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Ovulation is considered an inflammatory, cytokine-mediated event. Cytokines, which are recognized as growth factors with immunoregulatory properties, are involved in many cellular processes at the ovarian level. In this sense, cytokines affect fertility and are involved in the development of different ovarian disorders such as bovine cystic ovarian disease (COD). Because it has been previously demonstrated that ovarian cells represent both sources and targets of cytokines, the aim of this study was to examine the expression of several cytokines, including IL-1β, IL-1RA, IL-1RI, IL-1RII, IL-4 and IL-8, in ovarian follicular structures from cows with spontaneous COD. The protein expression of these cytokines was evaluated by immunohistochemistry. Additionally, IL-1β, IL-4 and IL-8 concentrations in follicular fluid (FF) and serum were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). In granulosa and theca cells, IL-1RI, IL-1RII, IL-1RA and IL-4 expression levels were higher in cystic follicles than in the control dominant follicles. The serum and FF concentrations of IL-1β and IL-4 showed no differences between groups, whereas IL-8 concentration was detected only in FF of cysts from cows with COD. The FF and serum concentrations of IL-1β and IL-8 showed no significant differences, whereas IL-4 concentration was higher in FF than in serum in both the control and COD groups. These results evidenced an altered expression of cytokines in ovaries of cows with COD that could contribute to the pathogenesis of this disease.
The climate of north-western Spain, with high temperatures and relative humidity during the grapevine vegetative cycle, can especially favour the development of fungal diseases in vineyards. One of the most important diseases is downy mildew, caused by the fungus Plasmopara viticola. The aim of the current study is to propose a system containing phenological data, biological sensors of pathogen indicator and the agrometeorological Goidanich Index in order to optimize the application of downy mildew fungicide treatments. The study was conducted in a vineyard of the ‘Ribeiro’ Designation of Origin region from 2005 to 2016 during the Vitis vegetative period. Aerobiological sampling was performed using a LANZONI VPPS-2000 volumetric trap. The highest number of infection cycles was recorded during the 2009 harvest, with a total of 16 cycles. Years with fewer infection cycles were 2008, 2011 and 2012 (13 cycles). Primary infections were produced during the third fortnight of April and a high amount of secondary infection cycles were detected by the Goidanich algorithm during the fruit development and berry ripening stages. The best estimators of the P. viticola spore concentrations were the fungus spore levels during the previous day, the average temperature 5 days before and rainfall 2 days before. The regression equation obtained accounted for the 95.9% of the spore concentration variation. The combination of the Goidanich index and biological sensors provides a valuable tool to establish an accurate, modern, integrated downy mildew pest-management strategy.
Converging lines of evidence implicate an important role for the immune system in schizophrenia. Microglia are the resident immune cells of the central nervous system and have many functions including neuroinflammation, axonal guidance and neurotrophic support. We aimed to provide a quantitative review of in vivo PET imaging studies of microglia activation in patients with schizophrenia compared with healthy controls.
Demographic, clinical and imaging measures were extracted from each study and meta-analysis was conducted using a random-effects model (Hedge's g). The difference in 18-kDa translocator protein (TSPO) binding between patients with schizophrenia and healthy controls, as quantified by either binding potential (BP) or volume of distribution (VT), was used as the main outcome. Sub-analysis and sensitivity analysis were carried out to investigate the effects of genotype, ligand and illness stage.
In total, 12 studies comprising 190 patients with schizophrenia and 200 healthy controls met inclusion criteria. There was a significant elevation in tracer binding in schizophrenia patients relative to controls when BP was used as an outcome measure, (Hedge's g = 0.31; p = 0.03) but no significant differences when VT was used (Hedge's g = −0.22; p = 0.29).
In conclusion, there is evidence for moderate elevations in TSPO tracer binding in grey matter relative to other brain tissue in schizophrenia when using BP as an outcome measure, but no difference when VT is the outcome measure. We discuss the relevance of these findings as well as the methodological issues that may underlie the contrasting difference between these outcomes.
