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Several elicitors, stimulating induced resistance mechanisms, have potential in preventing or mitigating pathogen infections. Some of these compounds, triggering the production of jasmonic acid (JA), a precursor of herbivore-induced plant volatiles, could also play a central role in indirect resistance to pest species, by improving beneficial arthropod performance, and necrotrophic pathogens. In the current work, Trichoderma gamsii/T. asperellum and silica gel treatments – alone and in combination – were studied to evaluate the plant defence mechanism on grapevines (Vitis vinifera L.) by laboratory and field trials. JA production level was measured before and after Plasmopara viticola infection on potted vines. JA production induced by silica gel was higher than that caused by Trichoderma before infection. In Trichoderma-treated plants, JA production increased after P. viticola inoculation. In vineyard field trials, Mymaridae (Hymenoptera: Chalcidoidea) showed higher captures in transparent sticky traps on silica gel-treated plants, in comparison with control. On the other hand, no significant attraction was detected for Ichneumonoidea and other Chalcidoidea in silica gel and T. gamsii/T. asperellum-treated plants. The potential effects of elicitors are discussed, in the frame of attract and reward strategy.
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.
Keel bone damage (KBD) in laying hens is an important welfare problem in both conventional and organic egg production systems. We aimed to identify possible risk factors for KBD in organic hens by analysing cross-sectional data of 107 flocks assessed in eight European countries. Due to partly missing data, the final multiple regression model was based on data from 50 flocks. Keel bone damage included fractures and/or deviations, and was recorded, alongside with other animal based measures, by palpation and visual inspection of at least 50 randomly collected hens per flock between 52 and 73 weeks of age. Management and housing data were obtained by interviews, inspection and by feed analysis. Keel bone damage flock prevalences ranged from 3% to 88%. Compiled on the basis of literature and practical experience, 26 potential associative factors of KBD went into an univariable selection by Spearman correlation analysis or Mann–Whitney U test (with P<0.1 level). The resulting nine factors were presented to stepwise forward linear regression modelling. Aviary v. floor systems, absence of natural daylight in the hen house, a higher proportion of underweight birds, as well as a higher laying performance were found to be significantly associated with a higher percentage of hens with KBD. The final model explained 32% of the variation in KBD between farms. The moderate explanatory value of the model underlines the multifactorial nature of KBD. Based on the results increased attention should be paid to an adequate housing design and lighting that allows the birds easy orientation and safe manoeuvring in the system. Furthermore, feeding management should aim at sufficient bird live weights that fulfil breeder weight standards. In order to achieve a better understanding of the relationships between laying performance, feed management and KBD further investigations are needed.
Measles is a target for elimination in all six WHO regions by 2020, and over the last decade, there has been considerable progress towards this goal. Surveillance is recognised as a cornerstone of elimination programmes, allowing early identification of outbreaks, thus enabling control and preventing re-emergence. Fever–rash surveillance is increasingly available across WHO regions, and this symptom-based reporting is broadly used for measles surveillance. However, as measles control increases, symptom-based cases are increasingly likely to reflect infection with other diseases with similar symptoms such as rubella, which affects the same populations, and can have a similar seasonality. The WHO recommends that cases from suspected measles outbreaks be laboratory-confirmed, to identify ‘true’ cases, corresponding to measles IgM titres exceeding a threshold indicative of infection. Although serological testing for IgM has been integrated into the fever–rash surveillance systems in many countries, the logistics of sending in every suspected case are often beyond the health system's capacity. We show how age data from serologically confirmed cases can be leveraged to infer the status of non-tested samples, thus strengthening the information we can extract from symptom-based surveillance. Applying an age-specific confirmation model to data from three countries with divergent epidemiology across Africa, we identify the proportion of cases that need to be serologically tested to achieve target levels of accuracy in estimated infected numbers and discuss how this varies depending on the epidemiological context. Our analysis provides an approach to refining estimates of incidence leveraging all available data, which has the potential to improve allocation of resources, and thus contribute to rapid and efficient control of outbreaks.
