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1.  Psychometric Properties of the Autoquestionnaire Qualité De Vie Enfant Imagé (AUQEI) Applied to Children with Cerebral Palsy 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(2):e0115643.
Quality of life (QL) assessments of children with incapacitating diseases, such as cerebral palsy (CP), have often been conducted with the help of the representatives of a child, making QL assessment more subjective. TheAutoquestionnaireQualité de Vie Enfant Imagé (AUQEI) is a QL assessment designed for children to self-report—it uses images to facilitate the reporting process.
evaluate the psychometric properties of AUQEI when responses are given by children with CP.
Children aged 4 to 12 years (45 with CP and 45 healthy children) gave responses to the questionnaire. The data quality, reliability and validity were assessed. The data loss rate ranged from 8.8% to 46.7%, and was highest for the “autonomy” factor. No floor or ceiling effect was detected. The success rate for reliability of the internal consistency of the items was less than 80% for the “autonomy” factor. Cronbach’s alpha coefficient was 0.71 for the instrument and less than 0.5 for the factors. All the factors had a success rate of greater than 80% for the discriminating validity of the items. The factors did not have correlations between each other, thus indicating adequate discriminating validity. Convergent validity was tested and a significant correlation was demonstrated only between the AUQEI “functioning” factor and the Child Health Questionnaire—50-Item (CHQ-PF50) physical summary score (r = 0.31, p = 0.042). The AUQEI scores did not have correlations with the gross motor function scores (p>0.05) as expected for divergent validity. Regarding construct validity, the total AUQEI score obtained by the CP group was lower (median: 47.3) than that of the healthy group (median: 51.0) (p<0.01).
The AUQEI was shown to be a reliable and valid instrument for assessing children with CP when the total score was used. Convergent validity should continue to be tested in future studies.
PMCID: PMC4324774  PMID: 25671523
2.  Nosewitness Identification: Effects of Negative Emotion 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(1):e0116706.
Every individual has a unique body odor (BO), similar to a fingerprint. In forensic research, identification of culprit BOs has been performed by trained dogs, but not by humans. We introduce the concept of nosewitness identification and present the first experimental results on BO memory in witness situations involving violent crimes. Two experiments indicated that BO associated with male characters in authentic videos could later be identified in BO lineup tests well above chance. Moreover, culprit BO in emotional crime videos could be identified considerably better than the BO of a male person in neutral videos. This indicates that nosewitness identification benefits from emotional encoding. Altogether, the study testifies to the virtue of body odor as a cue to identify individuals observed under negative emotion.
PMCID: PMC4303424  PMID: 25612211
3.  Molecular Genetic Variability of Commercial and Wild Accessions of Passion Fruit (Passiflora spp.) Targeting ex Situ Conservation and Breeding 
Passiflora species are distributed throughout Latin America, and Brazil and Colombia serve as the centers of diversity for this genus. We performed cross-species amplification to evaluate 109 microsatellite loci in 14 Passiflora species and estimated the diversity and genetic structure of Passiflora cincinnata, Passiflora setaceae and Passiflora edulis. A total of 127 accessions, including 85 accessions of P. edulis, a commercial species, and 42 accessions of 13 wild species, were examined. The cross-species amplification was effective for obtaining microsatellite loci (average cross-amplification of 70%). The average number of alleles per locus (five) was relatively low, and the average diversity ranged from 0.52 in P. cincinnata to 0.32 in P. setacea. The Bayesian analyses indicated that the P. cincinnata and P. setacea accessions were distributed into two groups, and the P. edulis accessions were distributed into five groups. Private alleles were identified, and suggestions for core collections are presented. Further collections are necessary, and the information generated may be useful for breeding and conservation.
PMCID: PMC4284747  PMID: 25514245
germplasm; genetic diversity; Passifloraceae; molecular markers; single sequence repeats
7.  Association of Oxidative Stress to the Genesis of Anxiety: Implications for Possible Therapeutic Interventions 
Current Neuropharmacology  2014;12(2):120-139.
