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There is no agreement regarding which solvent is more suitable to obtain sol–gel–derived titania (TiO2) samples with an enhanced photocatalytic behavior. Furthermore, the solvent effect on the preparation of TiO2-RGO (reduced graphene oxide) nanocomposites has not been published yet and could be an attractive experimental strategy to modulate structure and properties. On the basis of these observations, TiO2-RGO nanocomposites were fabricated in this study. It was evaluated for the influence of using either isopropyl (IsoprOH) or ethyl (EtOH) alcohol on the textural and photocatalytic properties of the prepared materials. The use of IsoprOH led to samples with smaller crystallite size, narrower apparent band gap, smaller isoelectric point, larger adsorption capacity, and higher photocatalytic activity. In addition, the incorporation of RGO into TiO2 greatly improved the adsorption capacity and photocatalytic activity of the latter. However, the optimal loading of RGO to prepare composites with enhanced photocatalytic activities was 1 wt%. This finding can be related to the stacking of RGO sheets when concentrations above 1 wt% are used, which could prevent UV light to reach the TiO2 particles and also decrease the photocatalytic capacity of the composites. Moreover, materials with RGO concentration above 1 wt% could exhibit a highly negatively charged surface, which may decrease the separation of the generated electron–hole pairs and lead to faster recombination rates of charge carriers.
Both transposition of the great arteries (TGA) previously submitted to a Senning/Mustard procedure and congenitally corrected TGA (cc-TGA) have the systemic circulation supported by the morphological right ventricle, thereby rendering these patients to heart failure events risk. The aim of this study was to evaluate cardiopulmonary exercise test parameters for stratifying the risk of heart failure events in TGA patients.
Retrospective evaluation of adult TGA patients with systemic circulation supported by the morphological right ventricle submitted to cardiopulmonary exercise test in a tertiary centre. Patients were followed up for at least 1 year for the primary endpoint of cardiac death or heart failure hospitalisation. Several cardiopulmonary exercise test parameters were analysed as potential predictors of the combined endpoint and their predictive power were compared (area under the curve).
Cardiopulmonary exercise test was performed in 44 TGA patients (8 cc-TGA), with a mean age of 35.1 ± 8.4 years. The primary endpoint was reached by 10 (22.7%) patients, with a mean follow-up of 36.7 ± 26.8 months. Heart rate at anaerobic threshold had the highest area under the curve value (0.864), followed by peak oxygen consumption (pVO2) (0.838). Heart rate at anaerobic threshold ≤95 bpm and pVO2 ≤20 ml/kg/min had a sensitivity of 87.5 and 80.0% and a specificity of 82.4 and 76.5%, respectively, for the primary outcome.
Heart rate at anaerobic threshold ≤95 bpm had the highest predictive power of all cardiopulmonary exercise test parameters analysed for heart failure events in TGA patients with systemic circulation supported by the morphological right ventricle.
Considering a potential exercise-drug interaction, we investigated whether exercise training could improve the efficacy of specific antiparasitic chemotherapy in a rodent model of Chagas disease. Wistar rats were randomized into five groups: sedentary and uninfected (CT); sedentary and infected (SI); sedentary, infected and treated (SIT); trained and infected (TI); trained, infected and treated (TIT). After 9-weeks running training, the animals were infected with T. cruzi and followed up for 4 weeks, receiving 100 mg kg−1 day−1 benznidazole. No evidence of myocarditis was observed in CT animals. TI animals exhibited reduced parasitemia, myocarditis, and reactive tissue damage compared to SI animals, in addition to increased IFN-γ, IL-4, IL-10, heart non-protein antioxidant (NPA) levels and glutathione-s transferase activity (P < 0.05). The CT, SIT and TIT groups presented similar reductions in parasitemia, cytokines (IFN-γ, TNF-α, IL-4, IL-10, IL-17 and MCP-1), inflammatory infiltrate, oxidative heart damage and antioxidant enzymes activity compared to SI and TI animals, as well as reduced heart microstructural remodeling (P < 0.05). By modulating heart inflammation and redox metabolism, exercise training exerts a protective effect against T. cruzi infection in rats. However, the antiparasitic and cardioprotective effects of benznidazole chemotherapy are more pronounced, determining similar endpoints in sedentary and trained T. cruzi-infected rats.
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 characterize the food environment in schools that participated in the Study of Cardiovascular Risks in Adolescents (ERICA) and to identify individual and contextual factors associated with hypertension and obesity.
National school-based survey.
