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The University of São Paulo Twin Panel (Painel USP de Gêmeos), based at the Institute of Psychology of the University of São Paulo, started formally in 2017. Our registry is new, but in only two years of formal existence, it comprises a volunteer sample of 4826 registered individuals (98% twins and 2% higher-order multiples), recruited at the University of São Paulo and by social media campaigns. Our main aim is to conduct and promote research with twins on psychological processes and behavior. The University of São Paulo is the largest higher education and research institution in South America, and the Painel USP de Gêmeos has great potential for fostering research on twin-related issues from a psychological perspective in Brazil and South America.
The disease caused by the influenza virus is a global public health problem due to its high rates of morbidity and mortality. Thus, analysis of the information generated by epidemiological surveillance systems has vital importance for health decision making. A retrospective analysis was performed using data generated by the four molecular diagnostic laboratories of the Mexican Social Security Institute between 2010 and 2016. Demographics, influenza positivity, seasonality, treatment choices and vaccination status analyses were performed for the vaccine according to its composition for each season. In all cases, both the different influenza subtypes and different age groups were considered separately. The circulation of A/H1N1pdm09 (48.7%), influenza A/H3N2 (21.1%), influenza B (12.6%), influenza A not subtyped (11%) and influenza A/H1N1 (6.6%) exhibited well-defined annual seasonality between November and March, and there were significant increases in the number of cases every 2 years. An inadequate use of oseltamivir was determined in 38% of cases, and the vaccination status in general varied between 12.1 and 18.5% depending on the season. Our results provide current information about influenza in Mexico and demonstrate the need to update both operational case definitions and medical practice guidelines to reduce the inappropriate use of antibiotics and antivirals.
This study investigates the shared, independent, and interactive effects of metalinguistic skills (phonological awareness, morphological awareness, and orthographic knowledge) to word reading with a sample of struggling adult readers. Controlling for vocabulary knowledge, a second-order latent factor of metalinguistic awareness accounted for unique variance (62.5%) in adults’ word reading skills. Two-way latent interactions between the metalinguistic skills (phonological awareness × morphological awareness, morphological awareness × orthographic knowledge, and phonological awareness × orthographic knowledge) revealed unique interactive contributions (1%–5.2%) of these skills to word reading controlling for the metalinguistic skill main effects and vocabulary knowledge. In particular, high levels of morphological awareness are critical to word reading irrespective of high or low phonological awareness and orthographic knowledge. In addition, higher phonological awareness skills are critical to word reading irrespective of high or low orthographic knowledge. These results indicate the importance as well as the complexity of the nature of metalinguistic skills underlying word reading for struggling adult readers. The theoretical, empirical, and applied implications of these findings are discussed in the context of researchers and practitioners invested in improving outcomes in adult literacy programs.
It is suggested that bovine enteroviruses (BEV) are involved in the aetiology of enteric infections, respiratory disease, reproductive disorders and infertility. In this study, bovine faecal samples collected in different Brazilian states were subjected to RNA extraction, reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction analysis and partial sequencing of the 5′-terminal portion of BEV. One hundred and three samples were tested with an overall positivity of 14.5%. Phylogenetic analysis clustered these BEV Brazilian samples into the Enterovirus F clade. Our results bring an important update of the virus presence in Brazil and contribute to a better understanding of the distribution and characterisation of BEV in cattle.
The sponges may be the oldest group of Metazoa, with a long and successful evolutionary history. Despite their intermittent fossil record quality, the group has been considered reliable for paleoecological and paleobiogeographic analyses because they have inhabited various types of aquatic environments, forming a significant part of benthic communities. We have presented a detailed description of a new species from the genus Teganiella, Teganiella finksi new species, which expands the chronologic range and classifies the genus as endemic to the paleoequatorial regions of Laurentia associated with arid climate conditions linked to hypersaline periods. Combining the paleoecological and paleoenvironmental features of the Teganiella species, our findings also suggest a trend toward more closed-inlet conditions, which may be related to competition and/or specific habitat supplies, for example, heavy metals such as vanadium, zinc, and molybdenum.
