Institute Biomedicina

Caracas, Venezuela

Institute Biomedicina

Caracas, Venezuela

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Torres J.,Instituto Mexicano Del Seguro Social | Correa P.,Vanderbilt University | Ferreccio C.,University of Chile | Hernandez-Suarez G.,Instituto Nacional Of Cancerologia | And 4 more authors.
Cancer Causes and Control | Year: 2013

In Latin America, gastric cancer is a leading cancer, and countries in the region have some of the highest mortality rates worldwide, including Chile, Costa Rica, and Colombia. Geographic variation in mortality rates is observed both between neighboring countries and within nations. We discuss epidemiological observations suggesting an association between altitude and gastric cancer risk in Latin America. In the Americas, the burden of gastric cancer mortality is concentrated in the mountainous areas along the Pacific rim, following the geography of the Andes sierra, from Venezuela to Chile, and the Sierra Madre and Cordillera de Centroamérica, from southern Mexico to Costa Rica. Altitude is probably a surrogate for host genetic, bacterial, dietary, and environmental factors that may cluster in the mountainous regions. For example, H. pylori strains from patients of the Andean Nariño region of Colombia display European ancestral haplotypes, whereas strains from the Pacific coast are predominantly of African origin. The observation of higher gastric cancer rates in the mountainous areas is not universal: the association is absent in Chile, where risk is more strongly associated with the age of H. pylori acquisition and socio-economic determinants. The dramatic global and regional variations in gastric cancer incidence and mortality rates offer the opportunity for scientific discovery and focused prevention programs. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.


Truman R.W.,Louisiana State University | Singh P.,Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne | Sharma R.,Louisiana State University | Busso P.,Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne | And 9 more authors.
New England Journal of Medicine | Year: 2011

Background: In the southern region of the United States, such as in Louisiana and Texas, there are autochthonous cases of leprosy among native-born Americans with no history of foreign exposure. In the same region, as well as in Mexico, wild armadillos are infected with Mycobacterium leprae. methods: Whole-genome resequencing of M. leprae from one wild armadillo and three U.S. patients with leprosy revealed that the infective strains were essentially identical. Comparative genomic analysis of these strains and M. leprae strains from Asia and Brazil identified 51 single-nucleotide polymorphisms and an 11-bp insertion-deletion. We genotyped these polymorphic sites, in combination with 10 variable-number tandem repeats, in M. leprae strains obtained from 33 wild armadillos from five southern states, 50 U.S. outpatients seen at a clinic in Louisiana, and 64 Venezuelan patients, as well as in four foreign reference strains. results: The M. leprae genotype of patients with foreign exposure generally reflected their country of origin or travel history. However, a unique M. leprae genotype (3I-2-v1) was found in 28 of the 33 wild armadillos and 25 of the 39 U.S. patients who resided in areas where exposure to armadillo-borne M. leprae was possible. This genotype has not been reported elsewhere in the world. conclusions: Wild armadillos and many patients with leprosy in the southern United States are infected with the same strain of M. leprae. Armadillos are a large natural reservoir for M. leprae, and leprosy may be a zoonosis in the region. Copyright © 2011 Massachusetts Medical Society. All rights reserved.


Rodriguez-Brito S.,Venezuelan Institute for Scientific Research | Camacho E.,Venezuelan Institute for Scientific Research | Mendoza M.,Institute Biomedicina | Nino-Vega G.A.,Venezuelan Institute for Scientific Research
Medical Mycology | Year: 2014

