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Dirofilariosis caused by Dirofilaria immitis (heartworm) is a zoonosis, considered an endemic disease of dogs and cats in several countries of Western Europe, including Portugal. This study assesses the levels of D. immitis exposure in humans from Northern Portugal, to which end, 668 inhabitants of several districts belonging to two different climate areas (Csa: Bragança, Vila Real and Csb: Aveiro, Braga, Porto, Viseu) were tested for anti-D. immitis and anti-Wolbachia surface proteins (WSP) antibodies. The overall prevalence of seropositivity to both anti-D. immitis and WSP antibodies was 6.1%, which demonstrated the risk of infection with D. immitis in humans living in Northern Portugal. This study, carried out in a Western European country, contributes to the characterisation of the risk of infection with D. immitis among human population in this region of the continent. From a One Health point of view, the results of the current work also support the close relationship between dogs and people as a risk factor for human infection
The rocky shores of the north-east Atlantic have been long studied. Our focus is from Gibraltar to Norway plus the Azores and Iceland. Phylogeographic processes shape biogeographic patterns of biodiversity. Long-term and broadscale studies have shown the responses of biota to past climate fluctuations and more recent anthropogenic climate change. Inter- and intra-specific species interactions along sharp local environmental gradients shape distributions and community structure and hence ecosystem functioning. Shifts in domination by fucoids in shelter to barnacles/mussels in exposure are mediated by grazing by patellid limpets. Further south fucoids become increasingly rare, with species disappearing or restricted to estuarine refuges, caused by greater desiccation and grazing pressure. Mesoscale processes influence bottom-up nutrient forcing and larval supply, hence affecting species abundance and distribution, and can be proximate factors setting range edges (e.g., the English Channel, the Iberian Peninsula). Impacts of invasive non-native species are reviewed. Knowledge gaps such as the work on rockpools and host–parasite dynamics are also outlined.
Eating behaviours in childhood are considered as risk factors for eating disorder behaviours and diagnoses in adolescence. However, few longitudinal studies have examined this association.
We investigated associations between childhood eating behaviours during the first ten years of life and eating disorder behaviours (binge eating, purging, fasting and excessive exercise) and diagnoses (anorexia nervosa, binge eating disorder, purging disorder and bulimia nervosa) at 16 years.
Data on 4760 participants from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children were included. Longitudinal trajectories of parent-rated childhood eating behaviours (8 time points, 1.3–9 years) were derived by latent class growth analyses. Eating disorder diagnoses were derived from self-reported, parent-reported and objectively measured anthropometric data at age 16 years. We estimated associations between childhood eating behaviours and eating disorder behaviours and diagnoses, using multivariable logistic regression models.
Childhood overeating was associated with increased risk of adolescent binge eating (risk difference, 7%; 95% CI 2 to 12) and binge eating disorder (risk difference, 1%; 95% CI 0.2 to 3). Persistent undereating was associated with higher anorexia nervosa risk in adolescent girls only (risk difference, 6%; 95% CI, 0 to 12). Persistent fussy eating was associated with greater anorexia nervosa risk (risk difference, 2%; 95% CI 0 to 4).
Our results suggest continuities of eating behaviours into eating disorders from early life to adolescence. It remains to be determined whether childhood eating behaviours are an early manifestation of a specific phenotype or whether the mechanisms underlying this continuity are more complex. Findings have the potential to inform preventative strategies for eating disorders.
Declaration of interest
C.M.B. reports conflict of interest with Shire (grant recipient, Scientific Advisory Board member) and Pearson and Walker (author, royalty recipient). All other authors have indicated they have no conflicts of interest to disclose.
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.
A review of the basic physical principles of the gas proportional scintillation counter is presented. Its performance is discussed and compared with that of other room-temperature detectors in regard to applications to portable instruments for energy-dispersive X-ray fluorescence analysis. It is concluded that the gas proportional scintillation counter is definitely superior to all other room-temperature detectors, except the mercuric iodide (HgI2) detector. For large areas or soft X-rays it is also superior to the HgI2 detector.
The efficiency of the recessed source geometry for the analysis of the content of wear metals in engine lubricant oils by Energy Dispersive X-Ray Fluorescence (EDXRF) methods is calculated by a Monte Carlo simulation considering X-ray detectors of the Gas Proportional Scintillation Counter type and excitation by Cd-109, Cm-244 and Fe-55 radioactive sources. Calculated spectra for the case of a typical aircraft oil with Cu, Fe, Cr, Ti, Sn and Ag impurities in the p.p.m. range were obtained and results are presented that allow the prediction of the counting rate per mCi and p.p.m. of the impurity content. The performance of the system is discussed concerning its potential applications to in-line monitoring of the wear metals.
