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Progesterone (P4) plays a key role in pregnancy establishment and maintenance; during early pregnancy, P4 stimulates the production and release of uterine secretions necessary for conceptus growth prior to implantation; therefore, exogenous P4 supplementation may improve embryo development. This study evaluated the effects of supplementation during early pregnancy with long-acting injectable progesterone or altrenogest on embryonic characteristics of sows and gilts. Thus, a total of 32 sows and 16 gilts were used. On day 6 of pregnancy sows and gilts were allocated to one of the following groups: non-supplemented; supplemented with 20 mg of altrenogest, orally, from days 6 to 12 of pregnancy; supplemented with 2.15 mg/kg of long-acting injectable progesterone on day 6 of pregnancy. Animals were killed on day 28 of pregnancy, and ovulation rate, embryo survival, embryo weight, crown-to-rump length, uterine glandular epithelium and endometrial vascularization were assessed. Treatments had no effect on pregnancy rate, embryo survival or endometrial vascular density (P > 0.05). Non-supplemented gilts presented larger and heavier embryos compared to gilts from supplemented groups (P < 0.05). Sows in the altrenogest group presented larger and heavier embryos compared to non-supplemented sows and sows supplemented with long-acting injectable progesterone. In conclusion, supplementation of sows and gilts with progestagen from day 6 of pregnancy can be used as a means to improve embryo survival without deleterious effects.
Social cognition has been associated with functional outcome in patients with first episode psychosis (FEP). Social cognition has also been associated with neurocognition and cognitive reserve. Although cognitive reserve, neurocognitive functioning, social cognition, and functional outcome are related, the direction of their associations is not clear. Therefore, the main aim of this study was to analyze the influence of social cognition as a mediator between cognitive reserve and cognitive domains on functioning in FEP both at baseline and at 2 years.
The sample of the study was composed of 282 FEP patients followed up for 2 years. To analyze whether social cognition mediates the influence of cognitive reserve and cognitive domains on functioning, a path analysis was performed. The statistical significance of any mediation effects was evaluated by bootstrap analysis.
At baseline, as neither cognitive reserve nor the cognitive domains studied were related to functioning, the conditions for mediation were not satisfied. Nevertheless, at 2 years of follow-up, social cognition acted as a mediator between cognitive reserve and functioning. Likewise, social cognition was a mediator between verbal memory and functional outcome. The results of the bootstrap analysis confirmed these significant mediations (95% bootstrapped CI (−10.215 to −0.337) and (−4.731 to −0.605) respectively).
Cognitive reserve and neurocognition are related to functioning, and social cognition mediates in this relationship.
With the aim to elucidate gonococcal antimicrobial resistance (AMR)–risk factors, we undertook a retrospective analysis of the molecular epidemiology and AMR of 104 Neisseria gonorrhoeae isolates from clinical samples (urethra, rectum, pharynx and cervix) of 94 individuals attending a sexually transmitted infection clinic in Madrid (Spain) from July to October 2016, and explored potential links with socio-demographic, behavioural and clinical factors of patients. Antimicrobial susceptibility was determined by E-tests, and isolates were characterised by N. gonorrhoeae multi-antigen sequence typing. Penicillin resistance was recorded for 15.4% of isolates, and most were susceptible to tetracycline, cefixime and azithromycin; a high incidence of ciprofloxacin resistance (~40%) was found. Isolates were grouped into 51 different sequence types (STs) and 10 genogroups (G), with G2400, ST5441, ST2318, ST12547 and G2992 being the most prevalent. A significant association (P = 0.015) was evident between HIV-positive MSM individuals and having a ciprofloxacin-resistant strain. Likewise, a strong association (P = 0.047) was found between patient age of MSM and carriage of isolates expressing decreased susceptibility to azithromycin. A decrease in the incidence of AMR gonococcal strains and a change in the strain populations previously reported from other parts of Spain were observed. Of note, the prevalent multi-drug resistant genogroup G1407 was represented by only three strains in our study, while the pan-susceptible clones such as ST5441, and ST2318, associated with extragenital body sites were the most prevalent.
