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The main objective of this secondary analysis was to describe the nutritional status of the Better Outcomes in Labour Difficulty (BOLD) project study population and determine possible associations between maternal nutritional status (as reflected by maternal BMI at the time of birth) and severe neonatal outcomes (SNO). We also analysed previous and index maternal pathologies to determine associations with neonatal outcomes. We used the classification designed by Atalah for maternal BMI and compared with the Hyperglycaemia and Adverse Pregnancy Outcome study one. To describe the nutritional status of this population, figures of distribution and test of normality related to weight and BMI were presented for the women and their babies. To explore the association between maternal BMI data and SNO, the χ2 test was performed. To identify a maternal characteristic or a group of characteristics that could predict SNO, we used Fisher’s exact test using previous maternal pathology collected in the BOLD project as well as that in the index pregnancy. In this study, BMI at the time of birth was not associated with neonatal near miss or death. We found that previous maternal obesity, diabetes and chronic hypertension were associated with SNO. Maternal pathology in the index pregnancy such as other obstetric haemorrhage, pre-eclampsia, anaemia and gestational diabetes was associated with SNO.
Microencapsulation of functioning cells for transplantation therapies is particularly promising, but the cells must retain their proper physiology and viability after being encapsulated. K-562 cells are multipotential and exhibit erythroid, megakaryocytic, or granulocytic properties that can be exploited by using an array of physiologically differentiating factors. The potential for cell differentiation makes it attractive the use of K-562 cells as functional model to the assessment of the effects of encapsulation on cell viability and physiology. Thus, alginate and hybrid alginate matrices were produced by extrusion technique for K-562 cell encapsulation. The produced systems were composed of bare alginate (1–3 wt%) and alginate in combination with chitosan or silica. The resulting materials were characterized by dynamic laser scattering, zeta potential measurements, small-angle X-ray scattering, and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. To assess viability, the encapsulated cells were subjected to the Trypan blue exclusion technique and NAD(P)H-dependent oxidoreductase (MTT) assays; hemin-induced erythroid differentiation capacity was also evaluated. The encapsulated alginate-based systems were shown to be monomodal and bimodal, depending on the nature of the capsule, with mean sizes in the range between 414 and 4.129 nm. Encapsulated cells exhibited viability ratios compatible with their use for prolonged cell cultures. Erythroid differentiation occurred in the range between 39 and 44%. The present results allow the consideration of the viability of therapeutic cells encapsulated in both bare alginate and in hybrid matrices.
To understand the production factors that affect conclusive parameters of sow herd performance can improve the use of the resources and profitability of farm. The objective of this study was to identify associations and quantify the effects of a set of factors related to piglet weight at weaning (PWW), kilograms of piglets weaned per sow per year (kgPWSY) and sow feed conversion (SFC). Data from 150 farms were collected, for a total study population of 135 168 sows, including gilt replacement, breeding (mating), gestation and farrowing/lactation phases. A questionnaire focusing on reproductive performance, management, facilities, feeding, health and biosafety was administered. Multiple linear regression models were used to assess associations among factors with each of the three dependent variables. Increased duration of lactation was positively associated with PWW, kgPWSY and SFC. The increase in the number of live born pigs per litter was positively associated with kgPWSY and with SFC. Farms with higher PWW had farrowing room humidifiers, did not surgically castrate male piglets and used quaternary ammonia compounds for farrowing room disinfection. Farms with higher kgPWSY used lined ceilings in farrowing rooms and winter feeds with higher CP percentages in gestation; they also had more farrowings per sow per year. Sow feed conversion was worse in farms with partly slatted floors during gestation, in farms feeding lactating sows six times a day or ad libitum and farms with a higher sow-handler ratio. This study indicates that farms can increase PWW and kgPWSY and improve the SFC by changing one or more management, biosafety and feeding practices or facilities as well as by focusing on improving several performance parameters, particularly increasing the duration of lactation and the number of live born pigs per litter.
We report a novel strategy to render stainless steel (SS) a more versatile material that is suitable to be used as the substrate for preparing electrodes for efficient hydrogen evolution by interface engineering. Our strategy involves the growth of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) by atmospheric pressure chemical vapor deposition (APCVD) as the interface material on the surface of SS. We optimized the procedure to prepare CNTs/SS and demonstrate a higher activity of the CNTs/SS prepared at 700 °C for the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) when compared to samples prepared at other temperatures. This can be attributed to the higher number of defects and the higher content of pyrrolic N obtained at this temperature. Our strategy offers a new approach to employ SS as a substrate for the preparation of highly efficient electrodes and has the potential to be widely used in electrochemistry.