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.
Heavy weight gilts commonly show signs of oestrus during the late finishing phase, which results in a period of reduced feed intake and growth rate. Immunization against gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) (IM, immunocastration) was developed for finishing boars and recently extrapolated to females. Immunocastration acts by suppressing reproductive activity and improving the growth potential. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of IM on growth performance, reproductive activity and carcass characteristics of late finishing gilts. Seventy-two gilts (63.49 ± 0.39 kg) were either injected with saline (Intact) or immunized against GnRH (Immunized). The study consisted of three experimental periods: between the first to second immunization (V1 to V2, 15 to 19 weeks of age), from the second immunization to the beginning of daily boar exposure (DBE) (V2 to DBE, 19 to 21 weeks of age) and from the beginning of DBE to slaughter (S) (DBE to S, 21 to 25 weeks of age). Immunized gilts showed an overall increase (from 15 to 25 weeks) of 3.90 kg (P < 0.05) of live weight, 56 g (P < 0.05) of average daily gain (ADG) and 250 g (P < 0.001) of average daily feed intake (ADFI). Immunized gilts had a greater ADFI (+240 g, P < 0.05) and worse feed conversion ratio (+0.26, P < 0.05) from 19 (V2) to 21 weeks of age (before DBE). Furthermore, those females had higher feed intake (+410 g; P < 0.001) plus greater daily weight gain (+92 g; P < 0.05) from V2 to S, and from DBE to S (+470 g of ADFI, P < 0.001; +129 g of ADG, P < 0.01, respectively). Immunocastration had no effect on backfat thickness, lean meat percentage and weight, cold carcass yield or loin depth (P > 0.05). Immunized gilts showed 4.4% increased cold carcass weight (P < 0.01) and 10.6% greater gross flank weight (P < 0.001). Immunization against GnRH did not influence shoulder, collar, loin, belly or ham weights. Nor did it influence belly fat thickness, or meat, skin plus fat and bones yields of cold ham (P > 0.05). Immunocastration reduced ovarian and uterine weights by 82% (P < 0.001) and 93% (P < 0.001), respectively, and suppressed oestrus manifestation in all gilts in the immunized group (P < 0.001). These results indicate that immunization against GnRH is a promising tool for stimulating growth performance with no detrimental effects on carcass quality of heavy weight finishing gilts, by means of oestrus suppression.
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.
Dung beetles (Coleoptera: Scarabaeinae) mediate many ecological functions that are important to maintain the ecosystem functioning of terrestrial environments. Although a large amount of literature explores the dung beetle-mediated ecological processes, little is known about the individual contribution from distinct species. Here, we aimed to examine the intra and interspecific variations in dung burial rates performed by two roller dung beetle species (Canthon smaragdulus Fabricius, 1781 and Canthon sulcatus Castelnau, 1840). Furthermore, we evaluated the relationship between dung beetle biomass and dung burial rates. We set up a laboratorial experiment with three treatments (two males, two females, and a couple) and 10 replicates per treatment for each dung beetle species, and dung burial rates were measured after exposing 100 g of mixed pig and human excrement for 48 hours. Our results demonstrate that dung burial rates of males, females, and couples within each species do not differ. However, C. smaragdulus individuals performed a larger dung burial than C. sulcatus individuals did. In addition, we found no effect of individual biomass on the amount of dung burial on intra and interspecific levels. These findings highlight the need for further research considering that distinct species, even from the same genus, may perform different rates of ecological processes, as well as about the importance for considering the beetle biomass when measuring their ecological functions. We call for studies to fill in the knowledge gap about the individual species’ contribution to the maintenance of different dung beetle-mediated ecological processes.
Literature explores which factors most impact resilience and how these factors impact an individual and communities’ ability to cope with disaster. Less research has focused on how age impacts resilience. This research adapts several previous conceptual models used to investigate resilience. To investigate the unique vulnerabilities faced by older individuals in post-disaster settings, this analysis was undertaken to investigate predictors of individual resilience.
Data for the study were derived from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Gulf States Population Survey (GSPS). The final sample included 5,713 adult residents from 4 gulf-coast states. Multiple linear regression was used for the analysis.
All models (demographic, health, social, and combined) acted as significant predictors of individual resilience. Health and social resilience models accounted for more of the variance in resilience scores. In all models, age was negatively associated with resilience scores. Being female was protective across all models. The results of the model testing indicate inequitable disaster mitigation, with social and health indicators explaining the most variance in the resilience levels.
