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Tick-borne diseases (TBDs) can sometimes cause severe symptoms and lead to hospitalisation, but they often go unnoticed in the Emergency Department (ED). The aim of this study was twofold: (i) to describe the profile of patients hospitalised by TBDs; and (ii) to evaluate the data collected in the medical records from the ED in order to analyse their potential clinical consequences. A total of 84 cases that included all TBD diagnoses registered in the ED records were identified and analysed. These corresponded to all the hospitalisations by TBDs in the last 10 years (2009–2019) in two tertiary hospitals in Granada, Spain. Statistical analyses were made using RStudio. Coinciding with the absence of patient's report of exposure to ticks, 64.3% of TBDs were not suspected in the ED. Intensive care unit admission was required in 8.3% of cases, and the mortality rate was 2.4%. Non-suspected cases showed longer hospital stay (P < 0.001), treatment duration (P = 0.02) and delay in the initiation of antibiotic treatment (P < 0.001). Our findings indicate that symptoms associated with TBDs are highly non-specific. In the absence of explicit information related to potential tick exposure, TBDs are not initially suspected. As a consequence, elective treatment administration is delayed and hospitalisation time is prolonged. In conclusion, our results highlight the importance of addressing potential exposure to ticks during the ED contact with patients presenting with febrile syndrome.
There is a long history of exploitation of the South American river turtle Podocnemis expansa. Conservation efforts for this species started in the 1960s but best practices were not established, and population trends and the number of nesting females protected remained unknown. In 2014 we formed a working group to discuss conservation strategies and to compile population data across the species’ range. We analysed the spatial pattern of its abundance in relation to human and natural factors using multiple regression analyses. We found that > 85 conservation programmes are protecting 147,000 nesting females, primarily in Brazil. The top six sites harbour > 100,000 females and should be prioritized for conservation action. Abundance declines with latitude and we found no evidence of human pressure on current turtle abundance patterns. It is presently not possible to estimate the global population trend because the species is not monitored continuously across the Amazon basin. The number of females is increasing at some localities and decreasing at others. However, the current size of the protected population is well below the historical population size estimated from past levels of human consumption, which demonstrates the need for concerted global conservation action. The data and management recommendations compiled here provide the basis for a regional monitoring programme among South American countries.
Selective solar absorbers comprised of plasmonic materials offer great flexibility in design along with a highly promising optical performance. However, the nanopattern generation, typically done with electron beam writing, is a very time-intensive process. In this work, we present a fast, scalable, and flexible method for the fabrication of plasmonic materials by the combination of a deposition mask prepared by nanoimprint lithography and thin film deposition by magnetron sputtering. The fabrication process was first performed on silicon wafer substrates using AFM and SEM measurements to calibrate the deposition time, determine maximal deposition height, and characterize samples. Afterwards, the process was transferred to polished Inconel NiCr-alloy substrates used in high temperature solar absorbers. To investigate the adhesion properties of the nanostructure on the substrate, two different deposition methods were investigated: DC magnetron sputtering and High Power Impulse Magnetron Sputtering (HiPIMS).
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.
Control of fire was a hallmark of developing human cognition and an essential technology for the colonisation of cooler latitudes. In Europe, the earliest evidence comes from recent work at the site of Cueva Negra del Estrecho del Río Quípar in south-eastern Spain. Charred and calcined bone and thermally altered chert were recovered from a deep, 0.8-million-year-old sedimentary deposit. A combination of analyses indicated that these had been heated to 400–600°C, compatible with burning. Inspection of the sediment and hydroxyapatite also suggests combustion and degradation of the bone. The results provide new insight into Early Palaeolithic use of fire and its significance for human evolution.
Influenza vaccination has been shown to be the most effective preventive strategy to reduce influenza-related morbidity and mortality in high-risk groups. Despite healthcare personnel (HCP) being considered part of such high-risk groups, their vaccination coverage is low in Europe. In January 2012, we distributed an 18-question survey regarding influenza vaccination to HCP at Gregorio Marañon Paediatric Hospital, in Madrid, Spain. After we documented that only ~30% of HCP were vaccinated an educational programme was implemented in October 2012 before the next influenza season. In January 2013, the same survey delivered again to all HCP documented a significant increase in vaccination rates (from 30% to 40%, P = 0·007) mainly among physicians and for patients' protection. In summary we found that a simple and inexpensive educational programme significantly improved the uptake of influenza vaccination in HCP in our centre. Nevertheless, vaccination rates remained low, and broader and updated campaigns are needed to overcome perception barriers.
This paper focus on evaluating the ability to use Mexican fly ash (FA) and copper slag (CS) to produce alkali cements (0% OPC) or hybrid cements (20% OPC + 80% fly ash). The alkali activators used were two: 8 M NaOH solution for alkali cements and NaCl with sodium silicate for hybrid cement (HYC). Results of mechanical testing and characterization of the reaction products formed after 2 and 28 days are presented and discussed. Mechanical strength in some cases exceeded 20 MPa, at 2 days curing. The chemical characterization techniques used were X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM).
