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Ovulation is considered an inflammatory, cytokine-mediated event. Cytokines, which are recognized as growth factors with immunoregulatory properties, are involved in many cellular processes at the ovarian level. In this sense, cytokines affect fertility and are involved in the development of different ovarian disorders such as bovine cystic ovarian disease (COD). Because it has been previously demonstrated that ovarian cells represent both sources and targets of cytokines, the aim of this study was to examine the expression of several cytokines, including IL-1β, IL-1RA, IL-1RI, IL-1RII, IL-4 and IL-8, in ovarian follicular structures from cows with spontaneous COD. The protein expression of these cytokines was evaluated by immunohistochemistry. Additionally, IL-1β, IL-4 and IL-8 concentrations in follicular fluid (FF) and serum were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). In granulosa and theca cells, IL-1RI, IL-1RII, IL-1RA and IL-4 expression levels were higher in cystic follicles than in the control dominant follicles. The serum and FF concentrations of IL-1β and IL-4 showed no differences between groups, whereas IL-8 concentration was detected only in FF of cysts from cows with COD. The FF and serum concentrations of IL-1β and IL-8 showed no significant differences, whereas IL-4 concentration was higher in FF than in serum in both the control and COD groups. These results evidenced an altered expression of cytokines in ovaries of cows with COD that could contribute to the pathogenesis of this disease.
Over recent decades, biomass gains in remaining old-growth Amazonia forests have declined due to environmental change. Amazonia’s huge size and complexity makes understanding these changes, drivers, and consequences very challenging. Here, using a network of permanent monitoring plots at the Amazon–Cerrado transition, we quantify recent biomass carbon changes and explore their environmental drivers. Our study area covers 30 plots of upland and riparian forests sampled at least twice between 1996 and 2016 and subject to various levels of fire and drought. Using these plots, we aimed to: (1) estimate the long-term biomass change rate; (2) determine the extent to which forest changes are influenced by forest type; and (3) assess the threat to forests from ongoing environmental change. Overall, there was no net change in biomass, but there was clear variation among different forest types. Burning occurred at least once in 8 of the 12 riparian forests, while only 1 of the 18 upland forests burned, resulting in losses of carbon in burned riparian forests. Net biomass gains prevailed among other riparian and upland forests throughout Amazonia. Our results reveal an unanticipated vulnerability of riparian forests to fire, likely aggravated by drought, and threatening ecosystem conservation at the Amazon southern margins.
The ability of “comfort-food” (CF) diet to revert long-term effects of early-life stress (ELS) is less well known. The objective of this study was to verify if the chronic exposure to CF diet in animals submitted to ELS could relief the stress response at behavioral, neuroendocrine, and neurobiochemical levels, via differences in glucocorticoid receptors expression in brain areas involved in the stress response. From the second day of life, litters of Wistar rats and their mothers were submitted to the reduced nesting material protocol (ELS). In adult life, ELS and a control group were exposed chronically to two diet schemes: standard rat chow only or both “CF” diet, containing fat (34%) and sugar (20%) and a diet similar to the standard diet. Anxiety-like behavior, neuroendocrine response stress, leptin, GR, SOCS-3, pSTAT3, and the abdominal fat were evaluated. The anxiety-like behavior results showed that ELS group when exposed to comfort food were not different from the others groups. Chronic exposure to CF diet induced an anxiety-like behavior in the control group. Groups chronically exposed to CF diet had lower levels of corticosterone over time independent of the neonatal group. The ELS group exposed to the “CF” diet had higher levels of hippocampal GR, lower levels of hypothalamic SOCS-3 and greater accumulation of abdominal fat. Chronic CF diet consumption is able to reduce corticosterone levels independent of the neonatal history, but is associated with anxiety-like behavior in animals without previous history of trauma. Metabolic disturbances like increased adiposity and altered SOCS-3 seem to be a result of multiple insults (neonatal trauma followed by chronic CF diet). We highlight that the Control-chow and ELS-chow data were previously published, and are included in this study for comparative analysis.
