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As a consequence of axenic growth and the elimination of accompanying bacterial flora, Entamoeba histolytica virulence decreases rapidly, and pathogenicity is lost. This paper evaluated the impact of vitamin supplementation on the pathogenicity of E. histolytica. Growth of E. histolytica trophozoites, cultured axenically in PEHPS (a Spanish acronym for the main ingredients – casein peptone, liver, pancreas extract and bovine serum) medium, with or without vitamins, exhibited a similar growth rate. However, the vitamin-enriched PEHPS preparations expressed 2.65 times more haemolytic activity (at 60 min: 98 vs 48%, P < 0.05), 2.5 times more phospholipase A2 activity at 150 min of incubation and generated more hepatic abscesses (88 vs 60%, P = 0.05) than the preparations without vitamins. The haemolytic and phospholipase A2 activity for the PEHPS − V preparations were restored following vitamin supplementation with A and D. These data highlight, for the first time, that vitamins and specifically vitamin A and D were essential for the recovery of amoebic virulence, lost through axenic growth.
Neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR), monocyte-to-lymphocyte ratio (MLR), and platelet-to-lymphocyte ratio (PLR) have emerged as important peripheral inflammatory biomarkers. Recent data suggest a possible role of the immune system in the pathophysiology of suicidal behavior (SB). The aim of this study is to evaluate the association among NLR, MLR, and PLR and SB in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD), and to test its validity as a biomarker for suicidality.
We evaluated 538 patients with MDD (mean age [standard deviation] = 43.87 [14.36] years; females: 68.8%). A logistic regression model was estimated to determine the independent factors associated with suicide risk in patients with and without a history of suicide attempt (SA).
Three hundred ninety-three patients (74.7%) had a personal history of SA. Patients with a previous SA were more frequently female (71.9% vs. 59.6%; p = 0.007), significantly younger (41.20 vs. 51.77 years; p < 0.001), had lower depression severity at enrolment (15.58 vs. 18.42; p < 0.000), and significantly higher mean NLR and PLR ratios (2.27 vs. 1.68, p = 0.001; 127.90 vs. 109.97, p = 0.007, respectively). In the final logistic regression model, after controlling for age, sex, and depression severity, NLR was significantly associated with SB (β = 0.489, p = 0.000; odds ratio [95% confidence intervals] = 1.631 [1.266–2.102]). We propose a cut-off value of NLR = 1.30 (sensitivity = 75% and specificity = 35%).
Our data suggest that NLR may be a valuable, reproducible, easily accessible, and cost-effective strategy to determine suicide risk in MDD.
The interactions between the senses are essential for cognitive functions such as perception, attention, and action planning. Past research helped understanding of multisensory processes in the laboratory. Yet, the efforts to extrapolate these findings to the real-world are scarce. Extrapolation to real-world contexts is important for practical and theoretical reasons. Multisensory phenomena might be expressed differently in real-world settings compared to simpler laboratory situations. Some effects might become stronger, others may disappear, and new outcomes could be discovered. This Element discusses research that uncovers multisensory interactions under complex environments, with an emphasis on the interplay of multisensory mechanisms with other processes.
The first period of agrarian reforms with clear state control over the land (African socialisms) took place between 1945 and 1980, but then a second period started in which market agrarian reforms have prevailed. This work synthesizes agrarian structural reform policies (property systems and land tenure) between 1980 and 2016 in African countries, especially those that had or have bureaucratic bourgeoisie governments (one-party and/or African socialist). The two periods are complementary, rather then being opposed to each other, as state agrarian reforms smoothed the path to market agrarian reforms. Although there is not yet sufficient empirical research on the results of the agrarian reforms implemented during this period, our hypothesis is that they are helping to: increase the unequal structure of property; develop tenure systems and non-capitalist contractual labour relations in new ways, both non-associative (the grabbing of vast tracts of land) and associative (renewed control of customary lands by traditional authorities); and force peasant expropriation and the subsequent increase in the number of landless non-proletarianized peasants. Therefore, the problem of poor agrarian structures in Africa is still unresolved.
