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The causes of the beaching and death of sea turtles have not been fully clarified and continue to be studied. Mild, moderate and severe lesions caused by spirorchiidiosis have been seen for decades in different organs and were recently defined as the cause of death of a loggerhead turtle. In the present study, eyes and optic nerves were analysed in green sea turtles with spirorchiidiosis and no other debilitating factors. Injuries to the optic nerve and choroid layer were described in 235 animals (90%) infected with spirorchiids. Turtles with ocular spirorchiidiosis are approximately three times more likely to be cachectic than turtles with spirorchiidiosis without ocular involvement.
Intake, digestibility, nitrogen (N) balance, microbial protein synthesis, weight gain, yields of the main commercial cuts and carcass morphometric measurements were evaluated in lambs fed diets containing different levels of chitosan. Sixty Santa Inês crossbred sheep with an average body weight (BW) of 24 ± 2.2 kg were assigned to three treatments (diets containing 0, 136 or 272 mg chitosan/kg BW) in a completely randomized design. There was no effect of chitosan on dry matter (DM) intake. Ingested and retained N showed a quadratic response, with the highest values estimated at the chitosan levels of 142 and 152 mg/kg BW, respectively. Similar to N balance, microbial protein synthesis showed the same quadratic response, in which the level of 136 mg/kg BW resulted in higher synthesis when compared with the other levels. No effect of chitosan was detected on average daily gain, final weight, or carcass variables (hot carcass weight, cold carcass weight, yield of commercial cuts and morphometric measurements of the carcass). Conformation, visceral fat content and fatness of carcasses were also not altered by the use of chitosan. Chitosan improves the digestibility of DM, crude protein and neutral detergent fibre, and increases N balance and microbial protein synthesis but does not change the production performance of feedlot lambs.
In the current study, phage-exposed mimotopes as targets against tegumentary leishmaniasis (TL) were selected by means of bio-panning cycles employing sera of TL patients and healthy subjects, besides the immune stimulation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) collected from untreated and treated TL patients and healthy subjects. The clones were evaluated regarding their specific interferon-γ (IFN-γ) and interleukin-4 (IL-4) production in the in vitro cultures, and selectivity and specificity values were calculated, and those presenting the best results were selected for the in vivo experiments. Two clones, namely A4 and A8, were identified and used in immunization protocols from BALB/c mice to protect against Leishmania amazonensis infection. Results showed a polarized Th1 response generated after vaccination, being based on significantly higher levels of IFN-γ, IL-2, IL-12, tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF); which were associated with lower production of specific IL-4, IL-10 and immunoglobulin G1 (IgG1) antibodies. Vaccinated mice presented significant reductions in the parasite load in the infected tissue and distinct organs, when compared with controls. In conclusion, we presented a strategy to identify new mimotopes able to induce Th1 response in PBMCs from TL patients and healthy subjects, and that were successfully used to protect against L. amazonensis infection.
Urban slums provide suitable conditions for infestation by rats, which harbour and shed a wide diversity of zoonotic pathogens including helminths. We aimed to identify risk factors associated with the probability and intensity of infection of helminths of the digestive tract in an urban slum population of Rattus norvegicus. Among 299 rats, eleven species/groups of helminths were identified, of which Strongyloides sp., Nippostrongylus brasiliensis and, the human pathogen, Angiostrongylus cantonensis were the most frequent (97, 41 and 39%, respectively). Sex interactions highlighted behavioural differences between males and females, as eg males were more likely to be infected with N. brasiliensis where rat signs were present, and males presented more intense infections of Strongyloides sp. Moreover, rats in poor body condition had higher intensities of N. brasiliensis. We describe a high global richness of parasites in R. norvegicus, including five species known to cause disease in humans. Among these, A. cantonensis was found in high prevalence and it was ubiquitous in the study area – knowledge which is of public health importance. A variety of environmental, demographic and body condition variables were associated with helminth species infection of rats, suggesting a comparable variety of risk factors for humans.
