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Many plant traits might explain the different ecological and network roles of fruit-eating birds. We assessed the relationship of plant productivity, fruit traits (colour, seed size and nutritional quality) and dietary specialization, with the network roles of fruit-eating birds (number of partners, centrality and selectivity) in the Atlantic Forest, Brazil. We classified bird species according to their dietary specialization into three categories: obligate, partial and opportunistic fruit-eating birds. To test if network roles changed according to dietary specialization, fruit productivity and traits, we used a generalized linear model analysis. The selected 14 species of plant interacted with 52 bird species, which consumed 2199 fruits. The most central and generalist fruit-eating bird, Turdus albicolis, interacted with plants that produced more fruits, such as Miconia cinerascens, and had, on average, larger seeds, such as Myrcia splendens. The most selective birds interacted with fruits with a higher concentration of lipids and less intense colour, and plants that produced fewer fruits. Obligate fruit-eating birds, such as Patagioenas plumbea, were more selective than partial and opportunistic birds. Different plant traits are therefore related to the different network roles of fruit-eating birds in the Atlantic Forest, which are also dependent on bird dietary specialization.
There is no suitable vaccine against human visceral leishmaniasis (VL) and available drugs are toxic and/or present high cost. In this context, diagnostic tools should be improved for clinical management and epidemiological evaluation of disease. However, the variable sensitivity and/or specificity of the used antigens are limitations, showing the necessity to identify new molecules to be tested in a more sensitive and specific serology. In the present study, an immunoproteomics approach was performed in Leishmania infantum promastigotes and amastigotes employing sera samples from VL patients. Aiming to avoid undesired cross-reactivity in the serological assays, sera from Chagas disease patients and healthy subjects living in the endemic region of disease were also used in immunoblottings. The most reactive spots for VL samples were selected, and 29 and 21 proteins were identified in the promastigote and amastigote extracts, respectively. Two of them, endonuclease III and GTP-binding protein, were cloned, expressed, purified and tested in ELISA experiments against a large serological panel, and results showed high sensitivity and specificity values for the diagnosis of disease. In conclusion, the identified proteins could be considered in future studies as candidate antigens for the serodiagnosis of human VL.
To compare the accuracy of Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) and of the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) in tracking mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer’s Disease (AD).
A Systematic review of the PubMed, Bireme, Science Direct, Cochrane Library, and PsycInfo databases was conducted. Using inclusion and exclusion criteria and staring with 1,629 articles, 34 articles were selected. The quality of the selected research was evaluated through the Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies 2 tool (QUADAS-2).
More than 80% of the articles showed MoCA to be superior to MMSE in discriminating between individuals with mild cognitive impairment and no cognitive impairment. The area under the curve varied from 0.71 to 0.99 for MoCA, and 0.43 to 0.94 for MMSE, when evaluating the ability to discriminate MCI in the cognitively healthy elderly individuals, and 0.87 to 0.99 and 0.67 to 0.99, respectively, when evaluating the detection of AD. The AUC mean value for MoCA was significantly larger compared to the MMSE in discriminating MCI from control [0.883 (CI 95% 0.855-0.912) vs MMSE 0.780 (CI 95% 0.740-0.820) p < 0.001].
The screening tool MoCA is superior to MMSE in the identification of MCI, and both tests were found to be accurate in the detection of AD.
Polymorphisms in the growth hormone (GH) and IGF type-1 (IGF1) genes have been associated with the economic traits in farm animals, including BW of some sheep breeds. However, it remains unknown if these polymorphisms also affect carcass traits in sheep. Thus, we aimed to identify polymorphisms in the GH and IGF1 genes in Santa Ines sheep in order to describe their allelic and genotypic frequencies as well as to test the hypotheses that they are associated with the carcass traits. Fragments of 4550 bp (IGF1) and 1194 bp (GH) were sequenced in up to 191 lambs. In all, 18 polymorphisms were identified in the IGF1 and 21 in the GH gene. The IGF1 polymorphisms rs430457475, rs412470350, rs409110739 and rs400113576 showed an additive effect on the internal carcass length (−0.9265±0.4223), rump girth (−2.9285±1.1473), rib yield (−1.0003±0.4588) and neck weight (−0.0567±0.0278), respectively. In addition, the polymorphisms rs58957314 in the GH affected the rib weight (−0.4380±0.1272) and rib yield (−2.2680±0.6970), loin weight (−0.1893±0.0516) and loin yield (−0.9423±0.3259), palette weight (−0.2265±0.0779) and palette yield (−0.9424±0.4184), leg weight (−0.3960±0.1375), neck weight (−0.0851±0.0394) and carcass finishing score (−0.1700±0.0839). These results allow us to conclude that there are polymorphisms in the IGF1 and GH genes associated with carcass traits in Santa Ines sheep, which can provide important information for marker-assisted selection.
