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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.
The fraction of organic matter present affects the fragmentation behavior of sialoliths; thus, pretherapeutic information on the degree of mineralization is relevant for a correct selection of lithotripsy procedures. This work proposes a methodology for in vivo characterization of salivary calculi in the pretherapeutic context. Sialoliths were characterized in detail by X-ray computed microtomography (μCT) in combination with atomic emission spectroscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, and transmission electron microscopy. Correlative analysis of the same specimens was performed by in vivo and ex vivo helical computed tomography (HCT) and ex vivo μCT. The mineral matter in the sialoliths consisted essentially of apatite (89 vol%) and whitlockite (11 vol%) with average density of 1.8 g/cm3. In hydrated conditions, the mineral mass prevailed with 53 ± 13 wt%, whereas the organic matter, with a density of 1.2 g/cm3, occupied 65 ± 10% of the sialoliths’ volume. A quantitative relation between sialoliths mineral density and X-ray attenuation is proposed for both HCT and μCT.
Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs) are sites identified as being globally important for the conservation of bird populations on the basis of an internationally agreed set of criteria. We present the first review of the development and spread of the IBA concept since it was launched by BirdLife International (then ICBP) in 1979 and examine some of the characteristics of the resulting inventory. Over 13,000 global and regional IBAs have so far been identified and documented in terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems in almost all of the world’s countries and territories, making this the largest global network of sites of significance for biodiversity. IBAs have been identified using standardised, data-driven criteria that have been developed and applied at global and regional levels. These criteria capture multiple dimensions of a site’s significance for avian biodiversity and relate to populations of globally threatened species (68.6% of the 10,746 IBAs that meet global criteria), restricted-range species (25.4%), biome-restricted species (27.5%) and congregatory species (50.3%); many global IBAs (52.7%) trigger two or more of these criteria. IBAs range in size from < 1 km2 to over 300,000 km2 and have an approximately log-normal size distribution (median = 125.0 km2, mean = 1,202.6 km2). They cover approximately 6.7% of the terrestrial, 1.6% of the marine and 3.1% of the total surface area of the Earth. The launch in 2016 of the KBA Global Standard, which aims to identify, document and conserve sites that contribute to the global persistence of wider biodiversity, and whose criteria for site identification build on those developed for IBAs, is a logical evolution of the IBA concept. The role of IBAs in conservation planning, policy and practice is reviewed elsewhere. Future technical priorities for the IBA initiative include completion of the global inventory, particularly in the marine environment, keeping the dataset up to date, and improving the systematic monitoring of these sites.
This study aimed to evaluate the risk factors for tuberculosis (TB) treatment default in a priority city for disease control in Brazil. A cohort of TB cases diagnosed from 2008 to 2009 was followed up from patients’ entry into three outpatient sites, in Juiz de Fora, Minas Gerais (Brazil), until the recording of the outcomes. Drug addiction, alcoholism and treatment site appeared to be independently associated with default. Current users of crack as the hardest drug (odds ratio (OR) 12·25, 95% confidence interval (CI) 3·04–49·26) were more likely to default than other hard drug users (OR 5·67, 95% CI 1·34–24·03), former users (OR 4·12, 95% CI 1·11–15·20) and those not known to use drugs (reference group). Consumers at high risk of alcoholism (OR 2·94, 95% CI 1·08–7·99) and those treated in an outpatient hospital unit (OR 8·22, 95% CI 2·79–24·21%) also were more likely to default. Our results establish that substance abuse was independently associated with default. National TB programmes might be more likely to achieve their control targets if they include interventions aimed at improving adherence and cure rates, by diagnosing and treating substance abuse concurrently with standard TB therapy.
Phosphorus and calcium deficiency in horses represents an important factor responsible for the low equine production in Brazil. The basic mechanisms of P and Ca metabolism differ substantially among species. Regulation of P and Ca metabolism is less well understood in horses than in others species. With the use of the isotopic dilution technique is possible to evaluate the metabolism for this mineral. The aim of the present experiment was to study the effect of different Ca levels in the diet on P and Ca metabolism in horses.
