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Sample records for ai seropositive flocks

  1. Household-level risk factors for Newcastle disease seropositivity and incidence of Newcastle disease virus exposure in backyard chicken flocks in Eastern Shewa zone, Ethiopia.

    PubMed

    Chaka, Hassen; Goutard, Flavie; Roger, Francois; Bisschop, Shahn P R; Thompson, Peter N

    2013-05-01

    A cross-sectional study with repeated sampling was conducted to investigate potential risk factors for Newcastle disease (ND) seropositivity and for incidence of ND virus (NDV) exposure in household flocks of backyard chickens in Eastern Shewa zone, Ethiopia. Data were collected from 260 randomly selected households in 52 villages in Adami Tulu Jido Kombolcha and Ada'a woredas (districts) using a structured questionnaire, and serum samples from chickens were tested for NDV antibodies using a blocking enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Sampling took place during September 2009 and the same households were again sampled in May 2010. Household-level seroprevalence and incidence of NDV exposure were estimated in various ways using serological results from the two samplings, flock dynamics, and farmers' reports of ND in their flocks. The risk factors were assessed using multivariable mixed-effects logistic regression models. Household-level seroprevalence at the two sampling times was 17.4% and 27.4%, respectively, and the estimated incidence of household-level NDV exposure during the intervening period ranged between 19.7% and 25.5%. At the first sampling, reduced frequency of cleaning of poultry waste was associated with increased odds of seropositivity (OR=4.78; 95% CI: 1.42, 16.11; P=0.01) while hatching at home vs. other sources (buying in replacement birds, receiving as gift or buying fertile eggs) was associated with lower odds of seropositivity, both at the first sampling (OR=0.30; 95% CI: 0.11, 0.82; P=0.02) and the second sampling (OR=0.23; 95% CI: 0.10, 0.52; P<0.001). The risk of NDV exposure was shown to be higher with larger flock size at the beginning of the observation period (OR=3.6; 95% CI: 1.25, 10.39; P=0.02). Using an open water source (pond or river) for poultry compared to closed sources (tap or borehole) was associated with increased risk of NDV exposure (OR=3.14; 95% CI: 1.12, 8.8; P=0.03). The use of a grain supplement (OR=0.14; 95% CI

  2. Seroprevalence survey for Salmonella Abortusovis infection in Swiss sheep flocks.

    PubMed

    Wirz-Dittus, Sophie; Belloy, Luc; Hüssy, Daniela; Waldvogel, Andreas S; Doherr, Marcus G

    2010-11-01

    Between 1976 and 2003, no infections with Salmonella Abortusovis had been officially recorded in Switzerland. Since then, however, several sheep flocks were infected and suffered massive fetal losses suggesting a re-emergence of the disease. Therefore, the aim of this study was to assess the epidemiological situation of S. Abortusovis infection in sheep in this country. A representative serum sample collected in 2007 in the context of certifying Brucella freedom included sera from 578 flocks with a total of 8426 sheep from all regions in Switzerland and the Principality of Liechtenstein. Sera were tested by ELISA for the presence of antibodies specific for S. Abortusovis. The cantonal seroprevalence was estimated at the sheep as well as the flock-level by taking into account (a) all flocks with one or more seropositive sheep (Flock 1+) and (b) only the flocks with two or more seropositive sheep (Flock 2+). Flocks with seropositive sheep were found throughout the country with an overall sheep-level prevalence of 1.7%. At the flock-level, overall prevalences of 16.3% and 5.0% were found for Flock 1+ and Flock 2+ definitions, respectively. Significant sheep-level clusters were located in the cantons of Bern, the Valais and Graubünden, while significant flock-level clusters (Flock 1+ and Flock 2+) were located in the canton of Graubünden only. Our results indicate that exposure of Swiss sheep flocks to S. Abortusovis is wide-spread. PMID:20870306

  3. Serological and molecular evidence of Q fever among small ruminant flocks in Algeria.

    PubMed

    Khaled, H; Sidi-Boumedine, K; Merdja, S; Dufour, P; Dahmani, A; Thiéry, R; Rousset, E; Bouyoucef, A

    2016-08-01

    Q fever, a commonly reported zoonosis worldwide, is caused by infection with Coxiella burnetii, an obligate intracellular bacterium. The infection is often asymptomatic in ruminants, but it can lead to reproductive disorders with bacterial shedding into the environment. Between 2011 and 2013, a study was undertaken in small ruminant flocks in different regions of Algeria. A total of 35 flocks were visited and 227 sera and 267 genital swabs were collected from females after abortions or the lambing period to investigate Q fever infection. Indirect ELISA was used to detect specific antibodies against C. burnetii and real-time PCR for detecting bacterial DNA. Our survey indicated that 58% (95% CI=40-76%) of flocks had at least one positive animal (17 seropositive flocks) and individual seroprevalence was estimated at 14.1% (95% CI=11.8-16.4%) (32 seropositive animals). Bacterial excretion was observed in 21 flocks (60%), and 57 females showed evidence of C. burnetii shedding (21.3%). These results suggest that C. burnetii distribution is high at the flock level and that seropositive and infected (shedder) animals can be found all over the country. Further studies are needed in other regions and on different animal species to better understand the distribution and incidence of Q fever, as well as human exposure, and to develop an adequate prophylaxis program. PMID:27477503

  4. Hydrodynamics of Turning Flocks.

    PubMed

    Yang, Xingbo; Marchetti, M Cristina

    2015-12-18

    We present a hydrodynamic model of flocking that generalizes the familiar Toner-Tu equations to incorporate turning inertia of well-polarized flocks. The continuum equations controlled by only two dimensionless parameters, orientational inertia and alignment strength, are derived by coarse-graining the inertial spin model recently proposed by Cavagna et al. The interplay between orientational inertia and bend elasticity of the flock yields anisotropic spin waves that mediate the propagation of turning information throughout the flock. The coupling between spin-current density to the local vorticity field through a nonlinear friction gives rise to a hydrodynamic mode with angular-dependent propagation speed at long wavelengths. This mode becomes unstable as a result of the growth of bend and splay deformations augmented by the spin wave, signaling the transition to complex spatiotemporal patterns of continuously turning and swirling flocks. PMID:26722945

  5. Hydrodynamics of Turning Flocks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Xingbo; Marchetti, M. Cristina

    2015-12-01

    We present a hydrodynamic model of flocking that generalizes the familiar Toner-Tu equations to incorporate turning inertia of well-polarized flocks. The continuum equations controlled by only two dimensionless parameters, orientational inertia and alignment strength, are derived by coarse-graining the inertial spin model recently proposed by Cavagna et al. The interplay between orientational inertia and bend elasticity of the flock yields anisotropic spin waves that mediate the propagation of turning information throughout the flock. The coupling between spin-current density to the local vorticity field through a nonlinear friction gives rise to a hydrodynamic mode with angular-dependent propagation speed at long wavelengths. This mode becomes unstable as a result of the growth of bend and splay deformations augmented by the spin wave, signaling the transition to complex spatiotemporal patterns of continuously turning and swirling flocks.

  6. Hydrodynamics of Turning Flocks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Xingbo; Marchetti, M. Cristina

    2015-03-01

    We present a hydrodynamic model of flocking that generalizes the familiar Toner-Tu equations to incorporate turning inertia of well polarized flocks. The continuum equations are derived by coarse graining the inertial spin model recently proposed by Cavagna et al. The interplay between orientational inertia and bend elasticity of the flock yields spin waves that mediate the propagation of turning information throughout the flock. When the inertia is large, we find a novel instability that signals the transition to complex spatio-temporal patterns of continuously turning and swirling flocks. This work was supported by the NSF Awards DMR-1305184 and DGE-1068780 at Syracuse University and NSF Award PHY11-25915 and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation Grant No. 2919 at the KITP at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

  7. Prevalence of avian respiratory viruses in broiler flocks in Egypt.

    PubMed

    Hassan, Kareem E; Shany, Salama A S; Ali, A; Dahshan, Al-Hussien M; El-Sawah, Azza A; El-Kady, Magdy F

    2016-06-01

    In this study, respiratory viral pathogens were screened using real-time RT-PCR in 86 broiler chicken flocks suffering from respiratory diseases problems in 4 Egyptian governorates between January 2012 and February 2014. The mortality rates in the investigated flocks ranged from 1 to 47%. Results showed that mixed infection represented 66.3% of the examined flocks. Mixed infectious bronchitis (IBV) and avian influenza (AI)-H9N2 viruses were the most common infection (41.7%). Lack of AI-H9N2 vaccination and high rates of mixed infections in which AI-H9N2 is involved indicate an early AI-H9N2 infection with a potential immunosuppressive effect that predisposes for other viral infections. High pathogenic AI-H5N1 and virulent Newcastle disease virus (vNDV) infections were also detected (26.7% and 8.1%, respectively). Interestingly, co-infection of AI-H9N2 with either AIV-H5N1 or vNDV rarely resulted in high mortality. Partial cell-mediated immunity against similar internal AI genes, as well as virus interference between AI and vNDV, could be an explanation for this. Highly prevalent IBV and AI-H9N2 were isolated and were molecularly characterized based on S1 gene hypervariable region 3 ( HVR3: ) and hemagglutinin gene (HA) sequences, respectively. IBV strains were related to the variant group of IBV with multiple mutations in HVR3. Though AI-H9N2 viruses showed low rate of evolution in comparison to recent strains, few amino acid substitutions indicative of antibody selection pressure were observed in the HA gene. In conclusion, mixed viral infections, especially with IBV and AI-H9N2 viruses, are the predominant etiology of respiratory disease problems in broiler chickens in Egypt. Further investigations of the role of AI, IBV, and ND viruses' co-infections and interference in terms of altering the severity of clinical signs and lesions and/or generating novel reassortants within each virus are needed. PMID:26976895

  8. Flocking in Flow

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ouellette, Nicholas; Khurana, Nidhi

    2013-03-01

    Models of active, self-propelled particles with simple interaction rules have long been shown to produce large-scale emergent behavior reminiscent of collective animal motion seen in nature. Such model flocks can be shown to be robust against random noise terms added to the equations. But real animals, such as birds, fish, or insects, live in fluid environments, where the background flow field is nonzero and is often turbulent. In this case, the fluctuations experienced by the individuals in the aggregation are not random, but rather are correlated in space and time. We explore the impact of such spatiotemporally correlated perturbations on flocking by numerically simulating the behavior of a simple flocking model in a turbulent-like flow field produced by a kinematic simulation. The introduction of flow strongly changes the flock formation dynamics. Additionally, we find that under some conditions the background flow tends to break stable flocks into smaller units. We study these clusters, and discuss their relation to the underlying flow field.

  9. Coxiella burnetii seropositivity and associated risk factors in sheep in Ontario, Canada.

    PubMed

    Meadows, S; Jones-Bitton, A; McEwen, S; Jansen, J; Menzies, P

    2015-11-01

    Coxiella burnetii is a zoonotic bacterium that can cause abortion in sheep in late gestation, as well as the delivery of stillborn, and non-viable lambs (Rodolakis, 2006). A cross-sectional study was conducted in Ontario, Canada, to investigate C. burnetii exposure in sheep. Between August 2010 and January 2012, sera from 2363 reproductively active ewes from 72 farms were tested for C. burnetii specific antibodies using the CHEKIT Q fever ELISA Test kit (IDEXX Laboratories). Overall, exposure was common; sheep-level seroprevalence was 14.7% (347/2363, 95% CI: 13.3-16.2), and was higher in dairy sheep (24.3%, 181/744) than meat sheep (10.2%, 166/1619) (p<0.0001). At the farm-level, 48.6% (35/72, 95% CI: 37.2-60.1) of farms had at least one seropositive sheep. A mixed multivariable logistic model that controlled for farm-level clustering, identified risk factors associated (p<0.05) with sheep seropositivity. Increasing female flock size (logarithmic scale) was associated with increased odds of seropositivity. By way of illustration, increasing the female flock size from 100 to 200 increased the odds of seropositivity by 2.26 times (95% CI: 1.5-3.5). Sheep that lambed in an airspace separate from the flock had 11.3 times (95% CI: 2.9-43.6) the odds of seropositivity relative to other sheep. The practice of loaning sheep that returned to the farm increased odds of seropositivity by 8.1 times (95% CI: 1.8-33.6). Lambing pen hygiene practices also influenced odds of seropositivity. Relative to sheep from farms where all lambing pen hygiene measures were practiced after lambing (i.e., adding bedding, removing birth materials and disinfection), sheep from farms that only added bedding, or those that just added bedding and removed birthing materials had 5.9 times (95% CI: 1.1-32.1) and 9.0 times (95% CI: 2.2-36.9) the odds of seropositivity, respectively. These results can be used to inform prevention and control strategies with the aim of reducing C. burnetii exposure in

  10. Detection of antibodies against Chlamydophila abortus in Costa Rican sheep flocks.

    PubMed

    Villagra-Blanco, R; Dolz, G; Montero-Caballero, D; Romero-Zúñiga, J J

    2015-01-01

    A total of 359 sheep samples from 15 flocks were analyzed for the presence of antibodies against Chlamydophila abortus using a commercial Enzyme linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA). Antibodies were detected in 19 (5.29%) sheep from 12 (80%) flocks. Seropositive animals were found in all analyzed regions (Central, Chorotega, Atlantic Huetar, North Huetar and Central Pacific) determining prevalence between 0.28% and 4.4%, and intra-flock positivity between 3.7% and 25.0%. The survey revealed two risk factors associated with seropositivity; introducing animals (males and females), embryos, or semen from other farms or from abroad without any sanitary certification, and flocks not having quarantine areas or separated boxes for diseased animals. No clinical signs of disease were observed in positive seroreactors. C. abortus seems to be present in Costa Rica in a very low prevalence in sheep flocks. Further studies, to isolate the bacteria are required. Finally, implementation of control measures to prevent the spread of C. abortus is recommended. PMID:26623377

  11. Detection of antibodies against Chlamydophila abortus in Costa Rican sheep flocks

    PubMed Central

    Villagra-Blanco, R.; Dolz, G.; Montero-Caballero, D.; Romero-Zúñiga, J.J.

    2015-01-01

    A total of 359 sheep samples from 15 flocks were analyzed for the presence of antibodies against Chlamydophila abortus using a commercial Enzyme linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA). Antibodies were detected in 19 (5.29%) sheep from 12 (80%) flocks. Seropositive animals were found in all analyzed regions (Central, Chorotega, Atlantic Huetar, North Huetar and Central Pacific) determining prevalence between 0.28% and 4.4%, and intra-flock positivity between 3.7% and 25.0%. The survey revealed two risk factors associated with seropositivity; introducing animals (males and females), embryos, or semen from other farms or from abroad without any sanitary certification, and flocks not having quarantine areas or separated boxes for diseased animals. No clinical signs of disease were observed in positive seroreactors. C. abortus seems to be present in Costa Rica in a very low prevalence in sheep flocks. Further studies, to isolate the bacteria are required. Finally, implementation of control measures to prevent the spread of C. abortus is recommended. PMID:26623377

  12. Risk factors associated with the colonization of Ontario layer chicken flocks with Brachyspira species.

    PubMed

    Medhanie, Genet A; McEwen, Scott A; Weber, Lloyd; Sanei, Babak; Cooley, Leanne; Houghton, Scott; Slavic, Durda; Guerin, Michele T

    2013-05-01

    Brachyspira species are frequent colonizers of the gastrointestinal tract in a variety of domestic animals, including birds. In chickens, Brachyspira species are associated with a clinical condition known as avian intestinal spirochetosis (AIS), a disease characterized by chronic diarrhoea, weight loss, low egg production, and faecal-stained eggs. The purpose of this study was to identify risk factors associated with the presence of Brachyspira species in Ontario layer chicken flocks. Pooled faecal samples were collected from 89 flocks from 58 farms between August 2010 and February 2011; 52 flocks were classified as dirty flocks (history of downgrades for dirty eggs) and 37 were classified as clean flocks (no history of downgrades for dirty eggs). A questionnaire related to management, biosecurity practices, and antimicrobial use was administered prior to sample collection. Using real-time polymerase chain reaction; 63.5% of the dirty flocks and 24.3% of the clean flocks were positive for Brachyspira species. A logistic regression model with a random effect for farm showed that the odds of Brachyspira species for flocks ≥ 60 weeks of age were higher than for flocks ≤ 34 weeks (OR=9.3; P=0.014). The odds of Brachyspira species in flocks housed in A-frame cages with manure curtains (OR=20.0; P=0.002) and flocks from multi-age farms (OR=8.5; P=0.001) were higher than for flocks in cage-stacked houses and from single-age farms, respectively. The odds of Brachyspira species for flocks housed in barns ≥ 30 years old was lower than for flocks housed in barns ≤ 14 years old (OR=0.1; P=0.002). The calculated intra-class correlation coefficient was 5.6 × 10(-14); the notably low proportion of variation among farms after the fixed effects were included in the model suggests that the farm-level variable (multi-age farm) included in the final model accounted for most of the farm-to-farm variation in Brachyspira presence. Therefore, it is recommended that strict

  13. Coordinated Behaviour in Pigeon Flocks

    PubMed Central

    Yomosa, Makoto; Mizuguchi, Tsuyoshi; Vásárhelyi, Gábor; Nagy, Máté

    2015-01-01

    We analysed pigeon flock flights using GPS trajectory data to reveal the most important kinematic aspects of flocking behaviour. We quantitatively investigated the internal motion of the flock based on pairwise statistics and found the following general relationships in all datasets: i) the temporal order of decisions characterised by the delay between directional changes is strictly related to the spatial order characterised by the longitudinal relative position within the flock; ii) during circling motion, pigeons use a mixture of two idealised and fundamentally different turning strategies, namely, parallel-path and equal-radius type turning. While pigeons tend to maintain their relative position within the flock on average, as in the parallel-path approximation, those who turn later also get behind as in the equal-radius case. Equal-radius type turning also tends to be expressed more during smaller radius turns. PMID:26485662

  14. Coordinated Behaviour in Pigeon Flocks.

    PubMed

    Yomosa, Makoto; Mizuguchi, Tsuyoshi; Vásárhelyi, Gábor; Nagy, Máté

    2015-01-01

    We analysed pigeon flock flights using GPS trajectory data to reveal the most important kinematic aspects of flocking behaviour. We quantitatively investigated the internal motion of the flock based on pairwise statistics and found the following general relationships in all datasets: i) the temporal order of decisions characterised by the delay between directional changes is strictly related to the spatial order characterised by the longitudinal relative position within the flock; ii) during circling motion, pigeons use a mixture of two idealised and fundamentally different turning strategies, namely, parallel-path and equal-radius type turning. While pigeons tend to maintain their relative position within the flock on average, as in the parallel-path approximation, those who turn later also get behind as in the equal-radius case. Equal-radius type turning also tends to be expressed more during smaller radius turns. PMID:26485662

  15. Effect of Lonicera japonica extract on Mycoplasma gallisepticum in naturally infected broiler flocks.

    PubMed

    Müştak, H K; Torun, E; Özen, D; Yücel, G; Akan, M; Diker, K S

    2015-01-01

    1. In this study, the effect of chlorogenic acid extract from Lonicera japonica Thunb. on Mycoplasma gallisepticum infections and the performance of broiler flocks was investigated. 2. A total of 360 Ross-308 broiler chicks taken from M. gallisepticum seropositive flocks were divided equally into three groups designated as control (nothing administered), antibiotic (Tylosin tartrate given for the first 3 d and d 20-22) and test group (chlorogenic acid extract given twice a day on d 16 and 22). 3. Broiler performance analysis, serological tests (slide agglutination), molecular identification (polymerase chain reaction) and histopathological examination were performed to detect M. gallisepticum. 4. The results show that chlorogenic acid not only increases live body weight but is also an alternative treatment option in M. gallisepticum-infected broiler flocks. PMID:25731588

  16. Bringing AI to Life

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Copple, Kevin L.

    Participation in the Loebner Prize Contest is a useful exercise in the development of intelligent computer systems (AI). This contest helps put a focus on performance and human interaction, countering idealistic and academic bias toward the elusive "true AI". Collection of a steadily expanding set of interacting features is being explored to find how far this approach can move toward better AI.

  17. Flocks, herds, and schools: A quantitative theory of flocking

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Toner, John; Tu, Yuhai

    1998-10-01

    We present a quantitative continuum theory of ``flocking'': the collective coherent motion of large numbers of self-propelled organisms. In agreement with everyday experience, our model predicts the existence of an ``ordered phase'' of flocks, in which all members of even an arbitrarily large flock move together with the same mean velocity >≠0. This coherent motion of the flock is an example of spontaneously broken symmetry: no preferred direction for the motion is picked out a priori in the model; rather, each flock is allowed to, and does, spontaneously pick out some completely arbitrary direction to move in. By analyzing our model we can make detailed, quantitative predictions for the long-distance, long-time behavior of this ``broken symmetry state.'' The ``Goldstone modes'' associated with this ``spontaneously broken rotational symmetry'' are fluctuations in the direction of motion of a large part of the flock away from the mean direction of motion of the flock as a whole. These ``Goldstone modes'' mix with modes associated with conservation of bird number to produce propagating sound modes. These sound modes lead to enormous fluctuations of the density of the flock, far larger, at long wavelengths, than those in, e.g., an equilibrium gas. Our model is similar in many ways to the Navier-Stokes equations for a simple compressible fluid; in other ways, it resembles a relaxational time-dependent Ginsburg-Landau theory for an n=d component isotropic ferromagnet. In spatial dimensions d>4, the long-distance behavior is correctly described by a linearized theory, and is equivalent to that of an unusual but nonetheless equilibrium model for spin systems. For d<4, nonlinear fluctuation effects radically alter the long distance behavior, making it different from that of any known equilibrium model. In particular, we find that in d=2, where we can calculate the scaling exponents exactly, flocks exhibit a true, long-range ordered, spontaneously broken symmetry

  18. Hydrodynamics and phases of flocks

    SciTech Connect

    Toner, John; Tu Yuhai . E-mail: yuhai@us.ibm.com; Ramaswamy, Sriram

    2005-07-01

    We review the past decade's theoretical and experimental studies of flocking: the collective, coherent motion of large numbers of self-propelled 'particles' (usually, but not always, living organisms). Like equilibrium condensed matter systems, flocks exhibit distinct 'phases' which can be classified by their symmetries. Indeed, the phases that have been theoretically studied to date each have exactly the same symmetry as some equilibrium phase (e.g., ferromagnets, liquid crystals). This analogy with equilibrium phases of matter continues in that all flocks in the same phase, regardless of their constituents, have the same 'hydrodynamic'-that is, long-length scale and long-time behavior, just as, e.g., all equilibrium fluids are described by the Navier-Stokes equations. Flocks are nonetheless very different from equilibrium systems, due to the intrinsically nonequilibrium self-propulsion of the constituent 'organisms'. This difference between flocks and equilibrium systems is most dramatically manifested in the ability of the simplest phase of a flock, in which all the organisms are, on average moving in the same direction (we call this a 'ferromagnetic' flock; we also use the terms 'vector-ordered' and 'polar-ordered' for this situation) to exist even in two dimensions (i.e., creatures moving on a plane), in defiance of the well-known Mermin-Wagner theorem of equilibrium statistical mechanics, which states that a continuous symmetry (in this case, rotation invariance, or the ability of the flock to fly in any direction) can not be spontaneously broken in a two-dimensional system with only short-ranged interactions. The 'nematic' phase of flocks, in which all the creatures move preferentially, or are simply oriented preferentially, along the same axis, but with equal probability of moving in either direction, also differs dramatically from its equilibrium counterpart (in this case, nematic liquid crystals). Specifically, it shows enormous number fluctuations, which

  19. Outbreaks of highly pathogenic Eurasian H5N8 avian influenza in two commercial poultry flocks in California

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In January 2015, a highly pathogenic Eurasian lineage H5N8 avian influenza (AI) virus was detected in a commercial meat turkey flock in Stanislaus County, California. Approximately 3 weeks later, a similar case was diagnosed in commercial chickens from a different company located in Kings County, C...

  20. Epidemiologic characterization of Colorado backyard bird flocks.

    PubMed

    Smith, Emily I; Reif, John S; Hill, Ashley E; Slota, Katharine E; Miller, Ryan S; Bjork, Kathe E; Pabilonia, Kristy L

    2012-06-01

    Backyard gallinaceous bird flocks may play an important role in the spread of infectious diseases within poultry populations as well as the transmission of zoonotic diseases to humans. An epidemiologic characterization was conducted of Colorado backyard flocks to gather information on general flock characteristics, human movement of birds, human-bird interaction, biosecurity practices, and flock health. Our results suggest that backyard poultry flocks in Colorado are small-sized flocks (68.6% of flocks had < 50 birds); consist primarily of layer chickens (85.49% of flocks), show chickens (32.18% of flocks), and waterfowl (34.07% of flocks); and are primarily owned for food (meat or egg) production for the family (86.44%) or as pet or hobby birds (42.27%). The backyard flock environment may promote bird-to-bird transmission as well as bird-to-human transmission of infectious disease. Birds are primarily housed with free access to the outside (96.85%), and many are moved from the home premises (46.06% within 1 yr). Human contact with backyard flocks is high, biosecurity practices are minimal, and bird health is negatively impacted by increased movement events. Increased knowledge of backyard bird characteristics and associated management practices can provide guidelines for the development of measures to decrease disease transmission between bird populations, decrease disease transmission from birds to humans, and increase the overall health of backyard birds. PMID:22856180

  1. Q fever: baseline monitoring of a sheep and a goat flock associated with human infections

    PubMed Central

    EIBACH, R.; BOTHE, F.; RUNGE, M.; FISCHER, S. F.; PHILIPP, W.; GANTER, M.

    2012-01-01

    SUMMARY Animal losses due to abortion and weak offspring during a lambing period amounted up to 25% in a goat flock and up to 18% in a sheep flock kept at an experimental station on the Swabian Alb, Germany. Fifteen out of 23 employees and residents on the farm tested positive for Coxiella burnetii antibodies by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and indirect immunofluorescence assay. Ninety-four per cent of the goats and 47% of the sheep were seropositive for C. burnetii by ELISA. Blood samples of 8% of goats and 3% of sheep were PCR positive. C. burnetii was shed by all tested animals through vaginal mucus, by 97% of the goats and 78% of the sheep through milk, and by all investigated sheep through faeces (PCR testing). In this outbreak human and animal infection were temporally related suggesting that one was caused by the other. PMID:22217267

  2. AI aerospace components

    SciTech Connect

    Heindel, T.A.; Murphy, T.B.; Rasmussen, A.N.; Mcfarland, R.Z.; Montgomery, R.E.; Pohle, G.E.; Heard, A.E.; Atkinson, D.J.; Wedlake, W.E.; Anderson, J.M. Mitre Corp., Houston, TX Unisys Corp., Houston, TX Rockwell International Corp., El Segundo, CA NASA, Kennedy Space Center, Cocoa Beach, FL JPL, Pasadena, CA Lockheed Missiles and Space Co., Inc., Austin, TX McDonnell Douglas Electronic Systems Co., McLean, VA )

    1991-10-01

    An evaluation is made of the application of novel, AI-capabilities-related technologies to aerospace systems. Attention is given to expert-system shells for Space Shuttle Orbiter mission control, manpower and processing cost reductions at the NASA Kennedy Space Center's 'firing rooms' for liftoff monitoring, the automation of planetary exploration systems such as semiautonomous mobile robots, and AI for battlefield staff-related functions.

  3. Statistical mechanics for natural flocks of birds.

    PubMed

    Bialek, William; Cavagna, Andrea; Giardina, Irene; Mora, Thierry; Silvestri, Edmondo; Viale, Massimiliano; Walczak, Aleksandra M

    2012-03-27

    Flocking is a typical example of emergent collective behavior, where interactions between individuals produce collective patterns on the large scale. Here we show how a quantitative microscopic theory for directional ordering in a flock can be derived directly from field data. We construct the minimally structured (maximum entropy) model consistent with experimental correlations in large flocks of starlings. The maximum entropy model shows that local, pairwise interactions between birds are sufficient to correctly predict the propagation of order throughout entire flocks of starlings, with no free parameters. We also find that the number of interacting neighbors is independent of flock density, confirming that interactions are ruled by topological rather than metric distance. Finally, by comparing flocks of different sizes, the model correctly accounts for the observed scale invariance of long-range correlations among the fluctuations in flight direction. PMID:22427355

  4. An index for quantifying flocking behavior.

    PubMed

    Quera, Vicenç; Herrando, Salvador; Beltran, Francesc S; Salas, Laura; Miñano, Meritxell

    2007-12-01

    One of the classic research topics in adaptive behavior is the collective displacement of groups of organisms such as flocks of birds, schools of fish, herds of mammals, and crowds of people. However, most agent-based simulations of group behavior do not provide a quantitative index for determining the point at which the flock emerges. An index was developed of the aggregation of moving individuals in a flock and an example was provided of how it can be used to quantify the degree to which a group of moving individuals actually forms a flock. PMID:18229552

  5. Cytomegalovirus seropositivity is associated with herpes zoster.

    PubMed

    Ogunjimi, Benson; Hens, Niel; Pebody, Richard; Jansens, Hilde; Seale, Holly; Quinlivan, Mark; Theeten, Heidi; Goossens, Herman; Breuer, Judy; Beutels, Philippe

    2015-01-01

    Herpes zoster (HZ) is caused by VZV reactivation that is facilitated by a declined immunity against varicella-zoster virus (VZV), but also occurs in immunocompetent individuals. Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection is associated with immunosenescence meaning that VZV-specific T-cells could be less responsive. This study aimed to determine whether CMV infection could be a risk factor for the development of HZ. CMV IgG serostatus was determined in stored serum samples from previously prospectively recruited ambulatory adult HZ patients in the UK (N = 223) in order to compare the results with those from UK population samples (N = 1545) by means of a logistic regression (controlling for age and gender). Furthermore, we compared the UK population CMV seroprevalence with those from population samples from other countries (from Belgium (N1 = 1741, N2 = 576), USA (N = 5572) and Australia (N = 2080)). Furthermore, CMV IgG titers could be compared between UK HZ patients and Belgium N2 population samples because the same experimental set-up for analysis was used. We found UK ambulatory HZ patients to have a higher CMV seroprevalence than UK population samples (OR 1.56 [1.11 2.19]). CMV IgG seropositivity was a significant risk factor for HZ in the UK (OR 3.06 [1.32 7.04]. Furthermore, high CMV IgG titers (exceeding the upper threshold) were less abundant in CMV-seropositive Belgian N2 population samples than in CMV-seropositive UK HZ patients (OR 0.51 [0.31 0.82]. We found CMV-seroprevalence to increase faster with age in the UK than in other countries (P < 0.05). We conclude that CMV IgG seropositivity is associated with HZ. This finding could add to the growing list of risk factors for HZ. PMID:25905443

  6. Cytomegalovirus seropositivity is associated with herpes zoster

    PubMed Central

    Ogunjimi, Benson; Hens, Niel; Pebody, Richard; Jansens, Hilde; Seale, Holly; Quinlivan, Mark; Theeten, Heidi; Goossens, Herman; Breuer, Judy; Beutels, Philippe

    2015-01-01

    Herpes zoster (HZ) is caused by VZV reactivation that is facilitated by a declined immunity against varicella-zoster virus (VZV), but also occurs in immunocompetent individuals. Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection is associated with immunosenescence meaning that VZV-specific T-cells could be less responsive. This study aimed to determine whether CMV infection could be a risk factor for the development of HZ. CMV IgG serostatus was determined in stored serum samples from previously prospectively recruited ambulatory adult HZ patients in the UK (N = 223) in order to compare the results with those from UK population samples (N = 1545) by means of a logistic regression (controlling for age and gender). Furthermore, we compared the UK population CMV seroprevalence with those from population samples from other countries (from Belgium (N1 = 1741, N2 = 576), USA (N = 5572) and Australia (N = 2080)). Furthermore, CMV IgG titers could be compared between UK HZ patients and Belgium N2 population samples because the same experimental set-up for analysis was used. We found UK ambulatory HZ patients to have a higher CMV seroprevalence than UK population samples (OR 1.56 [1.11 2.19]). CMV IgG seropositivity was a significant risk factor for HZ in the UK (OR 3.06 [1.32 7.04]. Furthermore, high CMV IgG titers (exceeding the upper threshold) were less abundant in CMV-seropositive Belgian N2 population samples than in CMV-seropositive UK HZ patients (OR 0.51 [0.31 0.82]. We found CMV-seroprevalence to increase faster with age in the UK than in other countries (P < 0.05). We conclude that CMV IgG seropositivity is associated with HZ. This finding could add to the growing list of risk factors for HZ. PMID:25905443

  7. 9 CFR 147.21 - Flock sanitation.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 9 Animals and Animal Products 1 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Flock sanitation. 147.21 Section 147.21 Animals and Animal Products ANIMAL AND PLANT HEALTH INSPECTION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE LIVESTOCK IMPROVEMENT AUXILIARY PROVISIONS ON NATIONAL POULTRY IMPROVEMENT PLAN Sanitation Procedures § 147.21 Flock sanitation. To aid in...

  8. AI in manufacturing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gross, John E.; Minato, Rick; Smith, David M.; Loftin, R. B.; Savely, Robert T.

    1991-01-01

    AI techniques are shown to have been useful in such aerospace industry tasks as vehicle configuration layouts, process planning, tool design, numerically-controlled programming of tools, production scheduling, and equipment testing and diagnosis. Accounts are given of illustrative experiences at the production facilities of three major aerospace defense contractors. Also discussed is NASA's autonomous Intelligent Computer-Aided Training System, for such ambitious manned programs as Space Station Freedom, which employs five different modules to constitute its job-independent training architecture.

  9. AI in manufacturing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gross, John E.; Minato, Rick; Smith, David M.; Loftin, R. B.; Savely, Robert T.

    1991-10-01

    AI techniques are shown to have been useful in such aerospace industry tasks as vehicle configuration layouts, process planning, tool design, numerically-controlled programming of tools, production scheduling, and equipment testing and diagnosis. Accounts are given of illustrative experiences at the production facilities of three major aerospace defense contractors. Also discussed is NASA's autonomous Intelligent Computer-Aided Training System, for such ambitious manned programs as Space Station Freedom, which employs five different modules to constitute its job-independent training architecture.

  10. Collective Behaviour: Leadership and Learning in Flocks.

    PubMed

    Herbert-Read, James

    2015-12-01

    A new study has decoded which birds become leaders in homing pigeon flocks, finding an unexpected benefit of leadership: faster birds emerge as leaders, and these leaders learn more about their environment than their followers. PMID:26654370

  11. Research on an infectious disease transmission by flocking birds.

    PubMed

    Tang, Mingsheng; Mao, Xinjun; Guessoum, Zahia

    2013-01-01

    The swarm intelligence is becoming a hot topic. The flocking of birds is a natural phenomenon, which is formed and organized without central or external controls for some benefits (e.g., reduction of energy consummation). However, the flocking also has some negative effects on the human, as the infectious disease H7N9 will easily be transmited from the denser flocking birds to the human. Zombie-city model has been proposed to help analyzing and modeling the flocking birds and the artificial society. This paper focuses on the H7N9 virus transmission in the flocking birds and from the flocking birds to the human. And some interesting results have been shown: (1) only some simple rules could result in an emergence such as the flocking; (2) the minimum distance between birds could affect H7N9 virus transmission in the flocking birds and even affect the virus transmissions from the flocking birds to the human. PMID:23864820

  12. Research on an Infectious Disease Transmission by Flocking Birds

    PubMed Central

    Mao, Xinjun; Guessoum, Zahia

    2013-01-01

    The swarm intelligence is becoming a hot topic. The flocking of birds is a natural phenomenon, which is formed and organized without central or external controls for some benefits (e.g., reduction of energy consummation). However, the flocking also has some negative effects on the human, as the infectious disease H7N9 will easily be transmited from the denser flocking birds to the human. Zombie-city model has been proposed to help analyzing and modeling the flocking birds and the artificial society. This paper focuses on the H7N9 virus transmission in the flocking birds and from the flocking birds to the human. And some interesting results have been shown: (1) only some simple rules could result in an emergence such as the flocking; (2) the minimum distance between birds could affect H7N9 virus transmission in the flocking birds and even affect the virus transmissions from the flocking birds to the human. PMID:23864820

  13. Effective dimension in flocking mechanisms

    SciTech Connect

    Baglietto, Gabriel; Albano, Ezequiel V.

    2011-03-24

    Even in its minimal representation (Vicsek Model, VM [T. Vicsek, A. Czirok, E. Ben-Jacob, I. Cohen and O. Shochet. Phys. Rev. Lett. 75, 1226 (1995).]), the widespread phenomenon of flocking raises intriguing questions to the statistical physicists. While the VM is very close to the better understood XY Model because they share many symmetry properties, a major difference arises by the fact that the former can sustain long-range order in two dimensions, while the latter can not. Aiming to contribute to the understanding of this feature, by means of extensive numerical simulations of the VM, we study the network structure of clusters showing that they can also sustain purely orientational, mean-field-like, long-range order. We identify the reason of this capability with the key concept of ''effective dimension.'' In fact, by analyzing the behavior of the average path length and the mean degree, we show that this dimension is very close to four, which coincides with the upper critical dimension of the XY Model, where orientational order is also of a mean-field nature. We expect that this methodology could be generalized to other types of dynamical systems.

  14. Ovine Paratuberculosis: A Seroprevalence Study in Dairy Flocks Reared in the Marche Region, Italy

    PubMed Central

    Anna Rita, Attili; Victor, Ngu Ngwa; Silvia, Preziuso; Luciana, Pacifici; Anastasia, Domesi; Vincenzo, Cuteri

    2011-01-01

    In order to fulfil the seroprevalence gap on Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis infection in ovine dairy farms of Marche region (central Italy), a stratified study was carried out on 2086 adult female sheep randomly chosen from 38 herds selected in Ancona and Macerata provinces. 73.7% flocks resulted infected by a commercial ELISA test (Pourquier, France), with a mean seroprevalence of 6.29% of sampled sheep in both provinces. A higher number of MAP seropositive ewes was recorded in the large herds' consistence than in the small and medium herds' consistence (P = 0.0269), and a greater percentage of infected sheep was obtained among female at early/late than in peak lactation stage (P = 0.0237). MAP infection was confirmed in 12.6% of infected farms by faecal culture. The true sheep-level seroprevalence was 15.1% ± 7.3%. PMID:21876850

  15. [Spiritual support in HIV seropositivity or AIDS].

    PubMed

    Pelchat, M

    1992-01-01

    Acute life experiences ("expériences limites de l'existence") have long been considered the exclusive domain of religion. Until recently in Québec, the Catholic Church was noted for overseeing these symbolic events. Although the religious reference has not completely disappeared, the author argues that it has now undergone two changes, in terms of privatization and diversification. As such, several systems of belief, whether religious or secular, are being suggested to provide meaning to our lives. Yet, can these approaches provide any relevant support to patients in general, and to HIV-infected persons in particular, including the various organizations and individuals that provide care and assistance? The author points out that genuine support for seropositive persons or AIDS patients in their search for meaning and their fight against the negative forces in life, must involve a person's spiritual dimension. The outcome of this indispensable process does not necessarily have to lead to a traditional religious creed. However, in considering the issue of spiritual support in the context of illness and suffering, the author concludes that "belief in the search for meaning" is an imperative for all those who are concerned by AIDS. PMID:1515526

  16. Diffusion of individual birds in starling flocks.

    PubMed

    Cavagna, A; Duarte Queirós, S M; Giardina, I; Stefanini, F; Viale, M

    2013-04-01

    Flocking is a paradigmatic example of collective animal behaviour, where global order emerges out of self-organization. Each individual has a tendency to align its flight direction with those of neighbours, and such a simple form of interaction produces a state of collective motion of the group. When compared with other cases of collective ordering, a crucial feature of animal groups is that the interaction network is not fixed in time, as each individual moves and continuously changes its neighbours. The possibility to exchange neighbours strongly enhances the stability of global ordering and the way information is propagated through the group. Here, we assess the relevance of this mechanism in large flocks of starlings (Sturnus vulgaris). We find that birds move faster than Brownian walkers both with respect to the centre of mass of the flock, and with respect to each other. Moreover, this behaviour is strongly anisotropic with respect to the direction of motion of the flock. We also measure the amount of neighbours reshuffling and find that neighbours change in time exclusively as a consequence of the random fluctuations in the individual motion, so that no specific mechanism to keep one's neighbours seems to be enforced. On the contrary, our findings suggest that a more complex dynamical process occurs at the border of the flock. PMID:23407827

  17. Highly Pathogenic Eurasian H5N8 Avian Influenza Outbreaks in Two Commercial Poultry Flocks in California.

    PubMed

    Stoute, Simone; Chin, Richard; Crossley, Beate; Gabriel Sentíes-Cué, C; Bickford, Arthur; Pantin-Jackwood, Mary; Breitmeyer, Richard; Jones, Annette; Carnaccini, Silvia; Shivaprasad, H L

    2016-09-01

    In January 2015, a highly pathogenic Eurasian lineage H5N8 avian influenza (AI) virus (AIV) was detected in a commercial meat turkey flock in Stanislaus County, CA. Approximately 3 wk later, a similar case was diagnosed in commercial brown layers from a different company located in Kings County, CA. Five 14-wk-old turkey hens were submitted to the California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory System (CAHFS), Turlock, and eleven 12-wk-old chickens were submitted to CAHFS, Tulare laboratory due to an acute increase in flock mortality. Gross lesions included enlarged and mottled pale spleens and pancreas in turkeys and chickens. Histologically, the major lesions observed in turkeys and chickens were splenitis, pancreatitis, encephalitis, and pneumonia. In both cases, diagnosis was based on real-time reverse transcriptase PCR (RRT-PCR), sequencing, and virus isolation from oropharyngeal and cloacal swabs. Confirmatory diagnosis and AIV characterization was done at the National Veterinary Services Laboratory, Ames, IA. The sequence of the AIV from both cases was 99% identical to an H5N8 AI virus (A/gyrfalcon/Washington/41088-6/2014) isolated from a captive gyrfalcon (Falco rusticolus) from Washington State in December 2014. Immunohistochemistry (IHC) performed on various tissues from both cases indicated a widespread AIV tissue distribution. Except for minor variations, the tissue distribution of the AI antigen was similar in the chickens and turkeys. There was positive IHC staining in the brain, spleen, pancreas, larynx, trachea, and lungs in both chickens and turkeys. Hearts, ovaries, and air sacs from the turkeys were also positive for the AI antigen. The liver sections from the chickens had occasional AI-positive staining in mononuclear cells, but the IHC on liver sections from the turkeys were negative. The bursa of Fabricius, small intestine, kidney, and skeletal muscle sections were negative for the AI antigen in both chickens and turkeys. PMID:27610732

  18. Neuropsychological abnormalities in AIDS and asymptomatic HIV seropositive patients.

    PubMed Central

    Villa, G; Monteleone, D; Marra, C; Bartoli, A; Antinori, A; Pallavicini, F; Tamburrini, E; Izzi, I

    1993-01-01

    Neuropsychological and immunological parameters were studied in 36 AIDS patients with early disease and without clinical, laboratory, and neuroradiological signs of CNS impairment, and also in 33 asymptomatic HIV seropositive subjects. Many AIDS patients performed abnormally on timed psychomotor tasks, tasks involving sequencing and "set-shifting", and memory tasks stressing attention, learning, active retrieval, and monitoring of information. Asymptomatic HIV seropositive subjects as a group did not perform significantly worse than controls. However, on the basis of a cut off number of pathological performances on neuropsychological tasks, 52.8% of AIDS and 30.3% of asymptomatic HIV seropositive subjects had cognitive impairment, compared with 3.9% of HIV seronegative controls. Low values of CD4+ cells and of CD4+/CD8+ ratio and high titres of P-24 antigen in the blood prevailed among subjects with cognitive impairment, especially in the asymptomatic HIV seropositive group. PMID:8350104

  19. Phase Transitions in Models of Bird Flocking

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Christodoulidi, H.; van der Weele, K.; Antonopoulos, Ch. G.; Bountis, T.

    2014-12-01

    The aim of the present paper is to elucidate the transition from collective to random behavior exhibited by various mathematical models of bird flocking. In particular, we compare Vicsek's model [Vicsek et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 75, 1226-1229 (1995)] with one based on topological considerations. The latter model is found to exhibit a first order phase transition from flocking to decoherence, as the "noise parameter" of the problem is increased, whereas Vicsek's model gives a second order transition. Refining the topological model in such a way that birds are influenced mostly by the birds in front of them, less by the ones at their sides and not at all by those behind them (because they do not see them), we find a behavior that lies in between the two models. Finally, we propose a novel mechanism for preserving the flock's cohesion, without imposing artificial boundary conditions or attractive forces.

  20. Functional Diversification within a Predatory Species Flock

    PubMed Central

    Burress, Edward D.; Duarte, Alejandro; Serra, Wilson S.; Loueiro, Marcelo; Gangloff, Michael M.; Siefferman, Lynn

    2013-01-01

    Ecological speciation is well-known from adaptive radiations in cichlid fishes inhabiting lentic ecosystems throughout the African rift valley and Central America. Here, we investigate the ecological and morphological diversification of a recently discovered lotic predatory Neotropical cichlid species flock in subtropical South America. We document morphological and functional diversification using geometric morphometrics, stable C and N isotopes, stomach contents and character evolution. This species flock displays species-specific diets and skull and pharyngeal jaw morphology. Moreover, this lineage appears to have independently evolved away from piscivory multiple times and derived forms are highly specialized morphologically and functionally relative to ancestral states. Ecological speciation played a fundamental role in this radiation and our data reveal novel conditions of ecological speciation including a species flock that evolved: 1) in a piscivorous lineage, 2) under lotic conditions and 3) with pronounced morphological novelties, including hypertrophied lips that appear to have evolved rapidly. PMID:24278349

  1. Functional diversification within a predatory species flock.

    PubMed

    Burress, Edward D; Duarte, Alejandro; Serra, Wilson S; Loueiro, Marcelo; Gangloff, Michael M; Siefferman, Lynn

    2013-01-01

    Ecological speciation is well-known from adaptive radiations in cichlid fishes inhabiting lentic ecosystems throughout the African rift valley and Central America. Here, we investigate the ecological and morphological diversification of a recently discovered lotic predatory Neotropical cichlid species flock in subtropical South America. We document morphological and functional diversification using geometric morphometrics, stable C and N isotopes, stomach contents and character evolution. This species flock displays species-specific diets and skull and pharyngeal jaw morphology. Moreover, this lineage appears to have independently evolved away from piscivory multiple times and derived forms are highly specialized morphologically and functionally relative to ancestral states. Ecological speciation played a fundamental role in this radiation and our data reveal novel conditions of ecological speciation including a species flock that evolved: 1) in a piscivorous lineage, 2) under lotic conditions and 3) with pronounced morphological novelties, including hypertrophied lips that appear to have evolved rapidly. PMID:24278349

  2. Flocking and invariance of velocity angles.

    PubMed

    Liu, Le; Huang, Lihong; Wu, Jianhong

    2016-04-01

    Motsch and Tadmor considered an extended Cucker-Smale model to investigate the flocking behavior of self-organized systems of interacting species. In this extended model, a cone of the vision was introduced so that outside the cone the influence of one agent on the other is lost and hence the corresponding influence function takes the value zero. This creates a problem to apply the Motsch-Tadmor and Cucker-Smale method to prove the flocking property of the system. Here, we examine the variation of the velocity angles between two arbitrary agents, and obtain a monotonicity property for the maximum cone of velocity angles. This monotonicity permits us to utilize existing arguments to show the flocking property of the system under consideration, when the initial velocity angles satisfy some minor technical constraints. PMID:27105986

  3. Flocking with minimal cooperativity: The panic model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pilkiewicz, Kevin R.; Eaves, Joel D.

    2014-01-01

    We present a two-dimensional lattice model of self-propelled spins that can change direction only upon collision with another spin. We show that even with ballistic motion and minimal cooperativity, these spins display robust flocking behavior at nearly all densities, forming long bands of stripes. The structural transition in this system is not a thermodynamic phase transition, but it can still be characterized by an order parameter, and we demonstrate that if this parameter is studied as a dynamical variable rather than a steady-state observable, we can extract a detailed picture of how the flocking mechanism varies with density.

  4. Some causes of the variable shape of flocks of birds.

    PubMed

    Hemelrijk, Charlotte K; Hildenbrandt, Hanno

    2011-01-01

    Flocks of birds are highly variable in shape in all contexts (while travelling, avoiding predation, wheeling above the roost). Particularly amazing in this respect are the aerial displays of huge flocks of starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) above the sleeping site at dawn. The causes of this variability are hardly known, however. Here we hypothesise that variability of shape increases when there are larger local differences in movement behaviour in the flock. We investigate this hypothesis with the help of a model of the self-organisation of travelling groups, called StarDisplay, since such a model has also increased our understanding of what causes the oblong shape of schools of fish. The flocking patterns in the model prove to resemble those of real birds, in particular of starlings and rock doves. As to shape, we measure the relative proportions of the flock in several ways, which either depend on the direction of movement or do not. We confirm that flock shape is usually more variable when local differences in movement in the flock are larger. This happens when a) flock size is larger, b) interacting partners are fewer, c) the flock turnings are stronger, and d) individuals roll into the turn. In contrast to our expectations, when variability of speed in the flock is higher, flock shape and the positions of members in the flock are more static. We explain this and indicate the adaptive value of low variability of speed and spatial restriction of interaction and develop testable hypotheses. PMID:21829627

  5. Some Causes of the Variable Shape of Flocks of Birds

    PubMed Central

    Hemelrijk, Charlotte K.; Hildenbrandt, Hanno

    2011-01-01

    Flocks of birds are highly variable in shape in all contexts (while travelling, avoiding predation, wheeling above the roost). Particularly amazing in this respect are the aerial displays of huge flocks of starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) above the sleeping site at dawn. The causes of this variability are hardly known, however. Here we hypothesise that variability of shape increases when there are larger local differences in movement behaviour in the flock. We investigate this hypothesis with the help of a model of the self-organisation of travelling groups, called StarDisplay, since such a model has also increased our understanding of what causes the oblong shape of schools of fish. The flocking patterns in the model prove to resemble those of real birds, in particular of starlings and rock doves. As to shape, we measure the relative proportions of the flock in several ways, which either depend on the direction of movement or do not. We confirm that flock shape is usually more variable when local differences in movement in the flock are larger. This happens when a) flock size is larger, b) interacting partners are fewer, c) the flock turnings are stronger, and d) individuals roll into the turn. In contrast to our expectations, when variability of speed in the flock is higher, flock shape and the positions of members in the flock are more static. We explain this and indicate the adaptive value of low variability of speed and spatial restriction of interaction and develop testable hypotheses. PMID:21829627

  6. Seroprevalence and risk factors associated with within-flock transmission of Leptospira interrogans in transhumant farming systems in Mexico.

    PubMed

    Arteaga-Troncoso, G; Jiménez-Estrada, J M; Montes De Oca-Jimenez, R; López-Hurtado, M; Luna-Alvarez, M; Hernandez-Andrade, L; Moreno-Alfaro, A; Galan-Herrera, J F; Guerra-Infante, F M

    2015-10-01

    A number of recent reports emphasize the risk of zoonotic diseases and the high degree of prevalence of asymptomatic animals infected with Leptospira interrogans. This report sought to assess the prevalence of antibodies to certain serovars of L. interrogans, and to describe the association between seropositivity and risk factors associated with within-flock transmission in a mountainous region of Mexico. Overall seroprevalence to L. interrogans was 54·5% (95% confidence interval 48·3-60·7); the most frequent serovar was Icterohaemorrhagiae. The accumulation of placentas and fetuses at a site close to lambing paddocks can play a significant role as a risk factor for within-flock transmission of L. interrogans in transhumant farming systems in the municipality of Xalatlaco. The high prevalence of L. interrogans antibodies supports the hypothesis that natural foci of this zoonosis are present in sheep flocks in this area. These findings emphasize the need for planning and implementation of control programmes for ovine leptospirosis in Mexico and elsewhere. PMID:25600318

  7. 9 CFR 147.21 - Flock sanitation.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 9 Animals and Animal Products 1 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Flock sanitation. 147.21 Section 147.21 Animals and Animal Products ANIMAL AND PLANT HEALTH INSPECTION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE... available to Official State Agencies or other animal disease control regulatory agencies in the...

  8. 9 CFR 147.21 - Flock sanitation.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 9 Animals and Animal Products 1 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Flock sanitation. 147.21 Section 147.21 Animals and Animal Products ANIMAL AND PLANT HEALTH INSPECTION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE... available to Official State Agencies or other animal disease control regulatory agencies in the...

  9. 9 CFR 147.21 - Flock sanitation.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 9 Animals and Animal Products 1 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Flock sanitation. 147.21 Section 147.21 Animals and Animal Products ANIMAL AND PLANT HEALTH INSPECTION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE... available to Official State Agencies or other animal disease control regulatory agencies in the...

