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We compared lizard endoparasite assemblages between the Atlantic Forest and naturally isolated forest enclaves to test the ecological release hypothesis, which predicts that host specificity should be lower (large niche breadth) and parasite abundance should be greater for parasites from isolated forest enclaves (poor assemblages) than for parasites from the coastal Atlantic Forest (rich assemblages). Parasite richness per specimen showed no difference between the isolated and non-isolated areas. Parasite abundance did not differ between the isolated and non-isolated areas but showed a positive relationship with parasite richness considering all areas (isolated and non-isolated). Furthermore, host specificity was positively related to parasite richness. Considering that host specificity is inversely proportional to the host range infected by a parasite, our results indicate that in assemblages with greater parasite richness, parasites tend to infect a smaller range of hosts than do those in simple assemblages. In summary, our study partially supports the ecological release hypothesis: in assemblages with greater parasite richness, lizard parasites from Atlantic Forest are able to increase their parasite abundance (per host), possibly through facilitated infection; however, the amplitude of infected hosts only expands in poor assemblages (lower parasite richness).
This paper proposes a theoretical model to describe previous laboratory observations of the dynamics of debris accumulations around bridge piers of cylindrical shape. The model is based on the assumption that the observed dynamics is mainly governed by dynamic changes of the point of application of the drag force exerted on a solid body formed by debris accumulated around a pier. A phase-plane analysis of the resulting nonlinear system of ordinary differential equations shows that the model captures the main patterns observed in previous laboratory experiments, including an oscillatory motion and the removal of debris from the pier by the flow. The model provides a theoretical basis for the analysis of the conditions required for debris jams to remain stable over long periods of exposure to impinging flow. Namely, the model indicates that the stability of debris accumulations primarily depends on geometrical asymmetry and on the length of the extension downstream of the pier. The former induces the torque required to rotate the jam about the pier, while the latter produces a stabilising effect after the body rotates.
The stable isotope ratios of carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) and total mercury concentrations (THg) of the three marine catfish species Aspistor luniscutis, Bagre bagre and Genidens genidens were evaluated to understand their trophic relationship in northern Rio de Janeiro state, south-eastern Brazil. The δ13C was similar among the three marine catfishes, whereas δ15N was similar in A. luniscutis and B. bagre and lower in G. genidens. THg was higher in G. genidens and lower in B. bagre. The greater assimilation of Sciaenidae fishes and squids by A. luniscutis and B. bagre resulted in smaller isotopic niche areas and trophic diversity but higher isotopic niche overlap, trophic redundancy and evenness. For G. genidens, the similar assimilation of all prey items resulted in the broadest isotopic niche among the marine catfishes. The higher mercury content in G. genidens is consistent with an increased important contribution of prey with a higher Hg burden. The bioaccumulation process was indicated by significant correlations of δ15N and THg with total length and total mass. Additionally, a significant correlation between THg and δ15N reflected the biomagnification process through the food web.
Muscle and bone have been considered a functional unit that grows together early in life, deteriorates with aging, and can cause osteosarcopenia. Due to its importance in public health, detecting risk factors in early life is desirable. This study examined whether birth weight (BW) was associated with muscle–bone unit using dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) parameters in young women from the Nutritionists’ Health Study (NutriHS), a cohort study of undergraduates and Nutrition graduates. This cross-sectional analysis included 170 young healthy women who answered early life events-questionnaire, and had anthropometric, muscle tests and DXA-determined body composition and bone densitometry (iDXA-Lunar®). A blood sample was obtained for a subsample of 148 participants. Appendicular skeletal muscle mass index (ASMI) was calculated. BW was categorized in quartiles (BWq) and variables of interest compared by ANOVA. Associations of BWq with calf circumference (CC), handgrip, muscle performance tests, ASMI, bone mineral density and content (BMD and BMC), and plasma glucose, lipids, insulin, and 25-hydroxyvitamin D were performed using multiple linear regression and directed acyclic graph-recommended adjustments. Mean values of age, body mass index, and BW were 23.0 years (20.0–28.0), 22.9 ± 2.9 kg/m2, and 3199 ± 424 g, respectively. Comparing variables across BWq, significant differences in CC, handgrip, ASMI, and total body BMC were detected. Regression models adjusted for confounders showed associations of BWq with CC (β = 0.72, p = 0.005), handgrip (β = 1.53, p = 0.001), ASMI (β = 0.16, p = 0.022), total body BMC (β = 64.8, p = 0.005), total femur BMC (β = 0.70, p = 0.041), total body BMD (β = 0.02, p = 0.043), and lumbar spine BMD (β = 0.03, p = 0.028). We conclude that BW is associated with muscle–bone unit using DXA-parameters in Brazilian young healthy women from the NutriHS, suggesting a role for intrauterine environment for musculoskeletal health.
