Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Revista da Sociedade Brasileira de Medicina Tropical]]> vol. 48 num. lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[Epidemiological transition of tropical diseases in the Brazilian Amazon]]> <![CDATA[Malaria in the State of Amazonas: a typical Brazilian tropical disease influenced by waves of economic development]]> In Brazil, more than 99% of malaria cases are reported in the Amazon, and the State of Amazonas accounts for 40% of this total. However, the accumulated experience and challenges in controlling malaria in this region in recent decades have not been reported. Throughout the first economic cycle during the rubber boom (1879 to 1912), malaria was recorded in the entire state, with the highest incidence in the villages near the Madeira River in the Southern part of the State of Amazonas. In the 1970s, during the second economic development cycle, the economy turned to the industrial sector and demanded a large labor force, resulting in a large migratory influx to the capital Manaus. Over time, a gradual increase in malaria transmission was observed in peri-urban areas. In the 1990s, the stimulation of agroforestry, particularly fish farming, led to the formation of permanent Anopheline breeding sites and increased malaria in settlements. The estimation of environmental impacts and the planning of measures to mitigate them, as seen in the construction of the Coari-Manaus gas pipeline, proved effective. Considering the changes occurred since the Amsterdam Conference in 1992, disease control has been based on early diagnosis and treatment, but the development of parasites that are resistant to major antimalarial drugs in Brazilian Amazon has posed a new challenge. Despite the decreased lethality and the gradual decrease in the number of malaria cases, disease elimination, which should be associated with government programs for economic development in the region, continues to be a challenge. <![CDATA[Tegumentary leishmaniasis in the State of Amazonas: what have we learned and what do we need?]]> This study evaluated the occurrence of American tegumentary leishmaniasis (ATL) in the State of Amazonas, Brazil, in the last 30 years with emphasis on the last 10 years (2001 to 2010). The disease was predominantly observed in males (76.2%), in the 21- to 30-year-old age group (26.6%) and in extractive workers (43.7%); 3.3% of the cases were the mucosal form. The endemic channel shows the disease seasonality, with a predominance of cases at the beginning and end of each year. The number of cases by municipality in the period of 2001-2010 shows the maintenance of the endemic in the localities where the highest numbers of cases have always been registered, namely, Manaus, Rio Preto da Eva, Itacoatiara and Presidente Figueiredo. The comparison of data from 2001 to 2005 and from 2006 to 2010 showed the emergence of this disease in municipalities that had been previously unaffected. In the last years, there has been a significant increase in the activities of control, diagnosis and treatment of leishmaniasis in the State of Amazonas. In conclusion, the historical series of ATL analyzed in this study suggests that the transmission foci remain and are even expanding, though without continuous transmission in the intra- or peridomicile settings. Moreover, the disease will persist in the Amazon while the factors associated with infection acquisition relative to forest exploitation continue to have economic appeal. There is a real expectation of wide variations in disease incidence that can be influenced by climate and economic aspects. <![CDATA[Arboviral diseases in the Western Brazilian Amazon: a perspective and analysis from a tertiary health & research center in Manaus, State of Amazonas]]> The Fundação de Medicina Tropical Dr. Heitor Vieira Dourado (FMT-HVD), located in Manaus, the capital of the State of Amazonas (Western Brazilian Amazon), is a pioneering institution in this region regarding the syndromic surveillance of acute febrile illness, including arboviral infections. Based on the data from patients at the FMT-HVD, we have detected recurrent outbreaks in Manaus by the four dengue serotypes in the past 15 years, with increasing severity of the disease. This endemicity has culminated in the simultaneous circulation of all four serotypes in 2011, the first time this has been reported in Brazil. Between 1996 and 2009, 42 cases of yellow fever (YF) were registered in the State of Amazonas, and 71.4% (30/42) were fatal. Since 2010, no cases have been reported. Because the introduction of the yellow fever virus into a large city such as Manaus, which is widely infested by Aedes mosquitoes, may pose a real risk of a yellow fever outbreak, efforts to maintain an appropriate immunization policy for the populace are critical. Manaus has also suffered silent outbreaks of Mayaro and Oropouche fevers lately, most of which were misdiagnosed as dengue fever. The