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The use of cactus cladodes in animal feed is well-established in semi-arid areas. The cactus Nopalea cochenillifera (L.) Salm-Dyck cladodes (Nopalea) have high acceptability amongst dairy cows and are resistant to carmine cochineal insects (Dactylopius opuntiae Cockerell), a problem in semi-arid regions, but in regions of prolonged drought, it has lower productivity compared with the cactus Opuntia stricta (Haw.) Haw cladodes (Opuntia), which is also resistant to the insect. The objective of the current study was to evaluate the intake and content of digestible material of dry matter (DM) and its components, feeding behaviour, microbial protein synthesis, nitrogen balance, blood parameters, performance and milk composition of Holstein cows fed a control diet, containing either Nopalea or Opuntia associated with different concentrate levels (225, 275, 325 and 375 g/kg). Ten cows with an initial average milk production of 20 ± 2.1 kg/day were distributed into a double 5 × 5 Latin square design. Diets containing 775 g roughage/kg and 225 g concentrate/kg promoted similar responses to the analysed variables regardless of the cactus cladode used, except for digestibility of neutral detergent fibre. Diets containing higher proportions of concentrate (325 and 375 g/kg) promoted greater DM intake and 3.5% fat-corrected milk yield. The diet containing Opuntia at 775:225 g/kg roughage:concentrate proportion is as effective as the control diet for Holstein cows producing 20 kg of milk/day. To promote greater milk production, higher proportions of concentrate should be added to diets using Opuntia.
Reducing the risk of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) transmission is still a public health priority. The development of effective control strategies relies on the quantification of the effects of prophylactic and therapeutic measures in disease incidence. Although several assays can be used to estimate HIV incidence, these estimates are limited by the poor performance of these assays in distinguishing recent from long-standing infections. To address such limitation, we have developed an assay to titrate p24-specific IgG3 antibodies as a marker of recent infection. The assay is based on a recombinant p24 protein capable to detect total IgG antibodies in sera using a liquid micro array and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Subsequently, the assay was optimised to detect and titrate anti-p24 IgG3 responses in a panel of sequential specimens from seroconverters over 24 months. The kinetics of p24-specific IgG3 titres revealed a transient peak in the 4 to 5-month period after seroconversion. It was followed by a sharp decline, allowing infections with less than 6 months to be distinguished from older ones. The developed assay exhibited a mean duration of recent infection of 144 days and a false-recent rate of ca. 14%. Our findings show that HIV-1 p24-specific IgG3 titres can be used as a tool to evaluate HIV incidence in serosurveys and to monitor the efficacy of vaccines and other transmission control strategies.
Monosodium l-glutamate (MSG)-induced obesity is a useful model for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) studies. However, there is limited data on its initiation and progression. Thus, this study aimed to characterize the onset of metabolic and histopathological features of NAFLD and its progression to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) in this model. To perform this study, Swiss mice pups were neonatally injected with MSG (4 g/kg/day, s.c.) or equiosmolar saline and followed up to 60, 120 or 180 days old. At each age, blood, liver, as well as periepididymal and retroperitoneal fat pads were collected for morphometric, biochemical and histological analyses, the later according to NAFLD activity score. MSG mice presented hypertriglyceridemia and central obesity at all ages, but peripheral insulin-resistance was verified only in 120- and 180-day-old mice. Hepatic total fat and triglycerides content were higher in MSG mice at all ages. Accordingly, histopathological analysis showed that 60-day-old MSG mice had microvesicular steatosis with occasional ballooning, which evolved into NASH from 120 days old. Retroperitoneal fat accumulation was the only variable to independently correlate with NAFLD activity total score upon multivariate analysis (R2=71.45%). There were no differences in IL-6 and TNF-α serum levels among groups. Overall, this study shows that NAFLD is a precocious outcome in MSG-obese mice, whereas the period comprised between 60 and 120 days old seems to be a crucial metabolic window for comprehending pathophysiological events involved in NAFLD-to-NASH progression in this model.
