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Recruitment of the limpet Patella ulyssiponensis was investigated in relation to the presence of living crustose coralline algae (CCA) in rocky-shore habitats. Juvenile limpets (≤10 mm maximum shell length) were counted in CCA-present and CCA-absent habitats, on three shores in SW Portugal during summer 2007 and winter 2009. Furthermore, the settling response of laboratory-reared larvae of P. ulyssiponensis to CCA-covered substratum, and bare-rock, was examined. Across the intertidal zone, we found a clear association between the distribution and abundance of juveniles and the presence of CCA. Although the presence of CCA was not an absolute requisite for juvenile occurrence, null juvenile densities were mostly recorded in CCA-absent areas. The highest juvenile densities (maximum of 64 individuals in 15 × 15 cm) were consistently found in CCA-dominated habitats, namely steep wave-exposed areas at low-shore and rock-pools. The hypothesis of CCA-enhanced settlement was not supported, as settlement intensities of laboratory-reared larvae were similar between chips of rock encrusted by CCA and chips of bare-rock. From the overall number of settlers onto CCA-encrusted rock chips, 51% were found in tiny pits lacking CCA. This was the first study of the settlement patterns of larvae of the genus Patella using naturally occurring rocky substrata. These results are preliminary and should be confirmed with choice-experiments and improved monitoring of the position of settlers. We suggest that CCA plays a role in the recruitment of P. ulyssiponensis, potentially promoting survivorship of early benthic stages, but possibly not enhancing settlement.
Consanguineous marriages potentially play an important role in the transmission of β-thalassaemia in many communities. This study aimed to determine the rate and socio-demographic associations of consanguineous marriages and to assess the influence on the prevalence of β-thalassaemia in Sri Lanka. Three marriage registrars from each district of Sri Lanka were randomly selected to prospectively collect data on all couples who registered their marriage during a 6-month period starting 1st July 2009. Separately, the parents of patients with β-thalassaemia were interviewed to identify consanguinity. A total of 5255 marriages were recorded from 22 districts. The average age at marriage was 27.3 (±6.1) years for males and 24.1 (±5.7) years for females. A majority (71%) of marriages were ‘love’ marriages, except in the Moor community where 84% were ‘arranged’ marriages. Overall, the national consanguinity rate was 7.4%. It was significantly higher among ethnic Tamils (22.4%) compared with Sinhalese (3.8%) and Moors (3.2%) (p < 0.001). Consanguinity rates were also higher in ‘arranged’ as opposed to ‘love’ marriages (11.7% vs 5.6%, p < 0.001). In patients with β-thalassaemia, the overall consanguinity rate was 14.5%; it was highest among Tamils (44%) and lowest among Sinhalese (12%). Parental consanguinity among patients with β-thalassaemia was double the national average. Although consanguinity is not the major factor in the transmission of the disease in the country, emphasis should be given to this significant practice when conducting β-thalassaemia prevention and awareness campaigns, especially in high-prevalence communities.
Dietary protein adjustments can reduce environmental impact and economic losses in production systems. However, we lack information regarding nitrogen (N) metabolism and protein requirements for maintenance of crossbred animals such as Red Norte breed, precluding a precise dietary management. The objective was to evaluate the effect of increasing dietary CP levels (9%, 11%, 13%, 15% and 17%) on intake, digestibility and N balance, as well as to estimate the metabolizable protein requirements for maintenance (MPm) of growing Red Norte bulls. Thirty five animals averaging 280 ± 4.0 kg BW were fed during 45 days in a 60 : 40 forage : concentrate ratio diet in which the last 5 days were used for the digestibility trial. Intakes of CP and non-fibrous carbohydrates (NFCs) and feed efficiency linearly increased (P < 0.05) as CP levels increased, while DM, NDF, nitrogen efficiency use and ether extract were not influenced by CP levels (P > 0.05). Digestibilities of DM, organic matter, ether extract, NFC and CP as well as metabolizable energy intake linearly increased (P < 0.05), and true digestibility of CP was not affected (P > 0.05) by treatments. Urinary N and retained N linearly increased (P < 0.05) with the increase in dietary N. The MPm were estimated as 4.46 g/BW0.75 and the efficiency of use of MPm was 0.673. In conclusion, obtained MPm requirements of growing Red Norte bulls are greater than the values reported in literature for Zebu cattle and dietary CP levels of 15% and 17% exhibited great responses for growing Red Norte cattle. However, a cost-benefit evaluation should be done before its use.
