Publications by authors named "Marta Oliveira"

106 Publications

Predictors and mid-term outcomes of nosocomial infection in ST-elevation myocardial infarction patients treated by primary angioplasty.

Kardiol Pol 2021 Jul 7. Epub 2021 Jul 7.

Institute of Biomedical Sciences of "Abel Salazar", University of Porto (ICBAS-UP), Portugal.

Background: Nosocomial infections (NI) are associated with high morbidity and mortality. Existing data on the impact of NI on patients with ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) is scarce.

Aims: Determine the incidence, predictors, and prognosis of NI in a contemporary series of STEMI-patients.

Methods: 1131 consecutive STEMI-patients treated by primary percutaneous coronary intervention from January 2008 to December 2017 were analyzed. Binary logistic regression and proportional hazard Cox models were used to identify predictors of NI and major adverse cardio-cerebrovascular events (MACCE) at 1-year follow-up, respectively.

Results: Of all patients, 126 (11.1%) were diagnosed with NI (>48 h from admission), mostly of respiratory (50.8%) and urinary (39.7%) tract origin. Insulin-treated diabetics were 3-fold more likely to develop NI. Other independent predictors were peripheral arterial disease, intra-aortic balloon pump insertion, age, lower systolic blood pressure, and higher peak creatine-kinase. Only pre-infarction angina was negatively related to NI. Age, peripheral arterial disease, femoral approach and larger infarct were related to MACCE at 1-year follow-up. NI in isolation was not independently related to MACCE (HR = 1.24; 95% CI, 0.80-1.94; P = 0.34). However, we found a significant interaction between NI and smoking (HR = 2.33; 95% CI, 1.03-5.24; Pinterc = 0.04).

Conclusion: Larger infarct size, hemodynamic instability, and co-morbidities were related to both NI and 1-year adverse events. Smokers who developed NI also had a higher 1-year risk of MACCE.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.33963/KP.a2021.0058DOI Listing
July 2021

Larvicidal Activities against of Supernatant and Pellet Fractions from Cultured spp. Isolated from Amazonian Microenvironments.

Trop Med Infect Dis 2021 Jun 17;6(2). Epub 2021 Jun 17.

Laboratório de Controle Biológico e Biotecnologia da Malária e Dengue-LCBBMD, Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia-INPA, Manaus 69042-270, Brazil.

The mosquito is the primary vector of Dengue, Chikungunya and Zika causing major problems for public health, which requires new strategies for its control, like the use of entomopathogenic microorganisms. In this study, bacteria from various Amazonian environments were isolated and tested for their pathogenicity to larvae. Following thermal shock to select sporulated spp., 77 bacterial strains were isolated. Molecular identification per 16S RNA sequences revealed that the assembled strains contained several species of the genus and one species each of , , , and . Among the isolated sp. strains, 19 showed larvicidal activity against . Two strains of also displayed larvicidal activity. For the first time, larvicidal activity against was identified for a strain of . Supernatant and pellet fractions of bacterial cultures were tested separately for larvicidal activities. Eight strains contained isolated fractions resulting in at least 50% mortality when tested at a concentration of 5 mg/mL. Further studies are needed to characterize the active larvicidal metabolites produced by these microorganisms and define their mechanisms of action.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed6020104DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8293452PMC
June 2021

Firefighters' occupational exposure: Contribution from biomarkers of effect to assess health risks.

Environ Int 2021 Jun 20;156:106704. Epub 2021 Jun 20.

REQUIMTE-LAQV, Instituto Superior de Engenharia do Porto, Instituto Politécnico do Porto, Rua Dr. António Bernardino de Almeida 431, 4249-015 Porto. Electronic address:

Firefighting is physically and physiologically exhausting besides encompassing exposure to toxic fire emissions. Biomonitoring studies from the past five years have been significantly contributing to characterize the occupational-related health effects in this group of professionals and to improve risk assessment. Therefore, this study gathers and critically discusses the most characterized biomarkers of effect (oxidative stress, DNA and protein damage, stress hormones, inflammation, and vascular, lung, and liver injury), including those potentially more promising to be explored in future studies, and their relation with health outcomes. Various studies proved an association between exposures to fire emissions and/or heat and significantly altered values of biomarkers of inflammation (soluble adhesion molecules, tumor necrosis factor, interleukins, and leucocyte count), vascular damage and tissue injury (pentraxin-3, vascular endothelial growth factor, and cardiac troponin T) in firefighting forces. Moreover, preliminary data of DNA damage in blood, urinary mutagenicity and 8-isoprostaglandin in exhaled breath condensate suggest that these biomarkers of oxidative stress should be further explored. However, most of the reported studies are based on cross-sectional designs, which limit full identification and characterization of the risk factors and their association with development of work-related diseases. Broader studies based on longitudinal designs and strongly supported by the analysis of several types of biomarkers in different biological fluids are further required to gain deeper insights into the firefighters occupational related health hazards and contribute to implementation of new or improved surveillance programs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2021.106704DOI Listing
June 2021

Virological and serological characterization of critically ill patients with COVID-19 in the UK: Interactions of viral load, antibody status and B.1.1.7 variant infection.

J Infect Dis 2021 May 24. Epub 2021 May 24.

Microbiology Services, NHS Blood and Transplant, London, UK.

Background: Convalescent plasma containing neutralising antibody to SARS-CoV-2 is under investigation for COVID-19 treatment. We report diverse virological characteristics of UK intensive care patients enrolled in the Immunoglobulin Domain of the REMAP-CAP randomised controlled trial that potentially influence treatment outcomes.

Methods: SARS-CoV-2 RNA in nasopharyngeal swabs collected pre-treatment was quantified by PCR. Antibody status was determined by spike-protein ELISA. B.1.1.7 was differentiated from other SARS-CoV-2 strains using allele-specific probes or restriction site polymorphism (SfcI) targeting D1118H.