Introduction: Delays in transfer to an in-patient bed of admitted patients boarded in the ED has been identified as one of the chief drivers of ED overcrowding. Our study aims to replicate findings from a previous study in identifying patient characteristics associated with increased boarding time, and the impact of increased boarding time on in-patient length of stay (IPLOS). Methods: We conducted a retrospective single-centre observational study during the period between January 1, 2015 December 31, 2015 at a very high volume community hospital (~ 75,000 ED visits/year). All patients admitted from the ED to Medicine, Pediatrics, Surgery, and Critical Care were identified. The mean time to in-patient bed (TTB), as well as patient-specific and institutional factors that were associated with prolonged boarding times ( 12 hours) were identified. Mean IP LOS was calculated for those with prolonged boarding times and compared to those without prolonged boarding times. Results: There were 8,096 unique admissions during the study period. Patients admitted to the Medicine service exhibited significantly higher boarding times than those admitted to other services, with a mean boarding time of 17.4 hrs, as compared to 4.2 hrs, 5.7 hrs, and 4.0 hrs for those admitted to Surgery, Critical Care and Pediatrics respectively. Within Medicine patients, there was a statistically significant greater odds of prolonged boarding time for patients who were older, had a greater comorbidity burden, and required more specialized in-patient care (i.e. an isolation bed or telemetry bed). Medicine patients with prolonged boarding times also experienced 0.7 days longer IP LOS, even after correcting for age and comorbidity (mean adjusted IP LOS 10.6 days versus 11.3 days). Conclusion: Within our study period, older, sicker patients and those patients requiring more resource-intensive in-patient care have the longest ED boarding times. These prolonged ‘boarding’ times are associated with significantly increased IP LOS.
L. J. Spilker, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Pasadena, California, USA,
C. Ferrari, Université Paris-Diderot Paris, FRANCE,
N. Altobelli, European Space Agency Madrid, SPAIN,
S. Pilorz, SETI Institute Mountain View, California, USA,
R. Morishima, University of California, Los Angeles Los Angeles, California, USA
Our view of planetary ring particles and the characteristics of their thermal emission has undergone a major paradigm shift since the arrival of Cassini at Saturn. Our understanding of the microstructure and microphysics of the rings has evolved from rings randomly filled with individual particles to Saturn's A and B rings containing particles that tend to clump into transient structures of characteristic sizes and orientations. The dynamics and evolution of rings strongly depend on the outcome of interparticle collisions and on the self-gravity of the rings. Energy loss, mass transfer, and sticking probability for relevant impact velocities will favor either aggregation or disruption and erosion of particles, modifying the size distribution and velocity dispersion, and thus the dynamics and structure of the rings.
The thermal response of a ring is determined by absorbed and emitted radiation or conducted heat within the particles. The radiation source functions depend upon the ring structure. Energy sources include direct, reflected and scattered solar light, mutual heating by neighboring ring particles, and thermal and visible radiation from Saturn. Because of mutual shading and heating between particles, the thermal emission is determined not only by the physical properties of the ring particles, but also by the structural and dynamical properties of the ring disk itself. Friction in mutual dissipative collisions between particles, due to their irregular surfaces, transforms orbital kinetic energy into spin. The particle surface temperature and its thermal emission are expected to vary on the surface along the rotation axis and azimuthally. Ring particles, as they collide into one another, are tumbling around the ring mid-plane with a vertical excursion governed by the local ring dynamics. The thermal history of a particle along its orbit is then an indicator of vertical dynamics. The particle is conditioned by the time it spends in sunlight and in the planetary shadow. At the exit of the shadow, its ability to warm up is a function of the thermal inertia. Any difference in the heating curves between the lit and unlit sides should reveal the time each particle spends on each side.
