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Litter breakdown is an important ecological process at the bottom of food webs in streams. Previous studies have been based only on a temporal interval of a single season, thus ignoring seasonal variation in litter input and community structure. We investigated organic matter input in a Brazilian savanna stream and the influence of its associated hyphomycetes on the invertebrate community. Organic matter input was sampled monthly and the leaves submitted to decomposition experiments. There were lower breakdown rates and higher invertebrate species richness and abundance during the dry season, which reached their maximum in July due to low stream discharge. Invertebrate composition was best explained by hyphomycetes (mainly by Flagellospora curvula and Anguillospora filiformis). Hyphomycetes have the capacity to degrade complex compounds of litter and to rapidly absorb nutrients by growing branched filaments, thus making the leaves more favourable for consumption by invertebrates. Shredder abundance was negatively related to litter richness, indicating possible species-specific relationships. We observed a sequential process with increased leaf litter input promoting an increase in hyphomycetes biomass, which in turn favoured invertebrate density.
Sarcopenia is a progressive and generalized skeletal muscle disorder, associated with adverse outcomes. Aging causes primary sarcopenia, while secondary causes include chronic kidney disease (CKD), long-term use of glucocorticoids and obesity. The aim of this study was to evaluate: the prevalence of sarcopenia using guidelines recommended by The European Working Group on Sarcopenia in Older People (EWGSOP,2010; EWGSOP2,2018) and the Foundation of the National Institutes of Health (FNIH); and analyse the relationship between sarcopenia and body adiposity in adult renal transplant recipients (RTR) . This was a cross-sectional study in adult RTR (body mass index (BMI) ≥18.5kg/m2). Body composition was evaluated by dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) and anthropometry. Glomerular filtration rate was estimated (eGFR) by CKD-EPI equation. The prevalence of sarcopenia in adult RTR (n=185; 57% men, 50 years and eGFR 55.80±1.52ml/min.) was 7% (FNIH), 11% (EWGSOP2) and 17% (EWGSOP). Low muscle mass, muscle function, and physical performance affected respectively up to 28%, 46% and 10% of the participants. Body adiposity evaluated by anthropometry and by DXA (% trunk fat) was lower in participants with sarcopenia according to EWGSOP and EWGSOP2. Conversely, according to FNIH criteria, RTR with sarcopenia presented higher waist-to-height-ratio. This study suggests that: adult RTR sarcopenia prevalence varies according to the diagnostic criteria; low muscle mass, low muscle function and low physical performance are common conditions; body adiposity association with sarcopenia depends on the criteria used to define this syndrome; and FNIH criteria detected higher adiposity in individuals with sarcopenia.
Gazetting and maintaining protected areas (PAs) are political processes and, as such, depend on wider society’s support in order to achieve their aims. In this paper, we evaluated the influence of gender, education, age, income, place of origin and place of residence on public support for PAs in the Brazilian state of Amapá, a new tropical forest frontier. We gathered 615 complete interviews with adults living in both rural and urban settings. We found that most (90.5%) of the participants support PAs and that this attitude is more likely to exist among urban than rural participants. We found that gender, education, age, income and place of origin did not influence support for PAs. Biodiversity conservation is the most common reason why PAs receive public support. In contrast, participants who do not favour PAs see them as providing no benefit to people. We suggest that support by local political leaders from dominant and rival political parties for conservation helps to promote acceptance of PAs by stakeholders. However, relatively low support for PAs among rural participants could indicate that the expectations of these populations regarding the social benefits associated with this conservation policy have yet to be fulfilled.
Hypertension (HTN) remains a common complication after kidney transplantation among paediatric patients. Although low birth weight (LBW) has been implicated as an important risk factor for cardiovascular diseases, its effect on transplantation patients has not yet been addressed. It is essential to determine whether children with LBW who undergo transplantation are more likely to develop post-transplantation HTN. For this study, the medical records of 96 kidney recipients were retrospectively examined. A total of 83 patients fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Overall, post-transplantation HTN was observed in 54% of the recipients. Multivariate logistic regression revealed that time from transplantation >14 months (odds ratio (OR) 3.6; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.31–10.06; P = 0.013), current CKD (OR 2.6; 95% CI 1.01–7.20; P = 0.045), presence of LBW (OR 3.6; 95% CI 1.04–12.32; P = 0.044) and current overweight/obesity (OR 3.7; 95% CI 1.02–13.91; P = 0.047) were associated with post-transplantation HTN. In conclusion, our data provide evidence for the first time that LBW is a significant predictive factor in the development of post-transplantation HTN. This finding has important clinical implications as it serves to alert clinicians about this additional risk factor in paediatric patients undergoing kidney transplant.
