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Changes in cardiac autonomic regulation, expressed by increased sympathetic activity and decreased heart rate variability, have an important relationship with the onset of lethal cardiac phenomena. Therefore, we aimed to evaluate the cardiac autonomic behaviour in young people according to their level of physical activity. Through the International Physical Activity Questionnaire, 55 healthy young non-smokers with no history of previous diseases and whose parents did not suffer from metabolic syndrome were assessed and divided into groups: sedentary (n=12), insufficiently active (n=16), active (n=14), and very active (n=13). We collected respiratory rate, systolic and diastolic blood pressure at rest, and body mass index. Subjects remained supine at rest, and without mental stress for 15 minutes in a controlled environment. Using a cardiofrequency meter (Polar® RS800CX), data were analysed in the time domain, frequency domain, and detrended fluctuation analysis. For the sedentary group, the mean RR and rMSSD were significantly lower, and the insufficiently active group showed higher means, but significantly only for rMSSD. The insufficiently active group showed in the detrended fluctuation analysis that α2 was significantly lower compared with the sedentary, active, and very active groups. We conclude that young, healthy, sedentary individuals present an increased heart rate and that insufficiently active individuals present a decreased fractal correlation and increased parasympathetic activity.
Globally, the prevalence of tuberculosis (TB) disease is higher in males. This study examined the effect of sex and age on Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) infection. Demographic and exposure data were collected on household contacts of sputum smear-positive pulmonary TB patients in Brazil. Contacts with tuberculin skin test induration ⩾10 mm at baseline or 12 weeks were considered Mtb infected. The study enrolled 917 household contacts from 160 households; 508 (55.4%) were female, median age was 21.0 years (range 0.30–87.0) and 609 (66.4%) had Mtb infection. The proportion infected increased with age from 63.3% in girls <5 years to 75.4% in women ⩾40 years and from 44.9% in boys <5 years to 73.6% in men ⩾40 years. Multivariable modelling showed the odds of infection increased between age 5 and 14 years among female contacts (OR 1.5 per 5-year age increase; 95% CI 1.1–2.2; P = 0.02) and between ages 0–4 and 15–39 years among male contacts (OR 2.7, 95% CI 0.83–8.9 and 1.1, 95% CI 0.99–1.3 per 5-year age increase; P = 0.10, 0.07, respectively). The study suggests that the age at which Mtb infection increases most is different in females compared with males. Studies are needed to explore whether these findings are due to differences in host susceptibility, exposure outside the household or other factors.
Burkart et al. present a paradox – general factors of intelligence exist among individual differences (g) in performance in several species, and also at the aggregate level (G); however, there is ambiguous evidence for the existence of g when analyzing data using a mixed approach, that is, when comparing individuals of different species using the same cognitive ability battery. Here, we present an empirical solution to this paradox.
In this study, we assessed the sensitivity, specificity, and diagnostic accuracy of a previously developed direct agglutination test (DAT) using a freeze-dried antigen derived from Leishmania infantum promastigotes and composed in a prototype kit for visceral leishmaniasis (VL) diagnosis, named DAT-LPC. To evaluate DAT-LPC reproducibility, the kit was used to analyse 207 serum samples from VL patients and 80 serum samples from patients with other parasitic infections or healthy subjects in four laboratories from different public health institutions in Brazil. DAT-LPC showed sensitivity between 96·2 and 99·5% (P = 0·14), specificity ranging from 96·2 to 97·5% (P = 0·95), and diagnostic accuracy ranging from 96·5 to 99% (P = 0·34). The inter-laboratory reproducibility of qualitative results was classified as excellent (κ index: 0·94–0·97). The reproducibility of the end-titre results in relation to the reference laboratory, ranged from 31 to 85%. These results demonstrate an excellent performance of the DAT-LPC, and validate it for the diagnosis of VL that could replace the immunofluorescent antibody test as the routine diagnostic test in the Brazilian public health system.