This study aimed to molecularly survey Bartonella in dogs from Chile. Quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) for Bartonella spp. based on nuoG gene was performed in 139 blood samples taken from dogs belonging to rural localities of the Valdivia Province, Los Ríos region, southern Chile. nuoG qPCR-positive samples were submitted to conventional PCR assays for ftsZ, gltA, rpoB and nuoG genes and sequencing for speciation and phylogenetic analysis. Based upon qPCR results, Bartonella spp. occurrence in dogs was 4.3% (6/139). Out of six nuoG qPCR-positive samples, six, three, two and none showed positive results in cPCR assays based on gltA, ftsZ, rpoB and nuoG genes, respectively. Consistent sequencing results were obtained only for the ftsZ gene from sample #1532 (GeneBank accession number: MG252491), and gltA gene from samples #1535 (MG252490) and #1532 (148 bp fragment that was not deposited in GenBank). Phylogenetic analysis of ftsZ and gltA genes allowed speciation of two nuoG-positive samples, one as Bartonella vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii and the other as B. henselae. Bartonella vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii and B. henselae are detected for the first time in dogs from Chile, highlighting the importance of the canine population as a source of zoonotic agents and potential infection risk to humans.
In vivo experiments are the preferred method for ruminant feed evaluation, but they are very expensive, laborious and time-consuming. In situ and in vitro techniques are commonly used as a routine all over the world as a predictor of in vivo results. In situ assays have been the basis of many feed evaluation systems due to its ease of use and low cost. In vitro techniques, such as gas production, give an opportunity to get similar information plus a better description of fermentative kinetics. The aim of this work was to compare data obtained from in vivo, in vitro and in situ assays for the evaluation of three tropical forages used in ruminant nutrition in Brazil.
ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae and particularly Escherichia coli ST131 isolates producing CTX-M enzymes are commonly found colonizing the intestine of nursing home (NH) residents, but ST131 subclonal structure has been scarcely explored in this vulnerable population. Our goal was to perform a pilot study to assess the faecal carriage rate and epidemiological features of ESBL- and/or carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (ESBL-E and CPE, respectively) among NH residents. For this purpose, faecal samples from residents at 4 different NHs in the North of Portugal (representing 9·5% of the residents’ population, July 2014) were screened for ESBL-E and/or CPE by phenotypic and genotypic methods. Clonal structure and plasmid typing of ESBL-producing E. coli (ESBL-Ec) was performed by PCR and sequencing. Four ESBL-Ec isolates (2 CTX-M-15/2 CTX-M-14) were found in 20% of the samples, all belonging to the pandemic clonal lineage B2-ST131-O25b:H4. Two different clades were identified, the C2/H30-Rx-virotype C producing CTX-M-15 and an atypical B/H22-like-virotype D5 (producing CTX-M-14 and fluoroquinolone-resistant), firstly described in Portugal. This pilot study highlights the role of NH residents as a source of different ST131 clades, besides emphasizing the importance of E. coli B2-ST131 subtyping in different clinical settings, and understanding the transmission dynamics of the different variants.