Oxidative stress caused by reactive species, including reactive oxygen species, reactive nitrogen species, and unbound, adventitious metal ions (e.g., iron [Fe] and copper [Cu]), is an underlying cause of various neurodegenerative diseases. These reactive species are an inevitable by-product of cellular respiration or other metabolic processes that may cause the oxidation of lipids, nucleic acids, and proteins. Oxidative stress has recently been implicated in depression and anxiety-related disorders. Furthermore, the manifestation of anxiety in numerous psychiatric disorders, such as generalized anxiety disorder, depressive disorder, panic disorder, phobia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and posttraumatic stress disorder, highlights the importance of studying the underlying biology of these disorders to gain a better understanding of the disease and to identify common biomarkers for these disorders. Most recently, the expression of glutathione reductase 1 and glyoxalase 1, which are genes involved in antioxidative metabolism, were reported to be correlated with anxiety-related phenotypes. This review focuses on direct and indirect evidence of the potential involvement of oxidative stress in the genesis of anxiety and discusses different opinions that exist in this field. Antioxidant therapeutic strategies are also discussed, highlighting the importance of oxidative stress in the etiology, incidence, progression, and prevention of psychiatric disorders.
PMCID: PMC3964744  PMID: 24669207
Antioxidant therapy; anxiety disorders; oxidative stress; toxicity.
8.  Complement factor H gene (CFH) polymorphisms C-257T, G257A and haplotypes are associated with protection against severe dengue phenotype, possible related with high CFH expression 
Human immunology  2013;74(9):1225-1230.
Four genetic polymorphisms located at the promoter (C-257T) and coding regions of CFH gene (exon 2 G257A, exon 14 A2089G and exon 19 G2881T) were investigated in 121 dengue patients (DENV-3) in order to assess the relationship between allele/haplotypes variants and clinical outcomes. A statistical value was found between the CFH-257T allele (TT/TC genotypes) and reduced susceptibility to severe dengue (SD). Statistical associations indicate that individuals bearing a T allele presented significantly higher protein levels in plasma. The –257T variant is located within a NF-κB binding site, suggesting that this variant might have effect on the ability of the CFH gene to respond to signals via the NF-κB pathway. The G257A allelic variant showed significant protection against severe dengue. When CFH haplotypes effect was considered, the ancestral CG/CG promoter-exon 2 SNP genotype showed significant risk to SD either in a general comparison (ancestral × all variant genotypes), as well as in individual genotypes comparison (ancestral × each variant genotype), where the most prevalent effect was observed in the CG/CG × CA/TG comparison. These findings support the involvement of –257T, 257A allele variants and haplotypes on severe dengue phenotype protection, related with high basal CFH expression.
PMCID: PMC3909654  PMID: 23747994
9.  Biosurfactant-and-Bioemulsifier Produced by a Promising Cunninghamella echinulata Isolated from Caatinga Soil in the Northeast of Brazil 
A Mucoralean fungus was isolated from Caatinga soil of Pernambuco, Northeast of Brazil, and was identified as Cunninghamella echinulata by morphological, physiological, and biochemical tests. This strain was evaluated for biosurfactant/bioemulsifier production using soybean oil waste (SOW) and corn steep liquor (CSL) as substrates, added to basic saline solution, by measuring surface tension and emulsifier index and activity. The best results showed the surface water tension was reduced from 72 to 36 mN/m, and an emulsification index (E24) of 80% was obtained using engine oil and burnt engine oil, respectively. A new molecule of biosurfactant showed an anionic charge and a polymeric chemical composition consisting of lipids (40.0% w/w), carbohydrates (35.2% w/w) and protein (20.3% w/w). In addition, the biosurfactant solution (1%) demonstrated its ability for an oil displacement area (ODA) of 37.36 cm2, which is quite similar to that for Triton X-100 (38.46 cm2). The stability of the reduction in the surface water tension as well as of the emulsifier index proved to be stable over a wide range of temperatures, in pH, and in salt concentration (4%–6% w/v). The biosurfactant showed an ability to reduce and increase the viscosity of hydrophobic substrates and their molecules, suggesting that it is a suitable candidate for mediated enhanced oil recovery. At the same time, these studies indicate that renewable, relatively inexpensive and easily available resources can be used for important biotechnological processes.
PMCID: PMC4200836  PMID: 25257520
Cunninghamellaechinulata; agroindustrial substrates; biosurfactant; bioemulsifier; spread oil; reduction in viscosity; polymeric molecule
10.  Pyridostigmine Restores Cardiac Autonomic Balance after Small Myocardial Infarction in Mice 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(8):e104476.
