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Hookworms of the genus Uncinaria parasitize pinniped pups in various locations worldwide. Four species have been described, two of which parasitize pinniped pups in the southern hemisphere: Uncinaria hamiltoni parasitizes Otaria flavescens and Arctocephalus australis from the South American coast, and Uncinaria sanguinis parasitizes Neophoca cinerea from the Australian coast. However, their geographical ranges and host specificity are unknown. Uncinaria spp. are morphologically similar, but molecular analyses have allowed the recognition of new species in the genus Uncinaria. We used nuclear genetic markers (internal transcribed spacer (ITS) and large subunit (LSU) rDNA) and a mitochondrial genetic marker (cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI)) to evaluate the phylogenetic relationships of Uncinaria spp. parasitizing A. australis and O. flavescens from South American coasts (Atlantic and Pacific coasts). We compared our sequences with published Uncinaria sequences. A Generalized Mixed Yule Coalescent (GMYC) analysis was also used to delimit species, and principal component analysis was used to compare morphometry among Uncinaria specimens. Parasites were sampled from A. australis from Peru (12°S), southern Chile (42°S), and the Uruguayan coast, and from O. flavescens from northern Chile (24°S) and the Uruguayan coast. Morphometric differences were observed between Uncinaria specimens from both South American coasts and between Uncinaria specimens from A. australis in Peru and southern Chile. Phylogenetic and GMYC analyses suggest that south-eastern Pacific otariid species harbour U. hamiltoni and an undescribed putative species of Uncinaria. However, more samples from A. australis and O. flavescens are necessary to understand the phylogenetic patterns of Uncinaria spp. across the South Pacific.
The main aim was to measure the incidence of latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) and identify risk factors associated with infection. In addition, we determined the number needed to screen (NNS) to identify LTBI and active tuberculosis. We followed 129 prisoners for 2 years following a negative two-step tuberculin skin test (TST). The cumulative incidence of TST conversion over 2 years was 29·5% (38/129), among the new TST converters, nine developed active TB. Among persons with no evidence of LTBI, the NNS to identify a LTBI case was 3·4 and an active TB case was 14·3. The adjusted risk factors for LTBI conversion were incarceration in prison number 1, being formerly incarcerated, and overweight. In conclusion, prisoners have higher risk of LTBI acquisition compared with high-risk groups, such as HIV-infected individuals and children for whom LTBI testing should be performed according to World Health Organization guidance. The high conversion rate is associated with high incidence of active TB disease, and therefore we recommend mandatory LTBI screening at the time of prison entry. Individuals with a negative TST at the time of entry to prison are at high risk of acquiring infection, and should therefore be followed in order to detect convertors and offer LTBI treatment. This approach has a very low NNS for each identified case, and it can be utilized to decrease development of active TB disease and transmission.
Early prediction of the final size of any epidemic and in particular for Zika disease outbreaks can be useful for health authorities in order to plan the response to the outbreak. The Richards model is often been used to estimate epidemiological parameters for arboviral diseases based on the reported cumulative cases in single- and multi-wave outbreaks. However, other non-linear models can also fit the data as well. Typically, one follows the so called post selection estimation procedure, i.e., selects the best fitting model out of the set of candidate models and ignores the model uncertainty in both estimation and inference since these procedures are based on a single model. In this paper we focus on the estimation of the final size and the turning point of the epidemic and conduct a real-time prediction for the final size of the outbreak using several non-linear models in which these parameters are estimated via model averaging. The proposed method is applied to Zika outbreak data in four cities from Colombia, during the outbreak ocurred in 2015–2016.
