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We investigated the effects of pathogens associated with subclinical intramammary infections on yield, composition and quality indicators of goat milk. By means of a longitudinal study, individual half udder milk samples (n = 132) were collected at different lactation periods and assessed for milk yield and physicochemical composition, somatic cell count (SCC), total bacteria count (TBC) and microbiological culture. Staphylococci species accounted for the great majority of the isolates (96.1%). Intramammary infections significantly reduced fat and total solids in goat milk and increased both SCC and TBC. However, these indicators were significantly higher in udder halves affected by S. aureus compared with other staphylococci species.
A cumulative environmental exposure score for schizophrenia (exposome score for schizophrenia [ES-SCZ]) may provide potential utility for risk stratification and outcome prediction. Here, we investigated whether ES-SCZ was associated with functioning in patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorder, unaffected siblings, and healthy controls.
This cross-sectional sample consisted of 1,261 patients, 1,282 unaffected siblings, and 1,525 healthy controls. The Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) scale was used to assess functioning. ES-SCZ was calculated based on our previously validated method. The association between ES-SCZ and the GAF dimensions (symptom and disability) was analyzed by applying regression models in each group (patients, siblings, and controls). Additional models included polygenic risk score for schizophrenia (PRS-SCZ) as a covariate.
ES-SCZ was associated with the GAF dimensions in patients (symptom: B = −1.53, p-value = 0.001; disability: B = −1.44, p-value = 0.001), siblings (symptom: B = −3.07, p-value < 0.001; disability: B = −2.52, p-value < 0.001), and healthy controls (symptom: B = −1.50, p-value < 0.001; disability: B = −1.31, p-value < 0.001). The results remained the same after adjusting for PRS-SCZ. The degree of associations of ES-SCZ with both symptom and disability dimensions were higher in unaffected siblings than in patients and controls. By analyzing an independent dataset (the Genetic Risk and Outcome of Psychosis study), we replicated the results observed in the patient group.
Our findings suggest that ES-SCZ shows promise for enhancing risk prediction and stratification in research practice. From a clinical perspective, ES-SCZ may aid in efforts of clinical characterization, operationalizing transdiagnostic clinical staging models, and personalizing clinical management.
The objective of this study was to analyse the dynamics of spatial dispersion of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Brazil by correlating them to socioeconomic indicators. This is an ecological study of COVID-19 cases and deaths between 26 February and 31 July 2020. All Brazilian counties were used as units of analysis. The incidence, mortality, Bayesian incidence and mortality rates, global and local Moran indices were calculated. A geographic weighted regression analysis was conducted to assess the relationship between incidence and mortality due to COVID-19 and socioeconomic indicators (independent variables). There were confirmed 2 662 485 cases of COVID-19 reported in Brazil from February to July 2020 with higher rates of incidence in the north and northeast. The Moran global index of incidence rate (0.50, P = 0.01) and mortality (0.45 with P = 0.01) indicate a positive spatial autocorrelation with high standards in the north, northeast and in the largest urban centres between cities in the southeast region. In the same period, there were 92 475 deaths from COVID-19, with higher mortality rates in the northern states of Brazil, mainly Amazonas, Pará and Amapá. The results show that there is a geospatial correlation of COVID-19 in large urban centres and regions with the lowest human development index in the country. In the geographic weighted regression, it was possible to identify that the percentage of people living in residences with density higher than 2 per dormitory, the municipality human development index (MHDI) and the social vulnerability index were the indicators that most contributed to explaining incidence, social development index and the municipality human development index contributed the most to the mortality model. We hope that the findings will contribute to reorienting public health responses to combat COVID-19 in Brazil, the new epicentre of the disease in South America, as well as in other countries that have similar epidemiological and health characteristics to those in Brazil.
