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The objective of this study was to evaluate the fermentative characteristics and chemical composition of cochineal nopal cactus silage additives with urea or Lactobacillus buchneri (LB), as well as the association of both additives in four storage times (7, 15, 60 and 120 days) and during aerobic stability, with evaluations at 0, 48 and 96 h. Four silages were used: no additive, addition of 2% urea, addition of LB and addition of 2% urea and LB. The study was divided into two experiments: the first experiment evaluated the silages at different storage times, and the second experiment evaluated the silages during the aerobic stability test. In both experiments, the experimental design was completely randomized in a factorial scheme (4 × 4 and 4 × 3) with three replicates per treatment. After the ensiling process, lactic acid bacteria predominated in all treatments. The concentration of lactic acid increased significantly from 60 days of ensiling. The concentration of acetic acid varied significantly between the storage times only for the silages treated with urea and LB alone. The silage treated with urea maintained a constant pH value up to 120 days of storage. During the 96 h aerobic stability test, no breaking in the stability of silages was observed. The exclusive or associated use of urea and LB promotes improvement in the fermentative characteristics of cochineal nopal cactus silage, without major alterations in the chemical composition or interfering with the aerobic stability of the silages.
This study aimed to examine the effects of re-ensiling time and Lactobacillus buchneri on the fermentation profile, chemical composition and aerobic stability of sugarcane silages. The experiment was set up as a repeated measure design consisting of four air-exposure periods (EP)(0, 6, 12, and 24 h) microbial additive (A) (L. buchneri; or lack of there), with five replicates. Sugarcane was ground through a stationary forage chopper and ensiled in four plastic drums of 200-L capacity. After 210 days of storage, the drums were opened and half of the silage mass was treated with L. buchneri at the concentration of 105 cfu/g of forage. Subsequently, the silages were divided into stacks. The re-ensiling process was started immediately, at 0, 6, 12 and 24-hour intervals, by transferring the material to PVC mini-silos. Silos were opened after 120 days of re-ensiling. The use of L. buchneri reduced butyrate concentration but did not change ethanol or acetic acid concentrations and aerobic stability. An interaction effect between L. buchneri and re-ensiling time was observed for dry matter (DM) losses and composition. Lactobacillus buchneri is not effective in improving aerobic stability in re-ensiled sugarcane silages. However, less DM is lost in silages treated with L. buchneri and exposed to air for 24 h. Re-ensiling sugar cane in up to 24 h of exposure to air does not change final product quality.
Raw milk cheeses are commonly consumed in France and are also a common source of foodborne outbreaks (FBOs). Both an FBO surveillance system and a laboratory-based surveillance system aim to detect Salmonella outbreaks. In early August 2018, five familial FBOs due to Salmonella spp. were reported to a regional health authority. Investigation identified common exposure to a raw goats' milk cheese, from which Salmonella spp. were also isolated, leading to an international product recall. Three weeks later, on 22 August, a national increase in Salmonella Newport ST118 was detected through laboratory surveillance. Concomitantly isolates from the earlier familial clusters were confirmed as S. Newport ST118. Interviews with a selection of the laboratory-identified cases revealed exposure to the same cheese, including exposure to batches not included in the previous recall, leading to an expansion of the recall. The outbreak affected 153 cases, including six cases in Scotland. S. Newport was detected in the cheese and in the milk of one of the producer's goats. The difference in the two alerts generated by this outbreak highlight the timeliness of the FBO system and the precision of the laboratory-based surveillance system. It is also a reminder of the risks associated with raw milk cheeses.
The BW has been largely used as a selection criterion in genetic selection programmes; however, increases in BW can affect animal metabolism and metabolites. The knowledge of how genetic potential for growth affects the metabolites can give a footprint of growth metabolism. This research aimed to evaluate the effect of genetic potential for post-weaning growth (GG) on performance, carcass traits and serum metabolome of non-castrated Nellore males during the finishing phase. Forty-eight Nellore non-castrated males, with divergent potential for post-weaning growth, were selected and divided into two groups: high potential for post-weaning growth (HG; n = 24) and low potential for post-weaning growth (LG; n = 24). Animals were kept and fed for 90 days where performance and ultrasound carcass traits were evaluated. Blood samples were collected at the beginning and end of feeding period to analyse serum metabolites concentration. The hot carcass weight and dressing percentage were recorded at slaughter. The feedlot performance and carcass traits were not affected by genetic potential. The HG animals had a lower glucose (P = 0.039), glutamate (P = 0.038), glutamine (P = 0.004), greater betaine (P = 0.039) and pyruvate (P = 0.039) compared to the LG group at the beginning of feedlot. In addition, higher creatine phosphate concentrations were observed at the beginning of feeding period, compared to final, for both groups (P = 0.039). In conclusion, the genetic potential for post-weaning growth does not affect performance and carcass traits during the finishing period. Differences in metabolite concentrations can be better found at the beginning of feedlot, providing a footprint of growth metabolism, but similar metabolite concentration at the end of finishing period.
