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Global inequity in access to and availability of essential mental health services is well recognized. The mental health treatment gap is approximately 50% in all countries, with up to 90% of people in the lowest-income countries lacking access to required mental health services. Increased investment in global mental health (GMH) has increased innovation in mental health service delivery in LMICs. Situational analyses in areas where mental health services and systems are poorly developed and resourced are essential when planning for research and implementation, however, little guidance is available to inform methodological approaches to conducting these types of studies. This scoping review provides an analysis of methodological approaches to situational analysis in GMH, including an assessment of the extent to which situational analyses include equity in study designs. It is intended as a resource that identifies current gaps and areas for future development in GMH. Formative research, including situational analysis, is an essential first step in conducting robust implementation research, an essential area of study in GMH that will help to promote improved availability of, access to and reach of mental health services for people living with mental illness in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). While strong leadership in this field exists, there remain significant opportunities for enhanced research representing different LMICs and regions.
Although childhood adversity is a potent determinant of psychopathology, relatively little is known about how the characteristics of adversity exposure, including its developmental timing or duration, influence subsequent mental health outcomes. This study compared three models from life course theory (recency, accumulation, sensitive period) to determine which one(s) best explained this relationship.
Prospective data came from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (n = 7476). Four adversities commonly linked to psychopathology (caregiver physical/emotional abuse; sexual/physical abuse; financial stress; parent legal problems) were measured repeatedly from birth to age 8. Using a statistical modeling approach grounded in least angle regression, we determined the theoretical model(s) explaining the most variability (r2) in psychopathology symptoms measured at age 8 using the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire and evaluated the magnitude of each association.
Recency was the best fitting theoretical model for the effect of physical/sexual abuse (girls r2 = 2.35%; boys r2 = 1.68%). Both recency (girls r2 = 1.55%) and accumulation (boys r2 = 1.71%) were the best fitting models for caregiver physical/emotional abuse. Sensitive period models were chosen alone (parent legal problems in boys r2 = 0.29%) and with accumulation (financial stress in girls r2 = 3.08%) more rarely. Substantial effect sizes were observed (standardized mean differences = 0.22–1.18).
Child psychopathology symptoms are primarily explained by recency and accumulation models. Evidence for sensitive periods did not emerge strongly in these data. These findings underscore the need to measure the characteristics of adversity, which can aid in understanding disease mechanisms and determining how best to reduce the consequences of exposure to adversity.
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 (P) is an essential nutrient in livestock production, involved in most metabolic processes in the body, and with an impact on bone development and growth. Diet supplementation with P can improve productivity, but at excess levels the P utilization can be low, and the high P excretion will lead to environmental pollution (Tamminga, 2003). P supplementation also adds substantially to the cost of feed. Using the isotopic dilution technique (Vitti et al., 2000), we have studied the effect of different P levels in diet on P absorption and excretion in Brazilian sheep, and identified the level at which true P absorption saturates.
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.
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.
Pertussis epidemics have displayed substantial spatial heterogeneity in countries with high socioeconomic conditions and high vaccine coverage. This study aims to investigate the relationship between pertussis risk and socio-environmental factors on the spatio-temporal variation underlying pertussis infection. We obtained daily case numbers of pertussis notifications from Queensland Health, Australia by postal area, for the period January 2006 to December 2012. A Bayesian spatio-temporal model was used to quantify the relationship between monthly pertussis incidence and socio-environmental factors. The socio-environmental factors included monthly mean minimum temperature (MIT), monthly mean vapour pressure (VAP), Queensland school calendar pattern (SCP), and socioeconomic index for area (SEIFA). An increase in pertussis incidence was observed from 2006 to 2010 and a slight decrease from 2011 to 2012. Spatial analyses showed pertussis incidence across Queensland postal area to be low and more spatially homogeneous during 2006–2008; incidence was higher and more spatially heterogeneous after 2009. The results also showed that the average decrease in monthly pertussis incidence was 3·1% [95% credible interval (CrI) 1·3–4·8] for each 1 °C increase in monthly MIT, while average increase in monthly pertussis incidences were 6·2% (95% CrI 0·4–12·4) and 2% (95% CrI 1–3) for SCP periods and for each 10-unit increase in SEIFA, respectively. This study demonstrated that pertussis transmission is significantly associated with MIT, SEIFA, and SCP. Mapping derived from this work highlights the potential for future investigation and areas for focusing future control strategies.
