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Ochratoxin A (OTA) is a mycotoxin produced by various species of Aspergillus and Penicillium. Ochratoxin A was classified as a group 2B carcinogen and is one of the major intestinal pathogenic mycotoxins. One of the most frequent modes of intoxication is consumption of contaminated food with mycotoxins. Feed represents the major cost and has a direct impact on the economical viability of broiler’s production system, since it must contain the necessary elements that allow the animal to express the maximum genetic potential while providing its nutritional requirements. Thus, the animal has to digest the feed and absorb its nutrients, which is in direct correlation with the gastrointestinal tract, especially the small intestine and the development of the mucosal surface area. Once ingested, OTA is absorbed by passive diffusion, mainly the jejunum. Ochratoxin A’s presence affects lipid membranes and could lead to the degradation of their normal structure and functionality. All of these effects contribute to the development of malabsorption. It was very interesting to study the effect of OTA on the layer of phospholipids of the bowel. The experimental group received OTA (0.05 to mg/kg BW) through an intra-peritoneal injection, every other day for 21 days. We noted that feed conversion ratio and average daily gain were reduced. Histological studies showed important alterations at the level of the mucosal membrane of the intestine (villosities, crypts) following intra-peritoneal administration of the mycotoxin. Thinning and enlargement at the base of the villosities, hyperplasia and crypts in irregular forms, blunting and denudation were observed through the examination of intestinal morphology. Biochemical studies, such as total lipid and phospholipid compositions, allowed us to have more detailed results. All identified mucosal phospholipids were modified, particularly the phosphatidylcholine (PC) and the phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) in the jejunum mucosa. In fact, there was a decrease by 55.81% for PC, 56.66% for PE, while a significant increase by 32.91% was noted for phosphatidylserine in the jejunum. It was very interesting to study the effect of OTA on the phospholipids layer of the bowel, as the mucous membrane of the small intestine represents the main site of absorption and transformation of nutriments. To avoid such disturbances and prevent the effects of the OTA, precautions must be taken to inhibit mold growth at the level of the feed manufactory units. Phosphatidylcholine and PE administrations may represent an option that could allow reestablishment of phospholipid equilibrium in the intestine.
Background: Biallelic variants in POLR1C are associated with POLR3-related leukodystrophy (POLR3-HLD), or 4H leukodystrophy (Hypomyelination, Hypodontia, Hypogonadotropic Hypogonadism), and Treacher Collins syndrome (TCS). The clinical spectrum of POLR3-HLD caused by variants in this gene has not been described. Methods: A cross-sectional observational study involving 25 centers worldwide was conducted between 2016 and 2018. The clinical, radiologic and molecular features of 23 unreported and previously reported cases of POLR3-HLD caused by POLR1C variants were reviewed. Results: Most participants presented between birth and age 6 years with motor difficulties. Neurological deterioration was seen during childhood, suggesting a more severe phenotype than previously described. The dental, ocular and endocrine features often seen in POLR3-HLD were not invariably present. Five patients (22%) had a combination of hypomyelinating leukodystrophy and abnormal craniofacial development, including one individual with clear TCS features. Several cases did not exhibit all the typical radiologic characteristics of POLR3-HLD. A total of 29 different pathogenic variants in POLR1C were identified, including 13 new disease-causing variants. Conclusions: Based on the largest cohort of patients to date, these results suggest novel characteristics of POLR1C-related disorder, with a spectrum of clinical involvement characterized by hypomyelinating leukodystrophy with or without abnormal craniofacial development reminiscent of TCS.
Olive cake (OC) and cactus cladodes (CCs) are two alternative feed resources widely available in Mediterranean areas. Their use in ruminant diets was assessed according to their chemical composition, secondary compound levels and digestibility. The effects of the olive oil extraction period and process, and CCs age and sampling period were evaluated. OC was collected monthly, from November to January, from mills using either a mechanical press or 2-phase or 3-phase centrifugation processes. CCs were collected fortnightly according to age (young and mature) from April to June. Two-phase OC had the lowest content of dry matter (DM), the highest nitrogen-free extract (NFE) and total and hydrolysable tannins and was more rapidly fermentable. Mechanical press OC was the least digestible. OC DM, protein and NFE were affected linearly by the extraction period. Gas production (GP), in vitro digestibility parameters and dry and organic enzymatic digestibility changed with the extraction period. Therefore, OC chemical composition and in vitro digestibility depended mainly on the extraction process and period. Compared to mature CCs , young CCs contained more water, protein, ether-extract and phenolic compounds, but less ash and fibre. GP and digestibility parameters were not affected by age, but in vitro organic matter digestibility and microbial biomass production were higher in young cladodes. CCs chemical composition, GP and digestibility parameters were influenced by the collection period. Due to its limited nutritional quality, OC should be enriched in nitrogen, while CCs could be considered as highly valuable forage in ruminant diet.
