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1.  Completeness of tuberculosis reporting forms in five Brazilian capitals with a high incidence of the disease *  
The aim of this study was to evaluate the completeness of tuberculosis reporting forms in the greater metropolitan areas of five Brazilian capitals where the incidence of tuberculosis was high in 2010-Salvador, Rio de Janeiro, Cuiabá, Porto Alegre, and Belém-using tabulations obtained from the Sistema Nacional de Informação de Agravos de Notificação (National Case Registry Database). The degree of completeness was highest in Porto Alegre and Cuiabá, whereas it was lowest in Rio de Janeiro, where there are more reported cases of tuberculosis than in any other Brazilian capital. A low degree of completeness of these forms can affect the quality of the Brazilian National Tuberculosis Control Program, which will have negative consequences for health care and decision-making processes.
doi:10.1590/S1806-37132013000200014
PMCID: PMC4075824  PMID: 23670508
Tuberculosis; Public health surveillance; Disease notification
2.  An Evaluation of the Spontaneous Proliferation of Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells in HTLV-1-Infected Individuals Using Flow Cytometry 
ISRN Oncology  2011;2011:326719.
The spontaneous proliferation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) is a hallmark of the human T-lymphotropic virus (HTLV) type-1. Cell proliferation is usually measured using a [3H]thymidine incorporation assay. This study aims to quantify the spontaneous proliferation of PBMCs using flow cytometry. PBMCs were cultured for 24 to 120 hours in the presence of 5,6-carboxyfluorescein diacetate succinimidyl ester (CFSE). For comparison, PBMCs were also cultured with [3H]thymidine. The cutoff values for spontaneous proliferation were >0.06 for the division index and >5.8% for the percentage of divided cells. Sixty-two percent of HTLV-1-infected individuals presented spontaneous proliferation of PBMCs, which was detected in the first 24 hours. Moreover, proliferation was detected in CD4+ and CD8+ T-lymphocyte subsets. A positive correlation was found between the division index and [3H]thymidine incorporation. This method may prove useful to better understand the phenomenon of spontaneous proliferation of PBMC of patients infected with HTLV-1.
doi:10.5402/2011/326719
PMCID: PMC3236430  PMID: 22191057
3.  Immune response to Leishmania antigens in an AIDS patient with mucocutaneous leishmaniasis as a manifestation of immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome (IRIS): a case report 
Background
After the onset of HAART, some HIV-infected individuals under treatment present a exacerbated inflammation in response to a latent or a previously treated opportunistic pathogen termed immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome (IRIS). Few reports of tegumentary leishmaniasis have been described in association with IRIS. Moreover, the immunopathogenesis of IRIS in association with Leishmania is unclear.
Case presentation
The present study reports on a 29-year-old HIV-infected individual who developed mucocutaneous leishmaniasis associated with immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome (IRIS) five months following highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). Severe lesions resulted in the partial destruction of the nasal septum, with improvement observed 15 days after treatment with Amphotericin B and corticosteroids. The immune response of this patient was evaluated before and after the lesions healed. IRIS was diagnosed in association with high levels of TNF-α and IL-6. Decreased production of IFN-γ and a low IFN-γ/IL-10 ratio were also observed in response to Leishmania antigens. After receiving anti-leishmanial treatment, the individual’s specific Th1 immune response was restored.
Conclusion
The results suggest that the production of inflammatory cytokines by unstimulated T-lymphocytes could contribute to occurrence of leishmaniasis associated with IRIS.
doi:10.1186/s12879-015-0774-6
PMCID: PMC4323250  PMID: 25645330
HIV; Leishmania; IRIS; Cytokines; Immune response
4.  Mycobacterium tuberculosis epitope-specific interferon-g production in healthy Brazilians reactive and non-reactive to tuberculin skin test 
Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz  2014;109(8):999-1004.
The interferon (IFN)-γ response to peptides can be a useful diagnostic marker of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) latent infection. We identified promiscuous and potentially protective CD4+ T-cell epitopes from the most conserved regions of MTB antigenic proteins by scanning the MTB antigenic proteins GroEL2, phosphate-binding protein 1 precursor and 19 kDa antigen with the TEPITOPE algorithm. Seven peptide sequences predicted to bind to multiple human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-DR molecules were synthesised and tested with IFN-γ enzyme-linked immunospot (ELISPOT) assays using peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from 16 Mantoux tuberculin skin test (TST)-positive and 16 TST-negative healthy donors. Eighty-eight percent of TST-positive donors responded to at least one of the peptides, compared to 25% of TST-negative donors. Each individual peptide induced IFN-γ production by PBMCs from at least 31% of the TST-positive donors. The magnitude of the response against all peptides was 182 ± 230 x 106 IFN-γ spot forming cells (SFC) among TST-positive donors and 36 ± 62 x 106 SFC among TST-negative donors (p = 0.007). The response to GroEL2 (463-477) was only observed in the TST-positive group. This combination of novel MTB CD4 T-cell epitopes should be tested in a larger cohort of individuals with latent tuberculosis (TB) to evaluate its potential to diagnose latent TB and it may be included in ELISPOT-based IFN-γ assays to identify individuals with this condition.
doi:10.1590/0074-0276140193
PMCID: PMC4325617  PMID: 25494469
Mycobacterium tuberculosis; epitopes; IFN-γ ELISPOT; latent tuberculosis; Mantoux tuberculin skin test
5.  Human T lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) proviral load induces activation of T-lymphocytes in asymptomatic carriers 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2014;14(1):453.
