Diretoria de Pesquisa e Desenvolvimento

Belo Horizonte, Brazil

Diretoria de Pesquisa e Desenvolvimento

Belo Horizonte, Brazil

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Thies S.F.,Federal University of Mato Grosso | Ribeiro A.L.M.,Federal University of Mato Grosso | Miyazaki R.D.,Federal University of Mato Grosso | Fortes-Dias C.L.,Diretoria de Pesquisa e Desenvolvimento | Fontes C.J.F.,Federal University of Mato Grosso
Revista da Sociedade Brasileira de Medicina Tropical | Year: 2013

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.


Introduction: Visceral leishmaniasis has been notified in nearly all states of Brazil, and particularly in the north of Minas Gerais, where the disease is endemic. The aim of this study was to detect natural infection of Lutzomyia longipalpis and, through the PCR/RFLP technique, identify Leishmania species found in sandflies in the municipality of Janaúba. Methods: Using light traps, 1,550 females of L. longipalpis were caught and grouped into pools of 10 specimens to be subjected to DNA extraction and amplification, by means of generic PCR and cacophony. Results: Out of the 155 pools, six were positive for Leishmania sp., and thus the infection rate in the municipality was 3.9%. Trough PCR/RFLP, the digestion pattern among the positive samples was found to be similar to that of the reference strain of Leishmania chagasi (MHOM/BR/74/PP75). Conclusions: Te detection of natural infection associated with studies on the epidemiology of visceral leishmaniasis suggests that L. longipalpis is involved in transmission of L. infantum chagasi in Janaúba, particularly in areas of intense transmission of visceral leishmaniasis.


The etiological agent of schistosomiasis in Brazil, Schistosoma mansoni, requires an obligatory passage through Biomphalaria snails to complete its life cycle. In these intermediate hosts, interaction with the parasite is mediated by humoral factors and hemocytes by mechanisms that are not yet fully understood. Extant studies exploring these processes are usually conducted through experimental infection of Biomphalaria with S. mansoni miracidia. Thus, tissue-derived cultures of Biomphalaria may be useful in increasing the understanding of that interaction at cellular level. However, in the absence of morphological characterization of those cells in culture, the application of such models is delayed. In the present work, we cultured different tissues of B. tenagophila, the second most important host of S. mansoni in Brazil, using a strain that is naturally and absolutely resistant to S. mansoni infection. This decision was driven by the view that this strain might be provided with the most effective response against parasite infection. Primary cultures were successfully established from nine Biomphalaria tissues and the respective cells in culture were ultra structurally described. Attention was particularly devoted to cells derived from mantle cavity and kidney tissues. Although they have been considered important centers for hemocyte production in Biomphalaria, no detailed cell characterization is available in the pertinent literature. Herein, kidney-derived cells partially shared hematoblast characteristics. Moreover, under optical microscopy, kidney cells in culture were very similar to those derived from amebocyte-producing organ (APO) cultures, which have been recently shown to be capable of eliminating S. mansoni sporocysts in vitro. Based on the close resemblance of those cultures and their anatomical proximity inside the mantle cavity, we suggest the effective participation of Biomphalaria kidney cells in hematopoiesis and in host response to S. mansoni infection.


PubMed | Secretaria Municipal de Saude, Federal University of Minas Gerais and Diretoria de Pesquisa e Desenvolvimento
Type: | Journal: BioMed research international | Year: 2015

In the New World, the leishmaniases are primarily transmitted to humans through the bites of Leishmania-infected Lutzomyia (Diptera: Psychodidae) phlebotomine sand flies. Any or both of two basic clinical forms of these diseases are endemic to several cities in Brazil--the American cutaneous leishmaniasis (ACL) and the American visceral leishmaniasis (AVL). The present study was conducted in the urban area of a small-sized Brazilian municipality (Jaboticatubas), in which three cases of AVL and nine of ACL have been reported in the last five years. Jaboticatubas is an important tourism hub, as it includes a major part of the Serra do Cip National Park. Currently, no local data is available on the entomological fauna or circulating Leishmania. During the one-year period of this study, we captured 3,104 phlebotomine sand flies belonging to sixteen Lutzomyia species. In addition to identifying incriminated or suspected vectors of ACL with DNA of the etiological agent of AVL and vice versa, we also detected Leishmania DNA in unexpected Lutzomyia species. The expressive presence of vectors and natural Leishmania infection indicates favorable conditions for the spreading of leishmaniases in the vicinity of the Serra do Cip National Park.


