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The co-infection between visceral leishmaniasis (VL) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has increased in several countries in the world. The current serological tests are not suitable since they present low sensitivity to detect the most of VL/HIV cases, and a more precise diagnosis should be performed. In this context, in the present study, an immunoproteomics approach was performed using Leishmania infantum antigenic extracts and VL, HIV and VL/HIV patients sera, besides healthy subjects samples; aiming to identify antigenic markers for these clinical conditions. Results showed that 43 spots were recognized by antibodies in VL and VL/HIV sera, and 26 proteins were identified by mass spectrometry. Between them, β-tubulin was expressed, purified and tested in ELISA experiments as a proof of concept for validation of our immunoproteomics findings and results showed high sensitivity and specificity values to detect VL and VL/HIV patients. In conclusion, the identified proteins in the present work could be considered as candidates for future studies aiming to improvement of the diagnosis of VL and VL/HIV co-infection.
Major depression was the fourth most important determinant of the burden of human disease in 1990 and is expected to rank second in the world by 2020.
As the causes of depression are complex, the identification of modifiable risk and protective factors, and understanding the processes through which they operate is crucial.
The main aim of the present study is to identify potential risk factors to the development of depression.
A total of 304 college students completed an on line questionnaire which assessed: depressive symptomathology (IACLIDE; Vaz Serra, 1994), pessimism (LOTR; Scheier, Carver, & Bridges, 1994), dysfunctional attitudes (DAS; Weissman & Beck, 1978) and neuroticism (EPQ; Eysenck & Eysenck, 1969).
The main results indicated that pessimism, dysfunctional attitudes, and neuroticism correlated significantly and positively with depressive symptomathology.
The results suggested that pessimism, dysfunctional attitudes, and neuroticism can be considered risk factors for depression and important variables to be included in the depression prevention program under development. Overall, the results of this study indicate that understanding the relationships between these variables may be important to the prevention of depression.
The effects of cold atmospheric plasma (CAP) of dielectric barrier discharges on the wettability, imbibition and germination of Leucaena leucocephala were investigated. It was established that CAP treatment markedly hydrophilized the seed coat, especially at longer treatment times. From the profile of the imbibition curve and visual observation, it was possible to verify that there are two resistance barriers to water penetration: integument surface and region of the macrosclereid cell wall (light line). Although the plasma interacts only in the integument, increasing the density of hydrophilic sites increases the capacity of water absorption, producing enough driving force to overcome the second resistance barrier. The existence of these two barriers changes the three-phase pattern generally observed during seed germination. Despite an increase in imbibition, the plasma treatment conditions used in this work, were not enough to overcome completely the dormancy barrier.
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.
Cognitive tests of inhibitory control show variable results for the differential diagnosis between behavioural variant of Frontotemporal Dementia (bvFTD) and Alzheimer’s disease (AD). We compared the diagnostic accuracies of tests of inhibitory control and of a behavioural questionnaire, to distinguish bvFTD from AD.
Three groups of participants were enrolled: 27 bvFTD patients, 25 AD patients, and 24 healthy controls. Groups were matched for gender, education, and socio-economic level. Participants underwent a comprehensive neuropsychological assessment of inhibitory control, including Hayling Test, Stroop, the Five Digits Test (FDT) and the Delay Discounting Task (DDT). Caregivers completed the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale 11th version (BIS-11).
bvFTD and AD groups showed no difference in the tasks of inhibitory control, while the caregiver questionnaire revealed that bvFTD patients were significantly more impulsive (BIS-11: bvFTD 76.1+9.5, AD 62.9+13, p < .001).
Neuropsychological tests of inhibitory control failed to distinguish bvFTD from AD. On the contrary, impulsivity caregiver-completed questionnaire provided good distinction between bvFTD and AD. These results highlight the current limits of cognitive measures of inhibitory control for the differential diagnosis between bvFTD and AD, whereas questionnaire information appears more reliable and in line with clinical diagnostics.
Chagas disease (CD) is a neglected parasitic condition endemic in the Americas caused by Trypanosoma cruzi. Patients present an acute phase that may or not be symptomatic, followed by lifelong chronic stage, mostly indeterminate, or with cardiac and/or digestive progressive lesions. Benznidazole (BZ) and nifurtimox are the only drugs approved for treatment but not effective in the late chronic phase and many strains of the parasite are naturally resistant. New alternative therapy is required to address this serious public health issue. Repositioning and combination represent faster, and cheaper trial strategies encouraged for neglected diseases. The effect of imatinib (IMB), a tyrosine kinase inhibitor designed for use in neoplasias, was assessed in vitro on T. cruzi and mammalian host cells. In comparison with BZ, IMB was moderately active against different strains and forms of the parasite. The combination IMB + BZ in fixed-ratio proportions was additive. Novel 14 derivatives of IMB were screened and a 3,2-difluoro-2-phenylacetamide (3e) was as potent as BZ on T. cruzi but had low selectivity index. The results demonstrate the importance of phenotypic assays, encourage the improvement of IMB derivatives to reach selectivity and testify to the use of repurposing and combination in drug screening for CD.
