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Both transposition of the great arteries (TGA) previously submitted to a Senning/Mustard procedure and congenitally corrected TGA (cc-TGA) have the systemic circulation supported by the morphological right ventricle, thereby rendering these patients to heart failure events risk. The aim of this study was to evaluate cardiopulmonary exercise test parameters for stratifying the risk of heart failure events in TGA patients.
Retrospective evaluation of adult TGA patients with systemic circulation supported by the morphological right ventricle submitted to cardiopulmonary exercise test in a tertiary centre. Patients were followed up for at least 1 year for the primary endpoint of cardiac death or heart failure hospitalisation. Several cardiopulmonary exercise test parameters were analysed as potential predictors of the combined endpoint and their predictive power were compared (area under the curve).
Cardiopulmonary exercise test was performed in 44 TGA patients (8 cc-TGA), with a mean age of 35.1 ± 8.4 years. The primary endpoint was reached by 10 (22.7%) patients, with a mean follow-up of 36.7 ± 26.8 months. Heart rate at anaerobic threshold had the highest area under the curve value (0.864), followed by peak oxygen consumption (pVO2) (0.838). Heart rate at anaerobic threshold ≤95 bpm and pVO2 ≤20 ml/kg/min had a sensitivity of 87.5 and 80.0% and a specificity of 82.4 and 76.5%, respectively, for the primary outcome.
Heart rate at anaerobic threshold ≤95 bpm had the highest predictive power of all cardiopulmonary exercise test parameters analysed for heart failure events in TGA patients with systemic circulation supported by the morphological right ventricle.
Dirofilariosis caused by Dirofilaria immitis (heartworm) is a zoonosis, considered an endemic disease of dogs and cats in several countries of Western Europe, including Portugal. This study assesses the levels of D. immitis exposure in humans from Northern Portugal, to which end, 668 inhabitants of several districts belonging to two different climate areas (Csa: Bragança, Vila Real and Csb: Aveiro, Braga, Porto, Viseu) were tested for anti-D. immitis and anti-Wolbachia surface proteins (WSP) antibodies. The overall prevalence of seropositivity to both anti-D. immitis and WSP antibodies was 6.1%, which demonstrated the risk of infection with D. immitis in humans living in Northern Portugal. This study, carried out in a Western European country, contributes to the characterisation of the risk of infection with D. immitis among human population in this region of the continent. From a One Health point of view, the results of the current work also support the close relationship between dogs and people as a risk factor for human infection
The rocky shores of the north-east Atlantic have been long studied. Our focus is from Gibraltar to Norway plus the Azores and Iceland. Phylogeographic processes shape biogeographic patterns of biodiversity. Long-term and broadscale studies have shown the responses of biota to past climate fluctuations and more recent anthropogenic climate change. Inter- and intra-specific species interactions along sharp local environmental gradients shape distributions and community structure and hence ecosystem functioning. Shifts in domination by fucoids in shelter to barnacles/mussels in exposure are mediated by grazing by patellid limpets. Further south fucoids become increasingly rare, with species disappearing or restricted to estuarine refuges, caused by greater desiccation and grazing pressure. Mesoscale processes influence bottom-up nutrient forcing and larval supply, hence affecting species abundance and distribution, and can be proximate factors setting range edges (e.g., the English Channel, the Iberian Peninsula). Impacts of invasive non-native species are reviewed. Knowledge gaps such as the work on rockpools and host–parasite dynamics are also outlined.
The COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins) project is a large international collaborative effort to analyze individual-level phenotype data from twins in multiple cohorts from different environments. The main objective is to study factors that modify genetic and environmental variation of height, body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) and size at birth, and additionally to address other research questions such as long-term consequences of birth size. The project started in 2013 and is open to all twin projects in the world having height and weight measures on twins with information on zygosity. Thus far, 54 twin projects from 24 countries have provided individual-level data. The CODATwins database includes 489,981 twin individuals (228,635 complete twin pairs). Since many twin cohorts have collected longitudinal data, there is a total of 1,049,785 height and weight observations. For many cohorts, we also have information on birth weight and length, own smoking behavior and own or parental education. We found that the heritability estimates of height and BMI systematically changed from infancy to old age. Remarkably, only minor differences in the heritability estimates were found across cultural–geographic regions, measurement time and birth cohort for height and BMI. In addition to genetic epidemiological studies, we looked at associations of height and BMI with education, birth weight and smoking status. Within-family analyses examined differences within same-sex and opposite-sex dizygotic twins in birth size and later development. The CODATwins project demonstrates the feasibility and value of international collaboration to address gene-by-exposure interactions that require large sample sizes and address the effects of different exposures across time, geographical regions and socioeconomic status.
