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To understand the production factors that affect conclusive parameters of sow herd performance can improve the use of the resources and profitability of farm. The objective of this study was to identify associations and quantify the effects of a set of factors related to piglet weight at weaning (PWW), kilograms of piglets weaned per sow per year (kgPWSY) and sow feed conversion (SFC). Data from 150 farms were collected, for a total study population of 135 168 sows, including gilt replacement, breeding (mating), gestation and farrowing/lactation phases. A questionnaire focusing on reproductive performance, management, facilities, feeding, health and biosafety was administered. Multiple linear regression models were used to assess associations among factors with each of the three dependent variables. Increased duration of lactation was positively associated with PWW, kgPWSY and SFC. The increase in the number of live born pigs per litter was positively associated with kgPWSY and with SFC. Farms with higher PWW had farrowing room humidifiers, did not surgically castrate male piglets and used quaternary ammonia compounds for farrowing room disinfection. Farms with higher kgPWSY used lined ceilings in farrowing rooms and winter feeds with higher CP percentages in gestation; they also had more farrowings per sow per year. Sow feed conversion was worse in farms with partly slatted floors during gestation, in farms feeding lactating sows six times a day or ad libitum and farms with a higher sow-handler ratio. This study indicates that farms can increase PWW and kgPWSY and improve the SFC by changing one or more management, biosafety and feeding practices or facilities as well as by focusing on improving several performance parameters, particularly increasing the duration of lactation and the number of live born pigs per litter.
We report a novel strategy to render stainless steel (SS) a more versatile material that is suitable to be used as the substrate for preparing electrodes for efficient hydrogen evolution by interface engineering. Our strategy involves the growth of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) by atmospheric pressure chemical vapor deposition (APCVD) as the interface material on the surface of SS. We optimized the procedure to prepare CNTs/SS and demonstrate a higher activity of the CNTs/SS prepared at 700 °C for the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) when compared to samples prepared at other temperatures. This can be attributed to the higher number of defects and the higher content of pyrrolic N obtained at this temperature. Our strategy offers a new approach to employ SS as a substrate for the preparation of highly efficient electrodes and has the potential to be widely used in electrochemistry.
This study evaluated the effects of rosuvastatin in vivo on toxoplasmosis chronic infection. Thirty-five Swiss mice were orally infected (ME-49 strain). After 50 days, the mice were separated into five groups: GI – non-infected, GII – infected, GIII – infected and treated with pyrimethamine and sulfadiazine (12.5 + 50 mg kg−1 body weight day−1), GIV and GV – infected and treated with rosuvastatin 10 and 40 mg kg−1 body weight day−1, respectively. After 21 days, we collected blood, liver, lungs, femoral biceps and brain were removed for Toxoplasma gondii DNA quantification by qPCR and histopathological analysis. GIV and GV did not present premature death or clinical changes, and the hepatic enzyme levels were lower compared to GI. Toxoplasma gondii DNA was detected mainly in brain and muscle, but the parasite load was significantly lower in GV compared to GII brains (P < 0.05). Histopathological changes were observed in brains, with T. gondii cysts as well as an inflammatory condition, including necrosis areas in GII and GIII. These data confirm active infection with tissue injury. This inflammatory condition was attenuated in the groups treated with rosuvastatin, especially R40 (GV). Our findings demonstrated the in vivo action of rosuvastatin in reducing cerebral parasitic load and indicate that this drug may interfere in chronic toxoplasmosis.
Cognitive tests of inhibitory control show variable results for the differential diagnosis between behavioural variant of Frontotemporal Dementia (bvFTD) and Alzheimer’s disease (AD). We compared the diagnostic accuracies of tests of inhibitory control and of a behavioural questionnaire, to distinguish bvFTD from AD.
Three groups of participants were enrolled: 27 bvFTD patients, 25 AD patients, and 24 healthy controls. Groups were matched for gender, education, and socio-economic level. Participants underwent a comprehensive neuropsychological assessment of inhibitory control, including Hayling Test, Stroop, the Five Digits Test (FDT) and the Delay Discounting Task (DDT). Caregivers completed the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale 11th version (BIS-11).
bvFTD and AD groups showed no difference in the tasks of inhibitory control, while the caregiver questionnaire revealed that bvFTD patients were significantly more impulsive (BIS-11: bvFTD 76.1+9.5, AD 62.9+13, p < .001).
Neuropsychological tests of inhibitory control failed to distinguish bvFTD from AD. On the contrary, impulsivity caregiver-completed questionnaire provided good distinction between bvFTD and AD. These results highlight the current limits of cognitive measures of inhibitory control for the differential diagnosis between bvFTD and AD, whereas questionnaire information appears more reliable and in line with clinical diagnostics.