An experiment was conducted to evaluate whether dietary reduction and sex class affect nutrient intake, digestibility, purine derivative (PD) excretion and heat tolerance coefficient in lambs. Thirty-five hair lambs (14.5 ± 0.89 kg initial body weight (BW), 2 months old) were used in a completely randomized study with a 3 × 3 factorial arrangement, three sex classes (11 intact males, 12 castrated males and 12 females) and three levels of feeding (ad libitum, 300 and 600 g/kg/dry matter (DM) feed restriction) for 120 days. Intact and castrated males showed higher intakes of DM and neutral detergent fibre corrected for ash and protein (NDFap) than females. At 300 g/kg/DM feed restriction, NDFap digestibility was lower in intact males than in other classes; however, no differences were found between classes when subjected to ad libitum feeding or 600 g/kg/DM. The basal endogenous nitrogen and endogenous urinary losses were highest in intact males. Allantoin, uric acid and PD excretion, as well as PD absorption and microbial protein production were lowest in the animals subjected to 600 g/kg/DM feed restriction. Microbial protein synthesis (MPS) was highest in animals subjected to 600 g/kg/DM feed restriction. The lowest temperatures were observed in animals subjected to 600 g/kg/DM feed restriction. The heat tolerance coefficient was highest in animals subjected to 600 g/kg/DM feed restriction. In conclusion, feed restriction reduced the time spent on feeding and rumination but increased the digestibility of DM. The restriction level of 600 g/kg/DM maximized MPS and infrared thermography indicated an elevated heat tolerance coefficient.
The aim of the present study is to test the resource economic monopolization hypothesis and the hypothesis of monogamy using the shrimp Alpheus estuariensis as a model. The shrimps were collected in two areas in the Vaza-Barriz estuary, north-east Brazil, from August to November 2016. The average abundance of refuges was obtained through 30 random replicates. The shrimp presented a random distribution in both areas. Males and females found together showed a weak relation between their sizes, with males being larger than females. In addition, the cheliped of males grows proportionally more than that of females. The great abundance of refuges present in the environment, added to the aforementioned results, do not support the idea of refuge-guarding behaviour or monogamy. These results, which are in disagreement with those already found for some shrimps of the same family, genus, and even species, reinforce the idea that Alpheidae can be used as a model in the study of how environmental conditions are capable of shaping the social behaviour of a species.
Globally, the prevalence of tuberculosis (TB) disease is higher in males. This study examined the effect of sex and age on Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) infection. Demographic and exposure data were collected on household contacts of sputum smear-positive pulmonary TB patients in Brazil. Contacts with tuberculin skin test induration ⩾10 mm at baseline or 12 weeks were considered Mtb infected. The study enrolled 917 household contacts from 160 households; 508 (55.4%) were female, median age was 21.0 years (range 0.30–87.0) and 609 (66.4%) had Mtb infection. The proportion infected increased with age from 63.3% in girls <5 years to 75.4% in women ⩾40 years and from 44.9% in boys <5 years to 73.6% in men ⩾40 years. Multivariable modelling showed the odds of infection increased between age 5 and 14 years among female contacts (OR 1.5 per 5-year age increase; 95% CI 1.1–2.2; P = 0.02) and between ages 0–4 and 15–39 years among male contacts (OR 2.7, 95% CI 0.83–8.9 and 1.1, 95% CI 0.99–1.3 per 5-year age increase; P = 0.10, 0.07, respectively). The study suggests that the age at which Mtb infection increases most is different in females compared with males. Studies are needed to explore whether these findings are due to differences in host susceptibility, exposure outside the household or other factors.
ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae and particularly Escherichia coli ST131 isolates producing CTX-M enzymes are commonly found colonizing the intestine of nursing home (NH) residents, but ST131 subclonal structure has been scarcely explored in this vulnerable population. Our goal was to perform a pilot study to assess the faecal carriage rate and epidemiological features of ESBL- and/or carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (ESBL-E and CPE, respectively) among NH residents. For this purpose, faecal samples from residents at 4 different NHs in the North of Portugal (representing 9·5% of the residents’ population, July 2014) were screened for ESBL-E and/or CPE by phenotypic and genotypic methods. Clonal structure and plasmid typing of ESBL-producing E. coli (ESBL-Ec) was performed by PCR and sequencing. Four ESBL-Ec isolates (2 CTX-M-15/2 CTX-M-14) were found in 20% of the samples, all belonging to the pandemic clonal lineage B2-ST131-O25b:H4. Two different clades were identified, the C2/H30-Rx-virotype C producing CTX-M-15 and an atypical B/H22-like-virotype D5 (producing CTX-M-14 and fluoroquinolone-resistant), firstly described in Portugal. This pilot study highlights the role of NH residents as a source of different ST131 clades, besides emphasizing the importance of E. coli B2-ST131 subtyping in different clinical settings, and understanding the transmission dynamics of the different variants.
