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The community composition of zooplankton with an emphasis on copepods was assessed in the frontal zones of the Indian sector of the Southern Ocean (SO) during summer 2013. Copepods were the dominant group in both the bongo net and multiple plankton sampler across the entire region. High zooplankton abundance was recorded along each transect in the Polar Front (PF). Community structure in this front was dominated by common taxa, including Ctenocalanus citer, Clausocalanus spp., Calanoides acutus, Calanus propinquus, Calanus australis and Rhincalanus gigas, which together accounted for > 62% of the total abundance. Calocalanus spp., Neocalanus tonsus and C. propinquus were indicator species in the Sub-Tropical Front (STF), Sub-Antarctic Front and PF, respectively. A strong contrast in population structure and biovolume was observed between then PF and the STF. The community structure of smaller copepods was associated with the high-temperature region, whereas communities of larger copepods were associated with the low-temperature region. Thus, it seems probable that physical and biological characteristics of the SO frontal regions are controlling the abundance and distribution of zooplankton community structure by restricting some species to the warmer stratified zones and some species to the well-mixed zone.
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.
In the framework of coupled cell systems, a coupled cell network describes graphically the dynamical dependencies between individual dynamical systems, the cells. The fundamental network of a network reveals the hidden symmetries of that network. Subspaces defined by equalities of coordinates which are flow-invariant for any coupled cell system consistent with a network structure are called the network synchrony subspaces. Moreover, for every synchrony subspace, each network admissible system restricted to that subspace is a dynamical system consistent with a smaller network called a quotient network. We characterize networks such that: the network is a subnetwork of its fundamental network, and the network is a fundamental network. Moreover, we prove that the fundamental network construction preserves the quotient relation and it transforms the subnetwork relation into the quotient relation. The size of cycles in a network and the distance of a cell to a cycle are two important properties concerning the description of the network architecture. In this paper, we relate these two architectural properties in a network and its fundamental network.
The objective of this study was to identify species of Angiostrongylus spp. infecting wild carnivores in Southern Brazil, as well as to describe gross and histopathological findings associated with the infection. Necropsy was conducted in 16 wild carnivores parasitized by Angiostrongylus spp. Analysed lungs revealed multifocal dark-red areas of consolidation; in one case, multifocal firm white nodules spread in all pulmonary lobes were observed. In one animal, a focally extensive area of malacia associated with haemorrhage was noted in the encephalon. Histologically, multifocal granulomatous pneumonia or bronchopneumonia, associated with eggs and larvae in blood vessels, lung interstitium, alveoli, and sometimes in bronchi and bronchioles was observed. Adult nematodes were seen within blood vessels. The lesion observed in the brain was characterized as a focally extensive area of malacia associated with gitter cells, haemorrhage, thrombosis and a free intralesional larva. Through molecular techniques, seven positive samples of Angiostrongylus cantonensis were obtained, including the brain sample, and a positive sample of Angiostrongylus vasorum-like, all in Cerdocyon thous. The positive sample for A. vasorum showed 97% similarity with sequences deposited in GenBank, suggesting a new species or subspecies of Angiostrongylus sp. Infection of Lycalopex gymnocercus by Angiostrongylus spp. was confirmed by histological evaluation.
Contamination by bacterial biofilms has a strong negative impact, especially on the surface of prostheses, implants, pins, and other medical-surgical devices. To prevent their formation, one of the alternatives is the modification of the metal surface incorporating silver by low-energy ion implantation, thus avoiding initial bacteria adhesion to the modified surface and further development of the biofilm. The bactericidal properties of silver atoms incorporated on commercially pure titanium surfaces by low-energy ion implantation (4 keV) were evaluated. The surface modifications were analyzed by Rutherford backscattering spectrometry, glow discharge-optical emission spectroscopy, contact angle measure, optical profilometry, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. The microbiological assays were conducted by using Escherichia coli (E. coli). The results demonstrated a reduction on bacterial counting. No toxic effect of silver was detected on human MG-63 cells. The choice of parameters to obtain a bactericidal and nontoxic biomaterial for human cells should consider the ideal combination “energy + silver concentration”. Therefore, it can be considered for industrial application.
Recent open-label trials show that psychedelics, such as ayahuasca, hold promise as fast-onset antidepressants in treatment-resistant depression.
To test the antidepressant effects of ayahuasca, we conducted a parallel-arm, double-blind randomized placebo-controlled trial in 29 patients with treatment-resistant depression. Patients received a single dose of either ayahuasca or placebo. We assessed changes in depression severity with the Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) and the Hamilton Depression Rating scale at baseline, and at 1 (D1), 2 (D2), and 7 (D7) days after dosing.
