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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.
This is a retrospective study over a 5-year period. In total, 3139 embryos were individually cryopreserved (Cryotop®) and warmed using the Kitazato vitrification/warming kit. They were classified into three categories based on their expansion degree. Transfer, implantation and pregnancy rates were assessed for each embryo category and compared using SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences) software. In total, 1139 couples enrolled in infertility treatment programme benefitted from embryo vitrification at day 5. After warming, embryos belonging to the three categories showed similar success rates. Although there was a trend towards better outcomes when grade 3 embryos were transferred, the differences did not reach statistical significance: implantation rates (n fetal sac/n embryo transferred) grade 1: 21.9%, grade 2: 22.7% and grade 3: 30.3% (=0.19). Pregnancy rate (n clinical pregnancy/n transfer) (21.9%, 22.7%, 30.3%, respectively; P=0.11). Miscarriage rate was not statistically different in the three categories (14.5%, 20.4%, 20%, respectively, P=0.51). Our overall results show that it is worth vitrifying slow kinetics embryos as they provide a non-negligible chance to give rise to a pregnancy.
Reduced plasma vitamin D (VD) levels may contribute to excessive white adipose tissue, insulin resistance (IR) and dyslipidaemia. We evaluated the effect of chronic oral VD supplementation on adiposity and insulin secretion in monosodium glutamate (MSG)-treated rats. During their first 5 d of life, male neonate rats received subcutaneous injections of MSG (4 g/kg), while the control (CON) group received saline solution. After weaning, groups were randomly distributed into VD supplemented (12 µg/kg; three times/week) and non-supplemented (NS) rats, forming four experimental groups (n 15 rats/group): CON-NS, CON-VD, MSG-NS and MSG-VD. At 76 d of life, rats were submitted to an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT; 2 g/kg), and at 86 d, obesity, IR and plasma metabolic parameters were evaluated. Pancreatic islets were isolated for glucose-induced insulin secretion (GIIS), cholinergic insulinotropic response and muscarinic 3 receptor (M3R), protein kinase C (PKC) and protein kinase A (PKA) expressions. Pancreas was submitted to histological analyses. VD supplementation decreased hyperinsulinaemia (86 %), hypertriacylglycerolaemia (50 %) and restored insulin sensibility (89 %) in MSG-VD rats, without modifying adiposity, OGTT or GIIS, compared with the MSG-NS group. The cholinergic action was reduced (57 %) in islets from MSG-VD rats, without any change in M3R, PKA or PKC expression. In conclusion, chronic oral VD supplementation of MSG-obese rats was able to prevent hyperinsulinaemia and IR, improving triacylglycerolaemia without modifying adiposity. A reduced cholinergic pancreatic effect, in response to VD, could be involved in the normalisation of plasma insulin levels, an event that appears to be independent of M3R and its downstream pathways.
Indium oxide (InOx) and indium tin oxide (ITO) thin films were deposited on glass substrates by plasma enhanced reactive thermal evaporation (PERTE) at different substrate temperatures. The films were then submitted to two etching solutions with different chemical reactivity: i) HNO3 (6%), at room temperature; ii) HCl (35%): (40 °Bé) FeCl3 (1:1), at 40 °C. The dependence of the etchability of the films on the structural and deposition conditions is discussed. Previously to etching, structural characterization was made. X-ray diffraction showed the appearance of a peak around 2θ=31° as the deposition temperature increases from room temperature to 190 °C, both for ITO and InOx. AFM surface topography and SEM micrographs of the deposited films are consistent with the structural properties suggested by X-ray spectra: as the deposition temperature increases, the surface changes from a finely grained structure to a material with a larger-sized grain or/and agglomerate structure of the order of 250-300 nm. The roughness Rq varies from 0.74 nm for the amorphous tissue to a maximum of 10.83 nm for the sample with the biggest crystalline grains. Raman spectra are also presented.