tropical conditions of the State of Amazonas favor the existence of other arboviruses capable of producing human disease. Under this real threat, represented by at least 4 arboviruses producing human infections in Manaus and in other neighboring countries, it is important to develop an efficient public health surveillance strategy, including laboratories that are able to make proper diagnoses of arboviruses. <![CDATA[Chagas disease in the State of Amazonas: history, epidemiological evolution, risks of endemicity and future perspectives]]> Chagas disease (CD) is a parasitic infection that originated in the Americas and is caused by Trypanosoma cruzi. In the last few years, the disease has spread to countries in North America, Asia and Europe due to the migration of Latin Americans. In the Brazilian Amazon, CD has an endemic transmission, especially in the Rio Negro region, where an occupational hazard was described for piaçaveiros (piassaba gatherers). In the State of Amazonas, the first chagasic infection was reported in 1977, and the first acute CD case was recorded in 1980. After initiatives to integrate acute CD diagnostics with the malaria laboratories network, reports of acute CD cases have increased. Most of these cases are associated with oral transmission by the consumption of contaminated food. Chronic cases have also been diagnosed, mostly in the indeterminate form. These cases were detected by serological surveys in cardiologic outpatient clinics and during blood donor screening. Considering that the control mechanisms adopted in Brazil's classic transmission areas are not fully applicable in the Amazon, it is important to understand the disease behavior in this region, both in the acute and chronic cases. Therefore, the pursuit of control measures for the Amazon region should be a priority given that CD represents a challenge to preserving the way of life of the Amazon's inhabitants. <![CDATA[Snakebites as a largely neglected problem in the Brazilian Amazon: highlights of the epidemiological trends in the State of Amazonas]]> Envenoming snakebites are thought to be a particularly important threat to public health worldwide, especially in rural areas of tropical and subtropical countries. The true magnitude of the public health threat posed by snakebites is unknown, making it difficult for public health officials to optimize prevention and treatment. The objective of this work was to conduct a systematic review of the literature to gather data on snakebite epidemiology in the Amazon region and describe a case series of snakebites from epidemiological surveillance in the State of Amazonas (1974-2012). Only 11 articles regarding snakebites were found. In the State of Amazonas, information regarding incidents involving snakes is scarce. Historical trends show an increasing number of cases after the second half of the 1980s. Snakebites predominated among adults (20-39 years old; 38%), in the male gender (78.9%) and in those living in rural areas (85.6%). The predominant snake envenomation type was bothropic. The incidence reported by the epidemiological surveillance in the State of Amazonas, reaching up to 200 cases/100,000 inhabitants in some areas, is among the highest annual snakebite incidence rates of any region in the world. The majority of the cases were reported in the rainy season with a case-fatality rate of 0.6%. Snakebite envenomation is a great disease burden in the State of Amazonas, representing a challenge for future investigations, including approaches to estimating incidence under-notification and case-fatality rates as well as the factors related to severity and disabilities. <![CDATA[Progression of the load of waterborne and intestinal parasitic diseases in the State of Amazonas]]> In the State of Amazonas, Brazil, urban expansion together with precarious basic sanitation conditions and human settlement on river banks has contributed to the persistence of waterborne and intestinal parasitic diseases. Time series of the recorded cases of cholera, typhoid fever, hepatitis A and leptospirosis are described, using data from different levels of the surveillance systems. The sources for intestinal parasitosis prevalence data (non-compulsory reporting in Brazil) were Medical Literature Analysis and Retrieval System Online (MEDLINE), Literatura Latino-Americana (LILACS) and the annals of major scientific meetings. Relevant papers and abstracts in all languages were accessed by two independent reviewers. The references cited by each relevant paper were scrutinized to locate additional papers. Despite its initial dissemination across the entire State of Amazonas, cholera was controlled in 1998. The magnitude of typhoid fever has decreased; however, a pattern characterized by eventual outbreaks still remains. Leptospirosis is an increasing cause of concern in association with the annual floods. The overall prevalence of intestinal parasites is high regardless of the municipality and