The effect of pyridostigmine (PYR) - an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor - on hemodynamics and cardiac autonomic control, was never studied in conscious myocardial infarcted mice. Telemetry transmitters were implanted into the carotid artery under isoflurane anesthesia. Seven to ten days after recovery from the surgery, basal arterial pressure and heart rate were recorded, while parasympathetic and sympathetic tone (ΔHR) was evaluated by means of methyl atropine and propranolol. After the basal hemodynamic recording the mice were subjected to left coronary artery ligation for producing myocardial infarction (MI), or sham operation, and implantation of minipumps filled with PYR or saline. Separate groups of anesthetized (isoflurane) mice previously (4 weeks) subjected to MI, or sham coronary artery ligation, were submitted to cardiac function examination. The mice exhibited an infarct length of approximately 12%, no change in arterial pressure and increased heart rate only in the 1st week after MI. Vagal tone decreased in the 1st week, while the sympathetic tone was increased in the 1st and 4th week after MI. PYR prevented the increase in heart rate but did not affect the arterial pressure. Moreover, PYR prevented the increase in sympathetic tone throughout the 4 weeks. Concerning the parasympathetic tone, PYR not only impaired its attenuation in the 1st week, but enhanced it in the 4th week. MI decreased ejection fraction and increased diastolic and systolic volume. Therefore, the pharmacological increase of peripheral acetylcholine availability by means of PYR prevented tachycardia, increased parasympathetic and decreased sympathetic tone after MI in mice.
PMCID: PMC4136726  PMID: 25133392
11.  Spectral Analysis Related to Bare-Metal and Drug-Eluting Coronary Stent Implantation 
Arquivos Brasileiros de Cardiologia  2014;103(2):138-145.
The autonomic nervous system plays a central role in cardiovascular regulation; sympathetic activation occurs during myocardial ischemia.
To assess the spectral analysis of heart rate variability during stent implantation, comparing the types of stent.
This study assessed 61 patients (mean age, 64.0 years; 35 men) with ischemic heart disease and indication for stenting. Stent implantation was performed under Holter monitoring to record the spectral analysis of heart rate variability (Fourier transform), measuring the low-frequency (LF) and high-frequency (HF) components, and the LF/HF ratio before and during the procedure.
Bare-metal stent was implanted in 34 patients, while the others received drug-eluting stents. The right coronary artery was approached in 21 patients, the left anterior descending, in 28, and the circumflex, in 9. As compared with the pre-stenting period, all patients showed an increase in LF and HF during stent implantation (658 versus 185 ms2, p = 0.00; 322 versus 121, p = 0.00, respectively), with no change in LF/HF. During stent implantation, LF was 864 ms2 in patients with bare-metal stents, and 398 ms2 in those with drug-eluting stents (p = 0.00). The spectral analysis of heart rate variability showed no association with diabetes mellitus, family history, clinical presentation, beta-blockers, age, and vessel or its segment.
Stent implantation resulted in concomitant sympathetic and vagal activations. Diabetes mellitus, use of beta-blockers, and the vessel approached showed no influence on the spectral analysis of heart rate variability. Sympathetic activation was lower during the implantation of drug-eluting stents.
PMCID: PMC4150665  PMID: 25029473
Spectrum Analysis; Myocardial Ischemia; Heart Rate; Stents; Drug-Eluting Stents
12.  Genetic Breeding and Diversity of the Genus Passiflora: Progress and Perspectives in Molecular and Genetic Studies 
Despite the ecological and economic importance of passion fruit (Passiflora spp.), molecular markers have only recently been utilized in genetic studies of this genus. In addition, both basic genetic researches related to population studies and pre-breeding programs of passion fruit remain scarce for most Passiflora species. Considering the number of Passiflora species and the increasing use of these species as a resource for ornamental, medicinal, and food purposes, the aims of this review are the following: (i) to present the current condition of the passion fruit crop; (ii) to quantify the applications and effects of using molecular markers in studies of Passiflora; (iii) to present the contributions of genetic engineering for passion fruit culture; and (iv) to discuss the progress and perspectives of this research. Thus, the present review aims to summarize and discuss the relationship between historical and current progress on the culture, breeding, and molecular genetics of passion fruit.
PMCID: PMC4159842  PMID: 25196515
active germplasm banks; genetic diversity; genetic engineering; molecular marker; passion fruit breeding; population genetics
13.  Biotechnological Applications Derived from Microorganisms of the Atacama Desert 
BioMed Research International  2014;2014:909312.