This is a copy of the slides presented at the meeting but not formally written up for the volume.
Recently, the telecommunication market experiences an explosion in the subscribers of emergent high-debit services which require bandwidth that exceeds the one provided by actual copper based access networks . To cope with these demands and keep competitive, great efforts have been done to develop access networks based on optical technology, such as passive all-optical networks due to their intrinsic low cost . Sol-gel processing is suitable for the development of organic-inorganic hybrid (OIH) materials for the production of functional integrated optic (IO) devices in a cost effective way. Urea cross-linked OIH show acceptable transparency, mechanical flexibility and thermal stability [3-6]. The control over the refractive index is achieved by zirconium (IV) n-propoxide (ZPO) doping stabilized with methacrylic acid (MA) [3-5]. The combination in a single material of urea cross-linked OIH and ZPO allowed the preparation of UV written low losses planar waveguides  and low rugosity diffraction grating [4,5]. It has been demonstrated that MA acts not only as ZPO stabilizer but impacts directly on the photopolimerization properties as it contains a photopolymerizable group making the OIH easily UV patterned without photoinitiator . Moreover, it also impacts on the OHIs local structure as it forms a complex with ZPO, that originate ordered clusters dispersed within the OIH host [4,5]. Besides the potential of this OIH as IO components, the hybrid hosts are room-temperature efficient white light emitters lacking metal activator ions, presenting quantum yields as higher as 20 % . In this work, a series of OIH, so called di-ureasils, formed of a siliceous skeleton to which oligopolyether chains of different lengths are covalently grafted by means of urea bridges and modified by ZPO and MA will be prepared and characterized by X-ray and small angle X-ray diffractions, Raman, infrared, atomic force and photoluminescence spectroscopies. The use of the proposed OIH in the development of IO functionalities such as optical filters will be evaluated based on waveguide numerical simulation methods (beam propagation method). Waveguides will be written and characterized using the OIH aforementioned. The recording of a Bragg grating in the waveguides allow the implementation of a wavelength discrimination device with applications on optical filtering. The relevant properties of the devices, such as spectral rejection and insertion losses will be characterized.  S-J Park et al. Journal of Lightwave Tech. 22, 2004.  D.J. Shin et al., Journal of Lightwave Tech. 23, 2005.  C. Molina et al., J. Mater. Chem. 15, 3937, 2005.  R.A. Sá Ferreira et al., Proceedings of the International Conference on Telecomunications, 2006.  P.S. André et al. Proceedings ICTON, 1, We.C1.6, 223, 2006.  a) L.D. Carlos et al., Adv. Func. Mater. 11, 111, 2001; b) J. Chem. Phys. B. 108, 14924, 2004. Siemens SA and FCT (POCTI/CTM/59075/2004) is gratefully acknowledged.
We assessed self-reported drives for alcohol use and their impact on clinical features of alcohol use disorder (AUD) patients. Our prediction was that, in contrast to “affectively” (reward or fear) driven drinking, “habitual” drinking would be associated with worse clinical features in relation to alcohol use and higher occurrence of associated psychiatric symptoms.
Fifty-eight Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) alcohol abuse patients were assessed with a comprehensive battery of reward- and fear-based behavioral tendencies. An 18-item self-report instrument (the Habit, Reward and Fear Scale; HRFS) was employed to quantify affective (fear or reward) and non-affective (habitual) motivations for alcohol use. To characterize clinical and demographic measures associated with habit, reward, and fear, we conducted a partial least squares analysis.
Habitual alcohol use was significantly associated with the severity of alcohol dependence reflected across a range of domains and with lower number of detoxifications across multiple settings. In contrast, reward-driven alcohol use was associated with a single domain of alcohol dependence, reward-related behavioral tendencies, and lower number of detoxifications.
