Abstract in English:Ticks are obligate haematophagous ectoparasites of wild and domestic animals as well as humans, considered to be second worldwide to mosquitoes as vectors of human diseases. Tick-borne diseases are responsible worldwide for great economic losses in terms of mortality and morbidity of livestock animals. This review concerns to the different tick and tick-parasites control methods having a major focus on vaccines. Control of tick infestations has been mainly based on the use of acaricides, a control measure with serious drawbacks, as responsible for the contamination of milk and meat products, as a selective factor for acaricide-resistant ticks and as an environmental contaminant. Research on alternatives to the use of acaricides is strongly represented by tick vaccines considered a more cost-effective and environmentally safe strategy. Vaccines based on the Bm86 tick antigen were used in the first commercially available cattle tick vaccines and showed good results in reducing tick numbers, affecting weight and reproductive performance of female ticks which resulted in reduction of cattle tick populations over time and consequently lower reduction of the pathogen agents they carry.
Abstract in English:Introduction Cryptosporidium is an important protozoan cause of waterborne disease worldwide of concern to public health authorities. To prevent outbreaks of cryptosporidiosis, the monitoring of this parasite in drinking water is necessary. In the present work, the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and nested-PCR techniques were used to detect Cryptosporidium in raw water from catchment points of four water treatment plants (WTP) in Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil. Methods First, DNA extraction techniques were tested in samples containing decreasing amount of oocysts in reagent water, and PCR and nested-PCR with specific primers for 18SSU rDNA of Cryptosporidium were conducted to determine their sensitivity. In reagent water, a commercial extraction kit provided the best analytical sensitivity, and PCR and nested-PCR allowed the detection of five and two oocysts, respectively, with the primers XIAOR/XIAOF and XIAO1F/XIAO2R. Results In the spiking experiments, only the PCR with the primers AWA995F/AWA1206R was successful at detecting concentrations of 0.1 oocysts/mL. Two catchments samples of raw water and/or water sludge from four WTPs were contaminated with Cryptosporidium. Conclusions The application of the techniques to monitor Cryptosporidium in water and detect contamination in water catchments of WTPs in Curitiba are discussed in the present work.
Abstract in English:Introduction The aim of the present study was to assess the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) as a method for detecting Trypanosoma cruzi infection in triatomines that had been previously determined by microscopic examination in the State of Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil. Methods In total, 515 specimens were collected. Material from the digestive tract of each triatomine was analyzed for the presence of T. cruzi by microscopic examination and PCR using the 121/122 primer set. Results Among the 515 specimens tested, 58 (11.3%) were positive by microscopy and 101 (19.61%) were positive by PCR and there was an association between the results of the techniques (χ2 = 53.354, p = 0.001). The main species of triatomine identified was T. sordida (95.5%) Conclusions The use of PCR in entomological surveillance may contribute to a better assessment of the occurrence of T. cruzi in triatomine populations.
Abstract in English:Introduction Few Latin American studies have assessed the prevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in elderly individuals, in whom the highest rates are expected. We aimed to investigate the prevalence of and factors associated with HCV infection in elderly residents in the municipality of Tubarão, Santa Catarina. Methods This cross-sectional study included 820 individuals (aged ≥ 60 years) who were selected by simple random sampling. The presence of anti-HCV antibodies was tested by chemiluminescence, and HCV RNA detection was performed for the anti-HCV-reactive subjects. Those individuals who were anti-HCV reactive but had undetectable HCV RNA levels were tested using a third-generation recombinant immunoblot assay. The variables were compared using the chi-squared test or Fisher's exact test, and those variables with p < 0.05 were included in the logistic regression model. Results The mean patient age was 68.6 years (SD 7.0 years); 39% were men, and 92% were Caucasian. Eighteen subjects were anti-HCV positive. Among these individuals, 4 were characterized as false-positives, leaving 14 (1.7%) individuals with confirmed infections for analysis. HCV infection was associated with an age older than 65 years, households with 3 or more residents and the previous transfusion of blood products. In the logistic regression analysis, the following variables were independently associated with HCV infection: households with 3 or more residents (OR 7.9, 95% CI 1.7–35.9, p = 0.008) and previous blood transfusion (OR 6.2, 95% CI 2.1–18.6, p = 0.001). Conclusions The HCV prevalence in the elderly population in the municipality of Tubarão was higher than that found in previous studies of blood donors in the same region. Although exposure to contaminated blood products remained important, other transmission routes, such as household transmission, could play a role in HCV infection.
