Plasmodium vivax parasites with chloroquine resistance (CQR) are already circulating in the Brazilian Amazon. Complete single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) analyses of coding and noncoding sequences of the pvmdr1 and pvcrt-o genes revealed no associations with CQR, even if some mutations had not been randomly selected. In addition, striking differences in the topologies and numbers of SNPs in these transporter genes between P. vivax and P. falciparum reinforce the idea that mechanisms other than mutations may explain this virulent phenotype in P. vivax.; CNPq[141572/2004]; CNPq[02572/2002-3]; FAPESP[2007/01549-5]; FAPESP[01/09401-0]
Symptoms resembling giant calyx, a graft-transmissible disease, were observed on 1-5% of eggplant (aubergine; Solanum melongena L.) plants in production fields in Sao Paulo state, Brazil. Phytoplasmas were detected in 1 2 of 1 2 samples from symptomatic plants that were analysed by a nested PCR assay employing 16S rRNA gene primers R16mF2/R16mR1 followed by R16F2n/R16R2. RFLP analysis of the resulting rRNA gene products (1.2 kb) indicated that all plants contained similar phytoplasmas, each closely resembling strains previously classified as members of RFLP group 16SrIII (X-disease group). Virtual RFLP and phylogenetic analyses of sequences derived from PCR products identified phytoplasmas infecting eggplant crops grown in Piracicaba as a lineage of the subgroup 16SrIII-J, whereas phytoplasmas detected in plants grown in Braganca Paulista were tentatively classified as members of a novel subgroup 16SrIII-U. These findings confirm eggplant as a new host of group 16SrIII-J phytoplasmas and extend the known diversity of strains belonging to this group in Brazil.; FAPESP Fundacao de Amparo a Pesquisa do Estado de Sao Paulo
Fifty-three endophytic enterobacteria isolates from citrus, cocoa, eucalyptus, soybean, and sugar cane were evaluated for susceptibility to the antibiotics ampicillin and kanamycin, and cellulase production. Susceptibility was found on both tested antibiotics. However, in the case of ampicillin susceptibility changed according to the host plant, while all isolates were susceptible to kanamycin. Cellulase production also changed according to host plants. The diversity of these. isolates was estimated by employing BOX-PCR genomic fingerprints and 16S rDNA sequencing. In total, twenty-three distinct operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were identified by employing a criterion of 60% fingerprint similarity as a surrogate for an OTU. The 23 OTUs belong to the Pantoea and Enterobacter genera, while their high diversity could be an indication of paraphyletic classification. Isolates representing nine different OTUs belong to Pantoea agglomerans, P. ananatis, P, stewartii, Enterobacter sp., and E. homaechei. The results of this study suggest that plant species may select endophytic bacterial genotypes. It has also become apparent that a review of the Pantoea/Enterobacter genera may be necessary.; FAPESP[02/14143-3]; CAPES; CNPQ; FAPESP
The virulence of four Sporothrix schenckii isolates was compared in a murine model of sporotrichosis, together with the protein pattern of the yeast cell surface and the capacity to bind the extracellular matrix protein fibronectin. Virulence was determined by the mortality rate, fungal burden and histopathology. Two clinical isolates were more virulent for C57BL/6 mice, but no direct correlation was seen between virulence and the clinical or environmental origin of the isolates. The lowest virulence was observed for an isolate recovered from a patient with meningeal sporotrichosis. Although all isolates could effectively disseminate, the dissemination patterns were not similar. Using flow cytometry analysis, we investigated the interaction of all the strains with fibronectin, and showed that the binding capacity correlated with virulence. Western blot analysis of S. schenckii cell wall extracts revealed positive bands for fibronectin in the range of 3792 kDa. The 70 kDa adhesin was also recognized by a protective monoclonal antibody raised against a gp70 antigen of S. schenckii (mAb P6E7). Confocal microscopy confirmed the co-localization of fibronectin and mAb P6E7 on the yeast cell surface. To our knowledge, this is the first report identifying adhesins for fibronectin on the surface of this human pathogen.; Fundacao de Amparo a Pesquisa do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (FAPERJ)[E-26/171521/04]; Fundacao de Amparo a Pesquisa do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (FAPERJ)[E-26/171557/06]
