1,556 research outputs found

    Object grasping and manipulation in capuchin monkeys (genera Cebus and Sapajus)

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    The abilities to perform skilled hand movements and to manipulate objects dexterously are landmarks in the evolution of primates. The study of how primates use their hands to grasp and manipulate objects in accordance with their needs sheds light on how these species are physically and mentally equipped to deal with the problems they encounter in their daily life. We report data on capuchin monkeys, highly manipulative platyrrhine species that usually spend a great deal of time in active manipulation to search for food and to prepare it for ingestion. Our aim is to provide an overview of current knowledge on the ability of capuchins to grasp and manipulate objects, with a special focus on how these species express their cognitive potential through manual behaviour. Data on the ability of capuchins to move their hands and on the neural correlates sustaining their actions are reported, as are findings on the manipulative ability of capuchins to anticipate future actions and to relate objects to other objects and substrates. The manual behaviour of capuchins is considered in different domains, such as motor planning, extractive foraging and tool use, in both captive and natural settings. Anatomofunctional and behavioural similarities to and differences from other haplorrhine species regarding manual dexterity are also discussed

    Preliminary data related to the effect of climacostol produced by the freshwater ciliate climacostomum virens on human adenovirus

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    The new epidemiological scenario has so far focused on the environmental circulation of human viral pathogens. Owing to the side effects of chemical disinfectants, there is an increasing need for knowledge on the use of virucidal compounds, especially those of a natural origin. Climacostol is a molecule produced by a freshwater ciliate and it exhibits activity against bacterial and fungal pathogens. We thus also speculated that there might be an effect on viral viability, which has never been tested. To evaluate such activity, we chose human adenovirus (HAdV), which is representative of waterborne viruses. We conducted experiments using HAdV serotype 5, whose titer was determined by infecting HeLa cell cultures. HAdV5 was shown to be sensitive to climacostol at a concentration of 0.0002 mg/mL, with an approximate 3 Log10 reduction when the initial titer of HAdV5 was approximately 104 and 103 TCID50/mL. These preliminary results could be an important starting point for further research aimed at improving the characterization of climacostol activity under different experimental conditions and against various viruses, including enveloped ones (i.e., the coronavirus). The production of climacostol by a protist living in fresh water also suggests a possible application in the activated sludge of wastewater treatment plants

    Food safety considerations in relation to Anisakis pegreffii in anchovies (Engraulis encrasicolus) and sardines (Sardina pilchardus) fished off the Ligurian Coast (Cinque Terre National Park, NW Mediterranean)

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    Aims: The purpose of this work was to verify whether E. coli is a good indicator of viral contamination in mussels and Adenovirus could represent a better alternative as indicator organism of viral presence to guarantee consumer health protection. Methods and Results: Eighty samples of mussels from La Spezia Gulf were analysed for E. coli, Salmonella, Adenovirus, Norovirus and hepatitis A virus with cultural and biomolecular tests. The results of bacterial parameters showed E. coli within the law’s limits and the absence of Salmonella. Twelve samples were positive for Adenovirus presence, one for Norovirus genogroup II and two for hepatitis A virus. None of these positive mussels was found to be contaminated with more than one virus at the same time. Conclusion: This study showed that there was not a direct correlation between the presence of human pathogenic viruses and bacterial indicators. Significance and Impact of the Study: Both E. coli and Adenovirus cannot be considered valid substitutes for the direct research of human pathogenic viruses in mussels. To improve consumer health protection, the European Commission will provide standardized methods for Norovirus and hepatitis A virus detection as soon as possible


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    Dopa-responsive dystonia (DRD) is an inherited metabolic disorder now classified as DYT5 with two different biochemical defects: autosomal dominant GTP cyclohydrolase 1 (GCH1) deficiency or autosomal recessive tyrosine hydroxylase deficiency. We report the case of a 10-years-old girl with progressive generalized dystonia and gait disorder who presented dramatic response to levodopa. The phenylalanine to tyrosine ratio was significantly higher after phenylalanine loading test. This condition had two different heterozygous mutations in the GCH1 gene: the previously reported P23L mutation and a new Q182E mutation. The characteristics of the DRD and the molecular genetic findings are discussed

    approach to a water safety plan for recreational waters disinfection of a drainage pumping station as an unconventional point source of fecal contamination