The rocky shores of the north-east Atlantic have been long studied. Our focus is from Gibraltar to Norway plus the Azores and Iceland. Phylogeographic processes shape biogeographic patterns of biodiversity. Long-term and broadscale studies have shown the responses of biota to past climate fluctuations and more recent anthropogenic climate change. Inter- and intra-specific species interactions along sharp local environmental gradients shape distributions and community structure and hence ecosystem functioning. Shifts in domination by fucoids in shelter to barnacles/mussels in exposure are mediated by grazing by patellid limpets. Further south fucoids become increasingly rare, with species disappearing or restricted to estuarine refuges, caused by greater desiccation and grazing pressure. Mesoscale processes influence bottom-up nutrient forcing and larval supply, hence affecting species abundance and distribution, and can be proximate factors setting range edges (e.g., the English Channel, the Iberian Peninsula). Impacts of invasive non-native species are reviewed. Knowledge gaps such as the work on rockpools and host–parasite dynamics are also outlined.
The search for life in the Universe is a fundamental problem of astrobiology and modern science. The current progress in the detection of terrestrial-type exoplanets has opened a new avenue in the characterization of exoplanetary atmospheres and in the search for biosignatures of life with the upcoming ground-based and space missions. To specify the conditions favourable for the origin, development and sustainment of life as we know it in other worlds, we need to understand the nature of global (astrospheric), and local (atmospheric and surface) environments of exoplanets in the habitable zones (HZs) around G-K-M dwarf stars including our young Sun. Global environment is formed by propagated disturbances from the planet-hosting stars in the form of stellar flares, coronal mass ejections, energetic particles and winds collectively known as astrospheric space weather. Its characterization will help in understanding how an exoplanetary ecosystem interacts with its host star, as well as in the specification of the physical, chemical and biochemical conditions that can create favourable and/or detrimental conditions for planetary climate and habitability along with evolution of planetary internal dynamics over geological timescales. A key linkage of (astro)physical, chemical and geological processes can only be understood in the framework of interdisciplinary studies with the incorporation of progress in heliophysics, astrophysics, planetary and Earth sciences. The assessment of the impacts of host stars on the climate and habitability of terrestrial (exo)planets will significantly expand the current definition of the HZ to the biogenic zone and provide new observational strategies for searching for signatures of life. The major goal of this paper is to describe and discuss the current status and recent progress in this interdisciplinary field in light of presentations and discussions during the NASA Nexus for Exoplanetary System Science funded workshop ‘Exoplanetary Space Weather, Climate and Habitability’ and to provide a new roadmap for the future development of the emerging field of exoplanetary science and astrobiology.
The enrichment of meat with selenium is important to improve the intake of selenium by humans. The effects of supranutritional doses of sodium selenite or selenium-enriched yeast on performance, carcass characteristics and meat quality were evaluated using 63 Nellore cattle in a completely randomized design with two sources (sodium selenite and selenium-enriched yeast), three levels (0.3, 0.9 and 2.7 mg Se/kg DM) and control treatment (without addition of selenium). Final body weight (BW), average daily gain, dry matter intake and gain to feed ratio (G : F) at the end of 84 days of supplementation were not influenced by treatments (P>0.05). Values of pH, ribeye area, back fat thickness and marbling score were also not influenced by treatments (
P>0.05). Dressing percentage was greater (P=0.02) in Nellore cattle supplemented with organic Se (58.70%) compared to animals supplemented with inorganic Se (57.94%). Hot carcass weight increased (
P=0.05) with the increasing of Se levels in the diet. Colour, shear force (SF), cooking and drip loss remained unchanged (
P>0.05); however thiobarbituric acid reactive substances was 15.51% higher with inorganic Se compared with organic Se. The selenium concentration in the meat of animals receiving organic selenium was higher (
P<0.001) than that of animals receiving sodium selenite, at all levels (0.3; 0.9 and 2.7 mg/kg DM). The meat of animals receiving 2.7 mg of organic Se/kg of DM presented concentration of 372.7 μg Se/kg in the L.dorsi muscle, and the intake of 150 g of this meat by humans provides approximately 100% of the recommended Se intake (55 μg Se/day for adults). Therefore, the use of supranutritional doses of 2.7 mg Se/kg of DM, regardless of source, is a way of naturally producing selenium-enriched meat without compromising performance, carcass characteristics and quality of Nellore bovine meat.
