Abstract in English:Despite major improvements in its treatment and diagnosis, sepsis is still a leading cause of death and admittance to the intensive care unit (ICU). Failure to identify patients at high risk of developing septic shock contributes to an increase in the sepsis burden and rapid molecular tests are currently the most promising avenue to aid in patient risk determination and therapeutic anticipation. The primary goal of this study was to evaluate the genetic susceptibility that affects sepsis outcome in 72 sepsis patients admitted to the ICU. Seven polymorphisms were genotyped in key inflammatory response genes in sepsis, including tumour necrosis factor-α,interlelukin (IL)-1β, IL-10,IL-8, Toll-like receptor 4, CXCR1and CXCR2. The primary finding showed that patients who were homozygous for the major A allele in IL-10 rs1800896 had almost five times higher chance to develop septic shock compared to heterozygotes. Similarly, selected clinical features and CXCR2rs1126579 single nucleotide polymorphisms modulated septic shock susceptibility without affecting survival. These data support the hypothesis that molecular testing has clinical usefulness to improve sepsis prognostic models. Therefore, enrichment of the ICU portfolio by including these biomarkers will aid in the early identification of sepsis patients who may develop septic shock.
Abstract in English:Human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) may cause severe complications after haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Monitoring this virus and providing precise, rapid and early diagnosis of related clinical diseases, constitute essential measures to improve outcomes. A prospective survey on the incidence and clinical features of HHV-6 infections after HSCT has not yet been conducted in Brazilian patients and the impact of this infection on HSCT outcome remains unclear. A rapid test based on real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) has been optimised to screen and quantify clinical samples for HHV-6. The detection step was based on reaction with TaqMan® hydrolysis probes. A set of previously described primers and probes have been tested to evaluate efficiency, sensitivity and reproducibility. The target efficiency range was 91.4% with linearity ranging from 10-106 copies/reaction and a limit of detection of five copies/reaction or 250 copies/mL of plasma. The qPCR assay developed in the present study was simple, rapid and sensitive, allowing the detection of a wide range of HHV-6 loads. In conclusion, this test may be useful as a practical tool to help elucidate the clinical relevance of HHV-6 infection and reactivation in different scenarios and to determine the need for surveillance.
Abstract in English:Trypanosoma evansi, which causes surra, is descended from Trypanosoma brucei brucei, which causes nagana. Although both parasites are presumed to be metabolically similar, insufficient knowledge of T. evansi precludes a full comparison. Herein, we provide the first report on the subcellular localisation of the glycolytic enzymes in T. evansi, which is a alike to that of the bloodstream form (BSF) of T. b.brucei: (i) fructose-bisphosphate aldolase, glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH), hexokinase, phosphofructokinase, glucose-6-phosphate isomerase, phosphoglycerate kinase, triosephosphate isomerase (glycolytic enzymes) and glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (a glycolysis-auxiliary enzyme) in glycosomes, (ii) enolase, phosphoglycerate mutase, pyruvate kinase (glycolytic enzymes) and a GAPDH isoenzyme in the cytosol, (iii) malate dehydrogenase in cytosol and (iv) glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase in both glycosomes and the cytosol. Specific enzymatic activities also suggest that T. evansi is alike to the BSF of T. b. brucei in glycolytic flux, which is much faster than the pentose phosphate pathway flux, and in the involvement of cytosolic GAPDH in the NAD+/NADH balance. These similarities were expected based on the close phylogenetic relationship of both parasites.
Abstract in English:The fungal strain Paracoccidioides brasiliensis remains viable inside of epithelial cells and can induce apoptosis in this population. However, until now, the molecules that participate in this process remained unknown. Thus, this study evaluated the contribution of two P. brasiliensismolecules, the 14-3-3 and glycoprotein of 43 kDa proteins, which had been previously described as extracellular matrix adhesins and apoptosis inductors in human pneumocytes. Accordingly, epithelial cells were treated with these molecules for different periods of time and the expression of the apoptosis regulating-proteins Bak, Bax, Bcl-2, p53 and caspases were evaluated by terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labelling, flow cytometry and real-time polymerase chain reaction analysis. Our results demonstrated that treatment with these molecules induces apoptosis signalling in pulmonary epithelial cells, showing the same pattern of programmed cell-death as that observed during infection with P. brasiliensis. Thus, we could conclude that P. brasiliensis uses these molecules as virulence factors that participate not only in the fungal adhesion process to host cells, but also in other important cellular mechanisms such as apoptosis.
Abstract in English:Leptospirosis is a re-emerging zoonotic disease all over the world, important in tropical and subtropical areas. A majority of leptospirosis infected patients present as subclinical or mild disease while 5-10% may develop severe infection requiring hospitalisation and critical care. It is possible that several factors, such as the infecting serovar, level of leptospiraemia, host genetic factors and host immune response, may be important in predisposition towards severe disease. Different Leptospira strains circulate in different geographical regions contributing to variable disease severity. Therefore, it is important to investigate the circulating strains at geographical locations during each outbreak for epidemiological studies and to support the clinical management of the patients. In this study immunochromatography, microscopic agglutination test and polymerase chain reaction were used to diagnose leptospirosis. Further restriction fragment length polymorphism and DNA sequencing methods were used to identify the circulating strains in two selected geographical regions of Sri Lanka.Leptospira interrogans, Leptospira borgpetersenii andLeptospira kirschneri strains were identified to be circulating in western and southern provinces. L. interrogans was the predominant species circulating in western and southern provinces in 2013 and its presence was mainly associated with renal failure.
Abstract in English:Nitroimidazoles exhibit high microbicidal activity, but mutagenic, genotoxic and cytotoxic properties have been attributed to the presence of the nitro group. However, we synthesised nitroimidazoles with activity against the trypomastigotes of Trypanosoma cruzi, but that were not genotoxic. Herein, nitroimidazoles (11-19) bearing different substituent groups were investigated for their potential induction of genotoxicity (comet assay) and mutagenicity (Salmonella/Microsome assay) and the correlations of these effects with their trypanocidal effect and with megazol were investigated. The compounds were designed to analyse the role played by the position of the nitro group in the imidazole nucleus (C-4 or C-5) and the presence of oxidisable groups at N-1 as an anion receptor group and the role of a methyl group at C-2. Nitroimidazoles bearing NO2 at C-4 and CH3 at C-2 were not genotoxic compared to those bearing NO2 at C-5. However, when there was a CH3 at C-2, the position of the NO2 group had no influence on the genotoxic activity. Fluorinated compounds exhibited higher genotoxicity regardless of the presence of CH3 at C-2 or NO2 at C-4 or C-5. However, in compounds 11 (2-CH3; 4-NO2; N-CH2OHCH2Cl) and 12 (2-CH3; 4-NO2; N-CH2OHCH2F), the fluorine atom had no influence on genotoxicity. This study contributes to the future search for new and safer prototypes and provide.
Abstract in English:Re-infections with Trypanosoma cruzi are an aggravating factor for Chagas disease morbidity. The Colombian strain of T. cruzirepresents multiclonal populations formed by clonally propagating organisms with different tropisms and degrees of virulence. In the present study, the influence of successive inoculations with clones of the Colombian strain, exhibiting different degrees of virulence, on chronic myocarditis and the humoral and cellular immune responses (Col-C1 high virulence, Col-C8 medium virulence and Col-C5 low virulence) were demonstrated. Mice from three groups with a single infection were evaluated during the acute (14th-30th day) and chronic phases for 175 days. An immunofluorescence assay, ELISA and delayed type hypersensitivity (DTH) cutaneous test were also performed. Mice with a triple infection were studied on the 115th-175th days following first inoculation. The levels of IgM and IgG2a were higher in the animals with a triple infection. DTH showed a higher intensity in the inflammatory infiltrate based on the morphometric analysis during a 48 h period of the triple infection and at 24 h with a single infection. The histopathology of the heart demonstrated significant exacerbation of cardiac inflammatory lesions confirmed by the morphometric test. The humoral responses indicate a reaction to the triple infection, even with clones of the same strain.