Selective logging has been widely employed as a management practice in tropical forests due to its reduced impact on biodiversity. However, by altering microclimatic conditions, logging could affect soil fauna responsible for nutrient cycling and the long-term dynamic of the forest. We investigated how selective logging affected termite species richness, composition, and the distribution of species in trophic groups, as well as the natural response of termites to gradients of soil conditions. Termites and edaphic variables were sampled in 32 permanent plots in southern Amazonia. Plots were subject to selective logging for 10–31 years before termite sampling. Time post-management was associated with changes in termite species composition, and wood-feeding termites were more abundant in recently logged areas. Nevertheless, most of the variation in termite species richness and composition can be attributed to the natural variation in soil clay content. Moreover, soil-dweller species, a vulnerable group strongly linked to soil decomposition, were present in all plots. These results suggest that the impact of selective logging on termite communities might be milder compared with other types of disturbance. It is likely that the decomposition process performed by termites, and consequently long-term ecosystem functioning, is preserved under selective logging.
This study aimed to analyse the spatial–temporal distribution of COVID-19 mortality in Sergipe, Northeast, Brazil. It was an ecological study utilising spatiotemporal analysis techniques that included all deaths confirmed by COVID-19 in Sergipe, from 2 April to 14 June 2020. Mortality rates were calculated per 100 000 inhabitants and the temporal trends were analysed using a segmented log-linear model. For spatial analysis, the Kernel estimator was used and the crude mortality rates were smoothed by the empirical Bayesian method. The space–time prospective scan statistics applied the Poisson's probability distribution model. There were 391 COVID-19 registered deaths, with the majority among ⩾60 years old (62%) and males (53%). The most prevalent comorbidities were hypertension (40%), diabetes (31%) and cardiovascular disease (15%). An increasing mortality trend across the state was observed, with a higher increase in the countryside. An active spatiotemporal cluster of mortality comprising the metropolitan area and neighbouring cities was identified. The trend of COVID-19 mortality in Sergipe was increasing and the spatial distribution of deaths was heterogeneous with progression towards the countryside. Therefore, the use of spatial analysis techniques may contribute to surveillance and control of COVID-19 pandemic.
Studies evaluating the occurrence of enteropathogenic bacteria in urban rats (Rattus spp.) are scarce worldwide, specifically in the urban environments of tropical countries. This study aims to estimate the prevalence of diarrhoeagenic Escherichia coli (DEC) and Salmonella spp. with zoonotic potential in urban slum environments. We trapped rats between April and June 2018 in Salvador, Brazil. We collected rectal swabs from Rattus spp., and cultured for E. coli and Salmonella spp., and screened E. coli isolates by polymerase chain reaction to identify pathotypes. E. coli were found in 70% of Rattus norvegicus and were found in four Rattus rattus. DEC were isolated in 31.3% of the 67 brown rats (R. norvegicus). The pathotypes detected more frequently were shiga toxin E. coli in 11.9%, followed by atypical enteropathogenic E. coli in 10.4% and enteroinvasive E. coli in 4.5%. From the five black rats (R. rattus), two presented DEC. Salmonella enterica was found in only one (1.4%) of 67 R. norvegicus. Our findings indicate that both R. norvegicus and R. rattus are host of DEC and, at lower prevalence, S. enterica, highlighting the importance of rodents as potential sources of pathogenic agents for humans.
The fibrous scaffolds for bone tissue engineering that mimic the extracellular matrix with bioactive and bactericidal properties could provide adequate conditions for regeneration of damaged bone. Electrospun ultrathin fiber covered with nano-hydroxyapatite is a favorable fibrous scaffold design. We developed a fast and reproducible strategy to produce polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF)/nano-hydroxyapatite (nHAp) nanofibrous scaffolds with bactericidal and bioactive properties. Fibrous PVDF scaffolds were obtained first by the electrospinning method. Then, their surfaces were modified using oxygen plasma treatment followed by electrodeposition of nHAp. This process formed nanofibrous and superhydrophilic PVDF fibers (133.6 nm, fiber average diameter) covered with homogeneous nHAp (202.6 nm, average particle diameter) crystals. Energy-dispersive X-ray spectrometry demonstrated the presence of calcium phosphate, indicating a Ca/P molar ratio of approximately 1.64. X-ray diffraction, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and Raman spectroscopy spectra identified β-phase of nHAp. Thermal analysis indicated a slight reduction in stability after nHAp electrodeposition. Bactericidal assays showed that nHAp exhibited 99.8% efficiency against Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria. The PVDF/Plasma and PVDF/nHAp groups had the highest cell viability, total protein, and alkaline phosphatase activity by 7 days after exposure of the scaffolds to MG63 cell culture. Therefore, the developed scaffolds are an exciting alternative for application in bone regeneration.