Dynamic mechanical properties of polypropylene (PP) and grafted polypropylene (PP-g-MA) composites reinforced with acetylated wheat straw fibers (WSF) is reported in this work. The materials were prepared with different fiber particle sizes (40, 80 and 140 U.S. mesh) and at different fiber contents (5, 10 and 15 wt.%). The PP and PP-g-MA composites, where anhydride maleic (MA) was used as coupling agent, were obtained using a twin-screw extruder; whereas an injection-molding machine molded the composite pellets into testing specimens. To observe the morphology of the composites, micrographs were taken with an optical microscope. The Dynamic mechanical properties were analyzed using a torsional rheometer. The morphological analysis showed a high porous structure somehow similar to foamed materials. The storage modulus (G′) increased by increasing the fiber content, and decreased with fiber particle sizes for the PP composites. Meanwhile, the use of the coupling agent additive promoted a modulus increase due to higher fiber-polymer interaction, from better adhesion and chemical bonds formation between the fibers-coupling agent-PP.
The dietary inflammatory index (DII) is a new tool to assess the inflammatory potential of the diet. In the present study, we aimed to determine the association between the DII and BMI, waist circumference and waist:height ratio (WHtR). We conducted a cross-sectional study of 7236 participants recruited into the PREvención con DIeta MEDiterránea trial. Information from a validated 137-item FFQ was used to calculate energy, food and nutrient intakes. A fourteen-item dietary screener was used to assess adherence to the Mediterranean diet (MeDiet). Sex-specific multivariable linear regression models were fitted to estimate differences (and 95 % CI) in BMI, waist circumference and WHtR across the quintiles of the DII. All nutrient intakes, healthy foods and adherence to the MeDiet were higher in the quintile with the lowest DII score (more anti-inflammatory values) except for intakes of animal protein, saturated fat and monounsaturated fat. Although an inverse association between the DII and total energy was apparent, the DII was associated with higher average BMI, waist circumference and WHtR after adjusting for known risk factors. The adjusted difference in the WHtR for women and men between the highest and lowest quintiles of the DII was 1·60 % (95 % CI 0·87, 2·33) and 1·04 % (95 % CI 0·35, 1·74), respectively. Pro-inflammatory scores remained associated with obesity after controlling for the effect that adherence to a MeDiet had on inflammation. In conclusion, the present study shows a direct association between the DII and indices of obesity, and supports the hypothesis that diet may have a role in the development of obesity through inflammatory modulation mechanisms.
Networks of protected areas are one of the main strategies used to address the biodiversity crisis. These should encompass as many species and ecosystems as possible, particularly in territories with high biological diversity, such as the Spanish arid zones. We produce a priority ranking of the arid zones of south-east Spain according to the rarity and richness of their characteristic flora and the level of endangerment. The resulting hierarchy shows that optimal zones for the preservation of the flora are located outside the network of protected areas. In particular, it is important to extend the network and encourage the creation of microreserves in the depression of the River Guadiana Menor (Granada), where there is least protection. This river valley is a particularly important arid site because of its unique flora and fauna, and palaeontological and archaeological findings.
The incidence of the metabolic syndrome (MetS) is increasing and lifestyle behaviours may play a role. The aim of the present study was to prospectively assess the association between changes in the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) and the incidence of the MetS and its components in a Spanish cohort of university graduates. We included 8157 participants initially free of the MetS and followed up during at least 6 years. SSB consumption was collected by a FFQ previously validated in Spain. The change in SSB consumption was calculated as the difference between SSB consumption at a 6-year follow-up and baseline consumption. The MetS was defined according to the International Diabetes Federation and the American Heart Association/National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute's new definition of the MetS that had harmonised previous definitions. The associations between changes in SSB intake and the MetS were examined using multiple logistic regression. We observed 361 incident cases of the MetS. Participants who increased their consumption of SSB (upper v. lower quintile) had a significantly higher risk of developing the MetS (adjusted OR 2·2, 95 % CI 1·4, 3·5; P for trend = 0·003). Similarly, they presented a significantly higher risk of developing high blood pressure (adjusted OR 1·6, 95 % CI 1·3, 2·1), central obesity (adjusted OR 2·3, 95 % CI 1·9, 2·7), hypertriacylglycerolaemia (adjusted OR 1·7, 95 % CI 1·1, 2·6) or impaired fasting glucose (adjusted OR 1·6, 95 % CI 1·1, 2·2). In conclusion, an increase in SSB consumption was associated with a higher risk of developing the MetS and other metabolic disorders after 6 years of follow-up in a Mediterranean cohort of university graduates.
To assess the long-term relationship between tree nut consumption and the risk of developing metabolic syndrome (MetS).
Nut consumption was collected using a validated 136-item FFQ. The MetS was defined according to the International Diabetes Federation and American Heart Association/National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute harmonizing definition. The association between nut consumption and MetS was assessed with logistic regression models adjusting for potential confounders. We compared the incidence of MetS between extreme categories of nut intake (≥2 servings/week v. never/almost never) after 6 years of follow-up.
