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Definitive diagnosis of hookworm infection is usually based on the microscopic detection of eggs in a stool sample; however, several cases display a low or irregular egg output. Serodiagnosis can be a useful tool to identify these cases, but conventional tests do not differentiate past from active infections. The aim of this study was to obtain and apply egg yolk polyclonal immunoglobulin (IgY) antibodies to detect immune complexes (ICs) in serum samples from patients infected with hookworm. Hens were immunized with Ancylostoma ceylanicum saline extract, their eggs were collected and then IgY antibodies were extracted and purified. Antibody purity was tested by 12% sodium dodecyl sulphate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and specificity was assessed by immunoblotting and immunofluorescence. IgY production was evaluated by kinetics enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Sandwich ELISA tested the ability of IgY to detect ICs in serum samples, from which diagnostic parameters were calculated. Antibody responses increased steadily from day 7 to 42. In the immunoblotting assay, IgY recognized two protein complexes. The immunofluorescence assay showed no staining in control samples. The sandwich ELISA presented a very high diagnostic value, with a sensitivity of 90% and a specificity of 86.7%. Our pioneer strategy highlights the potential use of egg yolk IgY as a diagnostic test to detect active hookworm infection.
The discussion of the achievements and limitations of the strategies prioritised in global mental health that has taken place in recent years contributed to a unified vision for action that addresses the gaps still existing on prevention, treatment, quality of care and human rights protection. This editorial presents four reflections on the impact of this vision on the definition of future priorities, particularly in the areas of policy implementation, services reconfiguration and organisation, human rights and research. It concludes that further debate is needed to redefine the balance between priorities and strategies that can better promote an effective response to the needs of low and middle income countries, and to ensure an efficient coordination of efforts in the future.
Litter breakdown is an important ecological process at the bottom of food webs in streams. Previous studies have been based only on a temporal interval of a single season, thus ignoring seasonal variation in litter input and community structure. We investigated organic matter input in a Brazilian savanna stream and the influence of its associated hyphomycetes on the invertebrate community. Organic matter input was sampled monthly and the leaves submitted to decomposition experiments. There were lower breakdown rates and higher invertebrate species richness and abundance during the dry season, which reached their maximum in July due to low stream discharge. Invertebrate composition was best explained by hyphomycetes (mainly by Flagellospora curvula and Anguillospora filiformis). Hyphomycetes have the capacity to degrade complex compounds of litter and to rapidly absorb nutrients by growing branched filaments, thus making the leaves more favourable for consumption by invertebrates. Shredder abundance was negatively related to litter richness, indicating possible species-specific relationships. We observed a sequential process with increased leaf litter input promoting an increase in hyphomycetes biomass, which in turn favoured invertebrate density.
Femoral vein access is the first choice for percutaneous atrial septal defect closure, and when it cannot be used due to anatomic reasons, the alternative sites should be considered, frequently increasing the complexity of the procedure. Here we report the case of a 3-year-old boy, with situs inversus and dextrocardia, electively referred for percutaneous closure of an ostium secundum atrial septal defect. During the procedure, agenesis of the infra-hepatic segment of the inferior caval vein was diagnosed, and no double inferior caval vein or right superior caval vein were identified by ultrasound or angiography. Therefore, we opted to perform the procedure through the left internal jugular vein, with fluoroscopy and transesophageal echocardiographic guidance. Catheters were navigated through a hydrophilic guidewire, and a Stiff guidewire was positioned in the left ventricle for better support. An Amplatzer septa occluder 19 was successfully deployed without major difficulties and the patient was discharged after 24 hours in good clinical condition. Percutaneous atrial septal defect closure through alternative access sites, especially in the presence of situs inversus, may pose significant challenges to the interventional team. In this case, the left internal jugular vein has shown to be a feasible option, allowing the navigation and manipulation of devices without complications. Provided the expertise of the interventional team, and awareness of the risks involved, alternative access sites can be successfully used for paediatric structural interventions.
Obtention of titanium (Ti)- and titanium dioxide (TiO2)–based nanocomposites is of great interest for biological nanomaterial applications, including for dental implants. Their mechanical properties can be improved by use of hydroxyapatite (HA) and chitosan through their biological anchorage with osseointegration and antibacterial activity. Electrochemical methods were chosen to obtain these composites in a quick and controllable way. In this work, electrochemical synthesis in one (alternated potential) or two steps (alternated or constant potential) was successfully applied. The single step (SS) obtained TiO2 + HA sample had different optical properties, as shown using ultraviolet–visible spectrometry, and the HA phase formation was proved using Raman spectroscopy. Thereby, SS_TiO2 + HA increased the corrosion resistance of titanium in artificial saliva medium, as shown by linear polarization and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy results. When using chitosan, the samples showed two corrosion interfaces, indicating its dissolution in human medium. These results indicate that the samples are excellent materials for dental implants.