In Northeast of Portugal sheep is reared under extensive systems. These systems frequently involve expressive body composition changes due to the storing and mobilization of body reserves, mainly fat. Body condition score (BCS) is the most common way to assess these reserves and the nutritional status of ewes. However due to the subjective nature of BCS, their quality has been questioned and other alternatives has been studied. For cattle there are some studies that use the real time ultrasonography (RTU) to evaluate the BCS (Schwager-Suter et al., 2000; Broring et al., 2003), but this approach was not tested in ewes. Therefore the aim of the present study was to establish a relationship between the BCS and ultrasound subcutaneous fat (SF) and Longissimus thoracis et lumborum muscle (LM) measurements.
With the use of radioactive calcium (Ca) it is possible to study the kinetic aspects of Ca metabolism. Research in Brazil has been carried out to study mineral metabolism in sheep and cattle, especially phosphorus, by using isotope dilution techniques. However, there is very little information on Ca metabolism in sheep. The objective of this experiment was to study the effects of various Ca sources on the Ca metabolism in sheep by using isotope and balance techniques.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of dietary lysine on performance, protein deposition and respiratory chain gene expression in male broilers. A total of 252 Cobb 500 broilers were distributed, in a completely randomized design, into four treatments with seven replicates of nine birds per experimental unit. Experimental treatments consisted of diets based on corn and soybean meal, with four levels of digestible lysine: 1.016%, 1.099%, 1.182% and 1.265%. The increase in the level of digestible lysine in the diet provided higher weight gains, feed efficiency and body protein deposition. Birds fed the lowest level of dietary lysine (1.016%) showed a lower expression of genes such as NADH dehydrogenase subunit I (ND1), cytochrome b (CYTB) and cytochrome c oxidase subunits I (COX I), II (COX II) and III (COX III), displaying the worst performance and body protein deposition. This demonstrates the relationship existing between the expression of the evaluated genes and the performance responses. In conclusion, results indicate that broilers fed diets with higher levels of digestible lysine have increased messenger RNA expression of some genes coded in the mitochondrial electron transport chain (ND1, CYTB, COX I, COX II and COX III). It may be stated that diets with proper levels of digestible lysine, within the ‘ideal protein’ concept, promote the expression of genes, which increases the mitochondrial energy, thereby fostering body protein deposition and the performance of broilers in the starter phase.
The objective of the current study was to evaluate the utilization of calcium (Ca) and phosphorus (P) in growing sheep consuming increasing amounts of dicalcium phosphate. Eighteen growing sheep, aged 8 months, were fed a basal diet supplemented with 0, 12·5 and 25 g of dicalcium phosphate/day. During the experiment, animals were injected intravenously with 7·4 MBq of 45Ca and 32P and samples of plasma, faeces and urine were subsequently taken daily for 1 week after injection. Rumen fluid was sampled on days 4–7 after injection. Specific radioactivity in plasma and in faeces were used to determine true absorption of Ca and P, whereas plasmatic and ruminal specific radio-activities were used to determine endogenous P flow into the rumen and turnover time of rumen P. Increasing dicalcium phosphate intake led to linear increases in faecal excretion of endogenous Ca and P (P<0·05), suggesting that surpluses of ingested Ca and P were voided through secretion to the gut. True absorption coefficients for 0, 12·5 and 25 g of dicalcium phosphate ingested daily were 0·54, 0·41 and 0·38 for Ca, and 0·66, 0·62 and 0·64 for P, respectively. Flows of endogenous P into the rumen increased linearly and ruminal turnover time of P decreased linearly (P<0·01) as P intake was increased. Concentrations of Ca and P in bone were not affected by the increased amounts of these minerals ingested (P<0·05). In conclusion, increasing ingestion of dicalcium phosphate increases faecal excretion of Ca and P, thus decreasing the efficiency of utilization of both minerals. Moreover, increasing levels of dietary P increased endogenous P excretion, contributing to the amount of P disposed of in the environment.
Octafunctionalized silsesquioxanes [(RsiO1.5)8, cubes] offer potential as rigid, hard nanoplatforms to which a variety of organofunctional groups can be appended. Crosslinking these groups leads to novel organic/inorganic nanocomposites that consist primarily of interfacial interactions. These materials can be 100% interphase. We present efforts to develop nanocomposite materials that consist of both continuous and discontinuous organic/inorganic phases. We then discuss methods of probing the properties of these materials.