Intake in sugar-rich diets can be limited either via rumen fill or excessive rumen fermentation and source of non-fibre carbohydrate (NFC) in the diet can affect both factors. The aim of the current study was to quantify the effect of partially replacing ground maize (GM) with steam-rolled maize (SRM) or pelleted citrus pulp (PCP) at two concentrate levels in sugarcane-based diets on digestibility, rumen ecosystem and metabolism of Nellore steers. Six rumen-cannulated steers were assigned to a 6 × 6 Latin square, replicated in time, in a 2 × 3 factorial arrangement of treatments with two levels of concentrate (600 or 800 g concentrate/kg dry matter [DM]) and three NFC sources. Each steer within a period was considered an experimental unit. Feeding more concentrate increased total tract digestibility of organic matter and decreased fibre intake and passage rate. It also reduced rumen populations of Fibrobacter succinogenes and Streptococcus bovis and increased Ruminococcus flavefaciens. Substituting PCP for GM increased rumen pH, acetic acid and organic matter digestibility. Feeding PCP also reduced R. flavefaciens and R. amylophilus rumen populations. Substituting SRM for GM increased starch digestibility and rumen propionic acid, but decreased rumen ammonia concentration. Feeding SRM increased rumen populations of Megasphaera elsdenii with the high-concentrate diet but reduced Ruminococcus albus populations at both concentrate levels. In conclusion, partial replacement of GM by PCP decreased intake in sugar-rich diets, while increasing total tract neutral detergent fibre digestibility. Replacement of GM with SRM increases rumen fermentation and total tract digestibility of starch.
Replacing ground maize (GM) with steam-rolled maize typically increases feed efficiency in maize-silage-based diets. However, little is known about optimal carbohydrate supplementation in sugarcane silage-based diets. The objective was to quantify the effect of partially replacing GM with steam-rolled maize (SRM) or pelleted citrus pulp (PCP) at two concentrate levels (600 or 800 g/kg DM) in sugarcane-based diets on feeding behaviour, performance and blood parameters of finishing Nellore bulls. One hundred and eight young bulls were allocated to 36 pens in a randomized block design and fed for 84 d. Feeding 800 g/kg concentrate decreased time spending eating and ruminating, but improved G:F ratio, hot carcass weight and carcass dressing, compared to 600 g/kg concentrate. Bulls fed SRM and PCP diets with 600 g/kg concentrate had lower intake compared to GM. Both final weight and average daily gain decreased when bulls were fed PCP and SRM with 600 g/kg concentrate compared to GM diets, and when fed with PCP and 800 g/kg concentrate. Substituting PCP for GM decreased gain efficiency, carcass weight, rumination time and intake efficiency, indicating that the bulls consumed less feed per hour spent eating. Substituting SRM for GM increased backfat thickness and blood urea concentration. In conclusion, the replacement of GM with PCP reduces intake and enhances selection against large particles, decreasing rumination, performance and final carcass weight and dressing. Replacement of GM with SRM increases blood urea and fat deposition, with no impact on performance.
Expression of estrus near timed artificial insemination (TAI) is associated with greater fertility, and estrus detection could improve TAI fertility or direct TAI management, although accurate estrus detection can be difficult and time-consuming using traditional methods. The aim of this study is to evaluate influence of estrus on pregnancy (artificial insemination pregnancy rates (P/AI)) and to validate an alternative method to classify estrus/heat expression using tail chalking (HEATSC) in postpartum Bos indicus cows subjected to TAI in progesterone–estrogen-based protocols. In experiment 1 (Exp. 1), cows (5491) were subjected to visual observation of estrus after progesterone device removal, before TAI, and P/AI was evaluated according to estrus and body condition score (BCS). Cows received a progesterone device and 2 mg estradiol benzoate (EB). After 8 days, the device was removed and 150 μg of d-cloprostenol and 300 IU equine chorionic gonadotrophin was given. Later, animals in Exp. 1 received 1 mg EB and TAI 44 to 48 h. In the Exp. 2 – 3830 cows using similar protocol, received different ovulation inducers: 1 mg EB (n=1624) or 1 mg estradiol cypionate (EC; n=2206) on day 8 (D8). Cows were then marked with chalk, and HEATSC evaluated at TAI on D10 (HEATSC1 – no chalk removal=no estrus expression; HEATSC2 – partial chalk removal=low estrus expression; HEATSC3 – near complete/complete chalk removal=high estrus expression). In Exp. 1, cows showing estrus presented greater P/AI (48.4% v. 40.2%, P<0.05). In Exp. 2, P/AI (HEATSC1 – 40.0%; HEATSC2 – 49.7%; HEATSC3 – 60.9%; P<0.001), and larger follicle timed artificial insemination (LFTAI) (<0.001) varied according to HEATSC. There was no difference in P/AI (P=0.41) or LFTAI (P=0.33) according to ovulation inducer. Cows with greater BCS showed greater P/AI in both experiments (P<0.05). Estrus presence and greater HEATSC improved P/AI, and EC v. EB used promoted differential estrus manifestation (cows showing HEATSC2 and HEATSC3: 79.5% with EB v. 69.98% with EC use, P<0.001), however, with similar P/AI. The use of HEATSC in B. indicus cows subjected to TAI is useful to identify cows with greater estrus expression and consequently improved pregnancy rates in TAI, allowing the cows with low HEATSC to be targeted for additional treatments aimed at improving P/AI.
