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Knowledge on the reproductive biology of target insect pest is essential for the effective implementation of pheromone-based pest management tactics. In mealybugs, the second largest family of scale insects, the existence of female multiple mating was recently suggested. In this study, we aimed at testing how general is this behavior in mealybugs, by investigating polygyny and polyandry in two cosmopolitan pest mealybugs, Planococcus citri and Pseudococcus calceolariae. Males of these species were able to mate an average of 11.9 and 13.3 females, respectively, during their lifespan. The number of fertilized females per male decreased with male age/mating history for both mealybugs. We found no differences in female fecundity and fertility, when fertilized by males with different mating history. When we used male age as a proxy of mating history, we observed a significant negative effect on female fecundity. The females of both species remained receptive after first copula and eventually mated multiple times. The percentage of remated females of P. citri decreased linearly with time since first copula, with some maintaining receptivity up to 24 h. Males showed no preference between virgin and mated females, in static-air olfactometer tests. We found no benefit of female multiple mating in relation to fecundity. In biparental mealybugs, the mating system of males is possibly scramble competition polygyny; and that of females is possibly polyandry, with female receptivity restricted to a relatively short period. We discuss the practical implications of the results for pest management.
This study aimed to evaluate the effects of an intervention including nutritional telemonitoring, nutrition education, and follow-up by a nurse on nutritional status, diet quality, appetite, physical functioning and quality of life of Dutch community-dwelling elderly. We used a parallel arm pre-test post-test design with 214 older adults (average age 80 years) who were allocated to the intervention group (n 97) or control group (n 107), based on the municipality. The intervention group received a 6-month intervention including telemonitoring measurements, nutrition education and follow-up by a nurse. Effect measurements took place at baseline, after 4·5 months, and at the end of the study. The intervention improved nutritional status of participants at risk of undernutrition (β (T1)=2·55; 95 % CI 1·41, 3·68; β (T2)=1·77; 95 % CI 0·60, 2·94) and scores for compliance with Dutch guidelines for the intake of vegetables (β=1·27; 95 % CI 0·49, 2·05), fruit (β=1·24; 95 % CI 0·60, 1·88), dietary fibre (β=1·13; 95 % CI 0·70, 1·57), protein (β=1·20; 95 % CI 0·15, 2·24) and physical activity (β=2·13; 95 % CI 0·98, 3·29). The intervention did not have an effect on body weight, appetite, physical functioning and quality of life. In conclusion, this intervention leads to improved nutritional status in older adults at risk of undernutrition, and to improved diet quality and physical activity levels of community-dwelling elderly. Future studies with a longer duration should focus on older adults at higher risk of undernutrition than this study population to investigate whether the impact of the intervention on nutritional and functional outcomes can be improved.
Previous studies have shown that the renin–angiotensin system (RAS) is affected by adverse maternal nutrition during pregnancy. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of a maternal low-protein diet on proinflammatory cytokines, reactive oxygen species and RAS components in kidney samples isolated from adult male offspring. We hypothesized that post-weaning losartan treatment would have beneficial effects on RAS activity and inflammatory and oxidative stress markers in these animals. Pregnant Sprague–Dawley rats were fed with a control (20% casein) or low-protein diet (LP) (6% casein) throughout gestation. After weaning, the LP pups were randomly assigned to LP and LP-losartan groups (AT1 receptor blockade: 10 mg/kg/day until 20 weeks of age). At 20 weeks of age, blood pressure levels were higher and renal RAS was activated in the LP group. We also observed several adverse effects in the kidneys of the LP group, including a higher number of CD3, CD68 and proliferating cell nuclear antigen-positive cells and higher levels of collagen and reactive oxygen species in the kidney. Further, our results revealed that post-weaning losartan treatment completely abolished immune cell infiltration and intrarenal RAS activation in the kidneys of LP rats. The prevention of augmentation of angiotensin (Ang II) concentration abolished inflammatory and fibrotic events, indicating that Ang II via the AT1 receptor is essential for pathological initiation. Our results suggest that the prenatal programming of hypertension is dependent on the up-regulation of local RAS and presence of immune cells in the kidney.
Community engagement (CE) has become more prevalent among academic health centers (AHCs), with significant diversity in practices and language. The array of approaches to CE contributes to confusion among practitioners.
We have reviewed multiple models of CE utilized by AHCs, Clinical and Translational Science Awards, and higher education institutions overall. Taking these models into consideration, we propose a comprehensive model of CE that encompasses a broader spectrum of activities and programs.
The CE Components Practical Model includes 5 components: Community Outreach and Service, Education, Clinical Care, Research, and Policy and Advocacy. The components are supported by the foundational elements within administrative functions and infrastructure.