The Dark Energy Survey is undertaking an observational programme imaging 1/4 of the southern hemisphere sky with unprecedented photometric accuracy. In the process of observing millions of faint stars and galaxies to constrain the parameters of the dark energy equation of state, the Dark Energy Survey will obtain pre-discovery images of the regions surrounding an estimated 100 gamma-ray bursts over 5 yr. Once gamma-ray bursts are detected by, e.g., the Swift satellite, the DES data will be extremely useful for follow-up observations by the transient astronomy community. We describe a recently-commissioned suite of software that listens continuously for automated notices of gamma-ray burst activity, collates information from archival DES data, and disseminates relevant data products back to the community in near-real-time. Of particular importance are the opportunities that non-public DES data provide for relative photometry of the optical counterparts of gamma-ray bursts, as well as for identifying key characteristics (e.g., photometric redshifts) of potential gamma-ray burst host galaxies. We provide the functional details of the DESAlert software, and its data products, and we show sample results from the application of DESAlert to numerous previously detected gamma-ray bursts, including the possible identification of several heretofore unknown gamma-ray burst hosts.
Little is known about the mental health of partners of survivors of high levels of trauma in post-conflict countries.
We studied 677 spouse dyads (n = 1354) drawn from a community survey (response 82.4%) in post-conflict Timor-Leste. We used culturally adapted measures of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), psychological distress, explosive anger and grief.
Latent class analysis identified three classes of couples: class 1, comprising women with higher trauma events (TEs), men with intermediate TEs (19%); class 2, including men with higher TEs, women with lower TEs (23%); and class 3, comprising couples in which men and women had lower TE exposure (58%) (the reference group). Men and women partners of survivors of higher TE exposure (classes 1 and 2) had increased symptoms of explosive anger and grief compared with the reference class (class 3). Women partners of survivors of higher TE exposure (class 2) had a 20-fold increased rate of PTSD symptoms compared with the reference class, a pattern that was not evident for men living with women exposed to higher levels of trauma (class 1).
Men and women living with survivors of higher levels of trauma showed an increase in symptoms of grief and explosive anger. The manifold higher rate of PTSD symptoms amongst women living with men exposed to high levels of trauma requires replication. It is important to assess the mental health of partners when treating survivors of high levels of trauma in post-conflict settings.
Schizophrenia patients have a higher prevalence of type 2 diabetes mellitus with impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) than normals. We examined the relationship between IGT and clinical phenotypes or cognitive deficits in first-episode, drug-naïve (FEDN) Han Chinese patients with schizophrenia.
A total of 175 in-patients were compared with 31 healthy controls on anthropometric measures and fasting plasma levels of glucose, insulin and lipids. They were also compared using a 75 g oral glucose tolerance test and the homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR). Neurocognitive functioning was assessed using the MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery (MCCB). Patient psychopathology was assessed using the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS).
Of the patients, 24.5% had IGT compared with none of the controls, and they also had significantly higher levels of fasting blood glucose and 2-h glucose after an oral glucose load, and were more insulin resistant. Compared with those patients with normal glucose tolerance, the IGT patients were older, had a later age of onset, higher waist or hip circumference and body mass index, higher levels of low-density lipoprotein and triglycerides and higher insulin resistance. Furthermore, IGT patients had higher PANSS total and negative symptom subscale scores, but no greater cognitive impairment except on the emotional intelligence index of the MCCB.
IGT occurs with greater frequency in FEDN schizophrenia, and shows association with demographic and anthropometric parameters, as well as with clinical symptoms but minimally with cognitive impairment during the early course of the disorder.
We report the pharmacological activity of organoruthenium complexes containing chloroquine (CQ) as a chelating ligand. The complexes displayed intraerythrocytic activity against CQ-sensitive 3D7 and CQ-resistant W2 strains of Plasmodium falciparum, with potency and selectivity indexes similar to those of CQ. Complexes displayed activity against all intraerythrocytic stages, but moderate activity against Plasmodium berghei liver stages. However, unlike CQ, organoruthenium complexes impaired gametocyte viability and exhibited fast parasiticidal activity against trophozoites for P. falciparum. This functional property results from the ability of complexes to quickly induce oxidative stress. The parasitaemia of P. berghei-infected mice was reduced by treatment with the complex. Our findings demonstrated that using chloroquine for the synthesis of organoruthenium complexes retains potency and selectivity while leading to an increase in the spectrum of action and parasite killing rate relative to CQ.
