Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Revista do Instituto de Medicina Tropical de São Paulo]]> vol. 62 num. lang. pt <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[Molecular characterization of pre-extensive drug resistant <em>Mycobacterium tuberculosis</em> in Northeast Brazil]]> ABSTRACT In Fortaleza, the capital of Ceara State, Brazil, the detection rate of tuberculosis (TB) in 2018 was 65.5/100,000 inhabitants with a cure rate of 59.1%, which is higher than the country average. This study investigated the risk factors associated with drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB) and identified the drug-resistance phenotype and resistance-conferring mutations. The geographic distribution of DR-TB in Fortaleza, Brazil, was also determined. From March 2017 to February 2018, 41 DR-TB isolates and 69 drug-susceptible pulmonary TB isolates were obtained from patients seen at a referral hospital in Fortaleza, Brazil. Samples were subjected to phenotypic and genetic analysis of resistance; the spatial distribution of the participants was also analyzed. Primary resistance was high (50.9%) among participants. The following risk factors for DR were identified: being female ( p = 0.03), having diabetes ( p &lt; 0.01), history of previous TB disease ( p &lt; 0.01), and the number of intra-domiciliary contacts ( p &lt; 0.01). Analysis by multiplex allele-specific polymerase chain reaction detected mutations in the genes katG (65.8%) , rpoB (43.9%), inhA promoter (14.6%), and gyrA (9.8%). Sequencing identified mutations in the the genes katG (75.6%), inhA promoter (19.5%), rpoB (85.4%), and gyrA (100%). There was no mutation in the rrs gene. Spatial analysis showed DR-TB isolates distributed in areas of low socioeconomic status in the city of Fortaleza. Our results emphasized the importance of detecting resistance to TB drugs. The resistance found in the gene gyrA is of concern due to the high number of pre-extensive DR-TB cases in Fortaleza. <![CDATA[Presence of genes encoding enterotoxins in <em>Staphylococcus aureus</em> isolates recovered from food, food establishment surfaces and cases of foodborne diseases]]> ABSTRACT The aim of this study was to describe the microbiological characteristics and profile of genes encoding enterotoxins in 95 Staphylococcus aureus isolates obtained between April 2011 and December 2014 from foodstuffs, persons and surfaces of retail food stores. After microbiological identification and antimicrobial susceptibility testing, polymerase chain reactions (PCR) were performed, targeting sea, seb, sec, sed and see genes that code for classical enterotoxins (ET) A-E, and three additional genes: seg , seh and sei , coding for so-called “new enterotoxins” G, H and I. The isolates were characterized by Pulsed Field Gel Electrophoresis (PFGE), and five selected isolates were further analyzed through Multi Locus Sequence Typing (MLST). It is noteworthy that 54.7% of the examined isolates harbored one or more of the investigated ET gene types. Most positive isolates carried more than one ET gene up to five types; seg was the most frequent ET gene, followed by sei. Five enterotoxin-coding isolates also coded for some antimicrobial resistance genes. Two of them, and four additional non-enterotoxic isolates carried erm genes expressing inducible clindamycin resistance. PFGE-types were numerous and diverse, even among enterotoxin-coding strains, because most isolates did not belong to known foodborne outbreaks and the sampling period was long. MLST profiles were also varied, and a new ST 3840 was described within this species. ST 88 and ST 72 enterotoxin-coding isolates have been identified in other regions in association with foodborne outbreaks. This manuscript reports the first systematic investigation of enterotoxin genes in S. aureus isolates obtained from foodstuffs and infected people in Uruguay. <![CDATA[Vaccuuming method as a successful strategy in the diagnosis of active infestation by <em>Pediculus humanus capitis</em>]]> ABSTRACT Most human epidemiological and clinical studies use visual inspection of the hair and scalp to diagnose Pediculus humanus capitis , however this method has low sensitivity to diagnose active infestations (presence of nymphs and adult lice). Vacuuming the hair and scalp has been used as a diagnostic method, but there are no previous data comparing its effectiveness with visual inspection. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of overall infestation (nits and trophic stages), of active infestation by Pediculus humanus capitis , and to evaluate the effectiveness of vacuuming in comparison with the visual inspection. Visual inspection was performed by three examiners and vacuuming of the scalp by one investigator, with an adapted vacuum cleaner. A total of 166 children aged 4 to 10 years old were randomly selected from public schools in Southern Brazil. Considering the positive results obtained by both methods, the prevalence of overall infestation was 63.3%, whereas active infestation was 18.7%. The visual inspection was more effective on diagnosing overall infestation, however, its effectiveness to detect active infestation was lower, ranging from 0.6% (RR=3%, p&lt;0.001) to 6.6% (RR=35%, p=0.001), depending on the number of examiners. The effectiveness of vacuuming to diagnose active infestation was higher than the one of visual inspection, with a prevalence rate of 16.3% (RR=87%, p=0.332). As