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Learn about the state-of-the-art at the interface between information theory and data science with this first unified treatment of the subject. Written by leading experts in a clear, tutorial style, and using consistent notation and definitions throughout, it shows how information-theoretic methods are being used in data acquisition, data representation, data analysis, and statistics and machine learning. Coverage is broad, with chapters on signal acquisition, data compression, compressive sensing, data communication, representation learning, emerging topics in statistics, and much more. Each chapter includes a topic overview, definition of the key problems, emerging and open problems, and an extensive reference list, allowing readers to develop in-depth knowledge and understanding. Providing a thorough survey of the current research area and cutting-edge trends, this is essential reading for graduate students and researchers working in information theory, signal processing, machine learning, and statistics.
Microencapsulation of functioning cells for transplantation therapies is particularly promising, but the cells must retain their proper physiology and viability after being encapsulated. K-562 cells are multipotential and exhibit erythroid, megakaryocytic, or granulocytic properties that can be exploited by using an array of physiologically differentiating factors. The potential for cell differentiation makes it attractive the use of K-562 cells as functional model to the assessment of the effects of encapsulation on cell viability and physiology. Thus, alginate and hybrid alginate matrices were produced by extrusion technique for K-562 cell encapsulation. The produced systems were composed of bare alginate (1–3 wt%) and alginate in combination with chitosan or silica. The resulting materials were characterized by dynamic laser scattering, zeta potential measurements, small-angle X-ray scattering, and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. To assess viability, the encapsulated cells were subjected to the Trypan blue exclusion technique and NAD(P)H-dependent oxidoreductase (MTT) assays; hemin-induced erythroid differentiation capacity was also evaluated. The encapsulated alginate-based systems were shown to be monomodal and bimodal, depending on the nature of the capsule, with mean sizes in the range between 414 and 4.129 nm. Encapsulated cells exhibited viability ratios compatible with their use for prolonged cell cultures. Erythroid differentiation occurred in the range between 39 and 44%. The present results allow the consideration of the viability of therapeutic cells encapsulated in both bare alginate and in hybrid matrices.
The relative contribution of imported vs. locally acquired infections to urban malaria burden remains largely unexplored in Latin America, the most urbanised region in the developing world. Here we use a simple molecular epidemiology framework to examine the transmission dynamics of Plasmodium vivax in Mâncio Lima, the Amazonian municipality with the highest malaria incidence rate in Brazil. We prospectively genotyped 177 P. vivax infections diagnosed in urban residents between June 2014 and July 2015 and showed that local parasites are structured into several lineages of closely related microsatellite haplotypes, with the largest genetic cluster comprising 32% of all infections. These findings are very unlikely under the hypothesis of multiple independent imports of parasite strains from the rural surroundings. Instead, the presence of an endemic near-clonal parasite lineage circulating over 13 consecutive months is consistent with a local P. vivax transmission chain in the town, with major implications for malaria elimination efforts in this and similar urban environments across the Amazon.
The introduction of 2,4-D–resistant soybean and cotton provided growers a new POST active ingredient to include in weed management programs. The technology raises concerns regarding potential 2,4-D off-target movement to sensitive vegetation, and spray droplet size is the primary management factor focused on to reduce spray particle drift. The objective of this study was to investigate the droplet size distribution, droplet velocity, and particle drift potential of glyphosate plus 2,4-D choline pre-mixture (Enlist Duo®) applications with two commonly used venturi nozzles in a low-speed wind tunnel. Applications with the TDXL11004 nozzle had larger DV0.1 (291 µm), DV0.5 (544 µm), and DV0.9 (825 µm) values compared with the AIXR11004 nozzle (250, 464, and 709 µm, respectively), and slower average droplet velocity (8.1 m s−1) compared with the AIXR11004 nozzle (9.1 m s−1). Nozzle type had no influence on drift deposition (P = 0.65), drift coverage (P = 0.84), and soybean biomass reduction (P = 0.76). Although the TDXL11004 nozzle had larger spray droplet size, the slower spray droplet velocity could have influenced the nozzle particle drift potential. As a result, both TDXL11004 and AIXR11004 nozzles had similar spray drift potential. Further studies are necessary to understand the impact of droplet velocity on drift potential at field scale and test how different tank solutions, sprayer configurations, and environmental conditions could influence the droplet size and velocity dynamics and consequent drift potential in pesticide applications.
