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We investigated the efficiency of the autoregressive repeatability model (AR) for genetic evaluation of longitudinal reproductive traits in Portuguese Holstein cattle and compared the results with those from the conventional repeatability model (REP). The data set comprised records taken during the first four calving orders, corresponding to a total of 416, 766, 872 and 766 thousand records for interval between calving to first service, days open, calving interval and daughter pregnancy rate, respectively. Both models included fixed (month and age classes associated to each calving order) and random (herd-year-season, animal and permanent environmental) effects. For AR model, a first-order autoregressive (co)variance structure was fitted for the herd-year-season and permanent environmental effects. The AR outperformed the REP model, with lower Akaike Information Criteria, lower Mean Square Error and Akaike Weights close to unity. Rank correlations between estimated breeding values (EBV) with AR and REP models ranged from 0.95 to 0.97 for all studied reproductive traits, when the total bulls were considered. When considering only the top-100 selected bulls, the rank correlation ranged from 0.72 to 0.88. These results indicate that the re-ranking observed at the top level will provide more opportunities for selecting the best bulls. The EBV reliabilities provided by AR model was larger for all traits, but the magnitudes of the annual genetic progress were similar between two models. Overall, the proposed AR model was suitable for genetic evaluations of longitudinal reproductive traits in dairy cattle, outperforming the REP model.
Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotyping tools, which can analyse thousands of SNPs covering the whole genome, have opened new opportunities to estimate the inbreeding level of animals directly using genome information. One of the most commonly used genomic inbreeding measures considers the proportion of the autosomal genome covered by runs of homozygosity (ROH), which are defined as continuous and uninterrupted chromosome portions showing homozygosity at all loci. In this study, we analysed the distribution of ROH in three commercial pig breeds (Italian Large White, n = 1968; Italian Duroc, n = 573; and Italian Landrace, n = 46) and four autochthonous breeds (Apulo-Calabrese, n = 90; Casertana, n = 90; Cinta Senese, n = 38; and Nero Siciliano, n = 48) raised in Italy, using SNP data generated from Illumina PorcineSNP60 BeadChip. We calculated ROH-based inbreeding coefficients (FROH) using ROH of different minimum length (1, 2, 4, 8, 16 Mbp) and compared them with several other genomic inbreeding coefficients (including the difference between observed and expected number of homozygous genotypes (FHOM)) and correlated all these genomic-based measures with the pedigree inbreeding coefficient (FPED) calculated for the pigs of some of these breeds. Autochthonous breeds had larger mean size of ROH than all three commercial breeds. FHOM was highly correlated (0.671 to 0.985) with FROH measures in all breeds. Apulo-Calabrese and Casertana had the highest FROH values considering all ROH minimum lengths (ranging from 0.273 to 0.189 and from 0.226 to 0.152, moving from ROH of minimum size of 1 Mbp (FROH1) to 16 Mbp (FROH16)), whereas the lowest FROH values were for Nero Siciliano (from 0.072 to 0.051) and Italian Large White (from 0.117 to 0.042). FROH decreased as the minimum length of ROH increased for all breeds. Italian Duroc had the highest correlations between all FROH measures and FPED (from 0.514 to 0.523) and between FHOM and FPED (0.485). Among all analysed breeds, Cinta Senese had the lowest correlation between FROH and FPED. This might be due to the imperfect measure of FPED, which, mainly in local breeds raised in extensive production systems, cannot consider a higher level of pedigree errors and a potential higher relatedness of the founder population. It appeared that ROH better captured inbreeding information in the analysed breeds and could complement pedigree-based inbreeding coefficients for the management of these genetic resources.
The stable isotope ratios of carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) and total mercury concentrations (THg) of the three marine catfish species Aspistor luniscutis, Bagre bagre and Genidens genidens were evaluated to understand their trophic relationship in northern Rio de Janeiro state, south-eastern Brazil. The δ13C was similar among the three marine catfishes, whereas δ15N was similar in A. luniscutis and B. bagre and lower in G. genidens. THg was higher in G. genidens and lower in B. bagre. The greater assimilation of Sciaenidae fishes and squids by A. luniscutis and B. bagre resulted in smaller isotopic niche areas and trophic diversity but higher isotopic niche overlap, trophic redundancy and evenness. For G. genidens, the similar assimilation of all prey items resulted in the broadest isotopic niche among the marine catfishes. The higher mercury content in G. genidens is consistent with an increased important contribution of prey with a higher Hg burden. The bioaccumulation process was indicated by significant correlations of δ15N and THg with total length and total mass. Additionally, a significant correlation between THg and δ15N reflected the biomagnification process through the food web.
