Publications by authors named "M Hidalgo"

1,015 Publications

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Intracranial arachnoid cysts and epilepsy in children: Should this be treated surgically? Our 29-year experience and review of the literature.

Neurocirugia (Astur) 2021 Apr 16. Epub 2021 Apr 16.

Department of Pediatrics, Universitary Hospital Miguel Servet, Zaragoza, Spain.

Introduction And Objective: Arachnoid cysts (ACs) are relatively frequent lesions related to different neurological symptoms, being mostly incidentally diagnosed. This study aims to clarify whether AC surgery in epileptic patients is useful in their treatment.

Material And Methods: The patients registered in the database of the Neuropediatrics Section from May 1990 to August 2019 are analyzed retrospectively. Patients in whom the diagnosis of ACs and epilepsy coincide are studied. The location, size and number of ACs, neurological development, age at diagnosis, follow-up time, the performance of surgery on the cyst, evolution, anatomical relationship between brain electrical activity and location of AC, and type of epilepsy are analyzed.

Results: After analyzing the database, we found 1881 patients diagnosed with epilepsy, of which 25 had at least one intracranial AC. In 9 of the patients, cerebral or genetic pathologies were the cause of epilepsy. Of the other 16, only 2 patients showed that the type of epilepsy and the epileptogenic focus coincided with the location of the AC; one of them was surgically treated without success, and the other one remained asymptomatic without receiving medical or surgical treatment.

Conclusions: Although it is necessary to design a prospective study to establish causality, the results of our research and the available literature suggest that there is no causal relationship between the presence of ACs and epilepsy. The study and treatment of these patients should be carried out in a multidisciplinary epilepsy surgery unit, without initially assuming that the AC is the cause of epilepsy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neucir.2021.03.003DOI Listing
April 2021

Family Functioning in Families of Adolescents with Mental Health Disorders: The Role of Parenting Alliance.

Children (Basel) 2021 Mar 13;8(3). Epub 2021 Mar 13.

Department of Developmental and Educational Psychology, Faculty of Psychology, University of Seville, 41018 Seville, Spain.

This study primarily examined the predictive role of emotional and behavioral disorders in family cohesion and the moderating role of parenting alliance. Adolescents' mental health issues are a major concern, with important implications for individuals and their families. However, the impact of mental disorders on family processes has been less widely studied. Participants in this study were 72 parents of adolescent beneficiaries of mental health services. Questionnaires assessed family cohesion, parenting alliance, and sociodemographic factors. Results indicated that emotional and behavioral disorders did not have an influence on family cohesion. They also suggested that parenting alliance may be a protective factor for family cohesion. This paper highlights the role of parenting alliance as a potential protective factor in positive family processes. These findings support the importance of focusing on the parental subsystem in therapy, and the need to incorporate a positive parenting perspective when working with these families.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/children8030222DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8001528PMC
March 2021

Metabolic Reprogramming and Inflammatory Response Induced by D-Lactate in Bovine Fibroblast-Like Synoviocytes Depends on HIF-1 Activity.

Front Vet Sci 2021 16;8:625347. Epub 2021 Mar 16.

Laboratory of Inflammation Pharmacology, Faculty of Veterinary Sciences, Institute of Pharmacology and Morphophysiology, Universidad Austral de Chile, Valdivia, Chile.

Acute ruminal acidosis (ARA) occurs after an excessive intake of rapidly fermentable carbohydrates and is characterized by the overproduction of D-lactate in the rumen that reaches the bloodstream. Lameness presentation, one of the primary consequences of ARA in cattle, is associated with the occurrence of laminitis and aseptic polysynovitis. Fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLS) are predominant cells of synovia and play a key role in the pathophysiology of joint diseases, thus increasing the chances of the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Increased D-lactate levels and disturbances in the metabolism of carbohydrates, pyruvates, and amino acids are observed in the synovial fluid of heifers with ARA-related polysynovitis prior to neutrophil infiltration, suggesting an early involvement of metabolic disturbances in joint inflammation. We hypothesized that D-lactate induces metabolic reprogramming, along with an inflammatory response, in bovine exposed FLS. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS)-based metabolomics revealed that D-lactate disrupts the metabolism of bovine FLS, mainly enhancing glycolysis and gluconeogenesis, pyruvate metabolism, and galactose metabolism. The reverse-transcription quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) analysis revealed an increased expression of metabolic-related genes, including hypoxia-inducible factor 1 (HIF-1)α, glucose transporter 1 (Glut-1), L-lactate dehydrogenase subunit A (L-LDHA), and pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase 1 (PDK-1). Along with metabolic disturbances, D-lactate also induced an overexpression and the secretion of IL-6. Furthermore, the inhibition of HIF-1, PI3K/Akt, and NF-κB reduced the expression of IL-6 and metabolic-related genes. The results of this study reveal a potential role for D-lactate in bFLS metabolic reprogramming and support a close relationship between inflammation and metabolism in cattle.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fvets.2021.625347DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8007789PMC
March 2021

A Uniquely Targeted, Mobile App-Based HIV Prevention Intervention for Young Transgender Women: Adaptation and Usability Study.

J Med Internet Res 2021 Mar 31;23(3):e21839. Epub 2021 Mar 31.

Fenway Institute, Boston, MA, United States.

Background: Young transgender women (YTW) are a key population for HIV-related risk reduction, yet very few interventions have been developed to meet their needs. Mobile health interventions with the potential for both efficacy and wide reach are a promising strategy to reduce HIV risk among YTW.

Objective: This study aims to adapt an efficacious group-based intervention to a mobile app, Project LifeSkills, to reduce HIV risk among YTW, and to test its acceptability and usability.

Methods: The group-based intervention was adapted to a mobile app, LifeSkills Mobile, with input from an expert advisory group and feedback from YTW collected during user-centered design sessions. A beta version of the app was then tested in a usability evaluation using a think-aloud protocol with debriefing interviews, recordings of screen activity, and assessments of usability via the Post-Study System Usability Questionnaire (PSSUQ) and the Health Information Technology Usability Evaluation Scale (Health-ITUES).

