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The objective of this study was to analyse the dynamics of spatial dispersion of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Brazil by correlating them to socioeconomic indicators. This is an ecological study of COVID-19 cases and deaths between 26 February and 31 July 2020. All Brazilian counties were used as units of analysis. The incidence, mortality, Bayesian incidence and mortality rates, global and local Moran indices were calculated. A geographic weighted regression analysis was conducted to assess the relationship between incidence and mortality due to COVID-19 and socioeconomic indicators (independent variables). There were confirmed 2 662 485 cases of COVID-19 reported in Brazil from February to July 2020 with higher rates of incidence in the north and northeast. The Moran global index of incidence rate (0.50, P = 0.01) and mortality (0.45 with P = 0.01) indicate a positive spatial autocorrelation with high standards in the north, northeast and in the largest urban centres between cities in the southeast region. In the same period, there were 92 475 deaths from COVID-19, with higher mortality rates in the northern states of Brazil, mainly Amazonas, Pará and Amapá. The results show that there is a geospatial correlation of COVID-19 in large urban centres and regions with the lowest human development index in the country. In the geographic weighted regression, it was possible to identify that the percentage of people living in residences with density higher than 2 per dormitory, the municipality human development index (MHDI) and the social vulnerability index were the indicators that most contributed to explaining incidence, social development index and the municipality human development index contributed the most to the mortality model. We hope that the findings will contribute to reorienting public health responses to combat COVID-19 in Brazil, the new epicentre of the disease in South America, as well as in other countries that have similar epidemiological and health characteristics to those in Brazil.
This study aimed to (1) evaluate the effects of flint maize processing methods on the estimation of the readily soluble fraction (a), the potentially degradable fraction (b) and the rate of degradation of b (c) for dry matter (DM), organic matter (OM) and starch in the rumen; and (2) verify whether two different applications of in situ technique can be used to estimate in vivo DM, OM and starch digestibilities. Five ruminally cannulated Nellore bulls (265 ± 18.2 kg; 8 ± 1.0 mo) were distributed in a 5 × 5 Latin square. Three experimental diets were composed of 0.30 whole-plant maize silage, 0.10 supplement and 0.60 of one of the following processing methods: dry ground maize grain (DMG); high-moisture maize (HMM); reconstituted maize grain silage (RMG). Two additional diets were composed of 0.10 supplement, 0.80 snaplage and 0.10 stalklage (SNAP-80); or 0.10 supplement and 0.90 snaplage (SNAP-90). Digestibilities were estimated using in vivo procedure or predicted from in situ technique using a single 24 h incubation point or an equation proposed in previous literature. Diets based on ensiled grains presented greater (P < 0.05) fraction a and c and lower (P < 0.05) fraction b of DM, OM and starch compared to DMG. Both alternative use of in situ technique accurately estimated (P > 0.05) in vivo DM, OM and starch digestibilities. The results suggest that ensilage process may increase the availability of nutrients. The two different applications of in situ technique showed precision and accuracy to estimate in vivo digestibility.
The farrowing process is one of the most energy-demanding activities for the modern hyperprolific sow. This study evaluated the effects of supply of energy on the expected date of farrowing on the farrowing kinetics and piglets’ performance during the first 24 h after birth. A total of 80 sows were used. The sows and their respective litters were considered as the experimental unit. On the expected day of farrowing, the sows were allocated to one of the following groups: sows that did not have access to feed from farrowing induction until the end of the farrowing process (CON, n = 40); sows fed 500 g of energetic supplement, which consisted of 250 g of the basal lactation diet plus 250 g of cane sugar, 18 h after farrowing induction (SUP, n = 40). The farrowing duration, farrowing assistance, birth interval, number of total born, stillborn and mummified piglets were recorded for each sow. Piglets were weighed individually at birth and 24 h later. The interval from birth to first suckle was evaluated individually for each piglet in 16 randomly selected litters (eight litters per treatment group). Blood glucose concentrations of six sows were measured shortly after expulsion of the first piglet. Farrowing duration, farrowing assistance and stillborn rate tended to be greater (P = 0.06, P = 0.09 and P = 0.07, respectively) in sows from the CON group compared to sows from the SUP group. However, there was no difference (P > 0.05) between the groups for birth interval. Colostrum intake was greater (P < 0.05) for piglets from the SUP group compared to piglets from the CON group. Additionally, BW gain of the piglets suckling the SUP group was greater (P < 0.05) than those suckling the CON group at 24 h after birth. The blood glucose concentrations during the expulsive stage of farrowing were greater (P < 0.05) in the SUP group than for sows from the CON group. In conclusion, supplying modern hyperprolific sows energy on the expected day of farrowing is a valuable nutritional intervention to improve the farrowing kinetics and piglets’ performance in early life.
