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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.
Nutritional strategies to mitigate the negative effects of heat stress on animal welfare and productivity often involve changes in ration formulation. However, cattle commonly sort their ration in favour of certain components, and it is not clear how feed sorting responds to heat stress. This study investigated the association between heat stress and feed sorting behaviour. Lactating Holstein dairy cows (n = 32; parity = 2.8±1.2; mean±SD) were housed in a free stall barn and milked 3×/day. Cows were fed individually using the Calan Broadbent Feeding System and offered ad libitum access to a total mixed ration (containing on a dry matter basis: 3.3% ryegrass hay, 16.5% ryegrass baleage, 24.7% corn silage, 11.1% brewers grains, 19.7% ground corn, 19.8% concentrate and 4.9% protein/mineral supplement), provided 1×/day. Beginning at 186±60 days in milk, cows were exposed to either: heat stress conditions (HT; n = 15) (average temperature–humidity index: 77.6), or evaporative cooling (CL; n = 17), consisting of misters and fans over the freestall and feed bunks. Data were collected during a 4-day baseline period, and two 4-day experimental periods: starting at 10 days after implementing treatments (defined as acute heat stress for HT cows), and at 62 days after implementing treatments (defined as chronic heat stress for HT cows). Daily feed intake and physiological responses to heat stress (body temperature, respiration rate) were recorded. Samples of fresh and refused feed were collected daily from individual cows for particle size analysis. The particle size separator had three screens (19, 8 and 1.18 mm) and a bottom pan, resulting in 4 fractions (long, medium, short and fine particles). Feed sorting was calculated as the actual intake of each particle size fraction expressed as a percentage of the predicted intake of that fraction. During both heat stress periods, HT cows sorted for long particles more than CL cows (105.0% v. 100.6%; SE = 1.1). During acute heat stress, HT cows sorted to a greater extent than CL cows against medium and short particles, whereas sorting of these fractions did not differ during chronic heat stress. Body temperature and respiration rate were associated across treatments with the extent of sorting for long particles and against short particles during acute heat stress. These results suggest that feed sorting is particularly influenced during acute heat stress, and that sorting for longer particles may increase in heat stress.
To compare cognitive function among frail and prefrail older adults.
Cross-sectional clinical study.
Fifty-one non-institutionalized older individuals participated in this study.
Cognitive functions were evaluated through Mini-Mental State Examination (Global Cognition), Digit Span Forward (short-term memory), Digit Span Backward (working memory), Verbal Fluency Test (semantic memory/executive function). Data were compared using parametric and non-parametric bivariate tests. Binary logistic regression was used to test a frailty prediction model. Statistical significance was defined as p ≤ 0.01 to compare groups. In the regression model, the p value was set to be ≤0.05.
Statistically significant differences were observed in global cognition, and short-term memory between frail and prefrail individuals (p ≤ 0.01). Global cognition explained 14–19% of frailty's model.
According to our findings, the evaluation of cognitive functions among older persons with frailty and prefrailty provides important complementary information to better manage frailty and its progression.
The worldwide population of the leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) encompasses seven subpopulations among the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans. It has experienced declines across parts of its distribution, with the subpopulation of the South-west Atlantic listed as critically endangered by the IUCN Red List. The main threats to this subpopulation include its interaction with fisheries, coastal development, pollution and climate change. In this study, we sequenced mitochondrial DNA from 52 leatherback turtles in Brazil and combined these with published data from other Atlantic Ocean rookeries. The haplotype diversities of the Atlantic population rookeries ranged from 0.112 to 0.533 and are not directly proportional to current rookery sizes. The Brazilian rookery, despite recording low nest numbers per year, had the second-highest haplotype diversity among all Atlantic rookeries (h = 0.532). A mixed-stock analysis revealed that the South American pelagic aggregate is primarily composed of individuals from West Africa (84%), with contributions from the North Atlantic rookeries (14%). Leatherback turtles appear to have a complex phylogeographic pattern, showing evidence of multiple colonization events and a lack of isolation by distance. Our novel dataset, based on DNA sequences of 695 base pairs, will provide baseline data needed to understand population dynamics in the region, building comprehensive population assessments to support and develop management strategies. Having both the only known regular rookery in the South-west Atlantic, and a mixed-origin foraging area for the species along its coast, Brazil has a key role in the conservation of the leatherback turtle.
