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To assess the association between household food insecurity (FI) and major depressive episodes (MDE) amid Covid-19 pandemic in Brazil.
Cross-sectional study carried out with data from four consecutive population-based studies.
The study was conducted between May and June 2020, in Bagé, a Brazilian southern city. Household FI was measured using the short-form version of the Brazilian Food Insecurity Scale. Utilizing the Patient Health Questionnaire-9, we used two different approaches to define MDE: the cut-off point of ≥9 and the diagnostic criteria proposed by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-R). Association between FI and MDE was analysed using crude and adjusted Poisson regression models.
1550 adults (≥20 years old).
The prevalence of household FI was 29.4% (95%C.I 25.0; 34.4). MDE prevalence varied from 4.4% (95%C.I. 3.1 to 6.0), when we used the DSM-IV-R criteria to define this condition, to 9.6% (95%C.I 7.3; 12.5) of the sample, when we used the cut-off point of ≥9 as definition. Prevalence of MDE was more than two times higher in those individuals living with FI, independent of the criteria adopted to define the outcome. Adjustment for potential confounders did not change the association’s magnitude.
Household FI has been positively associated with MDE amid Covid-19 pandemic, independent of sociodemographic characteristics of participants. Actions are needed to warrant basic living conditions to avoid food insecurity and hunger and its consequences for the Brazilian population, especially those consequences linked to mental health disorders.
To identify drugs that were administered off label to hospitalized patients with suspected coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and to identify adverse drug reactions (ADRs) and drug–drug interactions associated with these therapies.
This case–control study was conducted in a Brazilian hospital from March to April 2020 among patients with suspected COVID-19, comparing those with positive severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) results and those with negative results.
The most commonly used medications in both groups were azithromycin and hydroxychloroquine. There was a significantly higher prevalence of reactions among patients with positive RT-PCR for SARS-CoV-2 (48.5% vs 28.8%; P = .008) in the propensity score–matched cohort, and the most commonly reported ADRs among these patients were diarrhea (43.8%), elevated liver enzymes (31.3%), and nausea and vomiting (29.7%).
Our data demonstrate that ADRs and drug–drug interactions are common with off-label treatments for COVID-19.
The diagnosis of visceral leishmaniasis (VL) has improved with the search of novel antigens; however, their performance is limited when samples from VL/human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-coinfected patients are tested. In this context, studies conducted to identify more suitable antigens to detect both VL and VL/HIC coinfection cases should be performed. In the current study, phage display was performed using serum samples from healthy subjects and VL, HIV-infected and VL/HIV-coinfected patients; aiming to identify novel phage-exposed epitopes to be evaluated with this diagnostic purpose. Nine non-repetitive and valid sequences were identified, synthetized and tested as peptides in enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay experiments. Results showed that three (Pep2, Pep3 and Pep4) peptides showed excellent performance to diagnose VL and VL/HIV coinfection, with 100% sensitivity and specificity values. The other peptides showed sensitivity varying from 50.9 to 80.0%, as well as specificity ranging from 60.0 to 95.6%. Pep2, Pep3 and Pep4 also showed a potential prognostic effect, since specific serological reactivity was significantly decreased after patient treatment. Bioinformatics assays indicated that Leishmania trypanothione reductase protein was predicted to contain these three conformational epitopes. In conclusion, data suggest that Pep2, Pep3 and Pep4 could be tested for the diagnosis of VL and VL/HIV coinfection.
Fossil fuels are of utmost importance to the world we live in today. However, their use can cause major impacts on the environment, especially on water resources. In this regard, algae have been intensively used as a strategy for remediation and monitoring of environmental pollution due to its efficient absorption of contaminants. In this work, samples of seaweed collected in Niterói/RJ—contaminated with kerosene and diesel—were analyzed by radiocarbon (14C) accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) and by n-alkane quantification with gas chromatography to evaluate bioaccumulation in function of the dosage of contaminants. The biogenic content measured by radiocarbon analysis resulted in 95.6% for algae contaminated with 10 mL of kerosene and 67.6% for algae contaminated with 10 mL of diesel. The maximum intensity of n-C17 n-alkane in algae with 5 mL, 10 mL, and 15 mL of diesel was 768.2, 1878.1, and 5699.2 ng.g-1, respectively. While the maximum concentration of n-C27 in algae with 5 mL, 10 mL and 15 mL of kerosene was 3.3, 35.9, and 150.3 ng.g-1. We concluded that, for both contaminants, their incorporation into algae increases as the contamination dosage increases, making this methodology an effective technique for monitoring and remediation of urban aquatic ecosystems.
