Abstract in English:Cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) is a chronic disease caused by species of the protozoan Leishmania and characterised by the presence of ulcerated skin lesions. Both parasite and host factors affect the clinical presentation of the disease. The development of skin ulcers in CL is associated with an inflammatory response mediated by cells that control parasite growth but also contribute to pathogenesis. CD8+ T cells contribute to deleterious inflammatory responses in patients with CL through cytotoxic mechanisms. In addition, natural killer cells also limit Leishmania infections by production of interferon-γ and cytotoxicity. In this review, we focus on studies of cytotoxicity in CL and its contribution to the pathogenesis of this disease.
Abstract in English:BACKGROUND Dialyzable leukocyte extracts (DLEs) contain molecules smaller than 10 kDa with biological activity in receptor organisms. Primarily, they participate in the regulation of the Th1 immune response, which is essential for the control of several intracellular infections, such as toxoplasmosis. This disease is associated with congenital infection, encephalitis or systemic infections in immunocompromised individuals. The clinical course of this infection fundamentally depends on a well-regulated immune response and timely treatment with the appropriate drugs. OBJECTIVE The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of treatment with a leukocyte extract, derived from crocodile lymphoid tissue, on the histopathology and brain parasite load in NIH mice that had been infected with cysts of Toxoplasma gondii (ME-49 strain). METHODS The treatment was applied during the acute and chronic stages of the infection. Histopathological changes were evaluated in the ileum, liver and spleen at one, four and eight weeks after infection and in the brain at week 8. The parasite load was evaluated by counting the cysts of T. gondii found in the brain. FINDINGS Compared to the control mouse group, the mice infected with T. gondii and under treatment with DLE showed less tissue damage, mainly at the intestinal, splenic and hepatic levels. In addition, a greater percentage of survival was observed, and there was a considerable reduction in the parasite load in the brain. CONCLUSIONS The results suggest that DLE derived from crocodile is a potential adjunctive therapy in the conventional treatment of toxoplasmosis.
Abstract in English:BACKGROUND The main clinical forms of paracoccidioidomycosis (PCM) are the acute/subacute form (AF) and the chronic form (CF), and they both display considerable clinical variability. The immune responses of PCM patients, during and after treatment, remain neglected, mainly in the case of CF patients, due to the high prevalence of pulmonary sequelae. OBJECTIVE To evaluate the distribution of whole blood T cell subsets, serum cytokines, and biomarkers of pulmonary fibrosis in PCM patients, according to the clinical form and at different time points, during the antifungal therapy. METHODS Eighty-seven PCM patients, from an endemic area in Brazil, were categorised into groups, according to the clinical form (AF or CF) and the moment of treatment. The peripheral blood T lymphocyte subsets of these patients were analysed using fluorescence-activated cell sorting. The serum levels of cytokines, basic fibroblast growth factor and surfactant protein-D (SP-D) were also analysed. FINDINGS In the CF patients, an expansion of the peripheral blood TCD4+ cells was observed during the treatment, and this persisted even after two years of antifungal treatment. In addition, these patients showed high serum levels of SP-D. CONCLUSION Our findings highlight the immunological changes CF patients undergo, during and after treatment, possibly due to the hypoxia triggered by pulmonary fibrosis and emphysema.
Abstract in English:BACKGROUND Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) is one of the most significant causes of mortality and morbidity. Early diagnose is important especially in multiple drug resistant tuberculosis to avoid transmission. Traditional techniques requires at least one to three weeks for diagnosis of tuberculosis. Diagnostic delays with multiple drug resistant tuberculosis are associated with worse clinical outcomes and increased transmission The Xpert MTB/RIF assay is one of the new diagnostic device for the diagnosis of tuberculosis and rapid detection of rifampicin resistance. OBJECTIVE We assessed the performance of Xpert MTB/RIF assay for detecting rifampicin resistance using phenotypic drug susceptibility tests as automated BD MGIT 960. METHODS Total of 2136 specimens were included in the study. Xpert MTB/RIF testing was performed on samples, using version 4 cartridges, according to the manufacturer's recommendations. The MTBC culture and first-line phenotypic DST were performed in automated BD MGIT 960 (Becton & Dickinson, USA) according to the recommendations of the manufacturer. Agar proportion was used in the case of inconsistency for rifampicin resistance. FINDINGS Thirty-four samples (19 respiratory and 15 nonrespiratory samples) were determined as positive for M. tuberculosis complex by Xpert MTB/RIF (Cepheid GeneXpert® System, USA). Xpert MTB/RIF assay detected 4/34 (11.7%) specimens as rifampicin resistant. One of the rifampicin resistant isolates was determined susceptible in MGIT 960 automated system. This isolate was also tested with agar proportion method and found susceptible to rifampicin. MAIN CONCLUSION The Xpert MTB/RIF assay can be used as first-line assay for the detection of M. tuberculosis. However, microbiologists must be aware of the limitations of the assay.