The University of São Paulo Twin Panel (Painel USP de Gêmeos), based at the Institute of Psychology of the University of São Paulo, started formally in 2017. Our registry is new, but in only two years of formal existence, it comprises a volunteer sample of 4826 registered individuals (98% twins and 2% higher-order multiples), recruited at the University of São Paulo and by social media campaigns. Our main aim is to conduct and promote research with twins on psychological processes and behavior. The University of São Paulo is the largest higher education and research institution in South America, and the Painel USP de Gêmeos has great potential for fostering research on twin-related issues from a psychological perspective in Brazil and South America.
To assess weight status and eating habits of undergraduate university students in relation to gender and examine the relationships between weight status, physical activity and eating habits.
Cross-sectional study conducted between October 2016 and May 2017.
Young adults in Midwest Brazil.
Undergraduate university students (n 2163) majoring in health care.
Among 2163 students, 69·3 % were female, 65·4 % were aged 20–29 years, 66·8% consumed alcohol and 44·2% did not achieve more than 150 min of physical activity per week. We found significant differences in the consumption of beans (P < 0·04) and full-fat milk (P < 0·01) between women and men. Women also had more sedentary lifestyles (P < 0·01) and showed higher prevalence of overweight (33·8 %) and obesity (5·0 %) than men. Students who did not engage in physical activity were more overweight (P = 0·03), consumed more soft drinks (P < 0·01) and meat with excess fat (P = 0·01). There was a positive association between weight status and fruit (P = 0·02), salad (P < 0·01), greens/vegetables (P < 0·01) and beans (P < 0·01) intake.
The low level of physical activity and unhealthy eating patterns reported by the study participants were inconsistent with the national recommendations for a healthy active lifestyle for adults and may contribute to the increasing rate of overweight and obesity in this population. A joint effort between universities and all relevant government agencies is needed to develop and promote school- and community-based interventions.
Levamisole (Lms) is an anthelminthic drug with immunomodulatory activity. Chagas disease (CD) is caused by Trypanosoma cruzi and there is very low access to the drugs available, benznidazole (Bz) and nifurtimox, both far from ideal. In a drug-repurposing strategy to test potential activity as antiparasitic and immunomodulatory agent for CD, Lms was assayed on acute T. cruzi murine infection, alone and in co-administration with Bz. During protocol standardization, 100 and 10 mpk of Bz given for five consecutive days resulted in parasitaemia suppression and 100% animal survival only with the highest dose. Flow cytometry showed that both optimal (100 mpk) and suboptimal (10 mpk) doses of Bz equally decreased the plasma levels of cytokines commonly elevated in this acute infection model. Lms alone (10–0.5 mpk) did not decrease parasitaemia nor mortality rates. Co-administration was investigated using the suboptimal dose of Bz and different doses of Lms. While Bz 10 mpk did not alter parasitaemia, the combo partially reduced it but only slightly promoted animal survival. This effect could be related to Th1-response modulation since interleukin-6 and interferon-γ were higher after treatment with the combo.
