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Toxoplasmosis causes complications during pregnancy that have serious effects on fetal development. Thus far, toxocariasis has been reported to spread only via vertical transmission. Nonetheless, the population of pregnant women is also exposed to this infection. Co-infection with both Toxoplasma gondii and Toxocara spp. has been reported in children, but there are no reports of co-infection in the population of pregnant women. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of co-infection with T. gondii and Toxocara spp. in pregnant women at a university hospital in southern Brazil, and to identify the risk factors associated with infection by both parasites. Two hundred pregnant women were tested for the presence of anti-T. gondii and anti-Toxocara spp. antibodies and were asked to complete an epidemiological questionnaire. In this study, the co-infection rate observed in the total population of pregnant women was 8%. In addition, women with a positive result for a serology test for Toxocara spp. were at increased risk of infection by T. gondii (P = 0.019). Co-infection with both parasites in pregnant women was associated with low birth weights in neonates. The similar modes of transmission of both parasites could explain the co-infection. Only a few previous studies have investigated this phenomenon. The findings of the present study emphasize the importance of serological diagnosis during prenatal care and further research in this area to identify risk factors associated with this co-infection, and the possible implications of this co-infection during pregnancy and on the health of newborns.
Human toxocarosis is a chronic tissue parasitosis most often caused by Toxocara canis. The seroprevalence can reach up to 50%, especially among children and adolescents. The anthelmintics used in the treatment have moderate efficacy. The aim of this study was to evaluate the in vitro and in vivo anthelmintic activity of quinones and their derivatives against T. canis larvae and the cytotoxicity of the larvicidal compounds. The compounds were evaluated at 1 mg mL−1 concentration in microculture plates containing third stage larvae in an Roswell Park Memorial Institute (RPMI) 1640 environment, incubated at 37 °C in 5% CO2 tension for 48 h. Five naphthoxiranes were selected for the cytotoxicity analysis. The cell viability evaluated by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide and lactate dehydrogenase assays using murine peritoneal macrophages isolated from C57BL/6 mice revealed that the naphthoxiranes (1 and 3) were less cytotoxic at a concentration of 0·05 mg mL−1. The efficacy of naphthoxiranes (1 and 3) was examined in murine toxocarosis also. The anthelmintic activity was examined by evaluating the number of larvae in the brain, carcass, liver, lungs, heart, kidneys and eyes. Compound (3) demonstrated anthelmintic activity similar to that of albendazole by decreasing the number of larvae in the organs of mice and thus could form the basis of the development of a new anthelmintic drug.
In this contribution, we briefly describe how an observed mid-infrared (5.5-14 μm) spectrum can be used to trace key physical conditions along a given line of sight, such as the UV radiation field, the ionization parameter and the dust column density. These parameters are often difficult to determine independently from PDR models. The PAHTAT toolbox offers the opportunity to analyze mid-IR spectra using a limited number of parameters, that are associated with the physical properties of the dust and gas being observed.
In the early 90's, C60+ was proposed as the carrier of two diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) at 9577 and 9632 Å, but a firm identification still awaits gas-phase spectroscopic data. Neutral C60, on the other hand, was recently detected through its infrared emission bands in the interstellar medium and evolved stars. In this contribution, we present the detection of C60+ through its infrared vibrational bands in the NGC 7023 nebula, based on spectroscopic observations with the Spitzer space telescope, quantum chemistry calculation, and laboratory data from the literature. This detection supports the idea that C60+ could be a DIB carrier, and provides robust evidence that fullerenes exist in the gas-phase in the interstellar medium. Modeling efforts to design specific observations, combined with new gas-phase data, will be essential to confirm this proposal. A definitive attribution of the 9577 and 9632 Å DIBs to C60+ would represent a significant step forward in the field.
Safe and cost-efficient inspection of large concrete buildings is a great challenge for mobile robots. This paper presents the locomotion system of the climbing robot, Cromsci, which uses three steerable standard wheels and negative pressure adhesion. We will introduce criteria to avoid robot slip and tilt, and methods to enhance stability. One elementary part is the close-loop-controlled adhesion system with seven individual negative pressure chambers to balance out tilt or dynamic effects caused by leaky pressure chambers. The second part is the locomotion control using a special traction control mechanism to enhance robot navigation, which will also be presented here.
Within the Herschel key project “The Warm And Dense ISM” (WADI) we systematically observe
a number of prominent photon-dominated regions (PDRs) to measure the impact of varying UV
fields on the energy balance, the chemical and dynamical structure of heated molecular
A large number of galactic and extragalactic sources exhibit a mid-IR spectrum that is
dominated by PAH emission. Looking at these spectra in more details reveals a strong
variability in the shape/position of the observed features, depending on the observed
source, or even the region within a source. In this article, we present the results of an
analysis that has allowed us to decompose these spectra into components having a physical
meaning. Most, if not all PAH dominated mid-IR spectra of HII regions, PDRs,
protoplanetary disks, galaxies etc. can be fitted efficiently using a combination of these
components. The results of these fits provide further insight in the composition of the
emitting material and the local physical conditions. In the frame of the future IR space
missions (JWST, SPICA), this approach can be very useful to probe the physical conditions
in distant galaxies.
