Publications by authors named "Ana Paula Peconick"

10 Publications

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Repellent activity of acetylcarvacrol and its effects on salivary gland morphology in unfed Rhipicephalus sanguineus sensu lato ticks (Acari: Ixodidae).

Ticks Tick Borne Dis 2021 09 4;12(5):101760. Epub 2021 Jun 4.

Department of Health Sciences, Federal University of Lavras (UFLA), Av. Dr. Sylvio, Menicucci, 1001 Lavras, MG, Brazil. Electronic address:

Rhipicephalus sanguineus sensu lato (s.l.), commonly known as brown dog tick, is a widely distributed tick species that is substantially important for human and veterinary medicine. Therefore, it is the target of different control methods. Carvacrol and its semisynthetic derivative, acetylcarvacrol, are promising chemical compounds for alternative tick control. Thus, this study aimed to compare the repellent activities of carvacrol and acetylcarvacrol at different concentrations and drying times. Additionally, morphological alterations found in salivary glands were evaluated through histological techniques after exposure to acetylcarvacrol. The impact of the morphological changes on the development and survival of acini/cells in salivary glands was measured by a semiquantitative analysis. The repellent action of both compounds did not differ when evaluated at different concentrations, although acetylcarvacrol increased its effects as the concentration raised. Regarding the different drying times, acetylcarvacrol maintained its effects after 3 hours of exposure, while the efficacy of carvacrol decreased during this time period. Salivary glands of unfed R. sanguineus s.l. females showed dose-dependent alterations in the size and shape of acini as well as cytoplasmic vacuolization. Loss of the acinar cell limit, rupture of secretory granules and nuclear changes in the cells were also observed in the treated groups. Thus, our results demonstrated the potential of acetylcarvacrol to act as repellent against R. sanguineus s.l. Additionally, the morphological alterations found in salivary glands may interfere with the feeding process of ticks, which contributes to mitigate infestation by this species.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ttbdis.2021.101760DOI Listing
September 2021

Effect of protein level and methionine supplementation on dairy cows during the transition period.

J Dairy Sci 2021 May 6;104(5):5467-5478. Epub 2021 Mar 6.

Departamento de Zootecnia, Universidade Federal de Lavras, Lavras, MG 37200-900, Brazil. Electronic address:

Cows experience a significant negative protein balance during the first 30 d of lactation. Given the functional effects of AA on health, especially in challenging periods such as calving, higher levels of protein and specific AA in the diet may act to improve health and feed intake. The response of dairy cows to 3 protein supplementation strategies during the transition period and through the first 45 d in milk was evaluated. The final data set had 39 Holstein cows blocked based on parity (primiparous vs. multiparous) and expected calving and randomly assigned within each block to one of 3 dietary treatments: low protein (LP), high protein (HP), or high protein plus rumen-protected methionine (HPM). Treatments were offered from d -18 ± 5 to 45 d relative to parturition. Pre- and postpartum diets were formulated for high metabolizable protein (MP) supply from soybean meal, and HP and HPM provided higher MP balance than LP. Preplanned contrasts were LP versus HP+HPM and HP versus HPM. Significance was declared at P ≤ 0.05 and trends at 0.05

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http://dx.doi.org/10.3168/jds.2020-19181DOI Listing
May 2021

Sublethal concentrations of acetylcarvacrol affect reproduction and integument morphology in the brown dog tick Rhipicephalus sanguineus sensu lato (Acari: Ixodidae).

Exp Appl Acarol 2020 Oct 28;82(2):265-279. Epub 2020 Aug 28.

Department of Health Sciences, Federal University of Lavras (UFLA), Av. Dr. Sylvio Menicucci 1001, Lavras, MG, 37.200-900, Brazil.