Abstract in English:Introduction The progression of human papillomavirus (HPV) infection in the anogenital tract has been associated with the involvement of cells with regulatory properties. Evidence has shown that glucocorticoid-induced tumor necrosis factor receptor (GITR) is an important surface molecule for the characterization of these cells and proposes that GITR ligand may constitute a rational treatment for many cancer types. We aimed to detect the presence of GITR and CD25 in cervical stroma cells with and without pathological changes or HPV infection to better understand the immune response in the infected tissue microenvironment. Methods We subjected 49 paraffin-embedded cervical tissue samples to HPV DNA detection and histopathological analysis, and subsequently immunohistochemistry to detect GITR and CD25 in lymphocytes. Results We observed that 76.9% of all samples with high GITR expression were HPV-positive regardless of histopathological findings. High GITR expression (77.8%) was predominant in samples with ≥1,000 RLU/PCB. Of the HPV-positive samples negative for intraepithelial lesion and malignancy, 62.5% had high GITR expression. High GITR expression was observed in both carcinoma and high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (HSIL) samples (p = 0.16). CD25 was present in great quantities in all samples. Conclusions The predominance of high GITR expression in samples with high viral load that were classified as HSIL and carcinoma suggests that GITR+ cells can exhibit regulatory properties and may contribute to the progression of HPV-induced cervical neoplasia, emphasizing the importance of GITR as a potential target for immune therapy of cervical cancer and as a disease evolution biomarker.
Abstract in English:Introduction American cutaneous leishmaniasis (ACL) has been reported in every municipality of the State of Mato Grosso, Brazil, but the transmission epidemiology remains poorly understood. Our study was developed in a rural area of the Nova Mutum municipality where four autochthonous cases of ACL were reported in 2009. Our aims were to describe the local phlebotomine sandfly fauna and to investigate the infection rates and infecting Leishmania species in the captured sandflies. Methods Entomological captures were performed bimonthly at 10 fixed sites close to the edge of a forested area between June 2011 and April 2012. Results A total of 3,743 phlebotomine sandflies belonging to 31 distinct species were captured. Approximately 75% of the specimens were females. The most abundant species (45.4%) was Lutzomyia antunesi, which was consistently captured at every site. Species that are epidemiologically important for ACL, such as L. flaviscutellata, L. whitmani and L. umbratilis, were also captured. L. antunesi and L. ubiquitalis were naturally infected by Leishmania braziliensis or Le. guyanensis, with minimum infection rates of 0.88% and 6.67%, respectively. Surprisingly, L. antunesi was infected by Le. infantum (synonym chagasi). Conclusions The natural infection of L. antunesi and L. ubiquitalis by Leishmania sp. suggests that these species might play a role in the zoonotic cycle of ACL in Nova Mutum. The presence of Le. infantum in L. antunesi suggests that there may be a risk of an outbreak of visceral leishmaniasis (VL) in Nova Mutum.
Abstract in English:Introduction Pseudomonas aeruginosa isolates related to nosocomial infections are often resistant to multiple antibacterial agents. In this study, antimicrobial combinations were evaluated to detect in vitro synergy against clinical isolates of P. aeruginosa. Methods Four clinical P. aeruginosa isolates were selected at random among other isolates from inpatients treated at the public University hospital in Ribeirão Preto, SP, Brazil. Two isolates were susceptible to imipenem (IPM-S) and several other antimicrobials, while the other two isolates were imipenem and multidrug resistant (IPM-R). The checkerboard method was used to assess the interactions between antimicrobials. Results Combinations of imipenem or other anti-Pseudomonas drugs with complementary antibiotics, such as aminoglycosides, fosfomycin and rifampin, reached synergy rates of 20.8%, 50%, 62.5% and 50% for the two IPM-S and two IPM-R Pseudomonas isolates, respectively. Imipenem, piperacillin-tazobactam and ceftazidime yielded a greater synergy rate than cefepime or ciprofloxacin. Synergist combinations were more commonly observed when the complementary drug was tobramycin (65%) or fosfomycin (57%). Conclusions Some antibacterial combinations led to significant reductions of the minimum inhibitory concentrations of both drugs, suggesting that they could be clinically applied to control infections caused by multidrug-resistant P. aeruginosa.