An experiment was conducted to evaluate whether a reduction in dietary crude protein (CP) and genotype affects animal performance, feed efficiency and carcass traits of beef cattle at different stages of the feedlot. Twenty-two Nellore and 22 crossbred F1 Angus × Nellore (Nellore: 8 months, initial body weight (iBW) = 212.7 kg; Crossbred: 8 months, iBW = 226.1 kg) were used in this experiment. The experiment was conducted in a complete randomized design with six replicates, in a 2 × 3 factorial design. The factors were two genotypes (Nellore and Crossbred) and three CP concentrations (100, 120 and 140 g/kg dry matter [DM]). The experimental period lasted 224 day, being divided into two stages (Backgrounding = 112 day, and Finishing = 112 day). At the end of the experiment, all animals were slaughtered to evaluate their carcass characteristics. Similar patterns were observed during backgrounding and finishing phases on intake and average daily gain (ADG) regarding genotype. Intakes of DM, organic matter, CP, neutral detergent fibre, non-fibre carbohydrates and total digestible nutrients, ADG (kg/day) and feed efficiency were greater in Crossbred animals than Nellore in both phases. During the backgrounding phase, dietary CP did not influence DM intake. However, a linear effect of CP on ADG was observed in the backgrounding phase. During finishing, Nellore cattle fed 100 g CP/kg DM presented lower ADG than Nellore fed 120 and 140 g CP/kg DM. Crossbred animals were heavier than Nellore at the beginning and end of the trial. Crossbred animals also gained more carcass, retained more CP and fat, and had a greater subcutaneous fat thickness during the experiment compared with Nellore. There was a quadratic effect of dietary CP on retained CP and dressing. The current study found that crossbred animals (F1 Angus × Nellore) not only had greater performance, but also better carcass traits compared with Nellore, representing an option for increasing productivity. Also, it is possible to adjust diets according to phase. During the backgrounding stage, 140 g CP/kg DM should be used, being reduced to 120 g CP/kg DM during the finishing stage of feedlot for Nellore and to 100 g CP/kg DM for Crossbred, without affecting performance adversely.
Due to the lack of reliable yield monitor for sugarcane, production factors which impact and limit stalk yield within fields are not well-known. Thus, this study aims to evaluate whether canopy sensor technology is able to identify sugarcane biomass variability and whether obtaining other agronomic variable data can assist on biomass quantification. For that, forty targeted plots were allocated within two sugarcane-producing fields and data consisted on manual biometric evaluation, aboveground biomass measurement and canopy reflectance. As an ongoing experiment, only two evaluations were addressed (~0.3 and 0.5 m stalk height). On the earliest stage, canopy sensor readings were correlated to sugarcane biomass and their sensitivity to biomass variability was high. Further, data collected on the first evaluation was efficient in predicting biomass amount after 30 days. On the second, canopy sensor readings effectiveness to predict biomass was reduced. These findings suggest that crop canopy reflectance sensing is a useful approach to investigate sugarcane biomass spatial-variability within fields on early stages.