Whole-crop maize forage was ensiled without inoculant (control), inoculated with Lactobacillus buchneri and L. plantarum at a rate of 1 × 105 cfu/g fresh forage per bacterium (LBLP), or inoculated with Bacillus subtilis and L. plantarum at a rate 1 × 105 cfu/g fresh forage per bacterium (BSLP) with the goal to investigate the growth performance of finishing feedlot lambs. Thirty Dorper × Santa Ines lambs (29 ± 3.5 kg initial body weight) were used in the feedlot programme and assigned (n = 10) to one of three diets containing control, LBLP or BSLP silages in a 60:40 forage:concentrate ratio. Inoculation of maize silage did not alter dry matter intake (overall mean = 1.16 kg/day) and average daily gain (overall mean = 0.217 kg/day) of lambs. Consequently, feed efficiency remained unchanged. Inoculation of maize silage did not alter carcass and meat traits of lambs, with the exception of meat colour, wherein yellowness (b*) decreased by feeding LBLP and BSLP diets compared with the untreated diet. Regarding ruminal fermentation, there was an interaction between diets and the interval at which ruminal fluid was sampled for determining total volatile fatty acid concentration, but inoculation yielded no obvious results. In conclusion, the use of diets based on maize silage inoculated with L. plantarum combined with either L. buchneri or B. subtilis did not display relevant effects on growth performance of lambs; this response might be related to the limited impact of these bacterial inoculants on silage composition.
Epidemiological studies have found coffee consumption is associated with a lower risk for type 2 diabetes mellitus, but the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. Thus, the aim of this randomised, cross-over single-blind study was to investigate the effects of regular coffee, regular coffee with sugar and decaffeinated coffee consumption on glucose metabolism and incretin hormones. Seventeen healthy men participated in five trials each, during which they consumed coffee (decaffeinated, regular (containing caffeine) or regular with sugar) or water (with or without sugar). After 1 h of each intervention, they received an oral glucose tolerance test with one intravenous dose of [1-13C]glucose. The Oral Dose Intravenous Label Experiment was applied and glucose and insulin levels were interpreted using a stable isotope two-compartment minimal model. A mixed-model procedure (PROC MIXED), with subject as random effect and time as repeated measure, was used to compare the effects of the beverages on glucose metabolism and incretin parameters (glucose-dependent insulinotropic peptide (GIP)) and glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1)). Insulin sensitivity was higher with decaffeinated coffee than with water (P<0·05). Regular coffee with sugar did not significantly affect glucose, insulin, C-peptide and incretin hormones, compared with water with sugar. Glucose, insulin, C-peptide, GLP-1 and GIP levels were not statistically different after regular and decaffeinated coffee compared with water. Our findings demonstrated that the consumption of decaffeinated coffee improves insulin sensitivity without changing incretin hormones levels. There was no short-term adverse effect on glucose homoeostasis, after an oral glucose challenge, attributable to the consumption of regular coffee with sugar.
Urban slums provide suitable conditions for infestation by rats, which harbour and shed a wide diversity of zoonotic pathogens including helminths. We aimed to identify risk factors associated with the probability and intensity of infection of helminths of the digestive tract in an urban slum population of Rattus norvegicus. Among 299 rats, eleven species/groups of helminths were identified, of which Strongyloides sp., Nippostrongylus brasiliensis and, the human pathogen, Angiostrongylus cantonensis were the most frequent (97, 41 and 39%, respectively). Sex interactions highlighted behavioural differences between males and females, as eg males were more likely to be infected with N. brasiliensis where rat signs were present, and males presented more intense infections of Strongyloides sp. Moreover, rats in poor body condition had higher intensities of N. brasiliensis. We describe a high global richness of parasites in R. norvegicus, including five species known to cause disease in humans. Among these, A. cantonensis was found in high prevalence and it was ubiquitous in the study area – knowledge which is of public health importance. A variety of environmental, demographic and body condition variables were associated with helminth species infection of rats, suggesting a comparable variety of risk factors for humans.
