Publications by authors named "Rita de Cássia de Souza"

6 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Triatomine and Trypanosoma cruzi discrete typing units distribution in a semi-arid area of northeastern Brazil.

Acta Trop 2021 Aug 9;220:105950. Epub 2021 May 9.

Graduate Program in Parasitic Biology, Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte, Natal, Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil; Graduate Program in Pharmaceutical Sciences, Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte, Natal, Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil. Electronic address:

The occurrence of triatomine species, their bloodmeal sources and the discrete typing units (DTUs) of Trypanosoma cruzi isolated from them were determined in different municipalities of the state of Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil. Triatomine captures were carried out in the rural areas of 23 municipalities. The genotyping of T. cruzi isolates was performed using the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit 2 (coii) gene, the D7 region of the 24Sα rDNA, and the spliced leader intergenic region (SL-IR). Five triatomine species were captured, and the most frequent was Triatoma brasiliensis (84.3%; 916/1086), which was found in 16 of the 23 municipalities surveyed, and infested all types of environment investigated. The TcI DTU was found in all mesoregions surveyed in 51.5% (17/33) of the culture-positive samples. In contrast, TcII (9.1%; 3/33) was detected in the Central mesoregion, while TcIII (27.3%; 9/33) was found in all mesoregions. The geographic distribution and spatial overlap of different DTUs was inferred using the superposition of the radius of occurrence of isolates and using ecological niche distribution modelling. Triatoma brasiliensis was found infected in all mesoregions and with all three T. cruzi DTUs, including mixed infections. With regard to bloodmeal sources, the DNA of rodents was found in triatomines infected with either TcI or TcIII, while that of domestic animals and humans was associated with both single and mixed infections. Our findings demonstrate that different DTUs of T. cruzi are widely dispersed among triatomines in our study area. The association of T. brasiliensis with several different mammalian hosts, as well as overlapping areas with different DTUs, suggests that this triatomine species may have an important role as a vector in both anthropic and sylvatic environments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.actatropica.2021.105950DOI Listing
August 2021

TriatoDex, an electronic identification key to the Triatominae (Hemiptera: Reduviidae), vectors of Chagas disease: Development, description, and performance.

PLoS One 2021 22;16(4):e0248628. Epub 2021 Apr 22.

Laboratório de Parasitologia Médica e Biologia de Vetores, Área de Patologia, Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade de Brasília, Brasília, Brazil.

Correct identification of triatomine bugs is crucial for Chagas disease surveillance, yet available taxonomic keys are outdated, incomplete, or both. Here we present TriatoDex, an Android app-based pictorial, annotated, polytomous key to the Triatominae. TriatoDex was developed using Android Studio and tested by 27 Brazilian users. Each user received a box with pinned, number-labeled, adult triatomines (33 species in total) and was asked to identify each bug to the species level. We used generalized linear mixed models (with user- and species-ID random effects) and information-theoretic model evaluation/averaging to investigate TriatoDex performance. TriatoDex encompasses 79 questions and 554 images of the 150 triatomine-bug species described worldwide up to 2017. TriatoDex-based identification was correct in 78.9% of 824 tasks. TriatoDex performed better in the hands of trained taxonomists (93.3% vs. 72.7% correct identifications; model-averaged, adjusted odds ratio 5.96, 95% confidence interval [CI] 3.09-11.48). In contrast, user age, gender, primary job (including academic research/teaching or disease surveillance), workplace (including universities, a reference laboratory for triatomine-bug taxonomy, or disease-surveillance units), and basic training (from high school to biology) all had negligible effects on TriatoDex performance. Our analyses also suggest that, as TriatoDex results accrue to cover more taxa, they may help pinpoint triatomine-bug species that are consistently harder (than average) to identify. In a pilot comparison with a standard, printed key (370 tasks by seven users), TriatoDex performed similarly (84.5% correct assignments, CI 68.9-94.0%), but identification was 32.8% (CI 24.7-40.1%) faster on average-for a mean absolute saving of ~2.3 minutes per bug-identification task. TriatoDex holds much promise as a handy, flexible, and reliable tool for triatomine-bug identification; an updated iOS/Android version is under development. We expect that, with continuous refinement derived from evolving knowledge and user feedback, TriatoDex will substantially help strengthen both entomological surveillance and research on Chagas disease vectors.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0248628PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8061935PMC
September 2021

Effect of Experimental Parameters on the Extraction of Grape Seed Oil Obtained by Low Pressure and Supercritical Fluid Extraction.

Molecules 2020 Apr 2;25(7). Epub 2020 Apr 2.

Federal University of Bahia, Bahia, Salvador 40170-115, Brazil.