Recent studies with Nile tilapia have shown divergent results regarding the possibility of selecting on morphometric measurements to promote indirect genetic gains in fillet yield (FY). The use of indirect selection for fillet traits is important as these traits are only measurable after harvesting. Random regression models are a powerful tool in association studies to identify the best time point to measure and select animals. Random regression models can also be applied in a multiple trait approach to analyze indirect response to selection, which would avoid the need to sacrifice candidate fish. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the genetic relationships between several body measurements, weight and fillet traits throughout the growth period and to evaluate the possibility of indirect selection for fillet traits in Nile tilapia. Data were collected from 2042 fish and was divided into two subsets. The first subset was used to estimate genetic parameters, including the permanent environmental effect for BW and body measurements (8758 records for each body measurement, as each fish was individually weighed and measured a maximum of six times). The second subset (2042 records for each trait) was used to estimate genetic correlations and heritabilities, which enabled the calculation of correlated response efficiencies between body measurements and the fillet traits. Heritability estimates across ages ranged from 0.05 to 0.5 for height, 0.02 to 0.48 for corrected length (CL), 0.05 to 0.68 for width, 0.08 to 0.57 for fillet weight (FW) and 0.12 to 0.42 for FY. All genetic correlation estimates between body measurements and FW were positive and strong (0.64 to 0.98). The estimates of genetic correlation between body measurements and FY were positive (except for CL at some ages), but weak to moderate (−0.08 to 0.68). These estimates resulted in strong and favorable correlated response efficiencies for FW and positive, but moderate for FY. These results indicate the possibility of achieving indirect genetic gains for FW and by selecting for morphometric traits, but low efficiency for FY when compared with direct selection.
Endothelial function is a key mechanism in the development of CVD. Arginine and exercise are important non-pharmacological strategies for mitigating the impact of metabolic changes in the metabolic syndrome, but the effect of their combined administration is unknown. Thus, the aim of this study was to investigate the isolated and combined effects of aerobic training and arginine supplementation on metabolic variables and vascular reactivity in rats at high risk for developing the metabolic syndrome. Wistar rats were divided into two groups: control and fructose (F – water with 10 % fructose). After 2 weeks, the F group was divided into four groups: F, fructose+arginine (FA, 880 mg/kg per d of l-arginine), fructose+training (FT) and fructose+arginine+training (FTA); treatments lasted for 8 weeks, and no difference was observed in body mass gain. Arginine did not improve the body protein content, and both the FA and FT groups show a reversal of the increase in adipose tissue. Insulin increase was prevented by training and arginine, without additive effect, and the increase in serum TAG was prevented only by training. The F group showed impaired endothelium-dependent vasodilation and hyperreactivity to phenylephrine, but arginine and training were capable of preventing these effects, even separately. Higher nitric oxide level was observed in the FA and FT groups, and no potentiating effect was detected. Thus, only training was able to prevent the increase in TAG and improve the protein mass, and training and arginine exert similar effects on fat content, insulin and endothelial function, but these effects are not additive.
The thermomechanical processing of NiTi shape memory alloys usually involves several steps of hot and/or cold deformation. The present work presents the structural characterization of a Ni-rich NiTi alloy bar, produced by vacuum-induced melting and thermomechanical processing in laboratory scale, aiming at massive production in the future. This study focused on the first step of hot working at 800 °C during rotary forging. Microstructural characterization was performed using differential scanning calorimetry, high- and low-temperature X-ray diffraction (XRD) using a laboratory source and synchrotron XRD. Thus, it was possible to obtain the phase transformation characteristics of the material: the transformation temperatures and the transformation sequence. Proposed thermomechanical processing is intended for production of bars and wires that will be subsequently drawn to get thin wires, for different applications, including orthodontic arch wires.
