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Bovine babesiosis is the most important protozoan disease transmitted by ticks. In Plasmodium falciparum, another Apicomplexa protozoan, the interaction of rhoptry neck protein 2 (RON2) with apical membrane antigen-1 (AMA-1) has been described to have a key role in the invasion process. To date, RON2 has not been described in Babesia bigemina, the causal agent of bovine babesiosis in the Americas. In this work, we found a ron2 gene in the B. bigemina genome. RON2 encodes a protein that is 1351 amino acids long, has an identity of 64% (98% coverage) with RON2 of B. bovis and contains the CLAG domain, a conserved domain in Apicomplexa. B. bigemina ron2 is a single copy gene and it is transcribed and expressed in blood stages as determined by RT-PCR, Western blot, and confocal microscopy. Serum samples from B. bigemina-infected bovines were screened for the presence of RON2-specific antibodies, showing the recognition of conserved B-cell epitopes. Importantly, in vitro neutralization assays showed an inhibitory effect of RON2-specific antibodies on the red blood cell invasion by B. bigemina. Therefore, RON2 is a novel antigen in B. bigemina and contains conserved B-cell epitopes, which induce antibodies that inhibit merozoite invasion.
To determine the prevalence of low scores for two neuropsychological tests with five total scores that evaluate learning and memory functions.
N = 5402 healthy adults from 11 countries in Latin America and the commonwealth of Puerto Rico were administered the Rey–Osterrieth Complex Figure (ROCF) and the Hopkins Verbal Learning Test (HVLT-R). Two-thirds of the participants were women, and the average age was 53.5 ± 20.0 years. Z-scores were calculated for ROCF Copy and Memory scores and HVLT-R Total Recall, Delayed Recall, and Recognition scores, adjusting for age, age2, sex, education, and interaction variables if significant for the given country. Each Z-score was converted to a percentile for each of the five subtest scores. Each participant was categorized based on his/her number of low scoring tests in specific percentile cutoff groups (25th, 16th, 10th, 5th, and 2nd).
Between 57.3% (El Salvador) and 64.6% (Bolivia) of the sample scored below the 25th percentile on at least one of the five scores. Between 27.1% (El Salvador) and 33.9% (Puerto Rico) scored below the 10th percentile on at least one of the five subtests. Between 5.9% (Chile, El Salvador, Peru) and 10.3% (Argentina) scored below the 2nd percentile on at least one of the five scores.
Results are consistent with other studies that found that low scores are common when multiple neuropsychological outcomes are evaluated in healthy individuals. Clinicians should consider the higher probability of low scores when evaluating learning and memory using various sets of scores to reduce false-positive diagnoses of cognitive deficits.
We used two sunflower genotypes displaying pericarp-imposed dormancy at high incubation temperatures (i.e. 30°C) to investigate the role of the pericarp as a limitation to oxygen availability to the embryo (hypoxia), and its impact on embryo abscisic acid (ABA) content and sensitivity to ABA. Results showed that both genotypes displayed very different oxygen threshold values for inhibition of embryo germination when incubation was performed at 30°C. Expression of dormancy in one genotype was therefore related to exacerbated embryo sensitivity to hypoxia, whereas in the other genotype, the pericarp appeared to act as a more severe restraint to oxygen entry. Increased sensitivity to hypoxia was, in part, related to increased sensitivity to ABA, but not to alterations in ABA metabolism. The activity of pericarp-microbial communities (bacteria and fungi) at high temperatures was also assessed as a potential determinant of hypoxia to the embryo. Oxygen consumption in pericarps incubated at 30°C was attenuated with antibiotics, which concomitantly promoted achene germination. In agreement with the observed more severe oxygen deprivation to the embryo exerted by the pericarp, the bacterial load in the pericarp was significantly higher in the commercial hybrid than in the inbred line; however, the application of antibiotics strongly reduced the bacterial colony counts for each genotype. Different bacterial and fungal communities, assessed through their profiles of carbon-source utilization, were determined between genotypes and after treatment with antibiotics. This work highlights the relationship between enhancement of sensitivity to hypoxia with incubation temperature and seed dormancy expression, and suggests that microbial activity might be part of the mechanism through which hypoxia is imposed.
