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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.
Ruminants are unique among livestock due to their ability to efficiently convert plant cell wall carbohydrates into meat and milk. This ability is a result of the evolution of an essential symbiotic association with a complex microbial community in the rumen that includes vast numbers of bacteria, methanogenic archaea, anaerobic fungi and protozoa. These microbes produce a diverse array of enzymes that convert ingested feedstuffs into volatile fatty acids and microbial protein which are used by the animal for growth. Recent advances in high-throughput sequencing and bioinformatic analyses have helped to reveal how the composition of the rumen microbiome varies significantly during the development of the ruminant host, and with changes in diet. These sequencing efforts are also beginning to explain how shifts in the microbiome affect feed efficiency. In this review, we provide an overview of how meta-omics technologies have been applied to understanding the rumen microbiome, and the impact that diet has on the rumen microbial community.
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.
This study evaluated the effects of diet containing taro flour on hormone levels and the seminiferous tubules morphology of rats. After weaning, the male rats were divided into two groups (n=12 each): control group (CG) treated with control diet and taro group (TG), fed with 25% taro flour for 90 days. Food, caloric intake, mass and body length were evaluated at experiment end. Testis followed the standard histological processing. Immunostaining was performed using an anti-vimentin antibody to identify Sertoli cells. In histomorphometry, total diameter, total area, epithelial height, luminal height and luminal area were analyzed. The testosterone levels were performed using the radioimmunoassay method. Group TG presented (P<0.05): increase in mass, body length, testicular weight, histomorphometric parameters and hormonal levels. Food intake, calorie and Sertoli cells not presented statistical differences. The taro promoted increase in the testicles parameters and hormones.
To examine the impacts on food and nutrition-related outcomes resulting from participation in urban gardens, especially on healthy food practices, healthy food access, and healthy food beliefs, knowledge and attitudes.
The systematic review identified studies by searching the PubMed, ERIC, LILACS, Web of Science and Embase databases. An assessment of quality and bias risk of the studies was carried out and a narrative summary was produced.
Studies published as original articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals in English, Spanish or Portuguese between 2005 and 2015 were included.
The studies included were based on data from adult participants in urban gardens.
Twenty-four studies were initially selected based on the eligibility criteria, twelve of which were included. There was important heterogeneity of settings, population and assessment methods. Assessment of quality and bias risk of the studies revealed the need for greater methodological rigour. Most studies investigated community gardens and employed a qualitative approach. The following were reported: greater fruit and vegetable consumption, better access to healthy foods, greater valuing of cooking, harvest sharing with family and friends, enhanced importance of organic production, and valuing of adequate and healthy food.
Thematic patterns related to adequate and healthy food associated with participation in urban gardens were identified, revealing a positive impact on practices of adequate and healthy food and mainly on food perceptions.
In this study, a Leishmania hypothetical protein, LiHyS, was evaluated regarding its antigenicity, immunogenicity and protective efficacy against visceral leishmaniasis (VL). Regarding antigenicity, immunoblottings and an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay using human and canine sera showed high sensitivity and specificity values for the recombinant protein (rLiHyS) in the diagnosis of VL. When evaluating the immunogenicity of LiHyS, which is possibly located in the parasite's flagellar pocket, proliferative assays using peripheral blood mononuclear cells from healthy subjects or VL patients showed a high proliferative index in both individuals, when compared to the results obtained using rA2 or unstimulated cultures. Later, rLiHyS/saponin was inoculated in BALB/c mice, which were then challenged with Leishmania infantum promastigotes. The vaccine induced an interferon-γ, interleukin (IL)-12 and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor production, which was maintained after infection and which was associated with high nitrite and IgG2a antibody levels, as well as low IL-4 and IL-10 production. Significant reductions in the parasite load in liver, spleen, bone marrow and draining lymph nodes were found in these animals. In this context, the present study shows that the rLiHyS has the capacity to be evaluated as a diagnostic marker or vaccine candidate against VL.
Non-typhoidal Salmonella is an important burden, particularly in developing countries of the African region. We report for the first time in Angola, a sub-Saharan African country with commercial/travel relationships with Europe, an unexpectedly high occurrence of Salmonella (n = 12/63, 19%) from a high diversity of sources, particularly farm and wild animals. The detection of diverse serotypes (n = 12), involving putative new S. enterica subsp. salamae serotypes, is also of note, reinforcing the need for a comprehensive surveillance in Angola critical to identify animal/food/environmental sources of salmonellosis with impact on animal health, local people, tourists and exported products.
