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Vieira C.S.,Instituto Oswaldo Cruz | Waniek P.J.,Instituto Oswaldo Cruz | Mattos D.P.,Instituto Oswaldo Cruz | Castro D.P.,Instituto Oswaldo Cruz | And 7 more authors.
Parasites and Vectors | Year: 2014

Background: The triatomine, Rhodnius prolixus, is a major vector of Trypanosoma cruzi, the causative agent of Chagas disease in Latin America. It has a strictly blood-sucking habit in all life stages, ingesting large amounts of blood from vertebrate hosts from which it can acquire pathogenic microorganisms. In this context, the production of antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) in the midgut of the insect is vital to control possible infection, and to maintain the microbiota already present in the digestive tract. Methods. In the present work, we studied the antimicrobial activity of the Rhodnius prolixus midgut in vitro against the Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus, respectively. We also analysed the abundance of mRNAs encoding for defensins, prolixicin and lysozymes in the midgut of insects orally infected by these bacteria at 1 and 7 days after feeding. Results: Our results showed that the anterior midgut contents contain a higher inducible antibacterial activity than those of the posterior midgut. We observed that the main AMP encoding mRNAs in the anterior midgut, 7 days after a blood meal, were for lysozyme A, B, defensin C and prolixicin while in the posterior midgut lysozyme B and prolixicin transcripts predominated. Conclusion: Our findings suggest that R. prolixus modulates AMP gene expression upon ingestion of bacteria with patterns that are distinct and dependent upon the species of bacteria responsible for infection. © 2014 Vieira et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Vale V.F.,Federal University of Minas Gerais | Moreira B.H.,Federal University of Minas Gerais | Moraes C.S.,Instituto Oswaldo Cruz | Pereira M.H.,Federal University of Minas Gerais | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Insect Physiology | Year: 2012

Lutzomyia longipalpis is the principal species of phlebotomine incriminated as vector of Leishmania infantum, the etiological agent of visceral leishmaniasis in the Americas. Despite its importance as vector, almost nothing related to the larval biology, especially about its digestive system has been published. The objective of the present study was to obtain an overview of carbohydrate digestion by the larvae. Taking in account that phlebotomine larvae live in the soil rich in decaying materials and microorganisms we searched principally for enzymes capable to hydrolyze carbohydrates present in this kind of substrate. The principal carbohydrases encountered in the midgut were partially characterized. One of them is a α-amylase present in the anterior midgut. It is probably involved with the digestion of glycogen, the reserve carbohydrate of fungi. Two other especially active enzymes were present in the posterior midgut, a membrane bound α-glucosidase and a membrane bound trehalase. The first, complete the digestion of glycogen and the other probably acts in the digestion of trehalose, a carbohydrate usually encountered in microorganisms undergoing hydric stress. In a screening done with the use of p-nitrophenyl-derived substrates other less active enzymes were also observed in the midgut. A general view of carbohydrate digestion in L. longipalpis was presented. Our results indicate that soil microorganisms appear to be the main source of nutrients for the larvae. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Vieira C.S.,Instituto Oswaldo Cruz | Mattos D.P.,Instituto Oswaldo Cruz | Waniek P.J.,Instituto Oswaldo Cruz | Santangelo J.M.,Federal Rural University of Rio de Janeiro | And 10 more authors.
Parasites and Vectors | Year: 2015