Cipo Canastero Asthenes luizae is a relict ovenbird restricted to rocky outcrops at high elevations within the campo rupestre vegetation of the Espinhaço Range in the state of Minas Gerais, south-eastern Brazil. This poorly known species is considered ‘Near Threatened’, but recent studies have suggested that it should be listed under a higher category of threat. To contribute to the knowledge of this species and its conservation assessment and related planning, we compiled all literature records of the species distribution (n = 16 locations), collected new data on its occurrence (n = 72 locations), and calculated its geographic range using four different approaches. First, we defined the sky islands where the species occurs (nine units) using the lowest elevation value recorded (1,100 m asl) as a cut-off. Second, we performed species distribution modelling (SDM) across the sky islands and identified an area of 2,225.21 km2. Third, we measured the species’ extent of occurrence (EOO = 24,555.85 km2) and used SDM to estimate its upper limit (EOOup = 30,697.58 km2). Fourth, we measured the area of occupancy (AOO = 228 km2) and used SDM to estimate its upper limit (AOOup = 1,827.39 km2). We analysed the Cipo Canastero sky islands in terms of landscape metrics including size, isolation, protected area coverage, shape index, core area index, and proportion covered by SDM. We observed a very fragmented distribution, especially in the North sector of the species distribution, composed of small and isolated populations (separated by up to 112 km); the South sector is the core of its distribution and is composed of larger, more connected patches with differences in shape complexity that are not strongly influenced by an edge effect. The range sizes calculated, along with other reported information regarding population and habitat trends, justifies the inclusion of the species in at least the ‘Vulnerable’ category.
Asthma-obesity is a multifactorial disease with specific asthma phenotypes that aggravate due to overweight and an unbalanced diet. Furthermore, obese asthmatic patients are corticotherapy-resistant. Therefore, the aims of the present study were to evaluate the effects of an interdisciplinary intervention on food consumption, body composition, lung function and adipokines in asthmatic and non-asthmatic obese adolescents and to investigate the influence of nutrients on lung function. Obese non-asthmatic (n 42) and obese asthmatic (n 21) adolescents of both sexes were enrolled in the present study. Food intake, adipokine levels, body composition, asthma symptoms and lung function were assessed across the study. After the intervention of 1 year, there was a reduction (P ≤ 0·01) in BMI, body fat percentage, visceral and subcutaneous fat and an increase (P ≤ 0·01) in lean mass and all lung function variables in both groups, except the relation between forced expiratory volume in 1 s and forced vital capacity (FEV1:FVC) in non-asthmatic patients. Moreover, both groups decreased lipid and cholesterol consumption (P ≤ 0·01). The highest energy consumption (β = −0·021) was associated with lower values of FVC. Similarly, carbohydrate consumption (β = −0·06) and cholesterol were negative predictors (β = −0·05) in FEV1:FVC. However, the consumption of Ca (β = 0·01), fibres (β = 1·34) and vitamin A (β = 0·01) were positive predictors of FEV1:FVC. Asthma-obesity interdisciplinary treatment promoted an improvement on food consumption and lung function in adolescents and demonstrated that the consumption of nutrients influenced an increase in lung function.
The Rio Grande Cone is a major fanlike depositional feature in the continental slope of the Pelotas Basin, Southern Brazil. Two representative sediment cores collected in the Cone area were retrieved using a piston core device. In this work, the organic matter (OM) in the sediments was characterized for a continental vs. marine origin using chemical proxies to help constrain the origin of gas in hydrates. The main contribution of OM was from marine organic carbon based on the stable carbon isotope (δ13C-org) and total organic carbon/total nitrogen ratio (TOC:TN) analyses. In addition, the 14C data showed important information about the origin of the OM and we suggest some factors that could modify the original organic matter and therefore mask the “real” 14C ages: (1) biological activity that could modify the carbon isotopic composition of bulk terrestrial organic matter values, (2) the existence of younger sediments from mass wasting deposits unconformably overlying older sediments, and (3) the deep-sediment-sourced methane contribution due to the input of “old” (>50 ka) organic compounds from migrating fluids.