The SUN Project (Seguimiento Universidad de Navarra, University of Navarra Follow-up) is a prospective cohort study, formed of Spanish university graduates. Information is gathered by mailed questionnaires collected biennially. Nut consumption and MetS information was collected by self-reported data.
Participants (n 9887) initially free of MetS or diabetes and followed up for a minimum of 6 years were included.
We observed 567 new cases of MetS during follow-up. Participants who consumed nuts ≥2 servings/week presented a 32 % lower risk of developing MetS than those who never/almost never consumed (adjusted OR = 0·68, 95 % CI 0·50, 0·92). The inverse association was stronger among participants who were health professionals.
Nut consumption was significantly associated with lower risk of developing MetS after a 6-year follow-up period in a cohort of Spanish graduates.
Differential gene expression analyses typically focus on departures across mathematical expectations (i.e. mean) from two or more groups of microarrays, without considering alternative patterns of departure. Nevertheless, recent studies in humans and great apes have suggested that differential gene expression could also be characterized in terms of heterogeneous dispersion patterns. This must be viewed as a very interesting genetic phenomenon clearly linked to the regulation mechanisms of gene transcription. Unfortunately, we completely lack information about the incidence and relevance of dispersion-specific differential gene expression in livestock species, although a specific Bayes factor (BF) for testing this kind of differential gene expression (i.e. within-probe heteroskedasticity) has been recently developed. Within this context, our main objective was to characterize the incidence of dispersion-specific differential gene expression in pigs and, if possible, providing the first evidence of this phenomenon in a livestock species. We evaluated dispersion-specific differential gene expression on ovary, uterus and hypophysis samples from 22 F2 Iberian × Meishan sows, where a total of 15 252 probes were interrogated. For each tissue, heteroskedasticity of probe-specific residual variances was evaluated by three pairwise comparisons involving three physiological stages, that is, heat, 15 days of pregnancy and 45 days of pregnancy. Between 2.9% and 37.4% of the analyzed probes provided statistical evidence of within-tissue across-physiological stages dispersion-specific differential gene expression (BF >1), and between 0.1% and 3.0% of them reported decisive evidence (BF >100). It is important to highlight that <8% of the heteroskedastic probes were also linked to differential gene expression in terms of departures among the probe-specific mathematical expectation of each physiological stage. This discarded the disturbance of scale effects in a high percentage of probes and suggested that probe-specific heteroskedasticity must be viewed as an independent phenomenon within the context of differential gene expression. As a whole, our results report a remarkable incidence of dispersion-specific differential gene expression across the whole genome of the pig, establishing a very interesting starting point for further studies focused on deciphering the genetic mechanisms underlying heteroskedasticity.
This study's focus is to evaluate a sexual coercion prevention program in adolescents. Using a beforeand- after design with both a treatment group (n = 93) and a control group (n = 76), an intervention of seven sessions was completed. Said sessions included such content as conceptualizing sexual freedom, sexual coercion and voluntary consent, analyzing different sexual coercion tactics and the contexts in which they occur, empathy toward the victim, and developing abilities to avoid risky situations. Other risk factors for coercive behavior and sexual victimization are explored as well, such as alcohol use, sexist attitudes and inadequate communication, among others. The intervention's results include a decrease in stereotypical beliefs about the opposite sex and increased empathy toward victims of sexual coercion. These changes were maintained with the passage of time. Also, in the treatment group, a more acute decline was observed in the proportion of young people engaging in sexually coercive behaviors. This article emphasizes the importance, necessity and efficacy of such interventions, and discusses and analyzes possible improvements to the program for its future implementation.
Although in recent years bone piezoelectricity has been normally neglected, lately a new interest has appeared to show the importance of bone piezoelectricity in wet bone's complex response to loading. Here we numerically study a problem, including a strain-adaptive bone remodelling and the piezoelectricity. Its variational formulation leads to a coupled system composed of two linear variational equations for displacements and electric potential, and a parabolic variational inequality for the apparent density. Fully discrete approximations are now introduced by using the finite element method to approximate spatial variable and the explicit Euler scheme to discretise time derivatives. Some a priori error estimates are proved and the linear convergence of the algorithm is deduced under additional regularity conditions. Finally, some one- and two-dimensional numerical simulations are described to show the accuracy of the proposed algorithm and the behaviour of the solution.
Manufacturing of high dimension steel rings impose several technological challenges. The lack of understanding of the principles and practices of quenching can result in inadequate hardness, excessive distortion or scrapping of costly machined components. This paper presents the results of an analytical study of the parameters of the quenching operation, among them the fluid dynamics of the agitation in the quenching media. Velocity components of the fluid were measured using an anemometer inside the quenching tank. Uniformity of agitation is compared with a Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulation. The CFD results revealed the impact of quench tank design, configuration and operation of impellers.