Rubella virus infection typically presents as a mild illness in children; however, infection during pregnancy may cause the birth of an infant with congenital rubella syndrome (CRS). As of February 2017, India began introducing rubella-containing vaccine (RCV) into the public-sector childhood vaccination programme. Low-level RCV coverage among children over several years can result in an increase in CRS incidence by increasing the average age of infection without sufficiently reducing rubella incidence. We evaluated the impact of RCV introduction on CRS incidence across India's heterogeneous demographic and epidemiological contexts. We used a deterministic age-structured model that reflects Indian states’ rural and urban area-specific demography and vaccination coverage levels to simulate rubella dynamics and estimate CRS incidence with and without RCV introduction to the public sector. Our analysis suggests that current low-level private-sector vaccination has already slightly increased the burden of CRS in India. We additionally found that the effect of public-sector RCV introduction depends on the basic reproductive number, R0, of rubella. If R0 is five, a value empirically estimated from an array of settings, CRS incidence post-RCV introduction will likely decrease. However, if R0 is seven or nine, some states may experience short-term or annual increases in CRS, even if a long-term total reduction in cases (30 years) is expected. Investment in population-based serological surveys and India's fever/rash surveillance system will be key to monitoring the success of the vaccination programme.
Exercise during pregnancy has beneficial effects on maternal and offspring’s health in humans and mice. The underlying mechanisms remain unclear. This comparative study aimed to determine the long-term effects of an exercise program on metabolism, weight gain, body composition and changes in hormones [insulin, leptin, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)]. Pregnant women (n=34) and mouse dams (n=44) were subjected to an exercise program compared with matched controls (period I). Follow-up in the offspring was performed over 6 months in humans, corresponding to postnatal day (P) 21 in mice (period II). Half of the mouse offspring was challenged with a high-fat diet (HFD) for 6 weeks between P70 and P112 (period III). In period I, exercise during pregnancy led to 6% lower fat content, 40% lower leptin levels and an increase of 50% BDNF levels in humans compared with controls, which was not observed in mice. After period II in humans and mice, offspring body weight did not differ from that of the controls. Further differences were observed in period III. Offspring of exercising mouse dams had significantly lower fat mass and leptin levels compared with controls. In addition, at P112, BDNF levels in offspring were significantly higher from exercising mothers while this effect was completely blunted by HFD feeding. In this study, we found comparable effects on maternal and offspring’s weight gain in humans and mice but different effects in insulin, leptin and BDNF. The long-term potential protective effects of exercise on biomarkers should be examined in human studies.
The complex life cycle of taeniids represents an ideal model of a multi-host system. The complexity of these parasites can therefore cover the epidemiological issues of the interface between wild and domestic animals, especially once spatial overlap between wild and domestic definitive and intermediate hosts occurs. Here we use the occurrence of Taenia ovis krabbei in two model areas as an example of this epidemiological complexity. In two contiguous areas in the Italian northern Apennines, two hunted roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) showed numerous cysticerci in the muscles of their whole body and an adult tapeworm was recorded in a semi-stray dog (Canis lupus familiaris). Through molecular typing of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase I (cox1) gene, cysticerci and the adult tapeworm of T. krabbei were identified. Taenia krabbei cysticercosis was recorded for the first time in Italy. Although the role of dogs in the parasite's life cycle emerges, the overlap between wild and domestic definitive hosts and the increase of wild population densities raise concerns about the temporal (old or new) introduction and the spread of this parasite by one of these canid species (wolf (Canis lupus) or dog). Although T. krabbei is not a public health issue, economic concerns emerged for hunters and meat producers, related to the damage of carcasses by cysticerci. Therefore, there is a need to evaluate the spread of T. krabbei in the intermediate and definitive host populations, and to ensure the relevant sanitary education for hunters in order to avoid practices that could favour the spread and maintenance of its life cycle.
School-based psychological interventions encompass: universal interventions targeting youth in the general population; and indicated interventions targeting youth with subthreshold depression. This study aimed to: (1) examine the population cost-effectiveness of delivering universal and indicated prevention interventions to youth in the population aged 11–17 years via primary and secondary schools in Australia; and (2) compare the comparative cost-effectiveness of delivering these interventions using face-to-face and internet-based delivery mechanisms.
