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Population-based seroprevalence studies on coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in low- and middle-income countries are lacking. We investigated the seroprevalence of severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) antibodies in Sergipe state, Northeast Brazil, using rapid IgM−IgG antibody test and fluorescence immunoassay. The seroprevalence was 9.3% (95% CI 8.5–10.1), 10.2% (95% CI 9.2–11.3) for women and 7.9% (IC 95% 6.8–9.1) for men (P = 0.004). We found a decline in the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies according to age, but the differences were not statistically significant: 0–19 years (9.9%; 95% CI 7.8–12.5), 20–59 years (9.3%; 95% CI 8.4–10.3) and ≥60 years (9.0%; 95% CI 7.5–10.8) (P = 0.517). The metropolitan area had a higher seroprevalence (11.7%, 95% CI 10.3–13.2) than outside municipalities (8.0%, 95% CI 7.2–8.9) (P < 0.001). These findings highlight the importance of serosurveillance to estimate the real impact of the COVID-19 outbreak and thereby provide data to better understand the spread of the virus, as well as providing information to guide stay-at-home measures and other policies. In addition, these results may be useful as basic data to follow the progress of COVID-19 outbreak as social restriction initiatives start to be relaxed in Brazil.
Spineless cactus (Nopalea cochenillifera) is widely used in animal feed in semi-arid regions, due to the adaptive characteristics to such conditions and for having high levels of soluble carbohydrates. This research article describes the effect of replacing grain maize with spineless cactus in the diet of dairy goats on dry matter intake, water intake, milk yield, milk physicochemical characteristics and diet production costs. Eight multiparous Anglo Nubian goats were fed diets in which grain maize was replaced with spineless cactus at four levels (0, 33, 66, and 100%) in a double 4 × 4 Latin square design. Milk yield was measured and samples collected in the last three days of each period for physicochemical analysis and for determining nutrient intake. Diet production costs were also determined. Replacing maize with spineless cactus did not influence dry matter intake. Water intake via the drinker decreased linearly in response to the increasing levels of spineless cactus in the diet. The replacement of maize with spineless cactus did not change milk yield or physicochemical parameters. Total feed cost and the percentage of revenue losses from feed decreased with the replacement. Therefore, spineless cactus can fully replace grain maize in the diet of dairy goats, as it does not change dry matter intake or milk yield, but rather reduces feed costs and the drinking-water intake of goats.
There is mixed evidence on increasing rates of psychiatric disorders and symptoms during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in 2020. We evaluated pandemic-related psychopathology and psychiatry diagnoses and their determinants in the Brazilian Longitudinal Study of Health (ELSA-Brasil) São Paulo Research Center.
Between pre-pandemic ELSA-Brasil assessments in 2008–2010 (wave-1), 2012–2014 (wave-2), 2016–2018 (wave-3) and three pandemic assessments in 2020 (COVID-19 waves in May–July, July–September, and October–December), rates of common psychiatric symptoms, and depressive, anxiety, and common mental disorders (CMDs) were compared using the Clinical Interview Scheduled-Revised (CIS-R) and the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale-21 (DASS-21). Multivariable generalized linear models, adjusted by age, gender, educational level, and ethnicity identified variables associated with an elevated risk for mental disorders.
In 2117 participants (mean age 62.3 years, 58.2% females), rates of CMDs and depressive disorders did not significantly change over time, oscillating from 23.5% to 21.1%, and 3.3% to 2.8%, respectively; whereas rate of anxiety disorders significantly decreased (2008–2010: 13.8%; 2016–2018: 9.8%; 2020: 8%). There was a decrease along three wave-COVID assessments for depression [β = −0.37, 99.5% confidence interval (CI) −0.50 to −0.23], anxiety (β = −0.37, 99.5% CI −0.48 to −0.26), and stress (β = −0.48, 99.5% CI −0.64 to −0.33) symptoms (all ps < 0.001). Younger age, female sex, lower educational level, non-white ethnicity, and previous psychiatric disorders were associated with increased odds for psychiatric disorders, whereas self-evaluated good health and good quality of relationships with decreased risk.
No consistent evidence of pandemic-related worsening psychopathology in our cohort was found. Indeed, psychiatric symptoms slightly decreased along 2020. Risk factors representing socioeconomic disadvantages were associated with increased odds of psychiatric disorders.
To identify dietary patterns and prospectively evaluate their influence on the BMI Z-score of adolescents.