This study evaluated the impact of maternal vaccination against rubella on the levels of specific rubella IgG (rIgG) in 198 newborn cord sera samples. Detailed maternal vaccination data were available. Specific rIgG was measured using a commercial enzyme immunoassay. Most mothers (78.8%) had been vaccinated against rubella at least once in their lives. In 15 (7.6%) cord sera samples, the concentration of specific rIgG was below 11 IU/ml, which was classified as seronegative. Statistical analysis using multiple logistic regression (n = 198) showed that newborns of mothers born between 1986 and 1995, and those born to unvaccinated mothers, were more likely to be seronegative (odds ratio (ORs) 5.2 and 4.9, respectively, adjusted for sex and gestational age). For vaccinated mothers (n = 156), those born between 1986 and 1995 were more likely to have seronegative newborns (OR 11.5 adjusting for sex, gestational age and time since last vaccination). Mothers of the 15 (7.6%) seronegative newborns might have been susceptible to rubella during pregnancy. Checking the vaccination status therefore recommended.
The objective of the current research was to evaluate the fermentative characteristics of silage made with the upper third section of cassava (Manihot esculenta) plants with added condensed tannin levels of 0, 25, 50 and 75 g/kg dry matter (DM). The experimental design was a complete randomized design, with treatments arranged in a 4 × 7 factorial (tannin addition levels × days of ensiling). The loss of gas and the presence of moulds observed in the opening days had increased linearly. Fermentative characteristics were decreased by the addition of tannin. Acetic acid content showed a linear increase. Tannin levels had a quadratic effect on gas production at 28 days of ensiling. After 56 days, however, tannin levels had no significant effect on silage gas production. After 28 days of ensiling, the degradability of potentially degradable fraction ‘b’ demonstrated quadratic effect. The same occurred with the fractions ‘a’, ‘b’ which were undegradable after 56 days of ensiling. The addition of condensed tannin lengthened the fermentative stage and caused the silage to stabilize after 56 days of ensiling.
Licuri (Syagrus coronate) cake is a biodiesel by-product used in ruminant feed as a beneficial energy source for supplementation in managed pastures. The objective was to evaluate the performance, digestibility, nitrogen balance, blood metabolites, ingestive behavior and diet profitability of eight crossbred Holstein (3/4)×Gyr (5/8) multiparous cows (480±25 kg BW and 100 days milking) grazing and supplemented with licuri cake partially replacing ground corn and soybean meal in concentrate (0, 200, 400 and 600 g/kg in dry matter (DM)), distributed in an experimental duplicated 4×4 Latin square design. Licuri cake partially replacing ground corn and soybean meal increased (P<0.01) the intake and digestibility of ether extract and decreased the non-fiber carbohydrates; however, there were no influences on the intakes of DM, CP, NDF and total digestible nutrients (TDN). The digestibilities of DM, CP and NDF were not influenced by licuri cake addition. There was a decrease trend on TDN digestibility (P=0.08). Licuri cake replacing ground corn and soybean meal in concentrate did not affect the intake; fecal, urinary and mammary excretions; N balance; and triglycerides concentrations. However, the blood urea nitrogen (P=0.04) concentration decreased with the licuri cakes inclusion in cow supplementation. There was an increasing trend for serum creatinine (P=0.07). Licuri cake inclusion did not affect body condition score, production, yield, protein, lactose, total solids and solid non-fat contents of milk and Minas frescal cheese. There was a linear decrease in average daily weight gain (g/day). The milk fat concentration and cheese fat production (P<0.1) presented a linear increase with partial replacement of ground corn and soybean meal with licuri cakes. The addition of licuri cake did not alter the time spent feeding, ruminating or idling. There was an increasing trend in NDF feeding efficiency (P=0.09). The replacing of ground corn and soybean meal with licuri cake up to 600 g/kg decreased the concentrate cost by US$0.45/cow per day. Licuri cake replacing corn and soybeans (400 g/kg) in concentrate promoted a profit of US$0.07/animal per day. Licuri cake is indicated to concentrate the supplementation of dairy cows with average productions of 10 kg/day at levels up to 400 g/kg in the concentrate supplement because it provides an additional profit of US$0.07/animal per day and increased milk and Minas frescal cheese fat without negative effects on productive parameters.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of silicon application and administration of the phytohormone gibberellic acid on resistance of the corn plants to the fall armyworm (FAW), Spodoptera frugiperda, and their vegetative characteristics. We evaluated larval and pupal duration, survival and biomass, and adult longevity, malformation and fecundity of S. frugiperda after feeding on plant matter treated with silicon and/or gibberellic acid. The feeding preference of FAW first-instar larvae, the total leaf area consumed by the insects, and the vegetative parameters of corn plants were also evaluated. No significant differences were observed in the measured parameters of larval and pupal stages of S. frugiperda in response to silicon or gibberellic acid. In adult stage insects, the number of eggs per female was significantly reduced in insects derived from larvae fed plants treated with silicon or gibberellic acid. In a non-preference test, 48 h after release, caterpillars preferred control untreated plants and consumed less matter from plants that had received hormonal treatment (gibberellic acid). Gibberellic acid also altered the vegetative characteristics of plants, by increasing their height, shoot fresh and dry mass, and silicon content. We conclude that gibberellic acid can alter the vegetative characteristics and silicon uptake of corn plants, leading to a reduction in their consumption by S. frugiperda larvae and a decrease in female insect oviposition.