Blood pressure, weight and height were measured, and characteristics of the schools were obtained in interviews with the principals. For each outcome, multilevel models of mixed effects were applied by logistic regression.
School-going adolescents aged 12–17 years.
A total of 73 399 adolescents were evaluated. The prevalence of hypertension was 9·6 (95 % CI 9·0, 10·3) % and that of obesity was 8·4 (95 % CI 7·9, 8·9) %. Approximately 50 % of the adolescents were able to purchase food at school and in its immediate vicinity and 82 % had access to no-charge meals through Brazil’s National School Feeding Program. In the adjusted analysis, hypertension was associated (OR; 95 % CI) with the consumption of meals prepared on the school premises (0·79; 0·69, 0·92), the sale of food in the school’s immediate vicinity (0·67; 0·48, 0·95) and the purchase of food in the school cafeteria (1·29; 1·11, 1·49). It was observed that there were lower odds of obesity among students who were offered meals prepared on the school premises (0·68; 0·54, 0·87).
High frequency of sales of ultra-processed foods in schools was identified. Contextual and individual characteristics in the school food environment were associated with hypertension and obesity, pointing to the need for regulation and supervision of these spaces.
Few personalised medicine investigations have been conducted for mental health. We aimed to generate and validate a risk tool that predicts adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Using logistic regression models, we generated a risk tool in a representative population cohort (ALSPAC – UK, 5113 participants, followed from birth to age 17) using childhood clinical and sociodemographic data with internal validation. Predictors included sex, socioeconomic status, single-parent family, ADHD symptoms, comorbid disruptive disorders, childhood maltreatment, ADHD symptoms, depressive symptoms, mother's depression and intelligence quotient. The outcome was defined as a categorical diagnosis of ADHD in young adulthood without requiring age at onset criteria. We also tested Machine Learning approaches for developing the risk models: Random Forest, Stochastic Gradient Boosting and Artificial Neural Network. The risk tool was externally validated in the E-Risk cohort (UK, 2040 participants, birth to age 18), the 1993 Pelotas Birth Cohort (Brazil, 3911 participants, birth to age 18) and the MTA clinical sample (USA, 476 children with ADHD and 241 controls followed for 16 years from a minimum of 8 and a maximum of 26 years old).
The overall prevalence of adult ADHD ranged from 8.1 to 12% in the population-based samples, and was 28.6% in the clinical sample. The internal performance of the model in the generating sample was good, with an area under the curve (AUC) for predicting adult ADHD of 0.82 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.79–0.83). Calibration plots showed good agreement between predicted and observed event frequencies from 0 to 60% probability. In the UK birth cohort test sample, the AUC was 0.75 (95% CI 0.71–0.78). In the Brazilian birth cohort test sample, the AUC was significantly lower –0.57 (95% CI 0.54–0.60). In the clinical trial test sample, the AUC was 0.76 (95% CI 0.73–0.80). The risk model did not predict adult anxiety or major depressive disorder. Machine Learning approaches did not outperform logistic regression models. An open-source and free risk calculator was generated for clinical use and is available online at https://ufrgs.br/prodah/adhd-calculator/.
The risk tool based on childhood characteristics specifically predicts adult ADHD in European and North-American population-based and clinical samples with comparable discrimination to commonly used clinical tools in internal medicine and higher than most previous attempts for mental and neurological disorders. However, its use in middle-income settings requires caution.
There have been few studies realized that evaluate the effects of adopting
different nutritional systems in more than one phase of cattle production on
carcass and meat characteristics. This study was realized to evaluate carcass
and meat characteristics from bulls submitted to different nutritional systems
during two production phases. The experiment was conducted at
Figueira’s farm during two production phases: I (cow–calf)
– 80 calves (99.6±2.72 days of age and
109.7±2.99 kg of BW) with their mothers were randomly assigned into
two supplemental diets: cow–calf mineral supplement
(n=40) or cow–calf creep-feeding
(n=40); II (stocker) – the same 80
calves (201.2±2.11 days of age and 190.2±3.37 kg of BW)
were redistributed into two production systems: stocker pasture
(n=40) or stocker feedlot (SF;
n=40). After, all 80 animals were kept on a pasture
system (III) for 290 days, and then finished in a feedlot system (IV) for more
33 days. Then, they were slaughtered at an average 764.2±3.06 days of
age and at 499.2±3.33 kg of final BW. After slaughter, the average
daily gain was calculated, and the carcass and meat characteristics were
measured. The statistical model design used was completely randomized in a
2×2 factorial arrangement (two treatment groups on
cow–calf phase and two treatment groups on stocker phase). The single
effects between the groups in each phase and the interactions between both
phases (cow–calf v. stocker) were analyzed. The
results were compared by Fisher’s test, using the R statistical
software. A cow–calf by stocker phases interaction occurred for
carcass conformation and fiber diameter. For single effects, the greatest
influences observed were in the stocker phase. The feedlot group was slaughtered
17 days earlier, with greater final BW (3.8%), hot carcass weight
(5.7%), average daily gain (6.9%), dressing percentage
(1.8%), carcass length (1.8%), carcass width
(1.5%), longissimus muscle area (4.8%)
and muscle depth (2.3%) than pasture group. The SF group also had
influence on fat color; showing higher L* and lower
b* values. These results reveal that bulls
reared in feedlot at the stocker phase have higher muscle development and that
the stocker phase has the greatest potential to influence carcass
characteristics and meat quality.