The description of the growth of the Japanese quails is necessary to characterize the genetic potential of these birds raised in different countries. Thus, the aim of this study was to describe the genetic potential of Japanese quails by conducting a meta-analysis considering studies conducted in different countries. Only data about the subspecies Coturnix coturnix japonica were considered; studies regarding Coturnix coturnix coturnix were not examined. The criteria investigated were BW (W), age (t), year of publication and location of the study. Each set of genetic material within a publication was coded as one study. The Gompertz function was used to interpret the growth of laying quails; thus, each study was represented by Gompertz parameters. The W and t data were applied to estimate the values of Gompertz growth parameters, including BW at maturity (Wm), BW at birth (Wi), maturity rate (B) and inflection point (IP). The age at which the maximum growth rate was achieved (t*) was calculated considering the parameters Wm, Wi and B. To estimate these parameters, random regression was used to randomize the parameter Wm. The parameters estimated for each assay were used in exploratory, grouping, and principal component analyses. The values of Wi ranged from 4.1 to 11.6 g. The values of B ranged from 0.0393 to 0.1039/day, and consequently, the values of t* and IP ranged from 14 to 31 days and 9.21 to 31.03 g, respectively. These results show that there is considerable variability in the growth potential of Japanese quails. To better understand this variation, two groups were examined: Brazil and other countries, according to the grouping of Wi, Wm, B and t*; parameter B was the variable that presented the highest specificity, indicating that both groups modified the maturity rate. For the principal component analysis, the year of publication showed a relationship with the growth parameters but only for studies performed in Brazil. For studies carried out in other countries, the changes in growth parameters were not related to the year of publication. In Brazilian studies, there was a decrease in the maturity rate, but the weight at maturity was higher. Therefore, it appears that different strategies of genetic selection were adopted in Brazil compared to other countries.
Spontaneous abortion is considered a public health problem having several causes, including infections. Among the infectious agents, bacteria of the vaginal microbiota and Ureaplasma parvum have been associated with abortion, but their participation needs to be further elucidated. This study aims to evaluate the influence of Mollicutes on the development of spontaneous abortion. Women who underwent spontaneous abortion and those with normal birth (control) were studied. Samples of cervical mucus (CM) and placental tissue were collected to identify Mollicutes using the quantitative polymerase chain reaction methodology. Eighty-nine women who had a miscarriage and 20 women with normal pregnancies were studied. The presence of Mollicutes in placental tissue increased the chance of developing miscarriage sevenfold. The prevalence of U. parvum in women who experienced spontaneous abortion was 66.3% in placental tissue. A positive association was observed between the detection of U. parvum in samples of placental tissue and abortion. There was a significant increase in microbial load in placental tissue for M. hominis, U. urealyticum and U. parvum compared to the control group. Detection of U. parvum in CM in pregnant women can ascend to the region of the placental tissue and trigger a spontaneous abortion.
This study presents two years of characterization of a warm temperate rhodolith bed in order to analyse how certain environmental changes influence the community ecology. The biomass of rhodoliths and associated species were analysed during this period and in situ experiments were conducted to evaluate the primary production, calcification and respiration of the dominant species of rhodoliths and epiphytes. The highest total biomass of rhodoliths occurred during austral winter. Lithothamnion crispatum was the most abundant rhodolith species in austral summer. Epiphytic macroalgae occurred only in January 2015, with Padina gymnospora being the most abundant. Considering associated fauna, the biomass of Mollusca increased from February 2015 to February 2016. Population densities of key reef fish species inside and around the rhodolith beds showed significant variations in time. The densities of grouper (carnivores/piscivores) increased in time, especially from 2015 to 2016. On the other hand, grunts (macroinvertebrate feeders) had a modest decrease over time (from 2014 to 2016). Other parameters such as primary production and calcification of L. crispatum were higher under enhanced irradiance, yet decreased in the presence of P. gymnospora. Community structure and physiological responses can be explained by the interaction of abiotic and biotic factors, which are driven by environmental changes over time. Biomass changes can indicate that herbivores play a role in limiting the growth of epiphytes, and this is beneficial to the rhodoliths because it decreases competition for environmental resources with fleshy algae.