Many school-based interventions for obesity prevention have been proposed with positive changes in behaviour, but with unsatisfactory results on weight change. The objective was to verify the effectiveness of a combined school- and home-based obesity prevention programme on excessive weight gain in adolescents. Teachers delivered the school-based primary prevention programme to fifth- and sixth-graders (nine schools, forty-eight control classes, forty-nine intervention classes), which included encouraging healthy eating habits and physical activity. A subgroup of overweight or obese adolescents also received a home-based secondary prevention programme delivered by community health professionals. Schools were randomised to intervention or control group. Intent-to-treat analysis used mixed models for repeated continuous measures and considered the cluster effect. The main outcomes were changes in BMI and percentage body fat (%body fat) after one school-year of intervention and follow-up. Against our hypothesis, BMI increased more in the intervention group than in the control group (Δ = 0·3 kg/m2; P = 0·05) with a greater decrease in %body fat among boys (Δ = –0·6 %; P = 0·03) in the control group. The intervention group increased physical activity by 12·5 min per week compared with the control group. Female adolescents in the intervention group ate healthier items more frequently than in the control group. The subgroup that received both the school and home interventions had an increase in %body fat than in the control group (Δ = 0·89 %; P = 0·01). In the present study, a behavioural change led to a small increase in physical activity and healthy eating habits but also to an overall increase in food intake.
In recent years, mobile robots have become increasingly frequent in daily life applications, such as cleaning, surveillance, support for the elderly and people with disabilities, as well as hazardous activities. However, a big challenge arises when the robotic system must perform a fully autonomous mission. The main problems of autonomous missions include path planning, localisation, and mapping. Thus, this research proposes a hybrid methodology for mobile robots on an autonomous mission involving an offline approach that uses the Direct-DRRT* algorithm and the artificial potential fields algorithm as the online planner. The experimental design covers three scenarios with an increasing degree of accuracy in respect of the real world. Additionally, an extensive evaluation of the proposed methodology is reported.
The University of São Paulo Twin Panel (Painel USP de Gêmeos), based at the Institute of Psychology of the University of São Paulo, started formally in 2017. Our registry is new, but in only two years of formal existence, it comprises a volunteer sample of 4826 registered individuals (98% twins and 2% higher-order multiples), recruited at the University of São Paulo and by social media campaigns. Our main aim is to conduct and promote research with twins on psychological processes and behavior. The University of São Paulo is the largest higher education and research institution in South America, and the Painel USP de Gêmeos has great potential for fostering research on twin-related issues from a psychological perspective in Brazil and South America.
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.
Intake in sugar-rich diets can be limited either via rumen fill or excessive rumen fermentation and source of non-fibre carbohydrate (NFC) in the diet can affect both factors. The aim of the current study was to quantify the effect of partially replacing ground maize (GM) with steam-rolled maize (SRM) or pelleted citrus pulp (PCP) at two concentrate levels in sugarcane-based diets on digestibility, rumen ecosystem and metabolism of Nellore steers. Six rumen-cannulated steers were assigned to a 6 × 6 Latin square, replicated in time, in a 2 × 3 factorial arrangement of treatments with two levels of concentrate (600 or 800 g concentrate/kg dry matter [DM]) and three NFC sources. Each steer within a period was considered an experimental unit. Feeding more concentrate increased total tract digestibility of organic matter and decreased fibre intake and passage rate. It also reduced rumen populations of Fibrobacter succinogenes and Streptococcus bovis and increased Ruminococcus flavefaciens. Substituting PCP for GM increased rumen pH, acetic acid and organic matter digestibility. Feeding PCP also reduced R. flavefaciens and R. amylophilus rumen populations. Substituting SRM for GM increased starch digestibility and rumen propionic acid, but decreased rumen ammonia concentration. Feeding SRM increased rumen populations of Megasphaera elsdenii with the high-concentrate diet but reduced Ruminococcus albus populations at both concentrate levels. In conclusion, partial replacement of GM by PCP decreased intake in sugar-rich diets, while increasing total tract neutral detergent fibre digestibility. Replacement of GM with SRM increases rumen fermentation and total tract digestibility of starch.
