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Both transposition of the great arteries (TGA) previously submitted to a Senning/Mustard procedure and congenitally corrected TGA (cc-TGA) have the systemic circulation supported by the morphological right ventricle, thereby rendering these patients to heart failure events risk. The aim of this study was to evaluate cardiopulmonary exercise test parameters for stratifying the risk of heart failure events in TGA patients.
Retrospective evaluation of adult TGA patients with systemic circulation supported by the morphological right ventricle submitted to cardiopulmonary exercise test in a tertiary centre. Patients were followed up for at least 1 year for the primary endpoint of cardiac death or heart failure hospitalisation. Several cardiopulmonary exercise test parameters were analysed as potential predictors of the combined endpoint and their predictive power were compared (area under the curve).
Cardiopulmonary exercise test was performed in 44 TGA patients (8 cc-TGA), with a mean age of 35.1 ± 8.4 years. The primary endpoint was reached by 10 (22.7%) patients, with a mean follow-up of 36.7 ± 26.8 months. Heart rate at anaerobic threshold had the highest area under the curve value (0.864), followed by peak oxygen consumption (pVO2) (0.838). Heart rate at anaerobic threshold ≤95 bpm and pVO2 ≤20 ml/kg/min had a sensitivity of 87.5 and 80.0% and a specificity of 82.4 and 76.5%, respectively, for the primary outcome.
Heart rate at anaerobic threshold ≤95 bpm had the highest predictive power of all cardiopulmonary exercise test parameters analysed for heart failure events in TGA patients with systemic circulation supported by the morphological right ventricle.
The COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins) project is a large international collaborative effort to analyze individual-level phenotype data from twins in multiple cohorts from different environments. The main objective is to study factors that modify genetic and environmental variation of height, body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) and size at birth, and additionally to address other research questions such as long-term consequences of birth size. The project started in 2013 and is open to all twin projects in the world having height and weight measures on twins with information on zygosity. Thus far, 54 twin projects from 24 countries have provided individual-level data. The CODATwins database includes 489,981 twin individuals (228,635 complete twin pairs). Since many twin cohorts have collected longitudinal data, there is a total of 1,049,785 height and weight observations. For many cohorts, we also have information on birth weight and length, own smoking behavior and own or parental education. We found that the heritability estimates of height and BMI systematically changed from infancy to old age. Remarkably, only minor differences in the heritability estimates were found across cultural–geographic regions, measurement time and birth cohort for height and BMI. In addition to genetic epidemiological studies, we looked at associations of height and BMI with education, birth weight and smoking status. Within-family analyses examined differences within same-sex and opposite-sex dizygotic twins in birth size and later development. The CODATwins project demonstrates the feasibility and value of international collaboration to address gene-by-exposure interactions that require large sample sizes and address the effects of different exposures across time, geographical regions and socioeconomic status.
The bovine whey consists of more than 200 different types of proteins, of which β-lactoglobulin, α-lactalbumin, serum albumin, immunoglobulins and lactoferrin predominate. However, their concentrations are not stable due to the existence of protein dynamics during a transition from colostrum secretion to mature milk. To evaluate the dynamics of whey proteins of Jersey cows during a colostral phase and first month of lactation and an influence of the number of lactations, 268 milk samples from 135 Jersey cows were selected through a clinical evaluation. Whey was obtained by rennet coagulation of the mammary secretion. The concentration of total proteins was determined by the biuret method and their fractions were identified by 12% dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (12% SDS-PAGE). Maximum concentrations of all protein fractions were observed in the first 12 h of lactation, reducing over the course of the study. Modification of the protein predominance was also observed. The transition from colostrum secretion to milk occurred between 24 and 72 h postpartum. There was an influence of the number of lactations on the dynamics of whey proteins, indicating that multiparous cows had better immunological and nutritional quality when compared to primiparous cows.
