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This study aimed to analyse the spatial–temporal distribution of COVID-19 mortality in Sergipe, Northeast, Brazil. It was an ecological study utilising spatiotemporal analysis techniques that included all deaths confirmed by COVID-19 in Sergipe, from 2 April to 14 June 2020. Mortality rates were calculated per 100 000 inhabitants and the temporal trends were analysed using a segmented log-linear model. For spatial analysis, the Kernel estimator was used and the crude mortality rates were smoothed by the empirical Bayesian method. The space–time prospective scan statistics applied the Poisson's probability distribution model. There were 391 COVID-19 registered deaths, with the majority among ⩾60 years old (62%) and males (53%). The most prevalent comorbidities were hypertension (40%), diabetes (31%) and cardiovascular disease (15%). An increasing mortality trend across the state was observed, with a higher increase in the countryside. An active spatiotemporal cluster of mortality comprising the metropolitan area and neighbouring cities was identified. The trend of COVID-19 mortality in Sergipe was increasing and the spatial distribution of deaths was heterogeneous with progression towards the countryside. Therefore, the use of spatial analysis techniques may contribute to surveillance and control of COVID-19 pandemic.
Childhood trauma (CT) is known to impact brain structure and function and is a major risk factor for most of the psychiatric conditions. However, there are few multimodal studies allowing an integrated perspective. Our goal was thus to study the effects of CT on the limbic network using multimodal MRI.
We obtained multimodal MRI (T1, diffusion weighted, and resting state fMRI) data from 55 healthy subjects. We performed correlational analyses between Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ) subscores and anatomo-functional measurements of the limbic network (hippocampal and amygdala volumes, functional connectivity between hippocampus or amygdala with ventromedial prefrontal cortex and fractional anisotropy (FA) in the Uncinate Fasciculus (UF).
Significant associations of CTQ subscores were found with changes in limbic anatomy, functional and structural connectivity. We observed a positive correlation between CTQ subscores and left amygdala volumes, negative correlations with right amygdala and hippocampus (bilateral) volumes as well negative correlations with left prefrontal-amygdala functional connectivity and with FA in right UF fibers.
The present study provides new evidences that childhood adversity may be associated with structure and connectivity of the limbic system. Future longitudinal studies may be valuable to further understand the timing effects of CT on the limbic structures and also to obtain a more precise insight about the relation among CT, limbic alterations and the etiology of psychiatric disorders.
Mephedrone is a synthetic cathinone derivative included in the class of “New-Novel Psychoactive Substances”. Synthetic cathinones are marketed as “bath salts” or “plant food” and gained notable popularity for similar effects to 4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, ecstasy), or amphetamines. Mephedrone is commonly consumed simultaneously with alcohol.
Objectives and aims
The aim of the present study was to evaluate the interactions between mephedrone and ethanol in humans.
Twelve healthy male, recreational users of psychostimulants participated as outpatients in four experimental sessions. They received a single oral dose of mephedrone (200 mg) and alcohol (0.8 g/kg), mephedrone placebo and alcohol (0.8 g/kg), mephedrone (200 mg) and placebo alcohol, and both placebos. Design was double-blind, double-dummy, randomized, cross-over and controlled with placebo. Study variables included: vital signs (blood pressure, heart rate, temperature, and pupil diameter), subjective effects (visual analogue scales-VAS, ARCI-49 item short form, and VESSPA questionnaire).
The combination produced an increase in the cardiovascular effects of mephedrone and induced more intense feeling of euphoria and well-being in comparison to mephedrone and alcohol. Mephedrone reduced the drunkenness and sedation produced by alcohol.