Carcass data were collected from 24 kids (average live weight of 12.5±5.5 kg; range 4.5 to 22.4 kg) of Jarmelista Portuguese native breed, to evaluate bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) as a technique for prediction of light kid carcass and muscle chemical composition. Resistance (Rs, Ω) and reactance (Xc, Ω), were measured in the cold carcasses with a single frequency bioelectrical impedance analyzer and, together with impedance (Z, Ω), two electrical volume measurements (VolA and VolB, cm2/Ω), carcass cold weight (CCW), carcass compactness and several carcass linear measurements were fitted as independent variables to predict carcass composition by stepwise regression analysis. The amount of variation explained by VolA and VolB only reached a significant level (P<0.01 and P<0.05, respectively) for muscle weight, moisture, protein and fat-free soft tissue content, even so with low accuracy, with VolA providing the best results (0.326⩽R2⩽0.366). Quite differently, individual BIA parameters (Rs, Xc and Z) explained a very large amount of variation in dissectible carcass fat weight (0.814⩽R2⩽0.862; P<0.01). These individual BIA parameters also explained a large amount of variation in subcutaneous and intermuscular fat weights (respectively 0.749⩽R2⩽0.793 and 0.718⩽R2⩽0.760; P<0.01), and in muscle chemical fat weight (0.663⩽R2⩽0.684; P<0.01). Still significant but much lower was the variation in muscle, moisture, protein and fat-free soft tissue weights (0.344⩽R2⩽0.393; P<0.01) explained by BIA parameters. Still, the best models for estimation of muscle, moisture, protein and fat-free soft tissue weights included Rs in addition to CCW, and accounted for 97.1% to 99.8% (P<0.01) of the variation observed, with CCW by itself accounting for 97.0% to 99.6% (P<0.01) of that variation. Resistance was the only independent variable selected for the best model predicting subcutaneous fat weight. It was also selected for the best models predicting carcass fat weight (combined with carcass length, CL; R2=0.943; P<0.01) and intermuscular fat weight (combined with CCW; R2=0.945; P<0.01). The best model predicting muscle chemical fat weight combined CCW and Z, explaining 85.6% (P<0.01) of the variation observed. These results indicate BIA as a useful tool for prediction of light kids’ carcass composition.
Despite significant advances in therapies against Trypanosoma evansi, its effective elimination from the central nervous system (CNS) remains a difficult task. The incapacity of trypanocidal drugs to cross the blood–brain barrier (BBB) after systemic administrations makes the brain the main refuge area for T. evansi. Nanotechnology is showing great potential to improve drug efficacy, such as nerolidol-loaded nanospheres (N-NS). Thus, the aim of this study was to investigate whether the treatment with N-NS was able to cross the BBB and to eliminate T. evansi from the CNS. High-performance liquid chromatography revealed that N-NS can cross the BBB of T. evansi-infected mice, while free nerolidol (F-N) neither the trypanocidal drug diminazene aceturate (D.A.) were not detected in the brain tissue. Polymerase chain reaction revealed that 100% of the animals treated with N-NS were negatives for T. evansi in the brain tissue, while all infected animals treated with F-N or D.A. were positives. Thus, we concluded that nanotechnology improves the therapeutic efficacy of nerolidol, and enables the transport of its active principle through the BBB. In summary, N-NS treatment can eliminate the parasite from the CNS, and possesses potential to treat infected animals.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of nerolidol free (N-F) and nerolidol-loaded in nanospheres (N-NS) on the hepatic antioxidant/oxidant status of mice experimentally infected by Trypanosoma evansi. In the liver it was measured: reactive oxygen species (ROS), thiobarbituric reactive acid substances (TBARS) and non-protein thiols (NPSH), catalase (CAT), superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione-S-transferase (GST) and performed histopathological examination. In addition, seric levels of aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) were measured. Liver samples from mice infected by T. evansi showed increased (P < 0·05) ROS, TBARS, AST and ALT levels and SOD activity, and decreased NPSH levels and CAT activity (P < 0·05) compared with uninfected animals. N-NS treatment prevented (P < 0·05) ROS and TBARS increase, and increased NPSH levels, and ameliorate CAT and SOD activities on liver of infected mice. Moreover, N-NS treatment reduced (P < 0·05) AST and ALT levels, and prevented histopathological changes caused by the parasite. N-NS protected the liver from the oxidative stress caused by T. evansi, which might be due to its antioxidant properties. Nerolidol might be considered a promising therapeutic agent against oxidative stress, and nanotechnology is an encouraging approach to be explored.