Our objective was to determine the frequency of zika (ZIKV), chikungunya (CHIKV) and dengue (DENV) virus coinfection and describe the mortality cases that occurred during the epidemiologic surveillance of the ZIKV epidemic in Colombia. We analysed all cases of suspected ZIKV infection that were reported to the National Institute of Health (October 2015–December 2016). DENV, CHIKV and ZIKV RNA were detected in serum or tissue samples using polymerase chain reaction assay. Medical records of the fatal cases were reviewed. We identified that 23 871 samples were processed. The frequency of viral agents was 439 (1.84%) for DENV, 257 (1.07%) for CHIKV and 10118 (42.38%) for ZIKV. Thirty-four (0.14%) cases of coinfection were identified. The CHIKV–ZIKV coinfection was present in 28 cases (82.3%), DENV–CHIKV in three (8.8%) and DENV–ZIKV in three (8.8%). Seven (20.6%) coinfection cases were fatal (two DENV–CHIKV cases and five CHIKV–ZIKV cases). Two cases were foetal deaths and the others were related to neurological syndrome and sepsis. In conclusion, the frequency of arbovirus coinfection during epidemic of ZIKV was low, and CHIKV–ZIKV coinfection was the most common. Mortality was high among coinfection patients. The role of each virus in the mortality cases of coinfection warrants further studies.
Jumping to conclusions (JTC), which is the proneness to require less information before forming beliefs or making a decision, has been related to formation and maintenance of delusions. Using data from the National Institute of Health Research Biomedical Research Centre Genetics and Psychosis (GAP) case–control study of first-episode psychosis (FEP), we set out to test whether the presence of JTC would predict poor clinical outcome at 4 years.
One-hundred and twenty-three FEP patients were assessed with the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS), Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) and the probabilistic reasoning ‘Beads’ Task at the time of recruitment. The sample was split into two groups based on the presence of JTC bias. Follow-up data over an average of 4 years were obtained concerning clinical course and outcomes (remission, intervention of police, use of involuntary treatment – the Mental Health Act (MHA) – and inpatient days).
FEP who presented JTC at baseline were more likely during the follow-up period to be detained under the MHA [adjusted OR 15.62, 95% confidence interval (CI) 2.92–83.54, p = 0.001], require intervention by the police (adjusted OR 14.95, 95% CI 2.68–83.34, p = 0.002) and have longer admissions (adjusted IRR = 5.03, 95% CI 1.91–13.24, p = 0.001). These associations were not accounted for by socio-demographic variables, IQ and symptom dimensions.
JTC in FEP is associated with poorer outcome as indicated and defined by more compulsion police intervention and longer periods of admission. Our findings raise the question of whether the implementation of specific interventions to reduce JTC, such as Metacognition Training, may be a useful addition in early psychosis intervention programmes.
Solution-processed metal oxide electronics on flexible substrates can enable applications from military to health care. Due to limited thermal budgets and mismatched coefficients of thermal expansion between oxides and substrates, achieving good performance in solution-processed oxide films remains a challenge. Additionally, the use of traditional photolithographic processes is incompatible with low-cost, high-throughput roll-to-roll processing. Here, we demonstrate solution-deposited oxide thin film transistors (TFTs) on a shape memory polymer substrate, which offers unique control of final device shape and modulus. The key enabling step is the exposure of the precursor film to UV-ozone through a shadow mask to perform patterning and photochemical conversion simultaneously. These TFTs exhibit mobility up to 160 cm2/(V s), subthreshold swing as low as 110 mV/dec, and threshold voltage between −2 and 0 V, while maintaining compatibility with a flexible form factor at processing temperatures below 250 °C.