  10. Neospora caninum seropositivity and reproductive risk factors in dogs.

    PubMed

    Robbe, Domenico; Passarelli, Alessandra; Gloria, Alessia; Di Cesare, Angela; Capelli, Gioia; Iorio, Raffaella; Traversa, Donato

    2016-05-01

    Despite the importance of Neospora caninum in veterinary medicine, knowledge of distribution of neosporosis in dog populations in some countries is still poor. The aims of the present study were to determine the occurrence of anti-N. caninum antibodies in one-hundred dogs living in cattle farms or dog breedings in central Italy and to evaluate the risk factors associated with seropositivity. The incidence of reproductive system disorders (e.g. infertility after first pregnancy) was also evaluated. Serum from breeding and farm dogs was tested to an indirect immunofluorescent antibody test (IFAT) to assess the occurrence of seropositivity. Management and individual data were collected and analysed both by linear and logistic multiple-regression models to find reliable predictors of seroprevalence and anti-N. caninum antibody level. The seropositivity for N. caninum was 32%. Dogs reared for breeding and presence of cattle on the farm were associated with seropositivity for N. caninum. Dogs living in the cattle farms showed a higher seropositivity for N. caninum (46%) compared with those living in dogs breeding (18%) (P < 0.05). The high presence of seropositive dogs in cattle farms of the study region demonstrates the potential risk of horizontal transmission of N. caninum between dogs and cattle, regardless the occurrence of reproductive system disorders or with infectious bovine tissues contact. Although the Neospora seropositivity in dog breedings may appear relatively low if compared with that found in dogs living with livestock, this infection, apparently underestimated, should be considered as a potential serious problem in canine medicine. PMID:26873272

  11. Code AI Personal Web Pages

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Garcia, Joseph A.; Smith, Charles A. (Technical Monitor)

    1998-01-01

    The document consists of a publicly available web site (george.arc.nasa.gov) for Joseph A. Garcia's personal web pages in the AI division. Only general information will be posted and no technical material. All the information is unclassified.

  12. Typical and atypical AIS. Pathogenesis.

    PubMed

    Dudin, M; Pinchuk, D

    2012-01-01

    AIS hypothesis has the right to recognition, if it explains the transition of "healthy" vertebra column into status of "scoliotic" one. AIS is the most investigated disease in the history of orthopedics, but up the present time there is no clear explanation of some its phenomena: vertebra column mono-form deformation along with its poly etiology character, interrelation of its origin and development and child's growth process etc. The key for authors' view at AIS was scoliosis with non-standard (concave side) rotation. On the bases of its' multifunctional instrumental investigation results (Rtg, EMG, EEG, optical topography, hormonal and neuropeptides trials, thermo-vision methods and other) in comparison with typical AIS was worked out the new hypothesis, part of it is suggested for discussion. In the work under observation is the sequence of appearance of typical and atypical scoliosis symptomatology beginning from the preclinical stage. PMID:22744477

  13. How backyard poultry flocks influence the effort required to curtail avian influenza epidemics in commercial poultry flocks

    PubMed Central

    Smith, G.; Dunipace, S.

    2011-01-01

    This paper summarizes the evidence that the contribution of backyard poultry flocks to the on-going transmission dynamics of an avian influenza epidemic in commercial flocks is modest at best. Nevertheless, while disease control strategies need not involve the backyard flocks, an analysis of the contribution of each element of the next generation matrix to the basic reproduction number indicates that models which ignores the contribution of backyard flocks in estimating the effort required of strategies focused one host type (eg commercial flocks only) necessarily underestimate the level of effort to an extent that may matter to policy makers. PMID:21624777

  14. Interepidemic Rift Valley Fever Virus Seropositivity, Northeastern Kenya

    PubMed Central

    Muchiri, Eric M.; Ndzovu, Malik; Mwanje, Mariam T.; Muiruri, Samuel; Peters, Clarence J.; King, Charles H.

    2008-01-01

    Most outbreaks of Rift Valley fever (RVF) occur in remote locations after floods. To determine environmental risk factors and long-term sequelae of human RVF, we examined rates of previous Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) exposure by age and location during an interepidemic period in 2006. In a randomized household cluster survey in 2 areas of Ijara District, Kenya, we examined 248 residents of 2 sublocations, Gumarey (village) and Sogan-Godud (town). Overall, the RVFV seropositivity rate was 13% according to immunoglobulin G ELISA; evidence of interepidemic RVFV transmission was detected. Increased seropositivity was found among older persons, those who were male, those who lived in the rural village (Gumarey), and those who had disposed of animal abortus. Rural Gumarey reported more mosquito and animal exposure than Sogan-Godud. Seropositive persons were more likely to have visual impairment and retinal lesions; other physical findings did not differ. PMID:18680647

  15. Seropositivity to LAV/HTLV-III in 11 European countries.

    PubMed

    Ebbesen, P; Melbye, M; Jeffries, J; Antonen, J; Valle, S L; Suni, J; Ranki, A; Krohn, K; Chermann, J C; Koch, M A

    1986-12-01

    The ECP Working Group on AIDS has evaluated data on seropositivity to LAV/HTLV-III supplied by members in II Western European countries. The period covered is 1981-84. The rise in LAV/HTLV seropositivity parallels the incidence of cases of AIDS in the different countries. LAV/HTLV now spreads freely within Europe and spread has become less dependent upon promiscuity. The epidemic is about to enter Eastern Europe. Intravenous drug abusers appear to be the risk group experiencing the most rapid spread at present. Furthermore, seropositivity in males and females outside the traditional risk groups seems on the rise, and as in the US the percentage seronegative in individuals with PGL is quite high. AIDS is rapidly becoming a major cause of cancer in young adults. A coordinated European preventive effort is urgently needed. PMID:3474150

  16. Reduced flocking by birds on islands with relaxed predation.

    PubMed

    Beauchamp, Guy

    2004-05-22

    Adaptive hypotheses for the evolution of flocking in birds have usually focused on predation avoidance or foraging enhancement. It still remains unclear to what extent each factor has contributed to the evolution of flocking. If predation avoidance were the sole factor involved, flocking should not be prevalent when predation is relaxed. I examined flocking tendencies along with mean and maximum flock size in species living on islands where predation risk is either absent or negligible and then compared these results with matched counterparts on the mainland. The dataset consisted of 46 pairs of species from 22 different islands across the world. The tendency to flock was retained on islands in most species, but in pairs with dissimilar flocking tendencies, island species were less likely to flock. Mean and maximum flock size were smaller on islands than on the mainland. Potential confounding factors such as population density, nest predation, habitat type, food type and body mass failed to account for the results. The results suggest that predation is a significant factor in the evolution of flocking in birds. Nevertheless, predation and other factors, such as foraging enhancement, probably act together to maintain the trait in most species. PMID:15293857

  17. Role of projection in the control of bird flocks.

    PubMed

    Pearce, Daniel J G; Miller, Adam M; Rowlands, George; Turner, Matthew S

    2014-07-22

    Swarming is a conspicuous behavioral trait observed in bird flocks, fish shoals, insect swarms, and mammal herds. It is thought to improve collective awareness and offer protection from predators. Many current models involve the hypothesis that information coordinating motion is exchanged among neighbors. We argue that such local interactions alone are insufficient to explain the organization of large flocks of birds and that the mechanism for the exchange of long-range information necessary to control their density remains unknown. We show that large flocks self-organize to the maximum density at which a typical individual still can see out of the flock in many directions. Such flocks are marginally opaque--an external observer also still can see a substantial fraction of sky through the flock. Although this seems intuitive, we show it need not be the case; flocks might easily be highly diffuse or entirely opaque. The emergence of marginal opacity strongly constrains how individuals interact with one another within large swarms. It also provides a mechanism for global interactions: an individual can respond to the projection of the flock that it sees. This provides for faster information transfer and hence rapid flock dynamics, another advantage over local models. From a behavioral perspective, it optimizes the information available to each bird while maintaining the protection of a dense, coherent flock. PMID:25002501

  18. Is the Species Flock Concept Operational? The Antarctic Shelf Case

    PubMed Central

    Lecointre, Guillaume; Améziane, Nadia; Boisselier, Marie-Catherine; Bonillo, Céline; Busson, Frédéric; Causse, Romain; Chenuil, Anne; Couloux, Arnaud; Coutanceau, Jean-Pierre; Cruaud, Corinne; d'Acoz, Cédric d'Udekem; De Ridder, Chantal; Denys, Gael; Dettaï, Agnès; Duhamel, Guy; Eléaume, Marc; Féral, Jean-Pierre; Gallut, Cyril; Havermans, Charlotte; Held, Christoph; Hemery, Lenaïg; Lautrédou, Anne-Claire; Martin, Patrick; Ozouf-Costaz, Catherine; Pierrat, Benjamin; Pruvost, Patrice; Puillandre, Nicolas; Samadi, Sarah; Saucède, Thomas; Schubart, Christoph; David, Bruno

    2013-01-01

    There has been a significant body of literature on species flock definition but not so much about practical means to appraise them. We here apply the five criteria of Eastman and McCune for detecting species flocks in four taxonomic components of the benthic fauna of the Antarctic shelf: teleost fishes, crinoids (feather stars), echinoids (sea urchins) and crustacean arthropods. Practical limitations led us to prioritize the three historical criteria (endemicity, monophyly, species richness) over the two ecological ones (ecological diversity and habitat dominance). We propose a new protocol which includes an iterative fine-tuning of the monophyly and endemicity criteria in order to discover unsuspected flocks. As a result nine « full » species flocks (fulfilling the five criteria) are briefly described. Eight other flocks fit the three historical criteria but need to be further investigated from the ecological point of view (here called « core flocks »). The approach also shows that some candidate taxonomic components are no species flocks at all. The present study contradicts the paradigm that marine species flocks are rare. The hypothesis according to which the Antarctic shelf acts as a species flocks generator is supported, and the approach indicates paths for further ecological studies and may serve as a starting point to investigate the processes leading to flock-like patterning of biodiversity. PMID:23936311

  19. Temporal and Contextual Consistency of Leadership in Homing Pigeon Flocks

    PubMed Central

    Santos, Carlos D.; Neupert, Stefanie; Lipp, Hans-Peter; Wikelski, Martin; Dechmann, Dina K. N.

    2014-01-01

    Organized flight of homing pigeons (Columba livia) was previously shown to rely on simple leadership rules between flock mates, yet the stability of this social structuring over time and across different contexts remains unclear. We quantified the repeatability of leadership-based flock structures within a flight and across multiple flights conducted with the same animals. We compared two contexts of flock composition: flocks of birds of the same age and flight experience; and, flocks of birds of different ages and flight experience. All flocks displayed consistent leadership-based structures over time, showing that individuals have stable roles in the navigational decisions of the flock. However, flocks of balanced age and flight experience exhibited reduced leadership stability, indicating that these factors promote flock structuring. Our study empirically demonstrates that leadership and followership are consistent behaviours in homing pigeon flocks, but such consistency is affected by the heterogeneity of individual flight experiences and/or age. Similar evidence from other species suggests leadership as an important mechanism for coordinated motion in small groups of animals with strong social bonds. PMID:25054203

  20. Temporal and contextual consistency of leadership in homing pigeon flocks.

    PubMed

    Santos, Carlos D; Neupert, Stefanie; Lipp, Hans-Peter; Wikelski, Martin; Dechmann, Dina K N

    2014-01-01

    Organized flight of homing pigeons (Columba livia) was previously shown to rely on simple leadership rules between flock mates, yet the stability of this social structuring over time and across different contexts remains unclear. We quantified the repeatability of leadership-based flock structures within a flight and across multiple flights conducted with the same animals. We compared two contexts of flock composition: flocks of birds of the same age and flight experience; and, flocks of birds of different ages and flight experience. All flocks displayed consistent leadership-based structures over time, showing that individuals have stable roles in the navigational decisions of the flock. However, flocks of balanced age and flight experience exhibited reduced leadership stability, indicating that these factors promote flock structuring. Our study empirically demonstrates that leadership and followership are consistent behaviours in homing pigeon flocks, but such consistency is affected by the heterogeneity of individual flight experiences and/or age. Similar evidence from other species suggests leadership as an important mechanism for coordinated motion in small groups of animals with strong social bonds. PMID:25054203

  1. Role of projection in the control of bird flocks

    PubMed Central

    Pearce, Daniel J. G.; Miller, Adam M.; Rowlands, George; Turner, Matthew S.

    2014-01-01

    Swarming is a conspicuous behavioral trait observed in bird flocks, fish shoals, insect swarms, and mammal herds. It is thought to improve collective awareness and offer protection from predators. Many current models involve the hypothesis that information coordinating motion is exchanged among neighbors. We argue that such local interactions alone are insufficient to explain the organization of large flocks of birds and that the mechanism for the exchange of long-range information necessary to control their density remains unknown. We show that large flocks self-organize to the maximum density at which a typical individual still can see out of the flock in many directions. Such flocks are marginally opaque—an external observer also still can see a substantial fraction of sky through the flock. Although this seems intuitive, we show it need not be the case; flocks might easily be highly diffuse or entirely opaque. The emergence of marginal opacity strongly constrains how individuals interact with one another within large swarms. It also provides a mechanism for global interactions: an individual can respond to the projection of the flock that it sees. This provides for faster information transfer and hence rapid flock dynamics, another advantage over local models. From a behavioral perspective, it optimizes the information available to each bird while maintaining the protection of a dense, coherent flock. PMID:25002501

  2. 9 CFR 146.5 - Specific provisions for all participating flocks.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... participating flocks. 146.5 Section 146.5 Animals and Animal Products ANIMAL AND PLANT HEALTH INSPECTION SERVICE... General Provisions § 146.5 Specific provisions for all participating flocks. (a) Participating flocks, and all equipment used in connection with the flocks, shall be separated from non-participating flocks...

  3. Flocking algorithm for autonomous flying robots.

    PubMed

    Virágh, Csaba; Vásárhelyi, Gábor; Tarcai, Norbert; Szörényi, Tamás; Somorjai, Gergő; Nepusz, Tamás; Vicsek, Tamás

    2014-06-01

    Animal swarms displaying a variety of typical flocking patterns would not exist without the underlying safe, optimal and stable dynamics of the individuals. The emergence of these universal patterns can be efficiently reconstructed with agent-based models. If we want to reproduce these patterns with artificial systems, such as autonomous aerial robots, agent-based models can also be used in their control algorithms. However, finding the proper algorithms and thus understanding the essential characteristics of the emergent collective behaviour requires thorough and realistic modeling of the robot and also the environment. In this paper, we first present an abstract mathematical model of an autonomous flying robot. The model takes into account several realistic features, such as time delay and locality of communication, inaccuracy of the on-board sensors and inertial effects. We present two decentralized control algorithms. One is based on a simple self-propelled flocking model of animal collective motion, the other is a collective target tracking algorithm. Both algorithms contain a viscous friction-like term, which aligns the velocities of neighbouring agents parallel to each other. We show that this term can be essential for reducing the inherent instabilities of such a noisy and delayed realistic system. We discuss simulation results on the stability of the control algorithms, and perform real experiments to show the applicability of the algorithms on a group of autonomous quadcopters. In our case, bio-inspiration works in two ways. On the one hand, the whole idea of trying to build and control a swarm of robots comes from the observation that birds tend to flock to optimize their behaviour as a group. On the other hand, by using a realistic simulation framework and studying the group behaviour of autonomous robots we can learn about the major factors influencing the flight of bird flocks. PMID:24852272

  4. Boundary Information Inflow Enhances Correlation in Flocking

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cavagna, Andrea; Giardina, Irene; Ginelli, Francesco

    2013-04-01

    The most conspicuous trait of collective animal behavior is the emergence of highly ordered structures. Less obvious to the eye, but perhaps more profound a signature of self-organization, is the presence of long-range spatial correlations. Experimental data on starling flocks in 3D show that the exponent ruling the decay of the velocity correlation function, C(r)˜1/rγ, is extremely small, γ≪1. This result can neither be explained by equilibrium field theory nor by off-equilibrium theories and simulations of active systems. Here, by means of numerical simulations and theoretical calculations, we show that a dynamical field applied to the boundary of a set of Heisenberg spins on a 3D lattice gives rise to a vanishing exponent γ, as in starling flocks. The effect of the dynamical field is to create an information inflow from border to bulk that triggers long-range spin-wave modes, thus giving rise to an anomalously long-ranged correlation. The biological origin of this phenomenon can be either exogenous—information produced by environmental perturbations is transferred from boundary to bulk of the flock—or endogenous—the flock keeps itself in a constant state of dynamical excitation that is beneficial to correlation and collective response.

  5. Model flocks in a steady vortical flow.

    PubMed

    Baggaley, A W

    2015-05-01

    We modify the standard Vicsek model to clearly distinguish between intrinsic noise due to imperfect alignment between organisms and extrinsic noise due to fluid motion. We then consider the effect of a steady vortical flow, the Taylor-Green vortex, on the dynamics of the flock, for various flow speeds, with a fixed intrinsic particle speed. We pay particular attention to the morphology of the flow, and quantify its filamentarity. Strikingly, above a critical flow speed there is a pronounced increase in the filamentarity of the flock, when compared to the zero-flow case. This is due to the fact that particles appear confined to areas of low vorticity; a familiar phenomena, commonly seen in the clustering of inertial particles in vortical flows. Hence, the cooperative motion of the particles gives them an effective inertia, which is seen to have a profound effect on the morphology of the flock, in the presence of external fluid motion. Finally, we investigate the angle between the flow and the particles direction of movement and find it follows a power-law distribution. PMID:26066260

  6. Model flocks in a steady vortical flow

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baggaley, A. W.

    2015-05-01

    We modify the standard Vicsek model to clearly distinguish between intrinsic noise due to imperfect alignment between organisms and extrinsic noise due to fluid motion. We then consider the effect of a steady vortical flow, the Taylor-Green vortex, on the dynamics of the flock, for various flow speeds, with a fixed intrinsic particle speed. We pay particular attention to the morphology of the flow, and quantify its filamentarity. Strikingly, above a critical flow speed there is a pronounced increase in the filamentarity of the flock, when compared to the zero-flow case. This is due to the fact that particles appear confined to areas of low vorticity; a familiar phenomena, commonly seen in the clustering of inertial particles in vortical flows. Hence, the cooperative motion of the particles gives them an effective inertia, which is seen to have a profound effect on the morphology of the flock, in the presence of external fluid motion. Finally, we investigate the angle between the flow and the particles direction of movement and find it follows a power-law distribution.

  7. Are mixed-species bird flocks stable through two decades?

    PubMed

    Martínez, Ari E; Gomez, Juan P

    2013-03-01

    The stability of tropical systems has been hypothesized to explain the evolution of complex behavioral interactions among species. We evaluate the degree to which one highly evolved social system, mixed-species flocks, are stable in space and time in French Guiana, where flocks were characterized 17 years apart. These flocks are led by alarm-calling "sentinels," which may benefit from food flushed by other "beater" species. Using null models, we found that flock roost sites, home range overlap, and composition were more similar than expected by chance; home ranges were nearly identical between the two time periods. Such extremely stable conditions may be essential for the evolution and maintenance of the sentinel-beater system that appears to characterize some flocks. These results may reflect an evolutionarily stable strategy among potentially interdependent species within mixed-species flocks, where home ranges contribute to stability by being far larger than the most common local disturbances in the forest. PMID:23448892

  8. Nylon flocked swab severely reduces Hexagon Obti sensibility.

    PubMed

    Frippiat, Christophe; De Roy, Gilbert; Fontaine, Louis-Marie; Dognaux, Sophie; Noel, Fabrice; Heudt, Laeticia; Lepot, Laurent

    2015-02-01

    Hexagon Obti immunological blood test and flocked swab are widely used in forensic laboratories. Nevertheless, up to now, no compatibility tests have been published between sampling with the ethylene oxide treated flocked swab and the Hexagon Obti blood detection strip. In this study, we investigated this compatibility. Our work shows that sampling with ethylene oxide treated flocked swab reduces by a factor of at least 100 the detection threshold of blood using the Hexagon Obti immunological test. PMID:25575014

  9. Task-Based Flocking Algorithm for Mobile Robot Cooperation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    He, Hongsheng; Ge, Shuzhi Sam; Tong, Guofeng

    In this paper, one task-based flocking algorithm that coordinates a swarm of robots is presented and evaluated based on the standard simulation platform. Task-based flocking algorithm(TFA) is an effective framework for mobile robots cooperation. Flocking behaviors are integrated into the cooperation of the multi-robot system to organize a robot team to achieve a common goal. The goal of the whole team is obtained through the collaboration of the individual robot’s task. The flocking model is presented, and the flocking energy function is defined based on that model to analyze the stability of the flocking and the task switching criterion. The simulation study is conducted in a five-versus-five soccer game, where the each robot dynamically selects its task in accordance with status and the whole robot team behaves as a flocking. Through simulation results and experiments, it is proved that the task-based flocking algorithm can effectively coordinate and control the robot flock to achieve the goal.

  10. Entropic effects in a nonequilibrium system: Flocks of birds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Castellana, Michele; Bialek, William; Cavagna, Andrea; Giardina, Irene

    2016-05-01

    When European starlings come together to form a flock, the distribution of their individual velocities narrows around the mean velocity of the flock. We argue that, in a broad class of models for the joint distribution of positions and velocities, this narrowing generates an entropic effect that opposes the cohesion of the flock. The strength of this effect depends strongly on the nature of the interactions among birds: If birds are coupled to a fixed number of neighbors, the entropic forces are weak, while if they couple to all other birds within a fixed distance, the entropic effects are sufficient to tear a flock apart.

  11. Entropic effects in a nonequilibrium system: Flocks of birds.

    PubMed

    Castellana, Michele; Bialek, William; Cavagna, Andrea; Giardina, Irene

    2016-05-01

    When European starlings come together to form a flock, the distribution of their individual velocities narrows around the mean velocity of the flock. We argue that, in a broad class of models for the joint distribution of positions and velocities, this narrowing generates an entropic effect that opposes the cohesion of the flock. The strength of this effect depends strongly on the nature of the interactions among birds: If birds are coupled to a fixed number of neighbors, the entropic forces are weak, while if they couple to all other birds within a fixed distance, the entropic effects are sufficient to tear a flock apart. PMID:27300933

  12. Starling flock networks manage uncertainty in consensus at low cost.

    PubMed

    Young, George F; Scardovi, Luca; Cavagna, Andrea; Giardina, Irene; Leonard, Naomi E

    2013-01-01

    Flocks of starlings exhibit a remarkable ability to maintain cohesion as a group in highly uncertain environments and with limited, noisy information. Recent work demonstrated that individual starlings within large flocks respond to a fixed number of nearest neighbors, but until now it was not understood why this number is seven. We analyze robustness to uncertainty of consensus in empirical data from multiple starling flocks and show that the flock interaction networks with six or seven neighbors optimize the trade-off between group cohesion and individual effort. We can distinguish these numbers of neighbors from fewer or greater numbers using our systems-theoretic approach to measuring robustness of interaction networks as a function of the network structure, i.e., who is sensing whom. The metric quantifies the disagreement within the network due to disturbances and noise during consensus behavior and can be evaluated over a parameterized family of hypothesized sensing strategies (here the parameter is number of neighbors). We use this approach to further show that for the range of flocks studied the optimal number of neighbors does not depend on the number of birds within a flock; rather, it depends on the shape, notably the thickness, of the flock. The results suggest that robustness to uncertainty may have been a factor in the evolution of flocking for starlings. More generally, our results elucidate the role of the interaction network on uncertainty management in collective behavior, and motivate the application of our approach to other biological networks. PMID:23382667

  13. Lighting during grow-out and Salmonella in broiler flocks

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Lighting is used during broiler grow-out to modify bird behavior to reach the goals of production. The protocols for lighting intensity vary. In a field project, we evaluated if the lighting protocol impacts the burden of Salmonella in grow-out broiler flocks. Conventional grow-out flocks reared ...

  14. Portable AI Lab for Teaching Artificial Intelligence.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rosner, Michael; Baj, Fabio.

    1993-01-01

    Describes the Portable AI Lab, a computing environment containing artificial intelligence (AI) tools, examples, and documentation for use with university AI courses. Two modules of the lab are highlighted: the automated theorem proving module and the natural language processing module, which includes augmented transition networks. (23 references)…

  15. Simulated predator attacks on flocks: a comparison of tactics.

    PubMed

    Demšar, Jure; Lebar Bajec, Iztok

    2014-01-01

    It is not exactly known why birds aggregate in coordinated flocks. The most common hypothesis proposes that the reason is protection from predators. Most of the currently developed examples of individual-based predator-prey models assume predators are attracted to the center of a highly coordinated flock. This proposed attraction of a predator to a flock would appear to be contradictory to an alternate hypothesis that flocks evolved as a protection against predation. In an attempt to resolve this apparent conflict, in this article we use a fuzzy individual-based model to study three attack tactics (attack center, attack nearest, attack isolated) and analyze the success of predation on two types of prey (social and individualistic). Our simulations revealed that social flocking (as opposed to individualistic behavior) is the optimal anti-predatory response to predators attacking mainly isolated individuals. PMID:24730766

  16. Stability of model flocks in a vortical flow

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baggaley, A. W.

    2016-06-01

    We investigate the stability of self-propelled particle flocks in the Taylor-Green vortex, a steady vortical flow. We consider a model in which particles align themselves to a combination of the orientation and the acceleration of particles within a critical radius. We identify two distinct regimes: If alignment with orientation is dominant, the particles tend to be expelled from regions of high vorticity. In contrast, if anticipation is dominant, the particles accumulate in areas of large vorticity. In both regimes, the relative order of the flock is reduced. However, we show that there can be a critical balance of the two effects that stabilizes the flock in the presence of external fluid forcing. This strategy could provide a mechanism for animal flocks to remain globally ordered in the presence of fluid forcing, and it may also have applications in the design of flocking autonomous drones and artificial microswimmers.

  17. Stability of model flocks in a vortical flow.

    PubMed

    Baggaley, A W

    2016-06-01

    We investigate the stability of self-propelled particle flocks in the Taylor-Green vortex, a steady vortical flow. We consider a model in which particles align themselves to a combination of the orientation and the acceleration of particles within a critical radius. We identify two distinct regimes: If alignment with orientation is dominant, the particles tend to be expelled from regions of high vorticity. In contrast, if anticipation is dominant, the particles accumulate in areas of large vorticity. In both regimes, the relative order of the flock is reduced. However, we show that there can be a critical balance of the two effects that stabilizes the flock in the presence of external fluid forcing. This strategy could provide a mechanism for animal flocks to remain globally ordered in the presence of fluid forcing, and it may also have applications in the design of flocking autonomous drones and artificial microswimmers. PMID:27415360

  18. Emergence of Anisotropy in Flock Simulations and Its Computational Analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Makiguchi, Motohiro; Inoue, Jun-Ichi

    In real flocks, it was revealed that the angular density of nearest neighbors shows a strong anisotropic structure of individuals by very recent extensive field studies [Ballerini et al, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 105, pp. 1232-1237 (2008)]. In this paper, we show this structure of anisotropy also emerges in an artificial flock simulation, namely, Boid simulation. To quantify the anisotropy, we evaluate a useful statistics, that is to say, the so-called γ-value which is defined as an inner product between the vector in the direction of the lowest angular density of flocks and the vector in the direction of moving of the flock. Our results concerning the emergence of the anisotropy through the γ-value might enable us to judge whether an optimal flock simulation seems to be realistic or not.

  19. Investigation of H7N2 avian influenza outbreaks in two broiler breeder flocks in Pennsylvania, 2001-02.

    PubMed

    Lu, Huaguang; Dunn, Patricia A; Wallner-Pendleton, Eva A; Henzler, David J; Kradel, David C; Liu, Jiabo; Shaw, Daniel P; Miller, Paul

    2004-01-01

    An avian influenza (AI) outbreak occurred in meat-type chickens in central Pennsylvania from December 2001 to January 2002. Two broiler breeder flocks were initially infected almost simultaneously in early December. Avian influenza virus (AIV), H7N2 subtype, was isolated from the two premises in our laboratory. The H7N2 isolates were characterized as a low pathogenic strain at the National Veterinary Services Laboratories based on molecular sequencing of the virus hemagglutinin cleavage site and virus challenge studies in specific-pathogen-free leghorn chickens. However, clinical observations and pathologic findings indicated that this H7N2 virus appeared to be significantly pathogenic in meat-type chickens under field conditions. Follow-up investigation indicated that this H7N2 virus spread rapidly within each flock. Within 7 days of the recognized start of the outbreak, over 90% seroconversion was observed in the birds by the hemagglutination inhibition test. A diagnosis of AI was made within 24 hr of bird submission during this outbreak using a combination of virus detection by a same-day dot-enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and virus isolation in embryonating chicken eggs. Follow-up investigation revealed that heavy virus shedding (90%-100% of birds shedding AIV) occurred between 4 and 7 days after disease onset, and a few birds (15%) continued to shed virus at 13 days post-disease onset, as detected by virus isolation on tracheal and cloacal swabs. AIV was not detected in or on eggs laid by the breeders during the testing phase of the outbreak. The two flocks were depopulated at 14 days after disease onset, and AIV was not detected on the two premises 23 days after depopulation. PMID:15077795

  20. AIS Investigation of Agricultural Monocultures

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wood, B. L.; Wrigley, R. C.

    1985-01-01

    Airborne Imaging Spectrometer (AIS) data were acquired over an agricultural area in eastern San Joaquin County, California in July, 1984. Cover type information was subsequently collected for all fields along this flight line. The lack of detailed ground data on individual fields, however, limited AIS data analysis to a qualitative comparison of the spectral reflectance curves for a total of nine cover types. Based on this analysis, it appears that cover types with a positive slope in the 1550 to 1700 nm region have a higher spectral response in the 1200 to 1300 nm region compared to those cover types with a negative slope in the 1550 to 1700 nm region. Within cover type, spectral variability was also found to be greater than that between cover types. Given the lack of additional field data, the reason for these differences is a matter of speculation.

  1. Molecular genotyping of HCV infection in seropositive blood donor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zarin, Siti Noraziah Abu; Ibrahim, Nazlina

    2013-11-01

    This study is to investigate the prevalence of hepatitis C virus infection in seropositive blood donor. RNA was extracted from 32 positive samples in National Blood Centre and Melaka Hospital. The core and NS5B sequences were obtained from 23 samples. Genotype 3a is most prevalent in this study followed by genotype 1a. Evidence of mixed-genotypes (3a and 1b) infections was found in 5 subjects.

  2. Radiographic estimation in seropositive and seronegative rheumatoid arthritis

    PubMed Central

    Sahatçiu-Meka, Vjollca; Rexhepi, Sylejman; Manxhuka-Kërliu, Suzana; Rexhepi, Mjellma

    2011-01-01

    Long since it have been suggested that a subpopulation of patients with rheumatoid arthritis, diagnosed with negative rheumatoid factor tests, represents a clinical entity quite distinct from that of seropositive rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Our aim was to establish a scientific comparative analysis between seronegative and seropositive rheumatoid arthritis, regarding some radiological and clinical parameters, applied for the first time on patients from Kosovo. Two hundred fifty patients with rheumatoid arthritis according to the American College of Rheumatology criteria were retrospectively studied by analysis the radiographic damage and clinical parameters of the disease, using a data base. All examinees were between 25-60 years of age (Xb=49.96, SD=10.37) with disease duration between 1-27 years (Xb = 6.41, SD=6.47). All patients underwent a standardised evaluation radiographs. Baseline standardised poster anterior radiographs of hands and feet and radiographs of other joints, depending on indications, were assessed. Erythrocyte sedimentation rate values correlated with the radiological damages and statistical difference was found for seronegative subset (r=0.24, p<0.01). Longer duration of the disease resulted in the increase of radiological changes in both subsets (r=0.66, p<0.01) seronegative, (r=0.49, p<0.01) seropositive. Anatomic changes of IInd and IIIrd level were nearly equally distributed in both subsets, 76 (60.8%) seronegative, 75 (60%) seropositive. Radiological damages are nearly equal in both subsets, elevate in relation to the duration of the disease and correlate with ESR values. Regarding the sero-status, differences within sex, with some exceptions, are not relevant. Although there are some definite quantitative and qualitative differences regarding sero-status, obviously there is a great deal of overlap between the two groups. PMID:21875421

  3. Formal verification of AI software

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rushby, John; Whitehurst, R. Alan

    1989-01-01

    The application of formal verification techniques to Artificial Intelligence (AI) software, particularly expert systems, is investigated. Constraint satisfaction and model inversion are identified as two formal specification paradigms for different classes of expert systems. A formal definition of consistency is developed, and the notion of approximate semantics is introduced. Examples are given of how these ideas can be applied in both declarative and imperative forms.

  4. A local flocking algorithm of multi-agent dynamic systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pei, Huiqin; Chen, Shiming; Lai, Qiang

    2015-11-01

    In this paper, the local flocking of multi-agent systems is investigated, which means all agents form some groups of surrounding multiple targets with the partial information exchange. For the purpose of realising local multi-flocking, a control algorithm of local flocking is proposed, which is a biologically inspired approach that assimilates key characteristics of flocking and anti-flocking. In the process of surrounding mobile targets through the control algorithm, all agents can adaptively choose between two work modes to depend on the variation of visual field and the number of pursuing agents with the mobile target. One is a flocking pursuing mode which is that some agents pursue each mobile target, the other is an anti-flocking searching mode that means with the exception of the pursing agents of mobile targets, other agents respectively hunt for optimal the mobile target with a closest principle between the agent and the target. In two work modes, the agents are controlled severally via the different control protocol. By the Lyapunov theorem, the stability of the second-order multi-agent system is proven in detail. Finally, simulation results verify the effectiveness of the proposed algorithm.

  5. Flocking at a distance in granular matter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Soni, Harsh; Ramaswamy, Sriram

    2015-03-01

    A mixture of polar granular rods and spherical beads on a vibrated plate undergoes a phase transition to an orientationally ordered state above a critical bead concentration. We study this system using large scale numerical simulations with periodic boundary conditions. We find an intermediate state with banded structures between the disordered and the globally ordered state. We observe a single band whose width increases with rod concentration. We find that at high densities the rods and the beads phase separate. We also test the various theoretical predictions of the hydrodynamic theory in the ordered state. Our results, which are in good agreement with the theory, are following: We see a highly anisotropic dispersion relation are exhibited with two sound modes in all directions except along the flock. Further the rods are super diffusive in the transverse direction and exhibit large number fluctuations.

  6. Birth, death, and flight: a theory of Malthusian flocks.

    PubMed

    Toner, John

    2012-02-24

    I study "Malthusian flocks": moving aggregates of self-propelled entities (e.g., organisms, cytoskeletal actin, microtubules in mitotic spindles) that reproduce and die. Long-ranged order (i.e., the existence of a nonzero average velocity (v(r,t))≠0) is possible in these systems, even in spatial dimension d=2. Their spatiotemporal scaling structure can be determined exactly in d=2; furthermore, they lack both the longitudinal sound waves and the giant number fluctuations found in immortal flocks. Number fluctuations are very persistent, and propagate along the direction of flock motion, but at a different speed. PMID:22463577

  7. The seroprevalence of maedi-visna in Ontario sheep flocks and its relationship to flock demographics and management practices.

    PubMed Central

    Campbell, J R; Menzies, P I; Waltner-Toews, D; Walton, J S; Buckrell, B C; Thorsen, J

    1994-01-01

    The objectives of this study were to describe the serological prevalence of maedi-visna in a sample of Ontario sheep flocks, and to identify management and demographic variables that were associated with seroprevalence for maedi-visna. A sample of 103 sheep flocks in Ontario was randomly selected from those flocks participating in the Red Meat Plan. The owners of these flocks were surveyed regarding management procedures on their farms, and blood samples were taken from a random sample of ewes in each flock. At least one ewe tested serologically positive, based on the agar gel immuno-diffusion test, in 69.9% of the farms. Positive serological reactions occurred in 20.9% of the 3880 sheep tested. Flock demographics and farm management variables were considered in a multiple regression model, and several factors were positively associated with higher maedi-visna seroprevalence rates. These included the average age of the flock, the number of years the owner had been sheep farming, the practice of using foster ewes, the practice of allowing lambs to have contact with other ewes that are lambing, and the average pasture acreage per ewe. PMID:8044757

  8. 78 FR 25943 - Changes to Scrapie Flock Certification Program

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-05-03

    ... Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Changes to Scrapie Flock Certification Program AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA. ACTION: Notice and request for comments. SUMMARY: We are... transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS),...

  9. Multi Robot Flocking Using Cooperative Control for Space Exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chandran, Priya

    2012-07-01

    This paper aims at achieving flocking behavior of multi robot systems for space explorations. Cooperative control of unmanned vehicles is used in the survey of unknown environments. Distributed control of multiple vehicles achieves the objective of exploration of wide areas while avoiding obstacles on their path. Gradient based algorithm is used to obtain necessary attractive/repulsive force to maintain flock. Similar force is used to avoid obstacles, which may be present in the environment. Velocity consensus algorithm helps in maintaining the necessary geometry of the flock. A target agent specifies the group behavior for the flock. Two wheel differential robot model with second order dynamics is considered here. Robot motion is assumed to be on plane terrain.

  10. Occurrence of vancomycin-resistant enterococci in turkey flocks.

    PubMed

    Sting, R; Richter, A; Popp, C; Hafez, H M

    2013-02-01

    In the present study, the prevalence of vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) in turkeys in the southwest of Germany was investigated. For this purpose, 200 cloacal swab samples and 5 environmental dust samples (tested as a pooled sample) of each of the 20 flocks (10 female and 10 male flocks) included in this study were examined. The VRE could be isolated by means of a procedure combining bacterial cultivation in an enrichment broth and on a selective solid media. Enterococci were identified biochemically and subsequently tested on the presence of the vancomycin resistance genes vanA, vanB (B1/B2/B3), and vanC (C1/C2/C3) using real-time PCR assays. In 54 (27%) turkeys originating from 11 (55%) flocks and in 14 (70%) of the dust samples, exclusively vanA and vanC1 genes could be detected. Of the turkeys examined, 46 were colonized with VRE bearing the resistance gene vanC1 and 8 vanA, originating from 9 and 2 flocks, respectively. None of the birds carried vanB, vanC2, or vanC3 positive VRE. The results obtained from the birds are largely confirmed by the dust samples originating from 4 vanA and 10 vanC1 positive flocks. However, one flock housing animals colonized with vanC1 positive VRE could not be confirmed by the dust samples that revealed vanA bearing VRE. However, in one case vanA and in 3 cases vanC1 carrying VRE could be detected in dust samples of the turkey houses, but not in the turkeys of the associated flock. In 5 flocks the turkeys as well as the dust samples were free of VRE. PMID:23300299

  11. Avian influenza seroprevalence and biosecurity risk factors in Maryland backyard poultry: a cross-sectional study.

    PubMed

    Madsen, Jennifer M; Zimmermann, Nickolas G; Timmons, Jennifer; Tablante, Nathaniel L

    2013-01-01

    Major implications on a country's economy, food source, and public health. With recent concern over the highly pathogenic avian influenza outbreaks around the world, government agencies are carefully monitoring and inspecting live bird markets, commercial flocks, and migratory bird populations. However, there remains limited surveillance of non-commercial poultry. Therefore, a cross-sectional study was conducted in backyard poultry flocks using a convenience sampling method across three regions of Maryland from July 2011 to August 2011. The objective of this study was to develop a better understanding of the ecology and epidemiology of avian influenza by investigating the prevalence and seroprevalence in this potentially vulnerable population and by evaluating biosecurity risk factors associated with positive findings. Serum, tracheal, and cloacal swabs were randomly collected from 262 birds among 39 registered premises. Analysis indicated bird and flock seroprevalence as 4.2% (11/262) and 23.1% (9/39), respectively. Based on RT-qPCR analysis, none of the samples were found to be positive for AI RNA and evidence of AI hemagglutinin subtypes H5, H7, or H9 were not detected. Although no statistically significant biosecurity associations were identified (p≤0.05), AI seroprevalence was positively associated with exposure to waterfowl, pest control, and location. AI seropositive flocks exposed to waterfowl were 3.14 times as likely to be AI seropositive than those not exposed (p = 0.15). AI seropositive flocks that did not use pest control were 2.5 times as likely to be AI seropositive compared to those that did and AI seropositive flocks located in the Northern region of Maryland were 2.8 times as likely to be AI seropositive than those that were located elsewhere. PMID:23437257

  12. Factors associated with productivity in Canadian sheep flocks.

    PubMed Central

    Doré, A C; Meek, A H; Dohoo, I R

    1987-01-01

    A mail survey of Canadian sheep flocks registered on the Record of Performance program was conducted, and the association of management practices and diseases with productivity was studied using multiple regression techniques. The relationships between management practices and diseases of lambs which were associated with production were also investigated using discriminant analysis. Flocks in the maritimes had a lower average flock productivity than those in Ontario-Quebec and the western provinces. In purebred flocks, the average adjusted weight at 100 days of age was higher than in other types of flocks, and the prevalence of scours was lower. At the herd level, the rates of pregnancy toxemia and vaginal prolapse were associated with heavier lambs, while the average daily weight gain between 50 and 100 days of age was lower in herds affected by scours and starvation. Using pasture and bush as winter housing was also detrimental to lamb productivity. No management practices discriminated between case and control flocks for scours and starvation in lambs. It was concluded that the reasons for the geographic differences should be investigated as should the management differences between purebred and other producers. Prevention of scours and starvation in lambs should be given priority in order to increase productivity. PMID:3567750

  13. Switching hierarchical leadership mechanism in homing flight of pigeon flocks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Duxin; Vicsek, Tamás; Liu, Xiaolu; Zhou, Tao; Zhang, Hai-Tao

    2016-06-01

    To explore the fascinating inter-individual interaction mechanism governing the abundant biological grouping behaviors, more and more efforts have been devoted to collective motion investigation in recent years. Therein, bird flocking is one of the most intensively studied behaviors. A previous study (Nagy M. et al., Nature, 464 (2010) 890.) claims the existence of a well-defined hierarchical structure in pigeon flocks, which implies that a multi-layer leadership network leads to the occurrence of highly coordinated pigeon flock movements. However, in this study, by using high-resolution GPS data of homing flight of pigeon flocks, we reveal an explicit switching hierarchical mechanism underlying the group motions of pigeons. That is, a pigeon flock has a long-term leader for smooth moving trajectories, whereas the leading tenure passes to a temporary one upon sudden turns or zigzags. Therefore, the present observation helps explore more deeply into the principle of a huge volume of bird flocking dynamics. Meanwhile, from the engineering point of view, it may shed some light onto industrial multi-robot coordination and unmanned air vehicle formation control.

  14. Prevalence and differentiation of diseases in Maryland backyard flocks.

    PubMed

    Madsen, Jennifer M; Zimmermann, Nickolas G; Timmons, Jennifer; Tablante, Nathaniel L

    2013-09-01

    Several epidemiologic surveillance studies have implicated backyard flocks as a reservoir for poultry diseases; however, much debate still exists over the risk these small flocks pose. To evaluate this concern, the prevalence of Newcastle disease (ND), infectious laryngotracheitis (ILT), Mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG), and Salmonella was determined in 39 Maryland backyard flocks. Serum, tracheal, and cloacal swabs were randomly collected from 262 birds throughout nine counties in Maryland. Through PCR and ELISA analysis, disease prevalence and seroprevalence were determined in flocks, respectively, for the following: ND (0%, 23%); ILT (26%, 77%); MG (3%, 13%); and Salmonella (0%, not done). Vaccine status could not be accurately confirmed. Premise positives were further differentiated and identified by partial nucleotide sequencing. Screening of the 10 ILT premise positives showed that most were live attenuated vaccines: eight matched a tissue culture origin vaccine, one matched a chicken embryo origin (CEO) vaccine, and one was CEO related. The single MG-positive flock, also positive for the CEO-related sequence, was identified as the infectious S6 strain. The prevalence rates for these economically important poultry diseases ranged from none to relatively low, with the vast majority of sampled flocks presenting no clinical signs. PMID:24283123

  15. Histomonosis - an existing problem in chicken flocks in Poland.

    PubMed

    Dolka, Beata; Żbikowski, Artur; Dolka, Izabella; Szeleszczuk, Piotr

    2015-09-01

    Histomonosis (histomoniasis, blackhead), beside coccidiosis, belongs to the most important parasitic protozoan diseases in poultry. So far Histomonas meleagridis infections with varied mortality rates have been mainly diagnosed in young turkeys. Recently an increasing number of cases have been reported in chicken flocks in Europe resulting in economic losses. It is thought that this situation is predominantly caused by a complete withdrawal of the effective antihistomonals in the EU. Authors listed the selected outbreaks of histomonosis in 10 chicken flocks originated from different farms of 4 regions in Poland: 8 broiler breeder flocks (at mean age of 33 weeks) and 2 commercial layers flocks (at mean age of 38 weeks). This study reported here naturally occurring case of H.meleagridis infection in commercial broiler breeder (BB) flock line ROSS 308 at the age of 16 weeks. We showed acute form of infection with characteristic necrotic foci in the liver, and ulcerative typhilitis. Beside the liver and caeca, the multiple histomonads, lymphoid tissue depletion and heavy destruction in the bursa of Fabricius were observed. Additionally, the absence of systemic diffuse histomonads and lack of Heterakis gallinarum, caecal worm eggs in faecal samples were noted. PCR technique enabled to detect the presence of H.meleagridis genetic material in the investigated tissue samples. Authors indicate that histomonosis can be considered as re-emerging infectious diseases in chicken flocks of intensive production system. PMID:25976057

  16. Flying in a flock comes at a cost in pigeons.

    PubMed

    Usherwood, James R; Stavrou, Marinos; Lowe, John C; Roskilly, Kyle; Wilson, Alan M

    2011-06-23

    Flying birds often form flocks, with social, navigational and anti-predator implications. Further, flying in a flock can result in aerodynamic benefits, thus reducing power requirements, as demonstrated by a reduction in heart rate and wingbeat frequency in pelicans flying in a V-formation. But how general is an aerodynamic power reduction due to group-flight? V-formation flocks are limited to moderately steady flight in relatively large birds, and may represent a special case. What are the aerodynamic consequences of flying in the more usual 'cluster' flock? Here we use data from innovative back-mounted Global Positioning System (GPS) and 6-degrees-of-freedom inertial sensors to show that pigeons (1) maintain powered, banked turns like aircraft, imposing dorsal accelerations of up to 2g, effectively doubling body weight and quadrupling induced power requirements; (2) increase flap frequency with increases in all conventional aerodynamic power requirements; and (3) increase flap frequency when flying near, particularly behind, other birds. Therefore, unlike V-formation pelicans, pigeons do not gain an aerodynamic advantage from flying in a flock. Indeed, the increased flap frequency, whether due to direct aerodynamic interactions or requirements for increased stability or control, suggests a considerable energetic cost to flight in a tight cluster flock. PMID:21697946

  17. Assembly of avian mixed-species flocks in Amazonia.

    PubMed

    Graves, G R; Gotelli, N J

    1993-02-15

    Diamond's "assembly rules" model posits that competitive interactions among species govern the composition of avifaunas. Although originally applied to islands in archipelagoes, this controversial set of hypotheses is difficult to test because islands differ in habitat and resource availability, colonization history, and stochastic effects. Permanent mixed-species flocks of Amazonian birds are a model system for testing the assembly rules hypothesis because flocks occur in relatively homogeneous tracts of rain forest and because resident species are potentially interactive from minute to minute. To analyze cooccurrence patterns of species in flocks, we used null models that incorporate realistic autecological colonization parameters. Potentially competing pairs of congeneric species with similar ecologies cooccur in flocks less often than expected by chance, resulting in perfect checkerboard distributions. Interactions among more distantly related species, however, appear to have little effect on the assembly of mixed-species flocks. Checkerboard distributions enhance local species diversity within habitats by generating different combinations of species in different flocks. This process may have contributed to the immense species richness of the Amazonian avifauna. PMID:8433996

  18. Prevalence of Coxiella burnetii in clinically healthy German sheep flocks

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Current epidemiological data on the situation of Coxiella (C.) burnetii infections in sheep are missing, making risk assessment and the implementation of counteractive measures difficult. Using the German state of Thuringia as a model example, the estimated sero-, and antigen prevalence of C. burnetii (10% and 25%, respectively) was assessed at flock level in 39/252 randomly selected clinically healthy sheep flocks with more than 100 ewes and unknown abortion rate. Results The CHECKIT™ Q-fever Test Kit identified 11 (28%) antibody positive herds, whereas real-time PCR revealed the presence of C. burnetii DNA in 2 (5%) of the flocks. Multiple-locus variable number of tandem repeats analysis of 9 isolates obtained from one flock revealed identical profiles. All isolates contained the plasmid QpH1. Conclusions The results demonstrate that C. burnetii is present in clinically inconspicuous sheep flocks and sporadic flare-ups do occur as the notifications to the German animal disease reporting system show. Although C. burnetii infections are not a primary veterinary concern due to the lack of significant clinical impact on animal health (with the exception of goats), the eminent zoonotic risk for humans should not be underestimated. Therefore, strategies combining the interests of public and veterinary public health should include monitoring of flocks, the identification and culling of shedders as well as the administration of protective vaccines. PMID:22429653

  19. Flying in a flock comes at a cost in pigeons

    PubMed Central

    Usherwood, James R.; Stavrou, Marinos; Lowe, John C.; Roskilly, Kyle; Wilson, Alan M.