Several studies have shown that maternal low-protein (LP) diet induces detrimental effects in cardiovascular system and oxidative stress in male animals. Additional studies suggested that female has lower incidence of cardiovascular disease. However until present data, the possible effects of estradiol on the undernutrition during gestational and lactation periods are not discussed. The present study was conducted to evaluate the effects of a maternal LP diet during gestational and lactation period on oxidative balance in the female rat hearts ventricles at two ages. Dams were fed with normal protein (NP) or a LP diet during the gestational and lactation period, and their female offspring were divided into age groups (22 or 122 days, corresponding to a low or high estrogen level) composing four experimental groups. Evaluating the nutritional effect showed an increase in oxidative stress biomarkers and decrease in enzymatic defense in LP-22D compared with NP-22D. In contrast, no changes were observed in malondialdehyde and carbonyls, but an increase in glutathione-S-transferase (GST) activity in the LP-122D compared with NP-122D. The global oxy-score in the LP-22D group indicated a predominance of oxidative damage when compared with NP-22D, while in LP-122D group the global oxy-score was restored to NP-122D levels. Evaluating the estradiol effect, our data show a significant decrease in oxidative stress with increase in CAT and GST activity, associated with increase in intracellular thiols. Our data suggest that in situation with low levels of estradiol, hypoproteic diet during gestation and lactation period has detrimental effects on heart, however when estradiol levels raise, the detrimental effects induced are mitigated.
Previous investigations suggested that elevated cell-free DNA (cfDNA) can indicate non-healthy states. However, the potential association between cfDNA seminal plasma levels and fertility sperm parameters has not yet been determined. Therefore, the present study evaluated the association between seminal cfDNA levels and sperm fertility criteria to determine the use of seminal cfDNA quantification. An in vivo protocol quantified cfDNA levels of semen samples obtained from 163 male patients using fluorescent PicoGreen dye staining. To confirm if semen cfDNA quantification is realistic, an in vitro complementary test was performed using three or four semen samples. The fresh sperm samples were exposed to paraquat that generates high levels of superoxide anion causing oxidative stress and cell mortality. The results showed significant association between dsDNA levels and several sperm fertility parameters, such as low viability and alterations of motility and morphology. The in vitro analysis confirmed the association between dsDNA levels and sperm viability. Together, these results suggest that dsDNA levels could be an important biomarker to test sperm fertility.
The aim of this study was to analyse whether changes in physical activity and body fatness are related to modifications in cardiovascular risk factors among adolescents.
Material and methods
A sample of 89 healthy adolescents was recruited for this study. We assessed habitual physical activity, body fat percentage, arterial thickness, blood sample, and biological maturation. Multivariate models were used to analyse the relationships between independent and dependent variables.
Physical activity (mean difference: 429.4 steps [95% confidence interval=−427 to 1286]) and body fatness (mean difference: −0.7% [95% confidence interval=−1.6–0.2]) remained stable during the study period. Independent of changes in physical activity, for each percentage increase in body fatness, femoral intima-media thickness increased by 0.007 mm (β=0.007 [95% confidence interval=0.001–0.013]). Longitudinal relationships were found for high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (β=−0.477 mg/dl [95% confidence interval=−0.805 to −0.149]) and triacylglycerol (β=2.329 mg/dl [95% confidence interval=0.275–4.384]).
Changes in body fatness are more important than the amount of physical activity on cardiovascular and metabolic risks.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of dietary lysine on performance, protein deposition and respiratory chain gene expression in male broilers. A total of 252 Cobb 500 broilers were distributed, in a completely randomized design, into four treatments with seven replicates of nine birds per experimental unit. Experimental treatments consisted of diets based on corn and soybean meal, with four levels of digestible lysine: 1.016%, 1.099%, 1.182% and 1.265%. The increase in the level of digestible lysine in the diet provided higher weight gains, feed efficiency and body protein deposition. Birds fed the lowest level of dietary lysine (1.016%) showed a lower expression of genes such as NADH dehydrogenase subunit I (ND1), cytochrome b (CYTB) and cytochrome c oxidase subunits I (COX I), II (COX II) and III (COX III), displaying the worst performance and body protein deposition. This demonstrates the relationship existing between the expression of the evaluated genes and the performance responses. In conclusion, results indicate that broilers fed diets with higher levels of digestible lysine have increased messenger RNA expression of some genes coded in the mitochondrial electron transport chain (ND1, CYTB, COX I, COX II and COX III). It may be stated that diets with proper levels of digestible lysine, within the ‘ideal protein’ concept, promote the expression of genes, which increases the mitochondrial energy, thereby fostering body protein deposition and the performance of broilers in the starter phase.
To date no comprehensive evaluation has appraised the likelihood of bias or the strength of the evidence of peripheral biomarkers for bipolar disorder (BD). Here we performed an umbrella review of meta-analyses of peripheral non-genetic biomarkers for BD.
