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An adequate intake of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) plays a vital role in human health. Therefore, it is important to assess PUFA intakes in different populations and validate them with biomarkers, but only a few small studies are in paediatric populations. We calculated the dietary intake of PUFAs and their main food sources in children and assessed associations between reported PUFA intakes and plasma proportions. Dietary intakes of 7-year-old children (n=8,242) enrolled in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children were calculated from parental-completed food frequency questionnaire. Plasma PUFAs were measured in 5,571 children 8 months later and 4,380 children had complete dietary and plasma data. The association between dietary and plasma PUFAs proportions were estimated using Spearman’s correlation coefficients, quintile cross-classification and Cohen’s kappa coefficients. Mean total PUFA intake was 13.2g/day (sd4.2), contributing 6.5% of total energy intake; n-6 PUFA contributed 5.2% and n-3 PUFA 0.7%. The n-6:n-3 ratio was 7.9:1. Mean intakes of eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) were 35.7mg/day and 49.7mg/day, respectively. Most n-3 and n-6 PUFA intakes were weakly correlated with their respective plasma lipids (0.07≤ r ≤0.16, p<0.001). The correlation between dietary and plasma DHA was stronger though (r=0.34, p<0.001), supported by a modest level of agreement between quintiles (k=0.32). The results indicate that the FFQ was able to reasonably rank the long-chain PUFA, DHA, in this paediatric population. Public health initiatives need to address the suboptimal ratio of n-6:n-3 PUFAs and very low n-3 long-chain PUFA intakes in school-aged children in the UK.
Tenuisvalvae notata (Mulsant) (Coccinellidae) is a predatory ladybird beetle native to South America. It specializes in mealybugs prey (Pseudococcidae), but relatively little is known about its ecology. In contrast, the ladybird beetle Cryptolaemus montrouzieri Mulsant (Coccinellidae) is indigenous to Australia and has been introduced to many countries worldwide including Brazil for biological control of mealybugs. The potential impacts of these introductions to native coccinellids have rarely been considered. The software CLIMEX estimated the climate suitability for both species as reflected in the Ecoclimatic Index (EI). Much of South America, Africa, and Australia can be considered climatically suitable for both species, but in most cases, the climate is considerably more favorable for C. montrouzieri than T. notata, especially in South America. The CLIMEX model also suggests seasonal differences in growth conditions (e.g. rainfall and temperature) that could affect the phenology of both species. These models suggest that few locations in South America would be expected to provide T. notata climatic refugia from C. montrouzieri. Although other ecological factors will also be important, such as prey availability, this analysis suggests a strong potential for displacement of a native coccinellid throughout most of its range as a consequence of the invasion by an alien competitor.
Despite evidence showing that the intake of ultra-processed food has a negative impact on health, diet quality and dietary vitamin E, its impact on vitamin E nutritional status and breast milk remains unknown. This study aimed to assess the influence of the consumption of ultra-processed foods on vitamin E biomarkers of lactating women. A cross-sectional study was performed with 294 lactating women. Food consumption was obtained by 24-hour dietary recall and foods were grouped according to the NOVA classification. Levels of alpha-tocopherol were analyzed by High Performance Liquid Chromatography. Breast milk vitamin E (BMVE) adequacy was based on the quantity of the vitamin in the estimated intake volume. The Kruskal-Wallis test was used to compare the tertiles and linear regression to association between ultra-processed food consumption and biomarkers. Ultra-processed foods accounted for 16% of energy intake and vitamin E intakes by all women were considered low. Serum alpha-tocopherol was 26.55 (SD 7.98) µmol/L, 5% (n=11) showed inadequate vitamin E (<12µmol/L), and 78% had an inadequate BMVE content (< 4mg/780mL). The regression showed that a higher dietary share of ultra-processed foods was associated with lower concentrations of serum alpha-tocopherol (β=−0.168, CI=−0.047–0.010, p=0.003) and inadequate BMVE content (β=−0.144, CI=−0.505–0.063, p=0.012) (adjustment for income and maternal age). Thus, higher dietary shares of ultra-processed foods had an impact on vitamin E biomarkers, suggesting that inadequate dietary intake practices during lactation may reduce the supply of vitamin E to women and breast milk.
A single spray application of a continuously active disinfectant on portable equipment resulted in significant reductions in aerobic colony counts over 7 days and in recovery of Staphylococcus aureus and enterococci: 3 of 93 cultures (3%) versus 11 of 97 (11%) and 20 of 97 (21%) in quaternary ammonium disinfectant and untreated control groups, respectively.