Identifying dietary patterns in different environments attended by children is relevant to guide public politics. The aim of this study was to analyse the factors associated with dietary patterns of children under 2 years of age in childcare centres and at homes. This transversal study was enrolled in municipal childcare centres of Guaratuba, Paraná, Brazil. Food consumption data from 256 children were obtained by the food record method. From the consumption data, four dietary patterns were identified by factor analysis using the principal component method in each environment. ‘Traditional’ patterns were observed in both environments; the ‘less healthy’ pattern was found only at homes. Other patterns identified in childcare centres include ‘snacks’, ‘nutritive’ and ‘pasta and meats’; at homes, it was possible to identify patterns such as ‘milk and cereals’ and ‘mixed’. Children over 12 months presented higher scores for all the patterns in both environments. Obese children had lower scores for all the patterns in childcare centres. There was an association between maternal age below 21 years and higher adherence to a ‘less healthy’ pattern, maternal level of education less than 8 years and lower adherence to the ‘mixed’ pattern and lower familiar income per capita and higher adherence to the ‘snacks’ and ‘traditional’ patterns in childcare centres. In conclusion, adherence to dietary patterns was associated with socio-economic, demographic variables and nutritional status and further studies are needed, especially those with a longitudinal design, enabling the monitoring of dietary patterns.
Trypanosoma cruzi has three biochemically and morphologically distinct developmental stages that are programmed to rapidly respond to environmental changes the parasite faces during its life cycle. Unlike other eukaryotes, Trypanosomatid genomes contain protein coding genes that are transcribed into polycistronic pre-mRNAs and have their expression controlled by post-transcriptional mechanisms. Transcriptome analyses comparing three stages of the T. cruzi life cycle revealed changes in gene expression that reflect the parasite adaptation to distinct environments. Several genes encoding RNA binding proteins (RBPs), known to act as key post-transcriptional regulatory factors, were also differentially expressed. We characterized one T. cruzi RBP, named TcZH3H12, which contains a zinc finger domain and is up-regulated in epimastigotes compared to trypomastigotes and amastigotes. TcZC3H12 knockout (KO) epimastigotes showed decreased growth rates and increased capacity to differentiate into metacyclic trypomastigotes. Transcriptome analyses comparing wild type and TcZC3H12 KOs revealed a TcZC3H12-dependent expression of epimastigote-specific genes such as genes encoding amino acid transporters and proteins associated with differentiation (PADs). RNA immunoprecipitation assays showed that transcripts from the PAD family interact with TcZC3H12. Taken together, these findings suggest that TcZC3H12 positively regulates the expression of genes involved in epimastigote proliferation and also acts as a negative regulator of metacyclogenesis.
The aim of the current study was to identify and describe the meal and snack patterns (breakfast, mid-morning snack, lunch, mid-afternoon snack, dinner and evening snack) of public schoolchildren.
Cross-sectional study. Information on the previous day’s food intake was obtained through the Web-CAAFE (Food Intake and Physical Activity of Schoolchildren), an interactive questionnaire, which divides daily food consumption into three meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and three snacks (mid-morning, mid-afternoon and evening). Each meal contains thirty-one food items and the schoolchildren clicked on the food items consumed in each meal. Factor analysis was used to identify meal and snack patterns. The descriptions of the dietary patterns (DP) were based on food items with factor loads ≥ 0·30 that were considered representative of each DP.
Schoolchildren, Florianopolis, Brazil.
Children (n 1074) aged 7–13 years.
