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This is the first report on the development and characterization of eight monoclonal antibodies (MABs) generated against whole- and membrane-enriched tachyzoite extracts of the apicomplexan parasite Besnoitia besnoiti. Confocal laser scanning immunofluorescence microscopy was used to localize respective epitopes in B. besnoiti tachyzoites along the lytic cycle. A pattern compatible with dense granule staining was observed with MABs 2.A.12, 2.F.3 and 2.G.4, which could be confirmed by immunogold electron microscopy for MABs 2.A.12 and 2.F.3. In particular, MABs 2.F.3 and 2.G.4 were secreted during early invasion, proliferation and egress phases. MABs 3.10.8 and 5.5.11 labelled the tachyzoite surface, whilst MABs 1.17.8, 8.9.2 and 2.G.A recognized the apical tip, which is reminiscent for microneme localization. Besides, the epitopes recognized by the latter two (MABs 8.9.2 and 2.G.A) exhibited a redistribution from the anterior part across the parasite surface towards the posterior end during invasion. Most MABs developed were genus-specific. Indeed, the MABs cross-reacted neither with T. gondii nor with N. caninum tachyzoites. In summary, we have generated MABs that will be useful to study the key processes in the lytic cycle of the parasite and with additional promising diagnostic value. However, the molecular identity of the antigens recognized remains to be elucidated.
Early, conforming antibiotic treatment in elderly patients hospitalised for community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) is a key factor in the prognosis and mortality. The objective was to examine whether empirical antibiotic treatment was conforming according to the Spanish Society of Pulmonology and Thoracic Surgery guidelines in these patients. Multicentre study in patients aged ⩾65 years hospitalised due to CAP in the 2013–14 and 2014–15 influenza seasons. We collected socio-demographic information, comorbidities, influenza/pneumococcal vaccination history and antibiotics administered using a questionnaire and medical records. Bivariate analyses and multilevel logistic regression were made. In total, 1857 hospitalised patients were included, 82 of whom required intensive care unit (ICU) admission. Treatment was conforming in 51.4% (95% confidence interval (CI) 49.1–53.8%) of patients without ICU admission and was associated with absence of renal failure without haemodialysis (odds ratio (OR) 1.49, 95% CI 1.15–1.95) and no cognitive dysfunction (OR 1.71, 95% CI 1.25–2.35), when the effect of the autonomous community was controlled for. In patients with ICU admission, treatment was conforming in 45.1% (95% CI 34.1–56.1%) of patients and was associated with the hospital visits in the last year (<3 vs. ⩾3, OR 2.70, 95% CI 1.03–7.12) and there was some evidence that this was associated with season. Although the reference guidelines are national, wide variability between autonomous communities was found. In patients hospitalised due to CAP, health services should guarantee the administration of antibiotics in a consensual manner that is conforming according to clinical practice guidelines.
This study assessed milk productivity, demographic characteristics and workload distribution on a single high-yield dairy ewe farm in Spain (Avila, Spain; continental climate, latitude of 40.90 N, altitude of 900 m) over a 7-year period considering a transition from a herd management system involving five lambings per year (5LY) to a system involving 10 lambings per year (10LY). The 5LY system was practiced on the farm from 2010 to 2012 and the 10LY system from 2014 to 2015, with 2009 and 2013 being considered transition years. During this period, 27 415 lactations were recorded from an average of 3746 Lacaune sheep/year. Several productivity parameters were higher in 2014 to 2015 than in 2010 to 2012: milk yield/lactation (370±156 v. 349±185 l), lactation length (218±75 v. 192±75 days) and dry period length (53.5±38.3 v. 69.1±34.8 days) (all P<0.0001). During 2014 to 2015, investment in new lambing facilities was possible, workload was distributed more uniformly throughout the year, workload per worker was smaller, rate of ewe culling was lower (35.39±0.53% v. 42.51±7.51%), ewe longevity was greater and higher-order lactations were more numerous (P<0.0001). On the other hand, during 2010 to 2012, daily production was higher (1.73±1.66 v. 1.70±0.62 l/day; P=0.038), the interlambing period was shorter (283±50 v. 302±44 days; P<0.0001) and lambings/ewe per year were greater (1.42±0.01 v. 1.30±0.01; P<0.05). These results suggest that a 10LY herd management system can be compatible with profitability, productivity and good animal and worker’s welfare on a high-yield dairy farm, and may even be associated with better outcomes than a 5LY system.
