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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.
The purpose of this work is to study the effect of SiO2- and Al2O3-NPs on the microstructure and mechanical properties of the weld bead (WB) created by a process of Submerged Arc Welding (SAW) between two AISI 1025 steel plates. Also it was necessary consider the chemical compositions of slags and burned fluxes, in order to determine the elements that are deposited and contribute in the final microstructure of WB. The welding materials to form each WB were a M12K electrode, a commercial fused flux (CFF) and AISI 1025 steel plates bevelled at 45°. In addition SiO2- or Al2O3-NPs an ethylic alcohol mixture were applied directly to the beveled surfaces, just before the SAW process, which was carried out according to the AWS A5.17 norm. Microstructural and phase changes at the Heat Affected Zone (HAZ) and Welding Zone (WZ) were analysed by metallographic Optical and Scanning Electron Microscopies. The mechanical properties of the WBs were determined through Tensile, Charpy impact and Vickers Hardness tests. By means of metallography of WBs, it was determined that the length of the AF needles increases in 113 and 183 % when adding SiO2- or Al2O3-NPs, respectively. Related to the mechanical properties of the WB, the tensile and yield strength decreases with both additions, SiO2- or Al2O3-NPs. The microhardness at WZ was found to decrease by adding such oxide-NPs. Moreover, the impact energy absorbed by the WBs increases approximately by 83 or 57% due to SiO2- or Al2O3-NPs addition, respectively.
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.
Mitral valve anatomy has a significant impact on potential surgical options for patients with hypoplastic or borderline left ventricle. Papillary muscle morphology is a major component regarding this aspect. The purpose of this study was to use cardiac magnetic resonance to describe the differences in papillary muscle anatomy between normal, borderline, and hypoplastic left ventricles.
We carried out a retrospective, observational cardiac magnetic resonance study of children (median age 5.36 years) with normal (n=30), borderline (n=22), or hypoplastic (n=13) left ventricles. Borderline and hypoplastic cases had undergone an initial hybrid procedure. Morphological features of the papillary muscles, location, and arrangement were analysed and compared across groups.
All normal ventricles had two papillary muscles with narrow pedicles; however, 18% of borderline and 46% of hypoplastic cases had a single papillary muscle, usually the inferomedial type. In addition, in borderline or hypoplastic ventricles, the supporting pedicle occasionally displayed a wide insertion along the ventricular wall. The length ratio of the superolateral support was significantly different between groups (normal: 0.46±0.08; borderline: 0.39±0.07; hypoplastic: 0.36±0.1; p=0.009). No significant difference, however, was found when analysing the inferomedial type (0.42±0.09; 0.38±0.07; 0.39±0.22, p=0.39). The angle subtended between supports was also similar among groups (113°±17°; 111°±51° and 114°±57°; p=0.99). A total of eight children with borderline left ventricle underwent biventricular repair. There were no significant differentiating features for papillary muscle morphology in this subgroup.
The superolateral support can be shorter or absent in borderline or hypoplastic left ventricle cases. The papillary muscle pedicles in these patients often show a broad insertion. These changes have important implications on surgical options and should be described routinely.
Genetically similar nulliparous Polled Hereford heifers from a closed pedigree herd were used to evaluate the effects of dietary protein during the first and second trimester of gestation upon foetal, placental and postnatal growth. Heifers were randomly allocated into two groups at 35 days after artificial insemination (35 days post conception (dpc)) to a single bull and fed high (15.7% CP) or low (5.9% CP) protein in the first trimester (T1). At 90 dpc, half of each nutritional treatment group changed to a high- or low-protein diet for the second trimester until 180 dpc (T2). High protein intake in the second trimester increased birth weight in females (P=0.05), but there was no effect of treatment upon birth weight when taken over both sexes. Biparietal diameter was significantly increased by high protein in the second trimester with the effect being greater in the female (P=0.02), but also significant overall (P=0.05). Placental weight was positively correlated with birth weight, fibroblast volume and relative blood vessel volume (P<0.05). Placental fibroblast density was increased and trophoblast volume decreased in the high-protein first trimester treatment group (P<0.05). There was a trend for placental weight to be increased by high protein in the second trimester (P=0.06). Calves from heifers fed the high-protein treatment in the second trimester weighed significantly more on all occasions preweaning (at 1 month (P=0.0004), 2 months (P=0.006), 3 months (P=0.002), 4 months (P=0.01), 5 months (P=0.03), 6 months (P=0.001)), and grew at a faster rate over the 6-month period. By 6 months of age, the calves from heifers fed high nutrition in the second trimester weighed 33 kg heavier than those fed the low diet in the second trimester. These results suggest that dietary protein in early pregnancy alters the development of the bovine placenta and calf growth to weaning.
