Highlights The performance of SARS-CoV-2 serological tests until the 14th day of symptoms is markedly low, and its use is not recommended at this stage. The performance of SARS-CoV-2 serological tests increases with the duration of symptoms and the clinical severity of the disease. In general, IgM and IgA antibodies were not earlier or more sensitive markers for the SARS-CoV-2 diagnosis, reaching their highest positivity rate after 14 days of the onset of symptoms. LFIA tests are more specific than ELISA tests for SARs-Cov-2 diagnostic. Infectious diseases prevalent in tropical regions, such as HIV, leishmaniasis, arbovirus and malaria may be related to false-positive results in the SARS-CoV-2 tests.
Background Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is the most severe form of leishmaniasis and is potentially fatal if not diagnosed and treated. Accurate and timely diagnosis is considered one of the pillars needed for the reduction in disease-related lethality. Brazil is currently one of the three eco-epidemiological hotspots for this disease. Several serological tests are commercially available in this country for VL diagnosis, although information on the performance of these tests is fragmented and insufficient. The aim of this study was to directly compare the performance of six commercial kits: three enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs), two immunofluorescence antibody tests (IFATs), one immunochromatographic test (ICT), besides one ICT, currently not commercially available in Brazil and one in-house direct agglutination test (DAT-LPC), not yet marketed. Methodology/Principal findings A panel of 236 stored samples from patients with clinically suspected VL, including 77 HIV-infected patients, was tested. IT-LEISH and DAT-LPC showed the highest accuracy rate among the non-HIV-infected patients, 96.2% [CI95%: 92.8–99.7%] and 95.6% [CI95%: 91.9–99.3%], respectively. For the ELISA tests evaluated, the maximum accuracy was 91.2%, and in the inter HIV-status group analysis, no significant differences were observed. For both IFATs evaluated, the maximum accuracy was 84.3%, and a lower accuracy rate was observed among the HIV-infected patients (p = 0.039) than among the non-HIV-infected patients. The DAT-LPC was the most accurate test in the HIV-infected patients (p≤0.115). In general, no significant difference in accuracy was observed among the VL-suspected patients stratified by age. Conclusions/Significance In summary, the differences in the performance of the tests available for VL in Brazil confirm the need for local studies before defining the diagnostic strategy.
Tunga is the most specialized genus among the Siphonaptera because adult females penetrate into the skin of their hosts and, after mating and fertilization, undergo hypertrophy, forming an enlarged structure known as the neosome. In humans and other warm-blooded animals, neosomes cause tungiasis, which arises due to the action of opportunistic agents. Although its effects on humans and domestic animals are well described in the literature, little is known about the impact of tungiasis on wild animals. This review focuses on the morphology, taxonomy, geographical distribution, hosts, prevalence, sites of attachment, and impact of tungid neosomes on wild and domestic animals. Because neosomes are the most characteristic form of the genus Tunga and also the form most frequently found in hosts, they are here differentiated and illustrated to aid in the identification of the 13 currently known species. Perspectives for future studies regarding the possibility of discovering other sand flea species, adaptation to new hosts, and the transfer of tungids between hosts in natural and modified habitats are also presented.Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00436-014-4081-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Tunga hexalobulata (Siphonaptera: Tungidae), new species oftungid sand flea belonging to the penetrans group, is described with illustrations of adult female parasitizing Bos indicus (L., 1758) from Brazil. It differs from the 12 other known species of Tunginae by the presence of six anterior humps in the neosome. It also can be differentiated from other species of the penetrans group by lesser size of the neosome, presence of three posterodorsally bristles in antennal segment II, and the extension of the posterior arm of the preoral internal sclerotization.
Zoonotic visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is a widespread disease, and dogs are the main reservoirs for human parasite transmission. Hence, development of an effective vaccine that prevents disease and reduces the transmission of VL is required. As euthanasia of seropositive dogs is recommended in Brazil for VL epidemiological control, to include anti-VL canine vaccines as a mass control measure it is necessary to characterize the humoral responses induced by vaccination and if they interfere with the reactivity of vaccinated dogs in serological diagnostic tests. Leish-Tec(®) is an amastigote-specific A2 recombinant protein vaccine against canine visceral leishmaniasis (CVL) that is commercially available in Brazil. Here, we tested the immunogenicity of Leish-Tec(®) in a heterogeneous dog population by measuring A2-specific antibody responses. Healthy dogs (n=140) of various breeds were allocated to two groups: one group received Leish-Tec(®) (n=70), and the other group received a placebo (n=70). Anti-A2 or anti-Leishmania promastigote antigen (LPA) antibody levels were measured by ELISA in serum samples collected before and after vaccination. An immunochromatographic test (DPP) based on the recombinant K28 antigen was also used for serodiagnosis of CVL. Vaccinated animals, except one, remained seronegative for anti-LPA total IgG and anti-K28 antibodies. Conversely, seropositivity for anti-A2 total IgG antibodies was found in 98% of animals after vaccination. This value decreased to 81.13% at 6 months before rising again (98%), after the vaccination boost. Anti-A2 IgG2 and IgG1 titers were also increased in vaccinated animals relative to control animals. These data indicate that Leish-Tec(®) is immunogenic for dogs of different genetic backgrounds and that humoral responses induced by vaccination can be detected by A2-ELISA, but do not interfere with the LPA-ELISA and DPP diagnostic tests for CVL.
