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Cerrado sensu stricto (a physiognomy of the Cerrado domain, the Brazilian savanna) is subject to the annual occurrence of fire. Data on the epiphytic community in this physiognomy is scarce, as is evaluation of the influence of fire on its structure and composition. The aim of this study was to describe the structure of the vascular epiphyte community and its relationships with phorophytes in the Cerrado domain, Southeast Region of Brazil, after the passage of fire. We found the greatest abundance of epiphytes in the upper strata (65% of the individuals occurring above 3 m in height) and the dominance of three generalist species (Tillandsia streptocarpa, T. recurvata and Epiphyllum phyllanthus), suggesting that fire has an influence on the structure and composition of the epiphytic community.
The Rio Branco is a river with unique biogeographic and ecological features, threatened by the Brazilian Government’s plan to build a major hydroelectric dam and associated hydroway along its course. The river crosses one of Amazonia’s largest rainfall gradients and a major geomorphological boundary along a savanna/forest ecotone, marked by the Bem Querer rapids. Above the rapids, the upper Rio Branco runs through the Boa Vista sedimentary formation and crosses the crystalline rocks of the Guiana Shield, and its margins are flanked by gallery forests. Downriver, it runs through a low-lying sedimentary basin, with Amazonian floodplain forests along its margins. Here, we present the results of ∼ 15 years of ornithological research on the Branco and its major tributaries, providing baseline data and evaluating potential threats to the riverine avifauna. Our surveys included opportunistic observations and standardized surveys along the entire length of the river in 16 systematically distributed localities. We catalogued 439 bird species, 87% of which are documented by physical evidence (specimens, recordings, photographs). Forty-six percent are restricted to single habitats, suggesting a high degree of habitat specialisation. A third of the species are widely distributed along the river, whereas 45% are restricted to either the upper or the lower Rio Branco, including 40 and 30 Indicator Species, respectively. Twenty-five species are threatened at global or national levels, including two ‘Critically Endangered’, nine ‘Vulnerable’, and 14 ‘Near Threatened’. We present a list of 50 bird species that are candidates for monitoring studies. Threats to the avifauna from dam construction include permanent flooding above the dam, eliminating gallery forests, river islands, and sandy beaches, and the disruption of the flood pulse along the river, affecting river island and floodplain forest specialists, many of which are globally threatened with extinction. If built, the Bem Querer dam will wipe out the ecotone region and affect dramatically the river’s avifauna.
The enrichment of meat with selenium is important to improve the intake of selenium by humans. The effects of supranutritional doses of sodium selenite or selenium-enriched yeast on performance, carcass characteristics and meat quality were evaluated using 63 Nellore cattle in a completely randomized design with two sources (sodium selenite and selenium-enriched yeast), three levels (0.3, 0.9 and 2.7 mg Se/kg DM) and control treatment (without addition of selenium). Final body weight (BW), average daily gain, dry matter intake and gain to feed ratio (G : F) at the end of 84 days of supplementation were not influenced by treatments (P>0.05). Values of pH, ribeye area, back fat thickness and marbling score were also not influenced by treatments (
P>0.05). Dressing percentage was greater (P=0.02) in Nellore cattle supplemented with organic Se (58.70%) compared to animals supplemented with inorganic Se (57.94%). Hot carcass weight increased (
P=0.05) with the increasing of Se levels in the diet. Colour, shear force (SF), cooking and drip loss remained unchanged (
P>0.05); however thiobarbituric acid reactive substances was 15.51% higher with inorganic Se compared with organic Se. The selenium concentration in the meat of animals receiving organic selenium was higher (
P<0.001) than that of animals receiving sodium selenite, at all levels (0.3; 0.9 and 2.7 mg/kg DM). The meat of animals receiving 2.7 mg of organic Se/kg of DM presented concentration of 372.7 μg Se/kg in the L.dorsi muscle, and the intake of 150 g of this meat by humans provides approximately 100% of the recommended Se intake (55 μg Se/day for adults). Therefore, the use of supranutritional doses of 2.7 mg Se/kg of DM, regardless of source, is a way of naturally producing selenium-enriched meat without compromising performance, carcass characteristics and quality of Nellore bovine meat.