The house mouse (Mus musculus) and the black rat (Rattus rattus) are reservoir hosts for zoonotic pathogens, several of which cause neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). Studies of the prevalence of these NTD-causing zoonotic pathogens, in house mice and black rats from tropical residential areas are scarce. Three hundred and two house mice and 161 black rats were trapped in 2013 from two urban neighbourhoods and a rural village in Yucatan, Mexico, and subsequently tested for Trypanosoma cruzi, Hymenolepis diminuta and Leptospira interrogans. Using the polymerase chain reaction we detected T. cruzi DNA in the hearts of 4·9% (8/165) and 6·2% (7/113) of house mice and black rats, respectively. We applied the sedimentation technique to detect eggs of H. diminuta in 0·5% (1/182) and 14·2% (15/106) of house mice and black rats, respectively. Through the immunofluorescent imprint method, L. interrogans was identified in 0·9% (1/106) of rat kidney impressions. Our results suggest that the black rat could be an important reservoir for T. cruzi and H. diminuta in the studied sites. Further studies examining seasonal and geographical patterns could increase our knowledge on the epidemiology of these pathogens in Mexico and the risk to public health posed by rodents.
Urban slum environments in the tropics are conducive to the proliferation and the spread of rodent-borne zoonotic pathogens to humans. Calodium hepaticum (Brancroft, 1893) is a zoonotic nematode known to infect a variety of mammalian hosts, including humans. Norway rats (Rattus norvegicus) are considered the most important mammalian host of C. hepaticum and are therefore a potentially useful species to inform estimates of the risk to humans living in urban slum environments. There is a lack of studies systematically evaluating the role of demographic and environmental factors that influence both carriage and intensity of infection of C. hepaticum in rodents from urban slum areas within tropical regions. Carriage and the intensity of infection of C. hepaticum were studied in 402 Norway rats over a 2-year period in an urban slum in Salvador, Brazil. Overall, prevalence in Norway rats was 83% (337/402). Independent risk factors for C. hepaticum carriage in R. norvegicus were age and valley of capture. Of those infected the proportion with gross liver involvement (i.e. >75% of the liver affected, a proxy for a high level intensity of infection), was low (8%, 26/337). Sixty soil samples were collected from ten locations to estimate levels of environmental contamination and provide information on the potential risk to humans of contracting C. hepaticum from the environment. Sixty percent (6/10) of the sites were contaminated with C. hepaticum. High carriage levels of C. hepaticum within Norway rats and sub-standard living conditions within slum areas may increase the risk to humans of exposure to the infective eggs of C. hepaticum. This study supports the need for further studies to assess whether humans are becoming infected within this community and whether C. hepaticum is posing a significant risk to human health.
A total of 70 Nellore bulls (18 ± 3 months of age) were used to determine the effects of crude glycerine (CG) replacing starch- v. fibre-based energy ingredients in low (LC; 0·40 concentrate) or high concentrate (HC; 0·60 concentrate) – on a dry matter (DM) basis – on DM intake (DMI), methane emissions and growth. Ten bulls were slaughtered (reference group) to obtain the carcass gain (CrG). The 60 remaining bulls (374 ± 24·5 kg) were allocated to a 2 × 3 factorial arrangement (two concentrate levels, LC or HC; and three feeding regimes, FR). The FR were: CO – without CG and maize as an ingredient of concentrate; CGM – inclusion of CG (0·10 of DM) replacing maize in the concentrate; and CGSH – inclusion of CG (0·10 of DM) replacing soybean hulls (SH) in the concentrate. Bulls fed LC or HC had similar DMI (kg/d) and growth. The DMI and average daily gain (ADG) were similar among FR. Concentrate level and FR tended to interact for methane emissions (g) per kg DMI. Bulls fed CGM had a greater G : F (g CrG/kg DMI) than those fed CO or CGSH diets. Increasing dietary concentrate (0·40–0·60) did not affect intake, methane emissions, or growth. Inclusion of CG in diets to replace SH in LC diets tended to decrease methane emissions from animals. When CG replaces SH in the diets, CrG and G:F (g CrG/kg DMI) are decreased compared with bulls fed CGM.