In this study, we assessed the sensitivity, specificity, and diagnostic accuracy of a previously developed direct agglutination test (DAT) using a freeze-dried antigen derived from Leishmania infantum promastigotes and composed in a prototype kit for visceral leishmaniasis (VL) diagnosis, named DAT-LPC. To evaluate DAT-LPC reproducibility, the kit was used to analyse 207 serum samples from VL patients and 80 serum samples from patients with other parasitic infections or healthy subjects in four laboratories from different public health institutions in Brazil. DAT-LPC showed sensitivity between 96·2 and 99·5% (P = 0·14), specificity ranging from 96·2 to 97·5% (P = 0·95), and diagnostic accuracy ranging from 96·5 to 99% (P = 0·34). The inter-laboratory reproducibility of qualitative results was classified as excellent (κ index: 0·94–0·97). The reproducibility of the end-titre results in relation to the reference laboratory, ranged from 31 to 85%. These results demonstrate an excellent performance of the DAT-LPC, and validate it for the diagnosis of VL that could replace the immunofluorescent antibody test as the routine diagnostic test in the Brazilian public health system.
Recent studies with Nile tilapia have shown divergent results regarding the possibility of selecting on morphometric measurements to promote indirect genetic gains in fillet yield (FY). The use of indirect selection for fillet traits is important as these traits are only measurable after harvesting. Random regression models are a powerful tool in association studies to identify the best time point to measure and select animals. Random regression models can also be applied in a multiple trait approach to analyze indirect response to selection, which would avoid the need to sacrifice candidate fish. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the genetic relationships between several body measurements, weight and fillet traits throughout the growth period and to evaluate the possibility of indirect selection for fillet traits in Nile tilapia. Data were collected from 2042 fish and was divided into two subsets. The first subset was used to estimate genetic parameters, including the permanent environmental effect for BW and body measurements (8758 records for each body measurement, as each fish was individually weighed and measured a maximum of six times). The second subset (2042 records for each trait) was used to estimate genetic correlations and heritabilities, which enabled the calculation of correlated response efficiencies between body measurements and the fillet traits. Heritability estimates across ages ranged from 0.05 to 0.5 for height, 0.02 to 0.48 for corrected length (CL), 0.05 to 0.68 for width, 0.08 to 0.57 for fillet weight (FW) and 0.12 to 0.42 for FY. All genetic correlation estimates between body measurements and FW were positive and strong (0.64 to 0.98). The estimates of genetic correlation between body measurements and FY were positive (except for CL at some ages), but weak to moderate (−0.08 to 0.68). These estimates resulted in strong and favorable correlated response efficiencies for FW and positive, but moderate for FY. These results indicate the possibility of achieving indirect genetic gains for FW and by selecting for morphometric traits, but low efficiency for FY when compared with direct selection.
Endothelial function is a key mechanism in the development of CVD. Arginine and exercise are important non-pharmacological strategies for mitigating the impact of metabolic changes in the metabolic syndrome, but the effect of their combined administration is unknown. Thus, the aim of this study was to investigate the isolated and combined effects of aerobic training and arginine supplementation on metabolic variables and vascular reactivity in rats at high risk for developing the metabolic syndrome. Wistar rats were divided into two groups: control and fructose (F – water with 10 % fructose). After 2 weeks, the F group was divided into four groups: F, fructose+arginine (FA, 880 mg/kg per d of l-arginine), fructose+training (FT) and fructose+arginine+training (FTA); treatments lasted for 8 weeks, and no difference was observed in body mass gain. Arginine did not improve the body protein content, and both the FA and FT groups show a reversal of the increase in adipose tissue. Insulin increase was prevented by training and arginine, without additive effect, and the increase in serum TAG was prevented only by training. The F group showed impaired endothelium-dependent vasodilation and hyperreactivity to phenylephrine, but arginine and training were capable of preventing these effects, even separately. Higher nitric oxide level was observed in the FA and FT groups, and no potentiating effect was detected. Thus, only training was able to prevent the increase in TAG and improve the protein mass, and training and arginine exert similar effects on fat content, insulin and endothelial function, but these effects are not additive.
Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) can induce deleterious changes in the modulatory ability of the vascular endothelium, contributing to an increased risk of developing cardiovascular diseases in the long term. However, the mechanisms involved are not fully understood. Emerging evidence has suggested the potential role of endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) in vascular health and repair. Therefore, we aimed to evaluate the effects of IUGR on vascular reactivity and EPCs derived from the peripheral blood (PB) and bone marrow (BM) in vitro. Pregnant Wistar rats were fed an ad libitum diet (control group) or 50% of the ad libitum diet (restricted group) throughout gestation. We determined vascular reactivity, nitric oxide (NO) concentration, and endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) protein expression by evaluating the thoracic aorta of adult male offspring from both groups (aged: 19–20 weeks). Moreover, the amount, functional capacity, and senescence of EPCs were assessed in vitro. Our results indicated that IUGR reduced vasodilation via acetylcholine in aorta rings, decreased NO levels, and increased eNOS phosphorylation at Thr495. The amount of EPCs was similar between both groups; however, IUGR decreased the functional capacity of EPCs from the PB and BM. Furthermore, the senescence process was accelerated in BM-derived EPCs from IUGR rats. In summary, our findings demonstrated the deleterious changes in EPCs from IUGR rats, such as reduced EPC function and accelerated senescence in vitro. These findings may contribute towards elucidating the possible mechanisms involved in endothelial dysfunction induced by fetal programming.
The aim of the present study was to evaluate the prediction ability of models that cope with longevity phenotypic expression as uncensored and censored in Nellore cattle. Longevity was defined as the difference between the dates of last weaned calf and cow birth. There were information of 77 353 females, being 61 097 cows with uncensored phenotypic information and 16 256 cows with censored records. These data were analyzed considering three different models: (1) Gaussian linear model (LM), in which only uncensored records were considered; and two models that consider both uncensored and censored records: (2) Censored Gaussian linear model (CLM); and (3) Weibull frailty hazard model (WM). For the model prediction ability comparisons, the data set was randomly divided into training and validation sets, containing 80% and 20% of the records, respectively. There were considered 10 repetitions applying the following restrictions: (a) at least three animals per contemporary group in the training set; and (b) sires with more than 10 progenies with uncensored records (352 sires) should have daughters in the training and validation sets. The variance components estimated using the whole data set in each model were used as true values in the prediction of breeding values of the animals in the training set. The WM model showed the best prediction ability, providing the lowest χ2 average and the highest number of sets in which a model had the smallest value of χ2 statistics. The CLM and LM models showed prediction abilities 2.6% and 3.7% less efficient than WM, respectively. In addition, the accuracies of sire breeding values for LM and CLM were lower than those obtained for WM. The percentages of bulls in common, considering only 10% of sires with the highest breeding values, were around 75% and 54%, respectively, between LM–CLM and LM–WM models, considering all sires, and 75% between LM–CLM and LM–WM, when only sires with more than 10 progenies with uncensored records were taken into account. These results are indicative of reranking of animals in terms of genetic merit between LM, CLM and WM. The model in which censored records of longevity were excluded from the analysis showed the lowest prediction ability. The WM provides the best predictive performance, therefore this model would be recommended to perform genetic evaluation of longevity in this population.
This study was aimed to investigate associations between birth weight and multiple adiposity indicators in youth, and to examine potential mediating effects by biological maturation. This was a school-based study involving 981 Brazilian adolescents aged between 10 and 17 years. Birth weight was reported retrospectively by mothers. Maturation was estimated by age of peak height velocity. Adiposity indicators included body mass index (BMI), waist circumference and percent body fat estimated from triceps and subscapular skinfolds. Multilevel mediation analyses were performed using the Sobel test, adjusted for chronological age, gestational age, cardiorespiratory fitness and socio-economic status. Except for body fat in girls, biological maturation partly or fully mediated (P<0.05) positive relationships between birth weight with all other obesity indicators in both sexes with their respective values of indirect effects with 95% confidence intervals: BMI [boys: 0.44 (0.06–0.82); girls: 0.38 (0.13–0.64)], waist circumference [boys: 1.14 (0.22–2.05); girls: 0.87 (0.26–1.48)] and body fat [boys: 0.60 (0.13–1.07)]. To conclude, birth weight is associated with elevated obesity risk in adolescence and biological maturation seems to at least partly mediate this relationship.