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    Abstract In the context of the management of bathing water quality, the intermittent contamination of rainwater drainage pumps (unconventional point sources) could be controlled by peracetic acid disinfection. Thus, a field experimental study was carried out to set up a water safety plan, determining the monitoring parameters and the critical limit for corrective actions. With a 0.5 mg/l dosage, the average logarithmic microbial reduction was 0.50 ± 0.48 for Escherichia coli (EC) and 0.43 ± 0.54 for intestinal enterococci. Among the chemical and physical parameters that could be monitored in real time, the oxidation–reduction potential was the only one able to predict the microbial concentration discharged from a drainage pump and the logarithmic abatement of EC. Considering the possible impact of this source on bathing waters in terms of additional risk of gastrointestinal infections, the critical limit for continuous monitoring was established using a quantitative microbial risk assessment (QMRA) model

    Long-Term Functional Outcome after Internal Delorme's Procedure for Obstructed Defecation Syndrome, and the Role of Postoperative Rehabilitation

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    PURPOSE: To evaluate long-term functional outcomes of Internal Delorme's Procedure (IDP) in patients refractory to conservative treatment for Obstructed Defecation Syndrome (ODS), and to compare those who received postoperative rehabilitation with those who did not. MATERIALS AND METHODS: All patients with ODS refractory to nonoperative therapy were identified across three regional pelvic floor referral hospitals, and IDP was performed. Postoperatively selected patients received biofeedback therapy. Functional outcomes were established using the Cleveland Clinic Constipation (CCC) score and obstructed defecation score (OD score) preoperatively at 12 months and at the last available follow-up. Patient satisfaction was assessed with a visual analogue score. RESULTS: From October 2006 to September 2013, IDP was performed in 170 patients: 77 received postoperative biofeedback and 93 did not. Mean follow-up was 6.3 years (range 1-8 years). CCC and OD scores improved significantly in both groups after 12 months and at the last follow-up (p > 0.05). When comparing two groups while there was no significant difference between CCC and OD scores at 12 months, score was significantly better in the group that received rehabilitation at the last follow-up (p = 0.001). Patient satisfaction was higher in the rehabilitation group (67%) compared with those without rehabilitation (55%). Clinical recurrence was recorded in nine patients who did not have postoperative rehabilitation. CONCLUSIONS: It has been demonstrated that IDP is associated with good long-term functional outcomes. Patients receiving rehabilitation had a better long-term follow-up, a higher overall satisfaction, and lower recurrence rate when compared with the patients who did not receive postoperative rehabilitation

    Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment Applied to Legionella Contamination on Long‐Distance Public Transport

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    The quantitative microbial risk assessment (QMRA) framework is used for assessing health risk coming from pathogens in the environment. In this paper, we used QMRA to evaluate the infection risk of L. pneumophila attributable to sink usage in a toilet cabin on Italian long‐distance public transportation (LDT). LDT has water distribution systems with risk points for Legionella proliferation, as well as premise plumbing for drinking water, but they are not considered for risk assessment. Monitoring data revealed that approximately 55% of water samples (217/398) were positive for L. pneumophila, and the most frequently isolated was L. pneumophila sg1 (64%, 139/217); therefore, such data were fitted to the best probability distribution function to be used as a stochastic variable in the QMRA model. Then, a sink‐specific aerosolization ratio was applied to calculate the inhaled dose, also considering inhalation rate and exposure time, which were used as stochastic parameters based on literature data. At L. pneumophila sg1 concentration ≀100 CFU/L, health risk was approximately 1 infection per 1 million exposures, with an increase of up to 5 infections per 10,000 exposures when the concentrations were ≄10,000 CFU/L. Our QMRA results showed a low Legionella infection risk from faucets on LDT; however, it deserves consideration since LDT can be used by people highly susceptible for the development of a severe form of the disease, owing to their immunological status or other predisposing factors. Further investigations could also evaluate Legionella‐laden aerosols from toilet flushing