The Atacama Desert in Chile is well known for being the driest and oldest desert on Earth. For these same reasons, it is also considered a good analog model of the planet Mars. Only a few decades ago, it was thought that this was a sterile place, but in the past years fascinating adaptations have been reported in the members of the three domains of life: low water availability, high UV radiation, high salinity, and other environmental stresses. However, the biotechnological applications derived from the basic understanding and characterization of these species, with the notable exception of copper bioleaching, are still in its infancy, thus offering an immense potential for future development.
PMCID: PMC4132489  PMID: 25147824
14.  The HIV-Brazil Cohort Study: Design, Methods and Participant Characteristics 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(5):e95673.
The HIV-Brazil Cohort Study was established to analyze the effectiveness of combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) and the impact of this treatment on morbidity, quality of life (QOL) and mortality. The study design, patients’ profiles and characteristics of cART initiation between 2003 and 2010 were described.
Methodology/Principal Findings
Since 2003, the HIV-Brazil Cohort has been following HIV-infected adults receiving cART at 26 public health care facilities, using routine clinical care data and self-reported QOL questionnaires. When not otherwise available, data are obtained from national information systems. The main outcomes of interest are diseases related or unrelated to HIV; suppression of viral replication; adverse events; virological, clinical and immunological failures; changes in the cART; and mortality. For the 5,061 patients who started cART between 2003 and 2010, the median follow-up time was 4.1 years (IQR 2.2–5.9 years) with an 83.4% retention rate. Patient profiles were characterized by a predominance of men (male/female ratio 1.7∶1), with a mean age of 36.9 years (SD 9.9 years); 55.2% had been infected with HIV via heterosexual contact. The majority of patients (53.4%) initiated cART with a CD4+ T-cell count ≤200 cells/mm3. The medications most often used in the various treatment regimens were efavirenz (59.7%) and lopinavir/ritonavir (18.2%). The proportion of individuals achieving viral suppression within the first 12 months of cART use was 77.4% (95% CI 76.1–78.6). Nearly half (45.4%) of the patients presented HIV-related clinical manifestations after starting cART, and the AIDS mortality rate was 13.9 per 1,000 person-years.
Results from cART use in the daily practice of health services remain relatively unknown in low- and middle-income countries, and studies with the characteristics of the HIV-Brazil Cohort contribute to minimizing these shortcomings, given its scope and patient profile, which is similar to that of the AIDS epidemic in the country.
PMCID: PMC4006775  PMID: 24789106
15.  Monitoring persistence of the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae under simulated field conditions with the aim of controlling adult Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae) 
Parasites & Vectors  2014;7:198.
Entomopathogenic fungi are potential candidates for use in integrated vector management, with recent emphasis aimed at developing adult mosquito control methods. Here we investigated the persistence of the fungus Metarhizium anisopliae when tested against female A. aegypti under field conditions.
Black cotton cloths impregnated with M. anisopliae conidia, formulated in vegetable oil + isoparaffin, were maintained on a covered veranda for up to 30 days. At specific times, pieces of the cloths were removed, placed in Tween 80 and the resuspended conidia were sprayed directly onto mosquitoes. The persistence of conidia impregnated on black cloths using three different carriers was evaluated in test rooms. Fifty mosquitoes were released into each room and after a 5 day period, the surviving insects were captured. Another 50 insects were then released into each room. The capacity of the fungus at reducing mosquito survival was evaluated over a total of 35 days.
Conidia extracted from cloths maintained on the veranda for 2 to 18 days remained virulent, with 28 to 60% mosquito survival observed. Mosquito survival following exposure to fungus impregnated cloths showed that fungus + Tween caused similar reductions to that of fungus + vegetable oil. Mosquitoes exposed to the formulation fungus + vegetable oil had survival rates of 36% over the first 5 days of the experiment. Following the release of the second cohort of mosquitoes (6-11days), survival increased to 50%. The survival of the 12–17 day cohort (78%) was statistically equal to that of the controls (84%). Formulation of the fungus in vegetable oil + isoparaffin increased the persistence of the fungus, with the 18–23 day cohort (64% survival) still showing statistical differences to that of the controls (87% survival).
