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Many plant traits might explain the different ecological and network roles of fruit-eating birds. We assessed the relationship of plant productivity, fruit traits (colour, seed size and nutritional quality) and dietary specialization, with the network roles of fruit-eating birds (number of partners, centrality and selectivity) in the Atlantic Forest, Brazil. We classified bird species according to their dietary specialization into three categories: obligate, partial and opportunistic fruit-eating birds. To test if network roles changed according to dietary specialization, fruit productivity and traits, we used a generalized linear model analysis. The selected 14 species of plant interacted with 52 bird species, which consumed 2199 fruits. The most central and generalist fruit-eating bird, Turdus albicolis, interacted with plants that produced more fruits, such as Miconia cinerascens, and had, on average, larger seeds, such as Myrcia splendens. The most selective birds interacted with fruits with a higher concentration of lipids and less intense colour, and plants that produced fewer fruits. Obligate fruit-eating birds, such as Patagioenas plumbea, were more selective than partial and opportunistic birds. Different plant traits are therefore related to the different network roles of fruit-eating birds in the Atlantic Forest, which are also dependent on bird dietary specialization.
To compare the accuracy of Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) and of the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) in tracking mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer’s Disease (AD).
A Systematic review of the PubMed, Bireme, Science Direct, Cochrane Library, and PsycInfo databases was conducted. Using inclusion and exclusion criteria and staring with 1,629 articles, 34 articles were selected. The quality of the selected research was evaluated through the Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies 2 tool (QUADAS-2).
More than 80% of the articles showed MoCA to be superior to MMSE in discriminating between individuals with mild cognitive impairment and no cognitive impairment. The area under the curve varied from 0.71 to 0.99 for MoCA, and 0.43 to 0.94 for MMSE, when evaluating the ability to discriminate MCI in the cognitively healthy elderly individuals, and 0.87 to 0.99 and 0.67 to 0.99, respectively, when evaluating the detection of AD. The AUC mean value for MoCA was significantly larger compared to the MMSE in discriminating MCI from control [0.883 (CI 95% 0.855-0.912) vs MMSE 0.780 (CI 95% 0.740-0.820) p < 0.001].
The screening tool MoCA is superior to MMSE in the identification of MCI, and both tests were found to be accurate in the detection of AD.
Polymorphisms in the growth hormone (GH) and IGF type-1 (IGF1) genes have been associated with the economic traits in farm animals, including BW of some sheep breeds. However, it remains unknown if these polymorphisms also affect carcass traits in sheep. Thus, we aimed to identify polymorphisms in the GH and IGF1 genes in Santa Ines sheep in order to describe their allelic and genotypic frequencies as well as to test the hypotheses that they are associated with the carcass traits. Fragments of 4550 bp (IGF1) and 1194 bp (GH) were sequenced in up to 191 lambs. In all, 18 polymorphisms were identified in the IGF1 and 21 in the GH gene. The IGF1 polymorphisms rs430457475, rs412470350, rs409110739 and rs400113576 showed an additive effect on the internal carcass length (−0.9265±0.4223), rump girth (−2.9285±1.1473), rib yield (−1.0003±0.4588) and neck weight (−0.0567±0.0278), respectively. In addition, the polymorphisms rs58957314 in the GH affected the rib weight (−0.4380±0.1272) and rib yield (−2.2680±0.6970), loin weight (−0.1893±0.0516) and loin yield (−0.9423±0.3259), palette weight (−0.2265±0.0779) and palette yield (−0.9424±0.4184), leg weight (−0.3960±0.1375), neck weight (−0.0851±0.0394) and carcass finishing score (−0.1700±0.0839). These results allow us to conclude that there are polymorphisms in the IGF1 and GH genes associated with carcass traits in Santa Ines sheep, which can provide important information for marker-assisted selection.