There is evidence that environmental and genetic risk factors for schizophrenia spectrum disorders are transdiagnostic and mediated in part through a generic pathway of affective dysregulation.
We analysed to what degree the impact of schizophrenia polygenic risk (PRS-SZ) and childhood adversity (CA) on psychosis outcomes was contingent on co-presence of affective dysregulation, defined as significant depressive symptoms, in (i) NEMESIS-2 (n = 6646), a representative general population sample, interviewed four times over nine years and (ii) EUGEI (n = 4068) a sample of patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorder, the siblings of these patients and controls.
The impact of PRS-SZ on psychosis showed significant dependence on co-presence of affective dysregulation in NEMESIS-2 [relative excess risk due to interaction (RERI): 1.01, p = 0.037] and in EUGEI (RERI = 3.39, p = 0.048). This was particularly evident for delusional ideation (NEMESIS-2: RERI = 1.74, p = 0.003; EUGEI: RERI = 4.16, p = 0.019) and not for hallucinatory experiences (NEMESIS-2: RERI = 0.65, p = 0.284; EUGEI: −0.37, p = 0.547). A similar and stronger pattern of results was evident for CA (RERI delusions and hallucinations: NEMESIS-2: 3.02, p < 0.001; EUGEI: 6.44, p < 0.001; RERI delusional ideation: NEMESIS-2: 3.79, p < 0.001; EUGEI: 5.43, p = 0.001; RERI hallucinatory experiences: NEMESIS-2: 2.46, p < 0.001; EUGEI: 0.54, p = 0.465).
The results, and internal replication, suggest that the effects of known genetic and non-genetic risk factors for psychosis are mediated in part through an affective pathway, from which early states of delusional meaning may arise.
This study attempted to replicate whether a bias in probabilistic reasoning, or ‘jumping to conclusions’(JTC) bias is associated with being a sibling of a patient with schizophrenia spectrum disorder; and if so, whether this association is contingent on subthreshold delusional ideation.
Data were derived from the EUGEI project, a 25-centre, 15-country effort to study psychosis spectrum disorder. The current analyses included 1261 patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorder, 1282 siblings of patients and 1525 healthy comparison subjects, recruited in Spain (five centres), Turkey (three centres) and Serbia (one centre). The beads task was used to assess JTC bias. Lifetime experience of delusional ideation and hallucinatory experiences was assessed using the Community Assessment of Psychic Experiences. General cognitive abilities were taken into account in the analyses.
JTC bias was positively associated not only with patient status but also with sibling status [adjusted relative risk (aRR) ratio : 4.23 CI 95% 3.46–5.17 for siblings and aRR: 5.07 CI 95% 4.13–6.23 for patients]. The association between JTC bias and sibling status was stronger in those with higher levels of delusional ideation (aRR interaction in siblings: 3.77 CI 95% 1.67–8.51, and in patients: 2.15 CI 95% 0.94–4.92). The association between JTC bias and sibling status was not stronger in those with higher levels of hallucinatory experiences.
These findings replicate earlier findings that JTC bias is associated with familial liability for psychosis and that this is contingent on the degree of delusional ideation but not hallucinations.