The objective of this study was to validate an electronic system for monitoring individual feeding and drinking behaviour and intake developed for young cattle housed in group. A total of 35 Holstein–Gyr crossbred heifers (BW: 180±52 kg; age: 121.5±32.5 days), fitted with an ear tag containing a unique passive transponder, were distributed in three groups of 12, 12 and 11 animals per period and had free access to 12 electronic feed bins and two electronic water bins (Intergado® Ltd). The dimensions of feed and water bins, as well as the sensors position were appropriate for young cattle. The system documented the visit frequency and duration, as well as the feed and water intakes, by recording the animal’s identification tag, bin number, initial and final times of visits and the difference of feed/water weight at the start and end of each bin visit. Feed bins were monitored using time-lapse video recording over 4 days and the water bins were monitored over 6 days. For each feed bin, two feeding events were monitored using manual weighings with an external scale immediately before and after the animal’s visit and the difference between them was assumed as feed intake (n=24 observations). For the water bins, 60 manual weighings were made. Video and manual weighing data were regressed on the electronic feeding and drinking behaviour and intake data to evaluate the system’s precision and accuracy. The system showed high specificity (98.98% and 98.56% for the feed and water bins, respectively) and sensitivity (99.25% and 98.74%, respectively) for identifying an animal’s presence or absence. Duration of feed and water bin visits as well as feed and water consumption per visit estimated by the system were highly correlated and precise compared with the observed video and manual weighing data (r2=0.917, 0.963, 0.973 and 0.986, respectively). It was concluded that Intergado® system is a useful tool for monitoring feeding and drinking behaviour as well as water and feed intakes in young cattle housed in groups.
This paper describes a short focus Astrometric Telescope (D=40cm; F=200cm) at the astronomical station of Campinas, in the State of Sao Paulo, which is a joint operation including the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, the State University of Campinas, the Catholic University of Campinas and the Municipal Government of Campinas City.
Mastitis is a major disease affecting the herds of dairy farmers worldwide. One of the indicators directly related to the widespread infection of this disease in herds is the bulk tank somatic cell count (BTSCC). Recent studies have shown that one of the risk factors associated with mastitis is the human factor. Therefore, understanding the influence of humans is essential to control and prevent the disease. The main goal of this study was to determine whether the motivations and barriers perceived by farmers could explain the variation in the BTSCC. This study was conducted at 75 dairy farms in southern Brazil. In the interviews with farmers, a survey based on Likert scale items was used to collect data. Structural equation models were used to explain the subjectivity in the ratio of observed variables and latent variables elucidating the possible causal relationships between the variables. The model indicated that some of the variation in the BTSCC can be explained by the farmer’s behavior, which is elucidated by his/her motivations and barriers. The correlations between motivations and the BTSCC and between barriers and the BTSCC were positive. These findings suggest that variations in the BTSCC can be explained by the motivations and barriers perceived by farmers and that the Fogg Behavior Model used in this study can be used to explain how human behaviors influence mastitis control. This study also indicates that consulting companies focused on improving milk quality should pay attention to the human factor to reduce these barriers.
The order Chiroptera is considered the second largest group of mammals in the world, hosting important zoonotic virus and bacteria. Bartonella and hemotropic mycoplasmas are bacteria that parasite different mammals’ species, including humans, causing different clinical manifestations. The present work aimed investigating the occurrence and assessing the phylogenetic positioning of Bartonella spp. and Mycoplasma spp. in neotropical bats sampled from Brazil. Between December 2015 and April 2016, 325 blood and/or tissues samples were collected from 162 bats comprising 19 different species sampled in five states of Brazil. Out of 322 bat samples collected, while 17 (5·28%) were positive to quantitative PCR for Bartonella spp. based on nuoG gene, 45 samples (13·97%) were positive to cPCR assays for hemoplasmas based on 16S rRNA gene. While seven sequences were obtained for Bartonella (nuoG) (n = 3), gltA (n = 2), rpoB (n = 1), ftsZ (n = 1), five 16S rRNA sequences were obtained for hemoplasmas. In the phylogenetic analysis, the Bartonella sequences clustered with Bartonella genotypes detected in bats sampled in Latin America countries. All five hemoplasmas sequences clustered together as a monophyletic group by Maximum Likelihood and Bayesian Inference analyses. The present work showed the first evidence of circulation of Bartonella spp. and hemoplasmas among bats in Brazil.
The δ Scuti stars are pulsating variables located in the lower part of the Cepheid instability strip with spectral types from A2 to F0 on the main sequence, and from A3 to F5 at luminosity class III. These variables show short periods (< 0.3day) and luminosity amplitudes ranging from a few thousandths of a magnitude to several tenths. Over the last few years, significant progress has been made in the detection of pulsating modes in the framework of the multisite campaigns, e.g. STACC (Frandsen et al. 1996), DSN (Breger et al. 1998), STEPHI (Michel et al. 2000). For the 1998 STEPHI IX photometry campaign, the δ Scuti star V534 Tau of the Pleiades cluster (see Table 1) was monitored during a three week, three continent run. Preliminary results are reported here.