We reviewed literature on the prevention of depression to identify all interventions targeting youth that would be suitable for implementation in Australia and had evidence of efficacy to support analysis. From this, we found evidence of effectiveness for the following intervention types: universal prevention involving group-based psychological interventions delivered to all participating school students; and indicated prevention involving group-based psychological interventions delivered to students with subthreshold depression. We constructed a Markov model to assess the cost-effectiveness of delivering universal and indicated interventions in the population relative to a ‘no intervention’ comparator over a 10-year time horizon. A disease model was used to simulate epidemiological transitions between three health states (i.e., healthy, diseased and dead). Intervention effect sizes were based on meta-analyses of randomised control trial data identified in the aforementioned review; while health benefits were measured as Disability-adjusted Life Years (DALYs) averted attributable to reductions in depression incidence. Net costs of delivering interventions were calculated using relevant Australian data. Uncertainty and sensitivity analyses were conducted to test model assumptions. Incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs) were measured in 2013 Australian dollars per DALY averted; with costs and benefits discounted at 3%.
Universal and indicated psychological interventions delivered through face-to-face modalities had ICERs below a threshold of $50 000 per DALY averted. That is, $7350 per DALY averted (95% uncertainty interval (UI): dominates – 23 070) for universal prevention, and $19 550 per DALY averted (95% UI: 3081–56 713) for indicated prevention. Baseline ICERs were generally robust to changes in model assumptions. We conducted a sensitivity analysis which found that internet-delivered prevention interventions were highly cost-effective when assuming intervention effect sizes of 100 and 50% relative to effect sizes observed for face-to-face delivered interventions. These results should, however, be interpreted with caution due to the paucity of data.
School-based psychological interventions appear to be cost-effective. However, realising efficiency gains in the population is ultimately dependent on ensuring successful system-level implementation.
The Evolutionary Map of the Universe (EMU) is a proposed radio continuum survey
of the Southern Hemisphere up to declination + 30°, with the Australian
Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP). EMU will use an automated source
identification and measurement approach that is demonstrably optimal, to
maximise the reliability and robustness of the resulting radio source
catalogues. As a step toward this goal we conducted a “Data
Challenge” to test a variety of source finders on simulated images. The
aim is to quantify the accuracy and limitations of existing automated source
finding and measurement approaches. The Challenge initiators also tested the
current ASKAPsoft source-finding tool to establish how it could benefit from
incorporating successful features of the other tools. As expected, most finders
show completeness around 100% at ≈ 10σ dropping to about 10% by
≈ 5σ. Reliability is typically close to 100% at ≈
10σ, with performance to lower sensitivities varying between finders. All
finders show the expected trade-off, where a high completeness at low
signal-to-noise gives a corresponding reduction in reliability, and vice versa.
We conclude with a series of recommendations for improving the performance of
the ASKAPsoft source-finding tool.
Welfare Quality® (WQ) assessment protocols place the emphasis on animal-based measures as an indicator for animal welfare. Stakeholders, however, emphasize that a reduction in the time taken to complete the protocol is essential to improve practical applicability. We studied the potential for reduction in time to complete the WQ broiler assessment protocol and present some modifications to the protocol correcting a few errors in the original calculations. Data was used from 180 flocks assessed on-farm and 150 flocks assessed at the slaughter plant. Correlations between variables were calculated, and where correlation was moderate, meaningful and promising (in terms of time reduction), simplification was considered using one variable predicted from another variable. Correlation analysis revealed a promising correlation between severe hock burn and gait scores on-farm. Therefore, prediction of gait scores using hock burn scores was studied further as a possible simplification strategy (strategy 1). Measurements of footpad dermatitis, hock burn, cleanliness and gait score on-farm correlated moderately to highly with slaughter plant measurements of footpad dermatitis and/or hock burn, supporting substitution of on-farm measurements with slaughter plant data. A simplification analysis was performed using footpad dermatitis, hock burn, cleanliness and gait scores measured on-farm predicted from slaughter plant measurements of footpad dermatitis and hock burn (strategy 2). Simplification strategies were compared with the full assessment protocol. Close agreement was found between the full protocol and both simplification strategies although large confidence intervals were found for specificity of the simplified models. It is concluded that the proposed simplification strategies are encouraging; strategy 1 can reduce the time to complete the on-farm assessment by ~1 h (25% to 33% reduction) and strategy 2 can reduce on-farm assessment time by ~2 h (50% to 67% reduction). Both simplification strategies should, however, be validated further, and tested on farms with a wide distribution across the different welfare categories of WQ.
