areas, including El Palmar (Bolivia) and La Pista (Argentina). Deltamethrin susceptibility was determined by dose-response bioassays. Serial dilutions of deltamethrin (0.0005-1 mg/mL) were topically applied to 12-day-old eggs. Samples from El Palmar had the highest lethal dose ratio (LDR) value (44.90) compared to the susceptible reference strain (NFS), whereas the Veinte de Octubre samples had the lowest value (0.50). Pyrethroid esterases were evaluated using 7-coumaryl permethrate (7-CP) on individually homogenised eggs from each population and from NFS. The El Palmar and La Pista samples contained 40.11 and 36.64 pmol/min/mg protein, respectively, and these values were statistically similar to NFS (34.92 pmol/min/mg protein) and different from Kirus-Mayu and Veinte de Octubre (27.49 and 22.69 pmol/min/mg protein, respectively). The toxicological data indicate that the domestic populations were resistant to deltamethrin, but no statistical contribution of 7-CP esterases was observed. The sylvatic populations had similar LDR values to NFS, but lower 7-CP esterase activities. Moreover, this is the first study of the pyrethroid esterases on T. infestans eggs employing a specific substrate (7-CP).
  • A conventional polymerase chain reaction-based method for the diagnosis of human schistosomiasis in stool samples from individuals in a low-endemicity area Articles

    Carneiro, Teiliane Rodrigues; Peralta, Regina Helena Saramago; Pinheiro, Marta Cristhiany Cunha; Oliveira, Sara Menezes de; Peralta, José Mauro; Bezerra, Fernando Schemelzer Moraes

    Abstract in English:

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of a polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based method to detect Schistosoma mansoni DNA in stool samples from individuals living in a low-endemicity area in Brazil. Of the 125 initial stool samples, 80 were ELISA reactive and eggs were identified in 19 of the samples by parasitological examination. For the PCR evaluations, 56 stool samples were selected and divided into five groups. Groups I-IV were scored negative for S. mansoni eggs by parasitological examination. Groups I and II were ELISA reactive, whereas Groups III and IV were ELISA nonreactive. Groups II and III were positive for other intestinal parasites. PCR testing scored eight samples as positive from these four groups. Group V represented the S. mansoni -positive group and it included ELISA-reactive samples that were scored positive for S. mansoni by one or more parasitological examinations (6/19 were positive by Kato-Katz method, 9/17 by saline gradient and 10/13 by Helmintex®). PCR scored 13 of these 19 samples as positive for S. mansoni . We conclude that while none of these methods yielded 100% sensitivity, a combination of techniques should be effective for improving the detection of S. mansoni infection in low-endemicity areas.
  • First published record of urban malaria in Puerto Gaitán, Meta, Colombia Articles

    Buitrago, Luz Stella; Brochero, Helena Luisa; McKeon, Sascha N; Lainhart, William; Conn, Jan E

    Abstract in English:

    Patterns of malaria cases were compared between the department of Meta and the municipality of Puerto Gaitán, Colombia, to examine temporal change in malaria from 2005-2010. During this time frame in Meta the mean ratio was 2.53; in contrast, in Puerto Gaitán it was 1.41, meaning that a surprisingly high proportion of Plasmodium falciparum cases were reported from this municipality. A detailed analysis of data from Puerto Gaitán for 2009 and 2010 detected a significant difference (χ2, p < 0.001) in the distribution of plasmodia, with Plasmodium vivax more prevalent in 2009 and P. falciparum in 2010. Males had the highest number of cases but there was no difference in the distribution of cases between sexes and years. In both years, for both sexes, people 16-40 accounted for the majority of cases (58.9% in 2009; 60.4% in 2010). There were significant differences in the distribution of both P. vivax (χ2, p < 0.01) and P. falciparum cases (χ2, p < 0.05) by geographic setting (urban vs. non-urban) between years. Urban cases of both P. vivax and P. falciparum are recorded in this study for the first time in Puerto Gaitán, possibly the result of area wide displacement and migration due to armed conflict.
  • Serial measurement of the circulating levels of tumour necrosis factor and its soluble receptors 1 and 2 for monitoring leprosy patients during multidrug treatment Articles

