The serodiagnosis of Strongyloides stercoralis infection by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays based on crude antigen (CrAg-ELISA), while useful, has been limited by the reliance on crude parasite extracts. Newer techniques such as the luciferase immunoprecipitation system assay (LIPS), based on a 31-kDa recombinant antigen (termed NIE) from S. stercoralis and/or the recombinant antigen S. stercoralis immunoreactive antigen (SsIR), or the NIE-ELISA have shown promise in controlled settings. We compared each of these serologic assays in individuals from both regions of the world in which S. stercoralis is endemic and those in which it is not. A comprehensive stool evaluation (sedimentation concentration, Baermann concentration with charcoal cultures, agar plate, and Harada-Mori) and four different serologic techniques using CrAg-ELISA or recombinant NIE-ELISA as well as LIPS using NIE alone or in combination with a second recombinant antigen (NIE/SsIR-LIPS) were compared among individuals with parasitologically proven infection (n ؍ 251) and healthy controls from regions of the world in which the infection is nonendemic (n ؍ 11). Accuracy was calculated for each assay. The prevalence of S. stercoralis infection was 29.4% among Argentinean stool samples (n ؍ 228). Sedimentation concentration and Baermann were the most sensitive stool-based methods. NIE-LIPS showed the highest sensitivity (97.8%) and specificity (100%) of the serologic assays. The calculated negative predictive value was highest for both the NIE-LIPS and CrAg-ELISA (>97%) irrespective of disease prevalence. No cross-reactivity with soil-transmitted helminths was noted. NIE-LIPS compares favorably against the current CrAg-ELISA and stool evaluation, providing additional accuracy and ease of performance in the serodiagnosis of S. stercoralis infections irrespective of disease prevalence.
BackgroundSoil-transmitted helminth (STH) infections are a public health problem in resource-limited settings worldwide. Chronic STH infection impairs optimum learning and productivity, contributing to the perpetuation of the poverty-disease cycle. Regular massive drug administration (MDA) is the cardinal recommendation for its control; along with water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) interventions. The impact of joint WASH interventions on STH infections has been reported; studies on the independent effect of WASH components are needed to contribute with the improvement of current recommendations for the control of STH. The aim of this study is to assess the association of lacking access to water and sanitation with STH infections, taking into account the differences in route of infection among species and the availability of adequate water and sanitation at home.Methods and FindingsCross-sectional study, conducted in Salta province, Argentina. During a deworming program that enrolled 6957 individuals; 771 were randomly selected for stool/serum sampling for parasitological and serological diagnosis of STH. Bivariate stratified analysis was performed to explore significant correlations between risk factors and STH infections grouped by mechanism of entry as skin-penetrators (hookworms and Strongyloides stercoralis) vs. orally-ingested (Ascaris lumbricoides and Trichuris trichiura). After controlling for potential confounders, unimproved sanitation was significantly associated with increased odds of infection of skin-penetrators (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 3.9; 95% CI: 2.6–5.9). Unimproved drinking water was significantly associated with increased odds of infection of orally-ingested (aOR = 2.2; 95% CI: 1.3–3.7).ConclusionsLack of safe water and proper sanitation pose a risk of STH infections that is distinct according to the route of entry to the human host used by each of the STH species. Interventions aimed to improve water and sanitation access should be highlighted in the recommendations for the control of STH.
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.
Sixteen Leishmania stocks, 15 isolated from patients with cutaneous (CL), mucocutaneous (MCL), or recurrent cutaneous leishmaniasis, plus one from a dog with CL in Salta and Corrientes Provinces, Argentina, were studied by multilocus enzyme electrophoresis. Thirteen of the stocks from humans were grouped in two zymodemes; nine termed as KMS 1, four as KMS 2, and assigned to Leishmania (Viannia) braziliensis. Two additional stocks from CL cases expressed a KMS 4 enzyme profile, corresponding to L. (V.) guyanensis. Although the parasites from the dog were also assigned to L. (V.) braziliensis, its zymodeme, KMS 3, was not expressed in any of the current human isolates. The characterization of Leishmania from a dog was done for the first time in Argentina. The importance of the intraspecific polymorphism in the induction of clinical forms and in the host-reservoir concept is briefly discussed, based on the zymodeme data of isolates from humans and dogs. The presence of L. (V.) guyanensis was confirmed in the country.
BackgroundThe 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.MethodsA 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.ResultsOut 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.ConclusionsThe 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.
BackgroundRecommendations for soil-transmitted helminth (STH) control give a key role to deworming of school and pre-school age children with albendazole or mebendazole; which might be insufficient to achieve adequate control, particularly against Strongyloides stercoralis. The impact of preventive chemotherapy (PC) against STH morbidity is still incompletely understood. The aim of this study was to assess the effectiveness of a community-based program with albendazole and ivermectin in a high transmission setting for S. stercoralis and hookworm.MethodologyCommunity-based pragmatic trial conducted in Tartagal, Argentina; from 2012 to 2015. Six communities (5070 people) were enrolled for community-based PC with albendazole and ivermectin. Two communities (2721 people) were re-treated for second and third rounds. STH prevalence, anemia and malnutrition were explored through consecutive surveys. Anthropometric assessment of children, stool analysis, complete blood count and NIE-ELISA serology for S. stercoralis were performed.Principal findingsSTH infection was associated with anemia and stunting in the baseline survey that included all communities and showed a STH prevalence of 47.6% (almost exclusively hookworm and S. stercoralis). Among communities with multiple interventions, STH prevalence decreased from 62% to 23% (p<0.001) after the first PC; anemia also diminished from 52% to 12% (p<0.001). After two interventions S. stercoralis seroprevalence declined, from 51% to 14% (p<0.001) and stunting prevalence decreased, from 19% to 12% (p = 0.009).ConclusionsHookworm’ infections are associated with anemia in the general population and nutritional impairment in children. S. stercoralis is also associated with anemia. Community-based deworming with albendazole and ivermectin is effective for the reduction of STH prevalence and morbidity in communities with high prevalence of hookworm and S. stercoralis.
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.
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