María Isabel Jercic

Instituto de Salud Pública - Chile, CiudadSantiago, Santiago, Chile

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Publications (15)21.11 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The objective of this study was to investigate if there is specific host-parasite association in Chilean populations of Trypanosoma cruzi. For this purpose, two groups of parasites were analyzed, one from chronic chagasic patients, and the other from Triatoma infestans triatomines in three regions of the country. The first group consisted of four types of samples: parasites from peripheral blood of non-cardiopathic T. cruzi infected patients (NB); parasites from their corresponding xenodiagnosis (NX); parasites from peripheral blood of T. cruzi infected cardiopathic patients (CB) and parasites from their xenodiagnostics (CX). The T. infestans sample in turn was from three regions: III, V and M (Metropolitan). The genetic differentiation by the Fisher exact method, the lineage distribution of the samples, the molecular phylogeny and the frequency of multiclonality were analysed. The results show that not only are the groups of T. cruzi clones from Chagas disease patients and vectors genetically differentiated, but also all the sub-groups (NB, NX, CB and CX) from the III, V and M regions. The analysis of lineage distribution was concordant with the above results, because significant differences among the percentages of TcI, TcIII and hybrids (TcV or TcVI) were observed. The phylogenetic reconstruction with these Chilean T. cruzi samples was coherent with the above results because the four chagasic samples clustered together in a node with high bootstrap support, whereas the three triatomine samples (III, V and M) were located apart from that node. The topology of the tree including published T. cruzi clones and isolates was concordant with the known topology, which confirmed that the results presented here are correct and are not biased by experimental error. Taken together the results presented here are concordant with a specific host-parasite association between some Chilean T. cruzi populations.
    Acta Parasitologica 06/2013; 58(2):139-48. · 1.00 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In order to obtain more information about the population structure of Chilean Trypanosoma cruzi, and their genetic relationship with other Latino American counterparts, we performed the study of T. cruzi samples detected in the midgut content of Triatoma infestans insects from three endemic regions of Chile. The genetic characteristics of these samples were analysed using microsatellite markers and PCR conditions that allow the detection of predominant T. cruzi clones directly in triatomine midgut content. Population genetic analyses using the Fisher's exact method, analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) and the determination of F(ST) showed that the northern T. cruzi population sample was genetically differentiated from the two southern population counterparts. Further analysis showed that the cause of this genetic differentiation was the asymmetrical distribution of TcIII T. cruzi predominant clones. Considering all triatomines from the three regions, the most frequent predominant lineages were TcIII (38%), followed by TcI (34%) and hybrid (8%). No TcII lineage was observed along the predominant T. cruzi clones. The best phylogenetic reconstruction using the shared allelic genetic distance was concordant with the population genetic analysis and tree topology previously described studying foreign samples. The correlation studies showed that the lineage TcIII from the III region was genetically differentiated from the other two, and this differentiation was correlated with geographical distance including Chilean and mainly Brazilian samples. It will be interesting to investigate whether this geographical structure may be related with different clinical manifestation of Chagas disease.
    Annals of Tropical Medicine and Parasitology 12/2011; 105(8):625-46. · 1.31 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A century after its discovery, Chagas disease still represents a major neglected tropical threat. Accurate diagnostics tools as well as surrogate markers of parasitological response to treatment are research priorities in the field. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the performance of PCR methods in detection of Trypanosoma cruzi DNA by an external quality evaluation. An international collaborative study was launched by expert PCR laboratories from 16 countries. Currently used strategies were challenged against serial dilutions of purified DNA from stocks representing T. cruzi discrete typing units (DTU) I, IV and VI (set A), human blood spiked with parasite cells (set B) and Guanidine Hidrochloride-EDTA blood samples from 32 seropositive and 10 seronegative patients from Southern Cone countries (set C). Forty eight PCR tests were reported for set A and 44 for sets B and C; 28 targeted minicircle DNA (kDNA), 13 satellite DNA (Sat-DNA) and the remainder low copy number sequences. In set A, commercial master mixes and Sat-DNA Real Time PCR showed better specificity, but kDNA-PCR was more sensitive to detect DTU I DNA. In set B, commercial DNA extraction kits presented better specificity than solvent extraction protocols. Sat-DNA PCR tests had higher specificity, with sensitivities of 0.05-0.5 parasites/mL whereas specific kDNA tests detected 5.10(-3) par/mL. Sixteen specific and coherent methods had