Abstract in English:Introduction The aim of this study was to determine the antimicrobial susceptibility of Neisseria gonorrhoeae isolates obtained from patients attending a public referral center for sexually transmitted diseases and specialized care services (STD/SCS) in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Methods Between March 2011 and February 2012, 201 specimens of Neisseria gonorrhoeae were consecutively obtained from men with symptoms of urethritis and women with symptons of cervicitis or were obtained during their initial consultation. The strains were tested using the disk diffusion method, and the minimum inhibitory concentrations of azithromycin, cefixime, ceftriaxone, ciprofloxacin, chloramphenicol, penicillin, tetracycline and spectinomycin were determined using the E-test. Results The specimens were 100% sensitive to cefixime, ceftriaxone and spectinomycin and exhibited resistances of 4.5% (9/201), 21.4% (43/201), 11.9% (24/201), 22.4% (45/201) and 32.3% (65/201) to azithromycin, ciprofloxacin, chloramphenicol, penicillin and tetracycline, respectively. Intermediate sensitivities of 17.9% (36/201), 4% (8/201), 16.9% (34/201), 71.1% (143/201) and 22.9% (46/201) were observed for azithromycin, ciprofloxacin, chloramphenicol, penicillin and tetracycline, respectively. The specimens had plasmid-mediated resistance to penicillin PPNG 14.5% (29/201) and tetracycline TRNG 11.5% (23/201). Conclusions The high percentage of detected resistance to penicillin, tetracycline, chloramphenicol and ciprofloxacin indicates that these antibiotics are not appropriate for gonorrhea treatment at the Health Clinic and possibly in Belo Horizonte. The resistance and intermediate sensitivity of these isolates indicates that caution is recommended in the use of azithromycin and emphasizes the need to establish mechanisms for the surveillance of antimicrobial resistance for the effective control of gonorrhea.
Abstract in English:Introduction Trypanosoma cruzi, a flagellated protozoan, is the etiologic agent of Chagas disease, and it is estimated that approximately 5 million people in Brazil are infected with this parasite. This work aimed to compare the current diagnostic methods for Chagas disease, including conventional serological (IFAT and ELISA) and molecular techniques (PCR), to introduce PCR as an auxiliary technique. Methods A total of 106 chagasic patients were evaluated: 88 from endemic areas of Parana, 6 from São Paulo, 3 from Minas Gerais, 3 from Rio Grande do Sul, 1 from Bahia and 5 from the Santa Catarina T. cruzi outbreak. The samples were analyzed by conventional serological methods (IFAT, ELISA), hemoculture and PCR to confirm Chagas disease. Results When IFAT was used to determine antibody levels, the sensitivity was 81.7% for patients with the cardiac form of the disease and 100% for the other clinical forms. In contrast, ELISA showed 84% sensitivity and 100% specificity. The use of serological and molecular techniques and their implications for the diagnosis of Chagas disease in non-endemics area are discussed. Conclusions PCR constitutes an excellent support methodology for the laboratory diagnosis of Chagas disease due to its high sensitivity and specificity.
Abstract in English:Introduction Chagasic megaesophagus (CM) is the most common digestive manifestation of Chagas disease in Brazil, and the State of Goiás is one of the most affected regions. In recent decades, the Hospital das Clínicas (HC)/Universidade Federal de Goiás (UFG) has been a reference center for the study and treatment of CM. The objective of this study was to characterize the current epidemiological profile of patients with CM observed at the HC of the UFG from 1998 to 2010. Methods In total, 939 patient records were analyzed, and age, gender, place of birth, serology, symptoms and radiological classification according to Rezende et al. were analyzed. Results The median patient age was 55 years. Male patients were more (54%) prevalent than female patients. The prevalence of younger patients (less than 31 years of age) was 4.2%, but 82.1% of the younger patients were from State of Bahia. Patients older than 40 years were the majority (85.5%). The radiological groups were distributed as follows: Group I (35.9%), Group II (32.9%), Group III (17%) and Group IV (14.2%). Conclusions Compared with previous studies by the same group in 1975, 1994 and 1995, the number of younger patients decreased, and the frequency curve has shifted to older patients.