We observed significant antidepressant effects of ayahuasca when compared with placebo at all-time points. MADRS scores were significantly lower in the ayahuasca group compared with placebo at D1 and D2 (p = 0.04), and at D7 (p < 0.0001). Between-group effect sizes increased from D1 to D7 (D1: Cohen's d = 0.84; D2: Cohen's d = 0.84; D7: Cohen's d = 1.49). Response rates were high for both groups at D1 and D2, and significantly higher in the ayahuasca group at D7 (64% v. 27%; p = 0.04). Remission rate showed a trend toward significance at D7 (36% v. 7%, p = 0.054).
To our knowledge, this is the first controlled trial to test a psychedelic substance in treatment-resistant depression. Overall, this study brings new evidence supporting the safety and therapeutic value of ayahuasca, dosed within an appropriate setting, to help treat depression. This study is registered at http://clinicaltrials.gov (NCT02914769).
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.
One of the Leishmania species known to be non-infective to humans is Leishmania (Mundinia) enriettii whose vertebrate host is the guinea pig Cavia porcellus. It is a good model for cutaneous leishmaniasis, chemotherapeutic and molecular studies. In the last years, an increased interest has emerged concerning the L. (Mundinia) subgenus after the finding of Leishmania (M.) macropodum in Australia and with the description of other new/putative species such as L. (M.) martiniquensis and ‘L. (M.) siamensis’. This review focused on histopathology, glycoconjugates and innate immunity. The presence of Leishmania RNA virus and shedding of extracellular vesicles by the parasite were 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.
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.
TAG depleted remnants of postprandial chylomicrons are a risk factor for atherosclerosis. Recent studies have demonstrated that in the fasted state, the majority of chylomicrons are small enough for transcytosis to arterial subendothelial space and accelerate atherogenesis. However, the size distribution of chylomicrons in the absorptive state is unclear. This study explored in normolipidaemic subjects the postprandial distribution of the chylomicron marker, apoB-48, in a TAG-rich lipoprotein plasma fraction (Svedberg flotation rate (Sf>400), in partially hydrolysed remnants (Sf 20–400) and in a TAG-deplete fraction (Sf<20), following ingestion of isoenergetic meals with either palm oil (PO), rice bran or coconut oil. Results from this study show that the majority of fasting chylomicrons are within the potentially pro-atherogenic Sf<20 fraction (70–75 %). Following the ingestion of test meals, chylomicronaemia was also principally distributed within the Sf<20 fraction. However, approximately 40 % of subjects demonstrated exaggerated postprandial lipaemia specifically in response to the SFA-rich PO meal, with a transient shift to more buoyant chylomicron fractions. The latter demonstrates that heterogeneity in the magnitude and duration of hyper-remnantaemia is dependent on both the nature of the meal fatty acids ingested and possible metabolic determinants that influence chylomicron metabolism. The study findings reiterate that fasting plasma TAG is a poor indicator of atherogenic chylomicron remnant homoeostasis and emphasises the merits of considering specifically, chylomicron remnant abundance and kinetics in the context of atherogenic risk. Few studies address the latter, despite the majority of life being spent in the postprandial and absorptive state.
The Dark Energy Survey is undertaking an observational programme imaging 1/4 of the southern hemisphere sky with unprecedented photometric accuracy. In the process of observing millions of faint stars and galaxies to constrain the parameters of the dark energy equation of state, the Dark Energy Survey will obtain pre-discovery images of the regions surrounding an estimated 100 gamma-ray bursts over 5 yr. Once gamma-ray bursts are detected by, e.g., the Swift satellite, the DES data will be extremely useful for follow-up observations by the transient astronomy community. We describe a recently-commissioned suite of software that listens continuously for automated notices of gamma-ray burst activity, collates information from archival DES data, and disseminates relevant data products back to the community in near-real-time. Of particular importance are the opportunities that non-public DES data provide for relative photometry of the optical counterparts of gamma-ray bursts, as well as for identifying key characteristics (e.g., photometric redshifts) of potential gamma-ray burst host galaxies. We provide the functional details of the DESAlert software, and its data products, and we show sample results from the application of DESAlert to numerous previously detected gamma-ray bursts, including the possible identification of several heretofore unknown gamma-ray burst hosts.
