To send content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about sending content to .
To send content items to your Kindle, first ensure email@example.com
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about sending to your Kindle.
Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
This communication assesses the use of a portable near infrared (NIR) instrument to measure quantitative (fatty acid profile) properties and qualitative (‘Premium’ and ‘Non-premium’) categories of individual Iberian pork carcasses at the slaughterhouse. Acorn-fed Iberian pigs have more unsaturated fats than pigs fed conventional compound feed. Recent advances in miniaturisation have led to a number of handheld NIR devices being developed, allowing processing decisions to be made earlier, significantly reducing time and costs. The most common methods used for assessing quality and authenticity of Iberian hams are analysis of the fatty acid composition of subcutaneous fat using gas chromatography and DNA analysis. In this study, NIR calibrations for fatty acids and classification as premium or non-premium ham, based on carcass fat measured in situ, were developed using a portable NIR spectrometer. The accuracy of the quantitative equations was evaluated through the standard error of cross validation or standard error of prediction of 0.84 for palmitic acid (C16:0), 0.94 for stearic acid (C18:0), 1.47 for oleic acid (C18:1) and 0.58 for linoleic acid (C18:2). Qualitative calibrations provided acceptable results, with up to 98% of samples (n = 234) correctly classified with probabilities ⩾0.9. Results indicated a portable NIR instrument has the potential to be used to measure quality and authenticity of Iberian pork carcasses.
The disease caused by the influenza virus is a global public health problem due to its high rates of morbidity and mortality. Thus, analysis of the information generated by epidemiological surveillance systems has vital importance for health decision making. A retrospective analysis was performed using data generated by the four molecular diagnostic laboratories of the Mexican Social Security Institute between 2010 and 2016. Demographics, influenza positivity, seasonality, treatment choices and vaccination status analyses were performed for the vaccine according to its composition for each season. In all cases, both the different influenza subtypes and different age groups were considered separately. The circulation of A/H1N1pdm09 (48.7%), influenza A/H3N2 (21.1%), influenza B (12.6%), influenza A not subtyped (11%) and influenza A/H1N1 (6.6%) exhibited well-defined annual seasonality between November and March, and there were significant increases in the number of cases every 2 years. An inadequate use of oseltamivir was determined in 38% of cases, and the vaccination status in general varied between 12.1 and 18.5% depending on the season. Our results provide current information about influenza in Mexico and demonstrate the need to update both operational case definitions and medical practice guidelines to reduce the inappropriate use of antibiotics and antivirals.
Due to the lack of basic information on water required by maize (Zea mays L.) in Brazil, the large amount of water applied usually exceeds crop requirements, wasting water and energy. In this study, we measured crop evapotranspiration (ETc) as evaporative heat flux from a centre pivot-irrigated maize plantation in Southern Brazil during winter and summer seasons, using the Bowen ratio method to evaluate how the degree of canopy-atmosphere coupling affects crop water needs and irrigation management. Irrigation requirements were determined by comparing ETc with reference evapotranspiration (ETo), derived from the Penman–Monteith equation and expressed as the ETc/ETo (Kc) ratio. In this study, the average Kc values obtained were 1.31 and 0.90 for the winter and summer, respectively. Using aerodynamic and canopy resistance measurements, the decoupling factor (Ω) was computed. Ω values tending to zero (0.09 and 0.20 for winter and summer, respectively) showed that strong coupling of maize plants to the atmosphere and sensitivity to high air temperatures, vapour pressure deficits and wind speed caused variations in Kc in relation to ETo ranges. During the experimental period, the Kc value ranged from 0.92 when the ETo exceeded 4 mm d−1 to 1.64 when the ETo was less than 2 mm d−1.
Chronic heat stress (CHS) exposure negatively impairs avian’ immunoneuroendocrine interplay. Thymol has shown several bioactive properties including antioxidant, bactericidal, antifungal and gamma-aminobutyric acid modulator activities. Indeed, supplementation with thymol has been used with positive effects on poultry production and immune-related variables. This study evaluates whether a thymol dietary supplementation can be used as a new functional feed strategy to mitigate CHS deleterious effects on endocrine, biochemical and immune-related variables. Starting at 100 days of age, 24 fully adult Japanese quail were fed with a diet supplemented with thymol (≈80 mg/quail per day) and other 24 quail remained non-supplemented (control diet). Between 119 and 127 days of age, half of the quail within those groups were submitted to a CHS by increasing environmental temperature from 24°C to 34°C during the light phase and the other half remained at 24°C (non-stressed controls). A period of 3 days after CHS ended (during the recovery period), corticosterone, albumin, total proteins and globulins and glucose concentrations, inflammatory response, antibody production and heterophil to lymphocyte (H/L) ratio were assessed. No differences between groups were found in basal corticosterone concentrations. Total proteins, total globulins and glucose concentrations were found elevated in the previously CHS group compared with their control counterparts. Regardless of the previous CHS exposure, thymol supplementation increased albumin concentrations and inflammatory responses and decreased antibody titers. An interaction between thymol supplementation and prior CHS exposure was found on the H/L ratio. Quail previously exposed to CHS and supplemented with thymol showed similar H/L values than their control non-stressed counterparts, suggesting that thymol has a stress preventive effect on this variable. The present findings together with the already reported thymol bioactive properties, suggest that feed supplementation with this compound could be a useful strategy to help overcoming some of the CHS induced alterations.