the characteristics of areas and populations. The incidence of hepatitis A has decreased over the past decade. A comparison of older and recent surveys shows that the prevalence of intestinal parasitic diseases has remained constant. The load of waterborne and intestinal parasitic diseases ranks high among the health problems present in the State of Amazonas. Interventions aiming at basic sanitation and vaccination for hepatitis A were formulated and implemented, but assessment of their effectiveness in the targeted populations is still needed. <![CDATA[A historical overview of leprosy epidemiology and control activities in Amazonas, Brazil]]> Leprosy is an ancient infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium leprae. According to comparative genomics studies, this disease originated in Eastern Africa or the Near East and spread with successive human migrations. The Europeans and North Africans introduced leprosy into West Africa and the Americas within the past 500 years. In Brazil, this disease arrived with the colonizers who disembarked at the first colonies, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador and Recife, at the end of the sixteenth century, after which it was spread to the other states. In 1854, the first leprosy cases were identified in State of Amazonas in the north of Brazil. The increasing number of leprosy cases and the need for treatment and disease control led to the creation of places to isolate patients, known as leprosaria. One of them, Colonia Antônio Aleixo was built in Amazonas in 1956 according to the most advanced recommendations for isolation at that time and was deactivated in 1979. The history of the Alfredo da Matta Center (AMC), which was the first leprosy dispensary created in 1955, parallels the history of leprosy in the state. Over the years, the AMC has become one of the best training centers for leprosy, general dermatology and sexually transmitted diseases in Brazil. In addition to being responsible for leprosy control programs in the state, the AMC has carried out training programs on leprosy diagnosis and treatment for health professionals in Manaus and other municipalities of the state, aiming to increase the coverage of leprosy control activities. This paper provides a historical overview of leprosy in State of Amazonas, which is an endemic state in Brazil. <![CDATA[Temporal distribution of tuberculosis in the State of Amazonas, Brazil]]> Tuberculosis (TB) is one of the infectious diseases that contributes most to the morbidity and mortality of millions of people worldwide. Brazil is one of 22 countries that accounts for 80% of the tuberculosis global burden. The highest incidence rates in Brazil occur in the States of Amazonas and Rio de Janeiro. The aim of this study was to describe the temporal distribution of TB in the State of Amazonas. Between 2001 and 2011, 28,198 cases of tuberculosis were reported in Amazonas, distributed among 62 municipalities, with the capital Manaus reporting the highest (68.7%) concentration of cases. Tuberculosis was more prevalent among males (59.3%) aged 15 to 34 years old (45.5%), whose race/color was predominantly pardo (64.7%) and who had pulmonary TB (84.3%). During this period, 81 cases of multidrug-resistant TB were registered, of which the highest concentration was reported from 2008 onward (p = 0.002). The municipalities with the largest numbers of indigenous individuals affected were São Gabriel da Cachoeira (93%), Itamarati (78.1%), and Santa Isabel do Rio Negro (70.1%). The future outlook for this region includes strengthening the TB control at the primary care level, by expanding diagnostic capabilities, access to treatment, research projects developed in collaboration with the Dr. Heitor Vieira Dourado Tropical Medicine Foundation .;Fundação de Medicina Tropical Dr. Heitor Vieira Dourado (FMT-HVD).; and financing institutions, such as the project for the expansion of the Clinical Research Center and the creation of a hospital ward for individuals with transmissible respiratory diseases, including TB. <![CDATA[HIV/AIDS epidemic in the State of Amazonas: characteristics and trends from 2001 to 2012]]> A scoping review was conducted to describe the epidemiological characteristics of the human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) epidemic in the State of Amazonas, Brazil, from 2001 to 2012, and temporary patterns were estimated from surveillance data. The results suggest that in its third decade, the Amazon HIV/AIDS epidemic is far from being stabilized and displays rising AIDS incidence and mortality rates and late diagnoses. The data suggest that AIDS cases are hitting mostly young adults and have recently shifted toward men, both homosexual and heterosexual. AIDS cases among the indigenous people have remained stable and low. However, the epidemic has disseminated to the interior of the state, which adds difficulties to its control, given the geographical isolation, logistical