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Vila Real de Santo António, Portugal

Lopes A.P.,University of Tras os Montes e Alto Douro | Lopes A.P.,Animal and Veterinary Research Center | Vila-Vicosa M.J.,University of Evora | Coutinho T.,University of Tras os Montes e Alto Douro | And 4 more authors.
Veterinary Parasitology

Trichinellosis is one of the most important foodborne parasitic zoonoses, caused by nematodes of the genus Trichinella. Pigs and other domestic and wild animals, including red foxes (Vulpes vulpes), are sources of Trichinella infection for human beings. Trichinella britovi is the major agent of infection in sylvatic animals and the most important species circulating in the European wildlife. The present study aimed at assessing Trichinella spp. infection in red foxes from the North of Portugal. Forty-seven carcasses of wild red foxes shot during the official hunting season or killed in road accidents were obtained between November 2008 and March 2010. In order to identify the presence of Trichinella spp. larvae in red foxes, an individual artificial digestion was performed using approximately 30. g of muscle samples. Larvae of Trichinella spp. were detected in one (2.1%) out of the 47 assessed foxes. After a multiplex polymerase chain reaction analysis, T. britovi was molecularly identified as the infecting species. The recognition of T. britovi in a red fox confirms that a sylvatic cycle is present in the North of Portugal and that the local prevalence of Trichinella infection in wildlife must not be ignored due to its underlying zoonotic risks. © 2015 Elsevier B.V. Source

Soares J.P.,University of Tras os Montes e Alto Douro | Silva A.M.,Center for Research and Technology of Agro Environmental and Biological science | Peixoto F.,Center for Research and Technology of Agro Environmental and Biological science | Gaivao I.,Animal and Veterinary Research Center | Mota M.P.,University of Tras os Montes e Alto Douro

Regular physical exercise has been shown to be one of the most important lifestyle influences on improving functional performance, decreasing morbidity and all causes of mortality among older people. However, it is known that acute physical exercise may induce an increase in oxidative stress and oxidative damage in several structures, including DNA. Considering this, the purpose of this study was to identify the effects of 16 weeks of combined physical exercise in DNA damage and repair capacity in lymphocytes. In addition, we aimed to investigate the role of oxidative stress involved in those changes. Fifty-seven healthy men (40 to 74 years) were enrolled in this study. The sample was divided into two groups: the experimental group (EG), composed of 31 individuals, submitted to 16 weeks of combined physical exercise training; and the control group (CG), composed of 26 individuals, who did not undergo any specifically orientated physical activity. We observed an improvement of overall physical performance in the EG, after the physical exercise training. A significant decrease in DNA strand breaks and FPG-sensitive sites was found after the physical exercise training, with no significant changes in 8-oxoguanine DNA glycosylase enzyme activity. An increase was observed in antioxidant activity, and a decrease was found in lipid peroxidation levels after physical exercise training. These results suggest that physical exercise training induces protective effects against DNA damage in lymphocytes possibly related to the increase in antioxidant capacity. © 2015, American Aging Association. Source

Vilhena H.,Escola Universitaria Vasco da Gama | Vilhena H.,Animal and Veterinary Research Center | Granada S.,Escola Universitaria Vasco da Gama | Oliveira A.C.,Clinica Casa Dos Animais | And 5 more authors.
Parasites and Vectors

Background: Canine leishmaniosis (CanL) due to Leishmania infantum is a global zoonosis endemic in more than 70 countries in Europe, North Africa, Asia and America; however, data on this infection is scarce from southern Africa. The aim of this study was to survey dogs in Luanda, Angola, for Leishmania infection. Findings. One hundred-and-three dogs presented to a veterinary medical centre in Luanda were serologically and molecularly assessed for Leishmania with the direct agglutination test (DAT) and polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Two dogs were seropositive, with DAT titres of 800 and ≥6400; the latter was also found to be PCR-positive and confirmed to be infected with L. infantum by DNA sequence analysis. No other dog was found to be PCR-positive. The first dog had been imported from Portugal, but the latter had never left Angola (neither had its parents), strongly suggesting an autochthonous infection. Conclusions: Although other cases of CanL have previously been described in the country, this is the first reported study of canine Leishmania infection at the population level, as well as the first report on the molecular characterization of L. infantum in dogs from Angola. © 2014 Vilhena et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

