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The dietary inclusion of feed additives to improve the carcass characteristics of the final product is of great importance for the pork production chain. The aim of our study was to evaluate the effects of the association of ractopamine (RAC) and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) on the performance traits of finishing pigs during the last 26 days prior to slaughter. In total, 810 commercial hybrid barrows were used. Animals were distributed among treatments according to a randomised block design in a 3 × 3 factorial arrangement, with three RAC levels (0, 5 or 10 ppm) and three CLA levels (0, 0.3 or 0.6%). Pigs fed the diet with 5 ppm RAC had higher average daily feed intake (ADFI) (2.83 kg; P < 0.05) when compared with those fed 10 ppm RAC and the control diet (2.75 and 2.74 kg, respectively). Lower ADFI values (P < 0.01) were observed with the diets containing CLA compared with the control diet with no CLA (2.73 and 2.75 v. 2.85 kg/day, respectively). The average daily weight gain of pigs fed 5 and 10 ppm RAC was +148 and +173 g/dayhigher (P < 0.001), respectively, than those fed the control diet. Dietary RAC levels influenced (P < 0.001) feed conversion ratio (FCR), which was reduced as RAC levels increased, with the pigs fed 10, 5 and 0 ppm RAC presenting FCR values of 2.57, 2.71 and 3.05, respectively. FCR also improved (P < 0.05) with the inclusion of 0.6% CLA relative to the control diet (2.70 v. 2.84, respectively). There was a significant interaction between CLA × RAC levels (P < 0.01) for final BW, loin eye area (LEA) (P < 0.05) and backfat thickness (BT) (P < 0.05). The treatments containing 10 ppm RAC + 0.6% or 0.3% CLA increased LEA and reduced BT. In conclusion, the level of 10 ppm inclusion of RAC increased the overall performance parameters of pigs and therefore improved production efficiency. The combined use of RAC and CLA promoted a lower feed conversion ratio as well as better quantitative carcass traits, as demonstrated by the higher LEA and lower BT. The dietary inclusion of CLA at 0.3% improved feed efficiency, however, without affecting LEA or BT yields.
To describe urinary tract infection (UTI) treatment among Veterans’ Affairs (VA) Community Living Centers (CLCs) nationally and to assess related trends in antibiotic use.
Setting and participants:
All UTI episodes treated from 2013 through 2017 among residents in 110 VA CLCs. UTI episodes required collection of a urine culture, antibiotic treatment, and a UTI diagnosis code. UTI episodes were stratified into culture-positive and culture-negative episodes.
Frequency and rate of antibiotic use were assessed for all UTI episodes overall and were stratified by culture-positive and culture-negative episodes. Joinpoint software was used for regression analyses of trends over time.
We identified 28,247 UTI episodes in 14,983 Veterans. The average age of Veterans was 75.7 years, and 95.9% were male. Approximately half of UTI episodes (45.7%) were culture positive and 25.7% were culture negative. Escherichia coli was recovered in 34.1% of culture-positive UTI episodes, followed by Proteus mirabilis and Klebsiella spp, which were recovered in 24.5% and 17.4% of culture-positive UTI episodes, respectively. The rate of total antibiotic use in days of therapy (DOT) per 1,000 bed days decreased by 10.1% per year (95% CI, −13.6% to −6.5%) and fluoroquinolone use (ciprofloxacin or levofloxacin) decreased by 14.5% per year (95% CI, −20.6% to −7.8%) among UTI episodes overall. Similar reductions in rates of total antibiotic use and fluoroquinolone use were observed among culture-positive UTI episodes and among culture-negative UTI episodes.
Over a 5-year period, antibiotic use for UTIs significantly decreased among VA CLCs, as did use of fluoroquinolones. Antibiotic stewardship efforts across VA CLCs should be applauded, and these efforts should continue.
