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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.
Tuberculosis (TB) is the leading cause of death among infectious diseases worldwide. Among the estimated cases of drug-resistant TB, approximately 60% occur in the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa). Among Brazilian states, primary and acquired multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) rates were the highest in Rio Grande do Sul (RS). This study aimed to perform molecular characterisation of MDR-TB in the State of RS, a high-burden Brazilian state. We performed molecular characterisation of MDR-TB cases in RS, defined by drug susceptibility testing, using 131 Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M.tb) DNA samples from the Central Laboratory. We carried out MIRU-VNTR 24loci, spoligotyping, sequencing of the katG, inhA and rpoB genes and RDRio sublineage identification. The most frequent families found were LAM (65.6%) and Haarlem (22.1%). RDRio deletion was observed in 42 (32%) of the M.tb isolates. Among MDR-TB cases, eight (6.1%) did not present mutations in the studied genes. In 116 (88.5%) M.tb isolates, we found mutations associated with rifampicin (RIF) resistance in rpoB gene, and in 112 isolates (85.5%), we observed mutations related to isoniazid resistance in katG and inhA genes. An insertion of 12 nucleotides (CCAGAACAACCC) at the 516 codon in the rpoB gene, possibly responsible for a decreased interaction of RIF and RNA polymerase, was found in 19/131 of the isolates, belonging mostly to LAM and Haarlem families. These results enable a better understanding of the dynamics of transmission and evolution of MDR-TB in the region.
Two separate experiments were conducted in 2015 and 2016 in Citra, FL to investigate the effects of preplant application timing of 2,4-D and dicamba on sesame stand and yield. Nonlinear regression analysis was performed to determine the application timing that caused 10% stand or yield reduction (GR10) compared to the nontreated control (NTC) and expressed as d before planting (DBP; longer intervals indicate more injury). Likewise, regression analysis was used to determine sesame stand that resulted in 10% yield reduction (YR10) expressed as plants m−1 row. Stand measured 3 wk after planting (WAP) revealed 2,4-D applied at 0.53 kg ae ha−1 to be the least injurious treatment to sesame stand (GR10=6.4 DBP). Conversely, dicamba at 1.12 kg ha−1 produced a GR10 of 15.7 DBP for sesame stand at 3 WAP. 2,4-D applied at 0.53 and 1.06 kg ha−1 and dicamba applied at 0.56 kg ha−1 had the lowest GR10 for yield of 2, 3.7, and 3 DBP, respectively. Dicamba applied at 1.12 kg ha−1 proved to be the most injurious treatment to yield, which produced a GR10 value of 10.3 DBP. To simulate possible stand losses associated with dicamba or 2,4-D and the subsequent effect on yield, a separate experiment was conducted in which sesame was thinned to various plant densities and yield was recorded to determine the relationship between plant stand and seed yield. The regression analysis of these data was then compared to that of the experiment treated with 2,4-D and dicamba to separate any physiological effects of the herbicides that would lead to yield reduction from yield effects due to stand loss only. Rate constants were compared and no statistical differences were detected between herbicide and non-herbicide treatments, suggesting that yield reductions that occur from preplant applications of 2,4-D and dicamba were purely due to stand reductions.