About 97% of the human cases of the American visceral leishmaniasis (VL) occur in Brazil. In the last few years, the disease expanded to medium- and large-sized cities, in which surveillance and control actions have been intensified, in an effort to control VL spreading. Our two-year study was conducted in Belo Horizonte, the sixth most populous city in Brazil, which is endemic for VL. We focused in two particular districts of recent transmission of the disease, with no reported human cases and submitted to minor surveillance and control actions. Our aim was to draw an epidemiological profile of the local situation concerning Lutzomyia vector, Leishmania parasites, and the main domestic reservoirs (dogs). Lutzomyia longipalpis comprised 96.5% of the total phlebotomine sand flies captured and displayed an expressive minimal infection rate by Leishmania infantum (16.7%). Positive correlations were found between the population densities of L. longipalpis, rainfall and temperature. L. infantum was also detected in the cortelezzii complex and, for the first time, in Lutzomyia lloydi. Leishmania braziliensis, an etiological agent of the American cutaneous leishmaniasis, was also identified in L. longipalpis. Among the 1408 dogs serologically tested by standard enzyme-linked and fluorescence immune assays (ELISA/IFA) 3.6% were positive for VL. L. infantum DNA and Leishmania parasites were identified in 100% and 72.5% of the seropositive dogs, respectively. The co-positivity of other diagnostic tests for VL-Leishmania-nested PCR, imprint and myeloculture-was compared to the standard serology. Both symptomatic or asymptomatic dogs displayed an equal average number of positive diagnostic tests for VL. The districts studied display favorable conditions for the rapid spreading of human infection, in terms of L. longipalpis population density, and presence of L. infantum in both vector and main reservoir.
A new species of Tunga (Siphonaptera: Tungidae) collected from armadillos in Argentina is described. The new species is characterized by large and pigmented eyes, the presence of two bristles on antennal segment II, two bristles at the base of the maxilla, and a discoid neosome compressed anteroposteriorly. The gravid female is located in the carapace of the host, perforating the osteoderms. The new species resembles Tunga penetrans and Tunga terasma in general appearance. However, it differs by the greater anteroposterior compression of the neosome, a more angular head, and a manubrium with a pointed proximal end and convex ventral margin (the proximal end of the manubrium is rounded or slightly pointed in T. terasma, and the ventral margin is straight in both T. penetrans and T. terasma). In addition, specimens of T. penetrans have more bristles in antennal segments II and III, and lack bristles in the posterior tibia. This is the first report of a species of Tunga perforating the osteoderms of its host and thereby showing a high degree of specialization. Tunga terasma is recorded for the first time in Argentina; the male is described again and the characteristics of the species amended. This information may be useful in epidemiological studies of diseases caused by species of Tunga.
In the New World, the leishmaniases are primarily transmitted to humans through the bites of Leishmania-infected Lutzomyia (Diptera: Psychodidae) phlebotomine sand flies. Any or both of two basic clinical forms of these diseases are endemic to several cities in Brazil—the American cutaneous leishmaniasis (ACL) and the American visceral leishmaniasis (AVL). The present study was conducted in the urban area of a small-sized Brazilian municipality (Jaboticatubas), in which three cases of AVL and nine of ACL have been reported in the last five years. Jaboticatubas is an important tourism hub, as it includes a major part of the Serra do Cipó National Park. Currently, no local data is available on the entomological fauna or circulating Leishmania. During the one-year period of this study, we captured 3,104 phlebotomine sand flies belonging to sixteen Lutzomyia species. In addition to identifying incriminated or suspected vectors of ACL with DNA of the etiological agent of AVL and vice versa, we also detected Leishmania DNA in unexpected Lutzomyia species. The expressive presence of vectors and natural Leishmania infection indicates favorable conditions for the spreading of leishmaniases in the vicinity of the Serra do Cipó National Park.
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