This study assessed the in vitro anthelmintic (AH) activity of methanol and acetone:water leaf extracts from Annona squamosa, A. muricata and A. reticulata against Haemonchus contortus eggs. The egg hatch test was used to determine the effective concentrations required to inhibit 50% of eggs hatching (EC50). The role of polyphenols on AH activity was measured through bioassays with and without polyvinylpolypyrrolidone (PVPP). Methanolic extracts mainly caused the death of eggs at the morula stage (ovicidal activity). Meanwhile, acetone:water extracts caused egg-hatching failure of developed larvae (larvae failing eclosion (LFE) activity). The lowest EC50 values against H. contortus eggs were observed for the methanolic extracts from A. reticulata and A. muricata (274.2 and 382.9 µg/ml, respectively). From the six extracts evaluated, the methanolic extracts of A. muricata, A. reticulata and A. squamosa showed the highest ovicidal activity, resulting in 98.9%, 92.8% and 95.1% egg mortality, respectively. When the methanolic extract of A. squamosa was incubated with PVPP, its AH activity increased. Similarly, when acetone:water extracts of A. muriata and A. reticulata were incubated with PVPP, their LFE activity increased. Alkaloids were only evident in methanolic extracts, irrespective of PVPP incubation. The presence of acetogenins was not observed. In conclusion, methanolic extracts obtained from leaves of A. muricata, A. reticulata and A. squamosa showed ovicidal activity affecting the morula of H. contortus eggs, with minor LFE activity. Meanwhile, acetone:water extracts showed mostly LFE activity, with a lower proportion of ovicidal activity.
Measurements in the infrared wavelength domain allow direct assessment of the physical state and energy balance of cool matter in space, enabling the detailed study of the processes that govern the formation and evolution of stars and planetary systems in galaxies over cosmic time. Previous infrared missions revealed a great deal about the obscured Universe, but were hampered by limited sensitivity.
SPICA takes the next step in infrared observational capability by combining a large 2.5-meter diameter telescope, cooled to below 8 K, with instruments employing ultra-sensitive detectors. A combination of passive cooling and mechanical coolers will be used to cool both the telescope and the instruments. With mechanical coolers the mission lifetime is not limited by the supply of cryogen. With the combination of low telescope background and instruments with state-of-the-art detectors SPICA provides a huge advance on the capabilities of previous missions.
SPICA instruments offer spectral resolving power ranging from R ~50 through 11 000 in the 17–230 μm domain and R ~28.000 spectroscopy between 12 and 18 μm. SPICA will provide efficient 30–37 μm broad band mapping, and small field spectroscopic and polarimetric imaging at 100, 200 and 350 μm. SPICA will provide infrared spectroscopy with an unprecedented sensitivity of ~5 × 10−20 W m−2 (5σ/1 h)—over two orders of magnitude improvement over what earlier missions. This exceptional performance leap, will open entirely new domains in infrared astronomy; galaxy evolution and metal production over cosmic time, dust formation and evolution from very early epochs onwards, the formation history of planetary systems.
The aim of the present work was to address experimentally the possible impact of exposure to air pollution during gestation on the differentiation and function of the gonads of the offspring using a rabbit model. Rabbits were exposed daily to diluted diesel exhaust gas or filtered air from the 3rd until the 27th day of gestation, during which time germ cells migrate in genital ridges and divide, and fetal sex is determined. Offspring gonads were collected shortly before birth (28th day of gestation) or after puberty (7.5 months after birth). The structure of the gonads was analyzed by histological and immunohistological methods. Serum concentrations of testosterone and anti-Müllerian hormone were determined using ELISA. The morphology and the endocrine function of the gonads collected just at the arrest of the exposure were similar in polluted and control animals in both sexes. No differences were observed as well in gonads collected after puberty. Sperm was collected at the head of the epididymis in adults. Sperm motility and DNA fragmentation were measured. Among all parameters analyzed, only the sperm DNA fragmentation rate was increased three-fold in exposed males. Mechanisms responsible for these modifications and their physiological consequences are to be further clarified.
