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Usutu virus (USUV) is an emerging arbovirus that was first isolated in South Africa in 1959. This Flavivirus is maintained in the environment through a typical enzootic cycle involving mosquitoes and birds. USUV has spread to a large part of the European continent over the two decades mainly leading to substantial avian mortalities with a significant recrudescence of bird infections recorded throughout Europe within the few last years. USUV infection in humans is considered to be most often asymptomatic or to cause mild clinical signs. Nonetheless, a few cases of neurological complications such as encephalitis or meningoencephalitis have been reported. USUV and West Nile virus (WNV) share many features, like a close phylogenetic relatedness and a similar ecology, with co-circulation frequently observed in nature. However, USUV has been much less studied and in-depth comparisons of the biology of these viruses are yet rare. In this review, we discuss the main body of knowledge regarding USUV and compare it with the literature on WNV, addressing in particular virological and clinical aspects, and pointing data gaps.
Sepsis – syndrome of infection complicated by organ dysfunction – is responsible for over 750 000 hospitalisations and 200 000 deaths in the USA annually. Despite potential nutritional benefits, the association of diet and sepsis is unknown. Therefore, we sought to determine the association between adherence to a Mediterranean-style diet (Med-style diet) and long-term risk of sepsis in the REasons for Geographic Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) cohort. We analysed data from REGARDS, a population-based cohort of 30 239 community-dwelling adults age ≥45 years. We determined dietary patterns from a baseline FFQ. We defined Med-style diet as a high consumption of fruit, vegetables, legumes, fish, cereal and low consumption of meat, dairy products, fat and alcohol categorising participants into Med-style diet tertiles (low: 0–3, moderate: 4–5, high: 6–9). We defined sepsis events as hospital admission for serious infection and at least two systematic inflammatory response syndrome criteria. We used Cox proportional hazard models to determine the association between Med-style diet tertiles and first sepsis events, adjusting for socio-demographics, lifestyle factors, and co-morbidities. We included 21 256 participants with complete dietary data. Dietary patterns were: low Med-style diet 32·0 %, moderate Med-style diet 42·1 % and high Med-style diet 26·0 %. There were 1109 (5·2 %) first sepsis events. High Med-style diet was independently associated with sepsis risk; low Med-style diet referent, moderate Med-style diet adjusted hazard ratio (HR) 0·93 (95 % CI 0·81, 1·08), high Med-style diet adjusted HR=0·74 (95 % CI 0·61, 0·88). High Med-style diet adherence is associated with lower risk of sepsis. Dietary modification may potentially provide an option for reducing sepsis risk.
We determined the molecular epidemiology of Bordetella pertussis isolates to evaluate its potential impact on pertussis reemergence in a population of Mexico. Symptomatic and asymptomatic cases were included. Pertussis infection was confirmed by culture and real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Selected B. pertussis isolates were further analysed; i.e. clonality was analysed by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and ptxP-ptxA, prn, fim2 and fim3 typing was performed by PCR and sequencing. Out of 11 864 analysed samples, 687 (5.8%) were positive for pertussis, with 244 (36%) confirmed by both culture and PCR whereas 115 (17%) were positive only by culture and 328 (48%) were positive only by PCR. One predominant clone (clone A, n = 62/113; 55%) and three major subtypes (A1, A2 and A3) were identified by PFGE. All 113 selected isolates had the allelic combination ptxP3-ptxA1. The predominant clone A and the three major subtypes (A1, A2 and A3) corresponded to the emerging genotypes ptxP3-ptxA1-prn2-fim2-1-fim3-2 and ptxP3-ptxA1-prn2-fim2-1-fim3-1. In conclusion, the presence of an endemic clone and three predominant subtypes belonging to the genotypes ptxP3-ptxA1-prn2-fim2-1-fim3-2 and ptxP3-ptxA1-prn2-fim2-1-fim3-1 were detected. This finding supports the global spread/expansion reported for these outbreaks associated genotypes.