The current study aimed to select the strains of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) isolated from forage cactus plants and silage and assess their effects on silage fermentation and aerobic stability. Forty wild isolates from plant and cactus silage, classified as LAB, were evaluated for metabolite production and identified by 16S ribosomal DNA sequencing. These wild isolates were identified as Lactobacillus plantarum, Weissella cibaria, Weissella confusa and Weissella paramesenteroides and the LAB populations differed among the silage. The use of microbial inoculants did not influence gas or effluent losses in forage cactus silage. The silage inoculated with the microbial strain GP15 showed the highest number of LAB populations. The amounts of water-soluble carbohydrates (WSC) and ammonia nitrogen differed among the silage. The silage inoculated with the GP1 strain presented the highest WSC. Populations of enterobacteria and yeasts and moulds were below the minimum detection limit (<2.0 log cfu/g silage) in all the silage studied. The predominant action of inoculants was to maximize dry matter recovery of the silage, which could be the criterion adopted to select the strains of LAB for use as inoculants in Opuntia silage.
Cognitive tests of inhibitory control show variable results for the differential diagnosis between behavioural variant of Frontotemporal Dementia (bvFTD) and Alzheimer’s disease (AD). We compared the diagnostic accuracies of tests of inhibitory control and of a behavioural questionnaire, to distinguish bvFTD from AD.
Three groups of participants were enrolled: 27 bvFTD patients, 25 AD patients, and 24 healthy controls. Groups were matched for gender, education, and socio-economic level. Participants underwent a comprehensive neuropsychological assessment of inhibitory control, including Hayling Test, Stroop, the Five Digits Test (FDT) and the Delay Discounting Task (DDT). Caregivers completed the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale 11th version (BIS-11).
bvFTD and AD groups showed no difference in the tasks of inhibitory control, while the caregiver questionnaire revealed that bvFTD patients were significantly more impulsive (BIS-11: bvFTD 76.1+9.5, AD 62.9+13, p < .001).
Neuropsychological tests of inhibitory control failed to distinguish bvFTD from AD. On the contrary, impulsivity caregiver-completed questionnaire provided good distinction between bvFTD and AD. These results highlight the current limits of cognitive measures of inhibitory control for the differential diagnosis between bvFTD and AD, whereas questionnaire information appears more reliable and in line with clinical diagnostics.
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.
Many plant traits might explain the different ecological and network roles of fruit-eating birds. We assessed the relationship of plant productivity, fruit traits (colour, seed size and nutritional quality) and dietary specialization, with the network roles of fruit-eating birds (number of partners, centrality and selectivity) in the Atlantic Forest, Brazil. We classified bird species according to their dietary specialization into three categories: obligate, partial and opportunistic fruit-eating birds. To test if network roles changed according to dietary specialization, fruit productivity and traits, we used a generalized linear model analysis. The selected 14 species of plant interacted with 52 bird species, which consumed 2199 fruits. The most central and generalist fruit-eating bird, Turdus albicolis, interacted with plants that produced more fruits, such as Miconia cinerascens, and had, on average, larger seeds, such as Myrcia splendens. The most selective birds interacted with fruits with a higher concentration of lipids and less intense colour, and plants that produced fewer fruits. Obligate fruit-eating birds, such as Patagioenas plumbea, were more selective than partial and opportunistic birds. Different plant traits are therefore related to the different network roles of fruit-eating birds in the Atlantic Forest, which are also dependent on bird dietary specialization.
New therapeutic approaches are necessary to control strongyloidiasis due to the side effects of, and resistance to, currently available drugs thiabendazole, albendazole, and ivermectin. This study examined the anthelmintic properties of extracts and isolated compounds from Siparuna guianensis against Strongyloides venezuelensis eggs and larvae, using the egg hatching test (EHT) and larval motility test (LMT). Albendazole (0.025 mg/ml) and ivermectin (0.316 mg/ml) were used as the positive controls for the EHT and LMT assays, respectively. Strongyloides venezuelensis eggs or larvae (±50 specimens) were treated with ethanol extract (0.05–1.0 mg/ml), ethyl acetate and aqueous fractions (0.05–0.8 mg/ml), essential oil (0.2–1.0 mg/ml) and α-bisabolol (0.2–1.0 mg/ml) from S. guianensis, and analysed by optical microscopy after 48 h (EHT), or after 24, 48 and 72 h (LMT). All the tested compounds exhibited ovicidal activity equivalent to the positive control and changed the morphology of the eggs. The S. guianensis ethanol extract and aqueous fraction were as effective as the positive control. Phytochemical analysis of the ethanol extract and fractions revealed the presence of phenolic compounds, tannins and flavonoids. Therefore, S. guianensis is effective against S. venezuelensis eggs and larvae in vitro, and can be considered as a potential alternative treatment for strongyloidiasis.
