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Associations between different forms of malnutrition and environmental conditions, including water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), may contribute towards persistently poor child health, growth and cognitive development. Experiencing poor nutrition in utero or during early childhood is furthermore associated with chronic diseases later in life. The primary responsibility for provision of water and sanitation, as a basic service and human right, lies with the State; however, a number of stakeholders are involved. The situation is most critical in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), where, in 2015, 311 million people lacked a safe water source, and >70% of SSA populations were living without adequate sanitation. The aim of this paper was to conduct a systematic review to investigate the state of literature concerned with WASH and its association with nutritional status, and governance in children from birth to 5 years of age in SSA. Articles were sourced from PubMed Central, Science Direct and ProQuest Social Science databases published between 1990 and 2017. The PRISMA Statement was utilised and this systematic review is registered with PROSPERO (CRD42017071700). The search terms returned 15,351 articles for screening, with 46 articles included. This is indicative of a limited body of knowledge; however, the number of publications on this topic has been increasing, suggesting burgeoning field of interest. Targeted research on the governance of WASH through the identification of the various role players and stakeholders at various levels, while understanding the policy environment in relation to particular health-related outcomes is imperative to address the burden of child undernutrition.
The Rio Grande Cone is a major fanlike depositional feature in the continental slope of the Pelotas Basin, Southern Brazil. Two representative sediment cores collected in the Cone area were retrieved using a piston core device. In this work, the organic matter (OM) in the sediments was characterized for a continental vs. marine origin using chemical proxies to help constrain the origin of gas in hydrates. The main contribution of OM was from marine organic carbon based on the stable carbon isotope (δ13C-org) and total organic carbon/total nitrogen ratio (TOC:TN) analyses. In addition, the 14C data showed important information about the origin of the OM and we suggest some factors that could modify the original organic matter and therefore mask the “real” 14C ages: (1) biological activity that could modify the carbon isotopic composition of bulk terrestrial organic matter values, (2) the existence of younger sediments from mass wasting deposits unconformably overlying older sediments, and (3) the deep-sediment-sourced methane contribution due to the input of “old” (>50 ka) organic compounds from migrating fluids.
Expression of estrus near timed artificial insemination (TAI) is associated with greater fertility, and estrus detection could improve TAI fertility or direct TAI management, although accurate estrus detection can be difficult and time-consuming using traditional methods. The aim of this study is to evaluate influence of estrus on pregnancy (artificial insemination pregnancy rates (P/AI)) and to validate an alternative method to classify estrus/heat expression using tail chalking (HEATSC) in postpartum Bos indicus cows subjected to TAI in progesterone–estrogen-based protocols. In experiment 1 (Exp. 1), cows (5491) were subjected to visual observation of estrus after progesterone device removal, before TAI, and P/AI was evaluated according to estrus and body condition score (BCS). Cows received a progesterone device and 2 mg estradiol benzoate (EB). After 8 days, the device was removed and 150 μg of d-cloprostenol and 300 IU equine chorionic gonadotrophin was given. Later, animals in Exp. 1 received 1 mg EB and TAI 44 to 48 h. In the Exp. 2 – 3830 cows using similar protocol, received different ovulation inducers: 1 mg EB (n=1624) or 1 mg estradiol cypionate (EC; n=2206) on day 8 (D8). Cows were then marked with chalk, and HEATSC evaluated at TAI on D10 (HEATSC1 – no chalk removal=no estrus expression; HEATSC2 – partial chalk removal=low estrus expression; HEATSC3 – near complete/complete chalk removal=high estrus expression). In Exp. 1, cows showing estrus presented greater P/AI (48.4% v. 40.2%, P<0.05). In Exp. 2, P/AI (HEATSC1 – 40.0%; HEATSC2 – 49.7%; HEATSC3 – 60.9%; P<0.001), and larger follicle timed artificial insemination (LFTAI) (<0.001) varied according to HEATSC. There was no difference in P/AI (P=0.41) or LFTAI (P=0.33) according to ovulation inducer. Cows with greater BCS showed greater P/AI in both experiments (P<0.05). Estrus presence and greater HEATSC improved P/AI, and EC v. EB used promoted differential estrus manifestation (cows showing HEATSC2 and HEATSC3: 79.5% with EB v. 69.98% with EC use, P<0.001), however, with similar P/AI. The use of HEATSC in B. indicus cows subjected to TAI is useful to identify cows with greater estrus expression and consequently improved pregnancy rates in TAI, allowing the cows with low HEATSC to be targeted for additional treatments aimed at improving P/AI.