Hepatocytes constitute the majority of hepatic cells, and play a key role in controlling systemic innate immunity, via pattern-recognition receptors (PRRs) and by synthesizing complement and acute phase proteins. Leishmania infantum, a protozoan parasite that causes human and canine leishmaniasis, infects liver by establishing inside the Kupffer cells. The current study proposes the elucidation of the immune response generated by dog hepatocytes when exposed to L. infantum. Additionally, the impact of adding leishmanicidal compound, meglumine antimoniate (MgA), to parasite-exposed hepatocytes was also addressed. L. infantum presents a high tropism to hepatocytes, establishing strong membrane interactions. The possibility of L. infantum internalization by hepatocytes was raised, but not confirmed. Hepatocytes were able to recognize parasite presence, inducing PRRs [nucleotide oligomerization domain (NOD)1, NOD2 and Toll-like receptor (TLR)2] gene expression and generating a mix pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokine response. Reduction of cytochrome P 450s enzyme activity was also observed concomitant with the inflammatory response. Addition of MgA increased NOD2, TLR4 and interleukin 10 gene expression, indicating an immunomodulatory role for MgA. Hepatocytes seem to have a major role in coordinating liver's innate immune response against L. infantum infection, activating inflammatory mechanisms, but always balancing the inflammatory response in order to avoid cell damage.
Animal evidence has suggested that maternal emotional and nutritional stress during pregnancy is associated with behavioral outcomes in offspring. The nature of the stresses applied may differ, but it is often assumed that the mother’s hippocampus–hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HHPA) axis response releases higher levels of glucocorticoid hormones. The bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST) is in a pivotal position to regulate the HHPA axis and the stress response, and it has been implicated in anxiety behavior. In the current study, to search whether BNST structural changes and neurochemical alterations are associated with anxiety-related behavior in adult gestational protein-restricted offspring relative to an age-matched normal protein diet (NP) rats, we conduct behavioral tests and, BNST dendritic tree analysis by Sholl analysis, associated to immunoblotting–protein quantification [11β-HSD2, GR, MR, AT1R, 5HT1A and 5HT2A, corticotrophin-releasing factor (CRH) and CRH1]. Dams were maintained either on isocaloric standard rodent chow [with NP content, 17% casein or low protein content (LP), 6% casein] chow throughout their entire pregnancy. Here, in rats subjected to gestational protein restriction, we found: (a) a significant reduction in dendritic length and impoverished dendritic arborization in BNST neurons; (b) an elevated plasmatic corticosterone levels; and (c) associated with enhanced anxiety-like behavior when compared with age-matched NP offspring. Moreover, altered protein (11β-HSD2, GR, MR and type 1 CRH receptors) expressions may underlie the increase in anxiety-like behavior in LP offspring. This work represents the first demonstration that BNST developmental plasticity by maternal protein restriction, resulting in fine structural changes and neurochemical alterations that are associated with modified behavioral states.
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.
Phosphorus and calcium deficiency in horses represents an important factor responsible for the low equine production in Brazil. The basic mechanisms of P and Ca metabolism differ substantially among species. Regulation of P and Ca metabolism is less well understood in horses than in others species. With the use of the isotopic dilution technique is possible to evaluate the metabolism for this mineral. The aim of the present experiment was to study the effect of different Ca levels in the diet on P and Ca metabolism in horses.
Cooperia punctata is the most prevalent parasitic intestinal nematode in Brazil and its site of fixation is duodenum and jejunum that are also the sites of greatest dietary phosphorus (P) absorption. Studies of phosphorus metabolism often involves balance trials and use of isotopes. When combined with mathematical modeling, calculation of flows between several pools becomes a possibility. The objective of the study on calves employing isotope and balance techniques was to apply and compare two models of P metabolism for resolving data generated by these techniques.
The metabolism and kinetics model of Fernandez modified by Lopes et al. (2001) is a fundamental tool for the study of the digestive physiology of phosphorus (P) in pigs. In Brazil there is a great potential of use of rock phosphate and those represents approximately 2.9 billion metric tons. Brazilian researchers are interested to evaluate those phosphate as alternative sources in diets of pigs. All of the natural sources of phosphate in Brazil presented low level of fluor, when compared with international sources and levels of heavy metals are considered low too. The main concern resides in the fact that non-absorbed P is excreted and can cause contamination of water. The purpose of this research was to evaluate the digestive physiology of pigs fed diets supplemented with different P sources and the study the environmental pollution provoked by P excreted.
With the use of radioactive calcium (Ca) it is possible to study the kinetic aspects of Ca metabolism. Research in Brazil has been carried out to study mineral metabolism in sheep and cattle, especially phosphorus, by using isotope dilution techniques. However, there is very little information on Ca metabolism in sheep. The objective of this experiment was to study the effects of various Ca sources on the Ca metabolism in sheep by using isotope and balance techniques.