Some results of the photometry multi-site observations of two δ Scuti stars, V624 Tau and HD 23194, are presented. The observations were carried out in the framework of a STEPHI network in 1999. We collected 343 hours of useful data and detected seven frequencies in V624 Tau and two frequencies in HD 23194.
Because of the high energy density, easy ignition, and good storability, mechanically alloyed Al·Mg powder has the potential to improve the performance characteristics of various energetic and gas-generating materials. Here, the use of this powder in combustible mixtures for generation of oxygen and hydrogen is explored. The mixtures for oxygen generation consisted of sodium chlorate, nanoscale cobalt oxide catalyst, and Al·Mg powder, while those for hydrogen generation included water, polyacrylamide as a gellant, and Al·Mg powder. To increase hydrogen yield, ammonia borane (NH3BH3) was also added to Al·Mg − water mixtures. Combustion experiments were conducted in an argon environment, using laser ignition. The thermal wave propagation over the oxygen-generating mixtures was studied using infrared video recording. It has been shown that mechanically alloyed Al·Mg material is a promising alternative to currently used iron because significantly smaller amounts of this additive are needed for a steady propagation of the combustion wave. The hydrogen generation experiments have shown that mixtures of mechanically alloyed Al·Mg powder with 10−60 wt% gelled water are combustible, with the front velocities exceeding the values obtained for the mixtures of water with nanoscale Al. Hydrogen yield was measured using mass-spectrometry. In the mixtures that included ammonia borane, D2O was used instead of H2O. Measurements of H2, D2, and HD concentrations in the product gas provided insight into the reaction mechanisms. The isotopic tests have shown that AB participates in two parallel processes − thermolysis and hydrolysis, thus increasing hydrogen yield.
The objective of this study was to evaluate the fatty acid profile and qualitative characteristics of meat from feedlot young bulls fed ground soybean or ground cottonseed, with or without supplementation of vitamin E. A total of 40 Red Norte young bulls, with an initial average age of 20 months, and an initial average BW of 339±15 kg, were allotted in a completely randomized design using a 2×2 factorial arrangement, with two oilseeds, and daily supplementation or not of 2500 IU of vitamin E. The experimental period was for 84 days, which was preceded by an adaptation period of 28 days. The treatments were ground soybean (SB), ground soybean plus vitamin E (SBE), ground cottonseed (CS) and ground cottonseed plus vitamin E (CSE). The percentage of cottonseed and soybean in the diets (dry matter basis) was 24% and 20%, respectively. Diets were isonitrogenous (13% CP) and presented similar amount of ether extract (6.5%). The animals were slaughtered at average live weight of 464±15 kg, and samples were taken from the longissimus dorsi muscle for the measurement of fatty acid concentration and the evaluation of lipid oxidation and color of the beef. Before fatty acid extraction, muscle tissue and subcutaneous fat of the longissimus dorsi were separated to analyze fatty acid profile in both tissues. Supplementation of vitamin E did not affect fatty acid concentration, lipid oxidation and color (P>0.05). Subcutaneous fat from animals fed CS diet had greater C12:0, C16:0 and C18:0 contents (P<0.03). In addition, CS diets reduced the C18:1 and C18:2 cis-9, trans-11 contents in subcutaneous fat (P<0.05). The muscle from animals fed CS tended to higher C16:0 and C18:0 contents (P<0.11), and decreased C18:1, C18:2 cis-9, trans-11 and C18:3 contents (P<0.05) compared with SB. The Δ9-desaturase index was greater in muscle from animals fed SB (P<0.01). At 42 days of age, meat from cattle fed SB had a greater lipid oxidation rate (P<0.05). Meat from animals fed SB diets had less lightness and redness indices than meat from animals fed CS diets after 14 days of age. In conclusion, the addition of ground cottonseed in the finishing diets did increase the saturated fatty acid content of the longissimus dorsi. However, animals fed cottonseed exhibited greater lightness and redness of beef. In this study, the addition of vitamin E did not affect qualitative characteristics of meat.
