Date: 
01/01/2006
Investigation Line: 

Abstract

Anti-native DNA antibodies can be detected by indirect immunofluorescence assay with Crithidia luciliae, displaying an annular image due to a kinetoplast containing double stranded DNA. Other structures such as membrane, flagellum and basal corpuscle can be stained as well, showing what is called atypical fluorescent images. As C. luciliae belongs to the Trypanosomatidae family, which include the human pathogens Trypanosoma cruzi and Leishmania spp., it was considered that these atypical images could be caused by cross-reactions. Serological studies for Chagas' disease were performed in 105 serum samples displaying atypical images. Sixty four percent of the samples from non endemic and 78.3% from endemic areas for Chagas' disease showed fluorescence in both, membrane and flagellum (joint image). Fifty samples from normal blood donors and 57 samples from patients with conective tissue diseases were tested with C. luciliae. None of them presented the joint image except for two patients with lupus who were also chagasic. In addition, 54 samples from chagasic patients were studied and all of them presented the joint image. We also studied 46 samples from patients with leishmaniasis from whom 28 were coinfected with T. cruzi. The joint image was observed in 88.0% of the samples with leishmaniasis and in 89.3% of the co-infected samples. The results suggest that C. luciliae could be used as an economical, and of low risk, alternative substrate for the serological diagnosis of Chagas' disease, even though it does not discriminate for Leishmania spp. infection. This study also suggests that whenever atypical images are observed in C. luciliae during the search for anti-DNA antibodies, it would be convenient to submit the patient to clinical and serological tests for the diagnosis of leishmaniosis and Chagas' disease.

Date: 
01/05/2005
Investigation Line: 

Abstract

Sixteen Leishmania stocks, 15 isolated from patients with cutaneous (CL), mucocutaneous (MCL), or recurrent cutaneous leishmaniasis, plus one from a dog with CL in Salta and Corrientes Provinces, Argentina, were studied by multilocus enzyme electrophoresis. Thirteen of the stocks from humans were grouped in two zymodemes; nine termed as KMS 1, four as KMS 2, and assigned to Leishmania (Viannia) braziliensis. Two additional stocks from CL cases expressed a KMS 4 enzyme profile, corresponding to L. (V.) guyanensis. Although the parasites from the dog were also assigned to L. (V.) braziliensis, its zymodeme, KMS 3, was not expressed in any of the current human isolates. The characterization of Leishmania from a dog was done for the first time in Argentina. The importance of the intraspecific polymorphism in the induction of clinical forms and in the host-reservoir concept is briefly discussed, based on the zymodeme data of isolates from humans and dogs. The presence of L. (V.) guyanensis was confirmed in the country.

Date: 
01/11/2004
Investigation Line: 

Abstract

We studied the seroprevalence of antibodies against Trypanosoma cruzi in the human population along with domiciliary infestation by triatomine bugs in an area endemic for Chagas disease in the Chaco Province of Argentina. In addition, we carried out parasitologic surveys in patients, dogs, wild mammals, and vectors. The mean seroprevalence in humans was 27.81% (109 of 392) and 24.14% (63 of 261) in 1-15-year-old children. The minimum domiciliary infestation rate was 13.33%, with certain areas reaching 53.85%. The prevalence was 15.09% (16 of 106) in dogs and 35.71% (10 of 28) in opossums. Infection with T. cruzi was detected in 30.10% (59 of 196) of the Triatoma infestans tested. Compared with nationwide studies, our data suggest that 1) there are zones requiring immediate sanitary action, and 2) nationwide estimates are based on very heterogeneous epidemiologic situations. This heterogeneity emphasizes the importance of in-depth studies of restricted areas to provide additional information for a better understanding of the present status of Chagas disease in Argentina.

Date: 
01/01/2004
Investigation Line: 

Abstract

Migration of HIV infected individuals from cities to small towns and rural areas spreads AIDS among non urban population, superimposing HIV with other endemic or epidemic infections as parasitoses. This situation is a big challenge to public health because in most cases the association between these infections worsens both prognoses. We present here the first case in Argentina of AIDS associated to a mucocutaneous form of American tegumentary leishmaniasis. The patient was from Orán, an area where in the middle eighties, an epidemic outbreak took place. By now more than 2000 cases have been parasitologically confirmed in our Institute and the causing species were identified as Leishmania (V.) braziliensis and L. (L.) amasonensis. Considering the existence of co-infection of HIV and Leishmania, it is recommended that in patients from endemic areas with records of cutaneous or mucocutaneous ulcers, even healed, leishmaniasis must be investigated, among other diseases.

Date: 
15/09/2003
Investigation Line: 

Abstract

A set of 65 Trypanosoma cruzi stocks from dogs, opossums, insect vectors and humans was isolated in a geographically restricted endemic area for Chagas' disease in Argentina and was analysed by multilocus enzyme electrophoresis for 15 loci. The results show that at least five multilocus genotypes (clonets) circulate in the study area, one belonging to T. cruzi IIe, one to T. cruzi IId and three clonets belonging to T. cruzi I; and they confirm the presence of these lineages in the country. The three clonets attributed to T. cruzi I were identical to each other for all loci except for Sod-2, where three different patterns were identified. These patterns suggest the presence of two homozygous genotypes and one heterozygous genotype. Our results also suggest association of clonet IIe with dogs, clonet IId with humans and the three T. cruzi I clonets with Didelphis albiventris. On the other hand, there was no significant association between Triatoma infestans and any particular clonet circulating in the area. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis of natural selection, from mixed populations of T. cruzi in vectors, toward more restricted populations in mammals. The epidemiological implications of the possible selection of different clonets by different mammal hosts and the significance of two homozygous genotypes and one heterozygous genotype for the Sod-2 locus are discussed.

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