Rhipicephalus sanguineus sensu lato (s.l.), also known as the brown dog tick, is among the main tick species involved in the transmission of pathogens to humans and other animals and, therefore, the target of numerous control methods. However, due to the disadvantages of synthetic acaricides, the use of alternative products such as plant derivatives has been encouraged. This study aimed to evaluate the acaricidal potential of acetylcarvacrol and to determine its efficacy at sublethal doses for the control of R. sanguineus s.l. female ticks. In addition, as acetylcarvacrol was applied topically, morphological alterations in the integument were assessed. Acetylation of carvacrol was performed by reaction with acetic anhydride in a sodium hydroxide solution, being confirmed by infrared spectroscopy. The lethal concentration for 50 and 90% (LC and LC) of unfed ticks and the efficacy of acetylcarvacrol in engorged females were determined after the Adult Immersion Test (AIT). For the evaluation of effects of acetylcarvacrol in the integument, routine histological techniques were employed after the AIT. The LC and LC in unfed females were 2.8 and 7.2 μL/mL, respectively. Regarding reproductive performance, after treatment with 8.0 μL/mL acetylcarvacrol 90.9% control was achieved, as ticks showed the lowest egg production index (EPI), hatching rate (HR), and fecundity rate (FR). In the integument, considerable morphological alterations were observed both in cuticle and epithelium. Thus, acetylcarvacrol affected R. sanguineus s.l. external coating and reproduction when applied at sublethal concentrations, probably contributing to a long-term control.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10493-020-00538-7DOI Listing
October 2020

Acetylation of carvacrol raises its efficacy against engorged cattle ticks (Acari: Ixodidae).

Nat Prod Res 2020 Jun 27:1-5. Epub 2020 Jun 27.

Department of Health Sciences, Federal University of Lavras (UFLA), Lavras, MG, Brazil.

The effects of acetylcarvacrol on the reproductive performance of engorged female were evaluated. Carvacrol was acetylated by a reaction with acetic anhydride, confirmed by the identification of its melting point and by infrared spectroscopy. Based on the median lethal concentration, females were exposed to sublethal concentrations (3.7, 4.6 and 5.0 μL/mL) of acetylcarvacrol by means of the adult immersion test. The following parameters were evaluated: female weight before oviposition, pre-oviposition period, egg mass weight, egg production index, incubation period, hatching rate, fecundity rate, percentage of reduction in oviposition, percentage of reduction in hatching and product efficacy. The greatest efficacy was observed in the group treated with the highest concentration (91.69%) due to the greater weight reduction in egg mass (34.91 ± 0.02 mg) and the lower hatching rate (7.23 ± 15.50%). Therefore, this compound is a promising alternative for the control of infestations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14786419.2020.1784169DOI Listing
June 2020

Low concentrations of acetylcarvacrol induce drastic morphological damages in ovaries of surviving Rhipicephalus sanguineus sensu lato ticks (Acari: Ixodidae).

Micron 2020 02 8;129:102780. Epub 2019 Nov 8.

Department of Health Sciences, Federal University of Lavras (UFLA), Lavras, MG, Brazil. Electronic address:

Rhipicephalus sanguineus sensu lato (s. l.) ticks are targets of acaricidal treatments due to their great veterinary and medical importance. Acetylcarvacrol stands out as a promising acaricidal substance for its increased biocidal activity and stability. Additionally, its toxicity to mammals is reduced when compared to the parent molecule, carvacrol. The present study aimed to evaluate the effects of acetylcarvacrol on the morphology of ovaries of engorged R. sanguineus s. l. ticks. The animals were subjected to the Adult Immersion Test to calculate the lethal concentrations (LC and LC) of acetylcarvacrol. Subsequently, the surviving ticks were dissected for collection of the ovaries. The samples were processed through routine histological techniques. The histological sections were stained with hematoxylin and eosin, bromophenol blue (protein detection) and PAS (polysaccharide detection). The alterations found in the ovaries were evaluated by morphometric and semiquantitative analysis. The LC and LC were 17.805 and 26.164 μL/mL, respectively. The most severe morphological alterations were disappearance of the female germ cells (oocytes), nucleolus vacuolization, thicker and irregular chorion, and decrease in size of the oocytes. Also, the content of proteins and carbohydrates in the oocytes were heavily affected by the chemical, as evidenced by a non-homogeneous staining pattern. The group exposed to the highest concentration of acetylcarvacrol (20 μL/mL) exhibited a statistically greater score in the semiquantitative analysis when compared to the other groups. The morphological changes in the ovaries may reduce the ticks' offspring production or generate descendants that will struggle to carry out essential biochemical processes during their lives. Thus, acetylcarvacrol may be a promising alternative to control tick infestation by impairing the reproduction of this parasite.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.micron.2019.102780DOI Listing
February 2020

Epizootic Infection by Trypanosoma vivax in Cattle from the State of Minas Gerais, Brazil.