There is an increasing interest in improving neurocysticercosis (NCC) diagnosis through the search of new and alternative antigenic sources, as those obtained from heterologous antigens. The aim of this study was to obtain potential biomarkers for NCC diagnosis after gel filtration chromatography [gel filtration fraction (GFF)] from the total saline extract (SE) from Taenia saginata metacestodes, followed by protein identification and application in immunodiagnostic. SE and GFF proteic profiles were characterized in gel electrophoresis, and diagnostic performance was verified by testing 160 serum samples through enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and immunoblotting. Sensitivity (Se), specificity (Sp) and other diagnostic parameters were calculated. Polypeptides of interest in the diagnosis of human NCC present at GFF were analysed by mass spectrometry (MS) and B-cell epitopes were predicted. GFF had the best diagnostic parameters: Se 93·3%; Sp 93%; AUC 0·990; LR+ = 13·42 and LR− = 0·07, and proved to be useful reacting with serum samples in immunoblotting. Proteic profile ranged from 64 to 68 kDa and enolase and calcium binding protein calreticulin precursor were identified after MS. The enolase and calcium-binding protein calreticulin precursor showed 18 and 10 predicted B-cell epitopes, respectively. In conclusion we identified important markers in the GFF with high efficiency to diagnose NCC.
Increasingly, archaeological research in Amazonia is revealing complex precolonial occupation in areas around riverine confluences. In 2014, the first site-based archaeological investigations were undertaken in Gurupá, Pará, Brazil, a municipality that spans the region of the Xingu-Amazon confluence. The Portuguese controlled access to Amazonia from 1623 onward through a network of settlements organized around Gurupá. Results from extensive excavations of terra preta sites, landscape archaeology, and analysis of ceramic evidence suggest that this was also a precolonial crossroads. Carrazedo, once a booming historical town (Arapijó), sits atop a significantly larger terra preta site. Excavations in historical and precolonial sectors of Carrazedo found well-preserved remains, including a precolonial house terrace complex. The extent of terra preta and earthworks at Carrazedo indicate that the precolonial occupation was more intensive than the colonial-historical period occupation. Regional survey revealed colonial-historical period sites consistently overlying expansive precolonial sites, the density and extent of which suggest a major precolonial center at the Xingu-Amazon confluence. Overall, ecological and landscape modifications appear to have been more intense in the precolonial past than during later periods. Short- and long-distance settlement networks also differed during the two periods. This as-of-yet understudied region promises to shed new light on deep-time human-environment interactions and spatial organization in the humid tropics of Amazonia.
Modifying the extent of fatty acid (FA) biohydrogenation (BH) in the rumen through diet formulation is an effective strategy for changing the content of unsaturated FAs (USFAs) in meat. The present study investigated the effects of different sources of forage in high-concentrate diets on intake, digestibility, rumen fermentation, ruminal BH, duodenal flow of FAs and rumen microbiota in Nellore steers. Intake of neutral detergent fibre (NDF) was higher in animals fed with maize silage (MS) than in those fed with sugar cane (SC) and sugar cane bagasse (SB). Higher digestibility of dry matter and NDF was found in animals fed with MS than in those fed with the other diets. In addition, higher crude protein digestibility was observed in animals fed with sugar cane bagasse than in those fed with SC. Non-fibre carbohydrate (NFC) digestibility was higher in animals fed with sugar cane than in those fed with the other diets. Intake of total and individual FAs such as C18 : 1 cis-9, C18 : 2, and C18 : 3 was similar between animals fed with MS and SB, but decreased in animals fed with SC. Diets containing MS and SB showed higher total digestibility of saturated FAs (SFAs) and USFAs, respectively and total FAs and ruminal BH of C18 : 1 and USFA. Intestinal digestibility of overall FAs did not differ among treatments, except for C18 : 3, which increased in animals fed with SC and SB. The profile of FAs in duodenal digesta and faecal outputs did not differ among treatments. However, the flow of NDF was higher in animals fed with SC than in those fed with MS and SB. Animals fed with SB showed higher values of pH than those fed with MS and SC. Animals fed with SC showed lower values of ammonia-nitrogen. Protozoan counts were only influenced by diet for species that belonged to the genera Dasytricha and Isotricha. Populations of fibrolytic bacteria (Ruminococus flavefaciens, Ruminococus albus and Fibrobacter succinogenes) were similar among diets. Populations of Selenomonas ruminantium increased 2·5 and 5 times in animals fed with MS when compared with those fed with SC and SB, respectively. The use of MS increased intake and digestibility of NDF, and the use of SC decreased ruminal BH of total USFA without changing the flow of FAs to the duodenum. Thus, different sources of forage in high-concentrate diets do not modify the duodenal flow of USFA or fibrolytic bacteria. This must be taken into account when formulating diets to modulate ruminal upsets without altering intake.