Leptospirosis is a zoonosis caused by bacteria of the genus Leptospira. The disease is globally distributed and a major public health concern. The Norway rat (Rattus norvegicus) is the main reservoir of the pathogen in urban slums of developing and developed countries. The potential routes of intra-specific leptospire transmission in rats are largely unknown. Herein, we identified pathogenic Leptospira spp. in breast tissue and milk of naturally infected rats. We examined kidney, breast tissue and milk from 24 lactating rats for the presence of leptospires using immunofluorescence, immunohistochemistry, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and scanning electronic microscopy. All 24 rats had evidence for Leptospira in the kidneys, indicating chronic carriage. The majority of kidney-positive rats had detectable leptospires in milk (18, 75%) and breast tissue (16, 67%), as evidenced by immunofluorescence assay and immunohistochemistry. Four (17%) milk samples and two (8%) breast tissue samples were positive by quantitative real-time PCR. Scanning electron microscopy confirmed the presence of leptospires in breast tissue. No major pathological changes in breast tissue were found. This study, for the first time, identified leptospires in the milk and breast tissue of wild Norway rats, suggesting the possibility of milk-borne transmission of leptospirosis to neonates.
I deficiency is still a worldwide public health problem, with children being especially vulnerable. No nationwide study had been conducted to assess the I status of Spanish children, and thus an observational, multicentre and cross-sectional study was conducted in Spain to assess the I status and thyroid function in schoolchildren aged 6–7 years. The median urinary I (UI) and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels in whole blood were used to assess the I status and thyroid function, respectively. A FFQ was used to determine the consumption of I-rich foods. A total of 1981 schoolchildren (52 % male) were included. The median UI was 173 μg/l, and 17·9 % of children showed UI<100 μg/l. The median UI was higher in males (180·8 v. 153·6 μg/l; P<0·001). Iodised salt (IS) intake at home was 69·8 %. IS consumption and intakes of ≥2 glasses of milk or 1 cup of yogurt/d were associated with significantly higher median UI. Median TSH was 0·90 mU/l and was higher in females (0·98 v. 0·83; P<0·001). In total, 0·5 % of children had known hypothyroidism (derived from the questionnaire) and 7·6 % had TSH levels above reference values. Median TSH was higher in schoolchildren with family history of hypothyroidism. I intake was adequate in Spanish schoolchildren. However, no correlation was found between TSH and median UI in any geographical area. The prevalence of TSH above reference values was high and its association with thyroid autoimmunity should be determined. Further assessment of thyroid autoimmunity in Spanish schoolchildren is desirable.
The occurrence of cerrado (as tree and shrub savanna is called in Brazil) and forest formations side by side is common at the southern margin of the Brazilian Amazonian Forest, and previous studies have demonstrated the advance of forests over cerrado areas. The aim of the present study is to provide an accurate documentation of the transition process between the two major biomes. Tree data (≥ 5 cm diameter at 0.3 m above soil level) from three plots of cerrado sensu stricto lying near three of cerradão (the taller, denser form of cerrado) were inventoried starting in 2002 in an area of 1.5 ha made up of 150 subplots of 10 × 10 m (50 in each area). This showed that the most important species of the cerradão were invading areas previously occupied by smaller, lower forms of cerrado (although it is sometimes difficult to define which are ‘forest’ and which ‘cerrado’ species as many are flexible in size – for instance Emmotum nitens can often be intermediate, establishing in cerrado that develops into cerradão and on to forest). Some typical species such as Eriotheca gracilipes and Emmotum nitens, established since the first inventories, have increased their populations (between 27 and 210%). Tachigali vulgaris, a typical, weedy, adventive species of the Cerrado–Amazonian Forest transition, showed the largest increase in abundance in areas of cerrado sensu stricto (between 100 and 1200%), and is probably the most important pioneer species in the initial advance of the forest into cerrado at the Southern Amazonian border.
Although interventions exist to reduce violent crime, optimal implementation requires accurate targeting. We report the results of an attempt to develop an actuarial model using machine learning methods to predict future violent crimes among US Army soldiers.