Lunch was the most consumed meal (96·0 %), followed by dinner (86·4 %), breakfast (85·3 %) and mid-afternoon snack (81·7 %). Four DP were identified for breakfast, mid-morning snack, lunch, dinner and evening snack, and three for mid-afternoon snack. Breakfast, lunch and dinner patterns included traditional Brazilian foods. DP consisting of fast foods and sugary beverages were also observed, mainly for the evening snack.
The results of the current study provide important information regarding the meal and snack patterns of schoolchildren to guide the development of nutrition interventions in public health.
To analyse differences in the prevalence of prediabetes (PD), undiagnosed diabetes (UDD) and diagnosed diabetes (DD) and associated factors between Brazilian and English older adults.
England and Brazil.
5301 participants of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing study and 1947 participants of the Brazilian Longitudinal Study of Aging study classified as non-diabetics, PD, UDD and DD.
The prevalence of PD, UDD and DD was 48·6, 3 and 9·6 % in England and 33, 6 and 20 % in Brazil. In England, the increase in age, non-white skin colour, smoking, general obesity and abdominal obesity were associated with PD, UDD and DD, whereas hypertriglyceridaemia, low HDL levels, hypertension and stroke were associated with UDD and DD. In Brazil, the increase in age was associated with DD and UDD, non-white skin colour and smoking were associated with UDD and abdominal obesity and hypertriglyceridaemia were associated with all three conditions. CVD in England and schooling in Brazil were associated with PD and DD. A sedentary lifestyle was associated with DD in both samples.
The prevalence of diabetes was higher in the Brazilian sample. Different associated factors were found in the two samples, which may be related to differences in nutritional transition, access to healthcare services and the use of such services.
Due to the efforts to control schistosomiasis transmission in tropical countries, a large proportion of individuals from endemic areas present low parasite loads, which hinders diagnosis of intestinal schistosomiasis by the Kato-Katz (KK) method. Therefore, the development of more sensitive diagnostic methods is essential for efficient control measures. The aim was to evaluate the accuracy of a real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) to detect Schistosoma mansoni DNA in fecal samples of individuals with low parasite loads. A cross-sectional population-based study was conducted in a rural community (n = 257) in Brazil. POC-CCA® was performed in urine and feces were used for RT-PCR. In addition, fecal exams were completed by 18 KK slides, saline gradient and Helmintex techniques. The combined results of the three parasitological tests detected schistosome eggs in 118 participants (45.9%) and composed the consolidated reference standard (CRS). By RT-PCR, 117 out of 215 tested samples were positive, showing 91.4% sensitivity, 80.2% specificity and good concordance with the CRS (kappa = 0.71). RT-PCR identified 86.9% of the individuals eliminating less than 12 eggs/g of feces, demonstrating much better performance than POC-CCA® (50.8%). Our results showed that RT-PCR is a valuable alternative for the diagnosis of intestinal schistosomiasis in individuals with very low parasite loads.
To analyse the extent and nature of food and beverage advertising on the three major Brazilian free-to-air television (TV) channels.
Cross-sectional study. A protocol developed for the International Network for Food and Obesity/Non-Communicable Diseases Research, Monitoring and Action Support was applied for data collection. A total of 432 h of TV programming was recorded from 06.00 to 24.00 hours, for eight non-consecutive and randomly selected days, in April 2018. All TV advertisements (ads) were analysed, and food-related ads were classified according to the NOVA classification system. Descriptive analyses were used to describe the number and type of ads, food categories and the distribution of ads throughout the day and time of the day.
The three most popular free-to-air channels on Brazilian TV.
The study did not involve human subjects.
In total, 14·2 % (n 1156 out of 7991) of ads were food related (858 were specific food items). Approximately 91 % of food items ads included ultra-processed food (UPF) products. The top three most promoted products were soft drinks, alcoholic beverages and fast-food meals. Alcoholic beverage ads were more frequently broadcast in the evening.
The high risk of exposure of the Brazilian population to UPF ads should be considered a public health concern given the impact of unhealthy food advertising on people’s food choices and health.