Kefir is fermented milk produced from grains that comprise a specific and complex mixture of bacteria and yeasts that live in a symbiotic association. The nutritional composition of kefir varies according to the milk composition, the microbiological composition of the grains used, the time/temperature of fermentation and storage conditions. Kefir originates from the Caucasus and Tibet. Recently, kefir has raised interest in the scientific community due to its numerous beneficial effects on health. Currently, several scientific studies have supported the health benefits of kefir, as reported historically as a probiotic drink with great potential in health promotion, as well as being a safe and inexpensive food, easily produced at home. Regular consumption of kefir has been associated with improved digestion and tolerance to lactose, antibacterial effect, hypocholesterolaemic effect, control of plasma glucose, anti-hypertensive effect, anti-inflammatory effect, antioxidant activity, anti-carcinogenic activity, anti-allergenic activity and healing effects. A large proportion of the studies that support these findings were conducted in vitro or in animal models. However, there is a need for systematic clinical trials to better understand the effects of regular use of kefir as part of a diet, and for their effect on preventing diseases. Thus, the present review focuses on the nutritional and microbiological composition of kefir and presents relevant findings associated with the beneficial effects of kefir on human and animal health.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of dietary lysine on performance, protein deposition and respiratory chain gene expression in male broilers. A total of 252 Cobb 500 broilers were distributed, in a completely randomized design, into four treatments with seven replicates of nine birds per experimental unit. Experimental treatments consisted of diets based on corn and soybean meal, with four levels of digestible lysine: 1.016%, 1.099%, 1.182% and 1.265%. The increase in the level of digestible lysine in the diet provided higher weight gains, feed efficiency and body protein deposition. Birds fed the lowest level of dietary lysine (1.016%) showed a lower expression of genes such as NADH dehydrogenase subunit I (ND1), cytochrome b (CYTB) and cytochrome c oxidase subunits I (COX I), II (COX II) and III (COX III), displaying the worst performance and body protein deposition. This demonstrates the relationship existing between the expression of the evaluated genes and the performance responses. In conclusion, results indicate that broilers fed diets with higher levels of digestible lysine have increased messenger RNA expression of some genes coded in the mitochondrial electron transport chain (ND1, CYTB, COX I, COX II and COX III). It may be stated that diets with proper levels of digestible lysine, within the ‘ideal protein’ concept, promote the expression of genes, which increases the mitochondrial energy, thereby fostering body protein deposition and the performance of broilers in the starter phase.
To characterize meal patterns across ten European countries participating in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) calibration study.
Cross-sectional study utilizing dietary data collected through a standardized 24 h diet recall during 1995–2000. Eleven predefined intake occasions across a 24 h period were assessed during the interview. In the present descriptive report, meal patterns were analysed in terms of daily number of intake occasions, the proportion reporting each intake occasion and the energy contributions from each intake occasion.
Twenty-seven centres across ten European countries.
Women (64 %) and men (36 %) aged 35–74 years (n 36 020).
Pronounced differences in meal patterns emerged both across centres within the same country and across different countries, with a trend for fewer intake occasions per day in Mediterranean countries compared with central and northern Europe. Differences were also found for daily energy intake provided by lunch, with 38–43 % for women and 41–45 % for men within Mediterranean countries compared with 16–27 % for women and 20–26 % for men in central and northern European countries. Likewise, a south–north gradient was found for daily energy intake from snacks, with 13–20 % (women) and 10–17 % (men) in Mediterranean countries compared with 24–34 % (women) and 23–35 % (men) in central/northern Europe.
We found distinct differences in meal patterns with marked diversity for intake frequency and lunch and snack consumption between Mediterranean and central/northern European countries. Monitoring of meal patterns across various cultures and populations could provide critical context to the research efforts to characterize relationships between dietary intake and health.
Methods of “green” synthesis of nanoparticles of elemental iron (zero-valent iron, NZVI), its oxides and hydroxides using natural products are reviewed. In particular, the use of biological agents such as extracts of various plants, tea, soya, table sugar and glucose, as reductants and as capping agents is shown. The techniques involved are simple, environmentally friendly and generally one-pot processes. Water disinfection using iron nanomaterials against viruses and bacteria is also examined.
In recent years great importance has been given to the adverse effects of particulate matter (PM) in health, and several epidemiological studies correlating the airborne particles with pulmonary injury have been carried out. The adverse effect of short- and long-term expositions to PM can, indeed, cause a variety of effects, from minor effects on the respiratory system to serious oncogenic effects that can lead to precocious death and are considered one of the top environmental public health concerns. Some cytogenetic techniques, as micronucleus assay, allow to detect chromosome breakage and loss by measuring the formation of micronuclei and proved to be a good tool in the evaluation of genotoxic damage induced by PM. Thus genotoxic effects can be evaluated by micronucleus test in order to identify a gradient of potential exposure and to assess environmental monitoring. However, cross investigations involving biomarkers of genotoxicity and electron microscopy PM-induced tracheal and lung damages in natural populations are not common.