Observers say that drug production fuels violence in Colombia, but does coca production explain different levels of violence? This article examines the relationship between coca production and guerrilla violence by reviewing national-level data over time and studying Colombia by department, exploring the interactions among guerrilla violence, exports, development, and displacement. It uses historical analysis, cartographic visualization, and analysis of the trends in four high coca-producing and four violent Colombian departments, along with a department-level fixed effects model. Contrary to the conventional wisdom, the department-level analysis suggests that coca production is not the driving force of contemporary Colombian guerrilla violence. Instead, economic factors and coca eradication emerge as prominent explanatory factors.
Bovine leukaemia virus (BLV) is the causative agent of enzootic bovine leucosis, which has been reported worldwide. BLV has been found recently in human tissue and it could have a significant impact on human health. A possible hypothesis regarding viral entry to humans is through the consumption of infected foodstuffs. This study was aimed at detecting the presence of BLV DNA in raw beef and fresh milk for human consumption. Nested PCR directed at the BLV gag gene (272 bp) was used as a diagnostic test. PCR products were confirmed by Sanger sequencing. Forty-nine per cent of the samples proved positive for the presence of proviral DNA. This is the first study highlighting the presence of the BLV gag gene in meat products for human consumption and confirms the presence of the viral DNA in raw milk, as in previous reports. The presence of viral DNA in food products could suggest that viral particles may also be found. Further studies are needed to confirm the presence of infected viral particles, even though the present findings could represent a first approach to BLV transmission to humans through foodstuff consumption.
Ranking trait was used as a selection criterion for competition horses to estimate racing performance. In the literature the most common approaches to estimate breeding values are the linear or threshold statistical models. However, recent studies have shown that a Thurstonian approach was able to fix the race effect (competitive level of the horses that participate in the same race), thus suggesting a better prediction accuracy of breeding values for ranking trait. The aim of this study was to compare the predictability of linear, threshold and Thurstonian approaches for genetic evaluation of ranking in endurance horses. For this purpose, eight genetic models were used for each approach with different combinations of random effects: rider, rider–horse interaction and environmental permanent effect. All genetic models included gender, age and race as systematic effects. The database that was used contained 4065 ranking records from 966 horses and that for the pedigree contained 8733 animals (47% Arabian horses), with an estimated heritability around 0.10 for the ranking trait. The prediction ability of the models for racing performance was evaluated using a cross-validation approach. The average correlation between real and predicted performances across genetic models was around 0.25 for threshold, 0.58 for linear and 0.60 for Thurstonian approaches. Although no significant differences were found between models within approaches, the best genetic model included: the rider and rider–horse random effects for threshold, only rider and environmental permanent effects for linear approach and all random effects for Thurstonian approach. The absolute correlations of predicted breeding values among models were higher between threshold and Thurstonian: 0.90, 0.91 and 0.88 for all animals, top 20% and top 5% best animals. For rank correlations these figures were 0.85, 0.84 and 0.86. The lower values were those between linear and threshold approaches (0.65, 0.62 and 0.51). In conclusion, the Thurstonian approach is recommended for the routine genetic evaluations for ranking in endurance horses.
The goal of this work was the assessment of commercial vineyard water status using on-the-go thermal imaging. On-the-go thermal imaging acquisition was conducted with a thermal camera operating at 1.20 m distance from the canopy, mounted on a quad moving at 5 km/h. Canopy temperature, cross water stress index (CWSI) and stomatal conductance index (Ig) were strongly and significantly correlated to stem water potential (Ψstem) in east and west side of the canopy. For CWSI, the values of the coefficient of determination (R2) were 0.88*** and 0.73*** for east and west sides, respectively. As regards the index Ig, its relationships with Ψstem showed R2=0.89*** and R2=0.77*** for east and west sides, respectively. These results are promising and evidence the potential of on-the-go thermal imaging to become a new tool to evaluate the vineyard water status.