This observational study aims to investigate the microbiological quality of commercially prepared lightly cooked foods with a major component of food of animal origin and collected as would be served to a consumer. A total of 356 samples were collected from catering (92%), retail (7%) or producers (1%) and all were independent of known incidents of foodborne illness. Using standard methods, all samples were tested for: the presence of Campylobacter spp. and Salmonella spp. and enumerated for levels of, Bacillus spp. including B. cereus, Clostridium perfringens, Listeria spp. including L. monocytogenes, Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Enterobacteriacea and aerobic colony count (ACC). Results were interpreted as unsatisfactory, borderline or satisfactory according to the Health Protection Agency guidelines for assessing the microbiological safety of ready-to-eat foods placed on the market. Amongst all samples, 70% were classified as satisfactory, 18% were borderline and 12% were of unsatisfactory microbiological quality. Amongst the unsatisfactory samples, six (2%) were potentially injurious to health due to the presence of: Salmonella spp. (one duck breast); Campylobacter spp. (two duck breast and one chicken liver pâté); L. monocytogenes at 4·3 × 103 cfu (colony-forming units)/g (one duck confit with foie gras ballotin) and C. perfringens at 2·5 × 105 cfu/g (one chicken liver pâté). The remaining unsatisfactory samples were due to high levels of indicator E. coli, Enterobacteriaceae or ACC.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the microbiological quality of liver pâté. During 2012–13, a total of 870 samples, unrelated to the investigation of food-poisoning outbreaks, were collected either at retail (46%), catering (53%) or the point of manufacture (1%) and were tested using standard methods to detect Salmonella spp. or Campylobacter spp., and to enumerate for Listeria spp., including Listeria monocytogenes, Clostridium perfringens, coagulase-positive staphylococci including Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus spp., including Bacillus cereus, Escherichia coli, Enterobacteriaceae, and aerobic colony counts (ACCs). Seventy-three percent of samples were of satisfactory microbiological quality, 18% were borderline and 9% unsatisfactory. Salmonella spp. or Campylobacter spp. was not recovered from any sample. The most common causes of unsatisfactory results were elevated ACCs (6% of the samples) and high Enterobacteriaceae counts (4% of samples). The remaining unsatisfactory results were due to elevated counts of: E. coli (three samples); B. cereus (one sample at 2·6 × 105 cfu/g); or L. monocytogenes (one sample at 2·9 × 103 cfu/g). Pâté from retail was less likely to be contaminated with L. monocytogenes than samples collected from catering and samples from supermarkets were of significantly better microbiological quality than those from catering establishments.
An anecdotal increase in C. perfringens outbreaks was observed in the North East of England during 2012–2014. We describe findings of investigations in order to further understanding of the epidemiology of these outbreaks and inform control measures. All culture-positive (>105 c.f.u./g) outbreaks reported to the North East Health Protection Team from 1 January 2012 to 31 December 2014 were included. Epidemiological (attack rate, symptom profile and positive associations with a suspected vehicle of infection), environmental (deficiencies in food preparation or hygiene practices and suspected vehicle of infection) and microbiological investigations are described. Forty-six outbreaks were included (83% reported from care homes). Enterotoxin (cpe) gene-bearer C. perfringens were detected by PCR in 20/46 (43%) and enterotoxin (by ELISA) and/or enterotoxigenic faecal/food isolates with indistinguishable molecular profiles in 12/46 (26%) outbreaks. Concerns about temperature control of foods were documented in 20/46 (43%) outbreaks. A suspected vehicle of infection was documented in 21/46 (46%) of outbreaks (meat-containing vehicle in 20/21). In 15/21 (71%) identification of the suspected vehicle was based on descriptive evidence alone, in 5/21 (24%) with supporting evidence from an epidemiological study and in 2/21 (10%) with supporting microbiological evidence. C. perfringens-associated illness is preventable and although identification of foodborne outbreaks is challenging, a risk mitigation approach should be taken, particularly in vulnerable populations such as care homes for the elderly.
On 30 May 2012, Surrey and Sussex Health Protection Unit was called by five nurseries reporting children and staff with sudden onset vomiting approximately an hour after finishing their lunch that day. Over the following 24 h 50 further nurseries supplied by the same company reported cases of vomiting (182 children, 18 staff affected). Epidemiological investigations were undertaken in order to identify the cause of the outbreak and prevent further cases. Investigations demonstrated a nursery-level attack rate of 55 out of 87 nurseries (63·2%, 95% confidence interval 52·2–73·3). Microbiological tests confirmed the presence of Bacillus cereus in food and environmental samples from the catering company and one nursery. This was considered microbiologically and epidemiologically consistent with toxin from this bacterium causing the outbreak. Laboratory investigations showed that the conditions used by the caterer for soaking of pearl haricot beans (known as navy bean in the USA) used in one of the foods supplied to the nurseries prior to cooking, was likely to have provided sufficient growth and toxin production of B. cereus to cause illness. This large outbreak demonstrates the need for careful temperature control in food preparation.