The Galactic Center (GC) is one of the more extreme environments in the Galaxy. The so call Bubble of the GC presents structures that do not match with the general behavior of the inner Central Molecular Zone (CMZ). In this work we study the molecular emission related to the observable ionized gas emitted by this Bubble. We find dense pockets of gas and bubble like structures in the velocity domain.
We report serendipitous detections of line emission with ALMA in band 3, 6, and 7 in the central parsec of the Galactic center at an up to now highest resolution (<0.7″). Among the highlights are the very first and highly resolved images of sub-mm molecular emission of CS, H13CO+, HC3N, SiO, SO, C2H, and CH3OH in the immediate vicinity (~1″ in projection) of Sgr A* and in the circumnuclear disk (CND). The central association (CA) of molecular clouds shows three times higher CS/X (X: any other observed molecule) luminosity ratios than the CND suggesting a combination of higher excitation - by a temperature gradient and/or IR-pumping - and abundance enhancement due to UV- and/or X-ray emission. We conclude that the CA is closer to the center than the CND is and could be an infalling clump consisting of denser cloud cores embedded in diffuse gas. Moreover, we identified further regions in and outside the CND that are ideally suited for future studies in the scope of hot/cold core and extreme PDR/XDR chemistry and consequent star formation in the central few parsecs.
Two experiments studied the effects of dietary chicory against gastrointestinal nematodes in cattle. In Experiment (Exp.) 1, stabled calves were fed chicory silage (CHI1; n = 9) or ryegrass/clover hay (CTL1; n = 6) with balanced protein/energy intakes between groups. After 16 days, all calves received 10 000 Ostertagia ostertagi and 66 000 Cooperia oncophora third-stage larvae (L3) [day (D) 0 post-infection (p.i.)]. In Exp. 2, calves were assigned to pure chicory (CHI2; n=10) or ryegrass/clover (CTL2; n = 10) pastures. After 7 days, animals received 20 000 O. ostertagi L3/calf (D0 p.i.) and were moved regularly preventing pasture-borne infections. Due to poor regrowth of the chicory pasture, CHI2 was supplemented with chicory silage. At D40 p.i. (Exp. 1) and D35 p.i. (Exp. 2) calves were slaughtered for worm recovery. In Exp.1, fecal egg counts (FEC) were similar between groups. However, O. ostertagi counts were significantly reduced in CHI1 by 60% (geometric mean; P < 0·01), whereas C. oncophora burdens were unaffected (P = 0·12). In Exp. 2, FEC were markedly lowered in CHI2 from D22 p.i onwards (P < 0·01). Ostertagia ostertagi adult burdens were significantly reduced in CHI2 by 66% (P < 0·001). Sesquiterpene lactones were identified only in chicory (fresh/silage). Chicory shows promise as an anti-Ostertagia feed for cattle and further studies should investigate its on-farm use.