The potential of entomopathogenic fungi for the control of adult A. aegypti was confirmed under field conditions. Vegetable oil + isoparaffin formulations of M. anisopliae significantly increased the effectiveness of the fungus, thus reducing the need for frequent changes of black cloths in residences. Our future aim is to obtain effective control of mosquito populations, with cloths only needing to being replaced once a month.
PMCID: PMC4021620  PMID: 24766705
Persistence; Viability; Vector; Dengue; Oil formulation
16.  Tracking false-negative results in molecular diagnosis: proposal of a triplex-PCR based method for leishmaniasis diagnosis 
Molecular biological methods have become increasingly relevant to the diagnosis and control of infectious diseases, such as leishmaniasis. Since various factors may affect the sensitivity of PCR assays, including DNA yield and purity, an optimal extraction method is pivotal. Losses of a parasite’s DNA during extraction may significantly impair its detection by PCR and lead to false-negative results. This study proposes a triplex PCR assay targeting the parasite’s DNA, an external control (pUC18) and an internal control (G3PD) for accurate diagnosis of leishmaniasis.
Two primer pairs were designed to detect the plasmid pUC18 and a triplex PCR assay targeting the Leishmania braziliensis kinetoplast DNA, the external control and the internal control was standardized. The triplex PCR assay was assessed for its ability to detect the three target DNA fragments simultaneously.
PCR products from pUC18 DNA resulted in bands of 368 (P1) and 316 (P2) base pairs (bp). The triplex PCR optimized with the chosen external control system (P1) allowed the simultaneous detection of the internal control (G3PD – 567 bp) as well as of small quantities (10 pg) of the target parasite’s DNA, detected by amplification of a 138 bp product.
The new tool standardized herein enables a more reliable interpretation of PCR results, mainly by contributing to quality assurance of leishmaniasis diagnosis. Furthermore, after simple standardization steps, this protocol could be applied to the diagnosis of other infectious diseases in reference laboratories. This triplex PCR enables the assessment of small losses during the DNA extraction process, problems concerning DNA degradation (sample quality) and the detection of L. braziliensis kDNA.
PMCID: PMC4012836  PMID: 24808911
Extraction control; Multiplex PCR; pUC18; Leishmaniasis; Diagnosis; False-negative result
17.  Trypanosoma cruzi Cell Death Induced by the Morita-Baylis-Hillman Adduct 3-Hydroxy-2-Methylene-3-(4-Nitrophenylpropanenitrile) 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(4):e93936.
Chagas disease, caused by the protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi, remains a serious health concern due to the lack of effective vaccines or satisfactory treatment. In the search for new compounds against this neglected disease, we have previously demonstrated that the compound 3-Hydroxy-2-methylene-3-(4-nitrophenylpropanenitrile) (MBHA3), derived from the Morita-Baylis-Hillman reaction, effectively caused a loss of viability in both the epimastigote and trypomastigote forms. However, the mechanisms of parasite death elicited by MBHA3 remain unknown. The aim of this study was to better understand the morphophysiological changes and the mechanism of cell death induced by MBHA3 treatment on T. cruzi. To perform this analysis, we used confocal microscopy and flow cytometry to monitor the fluorescent probes such as annexin-V/propidium iodide (AV/PI), calcein-AM/ethidium homodimer (CA/EH), acridine orange (AO) and rhodamine 123 (Rho 123). Lower concentrations of MBHA3 led to alterations in the mitochondrial membrane potential and AO labeling, but did not decrease the viability of the epimastiogote forms, as determined by the CA/EH and AV/PI assays. Conversely, treatment with higher concentrations of MBHA3 led to extensive plasma membrane damage, loss of mitochondrion membrane potential, DNA fragmentation and acidification of the cytoplasm. Our findings suggest that at higher concentrations, MBHA3 induces T. cruzi epimastigote death by necrosis in a mitochondrion-dependent manner.