Many important studies on resistance reversion, anthelmintic efficacy and, especially, new molecules with antiparasitic effects are performed in laboratories using gerbils (Meriones unguiculatus) as the experimental model. This study aimed to evaluate the use of corticosteroids (dexamethasone and methylprednisolone acetate) in gerbils experimentally infected with different doses of infective larvae (sheathed or exsheathed) of Haemonchus contortus. In the first experiment, 28 gerbils were divided into seven groups infected by 2–6 × 103 larvae, with or without immunosuppression using corticosteroids. In the second experiment, eight gerbils were divided into two groups infected by 2 × 103 sheathed or exsheathed larvae. For the third assay, seven immunosuppressed gerbils were infected with 2 × 103 sheathed larvae and were killed 15 days post infection (PI). The highest number of parasites was recovered from methylprednisolone-immunosuppressed animals. We observed red and white blood cell alterations and biochemical parameters in infected animals that had undergone immunosuppression with methylprednisolone. We highlight that in the first and second experiments a satisfactory number of worms was recovered using sheathed larvae and immunocompetent animals. When exsheathed larvae were used, the number of worms recovered was unsatisfactory. A considerable larval burden was recovered from immunosuppressed gerbils 15 days PI, and body weight did not influence establishment of larvae.
The objective of this study was to validate an electronic system for monitoring individual feeding and drinking behaviour and intake developed for young cattle housed in group. A total of 35 Holstein–Gyr crossbred heifers (BW: 180±52 kg; age: 121.5±32.5 days), fitted with an ear tag containing a unique passive transponder, were distributed in three groups of 12, 12 and 11 animals per period and had free access to 12 electronic feed bins and two electronic water bins (Intergado® Ltd). The dimensions of feed and water bins, as well as the sensors position were appropriate for young cattle. The system documented the visit frequency and duration, as well as the feed and water intakes, by recording the animal’s identification tag, bin number, initial and final times of visits and the difference of feed/water weight at the start and end of each bin visit. Feed bins were monitored using time-lapse video recording over 4 days and the water bins were monitored over 6 days. For each feed bin, two feeding events were monitored using manual weighings with an external scale immediately before and after the animal’s visit and the difference between them was assumed as feed intake (n=24 observations). For the water bins, 60 manual weighings were made. Video and manual weighing data were regressed on the electronic feeding and drinking behaviour and intake data to evaluate the system’s precision and accuracy. The system showed high specificity (98.98% and 98.56% for the feed and water bins, respectively) and sensitivity (99.25% and 98.74%, respectively) for identifying an animal’s presence or absence. Duration of feed and water bin visits as well as feed and water consumption per visit estimated by the system were highly correlated and precise compared with the observed video and manual weighing data (r2=0.917, 0.963, 0.973 and 0.986, respectively). It was concluded that Intergado® system is a useful tool for monitoring feeding and drinking behaviour as well as water and feed intakes in young cattle housed in groups.
The aim of this study was to determine if the absence of the mother during rearing has long-term effects on sexual behaviour and physiological reproductive parameters of adult rams. Two groups of rams were: (1) artificially reared, separated from their dams 24 to 36 h after birth (Week 0) and fed using sheep milk until 10 weeks of age (group AR, n=14); and (2) reared by their dams until 10 weeks of age (group DR, n=13). Sexual behaviour (tests of 20 min) and physiological reproductive parameters were analysed separately for the non-breeding (Weeks 42 to 64) and the breeding (Weeks 66 to 90) seasons. Body weight, scrotal circumference, gonado-somatic index, testosterone concentrations or sperm parameters were similar in both rearing conditions (AR v. DR) in both seasons. During the non-breeding season AR rams displayed fewer ano-genital sniffings (AR: 4.2±0.4 v. DR: 5.3±0.4, P=0.04) and matings (AR: 1.2±0.2 v. DR: 1.8±0.2, P=0.002) than DR rams. During the breeding season AR rams displayed fewer ano-genital sniffings (AR: 4.3±0.5 v. DR: 5.7±0.5, P=0.005), flehmen (AR: 0.7±0.2 v. DR: 1.1±0.2, P=0.03), mount attempts (AR: 1.4±0.2 v. DR: 2.1±0.2, P=0.04), and tended to mount less frequently (AR: 6.6±0.9 v. DR: 8.8±0.9, P=0.08) than DR rams. In conclusion, the absence of the mother during the rearing period negatively affected display of sexual behaviour towards oestrous ewes during a rams adult life in both breeding and non-breeding seasons. However, it did not affect testis size, testosterone secretion or sperm variables.