Replacing ground maize (GM) with steam-rolled maize typically increases feed efficiency in maize-silage-based diets. However, little is known about optimal carbohydrate supplementation in sugarcane silage-based diets. The objective was to quantify the effect of partially replacing GM with steam-rolled maize (SRM) or pelleted citrus pulp (PCP) at two concentrate levels (600 or 800 g/kg DM) in sugarcane-based diets on feeding behaviour, performance and blood parameters of finishing Nellore bulls. One hundred and eight young bulls were allocated to 36 pens in a randomized block design and fed for 84 d. Feeding 800 g/kg concentrate decreased time spending eating and ruminating, but improved G:F ratio, hot carcass weight and carcass dressing, compared to 600 g/kg concentrate. Bulls fed SRM and PCP diets with 600 g/kg concentrate had lower intake compared to GM. Both final weight and average daily gain decreased when bulls were fed PCP and SRM with 600 g/kg concentrate compared to GM diets, and when fed with PCP and 800 g/kg concentrate. Substituting PCP for GM decreased gain efficiency, carcass weight, rumination time and intake efficiency, indicating that the bulls consumed less feed per hour spent eating. Substituting SRM for GM increased backfat thickness and blood urea concentration. In conclusion, the replacement of GM with PCP reduces intake and enhances selection against large particles, decreasing rumination, performance and final carcass weight and dressing. Replacement of GM with SRM increases blood urea and fat deposition, with no impact on performance.
New therapeutic approaches are necessary to control strongyloidiasis due to the side effects of, and resistance to, currently available drugs thiabendazole, albendazole, and ivermectin. This study examined the anthelmintic properties of extracts and isolated compounds from Siparuna guianensis against Strongyloides venezuelensis eggs and larvae, using the egg hatching test (EHT) and larval motility test (LMT). Albendazole (0.025 mg/ml) and ivermectin (0.316 mg/ml) were used as the positive controls for the EHT and LMT assays, respectively. Strongyloides venezuelensis eggs or larvae (±50 specimens) were treated with ethanol extract (0.05–1.0 mg/ml), ethyl acetate and aqueous fractions (0.05–0.8 mg/ml), essential oil (0.2–1.0 mg/ml) and α-bisabolol (0.2–1.0 mg/ml) from S. guianensis, and analysed by optical microscopy after 48 h (EHT), or after 24, 48 and 72 h (LMT). All the tested compounds exhibited ovicidal activity equivalent to the positive control and changed the morphology of the eggs. The S. guianensis ethanol extract and aqueous fraction were as effective as the positive control. Phytochemical analysis of the ethanol extract and fractions revealed the presence of phenolic compounds, tannins and flavonoids. Therefore, S. guianensis is effective against S. venezuelensis eggs and larvae in vitro, and can be considered as a potential alternative treatment for strongyloidiasis.
Perinatal maternal high-fat diet (HFD) increases susceptibility to obesity and fatty liver diseases in adult offspring, which can be attenuated by the potent hypolipidaemic action of fish oil (FO), an n-3 PUFA source, during adult life. Previously, we described that adolescent HFD offspring showed resistance to FO hypolipidaemic effects, although FO promoted hepatic molecular changes suggestive of reduced lipid accumulation. Here, we investigated whether this FO intervention only during the adolescence period could affect offspring metabolism in adulthood. Then, female Wistar rats received isoenergetic, standard (STD: 9 % fat) or high-fat (HFD: 28·6 % fat) diet before mating, and throughout pregnancy and lactation. After weaning, male offspring received the standard diet; and from 25 to 45 d old they received oral administration of soyabean oil or FO. At 150 d old, serum and hepatic metabolic parameters were evaluated. Maternal HFD adult offspring showed increased body weight, visceral adiposity, hyperleptinaemia and decreased hepatic pSTAT3/STAT3 ratio, suggestive of hepatic leptin resistance. FO intake only during the adolescence period reduced visceral adiposity and serum leptin, regardless of maternal diet. Maternal HFD promoted dyslipidaemia and hepatic TAG accumulation, which was correlated with reduced hepatic carnitine palmitoyl transferase-1a content, suggesting lipid oxidation impairment. FO intake did not change serum lipids; however, it restored hepatic TAG content and hepatic markers of lipid oxidation to STD offspring levels. Therefore, we concluded that FO intake exclusively during adolescence programmed STD offspring and reprogrammed HFD offspring male rats to a healthier metabolic phenotype in adult life, reducing visceral adiposity, serum leptin and hepatic TAG content in offspring adulthood.