Results: YTW (n=8; age: mean 24 years, SD 3 years; racial or ethnic minority: 7/8, 88%) provided feedback on the app prototype in design sessions and then tested a beta version of the app in a usability trial (n=10; age: mean 24 years, SD 3 years; racial or ethnic minority: 8/10, 80%). Both usability ratings (Health-ITUES: mean 4.59, SD 0.86; scale range: 1-5) and ratings for satisfaction and accessibility (PSSUQ: mean 4.64, SD 0.90; scale range 1-5) were in the good to excellent range. No functional bugs were identified, and all mobile activities were deployed as expected. Participant feedback from the usability interviews indicated very good salience of the intervention content among the focal population. Participants' suggestions to further increase app engagement included adding animation, adding audio, and reducing the amount text.

Conclusions: We conclude that the LifeSkills Mobile app is a highly usable and engaging mobile app for HIV prevention among YTW.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2196/21839DOI Listing
March 2021

Hepatic steatosis and steatohepatitis: a functional meta-analysis of sex-based differences in transcriptomic studies.

Biol Sex Differ 2021 Mar 25;12(1):29. Epub 2021 Mar 25.

Bioinformatics and Biostatistics Unit, Principe Felipe Research Center, Valencia, Spain.

Background: Previous studies have described sex-based differences in the epidemiological and clinical patterns of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD); however, we understand relatively little regarding the underlying molecular mechanisms. Herein, we present the first systematic review and meta-analysis of NAFLD transcriptomic studies to identify sex-based differences in the molecular mechanisms involved during the steatosis (NAFL) and steatohepatitis (NASH) stages of the disease.

Methods: Transcriptomic studies in the Gene Expression Omnibus database were systematically reviewed following the PRISMA statement guidelines. For each study, NAFL and NASH in premenopausal women and men were compared using a dual strategy: gene-set analysis and pathway activity analysis. Finally, the functional results of all studies were integrated into a meta-analysis.

Results: We reviewed a total of 114 abstracts and analyzed seven studies that included 323 eligible patients. The meta-analyses identified significantly altered molecular mechanisms between premenopausal women and men, including the overrepresentation of genes associated with DNA regulation, vinculin binding, interleukin-2 responses, negative regulation of neuronal death, and the transport of ions and cations in premenopausal women. In men, we discovered the overrepresentation of genes associated with the negative regulation of interleukin-6 and the establishment of planar polarity involved in neural tube closure.

Conclusions: Our meta-analysis of transcriptomic data provides a powerful approach to identify sex-based differences in NAFLD. We detected differences in relevant biological functions and molecular terms between premenopausal women and men. Differences in immune responsiveness between men and premenopausal women with NAFLD suggest that women possess a more immune tolerant milieu, while men display an impaired liver regenerative response.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13293-021-00368-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7995602PMC
March 2021

Seroprevalence and Genotypic Analysis of Ehrlichia canis Infection in Dogs and Humans in Cauca, Colombia.

Am J Trop Med Hyg 2021 Mar 22. Epub 2021 Mar 22.

2Department of Pathology, University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, Galveston, Texas.

Ehrlichia canis infections have been reported in humans in Venezuela and Costa Rica. In this study, 506 healthy residents and 114 dogs from four municipalities (Cauca, Colombia) were surveyed and blood samples collected. Antibodies to E. canis in human and canine sera were evaluated using the Tandem repeat protein 19 (TRP19) peptide ELISA and indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA). Ehrlichia canis TRP19 antibodies were detected in only 1/506 human sera, but the single positive sample was negative by IFA. The majority (75/114; 66%) of dogs surveyed had antibodies to the E. canis TRP19 peptide by ELISA, and eight randomly selected sera were further confirmed by E. canis IFA. Genomic DNA samples obtained from 73 E. canis TRP19 ELISA-positive dog blood samples were examined by PCR targeting the 16S rRNA gene. Ehrlichia canis 16S rRNA was amplified in 30 (41%) of the dogs, and 16 amplicons were selected for DNA sequencing, which confirmed that all were E. canis. A second PCR was performed on the 16 confirmed E. canis 16S rRNA PCR-positive samples to determine the TRP36 genotype by amplifying the trp36 gene. TRP36 PCR amplicon sequencing identified nine dogs infected with the U.S. E. canis TRP36 genotype (56%), one dog with the Brazilian genotype (6%), and six dogs with the Costa Rican genotype (38%). Moreover, these molecular genotype signatures were consistent with serologic analysis using TRP36 genotype-specific peptides. Notably, there was no serologic evidence of E. canis infection in humans, suggesting that E. canis infection in dogs in Cauca is not associated with zoonotic human infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4269/ajtmh.20-0965DOI Listing
March 2021

Elevated levels of mitochondrial CoQ induce ROS-mediated apoptosis in pancreatic cancer.

Sci Rep 2021 Mar 11;11(1):5749. Epub 2021 Mar 11.

BERG LLC, 500 Old Connecticut Path, Bldg B, 3rd Floor, Framingham, MA, 01710, USA.

Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are implicated in triggering cell signalling events and pathways to promote and maintain tumorigenicity. Chemotherapy and radiation can induce ROS to elicit cell death allows for targeting ROS pathways for effective anti-cancer therapeutics. Coenzyme Q is a critical cofactor in the electron transport chain with complex biological functions that extend beyond mitochondrial respiration. This study demonstrates that delivery of oxidized Coenzyme Q (ubidecarenone) to increase mitochondrial Q-pool is associated with an increase in ROS generation, effectuating anti-cancer effects in a pancreatic cancer model. Consequent activation of cell death was observed in vitro in pancreatic cancer cells, and both human patient-derived organoids and tumour xenografts. The study is a first to demonstrate the effectiveness of oxidized ubidecarenone in targeting mitochondrial function resulting in an anti-cancer effect. Furthermore, these findings support the clinical development of proprietary formulation, BPM31510, for treatment of cancers with high ROS burden with potential sensitivity to ubidecarenone.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-84852-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7952582PMC
March 2021

Bolivian hemorrhagic fever: A narrative review.

Travel Med Infect Dis 2021 Mar-Apr;40:102001. Epub 2021 Feb 25.

Grupo de Enfermedades Infecciosas, Departamento de Microbiología, Facultad de Ciencias, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Bogotá, Colombia.