Abstract in English:Introduction The incidence of American cutaneous leishmaniasis (ACL) is increasing in Latin America, especially in Brazil, where 256,587 cases were confirmed in the last decade. Methods This study used a Bayesian model to examine the spatial and temporal distribution of ACL cases between 2000 and 2009 in 61 counties of State of Maranhão located along the three main road and railway corridors. Results During the study period, 13,818 cases of ACL were recorded. There was a significant decrease in the incidence of ACL in the ten study years. The recorded incidence rate ranged from 7.36 to 241.45 per 100,000 inhabitants. The relative risk increased in 77% of the counties, decreased in 18% and was maintained in only five counties. Conclusions Although there was a decreased incidence of the disease, ACL was present in all of the examined municipalities, thus maintaining the risk of contracting this illness.
Abstract in English:Introduction Leprosy remains a relevant public health issue in Brazil. The objective of this study was to analyze the spatial distribution of new cases of leprosy and to detect areas with higher risks of disease in the City of Vitória. Methods The study was ecologically based on the spatial distribution of leprosy in the City of Vitória, State of Espírito Santo between 2005 and 2009. The data sources used came from the available records of the State Health Secretary of Espírito Santo. A global and local empirical Bayesian method was used in the spatial analysis to produce a leprosy risk estimation, and the fluctuation effect was smoothed from the detection coefficients. Results The study used thematic maps to illustrate that leprosy is distributed heterogeneously between the neighborhoods and that it is possible to identify areas with high risk of disease. The Pearson correlation coefficient of 0.926 (p = 0.001) for the Local Method indicated highly correlated coefficients. The Moran index was calculated to evaluate correlations between the incidences of adjoining districts. Conclusions We identified the spatial contexts in which there were the highest incidence rates of leprosy in Vitória during the studied period. The results contribute to the knowledge of the spatial distribution of leprosy in the City of Vitória, which can help establish more cost-effective control strategies because they indicate specific regions and priority planning activities that can interfere with the transmission chain.
Abstract in English:Introduction Hospital infections caused by Candida spp. are a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in hospitalized patients, particularly those that are critically ill or immunocompromised. In this study, the distribution of Candida species in isolates from the University Hospital of the Federal University at Grande Dourados and their in vitro susceptibility to antifungal drugs were analyzed. Methods Yeasts were phenotypically identified using classical methodologies. Antifungal susceptibility tests to amphotericin B and fluconazole were performed using the broth microdilution technique. Results A total of 50 Candida isolates were obtained from hospitalized patients during the study period. We analyzed yeast isolates from urine (n=31; 62%), blood (n=12; 24%), and tracheal secretions (n=7; 14%). The following Candida species were identified: C. tropicalis (n=21; 42%), C. albicans (n=18; 36%), C. glabrata (n=10; 20%), and C. krusei (n=1; 2%). Antifungal susceptibility tests demonstrated that C. albicans was susceptible to both antifungal agents. However, 31.2% of the non-C. albicans Candida isolates displayed dose-dependent susceptibility to fluconazole, and 3.1% were resistant to amphotericin B. Conclusions In contrast to previous reports, our results indicated that C. tropicalis was the most commonly isolated yeast species among the hospital patients. The predominance of non-C. albicans Candida infections confirms the importance of species-level identification for implementing appropriate antifungal therapies.