These results seem to be consistent with a shift from goal-directed to habit-driven alcohol use with severity and progression of addiction, complementing preclinical work and informing biological models of addiction. Both reward-related and habit-driven alcohol use were associated with lower number of detoxifications, perhaps stemming from more benign course for the reward-related and lack of treatment engagement for the habit-related alcohol abuse group. Future work should further explore the role of habit in this and other addictive disorders, and in obsessive-compulsive related disorders.
To identify risk behaviour patterns for chronic non-communicable diseases (NCD) in the Brazilian population and to investigate associated socio-economic and demographic factors.
Factor analysis was used to identify patterns considering the following risk behaviours: consumption of soft drinks/artificial juice, sweet foods, red meat with apparent fat, chicken skin; inadequate consumption of fruits and vegetables; alcohol abuse; smoking; absence of physical activity during leisure time; and time spent watching television. The χ2 test was used to compare ratios. All analyses accounted for weighting factors and the study’s complex sampling design effect. The socio-economic and demographic variables evaluated were gender, age, schooling level and macro region of residence.
National Health Survey, a household survey with national representation, conducted in 2013 in Brazil.
Individuals (n 60202) aged 18 years or over.
Four risk behaviour patterns were identified: ‘Physical inactivity in leisure time and Inadequate consumption of fruits and vegetables’, ‘Saturated fat’, ‘Alcohol and Smoking’ and ‘Sedentary behaviour and Sugar’, explaining 52·01 % of the total variance. Overall, greater adherence to ‘Saturated fat’ and ‘Alcohol and Smoking’ patterns was observed among men and those with lower education level. The ‘Sedentary behaviour and Sugar’ and ‘Physical inactivity in leisure time and Inadequate consumption of fruits and vegetables’ patterns had greater adherence among younger individuals, and the first was associated with higher education whereas the second with less education among individuals residing in the North and Northeast regions.
Risk behaviour patterns for NCD were heterogeneous, reflecting the socio-economic and demographic differences in Brazil.
Excitable temperament disrupts physiological events required for reproductive development in cattle, but no research has investigated the impacts of temperament on growth and puberty attainment in Bos indicus females. Hence, this experiment evaluated the effects of temperament on growth, plasma cortisol concentrations and puberty attainment in B. indicus heifers. A total of 170 Nelore heifers, weaned 4 months before the beginning of this experiment (days 0 to 91), were managed in two groups of 82 and 88 heifers each (mean ± SE; initial BW=238±2 kg, initial age=369±1 days across groups). Heifer temperament was evaluated via exit velocity on day 0. Individual exit score was calculated within each group by dividing exit velocity into quintiles and assigning heifers with a score from 1 to 5 (1=slowest; 5=fastest heifer). Heifers were classified according to exit score as adequate (ADQ, n=96; exit score⩽3) or excitable temperament (EXC, n=74; exit score>3). Heifer BW, body condition score (BCS) and blood samples were obtained on days 0, 31, 60 and 91. Heifer exit velocity and score were recorded again on days 31, 60 and 91. Ovarian transrectal ultrasonography was performed on days 0 and 10, 31 and 41, 60 and 70, 81 and 91 for puberty evaluation. Heifer was declared pubertal at the first 10-day interval in which a corpus luteum was detected. Exit velocity and exit score obtained on day 0 were correlated (r⩾0.64, P<0.01) with evaluations on days 31, 60 and 91. During the experiment, ADQ had greater (P<0.01) mean BCS and BW gain, and less (P<0.01) mean plasma cortisol concentration compared with EXC heifers. Temperament × time interactions were detected (P<0.01) for exit velocity and exit score, which were always greater (P<0.01) in EXC v. ADQ heifers. A temperament × time interaction was also detected (P=0.03) for puberty attainment, which was delayed in EXC v. ADQ heifers. At the end of the experiment, a greater (P<0.01) proportion of ADQ were pubertal compared with EXC heifers. In summary, B. indicus heifers classified as EXC had reduced growth, increased plasma cortisol concentrations and hindered puberty attainment compared to ADQ heifers. Moreover, exit velocity may serve as temperament selection criteria to optimize development of B. indicus replacement heifers.