The use of cactus cladodes in animal feed is well-established in semi-arid areas. The cactus Nopalea cochenillifera (L.) Salm-Dyck cladodes (Nopalea) have high acceptability amongst dairy cows and are resistant to carmine cochineal insects (Dactylopius opuntiae Cockerell), a problem in semi-arid regions, but in regions of prolonged drought, it has lower productivity compared with the cactus Opuntia stricta (Haw.) Haw cladodes (Opuntia), which is also resistant to the insect. The objective of the current study was to evaluate the intake and content of digestible material of dry matter (DM) and its components, feeding behaviour, microbial protein synthesis, nitrogen balance, blood parameters, performance and milk composition of Holstein cows fed a control diet, containing either Nopalea or Opuntia associated with different concentrate levels (225, 275, 325 and 375 g/kg). Ten cows with an initial average milk production of 20 ± 2.1 kg/day were distributed into a double 5 × 5 Latin square design. Diets containing 775 g roughage/kg and 225 g concentrate/kg promoted similar responses to the analysed variables regardless of the cactus cladode used, except for digestibility of neutral detergent fibre. Diets containing higher proportions of concentrate (325 and 375 g/kg) promoted greater DM intake and 3.5% fat-corrected milk yield. The diet containing Opuntia at 775:225 g/kg roughage:concentrate proportion is as effective as the control diet for Holstein cows producing 20 kg of milk/day. To promote greater milk production, higher proportions of concentrate should be added to diets using Opuntia.
Excitable temperament disrupts physiological events required for reproductive development in cattle, but no research has investigated the impacts of temperament on growth and puberty attainment in Bos indicus females. Hence, this experiment evaluated the effects of temperament on growth, plasma cortisol concentrations and puberty attainment in B. indicus heifers. A total of 170 Nelore heifers, weaned 4 months before the beginning of this experiment (days 0 to 91), were managed in two groups of 82 and 88 heifers each (mean ± SE; initial BW=238±2 kg, initial age=369±1 days across groups). Heifer temperament was evaluated via exit velocity on day 0. Individual exit score was calculated within each group by dividing exit velocity into quintiles and assigning heifers with a score from 1 to 5 (1=slowest; 5=fastest heifer). Heifers were classified according to exit score as adequate (ADQ, n=96; exit score⩽3) or excitable temperament (EXC, n=74; exit score>3). Heifer BW, body condition score (BCS) and blood samples were obtained on days 0, 31, 60 and 91. Heifer exit velocity and score were recorded again on days 31, 60 and 91. Ovarian transrectal ultrasonography was performed on days 0 and 10, 31 and 41, 60 and 70, 81 and 91 for puberty evaluation. Heifer was declared pubertal at the first 10-day interval in which a corpus luteum was detected. Exit velocity and exit score obtained on day 0 were correlated (r⩾0.64, P<0.01) with evaluations on days 31, 60 and 91. During the experiment, ADQ had greater (P<0.01) mean BCS and BW gain, and less (P<0.01) mean plasma cortisol concentration compared with EXC heifers. Temperament × time interactions were detected (P<0.01) for exit velocity and exit score, which were always greater (P<0.01) in EXC v. ADQ heifers. A temperament × time interaction was also detected (P=0.03) for puberty attainment, which was delayed in EXC v. ADQ heifers. At the end of the experiment, a greater (P<0.01) proportion of ADQ were pubertal compared with EXC heifers. In summary, B. indicus heifers classified as EXC had reduced growth, increased plasma cortisol concentrations and hindered puberty attainment compared to ADQ heifers. Moreover, exit velocity may serve as temperament selection criteria to optimize development of B. indicus replacement heifers.
Salivary molecules, as glycine-rich proteins (GRPs), are essential to tick attachment and feeding on the host and are suggested to be involved in the host's immune system evasion, therefore representing natural candidates in the search for protective vaccine antigens. This work shows the molecular characterization of a GRP from Rhipicephalus microplus (RmGRP). The cDNA and putative amino acid sequences were analysed, as well as the transcription level in tick tissues/developmental stages, showing the highest levels of gene expression in 1-day-old larvae and salivary glands of fully engorged females. RmGRP gene silencing resulted in a lower hatching rate of larvae from treated females. In addition, recombinant RmGRP (rRmGRP) was recognized by sera from naturally and experimentally infested bovines, displaying considerable differences among the individuals tested. rRmGRP was recognized by anti-saliva and anti-salivary glands sera, while anti-rRmGRP serum recognized RmGRP in saliva and salivary glands, indicating its secretion into the host. The data collected indicate that RmGRP may present roles other than in the tick–host relationship, especially in embryo development. In addition, the high expression in adult females, antigenicity and presence of shared characteristics with other tick protective GRPs turns RmGRP a potential candidate to compose an anti-tick vaccine cocktail.