Published information regarding the effect of storage temperature on dormancy alleviation of sunflower achenes is contradictory and ambiguous. In the present study we explored the effect of temperature during dry storage on dormancy release in two sunflower genotypes, including a commercial hybrid and an inbred line. Dry storage at 25°C consistently accelerated dormancy release of achenes compared with 5°C. This response fits the general pattern reported for dry after-ripening in seeds of many other species. Depending on the genotype and the dormancy factor prevailing, higher temperature alleviated embryo dormancy and coat-imposed dormancy. Hormonal pathways involved in these changes were investigated at the physiological level. In both genotypes, sensitivity to abscisic acid (ABA) was reduced by storage at 25°C. Also, but only in one genotype, storage at 25°C reduced ABA levels upon imbibition and increased the response to a gibberellin (GA) synthesis inhibitor and to applied GA3, compared with storage at 5°C; these results support the idea that temperature affects both ABA and GA metabolism and signalling pathways during after-ripening. This information will be useful to define storage conditions for commercial sunflower achenes, and will also help focus future research on the underlying mechanisms of dormancy release during dry after-ripening in sunflower.
To analyze the impact of the International Nosocomial Infection Control Consortium (INICC) Multidimensional Approach (IMA) and the INICC Surveillance Online System (ISOS) on central line-associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI) rates in 14 intensive care units (ICUs) in Argentina from January 2014 to April 2017.
This prospective, pre–post surveillance study of 3,940 ICU patients was conducted in 11 hospitals in 5 cities in Argentina. During our baseline evaluation, we performed outcome and process surveillance of CLABSI applying Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/National Health Safety Network (CDC/NHSN) definitions. During the intervention, we implemented the IMA through ISOS: (1) a bundle of infection prevention practice interventions, (2) education, (3) outcome surveillance, (4) process surveillance, (5) feedback on CLABSI rates and consequences, and (6) performance feedback of process surveillance. Bivariate and multivariate regression analyses were performed using a logistic regression model to estimate the effect of the intervention on the CLABSI rate.
During the baseline period, 5,118 CL days and 49 CLABSIs were recorded, for a rate of 9.6 CLABSIs per 1,000 central-line (CL) days. During the intervention, 15,659 CL days and 68 CLABSIs were recorded, for a rate of 4.1 CLABSIs per 1,000 CL days. The CLABSI rate was reduced by 57% (incidence density rate: 0.43; 95% confidence interval, 0.34–0.6; P<.001).
Implementing IMA through ISOS was associated with a significant reduction in the CLABSI rate in ICUs in Argentina.
To determine the association between the use of opioids and benzodiazepines and the risk of falls with hip fracture in populations older than 65 years in Colombia.
A case-control study with patients older than 65 years with diagnosis of hip fracture. Two controls were obtained per case. The drugs dispensed in the previous 30 days were identified. Sociodemographic, diagnostic, pharmacological (opioids and benzodiazepines), and polypharmacy variables were analyzed. A logistic regression model was used to analyze the risk of fall with hip fracture while using these drugs.
We included 287 patients with hip fractures and 574 controls. There was a female predominance (72.1%) and a mean age of 82.4 ± 8.0 years. Of the patients, 12.7% had been prescribed with opioids and 4.2% with benzodiazepines in the previous month. The adjusted multivariate analysis found that using opioids (OR:4.49; 95%CI:2.72–7.42) and benzodiazepines (OR:3.73; 95%CI:1.60–8.70) in the month prior to the event was significantly associated with a greater probability of suffering a fall with hip fracture.
People who are taking opioids and benzodiazepines have increased risk for hip fracture in Colombia. Strategies to educate physicians regarding the pharmacology of older adults should be strengthened.