The use of tail chalk and estrus/heat expression scores (HEATSC) evaluation is instrumental in identifying cows with greater estrus expression and greater artificial insemination pregnancy rates (P/AI) in cows submitted to timed artificial insemination (TAI), and cows with low or no estrus expression present lower P/AI. It was intended in this study to improve the pregnancy rates in TAI for Bos indicus beef cows, and gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH) injection was hypothesized to increase pregnancy rates in a TAI program for cows submitted to progesterone–estradiol-based protocols with low or no estrus expression, evaluated by HEATSC. Cows (n= 2284) received a progesterone device and 2 mg estradiol benzoate, after 8 days the device was removed and 1 mg estradiol cypionate, 150 μg of d-cloprostenol and 300 IU equine chorionic gonadotropin was administered. All cows were marked with chalk and HEATSC evaluated (scales 1 to 3) at TAI performed on day 10. Animals with HEATSC1 and HEATSC2 (n= 937) received 100 μg de gonadorelin (GNRH group; n= 470), or 1 ml saline (Control group; n= 467), and cows with HEATSC3 (named HEAT group; n= 1347) received no additional treatment. The larger dominant follicle, evaluated on day 8and at TAI (day 10), was greater in HEAT group (P= 0.0145 and P <0.001, respectively). Corpus luteum (CL) area and progesterone concentration was evaluated on day 17, and CL area was larger in HEAT group, intermediary in Control and lower in GnRH group (Control= 2.68 cm2, GnRH= 2.37 cm2, HEAT group= 3.07 cm2, P <0.001). Greater progesterone concentrations were found in HEAT group than in Control and GnRH groups (Control= 4.74 ng/ml, GnRH= 4.29 ng/ml, HEAT group= 6.08 ng/ml, P<0.001). There was a difference in ovulation rate, greater in HEAT group than GnRH and Control groups (Control= 72.5%; GnRH= 81.25%; HEAT group= 90.71%; P= 0.0024). Artificial insemination pregnancy rates was greater in HEAT group (57.09% (769/1347) than in Control and GNRH groups, with positive effect of GnRH injection at the time of TAI in P/AI (Control= 36.18% (169/467), GnRH= 45.95% (216/470); P<0.0001). In conclusion, GnRH application in cows with low HEATSC (1 and 2) is a simple strategy, requiring no changes in TAI management to increase pregnancy rates in postpartum beef cows submitted to progesterone–estradiol-based TAI protocols, without reaching, however, the pregnancy rates of cows that demonstrate high estrus expression at the TAI.