presented in our study, the vacuuming method was 2.74 to 7.87 times most likely to detect active infestation, thus it could be adopted as a more accurate method to diagnose active pediculosis. <![CDATA[Access and adherence to isoniazid preventive therapy and occurrence of active TB in a cohort of people living with HIV: a retrospective cohort study in Sao Paulo, Brazil]]> ABSTRACT Tuberculosis (TB) is still a leading cause of morbidity and mortality among people living with HIV (PLHIV). The diagnosis of latent TB is required for the implementation of prophylactic therapy with isoniazid (PTI). However, low access to diagnosis of latent TB and non-adherence to PTI may hinder potential benefits of this essential intervention. In this study, we addressed the access and adherence to PTI in a cohort of PLHIV with positive tuberculin skin test (TST) in a reference HIV clinic in Sao Paulo, Brazil. We have also analyzed the occurrence of active TB over a median of 131 months after a positive TST among study participants. Our findings revealed that 88.3% of the 238 TST-positive patients had access to PTI, and 196 (93.3%) of those with access adhered to PTI. Active tuberculosis was diagnosed in three of the 196 TST-positive patients who adhered to PTI (1.5%; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.3-4.4%), whereas seven cases were detected among 42 patients without access or who did not adhere to PTI (16.6%; 95% CI 7.0-31.3%). The apparent beneficial effect of PTI in our cohort is consistent with previous studies including PLHIV, and highlights the importance of reliably delivering each of the steps between screening for latent TB and provision of PTI. <![CDATA[Prevalence of dengue, Zika and chikungunya viruses in <em>Aedes (Stegomyia)</em> aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae) in a medium-sized city, Amazon, Brazil]]> ABSTRACT Aedes aegypti is associated with epidemic diseases in Brazil, such as urban yellow fever, dengue, and more recently, chikungunya and Zika viruses infections. More information about Ae. aegypti infestation is fundamental to virological surveillance in order to ensure the effectiveness of control measures in use. Thus, the present study aims to identify and compare infestation and infectivity of Ae. aegypti females in Macapa city, Amapa State (Amazon region), Brazil, between the epidemiological weeks 2017/02 and 2018/20. A total number of 303 Ae. aegypti females were collected at 21 fixed collection points, 171 at the 10 collection points in the Marabaixo neighborhood and 132 at the 11 collection points in the Central neighborhood. Among the collected samples, only two were positive for dengue virus, with a 2.08% (2/96 pools) infectivity rate for Marabaixo. The difference between the medians of Ae. aegypti females captured in Central and Marabaixo sites was not statistically significant. The findings indicate similar mosquito infestation levels between the neighborhoods, and a low-level of mosquito infectivity, although dengue virus was found only in Marabaixo. Virological surveillance of Ae. aegypti was important to identify sites of infection and determine possible routes of transmission to enable health surveillance teams to adopt preventive strategies where infected mosquitoes are present and act faster. <![CDATA[Hepatitis C in the three main health institutions in Mexico: a 13-year mortality and hospitalization analysis]]> ABSTRACT There are no studies in Mexico comparing Hepatitis C virus (HCV) epidemiology among Health Institutions. In this report, we described the deaths and hospitalizations due to HCV in the three main Health Institutions in Mexico: the Mexican Institute of Social Security, the Institute of Social Security for State Workers and the Ministry of Health, during the period 2004-2017. A secondary analysis was carried out across the country using hospital administrative death databases. Adult deaths and hospitalizations rates were calculated in reference to the total affiliated population and all-cause in-hospital mortality risk were also evaluated. There were 7,914 deaths and 9,002 hospitalizations due to HCV. Mortality and hospitalization rates of these three institutions together showed a continuous decrease over the analyzed time: the mortality rate dropped from 1.25 to 0.41 per 100,000 affiliates during 2004 and 2017, respectively (66.9% of change), and the hospitalization rate dropped from 2.19 to 0.39 per 100,000 affiliates (81.9% of change). All-cause in-hospital survival accounted for 89.6%. Older age groups and Ministry of Health hospitalizations were associated with higher all-cause in-hospital death rates. In conclusion, the mortality and hospitalizations rates found in this study reflect a decrease in the burden of HCV in Mexico. <![CDATA[Human visceral leishmaniasis: epidemiological, temporal and spacial aspects in Northeast Brazil, 2003-2017]]> ABSTRACT Visceral leishmaniasis is a highly lethal zoonosis transmitted by a sandfly. It is caused by a Leishmania protozoan parasite and dogs are the main reservoir. Ceara State is endemic to visceral leishmaniasis and it is considered a high risk transmission area. Temporal and spatial epidemiological studies have been used as tools to analyze the distribution and frequency of human visceral leishmaniasis (HVL). This study aimed to characterize HVL in its epidemiological andtemporal aspects in Ceara State, from 2003 to 2017, as this is a neglected disease and a public health