Sporotrichosis and cutaneous leishmaniasis are skin infections with similar clinical manifestations but different treatment methods. The present study aimed to evaluate qPCR and conventional PCR for differential detection of the etiological agents of both infections in multiplex format. Assays were designed using two sets of reported primers: SS1/SS2, designed on the 18S ribosomal RNA gene from Sporothrix spp., and JW11/JW12, designed on the kinetoplast DNA (kDNA) minicircles of Leishmania spp. qPCR detected 200 fg of DNA per reaction for both Sporothrix and Leishmania. Melting curve analysis revealed two distinctive Tm peaks for Sporothrix spp. (85.5°C), and Leishmania spp. (82.6°C). A detection limit of 20 pg was determined for the diagnosis of both with conventional PCR. No other clinically important organisms were detected by either PCR or qPCR. However, a Blast analysis on GenBank databases, using as query the sequence of the PCR fragment obtained with primers SS1/SS2, showed 100% identity to environmental fungi of the Ophiostomales order. Lower percentages of identity (≤80%), with mismatches at primers' sequence regions were obtained for other environmental or clinically important fungi. Proper handling of clinical samples is required to avoid false negatives due to contamination with environmental fungi of the Ophiostomales order. © 2014 The Author.


Camacho E.,Venezuelan Institute for Scientific Research | Leon-Navarro I.,Venezuelan Institute for Scientific Research | Rodriguez-Brito S.,Venezuelan Institute for Scientific Research | Mendoza M.,Institute Biomedicina | Nino-Vega G.A.,Venezuelan Institute for Scientific Research
BMC Infectious Diseases | Year: 2015

Background: Sporotrichosis is a cutaneous and subcutaneous fungal disease of humans and other mammals, known to be caused by the Sporothrix schenckii species complex, which comprises four species of clinical importance: S. brasiliensis, S. globosa, S. luriei, and S. schenckii sensu stricto. Of them, S. globosa and S. schenckii s. str. show global distribution and differences in global frequency as causal agents of the disease. In the Americas, only three species are present: S. schenckii s. str., S. brasiliensis (so far, only reported in Brazil), and S. globosa. In Venezuela, since the first case of sporotrichosis reported in 1935, S. schenckii have been considered its unique etiological agent. In the present work, the presence of more than one species in the country was evaluated. Methods: By phenotypic key features and molecular phylogeny analyses, we re-examined 30 isolates from diverse Venezuelan regions belonging to the fungi collection of Instituto de Biomedicina, Caracas, Venezuela, and national reference center for skin diseases. All isolates were collected between 1973 and 2013, and maintained in distilled water. Results: Sporotrichosis in Venezuela is mainly caused by S. schenckii s. str. (70%). However, a significant proportion (30%) of sporotrichosis cases in the country can be attributable to S. globosa. A correlation between intraspecific genotypes and clinical presentation is proposed. Conclusions: Our data suggest that sporotrichosis various clinical forms might be related to genetic diversity of isolates, and possibly, to diverse virulence profiles previously reported in the S. schenckii species complex. Sporothrix globosa was found to be the causative agent of 30% of sporotrichosis for the Venezuelan cases re-examined, the highest frequency of this species so far reported in the Americas. The high genetic variability presented by S. schenckii s. str. indicates that species distinction based on phenotypic key features could be a challenging and uncertain task; molecular identification should be always employed. © 2015 Camacho et al.; licensee BioMed Central.


Aguado C.,Research Center Principe Felipe and CIBERER | Sarkar S.,Addenbrookes Hospital | Sarkar S.,Whitehead Institute For Biomedical Research | Korolchuk V.I.,Addenbrookes Hospital | And 7 more authors.
Human Molecular Genetics | Year: 2010

Lafora disease (LD) is an autosomal recessive, progressive myoclonus epilepsy, which is characterized by the accumulation of polyglucosan inclusion bodies, called Lafora bodies, in the cytoplasm of cells in the central nervous system and in many other organs. However, it is unclear at the moment whether Lafora bodies are the cause of the disease, or whether they are secondary consequences of a primary metabolic alteration. Here we describe that the major genetic lesion that causes LD, loss-of-function of the protein laforin, impairs autophagy. This phenomenon is confirmed in cell lines from human patients, mouse embryonic fibroblasts from laforin knockout mice and in tissues from such mice. Conversely, laforin expression stimulates autophagy. Laforin regulates autophagy via the mammalian target of rapamycin kinase-dependent pathway. The changes in autophagy mediated by laforin regulate the accumulation of diverse autophagy substrates and would be predicted to impact on the Lafora body accumulation and the cell stress seen in this disease that may eventually contribute to cell death. © The Author 2010. Published by Oxford University Press.