The aim of this study was to identify genomic regions that associated with beef tenderness in Nellore cattle. Phenotypes were obtained according to the standard USDA Quality Grade (1999). Data from 909 genotyped Nellore bulls were used in the Genome-Wide Association Study (GWAS) undertaken using a single-step approach including also a pedigree file composed of 6276 animals. The analyses were performed using the Blupf90 software, estimating the effect of genomic windows of 10 consecutive markers. The GWAS results identified 18 genomic regions located on 14 different chromosomes (1, 4, 6, 7, 8, 10, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 25, 26 and 29), which explained more than 1% of the total additive genetic variance; several candidate genes were located in these regions including SLC2A9, FRAS1, ANXA3, FAM219A, DNAI, AVEN, SHISA7, UBE2S, CDC42EP5, CNTN3, C16orf96, UBALD1, MGRN1 and SNORA1 With the single-step GWAS, it was possible to identify regions and genes related to meat tenderness in Nellore beef cattle.
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.
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.
Achromobacter spp. are opportunistic pathogens increasingly recovered from adult patients with cystic fibrosis (CF). We report the characterization of 122 Achromobacter spp. isolates recovered from 39 CF patients by multilocus sequence typing, virulence traits, and susceptibility to antimicrobials. Two species, A. xylosoxidans (77%) and A. ruhlandii (23%) were identified. All isolates showed a similar biofilm formation ability, and a positive swimming phenotype. By contrast, 4·3% and 44·4% of A. xylosoxidans and A. ruhlandii, respectively, exhibited a negative swarming phenotype, making the swimming and swarming abilities of A. xylosoxidans significantly higher than those of A. ruhlandii. A. xylosoxidans isolates from an outbreak clone also exhibited significantly higher motility. Both species were generally susceptible to ceftazidime, ciprofloxacin, imipenem and trimethoprim/sulphamethoxazole and there was no significant difference in susceptibility between isolates from chronic or sporadic infection. However, A. xylosoxidans isolates from chronic and sporadic cases were significantly more resistant to imipenem and ceftazidime than isolates of the outbreak clone.
Urban slum environments in the tropics are conducive to the proliferation and the spread of rodent-borne zoonotic pathogens to humans. Calodium hepaticum (Brancroft, 1893) is a zoonotic nematode known to infect a variety of mammalian hosts, including humans. Norway rats (Rattus norvegicus) are considered the most important mammalian host of C. hepaticum and are therefore a potentially useful species to inform estimates of the risk to humans living in urban slum environments. There is a lack of studies systematically evaluating the role of demographic and environmental factors that influence both carriage and intensity of infection of C. hepaticum in rodents from urban slum areas within tropical regions. Carriage and the intensity of infection of C. hepaticum were studied in 402 Norway rats over a 2-year period in an urban slum in Salvador, Brazil. Overall, prevalence in Norway rats was 83% (337/402). Independent risk factors for C. hepaticum carriage in R. norvegicus were age and valley of capture. Of those infected the proportion with gross liver involvement (i.e. >75% of the liver affected, a proxy for a high level intensity of infection), was low (8%, 26/337). Sixty soil samples were collected from ten locations to estimate levels of environmental contamination and provide information on the potential risk to humans of contracting C. hepaticum from the environment. Sixty percent (6/10) of the sites were contaminated with C. hepaticum. High carriage levels of C. hepaticum within Norway rats and sub-standard living conditions within slum areas may increase the risk to humans of exposure to the infective eggs of C. hepaticum. This study supports the need for further studies to assess whether humans are becoming infected within this community and whether C. hepaticum is posing a significant risk to human health.
