Manaus, Brazil
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Fontes C.J.F.,Federal University of Mato Grosso | Lacerda M.V.G.,Gerencia de Malaria
American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene | Year: 2013

Understanding the pathogenesis of Plasmodium vivax malaria is challenging. We hypothesized that susceptibility to P. vivax-induced thrombocytopenia could be associated with polymorphisms on relevant platelet membrane integrins: integrin α2 (C807T), and integrin β3 (T1565C). Although b3 polymorphism was not related with P. vivax malaria, α2 807T carriers, which show high levels of integrin α2β1, had a higher probability for severe thrombocytopenia than wildtype carriers. This evidence of the association of integrin polymorphism and P. vivax morbidity was further demonstrated by a moderate but significant correlation between clinical disease and surface levels of the integrin α2β1. Copyright © 2013 by The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.


Coelho H.C.,Gerencia de Malaria | Fontes C.J.,Federal University of Mato Grosso | Lacerda M.V.,Gerencia de Malaria
PLoS ONE | Year: 2011

Background: Given the increasing evidence of Plasmodium vivax infections associated with severe and fatal disease, the identification of sensitive and reliable markers for vivax severity is crucial to improve patient care. Circulating nucleic acids (CNAs) have been increasingly recognized as powerful diagnostic and prognostic tools for various inflammatory diseases and tumors as their plasma concentrations increase according to malignancy. Given the marked inflammatory status of P. vivax infection, we investigated here the usefulness of CNAs as biomarkers for malaria morbidity. Methods and Findings: CNAs levels in plasma from twenty-one acute P. vivax malaria patients from the Brazilian Amazon and 14 malaria non-exposed healthy donors were quantified by two different methodologies: amplification of the human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) genomic sequence by quantitative real time PCR (qPCR), and the fluorometric dsDNA quantification by Pico Green. CNAs levels were significantly increased in plasma from P. vivax patients as compared to healthy donors (p<0.0001). Importantly, plasma CNAs levels were strongly associated with vivax morbidity (p<0.0001), including a drop in platelet counts (p = 0.0021). These findings were further sustained when we assessed CNAS levels in plasma samples from 14 additional P. vivax patients of a different endemic area in Brazil, in which CNAS levels strongly correlated with thrombocytopenia (p = 0.0072). We further show that plasma CNAs levels decrease and reach physiological levels after antimalarial treatment. Although we found both host and parasite specific genomic sequences circulating in plasma, only host CNAs clearly reflected the clinical spectrum of P. vivax malaria. Conclusions: Here, we provide the first evidence of increased plasma CNAs levels in malaria patients and reveal their potential as sensitive biomarkers for vivax malaria morbidity. © 2011 Franklin et al.


Alexandre M.A.A.,Gerencia de Malaria | Alexandre M.A.A.,University of the State of Amazonas | Benzecry S.G.,University of the State of Amazonas | Benzecry S.G.,Federal University of São Paulo | And 13 more authors.
PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases | Year: 2015

The relationship between malaria and undernutrition is controversial and complex. Synergistic associations between malnutrition and malaria morbidity and mortality have been suggested, as well as undernutrition being protective against infection, while other studies found no association. We sought to evaluate the relationship between the number of malaria episodes and nutritional statuses in a cohort of children below 15 years of age living in a rural community in the Brazilian Amazon. Following a baseline survey of clinical, malaria and nutritional assessment including anthropometry measurements and hemoglobin concentration, 202 children ranging from 1 month to 14 years of age were followed for one year through passive case detection for malaria episodes. After follow-up, all children were assessed again in order to detect changes in nutritional indicators associated with malaria infection. We also examined the risk of presenting malaria episodes during follow-up according to presence of stunting at baseline. Children who suffered malaria episodes during follow-up presented worse anthropometric parameters values during this period. The main change was a reduction of the linear growth velocity, associated with both the number of episodes and how close the last or only malaria episode and the second anthropometric assessment were. Changes were also observed for indices associated with chronic changes, such as weight-for-age and BMI-for-age, which conversely, were more frequently observed in children with the last or only episode occurring between 6 and 12 months preceding the second nutritional assessment survey. Children with inadequate height-for-age at baseline (Z-score < -2) presented lower risk of suffering malaria episodes during follow-up as assessed by both the log-rank test (p =0.057) and the multivariable Cox-proportional hazards regression (Hazard Ratio = 0.31, 95%CI [0.10; 0.99] p=0.049). Malaria was associated with impaired nutritional status amongst children in an endemic area of the Western Brazilian Amazon where P. vivax predominates. Our data all supports that the association presents differential effects for each age group, suggesting distinct pathophysiology pathways. We were also able to demonstrate that undernourishment at baseline was protective to malaria during follow-up. These findings support an intriguing interaction between these conditions in the rural Amazon and the need for a more integrative approach by health systems in endemic areas. © 2015 Alexandre et al.


