Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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Bambino-Medeiros R.,Instituto Oswaldo Cruz FIOCRUZ
Parasitology | Year: 2011

Cell surface glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) play an important role in the attachment and invasion process of a variety of intracellular pathogens. We have previously demonstrated that heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPG) mediate the invasion of trypomastigote forms of Trypanosoma cruzi in cardiomyocytes. Herein, we analysed whether GAGs are also implicated in amastigote invasion. Competition assays with soluble GAGs revealed that treatment of T. cruzi amastigotes with heparin and heparan sulfate leads to a reduction in the infection ratio, achieving 82% and 65% inhibition of invasion, respectively. Other sulfated GAGs, such as chondroitin sulfate, dermatan sulfate and keratan sulfate, had no effect on the invasion process. In addition, a significant decrease in infection occurred after interaction of amastigotes with GAG-deficient Chinese Hamster Ovary (CHO) cells, decreasing from 20% and 28% in wild-type CHO cells to 5% and 9% in the mutant cells after 2 h and 4 h of infection, respectively. These findings suggest that amastigote invasion also involves host cell surface heparan sulfate proteoglycans. The knowledge of the mechanism triggered by heparan sulfate-binding T. cruzi proteins may provide new potential candidates for Chagas disease therapy.

Cestari I.,Instituto Oswaldo Cruz Fiocruz | Ramirez M.I.,Instituto Oswaldo Cruz Fiocruz
PLoS ONE | Year: 2010

The complement system is the main arm of the vertebrate innate immune system against pathogen infection. For the protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi, the causative agent of Chagas disease, subverting the complement system and invading the host cells is crucial to succeed in infection. However, little attention has focused on whether the complement system can effectively control T. cruzi infection. To address this question, we decided to analyse: 1) which complement pathways are activated by T. cruzi using strains isolated from different hosts, 2) the capacity of these strains to resist the complementmediated killing at nearly physiological conditions, and 3) whether the complement system could limit or control T. cruzi invasion of eukaryotic cells. The complement activating molecules C1q, C3, mannan-binding lectin and ficolins bound to all strains analysed; however, C3b and C4b deposition assays revealed that T. cruzi activates mainly the lectin and alternative complement pathways in non-immune human serum. Strikingly, we detected that metacyclic trypomastigotes of some T. cruzi strains were highly susceptible to complement-mediated killing in non-immune serum, while other strains were resistant. Furthermore, the rate of parasite invasion in eukaryotic cells was decreased by non-immune serum. Altogether, these results establish that the complement system recognizes T. cruzi metacyclic trypomastigotes, resulting in killing of susceptible strains. The complement system, therefore, acts as a physiological barrier which resistant strains have to evade for successful host infection. © 2010 Cestari, Ramirez.

Coura J.R.,Instituto Oswaldo Cruz Fiocruz | Borges-Pereira J.,Instituto Oswaldo Cruz Fiocruz
Acta Tropica | Year: 2010

Although Chagas disease was only discovered in 1909, it began millions of years ago as an enzootic disease among wild animals. Its transmission to man began accidentally as an anthropozoonosis when mankind invaded wild ecotopes. Endemic Chagas disease became established as a zoonosis over the last 200-300 years through deforestation for agriculture and livestock rearing and adaptation of triatomines to dwellings and to humans and domestic animals as food sources. When T. cruzi is transmitted to man, it invades the bloodstream and lymphatic system and lodges in muscle and heart tissue, the digestive system and phagocytic cells. Through this, it causes inflammatory lesions and an immune response, particularly mediated by CD4+, CD8+, IL2 and IL4, with cell and neuron destruction and fibrosis. These processes lead to blockage of the heart's conductive system, arrhythmias, heart failure, aperistalsis and dilatation of hollow viscera, especially the esophagus and colons. Chagas disease is characterized by an acute phase with or without symptoms, with (or more often without) T. cruzi penetration signs (inoculation chagoma or Romaña's sign), fever, adenomegaly, hepatosplenomegaly and patent parasitemia; and a chronic phase: indeterminate (asymptomatic, with normal electrocardiogram and heart, esophagus and colon X-rays) or cardiac, digestive or cardiac/digestive forms. There is great regional variation in the morbidity caused by Chagas disease: severe cardiac or digestive forms may occur in 10-50%, and indeterminate forms in the remaining, asymptomatic cases. The epidemiological and control characteristics of Chagas disease vary according to each country's ecological conditions and health policies. © 2010.

Coura J.R.,Instituto Oswaldo Cruz Fiocruz | Junqueira A.C.V.,Instituto Oswaldo Cruz Fiocruz
Memorias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz | Year: 2012

Chagas disease, in the Amazon Region as elsewhere, can be considered an enzootic disease of wild animals or an anthropozoonosis, an accidental disease of humans that is acquired when humans penetrate a wild ecosystem or when wild triatomines invade human dwellings attracted by light or searching for human blood. The risk of endemic Chagas disease in the Amazon Region is associated with the following phenomena: (i) extensive deforestation associated with the displacement of wild mammals, which are the normal sources of blood for triatomines, (ii) adaptation of wild triatomines to human dwellings due to the need for a new source of blood for feeding and (iii) uncontrolled migration of human populations and domestic animals that are already infected with Trypanosoma cruzi from areas endemic for Chagas disease to the Amazon Region. Several outbreaks of severe acute cases of Chagas disease, as well as chronic cases, have been described in the Amazon Region. Control measures targeted to avoiding endemic Chagas disease in the Amazon Region should be the following: improving health education in communities, training public health officials and communities for vector and Chagas disease surveillance and training local physicians to recognise and treat acute and chronic cases of Chagas diseases as soon as possible.