The research about the benefits of early diagnosis and treatment of first-episode psychosis had significantly increased in last decades. There have been several early intervention programs in psychotic disease, implemented worldwide, in order to improve the prognosis of these psychotic patients.
To present a brief description of the first-episode psychosis intervention team of Tondela-Viseu Hospital Centre–Portugal and its model. We aim to further characterize our population and describe its evolution since 2008.
We aim to clarify the benefits of an early intervention in psychosis.
We conducted a retrospective cohort study of patients being followed by our team from November 2008 to September 2016. Demographic and medical data were collected (such as diagnosis, duration of untreated psychosis, treatments and its clinical effectiveness, relapse rate and hospital admissions) in patient's clinical records. The intervention model protocol of this team was also described and analyzed.
This multidisciplinary team consists of three psychiatrists, one child Psychiatrist, one psychologist and five reference therapists (areas of nursing, social service and occupational therapy). It includes patients diagnosed with first-episode psychosis, aged 16 to 42 years old, followed for five years. The team followed, since its foundation, 123 patients, mostly male. The most prevalent diagnosis are schizophrenia and schizophreniform psychosis. The team is currently following 51 patients.
This team's intervention have progressively assumed a more relevant importance in the prognosis of patients with first-episode psychosis, by reducing the duration of untreated psychosis, the relapse rate and by promoting social reintegration.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Tuberous sclerosis complex is a rare genetic disorder leading to the growth of hamartomas in multiple organs, including cardiac rhabdomyomas. Children with symptomatic cardiac rhabdomyoma require frequent admissions to intensive care units, have major complications, namely, arrhythmias, cardiac outflow tract obstruction and heart failure, affecting the quality of life and taking on high healthcare cost. Currently, there is no standard pharmacological treatment for this condition, and the management includes a conservative approach and supportive care. Everolimus has shown positive effects on subependymal giant cell astrocytomas, renal angiomyolipoma and refractory seizures associated with tuberous sclerosis complex. However, evidence supporting efficacy in symptomatic cardiac rhabdomyoma is limited to case reports. The ORACLE trial is the first randomised clinical trial assessing the efficacy of everolimus as a specific therapy for symptomatic cardiac rhabdomyoma.
ORACLE is a phase II, prospective, randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind, multicentre protocol trial. A total of 40 children with symptomatic cardiac rhabdomyoma secondary to tuberous sclerosis complex will be randomised to receive oral everolimus or placebo for 3 months. The primary outcome is 50% or more reduction in the tumour size related to baseline. As secondary outcomes we include the presence of arrhythmias, pericardial effusion, intracardiac obstruction, adverse events, progression of tumour reduction and effect on heart failure.
ORACLE protocol addresses a relevant unmet need in children with tuberous sclerosis complex and cardiac rhabdomyoma. The results of the trial will potentially support the first evidence-based therapy for this condition.
The multipolar representation of the magnetic field has, for the lowest-order term, a magnetic dipole that dominates the far field. Thus the far-field representation of the magnetic field of the Earth, Sun and other celestial bodies is a dipole. Since these bodies consist of or are surrounded by plasma, which can support Alfvén waves, their propagation along dipole magnetic field lines is considered using a new coordinate system: dipolar coordinates. The present paper introduces multipolar coordinates, which are an example of conformal coordinates; conformal coordinates are orthogonal with equal scale factors, and can be extended from the plane to space, for instance as cylindrical or spherical dipolar coordinates. The application considered is to Alfvén waves propagating along a circle, that is a magnetic field line of a dipole, with transverse velocity and magnetic field perturbations; the various forms of the wave equation are linear second-order differential equations, with variable coefficients, specified by a background magnetic field, which is force free. The absence of a background magnetic force leads to a mean state of hydrostatic equilibrium, specified by the balance of gravity against the pressure gradient, for a perfect gas or incompressible liquid. The wave equation is simplified to a Gaussian hypergeometric type in the case of zero frequency, otherwise, for non-zero frequency, an extended Gaussian hypergeometric equation is obtained. The solution of the latter specifies the magnetic field perturbation spectrum, and also, via a polarisation relation, the velocity perturbation spectrum; both are plotted, over half a circle, for three values of the dimensionless frequency.