Chemical and physical treatments of barley grain increase ruminally resistant starch and can improve the rumen fermentation pattern. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the effects of chemical (addition of citric acid, CA) and physical (grinding to two different particle sizes, PS) treatment of barley grain on performance, rumen fermentation, microbial protein yield in the rumen and selected blood metabolites in growing calves. In all, 28 male Holstein calves (172±5.1 kg initial BW) were used in a complete randomised design with a factorial arrangement of 2 barley grain particle sizes×2 levels of citric acid. The diets were as follows: (i) small PS (average 1200 µm) barley grain soaked in water (no CA addition); (ii) small PS barley grain soaked in a CA solution (adding 20 g CA/kg barley); (iii) large PS (average 2400 µm) barley grain soaked in water (no citric acid addition) and (iv) large PS barley grain soaked in a citric acid solution (adding 20 g CA/kg barley). Barley grain was then incorporated at 35% in a total mixed ration and fed to the calves for 11 weeks. Feeding small PS barley decreased feed intake (P=0.02) and average daily weight gain (P=0.01). The addition of CA to barley grain did not affect intake but increased weight gain (P<0.01) and improved feed to gain ratio (P=0.03). Digestibility of organic matter and NDF tended (P<0.10) to increase, whereas faecal scoring was improved (P=0.03) and the presence of undigested grain particles in faeces was reduced (P<0.01) with CA-treated barley grain. Glucose and urea concentrations were increased (P<0.01) in the blood of calves fed the CA-treated barley grain. Ruminal pH tended (P=0.08) to be decreased with more finely ground barley and was increased when barley grain was treated with CA. Total volatile fatty acid concentrations in the rumen did not differ among treatments (P>0.05). However, the molar proportion of propionate was increased (P=0.03) when barley was more finely ground, and that of acetate was increased (P=0.04) when CA was added to barley grain. The ruminal concentration of ammonia nitrogen was increased (P<0.01) and microbial nitrogen synthesis in the rumen tended to decrease by adding CA to barley. Treating barley grain with citric acid increased fibre digestibility of total mixed rations, attenuated the decrease in ruminal pH, and improved weight gain and feed efficiency in male Holstein growing calves fed a high-cereal diet (550 g cereal grain/kg diet).
The effect of feeding two levels of Saccharomyces cerevisiae on the performance of crossbred Friesian calves was investigated. Twenty-four neonatal male Friesian × Baladi calves (35·5 ± 0·25 kg of initial body weight) were randomly assigned in a completely randomized design into three experimental groups for 90 days (eight calves per group). Calves fed their diets without yeast (S. cerevisiae) were considered as Control, while the diets of other calves were supplemented daily either with 2·5 g (YL diet) or with 5 g (YH diet) of yeast per calf. Calves fed the YH diet showed increased feed intake, while dry matter and fibre digestibilities were increased in calves fed YH and YL diets. Calves fed YL and YH diets showed lower ruminal ammonia-N and higher total volatile fatty acids, acetate and propionate concentrations than Control calves. Both YH and YL calves showed increased plasma concentrations of total protein, globulin and glucose and decreased cholesterol and triglycerides concentrations. Calves’ final weight and daily gain were increased with S. cerevisiae yeast supplemented diets. After 42 days of experiment, Clostridium spp., Escherichia coli and Enterobacteria spp. counts were down to undetectable levels in the faeces of calves fed S. cerevisiae additive. It could be concluded that adding S. cerevisiae to milk-fed calves increased feed utilization and improved pre-weaned calf performance and health status, reducing faecal pathogenic bacteria.
The present study aimed to investigate the effects of adding xylanase enzyme (XY) to a basal diet containing 300 g maize stover and 700 g concentrate/kg dry matter (DM) on feed intake, ruminal fermentation, total tract and ruminal digestibility, as well as some blood parameters. Four male Rambouillet sheep (39 ± 1·8 kg body weight), with permanent rumen and duodenum cannulae were used in a 4 × 4 Latin square design. Sheep were fed a basal diet without xylanase addition (control, XY0), or with the addition of xylanase at 1 (XY1), 3 (XY3) or 6 (XY6) μl/g of diet DM for 84 days, with four 21-day experimental periods. Feed intake, digestibility and rumen fermentation parameters were determined on days 16–21 in each experimental period, and the apparent ruminal neutral detergent fibre (NDF) digestibility was determined on days 16 and 17. Treatments XY1 and XY3 increased feed intake, whereas digestibility was increased with XY6. Ruminal NDF digestibility increased when sheep were fed diets treated with xylanase. Ruminal pH, ammonia-N and acetic acid increased with xylanase treated diets. Propionic acid concentration increased with diet XY1 at 3 h post-feeding, but after 9 h post-feeding its concentration decreased in the rumen of sheep fed xylanase treated diets. Xylanase had no effect on blood urea, phosphorus and triglycerides. Addition of xylanase at 6 µl/g DM in a diet containing 300 g maize stover and 700 g concentrate/kg DM and fed to Rambouillet sheep improved feed digestibility and ruminal fermentation without affecting blood parameters.