Menegon M.,Instituto Superiore Of Sanita | Bardaji A.,University of Barcelona | Martinez-Espinosa F.,Gerencia de Malaria | Botto-Menezes C.,Gerencia de Malaria | And 23 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2016

Plasmodium vivax is the most widely distributed human parasite and the main cause of human malaria outside the African continent. However, the knowledge about the genetic variability of P. vivax is limited when compared to the information available for P. falciparum. We present the results of a study aimed at characterizing the genetic structure of P. vivax populations obtained from pregnant women from different malaria endemic settings. Between June 2008 and October 2011 nearly 2000 pregnant women were recruited during routine antenatal care at each site and followed up until delivery. A capillary blood sample from the study participants was collected for genotyping at different time points. Seven P. vivax microsatellite markers were used for genotypic characterization on a total of 229 P. vivax isolates obtained from Brazil, Colombia, India and Papua New Guinea. In each population, the number of alleles per locus, the expected heterozygosity and the levels of multilocus linkage disequilibrium were assessed. The extent of genetic differentiation among populations was also estimated. Six microsatellite loci on 137 P. falciparum isolates from three countries were screened for comparison. The mean value of expected heterozygosity per country ranged from 0.839 to 0.874 for P. vivax and from 0.578 to 0.758 for P. falciparum. P. vivax populations were more diverse than those of P. falciparum. In some of the studied countries, the diversity of P. vivax population was very high compared to the respective level of endemicity. The level of inter-population differentiation was moderate to high in all P. vivax and P. falciparum populations studied. This is an open access article, free of all copyright, and may be freely reproduced, distributed, transmitted, modified, built upon, or otherwise used by anyone for any lawful purpose. The work is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication.


Monteiro W.M.,Gerencia de Malaria | Monteiro W.M.,University of the State of Amazonas | Val F.F.A.,Gerencia de Malaria | Val F.F.A.,University of the State of Amazonas | And 20 more authors.
Memorias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz | Year: 2014

Plasmodium vivax radical cure requires the use of primaquine (PQ), a drug that induces haemolysis in glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficient (G6PDd) individuals, which further hampers malaria control efforts. The aim of this work was to study the G6PDd prevalence and variants in Latin America (LA) and the Caribbean region. A systematic search of the published literature was undertaken in August 2013. Bibliographies of manuscripts were also searched and additional references were identified. Low prevalence rates of G6PDd were documented in Argentina, Bolivia, Mexico, Peru and Uruguay, but studies from Curaçao, Ecuador, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, Suriname and Trinidad, as well as some surveys carried out in areas of Brazil, Colombia and Cuba, have shown a high prevalence (> 10%) of G6PDd. The G6PD A-202A mutation was the variant most broadly distributed across LA and was identified in 81.1% of the deficient individuals surveyed. G6PDd is a frequent phenomenon in LA, although certain Amerindian populations may not be affected, suggesting that PQ could be safely used in these specific populations. Population-wide use of PQ as part of malaria elimination strategies in LA cannot be supported unless a rapid, accurate and field-deployable G6PDd diagnostic test is made available.


Val F.F.,Gerencia de Malaria | Val F.F.,University of the State of Amazonas | Sampaio V.S.,Gerencia de Malaria | Sampaio V.S.,University of the State of Amazonas | And 8 more authors.
Memorias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz | Year: 2014

In the 1950s, the strategy of adding chloroquine to food salt as a prophylaxis against malaria was considered to be a successful tool. However, with the development of Plasmodium resistance in the Brazilian Amazon, this control strategy was abandoned. More than 50 years later, asexual stage resistance can be avoided by screening for antimalarial drugs that have a selective action against gametocytes, thus old prophylactic measures can be revisited. The efficacy of the old methods should be tested as complementary tools for the elimination of malaria.


Marin-Menendez A.,University of Barcelona | Marin-Menendez A.,Karolinska Institutet | Bardaji A.,University of Barcelona | Martinez-Espinosa F.E.,Gerencia de Malaria | And 14 more authors.
PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases | Year: 2013

Background: Plasmodium vivax can potentially lead to life-threatening episodes but the mechanisms underlying severe disease remain poorly defined. Cytoadhesion of infected erythrocytes may contribute to P. vivax sequestration and organ injury although its physiological impact is still unknown. Here, we aimed to describe clinically-relevant cytoadhesive phenotypes of P. vivax isolates. Methodology/Principal findings: Rosetting and adhesion to CSA, CD36, ICAM1, placental and brain cryosections were determined in P. vivax peripheral isolates from 12 pregnant women, 24 non-pregnant women and 23 men from Manaus (Brazil). P. falciparum co-infection was excluded by PCR and P. vivax isolates were genotyped by assessing the size polymorphism of microsatellites ms2, ms20 and msp1F3 through capillary electrophoresis of PCR products. P. vivax monoinfection was confirmed by PCR in 59 isolates, with 50 (85%) of them being single-clone infections. One P. vivax haplotype was more frequently found among pregnant women (33%) than in non-pregnant women (0%) and men (4%; p = 0.010). Rosetting was observed in 64% of the isolates, adhesion to CSA in 15%, to ICAM1 in 12% and to placental cryosections in 9%, being similar among pregnant and non-pregnant groups. Intensity of rosetting was higher among anaemic individuals compared to non-anaemic (p = 0.010) and decreased with increasing haematocrit (p = 0.033) and haemoglobin levels (p = 0.015). Conclusions/Significance: P. vivax peripheral isolates from pregnant women do not exhibit a prominent adhesion to CSA, although other parasite phenotypes still unknown may increase the propagation of certain P. vivax clones observed among pregnant hosts. Rosetting is a frequent cytoadhesive phenotype in P. vivax infections that may contribute to the development of anaemia. © 2013 Marín-Menéndez et al.

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