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Human ascariasis is a neglected tropical disease of great relevance to public health and is considered the most frequent helminthiasis in poor regions. Accurately diagnosing this parasite has been challenging due to limitations of current diagnostic methods. Immunoglobulin Y (IgY) technology is a very effective alternative for the production of highly specific and profitable antibodies. This study aimed to produce and apply anti-Ascaris suum IgY antibodies in the immunodiagnosis of human ascariasis. Five immunizations comprising total saline extract from A. suum adult life forms were given at 14-day intervals to Gallus gallus domesticus hens of the Isa Brown line. Eggs and blood samples were collected weekly and fortnightly, respectively, to monitor the production of antibodies. The specificity of antibodies was confirmed by dot-blot, kinetic enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), avidity ELISA, immunoblotting and indirect immunofluorescence antibody tests. The application for disease diagnosis was performed through the detection of immune complexes in human serum samples by sandwich ELISA. Peaks of IgY anti-A. suum production occurred at weeks 6 and 8. IgY showed high avidity levels after the second dose of immunization, ranging from 64% to 93%, with a mean avidity index of 78.30%. Purified IgY recognized 12 bands of proteins from A. suum saline extract. Eggs, the uterine portion and cuticles of A. suum female adult are reactive in immunofluorescence. The detection of immune complexes showed diagnostic values of 80% sensitivity and 90% specificity. In conclusion, specific IgY have been shown to be a potential immunodiagnostic tool with promising future applications in human ascariasis.
Benzimidazole derivatives such as albendazole (ABZ) and mebendazole are important molecules used in helminthic treatment. Neurocysticercosis is the main cause of acquired epilepsy throughout the world and is currently treated with ABZ. New molecules have been studied in order to aid in the treatment of this neglected tropical disease, among them RCB15 and RCB20. The aim of this study was to evaluate the metabolic impact of RCB15 and RCB20 on Taenia crassiceps cysticerci intracranially inoculated in Balb/c mice. Thirty days after the inoculation the mice were treated with 50 mg kg−1 of RCB15, RCB20, ABZ or NaCl 0.9%. The euthanasia and cysticerci removal were performed 24 h after the treatment. The cysticerci were analysed through high performance liquid chromatography. After the treatments, there was an impairment in the main energetic pathways such as glycolytic pathway, homolactic fermentation or in mitochondrion energy production detected through the decrease in pyruvate, lactate, oxaloacetate, malate and fumarate concentrations. This induced the parasite to resort to alternative energetic pathways such as proteins catabolism, propionate fermentation and fatty acids oxidation. Therefore, benzimidazole derivatives are a promising alternative to ABZ use as they also reach the brain tissue and induce a metabolic stress in the cysticerci.
The University of São Paulo Twin Panel (Painel USP de Gêmeos), based at the Institute of Psychology of the University of São Paulo, started formally in 2017. Our registry is new, but in only two years of formal existence, it comprises a volunteer sample of 4826 registered individuals (98% twins and 2% higher-order multiples), recruited at the University of São Paulo and by social media campaigns. Our main aim is to conduct and promote research with twins on psychological processes and behavior. The University of São Paulo is the largest higher education and research institution in South America, and the Painel USP de Gêmeos has great potential for fostering research on twin-related issues from a psychological perspective in Brazil and South America.
The natural grasslands in South America have soils with low phosphorus (P) availability (1.0 to 7.5 mg kg−1), possibly altering the absorption and accumulation of P in grasses. We evaluated the chemical fractionation of P in the leaves of the most important grasses present in these grasslands to better understand the mechanisms involved in the storage of P. The grasses studied were Axonopus affinis and Paspalum notatum (fast tissue cycling and high nutrient demand) and Andropogon lateralis and Aristida laevis (slow tissue cycling and low nutrient demand). They were grown in pots filled with an Ultisol with two levels of P: control, and addition of 50 mg P kg–1. The main P fractions were the inorganic soluble (44%) and P in RNA (26%). Addition of P increased the total P concentration, following the order A. affinis (140%) > P. notatum (116%) > A. lateralis (81%) > A. laevis (21%). In conclusion, the species A. affinis and P. notatum responded to P fertilization with high variation and accumulating P in less-structural chemical forms, such as inorganic P. The species A. lateralis and A. laevis showed low variation in the concentration of P forms, with higher P concentrations in structural forms.
We estimated the incidence of first-episode psychosis over a 3-year period in a Brazilian catchment area comprising the region's main city, Ribeirão Preto (1 425 306 persons-years at risk), and 25 other municipalities with a total of 1 646 556 persons-years at risk. The incidence rates were estimated and adjusted by gender and age, using the direct standardisation method to the world population as reference. The incidence of psychosis was higher in the younger groups, men, and among Black and minority ethnic Brazilians. Psychosis incidence was lower in Ribeirão Preto (16.69/100 000 person-years at risk; 95% CI 15.68–17.70) compared with the average incidence in the remaining municipalities (21.25/100 000 person-years at risk; 95% CI 20.20–22.31), which have lower population density, suggesting a distinct role for urbanicity in the incidence of first-episode psychosis in low- and middle-income countries.
