Publications by authors named "Júlio Rodrigues"

15 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Benzodiazepine Use in Opioid Maintenance Treatment Programme: Risks and Clinical Outcomes.

Acta Med Port 2021 Mar 1;34(3):209-216. Epub 2021 Mar 1.

Drug Addiction Treatment Centre. Agualva-Cacém. Cacém. Portugal.

Introduction: The co-association of benzodiazepines and opioids is associated with an increased risk of overdose, death, and poorer psychosocial prognosis. The aim of this study is to characterize the prevalence, pattern of use, and primary clinical outcomes in benzodiazepines users in a public opioid maintenance treatment unit.

Material And Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study involving 236 patients treated with opioid substitutes (methadone and buprenorphine). We conducted a descriptive, bivariable, and multivariable analysis to determine clinical differences between benzodiazepines users and non-users.

Results: The prevalence of consumption of benzodiazepines was 25.4% (60). The benzodiazepines were obtained with a medical prescription (49.8%) or on the black market (42.6%). The most prescribed benzodiazepine was diazepam (29.1%), and the main reasons were to relieve insomnia (27.7%) or anxiety (26.9%) and to enhance the psychoactive effects of other drugs (19.7%). Regarding the clinical outcomes, we highlight: a very high prevalence of hepatitis C (51.7%); severe ongoing consumption of psychoactive drugs (73.7%); and a high rate of depression and anxiety (> 60%), significantly higher in the benzodiazepines-user group. In the multivariable analysis of benzodiazepine use, we found alcohol consumption (OR 0.482; IC 95% 0.247, 0.238) had a negative association and having hepatitis C (OR 2.544, IC 95% 1.273, 5.084) or anxiety symptoms (OR 5.591; IC 95% 2.345, 13.326) had positive associations.

Discussion: Our results suggest the BZD users had a complex drug addiction problem and underline the importance of adequately addressing BZD use, contemplating psychological and psychiatric approach in this particular population.

Conclusion: Past or current use of benzodiazepines is associated with poor clinical and psychiatric outcomes. A multidisciplinary approach with a focus on infectious diseases and mental health is critical in order to enhance the treatment effectiveness and overall prognosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.20344/amp.13181DOI Listing
March 2021

Incidence of Carrying Liberibacter asiaticus in Brazil's Citrus Belt.

Insects 2020 Oct 3;11(10). Epub 2020 Oct 3.

Fundo de Defesa da Citricultura-FUNDECITRUS-Araraquara, São Paulo 14807-040, Brazil.

Huanglongbing (HLB) is a citrus disease of worldwide importance, associated with the presence of Liberibacter asiaticus (Las) and vectored by the psyllid in Asia and the Americas. To properly manage HLB, removal of inoculum sources and control of the psyllid are undertaken. We evaluated the percentage of the psyllid population with Las, sampled from yellow sticky traps over a three-year period and its relationship with insect population, regions, season of the year, and HLB management in citrus areas in the southwestern, central, and northern regions of São Paulo (SP) and southwestern region of Minas Gerais states, Brazil. In each reading, up to 50 psyllids per region were collected and detection of Las in individual psyllids were made by quantitative polymerase chain reaction. The percentage of psyllids with Las-an average of 65.3%-was constant throughout the year in the southwestern region of SP state, while showing an increase from spring to autumn when sampled from central to northern regions. The proportion of psyllids carrying Las from each region and year period were compared by a proportion test and spectral density analysis. The proportion of psyllids carrying Las evaluated in the same region in different seasons presented statistical differences in central (Araraquara) and southwestern (Santa Cruz do Rio Pardo) regions in 2015, with higher values in the first semester (summer and autumn) than in the second semester (winter and spring). Orchards with poor HLB management had higher incidence of psyllids with Las. Spectral density analysis indicated that good management areas had 50% less relevant peaks of psyllids with Las than in areas with poor HLB management practices. The relationship between the percentage of psyllids carrying Las and the number of captured psyllids in the region in a given time denotes the most critical intake time for HLB spread in citrus orchards. The reduction in the population of psyllids carrying Las is a direct benefit from the use of good management practices.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/insects11100672DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7650542PMC
October 2020

Comparison of Commercial ELISA Kits to Confirm the Absence of Transmission in Malaria Elimination Settings.