A total of 70 Nellore bulls (18 ± 3 months of age) were used to determine the effects of crude glycerine (CG) replacing starch- v. fibre-based energy ingredients in low (LC; 0·40 concentrate) or high concentrate (HC; 0·60 concentrate) – on a dry matter (DM) basis – on DM intake (DMI), methane emissions and growth. Ten bulls were slaughtered (reference group) to obtain the carcass gain (CrG). The 60 remaining bulls (374 ± 24·5 kg) were allocated to a 2 × 3 factorial arrangement (two concentrate levels, LC or HC; and three feeding regimes, FR). The FR were: CO – without CG and maize as an ingredient of concentrate; CGM – inclusion of CG (0·10 of DM) replacing maize in the concentrate; and CGSH – inclusion of CG (0·10 of DM) replacing soybean hulls (SH) in the concentrate. Bulls fed LC or HC had similar DMI (kg/d) and growth. The DMI and average daily gain (ADG) were similar among FR. Concentrate level and FR tended to interact for methane emissions (g) per kg DMI. Bulls fed CGM had a greater G : F (g CrG/kg DMI) than those fed CO or CGSH diets. Increasing dietary concentrate (0·40–0·60) did not affect intake, methane emissions, or growth. Inclusion of CG in diets to replace SH in LC diets tended to decrease methane emissions from animals. When CG replaces SH in the diets, CrG and G:F (g CrG/kg DMI) are decreased compared with bulls fed CGM.
Over the past decades, analysis of occluded carbon in phytoliths (opaline silica mineral bodies that form in and between plant cells) has become a workhorse of paleoclimate and archaeological studies. Since different plant types exhibit distinctive phytolith morphologies, their assemblages are used in identifying vegetation histories or food culture adaptations. A few direct radiocarbon AMS measurements of phytoliths have been carried out, but these measurements are difficult due to the low concentrations of phytoliths in some plant species, and the small amount of C per phytolith (<2%). In addition, no phytoliths samples of a known 14C age are available to verify measurement accuracy and precision, and to check sample preparation protocols. Background corrections are also difficult to address due to the lack of suitable material. In this work, we designed a procedure to quantify a suitable blank using SiO2 powder samples (close to the opal structure, and free of 14C). The full phytolith extraction showed high carbon contamination components: a) ∼3 μg of modern C and ∼2 μg of dead C. We also performed accuracy tests on large phytolith-occluded carbon samples extracted from soils and harvested plants. The unexpected 14C ages in some of the results triggered further investigations of possible sources of carbon contamination.
To date no comprehensive evaluation has appraised the likelihood of bias or the strength of the evidence of peripheral biomarkers for bipolar disorder (BD). Here we performed an umbrella review of meta-analyses of peripheral non-genetic biomarkers for BD.
The Pubmed/Medline, EMBASE and PsycInfo electronic databases were searched up to May 2015. Two independent authors conducted searches, examined references for eligibility, and extracted data. Meta-analyses in any language examining peripheral non-genetic biomarkers in participants with BD (across different mood states) compared to unaffected controls were included.
Six references, which examined 13 biomarkers across 20 meta-analyses (5474 BD cases and 4823 healthy controls) met inclusion criteria. Evidence for excess of significance bias (i.e. bias favoring publication of ‘positive’ nominally significant results) was observed in 11 meta-analyses. Heterogeneity was high for (I2 ⩾ 50%) 16 meta-analyses. Only two biomarkers met criteria for suggestive evidence namely the soluble IL-2 receptor and morning cortisol. The median power of included studies, using the effect size of the largest dataset as the plausible true effect size of each meta-analysis, was 15.3%.
Our findings suggest that there is an excess of statistically significant results in the literature of peripheral biomarkers for BD. Selective publication of ‘positive’ results and selective reporting of outcomes are possible mechanisms.
Management strategies for increasing ruminant legume consumption and mitigating methane emissions from tropical livestock production systems require further study. The aim of this work was to evaluate the herbage intake, animal performance and enteric methane emissions of cattle grazing dwarf elephant grass (DEG) (Pennisetum purpureum cv. BRS Kurumi) alone or DEG with peanut (Arachis pintoi cv. Amarillo). The experimental treatments were the following: DEG pastures receiving nitrogen fertilization (150 kg N/ha as ammonium nitrate) and DEG intercropped with peanut plus an adjacent area of peanut that was accessible to grazing animals for 5 h/day (from 0700 to 1200 h). The animals grazing legume pastures showed greater average daily gain and herbage intake, and shorter morning and total grazing times. Daily methane emissions were greater from the animals grazing legume pastures, whereas methane emissions per unit of herbage intake did not differ between treatments. Allowing animals access to an exclusive area of legumes in a tropical grass-pasture-based system can improve animal performance without increasing methane production per kg of dry matter intake.
