Chronic cardiopathy (CC) in Chagas disease is a fibrotic myocarditis with C5b-9 complement deposition. Mycoplasma
may interfere with the complement response. Proteolytic enzymes and archaeal genes that have been described in Trypanosoma cruzi
may increase its virulence. Here we tested the hypothesis that different ratios of Mycoplasma
and archaeal organisms, which are frequent symbionts, may be associated with chagasic clinical forms.
Materials and methods:
eight indeterminate form (IF) and 20 CC chagasic endomyocardial biopsies were submitted to in situ hybridization, electron and immunoelectron microscopy and PCR techniques for detection of Mycoplasma pneumoniae
(MP), Chlamydia pneumoniae
(CP), C5b-9 and archaeal-like bodies.
were always present at lower levels in CC than in IF (p < 0.001) and were correlated with each other only in CC. Electron microscopy revealed Mycoplasma
and two types of archaeal-like bodies. One had electron dense lipid content (EDL) and was mainly present in IF. The other had electron lucent content (ELC) and was mainly present in CC. In this group, ELC correlated negatively with the other microbes and EDL and positively with C5b-9. The CC group was positive for Archaea and T. cruzi DNA
. In conclusion, different amounts of Mycoplasma
and archaeal organisms may be implicated in complement activation and may have a role in Chagas disease outcome.