The regulatory framework of the red octopus (Octopus maya) fishery includes total allowable catches (TAC), which are based on studies conducted on the population that occurs in shallow waters. In fact, most of the biological studies of this species refer to the fraction of the population that occupies waters less than 30 m deep; however, O. maya can occur up to a 60 m depth. The aim of this study is to assess the stock of O. maya that occupies waters between 30 m and 60 m deep. Four research cruises were carried out during the closed and fishing seasons, from May 2016 to January 2017. An average of 29 sampling sites were surveyed in each cruise (±2 sampling sites) using a commercial vessel with a uniform sampling effort. In each sampling site, the swept area, the total number of octopuses captured, the total weight of the catch, and the individual weight of octopuses were recorded. Biomass was obtained with four methods: stratified random method, swept area method, geostatistical biomass model, and an unpublished method of weighted swept area. The four methods provided consistent results. The distribution pattern of species was in patches, although before the fishing season started it was more homogeneous. The fraction of the population that occurs between 30 m and 60 m deep consisted mostly of adult organisms, so it could be contributing significantly to the recruitment of the entire population, even to the fraction that is exploited.
Aedes aegypti, historically known as yellow fever (YF) mosquito, transmits a great number of other viruses such as Dengue, West Nile, Chikungunya, Zika, Mayaro and perhaps Oropouche, among others. Well established in Africa and Asia, Aedes mosquitoes are now increasingly invading large parts of the American continent, and hence the risk of urban YF resurgence in the American cities should because of great concern to public health authorities. Although no new urban cycle of YF was reported in the Americas since the end of an Aedes eradication programme in the late 1950s, the high number of non-vaccinated individuals that visit endemic areas, that is, South American jungles where the sylvatic cycle of YF is transmitted by canopy mosquitoes, and return to Aedes-infested urban areas, increases the risk of resurgence of the urban cycle of YF. We present a method to estimate the risk of urban YF resurgence in dengue-endemic cities. This method consists in (1) to estimate the number of Aedes mosquitoes that explains a given dengue outbreak in a given region; (2) calculate the force of infection caused by the introduction of one infective individual per unit area in the endemic area under study; (3) using the above estimates, calculate the probability of at least one autochthonous YF case per unit area produced by one single viraemic traveller per unit area arriving from a YF endemic or epidemic sylvatic region at the city studied. We demonstrate that, provided the relative vector competence, here defined as the capacity to being infected and disseminate the virus, of Ae. aegypti is greater than 0.7 (with respect to dengue), one infected traveller can introduce urban YF in a dengue endemic area.
During the INDEMARES/CHICA 0610, 0211 and 0412 expeditions, carried out in the northern Spanish sector of the Gulf of Cádiz (Spain), samples were collected with a box-corer in 11 mud volcanoes and their adjacent bottoms. Chemoautotrophic communities were found in nine mud volcanoes. Among Decapoda, a rare eucalliacid, belonging to the genus Calliax and related to the Mediterranean infralittoral species C. lobata (de Gaillande and Lagardère 1966), was present in three of them. Data on its morphology, biogeographic distribution, vertical distribution within the burrows, sediment composition, pH and redox potential values (each in 5 cm intervals) are given; information on the chemoautotrophic communities associated with this species are also provided.
Recent scholarship has suggested that villagers participated in the general proliferation of goods that seems to have occurred in late medieval Europe. How and why they did so is far from clear. This article addresses this issue through a case study of pottery consumption (with particular attention to earthenware) in late medieval rural Valencia. A quantitative analysis of 251 probate inventories (1280s–1450s) supports the argument that not only did medieval villagers acquire more of these goods, but also that the reasons behind such a process challenge many of the traditional interpretations of changes in consumption patterns.
Metamaterials offer the possibility to control and manipulate electromagnetic radiation. Spoof surface plasmon metamaterials are the focus of this Element of the Metamaterials Series. The fundamentals of spoof surface plasmons are reviewed, and advances on plasmonic metamaterials based on spoof plasmons are presented. Spoof surface plasmon metamaterials on a wide range of geometries are discussed: from planar platforms to waveguides and localized modes, including cylindrical structures, grooves, wedges, dominos or conformal surface plasmons in ultrathin platforms. The Element closes with a review of recent advances and applications such as Terahertz sensing or integrated devices and circuits.
The aim of this study was to develop and to assess a specific Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) framework to evaluate new drugs in an hospital pharmacy and therapeutics committee (P&TC) setting.
A pilot criteria framework was developed based on the EVIDEM (Evidence and Value: Impact on DEcisionMaking) framework, together with other relevant criteria, and assessed by a group of P&TC's members. The weighting of included criteria was done using a 5-point weighting technique. Two drugs were chosen by evaluation: an orphan-drug for Gaucher disease, and a nonorphan drug for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease. Evidence matrices were developed, and value contribution of each drug was evaluated by P&TC's members. An agreed final framework was obtained through a discussion between the P&TC's members.