The ATP-binding cassette transporter G2/breast cancer resistance protein (ABCG2/BCRP) is an efflux protein involved in the bioavailability and milk secretion of endogenous and exogenous compounds, actively affecting milk composition. A limited number of physiological substrates have been identified. However, no studies have reported the specific effect of this polymorphism on the secretion into milk of compounds implicated in milk quality such as vitamins or endogenous compounds. The bovine ABCG2 Y581S polymorphism is described as a gain-of-function polymorphism that increases milk secretion and decreases plasma levels of its substrates. This work aims to study the impact of Y581S polymorphism on plasma disposition and milk secretion of compounds such as riboflavin (vitamin B2), enterolactone, a microbiota-derived metabolite from the dietary lignan secoisolariciresinol and uric acid. In vitro transport of these compounds was assessed in MDCK-II cells overexpressing the bovine ABCG2 (WT-bABCG2) and its Y581S variant (Y581S-bABCG2). Plasma and milk levels were obtained from Y/Y homozygous and Y/S heterozygous cows. The results show that riboflavin was more efficiently transported in vitro by the Y581S variant, although no differences were noted in vivo. Both uric acid and enterolactone were substrates in vitro of the bovine ABCG2 variants and were actively secreted into milk with a two-fold increase in the milk/plasma ratio for Y/S with respect to Y/Y cows. The in vitro ABCG2-mediated transport of the drug mitoxantrone, as a model substrate, was inhibited by enterolactone in both variants, suggesting the possible in vivo use of this enterolignan to reduce ABCG2-mediated milk drug transfer in cows. The Y581S variant was inhibited to a lesser extent probably due to its higher transport capacity. All these findings point to a significant role of the ABCG2 Y581S polymorphism in the milk disposition of enterolactone and the endogenous molecules riboflavin and uric acid, which could affect both milk quality and functionality.
Thymus is a widely distributed genus in the Mediterranean region with several species endemic to the Iberian Peninsula. The genetic relationships among the 12 major Thymus taxa, T. albicans, T. caespititius, T. camphoratus, T. capitellatus, T. carnosus, T.lotocephalus, T. mastichina L. ssp. mastichina, T. pulegioides, T. villosus ssp. lusitanicus, T. villosus ssp. villosus, T. zygis ssp. sylvestris and T. zygis ssp. zygis, which occur in Portugal were assessed by AFLP (Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphisms) markers. A general agreement was found between the genetic relationships estimated by the AFLP markers and the accepted Thymus taxonomy based on morphological traits and essential oil content. The AFLP markers also supported suggestions for refinement of the taxonomy of this genus.
In the present study, the effects of partial substitution of dietary protein by digestible starch on endogenous glucose production were evaluated in European seabass (Dicentrarchus labrax). The fractional contribution of dietary carbohydrates v. gluconeogenesis to blood glucose appearance and hepatic glycogen synthesis was quantified in two groups of seabass fed with a diet containing 30 % digestible starch (DS) or without a carbohydrate supplement as the control (CTRL). Measurements were performed by transferring the fish to a tank containing water enriched with 5 % 2H2O over the last six feeding days, and quantifying the incorporation of 2H into blood glucose and hepatic glycogen by 2H NMR. For CTRL fish, gluconeogenesis accounted for the majority of circulating glucose while for the DS fish, this contribution was significantly lower (CTRL 85 (sem 4) % v. DS 54 (sem 2) %; P< 0·001). Hepatic glycogen synthesis via gluconeogenesis (indirect pathway) was also significantly reduced in the DS fish, in both relative (CTRL 100 (sem 1) % v. DS 72 (sem 1) %; P< 0·001) and absolute terms (CTRL 28 (sem 1) v. DS 17 (sem 1) μmol/kg per h; P< 0·001). A major fraction of the dietary carbohydrates that contributed to blood glucose appearance (33 (sem 1) % of the total 47 (sem 2) %) had undergone exchange with hepatic glucose 6-phosphate. This indicated the simultaneous activity of hepatic glucokinase and glucose 6-phosphatase. In conclusion, supplementation of digestible starch resulted in a significant reduction of gluconeogenic contributions to systemic glucose appearance and hepatic glycogen synthesis.
The organometallic approach was successfully applied to synthesize water-soluble ruthenium nanoparticles displaying interesting catalytic properties in hydrogenation of unsaturated model-substrates. Nanocatalyst synthesis was performed by hydrogenation of the complex [Ru(COD)(COT)] in the presence of sulfonated diphosphines and cyclodextrins as protective agents providing very small ruthenium nanoparticles (ca. 1.2-1.5 nm) with narrow size distribution and high stability. Catalysis results in water evidenced a control of the surface properties of these novel ruthenium nanocatalysts at a supramolecular level.
