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1.  Highly Virulent Leptospira borgpetersenii Strain Characterized in the Hamster Model 
A recent study by our group reported the isolation and partial serological and molecular characterization of four Leptospira borgpetersenii serogroup Ballum strains. Here, we reproduced experimental leptospirosis in golden Syrian hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus) and carried out standardization of lethal dose 50% (LD50) of one of these strains (4E). Clinical disease features and histopathologic analyses of tissue lesions were also observed. As results, strain 4E induced lethality in the hamster model with inocula lower than 10 leptospires, and histopathological examination of animals showed typical lesions found in severe leptospirosis. Gross pathological findings were peculiar; animals that died early had more chance of presenting severe jaundice and less chance of presenting pulmonary hemorrhages (P < 0.01). L. borgpetersenii serogroup Ballum has had a considerable growth in human leptospirosis cases in recent years. This strain has now been thoroughly characterized and can be used in more studies, especially evaluations of vaccine candidates.
doi:10.4269/ajtmh.2011.11-0013
PMCID: PMC3144824  PMID: 21813846
2.  Preliminary Characterization of Mus musculus–Derived Pathogenic Strains of Leptospira borgpetersenii Serogroup Ballum in a Hamster Model 
Human and animal leptospirosis caused by Leptospira spp. belonging to serogroup Ballum has increased worldwide in the past decade. We report the isolation and serologic and molecular characterization of four L. borgpetersenii serogroup Ballum isolates obtained from Mus musculus, and preliminary virulence studies. These isolates are useful for diagnosis of leptospirosis and for epidemiologic studies of its virulence and pathogenic mechanisms.
doi:10.4269/ajtmh.2010.10-0120
PMCID: PMC2911180  PMID: 20682877
3.  Green turtles (Chelonia mydas) foraging at Arvoredo Island in Southern Brazil: Genetic characterization and mixed stock analysis through mtDNA control region haplotypes 
Genetics and Molecular Biology  2009;32(3):613-618.
We analyzed mtDNA control region sequences of green turtles (Chelonia mydas) from Arvoredo Island, a foraging ground in southern Brazil, and identified eight haplotypes. Of these, CM-A8 (64%) and CM-A5 (22%) were dominant, the remainder presenting low frequencies (< 5%). Haplotype (h) and nucleotide (π) diversities were 0.5570 ± 0.0697 and 0.0021 ± 0.0016, respectively. Exact tests of differentiation and AMOVA ΦST pairwise values between the study area and eight other Atlantic foraging grounds revealed significant differences in most areas, except Ubatuba and Rocas/Noronha, in Brazil (p > 0.05). Mixed Stock Analysis, incorporating eleven Atlantic and one Mediterranean rookery as possible sources of individuals, indicated Ascension and Aves islands as the main contributing stocks to the Arvoredo aggregation (68.01% and 22.96%, respectively). These results demonstrate the extensive relationships between Arvoredo Island and other Atlantic foraging and breeding areas. Such an understanding provides a framework for establishing adequate management and conservation strategies for this endangered species.
doi:10.1590/S1415-47572009000300027
PMCID: PMC3036036  PMID: 21637527
foraging grounds; genetic diversity; green turtle; mtDNA haplotypes; natal origins
4.  Global Distribution of Mycobacterium tuberculosis Spoligotypes 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2002;8(11):1347-1349.
We present a short summary of recent observations on the global distribution of the major clades of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex, the causative agent of tuberculosis. This global distribution was defined by data-mining of an international spoligotyping database, SpolDB3. This database contains 11,708 patterns from as many clinical isolates originating from more than 90 countries. The 11,708 spoligotypes were clustered into 813 shared types. A total of 1,300 orphan patterns (clinical isolates showing a unique spoligotype) were also detected.
doi:10.3201/eid0811.020125
PMCID: PMC2738532  PMID: 12453368
Mycobacterium tuberculosis; spoligotyping

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