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It is known that the level of dietary protein modulates the enzymatic activity of the digestive tract of fish; however, its effect at the molecular level on these enzymes and the hormones regulating appetite has not been well characterised. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of CP on the activity of proteases and the expression of genes related to the ingestion and protein digestion of juveniles of red tilapia (Oreochromis sp.), as well as the effects on performance, protein retention and body composition of tilapia. A total of 240 juveniles (29.32 ± 5.19 g) were used, distributed across 20 tanks of 100 l in a closed recirculation system. The fish were fed to apparent satiety for 42 days using four isoenergetic diets with different CP levels (24%, 30%, 36% and 42%). The results indicate that fish fed the 30% CP diet exhibited a higher growth performance compared to those on the 42% CP diet (P < 0.05). Feed intake in fish fed 24% and 30% CP diets was significantly higher than that in fish fed 36% and 42% CP diets (P < 0.05). A significant elevation of protein retention was observed in fish fed with 24% and 30% CP diets. Fish fed with 24% CP exhibited a significant increase in lipid deposition in the whole body. The diet with 42% CP was associated with the highest expression of pepsinogen and the lowest activity of acid protease (P < 0.05). The expression of hepatopancreatic trypsinogen increased as CP levels in the diet increased (P < 0.05) up to 36%, whereas trypsin activity showed a significant reduction with 42% CP (P < 0.05). The diet with 42% CP was associated with the lowest intestinal chymotrypsinogen expression and the lowest chymotrypsin activity (P < 0.05). α-amylase expression decreased with increasing (P < 0.05) CP levels up to 36%. No significant differences were observed in the expression of procarboxypeptidase, lipase or leptin among all the groups (P > 0.05). In addition, the diet with 42% CP resulted in a decrease (P < 0.05) in the expression of ghrelin and insulin and an increase (P < 0.05) in the expression of cholecystokinin and peptide yy. It is concluded that variation in dietary protein promoted changes in the metabolism of the red tilapia, which was reflected in proteolytic activity and expression of digestion and appetite-regulating genes.
Although the tambaqui (Colossoma macropomum) is the most cultivated native fish species in Brazil, estimated breeding values for growth traits are rarely used for selection of superior individuals in commercial fingerling production. This study aimed to estimate the (co)variance components of growth traits. Body weight, length and width of 2500 tambaqui were determined at tagging and at 6 and 12 months after tagging in a commercial breeding programme in Brazil. Heritability estimates were low for traits measured at tagging (0.10 to 0.19) and moderate to high for traits measured at 6 and 12 months (0.23 to 0.81). Common full-sib effects were high at tagging (>73%), low at 6 months and negligible at 12 months. Positive genetic correlations were found among growth traits at 12 months (0.84 to 0.99) and between growth traits at 6 and 12 months (0.80 to 0.92). These results show that animal selection can be performed at 6 months after tagging. Expected genetic gains for growth traits ranged from 8% to 31%. A simulation of the sex ratio was performed, as individuals did not reach sexual maturity during the experimental period. Because of the sexual dimorphism, more accurate heritability estimates were obtained when considering the female proportion to be 90% in the high-weight group. The findings indicate that it is possible to obtain considerable genetic gains in growth by selecting for growth traits. The development of a tool to determine the sex of animals at early stages can improve the response to selection in tambaqui.
Human neurocysticercosis (NCC) is a worldwide neglected disease caused by Taenia solium metacestode and responsible for various complications and neurological disorders. This study aimed to evaluate the use of specific immunoglobulin Y (IgY) produced by laying hens immunized with a hydrophobic fraction of Taenia crassiceps metacestodes (hFTc) in NCC diagnosis. Egg yolk IgY antibodies were fractionated, purified and characterized. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was carried out to evaluate the production kinetics and avidity maturation of anti-hFTc IgY antibodies throughout the IgY obtention process. Antigen recognition tests were carried out by Western blotting and immunofluorescence antibody test using purified and specific anti-hFTc IgY antibodies for detection of parasitic antigens of T. crassiceps and T. solium metacestodes. Sandwich ELISA was performed to detect circulating immune complexes formed by IgG and parasitic antigens in human sera. The results showed high diagnostic values (93.2% sensitivity and 94.3% specificity) for immune complexes detection in human sera with confirmed NCC. In conclusion, specific IgY antibodies produced from immunized hens with hFTc antigens were efficient to detect T. solium immune complexes in human sera, being an innovative and potential tool for NCC immunodiagnosis.