Certain trypanosomatids co-evolve with an endosymbiotic bacterium in a mutualistic relationship that is characterized by intense metabolic exchanges. Symbionts were able to respire for up to 4 h after isolation from Angomonas deanei. FCCP (carbonyl cyanide-4-(trifluoromethoxy)phenylhydrazone) similarly increased respiration in wild-type and aposymbiotic protozoa, though a higher maximal O2 consumption capacity was observed in the symbiont-containing cells. Rotenone, a complex I inhibitor, did not affect A. deanei respiration, whereas TTFA (thenoyltrifluoroacetone), a complex II activity inhibitor, completely blocked respiration in both strains. Antimycin A and cyanide, inhibitors of complexes III and IV, respectively, abolished O2 consumption, but the aposymbiotic protozoa were more sensitive to both compounds. Oligomycin did not affect cell respiration, whereas carboxyatractyloside (CAT), an inhibitor of the ADP-ATP translocator, slightly reduced O2 consumption. In the A. deanei genome, sequences encoding most proteins of the respiratory chain are present. The symbiont genome lost part of the electron transport system (ETS), but complex I, a cytochrome d oxidase, and FoF1-ATP synthase remain. In conclusion, this work suggests that the symbiont influences the mitochondrial respiration of the host protozoan.
Exoplanetary transit observations were carried out for the first time with all the three telescopes at the San Pedro Mártir National Astronomical Observatory in Baja California, Mexico.
We present preliminary results on WASP-39 and WASP-43, two Hot Jupiters known for the presence of a highly-inflated radius. Using the defocused photometry technique, we observed these systems, achieving photometric precision of ± 3–5mmag peak-to-valley. The preliminary fit of their lightcurves shows physical and orbital parameters consistent with published results.
Wild canids are potential hosts for numerous species of Bartonella, yet little research has been done to quantify their infection rates in South America. We sought to investigate Bartonella seroprevalence in captive wild canids from 19 zoos in São Paulo and Mato Grosso states, Brazil. Blood samples were collected from 97 wild canids belonging to four different native species and three European wolves (Canis lupus). Indirect immunofluorescent antibody testing was performed to detect the presence of B. henselae, B. vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii, B. clarridgeiae, and B. rochalimae. Overall, Bartonella antibodies were detected in 11 of the canids, including five (12·8%) of 39 crab-eating foxes (Cerdocyon thous), three (11·1%) of 27 bush dogs (Speothos venaticus), two (8·7%) of 23 maned wolves (Chrysocyon brachyurus) and one (12·5%) of eight hoary foxes (Lycalopex vetulus), with titres ranging from 1:64 to 1:512. Knowing that many species of canids make excellent reservoir hosts for Bartonella, and that there is zoonotic potential for all Bartonella spp. tested for, it will be important to conduct further research in non-captive wild canids to gain an accurate understanding of Bartonella infection in free-ranging wild canids in South America.
Spectroscopic redshift surveys are an incredibly valuable tool in cosmology, allowing us to trace the distribution of galaxies as a function of distance and, thus, trace the evolution of structure formation in the Universe. However, estimating the redshifts from spectra with low signal-to-noise is difficult, and such data are often either discarded or require human classification of spectral lines to obtain the galaxy redshift. Darth Fader offers an automated method for estimating the redshifts of galaxies in the low signal-to-noise regime. Using a sophisticated, wavelet-based technique, galaxy spectra can be separated into continuum, line and noise components, and the lines can then be cross-correlated with template spectra in order to estimate the redshifts. Cross-matching of the identified lines then allows for a cleaning of the resulting catalogue, effectively removing the vast majority of erroneous redshift estimates and resulting in a highly pure, highly accurate redshift catalogue. Darth Fader allows us to effectively use low signal-to-noise galaxy spectra, and dramatically reduces the number of human hours required to do this, allowing spectroscopic surveys to probe deeper into the formation history of the Universe.
This study demonstrates the potential application of glass particles doped with Zn+2 (GZn) as antimicrobial additives and atoxic of the HDPE and LLDPE polymers. Toxicity tests indicated the absence of toxicity in human cells. Microbiological tests proved the antimicrobial effect of GZn pure compound and of the additives polymeric compounds (HDPE/GZn and LLDPE/GZn). Have also indicated that with percentages of GZn higher than 2.00 wt% and a time of 4 hours the bactericidal performance is excellent and equal for both polymeric compounds.