    Costa, Rosane Dias; Mendonça, Vanessa Amaral; Soriani, Frederico Marianetti; Lyon, Sandra; Penido, Rachel Adriana; Costa, Ana Maria Duarte Dias; Costa, Marina Dias; Terra, Fabio de Souza; Teixeira, Mauro Martins; Antunes, Carlos Mauricio de Figueiredo; Teixeira, Antonio Lúcio

    Abstract in English:

    Leprosy is an infectious and contagious spectral disease accompanied by a series of immunological events triggered by the host response to the aetiologic agent, Mycobacterium leprae . The induction and maintenance of the immune/inflammatory response in leprosy are linked to multiple cell interactions and soluble factors, primarily through the action of cytokines. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the serum levels of tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α and its soluble receptors (sTNF-R1 and sTNF-R2) in leprosy patients at different stages of multidrug treatment (MDT) in comparison with non-infected individuals and to determine their role as putative biomarkers of the severity of leprosy or the treatment response. ELISA was used to measure the levels of these molecules in 30 healthy controls and 37 leprosy patients at the time of diagnosis and during and after MDT. Our results showed increases in the serum levels of TNF-α and sTNF-R2 in infected individuals in comparison with controls. The levels of TNF-α, but not sTNF-R2, decreased with treatment. The current results corroborate previous reports of elevated serum levels of TNF-α in leprosy and suggest a role for sTNF-R2 in the control of this cytokine during MDT.
  • Anthropophilic biting behaviour of Anopheles (Kerteszia) neivai Howard, Dyar & Knab associated with Fishermen’s activities in a malaria-endemic area in the Colombian Pacific Articles

    Escovar, Jesús Eduardo; González, Ranulfo; Quiñones, Martha Lucía

    Abstract in English:

    On the southwest Pacific Coast of Colombia, a field study was initiated to determine the human-vector association between Anopheles (Kerteszia) neivai and fishermen, including their nearby houses. Mosquitoes were collected over 24-h periods from mangrove swamps, marshlands and fishing vessels in three locations, as well as in and around the houses of fishermen. A total of 6,382 mosquitoes were collected. An. neivai was most abundant in mangroves and fishing canoes (90.8%), while Anopheles albimanus was found indoors (82%) and outdoors (73%). One An. neivai and one An. albimanus collected during fishing activities in canoes were positive for Plasmodium vivax , whereas one female An. neivai collected in a mangrove was positive for P. vivax . In the mangroves and fishing canoes, An. neivai demonstrated biting activity throughout the day, peaking between 06:00 pm-07:00 pm and there were two minor peaks at dusk and dawn. These peaks coincided with fishing activities in the marshlands and mangroves, a situation that places the fishermen at risk of contracting malaria when they are performing their daily activities. It is recommended that protective measures be implemented to reduce the risk that fishermen will contract malaria.
  • Oviposition behaviour of Phlebotomus argentipes - A laboratory-based study Short Communications

    Kumar, Vijay; Rama, Aarti; Kesari, Shreekant; Bhunia, Gouri Sankar; Dinesh, Diwakar Singh; Das, Pradeep

    Abstract in English:

    The breeding habitat of sandflies is a little studied and poorly understood phenomenon. More importantly, oviposition behaviour is a largely neglected aspect of sandfly biology and this knowledge gap further undermines our understanding of the biology of sandflies. Pheromones released by the eggs play an important role in identifying good sites for oviposition by female insects. Several recent studies have examined the oviposition pheromone. The present study provides a preliminary report on the oviposition behaviour of Phlebotomus argentipes, the only vector of kala-azar (or visceral leishmaniasis) on the Indian sub-continent. Sandflies prefer to oviposit their eggs on surfaces that contain organic substances, especially substances with an odour of decaying animal products and the remains of conspecific eggs. The results presented here suggest that the odour released by the organic substances of old sandfly colony remains that contain dead flies, old unhatched eggs, larval food containing vertebrate faeces, frass and other organic matter serves as an attractant for the ovipositing females of P. argentipes and hence greatly increases the number of oviposited eggs compared to eggs deposited in controlled oviposition pots. This result will be helpful in maintaining an efficient colony of P. argentipes and may be a promising tool for monitoring and controlling the target insect as part of a synergistic approach.
  • Detection of the pandemic norovirus variant GII.4 Sydney 2012 in Rio Branco, state of Acre, northern Brazil Short Communications

