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The nematode Angiostrongylus cantonensis is the most common cause of neuroangiostrongyliasis (manifested as eosinophilic meningitis) in humans. Gastropod molluscs are used as intermediate hosts and rats of various species are definitive hosts of this parasite. In this study, we identified several environmental factors associated with the presence and abundance of terrestrial gastropods in an impoverished urban region in Brazil. We also found that body condition, age and presence of co-infection with other parasite species in urban Rattus norvegicus, as well as environmental factors were associated with the probability and intensity of A. cantonensis infection. The study area was also found to have a moderate prevalence of the nematode in rodents (33% of 168 individuals). Eight species of molluscs (577 individuals) were identified, four of which were positive for A. cantonensis. Our study indicates that the environmental conditions of poor urban areas (presence of running and standing water, sewage, humidity and accumulated rain and accumulation of construction materials) influenced both the distribution and abundance of terrestrial gastropods, as well as infected rats, contributing to the maintenance of the A. cantonensis transmission cycle in the area. Besides neuroangiostrongyliasis, the presence of these hosts may also contribute to susceptibility to other zoonoses.
Human ascariasis is the most common and prevalent neglected tropical disease and is estimated that ~819 million people are infected around the globe, accounting for 0.861 million years of disability-adjusted life years in 2017. Even with the existence of highly effective drugs, the constant presence of infective parasite eggs in the environment contribute to a high reinfection rate after treatment. Due to its high prevalence and broad geographic distribution Ascaris infection is associated with a variety of co-morbidities and co-infections. Here, we provide data from both experimental models and humans studies that illustrate how complex is the interaction of Ascaris with the host immune system, especially, in the context of reinfections, co-infections and associated co-morbidities.
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.
Strenuous physical activity, sleep deprivation and psychological stress are common features of military field training. The present study aimed to evaluate the effects of supplementation with a synbiotic ice cream on salivary IgA, gastrointestinal symptoms, well-being indicators and gut microbiota in young military participants undergoing field training. Sixty-five military completed the study: one group was supplemented for 30 d with synbiotic ice cream containing: 2·1 × 108 CFU/g for Lactobacillus acidophilus LA-5 and 2·7 × 109 CFU/g for Bifidobacterium animalis BB-12 and 2·3 g of inulin in the 60 g of ice cream at manufacture, and the other with a placebo ice cream. Volunteers were evaluated at pre-supplementation (baseline), post-supplementation and after a 5-d military training. Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus genera were measured in stool samples and both showed a higher differential abundance post-supplementation and training. Salivary IgA and gastrointestinal symptoms decreased at post-training in both groups (P < 0·05; main effect of time); however, supplementation with synbiotic did not mitigate this effect. Tenseness and sleepiness were decreased in the synbiotic-treated group, but not in the placebo group at post-military training (P = 0·01 and 0·009, respectively; group × time effect). The other well-being indicators were not affected by the synbiotic supplementation. In conclusion, 30 d of synbiotic ice cream supplementation containing inulin, L. acidophilus LA-5 and B. animalis BB-12 favourably modulated gut microbiota and improved tenseness and sleepiness in healthy young military undergoing a 5-d field training. These improvements may be relevant to this population as they may influence the decision-making process in an environment of high physical and psychological stress.
