Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 19

Search results for: Vania R. E. P. Bittencourt

19 Effect of Metarhizium robertsii in Rhipicephalus microplus hemocytes

Authors: Jessica P. Fiorotti, Maria C. Freitas, Caio J. B. Coutinho-Rodrigues, Mariana G. Camargo, Emily S. Mesquita, Amanda R. C. Corval, Ricardo O. B. Bitencourt, Allan F. Marciano, Diva D. Spadacci-Morena, Patricia S. Golo, Isabele C. Angelo, Vania R. E. P. Bittencourt

Abstract:

The bovine tick, Rhipicephalus microplus, is an arthropod of great importance in veterinary medicine leading to anemia, weight loss, animals' leather depreciation and also acting as a vector of many pathogens. In this way, the parasitism causes a loss of 3.24 billion dollars per year in Brazil. Knowingly, entomopathogenic fungi act as natural controller of some arthropods, acting mainly by active penetration through the cuticle. However, it can also act on the hemolymph and through the production of mycotoxins. Hemocytes are responsible for the cellular immune response and participate in the processes of phagocytosis, nodulation and encapsulation and may undergo changes when challenged by pathogens. The aim of the present study was to evaluate changes in R. microplus hemocytes after inoculation of Metarhizium robertsii using transmission electron microscopy. The isolate ARSEF 2575 and 200 engorged R. microplus females were used. The groups were divided into control, in which the females were inoculated with 5 μL of sterile distilled water solution and 0.1% Tween 80, and a group inoculated with 5 μL of fungal suspension at the concentration of 10⁷ conidia mL⁻¹. The experiment was performed in duplicate and each group contained 50 females. Twenty-four hours after fungal inoculation, hemolymph was collected through the cuticle dorsal surface perforation of the tick females. After collection, the hemolymph samples were centrifuged at 500 x g for 3 minutes at 4 °C, the plasma was discarded and the hemocyte pellet was resuspended in 50 μl PBS. The suspension material was fixed in 2% glutaraldehyde in Millonig buffer for three hours. After fixation, the material was centrifuged at 500 x g for 3 minutes, the supernatant was discarded and the cells were resuspended in a wash solution. Subsequently, the cells were post-fixed with 1% osmium tetroxide in phosphate buffer for one hour at room temperature and dehydrated in increasing concentrations of ethanol, and then embedded in Epon resin. The ultrathin sections were examined under the LEO EM 906E transmission electron microscopy at 80kV. The ultrastructural results revealed that.in control group, the cells were considered intact, in which the granulocytes were observed with granules of different electrodensities, intact mitochondria and cytoplasm without vacuolization. In addition, granulocytes showed plasma membrane projections similar to pseudopodia. Plasmatocytes presented as irregularly shaped cells, with the eccentric nucleus, agranular cytoplasm and some cells presented pseudopodia. Nevertheless, in the group exposed to the fungus, most of the cells presented in degeneration. The granulocytes found had fewer granules in the cytoplasm and more vacuoles. Plasmatocytes, after treatment, presented many vacuoles also in the cytoplasm and the lysosomes presented great amount of electrodense material in their interior. Thus, the results suggest that the fungus has a depressant action in the immune system of the tick, not only by the cell degranulation, but also suggesting that this leads to morphological changes in the hemocytes and may even trigger processes such as phagocytosis.

Keywords: Immune response, entomopathogenic fungi, bovine tick, cellular defense

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18 Using Textual Pre-Processing and Text Mining to Create Semantic Links

Authors: Ricardo Avila, Gabriel Lopes, Vania Vidal, Jose Macedo

Abstract:

This article offers a approach to the automatic discovery of semantic concepts and links in the domain of Oil Exploration and Production (E&P). Machine learning methods combined with textual pre-processing techniques were used to detect local patterns in texts and, thus, generate new concepts and new semantic links. Even using more specific vocabularies within the oil domain, our approach has achieved satisfactory results, suggesting that the proposal can be applied in other domains and languages, requiring only minor adjustments.

Keywords: Data Mining, linked data, semantic links, SKOS

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17 Discovering Semantic Links Between Synonyms, Hyponyms and Hypernyms

Authors: Ricardo Avila, Gabriel Lopes, Vania Vidal, Jose Macedo

Abstract:

This proposal aims for semantic enrichment between glossaries using the Simple Knowledge Organization System (SKOS) vocabulary to discover synonyms, hyponyms and hyperonyms semiautomatically, in Brazilian Portuguese, generating new semantic relationships based on WordNet. To evaluate the quality of this proposed model, experiments were performed by the use of two sets containing new relations, being one generated automatically and the other manually mapped by the domain expert. The applied evaluation metrics were precision, recall, f-score, and confidence interval. The results obtained demonstrate that the applied method in the field of Oil Production and Extraction (E&P) is effective, which suggests that it can be used to improve the quality of terminological mappings. The procedure, although adding complexity in its elaboration, can be reproduced in others domains.

Keywords: Semantic Web, linked data, ontology matching, SKOS, mapping enrichment

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16 Assessing the Antimicrobial Activity of Chitosan Nanoparticles by Fluorescence-Labeling

Authors: Laidson P. Gomes, Cristina T. Andrade, Eduardo M. Del Aguila, Cameron Alexander, Vânia M. F. Paschoalin

Abstract:

Chitosan is a natural polysaccharide prepared by the N-deacetylation of chitin. In this study, the physicochemical and antibacterial properties of chitosan nanoparticles, produced by ultrasound irradiation, were evaluated. The physicochemical properties of the nanoparticles were determined by dynamic light scattering and zeta potential analysis. Chitosan nanoparticles inhibited the growth of E. coli. The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) values were lower than 0.5 mg/mL, and the minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC) values were similar or higher than MIC values. Confocal laser scanning micrographs (CLSM) were used to observe the interaction between E. coli suspensions mixed with FITC-labeled chitosan polymers and nanoparticles.