Light competition increases and plants’ growth pattern change to optimize light utilization when the leaf area index increases. It has been previously shown that using 95% canopy light interception (LI) as a grazing frequency criterion resulted in a greater proportion of leaves and a lower proportion of stem. The objective of the study was to characterize the forage production, morphological composition and nutritive value of Panicum maximum cv Mombaça. The experiment was carried out during summer, autumn–winter and spring. Treatments corresponded to combinations of two pre-grazing conditions (95% and maximum LI at pre-grazing; LI95% and LIMax, respectively) and two post-grazing heights (PGHs; 30 and 50 cm). The statistical design was a randomized complete block, with a 2 × 2 factorial arrangement. Swards managed with LI95% had greater proportions of leaves and lower proportions of stems compared to LIMax. Leaf proportion was lower during autumn–winter compared to summer and spring. The LI95% had greater crude protein (CP) and digestibility (IVOMD), and lower acid detergent fibre (ADF) concentrations than LIMax. The 50 cm PGH pastures had greater CP content and IVOMD, and lower ADF content than 30 cm PGH pastures. Lower IVOMD was observed during autumn–winter than summer and spring. The variability observed on morphological characteristics was primarily associated with seasonality, whilst the nutritive value was primarily affected by grazing management. The pre-grazing target of LI95% combined with 50 cm PGH was the combination that resulted in an increased proportion of leaves, decreased stems in basal stratum and the greatest nutritive value of the produced forage.
Spineless cactus is a useful feed for various animal species in arid and semiarid regions due to its adaptability to dry and harsh soil, high efficiency of water use and carbohydrates storage. This meta-analysis was carried out to assess the effect of spineless cactus on animal performance, and develop and evaluate equations to predict dry matter intake (DMI) and average daily gain (ADG) in meat lambs. Equations for predicting DMI and ADG as a function of animal and diet characteristics were developed using data from eight experiments. The dataset was comprised of 40 treatment means from 289 meat lambs, in which cactus was included from 0 to 75% of the diet dry matter (DM). Accuracy and precision were evaluated by cross-validation using the mean square error of prediction (MSEP), which was decomposed into mean bias, systematic bias and random error; concordance correlation coefficient, which was decomposed into accuracy (Cb) and precision (ρ); and coefficient of determination (R2). In addition, the data set was used to evaluate the predicting accuracy and precision of the main lamb feeding systems (Agricultural and Food Research Council, Small Ruminant Nutritional System, National Research Council and Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique) and also two Brazilian studies. The DMI, CP intake (CPI), metabolizable energy (ME) intake and ADG increased when cactus was included up to 499 g/kg DM (P<0.001). In contrast, animals fed high levels of cactus (>500 g/kg DM) had a decreased DMI, CPI and NDF intake, but increased feed efficiency (P<0.001) and similar ADG compared with those without cactus addition. The DMI was positively correlated with initial BW, final BW, concentrate and ADG, while it was negatively correlated with cactus inclusion and ME of the diet. On other hand, ADG was positively correlated with DMI, initial and mean BW and concentrate, and it was negatively correlated with cactus inclusion. The two developed equations had high accuracy (Cb of 0.95 for DMI and 0.94 for ADG) and the random error of MSEP was 99% for both equations. The precision of both equations was moderate, with R2 values of 0.53 and 0.50 and ρ values of 0.73 and 0.71 for DMI and ADG, respectively. In conclusion, the developed equation to predict DMI had moderate precision and high accuracy, nonetheless, it was more efficient than those reported in the literature. The proposed equations can be a useful alternative to estimate intake and performance of lambs fed cactus.