The present study investigated the impact of a western diet during gestation and lactation on the anthropometry, serum biochemical, blood pressure and cardiovascular autonomic control on the offspring. Male Wistar rats were divided into two groups according to their mother’s diet received: control group (C: 18% calories of lipids) and westernized group (W: 32% calories of lipids). After weaning both groups received standard diet. On the 60th day of life, blood samples were collected for the analysis of fasting glucose and lipidogram. Cardiovascular parameters were measured on the same period. Autonomic nervous system modulation was evaluated by spectrum analysis of heart rate (HR) and systolic arterial pressure (SAP). The W increased glycemia (123±2 v. 155±2 mg/dl), low-density lipoprotein (15±1 v. 31±2 mg/dl), triglycerides (49±1 v. 85±2 mg/dl), total cholesterol (75±2 v. 86±2 mg/dl), and decreased high-density lipoprotein (50±4 v. 38±3 mg/dl), as well as increased body mass (209±4 v. 229±6 g) than C. Furthermore, the W showed higher SAP (130±4 v. 157±2 mmHg), HR (357±10 v. 428±14 bpm), sympathetic modulation to vessels (2.3±0.56 v. 6±0.84 mmHg2) and LF/HF ratio (0.15±0.01 v. 0.7±0.2) than C. These findings suggest that a western diet during pregnancy and lactation leads to overweight associated with autonomic misbalance and hypertension in adulthood.
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.
In Portugal, the recommended age for the second dose of MMR (MMR2) was changed from 10–13 years to 5–6 years for those born in 1994 and afterwards. This study aimed to assess if MMR schedule and time elapsed from the last dose are associated with the concentration of rubella and mumps IgG antibodies. Three Portuguese birth cohorts (convenience samples) were selected for this study (66, 59 and 41 participants born respectively in 1990–1993, 1994–1995 and 2001–2003). Geometric mean concentrations (GMC) for mumps IgG were respectively 36, 30 and 38 RU/ml (P = 0·236) and for rubella IgG were 18, 20 and 17 IU/ml (P = 0·641). For both specific antibodies, no differences were observed with time since MMR2. Receiving MMR2 at 5–6 or 10–13 years was not associated with concentration of both antibodies. The GMC of rubella IgG was lower in males (P = 0·029). Taking into account previous evidence and the logistics needed to change vaccination schedules, it seems reasonable that sustaining very high coverage with two doses of MMR is currently the most pragmatic way to control mumps and rubella rather than any changes to the schedule.