This research provides practitioners with the knowledge they need to focus their interventions on the areas where it is most needed to empower resilient individuals. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2019;13:256–264)
The evolutionary trend toward increasing complexity and social function is ultimately the result of natural selection's paradoxical tendency to foster cooperation through competition. Cooperating populations ranging from complex societies to somatic tissue are constantly under attack, however, by non-cooperating mutants or transformants, called ‘cheaters’. Structure in these populations promotes the formation of cooperating clusters whose competitive superiority can alone be sufficient to thwart outgrowths of cheaters and thereby maintain cooperation. But we find that when cheaters appear too frequently – exceeding a threshold mutation or transformation rate – their scattered outgrowths infiltrate and break up cooperating clusters, resulting in a cascading loss of social cohesiveness, a switch to net positive selection for cheaters and ultimately in the loss of cooperation. Our findings imply that a critically low mutation rate had to be achieved (perhaps through the advent of proofreading and repair mechanisms) before complex cooperative functions, such as those required for multicellularity and social behaviour, could have evolved and persisted. When mutation rate in our model is also allowed to evolve, the threshold is crossed spontaneously after thousands of generations, at which point cheaters rapidly invade. Probing extrapolations of these findings suggest: (1) in somatic tissue, it is neither social retro-evolution alone nor mutation rate evolution alone but the interplay between these two that ultimately leads to oncogenic transitions; the rate of this coevolution might thereby provide an indicator of lifespan of species, terrestrial or not; (2) the likelihood that extraterrestrial life can be expected to be multicellular and social should be affected by ultraviolet and other mutagenic factors.
Direct polycondensation of L-lactic acid with a comonomer allows tailoring the properties of the product from the very first step. The viscous L-lactic acid co-oligomers with star-shaped architectures obtained were modified with three different acrylate monomers. Regardless the functionalization agent, UV curing was fast and all materials were cell compatible and promoted cell adhesion. The physical properties of the three star-shaped films exhibited a consistent trend as swelling capacity, hydrolytic instability, and gel content decreased simultaneously. A higher network density increased crosslinking degree and gel content among the films with an isocyanate group. The methacrylic end group functionalized material, lowest molecular weight, consistently exhibited the higher hydrolytic instability. Comparison of physical properties of these films with the corresponding linear materials reported previously confirmed the influence of precursor molecular architecture on the final material. The methodology developed herein is prone to scale-up and lead to the industrial production of new bioadhesives.
Although a national programme for control of visceral leishmaniosis (VL) is being run in Brazil, the disease continues to spread. This programme is essentially based on culling infected dogs from endemic regions. Thus, there is an urgent need to develop other control measures against VL to deter its advance. Here, a subunit vaccine, a recombinant vaccine, an insecticide-impregnated collar and the associations between these measures were evaluated for reducing the incidence of Leishmania infection in dogs. This was through a cohort study conducted in an endemic region of Brazil, considering the incidence and time of total exposure over a period of 1 year. The incidence of VL was estimated by means of serological and molecular diagnostic tests, 180 and 360 days after the application of the control measures. The estimates of the effectiveness (EF) were not significant in any cohort. The EF of the subunit vaccine, the recombinant vaccine and the collar were 26.4%, 32.8% and 57.7% and the upper limit of the 95% confidence interval for EF were 63.7%, 67.9% and 82.5%, respectively. In conclusion, under the conditions of this study, none of the immunogens for VL control was sufficiently effective to protect dogs against infection. On the other hand, use of collars impregnated with insecticide seems to constitute a method with better prognosis, corroborating other studies in this field.
The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence and risk factors for human papillomavirus (HPV) infection in the Southern region of the State of Bahia, evaluating the performance of alternative complementary methods for cervical lesion detection. Cervical samples from women who attended healthcare units were collected and diagnosed by visual inspection, cervical cytology and nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Moreover, hemi-nested PCR was performed to detect different HPV genotypes. The prevalence of HPV infection was 47·7%, with genotype 16 detected in most cases. Infection was associated with dyspareunia and bleeding (P < 0·001, odds ratio (OR) 5·6, 95% confidence interval (CI) 2·815–11·14) and hormonal contraceptive use (P = 0·007, OR 2·33, 95% CI 1·25–4·34). There was a positive correlation between positive PCR and positive visual inspection, cervical cytology and symptoms reported. Furthermore, visual inspection was twice as specific, and had a greater positive predictive value than cytology. We showed a high prevalence of HPV infection in Southern Bahia, with HPV 16 being the most common type, and visual inspection being most effective at detecting HPV lesions, corroborating the suggestion that it can be applied in routine gynecologic examinations for low-income populations.
Affective and emotional symptoms such as depression, anxiety, euphoria, and irritability are common neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPS) in pre-dementia and cognitively normal older adults. They comprise a domain of Mild Behavioral Impairment (MBI), which describes their emergence in later life as an at-risk state for cognitive decline and dementia, and as a potential manifestation of prodromal dementia. This selective scoping review explores the epidemiology and neurobiological links between affective and emotional symptoms, and incident cognitive decline, focusing on recent literature in this expanding field of research.