problem. This is an ecological study carried out with HVL confirmed cases in Ceara, using three blocks of years (2003 to 2007, 2008 to 2012 and 2013 to 2017). The disease presented an endemic behavior, affecting mainly male residents in the urban area, especially children under five and young adults between 30 and 49 years old. HVL is recorded in all the municipalities, for more than 10 years, with a growing trend and territorial expansion to the Central and Eastern regions of the State. The results of this study indicated the increase in the incidence and lethality, as well as the expansion of leishmaniasis in Ceara State. <![CDATA[Efficacy of antiviral therapy during the second or the third trimester for preventing mother-to-child hepatitis B virus transmission: a systematic review and meta-analysis]]> ABSTRACT For pregnant women with high viral load, antiviral therapy has been administered in addition to active and passive immune prophylaxis as a crucial adjunctive therapy to interrupt mother-to-child hepatitis B virus (HBV) transmission (MTCT). However, the time of antiviral therapy onset remains controversial. A systematic review and meta-analysis was conducted to compare the efficacy of antiviral therapy during the second or the third trimester for prevention of HBV vertical transmission. We searched nine databases for observational studies and randomized controlled trials that enrolled pregnant women with positive HBsAg treated with antivirals. The outcomes of interest were maternal HBV-DNA levels prior to delivery and the rates of HBV MTCT. We included nine studies that enrolled 1,502 pregnant women. The average HBV-DNA level before treatment was approximately 8 log10 copies/mL. Compared to the onset of antiviral intervention in the third trimester, the beginning of treatment in the second trimester distinctly reduced maternal predelivery HBV-DNA levels. However, no significant difference in HBV MTCT was found between the second and third trimester groups. Furthermore, the subgroup analysis showed that there were no significant differences between groups beginning treatment at different times (second or third trimester) with regard to HBV MTCT or other evaluated endpoints. For pregnant women with HBV-DNA levels less than or equal to 8 log10 copies/mL, the beginning of antiviral treatment can be delayed until the third trimester. <![CDATA[Analysis of mitochondrial enzymatic activity in blood lymphomonocyte fractions during infection with different <em>Trypanosoma cruzi</em> strains]]> ABSTRACT Proinflammatory and inflammatory mediators induced by Trypanosoma cruzi infection increase the oxidative stress, generating toxicity for cells targeting mitochondria of different tissues. We studied the activity of citrate synthase and complexes I-IV of respiratory chain in mitochondria of blood lymphomonocyte fraction, from albino Swiss mice infected with different isolates of T. cruzi , during Chagas disease evolution. Complexes I-IV were modified in infected groups (p&lt;0.05) in all the stages, and an inflammatory process of different magnitudes was detected in the heart and skeletal muscle according to the isolate. The citrate synthase activity presented modifications in the SGO Z12 and the Tulahuen group (p&lt;0.05). Hearts showed fiber fragmentation and fibrosis; skeletal muscle presented inflammatory infiltrates and in the Tulahuen infected group, there were also amastigote nests. The inflammatory processes produced an oxidative stress that induced different alterations of mitochondrial enzymes activities in the lymphomonocyte fraction that can be detected by a simple blood extraction, suggesting that they could be used as disease markers, especially in the indeterminate phase of Chagas disease. <![CDATA[Molecular detection of prepatent Schistosoma mansoni infection in <em>Biomphalaria glabrata</em> snail vectors]]> ABSTRACT Approximately 240 million people worldwide are infected by Schistosoma. In Brazil, one of the main intermediate hosts of this parasite is Biomphalaria glabrata snails. The early detection of larval stages in intermediate hosts is an important challenge to public health, but it also represents an opportunity as a new alternative to indicate earlier natural infections before cercariae differentiation and emergence. In this context, we demonstrated that PCR amplification of a 28S gene fragment from the parasite does demonstrate S. mansoni infection in snails 14 days post infection. This conventional polymerase chain reaction amplified clear bands and was able to detect parasitic infection in the intermediate host B. glabrata under experimental conditions. However, we reinforce that this approach requires deeper investigations and further comparisons to confirm its specificity and sensitivity in earlier time points after miracidia infection. This approach has relevant potential as an effective molecular-based strategy for the monitoring of schistosomiasis transmission. <![CDATA[A cross-sectional study on dental surgeons’ immune status against hepatitis B virus in the Public Health System]]> ABSTRACT Hepatitis B is a severe public health problem. The main world health centers have discussed it due to its pandemic proportion, high pathogenicity and infectivity. This study aimed to determine the immunization profile of dental surgeons - against hepatitis B virus (HBV) in the Public Health System (PHS) through the detection of anti-HBsAg antibodies by immunochromatography