Whole-crop maize forage was ensiled without inoculant (control), inoculated with Lactobacillus buchneri and L. plantarum at a rate of 1 × 105 cfu/g fresh forage per bacterium (LBLP), or inoculated with Bacillus subtilis and L. plantarum at a rate 1 × 105 cfu/g fresh forage per bacterium (BSLP) with the goal to investigate the growth performance of finishing feedlot lambs. Thirty Dorper × Santa Ines lambs (29 ± 3.5 kg initial body weight) were used in the feedlot programme and assigned (n = 10) to one of three diets containing control, LBLP or BSLP silages in a 60:40 forage:concentrate ratio. Inoculation of maize silage did not alter dry matter intake (overall mean = 1.16 kg/day) and average daily gain (overall mean = 0.217 kg/day) of lambs. Consequently, feed efficiency remained unchanged. Inoculation of maize silage did not alter carcass and meat traits of lambs, with the exception of meat colour, wherein yellowness (b*) decreased by feeding LBLP and BSLP diets compared with the untreated diet. Regarding ruminal fermentation, there was an interaction between diets and the interval at which ruminal fluid was sampled for determining total volatile fatty acid concentration, but inoculation yielded no obvious results. In conclusion, the use of diets based on maize silage inoculated with L. plantarum combined with either L. buchneri or B. subtilis did not display relevant effects on growth performance of lambs; this response might be related to the limited impact of these bacterial inoculants on silage composition.
Epidemiological studies have found coffee consumption is associated with a lower risk for type 2 diabetes mellitus, but the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. Thus, the aim of this randomised, cross-over single-blind study was to investigate the effects of regular coffee, regular coffee with sugar and decaffeinated coffee consumption on glucose metabolism and incretin hormones. Seventeen healthy men participated in five trials each, during which they consumed coffee (decaffeinated, regular (containing caffeine) or regular with sugar) or water (with or without sugar). After 1 h of each intervention, they received an oral glucose tolerance test with one intravenous dose of [1-13C]glucose. The Oral Dose Intravenous Label Experiment was applied and glucose and insulin levels were interpreted using a stable isotope two-compartment minimal model. A mixed-model procedure (PROC MIXED), with subject as random effect and time as repeated measure, was used to compare the effects of the beverages on glucose metabolism and incretin parameters (glucose-dependent insulinotropic peptide (GIP)) and glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1)). Insulin sensitivity was higher with decaffeinated coffee than with water (P<0·05). Regular coffee with sugar did not significantly affect glucose, insulin, C-peptide and incretin hormones, compared with water with sugar. Glucose, insulin, C-peptide, GLP-1 and GIP levels were not statistically different after regular and decaffeinated coffee compared with water. Our findings demonstrated that the consumption of decaffeinated coffee improves insulin sensitivity without changing incretin hormones levels. There was no short-term adverse effect on glucose homoeostasis, after an oral glucose challenge, attributable to the consumption of regular coffee with sugar.
High concentrations of indium (In) and selenium (Se) have been reported in the Neves-Corvo volcanic-hosted massive sulfide deposit, Portugal. The distribution of these ore metals in the deposit is complex as a result of the combined effects of early ore-forming processes and late tectonometamorphic remobilization. The In and Se contents are higher in Cu-rich ore types, and lower in Zn-rich ore types. At the deposit scale, both In and Se correlate positively with Cu, whereas their correlations with Zn are close to zero. This argues for a genetic connection between Cu, In and Se in terms of metal sourcing and precipitation. However, re-distribution and re-concentration of In and Se associated with tectonometamorphic deformation are also processes of major importance for the actual distribution of these metals throughout the whole deposit. Although minor roquesite and other In-bearing phases were recognized, it is clear that most In within the deposit is found incorporated within sphalerite and chalcopyrite. When chalcopyrite and sphalerite coexist, the In content in sphalerite (avg. 1400 ppm) is, on average, 2–3 times higher than in chalcopyrite (avg. 660 ppm). The In content in stannite (avg. 1.3 wt.%) is even higher than in sphalerite, but the overall abundance of stannite is subordinate to either sphalerite or chalcopyrite. Selenium is dispersed widely between many different ore minerals, but galena is the main Se-carrier. On average, the Se content in galena is ~50 times greater than in either chalcopyrite (avg. 610 ppm) or sphalerite (avg. 590 ppm). The copper concentrate produced at Neves-Corvo contains very significant In (+Se) content, well above economic values if the copper smelters recovered it. Moreover, the high In content of sphalerite from some Cu-Zn ores, or associated with shear structures, could possibly justify, in the future, a selective exploitation strategy for the production of an In-rich zinc concentrate.
