Date: 
01/09/2003
Investigation Line: 

Abstract

In a study, carried out in 2000, of the clinical and parasitological status of a Wichi Aboriginal community living in the suburbs of Tartagal, northern Salta, Argentina, 154 individuals were screened for parasitic infections. Ninety-five faecal samples were also obtained from the same population. Ninety-three percent of the subjects were positive for 1 or more of the parasites investigated by direct test and 70.5% of them had parasitic superinfection. The most frequent helminths were Strongyloides stercoralis (50.5%) and hookworm (47.4%). We found low reinfection rates and a long reinfection period after treatment and provision of safe water and sanitation. Serum reactivity of these patients was analysed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and indirect immunofluorescent assay and 22.1% of them had anti-Toxocara antibodies, 16.2% were positive for a complex antigen of Leishmania braziliensis, 29.9% were positive for a complex Trypanosoma cruzi antigen, and 17.5% were positive for a specific Trypanosoma cruzi antigen, Ag 163B6/cruzipain.

Date: 
01/01/2003
Investigation Line: 

Abstract

The aims of this study were to characterize human American tegumentary leishmaniasis, which includes cutaneous, mucocutaneous and mucosal leishmaniasis, in Northwest Argentina, to determine the prevalence of double infection with Trypanosoma cruzi and to identify the species of Leishmania in this area. Most of the 330 leishmaniasis patients presented cutaneous ulcers (96.1%), 2.4% mucocutaneous and 1.5% the mucosal form ('espundia'). The aetiological agents, determined by isoenzyme electrophoresis, were identified as Leishmania (Viannia) braziliensis in 16 out of 20 isolates and in the remaining 4 as Leishmania (Leishimania) amazonensis, the first ever-documented in Argentina. Sera analysed by ELISA and IFA using complex antigen from both T. cruzi and L. braziliensis showed a very high percentage of positives (66.3-78.2%). When antigens for specific diagnosis of Chagas' disease were used, 40.9% of the leishmaniasis patients were also found to be infected by T. cruzi. These results indicate that the strong immune response against T. cruzi gave no protection to Leishmania, in spite of the serological cross-reaction between these parasites. In addition, we showed that more than 40% of the patients would be misdiagnosed as chagasic if complex antigens, as epimastigotes or soluble fraction from epimastigotes, were used in IFA or ELISA. This is of paramount importance not only because patients' treatment would be associated to misdiagnosis but the fact that in many countries in Central and South America, a positive test for Chagas' disease means a rejection for those seeking employment.

Date: 
01/07/2000
Investigation Line: 

Abstract

The objective of the present study is to describe two cases of dogs with mucocutaneous lesions caused by Leishmania spp. Both dogs presented destruction of the nasal septum, hyperemia with soft palate edema and barking alteration due to laryngeal compromise. Biopsies were taken from the lesion border and Leishmania spp. amastigotes were seen in the imprints. The dogs presented positive serology when complex soluble antigen from Leishmania mexicana was used. One of the dogs was also suspected to be infected by Trypanosoma cruzi as suggested by its positive reaction with a purified specific antigen, Ag163B6-cruzipain. Most of the studies concerning leishmaniosis in dogs have described the cutaneous form of this disease in close association with human cases of Leishmania infection instead of the mucocutaneous form described herein. The presence of dogs with mucocutaneous leishmaniosis alerts on an increase of the prevalence of this form in humans, which can cause deforming lesions, alterations of the speech and even an inadequate nutrition due to difficulties in deglutition.

Date: 
01/01/2000
Investigation Line: 

Abstract

Toxocara canis and Ancylostoma spp. are geohelmints that parasites dogs and can eventually affect humans, mainly children, causing visceral and cutaneous larva migrans respectively, constituting a serious public health problem. This study was carried out in two towns located in the xerophilous forest Chaco salteño where humans live closely with many animals, including dogs. Hematological values and anti-Toxocara canis antibodies, determined by ELISA in serum, were evaluated in 98 children from this area. Thirty-six children presented with eosinophilia of 10% or higher in peripheral blood. Twenty out of 98 (20.4%) children had antibodies against antigen from L2 larvae of Toxocara canis. A high percentage (55.6%) of the children with eosinophilia presented anti-Toxocara canis antibodies. Nine children had multiple serpiginous lesions typical of cutaneous larva migrans. Feces from dogs were collected in the area where children lived, in order to search for parasite contamination. Three different techniques of stool examination were employed and eggs were counted. Out of the 106 feces examined, parasites were found in 82 samples (77.4%). Ancylostoma spp eggs were found in 74 (69.8%) samples and eggs from Toxocara canis were found in 19 (17.2%). The average number of T. canis and Ancylostoma spp eggs/gr of feces, were 200 and 3,871 respectively. Giardia spp (14.5%), Trichuris vulpis (7.6%), Genus Endamoeba (2.8%) and Taenia spp (1.9%) were also identified in the stools. Sanitary control and health education in order to control these parasitoses are emphasized.

Date: 
30/04/1999
Investigation Line: 

Abstract

The existence of patients suffering a double infection caused by Trypanosoma cruzi and Leishmania spp. has been suggested by several authors. Since the conventional serological tests now available for the diagnosis of Chagas' disease lack specificity due to the cross-reactivity between these two parasites, a serological confirmation of a T. cruzi infection cannot be made unless specific antigens are used. An enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) to detect antibodies against a specific T. cruzi antigen, named Ag163B6, and immunoblotting using T. cruzi epimastigotes, are non-conventional serological techniques that could be employed for specific diagnosis of Chagas' disease. Using these two methods 34 cutaneous or mucocutaneous leishmaniasis patients were classified into two groups: (A) patients with serological evidence of T. cruzi infection, i.e. those who tested positive in at least one assay (18/34); and (B) patients with no serological evidence of T. cruzi infection, i.e. those who were negative for both assays (16/34). Taking into account the difficulties of xenodiagnosis and its low sensitivity (less than 50%) for a direct diagnosis in the chronic period of the disease, we used polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to confirm a T. cruzi infection in those leishmaniasis patients who presented positive results with the non-conventional serological techniques. Of the 18 patients with serological evidence of T. cruzi infection, 17 gave positive results when genomic DNA primers were used. Using minicircle primers, 15/18 of that group were positive. Nevertheless, all the patients suspected of being double infected were positive in at least one PCR test. Just one patient with no serological evidence of T. cruzi infection gave a positive PCR result when amplifying the minicircle sequence. The proof of the existence of a T. cruzi infection by PCR in leishmaniasis patients suspected to be chagasic when non-conventional serology was used, strongly supports the use of the specific Ag163B6 and immunoblotting with epimastigotes as specific serological diagnostic tools to determine a T. cruzi infection.

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