The lack of a clear correlation between the levels of antibody to pertussis antigens and protection against disease lends credence to the possibility that cell-mediated immunity provides primary protection against disease. This phase I comparative trial had the aim of comparing the in vitro cellular immune response and anti-pertussis toxin (anti-PT) immunoglobulin G (IgG) titers induced by a cellular pertussis vaccine with low lipopolysaccharide (LPS) content (wP(low) vaccine) with those induced by the conventional whole-cell pertussis (wP) vaccine. A total of 234 infants were vaccinated at 2, 4, and 6 months with the conventional wP vaccine or the wP(low) vaccine. Proliferation of CD3(+) T cells was evaluated by flow cytometry after 6 days of peripheral blood mononuclear cell culture with stimulation with heat-killed Bordetella pertussis or phytohemagglutinin (PHA). CD3(+), CD4(+), CD8(+), and T-cell receptor gamma delta-positive (gamma delta(+)) cells were identified in the gate of blast lymphocytes. Gamma interferon, tumor necrosis factor alpha, interleukin-4 (IL-4), and IL-10 levels in super-natants and serum anti-PT IgG levels were determined using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The net percentage of CD3(+) blasts in cultures with B. pertussis in the group vaccinated with wP was higher than that in the group vaccinated with the wP(low) vaccine (medians of 6.2% for the wP vaccine and 3.9% for the wP(low) vaccine; P = 0.029). The frequencies of proliferating CD4(+)...
Paracoccidioides brasiliensis is a thermodimorphic human pathogenic fungus that causes paracoccidioidomycosis (PCM), which is the most prevalent systemic mycosis in Latin America. Differentiation from the mycelial to the yeast form (M-to-Y) is an essential step for the establishment of PCM. We evaluated the involvement of mitochondria and intracellular oxidative stress in M-to-Y differentiation. M-to-Y transition was delayed by the inhibition of mitochondrial complexes III and IV or alternative oxidase (AOX) and was blocked by the association of AOX with complex III or IV inhibitors. The expression of P. brasiliensis aox (Pbaox) was developmentally regulated through M-to-Y differentiation, wherein the highest levels were achieved in the first 24 h and during the yeast exponential growth phase; Pbaox was upregulated by oxidative stress. Pbaox was cloned, and its heterologous expression conferred cyanide-resistant respiration in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Escherichia coli and reduced oxidative stress in S. cerevisiae cells. These results reinforce the role of PbAOX in intracellular redox balancing and demonstrate its involvement, as well as that of other components of the mitochondrial respiratory chain complexes, in the early stages of the M-to-Y differentiation of P. brasiliensis.; FAPESP[99/04126-0]; CAPES[DS 103/00]
Upon apoptosis induction, translocation of mammalian mitochondrial endonuclease G (EndoG) to the nucleus coincides with large-scale DNA fragmentation. Here, we describe for the first time a homologue of EndoG in filamentous fungi by investigating if the Aspergillus nidulans homologue of the EndoG gene, named nucA(EndoG), is being activated during farnesol-induced cell death. Our results suggest that NucA is not involved in cell death, but it plays a role in the DNA-damaging response in A. nidulans.; Fundacao de Amparo a Pesquisa do Estado de Sao Paulo (FAPESP); Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Cientifico e Tecnologico (CNPq), Brazil
N-Acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc) is the major immunoepitope of group A streptococcal cell wall carbohydrates. Antistreptococcal antibodies cross-reactive with anti-GlcNAc and laminin are present in sera of patients with rheumatic fever. The cross-reactivity of these antibodies with human heart valvular endothelium and the underlying basement membrane has been suggested to be a possible cause of immune-mediated valve lesion. Mannose-binding lectin (MBL) encoded by the MBL2 gene, a soluble pathogen recognition receptor, has high affinity for GlcNAc. We postulated that mutations in exon 1 of the MBL2 gene associated with a deficient serum level of MBL may contribute to chronic severe aortic regurgitation (AR) of rheumatic etiology. We studied 90 patients with severe chronic AR of rheumatic etiology and 281 healthy controls (HC) for the variants of the MBL2 gene at codons 52, 54, and 57 by using a PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism-based method. We observed a significant difference in the prevalence of defective MBL2 alleles between patients with chronic severe AR and HC. Sixteen percent of patients with chronic severe AR were homozygotes or compound heterozygotes for defective MBL alleles in contrast to 5% for HC (P = 0.0022; odds ratio...