The in situ technique (NB) was compared to the in vitro gas production technique (Gas) in terms of ability to estimate the dry matter degradation (DMD) using high soluble substrates (maize grains) and low soluble substrates (four tropical forages). The experiments (in situ and in vitro) were carried out at the same time using the same cow for both techniques and DMD was estimated at 6, 12, 24, 48 & 96 h. The results showed that DMD from Gas were lower than NB DMD and the correlation for the maize group were lower than those of the grass group which indicated that Gas technique, closed system, has potential to analyse highly soluble substrates, probably, overcoming the particle losses effect demonstrated by the in situ technique.
Research suggests that in environments where community conflict and violence are chronic or cyclical, caregiving can impact how children may begin to reproduce violence throughout the various stages of their lives. The aim of this study is to understand how caregiving affects processes of reproducing violence and resilience among children in conflict-affected Burundi.
We combined a socio-ecological model of child development with a child-actor perspective. We operationalized the core concepts ‘vulnerable household’, ‘resilience’, and ‘caregiving’ iteratively in culturally relevant ways, and put children's experiences at the center of the inquiry. We carried out a comparative case study among 74 purposively sampled vulnerable households in six collines in three communes in three provinces in the interior of Burundi. Burundian field researchers conducted three consecutive interviews; with the head of the household, the main caregiver, and a child.
Our findings reveal a strong congruence between positive caregiving and resilience among children. Negative caregiving was related to negative social behavior among children. Other resources for resilience appeared to be limited. The overall level of household conditions and embedment in communities attested to a generalized fragile ecological environment.
In conflict-affected socio-ecological environments, caregiving can impact children's functioning and their role in reproducing violence. Interventions that support caregivers in positive caregiving are promising for breaking cyclical violence.
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.
The present study aimed to evaluate trace mineral status of organic dairy herds in northern Spain and the sources of minerals in different types of feed. Blood samples from organic and conventional dairy cattle and feed samples from the respective farms were analysed by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry to determine the concentrations of the essential trace elements (cobalt (Co), chromium (Cr), copper (Cu), iron (Fe), iodine (I), manganese (Mn), molybdenum (Mo), nickel (Ni), selenium (Se) and zinc (Zn)) and toxic trace elements (arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), mercury (Hg) and lead (Pb)). Overall, no differences between organic and conventional farms were detected in serum concentrations of essential and toxic trace elements (except for higher concentrations of Cd on the organic farms), although a high level of inter-farm variation was detected in the organic systems, indicating that organic production greatly depends on the specific local conditions. The dietary concentrations of the essential trace elements I, Cu, Se and Zn were significantly higher in the conventional than in the organic systems, which can be attributed to the high concentration of these minerals in the concentrate feed. No differences in the concentrations of trace minerals were found in the other types of feed. Multivariate chemometric analysis was conducted to determine the contribution of different feed sources to the trace element status of the cattle. Concentrate samples were mainly associated with Co, Cu, I, Se and Zn (i.e. with the elements supplemented in this type of feed). However, pasture and grass silage were associated with soil-derived elements (As, Cr, Fe and Pb) which cattle may thus ingest during grazing.
This study describes the effects of extracts and fractions of Persea willdenovii leaves against goat gastrointestinal nematodes and their cytotoxicity on Vero cells. The in vitro ovicidal and larvicidal activities of the crude ethanolic, hexane, ethyl acetate (EAE), butanolic and residual hydroethanolic extracts were assessed through the inhibition of egg hatching and larval motility assays. The most active extract (EAE) was then fractionated by chromatography in an open column containing silica gel, to furnish six fractions (Fr1–Fr6), which were also tested. The cytotoxicity of active extracts and fractions was determined using the 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay and trypan blue exclusion assay. The EAE and two fractions (Fr1 and Fr2) showed inhibitory activity in the egg hatching of gastrointestinal nematodes of goats in a concentration-dependent manner. The effective concentrations for 50% inhibition (EC50) of egg hatching were 2.3, 0.12 and 2.94 mg/ml for EAE, Fr1 and Fr2, respectively. All extracts and fractions were not effective in inhibiting 50% of motility of infective larvae. EAE and Fr2 had IC50 values (50% inhibitory concentration) of 4.95 and 2.66 mg/ml, respectively. Fr1 showed a slight cytotoxic effect (cellular inviability <30%) only after 48 h of treatment (MTT test). Gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC–MS) analysis showed the presence of six fatty acid ethyl esters, a fatty acid methyl ester and a long-chain ketone in the most active fraction. These constituents identified in P. willdenovii can be related to the high ovicidal activity and relatively non-toxic effect of the extracts.