Keto analogues and amino acids (KAAA) supplementation can reduce blood ammonia concentrations in athletes undergoing high-intensity exercise under both ketogenic and thermoneutral conditions. This study evaluated the acute effects of KAAA supplementation on ammonia metabolism during extenuating endurance exercise in rats fed a ketogenic diet. In all, eighty male Fischer rats at 90 d of age were divided into eight groups, and some were trained using a swimming endurance protocol. A ketogenic diet supplemented with keto analogues was administered for 10 d. Administration of the ketogenic diet ended 3 d before the exhaustion test (extenuating endurance exercise). A ketogenic diet plus KAAA supplementation and extenuating endurance exercise (trained ketogenic diet supplemented with KAAA (TKKa)) increased blood ammonia concentrations by approximately 50 % compared with the control diet (trained control diet supplemented with KAAA (TCKa)) and similar training (effect size=1·33; statistical power=0·50). The KAAA supplementation reduced blood urea concentrations by 4 and 18 % in the control and ketogenic diet groups, respectively, compared with the groups fed the same diets without supplementation. The trained groups had 60 % lower blood urate concentrations after TCKa treatment than after TKKa treatment. Our results suggest that KAAA supplementation can reduce blood ammonia concentrations after extenuating endurance exercise in rats fed a balanced diet but not in rats fed a ketogenic diet.
Forage cactus is an important dry-season feed source for livestock in semi-arid regions, but in north-eastern Brazil, its contribution is limited by susceptibility to the carmine cochineal [Dactylopius opuntiae (Cockerell)] insect. New cactus germplasm shows superior agronomic performance, but the nutritive value of this material has not been adequately described. The objective of the current study was to assess the divergence in chemical composition and rate and extent of in vitro degradation of these genotypes. The treatments were 13 spineless cactus genotypes, eight of which were insect resistant types, two semi-resistant and three susceptible to the carmine cochineal. Treatments were arranged in a randomized complete block design and were replicated three times. Nutritional divergence was assessed using canonical variate analysis and hierarchical agglomerative clustering, using the variables: crude protein, total and non-fibrous carbohydrates, degradation rate and potential dry matter degradation. Five distinct nutritional groups were identified: Group I (OO), Group II (F-13 and F-15), Group III (OEA, OEM, COP, IPA 20 and GG), Group IV (V-16 and F-08) and Group V (Miuda, IS and F-21). Group II (F-13 and F-15; resistant genotypes) showed a chemical composition degradability in vitro suggesting it may have the greatest nutritive value as ruminant feed, while Group I had the least. Spineless cactus genotypes resistant to the carmine cochineal showed nutritional characteristics similar to or better than traditionally used cactus genotypes, such as Gigante and IPA 20, which can expand the range of options for using this forage.
This study evaluated the impact of maternal vaccination against rubella on the levels of specific rubella IgG (rIgG) in 198 newborn cord sera samples. Detailed maternal vaccination data were available. Specific rIgG was measured using a commercial enzyme immunoassay. Most mothers (78.8%) had been vaccinated against rubella at least once in their lives. In 15 (7.6%) cord sera samples, the concentration of specific rIgG was below 11 IU/ml, which was classified as seronegative. Statistical analysis using multiple logistic regression (n = 198) showed that newborns of mothers born between 1986 and 1995, and those born to unvaccinated mothers, were more likely to be seronegative (odds ratio (ORs) 5.2 and 4.9, respectively, adjusted for sex and gestational age). For vaccinated mothers (n = 156), those born between 1986 and 1995 were more likely to have seronegative newborns (OR 11.5 adjusting for sex, gestational age and time since last vaccination). Mothers of the 15 (7.6%) seronegative newborns might have been susceptible to rubella during pregnancy. Checking the vaccination status therefore recommended.