Essential oils (EOs) are considered a new class of ecological products aimed at the control of insects for industrial and domestic use; however, there still is a lack of studies involving the control of fleas. Ctenocephalides felis felis, the most observed parasite in dogs and cats, is associated with several diseases. The aim of this study was to evaluate the in vitro activity, the establishment of LC50 and toxicity of EOs from Alpinia zerumbet (Pers.) B. L. Burtt & R. M. Sm, Cinnamomum spp., Laurus nobilis L., Mentha spicata L., Ocimum gratissimum L. and Cymbopogon nardus (L.) Rendle against immature stages and adults of C. felis felis. Bioassay results suggest that the method of evaluation was able to perform a pre-screening of the activity of several EOs, including the discriminatory evaluation of flea stages by their LC50. Ocimum gratissimum EO was the most effective in the in vitro assays against all flea stages, presenting adulticide (LC50 = 5.85 μg cm−2), ovicidal (LC50 = 1.79 μg cm−2) and larvicidal (LC50 = 1.21 μg cm−2) mortality at low doses. It also presented an excellent profile in a toxicological eukaryotic model. These findings may support studies involving the development of non-toxic products for the control of fleas in dogs and cats.
Climate change causes changes in forests, their ecological functions and ecosystem services. Many of these changes will negatively impact people, plants, animals and micro-organisms that depend on forests. SDG 13 aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change and drive adaptation actions. Current commitments are insufficient to reach the Paris Agreement goals of restricting warming to less than 2oC and increasing resilience of vulnerable communities. Better forest and land management can contribute up to 20 per cent of the Paris goals, while increasing community and ecosystem resilience, and help bridge this gap. Strong synergies between SDG 13 and forests can drive investment in sustainable forest management, forest restoration and forest conservation. However, achieving these synergies is challenged by unsustainable forest exploitation and pressures to develop land for agriculture, urban areas and infrastructure. Maximising potential synergies between forests and SDG 13 requires long-term finance and local collaboration, but currently only 3 per cent of climate finance is dedicated to forest actions, and much less is used for local implementation. Improved forest management and conservation can be achieved through more efficient use of the finance, increased investment from public and private sectors and stronger commitment to local actions.
To evaluate the association between weight status and food insecurity of children living in social vulnerability who are beneficiaries of a food assistance programme (FAP).
From all children benefiting from the FAP in the municipality, 30 % were mapped in forty-seven distribution points. Their weight status was evaluated using BMI-for-age and food insecurity was determined with the Brazilian Food Insecurity Scale. Socio-economic data of the participants were collected using regular questionnaires. The main outcome measure was obesity.
To be a beneficiary of the FAP, a family must have a child aged 24–96 months and receive less than half a minimum wage per capita. Participating families receive 1 litre of whole milk per day.
In all, 1487 children had BMI-for-age and food insecurity data. Of these children, 376 (25·3 %) had excess weight, of whom 164 (11·0 %) presented with obesity, and only twenty-seven (1·8 %) were underweight; 76 % of the families had some degree of food insecurity. Multivariable analysis revealed no overall association between household food insecurity and weight status. In the specific comparison, children living in severe food insecurity were less likely to present obesity than those children living in food security (prevalence ratio = 0·60; 95 % CI 0·38, 0·96; P = 0·03).