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.
The optical and structural properties of co-doped HfO2 thin films with rare earth trivalent ions prepared by ultrasonic spray pyrolysis technique, are reported. An arrangement of multi-layer (Si-SiO2-HfO2:Eu3+-HfO2:Tb3+-HfO2:Tm3+-SiO2) were deposited on silicon substrates at temperatures from 400 to 550°C, using acetyl acetonates as precursory reagents. A refractive index value of 2.1 was determined by spectral ellipsometry. The surface morphology was obtained by AFM measurements. For 50 to 550 nm thickness films, an average roughness value of ∼56.8 Å was obtained for different substrate temperatures and grown deposition times. EDS measurements showed the presence of hafnium, and rare earths dopants as elemental composition. XPS measurements demonstrated that hafnium and rare earths oxidation species are formed at hafnium dioxide thin films. Photoluminescence emission spectra of multi-layer structures present characteristic emission peaks associated with Tb+3, Eu3+, and Tm3+ dopants. The results presented above motivate us to consider that these multilayer structures could be appropriate to be used as a rare earth host to improve optical emission.
This work shows a cost effective process to prepare carbon-carbon nanostructured composites using mechanical milling (MM) and a new manufacturing method based on rapid induction sintering. Here we use commercially and cost effective amorphous sources of carbon. The nature of the raw carbon is characterized by means of XRD and Raman, and after MM and sintering we observe a clear evolution of the phases of carbon in situ into more complex structures, including but not limited to graphene, graphitic carbon, and nanodiamond. The raw soot transforms in situ into graphitic particles after 1 hour of MM. Further milling (10 hours) induces the formation of nano-diamond particles. Milling times between 1 and 10 h are ideal to prepare intermediate phases between graphene and nanodiamond. In other words MM is capable of inducing the formation of nearly amorphous carbon soot into complex structures that are ideal for structural composite materials. The sintering process is a novel method involving a “pressureless” process and rapid induction heating. Furthermore, the carbon nanostructures that are produced during milling serve as seeds to grow larger particles that can easily reach micrometric sizes. This process achieved high densification as that proposed in commercial methods such as Spark Plasma Sintering.
Sixteen Suffolk lambs with 29 ± 2·0 kg body weight were housed in individual cages for 60 days and allotted to four treatments in a completely randomized design to determine the effect of administration of Salix babylonica (SB) extract and/or exogenous enzymes (ZADO®) on lamb performance. Lambs were fed with 300 g/kg concentrate (160 g crude protein (CP)/kg, 13·4 MJ metabolizable energy (ME)/kg dry matter (DM)) and 700 g/kg maize silage (80 g/kg CP, 11·7 MJ ME/kg DM) as a basal diet (control). Another three treatments were tested; the SB extract was administered at 30 ml/day (SB) and exogenous enzymes ZADO® (i.e. an exogenous enzyme cocktail in a powder form) directly fed at 10 g/day (EZ), while the last treatment contained ZADO® at 10 g/day + SB extract at 30 ml/day (EZSB). Lambs of the treatment EZSB had the greatest average daily weight gain (ADG) and feed conversion throughout the period of the experiment. However, during the first 30 days SB was more effective for ADG than EZ and vice versa during the last 30 days of the experiment. Water consumption was greater for SB, followed by EZ and EZSB compared to the control. Intakes of DM and organic matter (OM) were the highest in EZSB followed by EZ, which had the greatest neutral detergent fibre, acid detergent fibre (ADF) and nitrogen (N) intakes. The EZSB treatment had the greatest DM and OM digestibilities compared to the other treatments; however, SB had the greatest ADF digestibility. Combination of EZ and SB had the best N balance. Allantoin, total purine derivatives (PD), allantoin : -creatinine ratio, and PD : creatinine ratio were increased in EZSB compared to the other treatments. However, EZ supplementation increased uric acid concentration, whereas the microbial N (g N/day) and metabolizable protein (g N/day) were increased in EZSB versus the other treatments. It can be concluded that addition of 10 g ZADO® in combination with S. babylonica extract at 30 ml/day in the diet of lambs increased feed intake, nutrient digestibility and daily gain, with a positive impact on the use of N and microbial protein synthesis.