Cipo Canastero Asthenes luizae is a relict ovenbird restricted to rocky outcrops at high elevations within the campo rupestre vegetation of the Espinhaço Range in the state of Minas Gerais, south-eastern Brazil. This poorly known species is considered ‘Near Threatened’, but recent studies have suggested that it should be listed under a higher category of threat. To contribute to the knowledge of this species and its conservation assessment and related planning, we compiled all literature records of the species distribution (n = 16 locations), collected new data on its occurrence (n = 72 locations), and calculated its geographic range using four different approaches. First, we defined the sky islands where the species occurs (nine units) using the lowest elevation value recorded (1,100 m asl) as a cut-off. Second, we performed species distribution modelling (SDM) across the sky islands and identified an area of 2,225.21 km2. Third, we measured the species’ extent of occurrence (EOO = 24,555.85 km2) and used SDM to estimate its upper limit (EOOup = 30,697.58 km2). Fourth, we measured the area of occupancy (AOO = 228 km2) and used SDM to estimate its upper limit (AOOup = 1,827.39 km2). We analysed the Cipo Canastero sky islands in terms of landscape metrics including size, isolation, protected area coverage, shape index, core area index, and proportion covered by SDM. We observed a very fragmented distribution, especially in the North sector of the species distribution, composed of small and isolated populations (separated by up to 112 km); the South sector is the core of its distribution and is composed of larger, more connected patches with differences in shape complexity that are not strongly influenced by an edge effect. The range sizes calculated, along with other reported information regarding population and habitat trends, justifies the inclusion of the species in at least the ‘Vulnerable’ category.
The accurate estimation of protein requirements for beef cattle is a key factor in increasing livestock profitability and decreasing the environmental impacts of excessive N excretion due to mismatching between assumed requirements and diet formulation. A meta-analysis was conducted to evaluate and validate a new equation to predict the net protein requirements for growth (NPg) of Zebu beef cattle. For the development of the new approach, a database of 552 observations comprised of bulls, steers, and heifers of different genetic groups (Zebu, beef crossbreed, and dairy crossbreed) was assembled. The new approach was evaluated and compared to current models devised by the international nutrient requirements system committees (Agricultural Research Council, 1980; Beef Cattle Nutrient Requirements Model, 2016; BR-CORTE, 2016) to predict NPg. The model evaluation was performed through the model evaluation system (version 3.1.16) using an independent data set (n = 177 observations). An equation was considered the best estimator of NPg if the following conditions were met: (1) the intercept and slope of the regression between ordinary residues and/or predicted NPg values must have been equal to zero and one, respectively; and (2) the greatest concordance correlation coefficient (CCC) and determination coefficient (R), and lowest mean squared error of prediction (MSEP) were attained. Based on the regression models of the observed v. predicted NPg of Zebu beef cattle, both the new approach and that of the ARC (1980) correctly estimated NPg, since the intercept and slope were not different (P > 0.05) from zero and one, respectively. Additionally, the new approach’s determination coefficient was the greatest and the closest to one. The fact that the new model achieved a higher CCC and lower MSEP than the existing models indicated its superior reproducibility and accuracy. The equations proposed by BR-CORTE (2016) and the BCNRM (2016) did not correctly estimate NPg in that the intercept and slope were different (P < 0.01) from zero and one, respectively. Thus, the equations proposed by the new approach and the ARC (1980) accurately and precisely estimated NPg and are recommended for Zebu cattle. Furthermore, the inclusion of equivalent empty BW (EQEBW) in the new approach improves the estimation of NPg. We suggest the use of the following equation to calculate NPg for Zebu beef cattle: NPg = 176.01 × EBG – 0.381 × EQEBW0.75 × EBG1.035 (R = 0.80 and CCC = 0.75); where NPg = net protein requirements for growth, EBG = empty body gain, and EQEBW = equivalent empty BW.