Composite of PZT (lead zirconate titanate) and PLZT (lead lanthanum zirconate titanate) along an organic, renewable, conductive, and flexible matrix have been developed. The conductive paper was obtained through the reaction between the cellulose extracted from banana stem and functionalized MWCNT. This reaction was made in the presence of hydrogen (from H2SO4), which reduced the size of the cellulose by acid hydrolysis and promotes the interaction between its hydroxyls and the carboxyl groups of nanotubes. Afterward, the PZT particles were synthesized and grown up on the conductive paper by microwaves-assisted hydrothermal synthesis (MHS). The composite material was characterized by structure and morphology. Moreover, gas-sensing in the presence of methanol and electrical resistance as a function of temperature were also investigated. In this way, a simple, low-cost and successful synthesis was reported. Also, a promising flexible was obtained using a chemical transformation process from banana residue as source of cellulose.
Neospora caninum is a coccidian intracellular protozoan capable of infecting a wide range of mammals, although severe disease is mostly reported in dogs and cattle. Innate defences triggered by monocytes/macrophages are key in the pathogenesis of neosporosis, as these cells are first-line defenders against intracellular infections. The aim of this study was to characterize infection and innate responses in macrophages infected with N. caninum using a well-known cell model to study macrophage functions (human monocyte THP-1 cells). Intracellular invasion of live tachyzoites occurred as fast as 4 h (confirmed with immunofluorescence microscopy using N. caninum-specific antibodies). Macrophages infected by N. caninum had increased expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines (TNFα, IL-1β, IL-8, IFNγ). Interestingly, N. caninum induced expression of host-defence peptides (cathelicidins), a mechanism of defence never reported for N. caninum infection in macrophages. The expression of cytokines and cathelicidins in macrophages invaded by N. caninum was mediated by mitogen-activated protein kinase (MEK 1/2). Secretion of such innate factors from N. caninum-infected macrophages reduced parasite internalization and promoted the secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines in naïve macrophages. We concluded that rapid invasion of macrophages by N. caninum triggered protective innate defence mechanisms against intracellular pathogens.
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.
Recent studies have shown that using no-touch disinfection technologies (ie, ultraviolet light [UVL] or hydrogen peroxide vapor [HPV] systems) can limit the transmission of nosocomial pathogens and prevent healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). To investigate these findings further, we performed a systematic literature review and meta-analysis on the impact of no-touch disinfection methods to decrease HAIs.
We searched PubMed, CINAHL, CDSR, DARE and EMBASE through April 2017 for studies evaluating no-touch disinfection technology and the nosocomial infection rates for Clostridium difficile, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE), and other multidrug-resistant organisms (MDROs). We employed random-effect models to obtain pooled risk ratio (pRR) estimates. Heterogeneity was evaluated with I2 estimation and the Cochran Q statistic. Pooled risk ratios for C. difficile, MRSA, VRE, and MDRO were assessed separately.
In total, 20 studies were included in the final review: 13 studies using UVL systems and 7 studies using HPV systems. When the results of the UVL studies were pooled, statistically significant reduction ins C. difficile infection (CDI) (pRR, 0.64; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.49–0.84) and VRE infection rates (pRR, 0.42; 95% CI, 0.28–0.65) were observed. No differences were found in rates of MRSA or gram-negative multidrug-resistant pathogens.
Ultraviolet light no-touch disinfection technology may be effective in preventing CDI and VRE infection.
Anxiety disorders are common, and cognitive–behavioural therapy (CBT) is a first-line treatment. Candidate gene studies have suggested a genetic basis to treatment response, but findings have been inconsistent.
To perform the first genome-wide association study (GWAS) of psychological treatment response in children with anxiety disorders (n = 980).