    Silva, Luciana Damascena da; Rodrigues, Evandro Leite; Lucena, Maria Silvia Sousa de; Lima, Ian Carlos Gomes de; Oliveira, Darleise de Sousa; Soares, Luana Silva; Mascarenhas, Joana D'Arc Pereira; Linhares, Alexandre da Costa; Gabbay, Yvone Benchimol

    Abstract in English:

    Noroviruses (NoVs) are important cause of gastroenteritis in humans worldwide. Genotype GII.4 is responsible for the majority of outbreaks reported to date. This study describes, for the first time in Brazil, the circulation of NoV GII.4 variant Sydney 2012 in faecal samples collected from children aged less than or equal to eight years in Rio Branco, state of Acre, northern Brazil, during July-September 2012.
  • The first record of Lutzomyia longipalpis in the Argentine northwest Short Communications

    Bravo, Andrea Gómez; Quintana, María Gabriela; Abril, Marcelo; Salomón, Oscar Daniel

    Abstract in English:

    In 2004, the urban presence of Lutzomyia longipalpis was recorded for the first time in Formosa province. In 2006, the first autochthonous case of human urban visceral leishmaniasis (VL) was recorded in Misiones in the presence of the vector, along with some canine VL cases. After this first case, the vector began to spread primarily in northeast Argentina. Between 2008-2011, three human VL cases were reported in Salta province, but the presence of Lu. longipalpis was not recorded. Captures of Phlebotominae were made in Tartagal, Salta, in 2013, and the presence of Lu. longipalpis was first recorded in northwest Argentina at that time. Systematic sampling is recommended to observe the distribution and dispersion patterns of Lu. longipalpis and consider the risk of VL transmission in the region.
  • Cell vacuolation induced by Haemophilus influenzae supernatants in HEp-2 cells Short Communications

    Espinoza-Mellado, María del Rosario; López-Villegas, Edgar Oliver; Arteaga-Garibay, Ramón I; Giono-Cerezo, Silvia

    Abstract in English:

    Haemophilus influenzae belongs to respiratory tract microbiota. We observed vacuoles formation in previous studies with H. influenzae culture supernatants, so in this work we characterised that cytotoxic effect. We observed an abundant production of acidic cytoplasmic vacuoles due to the presence of a “vacuolating factor” in H. influenzae supernatants which was characterised as thermolabile. Greatest vacuolating activity was observed when utilizing the fraction > 50 kDa. The presence of a large number of vacuoles in HEp-2 cells was verified by transmission electron microscopy and some vacuoles were identified with a double membrane and/or being surrounded by ribosomes. These results suggest similar behaviour to that of vacuolating effects described by autotransporter proteins an undescribed cytotoxic effect induced by H. influenzae .
  • A rapid diagnostic test for schistosomiasis mansoni Technical Notes

    Mello-Silva, Clélia Christina; João, Roberto Carlos; Augusto, Ronaldo de Carvalho; Santos, Claudia Portes

    Abstract in English:

    This article presents an improvement to the Kato-Katz (KK) method, making it faster and more efficient for the visualisation of fertile eggs in stool samples. This modified KK method uses sodium acetate formalin as a fixative and reveals the intensity of infection in less than 1 h, reducing the diagnostic time without increasing the cost. This modified method may contribute to future epidemiological studies in both hospitals and the field due to its rapid and precise diagnostic, which allow for immediate treatment.
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