After criteria assessment, the pilot framework included eight quantitative criteria: “disease severity,” “unmet needs,” “comparative efficacy/effectiveness,” “comparative safety/tolerability,” “comparative patient-reported outcomes,” “comparative cost consequences-cost of treatment,” “comparative cost consequences-other medical costs,” and “quality of evidence”; and one contextual criterion: “opportunity costs and affordability.” The most valued criteria were: “comparative safety/tolerability,” “disease severity,” and “comparative efficacy/effectiveness.” When assessing the drugs most valued characteristics of the MCDA were the possibility that all team may contribute to drug assessment by means of scoring the matrices and the discussion to reach a consensus in drug positioning and value decision making.
The reflective MCDA would integrate quantitative and qualitative criteria relevant for a P&TC setting, allowing reflective discussions based on the criteria weighting score.
The Spanish term grima refers to the aversive emotional experience typically evoked when one hears, for example, a scratch upon a chalkboard. Whereas Spanish speakers can distinguish between the concepts of grima and disgust, English and German speakers lack a specific word for this experience and typically label grima as disgust. In the present research, we tested the degree of differentiation between the two aversive experiences in Spanish speakers. Study 1 addressed whether Spanish speakers apply spontaneously the term grima rather than disgust to grima-eliciting experiences. Study 2 systematically addressed the constitutive features of both grima and disgust by mapping their internal structures. Results showed that the noise of a chulk on a blackboard and scraping fingernails on a blackboard, along with the physical manifestation of goose bumps, were the most typical features of the category. Whereas both grima and disgust were characterized as unpleasant sensations, t(193) = 1.21, ns, they differed with respect to their physiological signatures (e.g., producing shivers was characteristic of grima, as compared to disgust, t(194) = 12.02, p = .001, d = 1.72) and elicitors (e.g., a fractured bone was a characteristic elicitor of grima; t(193) = 5.78, p = .001, d = .83, whereas pederasts and pedophiles were the most characteristic elicitor of disgust, t(193) = 8.46, p = .001, d = 1.21). Thus, both grima and disgust are conceptually different experiences, whose shared features hold different degrees of typicality. The present research suggests that grima and disgust are two distinct emotion concepts.
This study aimed to propose an adapted feedback using a psychological learning technique based on Skinner’s shaping method to help the users to modulate two cognitive tasks (right-hand motor imagination and relaxed state) and improve better control in a Brain-Computer Interface. In the first experiment, a comparative study between performance in standard feedback (N = 9) and shaping method (N = 10) was conducted. The NASA Task Load Index questionnaire was applied to measure the user’s workload. In the second experiment, a single case study was performed (N = 5) to verify the continuous learning by the shaping method. The first experiment showed significant interaction effect between sessions and group (F(1, 17) = 5.565; p = .031) which the shaping paradigm was applied. A second interaction effect demonstrates a higher performance increase in the relax state task with shaping procedure (F(1, 17) = 5. 038; p = .038). In NASA-TXL an interaction effect was obtained between the group and the cognitive task in Mental Demand (F(1, 17) = 6, 809; p = .018), Performance (F(1, 17) = 5, 725; p = .029), and Frustration (F(1, 17) = 9, 735; p = .006), no significance was found in Effort. In the second experiment, a trial-by-trial analysis shows an ascendant trend learning curve for the cognitive task with the lowest initial acquisition (relax state). The results suggest the effectiveness of the shaping procedure to modulate brain rhythms, improving mainly the cognitive task with greater initial difficulty and provide better interaction perception.
To describe dietary patterns by applying cluster analysis and to describe the cluster memberships of European children over time and their association with body composition changes.
The analyses included k-means clustering based on the similarities between the relative frequencies of consumption of forty-three food items and regression models were fitted to assess the association between dietary patterns and body composition changes.
Primary schools and pre-schools of selected regions in Italy, Estonia, Cyprus, Belgium, Sweden, Hungary, Germany and Spain.
Participants (n 8341) in the baseline (2–9 years old) and follow-up (4–11 years old) surveys of the IDEFICS (Identification and prevention of Dietary- and lifestyle-induced health EFfects In Children and infantS) study.
Three persistent clusters were obtained at baseline and follow-up. Children consistently allocated to the ‘processed’ cluster presented increased BMI (β=0·050; 95 % CI 0·006, 0·093), increased waist circumference (β=0·071; 95 % CI 0·001, 0·141) and increased fat mass gain (β=0·052; 95 % CI 0·014, 0·090) over time v. children allocated to the ‘healthy’ cluster. Being in the ‘processed’–‘sweet’ cluster combination was also linked to increased BMI (β=0·079; 95 % CI 0·015, 0·143), increased waist circumference (β=0·172; 95 % CI 0·069, 0·275) and increased fat mass gain (β=0·076; 95 % CI 0·019, 0·133) over time v. the ‘healthy’ cluster.
