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Cerrado sensu stricto (a physiognomy of the Cerrado domain, the Brazilian savanna) is subject to the annual occurrence of fire. Data on the epiphytic community in this physiognomy is scarce, as is evaluation of the influence of fire on its structure and composition. The aim of this study was to describe the structure of the vascular epiphyte community and its relationships with phorophytes in the Cerrado domain, Southeast Region of Brazil, after the passage of fire. We found the greatest abundance of epiphytes in the upper strata (65% of the individuals occurring above 3 m in height) and the dominance of three generalist species (Tillandsia streptocarpa, T. recurvata and Epiphyllum phyllanthus), suggesting that fire has an influence on the structure and composition of the epiphytic community.
In this paper we deal with complete linear Weingarten hypersurfaces immersed into Riemannian space forms. Assuming an Okumura type inequality on the total umbilicity tensor of such hypersurfaces, we prove that either the hypersurface is totally umbilical or it holds an estimate for the norm of the total umbilicity tensor, which is also shown be sharp in the sense that the product of space forms realize them. Our approach is based on a version of the Omori–Yau maximum principle for a suitable Cheng–Yau type operator.
Differences in forage nutritive value between morning and afternoon are related to patterns of dehydration and carbohydrate accumulation throughout the day. In this way, management strategies that maximize grazing time during the afternoon could increase forage nutritive value and consequently nutrient intake. The aim of the current experiment was to evaluate the effect of the time of day (06.00 h [designated AM] or 15.00 h [PM]) that cattle are moved to a new paddock on forage nutritive value, grazing behaviour and animal performance of beef cattle on rotationally stocked Marandu palisadegrass (Brachiaria brizantha cv. Marandu Syn. Urochloa brizantha cv. Marandu) pastures. A spring and summer study was conducted in Pirassununga, SP, Brazil from October 2012 to March 2013 (182 days). Treatments were distributed in a randomized complete block design with three replications. Herbage mass, morphological composition, herbage allowance and stocking rates were similar between treatments during spring and summer. Moving animals to a new paddock, regardless of the time of day – 06.00 h (AM) or 15.00 h (PM) – stimulated grazing, modifying the distribution of meals throughout the day. However, compensatory mechanisms among grazing time, bite rate and forage nutritive value throughout the day operated in order to generate similar performance between animals offered a new paddock in the morning or in the afternoon.
The clinical manifestation and course of Leishmania infections depend on factors such as species, virulence and host-immunity. Although trypanosomatids are considered to have clonal propagation, genetic hybridization has produced successful natural hybrid lineages. Hybrids displaying strong selective advantages may have an impact on pathogenesis and the eco-epidemiology of leishmaniasis. Thus, characterization of phenotypic properties of Leishmania hybrids could bring significant insight into the biology, infectivity, pathogenicity and transmission dynamics of these atypical strains. The present study focuses on phenotypic features and survival capacity of Leishmania infantum/Leishmania major hybrid isolates as compared with representative putative parental species, L. infantum and L. major. In vitro assays (growth kinetics, susceptibility to different conditions) and in vivo infection (parasite detection and histopathological alterations) showed that hybrids present higher growth capacity and decreased susceptibility to reactive oxygen species. Furthermore, evaluation of infected spleen tissue suggests that hybrids induce a stronger immune reaction than their putative parents, leading to the development of white pulp hyperplasia in B-lymphocyte compartments. Overall, these hybrids have shown high plasticity in terms of their general behaviour within the different phenotypic parameters, suggesting that they might have acquired genetic features conferring different mechanisms to evade host cells.
The Roosevelt–Rondon Expedition marmoset Mico marcai was first collected in 1914 and all information on this primate previously came from three skins brought back by this expedition. As a result, M. marcai is categorized as Data Deficient on the IUCN Red List. As the presumed range of M. marcai lies on the path of the advancing arc of deforestation in Brazil, the collection of relevant data to assess the conservation status of this Amazonian species is of some urgency. Here we present the first field data on the distribution and population size of, and threats to, M. marcai, to reassess the species’ conservation status. During 2012–2015 we surveyed the species in the Marmelos–Aripuanã interfluve, and estimated its density using distance sampling. We also used spatial predictive modelling to estimate forest loss within the species range under two deforestation scenarios. We found the marmoset in 13 localities and estimated its extent of occurrence to be 31,073 km2. We estimated the species’ density to be 8.31 individuals/km2 and extrapolated this to estimate a total population of 258,218 individuals (CI 150,705–441,860). Under a business-as-usual deforestation scenario, c. 10,000 km2 of forest, comprising 33% of the species’ range, would be lost in three marmoset generations (c. 18 years), and we, therefore, recommend that M. marcai be categorized as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List based on criterion A3c. Other Amazonian marmosets require similar reassessment as their ranges also fall in the path of the arc of deforestation.