The objective of this study was to evaluate the fermentative characteristics and chemical composition of cochineal nopal cactus silage additives with urea or Lactobacillus buchneri (LB), as well as the association of both additives in four storage times (7, 15, 60 and 120 days) and during aerobic stability, with evaluations at 0, 48 and 96 h. Four silages were used: no additive, addition of 2% urea, addition of LB and addition of 2% urea and LB. The study was divided into two experiments: the first experiment evaluated the silages at different storage times, and the second experiment evaluated the silages during the aerobic stability test. In both experiments, the experimental design was completely randomized in a factorial scheme (4 × 4 and 4 × 3) with three replicates per treatment. After the ensiling process, lactic acid bacteria predominated in all treatments. The concentration of lactic acid increased significantly from 60 days of ensiling. The concentration of acetic acid varied significantly between the storage times only for the silages treated with urea and LB alone. The silage treated with urea maintained a constant pH value up to 120 days of storage. During the 96 h aerobic stability test, no breaking in the stability of silages was observed. The exclusive or associated use of urea and LB promotes improvement in the fermentative characteristics of cochineal nopal cactus silage, without major alterations in the chemical composition or interfering with the aerobic stability of the silages.
This study aimed to analyse the trend and spatial–temporal clusters of risk of transmission of COVID-19 in northeastern Brazil. We conducted an ecological study using spatial and temporal trend analysis. All confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Northeast region of Brazil were included, from 7 March to 22 May 2020. We used the segmented log-linear regression model to assess time trends, and the local empirical Bayesian estimator, the global and local Moran indexes for spatial analysis. The prospective space–time scan statistic was performed using the Poisson probability distribution model. There were 113 951 confirmed cases of COVID-19. The average incidence rate was 199.73 cases/100 000 inhabitants. We observed an increasing trend in the incidence rate in all states. Spatial autocorrelation was reported in metropolitan areas, and 178 municipalities were considered a priority, especially in the states of Ceará and Maranhão. We identified 11 spatiotemporal clusters of COVID-19 cases; the primary cluster included 70 municipalities from Ceará state. COVID-19 epidemic is increasing rapidly throughout the Northeast region of Brazil, with dispersion towards countryside. It was identified high risk clusters for COVID-19, especially in the coastal side.
Compulsory admission procedures of patients with mental disorders vary between countries in Europe. The Ethics Committee of the European Psychiatric Association (EPA) launched a survey on involuntary admission procedures of patients with mental disorders in 40 countries to gather information from all National Psychiatric Associations that are members of the EPA to develop recommendations for improving involuntary admission processes and promote voluntary care.
The survey focused on legislation of involuntary admissions and key actors involved in the admission procedure as well as most common reasons for involuntary admissions.
We analyzed the survey categorical data in themes, which highlight that both medical and legal actors are involved in involuntary admission procedures.
We conclude that legal reasons for compulsory admission should be reworded in order to remove stigmatization of the patient, that raising awareness about involuntary admission procedures and patient rights with both patients and family advocacy groups is paramount, that communication about procedures should be widely available in lay-language for the general population, and that training sessions and guidance should be available for legal and medical practitioners. Finally, people working in the field need to be constantly aware about the ethical challenges surrounding compulsory admissions.