Chagas disease (CD) is a neglected parasitic condition endemic in the Americas caused by Trypanosoma cruzi. Patients present an acute phase that may or not be symptomatic, followed by lifelong chronic stage, mostly indeterminate, or with cardiac and/or digestive progressive lesions. Benznidazole (BZ) and nifurtimox are the only drugs approved for treatment but not effective in the late chronic phase and many strains of the parasite are naturally resistant. New alternative therapy is required to address this serious public health issue. Repositioning and combination represent faster, and cheaper trial strategies encouraged for neglected diseases. The effect of imatinib (IMB), a tyrosine kinase inhibitor designed for use in neoplasias, was assessed in vitro on T. cruzi and mammalian host cells. In comparison with BZ, IMB was moderately active against different strains and forms of the parasite. The combination IMB + BZ in fixed-ratio proportions was additive. Novel 14 derivatives of IMB were screened and a 3,2-difluoro-2-phenylacetamide (3e) was as potent as BZ on T. cruzi but had low selectivity index. The results demonstrate the importance of phenotypic assays, encourage the improvement of IMB derivatives to reach selectivity and testify to the use of repurposing and combination in drug screening for CD.
The objective of this study was to determine the serotype distribution and antibiotic resistance of invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) strains in children from Lima, Peru, before and after the introduction of the 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7), which was introduced in the national immunisation program on 2009. We conducted a prospective, multicentre, passive surveillance IPD study during 2006–2008 and 2009–2011, before and right after the introduction of PCV7 in Peru. The study was performed in 11 hospitals and five private laboratories in Lima, Peru, in patients <18 years old, with sterile site cultures yielding Streptococcus pneumoniae. In total 159 S. pneumoniae isolates were recovered. There was a decrease in the incidence of IPD in children <2 years old after the introduction of PCV7 (18.4/100 000 vs. 5.1/100 000, P = 0.004). Meningitis cases decreased significantly in the second period (P = 0.036) as well as the overall case fatality rate (P = 0.025), including a decreased case fatality rate of pneumonia (16.3% to 0%, P = 0.04). PCV7 serotypes showed a downward trend. Vaccine-preventable serotypes caused 78.9% of IPD cases, mainly 14, 6B, 5, 19F and 23F. A non-significant increase in erythromycin resistance was reported. Our findings suggest that the introduction of PCV7 led to a significant decrease of IPD in children under 2 years old and in the overall case fatality rate.
The mechanisms involved in kidney disturbances during development, induced by vitamin D3 deficiency in female rats, that persist into adulthood were evaluated in this study. Female offspring from mothers fed normal (control group, n=8) or vitamin D-deficient (Vit.D-, n=10) diets were used. Three-month-old rats had their systolic blood pressure (SBP) measured and their blood and urine sampled to quantify vitamin D3 (Vit.D3), creatinine, Na+, Ca+2 and angiotensin II (ANGII) levels. The kidneys were then removed for nitric oxide (NO) quantification and immunohistochemical studies. Vit.D- pups showed higher SBP and plasma ANGII levels in adulthood (P<0.05) as well as decreased urine osmolality associated with increases in urinary volume (P<0.05). Decreased expression of JG12 (renal cortex and glomeruli) and synaptopodin (glomeruli) as well as reduced renal NO was also observed (P<0.05). These findings showed that renal disturbances in development in pups from Vit.D- mothers observed in adulthood may be related to the development of angiogenesis, NO and ANGII alterations.