Recent evidence has shown that most tropical species are declining as a result of global change. Under this scenario, the prevalence of tolerant species to disturbances has driven many biological communities towards biotic homogenization (BH). However, the mechanisms that drive communities towards BH are not yet thoroughly understood. We tested effects of recurring wildfires on woody species richness and composition in six seasonally flooded Amazonian forests and whether these fires reduce species composition (i.e., taxonomic homogenization) over short periods of time. Our results show that these forests are undergoing taxonomic homogenization in response to recurring fire events. Species richness decreased as a result of local extinctions and floristic similarity increased among forest communities. Fire was selecting tolerant (‘winner’) species and eliminating the more sensitive (‘loser’) species. BH leads to biodiversity erosion, which can deeply alter ecosystem processes such as productivity, nutrient cycling and decomposition, resulting in important consequences for conservation.
The use of forage legumes has been proposed as a means of generating sustainable grazing environments. Their limited use, particularly in tropical pastures, is partially due to the limited knowledge regarding the efficiency of utilization by animals. The present study characterized the sward structure, nutritive value and ingestive behaviour of dairy heifers in pastures of peanut cv. Belmonte under continuous stocking management. Treatments corresponded to sward heights of 5, 10, 15 and 20 cm, according to a randomized complete block design, with four replications. The following response variables were evaluated: vertical distribution of the morphological components within the sward, forage mass, nutritive value (simulated grazing), bite rate (BR), bite mass (BM) and short-term herbage intake rate (STIR). The top half of the sward height was mainly composed of leaves and the bottom half mainly of stolon and dead material regardless of management height. Greater values of neutral detergent fibre and acid detergent fibre were recorded during autumn, while higher values of in-vitro dry matter (DM) digestibility (0·85) occurred during spring regardless of management height for the grazed stratum. In relation to treatments, greater values of crude protein were recorded on swards managed at 5 cm (0·27) and 10 cm (0·26). Bite rate, BM and STIR varied with sward height, but not with a season of the year. The STIR followed a broken line response to sward height, with increasing values up to 13·1 cm (106 g DM/kg body weight). Sward structure played an important role in determining the STIR. To maximize the STIR of dairy heifers under continuous stocking management, swards should be managed at heights of not <13·1 cm.
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.
Despite significant advances in therapies against Trypanosoma evansi, its effective elimination from the central nervous system (CNS) remains a difficult task. The incapacity of trypanocidal drugs to cross the blood–brain barrier (BBB) after systemic administrations makes the brain the main refuge area for T. evansi. Nanotechnology is showing great potential to improve drug efficacy, such as nerolidol-loaded nanospheres (N-NS). Thus, the aim of this study was to investigate whether the treatment with N-NS was able to cross the BBB and to eliminate T. evansi from the CNS. High-performance liquid chromatography revealed that N-NS can cross the BBB of T. evansi-infected mice, while free nerolidol (F-N) neither the trypanocidal drug diminazene aceturate (D.A.) were not detected in the brain tissue. Polymerase chain reaction revealed that 100% of the animals treated with N-NS were negatives for T. evansi in the brain tissue, while all infected animals treated with F-N or D.A. were positives. Thus, we concluded that nanotechnology improves the therapeutic efficacy of nerolidol, and enables the transport of its active principle through the BBB. In summary, N-NS treatment can eliminate the parasite from the CNS, and possesses potential to treat infected animals.
Several studies have shown that maternal low-protein (LP) diet induces detrimental effects in cardiovascular system and oxidative stress in male animals. Additional studies suggested that female has lower incidence of cardiovascular disease. However until present data, the possible effects of estradiol on the undernutrition during gestational and lactation periods are not discussed. The present study was conducted to evaluate the effects of a maternal LP diet during gestational and lactation period on oxidative balance in the female rat hearts ventricles at two ages. Dams were fed with normal protein (NP) or a LP diet during the gestational and lactation period, and their female offspring were divided into age groups (22 or 122 days, corresponding to a low or high estrogen level) composing four experimental groups. Evaluating the nutritional effect showed an increase in oxidative stress biomarkers and decrease in enzymatic defense in LP-22D compared with NP-22D. In contrast, no changes were observed in malondialdehyde and carbonyls, but an increase in glutathione-S-transferase (GST) activity in the LP-122D compared with NP-122D. The global oxy-score in the LP-22D group indicated a predominance of oxidative damage when compared with NP-22D, while in LP-122D group the global oxy-score was restored to NP-122D levels. Evaluating the estradiol effect, our data show a significant decrease in oxidative stress with increase in CAT and GST activity, associated with increase in intracellular thiols. Our data suggest that in situation with low levels of estradiol, hypoproteic diet during gestation and lactation period has detrimental effects on heart, however when estradiol levels raise, the detrimental effects induced are mitigated.