Bolivian hemorrhagic fever (BHF) is a sporadic high-mortality febrile illness. Two etiological agents are currently recognized: Machupo virus and Chapare virus. Infection in humans occurs by exposure to excreta and secretions of wild native rodents in Bolivia. BHF is considered a severe disease that has three clinical phases: prodromal, hemorrhagic, and convalescent. Unspecific symptoms occur during the first phase, severe hemorrhagic manifestations occur during the second phase, and finally patients who survive experience a slow convalescent phase. The incubation period is variable and depends on host factors, viral pathogenicity, and severity of the disease. The diagnosis is primarily clinical and epidemiological, and though diagnosis should be confirmed by laboratory tests, viral agents of BHF are considered very pathogenic and need to be handled in reference laboratories that are not available in endemic areas. The most recent outbreak was in 2019, in which health-care professionals were infected and is recognized as the first outbreak in La Paz department, Bolivia, a place where no prior cases had been reported. In addition, as tourism and travelling increase in Bolivia, along with ecological practices that could represent a risk for acquiring BHF, travelers could be infected, develop the disease, and be a diagnostic challenge in non endemic countries. No vaccines or antiviral therapies are available and approved for human use. Control measures are focused on peridomicile rodent population eradication which demonstrated efficacy in reducing cases during the first outbreaks.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tmaid.2021.102001DOI Listing
February 2021

Stronger Together: Results from a Randomized Controlled Efficacy Trial of a Dyadic Intervention to Improve Engagement in HIV Care Among Serodiscordant Male Couples in Three US Cities.

AIDS Behav 2021 Feb 25. Epub 2021 Feb 25.

Center for LGBTQ Advocacy, Research, and Health, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, USA.

Engagement in HIV care and a high level of antiretroviral therapy (ART) adherence for people living with HIV is crucial to treatment success and can minimize the population burden of the disease. Despite this, there is a critical gap in HIV prevention science around the development of interventions for serodiscordant male couples. This paper reports on the results of a randomized controlled trial to assess the efficacy of Stronger Together, a dyadic counseling intervention aimed at increasing engagement in and optimizing HIV care among serodiscordant male couples in Atlanta, GA, Boston, MA, and Chicago, IL. Between 2014 and 2017, 159 male serodiscordant couples (total N = 318) in Atlanta, GA, Boston, MA, and Chicago, IL were enrolled and equally randomized to either the Stronger Together intervention arm (a three-session dyadic intervention involving HIV testing and adherence counseling) or a standard of care (SOC) control arm. Couples completed individual study assessments via an audio computer assisted self-interviewing (ACASI) system at baseline, 6, 12 and 18 months. Primary outcomes included being prescribed and currently taking ART, and fewer missed doses of ART in the past 30 days; because the trial was not powered to examine viral suppression, we examined this as an exploratory outcome. Longitudinal data analysis was by an intention-to-treat approach. Participants ages ranged from 18 to 69 (mean = 35.9), and are predominantly white (77.5%), and college educated (68.4% earned a college degree or higher). Participants randomized to the Stronger Together arm had a significantly greater odds of being prescribed and currently taking ART over time than those in the SOC arm (at 12 months OR 2.75, 95%CI 1.35-4.67, p-value 0.020, and at 18 months OR 2.91, 95%CI 1.61-4.88, p-value 0.013). Similarly, those in the Stronger Together arm had a significantly lower odds of missing a dose of ART in the past 30 days over time compared to those in the SOC arm (at 12 months OR 0.28, 95%CI 0.09-0.81, p-value 0.019, and at 18 months OR 0.25, 95%CI 0.07-0.82, p-value 0.023). Among male couples in serodiscordant relationships, the Stronger Together intervention resulted in significantly improved HIV treatment outcomes at both 12 and 18 months of follow-up. This trial is the first to date to demonstrate evidence of efficacy for a dyadic counseling intervention and has the potential to fill a critical gap in secondary HIV prevention interventions for serodiscordant male couples.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10461-021-03199-8DOI Listing
February 2021

Cryo-banking of human spermatozoa by aseptic cryoprotectants-free vitrification in liquid air: Positive effect of elevated warming temperature.

Cell Tissue Bank 2021 Feb 19. Epub 2021 Feb 19.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Medical Faculty, Cologne University, 50931, Cologne, Germany.

Cryoprotectant-free vitrification is a common method for spermatozoa cryopreservation by direct plunging into liquid nitrogen. However, the commercial liquid nitrogen could be potentially contaminated by microorganisms. Warming temperature plays an essential role for quality of human spermatozoa after vitrification. This study aimed to evaluate comparatively a quality spermatozoa after vitrification in liquid nitrogen and clean liquid air as well as with two warming rates: at 42 °C and 45 °C. After performing of routine swim-up of normozoospermia samples, spermatozoa from the same ejaculate were divided into two groups: vitrified in liquid nitrogen (LN) and sterile liquid air (LA). Spermatozoa of LN group were warmed at 42 °C, and spermatozoa of LA groups were divided and warmed at 42 °C (LA42) and 45 °C (LA45). Then spermatozoa motility, reactive oxygen species (ROS), mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP), reactive nitrogen species (RNS), and viability were assessed. It was no found significant differences in quality of spermatozoa from LN and LA groups in the motility, ROS, MMP, RNS rates after warming at 42 °C. A tendency to obtain better spermatozoa quality was found with using of warming by 42 °C in comparison with 45 °C. It was concluded that cryoprotectant-free vitrification by direct dropping of human spermatozoa into clean liquid air can be used as an alternative to cooling in liquid nitrogen. Warming of spermatozoa at 42 °C allows to preserve the spermatozoa physiological parameters.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10561-021-09904-0DOI Listing
February 2021

Sucralose Stimulates Mitochondrial Bioenergetics in Caco-2 Cells.

Front Nutr 2020 18;7:585484. Epub 2021 Jan 18.

Advanced Center for Chronic Diseases, Universidad de Chile, Santiago, Chile.

