Quito, Ecuador
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Ron S.R.,Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador | Toral E.,Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador | Toral E.,SEK University | Read M.,Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador | And 3 more authors.
ZooKeys | Year: 2012

We present a new phylogeny, based on DNA sequences of mitochondrial and nuclear genes, for frogs of the genus Osteocephalus with emphasis in the Osteocephalus buckleyi species complex. Genetic, morphologic, and advertisement call data are combined to define species boundaries and describe new species. The phylogeny shows strong support for: (1) a basal position of O. taurinus + O. oophagus, (2) a clade containing phytotelmata breeding species, and (3) a clade that corresponds to the O. buckleyi species complex. Our results document a large proportion of hidden diversity within a set of populations that were previously treated as a single, widely distributed species, O. buckleyi. Individuals assignable to O. buckleyi formed a paraphyletic group relative to O. verruciger and O. cabrerai and contained four species, one of which is O. buckleyi sensu stricto and three are new. Two of the new species are shared between Ecuador and Peru (O. vilmae sp. n. and O. cannatellai sp. n.) and one is distributed in the Amazon region of southern Peru (O. germani sp. n.). We discuss the difficulties of using morphological characters to define species boundaries and propose a hypothesis to explain them. © Santiago R. Ron et al.

Zambrano Celly J.J.,Schlumberger | Suasnavas P.,SEK University
Society of Petroleum Engineers - SPE/APPEA Int. Conference on Health, Safety and Environment in Oil and Gas Exploration and Production 2012: Protecting People and the Environment - Evolving Challenges | Year: 2012

When it comes to assessing risks in the oilfield industry, the usual focus is on mechanical, chemical, physical, and even biological and ergonomic risks. Psychosocial risks at work are usually disregarded or neglected. However, some psychosocial risks can be real problems for organizations and could have clear negative impacts on employee performance. Assessing these risks and defining whether they are acceptable is the first step. If they endanger workforce health or morale, action must be taken to obtain positive outcomes and to solve the problems. An additional consideration is that problems derived from inadequate handling of these risks can constitute acute or chronic medical conditions, affecting employees in field operations, or increasing accidents or diminishing productivity for organizations. An oilfield services company has been conducting workplace psychosocial risks assessments, using the simple but effective FPSICO questionnaire. The FPSICO questionnaire, from the Spanish Instituto Nacional de Seguridad e Higiene en el Trabajo (National Institute of Safety and Hygiene at Work; INSHT), is a tool for identifying and assessing psychosocial risks at work. Its aim is to provide information to identify these risks in a particular situation, taking into consideration the task, the time devoted to the task, and the structure of the organization, and then to diagnose psychosocial risks either for the whole or only a particular area of an organization from the individual questionnaires. This paper discusses the results of a psychosocial risks assessment using the FPSICO questionnaire at the oilfield services company in a South American country, from the initial sampling through extrapolation to the whole organization in this country, for first-stage results and then a follow-up control four years later. Particular focus is placed on mental load (intellectual activity level required to perform the job) and temporal autonomy (inability to abandon the task and to self-manage time) based on the results of the initial assessment. Copyright 2012, SPE/APPEA International Conference on Health, Safety, and Environment in Oil and Gas Exploration and Production.

Legionellosis is a respiratory disease caused by the bacterium Legionella spp. The aim of the study is to describe the epidemiological situation of the disease in Spain (period 1997-2002). Epidemiological outbreaks, reported cases and mortality are identified as their integration in the background of the health regulations. Disease monitoring requires epidemiological and preventive tools, useful to control the development and spreading of the bacterium.

Gea-Izquierdo E.,SEK University | Gea-Izquierdo E.,University of Malaga
Revista Cubana de Medicina General Integral | Year: 2014

Legionelosis is a bacterial disease of environmental origin present at community and hospital settings. It may appear worldwide in the form of isolated or sporadic outbreaks. A historical account of the identification of the causative biological agent (Legionella spp.) and the main events leading to the discovery was made. Likewise, the main outbreaks from the definition of the disease, its incidence to the importance of surveillance and prevention were all described. © 2014, Editorial Ciencias Medicas. All rights reserved.