Obesity and osteoporosis may have their origins in early postnatal life. This study was designed to evaluate whether flaxseed flour use during lactation period bears effect on body adiposity and skeletal structure of male rat pups at weaning. At birth, male Wistar rats were randomly assigned to control and experimental (FF) groups, whose dams were treated with control or flaxseed flour diet, respectively, during lactation. At 21 days of age, pups were weaned to assess body mass, length and composition by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. The animals were then sacrificed to carry out analysis of serum profile, intra-abdominal adipocyte morphology and femur characteristics. Differences were considered significant when P<0.05. The FF group displayed the following characteristics (P<0.05): higher body mass, length, bone mineral content, bone area and concentrations of osteoprotegerin, osteocalcin and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol; higher levels of stearic, α-linolenic, eicosapentaenoic and docosapentaenoic acids and lower levels of arachidonic acid and cholesterol; smaller adipocyte area; and higher mass, epiphysis distance, diaphysis width, maximal load, break load, resilience and stiffness of femur. Flaxseed flour intake during lactation period promoted adipocyte hypertrophy down-regulation and contributed to pup bone quality at weaning.
Close-in massive planets transfer angular momentum to their host stars and influence their rotation through the torques associated with the tides raised on the star by the planet. For a star hosting a hot Jupiter, the limit of distance below which tidal torques cannot be neglected grows from a ~0.04 to a ~0.07 AU as the mass of the planet grows from 0.5 to 4MJup.
Different dietary interventions have been identified as potential modifiers of adiponectin concentrations, and they may be influenced by lipid intake. We identified studies investigating the effect of dietary lipids (type/amount) on adiponectin concentrations in a systematic review with meta-analysis. A literature search was conducted until July 2013 using databases such as Medline, Embase and Scopus (MeSH terms: ‘adiponectin’, ‘dietary lipid’, ‘randomized controlled trials (RCT)’). Inclusion criteria were RCT in adults analysing adiponectin concentrations with modification of dietary lipids. Among the 4930 studies retrieved, fifty-three fulfilled the inclusion criteria and were grouped as follows: (1) total dietary lipid intake; (2) dietary/supplementary n-3 PUFA; (3) conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) supplementation; (4) other dietary lipid interventions. Diets with a low fat content in comparison to diets with a high-fat content were not associated with positive changes in adiponectin concentrations (twelve studies; pooled estimate of the difference in means: − 0·04 (95 % CI − 0·82, 0·74) μg/ml). A modest increase in adiponectin concentrations with n-3 PUFA supplementation was observed (thirteen studies; 0·27 (95 % CI 0·07, 0·47) μg/ml). Publication bias was found by using Egger's test (P= 0·01) and funnel plot asymmetry. In contrast, CLA supplementation reduced the circulating concentrations of adiponectin compared with unsaturated fat supplementation (seven studies; − 0·74 (95 % CI − 1·38, − 0·10) μg/ml). However, important sources of heterogeneity were found as revealed by the meta-regression analyses of both n-3 PUFA and CLA supplementation. Results of new RCT would be necessary to confirm these findings.
Obesity is characterised by chronic low-grade inflammation, and lycopene has been reported to display anti-inflammatory effects. However, it is not clear whether lycopene supplementation modulates adipokine levels in vivo in obesity. To determine whether lycopene supplementation can regulate adipokine expression in obesity, male Wistar rats were randomly assigned to receive a control diet (C, n 6) or a hyperenergetic diet (DIO, n 12) for 6 weeks. After this period, the DIO animals were randomised into two groups: DIO (n 6) and DIO supplemented with lycopene (DIO+L, n 6). The animals received maize oil (C and DIO) or lycopene (DIO+L, 10 mg/kg body weight (BW) per d) by oral administration for a 6-week period. The animals were then killed by decapitation, and blood samples and epididymal adipose tissue were collected for hormonal determination and gene expression evaluation (IL-6, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1), TNF-α, leptin and resistin). There was no detectable lycopene in the plasma of the C and DIO groups. However, the mean lycopene plasma concentration was 24 nmol in the DIO+L group. Although lycopene supplementation did not affect BW or adiposity, it significantly decreased leptin, resistin and IL-6 gene expression in epididymal adipose tissue and plasma concentrations. Also, it significantly reduced the gene expression of MCP-1 in epididymal adipose tissue. Lycopene affects adipokines by reducing leptin, resistin and plasma IL-6 levels. These data suggest that lycopene may be an effective strategy in reducing inflammation in obesity.