Grape seeds are an important byproduct from the grape process. The objective of this work was to evaluate the effect of experimental parameters (temperature and time of pretreatment with ultrasound) to obtain grape seed oil using low pressure (Soxhlet-Sox and Bligh Dyer-BD) and high pressure (supercritical carbon dioxide-SFE) methods. The best condition for pretreatment of samples was 30 min of sonication at 30 °C before extraction by Sox or BD. Ultrasound pretreatment was efficient to increase oil extraction yield by 32.10 (Sox), 20.31 (BD) and 12.54% (SFE), depending on the extraction method used as well as, and certainly influenced the total phenolic concentration in 311 (Sox), 234 (BD), and 184 (SFE)%. Ten fatty acids were identified in the oils, the major ones being 18:2ω-6cis (linoleic 52.39%-63.12%), 16:0 (palmitic 20.22%-26.80%) and 18:0 (stearic 8.52%-13.68%). The highest epicatechin concentration was identified in the BD sample: 30-30 (150.49 ± 5.98mg/kg), which presented a concentration of ≥3 times compared to the control (56.68 ± 1.81mg/kg). Ultrasound pretreatment also contributed positively (56% and 99% increase) in the α-tocopherol content of the SFE: 30-30 and BD: 30-30 samples, respectively. The results indicate that the ultrasound pretreatment is a suitable technology to improve the quality of the oil from the grape seed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/molecules25071634DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7180707PMC
April 2020

Nanopore Sequencing Significantly Improves Genome Assembly of the Protozoan Parasite Trypanosoma cruzi.

Genome Biol Evol 2019 07;11(7):1952-1957

Laboratory of Host Pathogen Interactions - UBM, Institut Pasteur de Montevideo, Montevideo, Uruguay.

Chagas disease was described by Carlos Chagas, who first identified the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi from a 2-year-old girl called Berenice. Many T. cruzi sequencing projects based on short reads have demonstrated that genome assembly and downstream comparative analyses are extremely challenging in this species, given that half of its genome is composed of repetitive sequences. Here, we report de novo assemblies, annotation, and comparative analyses of the Berenice strain using a combination of Illumina short reads and MinION long reads. Our work demonstrates that Nanopore sequencing improves T. cruzi assembly contiguity and increases the assembly size in ∼16 Mb. Specifically, we found that assembly improvement also refines the completeness of coding regions for both single-copy genes and repetitive transposable elements. Beyond its historical and epidemiological importance, Berenice constitutes a fundamental resource because it now constitutes a high-quality assembly available for TcII (clade C), a prevalent lineage causing human infections in South America. The availability of Berenice genome expands the known genetic diversity of these parasites and reinforces the idea that T. cruzi is intraspecifically divided in three main clades. Finally, this work represents the introduction of Nanopore technology to resolve complex protozoan genomes, supporting its subsequent application for improving trypanosomatid and other highly repetitive genomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/gbe/evz129DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6640297PMC
July 2019

Does Triatoma brasiliensis occupy the same environmental niche space as Triatoma melanica?

Parasit Vectors 2015 Jul 10;8:361. Epub 2015 Jul 10.

IMBIV-CONICET, Casilla de Correo 495, 5000, Córdoba, Argentina.

Background: Triatomines (Hemiptera, Reduviidae) are vectors of Trypanosoma cruzi, the causative agent of Chagas disease, one of the most important vector-borne diseases in Latin America. This study compares the environmental niche spaces of Triatoma brasiliensis and Triatoma melanica using ecological niche modelling and reports findings on DNA barcoding and wing geometric morphometrics as tools for the identification of these species.

Methods: We compared the geographic distribution of the species using generalized linear models fitted to elevation and current data on land surface temperature, vegetation cover and rainfall recorded by earth observation satellites for northeastern Brazil. Additionally, we evaluated nucleotide sequence data from the barcode region of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (CO1) and wing geometric morphometrics as taxonomic identification tools for T. brasiliensis and T. melanica.

Results: The ecological niche models show that the environmental spaces currently occupied by T. brasiliensis and T. melanica are similar although not equivalent, and associated with the caatinga ecosystem. The CO1 sequence analyses based on pair wise genetic distance matrix calculated using Kimura 2-Parameter (K2P) evolutionary model, clearly separate the two species, supporting the barcoding gap. Wing size and shape analyses based on seven landmarks of 72 field specimens confirmed consistent differences between T. brasiliensis and T. melanica.

Conclusion: Our results suggest that the separation of the two species should be attributed to a factor that does not include the current environmental conditions. However, as the caatinga is a biome that has existed in the area for at least the last 18,000 years, past conditions might have had an influence in the speciation process. The DNA Barcoding approach may be extended to these members of the subfamily Triatominae.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13071-015-0973-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4496957PMC
July 2015

Analysis of the geographical distribution of Triatoma vitticeps (Stål, 1859) based on data of species occurrence in Minas Gerais, Brazil.

Infect Genet Evol 2010 Aug 21;10(6):720-6. Epub 2010 May 21.

Centro de Pesquisas René Rachou, Avenida Augusto de Lima, 1715, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, 30190-002, Brazil.

The purpose of this study was to determine the potential for infestation of man-made environments by Triatoma vitticeps, correlating the epidemiological importance of this species with that of others present in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais. In addition, climatic variables that could help explain the distribution of this species and clarify its population dynamics were sought. This was done by carrying out a historical survey of the presence of T. vitticeps in artificial ecotopes, using data from the Fundação Nacional de Saúde (FUNASA). Monthly records of bioclimatic variables averaged for the period 1950-2000 and pixel size of 1kmx1km provided a reference for spatial distribution analysis. Annual rainfall and rainfall of the most humid trimester are the best indicators of the species distribution. To confirm the importance of these variables, T. vitticeps eggs were exposed to different levels of relative humidity. Hatching was found to vary significantly, and low humidity showed a significant negative effect on egg hatching. Our results demonstrate a strong association between T. vitticeps and high environmental humidity, which apparently acts as a limiting factor on the distribution of this triatomine.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.meegid.2010.05.007DOI Listing
August 2010
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