In general, it has been reported that rotavirus infection was detected year round in tropical countries. However, studies in Venezuela and Brazil suggest a seasonal behavior of the infection. On the other hand, some studies link infection with climatic variables such as rainfall. This study analyzes the pattern of behavior of the rotavirus infection in Carabobo-Venezuela (2001-2005), associates the seasonality of the infection with rainfall, and according to the seasonal pattern, estimates the age of greatest risk for infection. The analysis of the rotavirus temporal series and accumulated precipitation was performed with the software SPSS. The infection showed two periods: high incidence (November-April) and low incidence (May- October). Accumulated precipitation presents an opposite behavior. The highest frequency of events (73.8% 573/779) for those born in the period with a low incidence of the virus was recorded at an earlier age (mean age 6.5 ± 2.0 months) when compared with those born in the station of high incidence (63.5% 568/870, mean age 11.7 ± 2.2 months). Seasonality of the infection and the inverse relationship between virus incidence and rainfall was demonstrated. In addition, it was found that the period of birth determines the age and risk of infection. This information generated during the pre-vaccine period will be helpful to measure the impact of the vaccine against the rotavirus. © 2015, Instituto de Investigaciones Clinicas. All rights reserved.


Martinez Mendez D.,Francisco de Miranda National Experimental University | Hernandez Valles R.,Francisco de Miranda National Experimental University | Alvarado P.,Institute Biomedicina | Mendoza M.,Institute Biomedicina
Revista Iberoamericana de Micologia | Year: 2013

Background: In 1984 the Venezuelan Work Groups in Mycology (VWGM) were created introducing an innovative approach to the study of the mycoses in Venezuela. Aim: To study the occurrence of the mycoses in Venezuela. Methods: Review the reported cases of mycoses by the newsletter Boletín Informativo Las Micosis en Venezuela (VWGM) from 1984 to 2010. Results: The data collected showed 36,968 reported cases of superficial mycoses, 1,989 of deep systemic cases, and 822 of localized mycoses. Pityriasis dermatophytosis was the most common superficial infection, and paracoccidioidomycosis and histoplasmosis the most frequent deep systemic infection. Chromoblastomycosis was the most frequently diagnosed subcutaneous infection. The data provided showed the distribution by geographical area for each of the fungal infections studied, which may help to establish the endemic areas. Discussion: Superficial mycosis is a public health problem due to its high morbidity and is probably responsible for some of the outbreaks in high-risk groups. Paracoccidioidomycosis and histoplasmosis were reported more often, which agrees with earlier reports prior to the formation of the VWGM. Cases of sporotrichosis and chromoblastomycosis in Venezuela can be considered unique due to the high number of cases. This study highlights the contribution of the VWGM to the behavior of the mycoses in Venezuela, its incidence, prevalence, and the recognition of these infections as a problem of public health importance. The VWGM should keep working in this endeavor, not only reporting new cases, but also unifying the clinical and epidemiological criteria, in order to properly monitor the evolving epidemiological changes reported in these types of infections. © 2012 Revista Iberoamericana de Micología.