Abstract in English:Introduction Candida albicans is a commensal and opportunistic agent that causes infection in immunocompromised individuals. Several attributes contribute to the virulence and pathogenicity of this yeast, including the production of germ tubes (GTs) and extracellular hydrolytic enzymes, particularly phospholipase and proteinase. This study aimed to investigate GT production and phospholipase and proteinase activities in bloodstream isolates of C. albicans. Methods One hundred fifty-three C. albicans isolates were obtained from blood samples and analyzed for GT, phospholipase, and proteinase production. The assays were performed in duplicate in egg yolk medium containing bovine serum albumin and human serum. Results Detectable amounts of proteinase were produced by 97% of the isolates, and 78% of the isolates produced phospholipase. GTs were produced by 95% of the isolates. A majority of the isolates exhibited low levels of phospholipase production and high levels of proteinase production. Conclusions Bloodstream isolates of C. albicans produce virulence factors such as GT and hydrolytic enzymes that enable them to cause infection under favorable conditions.
Abstract in English:Introduction In this study, the clinical features, underlying diseases and clinical outcomes of patients with cryptococcosis were investigated. In addition, a molecular analysis of the Cryptococcus neoformans species complex isolated from these patients was performed. Methods A prospective study of 62 cases of patients with cryptococcal infection was conducted at the Hospital de Doenças Tropicais de Goiás Dr. Anuar Auad from 2009-2010. Cryptococcal meningitis cases were diagnosed by direct examination and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) sample culture. The profiling of these patients was assessed. The CSF samples were submitted to India ink preparation and cultured on Sabouraud dextrose agar, and C. neoformans was identified by the production of urease, a positive phenoloxidase test and assimilation of carbohydrates. C. neoformans and C. gattii isolates were distinguished by growth on L-canavanine-glycine-bromothymol blue medium, and molecular analysis was conducted via PCR fingerprinting reactions using M13 and (GACA)4 primers. Results From the 62 patients with cryptococcosis, 71 isolates of CSF were obtained; 67 (94.4%) isolates were identified as C. neoformans var. grubii/VNI, and 4 (5.6%) were identified as C. gattii/VGII. Of these patients, 53 had an HIV diagnosis. The incidence of cryptococcosis was higher among patients 20-40 years of age, with 74.2% of the cases reported in males. Cryptococcus-related mortality was noted in 48.4% of the patients, and the symptoms were altered sensorium, headache, fever and stiff neck. Conclusions The high morbidity and mortality observed among patients with cryptococcosis demonstrate the importance of obtaining information regarding the epidemiological profile and clinical course of the disease in the State of Goiás, Brazil.
Abstract in English:Introduction This paper describes adverse events (AEs) temporally associated to the pandemic influenza A (H1N1) vaccine observed in a reference center in São Paulo, Brazil, during a 2010 mass vaccination campaign. Methods A retrospective study involving persons who sought medical care for AEs following influenza vaccination. Data were retrieved from medical records, vaccine AE notification forms, and a computerized system for immunobiological registration. Results Sixty-six vaccinees sought medical care for AEs after immunization. The most frequent AEs were fever, headache, myalgia, and pain at the injection site. No serious AEs were reported. Conclusions Few vaccinees spontaneously reported AEs to influenza A (H1N1) vaccine at this center.
Abstract in English:Introduction Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is being increasingly reported among the elderly and major depression (MD) may be associated with suboptimal adherence to treatment. Methods Cross-sectional study on factors associated with MD among 72 HIV-infected elderly individuals. Results Twenty (27.7%) patients were found to have MD. The female gender (odds ratio [OR] = 10.65; p = 0.00586), a low CD4 count during the study (OR = 1.005247; p = 0.01539), and current smoking status (OR = 12.89; p = 0.01693) were independently associated with MD. Conclusions Our data underscore the need to attentively search and treat MD among HIV-infected elderly patients.
Abstract in English:Introduction The number of reports of intestinal infections caused by Aeromonas spp. has increased significantly in recent years. In most clinical laboratories, identification of these bacteria is carried out by general phenotypic tests that sometimes do not accurately differentiate Aeromonas and Vibrio. Methods A duplex-polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was developed directed to 2 targets identifying Aeromonas spp. pathogenic to humans. Results The duplex-PCR results were reproducible and specific for Aeromonas spp. pathogenic to humans. Conclusions This method will allow differentiation between Vibrio and Aeromonas spp. in patients with in cholera-like symptoms and can also be used in water quality monitoring.