The study aims to evaluate the antiprotozoal activities of 20 plant metabolites on Trypanosoma cruzi and Leishmania amazonensis amastigotes. Compounds 1–20 were obtained and identified by using chromatographic and spectroscopic techniques. The antiparasitic assays were performed on the intracellular form of T. cruzi and L. amazonensis using human leukaemic THP-1 cells as the host. The mechanism of action of the most active compounds was explored in silico by molecular docking using T. cruzi trypanothione reductase (TR) as a target, whereas the in vitro studies were performed by enzymatic assay using T. cruzi recombinant TR. In addition, the mitochondrial membrane potential was evaluated by flow cytometry. Two flavonoids, one triterpene and three acetogenins showed from high to moderate trypanocidal activities with IC50 values ranging 3.6–37.2 µm while three of the metabolites were moderately leishmanicidal. The molecular docking study revealed interactions between TR and the most trypanocidal compounds 1 (abyssinone IV) and 2 (atalantoflavone). In contrast, both showed no effect on TR in vitro. For the mitochondrial membrane potential assay, atalantoflavone (2) displayed a dose-dependent depolarization. On the basis of the aforementioned results, this compound's structure could be chemically explored in order to develop more potent trypanocidal derivatives.
Inclusion of legume in grass pastures optimizes protein values of the forage and promotes improved digestibility. Therefore, we hypothesized that finishing steers on a novel combination of legumes and grass pasture would produce carcasses with acceptable traits when compared to carcasses from steers finished in feedlot systems. In this study, we evaluated the effects of finishing steers on three systems including: grazing legume–grass pasture containing oats, ryegrass, white and red clover (PAST), grazing PAST plus supplementation with whole corn grain (14 g/kg BW (SUPP)), and on a feedlot-confined system with concentrate only (28 g/kg BW, consisting of 850 g/kg of whole corn grain and 150 g/kg of protein–mineral–vitamin supplement (GRAIN)) on growth performance of steers, carcass traits and digestive disorders. Eighteen steers were randomly assigned to one of three dietary treatments and finished for 91 days. Data regarding pasture and growth performance were collected during three different periods (0 to 28, 29 to 56 and 57 to 91 days). Subsequently, steers were harvested to evaluate carcass traits, presence of rumenitis, abomasitis and liver abscesses. The legume–grass pasture provided more than 19% dry matter of protein. In addition, pasture of paddocks where steers were assigned to SUPP and PAST treatments showed similar nutritional quality. When compared to PAST, finishing on SUPP increased total weight gain per hectare, stocking rate, daily and total weight gains. The increase of weight gain was high to GRAIN than SUPP and PAST. Steers finished on GRAIN had high hot carcass weight, fat thickness and marbling score when compared to PAST. However, these attributes did not differ between GRAIN and SUPP. Abomasum lesions were more prevalent in steers finished on GRAIN when compared to PAST. Results of this research showed that it is possible to produce carcasses with desirable market weight and fat thickness by finishing steers on legume–grass pasture containing oats, ryegrass, white and red clover. Moreover, supplementing steers with corn when grazing on legume–grass pasture produced similar carcass traits when compared to beef fed corn only.
Monitoring vectors is relevant to ascertain transmission of lymphatic filariasis (LF). This may require the best sampling method that can capture high numbers of specific species to give indication of transmission. Gravid anophelines are good indicators for assessing transmission due to close contact with humans through blood meals. This study compared the efficiency of an Anopheles gravid trap (AGT) with other mosquito collection methods including the box and the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention gravid, light, exit and BioGent-sentinel traps, indoor resting collection (IRC) and pyrethrum spray catches across two endemic regions of Ghana. The AGT showed high trapping efficiency by collecting the highest mean number of anophelines per night in the Western (4.6) and Northern (7.3) regions compared with the outdoor collection methods. Additionally, IRC was similarly efficient in the Northern region (8.9) where vectors exhibit a high degree of endophily. AGT also showed good trapping potential for collecting Anopheles melas which is usually difficult to catch with existing methods. Screening of mosquitoes for infection showed a 0.80–3.01% Wuchereria bancrofti and 2.15–3.27% Plasmodium spp. in Anopheles gambiae. The AGT has shown to be appropriate for surveying Anopheles populations and can be useful for xenomonitoring for both LF and malaria.