In this work, we report evidences of the improvement of X-ray attenuation efficiency by the addition of a very small amount of Graphene Oxide (GO) in polymer-based nanocomposite. Poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) homopolymer and barium sulfate (BaSO4) nanoparticles were mixed. PVDF/BaSO4 nanocomposite was found to attenuate 9.14% of a 20 kV X-ray beam. The addition of only 4.0 wt % of GO nanosheets to the nanocomposite improved this X-Ray attenuation efficiency to 24.56%. The respective linear attenuation coefficients (μ) were 39.9 cm-1 and 54.4 cm-1, respectively. The X-ray attenuation gradually decreases until 6.71% and 17.62%, respectively, for the X-ray beam with higher energy (100 kV). Fourier transform infrared data revealed that, due to the lack of the bending vibration modes of CF2 molecule at 656 cm-1, 688 cm-1, 723 cm-1, 776 cm-1and 796 cm-1, characteristics of the γ-crystalline phase of PVDF, the nanocomposites casted from solution are mostly in the β-ferroelectric phase of PVDF, besides the γ-paraelectric phase. SEM micrographs were used to evaluate the dispersion state of graphene sheets and the BaSO4 nanoparticles into the polymeric matrix. UV-Vis spectrometry and Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) were also performed in order to complement the structural analysis. The results confirm that the addition of graphene sheets in PVDF polymer-based nanocomposites enhances the X-ray shielding efficiency. The phenomenon is discussed in terms of the reported anomalous negative thermal expansion coefficient of graphene sheets
This paper describes a model of electron energization and cyclotron-maser emission applicable to astrophysical magnetized collisionless shocks. It is motivated by the work of Begelman, Ergun and Rees [Astrophys. J. 625, 51 (2005)] who argued that the cyclotron-maser instability occurs in localized magnetized collisionless shocks such as those expected in blazar jets. We report on recent research carried out to investigate electron acceleration at collisionless shocks and maser radiation associated with the accelerated electrons. We describe how electrons accelerated by lower-hybrid waves at collisionless shocks generate cyclotron-maser radiation when the accelerated electrons move into regions of stronger magnetic fields. The electrons are accelerated along the magnetic field and magnetically compressed leading to the formation of an electron velocity distribution having a horseshoe shape due to conservation of the electron magnetic moment. Under certain conditions the horseshoe electron velocity distribution function is unstable to the cyclotron-maser instability [Bingham and Cairns, Phys. Plasmas 7, 3089 (2000); Melrose, Rev. Mod. Plasma Phys. 1, 5 (2017)].
A point-prevalence study of antimicrobial use among inpatients at 5 public hospitals in Sri Lanka revealed that 54.6% were receiving antimicrobials: 43.1% in medical wards, 68.0% in surgical wards, and 97.6% in intensive care wards. Amoxicillin-clavulanate was most commonly used for major indications. Among patients receiving antimicrobials, 31.0% received potentially inappropriate therapy.
In the current study, phage-exposed mimotopes as targets against tegumentary leishmaniasis (TL) were selected by means of bio-panning cycles employing sera of TL patients and healthy subjects, besides the immune stimulation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) collected from untreated and treated TL patients and healthy subjects. The clones were evaluated regarding their specific interferon-γ (IFN-γ) and interleukin-4 (IL-4) production in the in vitro cultures, and selectivity and specificity values were calculated, and those presenting the best results were selected for the in vivo experiments. Two clones, namely A4 and A8, were identified and used in immunization protocols from BALB/c mice to protect against Leishmania amazonensis infection. Results showed a polarized Th1 response generated after vaccination, being based on significantly higher levels of IFN-γ, IL-2, IL-12, tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF); which were associated with lower production of specific IL-4, IL-10 and immunoglobulin G1 (IgG1) antibodies. Vaccinated mice presented significant reductions in the parasite load in the infected tissue and distinct organs, when compared with controls. In conclusion, we presented a strategy to identify new mimotopes able to induce Th1 response in PBMCs from TL patients and healthy subjects, and that were successfully used to protect against L. amazonensis infection.