In this work, we reported the optical photometry monitoring results for two brightest nearby quasars, PHL 1811 and 3C 273 using the ST-6 camera at Abastumani Observatory, Georgia. For PHL 1811, we found 3 microvariability events with time scale of ΔT = 6.0 min. For 3C273, we found that the largest variations are ΔV = 0.369 ± 0.028 mag, ΔR = 0.495 ± 0.076 mag, and ΔI = 0.355 ± 0.009 mag. When periodicity analysis methods are adopted to the available data, a period of p = 5.80 ± 1.12 years is obtained for PHL 1811, and p = 21.10 ± 0.14, 10.00 ± 0.14, 7.30 ± 0.09, 13.20 ± 0.09, 2.10 ± 0.06, and 0.68 ± 0.05 years are obtained for 3C 273.
In this work, we compiled 604 blazars with available core-dominance parameter, out of which 149 blazars are known to have γ-ray emissions. We compared the logR between the 149 Fermi-detected blazars (FDB) and the rest non-Fermi-detected blazars (non-FDB), and found that the average values are < logR > = 1.12 ± 0.88 for FDBs and < logR > = 0.05 ± 0.94 for non-FDBs. A K-S test shows that the probability for the distributions of FDB and non-FDB to come from the same parent distribution is P = 2.38 × 10−7. We also investigated the correlation between the core-dominance parameters and the γ-ray emission variability index (VI) for 125 FDBs (45 BLs and 79 FSRQs), and found that there is a tendency for VI to increase with the core-dominance parameter for 79 FSRQs, but there is no such tendency for 46 BLs.
Variability is one of the extreme observational properties of BL Lacertae objects. AO 0235+164 is a well studied BL Lac through the whole electro-magnetic wavebands, it is violently variable in the optical bands. In the present work, we show its optical R band photometric observations carried out during the period of Nov. 2006 to Dec. 2012 using the Ap6E CCD camera attached to the primary focus of the 70 cm meniscus telescope at Abastumani Observatory, Georgia. It shows a large variation of ΔR = 4.88 mag (14.20 - 19.08 mag) during our monitoring period. When periodicity analysis methods are adopted to its R observations from our Abastumani monitoring programme and those in the literature, the signs of some periods, P1 = 8.26 yr, P2 = 0.55 yr, P3 = 0.85 yr, P4 = 1.99 yr are found.
In this talk, we will show the beaming effect for Fermi/LAT blazars, then we discuss the correlations between γ-ray luminosity and other parameters, such as radio Doppler factors, superluminal motions, and core-dominance parameters. We also compare the Doppler factors determined from the γ-ray luminosity, X-ray emissions, and the short-term time scales with those from other methods. Our discussions suggest that γ-ray emissions may be strongly beamed.
We describe the life cycle of the bucephalid Prosorhynchoides carvajali from the intertidal rocky zone of central Chile. To elucidate the life cycle of this digenean, two mytilid bivalves, Semimytilus algosus and Perumytilus purpuratus, and ten intertidal fish species belonging to the families Blenniidae, Tripterygiidae, Labrisomidae, Kyphosidae and Gobiesocidae were analysed for natural infections. In addition, experimental infections of fish were undertaken and molecular analyses were performed of several developmental stages of the digeneans in various host species. Experimental infections of fish were made from infected mytilids to determine which fish species were suitable for the metacercarial stage of Prosorhynchoides. We also determined the abundance and prevalence of metacercariae in natural infections in fish and found that they were lower than in the experimental infections. A molecular analysis showed that sporocysts from S. algosus were identical to metacercariae from five fish species and P. carvajali adults. Sporocysts isolated from P. purpuratus were similar to metacercaria found in one fish species only (G. laevifrons) but were different from P. carvajali, with 1.9–2.0% genetic divergence. Therefore, the complete life cycle of P. carvajali consists of the mytilid species S. algosus as the first intermediate host, at least five intertidal fish species as second intermediate hosts (Scartichthys viridis, Auchenionchus microcirrhis, Hypsoblennius sordidus, Helcogrammoides chilensis and Gobiesox marmoratus), two carnivorous fish as definitive hosts (Auchenionchus microcirrhis and A. variolosus) and one occasional definitive host (Syciases sanguineus). This is the second description of a life cycle of a marine digenean from Chile.