Use of antibiotics as feed additives has been reduced to avoid the hazard of drug residues, and consequently, the search for alternative natural additives has developed. Thus, the aim was to evaluate the influence of royal jelly (RJ) supplementation on milk composition, blood biochemical and antioxidant parameters of lactating ewes. Thirty-six Ossimi ewes were divided randomly into two groups (18 animals each). For a period of 4 weeks, the control group (CON) was fed a basal diet only, while the other group was fed the basal diet and supplemented with a single bolus of RJ (1000 mg/head). The RJ-supplemented ewes produced significantly higher milk protein, fat and total solids than the CON group. The RJ group had a significantly higher red blood cell count, haemoglobin content, haematocrit value and total leucocyte counts, but lower neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio when compared with the control treatment. The RJ group showed significantly higher concentrations of total antioxidant capacity, superoxide dismutase activity and glutathione in the serum compared with the control treatment. In conclusion, RJ supplements can improve the nutritive value of milk fat and the serum antioxidant activities in lactating ewes.
Wearable devices such as a wrist actigraph may have a potential to objectively estimate patients’ functioning and may supplement performance status (PS). This proof-of-concept study aimed to evaluate whether actigraphy data are significantly associated with patients’ functioning and are predictive of their survival in patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer.
We collected actigraphy data for a three-day period in ambulatory patients with stage IV non-small cell lung cancer. We computed correlations between actigraphy data (specifically, proportion of time spent immobile while awake) and clinician-rated PS, subjective report of physical activities, quality of life (the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy – Trial Outcome Index), and survival.
Actigraphy data (the proportion of time awake spent immobile) were significantly correlated with Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy – Trial Outcome Index (r = −0.53, p < 0.001) and with the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group PS (ECOG PS) (r = 0.37, p < 0.001). The proportion of time awake spent immobile was significantly associated with worse survival. For each 10% increase in this measure, the hazard ratio (HR) was 1.48 (95% confidence interval [CI95%] = 1.06, 2.06) for overall mortality, and odds ratio was 2.99 (CI95% = 1.27, 7.05) for six-month mortality. ECOG PS was also associated with worse survival (HR = 2.80, CI95% = 1.34, 5.86). Among patients with ECOG PS 0-1, the percentage of time awake spent immobile was significantly associated with worse survival, HR = 1.93 (CI95% = 1.10, 3.42), whereas ECOG PS did not predict survival.
Significance of Results
Actigraphy may have potential to predict important clinical outcomes, such as quality of life and survival, and may serve to supplement PS. Further validation study is warranted.
In this report, a facile system consisting of iron (III) meso-tetrakis(4-hydroxyphenyl)porphyrin-methylene blue dye hybrid immobilized on a disposable paper strip was used to detect and sense H2O2 in aqueous solutions via a low-cost pixelometric imaging technique. The new technology was employed to evaluate the level of H2O2 in a self-administering 30%-labeled commercial H2O2 disinfectant solution. The result showed that the concentration of H2O2 in the tested pharmaceutical sample solution deviated from the label by 92.37%. The current approach provides a simple low-cost resolution for the rapid detection and quantification of H2O2 in aqueous solution and pharmaceutical fluids.
We performed a molecular and epidemiologic study of a healthcare-associated rhinovirus outbreak to better understand transmission in neonatal intensive care settings. Sequencing of the 7 outbreak strains revealed 4 distinct clades, indicating multiple sources. A single clade infected 3 patients in adjacent rooms, suggesting horizontal transmission. We observed 1 rhinovirus-associated death.
Lebanon has a need for innovative approaches to increase access to mental health care to meet the country's current high demand. E-mental health has been included in its national mental health strategy while in parallel the World Health Organization has produced an online intervention called ‘Step-by-Step’ to treat symptoms of depression that is being tested in Lebanon over the coming years.