Expression of estrus near timed artificial insemination (TAI) is associated with greater fertility, and estrus detection could improve TAI fertility or direct TAI management, although accurate estrus detection can be difficult and time-consuming using traditional methods. The aim of this study is to evaluate influence of estrus on pregnancy (artificial insemination pregnancy rates (P/AI)) and to validate an alternative method to classify estrus/heat expression using tail chalking (HEATSC) in postpartum Bos indicus cows subjected to TAI in progesterone–estrogen-based protocols. In experiment 1 (Exp. 1), cows (5491) were subjected to visual observation of estrus after progesterone device removal, before TAI, and P/AI was evaluated according to estrus and body condition score (BCS). Cows received a progesterone device and 2 mg estradiol benzoate (EB). After 8 days, the device was removed and 150 μg of d-cloprostenol and 300 IU equine chorionic gonadotrophin was given. Later, animals in Exp. 1 received 1 mg EB and TAI 44 to 48 h. In the Exp. 2 – 3830 cows using similar protocol, received different ovulation inducers: 1 mg EB (n=1624) or 1 mg estradiol cypionate (EC; n=2206) on day 8 (D8). Cows were then marked with chalk, and HEATSC evaluated at TAI on D10 (HEATSC1 – no chalk removal=no estrus expression; HEATSC2 – partial chalk removal=low estrus expression; HEATSC3 – near complete/complete chalk removal=high estrus expression). In Exp. 1, cows showing estrus presented greater P/AI (48.4% v. 40.2%, P<0.05). In Exp. 2, P/AI (HEATSC1 – 40.0%; HEATSC2 – 49.7%; HEATSC3 – 60.9%; P<0.001), and larger follicle timed artificial insemination (LFTAI) (<0.001) varied according to HEATSC. There was no difference in P/AI (P=0.41) or LFTAI (P=0.33) according to ovulation inducer. Cows with greater BCS showed greater P/AI in both experiments (P<0.05). Estrus presence and greater HEATSC improved P/AI, and EC v. EB used promoted differential estrus manifestation (cows showing HEATSC2 and HEATSC3: 79.5% with EB v. 69.98% with EC use, P<0.001), however, with similar P/AI. The use of HEATSC in B. indicus cows subjected to TAI is useful to identify cows with greater estrus expression and consequently improved pregnancy rates in TAI, allowing the cows with low HEATSC to be targeted for additional treatments aimed at improving P/AI.
The use of tail chalk and estrus/heat expression scores (HEATSC) evaluation is instrumental in identifying cows with greater estrus expression and greater artificial insemination pregnancy rates (P/AI) in cows submitted to timed artificial insemination (TAI), and cows with low or no estrus expression present lower P/AI. It was intended in this study to improve the pregnancy rates in TAI for Bos indicus beef cows, and gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH) injection was hypothesized to increase pregnancy rates in a TAI program for cows submitted to progesterone–estradiol-based protocols with low or no estrus expression, evaluated by HEATSC. Cows (n= 2284) received a progesterone device and 2 mg estradiol benzoate, after 8 days the device was removed and 1 mg estradiol cypionate, 150 μg of d-cloprostenol and 300 IU equine chorionic gonadotropin was administered. All cows were marked with chalk and HEATSC evaluated (scales 1 to 3) at TAI performed on day 10. Animals with HEATSC1 and HEATSC2 (n= 937) received 100 μg de gonadorelin (GNRH group; n= 470), or 1 ml saline (Control group; n= 467), and cows with HEATSC3 (named HEAT group; n= 1347) received no additional treatment. The larger dominant follicle, evaluated on day 8and at TAI (day 10), was greater in HEAT group (P= 0.0145 and P <0.001, respectively). Corpus luteum (CL) area and progesterone concentration was evaluated on day 17, and CL area was larger in HEAT group, intermediary in Control and lower in GnRH group (Control= 2.68 cm2, GnRH= 2.37 cm2, HEAT group= 3.07 cm2, P <0.001). Greater progesterone concentrations were found in HEAT group than in Control and GnRH groups (Control= 4.74 ng/ml, GnRH= 4.29 ng/ml, HEAT group= 6.08 ng/ml, P<0.001). There was a difference in