The order Chiroptera is considered the second largest group of mammals in the world, hosting important zoonotic virus and bacteria. Bartonella and hemotropic mycoplasmas are bacteria that parasite different mammals’ species, including humans, causing different clinical manifestations. The present work aimed investigating the occurrence and assessing the phylogenetic positioning of Bartonella spp. and Mycoplasma spp. in neotropical bats sampled from Brazil. Between December 2015 and April 2016, 325 blood and/or tissues samples were collected from 162 bats comprising 19 different species sampled in five states of Brazil. Out of 322 bat samples collected, while 17 (5·28%) were positive to quantitative PCR for Bartonella spp. based on nuoG gene, 45 samples (13·97%) were positive to cPCR assays for hemoplasmas based on 16S rRNA gene. While seven sequences were obtained for Bartonella (nuoG) (n = 3), gltA (n = 2), rpoB (n = 1), ftsZ (n = 1), five 16S rRNA sequences were obtained for hemoplasmas. In the phylogenetic analysis, the Bartonella sequences clustered with Bartonella genotypes detected in bats sampled in Latin America countries. All five hemoplasmas sequences clustered together as a monophyletic group by Maximum Likelihood and Bayesian Inference analyses. The present work showed the first evidence of circulation of Bartonella spp. and hemoplasmas among bats in Brazil.
In the context of untimely access to community formal services, unmet needs of persons with dementia (PwD) and their carers may compromise their quality of life.
The Actifcare EU-JPND project (www.actifcare.eu) focuses on access to and (non) utilization of dementia formal care in eight countries (The Netherlands, Germany, United Kingdom, Sweden, Norway, Ireland, Italy, Portugal), as related to unmet needs and quality of life. Evaluations included systematic reviews, qualitative explorations, and a European cohort study (PwD in early/intermediate phases and their primary carers; n = 453 days; 1 year follow-up). Preliminary Portuguese results are presented here (FCT-JPND-HC/0001/2012).
(1) extensive systematic searches on access to/utilization of services; (2) focus groups of PwD, carers and health/social professionals; (3) prospective study (n = 66 days from e.g., primary care, hospital outpatient services, Alzheimer Portugal).
In Portugal, nationally representative data is scarce regarding health/social services utilization in dementia. There are important barriers to access to community services, according to users, carers and professionals, whose views not always coincide. The Portuguese cohort participants were 66 PwD (62.1% female, 77.3 ± 6.2 years, 55.5% Alzheimer's/mixed subtypes, MMSE 17.8 ± 4.8, CDR1 89.4%) and 66 carers (66.7% female, 64.9 ± 15.0 years, 56.1% spouses), with considerable unmet needs in some domains.
All Actifcare milestones are being reached. The consortium is now analyzing international differences in (un) timely access to services and its impact on quality of life and needs for care (e.g., formal community support is weaker in Portugal than in many European countries). National best-practice recommendations in dementia are also in preparation.
Abstract submitted on behalf of the Actifcare Eu-JPND consortium.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
The treatment of first-episode psychosis patients is different from those with multiple-episode schizophrenia: the response to antipsychotics is better, the required doses are lower and the sensitivity to side-effects is higher. As such, current guidelines recommend a “start slow, go slow” strategy and an active avoidance of side-effects.
To know the patterns of antipsychotic prescription in first-episode psychosis patients of our inpatient unit.
We retrospectively reviewed the clinical data of all non-affective first-episode psychosis patients admitted to the Inpatient Unit C of Hospital de Magalhães Lemos during 2015. The antipsychotics prescribed at admission and discharge were recorded, as well as the doses.