Femoral vein access is the first choice for percutaneous atrial septal defect closure, and when it cannot be used due to anatomic reasons, the alternative sites should be considered, frequently increasing the complexity of the procedure. Here we report the case of a 3-year-old boy, with situs inversus and dextrocardia, electively referred for percutaneous closure of an ostium secundum atrial septal defect. During the procedure, agenesis of the infra-hepatic segment of the inferior caval vein was diagnosed, and no double inferior caval vein or right superior caval vein were identified by ultrasound or angiography. Therefore, we opted to perform the procedure through the left internal jugular vein, with fluoroscopy and transesophageal echocardiographic guidance. Catheters were navigated through a hydrophilic guidewire, and a Stiff guidewire was positioned in the left ventricle for better support. An Amplatzer septa occluder 19 was successfully deployed without major difficulties and the patient was discharged after 24 hours in good clinical condition. Percutaneous atrial septal defect closure through alternative access sites, especially in the presence of situs inversus, may pose significant challenges to the interventional team. In this case, the left internal jugular vein has shown to be a feasible option, allowing the navigation and manipulation of devices without complications. Provided the expertise of the interventional team, and awareness of the risks involved, alternative access sites can be successfully used for paediatric structural interventions.
The rocky shores of the north-east Atlantic have been long studied. Our focus is from Gibraltar to Norway plus the Azores and Iceland. Phylogeographic processes shape biogeographic patterns of biodiversity. Long-term and broadscale studies have shown the responses of biota to past climate fluctuations and more recent anthropogenic climate change. Inter- and intra-specific species interactions along sharp local environmental gradients shape distributions and community structure and hence ecosystem functioning. Shifts in domination by fucoids in shelter to barnacles/mussels in exposure are mediated by grazing by patellid limpets. Further south fucoids become increasingly rare, with species disappearing or restricted to estuarine refuges, caused by greater desiccation and grazing pressure. Mesoscale processes influence bottom-up nutrient forcing and larval supply, hence affecting species abundance and distribution, and can be proximate factors setting range edges (e.g., the English Channel, the Iberian Peninsula). Impacts of invasive non-native species are reviewed. Knowledge gaps such as the work on rockpools and host–parasite dynamics are also outlined.
The causes of the beaching and death of sea turtles have not been fully clarified and continue to be studied. Mild, moderate and severe lesions caused by spirorchiidiosis have been seen for decades in different organs and were recently defined as the cause of death of a loggerhead turtle. In the present study, eyes and optic nerves were analysed in green sea turtles with spirorchiidiosis and no other debilitating factors. Injuries to the optic nerve and choroid layer were described in 235 animals (90%) infected with spirorchiids. Turtles with ocular spirorchiidiosis are approximately three times more likely to be cachectic than turtles with spirorchiidiosis without ocular involvement.
Infection with Eimeria sp. results in the activation of multiple facets of the host immune system; the use of phytogenics can modulate the inflammatory response and improve the performance of the challenged animal. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of a commercial blend of cashew nut shell liquid (CNSL) and castor oil on the immune response of broilers challenged with coccidiosis. A total of 864 one-day-old male chicks (Cobb 500) were randomly distributed into six treatment groups (8 pens/treatment and 18 chicks/pen) in a three-by-two factorial design with three additives: control (non-additive), 100 ppm of monensin or 0.15% CNSL–castor oil. Challenge status was determined twice at 14 days of age. Unchallenged birds were inoculated by gavage with oocysts sporulated with Eimeria tenella, Eimeria acervulina and Eimeria maxima. Although the positive control (non-additive and challenged) and CNSL–castor oil treatment groups exhibited similar variation in weight gain (ΔBWG) compared to unchallenged birds fed without additives, the variation observed in birds fed diets containing CNSL–castor oil was associated with a higher maintenance requirement and not feed efficiency. In the second week after infection, ΔBWG of the CNSL–castor oil treatment group did not significantly change compared to the other treatment groups. At days 7 and 14 post-challenge, there was a higher excretion of oocysts in the control group, whereas the CNSL–castor oil and monensin groups did not differ. The CNSL–castor oil group exhibited increased gene expression of interferon (IFN), interleukin 6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor (TNF), while the control group exhibited increased expression of cyclooxygenase (COX) and IL-1. The heterophils/lymphocyte ratio was low for the monensin treatment group. The unchallenged birds that received monensin treatment presented higher gene expression of IFN, COX and IL-1 compared to the other treatments, while the CNSL–castor oil group exhibited reduced gene expression, except for TNF. The commercial blend of cashew nut liquid and castor oil modulated the inflammatory response against Eimeria spp. In the absence of the parasite, there was no stimulation of genes involved in the inflammatory response, demonstrating that the blend is an effective tool in specifically modulating the immune system of birds afflicted with coccidiosis.