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.
Quantifying the abundance of species is essential for their management and conservation. Much effort has been invested in surveys of freshwater dolphins in the Amazon basin but river dimensions and complex logistics limit replication of such studies across the region. We evaluated the effectiveness of using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for surveying two Amazon dolphin species, the tucuxi Sotalia fluviatilis and pink river dolphin Inia geoffrensis, in tropical rivers. In 2016 we conducted drone and visual surveys over 80 km of the Juruá River in Brazil. The aerial surveys provided higher accuracy than human observers in counting individuals detected in groups. Compared to estimates derived from visual surveys, the use of UAVs could provide a more feasible, economical and accurate estimate of Amazon river dolphin populations. The method could potentially be replicated in other important areas for the conservation of these species, to generate an improved index of river dolphin populations in the Amazon.
The population dynamics of shrimp Pleoticus muelleri was used as a model to verify if the trend of continuous reproduction periodicity, shorter body size and longevity, and early sexual maturity found in tropical regions is corroborated in upwelling regions. Shrimps were sampled in a region under the influence of upwelling (northern coast of Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil). Characteristics of bottom water were registered, and shrimps were measured (carapace length – CL) and classified by sex and gonadal development stages. Reproduction was seasonal, from September to December, and favoured by water mass intrusions of low temperatures and high chlorophyll concentrations. The greatest number of reproductive females preceded periods with the highest chlorophyll concentrations in the water column (cross-correlation; P < 0.05, lag (month) = −3, r = 0.50), suggesting greater developmental success of larval stage due to increase of food availability. Von Bertalanffy growth models resulted in asymptotic carapace length estimates of CL∞ = 40.21 mm and CL∞ = 36.78 mm for females and males, respectively. The reproductive and growth characteristics of the P. muelleri population studied herein were similar to that of populations from higher latitudes, demonstrating that the latitudinal pattern rule cannot be applied in regions influenced by an upwelling phenomenon.
Human neurocysticercosis (NCC) is a worldwide neglected disease caused by Taenia solium metacestode and responsible for various complications and neurological disorders. This study aimed to evaluate the use of specific immunoglobulin Y (IgY) produced by laying hens immunized with a hydrophobic fraction of Taenia crassiceps metacestodes (hFTc) in NCC diagnosis. Egg yolk IgY antibodies were fractionated, purified and characterized. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was carried out to evaluate the production kinetics and avidity maturation of anti-hFTc IgY antibodies throughout the IgY obtention process. Antigen recognition tests were carried out by Western blotting and immunofluorescence antibody test using purified and specific anti-hFTc IgY antibodies for detection of parasitic antigens of T. crassiceps and T. solium metacestodes. Sandwich ELISA was performed to detect circulating immune complexes formed by IgG and parasitic antigens in human sera. The results showed high diagnostic values (93.2% sensitivity and 94.3% specificity) for immune complexes detection in human sera with confirmed NCC. In conclusion, specific IgY antibodies produced from immunized hens with hFTc antigens were efficient to detect T. solium immune complexes in human sera, being an innovative and potential tool for NCC immunodiagnosis.
Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) able to describe population differences can be used for important applications in livestock, including breed assignment of individual animals, authentication of mono-breed products and parentage verification among several other applications. To identify the most discriminating SNPs among thousands of markers in the available commercial SNP chip tools, several methods have been used. Random forest (RF) is a machine learning technique that has been proposed for this purpose. In this study, we used RF to analyse PorcineSNP60 BeadChip array genotyping data obtained from a total of 2737 pigs of 7 Italian pig breeds (3 cosmopolitan-derived breeds: Italian Large White, Italian Duroc and Italian Landrace, and 4 autochthonous breeds: Apulo-Calabrese, Casertana, Cinta Senese and Nero Siciliano) to identify breed informative and reduced SNP panels using the mean decrease in the Gini Index and the Mean Decrease in Accuracy parameters with stability evaluation. Other reduced informative SNP panels were obtained using Delta, Fixation index and principal component analysis statistics, and their performances were compared with those obtained using the RF-defined panels using the RF classification method and its derived Out Of Bag rates and correct prediction proportions. Therefore, the performances of a total of six reduced panels were evaluated. The correct assignment of the animals to its breed was close to 100% for all tested approaches. Porcine chromosome 8 harboured the largest number of selected SNPs across all panels. Many SNPs were included in genomic regions in which previous studies identified signatures of selection or genes (e.g. ESR1, KITL and LCORL) that could contribute to explain, at least in part, phenotypically or economically relevant traits that might differentiate cosmopolitan and autochthonous pig breeds. Random forest used as preselection statistics highlighted informative SNPs that were not the same as those identified by other methods. This might be due to specific features of this machine learning methodology. It will be interesting to explore if the adaptation of RF methods for the identification of selection signature regions could be able to describe population-specific features that are not captured by other approaches.