Keywords: Confocal microscopy, antibacterial activity, zeta potential, chitosan nanoparticles, dynamic light scattering

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15 In vitro Control of Aedes aegypti Larvae Using Beauveria bassiana

Authors: R. O. B. Bitencourt, F. S. Farias, M. C. Freitas, C. J. R. Balduino, E.S. Mesquita, A. R. C. Corval, P. S. Gôlo, E. G. Pontes, V. R. E. P. Bittencourt, I. C. Angelo

Abstract:

Aedes aegypti larval survival rate was assessed after exposure to blastopores or conidia (mineral oil-in-water formulation or aqueous suspension) of Beauveria bassiana CG 479 propagules (blastospores or conidia). Here, mineral oil was used in the fungal formulation to control Aedes aegypti larvae. 1%, 0.5% or 0.1% mineral oil-in-water solutions were used to evaluate mineral oil toxicity for mosquito larvae. In the oil toxicity test, 0.1% mineral oil solution reduced only 4.5% larval survival; accordingly, this concentration was chosen for fungal oil-in-water formulations. Aqueous suspensions were prepared using 0.01% Tween 80® in sterile dechlorinated water. A. aegypti larvae (L2) were exposed in aqueous suspensions or mineral oil-in-water fungal formulations at 1×107 propagules mL-1; the survival rate (assessed daily, for 7 days) and the median survival time (S50) were calculated. Seven days after the treatment, mosquito larvae survival rates were 8.56%, 16.22%, 58%, and 42.56% after exposure to oil-in-water blastospores, oil-in-water conidia, blastospores aqueous suspension and conidia aqueous suspension (respectively). Larvae exposed to 0.01% Tween 80® had 100% survival rate and the ones treated with 0.1% mineral oil-in-water had 95.11% survival rate. Larvae treated with conidia (regardless the presence of oil) or treated with blastospores formulation had survival median time (S50) ranging from one to two days. S50 was not determined (ND) when larvae were exposed to blastospores aqueous suspension, 0.01% Tween 80® (aqueous control) or 0.1% mineral oil-in-water formulation (oil control). B. bassiana conidia and blastospores (mineral oil-in-water formulated or suspended in water) had potential to control A. aegypti mosquito larvae, despite mineral oil-in-water formulation yielded better results in comparison to aqueous suspensions. Here, B. bassiana CG 479 isolate is suggested as a potential biocontrol agent of A. aegypti mosquito larvae.

Keywords: mosquitoes, Formulation, conidia, blastospores

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14 Host Status of Pitaya Genotypes Fruit to Meloidogyne enterolobii and M. incognita

Authors: Freitas Vania Moreira, Rodrigues B. B., Araujo M.B., Silva D. R., Sousa A. C., Araujo K. P., Pimentel R. R., Cares J. E., Junqueira N. T. V.

Abstract:

The Pitahayas are cactus native from America and abundant in arid regions. The cultivation is based mainly on the following species: Hylocereus undatus, H. polyrhizus, H. setaceus and H. megalanthus, being H. undatus the most cultivated in Brazil. The pitahaya cultivation is recent in Brazil and is concentrated in São Paulo. Meloidogyne enterolobii is of unknown origin being distributed in several countries. This nematode has recently been detected in Brazil causing damage in several crops. Similarly, M. incognita is a widely distributed pathogen in Brazil. The objective of this study is to evaluate the following accesses of pitahaya to M. enterolobii: CPAC- Py H. hundatus 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07 and 08; CPAC - Py H. costaricense 8A; CPAC - Py Selenicereus setaceus 17 and CPAC - Py S. megalantus 22. And the following accesses to M. incognita: CPAC- Py H. hundatus 05; CPAC - Py H. costaricense 8A; CPAC - Py S. setaceus 17 and CPAC - Py S. megalantus 22. According to the results, CPAC – Py H. hundatus 01, 02, 03, 04 and 07 were considered resistant. While CPAC - Py 05 and 08 was susceptible. CPAC-Py 06 also was considered susceptible, because there was the reaction of susceptibility in one of the trials. Given this wide diversity in H. hundatus and being this species the most cultivated in Brazil it is suggested to work more with this material in Embrapa Cerrados. CPAC - Py H. costaricense 8A behaved as susceptible in one of the trials. CPAC - Py S. setaceus 17 and CPAC – Py S. megalantus 22 were considered highly susceptible. The susceptibility of S. megalantus is widely described in the literature. In relation to M. incognita, there were differences between the results in both experiments, but all behaved as susceptible in at least one of the tests.