Knowledge of growth patterns of an animal species is fundamental to understand their life history. This information is also used to help define population boundaries of threatened cetaceans, such as the Franciscana dolphin, Pontoporia blainvillei. A total of 108 Franciscana dolphins incidentally captured in artisanal fishing nets in estuarine and marine coastal waters of the northern part of the Franciscana Management Area IV (North FMA IV), Argentina, were studied. The objective of the present paper was to study age and growth parameters of Franciscanas from North FMA IV and to compare these parameters between estuarine and marine potential populations within this area. We used von Bertalanffy and Gompertz growth curves to model growth trajectories. The estimated asymptotic lengths demonstrated that Franciscana dolphins from this area were smaller (females: 136.3 cm and males, 122.1 cm) than southern FMA IV values previously published. They also showed the reverse sexual size dimorphism that is known across their range. However, the estimated asymptotic length was not statistically different between the estuarine and marine females within the study area. In spite of this, the fact that the northern forms of the FMA IV were smaller than the southern specimens supports the hypothesis of more than one population of the species within this management area. The North FMA IV has the highest reported mortality levels of Franciscana dolphins within the FMA IV; these results are relevant to the knowledge base of Franciscana dolphins in the region.
Blazar OJ 287 is one of the best observed extragalactic objects. It's historical light curve goes back to 1890′s. Based on the historical behaviour Sillanpää et al. (1988) showed that OJ 287 displays large periodic outbursts, with a period of 11.7 years. We have monitored OJ 287 intensively for two years, during the OJ-94 project. This project was created for monitoring OJ 287 during its predicted new outburst in 1994. In the data archive we have over 7000 observations on OJ 287, in the radio, infrared and optical bands. This data archive contains the best ever obtained light curves for any extragalactic object. The optical light curve shows continuous variability down to time scales of tens of minutes. The variability observed in OJ 287 can be broken down to (at least) four different categories:
We have carried out an ALMA Cycle 2 survey of 15 confirmed or candidate low-mass (<0.2M⊙) members of the TW Hya Association (TWA) with the goal of detecting line emission from CO molecular gas and continuum emission from cold dust. Our targets have spectral types of M4-L0 and hence represent the extreme low end of the TWA's mass function. The survey has yielded a detection of 12CO(2–1) emission around TWA 34. This newly discovered ~10 Myr-old molecular gas disk lies just ~50pc from Earth.
Converging evidences from eye movement experiments indicate that linguistic contexts influence reading strategies. However, the question of whether different linguistic contexts modulate eye movements during reading in the same bilingual individuals remains unresolved. We examined reading strategies in a transparent (German) and an opaque (French) language of early, highly proficient French–German bilinguals: participants read aloud isolated French and German words and pseudo-words while the First Fixation Location (FFL), its duration and latency were measured. Since transparent linguistic contexts and pseudo-words would favour a direct grapheme/phoneme conversion, the reading strategy should be more local for German than for French words (FFL closer to the beginning) and no difference is expected in pseudo-words’ FFL between contexts. Our results confirm these hypotheses, providing the first evidence that the same individuals engage different reading strategy depending on language opacity, suggesting that a given brain process can be modulated by a given context.
The crystallization of hexagonal NdCO3OH through hydrothermal synthesis carried out at slow (reaching the desired temperature within 100 min) and quick (50 min) rates of heating but at variable temperatures (165–220ºC) are reported here. The formation of NdCO3OH occurs via the crystallization of an amorphous precursor. Both the precursor and the crystalline NdCO3OH were characterized by X-ray diffraction, infrared spectroscopy and high-resolution electron microscopy. The mechanism of crystallization is very dependent on the experimental conditions (rate of heating and temperature treatment). With increasing temperature, the habit of NdCO3OH crystals changes progressively to more complex spherulitic or dendritic morphologies. The development of these crystal morphologies is suggested here to be controlled by the level at which supersaturation was reached in the aqueous solution during the breakdown of the amorphous precursor. At the highest temperature (220ºC) and during rapid heating (50 min) the amorphous precursor breaks down rapidly and the fast supersaturation promotes spherulitic growth. At the lowest temperature (165ºC) and slow heating (100 min), however, the supersaturation levels are approached more slowly than required for spherulitic growth, and thus more regular, previously unseen, triangular pyramidal shapes form.