In areas endemic for Leishmania infantum, an asymptomatic infection may be an indicator of the extent of transmission. The main goal of this study was to evaluate the applicability of measuring circulating immunological biomarkers as an alternative strategy to characterize and monitor L. infantum asymptomatic infections in combination with serological methods. To this end, 179 children from a region endemic for visceral leishmaniasis (VL), aged 1–10 years old, selected from a cross-sectional study, were identified as asymptomatic (n = 81) or uninfected (n = 98) by qPCR and/or serological tests (ELISA using L. infantum soluble antigen and rK39), and, together with serum samples of children diagnosed with VL (n = 43), were subjected to avidity tests and cytokine levels measurement. Avidity rates (AR) ranging from 41 to 70% were found in 29 children (66%) from the asymptomatic group. On the other hand, high AR (above 70%) were observed in 27 children (64%) from the VL group. Logistic Regression and Classification and Regression Tree (CART) analyses demonstrated that lower AR and IFN-γ production associated with higher IL-17A levels were hallmarks in asymptomatic L. infantum infections. Therefore, this study proposes an association of immunological biomarkers that can be used as a complementary strategy for the characterization and monitoring of asymptomatic VL infections in children living in endemic areas.
The co-infection between visceral leishmaniasis (VL) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has increased in several countries in the world. The current serological tests are not suitable since they present low sensitivity to detect the most of VL/HIV cases, and a more precise diagnosis should be performed. In this context, in the present study, an immunoproteomics approach was performed using Leishmania infantum antigenic extracts and VL, HIV and VL/HIV patients sera, besides healthy subjects samples; aiming to identify antigenic markers for these clinical conditions. Results showed that 43 spots were recognized by antibodies in VL and VL/HIV sera, and 26 proteins were identified by mass spectrometry. Between them, β-tubulin was expressed, purified and tested in ELISA experiments as a proof of concept for validation of our immunoproteomics findings and results showed high sensitivity and specificity values to detect VL and VL/HIV patients. In conclusion, the identified proteins in the present work could be considered as candidates for future studies aiming to improvement of the diagnosis of VL and VL/HIV co-infection.
To describe the consumption of ultra-processed foods according to demographic and socioeconomic characteristics in three birth cohorts.
Data from the 2004, 1993 and 1982 Pelotas Birth Cohorts were used at 11, 22 and 30 years, respectively, collected between 2012 and 2015. Outcome was the relative contribution of ultra-processed foods from the total daily energy intake. Maternal-independent variables were self-reported skin colour, schooling, age and family income (obtained in the perinatal study), and variables of the cohort member, sex, skin colour, schooling and current family income (the last two obtained at the 11-, 22- and 30-year follow-ups of the respective cohorts). We calculated crude and adjusted means of the outcome for the whole cohorts and according to the independent variables.
11-, 22- and 30-year-old individuals.
Daily energetic contribution from ultra-processed foods was higher in the younger cohort (33·7, 29·8 and 25·1 % at 11, 22 and 30 years, respectively). Maternal schooling and family income at birth showed an inverse dose–response relationship at 11 and 22 years, but a positive dose–response at 30 years. Female sex, lower schooling and family income at 22 years and higher schooling at 30 years were associated to a higher contribution from ultra-processed foods in the daily energy intake.
Information from food and nutrition policies needs a higher dissemination, mostly among women and population groups of lower income and schooling, including its promotion in media and health services, aiming for a decreased consumption of ultra-processed foods.