Rada E.,Institute Biomedicina | Duthie M.S.,Infectious Disease Research Institute | Reed S.G.,Infectious Disease Research Institute | Aranzazu N.,Institute Biomedicina | Convit J.,Institute Biomedicina
Memorias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz | Year: 2012

Leprosy is a slowly evolving disease that occurs mainly in adults. In this study, the Mamaría Village, state of Portuguesa was selected because it had one of the highest prevalence rates (13.25%) of leprosy cases in 1997. Between 1998-2004, 20.2% of the 89 cases registered in this village were less than 15 years old and 61.8% were males. Pau-cibacillary (PB) lesions were the predominant clinical forms identified, although also multibacillary (MB) forms were found. Additionally, 76% of the patients were bacteriologically negative. At the time of diagnosis, 75% of the patients presented with grade 0 disabilities, 23% with grade 1 and 2% with grade 2. Serum samples were collected from 18 PB and 15 MB patients, in addition to 14 family contacts, at the beginning and end of treatment. All the groups were re-evaluated during a three-year period (2008-2011). The proteins used for evaluation were ML0405, ML2331 and LID-1. These mycobacterial proteins were highly specific for Mycobacterium leprae and the IgG responses decreased in both MB and PB patients during multidrug treatment. Our results suggest that these antigens could be used as markers for successful treatment of non-reactional lepromatous patients.


Montoro-Garcia S.,University of Murcia | Gil-Ortiz F.,Institute Biomedicina | Navarro-Fernandez J.,University of Murcia | Rubio V.,Institute Biomedicina | And 2 more authors.
Bioresource Technology | Year: 2010

Cross-linked enzyme aggregates (CLEAs) are reported for the first time for a recombinant acetyl xylan esterase (AXE) from Bacillus pumilus. With this enzyme, CLEAs production was most effective using 3.2 M (80%-saturation) ammonium sulfate, followed by cross-linking for 3 h with 1% (v/v) glutaraldehyde. Particle size was a key determinant of the CLEAs activity. The usual method for generating particles, by short-time vortexing was highly inefficient in terms of enzyme activity yields. In contrast, the use of long-time vortexing increased activity recovery, and a novel approach consisting in the utilization of a commercial mechanical cell disruptor which is based on a reciprocating movement recovered all the enzyme activity in few seconds. In the CLEAs thus produced, the enzyme was much more resistant to shear, heat and extreme pH values than the soluble enzyme. The CLEAs were highly effective in transforming fully 7-amino cephalosporanic acid and cephalosporin C into their corresponding desacetyl derivatives, which are important advanced intermediates in the production of semisynthetic β-lactam antibiotics. The operational stability of such CLEAs was remarkable, with a half life of 45 cycles. Therefore, the new methodology used here should decrease the industrial cost of the CLEAs, both in terms of biocatalyst production and reusability. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Genetic and antigenic rotavirus (RV) variabilities may have implications in the severity of the infection caused by these agents; however the studies are not conclusive. For that purpose, the mean severity scores of diarrhea episodes caused by RV types G1 and G3 were compared, at Ciudad Hospitalaria "Dr. Enrique Tejera" in Valencia, Venezuela, between 2001- 2005. RV were identified by ELISA, G and P types by RT-PCR. The severity of infection was determined using the Ruuska-Vesikari system and the mean severity values were compared using the Student's t-test (two-tailed, 95%CI). RV were detected in 24.5% of patients (3193/13026), being G3 the most common (50.3%), followed by G1 (39.2%), G9 (6.2%), G2 (0.6%), G4 (0.6%) and of mixed infection 3.1% (G1+G3). Type P[8] was present in 87.3% of samples, 10.9% P[4] and 1.8% P[6]. There were not statistically significant differences (P≥0.05) observed between the episodes caused by G1 and G3 when age, breast feeding, and degrees of malnutrition and dehydration were considered. Nevertheless, in the G3 positive group, fever, episodes of more than 6 days, 6 or more evacuations in 24 hours and 3 or more days with vomit, were observed. The mean severity score for the G3 episodes (11.1) was significantly higher (P< 0.05) than for G1 (7.8). These results show that G3 was associated with severe diarrhea, supporting the hypothesis that the knowledge of the variability and frequency of viral types is essential to measure the impact of an anti-rotavirus vaccine.

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