Abstract in English:Introduction This study compares virulence markers of Helicobacter pylori isolated from patients in 2 cities in the Brazilian Amazon. Methods The study analyzed 168 patients with chronic gastritis from Belém and 151 from Bragança, State of Pará, Brazil. Levels of bacterial DNA associated with cagA and vacA alleles were checked by PCR, and hematoxylin-eosin staining was used for histologic diagnosis. Results In Bragança 87% of patients were genotype s1m1 cagA-positive (s1m1 cagA+), compared with 76% in Belém. In samples from patients in both cities, there was an association between s1m1 cagA+ strains and gastric mucosal damage. Conclusions Both cities have a high frequency of s1m1 cagA+ strains of H. pylori.
Abstract in English:Introduction CD4+CD25+ T lymphocytes have been implicated in the regulation of host inflammatory response against Trypanosoma cruzi, and may be involved in the clinical course of the disease. Methods Peripheral blood mononuclear cells from patients with chronic Chagas disease were cultured in the presence of T. cruzi recombinant antigens and assayed for lymphocytes at distinct time points. Results It was possible to differentiate clinical forms of chronic Chagas disease at days 3 and 5 according to presence of CD4+CD25+ T cells in cell cultures. Conclusions Longer periods of cell culture proved to be potentially valuable for prospective evaluations of CD4+CD25+ T lymphocytes in patients with chronic Chagas disease.
Abstract in English:Introduction Several cases of acute Chagas disease (ACD) have been reported in the Peruvian Amazon basin. Methods The objective was to describe and investigate 6 ACD cases in children from indigenous Amazon communities in the province of Datem del Marañón in Loreto department (2006-2010). Results The mean age was 3.6 years. All patients had fever, 4/6 hepatomegaly, 2/6 splenomegaly, and 5/6 had trypomastigotes of Trypanosoma cruzi on thick smears. The fatality rate was 33.3%. Rhodnius pictipes and Rhodnius robustus adults were found inside the homes and in the peri-domiciles. Conclusions All cases reported were isolated cases. We report a new focus of ACD in indigenous populations.
Abstract in English:Introduction Neurotoxoplasmosis (NT) sometimes manifests unusual characteristics. Methods We analyzed 85 patients with NT and AIDS according to clinical, cerebrospinal fluid, cranial magnetic resonance, and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) characteristics. Results In 8.5%, focal neurological deficits were absent and 16.4% had single cerebral lesions. Increased sensitivity of PCR for Toxoplasma gondii DNA in the central nervous system was associated with pleocytosis and presence of >4 encephalic lesions. Conclusions Patients with NT may present without focal neurological deficit and NT may occur with presence of a single cerebral lesion. Greater numbers of lesions and greater cellularity in cerebrospinal fluid improve the sensitivity of PCR to T gondii.
Abstract in English:Introduction In this study, we used dichloromethane (DCM) and methanol (MeOH) extracts of the Zingiber zerumbet rhizome to evaluate brine shrimp lethality and larvicidal activity on Aedes aegypti and Anopheles nuneztovari mosquitoes. Methods Bioassays were performed by exposing third-instar larvae of each mosquito species to the DCM or MeOH extracts. Results Probit analysis with DCM and MeOH extracts demonstrated efficient larvicidal activity against A. aegypti and A. nuneztovari larvae. Conclusions The DCM and MeOH extracts showed higher activity against A. nuneztovari larvae than against A. aegypti larvae, suggesting that the extracts have species-specific activity.
Abstract in English:Listeriosis is an under-diagnosed and under-reported infection; however, listeriosis is not a compulsorily notifiable disease in Brazil. We provide an overview of the rates of listeriosis in the United States of America (USA), Europe, Latin America, and Brazil during the past decade. We also report a case of miscarriage caused by listeriosis in which there was no suspicion of this infection. This overview and the case we report serve as reminders of the often-neglected threat of listeriosis and its potential to cause miscarriage while highlighting the necessity of recognizing listeriosis as a compulsorily notifiable disease in Brazil.