The house mouse (Mus musculus) and the black rat (Rattus rattus) are reservoir hosts for zoonotic pathogens, several of which cause neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). Studies of the prevalence of these NTD-causing zoonotic pathogens, in house mice and black rats from tropical residential areas are scarce. Three hundred and two house mice and 161 black rats were trapped in 2013 from two urban neighbourhoods and a rural village in Yucatan, Mexico, and subsequently tested for Trypanosoma cruzi, Hymenolepis diminuta and Leptospira interrogans. Using the polymerase chain reaction we detected T. cruzi DNA in the hearts of 4·9% (8/165) and 6·2% (7/113) of house mice and black rats, respectively. We applied the sedimentation technique to detect eggs of H. diminuta in 0·5% (1/182) and 14·2% (15/106) of house mice and black rats, respectively. Through the immunofluorescent imprint method, L. interrogans was identified in 0·9% (1/106) of rat kidney impressions. Our results suggest that the black rat could be an important reservoir for T. cruzi and H. diminuta in the studied sites. Further studies examining seasonal and geographical patterns could increase our knowledge on the epidemiology of these pathogens in Mexico and the risk to public health posed by rodents.
Motor insurance is a very competitive business where insurers operate with quite large portfolios, often decisions must be taken under short horizons and therefore ruin probabilities should be calculated in finite time. The probability of ruin, in continuous and finite time, is numerically evaluated under the classical Cramér–Lundberg risk process framework for a large motor insurance portfolio, where we allow for a posteriori premium adjustments, according to the claim record of each individual policyholder. Focusing on the classical model for bonus-malus systems, we propose that the probability of ruin can be interpreted as a measure to decide between different bonus-malus scales or even between different bonus-malus rules. In our work, the required initial surplus can also be evaluated. We consider an application of a bonus-malus system for motor insurance to study the impact of experience rating in ruin probabilities. For that, we used a real commercial scale of an insurer operating in the Portuguese market, and we also work on various well-known optimal bonus-malus scales estimated with real data from that insurer. Results involving these scales are discussed.
To date, only a few sporadic cases of infections due to Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase (KPC) producers have been reported in Portugal. Here, we report for the first time an outbreak of K. pneumoniae KPC-3 producers in a tertiary-care hospital during 2013. Twenty-seven ertapenem-resistant K. pneumoniae were identified in patients at a tertiary-care hospital during 2013 isolated predominantly from urine (48·1%) and blood (25·9%) cultures. All isolates were highly resistant to β-lactam antibiotics and most showed intermediate resistance to imipenem. The more frequent β-lactamases were TEM- (77·7%), CTX-M- (70·3%) and KPC-type (66·6%). KPC-3 was identified by sequencing. The blaKPC−3 gene was associated with an IncF plasmid, and efficiently transferred to E. coli J53. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis typing revealed three clusters of isolates which were further characterized by multi-locus sequence typing as ST11, ST15 and ST348. Ertapenem-resistant ST15 was already in circulation in the hospital, related to expression of OmpK36 modified porin, but the other two sequence types had not been previously found in the hospital. We conclude that the IncF plasmid mediated transfer of KPC-3 in the outbreak and that implementation of carbapenemase gene screening in isolates from patients on admission to hospital is advisable in order to control dissemination of these antimicrobial resistance elements.
