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1.  Identification of clinical, epidemiological and laboratory risk factors for leprosy reactions during and after multidrug therapy 
Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz  2013;108(7):901-908.
This cross-sectional retrospective study evaluated 440 leprosy patients; 57% (251/440) had leprosy reactions during and/or after multidrug therapy, 80.5% (202/251) of whom presented with multibacillary leprosy. At diagnosis, positive bacterial index (BI) [odds ratio (OR) = 6.39; 95% confidence interval (CI): 4.1-10.1)] or polymerase chain reaction (PCR) (OR = 9.15; 95% CI: 5.4-15.5) in skin smears, anti-phenolic glycolipid-1 (anti-PGL-1) ELISA (OR = 4.77; 95% CI: 2.9-7.9), leucocytosis (OR = 9.97; 95% CI: 3.9-25.7), thrombocytopenia (OR = 5.72; 95% CI: 2.3-14.0) and elevated lactate dehydrogenase (OR = 2.38; 95% CI: 1.4-4.0) were potential markers for the development of reactions during treatment. After treatment, positive BI (OR = 8.47; 95% CI: 4.7-15.3) and PCR (OR = 6.46; 95% CI: 3.4-12.3) in skin smears, anti-PGL-1 ELISA (OR = 2.25; 95% CI: 1.3-3.9), anaemia (OR = 2.36; 95% CI: 1.2-4.5), leucocytosis (OR = 4.14; 95% CI: 1.5-11.6) and thrombocytopenia (OR = 3.70; 95% CI: 1.3-2.2) were risk factors for the occurrence of reactions during the study period. The identification of groups with an increased risk for developing reactions will allow for the timely development of a treatment plan to prevent nerve damage and, therefore, the appearance of the disabling sequelae associated with the stigma of leprosy.
PMCID: PMC3970646  PMID: 24271045
leprosy; epidemiology; tropical medicine; infectious diseases
2.  A Randomized Clinical Trial of Schinus terebinthifolius Mouthwash to Treat Biofilm-Induced Gingivitis 
Objectives. This study aimed to investigate the efficacy of a Schinus terebinthifolius (ST) mouthwash in reducing gingival inflammation levels (GI) and biofilm accumulation (BA) in children with gingivitis. Methods. This was a randomized, controlled, triple blind, and phase II clinical trial, with children aged 9–13 years (n = 27) presenting with biofilm-induced gingivitis. The sample was randomized into experimental (0.3125% ST, n = 14) and control (0.12% chlorhexidine/CHX, n = 13) groups. Products were masked as regards color, flavor and aroma. Intervention protocol consisted in supervised rinsing of 10 mL/day for 01 minute for 10 days. Gingival bleeding and simplified oral hygiene indexes were used to assess the efficacy variables, measured at baseline and after intervention by calibrated examiners. Data were statistically treated with paired t-test, unpaired t-test, and Wilcoxon and Mann-Whitney tests (α = .05). Results. It was found that both ST and CHX were able to significantly reduce GI levels after 10 days (P < 0.001) and there was no significant difference between them (P > 0.05). CHX was the only product able to significantly reduce BA after 10 days when compared to baseline (P < 0.05). Conclusion. ST mouthwash showed significant anti-inflammatory activity (equivalent to CHX), but it was not able to reduce biofilm accumulation.
PMCID: PMC3703368  PMID: 23843886
3.  Exercise training prevents skeletal muscle damage in an experimental sepsis model 
Clinics  2013;68(1):107-114.
Oxidative stress plays an important role in skeletal muscle damage in sepsis. Aerobic exercise can decrease oxidative stress and enhance antioxidant defenses. Therefore, it was hypothesized that aerobic exercise training before a sepsis stimulus could attenuate skeletal muscle damage by modulating oxidative stress. Thus, the aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of aerobic physical preconditioning on the different mechanisms that are involved in sepsis-induced myopathy.
Male Wistar rats were randomly assigned to either the untrained or trained group. The exercise training protocol consisted of an eight-week treadmill program. After the training protocol, the animals from both groups were randomly assigned to either a sham group or a cecal ligation and perforation surgery group. Thus, the groups were as follows: sham, cecal ligation and perforation, sham trained, and cecal ligation and perforation trained. Five days after surgery, the animals were euthanized and their soleus and plantaris muscles were harvested. Fiber cross-sectional area, creatine kinase, thiobarbituric acid reactive species, carbonyl, catalase and superoxide dismutase activities were measured.
The fiber cross-sectional area was smaller, and the creatine kinase, thiobarbituric acid reactive species and carbonyl levels were higher in both muscles in the cecal ligation and perforation group than in the sham and cecal ligation and perforation trained groups. The muscle superoxide dismutase activity was higher in the cecal ligation and perforation trained group than in the sham and cecal ligation and perforation groups. The muscle catalase activity was lower in the cecal ligation and perforation group than in the sham group.
In summary, aerobic physical preconditioning prevents atrophy, lipid peroxidation and protein oxidation and improves superoxide dismutase activity in the skeletal muscles of septic rats.
PMCID: PMC3552448  PMID: 23420166
CLP; Skeletal Muscle; Myopathy; Oxidative Stress; Antioxidant Enzymes; Aerobic Exercise
6.  Acanthamoeba culbertsoni Elicits Soluble Factors That Exert Anti-Microglial Cell Activity▿  
Infection and Immunity  2010;78(9):4001-4011.
Acanthamoeba culbertsoni is an opportunistic pathogen that causes granulomatous amoebic encephalitis (GAE), a chronic and often fatal disease of the central nervous system (CNS). A hallmark of GAE is the formation of granulomas around the amoebae. These cellular aggregates consist of microglia, macrophages, lymphocytes, and neutrophils, which produce a myriad of proinflammatory soluble factors. In the present study, it is demonstrated that A. culbertsoni secretes serine peptidases that degrade chemokines and cytokines produced by a mouse microglial cell line (BV-2 cells). Furthermore, soluble factors present in cocultures of A. culbertsoni and BV-2 cells, as well as in cocultures of A. culbertsoni and primary neonatal rat cerebral cortex microglia, induced apoptosis of these macrophage-like cells. Collectively, the results indicate that A. culbertsoni can apply a multiplicity of cell contact-independent modes to target macrophage-like cells that exert antiamoeba activities in the CNS.
PMCID: PMC2937456  PMID: 20605979

Results 1-6 (6)