The Antarctic Roadmap Challenges (ARC) project identified critical requirements to deliver high priority Antarctic research in the 21st century. The ARC project addressed the challenges of enabling technologies, facilitating access, providing logistics and infrastructure, and capitalizing on international co-operation. Technological requirements include: i) innovative automated in situ observing systems, sensors and interoperable platforms (including power demands), ii) realistic and holistic numerical models, iii) enhanced remote sensing and sensors, iv) expanded sample collection and retrieval technologies, and v) greater cyber-infrastructure to process ‘big data’ collection, transmission and analyses while promoting data accessibility. These technologies must be widely available, performance and reliability must be improved and technologies used elsewhere must be applied to the Antarctic. Considerable Antarctic research is field-based, making access to vital geographical targets essential. Future research will require continent- and ocean-wide environmentally responsible access to coastal and interior Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. Year-round access is indispensable. The cost of future Antarctic science is great but there are opportunities for all to participate commensurate with national resources, expertise and interests. The scope of future Antarctic research will necessitate enhanced and inventive interdisciplinary and international collaborations. The full promise of Antarctic science will only be realized if nations act together.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of nerolidol free (N-F) and nerolidol-loaded in nanospheres (N-NS) on the hepatic antioxidant/oxidant status of mice experimentally infected by Trypanosoma evansi. In the liver it was measured: reactive oxygen species (ROS), thiobarbituric reactive acid substances (TBARS) and non-protein thiols (NPSH), catalase (CAT), superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione-S-transferase (GST) and performed histopathological examination. In addition, seric levels of aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) were measured. Liver samples from mice infected by T. evansi showed increased (P < 0·05) ROS, TBARS, AST and ALT levels and SOD activity, and decreased NPSH levels and CAT activity (P < 0·05) compared with uninfected animals. N-NS treatment prevented (P < 0·05) ROS and TBARS increase, and increased NPSH levels, and ameliorate CAT and SOD activities on liver of infected mice. Moreover, N-NS treatment reduced (P < 0·05) AST and ALT levels, and prevented histopathological changes caused by the parasite. N-NS protected the liver from the oxidative stress caused by T. evansi, which might be due to its antioxidant properties. Nerolidol might be considered a promising therapeutic agent against oxidative stress, and nanotechnology is an encouraging approach to be explored.
Cysticercosis, a leading cause of acquired epilepsy in developing countries, has been controlled or eradicated in industrialized countries. This paradigm has recently been challenged, with human neurocysticercosis (NCC) being increasingly diagnosed in these countries. In order to assess the NCC burden in Portugal, a retrospective study on NCC hospitalizations (2006–2013) was conducted based on the national database on hospital morbidity: 357 hospitalized cases were detected. NCC was most frequent in the following age groups: 20–64 years (n = 197, 55·2%) >64 years (n = 111, 31·1%), and <20 years (n = 49, 13·7%). In the Norte and Centro regions cases tended to be older than in the Lisboa and Vale do Tejo Region. The results raise concerns for imported and autochthonous disease, suggesting the Lisboa and Vale do Tejo Region, due to its higher frequency of cases at younger ages, as a priority for research and intervention, and further suggest that NCC should be under surveillance (notifiable). The National Observatory of Cysticercosis and Taeniasis has been established and will define NCC cases as well as monitoring and surveillance.
Salivary gland transfer surgery can reduce xerostomia in oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma patients undergoing primary chemoradiation. A potential drawback of salivary gland transfer is the treatment delay associated with the surgery, and its complications. This study aimed to determine whether the treatment delay affects patient survival and to evaluate patient quality of life after salivary gland transfer.
A retrospective analysis of 138 patients (salivary gland transfer group, n = 58; non-salivary gland transfer group, n = 80) was performed. Patient survival was compared between these groups using multivariate analysis. Salivary gland transfer patients were further evaluated for surgical complications and for quality of life using the head and neck module of the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire.