A total of 29 patients were identified. The mean age was 36.6 and 65.5% were man. At admission, all patients were medicated with second-generation antipsychotics: 62.1% with risperidone, 27.6% with olanzapine, 6.9% with paliperidone and 3.4% with aripiprazol. The mean dose of risperidone was 3.5 mg/day. By the time of discharge, 34.5% of patients were prescribed a depot antipsychotic, half of them risperidone. Among those with oral medication only, 55.5% were prescribed risperidone, 22.2% paliperidone and the remainder 22.3% other antipsychotics (aripiprazol, olanzapine or quetiapine). The mean dose of risperidone was 3.7 mg/day.
Second-generation antipsychotics are clearly preferred. The mean dose by the time of discharge is similar to that used in clinical trials. However, antipsychotics are initiated at doses above the minimum effective dose. On discharge, an important proportion of patients are prescribed depot antipsychotics, which are known to improve medication adherence.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
The aim of this study was to analyse whether changes in physical activity and body fatness are related to modifications in cardiovascular risk factors among adolescents.
Material and methods
A sample of 89 healthy adolescents was recruited for this study. We assessed habitual physical activity, body fat percentage, arterial thickness, blood sample, and biological maturation. Multivariate models were used to analyse the relationships between independent and dependent variables.
Physical activity (mean difference: 429.4 steps [95% confidence interval=−427 to 1286]) and body fatness (mean difference: −0.7% [95% confidence interval=−1.6–0.2]) remained stable during the study period. Independent of changes in physical activity, for each percentage increase in body fatness, femoral intima-media thickness increased by 0.007 mm (β=0.007 [95% confidence interval=0.001–0.013]). Longitudinal relationships were found for high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (β=−0.477 mg/dl [95% confidence interval=−0.805 to −0.149]) and triacylglycerol (β=2.329 mg/dl [95% confidence interval=0.275–4.384]).
Changes in body fatness are more important than the amount of physical activity on cardiovascular and metabolic risks.
The aim of this study was to analyse the oxidative and anti-oxidant status in serum samples from dairy cows naturally infected by Dictyocaulus viviparus and its relation with pathological analyses. The diagnosis of the disease was confirmed by necropsy of one dairy cow with heavy infection by the parasite in the lungs and bronchi. Later, blood and faeces were collected from another 22 cows from the same farm to measure reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels, thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARS), catalase (CAT) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activities on day 0 (pre-treatment) and day 10 (post-treatment with eprinomectin). Faecal examination confirmed the infection in all lactating cows. However, the number of D. viviparus larvae per gram of faeces varied between animals. Cows showed different degrees of severity according to respiratory clinical signs of the disease (cough and nasal secretion). Further, they were classified and divided into two groups: those with mild (n = 10) and severe disease (n = 12). Increased levels of TBARS (P < 0.001), ROS (P = 0.002) and SOD activity (P < 0.001), as well as reduced CAT activity (P < 0.001) were observed in cows with severe clinical signs of the disease compared to those with mild clinical signs. Eprinomectin treatment (day 10) caused a reduction of ROS levels (P = 0.006) and SOD activity (P < 0.001), and an increase of CAT activity (P = 0.05) compared to day 0 (pre-treatment). TBARS levels did not differ with treatment (P = 0.11). In summary, increased ROS production and lipid peroxidation altered CAT and SOD activities, as an adaptive response against D. viviparus infection, contributing to the occurrence of oxidative stress and severity of the disease. Treatment with eprinomectin eliminated the infection, and thus minimized oxidative stress in dairy cows.
We report the pharmacological activity of organoruthenium complexes containing chloroquine (CQ) as a chelating ligand. The complexes displayed intraerythrocytic activity against CQ-sensitive 3D7 and CQ-resistant W2 strains of Plasmodium falciparum, with potency and selectivity indexes similar to those of CQ. Complexes displayed activity against all intraerythrocytic stages, but moderate activity against Plasmodium berghei liver stages. However, unlike CQ, organoruthenium complexes impaired gametocyte viability and exhibited fast parasiticidal activity against trophozoites for P. falciparum. This functional property results from the ability of complexes to quickly induce oxidative stress. The parasitaemia of P. berghei-infected mice was reduced by treatment with the complex. Our findings demonstrated that using chloroquine for the synthesis of organoruthenium complexes retains potency and selectivity while leading to an increase in the spectrum of action and parasite killing rate relative to CQ.