The Pubmed/Medline, EMBASE and PsycInfo electronic databases were searched up to May 2015. Two independent authors conducted searches, examined references for eligibility, and extracted data. Meta-analyses in any language examining peripheral non-genetic biomarkers in participants with BD (across different mood states) compared to unaffected controls were included.
Six references, which examined 13 biomarkers across 20 meta-analyses (5474 BD cases and 4823 healthy controls) met inclusion criteria. Evidence for excess of significance bias (i.e. bias favoring publication of ‘positive’ nominally significant results) was observed in 11 meta-analyses. Heterogeneity was high for (I2 ⩾ 50%) 16 meta-analyses. Only two biomarkers met criteria for suggestive evidence namely the soluble IL-2 receptor and morning cortisol. The median power of included studies, using the effect size of the largest dataset as the plausible true effect size of each meta-analysis, was 15.3%.
Our findings suggest that there is an excess of statistically significant results in the literature of peripheral biomarkers for BD. Selective publication of ‘positive’ results and selective reporting of outcomes are possible mechanisms.
A decimetric (1600 ± 100 MHz), high-sensitivity digital spectroscope has been put into regular operation at São José dos Campos, Brazil, since 1991 March. The dynamic spectra are recorded on 35 mm film while 20 frequencies each separated by 10 MHz are digitized with time resolution of 100 ms. So far, about 350 groups of solar bursts have been observed by this system. These have been classified as microwave type and decimetric reverse slope (RS) type III bursts. Here, we report statistical investigations of the properties of the 44 moderately strong groups of decimetric type III-RS bursts. The average total duration of these bursts is ~0.7 s, the drift rate varied between ~400 and 3000 MHz s−1 , and average decay time is ~120 ms. These observed drifts and timescales suggest that decimetric type III-RS bursts are generated by beam plasma interaction at second harmonic in the inhomogeneous chromosphere, and that the acceleration region is located at a density level of ≤109 cm−3 .
Nebovirus is a new genus of viruses belonging to the Caliciviridae family recently characterized in cattle, and is associated with gastrointestinal disorders, such as diarrhoea, anorexia and intestinal lesions particularly in calves. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of neboviruses in Brazilian cattle and analyse phylogenetically the virus strains detected. A prevalence of 4·8% of neboviruses in faecal samples from 62 head of cattle from different Brazilian states was detected. All positive animals were aged <20 days and had diarrhoea. Phylogenetic analysis clustered the virus sequences into the Newbury1 clade. There was >96·0% nt (100% aa) sequence identity between the virus sequences in this study and >88·8% nt (>94·4% aa) identity with Newbury1/UK. Our results indicate, for the first time, the occurrence of neboviruses in Brazil as well as in South America, and the first Newbury1-like nebovirus found outside the UK.
Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) is the most frequently reported fatal rodent-borne disease in Brazil, with the majority of cases occurring in Santa Catarina. We analysed the clinical, laboratory and epidemiological data of the 251 confirmed cases of HPS in Santa Catarina in 1999–2011. The number of cases ranged from 10 to 47 per year, with the highest incidences in 2004–2006. Gastrointestinal tract manifestations were found in >60% of the cases, potentially confounding diagnosis and leading to inappropriate therapy. Dyspnoea, acute respiratory failure, renal failure, increased serum creatinine and urea levels, increased haematocrits and the presence of pulmonary interstitial infiltrate were significantly more common in HPS patients who died. In addition, we demonstrated that the six cases from the midwest region of the state were associated with Juquitiba virus genotype. The case-fatality rate in this region, 19·2%, was lower than that recorded for other mesoregions. In the multivariate analysis increase of serum creatinine and urea was associated with death by HPS. Our findings help elucidate the epidemiology of HPS in Brazil, where mast seeding of bamboo can trigger rodent population eruptions and subsequent human HPS outbreaks. We also emphasize the need for molecular confirmation of the hantavirus genotype of human cases for a better understanding of the mortality-related factors associated with HPS cases in Brazil.