Results: Of 1274 subjects, 90% were PCR-positive with viral loads 118-1.7x10 11 IU/ml. Median viral loads were 40-fold higher in those seronegative for IgG antibodies (n=354; 28%) compared to seropositives (n=939; 72%). Frequencies of B.1.1.7 increased from <1% in early November, 2020 to 82% of subjects in January 2021. Seronegative individuals with wild-type SARS-CoV-2 had significantly higher viral loads than seropositives (medians 5.8x10 6 and 2.0 x10 5 IU/ml respectively; p=2x10 -15). However, viral load distributions were elevated in both seronegative and seropositive subjects infected with B.1.1.7 (4.0x10 6 and 1.6x10 6 IU/ml respectively).

Conclusions: High viral loads in seropositive B.1.1.7-infected subjects and resistance to seroconversion indicate less effective clearance by innate and adaptive immune responses. SARS-CoV-2 strain, viral loads and antibody status define subgroups for analysis of treatment efficacy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/infdis/jiab283DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8241475PMC
May 2021

Prospective Case-Control Study of Cardiovascular Abnormalities 6 Months Following Mild COVID-19 in Healthcare Workers.

JACC Cardiovasc Imaging 2021 May 5. Epub 2021 May 5.

Barts Heart Centre, Barts Health NHS Trust, West Smithfield, London, United Kingdom; Institute of Cardiovascular Science, University College London, London, United Kingdom. Electronic address:

Objectives: The purpose of this study was to detect cardiovascular changes after mild severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection.

Background: Concern exists that mild coronavirus disease 2019 may cause myocardial and vascular disease.

Methods: Participants were recruited from COVIDsortium, a 3-hospital prospective study of 731 health care workers who underwent first-wave weekly symptom, polymerase chain reaction, and serology assessment over 4 months, with seroconversion in 21.5% (n = 157). At 6 months post-infection, 74 seropositive and 75 age-, sex-, and ethnicity-matched seronegative control subjects were recruited for cardiovascular phenotyping (comprehensive phantom-calibrated cardiovascular magnetic resonance and blood biomarkers). Analysis was blinded, using objective artificial intelligence analytics where available.

Results: A total of 149 subjects (mean age 37 years, range 18 to 63 years, 58% women) were recruited. Seropositive infections had been mild with case definition, noncase definition, and asymptomatic disease in 45 (61%), 18 (24%), and 11 (15%), respectively, with 1 person hospitalized (for 2 days). Between seropositive and seronegative groups, there were no differences in cardiac structure (left ventricular volumes, mass, atrial area), function (ejection fraction, global longitudinal shortening, aortic distensibility), tissue characterization (T, T, extracellular volume fraction mapping, late gadolinium enhancement) or biomarkers (troponin, N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide). With abnormal defined by the 75 seronegatives (2 SDs from mean, e.g., ejection fraction <54%, septal T >1,072 ms, septal T >52.4 ms), individuals had abnormalities including reduced ejection fraction (n = 2, minimum 50%), T elevation (n = 6), T elevation (n = 9), late gadolinium enhancement (n = 13, median 1%, max 5% of myocardium), biomarker elevation (borderline troponin elevation in 4; all N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide normal). These were distributed equally between seropositive and seronegative individuals.

Conclusions: Cardiovascular abnormalities are no more common in seropositive versus seronegative otherwise healthy, workforce representative individuals 6 months post-mild severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jcmg.2021.04.011DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8105493PMC
May 2021

Seasonal Variations of the Nutritive Value and Phytotherapeutic Potential of L. (Pohl.) Targeting Ruminant's Production.

Plants (Basel) 2021 Mar 16;10(3). Epub 2021 Mar 16.

Centre of Marine Sciences, Universidade do Algarve, Campus de Gambelas, 8005-139 Faro, Portugal.

In our endeavor to identify salt-tolerant plants with potential veterinary uses in ruminants' production strategies, we focused on L. Pohl (sawgrass), due to its high total phenolic and tannin content, anti-radical properties, and ethnomedicinal uses. Aerial parts were collected along the year in Southern Portugal and evaluated for the nutritional profile and in vitro organic matter digestibility (IVOMD), aiming for its use as feed. Acetone extracts were appraised for total contents in phenolics (TPC), flavonoids (TFC), and tannins (CTC), as well as the chemical composition by HPLC-DAD and in vitro antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, targeting its exploitation as phytotherapeutic products. Sawgrass biomass has a limited nutritive value, due to its high neutral detergent fiber (NDF; 596-690 g kg dry matter (DM)) and acid detergent fiber (ADF; 330-418 g kg DM) contents, low crude protein (51.8-87.3 g kg DM) and IVOMD (172-317 g kg organic matter (OM)). Despite differences among seasons, the mineral profile was adequate. The extracts were rich in TPC (88-112 mg g), CTC (115-169 mg g), and TFC (18.5-20.2 mg g), and displayed significant antioxidant capacity, particularly in summer and autumn, whilst no seasonal influence was detected for anti-inflammatory properties (30% reduction of nitric oxide production). Eleven phenolics were quantified: chlorogenic, ferulic, and syringic acids were the most abundant, especially in the autumn sample. Overall, despite the low nutritional interest, sawgrass extracts hold the potential as a source of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phenolic compounds.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/plants10030556DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8002363PMC
March 2021

A haemagglutination test for rapid detection of antibodies to SARS-CoV-2.

Nat Commun 2021 03 29;12(1):1951. Epub 2021 Mar 29.

Wellcome Centre for Human Genetics, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.

Serological detection of antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 is essential for establishing rates of seroconversion in populations, and for seeking evidence for a level of antibody that may be protective against COVID-19 disease. Several high-performance commercial tests have been described, but these require centralised laboratory facilities that are comparatively expensive, and therefore not available universally. Red cell agglutination tests do not require special equipment, are read by eye, have short development times, low cost and can be applied at the Point of Care. Here we describe a quantitative Haemagglutination test (HAT) for the detection of antibodies to the receptor binding domain of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. The HAT has a sensitivity of 90% and specificity of 99% for detection of antibodies after a PCR diagnosed infection. We will supply aliquots of the test reagent sufficient for ten thousand test wells free of charge to qualified research groups anywhere in the world.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-22045-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8007702PMC
March 2021

Antibody testing for COVID-19: A report from the National COVID Scientific Advisory Panel.