The objectives of this study were to evaluate the cross-cultural measurement equivalence of the Healthy Eating Index (HEI) for children aged 1–2 years and to analyse the quality of nutrition of preterm infants. This was a cross-sectional study with 106 premature infants attended in two specialised outpatient clinics of university hospitals. The quality of the diet was analysed through an adapted HEI to meet the dietary recommendations of Brazilian children aged 1–2 years. Food consumption was measured by 24-h recalls. The reliability of the instrument was evaluated by internal consistency analysis and inter-observer reliability using Cronbach’s α coefficient and κ with quadratic ponderation. The construct validity was evaluated by principal component analysis and by Spearman’s correlation coefficient with total energy and consumption of some groups’ food. The diet quality was considered adequate when the total HEI score was over 80 points. Cronbach’s α was 0·54. Regarding inter-observer reliability, ten items showed strong agreement (κ > 0·8). The item scores had low correlations with energy consumed (r ≤ 0·30), and positive and moderate correlation of fruit (r 0·67), meat (r 0·60) and variety of diet (r 0·57) with total scores. When analysing the overall quality of the diet, most patients need improvement (median 78·7 points), which can be attributed to low total vegetable intake and the presence of ultraprocessed foods in the diet. The instrument showed auspicious psychometric properties, being promising to evaluate the quality of the diet in children aged 1–2 years.
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.
To investigate knowledge and practice of Brazilian public primary and secondary health care dentists during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
An online questionnaire with sociodemographic and COVID-19 knowledge questions was used.
A total of 4048 dentists working in the Brazilian public primary and secondary health care system were investigated; 4024 (99.41%) believe that COVID-19 can be transmitted through dental procedures. A fair level of COVID-19 symptoms knowledge by these dentists was observed (3.76±1.27 of 6.00), as well as the skepticism in personal protective equipment (3382; 83.55%) and biosafety procedures (3278; 80.98%) used as an efficient form of COVID-19 transmission prevention. Country region, performance of social distancing, dental specialty, the use of personal protective equipment, and biosafety preventive measures influenced the likelihood of dentists to perform dental treatment, either elective or urgent, during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The need of extra preventive barriers for dental treatment may bring an extra financial stress in the Brazilian public primary and secondary health care system, as well as in the patient-dentist relationship, which may have to be reframed. Internationally accepted public guideline policies regarding dental treatment safety, as well as the technological development of preventive tools, are needed to deal with the challenges brought by COVID-19.
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.
Aggressive behaviour is a highly prevalent and devastating condition in autism spectrum disorder resulting in impoverished quality of life. Gold-standard therapies are ineffective in about 30% of patients leading to greater suffering. We investigated cortical thickness in individuals with autism spectrum disorder with pharmacological-treatment-refractory aggressive behaviour compared with those with non-refractory aggressive behaviour and observed a brain-wide pattern of local increased thickness in key areas related to emotional control and overall decreased cortical thickness in those with refractory aggressive behaviour, suggesting refractoriness could be related to specific morphological patterns. Elucidating the neurobiology of refractory aggressive behaviour is crucial to provide insights and potential avenues for new interventions.
This study aimed to examine the effects of re-ensiling time and Lactobacillus buchneri on the fermentation profile, chemical composition and aerobic stability of sugarcane silages. The experiment was set up as a repeated measure design consisting of four air-exposure periods (EP)(0, 6, 12, and 24 h) microbial additive (A) (L. buchneri; or lack of there), with five replicates. Sugarcane was ground through a stationary forage chopper and ensiled in four plastic drums of 200-L capacity. After 210 days of storage, the drums were opened and half of the silage mass was treated with L. buchneri at the concentration of 105 cfu/g of forage. Subsequently, the silages were divided into stacks. The re-ensiling process was started immediately, at 0, 6, 12 and 24-hour intervals, by transferring the material to PVC mini-silos. Silos were opened after 120 days of re-ensiling. The use of L. buchneri reduced butyrate concentration but did not change ethanol or acetic acid concentrations and aerobic stability. An interaction effect between L. buchneri and re-ensiling time was observed for dry matter (DM) losses and composition. Lactobacillus buchneri is not effective in improving aerobic stability in re-ensiled sugarcane silages. However, less DM is lost in silages treated with L. buchneri and exposed to air for 24 h. Re-ensiling sugar cane in up to 24 h of exposure to air does not change final product quality.
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.
We aimed to assess the validity of maternal recall of exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) at 3 months obtained 12 months after childbirth.