and associations with dental surgeons’ social and educational profile, factors related to professional knowledge and practices. This is a cross-sectional study on the prevalence of vaccination and immune status to HBV in dentists of Sao Paulo State PHS. Data collection occurred in three stages: questionnaire application, analysis of adhesion to the vaccination protocol and anti-HBsAg tests. Statistical analysis used the Bivariate Analysis and the Binary Logistic Regression. From the total of 219 interviewees, 74.9% reported having received three doses of the vaccine, but 35.6% were not immune to HBV. The dependent variable was associated with years in the public service (years) (OR [Odds Ratio]=1.04; 95% CI 1.00-1.08); knowledge on the subject (OR=6.93; 95% CI 1.39-34.40); incorrect answer concerning the etiological agent of the disease (OR=2.60; 95% CI 1.30-5.22); ignorance on the number of vaccine doses that have been administered (OR=3.43; 95% CI 1.14-10.30); and less than three doses of the vaccine in the immunization schedule (OR=8.76; 95% CI 3.50-21.91). A considerable portion of professionals non-immune to the HBV were found. We concluded that knowledge, years of practice and completion of the vaccination schedule (three doses) affected dental surgeons’ immune status to HBV. <![CDATA[Syphilis and HIV infection in indigenous Mbya Guarani communities of Puerto Iguazu (Argentina): diagnosis, contact tracking, and follow-up]]> ABSTRACT The aim of study was to assess the prevalence of Treponema pallidum and HIV infection in Amerindian people (Mbya Guarani) over the age of 11 in Puerto Iguazu (Argentina) and to describe the contact tracking of cases. The method was a cross-sectional study in the Mbya Guarani people living in three villages of Puerto Iguazu (community A, pop. 1,146; community B, pop. 369; and community C, pop. 149). Participants were randomly invited to participate in the survey and in blood testing. Of the 551 participants, 48 were infected by T. pallidum (8.71%; 95% confidence interval [CI] 7.38-10.04). The infection prevalence decreased with age, standing at 9.66% in the 11-19 age group, 8.42% in 20-39 age group and 4.54% in people aged 40 and older. We tracked 130 contacts for the 48 T. pallidum cases; 39/40 (97.5%) sexual contacts tested positive for syphilis. Among the 90 children born to infected mothers, 76 aged 18 months or older tested negative, while 8/14 younger children were still at risk for congenital syphilis. There were four cases of HIV infection (0.72%, 95% CI 0.31-1.13). Prevalence of T. pallidum infection and HIV infection are relevant in this indigenous community of Argentina, representing a public health concern. <![CDATA[Genetic analysis of <em>Giardia duodenalis</em> isolates from children of low-income families living in an economically successful region in Southeastern Brazil]]> ABSTRACT Giardia duodenalis is one of the most important and widespread gastrointestinal parasites in the world. Despite its relevance as a causative agent of diarrhea, asymptomatic giardiasis occurs frequently, especially in low resources settings in which children are exposed to many risk factors. Based on microscopic examination and the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification and sequencing of beta-giardin (bg), triose phosphate isomerase (tpi) and glutamate dehydrogenase (gdh) genes, we assessed G. duodenalis occurrence and genetic diversity in isolates of children attending a daycare center and living in low income families, in an economically successful region. Considering both, microscopic examination and PCR/sequencing methods, the overall prevalence of Giardia infection was 51.4%, with the highest frequency in children aged 1-4 years old (p&lt;0.05). Genotyping of 50 isolates revealed that the assemblage A was found in 60% of the samples (30/50), followed by the assemblage B in 38% (19/50) and 2% of mixed-assemblage infections (1/50). At the sub-assemblage level, isolates genotyped as A were AII and among isolates B, BIII and BIV were identified. Both assemblages A and B were detected in children of all age groups, however assemblage A was more prevalent. The detection of anthroponotic assemblages and sub-assemblages (AII, BIII and BIV) reinforces human-to-human transmission, mainly in children of all age groups when they have not yet received toilet training, making them more vulnerable to infection. <![CDATA[Colonization profile and duration by multi-resistant organisms in a prospective cohort of newborns after hospital discharge]]> ABSTRACT The aim of this study was to determine the spontaneous decolonization period and characteristics in a prospective cohort of newborns colonized by multidrug-resistant organisms, after their discharge from the neonatal intensive care unit. Multidrug resistance is defined as bacterial non-susceptibility to ≥ 1 agent of ≥ 3 antimicrobial categories. In total, 618 newborns were included in the study, of which 173 (28.0%) presented a positive culture for multidrug-resistant microorganisms, and of these, 52 (30.1%) were followed up in this study. The most frequent intrinsic factors were be born by cesarean section (86.5%), prematurity (84.6%), and very low birth weight (76.9%). The extrinsic factors were having remained hospitalized for an average of 27 days, during which 67.3% were submitted to invasive procedures and 88.5% received antimicrobials. The intrinsic and extrinsic factors of newborns were not