Gluten is only partially digested by intestinal enzymes and can generate peptides that can alter intestinal permeability, facilitating bacterial translocation, thus affecting the immune system. Few studies addressed the role of diet with gluten in the development of colitis. Therefore, we investigate the effects of wheat gluten-containing diet on the evolution of sodium dextran sulphate (DSS)-induced colitis. Mice were fed a standard diet without (colitis group) or with 4·5 % wheat gluten (colitis + gluten) for 15 d and received DSS solution (1·5 %, w/v) instead of water during the last 7 d. Compared with the colitis group, colitis + gluten mice presented a worse clinical score, a larger extension of colonic injury area, and increased mucosal inflammation. Both intestinal permeability and bacterial translocation were increased, propitiating bacteria migration for peripheral organs. The mechanism by which diet with gluten exacerbates colitis appears to be related to changes in protein production and organisation in adhesion junctions and desmosomes. The protein α-E-catenin was especially reduced in mice fed gluten, which compromised the localisation of E-cadherin and β-catenin proteins, weakening the structure of desmosomes. The epithelial damage caused by gluten included shortening of microvilli, a high number of digestive vacuoles, and changes in the endosome/lysosome system. In conclusion, our results show that wheat gluten-containing diet exacerbates the mucosal damage caused by colitis, reducing intestinal barrier function and increasing bacterial translocation. These effects are related to the induction of weakness and disorganisation of adhesion junctions and desmosomes as well as shortening of microvilli and modification of the endocytic vesicle route.
Determining the predictors of serum retinol at mid-pregnancy is relevant for planning interventions aimed at improving vitamin A status of pregnant women and their offspring. This prospective study assessed predictors of serum retinol at the beginning of the third trimester of pregnancy. We enrolled 442 pregnant women living in the urban area of Cruzeiro do Sul, Western Brazilian Amazon. Demographic, socio-economic, environmental and clinical characteristics as well as obstetric history, anthropometric, dietary and biochemical data, including serum retinol, were gathered between 16 and 20 gestational weeks. Serum retinol also measured at the beginning of the third trimester of pregnancy (approximately 28 gestational weeks) was the outcome of interest. Multiple linear regression models were used to evaluate associations with the outcome. Overall, the following variables explained serum retinol at the beginning of the third trimester of pregnancy in the adjusted model (R2 = 11·1 %): seasonality (winter season – November to April; β=0·134; 95 % CI 0·063, 0·206), weekly consumption of Amazonian fruits (β=0·087; 95 % CI 0·012, 0·162) and retinol concentrations between 16 and 20 gestational weeks (β=0·045; 95 % CI 0·016, 0·074) were positively associated, whereas having a smoker in the house was negatively associated (β=–0·087; 95 % CI: –0·166, –0·009). Consumption of pro-vitamin A-rich fruits by pregnant women should be encouraged. Passive smoking may play a role in decreasing vitamin A status as a proxy of smoking exposure during pregnancy.
Timneh Parrots Psittacus timneh are a threatened species endemic to the moist forests of West Africa. In 2016, they were categorised as ‘Endangered’ on the IUCN Red List, due to suspected rapid population declines driven by habitat loss and heavy trapping for the pet trade. Systematic assessments of the status of populations are lacking for much of their range and addressing this knowledge shortfall has been identified as a priority action. We combined multiple research approaches to investigate the distribution, trends and threats to Timneh Parrots in Guinea Bissau, where the species is restricted to the islands of the Bijagós archipelago and Pecixe. Direct observational surveys were conducted along line transects on 19 islands. A total of 69 groups were observed on eight of these islands, with the majority (78%) seen on just two islands. Forty-two interviews were conducted with local community members on 24 islands. Interviewees reported the species to occur on 20 islands and that populations are generally perceived to have declined in recent decades. Based on these findings and existing data we conclude that Timneh Parrots occur on 22 of the 32 islands considered and estimate the national population in Guinea-Bissau to be in the order of several hundred individuals, with perhaps half of the parrots occurring on the islands of João Vieira and Meio. Investigations into the factors linked to inter-island variation in parrot densities indicate that densities are highest on the islands which are most remote from permanent human settlements. These findings suggest that human activities including habitat modification and trapping have been important in driving population declines in Guinea-Bissau. We consider the implications of these findings for the conservation of Timneh Parrots.