Keywords: Resistance, Fruit, meloidogyne, pitaya

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13 From Bureaucracy to Organizational Learning Model: An Organizational Change Process Study

Authors: Vania Helena Tonussi Vidal, Ester Eliane Jeunon

Abstract:

This article aims to analyze the change processes of management related bureaucracy and learning organization model. The theoretical framework was based on Beer and Nohria (2001) model, identified as E and O Theory. Based on this theory the empirical research was conducted in connection with six key dimensions: goal, leadership, focus, process, reward systems and consulting. We used a case study of an educational Institution located in Barbacena, Minas Gerais. This traditional center of technical knowledge for long time adopted the bureaucratic way of management. After many changes in a business model, as the creation of graduate and undergraduate courses they decided to make a deep change in management model that is our research focus. The data were collected through semi-structured interviews with director, managers and courses supervisors. The analysis were processed by the procedures of Collective Subject Discourse (CSD) method, develop by Lefèvre & Lefèvre (2000), Results showed the incremental growing of management model toward a learning organization. Many impacts could be seeing. As negative factors we have: people resistance; poor information about the planning and implementation process; old politics inside the new model and so on. Positive impacts are: new procedures in human resources, mainly related to manager skills and empowerment; structure downsizing, open discussions channel; integrated information system. The process is still under construction and now great stimulus is done to managers and employee commitment in the process.

Keywords: Bureaucracy, Organizational learning, Organizational change, E and O theory

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12 Profile of Serological Response of Equids Naturally Infected with Burkholderia mallei

Authors: Muhammad Younus, Aman Ullah Khan, Iahtasham Khan, Vania Lucia De Assis Santana, Marcilia Maria Alves De Souza, Mabel Hanna Vance Harrop, Fernando Leandro Dos Santos, Cecília Maria Souza Leão E. Silva, Pedro Paulo Silveira, Marcelo Brasil, Marcus Vinícius, Hélio Cordeiro Manso Filho

Abstract:

Glanders ranks high on clinical lists in some regions of Brazil as a cause of respiratory and lymphatic disease in equids. Glanders is caused by Burkolderia mallei (B. mallei) Gram-negative bacterium. B. mallei was first biological agent used in World War I in 20th century. The complement fixation test (CFT) is a serodiagnostic tool prescribed by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE)for the diagnosis of glanders in the international trade of equids. The aim of the present study was to monitor the serological responses in equines naturally infected with B. mallei using the CFT. A total of 574 equids were tested with CFT, 30 days apart in a total of 12 samplings. One hundred thirty-four sera tested negative in all samplings; 192 sera tested positive in one sampling and 125 sera tested positive in two or more samplings. Remaining 123 samples showed uncertain results. Thus, CFT results can vary over a period of time. These variations could be the consequence of the effects of the natural immune response in each animal. The findings of the present study demonstrate difficulties regarding the simultaneous implementation of CFT and test and slaughter policies to eradicate glanders. Another constraint to control this disease is the presence of carrier/transitory CFT-negative animals, which are a potential source of disease in glanders-free areas. Serodiagnostic tests of higher sensitivity and specificity like immunobloat should be implemented to achieve success in the eradication of glanders.

Keywords: Immunological, horses, glanders, equids, mules

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11 Effect of Anion and Amino Functional Group on Resin for Lipase Immobilization with Adsorption-Cross Linking Method

Authors: Heri Hermansyah, Annisa Kurnia, A. Vania Anisya, Adi Surjosatyo, Yopi Sunarya, Rita Arbianti, Tania Surya Utami

Abstract:

Lipase is one of biocatalyst which is applied commercially for the process in industries, such as bioenergy, food, and pharmaceutical industry. Nowadays, biocatalysts are preferred in industries because they work in mild condition, high specificity, and reduce energy consumption (high pressure and temperature). But, the usage of lipase for industry scale is limited by economic reason due to the high price of lipase and difficulty of the separation system. Immobilization of lipase is one of the solutions to maintain the activity of lipase and reduce separation system in the process. Therefore, we conduct a study about lipase immobilization with the adsorption-cross linking method using glutaraldehyde because this method produces high enzyme loading and stability. Lipase is immobilized on different kind of resin with the various functional group. Highest enzyme loading (76.69%) was achieved by lipase immobilized on anion macroporous which have anion functional group (OH). However, highest activity (24,69 U/g support) through olive oil emulsion method was achieved by lipase immobilized on anion macroporous-chitosan which have amino (NH2) and anion (OH-) functional group. In addition, it also success to produce biodiesel until reach yield 50,6% through interesterification reaction and after 4 cycles stable 63.9% relative with initial yield. While for Aspergillus, niger lipase immobilized on anion macroporous-kitosan have unit activity 22,84 U/g resin and yield biodiesel higher than commercial lipase (69,1%) and after 4 cycles stable reach 70.6% relative from initial yield. This shows that optimum functional group on support for immobilization with adsorption-cross linking is the support that contains amino (NH2) and anion (OH-) functional group because they can react with glutaraldehyde and binding with enzyme prevent desorption of lipase from support through binding lipase with a functional group on support.

Keywords: immobilization, lipase, adsorption-cross linking, resin

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10 The Relationship between the Social Entrepreneur and the Social Dimension of Sustainability: A Bibliometric Survey of the Last Twelve Years

Authors: Leticia Lengler, Jefferson Oliveira, Vania Estivalete, Jordana Marques Kneipp, Lucia Regina Da Rosa Gama Madruga

Abstract:

The way social entrepreneurs act and can positively impact on our society engages the interest of academics, companies and governments, who seek solutions to solve or alleviate issues related to the abuse of natural resources, as well as the increase of poverty (social aspects). Studies on social entrepreneurship have been characterized by diverse ramifications and their transdisciplinary character, permeating various disciplines and approaches. Different bibliometric studies were conducted within the theme of social entrepreneurship. In this context, because it is a topic in development and multifaceted, the aim of this article is to present the main interfaces of the studies on the Social Entrepreneur figure in relation to the social concern of sustainability, highlighting the relevant researches and their trends, as well as their relationship with the organizations. Aiming to achieve this purpose, the specific goals are: to identify the most cited authors and articles, to verify the authors and journals with the greatest number of publications and their approaches and to point out their affiliations, countries, and languages of publications. It is still a secondary objective to identify the emerging trends in relation to the social entrepreneur and his social concern stemming from the discussions on sustainability. This way, we analyzed articles from two international databases (Scopus and Web of Science), from 2004 to 2016. The main results were the increase in the number of publications, with most of them in English language, coming mainly from the United States institutions (such as Indiana University and Harvard University) and the United Kingdom (whose main institutions are University of London and Robert Gordon University). Although publications in Spanish and Portuguese are the least expressive in quantity, some tendencies point to publications that discuss the social entrepreneur in terms of gender (that relates to female entrepreneurship) and social class (that relates to the need of building communities that contemplate the Social entrepreneur at the base of the pyramid). It should be noted that the trends of the themes emerged from the analysis of the publication titles only in Portuguese, since this is the native language of the authors who carry out their studies mainly in Brazil. When considering articles in Portuguese (57 indicated by WOS and 9 by Scopus), a previous analysis of the titles was carried out to identify how researchers were approaching the theme social entrepreneur in a joint way to the social dimension of sustainability. However, the analysis of the titles themselves brought a limitation to our study, since it was felt a need to carry out a qualitative study, in which it could be possible to consider the abstracts of the available articles.

Keywords: Sustainability, social dimension, base of pyramid, social entrepreneur

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9 Interface between Personal Values and Social Entrepreneurship in Social Projects That Develop Sports Practice

Authors: Leticia Lengler, Jefferson Oliveira, Vania Estivalete, Jordana Marques Kneipp

Abstract:

The context of social, economic and environmental transformations has driven innumerable changes in the organizational environment, influencing the social interactions that occur in this scenario. In this sense, social entrepreneurship emerges as a unique opportunity to challenge, question, rethink certain concepts and traditional theories widely discussed in relation to entrepreneurship. Therefore, the interest in studying personal values has been based on the idea that they might be predictors of the behavior of individuals. As an attempt to relate personal values with the characteristics of social entrepreneurs, this study aims to investigate the salient values and the social entrepreneurship perceptions that occur in two social projects responsible for developing sports skills among the students. For purposes of analysis, it is intended to consider: (i) a description of both Social Projects and their respective institutions, considering their history and relevance in the context; (ii) analysis of the personal values of the idealizers and teachers responsible for the projects, (iii) identification of the characteristics of social entrepreneurship manifested in the two projects, and (iv) discussion of similarities and disparities of the categories identified among the participants of the projects. Therefore, this study will carry a qualitative analysis from the interviews with 10 participants of each social project (named Projeto Remar/ASENA and Projeto Mãos Dadas/JUDÔ SANTA MARIA): 2 projects coordinators, 2 students, 2 parents of students, 2 physical education internships and 2 businessmen who stablished a partnership with each project. The data collection will be done through semi-structured interviews that are going to last around 30 minutes each, being recorded, transcribed and later analyzed, through the categorical analysis. The option for categorical analysis is supported by the fact that it is the best alternative when one wants to study values, opinions, attitudes and beliefs, through qualitative ones. In the present research, the pre-analysis phase consisted of an organization of the material collected during the research with Remar and Mãos Dadas Project, and a dynamic reading of this material, seeking to identify the characteristics of social entrepreneurship and values addressed in the study. In the analytical description phase, a more in-depth analysis of the material collected in the research will be carried out. The third phase, referred to as referential interpretation or treatment of results obtained will allow to verify the homogeneity and the heterogeneity among the participants' perceptions of the projects. Some preliminary results coming from the first interviews revealed the projects are guided by values such as cooperation, respect, well-being and nature preservation. These values are linked to the social entrepreneurship perception of the projects managers, who established their activities in behalf of the local community.

Keywords: social entrepreneurship, personal values, social projects, sports participants

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8 Economic Decision Making under Cognitive Load: The Role of Numeracy and Financial Literacy

Authors: Vânia Costa, Nuno De Sá Teixeira, Ana C. Santos, Eduardo Santos

Abstract:

Financial literacy and numeracy have been regarded as paramount for rational household decision making in the increasing complexity of financial markets. However, financial decisions are often made under sub-optimal circumstances, including cognitive overload. The present study aims to clarify how financial literacy and numeracy, taken as relevant expert knowledge for financial decision-making, modulate possible effects of cognitive load. Participants were required to perform a choice between a sure loss or a gambling pertaining a financial investment, either with or without a competing memory task. Two experiments were conducted varying only the content of the competing task. In the first, the financial choice task was made while maintaining on working memory a list of five random letters. In the second, cognitive load was based upon the retention of six random digits. In both experiments, one of the items in the list had to be recalled given its serial position. Outcomes of the first experiment revealed no significant main effect or interactions involving cognitive load manipulation and numeracy and financial literacy skills, strongly suggesting that retaining a list of random letters did not interfere with the cognitive abilities required for financial decision making. Conversely, and in the second experiment, a significant interaction between the competing mnesic task and level of financial literacy (but not numeracy) was found for the frequency of choice of a gambling option. Overall, and in the control condition, both participants with high financial literacy and high numeracy were more prone to choose the gambling option. However, and when under cognitive load, participants with high financial literacy were as likely as their illiterate counterparts to choose the gambling option. This outcome is interpreted as evidence that financial literacy prevents intuitive risk-aversion reasoning only under highly favourable conditions, as is the case when no other task is competing for cognitive resources. In contrast, participants with higher levels of numeracy were consistently more prone to choose the gambling option in both experimental conditions. These results are discussed in the light of the opposition between classical dual-process theories and fuzzy-trace theories for intuitive decision making, suggesting that while some instances of expertise (as numeracy) are prone to support easily accessible gist representations, other expert skills (as financial literacy) depend upon deliberative processes. It is furthermore suggested that this dissociation between types of expert knowledge might depend on the degree to which they are generalizable across disparate settings. Finally, applied implications of the present study are discussed with a focus on how it informs financial regulators and the importance and limits of promoting financial literacy and general numeracy.