Front Public Health 2020 9;8:480. Epub 2020 Sep 9.

Department of Infection Biology, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, United Kingdom.

Antimalarial antibody measurements are useful because they reflect historical and recent exposure to malaria. As such, they may provide additional information to assess ongoing transmission in low endemic or pre-elimination settings where cases are rare. In addition, the absence of antibody responses in certain individuals can indicate the cessation of transmission. Commercial malaria enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) detect antimalarial antibodies and are commonly used to screen blood donations for possible malaria infection. However, there is no standardized test to detect antimalarial antibodies for epidemiological use. Here we compared five commercially available ELISA kits (Trinity Biotech, newbio, DiaPro, Cellabs, and NovaTec) in search of a standardized tool for supporting claims of absence of malaria transmission. For comparison, a research-based (RB) ELISA protocol was performed alongside the commercial kits. The commercial kits were first compared using serum samples from known malaria-unexposed individuals ( = 223) and -infected individuals ( = 191) to assess specificity and cross-reactivity against non-malaria infections. In addition, 134 samples from ≥10-year-olds collected in a hyperendemic region in the Gambia in the early 1990s were used to assess sensitivity. Three out of five kits showed high sensitivity (90-92%), high specificity (98-99%), low cross-reactivity (0-3%) and were considered user-friendly (Trinity Biotech, newbio and NovaTec). Two of these kits (Trinity Biotech and NovaTec) were taken forward for epidemiological evaluation and results were compared to those using the RB-ELISA. Samples from two pre-elimination settings (Praia, Cape Verde; = 1,396, and Bataan, the Philippines; = 1,824) were tested. Serological results from both the Trinity Biotech kit and the RB-ELISA concurred with recent passively detected case counts in both settings. Results from the Trinity Biotech kit reflected a significant decrease in the number of reported cases in Bataan in the 1990s better than the RB-ELISA. Results from the NovaTec kit did not reflect transmission patterns in either setting. The Trinity Biotech commercial ELISA kit was considered reliable for epidemiological use and accurately described transmission patterns in two (previously) malaria endemic settings. The use of this simple and standardized serological tool may aid national control and elimination programs by confirming that regions are free from malaria.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2020.00480DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7509087PMC
May 2021

SERK genes identification and expression analysis during somatic embryogenesis and sporogenesis of sexual and apomictic Brachiaria brizantha (Syn. Urochloa brizantha).

Planta 2020 Aug 14;252(3):39. Epub 2020 Aug 14.

Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa), Embrapa Genetic Resources and Biotechnology, Cx.Postal 02372, Brasília, DF, 70770-917, Brazil.

Main Conclusion: In Brachiaria brizantha BbrizSERK1, BbrizSERK2 and BbrizSERK3 were identified. SERK expression marks somatic embryogenesis, sexual MMC, and sexual and apomictic PMC. BbrizSERK3 might have a regulatory role in reproductive development. Somatic embryogenesis receptor-like kinase (SERK) consists of plasma membrane receptor genes that have been characterized in various species, associated with several aspects of plant development, including reproduction. SERK genes are involved in anther development and in early embryo development in sexual and asexual seed formation. To comprehend the complexity of the SERK genes and their function in Brachiaria reproduction, we performed a homology-based search in a genomic database of a sexual B. brizantha and identified sequences of three SERK genes, BbrizSERK1, BbrizSERK2, and BbrizSERK3. RNASeq data showed equivalent abundance of BbrizSERK1 and BbrizSERK2 transcripts in ovaries at early megasporogenesis of sexuals and apomicts, while BbrizSERK3 transcripts were more abundant in ovaries of sexuals than in apomicts. BbrizSERK3 results in three coding sequences due to alternative splicing, among them Variant 1 results in a protein with all the predicted domains of a SERK. BbrizSERK transcripts were detected in male reproductive tissues of both sexual and apomictic plants, suggesting a role in controlling anther development. BbrizSERK transcripts were detected early in ovule development, in the integuments, and in the megaspore mother cell of the sexual plant, but not in the cells that give rise to apomictic embryo sacs, suggesting a role in female reproductive development of sexuals. This paper provides evidences that SERK genes plays a role in the onset and establishment of somatic embryogenesis and in the reproductive development of B. brizantha and suggests a distinct role of BbrizSERK in apomixis initiation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00425-020-03443-wDOI Listing
August 2020