Wellcome Open Res 2020 11;5:139. Epub 2020 Jun 11.

Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Oxford, OX3 9DU, UK.

The COVID-19 pandemic caused >1 million infections during January-March 2020. There is an urgent need for reliable antibody detection approaches to support diagnosis, vaccine development, safe release of individuals from quarantine, and population lock-down exit strategies. We set out to evaluate the performance of ELISA and lateral flow immunoassay (LFIA) devices. We tested plasma for COVID (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2; SARS-CoV-2) IgM and IgG antibodies by ELISA and using nine different LFIA devices. We used a panel of plasma samples from individuals who have had confirmed COVID infection based on a PCR result (n=40), and pre-pandemic negative control samples banked in the UK prior to December-2019 (n=142). ELISA detected IgM or IgG in 34/40 individuals with a confirmed history of COVID infection (sensitivity 85%, 95%CI 70-94%), vs. 0/50 pre-pandemic controls (specificity 100% [95%CI 93-100%]). IgG levels were detected in 31/31 COVID-positive individuals tested ≥10 days after symptom onset (sensitivity 100%, 95%CI 89-100%). IgG titres rose during the 3 weeks post symptom onset and began to fall by 8 weeks, but remained above the detection threshold. Point estimates for the sensitivity of LFIA devices ranged from 55-70% versus RT-PCR and 65-85% versus ELISA, with specificity 95-100% and 93-100% respectively. Within the limits of the study size, the performance of most LFIA devices was similar. Currently available commercial LFIA devices do not perform sufficiently well for individual patient applications. However, ELISA can be calibrated to be specific for detecting and quantifying SARS-CoV-2 IgM and IgG and is highly sensitive for IgG from 10 days following first symptoms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.12688/wellcomeopenres.15927.1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7941096PMC
June 2020

Vasohibin 1 selectively regulates secondary sprouting and lymphangiogenesis in the zebrafish trunk.

Development 2021 02 19;148(4). Epub 2021 Feb 19.

Integrative Vascular Biology Laboratory, Max-Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association (MDC), Robert-Rössle-Strasse 10, Berlin 13125, Germany

Previous studies have shown that Vasohibin 1 (Vash1) is stimulated by VEGFs in endothelial cells and that its overexpression interferes with angiogenesis Recently, Vash1 was found to mediate tubulin detyrosination, a post-translational modification that is implicated in many cell functions, such as cell division. Here, we used the zebrafish embryo to investigate the cellular and subcellular mechanisms of Vash1 on endothelial microtubules during formation of the trunk vasculature. We show that microtubules within venous-derived secondary sprouts are strongly and selectively detyrosinated in comparison with other endothelial cells, and that this difference is lost upon knockdown. Vash1 depletion in zebrafish specifically affected secondary sprouting from the posterior cardinal vein, increasing endothelial cell divisions and cell number in the sprouts. We show that altering secondary sprout numbers and structure upon depletion leads to defective lymphatic vessel formation and ectopic lymphatic progenitor specification in the zebrafish trunk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1242/dev.194993DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7904002PMC
February 2021

Immunophenotype of Gastric Tumors Unveils a Pleiotropic Role of Regulatory T Cells in Tumor Development.

Cancers (Basel) 2021 Jan 23;13(3). Epub 2021 Jan 23.

i3S-Instituto de Investigação e Inovação em Saúde, Universidade do Porto, 4200-135 Porto, Portugal.

Gastric cancer (GC) patients display increased regulatory T cell (Tregs) numbers in peripheral blood and among tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes. Nevertheless, the role of Tregs in GC progression remains controversial. Here, we sought to explore the impact of Tregs in GCs with distinct histology, and whether Tregs can directly influence tumor cell behavior and GC development. We performed a comprehensive immunophenotyping of 82 human GC cases, through an integrated analysis of multispectral immunofluorescence detection of T cells markers and patient clinicopathological data. Moreover, we developed 3D in vitro co-cultures with Tregs and tumor cells that were followed by high-throughput and light-sheet imaging, and their biological features studied with conventional/imaging flow cytometry and Western blotting. We showed that Tregs located at the tumor nest were frequent in intestinal-type GCs but did not associate with increased levels of effector T cells. Our in vitro results suggested that Tregs preferentially infiltrated intestinal-type GC spheroids, induced the expression of IL2Rα and activation of MAPK signaling pathway in tumor cells, and promoted spheroid growth. Accumulation of Tregs in intestinal-type GCs was increased at early stages of the stomach wall invasion and in the absence of vascular and perineural invasion. In this study, we proposed a non-immunosuppressive mechanism through which Tregs might directly modulate GC cells and thereby promote tumor growth. Our findings hold insightful implications for therapeutic strategies targeting intestinal-type GCs and other tumors with similar immune context.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers13030421DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7865950PMC
January 2021

Culturable bacteria associated with Anopheles darlingi and their paratransgenesis potential.

Malar J 2021 Jan 13;20(1):40. Epub 2021 Jan 13.

Laboratório de Malária E Dengue, Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia, INPA, Manaus, Brazil.

Background: Malaria remains a major public health problem in South America, mostly in the Amazon region. Among newly proposed ways of controlling malaria transmission to humans, paratransgenesis is a promising alternative. Paratransgenesis aims to inhibit the development of parasites within the vector through the action of genetically modified bacteria. The first step towards successful paratransgenesis in the Amazon is the identification of Anopheles darlingi symbiotic bacteria, which are transmitted vertically among mosquitoes, and are not pathogenic to humans.

Methods: Culturable bacteria associated with An. darlingi and their breeding sites were isolated by conventional microbiological techniques. Isolated strains were transformed with a GFP expressing plasmid, pSPT-1-GFP, and reintroduced in mosquitoes by feeding. Their survival and persistence in the next generation was assessed by the isolation of fluorescent bacteria from eggs, larvae, pupae and adult homogenates.

Results: A total of 179 bacterial strains were isolated from samples from two locations, Coari and Manaus. The predominant genera identified in this study were Acinetobacter, Enterobacter, Klebsiella, Serratia, Bacillus, Elizabethkingia, Stenotrophomonas and Pantoea. Two isolated strains, Serratia-Adu40 and Pantoea-Ovo3, were successfully transformed with the pSPT-1-GFP plasmid and expressed GFP. The fluorescent bacteria fed to adult females were transferred to their eggs, which persisted in larvae and throughout metamorphosis, and were detected in adult mosquitoes of the next generation.