The primary aim of this study is to conduct bottom-up, community-driven qualitative cognitive interviewing from a multi-stakeholder perspective to inform the cultural adaptation of an Internet-delivered mental health intervention based on behavioural activation in Lebanon.
National Mental Health Programme staff conducted a total of 11 key informant interviews with three mental health professionals, six front-line workers in primary health care centres (PHCCs) and two community members. Also, eight focus group discussions, one with seven front-line workers and seven others with a total of 66 community members (Lebanese, Syrians and Palestinians) were conducted in several PHCCs to inform the adaptation of Step-by-Step. Results were transcribed and analysed thematically by the project coordinator and two research assistants.
Feedback generated from the cognitive interviewing mainly revolved around amending the story, illustrations and the delivery methods to ensure relevance and sensitivity to the local context. The results obtained have informed major edits to the content of Step-by-Step and also to the model of provision. Notably, the intervention was made approximately 30% shorter; it includes additional videos of content alongside the originally proposed comic book-style delivery; there is less emphasis on total inactivity as a symptom of low mood and more focus on enjoyable activities to lift mood; the story and ways to contact participants to provide support were updated in line with local gender norms; and many of the suggested or featured activities have been revised in line with suggestions from community members.
These findings promote and advocate the use of community-driven adaptation of evidence-based psychological interventions. Some of the phenomena recorded mirror findings from other research about barriers to care seeking in the region and so changes made to the intervention should be useful in improving utility and uptake of ‘Step-by-Step’.
The Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is a life-threatening respiratory disease with a high case fatality rate; however, its risk factors remain unclear. We aimed to explore the influence of demographic factors, clinical manifestations and underlying comorbidities on mortality in MERS-CoV patients. Retrospective chart reviews were performed to identify all laboratory-confirmed cases of MERS-COV infection in Saudi Arabia that were reported to the Ministry of Health of Saudi Arabia between 23 April 2014 and 7 June 2016. Statistical analyses were conducted to assess the effect of sex, age, clinical presentation and comorbidities on mortality from MERS-CoV. A total of 281 confirmed MERS-CoV cases were identified: 167 (59.4%) patients were male and 55 (20%) died. Mortality predominantly occurred among Saudi nationals and older patients and was significantly associated with respiratory failure and shortness of breath. Of the 281 confirmed cases, 160 (56.9%) involved comorbidities, wherein diabetes mellitus, hypertension, ischemic heart disease, congestive heart failure, end-stage renal disease and chronic kidney disease were significantly associated with mortality from MERS-CoV and two or three comorbidities significantly affected the fatality rates from MERS-CoV. The findings of this study show that old age and the existence of underlying comorbidities significantly increase mortality from MERS-CoV.
This work aims to compare the dosimetric performance of three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy (3D-CRT), a relatively available technique in developing countries, to intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) in the treatment of different stages of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC).
Materials and Methods
According to the diagnostic stages, 40 NPC patients were divided into two equal groups. Three planning techniques such as 3D-CRT, seven-field IMRT (7F-IMRT) and nine-field IMRT (9F-IMRT) were compared. Dose prescriptions of 70 and 66 Gy were delivered in 35 fractions to gross planning target volume (PTV1) and bilateral retropharyngeal carcinoma (PTV2), respectively.
Stage I dose data for almost all of the three investigated planning techniques obey the international recommendations. The dose delivered to PTV1 and PTV2 for 3D-CRT and 7F-IMRT are statistically similar, whereas 9F-IMRT is significantly better than 3D-CRT. For organs at risk (OARs), the delivered dose is significantly better for 9F-IMRT compared with the other two techniques, whereas 7F-IMRT is significantly better than 3D-CRT.
3D-CRT is an acceptable alternative treatment technique for stage I NPC patients in developing countries suffering from the lack of advanced radiotherapy treatment techniques. 3D-CRT and 7F-IMRT have comparable performance in PTVs, while 9F-IMRT is superior in PTVs and OARs.