Although mortality is low after the modified Fontan procedure, there is a significant percentage of patients with prolonged postoperative recovery. The objective of this study is to evaluate the usefulness of postoperative administration of oral sildenafil and inhaled nitric oxide on early postoperative outcome.
A prospective interventional and comparison study with a historical cohort was conducted. Between January, 2010 and March, 2013, 16 patients received oral sildenafil during immediate modified Fontan postoperative period. Inhaled nitric oxide was also administered if the patient was kept intubated 12 hours after surgery. Early postoperative outcome was compared with a historical cohort of 32 patients on whom the modified Fontan procedure was performed between March, 2000 and December, 2009.
Postoperative administration of sildenafil and nitric oxide had no influence on early postoperative outcome after the modified Fontan procedure in terms of duration of pleural effusions, mechanical ventilation time, length of stay in the ICU, and length of hospital stay.
The effective incorporation of dopant species into ZnO host structure should induce changes in its physical and chemical properties enabling the establishment of novel multi-functional properties. Doping with transition metal ions and the subsequent exchange interaction between available spins of the magnetic species are expected to induce a ferromagnetic behavior. This ferromagnetic functionality will enable the application of this material in data storage and spintronics-based devices. The present research addresses the study of the effect of the oxidationstate of Fe species and the influence of the annealing atmosphere on the structural and functional properties of nanocrystalline ZnO-based powders.
The combination of strong gravitational lensing and stellar kinematics provides a powerful and robust method to investigate the mass and dynamical structure of early-type galaxies. We demonstrate this approach by analysing two massive ellipticals from the XLENS Survey for which both high-resolution HST imaging and X-Shooter spectroscopic observations are available. We adopt a flexible axisymmetric two-component mass model for the lens galaxies, consisting of a generalised NFW dark halo and a realistic self-gravitating stellar mass distribution. For both systems, we put constraints on the dark halo inner structure and flattening, and we find that they are dominated by the luminous component within one effective radius. By comparing the tight inferences on the stellar mass from the combined lensing and dynamics analysis with the values obtained from stellar population studies, we conclude that both galaxies are characterised by a Salpeter-like stellar initial mass function.
The Galactic center, which serves as a paradigm of low-luminosity active galactic nuclei (LLAGN), hosts the Nuclear star cluster (NSC) that contains both young and more evolved stars. So far the population of the end-products of stellar evolution has not been observationally confirmed and studied, although there are hints of its presence. We study the distribution of interaction modes of a hypothetical population of neutron stars within the sphere of influence of the Sgr A* supermassive black hole (SMBH). The comparison of our models with future observations could be used to constrain the 3D structure of the Galactic center.
Context: we present a study of the central 200 pc of NGC 6951, in the optical and NIR, taken with the Gemini North Telescope integral field spectrographs, with resolution of ~ 0”.1 Methods: we used a set of image processing techniques, as the filtering of high spatial and spectral frequencies, Richardson-Lucy deconvolution and PCA Tomography (Steiner et al.2009) to map the distribution and kinematics of the emission lines. Results: we found a thick molecular disk, with the ionization cone highly misaligned.
The MIRAGE sample (Merging & isolated high-redshift AMR galaxies; Perret 2014, PhD dissertation; Perret et al. 2014, AA 562, 1) has been built in order to understand the contribution of the merger processes to the mass assembly in the MASSIV (Mass Assembly Survey with SINFONI in VVDS, Contini et al. 2012, AA 539, 91) sample. It consists of a sample of idealized simulations based on the RAMSES code; the initial conditions were designed to reproduce the physical properties of the most gas-rich young galaxies. The sample is composed of 20 simulations of mergers exploring the initial parameters of mass and orientation of the disks with a spatial resolution reaching 7 parsecs.
Multiwavelength Spectral Energy Distributions (SEDs) of far-infrared (FIR) galaxies detected in the AKARI South Ecliptic Poles Survey (ADF-S) allow to trace differences between [Ultra]-Luminous Infrared Galaxies ([U]LIRGS) and other types of star-forming galaxies (SF).