Schizophrenia patients have a higher prevalence of type 2 diabetes mellitus with impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) than normals. We examined the relationship between IGT and clinical phenotypes or cognitive deficits in first-episode, drug-naïve (FEDN) Han Chinese patients with schizophrenia.
A total of 175 in-patients were compared with 31 healthy controls on anthropometric measures and fasting plasma levels of glucose, insulin and lipids. They were also compared using a 75 g oral glucose tolerance test and the homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR). Neurocognitive functioning was assessed using the MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery (MCCB). Patient psychopathology was assessed using the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS).
Of the patients, 24.5% had IGT compared with none of the controls, and they also had significantly higher levels of fasting blood glucose and 2-h glucose after an oral glucose load, and were more insulin resistant. Compared with those patients with normal glucose tolerance, the IGT patients were older, had a later age of onset, higher waist or hip circumference and body mass index, higher levels of low-density lipoprotein and triglycerides and higher insulin resistance. Furthermore, IGT patients had higher PANSS total and negative symptom subscale scores, but no greater cognitive impairment except on the emotional intelligence index of the MCCB.
IGT occurs with greater frequency in FEDN schizophrenia, and shows association with demographic and anthropometric parameters, as well as with clinical symptoms but minimally with cognitive impairment during the early course of the disorder.
We report the pharmacological activity of organoruthenium complexes containing chloroquine (CQ) as a chelating ligand. The complexes displayed intraerythrocytic activity against CQ-sensitive 3D7 and CQ-resistant W2 strains of Plasmodium falciparum, with potency and selectivity indexes similar to those of CQ. Complexes displayed activity against all intraerythrocytic stages, but moderate activity against Plasmodium berghei liver stages. However, unlike CQ, organoruthenium complexes impaired gametocyte viability and exhibited fast parasiticidal activity against trophozoites for P. falciparum. This functional property results from the ability of complexes to quickly induce oxidative stress. The parasitaemia of P. berghei-infected mice was reduced by treatment with the complex. Our findings demonstrated that using chloroquine for the synthesis of organoruthenium complexes retains potency and selectivity while leading to an increase in the spectrum of action and parasite killing rate relative to CQ.
The aim of the present work was to investigate birefringence and morphology of the secretory-stage enamel organic extracellular matrix (EOECM), and structural and mechanical properties of mature enamel of upper incisors from adult rats that had been treated with pamidronate disodium (0.5 mg/kg/week for 56 days), using transmitted polarizing and bright-field light microscopies (TPLM and BFLM), energy-dispersive X-ray (EDX) analysis, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and microhardness testing. BFLM showed no morphological changes of the EOECM in pamidronate and control groups, but TPLM revealed a statistically significant reduction in optical retardation values of birefringence brightness of pamidronate-treated rats when compared with control animals (p<0.01). EDX analysis showed that pamidronate-induced statistically significant decrease in phosphorus’ quantity in outer mature enamel (p<0.01) and an increase in the calcium/phosphorus ratio in that structure (p<0.05). Pamidronate did not induce ultra-structural alterations in mature enamel as revealed by SEM and did not cause a reduction in its microhardness (p>0.05). The present study indicates that pamidronate can affect birefringence of the secretory-stage EOECM, which does not seem to be associated with significant changes in morphological and/or mechanical properties of mature enamel.
The aim of this study was to determine the seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii infection in free-range chickens from Uberlândia, Minas Gerais state, Brazil, and characterize the genotypic and phenotypic features of two isolates of this parasite, considering the importance of these hosts in the epidemiology of toxoplasmosis. Serum samples from 108 free-range chickens were obtained from ten different districts, and submitted to the modified agglutination test (MAT) for the presence of anti-T. gondii antibodies, and brain and heart tissue samples from infected chickens were processed for mouse bioassay. An overall seroprevalence of 71·3% was found and antibody titres ranged from 16 to 4096. After confirmation of seropositivity by mouse bioassay, the determination of the T. gondii genotypes of two isolates was performed by PCR–RFLP, using primers for the following markers: SAG1, SAG2, SAG3, BTUB, GRA6, c22–8, c29–2, L358, PK1, new SAG2, Apico and CS3. These T. gondii isolates, designated TgChBrUD1and TgChBrUD2, were obtained from heart samples of free-range chickens. The TgChBrUD1 isolate belonged to ToxoDB PCR–RFLP genotype 11 and the TgChBrUD2 isolate belonged to ToxoDB PCR–RFLP genotype 6. Both isolates demonstrated high virulence in a rodent model, with the TgChBrUD1 isolate able to induce brain cysts, in accord with its pattern of multiplication rates in human fibroblast culture. Taken together, these results reveal high prevalence of T. gondii infection in free-range chickens throughout Uberlândia, indicating an important degree of oocyst environmental contamination and the existence of considerable risk for T. gondii transmission to humans by consumption of free-range chicken as a food source.