ovulation rate, greater in HEAT group than GnRH and Control groups (Control= 72.5%; GnRH= 81.25%; HEAT group= 90.71%; P= 0.0024). Artificial insemination pregnancy rates was greater in HEAT group (57.09% (769/1347) than in Control and GNRH groups, with positive effect of GnRH injection at the time of TAI in P/AI (Control= 36.18% (169/467), GnRH= 45.95% (216/470); P<0.0001). In conclusion, GnRH application in cows with low HEATSC (1 and 2) is a simple strategy, requiring no changes in TAI management to increase pregnancy rates in postpartum beef cows submitted to progesterone–estradiol-based TAI protocols, without reaching, however, the pregnancy rates of cows that demonstrate high estrus expression at the TAI.
In Brazil, rabies surveillance is based on monitoring domestic and wild animals, although the most prevalent lineage of the rabies virus (RABV) currently diagnosed in Brazil is associated with bats, particularly non-haematophagous bats. Disease control is based on the mass vaccination of dogs and cats. We used data collected by the passive surveillance system of the city of Campinas from 2011 to 2015, to describe the temporal and geographic distributions of the bat specimens and RABV and discuss the current rabies surveillance with the advent of the declaration of canine and feline rabies-free areas in Brazil. We described the species, locations and health statuses of the collected bat specimens. Moreover, all samples were submitted for RABV diagnosis. Then, we performed a time series decomposition for each bat family. Additionally, we determined the spatiotemporal relative risk for RABV infection using the ratio of the kernel-smoothed estimates of spatiotemporal densities of RABV-positive and RABV-negative bats. From the 2537 bat specimens, the most numerous family was Molossidae (72%), followed by Vespertilionidae (14%) and Phyllostomidae (13%). The bat families behaved differently in terms of seasonal and spatial patterns. The distribution of bats varied geographically in the urban environment, with Molossidae and Phyllostomidae being observed downtown and Vespertilionidae being observed in peripheral zones. Concurrently, a significant relative risk of RABV infection was observed downtown for Vespertilionidae and in peripheral zones for Molossidae. No RABV-positive sample clusters were observed. As a result of the official declaration of RABV-free areas in southern Brazil, mass dog and cat vaccinations are expected to halt in the near future. This stoppage would make most dog and cat populations susceptible to other RABV lineages, such as those maintained by non-haematophagous bats. In this scenario, all information available on bats and RABV distribution in urban areas is essential. Currently, few studies have been conducted. Some local health authorities, such as that in Campinas, are spontaneously basing their surveillance efforts on bat rabies, which is the alternative in reality scenario of increased susceptibility to bat-associated RABV that is developing in Brazil.
The mechanisms involved in kidney disturbances during development, induced by vitamin D3 deficiency in female rats, that persist into adulthood were evaluated in this study. Female offspring from mothers fed normal (control group, n=8) or vitamin D-deficient (Vit.D-, n=10) diets were used. Three-month-old rats had their systolic blood pressure (SBP) measured and their blood and urine sampled to quantify vitamin D3 (Vit.D3), creatinine, Na+, Ca+2 and angiotensin II (ANGII) levels. The kidneys were then removed for nitric oxide (NO) quantification and immunohistochemical studies. Vit.D- pups showed higher SBP and plasma ANGII levels in adulthood (P<0.05) as well as decreased urine osmolality associated with increases in urinary volume (P<0.05). Decreased expression of JG12 (renal cortex and glomeruli) and synaptopodin (glomeruli) as well as reduced renal NO was also observed (P<0.05). These findings showed that renal disturbances in development in pups from Vit.D- mothers observed in adulthood may be related to the development of angiogenesis, NO and ANGII alterations.
