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Bovine babesiosis is the most important protozoan disease transmitted by ticks. In Plasmodium falciparum, another Apicomplexa protozoan, the interaction of rhoptry neck protein 2 (RON2) with apical membrane antigen-1 (AMA-1) has been described to have a key role in the invasion process. To date, RON2 has not been described in Babesia bigemina, the causal agent of bovine babesiosis in the Americas. In this work, we found a ron2 gene in the B. bigemina genome. RON2 encodes a protein that is 1351 amino acids long, has an identity of 64% (98% coverage) with RON2 of B. bovis and contains the CLAG domain, a conserved domain in Apicomplexa. B. bigemina ron2 is a single copy gene and it is transcribed and expressed in blood stages as determined by RT-PCR, Western blot, and confocal microscopy. Serum samples from B. bigemina-infected bovines were screened for the presence of RON2-specific antibodies, showing the recognition of conserved B-cell epitopes. Importantly, in vitro neutralization assays showed an inhibitory effect of RON2-specific antibodies on the red blood cell invasion by B. bigemina. Therefore, RON2 is a novel antigen in B. bigemina and contains conserved B-cell epitopes, which induce antibodies that inhibit merozoite invasion.
Predation by Engytatus varians (Distant) adults on different development stages of the prey species Bactericera cockerelli (Sulcer) (egg, second, and third nymphal instars), Spodoptera exigua (Hübner) and Spodoptera frugiperda (J. E. Smith) (egg, first, and second larval instars) was evaluated using tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) leaflets or plants. These insects are the primary pest of several agriculturally important crops. The influence of E. varians age on the predation capacity was also analysed. Engytatus varians females consumed significantly more B. cockerelli eggs and nymphs than males. Additionally, female predators consumed significantly more second than third instar prey at two predator ages, while males consumed significantly more the second instar than third instar prey at all predator ages. In most of the cases, females also consumed significantly more S. exigua and S. frugiperda eggs than males; however, in terms of larvae consumption, this difference was observed only in some predator ages. Females consumed more the first than second instar S. exigua than males, whereas this behaviour was only observed in males when the predators were 15 and 17 days old. No significant differences were observed in the consumption of first and second instar of S. frugiperda for both sexes of the predators. Predator age did not cause any systematic effects on the predation rates of any prey species. Based on these results, we confirmed that E. varians has potential as a biological control agent for B. cockerelli and also for the Spodoptera species bioassayed.
All livestock animal species harbour complex microbial communities throughout their digestive tract that support vital biochemical processes, thus sustaining health and productivity. In part as a consequence of the strong and ancient alliance between the host and its associated microbes, the gut microbiota is also closely related to productivity traits such as feed efficiency. This phenomenon can help researchers and producers develop new and more effective microbiome-based interventions using probiotics, also known as direct-fed microbials (DFMs), in Animal Science. Here, we focus on one type of such beneficial microorganisms, the yeast Saccharomyces. Saccharomyces is one of the most widely used microorganisms as a DFM in livestock operations. Numerous studies have investigated the effects of dietary supplementation with different species, strains and doses of Saccharomyces (mostly Saccharomyces cerevisiae) on gut microbial ecology, health, nutrition and productivity traits of several livestock species. However, the possible existence of Saccharomyces which are indigenous to the animals’ digestive tract has received little attention and has never been the subject of a review. We for the first time provide a comprehensive review, with the objective of shedding light into the possible existence of indigenous Saccharomyces of the digestive tract of livestock. Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a nomadic yeast able to survive in a broad range of environments including soil, grass and silages. Therefore, it is very likely that cattle and other animals have been in direct contact with this and other types of Saccharomyces throughout their entire existence. However, to date, the majority of animal scientists seem to agree that the presence of Saccharomyces in any section of the gut only reflects dietary contamination; in other words, these are foreign organisms that are only transiently present in the gut. Importantly, this belief (i.e. that Saccharomyces come solely from the diet) is often not well grounded and does not necessarily hold for all the many other groups of microbes in the gut. In addition to summarizing the current body of literature involving Saccharomyces in the digestive tract, we discuss whether the beneficial effects associated with the consumption of Saccharomyces may be related to its foreign origin, though this concept may not necessarily satisfy the theories that have been proposed to explain probiotic efficacy in vivo. This novel review may prove useful for biomedical scientists and others wishing to improve health and productivity using Saccharomyces and other beneficial microorganisms.
Ceramic–metal composites are an important group of materials that have gained interest recently because of their peculiar properties. There have been numerous studies on the reinforcement of alumina through the incorporation of various ductile metals in it. However, these studies have been limited to determining the effect of the addition of metals on the mechanical properties of ceramics, without determining the effect of these metal additions on other physical properties of the resulting composite. In this way, in agreement with the obtained results, we have that because of the conductive nature of metals, there is a considerable decrease in the electrical resistivity of alumina, mainly when copper is added to it. However, in terms of optical performance, alumina matrix composites showed significant changes in absorbance in the visible spectra. The addition of iron, titanium, and yttrium enhanced the absorbance of alumina, whereas manganese addition significantly decreased the optical absorption.