Background
High HTLV-1 proviral load (PVL) is mainly found in infected individuals with HTLV-1-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP). However one third of asymptomatic carriers may have high PVL.
This study aimed to evaluate the impact of PVL in the activation of T lymphocytes of asymptomatic individuals infected with HTLV-1.
Methods
Membrane activation markers (CD25+, CD28+, CD45RO+, CD69+, CD62L+, HLA-DR+), FoxP3+ and intracellular IFN-γ expression were evaluated on both CD4+ and CD8+ T-lymphocytes from asymptomatic carriers with PVL ≥ and < 1% of infected cells, using flow cytometry. HTLV-1 proviral load was determined using real-time PCR.
Results
Asymptomatic carriers with PVL ≥ 1% presented a higher frequency of CD4+CD25+CD45RO+ (13.2% vs. 4%, p = 0.02), CD4+HLA-DR+ (18% vs. 8.3%, p = 0.01) and CD4+IFN-γ+ (4.5%; 1%, p = 0.01) T-cells, than healthy donors. HTLV-1 PVL was directly correlated with the proportion of CD4+CD25+CD45RO+ T-cells (R = 0.7, p = 0.003). Moreover, a significant increase in the proportion of CD4 + FoxP3+ T-cells was observed in HTLV-1-infected individuals, compared to healthy donors.
Conclusion
HTLV-1 PVL is associated with activation of both CD4+ and CD8+ T-lymphocytes in asymptomatic individuals. Prospective studies should be conducted to evaluate whether asymptomatic individuals with higher PVL and high immune activation are more prone to developing HTLV-1-associated diseases.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-14-453
PMCID: PMC4148537  PMID: 25148903
HTLV-1; Proviral load; Asymptomatic; Activation
6.  Decreased memory T-cell response and function in human immunodeficiency virus-infected patients with tegumentary leishmaniasis 
The effects of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) on the immune response in patients with cutaneous leishmaniasis have not yet been fully delineated. This study quantified and evaluated the function of memory T-cell subsets in response to soluble Leishmania antigens (SLA) from patients coinfected with HIV and Leishmania with tegumentary leishmaniasis (TL). Eight TL/HIV coinfected subjects and 10 HIV seronegative subjects with TL were evaluated. The proliferative response of CD4+ and CD8+ T-cells and naïve, central memory (CM) and effector memory (EM) CD4+ T-cells in response to SLA were quantified using flow cytometry. The median cell division indices for CD4+ and CD8+ T-cells of coinfected patients in response to SLA were significantly lower than those in patients with Leishmania monoinfection (p < 0.05). The proportions of CM and EM CD4+ T-cells in response to SLA were similar between the coinfected patients and patients with Leishmania monoinfection. However, the median CM and EM CD4+ T-cell counts from coinfected patients were significantly lower (p < 0.05). The reduction in the lymphoproliferative response to Leishmania antigens coincides with the decrease in the absolute numbers of both EM and CM CD4+ T-cells in response to Leishmania antigens in patients coinfected with HIV/Leishmania.
doi:10.1590/0074-0276130174
PMCID: PMC3975712  PMID: 24141962
Leishmania; HIV; coinfection; memory CD4+ T-cells
7.  Decreased memory T-cell response and function in human immunodeficiency virus-infected patients with tegumentary leishmaniasis 
The effects of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) on the immune response in patients with cutaneous leishmaniasis have not yet been fully delineated. This study quantified and evaluated the function of memory T-cell subsets in response to soluble Leishmania antigens (SLA) from patients coinfected with HIV and Leishmania with tegumentary leishmaniasis (TL). Eight TL/HIV coinfected subjects and 10 HIV seronegative subjects with TL were evaluated. The proliferative response of CD4+and CD8+T-cells and naïve, central memory (CM) and effector memory (EM) CD4+T-cells in response to SLA were quantified using flow cytometry. The median cell division indices for CD4+and CD8+T-cells of coinfected patients in response to SLA were significantly lower than those in patients with Leishmania monoinfection (p < 0.05). The proportions of CM and EM CD4+T-cells in response to SLA were similar between the coinfected patients and patients with Leishmania monoinfection. However, the median CM and EM CD4+T-cell counts from coinfected patients were significantly lower (p < 0.05). The reduction in the lymphoproliferative response to Leishmania antigens coincides with the decrease in the absolute numbers of both EM and CM CD4+T-cells in response to Leishmania antigens in patients coinfected with HIV/Leishmania.