Korean J Parasitol 2019 Apr 30;57(2):191-195. Epub 2019 Apr 30.

Department of Veterinary Medicine, Federal University of Lavras, Lavras, Minas Gerais State 37200-000, Brazil.

Trypanosomiasis is caused by a pathogenic protozoan of the genus Trypanosoma, being Trypanosoma vivax the most important agent for cattle. The aim of the present study was to demonstrate the expansion of T. vivax infection in different mesoregions of Minas Gerais, Brazil, and describe the clinicopathological findings of trypanosomiasis in cattle. The diagnosis was based on visualization of the parasite in blood smears and DNA detection of T. vivax in the blood of live cows and tissues of necropsied animals by the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Thirty suspected herds were tested, of which 11 were positive for T. vivax. The most frequent clinical signs were anemia, apathy, drop in milk production, weight loss, reproductive disorders, and nervous signs. Concomitant diseases, such as malignant edema, pneumonia and increased cases of mastitis were associated with T. vivax infection. Three cows were necropsied and the most significant findings were low body condition score, pale mucous and spleen with white pulp hyperplasia. The results demonstrated the expansion of T. vivax infection in Minas Gerais, that PCR-associated blood smears are promising for diagnosis, and that other diseases often occur concomitantly to T. vivax infection in regions with trypanosomiasis in cattle.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3347/kjp.2019.57.2.191DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6526221PMC
April 2019

Oat beta-glucan as a dietary supplement for dogs.

PLoS One 2018 31;13(7):e0201133. Epub 2018 Jul 31.

Veterinary Medicine Department, Federal University of Lavras, Lavras, Minas Gerais, Brazil.

The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of oat beta-glucan supplementation on metabolic, physiological, immunological and nutritional variables in adult dogs. Fourteen dogs were fed a control diet or a diet supplemented with 1% beta-glucan during 71 days. Serum concentrations of glucose, total cholesterol and lipoprotein fractions, as well as plasma concentrations of peptide YY and ghrelin, were determined. In addition, coefficient of total tract apparent macronutrient digestibility (CTTAD), food intake and fecal output, score, and pH were evaluated. For evaluation of immunological variables, serum concentrations of interleukin-4 and interferon gamma were determined on days 0, 57 and 71, which corresponded to blood collection prior to beta-glucan supplementation, and at 7 and 14 days post first and second dose of vaccination (Pneumodog®, Merial, Campinas, Brazil), respectively. Animals fed the supplemented diet showed (P<0.05) lower serum concentrations of total cholesterol and low and very low density lipoproteins, lower coefficients of total tract apparent digestibility of dry matter, organic matter, mineral matter and ether extract, higher fecal output and lower fecal consistency, as well as a tendency (P = 0.07) of decreasing the coefficient of total tract apparent digestibility of crude protein. Moreover, the supplemented diet resulted in lower number of red blood cells, hematocrit percentage and hemoglobin concentration 21 days post-vaccination as well as lower serum concentration of interleukin-4 seven days post-vaccination (P<0.05). It is concluded that oat beta-glucan extract can be used as a dietary supplement for dogs at a dose of 10 g/kg of food, being effective in reducing blood concentrations of total cholesterol, LDL-c and VLDL-c as well as CTTAD of nutrients, demonstrating a potential to be used in the feeding of obese animals. In addition, by reducing the predominance of a Th2 response, oat beta-glucan can positively modulate the vaccine response of animals.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0201133PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6067736PMC
January 2019

Histological and immunohistochemical characterization of the inflammatory and glial cells in the central nervous system of goat fetuses and adult male goats naturally infected with Neospora caninum.

BMC Vet Res 2014 Dec 14;10:291. Epub 2014 Dec 14.

Universidade Federal de Lavras, Setor de Patologia Veterinária, Caixa postal 3037, Lavras, MG, Brazil.