    2011-01-01

    Flying birds often form flocks, with social1, navigational2 and anti-predator3 implications. Further, flying in a flock can result in aerodynamic benefits, thus reducing power requirements4, as demonstrated by a reduction in heart rate and wingbeat frequency in pelicans flying in a V-formation5. But how general is an aerodynamic power reduction due to group-flight? V-formation flocks are limited to moderately steady flight in relatively large birds, and may represent a special case. What are the aerodynamic consequences of flying in the more usual ‘cluster’ 6,7 flock? Here, we use data from innovative back-mounted GPS and 6 degree of freedom inertial sensors to show that pigeons 1) maintain powered, banked turns like aircraft, imposing dorsal accelerations of up to 2g, effectively doubling body weight and quadrupling induced power requirements; 2) increase flap frequency with increases in all conventional aerodynamic power requirements; and 3) increase flap frequency when flying near, particularly behind, other birds. Therefore, unlike V-formation pelicans, pigeons do not gain an aerodynamic advantage from flying in a flock; indeed, the increased flap frequency – whether due to direct aerodynamic interactions or requirements for increased stability or control – suggests a considerable energetic cost to flight in a tight cluster flock. PMID:21697946

  20. Assembly of avian mixed-species flocks in Amazonia.

    PubMed Central

    Graves, G R; Gotelli, N J

    1993-01-01

    Diamond's "assembly rules" model posits that competitive interactions among species govern the composition of avifaunas. Although originally applied to islands in archipelagoes, this controversial set of hypotheses is difficult to test because islands differ in habitat and resource availability, colonization history, and stochastic effects. Permanent mixed-species flocks of Amazonian birds are a model system for testing the assembly rules hypothesis because flocks occur in relatively homogeneous tracts of rain forest and because resident species are potentially interactive from minute to minute. To analyze cooccurrence patterns of species in flocks, we used null models that incorporate realistic autecological colonization parameters. Potentially competing pairs of congeneric species with similar ecologies cooccur in flocks less often than expected by chance, resulting in perfect checkerboard distributions. Interactions among more distantly related species, however, appear to have little effect on the assembly of mixed-species flocks. Checkerboard distributions enhance local species diversity within habitats by generating different combinations of species in different flocks. This process may have contributed to the immense species richness of the Amazonian avifauna. PMID:8433996

  1. High Toxoplasma gondii Seropositivity among Brain Tumor Patients in Korea.

    PubMed

    Jung, Bong-Kwang; Song, Hyemi; Kim, Min-Jae; Cho, Jaeeun; Shin, Eun-Hee; Chai, Jong-Yil

    2016-04-01

    Toxoplasma gondii is an intracellular protozoan that can modulate the environment of the infected host. An unfavorable environment modulated by T. gondii in the brain includes tumor microenvironment. Literature has suggested that T. gondii infection is associated with development of brain tumors. However, in Korea, epidemiological data regarding this correlation have been scarce. In this study, in order to investigate the relationship between T. gondii infection and brain tumor development, we investigated the seroprevalence of T. gondii among 93 confirmed brain tumor patients (various histological types, including meningioma and astrocytoma) in Korea using ELISA. The results revealed that T. gondii seropositivity among brain tumor patients (18.3%) was significantly (P<0.05) higher compared with that of healthy controls (8.6%). The seropositivity of brain tumor patients showed a significant age-tendency, i.e., higher in younger age group, compared with age-matched healthy controls (P<0.05). In conclusion, this study supports the close relationship between T. gondii infection and incidence of brain tumors. PMID:27180580

  2. Legionella pneumophila Seropositivity-Associated Factors in Latvian Blood Donors

    PubMed Central

    Valciņa, Olga; Pūle, Daina; Lucenko, Irina; Krastiņa, Dita; Šteingolde, Žanete; Krūmiņa, Angelika; Bērziņš, Aivars

    2015-01-01

    Continuous environmental exposure of humans to Legionella may induce immune responses and generation of antibodies. The aim of this study was to investigate the seroprevalence of Legionella pneumophila serogroups (SG) 1–6 in the general healthy population and identify the associated host-related and environmental risk factors. L. pneumophila SG 1–6 seroprevalence among a total of 2007 blood samples collected from healthy donors was 4.8%. Seroprevalence was higher in women (5.9%) than men (3.3%) and in areas with a larger number of inhabitants, ranging from 3.5% in rural regions to 6.8% in the capital, Riga. Blood samples from inhabitants of apartment buildings tested positive for L. pneumophila in more cases (5.8%) compared to those from inhabitants of single-family homes (2.7%). Residents of buildings with a municipal hot water supply system were more likely to be seropositive for L. pneumophila (OR = 3.16, 95% CI 1.26–7.91). Previous episodes of fever were additionally identified as a risk factor (OR = 2.42, 95% CI 1.43–4.1). In conclusion, centralized hot water supply, female gender and previous episodes of fever were determined as the main factors associated with L. pneumophila seropositivity in our study population. PMID:26703696

  3. HIV seropositive gay men: understanding adoption of safe sexual practices.

    PubMed

    Godin, G; Savard, J; Kok, G; Fortin, C; Boyer, R

    1996-12-01

    The aim of this study was to determine the best predictors of safe sex practices among HIV seropositive gay men. A group of 96 homosexual men living with HIV completed a questionnaire that investigated theoretical constructs of the Ajzen's (1988) theory of planned behavior with respect to condom use for anal intercourse and sexual practices without anal intercourse. Other variables such as Triandis's (1977) construct of personal normative belief, psychological distress, and alcohol and drug use before sexual encounters were also investigated. Results indicated that the best predictor of intention to use condoms was perceived behavioral control. Personal normative belief was another important predictor of this intention. Although the best predictor of intention to have only sex without anal intercourse was perceived subjective norm, this intention was also significantly explained by perceived behavioral control. Moreover, perceived behavioral control was a significant predictor of having only sex without anal intercourse. Public health interventions among HIV seropositive gay men should aim mainly at increasing perception of behavioral control. PMID:9010512

  4. High Toxoplasma gondii Seropositivity among Brain Tumor Patients in Korea

    PubMed Central

    Jung, Bong-Kwang; Song, Hyemi; Kim, Min-Jae; Cho, Jaeeun; Shin, Eun-Hee; Chai, Jong-Yil

    2016-01-01

    Toxoplasma gondii is an intracellular protozoan that can modulate the environment of the infected host. An unfavorable environment modulated by T. gondii in the brain includes tumor microenvironment. Literature has suggested that T. gondii infection is associated with development of brain tumors. However, in Korea, epidemiological data regarding this correlation have been scarce. In this study, in order to investigate the relationship between T. gondii infection and brain tumor development, we investigated the seroprevalence of T. gondii among 93 confirmed brain tumor patients (various histological types, including meningioma and astrocytoma) in Korea using ELISA. The results revealed that T. gondii seropositivity among brain tumor patients (18.3%) was significantly (P<0.05) higher compared with that of healthy controls (8.6%). The seropositivity of brain tumor patients showed a significant age-tendency, i.e., higher in younger age group, compared with age-matched healthy controls (P<0.05). In conclusion, this study supports the close relationship between T. gondii infection and incidence of brain tumors. PMID:27180580

  5. Analysis of serum immune markers in seropositive and seronegative rheumatoid arthritis and in high-risk seropositive arthralgia patients

    PubMed Central

    Chalan, Paulina; Bijzet, Johan; van den Berg, Anke; Kluiver, Joost; Kroesen, Bart-Jan; Boots, Annemieke M. H.; Brouwer, Elisabeth

    2016-01-01

    Presence of autoantibodies precedes development of seropositive rheumatoid arthritis (SP RA) and seropositive arthralgia patients (SAP) are at risk of developing RA. The aims of the study are to identify additional serum immune markers discriminating between SP and seronegative (SN) RA, and markers identifying high-risk SAP. Sera from SAP (n = 27), SP RA (n = 22), SN RA (n = 11) and healthy controls (n = 20) were analyzed using the Human Cytokine 25-Plex Panel. Selected markers were validated in independent cohorts of SP RA (n = 35) and SN RA (n = 12) patients. Eleven of 27 SAP developed RA within 8 months (median follow-up time, range 1–32 months), and their baseline serum markers were compared to 16 non-progressing SAP. SAP and SP RA patients showed a marked overlap in their systemic immune profiles, while SN RA showed a distinct immune profile. Three of 4 markers discriminating between SP and SN RA (IL-1β, IL-15 and Eotaxin, but not CCL5) were similarly modulated in independent cohorts. SAP progressing to RA showed trends for increases in IL-5, MIP-1β, IL-1RA and IL-12 compared to non-progressing SAP. ROC analysis showed that serum IL-5 most accurately discriminated between the two SAP groups (AUC > 0.8), suggesting that baseline IL-5 levels may aid the identification of high-risk SAP. PMID:27189045

  6. Analysis of serum immune markers in seropositive and seronegative rheumatoid arthritis and in high-risk seropositive arthralgia patients.

    PubMed

    Chalan, Paulina; Bijzet, Johan; van den Berg, Anke; Kluiver, Joost; Kroesen, Bart-Jan; Boots, Annemieke M H; Brouwer, Elisabeth

    2016-01-01

    Presence of autoantibodies precedes development of seropositive rheumatoid arthritis (SP RA) and seropositive arthralgia patients (SAP) are at risk of developing RA. The aims of the study are to identify additional serum immune markers discriminating between SP and seronegative (SN) RA, and markers identifying high-risk SAP. Sera from SAP (n = 27), SP RA (n = 22), SN RA (n = 11) and healthy controls (n = 20) were analyzed using the Human Cytokine 25-Plex Panel. Selected markers were validated in independent cohorts of SP RA (n = 35) and SN RA (n = 12) patients. Eleven of 27 SAP developed RA within 8 months (median follow-up time, range 1-32 months), and their baseline serum markers were compared to 16 non-progressing SAP. SAP and SP RA patients showed a marked overlap in their systemic immune profiles, while SN RA showed a distinct immune profile. Three of 4 markers discriminating between SP and SN RA (IL-1β, IL-15 and Eotaxin, but not CCL5) were similarly modulated in independent cohorts. SAP progressing to RA showed trends for increases in IL-5, MIP-1β, IL-1RA and IL-12 compared to non-progressing SAP. ROC analysis showed that serum IL-5 most accurately discriminated between the two SAP groups (AUC > 0.8), suggesting that baseline IL-5 levels may aid the identification of high-risk SAP. PMID:27189045

  7. JGOMAS: New Approach to AI Teaching

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barella, A.; Valero, S.; Carrascosa, C.

    2009-01-01

    This paper presents a new environment for teaching practical work in AI subjects. The main purpose of this environment is to make AI techniques more appealing to students and to facilitate the use of the toolkits which are currently widely used in research and development. This new environment has a toolkit for developing and executing agents,…

  8. Tips to Improve AI Pregnancy Rates

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This paper is aimed at identifying and emphasizing the critical factors that contribute to a successful AI breeding season. Accurate and efficient heat detection is the first step toward achieving AI pregnancies. Electronic estrous detection is not necessary if producers will spend more time observi...

  9. The Relevance of AI Research to CAI.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kearsley, Greg P.

    This article provides a tutorial introduction to Artificial Intelligence (AI) research for those involved in Computer Assisted Instruction (CAI). The general theme is that much of the current work in AI, particularly in the areas of natural language understanding systems, rule induction, programming languages, and socratic systems, has important…

  10. HIV seropositivity of needles from shooting galleries in south Florida.

    PubMed

    Chitwood, D D; McCoy, C B; Inciardi, J A; McBride, D C; Comerford, M; Trapido, E; McCoy, H V; Page, J B; Griffin, J; Fletcher, M A

    1990-02-01

    Needle/syringe combinations were collected from three shooting galleries in South Florida and tested for the presence of antibodies to HIV-1. Fifteen of 148 needles (10.1 percent) tested positive for HIV-1 antibody. Seropositivity rates did not vary by the day of the week of collection, nor by shooting gallery from which they were collected. When the needle appeared to contain blood residue, 20.0 percent were positive versus 5.1 percent with no blood residue. These findings suggest that needles/syringes used in shooting galleries are likely to serve as reservoirs and/or vectors of transmission of the HIV-1 virus, and that although visual inspection of the needle/syringe may be useful in lessening the chance for transmission, even the visually "clean" needles may result in transmission of infection. PMID:2297056

  11. Human Trypanosoma cruzi Infection and Seropositivity in Dogs, Mexico

    PubMed Central

    Estrada-Franco, Jose G.; Bhatia, Vandanajay; Diaz-Albiter, Hector; Ochoa-Garcia, Laucel; Barbabosa, Alberto; Vazquez-Chagoyan, Juan C.; Martinez-Perez, Miguel A.; Guzman-Bracho, Carmen

    2006-01-01

    We used 5 diagnostic tests in a cross-sectional investigation of the prevalence of Trypanosoma cruzi in Tejupilco municipality, State of Mexico, Mexico. Our findings showed a substantial prevalence of immunoglobulin G (IgG) and IgM antibodies to T. cruzi in human (n = 293, IgG 2.05%, IgM 5.5%, both 7.1%) and dog (n = 114, IgG 15.8%, IgM 11.4%, both 21%) populations. We also found antibodies to T. cruzi (n = 80, IgG 10%, IgM 15%, both 17.5%) in dogs from Toluca, an area previously considered free of T. cruzi. Our data demonstrate the need for active epidemiologic surveillance programs in these regions. A direct correlation (r2 = 0.955) of seropositivity between humans and dogs suggests that seroanalysis in dogs may help identify the human prevalence of T. cruzi infection in these areas. PMID:16704811

  12. Emergence of the scale-invariant proportion in a flock from the metric-topological interaction.

    PubMed

    Niizato, Takayuki; Murakami, Hisashi; Gunji, Yukio-Pegio

    2014-05-01

    Recently, it has become possible to more precisely analyze flocking behavior. Such research has prompted a reconsideration of the notion of neighborhoods in the theoretical model. Flocking based on topological distance is one such result. In a topological flocking model, a bird does not interact with its neighbors on the basis of a fixed-size neighborhood (i.e., on the basis of metric distance), but instead interacts with its nearest seven neighbors. Cavagna et al., moreover, found a new phenomenon in flocks that can be explained by neither metric distance nor topological distance: they found that correlated domains in a flock were larger than the metric and topological distance and that these domains were proportional to the total flock size. However, the role of scale-free correlation is still unclear. In a previous study, we constructed a metric-topological interaction model on three-dimensional spaces and showed that this model exhibited scale-free correlation. In this study, we found that scale-free correlation in a two-dimensional flock was more robust than in a three-dimensional flock for the threshold parameter. Furthermore, we also found a qualitative difference in behavior from using the fluctuation coherence, which we observed on three-dimensional flocking behavior. Our study suggests that two-dimensional flocks try to maintain a balance between the flock size and flock mobility by breaking into several smaller flocks. PMID:24686118

  13. Interpreting the flock algorithm: a reply to Anderson & Barry (2015).

    PubMed

    Duchesne, P; Turgeon, J

    2016-01-01

    Anderson & Barry (Molecular Ecology Resources, 2015, 10, 1020-1030) compared a reprogrammed version of flock (Duchesne & Turgeon , Molecular Ecology Resources, 2009, 9, 1333-1344), flockture, to a particular model of structure (Pritchard , Genetics, 2000, 155, 945-959) that they propose is equivalent to flock, a non-MCMC, non-Bayesian algorithm. They conclude that structure performs better than flockture at clustering individuals from simulated populations with very low level of differentiation (FST c. 0.008) based on 15 microsatellites or 96 SNPs. We rather consider that both algorithms failed, with proportions of correct allocations lower than 50%. The authors also noted the slightly better performance of flockture with SNPs at intermediate FST values (c. 0.02-0.04) but did not comment. Finally, we disagree with the way the processing time of each program was compared. When compared on the basis of a run leading to a clustering solution, the main output of any clustering algorithm, flock, is, as users can readily experience, much faster. In all, we feel that flock performs at least as well as structure as a clustering algorithm. Moreover, flock has two major assets: high speed and clear, well validated, rules to estimate K, the number of populations. It thus provides a valuable addition to the set of tools at the disposal of the many researchers dealing with real empirical data sets. PMID:26768196

  14. A continuum model for flocking: Obstacle avoidance, equilibrium, and stability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mecholsky, Nicholas Alexander

    The modeling and investigation of the dynamics and configurations of animal groups is a subject of growing attention. In this dissertation, we present a partial-differential-equation based continuum model of flocking and use it to investigate several properties of group dynamics and equilibrium. We analyze the reaction of a flock to an obstacle or an attacking predator. We show that the flock response is in the form of density disturbances that resemble Mach cones whose configuration is determined by the anisotropic propagation of waves through the flock. We investigate the effect of a flock 'pressure' and pairwise repulsion on an equilibrium density distribution. We investigate both linear and nonlinear pressures, look at the convergence to a 'cold' (T → 0) equilibrium solution, and find regions of parameter space where different models produce the same equilibrium. Finally, we analyze the stability of an equilibrium density distribution to long-wavelength perturbations. Analytic results for the stability of a constant density solution as well as stability regimes for constant density solutions to the equilibrium equations are presented.

  15. Size differences in migrant sandpiper flocks: ghosts in ephemeral guilds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Eldridge, J.L.; Johnson, D.H.

    1988-01-01

    Scolopacid sandpipers were studied from 1980 until 1984 during spring migration in North Dakota. Common species foraging together in mixed-species flocks differed in bill length most often by 20 to 30 percent (ratios from 1.2:1 to 1.3:1). Observed flocks were compared to computer generated flocks drawn from three source pools of Arctic-nesting sandpipers. The source pools included 51 migrant species from a global pool, 33 migrant species from a Western Hemisphere pool, and 13 species that migrated through North Dakota. The observed flocks formed randomly from the available species that used the North Dakota migration corridor but the North Dakota species were not a random selection from the Western Hemisphere and global pools of Arctic-nesting scolopacid sandpipers. In short, the ephemeral, mixed-species foraging flocks that we observed in North Dakota were random mixes from a non-random pool. The size-ratio distributions were consistent with the interpretation that use of this migration corridor by sandpipers has been influenced by some form of size-related selection such as competition.

  16. Salmonella in broiler flocks in the republic of Ireland.

    PubMed

    Gutierrez, Montserrat; Fanning, June; Murphy, Anne; Murray, Gerardine; Griffin, Margaret; Flack, Alma; Leonard, Nola; Egan, John

    2009-01-01

    In order to obtain an estimation of the prevalence of Salmonella spp. in flocks of broilers in the Republic of Ireland, a study was conducted in 2006 in a total of 362 broiler flocks associated with four integrated companies. Salmonella spp. was isolated from 27.3% of flocks, and eight Salmonella serovars were identified, none of which were Salmonella Enteritidis or Salmonella Typhimurium. The most prevalent serovar was Salmonella Mbandaka, followed by Salmonella Kentucky, which respectively accounted for 61.6% and 27.0% of positive samples. Notable differences were observed among the flocks associated with different integrated companies, both in the Salmonella spp. prevalence and in the serovar distribution. Results from routine official Salmonella testing in broiler production in 2006 showed similar serovar distribution within each integrated company from the associated hatchery and factory samples. In our study, differences in the prevalence of Salmonella at farm level did not correlate with differences in the percentages of positive chicken carcasses officially tested, which were low, for all the four companies investigated. Given the high prevalence of Salmonella Mbandaka, all human isolates obtained in the Republic of Ireland from 2003 to 2006 were compared to a subset of poultry isolates by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, but an epidemiological link between the animal and the human strains could not be established. Finally the antimicrobial resistance analysis indicated a low proportion of resistant strains among the broiler flock isolates. PMID:19061369

  17. Artificial intelligence. Fears of an AI pioneer.

    PubMed

    Russell, Stuart; Bohannon, John

    2015-07-17

    From the enraged robots in the 1920 play R.U.R. to the homicidal computer H.A.L. in 2001: A Space Odyssey, science fiction writers have embraced the dark side of artificial intelligence (AI) ever since the concept entered our collective imagination. Sluggish progress in AI research, especially during the “AI winter” of the 1970s and 1980s, made such worries seem far-fetched. But recent breakthroughs in machine learning and vast improvements in computational power have brought a flood of research funding— and fresh concerns about where AI may lead us. One researcher now speaking up is Stuart Russell, a computer scientist at the University of California, Berkeley, who with Peter Norvig, director of research at Google, wrote the premier AI textbook, Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach, now in its third edition. Last year, Russell joined the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk at Cambridge University in the United Kingdom as an AI expert focusing on “risks that could lead to human extinction.” Among his chief concerns, which he aired at an April meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, run by the United Nations, is the danger of putting military drones and weaponry under the full control of AI systems. This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity. PMID:26185241

  18. Graphics Processing Unit Enhanced Parallel Document Flocking Clustering

    SciTech Connect

    Cui, Xiaohui; Potok, Thomas E; ST Charles, Jesse Lee

    2010-01-01

    Analyzing and clustering documents is a complex problem. One explored method of solving this problem borrows from nature, imitating the flocking behavior of birds. One limitation of this method of document clustering is its complexity O(n2). As the number of documents grows, it becomes increasingly difficult to generate results in a reasonable amount of time. In the last few years, the graphics processing unit (GPU) has received attention for its ability to solve highly-parallel and semi-parallel problems much faster than the traditional sequential processor. In this paper, we have conducted research to exploit this archi- tecture and apply its strengths to the flocking based document clustering problem. Using the CUDA platform from NVIDIA, we developed a doc- ument flocking implementation to be run on the NVIDIA GEFORCE GPU. Performance gains ranged from thirty-six to nearly sixty times improvement of the GPU over the CPU implementation.

  19. Interpreting the flock algorithm from a statistical perspective.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Eric C; Barry, Patrick D

    2015-09-01

    We show that the algorithm in the program flock (Duchesne & Turgeon 2009) can be interpreted as an estimation procedure based on a model essentially identical to the structure (Pritchard et al. 2000) model with no admixture and without correlated allele frequency priors. Rather than using MCMC, the flock algorithm searches for the maximum a posteriori estimate of this structure model via a simulated annealing algorithm with a rapid cooling schedule (namely, the exponent on the objective function →∞). We demonstrate the similarities between the two programs in a two-step approach. First, to enable rapid batch processing of many simulated data sets, we modified the source code of structure to use the flock algorithm, producing the program flockture. With simulated data, we confirmed that results obtained with flock and flockture are very similar (though flockture is some 200 times faster). Second, we simulated multiple large data sets under varying levels of population differentiation for both microsatellite and SNP genotypes. We analysed them with flockture and structure and assessed each program on its ability to cluster individuals to their correct subpopulation. We show that flockture yields results similar to structure albeit with greater variability from run to run. flockture did perform better than structure when genotypes were composed of SNPs and differentiation was moderate (FST= 0.022-0.032). When differentiation was low, structure outperformed flockture for both marker types. On large data sets like those we simulated, it appears that flock's reliance on inference rules regarding its 'plateau record' is not helpful. Interpreting flock's algorithm as a special case of the model in structure should aid in understanding the program's output and behaviour. PMID:25913195

  20. Flocking States of Self-Propelling Particles in Free Space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leung, Kwan-Tai; Chen, Hsuan-Yi

    We present particle-based simulations for the flocking behavior of self-propelling particles. Built upon previous models, our models include realistic but simple rules for the self-propelling, drag, and inter-particle interactions. Depending on both the strength and range of the interactions, a host of stationary phases appear, including independent wandering, formation flight, swarm, and rotating vortex. Of particular interest, we determine that the rotating flock can only arise in the absence of long-range alignment. We also construct a phenomenological continuum model and obtain steady-state solutions for the rotating state.

  1. Braiding a Flock: Winding Statistics of Interacting Flying Spins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Caussin, Jean-Baptiste; Bartolo, Denis

    2015-06-01

    When animal groups move coherently in the form of a flock, their trajectories are not all parallel, the individuals exchange their position in the group. In this Letter, we introduce a measure of this mixing dynamics, which we quantify as the winding of the braid formed from the particle trajectories. Building on a paradigmatic flocking model we numerically and theoretically explain the winding statistics and show that it is predominantly set by the global twist of the trajectories as a consequence of a spontaneous symmetry breaking.

  2. Effect of inertia on model flocks in a turbulent environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Choudhary, Ashok; Venkataraman, Divya; Sankar Ray, Samriddhi

    2015-10-01

    We study flocking of self-propelled, interacting microorganisms with finite sizes and mass immersed in a turbulent flow. In the presence of the competing interactions of self-propulsion and the carrier turbulent flow, as is typical in nature, we show that including the effect of inertia is essential for the stability of flocks. We examine the problem from the point of view of global as well as local order and the statistics of the velocity of the microorganisms as a function of the inertia, the interaction radius, the level of self-propulsion as well as noise.

  3. 9 CFR 145.63 - Terminology and classification; flocks and products.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE LIVESTOCK IMPROVEMENT NATIONAL POULTRY IMPROVEMENT PLAN FOR BREEDING POULTRY Special Provisions for Ostrich, Emu, Rhea, and Cassowary Breeding Flocks and Products § 145.63 Terminology and classification; flocks and products. Participating flocks, and the eggs and baby...

  4. 9 CFR 145.63 - Terminology and classification; flocks and products.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE LIVESTOCK IMPROVEMENT NATIONAL POULTRY IMPROVEMENT PLAN FOR BREEDING POULTRY Special Provisions for Ostrich, Emu, Rhea, and Cassowary Breeding Flocks and Products § 145.63 Terminology and classification; flocks and products. Participating flocks, and the eggs and baby...

  5. Mapping Fishing Effort through AIS Data.

    PubMed

    Natale, Fabrizio; Gibin, Maurizio; Alessandrini, Alfredo; Vespe, Michele; Paulrud, Anton

    2015-01-01

    Several research initiatives have been undertaken to map fishing effort at high spatial resolution using the Vessel Monitoring System (VMS). An alternative to the VMS is represented by the Automatic Identification System (AIS), which in the EU became compulsory in May 2014 for all fishing vessels of length above 15 meters. The aim of this paper is to assess the uptake of the AIS in the EU fishing fleet and the feasibility of producing a map of fishing effort with high spatial and temporal resolution at European scale. After analysing a large AIS dataset for the period January-August 2014 and covering most of the EU waters, we show that AIS was adopted by around 75% of EU fishing vessels above 15 meters of length. Using the Swedish fleet as a case study, we developed a method to identify fishing activity based on the analysis of individual vessels' speed profiles and produce a high resolution map of fishing effort based on AIS data. The method was validated using detailed logbook data and proved to be sufficiently accurate and computationally efficient to identify fishing grounds and effort in the case of trawlers, which represent the largest portion of the EU fishing fleet above 15 meters of length. Issues still to be addressed before extending the exercise to the entire EU fleet are the assessment of coverage levels of the AIS data for all EU waters and the identification of fishing activity in the case of vessels other than trawlers. PMID:26098430

  6. Mapping Fishing Effort through AIS Data

    PubMed Central

    Natale, Fabrizio; Gibin, Maurizio; Alessandrini, Alfredo; Vespe, Michele; Paulrud, Anton

    2015-01-01

    Several research initiatives have been undertaken to map fishing effort at high spatial resolution using the Vessel Monitoring System (VMS). An alternative to the VMS is represented by the Automatic Identification System (AIS), which in the EU became compulsory in May 2014 for all fishing vessels of length above 15 meters. The aim of this paper is to assess the uptake of the AIS in the EU fishing fleet and the feasibility of producing a map of fishing effort with high spatial and temporal resolution at European scale. After analysing a large AIS dataset for the period January-August 2014 and covering most of the EU waters, we show that AIS was adopted by around 75% of EU fishing vessels above 15 meters of length. Using the Swedish fleet as a case study, we developed a method to identify fishing activity based on the analysis of individual vessels’ speed profiles and produce a high resolution map of fishing effort based on AIS data. The method was validated using detailed logbook data and proved to be sufficiently accurate and computationally efficient to identify fishing grounds and effort in the case of trawlers, which represent the largest portion of the EU fishing fleet above 15 meters of length. Issues still to be addressed before extending the exercise to the entire EU fleet are the assessment of coverage levels of the AIS data for all EU waters and the identification of fishing activity in the case of vessels other than trawlers. PMID:26098430

  7. Modeling the flocking propensity of passerine birds in two Neotropical habitats.

    PubMed

    Pomara, Lars Y; Cooper, Robert J; Petit, Lisa J

    2007-08-01

    We examined the importance of mixed-species flock abundance, individual bird home range size, foraging height, and foraging patch characteristics in predicting the propensity for five Neotropical passerine bird species (Slaty Antwren, Myrmotherula schisticolor; Golden-crowned Warbler, Basileuterus culicivorus; Slate-throated Redstart, Myioborus miniatus; Wilson's Warbler, Wilsonia pusilla; and Black-and-white Warbler, Mniotilta varia) to forage within flocks, rather than solitarily. We used study plots in primary mid-elevation forest and in shade coffee fields in western Panama. We expected that all species would spend as much time as possible flocking, but that the social and environmental factors listed above would limit compatibility between flock movements and individual bird movements, explaining variability in flocking propensity both within and among species. Flocking propensity was well predicted by home range size and flock abundance together, for four of the five species. While flock abundance was uniform across plots, home range sizes varied among species and plots, so that home range size appeared to be the principle factor limiting flocking propensity. Estimates of flock abundance were still required, however, for calculating flocking propensity values. Foraging height and patch characteristics slightly improved predictive ability for the remaining species, M. miniatus. In general, individual birds tended to join flocks whenever one was available inside their home range, regardless of a flock's specific location within the home range. Flocking propensities of individual species were lower in shade coffee fields than in forests, and probably vary across landscapes with variations in habitat. This variability affects the stability and species composition of flocks, and may affect survival rates of individual species. PMID:17375332

  8. Exercise dysfunction in patients seropositive for the human immunodeficiency virus

    SciTech Connect

    Johnson, J.E.; Anders, G.T.; Blanton, H.M.; Hawkes, C.E.; Bush, B.A.; McAllister, C.K.; Matthews, J.I. )

    1990-03-01

    To confirm the presence of exercise dysfunction in patients seropositive for the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), 32 such patients without AIDS were evaluated with cardiopulmonary exercise testing, pulmonary function testing, bronchoalveolar lavage, chest roentgenography, and gallium scanning. No evidence of pulmonary opportunistic infection was found. When compared to an otherwise similar group of HIV-seronegative controls, the patients exercised to a significantly lower workload (195 +/- 30 versus 227 +/- 31 W, p less than 0.001). The ventilatory anaerobic threshold (VAT) values were also significantly lower for the patients (49.2 +/- 13.0 versus 61.9 +/- 9.1% of maximum predicted VO2, p less than 0.001). Nine of the patients had VAT values less than the 95% confidence interval for the controls. This subgroup exercised to a significantly lower maximum VO2 (69.9 +/- 11.2 versus 95.9 +/- 17.5% of maximum predicted VO2, p less than 0.001) and workload (165 +/- 21 versus 227 +/- 31 W) when compared to the control group. These patients demonstrated a mild tachypnea throughout exercise relative to the controls and had a significant increase in the slope of the heart rate to VO2 relationship. These findings are most consistent with a limitation of oxygen delivery to exercising muscles, which may represent occult cardiac disease in this group.

  9. How many dissenters does it take to disorder a flock?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yllanes, David; Marchetti, M. Cristina

    Minimal models of active particles have had much success in the study of flocking behavior. Typically one considers a system of self-propelled particles with noisy aligning interactions. By varying the density of the system or the intensity of the noise one can switch between a disordered phase where the particles move randomly and independently and a flocking state where the velocities of the particles are aligned. In this work we consider what happens if a fraction p of the particles does not experience the aligning interaction. This is an interesting problem from a statistical mechanics point of view, with applications to collective behavior of living systems, where not all the members of a community (a flock of birds, a herd of sheep, etc.) behave in the same way. By carrying out extensive molecular dynamics simulations we show that even a very small fraction of such ''individualistic'' particles can have a dramatic effect on the whole system and, indeed, that the flocking can be destroyed for a very low value of p. We acknowledge support from NSF-DMR-305184 and the Syracuse Soft Matter Program.

  10. Two-level leader-follower organization in pigeon flocks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Zhiyong; Zhang, Hai-Tao; Chen, Xi; Chen, Duxin; Zhou, Tao

    2015-10-01

    The most attractive trait of collective animal behavior is the emergence of highly ordered structures (Cavagna A., Giardina I. and Ginelli F., Phys. Rev. Lett., 110 (2013) 168107). It has been conjectured that the interaction mechanism in pigeon flock dynamics follows a hierarchical leader-follower influential network (Nagy M., Ákos Z., Biro D. and Vicsek T., Nature, 464 (2010) 890). In this paper, a new observation is reported that shows that pigeon flocks actually adopt a much simpler two-level interactive network composed of one leader and some followers. By statistically analyzing the same experimental dataset, we show that for a certain period of time a sole leader determines the motion of the flock while the remaining birds are all followers directly copying the leader's direction with specific time delays. This simple two-level despotic organization is expected to save both motional energy and communication cost, while retaining agility and robustness of the whole group. From an evolutionary perspective, our results suggest that a two-level organization of group flight may be more efficient than a multilevel topology for small pigeon flocks.

  11. Speed Determines Leadership and Leadership Determines Learning during Pigeon Flocking.

    PubMed

    Pettit, Benjamin; Ákos, Zsuzsa; Vicsek, Tamás; Biro, Dora

    2015-12-01

    A key question in collective behavior is how individual differences structure animal groups, affect the flow of information, and give some group members greater weight in decisions. Depending on what factors contribute to leadership, despotic decisions could either improve decision accuracy or interfere with swarm intelligence. The mechanisms behind leadership are therefore important for understanding its functional significance. In this study, we compared pigeons' relative influence over flock direction to their solo flight characteristics. A pigeon's degree of leadership was predicted by its ground speeds from earlier solo flights, but not by the straightness of its previous solo route. By testing the birds individually after a series of flock flights, we found that leaders had learned straighter homing routes than followers, as we would expect if followers attended less to the landscape and more to conspecifics. We repeated the experiment from three homing sites using multiple independent flocks and found individual consistency in leadership and speed. Our results suggest that the leadership hierarchies observed in previous studies could arise from differences in the birds' typical speeds. Rather than reflecting social preferences that optimize group decisions, leadership may be an inevitable consequence of heterogeneous flight characteristics within self-organized flocks. We also found that leaders learn faster and become better navigators, even if leadership is not initially due to navigational ability. The roles that individuals fall into during collective motion might therefore have far-reaching effects on how they learn about the environment and use social information. PMID:26628007

  12. Topological-distance-dependent transition in flocks with binary interactions.

    PubMed

    Bhattacherjee, Biplab; Mishra, Shradha; Manna, S S

    2015-12-01

    We have studied a flocking model with binary interactions (binary flock), where the velocity of an agent depends on the velocity of only another agent and its own velocity, topped by the angular noise. The other agent is selected as the nth topological neighbor; the specific value of n being a fixed parameter of the problem. On the basis of extensive numerical simulation results, we argue that for n = 1, the phase transition from the ordered to the disordered phase of the flock is a special kind of discontinuous transition. Here, the order parameter does not flip-flop between multiple metastable states. It continues its initial disordered state for a period t(c), then switches over to the ordered state and remains in this state ever after. For n = 2, it is the usual discontinuous transition between two metastable states. Beyond this range, the continuous transitions are observed for n≥3. Such a system of binary flocks has been further studied using the hydrodynamic equations of motion. Linear stability analysis of the homogeneous polarized state shows that such a state is unstable close to the critical point and above some critical speed, which increases as we increase n. The critical noise strengths, which depend on the average correlation between a pair of topological neighbors, are estimated for five different values of n, which match well with their simulated values. PMID:26764659

  13. The art in getting flocks and herds to flerds

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Flerds (small ruminants that consistently stay near cattle under free-ranging conditions) offer four distinct advantages over stocking simply flocks and herds to carry out mixed species stocking. One of the main advantages flerds offer is added protection from canine predation, reduced time in loca...

  14. 9 CFR 145.5 - Specific provisions for participating flocks.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ..., DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE LIVESTOCK IMPROVEMENT NATIONAL POULTRY IMPROVEMENT PLAN FOR BREEDING POULTRY General Provisions § 145.5 Specific provisions for participating flocks. (a) Poultry equipment, and poultry houses and the land in the immediate vicinity thereof, shall be kept in sanitary condition...

  15. 9 CFR 145.5 - Specific provisions for participating flocks.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ..., DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE LIVESTOCK IMPROVEMENT NATIONAL POULTRY IMPROVEMENT PLAN FOR BREEDING POULTRY General Provisions § 145.5 Specific provisions for participating flocks. (a) Poultry equipment, and poultry houses and the land in the immediate vicinity thereof, shall be kept in sanitary condition...

  16. Job Hunter's Guide Featuring the Seek-a-Job Flock.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    East Texas State Univ., Commerce. Educational Development and Training Center.

    This job hunter's guide features the "Seek-a-Job Flock," a set of bird characters that humorously help to illustrate job hunting basics. The guide contains five sections: (1) how to find job openings; (2) how to make the interview appointment; (3) how to complete the job application form; (4) how to act during the interview; and (5) how to follow…

  17. Topological-distance-dependent transition in flocks with binary interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bhattacherjee, Biplab; Mishra, Shradha; Manna, S. S.

    2015-12-01

    We have studied a flocking model with binary interactions (binary flock), where the velocity of an agent depends on the velocity of only another agent and its own velocity, topped by the angular noise. The other agent is selected as the n th topological neighbor; the specific value of n being a fixed parameter of the problem. On the basis of extensive numerical simulation results, we argue that for n = 1, the phase transition from the ordered to the disordered phase of the flock is a special kind of discontinuous transition. Here, the order parameter does not flip-flop between multiple metastable states. It continues its initial disordered state for a period tc, then switches over to the ordered state and remains in this state ever after. For n = 2, it is the usual discontinuous transition between two metastable states. Beyond this range, the continuous transitions are observed for n ≥3 . Such a system of binary flocks has been further studied using the hydrodynamic equations of motion. Linear stability analysis of the homogeneous polarized state shows that such a state is unstable close to the critical point and above some critical speed, which increases as we increase n . The critical noise strengths, which depend on the average correlation between a pair of topological neighbors, are estimated for five different values of n , which match well with their simulated values.

  18. Cytomegalovirus (CMV) seropositivity decreases B cell responses to the influenza vaccine

    PubMed Central

    Frasca, Daniela; Diaz, Alain; Romero, Maria; Landin, Ana Marie; Blomberg, Bonnie B.

    2015-01-01

    Cytomegalovirus (CMV)-seropositivity has been shown to have a negative effect on influenza vaccine-specific antibody responses. In this paper we confirm and extend these results showing for the first time a negative association between CMV-seropositivity and B cell predictive biomarkers of optimal vaccine responses. These biomarkers are switched memory B cells and AID in CpG-stimulated B cell cultures measured before vaccination which positively correlate with the serum response to the influenza vaccine. We also found that CMV-seropositivity is associated with increased levels of B cell-intrinsic inflammation and these both correlate with lower B cell function. Finally, CMV-seropositivity is associated with decreased percentages of individuals responding to the vaccine in both young and elderly individuals. PMID:25659271

  19. Cyclic and Coherent States in Flocks with Topological Distance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bhattacherjee, Biplab; Bhattacharya, Kunal; Manna, Subhrangshu

    2014-01-01

    A simple model of the two dimensional collective motion of a group of mobile agents have been studied. Like birds, these agents travel in open free space where each of them interacts with the first n neighbors determined by the topological distance with a free boundary condition. Using the same prescription for interactions used in the Vicsek model with scalar noise it has been observed that the flock, in absence of the noise, arrives at a number of interesting stationary states. One of the two most prominent states is the `single sink state' where the entire flock travels along the same direction maintaining perfect cohesion and coherence. The other state is the `cyclic state' where every individual agent executes a uniform circular motion, and the correlation among the agents guarantees that the entire flock executes a pulsating dynamics i.e., expands and contracts periodically between a minimum and a maximum size of the flock. We have studied another limiting situation when refreshing rate of the interaction zone is the fastest. In this case the entire flock gets fragmented into smaller clusters of different sizes. On introduction of scalar noise a crossover is observed when the agents cross over from a ballistic motion to a diffusive motion. Expectedly the crossover time is dependent on the strength of the noise η and diverges as η → 0. An even more simpler version of this model has been studied by suppressing the translational degrees of freedom of the agents but retaining their angular motion. Here agents are the spins, placed at the sites of a square lattice with periodic boundary condition. Every spin interacts with its n = 2, 3 or 4 nearest neighbors. In the stationary state the entire spin pattern moves as a whole when interactions are anisotropic with n = 2 and 3; but it is completely frozen when the interaction is isotropic with n=4$. These spin configu

  20. Cyclic and Coherent States in Flocks with Topological Distance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bhattacherjee, Biplab; Bhattacharya, Kunal; Manna, Subhrangshu

    A simple model of the two dimensional collective motion of a group of mobile agents have been studied. Like birds, these agents travel in open free space where each of them interacts with the first n neighbors determined by the topological distance with a free boundary condition. Using the same prescription for interactions used in the Vicsek model with scalar noise it has been observed that the flock, in absence of the noise, arrives at a number of interesting stationary states. One of the two most prominent states is the `single sink state' where the entire flock travels along the same direction maintaining perfect cohesion and coherence. The other state is the `cyclic state' where every individual agent executes a uniform circular motion, and the correlation among the agents guarantees that the entire flock executes a pulsating dynamics i.e., expands and contracts periodically between a minimum and a maximum size of the flock. We have studied another limiting situation when refreshing rate of the interaction zone is the fastest. In this case the entire flock gets fragmented into smaller clusters of different sizes. On introduction of scalar noise a crossover is observed when the agents cross over from a ballistic motion to a diffusive motion. Expectedly the crossover time is dependent on the strength of the noise eta and diverges as eta -> 0. An even more simpler version of this model has been studied by suppressing the translational degrees of freedom of the agents but retaining their angular motion. Here agents are the spins, placed at the sites of a square lattice with periodic boundary condition. Every spin interacts with its n = 2, 3 or 4 nearest neighbors. In the stationary state the entire spin pattern moves as a whole when interactions are anisotropic with n = 2 and 3; but it is completely frozen when the interaction is isotropic with n=4. These spin configu

  1. Lighting during grow-out and Salmonella in broiler flocks

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Lighting is used during conventional broiler grow-out to modify bird behaviour to reach the goals of production and improve bird welfare. The protocols for lighting intensity vary. In a field study, we evaluated if the lighting practices impact the burden of Salmonella in broiler flocks. Methods Conventional grow-out flocks reared in the states of Alabama, Mississippi and Texas, USA in 2003 to 2006 were sampled 1 week before harvest (n = 58) and upon arrival for processing (n = 56) by collecting feathered carcass rinsate, crop and one cecum from each of 30 birds, and during processing by collecting rinsate of 30 carcasses at pre-chilling (n = 56) and post-chilling points (n = 54). Litter samples and drag swabs of litter were collected from the grow-out houses after bird harvest (n = 56). Lighting practices for these flocks were obtained with a questionnaire completed by the growers. Associations between the lighting practices and the burden of Salmonella in the flocks were tested while accounting for variation between the grow-out farms, their production complexes and companies. Results Longer relative duration of reduced lights during the grow-out period was associated with reduced detection of Salmonella on the exterior of birds 1 week before harvest and on the broiler carcasses at the post-chilling point of processing. In addition, starting reduced lights for ≥18 hours per day later in the grow-out period was associated with decreased detection of Salmonella on the exterior of broilers arriving for processing and in the post-harvest drag swabs of litter from the grow-out house. Conclusions The results of this field study show that lighting practices implemented during broiler rearing can impact the burden of Salmonella in the flock. The underlying mechanisms are likely to be interactive. PMID:20587037

  2. Organic Turkey Flocks: A Reservoir of Streptococcus gallolyticus subspecies gallolyticus

    PubMed Central

    Schulz, Jochen; Dumke, Jessika; Hinse, Dennis; Dreier, Jens; Habig, Christin; Kemper, Nicole

    2015-01-01

    Streptococcus gallolyticus subspecies gallolyticus (S. gallolyticus) can colonise the gastrointestinal tract of humans and animals and is known to cause similar infections in both humans and animals. Data about the spread or prevalence in farm animals are missing. In this study, Trypton Soya Agar was modified to a selective medium enabling the isolation and quantification of S. gallolyticus from faecal samples. The bacterium was observed in 82 out of 91 faecal samples obtained from 18 different organic turkey flocks. The prevalence of shedding birds was estimated by the number of positive fresh droppings and reached up to 100% on most farms. Furthermore, for the first time S. gallolyticus was quantified in faeces from poultry flocks. The median of colony forming units (CFU) per gramme faeces was 3.6 x 105CFU/g. Typing of one isolate from each positive faecal sample by multilocus sequence typing delivered 24 sequence types (STs). Most of the isolates belonged to the clonal complex CC58. The same STs of this complex were detected in up to six different flocks. Partly, these flocks were located in various regions and stocked with varying breeding lines. Regarding the biochemical profiles of the same STs from different farms, the results did not contradict a spread of specific STs in the organic turkey production. Moreover, checking the pubMLST database revealed that STs found in this study were also found in other animal species and in humans. The high detection rate and the number of S. gallolyticus in turkey faeces indicate that this bacterium probably belongs to the common microbiota of the gastrointestinal tract of turkeys from organic flocks. Furthermore, the findings of this study support the suggestion of a possible interspecies transmission. PMID:26657757

  3. Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis detection in individual and bulk tank milk samples from bovine herds and caprine flocks.

    PubMed

    Favila-Humara, Lucía C; Chávez-Gris, Gilberto G; Carrillo-Casas, Erika M; Hernández-Castro, Rigoberto

    2010-04-01

    Paratuberculosis, or Johne's disease, is caused by Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (Map), and it generates great economic losses for the dairy industry worldwide. In humans, Map has been associated with Crohn's disease. Mexico has unknown paratuberculosis prevalence, and yet, control programs have not been applied. This study aimed to determine the presence of Map in milk samples from seropositive goats and cows and bulk tank milk samples from herds previously designated Map-infected using indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Map DNA was detected in 100% of the bulk tank milk samples of 14 bovine herds and 3 caprine flocks using a modified insertion sequence 900 polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Additionally, Map DNA was detected in 100% of the individual milk samples from 10 cows and 8 goats. Further, based on the findings of the experimental insertion sequence 900 PCR assessment, evaluation of bulk tank and individual milk samples through a type-specific PCR was performed, which confirmed our previous findings and revealed that 56.25% cow and 63.63% goat milk had concurrent infections of the C, I, and S types. Out of 14 bulk tank milk samples, 10 had viable mycobacteria. Paratuberculosis was detected at a high frequency in cow and goat milk, which suggests that raw milk ingestion represents a potential risk of Map infection. PMID:19911881

  4. Francisella tularensis subsp. tularensis Group A.I, United States

    PubMed Central

    Birdsell, Dawn N.; Johansson, Anders; Öhrman, Caroline; Kaufman, Emily; Molins, Claudia; Pearson, Talima; Gyuranecz, Miklós; Naumann, Amber; Vogler, Amy J.; Myrtennäs, Kerstin; Larsson, Pär; Forsman, Mats; Sjödin, Andreas; Gillece, John D.; Schupp, James; Petersen, Jeannine M.; Keim, Paul

    2014-01-01

    We used whole-genome analysis and subsequent characterization of geographically diverse strains using new genetic signatures to identify distinct subgroups within Francisella tularensis subsp. tularensis group A.I: A.I.3, A.I.8, and A.I.12. These subgroups exhibit complex phylogeographic patterns within North America. The widest distribution was observed for A.I.12, which suggests an adaptive advantage. PMID:24755401

  5. Differences in immune responses between CMV-seronegative and -seropositive patients with myocardial ischemia and reperfusion

    PubMed Central

    Shmeleva, Evgeniya V; Boag, Stephen E; Murali, Santosh; Bennaceur, Karim; Das, Rajiv; Egred, Mohaned; Purcell, Ian; Edwards, Richard; Todryk, Stephen; Spyridopoulos, Ioakim

    2015-01-01

    CMV infection is responsible for acceleration of immune senescence and linked to systemic pathologies, including cardiovascular diseases. In this study, we investigated differences in the immune response between CMV-seropositive and seronegative patients undergoing primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PPCI) for acute myocardial infarction (MI). Peripheral blood samples were taken at six different time points: pre-, 15, 30, 90 min, 24 h after PPCI and at 3 months after MI. Absolute counts of lymphocyte subpopulations, immune response to specific and nonspecific stimulation, serum cytokines and levels of CMV-IgG, cardiolipin-IgG, and anti-endothelial cell antibodies were assessed. CMV-seropositive patients with MI showed a twofold higher IFN-γ production to PHA-stimulation, up to 2.5-fold higher levels of IP-10 in serum and up to 30% lower serum levels of IL-16 compared to CMV-seronegative individuals. CMV-seropositive patients could be divided into two subgroups with high (IL-10Hi) and low (IL-10Lo) IL-10 serum levels during the acute stage of MI. The IL-10Hi CMV-seropositive subgroup showed an increased exit of late-differentiated T lymphocytes, NK and NKT-like cells from the circulation, which may potentially enhance cytotoxic damage in the ischemic myocardium. Finally, we did not observe an acceleration of autoimmunity by MI in CMV-seropositive individuals. The immune response during acute MI showed characteristic differences between CMV seronegative and seropositive patients, with a stronger pro-inflammatory response in seropositive patients. The effects of IP-10, IL-16, and IL-10 on characteristics of acute immune responses and formation of different immune profiles in CMV-seropositive individuals require further investigation. PMID:26029366

  6. Semi-flocking algorithm for motion control of mobile sensors in large-scale surveillance systems.

    PubMed

    Semnani, Samaneh Hosseini; Basir, Otman A

    2015-01-01

    The ability of sensors to self-organize is an important asset in surveillance sensor networks. Self-organize implies self-control at the sensor level and coordination at the network level. Biologically inspired approaches have recently gained significant attention as a tool to address the issue of sensor control and coordination in sensor networks. These approaches are exemplified by the two well-known algorithms, namely, the Flocking algorithm and the Anti-Flocking algorithm. Generally speaking, although these two biologically inspired algorithms have demonstrated promising performance, they expose deficiencies when it comes to their ability to maintain simultaneous robust dynamic area coverage and target coverage. These two coverage performance objectives are inherently conflicting. This paper presents Semi-Flocking, a biologically inspired algorithm that benefits from key characteristics of both the Flocking and Anti-Flocking algorithms. The Semi-Flocking algorithm approaches the problem by assigning a small flock of sensors to each target, while at the same time leaving some sensors free to explore the environment. This allows the algorithm to strike balance between robust area coverage and target coverage. Such balance is facilitated via flock-sensor coordination. The performance of the proposed Semi-Flocking algorithm is examined and compared with other two flocking-based algorithms once using randomly moving targets and once using a standard walking pedestrian dataset. The results of both experiments show that the Semi-Flocking algorithm outperforms both the Flocking algorithm and the Anti-Flocking algorithm with respect to the area of coverage and the target coverage objectives. Furthermore, the results show that the proposed algorithm demonstrates shorter target detection time and fewer undetected targets than the other two flocking-based algorithms. PMID:25014985

  7. Cytomegalovirus Seropositivity Is Associated with Increased Arterial Stiffness in Patients with Chronic Kidney Disease

    PubMed Central

    Edwards, Nicola C.; Pankhurst, Tanya; Harper, Lorraine; Steeds, Richard P.; Lauder, Sarah; Townend, Jonathan N.; Moss, Paul; Ferro, Charles J.

    2013-01-01

    Background Patients with chronic kidney disease have an increased cardiovascular risk that is not fully explained by traditional risk factors but appears to be related to increased arterial stiffness. Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection is associated with increased cardiovascular risk although the mechanisms for this are unknown. We examined whether CMV seropositivity was associated with increased arterial stiffness in patients with chronic kidney disease. Methodology and Principal Findings In 215 non-diabetic patients with chronic kidney disease, CMV seropositivity was determined using an anti-CMV IgG ELISA. Pulse wave velocity was measured and aortic distensibility assessed in the ascending, proximal descending and distal descending thoracic aorta. Patients seropositive for CMV had a higher pulse wave velocity and lower aortic distensibility at all 3 levels. These differences (except for ascending aortic distensibility) persisted in a subcohort matched for age, gender and renal function, and when the whole cohort was divided into quartiles of age. In multivariable analyses, CMV seropositivity was an independent determinant of pulse wave velocity and proximal and distal descending aortic distensibility. Conclusions In patients with chronic kidney disease, CMV seropositivity is associated with increased arterial stiffness and decreased distensibility of the proximal descending and distal aorta. These findings suggest that further research is required to examine CMV as a possible cause of arterial disease and increased cardiovascular risk in patients with CKD and may be relevant more widely for CMV seropositive patients with normal renal function. PMID:23451030

  8. Comparison of timed AI after synchronized ovulation to AI at estrus: reproductive and economic considerations.

    PubMed

    Tenhagen, B A; Drillich, M; Surholt, R; Heuwieser, W

    2004-01-01

    A timed artificial insemination (TAI) protocol using OvSynch was compared to artificial insemination (AI) at detected estrus in 2 large dairy herds differing in reproductive management. Cows were synchronized for TAI starting at 62 and 42 d in milk in herds 1 and 2, respectively. The OvSynch regimen included: GnRH (buserelin) at 0.02 mg (i.m.) on d 0; PGF2alpha (tiaprost) at 0.75 mg (i.m.) on d 7; buserelin at 0.02 mg (i.m.) on d 9; and TAI 16 to 20 h later. After TAI, cows seen in estrus received AI, whereas cows diagnosed not pregnant were resynchronized for TAI. Control cows received AI based on detected estrus after voluntary waiting periods of 72 d in herd 1 and 50 d in herd 2. An economic analysis included costs associated with days open, culling, AI, synchrony products, treatment, and examinations. A sensitivity analysis of those variables determined effects on total costs per pregnancy. Use of OvSynch reduced intervals to first AI and days open in both herds and reduced culling for infertility in herd 2. Conception rates for first AI at detected estrus were significantly higher compared to TAI in both herds and for overall AI at estrus in herd 2. For groups assigned to AI at estrus, mean 21-d submission rates over 200 d for AI were higher in herd 1 than in herd 2 (55.6 vs. 28.6%). Days open and culling were the major cost factors. Although OvSynch improved reproduction in both herds, AI based on detected estrus was economically superior in herd 1, whereas OvSynch was superior in herd 2. This was consistent across ranges of cost factors evaluated. Evaluation of synchrony protocols should include reproductive performance along with appropriate costs associated with treatments. Such costs may offset benefits to reproduction in herds with good estrous detection rates. PMID:14765814

  9. Antibody response and risk factors for seropositivity in backyard poultry following mass vaccination against highly pathogenic avian influenza and Newcastle disease in Indonesia.

    PubMed

    McLAWS, M; Priyono, W; Bett, B; Al-Qamar, S; Claassen, I; Widiastuti, T; Poole, J; Schoonman, L; Jost, C; Mariner, J

    2015-06-01

    A large-scale mass vaccination campaign was carried out in Java, Indonesia in an attempt to control outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in backyard flocks and commercial smallholder poultry. Sero-monitoring was conducted in mass vaccination and control areas to assess the proportion of the target population with antibodies against HPAI and Newcastle disease (ND). There were four rounds of vaccination, and samples were collected after each round resulting in a total of 27 293 samples. Sampling was performed irrespective of vaccination status. In the mass vaccination areas, 20-45% of poultry sampled had a positive titre to H5 after each round of vaccination, compared to 2-3% in the control group. In the HPAI + ND vaccination group, 12-25% of the population had positive ND titres, compared to 5-13% in the areas without ND vaccination. The level of seropositivity varied by district, age of the bird, and species (ducks vs. chickens). PMID:25316261

  10. Local chicken production system in Malawi: household flock structure, dynamics, management and health.

    PubMed

    Gondwe, T N; Wollny, C B A

    2007-02-01

    Household flocks of scavenging chickens were monitored from August 2002 to August 2003 in 27 villages in Lilongwe, Malawi. The objective was to evaluate the local chicken production system by investigating flock structure, utilization, management and constraints. Farmers and researchers jointly obtained data on household flocks. Mean flock size was 12.9, with a range of 1-61 chickens. The flock dynamics of chickens over 8 weeks old constituted 91% migrating out of flocks and 9% into the flocks. Primary functions based on flock dynamics were, in order of importance, household consumption, participation in socio-cultural ceremonies, selling, exchanging breeding stock and gifts. Of the flock exits, 43.9% were due to losses from diseases, predation and theft. Most flocks (85%) were housed in human dwelling units. Scavenging was the main source of feed. The majority (77.6%) of farmers supplemented their chickens erratically with energy-rich feeds, mostly maize bran. Most supplementation took place during the cold-dry season. Village chicken production offers diverse functional outputs but faces animal health (diseases, parasites, predation) and management (feeding) constraints, which require an integrated intervention approach at community and household level. PMID:18318348

  11. Flock sizes and sex ratios of canvasbacks in Chesapeake Bay and North Carolina

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Haramis, G.M.; Derleth, E.L.; Link, W.A.