Management strategies for increasing ruminant legume consumption and mitigating methane emissions from tropical livestock production systems require further study. The aim of this work was to evaluate the herbage intake, animal performance and enteric methane emissions of cattle grazing dwarf elephant grass (DEG) (Pennisetum purpureum cv. BRS Kurumi) alone or DEG with peanut (Arachis pintoi cv. Amarillo). The experimental treatments were the following: DEG pastures receiving nitrogen fertilization (150 kg N/ha as ammonium nitrate) and DEG intercropped with peanut plus an adjacent area of peanut that was accessible to grazing animals for 5 h/day (from 0700 to 1200 h). The animals grazing legume pastures showed greater average daily gain and herbage intake, and shorter morning and total grazing times. Daily methane emissions were greater from the animals grazing legume pastures, whereas methane emissions per unit of herbage intake did not differ between treatments. Allowing animals access to an exclusive area of legumes in a tropical grass-pasture-based system can improve animal performance without increasing methane production per kg of dry matter intake.
Obesity and osteoporosis may have their origins in early postnatal life. This study was designed to evaluate whether flaxseed flour use during lactation period bears effect on body adiposity and skeletal structure of male rat pups at weaning. At birth, male Wistar rats were randomly assigned to control and experimental (FF) groups, whose dams were treated with control or flaxseed flour diet, respectively, during lactation. At 21 days of age, pups were weaned to assess body mass, length and composition by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. The animals were then sacrificed to carry out analysis of serum profile, intra-abdominal adipocyte morphology and femur characteristics. Differences were considered significant when P<0.05. The FF group displayed the following characteristics (P<0.05): higher body mass, length, bone mineral content, bone area and concentrations of osteoprotegerin, osteocalcin and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol; higher levels of stearic, α-linolenic, eicosapentaenoic and docosapentaenoic acids and lower levels of arachidonic acid and cholesterol; smaller adipocyte area; and higher mass, epiphysis distance, diaphysis width, maximal load, break load, resilience and stiffness of femur. Flaxseed flour intake during lactation period promoted adipocyte hypertrophy down-regulation and contributed to pup bone quality at weaning.
Firstly, a brief overview will be given on different models that are able to describe the behaviour of wave propagation as a function of specific frequency ranges. Each range corresponds to different heating systems, namely, 20–100 MHz for the ion cyclotron resonant heating, 2–20 GHz for lower-hybrid heating or current drive, and 100–250 GHz for electron cyclotron resonant heating or current drive systems. The specification of every system will be explained in detail, including the typical set of equations and the assumptions needed to describe the properties of these heating or current drive systems, as well as their specific domains of validity. In these descriptions, special attention will be paid to the boundary conditions. A review of specific physical problems associated with the wave heating systems will also be provided. The review will detail the role of simulation in answering questions that arise from experiments on magnetized plasma devices devoted to fusion. A few examples that will be covered are the impact of edge turbulence on wave propagation and its consequences on heating system performance, the effects of fast particles and ponderomotive effects, among others. A study that is more focused on radio-frequency sheath effects will also be discussed. It shows that such simulations require very sophisticated tools to gain a partial understanding of the observations undertaken in dedicated experiments. To conclude this review, an overview will be given about the requirements and progress necessary to obtain relevant predictive simulation tools able to describe the wave heating systems used in fusion devices.