This model will accomplish the following: (1) reduce confusion about CE; (2) provide a broader understanding of CE; and (3) increase the ability of CE practitioners to interact with each other through this common reference and engage in advancing CE scholarship.
This work represents the first contribution for the application of the video image analysis (VIA) technology in predicting lean meat and fat composition in the equine species. Images of left sides of the carcass (n=42) were captured from the dorsal, lateral and medial views using a high-resolution digital camera. A total of 41 measurements (angles, lengths, widths and areas) were obtained by VIA. The variation of percentage of lean meat obtained from the forequarter (FQ) and hindquarter (HQ) carcass ranged between 5.86% and 7.83%. However, the percentage of fat (FAT) obtained from the FQ and HQ carcass presented a higher variation (CV between 41.34% and 44.58%). By combining different measurements and using prediction models with cold carcass weight (CCW) and VIA measurement the coefficient of determination (k-fold-R2) were 0.458 and 0.532 for FQ and HQ, respectively. On the other hand, employing the most comprehensive model (CCW plus all VIA measurements), the k-fold-R2 increased from 0.494 to 0.887 and 0.513 to 0.878 with respect to the simplest model (only with CCW), while precision increased with the reduction in the root mean square error (2.958 to 0.947 and 1.841 to 0.787) for the hindquarter fat and lean percentage, respectively. With CCW plus VIA measurements is possible to explain the wholesale value cuts yield variation (k-fold-R2 between 0.533 and 0.889). Overall, the VIA technology performed in the present study could be considered as an accurate method to assess the horse carcass composition which could have a role in breeding programmes and research studies to assist in the development of a value-based marketing system for horse carcass.
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.
Lutein, a fat-soluble carotenoid with antioxidant properties, may have an effect on respiratory health. However, the evidence is inconsistent. We aimed to cross-sectionally investigate the association between lutein intake and lung function by measuring forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1), forced vital capacity (FVC) and FEV1/FVC% in adults (aged 45–79 years). We included 4402 participants from the Rotterdam Study, a prospective cohort study in The Netherlands. Lutein intake was assessed using a validated FFQ. Lung function was assessed using spirometry around the same time point as the dietary assessment. No independent association was found between lutein intake and FEV1 (−12·17 (95 % CI −34·21, 9·87) ml per sd increase in lutein) after adjustment for age, sex, height, cohort effect, ethnicity, education, weight, total daily energy intake, smoking status, physical activity, and intakes of fatty acids, dietary fibre, alcohol, β-carotene, β-crypotoxanthin, lycopene and zeaxanthin. There was also no association between lutein and FVC or FEV1/FVC%. However, after stratification by smoking status, lutein intake was significantly associated with lower FEV1/FVC% in current smokers (−1·69 (95 % CI −2·93, −0·45) % per sd increase of lutein) independent of other carotenoids. The present study does not support an independent association between lutein intake and lung function in adults. However, future studies should focus on the potential inverse association between high lutein intake and lung function in specific risk groups such as smokers.
It has been demonstrated that intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) can program increase cardiometabolic risk. There are also evidences of the correlation between IUGR with low-grade inflammation and, thus can contribute to development of several cardiometabolic comorbidities. Therefore, we investigated the influence of IUGR on circulating mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA)/Toll-like receptor 9 (TLR9) and TNF-α expression in adult offspring. Considering that the aerobic training has anti-inflammatory actions, we also investigated whether aerobic training would improve these inflammatory factors. Pregnant Wistar rats received ad libitum or 50% of ad libitum diet throughout gestation. At 8 weeks of age, male offspring from both groups were randomly assigned to control, trained control, restricted and trained restricted. Aerobic training protocol was performed on a treadmill and after that, we evaluated circulating mtDNA, cardiac protein expression of TLR9, plasma and cardiac TNF-α levels, and left ventricle (LV) mass. We found that IUGR promoted an increase in the circulating mtDNA, TLR9 expression and plasma TNF-α levels. Further, our results revealed that aerobic training can restore mtDNA/TLR9 content and plasma levels of TNF-α among restricted rats. The cardiac TNF-α content and LV mass were not influenced either by IUGR or aerobic training. In conclusion, IUGR can program mtDNA/TLR9 content, which may lead to high levels of TNF-α. However, aerobic training was able to normalize these alterations. These findings evidenced that the association of IUGR and aerobic training seems to exert an important interaction effect regarding pro-inflammatory condition and, aerobic training may be used as a strategy to reduce deleterious adaptations in IUGR offspring.