Exotic species can experience fast expansion in new environments, especially if they left their pathogens behind (Enemy Release hypothesis) or brought novel pathogens to the native competitors (Novel Weapon hypothesis). Common waxbills (Estrilda astrild) are native to sub-Saharan Africa and invaded west Iberia since the 1960s. Past haemosporidian parasite surveys at four locations in Portugal showed that waxbills can be infected with parasites, though with very low prevalence. However, it is not known if this pattern generalizes across their distribution range, or if there are geographic differences in parasite prevalence. It is also not discussed if this is a case of Enemy Release, as opposed to waxbills being also little parasitized in their native range. We screened 617 waxbills in 23 sites in Portugal and detected nine parasite lineages, most of them only known to the Palearctic. Only ten individuals were parasitized, and there was no significant geographical pattern on the prevalence. Overall, this population shows very low prevalence of haemosporidians (1.6% prevalence), which contrasts with significantly higher prevalence in native grounds, as compiled from the literature. These data support Enemy Release as the most likely hypothesis, which may have been important for their success as an exotic species.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the distribution of cases and the social determinants associated with death from human visceral leishmaniasis (HVL) and VL–HIV co-infection in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais state, Brazil, between 2006 and 2013. Descriptive statistics and analysis of associations were performed using chi-square of the raised variables, such as sex, age, skin colour and schooling of cases of HVL. During the study period, there were 866 cases of HVL with 111 deaths in Belo Horizonte. Morbidity and lethality rates (LR) of HVL in Belo Horizonte remained high over almost all the years evaluated, with an average incidence rate of 4.18 cases/100 000 inhabitants and a LR of 11.16%. With respect to skin colour, it was found that people characterised as black or mulatto had higher morbidity, followed by white. Regarding schooling, LR was more prevalent among individuals with lower education. One of the social risk factors was co-infection with HIV, which was present in many cases of HVL. Furthermore, it was found that older age and the male sex were also risk factors for death from HVL in Belo Horizonte.
One important aspect of the societal burden of mental disorders is the extent to which these problems cause disability.
To assess days out of role associated with commonly occurring mental disorders in comparison with physical disorders in Portugal.
National cross-sectional survey, with home interviews carried out with 3849 adult (aged 18+) respondents (57.3% response rate).
Twelve-month prevalence for any mental disorder was 21.8%, any physical disorder 55.1% and any disorder 63.1%, with an average of 2.3 disorders per respondent with a disorder. Close to one out of every 10 respondents (9.2%) reported at least one day totally out of role in the past month (median of 6.4 days/any). The 18 conditions accounted for 78.2% of all days out of role, with 20.2% because of mental disorders and 59.2% because of physical disorders.
Mental disorders account for a substantial proportion of all role disability in the Portuguese population. Early detection and intervention would have a positive societal effect. Owing to highly frequent comorbidity, simultaneous management of mental and physical disorder comorbidities is advised for greater effect.
Traumatic events are associated with increased risk of psychotic experiences, but it is unclear whether this association is explained by mental disorders prior to psychotic experience onset.
To investigate the associations between traumatic events and subsequent psychotic experience onset after adjusting for post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental disorders.
We assessed 29 traumatic event types and psychotic experiences from the World Mental Health surveys and examined the associations of traumatic events with subsequent psychotic experience onset with and without adjustments for mental disorders.
Respondents with any traumatic events had three times the odds of other respondents of subsequently developing psychotic experiences (OR=3.1, 95% CI 2.7–3.7), with variability in strength of association across traumatic event types. These associations persisted after adjustment for mental disorders.
Exposure to traumatic events predicts subsequent onset of psychotic experiences even after adjusting for comorbid mental disorders.