PubMed | Secretaria Municipal de Saude de Belo Horizonte, Federal University of Ouro Preto and Diretoria de Pesquisa e Desenvolvimento
Type: | Journal: Acta tropica | Year: 2015

About 97% of the human cases of the American visceral leishmaniasis (VL) occur in Brazil. In the last few years, the disease expanded to medium- and large-sized cities, in which surveillance and control actions have been intensified, in an effort to control VL spreading. Our two-year study was conducted in Belo Horizonte, the sixth most populous city in Brazil, which is endemic for VL. We focused in two particular districts of recent transmission of the disease, with no reported human cases and submitted to minor surveillance and control actions. Our aim was to draw an epidemiological profile of the local situation concerning Lutzomyia vector, Leishmania parasites, and the main domestic reservoirs (dogs). Lutzomyia longipalpis comprised 96.5% of the total phlebotomine sand flies captured and displayed an expressive minimal infection rate by Leishmania infantum (16.7%). Positive correlations were found between the population densities of L. longipalpis, rainfall and temperature. L. infantum was also detected in the cortelezzii complex and, for the first time, in Lutzomyia lloydi. Leishmania braziliensis, an etiological agent of the American cutaneous leishmaniasis, was also identified in L. longipalpis. Among the 1408 dogs serologically tested by standard enzyme-linked and fluorescence immune assays (ELISA/IFA) 3.6% were positive for VL. L. infantum DNA and Leishmania parasites were identified in 100% and 72.5% of the seropositive dogs, respectively. The co-positivity of other diagnostic tests for VL-Leishmania-nested PCR, imprint and myeloculture-was compared to the standard serology. Both symptomatic or asymptomatic dogs displayed an equal average number of positive diagnostic tests for VL. The districts studied display favorable conditions for the rapid spreading of human infection, in terms of L. longipalpis population density, and presence of L. infantum in both vector and main reservoir.


PubMed | French National Center for Scientific Research, Federal University of Minas Gerais and Diretoria de Pesquisa e Desenvolvimento
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Vaccine | Year: 2016

Atroxlysin-I (Atr-I) is a hemorrhagic snake venom metalloproteinase (SVMP) from Bothrops atrox venom, the snake responsible for the majority of bites in the north region of South America. SVMPs like Atr-I produce toxic effects in victims including hemorrhage, inflammation, necrosis and blood coagulation deficiency. Mapping of B-cell epitopes in SVMPs might result in the identification of non-toxic molecules capable of inducing neutralizing antibodies and improving the anti-venom therapy. Here, using the SPOT-synthesis technique we identified two epitopes located in the N-ter region of Atr-I (AtrEp1-(22)YNGNSDKIRRRIHQM(36); and AtrEp2-(55)GVEIWSNKDLINVQ(68)). Based on the sequence of AtrEp1 and AtrEp2 a third peptide named Atr-I biepitope (AtrBiEp) was designed and synthesized ((23)NGNSDKIRRRIH(34)GG(55)GVEIWSNKDLINVQ(68)). AtrBiEp was used to immunize BALB/c mice. Anti-AtrBiEp serum cross-reacted against Atr-I in western blot and was able to fully neutralize the hemorrhagic activity of Atr-I. Our results provide a rational basis for the identification of neutralizing epitopes on Atr-I snake venom toxin and show that the use of synthetic peptides could improve the generation of immuno-therapeutics.


Reis N.F.A.,Federal University of Minas Gerais | de Assis J.C.,Federal University of Minas Gerais | Fialho S.L.,Diretoria de Pesquisa e Desenvolvimento | Pianetti G.A.,Federal University of Minas Gerais | Fernandes C.,Federal University of Minas Gerais
Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis | Year: 2016

Nevirapine (NVP), a non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor, is a drug widely used in the treatment of Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS). The evaluation of NVP stability is of fundamental importance in order to guarantee drug product efficacy, safety and quality. In this study, NVP active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) and tablets were subjected to a detailed study of forced degradation, employing several degrading agents (acid, alkaline, water, metal ions, humidity, heat, light and oxidation agents). In order to determine NVP and the degradation products formed, a stability-indicating UHPLC method using fused core column was developed and validated. The separation was carried out using a Poroshell 120 C18 column (100 × 2.1 mm i.d.; 2.7 μm particle size) and the mobile phase was composed of acetonitrile and water in a gradient elution, at a flow rate of 0.2 ml/min. Chemical structures and mechanisms for the formation of three degradation products were proposed by means of LC/MS-MS. Also, NVP degradation kinetic was studied and its order of degradation evaluated. NVP was degraded in acidic and oxidative conditions and the degradation profile for NVP tablets and API were similar. The stability-indicating method proved to be selective for NVP and its degradation products. Calibration curve was linear in the range of 8-48 μg/ml and the method showed to be precise, accurate and robust for both NVP API and tablets, with detection and quantification limits of 0.092 μg/ml and 0.174 μg/ml, respectively. © 2016 Elsevier B.V.