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.
Trichomonas vaginalis induces cellular damage to the host cells (cytotoxicity) through the proteolytic activity of multiple proteinases of the cysteine type (CPs). Some CPs are modulated by environmental factors such as iron, zinc, polyamines, etc. Thus, the goal of this study was to assess the effect of glucose on T. vaginalis cytotoxicity, proteolytic activity and the particular role of TvCP2 (TVAG_057000) during cellular damage. Cytotoxicity assays showed that glucose-restriction (GR) promotes the highest HeLa cell monolayers destruction (~95%) by trichomonads compared to those grown under high glucose (~44%) condition. Zymography and Western blot using different primary antibodies showed that GR increased the proteolytic activity, amount and secretion of certain CPs, including TvCP2. We further characterized the effect of glucose on TvCP2. TvCP2 increases in GR, localized in vesicles close to the plasma membrane and on the surface of T. vaginalis. Furthermore, pretreatment of GR-trichomonads with an anti-TvCP2r polyclonal antibody specifically reduced the levels of cytotoxicity and apoptosis induction to HeLa cells in a concentration-dependent manner. In conclusion, our data show that GR, as a nutritional stress condition, promotes trichomonal cytotoxicity to the host cells, increases trichomonad proteolytic activity and amount of CPs, such as TvCP2 involved in cellular damage.
Our objective was to determine the frequency of zika (ZIKV), chikungunya (CHIKV) and dengue (DENV) virus coinfection and describe the mortality cases that occurred during the epidemiologic surveillance of the ZIKV epidemic in Colombia. We analysed all cases of suspected ZIKV infection that were reported to the National Institute of Health (October 2015–December 2016). DENV, CHIKV and ZIKV RNA were detected in serum or tissue samples using polymerase chain reaction assay. Medical records of the fatal cases were reviewed. We identified that 23 871 samples were processed. The frequency of viral agents was 439 (1.84%) for DENV, 257 (1.07%) for CHIKV and 10118 (42.38%) for ZIKV. Thirty-four (0.14%) cases of coinfection were identified. The CHIKV–ZIKV coinfection was present in 28 cases (82.3%), DENV–CHIKV in three (8.8%) and DENV–ZIKV in three (8.8%). Seven (20.6%) coinfection cases were fatal (two DENV–CHIKV cases and five CHIKV–ZIKV cases). Two cases were foetal deaths and the others were related to neurological syndrome and sepsis. In conclusion, the frequency of arbovirus coinfection during epidemic of ZIKV was low, and CHIKV–ZIKV coinfection was the most common. Mortality was high among coinfection patients. The role of each virus in the mortality cases of coinfection warrants further studies.
This work reports by the first time a method to control the geometry of Ga2O3 films nanocrystallites at 350 °C. The formation of controlled shaped nano-crystallites of γ-Ga2O3 from amorphous Ga2O3 films grown by RF-Sputtering at room temperature driven by nano-layers of group IB metals (Cu, Ag or Au) is studied. The reported results can be explained by the role of subsurface metal nano-layers and the non-equilibrium nature of the sputtering processes. To study the effects on the surface structure and their optical properties arrays of amorphous-Ga2O3/IB-metal/amorphous-Ga2O3 were annealed in dry N2 atmosphere at 350 °C by 50, 100 and 150 min. The experimental results can be explained by the evolution of the amorphous character of the films amorphous films towards the nanocrystalline γ-Ga2O3 phase driven by the metal nano-layer seed nature. As the annealing time was increased the transition from amorphous-Ga2O3 to the nanocrystalline γ-Ga2O3 phase was detected by X-ray diffraction analysis. The transition to the nanocrystalline γ-Ga2O3 is demonstrated by the formation of octahedral, triangle and ball shape nanocrystallites with sizes of ∼5 to 50 nm according to FE-SEM analysis. The influence of the metal nano-layer is clearly seen by the shift of the plasmon frequency resonance produced by the Ga2O3/IB-metal/Ga2O3 arrays in the region from 400 to 600 nm caused by the modification of the interface Ga2O3/IB-metal produced by the applied annealing stages.
Over the last decade, polymer composites reinforced with natural fibers gained interest, both from the academic world and from various industries. Due to the demanding needs for environmentally friendly composites, the automotive industry is now searching for biodegradable and renewable composite materials and products. There are a wide variety of different natural fibers which can be applied as reinforcement or fillers, showing potential as a replacement for inorganic fibers in automotive components. The fact that plastics are often economical to produce implies an advantage especially in very complex shapes, make them promising for obtaining composite materials, achieving short demolding times, as no chemical reaction is required. Moreover, polymers are used increasingly for stressed tribological components, whereby plastic parts replace metallic bearings, gear wheels or sliding elements. In this regard, the objective of this work was to produce composite materials based on natural fibers and to characterize the influence of the addition of different amounts of filler. To do so, composites of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and peanut shells (PS), at different proportions (2, 4 6, 8 and 10% wt.), were prepared. The composites were produced by injection molding and molded into a particular tension test simple mold. Although the FTIR presented an increment on the O-H vibration and a band around 1600 cm-1, the HDPE structure did not present modification. The mechanical properties of the HDPE were affected with the inclusion of the fibers. The tensile performance of the HDPE decrease with the increment of the fibers inclusion whiles the elastic modulus increases. The sample with 2% of natural fibers presented the lowest wear rate (k) and coefficient of friction (µ).