This paper describes the diversity of rodent fauna in an area endemic for hantavirus cardiopulmonary syndrome (HCPS) in Brazil, the population dynamics and the relationship of rodents with hantavirus in the Cerrado (savanna-like) biome. Additionally, an analysis is made of the partial S segment sequences of the hantaviruses obtained from serologically confirmed human HCPS cases and from rodent specimens. Rodents were collected during four campaigns. Human serum samples were collected from suspected cases of HCPS at hospitals in the state of Minas Gerais. The samples antibody-reactive by ELISA were processed by RT–PCR. The PCR product was amplified and sequenced. Hantavirus was detected only in Necromys lasiurus, the wild rodent species most prevalent in the Cerrado biome (min-max: 50–83·7%). All the six human serum samples were hantavirus seropositive and five showed amplified PCR products. The analysis of the nucleotide sequences showed the circulation of a single genotype, the Araraquara hantavirus. The environmental changes that have occurred in the Cerrado biome in recent decades have favoured N. lasiurus in interspecific competition of habitats, thus increasing the risk of contact between humans and rodent species infected with hantavirus. Our data corroborate the definition of N. lasiurus as the main hantavirus reservoir in the Cerrado biome.
Zinc oxide thin films prepared by sol-gel and doped with different aluminum percentages were deposited by spray-pyrolysis deposition techniques on FTO and ITO substrates. The films were applied as the sensitive layer of pH-sensors EGFET devices. ZnO:Al films on FTO substrates shows a decrease in sensor quality with the dopant percentage increase. The opposite occurs when the substrate was ITO. The best quality film to be used as pH-sensor on FTO substrates was the ZnO:Al (3%) with 29 mV/pH sensitivity value and linear adjust of 0.99. For ITO substrates the best quality was achieved for ZnO:Al (10%), with sensitivity about 30 mV/pH and 0.99 linear adjust.
The degree of development and operability of the indicators for the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) using Descriptor 1 (D1) Biological Diversity was assessed. To this end, an overview of the relevance and degree of operability of the underlying parameters across 20 European countries was compiled by analysing national directives, legislation, regulations, and publicly available reports. Marked differences were found between countries in the degree of ecological relevance as well as in the degree of implementation and operability of the parameters chosen to indicate biological diversity. The best scoring EU countries were France, Germany, Greece and Spain, while the worst scoring countries were Italy and Slovenia. No country achieved maximum scores for the implementation of MSFD D1. The non-EU countries Norway and Turkey score as highly as the top-scoring EU countries. On the positive side, the chosen parameters for D1 indicators were generally identified as being an ecologically relevant reflection of Biological Diversity. On the negative side however, less than half of the chosen parameters are currently operational. It appears that at a pan-European level, no consistent and harmonized approach currently exists for the description and assessment of marine biological diversity. The implementation of the MSFD Descriptor 1 for Europe as a whole can therefore at best be marked as moderately successful.
To analyse the relationship between different heart rate variability indices, resting heart rate, and cardiovascular markers in adolescents.
A cross-sectional study was carried out with information from an ongoing cohort study. The sample was composed of 99 adolescents who complied with the following inclusion criteria: aged between 11 and 14 years; enrolled in a school unit of elementary education; absence of any known diseases; no drug consumption; and a formal consent signed by the parents or legal guardians. Weight, height, heart rate variability, lipid profile, inflammatory markers, blood pressure, resting heart rate, intima-media thickness, blood flow, and trunk fatness were measured. Partial correlation and linear regression (expressed by β and 95% confidence intervals [95%CI]) analyses were used to analyse the relationships between the variables.
In the linear regression analysis, even after adjustments for sex, age, trunk fatness, and somatic maturation, parasympathetic activity presented significant correlations with maximum carotid artery blood flow (β=−0.111 [95%CI=−0.216; −0.007]), systolic blood pressure (β=−0.319 [95%CI=−0.638; −0.001]), and resting heat rate (β=−0.005 [95%CI=−0.009; −0.002]).
Parasympathetic activity at rest is inversely related to maximum and minimum blood flow, triacylglycerol levels, and systolic blood pressure. These findings suggest that heart rate variability has the potential to discriminate pre-pubertal adolescents at increased risk.