In a socially vulnerable population that participates in a FAP, there was no overall association between food insecurity and weight status in children, a result which is similar to what is observed in more developed contexts.
The discussion of the achievements and limitations of the strategies prioritised in global mental health that has taken place in recent years contributed to a unified vision for action that addresses the gaps still existing on prevention, treatment, quality of care and human rights protection. This editorial presents four reflections on the impact of this vision on the definition of future priorities, particularly in the areas of policy implementation, services reconfiguration and organisation, human rights and research. It concludes that further debate is needed to redefine the balance between priorities and strategies that can better promote an effective response to the needs of low and middle income countries, and to ensure an efficient coordination of efforts in the future.
Prochilodus brevis is a rheophilic species with a threatened natural population that promotes studies aimed at optimizing reproduction in captivity. The correct quantity of inseminating dose and activating solution volume significantly improves fertilization rates, thereby increasing productivity in captivity. The objective of this study was to determine the proportion of sperm per oocyte and the ideal volume of activating solution to be used in the assisted fertilization of P. brevis. Gametes were collected and fertilization performed in two steps. In step 1, the ideal proportion of spermatozoa was determined based on the fertilization rate:oocyte by testing six doses of semen: D1 = 30 × 103, D2 = 150 × 103, D3 = 300 × 103, D4 = 3 × 106, D5 = 5 × 106, and D6 = 10 × 106. In step 2, the fertilization and hatching rates were evaluated using different volumes of activating solution (V1 – 25 ml, V2 – 50 ml, V3 – 75 ml,V4 – 100 ml, V5 – 125 ml, and V6 – 150 ml). A linear regression equation was estimated from steps 1 and 2. The Student–Newman–Keuls test was used to compare the means. In step 1, the percentage of fertilization increased linearly, reaching a plateau of 51.69%. In step 2, the best fertilization rates were obtained with an estimated ideal volume of 75.64 ml per 2 ml of oocytes. Therefore, the proportion of 928,410.29 sperm:oocyte, associated with the volume of 75.64 ml of water per 2 ml of oocytes, provided the maximum reproductive performance for P. brevis.
Consideration of ethical, legal, and social issues plus patient values (ELSI+) in health technology assessment (HTA) is challenging because of a lack of conceptual clarity and the multi-disciplinary nature of ELSI+. We used concept mapping to identify key concepts and inter-relationships in the ELSI+ domain and provide a conceptual framework for consideration of ELSI+ in HTA.
We conducted a scoping review (Medline and EMBASE, 2000–2016) to identify ELSI+ issues in the HTA literature. Items from the scoping review and an expert brainstorming session were consolidated into eighty ELSI+-related statements, which were entered into Concept Systems® Global MAX™ software. Participants (N = 38; 36 percent worked as researchers, 21 percent as academics; 42 percent self-identified as HTA experts) sorted the statements into thematic groups, and rated them on importance in making decisions about adopting technologies in Canada, from 1 (not at all important) to 5 (extremely important). We used Concept Systems® Global MAX™ software to create and analyze concept maps with four to sixteen clusters.
Our final ELSI+ map consisted of five clusters, with each cluster representing a different concept and the statements within each cluster representing the same concept. Based on the concepts, we named these clusters: patient preferences/experiences, patient quality of life/function, patient burden/harm, fairness, and organizational. The highest mean importance ratings were for the statements in the patient burden/harm (3.82) and organizational (3.92) clusters.
This study suggests an alternative approach to ELSI+, based on conceptual coherence rather than academic disciplines. This will provide a foundation for incorporating ELSI+ into HTA.