Conclusion: Serratia-Adu40 and Pantoea-Ovo3 are promising candidates for paratransgenesis in An. darlingi. Further research is needed to determine if these bacteria are vertically transferred in nature.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12936-020-03574-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7805163PMC
January 2021

Grill Workers Exposure to Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons: Levels and Excretion Profiles of the Urinary Biomarkers.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2020 12 30;18(1). Epub 2020 Dec 30.

REQUIMTE-LAQV, Instituto Superior de Engenharia, Instituto Politécnico do Porto, R. Dr. António Bernardino de Almeida 431, 4200-072 Porto, Portugal.

Grilling activities release large amounts of hazardous pollutants, but information on restaurant grill workers' exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) is almost inexistent. This study assessed the impact of grilling emissions on total workers' exposure to PAHs by evaluating the concentrations of six urinary biomarkers of exposure (OHPAHs): naphthalene, acenaphthene, fluorene, phenanthrene, pyrene, and benzo(a)pyrene. Individual levels and excretion profiles of urinary OHPAHs were determined during working and nonworking periods. Urinary OHPAHs were quantified by high-performance liquid-chromatography with fluorescence detection. Levels of total OHPAHs (∑OHPAHs) were significantly increased (about nine times; ≤ 0.001) during working comparatively with nonworking days. Urinary 1-hydroxynaphthalene + 1-hydroxyacenapthene and 2-hydroxyfluorene presented the highest increments (ca. 23- and 6-fold increase, respectively), followed by 1-hydroxyphenanthrene (ca. 2.3 times) and 1-hydroxypyrene (ca. 1.8 times). Additionally, 1-hydroxypyrene levels were higher than the benchmark, 0.5 µmol/mol creatinine, in 5% of exposed workers. Moreover, 3-hydroxybenzo(a)pyrene, biomarker of exposure to carcinogenic PAHs, was detected in 13% of exposed workers. Individual excretion profiles showed a cumulative increase in ∑OHPAHs during consecutive working days. A principal component analysis model partially discriminated workers' exposure during working and nonworking periods showing the impact of grilling activities. Urinary OHPAHs were increased in grill workers during working days.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18010230DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7796024PMC
December 2020

Mathematical modelling, parameter estimation and computational simulation for skin wound healing under Copaiferalangsdorffi treatments.

Comput Methods Programs Biomed 2021 Feb 26;199:105915. Epub 2020 Dec 26.

São Paulo State University - UNESP, Institute of Biosciences, Botucatu, São Paulo, Brazil.

We present three mathematical models which simulate the wound healing time for 10% oil-resin (10% OR), 10% hydroalcoholic extract (10% EH) (Copaifera langsdorffii drugs), Lanette cream (LC) and Collagenase treatments. Wound healing is a complex process consisting of inflammatory, proliferative and remodelling phases. The experiments were made on rats with wounds on their backs. The mathematical models consider the interplay among neutrophils, macrophages, which play an essential role in skin wound healing, pro-inflammatory (IL-6) and anti-inflammatory (IL-10) cytokines. The ordinary differential equations (ODE) models reproduce the cellular dynamics of wound healing on the skin, suggesting levels of macrophages and neutrophils cellularity, consistent with the values of total cellularity obtained in the laboratory. The partial differential equations (PDE) model replicate the dispersion along the wound radius, suggesting that the balance of the interleukins is better modelled on copaíba-based treatments (CBT). The cell density is directly influenced by neutrophils in the wound bed and by macrophages at the wound edge. It was possible to find the time for wound healing for all treatments by inserting the diffusive terms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cmpb.2020.105915DOI Listing
February 2021

SARS-CoV-2 RNA detected in blood products from patients with COVID-19 is not associated with infectious virus.

Wellcome Open Res 2020 12;5:181. Epub 2020 Oct 12.

Nuffield Department of Medicine, John Radcliffe Hospital, Headington, Oxford, OX3 9DU, UK.

Laboratory diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection (the cause of COVID-19) uses PCR to detect viral RNA (vRNA) in respiratory samples. SARS-CoV-2 RNA has also been detected in other sample types, but there is limited understanding of the clinical or laboratory significance of its detection in blood. We undertook a systematic literature review to assimilate the evidence for the frequency of vRNA in blood, and to identify associated clinical characteristics. We performed RT-PCR in serum samples from a UK clinical cohort of acute and convalescent COVID-19 cases (n=212), together with convalescent plasma samples collected by NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) (n=462 additional samples). To determine whether PCR-positive blood samples could pose an infection risk, we attempted virus isolation from a subset of RNA-positive samples. We identified 28 relevant studies, reporting SARS-CoV-2 RNA in 0-76% of blood samples; pooled estimate 10% (95%CI 5-18%). Among serum samples from our clinical cohort, 27/212 (12.7%) had SARS-CoV-2 RNA detected by RT-PCR. RNA detection occurred in samples up to day 20 post symptom onset, and was associated with more severe disease (multivariable odds ratio 7.5). Across all samples collected ≥28 days post symptom onset, 0/494 (0%, 95%CI 0-0.7%) had vRNA detected. Among our PCR-positive samples, cycle threshold (ct) values were high (range 33.5-44.8), suggesting low vRNA copy numbers. PCR-positive sera inoculated into cell culture did not produce any cytopathic effect or yield an increase in detectable SARS-CoV-2 RNA. There was a relationship between RT-PCR negativity and the presence of total SARS-CoV-2 antibody (p=0.02). vRNA was detectable at low viral loads in a minority of serum samples collected in acute infection, but was not associated with infectious SARS-CoV-2 (within the limitations of the assays used). This work helps to inform biosafety precautions for handling blood products from patients with current or previous COVID-19.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.12688/wellcomeopenres.16002.2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7689603PMC
October 2020

A systematic review on the ethnoveterinary uses of mediterranean salt-tolerant plants: Exploring its potential use as fodder, nutraceuticals or phytotherapeutics in ruminant production.