Consanguineous marriages potentially play an important role in the transmission of β-thalassaemia in many communities. This study aimed to determine the rate and socio-demographic associations of consanguineous marriages and to assess the influence on the prevalence of β-thalassaemia in Sri Lanka. Three marriage registrars from each district of Sri Lanka were randomly selected to prospectively collect data on all couples who registered their marriage during a 6-month period starting 1st July 2009. Separately, the parents of patients with β-thalassaemia were interviewed to identify consanguinity. A total of 5255 marriages were recorded from 22 districts. The average age at marriage was 27.3 (±6.1) years for males and 24.1 (±5.7) years for females. A majority (71%) of marriages were ‘love’ marriages, except in the Moor community where 84% were ‘arranged’ marriages. Overall, the national consanguinity rate was 7.4%. It was significantly higher among ethnic Tamils (22.4%) compared with Sinhalese (3.8%) and Moors (3.2%) (p < 0.001). Consanguinity rates were also higher in ‘arranged’ as opposed to ‘love’ marriages (11.7% vs 5.6%, p < 0.001). In patients with β-thalassaemia, the overall consanguinity rate was 14.5%; it was highest among Tamils (44%) and lowest among Sinhalese (12%). Parental consanguinity among patients with β-thalassaemia was double the national average. Although consanguinity is not the major factor in the transmission of the disease in the country, emphasis should be given to this significant practice when conducting β-thalassaemia prevention and awareness campaigns, especially in high-prevalence communities.
The BW has been largely used as a selection criterion in genetic selection programmes; however, increases in BW can affect animal metabolism and metabolites. The knowledge of how genetic potential for growth affects the metabolites can give a footprint of growth metabolism. This research aimed to evaluate the effect of genetic potential for post-weaning growth (GG) on performance, carcass traits and serum metabolome of non-castrated Nellore males during the finishing phase. Forty-eight Nellore non-castrated males, with divergent potential for post-weaning growth, were selected and divided into two groups: high potential for post-weaning growth (HG; n = 24) and low potential for post-weaning growth (LG; n = 24). Animals were kept and fed for 90 days where performance and ultrasound carcass traits were evaluated. Blood samples were collected at the beginning and end of feeding period to analyse serum metabolites concentration. The hot carcass weight and dressing percentage were recorded at slaughter. The feedlot performance and carcass traits were not affected by genetic potential. The HG animals had a lower glucose (P = 0.039), glutamate (P = 0.038), glutamine (P = 0.004), greater betaine (P = 0.039) and pyruvate (P = 0.039) compared to the LG group at the beginning of feedlot. In addition, higher creatine phosphate concentrations were observed at the beginning of feeding period, compared to final, for both groups (P = 0.039). In conclusion, the genetic potential for post-weaning growth does not affect performance and carcass traits during the finishing period. Differences in metabolite concentrations can be better found at the beginning of feedlot, providing a footprint of growth metabolism, but similar metabolite concentration at the end of finishing period.
The current study evaluated the effects of dietary roughage:concentrate (R:C) ratios and water supply on the carcass characteristics and yield of lambs. Forty Santa Inês crossbred lambs with an average body weight (BW) of 19 ± 2.8 kg were evaluated in a completely randomized design with a 2 × 2 factorial arrangement consisting of two proportions of roughage and concentrate (30:70 and 70:30) and two levels of water supply (ad libitum and restricted to 0.5). The animals were slaughtered at an average weight of 28 ± 31 kg. Centesimal composition, colour parameters (L*, a* and b*), shear force, cooking losses and pH were determined on the Longissimus lumborum muscle. There was no interaction effect between the R:C ratio and water supply on the evaluated variables. Total BW gain, average daily gain and final BW were affected by water restriction and R:C ratio. Water restriction reduced total BW gain, average daily gain and final BW. No effect of water restriction was detected on slaughter weight, centesimal composition, colour variations, shear force, pH, weight or yield of carcass. No effect of water restriction and diets was observed on the cuts, except for neck weight. Carcass weight and yield were affected by the R:C ratios. Restricting the water supply to 0.5 does not affect the carcass weight or yield of Santa Inês crossbred lambs or their meat quality characteristics (centesimal composition, colour, shear force and pH measurements). A higher proportion of concentrate in the diet results in heavier hot and cold carcass weights.