Accurate estimates of methane (CH4) production by cattle in different contexts are essential to developing mitigation strategies in different regions. We aimed to: (i) compile a database of CH4 emissions from Brazilian cattle studies, (ii) evaluate prediction precision and accuracy of extant proposed equations for cattle and (iii) develop specialized equations for predicting CH4 emissions from cattle in tropical conditions. Data of nutrient intake, diet composition and CH4 emissions were compiled from in vivo studies using open-circuit respiratory chambers, SF6 technique or the GreenFeed® system. A final dataset containing intake, diet composition, digestibility and CH4 emissions (677 individual animal observations, 40 treatment means) obtained from 38 studies conducted in Brazil was used. The dataset was divided into three groups: all animals (GEN), lactating dairy cows (LAC) and growing cattle and non-lactating dairy cows (GCNL). A total of 54 prediction equations available in the literature were evaluated. A total of 96 multiple linear models were developed for predicting CH4 production (MJ/day). The predictor variables were DM intake (DMI), gross energy (GE) intake, BW, DMI as proportion of BW, NDF concentration, ether extract (EE) concentration, dietary proportion of concentrate and GE digestibility. Model selection criteria were significance (P < 0.05) and variance inflation factor lower than three for all predictors. Each model performance was evaluated by leave-one-out cross-validation. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2006) Tier 2 method performed better for GEN and GCNL than LAC and overpredicted CH4 production for all datasets. Increasing complexity of the newly developed models resulted in greater performance. The GCNL had a greater number of equations with expanded possibilities to correct for diet characteristics such as EE and NDF concentrations and dietary proportion of concentrate. For the LAC dataset, equations based on intake and animal characteristics were developed. The equations developed in the present study can be useful for accurate and precise estimation of CH4 emissions from cattle in tropical conditions. These equations could improve accuracy of greenhouse gas inventories for tropical countries. The results provide a better understanding of the dietary and animal characteristics that influence the production of enteric CH4 in tropical production systems.
Cowpea (Vigna unguiculata L. Walp.) is an important grain legume in tropical and subtropical regions. It requires low resource inputs and has a high nutritional value. Therefore, cowpea can play an important role in the development of agriculture. In southern Mexico, Mayan farmers have conserved and developed cowpea landraces for centuries. Nevertheless, information on their genetic diversity, conservation status and potential use is minimal. To generate information toward sustainable use, management and conservation of this species, we evaluated the genetic diversity and structure of 20 cowpea landraces from southeast Mexico using 10 inter-simple sequence repeat (ISSR) molecular markers. These ISSR markers generated 68 loci with a 67.7% polymorphism rate and average polymorphic information content of 0.36. The results of Bayesian assignation and the UPGMA analysis suggest the formation of two main groups defined by their genetic origin in southeast Mexico. High levels of genetic structure were found with a moderate level of genetic diversity distributed mainly between landraces. Low levels of intra-landrace variability were observed. Two landraces (P5 and P12) from Calakmul resulted in the high levels of genetic diversity. The selected markers were efficient at assessing genetic variability among Mexican cowpea landraces, providing valuable information that can be used in local conservation and participatory breeding programmes.
The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of Cactus (Opuntia spp) levels in total mixed ration silages based on Cactus and Gliricidia (Gliricidia sepium (Jacq.) Steud) on the fermentation profile, microbial populations, aerobic stability and taxonomic diversity. The completely randomized design was used in a 4 × 4 factorial design with four replications, being four rations with different levels of Cactus (15, 30, 45, 60% based on the dry matter) and four opening periods (0, 15, 30 and 60 days of fermentation). An interaction effect (P < 0.050) was observed among the diets and opening times for mould and yeast populations. An interaction effect for the levels of acetic acid was observed, where the diets 15, 30, 45 and 60% showed higher values at 60 days (0.44, 0.41, 0.35 and 0.40 g/kg DM, respectively). A significant difference was observed for the richness and diversity index (Chao1 and Shannon). The most abundant bacterial phyla were Proteobacteria and Firmicutes and the genera Lactobacillus and Weissella. Cactus can be added in total mixed ration silages up to the level of 60% in a way that it positively affects the qualitative indicators of the silages, modulating the taxonomic communities and allowing the predominance of important groups for preservation of the ensiled mass.