The evolutionary trend toward increasing complexity and social function is ultimately the result of natural selection's paradoxical tendency to foster cooperation through competition. Cooperating populations ranging from complex societies to somatic tissue are constantly under attack, however, by non-cooperating mutants or transformants, called ‘cheaters’. Structure in these populations promotes the formation of cooperating clusters whose competitive superiority can alone be sufficient to thwart outgrowths of cheaters and thereby maintain cooperation. But we find that when cheaters appear too frequently – exceeding a threshold mutation or transformation rate – their scattered outgrowths infiltrate and break up cooperating clusters, resulting in a cascading loss of social cohesiveness, a switch to net positive selection for cheaters and ultimately in the loss of cooperation. Our findings imply that a critically low mutation rate had to be achieved (perhaps through the advent of proofreading and repair mechanisms) before complex cooperative functions, such as those required for multicellularity and social behaviour, could have evolved and persisted. When mutation rate in our model is also allowed to evolve, the threshold is crossed spontaneously after thousands of generations, at which point cheaters rapidly invade. Probing extrapolations of these findings suggest: (1) in somatic tissue, it is neither social retro-evolution alone nor mutation rate evolution alone but the interplay between these two that ultimately leads to oncogenic transitions; the rate of this coevolution might thereby provide an indicator of lifespan of species, terrestrial or not; (2) the likelihood that extraterrestrial life can be expected to be multicellular and social should be affected by ultraviolet and other mutagenic factors.
Direct polycondensation of L-lactic acid with a comonomer allows tailoring the properties of the product from the very first step. The viscous L-lactic acid co-oligomers with star-shaped architectures obtained were modified with three different acrylate monomers. Regardless the functionalization agent, UV curing was fast and all materials were cell compatible and promoted cell adhesion. The physical properties of the three star-shaped films exhibited a consistent trend as swelling capacity, hydrolytic instability, and gel content decreased simultaneously. A higher network density increased crosslinking degree and gel content among the films with an isocyanate group. The methacrylic end group functionalized material, lowest molecular weight, consistently exhibited the higher hydrolytic instability. Comparison of physical properties of these films with the corresponding linear materials reported previously confirmed the influence of precursor molecular architecture on the final material. The methodology developed herein is prone to scale-up and lead to the industrial production of new bioadhesives.
The aim of this review is to compare the performance of different reproductive programs using natural service, estrus synchronization treatment before natural service (timed natural breeding (TNB)), artificial insemination (AI) following estrus detection and timed artificial insemination (TAI) in beef herds. It is well known that after parturition the beef cow undergoes a period of anestrous, when they do not exhibit estrus, eliminating the opportunity to become pregnant in the early postpartum by natural mating or by AI after detection of estrus. Hormonal stimulation is already a consistent and well-proven strategy used to overcome postpartum anestrus in beef herds. Basically, hormones that normally are produced during the estrous cycle of the cow can be administered in physiological doses to induce cyclicity and to precisely synchronize follicular growth, estrus and ovulation. Furthermore, two options of mating may be used after hormonal stimulation: natural service (i.e. utilization of bull service after synchronization, referred to as TNB) and TAI. These strategies improve the reproductive efficiency of the herds compared with natural service without estrus induction or synchronization. After the first synchronized service, the most common strategy adopted to get non-pregnant cows pregnant soon is the introduction of clean-up bulls until the end of the breeding season. However, methods to resynchronize non-pregnant cows after the first service are already well established and offer a potential tool to reduce the time for subsequent inseminations. Thus, the use of these technologies enable to eliminate the use of bulls by using resynchronization programs (i.e. two, three or four sequential TAI procedures). The dissemination of efficient reproductive procedures, such as TNB, TAI and Resynch programs, either isolated or in combination, enables the production of a greater quantity (obtaining increased pregnancy rates early in the breeding season) and quality (maximization of the use of AI with superior genetic sires) of beef calves. These technologies can contribute to improve the production efficiency, and consequently, improve livestock profitability.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the distribution of cases and the social determinants associated with death from human visceral leishmaniasis (HVL) and VL–HIV co-infection in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais state, Brazil, between 2006 and 2013. Descriptive statistics and analysis of associations were performed using chi-square of the raised variables, such as sex, age, skin colour and schooling of cases of HVL. During the study period, there were 866 cases of HVL with 111 deaths in Belo Horizonte. Morbidity and lethality rates (LR) of HVL in Belo Horizonte remained high over almost all the years evaluated, with an average incidence rate of 4.18 cases/100 000 inhabitants and a LR of 11.16%. With respect to skin colour, it was found that people characterised as black or mulatto had higher morbidity, followed by white. Regarding schooling, LR was more prevalent among individuals with lower education. One of the social risk factors was co-infection with HIV, which was present in many cases of HVL. Furthermore, it was found that older age and the male sex were also risk factors for death from HVL in Belo Horizonte.