DONOFRIO, Fabiana Cristina; CALIL, Ana Carolina Alvarez; MIRANDA, Elaine Toscano; ALMEIDA, Ana Marisa Fusco; BENARD, Gil; SOARES, Christiane Pienna; VELOSO, Sarah Nogueira; SOARES, Celia Maria de Almeida; GIANNINI, Maria Jose Soares Mendes
Fonte: SOC GENERAL MICROBIOLOGYPublicador: SOC GENERAL MICROBIOLOGY
Paracoccidioides brasiliensis yeast cells can enter mammalian cells and may manipulate the host cell environment to favour their own growth and survival. Moreover, fibronectin and several other host extracellular matrix proteins are recognized by various components of the yeast cell extracts. The present study was designed to isolate and characterize a fibronectin-binding protein from P. brasiliensis. We also compared P. brasiliensis strain 18, tested before (Pb18a) and after (Pb18b) animal passage, in relation to its adhesion and invasion processes. Extracts from both samples, when cultured on blood agar solid medium, showed higher levels of protein expression than when the same samples were cultured on Fava-Netto solid medium, as demonstrated by two-dimensional electrophoresis and SDS-PAGE. Also, both Pb18a and Pb18b exhibited stronger adhesion to A549 epithelial cells when cultured on blood agar medium than when cultured on Fava-Netto medium. Ligand affinity binding assays revealed a protein of 54 kDa and pl 5.6 in P. brasiliensis cell-free extracts with the properties of a fibronectin-binding adhesin, which was characterized by tryptic digestion and mass spectroscopy as a homologue of enolase from P. brasiliensis. Antibody raised against this 54 kDa protein abolished 80 % of P. brasiliensis adhesion to A549 epithelial cells. Our results demonstrate that P. brasiliensis produces a fibronectin-binding adhesin...
To better understand the T-cell hyporesponsiveness of patients with paracoccidioidomycosis, we tested the hypothesis that the T cells were committed to apoptosis. We show here that T cells of patients with paracoccidioidomycosis overexpress caspase 9 and caspase 8 but express low Bcl-2 levels and that interleukin-2 was unable to revert the hyporesponsiveness. These data suggest that the T cells would in vivo be driven to a tolerant state and apoptosis.; FAPESP Fundacao de Amparo a Pesquisa do Estado de Sao Paulo[02/10893-8]; FAPESP Fundacao de Amparo a Pesquisa do Estado de Sao Paulo[02/07306-3]
CARVALHO-MELLO, Isabel Maria Vicente Guedes de; MEDEIROS FILHO, Jose Eymard; GOMES-GOUVEA, Michele Soares; MALTA, Fernanda de Mello; QUEIROZ, Artur Trancoso Lopo de; PINHO, Joao Renato Rebello; CARRILHO, Flair Jose
Fonte: SOC GENERAL MICROBIOLOGYPublicador: SOC GENERAL MICROBIOLOGY
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) transmission has decreased with the adoption of universal blood donor screening and social policies to reduce the risk of infection in intravenous drug users, but remains a worldwide health problem. The objective of this study was to evaluate the phylogenetic relationships among sequences from different HCV genomic regions from sexual partners of infected patients. Nine couples with a stable relationship and without other risk factors for HCV infection and 42 control patients were selected, and the NS3 and NS5B regions were analysed. Phylogenetic analysis showed that viruses from five of the couples had a common origin, clustering in the same monophyletic group, with bootstrap values greater than 70. For the other couples, monophyletic groups were observed, but without bootstrap support. Thus, using two different viral genome regions, a common source of infection was observed in both members of five couples. These data strongly support HCV transmission within couples.; Alves de Queiroz Family Fund for Research; Instituto Adolfo Lutz; Instituto Butantan
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is a significant public health concern with 350 million chronic carriers worldwide. Eight HBV genotypes (A-H) have been described so far. Genotype E (HBV/E) is widely distributed in West Africa and has rarely been found in other continents, except for a few cases in individuals with an African background. In this study, we characterized HBV genotypes in Quibdo, Colombia, by partial S/P gene sequencing, and found, for the first time, HBV/E circulating in nine Afro-Colombian patients who had no recent contact with Africa. The presence of HBV/E in this community as a monophyletic group suggests that it was a result of a recent introduction by some Afro-descendent contact or, alternatively, that the virus came with slaves brought to Colombia. By using sequences with sampling dates, we estimated the substitution rate to be about 3.2x10(-4) substitutions per site per year, which resulted in a time to the most recent common ancestor (TMRCA) of 29 years. In parallel, we also estimated the TMRCA for HBV/E by using two previously estimated substitution rates (7.7x10(-4) and 1.5x10(-5) substitutions per site per year). The TMRCA was around 35 years under the higher rate and 1500 years under the slower rate. In sum...