Benthic communities form an important component of the marine food chain. Their occurrence also provides information on the health of the ecosystem. A study was carried out to understand the distribution and abundance of macrobenthos along with sediment characteristics and physicochemical parameters in Visakhapatnam Harbour, a major port along the east coast of India. In all 84 macrobenthic taxa were reported from the port area of which 60 were polychaetes and 24 were other invertebrate taxa. Our observations revealed an increase in the number of polychaete species observed over the last 20 years from this region. An earlier study reported 38 polychaete species in 1975 and a year later the number of polychaete species reported was 12, indicating an increase in the number of polychaete species in the present study by about 150%. The macrobenthic abundance and dominance of species varied with the seasons. Pre-monsoon was dominated by Cirratulus sp., during monsoon tanaids were dominant indicating a seasonal shift in the occurrence and dominance of macrobenthos. During post-monsoon, Cossura coasta was dominant followed by Nephtys dibranchis and amphipods. Sediment characteristics (sand, silt and clay), organic carbon and dissolved oxygen were the important factors influencing the abundance and species diversity. The abundance of macrobenthic forms also varied with inner and outer harbour region. Higher species diversity was observed in the outer harbour suggesting the outer harbour has semi-polluted conditions such as higher dissolved oxygen (DO) and salinity, low nutrients (nitrite, nitrate and silicate) and low organic carbon in the sediment.
We describe two cases of infant botulism due to Clostridium butyricum producing botulinum type E neurotoxin (BoNT/E) and a previously unreported environmental source. The infants presented at age 11 days with poor feeding and lethargy, hypotonia, dilated pupils and absent reflexes. Faecal samples were positive for C. butyricum BoNT/E. The infants recovered after treatment including botulism immune globulin intravenous (BIG-IV). C. butyricum BoNT/E was isolated from water from tanks housing pet ‘yellow-bellied’ terrapins (Trachemys scripta scripta): in case A the terrapins were in the infant's home; in case B a relative fed the terrapin prior to holding and feeding the infant when both visited another relative. C. butyricum isolates from the infants and the respective terrapin tank waters were indistinguishable by molecular typing. Review of a case of C. butyricum BoNT/E botulism in the UK found that there was a pet terrapin where the infant was living. It is concluded that the C. butyricum-producing BoNT type E in these cases of infant botulism most likely originated from pet terrapins. These findings reinforce public health advice that reptiles, including terrapins, are not suitable pets for children aged <5 years, and highlight the importance of hand washing after handling these pets.
Thiolate-gold nanoclusters exhibit unique optical, magnetic and chiral properties, which are attractive for novel applications in nanotechnology. A fundamental challenge facing these nanomaterials is being able to study and understand their physical properties in various experimental conditions. To overcome this, extended X-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS) spectroscopy can be employed to probe the Au local structure of thiolate-gold nanoclusters in a variety of conditions, providing valuable structural information from multiple bonding environments (i.e. metal-metal and metal-ligand interactions). This study discusses a methodology for conducting a multishell EXAFS fitting analysis that can be implemented for thiolate-gold nanocluster systems. Specifically, experimental and simulated EXAFS data for Au36(SR)24 nanoclusters are examined with a total of 5 scattering paths fitted to the experimental data.
Listeriosis is a rare but severe foodborne disease with low morbidity and high case-fatality rates. Pregnant women, unborn and newborn babies are among the high-risk groups for listeriosis. We examined listeriosis cases reported to the enhanced surveillance system in England and Wales from 1990 to 2010 to identify risk factors influencing outcome. Cases were defined as pregnancy-associated if Listeria monocytogenes was isolated from a pregnant woman or newborn infants aged <28 days. Of the 3088 cases reported, pregnancy-associated listeriosis accounted for 462 (15%) cases and 315 cases resulted in a live birth. Several factors were identified as affecting the severity and outcome of listeriosis in pregnancy in both mother and child including: presence or absence of maternal symptoms, gestational age at onset of symptoms, and clinical presentation in the infant (meningitis or septicaemia). Deprivation, ethnicity and molecular serotype had no effect on outcome.
