Autor/es: 
Fecha: 
01/07/2012
Linea de Investigacion: 

Abstract

We evaluated the recombinant antigen SAPA (Shed Acute Phase Antigen) for the detection of Trypanosoma cruzi antibodies in sera from naturally infected dogs. The technique used was ELISA and the antigens were a homogenate of parasite T. cruzi (ELISA-H) and the recombinant SAPA (ELISA-SAPA). We analyzed 93 sera from dogs by ELISA-H and ELISA-SAPA, which were grouped as follows: G1: 11 negative control sera from the city of Salta, G2: 11 positive control sera from dogs naturally infected with T. cruzi and G3: 71 samples of dogs belonging to a Chagas disease-endemic area. The sensitivity and specificity of ELISA-SAPA were 100 %. The kappa index between ELISA-H and ELISA-SAPA was 0,85. These results confirm the use of SAPA antigen in the diagnosis of infection with T. cruzi in dogs.

Autor/es: 
Fecha: 
01/08/2012
Linea de Investigacion: 

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The diagnosis of the leishmaniases poses enormous challenges in Argentina. The Polymorphism-Specific PCR (PS-PCR) designed and validated in our laboratories has been proven effective for typifying the Leishmania genus from cultured material. Here we evaluated the performance of this method in the diagnosis of American tegumentary leishmaniasis (ATL) and the rapid identification of Leishmania spp. directly from clinical specimens.

METHODS:

A total of 63 patients from northwestern Argentina, with cutaneous or mucocutaneous lesions, underwent an ATL diagnosis protocol which included clinical examination, Leishmanin skin test, and microscopic examination of dermal smears. In addition, we performed PS-PCR on DNA directly extracted from the specimens scraped from the lesions.

RESULTS:

Out of the 63 patients, 44 were classified as ATL cases and 19 as non-ATL cases. The diagnostic sensitivity of the microscopic analysis of dermal smears and PS-PCR individually were 70.5% and 81%, respectively. When performing both tests in parallel, this parameter increased significantly to 97.6% (p = 0.0018). The specificities, on the other hand, were 100%, 84.2%, and 83.3% for the combination, respectively (p > 0.05). Using the PS-PCR analysis we successfully identified the Leishmania spp. in 31 out of the 44 ATL cases. Twenty-eight (90.3%) cases were caused by L. (V.) braziliensis, two (6.5%) by L. (V.) guyanensis, and one (3.2%) by L. (V.) panamensis.

CONCLUSIONS:

The efficacy of the ATL diagnosis was significantly improved by combining the dermal smear examination with a PS-PCR analysis. Our strategy allowed us to reach the diagnosis of ATL with high accuracy regarding the species of the etiological agent in 70.5% of the cases. Moreover, we diagnosed two cases of the disseminated cutaneous form caused by L. (V.) braziliensis and a cutaneous case due to L. (V.) panamensis infection, both findings reported for the first time in Argentina.

Fecha: 
01/09/2012
Linea de Investigacion: 

Abstract

The biological behavior of the different Trypanosoma cruzi strains is still unclear and the importance of exploring the relevance of these differences in natural isolates is of great significance. Herein we describe the biological behavior of four T. cruzi isolates circulating sympatrically in a restricted geographic area in Argentina endemic for Chagas Disease. These isolates were characterized as belonging to the Discrete Typing Units (DTUs) TcI, TcIII, TcV and TcVI as shown by Multilocus Enzyme Electrophoresis and Multilocus Sequence Typing. In order to study the natural behavior of the different isolates and to preserve their natural properties, we developed a vector transmission model that allows their maintenance in the laboratory. The model consisted of serial passages of these parasites between insect vectors and mice. Vector-derived parasite forms were then inoculated in C57BL/6J mice and number of parasite in peripheral blood, serological response and histological damage in acute and chronic phases of the infection were measured. Parasites from DTUs TcI, TcIII and TcVI were detected by direct fresh blood examination, while TcV parasites could only be detected by Polimerase Chain Reaction. No significant difference in the anti-T. cruzi antibody response was found during the chronic phase of infection, except for mice infected with TcV parasites where no antibodies could be detected. Histological sections showed that TcI isolate produced more damage in skeletal muscle while TcVI induced more inflammation in the heart. This work shows differential biological behavior among different parasite isolates obtained from the same cycle of transmission, permitting the opportunity to formulate future hypotheses of clinical and epidemiological importance.

Fecha: 
01/08/2012
Linea de Investigacion: 

Abstract

An expanded global focus on the control and elimination of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) has called attention to the need to develop and validate surveillance strategies that are cost effective and can be integrated across diseases. Here, we describe a multiplex tool for the sensitive detection of antibody responses to NTDs as well as vaccine preventable diseases, malaria, and waterborne and zoonotic infections. The assay platform is robust, can be performed with either serum or dried blood spots and can be adapted to local epidemiological conditions and public health priorities. Multiplex assays open the door to conducting routine serosurveillance for NTDs through demographic health surveillance or malaria indicator surveys.

Fecha: 
01/09/2012
Linea de Investigacion: 

Abstract

Many developing and threshold countries rely on shallow groundwater wells for their water supply whilst pit latrines are used for sanitation. We employed a unified strategy involving satellite images and environmental monitoring of 16 physico-chemical and microbiological water quality parameters to identify significant land uses that can lead to unacceptable deterioration of source water, in a region with a subtropical climate and seasonally restricted torrential rainfall in Northern Argentina. Agricultural and non-agricultural sources of nitrate were illustrated in satellite images and used to assess the organic load discharged. The estimated human organic load per year was 28.5 BOD(5) tons and the N load was 7.5 tons, while for poultry farms it was 9940-BOD(5) tons and 1037-N tons, respectively. Concentrations of nitrates and organics were significantly different between seasons in well water (p values of 0.026 and 0.039, respectively). The onset of the wet season had an extraordinarily negative impact on well water due in part to the high permeability of soils made up of fine gravels and coarse sand. Discriminant analysis showed that land uses had a pronounced seasonal influence on nitrates and introduced additional microbial contamination, causing nitrification and denitrification in shallow groundwater. P-well was highly impacted by a poultry farm while S-well was affected by anthropogenic pollution and background load, as revealed by Principal Component Analysis. The application of microbial source tracking techniques is recommended to corroborate local sources of human versus animal origin.

Páginas