Cognitive impairment is a core feature of psychotic disorders, but the profile of impairment across adulthood, particularly in African-American populations, remains unclear.
Using cross-sectional data from a case–control study of African-American adults with affective (n = 59) and nonaffective (n = 68) psychotic disorders, we examined cognitive functioning between early and middle adulthood (ages 20–60) on measures of general cognitive ability, language, abstract reasoning, processing speed, executive function, verbal memory, and working memory.
Both affective and nonaffective psychosis patients showed substantial and widespread cognitive impairments. However, comparison of cognitive functioning between controls and psychosis groups throughout early (ages 20–40) and middle (ages 40–60) adulthood also revealed age-associated group differences. During early adulthood, the nonaffective psychosis group showed increasing impairments with age on measures of general cognitive ability and executive function, while the affective psychosis group showed increasing impairment on a measure of language ability. Impairments on other cognitive measures remained mostly stable, although decreasing impairments on measures of processing speed, memory and working memory were also observed.
These findings suggest similarities, but also differences in the profile of cognitive dysfunction in adults with affective and nonaffective psychotic disorders. Both affective and nonaffective patients showed substantial and relatively stable impairments across adulthood. The nonaffective group also showed increasing impairments with age in general and executive functions, and the affective group showed an increasing impairment in verbal functions, possibly suggesting different underlying etiopathogenic mechanisms.
Heavy weight gilts commonly show signs of oestrus during the late finishing phase, which results in a period of reduced feed intake and growth rate. Immunization against gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) (IM, immunocastration) was developed for finishing boars and recently extrapolated to females. Immunocastration acts by suppressing reproductive activity and improving the growth potential. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of IM on growth performance, reproductive activity and carcass characteristics of late finishing gilts. Seventy-two gilts (63.49 ± 0.39 kg) were either injected with saline (Intact) or immunized against GnRH (Immunized). The study consisted of three experimental periods: between the first to second immunization (V1 to V2, 15 to 19 weeks of age), from the second immunization to the beginning of daily boar exposure (DBE) (V2 to DBE, 19 to 21 weeks of age) and from the beginning of DBE to slaughter (S) (DBE to S, 21 to 25 weeks of age). Immunized gilts showed an overall increase (from 15 to 25 weeks) of 3.90 kg (P < 0.05) of live weight, 56 g (P < 0.05) of average daily gain (ADG) and 250 g (P < 0.001) of average daily feed intake (ADFI). Immunized gilts had a greater ADFI (+240 g, P < 0.05) and worse feed conversion ratio (+0.26, P < 0.05) from 19 (V2) to 21 weeks of age (before DBE). Furthermore, those females had higher feed intake (+410 g; P < 0.001) plus greater daily weight gain (+92 g; P < 0.05) from V2 to S, and from DBE to S (+470 g of ADFI, P < 0.001; +129 g of ADG, P < 0.01, respectively). Immunocastration had no effect on backfat thickness, lean meat percentage and weight, cold carcass yield or loin depth (P > 0.05). Immunized gilts showed 4.4% increased cold carcass weight (P < 0.01) and 10.6% greater gross flank weight (P < 0.001). Immunization against GnRH did not influence shoulder, collar, loin, belly or ham weights. Nor did it influence belly fat thickness, or meat, skin plus fat and bones yields of cold ham (P > 0.05). Immunocastration reduced ovarian and uterine weights by 82% (P < 0.001) and 93% (P < 0.001), respectively, and suppressed oestrus manifestation in all gilts in the immunized group (P < 0.001). These results indicate that immunization against GnRH is a promising tool for stimulating growth performance with no detrimental effects on carcass quality of heavy weight finishing gilts, by means of oestrus suppression.