Oil palm plantations are rapidly expanding in tropical areas, although the nature of the impacts on the functional roles of the different species in the ecosystem is poorly understood. The present study is the first assessment of how oil palm affects the functional diversity of birds in the Brazilian Amazon and tests the hypothesis that converting forest to oil palm decreases functional diversity of bird communities, selecting species more tolerant to environmental disturbances. We conducted point counts to survey bird communities in 16 plots in the eastern Amazon. We sampled 32 points in riparian forest, 128 in oil palm and 160 in forested habitats. To test whether the conversion of forest into oil palm plantations affects functional diversity of birds we calculated the FD (Functional Diversity) and FRic (Functional Richness) indices. To examine whether oil palm plantations select species functionally more similar than expected by chance we used a null model (SES.FD). FD was significantly higher in the forest plots in comparison with riparian forests and oil palm, and lower in oil palm when compared with riparian forests. FRic, in turn, was greater in forest plots than in oil palm and in riparian forest. These results show that the conversion of forested areas to oil palm represents a great loss of functional strategies. The SES values indicate that in forested habitats bird communities tend to be functionally clustered while in the oil palm they are functionally overdispersed. The functional traits most affected by oil palm were those associated with diet and foraging stratum. In short, oil palm plantations reduced functional diversity of birds, although the presence of riparian forests within the plantations and the fragments of forest adjacent are extremely important for the maintenance of ecosystem services.
For the past 15 years, a succession of stable isotope studies have documented the abrupt dietary transition from the Mesolithic to the Neolithic in Western and Northern Europe. Portugal, with its Late Mesolithic shell middens and burials apparently coexisting with the earliest Neolithic, further illustrates the nature of that transition. Individuals from Neolithic contexts there had significantly different diets to their Mesolithic counterparts. No evidence was found for a transitional phase between the marine-oriented Mesolithic subsistence regimes and the domesticated, terrestrial Neolithic diet. Two later Neolithic individuals, however, showed evidence for partial reliance on marine or aquatic foods. This raises questions about the possible persistence of marine dietary regimes beyond the Mesolithic period. This article is followed by a brief note by Mary Jackes and David Lubell.
Leptospirosis is a zoonosis of worldwide distribution, caused by infection with pathogenic spirochaetes of the genus Leptospira. The wild boar (Sus scrofa), an important hunting species in Europe, seems to play a significant role in the epidemiological cycle of leptospirosis. A total of 101 serum samples from wild boar hunted in Northern Portugal were analysed for leptospiral antibodies detection by microscopic agglutination test. Sera were collected during hunting seasons (2011–2013) and tested with 17 different pathogenic serovars of Leptospira. Antibodies against nine serovars were detected in 66 (65·4%) of these sera. Serovars Tarassovi and Altodouro exhibited the highest seroreactivity rates (23·8% and 16·8%, respectively), followed by Autumnalis (7·9%) and Bratislava (6·9%). Age and district of origin were found to be risk factors for the presence of leptospiral antibodies in contrast to gender. From a One Health perspective, this study revealed that wild boar should be considered as a potential source of leptospirosis dissemination for humans and animal species (domestic and wild) in shared environments, particularly in the Trás-os-Montes region.
We describe the preliminary design of a magnetograph and visible-light imager instrument to study the solar dynamo processes through observations of the solar surface magnetic field distribution. The instrument will provide measurements of the vector magnetic field and of the line-of-sight velocity in the solar photosphere. As the magnetic field anchored at the solar surface produces most of the structures and energetic events in the upper solar atmosphere and significantly influences the heliosphere, the development of this instrument plays an important role in reaching the scientific goals of The Atmospheric and Space Science Coordination (CEA) at the Brazilian National Institute for Space Research (INPE). In particular, the CEA's space weather program will benefit most from the development of this technology. We expect that this project will be the starting point to establish a strong research program on Solar Physics in Brazil. Our main aim is acquiring progressively the know-how to build state-of-the-art solar vector magnetograph and visible-light imagers for space-based platforms to contribute to the efforts of the solar-terrestrial physics community to address the main unanswered questions on how our nearby Star works.