Staphylococcus aureus is the most important causative agent of subclinical mastitis in cattle resulting in reduced milk production and quality. Methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) strains has a clear zoonotic relevance, especially in the case of occupational exposure. The aim of the study was to evaluate the prevalence of S. aureus and MRSA in bulk tank milk (BTM) from dairy cattle herds in the Lombardy Region (Northern Italy) and to identify the main MRSA circulating genotypes. MRSA strains were characterized by susceptibility testing, multi-locus sequence typing (MLST), spa typing and SCCmec typing. A total 844 BTM samples were analysed and S. aureus and MRSA were detected in 47·2% and 3·8% of dairy herds, respectively. MLST showed that the majority (28/32) of isolates belonged to the typical livestock-associated lineages: ST398, ST97 and ST1. Interestingly, in this study we report for the first time the new ST3211, a single locus variant of ST(CC)22, with the newly described 462 aroE allele. Our study indicates high diffusion of S. aureus mastitis and low, but not negligible, prevalence of MRSA in the considered area, suggesting the need for planning specific control programmes for bovine mastitis caused by S. aureus, especially when MRSA is implicated.
Detection of narrow ( δλ< 0.5 A ) absorption features in C IV at λ λ 1548 and 1550 have been made in the spectra of 4 late B dwarfs within 200 pc of the sun; the Si IV doublet at λ λ 1393 and 1403 shows up in two of them. We argue that it is difficult to account for the strengths, widths, shapes , and C IV/Si IV ratios in terms consistent with a circumstellar origin except possibly for an asymmetric C IV component in one star (HD 135037). The most probable source is “semi-torrid” gas (cf. Bruhweiler et al. 1980) in the 50,000 K range forming the interfaces between cooler H I clouds and the ambient medium at coronal temperatures. Our technique, using late B rapid rotators, is useful for LISM probing of this kind.
The aim of this study was to determine the seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii infection in free-range chickens from Uberlândia, Minas Gerais state, Brazil, and characterize the genotypic and phenotypic features of two isolates of this parasite, considering the importance of these hosts in the epidemiology of toxoplasmosis. Serum samples from 108 free-range chickens were obtained from ten different districts, and submitted to the modified agglutination test (MAT) for the presence of anti-T. gondii antibodies, and brain and heart tissue samples from infected chickens were processed for mouse bioassay. An overall seroprevalence of 71·3% was found and antibody titres ranged from 16 to 4096. After confirmation of seropositivity by mouse bioassay, the determination of the T. gondii genotypes of two isolates was performed by PCR–RFLP, using primers for the following markers: SAG1, SAG2, SAG3, BTUB, GRA6, c22–8, c29–2, L358, PK1, new SAG2, Apico and CS3. These T. gondii isolates, designated TgChBrUD1and TgChBrUD2, were obtained from heart samples of free-range chickens. The TgChBrUD1 isolate belonged to ToxoDB PCR–RFLP genotype 11 and the TgChBrUD2 isolate belonged to ToxoDB PCR–RFLP genotype 6. Both isolates demonstrated high virulence in a rodent model, with the TgChBrUD1 isolate able to induce brain cysts, in accord with its pattern of multiplication rates in human fibroblast culture. Taken together, these results reveal high prevalence of T. gondii infection in free-range chickens throughout Uberlândia, indicating an important degree of oocyst environmental contamination and the existence of considerable risk for T. gondii transmission to humans by consumption of free-range chicken as a food source.
For studies examining risk factors of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), confounding can stem from characteristics of partners of study subjects, and persist after adjustment for the subjects’ individual-level characteristics. Two conditions that can result in confounding by the subjects’ partners are: (C1) partner choice is assortative by the risk factor examined and, (C2) sexual activity is associated with the risk factor. The objective of this paper is to illustrate the potential impact of the assortativity bias in studies examining STI risk factors, using smoking and human papillomavirus (HPV) as an example. We developed an HPV transmission-dynamic mathematical model in which we nested a cross-sectional study assessing the smoking–HPV association. In our base case, we assumed (1) no effect of smoking on HPV, and (2) conditions C1–C2 hold for smoking (based on empirical data). The assortativity bias caused an overestimation of the odds ratio (OR) in the simulated study after perfect adjustment for the subjects’ individual-level characteristics (adjusted OR 1·51 instead of 1·00). The bias was amplified by a lower basic reproductive number (R0), greater mixing assortativity and stronger association of smoking with sexual activity. Adjustment for characteristics of partners is needed to mitigate assortativity bias.