Differences in forage nutritive value between morning and afternoon are related to patterns of dehydration and carbohydrate accumulation throughout the day. In this way, management strategies that maximize grazing time during the afternoon could increase forage nutritive value and consequently nutrient intake. The aim of the current experiment was to evaluate the effect of the time of day (06.00 h [designated AM] or 15.00 h [PM]) that cattle are moved to a new paddock on forage nutritive value, grazing behaviour and animal performance of beef cattle on rotationally stocked Marandu palisadegrass (Brachiaria brizantha cv. Marandu Syn. Urochloa brizantha cv. Marandu) pastures. A spring and summer study was conducted in Pirassununga, SP, Brazil from October 2012 to March 2013 (182 days). Treatments were distributed in a randomized complete block design with three replications. Herbage mass, morphological composition, herbage allowance and stocking rates were similar between treatments during spring and summer. Moving animals to a new paddock, regardless of the time of day – 06.00 h (AM) or 15.00 h (PM) – stimulated grazing, modifying the distribution of meals throughout the day. However, compensatory mechanisms among grazing time, bite rate and forage nutritive value throughout the day operated in order to generate similar performance between animals offered a new paddock in the morning or in the afternoon.
The objective of the current study was to evaluate the effects of sugarcane and maize silage mixture v. maize silage in diets of Holstein cows and investigate performance under two environmental conditions. The cows were placed in freestalls, with individuals and stalls assigned to one of four treatments according to a replicated 4 × 4 Latin square design with 20-day periods divided into 11 days of adaptation (wash-out period) and 9 days of collection. Treatments were arranged in a 2 × 2 × 2 factorial design: total diets (maize silage (MS-based diet), the roughage mixture (RM-based diet, sugarcane : maize silage, 500 : 500 g/kg DM) plus concentrate); environmental conditions (with (W) and without (Wo) fan and nebulizers); and measurement times (09.40 and 14.00 h). The temperature and relative humidity was higher at 14.00 h and contributed to increased temperature-humidity index (76.6, W v. 75.9, Wo). Feed dry matter intake (DMI) was similar between diets (20.2 kg/day), but milk production and feed efficiency were lower with RM. Under W conditions, higher fat content and total solids of milk were observed with the RM-based diet, while crude protein and lactose were higher with MS. The Wo conditions increased body surface temperature (BS) in cows fed MS. The rectal temperature (RT) was higher with RM. The BS, RT and respiratory rate were higher at 14.00 h (34.9, 38.6 °C and 58.2 breaths/min) than at 09.40 h. The RM-based diet maintained DMI and milk composition, but not milk production. The use of the cooling system led to higher DMI and feed N efficiency use.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of incubating semen for different periods (90, 270 or 450 min) with or without Trolox® (100 or 150 µM) on the quality of sperm from Saimiri collinsi. Sperm motility, vigour, and plasma membrane integrity (PMI) were evaluated in both fresh semen and semen incubated for different time periods, i.e. 90, 270 or 450 min of incubation. Supplementation of semen extender with Trolox® 100 µM improved sperm motility, vigour and PMI for up to 270 min of incubation.
Reducing the risk of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) transmission is still a public health priority. The development of effective control strategies relies on the quantification of the effects of prophylactic and therapeutic measures in disease incidence. Although several assays can be used to estimate HIV incidence, these estimates are limited by the poor performance of these assays in distinguishing recent from long-standing infections. To address such limitation, we have developed an assay to titrate p24-specific IgG3 antibodies as a marker of recent infection. The assay is based on a recombinant p24 protein capable to detect total IgG antibodies in sera using a liquid micro array and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Subsequently, the assay was optimised to detect and titrate anti-p24 IgG3 responses in a panel of sequential specimens from seroconverters over 24 months. The kinetics of p24-specific IgG3 titres revealed a transient peak in the 4 to 5-month period after seroconversion. It was followed by a sharp decline, allowing infections with less than 6 months to be distinguished from older ones. The developed assay exhibited a mean duration of recent infection of 144 days and a false-recent rate of ca. 14%. Our findings show that HIV-1 p24-specific IgG3 titres can be used as a tool to evaluate HIV incidence in serosurveys and to monitor the efficacy of vaccines and other transmission control strategies.
Forage is the primary feed source for livestock in tropical regions and energy is one of the most important nutrients for ruminant nutrition. The effects of harvest management of Marandu palisade grass (Brachiaria brizantha cv. Marandu Syn. Urochloa brizantha cv. Marandu) on non-structural carbohydrate (NSC) concentrations were evaluated. A plot (Experiment 1) and a greenhouse study (Experiment 2) were conducted in 2013–14. In Experiment 1, treatments were the factorial arrangement of two harvest times and two vertical canopy layers (upper and intermediate), distributed in a completely randomized design with five replicates. In Experiment 2, treatments were the factorial arrangement of six harvest times and two morphological fractions (leaf blade and pseudostem). In both experiments, NSC concentration increased during the day. Upper and intermediate canopy layers had greater NSC concentration at 15.00 than 06.00 h during spring and summer. In addition, the magnitude of NSC increase was greater in the upper than intermediate canopy layer and in spring than summer. Marandu palisade grass shows greater digestibility in the afternoon than morning, representing an opportunity to optimize energy concentration through harvest management.
Acinetobacter spp. are important healthcare pathogens, being closely linked to antibiotic resistance and outbreaks worldwide. Although such species are rarely observed in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF), we describe the characteristics of 53 strains of Acinetobacter spp. isolated from the sputum of 39 Brazilian patients with CF. The species distribution was A. baumannii (n = 29), A. pittii (n = 13), A. nosocomialis (n = 8), A. seifertii (n = 1), A. soli (n = 1) and A. variabilis (n = 1) determined by partial rpoB gene sequencing. Sixteen strains (10 A. baumannii, 3 A. pittii and 3 A. nosocomialis) were multidrug-resistant (MDR) by disk diffusion test (30%) and eight MDR carbapenem-resistant A. baumannii strains harboured the blaOXA-23-like oxacillinase gene. Thirty-three sequence types (STs) were identified by multilocus sequence typing of which eight were novel (A. baumannii: 843, 844, 845, 847, 848; A. pitti: 643; A. nosocomialis: 862 and A. seifertii: 846); six STs (2 A. baumannii, 3 A. pittii and 1 A. nosocomialis) were found in more than one patient. Four strains of A. baumannii were assigned to two common clonal complexes (CCs), namely, CC1 (ST1, ST20 and ST160), and CC79 (ST79). This study underlines the extensive species diversity of Acinetobacter spp. strains in CF lung infections which may present difficulties for therapy due to significant antimicrobial resistance.
Economic losses due to an increase of leg disorders in broilers have become a major concern of the poultry industry. Despite the efforts to reduce skeletal abnormalities in chickens, insufficient progress has been made. Bacterial chondronecrosis with osteomyelitis (BCO) is one of the main disorders that affect bone integrity in broilers. However, the genetic pathways and genes involved in most bone problems, including BCO, remains unclear. In this study, femoral samples from male broilers with 45 days of age affected or not with BCO were used to compare the relative expression with a reverse transcription real time PCR approach of 13 candidate genes: SPP1 (osteopontin), TNFRSF11B (osteoprotegerin), SPARC (osteonectin), CALB1 (calbidin 1), CALM (Calmodulin 2), IBSP (sialoprotein), COL1A2 (collagen, type I, α 2), BMP2 (bone morphogenetic protein 2), BMP3 (bone morphogenetic protein 3), RANKL (κ-B nuclear factor ligand), SMAD1 (SMAD family member 1), LEPR (leptin receptor) and RUNX2 (related transcription factor Runt 2). Differential expression test between affected and non-affected groups was performed using the REST software. The RUNX2 and SPARC genes were downregulated (P<0.05) in the affected group, with reduced expression of fourfold when compared with the non-affected group. This result indicates that the downregulation of RUNX2 and SPARC can contribute to an increased incidence of BCO in broilers.
Sixteen cows in early lactation were randomly distributed into two groups in order to evaluate the effects of mammary biopsies and increased milking frequency on tissue characteristics, post-biopsy udder health and histology. One group was milked twice a day (2×) starting on the 2nd day after calving, until 28 days in milk (DIM). The other group was milked four times a day (4×) from two to 21 DIM, and twice a day (2×) from 22 to 28 DIM. On days 2, 7, 14, 21, and 28 postpartum, one fragment of secretory tissue was collected from one mammary quarter at a time. Collections were alternated between the four mammary quarters per collection day. A total of 80 mammary tissue samples were collected. Qualitative and quantitative analyses of the tissues were conducted by histologic examination. Animal health was assessed by observation of feed intake behavior immediately after biopsy, and weight and body condition score before and one week after biopsy. Udder health was assessed daily from calving to 60 DIM with California Mastitis Test (CMT) and by noting alterations in the milk such as blood, milk clots, blood clots, clinical signs of mastitis. Milk composition and somatic cell count (SCC) were analyzed before and after the biopsies. Milk production was evaluated before biopsy, on the day of biopsy, and after the biopsy. An average of 10 fields at 40× magnification was obtained from each sample. There were no evident changes in mammary morphology as a result of milking two or four times/day at any of the evaluated time points. Biopsy wounds healed rapidly without infection. Intramammary bleeding and CMT alterations were observed in 96% and 75% of the biopsied mammary quarters, respectively. Clinical mastitis was diagnosed in 12% of the biopsied quarters. Different milking frequencies had no effect on the frequency and duration of post-biopsy alterations. Milk production decreased after biopsies done on days 2 for 2× and 4× groups, but it returned to pre-biopsy values within 1 day. Milk composition and SCC were affected transiently. Increased milking frequency did not influence udder health. Post-biopsy recovery was rapid and the procedure proved effective without damaging the cows’ health.
Episodes of depression and anxiety (D&A) during the transition from late adolescence to adulthood, particularly when persistent, are predictive of long-term disorders and associated public health burden. Understanding risk factors at this time is important to guide intervention. The current objective was to investigate the associations between maternal symptoms of D&A with offspring symptoms during their transition to adulthood.
Data from a large population-based birth cohort study, in South Brazil, were used. Prospective associations between maternal D&A and offspring risk of these symptoms during the transition to adulthood (18/19, 24 and 30 years) were estimated.
Maternal D&A in adolescence was associated with offspring symptoms across the transition to adulthood, associations were consistently stronger for females than for males. Daughters whose mothers reported D&A were 4.6 times (95% confidence interval 2.71–7.84) as likely to report D&A at all three time-points, than daughters of symptom-free mothers.
Maternal D&A is associated with persistent D&A during the daughter's transition to adulthood. Intervention strategies should consider the mother's mental health.
Intestinal mucositis is an important toxic side effect of 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) treatment. Saccharomyces boulardii is known to protect from intestinal injury via an effect on the gastrointestinal microbiota. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the effect of S. boulardii on intestinal mucositis induced by 5-FU in a murine model. Mice were divided into saline, saline (control)+5-FU or 5-FU+S. boulardii (16 × 109 colony-forming units/kg) treatment groups, and the jejunum and ileum were removed after killing of mice for the evaluation of histopathology, myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity, and non-protein sulfhydryl group (mainly reduced glutathione; GSH), nitrite and cytokine concentrations. To determine gastric emptying, phenol red was administered orally, mice were killed 20 min after administration, and the absorbance of samples collected from the mice was measured by spectrophotometry. Intestinal permeability was measured by the urinary excretion rate of lactulose and mannitol following oral administration. S. boulardii significantly reversed the histopathological changes in intestinal mucositis induced by 5-FU and reduced the inflammatory parameters: neutrophil infiltration (control 1·73 (sem 0·37) ultrastructural MPO (UMPO)/mg, 5-FU 7·37 (sem 1·77) UMPO/mg and 5-FU+S. boulardii 4·15 (sem 0·73) UMPO/mg); nitrite concentration (control 37·00 (sem 2·39) μm, 5-FU 59·04 (sem 11·41) μm and 5-FU+S. boulardii 37·90 (sem 5·78) μm); GSH concentration (control 477·60 (sem 25·25) μg/mg, 5-FU 270·90 (sem 38·50) μg/mg and 5-FU+S. boulardii 514·00 (sem 38·64) μg/mg). Treatment with S. Boulardii significantly reduced the concentrations of TNF-α and IL-1β by 48·92 and 32·21 % in the jejunum and 38·92 and 61·79 % in the ileum. In addition, S. boulardii decreased the concentrations of chemokine (C–X–C motif) ligand 1 by 5-fold in the jejunum and 3-fold in the ileum. Interestingly, S. boulardii reduced the delay in gastric emptying (control 25·21 (sem 2·55) %, 5-FU 54·91 (sem 3·43) % and 5-FU+S. boulardii 31·38 (sem 2·80) %) and induced the recovery of intestinal permeability (lactulose:mannitol ratio: control 0·52 (sem 0·03), 5-FU 1·38 (sem 0·24) and 5-FU+S. boulardii 0·62 (sem 0·03)). In conclusion, S. boulardii reduces the inflammation and dysfunction of the gastrointestinal tract in intestinal mucositis induced by 5-FU.
Objective: The objective of the study was to analyse the use of the pressure wire for the acquisition of intravascular pulmonary pressures in the presence of pulmonary atresia and systemic-dependent pulmonary blood flow. Methods: In this study, we included patients with pulmonary atresia and systemic-dependent pulmonary circulation referred for diagnostic catheterisation for evaluation of pulmonary pressures during the period from April, 2012 to April, 2013. The systemic-pulmonary collateral arteries were selectively catheterised, and in the absence of a critical stenosis angiographically determined; the pressure wire was introduced in these arteries to reach the main pulmonary artery, and/or lobar, and segmental branches. Aortic and pulmonary pressures were simultaneously obtained. We evaluated the feasibility and safety of the method. Results: We studied 10 patients (age 21 days to 11 years). In all of them, the pressures of pulmonary circulation – main artery, and/or lobar, and segmental branches – were successfully measured with the pressure wire. Of eight patients with indication for Rastelli surgery, the pulmonary pressures were considered normal in five, and slightly increased in three. In two patients requiring univentricular correction – total cavopulmonary anastomosis – the diastolic pressure was increased (20 mmHg). All procedures were performed without haemodynamic instability, cardiac arrhythmia, systemic saturation reduction, death, or any other complication. Conclusion: Measurement of pulmonary vascular pressures using the pressure wire in small patients with pulmonary atresia is safe and effective. It allows the acquisition of reliable pressure curves, even in the presence of small vessels, bending and tortuosity, without the risk usually associated with the use of conventional diagnostic catheters.
Breast-feeding counselling has been identified as the intervention with the greatest potential for reducing child deaths, but there is little experience in delivering breast-feeding counselling at scale within routine health systems. The study aim was to compare rates of exclusive breast-feeding associated with a breast-feeding counselling intervention in which community health agents (CHA) received 20 h of training directed at counselling and practical skills with rates pre-intervention when CHA received 4 h of didactic teaching.
Cross-sectional surveys of breast-feeding practices were conducted pre- and post-intervention in random samples of 1266 and 1245 infants aged 0–5·9 months, respectively.
Recife, Brazil, with a population of 2 million.
CHA (n 1449) of Brazil's Family Health Programme were trained to provide breast-feeding counselling at home visits.
Rates of exclusive breast-feeding improved when CHA were trained to provide breast-feeding counselling and were significantly higher by 10–13 percentage points at age 3–5·9 months when compared with pre-intervention rates (P < 0·05). Post-intervention point prevalence of exclusive breast-feeding for infants aged <4 months was 63 % and for those aged <6 months was 50 %.
Multifunctional CHA were able to deliver breast-feeding counselling at scale within a routine health service and this was associated with a significant increase in rates of exclusive breast-feeding. The study reinforces the need to focus training on counselling and practical skills; a key component was an interactive style that utilized the knowledge and experience of CHA. The findings are relevant to the call by international organizations to scale up breast-feeding counselling.
Several researchers have developed prediction equations to estimate the metabolisable energy (ME) of energetic and protein concentrate feedstuffs used in diets for broilers. The ME is estimated by considering CP, ether extract, ash and fibre contents. However, the results obtained using traditional regression analysis methods have been inconsistent and new techniques can be used to obtain better estimate of the feedstuffs’ energy value. The objective of this paper was to implement a multilayer perceptron network to estimate the nitrogen-corrected metabolisable energy (AMEn) values of the energetic and protein concentrate feeds, generally used by the poultry feed industry. The concentrate feeds were from plant origin. The dataset contains 568 experimental results, all from Brazil. This dataset was separated into two parts: one part with 454 data, which was used to train, and the other one with 114 data, which was used to evaluate the accuracy of each implemented network. The accuracy of the models was evaluated on the basis of their values of mean squared error, R2, mean absolute deviation, mean absolute percentage error and bias. The 7-5-3-1 model presented the highest accuracy of prediction. It was developed an Excel® AMEn calculator by using the best model, which provides a rapid and efficient way to predict the AMEn values of concentrate feedstuffs for broilers.