A new era in radio astronomy will begin with the upcoming large-scale surveys planned at the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP). ASKAP started its Early Science programme in October 2017 and several target fields were observed during the array commissioning phase. The Scorpio field was the first observed in the Galactic Plane in Band 1 (792–1 032 MHz) using 15 commissioned antennas. The achieved sensitivity and large field of view already allow to discover new sources and survey thousands of existing ones with improved precision with respect to previous surveys. Data analysis is currently ongoing to deliver the first source catalogue. Given the increased scale of the data, source extraction and characterisation, even in this Early Science phase, have to be carried out in a mostly automated way. This process presents significant challenges due to the presence of extended objects and diffuse emission close to the Galactic Plane.
In this context, we have extended and optimised a novel source finding tool, named Caesar, to allow extraction of both compact and extended sources from radio maps. A number of developments have been done driven by the analysis of the Scorpio map and in view of the future ASKAP Galactic Plane survey. The main goals are the improvement of algorithm performances and scalability as well as of software maintainability and usability within the radio community. In this paper, we present the current status of Caesar and report a first systematic characterisation of its performance for both compact and extended sources using simulated maps. Future prospects are discussed in the light of the obtained results.
We present the second data release (DR2) of the SkyMapper Southern Survey, a hemispheric survey carried out with the SkyMapper Telescope at Siding Spring Observatory in Australia, using six optical filters: u, v, g, r, i, z. DR2 is the first release to go beyond the
) limit of the Shallow Survey released in the first data release (DR1), and includes portions of the sky at full survey depth that reach
mag in g and r filters. The DR2 photometry has a precision as measured by internal reproducibility of 1% in u and v, and 0.7% in griz. More than 21 000
have data in some filters (at either Shallow or Main Survey depth) and over 7 000
have deep Main Survey coverage in all six filters. Finally, about 18 000
have Main Survey data in i and z filters, albeit not yet at full depth. The release contains over 120 000 images, as well as catalogues with over 500 million unique astrophysical objects and nearly 5 billion individual detections. It also contains cross-matches with a range of external catalogues such as Gaia DR2, Pan-STARRS1 DR1, GALEX GUVcat, 2MASS, and AllWISE, as well as spectroscopic surveys such as 2MRS, GALAH, 6dFGS, and 2dFLenS.
Patient assessment is a fundamental feature of community paramedicine, but the absence of a recognized standard for assessment practices contributes to uncertainty about what drives care planning and treatment decisions. Our objective was to summarize the content of assessment instruments and describe the state of current practice in community paramedicine home visit programs.
We performed an environmental scan of all community paramedicine programs in Ontario, Canada, and used content analysis to describe current assessment practices in home visit programs. The International Classification on Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF) was used to categorize and compare assessments. Each item within each assessment form was classified according to the ICF taxonomy.
A total of 43 of 52 paramedic services in Ontario, Canada, participated in the environmental scan with 24 being eligible for further investigation through content analysis of intake assessment forms. Among the 24 services, 16 met inclusion criteria for content analysis. Assessment forms contained between 13 and 252 assessment items (median 116.5, IQR 134.5). Most assessments included some content from each of the domains outlined in the ICF. At the subdomain level, only assessment of impairments of the functions of the cardiovascular, hematological, immunological, and respiratory systems appeared in all assessments.
Although community paramedicine home visit programs may differ in design and aim, all complete multi-domain assessments as part of patient intake. If community paramedicine home visit programs share similar characteristics but assess patients differently, it is difficult to expect that the resulting referrals, care planning, treatments, or interventions will be similar.