Gea-Izquierdo E.,University of Malaga | Gea-Izquierdo E.,SEK University
Boletin de Malariologia y Salud Ambiental | Year: 2012

Legionellosis is a respiratory disease caused by the bacterium Legionella spp. When this colonizes artificial mediums it shows a health risk, especially in environments with particularly sensitive or exposed population. The health centre environment is presented as vulnerable, where it is usual to identify sources of development and proliferation of biological agent. The aim of this study is to establish the relationship between seasonal use of water cooling systems and the presence of Legionella pneumophila, and to investigate certain preventive methods of water disinfection on the above variables. In 2008, a study was performed in four health centres situated in Andalusia (Spain) including seven cooling towers located on them. Through a descriptive analysis and the use of measures of association, these findings were identified: a high count (>10,000 CFU/l) in annual operating devices, according to the methods of disinfection a lower risk in seasonal facilities, and independence between the count of the bacterium and seasonal nature of the systems. At health level and in order to prevent the presence of the bacterium in southern Spain, environmental studies and routine monitoring of sanitary maintenance of facilities with risk of development of Legionella spp. are considered mandatory.

Traveset A.,Linc Global | Chamorro S.,Linc Global | Chamorro S.,SEK University | Olesen J.M.,University of Aarhus | Heleno R.,University of Coimbra
AoB PLANTS | Year: 2015

Oceanic archipelagos are threatened by the introduction of alien species which can severely disrupt the structure, function and stability of native communities. Here we investigated the pollination interactions in the two most disturbed Galápagos Islands, comparing the three main habitats and the two seasons, and assessing the impacts of alien plant invasions on network structure.We found that the pollination network structure was rather consistent between the two islands, but differed across habitats and seasons. Overall, the arid zone had the largest networks and highest species generalization levels whereas either the transition between habitats or the humid habitat showed lower values. Our data suggest that alien plants integrate easily into the communities, but with low impact on overall network structure, except for an increase in network selectiveness. The humid zone showed the highest nestedness and the lowest modularity, which might be explained by the low species diversity and the higher incidence of alien plants in this habitat. Both pollinators and plants were alsomore generalized in the hot season, when networks showed to bemore nested. Alien species (both plants and pollinators) represented a high fraction (~56 %) of the total number of interactions in the networks. It is thus likely that, in spite of the overall weak effect we found of alien plant invasion on pollination network structure, these introduced species influence the reproductive success of native ones, and by doing so, they affect the functioning of the community. This certainly deserves further investigation. © The Authors 2015.

Molina C.A.,SEK University | Molina C.A.,Central University of Ecuador | Vilchez S.,University of Granada
Revista Chilena de Historia Natural | Year: 2014

Kin selection could provide an explanation for social behavior in bacteria. The production of public goods such as extracellular molecules is metabolically costly for bacteria but could help them to exploit nutrients or invade a host. Some bacterial cells called social cheaters do not produce public goods; however, they take advantage of these extracellular molecules. In this review, the relationships between social behavior, cooperation, and evolution of bacterial pathogenicity are analyzed. This paper also examines the role of horizontal transfer of genes encoding for virulence factors and how the movement of mobile genetic elements would influence the pathogenicity and social relationships. Moreover, the link between ecological relationships and evolution in entomopathogenic bacteria, focusing on Bacillus thuringiensis is considered. Finally, the findings obtained with B. thuringiensis are extrapolated on Bacillus pumilus 15.1, an entomopathogenic strain whose pathogenicity is not understood yet. © 2014 Molina and Vilchez, licensee Springer.

PubMed | Central University of Venezuela, International University of Ecuador, Simon Bolivar University of Venezuela and SEK University
Type: | Journal: Veterinary parasitology | Year: 2016

Previous studies have shown that a 64-kDa antigen (p64) that was purified from the Venezuelan TeAp-N/D1 isolate of Trypanosoma (Trypanozoon) equiperdum corresponds to the soluble form of its predominant variant surface glycoprotein (VSG), and exhibited cross-reactivity with Trypanosoma (Duttonella) vivax. The course of experimental acute infections of bovines with T. vivax were followed by measuring whole anti-p64 antibodies and specific anti-p64 IgG and IgM antibodies in animal sera by indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The value of p64 to diagnose bovine trypanosomosis was also examined using 350 sera from healthy and T. vivax-infected cows living in a trypanosomosis-endemic and enzootic stable area, and 48 sera obtained during a trypanosomosis outbreak. Serological assays showed that 70-80% of the infected sera contained anti-p64 antibodies, based on the comparative immunodetection of the T. equiperdum clarified antigenic fraction used as a reference test. In the absence of a gold standard, Bayesian analysis for multiple testing estimated a sensitivity and specificity of 71.6% and 98.8%, respectively, for the indirect ELISA using p64as antigen. An apparent prevalence of 37.7% for bovine trypanosomosis infection was also estimated with a Bayesian approach when the p64 ELISA test was used. Employing blood from acute infected cows, the indirect ELISA response against p64 was contrasted with the microhematocrit centrifuge method and analyses by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) using specific primers targeting the inter-specific length variation of the internal transcribed spacer 1 region of the 18S ribosomal gene. The efficiency of p64 for the detection of anti-trypanosome antibodies in acute infected bovines was also corroborated serologically by comparing its response to that of the Indonesian Trypanosoma evansi Rode Trypanozoon antigen type (RoTat) 1.2 VSG, which possesses high specificity and sensitivity. As expected, PCR was the best method to detect parasites and diagnose bovine trypanosomosis; however, a substantial level of concordance (Cohens =0.667) was obtained when serological tests using p64 and RoTat 1.2 VSG were compared. Additionally, an agglutination assay was designed using p64 covalently coupled to carboxylate-modified latex microparticles, which was proven here to be suitable for a fast qualitative diagnosis of bovine trypanosomosis.