Background: Trypanosoma rangeli is a protozoan that infects a variety of mammalian hosts, including humans. Its main insect vector is Rhodnius prolixus and is found in several Latin American countries. The R. prolixus vector competence depends on the T. rangeli strain and the molecular interactions, as well as the insect's immune responses in the gut and haemocoel. This work focuses on the modulation of the humoral immune responses of the midgut of R. prolixus infected with T. rangeli Macias strain, considering the influence of the parasite on the intestinal microbiota. Methods: The population density of T. rangeli Macias strain was analysed in different R. prolixus midgut compartments in long and short-term experiments. Cultivable and non-cultivable midgut bacteria were investigated by colony forming unit (CFU) assays and by 454 pyrosequencing of the 16S rRNA gene, respectively. The modulation of R. prolixus immune responses was studied by analysis of the antimicrobial activity in vitro against different bacteria using turbidimetric tests, the abundance of mRNAs encoding antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) defensin (DefA, DefB, DefC), prolixicin (Prol) and lysozymes (LysA, LysB) by RT-PCR and analysis of the phenoloxidase (PO) activity. Results: Our results showed that T. rangeli successfully colonized R. prolixus midgut altering the microbiota population and the immune responses as follows: 1 - reduced cultivable midgut bacteria; 2 - decreased the number of sequences of the Enterococcaceae but increased those of the Burkholderiaceae family; the families Nocardiaceae, Enterobacteriaceae and Mycobacteriaceae encountered in control and infected insects remained the same; 3 - enhanced midgut antibacterial activities against Serratia marcescens and Staphylococcus aureus; 4 - down-regulated LysB and Prol mRNA levels; altered DefB, DefC and LysA depending on the infection (short and long-term); 5 - decreased PO activity. Conclusion: Our findings suggest that T. rangeli Macias strain modulates R. prolixus immune system and modifies the natural microbiota composition. © 2015 Vieira et al.; licensee BioMed Central.

Castro D.P.,Instituto Oswaldo Cruz | Moraes C.S.,Instituto Oswaldo Cruz | Gonzalez M.S.,Federal University of Fluminense | Ribeiro I.M.,FarManguinhos | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Insect Physiology | Year: 2012

Physalin B is a natural secosteroidal, extracted from the Solanaceae plant, Physalis angulata, and it presents immune-modulator effects on the bloodsucking bug, Rhodnius prolixus. In this work, R. prolixus was treated with physalin B at a concentration of 1mg/ml of blood meal (oral application), or 20ng/insect (applied topically) or 57ng/cm2 of filter paper (contact treatment), and infected with Trypanosoma cruzi Dm28c clone (2×106 epimastigotes/insect). The three types of applications significantly decreased the number of T. cruzi Dm28c in the gut comparing with the non-treated infected insects (controls). All groups of infected insects treated with physalin B had higher numbers of bacterial microbiota in the gut than the non-treated controls infected with T. cruzi. We observed that the infected physalin B insects with topical and contact treatments had a lower antibacterial activity in the gut when compared with control infected insects. Furthermore, infected insects with the physalin B oral treatment produced higher levels of nitrite and nitrate in the gut than control infected insects. These results demonstrate that physalin B decreases the T. cruzi transmission by inhibiting the parasite development in the insect vector R. prolixus. Herein the importance of physalin B modulation on the immune system and microbiota population in terms of parasite development and transmission are discussed. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Gumiel M.,Instituto Oswaldo Cruz | da Mota F.F.,Instituto Oswaldo Cruz | da Mota F.F.,Instituto Nacional Of Entomologia Molecular Inct Em | Rizzo V.S.,Instituto Oswaldo Cruz | And 9 more authors.
Parasites and Vectors | Year: 2015

Background: Chagas disease is caused by Trypanosoma cruzi, which is transmitted by triatomine vectors. The northeastern region of Brazil is endemic for Chagas disease and has the largest diversity of triatomine species. T. cruzi development in its triatomine vector depends on diverse factors, including the composition of bacterial gut microbiota. Methods: We characterized the triatomines captured in the municipality of Russas (Ceará) by sequencing the cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) gene. The composition of the bacterial community in the gut of peridomestic Triatoma brasiliensis and Triatoma pseudomaculata was investigated using culture independent methods based on the amplification of the 16S rRNA gene by polymerase chain reaction (PCR), denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE), DNA fragment cloning, Sanger sequencing and 454 pyrosequencing. Additionally, we identified TcI and TcII types of T. cruzi by sequencing amplicons from the gut metagenomic DNA with primers for the mini-exon gene. Results: Triatomines collected in the peridomestic ecotopes were diagnosed as T. pseudomaculata and T. brasiliensis by comparing their COI sequence with GenBank. The rate of infection by T. cruzi in adult triatomines reached 80% for T. pseudomaculata and 90% for T. brasiliensis. According to the DNA sequences from the DGGE bands, the triatomine gut microbiota was primarily composed of Proteobacteria and Actinobacteria. However, Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes were also detected, although in much lower proportions. Serratia was the main genus, as it was encountered in all samples analyzed by DGGE and 454 pyrosequencing. Members of Corynebacterinae, a suborder of the Actinomycetales, formed the next most important group. The cloning and sequencing of full-length 16S rRNA genes confirmed the presence of Serratia marcescens, Dietzia sp., Gordonia terrae, Corynebacterium stationis and Corynebacterium glutamicum. Conclusions: The study of the bacterial microbiota in the triatomine gut has gained increased attention because of the possible role it may play in the epidemiology of Chagas disease by competing with T. cruzi. Culture independent methods have shown that the bacterial composition of the microbiota in the guts of peridomestic triatomines is made up by only few bacterial species. © 2015 Gumiel et al.; licensee BioMed Central.