Tuberculosis (TB) is the leading cause of death among infectious diseases worldwide. Among the estimated cases of drug-resistant TB, approximately 60% occur in the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa). Among Brazilian states, primary and acquired multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) rates were the highest in Rio Grande do Sul (RS). This study aimed to perform molecular characterisation of MDR-TB in the State of RS, a high-burden Brazilian state. We performed molecular characterisation of MDR-TB cases in RS, defined by drug susceptibility testing, using 131 Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M.tb) DNA samples from the Central Laboratory. We carried out MIRU-VNTR 24loci, spoligotyping, sequencing of the katG, inhA and rpoB genes and RDRio sublineage identification. The most frequent families found were LAM (65.6%) and Haarlem (22.1%). RDRio deletion was observed in 42 (32%) of the M.tb isolates. Among MDR-TB cases, eight (6.1%) did not present mutations in the studied genes. In 116 (88.5%) M.tb isolates, we found mutations associated with rifampicin (RIF) resistance in rpoB gene, and in 112 isolates (85.5%), we observed mutations related to isoniazid resistance in katG and inhA genes. An insertion of 12 nucleotides (CCAGAACAACCC) at the 516 codon in the rpoB gene, possibly responsible for a decreased interaction of RIF and RNA polymerase, was found in 19/131 of the isolates, belonging mostly to LAM and Haarlem families. These results enable a better understanding of the dynamics of transmission and evolution of MDR-TB in the region.
There is no suitable vaccine against human visceral leishmaniasis (VL) and available drugs are toxic and/or present high cost. In this context, diagnostic tools should be improved for clinical management and epidemiological evaluation of disease. However, the variable sensitivity and/or specificity of the used antigens are limitations, showing the necessity to identify new molecules to be tested in a more sensitive and specific serology. In the present study, an immunoproteomics approach was performed in Leishmania infantum promastigotes and amastigotes employing sera samples from VL patients. Aiming to avoid undesired cross-reactivity in the serological assays, sera from Chagas disease patients and healthy subjects living in the endemic region of disease were also used in immunoblottings. The most reactive spots for VL samples were selected, and 29 and 21 proteins were identified in the promastigote and amastigote extracts, respectively. Two of them, endonuclease III and GTP-binding protein, were cloned, expressed, purified and tested in ELISA experiments against a large serological panel, and results showed high sensitivity and specificity values for the diagnosis of disease. In conclusion, the identified proteins could be considered in future studies as candidate antigens for the serodiagnosis of human VL.
Sponges are important components of intertidal marine communities. There is a lack of information about intertidal marine sponge diversity in the western coast of Portugal (North-east Atlantic). In the present work we identified the most common intertidal sponges of the western coast of Portugal, and made a comprehensive list of the intertidal species described so far for this region. Sponges belonging to the Classes Calcarea and Demospongiae were identified, the former class for the first time at these locations. Demospongiae are the most common intertidal sponges, present in all sampling locations. We used an integrative approach for Demospongiae identification, using both morphological and molecular characters. Molecular identification, using a CO1 marker proved to be helpful in the identification to the genus level, despite some limitations, such as difficulty in amplification experienced for sponges as well as non-target organisms. A total of 170 specimens were collected. Seven specimens (five species) belonged to the Class Calcarea and 163 specimens (23 species) to the Class Demospongiae. The demosponge Hymeniacidon perlevis was present at all sample locations. Calcarean species were primarily found in samples taken along the south-western coast.
Diabetes mellitus is a global epidemic, characterised as a heterogeneous group of metabolic disorders associated with high risk of CVD. Green banana biomass, which is composed of resistant starches (RS) and cannot be hydrolysed by amylases, delays gastric emptying and modulates insulin sensitivity, thus contributing to improve metabolic disorders. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of consumption of RS from green banana biomass on body composition, fasting plasma glucose, glycated Hb (HbA1c) and homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance in subjects with pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes on top of treatment. Middle-aged subjects (n 113) of both sexes with pre-diabetes (HbA1c: 5·7–6·4 %) or diabetes (HbA1c ≥ 6·5 %) were randomised to receive nutritional support plus green banana biomass (40 g) (RS: approximately 4·5 g, G1, n 62) or diet alone (G2, n 51) for 24 weeks. Body composition, biochemical analyses and dietary intake were evaluated at the beginning and end of the study. In the experimental group (G1), consumption of RS was associated with reduction in HbA1c (P = 0·0001), fasting glucose (P = 0·021), diastolic blood pressure (P = 0·010), body weight (P = 0·002), BMI (P = 0·006), waist and hip circumferences (P < 0·01), fat mass percentage (P = 0·001) and increase in lean mass percentage (P = 0·011). In controls (G2), reductions were observed in waist and hip circumferences (P < 0·01), HbA1c (P = 0·002) and high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (P = 0·020). In pre-diabetes or diabetes, non-significant differences were observed in the percentage reduction in HbA1c and fasting glucose in exploratory analyses. Our results indicate that the consumption of bioactive starches is a good dietary strategy to improve metabolic control and body composition.