The evolution of massive stars encompasses short-lived transition phases in which mass-loss is more enhanced and usually eruptive. A complex environment, combining atomic, molecular and dust regions, is formed around these stars. In particular, the circumstellar environment of B[e] Supergiants is not well understood. To address that, we have initiated a campaign to investigate their environments for a sample of Galactic and Magellanic Cloud sources. Using high-resolution optical and near-infrared spectra (MPG-ESO/FEROS, GEMINI/Phoenix and VLT/CRIRES, respectively), we examine a set of emission features ([OI], [CaII], CO bandheads) to trace the physical conditions and kinematics in their formation regions. We find that the B[e] Supergiants are surrounded by a series of rings of different temperatures and densities, a probable result of previous mass-loss events. In many cases the CO forms very close to the star, while we notice also an alternate mixing of densities and temperatures (which give rise to the different emission features) along the equatorial plane.
The present study investigates the twinning rates in the city of São Paulo, Brazil, during the years 2003–2014. The data were drawn from the Brazilian Health Department database of Sistema de Informações de Nascidos Vivos de São Paulo—SINASC (Live Births Information System of São Paulo). In general, more information is available on the incidence of twinning in developed countries than in developing ones. A total of 24,589 twin deliveries and 736 multiple deliveries were registered in 140 hospitals of São Paulo out of a total of 2,056,016 deliveries during the studied time period. The overall average rates of singleton, twin, and multiple births per 1,000 maternities (‰) were 987.43, 11.96 (dizygotic (DZ) rate was 7.15 and monozygotic (MZ) 4.42), and 0.36, respectively. We further regressed maternal age and historical time period on percentage of singleton, twin, and multiple birth rates. Our results indicated that maternal age strongly positively predicted twin and multiple birth rates, and negatively predicted singleton birth rates. The historical time period also positively, although weakly, predicted twin birth rates, and had no effect on singleton or multiple birth rates. Further, after applying Weinberg's differential method, we computed regressions separately for the estimated frequencies of DZ and MZ twin rates. DZ twinning was strongly positively predicted by maternal age and, to a smaller degree, by time period, while MZ twinning increased marginally only with higher maternal age. Factors such as increasing body mass index or air pollution can lead to the slight historical increase in DZ twinning rates. Importantly, consistent with previous cross-cultural and historical research, our results support the existence of an age-dependent physiological mechanism that leads to a strong increase in twinning and multiple births, but not singleton births, among mothers of higher age categories. From the ultimate perspective, twinning and multiple births in later age can lead to higher individual reproductive success near the end of the reproductive career of the mother.
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.
Nebovirus is a new genus of viruses belonging to the Caliciviridae family recently characterized in cattle, and is associated with gastrointestinal disorders, such as diarrhoea, anorexia and intestinal lesions particularly in calves. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of neboviruses in Brazilian cattle and analyse phylogenetically the virus strains detected. A prevalence of 4·8% of neboviruses in faecal samples from 62 head of cattle from different Brazilian states was detected. All positive animals were aged <20 days and had diarrhoea. Phylogenetic analysis clustered the virus sequences into the Newbury1 clade. There was >96·0% nt (100% aa) sequence identity between the virus sequences in this study and >88·8% nt (>94·4% aa) identity with Newbury1/UK. Our results indicate, for the first time, the occurrence of neboviruses in Brazil as well as in South America, and the first Newbury1-like nebovirus found outside the UK.
Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) is the most frequently reported fatal rodent-borne disease in Brazil, with the majority of cases occurring in Santa Catarina. We analysed the clinical, laboratory and epidemiological data of the 251 confirmed cases of HPS in Santa Catarina in 1999–2011. The number of cases ranged from 10 to 47 per year, with the highest incidences in 2004–2006. Gastrointestinal tract manifestations were found in >60% of the cases, potentially confounding diagnosis and leading to inappropriate therapy. Dyspnoea, acute respiratory failure, renal failure, increased serum creatinine and urea levels, increased haematocrits and the presence of pulmonary interstitial infiltrate were significantly more common in HPS patients who died. In addition, we demonstrated that the six cases from the midwest region of the state were associated with Juquitiba virus genotype. The case-fatality rate in this region, 19·2%, was lower than that recorded for other mesoregions. In the multivariate analysis increase of serum creatinine and urea was associated with death by HPS. Our findings help elucidate the epidemiology of HPS in Brazil, where mast seeding of bamboo can trigger rodent population eruptions and subsequent human HPS outbreaks. We also emphasize the need for molecular confirmation of the hantavirus genotype of human cases for a better understanding of the mortality-related factors associated with HPS cases in Brazil.