Castro D.P.,Instituto Oswaldo Cruz | Moraes C.S.,Instituto Oswaldo Cruz | Gonzalez M.S.,Federal University of Fluminense | Ratcliffe N.A.,Instituto Oswaldo Cruz | And 4 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

Trypanosoma cruzi in order to complete its development in the digestive tract of Rhodnius prolixus needs to overcome the immune reactions and microbiota trypanolytic activity of the gut. We demonstrate that in R. prolixus following infection with epimastigotes of Trypanosoma cruzi clone Dm28c and, in comparison with uninfected control insects, the midgut contained (i) fewer bacteria, (ii) higher parasite numbers, and (iii) reduced nitrite and nitrate production and increased phenoloxidase and antibacterial activities. In addition, in insects pre-treated with antibiotic and then infected with Dm28c, there were also reduced bacteria numbers and a higher parasite load compared with insects solely infected with parasites. Furthermore, and in contrast to insects infected with Dm28c, infection with T. cruzi Y strain resulted in a slight decreased numbers of gut bacteria but not sufficient to mediate a successful parasite infection. We conclude that infection of R. prolixus with the T. cruzi Dm28c clone modifies the host gut immune responses to decrease the microbiota population and these changes are crucial for the parasite development in the insect gut. © 2012 Castro et al.

Vieira C.S.,Instituto Oswaldo Cruz | Waniek P.J.,Instituto Oswaldo Cruz | Castro D.P.,Instituto Oswaldo Cruz | Mattos D.P.,Federal University of Fluminense | And 3 more authors.
Parasites and Vectors | Year: 2016

Background: Rhodnius prolixus is a major vector of Trypanosoma cruzi, the causative agent of Chagas disease in Latin America. In natural habitats, these insects are in contact with a variety of bacteria, fungi, virus and parasites that they acquire from both their environments and the blood of their hosts. Microorganism ingestion may trigger the synthesis of humoral immune factors, including antimicrobial peptides (AMPs). The objective of this study was to compare the expression levels of AMPs (defensins and prolixicin) in the different midgut compartments and the fat body of R. prolixus infected with different T. cruzi strains. The T. cruzi Dm 28c clone (TcI) successfully develops whereas Y strain (TcII) does not complete its life- cycle in R. prolixus. The relative AMP gene expressions were evaluated in the insect midgut and fat body infected on different days with the T. cruzi Dm 28c clone and the Y strain. The influence of the antibacterial activity on the intestinal microbiota was taken into account. Methods: The presence of T. cruzi in the midgut of R. prolixus was analysed by optical microscope. The relative expression of the antimicrobial peptides encoding genes defensin (defA, defB, defC) and prolixicin (prol) was quantified by RT-qPCR. The antimicrobial activity of the AMPs against Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli and Serratia marcescens were evaluated in vitro using turbidimetric tests with haemolymph, anterior and posterior midgut samples. Midgut bacteria were quantified using colony forming unit (CFU) assays and real time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR). Results: Our results showed that the infection of R. prolixus by the two different T. cruzi strains exhibited different temporal AMP induction profiles in the anterior and posterior midgut. Insects infected with T. cruzi Dm 28c exhibited an increase in defC and prol transcripts and a simultaneous reduction in the midgut cultivable bacteria population, Serratia marcescens and Rhodococcus rhodnii. In contrast, the T. cruzi Y strain neither induced AMP gene expression in the gut nor reduced the number of colony formation units in the anterior midgut. Beside the induction of a local immune response in the midgut after feeding R. prolixus with T. cruzi, a simultaneous systemic response was also detected in the fat body. Conclusions: R. prolixus AMP gene expressions and the cultivable midgut bacterial microbiota were modulated in distinct patterns, which depend on the T. cruzi genotype used for infection. © 2016 Vieira et al.

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