    1994-01-01

    Knowledge of the distribution, size, and sex ratios of flocks of wintering canvasbacks (Aythya valisineria) is fundamental to understanding the species' winter ecology and providing guidelines for management. Consequently, in winter 1986-87, we conducted 4 monthly aerial photographic surveys to investigate temporal changes in distribution, size, and sex ratios of canvasback flocks in traditional wintering areas of Chesapeake Bay and coastal North Carolina. Surveys yielded 35mm imagery of 194,664 canvasbacks in 842 flocks. Models revealed monthly patterns of flock size in North Carolina and Virginia, but no pattern of change in Maryland. A stepwise analysis of flock size and sex ratio fit a common positive slope (increasing proportion male) for all state-month datasets, except for North Carolina in February where the slope was larger (P lt 0.001). State and month effects on intercepts were significant (P lt 0.001) and confirmed a previously identified latitudinal gradient in sex ratio in the survey region. There was no relationship between flock purity (% canvasbacks vs. other species) and flock size except in North Carolina in January, February, and March when flock purity was related to flock size. Contrasting characteristics in North Carolina with regard to flock size (larger flocks) and flock purity suggested that proximate factors were reinforcing flocking behavior and possibly species fidelity there. Of possible factors, the need to locate foraging sites within this large, open-water environment was hypothesized to be of primary importance. Comparison of January 1981 and 1987 sex ratios indicated no change in Maryland, but lower (P lt 0.05) canvasback sex ratios (proportion male) in Virginia and North Carolina.

  12. High frequency of chlamydial co-infections in clinically healthy sheep flocks

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background The epidemiological situation of ovine chlamydial infections in continental Europe, especially Germany is poorly characterised. Using the German state of Thuringia as a model example, the chlamydial sero- and antigen prevalence was estimated in thirty-two randomly selected sheep flocks with an average abortion rate lower than 1%. Seven vaccinated flocks were reviewed separately. Results A wide range of samples from 32 flocks were examined. Assumption of a seroprevalence of 10% (CI 95%) at flock level, revealed that 94% of the tested flocks were serologically positive with ongoing infection (i.e. animals with seroconversion) in nearly half (47%) of the flocks. On the basis of an estimated 25% antigen prevalence (CI 95%), PCR and DNA microarray testing, together with sequencing revealed the presence of chlamydiae in 78% of the flocks. The species most frequently found was Chlamydophila (C.) abortus (50%) followed by C. pecorum (47%) and C. psittaci genotype A (25%). Mixed infections occurred in 25% of the tested flocks. Samples obtained from the vaccinated flocks revealed the presence of C. abortus field samples in 4/7 flocks. C. pecorum was isolated from 2/7 flocks and the presence of seroconversion was determined in 3/7 flocks. Conclusions The results imply that chlamydial infections occur frequently in German sheep flocks, even in the absence of elevated abortion rates. The fact that C. pecorum and the potentially zoonotic C. psittaci were found alongside the classical abortifacient agent C. abortus, raise questions about the significance of this reservoir for animal and human health and underline the necessity for regular monitoring. Further studies are needed to identify the possible role of C. psittaci infections in sheep. PMID:21679409

  13. GrouseFlocks: steerable exploration of graph hierarchy space.

    PubMed

    Archambault, Daniel; Munzner, Tamara; Auber, David

    2008-01-01

    Several previous systems allow users to interactively explore a large input graph through cuts of a superimposed hierarchy. This hierarchy is often created using clustering algorithms or topological features present in the graph. However, many graphs have domain-specific attributes associated with the nodes and edges, which could be used to create many possible hierarchies providing unique views of the input graph. GrouseFlocks is a system for the exploration of this graph hierarchy space. By allowing users to see several different possible hierarchies on the same graph, the system helps users investigate graph hierarchy space instead of a single fixed hierarchy. GrouseFlocks provides a simple set of operations so that users can create and modify their graph hierarchies based on selections. These selections can be made manually or based on patterns in the attribute data provided with the graph. It provides feedback to the user within seconds, allowing interactive exploration of this space. PMID:18467763

  14. Exotic Newcastle disease in a game chicken flock.

    PubMed

    Crespo, R; Shivaprasad, H L; Woolcock, P R; Chin, R P; Davidson-York, D; Tarbell, R

    1999-01-01

    A sudden increase in mortality, preceded by a short history of respiratory signs and diarrhea, occurred in a backyard flock of 48 game chickens in the Central Valley of California. Necropsy findings included severe generalized linear hemorrhages and/or ulcers in the digestive tract, larynx, and trachea. Histology revealed severe multifocal hemorrhages and necrosis in the mucosa of the respiratory and digestive tracts, vasculitis, and necrosis of lymphoid tissue. The birds were serologically negative to Newcastle disease virus; this was consistent with an acute infection. The avian paramyxovirus type 1 isolated was characterized as velogenic viscerotropic Newcastle disease virus. A thorough epidemiologic investigation was carried out, and no other premises were found to have birds with clinical signs or evidence of exposure. The entire outbreak was limited to the original backyard flock and resolved within 14 days of the onset of clinical signs. PMID:10396652

  15. Spatio-Temporal Structure of Hooded Gull Flocks

    PubMed Central

    Yomosa, Makoto; Mizuguchi, Tsuyoshi; Hayakawa, Yoshinori

    2013-01-01

    We analyzed the spatio-temporal structure of hooded gull flocks with a portable stereo camera system. The 3-dimensional positions of individuals were reconstructed from pairs of videos. The motions of each individual were analyzed, and both gliding and flapping motions were quantified based on the velocity time series. We analyzed the distributions of the nearest neighbor’s position in terms of coordinates based on each individual’s motion. The obtained results were consistent with the aerodynamic interaction between individuals. We characterized the leader-follower relationship between individuals by a delay time to mimic the direction of a motion. A relation between the delay time and a relative position was analyzed quantitatively, which suggested the basic properties of the formation flight that maintains order in the flock. PMID:24339960

  16. Destriping AIS data using Fourier filtering techniques

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hlavka, C.

    1986-01-01

    Airborne Imaging Spectrometers (AIS) data collected in 1984 and 1985 showed pronounced striping in the vertical and horizontal directions. This striping reduced the signal to noise ratio so that features of the spectra of forest canopies were obscured or altered by noise. This noise was removed by application of a notch filter to the Fourier transform of the imagery in each waveband.

  17. AI-2 Quorum Sensing in Campylobacter jejuni

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Quorum sensing response modulates many physiological attributes, such as bacterial virulence/pathogenesis, competence, and biofilm formation, when the bacterial population has reached a certain threshold. Among the various signaling compounds, autoinducer-2 (AI-2) is produced by most bacterial spec...

  18. SNAP and AI Fuel Summary Report

    SciTech Connect

    Lords, R.E.

    1994-08-01

    The SNAP and AI Fuel Summary Report provides a detailed overview of treatment and storage of these fuels from fabrication through current storage including design parameters and reactor history. Chemical and physical characteristics are described, and potential indicators of as-stored fuel conditions are emphasized.

  19. Relevance of metric-free interactions in flocking phenomena.

    PubMed

    Ginelli, Francesco; Chaté, Hugues

    2010-10-15

    We show that the collective properties of self-propelled particles aligning with their topological (Voronoi) neighbors are qualitatively different from those of usual models where metric interaction ranges are used. This relevance of metric-free interactions, shown in a minimal setting, indicate that realistic models for the cohesive motion of cells, bird flocks, and fish schools may have to incorporate them, as suggested by recent observations. PMID:21231019

  20. Flocking-based Document Clustering on the Graphics Processing Unit

    SciTech Connect

    Cui, Xiaohui; Potok, Thomas E; Patton, Robert M; ST Charles, Jesse Lee

    2008-01-01

    Abstract?Analyzing and grouping documents by content is a complex problem. One explored method of solving this problem borrows from nature, imitating the flocking behavior of birds. Each bird represents a single document and flies toward other documents that are similar to it. One limitation of this method of document clustering is its complexity O(n2). As the number of documents grows, it becomes increasingly difficult to receive results in a reasonable amount of time. However, flocking behavior, along with most naturally inspired algorithms such as ant colony optimization and particle swarm optimization, are highly parallel and have found increased performance on expensive cluster computers. In the last few years, the graphics processing unit (GPU) has received attention for its ability to solve highly-parallel and semi-parallel problems much faster than the traditional sequential processor. Some applications see a huge increase in performance on this new platform. The cost of these high-performance devices is also marginal when compared with the price of cluster machines. In this paper, we have conducted research to exploit this architecture and apply its strengths to the document flocking problem. Our results highlight the potential benefit the GPU brings to all naturally inspired algorithms. Using the CUDA platform from NIVIDA? we developed a document flocking implementation to be run on the NIVIDA?GEFORCE 8800. Additionally, we developed a similar but sequential implementation of the same algorithm to be run on a desktop CPU. We tested the performance of each on groups of news articles ranging in size from 200 to 3000 documents. The results of these tests were very significant. Performance gains ranged from three to nearly five times improvement of the GPU over the CPU implementation. This dramatic improvement in runtime makes the GPU a potentially revolutionary platform for document clustering algorithms.

  1. Silent flocks: constraints on signal propagation across biological groups.

    PubMed

    Cavagna, Andrea; Giardina, Irene; Grigera, Tomas S; Jelic, Asja; Levine, Dov; Ramaswamy, Sriram; Viale, Massimiliano

    2015-05-29

    Experiments find coherent information transfer through biological groups on length and time scales distinctly below those on which asymptotically correct hydrodynamic theories apply. We present here a new continuum theory of collective motion coupling the velocity and density fields of Toner and Tu to the inertial spin field recently introduced to describe information propagation in natural flocks of birds. The long-wavelength limit of the new equations reproduces the Toner-Tu theory, while at shorter wavelengths (or, equivalently, smaller damping), spin fluctuations dominate over density fluctuations, and second-sound propagation of the kind observed in real flocks emerges. We study the dispersion relation of the new theory and find that when the speed of second sound is large, a gap in momentum space sharply separates first- from second-sound modes. This gap implies the existence of silent flocks, namely, of medium-sized systems across which information cannot propagate in a linear and underdamped way, either under the form of orientational fluctuations or under that of density fluctuations, making it hard for the group to achieve coordination. PMID:26066459

  2. Silent Flocks: Constraints on Signal Propagation Across Biological Groups

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cavagna, Andrea; Giardina, Irene; Grigera, Tomas S.; Jelic, Asja; Levine, Dov; Ramaswamy, Sriram; Viale, Massimiliano

    2015-05-01

    Experiments find coherent information transfer through biological groups on length and time scales distinctly below those on which asymptotically correct hydrodynamic theories apply. We present here a new continuum theory of collective motion coupling the velocity and density fields of Toner and Tu to the inertial spin field recently introduced to describe information propagation in natural flocks of birds. The long-wavelength limit of the new equations reproduces the Toner-Tu theory, while at shorter wavelengths (or, equivalently, smaller damping), spin fluctuations dominate over density fluctuations, and second-sound propagation of the kind observed in real flocks emerges. We study the dispersion relation of the new theory and find that when the speed of second sound is large, a gap in momentum space sharply separates first- from second-sound modes. This gap implies the existence of silent flocks, namely, of medium-sized systems across which information cannot propagate in a linear and underdamped way, either under the form of orientational fluctuations or under that of density fluctuations, making it hard for the group to achieve coordination.

  3. Questioning the activity of active matter: the case of bird flocks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mora, Thierry; Walczak, Aleksandra; Del Castello, Lorenzo; Ginelli, Francesco; Melillo, Stefania; Parisi, Leonardo; Viale, Massimiliano; Cavagna, Andrea; Giardina, Irene

    Animal flocking is a natural instance of active matter. What makes flocks active is the rearrangement of neighborhoods, which constantly remodels the network of interactions between individuals in the group, keeping the system out of equilibrium. Despite the predicted importance of this reshuffling, its true impact for natural flocks is not well understood. Here we analyse films of flocks of startlings with a novel statistical inference technique based on dynamical maximum entropy to measure the parameters of flock alignment - alignment strength, interaction range, and noise. We show that birds align their flight orientations must faster than they change neighbors. In the statistical mechanics sense, this means that flocks remain adiabatically in equilibrium, allowing for a rigorous analogy with equilibrium systems of interacting spins, and we show that an inference method based on equilibrium assumptions gives fully consistent results.

  4. Serologic evidence in commercial chicken and turkey flocks of infection with reticuloendotheliosis virus.

    PubMed

    Witter, R L; Peterson, I L; Smith, E J; Johnson, D C

    1982-01-01

    A serologic survey has documented probable infection with reticuloendotheliosis (RE) virus in 21.0% of 101 layer flocks, 23.5% of 85 broiler and broiler-breeder flocks, 2.3% of 43 backyard chicken flocks, and 4.8% of 125 turkey production and breeder flocks. However, no infection was detected in 72 grandparent lines of chicken breeding stocks representing meat-type and layer strains. The existence of natural infection was further supported by isolation of RE virus from one experimental chicken flock and two commercial turkey flocks. This study supports earlier but subsequently discounted data by Aulisio and Shelokov that exposure to RE virus occurs commonly among commercial chickens in the United States, as has also been reported in other countries. PMID:6186237

  5. AI gamma-ray burst classification: Methodology/preliminary results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hakkila, Jon; Haglin, David J.; Roiger, Richard J.; Mallozzi, Robert S.; Pendleton, Geoffrey N.; Meegan, Charles A.

    1998-05-01

    Artificial intelligence (AI) classifiers can be used to classify unknowns, refine existing classification parameters, and identify/screen-out ineffectual parameters. We present an AI methodology for classifying gamma-ray bursts, along with some preliminary results.

  6. Fertility of holstein dairy heifers after synchronization of ovulation and timed AI or AI after removed tail chalk.

    PubMed

    Rivera, H; Lopez, H; Fricke, P M

    2004-07-01

    Nonlactating Holstein dairy heifers (n=352) 13 mo of age were managed using a 42-d artificial insemination (AI) breeding period in which they received AI after removed tail chalk evaluated once daily. At AI breeding period onset (d 0), heifers were randomly assigned to receive synchronization of ovulation (100 microg of GnRH, d 0; 25 mg of PGF2alpha, d 6; 100 microg of GnRH, d 8) and timed AI (TAI; d 8) and AI after removed tail chalk for the entire AI breeding period (GPG; n=175), or AI after removed tail chalk for the entire AI breeding period (TC; n=177). As expected, 17.7% (31/175) of GPG heifers received AI after removed tail chalk before scheduled TAI. Pregnancy rate per artificial insemination (PR/AI) at approximately 30 d after first AI tended to be greater for TC (46.5%) than for GPG (38.3%) heifers. No treatment x inseminator interaction was detected; however, overall PR/AI was low for heifers in both treatments due to variation among the 3 inseminators (24.8, 30.0, and 58.0%). Pregnancy loss from approximately 30 to approximately 75 d after first AI was 10% and did not differ between treatments. Based on survival analysis, days to first AI was greater for TC than for GPG heifers, whereas days to pregnancy across the 42-d AI breeding period did not differ between treatments. Overall, 81.2% of GPG heifers receiving TAI synchronized luteal regression and ovulated within 48 h after the second GnRH injection. We conclude that this synchronization protocol can yield acceptable fertility in dairy heifers if AI to estrus is conducted between treatment with GnRH and PGF2alpha and AI efficiency is optimized. PMID:15328217

  7. AI in space: Past, present, and possible futures

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rose, Donald D.; Post, Jonathan V.

    1992-01-01

    While artificial intelligence (AI) has become increasingly present in recent space applications, new missions being planned will require even more incorporation of AI techniques. In this paper, we survey some of the progress made to date in implementing such programs, some current directions and issues, and speculate about the future of AI in space scenarios. We also provide examples of how thinkers from the realm of science fiction have envisioned AI's role in various aspects of space exploration.

  8. Vigilance and feeding behaviour in large feeding flocks of laughing gulls, Larus atricilla, on Delaware Bay

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burger, Joanna; Gochfeld, Michael

    1991-02-01

    Laughing gulls ( Larus atricilla) forage on horseshoe crab ( Limulus polyphemus) eggs during May in Delaware Bay each year. They feed in dense flocks, and foraging rates vary with vigilance, bird density, number of steps and location in the flock, whereas time devoted to vigilance is explained by number of steps, density, location and feeding rates. The time devoted to vigilance decreases with increasing density, increasing foraging rates and decreasing aggression. Birds foraging on the edge of flocks take fewer pecks and more steps, and devote more time to vigilance than those in the intermediate or central parts of a flock.

  9. Sequencing analysis of Mycoplasma gallisepticum wild strains in vaccinated chicken breeder flocks.

    PubMed

    Khalifa, Rabab; Eissa, Sabry; El-Hariri, Mahmoud; Refai, Mohamed

    2014-01-01

    Mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG) infection is still of continuing economic concern in commercial broiler breeder chicken flocks in Egypt. MG infection continues to emerge despite the application of vaccination programs in breeder flocks. This prompted flock surveillance including MG isolation and molecular characterization of the circulating MG strains. The present study was concerned with 15 broiler breeder flocks of different ages (5-51 weeks). Three flocks were apparently healthy and 12 flocks were diseased. The aim of the study was to characterize the MG strains recovered from tracheal swabs. Four positive MG DNA extracts identified by rt-PCR and confirmed by isolation were subjected to sequencing of the mgc2 gene and intergenic spacer region (IGSR). The current molecular study demonstrated the presence of 3 different wild-type MG strains (RabE1-08, RabE2-09 and RabE3-09) in vaccinated diseased flocks, while the fourth strain (RabE4-08), which was isolated from a nonvaccinated apparently healthy breeder flock, scored 100% of homology and similarity to the F-strain vaccine by the sequence analysis of mgc2 and IGSR. It can be assumed that the vaccine F strain, which is supposed to replace field strains not only failed to do that, but also infected nonvaccinated flocks. Accordingly, there is a need to revise the control program including vaccine strategy in parallel with biosecurity measures. PMID:24525899

  10. Flock Foraging Efficiency in Relation to Food Sensing Ability and Distribution: a Simulation Study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Sang-Hee

    2013-08-01

    Flocking may be an advantageous strategy for acquiring food resources. The degree of advantage is related to two factors: the ability of flock members to detect food resources and patterns of food distribution in the environment. To understand foraging efficiency as a function of these factors, I constructed a two-dimensional (2D) flocking model incorporating the two factors. At the start of the simulation, food particles were heterogeneously distributed. The heterogeneity, H, was characterized as a value ranging from 0.0 to 1.0. For each flock member, food sensing ability was defined by two variables: sensing distance, R and sensing angle, θ. Foraging efficiency of a flock was defined as the time, τ, required for a flock to consume all the available food resources. Simulation results showed that flock foraging is most efficient when individuals had an intermediate sensing ability (R = 60), but decreased for low (R < 60) and high (R > 60) sensing ability. When R > 60, patterns in foraging efficiency with increasing sensing distance and food resource aggregation were less consistent. This inconsistency was due to instability of the flock and a higher rate of individuals failing to capture target food resources. In addition, I briefly discuss the benefits obtained by foraging in flocks from an evolutionary perspective.

  11. Why Don't Accounting Students like AIS?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vatanasakdakul, Savanid; Aoun, Chadi

    2011-01-01

    Purpose: The demand for Accounting Information Systems (AIS) knowledge has increased exponentially over the past two decades, but studying AIS has not proved easy for many accounting students. The aim of the study is to understand the challenges accounting students face in studying AIS through investigation of the factors which may be contributing…

  12. 47 CFR 80.393 - Frequencies for AIS stations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... requirements for non-Federal Government ships. These requirements are codified at 33 CFR 164.46, 401.20. ... 47 Telecommunication 5 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Frequencies for AIS stations. 80.393 Section 80... STATIONS IN THE MARITIME SERVICES Frequencies Ais Stations § 80.393 Frequencies for AIS stations....

  13. The AI Interdisciplinary Context: Single or Multiple Research Bases?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Khawam, Yves J.

    1992-01-01

    This study used citation analysis to determine whether the disciplines contributing to the journal literature of artificial intelligence (AI)--philosophy, psychology, linguistics, computer science, and engineering--share a common AI research base. The idea that AI consists of a completely interdisciplinary endeavor was refuted. (MES)

  14. Risk Factors for Enterovirus A71 Seropositivity in Rural Indigenous Populations in West Malaysia

    PubMed Central

    NikNadia, NMN; Sam, I-Ching; Khaidir, Nasibah; Ngui, Romano; Lim, Yvonne A. L.; Goh, Xiang Ting; Choy, Seow Huey; Chan, Yoke Fun

    2016-01-01

    Enterovirus A71 (EV-A71), which is transmitted by the fecal-oral route, causes hand, foot and mouth disease and, rarely, severe neurological complications. In Malaysia, the indigenous rural community (Orang Asli) has a high prevalence of parasitic diseases due to poor sanitation, water supply and hygiene practices. This cross-sectional study compared the seroepidemiology of EV-A71 among rural Orang Asli and urban Kuala Lumpur populations in West Malaysia, and determined the risk factors associated with EV-A71 seropositivity in rural Orang Asli. Seropositive rates were determined by neutralization assay. EV-A71 seropositivity was strongly associated with increasing age in both populations. Rural Orang Asli children ≤12 years had significantly higher EV-A71 seropositivity rates than urban Kuala Lumpur children (95.5% vs 57.6%, P < 0.001), and also higher rates in the age groups of 1–3, 4–6 and 7–12 years. Multivariate analysis confirmed that age ≤12 years (adjusted OR 8.1, 95% CI 3.2–20.7, P < 0.001) and using untreated water (adjusted OR 6.2, 95% CI 2.3–16.6, P < 0.001) were independently associated with EV-A71 seropositivity in the Orang Asli population. Supply of clean drinking water may reduce the risk of EV-A71 infection. With significantly higher EV-A71 seropositive rates, younger rural children should be a priority target for future vaccination programs in Malaysia. PMID:26866912

  15. Association of HPV infection and Chlamydia trachomatis seropositivity in cases of cervical neoplasia in Midwest Brazil.

    PubMed

    da Silva Barros, Narriman Kennia; Costa, Maria Cecília; Alves, Rosane Ribeiro Figueiredo; Villa, Luísa Lina; Derchain, Sophie Françoise Mauricette; Zeferino, Luiz Carlos; Dos Santos Carneiro, Megmar Aparecida; Rabelo-Santos, Silvia Helena

    2012-07-01

    High-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) is considered the main etiological agent for cervical neoplasia. However, the presence of a single type HPV infection alone is unlikely to be sufficient to cause cervical cancer. There is epidemiologic evidence suggesting that HPV and Chlamydia trachomatis play a central role in the etiology of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia and subsequent cervical cancer. To evaluate the HPV prevalence and the seropositivity for C. trachomatis in women referred to the colposcopy clinic due to an abnormal cervical smear and to examine the effect of this association on the severity of cervical neoplasia. Following enrollment, 131 patients underwent colposcopy and biopsies when necessary. HPV DNA was detected by the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and genotyping was performed by reverse line-blot hybridization assay. C. trachomatis seropositivity was tested by ELISA for the detection of IgG antibodies. The prevalence of HPV infection was 86.3%. Seropositivity for C. trachomatis was 26%. Thirty-one women (27.4%) were positive for C. trachomatis antibodies and HPV-DNA. The most prevalent HPV type in C. trachomatis-seropositive women were HPV 16 (51.6%) and this HPV type was present mainly in neoplasia cases. Positivity for HPV, particularly HPV types 16 and 18, and C. trachomatis seropositivity was significantly associated with a diagnosis of high grade neoplasia. Borderline significance was observed after adjustment for HPV. C. trachomatis seropositivity is associated with high grade neoplasia in women infected with HPV, mainly when the types 16 and 18 were involved. PMID:22585734

  16. Risk Factors for Enterovirus A71 Seropositivity in Rural Indigenous Populations in West Malaysia.

    PubMed

    NikNadia, Nmn; Sam, I-Ching; Khaidir, Nasibah; Ngui, Romano; Lim, Yvonne A L; Goh, Xiang Ting; Choy, Seow Huey; Chan, Yoke Fun

    2016-01-01

    Enterovirus A71 (EV-A71), which is transmitted by the fecal-oral route, causes hand, foot and mouth disease and, rarely, severe neurological complications. In Malaysia, the indigenous rural community (Orang Asli) has a high prevalence of parasitic diseases due to poor sanitation, water supply and hygiene practices. This cross-sectional study compared the seroepidemiology of EV-A71 among rural Orang Asli and urban Kuala Lumpur populations in West Malaysia, and determined the risk factors associated with EV-A71 seropositivity in rural Orang Asli. Seropositive rates were determined by neutralization assay. EV-A71 seropositivity was strongly associated with increasing age in both populations. Rural Orang Asli children ≤12 years had significantly higher EV-A71 seropositivity rates than urban Kuala Lumpur children (95.5% vs 57.6%, P < 0.001), and also higher rates in the age groups of 1-3, 4-6 and 7-12 years. Multivariate analysis confirmed that age ≤12 years (adjusted OR 8.1, 95% CI 3.2-20.7, P < 0.001) and using untreated water (adjusted OR 6.2, 95% CI 2.3-16.6, P < 0.001) were independently associated with EV-A71 seropositivity in the Orang Asli population. Supply of clean drinking water may reduce the risk of EV-A71 infection. With significantly higher EV-A71 seropositive rates, younger rural children should be a priority target for future vaccination programs in Malaysia. PMID:26866912

  17. A case-cohort study of human herpesvirus 8 seropositivity and incident prostate cancer in Tobago

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background We previously reported a cross-sectional association between the presence of human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8) serum antibodies and screen-detected prostate cancer in men living in Tobago. In the same study population, we examined the association between HHV-8 seropositivity and incident prostate cancer discovered at later screenings. Methods In 40-81 year-old men without prostate cancer discovered at initial digital rectal examination (DRE) and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening, a case-cohort design measured the association between baseline HHV-8 seropositivity (modified immunofluorescence assay for antibodies against HHV-8 lytic antigens) and incident prostate cancer detected at DRE and PSA screenings three or five years later. Results Analyses included 486 unique individuals, 96 incident prostate cancer cases, and 415 randomly selected subjects representing an at-risk cohort. By design, the random sub-cohort contained 25 incident prostate cancer cases. In the sub-cohort, the frequency of HHV-8 seropositivity increased across age groupings (40-49 years: 3.5%, 50-59 years: 13.6%, and ≥ 60 years: 22.9%). HHV-8 seropositivity was higher in men with elevated (≥ 4.0 ng/mL) than men with non-elevated PSA at initial screening (30.4% vs. 9.9% seropositive; crude odds ratio (OR) 3.96, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.53-10.2; age-adjusted OR 2.42, 95% CI 0.91-6.47). HHV-8 seropositivity did not increase incident prostate cancer risk (age-adjusted hazard ratio (HR) 0.88, 95% CI 0.46-1.69). Conclusions Case-cohort analysis did not identify association between HHV-8 seropositivity and incident prostate cancer. However, analyses uncovered possible association between HHV-8 and PSA (a marker of prostate inflammation). Co-occurrence of HHV-8 seropositivity and PSA elevation may explain cross-sectional association between HHV-8 and PSA screen-detected prostate cancer. PMID:22151996

  18. Coxiella burnetii seropositivity and associated risk factors in goats in Ontario, Canada.

    PubMed

    Meadows, S; Jones-Bitton, A; McEwen, S; Jansen, J; Menzies, P

    2015-10-01

    Coxiella burnetii is a zoonotic bacterium, and infection in goats with this bacterium can result in abortion, stillbirth or birth of non-viable kids. A cross-sectional study was conducted to identify the seroprevalence and risk factors for C. burnetii exposure in Ontario goats. Sera were collected between August 2010 and February 2012, and tested for C. burnetii specific antibodies using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (IDEXX). Overall, 63.2% (48/76, 95% CI=51.9-73.4) of farms had one or more seropositive goats. A higher farm-level seroprevalence of 78.6% (33/42) was found on dairy goat farms, compared to 44.1% (15/34) on meat goat farms (p<0.01). At the overall individual-animal level, 32.5% (714/2195, 95% CI=30.6-34.5) of goats were seropositive. Similarly, a higher individual-level seroprevalence was identified for dairy goats (43.7%, 633/1447) compared to meat goats (10.8%, 81/748) (p<0.001). A mixed multivariable logistic model that controlled for farm-level clustering identified risk factors associated with seropositivity (p<0.05). Increases in the female herd size (logarithmic scale) were associated with increased odds of seropositivity, while increases in male herd size had a negative association with seropositivity. If other sheep or goat farms were located in a 5-km radius, goats had 5.6 times (95% CI=1.01-30.8) times the odds of seropositivity compared to those that were not. Relative to goats from farms where all kidding pen hygiene was practiced (adding bedding, removing birth materials and disinfection after kidding), goats from farms which only added bedding and removed birth materials had a higher odds of seropositivity (OR=19.3, 95% CI=1.1-330.4), as did goats from farms which practiced none of these measures (OR=161.0, 95% CI=2.4-10822.2). An interaction term revealed kidding outdoors when there were no swine on farm had a protective effect on seropositivity compared to kidding indoors, or kidding outdoors with swine on the farm. These

  19. SDI satellite autonomy using AI and Ada

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fiala, Harvey E.

    1990-01-01

    The use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the programming language Ada to help a satellite recover from selected failures that could lead to mission failure are described. An unmanned satellite will have a separate AI subsystem running in parallel with the normal satellite subsystems. A satellite monitoring subsystem (SMS), under the control of a blackboard system, will continuously monitor selected satellite subsystems to become alert to any actual or potential problems. In the case of loss of communications with the earth or the home base, the satellite will go into a survival mode to reestablish communications with the earth. The use of an AI subsystem in this manner would have avoided the tragic loss of the two recent Soviet probes that were sent to investigate the planet Mars and its moons. The blackboard system works in conjunction with an SMS and a reconfiguration control subsystem (RCS). It can be shown to be an effective way for one central control subsystem to monitor and coordinate the activities and loads of many interacting subsystems that may or may not contain redundant and/or fault-tolerant elements. The blackboard system will be coded in Ada using tools such as the ABLE development system and the Ada Production system.

  20. Software development support for AI programs

    SciTech Connect

    Ramamoorthy, C.V.; Shekhar, S.; Garg, V.

    1987-01-01

    Artificial intelligence is a growing branch of computer science that studies ways of enabling computers to do tasks that seem to require human intelligence. These tasks include game playing, expert problem solving, natural language understanding, and theorem proving. Many existing AI programs perform such tasks with varying degrees of success. Whereas a program that can understand natural language is still a dream, many chess-playing programs can beat expert human players. More successful AI programs include knowledge-based expert systems that are being applied to a wide spectrum of real-life problems from airline catering to oil exploration. These systems can acquire knowledge about a domain from a human expert and then use it to solve routine problems in that area. For example, expert systems can perform almost as well as human experts in the diagnosis of infectious diseases (MYCIN), finding the structure of chemical compounds (DENDRAL), and performing mathematical symbol manipulations (MACSYMA). These AI systems offer new capabilities to tackle several problems difficult to solve using the conventional algorithmic approach.

  1. Risk factors for occurrence of cephalosporin-resistant Escherichia coli in Norwegian broiler flocks.

    PubMed

    Mo, Solveig Sølverød; Kristoffersen, Anja Bråthen; Sunde, Marianne; Nødtvedt, Ane; Norström, Madelaine

    2016-08-01

    A longitudinal study of 27 broiler farms including 182 broiler flocks was performed to determine risk factors for occurrence of cephalosporin-resistant Escherichia coli in Norwegian broiler flocks. Information regarding possible risk factors was collected by an online questionnaire and by samples obtained from broiler and parent flocks during the study period. Additional information was provided by the broiler production company. The prevalence of cephalosporin-resistant E. coli in parent flocks and broiler flocks sampled in the study was estimated. Cephalosporin-resistant E. coli was detected in 13.8% of the parent flocks and 22.5% of the broiler flocks included in the study. A multivariable generalized linear model was used to estimate risk factors. The risk for occurrence of cephalosporin-resistant E. coli was associated with the status of the previous flock in the broiler house (odds ratio=12.7), number of parent flocks supplying the broiler flock with day-old chickens (odds ratio=6.3), routines for disinfection of floor between production cycles (odds ratio=0.1), and transport personnel entering the room where the broilers are raised (odds ratio=9.3). Our findings highlights that implementation of a high level of biosecurity with a minimal number of people entering the broiler house during production cycles, as well as rigorous cleaning and disinfection routines between production cycles will contribute to a decrease in the occurrence of cephalosporin-resistant E. coli in broiler flocks provided that there is no selection pressure from antimicrobial use in the broiler production. PMID:27435654

  2. Validation of the nylon flocked swab for planetary protection applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moissl-Eichinger, Christine; Probst, Alexander

    The major issue of planetary protection is to prevent the contamination of extraterrestrial en-vironments by terrestrial biomolecules and life forms. In order not to affect or even to confound future life detection missions on celestial bodies, which are of interest for their chemical and bi-ological evolution, spacecraft are constructed in clean rooms and are subject to severe cleaning processes and microbiological controls before launch. Microbiological assays are used to mea-sure and control the bioburden on spacecraft itself and spacecraft hardware during assembly. The current NASA standard assays have originally been developed for the Viking programme in the 70s. Due to the stringent contamination control constrains of the upcoming ESA Ex-oMars mission, these protocols cannot be used, in particular the application of cotton swabs with wooden applicators is no longer possible. Therefore, cotton swabs will be replaced by the novel nylon flocked swabs. In the study presented here, the nylon flocked swabs were validated for the usage for measuring and controling of the bioburden on spacecraft related surfaces. The absolute recovery efficiency was determined, following the guidelines of USP1223 in preci-sion, accuracy, robustness, specificity, linearity and limit of detection. As a standard surface, stainless steel coupons were used, whereas B. atrophaeus (spores) served as standard microbial strain. Additionally, the nylon flocked swab was used for experiments on different rough and smooth surfaces with seven different Bacillus spores and two different protocols. Further details will be given concerning the new ESA standard swab procedure for the microbial examination of flight hardware and clean rooms to be used for the upcoming ExoMars mission.

  3. Collective motion with anticipation: flocking, spinning, and swarming.

    PubMed

    Morin, Alexandre; Caussin, Jean-Baptiste; Eloy, Christophe; Bartolo, Denis

    2015-01-01

    We investigate the collective dynamics of self-propelled particles able to probe and anticipate the orientation of their neighbors. We show that a simple anticipation strategy hinders the emergence of homogeneous flocking patterns. Yet anticipation promotes two other forms of self-organization: collective spinning and swarming. In the spinning phase, all particles follow synchronous circular orbits, while in the swarming phase, the population condensates into a single compact swarm that cruises coherently without requiring any cohesive interactions. We quantitatively characterize and rationalize these phases of polar active matter and discuss potential applications to the design of swarming robots. PMID:25679597

  4. Collective motion with anticipation: Flocking, spinning, and swarming

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morin, Alexandre; Caussin, Jean-Baptiste; Eloy, Christophe; Bartolo, Denis

    2015-01-01

    We investigate the collective dynamics of self-propelled particles able to probe and anticipate the orientation of their neighbors. We show that a simple anticipation strategy hinders the emergence of homogeneous flocking patterns. Yet anticipation promotes two other forms of self-organization: collective spinning and swarming. In the spinning phase, all particles follow synchronous circular orbits, while in the swarming phase, the population condensates into a single compact swarm that cruises coherently without requiring any cohesive interactions. We quantitatively characterize and rationalize these phases of polar active matter and discuss potential applications to the design of swarming robots.

  5. Flocking of multi-agent systems with multiple groups

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jing, Gangshan; Zheng, Yuanshi; Wang, Long

    2014-12-01

    In this paper, we consider the flocking problem of multi-agent systems with multiple groups. First, some algorithms using local information are designed to divide the agents into any pre-assigned number of groups in fixed and switching heterogeneous networks, respectively. Based on algebraic graph theory and Barbalat's lemma, convergence criteria are established to ensure velocity alignment and cohesion of each subgroup as well as collision avoidance between any agents in the whole group. Second, an algorithm for homogeneous networks is studied. Simulation examples are finally presented to verify the effectiveness of our theoretical results.

  6. Who Is Spreading Avian Influenza in the Moving Duck Flock Farming Network of Indonesia?

    PubMed Central

    Henning, Joerg; Pfeiffer, Dirk U.; Stevenson, Mark; Yulianto, Didik; Priyono, Walujo; Meers, Joanne

    2016-01-01

    Duck populations are considered to be a reservoir of Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) virus H5N1 in some agricultural production systems, as they are able to shed the virus for several days without clinical signs. Countries endemically affected with HPAI in Asia are characterised by production systems where ducks are fed on post-harvest spilled rice. During this scavenging process it is common for ducks to come into contact with other duck flocks or wild birds, thereby providing opportunities for virus spread. Effective risk management for HPAI has been significantly compromised by a limited understanding of management of moving duck flocks in these countries, despite of a small number of recent investigations. Here, for the first time, we described the management of moving duck flocks and the structure of the moving duck flock network in quantitative terms so that factors influencing the risk of HPAIV transmission can be identified. By following moving duck flock farmers over a period of 6 months in Java, Indonesia, we were able to describe the movement of flocks and to characterise the network of various types of actors associated with the production system. We used these data to estimate the basic reproductive number for HPAI virus spread. Our results suggest that focussing HPAI prevention measures on duck flocks alone will not be sufficient. Instead, the role of transporters of moving duck flocks, hatcheries and rice paddy owners, in the spread of the HPAI virus needs to be recognised. PMID:27019344

  7. Behaviour of domestic ducks exposed to mobile predator stimuli. 1. Flock responses.

    PubMed

    Henderson, J V; Nicol, C J; Lines, J A; White, R P; Wathes, C M

    2001-09-01

    1. Small flocks of ducks (Anasplatyrhynchos domesticus) were exposed to two stimuli, a small mobile vehicle and a walking human, to investigate their flight responses. 2. Experiment 1. Flocks were herded around an annular arena by each stimulus at 0.5 ms(-1) and the flight distance between the stimulus and the centre of the flock, and individual positions within the flock were recorded every 10 s. Flocks maintained a significantly longer distance from the human (6.0 m) than the vehicle (5.1 m) and usually did not maintain visual contact with either stimulus. Significant consistency in individual positions within the flock was found within and between trials. 3. Experiment 2. Flocks were exposed to each stimulus which approached them as they were feeding in a circular arena. The latencies for cessation and resumption of feeding were recorded and the paths followed by the flocks described. Ducks showed a significantly shorter latency to cease feeding in response to the human (4.9 s) compared with the vehicle (6.9 s). 4. Domestic ducks apparently perceive an approaching human as a greater threat than a small vehicle. The findings are discussed in relation to the development of herding robots. PMID:11572617

  8. A model for an economically optimal replacement of a breeder flock.

    PubMed

    Yassin, Hurria; Velthuis, Annet G J; Giesen, Gerard W J; Oude Lansink, Alfons G J M

    2012-12-01

    A deterministic model is developed to support the tactical and operational replacement decisions at broiler breeder farms. The marginal net revenue approach is applied to determine the optimal replacement age of a flock. The objective function of the model maximizes the annual gross margin over the flock's production cycle. To calculate the gross margin, future egg production, fertility, or hatchability of the eggs, revenues and variable costs of a flock were estimated. For tactical decisions, the optimal laying length is the age at which the average gross margin of an average flock is maximal. For operational decisions, a flock should be replaced when the marginal gross margin of a replaceable flock is less than the average gross margin of an average flock. To demonstrate the model, a broiler breeder flock from a Dutch breeder farm was used. A sensitivity analysis showed that the optimal replacement decision, for both tactical and operational management, is sensitive to the decrease in the weekly egg production after the peak and the prices of feed and hatching eggs. The effect of the decrease in weekly fertility after the peak on the replacement decision is related to the payment system for hatching eggs. PMID:23155040

  9. 9 CFR 145.93 - Terminology and classification; flocks and products.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... POULTRY Special Provisions for Meat-Type Waterfowl Breeding Flocks and Products § 145.93 Terminology and...) The flock is located in a State where all persons performing poultry disease diagnostic services... equivalent, into the State are prohibited; (iv) All persons performing poultry disease diagnostic...

  10. 9 CFR 145.93 - Terminology and classification; flocks and products.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... POULTRY Special Provisions for Meat-Type Waterfowl Breeding Flocks and Products § 145.93 Terminology and...) The flock is located in a State where all persons performing poultry disease diagnostic services... equivalent, into the State are prohibited; (iv) All persons performing poultry disease diagnostic...

  11. 9 CFR 145.93 - Terminology and classification; flocks and products.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... POULTRY Special Provisions for Meat-Type Waterfowl Breeding Flocks and Products § 145.93 Terminology and...) The flock is located in a State where all persons performing poultry disease diagnostic services... equivalent, into the State are prohibited; (iv) All persons performing poultry disease diagnostic...

  12. The impact of infection with Schmallenberg virus on weaning rate in Irish sheep flocks.

    PubMed

    Barrett, Damien; O'Neill, Ronan; Sammin, Donal; Clegg, Tracy A; More, Simon J

    2015-12-01

    Schmallenberg virus (SBV) disease emerged in Europe in 2011, with the virus initially identified in Germany, and the first confirmed case of SBV infection in Ireland diagnosed in a dairy calf in October 2012. SBV was subsequently confirmed by RT-PCR in 49 cattle herds and 39 sheep flocks. While these studies provide a good representation of the spatial distribution of SBV in Ireland, they do not quantify the impact of SBV on productivity. The objectives of this study were to assess the impact of SBV on weaning rate in Irish sheep flocks, based on data reported by Irish sheep farmers, and to evaluate weaning rate in sheep flocks as an indicator to be used in emerging disease surveillance systems. A questionnaire on productivity and management practices in sheep flocks was developed to gather data from sheep farmers. Valid responses from 267 sheep farmers were received. Negative binomial regression indicated that flocks with a confirmed SBV diagnosis had a weaning rate 0.9 times that of flocks free of SBV. The 10% reduction in weaning rates as a result of SBV is a justifiable concern for farmers and should be considered in formulating flock breeding policy. This study shows the value of a production database as an indicator of an emerging disease and the economic impact of that disease in Irish sheep flocks. PMID:26547824

  13. Preliminary investigation of bird and human movements and disease-management practices in noncommercial poultry flocks in southwestern British Columbia.

    PubMed

    Burns, Theresa E; Kelton, David; Ribble, Carl; Stephen, Craig

    2011-09-01

    Understanding normal movement patterns and husbandry practices of poultry production systems is important for understanding the dynamics of disease spread, and for controlling outbreaks of highly infectious diseases, such as highly pathogenic avian influenza. To learn about these patterns in the noncommercial or "backyard" poultry-keeping sector, an open-ended questionnaire was administered to 18 backyard-flock owners in British Columbia, Canada, and responses were analyzed descriptively. Six participants reported that they visited premises that were part of the commercial poultry system in the last year; however, bird movements between commercial and noncommercial farms were always unidirectional, from commercial to backyard. Bird movements into and out of participants' flocks occurred multiple times per month (two flocks), three times per year (five flocks), once or twice a year (nine flocks) and every 3-5 yr (two flocks). Visitors had direct contact with three participants' flocks multiple times per week; for other flocks, visitors had direct contact three times or less per year. Fourteen participants rarely had direct contact with other backyard flocks, three had contact more than once per week, and one had contact every 3 mo. Participants stated that the health of their birds was excellent (7), very good (3), good (6), O.K. (1), and all right (1), and used a median of two biosecurity practices to maintain health in their flock. Our findings suggest that bird movements are not likely to transmit disease from backyard to commercial flocks; however, human movements between backyard and commercial premises could transmit diseases. Within the backyard-flock sector, the majority of small flocks appear to pose little risk of disease transmission because they are maintained in semi-isolation from other flocks; however, a minority of flocks has high contact levels with other flocks and could be important in disease spread. PMID:22017030

  14. Persistent seropositivity for yellow fever in a previously vaccinated autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation recipient.

    PubMed

    Hayakawa, Kayoko; Takasaki, Tomohiko; Tsunemine, Hiroko; Kanagawa, Shuzo; Kutsuna, Satoshi; Takeshita, Nozomi; Mawatari, Momoko; Fujiya, Yoshihiro; Yamamoto, Kei; Ohmagari, Norio; Kato, Yasuyuki

    2015-08-01

    The duration of a protective level of yellow fever antibodies after autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in a previously vaccinated person is unclear. The case of a patient who had previously been vaccinated for yellow fever and who remained seropositive for 22 months after autologous peripheral blood stem cell transplantation for malignant lymphoma is described herein. PMID:26068870

  15. Thoughts of Death and Suicidal Ideation in Nonpsychiatric Human Immunodeficiency Virus Seropositive Individuals

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Robertson, Kevin; Parsons, Thomas D.; van der Horst, Charles; Hall, Colin

    2006-01-01

    The present study examines the prevalence of death thoughts and suicidality in HIV infection. Subjects (n=246) were examined for psychiatric morbidity and suicidality. Compared to high risk HIV seronegatives, HIV seropositives (HIV+) had significantly increased frequency and severity of both suicidal ideation and death thoughts. Two-thirds of…

  16. The association between rainfall and seropositivity to Leptospira in outdoor reared pigs.

    PubMed

    Boqvist, Sofia; Eliasson-Selling, Lena; Bergström, Karin; Magnusson, Ulf

    2012-07-01

    Outdoor reared pigs were used as indicators for investigating the effect of weather conditions in the seroprevalence of Leptospira. Over the period February to March 2008, sera from 386 sows on 11 farms in southern Sweden were tested for antibodies to the following Leptospira serovars: L. interrogans serovar (sv) Bratislava, L. kirschneri sv Grippotyphosa, L. interrogans sv Icterohaemorrhagiae, L. interrogans sv Pomona, L. borgpetersenii sv Tarassovi and one domestic strain (mouse 2A) related to L. borgpetersenii sv Sejroe and L. borgpetersenii sv Istrica. The highest seroprevalence was to this strain (8.0%) followed by sv Bratislava (3.9%). Six of the 11 farms had sows which were seropositive to at least one of the Leptospira serovars. Data on rainfall and temperature were retrieved for the respective farms. For each millimetre of extra rainfall, there was an increase in the odds ratio (OR) for seropositivity to sv Bratislava of 4.3 (95% CI 1.9-10), and to strain mouse 2A of 2.5 (95% CI 1.0-6.4). There was no association between seropositivity and temperature. This study indicates that different climate conditions within the northern temperate climate zone may be of importance for the presence of Leptospira-seropositivity in mammals. PMID:22227225

  17. Milk yield and reproductive performance of brucellosis-vaccinated but seropositive Holstein cows.

    PubMed

    Mellado, Miguel; Garcia, Angel M; Arellano-Reynoso, Beatriz; Diaz-Aparicio, Efren; Garcia, Jose E

    2014-02-01

    The aim of this research was to study if seropositivity for brucellosis in vaccinated cows against this disease hampers reproductive performance and milk production in high-yielding Holstein cows. For this purpose 1,026 healthy cows and 372 cows seropositive for brucellosis were enrolled in this study. Cows positive to card test and subsequently to the rivanol test were further subjected to the radial immunodiffusion (RID) test. It was found that only 11% of the presumably infected cows by brucellosis screening tests were really infected with this disease. The reproductive performance of the group of cows with 11% Brucella-infected animals was not impaired; overall pregnancy rate did not differ between seropositive and healthy cows (30.9 vs. 29.6%). The abortion rates were similar between seropositive cows (5.3%) and seronegative animals (6.9%). Cows in the herd with 11% Brucella-infected animals produced significantly more milk than unaffected cows over a 305-day lactation (10,684 ± 1,720 vs. 10,345 ± 1,736; mean ± SD; P < 0.05). It was concluded that in dairy herds vaccinated against brucellosis with both 19 and RB51 strains, supplemental tests such as RID need to be conducted on all reactors in order to maintain diagnostic accuracy. These results also indicate that 11% animal prevalence of brucellosis did not exert a detrimental effect on 305-day milk yield and reproductive performance in high milk-yielding Holstein cows. PMID:24254418

  18. ABO Blood Group, Helicobacter pylori Seropositivity, and Risk of Pancreatic Cancer: A Case–Control Study

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Herbert; Lu, Lingeng; Kidd, Mark S.

    2010-01-01

    Carriage of a non–O ABO blood group and colonization by Helicobacter pylori are thought to be risk factors for pancreatic cancer. We examined these associations in a population-based case–control study of 373 case patients and 690 control subjects frequency matched on sex and age. Control subjects were selected by random-digit dialing. Seropositivity for H pylori and its virulence protein CagA was determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Increased risk of pancreatic cancer was associated with non–O blood group (adjusted odds ratio [OR] = 1.37, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.02 to 1.83, P = .034) and CagA-negative H pylori seropositivity (OR = 1.68, 95% CI = 1.07 to 2.66, P = .025), but no association was observed for CagA seropositivity (OR = 0.77, 95% CI = 0.52 to 1.16). An association between pancreatic cancer risk and CagA-negative H pylori seropositivity was found among individuals with non–O blood type but not among those with O blood type (OR = 2.78, 95% CI = 1.49 to 5.20, P = .0014; OR = 1.28, 95% CI = 0.62 to 2.64, P = .51, respectively). This study demonstrates an association between pancreatic cancer and H pylori colonization, particularly for individuals with non–O blood types. PMID:20181960

  19. Toxoplasma gondii seropositivity and cognitive functions in school-aged children.

    PubMed

    Mendy, A; Vieira, E R; Albatineh, A N; Gasana, J

    2015-08-01

    Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii) infects one-third of the world population, but its association with cognitive functions in school-aged children is unclear. We examined the relationship between Toxoplasma seropositivity and neuropsychological tests scores (including math, reading, visuospatial reasoning and verbal memory) in 1755 school-aged children 12-16 years old who participated to the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, using multiple linear regressions adjusted for covariates. Toxoplasma seroprevalence was 7·7% and seropositivity to the parasite was associated with lower reading skills (regression coefficient [β] = -5·86, 95% confidence interval [CI]: -11·11, -0·61, P = 0·029) and memory capacities (β = -0·86, 95% CI: -1·58, -0·15, P = 0·017). The interaction between T. gondii seropositivity and vitamin E significantly correlated with memory scores. In subgroup analysis, Toxoplasma-associated memory impairment was worse in children with lower serum vitamin E concentrations (β = -1·61, 95% CI: -2·44, -0·77, P < 0·001) than in those with higher values (β = -0·12, 95% CI: -1·23, 0·99, P = 0·83). In conclusion, Toxoplasma seropositivity may be associated with reading and memory impairments in school-aged children. Serum vitamin E seems to modify the relationship between the parasitic infection and memory deficiency. PMID:25990628

  20. Variation of serum selenium concentrations in German sheep flocks and implications for herd health management consultancy

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background This study was performed to demonstrate the widespread distribution and severity of selenium (Se) deficiency in sheep flocks and to evaluate the impact of influencing factors. In 150 flocks, ten serum samples of adult ewes were analysed for Se concentration. The farmers were interviewed concerning flock size, provision of mineral supplement, predominant form of husbandry (stationary fenced pasture/transhumance), predominant form of water provision (tap water/well/surface water) and predominant soil (sandy, silty/loamy, clay) in the area. The location of the flock was recorded as well as the production stage/season at the time of sampling. Intra-group variation and the validity to analyse pooled samples were tested. Results Pools of five samples correlated well with the mean of individually analysed samples. The intra-group range of serum Se concentration varied enormously (mean 45.4 ± 18.8 μg Se/l). About 60% of the flocks showed mean serum Se concentrations below 80 μg/l, 37.4% were below 60 μg Se/l, representing a Se deficient stage. Using mineral supplement in general was no key factor for Se status. Stationary flocks on fenced pasture had constantly higher mean serum Se concentrations during breeding (outdoors, August-November), lambing (mainly indoors, December-March) and lactation (outdoors, April-July), whereas flocks practising transhumance had significantly lower Se status, except during lambing. There was no significant correlation between the soil type and the Se status, but flocks in Southern Germany tend to show a lower Se status compared to Central and Northern Germany. Increasing flock size was associated with lower mean serum Se concentrations. In stationary flocks only, the use of surface water was accompanied by significantly lower Se status. Conclusion Se deficiency is widespread in German sheep flocks. More than one third of the flocks showed Se deficiency, indicating the need to optimise the nutritional management. Factors

  1. 9 CFR 147.10 - Laboratory procedure recommended for the bacteriological examination of egg-type breeding flocks...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... the bacteriological examination of egg-type breeding flocks with salmonella enteritidis positive... examination of egg-type breeding flocks with salmonella enteritidis positive environments. Birds selected for bacteriological examination from egg-type breeding flocks positive for Salmonella enteritidis after...