Trypanosoma cruzi, the causative agent of Chagas disease, is a public health concern in Latin America. Epigenetic events, such as histone acetylation, affect DNA topology, replication and gene expression. Histone deacetylases (HDACs) are involved in chromatin compaction and post-translational modifications of cytoplasmic proteins, such as tubulin. HDAC inhibitors, like trichostatin A (TSA), inhibit tumour cell proliferation and promotes ultrastructural modifications. In the present study, TSA effects on cell proliferation, viability, cell cycle and ultrastructure were evaluated, as well as on histone acetylation and tubulin expression of the T. cruzi epimastigote form. Protozoa proliferation and viability were reduced after treatment with TSA. Quantitative proteomic analyses revealed an increase in histone acetylation after 72 h of TSA treatment. Surprisingly, results obtained by different microscopy methodologies indicate that TSA does not affect chromatin compaction, but alters microtubule cytoskeleton dynamics and impair kDNA segregation, generating polynucleated cells with atypical morphology. Confocal fluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry assays indicated that treated cell microtubules were more intensely acetylated. Increases in tubulin acetylation may be directly related to the higher number of parasites in the G2/M phase after TSA treatment. Taken together, these results suggest that deacetylase inhibitors represent excellent tools for understanding trypanosomatid cell biology.
The anti-leishmania effects of HIV peptidase inhibitors (PIs) have been widely reported; however, the biochemical target and mode of action are still a matter of controversy in Leishmania parasites. Considering the possibility that HIV-PIs induce lipid accumulation in Leishmania amazonensis, we analysed the effects of lopinavir on the lipid metabolism of L. amazonensis promastigotes. To this end, parasites were treated with lopinavir at different concentrations and analysed by fluorescence microscopy and spectrofluorimetry, using a fluorescent lipophilic marker. Then, the cellular ultrastructure of treated and control parasites was analysed by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and the lipid composition was investigated by thin-layer chromatography (TLC). Finally, the sterol content was assayed by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC/MS). TEM analysis revealed an increased number of lipid inclusions in lopinavir-treated cells, which was accompanied by an increase in the lipophilic content, in a dose-dependent manner. TLC and GC–MS analysis revealed a marked increase of cholesterol-esters and cholesterol. In conclusion, lopinavir-induced lipid accumulation and affected lipid composition in L. amazonensis in a concentration–response manner. These data contribute to a better understanding of the possible mechanisms of action of this HIV-PI in L. amazonensis promastigotes. The concerted action of lopinavir on this and other cellular processes, such as the direct inhibition of an aspartyl peptidase, may be responsible for the arrested development of the parasite.
To investigate the relationship between social deprivation and the food environment. Furthermore, to evaluate if the food environment is associated with the prevalence of obesity among students in Brazilian public schools.
Cross-sectional. For the classification of obesity, weight and height were measured, and the cut-off point of BMI-for-age Z-score >+2 was adopted. Social deprivation level was determined from the Health Vulnerability Index (HVI). To assess the food environment, the density of food establishments in urban residential areas was calculated. Associations between the food environment and the presence of obesity were estimated by binary logistic regression through a generalized estimating equations model.
Juiz de Fora, Minas Gerais, Brazil.
Children and adolescents (n 661) aged 7–14 years.
The lowest social deprivation level showed a higher density of all types of establishments that sold predominantly unhealthy foods. An inverse association was found between the density of supermarkets and hypermarkets and the presence of obesity (OR=0·58; 95 % CI 0·36, 0·93). For the other categories of food retailers, no significant differences were found.
The findings reinforce the need for public policies that promote equality in the food environments of the city. Also, further investigations into the influence of the presence of supermarkets on the nutritional status of children and adolescents are required.
Considering the impact of coastal dynamics on the radiocarbon (14C) marine reservoir effect (MRE), upwelling has the potential of enhancing marine influence, usually 14C depleted. Freshwater input can contribute either to increased reservoir offsets, when dead carbon from rock weathering is available, but also towards an atmospheric 14C signal, when the presence of terrestrial organic matter from catchment prevails. An overview of the MRE studies based on shellmounds on the coast of Rio de Janeiro reveals a pattern of negative local corrections for Saquarema and Rio das Ostras but positive values for Cabo Frio island, suggesting the presence of cold upwelling waters in Cabo Frio at 1.6–1.2 cal kBP. New results for a shellmound on the Ilha Grande island, in the western portion of the Rio de Janeiro coast, revealed a negative value at about 3 ka. We discuss distribution of MRE values and temporal variability in the region and their relation to ocean dynamics, continental input and the choice of marine organisms used for ∆R determination. A comparison of local reservoir offsets for the Saquarema region obtained from fish otolith and mollusk shells revealed similar ΔR distributions, showing that both materials can be equally used.