Keywords: Decision Making, Financial Literacy, Cognitive Load, numeracy

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7 New Bio-Strategies for Ochratoxin a Detoxification Using Lactic Acid Bacteria

Authors: José Maria, Vânia Laranjo, Luís Abrunhosa, António Inês

Abstract:

The occurrence of mycotoxigenic moulds such as Aspergillus, Penicillium and Fusarium in food and feed has an important impact on public health, by the appearance of acute and chronic mycotoxicoses in humans and animals, which is more severe in the developing countries due to lack of food security, poverty and malnutrition. This mould contamination also constitutes a major economic problem due the lost of crop production. A great variety of filamentous fungi is able to produce highly toxic secondary metabolites known as mycotoxins. Most of the mycotoxins are carcinogenic, mutagenic, neurotoxic and immunosuppressive, being ochratoxin A (OTA) one of the most important. OTA is toxic to animals and humans, mainly due to its nephrotoxic properties. Several approaches have been developed for decontamination of mycotoxins in foods, such as, prevention of contamination, biodegradation of mycotoxins-containing food and feed with microorganisms or enzymes and inhibition or absorption of mycotoxin content of consumed food into the digestive tract. Some group of Gram-positive bacteria named lactic acid bacteria (LAB) are able to release some molecules that can influence the mould growth, improving the shelf life of many fermented products and reducing health risks due to exposure to mycotoxins. Some LAB are capable of mycotoxin detoxification. Recently our group was the first to describe the ability of LAB strains to biodegrade OTA, more specifically, Pediococcus parvulus strains isolated from Douro wines. The pathway of this biodegradation was identified previously in other microorganisms. OTA can be degraded through the hydrolysis of the amide bond that links the L-β-phenylalanine molecule to the ochratoxin alpha (OTα) a non toxic compound. It is known that some peptidases from different origins can mediate the hydrolysis reaction like, carboxypeptidase A an enzyme from the bovine pancreas, a commercial lipase and several commercial proteases. So, we wanted to have a better understanding of this OTA degradation process when LAB are involved and identify which molecules where present in this process. For achieving our aim we used some bioinformatics tools (BLAST, CLUSTALX2, CLC Sequence Viewer 7, Finch TV). We also designed specific primers and realized gene specific PCR. The template DNA used came from LAB strains samples of our previous work, and other DNA LAB strains isolated from elderberry fruit, silage, milk and sausages. Through the employment of bioinformatics tools it was possible to identify several proteins belonging to the carboxypeptidase family that participate in the process of OTA degradation, such as serine type D-Ala-D-Ala carboxypeptidase and membrane carboxypeptidase. In conclusions, this work has identified carboxypeptidase proteins being one of the molecules present in the OTA degradation process when LAB are involved.

Keywords: Lactic Acid Bacteria, Mycotoxins, Ochratoxin A, carboxypeptidase

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6 Bacterial Diversity in Human Intestinal Microbiota and Correlations with Nutritional Behavior, Physiology, Xenobiotics Intake and Antimicrobial Resistance in Obese, Overweight and Eutrophic Individuals

Authors: Thais O. de Paula, Marjorie R. A. Sarmiento, Francis M. Borges, Alessandra B. Ferreira-Machado, Juliana A. Resende, Dioneia E. Cesar, Vania L. Silva, Claudio G. Diniz

Abstract:

Obesity is currently a worldwide public health threat, being considered a pandemic multifactorial disease related to the human gut microbiota (GM). Add to that GM is considered an important reservoir of antimicrobial resistance genes (ARG) and little is known on GM and ARG in obesity, considering the altered physiology and xenobiotics intake. As regional and social behavior may play important roles in GM modulation, and most of the studies are based on small sample size and various methodological approaches resulting in difficulties for data comparisons, this study was focused on the investigation of GM bacterial diversity in obese (OB), overweight (OW) and eutrophic individuals (ET) considering their nutritional, clinical and social characteristics; and comparative screening of AGR related to their physiology and xenobiotics intake. Microbial community was accessed by FISH considering phyla as a taxonomic level, and PCR-DGGE followed by dendrograms evaluation (UPGMA method) from fecal metagenome of 72 volunteers classified according to their body mass index (BMI). Nutritional, clinical, social parameters and xenobiotics intake were recorded for correlation analysis. The fecal metagenome was also used as template for PCR targeting 59 different ARG. Overall, 62% of OB were hypertensive, and 12% or 4% were, regarding the OW and ET individuals. Most of the OB were rated as low income (80%). Lower relative bacterial densities were observed in the OB compared to ET for almost all studied taxa (p < 0.05) with Firmicutes/Bacteroidetes ratio increased in the OB group. OW individuals showed a bacterial density representative of GM more likely to the OB. All the participants were clustered in 3 different groups based on the PCR-DGGE fingerprint patterns (C1, C2, C3), being OB mostly grouped in C1 (83.3%) and ET mostly grouped in C3 (50%). The cluster C2 showed to be transitional. Among 27 ARG detected, a cluster of 17 was observed in all groups suggesting a common core. In general, ARG were observed mostly within OB individuals followed by OW and ET. The ratio between ARG and bacterial groups may suggest that AGR were more related to enterobacteria. Positive correlations were observed between ARG and BMI, calories and xenobiotics intake (especially use of sweeteners). As with nutritional and clinical characteristics, our data may suggest that GM of OW individuals behave in a heterogeneous pattern, occasionally more likely to the OB or to the ET. Regardless the regional and social behaviors of our population, the methodological approaches in this study were complementary and confirmatory. The imbalance of GM over the health-disease interface in obesity is a matter of fact, but its influence in host's physiology is still to be clearly elucidated to help understanding the multifactorial etiology of obesity. Although the results are in agreement with observations that GM is altered in obesity, the altered physiology in OB individuals seems to be also associated to the increased xenobiotics intake and may interfere with GM towards antimicrobial resistance, as observed by the fecal metagenome and ARG screening. Support: FAPEMIG, CNPQ, CAPES, PPGCBIO/UFJF.

