et al.

Date: 
05/10/2017
Investigation Line: 

Abstract

Leishmania (Viannia) braziliensis is the species most frequently implicated with cutaneous and mucosal leishmaniasis in the Americas; its diagnosis is based on the identification of amastigotes in lesions, which is limited by low parasite burden. Leishmanin Skin Test (LST) is a support tool for diagnosis, based on delayed type hypersensitivity responses to Leishmania antigens injected intradermally, used in endemic areas as a complement to diagnosis. A retrospective analysis of individuals evaluated for their first episode of tegumentary leishmaniasis at a reference center in Argentina during the period 2006–2015 was performed, with the goal of assessing its usefulness as a support tool in the diagnosis of leishmaniasis. Demographic, clinical and diagnostic work-up were analyzed in individuals with clinically compatible lesions, lesion`s smear and LST. A total of 733 cases that met the case definition were included in the analysis; 678 (93%) localized cutaneous cases, 50 (7%) with mucosal involvement and 5 (<1%) disseminated. Diagnostic confirmation was reached in 474 (65%) cases through positive smears from skin or mucosal lesions, with only 6 cases among this group having negative LST. Among smear negative cases, 190 were negative also by LST, but in 69 instances LST was positive. Across age groups, similar ratios of sensitivity between smear and LST were calculated. Lesions older than 21 days-old were found to correlate with positive results both for smear and LST significantly more than younger lesions. These findings support the clinical use of LST as a diagnostic complement for American Cutaneous Leishmaniasis across all age groups even in endemic areas. In this analysis, the correlation with smear was high. Standardization of this technique and further research into its most adequate preparation and utilization protocols across different sites will help in the management of suspicious clinical cases.

Date: 
09/10/2017
Investigation Line: 

Abstract

Background

Recommendations for soil-transmitted helminth (STH) control give a key role to deworming of school and pre-school age children with albendazole or mebendazole; which might be insufficient to achieve adequate control, particularly against Strongyloides stercoralis. The impact of preventive chemotherapy (PC) against STH morbidity is still incompletely understood. The aim of this study was to assess the effectiveness of a community-based program with albendazole and ivermectin in a high transmission setting for S. stercoralis and hookworm.

Methodology

Community-based pragmatic trial conducted in Tartagal, Argentina; from 2012 to 2015. Six communities (5070 people) were enrolled for community-based PC with albendazole and ivermectin. Two communities (2721 people) were re-treated for second and third rounds. STH prevalence, anemia and malnutrition were explored through consecutive surveys. Anthropometric assessment of children, stool analysis, complete blood count and NIE-ELISA serology for S. stercoralis were performed.

Principal findings

STH infection was associated with anemia and stunting in the baseline survey that included all communities and showed a STH prevalence of 47.6% (almost exclusively hookworm and S. stercoralis). Among communities with multiple interventions, STH prevalence decreased from 62% to 23% (p<0.001) after the first PC; anemia also diminished from 52% to 12% (p<0.001). After two interventions S. stercoralis seroprevalence declined, from 51% to 14% (p<0.001) and stunting prevalence decreased, from 19% to 12% (p = 0.009).

Conclusions

Hookworm’ infections are associated with anemia in the general population and nutritional impairment in children. S. stercoralis is also associated with anemia. Community-based deworming with albendazole and ivermectin is effective for the reduction of STH prevalence and morbidity in communities with high prevalence of hookworm and S. stercoralis.

Date: 
01/01/2016
Investigation Line: 

Abstract

Background. Endemic areas of tegumentary leishmaniasis (TL) in Salta, Argentina, present some overlap zones with the geographical distribution of Chagas disease, with mixed infection cases being often detected. Objectives. The purpose of this study was to determine the magnitude of Leishmania sp. infection and potential associated risk factors, the serologic prevalence of T. cruzi, and the presence of T. cruzi-Leishmania sp. mixed infection in a region of the northwest of Argentina. Methods. Cross-sectional studies were conducted to detect TL prevalence and T. cruzi seroprevalence. A case-control study was conducted to examine leishmaniasis risk factors. Results. Prevalence of TL was 0.17%, seroprevalence of T. cruzi infection was 9.73%, and mixed infection proportion-within the leishmaniasic patients group-was 16.67%. The risk factors associated with TL transmission were sex, age, exposure to bites at work, staying outdoors more than 10 hours/day, bathing in the river, and living with people who had lesions or were infected during the study. Discussion. The endemic pattern of TL seems to involve exposure of patients to vectors in wild as well as peridomestic environment. Cases of T. cruzi infection are apparently due to migration. Therefore, a careful epidemiological surveillance is necessary due to the contraindication of antimonial administration to chagasic patients.

Date: 
01/09/2016
Investigation Line: 

Abstract

In regions where Chagas disease is endemic, canine Trypanosoma cruzi infection is highly correlated with the risk of transmission of the parasite to humans. Herein we evaluated the novel TcTASV protein family (subfamilies A, B, C), differentially expressed in bloodstream trypomastigotes, for the detection of naturally infected dogs. A gene of each TcTASV subfamily was cloned and expressed. Indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) were developed using recombinant antigens individually or mixed together. Our results showed that dogs with active T. cruzi infection differentially reacted against the TcTASV-C subfamily. The use of both TcTASV-C plus TcTASV-A proteins (Mix A+C-ELISA) enhanced the reactivity of sera from dogs with active infection, detecting 94% of the evaluated samples. These findings agree with our previous observations, where the infected animals exhibited a quick anti-TcTASV-C antibody response, coincident with the beginning of parasitaemia, in a murine model of the disease. Results obtained in the present work prove that the Mix A+C-ELISA is a specific, simple and cheap technique to be applied in endemic areas in screening studies. The Mix A+C-ELISA could help to differentially detect canine hosts with active infection and therefore with high impact in the risk of transmission to humans.

Author: 
Date: 
01/06/2016
Investigation Line: 

Abstract

After more than eighty years dengue reemerged in Argentina in 1997. Since then, the largest epidemic in terms of geographical extent, magnitude and mortality, was recorded in 2009. In this report we analyzed the DEN-1 epidemic spread in Orán, a mid-size city in a non-endemic tropical area in Northern Argentina, and its correlation with demographic and socioeconomic factors. Cases were diagnosed by ELISA between January and June 2009. We applied a space-time and spatial scan statistic under a Poisson model. Possible association between dengue incidence and socio-economic variables was studied with the Spearman correlation test. The epidemic started from an imported case from Bolivia and space-time analysis detected two clusters: one on February and other in April (in the south and the northeast of the city respectively) with risk ratios of 25.24 and 4.07 (p<0.01). Subsequent cases spread widely around the city without significant space-temporal clustering. Maximum values of the entomological indices were observed in January, at the beginning of the epidemic (B=21.96; LH=8.39). No statistically significant association between socioeconomic variables and dengue incidence was found but positive correlation between population size and the number of cases (p<0.05) was detected. Two mechanisms may explain the observed pattern of epidemic spread in this non-endemic tropical city: a) Short range dispersal of mosquitoes and people generates clusters of cases and b) long-distance (within the city) human movement contributes to a quasi-random distribution of cases.

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