Abstract in English:We discuss the complex eco-social factors involved in the puzzle of the unexpected rapid viral spread in the ongoing Brazilian yellow fever (YF) outbreak, which has increased the reurbanisation risk of a disease without urban cases in Brazil since 1942. Indeed, this rapid spatial viral dissemination to the Southeast and South regions, now circulating in the Atlantic Forest fragments close to peri-urban areas of the main Brazilian megalopolises (São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro) has led to an exponential increase in the number of yellow fever cases. In less than 18 months, 1,833 confirmed cases and 578 deaths were recorded most of them reported in the Southeast region (99,9%). Large epizooties in monkeys and other non-human primates (NHPs) were communicated in the country with 732 YF virus (YFV) laboratory confirmed events only in the 2017/2018 monitoring period. We also discuss the peculiarities and similarities of the current outbreak when compared with previous great epidemics, examining several hypotheses to explain the recent unexpected acceleration of epizootic waves in the sylvatic cycle of the YFV together with the role of human, NHPs and mosquito mobility with respect to viral spread. We conclude that the most feasible hypothesis to explain this rapidity would be related to human behavior combined with ecological changes that promoted a significant increase in mosquito and NHP densities and their contacts with humans. We emphasize the urgent need for an adequate response to this outbreak such as extending immunisation coverage to the whole Brazilian population and developing novel strategies for immunisation of NHPs confined in selected reserve areas and zoos. Finally, we stress the urgent need to improve the quality of response in order to prevent future outbreaks and a catastrophic reurbanisation of the disease in Brazil and other South American countries. Continuous monitoring of YFV receptivity and vulnerability conditions with effective control of the urban vector Aedes aegypti and significant investments in YF vaccine production capacity and research and development for reduction of adverse effects are of the highest priority.
Abstract in English:BACKGROUND Serum brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels have been shown to be lower in patients with Chagas cardiomyopathy (ChC) than in patients with non-dilated chagasic cardiomyopathy. However, its prognostic value was not established in patients with ChC. METHODS Forty-nine patients with ChC (50 ± 7 years, New York Heart Association “NYHA” I-III); were evaluated by echocardiography, exercise testing, and blood analysis. Serum BDNF levels were determined using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay sandwich. Patients were followed-up, and cardiac death was considered the end-point. The survival analyses were performed using Kaplan-Meier and Cox regression. RESULTS After 39 ± 14 months of follow-up, 12 patients (25%) died. The concentration of 2.5 ng/mL was the optimal cut-off value to predict survival with significant difference between the groups with low (≤ 2.5 ng/mL) and high (> 2.5 ng/mL) BDNF levels (p = 0.006). Lower serum BDNF levels (hazards ratio (HR) 1.1, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.1-1.4; p = 0.001), peak oxygen uptake (HR 1.2, 95% CI 1.0-1.3; p = 0.009), and left ventricular ejection fraction (HR 0.8, 95% CI 0.7-0.9; p = 0.001) were the independent predictors of survival. The combination of low serum BDNF levels and reduced left ventricular ejection fraction were highly predictive of death (HR 5.6, 95% CI: 1.2-9.7; p = 0.026). CONCLUSION In patients with ChC, reduced serum BDNF levels, especially if associated with systolic function, may provide useful prognostic information.
Abstract in English:BACKGROUND Zika has emerged as a new public health threat after the explosive epidemic in Brazil in 2015. It is an arbovirus transmitted mainly by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. The knowledge of physiological, behavioural and biological features in virus-infected vectors may help the understanding of arbovirus transmission dynamics and elucidate their influence in vector capacity. OBJECTIVES We aimed to investigate the effects of Zika virus (ZIKV) infection in the behaviour of Ae. aegypti females by analysing the locomotor activity, egg production and viability. METHODOLOGY Ae. aegypti females were orally infected with ZIKV through an artificial feeder to access egg production, egg viability and locomotor activity. For egg production and viability assays, females were kept in cages containing an artificial site for oviposition and eggs were counted. Locomotor activity assays were performed in activity monitors and an average of 5th, 6th and 7th days after infective feeding was calculated. FINDINGS No significant difference in the number of eggs laid per females neither in their viability were found between ZIKV infected and non-infected females, regardless the tested pair of mosquito population and virus strain and the gonotrophic cycles. Locomotor activity assays were performed regardless of the locomotor activity in ZIKV infected females was observed, in both LD and DD conditions. MAIN CONCLUSIONS The lower locomotor activity may reduce the mobility of the mosquitoes and may explain case clustering within households reported during Zika outbreaks such as in Rio de Janeiro 2015. Nevertheless, the mosquitoes infected with ZIKV are still able to disseminate and to transmit the disease, especially in places where there are many oviposition sites.