Several researchers have developed prediction equations to estimate the metabolisable energy (ME) of energetic and protein concentrate feedstuffs used in diets for broilers. The ME is estimated by considering CP, ether extract, ash and fibre contents. However, the results obtained using traditional regression analysis methods have been inconsistent and new techniques can be used to obtain better estimate of the feedstuffs’ energy value. The objective of this paper was to implement a multilayer perceptron network to estimate the nitrogen-corrected metabolisable energy (AMEn) values of the energetic and protein concentrate feeds, generally used by the poultry feed industry. The concentrate feeds were from plant origin. The dataset contains 568 experimental results, all from Brazil. This dataset was separated into two parts: one part with 454 data, which was used to train, and the other one with 114 data, which was used to evaluate the accuracy of each implemented network. The accuracy of the models was evaluated on the basis of their values of mean squared error, R2, mean absolute deviation, mean absolute percentage error and bias. The 7-5-3-1 model presented the highest accuracy of prediction. It was developed an Excel® AMEn calculator by using the best model, which provides a rapid and efficient way to predict the AMEn values of concentrate feedstuffs for broilers.
This study describes the structure of the arboreal plant community in a cerradão fragment located at the Serra de Caldas Novas State Park, Goiás, central Brazil. It also compares the collected data with information from 10 other cerradão sites on dystrophic and mesotrophic soils. All trees of 4.77 cm or more diameter at breast height, in twenty-five 20 m × 20 m plots, were surveyed. Soil samples were analysed to determine the availability of nutrients. The vegetation had a discontinuous canopy, with a high density of small and medium-sized trees, and the soil was classified as dystrophic according to nutrient availability. Under ordination using Detrended Correspondence Analysis, species characteristic of the study site, such as Sclerolobium paniculatum and Emmotum nitens, were positioned in the central portion, while cosmopolitan species formed distinct groups, separated along the two axes. The community showed a low level of similarity in comparison to cerradões reported in the literature in other parts of Brazil, having more than 50% similarity only with three geographically close sites.
In response to an alert due to epidemic gastroenteritis in children in a kindergarten, an outbreak investigation was carried out in a Portuguese municipality. The objectives were to establish an aetiological diagnosis, assess vaccine efficacy if possible, and to take corrective measures if necessary. The warden at the kindergarten was interviewed, and we visited the premises. The overall attack rate was 11·4% and most cases were mild. Stool samples from three symptomatic children were collected and screened for the presence of noroviruses, rotaviruses and adenoviruses. High vaccination coverage against rotaviruses was recorded in children aged <2 years. We initially thought that noroviruses and rotaviruses were more likely to have been the aetiological cause of the disease, but the outbreak was caused by infection with adenovirus 41. These viruses should not be overlooked in the laboratory protocol in the study of acute gastroenteritis outbreaks.
Using spectropolarimetric data acquired with the ESPaDOnS and NARVAL instruments at CFHT and at TBL, we present a detailed spectral synthesis analysis of HD 232 862, a field giant classified as a G8II star hosting a magnetic field. This star is the first lithium-rich field giant hosting a magnetic field. Stellar evolution models suggest that HD 232 862 should be a 1.5 to 2.0 M⊙ star at the bottom of the red giant branch. Its unsually high lithium content (A(Li) = 2.45 ± 0.25 dex) is even more puzzling and challenges our understanding of the evolution of this star.
Influenza A antibodies in serum samples obtained in 1980 from two Indian populations in Central Brazil were compared. The Kren-Akorore, who were first contacted in 1973 and two years later transferred to the Xingu Indian Park (PIX), were compared with Indians from other tribes already living in the PIX before 1975. An analysis was made of the prevalence and distribution of antibodies against the influenza A viruses which have circulated in the civilized world since 1918. Antibodies to the early influenza A viruses were absent in both Indian populations, but A/Hong Kong/1/68 (H3N2) virus apparently circulated in the PIX. No antibody to influenza A/Bangkok/I/79 or to A/Brazil/11/78 (H1N1) was found in any of the sera, whereas antibodies to these viruses were commonly found in urban populations in Brazil. The evidence from influenza antibodies agrees with the information that the Kren-Akorore Indians had been living in complete isolation until 1973, when they were first contacted.