Evidence suggests a relationship between exposure to trauma during childhood and functional impairments in psychotic patients. However, the impact of age at the time of exposure has been understudied in early psychosis (EP) patients.
Two hundred and twenty-five patients aged 18–35 years were assessed at baseline and after 2, 6, 18, 24, 30 and 36 months of treatment. Patients exposed to sexual and/or physical abuse (SPA) were classified according to age at the time of first exposure (Early SPA: before age 11 years; Late SPA: between ages 12 and 15 years) and then compared to patients who were not exposed to such trauma (Non-SPA). The functional level in the premorbid phase was measured with the Premorbid Adjustment Scale (PAS) and with the Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) scale and the Social and Occupational Functioning Assessment Scale (SOFAS) during follow-up.
There were 24.8% of patients with a documented history of SPA. Late SPA patients were more likely to be female (p = 0.010). Comparison with non-SPA patients revealed that: (1) both Early and Late SPA groups showed poorer premorbid social functioning during early adolescence, and (2) while patients with Early SPA had poorer functional level at follow-up with lower GAF (p = 0.025) and lower SOFAS (p = 0.048) scores, Late SPA patients did not.
Our results suggest a link between exposure to SPA and the later impairment of social functioning before the onset of the disease. EP patients exposed to SPA before age 12 may present long-lasting functional impairment, while patients exposed at a later age may improve in this regard and have a better functional outcome.
Pattern analysis has emerged as a tool to depict the role of multiple nutrients/foods in relation to health outcomes. The present study aimed at extracting nutrient patterns with respect to breast cancer (BC) aetiology.
Nutrient patterns were derived with treelet transform (TT) and related to BC risk. TT was applied to twenty-three log-transformed nutrient densities from dietary questionnaires. Hazard ratios (HR) and 95 % confidence intervals computed using Cox proportional hazards models quantified the association between quintiles of nutrient pattern scores and risk of overall BC, and by hormonal receptor and menopausal status. Principal component analysis was applied for comparison.
The European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC).
Women (n 334 850) from the EPIC study.
The first TT component (TC1) highlighted a pattern rich in nutrients found in animal foods loading on cholesterol, protein, retinol, vitamins B12 and D, while the second TT component (TC2) reflected a diet rich in β-carotene, riboflavin, thiamin, vitamins C and B6, fibre, Fe, Ca, K, Mg, P and folate. While TC1 was not associated with BC risk, TC2 was inversely associated with BC risk overall (HRQ5 v. Q1=0·89, 95 % CI 0·83, 0·95, Ptrend<0·01) and showed a significantly lower risk in oestrogen receptor-positive (HRQ5 v. Q1=0·89, 95 % CI 0·81, 0·98, Ptrend=0·02) and progesterone receptor-positive tumours (HRQ5 v. Q1=0·87, 95 % CI 0·77, 0·98, Ptrend<0·01).
TT produces readily interpretable sparse components explaining similar amounts of variation as principal component analysis. Our results suggest that participants with a nutrient pattern high in micronutrients found in vegetables, fruits and cereals had a lower risk of BC.
