Abstract in English:BACKGROUND Trypanosoma cruzi circulates in sylvatic habitats, mainly through blood-feeding triatomines, although other routes also contribute to its dispersion. Sexual transmission of T. cruzi is an understudied topic, especially among wild mammals. Because of the difficulties inherent to field work, experimentally infected mice are frequently used to evaluate the transmission of T. cruzi. OBJECTIVE This study aimed to evaluate the sexual transmission of T. cruzi in acutely infected mice. METHODS Male and female mice in the acute phase of Chagas disease were mated with naïve partners. Then, parasitological tests, immunohistochemistry, serological assays, and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays were used to detect infection. FINDINGS Parasitological analysis showed trypomastigotes in the blood of 20% of the naïve mice after mating with infected partners. Serological assays detected anti-T. cruzi antibodies in all naïve females mated with infected males and in 60% of naïve males mated with infected females. PCR showed T. cruzi nDNA bands for all naïve mice mated with infected partners. The possibility of sexual transmission was also confirmed by visualisation of amastigotes in the testes. MAIN CONCLUSIONS Our results demonstrate that sexual transmission of T. cruzi is an ordinary event that may contribute to maintenance of the parasite's enzootic cycle.
Abstract in English:BACKGROUND Although first detected in animals, the rare rotavirus strain G10P has been sporadically detected in humans in Slovenia, Thailand, United Kingdom and Australia among other countries. Earlier studies suggest that the strains found in humans resulted from interspecies transmission and reassortment between human and bovine rotavirus strains. OBJECTIVES In this study, a G10P rotavirus genotype detected in a human stool sample in Honduras during the 2010-2011 rotavirus season, from an unvaccinated 30-month old boy who reported at the hospital with severe diarrhea and vomiting, was characterised to determine the possible evolutionary origin of the rare strain. METHODS For the sample detected as G10P, 10% suspension was prepared and used for RNA extraction and sequence independent amplification. The amplicons were sequenced by next-generation sequencing using the Illumina MiSeq 150 paired end method. The sequence reads were analysed using CLC Genomics Workbench 6.0 and phylogenetic trees were constructed using PhyML version 3.0. FINDINGS The next generation sequencing and phylogenetic analyses of the 11-segmented genome of the G10P strain allowed classification as G10-P-I2-R2-C2-M2-A3-N2-T6-E2-H3. Six of the genes (VP1, VP2, VP3, VP6, NSP2 and NSP4) were DS-1-like. NSP1 and NSP5 were AU-1-like and NSP3 was T6, which suggests that multiple reassortment events occurred in the evolution of the strain. The phylogenetic analyses and genetic distance calculations showed that the VP7, VP4, VP6, VP1, VP3, NSP1, NSP3 and NSP4 genes clustered predominantly with bovine strains. NSP2 and VP2 genes were most closely related to simian and human strains, respectively, and NSP5 was most closely related to a rhesus strain. MAIN CONCLUSIONS The genetic characterisation of the G10P strain from Honduras suggests that its genome resulted from multiple reassortment events which were possibly mediated through interspecies transmissions.
Abstract in English:BACKGROUND Chagas disease in the Brazilian Amazon Region was previously regarded as an enzootic disease of wild animals. More recently, in situations where humans have penetrated the wild ecotope or where triatomines and/or wild animals (marsupials) have invaded human homes resulting in disease transmission, Chagas disease has come to be regarded as an anthropozoonosis. We found that the highest incidence of infection due to Trypanosoma cruzi and Chagas disease occurred among piassaba fibre gatherers and their families. OBJECTIVES Considering the results of previous surveys, we conducted a new survey of piassaba gatherers and their families in the creeks of the Aracá, Curuduri, Demini, Ererê and Padauiri rivers, which are tributaries on the left bank of the Negro River, in the municipality of Barcelos; Barcelos-Caurés highway; Negro River in Santa Isabel of the Negro River; and Marié River, on the right bank of the Negro River. METHODS A questionnaire was applied to 482 piassaba gatherers and their families who accompanied them. We collected 5-mL blood samples (with permission from each subject), separated the serum, and performed serological tests using indirect immunofluorescence and conventional and recombinant enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA). We performed brief clinical examination and electrocardiograms. Only 273 subjects attended our field base for detailed clinical examination and electrocardiogram. FINDINGS AND MAIN CONCLUSIONS The questionnaire revealed that 100% of the 482 patients recognised the triatomine Rhodnius brethesi, which they had seen in the piassaba plantation and 81% in their field huts. A total of 79% of subjects had previously been bitten by this vector and 21% did not know. The 25 subjects seropositive for T. cruzi infection (5.2%) stated that they had been bitten more than 10 times by this insect. Of the 273 subjects who underwent electrocardiogram, 22% showed conditions that were possibly attributable to Chagas disease or other cardiovascular disease.