Abstract in English:BACKGROUND Triatoma sordida and Triatoma pseudomaculata are frequently captured triatomine species in the Brazilian savannah and caatinga biomes, respectively, and in Brazilian domiciles. OBJECTIVES This study identified eco-epidemiological changes in Chagas disease in northern Minas Gerais state, Brazil, and considered the influence of environmental shifts and both natural and anthropogenic effects. METHODS Domicile infestation and Trypanosoma cruzi infection rates were obtained from triatomines and sylvatic reservoirs during the following two time periods: the 1980s and 2007/2008. Entomological and climatic data with land cover classification derived from satellite imagery were integrated into a geographic information system (GIS), which was applied for atmospheric correction, segmentation, image classification, and mapping and to analyse data obtained in the field. Climatic data were analysed and compared to land cover classifications. RESULTS A comparison of current data with data obtained in the 1980's showed that T. sordida colonised domiciliary areas in both periods, and that T. pseudomaculata did not colonise these areas. There was a tendency toward a reduction in T. cruzi infection rates in sylvatic reservoirs, and of triatomines captured in both households and in the sylvatic environment. T. sordida populations have reduced in the sylvatic environment, while T. pseudomaculata showed an expanding trend in the region compared to counts observed in the 1980's in the sylvatic environment. This may be related to high deforestation rates as well as gradual increases in land surface temperature (LST) and temperatures along the years. MAIN CONCLUSIONS Our results suggest a geographical expansion of species into new biomes as a result of anthropogenic and climatic changes that directly interfere with the reproductive and infection processes of vectors.
Abstract in English:BACKGROUND The accurate detection of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) is critical for the application of appropriate patient treatment and prevention of transmission of drug-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates. The goal of this study was to evaluate the correlation between phenotypic and molecular techniques for drug-resistant tuberculosis diagnostics. Molecular techniques used were the line probe assay genotype MTBDRplus and the recently described tuberculosis-spoligo-rifampin-isoniazid typing (TB-SPRINT) bead-based assay. Conventional drug susceptibility testing (DST) was done on a BACTECTM MGIT 960 TB. METHOD We studied 80 M. tuberculosis complex (MTC) clinical isolates from Minas Gerais state, of which conventional DST had classified 60 isolates as MDR and 20 as drug susceptible. FINDINGS Among the 60 MDR-TB isolates with MGIT as a reference, sensitivity, specificity, accuracy, and kappa for rifampicin (RIF) resistance using TB-SPRINT and MTBDRplus, were 96.7% versus 93.3%, 100.0% versus 100.0%, 97.5% versus 95.0% and 0.94 versus 0.88, respectively. Similarly, the sensitivity, specificity, accuracy, and kappa for isoniazid (INH) resistance were 85.0% and 83.3%, 100.0% and 100.0%, 88.8% and 87.5% and 0.74 and 0.71 for both tests, respectively. Finally, the sensitivity, specificity, accuracy, and kappa for MDR-TB were 85.0% and 83.3%, 100.0% and 100.0%, 88.8% and 87.5% and 0.74 and 0.71 for both tests, respectively. MAIN CONCLUSIONS Both methods exhibited a good correlation with the conventional DST. We suggest estimating the cost-effectiveness of MTBDRplus and TB-SPRINT in Brazil.