Lung cancer is the leading global cause of cancer-related mortality. Inter-individual variability in treatment response and prognosis has been associated with genetic polymorphisms in specific genes: EGFR, KRAS, BRAF, PTEN and TTF-1. Somatic mutations in EGFR and KRAS genes are reported at rates of 15–40% in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in ethnically diverse populations. BRAF and PTEN are commonly mutated genes in various cancer types, including NSCLC, with PTEN mutations exerting an effect on the therapeutic response of EGFR/AKT/PI3K pathway inhibitors. TTF-1 is expressed in approximately 80% of lung adenocarcinomas and its positivity correlates with higher prevalence of EGFR mutation in this cancer type. To determine molecular markers for lung cancer in Brazilian patients, the rate of the predominant EGFR, KRAS, BRAF and PTEN mutations, as well as TTF-1 expression, was assessed in 88 Brazilian NSCLC patients. EGFR exon 19 deletions (del746–750) were detected in 3/88 (3·4%) patients. Activating KRAS mutations in codons 12 and 61 were noted in five (5·7%) and two (2·3%) patients, respectively. None of the common somatic mutations were detected in either the BRAF or PTEN genes. TTF-1 was overexpressed in 40·7% of squamous-cell carcinoma (SCC). Our findings add to a growing body of data that highlights the genetic heterogeneity of the abnormal EGFR pathway in lung cancer among ethnically diverse populations.
The objective was evaluating the psychometric properties of the Sociocultural Attitudes Towards Appearance Questionnaire-3 (SATAQ–3) among Brazilian young adults of both genders. The sample was composed by 506 undergraduate students (295 females and 211 males), aged between 17 and 29 years old. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses were used for construct validity (N = 506). Correlations between the SATAQ–3 scores and those of the Tripartite Influence Scale (TIS) and Body Shape Questionnaire (BSQ) were used for convergent validity. Reliability was assessed through internal consistency (α) and reproducibility (test-retest) through comparison of the means obtained at two different time points and through intra-class correlation. The scale presented a factor structure composed of five factors, replicated in the confirmatory factor analysis with satisfactory values for the measurements of adjustment to the model. Correlations with the BSQ and TIS scores were rho = .52 and rho = –.35, respectively. Cronbach’s alpha coefficients were satisfactory, and their stability was demonstrated. Brazilian SATAQ–3 had good validity and reproducibility, being indicated for use in samples of Brazilian youths.
Territory occupancy, distribution and density of the isolated Bearded Vulture Gypaetus barbatus meridionalis population in the Maloti-Drakensberg mountains of southern Africa were assessed between two time periods - former (1960–1999) and current (2000–2012) - to identify population trends. Overall, 190 territories were recorded of which 109 are currently occupied. The number of occupied breeding territories decreased by a minimum of 32% and a maximum of 51% over the past five decades. Territories located on the periphery of the breeding range were more likely to be abandoned than those in the core. The current population is estimated at a minimum of 352 and a maximum of 390 individuals. The breeding range decreased by 27%, restricting the birds to an estimated area of occupancy of 28,125 km2. Breeding densities also decreased by 20%, declining from 4.9 to 3.9 pairs/1,000 km2. In both periods, higher densities were recorded in the core of the range. Nests were located about 9.0 km apart, a slight increase from the 7.7 km recorded formerly. Inter-nest distances increased with distance from the core range. Further studies are required to ascertain whether productivity or survival is limiting population growth, and whether anthropogenic influences are resulting in the abandonment of territories in the periphery of the range and the subsequent decline in numbers.