Increased animal productivity has reduced animal fitness, resulting in increased susceptibility to infectious and metabolic diseases, locomotion problems and subfertility. Future animal breeding strategies should focus on balancing high production levels with health status monitoring and improved welfare. Additionally, understanding how animals interact with their internal and external environment is essential for improving health, fitness, and welfare. In this context, the continuous validation of existing biomarkers and the discovery and field implementation of new biomarkers will enable us to understand the specific physiological process and regulatory mechanisms used by the organism to adapt to different environmental conditions. Thus, biomarkers may be used to monitor welfare and improve management and breeding strategies. In this article, we describe major achievements in the establishment of biomarkers in dairy cows and small ruminants. This review mainly focuses on the physiological biomarkers used to monitor animal responses to, and recovery from, environmental perturbations. We highlight future avenues for research in this field and present a timely positioning document to the scientific community.
In the early 2000s the Holy See submitted papers to the WIPO and the WTO, on the subject of Intellectual Property (IP) rights, genetic resources, traditional knowledge, and access to medicines. This chapter develops some concepts that are mainly implicit in those papers. Catholic Social Teaching does not address directly the subject of IP rights, but contains all the elements for a moral judgment on the present system of IP rights. The chapter develops the discussion in three parts: first, some ideas about private property and the universal destination of goods, and the right to knowledge; second, proposing a vision of IP rights in the light of the aforesaid principles about property in Catholic Social Teaching; third, examining the issue of IP rights in relation to the rights of native peoples. The essay concludes by arguing that, to ensure that patents serve the universal destination of goods and the common good, a new legal theory should be developed in this area. This would reconsider, especially, rules relating to the public availability of the invention, the right price of the licenses, possible exceptions to the patent, means of technological transfer, and the creation of alternative means of industrial knowledge protection.
Litter breakdown is an important ecological process at the bottom of food webs in streams. Previous studies have been based only on a temporal interval of a single season, thus ignoring seasonal variation in litter input and community structure. We investigated organic matter input in a Brazilian savanna stream and the influence of its associated hyphomycetes on the invertebrate community. Organic matter input was sampled monthly and the leaves submitted to decomposition experiments. There were lower breakdown rates and higher invertebrate species richness and abundance during the dry season, which reached their maximum in July due to low stream discharge. Invertebrate composition was best explained by hyphomycetes (mainly by Flagellospora curvula and Anguillospora filiformis). Hyphomycetes have the capacity to degrade complex compounds of litter and to rapidly absorb nutrients by growing branched filaments, thus making the leaves more favourable for consumption by invertebrates. Shredder abundance was negatively related to litter richness, indicating possible species-specific relationships. We observed a sequential process with increased leaf litter input promoting an increase in hyphomycetes biomass, which in turn favoured invertebrate density.
Between 1845 and 1850, the Congo coast became the most important source of slaves for the coffee growing areas in the Brazilian Empire. This essay develops a new methodology to understand the making of the ‘nations’ of 290 Africans found on the slave ship Jovem Maria, which boarded slaves in the Congo river and was captured by the Brazilian Navy near Rio de Janeiro in 1850. A close reading of such ‘nations’ reveals a complex overlapping between languages and forms of identification that alters the historian's use of concepts such as ‘ethnolinguistic group’ and ‘Bantu-based lingua franca’ in the Atlantic world. Building on recent developments in Central African linguistics, the article develops a social history of African languages in the Atlantic that foregrounds how recaptives negotiated commonalities and boundaries in the diaspora by drawing on a political vocabulary indigenous to their nineteenth-century homes in Central Africa.