Coura J.R.,Instituto Oswaldo Cruz Fiocruz
Memorias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz | Year: 2015

This review deals with transmission of Trypanosoma cruzi by the most important domestic vectors, blood transfusion and oral intake. Among the vectors, Triatoma infestans, Panstrongylus megistus, Rhodnius prolixus, Triatoma dimidiata, Triatoma brasiliensis, Triatoma pseudomaculata, Triatoma sordida, Triatoma maculata, Panstrongylus geniculatus, Rhodnius ecuadoriensis and Rhodnius pallescens can be highlighted. Transmission of Chagas infection, which has been brought under control in some countries in South and Central America, remains a great challenge, particularly considering that many endemic countries do not have control over blood donors. Even more concerning is the case of non-endemic countries that receive thousands of migrants from endemic areas that carry Chagas disease, such as the United States of America, in North America, Spain, in Europe, Japan, in Asia, and Australia, in Oceania. In the Brazilian Amazon Region, since Shaw et al. (1969) described the first acute cases of the disease caused by oral transmission, hundreds of acute cases of the disease due to oral transmission have been described in that region, which is today considered to be endemic for oral transmission. Several other outbreaks of acute Chagas disease by oral transmission have been described in different states of Brazil and in other South American countries. © 2015, Fundacao Oswaldo Cruz. All rights reserved.

Maciel-de-Freitas R.,Instituto Oswaldo Cruz Fiocruz | Valle D.,Instituto Oswaldo Cruz Fiocruz
Bulletin of the World Health Organization | Year: 2014

Problem In 2010, dengue virus (DENV) serotype-4 was detected during a dengue outbreak in the Amazonian city of Boa Vista. At that time Brazil was already endemic for DENV-1, DENV-2 and DENV-3. This was the first time DENV-4 was observed in the country after it was initially detected and eliminated in 1981. Approach To hinder the spread of DENV-4 throughout Brazil, standard vector control measures were intensified. Vector control professionals visited 56 837 households in 22 out of 31 districts of Boa Vista, to eliminate mosquito-breeding sites. Water storage containers were treated with the larvicide difubenzuron, and deltamethrin was sprayed for adult Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. Fifteen days later, a second larvae survey and additional deltamethrin applications were performed. Local setting In Brazil, dengue vector control is managed at all three government levels. Regular surveillance of Aedes aegypti is done four to six times a year to strengthen mosquito control activities in areas with high-vector density. Educational dengue control campaigns in communities are scarce, especially between outbreaks. Relevant changes In spite of extensive implementation of all standard control actions recommended by the Brazilian dengue control programme, only a slight decrease in mosquito density was detected. Lessons learnt There is a need to redesign all levels of dengue control. Public consultation and engagement, behaviour change and actions that go beyond technical impositions are required. Vector control programme managers need to reflect on what constitutes good practices and whether intermittent information campaigns are effective measures for dengue prevention and control.

Coura J.R.,Instituto Oswaldo Cruz Fiocruz | Borges-Pereira J.,Instituto Oswaldo Cruz Fiocruz
Memorias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz | Year: 2011

The pathogenesis and evolutive pattern of Chagas disease suggests that the chronic phase should be more widely treated in order to (i) eliminate Trypanosoma cruzi and prevent new inflammatory foci and the extension of tissue lesions, (ii) promote tissue regeneration to prevent fibrosis, (iii) reverse existing fibrosis, (iv) prevent cardiomyopathy, megaoesophagus and megacolon and (v) reduce or eliminate cardiac block and arrhythmia. All cases of the indeterminate chronic form of Chagas disease without contraindications due to other concomitant diseases or pregnancy should be treated and not only cases involving children or recently infected cases. Patients with chronic Chagas cardiomyopathy grade II of the New York Heart Association classification should be treated with specific chemotherapy and grade III can be treated according to medical-patient decisions. We are proposing the following new strategies for chemotherapeutic treatment of the chronic phase of Chagas disease: (i) repeated short-term treatments for 30 consecutive days and interval of 30-60 days for six months to one year and (ii) combinations of drugs with different mechanisms of action, such as benznidazole + nifurtimox, benznidazole or nifurtimox + allopurinol or triazole antifungal agents, inhibition of sterol synthesis.

