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Summary

Urinary schistosomosis is a serious public health problem prevalent in low-income rural regions of sub-Saharan Africa, including coastal part of Kenya. Praziquantel administration to school-aged children is the prevailing tool of schistosomosis control in these regions. The aim of our study was to find out if this control strategy can lead to interruption of parasite trasmission and disease elimination. During February and March 2018, the occurrence of urinary schistosomosis in volunteers of primary health care facilities in Kwale County, Kenya was examined and the occurrence of infected intermediate hosts Bulinus globosus in local water resources was monitored. Participants completed a questionnaire concerning source of water for household purposes, type of housing and health status and were asked to provide urine samples. Diagnosis of urinary schistosomosis was established by detection of Schistosoma haematobium eggs in urine specimens microscopically, using filtration method. Infected B. globosus snails were detected using cercaria shedding tests. From the hemolymph of snails, prepatent period of infection was identified by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The presence of urinary schistosomosis was detected in 15.07 % (69 out of 451) of study participants. Cercaria shedding test was positive in 2 particular sites of river Pengo and Tsanganyiko. Genetic material (haemolymph) of 68 B. globosus snails tested by DraI PCR revealed 7 Schistosoma spp. positive samples. Six of seven DraI positive snails were infected by S. haematobium, as it was detected by Sh110/SmS1 PCR. The study revealed, that the disease was still present in the region studied and the transmission was not interrupted. The rate of infection was significantly influenced by the water supplies used for household purposes and the type of housing.

Abstract

African swine fever (ASF) is an acute viral haemorrhagic disease of pigs and wild boars. It presents a serious threat to pig production worldwide, and since 2007, ASF outbreaks have been recorded in the Caucasus, Eastern Europe, and the Baltic States. In 2014, the disease was detected in Poland. ASF is on the list of notifiable diseases of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). Due to the lack of an available vaccine and treatment, the countermeasures against the disease consist in early detection of the virus in the pig population and control of its spread through the elimination of herds affected by disease outbreaks. Knowledge of the potential vectors of the virus and its persistence in the environment is crucial to prevent further disease spread and to understand the new epidemiology for how it compares to the previous experience in Spain gathered in the 1970s and 1980s.

Abstract

Introduction

Oxidative stress (OS) seems to be an important mediator of cellular injury, from which sepsis can proceed. Studies have demonstrated the protective effect of controlled hypothermia in sepsis. This study aimed to evaluate its effects on OS parameters in rat hepatic and renal tissue septic after caecal ligation and puncture (CLP).

Material and Methods

Three groups were appointed (10 rats/group): C (control), SN (sepsis normothermic), and SH (sepsis hypothermic). Ten hours from CLP, the liver and kidneys were harvested and total protein concentration, superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activities, lipid peroxidation level (malondialdehyde (MDA), carbonylated proteins (2,4-dinitrophenylhydrazine (DNPH), and fatty acid profile were analysed.

Results

Sepsis significantly increased SOD and GPx activities in the liver, regardless of the temperature. In renal tissue, GPx activity increased significantly in normothermic conditions and SOD tended to decrease in hypothermic conditions. MDA and DNPH concentrations increase in both tissues after CLP. Hypothermia significantly lowered MDA in the liver but only changed it insignificantly in the kidneys. The DNPH in the liver and kidneys was significantly lower in hypothermic conditions. The unsaturated-to-saturated fatty acids ratio was significantly lower in sepsis, and the fall in temperature raised this ratio.

Conclusion

Experimentally induced sepsis in rats enhances OS in the liver and kidneys. The effect of hypothermia on OS indices is dependent on the type of tissue.

Abstract

Clustering as a fundamental unsupervised learning is considered an important method of data analysis, and K-means is demonstrably the most popular clustering algorithm. In this paper, we consider clustering on feature space to solve the low efficiency caused in the Big Data clustering by K-means. Different from the traditional methods, the algorithm guaranteed the consistency of the clustering accuracy before and after descending dimension, accelerated K-means when the clustering centeres and distance functions satisfy certain conditions, completely matched in the preprocessing step and clustering step, and improved the efficiency and accuracy. Experimental results have demonstrated the effectiveness of the proposed algorithm.

Abstract

A model for predator-prey interactions with herd behaviour is proposed. Novelty includes a smooth transition from individual behaviour (low number of prey) to herd behaviour (large number of prey). The model is analysed using standard stability and bifurcations techniques. We prove that the system undergoes a Hopf bifurcation as we vary the parameter that represents the efficiency of predators (dependent on the predation rate, for instance), giving rise to sustained oscillations in the system. The proposed model appears to possess more realistic features than the previous approaches while being also relatively easier to analyse and understand.

Abstract

Introduction

Since 2009, Poland has been recognised as a country officially free of bovine tuberculosis (bTB), although in each year of the last five there were from 8 to 18 outbreaks of the disease. In 2008–2016, the largest number of cattle infected with bovine mycobacteria were eliminated in the Masovian Province (the central region of Poland) and the largest number of outbreaks of this zoonosis were recorded in this area. The close proximity of farms where bTB was found led to the suspicion that tuberculosis could have been transmitted between the affected herds. The aim of the study was the molecular characterisation of the pertinent M. bovis/caprae strains and determination of the epidemiological relationship of various bTB outbreaks.

Material and Methods

The material for microbiological tests came from 119 cattle (Bos taurus) from nine herds located in five provinces, neighbouring the Masovian Province.