These results are similar to those obtained with the combination of other psychostimulants as amphetamines and MDMA. Abuse liability of the combination is greater that induced by mephedrone.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
To estimate the nutritional requirements of hair sheep, knowledge about the animal’s weight and its relationships with growth performances is essential. A study was carried with the objective to establish the relationships between BW, fasting BW (FBW), empty BW (EBW), average daily gain (ADG) and empty BW gain (EBWG) for hair sheep in growing and finishing phases in Brazilian conditions. Databases were obtained from 32 studies, for a total of 1145 observations; there were 3 sex classes (non-castrated male, castrated male and female) and 2 feeding systems (pasture and feedlot). The most representative breeds in the database were Santa Ines (n = 473), Morada Nova (n = 70) and Brazilian Somali (n = 47). The other animals in the database were crossbreeds (n = 555). The FBW (kg), EBW and EBWG (kg/day) were estimated according to linear regression. A random coefficient model was adopted, considering the study as a random effect and including the possibility of covariance between the slope and the intercept. The coefficients obtained from the linear regression of the FBW against the BW, EBW against the FBW and EBWG against the ADG did not differ between sex class (P > 0.05) and genotype (P > 0.05). The equations generated to estimate FBW from the BW, EBW from the FBW and EBWG from the ADG are as follows: FBW = −0.5470 (±0.2025) + 0.9313(±0.019) × BW, EBW = −1.4944 (±0.3639) + 0.8816 (±0.018) × FBW and EBWG = 0.906 (±0.019) × ADG, respectively. The low mean squared error values found in the cross-validation confirmed the reliability of these equations. Considering a sheep with a BW of 30 kg and a 100 g ADG, the estimated FBW, EBW and EBWG calculated using the generated equations are 27, 22.65 and 0.090 kg, respectively. In conclusion, the generated equations can be used in growing hair sheep. The validation procedure applied to the generated equations showed that its use for hair sheep seems to be appropriate.
To understand the production factors that affect conclusive parameters of sow herd performance can improve the use of the resources and profitability of farm. The objective of this study was to identify associations and quantify the effects of a set of factors related to piglet weight at weaning (PWW), kilograms of piglets weaned per sow per year (kgPWSY) and sow feed conversion (SFC). Data from 150 farms were collected, for a total study population of 135 168 sows, including gilt replacement, breeding (mating), gestation and farrowing/lactation phases. A questionnaire focusing on reproductive performance, management, facilities, feeding, health and biosafety was administered. Multiple linear regression models were used to assess associations among factors with each of the three dependent variables. Increased duration of lactation was positively associated with PWW, kgPWSY and SFC. The increase in the number of live born pigs per litter was positively associated with kgPWSY and with SFC. Farms with higher PWW had farrowing room humidifiers, did not surgically castrate male piglets and used quaternary ammonia compounds for farrowing room disinfection. Farms with higher kgPWSY used lined ceilings in farrowing rooms and winter feeds with higher CP percentages in gestation; they also had more farrowings per sow per year. Sow feed conversion was worse in farms with partly slatted floors during gestation, in farms feeding lactating sows six times a day or ad libitum and farms with a higher sow-handler ratio. This study indicates that farms can increase PWW and kgPWSY and improve the SFC by changing one or more management, biosafety and feeding practices or facilities as well as by focusing on improving several performance parameters, particularly increasing the duration of lactation and the number of live born pigs per litter.
The current study aimed to select the strains of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) isolated from forage cactus plants and silage and assess their effects on silage fermentation and aerobic stability. Forty wild isolates from plant and cactus silage, classified as LAB, were evaluated for metabolite production and identified by 16S ribosomal DNA sequencing. These wild isolates were identified as Lactobacillus plantarum, Weissella cibaria, Weissella confusa and Weissella paramesenteroides and the LAB populations differed among the silage. The use of microbial inoculants did not influence gas or effluent losses in forage cactus silage. The silage inoculated with the microbial strain GP15 showed the highest number of LAB populations. The amounts of water-soluble carbohydrates (WSC) and ammonia nitrogen differed among the silage. The silage inoculated with the GP1 strain presented the highest WSC. Populations of enterobacteria and yeasts and moulds were below the minimum detection limit (<2.0 log cfu/g silage) in all the silage studied. The predominant action of inoculants was to maximize dry matter recovery of the silage, which could be the criterion adopted to select the strains of LAB for use as inoculants in Opuntia silage.
Since behavioural adjustments are an important line of defence against thermal stress, either due to their energy efficiency or to efficiency at preventing overheating, we aimed to evaluate whether broilers fed different maize particle sizes adjusted their behaviour to deal with heat stress challenges. At several times a day, the behaviour of 220 naked neck broilers was evaluated. These broilers were fed with isonutritive diets containing maize with different geometric mean diameters (GMD): 605 and 2280 μm. The thermal environment was monitored during the experiment. Panting and open wings were the only behaviours that showed differences between the times of day (P < 0.05). However, GMD showed a significant effect on feed intake and panting (P < 0.05). The interaction between GMD and time of day was significant only on panting (P < 0.05). Although no daily variation was observed, the highest feed intake was observed in broilers fed the diet containing maize with a GMD of 2280 μm. Less than 5% of the broilers were observed drinking water during the day. Open wings was the behavioural adjustment most used by broilers from 10:00 h, and remained elevated until 14:00 h for both GMDs. The birds panted more when fed the diet containing maize with a GMD of 2280 μm. In conclusion, broilers adjust their behaviour to dissipate excess body heat from the environment and as a result of feed intake. Coarse particles of maize in the diet increase the thermal challenge of broilers since the environment also provides stressful thermal conditions.