Sucralose is a non-caloric artificial sweetener widely used in processed foods that reportedly affects energy homeostasis through partially understood mechanisms. Mitochondria are organelles fundamental for cellular bioenergetics that are closely related to the development of metabolic diseases. Here, we addressed whether sucralose alters mitochondrial bioenergetics in the enterocyte cell line Caco-2. Sucralose exposure (0.5-50 mM for 3-24 h) increased cellular reductive power assessed through MTT assay, suggesting enhanced bioenergetics. Low doses of sucralose (0.5 and 5 mM) for 3 h stimulated mitochondrial respiration, measured through oxygraphy, and elevated mitochondrial transmembrane potential and cytoplasmic Ca, evaluated by fluorescence microscopy. Contrary to other cell types, the increase in mitochondrial respiration was insensitive to inhibition of mitochondrial Ca uptake. These findings suggest that sucralose alters enterocyte energy homeostasis, contributing to its effects on organismal metabolism.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnut.2020.585484DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7848014PMC
January 2021

Functional Signatures in Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Sex-Based Differences in Transcriptomic Studies.

Cancers (Basel) 2021 Jan 5;13(1). Epub 2021 Jan 5.

Bioinformatics and Biostatistics Unit, Principe Felipe Research Center (CIPF), 46012 Valencia, Spain.

While studies have established the existence of differences in the epidemiological and clinical patterns of lung adenocarcinoma between male and female patients, we know relatively little regarding the molecular mechanisms underlying such sex-based differences. In this study, we explore said differences through a meta-analysis of transcriptomic data. We performed a meta-analysis of the functional profiling of nine public datasets that included 1366 samples from Gene Expression Omnibus and The Cancer Genome Atlas databases. Meta-analysis results from data merged, normalized, and corrected for batch effect show an enrichment for Gene Ontology terms and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes pathways related to the immune response, nucleic acid metabolism, and purinergic signaling. We discovered the overrepresentation of terms associated with the immune response, particularly with the acute inflammatory response, and purinergic signaling in female lung adenocarcinoma patients, which could influence reported clinical differences. Further evaluations of the identified differential biological processes and pathways could lead to the discovery of new biomarkers and therapeutic targets. Our findings also emphasize the relevance of sex-specific analyses in biomedicine, which represents a crucial aspect influencing biological variability in disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers13010143DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7796260PMC
January 2021

A multilayered post-GWAS assessment on genetic susceptibility to pancreatic cancer.

Genome Med 2021 Feb 1;13(1):15. Epub 2021 Feb 1.

Genetic and Molecular Epidemiology Group, Spanish National Cancer Research Center (CNIO), C/Melchor Fernandez Almagro 3, 28029, Madrid, Spain.

Background: Pancreatic cancer (PC) is a complex disease in which both non-genetic and genetic factors interplay. To date, 40 GWAS hits have been associated with PC risk in individuals of European descent, explaining 4.1% of the phenotypic variance.

Methods: We complemented a new conventional PC GWAS (1D) with genome spatial autocorrelation analysis (2D) permitting to prioritize low frequency variants not detected by GWAS. These were further expanded via Hi-C map (3D) interactions to gain additional insight into the inherited basis of PC. In silico functional analysis of public genomic information allowed prioritization of potentially relevant candidate variants.

Results: We identified several new variants located in genes for which there is experimental evidence of their implication in the biology and function of pancreatic acinar cells. Among them is a novel independent variant in NR5A2 (rs3790840) with a meta-analysis p value = 5.91E-06 in 1D approach and a Local Moran's Index (LMI) = 7.76 in 2D approach. We also identified a multi-hit region in CASC8-a lncRNA associated with pancreatic carcinogenesis-with a lowest p value = 6.91E-05. Importantly, two new PC loci were identified both by 2D and 3D approaches: SIAH3 (LMI = 18.24), CTRB2/BCAR1 (LMI = 6.03), in addition to a chromatin interacting region in XBP1-a major regulator of the ER stress and unfolded protein responses in acinar cells-identified by 3D; all of them with a strong in silico functional support.

Conclusions: This multi-step strategy, combined with an in-depth in silico functional analysis, offers a comprehensive approach to advance the study of PC genetic susceptibility and could be applied to other diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13073-020-00816-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7849104PMC
February 2021

First pregnancies in jennies with vitrified donkey semen using a new warming method.

Animal 2021 Jan 13;15(1):100097. Epub 2020 Dec 13.

Veterinary Reproduction Group, Department of Animal Medicine and Surgery, University of Cordoba, 14071 Cordoba, Spain. Electronic address:

Sperm vitrification has been recently developed, but fertility trials have not been performed yet in equine species. In this study, a new warming technique for vitrified donkey semen was developed and the uterine inflammatory response and fertility were compared to conventional freezing. In Experiment 1, sperm was vitrified in straws and warmed in 3 ml of extender or in a water bath at: 37 °C/30 s; 43 °C/10 s; and 60 °C/5 s. Sperm motility, plasma and acrosome membranes and DNA integrity were compared between treatments. In Experiment 2, jennies were inseminated twice (500 × 10 sperm) in the uterine body either with vitrified or frozen semen (2 cycles/jenny). Pregnancy rates and the uterine inflammatory response (polymorphonuclear neutrophil concentration; PMN) were evaluated after artificial insemination (AI). No differences between warming in extender/water bath were found and 43 °C/10 s was better than lower temperatures in terms of total (53.8 ± 13.2%) and progressive sperm motility (41.4 ± 11.4%). No differences in PMN concentration (×10 PMN/ml) were found between vitrified (276.8 ± 171.6) or frozen (309.7 ± 250.7) semen after AI. However, PMN decreased faster (P < 0.05) using vitrified semen. Pregnancy rates were greater for vitrified (22%) than frozen semen (10%) but not statistically different. In conclusion, donkey sperm vitrified in straws could be directly warmed in a water bath at 43 °C/10 s, reducing the uterine inflammatory response obtained after AI and promoting positive pregnancy outcomes. These findings confirm the possibility to use vitrified semen as an alternative for AI in jennies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.animal.2020.100097DOI Listing
January 2021

The Revised Mood Rhythm Instrument: A Large Multicultural Psychometric Study.

J Clin Med 2021 Jan 20;10(3). Epub 2021 Jan 20.

Laboratório de Cronobiologia e Sono do Hospital de Clínicas de Porto Alegre, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre 90040-060, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.

Background: Recent studies with the mood rhythm instrument (MRhI) have shown that the presence of recurrent daily peaks in specific mood symptoms are significantly associated with increased risk of psychiatric disorders. Using a large sample collected in Brazil, Spain, and Canada, we aimed to analyze which MRhI items maintained good psychometric properties across cultures. As a secondary aim, we used network analysis to visualize the strength of the association between the MRhI items.