Improving universal health coverage is a big challenge in many nations. Nevertheless, in countries like Brazil, the Constitution provides for universal access to meet population needs. Medical equipment is indispensable for the diagnosis and treatment of diseases in public and private health services. This study aims to analyze medical diagnostic equipment incorporation in a Brazilian state.
This evaluative research was carried out using data from Brazil's Unified Health System (SUS) and Private Health Services. The research took place in Ceará, Northeastern Brazil. It is the eighth most populous Brazilian state, with 8.8 million inhabitants. Data on the types and quantity of medical devices in the public and private services were collected from August 2005 to August 2017. The results were analyzed by comparing population and normative parameters with technology incorporation in Brazil.
A mean of 17.6 +/− 10.6 (SD) devices were incorporated each year in SUS versus 31.7 +/− 15.7 (SD) in the private services. Over a twelve year period, the incorporation of equipment increased 59.7 percent in the public system and 152.6 percent in the private services. The production from these technologies increased to 18.1 percent. Considering both public and private services, tomography equipment coverage exceeds (147.4 percent) the parameter established by the Ministry of Health while magnetic resonance imaging equipment coverage is 90.5 percent.
An expressive number of medical devices were incorporated in public and private health services, with higher rates in the latter. Both services presented a downward trend, suggesting that the incorporation of equipment is no longer needed. Such an extra coverage reveals an uncritical incorporation of these devices, that was not based on real needs; therefore, it is necessary to develop an action plan aimed at a better distribution of these devices to allow effective universal coverage.
The bovine whey consists of more than 200 different types of proteins, of which β-lactoglobulin, α-lactalbumin, serum albumin, immunoglobulins and lactoferrin predominate. However, their concentrations are not stable due to the existence of protein dynamics during a transition from colostrum secretion to mature milk. To evaluate the dynamics of whey proteins of Jersey cows during a colostral phase and first month of lactation and an influence of the number of lactations, 268 milk samples from 135 Jersey cows were selected through a clinical evaluation. Whey was obtained by rennet coagulation of the mammary secretion. The concentration of total proteins was determined by the biuret method and their fractions were identified by 12% dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (12% SDS-PAGE). Maximum concentrations of all protein fractions were observed in the first 12 h of lactation, reducing over the course of the study. Modification of the protein predominance was also observed. The transition from colostrum secretion to milk occurred between 24 and 72 h postpartum. There was an influence of the number of lactations on the dynamics of whey proteins, indicating that multiparous cows had better immunological and nutritional quality when compared to primiparous cows.
Habitat modification may facilitate the emergence of novel pathogens, and the expansion of agricultural frontiers make domestic animals important sources of pathogen spillover to wild animals. We demonstrate for the first time that Plasmodium juxtanucleare, a widespread parasite from domestic chickens, naturally infects free-living passerines. We sampled 68 wild birds within and at the border of conservation units in central Brazil composed by Cerrado, a highly threatened biome. Seven out of 10 passerines captured in the limits of a protected area with a small farm were infected by P. juxtanucleare as was confirmed by sequencing a fragment of the parasite's cytochrome b. Blood smears from these positive passerines presented trophozoites, meronts and gametocytes compatible with P. juxtanucleare, meaning these birds are competent hosts for this parasite. After these intriguing results, we sampled 30 backyard chickens managed at the area where P. juxtanucleare-infected passerines were captured, revealing one chicken infected by the same parasite lineage. We sequenced the almost complete mitochondrial genome from all positive passerines, revealing that Brazilian and Asian parasites are closely related. P. juxtanucleare can be lethal to non-domestic hosts under captive and rehabilitation conditions, suggesting that this novel spillover may pose a real threat to wild birds.
The increase of the absorption efficiency of boron (B) by plants is essential for increasing crop productivity. The intercalation of B in MgAl layered double hydroxides (LDHs) is an alternative to evaluating how these materials can provide B to plants. In this work, a MgAl LDH intercalated with borate ions (Mg2Al-B-LDH) was synthesized by the constant pH coprecipitation method, and the material produced was evaluated as a matrix for storage and as a source of B for plants. The Mg2Al-B-LDH was characterized by XRD, ATR-FTIR, TGA-DTA, specific surface area, pore size and volume, and SEM. A bioassay was performed to verify the supply of B to plants from the two sources in the forms of H3BO3 and of Mg2Al-B-LDH to sunflower plants grown in pots. The LDH basal spacing value of 12.0 Å is characteristic of intercalation of tetraborate octahydrate ions [B4O5(OH)42−]·8H2O between the layers. There was an increase in the dry matter (DM) and B content of the plants relative to those treatments where no B was added. The lack of statistical difference for plant yield between the two sources of B suggests a lack of stability of the Mg2Al-B-LDH structure under the acidic condition of the soil.