The aim of this study was to investigate the activities of important enzymes involved in the phosphoryl transfer network (adenylate kinase and creatine kinase (CK)), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), respiratory chain complexes and biomarkers of cardiac function in rat experimentally infected by Trypanosoma evansi. Rat heart samples were evaluated at 5 and 15 days post-infection (PI). At 5 day PI, there was an increase in LDH and CK activities, and a decrease in respiratory chain complexes II, IV and succinate dehydrogenase activities. In addition, on day 15 PI, a decrease in the respiratory chain complex IV activity was observed. Biomarkers of cardiac function were higher in infected animals on days 5 and 15 PI. Considering the importance of the energy metabolism for heart function, it is possible that the changes in the enzymatic activities involved in the cardiac phosphotransfer network and the decrease in respiratory chain might be involved partially in the role of biomarkers of cardiac function of T. evansi-infected rats.
A retrospective space–time permutation model with non-Euclidean distance criteria was applied within a high-complexity hospital setting to quantitatively explore cluster patterns of 273 patients infected with or colonized by carbapenemase-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae during 4 years. Results were compared to standard nosocomial active-surveillance methods. Two clusters were identified in the period, suggesting that space–time strategies for cluster quantification within confined environments may be useful.
This study aimed to evaluate in vitro and in vivo trypanocidal activity of free and nanoencapsulated curcumin against Trypanosoma evansi. In vitro efficacy of free curcumin (CURC) and curcumin-loaded in lipid-core nanocapsules (C-LNCs) was evaluated to verify their lethal effect on T. evansi. To perform the in vivo tests, T. evansi-infected animals were treated with CURC (10 and 100 mg kg−1, intraperitoneally [i.p.]) and C-LNCs (10 mg kg−1, i.p.) during 6 days, with the results showing that these treatments significantly attenuated the parasitaemia. Infected untreated rats showed protein peroxidation and an increase of nitrites/nitrates, whereas animals treated with curcumin showed a reduction on these variables. As a result, the activity of antioxidant enzymes (superoxide dismutase and catalase) differs between groups (P<0·05). Infected animals and treated with CURC exhibited a reduction in the levels of alanine aminotransferase and creatinine, when compared with the positive control group. The use of curcumin in vitro resulted in a better parasitaemia control, an antioxidant activity and a protective effect on liver and kidney functions of T. evansi-infected adult male Wistar rats.