A population-based birth cohort study. The gold standard is maternal report of EBF at the age of 3 months (yes or no) and age of introduction of other foods in the infant’s diet. EBF was considered when the mother reported that no liquid, semi-solid or solid food was introduced up to that moment. The variable to be validated was obtained at 12 months after childbirth when the mother was asked about the age of food introduction. The prevalence of EBF at 3 months, and sensitivity, specificity, positive (PPV) and negative predictive values (NPV), and accuracy of 12-month recall with 95 % CI were calculated.
3700 mothers of participants of the Pelotas 2004 Birth Cohort.
The prevalence of EBF at 3 months was 27·8 % (95 % CI 26·4, 29·3) and 49·0 % (95 % CI 47·4, 50·6) according to gold standard and maternal recall, respectively. The sensitivity of maternal recall at 12 months was 98·3 % (95 % CI 97·4, 99·0), specificity 70·0 % (95 % CI 68·2, 71·7), PPV 55·8 % (95 % CI 53·4, 58·1), NPV 99·1 % (95 % CI 98·6, 99·5) and accuracy 77·9 % (95 % CI 76·6, 79·2). When the analyses were stratified by maternal and infant characteristics, the sensitivity remained around 98 %, and the specificity ranged from 64·4 to 81·8 %.
EBF recalled at the end of the first year of infant’s life is a valid measure to be used in epidemiological investigations.
Microencapsulation of functioning cells for transplantation therapies is particularly promising, but the cells must retain their proper physiology and viability after being encapsulated. K-562 cells are multipotential and exhibit erythroid, megakaryocytic, or granulocytic properties that can be exploited by using an array of physiologically differentiating factors. The potential for cell differentiation makes it attractive the use of K-562 cells as functional model to the assessment of the effects of encapsulation on cell viability and physiology. Thus, alginate and hybrid alginate matrices were produced by extrusion technique for K-562 cell encapsulation. The produced systems were composed of bare alginate (1–3 wt%) and alginate in combination with chitosan or silica. The resulting materials were characterized by dynamic laser scattering, zeta potential measurements, small-angle X-ray scattering, and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. To assess viability, the encapsulated cells were subjected to the Trypan blue exclusion technique and NAD(P)H-dependent oxidoreductase (MTT) assays; hemin-induced erythroid differentiation capacity was also evaluated. The encapsulated alginate-based systems were shown to be monomodal and bimodal, depending on the nature of the capsule, with mean sizes in the range between 414 and 4.129 nm. Encapsulated cells exhibited viability ratios compatible with their use for prolonged cell cultures. Erythroid differentiation occurred in the range between 39 and 44%. The present results allow the consideration of the viability of therapeutic cells encapsulated in both bare alginate and in hybrid matrices.
This research communication describes the influence of diet, mammary quarter position and milking process on the temperature of teats and udder of cows fed diets containing different lipid sources. Five primiparous cows were fed diets containing cottonseed, sunflower seed, soybeans or soybean oil as a source of lipids and a reference diet without the inclusion of lipid sources in a 5 × 5 Latin Square design. Milk yield was determined in the last five days of each period. Milk samples were collected for SCC analysis on the last two days of each experimental period. The images of the mammary gland were obtained using an infrared camera and were analyzed with appropriate computer software. Milk yield was 14.8% higher for cows fed soybeans as a source of lipids. Diets and somatic cell counts did not influence the temperature of teats and udder. The milking process reduced the temperature of teats and udder by 0.79°C. Rear teats and rear quarters had higher surface temperatures than front teats and fore quarters. Changes in temperature of teats and mammary quarters occurred as a function of the milking process and quarter position. However, the diet and the SCC did not influence the temperature of teats and mammary quarters in this experiment.