We assessed self-reported drives for alcohol use and their impact on clinical features of alcohol use disorder (AUD) patients. Our prediction was that, in contrast to “affectively” (reward or fear) driven drinking, “habitual” drinking would be associated with worse clinical features in relation to alcohol use and higher occurrence of associated psychiatric symptoms.
Fifty-eight Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) alcohol abuse patients were assessed with a comprehensive battery of reward- and fear-based behavioral tendencies. An 18-item self-report instrument (the Habit, Reward and Fear Scale; HRFS) was employed to quantify affective (fear or reward) and non-affective (habitual) motivations for alcohol use. To characterize clinical and demographic measures associated with habit, reward, and fear, we conducted a partial least squares analysis.
Habitual alcohol use was significantly associated with the severity of alcohol dependence reflected across a range of domains and with lower number of detoxifications across multiple settings. In contrast, reward-driven alcohol use was associated with a single domain of alcohol dependence, reward-related behavioral tendencies, and lower number of detoxifications.
These results seem to be consistent with a shift from goal-directed to habit-driven alcohol use with severity and progression of addiction, complementing preclinical work and informing biological models of addiction. Both reward-related and habit-driven alcohol use were associated with lower number of detoxifications, perhaps stemming from more benign course for the reward-related and lack of treatment engagement for the habit-related alcohol abuse group. Future work should further explore the role of habit in this and other addictive disorders, and in obsessive-compulsive related disorders.
Protein is the most costly nutrient in fish feed, and while diets offered in the early stages of development typically have high levels of CP, they do not always correspond to the real requirements of the animals. Thus, research that seeks to learn the true nutritional requirements of fish is fundamental to improving commercial fish culture. The present study evaluated the protein requirements of Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) under larviculture. Fish performance, gene expression for digestive enzymes and their enzymatic activity and stress response to air exposure were analyzed. Four experimental diets differing in CP level were formulated: 30%, 36%, 42% and 48%. Fish larvae were fed the experimental diets during development and sampled 10, 20 and 30 days after the beginning of the experiment for performance, gene expression and enzymatic activity. At sampling time 30, stress resistance was also evaluated by means of an air exposure test. At sampling time 10, CP levels between 36% and 48% could be used for a better performance. During this period, pepsinogen expression was greater for 30% CP, intermediate for 42% and lower for 36% and 48%. After this initial period, diets of between 30% and 42% CP are recommended for better performance. At sampling time 20, gene expression for digestive enzymes and their enzymatic activity were similar for all diets tested. At sampling time 30, the diet of 42% CP induced both greater pepsinogen expression and pepsin activity. Survival after the air exposure test after 30 days of feeding was influenced by CP level in the diet, with the highest survival being for fish fed with 36% CP. Taken together, the present results demonstrate that dietary CP influences digestive enzyme gene expression and activity, and suggest that the best CP levels for Nile tilapia larviculture vary depending on larval stage.
The objective of the current experiment was to determine the effects of increasing levels of palm kernel cake in a finishing diet on feed intake, digestibility, performance, ingestive behaviour and carcass traits in zebu bulls. Thirty-two Nellore bulls (420 ± 25.0 kg initial body weight [BW] and 24-months-old), were assigned randomly to individual pens with four treatments (0, 70, 140 and 210 g/kg of palm kernel cake by total dry matter [DM]) and eight replicates per treatment. The inclusion of palm kernel cake linearly decreased DM, crude protein and non-fibrous carbohydrate intake and increased ether extraction intake and digestibility. There was a linear decrease in final BW and hot carcass weight (HCW) associated with palm kernel cake inclusion in the bull diet. However, the gain : feed ratio was similar among the diets. Eating and rumination rates (g DM or neutral detergent fibre/h) were reduced, whereas the total chewing time and idling (min/day) were not affected by palm kernel cake inclusion. There were no effects of palm kernel cake inclusion on most quantitative carcass characteristics and qualitative carcass attributes (subcutaneous fat thickness, longissimus muscle area, colour, texture and marbling). The inclusion of palm kernel cake (up to 210 g/kg total DM) in beef cattle finishing diets decreased eating and rumination rates, thereby decreasing average daily gain and, consequently, final BW and HCW. However, qualitative carcass attributes were not affected by the use of palm kernel cake.
Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is an arbovirus transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes that was first identified in Brazil in 2014. It causes a febrile illness characterised by severe arthralgia and rash. Our group investigated a suspected CHIKV outbreak in Governador Valadares, state of Minas Gerais, Brazil and from 25 acute-phase patients, 10 had qRT-PCR positive sera samples and had E1 partial sequence amplified and Sanger sequenced. Samples were identified as East/Central/South African (ECSA) genotype by phylogenetic analysis and clustered with CHIKV sequences isolated in the neighbour state of Bahia. Our findings confirm previous predictions that ECSA genotype would spread through northeast and southeast of Brazil.
Echocardiographic screening represents an opportunity for reduction in the global burden of rheumatic heart disease. A focussed single-view screening protocol could allow for the rapid training of healthcare providers and screening of patients.
The aim of this study was to determine the sensitivity and specificity of a focussed single-view hand-held echocardiographic protocol for the diagnosis of rheumatic heart disease in children.
A total of nine readers were divided into three reading groups; each interpreted 200 hand-held echocardiography studies retrospectively as screen-positive, if mitral regurgitation ⩾1.5 cm and/or any aortic insufficiency were observed, or screen-negative from a pooled study library. The performance of experts receiving focussed hand-held protocols, non-experts receiving focussed hand-held protocols, and experts receiving complete hand-held protocols were determined in comparison with consensus interpretations on fully functional echocardiography machines.
In all, 587 studies including 76 on definite rheumatic heart disease, 122 on borderline rheumatic heart disease, and 389 on normal cases were available for analysis. The focussed single-view protocol had a sensitivity of 81.1%, specificity of 75.5%, negative predictive value of 88.5%, and a positive predictive value of 63.2%; expert readers had higher specificity (86.1 versus 64.8%, p<0.01) but equal sensitivity. Sensitivity – experts, 96% and non-experts, 95% – and negative predictive value – experts, 99% and non-experts, 98% – were better for definite rheumatic heart disease. False-positive screening studies resulting from erroneous identification of mitral regurgitation and aortic insufficiency colour jets increased with shortened protocols and less experience (p<0.01).
Our data support a focussed screening protocol limited to parasternal long-axis images. This holds promise in making echocardiographic screening more practical in regions where rheumatic heart disease remains endemic.
Evidence has suggested that immune imbalance is involved with bipolar disorder (BD); however, its precise mechanism is poorly understood.
This study investigated whether biochemical changes in the serum from BD patients could modulate the phenotype of macrophages.
Eighteen subjects with BD and healthy individuals (n = 5) were included in this study. The human monocyte cell line U-937 was activated with PMA (phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate) and polarization was induced with RPMI-1640 media supplemented with 10% serum from each patient for 24 h. Gene expression of selected M1 and M2 markers was assessed by qPCR.
Macrophages exposed to serum of manic and depressive BD patients displayed an increase of IL-1β (6.40 ± 3.47 and 9.04 ± 5.84 versus 0.23 ± 0.11; P < 0.05) and TNF-α (2.23 ± 0.91 and 2.03 ± 0.45 versus 0.62 ± 0.24; P = 0.002 and P = 0.004, respectively) compared to remitted group. In parallel, U-937 macrophages treated with serum of patients in acute episode displayed a down-regulation of CXCL9 (0.29 ± 0.20 versus 1.86 ± 1.61; P = 0.006) and CXCL10 expression (0.36 ± 0.15 and 0.86 ± 0.24 versus 1.83 ± 0.88; P < 0.000 and P = 0.04) compared to remitters.