Maternal nutrition is critical in mammalian development, influencing the epigenetic reprogramming of gametes, embryos, and fetal programming. We evaluated the effects of different levels of sulfur (S) and cobalt (Co) in the maternal diet throughout the pre- and periconceptional periods on the biochemical and reproductive parameters of the donors and the DNA methylome of the progeny in Bos indicus cattle. The low-S/Co group differed from the control with respect to homocysteine, folic acid, B12, insulin growth factor 1, and glucose. The oocyte yield was lower in heifers from the low S/Co group than that in the control heifers. Embryos from the low-S/Co group exhibited 2320 differentially methylated regions (DMRs) across the genome compared with the control embryos. We also characterized candidate DMRs linked to the DNMT1 and DNMT3B genes in the blood and sperm cells of the adult progeny. A DMR located in DNMT1 that was identified in embryos remained differentially methylated in the sperm of the progeny from the low-S/Co group. Therefore, we associated changes in specific compounds in the maternal diet with DNA methylation modifications in the progeny. Our results help to elucidate the impact of maternal nutrition on epigenetic reprogramming in livestock, opening new avenues of research to study the effect of disturbed epigenetic patterns in early life on health and fertility in adulthood. Considering that cattle are physiologically similar to humans with respect to gestational length, our study may serve as a model for studies related to the developmental origin of health and disease in humans.
Evidence suggests that maternal prepregnancy body mass index (BMI) is associated with offspring cardiometabolic risk factors. This study was aimed at assessing the association of maternal prepregnancy BMI with offspring cardiometabolic risk factors in adolescence and adulthood. We also evaluated whether offspring BMI was a mediator in this association. The study included mother–offspring pairs from three Pelotas birth cohorts. Offspring cardiometabolic risk factors were collected in the last follow-up of each cohort [mean age (in years) 30.2, 22.6, 10.9]. Blood pressure was measured using an automatic device, cholesterol by using an enzymatic colorimetric method, and glucose from fingertip blood, using a portable glucose meter. In a pooled analysis of the cohorts, multiple linear regression was used to control for confounding. Mediation analysis was conducted using G-computation formula. In the adjusted model, mean systolic blood pressure of offspring from overweight and obese mothers was on average 1.25 (95% CI: 0.45; 2.05) and 2.13 (95% CI: 0.66; 3.59) mmHg higher than that of offspring from normal-weight mothers; for diastolic blood pressure, the means were 0.80 (95% CI: 0.26; 1.34) and 2.60 (95% CI: 1.62; 3.59) mmHg higher, respectively. Non-HDL cholesterol was positively associated with maternal BMI, whereas blood glucose was not associated. Mediation analyses showed that offspring BMI explained completely the association of maternal prepregnancy BMI with offspring systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and non-HDL cholesterol. Our findings suggest that maternal prepregnancy BMI is positively associated with offspring blood pressure, and blood lipids, and this association is explained by offspring BMI.
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.
The retention of human milk (HM) fat in nasogastric probes of infusion pumps can be observed during the feed of infants unable to suck at the mother’s breast. The lack of homogenisation of HM could contribute to the fat holding. Therefore, the present study evaluated (i) the influence of homogenisation on milk fat retaining in infant feeding probes and (ii) the in vivo effect of the homogenisation on lipid absorption by Wistar rats. The animals were fed with HM treated following two processing conditions, that is, pasteurised and homogenised–pasteurised. The animals were randomly subdivided into four experimental groups: water-fed (control), pasteurised milk, homogenised–pasteurised milk and pasteurised–skimmed milk. The results of food consumption, mass body gain, corporate metrics and plasma blood levels of total cholesterol did not show any difference (P < 0·05) among the three types of HM used in the experiments. The liver, intestine and intra-abdominal adipose tissue of the four groups of animals presented normal and healthy histology. The composition of fatty acids in the brain tissue of animals fed with homogenised HM increased when compared with the groups fed with non-homogenised HM. These values were 11·08 % higher for arachidonic acids, 6·59 % for DAH and 47·92 % for nervous acids. The ingestion of homogenised HM promoted higher absorption of milk nutrients. Therefore, the addition of the homogenisation stage in HM processing could be an alternative to reduce fat retention in probes and to improve the lipids’ absorption in the body.
The role of fire in the management of degraded areas remains strongly debated. Here we experimentally compare removal and infestation of popcorn kernels (Zea mays L. – Poaceae) and açaí fruits (Euterpe oleracea Mart. – Arecaceae) in one burned and two unburned savanna habitats in the eastern Brazilian Amazon. In each habitat, a total of ten experimental units (five per seed type) were installed, each with three treatments: (1) open access, (2) vertebrate access, and (3) invertebrate access. Generalized linear models showed significant differences in both seed removal (P < 0.0001) and infestation (P < 0.0001) among seed type, habitats and access treatments. Burned savanna had the highest overall seed infestation rate (24.3%) and invertebrate access increased açaí seed infestation levels to 100% in the burned savanna. Increased levels of invertebrate seed infestation in burned savanna suggest that preparation burning may be of limited use for the management and restoration of such habitats in tropical regions.