Methods: Adults ( = 1275) between 18-60 years old from Spain ( = 458), Brazil ( = 415), and Canada ( = 401) completed the MRhI and the self-reporting questionnaire (SRQ-20). Psychometric analyses followed three steps: Factor analysis, item response theory, and network analysis.

Results: The factor analysis indicated the retention of three factors that grouped the MRhI items into cognitive, somatic, and affective domains. The item response theory analysis suggested the exclusion of items that displayed a significant divergence in difficulty measures between countries. Finally, the network analysis revealed a structure where sleepiness plays a central role in connecting the three domains. These psychometric analyses enabled a psychometric-based refinement of the MRhI, where the 11 items with good properties across cultures were kept in a shorter, revised MRhI version (MRhI-r).

Limitations: Participants were mainly university students and, as we did not conduct a formal clinical assessment, any potential correlations (beyond the validated SRQ) cannot be ascertained.

Conclusions: The MRhI-r is a novel tool to investigate self-perceived rhythmicity of mood-related symptoms and behaviors, with good psychometric properties across multiple cultures.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/jcm10030388DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7864209PMC
January 2021

Reply to K. de Joode et al.

J Clin Oncol 2021 Mar 26;39(9):1093-1094. Epub 2021 Jan 26.

Gagandeep Brar, MD, Division of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Department of Medicine, Weill Cornell Medicine/New-York Presbyterian, New York, NY; Laura C. Pinheiro, PhD, MPH, Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, Weill Cornell Medicine/New-York Presbyterian, New York, NY; and Manuel Hidalgo, MD, PhD, and Manish A. Shah, MD, Division of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Department of Medicine, Weill Cornell Medicine/New-York Presbyterian, New York, NY.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.20.03530DOI Listing
March 2021

Mechanistic modeling of the SARS-CoV-2 disease map.

BioData Min 2021 Jan 21;14(1). Epub 2021 Jan 21.

Bioinformatics Area, Fundación Progreso y Salud (FPS), Hospital Virgen del Rocío, Sevilla, Spain.

Here we present a web interface that implements a comprehensive mechanistic model of the SARS-CoV-2 disease map. In this framework, the detailed activity of the human signaling circuits related to the viral infection, covering from the entry and replication mechanisms to the downstream consequences as inflammation and antigenic response, can be inferred from gene expression experiments. Moreover, the effect of potential interventions, such as knock-downs, or drug effects (currently the system models the effect of more than 8000 DrugBank drugs) can be studied. This freely available tool not only provides an unprecedentedly detailed view of the mechanisms of viral invasion and the consequences in the cell but has also the potential of becoming an invaluable asset in the search for efficient antiviral treatments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13040-021-00234-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7817765PMC
January 2021

Young Transgender Women Survivors of Intimate Partner Violence: A Latent Class Analysis of Protective Processes.

Psychol Sex Orientat Gend Divers 2020 Dec 23;7(4):386-395. Epub 2020 Mar 23.

Division of Adolescent Medicine, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago,Chicago, Illinois.

Research is critically needed to understand protective processes that may lessen the impact of intimate partner violence (IPV) on negative outcomes for transgender individuals. The current study utilized a latent class analysis to identify combinations of protective processes (i.e., collective self-esteem and social support) in relation to internalizing mental health symptoms among young transgender women (YTW) survivors of IPV. Data from Project LifeSkills (2012-2015), a multisite trial for HIV sexual risk reduction intervention, were used for the present study. A subsample of 78 YTW (ages 16 to 29) who were IPV survivors (i.e., indicated lifetime IPV) were included in the analyses. Participants completed measures of general social support, perceived social support from their mother and friends, and collective self-esteem, as well as mental health symptoms. Three latent classes emerged: 1) YTW who perceived high levels of social support and collective self-esteem (48%), 2) YTW who perceived low levels of collective self-esteem, but average to high levels of social support from mother and friends (23%), and 3) YTW who perceived low levels of collective self-esteem and low to average levels of social support from mother and friends (29%). YTW in the overall low class had significantly higher levels of depressive, anxiety, and somatization symptoms, compared to the other two classes. These findings highlight how low levels of social support and collective self-esteem can place YTW survivors of IPV at significant risk for experiencing negative internalizing mental health symptoms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/sgd0000379DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7781223PMC
December 2020

Antimicrobial activity of silver-carbon nanoparticles on the bacterial flora of bull semen.

Theriogenology 2021 Feb 10;161:219-227. Epub 2020 Dec 10.

Veterinary Reproduction Group, Department of Animal Medicine and Surgery, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Cordoba, 14071, Cordoba, Spain. Electronic address:

The spermicidal effects of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) hinder its application in the field of artificial insemination. In this study, silver-carbon NPs (Ag@C NPs) was synthesized and applied as an alternative antibiotic agent for bull semen extender. Ag@C NPs were characterized using X-ray diffraction (XRD), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), atomic absorption flame spectroscopy, transmission electron microscope (TEM), and high-resolution TEM (HR-TEM). Data analysis revealed the successful synthesis of Ag@C NPs with a particle size of 1-5 nm (average particle size of 2.5 nm) embedded into carbon. The antimicrobial activity of Ag@C NPs was tested against bacteriospermia of fresh semen collected from five fertile bulls (three ejaculates/bull). Escherichia coli (E. Coli), Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus), and Pseudomonas aeruginosa (P. aeruginosa) were isolated from fresh semen samples and identified by culture, staining, and conventional biochemical tests. The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC) of Ag@C NPs against bacteriospermia was determined at 5 and 37 °C. Ag@C NPs showed efficient antimicrobial activity (MIC: 3.125-12.5 μg/mL) against the tested strains and strong bactericidal effect on S. aureus, and P. aeruginosa (MBC: 3.125 μg/mL), with no detrimental effect (P ˃ 0.05) on the percentage of sperm motility (70.71 ± 4.82; 74.65 ± 4.46), plasma membrane integrity (68.39 ± 4.31; 72.38 ± 4.91), acrosome integrity (88.40 ± 13.21; 86.77 ± 14.23), and normal sperm morphology (86.85 ± 7.43; 87.82 ± 8.15) at concentrations of 15 and 30 μg/mL, respectively, after a cold storage of 48 h. However, Ag@C NPs showed a detrimental effect on sperm parameters in a dose dependent manner at concentrations ≥60 μg/mL. Ag@C NPs showed no adverse effect on the sperm's ultrastructure with limited sperm internalization at MIC. In conclusion, Ag@C NPs could be used as an alternative antibiotic agent for bull semen extender without a significant cytotoxic effect on the sperm during cold storage. However, further investigations for their effects on embryo production and female genitalia are still required.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.theriogenology.2020.12.006DOI Listing
February 2021

Vanucizumab mode of action: Serial biomarkers in plasma, tumor, and skin-wound-healing biopsies.