The aim of this study was to determine the seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii infection in free-range chickens from Uberlândia, Minas Gerais state, Brazil, and characterize the genotypic and phenotypic features of two isolates of this parasite, considering the importance of these hosts in the epidemiology of toxoplasmosis. Serum samples from 108 free-range chickens were obtained from ten different districts, and submitted to the modified agglutination test (MAT) for the presence of anti-T. gondii antibodies, and brain and heart tissue samples from infected chickens were processed for mouse bioassay. An overall seroprevalence of 71·3% was found and antibody titres ranged from 16 to 4096. After confirmation of seropositivity by mouse bioassay, the determination of the T. gondii genotypes of two isolates was performed by PCR–RFLP, using primers for the following markers: SAG1, SAG2, SAG3, BTUB, GRA6, c22–8, c29–2, L358, PK1, new SAG2, Apico and CS3. These T. gondii isolates, designated TgChBrUD1and TgChBrUD2, were obtained from heart samples of free-range chickens. The TgChBrUD1 isolate belonged to ToxoDB PCR–RFLP genotype 11 and the TgChBrUD2 isolate belonged to ToxoDB PCR–RFLP genotype 6. Both isolates demonstrated high virulence in a rodent model, with the TgChBrUD1 isolate able to induce brain cysts, in accord with its pattern of multiplication rates in human fibroblast culture. Taken together, these results reveal high prevalence of T. gondii infection in free-range chickens throughout Uberlândia, indicating an important degree of oocyst environmental contamination and the existence of considerable risk for T. gondii transmission to humans by consumption of free-range chicken as a food source.
Archaeological materials present unique records on natural processes allowing the study of long-term material behaviors such as structural modifications and degradation mechanisms. The present work is focused on the chemical and microstructural characterization of four prehistoric arsenical copper artifacts. These artifacts were characterized by micro-energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectrometry, optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy with X-ray microanalysis, micro-X-ray diffraction and synchrotron radiation micro-X-ray diffraction. Cu3As is the expected intermetallic arsenide in arsenical copper alloys, reported in the literature as exhibiting a hexagonal crystallographic structure. However, a cubic Cu3As phase was identified by X-ray diffraction in all of our analyzed archaeological artifacts, while the hexagonal Cu3As phase was clearly identified only in the artifact with higher arsenic content. Occurrence of the cubic arsenide in these particular objects, suggests that it was precipitated due to long-term aging at room temperature, which points to the need of a redefinition of the Cu-As equilibrium phase constitution. These results highlight the importance of understanding the impact of structural aging for the assessment of original properties of archaeological arsenical copper artifacts, such as hardness or color.
There are currently no neuroanatomical biomarkers of anorexia nervosa (AN) available to make clinical inferences at an individual subject level. We present results of a multivariate machine learning (ML) approach utilizing structural neuroanatomical scan data to differentiate AN patients from matched healthy controls at an individual subject level.
Structural neuroimaging scans were acquired from 15 female patients with AN (age = 20, s.d. = 4 years) and 15 demographically matched female controls (age = 22, s.d. = 3 years). Neuroanatomical volumes were extracted using the FreeSurfer software and input into the Least Absolute Shrinkage and Selection Operator (LASSO) multivariate ML algorithm. LASSO was ‘trained’ to identify ‘novel’ individual subjects as either AN patients or healthy controls. Furthermore, the model estimated the probability that an individual subject belonged to the AN group based on an individual scan.
The model correctly predicted 25 out of 30 subjects, translating into 83.3% accuracy (sensitivity 86.7%, specificity 80.0%) (p < 0.001; χ2 test). Six neuroanatomical regions (cerebellum white matter, choroid plexus, putamen, accumbens, the diencephalon and the third ventricle) were found to be relevant in distinguishing individual AN patients from healthy controls. The predicted probabilities showed a linear relationship with drive for thinness clinical scores (r = 0.52, p < 0.005) and with body mass index (BMI) (r = −0.45, p = 0.01).