We evaluated the effects of cattle manure and inoculation with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) in maize plants growing in a semiarid area of Brazilian north-east in 2012 and 2013. Three isolates of AMF (Acaulosporalongula URM-FMA 07 and URM-FMA 03, Claroideoglomusetunicatum UNIVASF 06A) were used, with or without the application of cattle manure, during two growing cycles. In the first year, significant effects of inoculation were detected for straw yield only when the manure was applied. In the second year, there was an interaction between fertilisation and inoculation for plant height and grain yield, with the highest values in the fertilised treatments. Inoculation with A. longula demonstrated that mycorrhizal inoculation in field-grown plants could be an alternative management for improving plant growth and grain yield, reducing the use of cattle manure. The AMF sporulation and mycorrhizal colonisation were improved after inoculation, and A. longula URM-FMA 07 increased sporulation by more than 15 times while inoculation with C. etunicatum increased sporulation by more than 3 times. The mycorrhizal inoculation is a management practice that can be useful for recovering or maintaining AMF infective propagules in soil, showing potential to be used in large-scale field conditions in Brazilian semiarid. Although mycorrhisation presents high agricultural relevance due to benefits promoted to the soil and plants, the knowledge about the factors influencing the interactions among microorganisms, soil and plants need to be broadened aiming to achieve successful crop management in semiarid regions.
The increase of sheep meat competitiveness in international markets can be attributed to the rise of the quantity and the improvement of the quality of the edible portion of sheep carcasses. Usually, carcass yield is established after the slaughter of the animals. Yet, when carcass yield is determined in vivo, it can be both a costly and subjective method. This study proposes models for predicting the physical characteristics of lamb carcass using bioimpedance analysis (BIA) in live animals. Thirty-one Texel × Ile de France crossbreed ram lambs were slaughtered at 20, 26, 32 or 38 kg of BW. Before the slaughter, values of resistance (Rs) and reactance (Xc) were collected using a single-frequency BIA equipment (Model RJL Quantum II Bioelectrical Body Composition Analyzer). Then, BIA main variables such as body bioelectrical volume (V), phase angle (PA), resistive density (RsD) and reactive density (XcD) were calculated. After slaughter, cold carcass weight (CCW), cold carcass yield (CCY), subcutaneous fat thickness (SFT), soft tissue weight (STW) and soft tissue yield (STY) were also measured. Multiple regression analyses were carried out using the physical characteristics as dependent variables and the bioimpedance values as independent variables. Predictive performance of the models was assessed using leave-one-out cross-validation. The prediction model of CCW was obtained using the V, PA and RsD (R2 = 0.97), STW through the V, RsD and XcD (R2 = 0.97), CCY by Rs, Z and XcD (R2 = 0.69), STY by V and XcD (R2 = 0.67), and SFT only for XcD (R2 = 0.84). The results indicated that BIA has the potential to predict carcass characteristics of lambs at different body masses.
The influence of the concentration of carbon black nanoparticles on the mechanical behavior of a structural adhesive was studied to evaluate and understand the stiffness, strength, and deformation behavior of a reinforced epoxy adhesive. Two carbon black nanoparticles with different dielectric properties and sizes (Monarch® 120 and Vulcan® XC72R) were studied. A bi-component structural epoxy adhesive was selected. Specimens with different concentrations of carbon black were manufactured (0, 5, 10, and 20% on volume of resin) for each type of nanoparticle. The specimens were cured in a hydraulic hot-plates press machine. The mechanical behavior of the adhesives was found not to vary significantly as a function of carbon black nanoparticles amount. A scanning electron microscopy analysis was performed to evaluate the fracture surface. The fracture surfaces of specimens were correlated with the mechanical response obtained through tensile tests.