Salivary gland transfer and non-salivary gland transfer patients had comparable baseline clinical characteristics. Salivary gland transfer patients experienced a median treatment delay of 16.5 days before chemoradiation (p = 0.035). Multivariate analysis showed that this did not, however, correspond to a survival disadvantage (p = 0.24 and p = 0.97 for disease-free and disease-specific survival, respectively). A very low complication rate was reported for the salivary gland transfer group (1.7 per cent). Questionnaire scores for the item ‘xerostomia’ were very low in salivary gland transfer patients.
The treatment delay associated with salivary gland transfer surgery does not negatively affect patient survival. Oropharyngeal squamous cell patients have an excellent quality of life after salivary gland transfer.
Patients with a deletion at chromosome 22q11.2 (22q11DS) have 30% lifetime risk of developing a psychosis. People fulfilling clinical criteria for ultra-high risk (UHR) for psychosis have 30% risk of developing a psychosis within 2 years. Both high-risk groups show white-matter (WM) abnormalities in microstructure and volume compared to healthy controls (HC), which have been related to psychotic symptoms. Comparisons of WM pathology between these two groups may specify WM markers related to genetic and clinical risk factors.
Fractional anisotropy (FA), axial diffusivity (AD), radial diffusivity (RD) and mean diffusivity (MD) were assessed using diffusion tensor magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and WM volume with structural MRI, in 23 UHR patients, 21 22q11DS patients, and 33 HC.
Compared to UHR patients 22q11DS patients had (1) lower AD and RD in corpus callosum (CC), cortical fasciculi, and anterior thalamic radiation (ATR), (2) higher FA in CC and ATR, and (3) lower occipital and superior temporal gyrus WM volume. Compared to HC, 22q11DS patients had (1) lower AD and RD throughout cortical fasciculi and (2) higher FA in ATR, CC and inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus. Compared to HC, UHR patients had (1) higher mean MD, RD, and AD in CC, ATR and cortical fasciculi, (2) no differences in FA.
UHR and 22q11DS patients share a susceptibility for developing psychosis yet were characterized by distinct patterns of WM alterations relative to HC. While UHR patients were typified by signs suggestive of aberrant myelination, 22q11DS subjects showed signs suggestive of lower axonal integrity.
Merkel cell carcinoma is a rare, aggressive neurocutaneous malignancy. This study investigated whether patients with Merkel cell carcinoma in the head and neck had poorer outcomes than patients with Merkel cell carcinoma located elsewhere.
A retrospective study was performed of patients with Merkel cell carcinoma treated at the Jewish General Hospital in Montréal, Canada, from 1993 to 2013. Associations between clinicopathological characteristics and disease-free and disease-specific survival rates were examined according to the Kaplan–Meier method.
Twenty-seven patients were identified. Although basic clinicopathological characteristics and treatments were similar between head and neck and non-head and neck Merkel cell carcinoma groups, disease-free and disease-specific survival rates were significantly lower in the head and neck Merkel cell carcinoma group (log-rank test; p = 0.043 and p = 0.001, respectively). Mortality was mainly due to distant metastasis.
Patients with head and neck Merkel cell carcinoma had poorer survival rates than patients with non-head and neck Merkel cell carcinoma in our study. The tendency to obtain close margins, a less predictable metastatic pattern, and/or intrinsic tumour factors related to the head and neck may explain this discrepancy.
Obesity and osteoporosis may have their origins in early postnatal life. This study was designed to evaluate whether flaxseed flour use during lactation period bears effect on body adiposity and skeletal structure of male rat pups at weaning. At birth, male Wistar rats were randomly assigned to control and experimental (FF) groups, whose dams were treated with control or flaxseed flour diet, respectively, during lactation. At 21 days of age, pups were weaned to assess body mass, length and composition by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. The animals were then sacrificed to carry out analysis of serum profile, intra-abdominal adipocyte morphology and femur characteristics. Differences were considered significant when P<0.05. The FF group displayed the following characteristics (P<0.05): higher body mass, length, bone mineral content, bone area and concentrations of osteoprotegerin, osteocalcin and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol; higher levels of stearic, α-linolenic, eicosapentaenoic and docosapentaenoic acids and lower levels of arachidonic acid and cholesterol; smaller adipocyte area; and higher mass, epiphysis distance, diaphysis width, maximal load, break load, resilience and stiffness of femur. Flaxseed flour intake during lactation period promoted adipocyte hypertrophy down-regulation and contributed to pup bone quality at weaning.