This study assessed milk productivity, demographic characteristics and workload distribution on a single high-yield dairy ewe farm in Spain (Avila, Spain; continental climate, latitude of 40.90 N, altitude of 900 m) over a 7-year period considering a transition from a herd management system involving five lambings per year (5LY) to a system involving 10 lambings per year (10LY). The 5LY system was practiced on the farm from 2010 to 2012 and the 10LY system from 2014 to 2015, with 2009 and 2013 being considered transition years. During this period, 27 415 lactations were recorded from an average of 3746 Lacaune sheep/year. Several productivity parameters were higher in 2014 to 2015 than in 2010 to 2012: milk yield/lactation (370±156 v. 349±185 l), lactation length (218±75 v. 192±75 days) and dry period length (53.5±38.3 v. 69.1±34.8 days) (all P<0.0001). During 2014 to 2015, investment in new lambing facilities was possible, workload was distributed more uniformly throughout the year, workload per worker was smaller, rate of ewe culling was lower (35.39±0.53% v. 42.51±7.51%), ewe longevity was greater and higher-order lactations were more numerous (P<0.0001). On the other hand, during 2010 to 2012, daily production was higher (1.73±1.66 v. 1.70±0.62 l/day; P=0.038), the interlambing period was shorter (283±50 v. 302±44 days; P<0.0001) and lambings/ewe per year were greater (1.42±0.01 v. 1.30±0.01; P<0.05). These results suggest that a 10LY herd management system can be compatible with profitability, productivity and good animal and worker’s welfare on a high-yield dairy farm, and may even be associated with better outcomes than a 5LY system.
Firefighters represent an important population for understanding the consequences of exposure to potentially traumatic stressors.
The researchers were interested in the effects of pre-employment disaster exposure on firefighter recruits’ depression and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms during the first three years of fire service and hypothesized that: (1) disaster-exposed firefighters would have greater depression and PTSD symptoms than non-exposed overall; and (2) depression and PTSD symptoms would worsen over years in fire service in exposed firefighters, but not in their unexposed counterparts.
In a baseline interview, 35 male firefighter recruits from seven US cities reported lifetime exposure to natural disaster. These disaster-exposed male firefighter recruits were matched on age, city, and education with non-exposed recruits.
A generalized linear mixed model revealed a significant exposure×time interaction (ecoef =1.04; P<.001), such that depression symptoms increased with time for those with pre-employment disaster exposure only. This pattern persisted after controlling for social support from colleagues (ecoefficient=1.05; P<.001), social support from families (ecoefficient=1.04; P=.001), and on-the-job trauma exposure (coefficient=0.06; ecoefficient=1.11; P<.001). Posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms did not vary significantly between exposure groups at baseline (P=.61).
Depression symptoms increased with time for those with pre-employment disaster exposure only, even after controlling for social support. Posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms did not vary between exposure groups.
PenningtonML, CarpenterTP, SynettSJ, TorresVA, TeagueJ, MorissetteSB, KnightJ, KamholzBW, KeaneTM, ZimeringRT, GulliverSB. The Influence of Exposure to Natural Disasters on Depression and PTSD Symptoms among Firefighters. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2018;33(1):102–108.
Black widows and redbacks are binary systems consisting of a millisecond pulsar in a close binary with a companion having matter driven off of its surface by the pulsar wind. X-rays due to an intrabinary shock have been observed from many of these systems, as well as orbital variations in the optical emission from the companion due to heating and tidal distortion. We have been systematically studying these systems in radio, optical and X-rays. Here we will present an overview of X-ray and optical studies of these systems, including new XMM-Newton and NuStar data obtained from several of them, along with new optical photometry.
Research on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) course finds a substantial proportion of cases remit within 6 months, a majority within 2 years, and a substantial minority persists for many years. Results are inconsistent about pre-trauma predictors.
The WHO World Mental Health surveys assessed lifetime DSM-IV PTSD presence-course after one randomly-selected trauma, allowing retrospective estimates of PTSD duration. Prior traumas, childhood adversities (CAs), and other lifetime DSM-IV mental disorders were examined as predictors using discrete-time person-month survival analysis among the 1575 respondents with lifetime PTSD.
20%, 27%, and 50% of cases recovered within 3, 6, and 24 months and 77% within 10 years (the longest duration allowing stable estimates). Time-related recall bias was found largely for recoveries after 24 months. Recovery was weakly related to most trauma types other than very low [odds-ratio (OR) 0.2–0.3] early-recovery (within 24 months) associated with purposefully injuring/torturing/killing and witnessing atrocities and very low later-recovery (25+ months) associated with being kidnapped. The significant ORs for prior traumas, CAs, and mental disorders were generally inconsistent between early- and later-recovery models. Cross-validated versions of final models nonetheless discriminated significantly between the 50% of respondents with highest and lowest predicted probabilities of both early-recovery (66–55% v. 43%) and later-recovery (75–68% v. 39%).
We found PTSD recovery trajectories similar to those in previous studies. The weak associations of pre-trauma factors with recovery, also consistent with previous studies, presumably are due to stronger influences of post-trauma factors.