associated to a decolonization period longer or shorter than 3 months, which was the average period of decolonization found in the present study. From the totality of colonization cultures sampled at hospital discharge, the Gram-negative Extended Spectrum β-lactamase producing bacteria were the most common, with 28.9% of babies colonized by Klebsiella spp. The median period of decolonization by multidrug-resistant microorganisms in the newborns population after hospital discharge was 3 months, but was highly dependent on the microbial species, and this period was not associated to any intrinsic and extrinsic factors of the newborn. <![CDATA[Performance of a new <em>Candida</em> anti-mannan IgM and IgG assays in the diagnosis of candidemia]]> ABSTRACT Candida is one of the most frequent pathogens of bloodstream infections, which is associated with high morbidity and mortality rates. Rapid immunological detection methods are essential in the early diagnosis of candidemia. Anti-mannan is one of host-derived biomarkers against cell wall components of Candida. We conducted this study to evaluate the diagnostic performance of two anti-mannan assays (IgM, IgG) for candidemia through the analysis of 40 candidemia patients, 48 participants with Candida colonization and 213 participants with neither Candida colonization nor Candida infections (13 patients with other bloodstream infections, 145 hospitalized patients and 55 healthy controls). The performance of the two assays were evaluated by calculating their sensitivity and specificity. The sensitivity ranged from 0.78 to 0.80 for the IgM assay and 0.68 to 0.75 for the IgG assay. The specificity ranged from 0.97 to 0.98 for the IgM assay and 0.91 to 0.94 for the IgG assay. The diagnostic performance of the anti-mannan IgM assay was better than that of IgG, with higher sensitivity and specificity. Combining the two assays (positive results of single or both assays are both considered as positive) could improve the sensitivity up to 0.93 (0.79-0.98) and only slightly reduce the specificity (0.93(0.89-0.95)). The anti-mannan IgM, IgG assays are rapid and cost-effective assays that may be probably useful in the diagnosis of candidemia. <![CDATA[Retrospective clinical and epidemiological analysis of scorpionism at a referral hospital for the treatment of accidents by venomous animals in Alagoas State, Northeast Brazil, 2007-2017]]> ABSTRACT Scorpionism has a high incidence rate in Brazil. It is considered a serious public health problem mainly in tropical and subtropical regions around the world. The number of scorpion accidents have increased over the years and the highest frequencies have been reported mainly in the Brazilian Northeast region. Therefore, in this study we report a retrospective clinical and epidemiological analysis of scorpion stings from 2007 to 2017 in Alagoas State, Northeast Brazil, at a referral hospital for assistance and treatment of accidents by venomous animals. During the analyzed period, the referral hospital treated 27,988 cases, and an increase in the number of cases has taken place over the years. The highest frequency of scorpion stings was observed in females, and the age range most affected was from 20 to 29 years old. The most stung body site was the foot, followed by finger, toe or hand. Regarding the severity, most severe cases were reported in children up to 4 years old (69.4%) and 50% of the total cases treated with serotherapy corresponded to patients in this age range. Interestingly, it was also found that the occurrence of systemic manifestations and the severity of the cases were significantly associated with pediatric patients. In this way, this study highlights the scorpionism as an environmental public health problem in Alagoas State, Northeast Brazil, as well as the need to intensify the epidemiological surveillance and educational campaigns to prevent and control scorpion accidents throughout the year. <![CDATA[Pooling of sera for human T-cell lymphotropic virus (HTLV) screening in a time of increasing health care expenditure and limited resources]]> ABSTRACT Identifying the true prevalence of human T-cell lymphotropic virus, mostly type 1 (HTLV-1), and the number of patients with HTLV-1-associated diseases, in addition to introducing HTLV-1/2 serology during the prenatal of pregnant women and in individuals infected with other viruses that share transmission routes with HTLV-1, are actions that could help to recognize the importance of this virus by WHO and national health organizations, and to control its transmission/dissemination. As Brazil is endemic to HTLV and there is an increase in health care expenditure, but resources are limited, any strategy that could reduce the cost of HTLV screening is needed and welcomed. This study aimed to determine whether the strategy of pooling sera for HTLV antibody determination is feasible and reduces the costs. Two enzyme immunoassays (EIA Murex HTLV-I+II, Diasorin, UK, and Gold ELISA HTLV-1+2, REM Ind. Com. Ltda., SP, Brazil), and serum samples that resulted in different levels of HTLV-1/2 antibodies by EIA and of which a volume allowed assay validation were employed for analysis. The diagnostic sensitivity and specificity and Cohen’s Kappa value, as well as the accuracy and precision were analyzed. After validating the five-sample pool using the EIA Murex (Cohen’s Kappa = 1.0), the technique was employed for individual cost comparison in 2,625 serum samples from