PMCID: PMC3979736  PMID: 24714638
18.  C-Reactive Protein: Clinical and Epidemiological Perspectives 
An important etiopathogenic component of cardiovascular disease is atherosclerosis, with inflammation being an essential event in the pathophysiology of all clinical pictures it comprises. In recent years, several molecules implicated in this process have been studied in order to assess cardiovascular risk in both primary and secondary prevention. C-reactive protein is a plasmatic protein of the pentraxin family and an acute phase reactant, very useful as a general inflammation marker. Currently, it is one of the most profoundly researched molecules in the cardiovascular field, yet its clinical applicability regarding cardiovascular risk remains an object of discussion, considered by some as a simple marker and by others as a true risk factor. In this sense, numerous studies propose its utilization as a predictor of cardiovascular risk through the use of high-sensitivity quantification methods for the detection of values <1 mg/L, following strict international guidelines. Increasing interest in these clinical findings has led to the creation of modified score systems including C-reactive protein concentrations, in order to enhance risk scores commonly used in clinical practice and offer improved care to patients with cardiovascular disease, which remains the first cause of mortality at the worldwide, national, and regional scenarios.
PMCID: PMC3932642  PMID: 24653858
19.  New microsatellite markers for wild and commercial species of Passiflora (Passifloraceae) and cross-amplification1 
Applications in Plant Sciences  2014;2(2):apps.1300061.
• Premise of the study: We developed the first microsatellites for Passiflora setacea and characterized new sets of markers for P. edulis and P. cincinnata, enabling further genetic diversity studies to support the conservation and breeding of passion fruit species.
• Methods and Results: We developed 69 microsatellite markers and, in conjunction with assessments of cross-amplification using primers available from the literature, present 43 new polymorphic microsatellite loci for three species of Passiflora. The mean number of alleles per locus was 3.1, and the mean values of the expected and observed levels of heterozygosity were 0.406 and 0.322, respectively.
• Conclusions: These microsatellite markers will be valuable tools for investigating the genetic diversity and population structure of wild and commercial species of passion fruit (Passiflora spp.) and may be useful for developing conservation and improvement strategies by contributing to the understanding of the mating system and hybridization within the genus.
PMCID: PMC4103603  PMID: 25202599
genetic diversity; genomic microsatellite-enriched library; molecular markers; Passiflora; simple sequence repeats; wild passion fruit
20.  A single subcutaneous dose of tramadol for mild to moderate musculoskeletal trauma in the emergency department 
Mild to moderate musculoskeletal trauma is a common cause for an emergency room visit, and frequent pain is one of the cardinal symptoms of consultation. The objective of this study is to assess the perception of a single subcutaneous dose of 50 mg tramadol for pain management in patients with mild to moderate musculoskeletal trauma, likewise to appraise the perception of pain by subcutaneous injection.
A total of 77 patients, who met inclusion criteria, received a single subcutaneous dose of tramadol. Pain control was evaluated based on the verbal numerical pain scale (0–10) at baseline, 20 and 60 minutes; similarly, pain perception was evaluated secondary to subcutaneous injection of the analgesic.
On admission, the average pain perceived by patients was 8; twenty minutes later, 89% of the patients reported five or less, and after sixty minutes, 94% had three or less on the verbal numerical pain scale. Of the patients, 88% reported pain perception by verbal numeric scale of 3 or less by injection of the drug, and 6.5% required a second analgesic for pain control. Two events with drug administration (soft tissue infection and mild abdominal rectus injection) were reported.
We conclude that a single subcutaneous dose of tramadol is a safe and effective option for the management of patients with mild to moderate pain and musculoskeletal disease in the emergency department.
PMCID: PMC4272931  PMID: 25548601
Tramadol; Analgesic routes; Subcutaneous; Acute pain; Emergency department
21.  Mini-Arc for the Treatment of Female Stress Urinary Incontinence: Long-Term Prospective Evaluation by Patient Reported Outcomes 
ISRN Urology  2014;2014:659383.
Single-incision slings were introduced in the surgical treatment of female stress urinary incontinence (SUI) to lessen the morbidity associated with traditional midurethral slings. However, long-term reports on patient satisfaction are still scarce. This study describes the outcome of women treated with Mini-Arc at a mean follow-up of 45 months. In a previous report on 105 women with 15-month mean follow-up, 84 (80%) were found cured and 12 (11%) improved. Now, with a mean follow-up of 45 months, cured/improved patients were reassessed by telephone and completed Patient Global Impression of Improvement (PGI-I), Patient Global Impression of Severity (PGI-S), rated their improvement in a 0–100 scale, and answered if they would recommend the procedure. At 45-month follow-up, 73 women cured/improved were available for evaluation. Over 80% of the cured patients rated the improvement of SUI by the PGI-I as “very much better” or “much better,” reported their urinary tract condition to be “normal” on PGI-S, and described their improvement >70%. Ninety percent would recommend this procedure to a friend. The improved-patient population is very small (n = 7). This study shows that the majority of patients cured/improved after Mini-Arc placement maintain a high degree of satisfaction at a long-term evaluation.