The precocious interruption of lactation is a prime factor for developmental plasticity. Here we analyzed whether flour or flaxseed oil treatment contributes to body and brain mass in male rats subjected to early weaning. Pups were weaned for separation from their mother at 14 (early weaning, EW) and 21 days (control, C). At 21 days, some of the pups were evaluated (C21 v. EW21). After 21 days, control pups (C60) were fed a control diet. EW pups were divided into those fed a control diet (EWC60), those given flaxseed flour (EWFF60), and those given flaxseed oil (EWFO60) until 60 days. EW21 showed lower body and absolute brain mass and higher relative brain mass. At 60 days, EWC60 and EWFO60 had lower body mass. With regard to relative brain mass, EWC60 was heavier; EWFO60 had lower values compared with EWC60 and higher values compared with C60 and EWFF60. These results indicated that flaxseed flour, in comparison with flaxseed oil, contributes to brain development after EW.
The use of diets with increasing proportions of concentrate to fibre can ensure appropriate energy levels and result in greater efficiency in Nellore feedlot steers. It was hypothesized that higher proportions of concentrate in the diet of these Nellore steers may affect ruminal fermentation and microbiota as a consequence of ruminal pH reduction. The present study was conducted to evaluate the effect of diets with four different roughage (hay Tifton 85) : concentrate ratios on intake, digestibility, rumen fermentation and rumen microbiota of Nellore feedlot steers. Higher proportions of concentrate in the diet did not affect intake and digestibility of dry and organic matter. The concentration of N-NH3, total rumen volatile fatty acid, acetic (C2), butyric (C4), isobutyric, valeric and isovaleric acids, and microbial nitrogen did not differ among diets. However, increasing proportions of concentrate in the diet resulted in a linear reduction in average rumen pH and increased propionic acid (C3) concentration, resulting in lower relative C2 : C3. Bacterial population of Fibrobacter succinogenes, Ruminococus flavefaciens and Ruminococcus albus decreased in the rumen. However, bacteria that are consumers of lactic acid (Selenomonas ruminantium and Megasphaera elsdenii) and producers of lactic acid (Lactobacillus sp. and Streptococcus bovis) increased when animals were fed with high-concentrate diets. The total number of protozoa was similar for the different roughage : concentrate ratios. Protozoan counts were only influenced by diet for the genus Dasytricha. The findings point to diets with increasing concentrate to Tifton 85 hay ratios as inhibiting the growth of some cellulolytic bacteria and reducing fibre digestibility, and indicate Tifton 85 hay as a possible modulated rumen fermentation in the Nellore steer feedlot.
In vitro batch cultures were used to screen four fibrolytic enzyme mixtures at two dosages added to a 60 : 40 silage : concentrate diet containing the C4 tropical grass Andropogon gayanus grass ensiled at two maturities – vegetative stage (VS) and flowering stage (FS). Based on these studies, one enzyme mixture was selected to treat the same diets and evaluate its impact on fermentation using an artificial rumen (Rusitec). In vitro batch cultures were conducted as a completely randomized design with two runs, four replicates per run and 12 treatments in a factorial arrangement (four enzyme mixtures×three doses). Enzyme additives (E1, E2, E3 and E4) were commercial products and contained a range of endoglucanase, exoglucanase and xylanase activities. Enzymes were added to the complete diet 2 h before incubation at 0, 2 and 4 μl/g of dry matter (DM). Gas production (GP) was measured after 3, 6, 12, 24 and 48 h of incubation. Disappearance of DM (DMD), NDF (NDFD) and ADF (ADFD) were determined after 24 and 48 h. For all four enzyme mixtures, a dosage effect (P<0.05) was observed for NDFD and ADFD after 24 h and for DMD, NDFD and ADFD after 48 h of incubation of the VS diet. For the FS diet, a dosage effect was observed for GP and NDFD after 24 h and for GP, DMD, NDFD and ADFD after 48 h of incubation. There was no difference among enzyme mixtures nor was there an enzyme×dose interaction for the studied parameters. Because of the greatest numerical effect on NDF disappearance and the least cost price, enzyme mixture E2 at 4 µl/g of diet DM was selected for the Rusitec experiment. The enzyme did not impact (P>0.05) DM, N, NDF or ADF disappearance after 48 h of incubation nor daily ammonia-N, volatile fatty acids or CH4 production. However, enzyme application increased (P<0.05) microbial N production in feed particle-associated (loosely-associated) and silage feed particle-bound (firmly associated) fractions. With A. gayanus silage diets, degradation may not be limited by microbial colonization, but rather by the ability of fibrolytic enzymes to degrade plant cell walls within this recalcitrant forage.