Sugarcane is an important forage source for dairy cows in tropical countries. However, it provides limited digestible fiber and energy intake, and fat supplementation can be a way to increase energy density and decrease dietary, non-fiber carbohydrates concentrations. We aimed to evaluate the performance, digestion and metabolism of dairy cows in early lactation fed different concentrations of soybean oil (SBO) in sugarcane-based diets. Fourteen primiparous (545±17.2 kg of BW) and eight multiparous (629±26.7 kg BW) Holstein dairy cows were used according to a randomized block design. After calving, diets were randomly assigned to cows within the two parity groups. Diets were formulated with increasing concentrations of SBO (g/kg dry matter (DM)): control (0), low (LSBO; 15.7), medium (MSBO; 44.3) and high (HSBO; 73.4). The study was performed from calving until 84 days in milk, divided into three periods of 28 days each. Dry matter intake (DMI) was affected quadratically in response to SBO addition with the greatest and lowest values of 19.0 and 16.0 kg/day for LSBO and HSBO diets, respectively. The digestibility of potentially digestible NDF was quadratically affected by SBO with the greatest value of 623 g/kg for LSBO diet. Both milk and energy-corrected milk (ECM) production were quadratically affected by SBO inclusion, with greatest ECM values of 27.9 and 27.3 for LSBO and MSBO, respectively. Soybean oil inclusion linearly decreased milk fat concentration by 13.2% from control to HSBO. The CLA t10,c12-18:2 was observed in milk fat only for MSBO and HSBO diets. Soybean oil inclusion did not affect plasma glucose or serum concentrations of total proteins, globulins, albumin, urea nitrogen, beta-hydroxybutyrate, non-esterified fatty acids or insulin. Serum concentrations of total cholesterol, triglycerides and low-density lipoprotein increased with SBO supplementation. Soybean oil inclusion in sugarcane-based diets for early lactation dairy cows from 15.7 to 44.3 g/kg DM can improve energy intake and performance; however, at 44.3 g/kg DM milk fat concentration and ECM decreased. Soybean oil inclusion at 73.4 g/kg DM adversely affected energy intake, fiber digestion and performance of early lactation dairy cows and is not recommended.
Globally, the prevalence of tuberculosis (TB) disease is higher in males. This study examined the effect of sex and age on Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) infection. Demographic and exposure data were collected on household contacts of sputum smear-positive pulmonary TB patients in Brazil. Contacts with tuberculin skin test induration ⩾10 mm at baseline or 12 weeks were considered Mtb infected. The study enrolled 917 household contacts from 160 households; 508 (55.4%) were female, median age was 21.0 years (range 0.30–87.0) and 609 (66.4%) had Mtb infection. The proportion infected increased with age from 63.3% in girls <5 years to 75.4% in women ⩾40 years and from 44.9% in boys <5 years to 73.6% in men ⩾40 years. Multivariable modelling showed the odds of infection increased between age 5 and 14 years among female contacts (OR 1.5 per 5-year age increase; 95% CI 1.1–2.2; P = 0.02) and between ages 0–4 and 15–39 years among male contacts (OR 2.7, 95% CI 0.83–8.9 and 1.1, 95% CI 0.99–1.3 per 5-year age increase; P = 0.10, 0.07, respectively). The study suggests that the age at which Mtb infection increases most is different in females compared with males. Studies are needed to explore whether these findings are due to differences in host susceptibility, exposure outside the household or other factors.
Nitrate (NO3−) is an ergogenic nutritional supplement that is widely used to improve physical performance. However, the effectiveness of NO3− supplementation has not been systematically investigated in individuals with different physical fitness levels. The present study analysed whether different fitness levels (non-athletes v. athletes or classification of performance levels), duration of the test used to measure performance (short v. long duration) and the test protocol (time trials v. open-ended tests v. graded-exercise tests) influence the effects of NO3− supplementation on performance. This systematic review and meta-analysis was conducted and reported according to the guidelines outlined in the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) statement. A systematic search of electronic databases, including PubMed, Web of Science, SPORTDiscus and ProQuest, was performed in August 2017. On the basis of the search and inclusion criteria, fifty-four and fifty-three placebo-controlled studies evaluating the effects of NO3− supplementation on performance in humans were included in the systematic review and meta-analysis, respectively. NO3− supplementation was ergogenic in non-athletes (mean effect size (ES) 0·25; 95 % CI 0·11, 0·38), particularly in evaluations of performance using long-duration open-ended tests (ES 0·47; 95 % CI 0·23, 0·71). In contrast, NO3− supplementation did not enhance the performance of athletes (ES 0·04; 95 % CI −0·05, 0·15). After objectively classifying the participants into different performance levels, the frequency of trials showing ergogenic effects in individuals classified at lower levels was higher than that in individuals classified at higher levels. Thus, the present study indicates that dietary NO3− supplementation improves physical performance in non-athletes, particularly during long-duration open-ended tests.