Abstract in English:BACKGROUND Vector transmission of Trypanosoma cruzi appears to be interrupted in Chile; however, data show increasing incidence of Chagas' disease, raising concerns that there may be a reemerging problem. OBJECTIVE To estimate the actual risk in a changing world it is necessary to consider the historical vector distribution and correlate this distribution with the presence of cases and climate change. METHODS Potential distribution models of Triatoma infestans and Chagas disease were performed using Maxent, a machine-learning method. FINDINGS Climate change appears to play a major role in the reemergence of Chagas' disease and T. infestans in Chile. The distribution of both T. infestans and Chagas' disease correlated with maximum temperature, and the precipitation during the driest month. The overlap of Chagas' disease and T. infestans distribution areas was high. The distribution of T. infestans, under two global change scenarios, showed a minimal reduction tendency in suitable areas. MAIN CONCLUSION The impact of temperature and precipitation on the distribution of T. infestans, as shown by the models, indicates the need for aggressive control efforts; the current control measures, including T. infestans control campaigns, should be maintained with the same intensity as they have at present, avoiding sylvatic foci, intrusions, and recolonisation of human dwellings.
Abstract in English:BACKGROUND The northern limits of Trypanosoma cruzi across the territory of the United States remain unknown. The known vectors Triatoma sanguisuga and T. lecticularia find their northernmost limits in Illinois; yet, earlier screenings of those insects did not reveal the presence of the pathogen, which has not been reported in vectors or reservoir hosts in this state. OBJECTIVES Five species of medium-sized mammals were screened for the presence of T. cruzi. METHODS Genomic DNA was isolated from heart, spleen and skeletal muscle of bobcats (Lynx rufus, n = 60), raccoons (Procyon lotor, n = 37), nine-banded armadillos (Dasypus novemcinctus, n = 5), Virginia opossums (Didelphis virginiana, n = 3), and a red fox (Vulpes vulpes). Infections were detected targeting DNA from the kinetoplast DNA minicircle (kDNA) and satellite DNA (satDNA). The discrete typing unit (DTU) was determined by amplifying two gene regions: the Spliced Leader Intergenic Region (SL), via a multiplex polymerase chain reaction, and the 24Sα ribosomal DNA via a heminested reaction. Resulting sequences were used to calculate their genetic distance against reference DTUs. FINDINGS 18.9% of raccoons were positive for strain TcIV; the rest of mammals tested negative. MAIN CONCLUSIONS These results confirm for the first time the presence of T. cruzi in wildlife from Illinois, suggesting that a sylvatic life cycle is likely to occur in the region. The analyses of sequences of SL suggest that amplicons resulting from a commonly used multiplex reaction may yield non-homologous fragments.
Abstract in English:BACKGROUND A number of Zika virus (ZIKV) sequences were obtained using Next-generation sequencing (NGS), a methodology widely applied in genetic diversity studies and virome discovery. However Sanger method is still a robust, affordable, rapid and specific tool to obtain valuable sequences. OBJECTIVE The aim of this study was to develop a simple and robust Sanger sequencing protocol targeting ZIKV relevant genetic regions, as envelope protein and nonstructural protein 5 (NS5). In addition, phylogenetic analysis of the ZIKV strains obtained using the present protocol and their comparison with previously published NGS sequences were also carried out. METHODS Six Vero cells isolates from serum and one urine sample were available to develop the procedure. Primer sets were designed in order to conduct a nested RT-PCR and a Sanger sequencing protocols. Bayesian analysis was used to infer phylogenetic relationships. FINDINGS Seven complete ZIKV envelope protein (1,571 kb) and six partial NS5 (0,798 Kb) were obtained using the protocol, with no amplification of NS5 gene from urine sample. Two NS5 sequences presented ambiguities at positions 495 and 196. Nucleotide analysis of a Sanger sequence and consensus sequence of previously NGS study revealed 100% identity. ZIKV strains described here clustered within the Asian lineage. MAIN CONCLUSIONS The present study provided a simple and low-cost Sanger protocol to sequence relevant genes of the ZIKV genome. The identity of Sanger generated sequences with published consensus NGS support the use of Sanger method for ZIKV population studies. The regions evaluated were able to provide robust phylogenetic signals and may be used to conduct molecular epidemiological studies and monitor viral evolution.
