197 research outputs found

    Evaluation of a commercial intravaginal thermometer to predict calving in a Hungarian Holstein‐Friesian dairy farm

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    In this study, the utility of a commercial intravaginal thermometer was evaluated as an automated method for the prediction of calving in a total of 257 healthy pregnant Holstein–Friesian female cattle. The accuracy and the sensitivity of predicting calving within 48 hr before calving were also evaluated. The intravaginal temperature changes from 72 hr before and up to calving were significantly (p ≤ .001) affected by parity, season (summer vs. autumn), the time of day (8 a.m. or 8 p.m.) and the 6-hr time intervals (38.19°C: first interval 0 to 6 hr before calving vs. 38.78°C: twelfth interval 66 to 72 hr before calving), while the gender (p = .943), and the weight of the calf (p = .610), twinning (p = .300), gestation length (p = .186), foetal presentation (p = .123), dystocia (p = .197) and retention of foetal membranes (p = .253) did not affect it significantly. The sensitivity of the SMS of expecting calving within 48 hr and the positive predictive value were 62.4% and 75%, respectively, while the sensitivity and the positive predictive value for the SMS of expulsion reached 100%. It can be concluded that the investigated thermometer is not able to predict calving within 48 hr accurately; however, imminent calving can be accurately alerted

    Salmonella enterica biofilm-mediated dispersal by nitric oxide donors in association with cellulose nanocrystal hydrogels

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    Protected by extracellular polymers, microbes within biofilms are significantly more resistant to disinfectants. Current research has been instrumental in identifying nitric oxide donors and hydrogels as potential disinfectant additives. Nitric oxide (NO) donors are considered a very promising molecule as biofilm dispersal agents and hydrogels have recently attracted a lot of interest due to their biocompatible properties and ability to form stable thin films. When the NO donor MAHMA NONOate was dissolved in phosphate saline buffer, it was able to reduce the biomass of well-established biofilms up to 15% for at least 24 h of contact time. Encapsulation of MAHMA NONOate and molsidomine within a hydrogel composed of cellulose nanocrystals (CNC) has shown a synergistic effect in dispersing well-established biofilms: after 2 h of exposure, moderate but significant dispersion was measured. After 6 h of exposure, the number of cells transitioning from the biofilm to the planktonic state was up to 0.6 log higher when compared with non-treated biofilms. To further explore the transport processes of NO donors within hydrogels, we measured the nitric oxide flux from gels, at 25°C for a composite of 0.1 µM MAHMA NONOate–CNC. Nitric oxide diffuses up to 500 µm from the hydrogel surface, with flux decreasing according to Fick’s law. 60% of NO was released from the hydrogel composite during the first 23 min. These data suggest that the combined treatments with nitric oxide donor and hydrogels may allow for new sustainable cleaning strategies

    Impact of Chikungunya Virus Infection on Health Status and Quality of Life: A Retrospective Cohort Study

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    BACKGROUND:Persistent symptoms, mainly joint and muscular pain and depression, have been reported several months after Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) infection. Their frequency and their impact on quality of life have not been compared with those of an unexposed population. In the present study, we aimed to describe the frequency of prolonged clinical manifestations of CHIKV infection and to measure the impact on quality of life and health care consumption in comparison with that of an unexposed population, more than one year after infection. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:In a retrospective cohort study, 199 subjects who had serologically confirmed CHIKV infection (CHIK+) were compared with 199 sero-negative subjects (CHIK-) matched for age, gender and area of residence in La Réunion Island. Following an average time of 17 months from the acute phase of infection, participants were interviewed by telephone about current symptoms, medical consumption during the last 12 months and quality of life assessed by the 12-items Short-Form Health Survey (SF-12) scale. At the time of study, 112 (56%) CHIK+ persons reported they were fully recovered. CHIK+ complained more frequently than CHIK- of arthralgia (relative risk = 1.9; 95% confidence interval: 1.6-2.2), myalgia (1.9; 1.5-2.3), fatigue (2.3; 1.8-3), depression (2.5; 1.5-4.1) and hair loss (3.8; 1.9-7.6). There was no significant difference between CHIK+ and CHIK- subjects regarding medical consumption in the past year. The mean (SD) score of the SF-12 Physical Component Summary was 46.4 (10.8) in CHIK+ versus 49.1 (9.3) in CHIK- (p = 0.04). There was no significant difference between the two groups for the Mental Component Summary. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE:More than one year following the acute phase of infection, CHIK+ subjects reported more disabilities than those who were CHIK-. These persistent disabilities, however, have no significant influence on medical consumption, and the impact on quality of life is moderate