Comparative bioavailability of two zolpidem hemitartrate formulations in healthy human Brazilian volunteers using high-performance liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry.

Biomed Chromatogr 2020 Apr 23;34(4):e4731. Epub 2020 Jan 23.

Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medical Sciences, State University of Campinas (UNICAMP), Campinas/SP, Brazil.

To assess the bioequivalence of two zolpidem hemitartrate formulations in 30 healthy volunteers. Plasma samples were obtained over a 24 h period. Plasma concentrations of zolpidem were analyzed by liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry with positive ion electrospray ionization using multiple reaction monitoring. Values of peak concentration (C ), area under curve (AUC), half-life, elimination constant, volume of distribution and clearance showed statistically significant differences when comparing women (604.34 ng h/ml, 127.36 ng/ml, 4.4 h, 0.18 1/h, 50.56 L and 8.55 L/h, respectively) and men (276.1 ng h/ml, 70.9 ng/ml, 3.3 h, 0.26 1/h, 91.42 L and 24.34 L/h, respectively), receiving the same dose (5 mg), respectively. The geometric means with corresponding 90% confidence interval for Test/Reference percentage ratios were 99.73% (CI 93.69-106.16) for C 97.44% (90% CI = 91.85-103.37%) for area under curve of plasma concentration until the last concentration observed (AUC ) and 98.30% (90% CI = 92.48-104.49) for the area under curve between the first sample (pre-dosage) and infinity (AUC ). Since the 90% CI for AUC , AUC and C ratios were within the 80-125% interval proposed by the US Food and Drug Administration, it was concluded that zolpidem hemitartrate formulation (5 mg orodispersible tablet) is bioequivalent to the zolpidem hemitartrate formulation (Patz SL 5 mg sublingual tablet) with regard to both the rate and the extent of absorption. A new formulation of zolpidem 2.5 mg may be useful in women for the same clinical benefits as the 5 mg formulation in men.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/bmc.4731DOI Listing
April 2020

Enlarging cells initiating apomixis in Hieracium praealtum transition to an embryo sac program prior to entering mitosis.

Plant Physiol 2013 Sep 17;163(1):216-31. Epub 2013 Jul 17.

Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization Plant Industry, Waite Campus, Adelaide, South Australia 5064, Australia.

Hieracium praealtum forms seeds asexually by apomixis. During ovule development, sexual reproduction initiates with megaspore mother cell entry into meiosis and formation of a tetrad of haploid megaspores. The sexual pathway ceases when a diploid aposporous initial (AI) cell differentiates, enlarges, and undergoes mitosis, forming an aposporous embryo sac that displaces sexual structures. Embryo and endosperm development in aposporous embryo sacs is fertilization independent. Transcriptional data relating to apomixis initiation in Hieracium spp. ovules is scarce and the functional identity of the AI cell relative to other ovule cell types is unclear. Enlarging AI cells with undivided nuclei, early aposporous embryo sacs containing two to four nuclei, and random groups of sporophytic ovule cells not undergoing these events were collected by laser capture microdissection. Isolated amplified messenger RNA samples were sequenced using the 454 pyrosequencing platform and comparatively analyzed to establish indicative roles of the captured cell types. Transcriptome and protein motif analyses showed that approximately one-half of the assembled contigs identified homologous sequences in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana), of which the vast majority were expressed during early Arabidopsis ovule development. The sporophytic ovule cells were enriched in signaling functions. Gene expression indicative of meiosis was notably absent in enlarging AI cells, consistent with subsequent aposporous embryo sac formation without meiosis. The AI cell transcriptome was most similar to the early aposporous embryo sac transcriptome when comparing known functional annotations and both shared expressed genes involved in gametophyte development, suggesting that the enlarging AI cell is already transitioning to an embryo sac program prior to mitotic division.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1104/pp.113.219485DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3762643PMC
September 2013