Children consistently showing a processed dietary pattern or changing from a processed pattern to a sweet pattern presented the most unfavourable changes in fat mass and abdominal fat. These findings support the need to promote overall healthy dietary habits in obesity prevention and health promotion programmes targeting children.
A new species of holothurian of the genus Psolus Oken, 1815 is described. Psolus rufus sp. nov. was found in the central Cantabrian slope (Bay of Biscay) at 1500 m depth. The new species is characterized by having: ovoid body, reddish colour in vivo; dorsal area enclosed in a complete test composed of imbricating scales; 10 triangular plates of the same size surrounding mouth; 10 oral tentacles; no dorsal papillae; tube feet in two rows in the ventrolateral radii but one single row in the medial third or the body; ossicles are big dorsal plates and small plates in the sole, which are smooth, irregular and perforated. The molecular study of the COI gene supports the morphological results, grouping P. rufus sp. nov. together with other members of the genus. However, the new species is genetically distinct from the two groups (Antarctic and Canadian) of the available sequenced Psolus species. Furthermore, a key to the Psolus species of the north-eastern Atlantic Ocean is provided.
To date, the spatial distribution pattern and density of Brazil nut trees in logged forest stands is unclear across the Amazon basin. We asked the following questions: (1) What are the densities and spatial distributions of Brazil nut juveniles (10 ≤ dbh < 40 cm) and adults (≥ 40 cm dbh) in three selectively logged Brazil nut concessions (1413 ha sampled) in Madre de Dios, Peru; (2) What is the spatial relationship between adults and juveniles (10 ≤ dbh < 30 cm); and (3) What is the spatial relationship between juveniles (10 ≤ dbh <30 cm) and cut stumps (≥ 10 y)? Spatial analyses were conducted using statistics derived from Ripley's K function. Juveniles were aggregated in all three concessions. Results for adult populations rejected the null hypothesis of a random distribution among trees ≥ 40 cm dbh. We did not find an attraction between juveniles and cut-stump locations, nor between adults and juveniles. The strong peaks of aggregation for juveniles and adult Brazil nuts in this study occurred at long distances (300–900 m), suggesting multiple tree canopy gaps as drivers of spatial distribution patterns, either via natural or anthropogenic sources. Our data contribute to a more thorough understanding of Brazil nut population structure in disturbed forests in south-western Amazonia.
Despite the higher proportion of foreclosures and home evictions executed in Spain, compared to other countries, and the known link between social exclusion and mental health problems, studies exploring this association in Spain remain scarce. This study investigated the link between the process of home eviction and the appearance of symptomatology of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, and perceived stress. Two hundred and five people affected by the process of home eviction were assessed using a structured interview that included three validated assessment instruments for PTSD, perceived stress, anxiety and depression. Analysis involved comparison with the normative groups that formed the validation studies together with regression analysis to determine the major psychological and socio-demographic predictors of perceived stress. Of the participants, 95.1% reported that they were experiencing the process of home eviction with fear, helplessness, or horror. In PTSD symptomatology, they scored higher than the normative PTSD group in symptoms of avoidance (t = 5.01; p < .05), activation (t = 5.48; p < .01), and total score (t = 4.15; p < .05). Of this subgroup, 72.5% fulfilled the DSM-IV symptom criteria for PTSD. The major predictor of perceived stress was PTSD symptomatology (B = .09; p < .001). The process of home eviction in Spain is having an alarming impact on mental health of affected people calling for effective measures to provide psychological and social support.
