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Understanding the peopling of the Americas remains an important and challenging question. Here, we present (14)C dates, and morphological, isotopic and genomic sequence data from two human skulls from the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil, part of one of the indigenous groups known as 'Botocudos'. We find that their genomic ancestry is Polynesian, with no detectable Native American component. Radiocarbon analysis of the skulls shows that the individuals had died prior to the beginning of the 19th century. Our findings could either represent genomic evidence of Polynesians reaching South America during their Pacific expansion, or European-mediated transport.
Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Although Leishmania (Viannia) braziliensis is the most prevalent species that cause American tegumentary leishmaniasis (ATL), the immune response against this parasite has been poorly investigated. Upon activation, macrophages produce a series of pro-inflammatory molecules, including the lipid mediator leukotriene B4 (LTB4). LTB4 has been shown to enhance several macrophage functions, but its role in human macrophages is less known. Here, we investigated the role of LTB4 on human monocyte-derived macrophages infected with human isolate of L. (V.) braziliensis (IMG3). It was found that human macrophages produce LTB4 upon infection with Leishmania, which by autocrine or paracrine activation of its high affinity receptor BLT1, potentiates macrophage leishmanicidal activity. This LTB4 effect is mediated by increased secretion of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Moreover, Leishmania infection decreased the expression of BLT1, leading to the speculation that this could represent a parasite escape mechanism to establish a chronic inflammatory infection. Therefore, our data suggest that LTB4 could be used in therapeutic strategies to control Leishmania infection.
Copyright © 2014 Institut Pasteur. Published by Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.
To determine the absolute configuration of 3-ishwarone, the experimental electronic circular dichroism (ECD), electronic dissymmetry factor (EDF), optical rotatory dispersion (ORD), vibrational circular dichroism (VCD), and vibrational dissymmetry factor (VDF) spectra of (+)-3-ishwarone are analyzed with the corresponding density functional theoretical predictions for different diastereomers. ECD and ORD spectra by themselves could not facilitate the determination of the absolute configuration of this molecule. However, the magnitude of the experimental EDF of (+)-3-ishwarone is found to match better with that predicted for the (1R,2S,4S,5R,9R,11R) diastereomer. The analyses of similarity measures between experimental and predicted spectra for VCD and VDF clearly suggested that the absolute configuration of (+)-3-ishwarone is (1R,2S,4S,5R,9R,11R).
Subcutaneous immunoglobulin infusions are effective, safe and well tolerated in the treatment of primary immunodeficiencies, but only limited data on the treatment of children are available. We investigated the efficacy, safety and pharmacokinetics of home therapy with a 16% liquid human immunoglobulin G preparation (Vivaglobin®) when administered subcutaneously in children with primary immunodeficiencies. Data were analysed from 22 children (2-<12 years) who participated in two prospective, open-label studies (one in Europe/Brazil, one in North America). All children had previously received intravenous immunoglobulins. They started weekly subcutaneous immunoglobulin infusions with an approximately 3-month wash-in/wash-out period, followed by a 6-month (Europe/Brazil) or 12-month (North America) efficacy evaluation period. In Europe/Brazil, subcutaneous doses generally equalled the previous weekly equivalent intravenous doses. In North America, subcutaneous doses during the efficacy evaluation period were 126% (median) of the previous weekly equivalent intravenous doses. Efficacy end-points in both studies included the occurrence of serious bacterial infections and any infections, and serum immunoglobulin G trough levels. Median serum immunoglobulin G trough levels exceeded those during previous intravenous therapy by 13% (North America) and 16% (Europe/Brazil). During the efficacy evaluation period of both studies, none of the children had a serious bacterial infection; the mean overall infection rate/patient year was 4·7 in Europe/Brazil and 5·6 in North America, concurring with previous reports in adults. The adverse event profile was comparable to previous reports in adults. Both studies confirmed the efficacy and safety of subcutaneous immunoglobulin therapy with Vivaglobin in children with primary immunodeficiencies.
© 2011 The Authors. Clinical and Experimental Immunology © 2011 British Society for Immunology.
BACKGROUND - Functional decline in Brazilian patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is associated with impaired recovery, quality of life, and health care costs.
METHODS - Sixty patients enrolled at the regional oncology center in Curitiba, Brazil, were assessed over 6 months for toxicities, nutritional status, anthropometry, fatigue, stress, and functionality.
RESULTS - Severe mid-arm and mid-calf circumference depletion accompanied weight loss. Total fatigue score increased 64% (p < .001), as did perceived stress and serum cortisol (p = .01). Instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) dependence doubled, and activities of daily living (ADL) dependence quadrupled (p < .001). Difficulty chewing or swallowing, weight loss, fatigue, perceived stress, and IADL dependence accounted for 48.2% of ADL dependence.
CONCLUSIONS - The physical and psychological impact of HNSCC and its treatment are universally experienced; yet, screening and intervention for symptoms such as fatigue and stress are not typical clinical practice. Moreover, assessment of functional status is usually limited to chewing and swallowing. This study identified symptoms that require systematic intervention and randomized trials with functional independence as the outcome.
BACKGROUND - Few international studies prospectively compared evidence-based practices and health outcomes among congestive heart failure (CHF) cohorts from countries with different cultural and economic backgrounds.
METHODS - Patients consecutively admitted with congestive heart failure to tertiary care teaching hospitals in Brazil and in the United States (U.S.) were systematically evaluated using a structured data form. Follow-up data 3 months after discharge were obtained using chart review and telephone interviews.
RESULTS - U.S. patients were older (p < 0.01), had higher prevalence of ischemic etiology (p < 0.01) and less previous hospitalizations for congestive heart failure (p = 0.03) than Brazilian patients, but similar Charlson comorbidity scores (p = 0.54) and left ventricular (LV) function (p = 0.45). Prescription of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors at discharge was lower at the U.S. hospital (57% vs. 68%; p = 0.03), but beta-blockers prescription was higher (37% vs. 10%; p < 0.01). Length-of-stay was significantly shorter (5 [interquartile range, 3-9] vs. 11 [6-19] days; p < 0.001) and in-hospital mortality was lower (2.4% vs. 13%; p < 0.001) in the U.S. cohort, but fewer clinical events within 3 months after discharge were observed in Brazilian patients (42% vs. 54%; p = 0.02). Combined clinical outcomes within 3 months, including overall mortality and hospital readmission, were similar between cohorts (57% vs. 55%; p = 0.80). In multivariate analysis, hospital site remained significantly associated with health outcomes.
CONCLUSIONS - Medical practice and health-related outcomes were different between U.S. and Brazilian congestive heart failure patients. In order to improve management worldwide, potential factors (structural, cultural or disease-related) that might be associated with these differences need to be evaluated in future studies.