Oral receptivity of Aedes aegypti from Cape Verde for yellow fever, dengue, and chikungunya viruses.

Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis 2013 Jan 30;13(1):37-40. Epub 2012 Nov 30.

Institut Pasteur, Department of Virology, Arboviruses and Insect Vectors Laboratory, Paris, France.

At the end of 2009, 21,313 cases of dengue-3 virus (DENV-3) were reported in the islands of Cape Verde, an archipelago located in the Atlantic Ocean 570 km from the coast of western Africa. It was the first dengue outbreak ever reported in Cape Verde. Mosquitoes collected in July 2010 in the city of Praia, on the island of Santiago, were identified morphologically as Aedes aegypti formosus. Using experimental oral infections, we found that this vector showed a moderate ability to transmit the epidemic dengue-3 virus, but was highly susceptible to chikungunya and yellow fever viruses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/vbz.2012.0982DOI Listing
January 2013

Expression analyses of Brachiaria brizantha genes encoding ribosomal proteins BbrizRPS8, BbrizRPS15a, and BbrizRPL41 during development of ovaries and anthers.

Protoplasma 2013 Apr 26;250(2):505-14. Epub 2012 Jul 26.

Embrapa Genetic Resources and Biotechnology, Parque Estação Biológica, Brasília, Federal District, Brazil.

Brachiaria brizantha is a forage grass of the Poaceae family. Introduced from Africa, it is largely used for beef cattle production in Brazil. Brachiaria reproduces sexually or asexually by apomixis, and development of biotechnological tools for gene transfer is being researched to support the breeding programs. The molecular bases of reproduction have not yet been fully elucidated; it is known that gametophyte formation and main reproductive events occur inside the anthers and ovaries. There is therefore much interest in identifying genes expressed in these organs and their corresponding upstream regulatory sequences. In this work we characterized three cDNA from ovaries of B. brizantha plants (CL 09, CL10, and CL21) which show similarity in databases with genes encoding ribosomal proteins S8, S15a, and L41 and were named BbrizRPS8, BbrizRPS15a, and BbrizRPL41, respectively. These clones show higher expression in ovaries, anthers and roots, mitotically active tissues, when compared to leaves of B. brizantha. Localization of transcripts of BbrizRPS8, BbrizRPS15a, and BbrizRPL41 was investigated in the reproductive organs, ovaries, and anthers, from the beginning of development up to maturity. Their activity was higher in early stages of anther development, while expression was detected in all developmental stages in the ovaries, except for BbrizS15a, which was detected only in synergids of apomictic plants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00709-012-0433-3DOI Listing
April 2013

Sexual reproduction is the default mode in apomictic Hieracium subgenus Pilosella, in which two dominant loci function to enable apomixis.

Plant J 2011 Jun 26;66(5):890-902. Epub 2011 Apr 26.

Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization Plant Industry, Glen Osmond, South Australia 5064, Australia.