populations at risk of HTLV infections (HBV, HCV, and HIV-infected individuals). The results from individual and pooled samples confirmed the diagnostic sensitivity (100%) and specificity (100%) of the pooling and a cost minimization varying from 60.7% to 73.6%. In conclusion, the results of this study suggest the use of pooling sera in sero-epidemiological surveillance studies and possibly in prenatal care screening programs in Brazil. <![CDATA[A comprehensive systematic review of leishmaniasis in patients undergoing drug-induced immunosuppression for the treatment of dermatological, rheumatological and gastroenterological diseases]]> ABSTRACT Immunosuppression is an important risk factor for leishmaniasis. We assessed the clinical profile, geographic distribution and prevalence of leishmaniasis in patients undergoing immunosuppressive therapy for dermatological, rheumatological or gastroenterological autoimmune diseases. We identified relevant studies in PubMed, EMBASE, Scopus, Web of Science and LILACS on July 3rd, 2018. We included articles that reported at least one case of leishmaniasis in patients undergoing immunosuppressive treatment for dermatological, rheumatological or gastroenterological diseases. Our protocol was registered in PROSPERO (CRD42018103050). We assessed the quality of the included studies with the Joanna Briggs Institute Critical Appraisal Tool. After the removal of duplicates, 5,431 articles were collected and screened. We included 138 articles; the prevalence of leishmaniasis in six methodologically similar studies varied from three to 1,282 cases per 100,000 patients using anti-TNFα drugs, but the results were significantly heterogeneous . Leishmaniasis in patients treated with immunosuppressive drugs is a health problem mostly reported in European countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea; sporadic activities, such as travelling, seem not to be associated with a significant risk of leishmaniasis, although effective control measures must always be observed. <![CDATA[Importation and early local transmission of COVID-19 in Brazil, 2020]]> ABSTRACT We conducted the genome sequencing and analysis of the first confirmed COVID-19 infections in Brazil. Rapid sequencing coupled with phylogenetic analyses in the context of travel history corroborate multiple independent importations from Italy and local spread during the initial stage of COVID-19 transmission in Brazil. <![CDATA[Novel kidney injury biomarkers in tropical infections: a review of the literature]]> ABSTRACT Tropical diseases are mainly found in the tropical regions of Asia, Africa and Latin America. They are a major Public Health problem in these regions, most of them are considered neglected diseases and remain as important contributors to the development of AKI (Acute Kidney Injury), which is associated with increased patients’ morbidity and mortality. In most countries, kidney disease associated to tropical diseases is attended at health services with poor infrastructure and inadequate preventive measures. The long-term impacts of these infections on kidney tissue may be a main cause of future kidney disease in these patients. Therefore, the investigation of novel kidney injury biomarkers in these tropical diseases is of utmost importance to explain the mechanisms of kidney injury, to improve their diagnosis and prognosis, as well as the assessment to health systems by these patients. Since 2011, our group has been studying renal biomarkers in visceral and cutaneous leishmaniasis, schistosomiasis, leptospirosis and leprosy. This study has increased the knowledge on the pathophysiology of kidney disease in the presence of these infections and has contributed to the early diagnosis of kidney injury, pointing to glomerular, endothelial and inflammatory involvement as the main causes of the mechanisms leading to nephropathy and clinical complications. Future perspectives comprise establishing long-term cohort groups to assess the development of kidney disease and the patients’ survival, as well as the use of new biomarkers such as urinary exosomes to detect risk groups and to understand the progression of kidney injuries. <![CDATA[Zika virus infection in the genital tract of non-pregnant females: a systematic review]]> ABSTRACT This review provides a general overview on the positivity and persistence of Zika virus (ZIKV) in female genital tract (FGT) of non-pregnant women and animals, as well as in cell cultures, and its influence on FGT health. We performed a systematic review based on the PRISMA statement to identify studies focused on “Zika virus” and “non-pregnant female” in PubMed, Embase, Scopus Scholar and Web of Knowledge databases of full-text papers and abstracts published in English, with no restrictions regarding the initial date of publication, up to August 2019. Our search terms yielded 625 records, that were 108 after removal of duplicates, leaving 517 items for title and abstract reviews. Of these, 475 did not meet the inclusion criteria, leaving 42 records for full-text review and resulting in the exclusion of 6 additional records. The remaining 36 met our inclusion criteria. Variations were observed regarding the presence and persistence of ZIKV in lower and upper genital samples. However, the FGT was the place in which ZIKV RNA has been detected, sometimes for relatively long periods, even after the clearance from blood and urine. In addition to the vagina and cervix, the