The use of antibiotics as performance enhancers in animal feeding is declining, so Lippia gracilis Schauer essential oil (LGSEO) could be used as a potential substitute for the conventionally used growth promoters. The LGSEO contains components such as carvacrol and thymol, which kill and/or control pathogenic bacteria, increase population of beneficial organisms, act against oxidative processes and onto nutrient digestibility and absorption. The aim of this study was to investigate the action and the effects of LGSEO as a growth promoter in the diet of Japanese quail by examining their productive performance, intestinal microbiology, blood biochemical parameters, hepatic thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) content and intestinal gene expression. A total of 252 two-day-old quail (Coturnix coturnix japonica) were assigned to 3 treatments in 7 replicates, using 12 birds per experimental unit. The treatments consisted of a basal diet, basal diet + LGSEO at 400 mg/kg of diet and basal diet + chemical antimicrobial (bacitracin methylene disalicylate) at 500 mg/kg of diet. The experimental period was 34 days. The highest feed intake (P < 0.01) was found in the group receiving the conventional antimicrobial, whereas the best feed conversion (P < 0.01) was shown by the animals receiving LGSEO. Escherichia coli growth was restricted in the quail receiving the growth promoters. Salmonella spp. growth was controlled by the treatment containing the conventional antimicrobial. There was no difference between the treatments (P > 0.05) for the concentration of aspartate aminotransferase and alanine aminotransferase enzymes in the blood or hepatic TBARS content. Birds receiving negative-control treatment exhibited a higher expression of sodium-glucose cotransporter (SGLT1), while those receiving the treatment with essential oil showed lower catalase (CAT) and glutathione peroxidase (GPX7) expressions compared to the conventional antimicrobial and control groups, respectively. Lippia gracilis Schauer essential oil is a powerful performance enhancer for Japanese quail by virtue of its abilities to improve their intestinal environment, balance the microbial population and reduce energy expenditure for oxidative processes.
Network analysis (NA) conceptualizes psychiatric disorders as complex dynamic systems of mutually interacting symptoms. Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a heterogeneous clinical condition, and very few studies to date have assessed putative changes in its psychopathological network structure in response to antidepressant (AD) treatment.
In this randomized trial with adult depressed outpatients (n = 151), we estimated Gaussian graphical models among nine core MDD symptom-domains before and after 8 weeks of treatment with either escitalopram or desvenlafaxine. Networks were examined with the measures of cross-sectional and longitudinal structure and connectivity, centrality and predictability as well as stability and accuracy.
At baseline, the most connected MDD symptom-domains were fatigue–cognitive disturbance, whereas at week 8 they were depressed mood–suicidality. Overall, the most central MDD symptom-domains at baseline and week 8 were, respectively, fatigue and depressed mood; in contrast, the most peripheral symptom-domain across both timepoints was appetite/weight disturbance. Furthermore, the psychopathological network at week 8 was significantly more interconnected than at baseline, and they were also structurally dissimilar.
Our findings highlight the utility of focusing on the dynamic interaction between depressive symptoms to better understand how the treatment with ADs unfolds over time. In addition, depressed mood, fatigue, and cognitive/psychomotor disturbance seem to be central MDD symptoms that may be viable targets for novel, focused therapeutic interventions.
The co-infection between visceral leishmaniasis (VL) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has increased in several countries in the world. The current serological tests are not suitable since they present low sensitivity to detect the most of VL/HIV cases, and a more precise diagnosis should be performed. In this context, in the present study, an immunoproteomics approach was performed using Leishmania infantum antigenic extracts and VL, HIV and VL/HIV patients sera, besides healthy subjects samples; aiming to identify antigenic markers for these clinical conditions. Results showed that 43 spots were recognized by antibodies in VL and VL/HIV sera, and 26 proteins were identified by mass spectrometry. Between them, β-tubulin was expressed, purified and tested in ELISA experiments as a proof of concept for validation of our immunoproteomics findings and results showed high sensitivity and specificity values to detect VL and VL/HIV patients. In conclusion, the identified proteins in the present work could be considered as candidates for future studies aiming to improvement of the diagnosis of VL and VL/HIV co-infection.