Asexual seed formation, or apomixis, in the Hieracium subgenus Pilosella is controlled by two dominant independent genetic loci, LOSS OF APOMEIOSIS (LOA) and LOSS OF PARTHENOGENESIS (LOP). We examined apomixis mutants that had lost function in one or both loci to establish their developmental roles during seed formation. In apomicts, sexual reproduction is initiated first. Somatic aposporous initial (AI) cells differentiate near meiotic cells, and the sexual pathway is terminated as AI cells undergo mitotic embryo sac formation. Seed initiation is fertilization-independent. Using a partially penetrant cytotoxic reporter to inhibit meioisis, we showed that developmental events leading to the completion of meiotic tetrad formation are required for AI cell formation. Sexual initiation may therefore stimulate activity of the LOA locus, which was found to be required for AI cell formation and subsequent suppression of the sexual pathway. AI cells undergo nuclear division to form embryo sacs, in which LOP functions gametophytically to stimulate fertilization-independent embryo and endosperm formation. Loss of function in either locus results in partial reversion to sexual reproduction, and loss of function in both loci results in total reversion to sexual reproduction. Therefore, in these apomicts, sexual reproduction is the default reproductive mode upon which apomixis is superimposed. These loci are unlikely to encode genes essential for sexual reproduction, but may function to recruit the sexual machinery at specific time points to enable apomixis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-313X.2011.04556.xDOI Listing
June 2011

Polycomb group gene function in sexual and asexual seed development in angiosperms.

Sex Plant Reprod 2010 Jun 29;23(2):123-33. Epub 2009 Dec 29.

Embrapa Genetic Resources and Biotechnology, Brasília, 70770-900, Brazil.

In sexually reproducing angiosperms, double fertilization initiates seed development, giving rise to two fertilization products, the embryo and the endosperm. In the endosperm, a terminal nutritive tissue that supports embryo growth, certain genes are expressed differentially depending on their parental origin, and this genomic imbalance is required for proper seed formation. This parent-of-origin effect on gene expression, called genomic imprinting, is controlled epigenetically through histone modifications and DNA methylation. In the sexual model plant Arabidopsis, the Polycomb group (PcG) genes of the plant Fertilization Independent Seed (FIS)-class control genomic imprinting by specifically silencing maternal or paternal target alleles through histone modifications. Mutations in FIS genes can lead to a bypass in the requirement of fertilization for the initiation of endosperm development and seed abortion. In this review, we discuss the role of the FIS complex in establishing and maintaining genomic imprinting, focusing on recent advances in elucidating the expression and function of FIS-related genes in maize, rice, and Hieracium, and particularly including apomictic Hieracium species that do not require paternal contribution and thus form seeds asexually. Surprisingly, not all FIS-mediated functions described in Arabidopsis are conserved. However, the function of some PcG components are required for viable seed formation in seeds formed via sexual and asexual processes (apomixis) in Hieracium, suggesting a conservation of the seed viability function in some eudicots.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00497-009-0131-2DOI Listing
June 2010

Sexual and apomictic seed formation in Hieracium requires the plant polycomb-group gene FERTILIZATION INDEPENDENT ENDOSPERM.

Plant Cell 2008 Sep 23;20(9):2372-86. Epub 2008 Sep 23.

Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization Plant Industry, Glen Osmond, South Australia 5064, Australia.

A Polycomb-Group (PcG) complex, FERTILIZATION INDEPENDENT SEED (FIS), represses endosperm development in Arabidopsis thaliana until fertilization occurs. The Hieracium genus contains apomictic species that form viable seeds asexually. To investigate FIS function during apomictic seed formation, FERTILIZATION INDEPENDENT ENDOSPERM (FIE), encoding a WD-repeat member of the FIS complex, was isolated and downregulated in sexual and apomictic Hieracium species. General downregulation led to defects in leaf and seed development, consistent with a role in developmental transitions and cell fate. PcG-like activity of Hieracium FIE was also supported by its interaction in vitro with the Arabidopsis CURLY LEAF PcG protein. By contrast, specific downregulation of FIE in developing seeds of sexual Hieracium did not result in autonomous endosperm proliferation but led to seed abortion after cross-pollination. Furthermore, in apomictic Hieracium, specific FIE downregulation inhibited autonomous embryo and endosperm initiation, and most autonomous seeds displayed defective embryo and endosperm growth. Therefore, FIE is required for both apomictic and fertilization-induced seed initiation in Hieracium. Since Hieracium FIE failed to interact with FIS class proteins in vitro, its partner proteins might differ from those in the FIS complex of Arabidopsis. These differences in protein interaction were attributed to structural modifications predicted from comparisons of Arabidopsis and Hieracium FIE molecular models.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1105/tpc.108.059287DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2570734PMC
September 2008