endometrium, uterus and ovary (oocytes and follicles) could also be involved in persistent ZIKV infections. Further prospective studies are needed to assess the effect of ZIKV on FGT health. <![CDATA[Rabies encephalitis and extra-neural manifestations in a patient bitten by a domestic cat]]> ABSTRACT Rabies encephalitis is a fatal zoonotic viral disease transmitted to humans either by domestic animals like dogs and cats or by wild animals like bats, skunks and raccoons. We present the case of a 25-year-old woman admitted due to behavioral disorders, generalized paresthesiasand acute respiratory deterioration compatible with a respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) requiring orotracheal intubation, mechanical ventilation and empirical initiation of antibiotic and antiviral therapy. Chest tomography showed pneumomediastinum and changes suggestive of pulmonary infection. In the presence of neurological symptoms, a central nervous system (CNS) infection was suspected and the cerebrospinal fluid showed no pleocytosis, hiperproteinorrachy without glucose consumption; cranial CT scan was normal. During hospitalization, the family reported that the patient was bitten by a cat 30-day prior to the onset of rabies-like symptoms, and the animal was sacrificed. The patient had an unfavorable clinical evolution, with electroencephalographic activity dissociation evidenced by video telemetry. The zoonotic exposure led to the suspected diagnosis of rabies infection. The patient died and the suspected diagnosis was confirmed by histopathology, with presence of Negri bodies on cerebellum Purkinje cells and a positive immunofluorescence test for rabies virus. Both, initial extra-neural manifestations and late reporting of rabies exposure led to delayed diagnosis. <![CDATA[Kaposi’s sarcoma in a HIV-positive patient: an exuberant and widespread case report in the Amazon]]> ABSTRACT A 37-year-old male patient, Fitzpatrick skin phototype IV, a student living in Belem, Amazon region, in 2015 had a confirmed diagnosis of acquired immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, but did not initiate antiretroviral treatment at his own option. Three years after the diagnosis, erythematous maculae appeared on the dorsum of the nose with rapid progression to the entire face, with posterior diffuse infiltration and appearance of nodules on the chin and shoulder. In December 2018, the patient presented with exacerbation of the condition with an increase in infiltrated violaceous plaques and disseminated violaceous nodules. A histopathological biopsy of the skin was performed, confirming the diagnosis of angiomatoid proliferation suggestive of Kaposi’s sarcoma (KS), with an important dissemination of this disease to the noble organs. In addition, it is important to note that he only started antiretroviral therapy (ART) after the exacerbation of Kaposi (December 2018). In such cases, chemotherapy associated with ART is crucial for the treatment and follow-up of the patient, since Kaposi’s sarcoma develops relatively low in patients who do not have immunodeficiency. <![CDATA[An exceptional case report of disseminated cryptococcosis in a hitherto immunocompetent patient]]> ABSTRACT Cryptococcosis is an opportunistic fungal infection causes significant disease predominantly in immunocompromised patients. Here we present an excepcional case of disseminated cryptococcosis with pulmonary and cerebral involvement in an immunocompetent patient with no apparent predisposing factors at the time of hospital admission. We described a case of an apparently immunocompetent 66-years old man admitted to hospital with a one-month history of cough, fever and vertigo. During hospitalization, thorax imaging was suggestive of lung metastasis, therefore, he went through several investigations. During hospitalization, he developed neurological symptoms and subsequently underwent a lumbar puncture. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) culture was positive for Cryptococcus spp. isolated on Sabouraud’s dextrose agar and bird seed agar. In addition, the direct microscopy examination was positive for the India ink test, as well as with the latex agglutination test for cryptococcal polysaccharide antigen (CrAg) in CSF, while serum CrAg was negative. Despite the absence of classic immunocompromising features, he was treated with amphotericin B and fluconazole due to suspected disseminated cryptococcal infection. Later, he was diagnosed with prostatic adenocarcinoma. Upon successful completion of treatment for disseminated cryptococcosis, the patient underwent radical prostate ablation surgery as a treatment forprostatic adenocarcinoma. This exceptional case emphasizes the high degree of suspicion of atypical infections, and in these cases, it is particularly important to consider fungal infections in hitherto healthy patients with no apparent predisposing factors. Although Cryptococcus spp. is predominantly reported in patients with hematological malignancies, cryptococcosis investigation should also be considered as part of the initial workup of patients with a new diagnosis of a solid tumour prior to chemotherapy or radiotherapy. <![CDATA[<em>Mycobacterium abscessus subsp. bolletii</em> keratitis: rare case reported in Brazil]]> ABSTRACT In this report, we described a rare case of Mycobacterium abscessus subsp. bolletii keratitis in a young healthy male, in the absence of risk factors. <![CDATA[Secondary