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Kinetoplastid parasites are responsible for serious diseases in humans and livestock such as Chagas disease and sleeping sickness (caused by Trypanosoma cruzi and Trypanosoma brucei, respectively), and the different forms of cutaneous, mucocutaneous and visceral leishmaniasis (produced by Leishmania spp). The limited number of antiparasitic drugs available together with the emergence of resistance underscores the need for new therapeutic agents with novel mechanisms of action. The use of agents binding to surface glycans has been recently suggested as a new approach to antitrypanosomal design and a series of peptidic and non-peptidic carbohydrate-binding agents have been identified as antiparasitics showing efficacy in animal models of sleeping sickness. Here we provide an overview of the nature of surface glycans in three kinetoplastid parasites, T. cruzi, T. brucei and Leishmania. Their role in virulence and host cell invasion is highlighted with the aim of identifying specific glycan–lectin interactions and carbohydrate functions that may be the target of novel carbohydrate-binding agents with therapeutic applications.
Predation by Engytatus varians (Distant) adults on different development stages of the prey species Bactericera cockerelli (Sulcer) (egg, second, and third nymphal instars), Spodoptera exigua (Hübner) and Spodoptera frugiperda (J. E. Smith) (egg, first, and second larval instars) was evaluated using tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) leaflets or plants. These insects are the primary pest of several agriculturally important crops. The influence of E. varians age on the predation capacity was also analysed. Engytatus varians females consumed significantly more B. cockerelli eggs and nymphs than males. Additionally, female predators consumed significantly more second than third instar prey at two predator ages, while males consumed significantly more the second instar than third instar prey at all predator ages. In most of the cases, females also consumed significantly more S. exigua and S. frugiperda eggs than males; however, in terms of larvae consumption, this difference was observed only in some predator ages. Females consumed more the first than second instar S. exigua than males, whereas this behaviour was only observed in males when the predators were 15 and 17 days old. No significant differences were observed in the consumption of first and second instar of S. frugiperda for both sexes of the predators. Predator age did not cause any systematic effects on the predation rates of any prey species. Based on these results, we confirmed that E. varians has potential as a biological control agent for B. cockerelli and also for the Spodoptera species bioassayed.
The objective of this study was to determine the serotype distribution and antibiotic resistance of invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) strains in children from Lima, Peru, before and after the introduction of the 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7), which was introduced in the national immunisation program on 2009. We conducted a prospective, multicentre, passive surveillance IPD study during 2006–2008 and 2009–2011, before and right after the introduction of PCV7 in Peru. The study was performed in 11 hospitals and five private laboratories in Lima, Peru, in patients <18 years old, with sterile site cultures yielding Streptococcus pneumoniae. In total 159 S. pneumoniae isolates were recovered. There was a decrease in the incidence of IPD in children <2 years old after the introduction of PCV7 (18.4/100 000 vs. 5.1/100 000, P = 0.004). Meningitis cases decreased significantly in the second period (P = 0.036) as well as the overall case fatality rate (P = 0.025), including a decreased case fatality rate of pneumonia (16.3% to 0%, P = 0.04). PCV7 serotypes showed a downward trend. Vaccine-preventable serotypes caused 78.9% of IPD cases, mainly 14, 6B, 5, 19F and 23F. A non-significant increase in erythromycin resistance was reported. Our findings suggest that the introduction of PCV7 led to a significant decrease of IPD in children under 2 years old and in the overall case fatality rate.
Fetal growth restriction (FGR) and preterm birth are frequent co-morbidities, both are independent risks for brain injury. However, few studies have examined the mechanisms by which preterm FGR increases the risk of adverse neurological outcomes. We aimed to determine the effects of prematurity and mechanical ventilation (VENT) on the brain of FGR and appropriately grown (AG, control) lambs. We hypothesized that FGR preterm lambs are more vulnerable to ventilation-induced acute brain injury. FGR was surgically induced in fetal sheep (0.7 gestation) by ligation of a single umbilical artery. After 4 weeks, preterm lambs were euthanized at delivery or delivered and ventilated for 2 h before euthanasia. Brains and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) were collected for analysis of molecular and structural indices of early brain injury. FGRVENT lambs had increased oxidative cell damage and brain injury marker S100B levels compared with all other groups. Mechanical ventilation increased inflammatory marker IL-8 within the brain of FGRVENT and AGVENT lambs. Abnormalities in the neurovascular unit and increased blood–brain barrier permeability were observed in FGRVENT lambs, as well as an altered density of vascular tight junctions markers. FGR and AG preterm lambs have different responses to acute injurious mechanical ventilation, changes which appear to have been developmentally programmed in utero.