Thiengo S.C.,Instituto Oswaldo Cruz Fiocruz
Hawai'i journal of medicine & public health : a journal of Asia Pacific Medicine & Public Health | Year: 2013

The metastrongyloid nematode genus Angiostrongylus includes 18 species, two of which are relevant from a medical standpoint, Angiostrongylus costaricensis and Angiostrongylus cantonensis. The first was described from Costa Rica in 1971 and causes abdominal angiostrongyliasis in the Americas, including in Brazil. Angiostrongylus cantonensis, first described in 1935 from Canton, China, is the causative agent of eosinophilic meningitis. The natural definitive hosts are rodents, and molluscs are the intermediate hosts. Paratenic or carrier hosts include crabs, freshwater shrimp, amphibians, flatworms, and fish. Humans become infected accidentally by ingestion of intermediate or paratenic hosts and the parasite does not complete the life cycle as it does in rats. Worms in the brain cause eosinophilic meningitis. This zoonosis, widespread in Southeast Asia and the Pacific islands, has now been reported from other regions. In the Americas there are records from the United States, Cuba, Jamaica, Brazil, Ecuador, and Haiti. In Brazil seven human cases have been reported since 2007 from the southeastern and northeastern regions. Epidemiological studies found infected specimens of Rattus norvegicus and Rattus rattus as well as many species of molluscs, including the giant African land snail, Achatina fulica, from various regions of Brazil. The spread of angiostrongyliasis is currently a matter of concern in Brazil.

Coura J.R.,Instituto Oswaldo Cruz Fiocruz
Memorias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz | Year: 2013

From an epidemiological point of view, Chagas disease and its reservoirs and vectors can present the following characteristics: (i) enzooty, maintained by wild animals and vectors, with broad occurrence from southern United States of America (USA) to southern Argentina and Chile (42°N 49°S), (ii) anthropozoonosis, when man invades the wild ecotope and becomes infected with Trypanosoma cruzi from wild animals or vectors or when the vectors and wild animals, especially marsupials, invade the human domicile and infect man, (iii) zoonosis-amphixenosis and exchanged infection between animals and humans by domestic vectors in endemic areas and (iv) zooanthroponosis, infection that is transmitted from man to animals, by means of domestic vectors, which is the rarest situation in areas endemic for Chagas disease. The characteristics of Chagas disease as an enzooty of wild animals and as an anthropozoonosis are seen most frequently in the Brazilian Amazon and in the Pan-Amazon region as a whole, where there are 33 species of six genera of wild animals: Marsupialia, Chiroptera, Rodentia, Edentata (Xenarthra), Carnivora and Primata and 27 species of triatomines, most of which infected with T. cruzi. These conditions place the resident populations of this area or its visitors - tourists, hunters, fishermen and especially the people whose livelihood involves plant extraction - at risk of being affected by Chagas disease. On the other hand, there has been an exponential increase in the acute cases of Chagas disease in that region through oral transmission of T. cruzi, causing outbreaks of the disease. In four seroepidemiological surveys that were carried out in areas of the microregion of the Negro River, state of Amazonas, in 1991, 1993, 1997 and 2010, we found large numbers of people who were serologically positive for T. cruzi infection. The majority of them and/or their relatives worked in piassava extraction and had come into contact with and were stung by wild triatomines in that area. Finally, a characteristic that is greatly in evidence currently is the migration of people with Chagas disease from endemic areas of Latin America to non-endemic countries. This has created a new dilemma for these countries: the risk of transmission through blood transfusion and the onus of controlling donors and treating migrants with the disease. As an enzooty of wild animals and vectors, and as an anthropozoonosis, Chagas disease cannot be eradicated, but it must be controlled by transmission elimination to man.

Sylvestre G.,Instituto Oswaldo Cruz Fiocruz | Gandini M.,Instituto Oswaldo Cruz Fiocruz | Maciel-de-Freitas R.,Instituto Oswaldo Cruz Fiocruz
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

Background: Aedes aegypti is the main vector of dengue, a disease that is increasing its geographical range as well as incidence rates. Despite its public health importance, the effect of dengue virus (DENV) on some mosquito traits remains unknown. Here, we investigated the impact of DENV-2 infection on the feeding behavior, survival, oviposition success and fecundity of Ae. aegypti females. Methods/Principal Findings: After orally-challenging Ae. aegypti females with a DENV-2 strain using a membrane feeder, we monitored the feeding behavior, survival, oviposition success and fecundity throughout the mosquito lifespan. We observed an age-dependent cost of DENV infection on mosquito feeding behavior and fecundity. Infected individuals took more time to ingest blood from anesthetized mice in the 2nd and 3rd weeks post-infection, and also longer overall blood-feeding times in the 3rd week post-infection, when females were around 20 days old. Often, infected Ae. aegypti females did not lay eggs and when they were laid, smaller number of eggs were laid compared to uninfected controls. A reduction in the number of eggs laid per female was evident starting on the 3rd week post-infection. DENV-2 negatively affected mosquito lifespan, since overall the longevity of infected females was halved compared to that of the uninfected control group. Conclusions: The DENV-2 strain tested significantly affected Ae. aegypti traits directly correlated with vectorial capacity or mosquito population density, such as feeding behavior, survival, fecundity and oviposition success. Infected mosquitoes spent more time ingesting blood, had reduced lifespan, laid eggs less frequently, and when they did lay eggs, the clutches were smaller than uninfected mosquitoes. © 2013 Sylvestre et al.

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