Although there is evidence of a relationship between religion/ spirituality and mental health, it remains unclear how Brazilian psychiatrists deal with the religion/spirituality of their patients.
To explore whether Brazilian psychiatrists enquire about religion/spirituality in their practice and whether their own beliefs influence their work.
Four hundred and eighty-four Brazilian psychiatrists completed a cross-sectional survey on religion/spirituality and clinical practice.
Most psychiatrists had a religious affiliation (67.4%) but more than half of the 484 participants (55.5%) did not usually enquire about patients' religion/spirituality. The most common reasons for not assessing patients' religion/spirituality were ‘being afraid of exceeding the role of a doctor’ (30.2%) and ‘lack of training’ (22.3%).
Very religious/spiritual psychiatrists were the most likely to ask about their patients' religion/spirituality. Training in how to deal with a patient's religiosity might help psychiatrists to develop better patient rapport and may contribute to the patient's quicker recovery.
Environmental regulations as well as economic incentives have resulted in greater use of synthetic amino acids in swine diets. Tryptophan is typically the second limiting amino acid in corn-soybean meal-based diets. However, using corn-based co-products emphasizes the need to evaluate the pig’s response to increasing Trp concentrations. Therefore, the objective of these studies was to evaluate the dose–response to increasing standardized ileal digestible (SID) Trp : Lys on growth performance of growing-finishing gilts housed under large-scale commercial conditions. Dietary treatments consisted of SID Trp : Lys of 14.5%, 16.5%, 18.0%, 19.5%, 21.0%, 22.5% and 24.5%. The study was conducted in four experiments of 21 days of duration each, and used corn-soybean meal-based diets with 30% distillers dried grains with solubles. A total of 1166, 1099, 1132 and 975 gilts (PIC 337×1050, initially 29.9±2.0 kg, 55.5±4.8 kg, 71.2±3.4 kg and 106.2±3.1 kg BW, mean±SD) were used. Within each experiment, pens of gilts were blocked by BW and assigned to one of the seven dietary treatments and six pens per treatment with 20 to 28 gilts/pen. First, generalized linear mixed models were fit to data from each experiment to characterize performance. Next, data were modeled across experiments and fit competing dose–response linear and non-linear models and estimate SID Trp : Lys break points or maximums for performance. Competing models included broken-line linear (BLL), broken-line quadratic and quadratic polynomial (QP). For average daily gain (ADG), increasing the SID Trp : Lys increased growth rate in a quadratic manner (P<0.02) in all experiments except for Exp 2, for which the increase was linear (P<0.001). Increasing SID Trp : Lys increased (P<0.05) feed efficiency (G : F) quadratically in Exp 1, 3 and 4. For, ADG the QP was the best fitting dose–response model and the estimated maximum mean ADG was obtained at a 23.5% (95% confidence interval (CI): [22.7, 24.3%]) SID Trp : Lys. For maximum G : F, the BLL dose–response models had the best fit and estimated the SID Trp : Lys minimum to maximize G : F at 16.9 (95% CI: [16.0, 17.8%]). Thus, the estimated SID Trp : Lys for 30 to 125 kg gilts ranged from a minimum of 16.9% for maximum G : F to 23.5% for maximum ADG.
The species Phytomonas serpens is known to express some molecules displaying similarity to those described in trypanosomatids pathogenic to humans, such as peptidases from Trypanosoma cruzi (cruzipain) and Leishmania spp. (gp63). In this work, a population of P. serpens resistant to the calpain inhibitor MDL28170 at 70 µm (MDLR population) was selected by culturing promastigotes in increasing concentrations of the drug. The only relevant ultrastructural difference between wild-type (WT) and MDLR promastigotes was the presence of microvesicles within the flagellar pocket of the latter. MDLR population also showed an increased reactivity to anti-cruzipain antibody as well as a higher papain-like proteolytic activity, while the expression of calpain-like molecules cross-reactive to anti-Dm-calpain (from Drosophila melanogaster) antibody and calcium-dependent cysteine peptidase activity were decreased. Gp63-like molecules also presented a diminished expression in MDLR population, which is probably correlated to the reduction in the parasite adhesion to the salivary glands of the insect vector Oncopeltus fasciatus. A lower accumulation of Rhodamine 123 was detected in MDLR cells when compared with the WT population, a phenotype that was reversed when MDLR cells were treated with cyclosporin A and verapamil. Collectively, our results may help in the understanding of the roles of calpain inhibitors in trypanosomatids.