Since the beginning of the Holocene, hunter-gatherers have occupied the central-south Brazilian coast, as it was a very productive estuarine environment. Living as fishers and mollusk gatherers, they built prehistoric shellmounds, known as sambaqui, up to 30 m high, which can still be found today from the Espírito Santo (21°S) to Rio Grande do Sul (32°S) states, constituting an important testimony of paleodiversity and Brazilian prehistory. The chronology of the Sambaqui da Tarioba, situated in Rio das Ostras, Rio de Janeiro, is discussed herein. Selected well-preserved shells of Iphigenia brasiliana and charcoal from fireplaces in sequential layers were used for radiocarbon dating analysis. Based on a statistical model developed using OxCal software, the results indicate that the settlement occupation begun most probably around 3800 cal BP and lasted for up to 5 centuries.
After 22 yr of the low-level liquid scintillation counting 14C laboratory at the Center for Nuclear Energy in Agriculture (CENA) at São Paulo University (USP), Piracicaba, Brazil, and several collaborative projects with Brazilian and international researchers from distinct scientific areas, the first 14C accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) laboratory in Latin America was installed at the Physics Institute of the Universidade Federal Fluminense (UFF), Niterói, Brazil. A 250kV single stage accelerator produced by National Electrostatics Corporation began its operation in 2012. In this work, we compare measurements performed at the AMS Radiocarbon Laboratory at UFF (LAC-UFF) with those performed at CENA and the University of Georgia (UGAMS), Georgia, USA. All the results obtained from distinct inorganic and organic samples were in very good agreement.
Crude glycerin, a potential energy source for ruminant animals, has been evaluated, mainly, in diets with high starch content. However, a limit number of studies have evaluated the inclusion of crude glycerin in low starch diets. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of the association of crude glycerin with corn grain or citrus pulp on carcass traits and meat quality of Nellore bulls (n=30, 402±31 kg initial weight). The treatment consisted of: CON=control, without crude glycerin; CG10=10% of crude glycerin and corn grain; CG15=15% of crude glycerin and corn grain; CP10=10% of crude glycerin and citrus pulp; CP15=15% of crude glycerin and citrus pulp. The performance parameters and carcass traits were not affected by treatments (P>0.05). The inclusion of crude glycerin decreased yellow color intensity and increased fatty acids pentadecanoic and heptadecenoic in meat (P<0.05), without affecting neither the concentration of polyunsaturated fatty acids nor the relationship of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids. The association of crude glycerin with corn or citrus pulp has no adverse effects on carcass characteristics and meat quality.
To evaluate the presence of carotid thickening and its relationship with the Pathobiological Determinants of Atherosclerosis in Youth score.
We carried out a cross-sectional study involving 512 brazilian adolescents. Variables such as sex, body mass index, concentrations of non-high-density lipoprotein and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, blood pressure, blood glucose and glycated haemoglobin A1c levels that make up the score, and carotid thickening through the intima-media complex measured by ultrasound were evaluated. We adopted two cut-off points to evaluate carotid thickening, being considered altered for those higher or equal to the z-score 2+ and ⩾75th percentile. The association was assessed using the χ2 test and univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses.
High cardiovascular risk was present in 10.2% of the adolescents; carotid thickness was present in 4.3% determined by the z-score 2+ and in 25.0% determined by the 75th percentile. When measured by the z-score, carotid thickening was associated with high systolic blood pressure (p=0.024), high-non-high density lipoprotein cholesterol (p=0.039), and high cardiovascular risk assessed by the score and by the 75th percentile, with body mass index >30 (p=0.005). In the multivariate analysis, high cardiovascular risk was found to be independently associated with the presence of carotid thickness evaluated by the z-score, with risk four times greater (p=0.010) of presenting with this condition compared with individuals with low risk, and this fact was not observed when factors were analysed alone.
The presence of high cardiovascular risk in adolescents assessed by the Pathobiological Determinants of Atherosclerosis in Youth score was associated with marked thickening of the carotid artery in healthy adolescents.