In the industry, the titanium nitride (TiN) coating is widely used in cutting tools, decorative and corrosion protection film, but unfortunately, this coating presented a poor performance under some work condition. For that, different studies have been dedicated to improving its properties with the inclusion of a third element that modifies the film structure, chemical and mechanical properties. In this work, TiN layers with/without of Al, B, and Cr inclusion were studied in order to analyze their effect in the film tribological performance. These were deposited using cathodic arc PVD technic on AISI-M2 steel. They were chemical and structural characterized using EDX and XRD, respectively. While the film thickness was determinate using a ball-cratering technique. Their tribological performance was studied using a sliding reciprocating movement in dry conditions, under three loads, at 30 min against Al2O3 ball as counterbody. The resulting wear tracks were studied using optical microscopy in order to study the wear mechanism. Raman spectroscopy was used to determinate the chemical changes produced on wear zones and the lost material was measured with a stylus profilometer. As result, the structure and morphology were modified with the inclusion of the third element. The TiN with the inclusion of Al and B presented a higher friction force and wear rate than TiN films. While the TiN with Cr inclusion film presented the best tribological performance with lower wear rate and friction coefficient. The Raman studies did not showed considerable changes on the damage coted surface areas, except for TiAlN coating that show the M2 tool steel Raman spectra on the areas where the film was removed.
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.
To translate, culturally adapt, and psychometrically evaluate the Spanish version of the “Scale for End-of Life Caregiving Appraisal” (SEOLCAS).
Observational cross-sectional study. Convenience sample of 201 informal end-of-life caregivers recruited in a southern Spanish hospital. The reliability of the questionnaire was assessed through its internal consistency (Cronbach's α) and temporal stability (Pearson's correlation coefficient [r] between test-retest). The content validity index of the items and the scale was calculated. Criterion validity was explored through performing a linear regression analysis to evaluate the SEOLCAS’ predictive validity. Exploratory factor analysis was used to examine its construct validity.
The SEOLCAS’ reliability was very high (Cronbach's α = 0.92). Its content validity was excellent (all items’ content validity index = 0.8–1; scale's validity index = 0.88). Evidence of the SEOLCAS’ criterion validity showed that the participants’ scores on the SEOLCAS explained approximately 79.3% of the between-subject variation of their results on the Zarit Burden Interview. Exploratory factor analysis provided evidence of the SEOLCAS’ construct validity. This analysis revealed that two factors (“internal contingencies” and “external contingencies”) explained 53.77% of the total variance found and reflected the stoic Hispanic attitude toward adversity.
Significance of results
The Spanish version of the SEOLCAS has shown to be an easily applicable, valid, reliable, and culturally appropriate tool to measure the impact of end-of-life care provision on Hispanic informal caregivers. This tool offers healthcare professionals the opportunity to easily explore Hispanic informal end-of-life caregivers’ experiences and discover the type of support they may need (instrumental or emotional) even when there are communicational and organizational constraints.
To compare the epidemiology, clinical characteristics, and mortality of patients with bloodstream infections (BSI) caused by extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL)-producing Escherichia coli (ESBL-EC) versus ESBL-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae (ESBL-KP) and to examine the differences in clinical characteristics and outcome between BSIs caused by isolates with CTX-M versus other ESBL genotypes
As part of the INCREMENT project, 33 tertiary hospitals in 12 countries retrospectively collected data on adult patients diagnosed with ESBL-EC BSI or ESBL-KP BSI between 2004 and 2013. Risk factors for ESBL-EC versus ESBL-KP BSI and for 30-day mortality were examined by bivariate analysis followed by multivariable logistic regression.
The study included 909 patients: 687 with ESBL-EC BSI and 222 with ESBL-KP BSI. ESBL genotype by polymerase chain reaction amplification of 286 isolates was available. ESBL-KP BSI was associated with intensive care unit admission, cardiovascular and neurological comorbidities, length of stay to bacteremia >14 days from admission, and a nonurinary source. Overall, 30-day mortality was significantly higher in patients with ESBL-KP BSI than ESBL-EC BSI (33.7% vs 17.4%; odds ratio, 1.64; P=.016). CTX-M was the most prevalent ESBL subtype identified (218 of 286 polymerase chain reaction-tested isolates, 76%). No differences in clinical characteristics or in mortality between CTX-M and non–CTX-M ESBLs were detected.
Clinical characteristics and risk of mortality differ significantly between ESBL-EC and ESBL-KP BSI. Therefore, all ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae should not be considered a homogeneous group. No differences in outcomes between genotypes were detected.