A consolidated administrative database for all 975 057 soldiers in the US Army in 2004–2009 was created in the Army Study to Assess Risk and Resilience in Servicemembers (Army STARRS). Of these soldiers, 5771 committed a first founded major physical violent crime (murder-manslaughter, kidnapping, aggravated arson, aggravated assault, robbery) over that time period. Temporally prior administrative records measuring socio-demographic, Army career, criminal justice, medical/pharmacy, and contextual variables were used to build an actuarial model for these crimes separately among men and women using machine learning methods (cross-validated stepwise regression, random forests, penalized regressions). The model was then validated in an independent 2011–2013 sample.
Key predictors were indicators of disadvantaged social/socioeconomic status, early career stage, prior crime, and mental disorder treatment. Area under the receiver-operating characteristic curve was 0.80–0.82 in 2004–2009 and 0.77 in the 2011–2013 validation sample. Of all administratively recorded crimes, 36.2–33.1% (male-female) were committed by the 5% of soldiers having the highest predicted risk in 2004–2009 and an even higher proportion (50.5%) in the 2011–2013 validation sample.
Although these results suggest that the models could be used to target soldiers at high risk of violent crime perpetration for preventive interventions, final implementation decisions would require further validation and weighing of predicted effectiveness against intervention costs and competing risks.
Started its regular, daily operational phase in 2011, by the occasion of the Symp264 in the XXVII IAU GA at Rio de Janeiro, the results so far obtained show that the Heliometer of the Observatorio Nacional fulfilled its planed performance of single measurement to the level of few tens of milli-arcsecond, freely pivoting around the heliolatitudes without systematic deviations or error enhancement. We present and discuss the astrometric additions required on ground based astronomic programs. We also discuss instrumental and observations terms, namely the constancy of the basic heliometric angle, against which the measurements are made, and the independence to meteorological and pointing conditions.
This experiment compared growth, physiological, and reproductive responses of beef heifers with (MI) or without (CON) access to a creep-feeder, as a manner to stimulate metabolic imprinting while nursing their dams. On day 0, 60 Angus×Hereford heifers were ranked by BW and age (140±3 kg and 68±3 days), and assigned to pairs so all ranking criteria were similar between heifers within each pair. On day 1, pairs were randomly assigned to MI (n=15) or CON (n=15). From day 1 to 51, MI pairs and their dams were allocated to 15 drylot pens where heifers had ad libitum access to a corn-based supplement through a creep-feeder. The CON pairs and their dams were maintained in an adjacent single drylot pen. From day 52 to 111, treatments were managed as a single group on a semiarid range pasture. On day 111, heifers were weaned and allocated to two pastures (one pasture/treatment), receiving hay and a corn-based concentrate until day 326. Heifer BW was recorded before and at the end of the creep-feeding period (day 1 to 51), and on days 112 and 326. On days 0, 51, 111, 187, 261, and 325, jugular blood was collected and real-time ultrasonography for longissimus muscle depth and backfat thickness assessment was performed. Blood was also collected every 10 days from days 113 to 323 for puberty evaluation via plasma progesterone. Liver and subcutaneous fat biopsies were performed on days 51, 111, 261 and 325. Average daily gain was greater (P<0.01) for MI than CON from day 1 to 51, tended (P=0.09) to be greater for CON than MI from day 112 to 326, while BW on day 326 was similar between treatments. On day 51, MI had greater (P⩽0.01) plasma IGF-I and glucose concentrations, as well as mRNA expression of hepatic pyruvate carboxylase and adipose fatty acid synthase than CON. On days 261 and 325, plasma insulin concentrations were greater (P⩽0.03) in CON than MI. Mean mRNA expression of hepatic IGF-I and adipose peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma were greater (P⩽0.05) in MI than CON. No treatment effects were detected for puberty attainment rate. In conclusion, supplementing nursing heifers via creep-feeding for 50 days altered physiological and biochemical variables suggestive of a metabolic imprinting effect, but did not hasten their puberty attainment.