Tuberculosis (TB) is the leading cause of death among infectious diseases worldwide. Among the estimated cases of drug-resistant TB, approximately 60% occur in the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa). Among Brazilian states, primary and acquired multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) rates were the highest in Rio Grande do Sul (RS). This study aimed to perform molecular characterisation of MDR-TB in the State of RS, a high-burden Brazilian state. We performed molecular characterisation of MDR-TB cases in RS, defined by drug susceptibility testing, using 131 Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M.tb) DNA samples from the Central Laboratory. We carried out MIRU-VNTR 24loci, spoligotyping, sequencing of the katG, inhA and rpoB genes and RDRio sublineage identification. The most frequent families found were LAM (65.6%) and Haarlem (22.1%). RDRio deletion was observed in 42 (32%) of the M.tb isolates. Among MDR-TB cases, eight (6.1%) did not present mutations in the studied genes. In 116 (88.5%) M.tb isolates, we found mutations associated with rifampicin (RIF) resistance in rpoB gene, and in 112 isolates (85.5%), we observed mutations related to isoniazid resistance in katG and inhA genes. An insertion of 12 nucleotides (CCAGAACAACCC) at the 516 codon in the rpoB gene, possibly responsible for a decreased interaction of RIF and RNA polymerase, was found in 19/131 of the isolates, belonging mostly to LAM and Haarlem families. These results enable a better understanding of the dynamics of transmission and evolution of MDR-TB in the region.
Little is known about the long-term effect of breastfeeding on dietary habits. We examined the association between breastfeeding duration and adherence to current dietary patterns of young women. This was a cross-sectional analysis of 587 healthy women aged ≤45 years, undergraduates or nutrition graduates. Maternal characteristics and breastfeeding duration [<6; 6–<12; ≥12 months (reference)] were recalled. Diet was assessed using a food frequency questionnaire and patterns were identified using factor analysis by principal component. Adherence to patterns was categorized in tertiles; the first (T1 = reference) was compared to T2 + T3 (moderate-to-high adherence). Logistic regression was performed considering the minimal sufficient adjustment recommended by the directed acyclic graph. Median age was 22 (interquartile range (IQR) 20; 27) years and body mass index (BMI) 22.2 (IQR 20.4; 25.0) kg/m2. The four dietary patterns identified (Processed, Prudent, Brazilian and Lacto-vegetarian) explained 27% of diet variance. Women breastfed for <6 months showed lower chance of moderate-to-high adherence to the Prudent pattern (odds ratio (OR) = 0.53, p = 0.04). Breastfeeding was not associated with the other patterns. Maternal pre-pregnancy BMI was directly associated with moderate-to-high adherence to the Processed pattern (OR = 2.01, p = 0.03) and inversely to the Prudent pattern (OR = 0.52, p = 0.02). Higher adherence to the Brazilian pattern was associated with proxies of low socioeconomic status and the Lacto-vegetarian pattern with the opposite. Confirmation in prospective studies of the association found in this study between breastfeeding with the Prudent pattern in adult offspring could suggest that early feeding practices influence long-term dietary habits, which could then affect the risk of nutrition-related diseases.
Early-life chronic exposure to environmental contaminants, such as bisphenol-A, particulate matter air pollution, organophosphorus pesticides, and pharmaceutical drugs, among others, may affect central tissues, such as the hypothalamus, and peripheral tissues, such as the endocrine pancreas, causing inflammation and apoptosis with severe implications to the metabolism. The Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD) concept articulates events in developmental phases of life, such as intrauterine, lactation, and adolescence, to later-life metabolism and health. These developmental phases are more susceptible to environmental changes, such as those caused by environmental contaminants, which may predispose individuals to obesity, metabolic syndrome, and chronic noncommunicable diseases later in life. Alterations in the epigenome are explored as an underlying mechanism to the programming effects on metabolism, as the expression of key genes related with central and peripheral metabolic functions may be altered in response to environmental disturbances. Studies show that environmental contaminants may affect gene expressions in mammals, especially when exposed to during the developmental phases of life, leading to metabolic disorders in adulthood. In this review, we discuss the current obesity epidemics, the DOHaD concept, pollutants’ toxicology, environmental control, and the role of environmental contaminants in the central and peripheral programming of obesity and metabolic syndrome. Improving environmental monitoring may directly affect the quality of life of the population and help protect the future generations from metabolic diseases.