The objective of this paper is to critically review and summarize available scientific and lay literature, and ongoing studies on human and porcine cysticercosis in Mozambique to identify knowledge gaps and direct immediate and long-term research efforts. Data on the spatial distribution and prevalence of the disease in human and swine populations are scarce and fragmented. Human serological studies have shown that 15–21% of apparently healthy adults were positive for cysticercosis antibodies or antigen, while in neuropsychiatric patients seroprevalence was as high as 51%. Slaughterhouse records indicate a countrywide occurrence of porcine cysticercosis, while studies have shown that 10–35% of pigs tested were seropositive for cysticercosis antibodies or antigen. Current research in Mozambique includes studies on the epidemiology, molecular biology, diagnosis and control of the disease. Future research efforts should be directed at better understanding the epidemiology of the disease in Mozambique, particularly risk factors for its occurrence and spread in human and swine populations, documenting the socio-economic impact of the disease, identifying critical control points and evaluating the feasibility and epidemiological impact of control measures and development of local level diagnostic tools for use in humans and swine.
We consider the two-dimensional version of a drainage network model introduced in Gangopadhyay, Roy and Sarkar (2004), and show that the appropriately rescaled family of its paths converges in distribution to the Brownian web. We do so by verifying the convergence criteria proposed in Fontes, Isopi, Newman and Ravishankar (2002).
Inflammation is a stereotypical physiological response to infections and tissue injury; it initiates pathogen killing as well as tissue repair processes and helps to restore homeostasis at infected or damaged sites. Acute inflammatory reactions are usually self-limiting and resolve rapidly, due to the involvement of negative feedback mechanisms. Thus, regulated inflammatory responses are essential to remain healthy and maintain homeostasis. However, inflammatory responses that fail to regulate themselves can become chronic and contribute to the perpetuation and progression of disease. Characteristics typical of chronic inflammatory responses underlying the pathophysiology of several disorders include loss of barrier function, responsiveness to a normally benign stimulus, infiltration of inflammatory cells into compartments where they are not normally found in such high numbers, and overproduction of oxidants, cytokines, chemokines, eicosanoids and matrix metalloproteinases. The levels of these mediators amplify the inflammatory response, are destructive and contribute to the clinical symptoms. Various dietary components including long chain ω-3 fatty acids, antioxidant vitamins, plant flavonoids, prebiotics and probiotics have the potential to modulate predisposition to chronic inflammatory conditions and may have a role in their therapy. These components act through a variety of mechanisms including decreasing inflammatory mediator production through effects on cell signaling and gene expression (ω-3 fatty acids, vitamin E, plant flavonoids), reducing the production of damaging oxidants (vitamin E and other antioxidants), and promoting gut barrier function and anti-inflammatory responses (prebiotics and probiotics). However, in general really strong evidence of benefit to human health through anti-inflammatory actions is lacking for most of these dietary components. Thus, further studies addressing efficacy in humans linked to studies providing greater understanding of the mechanisms of action involved are required.
The dune of Oitavos, the underlying paleosol, and Helix sp. gastropod shells found within the paleosol were dated using a combination of radiocarbon and blue optically stimulated luminescence (OSL). The organic component of the paleosol produced a significantly older age (∼20,000 cal BP) than the OSL age measurement (∼15,000 yr), while 14C age measurements on the inorganic component and the gastropods produced ages of ∼35,000 yr and ∼34,000 yr, respectively. Rare-earth element analyses provide evidence that the gastropods incorporate geological carbonate, making them an unreliable indicator of the age of the paleosol. We propose that the 14C age of the small organic component of the paleosol is also likely to be unreliable due to incorporation of residual material. The OSL age measurement of the upper paleosol (∼15,000 yr) is consistent with the age for the base of the dune (∼14,500 yr). The younger OSL age for the top of the dune (∼12,000 yr) suggests that it was built up by at least 2 sand pulses or that there was a remobilization of material at the top during its evolution, prior to consolidation.