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.
With still limited information on vitamin requirements and considering that many commercial practices adopt dietary vitamin levels above the values suggested by nutritional tables, this study aimed to assess the effect of administering vitamin supplementation to sows in gestation and lactation and to their litters on the reproductive performance and body condition of the sows and on the performance and immune profile of the litters until slaughter. The trial was split into two phases. The first phase used 104 sows, assigned to be randomized to blocks according to parity, submitted until 21 days of lactation to two treatments: control–standard (standard levels of vitamins) and test–elevated (elevated levels of vitamins). Each sow and its respective farrow were considered an experimental unit. The sows underwent evaluations of body condition score, back fat thickness and reproductive performance. In the second phase, 60 barrows and 60 gilts at 21 days of age and mean initial weight of 5.33 ± 1.5 kg until slaughter at 164 days of age. The piglets were assigned to randomized blocks according to the weight and sex of the animals in a 2 × 2 factorial model, with 10 replicates per treatment, where a pen with three animals represented the experimental unit. Following the same treatments of the first phase, the piglets were evaluated for daily weight gain, daily feed intake, feed conversion, mortality rate and humoral immune response. Vitamin supplementation had no positive effects on the reproductive parameters or body composition of sows. However, it positively impacted the performance of the litters in the early nursery stage, but did not lead to superior effects on the immune responses to vaccination against circovirus or mycoplasma.
The search for life in the Universe is a fundamental problem of astrobiology and modern science. The current progress in the detection of terrestrial-type exoplanets has opened a new avenue in the characterization of exoplanetary atmospheres and in the search for biosignatures of life with the upcoming ground-based and space missions. To specify the conditions favourable for the origin, development and sustainment of life as we know it in other worlds, we need to understand the nature of global (astrospheric), and local (atmospheric and surface) environments of exoplanets in the habitable zones (HZs) around G-K-M dwarf stars including our young Sun. Global environment is formed by propagated disturbances from the planet-hosting stars in the form of stellar flares, coronal mass ejections, energetic particles and winds collectively known as astrospheric space weather. Its characterization will help in understanding how an exoplanetary ecosystem interacts with its host star, as well as in the specification of the physical, chemical and biochemical conditions that can create favourable and/or detrimental conditions for planetary climate and habitability along with evolution of planetary internal dynamics over geological timescales. A key linkage of (astro)physical, chemical and geological processes can only be understood in the framework of interdisciplinary studies with the incorporation of progress in heliophysics, astrophysics, planetary and Earth sciences. The assessment of the impacts of host stars on the climate and habitability of terrestrial (exo)planets will significantly expand the current definition of the HZ to the biogenic zone and provide new observational strategies for searching for signatures of life. The major goal of this paper is to describe and discuss the current status and recent progress in this interdisciplinary field in light of presentations and discussions during the NASA Nexus for Exoplanetary System Science funded workshop ‘Exoplanetary Space Weather, Climate and Habitability’ and to provide a new roadmap for the future development of the emerging field of exoplanetary science and astrobiology.
The dietary inclusion of feed additives to improve the carcass characteristics of the final product is of great importance for the pork production chain. The aim of our study was to evaluate the effects of the association of ractopamine (RAC) and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) on the performance traits of finishing pigs during the last 26 days prior to slaughter. In total, 810 commercial hybrid barrows were used. Animals were distributed among treatments according to a randomised block design in a 3 × 3 factorial arrangement, with three RAC levels (0, 5 or 10 ppm) and three CLA levels (0, 0.3 or 0.6%). Pigs fed the diet with 5 ppm RAC had higher average daily feed intake (ADFI) (2.83 kg; P < 0.05) when compared with those fed 10 ppm RAC and the control diet (2.75 and 2.74 kg, respectively). Lower ADFI values (P < 0.01) were observed with the diets containing CLA compared with the control diet with no CLA (2.73 and 2.75 v. 2.85 kg/day, respectively). The average daily weight gain of pigs fed 5 and 10 ppm RAC was +148 and +173 g/dayhigher (P < 0.001), respectively, than those fed the control diet. Dietary RAC levels influenced (P < 0.001) feed conversion ratio (FCR), which was reduced as RAC levels increased, with the pigs fed 10, 5 and 0 ppm RAC presenting FCR values of 2.57, 2.71 and 3.05, respectively. FCR also improved (P < 0.05) with the inclusion of 0.6% CLA relative to the control diet (2.70 v. 2.84, respectively). There was a significant interaction between CLA × RAC levels (P < 0.01) for final BW, loin eye area (LEA) (P < 0.05) and backfat thickness (BT) (P < 0.05). The treatments containing 10 ppm RAC + 0.6% or 0.3% CLA increased LEA and reduced BT. In conclusion, the level of 10 ppm inclusion of RAC increased the overall performance parameters of pigs and therefore improved production efficiency. The combined use of RAC and CLA promoted a lower feed conversion ratio as well as better quantitative carcass traits, as demonstrated by the higher LEA and lower BT. The dietary inclusion of CLA at 0.3% improved feed efficiency, however, without affecting LEA or BT yields.