syphilis presenting as <em>Syphilide psoriasiforme</em>: lessons from the older syphilology literature]]> ABSTRACT It is essential for health care providers to be familiared with the full spectrum of clinical presentations of syphilis. We present herein a case of syphilide psoriasiforme, an uncommon but well recognized clinical presentation of secondary syphilis. A 46-year-old HIV-infected female patient was referred to our attention with a presumptive diagnosis of palmoplantar psoriasis. On examination, there were exuberant pinkish-red papules and plaques covered with a thick silvery scale in the palms, flexor surfaces of the wrists, and the medial longitudinal arches of the feet. Serological and histopathological analyses uncovered the diagnosis of syphilis. Clinical remission was obtained after treatment. A detailed review of the literature on syphilide psoriasiforme, including descriptions from older syphilology textsis provided. The present case report emphasizes the need for clinicians to have a heightened awareness of the varied and unusual clinical phenotypes of syphilis. <![CDATA[Tumor of the epididymis: an uncommon presentation of disseminated coccidioidomycosis]]> ABSTRACT Coccidioidomycosis is an endemic disease of arid regions in the Western hemisphere. Its clinical presentation varies from asymptomatic nodules on chest x-rays to disseminated disease. We present the case of a 48-year-old man with a hard and heterogeneous tumor in the posterior aspect of the right testis. Color flow doppler testicular ultrasonography was performed and two nodular masses in the tail of the right epididymis were identified. An epididymectomy was performed and histopathological examination revealed coccidioidomycosis. After diagnosis, the patient was successfully treated with fluconazol. <![CDATA[A Real Time PCR strategy for the detection and quantification of Candida albicans in human blood]]> ABSTRACT Candidemia is a significant cause of bloodstream infections (BSI) in nosocomial settings. The identification of species can potentially improve the quality of care and decrease human mortality. Quantitative PCR (qPCR) was evaluated for Candida albicans detection using culture suspensions containing C. albicans , spiked human blood, the cloned qPCR target fragment (ITS2 region) and the results of these assays were compared. The assays showed a good detection limit: C. albicans DNA extracted from yeast (sensitivity 0.2 CFU/µL), spiked human blood (sensitivity 10 CFU/mL), and cloned fragment of ITS2 region (sensitivity 20 target copies/μL). The efficiency of ITS2 fragment-qPCR ranged from 89.67 to 97.07, and the linearity (R2) of the standard curve ranged from 0.992 to 0.999. The results showed that this ITS2-qPCR has a great potential as a molecular prototype model for the development of a test to be applied in clinical practice, greatly reducing the time of candidemia diagnosis, which is extremely important in this clinical setting. <![CDATA[Immunoreactivity of proteins within 30-40 kDa range during the acute and the recovery phases in rats experimentally infected with <em>Strongyloides venezuelensis</em>]]> ABSTRACT In experimental infection with Strongyloides venezuelensis, the acute and recovery phases can be distinguished, unlike human infections caused by Strongyloides stercoralis. The objective of this study was to evaluate the production of anti-Strongyloides IgG antibodies and the recognition of immunogenic protein bands during the acute and the recovery phases in rats experimentally infected with S. venezuelensis. Rats were infected subcutaneously with 400 or 4,000 S. venezuelensis infective larvae. The acute phase was characterized by elimination of a large number of eggs in the faeces on days 6-14 post infection; the recovery phase was characterized by the resolution of the infection between days 30 and 35 post infection. Differences in IgG levels were observed in the acute and the recovery phases. Different antigenic fractions were recognized in both phases of infection. It is concluded that proteins within the 30-40 kDa range are immunoreactive markers for both the acute and the recovery phases in rats experimentally infected with S. venezuelensis, particularly using membrane antigen. <![CDATA[Expression of Hsp60 and its cell location in Paracoccidioides brasiliensis]]> ABSTRACT Paracoccidioides species cause paracoccidioidomycosis (PCM), a systemic mycosis highly prevalent in Brazil. Therapy of PCM has some issues that make studies for new therapeutic and vaccine targets relevant, such as the P. brasiliensis 60-kDa-heat-shock protein (PbHsp60), an immunogenic antigen that induces protection in experimental mice infection. Here, we investigated the relative expression of mRNA for PbHsp60 in P. brasiliensis in the different morphotypes of P. brasiliensis and in morphological transition phases. In addition, antibodies to rPbHsp60 were produced and used to analyze the location of PbHsp60 in yeast and hyphae by electron microscopy. The analyses showed a substantial increase in the relative amounts of HSP60 mRNA in yeast when compared to mycelium and an intermediate expression in transitional forms. Regarding the cell location, immunoelectron microscopy analysis revealed that PbHsp60 is within the cell wall. These observations suggest that this protein may be involved in the maintenance of the cell wall integrity and the interaction with the host for colonization, infection and pathogenesis.