  2. 9 CFR 147.10 - Laboratory procedure recommended for the bacteriological examination of egg-type breeding flocks...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... the bacteriological examination of egg-type breeding flocks with salmonella enteritidis positive... examination of egg-type breeding flocks with salmonella enteritidis positive environments. Birds selected for bacteriological examination from egg-type breeding flocks positive for Salmonella enteritidis after...

  3. 9 CFR 147.10 - Laboratory procedure recommended for the bacteriological examination of egg-type breeding flocks...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... the bacteriological examination of egg-type breeding flocks with salmonella enteritidis positive... examination of egg-type breeding flocks with salmonella enteritidis positive environments. Birds selected for bacteriological examination from egg-type breeding flocks positive for Salmonella enteritidis after...

  4. 9 CFR 147.10 - Laboratory procedure recommended for the bacteriological examination of egg-type breeding flocks...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... the bacteriological examination of egg-type breeding flocks with salmonella enteritidis positive... examination of egg-type breeding flocks with salmonella enteritidis positive environments. Birds selected for bacteriological examination from egg-type breeding flocks positive for Salmonella enteritidis after...

  5. 9 CFR 147.10 - Laboratory procedure recommended for the bacteriological examination of egg-type breeding flocks...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... the bacteriological examination of egg-type breeding flocks with salmonella enteritidis positive... examination of egg-type breeding flocks with salmonella enteritidis positive environments. Birds selected for bacteriological examination from egg-type breeding flocks positive for Salmonella enteritidis after...

  6. Ten-Year Incidence of Chagas Cardiomyopathy Among Asymptomatic Trypanosoma cruzi–Seropositive Former Blood Donors

    PubMed Central

    Sabino, Ester C.; Ribeiro, Antonio L.; Salemi, Vera M.C.; Di Lorenzo Oliveira, Claudio; Antunes, Andre P.; Menezes, Marcia M.; Ianni, Barbara M.; Nastari, Luciano; Fernandes, Fabio; Patavino, Giuseppina M.; Sachdev, Vandana; Capuani, Ligia; de Almeida-Neto, Cesar; Carrick, Danielle M.; Wright, David; Kavounis, Katherine; Goncalez, Thelma T.; Carneiro-Proietti, Anna Barbara; Custer, Brian; Busch, Michael P.; Murphy, Edward L.

    2013-01-01

    Background Very few studies have measured disease penetrance and prognostic factors of Chagas cardiomyopathy among asymptomatic Trypanosoma cruzi–infected persons. Methods and Results We performed a retrospective cohort study among initially healthy blood donors with an index T cruzi–seropositive donation and age-, sex-, and period-matched seronegatives in 1996 to 2002 in the Brazilian cities of São Paulo and Montes Claros. In 2008 to 2010, all subjects underwent medical history, physical examination, ECGs, and echocardiograms. ECG and echocardiogram results were classified by blinded core laboratories, and records with abnormal results were reviewed by a blinded panel of 3 cardiologists who adjudicated the outcome of Chagas cardiomyopathy. Associations with Chagas cardiomyopathy were tested with multivariate logistic regression. Mean follow-up time between index donation and outcome assessment was 10.5 years for the seropositives and 11.1 years for the seronegatives. Among 499 T cruzi seropositives, 120 (24%) had definite Chagas cardiomyopathy, and among 488 T cruzi seronegatives, 24 (5%) had cardiomyopathy, for an incidence difference of 1.85 per 100 person-years attributable to T cruzi infection. Of the 120 seropositives classified as having Chagas cardiomyopathy, only 31 (26%) presented with ejection fraction <50%, and only 11 (9%) were classified as New York Heart Association class II or higher. Chagas cardiomyopathy was associated (P<0.01) with male sex, a history of abnormal ECG, and the presence of an S3 heart sound. Conclusions There is a substantial annual incidence of Chagas cardiomyopathy among initially asymptomatic T cruzi–seropositive blood donors, although disease was mild at diagnosis. PMID:23393012

  7. Seropositive bucks and within-herd prevalence of small ruminant lentivirus infection.

    PubMed

    Nowicka, Dorota; Czopowicz, Michał; Szaluś-Jordanow, Olga; Witkowski, Lucjan; Bagnicka, Emilia; Kaba, Jarosław

    2015-01-01

    Caprine arthritis-encephalitis is an economically important disease of goats. It is evident that horizontal transmission through respiratory secretions and milk plays an important part in the disease spread whereas the role of sexual transmission remains questionable. The cross-sectional study was carried out to investigate the relationship between presence of small ruminant lentivirus (SRL V)-seropositive bucks and seroprevalence of SRL V infection in does in herds. The analysis included 76 goat herds seropositive for SRL V infection. A sample of adult female goats from each herd was selected in a simple random fashion. All males present in a herd were also enrolled in the study. The animals were screened with commercial serological immunoenzymatic tests. Standardized questionnaires were used to gather knowledge of 3 hypothesized herd-level confounding factors: number of years for which a herd had existed until testing, goat replacement from other herds in Poland and use of machine milking. Three-level hierarchical linear regression model was developed to evaluate the relationship (α = 0.05). Median (interquartile range) within-herd seroprevalence of SRL V was 60.1% (35.7% to 87.9%) and 35.8% (10.1% to 49.6%) in herds where seropositive males were present and absent, respectively. Controlling for possible confounders presence of SRL V-seropositive bucks proved to be an independent factor linked to the higher within-herd seroprevalence of SRL V (p = 0.001). The study indicates that seropositive bucks may facilitate the spread of SRL V infection in goat herds and therefore their presence should be considered as a risk factor. PMID:26648770

  8. Seropositive bucks and within-herd prevalence of small ruminant lentivirus infection

    PubMed Central

    Nowicka, Dorota; Czopowicz, Michał; Szaluś-Jordanow, Olga; Witkowski, Lucjan; Bagnicka, Emilia

    2015-01-01

    Caprine arthritis-encephalitis is an economically important disease of goats. It is evident that horizontal transmission through respiratory secretions and milk plays an important part in the disease spread whereas the role of sexual transmission remains questionable. The cross-sectional study was carried out to investigate the relationship between presence of small ruminant lentivirus (SRL V)-seropositive bucks and seroprevalence of SRL V infection in does in herds. The analysis included 76 goat herds seropositive for SRL V infection. A sample of adult female goats from each herd was selected in a simple random fashion. All males present in a herd were also enrolled in the study. The animals were screened with commercial serological immunoenzymatic tests. Standardized questionnaires were used to gather knowledge of 3 hypothesized herd-level confounding factors: number of years for which a herd had existed until testing, goat replacement from other herds in Poland and use of machine milking. Three-level hierarchical linear regression model was developed to evaluate the relationship (α = 0.05). Median (interquartile range) within-herd seroprevalence of SRL V was 60.1% (35.7% to 87.9%) and 35.8% (10.1% to 49.6%) in herds where seropositive males were present and absent, respectively. Controlling for possible confounders presence of SRL V-seropositive bucks proved to be an independent factor linked to the higher within-herd seroprevalence of SRL V (p = 0.001). The study indicates that seropositive bucks may facilitate the spread of SRL V infection in goat herds and therefore their presence should be considered as a risk factor. PMID:26648770

  9. Assortative flocking in crossbills and implications for ecological speciation

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Julie W.; Sjoberg, Stephanie M.; Mueller, Matthew C.; Benkman, Craig W.

    2012-01-01

    How reproductive isolation is related to divergent natural selection is a central question in speciation. Here, we focus on several ecologically specialized taxa or ‘call types’ of red crossbills (Loxia curvirostra complex), one of the few groups of birds providing much evidence for ecological speciation. Call types differ in bill sizes and feeding capabilities, and also differ in vocalizations, such that contact calls provide information on crossbill phenotype. We found that two call types of red crossbills were more likely to approach playbacks of their own call type than those of heterotypics, and that their propensity to approach heterotypics decreased with increasing divergence in bill size. Although call similarity also decreased with increasing divergence in bill size, comparisons of responses to familiar versus unfamiliar call types indicate that the decrease in the propensity to approach heterotypics with increasing divergence in bill size was a learned response, and not a by-product of calls diverging pleiotropically as bill size diverged. Because crossbills choose mates while in flocks, assortative flocking could lead indirectly to assortative mating as a by-product. These patterns of association therefore provide a mechanism by which increasing divergent selection can lead to increasing reproductive isolation. PMID:22915674

  10. Assortative flocking in crossbills and implications for ecological speciation.

    PubMed

    Smith, Julie W; Sjoberg, Stephanie M; Mueller, Matthew C; Benkman, Craig W

    2012-10-22

    How reproductive isolation is related to divergent natural selection is a central question in speciation. Here, we focus on several ecologically specialized taxa or 'call types' of red crossbills (Loxia curvirostra complex), one of the few groups of birds providing much evidence for ecological speciation. Call types differ in bill sizes and feeding capabilities, and also differ in vocalizations, such that contact calls provide information on crossbill phenotype. We found that two call types of red crossbills were more likely to approach playbacks of their own call type than those of heterotypics, and that their propensity to approach heterotypics decreased with increasing divergence in bill size. Although call similarity also decreased with increasing divergence in bill size, comparisons of responses to familiar versus unfamiliar call types indicate that the decrease in the propensity to approach heterotypics with increasing divergence in bill size was a learned response, and not a by-product of calls diverging pleiotropically as bill size diverged. Because crossbills choose mates while in flocks, assortative flocking could lead indirectly to assortative mating as a by-product. These patterns of association therefore provide a mechanism by which increasing divergent selection can lead to increasing reproductive isolation. PMID:22915674

  11. Effects of Agent's Repulsion in 2d Flocking Models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moussa, Najem; Tarras, Iliass; Mazroui, M'hammed; Boughaleb, Yahya

    In nature many animal groups, such as fish schools or bird flocks, clearly display structural order and appear to move as a single coherent entity. In order to understand the complex behavior of these systems, many models have been proposed and tested so far. This paper deals with an extension of the Vicsek model, by including a second zone of repulsion, where each agent attempts to maintain a minimum distance from the others. The consideration of this zone in our study seems to play an important role during the travel of agents in the two-dimensional (2D) flocking models. Our numerical investigations show that depending on the basic ingredients such as repulsion radius (R1), effect of density of agents (ρ) and noise (η), our nonequilibrium system can undergo a kinetic phase transition from no transport to finite net transport. For different values of ρ, kinetic phase diagrams in the plane (η ,R1) are found. Implications of these findings are discussed.

  12. The seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii in Ontario sheep flocks

    PubMed Central

    Waltner-Toews, David; Mondesire, Roy; Menzies, Paula

    1991-01-01

    In a random sample of 103 sheep farms in Ontario, 99% of the farms had some sheep serologically positive for Toxoplasma gondii, based on an enzymelinked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The percent of sheep affected within farms ranged from 3.8% to 97.8%, with an average flock prevalence of 57.6%. When farm management variables were considered in a multivariate analysis, significantly lower rates of serologically positive sheep were associated with neutering of female cats and clipping of ewes' perineums before lambing; significantly higher prevalence rates were found on farms where sheep were purchased from other flocks, pigs were raised on the same farm, sheep shared pasture with other animals, flowing water was available at pasture, and pastured replacements had access to housing. As well, in univariate analyses, higher prevalence was positively associated with an increasing number of cat litters born over the previous two years and offering creep feed or forage to lambs, and inversely with the amount of labor expended on sheep rearing. PMID:17423914

  13. A Distributed Flocking Approach for Information Stream Clustering Analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Cui, Xiaohui; Potok, Thomas E

    2006-01-01

    Intelligence analysts are currently overwhelmed with the amount of information streams generated everyday. There is a lack of comprehensive tool that can real-time analyze the information streams. Document clustering analysis plays an important role in improving the accuracy of information retrieval. However, most clustering technologies can only be applied for analyzing the static document collection because they normally require a large amount of computation resource and long time to get accurate result. It is very difficult to cluster a dynamic changed text information streams on an individual computer. Our early research has resulted in a dynamic reactive flock clustering algorithm which can continually refine the clustering result and quickly react to the change of document contents. This character makes the algorithm suitable for cluster analyzing dynamic changed document information, such as text information stream. Because of the decentralized character of this algorithm, a distributed approach is a very natural way to increase the clustering speed of the algorithm. In this paper, we present a distributed multi-agent flocking approach for the text information stream clustering and discuss the decentralized architectures and communication schemes for load balance and status information synchronization in this approach.

  14. Diphacinone and zinc phosphide toxicity in a flock of Peafowl.

    PubMed

    Shivaprasad, H L; Galey, F

    2001-12-01

    Toxicity probably due to a combination of diphacinone and zinc phosphide was diagnosed in a flock of peafowl, in which 35 birds in a flock of 80 died over a span of 10 days without any apparent clinical signs. Chickens and guinea fowl, 30 each on the same premises, were not affected. Plastic tubes containing diphacinone and zinc phosphide were used on the premises to control ground squirrels. Most of the six dead peafowl, which ranged in age from 6 months to 4 years, had an accumulation of serosanguinous fluid in the abdominal cavity, semi-clotted blood over the liver lobes, increased pericardial fluid, and enlarged and pale kidneys. Pellets of diphacinone and zinc phosphide were found in the crop and gizzard contents from most of the birds. Microscopically, most of the birds had mild to moderate centrolobular degeneration of hepatocytes and multifocal degeneration of myofibres in the heart with infiltration by a few mononuclear cells. Acute nephrosis and mucosal oedema in the oesophagus and crop were also observed. Toxicological analysis of the crop and gizzard contents revealed the presence of diphacinone and phosphine gas, and analysis of the crop contents from two birds for heavy metals revealed zinc levels of up to 6600 parts/10 6 . It was suspected that only the peafowl and not the chickens and guinea fowl were affected because peafowl, with their longer necks, were able to reach into the plastic tubes and eat the pellets. PMID:19184953

  15. Mic Flocks in the Cloud: Harnessing Mobile Ubiquitous Sensor Networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garces, M. A.; Christe, A.

    2015-12-01

    Smartphones provide a commercial, off-the-shelf solution to capture, store, analyze, and distribute infrasound using on-board or external microphones (mics) as well as on-board barometers. Free iOS infrasound apps can be readily downloaded from the Apple App Store, and Android versions are in progress. Infrasound propagates for great distances, has low sample rates, and provides a tractable pilot study scenario for open distributed sensor networks at regional and global scales using one of the most ubiquitous sensors on Earth - microphones. Data collection is no longer limited to selected vendors at exclusive prices: anybody on Earth can record and stream infrasound, and the diversity of recording systems and environments is rapidly expanding. Global deployment may be fast and easy (www.redvox.io), but comes with the cost of increasing data volume, velocity, variety, and complexity. Flocking - the collective motion of mobile agents - is a natural human response to threats or events of interest. Anticipating, modeling and harnessing flocking sensor topologies will be necessary for adaptive array and network processing. The increasing data quantity and complexity will exceed the processing capacity of human analysts and most research servers. We anticipate practical real-time applications will require the on-demand adaptive scalability and resources of the Cloud. Cloud architectures for such heterogeneous sensor networks will consider eventual integration into the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS).

  16. Integrating Vision and AI for Industrial Applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Batchelor, Bruce G.

    1990-03-01

    The article describes an extension to the well-established AI language Prolog. This allows Prolog to operate both an image processing system and a controller for a variety of electro-mechanical devices. The user can define his/her own pull-down menus and provides an interface to a speech synthesis package. The latter enables the user to follow the flow of a program, easily and in a natural way. The application of the software to food inspection is also discussed

  17. Bare PCB test method based on AI

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Aihua; Zhou, Huiyang; Wan, Nianhong; Qu, Liangsheng

    1995-08-01

    The shortcomings of conventional methods used for developing test sets on current automated printed circuit board (PCB) test machines consist of overlooking the information from CAD, historical test data, and the experts' knowledge. Thus, the generated test sets and proposed test sequence may be sub-optimal and inefficient. This paper presents a weighting bare PCB test method based on analysis and utilization of the CAD information. AI technique is applied for faults statistics and faults identification. Also, the generation of test sets and the planning of test procedure are discussed. A faster and more efficient test system is achieved.

  18. Will AI in pigs become more efficient?

    PubMed

    Roca, J; Parrilla, I; Bolarin, A; Martinez, E A; Rodriguez-Martinez, H

    2016-07-01

    AI is commercially applied worldwide to breed pigs, yielding fertility outcomes similar to those of natural mating. However, it is not fully efficient, as only liquid-stored semen is used, with a single boar inseminating about 2000 sows yearly. The use of liquid semen, moreover, constrains international trade and slows genetic improvement. Research efforts, reviewed hereby, are underway to reverse this inefficient scenario. Special attention is paid to studies intended to decrease the number of sperm used per pregnant sow, facilitating the practical use of sexed frozen-thawed semen in swine commercial insemination programs. PMID:26723133

  19. Research needs for AI in manufacturing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Triscari, T., Jr.; Henghold, W. M.

    The Air Force Wright Aeronautical Laboratories' Material Laboratory is charged with developing a research program for applications of artificial intelligence (AI) as it relates to manufacturing. As a part of program development, advisory input was sought from experts from industry, academia, and government. A structured methodology was employed which featured a top-down approach leading from concept level articulation, through application area goals and objectives, to project level detail. This paper documents the effort in terms of providing methodological background, application area goals and objectives, and results obtained from project generation and assessment. Emphasis is on project level results.

  20. AI Based Personal Learning Environments: Directions for Long Term Research. AI Memo 384.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Goldstein, Ira P.; Miller, Mark L.

    The application of artificial intelligence (AI) techniques to the design of personal learning environments is an enterprise of both theoretical and practical interest. In the short term, the process of developing and testing intelligent tutoring programs serves as a new experimental vehicle for exploring alternative cognitive and pedagogical…

  1. AIS spectra of desert shrub canopies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Murray, R.; Isaacson, D. L.; Schrumpf, B. J.; Ripple, W. J.; Lewis, A. J.

    1986-01-01

    Airborne Imaging Spectrometer (AIS) data were collected 30 August 1985 from a desert shrub community in central Oregon. Spectra from artificial targets placed on the test site and from bare soil, big sagebrush (Artemesia tridentata wyomingensis), silver sagebrush (Artemesia cana bolander), and exposed volcanic rocks were studied. Spectral data from grating position 3 (tree mode) were selected from 25 ground positions for analysis by Principal Factor Analysis (PFA). In this grating position, as many as six factors were identified as significant in contributing to spectral structure. Channels 74 through 84 (tree mode) best characterized between-class differences. Other channels were identified as nondiscriminating and as associated with such errors as excessive atmospheric absorption and grating positin changes. The test site was relatively simple with the two species (A. tridentata and A. cana) representing nearly 95% of biomass and with only two mineral backgrounds, a montmorillonitic soil and volcanic rocks. If, as in this study, six factors of spectral structure can be extracted from a single grating position from data acquired over a simple vegetation community, then AIS data must be considered rich in information-gathering potential.

  2. AI techniques in geomagnetic storm forecasting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lundstedt, Henrik

    This review deals with how geomagnetic storms can be predicted with the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) techniques. Today many different Al techniques have been developed, such as symbolic systems (expert and fuzzy systems) and connectionism systems (neural networks). Even integrations of AI techniques exist, so called Intelligent Hybrid Systems (IHS). These systems are capable of learning the mathematical functions underlying the operation of non-linear dynamic systems and also to explain the knowledge they have learned. Very few such powerful systems exist at present. Two such examples are the Magnetospheric Specification Forecast Model of Rice University and the Lund Space Weather Model of Lund University. Various attempts to predict geomagnetic storms on long to short-term are reviewed in this article. Predictions of a month to days ahead most often use solar data as input. The first SOHO data are now available. Due to the high temporal and spatial resolution new solar physics have been revealed. These SOHO data might lead to a breakthrough in these predictions. Predictions hours ahead and shorter rely on real-time solar wind data. WIND gives us real-time data for only part of the day. However, with the launch of the ACE spacecraft in 1997, real-time data during 24 hours will be available. That might lead to the second breakthrough for predictions of geomagnetic storms.

  3. Risk factors associated with seropositivity for Leishmania spp. and Trypanosoma cruzi in dogs in the state of Paraiba, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Fernandes, Annielle Regina da Fonseca; Pimenta, Carla Lauise Rodrigues Menezes; Vidal, Ivana Fernandes; Oliveira, Gabriela Capriogli; Sartori, Raissa Saran; Araújo, Raizza Barros; Melo, Márcia Almeida; Langoni, Hélio; Azevedo, Sérgio Santos

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this survey was to determine the seropositivity and risk factors for Leishmania spp. and Trypanosoma cruzi in dogs in the State of Paraíba, Northeastern Brazil. A total of 1,043 dogs were tested, and the serological diagnoses of Chagas disease (CD) and canine visceral leishmaniasis (CVL) was performed by the indirect fluorescent antibody test (IFAT). Animals that tested seropositive for both diseases (by IFAT) were further subjected to ELISA. Of the 1,043 dogs 81 (7.8%; 95% CI = 6.1-9.4%) tested seropositive for Leishmania spp., while 83 were seropositive for T. cruzi (7.9%; 95% CI = 6.3-9.6%). Simultaneous serological reactions were detected in 49 animals (4.6%; 95% CI= 3.6-6.2%). Semi-domiciled housing (OR = 2.044), free housing (OR = 4.151), and soil (OR = 3.425) and soil/cement (OR = 3.065) environmental conditions were identified as risk factors for CVL seropositivity. The risk factors identified for CD seropositivity were semi-domiciled (OR = 2.353) or free housing (OR = 3.454), and contact with bovine (OR = 2.015). This study revealed the presence of dogs in the Paraíba State seropositive for CVL and CD, suggesting the need for revisiting and intensification of disease control measures through constant monitoring of the canine population. PMID:26982555

  4. Seropositivity rates for agents of canine vector-borne diseases in Spain: a multicentre study

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Controlling canine vector-borne diseases (CVBD) is a major concern, since some of these diseases are serious zoonoses. This study was designed to determine seropositivity rates in Spain for agents causing the following five CVBD: leishmaniosis (Leishmania infantum: Li), heartworm (Dirofilaria immitis: Di), ehrlichiosis (Ehrlichia canis: Ec), anaplasmosis (Anaplasma phagocytophilum/Anaplasma platys: An) and Lyme disease (Borrelia burgdorferi: Bb). Methods Anti-An, -Bb, and -Ec antibodies and the Di antigen were determined using the 4DX SNAP® Test (IDEXX Laboratories) and anti-L. infantum (Li) antibodies using the Leishmania SNAP® Test (IDEXX Laboratories) in blood and/or serum samples. Results Among 1100 dogs examined, overall seropositivity rates were: Li (15.7%), Ec (5%), An (3.1%), Di (1.25%) and Bb (0.4%). While seropositivity towards Bb and Di was similar in all geographic regions, rates were significantly higher in the east of Spain (8.3%) for An, significantly higher in the north (20%) for Ec, and significantly higher in the Southeast (46.6%) and South (27.4%), and significantly lower in the north (0%) for Li. No statistical associations were observed between sex and the CVBD analyzed (p ≥ 0.05) while the following associations with other variables were detected: a higher seropositivity to Ec (40%) and Bb (6.7%) in dogs under one year of age compared with adults (p < 0.05); and a higher seropositivity to An and Li in dogs that lived outdoors versus indoors (p = 0.01; p < 0.001, respectively). Seropositivity rates of 2.1%, 0%, 1.7%, 0.5% and 4.2% were recorded respectively for An, Bb, Ec, Di and Li in dogs with no clinical signs (n = 556) versus 3.8%, 0.6%, 7.5%, 1.8% and 25.9% for those with signs (n = 507) suggestive of a CVBD. Conclusion The data obtained indicate a risk for dogs in Spain of acquiring any of the five CVBD examined. Veterinarians in the different regions should include these diseases in their

  5. Contrasting disease patterns in seropositive and seronegative neuromyelitis optica: A multicentre study of 175 patients

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background The diagnostic and pathophysiological relevance of antibodies to aquaporin-4 (AQP4-Ab) in patients with neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders (NMOSD) has been intensively studied. However, little is known so far about the clinical impact of AQP4-Ab seropositivity. Objective To analyse systematically the clinical and paraclinical features associated with NMO spectrum disorders in Caucasians in a stratified fashion according to the patients' AQP4-Ab serostatus. Methods Retrospective study of 175 Caucasian patients (AQP4-Ab positive in 78.3%). Results Seropositive patients were found to be predominantly female (p < 0.0003), to more often have signs of co-existing autoimmunity (p < 0.00001), and to experience more severe clinical attacks. A visual acuity of ≤ 0.1 during acute optic neuritis (ON) attacks was more frequent among seropositives (p < 0.002). Similarly, motor symptoms were more common in seropositive patients, the median Medical Research Council scale (MRC) grade worse, and MRC grades ≤ 2 more frequent, in particular if patients met the 2006 revised criteria (p < 0.005, p < 0.006 and p < 0.01, respectively), the total spinal cord lesion load was higher (p < 0.006), and lesions ≥ 6 vertebral segments as well as entire spinal cord involvement more frequent (p < 0.003 and p < 0.043). By contrast, bilateral ON at onset was more common in seronegatives (p < 0.007), as was simultaneous ON and myelitis (p < 0.001); accordingly, the time to diagnosis of NMO was shorter in the seronegative group (p < 0.029). The course of disease was more often monophasic in seronegatives (p < 0.008). Seropositives and seronegatives did not differ significantly with regard to age at onset, time to relapse, annualized relapse rates, outcome from relapse (complete, partial, no recovery), annualized EDSS increase, mortality rate, supratentorial brain lesions, brainstem lesions, history of carcinoma, frequency of preceding infections, oligoclonal bands, or CSF

  6. Quantifying the tracking capability of space-based AIS systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Skauen, Andreas Nordmo

    2016-01-01

    The Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI) has operated three Automatic Identification System (AIS) receivers in space. Two are on dedicated nano-satellites, AISSat-1 and AISSat-2. The third, the NORAIS Receiver, was installed on the International Space Station. A general method for calculating the upper bound on the tracking capability of a space-based AIS system has been developed and the results from the algorithm applied to AISSat-1 and the NORAIS Receiver individually. In addition, a constellation of AISSat-1 and AISSat-2 is presented. The tracking capability is defined as the probability of re-detecting ships as they move around the globe and is explained to represent and upper bound on a space-based AIS system performance. AISSat-1 and AISSat-2 operates on the nominal AIS1 and AIS2 channels, while the NORAIS Receiver data used are from operations on the dedicated space AIS channels, AIS3 and AIS4. The improved tracking capability of operations on the space AIS channels is presented.

  7. Structure and dynamics of mixed-species flocks in a Hawaiian rain forest

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hart, P.J.; Freed, L.A.

    2003-01-01

    Mixed-species flocks of native and introduced birds were studied for four years in an upper elevation Hawaiian rain forest. Those flocks were characterized by strong seasonality, large size, low species richness, high intraspecific abundance, a lack of migrants, and a general lack of territoriality or any sort of dominance hierarchy. There was high variability among years in patterns of occurrence at the species level, and high variability within years at the individual level. These flocks are loosely structured social groupings with apparently open membership. The fluid, unstable movement patterns, high degree of variability in size and composition, and lack of positive interspecific associations are not consistent with the "foraging enhancement" hypothesis for flocking. Two resident, endangered insectivores, the Akepa (Loxops coccineus) and Hawaii Creeper (Oreomystis mana) served as "nuclear" species. Flock composition was compared between two study sites that differed significantly in density of these two nuclear species. Flock size was similar at the two sites, primarily because the nuclear species were over-represented relative to their density. This observation suggests that birds are attempting to achieve a more optimal flock size at the lower density site.

  8. Genotype and allelic frequencies of a newly identified mutation causing blindness in jordanian awassi sheep flocks.

    PubMed

    Jawasreh, K I Z; Ababneh, H; Awawdeh, F T; Al-Massad, M A; Al-Majali, A M

    2012-01-01

    A total of 423 blood samples were collected (during 2009 and 2010) from all the ram holdings at three major Jordanian governmental Awassi breeding stations (Al-Khanasry, Al-Mushairfa and Al-Fjaje) and two private flocks. All blood samples were screened for the presence of mutations at the CNGA3 gene (responsible for day blindness in Awassi sheep) using RFLP-PCR. The day blindness mutation was detected in all studied flocks. The overall allele and genotype frequencies of all studied flocks of the day blindness mutation were 0.088 and 17.49%, respectively. The genotype and allele frequencies were higher in station flocks than the farmer flocks (0.121, 24.15 and 0.012, 2.32, respectively). Al-Mushairfa and Al-Khanasry stations have the highest genotype and allele frequencies for the day blindness mutation that were 27.77, 30.00% and 0.14, 0.171, respectively. The investigated farmer flocks have low percentages (0.03, 5.88% at Al-Shoubak and 0.005 and 1.05%, at Al-Karak, respectively for genotype and allele frequencies) compared with the breeding stations. Ram culling strategy was applied throughout the genotyping period in order to gradually eradicate this newly identified day blindness mutation from Jordanian Breeding station, since they annually distribute a high percentage of improved rams to farmer's flocks. PMID:25049475

  9. Genotype and Allelic Frequencies of a Newly Identified Mutation Causing Blindness in Jordanian Awassi Sheep Flocks

    PubMed Central

    Jawasreh, K. I. Z.; Ababneh, H.; Awawdeh, F. T.; Al-Massad, M. A.; Al-Majali, A. M.

    2012-01-01

    A total of 423 blood samples were collected (during 2009 and 2010) from all the ram holdings at three major Jordanian governmental Awassi breeding stations (Al-Khanasry, Al-Mushairfa and Al-Fjaje) and two private flocks. All blood samples were screened for the presence of mutations at the CNGA3 gene (responsible for day blindness in Awassi sheep) using RFLP-PCR. The day blindness mutation was detected in all studied flocks. The overall allele and genotype frequencies of all studied flocks of the day blindness mutation were 0.088 and 17.49%, respectively. The genotype and allele frequencies were higher in station flocks than the farmer flocks (0.121, 24.15 and 0.012, 2.32, respectively). Al-Mushairfa and Al-Khanasry stations have the highest genotype and allele frequencies for the day blindness mutation that were 27.77, 30.00% and 0.14, 0.171, respectively. The investigated farmer flocks have low percentages (0.03, 5.88% at Al-Shoubak and 0.005 and 1.05%, at Al-Karak, respectively for genotype and allele frequencies) compared with the breeding stations. Ram culling strategy was applied throughout the genotyping period in order to gradually eradicate this newly identified day blindness mutation from Jordanian Breeding station, since they annually distribute a high percentage of improved rams to farmer’s flocks. PMID:25049475

  10. The consequences of winter flock demography for genetic structure and inbreeding risk in vinous-throated parrotbills, Paradoxornis webbianus.

    PubMed

    Lee, J-W; Simeoni, M; Burke, T; Hatchwell, B J

    2010-05-01

    The adaptive significance of flocking behaviour has been intensively studied, especially among birds, but the demography and genetic structure of winter flocks is poorly understood, despite their importance for many biological processes. For three successive winters, we studied the demography and genetic structure of winter flocks in a small passerine, the vinous-throated parrotbill Paradoxornis webbianus. Our objectives were to determine the match between observed demography and the genetic structure of winter flocks, and to investigate the consequences of kin structure for the risk of inbreeding during the breeding season. The size of five main study flocks ranged from 60 to 120 individuals. The sex ratio of each flock did not deviate from parity and survival rates of adults were moderately low (36 and 17% in 2 years). Adults showed strong fidelity to a winter flock not only within a season but also between years. As expected from observational data, we found significant genetic differentiation and isolation by distance among males and females in winter flocks at a fine spatial scale. Likewise, relatedness among individuals within a winter flock was significantly greater than between flocks. Despite these demographic and genetic circumstances, the inbreeding rate was relatively low (4%). We conclude that fine-scale genetic structure occurs in the winter flocks of birds as a result of demographic processes without physical barriers. This genetic structure introduced a risk of inbreeding, but our evidence on whether individuals avoided incest was equivocal. PMID:19812618

  11. Risk factors for Listeria monocytogenes contamination in French laying hens and broiler flocks.

    PubMed

    Aury, Kristell; Le Bouquin, Sophie; Toquin, Marie-Thérèse; Huneau-Salaün, Adeline; Le Nôtre, Yolène; Allain, Virginie; Petetin, Isabelle; Fravalo, Philippe; Chemaly, Marianne

    2011-03-01

    The objective of this study was to identify potential risk factors for Listeria monocytogenes contamination in French poultry production. Eighty-four flocks of layer hens kept in cages and 142 broiler flocks were included in this study. For each production type, a questionnaire was submitted to farmers and fecal samples were taken to assess the L. monocytogenes status of the flocks during a single visit to the farm. Two logistic regression models (specific to each production) were used to assess the association between management practices and the risk of L. monocytogenes contamination of the flock. The prevalence of L. monocytogenes-positive flocks was 30.9% (95% CI: 21.0; 40.9) and 31.7% (95% CI: 24.0; 39.4) for cage-layers and broiler flocks, respectively. For layer flocks, the risk of L. monocytogenes contamination was increased when pets were present on the production site. When droppings were evacuated by conveyor belt with deep pit storage, the risk of L. monocytogenes contamination decreased significantly. Feed meal was found to be associated with a higher risk of L. monocytogenes contamination than feed crumb. For broiler flocks, the risk of L. monocytogenes contamination was increased when farmers did not respect the principle of two areas (clean and dirty) at the poultry house entrance. A first disinfection by thermal fogging and the absence of pest control of the poultry house before the arrival of the next flock was found to increase the risk of contamination. When litter was not protected during storage and when farm staff also took care of other broiler chicken houses, the risk of L. monocytogenes contamination increased significantly. In the case of the watering system, nipples with cups were found to decrease the risk of contamination. PMID:21176855

  12. Scale-Free Correlations, Influential Neighbours and Speed Control in Flocks of Birds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hemelrijk, Charlotte K.; Hildenbrandt, Hanno

    2015-02-01

    Coordination of birds in large flocks is amazing, especially, since individual birds only interact with a few neighbors (the so-called `influential neighbours'). Yet, empirical data show that fluctuations of velocity and speed of different birds are correlated beyond the influential neighbours and are correlated over a larger distance in a larger flock. This correlation between the correlation length of velocity or speed and flock size was found to be linear, called a scale-free correlation. It depends on the way individuals interact in the flock, for instance, on the number of influential neighbours and speed control. It is unknown however, how exactly the number of influential neighbours affects this scale-free correlation. Recent empirical data show that different degrees of control of speed affect the scale-free correlation for speed fluctuations. Theoretically, based on statistical mechanics, it is predicted that at very high speed control, the correlation is no longer scale-free but saturates at a certain correlation length and this hampers coordination in flocks. We study these issues in a model, called StarDisplay, because its behavioural rules are biologically inspired and many of its flocking patterns resemble empirical data. Our results show that the correlation length of fluctuations of velocity as well as speed correlate with flock size in a scale-free manner. A higher number of influential neighbours causes a diminishing increase of the slope of the scale-free correlation with velocity, resulting thus in flocks that coordinate more uniformly. Similar to recent empirical data higher speed control reduces the correlation length of speed fluctuations in our model. As predicted theoretically, at very high speed control the model generates a non-scale free correlation, and although there are still flocks, they are in the process of disintegrating.

  13. A Density-Independent Flocking Transition in Confluent Tissues

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Czajkowski, Michael; Bi, Dapeng; Manning, M. Lisa; Marchetti, M. Cristina

    Some of us recently demonstrated a density-independent solid-liquid transition in confluent tissues controlled by cell motility and a cell shape parameter measuring the interplay of cortical tension and cell-cell adhesion. An important insight of this work is that the rigidity and dynamics of cell layers depends sensitively on cell shape. To explore the influence of cell shape on collective states, we have constructed continuum equations that couple a scalar field describing cell-shape anisotropy to cell polarization. The model displays a density independent transition to a polarized state of elongated cells driven by a cellular ``shape-index'' parameter. We map out the phase diagram using linear stability analysis and numerical solution of the nonlinear hydrodynamic equations. The proposed transition constitutes a density-independent flocking transition. We acknowledge support from The Simons Foundation and NSF-DGE-1068780.

  14. Tuberculoid nodular thelitis in a dairy goat flock.

    PubMed

    Chartier, Christophe; Albaric, Olivier; Cesbron, Nora; Despres, Jérôme; Hoogveld, Charlotte; Michelet, Lorraine; Boschiroli, Maria-Laura

    2016-03-01

    An unusual outbreak of teat/udder skin lesions occurred in a dairy goat flock in France. Lesions first appeared as circular, indurated, erythematous areas of skin and progressed to form dark raised haemorrhagic crusts and ulcerative plaques. Histopathological examination revealed marked granulomatous dermatitis with multifocal ulceration. The granulomatous inflammation, with frequent Langhans type multinucleated cells and central caseous necrosis, was indicative of mycobacterial infection. The presence of non-cultivable mycobacteria was confirmed by sequencing PCR products from DNA extracted directly from the lesions and sequences matched a novel mycobacterial pathogen closely related to M. leprae and M. lepromatosis and previously identified in cattle thelitis. The association of nodular gross lesions and tuberculoid granulomas on the teat and lower udder, and the presence of mycobacteria DNA support a diagnosis of tuberculoid nodular thelitis in goats due to mycobacterial infection. PMID:26831157

  15. Adaptive Flocking of Robot Swarms: Algorithms and Properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Geunho; Chong, Nak Young

    This paper presents a distributed approach for adaptive flocking of swarms of mobile robots that enables to navigate autonomously in complex environments populated with obstacles. Based on the observation of the swimming behavior of a school of fish, we propose an integrated algorithm that allows a swarm of robots to navigate in a coordinated manner, split into multiple swarms, or merge with other swarms according to the environment conditions. We prove the convergence of the proposed algorithm using Lyapunov stability theory. We also verify the effectiveness of the algorithm through extensive simulations, where a swarm of robots repeats the process of splitting and merging while passing around multiple stationary and moving obstacles. The simulation results show that the proposed algorithm is scalable, and robust to variations in the sensing capability of individual robots.

  16. Microsporidiosis in a flock of tricolor parrot finches (Erythrura tricolor).

    PubMed

    Gelis, Stacey; Raidal, Shane R

    2006-09-01

    The lesions caused by a microsporidian infection in a flock of tricolor parrot finches (Erythrura tricolor) are described. Affected birds had a widespread nodular to diffuse granulomatous inflammation of the serosal surfaces of the gastrointestinal tract, peritoneum, perirenal airsacs and connective tissue, bone marrow, dura, and conjunctiva. This was composed predominantly of foamy macrophages containing numerous intracytoplasmic microsporidia measuring 1 to 2 microm. Ultrastructural features consistent with microsporidia were the presence of a coiled polar filament and an electrode-dense outer surface and thick electron-lucent capsule. Differential diagnoses included infection with intracellular organisms, including coccidian and other apicomplexan parasites, such as lsospora, Eimeria, and blood parasites; Chlamydophilosis; disseminated mycobacteriosis; and other bacterial and fungal species. PMID:16931363

  17. Flocking of multi-agent systems with multiplicative and independent measurement noises

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, Yongzheng; Wang, Yajun; Zhao, Donghua

    2015-12-01

    We investigate the effect of noise and group density on the emergence of flocking in a stochastic Cucker-Smale type system. We consider the independent and multiplicative measurement noise and derive sufficient conditions for flocking and non-flocking in terms of the noise intensity and group density. We report that, in noise environments, it is rather easy for the group with high density to form and maintain ordered group motion. Moreover, we find that, under the perturbation of multiplicative noise, systems with weak coupling can tolerate relatively strong perturbation of noise.

  18. From Phase to Microphase Separation in Flocking Models: The Essential Role of Nonequilibrium Fluctuations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Solon, Alexandre P.; Chaté, Hugues; Tailleur, Julien

    2015-02-01

    We show that the flocking transition in the Vicsek model is best understood as a liquid-gas transition, rather than an order-disorder one. The full phase separation observed in flocking models with Z2 rotational symmetry is, however, replaced by a microphase separation leading to a smectic arrangement of traveling ordered bands. Remarkably, continuous deterministic descriptions do not account for this difference, which is only recovered at the fluctuating hydrodynamics level. Scalar and vectorial order parameters indeed produce different types of number fluctuations, which we show to be essential in selecting the inhomogeneous patterns. This highlights an unexpected role of fluctuations in the selection of flock shapes.

  19. Environmental contamination and detection of Salmonella enterica serovar enteritidis in laying flocks.

    PubMed

    Davies, R; Breslin, M

    2001-12-01

    Faecal, dust and other environmental samples were collected from the floors, droppings belts, egg-collection systems and other areas of 14 cage-layer flocks, 10 barn egg production flocks and seven free-range flocks, and cultured for Salmonella species. The distribution of the organism varied with its prevalence and with the vaccination status of the birds. No one sample type was found to be suitable for identifying all contaminated houses. Salmonella was also frequently found on egg-packing equipment and in samples from rodents and wild birds. PMID:11787781

  20. Genetic IS901 RFLP diversity among Mycobacterium avium subsp. avium isolates from four pheasant flocks.

    PubMed

    Moravkova, Monika; Lamka, Jiri; Slany, Michal; Pavlik, Ivo

    2013-01-01

    IS901 RFLP analysis of 36 Mycobacterium avium subsp. avium (MAA) isolates from 15 pheasants (Phasianus colchicus) and two goshawks (Accipiter gentilis) from four pheasant farms was performed. Using this method, six different IS901 RFLP types (E, F, G, M, Q, and V) were identified. The distribution of IS901 RFLP profiles was tightly linked to individual flocks. Matching IS901 RFLP profiles observed in the present study indicate MAA transmission between pheasants and goshawks in the same locality. In two flocks, different pheasants within a flock as well as in various organs of five individual pheasants were found to have two distinct IS901 RFLP profiles. PMID:23388436

  1. Human Frontal Lobes and AI Planning Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Levinson, Richard; Lum, Henry Jr. (Technical Monitor)

    1994-01-01

    Human frontal lobes are essential for maintaining a self-regulating balance between predictive and reactive behavior. This paper describes a system that integrates prediction and reaction based on neuropsychological theories of frontal lobe function. In addition to enhancing our understanding of deliberate action in humans' the model is being used to develop and evaluate the same properties in machines. First, the paper presents some background neuropsychology in order to set a general context. The role of frontal lobes is then presented by summarizing three theories which formed the basis for this work. The components of an artificial frontal lobe are then discussed from both neuropsychological and AI perspectives. The paper concludes by discussing issues and methods for evaluating systems that integrate planning and reaction.

  2. AI tools in computer based problem solving

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Beane, Arthur J.

    1988-01-01

    The use of computers to solve value oriented, deterministic, algorithmic problems, has evolved a structured life cycle model of the software process. The symbolic processing techniques used, primarily in research, for solving nondeterministic problems, and those for which an algorithmic solution is unknown, have evolved a different model, much less structured. Traditionally, the two approaches have been used completely independently. With the advent of low cost, high performance 32 bit workstations executing identical software with large minicomputers and mainframes, it became possible to begin to merge both models into a single extended model of computer problem solving. The implementation of such an extended model on a VAX family of micro/mini/mainframe systems is described. Examples in both development and deployment of applications involving a blending of AI and traditional techniques are given.

  3. Application of AIS Technology to Forest Mapping

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yool, S. R.; Star, J. L.

    1985-01-01

    Concerns about environmental effects of large scale deforestation have prompted efforts to map forests over large areas using various remote sensing data and image processing techniques. Basic research on the spectral characteristics of forest vegetation are required to form a basis for development of new techniques, and for image interpretation. Examination of LANDSAT data and image processing algorithms over a portion of boreal forest have demonstrated the complexity of relations between the various expressions of forest canopies, environmental variability, and the relative capacities of different image processing algorithms to achieve high classification accuracies under these conditions. Airborne Imaging Spectrometer (AIS) data may in part provide the means to interpret the responses of standard data and techniques to the vegetation based on its relatively high spectral resolution.

  4. The Ai project: historical and ecological contexts.

    PubMed

    Matsuzawa, Tetsuro

    2003-12-01

    This paper aims to review a long-term research project exploring the chimpanzee mind within historical and ecological contexts. The Ai project began in 1978 and was directly inspired by preceding ape-language studies conducted in Western countries. However, in contrast with the latter, it has focused on the perceptual and cognitive capabilities of chimpanzees rather than communicative skills between humans and chimpanzees. In the original setting, a single chimpanzee faced a computer-controlled apparatus and performed various kinds of matching-to-sample discrimination tasks. Questions regarding the chimpanzee mind can be traced back to Wolfgang Koehler's work in the early part of the 20th century. Yet, Japan has its unique natural and cultural background: it is home to an indigenous primate species, the Japanese snow monkey. This fact has contributed to the emergence of two previous projects in the wild led by the late Kinji Imanishi and his students. First, the Koshima monkey project began in 1948 and became famous for its discovery of the cultural propagation of sweet-potato washing behavior. Second, pioneering work in Africa, starting in 1958, aimed to study great apes in their natural habitat. Thanks to the influence of these intellectual ancestors, the present author also undertook the field study of chimpanzees in the wild, focusing on tool manufacture and use. This work has demonstrated the importance of social and ecological perspectives even for the study of the mind. Combining experimental approaches with a field setting, the Ai project continues to explore cognition and behavior in chimpanzees, while its focus has shifted from the study of a single subject toward that of the community as a whole. PMID:14566577

  5. AI And Early Vision - Part II

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Julesz, Bela

    1989-08-01

    A quarter of a century ago I introduced two paradigms into psychology which in the intervening years have had a direct impact on the psychobiology of early vision and an indirect one on artificial intelligence (AI or machine vision). The first, the computer-generated random-dot stereogram (RDS) paradigm (Julesz, 1960) at its very inception posed a strategic question both for AI and neurophysiology. The finding that stereoscopic depth perception (stereopsis) is possible without the many enigmatic cues of monocular form recognition - as assumed previously - demonstrated that stereopsis with its basic problem of finding matches between corresponding random aggregates of dots in the left and right visual fields became ripe for modeling. Indeed, the binocular matching problem of stereopsis opened up an entire field of study, eventually leading to the computational models of David Marr (1982) and his coworkers. The fusion of RDS had an even greater impact on neurophysiologists - including Hubel and Wiesel (1962) - who realized that stereopsis must occur at an early stage, and can be studied easier than form perception. This insight recently culminated in the studies by Gian Poggio (1984) who found binocular-disparity - tuned neurons in the input stage to the visual cortex (layer IVB in V1) in the monkey that were selectively triggered by dynamic RDS. Thus the first paradigm led to a strategic insight: that with stereoscopic vision there is no camouflage, and as such was advantageous for our primate ancestors to evolve the cortical machinery of stereoscopic vision to capture camouflaged prey (insects) at a standstill. Amazingly, although stereopsis evolved relatively late in primates, it captured the very input stages of the visual cortex. (For a detailed review, see Julesz, 1986a)

  6. Crusted Scabies: Presenting as erythroderma in a human immunodeficiency virus-seropositive patient

    PubMed Central

    Kulkarni, Shruti; Shah, Hiral; Patel, Bharti; Bhuptani, Neela

    2016-01-01

    Crusted scabies is a rare manifestation of scabies characterized by uncontrolled proliferation of mites in the skin. It is common in patients with sensory neuropathy, mentally retarded persons and in patients who are immunosuppressed. Further, crusted scabies can rarely present as erythroderma (<0.5% cases) necessitating a high index of suspicion for its diagnosis. Because of its rare occurrence, we are reporting a case of crusted scabies presenting as erythroderma, in a human immunodeficiency virus seropositive patient. PMID:27190417

  7. Reproductive performance in sows in relation to Japanese Encephalitis Virus seropositivity in an endemic area.

    PubMed

    Lindahl, Johanna; Boqvist, Sofia; Ståhl, Karl; Thu, Ho Thi Viet; Magnusson, Ulf

    2012-02-01

    Japanese Encephalitis Virus (JEV) is considered an important reproductive pathogen in pigs. Most studies of the reproductive impact of JEV have been conducted in areas where the disease occurs in seasonal epidemics. In this study, the associations between seropositivity for JEV, measured with an IgG ELISA, and the number of piglets born alive and stillborn were investigated in a tropical area endemic for JEV in Vietnam. Sixty percent of sows from four farms in the Mekong delta of Vietnam were seropositive to JEV and the Odds Ratio for a sow being infected was highest (6.4) in sows above 3.5 years (95% confidence interval 2.2-18.3). There was an association between increasing Optical Density (OD) values from the ELISA and the number of stillborn piglets in sows less than 1.5 years, but no effect of seropositivity could be shown when all sows were studied. OD values had an effect (p = 0.04) on the number of piglets born alive in the statistical analysis only when interacting with the effect of the breeds. An increase in mean OD value of the herd was correlated (p < 0.0001) with an increase in the number of piglets born alive. In this study, there was evidence of a negative association between seropositivity for JEV and the reproductive performance only in sows less than 1.5 years in endemic areas. This could be explained by a year-round infection with the virus, which would lead to immunity in many gilts before their first pregnancy. This, in turn, may imply that JEV infection in pigs is of minor importance for the reproductive performance in endemic areas. PMID:22081319

  8. Crusted Scabies: Presenting as erythroderma in a human immunodeficiency virus-seropositive patient.

    PubMed

    Kulkarni, Shruti; Shah, Hiral; Patel, Bharti; Bhuptani, Neela

    2016-01-01

    Crusted scabies is a rare manifestation of scabies characterized by uncontrolled proliferation of mites in the skin. It is common in patients with sensory neuropathy, mentally retarded persons and in patients who are immunosuppressed. Further, crusted scabies can rarely present as erythroderma (<0.5% cases) necessitating a high index of suspicion for its diagnosis. Because of its rare occurrence, we are reporting a case of crusted scabies presenting as erythroderma, in a human immunodeficiency virus seropositive patient. PMID:27190417

  9. Distribution of CD4 Lymphocyte Cells Among Apparently Healthy HIV Seropositive and Seronegative Populations

    PubMed Central

    Abubakar, Abdulazeez A

    2012-01-01

    Background: CD4 lymphocyte cells are often used as prognostic markers for monitoring the progression of immunosupression such as HIV infection. Aim: This study was conducted to assess the distribution of CD4 lymphocytes among apparently healthy human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) seronegative and seropositive populations in a Nigerian state. Materials and Methods: A total of 1520 apparently healthy subjects aged 18–64 years, composed of 800 males and 720 females attending some selected health institutions in the state, participated in the study. Ten milliliters of blood was collected from each subject; 5 ml of this was used for HIV antibodies sero-typing while the remaining 5 ml was anticoagulated and used for CD4 lymphocytes level determination. Only samples tested positive both with Capillus and Determine HIV test kits were further differentiated into sero-types with a standard diagnostic HIV test kit. The CD4 lymphocyte levels of all the sample were determined; mean CD4 levels of 205.1±0.09 and 287.4±0.3 cells/μl were recorded among females seropositives and seronagatives respectively. Statistical analysis by the Student t-test showed a significant difference in the mean CD4 lymphocyte count by gender. Results: Findings showed a mean CD4 level of 311.7±1.2 cells/μl among seropositive males while 399.3±0.6 cells/μl was recorded among seronegatives (t=5.86). The study also recorded a CD4 lymphocyte range of 232–464 cells/μl among apparently healthy seronegative population in this locality. Conclusion: The findings showed a significantly higher mean CD4 lymphocyte count among adult male HIV seronegatives (χ2=9.22) and seropositives (χ2=15.07) than their female counterparts. Further research work using the automation technique is suggested to confirm this new range for monitoring HIV subjects on antiretroviral therapy. PMID:22454823