Dietary phosphoglycerides and n-3 long-chain PUFA (LC-PUFA) play important functions in the development of pikeperch (Sander lucioperca) larvae. This study aimed to determine optimal dietary levels of soyabean lecithin (SBL)-derived phospholipids (PL) in starter feeds for pikeperch larvae 10–30 d post-hatch (DPH) and examine performance and ontogeny by additional supplementation of n-3 LC-PUFA in the form of Algatrium DHA 70 (glyceride product; 660–700 mg/g DHA; EPA 60–75 mg/g). In total, six isoproteic and isoenergetic extruded diets were formulated with increasing levels of PL (3·7, 8·3 or 14·5 % wet weight (w.w.), respectively); however, three of the diets were supplemented with three levels of Algatrium DHA 70 (0·6, 2·0 or 3·4 %, respectively). Liver proteomic analyses of larvae at 30 DPH were included for effects of PL and primarily DHA on performance, physiological expression and interactions in larval proteins. In addition, bone anomalies, digestive enzymatic activity, candidate gene expression and skeleton morphogenesis were examined. Results confirmed the importance of dietary PL levels of at least 8·2 % w.w., and an additional beneficiary effect of supplementation with DHA plus EPA. Thus, combined supplementation of SBL (up to 14·51 % w.w. PL) and n-3 LC-PUFA (1·004 % DM DHA and 0·169 % DM EPA) in the form of TAG resulted in highest growth and lowest incidence of anomalies, improved digestive enzyme activity and had differential effect on liver proteomics. The results denote that essential fatty acids can be supplemented as TAG to have beneficial effects in pikeperch larvae development.
Microscopic myringoplasty is the most frequently performed procedure for repairing tympanic membrane perforations. The endoscopic transcanal approach bypasses the narrow ear canal segment and provides a wider view.
An open-label randomised clinical trial was conducted on 56 patients with small anterior tympanic membrane perforations. Perforations were repaired with an endoscopic push-through technique (n = 28) or a microscopic underlay technique (n = 28). Follow up was conducted using endoscopic examination and pure tone audiometry three months’ post-operatively.
Graft success rate was 92.9 per cent in the endoscopic group versus 85.7 per cent in the microscopic group. The corresponding pre-operative mean air–bone gaps were 17.4 dB and 18.5 dB, improving to 6.1 dB and 9.3 dB post-operatively (p > 0.05). Mean air–bone gap closure was 11.4 dB in the endoscopic group and 9.2 dB in the microscopic group (p > 0.05). Mean operative time and estimated blood loss were 37.0 minutes and 29 ml in the endoscopic group, versus 107 minutes and 153 ml in the microscopic group (both p < 0.05).
The endoscopic push-through technique for anterior tympanic membrane perforations is as effective as microscopic underlay myringoplasty; furthermore, it is less invasive and takes less operative time.
Schistosoma haematobium and Schistosoma mansoni infections have broadly overlapping geographical distributions. Praziquantel is the only treatment for human schistosomiasis, so drug tolerance and/or resistance are major concerns. Artemisinin–naphthoquine phosphate (CO-ArNp), an artemisinin-based combination therapy endorsed by the World Health Organization as a gold standard therapy for malaria, has also been identified as a promising treatment for S. mansoni. In this in vitro study, we tested the effect of 1–40 μg/ml CO-ArNp on S. haematobium worms, and inspected tegumental changes by using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), aiming to determine if this combination therapy has a broad-spectrum antischistosomal activity. Incubation of S. haematobium adults with 20 or 30 μg/ml CO-ArNp caused 100% mortality of worms within 72 or 48 h, respectively. SEM examination showed extensive tegumental alterations such as oedema, constriction, shortening and loss of spines, fissuring, sloughing and perforation, resulting in exposure of the underlying basal lamina, mainly in treated male schistosomes. Besides the well-established potent efficacy, bioavailability, tolerability and safety of the antimalarial artemisinin–naphthoquine phosphate combined therapy, these results may also suggest its possible utilization as a new broad-spectrum antischistosomal agent.
Porphyrins are photosensitisers used in photodynamic therapy (PDT) due to their tumor localization and in situ singlet oxygen generation. However, their limited absorption, insolubility, and aggregation in an aqueous medium limited their effective application in PDT. To overcome these limitations, we herein, report a large-scale aqueous synthesis of CuInS2/ZnS ternary quantum dots, and its conjugation to 5, 10, 15, 20-meso(4-hydroxyphenyl) porphyrin. The singlet oxygen generation of this highly aqueous soluble novel conjugate shows its potential for PDT applications.