a Good Performance in both sets A and B (10 fg/µl of DNA from all stocks, 5 par/mL spiked blood). The median values of sensitivities, specificities and accuracies obtained in testing the Set C samples with the 16 tests determined to be good performing by analyzing Sets A and B samples varied considerably. Out of them, four methods depicted the best performing parameters in all three sets of samples, detecting at least 10 fg/µl for each DNA stock, 0.5 par/mL and a sensitivity between 83.3-94.4%, specificity of 85-95%, accuracy of 86.8-89.5% and kappa index of 0.7-0.8 compared to consensus PCR reports of the 16 good performing tests and 63-69%, 100%, 71.4-76.2% and 0.4-0.5, respectively compared to serodiagnosis. Method LbD2 used solvent extraction followed by Sybr-Green based Real time PCR targeted to Sat-DNA; method LbD3 used solvent DNA extraction followed by conventional PCR targeted to Sat-DNA. The third method (LbF1) used glass fiber column based DNA extraction followed by TaqMan Real Time PCR targeted to Sat-DNA (cruzi 1/cruzi 2 and cruzi 3 TaqMan probe) and the fourth method (LbQ) used solvent DNA extraction followed by conventional hot-start PCR targeted to kDNA (primer pairs 121/122). These four methods were further evaluated at the coordinating laboratory in a subset of human blood samples, confirming the performance obtained by the participating laboratories. This study represents a first crucial step towards international validation of PCR procedures for detection of T. cruzi in human blood samples.
    PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases 01/2011; 5(1):e931. · 4.57 Impact Factor
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    Journal of clinical microbiology 10/2010; 48(10):3824-6. · 4.16 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To investigate whether Trypanosoma cruzi populations found in chagasic cardiopathic and non-cardiopathic patients are genetically differentiated, three molecular microsatellite markers were analysed. This analysis was also applied to compare T. cruzi samples from peripheral blood or dejections of Triatoma infestans fed on the blood of the same patients. In order to obtain the first objective, analyses of predominant T. cruzi genotypes were conducted using three approaches: a locus-by-locus analysis; a Fisher method across three loci; and analysis of molecular variance by Genepop and Arlequin programs. Only with one locus and on the blood samples was a significant differentiation detected among non-cardiopathic and cardiopathic groups, which was not confirmed by the other two methods. On the contrary, with the three approaches, it was found that T. cruzi clones present in the blood of patients are genetically differentiated from those detected in dejections of T. infestans fed on the same patients. Our results showed that the most frequent lineage both in blood as well as in triatomine dejection samples was TcI. No significant difference in T. cruzi lineage distribution was observed among chagasic cardiopathic and non-cardiopathic patients. The majority of the samples (50-60%) had only one T. cruzi clone (uniclonal) either in blood or dejection samples.
    Parasitology Research 09/2010; 107(4):855-63. · 2.85 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To better understand the evolution of the etiologic agent of Chagas disease, we cloned and sequenced 25 alleles from five Tripanosoma cruzi microsatellite markers. The study of the sequences showed highly conserved alleles present in T. cruzi clones belonging to TCI, TCIIc, and TCIIe. This result was also confirmed by the phylogenetic analysis of MCLE01 allele sequences. The examination by capillary electrophoresis of six microsatellite markers from 19 T. cruzi clones showed a high proportion of the alleles found both in the TCI and TCII sublineages. The phylogenetic reconstruction of these 19 clones produced a tree with two major clusters with bootstrap support of 100% and 95%. The first cluster includes T. cruzi clones belonging to the TCI and TCIIa lineages. The second cluster is composed of TCI, TCIIc, TCIId, and TCIIe T. cruzi clones. The analysis of five microsatellite markers in the CLBrener genome showed that almost all the microsatellite markers are synteny; non-Esmeraldo and Esmeraldo haplotypes probably come from the TCIIc and TCIIb lineages. Taken together, our results are in agreement with the two hybridization events hypothesis as the origin of current T. cruzi lineages.
    Parasitology Research 05/2009; 105(1):191-9. · 2.85 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Fifteen cases of human pseudoterranovosis are reported for Chile, representing an emerging parasitic infection in this country caused by larvae of the nematode Pseudoterranova sp. Our observations also included an outbreak of pseudoterranovosis in 3 of 4 individuals who shared the same raw fish dish (cebiche). Most of the cases occurred in adult patients. The main source of infection was from consumption raw or fried marine fish, including hakes (Merluccius australis or Merlucciuts gayi), pomfret (Brama australis), Inca scad (Trachurus murphvi), and corvina (Cilus gilberti). Seasonal distribution showed most of the cases to occur in fall and spring. Parasite larvae were isolated from the mouths of most of the patients after they reported a pharyngeal tickling sensation, coughing, vomiting, or a foreign body in the mouth or throat.