Abstract in English:BACKGROUND Mycobacterium abscessus complex (MABC) includes species with high resistance rates among mycobacterial pathogens. In fact, MABC infections may not respond to clarithromycin treatment, which has historically been very effective against MABC infection. Molecular markers have been proposed to detect both acquired (rrl polymorphisms) and inducible (erm(41) polymorphisms) clarithromycin resistance in MABC isolates. OBJECTIVES This study aimed to evaluate the susceptibility profile and molecular markers of clarithromycin resistance in MABC. METHODS The clarithromycin susceptibility profile was determined by broth microdilution with reads on days 3, 5, 7 and 14. Mutations in the rrl and erm(41) genes were evaluated by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) using specific primers, followed by sequencing. FINDINGS A total of 14 M. abscessus subsp. abscessus isolates and 28 M. abscessus subsp. massiliense isolates were evaluated, and clarithromycin resistance was observed in all isolates for up to three days of incubation. None of the 42 isolates exhibited a point mutation in the rrl gene, while all the isolates had a T28 polymorphism in the erm(41) gene. Moreover, all 28 M. abscessus subsp. massiliense isolates had a deletion in the erm(41) gene. MAIN CONCLUSIONS While all the MABC isolates exhibited acquired clarithromycin resistance, no isolates exhibited a point mutation in the rrl gene in this study. The M. abscessus subsp. massiliense isolates demonstrated clarithromycin resistance, which is an uncommon phenotype. The molecular data for the rrl and erm(41) genes were not consistent with the phenotypic test results of clarithromycin susceptibility, indicating a lack of correlation between molecular clarithromycin resistance markers for both acquired and inducible resistance.
Abstract in English:BACKGROUND Tuberculosis (TB) remains one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide. The primary method for controlling TB is the rapid and accurate identification of infected individuals. Immune response exploitation represents one of the main methods used for early TB diagnosis; however, few studies have reported that whole blood originating from TB-infected patients gels faster in the presence of aldehyde than blood originating from healthy subjects, which is the focus of the current study. OBJECTIVES The study objectives are to determine the diagnostic value of a glutaraldehyde test (GT) in pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) and extra-pulmonary tuberculosis (EPTB) and to assess its performance compared with light-emitting diode fluorescence microscopy (LED-FM). MATERIALS AND METHODS This study included 272 specimens (176 suspected PTB specimens and 96 suspected EPTB specimens). Of the 272 patients, 98 patients had TB infection confirmed by culture (64 PTB cases and 34 EPTB cases), and 174 patients had no TB infection. The gold standard technique (culture) was used as reference to verify the GT's performance. RESULTS The GT showed a high sensitivity (96.9%) and specificity (82.1%) for PTB with a good positive predictive value (PPV = 75.6%) and negative predictive value (NPV = 97.9%). For EPTB, the GT showed a sensitivity of 91.2% and a specificity of 77.4%, with PPV = 68.9% and NPV = 94.1%. LED-FM had lower sensitivities for PTB (65.6%) and EPTB (42.1%) and an excellent specificity of 100%, with PPV = 100% and NPV = 100%. CONCLUSION We concluded that GT is rapid, easy, simple and cost-effective and does not require qualified personnel with a specific background or sophisticated equipment like molecular biology or mycobacterium-specific genotyping techniques. These qualities make the GT attractive for use in low- and high-income countries in addition to other conventional methods, particularly culture, which continues to be the gold standard.
Abstract in English:Cytidine deaminase (MtCDA), encoded by cdd gene (Rv3315c), is the only enzyme identified in nucleotide biosynthesis pathway of Mycobacterium tuberculosis that is able to recycle cytidine and deoxycytidine. An M. tuberculosis knockout strain for cdd gene was obtained by allelic replacement. Evaluation of mRNA expression validated cdd deletion and showed the absence of polar effect. MudPIT LC-MS/MS data indicated thymidine phosphorylase expression was decreased in knockout and complemented strains. The cdd disruption does not affect M. tuberculosis growth both in Mid- dlebrook 7H9 and in RAW 264.7 cells, which indicates that cdd is not important for macrophage invasion and virulence.
Abstract in English:Staphylococcus aureus subsp. aureus, commonly referred as S. aureus, is an important bacterial pathogen frequently involved in hospital- and community-acquired infections in humans, ranging from skin infections to more severe diseases such as pneumonia, bacteraemia, endocarditis, osteomyelitis, and disseminated infections. Here, we report the complete closed genome sequence of a community-acquired methicillin-resistant S. aureus strain, USA400-0051, which is a prototype of the USA400 clone.
Abstract in English:A recent study showed that infectivity of Zika virus (ZIKV) Asian genotype was enhanced by an alanine-to-valine amino acid substitution at residue 188 of the NS1 protein, but the precise time and location of origin of this mutation were not formally estimated. Here, we applied a Bayesian coalescent-based framework to estimate the age and location of the ancestral viral strain carrying the A188V substitution. Our results support that the ancestral ZIKV strain carrying the A188V substitution arose in Southeastern Asia at the early 2000s and circulated in that region for some time (5-10 years) before being disseminated to Southern Pacific islands and the Americas.