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Chagas Disease is a zoonosis caused by the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi. Several high-resolution markers have subdivided T. cruzi taxon into at least seven lineages or Discrete Typing Units (DTUs) (TcI-TcVI and TcBat). Trypanosoma cruzi I is the most diverse and geographically widespread DTU. Recently a TcI genotype related to domestic cycles was proposed and named as TcIDOM. Herein, we combined traditional markers and housekeeping genes and applied a Multispecies Coalescent method to explore intra-TcI relationships, lineage boundaries and genetic diversity in a random set of isolates and DNA sequences retrieved from Genbank from different countries in the Americas. We found further evidence supporting TcIDOM as an independent and emerging genotype of TcI at least in Colombia and Venezuela. We also found evidence of high phylogenetic incongruence between parasite's gene trees (including introgression) and embedded species trees, and a lack of genetic structure among geography and hosts, illustrating the complex dynamics and epidemiology of TcI across the Americas. These findings provide novel insights into T. cruzi systematics and epidemiology and support the need to assess parasite diversity and lineage boundaries through hypothesis testing using different approaches to those traditionally employed, including the Bayesian Multispecies coalescent method.
This study examined (1) the association of dietary energy density from solid (EDS) and solid plus liquids (EDSL) with adiposity and cardiometabolic risk factors (CRF) in children with overweight and obesity, (2) the effect of under-reporting on the mentioned associations and (3) whether the association between ED and body composition and CRF is influenced by levels of physical activity. In a cross-sectional design, 208 overweight and obese children (8–12-year-old; 111 boys) completed two non-consecutive 24 h recalls. ED was calculated using two different approaches: EDS and EDSL. Under-reporters were determined with the Goldberg method. Body composition, anthropometry and fasting blood sample measurements were performed. Moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) was registered with accelerometers (7-d-register). Linear regressions were performed to evaluate the association of ED with the previously mentioned variables. Neither EDS nor EDSL were associated with body composition or CRF. However, when under-reporters were excluded, EDS was positively associated with BMI (P=0·019), body fat percentage (P=0·005), abdominal fat (P=0·008) and fat mass index (P=0·018), while EDSL was positively associated with body fat percentage (P=0·008) and fat mass index (P=0·026). When stratifying the group according to physical activity recommendations, the aforementioned associations were only maintained for non-compliers. Cluster analysis showed that the low-ED and high-MVPA group presented the healthiest profile for all adiposity and CRF. These findings could partly explain inconsistencies in literature, as we found that different ED calculations entail distinct results. Physical activity levels and excluding under-reporters greatly influence the associations between ED and adiposity in children with overweight and obesity.
Objectives: Children with acquired brain injury (ABI) can present with disruptive behavior, which is often a consequence of injury and parent factors. Parent factors are associated with child disruptive behavior. Furthermore, disinhibition in the child also leads to disruptive behavior. However, it is unclear how these factors interact. We investigated whether parental factors influence child disruptive behavior following ABI and how these factors interact. Methods: Parents of 77 children with ABI participated in the study. Parent factors (executive dysfunction, trait-anxiety), potential intervention targets (dysfunctional parenting practices, parental stress, child disinhibition), and child disruptive behavior were assessed. A hypothetical model based on the literature was tested using mediation and path analysis. Results: Mediation analysis revealed that child disinhibition and dysfunctional parenting practices mediated the association of parent factors and child disruptive behavior. Parents’ executive dysfunction mediated the association of dysfunctional parenting practices, parental stress and parent trait-anxiety. Parenting practices mediated the association of executive dysfunction and child disruptive behavior. Path analysis indices indicated good model adjustment. Comparative and Tucker-Lewis Index were >0.95, and the root mean square error of approximation was 0.059, with a chi-square of 0.25. Conclusions: A low level of parental trait-anxiety may be required to reduce dysfunctional parenting practices and child disinhibition. Impairments in child disinhibition can be exacerbated when parents present with high trait-anxiety. Child disinhibition is the major contributor of disruptive behavior reported by parents and teachers. The current study provides evidence of parent anxiety and child disinhibition as possible modifiable intervention targets for reducing child disruptive behavior. (JINS, 2019, 25, 237–248)
Colombia's 6.5 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) have been exposed to trauma, loss, and hardships. Common mental disorders (CMDs) are prevalent in this group, yet there are few evidence-based psychosocial interventions for this population. We assessed the feasibility and acceptability of a stepped-care intervention for women IDPs in Bogota, Colombia.