The interval from calving to first ovulation is a major factor affecting reproductive and productive efficiency in beef cows. While this interval is affected by pre- and post-partum nutrition, the maternal-offspring bond is generally considered to be the major cause of delayed ovulation in beef cows. The endocrine and physiological mechanisms by which these factors either singularly or interactively control the duration of the post-partum anovulatory period are not well established, although they most likely involve the regulation of pulsatile LH release. The present study sought to examine the interactive effects of pre- and post-partum nutrition on LH secretion and follicle wave dynamics following acute calf isolation and once-a-day suckling (restricted access), after emergence of the fourth follicular wave post partum.
The prolonged interval from calving to first ovulation in beef cows is primarily due to the suckling-mediated inhibition of pulsatile LH release. Undernutrition both before and after calving also suppresses LH release, reduces ovarian follicular growth and delays ovulation. The interactive effects of these factors on the interval from calving to first ovulation in beef cows were quantified by studying the incidence of ovulation, following acute calf isolation and once-a-day suckling (restricted access), after emergence of the fourth follicular wave post partum in cows in differing body condition at calving and offered low or high planes of nutrition after calving.
The experiment was a 2 x 2 x 2 factorial design, in which the factors were body condition score at calving (Low v. Moderate), feeding level after calving (0.6 v. 1.0 MJ ME/d/kg M0.75), and restricted (once-a-day) v. ad libitum access and suckling. The experiment, duplicated at each of the four participating sites, involved 16 Simmental, 16 Sarda, 16 Brown Swiss and 16 Hereford x Friesian multi-parous cows. Follicle growth was monitored daily from day 21 post partum until the earlier of second ovulation or Day 90 post partum using transrectal ovarian ultrasonography.
Our knowledge of the diversity, ecology, and phylogeny of Mesozoic birds has increased significantly during recent decades, yet our understanding of their flight competence remains poor. Wing loading (WL) and aspect ratio (AR) are two aerodynamically relevant parameters, as they relate to energy costs of aerial locomotion and flight maneuverability. They can be calculated in living birds (i.e., Neornithes) from body mass (BM), wingspan (B), and lift surface (SL). However, the estimates for extinct birds can be subject to biases from statistical issues, phylogeny, locomotor adaptations, and diagenetic compaction. Here we develop a sequential approach for generating reliable multivariate models that allow estimation of measurements necessary to determine WL and AR in the main clades of non-neornithine Mesozoic birds. The strength of our predictions is supported by the use of those variables that show similar scaling patterns in modern and stem taxa (i.e., non-neornithine birds) and the similarity of our predictions with measurements obtained from fossils preserving wing outlines. In addition, although our WL and AR values are based on estimates (BM, B, and SL) that have an associated error, there is no cumulative error in their calculation, and both parameters show low prediction errors. Therefore, we present the first taxonomically broad, error-calibrated estimation of these two important aerodynamic parameters in non-neornithine birds. Such estimates show that the WL and AR of the non-neornithine birds here analyzed fall within the range of variation of modern birds (i.e., Neornithes). Our results indicate that most modern flight modes (e.g., continuous flapping, flap and gliding, flap and bounding, thermal soaring) were possible for the wide range of non-neornithine avian taxa; we found no evidence for the presence of dynamic soaring among these early birds.
We have carried out optical spectroscopic observations at intermediate spectral resolution of the massive high redshift radio galaxy 0902+34 at z ≈ 3.39. This source was first identified by Lilly (1988) (from hereafter L88). The study of high redshift radio galaxies is interesting to analyze the physical conditions of the early universe and the galaxy evolution at cosmological redshifts. It has been claimed that some of these systems may be protogalaxies in the process of formation. Indications for this are the flat spectrum and the absence of the 4000 Å break, features which have already been observed in many cases. In particular, observations in the spectral range from V to K suggest that 0902+34 is a young galaxy (Eisenhardt and Dickinson 1992). Recent radio observations of the 21 cm line of neutral hydrogen have detected (Uson et al. 1991) an absorption against the radio continuum source. This absorption could also leave a track in the optical, redwards the Lyα line. Our observations were carried out with the ISIS spectrograph at the 4.2 m William Herschel Telescope (seeing ≈ 1.2–1.6 arcsec). A spectral dispersion of 0.78 Å/pixel (blue arm) and 1.38 Å/pixel (red arm) was obtained. Å long slit of width 3′ was used providing a spectral resolution of ≈ 5.4 Å in the blue arm and of ≈ 9.5 Å in the red one. Both resolutions are a clear improvement over that achieved by L88 of 20 Å, allowing us to resolve the Lyα line (and its possible structure) and any other possible strong features appearing in the spectral range observed (e. g., C iv λ1549, He ii λ1640, …). Six different observations of 2700 s of the radio galaxy 0902+34 were carried out. The slit was rotated to coincide with the parallactic angle at the beginning of each exposure. This will allow us to map spectroscopically different regions of the galaxy (for more details see Martín-Mirones et al. 1994).