The aim of this study was to assess the effect of sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim (ST) supplemented with diphenyl diselenide and sodium selenite in experimental toxoplasmosis, on oxidant/antioxidant biomarkers and cytokine levels. Eighty-four BALB/c mice were divided in seven groups: group A (negative control), and groups B to G (infected). Blood and liver samples were collected on days 4 and 20 post infection (p.i.). Levels of thiobarbituric acid (TBA) reactive substances and advanced oxidation protein products (AOPP) were assessed in liver samples. Both biomarkers were significantly increased in infected groups on day 4 p.i., while they were reduced on day 20 p.i., compared with group A. Glutathione reductase (GR) activity significantly (P<0·01) increased on day 4 p.i., in group G, compared with group A. INF-γ was significantly increased (P<0·001) in both periods, day 4 (groups B, C, F and G) and 20 p.i. (groups C, F and G). IL-10 significantly reduced (P<0·001) on day 4 p.i. in group B; however, in the same period, it was increased (P<0·001) in groups C and G, compared with group A. On day 20 p.i., IL-10 increased (P<0·001) in groups F and G. Therefore, our results highlighted that these forms of selenium, associated with the chemotherapy, were able to reduce lipid peroxidation and protein oxidation, providing a beneficial immunological balance between the production of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines.
The aim of this study was to investigate neurochemical and enzymatic changes in rats infected with Trypanosoma evansi, and their interference in the cognitive parameters. Behavioural assessment (assessment of cognitive performance), evaluation of cerebral L-[3H]glutamate uptake, acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity and Ca+2 and Na+, K+-ATPase activity were evaluated at 5 and 30 days post infection (dpi). This study demonstrates a cognitive impairment in rats infected with T. evansi. At 5 dpi memory deficit was demonstrated by an inhibitory avoidance test. With the chronicity of the disease (30 dpi) animals showed anxiety symptoms. It is possible the inhibition of cerebral Na+, K+-ATPase activity, AChE and synaptosomal glutamate uptake are involved in cognitive impairment in infected rats by T. evansi. The understanding of cerebral host–parasite relationship may shed some light on the cryptic symptoms of animals and possibly human infection where patients often present with other central nervous system (CNS) disorders.
Once thought to be devoid of life, the Antarctic Ice Sheet is now known to be a dynamic reservoir of organic carbon and metabolically active microbial cells. At the ice-bed interface, subglacial lake and sedimentary environments support low diversity microbial populations, adapted to perennial cold, anoxia and lack of light. The dynamic exchange of water between these shallow environments conveys meltwaters and associated sediments into the coastal ocean. This, together with the release of iceberg-rafted debris to more distal coastal environments, could be important for sustaining primary productivity in the iron-limited Southern Ocean, via the release of associated nutrients and bioavailable iron. We estimate the magnitude and review the wider impacts of the potential export of nutrients (N, P, C, Si and bioavailable Fe) dissolved and associated with suspended sediments in Antarctic runoff and entombed in iceberg rafted debris. Located beneath subglacial lakes and the subglacial till complex are deep sedimentary basins up to 14 km thick, located largely around the Antarctic periphery. These sedimentary basins are largely hydrologically decoupled from shallower lake and till environments by the presence of highly consolidated sediments which limit the penetration of glacial meltwaters to depth. They provide extensive habitats for sustained microbial activity over Ma timescales, and are likely to be a focal point for the anaerobic cycling of organic carbon and other elements in the deep sub-surface. Organic carbon buried in these basins during ice sheet formation is thought to be microbially cycled to methane gas, and the methane largely stored as hydrate within sediments, stabilised by the high pressure/low temperature conditions. We conclude that the export of nutrients and biogenic gases from deep and shallow subglacial Antarctic environments designates Antarctica as a potentially important component of the Earth's carbon cycle, and highlight the importance of evaluating these potential impacts further via global and regional-scale biogeochemical modelling.
Zinc oxide (ZnO) has been one of the most studied materials in the last decades. Either as bulk material, epilayers or nanostructures, this direct wide band gap semiconductor is known to possess great potential for fundamental science and modern technology applications.