Feasibility to recruit participants for an intervention trial, to screen for CMDs and displacement-related traumas, to refer high-risk cases to professional consultation, to implement evidence-based interpersonal counseling (IPC) for women with diagnosed CMDs, to retain participants in the intervention, and to conduct follow-up assessments was assessed. Assessment instruments were validated. The intervention was delivered by trained outreach personnel. Intervention acceptability was assessed by monitoring session attendance, dropout rates, and satisfaction. Potential efficacy was evaluated with pre- and post-intervention measures of CMDs.
We recruited 279 women IDPs into the intervention. On screening, 177 (63.4%) had symptom levels suggesting a CMD. Participants endorsed a wide range of displacement-related exposures. Most participants receiving IPC decreased their symptom levels at follow-up. Many participants did not complete the recommended number of IPC sessions; loss to follow-up was 30%. The performance of the outreach personnel improved after the initial intervention team was replaced with community members trained to deliver the intervention. The Bogotá health system was unable to reliably accommodate emergency psychiatric referrals.
The IPC intervention shows promise, but significant challenges remain for improving reach, adherence, and participant retention. We identified strategies and partnerships to redress some of the main study limitations.
We describe the use of immobilized deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) in a silica matrix as a biorecognition agent for the detection of albendazole sulfoxide (ASU), the primary metabolite of albendazole and a suspected teratogenic and embryotoxic agent. The biomaterial (DNA-containing gel) was synthesized by physical entrapment of salmon sperm in an inorganic silicate matrix by the sol-gel method. Functionality of the DNA-containing gel was evaluated by comparative offline frontal chromatography followed by HPLC analysis of ASU and caffeine (CAF, control) using DNA-containing gel and DNA-free gel. The DNA-containing gel showed relatively high specific retention for ASU, while CAF showed no retention using frontal analysis. We anticipate that the DNA-containing gel can be implemented to identify the interactions of DNA with other active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and their metabolites in a readily available, sensitive and selective frontal chromatography experiment.
This study assessed milk productivity, demographic characteristics and workload distribution on a single high-yield dairy ewe farm in Spain (Avila, Spain; continental climate, latitude of 40.90 N, altitude of 900 m) over a 7-year period considering a transition from a herd management system involving five lambings per year (5LY) to a system involving 10 lambings per year (10LY). The 5LY system was practiced on the farm from 2010 to 2012 and the 10LY system from 2014 to 2015, with 2009 and 2013 being considered transition years. During this period, 27 415 lactations were recorded from an average of 3746 Lacaune sheep/year. Several productivity parameters were higher in 2014 to 2015 than in 2010 to 2012: milk yield/lactation (370±156 v. 349±185 l), lactation length (218±75 v. 192±75 days) and dry period length (53.5±38.3 v. 69.1±34.8 days) (all P<0.0001). During 2014 to 2015, investment in new lambing facilities was possible, workload was distributed more uniformly throughout the year, workload per worker was smaller, rate of ewe culling was lower (35.39±0.53% v. 42.51±7.51%), ewe longevity was greater and higher-order lactations were more numerous (P<0.0001). On the other hand, during 2010 to 2012, daily production was higher (1.73±1.66 v. 1.70±0.62 l/day; P=0.038), the interlambing period was shorter (283±50 v. 302±44 days; P<0.0001) and lambings/ewe per year were greater (1.42±0.01 v. 1.30±0.01; P<0.05). These results suggest that a 10LY herd management system can be compatible with profitability, productivity and good animal and worker’s welfare on a high-yield dairy farm, and may even be associated with better outcomes than a 5LY system.
The aim of this study was to develop and to assess a specific Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) framework to evaluate new drugs in an hospital pharmacy and therapeutics committee (P&TC) setting.