A mother's nutritional choices while pregnant may have a great influence on her baby's development in the womb and during infancy. There is evidence that what a mother eats during pregnancy interacts with her genes to affect her child's susceptibility to poor health outcomes including childhood obesity, pre-diabetes, allergy and asthma. Furthermore, after what an infant eats can change his or her intestinal bacteria, which can further influence the development of these poor outcomes. In the present paper, we review the importance of birth cohorts, the formation and early findings from a multi-ethnic birth cohort alliance in Canada and summarise our future research directions for this birth cohort alliance. We summarise a method for harmonising collection and analysis of self-reported dietary data across multiple cohorts and provide examples of how this birth cohort alliance has contributed to our understanding of gestational diabetes risk; ethnic and diet-influences differences in the healthy infant microbiome; and the interplay between diet, ethnicity and birth weight. Ongoing work in this birth cohort alliance will focus on the use of metabolomic profiling to measure dietary intake, discovery of unique diet–gene and diet–epigenome interactions, and qualitative interviews with families of children at risk of metabolic syndrome. Our findings to-date and future areas of research will advance the evidence base that informs dietary guidelines in pregnancy, infancy and childhood, and will be relevant to diverse and high-risk populations of Canada and other high-income countries.
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.
Replacing ground maize (GM) with steam-rolled maize typically increases feed efficiency in maize-silage-based diets. However, little is known about optimal carbohydrate supplementation in sugarcane silage-based diets. The objective was to quantify the effect of partially replacing GM with steam-rolled maize (SRM) or pelleted citrus pulp (PCP) at two concentrate levels (600 or 800 g/kg DM) in sugarcane-based diets on feeding behaviour, performance and blood parameters of finishing Nellore bulls. One hundred and eight young bulls were allocated to 36 pens in a randomized block design and fed for 84 d. Feeding 800 g/kg concentrate decreased time spending eating and ruminating, but improved G:F ratio, hot carcass weight and carcass dressing, compared to 600 g/kg concentrate. Bulls fed SRM and PCP diets with 600 g/kg concentrate had lower intake compared to GM. Both final weight and average daily gain decreased when bulls were fed PCP and SRM with 600 g/kg concentrate compared to GM diets, and when fed with PCP and 800 g/kg concentrate. Substituting PCP for GM decreased gain efficiency, carcass weight, rumination time and intake efficiency, indicating that the bulls consumed less feed per hour spent eating. Substituting SRM for GM increased backfat thickness and blood urea concentration. In conclusion, the replacement of GM with PCP reduces intake and enhances selection against large particles, decreasing rumination, performance and final carcass weight and dressing. Replacement of GM with SRM increases blood urea and fat deposition, with no impact on performance.
Inclusion of legume in grass pastures optimizes protein values of the forage and promotes improved digestibility. Therefore, we hypothesized that finishing steers on a novel combination of legumes and grass pasture would produce carcasses with acceptable traits when compared to carcasses from steers finished in feedlot systems. In this study, we evaluated the effects of finishing steers on three systems including: grazing legume–grass pasture containing oats, ryegrass, white and red clover (PAST), grazing PAST plus supplementation with whole corn grain (14 g/kg BW (SUPP)), and on a feedlot-confined system with concentrate only (28 g/kg BW, consisting of 850 g/kg of whole corn grain and 150 g/kg of protein–mineral–vitamin supplement (GRAIN)) on growth performance of steers, carcass traits and digestive disorders. Eighteen steers were randomly assigned to one of three dietary treatments and finished for 91 days. Data regarding pasture and growth performance were collected during three different periods (0 to 28, 29 to 56 and 57 to 91 days). Subsequently, steers were harvested to evaluate carcass traits, presence of rumenitis, abomasitis and liver abscesses. The legume–grass pasture provided more than 19% dry matter of protein. In addition, pasture of paddocks where steers were assigned to SUPP and PAST treatments showed similar nutritional quality. When compared to PAST, finishing on SUPP increased total weight gain per hectare, stocking rate, daily and total weight gains. The increase of weight gain was high to GRAIN than SUPP and PAST. Steers finished on GRAIN had high hot carcass weight, fat thickness and marbling score when compared to PAST. However, these attributes did not differ between GRAIN and SUPP. Abomasum lesions were more prevalent in steers finished on GRAIN when compared to PAST. Results of this research showed that it is possible to produce carcasses with desirable market weight and fat thickness by finishing steers on legume–grass pasture containing oats, ryegrass, white and red clover. Moreover, supplementing steers with corn when grazing on legume–grass pasture produced similar carcass traits when compared to beef fed corn only.