Tuberculosis (TB) is the leading cause of death among infectious diseases worldwide. Among the estimated cases of drug-resistant TB, approximately 60% occur in the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa). Among Brazilian states, primary and acquired multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) rates were the highest in Rio Grande do Sul (RS). This study aimed to perform molecular characterisation of MDR-TB in the State of RS, a high-burden Brazilian state. We performed molecular characterisation of MDR-TB cases in RS, defined by drug susceptibility testing, using 131 Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M.tb) DNA samples from the Central Laboratory. We carried out MIRU-VNTR 24loci, spoligotyping, sequencing of the katG, inhA and rpoB genes and RDRio sublineage identification. The most frequent families found were LAM (65.6%) and Haarlem (22.1%). RDRio deletion was observed in 42 (32%) of the M.tb isolates. Among MDR-TB cases, eight (6.1%) did not present mutations in the studied genes. In 116 (88.5%) M.tb isolates, we found mutations associated with rifampicin (RIF) resistance in rpoB gene, and in 112 isolates (85.5%), we observed mutations related to isoniazid resistance in katG and inhA genes. An insertion of 12 nucleotides (CCAGAACAACCC) at the 516 codon in the rpoB gene, possibly responsible for a decreased interaction of RIF and RNA polymerase, was found in 19/131 of the isolates, belonging mostly to LAM and Haarlem families. These results enable a better understanding of the dynamics of transmission and evolution of MDR-TB in the region.
Intake in sugar-rich diets can be limited either via rumen fill or excessive rumen fermentation and source of non-fibre carbohydrate (NFC) in the diet can affect both factors. The aim of the current study was to quantify the effect of partially replacing ground maize (GM) with steam-rolled maize (SRM) or pelleted citrus pulp (PCP) at two concentrate levels in sugarcane-based diets on digestibility, rumen ecosystem and metabolism of Nellore steers. Six rumen-cannulated steers were assigned to a 6 × 6 Latin square, replicated in time, in a 2 × 3 factorial arrangement of treatments with two levels of concentrate (600 or 800 g concentrate/kg dry matter [DM]) and three NFC sources. Each steer within a period was considered an experimental unit. Feeding more concentrate increased total tract digestibility of organic matter and decreased fibre intake and passage rate. It also reduced rumen populations of Fibrobacter succinogenes and Streptococcus bovis and increased Ruminococcus flavefaciens. Substituting PCP for GM increased rumen pH, acetic acid and organic matter digestibility. Feeding PCP also reduced R. flavefaciens and R. amylophilus rumen populations. Substituting SRM for GM increased starch digestibility and rumen propionic acid, but decreased rumen ammonia concentration. Feeding SRM increased rumen populations of Megasphaera elsdenii with the high-concentrate diet but reduced Ruminococcus albus populations at both concentrate levels. In conclusion, partial replacement of GM by PCP decreased intake in sugar-rich diets, while increasing total tract neutral detergent fibre digestibility. Replacement of GM with SRM increases rumen fermentation and total tract digestibility of starch.