Four new actinospore types belonging to the sphaeractinomyxon collective group (Cnidaria, Myxosporea) are described from the coelomic cavity of a marine Baltidrilus sp. (Oligochaeta, Naididae) inhabiting a northern Portuguese estuary. Host identification supports the usage of marine oligochaetes, namely of the family Naididae Ehrenberg, 1828, as definitive hosts for myxosporeans inhabiting estuarine/marine environments. The absence of mixed infections in the host specimens analysed is suggested to reflect the influence of host-, parasite- and environmental-related factors regulating myxosporean–annelid interactions. Molecular analyses matched the SSU rDNA sequences of three of the four new types with those of mugiliform-infecting Myxobolus spp., namely Myxobolus mugiliensis and a Myxobolus sp. from flathead grey mullet Mugil cephalus, and Myxobolus labrosus from thicklip grey mullet Chelon labrosus. These results directly link, for the first time, the sphaeractinomyxon collective group to a myxospore counterpart, further confirming their previously hypothesized specific involvement in the life cycle of myxobolids that infect mullets. Acknowledging this life cycle relationship, the functionality of the sphaeractinomyxon morphotype is suggested to have been decisive for the evolutionary hyperdiversification of the genus Myxobolus in mullets. Unlike other actinospore morphotypes, sphaeractinomyxon lack valvular processes, which implies a limited capability for buoyancy. Considering the benthic-feeding nature of mullets, this feature is most likely crucial in promoting successful transmission to the vertebrate host.
The farrowing process is one of the most energy-demanding activities for the modern hyperprolific sow. This study evaluated the effects of supply of energy on the expected date of farrowing on the farrowing kinetics and piglets’ performance during the first 24 h after birth. A total of 80 sows were used. The sows and their respective litters were considered as the experimental unit. On the expected day of farrowing, the sows were allocated to one of the following groups: sows that did not have access to feed from farrowing induction until the end of the farrowing process (CON, n = 40); sows fed 500 g of energetic supplement, which consisted of 250 g of the basal lactation diet plus 250 g of cane sugar, 18 h after farrowing induction (SUP, n = 40). The farrowing duration, farrowing assistance, birth interval, number of total born, stillborn and mummified piglets were recorded for each sow. Piglets were weighed individually at birth and 24 h later. The interval from birth to first suckle was evaluated individually for each piglet in 16 randomly selected litters (eight litters per treatment group). Blood glucose concentrations of six sows were measured shortly after expulsion of the first piglet. Farrowing duration, farrowing assistance and stillborn rate tended to be greater (P = 0.06, P = 0.09 and P = 0.07, respectively) in sows from the CON group compared to sows from the SUP group. However, there was no difference (P > 0.05) between the groups for birth interval. Colostrum intake was greater (P < 0.05) for piglets from the SUP group compared to piglets from the CON group. Additionally, BW gain of the piglets suckling the SUP group was greater (P < 0.05) than those suckling the CON group at 24 h after birth. The blood glucose concentrations during the expulsive stage of farrowing were greater (P < 0.05) in the SUP group than for sows from the CON group. In conclusion, supplying modern hyperprolific sows energy on the expected day of farrowing is a valuable nutritional intervention to improve the farrowing kinetics and piglets’ performance in early life.
Spontaneous abortion is considered a public health problem having several causes, including infections. Among the infectious agents, bacteria of the vaginal microbiota and Ureaplasma parvum have been associated with abortion, but their participation needs to be further elucidated. This study aims to evaluate the influence of Mollicutes on the development of spontaneous abortion. Women who underwent spontaneous abortion and those with normal birth (control) were studied. Samples of cervical mucus (CM) and placental tissue were collected to identify Mollicutes using the quantitative polymerase chain reaction methodology. Eighty-nine women who had a miscarriage and 20 women with normal pregnancies were studied. The presence of Mollicutes in placental tissue increased the chance of developing miscarriage sevenfold. The prevalence of U. parvum in women who experienced spontaneous abortion was 66.3% in placental tissue. A positive association was observed between the detection of U. parvum in samples of placental tissue and abortion. There was a significant increase in microbial load in placental tissue for M. hominis, U. urealyticum and U. parvum compared to the control group. Detection of U. parvum in CM in pregnant women can ascend to the region of the placental tissue and trigger a spontaneous abortion.