A pilot criteria framework was developed based on the EVIDEM (Evidence and Value: Impact on DEcisionMaking) framework, together with other relevant criteria, and assessed by a group of P&TC's members. The weighting of included criteria was done using a 5-point weighting technique. Two drugs were chosen by evaluation: an orphan-drug for Gaucher disease, and a nonorphan drug for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease. Evidence matrices were developed, and value contribution of each drug was evaluated by P&TC's members. An agreed final framework was obtained through a discussion between the P&TC's members.
After criteria assessment, the pilot framework included eight quantitative criteria: “disease severity,” “unmet needs,” “comparative efficacy/effectiveness,” “comparative safety/tolerability,” “comparative patient-reported outcomes,” “comparative cost consequences-cost of treatment,” “comparative cost consequences-other medical costs,” and “quality of evidence”; and one contextual criterion: “opportunity costs and affordability.” The most valued criteria were: “comparative safety/tolerability,” “disease severity,” and “comparative efficacy/effectiveness.” When assessing the drugs most valued characteristics of the MCDA were the possibility that all team may contribute to drug assessment by means of scoring the matrices and the discussion to reach a consensus in drug positioning and value decision making.
The reflective MCDA would integrate quantitative and qualitative criteria relevant for a P&TC setting, allowing reflective discussions based on the criteria weighting score.
In this paper we review the design and development of a 100 J, 10 Hz nanosecond pulsed laser, codenamed DiPOLE100X, being built at the Central Laser Facility (CLF). This 1 kW average power diode-pumped solid-state laser (DPSSL) is based on a master oscillator power amplifier (MOPA) design, which includes two cryogenic gas cooled amplifier stages based on DiPOLE multi-slab ceramic Yb:YAG amplifier technology developed at the CLF. The laser will produce pulses between 2 and 15 ns in duration with precise, arbitrarily selectable shapes, at pulse repetition rates up to 10 Hz, allowing real-time shape optimization for compression experiments. Once completed, the laser will be delivered to the European X-ray Free Electron Laser (XFEL) facility in Germany as a UK-funded contribution in kind, where it will be used to study extreme states of matter at the High Energy Density (HED) instrument.
We present radiocarbon (14C) in tree rings from Mexico City and a reconstruction of fossil CO2 concentrations for the last five decades, as part of a research program to understand the 14C dynamics in this complex urban area. Background values were established by 14C concentrations in tree rings from a nearby clean area. Agreement between background and NH-zone 2 values indicate Taxodium mucronatum is a good biomonitor for annual atmospheric 14C variations. Values for the urban tree rings were significantly lower than background values, indicating a 14C depletion from fossil CO2 emissions. There is an increasing trend of fossil CO2 between 1960 and 1990, in agreement with the population growth and the increasing demand for fossil fuels in Mexico City. Between 1990 and 2000, there is an apparent decrease in fossil CO2 concentration, increasing again after 2000. The decrease in 2000, despite being of the same magnitude as the overall uncertainty, may reflect environmental policies that improved the energy efficiency and reduced CO2 emissions in the area. The increase in fossil CO2 concentration between 2000 and 2010 may be attributable to the significant growth of motor vehicle usage in Mexico City, which made transportation the main energy-demanding and -emitting sector.
Leishmaniasis is a complex of zoonotic diseases caused by parasites of the genus Leishmania, which can develop in domestic as well as wild animals and humans throughout the world. Currently, this disease is spreading in rural and urban areas of non-endemic regions in Brazil. Recently, bats have gained epidemiological significance in leishmaniasis due to its close relationship with human settlements. In this study, we investigated the presence of Leishmania spp. DNA in blood samples from 448 bats belonging to four families representing 20 species that were captured in the Triangulo Mineiro and Alto Paranaiba areas of Minas Gerais State (non-endemic areas for leishmaniasis), Brazil. Leishmania spp. DNA was detected in 8·0% of the blood samples, 41·6% of which were Leishmania infantum, 38·9% Leishmania amazonensis and 19·4% Leishmania braziliensis. No positive correlation was found between Leishmania spp. and bat food source. The species with more infection rates were the insectivorous bats Eumops perotis; 22·2% (4/18) of which tested positive for Leishmania DNA. The presence of Leishmania in the bat blood samples, as observed in this study, represents epidemiological importance due to the absence of Leishmaniasis cases in the region.