Expression of estrus near timed artificial insemination (TAI) is associated with greater fertility, and estrus detection could improve TAI fertility or direct TAI management, although accurate estrus detection can be difficult and time-consuming using traditional methods. The aim of this study is to evaluate influence of estrus on pregnancy (artificial insemination pregnancy rates (P/AI)) and to validate an alternative method to classify estrus/heat expression using tail chalking (HEATSC) in postpartum Bos indicus cows subjected to TAI in progesterone–estrogen-based protocols. In experiment 1 (Exp. 1), cows (5491) were subjected to visual observation of estrus after progesterone device removal, before TAI, and P/AI was evaluated according to estrus and body condition score (BCS). Cows received a progesterone device and 2 mg estradiol benzoate (EB). After 8 days, the device was removed and 150 μg of d-cloprostenol and 300 IU equine chorionic gonadotrophin was given. Later, animals in Exp. 1 received 1 mg EB and TAI 44 to 48 h. In the Exp. 2 – 3830 cows using similar protocol, received different ovulation inducers: 1 mg EB (n=1624) or 1 mg estradiol cypionate (EC; n=2206) on day 8 (D8). Cows were then marked with chalk, and HEATSC evaluated at TAI on D10 (HEATSC1 – no chalk removal=no estrus expression; HEATSC2 – partial chalk removal=low estrus expression; HEATSC3 – near complete/complete chalk removal=high estrus expression). In Exp. 1, cows showing estrus presented greater P/AI (48.4% v. 40.2%, P<0.05). In Exp. 2, P/AI (HEATSC1 – 40.0%; HEATSC2 – 49.7%; HEATSC3 – 60.9%; P<0.001), and larger follicle timed artificial insemination (LFTAI) (<0.001) varied according to HEATSC. There was no difference in P/AI (P=0.41) or LFTAI (P=0.33) according to ovulation inducer. Cows with greater BCS showed greater P/AI in both experiments (P<0.05). Estrus presence and greater HEATSC improved P/AI, and EC v. EB used promoted differential estrus manifestation (cows showing HEATSC2 and HEATSC3: 79.5% with EB v. 69.98% with EC use, P<0.001), however, with similar P/AI. The use of HEATSC in B. indicus cows subjected to TAI is useful to identify cows with greater estrus expression and consequently improved pregnancy rates in TAI, allowing the cows with low HEATSC to be targeted for additional treatments aimed at improving P/AI.
The use of tail chalk and estrus/heat expression scores (HEATSC) evaluation is instrumental in identifying cows with greater estrus expression and greater artificial insemination pregnancy rates (P/AI) in cows submitted to timed artificial insemination (TAI), and cows with low or no estrus expression present lower P/AI. It was intended in this study to improve the pregnancy rates in TAI for Bos indicus beef cows, and gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH) injection was hypothesized to increase pregnancy rates in a TAI program for cows submitted to progesterone–estradiol-based protocols with low or no estrus expression, evaluated by HEATSC. Cows (n= 2284) received a progesterone device and 2 mg estradiol benzoate, after 8 days the device was removed and 1 mg estradiol cypionate, 150 μg of d-cloprostenol and 300 IU equine chorionic gonadotropin was administered. All cows were marked with chalk and HEATSC evaluated (scales 1 to 3) at TAI performed on day 10. Animals with HEATSC1 and HEATSC2 (n= 937) received 100 μg de gonadorelin (GNRH group; n= 470), or 1 ml saline (Control group; n= 467), and cows with HEATSC3 (named HEAT group; n= 1347) received no additional treatment. The larger dominant follicle, evaluated on day 8and at TAI (day 10), was greater in HEAT group (P= 0.0145 and P <0.001, respectively). Corpus luteum (CL) area and progesterone concentration was evaluated on day 17, and CL area was larger in HEAT group, intermediary in Control and lower in GnRH group (Control= 2.68 cm2, GnRH= 2.37 cm2, HEAT group= 3.07 cm2, P <0.001). Greater progesterone concentrations were found in HEAT group than in Control and GnRH groups (Control= 4.74 ng/ml, GnRH= 4.29 ng/ml, HEAT group= 6.08 ng/ml, P<0.001). There was a difference in ovulation rate, greater in HEAT group than GnRH and Control groups (Control= 72.5%; GnRH= 81.25%; HEAT group= 90.71%; P= 0.0024). Artificial insemination pregnancy rates was greater in HEAT group (57.09% (769/1347) than in Control and GNRH groups, with positive effect of GnRH injection at the time of TAI in P/AI (Control= 36.18% (169/467), GnRH= 45.95% (216/470); P<0.0001). In conclusion, GnRH application in cows with low HEATSC (1 and 2) is a simple strategy, requiring no changes in TAI management to increase pregnancy rates in postpartum beef cows submitted to progesterone–estradiol-based TAI protocols, without reaching, however, the pregnancy rates of cows that demonstrate high estrus expression at the TAI.