Soares J.P.,Research Center in Sports Science | Silva A.M.,Center for Research and Technology of Agro Environmental and Biological science | Fonseca S.,Research Center in Sports Science | Peixoto F.,Center for Research and Technology of Agro Environmental and Biological science | And 2 more authors.
Experimental Gerontology

Age-related DNA damage has been regarded as one of the possible explanations of aging, and these age-related changes have been associated with lifestyle variables. Considering this, the purpose of this study was to investigate how age and lifestyle may affect DNA damage, DNA repair capacity and endogenous biomarkers of oxidative stress. Sixty-one healthy men (40 to 89. yrs) were enrolled in this study. The results showed that DNA strand breaks (DNA SBs) and DNA repair capacity were greater in the older group (> = 65. yrs) compared to the younger group (< 65 yrs) (p < 0.05). FPG-sensitive sites, total antioxidant capacity and lipid peroxidation (MDA) were not statistically different between groups. The correlation test showed that DNA damage variables were not correlated with any lifestyle variable excepting DNA SBs which was correlated with aerobic capacity (6MWT). DNA SBs and DNA repair were positively correlated with age. The multiple regression analysis revealed that the aerobic capacity (6MWT) and MDA were the predictors for the variation of DNA SBs (41.9%). In conclusion these results suggest that DNA SB damage increases with age but not FPG-sensitive sites. Moreover, base excision repair capacity increases with age without the increase of oxidative damage to DNA. The most predictable variables of DNA SBs were the aerobic capacity and MDA. © 2015 Elsevier Inc. Source

Cardoso L.,University of Tras os Montes e Alto Douro | Gilad M.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem | Cortes H.C.E.,University of Evora | Nachum-Biala Y.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem | And 6 more authors.
Parasites and Vectors

Background: The bacteria Anaplasma platys and Ehrlichia canis and the protozoan Leishmania infantum are vector-borne agents that cause canine vector-borne diseases, some of which are zoonotic. The present survey investigated the prevalence of Anaplasma, Ehrlichia and Leishmania in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) from Portugal by molecular analysis, in order to evaluate the epidemiological role of these canids as reservoirs of infection. Methods: Blood and/or bone marrow samples were collected from 78 red foxes obtained in eight districts of northern, central and southern Portugal. Real-time polymerase chain reactions (PCR) amplified a 123 bp fragment of the 16S rRNA gene of Anaplasma spp. and Ehrlichia spp. and a 265 bp fragment of the L. infantum internal transcribed spacer one (ITS1) region of the rRNA operon evaluated by PCR-high resolution melt analysis (PCR-HRM), with sequencing of the DNA products. A phylogenetic analysis was carried out to compare these to other sequences from Anaplasma spp. and Ehrlichia spp. deposited in GenBank®. Results: A. platys was detected in 10 (14.5%) and E. canis in two (2.9%) out of 69 foxes; and L. infantum was detected in one (1.3%) of the 78 foxes. The prevalence of A. platys was significantly different from the prevalence of E. canis (p=0.016) and from that of L. infantum (p=0.002). No co-infections were found in any one of the 78 foxes. No statistically significant differences were found between the type of sample (blood and bone marrow), geographic regions (north/centre and south), age (<2 years and ≥2 years) and gender for any one of the agents. Conclusions: This is the first known report of A. platys in red foxes worldwide, as well as the first molecular evidence of E. canis in foxes from Portugal. The moderate prevalence of A. platys suggests that red foxes may play a role in the epidemiology of infection with this bacterium and serve as a reservoir for domestic dogs. © 2015 Cardoso et al.; licensee BioMed Central. Source

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