Transl Oncol 2021 Feb 15;14(2):100984. Epub 2020 Dec 15.

Roche Innovation Center Munich, Nonnenwald 2, 82377 Penzberg, Germany. Electronic address:

Vanucizumab is a novel bispecific antibody inhibiting vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF-A) and angiopoietin-2 (Ang-2) that demonstrated safety and anti-tumor activity in part I of a phase I study of 42 patients with advanced solid tumors. Part II evaluated the pharmacodynamic effects of vanucizumab 30 or 15 mg/kg every 2 weeks in 32 patients. Serial plasma samples, paired tumor, and skin-wound-healing biopsies were taken over 29 days to evaluate angiogenic markers. Vanucizumab was associated with marked post-infusion reductions in circulating unbound VEGF-A and Ang-2. By day 29, tumor samples revealed mean reductions in density of microvessels (-32.2%), proliferating vessels (-47.9%) and Ang-2 positive vessels (-62.5%). Skin biopsies showed a mean reduction in density of microvessels (-49.0%) and proliferating vessels (-25.7%). Gene expression profiling of tumor samples implied recruitment and potential activation of lymphocytes. Biopsies were safely conducted. Vanucizumab demonstrated a consistent biological effect on vascular-related biomarkers, confirming proof of concept. Skin-wound-healing biopsies were a valuable surrogate for studying angiogenesis-related mechanisms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tranon.2020.100984DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7749407PMC
February 2021

Evaluation of Thin Film Microextraction for trace elemental analysis of liquid samples using LIBS detection.

Talanta 2021 Feb 5;223(Pt 2):121736. Epub 2020 Oct 5.

Department of Analytical Chemistry and Food Sciences and University Materials Institute, University of Alicante, E-03690, Alicante, Spain. Electronic address:

An analytical methodology based in the combination of Thin Film Microextraction with Laser-induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (TFME-LIBS) was investigated, for the first time, for detection of Cu, Cr, Ni and Pb in aqueous solutions. In this methodology, the analytes were extracted in a thin film of adsorbent material deposited on a solid support, which was introduced in the sample to analyse. After extraction, the analytes retained in the adsorbent were analysed by LIBS. In order to obtain adsorbent films useful for the microextraction step, two different experimental procedures for film generation, denoted as Drop Casting Deposition and Mould Deposition, were evaluated. In both cases, graphene oxide was used as adsorbent material. The mould deposition procedure was found to produce more homogeneous graphene oxide layers, leading to more uniform distribution of the adsorbed analytes on the graphene oxide surface. Experimental parameters affecting the TFME procedure, such as the adsorbent amount and extraction time, were studied. Under optimum microextraction conditions, the analytical figures of merit of the proposed TFME-LIBS method were evaluated, leading to limits of detection ranging from 41 μg kg and 52 μg kg. Method trueness, evaluated from the analysis of a real sample of bottle water, led to recovery values about 70%, indicating the existence of strong matrix effects probably due to the presence of major cations in the bottle water. After 50% dilution of the sample with deionized water, recoveries values improved to 100%-108%.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.talanta.2020.121736DOI Listing
February 2021

Maternal health among Venezuelan women migrants at the border of Brazil.

BMC Public Health 2020 Nov 23;20(1):1771. Epub 2020 Nov 23.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Campinas (UNICAMP), Caixa Postal 6181, Campinas, SP, 13084-971, Brazil.

Background: Guaranteeing the sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) of populations living in fragile and humanitarian settings is essential and constitutes a basic human right. Compounded by the inherent vulnerabilities of women in crises, substantial complications are directly associated with increased risks of poor SRHR outcomes for displaced populations. The migration of Venezuelans, displaced due to current economic circumstances, is one of the largest in Latin America's history. This study aims to provide an overview of the sexual and reproductive health (SRH) issues affecting migrant Venezuelan women in the state of Roraima, Brazil.

Methods: Face-to-face interviews were conducted from 24 to 30 November 2019. Data collection covered various issues involving access to and use of SRH services by 405 migrant Venezuelan women aged 18-49 years. The Minimum Initial Service Package readiness assessment tools, available from the Inter-Agency Working Group on Reproductive Health in Crises, were used in the data collection.

Results: Most commonly, the women reported unmet family planning needs. Of these, a significant proportion reported being unable to obtain contraceptive methods, particularly long-acting reversible contraceptives, either due to the woman's inability to access them or their unavailability at healthcare centres. Although a significant proportion of women were largely satisfied with the attention received at the maternity hospital, both before and during childbirth, 24.0% of pregnant or postpartum women failed to receive any prenatal or postnatal care.

Conclusion: Meeting the essential SRHR needs of migrant Venezuelan women in Roraima, Brazil is a challenge that has yet to be fully addressed. Given the size of this migrant population, the Brazilian healthcare system has failed to adapt sufficiently to meet their needs; however, problems with healthcare provision are similar for migrants and Brazilian citizens. Efforts need to be encouraged not only in governmental health sectors, but also with academic, non-governmental and international organisations, including a coordinated approach to ensure a comprehensive SRHR response. Given the current high risks associated with the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, meeting the SRHR needs of migrant populations has become more critical than ever.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12889-020-09912-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7682772PMC
November 2020

The Psychological Consequences of COVID-19 and Lockdown in the Spanish Population: An Exploratory Sequential Design.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2020 11 19;17(22). Epub 2020 Nov 19.

Department of Social Psychology and Quantitative Psychology, Faculty of Psychology, University of Barcelona, 08035 Barcelona, Spain.