Presence and severity of anxiety was assessed using semi-structured interview at baseline, on completion of treatment (post-treatment), and 3 to 12 months after treatment completion (follow-up). DNA was genotyped using the Illumina Human Core Exome-12v1.0 array. Linear mixed models were used to test associations between genetic variants and response (change in symptom severity) immediately post-treatment and at 6-month follow-up.
No variants passed a genome-wide significance threshold (P=5×10–8) in either analysis. Four variants met criteria for suggestive significance (P<5×10–6) in association with response post-treatment, and three variants in the 6-month follow-up analysis.
This is the first genome-wide therapygenetic study. It suggests no common variants of very high effect underlie response to CBT. Future investigations should maximise power to detect single-variant and polygenic effects by using larger, more homogeneous cohorts.
The CuInSe2 and CuSbSe2 ternary compounds and alloys of the (CuSbSe2)1-x·(CuInSe2)x system with the mole fraction of CuInSe2 (x) equal to 0.05, 0.15, 0.25, 0.375, 0.50, 0.625, 0.75, 0.85, and 0.95 were prepared and the phase relations in this system were investigated by X-ray powder diffraction, optical microscopy, and scanning electron microscopy. It was shown that the alloys of the CuSbSe2-CuInSe2 system are biphasic at room temperature in the whole range of compositions, and the limits of solubility for CuSbSe2 in CuInSe2 and for CuInSe2 in CuSbSe2 do not exceed 0.001 mole fraction.
Hospital nurses play a key role in the aftermath of the occurrence of disasters and need specific competencies to work in these situations. From a global perspective, few models exist that focus on disaster nursing.
This study aimed to identify hospital nurses’ competencies in disaster situations.
A qualitative, descriptive, exploratory study was developed using focus groups as a method of data collection. Three meetings were held from June through September 2012 with nurses who worked at a hospital used as reference for disaster situations in the South of Brazil. Thematic analysis of collected data generated the competencies. For statement standardization, a format consistent with a verb, a noun, and a complement was adopted.
The group validated 17 competencies, which were organized according to the phases of emergency management described by the World Health Organization (WHO) and classified in domain areas of management, health care, communication, and education.
The competencies identified in this study can contribute to the education and practice of nurses in the hospital ambience, strengthening its capacity to face disaster situations.
MarinSM, WittRR. Hospital Nurses’ Competencies in Disaster Situations: A Qualitative Study in the South of Brazil. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2015;30(6):548–552.
This was a randomized controlled pilot study of Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG versus standard of care to prevent gastrointestinal multidrug-resistant organism colonization in intensive care unit patients. Among 70 subjects, there were no significant differences in acquisition or loss of any multidrug-resistant organisms (P>.05) and no probiotic-associated adverse events.
Infect. Control Hosp. Epidemiol. 2015;36(12):1451–1454
The in vitro leishmanicidal activity of a series of imidazole-containing phthalazine derivatives 1–4 was tested on Leishmania infantum, Leishmania braziliensis and Leishmania donovani parasites, and their cytotoxicity on J774·2 macrophage cells was also measured. All compounds tested showed selectivity indexes higher than that of the reference drug glucantime for the three Leishmania species, and the less bulky monoalkylamino substituted derivatives 2 and 4 were clearly more effective than their bisalkylamino substituted counterparts 1 and 3. Both infection rate measures and ultrastructural alterations studies confirmed that 2 and 4 were highly leishmanicidal and induced extensive parasite cell damage. Modifications to the excretion products of parasites treated with 2 and 4 were also consistent with substantial cytoplasmic alterations. On the other hand, the most active compounds 2 and 4 were potent inhibitors of iron superoxide dismutase enzyme (Fe-SOD) in the three species considered, whereas their impact on human CuZn-SOD was low. Molecular modelling suggests that 2 and 4 could deactivate Fe-SOD due to a sterically favoured enhanced ability to interact with the H-bonding net that supports the antioxidant features of the enzyme.
The in vitro leishmanicidal activity and cytotoxicity of pyrazole-containing macrocyclic polyamines 1–4 was assayed on Leishmania infantum and Leishmania braziliensis species. Compounds 1–4 were more active and less toxic than glucantime and both infection rates and ultrastructural alterations confirmed that 1 and 2 were highly leishmanicidal and induced extensive parasite cell damage. Modifications in the excretion products of parasites treated with 1–3 were also consistent with substantial cytoplasm alterations. Compound 2 was highlighted as a potent inhibitor of Fe-SOD in both species, whereas its effect on human CuZn-SOD was poor. Molecular modelling suggested that 2 could deactivate Fe-SOD due to a sterically favoured enhanced ability to interact with the H-bonding net that supports the enzyme`s antioxidant features.