This study assessed the incidence and risk factors for dengue virus (DENV) infection among children in a prospective birth cohort conducted in the city of Recife, a hyperendemic dengue area in Northeast Brazil. Healthy pregnant women (n = 415) residing in Recife who agreed to have their children followed were enrolled. Children were followed during their first 24 months of age (May/2011–June/2014), before the 2015 Zika virus outbreak. DENV infection was detected by reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction and/or serology (anti-DENV IgM/IgG). The incidence rates per 1000 person-years (py) and its association with risk factors by age bands (0–12, >12–30 months) were estimated through Poisson regression models. Forty-nine dengue infections were detected; none progressed to severe forms. The incidence rates were 107·6/1000py (95% CI 76·8–150·6) and 93·3/1000py (95% CI 56·1–154·4) in the first and second years of age, respectively. Male children (risk ratios (RR) = 2·33; 95% CI 1·09–4·98) and those born to DENV-naïve mothers (RR = 2·42; 95% CI 1·01–5·80) were at greater risk of infection in the first year of age. In the second year, children born to Caucasian/Asian descent skin colour mothers had a threefold higher risk of infection (RR = 3·34; 95% CI: 1·08–10·33). These data show the high exposure of children to DENV infection in our setting and highlight the role of biological factors in this population's susceptibility to infection.
We present NH3(J,K) = (1,1) observations toward CS(2,1) sources in the southern hemisphere, obtained with the Itapetinga Radio Telescope, that exhibit departure from LTE conditions. The mechanism of selective trapping in the hyperfine transitions of NH3(J, K) =(2,1)-(1,1) is invoked to explain the non-thermal population in the NH3(J, K) = (1,1) hyperfine states. This effect is relevant only when the width of the hyperfine lines lie between 0.3 and 0.6 km s−1. Due to this restriction, the assumption that the molecular cloud is formed by clumps, which produce spectra within this line-width interval seems to be a natural explanation for the non-thermal population. The observed spectra can be the result of the superposition of individual clump spectra with different central velocities. This model was applied to determine the physical conditions of the observed regions, providing satisfactory results for most of them. However, for some sources the model is not adequate to reproduce the observations, indicating that some other effects should be included, such as IR continuum, that was neglected in the radiative transfer calculations.
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.
Despite single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) availability and frequent cost reduction has allowed genome-wide association studies even in complex traits as tick resistance, the use of this information source in SNP by environment interaction context is unknown for many economically important traits in cattle. We aimed at identifying putative genomic regions explaining differences in tick resistance in Hereford and Braford cattle under SNP by environment point of view as well as to identify candidate genes derived from outliers/significant markers. The environment was defined as contemporary group means of tick counts, since they seemed to be the most appropriate entities to describe the environmental gradient in beef cattle. A total of 4363 animals having tick counts (n=10 673) originated from 197 sires and 3966 dams were used. Genotypes were acquired on 3591 of these cattle. From top 1% SNPs (410) having the greatest effects in each environment, 75 were consistently relevant in all environments, which indicated SNP by environment interaction. The outliers/significant SNPs were mapped on chromosomes 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 9, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 21, 23, 24, 26 and 28, and potential candidate genes were detected across environments. The presence of SNP by environment interaction for tick resistance indicates that genetic expression of resistance depends upon tick burden. Markers with major portion of genetic variance explained across environments appeared to be close to genes with different direct or indirect functions related to immune system, inflammatory process and mechanisms of tissue destruction/repair, such as energy metabolism and cell differentiation.
We describe morphological and morphometrical characteristics of preantral ovarian follicles from three recently recognized Saimiri species: S. macrodon, S. cassiquiarensis and S. vanzolinii; the last one a threatened species. Ovaries from four adult monkeys were evaluated: one pair from a pregnant S. macrodon, two ovarian pairs from S. cassiquiarensis females (one of them pregnant), and one left ovary from a senile S. vanzolinii, applying classical histology. Follicular preantral population was quantified and morphology and morphometry of primordial, primary and secondary follicles were evaluated. Follicular preantral population varied among species, being 347,153 in the ovaries of the S. macrodon, 270,342 and 278,376 in the ovaries of both adult non-pregnant and pregnant S. cassiquiarensis females, and 28,149 in the ovary from a senile S. vanzolinii. Most follicles were at primordial or transition stages, except for the senile S. vanzolinii female, which presented the lowest percentages of primordial and transition follicles when compared with primary and secondary ones. Most preantral follicles (>70%) were morphologically normal in the ovaries from all studied S. macrodon and S. cassiquiarensis females, but the ovary of the senile S. vanzolinii female presented a significant decrease in the percentage of normal follicles (primordial: 61%, transition: 52%, primary: 54%, and secondary: 48%). In general, follicular diameter increased significantly from primordial to transition, and subsequently from primary to secondary follicles.