PMCID: PMC3918723  PMID: 24579053
22.  Convexity meningiomas enhanced by sodium fluorescein 
The resection of the meningiomas surrounding the dura is an important goal during the removal of a convexity meningioma. The authors present the first application of sodium fluorescein (SF) as a tool for tumor and dural tail identification in convexity meningiomas.
Five frontal convexity meningiomas operated on between December 2012 and April 2013 were included. After initial dissection a dose of 1 g of the SF, 20% was injected into a peripheral vein. Tumor and dural tail were removed using the correlation between magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings and transoperative SF enhancement.
Simpson Grade 1 removal was obtained in three cases, grade 2 in one atypical meningioma and grade zero in one case. SF dural tail enhancement was positive in all cases and histologic analysis evidenced involvement of the dura by tumors.
SF enhancement was evident in meningiomas and dura surrounding the lesions. Histologic analysis confirmed dural involvement. SF could represent an universally available fluorescent tool for meningioma surgery.
PMCID: PMC3927087  PMID: 24575318
Fluorescent marker; grade zero removal; meningioma; surgical resection
23.  Correction: Depth Cues and Perceived Audiovisual Synchrony of Biological Motion 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(1):10.1371/annotation/d0e27a68-ad6d-452f-bfca-337487fc933c.
PMCID: PMC3882173
24.  Interaction of Mycobacterium leprae with Human Airway Epithelial Cells: Adherence, Entry, Survival, and Identification of Potential Adhesins by Surface Proteome Analysis 
Infection and Immunity  2013;81(7):2645-2659.
This study examined the in vitro interaction between Mycobacterium leprae, the causative agent of leprosy, and human alveolar and nasal epithelial cells, demonstrating that M. leprae can enter both cell types and that both are capable of sustaining bacterial survival. Moreover, delivery of M. leprae to the nasal septum of mice resulted in macrophage and epithelial cell infection in the lung tissue, sustaining the idea that the airways constitute an important M. leprae entry route into the human body. Since critical aspects in understanding the mechanisms of infection are the identification and characterization of the adhesins involved in pathogen-host cell interaction, the nude mouse-derived M. leprae cell surface-exposed proteome was studied to uncover potentially relevant adhesin candidates. A total of 279 cell surface-exposed proteins were identified based on selective biotinylation, streptavidin-affinity purification, and shotgun mass spectrometry; 11 of those proteins have been previously described as potential adhesins. In vitro assays with the recombinant forms of the histone-like protein (Hlp) and the heparin-binding hemagglutinin (HBHA), considered to be major mycobacterial adhesins, confirmed their capacity to promote bacterial attachment to epithelial cells. Taking our data together, they suggest that the airway epithelium may act as a reservoir and/or portal of entry for M. leprae in humans. Moreover, our report sheds light on the potentially critical adhesins involved in M. leprae-epithelial cell interaction that may be useful in designing more effective tools for leprosy control.
PMCID: PMC3697615  PMID: 23670556
25.  Depth Cues and Perceived Audiovisual Synchrony of Biological Motion 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(11):e80096.
Due to their different propagation times, visual and auditory signals from external events arrive at the human sensory receptors with a disparate delay. This delay consistently varies with distance, but, despite such variability, most events are perceived as synchronic. There is, however, contradictory data and claims regarding the existence of compensatory mechanisms for distance in simultaneity judgments.
Principal Findings
In this paper we have used familiar audiovisual events – a visual walker and footstep sounds – and manipulated the number of depth cues. In a simultaneity judgment task we presented a large range of stimulus onset asynchronies corresponding to distances of up to 35 meters. We found an effect of distance over the simultaneity estimates, with greater distances requiring larger stimulus onset asynchronies, and vision always leading. This effect was stronger when both visual and auditory cues were present but was interestingly not found when depth cues were impoverished.
These findings reveal that there should be an internal mechanism to compensate for audiovisual delays, which critically depends on the depth information available.
PMCID: PMC3828238  PMID: 24244617

Results 1-25 (69)