Most of the studies on the anisotropy expected in the temperature of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) have been based on linear density perturbations. The anisotropies at angular scales ≥ 1o (horizon at recombination) are preserved during the evolution of the universe, whereas for smaller scales new effects can appear, generated during the non-linear phase of matter clustering evolution: i) the Sunyaev-Zeldovich effect due to hot gas in clusters (Scaramella et al. 1993), ii) the Vishniac effect (Vishniac 1987) due to the coupling between density fluctuations and bulk motions of gas and iii) the integrated gravitational effect (Martínez–González et al. 1994) due to time-varyng gravitational potentials. A single potential φ(t, x), satisfying the Poisson equation, is enouph to describe weak gravitational fields associated to non-linear density fluctuations when one considers scales smaller than the horizon and non-relativistic peculiar velocities. The temperature anisotropies, in a flat universe, are given by the expression (Martínez–González et al. 1990)
Nine wheat genotypes, bred for the high-input agronomical conditions of Henan Province (China), were tested under the high-yielding Mediterranean conditions of Spain. Two cultivars widely grown in the zone were included as controls. Crop growth and leaf chlorophyll (Chl) content, leaf stomatal conductance (gs) and canopy temperature (CT) were measured during the crop cycle and stable carbon (C), oxygen (O) and nitrogen (N) isotope compositions (δ13C, δ18O and δ15N) were analysed on different plant parts. The lower yield of the Chinese genotypes compared with the controls was due to fewer grains/unit area, associated with lower tillering and a plant height clearly below the optimal range. Moreover, Chinese wheat exhibited a lower spike fertility index than the controls, and this was associated with a less compact spike structure. The physiological characteristics that were related to better performance under high-yielding Mediterranean conditions consisted of a higher green aerial biomass, particularly during the reproductive stage, together with more favourable water conditions (higher gs and lower CT and δ13C), the capacity to take up water during grain fill (higher δ18O) and a more efficient uptake (lower δ15N) and utilization (lower leaf N and Chl content) of N fertilizer. It is concluded that Chinese genotypes exhibited a low acclimation capacity to the moderate stress typical of the high-yielding Mediterranean conditions.
The in vitro leishmanicidal activity of a series of imidazole-containing phthalazine derivatives 1–4 was tested on Leishmania infantum, Leishmania braziliensis and Leishmania donovani parasites, and their cytotoxicity on J774·2 macrophage cells was also measured. All compounds tested showed selectivity indexes higher than that of the reference drug glucantime for the three Leishmania species, and the less bulky monoalkylamino substituted derivatives 2 and 4 were clearly more effective than their bisalkylamino substituted counterparts 1 and 3. Both infection rate measures and ultrastructural alterations studies confirmed that 2 and 4 were highly leishmanicidal and induced extensive parasite cell damage. Modifications to the excretion products of parasites treated with 2 and 4 were also consistent with substantial cytoplasmic alterations. On the other hand, the most active compounds 2 and 4 were potent inhibitors of iron superoxide dismutase enzyme (Fe-SOD) in the three species considered, whereas their impact on human CuZn-SOD was low. Molecular modelling suggests that 2 and 4 could deactivate Fe-SOD due to a sterically favoured enhanced ability to interact with the H-bonding net that supports the antioxidant features of the enzyme.
In this work we review the aggregation of variables method for discrete dynamical
systems. These methods consist of describing the asymptotic behaviour of a complex system
involving many coupled variables through the asymptotic behaviour of a reduced system
formulated in terms of a few global variables. We consider population dynamics models
including two processes acting at different time scales. Each process has associated a map
describing its effect along its specific time unit. The discrete system encompassing both
processes is expressed in the slow time scale composing the map associated to the slow one
and the k-th iterate of the map associated to the fast one. In the linear case a result is
stated showing the relationship between the corresponding asymptotic elements of both
systems, initial and reduced. In the nonlinear case, the reduction result establishes the
existence, stability and basins of attraction of steady states and periodic solutions of
the original system with the help of the same elements of the corresponding reduced
system. Several models looking over the main applications of the method to populations
dynamics are collected to illustrate the general results.