This work explores the combination of µ-Raman spectroscopy and scanning electron microscopy with X-ray energy dispersive spectrometry (SEM-EDS) for the study of the glazes in 15th–16th century Hispano-Moresque architectural tiles. These are high lead glazes that can be tin-opacified or transparent, and present five colors: tin-white, cobalt-blue, copper-green, iron-amber, and manganese-brown. They are generally homogenous and mineral inclusions are mostly concentrated in the glaze-ceramic interface. Through SEM-EDS, these inclusions were observed and chemically analyzed, whereas µ-Raman allowed their identification on a molecular level. K-feldspars, wollastonite and diopside were the most common compounds, as well as cassiterite agglomerates that render the glaze opaque. Malayaite was identified in green glazes, and andradite and magnesioferrite in amber glazes. Co–Ni–ferrites were identified in blue glazes, as well as Ni–Fe–olivines. Manganese-brown is the color where most compounds were identified: bustamite, jacobsite, hausmannite, braunite, and kentrolite. Through the µ-Raman analysis of different areas in large inclusions previously observed by SEM, it was possible to identify intermediate phases that illustrate the reaction process that occurs between the color-conferring compounds and the surrounding lead glaze. Furthermore, the obtained results allowed inference of the raw materials and firing temperatures used on the manufacture of these tiles.
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.
Salivary molecules, as glycine-rich proteins (GRPs), are essential to tick attachment and feeding on the host and are suggested to be involved in the host's immune system evasion, therefore representing natural candidates in the search for protective vaccine antigens. This work shows the molecular characterization of a GRP from Rhipicephalus microplus (RmGRP). The cDNA and putative amino acid sequences were analysed, as well as the transcription level in tick tissues/developmental stages, showing the highest levels of gene expression in 1-day-old larvae and salivary glands of fully engorged females. RmGRP gene silencing resulted in a lower hatching rate of larvae from treated females. In addition, recombinant RmGRP (rRmGRP) was recognized by sera from naturally and experimentally infested bovines, displaying considerable differences among the individuals tested. rRmGRP was recognized by anti-saliva and anti-salivary glands sera, while anti-rRmGRP serum recognized RmGRP in saliva and salivary glands, indicating its secretion into the host. The data collected indicate that RmGRP may present roles other than in the tick–host relationship, especially in embryo development. In addition, the high expression in adult females, antigenicity and presence of shared characteristics with other tick protective GRPs turns RmGRP a potential candidate to compose an anti-tick vaccine cocktail.
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.
Plants’ ability to rebuild their tiller population is affected by weather changes and management strategies. The hypothesis of the present study was that frequency and severity of defoliation alter Mulato grass (Brachiaria ruziziensis × Brachiaria brizantha cv. Marandu) sward development, and the proportion of aerial and basal tillers, interfering with sward stability. The objective was to evaluate aerial, basal and total tiller population density and changes in tillering dynamics. Treatments corresponded to strategies of rotational grazing characterized by combinations between two pre-grazing (95% and maximum canopy light interception during regrowth; LI95% and LIMax) and two post-grazing conditions (15 and 20 cm stubble height). The experimental period comprised four seasons of the year: summer 2008 (February–March 2008); autumn–early spring (April to mid-November 2008); late spring (mid-November–December 2008); and summer 2009 (January–March 2009). Density of aerial tillers decreased from summer 2008 to late spring. Tiller death decreased from summer 2008 to autumn–early spring. Aerial and total tiller death increased from late spring to summer 2009, mainly for the LI95% treatment. No differences were observed in the tiller population stability index of aerial tillers for LI treatments or post-grazing heights. The balance between tiller appearance and death for basal tillers remained relatively stable from summer 2008 to late spring. For aerial tillers the balance decreased to negative values from summer 2008 to autumn–early spring for both LI treatments. For total tiller population, the balance decreased to negative values from summer 2008 to autumn–early spring. Results indicated a strong seasonal effect on Mulato grass tillering and growth. Tillering dynamics were affected primarily by grazing frequency, which changed the relative importance of basal and aerial tillers. The results suggested that basal tillering was the predominant perennation pathway.
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 effect of heavy metal in fish has been the focus of extensive research for many years. However, the combined effect of heavy metals and nanomaterials is still a new subject that needs to be studied. The aim of this study was to examine histopathologic alterations in the gills of Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) to determine possible effects of lead (Pb), carbon nanotubes, and Pb+carbon nanotubes on their histological integrity, and if this biological system can be used as a tool for evaluating water quality in monitoring programs. For this, tilapia were exposed to Pb, carbon nanotubes and Pb+carbon nanotubes for 4 days. The main alterations observed were epithelial structure, hyperplasia and displacement of epithelial cells, and alterations of the structure and occurrence of aneurysms in the secondary lamella. The most severe alterations were related to the Pb+carbon nanotubes. We conclude that the oxidized multi-walled carbon nanotubes enhanced the acute lead toxicity in Nile tilapias. This work draws attention to the implications of carbon nanomaterials released in the aquatic environment and their interaction with classical pollutants.
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.