There are few reports of cryopreservation and injuries in Macrobrachium amazonicum embryos. Thus, the aim of this study was to analyze the effects of cryoprotectants agents and cooling on stage VIII of this species. Fertilized eggs from ovigerous females were removed from the incubation chamber, then placed in 10 ml Falcon tubes with a cryoprotectant solution and saline-free calcium solution. Thus, the embryos underwent a cooling curve of 1°C per min until reaching 5°C, and then were stored for 2 h. The tubes containing the embryos were washed to remove the cryoprotectant, acclimated for 5 min and then transferred to 50 ml incubators. At the end of the 24-h period, living embryos from each tube were counted and tabulated. A pool of embryos was fixed with 4% formaldehyde and then subjected to histology using 3-mm thick sections and stained with haematoxylin/eosin. Another pool was used for biometric analysis in which length, width and volume were analyzed. The cryoprotectants agents used were: dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO), methyl alcohol, ethylene glycol at 1, 5 and 10% and sucrose (0.5 M). Variance analysis was performed followed by Tukey's honest significant difference (HSD) test at 5% significance level. DMSO cryoprotectant affected embryo survival the least with rates of 71.8, 36.2 and 0% for concentrations of 1, 5 and 10%, respectively. Ethylene glycol caused 100% mortality at all the concentrations used. It was not possible to observe the interference of cooling and cryoprotectants on embryonic structures in this study.
This is a systematic review on the role of metalloproteases in the pathogenicity of the American tegumentary leishmaniasis (ATL) caused by New World Leishmania species. The review followed the PRISMA method, searching for articles in PubMed, EMBASE, LILACS and ISI Web of Science, by employing the following terms: ‘leishmaniasis’, ‘cutaneous leishmaniasis’, ‘mucocutaneous leishmaniasis’, ‘diffuse cutaneous leishmaniasis’, ‘Leishmania’ and ‘metalloproteases’. GP63 of New World Leishmania species is a parasite metalloproteases involved in the degradation and cleavage of many biological molecules as kappa-B nuclear factor, fibronectin, tyrosine phosphatases. GP63 is capable of inhibiting the activity of the complement system and reduces the host's immune functions, allowing the survival of the parasite and its dissemination. High serological/tissue levels of host matrix metalloproteases (MMP)-9 have been associated with tissue damage during the infection, while high transcriptional levels of MMP-2 related with a satisfactory response to treatment. Host MMPs serological and tissue levels have been investigated using Western Blot, zymography, and Real Time polymerase chain reaction. GP63 detection characterizes species and virulence in promastigotes isolated from lesions samples using techniques mentioned previously. The monitoring of host MMPs levels and GP63 in Leishmania isolated from host samples could be used on the laboratory routine to predict the prognostic and treatment efficacy of ATL.
To evaluate Ca intake and its association with cardiometabolic risk factors during childhood.
A cross-sectional study with a representative sample. Food consumption was assessed through three 24 h dietary recalls. Anthropometry, body composition and biochemical measurements were also conducted.
Viçosa, Minas Gerais, Brazil.
Children between 8 and 9 years old (n 350) enrolled in public and private schools in the urban area of the municipality of Viçosa.
Almost all children had inadequate intake of Ca (97·4 %), especially those with low income, non-white and who studied in public schools. Foods that contributed most to Ca intake were ‘milk’ and ‘cheeses and yoghurts’ (R2=0·66 and 0·13, respectively), and intake of ‘milk’ was correlated with ‘chocolate milk powder’ intake (r=0·538, P<0·01). Children with lower Ca intake had a higher prevalence of increased C-reactive protein (prevalence ratio=2·93; 95 % CI 1·21, 7·07), increased waist circumference (prevalence ratio=2·86; 95 % CI 1·01, 8·13) and a lower prevalence of high LDL cholesterol (prevalence ratio=0·64; 95 % CI 0·41, 0·99).
Lower Ca intake was associated with excess abdominal adiposity and subclinical inflammation in Brazilian children. Monitoring of adequate Ca intake is important, especially in poorer communities.