The anti-leishmania effects of HIV peptidase inhibitors (PIs) have been widely reported; however, the biochemical target and mode of action are still a matter of controversy in Leishmania parasites. Considering the possibility that HIV-PIs induce lipid accumulation in Leishmania amazonensis, we analysed the effects of lopinavir on the lipid metabolism of L. amazonensis promastigotes. To this end, parasites were treated with lopinavir at different concentrations and analysed by fluorescence microscopy and spectrofluorimetry, using a fluorescent lipophilic marker. Then, the cellular ultrastructure of treated and control parasites was analysed by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and the lipid composition was investigated by thin-layer chromatography (TLC). Finally, the sterol content was assayed by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC/MS). TEM analysis revealed an increased number of lipid inclusions in lopinavir-treated cells, which was accompanied by an increase in the lipophilic content, in a dose-dependent manner. TLC and GC–MS analysis revealed a marked increase of cholesterol-esters and cholesterol. In conclusion, lopinavir-induced lipid accumulation and affected lipid composition in L. amazonensis in a concentration–response manner. These data contribute to a better understanding of the possible mechanisms of action of this HIV-PI in L. amazonensis promastigotes. The concerted action of lopinavir on this and other cellular processes, such as the direct inhibition of an aspartyl peptidase, may be responsible for the arrested development of the parasite.
The study of the mechanical properties of nanostructured systems has gained importance in theoretical and experimental research in recent years. Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are one of the strongest nanomaterials found in nature, with Young’s Modulus (EY) in the order 1.25 TPa. One interesting question is about the possibility of generating new nanostructures with 1D symmetry and with similar and/or superior CNT properties. In this work, we present a study on the dynamical, structural, mechanical properties, fracture patterns and EY values for one class of these structures, the so-called pentagraphene nanotubes (PGNTs). These tubes are formed rolling up pentagraphene membranes (which are quasi-bidimensional structures formed by densely compacted pentagons of carbon atoms in sp3 and sp2 hybridized states) in the same form that CNTs are formed from rolling up graphene membranes. We carried out fully atomistic molecular dynamics simulations using the ReaxFF force field. We have considered zigzag-like and armchair-like PGNTs of different diameters. Our results show that PGNTs present EY ∼ 800 GPa with distinct elastic behavior in relation to CNTs, mainly associated with mechanical failure, chirality dependent fracture patterns and extensive structural reconstructions.
The present study evaluated the effects of maternal dyslipidaemia on blood pressure (BP), cardiorespiratory physiology and biochemical parameters in male offspring. Wistar rat dams were fed either a control (CTL) or a dyslipidaemic (DLP) diet during pregnancy and lactation. After weaning, both CTL and DLP offspring received standard diet. On the 30th and 90th day of life, blood samples were collected for metabolic analyses. Direct measurements of BP, respiratory frequency (RF), tidal volume (VT) and ventilation (VE) under baseline condition, as well as during hypercapnia (7 % CO2) and hypoxia (KCN, 0·04 %), were recorded from awake 90-d-old male offspring. DLP dams exhibited raised serum levels of total cholesterol (TC) (4·0-fold), TAG (2·0-fold), VLDL+LDL (7·7-fold) and reduced HDL-cholesterol (2·4-fold), insulin resistance and hepatic steatosis at the end of lactation. At 30 d of age, the DLP offspring showed an increase in the serum levels of TC (P<0·05) and VLDL+LDL (P<0·05) in comparison with CTL offspring. At 90 d of age, DLP offspring exhibited higher mean arterial pressure (MAP, approximately 34 %). In the spectral analysis, the DLP group showed augmented low-frequency (LF) power and LF:high-frequency (HF) ratio when compared with CTL offspring. In addition, the DLP animals showed a larger delta variation in arterial pressure after administration of the ganglionic blocker (P=0·0003). We also found that cardiorespiratory response to hypercapnia and hypoxia was augmented in DLP offspring. In conclusion, the present data show that maternal dyslipidaemia alters cardiorespiratory physiology and may be a predisposing factor for hypertension at adulthood.