Expression of aberrant forms of AUXIN RESPONSE FACTOR8 stimulates parthenocarpy in Arabidopsis and tomato.

Plant Physiol 2007 Oct 31;145(2):351-66. Epub 2007 Aug 31.

Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, Plant Industry, Glen Osmond, South Australia 5064, Australia.

Fruit initiation in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) is generally repressed until fertilization occurs. However, mutations in AUXIN RESPONSE FACTOR8 (ARF8) uncouple fruit initiation from fertilization, resulting in the formation of seedless, parthenocarpic fruit. Here we induced parthenocarpy in wild-type Arabidopsis by introducing either the mutant genomic (g) Atarf8-4 sequence or gAtARF8:beta-glucuronidase translational fusion constructs by plant transformation. Silencing of endogenous AtARF8 transcription was not observed, indicating that the introduced, aberrant ARF8 transcripts were compromising the function of endogenous ARF8 and/or associated factors involved in suppressing fruit initiation. To analyze the role of ARF8 in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) we initially emasculated 23 tomato cultivars to test for background parthenocarpy. Surprisingly, all had a predisposition to initiate fertilization-independent fruit growth. Expression of gAtarf8-4 in transgenic tomato ('Monalbo') resulted in a significant increase in the number and size of parthenocarpic fruit. Isolation of tomato ARF8 cDNA indicated significant sequence conservation with AtARF8. SlARF8 may therefore control tomato fruit initiation in a similar manner as AtARF8 does in Arabidopsis. Two SlARF8 cDNAs differing in size by 5 bp were found, both arising from the same gene. The smaller cDNA is a splice variant and is also present in Arabidopsis. We propose that low endogenous levels of the splice variant products might interfere with efficient formation/function of a complex repressing fruit initiation, thereby providing an explanation for the observed ovary expansion in tomato and also Arabidopsis after emasculation. Increasing the levels of aberrant Atarf8-4 transcripts may further destabilize formation/function of the complex in a dosage-dependent manner enhancing tomato parthenocarpic fruit initiation frequency and size and mimicking the parthenocarpic dehiscent silique phenotype found in homozygous Atarf8-4 mutants. Collectively these data suggest that similar mechanisms involving auxin signaling exist to inhibit parthenocarpic fruit set in tomato and Arabidopsis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1104/pp.107.104174DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2048734PMC
October 2007

Functional and structural characterisation of AgMNPV ie1.

Virus Genes 2007 Dec 8;35(3):549-62. Epub 2007 Aug 8.

Laboratorio de Ingeniería Genética y Biología Celular y Molecular, Departamento de Ciencia y Tecnología, Centro de Estudios e Investigaciones, Universidad Nacional de Quilmes, Roque Saenz Peña 352, 1876 Bernal, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

We have located and cloned the Anticarsia gemmatalis multicapsid nucleopolyhedrovirus isolate 2D (AgMNPV-2D) genomic DNA fragment containing the immediate early 1 ORF and its flanking regions. Computer assisted analysis of the complete ie1 locus nucleotide sequence information was used to locate regulatory signals in the upstream region and conserved nucleotide and amino acid sequences. Comparative studies led to the identification of several characteristic protein motifs and to the conclusion that AgMNPV-2D is more closely related to Choristoneura fumiferana defective NPV than to other Group I nucleopolyhedrovirus. We have also shown that the AgMNPV IE1 protein was able to transactivate an early Autographa californica MNPV promoter and its own promoter in transient expression assays. In order to investigate the biological functionality of the ie1 promoter, the ie1 upstream activating region (UAR) was molecularly dissected and cloned upstream of the E. coli lacZ ORF. The results obtained, after transfection of UFL-AG-286 insect cells, leading us to find that the -492 and -357 versions contains sequence motifs important for the level of the lacZ reporter gene expression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11262-007-0150-8DOI Listing
December 2007