We investigated the antibiotic and heavy-metal resistance mechanisms, virulence genes and clonal relationships of macrolide- and/or lincosamide-resistant (M+/−LR) Streptococcus agalactiae (group B Streptococcus, GBS) isolates from pregnant women in La Rioja in Northern Spain, a region with a significant immigrant population. In total 375 GBS isolates were recovered during 2011. About three-quarters of isolates were from European nationals and the remainder distributed among 23 other nationalities. Seventy-five (20%) were classified as M+/−LR strains and 28 (37%) of these were resistant to ⩾3 classes of antibiotics. Capsular serotypes III (29·3%), V (21·3%) and II (12%) were the most frequent. A wide variety of antibiotic resistance genes were detected in M+/−LR strains; notably, 5·3% harboured the lsa(C) gene associated with cross-resistance, and tet(W) was identified in a single strain. We report, for the first time, the detection of cadmium and copper resistance encoded by tcrB + cadA + cadC genes in 20 M+/−LR strains, which raises the possibility of co-selection of antibiotic and heavy-metal resistance disseminated through mobile genetic elements. The M+/−LR strains were highly diverse by DNA macrorestriction profiles (65 patterns) and 16 multilocus sequence types (STs) distributed among six clonal complexes; the most frequent were ST1, ST19, and ST12, and two strains were novel (ST586 and ST601). In conclusion, a wide diversity of genetic lineages of macrolide, lincosamide and heavy-metal- resistant GBS strains was observed in an ethnically diverse maternal population.
Temperature fluctuations in the CMB (Cosmic Microwave Background) are a key prediction of cosmological models of structure formation in the early Universe. Observations at the Teide Observatory, Tenerife using radiometers operating at 10, 15 and 33 GHz have revealed individual hot and cold features in the microwave sky at high Galactic latitudes. These well-defined features are not atmospheric or Galactic in origin; they represent the first detection of individual primordial fluctuations in the CMB. Their intensity is defined by an intrinsic rms amplitude of 54−10+14 μK for a model with a coherence angle of 4°. The expected quadrupole term for a Harrison-Zel'dovich spectrum is QRMS–PS = 26 ± 6 μK. When our data at Dec=+40° are compared with the COBE DMR two-year data, the presence of individual features is confirmed. New experiments to detect structure on smaller scales are described.
Beamswitching has been used at 10, 15 and 33 GHz to map the microwave background over the Declination range 30° to 45°, covering more than one steradian of the sky. The beamwidth is 5° and the beam-throw is ±8° at each frequency. The three data sets are used to separate Galactic emission from intrinsic CMB emission. For the scan at Dec = 40° the intrinsic fluctuation level is ΔTrms = 48+21−15 μK on a coherence scale of 4°; the equivalent analysis for a Harrison-Zeldovich model gives a power spectrum normalisation of Qrms = 22+10−6 μK. The value of the fluctuation amplitude calculated from the likelihood analysis of the two-dimensional data set is ΔTrms = 54 ± 13 μK at 10 GHz and 39+8−7 μK at 15 GHz.
Magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) are a class of materials that can be manipulated under the influence of an external magnetic field. Thanks to the ability of the MNPs to be guided by an external magnetic field that is like "action at a distance", combined with their low cytotoxicity and the intrinsic penetrability of magnetic fields into human tissue, opens up many applications involving the transport and/or immobilization of biological entities [1, 2].
This work is focused on the synthesis of magnetite nanoparticles by varied methods, their functionalization with nickel tetrasulfonated phthalocyanine, and the corresponding physicochemical characterization and colloidal stability studies in biologically compatible media. The in vitro production of singlet oxygen by these nanoparticles through photochemical stimulation in ultraviolet and visible region was evaluated, resulting in 4.5 and 4 µM respectly to magnetite synthetized in the group. The increase reactive oxygen species concentration in the cellular environment can result in modification and damage of cellular components, and potentially, cell death and necrosis. Therefore, these materials offer the promise of revolutionary tools for photodynamic therapy and hyperthermia, which are attractive strategies for cancer therapy without systemic toxicity.
Aluminum titanium oxynitride (TiAlNO) coatings were deposited on 316 steel substrates by the sputtering technique, varying the nitrogen flow from 2.5, 5, 7.5 to 10 sccm, and maintaining constant at 12 sccm the flow argon gas. We used targets of titanium and alumina with 99.995% purity. The hardness and tribological analyses were determined by Vickers microhardness and tribology (tribometer pin-disc), respectively. The results show that the coating with a nitrogen flow of 10 sccm had the lowest volumetric wear (2.047738693 mm3) and the maximum value of hardness (11.2 GPa). Analysis of X-ray diffraction evidenced the presence of three crystalline phases: Ti2N, Al2O3 and TiO2. It can be observed that by increasing the nitrogen flow, the portion of semi-Ti2N phase increases, Al2O3 decreases and TiO2 remains almost constant, and also producing a change in crystallographic orientation with reference to the Ti2N phase. Crystal grain sizes were estimated by X-ray diffraction Fourier line profile analysis using Warren–Averbach method. This analysis showed a grain size between 5 and 15 nm. Raman spectroscopy results show the presence of the TiO2 phase which corroborated the X-ray diffraction results.