Using recent data, this study examines the affirmative action programme of the Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (UERJ), the first Brazilian university to implement admissions quotas. The article analyses admissions records and finds that both the ratio of applications per place and minimum admission scores are considerably lower among quota students; scores in the admissions test are associated principally with socio-economic factors rather than racial ones; preparatory courses for the university's admissions tests do not appear to be a substitute for the quota system in terms of improving access; few quota applicants would be admitted in the absence of the system; and the applicants who displace others come from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds. The article concludes that it is necessary to improve the quality of basic education in Brazil in order to enable disadvantaged applicants to compete.
This study investigated the influence of soil factors on the structure, richness and distribution of woody Cerrado species within the National Forest of Paraopeba, Minas Gerais State, Brazil. Individuals with basal stem circumference ≥ 10 cm were sampled in five plots of 20 × 100 m. The study was conducted in five environments with different physiognomies and types of soils. A total of 132 species were recorded. The species with the greatest importance values varied between different areas, as did structure. Canonical correspondence analysis ordination showed three different groups closely related to soil fertility and Al levels. These relations were also confirmed by Pearson’s correlation where richness was positively related to pH, K, Ca, Mg and P and negatively to Al. The basal area was positively correlated with levels of P, Mg, Ca and T (base saturation) and negatively with Al, also using Pearson’s correlation. Likewise, density was positively correlated with Mg and negatively with Al. The analysis shows that soil fertility and the concentration of Al are two of the most important factors responsible for structural and floristic variation and for differentiating dystrophic and mesotrophic Cerradão.
This study evaluated the potential use of commercial mycoinsecticide formulations against red-gum lerp psyllid Glycaspis brimblecombei Moore in semi-field conditions. Eucalypt seedlings infested with psyllid nymphs were sprayed with different formulations and two concentrations of each product. Conidial deposits were evaluated after spraying for control efficiency. The conidial deposit was affected by the pathogen species and by formulation types. Higher conidial deposits were associated with mycoinsecticide formulation concentrates of lower granulometry and oil dispersion. However, some products with low deposits of conidia were highly efficient against psyllid nymphs. The results showed that the use of entomopathogenic fungi is a promising alternative method for controlling the red-gum lerp psyllid.
In the present work we are mainly interested in the use of the natural latex extract from the Hevea brasiliensis for medical applications. This presentation focuses on the influence of the fabrication parameters on the final elastic properties of the tubes obtained by dip-coating. The elastic properties of the prosthesis were investigated using tension-deformation experiments. The influence of important fabrication parameters were studied, such as: dip-coating velocity, final prosthesis thickness (which was varied as a function of the number of baths), and thermal treatment. Single and cycled tension-deformation experiments were performed with closed and opened samples considering longitudinal and axial directions. A model is proposed for the anisotropy of the elastic behavior, which involves the sulfur bonds between polymeric chains.
The objectives of the study were to investigate whether the health conditions of mothers with short stature differed from those with normal stature, and to establish if these aspects were associated with the health of the offspring. Data relating to health and socio-economic, demographic and anthropometric conditions were collected from a probabilistic sample population consisting of 1180 mothers and 1511 children ( < 10 years) living in the semi-arid region of the State of Alagoas, Brazil. Mothers were categorised according to stature, with those in the 1st quartile being defined as of short stature and those in the 4th quartile being defined as of normal stature and serving as a reference for the comparison of variables of interest. Following verification that maternal stature fulfilled parametric assumptions, its associations with the other variables were determined by calculating Pearson correlation coefficients. After excluding strongly self-correlated variables (r ≥ 0·70), the remaining variables were analysed by multiple linear regression. The results showed that low maternal stature was independently associated with obesity (percentage body fat ≥ 30; P = 0·045), abdominal adiposity (waist:hip ratio ≥ 0·85; P = 0·007) and high systolic blood pressure ( ≥ 140 mmHg; P = 0·006). Short maternal stature was associated with low birth weight ( < 3000 g; P = 0·01) and stunting (height-for-age Z score < − 2; P = 0·019) in the offspring. Thus, in the semi-arid region of Alagoas, women of short stature presented a higher prevalence of chronic degenerative diseases and produced less healthy children than women of normal stature.
This study investigated the effect of environmental variables such as soil class, soil water availability, topography and slope on spatial distribution patterns of tree species in a Brazilian Seasonal Semideciduous Forest area. Floristic and structural data for a tree community were obtained by sampling 100 plots 10 × 10 m in which every tree with trunk diameter (dbh) ⩾ 4.77 cm at 130 cm above ground level was sampled. The area under study showed a marked soil gradient, directly associated with the topography: flat hilltops with Al3+-rich Dystric Latosols give way to steep colluvial slopes with shallower and more Dystric Cambic Latosols without Al3+, changing over, at the bottom of the hollows, to Epieutrophic Cambisols richer in nutrients. The floristic-sociological parameters analysed for the soil habitats did not differ statistically from each other. The diversity and equability indices were 3.6 and 0.84, 3.48 and 0.85, 3.49 and 0.84 for the Dystric Latosol, Dystric Cambic Latosol and Epieutrophic Cambisol, respectively. The soil variables (related to the fertility and texture) and the soil water regime (drainage) were probably the principal factors determining the spatial distribution patterns of tree species in the forest.
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