Finding the intersection of
-dimensional spheres in
is an interesting problem with applications in trilateration, global positioning systems, multidimensional scaling and distance geometry. In this paper, we generalize some known results on finding the intersection of spheres, based on QR decomposition. Our main result describes the intersection of any number of
-dimensional spheres without the assumption that the centres of the spheres are affinely independent. A possible application in the interval distance geometry problem is also briefly discussed.
By using an experimental model of dexamethasone-induced osteoporosis we investigated the effects of different therapeutic schemes combining sodium alendronate (SA) and simvastatin on bone mineral and protein composition, microstructural and mechanical remodeling. Wistar rats were randomized into eight groups: G1: non-osteoporotic; G2: osteoporotic; G3, G4, and G5: osteoporotic+SA (0.2, 0.4, and 0.8 mg/kg, respectively); G6, G7, and G8: osteoporotic+SA (0.2, 0.4, and 0.8 mg/kg, respectively)+simvastatin (0.4, 0.6, and 1 mg/kg, respectively). Osteoporosis was induced by dexamethasone (7 mg/kg, i.m.) once a week for 5 weeks. All treatments were administered for 8 weeks. Dexamethasone increased serum levels of alkaline phosphatase, calcium, phosphorus, and urea, especially in non-treated animals, which showed severe osteoporosis. Dexamethasone also induced bone microstructural fragility and reduced mechanical resistance, which were associated with a marked depletion in mineral mass, collagenous and non-collagenous protein levels in cortical and cancellous bone. Although SA has attenuated osteoporosis severity, the effectiveness of drug therapy was enhanced combining alendronate and simvastatin. The restoration in serum parameters, organic and inorganic bone mass, and mechanical behavior showed a dose-dependent effect that was potentially related to the complementary mechanisms by which each drug acts to induce bone anabolism, accelerating tissue repair.
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.
We compared the relevance of ibuprofen, vitamins C and E to control oxidative/nitrosative stress and heart disease in mice infected by Trypanosoma cruzi. Swiss mice were randomized into five groups: control, uninfected; infected without treatment; and infected treated with vitamins C, E or ibuprofen. Animals were inoculated with 2000 trypomastigote forms of T. cruzi. After 20 days, infected mice presented reduced vitamin C and E tissue levels, high cytokines (interferon gamma, tumour necrosis factor-α, interleukin 10 and chemokine ligand 2), prostaglandin F2α (PGF2α) and nitric oxide (NO) cardiac production, intense myocarditis and reactive tissue damage, which was directly correlated with the intensity of the inflammatory infiltrate and the degree of pathological cardiac remodelling. Vitamins C and E supplementation were irrelevant to counteract reactive tissue damage and myocarditis in infected animals. Conversely, ibuprofen reduced tissue levels of cytokines, PGF2α and NO, as well as lipid and protein oxidation, antioxidant enzyme activity and the cardiac damage, without interfering with heart parasitism. Our results do not support the applicability of vitamin C and E supplementation in the management of acute Chagas cardiomyopathy. By controlling the inflammatory infiltrate, anti-inflammatory-based therapy proved to be a more rational strategy than a direct antioxidant therapy in attenuating oxidative/nitrosative stress and cardiac damage.
Blastocystis sp. is a protozoan commonly found in human and animal stool samples. Several pathogenic and zoonotic aspects of this organism are still unknown. The aim of the present study was to investigate Blastocystis subtypes (STs) in samples from patients of the Hospital das Clínicas of the Faculdade de Medicina at the Universidade de São Paulo (HC-FMUSP), Brazil. Blastocystis sp.-positive stool samples diagnosed at the Section of Parasitology of the Central Laboratory (HC-FMUSP) were used for DNA isolation. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was performed using specific primers targeting the small-subunit rRNA gene. Direct DNA sequencing of the PCR products was performed and the DNA sequences were then aligned and compared with other sequences obtained from the GenBank database. Phylogenetic analysis was used to identify STs and determine the phylogenetic relationships between the sequences. Four STs were identified: ST1 (22·5%), ST2 (12·5%), ST3 (60%) and ST6 (5%). In conclusion, ST3 was the most prevalent ST among the human isolates followed by ST1. The present study is one of the few providing STs data from the human population in South America. Determining ST prevalence in human samples may contribute to the monitoring of Blastocystis sp. infection transmission in endemic regions.