Introduction: This systematic scoping review aims to synthetize the available evidence on the epidemiology, risk factors, clinical characteristics, screening tools, prevention strategies, interventions and knowledge of health care providers regarding elder abuse in the emergency department (ED). Methods: A systematic literature search was performed using three databases (Medline, Embase and Cochrane Library). Grey literature was scrutinized. Studies were considered eligible when they were observational studies or randomized control trials reporting on elder abuse in the prehospital and/or ED setting. Data extraction was performed independently by two researchers and a qualitative approach was used to synthetize the findings. Results: A total of 443 citations were retrieved from which 58 studies published between 1988 and 2018 were finally included. Prevalence of elder abuse following an ED visit varied between 0.01% and 0.03%. Reporting of elder abuse to proper law authorities by ED physicians varied between 2% to 50% of suspected cases. The most common reported type of elder abuse detected was neglect followed by physical abuse. Female gender was the most consistent factor associated with elder abuse. Cognitive impairment, behavioral problems and psychiatric disorder of the patient or the caregiver were also associated with physical abuse and neglect as well as more frequent ED consultations. Several screening tools have been proposed, but ED-based validation is lacking. Literature on prehospital- or ED-initiated prevention and interventions was scarce without any controlled trial. Health care providers were poorly trained to detect and care for older adults who are suspected of being a victim of elder abuse. Conclusion: Elder abuse in the ED is an understudied topic. It remains underrecognized and underreported with ED prevalence rates lower than those in community-dwelling older adults. Health care providers reported lacking appropriate training and knowledge with regards to elder abuse. Dedicated ED studies are required.
Introduction: Patient assessment is a fundamental feature of non-emergency community paramedicine (CP) home visit programs. In the absence of a recognized standard for CP assessment, current assessment practices in CP programs are unknown. Without knowing what community paramedics are assessing, it is difficult to ascertain what should be included in patient care plans, whether interventions are beneficial, or whether paramedics are meeting program objectives. Our objective was to summarize the content of assessment instruments used in CP programs in order to describe the state of current practice. Methods: We performed an environmental scan of all CP programs in Ontario, Canada, and employed content analysis to describe current assessment practices in CP home visit programs. The International Classification on Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF) was used to categorize and compare assessments. Each item within each assessment form was classified according to the ICF taxonomy. Findings were compared at the domain and sub-domain of the ICF. Results: Of 54 paramedic services in Ontario, 43 responded to our request for information. Of 24 services with CP home visit programs, 18 provided their intake assessment forms for content analysis. Assessment forms contained between 13 and 252 assessment items (median 116.5, IQR 134.5). Overall, most assessments included some content from each of the domains outlined in the ICF, including: Impairments of Body Functions, Impairments of Body Structures, Activity Limitation and Participation, and Environmental Factors. At the sub-domain level, only assessment of Impairments of the Functions of the Cardiovascular, Haematological, Immunological and Respiratory systems appeared in all assessments. Few CP home visit program assessments covered most ICF sub-domain categories and many items classified to specific categories were included in only a few assessments. Conclusion: CP home visit programs complete multi-domain assessments as part of patient intake. The content of CP assessments varied across Ontario, which suggests that care planning and resources may not be consistent. Current work on practice guidelines and paramedic training can build from descriptions of assessment practices to improve quality of care and patient safety. By identifying what community paramedics assess, evaluation of the quality of CP home visit programs and their ability to meet program objectives can be improved and benchmarks in patient care can be established.