Glyphosate is now the most widely used herbicide; after years of frequent utilization, resistant weeds were selected, mainly due to widespread adoption of glyphosate-resistant crops and no-tillage sowing system. Increasing difficulty in controlling Chloris polydactyla with glyphosate has been noticed in agricultural areas. Here, the susceptibility level of various C. polydactyla accessions from Brazil is examined. Two whole-plant studies were conducted to confirm the presence and extent of glyphosate susceptibility among accessions, which involved the application of seven glyphosate doses on four accessions. The four accessions showed different glyphosate susceptibilities. The “Matão” accession presented major tolerance for glyphosate compared to “Palotina” accessions. “Jaboticabal” plants showed an intermediary susceptibility. The resistance factor (RF) was 3.76 between the “Matão” and “Palotina” accessions. All biotypes died at 2,880 g ae ha−1 glyphosate.
We describe the preliminary design of a magnetograph and visible-light imager instrument to study the solar dynamo processes through observations of the solar surface magnetic field distribution. The instrument will provide measurements of the vector magnetic field and of the line-of-sight velocity in the solar photosphere. As the magnetic field anchored at the solar surface produces most of the structures and energetic events in the upper solar atmosphere and significantly influences the heliosphere, the development of this instrument plays an important role in reaching the scientific goals of The Atmospheric and Space Science Coordination (CEA) at the Brazilian National Institute for Space Research (INPE). In particular, the CEA's space weather program will benefit most from the development of this technology. We expect that this project will be the starting point to establish a strong research program on Solar Physics in Brazil. Our main aim is acquiring progressively the know-how to build state-of-the-art solar vector magnetograph and visible-light imagers for space-based platforms to contribute to the efforts of the solar-terrestrial physics community to address the main unanswered questions on how our nearby Star works.
Theories of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) increasingly highlight the role of neuropsychological impairment in ADHD; however, a consistent and identifiable pattern of performance on tests is not well established. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Executive Abilities: Measures and Instruments for Neurobehavioral Evaluation and Research (EXAMINER) battery provides measures of common variance across multiple executive function tests within specific domains and was used to characterize which executive functions are most affected in children with ADHD. Thirty-two children (24 male), ages 8–15 years (M = 12.02; SD = 2.29), diagnosed with ADHD and no comorbid disorder completed the NIH EXAMINER battery. Sixty age and gender matched healthy controls were chosen from a database of participants enrolled in the NIH EXAMINER multi-site study. Children with ADHD performed worse on the working memory score compared with the controls. No differences were found on the cognitive control or fluency scores. For children with ADHD, poorer working memory performance predicted parent report of child learning problems. Cognitive control and fluency scores did not predict learning problems. In summary, working memory emerges as a primary impairment in children with ADHD who have no comorbid disorders. Furthermore, working memory weaknesses may underlie the academic problems often seen in children with ADHD. (JINS, 2013, 19, 1–11)
Testosterone is involved in the development and expression of physiological, morphological and behavioural traits. High levels are often associated with high infection risk and/or intensity, suggesting a trade-off between sexual traits and immunity. Classically invoked mechanisms are immunological or behavioural, i.e., testosterone increases susceptibility or resistance to parasites via an impact on immunity or modulates behaviours involved in parasite transmission. However, studies report contrasted patterns. Given its modes of action and the diversity of host-parasite interactions, testosterone should not act similarly on all interactions. To reduce host and context diversity, we studied 3 viruses in the same cat population: the aggressively transmitted Feline Immunodeficiency virus (FIV), and the Feline Calicivirus (FCV) and Herpesvirus (FHV) both transmitted during friendly contacts. Testosterone had a strong effect on the probability of being positive to FIV whereas its effect was significantly weaker on FCV and FHV. These findings demonstrate that testosterone can be differentially associated with parasites of the same type (viruses). The difference we observed was consistent with a behavioural-mediated effect (increased aggressiveness), supporting the idea that the testosterone effect on infection risk is at least partially driven by behavioural mechanisms in our system. Further investigations (e.g., individual immunity measures) are required to confirm this hypothesis.