Our results are consistent with previous studies showing that changes in peripheral blood markers could modulate M1/M2 polarization in BD. The evidence of macrophages as source of inflammatory cytokines might be helpful to unravel how the mononuclear phagocyte system can be involved in the etiology of BD.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Habitat loss is widely recognized as the major cause of global biodiversity decline, but remaining habitat is increasingly threatened by chronic human disturbances. Using a multi-model averaging approach we examined the association between five chronic disturbance surrogates and the richness and taxonomic and functional composition of ants in Brazilian Caatinga. Using pitfall traps in 47 plots near Parnamirim city (Pernambuco) across two soil types (sand and clay), we recorded 53 species from 27 genera. Ant species richness on sand was slightly higher than on clay, and was negatively related to most surrogates of anthropogenic disturbance. Soil type and human population size were the main predictors of ant species richness. Soil type was the most important predictor of functional group abundance. Taxonomic and functional composition were influenced by soil type and disturbance, but this relationship varied between clay and sandy soils. Ant functional composition showed a weak relationship with disturbance on sandy soils, but on clay soils it showed predictable winner–loser replacement. We attribute the greater effect of disturbance on clay soils to higher intensity of land use, and our study highlights the importance of considering context dependence when evaluating biodiversity responses to disturbance.
Parkinsonian motor signs are the most frequent of the genuine motor abnormalities present in drug-naïve patients with schizophrenia, and are also present in patients with a first-episode of psychosis (FEP).
To study whether there are differences in basal ganglia volumes depending on the presence of Parkinsonism in FEP.
Research has shown that PTSD is prevalent among firefighters and police forces and that Quality of Life (QoL) is seriously compromised in individuals suffering from PTSD. However, QoL studies with these professionals are scarce. This study results from a screening program held by the Portuguese Red Cross (PRC) aiming to analyze predictors of QoL. Participants were 95 firefighters and municipal police officers. They answered the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist (PCL-5) in order to evaluate the prevalence of PTSD symptoms, as well as measures of social support (3-Item Oslo Social Support Scale) and QoL (EUROHIS-QOL-8). From the results, there were no group differences regarding total PTSD, social support or QoL and 10% of participants reported enough symptoms to PTSD diagnostic. Social Support and PTSD explained 25% of QoL variance, PTSD symptoms explaining 10% (negative beta) and, in the second step, social support explained 15%. The results suggest that it would be important to include QoL as an outcome measure in clinical and research work in these populations, with special attention to PTSD and social support.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Obesity and osteoporosis may have their origins in early postnatal life. This study was designed to evaluate whether flaxseed flour use during lactation period bears effect on body adiposity and skeletal structure of male rat pups at weaning. At birth, male Wistar rats were randomly assigned to control and experimental (FF) groups, whose dams were treated with control or flaxseed flour diet, respectively, during lactation. At 21 days of age, pups were weaned to assess body mass, length and composition by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. The animals were then sacrificed to carry out analysis of serum profile, intra-abdominal adipocyte morphology and femur characteristics. Differences were considered significant when P<0.05. The FF group displayed the following characteristics (P<0.05): higher body mass, length, bone mineral content, bone area and concentrations of osteoprotegerin, osteocalcin and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol; higher levels of stearic, α-linolenic, eicosapentaenoic and docosapentaenoic acids and lower levels of arachidonic acid and cholesterol; smaller adipocyte area; and higher mass, epiphysis distance, diaphysis width, maximal load, break load, resilience and stiffness of femur. Flaxseed flour intake during lactation period promoted adipocyte hypertrophy down-regulation and contributed to pup bone quality at weaning.
The aim of this study was analyzed if the flour or flaxseed oil treatment contributes to body composition in male rats subjected to early weaning. Pups were weaned for separation from mother at 14 (early weaning, EW) and 21 days (control, C). At 21 days, part of the pups was evaluated (C21 v. EW21). After 21 days, control (C60) was fed with control diet. EW was divided in control (EWC60); flaxseed flour (EWFF60); flaxseed oil (EWFO60) diets until 60 days. Body mass, length and body composition by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry were determined. EW21 (v. C21) and EWC60 (v. C60 and EWFF60) showed lower (P<0.05) mass, length and body composition. EWFO60 (v. C60 and EWFF60) showed lower (P<0.05) body mass and length, body and trunk lean mass, bone mineral density and content and bone area. Flaxseed flour, in comparison with flaxseed oil, contributes to recovery of body composition after early weaning.