Abstract in English:It is currently unknown whether treatment of Chagas disease decreases the risk of congenital transmission from previously treated mothers to their infants. In a cohort of women with Chagas disease previously treated with benznidazole, no congenital transmission of the disease was observed in their newborns. This finding provides support for the treatment of Chagas disease as early as possible.
Abstract in English:There is insufficient evidence of the usefulness of dengue diagnostic tests under routine conditions. We sought to analyse how physicians are using dengue diagnostics to inform research and development. Subjects attending 14 health institutions in an endemic area of Colombia with either a clinical diagnosis of dengue or for whom a dengue test was ordered were included in the study. Patterns of test-use are described herein. Factors associated with the ordering of dengue diagnostic tests were identified using contingency tables, nonparametric tests and logistic regression. A total of 778 subjects were diagnosed with dengue by the treating physician, of whom 386 (49.5%) were tested for dengue. Another 491 dengue tests were ordered in subjects whose primary diagnosis was not dengue. Severe dengue classification [odds ratio (OR) 2.2; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.1-4.5], emergency consultation (OR 1.9; 95% CI 1.4-2.5) and month of the year (OR 3.1; 95% CI 1.7-5.5) were independently associated with ordering of dengue tests. Dengue tests were used both to rule in and rule out diagnosis. The latter use is not justified by the sensitivity of current rapid dengue diagnostic tests. Ordering of dengue tests appear to depend on a combination of factors, including physician and institutional preferences, as well as other patient and epidemiological factors.
Abstract in English:The objective of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of Aedes aegypti mass trapping using the sticky trap MosquiTRAP (MQT) by performing a cluster randomised controlled trial in Manaus, state of Amazonas, Brazil. After an initial questionnaire and baseline monitoring of adultAe. aegypti abundance with BG-Sentinel (BGS) traps in six clusters, three clusters were randomly assigned to the intervention arm where each participating household received three MQTs for mass trapping during 17 months. The remaining three clusters (control arm) did not receive traps. The effect of mass trapping on adult Ae. aegypti abundance was monitored fortnightly with BGS traps. During the last two months of the study, a serological survey was conducted. After the study, a second questionnaire was applied in the intervention arm. Entomological monitoring indicated that MQT mass trapping did not reduce adult Ae. aegypti abundance. The serological survey indicated that recent dengue infections were equally frequent in the intervention and the control arm. Most participants responded positively to questions concerning user satisfaction. According to the results, there is no evidence that mass trapping with MQTs can be used as a part of dengue control programs. The use of this sticky trap is only recommendable for dengue vector monitoring.
Abstract in English:Understanding the transmission dynamics of infectious diseases is important to allow for improvements of control measures. To investigate the spatiotemporal pattern of an epidemic dengue occurred at a medium-sized city in the Northeast Region of Brazil in 2009, we conducted an ecological study of the notified dengue cases georeferenced according to epidemiological week (EW) and home address. Kernel density estimation and space-time interaction were analysed using the Knox method. The evolution of the epidemic was analysed using an animated projection technique. The dengue incidence was 6.918.7/100,000 inhabitants; the peak of the epidemic occurred from 8 February-1 March, EWs 6-9 (828.7/100,000 inhabitants). There were cases throughout the city and was identified space-time interaction. Three epicenters were responsible for spreading the disease in an expansion and relocation diffusion pattern. If the health services could detect in real time the epicenters and apply nimbly control measures, may possibly reduce the magnitude of dengue epidemics.