Sexual assault is a global concern with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), one of the common sequelae. Early intervention can help prevent PTSD, making identification of those at high risk for the disorder a priority. Lack of representative sampling of both sexual assault survivors and sexual assaults in prior studies might have reduced the ability to develop accurate prediction models for early identification of high-risk sexual assault survivors.
Data come from 12 face-to-face, cross-sectional surveys of community-dwelling adults conducted in 11 countries. Analysis was based on the data from the 411 women from these surveys for whom sexual assault was the randomly selected lifetime traumatic event (TE). Seven classes of predictors were assessed: socio-demographics, characteristics of the assault, the respondent's retrospective perception that she could have prevented the assault, other prior lifetime TEs, exposure to childhood family adversities and prior mental disorders.
Prevalence of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV (DSM-IV) PTSD associated with randomly selected sexual assaults was 20.2%. PTSD was more common for repeated than single-occurrence victimization and positively associated with prior TEs and childhood adversities. Respondent's perception that she could have prevented the assault interacted with history of mental disorder such that it reduced odds of PTSD, but only among women without prior disorders (odds ratio 0.2, 95% confidence interval 0.1–0.9). The final model estimated that 40.3% of women with PTSD would be found among the 10% with the highest predicted risk.
Whether counterfactual preventability cognitions are adaptive may depend on mental health history. Predictive modelling may be useful in targeting high-risk women for preventive interventions.
The in vitro larvicidal and in vivo anthelmintic effects of Oxalis tetraphylla hydroalcoholic extract (HE), against Haemonchus contortus in experimentally infected lambs, were assessed. We used a microtitration plate method, comprising the following two stages. Stage 1: 20 μl of water containing 200 sheathed H. contortus infective larvae (ShHcl) were deposited in every well of three series; then, the series 2 and 3 wells were treated with 80 μl 1% ivermectin and O. tetraphylla HE at 20 mg/ml, respectively. Stage 2: the same procedure was performed replacing the ShHcl with exsheathed larvae (ExShHcl). Evaluations were performed after 24 and 48 h. The total numbers of dead and live larvae were counted. A second experiment evaluated the reduction in nematode egg populations in the faeces of lambs treated orally with the O. tetraphylla HE. The 27 lambs used were divided into Groups 1, 2 and 3 (n = 9), which were administered water (positive control), levamisole 1 m (7.5 mg/kg body weight (BW), as a unique dose) and O. tetraphylla HE (20 mg/kg BW), respectively. The plant HE was administered daily for 8 days. The in vitro assay showed 80.9% and 86.5% larval mortality of ShHcl after 24 and 48 h, respectively, while the corresponding mortality values for ExShHcl were 97 and 99%, respectively. The in vivo assay showed variability in the eggs/gram of faeces (epg) values; however, at the end of the trial, the average reduction in the epg values of the O. tetraphylla HE group was 45.6% (P < 0.05). Oxalis tetraphylla HE contains compounds that belong to the flavonol group with anthelmintic activity.
Although specific phobia is highly prevalent, associated with impairment, and an important risk factor for the development of other mental disorders, cross-national epidemiological data are scarce, especially from low- and middle-income countries. This paper presents epidemiological data from 22 low-, lower-middle-, upper-middle- and high-income countries.
Data came from 25 representative population-based surveys conducted in 22 countries (2001–2011) as part of the World Health Organization World Mental Health Surveys initiative (n = 124 902). The presence of specific phobia as defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition was evaluated using the World Health Organization Composite International Diagnostic Interview.
The cross-national lifetime and 12-month prevalence rates of specific phobia were, respectively, 7.4% and 5.5%, being higher in females (9.8 and 7.7%) than in males (4.9% and 3.3%) and higher in high- and higher-middle-income countries than in low-/lower-middle-income countries. The median age of onset was young (8 years). Of the 12-month patients, 18.7% reported severe role impairment (13.3–21.9% across income groups) and 23.1% reported any treatment (9.6–30.1% across income groups). Lifetime co-morbidity was observed in 60.5% of those with lifetime specific phobia, with the onset of specific phobia preceding the other disorder in most cases (72.6%). Interestingly, rates of impairment, treatment use and co-morbidity increased with the number of fear subtypes.
Specific phobia is common and associated with impairment in a considerable percentage of cases. Importantly, specific phobia often precedes the onset of other mental disorders, making it a possible early-life indicator of psychopathology vulnerability.