In order to assign 18 mayfly taxa found in streams in the Macaé River basin into Functional Feeding Groups, the anatomy of their feeding
apparatus was examined through scanning electron microscopy. Also, habitat preference and field observations of feeding behaviour were made
to assure FFG assignment. Ephemeropteran taxa were classified into five FFGs: Passive Filterers - Hylister plaumanni; Active Filterer -
Lachlania boanovae and Campylocia sp.; Brushers - Askola froehlichi, Farrodes carioca, Hagenulopsis spp., Massartela brieni, Miroculis froehlich,
Miroculis sp., and Thraulodes spp; Grazers - Cloeodes spp., Americabaetis spp., Camelobaetidius spp.and Baetodes spp.; Scrapers -
Leptohyphes pereirae, Leptohyphes spp., Tricorythodes spp. and Tricorythopsis spp. Species of the three best represented mayfly families in
south-east Brazil were assigned to different FFGs (Leptophlebiidae - Brushers; Baetidae - Grazers and Leptohyphidae - Scrapers), with one
exception, Hylister plaumanni (Leptophlebiidae; Active filterers). This information is useful to understand the role of mayflies in stream ecosystems,
and to help the development of ecological theories for tropical streams.
The continuing need of protein sources for the human population aside of the economic world is of considerable social interest, so the rational use of the local fauna has both economic and social advantages, while protecting wild species from extinction through irrational hunting and habitat destruction. Among Brazilian mammals the capybara is a big rodent, with high reproductive potential, are herbivorous, they increase their digestive efficiency through extensive mastication followed by fermentation by cellulolitic bacteria and protozoa in the cecum (González-Jiménez, 1995). Furthermore, capybaras are able to use microbial protein from the cecum after fermentation through the cecotrophy, or ‘reingestion’ of the cecal content (Mendes et al., 2000). In function of the controversial findings regarding cecotrophy in capybaras, this study was conducted to compare the faecal excretion curves of capybara, collared peccary (Tayassu tajacu) - animal that does not accomplish the cecotrophy, and rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) - animal that accomplishes the cecotrophy.
Macunahyphes, gen. nov. is proposed to include Tricorythodes australis (Banks). In the present paper, the new taxon is described
an illustrated from imagos and nymphs. The unique characters present in Macunahyphes gen. nov. are: in the male imago,
(1) forceps tri-segmented with first segment distomedially projected, (2) penis with very wide base, becoming thinner toward a
subapical constriction, and then slightly widening again, penis lobes of each side almost completely fused except apical insicion,
(3) penes with a ventral projection covered with spines, and in the nymph, (4) glossae and paraglossae almost completely
fused, with a circular outline, and (5) femora with numerous robust serrate setae.
Writing African History is an essential work for anyone who wants to write, or even seriously read, African history. It will replace Daniel McCall's classic Africa in Time Perspective as the introduction to African history for the next generation and as a reference for professional historians, interested readers, and anyone who wants to understand how African history is written. Africa in Time Perspective was written in the 1960s, when African history was a new field of research. This new book reflects the development of African history since then. It opens with a comprehensive introduction by Daniel McCall, followed by a chapter by the editor explaining what African history is [and is not] in the context of historical theory and the development of historical narrative, the humanities, and social sciences. The first half of the book focuses on sources of historical data while the second half examines different perspectives on history. The editor's final chapter explains how to combine various sorts of evidence into a coherent account of African history. Writing African History will become the most important guide to African history for the 21st century.
Contributors: Bala Achi, Isaac Olawale Albert, Diedre L. Badéjo, Dorothea Bedigian, Barbara M. Cooper, Henry John Drewal, Christopher Ehret, Toyin Falola, David Henige, Joseph E. Holloway, John Hunwick, S. O. Y. Keita, William G. Martin, Daniel McCall, Susan Keech McIntosh, Donatien Dibwe Dia Mwembu, Kathleen Sheldon, John Thornton, and Masao Yoshida.
John Edwards Philips is Professor of International Society, Hirosaki University, and author of Spurious Arabic: Hausa and Colonial Nigeria [Madison, University of Wisconsin African Studies Center, 2000].