The formation of crystalline rare earth element (REE) (e.g. La, Ce, Pr, Nd) carbonates from aqueous solutions was examined at ambient temperature using UV-Vis spectrophotometry, combined with X-ray diffraction, high-resolution microscopy and infrared spectroscopy. In all experiments REE-lanthanites (REE2(CO3)3·8H2O) formed via a highly hydrated, nanoparticulate and poorlyordered REE-carbonate precursor. The lifetime of this precursor as well as the kinetics of crystallization of the various REE-lanthanites were dependent on the specific REE3+ ion involved in the reaction. The induction time and the time needed to fully form the crystalline REE-lanthanite end products increase linearly with the ionic potential. The authors show here that the differences in ion size and ionic potential as well as differences in dehydration energy of the REE3+ ions control the lifetime of the poorly ordered precursor and thus also the crystallization kinetics of the REE-lanthanites; furthermore, they also affect the structural characteristics (e.g. unit-cell dimensions and idiomorphism) of the final crystalline lanthanites.
The franciscana dolphin (Pontoporia blainvillei) is a small coastal dolphin endemic to the south-western Atlantic Ocean. Incidental captures in fishing gillnets is possibly the greatest conservation concern for this species, and occurs within most of its geographical distribution. The aim of this paper is to determine the biological parameters of franciscana dolphin by-caught from artisanal coastal fisheries of the southern Buenos Aires province, Argentina. Between 2003 and 2009, carcasses of 54 incidentally captured franciscanas were collected. The age, sexual and physical maturity and body condition of each specimen was determined. The sex-ratio of the by-caught dolphins did not differ from parity and, consistent with other areas, juveniles younger than 4 yr old were captured in higher proportion (69%). In addition, 74% of the entangled animals were sexually immature and 85% physically immature. Sexually immature dolphins were predominant in the spring, a period which coincides with the breeding season. An assessment of the body condition of captured franciscanas suggests that entanglements were not associated with a disease or physiological disorder. The results presented here are important to assess the impact of artisanal fisheries on the population of franciscana dolphins in the southernmost area of its distribution.
Yttrium aluminosilicate (YAS) glasses have been proposed as host matrices for the immobilization of radioactive elements. In addition, yttrium has been used to simulate actinides . It is well known that these glasses are resistant to water corrosion and exhibit high Tg and good mechanical properties . As shown in , on heating, yttrium disilicate and mullite / sillimanite crystals grow from the pre-existing nucleation sites on the surface, until each glass particle volume is fully crystallized (volume-homogeneous nucleation was not observed), decreasing the glassy surface available for sintering by viscous flow. Sintering takes place simultaneously, by viscous flow but competes with surface crystallization; thus, if thermal treatment is not carefully designed a vitroceramic is obtained. In this paper we study the isothermal sintering kinetics of a YAS glass-powder-size distribution and non-isothermal sintering kinetics at 1, 3, 5, 10 and 15 K/min of two YAS glass-powder-size distributions. From the experimental evidence obtained, and crystallization data from , we design a sintering procedure in order to achieve a high-density glass monolith with submicrometric crystalline phases.
The notion of ‘transitional justice’ in the Inter-American system has been traditionally associated with the fight against impunity. Due to the sad and long history of gross and systematic violations of human rights in the Americas, whether under authoritarian regimes or democratically elected despots, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (hereinafter ‘Inter-American Commission’ or ‘Commission’) and the Inter-American Court on Human Rights (hereinafter ‘Inter-American Court’ or ‘Court’) have extensive case law and jurisprudence dealing with the intricacies of transitional processes and the affirmation of fundamental human rights. This ‘hemispheric laboratory’ effectively allows the review of situations such as the dictatorships in the southern cone, the civil wars in Central America, the ‘democratic’ dictatorship of the Fujimori regime, and the protracted war still affecting Colombia.