The Los Sombreros Formation represents the western continental margin slope deposits of the Argentine Precordillera, a sub-terrane accreted to Gondwana as part of the Cuyania Terrane in early Palaeozoic times. The age of these gravity-driven deposits is controversial and, therefore, a precise biostratigraphic scheme is essential to reveal the evolution of the continental margin. New conodont samplings along with sedimentological and structural analysis carried out in the Los Sombreros Formation in the La Invernada Range provide clues to its depositional framework. The sedimentary succession is made up of dominantly calciturbidites, carbonate breccias and conglomerates, along with mudstones that represent the pelagic/hemipelagic background sedimentation. It displays hectometric to outcrop-scale slump folds with variable hinge-line orientations and pinch-and-swell structures, evidencing soft-sediment deformation, consistent with a slope to base-of-slope setting. Three limestone samples from this succession include conodonts referable to the pandemic Hirsutodontus simplex Subzone of the Cordylodus intermedius Zone (upper Furongian, Cambrian) and from the Macerodus dianae Zone (upper Tremadocian, Ordovician), implying that a slope connected the shallow-water shelf with a deep-water (oceanic) basin at least since late Cambrian times. The conodont faunas show affinities to coeval assemblages from outer shelf and slope environments around Laurentia yet they are not conclusive to postulate a geographic origin for the Precordillera. The thermal alteration of the conodonts is consistent with sedimentary burial and nappe stacking in this sector of the Precordillera.
Socio-economic inequalities in childhood can determine dietary patterns, and therefore future health. This study aimed to explore associations between social vulnerabilities and dietary patterns assessed at two time points, and to investigate the association between accumulation of vulnerabilities and dietary patterns. A total of 9301 children aged 2–9 years participated at baseline and 2-year follow-up examinations of the Identification and prevention of Dietary- and lifestyle-induced health EFfects In Children and infantS study. In all, three dietary patterns were identified at baseline and follow-up by applying the K-means clustering algorithm based on a higher frequency of consumption of snacks and fast food (processed), sweet foods and drinks (sweet), and fruits and vegetables (healthy). Vulnerable groups were defined at baseline as follows: children whose parents lacked a social network, children from single-parent families, children of migrant origin and children with unemployed parents. Multinomial mixed models were used to assess the associations between social vulnerabilities and children’s dietary patterns at baseline and follow-up. Children whose parents lacked a social network (OR 1·31; 99 % CI 1·01, 1·70) and migrants (OR 1·45; 99 % CI 1·15, 1·83) were more likely to be in the processed cluster at baseline and follow-up. Children whose parents were homemakers (OR 0·74; 99 % CI 0·60, 0·92) were less likely to be in the processed cluster at baseline. A higher number of vulnerabilities was associated with a higher probability of children being in the processed cluster (OR 1·78; 99 % CI 1·21, 2·62). Therefore, special attention should be paid to children of vulnerable groups as they present unhealthier dietary patterns.
Pervasive systems are intended to make use of services and components that they encounter in their environment. Such systems are naturally spatial in that they can only be understood in terms of the ways in which components meet and interact in space. Rather than treating spatiality separately from system components, researchers are starting to develop computational models in which the entire structure of a pervasive system is modelled and constructed using an explicit spatial model, supporting multi-level spatial reasoning, and adapting autonomously to spatial interactions. In this paper, we review current and emerging models of spatial computing for pervasive ecosystems, and highlight some of the trends that will guide future research.
The protection and neat allocation of certain categories of scarce resources has traditionally been a defining task for public authorities. Both in the EU and in its Member States, administrative law regulates the creation and the allocation of different types of limited public rights in rather diverse policy areas. To illustrate the extent to which this is a widespread and heterogeneous reality, several examples can be brought up: allocation of greenhouse gas emission permits; award of public contracts; concession of subsidies and other State aids; the granting of public employment places; procedures for alienation of certain public assets; and, finally, the allocation of scarce entitlement administrative decisions (authorizations, licences, quotas, permits, concessions and so on), the object of which can also be quite diverse: provision of a (public) service, utilization of public goods, production of a certain amount of goods or, more generally, the development of a given activity under certain conditions.
These manifestations of the administrative activity of allocation of limited public rights are subject to their own specific legal regime. The pluralism in the regulation of the corresponding administrative procedures and decisions stems from the existing differences among the rights to be allocated in each case (contracts, authorizations, property rights, subsidies, public benefits…). Even within each of these manifestations, the regulation of this kind of administrative activity must conform, both to the specific features of the sector in which it develops, as well as to the relevant demands it imposes on administrative law understood as an instrument of social direction (Steuerungsinstrument). The differential treatment of this administrative activity can also find its basis on EU law (for instance, with regards to public procurement: Directives 23, 24 and 25/2014/EU), or in the relevant domestic constitution of each Member State [for example, Articles 103(3) and 45 of the Spanish Constitution define specific requirements in relation to access to public sector posts and the rational use of natural resources].
In spite of the fact that these regulations have been produced from a sector-based perspective, it can be noticed that the various kinds of limited public rights to which they refer raise some common regulatory problems. In addition, the solutions provided in response thereto by special administrative law tend to converge, at least to a certain extent.