Hepatitis E virus (HEV) infection is a major cause of acute hepatitis worldwide. This infection causes major water-borne outbreaks in low- and middle-income countries, whilst in industrialised countries this infection is zoonotic. These differences in epidemiology are related to different HEV genotypes. HEV genotype 3 is a zoonotic infection, whilst genotype 2 causes large outbreaks. This study determined the seroprevalence of HEV in blood donors from the Western Cape. Anti-hepatitis A virus (anti-HAV) antibody was detected in 184/300 (61%) donors. Antibody to HEV (anti-HEV) was detected in 78 of 300 donors (26%). It was highest in mixed race donors (62/100), followed by white donors (23/100) and lowest in black donors (19/100) P = 0.019. Since it is thought that genotypes 1 and 2 predominate both viruses would be acquired by the oro-faecal route, it is surprising that HEV seroprevalence does not mirror that of HAV. We postulate that this may reflect differences in socio-economic status and consumption of dietary meat. So the marked divergence between HEV and HAV seroprevalence may be the result of different routes of transmission. Further data are needed to explore the risk factors associated with HEV infection.
Cognitive assessment with virtual reality (VR) may have superior ecological validity for older adults compared to traditional pencil-and-paper cognitive assessment. However, few studies have reported the development of VR tasks. The aim of this study was to present the development, feasibility, content validity, and preliminary evidence of construct validity of an ecological task of cognitive assessment for older adults in VR (ECO-VR). The tasks were prepared based on theoretical and clinical backgrounds. We had 29 non-expert judges identify virtual visual stimuli and three-dimensional scenarios, and five expert judges assisted with content analysis and developing instructions. Finally, six older persons participated in three pilot studies and thirty older persons participated in the preliminary study to identify construct validity evidence. Data were analyzed by descriptive statistics and partial correlation. Target stimuli and three-dimensional scenarios were judged adequate and the content analysis demonstrated that ECO-VR evaluates temporo-spatial orientation, memory, language and executive functioning. We made significant changes to the instructions after the pilot studies to increase comprehensibility and reduce the completion time. The total score of ECO-VR was positively correlated mainly with performance in executive function (r = .172, p < .05) and memory tests (r = .488, p ≤ .01). The ECO-VR demonstrated feasibility for cognitive assessment in older adults, as well as content and construct validity evidences.
The Radiocarbon Laboratory of the Universidade Federal Fluminense, in Brazil, has been successfully applying the zinc reduction method for graphitization of carbon samples since the development of its early protocols in 2009. Successive methodological research aiming to improve and, ultimately, optimize the precision and accuracy of our results indicates that graphitization temperatures as low as 460°C promote erratic 13C isotopic fractionation, but an approximately constant fractionation of about –5‰ is achieved at 520°C. In this work, we present isotope ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS) δ13C results for 14C reference materials graphitized at 550°C with variable amounts of zinc. Based on the results obtained from the addition of 20, 35, and 50 mg of zinc, we conclude that a slightly lower variation in 13C isotope fractionation during graphitization is obtained with less zinc. Moreover, the average isotopic fractionation is not altered by increasing the graphitization temperature from 520°C to 550°C.