The objectives of this study were to analyze the psychological impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown in the Spanish population and to identify what population profiles were most affected. The study used a sequential exploratory design. In the qualitative phase, 40 participants were recruited based on theoretically relevant criteria and the saturation of the information provided by the interviews. In the quantitative phase, a large representative sample was applied. The universe considered was the adult population of Spain. A total of 6789 surveys were conducted. Both the analysis of the narratives of the interviews and the responses to the panel survey showed relevant changes in attitudes and mood swings compared to the period prior to lockdown. These changes include dysphoric moods (i.e., experiences of distress such as sadness/depression, anxiety, rage, feeling of unreality, worry, etc.) and also some euphoric moods (i.e., feelings of well-being, happiness, etc.). A higher number of women were affected than men and a greater increase was observed in younger people. The findings of the study may serve as a basis for detecting needs and providing psychological support, as the symptoms detected as the most common are key for the processes of screening at-risk individuals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17228578DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7699190PMC
November 2020

Comparison of sperm selection techniques in donkeys: motile subpopulations from a practical point of view.

Anim Reprod 2019 Oct 23;16(2):282-289. Epub 2019 Oct 23.

Veterinary Reproduction Group, Department of Medicine and Animal Surgery, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Cordoba, Cordoba, Spain.

The aim of this study was to compare the post-thaw distribution of motile sperm subpopulations, following simple or colloid centrifugation. A new analysis was used to evaluate the available number of sperm from each subpopulation after each centrifugation protocol. Frozen/thawed semen samples were divided into the following after-thawing treatments: uncentrifuged control (UDC), sperm washing (SW) and two colloid centrifugation procedures (Equipure, SLC-E, and Androcoll, SLC-A). Percentage of total and progressive motility (TM and PM), as well as sperm motility kinematics, distribution of motile sperm subpopulations, and recovery rates, were statistically compared among treatments. The SLC treatments showed higher (P < 0.001) TM and PM than UDC and SW. Following each SLC procedure, different percentages of the subpopulation with the most vigorous and progressive sperm (sP4) were obtained. SLC-A recovered a larger number of sperm belonging to sP4 than SLC-E, but not significantly higher than SW. From a practical point of view, sperm washing, the standard centrifugation procedure for equine semen processing, recovered the same amount of fast and progressive sperm as colloid centrifugation, apparently the best treatment according to traditional analysis. In conclusion, samples processed by SLC have higher motility percentages than SW and UDC but, after combining the available number of sperm, SLC and SW techniques are equally efficient in recovering sperm from the most vigorous, fast and progressive motile subpopulation (sP4).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21451/1984-3143-AR2018-0133DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7673585PMC
October 2019

D-Lactate Increases Cytokine Production in Bovine Fibroblast-Like Synoviocytes via MCT1 Uptake and the MAPK, PI3K/Akt, and NFκB Pathways.

Animals (Basel) 2020 Nov 13;10(11). Epub 2020 Nov 13.

Laboratory of Inflammation Pharmacology, Faculty of Veterinary Science, Institute of Pharmacology and Morphophysiology, Universidad Austral de Chile, Valdivia 5090000, Chile.

Acute ruminal acidosis (ARA) is caused by the excessive intake of highly fermentable carbohydrates, followed by the massive production of D-lactate and the appearance of neutrophilic aseptic polysynovitis. Bovines with ARA develop different lesions, such as ruminitis, polioencephalomalacia (calves), liver abscess and lameness. Lameness in cattle with ARA is closely associated with the presence of laminitis and polysynovitis. However, despite decades of research in bovine lameness as consequence of ruminal acidosis, the aetiology and pathogenesis remain unclear. Fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLSs) are components of synovial tissue, and under pathological conditions, FLSs increase cytokine production, aggravating inflammatory responses. We hypothesized that D-lactate could induce cytokine production in bovine FLSs. Analysis by qRT-PCR and ELISA revealed that D-lactate, but not L-lactate, increased the expression of IL-6 and IL-8 in a monocarboxylate transporter-1-dependent manner. In addition, we observed that the inhibition of the p38, ERK1/2, PI3K/Akt, and NF-κB pathways reduced the production of IL-8 and IL-6. In conclusion, our results suggest that D-lactate induces an inflammatory response; this study contributes to the literature by revealing a potential key role of D-lactate in the polysynovitis of cattle with ARA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ani10112105DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7698040PMC
November 2020

Flea-borne Rickettsia species in fleas, Caldas department, Colombia.

J Infect Dev Ctries 2020 10 31;14(10):1155-1163. Epub 2020 Oct 31.

Grupo de Enfermedades Infecciosas, Facultad de Ciencias, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Bogotá D.C., Colombia.

Introduction: Rickettsioses are zoonotic diseases caused by pathogenic bacteria of the genus Rickettsia and transmitted to man by means of arthropod vectors such as ticks, fleas, mites and lice. Historically, Caldas Department has reported a significant number of cases of murine typhus to the Colombian national health surveillance system, and consequent studies of flea-borne rickettsiosis identified the circulation of Rickettsia typhi and Rickettsia felis in multiple municipalities. Our aim was to genotype species of Rickettsia detected in fleas collected from domestic and wild mammals in Caldas.

Methodology: Flea samples were taken by convenience sampling from dogs, cats and wild mammals (rodents and marsupials) in 26 municipalities. Specimens were classified by current taxonomic keys and pooled for DNA extraction and molecular screening for Rickettsia spp. by PCR amplification of gltA, htrA and sca5 genes. Positive samples were genotyped by enzyme digestion (htrA) and sequencing.

Results: A total of 1388 flea samples were collected. Rickettsia DNA was amplified in 818 (gltA), 883 (htrA) and 424 (sca5) flea pools. Alignment analysis with available Rickettsia DNA sequences showed greater similarity with R. asembonensis (gltA) and with R. felis (sca5 and htrA). Restriction pattern was compatible with R. felis. R. typhi was not identified.

Conclusion: The present study confirms the presence and high prevalence of R. asembonensis and R. felis in fleas from domestic and wild animals in different municipalities from Caldas Department.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3855/jidc.12524DOI Listing
October 2020

Effect of season on individual stallion semen characteristics.

Anim Reprod Sci 2020 Dec 1;223:106641. Epub 2020 Nov 1.