    A cohort study of in utero polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) exposures in relation to secondary sex ratio

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    Abstract: Background: Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are ubiquitous industrial chemicals that persist in the environment and in human fatty tissue. PCBs are related to a class of compounds known as dioxins, specifically 2,3,7,8-TCDD (tetrachloro-dibenzodioxin), which has been implicated as a cause of altered sex ratio, especially in relation to paternal exposures. Methods: In the 1960's, serum specimens were collected from pregnant women participating in the Child Health and Development Study in the San Francisco Bay Area. The women were interviewed and their serum samples stored at -20°C. For this study, samples were thawed and a total of eleven PCBs were determined in 399 specimens. Secondary sex ratio, or sex ratio at birth, was evaluated as a function of maternal serum concentrations using log-binomial and logistic regression, controlling for hormonally active medications taken during pregnancy. Results: The relative risk of a male birth decreased by 33% comparing women at the 90th percentile of total PCBs with women at the 10th percentile (RR = 0.67; 95% CI, 0.48–0.94; p = 0.02), or by approximately 7% for each 1 μg/L increase in total PCB concentration. Although some congener-specific associations with sex ratio were only marginally statistically significant, all nine PCB congeners with < 30% of samples below the LOQ showed the same direction of association, an improbable finding under the null hypothesis. Conclusion: Maternal exposure to PCBs may be detrimental to the success of male sperm or to the survival of male embryos. Findings could be due to contaminants, metabolites or PCBs themselves

    Antibody-mediated enhancement aggravates chikungunya virus infection and disease severity

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    The arthropod-transmitted chikungunya virus (CHIKV) causes a flu-like disease that is characterized by incapacitating arthralgia. The re-emergence of CHIKV and the continual risk of new epidemics have reignited research in CHIKV pathogenesis. Virus-specific antibodies have been shown to control virus clearance, but antibodies present at sub-neutralizing concentrations can also augment virus infection that exacerbates disease severity. To explore this occurrence, CHIKV infection was investigated in the presence of CHIKV-specific antibodies in both primary human cells and a murine macrophage cell line, RAW264.7. Enhanced attachment of CHIKV to the primary human monocytes and B cells was observed while increased viral replication was detected in RAW264.7 cells. Blocking of specific Fc receptors (FcγRs) led to the abrogation of these observations. Furthermore, experimental infection in adult mice showed that animals had higher viral RNA loads and endured more severe joint inflammation in the presence of sub-neutralizing concentrations of CHIKV-specific antibodies. In addition, CHIKV infection in 11 days old mice under enhancing condition resulted in higher muscles viral RNA load detected and death. These observations provide the first evidence of antibody-mediated enhancement in CHIKV infection and pathogenesis and could also be relevant for other important arboviruses such as Zika virus

    The Science Performance of JWST as Characterized in Commissioning

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    This paper characterizes the actual science performance of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), as determined from the six month commissioning period. We summarize the performance of the spacecraft, telescope, science instruments, and ground system, with an emphasis on differences from pre-launch expectations. Commissioning has made clear that JWST is fully capable of achieving the discoveries for which it was built. Moreover, almost across the board, the science performance of JWST is better than expected; in most cases, JWST will go deeper faster than expected. The telescope and instrument suite have demonstrated the sensitivity, stability, image quality, and spectral range that are necessary to transform our understanding of the cosmos through observations spanning from near-earth asteroids to the most distant galaxies