In this study, we isolate and analyse a new set of microsatellite loci for Cattleya walkeriana. Twenty-two primer pairs were screened for C. walkeriana (n = 32) and assessed for their transferability to Cattleya loddigesii (n = 12) and Cattleya nobilior (n = 06). All loci amplified for C. walkeriana; however, for C. loddigesii and C. nobilior, four and five primers, respectively, did not present amplification. The polymorphic loci presented between 2 and 13 alleles per locus for both C. walkeriana and C. loddigesii, with respective averages of 5.1 and 4.2. For C. nobilior, we found between two and five alleles per locus, with an average of 2.6. For C. walkeriana, observed heterozygosity varied from 0.100 to 0.966, whereas expected heterozygosity ranged from 0.097 to 0.900. The observed and expected heterozygosity for C. loddigesii and C. nobilior were also estimated. We found no significant linkage disequilibrium between any pair of loci, and evidence of null alleles at four loci (Cw16, Cw24, Cw30 and Cw31) for C. walkeriana. The combined power to exclude the first parent and combined non-exclusion probability of identity were 0.999 and 2.3 × 10−20, respectively. These new loci can be used in studies of germplasm resources, and assessments of genotypic and genetic diversity and population structure, thus improving the accuracy of such analyses and their applicability in the conservation and protection of these endangered species.
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.
Trypanosoma cruzi epimastigote reservosomes store nutrients taken up during the intense endocytic activity exhibited by this developmental form. Reservosomes were classified as pre-lysosomal compartments. In contrast, trypomastigote forms are not able to take up nutrients from the medium. Interestingly, trypomastigotes also have acidic organelles with the same proteases contained in epimastigote reservosomes. Nevertheless, the origin and function of these organelles have not been disclosed so far. Given the similarities between the compartments of epimastigotes and trypomastigotes, the present study aimed to investigate the origin of metacyclic trypomastigote protease-containing organelles by tracking fluorospheres or colloidal gold particles previously stored in epimastigotes’ reservosomes throughout metacyclogenesis. Using three-dimensional reconstruction of serial electron microscopy images, it was possible to find trypomastigote compartments containing the tracer. Our observations demonstrate that the protease-containing compartments from metacyclic trypomastigotes may originate directly from the reservosomes of epimastigotes.
Leishmaniasis are diseases caused by parasites of the genus Leishmania and transmitted to humans by the bite of infected insects of the subfamily Phlebotominae. Current drug therapy shows high toxicity and severe adverse effects. Recently, two oligopeptidases (OPBs) were identified in Leishmania amazonensis, namely oligopeptidase B (OPB) and oligopeptidase B2 (OPB2). These OPBs could be ideal targets, since both enzymes are expressed in all parasite lifecycle and were not identified in human. This work aimed to identify possible dual inhibitors of OPB and OPB2 from L. amazonensis. The three-dimensional structures of both enzymes were built by comparative modelling and used to perform a virtual screening of ZINC database by DOCK Blaster server. It is the first time that OPB models from L. amazonensis are used to virtual screening approach. Four hundred compounds were identified as possible inhibitors to each enzyme. The top scored compounds were submitted to refinement by AutoDock program. The best results suggest that compounds interact with important residues, as Tyr490, Glu612 and Arg655 (OPB numbers). The identified compounds showed better results than antipain and drugs currently used against leishmaniasis when ADMET in silico were performed. These compounds could be explored in order to find dual inhibitors of OPB and OPB2 from L. amazonensis.
Clinical manifestations of acute bronchiolitis (AB) vary from minimal disease to severe respiratory failure. The response to respiratory viral infections is possibly influenced by genetic polymorphisms linked to the regulation of the inflammatory response. In the present study, we investigated whether interleukin-8 (IL-8) and interleukin-17 (IL-17) genetic variants are associated with the severity of AB. A group of Brazilian infants hospitalized with AB and a control group (infants with no or mild AB, without hospitalization) were genotyped for four IL-8/IL-17 variations. For replication, we studied an Argentinean population sample of infants with mild and severe AB. IL-8 polymorphism (rs 2227543) and IL-17 (rs2275913) variants showed significant associations with the severity of AB. The effect of the IL-8 variation could be replicated in the Argentinean sample. This finding suggests that IL-8 variations may influence the severity of AB in young infants. Further genetic association studies in low- or middle-income populations are necessary with the aim of expanding knowledge in this area.