  10. Toxocara Canis IgG Seropositivity in Patients with Chronic Urticaria.

    PubMed

    Burak Selek, Mehmet; Baylan, Orhan; Kutlu, Ali; Özyurt, Mustafa

    2015-08-01

    We aimed to investigate IgG antibody levels specific to Toxocara canis (T. canis), a parasite which subsists in dog's intestine, on serum samples obtained from patients with chronic urticaria (CU) to evaluate effective risk in CU etiopathogenesis. In this study, 73 patients diagnosed with CU and 109 healthy individuals as control group, were included. Various factors such as sex, age, education and income, daily hand washing habits, history of dog owning and soil eating were questioned in patient anamnesis. T. canis IgG antibodies were detected using an enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) kit prepared with T. canis larval excretory-secretory antigens. Positive results were confirmed with western blot (WB) WB test. We found T. canis IgG positivity in 17.8% (n=13) of patients (n=73) with CU. But we did not observe any T. canis IgG positivity in healthy controls (n=109). Low molecular weight bands (24-35 kDa) were observed in 11 samples in WB analyses while two of the samples were weakly positive. It is revealed that dog owning history increases T. canis seropositivity 12.9 times while insufficient daily hand washing habit (less than six times a day) increases seropositivity 20.7 times. Our study showed that T. canis may trigger CU since we found 17.8% seropositivity in 73 patients with CU and none in 109 healthy individuals. Moreover, various socio-demographic characteristics have been shown to affect T. canis seropositivity in patients with CU. PMID:26547714

  11. Association of HCV Core Antigen Seropositivity with Long-Term Mortality in Patients on Regular Hemodialysis

    PubMed Central

    Kato, Akihiko; Takita, Takako; Furuhashi, Mitsuyoshi; Fujimoto, Taiki; Suzuki, Hiroo; Maruyama, Yukitaka; Sakao, Yukitoshi; Miyajima, Hiroaki

    2012-01-01

    Anti-hepatitis C virus (HCV) antibody seropositivity is independently associated with poor prognosis in hemodialysis (HD) patients. However, anti-HCV antibody cannot distinguish between patients with active infection and those who have recovered from infection. We therefore aimed in this study to examine the association of HCV core antigen (HCVcAg) seropositivity with mortality in HD patients. We first measured serum HCVcAg using an immunoradiometric assay and anti-HCV antibody in 405 patients on regular HD, and followed them for 104 months. There were 82 patients (20.2%) who had been positive for anti-HCV antibodies; 57 (69.5%) of these were positive for HCVcAg. During the follow-up, 29 patients were excluded, so we tested the association of HCVcAg seropositivity with all-cause, cardiovascular (CV) and non-CV mortalities in 376 patients. A total of 209 patients (55.6%) had expired during the observational period, 92 out of them due to CV causes. After adjusting for comorbid parameters, HCVcAg was independently associated with overall mortality (HR 1.61, 95% CI 1.05–2.47, p < 0.05). HCV infection was significantly related to liver disease-related mortality. Past HCV infection also contributed to CV mortality (HR 2.63, 95% CI 1.27–5.45, p < 0.01). In contrast, anti-HCV antibody and HCVcAg seropositivities did not associate with infectious disease-related and cancer-related (expect for hepatocellular carcinoma) mortality. It follows from these findings that HCVcAg serology is associated with all-cause and CV mortality in HD patients. PMID:22619670

  12. The association of HPV-16 seropositivity and natural immunity to reinfection: insights from compartmental models

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Seroreactivity, processes of seroconversion and seroreversion, in the context of HPV infection has been investigated in numerous studies. However, the data resulting from these studies are usually not accounted for in mathematical transmission models of various HPV types due to gaps in our understanding of the nature of seroreactivity and its implications for HPV natural history. Methods In this study we selected a number of simple but plausible compartmental transmission models of HPV-16, differing in assumptions regarding the relation between seropositivity and immunity, and attempted to calibrate them to Australian HPV seroprevalence data for females and males, as well as DNA prevalence data for females, using a Bayesian model comparison procedure. We ranked the models according to both their simplicity and ability to be fitted to the data. Results Our results demonstrate that models with seroreversion where seropositivity indicates only a partial or very short-term full protection against re-infection generate age-specific HPV DNA prevalence most consistent with the observed data when compared with other models. Conclusions Models supporting the notion that seropositive individuals are fully immune to reinfection demonstrated consistently inferior fits to the data than other models making no such assumption. PMID:23402400

  13. Seropositivity of Toxoplasma gondii and Toxocara spp. in Children with Cryptogenic Epilepsy, Benha, Egypt

    PubMed Central

    Eraky, Maysa Ahmad; Abdel-Hady, Soha; Abdallah, Karim Fetouh

    2016-01-01

    The present study aimed to investigate the possible association of Toxoplasma gondii and Toxocara spp. infections with cryptogenic epilepsy in children. The study was carried out between June 2014 and March 2015. Total 90 children (40 with cryptogenic epilepsy, 30 with non-cryptogenic epilepsy, and 20 healthy control children) were evaluated to determine the anti-Toxocara and anti-T. gondii IgG seropositivity using ELISA kits. Epileptic cases were selected from those attending the pediatrics outpatient clinic of Benha University Hospital, Pediatrics Neurology Unit, and from Benha Specialized Hospital of children. The results showed that the level of anti-T. gondii IgG seropositivity was significantly higher among children with cryptogenic epilepsy (20%) than among children with non-cryptogenic children (0%). In healthy controls (10%), there was no association between toxocariasis seropositivity and cryptogenic epilepsy (only 5.7%; 4 out of 70 cases) among cases and 10% (2 out of 20) among controls. Among toxocariasis IgG positive cases, 3 (7.5%) were cryptogenic, and only 1 (3.3%) was non-cryptogenic. These statistically significant results support the association between T. gondii infection and cryptogenic epilepsy while deny this association with toxocariasis. PMID:27417090

  14. Omega 3 Fatty Acids Supplementation and Oxidative Stress in HIV-Seropositive Patients. A Clinical Trial.

    PubMed

    Amador-Licona, Norma; Díaz-Murillo, Teresa A; Gabriel-Ortiz, Genaro; Pacheco-Moises, Fermín P; Pereyra-Nobara, Texar A; Guízar-Mendoza, Juan M; Barbosa-Sabanero, Gloria; Orozco-Aviña, Gustavo; Moreno-Martínez, Sandra C; Luna-Montalbán, Rafael; Vázquez-Valls, Eduardo

    2016-01-01

    HIV-seropositive patients show high incidence of coronary heart disease and oxidative stress has been described as relevant key in atherosclerosis development. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of omega 3 fatty acids on different markers of oxidative stress in HIV-seropositive patients. We performed a randomized parallel controlled clinical trial in The Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social, a public health hospital. 70 HIV-seropositive patients aged 20 to 55 on clinical score A1, A2, B1 or B2 receiving highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) were studied. They were randomly assigned to receive omega 3 fatty acids 2.4 g (Zonelabs, Marblehead MA) or placebo for 6 months. At baseline and at the end of the study, anthropometric measurements, lipid profile, glucose and stress oxidative levels [nitric oxide catabolites, lipoperoxides (malondialdehyde plus 4-hydroxialkenals), and glutathione] were evaluated. Principal HAART therapy was EFV/TDF/FTC (55%) and AZT/3TC/EFV (15%) without difference between groups. Treatment with omega 3 fatty acids as compared with placebo decreased triglycerides (-0.32 vs. 0.54 mmol/L; p = 0.04), but oxidative stress markers were not different between groups. PMID:27015634

  15. Omega 3 Fatty Acids Supplementation and Oxidative Stress in HIV-Seropositive Patients. A Clinical Trial

    PubMed Central

    Amador-Licona, Norma; Díaz-Murillo, Teresa A.; Pereyra-Nobara, Texar A.; Guízar-Mendoza, Juan M.; Barbosa-Sabanero, Gloria; Orozco-Aviña, Gustavo; Moreno-Martínez, Sandra C.; Luna-Montalbán, Rafael; Vázquez-Valls, Eduardo

    2016-01-01

    HIV-seropositive patients show high incidence of coronary heart disease and oxidative stress has been described as relevant key in atherosclerosis development. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of omega 3 fatty acids on different markers of oxidative stress in HIV-seropositive patients. We performed a randomized parallel controlled clinical trial in The Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social, a public health hospital. 70 HIV-seropositive patients aged 20 to 55 on clinical score A1, A2, B1 or B2 receiving highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) were studied. They were randomly assigned to receive omega 3 fatty acids 2.4 g (Zonelabs, Marblehead MA) or placebo for 6 months. At baseline and at the end of the study, anthropometric measurements, lipid profile, glucose and stress oxidative levels [nitric oxide catabolites, lipoperoxides (malondialdehyde plus 4-hydroxialkenals), and glutathione] were evaluated. Principal HAART therapy was EFV/TDF/FTC (55%) and AZT/3TC/EFV (15%) without difference between groups. Treatment with omega 3 fatty acids as compared with placebo decreased triglycerides (-0.32 vs. 0.54 mmol/L; p = 0.04), but oxidative stress markers were not different between groups. Trial Registration ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02041520 PMID:27015634

  16. Comparison of prevalence factors in horses with and without seropositivity to Neospora hughesi and/or Sarcocystis neurona.

    PubMed

    Pusterla, Nicola; Tamez-Trevino, Eva; White, Alexandria; Vangeem, Joshua; Packham, Andrea; Conrad, Patricia A; Kass, Philip

    2014-05-01

    Equine protozoal myeloencephalitis is a commonly diagnosed neurological disease of horses in North America and is caused by infection with Sarcocystis neurona or Neospora hughesi. The aim of this study was to compare prevalence factors among horses seropositive or seronegative to N. hughesi and/or S. neurona. A total of 3123 submissions were included in the study, with horses originating from 49 States. Thirty-eight animals from 21 States tested seropositive for N. hughesi only, 840 horses from 40 States were seropositive for S. neurona only, 25 horses from 14 States were seropositive for both protozoa, and 2220 horses from 49 States tested seronegative for both parasites. Significant associations were found between geographical location (State), month of submission, breed and serological status. PMID:24703324

  17. Pedagogy and the PC: Trends in the AIS Curriculum

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Badua, Frank

    2008-01-01

    The author investigated the array of course topics in accounting information systems (AIS), as course syllabi embody. The author (a) used exploratory data analysis to determine the topics that AIS courses most frequently offered and (b) used descriptive statistics and econometric analysis to trace the diversity of course topics through time,…

  18. An Immune Agent for Web-Based AI Course

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gong, Tao; Cai, Zixing

    2006-01-01

    To overcome weakness and faults of a web-based e-learning course such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), an immune agent was proposed, simulating a natural immune mechanism against a virus. The immune agent was built on the multi-dimension education agent model and immune algorithm. The web-based AI course was comprised of many files, such as HTML…

  19. The Social Stratification of /aI/ in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Crane, L. Ben

    This study is a sociolinguistic analysis of the variant pronunciation of /aI/, a selected phonological variable, by white informants in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Through a purposive sampling procedure, 56 informants were interviewed to determine their pronunciation of /aI/. Informants were ranked according to education, income, and occupation to…

  20. THE CURRENT STATE OF SEMEN STORAGE AND AI TECHNOLOGY

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Turkeys are the only commercial livestock species completely dependent upon artificial insemination (AI) for fertile egg production. Given that every breeder hen must be inseminated weekly during egg production, AI is both time and labor-intensive. Methods for the timing, frequency, semen dosage a...

  1. Integrating the Wall Street Journal into AIS Courses

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kohlmeyer, James M., III

    2008-01-01

    While it is important for accounting information systems (AIS) students to understand computer technology, internal controls and business processes, such knowledge is of little use without reference to appropriate contexts. Integrating Wall Street Journal (WSJ) readings and discussions into AIS classes can enrich learning by stimulating…

  2. Ada in AI or AI in Ada. On developing a rationale for integration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Collard, Philippe E.; Goforth, Andre

    1988-01-01

    The use of Ada as an Artificial Intelligence (AI) language is gaining interest in the NASA Community, i.e., by parties who have a need to deploy Knowledge Based-Systems (KBS) compatible with the use of Ada as the software standard for the Space Station. A fair number of KBS and pseudo-KBS implementations in Ada exist today. Currently, no widely used guidelines exist to compare and evaluate these with one another. The lack of guidelines illustrates a fundamental problem inherent in trying to compare and evaluate implementations of any sort in languages that are procedural or imperative in style, such as Ada, with those in languages that are functional in style, such as Lisp. Discussed are the strengths and weakness of using Ada as an AI language and a preliminary analysis provided of factors needed for the development of criteria for the integration of these two families of languages and the environments in which they are implemented. The intent for developing such criteria is to have a logical rationale that may be used to guide the development of Ada tools and methodology to support KBS requirements, and to identify those AI technology components that may most readily and effectively be deployed in Ada.

  3. Seropositivity to celiac antigens in asymptomatic children with type 1 diabetes mellitus: association with weight, height, and bone mineralization

    PubMed Central

    Artz, Evelyn; Warren-Ulanch, Julia; Becker, Dorothy; Greenspan, Susan; Freemark, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Background Screening for celiac disease (CD) in children with diabetes is controversial because no studies have demonstrated metabolic complications in asymptomatic, seropositive subjects or beneficial effects of dietary intervention. Objective We hypothesized that seropositivity to celiac antigens is associated with decreased growth and bone mineralization in asymptomatic diabetic children. Design/Methods Asymptomatic diabetic children were screened for seropositivity to tissue transglutaminase. Villous atrophy was assessed by small bowel biopsy in a subset of seropositive subjects. We compared measures of growth and bone mineralization in 30 seropositive subjects, and 34 matched seronegative controls. Results Relative to seronegative controls, the seropositive subjects had reductions in insulin-like growth factor (IGF) binding protein 3 z scores (p < 0.05) and bone mineral density (BMD) z scores (p = 0.05). Weight, body mass index, IGF-I, and bone mineral apparent density (BMAD) z scores were marginally lower, but height z scores were comparable. Seropositive patients with severe villous atrophy had lower weight (−0.91 SDs), height (−1.1 SDs), BMD (−2.0 SDs), and BMAD (−2.0 SDs) z scores and significant increases in parathyroid hormone (all p < 0.05). Four patients with severe villous atrophy maintained strict gluten restriction for at least 12 months. Gluten restriction increased BMD and BMAD z scores. Conclusions High-titer seropositivity to celiac antigens is associated with reductions in weight and BMD in diabetic children, justifying screening of high-risk patients. Results suggest that biopsy is required to confirm the diagnosis and assess the severity of CD; those with severe villous atrophy are more likely to have growth failure and osteopenia. Gluten restriction may reverse these complications. PMID:18466211

  4. Relationship Among Chlamydia and Mycoplasma Pneumoniae Seropositivity, IKZF1 Genotype and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease in A General Japanese Population

    PubMed Central

    Muro, Shigeo; Tabara, Yasuharu; Matsumoto, Hisako; Setoh, Kazuya; Kawaguchi, Takahisa; Takahashi, Meiko; Ito, Isao; Ito, Yutaka; Murase, Kimihiko; Terao, Chikashi; Kosugi, Shinji; Yamada, Ryo; Sekine, Akihiro; Nakayama, Takeo; Chin, Kazuo; Mishima, Michiaki; Matsuda, Fumihiko

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a possible risk factor for cardiovascular disease. The association of COPD with the pathogenicity of infection with Chlamydia pneumoniae and Mycoplasma pneumoniae is controversial. We conducted a cross-sectional study to clarify the association between atypical pneumoniae seropositivity and COPD in a general population. We also investigated genetic polymorphisms conferring susceptibility to a pneumonia titer. The study included 9040 Japanese subjects (54 ± 13 years). COPD was defined as a ratio of forced expiratory volume in 1 second to forced vital capacity of less than 70%. Serum levels of IgA and IgG antibodies to C pneumoniae were determined using an enzyme-linked immunoassay, and M pneumoniae seropositivity was assessed by a particle agglutination test. Subjects seropositive for C pneumoniae (26.1%) had a higher prevalence of COPD (seropositive, 5.8%; seronegative, 3.1%; P < 0.001) after adjustment for age, sex, height, weight, and smoking status. The association between M pneumoniae seropositivity (20.4%) and COPD was also significant in covariate-adjusted analysis (P < 0.001). A genome-wide association analysis of the C pneumoniae IgA index identified a susceptible genotype (rs17634369) near the IKZF1 gene, and the seropositive rate of C pneumoniae significantly differed among genotypes (AA, 22.5; AG, 25.3; GG, 29.7%, P < 0.001). On multiple regression analysis, seropositivity for both C pneumoniae (odds ratio = 1.41, P = 0.004) and M pneumoniae (odds ratio = 1.60, P = 0.002) was an independent determinant for COPD, while no direct association was found with the rs17634369 genotype. Seropositivity for both C pneumoniae and M pneumoniae is an independent risk factor for COPD in the general population. PMID:27082601

  5. A survey of skeletal disorders in five turkey flocks in Saskatchewan.

    PubMed Central

    Riddell, C

    1980-01-01

    Losses due to skeletal disorders varied from 1.8 to 6.1 percent in five flocks, varying in size from 2040 to 7033 birds, of broad breasted white tom turkeys. Very little evidence of significant air-sacculitis due to Mycoplasma meleagridis was found in hatching poults or during the growing period. Major disorders causing the losses included rickets, rotated tibia, arthritis/osteomyelitis and long bone distortion. Rickets and arthritis/osteomyelitis due to infection with Staphylococcus aureus were significant problems only in one flock each, while rotated tibia caused significant losses in three flocks. Long bone distortion was the major cause of economic loss and occurred in all flocks. Possible causes of long bone distortion are briefly discussed. PMID:7427775

  6. [High perinatal mortality associated with triple anthelmintic resistance in a German sheep flock].

    PubMed

    Voigt, K; Scheuerle, M; Hamel, D; Pfister, K

    2012-04-24

    High perinatal mortality, low milk yields and occasional ewe deaths were investigated in a Dorper sheep flock in Southern Germany. Parasitic gastroenteritis due to Trichostrongylus spp. associated with severe weight loss despite regular anthelmintic treatments of the flock was identified as the underlying cause. A faecal egg count reduction (FECR) test revealed zero reduction after treatment with ivermectin or albendazole, respectively, and a FECR of 57.9% following treatment with levamisole. These results indicate a lack of, or considerably reduced efficacy of substances from all three classical groups of anthelmintics and demonstrate that triple anthelmintic resistance is also present in Germany. The introduction of resistant worm populations with imported livestock, excessive use of anthelmintic drugs and under-dosing of goats have possibly led to the problem in the flock described. Veterinary advice on anthelmintic treatments and responsible parasite control programmes are therefore crucial in small ruminant flocks. PMID:22526724

  7. Predator avoidance as a function of flocking in the sexually dichromatic Hawaii akepa

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hart, P.J.; Freed, L.A.

    2005-01-01

    Hypotheses for joining a mixed-species bird flock consider each species as a single unit. In sexually dichromatic birds, differential conspicuousness between the sexes may result in differences in vigilance for predators. Aspects of the predator avoidance and foraging enhancement hypotheses for the selective value of joining a mixed-species flock were assessed for the strongly sexually dichromatic Hawaii akepa (Loxops coccineus coccineus). There was support for the primary predictions of the predator avoidance hypothesis: vigilance levels decreased with increasing group size, and with membership in a flock, but only for brightly colored adult males. There was little support for the hypothesis that the primary benefit of joining a mixed-species flock is to enhance foraging efficiency through "local enhancement".

  8. Leptospira seroprevalence and associations between seropositivity, clinical disease and host factors in horses

    PubMed Central

    Båverud, V; Gunnarsson, A; Engvall, E Olsson; Franzén, P; Egenvall, A

    2009-01-01

    Background A cross-sectional study was carried out to determine the seroprevalence of different serovars of Leptospira spp. and their association with clinical disease and host factors in Swedish horses. Methods Sera from 2017 horses brought to equine clinics during 1997–98 were investigated. The sera were examined by microscopic agglutination test for the presence of antibodies against the following L. interrogans serovars: Bratislava strain Jez, Icterohaemorrhagiae strain Kantorowicz and Pomona strain Pomona and also L. kirschneri sv Grippotyphosa strain Duyster and L. borgpetersenii sv Sejroe strain M 84. Host factors, disease factors, season, pasture access and outdoor confinement variables were analysed with respect to seropositivity to sv Bratislava and Icterohaemorrhagiae. Multivariable logistic regression was used to model seropositivity to sv Bratislava and Icterohaemorrhagiae (seroprevalence > 8%). Results The seroprevalence, at a cut-off 1:100, were for sv Bratislava (16.6%), Icterohaemorrhagiae (8.3%), Sejroe (1.2%), Pomona (0.5%) and Grippotyphosa (0.4%). In the multivariable analysis, it was demonstrated that seroprevalence increased with age for sv Bratislava and Icterohaemorrhagiae. For sv Bratislava the seasons April – June and October – December and for sv Icterohaemorrhagiae October – December had higher seroprevalences than other seasons. Horses not used for racing had higher levels of seropositivity to sv Bratislava. Furthermore, horses with respiratory problems as well as horses with fatigue had higher levels of seropositivity to sv Bratislava. Ponies and coldbloods, and horses with access to pasture, had lower seroprevalence for sv Icterohaemorrhagiae. Healthy horses had lower seroprevalence for sv Icterohaemorrhagiae, than non-healthy horses. Conclusion There was no significant association between clinical signs and disease and positive titres to sv Bratislava (except for the association between respiratory problems and fatigue and

  9. Nuclear markers reveal unexpected genetic variation and a Congolese-Nilotic origin of the Lake Victoria cichlid species flock.

    PubMed Central

    Seehausen, Ole; Koetsier, Egbert; Schneider, Maria Victoria; Chapman, Lauren J; Chapman, Colin A; Knight, Mairi E; Turner, George F; van Alphen, Jacques J M; Bills, Roger

    2003-01-01

    Phylogenetic analyses based on mitochondrial (mt) DNA have indicated that the cichlid species flock of the Lake Victoria region is derived from a single ancestral species found in East African rivers, closely related to the ancestor of the Lake Malawi cichlid species flock. The Lake Victoria flock contains ten times less mtDNA variation than the Lake Malawi radiation, consistent with current estimates of the ages of the lakes. We present results of a phylogenetic investigation using nuclear (amplified fragment length polymorphism) markers and a wider coverage of riverine haplochromines. We demonstrate that the Lake Victoria-Edward flock is derived from the morphologically and ecologically diverse cichlid genus Thoracochromis from the Congo and Nile, rather than from the phenotypically conservative East African Astatotilapia. This implies that the ability to express much of the morphological diversity found in the species flock may by far pre-date the origin of the flock. Our data indicate that the nuclear diversity of the Lake Victoria-Edward species flock is similar to that of the Lake Malawi flock, indicating that the genetic diversity is considerably older than the 15 000 years that have passed since the lake began to refill. Most of this variation is manifested in trans-species polymorphisms, indicating very recent cladogenesis from a genetically very diverse founder stock. Our data do not confirm strict monophyly of either of the species flocks, but raise the possibility that these flocks have arisen from hybrid swarms. PMID:12590750

  10. Nuclear markers reveal unexpected genetic variation and a Congolese-Nilotic origin of the Lake Victoria cichlid species flock.

    PubMed

    Seehausen, Ole; Koetsier, Egbert; Schneider, Maria Victoria; Chapman, Lauren J; Chapman, Colin A; Knight, Mairi E; Turner, George F; van Alphen, Jacques J M; Bills, Roger

    2003-01-22

    Phylogenetic analyses based on mitochondrial (mt) DNA have indicated that the cichlid species flock of the Lake Victoria region is derived from a single ancestral species found in East African rivers, closely related to the ancestor of the Lake Malawi cichlid species flock. The Lake Victoria flock contains ten times less mtDNA variation than the Lake Malawi radiation, consistent with current estimates of the ages of the lakes. We present results of a phylogenetic investigation using nuclear (amplified fragment length polymorphism) markers and a wider coverage of riverine haplochromines. We demonstrate that the Lake Victoria-Edward flock is derived from the morphologically and ecologically diverse cichlid genus Thoracochromis from the Congo and Nile, rather than from the phenotypically conservative East African Astatotilapia. This implies that the ability to express much of the morphological diversity found in the species flock may by far pre-date the origin of the flock. Our data indicate that the nuclear diversity of the Lake Victoria-Edward species flock is similar to that of the Lake Malawi flock, indicating that the genetic diversity is considerably older than the 15 000 years that have passed since the lake began to refill. Most of this variation is manifested in trans-species polymorphisms, indicating very recent cladogenesis from a genetically very diverse founder stock. Our data do not confirm strict monophyly of either of the species flocks, but raise the possibility that these flocks have arisen from hybrid swarms. PMID:12590750

  11. Failed landings after laying hen flight in a commercial aviary over two flock cycles.

    PubMed

    Campbell, D L M; Goodwin, S L; Makagon, M M; Swanson, J C; Siegford, J M

    2016-01-01

    Many egg producers are adopting alternative housing systems such as aviaries that provide hens a tiered cage and a litter-covered open floor area. This larger, more complex environment permits expression of behaviors not seen in space-limited cages, such as flight. Flight is an exercise important for strengthening bones; but domestic hens might display imperfect flight landings due to poor flight control. To assess the potential implications of open space, we evaluated the landing success of Lohmann white laying hens in a commercial aviary. Video recordings of hens were taken from 4 aviary sections at peak lay, mid lay and end lay across two flock cycles. Observations were made in each focal section of all flights throughout the day noting flight origin and landing location (outer perch or litter) and landing success or failure. In Flock 1, 9.1% of all flights failed and 21% failed in Flock 2. The number of flights decreased across the laying cycle for both flocks. Proportionally more failed landings were observed in the double row sections in Flock 2. Collisions with other hens were more common than slipping on the ground or colliding with aviary structures across sections and flocks. More hens slipped on the ground and collided with physical structures at peak lay for Flock 2 than at other time points. More collisions with other hens were seen at mid and end lay than at peak lay for Flock 2. Landings ending on perches failed more often than landings on litter. These results indicate potential for flight-related hen injuries in aviary systems resulting from failed landings, which may have implications for hen welfare and optimal system design and management. PMID:26527703

  12. Risk factors associated with Salmonella status of broiler flocks delivered to grow-out farms.

    PubMed

    Volkova, V V; Bailey, R H; Hubbard, S A; Magee, D L; Byrd, J A; Robert, W W

    2011-06-01

    In a prospective field observational study in the southeastern USA, we sampled gastrointestinal (GI) tracts from chicks of 65 broiler flocks delivered to conventional grow-out farms for rearing. The flocks were hatched at seven broiler hatcheries. The mean within-flock prevalence of Salmonella-positive samples was 6.5% and ranged from 0% to 86.7%. Of the 65 flocks studied, 25 (38.5%) had at least one Salmonella-positive sample. Accounting for confounding variability among the hatcheries and broiler companies, we tested whether the probability of detecting Salmonella in GI tracts of the chicks delivered was associated with certain characteristics of parent breeder flocks; hatchery production volume; hatchery ventilation system; hatchery egg-room conditions; egg incubation, candling, hatching, eggshell and bird separation, and bird-processing procedures; management of hatchery-to-farm transportation; day of week of hatch; weather conditions during transportation; or season of the hatch. Two risk factor models were adopted. The first model indicated that a greater number of parent flocks, manual separation of eggshell and bird, and a greater amount of fluff and feces on tray liners used during hatchery-to-farm transportation at delivery were associated with increased probability of detecting Salmonella in chick GI tracts, whereas a greater number of birds in the delivery vehicle was associated with decreased probability. The second model indicated that broiler flocks hatched on Tuesdays versus either Mondays or Thursdays (with no hatches on Wednesdays, Fridays or week-ends), increased average hatchability of the eggs from the parent flocks, and greater amounts of fluff and feces on the transport tray liners at delivery were all associated with increased probability of detecting Salmonella in chick GI tracts. The results of this study suggest potential management decisions to lessen Salmonella contamination of broilers supplied by commercial hatcheries and areas for

  13. Parasite nematode infections in Awassi adult sheep: distribution through Syrian farm flocks.

    PubMed

    Nishikawa, N; Gruner, L; Giangaspero, M; Tabbaa, D

    1995-01-01

    A survey was conducted on 1,474 adult sheep from 73 flocks distributed in the 13 provinces of Syria. Faecal egg and larval nematode outputs were studied. Marshallagia and Nematodirus infections were higher in the driest areas; infections by other nematodes, Dictyocaulus and small lungworms (Cystocaulus and Muellerius) were higher in the more rainy areas. A long transhumance limited small lungworm infections, which were higher in flocks using wet night shelters. PMID:7795666

  14. Stochastic flocking dynamics of the Cucker-Smale model with multiplicative white noises

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ahn, Shin Mi; Ha, Seung-Yeal

    2010-10-01

    We present a strong asymptotic stochastic flocking estimate for the stochastically perturbed Cucker-Smale model. We characterize a form of multiplicative white noises and present sufficient conditions on the control parameters to guarantee the almost sure exponential convergence toward constant equilibrium states. When the strength of multiplicative noises is sufficiently large, we show that the strong stochastic flocking occurs even for negative communication weights.

  15. Simultaneous detection of astrovirus, rotavirus, reovirus and adenovirus type I in broiler chicken flocks.

    PubMed

    Roussan, D A; Shaheen, I A; Khawaldeh, G Y; Totanji, W S; Al-Rifai, R H

    2012-01-01

    Enteric diseases cause substantial economic losses to the poultry industry. Astroviruses, rotaviruses, reoviruses, and adenovirus type 1 have been reported as a significant cause of intestinal symptoms in poultry. In the present study, intestinal samples from 70 commercial broiler chicken flocks were examined for the presence of astroviruses, rotavirus, and reovirus by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction, and for the presence of group I adenovirus by polymerase chain reaction. Astroviruses were identified in 38.6% of samples tested. Both avian nephritis virus and chicken astrovirus were identified in the astrovirus positive flocks, where 74.1% of these flocks were positive for only one type of astrovirus, whereas, 25.9% of these flocks were positive for both types of astrovirus. Reoviruses, rotaviruses, and adenoviruses were identified in 21.4, 18.6, and 14.3% of these flocks, respectively. Concomitant infection with two or more viruses in the same flock were also prominent, where 5.7, 5.7, 2.9, 2.9, 1.4, and 1.4% of these flocks were positive with both astrovirus and rotavirus; astrovirus and adenovirus; astrovirus and reovirus; rotavirus and adenovirus; rotavirus and reovirus; and reovirus and adenovirus respectively. Moreover, 4.3 and 2.7% of these flocks were positive for astrovirus, reovirus, and adenovirus; and astrovirus, reovirus, and rotavirus, respectively. Further studies will focus on identifying specific viral factors or subtypes/subgroups associated with disease through pathogenesis studies, economic losses caused by infections and co-infections of these pathogens, and the costs and benefits of countermeasures. PMID:22844713

  16. Risk factors for antimicrobial resistance in Escherichia coli found in GB turkey flocks.

    PubMed

    Jones, E M; Snow, L C; Carrique-Mas, J J; Gosling, R J; Clouting, C; Davies, R H

    2013-11-01

    Four models are presented investigating risks present on Great Britain (GB) turkey farms in breeding and fattening flocks for ciprofloxacin and cephalosporin resistance. Risk factors for ciprofloxacin resistance in fattening flocks were sourcing of feed from national compounders, antimicrobial use in the flock and evidence of mice. Disinfection of floors and walls at depopulation, older flocks and division of the flock with partitions reduced the risk. In breeding farms holding over 10,000 birds, administration of fluoroquinolones within the last year and horses on the neighbouring farm all increased the risk, whereas replenishing foot dips more than once a week reduced the risk. For cephalosporin-resistant Escherichia coli on fattening farms, being an independent farm, having a watercourse near the poultry houses, dividing the flock with partitions and providing staff with gloves reduced the risk. Factors that increased the risk included if staff worked with other livestock and if there were pigs on neighbouring farms. This work suggests that good hygiene and biosecurity, rodent control and responsible use of antimicrobials on turkey farms might help minimise the prevalence of fluoroquinolone and cephalosporin resistance in E coli, and restrict the spread of resistance genes to other organisms. PMID:24097819

  17. Foraging efficiency of a predator flock for randomly moving prey: A simulation study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Sang-Hee; Kwon, Ohsung

    2016-03-01

    Flocking behavior of animals is highly advantageous for taking food resources. The degree of the advantage is related to the ability of flock members to detect their prey and the mobility of prey individuals. In this study, to explore the relation, we constructed a model to simulate a predator flock and its randomly moving prey. The predator members have the prey detection ability, which was characterized as sensing distance, R, and a sensing angle, θ. The mobility of the prey individuals was characterized as the maximum traveling distance of an iteration time step, L. The relative flock foraging efficiency, ɛ, was defined as ɛ = 1 ‑ (Td/Tup). Tup and Td represent the spent time for the flock to eat all prey individuals and to uptake the last remaining 10% prey, respectively. Simulation results showed that ɛ increased, maximized, and decreased with the increase of R, regardless of L. As the number of prey, N, increased, the tendency of the increasing and decreasing was diluted. The result was briefly discussed in relation to the flock foraging behavior and the development of the model toward applications for real ecosystems.

  18. Linear response to leadership, effective temperature, and decision making in flocks.

    PubMed

    Pearce, Daniel J G; Giomi, Luca

    2016-08-01

    Large collections of autonomously moving agents, such as animals or micro-organisms, are able to flock coherently in space even in the absence of a central control mechanism. While the direction of the flock resulting from this critical behavior is random, this can be controlled by a small subset of informed individuals acting as leaders of the group. In this article we use the Vicsek model to investigate how flocks respond to leadership and make decisions. Using a combination of numerical simulations and continuous modeling we demonstrate that flocks display a linear response to leadership that can be cast in the framework of the fluctuation-dissipation theorem, identifying an effective temperature reflecting how promptly the flock reacts to the initiative of the leaders. The linear response to leadership also holds in the presence of two groups of informed individuals with competing interests, indicating that the flock's behavioral decision is determined by both the number of leaders and their degree of influence. PMID:27627365

  19. Social interactions dominate speed control in poising natural flocks near criticality.

    PubMed

    Bialek, William; Cavagna, Andrea; Giardina, Irene; Mora, Thierry; Pohl, Oliver; Silvestri, Edmondo; Viale, Massimiliano; Walczak, Aleksandra M

    2014-05-20

    Flocks of birds exhibit a remarkable degree of coordination and collective response. It is not just that thousands of individuals fly, on average, in the same direction and at the same speed, but that even the fluctuations around the mean velocity are correlated over long distances. Quantitative measurements on flocks of starlings, in particular, show that these fluctuations are scale-free, with effective correlation lengths proportional to the linear size of the flock. Here we construct models for the joint distribution of velocities in the flock that reproduce the observed local correlations between individuals and their neighbors, as well as the variance of flight speeds across individuals, but otherwise have as little structure as possible. These minimally structured or maximum entropy models provide quantitative, parameter-free predictions for the spread of correlations throughout the flock, and these are in excellent agreement with the data. These models are mathematically equivalent to statistical physics models for ordering in magnets, and the correct prediction of scale-free correlations arises because the parameters--completely determined by the data--are in the critical regime. In biological terms, criticality allows the flock to achieve maximal correlation across long distances with limited speed fluctuations. PMID:24785504

  20. Social interactions dominate speed control in poising natural flocks near criticality

    PubMed Central

    Bialek, William; Cavagna, Andrea; Giardina, Irene; Mora, Thierry; Pohl, Oliver; Silvestri, Edmondo; Viale, Massimiliano; Walczak, Aleksandra M.

    2014-01-01

    Flocks of birds exhibit a remarkable degree of coordination and collective response. It is not just that thousands of individuals fly, on average, in the same direction and at the same speed, but that even the fluctuations around the mean velocity are correlated over long distances. Quantitative measurements on flocks of starlings, in particular, show that these fluctuations are scale-free, with effective correlation lengths proportional to the linear size of the flock. Here we construct models for the joint distribution of velocities in the flock that reproduce the observed local correlations between individuals and their neighbors, as well as the variance of flight speeds across individuals, but otherwise have as little structure as possible. These minimally structured or maximum entropy models provide quantitative, parameter-free predictions for the spread of correlations throughout the flock, and these are in excellent agreement with the data. These models are mathematically equivalent to statistical physics models for ordering in magnets, and the correct prediction of scale-free correlations arises because the parameters—completely determined by the data—are in the critical regime. In biological terms, criticality allows the flock to achieve maximal correlation across long distances with limited speed fluctuations. PMID:24785504

  1. Apolipoprotein A-I variants. Naturally occurring substitutions of proline residues affect plasma concentration of apolipoprotein A-I.

    PubMed Central

    von Eckardstein, A; Funke, H; Henke, A; Altland, K; Benninghoven, A; Assmann, G

    1989-01-01

    Six unrelated families with genetically determined structural variants of apo A-I were found in the course of an electrophoretic screening program for apo A-I variants in dried blood samples of newborns. The following structural variations were identified by the combined use of HPLC, time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (TOF-SIMS), and automated gas phase sequencing: Pro3----Arg (1x), Pro4----Arg (1x), and Pro165----Arg (4x). All variant carriers were heterozygous for their mutant of apo A-I. Subjects heterozygous for apo A-I(Pro165----Arg) (n = 12) were found to exhibit lower mean values for apo A-I (109 +/- 16 mg/dl) and HDL cholesterol (37 +/- 9 mg/dl) than unaffected family members (n = 9): 176 +/- 41 and 64 +/- 18 mg/dl, respectively (P less than 0.001). In 9 of 12 apo A-I(Pro165----Arg) variant carriers the concentrations of apo A-I were below the fifth percentile of sex-matched controls. By two-dimensional immunoelectrophoresis as well as by densitometry the relative concentration of the variant apo A-I in heterozygous carriers of apo A-I(Pro165----Arg) was determined to account for only 30% of the total plasma apo A-I mass instead of the expected 50%. Thus, the observed apo A-I deficiency may be largely a consequence of the decreased concentration of the variant apo A-I. In the case of the apo A-I(Pro3----Arg) mutant, densitometry of HDL apolipoproteins demonstrated a distinctly increased concentration of the variant proapo A-I relative to normal proapo A-I. This phenomenon was not observed in the apo A-I(Pro4----Arg) mutant or in other mutants. This suggests that the interspecies conserved proline residue in position 3 of mature apo A-I is functionally important for the regular enzymatic conversion of proapo A-I to mature apo A-I. Images PMID:2512329

  2. Apolipoprotein A-I and Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Zamanian-Daryoush, Maryam; DiDonato, Joseph A.

    2015-01-01

    High-density lipoprotein (HDL) and apolipoprotein A-I (apoA-I), the predominant protein in plasma HDL, have long been the focus of intense studies in the field of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease. ApoA-I, in large part, is responsible for HDL assembly and its main atheroprotective function, that of shuttling excess cholesterol from peripheral tissues to the liver for excretion (reverse cholesterol transport). Recently, a protective role for HDL in cancer was suggested from several large clinical studies where an inverse relationship between plasma HDL-cholesterol (HDL-C) levels and risk of developing cancer was noted. This notion has now been tested and found to be supported in mouse tumor studies, where increasing levels of apoA-I/HDL were discovered to protect against tumor development and provision of human apoA-I was therapeutic against established tumors. This mini-review discusses the emerging role of apoA-I in tumor biology and its potential as cancer therapeutic. PMID:26617517

  3. Fish gotta swim, Birds gotta fly, I gotta do Feynmann Graphs 'til I die: A continuum Theory of Flocking

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Toner, John; Tu, Yu-Hai

    2002-05-01

    We have developed a new continuum dynamical model for the collective motion of large "flocks" of biological organisms (e.g., flocks of birds, schools of fish, herds of wildebeest, hordes of bacteria, slime molds, etc.) . This model does for flocks what the Navier-Stokes equation does for fluids. The model predicts that, unlike simple fluids, flocks show huge fluctuation effects in spatial dimensions d < 4 that radically change their behavior. In d=2, it is only these effects that make it possible for the flock to move coherently at all. This explains why a million wildebeest can march together across the Serengeti plain, despite the fact that a million physicists gathered on the same plane could NOT all POINT in the same direction. Detailed quantitative predictions of this theory agree beautifully with computer simulations of flock motion.

  4. Risk factors for Campylobacter colonization in Danish broiler flocks, 2010 to 2011.

    PubMed

    Sandberg, M; Sørensen, L L; Steenberg, B; Chowdhury, S; Ersbøll, A K; Alban, L

    2015-03-01

    The objectives of the two studies presented were to estimate the prevalence of Campylobacter-positive farms and flocks and to acquire updated knowledge about risk factors for the introduction of Campylobacter in Danish broiler flocks. In the first study, from September 2010 to September 2011, there were 25 Danish broiler farms visited, and a questionnaire was filled in by a veterinarian/consultant. In the second study, a similar questionnaire was distributed electronically to all Danish broiler farmers (n=164) that were on record with an email address in the Quality Assurance System in the Danish Broiler Production (KIK) database. House- and flock-specific data collected in the surveys were supplemented with information obtained from the KIK database. Data obtained from the two studies were analyzed separately by logistic regression analysis. In both models, the dependent variable was "Campylobacter flock status (positive/negative)," which was based on real-time PCR testing of fecal material from the floor of each broiler house that had been collected preslaughter using a pair of tube gauze "socks." This material was pooled into one sample. Of the 25 farms visited, 17 had delivered Campylobacter-positive flocks during the study period, and eight farms had no Campylobacter-positive flocks. Moreover, the flock prevalence of Campylobacter was 17% (n=418). Data obtained from the electronically distributed survey revealed that 63% (n=71) of the farms were Campylobacter-positive. Further, the flock prevalence of Campylobacter was 14% (n=1,286). The multivariable models from the two sets of data identified the following statistically significant risk factors: summer vs. winter; if the previous flock in the house was positive for Campylobacter vs. if the previous flock in the house was negative; and litter delivered into the house close to the time of arrival of new chickens vs. storing litter on the farm. Furthermore, the data showed that a vertically based ventilation

  5. Litter, permanent environmental, ram-flock, and genetic effects on early weight gain of lambs.

    PubMed

    Hagger, C

    1998-02-01

    Twelve models were fitted to early growth data of two Swiss sheep breeds to investigate their suitability for evaluation of breeding values. Models were identical for fixed parity, litter size, sex and lambing season effects, random flock-year, and direct genetic effects but differed for combinations of random litter, permanent environmental, ram-flock, and maternal genetic effects. Records of average daily gain to 30 d of 25,564 lambs of the Black-Brown Mountain Sheep (SBS) and of 26,391 lambs of the White Alpine Sheep (WAS) born 1989 to 1995 and their pedigrees were available. A single-trait animal model was fitted by the restricted maximum likelihood method. The information criterion of a particular model (i.e., the maximum of the likelihood function adjusted for the number of independently estimated parameters) was used to evaluate the models for their fitting power. The litter effect accounted for between 26 and 31% of the phenotypic variance, with little variation within breed. Models containing the ram-flock effect provided a better fit of the data than otherwise identical models. This effect contributed 6 and 4% to the phenotypic variance in the two breeds and strongly influenced estimates of other components. The proportion of phenotypic variance due to the flock-year effect was 23 and 25% without and 19 and 23% including the ram-flock effect in the model in the two breeds. Including permanent environmental effect of the ewe in addition to litter effect led to a better fit of the data. Depending on the model, it then contributed between 3 and 6% to the phenotypic variance. Fitting the ram-flock effect reduced heritability considerably and increased the breed difference of the estimates of this parameter. Estimates ranging from .16 to .10 and from .08 to .14 were obtained for the SBS and WAS breeds, respectively. For models without the ram-flock effect, negative estimates of the direct-maternal correlation of between -.38 and -.45 were observed. Including

  6. Birds and dolphins flock to turn basin in feeding frenzy.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    Birds by the score, especially gray and white pelicans, cormorants, sea gulls, herons and ospreys, flock to the turn basin east of the Vehicle Assembly Building in a feeding frenzy as schools of fish fill the waters. In the background is Launch Pad A with Space Shuttle Endeavour waiting for launch on Friday, Feb. 11 for mission STS-99. The basin is part of the Indian River Lagoon, which is made up of Mosquito Lagoon to the north, Banana River and Creek to the south and the Indian River to the west. It is called a lagoon because it is a body of water separated from the ocean by barrier islands, with limited exchange with the ocean through inlets. The Indian River Lagoon has one of the most diverse bird populations anywhere in America. Also, nearly one- third of the nation's manatee population lives here or migrates through the lagoon seasonally. The lagoon varies in width from .5 mile to 5 miles and averages only 3 feet in depth.

  7. Prevalence of Salmonella in flocks housed in enriched cages.

    PubMed

    Zongo, P; Ducrot, A; Burie, J-B; Beaumont, C

    2015-04-01

    Salmonellosis is a foodborne disease of humans and animals caused by infection with Salmonella. The aim of this paper is to improve a deterministic model (DM) and an individual-based model (IBM) with reference to Salmonella propagation in flocks of laying hens taking into account variations in hens housed in the same cage and to compare both models. The spatio-temporal evolution, the basic reproduction number, R 0, and the speed of wave propagation were computed for both models. While in most cases the DM allows summary of all the features of the model in the formula for computation of R 0, slight differences between individuals or groups may be observed with the IBM that could not be expected from the DM, especially when initial environmental contamination is very low and some cages may get rid of bacteria. Both models suggest that the cage size plays a role on the risk and speed of propagation of the bacteria, which should be considered when designing new breeding systems. PMID:25084397

  8. Exploring flocking via quantum many-body physics techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Souslov, Anton; Loewe, Benjamin; Goldbart, Paul M.

    2015-03-01

    Flocking refers to the spontaneous breaking of spatial isotropy and time-reversal symmetries in collections of bodies such as birds, fish, locusts, bacteria, and artificial active systems. The transport of matter along biopolymers using molecular motors also involves the breaking of these symmetries, which in some cases are known to be broken explicitly. We study these classical nonequilibrium symmetry-breaking phenomena by means of models of many strongly interacting particles that hop on a periodic lattice. We employ a mapping between the classical and quantum dynamics of many-body systems, combined with tools from many-body theory. In particular, we examine the formation and properties of nematic and polar order in low-dimensional, strongly-interacting active systems using techniques familiar from fermionic systems, such as self-consistent field theory and bosonization. Thus, we find that classical active systems can exhibit analogs of quantum phenomena such as spin-orbit coupling, magnetism, and superconductivity. The models we study connect the physics of asymmetric exclusion processes to the spontaneous emergence of transport and flow, and also provide a soluble cousin of Vicsek's model system of self-propelled particles.

  9. Coexisting Cyclic Parthenogens Comprise a Holocene Species Flock in Eubosmina

    PubMed Central

    Faustová, Markéta; Sacherová, Veronika; Sheets, H. David; Svensson, Jan-Erik; Taylor, Derek J.

    2010-01-01

    Background Mixed breeding systems with extended clonal phases and weak sexual recruitment are widespread in nature but often thought to impede the formation of discrete evolutionary clusters. Thus, cyclic parthenogens, such as cladocerans and rotifers, could be predisposed to “species problems” and a lack of discrete species. However, species flocks have been proposed for one cladoceran group, Eubosmina, where putative species are sympatric, and there is a detailed paleolimnological record indicating a Holocene age. These factors make the Eubosmina system suitable for testing the hypotheses that extended clonal phases and weak sexual recruitment inhibit speciation. Although common garden experiments have revealed a genetic component to the morphotypic variation, the evolutionary significance of the morphotypes remains controversial. Methodology/Principal Findings In the present study, we tested the hypothesis of a single polymorphic species (i.e., mixing occurs but selection maintains genes for morphology) in four northern European lakes where the morphotypes coexist. Our evidence is based on nuclear DNA sequence, mitochondrial DNA sequence, and morphometric analysis of coexisting morphotypes. We found significant genetic differentiation, genealogical exclusivity, and morphometric differentiation for coexisting morphotypes. Conclusions We conclude that the studied morphotypes represent a group of young species undergoing speciation with apparent reproductive barriers despite coexistence in the freshwater pelagic zone. PMID:20661283

  10. Seropositivity for ascariosis and toxocariosis and cytokine expression among the indigenous people in the Venezuelan Delta region.