School of Agriculture and Food Sciences, The University of Queensland, Gatton, 4343, Australia. Electronic address:

Horses are long-day seasonal breeding animals, however, with modern stallion reproductive management it is important for collection of semen during periods that are not part of the traditional breeding season. This study was conducted to examine variation in the seminal characteristics of individual stallions in Avila, Spain during 1 year with a particular emphasis on sperm DNA fragmentation. Semen was collected twice per season from a total of 20 stallions. There was a marked seasonal effect on all seminal characteristics, with the greatest on progressive motility, % membrane integrity and least for SDF in the spring months; there was also an interaction effect with respect to individual stallion, indicating that some stallions did not fit this generalised pattern for semen quality. Sperm DNA fragmentation was assessed both immediately after semen collection (T0) and following incubation of extended semen for 24 h (T24) to broadly mimic changes in SDF that might occur in the female reproductive tract. While SDF evaluated at T0 was also generally less in spring, the proportion of stallions with the least SDF values in spring increased from 45% to 60% when assessed at T24, therefore, being consistent with the importance of dynamic SDF assessment in detecting DNA damage that was not detected at T0 or cryptic DNA damage. The results from this study indicate there is individual seasonal variation among stallions in all aspects of seminal characteristics; such variation needs to be considered when prioritising stallions that are to be used for breeding.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.anireprosci.2020.106641DOI Listing
December 2020

Lewis Antigen Phenotype and Survival of Patients With Pancreatic Cancer.

Pancreas 2020 Nov/Dec;49(10):1348-1354

Department of Internal Medicine, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea.

Objectives: The association of Lewis antigen phenotype with survival of patients with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma was investigated.

Methods: A total of 1187 patients diagnosed with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma were evaluated in a prospective cohort. Patients were classified into 3 different groups according to Lewis antigen phenotype: Lewis antigen (1) A positive [Le(a+b-)], (2) B positive [Le(a-b+)], and (3) negative [Le(a-b-)]. Risk of mortality was analyzed with Cox regression after adjusting for other predictors.

Results: The risk of mortality increased in the order of Le(a+b-), Le(a-b+), and Le(a-b-) [reference; hazard ratio (HR), 1.27; 95% confidence interval (CI)], 1.03-1.57; P = 0.02; and HR, 1.65; 95% CI, 1.31-2.09; P < 0.001] after adjusting for other predictors. Among patients with serum carbohydrate antigen (CA) 19-9 lower than 37 U/mL, the association seemed more apparent (reference; HR, 1.50; 95% CI, 0.77-2.29; P = 0.22; and HR, 2.10; 95% CI, 1.10-4.02; P < 0.02).

Conclusions: The risk of mortality increased in the order of Le(a+b-), Le(a-b+), and Le(a-b-). The difference in prognosis according to the Lewis antigen phenotype was more pronounced in the low CA 19-9 group, which suggests that the Lewis antigen phenotype works as a biomarker predicting the prognosis of patients with pancreatic cancer with undetectable CA 19-9 level.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MPA.0000000000001687DOI Listing
October 2020

Factors Affecting Embryo Recovery Rate, Quality, and Diameter in Andalusian Donkey Jennies.

Animals (Basel) 2020 Oct 26;10(11). Epub 2020 Oct 26.

Veterinary Reproduction Group, Department of Medicine and Animal Surgery, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Cordoba, 14071 Cordoba, Spain.

Embryo transfer and the vitrification of embryos could be used for the conservation and recovery of endangered donkey breeds. It is important to develop techniques that optimize recovery rates and the cryotolerance of donkey embryos. This study evaluates factors affecting the recovery rate, quality, and diameter of embryos obtained from donor jennies as a starting point for the use of vitrification and embryo transfer in the conservation of the Andalusian donkey. A total of 100 embryos were recovered out of 124 estrous cycles (80.6%). The donor jenny affected the rates of positive flushings (PFR; = 0.040) and embryo recovery (ERR; < 0.05) as well as embryo quality ( = 0.004). ERR was also affected by the number of flushings ( < 0.001), donor age ( < 0.05), successive cycle within donor ( < 0.001), and jacks ( < 0.05). Number of flushings ( < 0.001) and jack ( < 0.05) had a significant effect on PFR, whereas the day of flushing influenced the developmental stage ( < 0.001), embryo quality ( < 0.05), and diameter of embryos ( < 0.001). The number of flushings significantly influenced the diameter ( = 0.038) and embryo developmental stage ( = 0.001), whereas the developmental stage was statistically different between herds ( = 0.020). The factors influencing the success of this assisted reproductive technique were donor jenny, donor age, successive cycle within donor, day of flushing, number of flushings, and jack. The identification of these key points is crucial to achieve a higher efficiency of embryo transfer and vitrification processes, before considering their application in the conservation of endangered donkey breeds.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ani10111967DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7693601PMC
October 2020

Zooplankton-based reactors for tertiary wastewater treatment: A pilot-scale case study.

J Environ Manage 2021 Jan 25;278(Pt 1):111538. Epub 2020 Oct 25.

Department of Chemistry, University of Girona, Carrer Maria Aurèlia Capmany, 69, E-17003, Girona, Spain.

Nature-based wastewater treatments are an economic and sustainable alternative to intensive technologies in rural areas, although their efficiency needs to be improved. This study explores technological co-operation between zooplankton (e.g., Daphnia magna) and bacterial and algal biofilms in a 1.5 m zooplankton-based reactor for the on-site treatment of secondary urban wastewater. The efficiency of the reactor was evaluated over a 14-month period without any maintenance. The results suggest a low seasonality effect on nutrient polishing (organic matter and nitrogen) and the removal of solids (TSS and turbidity). The best performance, involving a decrease in organic carbon, nitrogen, E. coli loads, and solid content was achieved in winter when operating the reactor at 750 L d. Under these conditions, the quality of the effluent water was suitable for its reuse for six different purposes in conformance with Spanish legislation. These results demonstrate that the zooplankton-based reactor presented here can be used as an eco-sustainable tertiary treatment to provide water suitable for reuse. On-site research revealed that the robustness of the reactor against temperature and oxygen fluctuations needs to be improved to ensure good performance throughout the year.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2020.111538DOI Listing
January 2021