A longitudinal study, using data from the Longitudinal Study on Sedentary Behavior, Physical Activity, Eating Habits and Adolescent Health – LONCAAFS.
To obtain data on food consumption, a 24-h recall survey was conducted; a second 24-h recall was applied to 30 % of the sample in all waves. Dietary patterns were identified by exploratory factor analysis using principal components. BMI Z-score was determined according to the recommendation of the WHO, based on the BMI for age and sex. Socio-economic data, sedentary behaviour and physical activity level were obtained. Associations between BMI Z-score and dietary patterns and between BMI Z-score and variables of interest were determined using generalised estimating equations.
Totally, 1431 adolescents were assessed in 2014, 1178 in 2015, 959 in 2016 and 773 in 2017, belonging to the public schools of João Pessoa, Northeast Brazil.
Three dietary patterns were identified throughout the study: ‘traditional’, ‘snacks’ and ‘Western’. The ‘Western’ dietary pattern was positively associated with BMI Z-score (β = 0·025; 95 % CI 0·002, 0·048), regardless of sex and physical activity level, prospectively.
A dietary pattern composed of foods with high energy density, high fat and sugars, and low fibre influences the BMI Z-score of adolescents over time.
To investigate the shifts and factors associated with different scenarios resulting from the prevalence of child stunting and overweight in Brazilian municipalities.
This is an ecological study using municipality-level panel data of stunting and overweight prevalence and socio-economic characteristics from 2008 to 2014. The municipalities were classified according to the WHO-UNICEF prevalence thresholds for stunting and overweight and were categorised into four nutritional scenarios: no burden (prevalence of stunting < 20 % and overweight < 10 %), stunting burden (prevalence of stunting ≥ 20 % and overweight < 10 %), overweight burden (prevalence of stunting < 20 % and overweight ≥ 10 %) and double burden (prevalence of stunting ≥ 20 % and overweight ≥ 10 %).
Totally, 4443 Brazilian municipalities.
Aggregated data of children under 5 years old enrolled in the Brazil’s conditional cash transfer programme (Bolsa Família).
A mean reduction from 14·2 % to 12·7 % in the prevalence of stunting and an increase from 17·2 % to 18·4 % in the prevalence of overweight were observed. The predominant scenarios were overweight burden and double burden. The odds of both scenarios increased with higher gross domestic product (GDP) per capita and decreased with higher unemployment rates. Stunting and double burden decreased with higher expected years of schooling, and stunting burden increased with household crowding.
Our findings indicate an advanced nutrition transition stage in Brazil, associated mainly with municipal GDP per capita growth, which has contributed to increasing the burden of overweight alone or coexisting with stunting (double burden) among children in the most socio-economically vulnerable strata of the population.
Our objectives were to identify genes of the multi-drug efflux system and to evaluate the antimicrobial activities of polypyrrole nanoparticles (PPy-NPs) and aqueous extract of Moringa oleifera against Staphylococcus spp. isolated from dairy farms in Northeast Brazil. Initially, 162 Staphylococcus spp. isolates were subjected to in vitro antimicrobial sensitivity tests. Of these, 35 presented antimicrobial multi-drug resistance phenotypes. These 35 isolates were then referred for the detection of norA, norB, norC, msrA, mgrA, tet-38, and lmrS genes, all of which feature in multi-drug efflux systems. In the isolates carrying the genes, the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC) of PPy-NPs and Moringa oleifera aqueous extract were determined. In the molecular analysis of the 35 isolates norA, norC, tet-38, and msrA genes were detected and for the other genes norB, lmrS and mgrA there was no amplification. Antimicrobial activity was verified of PPy-NPs and aqueous extract of Moringa oleifera in Staphylococcus spp. carrying multi-drug efflux system genes. We concluded that there are multi-drug efflux system genes present in the Staphylococcus spp. from the agricultural environment in Northeast Brazil, and that aqueous extract of Moringa oleifera and PPy-NPs show bactericidal activity against these isolates.