Controlled amounts of colloidal Au nanoparticles (NPs), electrochemically pre-synthesized, were directly deposited on MWCNTs sensor devices by electrophoresis. Pristine and Au-functionalized MWCNT networked films were tested as active layers in resistive gas sensors for detection of pollutant gases. Au-modified CNT-chemiresistor demonstrated higher sensitivity to NO2 detecting up to sub-ppm level compared to pristine one. The investigation of the cross-sensitivity towards other pollutant gases revealed the decrease of the sensitivity to NO2 with the increase of Au content, and, on the other side, the increase of that to H2S; therefore the fine tune of the metal loading on CNTs has allowed to control not only the gas sensitivity but also the selectivity towards a specific gaseous analyte. Finally, the sensing properties of Au-decorated CNT sensor seem to be promising in environmental and automotive gas sensing applications, based on low power consumption and moderate operating temperature.
We evaluated the effect of carbendazim on non-target organisms using the parasite Chordodes nobilii as a test organism. The Gordiida act as a link between freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems; and C. nobilii, a neotropical representative species of this group, has been shown to be sensitive to other contaminants even at environmentally acceptable concentrations. The taxa susceptible to carbendazim, however, may not be adequately represented among the standard aquatic test species used in ecotoxicological risk assessment. Moreover, the autochthonous organisms in this area that could be used as bioindicators still need to be found. The aim of the present work was therefore to assess the susceptibility of the preparasitic stages of C. nobilii to noxious effects by carbendazim. The assay protocol consisted in 96- and 48-h acute exposures of early embryonic stages and larvae, respectively, to concentrations ranging from 10 to 360 μg/l. Embryonic development was not inhibited by carbendazim at any of the evaluated concentrations, but the infectivity of larvae emerging from the exposed eggs was significantly diminished. Larval survival rate was also affected at the lowest concentration assayed. Values of the mean inhibition concentration (IC50) were 7 and 11 μg/l for embryos and larvae, respectively. Compared to other freshwater organisms, C. nobilii can be considered a species moderately to highly susceptible to carbendazim. As the expected environmental concentrations of carbendazim range from 6.25 to 41.3 μg/l, C. nobilii could well be a species in danger when exposed to this fungicide.
The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis of an improved gut environment of post-weaning piglets when administered a blend of essential oils (EO; thymol and cinnamaldehyde) and an enzyme combination (xylanase and β-glucanase (XB)) either alone or in combination. To assess the effect of dietary treatments, faecal nutrient digestibility and microbial counts, as well as ileum histology and gene expression of inflammatory mediators were evaluated. One hundred and ninety-two weaned piglets were allocated into four experimental treatments, and fed the basal diet (CTRL) either without or with EO, XB or their combination (EO+XB) for a 42-day period. The experiment concerning digestibility was designed with two periods (period I: days 15 to 21; period II: days 29 to 35) and the faeces were collected on days 20, 21, 34 and 35. On day 42, six piglets from each treatment were slaughtered. It was found that EO, XB and EO+XB supplementation did not affect (P>0.05) the growth performance of the piglets from days 0 to 42. Moreover, no dietary effect on faecal score was observed. Faecal digestibility of dry matter, organic matter, ash, dietary fibre, lipid, CP and NDF were increased from period I to period II (P<0.01 to P=0.06), while no effect (P>0.05) of EO, XB or their combination on the faecal digestibility was observed at both periods. Compared with the CTRL diet, dietary XB reduced the faecal Lactobacillus and Escherichia coli counts but increased the Lactobacillus to Coliforms ratio on day 42 (P=0.02, 0.03 and 0.03, respectively), and all the additives supplementations decreased the counts of faecal Coliforms on day 42 (P<0.01). XB supplementation increased the villus to crypt ratio (P=0.04) and reduced the mucosal macrophages number (P<0.01) in the ileum compared with the CTRL group, and dietary EO or EO+XB decreased the number of lymphatic follicles (P=0.01 and P<0.01, respectively) and mucosal macrophages (P=0.02 and P<0.01, respectively). In addition, the interleukin (IL)-1α was downregulated in piglets treated with EO+XB compared with the EO group (P=0.02). In conclusion, the administration of EO, XB or their combination was effective in improving ileum histology, and EO+XB supplementation might benefit the modulation of the expression of ileum inflammatory cytokines in piglets.