Due to the lack of basic information on water required by maize (Zea mays L.) in Brazil, the large amount of water applied usually exceeds crop requirements, wasting water and energy. In this study, we measured crop evapotranspiration (ETc) as evaporative heat flux from a centre pivot-irrigated maize plantation in Southern Brazil during winter and summer seasons, using the Bowen ratio method to evaluate how the degree of canopy-atmosphere coupling affects crop water needs and irrigation management. Irrigation requirements were determined by comparing ETc with reference evapotranspiration (ETo), derived from the Penman–Monteith equation and expressed as the ETc/ETo (Kc) ratio. In this study, the average Kc values obtained were 1.31 and 0.90 for the winter and summer, respectively. Using aerodynamic and canopy resistance measurements, the decoupling factor (Ω) was computed. Ω values tending to zero (0.09 and 0.20 for winter and summer, respectively) showed that strong coupling of maize plants to the atmosphere and sensitivity to high air temperatures, vapour pressure deficits and wind speed caused variations in Kc in relation to ETo ranges. During the experimental period, the Kc value ranged from 0.92 when the ETo exceeded 4 mm d−1 to 1.64 when the ETo was less than 2 mm d−1.
The study of the mechanical properties of nanostructured systems has gained importance in theoretical and experimental research in recent years. Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are one of the strongest nanomaterials found in nature, with Young’s Modulus (EY) in the order 1.25 TPa. One interesting question is about the possibility of generating new nanostructures with 1D symmetry and with similar and/or superior CNT properties. In this work, we present a study on the dynamical, structural, mechanical properties, fracture patterns and EY values for one class of these structures, the so-called pentagraphene nanotubes (PGNTs). These tubes are formed rolling up pentagraphene membranes (which are quasi-bidimensional structures formed by densely compacted pentagons of carbon atoms in sp3 and sp2 hybridized states) in the same form that CNTs are formed from rolling up graphene membranes. We carried out fully atomistic molecular dynamics simulations using the ReaxFF force field. We have considered zigzag-like and armchair-like PGNTs of different diameters. Our results show that PGNTs present EY ∼ 800 GPa with distinct elastic behavior in relation to CNTs, mainly associated with mechanical failure, chirality dependent fracture patterns and extensive structural reconstructions.
Urban slums provide suitable conditions for infestation by rats, which harbour and shed a wide diversity of zoonotic pathogens including helminths. We aimed to identify risk factors associated with the probability and intensity of infection of helminths of the digestive tract in an urban slum population of Rattus norvegicus. Among 299 rats, eleven species/groups of helminths were identified, of which Strongyloides sp., Nippostrongylus brasiliensis and, the human pathogen, Angiostrongylus cantonensis were the most frequent (97, 41 and 39%, respectively). Sex interactions highlighted behavioural differences between males and females, as eg males were more likely to be infected with N. brasiliensis where rat signs were present, and males presented more intense infections of Strongyloides sp. Moreover, rats in poor body condition had higher intensities of N. brasiliensis. We describe a high global richness of parasites in R. norvegicus, including five species known to cause disease in humans. Among these, A. cantonensis was found in high prevalence and it was ubiquitous in the study area – knowledge which is of public health importance. A variety of environmental, demographic and body condition variables were associated with helminth species infection of rats, suggesting a comparable variety of risk factors for humans.
Ureaplasma urealyticum and U. parvum have been associated with genital infections. The purpose of this study was to detect the presence of ureaplasmas and other sexually transmitted infections in sexually active women from Brazil and relate these data to demographic and sexual health, and cytokines IL-6 and IL-1β. Samples of cervical swab of 302 women were examined at the Family Health Units in Vitória da Conquista. The frequency of detection by conventional PCR was 76·2% for Mollicutes. In qPCR, the frequency found was 16·6% for U. urealyticum and 60·6% U. parvum and the bacterial load of these microorganisms was not significantly associated with signs and symptoms of genital infection. The frequency found for Trichomonas vaginalis, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Gardnerella vaginalis and Chlamydia trachomatis was 3·0%, 21·5%, 42·4% and 1·7%, respectively. Higher levels of IL-1β were associated with control women colonized by U. urealyticum and U. parvum. Increased levels of IL-6 were associated with women who exhibited U. parvum. Sexually active women, with more than one sexual partner in the last 3 months, living in a rural area were associated with increased odds of certain U. parvum serovar infection.