The study described in this Research Communication investigated the genotypic and phenotypic profiles of resistance to beta-lactams and other antimicrobials in non-aureus Staphylococci (NAS) isolated from buffalo, goat and sheep mastitis in the Northeast region of Brazil. A total of 190 isolates were analyzed and 42.3, 43.9 and 23.6% of them were positive for blaZ gene in buffalo, goat and sheep, respectively. Regarding the animal groups, in goats, amoxicillin was the antimicrobial with highest resistance index (72.7%), followed by penicillin G in buffaloes (51.9%) and ampicillin in sheep (43.1%). With regard to multiple antimicrobial resistance, 30.8% of NAS isolates from buffalo milk samples, 25.8% from goats and 25.0% from sheep presented multidrug-resistance. In the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) technique, amoxicillin MIC50 and MIC90 were 64 and 128 μg/ml, respectively, among isolates of the three animal species. In conclusion, high rates of resistance to beta-lactams are presented among NAS isolated from mastitis cases in buffaloes, goats and sheep in Northeast region of Brazil. These results provide an alert to animal and human health researchers, suggesting that the frequency of NAS needs to be reduced because they carry resistance genes which might increase the existing levels of antimicrobial resistance.
Early weaning can lead to changes in the morphology of organs in adulthood, and the consumption of functional foods during lactation and postnatal life is believed to prevent these changes. However, it is not known if early weaning affects testicular morphology and if the use of cocoa can prevent that. We studied the effects of maternal and postnatal supplementation of cocoa powder on the testicular morphology of early weaned adult rats. The animals were divided into four groups (n = 6 each), control group, cocoa control group, early weaning (EW) group, and cocoa early weaning (EWCa) group, and were analyzed for 90 d, after which they were euthanized. The animals from the EW group showed a reduction in the tubular diameter and height of the seminiferous epithelium, a decrease in epithelial surface density (Sv), and an increase in the lumen and proper tunic. However, the animals from the EWCa group showed an increase in the diameter and height of the epithelium, an increase in the epithelium Sv, and a decrease in the lumen and the proper tunic. The early weaning promotes morphological changes in the testicles; however, supplementation with cocoa powder can preserve the testicular histoarchitecture.
Tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and interleukin-1β (IL-1β) are cytokines that are involved in the development, proliferation and apoptosis of ovarian follicular cells in domestic mammals. The expression of these cytokines in various follicular compartments, depending on the stage of follicle development, demonstrates their involvement in the control of primordial follicle growth up to the preovulatory stage. The mechanism of action of these factors depends on the presence of their receptors that transduce their biological actions. This review shows the expression sites of TNF-α, IL-1β and their receptors in ovarian follicles, and discusses the mechanism of action of these cytokines during follicle development, oocyte maturation and ovulation in domestic animals.
This study aimed to evaluate the discriminative validity of MINI-SPIN (MS) as a screening tool for social anxiety disorder (SAD) in a group of Brazilian university students.
SPIN was collectively applied to 2320 university students. Among them, 656 individuals who fulfilled the criteria for positive MS (N = 473) and negative MS (N = 183) were selected and divided into two groups. The selected subjects were interviewed by telephone using the SAD module of the SCID-IV, used as the gold standard. In order to check interrater reliability, a group of university students (N = 57) was reinterviewed by telephone by a second rater, and another group (N = 100) participated in a face-to-face interview.
The Kappa coefficient among the telephone interviews was 0.80, and a coefficient of 0.84 (P < 0.001) was obtained between the telephone interview and the face-to-face one. For a cut-off score of 6, suggested in the original English version of the instrument, sensitivity was 0.94, specificity 0.46, the positive predictive value (PPV) was 0.58, and the negative predictive value (NPV) was 0.92. For a cut-off score of 7, we observed an increase in the specificity and in the PPV (0.68 and 0.65) while the sensitivity and NPV (0.78 and 0.80) remained high.
MS showed quite satisfactory psychometric qualities. The cut-off score of 6 seemed to be the most suitable to attest the tracking value of the tool. However, the cut-off score of 7 was the most suitable as a minimum parameter for the studied group, with psychometric values more similar to those of the original study.
The Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus was once an abundant species in the Cabo Verde Islands. Since the 1960s though, and especially during the 1980–1990s, it consistently declined to near extinction. Evidence collected indicates a remnant population of about a dozen pairs or less, scattered through the desert rangelands of only three islands. Extensive enquiry work revealed that this likely resulted from the concomitant effects of the rise in unnatural mortality due to the formerly widespread and long-lasting use of dangerous pesticides and the (still on-going) poisoning of stray dogs and other nuisance animals, and a decrease in food resources associated with factors linked with development, such as urbanisation, rural abandonment and better sanitation. Avoiding imminent extinction calls for emergency action against current threats to the remaining vultures, such as poisoning and electrocution, but also potential causes of impaired fecundity such as hazardous pesticides and shortage of food resources.