Abstract in English:BACKGROUND Didelphis spp. are a South American marsupial species that are among the most ancient hosts for the Trypanosoma spp. OBJECTIVES We characterise a new species (Trypanosoma janseni n. sp.) isolated from the spleen and liver tissues of Didelphis aurita in the Atlantic Rainforest of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. METHODS The parasites were isolated and a growth curve was performed in NNN and Schneider's media containing 10% foetal bovine serum. Parasite morphology was evaluated via light microscopy on Giemsa-stained culture smears, as well as scanning and transmission electron microscopy. Molecular taxonomy was based on a partial region (737-bp) of the small subunit (18S) ribosomal RNA gene and 708 bp of the nuclear marker, glycosomal glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (gGAPDH) genes. Maximum likelihood and Bayesian inference methods were used to perform a species coalescent analysis and to generate individual and concatenated gene trees. Divergence times among species that belong to the T. cruzi clade were also inferred. FINDINGS In vitro growth curves demonstrated a very short log phase, achieving a maximum growth rate at day 3 followed by a sharp decline. Only epimastigote forms were observed under light and scanning microscopy. Transmission electron microscopy analysis showed structures typical to Trypanosoma spp., except one structure that presented as single-membraned, usually grouped in stacks of three or four. Phylogeography analyses confirmed the distinct species status of T. janseni n. sp. within the T. cruzi clade. Trypanosoma janseni n. sp. clusters with T. wauwau in a well-supported clade, which is exclusive and monophyletic. The separation of the South American T. wauwau + T. janseni coincides with the separation of the Southern Super Continent. CONCLUSIONS This clade is a sister group of the trypanosomes found in Australian marsupials and its discovery sheds light on the initial diversification process based on what we currently know about the T. cruzi clade.
Abstract in English:BACKGROUND Aedes aegypti is considered the main Zika virus (ZIKV) vector, and is thought to be responsible for the 2015-2016 outbreak in Brazil. Zika positive Ae. aegypti males collected in the field suggest that vertical and/or venereal transmission of ZIKV may occur. OBJECTIVES In this study, we aimed to demonstrate that venereal transmission of ZIKV by Ae. aegypti can occur under laboratory conditions. METHODS Ae. aegypti collected in the city of Manaus, confirmed as negative for Zika, Dengue and Chikungunya virus by reverse transcription real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) (AaM3V- strain), were reared under laboratory conditions and used for the experiments. The ZIKV used in this study was isolated from a patient presenting with symptoms; ZIKV was confirmed by RT-qPCR. Experiment 1: virgin male mosquitoes of AaM3V- strain were intrathoracically inoculated with a ZIKV suspension; four days after injection, they were transferred to a cage containing virgin females of AaM3V- strain and left to copulate for five days. Experiment 2: virgin female mosquitoes of AaM3V- strain were orally infected with a ZIKV suspension by blood feeding membrane assay; nine days after blood feeding, they were placed in cages with Ae. aegypti AaM3V- virgin males and left to copulate for four days. After copulation, all mosquitoes were individually evaluated for viral infection by RT-qPCR. FINDINGS The mean infection rate in Experiment 1 and Experiment 2 was 45% and 35%, respectively. In both experiments, cycle threshold values ranged from 13 to 35, indicating the presence of viral genomes. MAIN CONCLUSION Ae. aegypti males intrathoracically inoculated with a ZIKV suspension are infected and can transmit the virus to uninfected females by mating. Moreover, Ae. aegypti females orally infected with a ZIKV suspension can transmit the virus to uninfected males by copulation. This study shows that ZIKV infection of Ae. aegypti mosquitoes occurs not only during blood feeding, but also during copulation.
Abstract in English:In occult hepatitis B infection (OBI), hepatitis B virus DNA (HBV DNA) can be detected in serum samples; however, oral fluid collection for detection of HBV DNA has not yet been explored, despite the availability of collection devices. Serum and oral fluid samples from 45 hepatitis B core antibody (anti-HBc)-positive patients were collected for the amplification of the HBV polymerase gene. HBV DNA was detected in five serum and four oral fluid samples (the detection limit for oral fluid was 1.656 log IU/mL in paired serum). In conclusion, simple methodologies of sample collection and in-house polymerase chain reaction (PCR) allowed detection of HBV DNA, and these could be used to improve the diagnosis of OBI, especially in locations with limited resources.
Abstract in English:Using a metagenomic approach, we identified hepatitis A virus among cases of acute febrile illnesses that occurred in 2008-2012 in Brazil suspected as yellow fever. These findings reinforce the challenge facing routine clinical diagnosis in complex epidemiological scenarios.
Abstract in English:There is a paucity of studies on the cell biology of Sporothrix luriei, the less common of the pathogenic Sporothrix species worldwide. The production of DHN-melanin, eumelanin, and pyomelanin were evaluated on the mycelial and yeast forms of the S. luriei ATCC 18616 strain. The mycelial form of this species produced only pyomelanin, which protected the fungus against environmental stressors such as ultraviolet light, heat, and cold. The yeast form was unable to produce any of the tested melanin types. The lack of melanin in the parasitic form of S. luriei may be an explanation for its low frequency in human infections.