The study aims to evaluate the antiprotozoal activities of 20 plant metabolites on Trypanosoma cruzi and Leishmania amazonensis amastigotes. Compounds 1–20 were obtained and identified by using chromatographic and spectroscopic techniques. The antiparasitic assays were performed on the intracellular form of T. cruzi and L. amazonensis using human leukaemic THP-1 cells as the host. The mechanism of action of the most active compounds was explored in silico by molecular docking using T. cruzi trypanothione reductase (TR) as a target, whereas the in vitro studies were performed by enzymatic assay using T. cruzi recombinant TR. In addition, the mitochondrial membrane potential was evaluated by flow cytometry. Two flavonoids, one triterpene and three acetogenins showed from high to moderate trypanocidal activities with IC50 values ranging 3.6–37.2 µm while three of the metabolites were moderately leishmanicidal. The molecular docking study revealed interactions between TR and the most trypanocidal compounds 1 (abyssinone IV) and 2 (atalantoflavone). In contrast, both showed no effect on TR in vitro. For the mitochondrial membrane potential assay, atalantoflavone (2) displayed a dose-dependent depolarization. On the basis of the aforementioned results, this compound's structure could be chemically explored in order to develop more potent trypanocidal derivatives.
The objective of the current paper was to apply mixed models to adjust the growth curve of quail lines for meat and laying hens and present the rates of instantaneous, relative and absolute growth. A database was used with birth weight records up to the 148th day of female quail of the lines for meat and posture. The models evaluated were Brody, Von Bertalanffy, Logistic and Gompertz and the types of residues were constant, combined, proportional and exponential. The Gompertz model with the combined residue presented the best fit. Both strains present a high correlation between the parameters asymptotic weight (A) and average growth rate (k). The two strains presented a different growth profile. However, growth rates allow greater discernment of growth profiles. The meat line presented a higher growth rate (6.95 g/day) than the lineage for laying (3.65 g/day). The relative growth rate was higher for lineage for laying (0.15%) in relation to the lineage for meat (0.13%). The inflection point of both lines is on the first third of the growth curve (up to 15 days). All results suggest that changes in management or nutrition could optimize quail production.
Inclusion of legume in grass pastures optimizes protein values of the forage and promotes improved digestibility. Therefore, we hypothesized that finishing steers on a novel combination of legumes and grass pasture would produce carcasses with acceptable traits when compared to carcasses from steers finished in feedlot systems. In this study, we evaluated the effects of finishing steers on three systems including: grazing legume–grass pasture containing oats, ryegrass, white and red clover (PAST), grazing PAST plus supplementation with whole corn grain (14 g/kg BW (SUPP)), and on a feedlot-confined system with concentrate only (28 g/kg BW, consisting of 850 g/kg of whole corn grain and 150 g/kg of protein–mineral–vitamin supplement (GRAIN)) on growth performance of steers, carcass traits and digestive disorders. Eighteen steers were randomly assigned to one of three dietary treatments and finished for 91 days. Data regarding pasture and growth performance were collected during three different periods (0 to 28, 29 to 56 and 57 to 91 days). Subsequently, steers were harvested to evaluate carcass traits, presence of rumenitis, abomasitis and liver abscesses. The legume–grass pasture provided more than 19% dry matter of protein. In addition, pasture of paddocks where steers were assigned to SUPP and PAST treatments showed similar nutritional quality. When compared to PAST, finishing on SUPP increased total weight gain per hectare, stocking rate, daily and total weight gains. The increase of weight gain was high to GRAIN than SUPP and PAST. Steers finished on GRAIN had high hot carcass weight, fat thickness and marbling score when compared to PAST. However, these attributes did not differ between GRAIN and SUPP. Abomasum lesions were more prevalent in steers finished on GRAIN when compared to PAST. Results of this research showed that it is possible to produce carcasses with desirable market weight and fat thickness by finishing steers on legume–grass pasture containing oats, ryegrass, white and red clover. Moreover, supplementing steers with corn when grazing on legume–grass pasture produced similar carcass traits when compared to beef fed corn only.
In the current study, phage-exposed mimotopes as targets against tegumentary leishmaniasis (TL) were selected by means of bio-panning cycles employing sera of TL patients and healthy subjects, besides the immune stimulation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) collected from untreated and treated TL patients and healthy subjects. The clones were evaluated regarding their specific interferon-γ (IFN-γ) and interleukin-4 (IL-4) production in the in vitro cultures, and selectivity and specificity values were calculated, and those presenting the best results were selected for the in vivo experiments. Two clones, namely A4 and A8, were identified and used in immunization protocols from BALB/c mice to protect against Leishmania amazonensis infection. Results showed a polarized Th1 response generated after vaccination, being based on significantly higher levels of IFN-γ, IL-2, IL-12, tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF); which were associated with lower production of specific IL-4, IL-10 and immunoglobulin G1 (IgG1) antibodies. Vaccinated mice presented significant reductions in the parasite load in the infected tissue and distinct organs, when compared with controls. In conclusion, we presented a strategy to identify new mimotopes able to induce Th1 response in PBMCs from TL patients and healthy subjects, and that were successfully used to protect against L. amazonensis infection.