Results

Laboratory tests of tissue material gave results confirming tuberculosis in 54 (45%) animals. All strains belonged to the Mycobacterium bovis species. A two-step analysis of genetic affinity allowed 50 strains to be identified as phylogenetically closely related and separated between three genetic clusters consisting of 2 to 27 strains.

Conclusion

Based on the results of genotyping, bTB outbreaks were found in three herds, and three transmission chains were identified among these herds.

Abstract

Due to increasing bacterial antibiotic resistance and the consumers’ tendency to choose organic products, cattle farmers are interested in alternative methods of calf diarrhoea treatment. This is a major challenge for veterinarians. Few methods of non-antibiotic treatment that bring satisfactory results have been reported in the related literature so far. In this article, the authors compare different non-antibiotic methods of diarrhoea prevention and treatment in calves. Among the alternatives discussed are herbs, probiotics, prebiotics and synbiotics, lactoferrin, and bacteriophages. It was found that the best results could be achieved through the use of pro-, pre- and synbiotics. However, the authors would like to point out that with the expansion of knowledge about the practical use of broad-scale bacteriophages, they could be the best alternative to antibiotics.

Abstract

In forests, edaphic microbial communities are involved in litter decomposition and soil forming processes, with major contribution to humification, especially bacteria and fungi being responsible for the main ecosystem services fulfilled by the soil. Research has been carried out aiming to characterize the structure and diversity of microbial communities in the Rendzic Leptosols (WRB) under natural deciduous forest from Visterna, Babadag Plateau and to assess their contribution to ecosystem services provided by soil. The paper presents the results of quantitative estimations and taxonomic composition of soil and litter communities of heterotrophic bacteria and fungi, identification of cellulolytic species, as well as the microbial biomass and global physiological activities expressed as soil respiration potential. More than a half of bacterial species were common in litter and soil (SI=57.14%) and were represented by dominant species of fluorescent or non-fluorescent pseudomonads and Bacillus subtilis but no similarity was found between the two fungal communities. Fungal populations included cosmopolitan species, such as antagonists and strong cellulolytic representatives of genera Penicillium, Trichoderma, Mortierella, Chaetomium, Epicoccum, Aspergillus. Microbial density and microbial biomass presented the highest values in the litter (684 mg C x kg-1 d.s.) and in surface horizon Am1 of soil profile than in the bottom layers. The highest diversity was found in Am1 horizon (0-5 cm) H’=1.983 bits and ε=0.869 for cellulolytic community. Soil respiration reflected the intense physiological activity of microbiome, with high values associated to numerous effectives of bacteria and fungi especially in surface horizon. Microorganisms identified contribute to formation of soil by recycling of nutrients, cellulose decomposition, the synthesis of stable organic matter (humic acids), aggregation of soil particles, biological control of pathogens by antagonistic activity. They improve plant uptake of water and nutrients by forming symbioses (ectomycorrhizae), thus modelling the structure of vegetation.

Abstract

Stressful saline concentrations in soils affect photosynthesis by damaging pigments, photosystems, components of electron transport system, and enzymes involved in the process. Plants respond through very complex stress adaptation mechanisms including proteome modulation, alterations in pigment content, cell osmotic adjustment and control of ion and water homeostasis mechanisms, which stabilize cytosolic glutathione redox potential, etc. The level of plant sensitivity depends on salt toxicity levels, growth stage, physiological and genetic factors. With aim the investigation of the salinity tolerant cultivars, and for the elucidation of mechanisms underlying this complex biological process, here we analyze the impact of four NaCl concentrations (0-50-100-200mM) in growth parameters (root, shoot and leaves length), pigment content (chla, chlb, carotenoids), and GSH content, during seedling of five bread wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) cultivars in modified Hoagland solutions. Based on biometric parameters, pigment synthesis and GSH content cultivar Nogal is salt-sensitive (growth and pigments reduced); cultivar Viktoria is medium-tolerant (growth partially impaired, pigments constant), cultivar Toborzo and cultivar Suba are medium-tolerant (growth partially impaired, pigments increased), cultivar Dajti salt-tolerant (growth partially impaired/ leaves developed, pigments increased). Quantity of GSH in response to different levels of salinity is cultivar specific, and time of exposure to salinity is in negative correlation to GSH content for all investigated cultivars.

Abstract

This study aimed to investigate the effects of possible zinc (Zn) and molybdenum (Mo) contaminations on the critically endangered European Bluestar (Amsonia orientalis). The effects of Zn and Mo were tested in a dose-dependent manner on in vitro cultures. Zn at 0.1 mM in the medium inhibited root development whereas Mo showed the same effect only at ≥2.5 mM concentration. Gradual inhibition of shoot development was observed after treatment with both metals. Protein contents were also negatively affected by increasing metal concentrations, while proline levels increased gradually. Successive increases in metal concentrations resulted in higher hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and malondialdehyde (MDA) concentrations. The activity of the antioxidant enzymes, peroxidase (POD) and catalase (CAT), were found to be enhanced in response to increasing metal concentrations. Superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity decreased after Zn treatment but increased after Mo treatment. A marked increase in POD and CAT in response to metal stress suggests that these enzymes might have a significant cooperative role in regulating H2O2 production, although CAT, in response to drought and salt stress, has been reported to only play a supplementary role in A. orientalis. These results indicated that A. orientalis is susceptible to long-term Zn stress but can tolerate up to 2.5 mM Mo in the long-term. Deficiency of Mo is more common than high toxic concentrations in the environment. Therefore Zn contamination should be considered as one of the major threats for A. orientalis in its native habitat.