The genotypes of hepatitis B (HBV) and delta (HDV) viruses circulating among fulminant hepatitis cases from the western Amazon Basin of Brazil were characterized in this study. HBV and HDV isolates were obtained from liver samples from 14 patients who developed fulminant hepatitis and died during 1978-1989. HBV DNA and HDV RNA were detected in all samples. Phylogenetic analyses of HDV sequences showed that they all clustered with previously characterized sequences of HDV genotype 3 (HDV-3). HBV genotypes F, A and D were found in 50.0, 28.6 and 21.4% of cases, respectively. These results confirm the predominance of HDV-3 in South America and its association with the severe form of hepatitis, and the finding of the co-infection of HDV-3 with different genotypes of HBV suggests that the association between HDV-3 and HBV-F is not necessarily causally related to a more severe clinical course of infection.; FAPESP[00/11457-1]; Instituto Evandro Chagas/SVS/MS-INCT/CNPq; Alves de Queiroz Family
Paracoccidioidomycosis is endemic in Latin America, and ca. 80% of all cases occur in Brazil. Little is known about antibody avidity or the evolution of such avidity in the posttherapeutic period for the different clinical presentations of the disease. In the present study, we evaluated 53 patients with paracoccidioidomycosis and calculated the avidity index. Medium-and high-avidity antibodies were found in 79.5% of patients with chronic presentation (n = 39). Among patients with the acute form (n = 14), 57.1% of the antibodies presented low avidity. In the posttherapeutic period, there was a significant increase in antibody avidity in patients presenting with the chronic multifocal form. In our preliminary study, which needs to be confirmed using a larger number of samples, the optimized method for studying antibody avidity detected differences among the clinical presentations of the mycosis and indicated the value of the avidity index as a marker of posttherapeutic evolution of patients with a multifocal chronic form of the disease.; FAPESP Foundation for the Support of Research in the State of Sao Paulo[02/06481-6]; Laboratorio de Investigacao Medica-LIM 48 do Hospital das Clinicas da Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de Sao Paulo (FM-USP)
The molecular prevalence of human parvovirus B19V (B19V) in bone marrow (BM) samples from 120 cases with cytopenias of unknown etiology was compared with that in samples from 45 BM donors (control group 1) and 120 oncohematological patients (control group 2) to determine the role that B19V genotypes may play in unexplained cytopenias. Of the 285 participants, the BM samples of 39 (13.7%) contained B19V DNA (21 with genotype 1, 5 with genotype 2, and 13 with genotype 3). The prevalences of B19V were similar between case and control subjects (15.0% versus 12.7%, respectively). Genotypes 2 and 3 were associated with older age and were detected in similar proportions between case and control group 2 subjects. The results of this study do not support a role for B19V genotype variants in the etiology of unexplained cytopenias.; Blood Systems Research Institute; Fundacao de Amparo a Pesquisa do Estado de Sao Paulo (FAPESP)[06/55708-4]; CNPQ[136625/2008-8]
We isolated 45 Helicobacter pylori strains from 217 child patients. Resistance to clarithromycin, metronidazole, amoxicillin, and tetracycline was detected in 27%, 13%, 4%, and 0% of strains, respectively. The A2143G mutation was the most prevalent (67%) among clarithromycin-resistant strains. In addition, strain genotyping revealed a significant association between gastritis severity and the simultaneous presence of cagA, vacA s1m1, iceA2, and babA2 genes.; CNPq Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Cientifico e Tecnologico; FAPESP Fundacao de Amparo a Pesquisa do Estado de Sao Paulo