We describe the preliminary design of a magnetograph and visible-light imager instrument to study the solar dynamo processes through observations of the solar surface magnetic field distribution. The instrument will provide measurements of the vector magnetic field and of the line-of-sight velocity in the solar photosphere. As the magnetic field anchored at the solar surface produces most of the structures and energetic events in the upper solar atmosphere and significantly influences the heliosphere, the development of this instrument plays an important role in reaching the scientific goals of The Atmospheric and Space Science Coordination (CEA) at the Brazilian National Institute for Space Research (INPE). In particular, the CEA's space weather program will benefit most from the development of this technology. We expect that this project will be the starting point to establish a strong research program on Solar Physics in Brazil. Our main aim is acquiring progressively the know-how to build state-of-the-art solar vector magnetograph and visible-light imagers for space-based platforms to contribute to the efforts of the solar-terrestrial physics community to address the main unanswered questions on how our nearby Star works.
The objective of this study was to evaluate the fatty acid profile and qualitative characteristics of meat from feedlot young bulls fed ground soybean or ground cottonseed, with or without supplementation of vitamin E. A total of 40 Red Norte young bulls, with an initial average age of 20 months, and an initial average BW of 339±15 kg, were allotted in a completely randomized design using a 2×2 factorial arrangement, with two oilseeds, and daily supplementation or not of 2500 IU of vitamin E. The experimental period was for 84 days, which was preceded by an adaptation period of 28 days. The treatments were ground soybean (SB), ground soybean plus vitamin E (SBE), ground cottonseed (CS) and ground cottonseed plus vitamin E (CSE). The percentage of cottonseed and soybean in the diets (dry matter basis) was 24% and 20%, respectively. Diets were isonitrogenous (13% CP) and presented similar amount of ether extract (6.5%). The animals were slaughtered at average live weight of 464±15 kg, and samples were taken from the longissimus dorsi muscle for the measurement of fatty acid concentration and the evaluation of lipid oxidation and color of the beef. Before fatty acid extraction, muscle tissue and subcutaneous fat of the longissimus dorsi were separated to analyze fatty acid profile in both tissues. Supplementation of vitamin E did not affect fatty acid concentration, lipid oxidation and color (P>0.05). Subcutaneous fat from animals fed CS diet had greater C12:0, C16:0 and C18:0 contents (P<0.03). In addition, CS diets reduced the C18:1 and C18:2 cis-9, trans-11 contents in subcutaneous fat (P<0.05). The muscle from animals fed CS tended to higher C16:0 and C18:0 contents (P<0.11), and decreased C18:1, C18:2 cis-9, trans-11 and C18:3 contents (P<0.05) compared with SB. The Δ9-desaturase index was greater in muscle from animals fed SB (P<0.01). At 42 days of age, meat from cattle fed SB had a greater lipid oxidation rate (P<0.05). Meat from animals fed SB diets had less lightness and redness indices than meat from animals fed CS diets after 14 days of age. In conclusion, the addition of ground cottonseed in the finishing diets did increase the saturated fatty acid content of the longissimus dorsi. However, animals fed cottonseed exhibited greater lightness and redness of beef. In this study, the addition of vitamin E did not affect qualitative characteristics of meat.
We previously observed that physalins have immunomodulatory properties, as well as antileishmanial and antiplasmodial activities. Here, we investigated the anti-Trypanosoma cruzi activity of physalins B, D, F and G. We found that physalins B and F were the most potent compounds against trypomastigote and epimastigote forms of T. cruzi. Electron microscopy of trypomastigotes incubated with physalin B showed disruption of kinetoplast, alterations in Golgi apparatus and endoplasmic reticulum, followed by the formation of myelin-like figures, which were stained with MDC to confirm their autophagic vacuole identity. Physalin B-mediated alteration in Golgi apparatus was likely due to T. cruzi protease perturbation; however physalins did not inhibit activity of the trypanosomal protease cruzain. Flow cytometry examination showed that cell death is mainly caused by necrosis. Treatment with physalins reduced the invasion process, as well as intracellular parasite development in macrophage cell culture, with a potency similar to benznidazole. We observed that a combination of physalins and benznidazole has a greater anti-T. cruzi activity than when compounds were used alone. These results indicate that physalins, specifically B and F, are potent and selective trypanocidal agents. They cause structural alterations and induce autophagy, which ultimately lead to parasite cell death by a necrotic process.