Heat stress (HS) jeopardizes livestock health and productivity and both may in part be mediated by reduced intestinal integrity. Dietary zinc improves a variety of bowel diseases, which are characterized by increased intestinal permeability. Study objectives were to evaluate the effects of supplemental zinc amino acid complex (ZnAA) on intestinal integrity in heat-stressed growing pigs. Crossbred gilts (43±6 kg BW) were ad libitum fed one of three diets: (1) control (ZnC; 120 ppm Zn as ZnSO4; n=13), (2) control+100 ppm Zn as ZnAA (Zn220; containing a total of 220 ppm Zn; n=14), and (3) control+200 ppm Zn as ZnAA (Zn320; containing a total of 320 ppm Zn; n=16). After 25 days on their respective diets, all pigs were exposed to constant HS conditions (36°C, ∼50% humidity) for either 1 or 7 days. At the end of the environmental exposure, pigs were euthanized and blood and intestinal tissues were harvested immediately after sacrifice. As expected, HS increased rectal temperature (P⩽0.01; 40.23°C v. 38.93°C) and respiratory rate (P⩽0.01; 113 v. 36 bpm). Pigs receiving ZnAA tended to have increased rectal temperature (P=0.07; +0.27°C) compared with ZnC-fed pigs. HS markedly reduced feed intake (FI; P⩽0.01; 59%) and caused BW loss (2.10 kg), but neither variable was affected by dietary treatment. Fresh intestinal segments were assessed ex vivo for intestinal integrity. As HS progressed from days 1 to 7, both ileal and colonic transepithelial electrical resistance (TER) decreased (P⩽0.05; 34% and 22%, respectively). This was mirrored by an increase in ileal and colonic permeability to the macromolecule dextran (P⩽0.01; 13- and 56-fold, respectively), and increased colonic lipopolysaccharide permeability (P⩽0.05; threefold) with time. There was a quadratic response (P⩽0.05) to increasing ZnAA on ileal TER, as it was improved (P⩽0.05; 56%) in Zn220-fed pigs compared with ZnC. This study demonstrates that HS progressively compromises the intestinal barrier and supplementing ZnAA at the appropriate dose can improve aspects of small intestinal integrity during severe HS.
The influence of the substrate on composition and CuPt-type spontaneous order of MOVPE lattice matched InGaP/GaAs layers was studied. The study was carried out by microRaman and microphotoluminescence. The order was determined by the band gap, while the Raman parameters were also contributed by the surface topography that was also related to the type of substrate. The spontaneous order increases with Si- doping of the substrates. Doping the layers with Zn randomises the alloy.
A high resolution spatially resolved photocurrent system to study bulk non homogeneities in semiinsulating GaAs and InP is described. [Fe+3] distribution is studied in InP. In undoped LEC semiinsulating GaAs a study of the relation of Photoquenching (PQ) and Enhanced Photocurrent (EPC) to the dislocation atmosphere is done.
LiNbO3 is a relevant material to prepare a number of electrooptic (bulk and waveguide) devices. Moreover, its photorefractive (PR) behavior is also potentially useful for optoelectronic applications such as holographic storage and coherent optical amplification. For a full understanding and optimization of the PR effect, the lattice location and valence state of the active impurities is essential, since they determine the ionization and trapping capabilities for free carriers. So far, the information obtained with spectroscopic techniques (EPR, ENDOR, Mossbauer, optical) is not conclusive, except manganese and possible iron.
Fe- doped InP is studied by a spatially resolved photocurrent technique, probing electronic transitions related to the iron impurity levels. This scanning technique allows to get information on bulk homogeneity regarding to the electrically active iron impurity distribution. The presence of doping growth striations is revealed with a high sensitivity. Also results about the local photocurrent at the Cottrell atmospheres of the dislocations are shown. The role played by other defect levels in the photocurrent contrast is also discussed.
Iridium silicides formation by rapid thermal annealing (RTA) under vacuum at several temperatures in the range of 350 to 650°C has been investigated. The substrates and the silicide films were analyzed by Rutherford backscattering spectrometry (RBS) and Auger electron spectroscopy (AES). At 350°C, no distinguishable phase was detected for 240 seconds of annealing time. At 400°C, for processing time up to 45 seconds only Ir1Si1 was formed, for longer processing time Ir1Si1.75 was formed too. At higher temperatures even for very short processing time, Ir1Si1.75 was formed. Ir, Ir1Si1 and Ir1Si1.75 were present simultaneously if the iridium film was thick enough and the processing time was long enough too. For thin iridium layers, the Ir1Si1 formed was totally converted to Ir1Si1.75, if the annealing time was long enough. Formation rates were observed to be three to five orders of magnitude faster than the reported for furnace annealing.
Ion-beam/channeling data for the lattice location of Ti, Hf, Er and Nd in LiNbO3 and LiNbO3: Mg are presented. These impurities are relevant in relation to waveguide and integrated optics devices. It is shown that co-doping with Mg markedly influences the lattice location observed in LiNbO3. The amorphization and recrystalization process following Hf implantation and annealing are also discussed.