The analysis of mid-IR emission suggests that a population of PAH-related very small
grains containing a few hundreds of atoms are present in the deep regions of molecular
clouds, although no specific species has been identified yet. In this review, we discuss
several candidates for these grains: neutral and ionised PAH clusters and complexes of
PAHs with Si atoms. The theoretical modelling of the properties of such molecular
complexes or nanograins is a challenging task. We first present an overview of quantum
chemistry derived models which can be efficiently used on-the-fly in extensive sampling of
the potential energy surfaces, as required by structural optimization, classical molecular
dynamics or Monte Carlo algorithms. From the simulations, various observables can be
determined, such as the binding energies, finite temperature IR spectra, nucleation and
evaporation rates. We discuss the relevance of those candidates in the molecular clouds
photodissociation regions and propose constrains and perspectives for the nature and size
of those very small grains.
We report the analysis of the mid-infrared spectral maps observed by Spitzer/IRS toward star-forming regions where the Herschel key program WADI has observed / will observe with HIFI and PACS. The IRS spectra are fitted using 4 components of small grains: PAH0, PAH+, PAHx, and evaporating VSG, and the spatial distributions of these components are derived.
Observations using the HIFI and PACS instruments aboard the Herschel
satellite provide a unique way to study the chemical inventory,
the dynamics, and the energy balance in dense interstellar clouds heated by
UV radiation. We propose a comprehensive observing program to reveal
the details of the interaction of massive young stars with their
parental molecular clouds.
We have performed a comparison between the molecular gas emission
and the mid IR dust component emission distributions in a sample of
nearby galaxies. We have compared CO maps at high spatial
resolution, from Wilson et al. (2000), Bayet et al. (2004, 2006) and
from Kramer et al. (2005), with the emission distributions of
ionised and neutral PAHs (PAH+; PAH0) and of very small
grains (VSGs), obtained using signal processing methods as explained
in Berné et al. (2007a) and Rapacioli et al. (2005).
In M 82, we have also compared the dust emission maps with dense gas tracer
maps (HCO and H13CO+ data from García-Burillo et al. 2002)
as well as with shock tracer maps (SiO data from García-Burillo et al. 2001).
The solidification path of highly undercooled refractory metals and their alloys solidified in a ultra high vacuum drop-tube is shown to involve transitory metastable phases. First-principles calculations of structural stability are used to determine the possibility of obtaining metastable phases in these systems, with a view to relate this metastability with the site occupation in the σ phase in the case of the ReTa system.
Anecdotal observations about prehospital emergency medical care in major natural and human-made disasters, such as earthquakes, have suggested that some injured victims survive the initial impact, but eventually die because of a delay in the application of life-saving medical therapy.
A multidisciplinary, retrospective structured interview methodology to investigate injury risk factors, and causes and circumstances of prehospital death after major disasters was developed. In this study, a team of United States researchers and Costa Rican health officials conducted a survey of lay survivors and health care professionals who participated in the emergency medical response to the earthquake in Costa Rica on 22 April 1991.
Fifty-four deaths occurred prior to hospitatization (crude death rate = 0.4/1,000 population). Seventeen percent of these deaths (9/54) were of casualties who survived the initial impact but died at the scene or during transport. Twenty-two percent (2/9) were judged preventable if earlier emergency medical care had been available. Most injuries and deaths occurred in victims who were inside wooden buildings (p <.O1) as opposed to other building types or were pinned by rubble from building collapse. Autopsies performed on a sample of victims showed crush injury to be the predominant cause of death.
A substantial proportion of earthquake mortality in Costa Rica was protracted. Crush injury was the principal mechanism of injury and cause of death. The rapid institution of enhanced prehospital emergency medical services may be associated with a significant life- saving potential in these events.
The 1991 earthquake in the Limón area of Costa Rica presented the opportunity to examine the effectiveness of a decade of disaster preparedness.
Costa Rica's concentrated work in disaster preparedness would result in significantly better management of the disaster response than was evident in earlier disasters in Guatemala and Nicaragua, where disaster preparedness largely was absent.
Structured interviews with disaster responders in and outside of government, and with victims and victims' neighbors. Clinical and epidemiologic data were collected through provider agencies and the coroner's office.
Medical aspects of the disaster response were effective and well-managed through a network of clinic-based radio communications. Nonmedical aspects showed confusion resulting from: 1) poor government understanding of the roles and responsibilities of the central disaster coordinating agency; and 2) poor extension of disaster preparedness activities to the rural area that was affected by the earthquake.
To be effective, disaster preparedness activities need to include all levels of government and rural, as well as urban, populations.
The formaldehyde molecule is an excellent probe of physical conditions inside interstellar clouds. We illustrate this by presenting results of our recent series of observations using the MPIfR Effelsberg 100-m radio telescope for the 6-cm transition, the NRAO Green Bank 43-m radio telescope for the 2-cm transition and the NRAO Kitt Peak 11-m mm-wave telescope for the 2-mm transition.
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