    Journal of Parasitology 05/2007; 93(2):440-3. · 1.32 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To determine the frequency of Strongyloides stercoralis antibodies by means of the enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) in Chile, in 2001-2003, 675 blood samples of patients of two psychiatric hospitals and 172 of healthy individuals (doctors, nurses and paramedicals) of these institutions, and 1,200 serum samples of blood donors of Northern region (Arica and Antofagasta), Central region (Valparaiso and Santiago) and Southern region (La Union) were collected. ELISA showed positivity of 12.1% in psychiatric hospitalized patients, none (0%) in the health personnel and 0.25% in blood donors (p < 0.05). Only in blood donors of Arica (1%) and La Union (0.5%) the ELISA test was positive suggesting that strongyloidiasis is focalized in determinate zones of the country. In Chile, human infections by S. stercoralis are endemic with very low frequency in apparently healthy individuals and high prevalence in risk groups such as the mentally ill hospitalized patients.
    Revista do Instituto de Medicina Tropical de São Paulo 01/2007; 49(4):247-9. · 0.96 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The first South American case of human trichinosis, resulting from the consumption of roast wild boar (Sus scrofa) is reported in Chile. The patient presented fever, diarrhea, myalgias, facial edema, sub-conjunctival reddening, photophobia, eosinophilia, and elevated glutamic oxalacetic transaminase. The diagnosis was confirmed by two immunoenzymatic tests (ELISA) using somatic and excretion-secretion antigens.
    Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz 03/2005; 100(1):17-8. · 1.36 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The first South American case of human trichinosis, resulting from the consumption of roast wild boar (Sus scrofa) is reported in Chile. The patient presented fever, diarrhea, myalgias, facial edema, sub-conjunctival reddening, photophobia, eosinophilia, and elevated glutamic oxalacetic transaminase. The diagnosis was confirmed by two immunoenzymatic tests (ELISA) using somatic and excretion-secretion antigens.
    Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz (ISSN: 1678-8060) Vol 100 Num 1. 01/2005;
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    ABSTRACT: Trypanosoma cruzi infection is endemic in Northern/Central Chile. To perform a clinical assessment of patients infected with Trypanosoma cruzi. Two hundred sixty three subjects with a positive serology for Trypanosoma cruzi, were invited by mail to a clinical assessment in a Regional Hospital. In a subsample of these, a polymerase chain reaction for Trypanosoma cruzi, was done. Of all the invited subjects, 183 responded and were assessed at the hospital. Of these, 60 had cardiac affections, 52 had colon problems and 17, esophageal disease. Seventy four were asymptomatic. Of the 64 patients in whom polymerase chain reaction was done, 35 had a positive result. A high percentage of subjects infected with Trypanosoma cruzi, had clinical consequences of the infection. Polymerase chain reaction showed persistency of the parasite in more than half of the infected patients.
    Revista medica de Chile 09/2003; 131(8):881-6. · 0.36 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Strongyloides stercoralis is a world wide distributed small intestinal nematode parasite. In immunocompetent individuals S stercoralis can produce asymptomatic infections or a moderate clinical picture of diarrhea, some cases become chronic. In immunocompromised patients, a disseminated disease may appear, sometimes fatal. In Chile, there is little epidemiological information about S stercoralis infections and appropriate diagnostic techniques are usually not used. To evaluate the yield of an ELISA test for the diagnosis of strongyloidiasis in Chilean patients. Ten serum samples from patients with S stercoralis infections confirmed by a positive stool examination, 66 samples from individuals with other infections by tissue helminthes (24 toxocariasis, 15 trichinellosis, 11 hydatidosis, 12 fascioliasis and 4 cysticercosis), 13 samples from subjects with autoimmune diseases and 49 samples from apparently healthy individuals with a normal eosinophil count, were studied. ELISA antigen was prepared using a filariform larval extract obtained from a murine species of Strongyloides, maintained in laboratory animals. Using 0.33 optical density units as a cut off value, 9 of 10 sera of S stercoralis infected individuals, had a positive ELISA test. No cross reactions were observed with sera of patients with other helminthic infections, autoimmune diseases or in healthy individuals. Thus, specificity, positive and negative predictive values were 100%. The results obtained are similar with those found by other investigators. ELISA test for strongyloidiasis is a useful tool for the diagnosis of clinical cases and for seroepidemiological studies of this nematode infection in Chile.
    Revista medica de Chile 01/2003; 130(12):1358-64. · 0.36 Impact Factor
  • Rubén Mercado, María Isabel Jercic, Marlene T Ueta

Publication Stats

71 Citations
21.11 Total Impact Points


  • 2009–2013
    • Instituto de Salud Pública - Chile
      CiudadSantiago, Santiago, Chile
    • University of Chile
      • • Programa de Biología Molecular y Celular
      • • Instituto de Ciencias Biomédicas (ICBM)
      Santiago, Region Metropolitana de Santiago, Chile
  • 2011
    • Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública
      Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico