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Recent years have seen an exponential increase in the variety of healthcare data captured across numerous sources. However, mechanisms to leverage these data sources to support scientific investigation have remained limited. In 2013 the Pediatric Heart Network (PHN), funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, developed the Integrated CARdiac Data and Outcomes (iCARD) Collaborative with the goals of leveraging available data sources to aid in efficiently planning and conducting PHN studies; supporting integration of PHN data with other sources to foster novel research otherwise not possible; and mentoring young investigators in these areas. This review describes lessons learned through the development of iCARD, initial efforts and scientific output, challenges, and future directions. This information can aid in the use and optimisation of data integration methodologies across other research networks and organisations.
This study aimed to evaluate the transcriptional changes occurring in isolated perfused mammary alveolar tissue in response to inoculation with S. agalactiae and to identify the most affected biological functions and pathways after 3 h. Four udders taken at slaughter from cows with healthy mammary gland were perfused ex situ with warmed and gassed Tyrode's solution. Mammary alveolar tissue samples were taken from the left fore and rear quarters (IQ-inoculated quarters) before inoculation (hour 0) and at 3 h post inoculation (hpi) and at the same times from control right fore and rear quarters (not inoculated: NIQ). A total of 1756 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified between IQ and NIQ at 3 hpi using edgeR package. Within this set of DEGs, 952 were up regulated and mainly involved with innate immune response and inflammatory response, e.g., CD14, CCL5, TLR2, IL-8, SAA3, as well as in transcriptional regulation such as FOS, STAT3 and NFKBIA. Genes down-regulated (804) included those involved with lipid synthesis e.g., APOC2, SCD, FABP3 and FABP4. The most affected pathways were chemokine signaling, Wnt signaling and complement and coagulation cascades, which likely reflects the early stage response of mammary tissue to S. agalactiae infection. No significant gene expression changes were detected by RNA-Seq in the others contrasts. Real time-PCR confirmed the increase in mRNA abundance of immune-related genes: TLR2, TLR4, IL-1β, and IL-10 at 3 hpi between IQ and NIQ. The expression profiles of Casp1 and Bax for any contrasts were unaffected whereas Bcl2 was increased in IQ, which suggests no induction of apoptosis during the first hours after infection. Results provided novel information regarding the early functional pathways and gene network that orchestrate innate immune responses to S. agalactiae infection. This knowledge could contribute to new strategies to enhance resistance to this disease, such as genomic selection.
The trematodes from South American reptiles are poorly known, with only one life cycle completely characterized. We used molecular and morphological methods to characterize diplostomoid metacercariae found in 29 of 86 pointedbelly frogs, Leptodactylus podicipinus (Cope, 1862) collected in a marsh pond in Selvíria, in the central-west region of Brazil. The metacercariae were identified as Heterodiplostomum lanceolatum Dubois, 1936 (Proterodiplostomidae), a rarely reported species that matures in snakes. In phylogenetic analysis of partial sequences from 28S rDNA, H. lanceolatum fell within a polytomy with the proterodiplostomid Crocodilicola pseudostoma (molecular divergence of 4.1%) and other members of the superfamily Diplostomoidea. Our collections provide insights into the ecology of this parasite, in that infected frogs were smaller than uninfected frogs, and metacercariae were more numerous in the abdominal cavity and hindlimb muscles than in abdominal muscles, which suggests directions for future research on the transmission and pathology of this proterodiplostomid.
Intake, digestibility, nitrogen (N) balance, microbial protein synthesis, weight gain, yields of the main commercial cuts and carcass morphometric measurements were evaluated in lambs fed diets containing different levels of chitosan. Sixty Santa Inês crossbred sheep with an average body weight (BW) of 24 ± 2.2 kg were assigned to three treatments (diets containing 0, 136 or 272 mg chitosan/kg BW) in a completely randomized design. There was no effect of chitosan on dry matter (DM) intake. Ingested and retained N showed a quadratic response, with the highest values estimated at the chitosan levels of 142 and 152 mg/kg BW, respectively. Similar to N balance, microbial protein synthesis showed the same quadratic response, in which the level of 136 mg/kg BW resulted in higher synthesis when compared with the other levels. No effect of chitosan was detected on average daily gain, final weight, or carcass variables (hot carcass weight, cold carcass weight, yield of commercial cuts and morphometric measurements of the carcass). Conformation, visceral fat content and fatness of carcasses were also not altered by the use of chitosan. Chitosan improves the digestibility of DM, crude protein and neutral detergent fibre, and increases N balance and microbial protein synthesis but does not change the production performance of feedlot lambs.
The goal of this study was to analyse the spatial pattern of tuberculosis (TB) mortality using different approaches, namely: mortality rates (MR), spatial relative risks (RR) and Bayesian rates (Global and Local) and their association with human development index (HDI), Global and its three dimensions: education, longevity and income. An ecological study was developed in Curitiba, Brazil based on data from Mortality Information System (2008–2014). Spatial scan statistics were used to compute RR and identify high-risk clusters. Bivariate Local Indicator of Spatial Associations was used to assess associations. MR ranged between 0 and 25.24/100.000 with a mean (standard deviation) of 1.07 (2.66). Corresponding values for spatial RR were 0–27.46, 1.2 (2.99) and for Bayesian rates (Global and Local) were 0.49–1.66, 0.90 (0.19) and 0–6.59, 0.98 (0.80). High-risk clusters were identified for all variables, except for HDI-income and Global Bayesian rate. Significant negative spatial relations were found between MR and income; between RR and HDI global, longevity and income; and Bayesian rates with all variables. Some areas presented different patterns: low social development/low risk and high risk/high development. These results demonstrate that social development variables should be considered, in mortality due TB.
Twin studies have found that ~50% of variance in electrocardiogram (ECG) traits can be explained by genetic factors. However, genetic variants identified through genome-wide association studies explain less than 10% of the total trait variability. Some have argued that the equal environment assumption for the classical twin model might be invalid, resulting in inflated narrow-sense heritability (h2) estimates, thus explaining part of the ‘missing h2’. Genomic relatedness restricted maximum likelihood (GREML) estimation overcomes this issue. This method uses both family data and genome-wide coverage of common SNPs to determine the degree of relatedness between individuals to estimate both h2 explained by common SNPs and total h2. The aim of the current study is to characterize more reliably than previously possible ECG trait h2 using GREML estimation, and to compare these outcomes to those of the classical twin model. We analyzed ECG traits (heart rate, PR interval, QRS duration, RV5+SV1, QTc interval, Sokolow-Lyon product, and Cornell product) in up to 3,133 twins from the TwinsUK cohort and derived h2 estimates by both methods. GREML yielded h2 estimates between 47% and 68%. Classical twin modeling provided similar h2 estimates, except for the Cornell product, for which the best fit included no genetic factors. We found no evidence that the classical twin model leads to inflated h2 estimates. Therefore, our study confirms the validity of the equal environment assumption for monozygotic and dizygotic twins and supports the robust basis for future studies exploring genetic variants responsible for the variance of ECG traits.
The present study investigated the patterns of microorganisms in an artificial larval diet during Dacus ciliatus (Diptera; Tephritidae) larval development. Microbial population contents in the diet of total heterotrophic bacteria, yeast and molds, coliform and lactobacilli, and their dynamics during development, were monitored. Initially, the microbial composition in diet trays failing to produce viable pupae and in trays successfully producing pupae and adult flies was characterized. The failing diet trays contained large populations of lactobacilli that increased during larval development, and low populations of coliforms. In contrast, the successful diet showed an increasing population of coliforms and a low, or undetected, population of lactobacilli. To study the hypothesis that lactobacilli affect D. ciliatus larval development, we conducted controlled inoculation experiments in which Lactobacillus plantarum was added into fresh diet at the time of egg seeding. L. plantarum inoculated trays showed no production of D. ciliatus. Control trays without lactobacilli inoculation showed variable results. One tray successfully produced viable pupae and adults, and showed a slight and slow increase in the indigenous populations of lactobacilli. The second tray, however, failed to produce pupae and showed a fast increase of the indigenous lactobacilli to very high levels. Monitored pH trends in L. plantarum-inoculated diet showed a sharp pH decrease during the first 4 days of larval development from 5 to less than 4 units, while successful diet, producing viable D. ciliatus pupae and adults, showed a moderate pH drop during most of the larval development period. The paper discusses the possible ecological interactions between D. ciliatus larvae, the microbial content of the diet and the physical properties of the diet. The discussion also points out at the usefulness of this approach in understanding and managing mass production parameters of tephritid fruit flies industrial diets used for Sterile Insect Technique.
By using an experimental model of dexamethasone-induced osteoporosis we investigated the effects of different therapeutic schemes combining sodium alendronate (SA) and simvastatin on bone mineral and protein composition, microstructural and mechanical remodeling. Wistar rats were randomized into eight groups: G1: non-osteoporotic; G2: osteoporotic; G3, G4, and G5: osteoporotic+SA (0.2, 0.4, and 0.8 mg/kg, respectively); G6, G7, and G8: osteoporotic+SA (0.2, 0.4, and 0.8 mg/kg, respectively)+simvastatin (0.4, 0.6, and 1 mg/kg, respectively). Osteoporosis was induced by dexamethasone (7 mg/kg, i.m.) once a week for 5 weeks. All treatments were administered for 8 weeks. Dexamethasone increased serum levels of alkaline phosphatase, calcium, phosphorus, and urea, especially in non-treated animals, which showed severe osteoporosis. Dexamethasone also induced bone microstructural fragility and reduced mechanical resistance, which were associated with a marked depletion in mineral mass, collagenous and non-collagenous protein levels in cortical and cancellous bone. Although SA has attenuated osteoporosis severity, the effectiveness of drug therapy was enhanced combining alendronate and simvastatin. The restoration in serum parameters, organic and inorganic bone mass, and mechanical behavior showed a dose-dependent effect that was potentially related to the complementary mechanisms by which each drug acts to induce bone anabolism, accelerating tissue repair.
Madelung's disease is a rare disorder characterised by the presence of multiple, symmetric, non-capsulated fat masses in the face, neck and other areas of upper extremities. In some cases, severe clinical complications such as upper airway compression can occur.
A 56-year-old man affected by Madelung's disease complained of snoring and severe daytime sleepiness. Polysomnography revealed severe obstructive sleep apnoea. An attempt to treat sleep apnoea by continuous positive airway pressure failed because of poor compliance. Functional expansion pharyngoplasty was carried out as an initial treatment. Marked improvement of neck movements and normalisation of somnographic parameters were observed at six months’ follow up.
Patients with Madelung's disease should be examined carefully for potential obstructive sleep apnoea. Although continuous positive airway pressure remains the treatment of choice, specific surgery can be used in those patients who cannot tolerate continuous positive airway pressure therapy.
The sabellariid worms are important ecosystem engineers in coastal zones, due to their ability to construct sand reefs, modify environments and structure biological communities. This article describes the reproductive biology of Sabellaria wilsoni on a beach of the Amazon coast. Each month between May 2008 and April 2009, specimens were collected for morphometric and histological analyses for sexing and determination of gonadal maturity. In females, the number and diameter of the oocytes at different stages of vitellogenesis were also recorded. The results showed that the species is dioecious, with sexual reproduction, females larger than males, and a female-biased sex ratio (overall, 1.6♀: 1♂). Four distinct stages of gonadal maturation were identified in the males and females – (i) initial development, (ii) maturing, (iii) mature and (iv) spawning. Sexual maturity is attained rapidly, and reproduction is continuous, with two breeding peaks, one in the dry season, related to the increased intensity of hydrodynamic conditions and reef erosion; and the other in the rainy season, when the availability of space and nutrients increases. The reproductive strategy of the species reinforces the classification of the sabellariids as r-strategists, adapted to colonize habitats with unstable environmental conditions.
Analysing the stability and adaptation of cultivars to different environments is always necessary before recommending them for planting on large areas. Additive main effects and multiplicative interaction (AMMI) models have been used to analyse genotype-by-environment interactions (G × E). AMMI models require data with homogeneous variance, normal errors and additive effects. However, agronomic data do not always conform to these statistical assumptions. The objective of the present study was to analyse G × E interactions for severity and incidence of grey leaf spot, a foliar disease in maize caused by Cercospora zeae-maydis, using a generalized AMMI model. Data were collected and evaluated for 36 maize cultivars from experiments carried out in nine Brazilian regions in 2010/11 by the Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuária (EMBRAPA – Milho e Sorgo). Only two of three stable genotypes defined by a quasi-likelihood model with a logistic link function could be recommended for their desirable agronomic characteristics. Four growing locations in which the genotypes were stable were identified, but in only one of these was stability associated with very severe grey leaf spot disease. Cultivars adapted to specific locations with low percentage disease severity were also identified.
Animal health surveillance enables the detection and control of animal diseases including zoonoses. Under the EU-FP7 project RISKSUR, a survey was conducted in 11 EU Member States and Switzerland to describe active surveillance components in 2011 managed by the public or private sector and identify gaps and opportunities. Information was collected about hazard, target population, geographical focus, legal obligation, management, surveillance design, risk-based sampling, and multi-hazard surveillance. Two countries were excluded due to incompleteness of data. Most of the 664 components targeted cattle (26·7%), pigs (17·5%) or poultry (16·0%). The most common surveillance objectives were demonstrating freedom from disease (43·8%) and case detection (26·8%). Over half of components applied risk-based sampling (57·1%), but mainly focused on a single population stratum (targeted risk-based) rather than differentiating between risk levels of different strata (stratified risk-based). About a third of components were multi-hazard (37·3%). Both risk-based sampling and multi-hazard surveillance were used more frequently in privately funded components. The study identified several gaps (e.g. lack of systematic documentation, inconsistent application of terminology) and opportunities (e.g. stratified risk-based sampling). The greater flexibility provided by the new EU Animal Health Law means that systematic evaluation of surveillance alternatives will be required to optimize cost-effectiveness.
N-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) have been hypothesised to be protective for depression during pregnancy. However, there are few data and no consensus regarding this association. In this line, we aim to evaluate if the concentration of n-3 and n-6 PUFAs, and their ratio, are associated with depressive symptoms throughout pregnancy.
A prospective cohort of 172 Brazilian women was followed at 5–13th, 20–26th and 30–36th weeks of gestation. The presence of depressive symptoms was evaluated using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) at each pregnancy trimester. Depression was defined as an EPDS score ≥11. The concentrations of n-3 [α-linolenic acid; eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA); docosapentaenoic acid (DPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)] and n-6 PUFAs [linoleic acid; γ linolenic acid; eicosadienoic acid; eicosatrienoic acid; arachidonic acid; docosatetraenoic acid and docosapentaenoic acid] were expressed as absolute (μg/ml) values. The total n-6/n-3 ratio was calculated. Statistical analyses were performed using univariate and adjusted random intercept logistic model for each fatty acid (FA) considering the longitudinal nature of data. Covariates were selected as potential confounders based on their biological plausibility of having an association with the concentration of FA and depressive symptoms during pregnancy.
The prevalence of depressive symptoms was high in all pregnancy trimesters (1st = 33.7%; 2nd = 18.9%; 3rd = 17.4%). We did not find differences in means FA concentrations by depressive symptom classification, for each follow-up visit. The women presented a 5% decrease in the odds of having depressive symptoms for each one-week increase in the gestational age. As individual women progressed through pregnancy, higher concentrations of EPA (odds ratio (OR) = 0.92; 95% CI: 0.86–0.99), DHA (OR = 0.96; 95% CI: 0.93–0.99), DPA (OR = 0.87; 95% CI: 0.77–0.99) and total n-3 (OR = 0.98; 95% CI: 0.96–0.99) were associated with a lower odds of depressive symptoms, while higher total n-6/n-3 ratio were associated with greater odds of depressive symptoms (OR = 1.40; 95% CI: 1.09–1.79). We detected a decrease in the probability of depressive symptoms as concentrations of total n-3 FA, α-linolenic acid, DPA, and DHA increased. We also observed a sharper decline for women with initial greater chance of depressive symptoms compared with those with lower chance of having these symptoms.