Controlled amounts of colloidal Au nanoparticles (NPs), electrochemically pre-synthesized, were directly deposited on MWCNTs sensor devices by electrophoresis. Pristine and Au-functionalized MWCNT networked films were tested as active layers in resistive gas sensors for detection of pollutant gases. Au-modified CNT-chemiresistor demonstrated higher sensitivity to NO2 detecting up to sub-ppm level compared to pristine one. The investigation of the cross-sensitivity towards other pollutant gases revealed the decrease of the sensitivity to NO2 with the increase of Au content, and, on the other side, the increase of that to H2S; therefore the fine tune of the metal loading on CNTs has allowed to control not only the gas sensitivity but also the selectivity towards a specific gaseous analyte. Finally, the sensing properties of Au-decorated CNT sensor seem to be promising in environmental and automotive gas sensing applications, based on low power consumption and moderate operating temperature.
Lutein is a carotenoid with strong antioxidant properties. Previous studies in adults suggest a beneficial role of lutein on cardiometabolic health. However, it is unknown whether this relation also exists in children; therefore, we aimed to assess the relation between lutein intake at 13 months of age and cardiometabolic outcomes at the age of 6 years. We included 2044 Dutch children participating in a population-based prospective cohort study. Diet was measured at 13 months of age with an FFQ. Lutein intake was standardised for energy and β-carotene intake. Blood pressure, anthropometrics, serum lipids and insulin were measured at the age of 6 years. Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry was performed to measure total and regional fat and lean mass. A continuous cardiometabolic risk factor score was created, including the components body fat percentage, blood pressure, insulin, HDL-cholesterol and TAG. Age- and sex-specific standard deviation scores were created for all outcomes. Multivariable linear regression was performed, including socio-demographic and lifestyle variables. Median (energy-standardised) lutein intake was 1317 mcg/d (95 % range 87, 6069 mcg/d). There were no consistent associations between lutein intake at 13 months and anthropometrics and body composition measures at 6 years of age. In addition, lutein intake was not associated with a continuous cardiometabolic risk factor score, nor was it associated with any of the individual components of the cardiometabolic risk factor score. Results from this large population-based prospective cohort study do not support the hypothesis that lutein intake early in life has a beneficial role for later cardiometabolic health.
Stabilized Au NPs were directly deposited on nanostructured ZnO and ZrO2 by a simple one-step strategy based on sacrificial anode electrolysis. The annealed nanocomposites are proposed as active layers in resistive gas sensors for low-cost processes. Results on the performance of gas sensors based on pristine and Au-doped MOx nanostructured thin films, used for the detection of NO2 gas, were reported at an operating temperature of 300°C, evaluating the effects of the MOx chemical composition and morphology, and the Au-doping.
The present study determined the mineralogy and thermal properties of kaolin from Acoculco (Puebla), at the eastern Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt and compared it with the nearby deposits of Agua Blanca (Hidalgo) and Huayacocotla (Veracruz). The mineralogy of the kaolins was determined by X-ray diffraction, infrared spectroscopy and scanning electron microscopy. Thermal behaviour was studied by differential thermal analysis, dilatometry and hot-stage microscopy. The Acoculco deposit is composed mainly of kaolinite and SiO2 minerals. In the case of Agua Blanca and Huayacocotla, alunite is abundant in places and minor anatase is also present locally. The Acoculco kaolins are Fe-poor and relatively rich in some potentially toxic elements (Zr, Sb, Pb). They undergo a relatively small amount of shrinkage (∼3–4 vol.%), during firing at 20–1300°C and cooling down to 20°C, except when >10 wt.% alunite is present. These kaolins are a suitable raw material for the ceramics industry. Other applications (pharmaceuticals, cosmetics) would require an enrichment process to eliminate impurities such as Fe oxides.
The literature in recent times lacks adequate report on the utilization and genetic improvement programmes on Dioscorea dumetorum. Despite the wide application of this yam species in agriculture and medicine, it suffers neglect while other species are becoming increasingly popular. Therefore, it is pertinent to focus on research that will bring this species to the limelight. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the ploidy levels, morphological traits and secondary metabolite profile of 53 accessions of D. dumetorum from six countries in West and Central Africa. Ploidy levels were determined using flow cytometry. Overall, 18 morphological traits were recorded from the above- and underground parts of the plant. The 53 accessions were subjected to statistical analyses using the data on ploidy levels, morphological traits and qualitative phytochemical screening. A total of 15 accessions from the generated clusters were selected for thin layer chromatographic and quantitative phytochemical analyses. The analyses revealed diploid (2x) and triploid (3x) levels in these accessions. The pruned dendrogram derived from agglomerative hierarchical clustering based on the distance matrix revealed three main groups, showing a relationship between sex and ploidy level in the accessions and exhibiting sufficient cluster variability that may be important in designing breeding programmes. The crop was also shown to possess metabolites such as alkaloids, saponins and flavonoids, which are known to be useful in the application of phytomedicine. Genetic variability observed among the yam accessions in this study can be used for breeding purposes and to broaden the genetic basis of the crop for efficient utilization of the genetic potential possessed by this species.