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.
To quantify the change in the risk of food insecurity and maternal mental disorder (MMD) before and during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
Repeated cross-sectional survey. Between 17 July and 10 September 2020, mother–child pairs who were enrolled in a population-based survey in 2017 were re-contacted by telephone for consent and to complete a telephonic COVID-19 survey. We used the Brazilian Food Insecurity Scale to assess food security and the Self Reporting Questionnaire-20 to assess MMD. McNemar’s test for paired data that also accounted for clustering was used. Logistic regression was used to assess the relationship of unemployment and receipt of government assistance with food insecurity and MMD in 2020.
Five hundred and seventy-seven mother–child pairs completed the 2017 and 2020 surveys. At the time of the 2020 interview, the child cohort was 36–108 months of age.
The proportion of mothers reporting food insecurity was 15·5 % higher (95 % CI 5·9, 25·1, P value < 0·001) during the pandemic in July–August 2020 as compared with November 2017, while the prevalence of MMD was 40·2 % higher during the pandemic (95 % CI 32·6, 47·8, P value < 0·001). Loss of formal employment was associated with increased risk of food insecurity, but not with the risk of MMD.
The risk of food insecurity and MMD in Ceará increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. These findings highlight the need for policies and interventions to reduce the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on maternal and child health, nutrition and well-being in Brazil.
To systematically review studies that used indexes to assess feeding practices of children under 2 years.
Seven databases were searched with no limit on language or publication date.
The reviewed studies included thirteen Asian, ten Latin American, four European, four North American, three Oceanian and three African.
Children under 2 years.
We analysed thirty-six studies: twenty-two presenting original indexes and fourteen using adapted indexes. Among the original indexes, thirteen assess breast-feeding, fourteen food consumption, ten food groups, and ten other feeding practices. Original indexes were mainly adapted to fit the data available in the study, to update for current nutritional recommendations or to add components not present in the original indexes. Seven studies evaluated the associations between the indexes and nutrient intake or nutritional status. The main limitations cited by the authors were: flaws in the definition of the index components, criteria for cut-off points and weighting of the evaluated index components.
The assessment of feeding practices for young children and its comparison across countries remains a challenge, especially due to the lack of consensus on the construction of indexes and regional differences in dietary recommendations and practices. Lack of validation for some indexes also makes it difficult to choose the most appropriate index for a given objective. Adapting existing indexes is a viable option. We point out relevant recommendations that may contribute to future research. Validation and longitudinal studies in diverse populations are favourable to qualify the assessment of feeding practices in this group.
The consumption of fructose has increased in children and adolescents and is partially responsible for the high incidence of metabolic diseases. The lifestyle during postnatal development can result in altered metabolic programming, thereby impairing the reproductive system and fertility during adulthood. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of a high-fructose diet in the male reproductive system of pubertal and adult rats. Male Wistar rats (30 d old) were assigned to four different groups: Fr30, which received fructose (20%) in water for 30 d and were euthanized at postnatal day (PND) 60; Re-Fr30, which received fructose (20%) for 30 d and were euthanized at PND 120; and two control groups C30 and Re-C30, which received water ad libitum and were euthanized at PND 60 and 120, respectively. Fructose induced an increase in abnormal seminiferous tubules with epithelial vacuoles, degeneration, and immature cells in the lumen. Moreover, Fr30 rats showed altered spermatogenesis and daily sperm production (DSP), as well as increased serum testosterone concentrations. After discontinuing high-fructose consumption, DSP and sperm number decreased significantly. We observed tissue remodeling in the epididymis, with a reduction in stromal and epithelial compartments that might have influenced sperm motility. Therefore, we concluded that fructose intake in peripubertal rats led to changes in the reproductive system observed both during puberty and adulthood.
To investigate the timing and routes of contamination of the rooms of patients newly admitted to the hospital.
Observational cohort study and simulations of pathogen transfer.
A Veterans’ Affairs hospital.
Patients newly admitted to the hospital with no known carriage of healthcare-associated pathogens.
Interactions between the participants and personnel or portable equipment were observed, and cultures of high-touch surfaces, floors, bedding, and patients’ socks and skin were collected for up to 4 days. Cultures were processed for Clostridioides difﬁcile, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), and vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE). Simulations were conducted with bacteriophage MS2 to assess plausibility of transfer from contaminated floors to high-touch surfaces and to assess the effectiveness of wearing slippers in reducing transfer.