Steep slope vineyards are a complex scenario for the development of ground robots. Planning a safe robot trajectory is one of the biggest challenges in this scenario, characterized by irregular surfaces and strong slopes (more than 35°). Moving the robot through a pile of stones, spots with high slope or/and with wrong robot yaw may result in an abrupt fall of the robot, damaging the equipment and centenary vines, and sometimes imposing injuries to humans. This paper presents a novel approach for path planning aware of center of mass of the robot for application in sloppy terrains. Agricultural robotic path planning (AgRobPP) is a framework that considers the A* algorithm by expanding inner functions to deal with three main inputs: multi-layer occupation grid map, altitude map and robot’s center of mass. This multi-layer grid map is updated by obstacles taking into account the terrain slope and maximum robot posture. AgRobPP is also extended with algorithms for local trajectory replanning during the execution of a trajectory that is blocked by the presence of an obstacle, always assuring the safety of the re-planned path. AgRobPP has a novel PointCloud translator algorithm called PointCloud to grid map and digital elevation model (PC2GD), which extracts the occupation grid map and digital elevation model from a PointCloud. This can be used in AgRobPP core algorithms and farm management intelligent systems as well. AgRobPP algorithms demonstrate a great performance with the real data acquired from AgRob V16, a robotic platform developed for autonomous navigation in steep slope vineyards.
The aim of this study was to optimize protocols for electroporation (EP) and polyfection (PLF) using polyethyleneimine (PEI) for pig sperm transfection and to determine which method was the most efficient. For EP standardization, different voltages, amounts and times of electric pulses were tested using propidium iodide (PI) as reporter. For PLF standardization, different concentrations of fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC)-labelled PEI (PEI/FITC) were incubated with sperm for different periods of time. Flow cytometry was performed to evaluate the best protocol in terms of cell viability, including cytoplasmic membrane, acrosome, chromatin integrities and mitochondrial potential using the FITC probe, PI, acridine orange (AO) and JC1. Transfections with the plasmid pmhyGENIE-5 were carried out under optimum conditions for each procedure (EP: 500 volts, 500 μs and two pulses; PLF: PEI 0.5 mg/ml and incubation time 10 min). Transfection efficacy was assessed by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). A lower transfection rate was observed for sperm in the control group (17.8%) compared with EP (36.7%), with PLF (76.8%) being the most efficient. These results suggest that the EP and PEI could be an efficient and low cost transfection method for swine sperm. Notably, treated cells showed higher plasmatic the membrane damage (PMD) and/or acrosome damage (AD) indexes, therefore the combination of this procedure with biotechniques that facilitate fecundation (i.e. in vitro fertilization or intracytoplasmic sperm injection) or even inclusion of antioxidant or anti-apoptotic drugs to improve spermatozoa viability would be important.
This study assessed the anthelmintic activity of plant-derived compounds against gastrointestinal nematodes of goats using the egg hatch and larval motility assays. The compounds tested were saponins (digitonin and aescin) and their respective sapogenins (aglycones), hecogenin acetate and flavonoids (catechin, hesperidin, isocordoin and a mixture of isocordoin and cordoin). Additionally, cytotoxicity of active substances was analysed on Vero cell through 3-4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl,2,5diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) and propidium iodide (PI) tests. Significant reduction on the egg hatching (P < 0.05) was seen only in the treatments with aescin (99%/EC50 = 0.67 mg mL−1) and digitonin (45%). The compounds that reduced the larval motility (P < 0.05) were digitonin (EC50 = 0.03 mg mL−1 and EC90 = 0.49 mg mL−1) and the hecogenin acetate (75%). The other sapogenins showed low anthelmintic activity. All the flavonoids showed low ovicidal (4–12%) and larvicidal (10–19%) effects. The aescin and digitonin showed low toxicity in PI test (viable cells >90%). Nevertheless, higher cytotoxicity was observed in the MTT assay, with IC50 of 0.20 mg mL−1 (aescin) and 0.0074 mg mL−1 (digitonin). Aescin and digitonin have a pronounced in vitro anthelmintic effect and the glycone portion of these saponins plays an important role in this activity.