    PubMed

    Araujo, Zaida; Brandes, Sietze; Pinelli, Elena; Bochichio, María A; Palacios, Andrea; Wide, Albina; Rivas-Santiago, Bruno; Jiménez, Juan Carlos

    2015-01-01

    The present study aimed at measuring seropositivities for infection by Ascaris suum and Toxocara canis using the excretory/secretory (E/S) antigens from Ascaris suum (AES) and Toxocara canis (TES) within an indigenous population. In addition, quantification of cytokine expressions in peripheral blood cells was determined. A total of 50 Warao indigenous were included; of which 43 were adults and seven children. In adults, 44.1% were seropositive for both parasites; whereas children had only seropositivity to one or the other helminth. For ascariosis, the percentage of AES seropositivity in adults and children was high; 23.3% and 57.1%, respectively. While that for toxocariosis, the percentage of TES seropositivity in adults and children was low; 9.3% and 14.3%, respectively. The percentage of seronegativity was comparable for AES and TES antigens in adults (27.9%) and children (28.6%). When positive sera were analyzed by Western blotting technique using AES antigens; three bands of 97.2, 193.6 and 200.2 kDas were mostly recognized. When the TES antigens were used, nine major bands were mostly identified; 47.4, 52.2, 84.9, 98.2, 119.1, 131.3, 175.6, 184.4 and 193.6 kDas. Stool examinations showed that Blastocystis hominis, Hymenolepis nana and Entamoeba coli were the most commonly observed intestinal parasites. Quantification of cytokines IFN-γ, IL-2, IL-6, TGF-β, TNF-α, IL-10 and IL-4 expressions showed that there was only a significant increased expression of IL-4 in indigenous with TES seropositivity (p < 0.002). Ascaris and Toxocara seropositivity was prevalent among Warao indigenous. PMID:25651326

  11. SEROPOSITIVITY FOR ASCARIOSIS AND TOXOCARIOSIS AND CYTOKINE EXPRESSION AMONG THE INDIGENOUS PEOPLE IN THE VENEZUELAN DELTA REGION

    PubMed Central

    Araujo, Zaida; Brandes, Sietze; Pinelli, Elena; Bochichio, María A.; Palacios, Andrea; Wide, Albina; Rivas-Santiago, Bruno; Jiménez, Juan Carlos

    2015-01-01

    The present study aimed at measuring seropositivities for infection by Ascaris suum and Toxocara canis using the excretory/secretory (E/S) antigens from Ascaris suum (AES) and Toxocara canis (TES) within an indigenous population. In addition, quantification of cytokine expressions in peripheral blood cells was determined. A total of 50 Warao indigenous were included; of which 43 were adults and seven children. In adults, 44.1% were seropositive for both parasites; whereas children had only seropositivity to one or the other helminth. For ascariosis, the percentage of AES seropositivity in adults and children was high; 23.3% and 57.1%, respectively. While that for toxocariosis, the percentage of TES seropositivity in adults and children was low; 9.3% and 14.3%, respectively. The percentage of seronegativity was comparable for AES and TES antigens in adults (27.9%) and children (28.6%). When positive sera were analyzed by Western blotting technique using AES antigens; three bands of 97.2, 193.6 and 200.2 kDas were mostly recognized. When the TES antigens were used, nine major bands were mostly identified; 47.4, 52.2, 84.9, 98.2, 119.1, 131.3, 175.6, 184.4 and 193.6 kDas. Stool examinations showed that Blastocystis hominis, Hymenolepis nana and Entamoeba coli were the most commonly observed intestinal parasites. Quantification of cytokines IFN-γ, IL-2, IL-6, TGF-β, TNF-α, IL-10 and IL-4 expressions showed that there was only a significant increased expression of IL-4 in indigenous with TES seropositivity (p < 0.002). Ascaris and Toxocara seropositivity was prevalent among Warao indigenous. PMID:25651326

  12. A CCL5 Haplotype Is Associated with Low Seropositivity Rate of HCV Infection in People Who Inject Drugs

    PubMed Central

    Huik, Kristi; Avi, Radko; Pauskar, Merit; Kallas, Eveli; Jõgeda, Ene-Ly; Karki, Tõnis; Rüütel, Kristi; Talu, Ave; Abel-Ollo, Katri; Uusküla, Anneli; Carrillo, Andrew; Ahuja, Sunil K.; He, Weijing; Lutsar, Irja

    2016-01-01

    Objective The role of CC chemokine receptor 5 (CCR5) and its ligand CCL5 on the pathogenesis of HIV infection has been well studied but not for HCV infection. Here, we investigated whether CCL5 haplotypes influence HIV and HCV seropositivity among 373 Caucasian people who inject drugs (PWID) from Estonia. Methods Study included 373 PWID; 56% were HIV seropositive, 44% HCV seropositive and 47% co-infected. Four CCL5 haplotypes (A-D) were derived from three CCL5 polymorphisms (rs2107538/rs2280788/rs2280789) typed by Taqman allelic discrimination assays. The data of CCR5 haplotypes were used from our previous study. The association between CCL5 haplotypes with HIV and/or HCV seropositivity was determined using logistic regression analysis. Results Possessing CCL5 haplotype D (defined by rs2107538A/rs2280788G/rs2280789C) decreased the odds of HCV seropositivity compared to those not possessing it (OR = 0.19; 95% CI 0.09–0.40), which remained significant after adjustment to co-variates (OR = 0.08; 95% CI 0.02–0.29). An association of this haplotype with HIV seropositivity was not found. In step-wise logistic regression with backward elimination CCL5 haplotype D and CCR5 HHG*1 had reduced odds for HCV seropositivity (OR = 0.28 95% CI 0.09–0.92; OR = 0.23 95% CI 0.08–0.68, respectively) compared to those who did not possess these haplotypes, respectively. Conclusions Our results suggest that among PWID CCL5 haplotype D and CCR5 HHG*1 independently protects against HCV. Our findings highlight the importance of CCL5 genetic variability and CCL5-CCR5 axis on the susceptibility to HCV. PMID:27304910

  13. Seropositivity and risk factors associated with Toxoplasma gondii infection in wild birds from Spain.

    PubMed

    Cabezón, Oscar; García-Bocanegra, Ignacio; Molina-López, Rafael; Marco, Ignasi; Blanco, Juan M; Höfle, Ursula; Margalida, Antoni; Bach-Raich, Esther; Darwich, Laila; Echeverría, Israel; Obón, Elena; Hernández, Mauro; Lavín, Santiago; Dubey, Jitender P; Almería, Sonia

    2011-01-01

    Toxoplasma gondii is a zoonotic intracellular protozoan parasite of worldwide distribution that infects many species of warm-blooded animals, including birds. To date, there is scant information about the seropositivity of T. gondii and the risk factors associated with T. gondii infection in wild bird populations. In the present study, T. gondii infection was evaluated on sera obtained from 1079 wild birds belonging to 56 species (including Falconiformes (n=610), Strigiformes (n=260), Ciconiiformes (n=156), Gruiformes (n=21), and other orders (n=32), from different areas of Spain. Antibodies to T. gondii (modified agglutination test, MAT titer ≥1:25) were found in 282 (26.1%, IC(95%:)23.5-28.7) of the 1079 birds. This study constitute the first extensive survey in wild birds species in Spain and reports for the first time T. gondii antibodies in the griffon vulture (Gyps fulvus), short-toed snake-eagle (Circaetus gallicus), Bonelli's eagle (Aquila fasciata), golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos), bearded vulture (Gypaetus barbatus), osprey (Pandion haliaetus), Montagu's harrier (Circus pygargus), Western marsh-harrier (Circus aeruginosus), peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus), long-eared owl (Asio otus), common scops owl (Otus scops), Eurasian spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia), white stork (Ciconia ciconia), grey heron (Ardea cinerea), common moorhen (Gallinula chloropus); in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) "vulnerable" Spanish imperial eagle (Aquila adalberti), lesser kestrel (Falco naumanni) and great bustard (Otis tarda); and in the IUCN "near threatened" red kite (Milvus milvus). The highest seropositivity by species was observed in the Eurasian eagle owl (Bubo bubo) (68.1%, 98 of 144). The main risk factors associated with T. gondii seropositivity in wild birds were age and diet, with the highest exposure in older animals and in carnivorous wild birds. The results showed that T. gondii infection is widespread and can be at a high level in

  14. Does mixed-species flocking influence how birds respond to a gradient of land-use intensity?

    PubMed

    Mammides, Christos; Chen, Jin; Goodale, Uromi Manage; Kotagama, Sarath Wimalabandara; Sidhu, Swati; Goodale, Eben

    2015-07-22

    Conservation biology is increasingly concerned with preserving interactions among species such as mutualisms in landscapes facing anthropogenic change. We investigated how one kind of mutualism, mixed-species bird flocks, influences the way in which birds respond to different habitat types of varying land-use intensity. We use data from a well-replicated, large-scale study in Sri Lanka and the Western Ghats of India, in which flocks were observed inside forest reserves, in 'buffer zones' of degraded forest or timber plantations, and in areas of intensive agriculture. We find flocks affected the responses of birds in three ways: (i) species with high propensity to flock were more sensitive to land use; (ii) different flock types, dominated by different flock leaders, varied in their sensitivity to land use and because following species have distinct preferences for leaders, this can have a cascading effect on followers' habitat selection; and (iii) those forest-interior species that remain outside of forests were found more inside flocks than would be expected by chance, as they may use flocks more in suboptimal habitat. We conclude that designing policies to protect flocks and their leading species may be an effective way to conserve multiple bird species in mixed forest and agricultural landscapes. PMID:26156772

  15. Does mixed-species flocking influence how birds respond to a gradient of land-use intensity?

    PubMed Central

    Mammides, Christos; Chen, Jin; Goodale, Uromi Manage; Kotagama, Sarath Wimalabandara; Sidhu, Swati; Goodale, Eben

    2015-01-01

    Conservation biology is increasingly concerned with preserving interactions among species such as mutualisms in landscapes facing anthropogenic change. We investigated how one kind of mutualism, mixed-species bird flocks, influences the way in which birds respond to different habitat types of varying land-use intensity. We use data from a well-replicated, large-scale study in Sri Lanka and the Western Ghats of India, in which flocks were observed inside forest reserves, in ‘buffer zones' of degraded forest or timber plantations, and in areas of intensive agriculture. We find flocks affected the responses of birds in three ways: (i) species with high propensity to flock were more sensitive to land use; (ii) different flock types, dominated by different flock leaders, varied in their sensitivity to land use and because following species have distinct preferences for leaders, this can have a cascading effect on followers' habitat selection; and (iii) those forest-interior species that remain outside of forests were found more inside flocks than would be expected by chance, as they may use flocks more in suboptimal habitat. We conclude that designing policies to protect flocks and their leading species may be an effective way to conserve multiple bird species in mixed forest and agricultural landscapes. PMID:26156772

  16. A Spatial Analysis of Rift Valley Fever Virus Seropositivity in Domestic Ruminants in Tanzania

    PubMed Central

    Sindato, Calvin; Pfeiffer, Dirk U.; Karimuribo, Esron D.; Mboera, Leonard E. G.; Rweyemamu, Mark M.; Paweska, Janusz T.

    2015-01-01

    Rift Valley fever (RVF) is an acute arthropod-borne viral zoonotic disease primarily occurring in Africa. Since RVF-like disease was reported in Tanzania in 1930, outbreaks of the disease have been reported mainly from the eastern ecosystem of the Great Rift Valley. This cross-sectional study was carried out to describe the variation in RVF virus (RVFV) seropositivity in domestic ruminants between selected villages in the eastern and western Rift Valley ecosystems in Tanzania, and identify potential risk factors. Three study villages were purposively selected from each of the two Rift Valley ecosystems. Serum samples from randomly selected domestic ruminants (n = 1,435) were tested for the presence of specific immunoglobulin G (IgG) and M (IgM), using RVF enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay methods. Mixed effects logistic regression modelling was used to investigate the association between potential risk factors and RVFV seropositivity. The overall RVFV seroprevalence (n = 1,435) in domestic ruminants was 25.8% and speciesspecific seroprevalence was 29.7%, 27.7% and 22.0% in sheep (n = 148), cattle (n = 756) and goats (n = 531), respectively. The odds of seropositivity were significantly higher in animals sampled from the villages in the eastern than those in the western Rift Valley ecosystem (OR = 1.88, CI: 1.41, 2.51; p<0.001), in animals sampled from villages with soils of good than those with soils of poor water holding capacity (OR = 1.97; 95% CI: 1.58, 3.02; p< 0.001), and in animals which had been introduced than in animals born within the herd (OR = 5.08, CI: 2.74, 9.44; p< 0.001). Compared with animals aged 1–2 years, those aged 3 and 4–5 years had 3.40 (CI: 2.49, 4.64; p< 0.001) and 3.31 (CI: 2.27, 4.82, p< 0.001) times the odds of seropositivity. The findings confirm exposure to RVFV in all the study villages, but with a higher prevalence in the study villages from the eastern Rift Valley ecosystem. PMID:26162089

  17. Household Socioeconomic and Demographic Correlates of Cryptosporidium Seropositivity in the United States

    PubMed Central

    Becker, Daniel J.; Oloya, James; Ezeamama, Amara E.

    2015-01-01

    Background Cryptosporidium are parasitic protozoa that infect humans, domestic animals, and wildlife globally. In the United States, cryptosporidiosis occurs in an estimated 750,000 persons annually, and is primarily caused by either of the Cryptosporidium parvum genotypes 1 and 2, exposure to which occurs through ingestion of food or water contaminated with oocytes shed from infected hosts. Although most cryptosporidiosis cases are caused by genotype 1 and are of human origin, the zoonotic sources of genotype 2, such as livestock, are increasingly recognized as important for understanding human disease patterns. Social inequality could mediate patterns of human exposure and infection by placing individuals in environments where food or water contamination and livestock contact is high or through reducing the availability of educational and sanitary resources required to avoid exposure. Methodology/Principal Findings We here analyzed data from the National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey (NHANES) between 1999 and 2000, and related seropositivity to Cryptosporidium parvum to correlates of social inequality at the household and individual scale. After accounting for the complex sampling design of NHANES and confounding by individual demographics and household conditions, we found impaired household food adequacy was associated with greater odds of Cryptosporidium seropositivity. Additionally, we identified individuals of non-white race and ethnicity and those born outside the United States as having significantly greater risk than white, domestic-born counterparts. Furthermore, we provide suggestive evidence for direct effects of family wealth on Cryptosporidium seropositivity, in that persons from low-income households and from families close to the poverty threshold had elevated odds of seropositivity relative to those in high-income families and in households far above the poverty line. Conclusions/Significance These results refute assertions that

  18. Toxocara Seropositivity, Atopy and Wheezing in Children Living in Poor Neighbourhoods in Urban Latin American

    PubMed Central

    Mendonça, Lívia Ribeiro; Veiga, Rafael Valente; Dattoli, Vitor Camilo Cavalcante; Figueiredo, Camila Alexandrina; Fiaccone, Rosemeire; Santos, Jackson; Cruz, Álvaro Augusto; Rodrigues, Laura Cunha; Cooper, Philip John; Pontes-de-Carvalho, Lain Carlos; Barreto, Maurício Lima; Alcantara-Neves, Neuza Maria

    2012-01-01

    Background Toxocara canis and T. cati are parasites of dogs and cats, respectively, that infect humans and cause human toxocariasis. Infection may cause asthma-like symptoms but is often asymptomatic and is associated with a marked eosinophilia. Previous epidemiological studies indicate that T. canis infection may be associated with the development of atopy and asthma. Objectives To investigate possible associations between Toxocara spp. seropositivity and atopy and childhood wheezing in a population of children living in non-affluent areas of a large Latin American city. Methods The study was conducted in the city of Salvador, Brazil. Data on wheezing symptoms were collected by questionnaire, and atopy was measured by the presence of aeroallergen-specific IgE (sIgE). Skin prick test (SPT), total IgE and peripheral eosinophilia were measured. Toxocara seropositivity was determined by the presence of anti-Toxocara IgG antibodies, and intestinal helminth infections were determined by stool microscopy. Findings Children aged 4 to 11 years were studied, of whom 47% were seropositive for anti-Toxocara IgG; eosinophilia >4% occurred in 74.2% and >10% in 25.4%; 59.6% had elevated levels of total IgE; 36.8% had sIgE≥0.70 kU/L and 30.4% had SPT for at least one aeroallergen; 22.4% had current wheezing symptoms. Anti-Toxocara IgG was positively associated with elevated eosinophils counts, total IgE and the presence of specific IgE to aeroallergens but was inversely associated with skin prick test reactivity. Conclusion The prevalence of Toxocara seropositivity was high in the studied population of children living in conditions of poverty in urban Brazil. Toxocara infection, although associated with total IgE, sIgE and eosinophilia, may prevent the development of skin hypersensitivity to aeroallergens, possibly through increased polyclonal IgE and the induction of a modified Th2 immune reaction. PMID:23133689

  19. Decay of interspecific avian flock networks along a disturbance gradient in Amazonia.

    PubMed

    Mokross, Karl; Ryder, Thomas B; Côrtes, Marina Corrêa; Wolfe, Jared D; Stouffer, Philip C

    2014-02-01

    Our understanding of how anthropogenic habitat change shapes species interactions is in its infancy. This is in large part because analytical approaches such as network theory have only recently been applied to characterize complex community dynamics. Network models are a powerful tool for quantifying how ecological interactions are affected by habitat modification because they provide metrics that quantify community structure and function. Here, we examine how large-scale habitat alteration has affected ecological interactions among mixed-species flocking birds in Amazonian rainforest. These flocks provide a model system for investigating how habitat heterogeneity influences non-trophic interactions and the subsequent social structure of forest-dependent mixed-species bird flocks. We analyse 21 flock interaction networks throughout a mosaic of primary forest, fragments of varying sizes and secondary forest (SF) at the Biological Dynamics of Forest Fragments Project in central Amazonian Brazil. Habitat type had a strong effect on network structure at the levels of both species and flock. Frequency of associations among species, as summarized by weighted degree, declined with increasing levels of forest fragmentation and SF. At the flock level, clustering coefficients and overall attendance positively correlated with mean vegetation height, indicating a strong effect of habitat structure on flock cohesion and stability. Prior research has shown that trophic interactions are often resilient to large-scale changes in habitat structure because species are ecologically redundant. By contrast, our results suggest that behavioural interactions and the structure of non-trophic networks are highly sensitive to environmental change. Thus, a more nuanced, system-by-system approach may be needed when thinking about the resiliency of ecological networks. PMID:24335983

  20. Decay of interspecific avian flock networks along a disturbance gradient in Amazonia

    PubMed Central

    Mokross, Karl; Ryder, Thomas B.; Côrtes, Marina Corrêa; Wolfe, Jared D.; Stouffer, Philip C

    2014-01-01

    Our understanding of how anthropogenic habitat change shapes species interactions is in its infancy. This is in large part because analytical approaches such as network theory have only recently been applied to characterize complex community dynamics. Network models are a powerful tool for quantifying how ecological interactions are affected by habitat modification because they provide metrics that quantify community structure and function. Here, we examine how large-scale habitat alteration has affected ecological interactions among mixed-species flocking birds in Amazonian rainforest. These flocks provide a model system for investigating how habitat heterogeneity influences non-trophic interactions and the subsequent social structure of forest-dependent mixed-species bird flocks. We analyse 21 flock interaction networks throughout a mosaic of primary forest, fragments of varying sizes and secondary forest (SF) at the Biological Dynamics of Forest Fragments Project in central Amazonian Brazil. Habitat type had a strong effect on network structure at the levels of both species and flock. Frequency of associations among species, as summarized by weighted degree, declined with increasing levels of forest fragmentation and SF. At the flock level, clustering coefficients and overall attendance positively correlated with mean vegetation height, indicating a strong effect of habitat structure on flock cohesion and stability. Prior research has shown that trophic interactions are often resilient to large-scale changes in habitat structure because species are ecologically redundant. By contrast, our results suggest that behavioural interactions and the structure of non-trophic networks are highly sensitive to environmental change. Thus, a more nuanced, system-by-system approach may be needed when thinking about the resiliency of ecological networks. PMID:24335983

  1. Assembly patterns of mixed-species avian flocks in the Andes.

    PubMed

    Colorado, Gabriel J; Rodewald, Amanda D

    2015-03-01

    The relative contribution of deterministic and stochastic processes in the assembly of biotic communities is a central issue of controversy in community ecology. However, several studies have shown patterns of species segregation that are consistent with the hypothesis that deterministic factors such as competition and niche-partitioning structure species assemblages in animal communities. Community assembly provides a theoretical framework for understanding these processes, but it has been seldom applied to social aggregations within communities. In this research, we assessed patterns of non-randomness in Andean mixed-species flocks using three assembly models: (i) co-occurrence patterns; (ii) guild proportionality; and (iii) constant body-size ratios using data from 221 species of resident and Neotropical migrant birds participating in 311 mixed-species flocks at 13 regions distributed in Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. Significant assembly patterns for mixed-species flocks based on co-occurrence models and guild proportionality models suggest that competitive interactions play an important role in structuring this social system in the Andes. Distribution of species among foraging guilds (i.e. insectivore, frugivore, omnivore, nectivore) was generally similar among flocks, though with some regional variation. In contrast, we found little evidence that structuring of mixed-species flocks in the Andes was mediated by body size. Rather, we found greater than expected variance of body-size ratios within flocks, indicating that birds did not segregate morphologically. Overall, our findings suggest that deterministic factors associated to competitive interactions are important contributors to mixed-species flock assemblages across the Andes. PMID:25283441

  2. Creating an AI modeling application for designers and developers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Houlette, Ryan; Fu, Daniel; Jensen, Randy

    2003-09-01

    Simulation developers often realize an entity's AI by writing a program that exhibits the intended behavior. These behaviors are often the product of design documents written by designers. These individuals, while possessing a vast knowledge of the subject matter, might not have any programming knowledge whatsoever. To address this disconnect between design and subsequent development, we have created an AI application whereby a designer or developer sketches an entity's AI using a graphical "drag and drop" interface to quickly articulate behavior using a UML-like representation of state charts. Aside from the design-level benefits, the application also features a runtime engine that takes the application's data as input along with a simulation or game interface, and makes the AI operational. We discuss our experience in creating such an application for both designer and developer.

  3. Quality measures and assurance for AI (Artificial Intelligence) software

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rushby, John

    1988-01-01

    This report is concerned with the application of software quality and evaluation measures to AI software and, more broadly, with the question of quality assurance for AI software. Considered are not only the metrics that attempt to measure some aspect of software quality, but also the methodologies and techniques (such as systematic testing) that attempt to improve some dimension of quality, without necessarily quantifying the extent of the improvement. The report is divided into three parts Part 1 reviews existing software quality measures, i.e., those that have been developed for, and applied to, conventional software. Part 2 considers the characteristics of AI software, the applicability and potential utility of measures and techniques identified in the first part, and reviews those few methods developed specifically for AI software. Part 3 presents an assessment and recommendations for the further exploration of this important area.

  4. NASA space station automation: AI-based technology review

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Firschein, O.; Georgeff, M. P.; Park, W.; Neumann, P.; Kautz, W. H.; Levitt, K. N.; Rom, R. J.; Poggio, A. A.

    1985-01-01

    Research and Development projects in automation for the Space Station are discussed. Artificial Intelligence (AI) based automation technologies are planned to enhance crew safety through reduced need for EVA, increase crew productivity through the reduction of routine operations, increase space station autonomy, and augment space station capability through the use of teleoperation and robotics. AI technology will also be developed for the servicing of satellites at the Space Station, system monitoring and diagnosis, space manufacturing, and the assembly of large space structures.

  5. Strong Association between Human and Animal Brucella Seropositivity in a Linked Study in Kenya, 2012–2013

    PubMed Central

    Osoro, Eric Mogaka; Munyua, Peninah; Omulo, Sylvia; Ogola, Eric; Ade, Fredrick; Mbatha, Peter; Mbabu, Murithi; Ng'ang'a, Zipporah; Kairu, Salome; Maritim, Marybeth; Thumbi, Samuel M.; Bitek, Austine; Gaichugi, Stella; Rubin, Carol; Njenga, Kariuki; Guerra, Marta

    2015-01-01

    Brucellosis is a common bacterial zoonotic infection but data on the prevalence among humans and animals is limited in Kenya. A cross-sectional survey was conducted in three counties practicing different livestock production systems to simultaneously assess the seroprevalence of, and risk factors for brucellosis among humans and their livestock (cattle, sheep, camels, and goats). A two-stage cluster sampling method with random selection of sublocations and households was conducted. Blood samples were collected from humans and animals and tested for Brucella immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies. Human and animal individual seroprevalence was 16% and 8%, respectively. Household and herd seroprevalence ranged from 5% to 73% and 6% to 68%, respectively. There was a 6-fold odds of human seropositivity in households with a seropositive animal compared with those without. Risk factors for human seropositivity included regular ingestion of raw milk (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 3.5, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 2.8–4.4), exposure to goats (herding, milking, and feeding) (aOR = 3.1, 95% CI = 2.5–3.8), and handling of animal hides (aOR = 1.8, 95% CI = 1.5–2.2). Attaining at least high school education and above was a protective factor for human seropositivity (aOR = 0.3, 95% CI = 0.3–0.4). This linked study provides evidence of a strong association between human and animal seropositivity at the household level. PMID:26101275

  6. Strong Association Between Human and Animal Brucella Seropositivity in a Linked Study in Kenya, 2012-2013.

    PubMed

    Osoro, Eric Mogaka; Munyua, Peninah; Omulo, Sylvia; Ogola, Eric; Ade, Fredrick; Mbatha, Peter; Mbabu, Murithi; Ng'ang'a, Zipporah; Kairu, Salome; Maritim, Marybeth; Thumbi, Samuel M; Bitek, Austine; Gaichugi, Stella; Rubin, Carol; Njenga, Kariuki; Guerra, Marta

    2015-08-01

    Brucellosis is a common bacterial zoonotic infection but data on the prevalence among humans and animals is limited in Kenya. A cross-sectional survey was conducted in three counties practicing different livestock production systems to simultaneously assess the seroprevalence of, and risk factors for brucellosis among humans and their livestock (cattle, sheep, camels, and goats). A two-stage cluster sampling method with random selection of sublocations and households was conducted. Blood samples were collected from humans and animals and tested for Brucella immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies. Human and animal individual seroprevalence was 16% and 8%, respectively. Household and herd seroprevalence ranged from 5% to 73% and 6% to 68%, respectively. There was a 6-fold odds of human seropositivity in households with a seropositive animal compared with those without. Risk factors for human seropositivity included regular ingestion of raw milk (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 3.5, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 2.8-4.4), exposure to goats (herding, milking, and feeding) (aOR = 3.1, 95% CI = 2.5-3.8), and handling of animal hides (aOR = 1.8, 95% CI = 1.5-2.2). Attaining at least high school education and above was a protective factor for human seropositivity (aOR = 0.3, 95% CI = 0.3-0.4). This linked study provides evidence of a strong association between human and animal seropositivity at the household level. PMID:26101275

  7. A prospective study of the relationship between prediagnostic human papillomavirus seropositivity and HPV DNA in subsequent cervical carcinomas.

    PubMed

    Sigstad, E; Lie, A K; Luostarinen, T; Dillner, J; Jellum, E; Lehtinen, M; Thoresen, S; Abeler, V

    2002-07-15

    Several prospective studies with invasive carcinoma as endpoint have supported Human Papillomavirus as a cause of cervical carcinoma. However, the largest study used seroepidemiology and did not analyse presence of Human Papillomavirus DNA in the subsequent tumour. Linkage of serum bank registries and cancer registries had identified 196 women with a registered cervical carcinoma after donation of a serum sample. For the present study, biopsies for 127 cases could be located, verified to contain invasive carcinoma and be amplified by PCR. Three control women who had remained alive and without cervical carcinoma during an equal length of follow-up had been matched to each of the case women and tested for HPV antibodies. Presence of Human Papillomavirus DNA in the tumours was analysed by general primer and type specific PCR. HPV16-seropositive women had a relative risk of 4.4 (95% CI: 2.2-8.8) to develop cervical carcinoma carrying HPV16 DNA. By contrast, there was no excess risk for Human Papillomavirus 16-seropositive women to develop cervical carcinoma devoid of HPV16 DNA. Prediagnostic HPV16 seropositivity was strongly correlated with later HPV16 DNA positivity of the tumour (P<0.001) and prediagnostic HPV18 seropositivity correlated with HPV18 DNA in the tumour (P<0.03). The link between prediagnostic seropositivity and type of viral DNA in the cancer implies that the carcinogenic effect of infection with these viruses is dependent on persistent presence of type-specific viral DNA. PMID:12107839

  8. Calibrating AIS images using the surface as a reference

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, M. O.; Roberts, D. A.; Shipman, H. M.; Adams, J. B.; Willis, S. C.; Gillespie, A. R.

    1987-01-01

    A method of evaluating the initial assumptions and uncertainties of the physical connection between Airborne Imaging Spectrometer (AIS) image data and laboratory/field spectrometer data was tested. The Tuscon AIS-2 image connects to lab reference spectra by an alignment to the image spectral endmembers through a system gain and offset for each band. Images were calibrated to reflectance so as to transform the image into a measure that is independent of the solar radiant flux. This transformation also makes the image spectra directly comparable to data from lab and field spectrometers. A method was tested for calibrating AIS images using the surface as a reference. The surface heterogeneity is defined by lab/field spectral measurements. It was found that the Tuscon AIS-2 image is consistent with each of the initial hypotheses: (1) that the AIS-2 instrument calibration is nearly linear; (2) the spectral variance is caused by sub-pixel mixtures of spectrally distinct materials and shade, and (3) that sub-pixel mixtures can be treated as linear mixtures of pure endmembers. It was also found that the image can be characterized by relatively few endmembers using the AIS-2 spectra.

  9. Nitrogen emissions from broilers measured by mass balance over eighteen consecutive flocks.

    PubMed

    Coufal, C D; Chavez, C; Niemeyer, P R; Carey, J B

    2006-03-01

    Emission of nitrogen in the form of ammonia from poultry rearing facilities has been an important topic for the poultry industry because of concerns regarding the effects of ammonia on the environment. Sound scientific data is needed to accurately estimate air emissions from poultry operations. Many factors, such as season of the year, ambient temperature and humidity, bird health, and management practices can influence ammonia volatilization from broiler rearing facilities. Precise results are often difficult to attain from commercial facilities, particularly over long periods of time. Therefore, an experiment was conducted to determine nitrogen loss from broilers in a research facility under conditions simulating commercial production for 18 consecutive flocks. Broilers were reared to 40 to 42 d of age and fed diets obtained from a commercial broiler integrator. New rice hulls were used for litter for the first flock, and the same litter was recycled for all subsequent flocks with caked litter removed between flocks. All birds, feeds, and litter materials entering and leaving the facility were quantified, sampled, and analyzed for total nitrogen content. Nitrogen loss was calculated by the mass balance method in which loss was equal to the difference between the nitrogen inputs and the nitrogen outputs. Nitrogen partitioning as a percentage of inputs averaged 15.29, 6.84, 55.52, 1.27, and 21.08% for litter, caked litter, broiler carcasses, mortalities, and nitrogen loss, respectively, over all eighteen flocks. During the production of 18 flocks of broilers on the same recycled litter, the average nitrogen emission rate was calculated to range from 4.13 to 19.74 g of N/ kg of marketed broiler (grams of nitrogen per kilogram) and averaged 11.07 g of N/kg. Nitrogen loss was significantly (P < 0.05) greater for flocks reared in summer vs. winter. Results of this experiment have demonstrated that the rate of nitrogen volatilization from broiler grow-out facilities

  10. Three dimensional reconstruction of starling flocks: an empirical investigation of collective animal behavior

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Giardina, Irene

    2009-03-01

    Bird flocking is a striking example of animal collective behaviour: thousands of birds gather above the roosting site, forming sharp-bordered flocks, which wheel and turn with remarkable coherence and synchronization. Despite an increasing theoretical interest, empirical investigations of collective motion have been limited so far by the difficulties of getting data on large systems. By means of stereoscopic photography and using statistical mechanics, optimization theory and computer vision techniques, we have measured for the first time the three-dimensional positions and trajectories of individual birds in groups of up to three thousands elements. This allowed us to analyze global morphological properties of the flocks, as well as structural and dynamical properties. Most notably, we investigated the nature of the inter-individual interaction. We found that the interaction between birds does not depend on their mutual metric distance, as most current models and theories assume, but rather on the topological distance (number of intermediate neighbors). In fact, we discovered that each individual interacts on average with a fixed number of neighbors (six-seven), rather than with all neighbors within a fixed metric distance. We argue that a topological interaction of this kind is indispensable to maintain flock's cohesion against the large density changes caused by external perturbations, typically predation. More recently, we characterized the velocity field, and computed dynamical observables. We showed that flocks exhibit long range correlations, which are a signature of their remarkable collective behavior.

  11. External contamination of Campylobacter-free flocks after transport in cleaned and disinfected containers.

    PubMed

    Rasschaert, G; Houf, K; De Zutter, L

    2007-01-01

    The possible colonization of the intestines and contamination of broilers after transport to the slaughterhouse with Campylobacter strains present in cleaned and disinfected transport containers was investigated. Seven broiler flocks with a Campylobacter-free status were sampled once just before loading at the farm and once just before slaughter. On both occasions, samples were also taken from the exterior of the birds and from the intestinal content. Transport containers used to transport the flock were sampled on the farm just before loading the birds. Campylobacters were enumerated and genotyped by flagellin gene A PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. In total, 25 of the 35 sampled containers were Campylobacter contaminated, and 30 genotypes were found. Three broiler flocks became colonized on the farm between initial status determination and transport to the slaughterhouse, and three Campylobacter-free flocks were externally contaminated after transport. In none of the seven flocks was evidence found of intestinal colonization or cocolonization due to transport in Campylobacter-contaminated containers. PMID:17265858

  12. A longitudinal study of environmental Salmonella contamination in caged and free-range layer flocks.

    PubMed

    Wales, Andrew; Breslin, Mark; Carter, Ben; Sayers, Robin; Davies, Robert

    2007-06-01

    The environmental contamination by salmonella was examined over a 12-month period in 74 commercial layer flocks from eight farms in the UK, which previously had been identified as being contaminated with salmonella. Samples of faeces, dust, litter, egg belt spillage and wildlife vectors were taken, plus swabs of cages, feeders, drinkers, floors, egg belts and boots. Some sampling was performed in each month of the year. Numerous serovars were detected but Salmonella enterica serotype Enteritidis was the only persistent serotype found among single-age flocks. There was a significant correlation between qualitative environmental samples and semi-quantitative faeces samples. The level of environmental contamination increased significantly over time. There were significant temperature and seasonal effects upon contamination. Wildlife vectors proved to be sensitive samples for the detection of salmonella. The efficacy of cleaning and disinfection upon residual salmonella contamination, and upon subsequent flock contamination, was highly variable between and within premises. The variability between detected prevalences over time and between flocks indicates a need for regular, sensitive monitoring of flocks for salmonella to permit targeting of control measures aimed at eliminating contamination of the layer environment by salmonella. There is substantial scope for improvement of cleaning and disinfection procedures. PMID:17497330

  13. Persistent Strongyloidiasis Complicated by Recurrent Meningitis in an HTLV Seropositive Peruvian Migrant Resettled in Italy

    PubMed Central

    Zammarchi, Lorenzo; Montagnani, Francesca; Tordini, Giacinta; Gotuzzo, Eduardo; Bisoffi, Zeno; Bartoloni, Alessandro; De Luca, Andrea

    2015-01-01

    We describe a case of persistent strongyloidiasis complicated by recurrent meningitis, in a human T cell lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) seropositive Peruvian migrant adult resettled in Italy. He was admitted with signs and symptoms of acute bacterial meningitis, reporting four other meningitis episodes in the past 6 years, with an etiological diagnosis of Escherichia coli and Enterococcus faecium in two cases. He had been previously treated with several antihelmintic regimens not including ivermectin, without eradication of strongyloidiasis, and he had never been tested for HTLV before. During the described episode, the patient was treated for meningitis with broad-spectrum antibiotic therapy and 200 μg/kg/dose oral ivermectin once daily on day 1, 2, 15 and 16 with full recovery and no further episodes of meningitis. The presented case underlines several critical points concerning the management of poorly known neglected diseases such as strongyloidiasis and HTLV infection in low-endemic areas. Despite several admissions for meningitis and strongyloidiasis, the parasitic infection was not adequately treated and the patient was not previously tested for HTLV. The supply of ivermectin and the choice of treatment scheme was challenging since ivermectin is not approved in Italy and there are no standardized guidelines for the treatment of severe strongyloidiasis in HTLV seropositive subjects. PMID:25846292

  14. Differences in some developmental features between Toxoplasma gondii-seropositive and seronegative school children.

    PubMed

    Mizgajska-Wiktor, Hanna; Jarosz, Wojciech; Andrzejewska, Izabela; Krzykała, Magdalena; Janowski, Jarosław; Kozłowska, Maria

    2013-11-01

    Knowledge about the influence of latent toxoplasmosis on development and general biological condition of children is scant and thus the aim of the present study was to investigate these aspects in some detail. We compare school children in rural area seropositive and seronegative to the apicomplexan parasite Toxoplasma gondii (Nicolle et Manceaux, 1908) in terms of their developmental age, body mass and body height, physical fitness and end-of-term grades. Additionally, we evaluated the risk factors of infection with T. gondii such as the presence of cats in the household and eating raw meat products. With IFAT and ELISA tests, the prevalence of anti-Toxoplasma antibodies was 41% (190 children examined) and the rate of infection was higher in girls (44%) than in boys (36%). No significant differences were observed in morphological features and physical fitness of examined children. In girls the level of developmental age measured with electrophoretical mobility of nuclei method was significantly higher and school performance significantly lower for those infected with Toxoplasma than for uninfected; this finding was particularly intriguing. Only boys who ate raw meat products were more likely to be seropositive. The study provides some new information on gender differences in reaction to Toxoplasma infection. PMID:24471283

  15. Long-Term Survival of an Urban Fruit Bat Seropositive for Ebola and Lagos Bat Viruses

    PubMed Central

    Hayman, David T. S.; Emmerich, Petra; Yu, Meng; Wang, Lin-Fa; Suu-Ire, Richard; Fooks, Anthony R.; Cunningham, Andrew A.; Wood, James L. N.

    2010-01-01

    Ebolaviruses (EBOV) (family Filoviridae) cause viral hemorrhagic fevers in humans and non-human primates when they spill over from their wildlife reservoir hosts with case fatality rates of up to 90%. Fruit bats may act as reservoirs of the Filoviridae. The migratory fruit bat, Eidolon helvum, is common across sub-Saharan Africa and lives in large colonies, often situated in cities. We screened sera from 262 E. helvum using indirect fluorescent tests for antibodies against EBOV subtype Zaire. We detected a seropositive bat from Accra, Ghana, and confirmed this using western blot analysis. The bat was also seropositive for Lagos bat virus, a Lyssavirus, by virus neutralization test. The bat was fitted with a radio transmitter and was last detected in Accra 13 months after release post-sampling, demonstrating long-term survival. Antibodies to filoviruses have not been previously demonstrated in E. helvum. Radio-telemetry data demonstrates long-term survival of an individual bat following exposure to viruses of families that can be highly pathogenic to other mammal species. Because E. helvum typically lives in large urban colonies and is a source of bushmeat in some regions, further studies should determine if this species forms a reservoir for EBOV from which spillover infections into the human population may occur. PMID:20694141

  16. Passive tick surveillance, dog seropositivity, and incidence of human Lyme disease

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Johnson, J.L.; Ginsberg, H.S.; Zhioua, E.; Whitworth, U.G., Jr.; Markowski, D.; Hyland, K.E.; Hu, R.

    2004-01-01

    Data on nymphal Ixodes scapularis ticks submitted by the public to the University of Rhode Island Tick Research Laboratory for testing from 1991 to 2000 were compared with human case data from the Rhode Island Department of Health to determine the efficacy of passive tick surveillance at assessing human risk of Lyme disease. Numbers of ticks submitted were highly correlated with human cases by county (r = 0.998, n = 5 counties) and by town (r = 0.916, n = 37 towns), as were the numbers of positive ticks submitted (r = 0.989 by county, r = 0.787 by town). Human cases were correlated with ticks submitted by town each year, and with positive ticks in all but 2 years. Thus, passive tick surveillance effectively assessed geographical risk of human Lyme disease. In contrast, tick submissions through time were not correlated with human cases from year to year. Dog seropositivity was significantly correlated with human cases by county in both years tested, but by town in only one of two years. Numbers of ticks submitted were correlated with dog seropositivity by county but not by town, apparently because of high variability among towns with small sample sizes. Our results suggest that passive tick surveillance, using ticks submitted by the public for Lyme spirochete testing, can be used to assess the geographical distribution of Lyme disease risk, but cannot reliably predict Lyme incidence from year to year.

  17. Predictors of sharing injection equipment by HIV-seropositive injection drug users.

    PubMed

    Latkin, Carl A; Buchanan, Amy S; Metsch, Lisa R; Knight, Kelly; Latka, Mary H; Mizuno, Yuko; Knowlton, Amy R

    2008-12-01

    Among HIV-positive injection drug users (IDUs), we examined baseline predictors of lending needles and syringes and sharing cookers, cotton, and rinse water in the prior 3 months at follow-up. Participants were enrolled in Intervention for Seropositive Injectors-Research and Evaluation, a secondary prevention intervention for sexually active HIV-positive IDUs in 4 US cities during 2001-2005. The analyses involved 357 participants who reported injecting drugs in the prior 6 months at either the 6- or 12-month follow-up visit. About half (49%) reported at least 1 sharing episode. In adjusted analyses, peer norms supporting safer injection practices and having primary HIV medical care visits in the prior 6 months were associated with reporting no sharing of injection equipment. Higher levels of psychological distress were associated with a greater likelihood of reporting drug paraphernalia sharing. These findings suggest that intervention approaches for reducing HIV-seropositive IDUs' transmission of blood-borne infections should include peer-focused interventions to alter norms of drug paraphernalia sharing and promoting primary HIV care and mental health services. PMID:19186356

  18. HIV seropositivity rates in outreach-based counseling and testing services: program evaluation.

    PubMed

    DiFranceisco, W; Holtgrave, D R; Hoxie, N; Reiser, W J; Resenhoeft, R; Pinkerton, S D; Vergeront, J

    1998-11-01

    A common assumption is that outreach-based HIV counseling and testing services reach a clientele with a higher HIV seroprevalence than clinic-based counseling and testing. To examine this assumption, we analyzed Wisconsin's anonymous counseling and testing client records for 62,299 contacts (testing episodes) from 1992 to 1995. Bivariate analysis of counseling and testing service setting (outreach-based or clinic-based) and HIV test results suggested that outreach contacts were 23% (odds ratio [OR], 1.23; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], 1.0-1.5) more likely to test HIV-seropositive than clinic-based contacts. Relations between HIV test outcome and variables for client age, race, gender, previous testing history, mode of risk exposure, and region, as well as service setting, were examined by logistic regression. An inverted relation between service setting and seropositivity (OR, 0.65; 95% CI, 0.5-0.8) indicated that, within some subpopulations, outreach contacts were significantly less likely to test HIV-positive than clinic-based contacts. Analysis of interactions among the covariates identified race as a critical codeterminant in the relation between service setting and test outcome. These results support retargeting outreach services to enhance their overall effectiveness. Specific recommendations include the need for aggressive strategies to better "market" HIV counseling and testing to nonwhite populations, and to focus resources more selectively on gay/bisexual men of all races. PMID:9803971

  19. Effects of HCV Seropositive Status on Buprenorphine Pharmacokinetics in Opioid-Dependent Individuals

    PubMed Central

    Masson, Carmen L.; Rainey, Petrie M.; Moody, David E.; McCance-Katz, Elinore F.

    2013-01-01

    Background and Objectives The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection on buprenorphine pharmacokinetics in opioid-dependent, buprenorphine/naloxone-maintained adults. Methods A retrospective analysis of buprenorphine pharmacokinetics in HCV seropositive and seronegative buprenorphine/naloxone-maintained individuals (N = 49) was undertaken. Results Relative to HCV seronegative subjects, HCV seropositive subjects had higher buprenorphine exposure, as demonstrated by elevated buprenorphine AUC and Cmax values (p = .03 and .02, respectively) and corresponding elevations in the metabolites, buprenorphine-3-glucuronide AUC values (p = .03) and norbuprenorphine-3-glucuronide AUC and C24 values (p = .05 and .03, respectively). Discussion and Conclusions HCV infection was associated with higher plasma concentrations of buprenorphine and buprenorphine metabolites. Scientific Significance and Future Directions Findings suggest the potential for opioid toxicity among HCV-infected patients treated with buprenorphine/naloxone, and possible hepatotoxic effects related to increased buprenorphine exposure. HCV-infected patients receiving buprenorphine may need lower doses to maintain therapeutic plasma concentrations. PMID:24313239

  20. Persistent strongyloidiasis complicated by recurrent meningitis in an HTLV seropositive Peruvian migrant resettled in Italy.

    PubMed

    Zammarchi, Lorenzo; Montagnani, Francesca; Tordini, Giacinta; Gotuzzo, Eduardo; Bisoffi, Zeno; Bartoloni, Alessandro; De Luca, Andrea

    2015-06-01

    We describe a case of persistent strongyloidiasis complicated by recurrent meningitis, in a human T cell lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) seropositive Peruvian migrant adult resettled in Italy. He was admitted with signs and symptoms of acute bacterial meningitis, reporting four other meningitis episodes in the past 6 years, with an etiological diagnosis of Escherichia coli and Enterococcus faecium in two cases. He had been previously treated with several antihelmintic regimens not including ivermectin, without eradication of strongyloidiasis, and he had never been tested for HTLV before. During the described episode, the patient was treated for meningitis with broad-spectrum antibiotic therapy and 200 μg/kg/dose oral ivermectin once daily on day 1, 2, 15 and 16 with full recovery and no further episodes of meningitis. The presented case underlines several critical points concerning the management of poorly known neglected diseases such as strongyloidiasis and HTLV infection in low-endemic areas. Despite several admissions for meningitis and strongyloidiasis, the parasitic infection was not adequately treated and the patient was not previously tested for HTLV. The supply of ivermectin and the choice of treatment scheme was challenging since ivermectin is not approved in Italy and there are no standardized guidelines for the treatment of severe strongyloidiasis in HTLV seropositive subjects. PMID:25846292

  1. Recent radiation in a marine and freshwater dinoflagellate species flock.

    PubMed

    Annenkova, Nataliia V; Hansen, Gert; Moestrup, Øjvind; Rengefors, Karin

    2015-08-01

    Processes of rapid radiation among unicellular eukaryotes are much less studied than among multicellular organisms. We have investigated a lineage of cold-water microeukaryotes (protists) that appear to have diverged recently. This lineage stands in stark contrast to known examples of phylogenetically closely related protists, in which genetic difference is typically larger than morphological differences. We found that the group not only consists of the marine-brackish dinoflagellate species Scrippsiella hangoei and the freshwater species Peridinium aciculiferum as discovered previously but also of a whole species flock. The additional species include Peridinium euryceps and Peridinium baicalense, which are restricted to a few lakes, in particular to the ancient Lake Baikal, Russia, and freshwater S. hangoei from Lake Baikal. These species are characterized by relatively large conspicuous morphological differences, which have given rise to the different species descriptions. However, our scanning electron microscopic studies indicate that they belong to a single genus according to traditional morphological characterization of dinoflagellates (thecal plate patterns). Moreover, we found that they have identical SSU (small subunit) rDNA fragments and distinct but very small differences in the DNA markers LSU (large subunit) rDNA, ITS2 (internal transcribed spacer 2) and COB (cytochrome b) gene, which are used to delineate dinoflagellates species. As some of the species co-occur, and all four have small but species-specific sequence differences, we suggest that these taxa are not a case of phenotypic plasticity but originated via recent adaptive radiation. We propose that this is the first clear example among free-living microeukaryotes of recent rapid diversification into several species followed by dispersion to environments with different ecological conditions. PMID:25603395

  2. 76 FR 44045 - Establishment of the SANE/SART AI/AN Initiative Committee

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-07-22

    ... of Justice Programs Establishment of the SANE/SART AI/AN Initiative Committee AGENCY: Office for... (SART) American Indian/Alaskan Native (AI/AN) Initiative (``SANE/SART AI/AN Initiative Committee'' or... (FACA), as amended, 5 U.S.C., App. 2. The SANE/SART AI/AN Initiative Committee will provide the...

  3. Associations of cigarette smoking with viral immune and cognitive function in human immunodeficiency virus–seropositive women

    PubMed Central

    Wojna, Valerie; Robles, Lizbeth; Skolasky, Richard L; Mayo, Raul; Selnes, Ola; de la Torre, Tania; Maldonado, Elizabeth; Nath, Avindra; Meléndez, Loyda M.; Lasalde-Dominicci, Jose

    2016-01-01

    Cigarette smoking alters the immune system and may improve cognitive deficits in neuropsychiatric disorders. Smoking prevalence is high in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)–infected patients; however, its effect on HIV-associated cognitive impairment remains unknown in the era of antiretroviral treatment. The authors examined associations of smoking with viral immune profile and cognitive function in a cohort of HIV-seropositive women. This observational cross-sectional study included 56 women (36 HIV-seropositive and 20 HIV-seronegative) surveyed with a tobacco questionnaire: the Fagerström Test for Nicotine Dependency. Viral immune status was obtained 6 to 12 months before questioned. Neurocognitive testing (NP) assessed verbal memory, frontal/executive function, psychomotor speed, and motor speed. A reference group of HIV-seronegative women was used to calculate standardized z-scores. Cognitive impairment was classified using a modified American Academy of Neurology criteria, adding an asymptomatic group based on NP tests. Statistics included parametric and nonparametric tests. HIV-seropositive women were more likely to report a history of smoking (P = 0.028). Among them, current smoking correlated with higher plasma viral load (P = 0.048), and history of smoking correlated with lower CD4 cell count (P = 0.027). The authors observed no associations between cognitive impairment and either current or past history of smoking and no differences in neurocognitive domain scores between HIV-seropositive and -seronegative women or between those with and without a history of smoking. However, restricting analysis to HIV-seropositives showed a significant better performance on the frontal/executive domain in those with history of smoking. In summary, history of smoking correlated with better frontal/executive cognitive domain performance in HIV-seropositive women and with worse viral immune profile. PMID:18097887

  4. HPV16 Seropositivity and Subsequent HPV16 Infection Risk in a Naturally Infected Population: Comparison of Serological Assays

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Shih-Wen; Ghosh, Arpita; Porras, Carolina; Markt, Sarah C.; Rodriguez, Ana Cecilia; Schiffman, Mark; Wacholder, Sholom; Kemp, Troy J.; Pinto, Ligia A.; Gonzalez, Paula; Wentzensen, Nicolas; Esser, Mark T.; Matys, Katie; Meuree, Ariane; Quint, Wim; van Doorn, Leen-Jan; Herrero, Rolando; Hildesheim, Allan; Safaeian, Mahboobeh

    2013-01-01

    Background Several serological assays have been developed to detect antibodies elicited against infections with oncogenic human papillomavirus (HPV) type 16. The association between antibody levels measured by various assays and subsequent HPV infection risk may differ. We compared HPV16-specific antibody levels previously measured by a virus-like particle (VLP)-based direct enzyme-linked immunoassay (ELISA) with levels measured by additional assays and evaluated the protection against HPV16 infection conferred at different levels of the assays. Methodology/Principal Findings Replicate enrollment serum aliquots from 388 unvaccinated women in the control arm of the Costa Rica HPV vaccine trial were measured for HPV16 seropositivity using three serological assays: a VLP-based direct ELISA; a VLP-based competitive Luminex immunoassay (cLIA); and a secreted alkaline phosphatase protein neutralization assay (SEAP-NA). We assessed the association of assay seropositivity and risk of subsequent HPV16 infection over four years of follow-up by calculating sampling-adjusted odds ratios (OR) and HPV16 seropositivity based on standard cutoff from the cLIA was significantly associated with protection from subsequent HPV16 infection (OR = 0.48, CI = 0.27–0.86, compared with seronegatives). Compared with seronegatives, the highest seropositive tertile antibody levels from the direct ELISA (OR = 0.53, CI = 0.28–0.90) as well as the SEAP-NA (OR = 0.20, CI = 0.06, 0.64) were also significantly associated with protection from HPV16 infection. Conclusions/Significance Enrollment HPV16 seropositivity by any of the three serological assays evaluated was associated with protection from subsequent infection, although cutoffs for immune protection were different. We defined the assays and seropositivity levels after natural infection that better measure and translate to protective immunity. PMID:23301022

  5. Birds on a wire: empirical studies of flocking dyna-mics in linear aggregates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwartz, Elliott; Fulton, Andrew; Rosenthal, Lee; Kane, Suzanne Amador

    2014-03-01

    The dynamics of avian flocking is difficult to study because of the transient, highly mobile and unpredictable nature of bird flocks. However, birds often form clusters when perched on wires and fences, offering a stable platform for studying the formation, internal structure and dynamics of these approximately one-dimensional flocks. Previous studies have examined the distribution of the distances between birds perched on wires, but not the time-dependence of this behavior. We present results from a video study of cliff swallows (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota) perched on power lines in Sierra Valley, California. Phenomena studied include how the interbird distance distribution varies as a function of time, what factors influence the addition of further birds to an existing cluster, how the distribution evolves in response to perturbations, and typical timescales for the observed behaviors.

  6. Linear response to leadership, effective temperature and decision making in flocks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pearce, Daniel; Giomi, Luca

    The Vicsek model is the prototypical system for studying collective behavior of interacting self propelled particles (SPPs). It has formed the basis for models explaining the collective behavior of many active systems including flocks of birds and swarms of insects. To the standard Vicsek model we introduce a small angular torque to a subset of the particles and observe how this effects the direction of polarisation of the entire swarm. This is analogous to a few informed birds trying to lead the rest of a large flock by initiating a turn. We find a linear response to this perturbation and fluctuations that are in agreement with fluctuation dissipation theorem. This allows the identification of an effective temperature for the Vicsek model that follows a power law with the noise amplitude. The linear response can also be extended to the process of decision-making, wherein flocks must decide between the behaviors of two competing subgroups of individuals.

  7. A Flock of Words: live music performance with holograms and interactive multimedia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vila, Doris K.

    1998-02-01

    This paper describes A Flock of Words, a cross-media music performance realized in collaboration with composer Robert Rowe. An interactive computer system linked large-scale holograms, video projection, animation, robotic lighting effects, and computer music. With a text from Elias Cannetti's Crowds and Power, an artificial-life algorithm animates swarming words. Projected onto the large holograms, the text flies in and out of linear readability, set off by computer music signals. A Flock of Words uses custom computer software to analyze the music being performance by an ensemble of human players and guide the simultaneous projection of real-time animation onto holograms, video, holographic lighting, and computer music. To stage the piece, we created an interactive computer system combining large-scale holograms, video projection, animation, robotic lighting effects, and computer music. The real-time animation was an adaptation of Craig Reynolds's Boids algorithm, which we dubbed `woids', and was used for animating flocking words.

  8. Molecular typing of avian pathogenic Escherichia coli colonies originating from outbreaks of E. coli peritonitis syndrome in chicken flocks.