J Ethnopharmacol 2021 Mar 10;267:113464. Epub 2020 Oct 10.

Centre of Marine Sciences, University of Algarve, Campus de Gambelas, 8005-139, Faro, Portugal. Electronic address:

Ethnopharmacological Relevance: Salt-tolerant plants are well adapted to the harsh conditions of the Mediterranean region, where have been used traditionally as food and medicines for human and animals. In addition, various species are currently recognized as sources of metabolites with pharmacological, cosmetical and nutraceutical interest. Nevertheless, ethnoveterinary data on salt-tolerant plants are dispersed in the literature and there are few discussions on its veterinary potential. Having in mind the rising interest on organic farming, alternatives to chemical substances in livestock production and concern for animal health and welfare practices, these plants may represent an untapped resource for animal management and veterinary purposes. In this sense, the purpose of this work is to summarize the ethnoveterinary knowledge on salt-tolerant plants described in the Mediterranean region, raising awareness to the potential of this group of plants to be used in veterinary science, targeting especially ruminants.

Material And Methods: Literature search (2000-2020) was conducted using Web of Science and Science Direct databases. Ethnoveterinary reports (EVR) concerning salt-tolerant plants were summarized and filtered for ruminants. From the final 29 publications, EVR concerning therapeutic uses were categorized according to its ATCvet code and results analyzed.

Results: A total of 221 EVR were identified from 39 plants, belonging to 21 plant families, targetting ruminants. Ten EVR (4.5%) concerned uses of salt-tolerant species as animal feed, while around 75% of therapeutic uses was represented by three categories: alimentary tract and metabolism (QA; n = 75), dermatologicals (QD; n = 53) and genitourinary system and sex hormones (QG; n = 41). Pistacia lentiscus L., Foeniculum vulgare Mill., Dittrichia viscosa (L.) Greuter, Plantago major L. and Hordeum vulgare L. were the most cited species in the latter categories.

Conclusions: The ethnoveterinary knowledge on salt-tolerant species hints some plants of veterinary pharmacological potential, but other species deserve further notice. This information should serve as a basis and, coupled with the currently available scientific data on bioactive properties and chemical composition of salt-tolerant species, inspire additional research on the exploitation of this botanical group, as sources of novel products for ruminant nutrition, health and quality of its products.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2020.113464DOI Listing
March 2021

Phenotypic Analysis of Urothelial Exfoliated Cells in Bladder Cancer via Microfluidic Immunoassays: Sialyl-Tn as a Novel Biomarker in Liquid Biopsies.

Front Oncol 2020 16;10:1774. Epub 2020 Sep 16.

International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory, Department of Life Sciences, Braga, Portugal.

Bladder cancer is the most common malignancy of the urinary tract, having one of the highest recurrence rates and progression from non-muscle to muscle invasive bladder cancer that commonly leads to metastasis. Cystoscopy and urine cytology are the standard procedures for its detection but have limited clinical sensitivity and specificity. Herein, a microfluidic device, the UriChip, was developed for the enrichment of urothelial exfoliated cells from fresh and frozen urine, based on deformability and size, and the cancer-associated glycan Sialyl-Tn explored as a putative bladder cancer urinary biomarker. Spiking experiments with bladder cancer cell lines showed an isolation efficiency of 53%, while clinical sample analyses revealed retention of cells with various morphologies and sizes. immunoassays demonstrated significantly higher number of Sialyl-Tn-positive cells in fresh and frozen voided urine from bladder cancer patients, compared to healthy individuals. Of note, urothelial exfoliated cells from cryopreserved urine sediments were also successfully isolated by the UriChip, and found to express significantly high levels of Sialyl-Tn. Remarkably, Sialyl-Tn expression is correlated with tumor stage and grade. Overall, our findings demonstrate the potential of UriChip and Sialyl-Tn to detect urothelial bladder cancer cells in follow-up and long-term retrospective studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fonc.2020.01774DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7526084PMC
September 2020

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in wild and farmed whitemouth croaker and meagre from different Atlantic Ocean fishing areas: Concentrations and human health risk assessment.

Food Chem Toxicol 2020 Dec 4;146:111797. Epub 2020 Oct 4.

REQUIMTE-LAQV, Instituto Superior de Engenharia, Instituto Politécnico do Porto, Rua Dr. António Bernardino de Almeida 431, 4249-015, Porto, Portugal. Electronic address:

This work assessed the concentrations of 18 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in edible tissues of whitemouth croaker (Micropogonias furnieri) and meagre (Argyrosomus regius) captured in different Atlantic Ocean fishing areas and available to Brazilian and Portuguese consumers. Total PAH (∑PAHs) levels ranged from 1.32 to 5.41 μg/kg ww in wild-caught croaker and 2.66 (wild)-18.0 (farmed) μg/kg ww in meagre. Compounds with 2- and 3-rings represented 54-86% of ∑PAHs in the muscle tissues of wild-caught species (croaker and meagre) being naphthalene, fluorene, and phenanthrene the predominant compounds. ∑PAHs in farmed meagre were 4-7 times higher than in wild-caught meagre, with 2-, 3-, 4-, 5-, and 6-ring compounds representing 15, 18, 44, 22, and 1% of ∑PAHs, respectively. Benzo(a)pyrene levels in farmed meagre varied between 0.06 and 0.34 μg/kg ww. Crude oil refining and combustion sources were identified as the major sources of PAHs in FAO 27, 34 and 41 Atlantic Ocean fishing areas. The biometric characteristics (length, weight, moisture, and fat content) and ∑PAHs allowed to discriminate between wild-caught and farmed meagre samples and between meagre and croaker. Assessment of carcinogenic risks suggested that a diet exclusive on farmed meagre may pose additional risks for the health of European top consumers fish.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fct.2020.111797DOI Listing
December 2020

Wild vs cultivated halophytes: Nutritional and functional differences.

Food Chem 2020 Dec 9;333:127536. Epub 2020 Jul 9.