Combined methods for the study of water contact behavior in a rural schistosomiasis-endemic area in Brazil.

Acta Trop 2006 Jan 4;97(1):31-41. Epub 2005 Oct 4.

Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of California Medical Center, San Francisco, CA 94143-0560, USA.

A new combined methodology consisting of direct observation and two types of interviews (internal and external interviews) was evaluated for use in exposure risk assessment in schistosomiasis. Specific objectives were to determine its usefulness in achieving equitable coverage of gendered exposure risk and its efficiency in identifying water contact behavior in a rural area in Brazil with different settlement patterns, land use and domestic water supplies. Of the 2476 water contacts recorded, 1223 (49.4%) were identified by direct observation, 946 (38.2%) by internal interviews and 307 (12.4%) by external interviews. Significantly longer mean durations of contacts were recorded for females and greater mean percentage of body surface exposed for males (P<0.01), reflecting differences in gendered water contact activities. Direct observation identified slightly more male contacts, external interviews significantly more male contacts (P<0.006), and internal interviews moderately more female contacts. The three methods recorded mean numbers of contacts and mean TBM (total body minutes) per person, declining with age. Significant differences were found between the three methods in regard to frequency and/or intensity of washing clothes, fetching water, washing utensils, washing multiple parts of the body, and bathing. The three methods also recorded differentially frequencies and exposure intensities in the three study communities, among different age groups, by gender and for individual study members. These activity-, locality-, age/gender- and person-specific patterns reflect the relative efficiency and complementarity of the three methods in settlements with different land use, access to streams and water supplies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.actatropica.2005.08.006DOI Listing
January 2006

Identification of differentially expressed cDNA sequences in ovaries of sexual and apomictic plants of Brachiaria brizantha.

Plant Mol Biol 2003 Dec;53(6):745-57

Embrapa Genetic Resources and Biotechnology, CP: 02372, CEP: 70770-900 Brasilia-DF, Brazil.

The isolation of genes associated with apomixis would improve understanding of the molecular mechanism of this mode of reproduction in plants as well as open the possibility of transfer of apomixis to sexual plants, enabling cloning of crops through seeds. Brachiaria brizantha is a highly apomictic grass species with 274 tetraploid apomicts accessions and only one diploid sexual. In this study we have compared gene expression in ovaries at megasporogenesis and megagametogenesis of sexual and apomictic accessions of B. brizantha by differential display (DD-PCR), with 60 primer combinations. Specificity of 65 cloned fragments, checked by reverse northern blot analysis, showed that 11 clones were differentially expressed, 6 in apomictic ovaries, 2 in sexual and 3 in apomictic and sexual, but at different stages. Of the 6 sequences isolated that were preferentially expressed in the apomictic accession: one sequence was from ovaries at megasporogenesis stage; three were from megagametogenesis stage; two were from both stages. Of the two sequences isolated from the sexual accessions, one showed expression in ovaries at megagametogenesis, while the other sequence was shown to be specific to both stages. Three sequences were from megasporogenesis stage in apomicts but were also detected at megagametogenesis in sexual plants. Sequence analysis showed that 5 of the 11 clones had no apparent homologues in the protein database. Some of the clones identified as apomictic-specific shared homology with known genes enabling their functional annotation. The relationships of these functions to the generation of the apomictic trait are discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1023/B:PLAN.0000023664.21910.bdDOI Listing
December 2003