Although a national programme for control of visceral leishmaniosis (VL) is being run in Brazil, the disease continues to spread. This programme is essentially based on culling infected dogs from endemic regions. Thus, there is an urgent need to develop other control measures against VL to deter its advance. Here, a subunit vaccine, a recombinant vaccine, an insecticide-impregnated collar and the associations between these measures were evaluated for reducing the incidence of Leishmania infection in dogs. This was through a cohort study conducted in an endemic region of Brazil, considering the incidence and time of total exposure over a period of 1 year. The incidence of VL was estimated by means of serological and molecular diagnostic tests, 180 and 360 days after the application of the control measures. The estimates of the effectiveness (EF) were not significant in any cohort. The EF of the subunit vaccine, the recombinant vaccine and the collar were 26.4%, 32.8% and 57.7% and the upper limit of the 95% confidence interval for EF were 63.7%, 67.9% and 82.5%, respectively. In conclusion, under the conditions of this study, none of the immunogens for VL control was sufficiently effective to protect dogs against infection. On the other hand, use of collars impregnated with insecticide seems to constitute a method with better prognosis, corroborating other studies in this field.
There is an increased demand for raw materials that can be used as substrate for bio-ethanol production. The resultant by-products will have an important role in animal nutrition as possible feeds. Most of these potential feeds are high in cell walls with high lignin contents, limiting its nutritive value. The development and use of alternative enzyme methodologies can increase the availability of structural carbohydrates. Enzymes with the potential to break down cell walls, including lignin, are available in aerobic white-rot fungi. The aim of this study was to evaluate two white-rot cultivation procedures in wheat straw in order to determine if any differences were obtained between the ligninolytic enzyme concentrations. In addition, the susceptibility of the residual carbohydrates to hydrolysis with a commercially available cellulase was also evaluated.
The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence and risk factors for human papillomavirus (HPV) infection in the Southern region of the State of Bahia, evaluating the performance of alternative complementary methods for cervical lesion detection. Cervical samples from women who attended healthcare units were collected and diagnosed by visual inspection, cervical cytology and nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Moreover, hemi-nested PCR was performed to detect different HPV genotypes. The prevalence of HPV infection was 47·7%, with genotype 16 detected in most cases. Infection was associated with dyspareunia and bleeding (P < 0·001, odds ratio (OR) 5·6, 95% confidence interval (CI) 2·815–11·14) and hormonal contraceptive use (P = 0·007, OR 2·33, 95% CI 1·25–4·34). There was a positive correlation between positive PCR and positive visual inspection, cervical cytology and symptoms reported. Furthermore, visual inspection was twice as specific, and had a greater positive predictive value than cytology. We showed a high prevalence of HPV infection in Southern Bahia, with HPV 16 being the most common type, and visual inspection being most effective at detecting HPV lesions, corroborating the suggestion that it can be applied in routine gynecologic examinations for low-income populations.
The visceralizing potential of apparently dermotropic Leishmania donovani in Sri Lanka (L. donovani-SL) was investigated through long-term follow-up of cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) patients and in vivo and in vitro experimental infection models. CL patients (n = 250) treated effectively with intra-lesional antimony therapy were followed-up six monthly for 4 years. There was no clinical evidence of visceralization of infection (VL) during this period. Infection of BALB/c mice with L. donovani-SL (test) through intra-dermal route led to the development of cutaneous lesions at the site of inoculation with no signs of systemic dissemination, in contrast to the observations made in animals similarly infected with a visceralizing strain of L. donovani-1S (control). Cytokine (IL-10, IFN-γ) release patterns of splenocytes and lymph node cell cultures derived from mice primed with experimental infections (with either test or control parasites) revealed significantly high IFN-γ response associated with test mice with CL, while prominent IL-10 levels were observed in association with control mice with VL. Furthermore, diminished infection efficiency, intracellular growth and survival of L. donovani-SL parasites compared with L. donovani-1S were evident through in vitro macrophage infection experiments. These studies confirm, for the first time, the essential dermotropic nature of L. donovani-SL suggesting natural attenuation of virulence of local parasite strains.