Dietary glutamine (Gln) supplementation improves intestinal function in several stressful conditions. Therefore, in the present study, the effects of dietary Gln supplementation on the core body temperature (Tcore), bacterial translocation (BT) and intestinal permeability of mice subjected to acute heat stress were evaluated. Male Swiss mice (4 weeks old) were implanted with an abdominal temperature sensor and randomly assigned to one of the following groups fed isoenergetic and isoproteic diets for 7 d before the experimental trials: group fed the standard AIN-93G diet and exposed to a high ambient temperature (39°C) for 2 h (H-NS); group fed the AIN-93G diet supplemented with l-Gln and exposed to a high temperature (H-Gln); group fed the standard AIN-93G diet and not exposed to a high temperature (control, C-NS). Mice were orally administered diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid radiolabelled with technetium (99mTc) for the assessment of intestinal permeability or 99mTc-Escherichia coli for the assessment of BT. Heat exposure increased Tcore (approximately 41°C during the experimental trial), intestinal permeability and BT to the blood and liver (3 h after the experimental trial) in mice from the H-NS group relative to those from the C-NS group. Dietary Gln supplementation attenuated hyperthermia and prevented the increases in intestinal permeability and BT induced by heat exposure. No correlations were observed between the improvements in gastrointestinal function and the attenuation of hyperthermia by Gln. Our findings indicate that dietary Gln supplementation preserved the integrity of the intestinal barrier and reduced the severity of hyperthermia during heat exposure. The findings also indicate that these Gln-mediated effects occurred through independent mechanisms.
Besnoitia besnoiti and Toxoplasma gondii are two closely related parasites that interact with the host cell microtubule cytoskeleton during host cell invasion. Here we studied the relationship between the ability of these parasites to invade and to recruit the host cell centrosome and the Golgi apparatus. We observed that T. gondii recruits the host cell centrosome towards the parasitophorous vacuole (PV), whereas B. besnoiti does not. Notably, both parasites recruit the host Golgi apparatus to the PV but its organization is affected in different ways. We also investigated the impact of depleting and over-expressing the host centrosomal protein TBCCD1, involved in centrosome positioning and Golgi apparatus integrity, on the ability of these parasites to invade and replicate. Toxoplasma gondii replication rate decreases in cells over-expressing TBCCD1 but not in TBCCD1-depleted cells; while for B. besnoiti no differences were found. However, B. besnoiti promotes a reorganization of the Golgi ribbon previously fragmented by TBCCD1 depletion. These results suggest that successful establishment of PVs in the host cell requires modulation of the Golgi apparatus which probably involves modifications in microtubule cytoskeleton organization and dynamics. These differences in how T. gondii and B. besnoiti interact with their host cells may indicate different evolutionary paths.
The 6 to 8-week period centered on parturition, known as the transition or periparturient period, is critical to welfare and profitability of individual cows. Fertility of high-producing cows is compromised by difficult transitions. Deficiencies in either nutritional or non-nutritional management increase risk for periparturient metabolic disorders and infectious diseases, which decrease subsequent fertility. A primary factor impeding fertility is the extent of negative energy balance (NEB) early postpartum, which may inhibit timing of first ovulation, return to cyclicity, and oocyte quality. In particular, pronounced NEB during the first 10 days to 2 weeks (the time of greatest occurrence of health problems) is critical for later reproductive efficiency. Avoiding over-conditioning and preventing cows from over-consuming energy relative to their requirements in late gestation result in higher dry matter intake (DMI) and less NEB after calving. A pooled statistical analysis of previous studies in our group showed that days to pregnancy are decreased (by 10 days) by controlling energy intake to near requirements of cows before calving compared with allowing cows to over-consume energy. To control energy intake, total mixed rations (TMR) must be well balanced for metabolizable protein, minerals and vitamins yet limit total DM consumed, and cows must uniformly consume the TMR without sorting. Dietary management to maintain blood calcium and rumen health around and after calving also are important. Opportunities may exist to further improve energy status in fresh cows. Recent research to manipulate the glucogenic to lipogenic balance and the essential fatty acid content of tissues are intriguing. High-producing cows that adapt successfully to lactation can have high reproductive efficiency, and nutritional management of the transition period both pre- and post-calving must facilitate that adaptation.