In the current study, phage-exposed mimotopes as targets against tegumentary leishmaniasis (TL) were selected by means of bio-panning cycles employing sera of TL patients and healthy subjects, besides the immune stimulation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) collected from untreated and treated TL patients and healthy subjects. The clones were evaluated regarding their specific interferon-γ (IFN-γ) and interleukin-4 (IL-4) production in the in vitro cultures, and selectivity and specificity values were calculated, and those presenting the best results were selected for the in vivo experiments. Two clones, namely A4 and A8, were identified and used in immunization protocols from BALB/c mice to protect against Leishmania amazonensis infection. Results showed a polarized Th1 response generated after vaccination, being based on significantly higher levels of IFN-γ, IL-2, IL-12, tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF); which were associated with lower production of specific IL-4, IL-10 and immunoglobulin G1 (IgG1) antibodies. Vaccinated mice presented significant reductions in the parasite load in the infected tissue and distinct organs, when compared with controls. In conclusion, we presented a strategy to identify new mimotopes able to induce Th1 response in PBMCs from TL patients and healthy subjects, and that were successfully used to protect against L. amazonensis infection.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of incubating semen for different periods (90, 270 or 450 min) with or without Trolox® (100 or 150 µM) on the quality of sperm from Saimiri collinsi. Sperm motility, vigour, and plasma membrane integrity (PMI) were evaluated in both fresh semen and semen incubated for different time periods, i.e. 90, 270 or 450 min of incubation. Supplementation of semen extender with Trolox® 100 µM improved sperm motility, vigour and PMI for up to 270 min of incubation.
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.
Minerals are limiting factors in animal production, and the knowledge of mineral requirements for livestock is crucial to the success of a commercial enterprise. Hair sheep may have different mineral requirements than those presents by the international committees. A study was carried to evaluate the net calcium (Ca), phosphorus (P), magnesium (Mg), sodium (Na), potassium (K), zinc (Zn), iron (Fe), manganese (Mn) and copper (Cu) requirements for the growth and maintenance of Brazilian Somali lambs. A total of 48 hair lambs (13.5±1.8 kg) aged 60±15 days were allocated to individual pens. Eight animals were slaughtered at the beginning of the experiment to serve as a reference group to estimate initial empty BW (EBW) and initial body composition. The remaining lambs (n=40) were assigned to a completely randomized design with eight replications in five levels of metabolizable energy (ME; 4.93, 8.65, 9.41, 10.12 and 11.24 MJ/kg DM). When the lambs of a given treatment reached an average BW of 28 kg, they were slaughtered. Initial body composition was used to calculate the retention of minerals. Mineral body composition was fit using a logarithmic equation in the form of a nonlinear model. The maintenance requirements were estimated from regressions of mineral retention in the empty body on mineral intake. The body mineral concentration decreased in lambs with a BW ranging from 15 to 30 kg. The net mineral requirements (100 g/day of average daily gain (ADG)) decreased from 0.52 to 0.51 g for Ca, 0.28 to 0.23 g for P, 0.02 to 0.02 g for Mg, 0.09 to 0.08 g for Na, 0.11 to 0.09 g for K, 1.30 to 1.08 mg for Zn, 3.77 to 3.22 mg for Fe, 0.08 to 0.06 mg for Mn and 0.09 to 0.08 mg for Cu when BW increased from 15 to 30 kg. The daily net requirements for maintenance per kilogram of BW were 30.13 mg of Ca, 27.58 mg of P, 1.26 mg of Mg, 4.12 mg of Na, 8.11 mg of K, 0.133 mg of Zn, 0.271 mg of Fe, 0.002 mg of Mn and 0.014 mg of Cu. The results of this study indicate that the net mineral requirements for weight gain and maintenance in Brazilian Somali lambs are different than the values that are commonly recommended by the main evaluation systems for feed and nutritional requirements for sheep. These results for the nutritional requirements of minerals may help to optimize mineral supply for hair sheep.