Background: Neospora caninum is an apicomplexan protozoan that is considered one of the main agents responsible for abortion in ruminants. The lesions found in the central nervous system (CNS) of aborted fetuses show multifocal necrosis, gliosis, and perivascular cuffs of mononuclear cells, but the inflammatory and glial cells have not been immunophenotypically characterized. The lesions in the CNS of infected adult animals have rarely been described. Therefore, in this study, we characterized the lesions, the immunophenotypes of the inflammatory and glial cells and the expression of MHC-II and PCNA in the CNS of goats infected with N. caninum. The CNS of eight aborted fetuses and six adult male goats naturally infected with N. caninum were analyzed with lectin histochemistry (RCA1) and immunohistochemistry (with anti-CD3, -CD79α, -GFAP, -MHC-II, and -PCNA antibodies). All animals were the offspring of dams naturally infected with N. caninum.

Results: The microscopic lesions in the CNS of the aborted fetuses consisted of perivascular cuffs composed mainly of macrophages (RCA1(+)), rare T lymphocytes (CD3(+)), and rare B lymphocytes (CD79α(+)). Multifocal necrosis surrounded by astrocytes (GFAP(+)), gliosis composed predominantly of monocytic-lineage cells (macrophages and microglia, RCA1(+)), and the cysts of N. caninum, related (or not) to the lesions were present. Similar lesions were found in four of the six male goats, and multinucleate giant cells related to focal gliosis were also found in three adult goats. Anti-GFAP immunostaining showed astrocytes characterizing areas of glial scarring. Cysts of N. caninum were found in three adult male goats. The presence of N. caninum was evaluated with histopathology, immunohistochemistry, and PCR. Immunohistochemistry demonstrated anti-PCNA labeling of macrophages and microglia in the perivascular cuffs and the expression of MHC-II by microglia and endothelial cells in the CNS of the aborted fetuses and adult male goats.

Conclusions: Macrophages and microglia were the predominant inflammatory cells in the CNS of aborted fetuses and healthy adult male goats infected with N. caninum. Activated astrocytes were mainly associated with inflamed areas, suggesting that astrocytes were involved in the resolution of the lesions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12917-014-0291-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4270032PMC
December 2014

A directed approach for the identification of transcripts harbouring the spliced leader sequence and the effect of trans-splicing knockdown in Schistosoma mansoni.

Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz 2013 Sep;108(6):707-17

Grupo de Genômica e Biologia Computacional, Centro de Pesquisas René Rachou, Fiocruz, Belo HorizonteMG, Brasil.

Schistosomiasis is a major neglected tropical disease caused by trematodes from the genus Schistosoma. Because schistosomes exhibit a complex life cycle and numerous mechanisms for regulating gene expression, it is believed that spliced leader (SL) trans-splicing could play an important role in the biology of these parasites. The purpose of this study was to investigate the function of trans-splicing in Schistosoma mansoni through analysis of genes that may be regulated by this mechanism and via silencing SL-containing transcripts through RNA interference. Here, we report our analysis of SL transcript-enriched cDNA libraries from different S. mansoni life stages. Our results show that the trans-splicing mechanism is apparently not associated with specific genes, subcellular localisations or life stages. In cross-species comparisons, even though the sets of genes that are subject to SL trans-splicing regulation appear to differ between organisms, several commonly shared orthologues were observed. Knockdown of trans-spliced transcripts in sporocysts resulted in a systemic reduction of the expression levels of all tested trans-spliced transcripts; however, the only phenotypic effect observed was diminished larval size. Further studies involving the findings from this work will provide new insights into the role of trans-splicing in the biology of S. mansoni and other organisms. All Expressed Sequence Tags generated in this study were submitted to dbEST as five different libraries. The accessions for each library and for the individual sequences are as follows: (i) adult worms of mixed sexes (LIBEST_027999: JZ139310 - JZ139779), (ii) female adult worms (LIBEST_028000: JZ139780 - JZ140379), (iii) male adult worms (LIBEST_028001: JZ140380 - JZ141002), (iv) eggs (LIBEST_028002: JZ141003 - JZ141497) and (v) schistosomula (LIBEST_028003: JZ141498 - JZ141974).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/0074-0276108062013006DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3970683PMC
September 2013
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