Long-chain fatty acids are capable of inducing alterations in the homoeostasis of glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS), but the effect of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA) is poorly elucidated. In the present study, we fed a normoenergetic MCFA diet to male rats from the age of 1 month to the age of 4 months in order to analyse the effect of MCFA on body growth, insulin sensitivity and GSIS. The 45 % MCFA substitution of whole fatty acids in the normoenergetic diet impaired whole body growth and resulted in increased body adiposity and hyperinsulinaemia, and reduced insulin-mediated glucose uptake in skeletal muscle. In addition, the isolated pancreatic islets from the MCFA-fed rats showed impaired GSIS and reduced protein kinase Bα (AKT1) protein expression and extracellular signal-related kinase isoforms 1 and 2 (ERK1/2) phosphorylation, which were accompanied by increased cellular death. Furthermore, there was a mildly increased cholinergic sensitivity to GSIS. We discuss these findings in further detail, and advocate that they might have a role in the mechanistic pathway leading to the compensatory hyperinsulinaemic status found in this animal model.
Astrobiology is a relatively recent scientific field that seeks to understand the origin and dynamics of life in the Universe. Several hypotheses have been proposed to explain life in the cosmic context throughout human history, but only now, technology has allowed many of them to be tested. Laboratory experiments have been able to show how chemical elements essential to life, such as carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and hydrogen combine in biologically important compounds. Interestingly, these compounds are ubiquitous. How these compounds were combined to the point of originating cells and complex organisms is still to be unveiled by science. However, our 4.5 billion years old Solar system appeared in a 10 billion years old Universe. Thus, simple cells such as micro-organisms may have had time to form in planets older than ours or in other suitable places in the Universe. One hypothesis related to the appearance of life on Earth is called panspermia, which predicts that microbial life could have been formed in the Universe billions of years ago, travelling between planets, and inseminating units of life that could have become more complex in habitable planets such as Earth. A project designed to test the viability of extremophile micro-organisms exposed to simulated extraterrestrial environments is in progress at the Carlos Chagas Filho Institute of Biophysics (UFRJ, Brazil) to test whether microbial life could withstand inhospitable environments. Radiation-resistant (known or novel ones) micro-organisms collected from extreme terrestrial environments have been exposed (at synchrotron accelerators) to intense radiation sources simulating Solar radiation, capable of emitting radiation in a few hours equivalent to many years of accumulated doses. The results obtained in these experiments reveal an interesting possibility of the existence of microbial life beyond Earth.
Humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) migrate between their feeding grounds, located in high latitudes, and their breeding grounds, located in low latitudes, exhibiting certain levels of site fidelity to their migratory destinations. The residence time, also known as occupancy rate, can be defined as the minimum number of days that those individuals remained in the same area. In this paper, site fidelity and residence time of humpback whales that breed off the northern coast of Bahia, Brazil were investigated. Data were collected between 2000 and 2009 on-board research cruises and whale watching vessels. This paper also studies possible differences between males and females with respect to site fidelity off the Brazilian coast, using data collected since 1989. A total of 841 whales were photo-identified. The vast majority of the whales (96%, N = 809) were seen only once in the studied area, while 4% (32 individuals) were seen twice. Most of the resights occurred within the same season (72%, N = 23), while 9 resights (28%) occurred in different years. None of the individuals were seen more than twice. The average site fidelity rate was 1% and the occupancy rate varied from one up to 21 days (mean = 5.3; SD = 5.4, N = 23).
An outbreak of meningococcal disease (MD) with severe morbidity and mortality was investigated in midwestern Brazil in order to identify control measures. A MD case was defined as isolation of Neisseria meningitidis, or detection of polysaccharide antigen in a sterile site, or presence of clinical purpura fulminans, or an epidemiological link with a laboratory-confirmed case-patient, between June and August 2008. In 8 out of 16 MD cases studied, serogroup C ST103 complex was identified. Five (31%) cases had neurological findings and five (31%) died. The attack rate was 12 cases/100 000 town residents and 60 cases/100 000 employees in a large local food-processing plant. We conducted a matched case-control study of eight primary laboratory-confirmed cases (1:4). Factors associated with illness in single variable analysis were work at the processing plant [matched odds ratio (mOR) 22, 95% confidence interval (CI) 2·3–207·7, P<0·01], and residing <1 year in Rio Verde (mOR 7, 95% CI 1·11–43·9, P<0·02). Mass vaccination (>10 000 plant employees) stopped propagation in the plant, but not in the larger community.