Chagas disease is a public health problem, affecting about 7 million people worldwide. Benznidazole (BZN) is the main treatment option, but it has limited effectiveness and can cause severe adverse effects. Drug delivery through nanoparticles has attracted the interest of the scientific community aiming to improve therapeutic options. The aim of this study was to evaluate the cytotoxicity of benznidazole-loaded calcium carbonate nanoparticles (BZN@CaCO3) on Trypanosoma cruzi strain Y. It was observed that BZN@CaCO3 was able to reduce the viability of epimastigote, trypomastigote and amastigote forms of T. cruzi with greater potency when compared with BZN. The amount of BZN necessary to obtain the same effect was up to 25 times smaller when loaded with CaCO3 nanoparticles. Also, it was observed that BZN@CaCO3 enhanced the selectivity index. Furthermore, the cell-death mechanism induced by both BZN and BZN@CaCO3 was evaluated, indicating that both substances caused necrosis and changed mitochondrial membrane potential.
Forage is the primary feed source for livestock in tropical regions and energy is one of the most important nutrients for ruminant nutrition. The effects of harvest management of Marandu palisade grass (Brachiaria brizantha cv. Marandu Syn. Urochloa brizantha cv. Marandu) on non-structural carbohydrate (NSC) concentrations were evaluated. A plot (Experiment 1) and a greenhouse study (Experiment 2) were conducted in 2013–14. In Experiment 1, treatments were the factorial arrangement of two harvest times and two vertical canopy layers (upper and intermediate), distributed in a completely randomized design with five replicates. In Experiment 2, treatments were the factorial arrangement of six harvest times and two morphological fractions (leaf blade and pseudostem). In both experiments, NSC concentration increased during the day. Upper and intermediate canopy layers had greater NSC concentration at 15.00 than 06.00 h during spring and summer. In addition, the magnitude of NSC increase was greater in the upper than intermediate canopy layer and in spring than summer. Marandu palisade grass shows greater digestibility in the afternoon than morning, representing an opportunity to optimize energy concentration through harvest management.
Improving understanding of the pathogen-specific seasonality of enteric infections is critical to informing policy on the timing of preventive measures and to forecast trends in the burden of diarrhoeal disease. Data obtained from active surveillance of cohorts can capture the underlying infection status as transmission occurs in the community. The purpose of this study was to characterise rotavirus seasonality in eight different locations while adjusting for age, calendar time and within-subject clustering of episodes by applying an adapted Serfling model approach to data from a multi-site cohort study. In the Bangladesh and Peru sites, within-subject clustering was high, with more than half of infants who experienced one rotavirus infection going on to experience a second and more than 20% experiencing a third. In the five sites that are in countries that had not introduced the rotavirus vaccine, the model predicted a primary peak in prevalence during the dry season and, in three of these, a secondary peak during the rainy season. The patterns predicted by this approach are broadly congruent with several emerging hypotheses about rotavirus transmission and are consistent for both symptomatic and asymptomatic rotavirus episodes. These findings have practical implications for programme design, but caution should be exercised in deriving inferences about the underlying pathways driving these trends, particularly when extending the approach to other pathogens.
Nausea is one of the most common gastrointestinal symptoms during pregnancy, affecting 50–90% of pregnant women. Independent risk factors for developing nausea during pregnancy include obesity, young maternal age, first pregnancy, and smoking. The pathophysiology of nausea during pregnancy includes alterations in gastric motility, taste, smell, and vestibular function, but psychological factors may also be involved.
An outbreak of mumps within a student population in Scotland was investigated to assess the effect of previous vaccination on infection and clinical presentation, and any genotypic variation. Of the 341 cases, 79% were aged 18–24. Vaccination status was available for 278 cases of whom 84% had received at least one dose of mumps containing vaccine and 62% had received two. The complication rate was 5·3% (mainly orchitis), and 1·2% were admitted to hospital. Genetic sequencing of mumps virus isolated from cases across Scotland classified 97% of the samples as genotype G. Two distinct clusters of genotype G were identified, one circulating before the outbreak and the other thereafter, suggesting the virus that caused this outbreak was genetically different from the previously circulating virus. Whilst the poor vaccine effectiveness we found may be due to waning immunity over time, a contributing factor may be that the current mumps vaccine is less effective against some genotypes. Although the general benefits of the measles–mumps–rubella (MMR) vaccine should continue to be promoted, there may be value in reassessing the UK vaccination schedule and the current mumps component of the MMR vaccine.