Abstract in English:BACKGROUND Chagas disease is highly prevalent in Latin America, and vector control is the most effective control strategy to date. We have previously shown that liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) is a valuable tool for identifying triatomine vector blood meals. OBJECTIVES The purpose of this study was to determine blood meal detection ability as a function of method [polymerase chain reaction (PCR) vs. LC-MS/MS], time since feeding, and the effect of molting in mouse-fed triatomine insect vectors targeting hemoglobin and albumin proteins with LC-MS/MS and short interspersed nuclear elements (SINE)-based PCR. METHODS We experimentally fed Triatoma protracta on mice and used LC-MS/MS to detect hemoglobin and albumin peptides over time post-feeding and post-molting (≤ 12 weeks). We compared LC-MS/MS results with those of a standard PCR method based on SINEs. FINDINGS Hemoglobin-based LC-MS/MS detected blood meals most robustly at all time points post-feeding. Post-molting, no blood meals were detected with PCR, whereas LC-MS/MS detected mouse hemoglobin and albumin up to 12 weeks. MAIN CONCLUSIONS In our study, the hemoglobin signature in the insect abdomen lasted longer than that of albumin and DNA. LC-MS/MS using hemoglobin shows promise for identifying triatomine blood meals over long temporal scales and even post-molting. Clarifying the frequency of blood-feeding on different hosts can foster our understanding of vector behavior and may help devise sounder disease-control strategies, including Ecohealth (community based ecosystem management) approaches.
Abstract in English:BACKGROUND Scedosporium apiospermum is a ubiquitous, emerging and multidrug-resistant fungal pathogen with still rather unknown virulence mechanisms. OBJECTIVES/METHODS The cellular basis of the in vitro interaction between fungi and host cells/tissues is the determinant factor for the development of a successful in vivo infection. Herein, we evaluated the interaction of S. apiospermum conidia with lung epithelial (A549), lung fibroblast (MRC-5) and RAW 264.7 macrophages by light and scanning/transmission electron microscopy. FINDINGS After 4 h of fungi-host cell contact, the percentage of infected mammalian cells and the number of fungi per infected cell was measured by light microscopy, and the following association indexes were calculated for A549, MRC-5 and macrophage cells: 73.2 ± 25.9, 69.7 ± 22.5 and 59.7 ± 11.1, respectively. Both conidia and germinated conidia were regularly observed interacting with the evaluated cells, with a higher prevalence of non-germinated conidia. Interestingly, nests of germinated conidia were evidenced at the surface of lung cells by scanning electron microscopy. Some germination projections and hyphae were seen penetrating/evading the mammalian cells. Furthermore, internalised conidia were seen within vacuoles as visualised by transmission electron microscopy. MAIN CONCLUSIONS The present study contributes to a better understanding of S. apiospermum pathogenesis by demonstrating the first steps of the infection process of this opportunistic fungus.
Abstract in English:Farnesyl diphosphate synthase/geranylgeranyl diphosphate synthase (FPPS/GGPPS) is a key enzyme in the synthesis of isoprenic chains. Risedronate, a bisphosphonate containing nitrogen (N-BP), is a potent inhibitor of blood stage Plasmodium. Here, we show that P. falciparum parasites overexpressing FPPS/GGPPS are more resistant to risedronate, suggesting that this enzyme is an important target, and bisphosphonate analogues can be used as potential antimalarial drugs.
Abstract in English:Raoultella planticola is an emerging zoonotic pathogen that is associated with rare but life-threatening cases of bacteremia, biliary tract infections, and urinary tract infections. Moreover, increasing antimicrobial resistance in the organism poses a potential threat to public health. In spite of its importance as a human pathogen, the genome of R. planticola remains largely unexplored and little is known about its virulence factors. Although lipopolysaccharides has been detected in R. planticola and implicated in the virulence in earlier studies, the genetic background is unknown. Here, we report the complete genome and comparative analysis of the multidrug-resistant clinical isolate R. planticola GODA. The complete genome sequence of R. planticola GODA was sequenced using single-molecule real-time DNA sequencing. Comparative genomic analysis reveals distinct capsular polysaccharide synthesis gene clusters in R. planticola GODA. In addition, we found bla TEM-57 and multiple transporters related to multidrug resistance. The availability of genomic data in open databases of this emerging zoonotic pathogen, in tandem with our comparative study, provides better understanding of R. planticola and the basis for future work.
Abstract in English:Histoplasmosis is a systemic mycosis infection caused by Histoplasma capsulatum, a heterothallic ascomycete. The sexual reproduction of this fungus is regulated by the mating type (MAT1) locus that contains MAT1-1 and MAT1-2 idiomorphs, which were identified by uniplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR). This study aimed to optimise single-step multiplex PCR for the accurate detection of the distinct mating types of H. capsulatum. Among the 26 isolates tested, 20 had MAT1-1 genotype, while six showed MAT1-2 genotype, in agreement with the uniplex PCR results. These results suggest that multiplex PCR is a fast and specific tool for screening H. capsulatum mating types.