Keywords: Obesity, Antimicrobial resistance, Gut Microbiota, bacterial diversity

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5 Bacterial Diversity in Vaginal Microbiota in Patients with Different Levels of Cervical Lesions Related to Human Papillomavirus Infection

Authors: Vania L. Silva, Claudio G. Diniz, Michelle S. Pereira, Analice C. Azevedo, Julliane D. Medeiros, Ana Claudia S. Martins, Didier S. Castellano-Filho

Abstract:

Vaginal microbiota is a complex ecosystem, composed by aerobic and anaerobic bacteria, living in a dynamic equilibrium. Lactobacillus spp. are predominant in vaginal ecosystem, and factors such as immunity and hormonal variations may lead to disruptions, resulting in proliferation of opportunistic pathogens. Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is a polymicrobial syndrome, caused by an increasing of anaerobic bacteria replacing Lactobacillus spp. Microorganisms such as Gardnerella vaginalis, Mycoplasma hominis, Mobiluncus spp., and Atopobium vaginae can be found in BV, which may also be associated to other infections such as by Human Papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is highly prevalent in sexually active women, and is considered a risk factor for development of cervical cancer. As long as few data is available on vaginal microbiota of women with HPV-associated cervical lesions, our objectives were to evaluate the diversity in vaginal ecosystem in these women. To all patients, clinical and socio-demographic data were collected after gynecological examination. This study was approved by the Ethics Committee from Federal University of Juiz de Fora, Minas Gerais, Brazil. Vaginal secretion and cervical scraping were collected. Gram-stained smears were evaluated to establish Nugent score for BV determination. Viral and bacterial DNA obtained was used as template for HPV genotyping (PCR) and bacterial fingerprint (REP-PCR). In total 31 patients were included (mean age 35 and 93.6% sexually active). The Nugent score showed that 38.7% were BV. From the medical records, Pap smear tests showed that 32.3% had low grade squamous epithelial lesion (LSIL), 29% had high grade squamous epithelial lesion (HSIL), 25.8% had atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance (ASC-US) and 12.9% with atypical squamous cells that would not exclude high-grade lesion (ASC-H). All participants were HPV+. HPV-16 was the most frequent (87.1%), followed by HPV-18 (61.3%). HPV-31, HPV-52 and HPV-58 were also detected. Coinfection HPV-16/HPV-18 was observed in 75%. In the 18-30 age group, HPV-16 was detected in 40%, and HPV-16/HPV-18 coinfection in 35%. HPV-16 was associated to 30% of ASC-H and 20% of HSIL patients. BV was observed in 50% of HPV-16+ participants and in 45% of HPV-16/HPV-18+. Fingerprints of bacterial communities showed clusters with low similarity suggesting high heterogeneity in vaginal microbiota within the sampled group. Overall, the data is worrisome once cervical-cancer highly risk-associated HPV-types were identified. The high microbial diversity observed may be related to the different levels of cellular lesions, and different physiological conditions of the participants (age, social behavior, education). Further prospective studies are needed to better address correlations and BV and microbial imbalance in vaginal ecosystems which would be related to the different cellular lesions in women with HPV infections. Supported by FAPEMIG, CNPq, CAPES, PPGCBIO/UFJF.

Keywords: Cervical Cancer, Human Papillomavirus, bacterial diversity, bacterial vaginosis

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4 Solids and Nutrient Loads Exported by Preserved and Impacted Low-Order Streams: A Comparison among Water Bodies in Different Latitudes in Brazil

Authors: Wesley A. Saltarelli, Nicolas R. Finkler, Davi G. F. Cunha, Taison A. Bortolin, Vania E. Schneider

Abstract:

Estimating the relative contribution of nonpoint or point sources of pollution in low-orders streams is an important tool for the water resources management. The location of headwaters in areas with anthropogenic impacts from urbanization and agriculture is a common scenario in developing countries. This condition can lead to conflicts among different water users and compromise ecosystem services. Water pollution also contributes to exporting organic loads to downstream areas, including higher order rivers. The purpose of this research is to preliminarily assess nutrients and solids loads exported by water bodies located in watersheds with different types of land uses in São Carlos - SP (Latitude. -22.0087; Longitude. -47.8909) and Caxias do Sul - RS (Latitude. -29.1634, Longitude. -51.1796), Brazil, using regression analysis. The variables analyzed in this study were Total Kjeldahl Nitrogen (TKN), Nitrate (NO3-), Total Phosphorus (TP) and Total Suspended Solids (TSS). Data were obtained in October and December 2015 for São Carlos (SC) and in November 2012 and March 2013 for Caxias do Sul (CXS). Such periods had similar weather patterns regarding precipitation and temperature. Altogether, 11 sites were divided into two groups, some classified as more pristine (SC1, SC4, SC5, SC6 and CXS2), with predominance of native forest; and others considered as impacted (SC2, SC3, CXS1, CXS3, CXS4 and CXS5), presenting larger urban and/or agricultural areas. Previous linear regression was applied for data on flow and drainage area of each site (R² = 0.9741), suggesting that the loads to be assessed had a significant relationship with the drainage areas. Thereafter, regression analysis was conducted between the drainage areas and the total loads for the two land use groups. The R² values were 0.070, 0.830, 0.752 e 0.455 respectively for SST, TKN, NO3- and TP loads in the more preserved areas, suggesting that the loads generated by runoff are significant in these locations. However, the respective R² values for sites located in impacted areas were respectively 0.488, 0.054, 0.519 e 0.059 for SST, TKN, NO3- and P loads, indicating a less important relationship between total loads and runoff as compared to the previous scenario. This study suggests three possible conclusions that will be further explored in the full-text article, with more sampling sites and periods: a) In preserved areas, nonpoint sources of pollution are more significant in determining water quality in relation to the studied variables; b) The nutrient (TKN and P) loads in impacted areas may be associated with point sources such as domestic wastewater discharges with inadequate treatment levels; and c) The presence of NO3- in impacted areas can be associated to the runoff, particularly in agricultural areas, where the application of fertilizers is common at certain times of the year.

Keywords: Water resources management, Land Use, Streams, Linear Regression, point and non-point pollution sources

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3 Bio-Detoxification of Mycotoxins by Lactic Acid Bacteria from Different Food Matrices

Authors: José Maria, Vânia Laranjo, Luís Abrunhosa, António Inês, Ana Guimarães, Armando Venâncio

Abstract:

Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) play a key role in the biopreservation of a wide range of fermented food products, such as yogurt, cheese, fermented milks, meat, fish, vegetables (sauerkraut, olives and pickles), certain beer brands, wines and silage, allowing their safe consumption, which gave to these bacteria a GRAS (Generally Recognised as Safe) status. Besides that, the use of LAB in food and feed is a promising strategy to reduce the exposure to dietary mycotoxins, improving their shelf life and reducing health risks, given the unique mycotoxin decontaminating characteristic of some LAB. Mycotoxins present carcinogenic, mutagenic, teratogenic, neurotoxic and immunosuppressive effects over animals and Humans, being the most important ochratoxin A (OTA), aflatoxins (AFB1), trichothecenes, zearalenone (ZEA), fumonisin (FUM) and patulin. In a previous work of our group it was observed OTA biodegradation by some strains of Pediococcus parvulus isolated from Douro wines. So, the aim of this study was to enlarge the screening of the biodetoxification over more mycotoxins besides OTA, including AFB1, and ZEA. This ability was checked in a collection of LAB isolated from vegetable (wine, olives, fruits and silage) and animal (milk and dairy products, sausages) sources. All LAB strains were characterized phenotypically (Gram, catalase) and genotypically. Molecular characterisation of all LAB strains was performed using genomic fingerprinting by MSP-PCR with (GTG)5 and csM13 primers. The identification of the isolates was confirmed by 16S rDNA sequencing. To study the ability of LAB strains to degrade OTA, AFB1 and ZEA, a MRS broth medium was supplemented with 2.0 μg/mL of each mycotoxin. For each strain, 2 mL of MRS supplemented with the mycotoxins was inoculated in triplicate with 109 CFU/mL. The culture media and bacterial cells were extracted by the addition of an equal volume of acetonitrile/methanol/acetic acid (78:20:2 v/v/v) to the culture tubes. A 2 mL sample was then collected and filtered into a clean 2 mL vial using PP filters with 0.45 μm pores. The samples were preserved at 4 °C until HPLC analysis. Among LAB tested, 10 strains isolated from milk were able to eliminate AFB1, belonging to Lactobacillus casei (7), Lb. paracasei (1), Lb. plantarum (1) and 1 to Leuconostoc mesenteroides. Two strains of Enterococcus faecium and one of Ec. faecalis from sausage eliminated ZEA. Concerning to strains of vegetal origin, one Lb. plantarum isolated from elderberry fruit, one Lb. buchnerii and one Lb. parafarraginis both isolated from silage eliminated ZEA. Other 2 strains of Lb. plantarum from silage were able to degrade both ZEA and OTA, and 1 Lb. buchnerii showed activity over AFB1. These enzymatic activities were also verified genotypically through specific gene PCR and posteriorly confirmed by sequencing analysis. In conclusion, due the ability of some strains of LAB isolated from different sources to eliminate OTA, AFB1 and ZEA one can recognize their potential biotechnological application to reduce the health hazards associated with these mycotoxins. They may be suitable as silage inoculants or as feed additives or even in food industry.