Due to the lack of basic information on water required by maize (Zea mays L.) in Brazil, the large amount of water applied usually exceeds crop requirements, wasting water and energy. In this study, we measured crop evapotranspiration (ETc) as evaporative heat flux from a centre pivot-irrigated maize plantation in Southern Brazil during winter and summer seasons, using the Bowen ratio method to evaluate how the degree of canopy-atmosphere coupling affects crop water needs and irrigation management. Irrigation requirements were determined by comparing ETc with reference evapotranspiration (ETo), derived from the Penman–Monteith equation and expressed as the ETc/ETo (Kc) ratio. In this study, the average Kc values obtained were 1.31 and 0.90 for the winter and summer, respectively. Using aerodynamic and canopy resistance measurements, the decoupling factor (Ω) was computed. Ω values tending to zero (0.09 and 0.20 for winter and summer, respectively) showed that strong coupling of maize plants to the atmosphere and sensitivity to high air temperatures, vapour pressure deficits and wind speed caused variations in Kc in relation to ETo ranges. During the experimental period, the Kc value ranged from 0.92 when the ETo exceeded 4 mm d−1 to 1.64 when the ETo was less than 2 mm d−1.
Keto analogues and amino acids (KAAA) supplementation can reduce blood ammonia concentrations in athletes undergoing high-intensity exercise under both ketogenic and thermoneutral conditions. This study evaluated the acute effects of KAAA supplementation on ammonia metabolism during extenuating endurance exercise in rats fed a ketogenic diet. In all, eighty male Fischer rats at 90 d of age were divided into eight groups, and some were trained using a swimming endurance protocol. A ketogenic diet supplemented with keto analogues was administered for 10 d. Administration of the ketogenic diet ended 3 d before the exhaustion test (extenuating endurance exercise). A ketogenic diet plus KAAA supplementation and extenuating endurance exercise (trained ketogenic diet supplemented with KAAA (TKKa)) increased blood ammonia concentrations by approximately 50 % compared with the control diet (trained control diet supplemented with KAAA (TCKa)) and similar training (effect size=1·33; statistical power=0·50). The KAAA supplementation reduced blood urea concentrations by 4 and 18 % in the control and ketogenic diet groups, respectively, compared with the groups fed the same diets without supplementation. The trained groups had 60 % lower blood urate concentrations after TCKa treatment than after TKKa treatment. Our results suggest that KAAA supplementation can reduce blood ammonia concentrations after extenuating endurance exercise in rats fed a balanced diet but not in rats fed a ketogenic diet.
Moringa oleifera seeds are currently being used as a livestock feed across tropical regions of the world due to its availability and palatability. However, limited knowledge exists on the effects of the raw seeds on ruminant metabolism. As such, the rumen stimulation technique was used to evaluate the effects of substituting increasing concentrations of ground Moringa seeds (0, 100, 200 and 400 g/kg concentrate dry matter (DM)) in the diet on rumen fermentation and methane production. Two identical, Rusitec apparatuses, each with eight fermenters were used with the first 8 days used for adaptation and days 9 to 16 used for measurements. Fermenters were fed a total mixed ration with Urochloa brizantha as the forage. Disappearance of DM, CP, NDF and ADF linearly decreased (P<0.01) with increasing concentrations of Moringa seeds in the diet. Total volatile fatty acid production and the acetate to propionate ratio were also linearly decreased (P<0.01). However, only the 400 g/kg (concentrate DM basis) treatment differed (P<0.01) from the control. Methane production (%), total microbial incorporation of 15N and total production of microbial N linearly decreased (P<0.01) as the inclusion of Moringa seeds increased. Though the inclusion of Moringa seeds in the diet decreased CH4 production, this arose from an unfavourable decrease in diet digestibility and rumen fermentation parameters.
Reducing the risk of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) transmission is still a public health priority. The development of effective control strategies relies on the quantification of the effects of prophylactic and therapeutic measures in disease incidence. Although several assays can be used to estimate HIV incidence, these estimates are limited by the poor performance of these assays in distinguishing recent from long-standing infections. To address such limitation, we have developed an assay to titrate p24-specific IgG3 antibodies as a marker of recent infection. The assay is based on a recombinant p24 protein capable to detect total IgG antibodies in sera using a liquid micro array and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Subsequently, the assay was optimised to detect and titrate anti-p24 IgG3 responses in a panel of sequential specimens from seroconverters over 24 months. The kinetics of p24-specific IgG3 titres revealed a transient peak in the 4 to 5-month period after seroconversion. It was followed by a sharp decline, allowing infections with less than 6 months to be distinguished from older ones. The developed assay exhibited a mean duration of recent infection of 144 days and a false-recent rate of ca. 14%. Our findings show that HIV-1 p24-specific IgG3 titres can be used as a tool to evaluate HIV incidence in serosurveys and to monitor the efficacy of vaccines and other transmission control strategies.