Existing literature in prodromal and dementia states was reviewed, focusing on epidemiology, and neurobiology. Search terms included: “mild cognitive impairment,” “dementia,” “prodromal dementia,” “preclinical dementia,” “Alzheimer's,” “depression,” “dysphoria,” “mania,” “euphoria,” “bipolar disorder,” and “irritability.”
Affective and emotional dysregulation are common in preclinical and prodromal dementia syndromes, often being harbingers of neurodegenerative change and progressive cognitive decline. Nosological constraints in distinguishing between pre-existing psychiatric symptomatology and later life acquired NPS limit historical data utility, but emerging research emphasizes the importance of addressing time frames between symptom onset and cognitive decline, and age of symptom onset.
Affective symptoms are of prognostic utility, but interventions to prevent dementia syndromes are limited. Trials need to assess interventions targeting known dementia pathology, toward novel pathology, as well as using psychiatric medications. Research focusing explicitly on later life onset symptomatology will improve our understanding of the neurobiology of NPS and neurodegeneration, enrich the study sample, and inform observational and clinical trial design for prevention and treatment strategies.
Gnathiid isopods are one of the most common fish ectoparasites, and are found in both temperate and tropical oceans. On coral reefs, gnathiids are most active at dusk and dawn, and contribute significantly to trophic dynamics, as they are a prey resource for cleaner fish and parasitize numerous fishes. Gnathiids also inhabit temperate intertidal waters, but their activity patterns and contribution to intertidal trophic dynamics remain unstudied. To provide the first ecological data on temperate intertidal gnathiid activity patterns, 172 gnathiid-free Clinus superciliosus were set in an intertidal system in Tsitsikamma National Park, South Africa, during early morning, morning, afternoon, early evening, and evening, high and low tide, and within the inter- and infra-tidal zone to examine gnathiid infestation levels. After exposure, gnathiids from each fish were identified to the species level, counted, and their developmental stage was recorded. All gnathiids were identified as Gnathiia africana. On average, 1 ± 5SD gnathiids were collected from each fish, and the majority of gnathiids collected were stage 1. Significantly more gnathiids were collected during morning and afternoon compared with all other time periods. The number of gnathiids collected was not influenced by the fish's exposure to high or low tide, or placement within the tide zone. Although G. africana is free from cleaner fish predation because cleaner fish do not reside in temperate intertidal habitat, G. africana abundance is surprisingly small. Future studies should examine what regulates G. africana population size and the role they play in temperate intertidal food webs.
The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of the energy restriction of gestation of adult ewes from day 45 to day 115 on lamb live performance parameters, carcass and meat traits. In experiment I, dietary energy was restricted at 70% of the metabolizable energy (ME) requirements, after which ewes were re-fed ad libitum until lambing. In experiment II, dietary energy was restricted at 60% of the ME requirements, and ewes were re-fed to ME requirements until lambing. All ewes grazed together from the end of the restriction periods to weaning. Lambs were weaned and lot fed until slaughter. Feed intake, weight gain and feed efficiency were recorded, and body fat thickness and ribeye area (REA) were measured in the longissimus thoracis muscle. After slaughter, carcass weight and yield, fat depth, carcass and leg length, and frenched rack and leg weights and yields were determined. Muscle fiber type composition, Warner-Bratzler shear force, pH and color were determined in the longissimus lumborum muscle. In experiment I, energy restriction followed by ad libitum feeding affected lamb birth weight (P<0.05); however, no effects (P>0.05) were observed on later BW, REA, BF or carcass traits. Lambs born to non-restricted-fed ewes had higher (P<0.05) weight and yield of the frenched rack cut and their meat tended (P=0.11) to be tender compared with that of lambs from restricted ewes. The percentage of oxidative muscle fibers was lower for lambs born to non-restricted ewes (P<0.05); however, no effects of ewe treatment were observed on other muscle fiber types. For experiment II, energy restriction followed by ME requirements feeding, affected (P<0.01) pre-weaning live weight gain, weaning and final weights. Lambs from restricted ewes had higher (P<0.05) feed intake as % of leg weight and a trend to be less efficient (P=0.16) than lambs from unrestricted dams. Ribeye area and BF were not influenced by treatment. Treatment significantly affected slaughter weight, but had no effects on carcass yield and traits or on meat traits. The results obtained in both experiments indicate submitting ewes to energy restriction during gestation affects the performance of their progeny but the final outcome would depend on the ewe’s re-feeding level during late gestation and the capacity of the offspring to compensate the in utero restriction after birth.