A microsporidian infecting the skeletal muscle of hybrid jundiara (Leiarius marmoratus × Pseudoplatystoma reticulatum) in a commercial aquaculture facility in Brazil is described. Affected fish exhibited massive infections in the skeletal muscle that were characterized by large opaque foci throughout the affected fillets. Histologically, skeletal muscle was replaced by inflammatory cells and masses of microsporidial developmental stages. Generally pyriform spores had a wrinkled bi-layer spore wall and measured 4·0 × 6·0 µm. Multinucleate meronts surrounded by a simple plasma membrane were observed. The polar filament had an external membrane and a central electron dense mass. The development of sporoblasts within a sporophorous vesicle appeared synchronized. Ultrastructural observations and molecular analysis of 16S rDNA sequences revealed that the microsporidian was Pleistophora hyphessobryconis. This study is the first report of a P. hyphessobryconis infection in a non-ornamental fish.
The aim of this study was analyzed if the flour or flaxseed oil treatment contributes to body composition in male rats subjected to early weaning. Pups were weaned for separation from mother at 14 (early weaning, EW) and 21 days (control, C). At 21 days, part of the pups was evaluated (C21 v. EW21). After 21 days, control (C60) was fed with control diet. EW was divided in control (EWC60); flaxseed flour (EWFF60); flaxseed oil (EWFO60) diets until 60 days. Body mass, length and body composition by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry were determined. EW21 (v. C21) and EWC60 (v. C60 and EWFF60) showed lower (P<0.05) mass, length and body composition. EWFO60 (v. C60 and EWFF60) showed lower (P<0.05) body mass and length, body and trunk lean mass, bone mineral density and content and bone area. Flaxseed flour, in comparison with flaxseed oil, contributes to recovery of body composition after early weaning.
There are currently no neuroanatomical biomarkers of anorexia nervosa (AN) available to make clinical inferences at an individual subject level. We present results of a multivariate machine learning (ML) approach utilizing structural neuroanatomical scan data to differentiate AN patients from matched healthy controls at an individual subject level.
Structural neuroimaging scans were acquired from 15 female patients with AN (age = 20, s.d. = 4 years) and 15 demographically matched female controls (age = 22, s.d. = 3 years). Neuroanatomical volumes were extracted using the FreeSurfer software and input into the Least Absolute Shrinkage and Selection Operator (LASSO) multivariate ML algorithm. LASSO was ‘trained’ to identify ‘novel’ individual subjects as either AN patients or healthy controls. Furthermore, the model estimated the probability that an individual subject belonged to the AN group based on an individual scan.
The model correctly predicted 25 out of 30 subjects, translating into 83.3% accuracy (sensitivity 86.7%, specificity 80.0%) (p < 0.001; χ2 test). Six neuroanatomical regions (cerebellum white matter, choroid plexus, putamen, accumbens, the diencephalon and the third ventricle) were found to be relevant in distinguishing individual AN patients from healthy controls. The predicted probabilities showed a linear relationship with drive for thinness clinical scores (r = 0.52, p < 0.005) and with body mass index (BMI) (r = −0.45, p = 0.01).
The model achieved a good predictive accuracy and drive for thinness showed a strong neuroanatomical signature. These results indicate that neuroimaging scans coupled with ML techniques have the potential to provide information at an individual subject level that might be relevant to clinical outcomes.
The precocious interruption of lactation is a prime factor for developmental plasticity. Here we analyzed whether flour or flaxseed oil treatment contributes to body and brain mass in male rats subjected to early weaning. Pups were weaned for separation from their mother at 14 (early weaning, EW) and 21 days (control, C). At 21 days, some of the pups were evaluated (C21 v. EW21). After 21 days, control pups (C60) were fed a control diet. EW pups were divided into those fed a control diet (EWC60), those given flaxseed flour (EWFF60), and those given flaxseed oil (EWFO60) until 60 days. EW21 showed lower body and absolute brain mass and higher relative brain mass. At 60 days, EWC60 and EWFO60 had lower body mass. With regard to relative brain mass, EWC60 was heavier; EWFO60 had lower values compared with EWC60 and higher values compared with C60 and EWFF60. These results indicated that flaxseed flour, in comparison with flaxseed oil, contributes to brain development after EW.