CCMAR, Universidade do Algarve, Campus de Gambelas, 8005-139 Faro, Portugal. Electronic address:

Some halophyte plants are currently used in gourmet cuisine due to their unique organoleptic properties. Moreover, they exhibit excellent nutritional and functional properties, being rich in polyphenolics and vitamins. These compounds are associated to strong antioxidant activity and enhanced health benefits. This work compared the nutritional properties and antioxidant potential of three species (Mesembryanthemum nodiflorum, Suaeda maritima and Sarcocornia fruticosa) collected in saltmarshes from Portugal and Spain with those of cultivated plants. The latter were generally more succulent and had higher contents of minerals than plants obtained from the wild and contained less fibre. All species assayed are a good source of proteins, fibres and minerals. Additionally, they are good sources of carotenoids and vitamins A, C and B and showed good antioxidant potential particularly S. maritima. Chromatographic analysis of the phenolic profile revealed that ferulic and caffeic acids as the most relevant phenolic compounds detected in the halophytes tested.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2020.127536DOI Listing
December 2020

Exposure of nursing mothers to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons: Levels of un-metabolized and metabolized compounds in breast milk, major sources of exposure and infants' health risks.

Environ Pollut 2020 Nov 14;266(Pt 3):115243. Epub 2020 Jul 14.

REQUIMTE-LAQV, Instituto Superior de Engenharia, Rua Dr. António Bernardino de Almeida 431, 4249-015 Porto, Portugal. Electronic address:

In this study, biomonitoring of nursing Portuguese mothers to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) exposure and assessment of potential health risks of their infants were performed through determination of 18 PAHs and 6 major metabolites (OH-PAHs) in breast milk. Concentrations of total PAHs ranged between 55.2 and 1119 ng/g fat, being naphthalene, dibenz(a,h)anthracene, benzo(g,h,i)perylene, and phenanthrene the most abundant compounds (68.4% of ∑PAHs). Benzo(a)pyrene, known carcinogenic, was not detected. Total levels of OH-PAHs ranged from 6.66 to 455 ng/g fat with 1-hydroxyphenanthrene, 1-hydroxynaphthalene and 1-hydroxyacenaphthene as major compounds (96% of ∑OH-PAHs). Concentrations of ∑PAHs and ∑OH-PAHs were strongly correlated between each other (r = 0.692; p ≤ 0.001) and moderately-to-strongly associated with individual compounds (0.203 < r < 0.841; p ≤ 0.001). The attained data suggest increased levels of PAHs in older nursing mothers (>30 years) and in those whose child had lower weight (up to 3.0 kg). Breast-fed infant presented a median PAHs daily intake of 1.41 μg/kg body weight (total benzo(a)pyrene equivalents of 0.0679 μg/kg) and were exposed to 0.024 μg/kg body weight of ∑PAH4 [benz(a)anthracene, benzo(b)fluoranthene, benzo(j)fluoranthene, and chrysene]. Although breast milk is a secure food for newborns, un-metabolized and metabolized PAHs should be included in biomonitoring surveillance studies during breastfeeding to prevent potential health risks for infants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2020.115243DOI Listing
November 2020

Managing the coronavirus pandemic in Portugal: A step-by-step adjustment of health and social services.

Psychol Trauma 2020 Jul 11;12(5):536-538. Epub 2020 Jun 11.

Laboratory of Neuropsychophysiology.

This article presents an overview of what has been done in Portugal to curb the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), regarding public health actions, mental health implications, and measures taken or recommended to prevent the harmful effects of the pandemic. Because Portugal has been pointed out as a case of success in managing the COVID-19 pandemic, this report offers opportunities to build on the experience gained, which may positively influence other countries, especially those that are still deeply affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/tra0000879DOI Listing
July 2020

Complexities of Diagnosing and Treating a Mesenteric Cyst in a Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia Patient.

Eur J Case Rep Intern Med 2020 21;7(4):001457. Epub 2020 Feb 21.

Serviço de Medicina Interna, Hospital de Aveiro, Centro Hospitalar do Baixo Vouga, Aveiro, Portugal.

Mesenteric cysts are a rare nosologic entity, the diagnosis of which is complex due to their nonspecific presentation. They may emerge from any part of the mesentery and grow to any size, thus conditioning a wide range of clinical manifestations that renders them easily mistaken for different gastrointestinal pathologies. Diagnosis encompasses a mixture of clinical suspicion, imaging techniques and sometimes surgery, and curative treatment is based on complete surgical resection of the cyst. We hereby present a case of a mesenteric cyst that developed on the anterior abdominal wall of a 59-year-old man awaiting allogeneic bone marrow transplantation after being diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukaemia. He was admitted to the emergency room with complaints of an increased abdominal perimeter and increased weight, not associated with alterations to his dietary or physical exercise habits. Suspecting ascites in the context of leukaemic progression, the patient was admitted to the medical ward; however, subsequent study identified a mesenteric cyst as the most probable diagnosis and the patient was proposed to undergo surgery. He underwent laparotomic cyst excision without complications and the histological evaluation of the surgical specimen confirmed the diagnosis.

Learning Points: Although rare entities, mesenteric cysts should be suspected whenever nonspecific gastrointestinal symptoms are present and liquid collections are identified.Treatment consists of complete surgical excision, which, although not free of complications, is usually safe and the recurrence rate is very low.In light of the lymphatic theory with respect to the aetiology of mesenteric cysts, this nosologic entity should be highly suspected in oncologic patients where lymphangiogenesis is potentiated.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.12890/2020_001457DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7162577PMC
February 2020

Environmental Particulate Matter Levels during 2017 Large Forest Fires and Megafires in the Center Region of Portugal: A Public Health Concern?

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2020 02 6;17(3). Epub 2020 Feb 6.

REQUIMTE/LAQV, Instituto Superior de Engenharia do Instituto Politécnico do Porto, 4249-015 Porto, Portugal.