Leishmaniasis is considered a parasitic disease that still causes serious consequences for mankind, because it presents a high mortality rate worldwide. Considered multi-hosts, the parasites of the genus Leishmania are able of infecting a wide variety of animal species. The dog was considered the main source of infection of visceral leishmaniasis (VL), in the urban area. However, the role of other animal species in the epidemiological cycle of the disease, such as cattle, remains unclear. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to evaluate the occurrence of Leishmania spp. in 100 bovines (Bos taurus) from an area endemic for canine VL, using blood culture and molecular analysis. By the sequencing analysis, one sample showed 100% similarity with Leishmania infantum. The results provide the first case of L. infantum isolation in one bovine from the periurban areas of Bauru, state of São Paulo, Brazil.
Asymmetric membranes present promising characteristics for wound dressing applications. A porous structure uptakes the wound exudate, whereas an occlusive layer (upper film) inhibits the microbial penetration and prevents an excessive loss of water. Konjac glucomannan (KGM) is a natural polysaccharide that has been investigated as wound dressings in the form of films, sponges, and hydrogels due to its flexibility, swelling capacity, biocompatibility, and low cost. However, there are no studies on literature regarding the development of KGM asymmetric membranes. In this study, we investigated a new casting–freezing process for the production of KGM asymmetric membranes. The scanning electron microscopy and thermogravimetric analyses indicated an asymmetric morphology and a good thermal stability of the membrane samples, respectively. Moreover, biological, mechanical, and fluid-handling capacity tests showed that the membrane is biocompatible and resistant to handling structure, which was also able to retain the ideal moist conditions for wound healing.
The exposure to solar radiation (mainly due to the action of ultraviolet radiation) is one of the main causes for the premature failure of many polymeric materials, including the geotextiles. In this work, a nonwoven polypropylene geotextile (stabilized with a known amount of a hindered amine light stabilizer) was exposed to ultraviolet-aging tests, both in the laboratory (accelerated conditions) and outdoors (natural conditions). The damage occurred in the geotextile (caused by the ultraviolet-aging tests) was evaluated quantitatively (by monitoring changes in its mass per unit area, thickness, and tensile properties) and qualitatively (by scanning electron microscopy). The results, among other findings, showed that: (1) the ultraviolet-aging tests (both in the laboratory and outdoors) induced relevant damage in the polypropylene fibers of the geotextile (transverse cracks), leading to the deterioration of its tensile behavior, (2) the amount of degradation increased with the increase of the ultraviolet radiant energy, (3) the laboratory tests caused a faster deterioration of the polypropylene fibers than the outdoor tests, and (4) the degradation found by scanning electron microscopy in the polypropylene fibers correlated well with the deterioration occurred in the tensile behavior of the geotextile.
Selenium (Se) is an essential micronutrient for humans, yet its dietary intake is low, mostly due to the low bioavailability in soils and therefore in edible plant tissues. To overcome Se deficiency, the breeding approach (i.e., genetic biofortification), namely in rice, is largely dependent on available Se pools. To ensure the success of genetic biofortification with Se, agronomic biofortification can be accomplished through foliar Se application. Considering this background, the main hypothesis of this work was centered in the foliar application of Se to attain agronomic biofortification of rice crops. This study also aimed to assess the full potential for increasing grain Se concentrations during rice filling, as well as the types of nutrients deposition. An experimental design applying two foliar fertilizers (sodium selenite and sodium selenate) was developed. As test systems, four rice genotypes (Ariete, Albatros, OP1105 and OP1109) were used and the kinetics of micro- and macro-nutrients accumulation and deposition were assessed. Biofortification was performed in field trials for two years with foliar fertilization ranging between 0 and 300 g Se ha−1. At the end of the plant cycle, selenite applications triggered 427- to 884-fold increases in grain Se concentrations among rice genotypes (Albatros > OP1105 > OP1109 > Ariete). The application of selenate also prompted 128- to 347-fold increases in grain Se concentrations in rice crops (Albatros > OP1105 > Ariete > OP1109). Regardless of the foliar fertilizer applied, Se deposition among genotypes occurred throughout the grain without relevant inhibitory effects on yields. In each genotype, micro and macronutrients varied among crop tissues.
Common mental disorders are highly prevalent and disabling, leading to substantial individual and societal costs. This study aims to characterize the association between disability and common mental disorders in Portugal, using epidemiological data from the World Mental Health Survey Initiative.
Twelve-month common mental disorders were assessed with the CIDI 3.0. Disability was evaluated with the modified WMHS WHODAS-II. Logistic regression models were used to assess the association between disability and each disorder or diagnostic category (mood or anxiety disorders).
Among people with a common mental disorder, 14.6% reported disability. The specific diagnoses significantly associated with disability were post-traumatic stress disorder (OR: 6.69; 95% CI: 3.20, 14.01), major depressive disorder (OR: 3.49; 95% CI: 2.13, 5.72), bipolar disorder (OR: 3.41; 95% CI: 1.04, 11.12) and generalized anxiety disorder (OR: 3.14; 95% CI: 1.43, 6.90). Both categories of anxiety and mood disorders were significantly associated with disability (OR: 1.88; 95% CI: 1.23, 2.86 and OR: 3.94; 95% CI: 2.45, 6.34 respectively).
The results of this study add to the current knowledge in this area by assessing the disability associated with common mental disorders using a multi-dimensional instrument, which may contribute to mental health policy efforts in the development of interventions to reduce the burden of disability associated with common mental disorders.