Non-fasting hypertriacylglycerolaemia is a risk factor for CVD and the amount of fat in a meal seems to be the main factor influencing postprandial lipaemia. Although several studies suggest that Ca can increase faecal fat excretion, it is not known whether Ca can decrease postprandial TAG. This study aimed to evaluate the influence of dietary Ca (DC) and supplemental Ca (SC) on lipaemia, glucose metabolism, C-reactive protein (CRP) and adiponectin during postprandial period in obese women challenged with a high-fat meal. In this cross-over controlled trial, sixteen obese women aged 20–50 years were randomly assigned to receive three test meals (approximately 2900 kJ; 48 % fat): high DC (547 mg DC), high SC (HSCM; 500 mg SC-calcium carbonate) and low Ca (42 mg DC). Blood samples were collected in the fasting period and at minutes 120 and 240 after meals to evaluate total cholesterol and fractions, TAG, glucose, insulin, high-sensitivity CRP and adiponectin. Serum levels of TAG and insulin increased significantly after all test meals. Only after HSCM total cholesterol did not present a significant increase and LDL-cholesterol had a significant decrease. Postprandial glucose, HDL-cholesterol, CRP and adiponectin did not present significant changes after the three test meals. The comparative analysis of the effects of the three test meals on serum lipids, glucose, insulin, CRP and adiponectin revealed no significant meal-by-time interaction. These results suggest that in obese women challenged with a high-fat meal DC and SC do not interfere with postprandial lipaemia, glucose metabolism, CRP and adiponectin.
Resource partitioning is considered one of the main processes driving diversification in ecological communities because it allows coexistence among closely related and ecologically equivalent species. We combined three complementary approaches, i.e. the evaluation of foraging behaviour, diet composition and nutritional condition (RNA:DNA ratio), to assess feeding by two closely related (sister) butterflyfishes that are syntopic in Puerto Rico. Chaetodon capistratus had a higher abundance and higher bite rate and selected octocorals and hard corals for feeding, whereas Chaetodon striatus fed preferentially on sandy substrates. Cnidarians and polychaetes were the most representative diet items for both species, but C. capistratus preferred the former (Feeding Index of 74.3%) and C. striatus the latter (Feeding Index of 60.4%). Similar RNA:DNA ratios for both species suggest that, although they differ in feeding rates and diet, C. capistratus and C. striatus have similar nutritional fitness. Therefore, these species are both zoobenthivores but show clear differences in their substrate selection. The differences in the use of foraging substrate by C. capistratus and C. striatus, despite their close phylogenetic relationship and similar diets, suggest that these species coexist by resource partitioning.
Euthanasia of infected dogs is one of the measures adopted in Brazil to control visceral leishmaniasis (VL) in endemic areas. To detect infected dogs, animals are screened with the rapid test DPP® Visceral Canine Leishmaniasis for detection of antibodies against K26/K39 fusion antigens of amastigotes (DPP). DPP-positives are confirmed with an immunoenzymatic assay probing soluble antigens of promastigotes (ELISA), while DPP-negatives are considered free of infection. Here, 975 dogs from an endemic region were surveyed by using DPP, ELISA and real-time PCR (qPCR) for the diagnosis of VL. When DPP-negative dogs were tested by qPCR applied in blood and lymph node aspirates, 174/887 (19·6%) were positive in at least one sample. In a second sampling using 115 cases, the DPP-negative dogs were tested by qPCR in blood, lymph node and conjunctival swab samples, and 36/79 (45·6%) were positive in at least one sample. Low-to-moderate pairwise agreement was observed between all possible pair of tests. In conclusion, the official diagnosis of VL in dogs in Brazilian endemic areas failed to accuse an expressive number of infected animals and the impact of the low accuracy of serological tests in the success of euthanasia-based measure for VL control need to be assessed.