This work characterizes the dimension and the exceptionality of 2017 large- and mega-fires that occurred in the center region of Portugal through the assessment of their impact on the ambient levels of particulate matter (PM and PM), retrieved from local monitoring stations, and the associated public health risks. PM and PM concentrations were increased during the occurrence of large fires and megafires, with daily concentrations exceeding the European/national guidelines in 7-14 and 1-12 days of 2017 (up to 704 µg/m for PM and 46 µg/m for PM), respectively. PM concentrations were correlated with total burned area (0.500 < r < 0.949; > 0.05) and with monthly total burned area/distance (0.500 < r < 0.667; > 0.05). The forest fires of 2017 took the life of 112 citizens. A total of 474 cases of hospital admissions due to cardiovascular diseases and 3524 cases of asthma incidence symptoms per 100,000 individuals at risk were assessed due to exposure to 2017 forest fires. Real-time and in situ PM methodologies should be combined with protection action plans to reduce public health risks. Portuguese rural stations should monitor other health-relevant pollutants (e.g., carbon monoxide and volatile organic compounds) released from wildfires to allow performing more robust and comprehensive measurements that will allow a better assessment of the potential health risks for the exposed populations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17031032DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7036973PMC
February 2020

Venus Atmospheric Composition Data: A Compilation.

Earth Space Sci 2019 Jun;6(7):1299-1318

European Space Agency HQ, France.

The Venus atmosphere is of significant interest yet only rudimentary solid data has been gathered about its composition and chemistry. These measurements are scattered through time and place and are limited by parameters such as resolution and error margins as well as reinterpretations. This paper presents an extensive compilation of published data for the atmospheric composition of Venus. It also includes remotely gathered measurements and some extrapolated and modeled data for the lower atmosphere. The composition tables are divided in four categories: noble gases, reactive gases, noble and non-noble isotopes. These tables were first presented in 2016 within the scientific heritage appendix of the Deep Atmosphere Venus Investigation of Noble gases, Chemistry, and Imaging (DAVINCI) mission proposal. These tables provide respective measurements, error margins, techniques, altitudes, instruments, mission and references. The objective of this paper is to provide a simple, comprehensive list of available measurements to date; in particular, the data, to serve as a quick overall Venus atmosphere data reference.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2018EA000536DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6839549PMC
June 2019

Firefighters exposure to fire emissions: Impact on levels of biomarkers of exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and genotoxic/oxidative-effects.

J Hazard Mater 2020 02 6;383:121179. Epub 2019 Sep 6.

REQUIMTE-LAQV, Instituto Superior de Engenharia, Rua Dr. António Bernardino de Almeida 431, 4249-015, Porto, Portugal. Electronic address:

Firefighters represent one of the riskiest occupations, yet due to the logistic reasons, the respective exposure assessment is one of the most challenging. Thus, this work assessed the impact of firefighting activities on levels of urinary monohydroxyl-polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (OHPAHs; 1-hydroxynaphthalene, 1-hydroxyacenaphthene, 2-hydroxyfluorene, 1-hydroxyphenanthrene, 1-hydroxypyrene, 3-hydroxybenzo(a)pyrene) and genotoxic/oxidative-effect biomarkers (basal DNA and oxidative DNA damage) of firefighters from eight firehouses. Cardiac frequency, blood pressure and arterial oxygen saturation were also monitored. OHPAHs were determined by liquid-chromatography with fluorescence detection, while genotoxic/oxidative-effect biomarkers were assessed by the comet assay. Concentrations of total OHPAHs were up to 340% higher (p ≤ 0.05) in (non-smoking and smoking) exposed workers than in control subjects (non-smoking and non-exposed to combat activities); the highest increments were observed for 1-hydroxynaphthalene and 1-hydroxyacenaphthene (82-88% of ∑OHPAHs), and for 2-hydroxyfluorene (5-15%). Levels of biomarker for oxidative stress were increased in non-smoking exposed workers than in control group (316%; p ≤ 0.001); inconclusive results were found for DNA damage. Positive correlations were found between the cardiac frequency, ∑OHPAHs and the oxidative DNA damage of non-smoking (non-exposed and exposed) firefighters. Evidences were raised regarding the simultaneous use of these biomarkers for the surveillance of firefighters' health and to better estimate the potential short-term health risks.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2019.121179DOI Listing
February 2020

Mineral Content of Various Portuguese Breads: Characterization, Dietary Intake, and Discriminant Analysis.

Molecules 2019 Jul 31;24(15). Epub 2019 Jul 31.

REQUIMTE-LAQV, Instituto Superior de Engenharia do Porto, Instituto Politécnico do Porto, R. Dr. António Bernardino de Almeida 431, 4249-015 Porto, Portugal.

The chemical composition and daily mineral intake (DMI) of six macro (calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, phosphorous, and chloride) and four microminerals (copper, iron, manganese, and zinc) were determined in four types of Portuguese breads (white wheat, maize, wheat/maize, and maize/rye breads). Samples were processed with microwave assisted digestion and mineral composition was determined with a high-resolution continuum-source atomic absorption spectrometer with flame and graphite furnace. Bread contributes to an equilibrated diet since it is rich in several minerals (0.21 mg/100 g of copper in wheat bread to 537 mg/100 g of sodium in maize/rye bread). Maize/rye bread presented the highest content of all minerals (except phosphorous and chloride), while the lowest levels were mainly found in wheat bread. Median sodium concentrations (422-537 mg/100 g) represented more than 28% of the recommended daily allowance, being in close range of the maximum Portuguese limit (550 mg/100 g). Maize/rye bread exhibited the highest DMI of manganese (181%), sodium (36%), magnesium (32%), copper (32%), zinc (24%), iron (22%), potassium (20%), and calcium (3.0%). A Principal Component Analysis (PCA) model based on the mineral content allowed the differentiation among white wheat, maize, and maize/rye bread. Zinc, magnesium, manganese, iron, phosphorus, potassium, copper, and calcium proved to be good chemical markers to differentiate bread compositions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/molecules24152787DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6695710PMC
July 2019

Fast and efficient microfluidic cell filter for isolation of circulating tumor cells from unprocessed whole blood of colorectal cancer patients.

Sci Rep 2019 05 29;9(1):8032. Epub 2019 May 29.

Department of Life Sciences, International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory (INL), Avenida Mestre José Veiga s/n, 4715-330, Braga, Portugal.