The objective of this study was to validate an electronic system for monitoring individual feeding and drinking behaviour and intake developed for young cattle housed in group. A total of 35 Holstein–Gyr crossbred heifers (BW: 180±52 kg; age: 121.5±32.5 days), fitted with an ear tag containing a unique passive transponder, were distributed in three groups of 12, 12 and 11 animals per period and had free access to 12 electronic feed bins and two electronic water bins (Intergado® Ltd). The dimensions of feed and water bins, as well as the sensors position were appropriate for young cattle. The system documented the visit frequency and duration, as well as the feed and water intakes, by recording the animal’s identification tag, bin number, initial and final times of visits and the difference of feed/water weight at the start and end of each bin visit. Feed bins were monitored using time-lapse video recording over 4 days and the water bins were monitored over 6 days. For each feed bin, two feeding events were monitored using manual weighings with an external scale immediately before and after the animal’s visit and the difference between them was assumed as feed intake (n=24 observations). For the water bins, 60 manual weighings were made. Video and manual weighing data were regressed on the electronic feeding and drinking behaviour and intake data to evaluate the system’s precision and accuracy. The system showed high specificity (98.98% and 98.56% for the feed and water bins, respectively) and sensitivity (99.25% and 98.74%, respectively) for identifying an animal’s presence or absence. Duration of feed and water bin visits as well as feed and water consumption per visit estimated by the system were highly correlated and precise compared with the observed video and manual weighing data (r2=0.917, 0.963, 0.973 and 0.986, respectively). It was concluded that Intergado® system is a useful tool for monitoring feeding and drinking behaviour as well as water and feed intakes in young cattle housed in groups.
An experiment was carried to evaluate the energy and protein requirements for the growth and maintenance of lambs of different sex classes. In all, 38 hair lambs (13.0±1.49 kg initial BW and 2 months old) were allocated in a factorial design with diet restriction levels (ad libitum, 30% and 60% feed restriction) and sex classes (castrated and non-castrated males). Four animals from each sex class were slaughtered at the beginning of the trial as a reference group to estimate the initial empty BW and body composition. The remaining lambs were weighed weekly to calculate BW gain (BWG), and when the animals fed ad libitum reached an average BW of 30 kg, all of the experimental animals were slaughtered. Before slaughter, fasted BW (FBW) was determined after 18 h without feed and water. Feed restriction induced reductions in body fat and energy concentration, whereas water restriction showed the opposite effect, and the protein concentration was not affected. The increase in BW promoted increases in body fat and energy content, and these increases were greater in castrated lambs, whereas the protein content was similar between classes tending to stabilize. The net energy required for gain (NEg) and the net protein required for gain (NPg) were not affected by sex class; therefore, an equation was generated for the combined results of both castrated and non-castrated lambs. The NEg varied from 1.13 to 2.01 MJ/day for lambs with BW of 15 and 30 kg and BWG of 200 g. The NPg varied from 24.57 to 16.33 g/day for lambs with BW of 15 and 30 kg and BWG of 200 g. The metabolizable energy efficiency for gain (kg) was 0.37, and the metabolizable protein efficiency for gain (kpg) was 0.28. The net energy required for maintenance (NEm) and the net requirement of protein for maintenance (NPm) did not differ between castrated and non-castrated lambs, with values of 0.241 MJ/kg FBW0.75 per day and 1.30 g/kg FBW0.75 per day, respectively. The metabolizable energy efficiency for maintenance (km) was 0.60, and the efficiency of metabolizable protein use for maintenance (kpm) was 0.57. Nutritional requirements for growth and maintenance did not differ between castrated and non-castrated lambs. This study emphasizes the importance of updating the tables of international committees and of including data obtained from studies with sheep breeds raised in tropical conditions, with the purpose of improving the productive efficiency of the animals
Natural habitats are being rapidly lost due to human activities. It is therefore vital to understand how these activities influence biodiversity so that suitable guidelines can be established for conservation. This is particularly important in understudied, high biodiversity, areas such as the Angolan Escarpment. Here we examine which habitat characteristics drive bird diversity and endemic species presence at Kumbira Forest, a key site in the Central Escarpment Forest. Bird diversity was sampled by 10 min bird point counts, whereas habitat characteristics were measured by a combination of ground-based vegetation surveys and remotely sensed data modelling of Landsat images. GLM, multi-model inference and model averaging were used to determine the most important variables driving species richness and the presence of endemics. The remote sensing variables performed poorly in predicting presence of Red-crested Turaco Tauraco erythrolophus and Gabela Bushshrike Laniarius amboimensis but they contributed significantly to explain species richness and Gabela Akalat Sheppardia gabela presence, both of which were associated with greater canopy cover. Liana density and elevation were also important explanatory variables in certain cases. Conservation actions at Kumbira should focus on increasing canopy cover and maintaining forest integrity (as measured by liana density), as these actions are likely to have the most positive outcomes for the avifauna.