A two-stage in vitro procedure was used for assessing the activity of parotid saliva to enhance rumen digestion of tanniniferous browse foliage. The procedure consisted of pre-incubation in saliva for 4 h at 39 °C followed by incubation in diluted buffered rumen fluid. Using this procedure, a study was conducted to examine the effects of pre-incubation in sheep (SS), quebracho-supplemented sheep (qSS) and goat (GS) parotid saliva or in McDougall's artificial saliva (AS, used as control) on in vitro rumen fermentation kinetics (estimated using the gas production technique) of browse foliage from six shrub species (Cytisus scoparius, Genista florida, Rosa canina, Quercus pyrenaica, Cistus laurifolius and Erica australis) collected over two seasons (spring and autumn), thus varying the in vitro digestibility (from 0·597 to 0·903) and tannin contents (from 3 to 130 g tannic acid equivalent/kg dry matter (DM)). Saliva was collected from four sheep and four goats fed alfalfa hay, and from four sheep fed the same alfalfa hay but supplemented with quebracho (rich in condensed tannins) for 60 d, through a cannula inserted in the parotid duct, and rumen fluid was always from sheep fed alfalfa hay. The extent of degradation when browse foliage was pre-incubated in qSS was similar to that observed with control AS (0·449 v. 0·452, respectively), and 8% less than the value with pre-incubation in SS (0·490). In vitro fermentation kinetics (gas production parameters) of browse foliage were not significantly enhanced with pre-incubation in qSS compared with SS, whereas in vitro digestibility and extent of degradation in the rumen were significantly reduced with qSS compared with SS. After pre-incubation in sheep and goat saliva, the extent of browse foliage degradation was significantly increased by 4–8% compared with pre-incubation in the control AS. Fermentation efficiency of browse foliage was increased (P<0·05) with pre-incubation in GS compared with SS. Sheep or goat saliva may have some activity to affect in vitro rumen fermentation of the foliage samples incubated, enhancing extent of degradation of tannin-rich browse. However, a relationship between the magnitude of this effect and the tannin content of the browse foliage could not be established, suggesting that sheep and goat saliva may not be particularly important in neutralizing tannins.
Trypanosoma cruzi I, a discrete typing unit (DTU) found in human infections in Venezuela and other countries of the northern region of South America and in Central America, has been recently classified into five intra-DTU genotypes (Ia, Ib, Ic, Id, Ie) based on sequence polymorphisms found in the spliced leader intergenic region. In this paper we report the genotype identification of T. cruzi human isolates from one outbreak of acute orally acquired Chagas disease that occurred in a non-endemic region of Venezuela and from T. cruzi triatomine and rat isolates captured at a guava juice preparation site which was identified as the presumptive source of infection. The genotyping of all these isolates as TcId supports the view of a common source of infection in this oral Chagas disease outbreak through the ingestion of guava juice. Implications for clinical manifestations and dynamics of transmission cycles are discussed.
The bivalve Perumytilus purpuratus is a common species that is widely distributed throughout rocky intertidal zones in Chile. This bivalve is the first intermediate host for three trematode species: one bucephalid (an undetermined species) and two fellodistomids (Proctoeces lintoni and one undetermined species). A few studies based on morphological comparisons, experimental infection and molecular analyses have been performed to ascertain the taxon (at least at the family level) to which these trematodes belong; yet, there remains no clarification about the specific identity of these trematodes. Therefore, in this study, we compared the V4 region nucleotide sequences of the 18S rRNA of these three sporocyst species, classified as morphotypes, found in P. purpuratus and nine adult trematode species from intertidal fishes that are likely definitive hosts for these parasites. The sequences from two of the sporocyst morphotypes matched with adult trematodes from the intertidal fish: type 1 sporocyst was similar to Prosorhynchoides carvajali (Bucephalidae), with a mean genetic divergence of 0.78%, and type 2 sporocyst was similar to Proctoeces sp. (but not P. lintoni), with 0% genetic divergence. The third species (type 3 sporocyst) was classified to the family Fellodistomidae; however, the sequence from this species differed greatly from the three other fellodistomid species documented in the marine fish of Chile and from other fellodistomids in public databases. Moreover, this morphotype has a particular cercarial morphology that greatly differs from other fellodistomid species described thus far. Therefore, this intriguing trematode remains a mystery.