Previous work has identified associations between psychotic experiences (PEs) and general medical conditions (GMCs), but their temporal direction remains unclear as does the extent to which they are independent of comorbid mental disorders.
In total, 28 002 adults in 16 countries from the WHO World Mental Health (WMH) Surveys were assessed for PEs, GMCs and 21 Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) mental disorders. Discrete-time survival analyses were used to estimate the associations between PEs and GMCs with various adjustments.
After adjustment for comorbid mental disorders, temporally prior PEs were significantly associated with subsequent onset of 8/12 GMCs (arthritis, back or neck pain, frequent or severe headache, other chronic pain, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and peptic ulcer) with odds ratios (ORs) ranging from 1.3 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.1–1.5] to 1.9 (95% CI 1.4–2.4). In contrast, only three GMCs (frequent or severe headache, other chronic pain and asthma) were significantly associated with subsequent onset of PEs after adjustment for comorbid GMCs and mental disorders, with ORs ranging from 1.5 (95% CI 1.2–1.9) to 1.7 (95% CI 1.2–2.4).
PEs were associated with the subsequent onset of a wide range of GMCs, independent of comorbid mental disorders. There were also associations between some medical conditions (particularly those involving chronic pain) and subsequent PEs. Although these findings will need to be confirmed in prospective studies, clinicians should be aware that psychotic symptoms may be risk markers for a wide range of adverse health outcomes. Whether PEs are causal risk factors will require further research.
One important aspect of the societal burden of mental disorders is the extent to which these problems cause disability.
To assess days out of role associated with commonly occurring mental disorders in comparison with physical disorders in Portugal.
National cross-sectional survey, with home interviews carried out with 3849 adult (aged 18+) respondents (57.3% response rate).
Twelve-month prevalence for any mental disorder was 21.8%, any physical disorder 55.1% and any disorder 63.1%, with an average of 2.3 disorders per respondent with a disorder. Close to one out of every 10 respondents (9.2%) reported at least one day totally out of role in the past month (median of 6.4 days/any). The 18 conditions accounted for 78.2% of all days out of role, with 20.2% because of mental disorders and 59.2% because of physical disorders.
Mental disorders account for a substantial proportion of all role disability in the Portuguese population. Early detection and intervention would have a positive societal effect. Owing to highly frequent comorbidity, simultaneous management of mental and physical disorder comorbidities is advised for greater effect.
Traumatic events are associated with increased risk of psychotic experiences, but it is unclear whether this association is explained by mental disorders prior to psychotic experience onset.
To investigate the associations between traumatic events and subsequent psychotic experience onset after adjusting for post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental disorders.
We assessed 29 traumatic event types and psychotic experiences from the World Mental Health surveys and examined the associations of traumatic events with subsequent psychotic experience onset with and without adjustments for mental disorders.
Respondents with any traumatic events had three times the odds of other respondents of subsequently developing psychotic experiences (OR=3.1, 95% CI 2.7–3.7), with variability in strength of association across traumatic event types. These associations persisted after adjustment for mental disorders.
Exposure to traumatic events predicts subsequent onset of psychotic experiences even after adjusting for comorbid mental disorders.
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a leading cause of disability worldwide.
To examine the: (a) 12-month prevalence of DSM-IV MDD; (b) proportion aware that they have a problem needing treatment and who want care; (c) proportion of the latter receiving treatment; and (d) proportion of such treatment meeting minimal standards.
Representative community household surveys from 21 countries as part of the World Health Organization World Mental Health Surveys.
Of 51 547 respondents, 4.6% met 12-month criteria for DSM-IV MDD and of these 56.7% reported needing treatment. Among those who recognised their need for treatment, most (71.1%) made at least one visit to a service provider. Among those who received treatment, only 41.0% received treatment that met minimal standards. This resulted in only 16.5% of all individuals with 12-month MDD receiving minimally adequate treatment.
Only a minority of participants with MDD received minimally adequate treatment: 1 in 5 people in high-income and 1 in 27 in low-/lower-middle-income countries. Scaling up care for MDD requires fundamental transformations in community education and outreach, supply of treatment and quality of services.
Background and Aims: As there are known risks of retraumatization through bereavement crisis interventions, we tailored a new intervention lowering the degree of direct emotional activation. However, we need some evidence on the effects of depression and psychotraumatic symptoms between 1 and 6 months after a loss. Method: We conducted a randomized controlled trial with two groups: control group (n = 18) and experimental group (n = 11) in two assessments (1 and 6 months after loss); both included a semi-structured interview (Socio-Demographic Questionnaire, Beck Depression Inventory and the Impact of Events Scale-Revised–IES-R). The experimental group had a cognitive-narrative program with four sessions: recalling; cognitive and emotional subjectivization; metaphorization; and projecting sessions. Results: Participants in the experimental and control groups have lower levels of depression and traumatic stress 6 months after a loss. Statistically significant results in emotional numbing IES-R sub-scale are observed. Conclusions: A brief narrative-based cost-effective intervention has a positive effect on depression, controlling the traumatic stress and time after a loss.