Abstract in English:Hepatitis C virus (HCV) envelope protein 2 (E2) is involved in viral binding to host cells. The aim of this work was to produce recombinant E2B and E2Y HCV proteins in Escherichia coli and Pichia pastoris, respectively, and to study their interactions with low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLr) and CD81 in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) and the ECV304 bladder carcinoma cell line. To investigate the effects of human LDL and differences in protein structure (glycosylated or not) on binding efficiency, the recombinant proteins were either associated or not associated with lipoproteins before being assayed. The immunoreactivity of the recombinant proteins was analysed using pooled serum samples that were either positive or negative for hepatitis C. The cells were immunophenotyped by LDLr and CD81 using flow cytometry. Binding and binding inhibition assays were performed in the presence of LDL, foetal bovine serum (FCS) and specific antibodies. The results revealed that binding was reduced in the absence of FCS, but that the addition of human LDL rescued and increased binding capacity. In HUVEC cells, the use of antibodies to block LDLr led to a significant reduction in the binding of E2B and E2Y. CD81 antibodies did not affect E2B and E2Y binding. In ECV304 cells, blocking LDLr and CD81 produced similar effects, but they were not as marked as those that were observed in HUVEC cells. In conclusion, recombinant HCV E2 is dependent on LDL for its ability to bind to LDLr in HUVEC and ECV304 cells. These findings are relevant because E2 acts to anchor HCV to host cells; therefore, high blood levels of LDL could enhance viral infectivity in chronic hepatitis C patients.
Abstract in English:The recommended treatment for latent tuberculosis (TB) infection in adults is a daily dose of isoniazid (INH) 300 mg for six months. In Brazil, INH was formulated as 100 mg tablets. The treatment duration and the high pill burden compromised patient adherence to the treatment. The Brazilian National Programme for Tuberculosis requested a new 300 mg INH formulation. The aim of our study was to compare the bioavailability of the new INH 300 mg formulation and three 100 mg tablets of the reference formulation. We conducted a randomised, single dose, open label, two-phase crossover bioequivalence study in 28 healthy human volunteers. The 90% confidence interval for the INH maximum concentration of drug observed in plasma and area under the plasma concentration vs. time curve from time zero to the last measurable concentration “time t” was 89.61-115.92 and 94.82-119.44, respectively. The main limitation of our study was that neither adherence nor the safety profile of multiple doses was evaluated. To determine the level of INH in human plasma, we developed and validated a sensitive, simple and rapid high-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry method. Our results showed that the new formulation was bioequivalent to the 100 mg reference product. This finding supports the use of a single 300 mg tablet daily strategy to treat latent TB. This new formulation may increase patients’ adherence to the treatment and quality of life.
Abstract in English:This study updates the geographic distributions of phlebotomine species in Central-West Brazil and analyses the climatic factors associated with their occurrence. The data were obtained from the entomology services of the state departments of health in Central-West Brazil, scientific collections and a literature review of articles from 1962-2014. Ecological niche models were produced for sandfly species with more than 20 occurrences using the Maxent algorithm and eight climate variables. In all, 2,803 phlebotomine records for 127 species were analysed. Nyssomyia whitmani,Evandromyia lenti and Lutzomyia longipalpis were the species with the greatest number of records and were present in all the biomes in Central-West Brazil. The models, which were produced for 34 species, indicated that the Cerrado areas in the central and western regions of Central-West Brazil were climatically more suitable to sandflies. The variables with the greatest influence on the models were the temperature in the coldest months and the temperature seasonality. The results show that phlebotomine species in Central-West Brazil have different geographical distribution patterns and that climate conditions in essentially the entire region favour the occurrence of at least one Leishmania vector species, highlighting the need to maintain or intensify vector control and surveillance strategies.