Cinnamon is a common spice obtained from the bark of the cinnamon tree (Cinnamomum zeylanicum). It has been used for culinary, as well as medicinal, purposes since ancient times in various countries. Apart from substantial amounts of several nutrients, including carbohydrates, proteins, choline, vitamins (A, K, C, B3), and minerals, several biological active compounds are present in the extract of oil, which contribute to immunomodulatory, antioxidant, antiviral, lowering blood cholesterol, antimicrobial, lipid-lowering, antihypertension, anti-inflammatory, antitumor, gastroprotective, antidiabetic, neuroprotective and blood purifying properties. Cinnamon roots serve as a hepatic stimulant by improving bile production, eliminating toxins, restoring electrolyte balance and regulating hydration and can be used for enhancing digestion. In addition, nutritional properties of cinnamon powder include positive effects regarding growth, digestion, enhanced activity of gut microflora, improvement of immune response, as well as improved feed efficiency and health improvement of poultry birds. Recently, research focus has been directed towards supplementing broiler diets with cinnamon powder as a phytobiotic in order to replace synthetic growth promoters. After reviewing the literature, it was found that the research at the molecular level to elucidate the mechanisms behind the potential of cinnamon as a feed additive in poultry is limited, despite its promising impacts. Furthermore, supplementation doses vary significantly, i.e., from 0.02 to 7%. So, the aim of this review was to compile the published research related to cinnamon. Hence explore its beneficial properties, find out its optimal dosage for uses by veterinarians, researchers, and nutritionists, as well as its potential to use as a natural feed additive to replace the synthetic antibiotic growth promoters in poultry feed.
Flavonoids are natural compounds derived from different types of vegetables, fruits, and medicinal herbal plants. Hesperidin, a flavanone (a class of flavonoids) glycoside is found abundantly in citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons tangerines and limes and is known to possess significant benefits, such as anti-inflammatory, anti-stress, antioxidant, growth promoting, anticancer and immunological properties. Hesperidin enhances mucosal and humoral immunity by increasing intestinal intraepithelial lymphocyte numbers, lymphoid organs (thymus, spleen and bursa) indices, as well as improving anti-avian influenza and anti-Newcastle disease antibody titres in poultry. In addition, hesperidin is a strong chain-breaking antioxidant that provides potent cellular antioxidant defence against the damaging effects induced by peroxide hydrogen. As a natural antioxidant, hesperidin could help mitigate heat stress during summer by decreasing heterophil-to-lymphocyte ratios, and quenching reactive oxygen species generated by summer heat stress. The aim of this review was to elucidate the biological effects and health benefits of hesperidin as an alternative of synthetic immune boosters and growth promoters in poultry diets.
This experiment was conducted to evaluate the effect of adding some herbal feed additives (HF A) [thyme (T, Thymus Vulgaris L.), dianthus (D, Delphinum Ajaews), and fennel (F, Foeniculum Vulgare L.)] at a level of 10g/kg to Japanese quail diets on performance and some metabolic functions. Adding HFA to the control diet improved (P<0.05) body gain, feed intake and feed conversion (feed/gain) efficiency. The birds fed dietary F additive exhibited the best (P<0.05) values of these parameters during the entire period (0 to 6 weeks of age), compared with other dietary treatments. There was an improvement (P<0.05) in total protein, globulin, and albumin for birds fed dietary T or F at six weeks of age. Birds fed on dietary F recorded the lowest (P<0.05) value of these components compared with other dietary treatments.
In the semi-arid parts of west Asia and north Africa, barley straw (Hordeum vulgareL. subsp. vulgare)and cereal stubbles provide between one-quarter and one-half of the metabolizable energy (ME) offered to sheep. In barley straw, voluntary straw dry-matter (DM) intake (VSI) is a good predictor of body weight gain (R2 = 0.85; data of Capper et al., 1989). This varies according to location and year (CV = 0.30 to 0.40) and varies genetically, with an average genotypic CV of 0.07, which can exceed 0.10 in wet years. Genotype X environment interactions in VSI are important (Table 1).
A genetically high VSI is advantageous in cool, wet, favourable growing conditions, when VSI is normally low. In drought conditions, VSI is high, genetically varies relatively little (Table 1) and is less important for the farmer than straw and grain yields. Barley breeders working in drought-prone environments prefer to do most of their selection for yield in dry conditions (Ceccarelli, 1993). Breeders are increasingly selecting for high VSI but wish to focus their testing plots in dry areas. Therefore they need indirect tests that indicate the nutritive value of straw when it is grown in wet environments.