The aim of this study was to establish a functional freezing–thawing protocol for epididymal sperm of collared peccaries (Pecari tajacu L., 1758) by comparing different extenders. The epididymal sperm from 12 sexually mature males was recovered by retrograde flushing using Tris-based or coconut water-based (ACP®-116c) extenders. After initial evaluation, samples were diluted and frozen with the same extenders to which 20% egg yolk and 6% glycerol were added. After 2 weeks, thawing was performed at 37°C/60 s and sperm motility, vigour, morphology, functional membrane integrity, sperm viability, sperm plasma membrane integrity, and a computer-assisted semen analysis (CASA) were assessed. In addition, to evaluate the survival of frozen–thawed sperm, a thermal resistance test (TRT) was executed. Samples preserved using Tris were in better condition compared with those preserved using ACP®, showing higher values for most assessments performed, including CASA and the TRT (P<0.05). After determining Tris to be the better of the two extenders, additional samples were thawed using different thawing rates (37°C/60 s, 55°C/7 s, 70°C/8 s). Sperm thawed at 37°C/60 s had the greatest preservation (P<0.05) of viability (54.1 ± 5.9%) and functional membrane integrity (43.2 ± 5.4%), and had higher values for various CASA parameters. In conclusion, we suggest the use of a Tris-based extender added to egg yolk and glycerol for the cryopreservation of epididymal sperm obtained from collared peccaries. In order to achieve better post-thawing sperm quality, we suggest that samples should be thawed at 37°C/60 s.
We examine a test for weak stationarity against alternatives that covers both local-stationarity and break point models. A key feature of the test is that its asymptotic distribution is a functional of the standard Brownian bridge sheet in [0,1]2, so that it does not depend on any unknown quantity. The test has nontrivial power against local alternatives converging to the null hypothesis at a T−1/2 rate, where T is the sample size. We also examine an easy-to-implement bootstrap analogue and present the finite sample performance in a Monte Carlo experiment. Finally, we implement the methodology to assess the stability of inflation dynamics in the United States and on a set of neuroscience tremor data.
Monitoring vectors is relevant to ascertain transmission of lymphatic filariasis (LF). This may require the best sampling method that can capture high numbers of specific species to give indication of transmission. Gravid anophelines are good indicators for assessing transmission due to close contact with humans through blood meals. This study compared the efficiency of an Anopheles gravid trap (AGT) with other mosquito collection methods including the box and the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention gravid, light, exit and BioGent-sentinel traps, indoor resting collection (IRC) and pyrethrum spray catches across two endemic regions of Ghana. The AGT showed high trapping efficiency by collecting the highest mean number of anophelines per night in the Western (4.6) and Northern (7.3) regions compared with the outdoor collection methods. Additionally, IRC was similarly efficient in the Northern region (8.9) where vectors exhibit a high degree of endophily. AGT also showed good trapping potential for collecting Anopheles melas which is usually difficult to catch with existing methods. Screening of mosquitoes for infection showed a 0.80–3.01% Wuchereria bancrofti and 2.15–3.27% Plasmodium spp. in Anopheles gambiae. The AGT has shown to be appropriate for surveying Anopheles populations and can be useful for xenomonitoring for both LF and malaria.
The anti-leishmania effects of HIV peptidase inhibitors (PIs) have been widely reported; however, the biochemical target and mode of action are still a matter of controversy in Leishmania parasites. Considering the possibility that HIV-PIs induce lipid accumulation in Leishmania amazonensis, we analysed the effects of lopinavir on the lipid metabolism of L. amazonensis promastigotes. To this end, parasites were treated with lopinavir at different concentrations and analysed by fluorescence microscopy and spectrofluorimetry, using a fluorescent lipophilic marker. Then, the cellular ultrastructure of treated and control parasites was analysed by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and the lipid composition was investigated by thin-layer chromatography (TLC). Finally, the sterol content was assayed by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC/MS). TEM analysis revealed an increased number of lipid inclusions in lopinavir-treated cells, which was accompanied by an increase in the lipophilic content, in a dose-dependent manner. TLC and GC–MS analysis revealed a marked increase of cholesterol-esters and cholesterol. In conclusion, lopinavir-induced lipid accumulation and affected lipid composition in L. amazonensis in a concentration–response manner. These data contribute to a better understanding of the possible mechanisms of action of this HIV-PI in L. amazonensis promastigotes. The concerted action of lopinavir on this and other cellular processes, such as the direct inhibition of an aspartyl peptidase, may be responsible for the arrested development of the parasite.