This study aimed to examine the association between vitamin B6, folate and vitamin B12 biomarkers and plasma fatty acids in European adolescents. A subsample from the Healthy Lifestyle in Europe by Nutrition in Adolescence study with valid data on B-vitamins and fatty acid blood parameters, and all the other covariates used in the analyses such as BMI, Diet Quality Index, education of the mother and physical activity assessed by a questionnaire, was selected resulting in 674 cases (43 % males). B-vitamin biomarkers were measured by chromatography and immunoassay and fatty acids by enzymatic analyses. Linear mixed models elucidated the association between B-vitamins and fatty acid blood parameters (changes in fatty acid profiles according to change in 10 units of vitamin B biomarkers). DHA, EPA) and n-3 fatty acids showed positive associations with B-vitamin biomarkers, mainly with those corresponding to folate and vitamin B12. Contrarily, negative associations were found with n-6:n-3 ratio, trans-fatty acids and oleic:stearic ratio. With total homocysteine (tHcy), all the associations found with these parameters were opposite (for instance, an increase of 10 nmol/l in red blood cell folate or holotranscobalamin in females produces an increase of 15·85 µmol/l of EPA (P value <0·01), whereas an increase of 10 nmol/l of tHcy in males produces a decrease of 2·06 µmol/l of DHA (P value <0·05). Positive associations between B-vitamins and specific fatty acids might suggest underlying mechanisms between B-vitamins and CVD and it is worth the attention of public health policies.
In this paper the spore-crystal complex of Bacillus thuringiensis var. israelensis (Bti) was immobilized by the sol-gel process in a hybrid polymer using as precursors the inorganic tetraethyl orthosilicate (TEOS) and the organic Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS); in order to combine the advantages of both materials in a hybrid matrix to improve aspects such as the thermal stability, the hydrophobic properties and the porosity. Bti produces different crystals during sporulation phase; these are of protein nature and are used as bio-insecticides. It is important to mention that the insecticide attack is specific to the mosquito larva that causes dengue and black flies. The samples were characterized to ensure viability by performing growth kinetics with fermentations immersed in a flask, this microbial growth was monitored by dry weight, glucose consumption and characterized by Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) to observe the interaction of materials with spore-crystal complex.
Dust originated from the iron and steelmaking containing undesirable compounds are not completely recycled because affects the process efficiency. These types of dust represents an economical lost as a consequence of values contents. However, dust have been characterized physically and chemically in order to study their potential environmental applications, as the removal of arsenic in wastewater. The results shows that dust have a superficial specific area between 16 and 20 m2/g, values considered high, typical of a material with adsorbent properties. Representative results of different tests adsorption of arsenic in the material described indicate that it is possible to reduce the arsenic levels in up to 95% from an initial concentration of 1 mg/L of total arsenic. The results indicate that the iron and steelmaking wet dust may represent a new option as material for the removal of heavy metals in water treatment.
The present study investigated the association between cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) and dietary intake in European adolescents. The study comprised 1492 adolescents (770 females) from eight European cities participating in the HELENA (Healthy Lifestyle in Europe by Nutrition in Adolescence) study. CRF was assessed by the 20 m shuttle run test. Adolescents were grouped into low and high CRF levels according to the FITNESSGRAM Standards. Dietary intake was self-registered by the adolescents using a computer-based tool for 24 h dietary recalls (HELENA-Dietary Assessment Tool) on two non-consecutive days. Weight and height were measured, and BMI was calculated. Higher CRF was associated with higher total energy intake in boys (P = 0·003). No association was found between CRF and macronutrient intake (as percentage of energy), yet some positive associations were found with daily intake of bread/cereals in boys and dairy products in both boys and girls (all P < 0·003), regardless of centre, age and BMI. CRF was inversely related to sweetened beverage consumption in girls. These findings were overall consistent when CRF was analysed according to the FITNESSGRAM categories (high/low CRF). A high CRF was not related to compliance with dietary recommendations, except for sweetened beverages in girls (P = 0·002). In conclusion, a high CRF is associated with a higher intake of dairy products and bread/cereals, and a lower consumption of sweetened beverages, regardless of centre, age and BMI. The present findings contribute to the understanding of the relationships between dietary factors and physiological health indicators such as CRF.