We describe recent advances in the development of a scanning Fabry-Perot interferometer applied to the study of the kinematics of the interstellar medium at the Observatorio Astronómico Nacional at San Pedro Mártir, B.C. México.
I deficiency is still a worldwide public health problem, with children being especially vulnerable. No nationwide study had been conducted to assess the I status of Spanish children, and thus an observational, multicentre and cross-sectional study was conducted in Spain to assess the I status and thyroid function in schoolchildren aged 6–7 years. The median urinary I (UI) and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels in whole blood were used to assess the I status and thyroid function, respectively. A FFQ was used to determine the consumption of I-rich foods. A total of 1981 schoolchildren (52 % male) were included. The median UI was 173 μg/l, and 17·9 % of children showed UI<100 μg/l. The median UI was higher in males (180·8 v. 153·6 μg/l; P<0·001). Iodised salt (IS) intake at home was 69·8 %. IS consumption and intakes of ≥2 glasses of milk or 1 cup of yogurt/d were associated with significantly higher median UI. Median TSH was 0·90 mU/l and was higher in females (0·98 v. 0·83; P<0·001). In total, 0·5 % of children had known hypothyroidism (derived from the questionnaire) and 7·6 % had TSH levels above reference values. Median TSH was higher in schoolchildren with family history of hypothyroidism. I intake was adequate in Spanish schoolchildren. However, no correlation was found between TSH and median UI in any geographical area. The prevalence of TSH above reference values was high and its association with thyroid autoimmunity should be determined. Further assessment of thyroid autoimmunity in Spanish schoolchildren is desirable.
In this study, pull-out capacity of 3D printed composites are experimentally and computationally investigated. Cylindrical multi-material prototypes consist of a fiber embedded in a soft matrix. Embedded fiber has tiny orderly spaced geometrical features (fins) on its circumference over the bond length. Fins are either vertically aligned or inclined to the axis of the fiber (loading direction). Both fiber and fins are made of the same stiffer material, while the matrix is made of soft rubbery polymer. Pull-out performance of the samples were evaluated using tensile testing machine. It was found that orientation of the fins influences both the pull-out capacity and the effective stiffness of the interface. The pull-out capacity and stiffness response were found to increase by ∼62 % and ∼65.5 %, respectively, for a system with a volume fraction of 2.7 %, compared to a baseline design with no fins. In the later part of study, Finite Element (FE) simulations were performed for all prototypes. FE analyses indicate that the von Mises stresses at the interface between the matrix and fiber can be significantly reduced by the incorporation of fins. This study provides insight into the mechanics of stress transfer through the embedded fins, and the design aspects of the interface of fiber reinforced composites.
We have developed a new method for controlling the size, crystallinity, and polydispersity of 100–2000 nm tetrafluoride phosphor particles. Five polyol-based deep eutectic solvents (DESs) were downselected out of a set of more than 130 candidates. We analyzed their benefits in synthesizing phosphor matrix particles of β-NaYF4, β-NaYbF4, and β-NaGdF4. We produced green (λmax = 540 nm) and blue/UV (λmax = 450 nm) upconverting phosphors in DES using Yb,Er and Yb,Tm codopants, respectively. The blue/UV phosphor reaction was scaled the up to 25 L, yielding nearly 400 g of high-quality, bright photoluminescent, β-phase product under mild conditions. We conclude that polyol-based DES systems offer a uniquely specialized and useful toolkit for phosphor synthesis.
Ana Sáez-Hidalgo, Associate Professor at the University of Valladolid, Spain,R. F. Yeager, Professor of English and World Languages and chair of the department at the University of West Florida
Ana Sáez-Hidalgo, Associate Professor at the University of Valladolid, Spain,R. F. Yeager, Professor of English and World Languages and chair of the department at the University of West Florida