The target article's call to end reliance on acceptability judgments is premature. First, it restricts syntactic inquiry to cases were a semantically equivalent alternative is available. Second, priming studies require groups of participants who are linguistically homogenous and whose grammar is known to the researcher. These requirements would eliminate two major research areas: syntactic competence in d/Deaf individuals, and language documentation. (We follow the convention of using deaf to describe hearing levels, Deaf to describe cultural identity, and d/Deaf to include both. Our own work has focused on Deaf signers, but the same concerns could apply to other deaf populations.)
The aims of the present work were to test the effect of tamoxifen administered topically and the therapeutic efficacy of tamoxifen and pentavalent antimonial combinations in an experimental model of cutaneous leishmaniasis. BALB/c mice infected with a luciferase expressing line of Leishmania amazonensis were treated with topical tamoxifen in two different formulations (ethanol or oil-free cream) as monotherapy or in co-administration with pentavalent antimonial. Treatment efficacy was evaluated by lesion size and parasite burden, quantified through luminescence, at the end of treatment and 4 weeks later. Topical tamoxifen, formulated in ethanol or as a cream, was shown to be effective. The interaction between tamoxifen and pentavalent antimonial was additive in vitro. Treatment with combined schemes containing tamoxifen and pentavalent antimonial was effective in reducing lesion size and parasite burden. Co-administration of tamoxifen and pentavalent antimonial was superior to monotherapy with antimonial.
The number of horses in northern Spanish mountains has increased in recent decades, but little is known about their grazing behaviour, performance and potential for foal meat production. This research aimed to study the diet selection, liveweight (LW) changes and parasitic status of dry and lactating mares, and foals’ LW gains, grazing on heathlands with different botanical composition. The experimental design consisted of three vegetation types: dominated by heather (Ericaceae) species (H), dominated by gorse (Ulex gallii; G) and co-dominated by gorse and heath-grasses (G-G), with four replicates per treatment (12 paddocks of 1.2 ha). The study lasted three grazing seasons (2010–12). Each year, 24 crossbred mature mares (310±52 kg LW) were used, managing one lactating mare with her foal plus one non-lactating mare per paddock from May to late summer or early autumn. In the case of H paddocks, animals had to be removed before (late August to early September) because of apparent loss of body condition. Animals were periodically weighed. Mares’ diet composition was estimated using alkane markers, analysing the discrepancies in alkane concentrations between dietary plant components and faeces. Faecal samples were also analysed for gastrointestinal nematodes ova. Chemical composition of the main plant components (i.e. heather, gorse and grasses) revealed a low nutritive value, averaging 79, 115 and 113 g CP/kg dry matter (DM), respectively, that could restrict livestock performance. Mares initially selected gorse and grasses (0.47 and 0.40, respectively, in 2010), increasing heather consumption over time (from 0.13 in 2010 to 0.29 in 2012) as gorse availability decreased. The performance of both mares and foals was lower in H compared with G and G-G paddocks (−216 v. 347 g/day for mares, P<0.01; 278 v. 576 g/day for foals, P<0.05), whereas LW changes were more favourable in dry mares than in lactating ones (241 v. 78 g/day; P<0.05). Small strongyle (Cyathostominae) egg counts in mares’ faeces increased across the grazing season with no differences between treatments. These results indicate that grazing by horses on gorse- and grass-gorse-dominated shrublands could be sustainable at least during part of the year (4 to 6 months). However, heather-dominated heathlands are not able to meet the nutritional needs of horses even for a short time (2 to 4 months). Nevertheless, the low nutritive quality of these vegetation communities, especially in autumn, requires animal access to other pastures with a higher nutritive value, or supplementary feeding, to enhance foals’ growth and maintain sustainable grazing systems with productive herds.
Although the rat model of mammary tumors chemically induced by N-methyl-N-nitrosourea (MNU) has been frequently used by several research teams, there is a lack of ultrastructural studies in this field. The main aim of this work was to perform an ultrastructural characterization of MNU-induced mammary tumors in female rats. Some alterations previously reported in human mammary tumors, such as nucleus size and shape, accumulation of heterochromatin in the perinuclear region, and interdigitating cytoplasmic processes between cancer cells were also observed in MNU-induced mammary tumors. Although a low number of samples were analyzed by transmission electron microscopy in the present study, we consider that it may contribute to a better understanding of MNU-induced mammary carcinogenesis in a rat model. The ultrastructural characteristics of the two most frequently diagnosed mammary carcinomas described in the present work can be useful to differentiate them from other histological patterns. In addition, the loss of cytoplasm in neoplastic cells and formation of vacuoles were described.