The Mississippian volcano-sedimentary complex in the Toca da Moura – Cabrela areas represents remnants of intra-volcanic marine sedimentary basins, formed during the collision between the Ossa Morena Zone with the South Portuguese Zone. These rock units are unconformably overlain by the Pennsylvanian intramontane coal-bearing Santa Susana Basin. Vitrinite reflectance determinations from rocks of these two basins indicate two episodes of thermal maturation. During the first episode, the Toca da Moura – Cabrela volcano-sedimentary complexes attained high maturation levels, equivalent to anthracite coal rank (3.0–3.5% Roran), which pre-dates the middle Moscovian Santa Susana Basin. The Santa Susana Basin attained moderate maturation levels equivalent to bituminous coal rank (1.35–1.5% Roran) recording a second episode of thermal maturation. Here, peak thermal conditions did not overprint the first maturation episode. The observed effects of magmatic intrusion on the thermal maturity and the lack of any increase in vitrinite reflectance with depth through c. 400 m of section in borehole SDJ-1 indicate high geothermal gradients during the first maturation episode. A contemporaneous magmatic event associated with the c. 335–320 Ma Cuba-Alvito Gabbros/Diorites of the Beja Massif was the possible cause for the high geothermal gradients postulated for the first maturation episode. Burial under a post-upper Moscovian sedimentary cover was the most likely process to account for the maturation levels determined for the Santa Susana Basin and for the second episode of thermal maturation.
Psychosis is one of the most prevalent non-motor complications in Parkinson's disease (PD). Risk factors for PD psychosis are advancing age, longer disease duration, severe motor symptoms, presence of dementia, sleep disorders, depression and autonomic dysfunction. Treatment is challenging in this setting because antipsychotic medications are known to worse motor symptoms.
To highlight the therapeutic difficulties in PD-related psychosis.
Case description and literature review.
We report a case of a 74-year-old woman with a 9-year history of PD, who presented a complex psychotic disorder consisting in auditory, olfactory and visual (gulliverian and lilliputian) hallucinations, persecutory and sexual delusions. Additionally, the patient presented euthymic mood, without evidence of cognitive impairment or impulse-control disorder. These symptoms began after dopamine agonist therapy (ropinirole 4 mg/day). Other medical conditions that could justify these symptoms were excluded. Initially, ropinirole was removed, but without psychotic remission. Then, she was treated with antipsychotic medication (clozapine 25 mg/day) with full psychotic remission and without significant worsening of motor symptoms.
Clozapine treatment is frequently delayed, mainly for fear of its side effects, particularly agranulocytosis. However, this antipsychotic drug presents many benefits regarding the management of PD-related psychosis, namely few motor effects and even improvement of motor fluctuations.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Exoplanetary transit observations were carried out for the first time with all the three telescopes at the San Pedro Mártir National Astronomical Observatory in Baja California, Mexico.
We present preliminary results on WASP-39 and WASP-43, two Hot Jupiters known for the presence of a highly-inflated radius. Using the defocused photometry technique, we observed these systems, achieving photometric precision of ± 3–5mmag peak-to-valley. The preliminary fit of their lightcurves shows physical and orbital parameters consistent with published results.
This study demonstrates the potential application of glass particles doped with Zn+2 (GZn) as antimicrobial additives and atoxic of the HDPE and LLDPE polymers. Toxicity tests indicated the absence of toxicity in human cells. Microbiological tests proved the antimicrobial effect of GZn pure compound and of the additives polymeric compounds (HDPE/GZn and LLDPE/GZn). Have also indicated that with percentages of GZn higher than 2.00 wt% and a time of 4 hours the bactericidal performance is excellent and equal for both polymeric compounds.