The presence of bats in caves, attics, ceilings, and roofs is important epidemiologically as they can increase the chance of human acquisition of pathogens, including Histoplasma capsulatum. Brazilian urban areas contain many species of bats, especially insectivorous bats, that are attracted by a wide range of readily available food and shelter. From August 2003 to December 2008, we analysed 2427 bats in the São Paulo State region. Homogenates of the livers and spleens of the bats were plated on specific medium to identify animals infected with H. capsulatum. The fungus was isolated from 87 bats (3·6%). The infected bats were identified as Molossus molossus (74), Nyctinomops macrotis (10), Tadarida brasiliensis (1), Molossus rufus (1) and Eumops glaucinus (1), all insectivorous species. The data presented are a relevant contribution to the epidemiology of H. capsulatum in densely populated urban areas such as in São Paulo State, especially since histoplasmosis is not included in the mandatory disease notification system.
Sodium montmorillonite (MMT) was organically modified with hexadecyltrimethyl-ammonium ions and subsequently treated with dichlorosilanes and water, aimed at in situ silane condensation polymerization and modification of clay platelets by polysiloxane coatings. Dimethyldichlorosilane, methylphenyldichlorosilane, and diphenyldichlorosilane were used to produce three siloxane-modified organoclays. The structure and morphology of the clay materials were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), thermal gravimetric studies (TG) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). XRD results showed that the silanes were effectively polymerized in the clay galleries, forming a nanocomposite of intercalated particles. A fraction of the siloxane formed is bonded to the clay surface by covalent siloxane bonds. Strong structural differences in both morphology and thermal stability of the materials may occur when changing methyl or phenyl groups in the siloxane structure. The formation mechanism of these intercalated nanocomposite particles is considered. Finally, these modified clays were incorporated in an olefin polymer and morphological analyses using transmission electron microscope (TEM) images were carried out.
Chagas' disease is a debilitating but comparatively neglected illness that affects about 15 million people. There is an urgent need to develop new, more effective, and less-toxic compounds. In this study, we assessed the in vitro anti-trypanosomal activity of the sesquiterpene elatol from the Brazilian red seaweed Laurencia dendroidea. We used electron microscopy to evaluate the effect of elatol on the morphology and ultrastructure of the parasite. Elatol showed a dose-dependent effect against the epimastigote, trypomastigote, and amastigote forms, with IC50 values of 45·4, 1·38, and 1·01 μm, respectively. Observation of treated intracellular amastigotes by light microscopy demonstrated a total elimination of the infection at a dose of 3·0 μm. In addition, the compound did not affect the red blood cells, and the CC50 value for LLCMK2 cells was 27·0 μm. Transmission and scanning electron micrographs showed aberrant-shaped cells and breaks in the plasma membrane, prominent swollen mitochondria, and extensive formation of cytoplasmic vacuoles in all the forms. This is the first report of the anti-trypanosomal effect of the sesquiterpene elatol.
The objective of the current study was to apply the Vitti–Dias model to investigate phosphorus (P) metabolism in growing pigs fed a diet supplemented with microbial phytase. The basal diet contained maize, defatted rice bran, vegetable oil, soybean meal, limestone, salt and a vitamin and mineral mix. There was no inorganic P in the diet and phytase was added at levels of 253, 759, 1265 and 1748 phytase units (PU)/kg of feed. The compartmental model included four pools of P: (1) gut lumen, (2) plasma, (3) bone and (4) soft tissue. A single dose of 32P was administered, and specific radioactivity was measured in plasma, faeces, bone and soft tissue (muscle, heart, liver and kidney) at different times post-dosing for calculation of P flows between pools. Total P absorbed showed a negative relationship with total P excreted in faeces and was strongly correlated with bone P retention, suggesting that absorbed P was channelled to bone to address its physiological growth. Average efficiency of metabolic utilization of absorbed P was estimated to be 0·94, with 0·52 g/g of total net P balance being accreted in bone and the rest in soft tissue (including muscle and some vital organs). The Vitti–Dias model provided suitable representation of P interchange between compartments (in particular, flows between gut and plasma and partitioning of available P between bone and soft tissue), resulting in estimates of P flows comparable with values calculated from balance data.