Isolated oceanic islands may give rise not only to new and endemic species, but also to unique behaviours and species interactions. Multi-species fish interactions, such as cleaning, following, mob-feeding and others are understudied in these ecosystems. Here we present qualitative and quantitative observations on cleaning and mob-feeding reef fish associations at the isolated Ascension Island, South Atlantic Ocean. Cleaning interactions were dominated by juveniles of the facultative fish cleaners Bodianus insularis and Pomacanthus paru, with lesser contributions of Chaetodon sanctaehelenae, Thalassoma ascensionis and the cleaner shrimp Lysmata grabhami. Two types of feeding mobs were consistently identified: less mobile mobs led by the surgeonfish Acanthurus bahianus and A. coeruleus and the more mobile mobs led by the African sergeant Abudefduf hoefleri. This is the first record of A. hoefleri from outside of the Eastern Atlantic and also the first report of this species displaying mob-feeding behaviour. The principal follower of both mob types was the extremely abundant Melichthys niger, but the main aggressor differed: Stegastes lubbocki, a highly territorial herbivore, was the main aggressor of Acanthurus mobs; and Chromis multilineata a territorial fish while engaged in egg parental care, was the principal aggressor towards Abudefduf mobs. Our study enhances the scarce information on reef fish feeding associations at the isolated Ascension Island and at oceanic islands in the Atlantic in general.
Wheat is an important crop in the highlands of Northern Ethiopia and climate change is expected to be a major threat to wheat productivity. However, the potential impacts of climate change and adaptation on wheat yield has not been documented for this region. Wheat field experiments were carried out during the 2011–2013 cropping seasons in Northern Ethiopia to: (1) calibrate and evaluate Agricultural Production Systems sIMulator (APSIM)-wheat model for exploring the impacts of climate change and adaptation on wheat yield; (2) explore the response of wheat cultivar/s to possible change in climate and carbon dioxide (CO2) under optimal and sub-optimal fertilizer application and (3) assess the impact of climate change and adaptation practices on wheat yield based on integration of surveyed field data with climate simulations using multi-global climate models (GCMs; for short- and mid-term periods) for the Hintalo-Wajrat areas of Northern Ethiopia. The treatments were two levels of fertilizer (optimal and zero fertilization); treatments were replicated three times and arranged in a randomized complete block design. All required information for model calibration and evaluation were gathered from experimental studies. In addition, a household survey was conducted in 2012 in Northern Ethiopia. Following model calibration and performance testing, response of wheat to various nitrogen (N) fertilizer rates, planting date, temperature and combinations of other climate variables and CO2 were assessed. Crop simulations were conducted with future climate scenarios using 20 different GCMs and compared with a baseline. In addition, simulations were carried out using climate data from five different GCM with and without climate change adaptation practices. The simulated yield showed clear responses to changes in temperature, N fertilizer and CO2. Regardless of choice of cultivar, increasing temperatures alone (by up to 5 °C compared with the baseline) resulted in reduced yield while the addition of other factors (optimal fertilizer with elevated CO2) resulted in increased yield. Considering optimal fertilizer (64 kg/ha N) as an adaptation practice, wheat yield in the short-term (2010–2039) and mid-term (2040–2069) may increase at least by 40%, compared with sub-optimal N levels. Assuming CO2 and present wheat management is unchanged, simulation results based on 20 GCMs showed that median wheat yields will reduce by 10% in the short term and by 11% in the mid-term relative to the baseline data, whereas under changed CO2 with present management, wheat yield will increase slightly, by up to 8% in the short term and by up to 11% in the mid-term period, respectively. Wheat yield will substantially increase, by more than 100%, when simulated based on combined use of optimal planting date and fertilizer applications. Increased temperature in future scenarios will cause yield to decline, whereas CO2 is expected to have positive impacts on wheat yield.