This study assessed the effects of diet supplementation with industrial processing by-products of acerola (Malpighia emarginata D.C.), cashew (Anacardium occidentale L.) and guava (Psidium guajava L.) fruit on the intestinal health and lipid metabolism of female Wistar rats with diet-induced dyslipidaemia. Female rats were randomly divided into five groups: healthy control, dyslipidaemic control and dyslipidaemic experimental receiving acerola, cashew or guava processing by-products. Fruit processing by-products were administered (400 mg/kg body weight) via orogastric administration for 28 consecutive days. Acerola, cashew and guava by-products caused body weight reduction (3·42, 3·08 and 5·20 %, respectively) in dyslipidaemic female rats. Dyslipidaemic female rats receiving fruit by-products, especially from acerola, presented decreased faecal pH, visceral fat, liver fat and serum lipid levels, as well as increased faecal moisture, faecal fat excretion, faecal Bifidobacterium spp. and Lactobacillus spp. counts and amounts of organic acids in faeces. Administration of the tested fruit processing by-products protected colon and liver from tissue damage (e.g. destruction of liver and colon cells and increased fat deposition in hepatocytes) induced by dyslipidaemic diet. Dietary fibres and phenolic compounds in tested fruit by-products may be associated with these positive effects. The industrial fruit processing by-products studied, mainly from acerola, exert functional properties that could enable their use to protect the harmful effects on intestinal health and lipid metabolism caused by dyslipidaemic diet.
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.
Benefits to microbial fermentation in the colon and as a consequence less flatulence can be promoted for the health of adult dogs according to the amount and protein source. The present study evaluated different protein sources in dry food for brachycephalic dogs regarding microbial fermentation and nutrient digestibility. Four dry dog foods with similar protein content were formulated for adult maintenance: poultry meal (PM) diet; wheat gluten (WG) diet; PM + WG diet; and PM + WG + hydrolysed protein (HP) diet. Eight French bulldog adult dogs were arranged in a 4 × 4 Latin square design during the 28 d trial. Fresh faeces were collected for assessment of nutrient digestibility and analyses of faecal pH, SCFA, biogenic amines, ammonia and lactate. Means were compared by the PROC MIXED procedure of SAS and by Tukey's test, considering P ≤ 0·05. The animals fed the WG and PM + WG diets showed higher digestibility for DM (P < 0·05), organic matter (P < 0·05), crude protein (P < 0·001) and lower faeces production (P < 0·02) than the PM and PM + WG + HP diets. Feeding diet PM + WG + HP resulted in lower faecal score and pH (P < 0·05) compared with other diets. Concentrations of fermentation metabolites were not statistically significantly different among diets. In conclusion, WG alone or in combination with PM improved protein and DM digestibility. Fermentation products were not affected by protein source.
In this study, we isolate and analyse a new set of microsatellite loci for Cattleya walkeriana. Twenty-two primer pairs were screened for C. walkeriana (n = 32) and assessed for their transferability to Cattleya loddigesii (n = 12) and Cattleya nobilior (n = 06). All loci amplified for C. walkeriana; however, for C. loddigesii and C. nobilior, four and five primers, respectively, did not present amplification. The polymorphic loci presented between 2 and 13 alleles per locus for both C. walkeriana and C. loddigesii, with respective averages of 5.1 and 4.2. For C. nobilior, we found between two and five alleles per locus, with an average of 2.6. For C. walkeriana, observed heterozygosity varied from 0.100 to 0.966, whereas expected heterozygosity ranged from 0.097 to 0.900. The observed and expected heterozygosity for C. loddigesii and C. nobilior were also estimated. We found no significant linkage disequilibrium between any pair of loci, and evidence of null alleles at four loci (Cw16, Cw24, Cw30 and Cw31) for C. walkeriana. The combined power to exclude the first parent and combined non-exclusion probability of identity were 0.999 and 2.3 × 10−20, respectively. These new loci can be used in studies of germplasm resources, and assessments of genotypic and genetic diversity and population structure, thus improving the accuracy of such analyses and their applicability in the conservation and protection of these endangered species.