Inflammation is a stereotypical physiological response to infections and tissue injury; it initiates pathogen killing as well as tissue repair processes and helps to restore homeostasis at infected or damaged sites. Acute inflammatory reactions are usually self-limiting and resolve rapidly, due to the involvement of negative feedback mechanisms. Thus, regulated inflammatory responses are essential to remain healthy and maintain homeostasis. However, inflammatory responses that fail to regulate themselves can become chronic and contribute to the perpetuation and progression of disease. Characteristics typical of chronic inflammatory responses underlying the pathophysiology of several disorders include loss of barrier function, responsiveness to a normally benign stimulus, infiltration of inflammatory cells into compartments where they are not normally found in such high numbers, and overproduction of oxidants, cytokines, chemokines, eicosanoids and matrix metalloproteinases. The levels of these mediators amplify the inflammatory response, are destructive and contribute to the clinical symptoms. Various dietary components including long chain ω-3 fatty acids, antioxidant vitamins, plant flavonoids, prebiotics and probiotics have the potential to modulate predisposition to chronic inflammatory conditions and may have a role in their therapy. These components act through a variety of mechanisms including decreasing inflammatory mediator production through effects on cell signaling and gene expression (ω-3 fatty acids, vitamin E, plant flavonoids), reducing the production of damaging oxidants (vitamin E and other antioxidants), and promoting gut barrier function and anti-inflammatory responses (prebiotics and probiotics). However, in general really strong evidence of benefit to human health through anti-inflammatory actions is lacking for most of these dietary components. Thus, further studies addressing efficacy in humans linked to studies providing greater understanding of the mechanisms of action involved are required.
The objective of the present study was to examine the effect of the level of phosphorus (P) intake on ruminal P kinetics in sheep. Twelve Santa Inês male sheep (average body weight 36 kg) were fed a basal diet consisting of roughage (coast cross hay), concentrate mixture (cassava meal, soya bean meal and urea) and a mineral premix. The treatments consisted of the basal diet supplemented with 0, 1·5, 3 or 4·5 g/kg dry matter (DM) of mono-ammonium phosphate to provide increasing P levels representing treatments T0, T1, T2 and T3, respectively. The P content of experimental diets was 1·5; 2·0; 2·5 and 3·0 g P/kg DM, and considered highly deficient, deficient, adequate and in excess, respectively, compared with standard recommended allowances. Animals were injected with 32P and thereafter samples of blood were collected over 7 days, while samples of rumen fluid and saliva were collected 4 and 6 days after injection. Phosphorus intake affected P concentration in ruminal fluid, whereas P concentration in saliva was not affected. The values for P turnover time in the rumen were 1·42, 1·23, 1·18 and 1·04 days, whereas values of endogenous P entry into the rumen were 1·05, 1·37, 1·53 and 1·91 g/day for T0, T1, T2 and T3, respectively, both affected by P intake. The specific activity (SA) of P in saliva, rumen and plasma were also all affected by P intake. The relationship between saliva and rumen SA emphasizes that most endogenous P in the rumen came from saliva. The possibility of an extra P source besides saliva contributing to endogenous P in the rumen is discussed. It is concluded from the results that, regardless of P intake, the flow of endogenous P into the rumen contributes to ensure a minimum supply of this essential element, which may be important in matching the requirements of the rumen microbes.
This study investigated the effect of environmental variables such as soil class, soil water availability, topography and slope on spatial distribution patterns of tree species in a Brazilian Seasonal Semideciduous Forest area. Floristic and structural data for a tree community were obtained by sampling 100 plots 10 × 10 m in which every tree with trunk diameter (dbh) ⩾ 4.77 cm at 130 cm above ground level was sampled. The area under study showed a marked soil gradient, directly associated with the topography: flat hilltops with Al3+-rich Dystric Latosols give way to steep colluvial slopes with shallower and more Dystric Cambic Latosols without Al3+, changing over, at the bottom of the hollows, to Epieutrophic Cambisols richer in nutrients. The floristic-sociological parameters analysed for the soil habitats did not differ statistically from each other. The diversity and equability indices were 3.6 and 0.84, 3.48 and 0.85, 3.49 and 0.84 for the Dystric Latosol, Dystric Cambic Latosol and Epieutrophic Cambisol, respectively. The soil variables (related to the fertility and texture) and the soil water regime (drainage) were probably the principal factors determining the spatial distribution patterns of tree species in the forest.