The traditional beef production in the South of Portugal is based on a discontinuous growth (DG) system that requires lower external inputs and could enhance meat quality and financial returns to cattle producers. This system allows farmers to take advantage of the bull’s compensatory growth when the pasture is abundant and finishes the cattle on concentrates for 2 to 3 months before slaughter. The fast gain rate before slaughter could be a valuable strategy to improve tenderness and to reduce its inconsistency in beef production. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of production system (continuous growth (CG) v. DG) on longissimus thoracis muscle properties from Alentejana bulls. In total, 40 Alentejana male calves were allocated to two distinct feeding regimes: in the CG system, animals were fed concentrate plus hay and slaughtered at 18 months of age, whereas in the DG system, animals were fed on hay until 15 months of age and then fed the same diet provided to the CG group until 24 months of age. The DG system had a positive impact on meat tenderness (P<0.001) and global acceptability (P<0.001). DG bulls had greater fibre cross-sectional area (CSA) of glycolytic fibres (P<0.05) and relative area of the muscle (RA) occupied by type IIX fibres (P<0.01) and greater levels of α-actinin (P<0.05) and myosin light chain 2 (P<0.01) proteins, and pH24h (P<0.01) than CG bulls. The latter had greater CSA of type I (P<0.05) and type IIA (P<0.01) and greater RA of type IIA (P<0.05) and oxidative (P<0.05) than CG bulls. The compensatory growth production system had a positive impact on meat tenderness and global acceptability, overcoming the negative effects of slaughter of the bulls at a later age. The DG beef system could be a worthwhile strategy of beef production in Mediterranean areas due to the low-quality pasture in summer.
Illegal killing/taking of birds is a growing concern across the Mediterranean. However, there are few quantitative data on the species and countries involved. We assessed numbers of individual birds of each species killed/taken illegally in each Mediterranean country per year, using a diverse range of data sources and incorporating expert knowledge. We estimated that 11–36 million individuals per year may be killed/taken illegally in the region, many of them on migration. In each of Cyprus, Egypt, Italy, Lebanon and Syria, more than two million birds may be killed/taken on average each year. For species such as Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla, Common Quail Coturnix coturnix, Eurasian Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs, House Sparrow Passer domesticus and Song Thrush Turdus philomelos, more than one million individuals of each species are estimated to be killed/taken illegally on average every year. Several species of global conservation concern are also reported to be killed/taken illegally in substantial numbers: Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata, Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca and Rock Partridge Alectoris graeca. Birds in the Mediterranean are illegally killed/taken primarily for food, sport and for use as cage-birds or decoys. At the 20 worst locations with the highest reported numbers, 7.9 million individuals may be illegally killed/taken per year, representing 34% of the mean estimated annual regional total number of birds illegally killed/taken for all species combined. Our study highlighted the paucity of data on illegal killing/taking of birds. Monitoring schemes which use systematic sampling protocols are needed to generate increasingly robust data on trends in illegal killing/taking over time and help stakeholders prioritise conservation actions to address this international conservation problem. Large numbers of birds are also hunted legally in the region, but specific totals are generally unavailable. Such data, in combination with improved estimates for illegal killing/taking, are needed for robustly assessing the sustainability of exploitation of birds.
The influence of genotype (lean v. fatty) and dietary protein level (normal v. reduced) on plasma metabolites, hepatic fatty acid composition and mRNA levels of lipid-sensitive factors is reported for the first time, using the pig as an experimental model. The experiment was conducted on forty entire male pigs (twenty lean pigs of Large White×Landrace×Pietrain cross-breed and twenty fatty pigs of Alentejana purebreed) from 60 to 93 kg of live weight. Each pig genotype was divided into two subgroups, which were fed the following diets: a normal protein diet (NPD) equilibrated for lysine (17·5 % crude protein and 0·7 % lysine) and a reduced protein diet (RPD) not equilibrated for lysine (13·1 % crude protein and 0·4 % lysine). The majority of plasma metabolites were affected by genotype, with lean pigs having higher contents of lipids, whereas fatty pigs presented higher insulin, leptin and urea levels. RPD increased plasma TAG, free fatty acids and VLDL-cholesterol compared with NPD. Hepatic total lipids were higher in fatty pigs than in the lean genotype. RPD affected hepatic fatty acid composition but had a slight influence on gene expression levels in the liver. Sterol regulatory element-binding factor 1 was down-regulated by RPD, and fatty acid desaturase 1 (FADS1) and fatty acid binding protein 4 (FABP4) were affected by the interaction between genotype and diet. In pigs fed RPD, FADS1 was up-regulated in the lean genotype, whereas FABP4 increased in the fatty genotype. Although there is a genotype-specific effect of dietary protein restriction on hepatic lipid metabolism, lipogenesis is not promoted in the liver of lean or fatty pigs.