Recent evidence suggests that vitamin D deficiency is associated with CVD, impaired kidney function and proteinuria. To date, no study has evaluated these associations in renal transplant recipients (RTR) adjusting for body adiposity assessed by a ‘gold standard’ method. This study aimed to evaluate the vitamin D status and its association with body adiposity, CVD risk factors, estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) and proteinuria in RTR, living in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (a low-latitude city (22°54'10"S)), taking into account body adiposity evaluated by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA). This cross-sectional study included 195 RTR (114 men) aged 47·6 (sd 11·2) years. Nutritional evaluation included anthropometry and DXA. Risk factors for CVD were hypertension, diabetes mellitus, dyslipidaemia and the metabolic syndrome. eGFR was evaluated using the Chronic Kidney Disease Epidemiology Collaboration equation. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentration was used to define vitamin D status as follows: 10 % (n 19) had vitamin D deficiency (<16 ng/ml), 43 % (n 85) had insufficiency (16–30 ng/ml) and 47 % (n 91) had sufficiency (>30 ng/ml). Percentage of body fat (DXA) was significantly associated with vitamin D deficiency independently of age, sex and eGFR. Lower 25(OH)D was associated with higher odds of the metabolic syndrome and dyslipidaemia after adjustment for age, sex and eGFR, but not after additional adjustment for body fat. Hypertension and diabetes were not related to 25(OH)D. Lower serum 25(OH)D was associated with increasing proteinuria and decreasing eGFR even after adjustments for age, sex and percentage of body fat. This study suggests that in RTR of a low-latitude city hypovitaminosis D is common, and is associated with excessive body fat, decreased eGFR and increased proteinuria.
Clinical manifestations of acute bronchiolitis (AB) vary from minimal disease to severe respiratory failure. The response to respiratory viral infections is possibly influenced by genetic polymorphisms linked to the regulation of the inflammatory response. In the present study, we investigated whether interleukin-8 (IL-8) and interleukin-17 (IL-17) genetic variants are associated with the severity of AB. A group of Brazilian infants hospitalized with AB and a control group (infants with no or mild AB, without hospitalization) were genotyped for four IL-8/IL-17 variations. For replication, we studied an Argentinean population sample of infants with mild and severe AB. IL-8 polymorphism (rs 2227543) and IL-17 (rs2275913) variants showed significant associations with the severity of AB. The effect of the IL-8 variation could be replicated in the Argentinean sample. This finding suggests that IL-8 variations may influence the severity of AB in young infants. Further genetic association studies in low- or middle-income populations are necessary with the aim of expanding knowledge in this area.
Urban slum environments in the tropics are conducive to the proliferation and the spread of rodent-borne zoonotic pathogens to humans. Calodium hepaticum (Brancroft, 1893) is a zoonotic nematode known to infect a variety of mammalian hosts, including humans. Norway rats (Rattus norvegicus) are considered the most important mammalian host of C. hepaticum and are therefore a potentially useful species to inform estimates of the risk to humans living in urban slum environments. There is a lack of studies systematically evaluating the role of demographic and environmental factors that influence both carriage and intensity of infection of C. hepaticum in rodents from urban slum areas within tropical regions. Carriage and the intensity of infection of C. hepaticum were studied in 402 Norway rats over a 2-year period in an urban slum in Salvador, Brazil. Overall, prevalence in Norway rats was 83% (337/402). Independent risk factors for C. hepaticum carriage in R. norvegicus were age and valley of capture. Of those infected the proportion with gross liver involvement (i.e. >75% of the liver affected, a proxy for a high level intensity of infection), was low (8%, 26/337). Sixty soil samples were collected from ten locations to estimate levels of environmental contamination and provide information on the potential risk to humans of contracting C. hepaticum from the environment. Sixty percent (6/10) of the sites were contaminated with C. hepaticum. High carriage levels of C. hepaticum within Norway rats and sub-standard living conditions within slum areas may increase the risk to humans of exposure to the infective eggs of C. hepaticum. This study supports the need for further studies to assess whether humans are becoming infected within this community and whether C. hepaticum is posing a significant risk to human health.