Patients with congenitally corrected transposition frequently benefit from re-synchronisation therapy or ablation procedures. This is likely to require catheterisation of the coronary sinus. Its anatomy, however, is not always appreciated, despite being well-described. With this caveat in mind, we have evaluated its location and structure in hearts with congenitally corrected transposition in order to reinforce the guidance needed by the cardiac interventionist. We dissected and inspected the coronary sinus, the oblique vein of the left atrium, and the left-sided-circumflex venous channel in eight heart specimens with corrected transposition and eight controls, measuring the orifice and length of the sinus and the atrioventricular valves. In two-thirds of the malformed hearts, the sinus deviated from its anticipated course in the atrioventricular groove, ascending obliquely on the left atrial inferior wall to meet the left oblique vein. The maximal deviation coincided in all hearts with the point where the left oblique vein joined the left-sided-circumflex vein to form the coronary sinus. We describe a circumflex vein, rather than the great cardiac vein, as the latter venous channel is right-sided in the setting of corrected transposition. The length of the sinus correlated positively with the diameter of the tricuspid valve (p=0.02). Compared with controls, the left oblique vein in the malformed hearts joined the circumflex venous channel significantly closer to the mouth of the sinus. The unexpected course of the coronary sinus in corrected transposition and the naming of the cardiac veins have important implications for venous cannulation and interpretation of images.
Rickettsia rickettsii infection is being increasingly recognized as an important cause of fatal acute illness in Brazil, where this tick-borne disease is designated Brazilian spotted fever (BSF). In this study we report five fatal cases of BSF in employees of an animal shelter in an urban area in the municipality of Rio de Janeiro in southeast Brazil after a natural disaster on 11 January 2011. Four of the cases occurred from 27 January to 11 April 2011, while the fifth fatal case was identified in April 2012. Three cases were confirmed by molecular analysis and two by epidemiological linkage. An investigation of BSF was performed in the animal shelter, and blood samples were collected from 115 employees and 117 randomly selected dogs. The presence of high levels (1024–4096) of antibodies against spotted fever group rickettsiae was found in three (2·6%) employees and 114 (97·5%) dogs. These findings emphasize the need to consider BSF as a possible cause of undifferentiated febrile illness, especially dengue and leptospirosis, in patients occupationally exposed to dogs heavily infested by ticks, mainly working at kennels and animal shelters that have inadequate space for the animals housed and frequently providing an environment conducive to exposure to pathogens such as R. rickettsii.
Schistosomiasis is a parasitic disease caused by flatworms of the genus Schistosoma. Among the Schistosoma species known to infect humans, S. mansoni is the most frequent cause of intestinal schistosomiasis in sub-Saharan Africa and South America: the World Health Organization estimates that about 200,000 deaths per year result from schistosomiasis in sub-Saharan Africa alone. The Schistosoma life cycle requires two different hosts: a snail as intermediate host and a mammal as definitive host. People become infected when they come into contact with water contaminated with free-living larvae (e.g. when swimming, fishing, washing). Although S. mansoni has mechanisms for escaping the host immune system, only a minority of infecting larvae develop into adults, suggesting that strain selection occurs at the host level. To test this hypothesis, we compared the Belo Horizonte (BH) strain of S. mansoni recovered from definitive hosts with different immunological backgrounds using random amplification of polymorphic DNA–polymerase chain reaction (RAPD-PCR). Schistosoma mansoni DNA profiles of worms obtained from wild-type (CD1 and C57BL/6J) and mutant (Jα18− / − and TGFβRIIdn) mice were analysed. Four primers produced polymorphic profiles, which can therefore potentially be used as reference biomarkers. All male worms were genetically distinct from females isolated from the same host, with female worms showing more specific fragments than males. Of the four host-derived schistosome populations, female and male adults recovered from TGFβRIIdn mice showed RAPD-PCR profiles that were most similar to each other. Altogether, these data indicate that host immunological backgrounds can influence the genetic diversity of parasite populations.
The Vista Variables in the Vía Láctea (VVV) ESO Public Survey is an ongoing time-series, near-infrared (IR) survey of the Galactic bulge and an adjacent portion of the inner disk, covering 562 square degrees of the sky, using ESO's VISTA telescope. The survey has provided superb multi-color photometry in 5 broadband filters (Z, Y, J, H, and Ks), leading to the best map of the inner Milky Way ever obtained, particularly in the near-IR. The main part of the survey, which is focused on the variability in the Ks-band, is currently underway, with bulge fields observed between 34 and 73 times, and disk fields between 34 and 36 times. When the survey is complete, bulge (disk) fields will have been observed up to a total of 100 (60) times, providing unprecedented depth and time coverage in the near-IR. Here we provide a first overview of stellar variability in the VVV data.