Isotopic composition of leaf carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) is determined by biotic and abiotic factors. In order to determine the influence of leaf habit and site on leaf δ13C and δ15N in the understorey of two Atlantic forests in Brazil that differ in annual precipitation (1200 and 1900 mm), we measured these isotopes in the shaded understorey of 38 tropical tree species (20 in the 1200-mm site and 18 in the 1900-mm site). Mean site values for δ15N were significantly lower at the 1200-mm site (−1.4‰) compared with the 1900-mm site (+3.0‰), and δ13C was significantly greater in the 1200-mm site (−30.4‰) than in the 1900-mm site (−31.6‰). Leaf C concentration was greater and leaf N concentration was lower at 1200-mm than at 1900-mm. Leaf δ15N was negatively correlated with δ13C across the two sites. Leaf δ13C and δ15N of evergreen and deciduous species were not significantly different within a site. No significant phylogenetic signal for any traits among the study species was found. Overall, site differences were the main factor distinguishing traits among species, suggesting strong functional convergence to local climate and soils within each site for individuals in the shaded understorey.
Several methods can be used to obtain, from powder diffraction patterns, crystallite size and lattice strain of polycrystalline samples. Some examples are the Scherrer equation, Williamson–Hall plots, Warren/Averbach Fourier decomposition, Whole Powder Pattern Modeling, and Debye function analysis. To apply some of these methods, it is necessary to remove the contribution of the instrument to the widths of the diffraction peaks. Nowadays, one of the main samples used for this purpose is the LaB6 SRM660b commercialized by the National Institute of Standard Technology; the width of the diffraction peak of this sample is caused only by the instrumental apparatus. However, this sample can be expensive for researchers in developing countries. In this work, the authors present a simple route to obtain micron-sized polycrystalline CeO2 that have a full width at half maximum comparable with the SRM660b and therefore it can be used to remove instrumental broadening.
After the Portuguese discovered the Cape Verde Islands in AD 1456 they divided its main island, Santiago, into two governing captaincies. The founding settlement in the south-west, Cidade Velha, soon became the Islands’ capital and a thriving trade centre; in contrast, that in the east, Alcatrazes, only lasted as an official seat from 1484–1516 and is held to have ‘failed’ (see Richter 2015).
The onset of Alzheimer's disease (AD) affects couples’ relationship. We investigated the perception of change and sexual satisfaction in spouse-caregivers and their partners diagnosed with AD.
We compared 74 dyads of people with Alzheimer's disease (PwAD)/spouse-caregivers and 21 elderly dyads control. We assessed sexual satisfaction with Questionnaire on Sexual Experience and Satisfaction (QSES), cognition using a Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), disease severity using a Clinical Dementia Rating scale (CDR), awareness of disease with Assessment Scale of Psychosocial Impact of the Diagnosis of Dementia (ASPIDD), functionality with Pfeffer Functional Activities Questionnaire (FAQ), depressive symptoms with Cornell Scale for Depression in Dementia (CSDD), quality of life using a Quality of Life in Alzheimer's Disease Scale (QoL-AD), and burden using a Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI).
We found differences between the perception and no perception of change in sexual activity of PwAD (p < 0.001), spouse-caregivers (p < 0.01), and controls (p < 0.05). Moderate to severe sexual dissatisfaction was observed in 36.5% of PwAD, 65% of spouse-caregivers, and 31% of controls. PwAD sexual satisfaction was related to cognitive impairment (p < 0.05). Spouse-caregivers sexual satisfaction was related to gender (p < 0.05) and the presence of sexual activity (p < 0.001).
The perception of change with higher sexual dissatisfaction, were significant in PwAD and their spouse-caregivers, in comparison with couples of elderly without dementia.
This study investigated the emission of subaquatic noise from recreational tourism motorboats, schooners and a sea-bottom mounted water pump. Analyses demonstrated alterations in several whistle (IF: t = 2.42, P = 0.015; FF: t = −2.22, P = 0.025) and calls patterns (MIF: t = −3.13, P = 0.001; MAF: t = −3.49, P = 0.0005; FD: t = −2.21, P = 0.027; D: t = 2.89, P = 0.004), caused primarily by motorboats. Duration of clicks was also modified (D: t = −3.85, P = 0.0001), mainly by the water pump. The frequency range of all noises (0.43–35.8 kHz) overlaps that used by dolphins (1–48 kHz), causing sound emissions changes, with a considerable increase in number of whistles and a reduction in clicks trains. These changes may be a strategy developed by these dolphins to overcome the noise band. Mitigation measures, such as boating regulations and environmental education for the local community, boaters and tourists are needed to conserve the species. The Guiana dolphin population is apparently already suffering, evidenced by diminished residence time and reduced number of individuals entering the inlet during the presence of pleasure craft.