Environmental cultures became positive for at least 1 pathogen in 10 (59%) of the 17 rooms, with cultures positive for MRSA, C. difficile, and VRE in the rooms of 10 (59%), 2 (12%), and 2 (12%) participants, respectively. For all 14 instances of pathogen detection, the initial site of recovery was the floor followed in a subset of patients by detection on sock bottoms, bedding, and high-touch surfaces. In simulations, wearing slippers over hospital socks dramatically reduced transfer of bacteriophage MS2 from the floor to hands and to high-touch surfaces.
Floors may be an underappreciated source of pathogen dissemination in healthcare facilities. Simple interventions such as having patients wear slippers could potentially reduce the risk for transfer of pathogens from floors to hands and high-touch surfaces.
We aimed at evaluating the association of maternal pre-pregnancy nutritional status with offspring anthropometry and body composition. We also evaluated whether these associations were modified by gender, diet and physical activity and mediated by birth weight.
Birth cohort study.
Waist circumference was measured with an inextensible tape, and fat and lean mass were measured using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Multiple linear regression was used to adjust for possible confounders and allele score of BMI. We carried out mediation analysis using G-formula.
In 1982, 1993 and 2004, all maternity hospitals in Pelotas (South Brazil) were visited daily and all live births whose families lived in the urban area of the city were evaluated. These subjects have been followed up at different ages.
Offspring of obese mothers had on average higher BMI, waist circumference and fat mass index than those of normal weight mothers, and these differences were higher among daughters. The magnitudes of the association were similar in the cohorts, except for height, where the association pattern was not clear. In the 1982 cohort, further adjustment for a BMI allele score had no material influence on the magnitude of the associations. Mediation analyses showed that birth weight captured part of this association.
Our findings suggest that maternal pre-pregnancy nutritional status is positively associated with offspring BMI and adiposity in offspring. And this association is higher among daughters whose mother was overweight or obese and, birth weight explains part of this association.
Austenitic stainless steel is used in several industrial branches due to its mechanical and thermal properties, and to its good corrosion resistance. With low cost and biocompatibility, it is used to manufacture prostheses and devices for bone fixation. However, direct contact with body fluids may cause corrosion. Thin films of FeAlCr intermetallic alloy can be used to increase service life of prostheses and avoid replacement surgeries. The aim of this work was to cover the austenitic stainless steel to study the effect of target–substrate distance on the film characteristics. Coatings were performed using the magnetron sputtering technique with the substrate positioned at different distances from the target. The influence on film thickness, morphology, roughness, and adhesion to the substrate was investigated. The thin films of FeAlCr (160 nm thick deposited at 100 mm far from the substrate) were formed by smaller particles (11.2 nm long), densely packed (551,000 particles/mm2), with flat and regular appearance, and greater adherence to the substrate.
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.
This study aimed to (1) evaluate the effects of flint maize processing methods on the estimation of the readily soluble fraction (a), the potentially degradable fraction (b) and the rate of degradation of b (c) for dry matter (DM), organic matter (OM) and starch in the rumen; and (2) verify whether two different applications of in situ technique can be used to estimate in vivo DM, OM and starch digestibilities. Five ruminally cannulated Nellore bulls (265 ± 18.2 kg; 8 ± 1.0 mo) were distributed in a 5 × 5 Latin square. Three experimental diets were composed of 0.30 whole-plant maize silage, 0.10 supplement and 0.60 of one of the following processing methods: dry ground maize grain (DMG); high-moisture maize (HMM); reconstituted maize grain silage (RMG). Two additional diets were composed of 0.10 supplement, 0.80 snaplage and 0.10 stalklage (SNAP-80); or 0.10 supplement and 0.90 snaplage (SNAP-90). Digestibilities were estimated using in vivo procedure or predicted from in situ technique using a single 24 h incubation point or an equation proposed in previous literature. Diets based on ensiled grains presented greater (P < 0.05) fraction a and c and lower (P < 0.05) fraction b of DM, OM and starch compared to DMG. Both alternative use of in situ technique accurately estimated (P > 0.05) in vivo DM, OM and starch digestibilities. The results suggest that ensilage process may increase the availability of nutrients. The two different applications of in situ technique showed precision and accuracy to estimate in vivo digestibility.
This research communication addresses the hypothesis that, during the summer in the subtropics, natural tree shade helps to improve milk functional characteristics such as stability and acidity. Sixteen Holstein lactating cows were enrolled. The study consisted of three periods (pre-stress, heat stress and post-stress) based on allocating grazing cows into two treatments (with and without access to shade during the Heat Stress period). Overall THI during the trial was (mean ± se) 76.0 ± 3.4. Access to shade prevented the heat stress-related decrease in milk stability both in the ethanol and in the coagulation time test, as well as maintained milk acidity within an acceptable range (14 to 18°D).