Liquid biopsy offers unique opportunities for low invasive diagnosis, real-time patient monitoring and treatment selection. The phenotypic and molecular profile of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) can provide key information about the biology of tumor cells, contributing to personalized therapy. CTC isolation is still challenging, mainly due to their heterogeneity and rarity. To overcome this limitation, a microfluidic chip for label-free isolation of CTCs from peripheral blood was developed. This device, the CROSS chip, captures CTCs based on their size and deformability with an efficiency of 70%. Using 2 chips, 7.5 ml of whole blood are processed in 47 minutes with high purity, as compared to similar technologies and assessed by in situ immunofluorescence. The CROSS chip performance was compared to the CellSearch system in a set of metastatic colorectal cancer patients, resulting in higher capture of DAPI+/CK+/CD45- CTCs in all individuals tested. Importantly, CTC enumeration by CROSS chip enabled stratification of patients with different prognosis. Lastly, cells isolated in the CROSS chip were lysed and further subjected to molecular characterization by droplet digital PCR, which revealed a mutation in the APC gene for most patient samples analyzed, confirming their colorectal origin and the versatility of the technology for downstream applications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-44401-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6541613PMC
May 2019

Cell Cycle Kinase Polo Is Controlled by a Widespread 3' Untranslated Region Regulatory Sequence in Drosophila melanogaster.

Mol Cell Biol 2019 08 16;39(15). Epub 2019 Jul 16.

Gene Regulation, Instituto de Investigação e Inovação em Saúde, Universidade do Porto, Porto, Portugal

Alternative polyadenylation generates transcriptomic diversity, although the physiological impact and regulatory mechanisms involved are still poorly understood. The cell cycle kinase Polo is controlled by alternative polyadenylation in the 3' untranslated region (3'UTR), with critical physiological consequences. Here, we characterized the molecular mechanisms required for alternative polyadenylation. We identified a conserved upstream sequence element (USE) close to the proximal poly(A) signal. Transgenic flies without this sequence show incorrect selection of poly(A) signals with consequent downregulation of Polo expression levels and insufficient/defective activation of Polo kinetochore targets Mps1 and Aurora B. Deletion of the USE results in abnormal mitoses in neuroblasts, revealing a role for this sequence We found that Hephaestus binds to the USE RNA and that mutants display defects in alternative polyadenylation concomitant with a striking reduction in Polo protein levels, leading to mitotic errors and aneuploidy. Bioinformatic analyses show that the USE is preferentially localized upstream of noncanonical polyadenylation signals in genes. Taken together, our results revealed the molecular mechanisms involved in alternative polyadenylation, with remarkable physiological functions in Polo expression and activity at the kinetochores, and disclosed a new function for USEs in .
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/MCB.00581-18DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6639250PMC
August 2019

Characterization of Bacterial Communities in Breeding Waters of Anopheles darlingi in Manaus in the Amazon Basin Malaria-Endemic Area.

Microb Ecol 2019 Nov 15;78(4):781-791. Epub 2019 Apr 15.

Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Microbiology, Uppsala University, P.O. Box 596, 751 24, Uppsala, Sweden.

The microbiota in mosquito breeding waters can affect ovipositing mosquitoes, have effects on larval development, and can modify adult mosquito-gut bacterial composition. This, in turn, can affect transmission of human pathogens such as malaria parasites. Here, we explore the microbiota of four breeding sites for Anopheles darlingi, the most important malaria vector in Latin America. The sites are located in Manaus in the Amazon basin in Brazil, an area of active malaria transmission. Using 16S rRNA gene sequencing by MiSeq, we found that all sites were dominated by Proteobacteria and Firmicutes and that 94% of the total number of reads belonged to 36 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) identified in all sites. Of these, the most common OTUs belonged to Escherichia/Shigella, Staphylococcus, and Pseudomonas. Of the remaining 6% of the reads, the OTUs found to differentiate between the four sites belonged to the orders Burkholderiales, Actinomycetales, and Clostridiales. We conclude that An. darlingi can develop in breeding waters with different surface-water bacteria, but that the common microbiota found in all breeding sites might indicate or contribute to a suitable habitat for this important malaria vector.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00248-019-01369-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6842340PMC
November 2019

Children environmental exposure to particulate matter and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and biomonitoring in school environments: A review on indoor and outdoor exposure levels, major sources and health impacts.

Environ Int 2019 03 14;124:180-204. Epub 2019 Jan 14.

REQUIMTE/LAQV, Instituto Superior de Engenharia do Instituto Politécnico do Porto, Porto, Portugal. Electronic address:

Children, an important vulnerable group, spend most of their time at schools (up to 10 h per day, mostly indoors) and the respective air quality may significantly impact on children health. Thus, this work reviews the published studies on children biomonitoring and environmental exposure to particulate matter (PM) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) at school microenvironments (indoors and outdoors), major sources and potential health risks. A total of 28, 35, and 31% of the studies reported levels that exceeded the international outdoor ambient air guidelines for PM, PM, and benzo(a)pyrene, respectively. Indoor and outdoor concentrations of PM at European schools, the most characterized continent, ranged between 7.5 and 229 μg/m and 21-166 μg/m, respectively; levels of PM varied between 4 and 100 μg/m indoors and 6.1-115 μg/m outdoors. Despite scarce information in some geographical regions (America, Oceania and Africa), the collected data clearly show that Asian children are exposed to the highest concentrations of PM and PAHs at school environments, which were associated with increased carcinogenic risks and with the highest values of urinary total monohydroxyl PAH metabolites (PAH biomarkers of exposure). Additionally, children attending schools in polluted urban and industrial areas are exposed to higher levels of PM and PAHs with increased concentrations of urinary PAH metabolites in comparison with children from rural areas. Strong evidences demonstrated associations between environmental exposure to PM and PAHs with several health outcomes, including increased risk of asthma, pulmonary infections, skin diseases, and allergies. Nevertheless, there is a scientific gap on studies that include the characterization of PM fine fraction and the levels of PAHs in the total air (particulate and gas phases) of indoor and outdoor air of school environments and the associated risks for the health of children. There is a clear need to improve indoor air quality in schools and to establish international guidelines for exposure limits in these environments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2018.12.052DOI Listing
March 2019