(25/13421) EBNA-1 gene sequences in Brazilian and American patients with Hodgkin's disease.
We examined the types of Epstein-Barr virus-associated nuclear antigen-1 (EBNA-1) gene carboxy (C)-terminal mutations occurring in Hodgkin's disease (HD) and reactive tissues from two different geographic regions. Previously reported EBNA-1 C-terminal region amino acid sequence variants, based on the amino acid at codon 487, include Prototype (P)-ala, which is found in the B95.8-derived prototype virus, P-thr, Variant (V)-leu, V-val, and V-pro. Using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to amplify portions of the EBNA-1 gene, followed by DNA sequencing, we found a single EBNA-1 gene sequence variant in each tissue, whether reactive or neoplastic and whether from Brazil or the United States. Variant EBNA-1 gene sequences were more common in both neoplastic and non-neoplastic tissues from different geographic areas than the so-called prototype sequence. In the 17 Brazilian HD cases, 4 cases had P-thr variants and 13 had V-leu variants. In the six reactive tissues from Brazil, one had a P-ala variant, two had P-thr variants, and three had V-leu variants. In the 12 American HD cases, 2 had P-ala variants, 6 had P-thr variants, and 4 had V-leu variants. The 11 American reactive tissues included 2 P-ala variants, 5 P-thr variants, and 4 V-leu variants. In both countries, there were similar variant EBNA-1 sequences present in normal tissues and HD cases. Compared with the P-ala and P-thr cases, the V-leu cases were more likely to have the 30-bp latent membrane protein 1 (LMP1) gene deletion (P = 0.0075). In addition, cases of HD with the V-leu were statistically associated with a substitution of asparagine for glutamine at codon 322 of the C-terminal portion of the LMP1 gene. Our results suggest that any variation in EBNA-1 gene sequence is caused by a polymorphism present in pre-existing viral strains in the underlying population, and not a mutation occurring during oncogenesis. (+info)
(26/13421) Prevalence of GB virus C/hepatitis G virus among blood donors in north-eastern Brazil.
We tested 70 blood donors from Fortaleza (Ceara state, Brazil) for GB virus C/hepatitis G virus (GBV/HGV) infection by polymerase chain reaction and detection of antienvelope antibodies. Twenty-seven (38.6%) showed signs of an active or resolved infection. Sixty-four percent of those with indications of other blood-borne viral infections showed signs of GBV-C/HGV infection also. (+info)
(27/13421) Population structure and genetic divergence in Anopheles nuneztovari (Diptera: Culicidae) from Brazil and Colombia.
Anopheles nuneztovari is considered an important vector of human malaria in several localities in Venezuela and Colombia. Its status as a vector of human malaria is still unresolved in areas of the Brazilian Amazon, in spite of have been found infected with Plasmodium sp.. For a better understanding of the genetic differentiation of populations of A. nuneztovari, electrophoretic analysis using 11 enzymes was performed on four populations from Brazil and two from Colombia. The results showed a strong differentiation for two loci: alpha-glycerophosphate dehydrogenase (alpha-Gpd) and malate dehydrogenase (Mdh) from 16 loci analyzed. Diagnostic loci were not detected. The populations of A. nuneztovari from the Brazilian Amazon showed little genetic structure and low geographic differentiation, based on the F(IS) (0.029), F(ST) (0.070), and genetic distance (0.001-0.032) values. The results of the isozyme analysis do not coincide with the indication of two lineages in the Amazon Basin by analysis of mitochondrial DNA, suggesting that this evolutionary event is recent. The mean F(ST) value (0.324) suggests that there is considerable genetic divergence among populations from the Brazilian Amazon and Colombia. The genetic distance among populations from the Brazilian Amazon and Colombia is ranges from 0.047 to 0.148, with the highest values between the Brazilian Amazon and Sitronela (SIT) (0.125-0.148). These results are consistent with those observed among members of anopheline species complexes. It is suggested that geographic isolation has reduced the gene flow, resulting in the genetic divergence of the SIT population. Dendrogram analysis showed three large groups: one Amazonian and two Colombia, indicating some genetic structuring. The present study is important because it attempted to clarify the taxonomic status of A. nuneztovari and provide a better understanding of the role of this mosquito in transmission of human malaria in northern South America. (+info)
(28/13421) Fur and iron transport proteins in the Brazilian purpuric fever clone of Haemophilus influenzae biogroup aegyptius.
The Brazilian purpuric fever (BPF) clone of Haemophilus influenzae biogroup aegyptius causes a fatal septicaemic disease, resembling fulminant meningococcal sepsis, in children. When isolate F3031 was grown under iron-limiting conditions, the presence of several iron-regulated proteins of 38-110 kDa was revealed by electrophoretic analysis and a Fur homologue was shown by immunoblotting. Dot-blot assays and immunoblotting indicated that BPF cells bound human transferrin and contained transferrin-binding proteins in the outer membrane. However, the binding activity and the biosynthesis of these proteins were detected even under iron-rich conditions. Immunoblot analysis demonstrated the presence of a periplasmic protein related to the ferric iron-binding protein A (FbpA), the major iron-binding protein described in Neisseria spp. However, the FbpA homologue in strain F3031 was constitutively expressed and was smaller than the periplasmic protein detected in H. influenzae type b strain Eagan. The periplasm of strain F3031 also contained a protein related to the Streptococcus parasanguis FimA protein which recently has been shown to be involved in iron acquisition in Yersinia pestis. Although the Eagan and F3031 FimA homologues had a similar mol. wt, of 31 kDa, the expression of the BPF fimA-like gene was not regulated by the iron concentration of the culture medium. (+info)
(29/13421) Identification of two novel Mycobacterium avium allelic variants in pig and human isolates from Brazil by PCR-restriction enzyme analysis.
Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) is composed of environmental mycobacteria found widely in soil, water, and aerosols that can cause disease in animals and humans, especially disseminated infections in AIDS patients. MAC consists of two closely related species, M. avium and M. intracellulare, and may also include other, less-defined groups. The precise differentiation of MAC species is a fundamental step in epidemiological studies and for the evaluation of possible reservoirs for MAC infection in humans and animals. In this study, which included 111 pig and 26 clinical MAC isolates, two novel allelic M. avium PCR-restriction enzyme analysis (PRA) variants were identified, differing from the M. avium PRA prototype in the HaeIII digestion pattern. Mutations in HaeIII sites were confirmed by DNA sequencing. Identification of these isolates as M. avium was confirmed by PCR with DT1-DT6 and IS1245 primers, nucleic acid hybridization with the AccuProbe system, 16S ribosomal DNA sequencing, and biochemical tests. The characterization of M. avium PRA variants can be useful in the elucidation of factors involved in mycobacterial virulence and routes of infection and also has diagnostic significance, since they can be misidentified as M. simiae II and M. kansasii I if the PRA method is used in the clinical laboratory for identification of mycobacteria. (+info)
(30/13421) Influence of heavy agricultural work during pregnancy on birthweight in northeast Brazil.
BACKGROUND: Women in developing countries often continue their agricultural work during late pregnancy. Whether this adversely affects birthweight is not clear from previous studies as few controlled for confounding factors. This study seeks to clarify this issue. METHODS: This retrospective cohort study investigated 958 low-income women and their singleton newborn babies residing in a region of Northeast Brazil dependent on sugar-cane production. Women were recruited at maternity centres, when attending for delivery, and were allocated to one of two groups according to their exposure to heavy agricultural labour for at least 3 months during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy (n = 250), or to household activities only (n = 708). RESULTS: The mean birthweight of infants born to women who worked in agriculture during 9 months of pregnancy was 190 g lower than that of the non-exposed group (P = 0.02). After controlling for confounding factors, the adjusted effect was 117 g (P = 0.05). Heavy agricultural work for 6, 7 or 8 months had no significant effect. CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that working throughout pregnancy significantly reduces birthweight in this low-income population. (+info)
(31/13421) Fuzzy logic and measles vaccination: designing a control strategy.
BACKGROUND: The State of Sao Paulo, the most populous in Brazil, was virtually free of measles from 1987 until the end of 1996 when the number of cases started to rise. It reached alarming numbers in the middle of 1997 and local health authorities decided to implement a mass vaccination campaign. METHODS: Fuzzy Decision Making techniques are applied to the design of the vaccination campaign. RESULTS: The mass vaccination strategy chosen changed the natural course of the epidemic. It had a significant impact on the epidemic in the metropolitan area of Sao Paulo city, but a second epidemic in the State's interior forced the public health authorities to implement a second mass vaccination campaign 2 months after the first. CONCLUSIONS: Fuzzy Logic techniques are a powerful tool for the design of control strategies against epidemics of infectious diseases. (+info)
(32/13421) Helicobacter pylori infection and atrophic gastritis in middle-aged Japanese residents of Sao Paulo and Lima.
BACKGROUND: Helicobacter pylori infection and atrophic gastritis (AG) are markedly more prevalent in Japan than in other industrialized countries, however, the reasons for such a high prevalence are not fully understood. To add to information on H. pylori infection and its association with AG, the authors studied Japanese living in less developed countries. METHODS: Cross-sectional surveys were conducted of randomly selected Japanese residents aged 40-59 years in Sao Paulo, Brazil and Lima, Peru. Serum IgG antibody to H. pylori and pepsinogen I (PGI) and II (PGII) were measured as markers of AG. RESULTS: The prevalence of H. pylori infection was similar in both populations, 77% (95% CI: 70-83) in Sao Paulo and 75% (95% CI: 65-82) in Lima, and was within the range of five populations in Japan from our previous study. However, the prevalence of AG, defined by PGI < 70 ng/ml and PGI/PGII < 3.0 was more prevalent among Japanese in Sao Paulo (39% [95% CI: 32-47]), than Japanese in Lima (18% [95% CI: 12-27]). This difference was not explained by sex, age, generation or H. pylori infection. CONCLUSIONS: Helicobacter pylori infection among Japanese in less developed countries was similar to Japanese in Japan, although prevalence of AG varied. Factors other than H. pylori infection are important in the development of AG among Japanese. (+info)