Keywords: Lactic Acid Bacteria, Mycotoxins, bio-detoxification, food and feed

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2 Drivers of the Performance of Members of a Social Incubator Considering the Values of Work: A Qualitative Study with Social Entrepreneurs

Authors: Leticia Lengler, Vania Estivalete, Vivian Flores Costa, Tais De Andrade, Lisiane Fellini Faller

Abstract:

Social entrepreneurship has emerged and driven a new development perspective, and as the literature mentions, it is based on innovation, and mainly, on the creation of social value, rather than personal wealth and shareholders. In this field of study, one of the focuses of discussion refers to the distinct characteristics of the individuals responsible for socially directed initiatives, named as social entrepreneurs. To contribute to this perspective, the present study aims to identify the values related to work that guide the performance of social entrepreneurs, members of enterprises that have developed themselves within a social incubator at a federal institution of higher education in Brazil. Each person's value system is present in different facets of his life, manifesting himself in his choices and in the way he conducts the relationship with other people in society. Especially the values of work, the focus of this research, play a significant role in organizational studies, since they are considered one of the important guiding principles of the behavior of individuals in the work environment. Regarding the method of the study, a descriptive and qualitative research was carried out. In the data collection, 24 entrepreneurs, members of five different enterprises belonging to the social incubator, were interviewed. The research instrument consisted of three open questions, which could be answered with the support of a "disc of values", an artifact organized to clearly demonstrate the values of the work to the respondents. The analysis of the interviews took into account the categories defined a priori, based on the model proposed by previous authors who validated these constructs within their research contexts, contemplating the following dimensions: Self-determination and stimulation; Safety; Conformity; Universalism and benevolence; Achievement; and Power. It should be noted that, in order to provide a better understanding of the interviewees, in the "disc of values" used in the research, these dimensions were represented by the objectives that define them, being respectively: Challenge; Financial independence; Commitment; Welfare of others; Personal success; And Power. Some preliminary results show that, as guiding principles of the investigation, priority is given to work values related to Self-determination and stimulation, Conformity and Universalism and benevolence. Such findings point to the importance given by these individuals to independent thinking and acting, as well as to novelty and constant challenge. Still, they demonstrate the appreciation of commitment to their enterprise, the people who make it and the quality of their work. They also point to the relevance of the possibility of contributing to the greater social good, that is, of the search for the well-being of close people and of society, as it is implied in models of social entrepreneurship coming from literature. With a lower degree of priority, the values denominated Safety and Realization, as the financial question at work and the search for satisfaction and personal success, through the use of socially recognized skills were mentioned aspects with little emphasis by social entrepreneurs. The Power value was not considered as guiding principle of the work for the respondents.

Keywords: qualitative study, social entrepreneur, social incubator, values of work

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1 Hydrodynamics in Wetlands of Brazilian Savanna: Electrical Tomography and Geoprocessing

Authors: Lucas M. Furlan, Cesar A. Moreira, Jepherson F. Sales, Guilherme T. Bueno, Manuel E. Ferreira, Carla V. S. Coelho, Vania Rosolen

Abstract:

Located in the western part of the State of Minas Gerais, Brazil, the study area consists of a savanna environment, represented by sedimentary plateau and a soil cover composed by lateritic and hydromorphic soils - in the latter, occurring the deferruginization and concentration of high-alumina clays, exploited as refractory material. In the hydromorphic topographic depressions (wetlands) the hydropedogical relationships are little known, but it is observed that in times of rainfall, the depressed region behaves like a natural seasonal reservoir - which suggests that the wetlands on the surface of the plateau are places of recharge of the aquifer. The aquifer recharge areas are extremely important for the sustainable social, economic and environmental development of societies. The understanding of hydrodynamics in relation to the functioning of the ferruginous and hydromorphic lateritic soils system in the savanna environment is a subject rarely explored in the literature, especially its understanding through the joint application of geoprocessing by UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) and electrical tomography. The objective of this work is to understand the hydrogeological dynamics in a wetland (with an area of 426.064 m²), in the Brazilian savanna,as well as the understanding of the subsurface architecture of hydromorphic depressions in relation to the recharge of aquifers. The wetland was compartmentalized in three different regions, according to the geoprocessing. Hydraulic conductivity studies were performed in each of these three portions. Electrical tomography was performed on 9 lines of 80 meters in length and spaced 10 meters apart (direction N45), and a line with 80 meters perpendicular to all others. With the data, it was possible to generate a 3D cube. The integrated analysis showed that the area behaves like a natural seasonal reservoir in the months of greater precipitation (December – 289mm; January – 277,9mm; February – 213,2mm), because the hydraulic conductivity is very low in all areas. In the aerial images, geotag correction of the images was performed, that is, the correction of the coordinates of the images by means of the corrected coordinates of the Positioning by Precision Point of the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE-PPP). Later, the orthomosaic and the digital surface model (DSM) were generated, which with specific geoprocessing generated the volume of water that the wetland can contain - 780,922m³ in total, 265,205m³ in the region with intermediate flooding and 49,140m³ in the central region, where a greater accumulation of water was observed. Through the electrical tomography it was possible to identify that up to the depth of 6 meters the water infiltrates vertically in the central region. From the 8 meters depth, the water encounters a more resistive layer and the infiltration begins to occur horizontally - tending to concentrate the recharge of the aquifer to the northeast and southwest of the wetland. The hydrodynamics of the area is complex and has many challenges in its understanding. The next step is to relate hydrodynamics to the evolution of the landscape, with the enrichment of high-alumina clays, and to propose a management model for the seasonal reservoir.

Keywords: Water resources management, Hydropedology, Unmanned aerial vehicle, electrical tomography

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