The model achieved a good predictive accuracy and drive for thinness showed a strong neuroanatomical signature. These results indicate that neuroimaging scans coupled with ML techniques have the potential to provide information at an individual subject level that might be relevant to clinical outcomes.
This paper deals with the stiffness analysis of multibody systems using the Matrix Structural Analysis—MSA. This methodology allows us to obtain the stiffness matrix of the structure from the stiffness properties of each element. First the MSA method is described and its application is detailed using an L-structure in order to make easy its understanding. Numerical and experimental results obtained for the L-structure and a 6-RSS parallel manipulator, follow to prove the validity of the methodology.
We describe the preliminary design of a magnetograph and visible-light imager instrument to study the solar dynamo processes through observations of the solar surface magnetic field distribution. The instrument will provide measurements of the vector magnetic field and of the line-of-sight velocity in the solar photosphere. As the magnetic field anchored at the solar surface produces most of the structures and energetic events in the upper solar atmosphere and significantly influences the heliosphere, the development of this instrument plays an important role in reaching the scientific goals of The Atmospheric and Space Science Coordination (CEA) at the Brazilian National Institute for Space Research (INPE). In particular, the CEA's space weather program will benefit most from the development of this technology. We expect that this project will be the starting point to establish a strong research program on Solar Physics in Brazil. Our main aim is acquiring progressively the know-how to build state-of-the-art solar vector magnetograph and visible-light imagers for space-based platforms to contribute to the efforts of the solar-terrestrial physics community to address the main unanswered questions on how our nearby Star works.
Dietary glutamine (Gln) supplementation improves intestinal function in several stressful conditions. Therefore, in the present study, the effects of dietary Gln supplementation on the core body temperature (Tcore), bacterial translocation (BT) and intestinal permeability of mice subjected to acute heat stress were evaluated. Male Swiss mice (4 weeks old) were implanted with an abdominal temperature sensor and randomly assigned to one of the following groups fed isoenergetic and isoproteic diets for 7 d before the experimental trials: group fed the standard AIN-93G diet and exposed to a high ambient temperature (39°C) for 2 h (H-NS); group fed the AIN-93G diet supplemented with l-Gln and exposed to a high temperature (H-Gln); group fed the standard AIN-93G diet and not exposed to a high temperature (control, C-NS). Mice were orally administered diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid radiolabelled with technetium (99mTc) for the assessment of intestinal permeability or 99mTc-Escherichia coli for the assessment of BT. Heat exposure increased Tcore (approximately 41°C during the experimental trial), intestinal permeability and BT to the blood and liver (3 h after the experimental trial) in mice from the H-NS group relative to those from the C-NS group. Dietary Gln supplementation attenuated hyperthermia and prevented the increases in intestinal permeability and BT induced by heat exposure. No correlations were observed between the improvements in gastrointestinal function and the attenuation of hyperthermia by Gln. Our findings indicate that dietary Gln supplementation preserved the integrity of the intestinal barrier and reduced the severity of hyperthermia during heat exposure. The findings also indicate that these Gln-mediated effects occurred through independent mechanisms.
We previously observed that physalins have immunomodulatory properties, as well as antileishmanial and antiplasmodial activities. Here, we investigated the anti-Trypanosoma cruzi activity of physalins B, D, F and G. We found that physalins B and F were the most potent compounds against trypomastigote and epimastigote forms of T. cruzi. Electron microscopy of trypomastigotes incubated with physalin B showed disruption of kinetoplast, alterations in Golgi apparatus and endoplasmic reticulum, followed by the formation of myelin-like figures, which were stained with MDC to confirm their autophagic vacuole identity. Physalin B-mediated alteration in Golgi apparatus was likely due to T. cruzi protease perturbation; however physalins did not inhibit activity of the trypanosomal protease cruzain. Flow cytometry examination showed that cell death is mainly caused by necrosis. Treatment with physalins reduced the invasion process, as well as intracellular parasite development in macrophage cell culture, with a potency similar to benznidazole. We observed that a combination of physalins and benznidazole has a greater anti-T. cruzi activity than when compounds were used alone. These results indicate that physalins, specifically B and F, are potent and selective trypanocidal agents. They cause structural alterations and induce autophagy, which ultimately lead to parasite cell death by a necrotic process.