Current methods for assessing the impact of authors and scientific media employ tools such as H-Index, Co-Citation and PageRank. These tools are primarily based on citation counting, which considers all citations to be equal. This type of methods can produce perverse incentives to publish controversial or incomplete papers, as mixed or negative reviews often generate larger citation counts and better indexes, regardless of whether the citations were critical or exerted minimal influence on the citing document. Passing citations that are employed to establish background, which do not have a real impact on the citing paper, are common in scientific literature. However, these citations have equal weight in impact evaluations. Notable researchers have emphasized the need to correct this situation by developing estimation methods that consider the different roles of quotations in citing papers. To accomplish this type of evaluation, a context citation analysis should be applied to determine the nature of the citations. We propose that citations should be categorized using four dimensions – FUNCTION, POLARITY, ASPECTS and INFLUENCE – as these dimensions provide adequate information that can be employed toward the generation of a qualitative method to measure the impact of a given publication in a citing paper. In this paper, we used interchangeably the words influence and impact. We present a method for obtaining this information using our proposed classification scheme and manually annotated corpus, which is marked with meaningful keywords and labels to help identify the characteristics or properties that constitute what we call ASPECTS. We develop a classification scheme which considers purpose definition shared by previous works. Our contribution is to abstract purpose classes from several other schemes and divide a complex structure in more manageable parts, to attain a simple system that combines low granularity dimensions but nevertheless produces a fine-grained classification. For annotators, the classification process is simple because in a first step, the coders distinguish only four primary classes, and in a second pass, they add the information contained in ASPECTS keyword and labels to obtain the more specific functions. This way, we gain a high granularity labeling that gives enough information about the citations to characterize and classify them, and we achieve this detailed coding with a straightforward process where the level of human error could be minimized.
Nitrogen, one of the most abundant elements in the Universe is a fundamental element of molecules which are crucial for life. We present here the modelling of the emission of two of the simplest nitrogen-bearing molecules, CN and NO, with a non-LTE radiative transfer code in IRAS16293-2422, a class 0 low-mass protostar. In this model, we assumed IRAS16293-2422 is formed by 2 compact, hot and dense sources embedded in a three layers of envelope.
Isocyanic acid (HNCO) is a simple molecule containing the four main atoms essential for life and can be considered as a prebiotic molecule. To model the HNCO emission in the IRAS16293-2422 class 0 low-mass protostar, we used a new set of HNCO collisional coefficients with ortho-H2 and para-H2, computed from a set of rotational excitation quenching rates between HNCO and H2 based on a novel potential energy surface for the rigid molecules interactions. We present here the HNCO Potential Energy Surface used to compute this new set of collisional coefficients and the result of the IRAS16293-2422 HNCO spectrum modelling using them.
Meals are an important source of food intake, contributing to body weight and health status. Previous studies have examined the relationship between isolated mealtime behaviours and the metabolic syndrome (MetS). The aim of this study was to examine the influence over time of ten interrelated mealtime habits on the risk of developing the MetS and insulin resistance (IR) among Mexican adults. We conducted a prospective cohort study with a sample of 956 health workers. The Mealtime Habits Quality (MHQ) scale is based on four mealtime situations (availability of time to eat, distractions while eating, environmental and social context of eating, and familiar or cultural eating habits), which were used to assess the participants’ MHQ at the baseline (2004–2006) and follow-up (2010–2012) evaluations. The MetS was assessed using criteria from the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III (NCEP-ATP III) and the International Diabetes Federation (IDF). IR was defined using the homoeostasis model assessment. Crude and adjusted relative risks were calculated to estimate the relationship between MHQ and the risk of developing the MetS or IR. Participants classified in the lower MHQ category had an 8·8 (95 % CI 3·1, 25) and 11·1 (95 % CI 3·4, 36·1) times greater risk of developing the MetS (using the NCEP-ATP III and IDF criteria, respectively), and an 11·2 times (95 % CI 3·9, 31·5) greater likelihood of developing IR, compared with those in the higher MHQ group. This prospective study reveals that individuals who engaged in more undesirable than recommended mealtime behaviours had a >10-fold risk of developing the MetS or IR.