Acinetobacter spp. are important healthcare pathogens, being closely linked to antibiotic resistance and outbreaks worldwide. Although such species are rarely observed in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF), we describe the characteristics of 53 strains of Acinetobacter spp. isolated from the sputum of 39 Brazilian patients with CF. The species distribution was A. baumannii (n = 29), A. pittii (n = 13), A. nosocomialis (n = 8), A. seifertii (n = 1), A. soli (n = 1) and A. variabilis (n = 1) determined by partial rpoB gene sequencing. Sixteen strains (10 A. baumannii, 3 A. pittii and 3 A. nosocomialis) were multidrug-resistant (MDR) by disk diffusion test (30%) and eight MDR carbapenem-resistant A. baumannii strains harboured the blaOXA-23-like oxacillinase gene. Thirty-three sequence types (STs) were identified by multilocus sequence typing of which eight were novel (A. baumannii: 843, 844, 845, 847, 848; A. pitti: 643; A. nosocomialis: 862 and A. seifertii: 846); six STs (2 A. baumannii, 3 A. pittii and 1 A. nosocomialis) were found in more than one patient. Four strains of A. baumannii were assigned to two common clonal complexes (CCs), namely, CC1 (ST1, ST20 and ST160), and CC79 (ST79). This study underlines the extensive species diversity of Acinetobacter spp. strains in CF lung infections which may present difficulties for therapy due to significant antimicrobial resistance.
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.
We studied the ontogenetic growth of goat wethers (castrated male goats) of the Saanen and Swiss Alpine breeds based on a large range of intraspecific body mass (BM). The body parts and the chemical constituents of the empty body were described by the allometric function by using BM and the empty body mass (EBM) as the predictors for morphological traits and chemical composition, respectively. We fitted the allometric scaling function by applying the SAS NLMIXED procedure, but to evaluate assumptions regarding variances in morphological and compositional traits, we combined the scaling function with homoscedastic (MOD1), and the heteroscedastic exponential (MOD2) and power-of-the-mean (MOD3) variance functions. We also predicted the ontogenetic growth by using the traditional log-log transformation and back-transformed results into the arithmetic scale (MOD4). We obtained predictions from MOD4 in the arithmetic scale by a two-step process, and evaluated MOD1, MOD2 and MOD3 by a model selection framework, and compared MOD4 with MOD1, MOD2 and MOD3 based on goodness-of-fit measures. Based on information criteria for model selection, heterogeneous variance functions were more likely to describe 10 over 36 traits with a low level of model selection uncertainty. One trait was predicted by averaging the MOD1 and MOD2 variance functions; and nine traits were better described by averaging the MOD2 and MOD3 variance functions. The predictions for other 16 traits were averaged from MOD1, MOD2 and MOD3. However, MOD4 better described 11 traits according to the goodness-of-fit measures. Depending on the variable being analyzed, the body parts and the chemical amounts exhibited the three types of allometric behavior with respect to BM and EBM, that is, positive, negative and isometric ontogenetic growth. Reference BMs, that is, 20, 27, 35 and 45 kg, were used to compute the net protein and energy requirements based on the first derivative of the scaling function, and the results were presented in reference to the EBM and EBM0.75. Both the net protein and energy requirements scaled to EBM0.75 increased from 20 to 45 kg of BM.