Mineral requirements of pregnant dairy goats are still not well defined; therefore, we investigated the net Ca, P, Mg, Na and K requirements for pregnancy and for maintenance during pregnancy in two separate experiments. Experiment 1 was performed to estimate the net Ca, P, Mg, Na and K requirements in goats carrying single or twin fetuses from 50 to 140 days of pregnancy (DOP). The net mineral requirements for pregnancy were determined by measuring mineral deposition in gravid uterus and mammary gland after comparative slaughter. In total, 57 dairy goats of two breeds (Oberhasli or Saanen), in their third or fourth parturition, were randomly assigned to groups based on litter size (single or twin) and day of slaughter (50, 80, 110 and 140 DOP) in a fully factorial design. Net mineral accretion for pregnancy did not differ by goat breed. The total daily Ca, P, Mg, Na and K requirements for pregnancy were greatest in goats carrying twins (P<0.05), and the requirements increased as pregnancy progressed. Experiment 2 was performed to estimate net Ca, P, Mg, Na and K requirements for dairy goat maintenance during pregnancy. In total, 58 dairy goats (Oberhasli and Saanen) carrying twin fetuses were assigned to groups based on slaughter day (80, 110 and 140 DOP) and feed restriction (ad libitum, 20% and 40% feed restriction) in a randomized block design. The net Ca, P and Mg requirements for maintenance did not vary by breed or over the course of pregnancy. The daily net requirements of Ca, P and Mg for maintenance were 60.4, 31.1 and 2.42 mg/kg live BW (LBW), respectively. The daily net Na requirement for maintenance was greater in Saanen goats (11.8 mg/kg LBW) than in Oberhasli goats (8.96 mg/kg LBW; P<0.05). Daily net K requirements increased as pregnancy progressed from 8.73 to 15.4 mg/kg LBW (P<0.01). The findings of this study will guide design of diets with adequate mineral content for pregnant goats throughout their pregnancy.
The rheological behavior of composites made with high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and chitosan was studied. Composites were prepared by melt processing in a laboratory internal mixer. Maleic anhydride grafted HDPE (PE-g-MA) was used as compatibilizer to enhance the dispersion of chitosan in the HDPE matrix. Different percentages of chitosan and compatibilizer (up to a maximum of 25 phr) were added into HDPE to prepare composites. Characterization of the composites with parallel plate rheometer and laboratory internal mixer revealed that the presence of chitosan increases the complex viscosity, loss modulus, storage modulus and the torque (i.e., melt viscosity), and the combination chitosan/compatibilizer has a similar, if slighter, effect. At higher filler levels it is clear that the PE-g-MA affected the microstructure of the compounds, possibly increasing matrix–filler interactions and acting as an effective compatibilizer.
The onset of Alzheimer's disease (AD) affects couples’ relationship. We investigated the perception of change and sexual satisfaction in spouse-caregivers and their partners diagnosed with AD.
We compared 74 dyads of people with Alzheimer's disease (PwAD)/spouse-caregivers and 21 elderly dyads control. We assessed sexual satisfaction with Questionnaire on Sexual Experience and Satisfaction (QSES), cognition using a Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), disease severity using a Clinical Dementia Rating scale (CDR), awareness of disease with Assessment Scale of Psychosocial Impact of the Diagnosis of Dementia (ASPIDD), functionality with Pfeffer Functional Activities Questionnaire (FAQ), depressive symptoms with Cornell Scale for Depression in Dementia (CSDD), quality of life using a Quality of Life in Alzheimer's Disease Scale (QoL-AD), and burden using a Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI).
We found differences between the perception and no perception of change in sexual activity of PwAD (p < 0.001), spouse-caregivers (p < 0.01), and controls (p < 0.05). Moderate to severe sexual dissatisfaction was observed in 36.5% of PwAD, 65% of spouse-caregivers, and 31% of controls. PwAD sexual satisfaction was related to cognitive impairment (p < 0.05). Spouse-caregivers sexual satisfaction was related to gender (p < 0.05) and the presence of sexual activity (p < 0.001).
The perception of change with higher sexual dissatisfaction, were significant in PwAD and their spouse-caregivers, in comparison with couples of elderly without dementia.