Jarrin-V P.,SEK University | Jarrin-V P.,Finding Species Inc. | Coello D.,Subsecretaria de Calidad Ambiental
Acta Chiropterologica | Year: 2012

The original description for Anoura fistulata (long-lipped bat) was mostly qualitative in nature. Here we make a quantitative reassessment of morphological variation in skull shape for this and other Ecuadorian species. Our goal is to provide a perspective into morphospace for understanding the boundaries and extent of variation within and among species of Anoura occurring in Ecuador. Our results show that, besides its singular differences in soft-tissue anatomy, the distribution of samples in morphospace for A. fistulata suggests this species occupies an intermediate space between A. geoffroyi and A. caudifer. Anoura geoffroyi and A. caudifer share opposite regions of morphospace, where size is the largest factor contributing to variation, and along the shape vector both species are distinguished mostly by a contraction of the maxilla and a contraction of the braincase, respectively. Although size is the main factor determining boundaries among species, for A. cultrata shape seems to be more relevant, as its geometric configuration of the skull is remarkably different. The other species are similar in shape when size is factored out. An unusual group of specimens may require further study as they may represent an unknown species, as these occupy unexpected areas of morphospace. A discussion of why we do not think there is evidence to assign this unusual group to any of the small species of Anoura (i.e. A. caudifer, A. aequatoris, and A. luismanueli) is also included. Populations of A. geoffroyi from the western and eastern slopes of the Andes show statistically supported differences in most of the measured morphological traits, however this is not true for A. caudifer. The effect of western and eastern habitats on the geometric configuration of the skull is different and inverted between both species. This results in a statistical interaction between the two slopes of the Andes and the two species. Eastern populations of A. geoffroyi and A. caudifer are morphologically closer than western populations in both species. Anoura geoffroyi possesses a larger altitudinal range and a larger body size, a positive correlation that may concur with the hypothesis of body size serving as a buffer to extreme or highly variable environments. The frequency distribution of character states in morphospace and their differentiation across the various species of Anoura is discussed in the context of diet and habitat. © Museum and Institute of Zoology PAS.

Jarrin P.V.,SEK University | Clare E.L.,University of Guelph | Clare E.L.,University of Bristol
Zootaxa | Year: 2013

Molecular and morphological analyses of variation often conflict with historical species descriptions based on a few characters and small samples sizes. Here we present a molecular phylogeny together with a quantitative morphological analysis of the species in Sturnira in Ecuador. The 438 terminal taxa or organisms included in the anlaysis occur within a total of 10 ingroup lineages, which contain considerable substructure. Some species, as recognized by their morphological traits, form paraphyletic arrangements with other taxa. We could not distinguish the close species pairs S. erythromos / S. bogotensis and S. ludovici / S. oporophilum in morphospace and therefore when distinct lineages were recovered genetically, they initially contained mixed membership of specimens identified using morphological criteria. Similarly, the qualitative character states that diagnose S. luisi in its original description are not recovered in a quantitative analysis of morphological variation and thus S. luisi cannot be mapped to a single lineage in a molecular phylogeny. We present additional evidence to corroborate the existence of S. perla as a species. We found a remarkable geographic structure within some species containing sister pairings, with lineages having a clear eastern or western distribution in relation to the Andes. Our analysis demonstrates the potential for conflict between character-based diagnoses, analysis of morphological variation and molecular phylogenetics in the identification of species and supports a combined approach to this problem. Copyright © 2013 Magnolia Press.

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