Leptospirosis is a worldwide zoonosis caused by pathogenic Leptospira. The whole-genome sequence of Leptospira interrogans serovar Copenhageni together with bioinformatic tools allow us to search for novel antigen candidates suitable for improved vaccines against leptospirosis. This study focused on three genes encoding conserved hypothetical proteins predicted to be exported to the outer membrane. The genes were amplified by PCR from six predominant pathogenic serovars in Brazil. The genes were cloned and expressed in Escherichia coli strain BL21-SI using the expression vector pDEST17. The recombinant proteins tagged with N-terminal 6xHis were purified by metal-charged chromatography. The proteins were recognized by antibodies present in sera from hamsters that were experimentally infected. Immunization of hamsters followed by challenge with a lethal dose of a virulent strain of Leptospira showed that the recombinant protein rLIC12730 afforded statistically significant protection to animals (44 %), followed by rLIC10494 (40 %) and rLIC12922 (30 %). Immunization with these proteins produced an increase in antibody titres during subsequent boosters, suggesting the involvement of a T-helper 2 response. Although more studies are needed...
Many eukaryotic proteins are posttranslationally modified by the esterification of cysteine thiols to long-chain fatty acids. This modification, protein palmitoylation, is catalyzed by a large family of palmitoyl acyltransferases that share an Asp-His-His-Cys Cys-rich domain but differ in their subcellular localizations and substrate specificities. In Trypanosoma brucei, the flagellated protozoan parasite that causes African sleeping sickness, protein palmitoylation has been observed for a few proteins, but the extent and consequences of this modification are largely unknown. We undertook the present study to investigate T. brucei protein palmitoylation at both the enzyme and substrate levels. Treatment of parasites with an inhibitor of total protein palmitoylation caused potent growth inhibition, yet there was no effect on growth by the separate, selective inhibition of each of the 12 individual T. brucei palmitoyl acyltransferases. This suggested either that T. brucei evolved functional redundancy for the palmitoylation of essential palmitoyl proteins or that palmitoylation of some proteins is catalyzed by a noncanonical transferase. To identify the palmitoylated proteins in T. brucei, we performed acyl biotin exchange chemistry on parasite lysates...
Cerebral toxoplasmosis is the most common cerebral mass lesion in AIDS patients in Brazil, and results in high mortality and morbidity, despite free access to HAART (highly active antiretroviral treatment). Molecular diagnosis based on conventional PCR (cnPCR) or real-time quantitative PCR (qrtPCR) has been indispensable for definitive diagnosis. We report here the evaluation of qrtPCR with blood and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples from AIDS patients in Brazil. This prospective study was conducted for 2 years, analysing DNA samples extracted from 149 AIDS patients (98 blood and 51 CSF samples) with confirmed clinical and radiological diagnosis The laboratory diagnosis included cnPCR (with the B22/B23 primer set) and indirect immunofluorescence (IF). For qrtPCR, two primer sets were simultaneously designed based on described genes and using a 6-carboxyfluorescein dye-labelled TaqMan MGB (minor groove binder) probe One was Bug, which amplified a sequence from the B1 gene The other was the RETg, which amplified a PCR product of the 529 bp sequence. The overall cnPCR and qrtPCR results were positive results were observed in 33.6% (50) patients The sensitivities were 98% for cnPCR (B22/B23), and 86 and 98% for qrtPCR (B1Tg and RETg, respectively). Negative reactions were observed in 66 4% patients. The specificities were 97% for cnPCR and qrtPCR (B1Tg). and 88.8% for RETg These data show that RETg PCR is highly sensitive as it amplifies a repeat region with many copies; however...
We measured T-cell responses to human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) cryptic epitopes encoded by regions of the viral genome not normally translated into viral proteins. T-cell responses to cryptic epitopes and to regions normally spliced out of the HIV-1 viral proteins Rev and Tat were detected in HIV-1-infected subjects.; National Institutes of Health (NIH)[AI069994]; National Institutes of Health (NIH)[AI071713]; UCSF Center[AI027763]