PubMed | Federal University of Minas Gerais and Diretoria de Pesquisa e Desenvolvimento
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Brazilian journal of biology = Revista brasleira de biologia | Year: 2015

Eucalyptus plantations are frequently used for the establishment of bee yards. This study was carried on at Fazenda Brejo, northwestern region of the State of Minas Gerais, Brazil. This farm is covered both with native Cerrado vegetation (Brazilian savanna) and eucalyptus plantations. This paper reports on the botanic origin of pollen pellets and honey collected from honeybee (Apis mellifera) hives along a thirteen-month period (January 2004 to January 2005). The most frequent pollen types found in the pollen pellets during the rainy season were Trema micrantha (Ulmaceae), Copaifera langsdorffii (Fabaceae), an unidentified Poaceae, unidentified Asteraceae-2, Cecropia sp. 1 (Cecropiaceae) and Eucalyptus spp. (Myrtaceae); during the dry season the most frequent pollen types were Acosmium dasycarpum (Fabaceae), Cecropia sp. 1 (Cecropiaceae) and Eucalyptus spp. (Myrtaceae). Pollen grains of Baccharis sp. (Asteraceae), Cecropia sp. 1 (Cecropiaceae), Copaifera langsdorffii (Fabaceae), Mimosa nuda (Fabaceae), Eucalyptus spp. (Myrtaceae) and Trema micrantha (Ulmaceae) were present in the honey samples throughout the study period.


PubMed | Federal University of Minas Gerais and Diretoria de Pesquisa e Desenvolvimento
Type: | Journal: Journal of pharmaceutical and biomedical analysis | Year: 2016

Nevirapine (NVP), a non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor, is a drug widely used in the treatment of Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS). The evaluation of NVP stability is of fundamental importance in order to guarantee drug product efficacy, safety and quality. In this study, NVP active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) and tablets were subjected to a detailed study of forced degradation, employing several degrading agents (acid, alkaline, water, metal ions, humidity, heat, light and oxidation agents). In order to determine NVP and the degradation products formed, a stability-indicating UHPLC method using fused core column was developed and validated. The separation was carried out using a Poroshell 120C18 column (1002.1mm i.d.; 2.7m particle size) and the mobile phase was composed of acetonitrile and water in a gradient elution, at a flow rate of 0.2ml/min. Chemical structures and mechanisms for the formation of three degradation products were proposed by means of LC/MS-MS. Also, NVP degradation kinetic was studied and its order of degradation evaluated. NVP was degraded in acidic and oxidative conditions and the degradation profile for NVP tablets and API were similar. The stability-indicating method proved to be selective for NVP and its degradation products. Calibration curve was linear in the range of 8-48g/ml and the method showed to be precise, accurate and robust for both NVP API and tablets, with detection and quantification limits of 0.092g/ml and 0.174g/ml, respectively.


PubMed | Federal University of Minas Gerais and Diretoria de Pesquisa e Desenvolvimento
Type: | Journal: Toxicon : official journal of the International Society on Toxinology | Year: 2014

Crotoxin (Crtx), the main toxin in the venom of Crotalus durissus terrificus snake, is a heterodimer with a basic subunit, CB, and an acidic subunit, CA. CB is a phospholipase A2 that depends on CA to specifically bind to the cell membrane. This toxin acts in the central nervous system (CNS) causing chronic seizure effects and other cytotoxic effects. Here, we report its action on glutamate release in rat cerebral cortex synaptosomes. Aiming at a better understanding of the mechanism of action of Crtx, calcium channel blockers were used and internalization studies were performed in cerebellar granule neurons. Our results show that Crtx induces calcium-dependent glutamate release via N and P/Q calcium channels. In addition, the CB subunit of Crtx is shown to be internalized. This internalization does not depend on the presence of CA subunit neither on the PLA2 activity of CB. A correlation between CB internalization and glutamate release remains to be established.

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