Here we present the detection of a gene cluster for Neospora caninum surface genes, similar to the Toxoplasma gondii SRS9 locus, and the cloning and characterization of the NcSRS9 gene. PCR genome walking, using NcBSR4 gene as a framework, allows the identification, upstream NcBSR4, of 2 sequences homologous to the SRS5 and the Ubiquinol-cytochrome C reductase genes and, downstream NcBSR4, of an ORF of 1191 bp coding for a 396-amino acid polypeptide with 59% similarity to the TgSRS9 antigen. A putative 39-residue signal peptide was found at the NH2-terminus followed by a hydrophilic region, and a potential site for a glycosylphosphatidylinositol anchor at the COOH-terminus. A recombinant NcSRS9 protein was produced and was recognized on a Western blot by a low proportion of sera from a panel of naturally infected cows and calves. In addition, Western blot analysis using polyclonal anti-rNcSRS9 revealed stage-specific expression of NcSRS9 in bradyzoites but not in tachyzoites, and immunohistochemistry on brain from a congenitally infected calf showed NcSRS9 recognition in bradyzoites contained in tissue cysts. However, bradyzoite-specific expression of NcSRS9 could not be proven by immunofluorescence on bradyzoites obtained in vitro and RT-PCR analysis showed no significant variations of NcSRS9 transcripts during in vitro tachyzoite-bradyzoite switch, probably due to incomplete maturity of in vitro bradyzoites. Initial characterization of NcSRS9 in this study may lead to further studies for a better understanding of N. caninum persistence.
This work presents the CICABOT, a novel 3-DOF translational parallel manipulator (TPM) with large workspace. The manipulator consists of two 5-bar mechanisms connected by two prismatic joints; the moving platform is on the union of these prismatic joints; each 5-bar mechanism has two legs. The mobility of the proposed mechanism, based on Gogu approach, is also presented. The inverse and direct kinematics are solved from geometric analysis. The manipulator's Jacobian is developed from the vector equation of the robot legs; the singularities can be easily derived from Jacobian matrix. The manipulator workspace is determined from analysis of a 5-bar mechanism; the resulting workspace is the intersection of two hollow cylinders that is much larger than other TPM with similar dimensions.
This work reviews the dependence of reliability testing results on material processing and properties for polymeric materials used in high density interconnection technologies.Specific data are presented for CyclotenesTM 3022 resins containing divinylsiloxane bisbenzocyclobutene, (CAS 117732-87-3). Silane coupling agents discussed in this study are 3-aminopropyltriethoxysilane (CAS 01760-24-3)(APTES) and 3-methacryloxypropyl trimethoxysilane (CAS 02530-85-0) (MOP-TMS).
To lower the cost of multichip module packaging, hybridized substrate technologies have recently been reported which blend the desirable aspects of D and L fabrication (MCM-D/L). High performance dielectrics such as Cyclotene™3022 and photosensitive BCB have been shown to be compatible with laminate substrates used in MCM-DIL, however the cure levels of the dielectric on the laminates must be known for optimum processing.
In this paper, the capability of attenuated reflection IR microscopy (micro-ATR-IR) to probe thin films of BCB polymers is demonstrated. This technique enables the polymer layer to be probed regardless of the characteristics of the substrate. Cure levels of both Cyclotene™ 3022 and photodefinable BCB polymer films are obtained with micro-ATR-IR on both silicon and laminate substrate. Micro-ATR-IR is also used to probe a rapid thermal cure of Cyclotene Tm 3022 and photodefinable BCB layers on copper-clad polyimide laminate; these measurements cannot be made with transmission IR due to the high reflectivity of the substrate.
A combined experimental/theoretical study is presented of the onset conditions for gas phase reaction and particle nucleation in hot substrate/cold gas CVD of transition metal oxides. Homogeneous reaction onset conditions are predicted using a simple high activation energy reacting gas film theory. Experimental tests of the basic theory are underway using an axisymmetric impinging jet CVD reactor. No “vapor phase ignition” has yet been observed in the TiCl4/O2 system under accessible operating conditions (below substrate temperature Tw=1700 K) and further experiments are planned using more reactive feed materials. The goal of this research is to provide CVD reactor design and operation guidelines for achieving acceptable deposit microstructures at the maximum deposition rate while simultaneously avoiding homogeneous reaction/nucleation and diffusional limitations.