Recently, much attention has been given to directional solidified eutectic (DSE) materials for functional and structural applications. DSE materials take advantage from their microstructural features. Typically, DSE are dense homogeneous materials composed by fine microstructures without grain boundaries (GBs). Since impurities and defects typically concentrate at GBs, their deleterious effects on the mechanical, thermal and electrical properties can thus be minimized.
Cubic zinc gallate (c-ZnGa2O4) has attracted the attention of the scientific community due to its potential phosphor applications, namely in field emission displays (FEDs) and other electroluminescent devices. Among other advantages, this oxide matrix shows superior thermal and chemical stability when compared to ZnS based phosphors. Most of the above mentioned works comprise nanostructures, thin films or pressed pellets while scarce information is found on bulk c-ZnGa2O4 material. In particular, no records were found regarding c-ZnGa2O4 crystal growth by the laser floating zone (LFZ) technique. In this work, crystalline fibres of manganese doped (0.01 mol %) zinc gallate were produced via LFZ in order to investigate its applicability in efficient phosphors. The transition metal ions are suitable activators and show some advantages over the widely used rare earths, namely at environmental and economic levels.
Trypanosoma evansi is the aetiological agent of trypanosomosis in domestic animals. In this pathology, an inflammatory response can be observed and, as a consequence, the increase of extracellular adenine nucleotides such as ATP. These nucleotide concentrations are regulated by ectoenzymes such as NTPDase (EC 18.104.22.168, CD39), which catalyses the hydrolysis of ATP and ADP into AMP. In this study, the activity of NTPDase in lymphocytes of rats experimentally infected with T. evansi was evaluated. The animals were inoculated with the parasite and monitored by blood smear on a daily basis. The animals were then were divided into 4 groups according to the degree of parasitaemia and period of infection. The blood collections for enzyme analysis and lymphocyte count were performed on the 3rd (beginning of infection), 5th (acute infection) and 15th (chronic infection) days post-infection (p.i.). The control group was composed of non-infected animals. In the infected group a decrease in ATP hydrolysis (36%) was observed on the 3rd day p.i. and a decrease in ADP hydrolysis (62%) was observed on the 5th day p.i. when compared to the control. On the 15th day p.i., an increase in ATP (94%) and ADP (50%) hydrolysis was observed in the infected group. Considering these data it is suggested that NTPDase activity is altered on the surface of lymphocytes of rats infected with T. evansi at different time-points of infection.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the activity of delta-aminolevulinate dehydratase (δ-ALA-D) in red blood cells of rats infected with Trypanosoma evansi and establish its association with haematocrit, serum levels of iron and zinc and lipid peroxidation. Thirty-six male rats (Wistar) were divided into 2 groups with 18 animals each. Group A was non-infected while Group B was intraperitoneally infected, receiving 7·5×106 trypomastigotes per animal. Each group was divided into 3 subgroups of 6 rats and blood was collected during different periods post-infection (p.i.) as follows: day 5 (A1 and B1), day 15 (A2 and B2) and day 30 PI (A3 and B3). Blood samples were collected by cardiac puncture to estimate red blood cell parameters (RBC), δ-ALA-D activity and serum levels of iron, zinc and thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS). Rats in group B showed a significant (P<0·05) reduction of RBC count, haemoglobin concentration and haematocrit at days 5 and 15 p.i. The activity of δ-ALA-D in blood was significantly (P<0·001) increased at days 15 and 30 p.i. δ-ALA-D activity in blood had a significant (P<0·05) negative correlation with haematocrit (r=−0·61) and haemoglobin (r=−0·70) at day 15 p.i. There was a significant (P<0·05) decrease in serum iron and zinc levels and an increase in TBARS levels (P<0·05) during infection. The δ-ALA-D activity in blood was negatively correlated with the levels of iron (r=−0·68) and zinc (r=−0·57) on day 30 p.i. It was concluded that the increased activity of δ-ALA-D in blood might have occurred in response to the anaemia in remission as heme synthesis was enhanced.