doi:10.1590/0074-0276130174
PMCID: PMC3975712  PMID: 24141962
Leishmania; HIV; coinfection; memory CD4+ T-cells
11.  Prevalence and Risk Factors for Bacterial Vaginosis and Other Vulvovaginitis in a Population of Sexually Active Adolescents from Salvador, Bahia, Brazil 
Bacterial vaginosis, trichomoniasis, and genital candidiasis are considered the main etiologies of vulvovaginitis. Few studies estimate the prevalence of vulvovaginitis among adolescents, especially in Brazil. This study aimed to determine the prevalence and main risk factors associated with bacterial vaginosis and genital infection by C. albicans and Trichomonas vaginalis among a group of adolescents from Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. One hundred sexually active adolescents followed at an adolescent gynecology clinic were included. Endocervical and vaginal samples were obtained during gynecological examination. Nugent criteria were applied for the diagnosis of bacterial vaginosis. For Candida albicans and Trichomonas vaginalis detection, culture in Sabouraud agar plates and Papanicolaou cytology were used, respectively. The mean age of participants was 16.6 ± 1.6 years. The prevalence of bacterial vaginosis was 20% (95% CI 12–28) and of genital infection by Candida was 22% (95% CI 14–30). Vaginal cytology detected Trichomonas vaginalis in one patient. Alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drug use (P = 0.02) and multiple lifetime partners were statistically related to bacterial vaginosis (P = 0.01). The prevalence of bacterial vaginosis and genital candidiasis was similar to other studies carried out among adolescents worldwide.
doi:10.1155/2012/378640
PMCID: PMC3485513  PMID: 23133306
12.  Th1/Th2 Cytokine Profile in Patients Coinfected with HIV and Leishmania in Brazil▿† 
Clinical and Vaccine Immunology : CVI  2011;18(10):1765-1769.
To evaluate the effects of HIV on immune responses in cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL), we quantified cytokine levels from plasma and stimulated peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from individuals infected with HIV and/or CL. Gamma interferon (IFN-γ) and interleukin 13 (IL-13) levels and the ratio of IFN-γ to IL-10 produced in response to stimulation with soluble Leishmania antigens were significantly lower in HIV-Leishmania-coinfected patients than in CL-monoinfected patients.
doi:10.1128/CVI.00076-11
PMCID: PMC3187026  PMID: 21832098
13.  Clinical Outcomes of Thirteen Patients with Acute Chagas Disease Acquired through Oral Transmission from Two Urban Outbreaks in Northeastern Brazil 
Background
Outbreaks of orally transmitted Trypanosoma cruzi continue to be reported in Brazil and are associated with a high mortality rate, mainly due to myocarditis.
Methods
This study is a detailed report on the disease progression of acute Chagas disease in 13 patients who were infected during two micro-outbreaks in two northeastern Brazilian towns. Clinical outcomes as well as EKG and ECHO results are described, both before and after benznidazole treatment.
Results
Fever and dyspnea were the most frequent symptoms observed. Other clinical findings included myalgia, periorbital edema, headache and systolic murmur. Two patients died of cardiac failure before receiving benznidazole treatment. EKG and ECHO findings frequently showed a disturbance in ventricular repolarization and pericardial effusion. Ventricular dysfunction (ejection fraction <55%) was present in 27.3% of patients. After treatment, EKG readings normalized in 91.7% of patients. Ventricular repolarization abnormalities persisted in 50% of the patients, while sinus bradycardia was observed in 18%. The systolic ejection fraction normalized in two out of three patients with initially depressed ventricular function, while pericardial effusion disappeared.
Conclusions
Myocarditis is frequently found and potentially severe in patients with acute Chagas disease. Benznidazole treatment may improve clinical symptoms, as well as EKG and ECHO findings.
Author Summary
Chagas disease is caused by a parasitic protozoan transmitted to humans by the contaminated feces of blood-feeding assassin bugs from the Triatominae subfamily. It may also be transmitted from mother to baby during pregnancy, by breastfeeding, blood transfusion or organ transplant. In rare cases, the disease can also be caused by accidental ingestion of contaminated food (sugar cane or açaí juice, drinking water, etc.). Acute Chagas disease often presents itself as a mononucleosis-like syndrome, with symptoms including fever, lymph node enlargement and muscle pain. The mortality rate of acute Chagas disease is high, mainly due to heart failure as a consequence of cardiac fiber lesions. There are few studies describing clinical outcomes and the disease progression of patients who receive therapeutic treatment, especially with regard to cardiac exam findings. In this report, the authors describe clinical findings from two micro-outbreaks occurring in impoverished towns in northeastern Brazil. Prior to receiving treatment, patient mortality rate was 28.6% in one of the outbreaks, and one pregnant woman experienced a spontaneous abortion due to the disease in the other outbreak. Most patients complained of fever, dyspnea, myalgia and periorbital edema. After receiving a two-month course of treatment, clinical symptoms improved and the number of abnormalities in cardiac exams decreased.
doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0000711
PMCID: PMC2886048  PMID: 20559542

Results 1-13 (13)