Five children with a neuroendocrine tumour (NET) of the appendix associated with a parasitic bowel infection are described, and the possibility of inflammation-triggered carcinogenesis is discussed. Schistosoma haematobium is linked primarily to bladder cancer but it has been reported in association with several other histotypes, including NETs of the gastrointestinal tract. Conversely, Enterobius vermicularis has not yet been claimed to participate in the onset of pre-cancerous conditions or tumours. The rare occurrence of contemporary appendiceal NETs and parasitic infection, raises the intriguing hypothesis of an inflammation-related carcinogenesis, although a cause–effect relationship cannot be established. Larger international series of childhood appendiceal NETs, which also include countries with higher prevalence of parasitic bowel infections, are needed to further clarify this possible cause–effect relationship.
Lead-containing (Pb-B-X)-2H apatites encompass a number of [AF]4[AT]6[(BO4)6]X2 compounds used for waste stabilization, environmental catalysis and ion conduction, but the influence of the stereochemically active lone-pair electrons of Pb2+ on crystal chemistry and functionality is poorly understood. This article presents a compilation of existing structural data for Pb apatites that demonstrate paired electrons of Pb2+ at both the AF and AT results in substantial adjustments to the PbFO6 metaprism twist angle, φ. New structure refinements are presented for several natural varieties as a function of temperature by single-crystal X-ray diffraction (XRD) of vanadinite-2H (ideally Pb10(VO4)6Cl2), pyromorphite-2H (Pb10(PO4)6Cl2), mimetite-2H/M (Pb10(As5+O4)6Cl2) and finnemanite-2H (Pb10(As3+O3)6Cl2). A supercell for mimetite is confirmed using synchrotron single-crystal XRD. It is suggested the superstructure is necessary to accommodate displacement of the stereochemically active 6s2 lone-pair electrons on the Pb2+ that occupy a volume similar to an O2− anion. We propose that depending on the temperature and concentration of minor substitutional ions, the mimetite superstructure is a structural adaptation common to all Pb-containing apatites and by extension apatite electrolytes, where oxide ion interstitials are found at similar positions to the lonepair electrons. It is also shown that plumbous apatite framework flexes substantially through adjustments of the PbFO6 metaprism twist-angles (φ) as the temperature changes. Finally, crystalchemical  zoning observed at submicron scales will probably impact on the treatment of diffraction data and may account for certain inconsistencies in reported structures.
Whole-grain intake has been reported to be associated with a lower risk of several lifestyle-related diseases such as type 2 diabetes, CVD and some types of cancers. As measurement errors in self-reported whole-grain intake assessments can be substantial, dietary biomarkers are relevant to be used as complementary tools for dietary intake assessment. Alkylresorcinols (AR) are phenolic lipids found almost exclusively in whole-grain wheat and rye products among the commonly consumed foods and are considered as valid biomarkers of the intake of these products. In the present study, we analysed the plasma concentrations of five AR homologues in 2845 participants from ten European countries from a nested case–control study in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition. High concentrations of plasma total AR were found in participants from Scandinavia and Central Europe and lower concentrations in those from the Mediterranean countries. The geometric mean plasma total AR concentrations were between 35 and 41 nmol/l in samples drawn from fasting participants in the Central European and Scandinavian countries and below 23 nmol/l in those of participants from the Mediterranean countries. The whole-grain source (wheat or rye) could be determined using the ratio of two of the homologues. The main source was wheat in Greece, Italy, the Netherlands and the UK, whereas rye was also consumed in considerable amounts in Germany, Denmark and Sweden. The present study demonstrates a considerable variation in the plasma concentrations of total AR and concentrations of AR homologues across ten European countries, reflecting both quantitative and qualitative differences in the intake of whole-grain wheat and rye.