Pregnancy is considered a period in which immunomodulation occurs, although it is important for the maintenance of the foetus, could contribute to infections as Toxoplasma gondii. Immune response cells such as regulatory T cells participate in this immunomodulation, and surface molecules such as CTLA-4 develop an immunosuppressive role, could contribute to the establishment of the parasite. This study aimed to evaluate the presence of regulatory T cells and the expression of CTLA-4 in parturient and non-pregnant seropositive and seronegative for anti-T. gondii antibodies. Sixty-two participants were evaluated, 14 parturient with negative serology, 23 parturient with positive serology, 16 non-pregnant women seronegative and 9 non-pregnant women seropositive. Immunophenotyping was performed for characterize TCD4+Foxp3+ cells, T CD4+CD25-Foxp3+, TCD4+CD25highFoxp3+, TCD4+CTLA-4+, TCD4+CD25-CTLA-4+ and TCD4+CD25highCTLA-4+. We observed a lower level of CD4+CD25highFoxp3+ cells from seropositive parturient compared with seropositive non-pregnant cells. Significative levels of CD4+CD25-Foxp3+ cells from seronegative pregnant were observed compared with seropositive pregnant cells. Furthermore, the higher level of CD4+CD25-CTLA-4+ cells populations was detected in seropositive pregnant cells compared with seropositive non-pregnant. Although a significant increase in CTLA-4 cells was observed in pregnant women positive for anti-T. gondii antibodies, this increase did not cause a risk of reactivation of the infection.
Galaxy morphologies reflect the shapes of galaxies and their structural components, such as bulges, discs, bars, spiral arms, etc. The detailed knowledge of the morphology of a galaxy provides understanding of the physics behind its evolution, since the time of its formation, including interaction processes and influence of the environment. Thus, the more precisely we can describe a galaxy structure, the more we may understand about its formation and evolution. We present a method that measures curvature, using images, to describe galaxy structure and to infer the morphology of each component of a galaxy. We also include some preliminary results of curvature measurements for galaxies of the Southern Photometric Local Universe Survey (S-PLUS) DR1 data release and for jellyfish galaxies of the Omega Survey. We find that the median of the curvature parameter and the integrated area under the curvature give us clues on the morphology of a galaxy.
Jellyfish galaxies are the most striking examples of galaxies undergoing ram pressure stripping – the removal of gas as a result of a hydrodynamic friction in dense environments. As part of the OMEGA (OSIRIS Mapping of Emission-line Galaxies in Abell 901/2) survey, we have identified the largest sample of jellyfish galaxies in a single system to this date, located in the Abell 901/2 multi-cluster system at z ˜ 0.165. We present our results with a detailed description of this sample regarding their very high star formation rates and their unique spatial distribution pattern that can be explained as a result of the merging system triggering ram pressure stripping events. Furthermore, we also show the results of our most recent morphometric studies where we use Morfometryka as a tool to characterise the morphologies and structural evolution of jellyfish galaxies. Our morphometric analysis shows that jellyfish galaxy candidates have peculiar concave regions in their surface brightness profiles. Therefore, these profiles are less concentrated (lower Sérsic indices) than other star forming galaxies that are not experiencing such extreme ram pressure effects.
Jellyfish are the most extreme cases of galaxies undergoing ram-pressure stripping. In order to analyse the stellar populations distribution along these galaxies, we have performed stellar population synthesis in data cubes of jellyfish from the GASP programme, using both Starlight and FADO codes.
Accumulating evidence from preclinical and clinical studies indicates that prenatal exposure to stress impairs the development of the offspring brain and facilitates the emergence of mental illness. This study aims to describe the impact of prenatal restraint stress on cognition and exploration to an unfamiliar environment at adulthood in an outbred strain of mice.
Late pregnant mice were exposed to restraint stress and adult offspring (60 days of age) behaviours were assessed in the object recognition task and open field test.
Prenatal stress (PNS) impaired new object recognition in male and female mice. Importantly, the learning deficits in female PNS mice were linked to their estrous cycle. Actually, PNS females in metestrus/diestrus but not in proestrus/estrus phases displayed recognition deficits compared to controls. Concerning locomotion in an unfamiliar environment, male but not female PNS mice displayed significant increase, but showed no differences in the distance travelled within the centre zone of the arena.
Present findings support the view that maternal restraint-stress during late pregnancy impairs recognition memory in both male and female offspring, and in females, this cognitive deficit is dependent on the estrous cycle phase. Ultimately, these data reinforce that PNS is an aetiological component of psychiatric disorders associated with memory deficits.