The objective of the present study was to investigate the effects of dietary-induced insulin enhancement during the late luteal phase on subsequent fertility of gilts. Fifty-two littermate cyclic gilts were subjected to dietary treatments where two energy sources were tested: corn starch (T1) and soybean oil (T2). The experimental diets were supposed to provide similar amounts of dietary energy, but from different sources. Gilts were fed ad libitum, starting day 8 of the estrous cycle, until the next standing heat. Blood sampling was performed in a subgroup of 20 gilts on days 14 and 21 of the cycle for analyses of glucose and insulin, and after ovulation detection until 18 h after ovulation for progesterone. All gilts were slaughtered on day 28 of pregnancy and the reproductive tracts recovered for further analysis. T1 gilts showed higher postprandial insulin peak on days 14 and 21 and lower glucose levels 4 h after feeding on day 14 (P<0.05), however, there were no treatment effects on plasma progesterone concentrations. Dietary energy sources did not affect average daily feed intake, body weight and backfat on day 28 of pregnancy. Estrous cycle length, estrus duration and time of ovulation were not affected by previous nutritional treatments either. T1 gilts showed higher ovulation rates, number of embryos, embryo weight and placental weight (P<0.05). There were no treatment effects on pregnancy rate, embryo survival rate and volume of amniotic fluid. A positive correlation between progesterone concentration 18 h after ovulation and ovulation rate was observed (r=0.75; P<0.01). These results suggest that it is possible to manipulate dietary insulin response in cyclic gilts and, thus, improve reproductive efficiency when feeding starch as the main energy source during the late luteal and follicular phases of the cycle.
Glutamine may be a precursor for NO synthesis, which may play a crucial role in bacterial translocation (BT). The goal of the present study was to investigate the potential effects of glutamine on BT and the immunological response in an experimental model of NO synthase inhibition by NG-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (l-NAME). Mice were randomly assigned to four groups: sham; intestinal obstruction (IO); IO+500 mg/kg per d glutamine (GLN); IO+GLN plus 10 mg/kg per d l-NAME (GLN/LN). The groups were pretreated for 7 d. BT was induced by ileal ligation and was assessed 18 h later by measuring the radioactivity of 99mTc-Escherichiacoli in the blood and organs. Mucosal damage was determined using a histological analysis. Intestinal permeability (IP) was assessed by measuring the levels of 99mTc-diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid in the blood at 4, 8 and 18 h after surgery. IgA and cytokine concentrations were determined by ELISA in the intestinal fluid and plasma, respectively. BT was increased in the GLN/LN and IO groups than in the GLN and sham groups. IP and intestinal mucosa structure of the sham, GLN and GLN/LN groups were similar. The GLN group had the highest levels of interferon-γ, while IL-10 and secretory IgA levels were higher than those of the IO group but similar to those of the GLN/LN group. The present results suggest that effects of the glutamine pathway on BT were mediated by NO. The latter also interferes with the pro-inflammatory systemic immunological response. On the other hand, IP integrity preserved by the use of glutamine is independent of NO.
SMYB1 is a Schistosoma mansoni protein highly similar to members of the Y-box binding protein family. Similar to other homologues, SMYB1 is able to bind double- and single-stranded DNA, as well as RNA molecules. The characterization of proteins involved in the regulation of gene expression in S. mansoni is of great importance for the understanding of molecular events that control morphological and physiological changes in this parasite. Here we demonstrate that SMYB1 is located in the cytoplasm of cells from different life-cycle stages of S. mansoni, suggesting that this protein is probably acting in mRNA metabolism in the cytoplasm and corroborating previous findings from our group that showed its ability to bind RNA. Protein–protein interactions are important events in all biological processes, since most proteins execute their functions through large supramolecular structures. Yeast two-hybrid screenings using SMYB1 as bait identified a partner in S. mansoni similar to the SmD3 protein of Drosophila melanogaster (SmRNP), which is important in the assembly of small nuclear ribonucleoprotein complexes. Also, pull-down assays were conducted using immobilized GST-SMYB1 proteins and confirmed the SMYB1-SmRNP interaction. The interaction of SMYB1 with a protein involved in mRNA processing suggests that it may act in processes such as turnover, transport and stabilization of RNA molecules.