We found a high prevalence of depressive symptoms in low-income Brazilian pregnant women and no significant associations between n-6 FA and depressive symptoms. Lower serum concentrations of DHA, EPA and DPA and a higher n-6/n-3 ratio at each pregnancy trimester were associated with higher odds of depressive symptoms throughout pregnancy.
Thoracic endovascular aneurysm repair has been employed to treat late complications after aortic coarctation correction. However, its use in children has seldomly been reported.
We present the case of a 15-year-old child who presented with a ruptured aneurysm of the descending aorta complicated later by an aortic-oesophageal fistula following aortic coarctation stenting that was managed with multiple bridging endovascular interventions until a definitive repair was performed.
Thoracic endovascular aneurysm repair may be used successfully as a bridging intervention to a definitive repair in children with life-threatening aortic complications following aortic coarctation repair.
The dietary inflammatory index (DII) is a new tool to assess the inflammatory potential of the diet. In the present study, we aimed to determine the association between the DII and BMI, waist circumference and waist:height ratio (WHtR). We conducted a cross-sectional study of 7236 participants recruited into the PREvención con DIeta MEDiterránea trial. Information from a validated 137-item FFQ was used to calculate energy, food and nutrient intakes. A fourteen-item dietary screener was used to assess adherence to the Mediterranean diet (MeDiet). Sex-specific multivariable linear regression models were fitted to estimate differences (and 95 % CI) in BMI, waist circumference and WHtR across the quintiles of the DII. All nutrient intakes, healthy foods and adherence to the MeDiet were higher in the quintile with the lowest DII score (more anti-inflammatory values) except for intakes of animal protein, saturated fat and monounsaturated fat. Although an inverse association between the DII and total energy was apparent, the DII was associated with higher average BMI, waist circumference and WHtR after adjusting for known risk factors. The adjusted difference in the WHtR for women and men between the highest and lowest quintiles of the DII was 1·60 % (95 % CI 0·87, 2·33) and 1·04 % (95 % CI 0·35, 1·74), respectively. Pro-inflammatory scores remained associated with obesity after controlling for the effect that adherence to a MeDiet had on inflammation. In conclusion, the present study shows a direct association between the DII and indices of obesity, and supports the hypothesis that diet may have a role in the development of obesity through inflammatory modulation mechanisms.
Balićžunićite, ideally Bi2O(SO4)2, is a new mineral found as a high-temperature fumarole sublimate (T = 600°C) at La Fossa crater, Vulcano, Aeolian Islands, Italy. It occurs as aggregates of mm-sized prismatic and elongated crystals (∼50 μm across and up to 200 μm long) associated with anglesite, leguernite, one other potentially new Bi-oxysulfate mineral, lillianite, galenobismutite, bismoclite, Cd-rich sphalerite, wurtzite, pyrite and pyrrhotite. Balićžunićite is colourless to white or pale brown, transparent and non-fluorescent. It has a vitreous lustre and a white streak. Electron microprobe analysis gives the following average chemical composition (wt.%): Bi2O3 68.68 and SO3 23.73, total 92.41. The empirical chemical formula, calculated on the basis of 9 anions p.f.u., is Bi1.99S2O9. The calculated density is 5.911 g/cm3.
Balićžunićite is triclinic, space group P
, with a 6.7386(3), b 11.1844(5), c 14.1754(7) Å, α 80.082(2)°, β 88.462(2)°, γ 89.517(2)°, V = 1052.01(8) Å3 and Z = 6. The six strongest reflections in the X-ray powder-diffraction data [d in Å(I) (hkl)] are: 3.146 (100) (033), 3.486 (21) (004), 3.409 (12) (01), 3.366 (7) (200), 5.562 (4) (11), 5.433 (4) (111). Balićžunićite is the natural analogue of the stable low-temperature a form of synthetic Bi2O(SO4)2. The name is in honour of Tonci Balić-Žunić(born 1952), Professor of Mineralogy at the Natural History Museum of the University of Cophenagen. Both the mineral and the mineral name have been approved by the IMA-CNMNC Commission (IMA2012-098).