Fecha: 
01/03/2014
Linea de Investigacion: 

Abstract

American tegumentary leishmaniasis (ATL) is a group of zoonotic diseases caused by kinetoplastid flagellates of the genus Leishmania. A total of 66 patients diagnosed as positive ATL cases from northwest Argentina were included in this study. Leishmania stocks were isolated in vitro and analyzed over promastigote cultures sown on FTA through nested PCR and sequence of cytochrome b (cyt b). The molecular analysis resulted in the incrimination of L. (Viannia) braziliensis as the predominant species in the studied area, identifying two genotypes of L. (V.) braziliensis, 24 cases of Ab-1 cyt b and 41 cases of Ab-2 cyt b. One L. (V.) guyanensis strain was obtained from a traveler from the Brazilian Amazon. The prevalence of different genotypes was in agreement with previous studies, suggesting the necessity for new systems to study the genetic diversity in more detail. Most of the cases typified in this study were registered in the area of Zenta Valley (Orán, Hipólito Yrigoyen, and Pichanal cities), pointing a link between genotype and geographical origin of the sample. Sex and age distribution of the patients indicate that the transmission was predominantly associated with rural areas or rural activities, although the results might not exclude the possibility of peri-urban transmission. This work represents, so far, the largest isolation and molecular characterization of ATL cases in Argentina.

Fecha: 
01/09/2013
Linea de Investigacion: 

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine the ability of recombinant antigens to detect cases of infection with Trypanosoma cruzi among cases of infection with Leishmania spp. by serological methods.

METHODS:

Sera from 41 patients infected with Leishmania spp. were evaluated with ELISA using single (FRA, CP1 and TSSAVI) or pooled (commercial Rec-ELISA) recombinant proteins or homogenate antigens (commercial H-ELISA). As there is no gold standard antigen to discriminate Chagas disease from leishmaniasis, the correlation of results between defined antigens and the homogenate was made with Kappa Index (KI), the level of correlation considered being used as a criterion of specificity.

RESULTS:

Single recombinant antigens and Rec-ELISA showed good correlation (KI > 0.8). A low correlation (KI < 0.66) was observed between the results from single recombinant antigens or the commercial recombinant kit and H-ELISA.

CONCLUSIONS:

The highly correlated results between T. cruzi single or pooled recombinant proteins are indicative of the usefulness of recombinant antigens for Chagas diagnosis. Our results also indicate that in the city of Oran in Argentina, between 12% and 17% of patients with leishmaniasis are also infected with Chagas disease. The high KI values between TSSAVI and the other recombinant proteins suggest that in these patients, the infection may be caused by T. cruzi II and/or V and/or VI lineages.

Fecha: 
09/05/2013
Linea de Investigacion: 
Fecha: 
01/10/2013
Linea de Investigacion: 

Abstract

A total of 221 children from two rural settlements in Northeast Argentina were examined for T. cruzi infection. Blood samples were taken for serology tests and PCR assays. In addition, T. cruzi Discrete Typing Units (DTUs) were determined by hybridization with specific DNA probes of the minicircle hypervariable regions (mHVR). Serological results indicated that 26% (57/215) were reactive against T. cruzi antigens. PCR analyses were performed on seropositive samples showing presence of parasite DNA in 31 out of 53 samples (58.5%). All seropositive children underwent specific chemotherapy with Benznidazole (5mg/kg/day) for a period of two months and were monitored two and five years after treatment. Overall the treatment was well tolerated and low side effects were observed. Serological conversion was observed at two years post -treatment in one child form Pampa Ávila and at five years in two children from Tres Estacas. However, at the end of the follow-up period, T. cruzi DNA could not be detected by PCR in samples from treated children, except in two cases. In addition, the results of hybridizations with specific DNA probes showed that DTU TcV was detected in 68% (21/31), TcVI in 7% (2/31) and TcV/VI in 3% (1/31) of the samples. Altogether, results of the follow-up of treated children showed a low rate of seroconversion; however trend toward seroconversion was evident at five years post-treatment. On the other hand, detection of T. cruzi DNA by PCR significantly decreased after Benznidazole treatment. The existence of data regarding serological and molecular follow-ups from controlled studies in the Chaco Region will be important for future treatment efforts against T. cruzi infection in this region. The results obtained in the present study represent a contribution in this regard.

Fecha: 
01/01/2013
Linea de Investigacion: 

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The analytical validation of sensitive, accurate and standardized Real-Time PCR methods for Trypanosoma cruzi quantification is crucial to provide a reliable laboratory tool for diagnosis of recent infections as well as for monitoring treatment efficacy.

METHODS/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:

We have standardized and validated a multiplex Real-Time quantitative PCR assay (qPCR) based on TaqMan technology, aiming to quantify T. cruzi satellite DNA as well as an internal amplification control (IAC) in a single-tube reaction. IAC amplification allows rule out false negative PCR results due to inhibitory substances or loss of DNA during sample processing. The assay has a limit of detection (LOD) of 0.70 parasite equivalents/mL and a limit of quantification (LOQ) of 1.53 parasite equivalents/mL starting from non-boiled Guanidine EDTA blood spiked with T. cruzi CL-Brener stock. The method was evaluated with blood samples collected from Chagas disease patients experiencing different clinical stages and epidemiological scenarios: 1- Sixteen Venezuelan patients from an outbreak of oral transmission, 2- Sixty three Bolivian patients suffering chronic Chagas disease, 3- Thirty four Argentinean cases with chronic Chagas disease, 4- Twenty seven newborns to seropositive mothers, 5- A seronegative receptor who got infected after transplantation with a cadaveric kidney explanted from an infected subject.

CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE:

The performing parameters of this assay encourage its application to early assessment of T. cruzi infection in cases in which serological methods are not informative, such as recent infections by oral contamination or congenital transmission or after transplantation with organs from seropositive donors, as well as for monitoring Chagas disease patients under etiological treatment.

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