Urban slum environments in the tropics are conducive to the proliferation and the spread of rodent-borne zoonotic pathogens to humans. Calodium hepaticum (Brancroft, 1893) is a zoonotic nematode known to infect a variety of mammalian hosts, including humans. Norway rats (Rattus norvegicus) are considered the most important mammalian host of C. hepaticum and are therefore a potentially useful species to inform estimates of the risk to humans living in urban slum environments. There is a lack of studies systematically evaluating the role of demographic and environmental factors that influence both carriage and intensity of infection of C. hepaticum in rodents from urban slum areas within tropical regions. Carriage and the intensity of infection of C. hepaticum were studied in 402 Norway rats over a 2-year period in an urban slum in Salvador, Brazil. Overall, prevalence in Norway rats was 83% (337/402). Independent risk factors for C. hepaticum carriage in R. norvegicus were age and valley of capture. Of those infected the proportion with gross liver involvement (i.e. >75% of the liver affected, a proxy for a high level intensity of infection), was low (8%, 26/337). Sixty soil samples were collected from ten locations to estimate levels of environmental contamination and provide information on the potential risk to humans of contracting C. hepaticum from the environment. Sixty percent (6/10) of the sites were contaminated with C. hepaticum. High carriage levels of C. hepaticum within Norway rats and sub-standard living conditions within slum areas may increase the risk to humans of exposure to the infective eggs of C. hepaticum. This study supports the need for further studies to assess whether humans are becoming infected within this community and whether C. hepaticum is posing a significant risk to human health.
Clozapine remains the only evidence-based antipsychotic for treatment-resistant schizophrenia (TRS). The ability to predict which patients with their first onset of schizophrenia would subsequently meet criteria for treatment resistance (TR) could help to diminish the severe functional disability which may ensue if TR is not recognized and correctly treated.
This is a 5-year longitudinal assessment of clinical outcomes in a cohort of 246 first-episode schizophrenia spectrum patients recruited as part of the NIHR Genetics and Psychosis (GAP) study conducted in South London from 2005 to 2010. We examined the relationship between baseline demographic and clinical measures and the emergence of TR. TR status was determined from a review of electronic case records. We assessed for associations with early-, and late-onset TR, and non-TR, and differences between those TR patients treated with clozapine and those who were not.
Seventy per cent (n = 56) of TR patients, and 23% of the total study population (n = 246) were treatment resistant from illness onset. Those who met criteria for TR during the first 5 years of illness were more likely to have an early age of first contact for psychosis (<20 years) [odds ratio (OR) 2.49, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.25–4.94] compared to those with non-TR. The relationship between an early age of first contact (<20 years) and TR was significant in patients of Black ethnicity (OR 3.71, 95% CI 1.44–9.56); and patients of male gender (OR 3.13 95% CI 1.35–7.23).
For the majority of the TR group, antipsychotic TR is present from illness onset, necessitating increased consideration for the earlier use of clozapine.
A total of 70 Nellore bulls (18 ± 3 months of age) were used to determine the effects of crude glycerine (CG) replacing starch- v. fibre-based energy ingredients in low (LC; 0·40 concentrate) or high concentrate (HC; 0·60 concentrate) – on a dry matter (DM) basis – on DM intake (DMI), methane emissions and growth. Ten bulls were slaughtered (reference group) to obtain the carcass gain (CrG). The 60 remaining bulls (374 ± 24·5 kg) were allocated to a 2 × 3 factorial arrangement (two concentrate levels, LC or HC; and three feeding regimes, FR). The FR were: CO – without CG and maize as an ingredient of concentrate; CGM – inclusion of CG (0·10 of DM) replacing maize in the concentrate; and CGSH – inclusion of CG (0·10 of DM) replacing soybean hulls (SH) in the concentrate. Bulls fed LC or HC had similar DMI (kg/d) and growth. The DMI and average daily gain (ADG) were similar among FR. Concentrate level and FR tended to interact for methane emissions (g) per kg DMI. Bulls fed CGM had a greater G : F (g CrG/kg DMI) than those fed CO or CGSH diets. Increasing dietary concentrate (0·40–0·60) did not affect intake, methane emissions, or growth. Inclusion of CG in diets to replace SH in LC diets tended to decrease methane emissions from animals. When CG replaces SH in the diets, CrG and G:F (g CrG/kg DMI) are decreased compared with bulls fed CGM.