barriers, and culturally and ethnically diverse population. Antiretroviral (ARV) therapy has been decentralized, but peripheral ARV services are still insufficient and too distant from people who need them. Recently, the expansion of point-of-care (POC) rapid HIV testing has been contributing to overcoming logistical barriers. Other new POC devices, such as the PIMA CD4 analyzer, will bring the laboratory to the patient. AIDS uniquely coexists with other tropical infections, sharing their epidemiological profiles. The increased demand for HIV/AIDS care services can only be satisfied through increased decentralization to peripheral health units, which can also naturally integrate care with other tropical infections and can promote a shift from vertical to integrated programming. Future challenges involve building surveillance data on HIV case notification and covering the spectrum of engagement in care, including adherence to treatment and follow-up loss. <![CDATA[Epidemiology of infectious meningitis in the State of Amazonas, Brazil]]> INTRODUCTION: In the State of Amazonas, particularly in the capital Manaus, meningitis has affected populations of different cultures and social strata over the years. Bacterial meningitis is caused by several different species and represents a major issue of public health importance. The present study reports the meningitis case numbers with different etiologies in Amazonas from January 1976 to December 2012. METHODS: Since the 1970s, the (currently named) Tropical Medicine Foundation of Doutor Heitor Vieira Dourado [Fundação de Medicina Tropical Doutor Heitor Vieira Dourado (FMT-HVD)] has remained a reference center in Amazonas for the treatment of meningitis through the diagnosis and notification of cases and the confirmation of such cases using specific laboratory tests. RESULTS: The foundation has achieved coverage of over 90% of the state medical records for many years. Between 1990 and 2012, meningitis cases caused by Haemophilus influenzae decreased with the introduction of the H. influenzae vaccine. Meningococcal disease previously had a higher frequency of serogroup B disease, but starting in 2008, the detection of serogroup C increased gradually and has outpaced the detection of serogroup B. Recently, surveillance has improved the etiological definition of viral meningitis at FMT-HVD, with enteroviruses, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and varicella zoster virus (VZV) prevailing in this group of pathogens. With the advent of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), cryptococcal meningitis has become an important disease in Amazonas. Additionally, infectious meningitis is an important burden in the State of Amazonas. CONCLUSIONS: Changes in the epidemiological profile for the different etiology-defined cases are the result of continuous epidemiological surveillance and laboratory capacity improvements and control measures, such as Haemophilus influenzae vaccination. <![CDATA[External quality assessment in the voluntary counseling and testing centers in the Brazilian Amazon using dried tube specimens: results of an effectiveness evaluation]]> INTRODUCTION : In 2011, the Brazilian Ministry of Health rolled out a program for the external quality assessment of rapid human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) tests using the dried tube specimen (DTS) method (EQA-RT/DTS-HIV). Our objective was to evaluate the implementation of this program at 71 voluntary counseling and testing centers (VCTCs) in the Brazilian Legal Amazonian area one year after its introduction. METHODS : Quantitative and qualitative study that analyzed secondary data and interviews with healthcare workers (HCWs) (n=39) and VCTC coordinators (n=32) were performed. The assessment used 18 key indicators to evaluate the three dimensions of the program's logical framework: structure, process, and result. Each indicator was scored from 1-4, and the aggregate results corresponding to the dimensions were expressed as proportions. The results were compared to the perceptions of the HCWs and coordinators regarding the EQA-RT/DTS-HIV program. RESULTS: The aggregate scores for the three dimensions of structure, process, and result were 91.7%, 78.6%, and 95%, respectively. The lowest score in each dimension corresponded to a different indicator: access to Quali-TR online system 39% (structure), registration in Quali-TR online system 38.7% (process), and VCTC completed the full process in the program's first round 63.4% (result). Approximately 36% of the HCWs and 52% of the coordinators reported enhanced trust in the program for its rapid HIV testing performance. CONCLUSIONS: All three program dimensions exhibited satisfactory results (&gt;75%). Nevertheless, the study findings highlight the need to improve certain program components. Additionally, long-term follow-ups is needed to provide a more thorough picture of the process for external quality assessment.