Abstract in English:A rapid decrease in parasitaemia remains the major goal for new antimalarial drugs and thus, in vivo models must provide precise results concerning parasitaemia modulation. Hydroxyethylamine comprise an important group of alkanolamine compounds that exhibit pharmacological properties as proteases inhibitors that has already been proposed as a new class of antimalarial drugs. Herein, it was tested the antimalarial property of new nine different hydroxyethylamine derivatives using the green fluorescent protein (GFP)-expressing Plasmodium berghei strain. By comparing flow cytometry and microscopic analysis to evaluate parasitaemia recrudescence, it was observed that flow cytometry was a more sensitive methodology. The nine hydroxyethylamine derivatives were obtained by inserting one of the following radical in the para position: H, 4Cl, 4-Br, 4-F, 4-CH3, 4-OCH3, 4-NO2, 4-NH2 and 3-Br. The antimalarial test showed that the compound that received the methyl group (4-CH3) inhibited 70% of parasite growth. Our results suggest that GFP-transfected P. berghei is a useful tool to study the recrudescence of novel antimalarial drugs through parasitaemia examination by flow cytometry. Furthermore, it was demonstrated that the insertion of a methyl group at the para position of the sulfonamide ring appears to be critical for the antimalarial activity of this class of compounds.
Abstract in English:We describe herein the antitrypanosomal activity of 20 novel 1,3-bis(aryloxy)propan-2-amine derivatives. Compounds 2, 4, 6, 12, 15, 16 and 19 were significantly active against amastigote and trypomastigote forms, with half maximal inhibitory concentrationvalues in the range of 6-18 µM. In the cytotoxicity tests against L929 cells, only compound 4 presented selectivity index value above 10, indicating low toxicity.
Abstract in English:In the early 2015, several cases of patients presenting symptoms of mild fever, rash, conjunctivitis and arthralgia were reported in the northeastern Brazil. Although all patients lived in a dengue endemic area, molecular and serological diagnosis for dengue resulted negative. Chikungunya virus infection was also discarded. Subsequently, Zika virus (ZIKV) was detected by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction from the sera of eight patients and the result was confirmed by DNA sequencing. Phylogenetic analysis suggests that the ZIKV identified belongs to the Asian clade. This is the first report of ZIKV infection in Brazil.
Abstract in English:We describe a simple method for detection of Plasmodium vivaxand Plasmodium falciparum infection in anophelines using a triplex TaqMan real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay (18S rRNA). We tested the assay on Anopheles darlingi and Anopheles stephensi colony mosquitoes fed withPlasmodium-infected blood meals and in duplicate on field collected An. darlingi. We compared the real-time PCR results of colony-infected and field collected An. darlingi, separately, to a conventional PCR method. We determined that a cytochromeb-PCR method was only 3.33% as sensitive and 93.38% as specific as our real-time PCR assay with field-collected samples. We demonstrate that this assay is sensitive, specific and reproducible.
Abstract in English:An increasing amount of research has been conducted on immunoglobulin Y (IgY) because the use of IgY offers several advantages with respect to diagnostic testing, including its easy accessibility, low cost and translatability to large-scale production, in addition to the fact that it can be ethically produced. In a previous work, immunoglobulin was produced and purified from egg yolks (IgY) reactive to hepatitis A virus (HAV) antigens. In the present work, this anti-HAV-specific IgY was used in an indirect immunofluorescence assay to detect viral antigens in liver biopsies that were obtained from experimentally infected cynomolgus monkeys. Fields that were positive for HAV antigen were detected in liver sections using confocal microscopy. In conclusion, egg yolks from immunised hens may be a reliable source for antibody production, which can be employed for immunological studies.
Abstract in English:The emergence of multidrug-resistant Enterobacteriaceae strains producing carbapenemases, such as NDM-1, has become a major public health issue due to a high dissemination capacity and limited treatment options. Here we describe the draft genome of three NDM-1-producing isolates: Providencia rettgeri(CCBH11880), Enterobacter hormaecheisubsp. oharae (CCBH10892) and Klebsiella pneumoniae (CCBH13327), isolated in Brazil. BesidesblaNDM-1, resistance genes to aminoglycosides [aadA1, aadA2,aac(6’)-Ib-cr] and quinolones (qnrA1,qnrB4) were observed which contributed to the multidrug resistance profile. The element ISAba125 was found associated to theblaNDM-1 gene in all strains.