    PubMed

    Landman, W J M; Buter, G J; Dijkman, R; van Eck, J H H

    2014-01-01

    Escherichia coli colonies isolated from the bone marrow of fresh dead hens of laying flocks with the E. coli peritonitis syndrome (EPS) were genotyped using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). Typing is important from an epidemiological point of view and also if the use of autogenous (auto)vaccines is considered. Birds with EPS originated from one house of each of three layer farms and one broiler breeder farm. Farms were considered as separate epidemiological units. In total, six flocks were examined including two successive flocks of one layer farm and the broiler breeder farm. E. coli colonies (one per bird) from nine to 16 hens of each flock were genotyped. The clonality of E. coli within birds was studied using five colonies of each of nine to 14 birds per flock. E. coli genotypes, which totalled 15, differed between farms and flocks except for two successive layer flocks that shared three genotypes. One to five genotypes were found per flock with one or two genotypes dominating each outbreak. Within hens, E. coli bacteria were always clonal. Colonies of the same PFGE type always had the same multilocus sequence type. However, four PFGE types shared sequence type 95. Neither PFGE types nor multilocus sequence types were unambiguously related to avian pathogenic E. coli from EPS. In cases where persistence of E. coli strains associated with EPS is found to occur frequently, routine genotyping to select strains for autovaccines should be considered. PMID:24944080

  9. To flock or fight: neurochemical signatures of divergent life histories in sparrows.

    PubMed

    Goodson, James L; Wilson, Leah C; Schrock, Sara E

    2012-06-26

    Many bird species exhibit dramatic seasonal switches between territoriality and flocking, but whereas neuroendocrine mechanisms of territorial aggression have been extensively studied, those of seasonal flocking are unknown. We collected brains in spring and winter from male field sparrows (Spizella pusilla), which seasonally flock, and male song sparrows (Melospiza melodia), which are territorial year-round in much of their range. Spring collections were preceded by field-based assessments of aggression. Tissue series were immunofluorescently multilabeled for vasotocin, mesotocin (MT), corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), vasoactive intestinal polypeptide, tyrosine hydroxylase, and aromatase, and labeling densities were measured in many socially relevant brain areas. Extensive seasonal differences are shared by both species. Many measures correlate significantly with both individual and species differences in aggression, likely reflecting evolved mechanisms that differentiate the less aggressive field sparrow from the more aggressive song sparrow. Winter-specific species differences include a substantial increase of MT and CRH immunoreactivity in the dorsal lateral septum (LS) and medial amygdala of field sparrows but not song sparrows. These species differences likely relate to flocking rather than the suppression of winter aggression in field sparrows, because similar winter differences were found for two other emberizids that are not territorial in winter--dark-eyed juncos (Junco hyemalis), which seasonally flock, and eastern towhees (Pipilo erythropthalmus), which do not flock. MT signaling in the dorsal LS is also associated with year-round species differences in grouping in estrildid finches, suggesting that common mechanisms are targeted during the evolution of different life histories. PMID:22723363

  10. Structure of skeletal muscles in leghorn type chicken from conservative and parent flocks.

    PubMed

    Elminowska-Wenda, Gabriela

    2007-01-01

    Intensive selection conducted within closed populations has led to the creation of specialized chicken strains that differ significantly in meat yield and reproduction performance. The effect of the selection conducted on the birds is differentiation identified not only on the molecular but also on the cellular level, among other things in the skeletal muscles. The aim of this study was to compare the structure of chosen homological skeletal muscles from Leghorn chickens (LSL), originating from parent flock, intensively selected for reproductive traits and from conservative flock (G99), unselected for many generations. The structure of musculus pectoralis superficialis and musculus biceps femoris (the thickness of the muscle fibres and the share of the fibre types in the bundle) in 8 and 20 week old chickens was compared. A significant impact of the origin on all examined slaughter parameters was recorded. Body weight before slaughter, carcass weight and the weight of breast and leg muscles in 8 weeks old LSL chicken made up from 60% to about 85% of the respective values in the G99 Leghorn. Lack of red fibres in the breast muscles of all the individuals from the parental flock (LSL) was noted, whereas in 12 individuals (among 24) from the conservative flock (G99), red fibres were observed in this muscle from 2.75% up to 7.09%. White fibres in 8 week old chicks were always thicker, both in pectoralis superficialis and biceps femoris muscle in birds with higher body weight as well as higher weight of breast and legs muscles, i.e. in chicks from conservative flock (G99), P<0.01. However, in 20 week old birds, the diameters of the white fibres were similar in both groups. Also the diameters of the red fibres in musculus biceps femoris in 8 week old chickens were higher in cockerels and pullets from conservative flock (G99). PMID:18274259

  11. Field efficacy of different vaccines against infectious bursal disease in broiler flocks.

    PubMed

    Zorman Rojs, Olga; Krapež, Uroš; Slavec, Brigita; Juršič-Cizerl, Rahela; Poljanec, Tea

    2011-09-01

    A field study was performed to determine the efficacy of three commercially available vaccines against infectious bursal disease (IBD) in commercial broilers raised in a high IBD virus (IBDV) risk area. Live attenuated intermediate and intermediate plus vaccines were used in four flocks. Birds were vaccinated orally at the estimated vaccination time. Three broiler flocks were vaccinated subcutaneously with a turkey herpesvirus (HVT)-IBD vector vaccine at one day old. Evaluation of the efficacy of different vaccines was focused on humoral immune response, bursa/body weight (B/Bw) ratio, molecular detection of IBDV in ileocaecal tonsils and bursa of Fabricius, and production parameters. The serological results showed that although the uptake of all three vaccine strains was confirmed in the lymphoid organs, no significant antibody response to vaccination was detected in flocks vaccinated with intermediate and intermediate plus vaccines. A significant increase in antibody titres detected in flocks vaccinated with the vector vaccine indicated its ability to induce an immune response in birds with a high level of maternally derived antibodies. Observations obtained in this field trial did not confirm the expected reduction of the B/Bw ratio in flocks vaccinated with less attenuated vaccines. No significant differences were observed between birds vaccinated with the vector vaccine and those immunised with the intermediate plus vaccine. Very virulent IBDV was confirmed in the flock vaccinated with the intermediate vaccine. The infection induced reduced B/Bw and moderate mortality but did not affect the production parameters. Field infection was not detected in broilers vaccinated with the intermediate plus vaccine and the vector vaccine. PMID:21727070

  12. Risk factors associated with small ruminant lentivirus infection in eastern Poland sheep flocks.

    PubMed

    Junkuszew, Andrzej; Dudko, Paulina; Bojar, Wiktor; Olech, Monika; Osiński, Zbigniew; Gruszecki, Tomasz M; Kania, Monika Greguła; Kuźmak, Jacek; Czerski, Grzegorz

    2016-05-01

    An analysis of the risk factors for ovine lentivirus infection was performed in sheep flocks located throughout the central-eastern region of Poland. Here, we report the infection details for 98 flocks with a total of 6470 ewes, 15 sheep breeds. The identification of infected animals and a review of the epidemiological status of each flock were based on an evaluation of serological tests performed on collected blood serum samples. Blood for examination was obtained from 2925 ewes of the 98 flocks under observation. Specific antibodies for Maedi Visna Virus (MVV) were detected via ELISA. Data illustrating the conditions at each sheep farm were obtained through questionnaires completed by farmers, as well as observations, measurements, and breeding records that were available. These observations were used to assess risk factors contributing to small ruminant lentivirus (SRLV) infection in sheep flocks. It was found that both sheep flock size and the type of management system had a significant effect on the increased risk of lentiviral infection. In addition, we demonstrate that there is a significant (p<0.0001) relationship between the occurrence of mastitis (OR 2.01, CI: 1.55-2.61) and diarrhea (OR 4.22, CI: 3.30-5.39) with SRLV infection in the observed sheep. Additionally, the infection rate of the animals translated directly to an impaired physical condition. Notably, the risk of infection could potentially be reduced if sheep producers are further acquainted with SRLV detection and invoke a control program based on diagnostic tests. Moreover, marketing approval should be granted for solely SRLV-seronegative animals. PMID:27094139

  13. Seropositivity and Risk Factors Associated with Toxoplasma gondii Infection in Wild Birds from Spain

    PubMed Central

    Cabezón, Oscar; García-Bocanegra, Ignacio; Molina-López, Rafael; Marco, Ignasi; Blanco, Juan M.; Höfle, Ursula; Margalida, Antoni; Bach-Raich, Esther; Darwich, Laila; Echeverría, Israel; Obón, Elena; Hernández, Mauro; Lavín, Santiago; Dubey, Jitender P.; Almería, Sonia

    2011-01-01

    Toxoplasma gondii is a zoonotic intracellular protozoan parasite of worldwide distribution that infects many species of warm-blooded animals, including birds. To date, there is scant information about the seropositivity of T. gondii and the risk factors associated with T. gondii infection in wild bird populations. In the present study, T. gondii infection was evaluated on sera obtained from 1079 wild birds belonging to 56 species (including Falconiformes (n = 610), Strigiformes (n = 260), Ciconiiformes (n = 156), Gruiformes (n = 21), and other orders (n = 32), from different areas of Spain. Antibodies to T. gondii (modified agglutination test, MAT titer ≥1∶25) were found in 282 (26.1%, IC95%:23.5–28.7) of the 1079 birds. This study constitute the first extensive survey in wild birds species in Spain and reports for the first time T. gondii antibodies in the griffon vulture (Gyps fulvus), short-toed snake-eagle (Circaetus gallicus), Bonelli's eagle (Aquila fasciata), golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos), bearded vulture (Gypaetus barbatus), osprey (Pandion haliaetus), Montagu's harrier (Circus pygargus), Western marsh-harrier (Circus aeruginosus), peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus), long-eared owl (Asio otus), common scops owl (Otus scops), Eurasian spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia), white stork (Ciconia ciconia), grey heron (Ardea cinerea), common moorhen (Gallinula chloropus); in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) “vulnerable” Spanish imperial eagle (Aquila adalberti), lesser kestrel (Falco naumanni) and great bustard (Otis tarda); and in the IUCN “near threatened” red kite (Milvus milvus). The highest seropositivity by species was observed in the Eurasian eagle owl (Bubo bubo) (68.1%, 98 of 144). The main risk factors associated with T. gondii seropositivity in wild birds were age and diet, with the highest exposure in older animals and in carnivorous wild birds. The results showed that T. gondii infection is

  14. Maternal Immunization Earlier in Pregnancy Maximizes Antibody Transfer and Expected Infant Seropositivity Against Pertussis

    PubMed Central

    Eberhardt, Christiane S.; Blanchard-Rohner, Geraldine; Lemaître, Barbara; Boukrid, Meriem; Combescure, Christophe; Othenin-Girard, Véronique; Chilin, Antonina; Petre, Jean; de Tejada, Begoña Martinez; Siegrist, Claire-Anne

    2016-01-01

    Background. Maternal immunization against pertussis is currently recommended after the 26th gestational week (GW). Data on the optimal timing of maternal immunization are inconsistent. Methods. We conducted a prospective observational noninferiority study comparing the influence of second-trimester (GW 13–25) vs third-trimester (≥GW 26) tetanus-diphtheria-acellular pertussis (Tdap) immunization in pregnant women who delivered at term. Geometric mean concentrations (GMCs) of cord blood antibodies to recombinant pertussis toxin (PT) and filamentous hemagglutinin (FHA) were assessed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The primary endpoint were GMCs and expected infant seropositivity rates, defined by birth anti-PT >30 enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay units (EU)/mL to confer seropositivity until 3 months of age. Results. We included 335 women (mean age, 31.0 ± 5.1 years; mean gestational age, 39.3 ± 1.3 GW) previously immunized with Tdap in the second (n = 122) or third (n = 213) trimester. Anti-PT and anti-FHA GMCs were higher following second- vs third-trimester immunization (PT: 57.1 EU/mL [95% confidence interval {CI}, 47.8–68.2] vs 31.1 EU/mL [95% CI, 25.7–37.7], P < .001; FHA: 284.4 EU/mL [95% CI, 241.3–335.2] vs 140.2 EU/mL [95% CI, 115.3–170.3], P < .001). The adjusted GMC ratios after second- vs third-trimester immunization differed significantly (PT: 1.9 [95% CI, 1.4–2.5]; FHA: 2.2 [95% CI, 1.7–3.0], P < .001). Expected infant seropositivity rates reached 80% vs 55% following second- vs third-trimester immunization (adjusted odds ratio, 3.7 [95% CI, 2.1–6.5], P < .001). Conclusions. Early second-trimester maternal Tdap immunization significantly increased neonatal antibodies. Recommending immunization from the second trimester onward would widen the immunization opportunity window and could improve seroprotection. PMID:26797213

  15. A complete backbone spectral assignment of human apolipoprotein AI on a 38 kDa preβHDL (Lp1-AI) particle

    SciTech Connect

    Ren, Xuefeng; Yang, Yunhuang; Neville, T.; Hoyt, David W.; Sparks, Daniel L.; Wang, Jianjun

    2007-06-12

    Apolipoprotein A-I (apoAI, 243-residues) is the major protein component of the high-density lipoprotein (HDL) that has been a hot subject of interests because of its anti-atherogenic properties. This important property of apoAI is related to its roles in reverse cholesterol transport pathway. Upon lipid-binding, apoAI undergoes conformational changes from lipid-free to several different HDL-associated states (1). These different conformational states regulate HDL formation, maturation and transportation. Two initial conformational states of apoAI are lipid-free apoAI and apoAI/preβHDL that recruit phospholipids and cholesterol to form HDL particles. In particular, lipid-free apoAI specifically binds to phospholipids to form lipid-poor apoAI, including apoAI/preβ-HDL (~37 kDa). As a unique class of lipid poor HDL, both in vitro and in vivo evidence demonstrates that apoAI/preβ-HDLs are the most effective acceptors specifically for free cholesterol in human plasma and serves as the precursor of HDL particles (2). Here we report a complete backbone spectral assignment of human apoAI/preβHDL. Secondary structure prediction using backbone NMR parameters indicates that apoAI/preβHDL displays a two-domain structure: the N-terminal four helix-bundle domain (residues 1-186) and the C-terminal flexible domain (residues 187-243). A structure of apoAI/preβ-HDL is the first lipid-associated structure of apoAI and is critical for us to understand how apoAI recruits cholesterol to initialize HDL formation. BMRB deposit with accession number: 15093.

  16. Maritime traffic monitoring using a space-based AIS receiver

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eriksen, Torkild; Høye, Gudrun; Narheim, Bjørn; Meland, Bente Jensløkken

    2006-05-01

    The Automatic Identification System (AIS) is a maritime safety and vessel traffic system imposed by the International Maritime Organization (IMO). The system broadcasts position reports and short messages with information about the ship and the voyage. Using frequencies in the maritime VHF band, the coverage is similar to other VHF applications, and is essentially dependent on the altitude of the antenna. For ship-to-ship communications the range is typically 20 nautical miles and for ship-to-shore up to 40 nm. A space-based AIS receiver in low earth orbit will have a range to the horizon of more than 1000 nm, giving an excellent opportunity for large-area ocean surveillance. The Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI) has performed a feasibility study on reception of AIS messages from space. The results show that a ship detection probability of near 100% can be obtained for up to 1000 ships within the coverage area, and that for a standard AIS receiver a signal power margin of 10-20 dB can be achieved. On this background, swath-width analyses for European scenarios are done. It is argued that space-based reception of AIS messages is a promising way of achieving long-range identification and tracking services at marginal cost.

  17. Discovering Knowledge from AIS Database for Application in VTS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsou, Ming-Cheng

    The widespread use of the Automatic Identification System (AIS) has had a significant impact on maritime technology. AIS enables the Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) not only to offer commonly known functions such as identification, tracking and monitoring of vessels, but also to provide rich real-time information that is useful for marine traffic investigation, statistical analysis and theoretical research. However, due to the rapid accumulation of AIS observation data, the VTS platform is often unable quickly and effectively to absorb and analyze it. Traditional observation and analysis methods are becoming less suitable for the modern AIS generation of VTS. In view of this, we applied the same data mining technique used for business intelligence discovery (in Customer Relation Management (CRM) business marketing) to the analysis of AIS observation data. This recasts the marine traffic problem as a business-marketing problem and integrates technologies such as Geographic Information Systems (GIS), database management systems, data warehousing and data mining to facilitate the discovery of hidden and valuable information in a huge amount of observation data. Consequently, this provides the marine traffic managers with a useful strategic planning resource.

  18. Campylobacter spp. in broiler flocks at farm level and the potential for cross-contamination during slaughter.

    PubMed

    Ellerbroek, L I; Lienau, J-A; Klein, G

    2010-12-01

    Screening of broiler flocks for their Campylobacter carriage on farm level and consequently the spread of Campylobacter spp. during slaughtering can help to identify hygiene control points. Therefore, between December 2001 and August 2002 in total 51 broiler flocks from three farms of different geographical regions in Germany were analysed for thermophilic Campylobacter. Campylobacter spp. were isolated from 45% of the broiler flocks examined. Subsequently, 1101 samples were taken from 22 flocks during different stages of processing. Samples were collected from: transport crates before and after cleaning/disinfection, evisceration, post-scalded and post-chilled carcasses and endproducts. Additionally, 45 selected Campylobacter isolates of droppings were genotyped by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). Campylobacter carriage of flocks showed seasonal variation, with the highest contamination rate during the period of June to August. No evidence was found for a horizontal transmission from one broiler flock to the next via a persistent house-contamination. In each positive flock, one to three different genotypes were found. One or two clones dominated isolations obtained from the farm level. The fact that in different flocks indistinguishable isolates of clonal origin were detected during the same rearing period suggested a transmission between the broiler flocks or an intermittent common external source. In one case, isolates of clonal origin were detected in various farms during different rearing periods. Sampling during processing confirmed that the entrance of a positive flock resulted in contamination of the abattoir environment. Campylobacter spp. were isolated from all sampling stages along the processing line, with a percentage of 91.1-100 of isolates at different stages of slaughtering. PMID:20880094

  19. Seropositive myasthenia and autoimmune autonomic ganglionopathy: cross reactivity or subclinical disease?

    PubMed

    Miglis, Mitchell G; Racela, Rikki; Kaufmann, Horacio

    2011-10-28

    Autoimmune autonomic ganglionopathy (AAG) and myasthenia gravis (MG) are both autoimmune channelopathies mediated by antibodies directed against nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. While both diseases target acetylcholine receptors, skeletal muscle and ganglionic receptor subtypes have key immunologic and genetic distinctions, and reports of patients with both AAG and MG are rare. We report a patient with antibody-confirmed AAG and elevated levels of ACh binding antibodies that did not meet clinical or electrodiagnostic criteria for MG. We presume that his skeletal muscle nAChR seropositivity was a false positive, perhaps due to the cross reactivity of the patient's ganglionic nAChR antibodies with skeletal nAChR subtypes. PMID:21745762

  20. PARSONAGE-TURNER SYNDROME: CASE REPORT OF A HIV-SEROPOSITIVE PATIENT

    PubMed Central

    Oliveira, Saulo Gomes de; Pombo, Eduardo Hosken; Batista, Priscila Rossi de; Cardoso, Igor Machado; Rezende, Rodrigo

    2015-01-01

    Parsonage-Turner Syndrome is a rare disease that affects the musculature of the scapular girdle, leading to muscle atrophy and large motor deficit. The etiology is uncertain, but it is believed that infectious and autoimmune factors are involved. The diagnosis is made by exclusion, and the main differential diagnoses are cervical disc hernias, rotator cuff injuries and rheumatic diseases. During diagnostic investigations, we perform laboratory tests, radiographs and MRI on the shoulders and cervical spine, with emphasis on electroneuromyography to help in making a definitive diagnosis. This case report is presented because it shows a disease that is rarely associated with HIV seropositivity and the importance of early diagnosis for better treatment of these patients. PMID:27022580

  1. Toward detecting California shrubland canopy chemistry with AIS data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Price, Curtis V.; Westman, Walter E.

    1987-01-01

    Airborne Imaging Spectrometer (AIS)-2 data of coastal sage scrub vegetation were examined for fine spectral features that might be used to predict concentrations of certain canopy chemical constituents. A Fourier notch filter was applied to the AIS data and the TREE and ROCK mode spectra were ratioed to a flat field. Portions of the resulting spectra resemble spectra for plant cellulose and starch in that both show reduced reflectance at 2100 and 2270 nm. The latter are regions of absorption of energy by organic bonds found in starch and cellulose. Whether the relationship is sufficient to predict the concentration of these chemicals from AIS spectra will require testing of the predictive ability of these wavebands with large field sample sizes.

  2. Artificial intelligence (AI) based tactical guidance for fighter aircraft

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mcmanus, John W.; Goodrich, Kenneth H.

    1990-01-01

    A research program investigating the use of artificial intelligence (AI) techniques to aid in the development of a Tactical Decision Generator (TDG) for Within Visual Range air combat engagements is discussed. The application of AI programming and problem solving methods in the development and implementation of the Computerized Logic For Air-to-Air Warfare Simulations (CLAWS), a second generation TDG, is presented. The knowledge-based systems used by CLAWS to aid in the tactical decision-making process are outlined in detail, and the results of tests to evaluate the performance of CLAWS versus a baseline TDG developed in FORTRAN to run in real time in the Langley Differential Maneuvering Simulator, are presented. To date, these test results have shown significant performance gains with respect to the TDG baseline in one-versus-one air combat engagements, and the AI-based TDG software has proven to be much easier to modify and maintain than the baseline FORTRAN TDG programs.

  3. Can external quality control improve pig AI efficiency?

    PubMed

    Waberski, D; Petrunkina, A M; Töpfer-Petersen, E

    2008-11-01

    External quality control programmes carried out by central laboratories have been long established in human andrology with the aim of enhancing the accuracy and reproducibility of semen assessment. Compared to human, demands on boar semen assessment in AI stations are more complex, with the need both to identify boars with poor ejaculate quality and to monitor individual boar differences for semen storage. Additionally, appropriate assessment serves as a control instrument to ensure the security and efficiency of semen processing. Despite current limitations regarding the ability of sperm assays to estimate the potential fertility of males, it is evident that boar fertility is related to certain conventional semen tests, e.g. sperm morphology. In central studies carried out on stored semen from 11 AI stations, flow cytometric assessment of plasma and acrosome membrane integrity proved to be more sensitive in detecting sperm damage associated with ageing and temperature stress as compared to light microscopy. Membrane integrity of stored semen differed between AI stations indicating significant influences of semen processing on sperm quality. Thus external control of semen quality in reference laboratories may be useful to monitor the efficiency of internal semen quality control in individual AI stations, to identify males with lower semen quality and/or poor response to semen storage, and to verify the precision of sperm counting. The possibility that central laboratories with sufficient resources may be able to identify functionally different responding sperm subpopulations for better estimation of fertility is discussed. Ideally, external quality control schemes for AI stations would comprise application of validated tests with high relevance for fertility (including bacterial status), analysis of semen processing on the AI station, and training courses for laboratory personnel. PMID:18656253

  4. Structural Ecosystems Therapy for HIV-Seropositive African American Women: Effects on Psychological Distress, Family Hassles, and Family Support

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Szapocznik, Jose; Feaster, Daniel J.; Mitrani, Victoria B.; Prado, Guillermo; Smith, Lila; Robinson-Batista, Carleen; Schwartz, Seth J.; Mauer, Magaly H.; Robbins, Michael S.

    2004-01-01

    This study tests the efficacy of Structural Ecosystems Therapy (SET), a family-ecological intervention, in improving psychosocial functioning when compared with an attention-comparison person-centered condition and a community control condition. A sample of 209 HIV-seropositive, urban, low-income, African American women was randomized into 1 of…

  5. Diverter AI based decision aid, phases 1 and 2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sexton, George A.; Bayles, Scott J.; Patterson, Robert W.; Schulke, Duane A.; Williams, Deborah C.

    1989-01-01

    It was determined that a system to incorporate artificial intelligence (AI) into airborne flight management computers is feasible. The AI functions that would be most useful to the pilot are to perform situational assessment, evaluate outside influences on the contemplated rerouting, perform flight planning/replanning, and perform maneuver planning. A study of the software architecture and software tools capable of demonstrating Diverter was also made. A skeletal planner known as the Knowledge Acquisition Development Tool (KADET), which is a combination script-based and rule-based system, was used to implement the system. A prototype system was developed which demonstrates advanced in-flight planning/replanning capabilities.

  6. Application of AI technology to nuclear plant operations

    SciTech Connect

    Sackett, J.I.

    1988-01-01

    In this paper, applications of Artificial Intelligence (AI) Technology to nuclear-power plant operation are reviewed. AI Technology is advancing rapidly and in the next five years is expected to enjoy widespread application to operation, maintenance, management and safety. Near term emphasis on a sensor validation, scheduling, alarm handling, and expert systems for procedural assistance. Ultimate applications are envisioned to culminate in autonomous control such as would be necessary for a power system in space, where automatic control actions are taken based upon reasoned conclusions regarding plant conditions, capability and control objectives.

  7. AiGERM: A logic programming front end for GERM

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hashim, Safaa H.

    1990-01-01

    AiGerm (Artificially Intelligent Graphical Entity Relation Modeler) is a relational data base query and programming language front end for MCC (Mission Control Center)/STP's (Space Test Program) Germ (Graphical Entity Relational Modeling) system. It is intended as an add-on component of the Germ system to be used for navigating very large networks of information. It can also function as an expert system shell for prototyping knowledge-based systems. AiGerm provides an interface between the programming language and Germ.

  8. Emergence of collective changes in travel direction of starling flocks from individual birds' fluctuations

    PubMed Central

    Attanasi, Alessandro; Cavagna, Andrea; Del Castello, Lorenzo; Giardina, Irene; Jelic, Asja; Melillo, Stefania; Parisi, Leonardo; Pohl, Oliver; Shen, Edward; Viale, Massimiliano

    2015-01-01

    One of the most impressive features of moving animal groups is their ability to perform sudden coherent changes in travel direction. While this collective decision can be a response to an external alarm cue, directional switching can also emerge from the intrinsic fluctuations in individual behaviour. However, the cause and the mechanism by which such collective changes of direction occur are not fully understood yet. Here, we present an experimental study of spontaneous collective turns in natural flocks of starlings. We employ a recently developed tracking algorithm to reconstruct three-dimensional trajectories of each individual bird in the flock for the whole duration of a turning event. Our approach enables us to analyse changes in the individual behaviour of every group member and reveal the emergent dynamics of turning. We show that spontaneous turns start from individuals located at the elongated tips of the flocks, and then propagate through the group. We find that birds on the tips deviate from the mean direction of motion much more frequently than other individuals, indicating that persistent localized fluctuations are the crucial ingredient for triggering a collective directional change. Finally, we quantitatively verify that birds follow equal-radius paths during turning, the effects of which are a change of the flock's orientation and a redistribution of individual locations in the group. PMID:26236825

  9. Diffusion and Topological Neighbours in Flocks of Starlings: Relating a Model to Empirical Data

    PubMed Central

    Hemelrijk, Charlotte K.; Hildenbrandt, Hanno

    2015-01-01

    Moving in a group while avoiding collisions with group members causes internal dynamics in the group. Although these dynamics have recently been measured quantitatively in starling flocks (Sturnus vulgaris), it is unknown what causes them. Computational models have shown that collective motion in groups is likely due to attraction, avoidance and, possibly, alignment among group members. Empirical studies show that starlings adjust their movement to a fixed number of closest neighbours or topological range, namely 6 or 7 and assume that each of the three activities is done with the same number of neighbours (topological range). Here, we start from the hypothesis that escape behavior is more effective at preventing collisions in a flock when avoiding the single closest neighbor than compromising by avoiding 6 or 7 of them. For alignment and attraction, we keep to the empirical topological range. We investigate how avoiding one or several neighbours affects the internal dynamics of flocks of starlings in our computational model StarDisplay. By comparing to empirical data, we confirm that internal dynamics resemble empirical data more closely if flock members avoid merely their single, closest neighbor. Our model shows that considering a different number of interaction partners per activity represents a useful perspective and that changing a single parameter, namely the number of interaction partners that are avoided, has several effects through selforganisation. PMID:25993474

  10. Campylobacter detection in broiler ceca at processing - a three year 211 flock survey

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Campylobacter is associated with live broilers and chicken meat products. There is some discussion in the literature about the possibility that Campylobacter prevalence in broilers could be affected by season or weather conditions. The objective of this study was to measure the flock prevalence of...

  11. ISOLATIONS OF SALMONELLA ENTERITIDIS AND SALMONELLA TYPHIMURIUM FROM MICE IN POULTRY FLOCKS

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    House mice (Mus musculus), laying hens and the environments of thirty-nine poultry flocks in Pennsylvania, USA were cultured for Salmonella enteritidis and Salmonella typhimurium. Mice spleen and intestinal samples were each cultured, individually, with S. enteritidis isolated from fifteen and thi...

  12. 9 CFR 145.33 - Terminology and classification; flocks and products.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 9 Animals and Animal Products 1 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Terminology and classification; flocks and products. 145.33 Section 145.33 Animals and Animal Products ANIMAL AND PLANT HEALTH INSPECTION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE LIVESTOCK IMPROVEMENT NATIONAL POULTRY IMPROVEMENT PLAN FOR BREEDING POULTRY Special Provisions for Multiplier...

  13. 9 CFR 145.33 - Terminology and classification; flocks and products.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 9 Animals and Animal Products 1 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Terminology and classification; flocks and products. 145.33 Section 145.33 Animals and Animal Products ANIMAL AND PLANT HEALTH INSPECTION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE LIVESTOCK IMPROVEMENT NATIONAL POULTRY IMPROVEMENT PLAN FOR BREEDING POULTRY Special Provisions for Multiplier...

  14. Strategies for Controlling Salmonella Enteritidis in Poultry Flocks: Translating Research into Action

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    More than 2500 distinct Salmonella serotypes have been identified, but only a small fraction of these are commonly found in poultry flocks. However, poultry products are epidemiologically important as sources of Salmonella transmission to humans and several of the serotypes that most often cause hum...

  15. Assessing the Significance of Salmonella Heidelberg Infections in Egg-Laying Flocks

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Salmonella Heidelberg has been common in North American poultry (including commercial laying flocks) for many years. Public health authorities have implicated both poultry meat and eggs as significant sources for the transmission of S. Heidelberg infections to humans. S. Heidelberg colonizes the int...

  16. Animal Well-Being in Small Poultry Flocks: Improving bird health and product quality

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Consumer interest in farm animal welfare is increasing and, while there is little legislation, voluntary welfare assurance programs exist; however, most small poultry producers do not participate in these programs. Raising birds in small flocks has some inherent welfare advantages, such as ample sp...

  17. 9 CFR 145.63 - Terminology and classification; flocks and products.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... Official State Agency and approved by the Service in lieu of annual blood testing. (b) U.S. Avian Influenza... program for the prevention and control of avian influenza. It is intended to determine the presence of avian influenza in all ostrich, emu, rhea, and cassowary breeding flocks through routine...

  18. 9 CFR 145.63 - Terminology and classification; flocks and products.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... Official State Agency and approved by the Service in lieu of annual blood testing. (b) U.S. Avian Influenza... program for the prevention and control of avian influenza. It is intended to determine the presence of avian influenza in all ostrich, emu, rhea, and cassowary breeding flocks through routine...

  19. 9 CFR 145.63 - Terminology and classification; flocks and products.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... Official State Agency and approved by the Service in lieu of annual blood testing. (b) U.S. Avian Influenza... program for the prevention and control of avian influenza. It is intended to determine the presence of avian influenza in all ostrich, emu, rhea, and cassowary breeding flocks through routine...

  20. 9 CFR 145.83 - Terminology and classification; flocks and products.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE LIVESTOCK IMPROVEMENT NATIONAL POULTRY IMPROVEMENT PLAN FOR BREEDING POULTRY Special Provisions for Primary Meat-Type Chicken Breeding Flocks and Products § 145.83 Terminology.... Pullorum-Typhoid Clean, or equivalent, into the State are prohibited; (D) All persons performing...

  1. 9 CFR 145.10 - Terminology and classification; flocks, products, and States.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... List of CFR Sections Affected, which appears in the Finding Aids section of the printed volume and on... SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE LIVESTOCK IMPROVEMENT NATIONAL POULTRY IMPROVEMENT PLAN FOR BREEDING POULTRY General Provisions § 145.10 Terminology and classification; flocks, products, and...

  2. 9 CFR 145.83 - Terminology and classification; flocks and products.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE LIVESTOCK IMPROVEMENT NATIONAL POULTRY IMPROVEMENT PLAN FOR BREEDING POULTRY Special Provisions for Primary Meat-Type Chicken Breeding Flocks and Products § 145.83 Terminology.... Pullorum-Typhoid Clean, or equivalent, into the State are prohibited; (D) All persons performing...

  3. 9 CFR 145.43 - Terminology and classification; flocks and products.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... citations affecting § 145.43, see the List of CFR Sections Affected, which appears in the Finding Aids... SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE LIVESTOCK IMPROVEMENT NATIONAL POULTRY IMPROVEMENT PLAN FOR BREEDING POULTRY Special Provisions for Turkey Breeding Flocks and Products § 145.43 Terminology and...

  4. 9 CFR 145.10 - Terminology and classification; flocks, products, and States.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... List of CFR Sections Affected, which appears in the Finding Aids section of the printed volume and at... SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE LIVESTOCK IMPROVEMENT NATIONAL POULTRY IMPROVEMENT PLAN FOR BREEDING POULTRY General Provisions § 145.10 Terminology and classification; flocks, products, and...

  5. 9 CFR 145.43 - Terminology and classification; flocks and products.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... citations affecting § 145.43, see the List of CFR Sections Affected, which appears in the Finding Aids... SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE LIVESTOCK IMPROVEMENT NATIONAL POULTRY IMPROVEMENT PLAN FOR BREEDING POULTRY Special Provisions for Turkey Breeding Flocks and Products § 145.43 Terminology and...

  6. 9 CFR 145.73 - Terminology and classification; flocks and products.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE LIVESTOCK IMPROVEMENT NATIONAL POULTRY IMPROVEMENT PLAN FOR BREEDING POULTRY Special Provisions for Primary Egg-Type Chicken Breeding Flocks and Products § 145.73 Terminology..., into the State are prohibited; (D) All persons performing poultry disease diagnostic services...

  7. 9 CFR 145.73 - Terminology and classification; flocks and products.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE LIVESTOCK IMPROVEMENT NATIONAL POULTRY IMPROVEMENT PLAN FOR BREEDING POULTRY Special Provisions for Primary Egg-Type Chicken Breeding Flocks and Products § 145.73 Terminology..., into the State are prohibited; (D) All persons performing poultry disease diagnostic services...

  8. Diffusion and topological neighbours in flocks of starlings: relating a model to empirical data.

    PubMed

    Hemelrijk, Charlotte K; Hildenbrandt, Hanno

    2015-01-01

    Moving in a group while avoiding collisions with group members causes internal dynamics in the group. Although these dynamics have recently been measured quantitatively in starling flocks (Sturnus vulgaris), it is unknown what causes them. Computational models have shown that collective motion in groups is likely due to attraction, avoidance and, possibly, alignment among group members. Empirical studies show that starlings adjust their movement to a fixed number of closest neighbours or topological range, namely 6 or 7 and assume that each of the three activities is done with the same number of neighbours (topological range). Here, we start from the hypothesis that escape behavior is more effective at preventing collisions in a flock when avoiding the single closest neighbor than compromising by avoiding 6 or 7 of them. For alignment and attraction, we keep to the empirical topological range. We investigate how avoiding one or several neighbours affects the internal dynamics of flocks of starlings in our computational model StarDisplay. By comparing to empirical data, we confirm that internal dynamics resemble empirical data more closely if flock members avoid merely their single, closest neighbor. Our model shows that considering a different number of interaction partners per activity represents a useful perspective and that changing a single parameter, namely the number of interaction partners that are avoided, has several effects through selforganisation. PMID:25993474

  9. Monitoring chicken flock behaviour provides early warning of infection by human pathogen Campylobacter

    PubMed Central

    Colles, Frances M.; Cain, Russell J.; Nickson, Thomas; Smith, Adrian L.; Roberts, Stephen J.; Maiden, Martin C. J.; Lunn, Daniel; Dawkins, Marian Stamp

    2016-01-01

    Campylobacter is the commonest bacterial cause of gastrointestinal infection in humans, and chicken meat is the major source of infection throughout the world. Strict and expensive on-farm biosecurity measures have been largely unsuccessful in controlling infection and are hampered by the time needed to analyse faecal samples, with the result that Campylobacter status is often known only after a flock has been processed. Our data demonstrate an alternative approach that monitors the behaviour of live chickens with cameras and analyses the ‘optical flow’ patterns made by flock movements. Campylobacter-free chicken flocks have higher mean and lower kurtosis of optical flow than those testing positive for Campylobacter by microbiological methods. We show that by monitoring behaviour in this way, flocks likely to become positive can be identified within the first 7–10 days of life, much earlier than conventional on-farm microbiological methods. This early warning has the potential to lead to a more targeted approach to Campylobacter control and also provides new insights into possible sources of infection that could transform the control of this globally important food-borne pathogen. PMID:26740618

  10. Monitoring chicken flock behaviour provides early warning of infection by human pathogen Campylobacter.

    PubMed

    Colles, Frances M; Cain, Russell J; Nickson, Thomas; Smith, Adrian L; Roberts, Stephen J; Maiden, Martin C J; Lunn, Daniel; Dawkins, Marian Stamp

    2016-01-13

    Campylobacter is the commonest bacterial cause of gastrointestinal infection in humans, and chicken meat is the major source of infection throughout the world. Strict and expensive on-farm biosecurity measures have been largely unsuccessful in controlling infection and are hampered by the time needed to analyse faecal samples, with the result that Campylobacter status is often known only after a flock has been processed. Our data demonstrate an alternative approach that monitors the behaviour of live chickens with cameras and analyses the 'optical flow' patterns made by flock movements. Campylobacter-free chicken flocks have higher mean and lower kurtosis of optical flow than those testing positive for Campylobacter by microbiological methods. We show that by monitoring behaviour in this way, flocks likely to become positive can be identified within the first 7-10 days of life, much earlier than conventional on-farm microbiological methods. This early warning has the potential to lead to a more targeted approach to Campylobacter control and also provides new insights into possible sources of infection that could transform the control of this globally important food-borne pathogen. PMID:26740618

  11. Fluctuation-driven flocking movement in three dimensions and scale-free correlation.

    PubMed

    Niizato, Takayuki; Gunji, Yukio-Pegio

    2012-01-01

    Recent advances in the study of flocking behavior have permitted more sophisticated analyses than previously possible. The concepts of "topological distances" and "scale-free correlations" are important developments that have contributed to this improvement. These concepts require us to reconsider the notion of a neighborhood when applied to theoretical models. Previous work has assumed that individuals interact with neighbors within a certain radius (called the "metric distance"). However, other work has shown that, assuming topological interactions, starlings interact on average with the six or seven nearest neighbors within a flock. Accounting for this observation, we previously proposed a metric-topological interaction model in two dimensions. The goal of our model was to unite these two interaction components, the metric distance and the topological distance, into one rule. In our previous study, we demonstrated that the metric-topological interaction model could explain a real bird flocking phenomenon called scale-free correlation, which was first reported by Cavagna et al. In this study, we extended our model to three dimensions while also accounting for variations in speed. This three-dimensional metric-topological interaction model displayed scale-free correlation for velocity and orientation. Finally, we introduced an additional new feature of the model, namely, that a flock can store and release its fluctuations. PMID:22662109

  12. Associations between vaccinations against protozoal and viral infections and Salmonella in broiler flocks

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Reducing the burden of Salmonella in broiler flocks presents a challenge for public health and for sustainability of the industry. A number of other infections are simultaneously controlled in grow-out broilers world-wide by vaccination. The purpose of this exploratory analysis was to test, in a f...

  13. On the origin of the Synodontis catfish species flock from Lake Tanganyika

    PubMed Central

    Day, Julia J; Wilkinson, Mark

    2006-01-01

    Species flocks within Great Lakes provide unique insights into the factors affecting diversification. Lake Tanganyika (LT) is of particular interest because it contains many endemic groups for which general factors affecting diversification can be discerned. Here, we present the first phylogenetic study of the LT Synodontis (Siluriformes, Mochokidae) species flock using mtDNA sequence data. Our data reveal some previously unrecognized species diversity and indicate that the LT species flock is not monophyletic, and that two closely related clades of endemics may have independently colonized LT. Other comparable small species flocks are characterized by a single colonization event. Molecular date estimates of the timing of the initial within-lake diversification of the LT endemics, based on a fossil calibration, are comparable to those reported for other groups, suggesting that extrinsic factors maybe important common causes of clade diversification. The basal divergence in the sampled Synodontis reveals an East–West African faunal split seen in many terrestrial, but few aquatic groups, the timing of which coincides with East African rifting events. PMID:17148285

  14. On the origin of the Synodontis catfish species flock from Lake Tanganyika.

    PubMed

    Day, Julia J; Wilkinson, Mark

    2006-12-22

    Species flocks within Great Lakes provide unique insights into the factors affecting diversification. Lake Tanganyika (LT) is of particular interest because it contains many endemic groups for which general factors affecting diversification can be discerned. Here, we present the first phylogenetic study of the LT Synodontis (Siluriformes, Mochokidae) species flock using mtDNA sequence data. Our data reveal some previously unrecognized species diversity and indicate that the LT species flock is not monophyletic, and that two closely related clades of endemics may have independently colonized LT. Other comparable small species flocks are characterized by a single colonization event. Molecular date estimates of the timing of the initial within-lake diversification of the LT endemics, based on a fossil calibration, are comparable to those reported for other groups, suggesting that extrinsic factors maybe important common causes of clade diversification. The basal divergence in the sampled Synodontis reveals an East-West African faunal split seen in many terrestrial, but few aquatic groups, the timing of which coincides with East African rifting events. PMID:17148285

  15. 9 CFR 145.43 - Terminology and classification; flocks and products.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... citations affecting § 145.43, see the List of CFR Sections Affected, which appears in the Finding Aids... POULTRY Special Provisions for Turkey Breeding Flocks and Products § 145.43 Terminology and classification... Service that: (i) All turkey hatcheries within the State are qualified as “National Plan Hatcheries”...

  16. 9 CFR 145.43 - Terminology and classification; flocks and products.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... citations affecting § 145.43, see the List of CFR Sections Affected, which appears in the Finding Aids... POULTRY Special Provisions for Turkey Breeding Flocks and Products § 145.43 Terminology and classification... Service that: (i) All turkey hatcheries within the State are qualified as “National Plan Hatcheries”...

  17. 9 CFR 145.43 - Terminology and classification; flocks and products.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... citations affecting § 145.43, see the List of CFR Sections Affected, which appears in the Finding Aids... POULTRY Special Provisions for Turkey Breeding Flocks and Products § 145.43 Terminology and classification... Service that: (i) All turkey hatcheries within the State are qualified as “National Plan Hatcheries”...

  18. Detection of enteric pathogens in Turkey flocks affected with severe enteritis, in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Moura-Alvarez, Joelma; Nuñez, Luis F N; Astolfi-Ferreira, Claudete S; Knöbl, Terezinha; Chacón, Jorge L; Moreno, Andrea M; Jones, Richard C; Ferreira, Antonio J Piantino

    2014-08-01

    Twenty-two flocks of turkeys affected by enteric problems, with ages between 10 and 104 days and located in the Southern region of Brazil, were surveyed for turkey by PCR for turkey astrovirus type 2 (TAstV-2), turkey coronavirus (TCoV), hemorrhagic enteritis virus (HEV), rotavirus, reovirus, Salmonella spp., and Lawsonia intracellularis (Li) infections. Eleven profiles of pathogen combination were observed. The most frequently encountered pathogen combinations were TCoV-Li, followed by TCoV-TAstV-2-Li, TCoV-TastV-2. Only TCoV was detected as the sole pathogen in three flocks. Eight and 19 flocks of the 22 were positive for TAstV-2 and TCoV, respectively. Six were positive for Salmonella spp. and L. intracellularis was detected in 12 turkey flocks. Reovirus and HEV were not detected in this survey. These results throw new light on the multiple etiology of enteritis in turkeys. The implications of these findings and their correlation with the clinical signs are comprehensively discussed, illustrating the complexity of the enteric diseases. PMID:24817479

  19. 9 CFR 145.53 - Terminology and classification; flocks and products.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 0579-0007) Editorial Note: For Federal Register citations affecting § 145.53, see the List of CFR... POULTRY Special Provisions for Waterfowl, Exhibition Poultry, and Game Bird Breeding Flocks and Products... typhoid infection; (vii) All poultry, including exhibition, exotic, and game birds, but...

  20. 9 CFR 145.53 - Terminology and classification; flocks and products.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 0579-0007) Editorial Note: For Federal Register citations affecting § 145.53, see the List of CFR... POULTRY Special Provisions for Waterfowl, Exhibition Poultry, and Game Bird Breeding Flocks and Products... typhoid infection; (vii) All poultry, including exhibition, exotic, and game birds, but...

  1. 9 CFR 146.4 - General provisions for all participating flocks and slaughter plants.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 9 Animals and Animal Products 1 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false General provisions for all participating flocks and slaughter plants. 146.4 Section 146.4 Animals and Animal Products ANIMAL AND PLANT... classification may include in their advertising reference to associated or franchised slaughter or...

  2. Emergence of collective changes in travel direction of starling flocks from individual birds' fluctuations.

    PubMed

    Attanasi, Alessandro; Cavagna, Andrea; Del Castello, Lorenzo; Giardina, Irene; Jelic, Asja; Melillo, Stefania; Parisi, Leonardo; Pohl, Oliver; Shen, Edward; Viale, Massimiliano

    2015-07-01

    One of the most impressive features of moving animal groups is their ability to perform sudden coherent changes in travel direction. While this collective decision can be a response to an external alarm cue, directional switching can also emerge from the intrinsic fluctuations in individual behaviour. However, the cause and the mechanism by which such collective changes of direction occur are not fully understood yet. Here, we present an experimental study of spontaneous collective turns in natural flocks of starlings. We employ a recently developed tracking algorithm to reconstruct three-dimensional trajectories of each individual bird in the flock for the whole duration of a turning event. Our approach enables us to analyse changes in the individual behaviour of every group member and reveal the emergent dynamics of turning. We show that spontaneous turns start from individuals located at the elongated tips of the flocks, and then propagate through the group. We find that birds on the tips deviate from the mean direction of motion much more frequently than other individuals, indicating that persistent localized fluctuations are the crucial ingredient for triggering a collective directional change. Finally, we quantitatively verify that birds follow equal-radius paths during turning, the effects of which are a change of the flock's orientation and a redistribution of individual locations in the group. PMID:26236825

  3. Detection of Campylobacter in 100 commercial flocks - evaluation of plating media and filtration method

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Campylobacter is a natural member of the gut microflora in many commercial broilers and as such can become a contaminant on edible surfaces during processing. Culturing gut contents or feces can be a means to determine flock status prior to live-haul. The wide variety of non-Campylobacter backgrou...

  4. Features of anti-aquaporin 4 antibody-seropositive Chinese patients with neuromyelitis optica spectrum optic neuritis.

    PubMed

    Li, Hongyang; Wang, Yanling; Xu, Quangang; Zhang, Aidi; Zhou, Huanfen; Zhao, Shuo; Kang, Hao; Peng, Chunxia; Cao, Shanshan; Wei, Shihui

    2015-10-01

    The detection of anti-aquaporin-4 autoantibody (AQP-4 Ab) is crucial to detect patients who will develop neuromyelitis optica (NMO); however, there are few studies on the AQP-4 Ab serostatus of patients with neuromyelitis optica spectrum ON. We analyzed the clinical and paraclinical features of neuromyelitis optica spectrum ON patients in China according to the patients' AQP4-Ab serostatus. 125 patients with recurrent and bilateral ON with simultaneous attacks were divided into AQP-4 Ab-seropositive and -seronegative groups. Demographic, clinical, serum autoantibody data, connective tissue disorders (CTDs), visual performance were compared. A Visual Acuity (VA) of less than 0.1 during acute ON attacks occurred more frequently in the seropositive group (p = 0.023); however, there was not a significant difference between groups on VA recovery after the first attack. The seropositive group experienced the worst outcome during the last attack (p = 0.017). Other co-existing autoimmunity antibodies (p < 0.001) and CTDs (p < 0.001) were more prevalent in seropositive patients. There were no significant differences on VA recovery and RNFLT combined with other autoantibodies or CTDs. The two groups did not differ significantly with regard to time to relapse, annualized relapse rates, time of diagnosis NMO, or RNFL. There were no significant differences on VA recovery and RNFLT combined with other autoantibodies or CTDs. RNFLT was thinner in NMO seropositive patients. Although AQP-4 Ab expression predicted poor visual outcome, positive patients were usually associated with mild symptoms at first onset. Anti-SSA/SSB antibody or Sjögren syndrome may be associated with AQP-4 Ab in neuromyelitis optica spectrum ON. PMID:26162715

  5. Prevalence and risk factors for Brucella seropositivity among sheep and goats in a peri-urban region of Tajikistan.

    PubMed

    Rajala, Elisabeth Lindahl; Grahn, Cecilia; Ljung, Isabel; Sattorov, Nosirjon; Boqvist, Sofia; Magnusson, Ulf

    2016-03-01

    This cross-sectional study aimed to estimate the seroprevalence of Brucella infection among sheep and goats on small-scale farms in a peri-urban area of Tajikistan and identify factors associated with seropositivity. The study population was 667 female sheep and goats >6 months of age from 21 villages in four districts surrounding the capital city, Dushanbe. Individual blood samples were collected during October and November 2012 and analysed with indirect enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Positive samples were confirmed with competitive ELISA. To identify factors associated with seropositivity at an individual level, a generalised linear mixed model was applied to account for clustering of individuals within villages and districts. The true individual seroprevalence was 6.7 % and ranged from 1.0 to 15.6 % between the four districts. Fourteen villages had at least one seropositive sheep or goat, resulting in apparent prevalence of 67 % at village level. The seroprevalence at individual level was significantly lower in Rudaki district (odds ratio (OR) = 0.1; 95 % confidence interval (CI) 0.03-0.4) and Varzob district (OR = 0.3; 95 % CI 0.09-0.8) than in Vahdat district. Sheep were more likely than goats to be seropositive (OR = 2.7; 95 % CI 1.3-5.5). Increasing age was significantly associated with seropositivity (OR = 1.4; 95 % CI 1.2-1.6). These results indicate high prevalence of Brucella infection among sheep and goats in the peri-urban area of the capital city in Tajikistan. Given the dense human population in such areas, this could constitute a threat to public health, besides causing significant production losses. PMID:26779709

  6. Serum levels of nitric oxide and protein oxidation in goats seropositive for Toxoplasma gondii and Neospora caninum.

    PubMed

    Tonin, A A; Weber, A; Ribeiro, A; Camillo, G; Vogel, F F; Moura, A B; Bochi, G V; Moresco, R N; Da Silva, A S

    2015-08-01

    The aim of this study was to assess and analyze the levels of nitric oxide (NO) and advanced oxidation protein products (AOPP) in serum of goats naturally infected by Toxoplasma gondii, Neospora caninum, or concomitantly infected by these two parasites. Thus, it was measured NOx and AOPP levels in twenty (n=20) sera samples of goats seronegative for T. gondii and N. caninum [negative control group (A)]; while the positive groups were composed by sera of infected animals, twelve (n=12) seropositive for N. caninum [group B]; eighteen (n=18) positive for T. gondii [group C]; and thirteen (n=13) seropositive for N. caninum and T. gondii [group D]. As results, it was observed that animals seropositive for N. caninum and T. gondii (Groups B to D) showed higher serum levels of NOx (P<0.001; F=9.5), when compared with seronegative animals. Additionally, it was observed a positive correlation between NOx levels and antibodies titrations for N. caninum (P<0.01; r=0.68) and T. gondii (P<0.05; r=0.56). AOPP levels were increase in groups C and D (P>0.05). Interestingly, group B did not show increase in AOPP, what led us to hypothesize that the major protein damage is linked to T. gondii infection. Therefore, our results showed an increased in NOx levels, which was probably related to the immune response, since it is an important inflammatory mediator; and AOPP were increased in groups where there was seropositivity for T. gondii, but not for the group composed only by animals seropositive for N. caninum, allowing us to suggest higher protein damage in toxoplasmosis. PMID:26031474

  7. Correction of glutathione deficiency in the lower respiratory tract of HIV seropositive individuals by glutathione aerosol treatment.

    PubMed Central

    Holroyd, K. J.; Buhl, R.; Borok, Z.; Roum, J. H.; Bokser, A. D.; Grimes, G. J.; Czerski, D.; Cantin, A. M.; Crystal, R. G.

    1993-01-01

    BACKGROUND--Concentrations of glutathione, a ubiquitous tripeptide with immune enhancing and antioxidant properties, are decreased in the blood and lung epithelial lining fluid of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) seropositive individuals. Since the lung is the most common site of infection in those who progress to AIDS it is rational to consider whether it is possible to safely augment glutathione levels in the epithelial lining fluid of HIV seropositive individuals, thus potentially improving local host defence. METHODS--Purified reduced glutathione was delivered by aerosol to HIV seropositive individuals (n = 14) and the glutathione levels in lung epithelial lining fluid were compared before and at one, two, and three hours after aerosol administration. RESULTS--Before treatment total glutathione concentrations in the epithelial lining fluid were approximately 60% of controls. After three days of twice daily doses each of 600 mg reduced glutathione, total glutathione levels in the epithelial lining fluid increased and remained in the normal range for at least three hours after treatment. Strikingly, even though > 95% of the glutathione in the aerosol was in its reduced form, the percentage of oxidised glutathione in epithelial lining fluid increased from 5% before treatment to about 40% three hours after treatment, probably reflecting the use of glutathione as an antioxidant in vivo. No adverse effects were observed. CONCLUSIONS--It is feasible and safe to use aerosolised reduced glutathione to augment the deficient glutathione levels of the lower respiratory tract of HIV seropositive individuals. It is rational to evaluate further the efficacy of this tripeptide in improving host defence in HIV seropositive individuals. PMID:8256245

  8. Analysis of factors important for the occurrence of Campylobacter in Danish broiler flocks.

    PubMed

    Sommer, H M; Heuer, O E; Sørensen, A I V; Madsen, M

    2013-08-01

    For more than a decade human campylobacteriosis has been the leading zoonosis in many developed countries. Consumption of poultry or poultry products has been identified as the primary source of infection in humans. This study was conducted to identify risk factors for the occurrence of Campylobacter in Danish broiler flocks. The study was based on a large data set consisting of Campylobacter positive status for nearly 6000 broiler flocks and 43 explanatory variables. Data were obtained from the Danish Campylobacter surveillance programme in poultry and from the responses to a standardized questionnaire answered via interviews with broiler farm owners. Two hundred and forty broiler farms, comprising 539 broiler houses, were included in the study and their Campylobacter status was followed over a 2-year period (1999-2000). The large number of observations made it possible to carry out a multivariate analysis including all 43 variables. A multivariate analysis was conducted using a generalized linear model, and the correlations between the houses from the same farms were accounted for by adding a variance structure to the model. The procedures for analyses included backward elimination, forward selection and expanding of the number of observations used in the variance analysis along with the reduction of the number of parameters in the model. The unit of analysis was 'broiler house', meaning that all results from a broiler house were aggregated into one prevalence figure (number of positive flocks/total number of flocks delivered over the 2-year period). The following factors were found to be significantly associated with the occurrence of Campylobacter in the broiler flocks: old broiler houses, late introduction of whole wheat in the feed, relatively high broiler age at slaughter, improper rodent control, large number of chimneys on the broiler house, farm located in an area with a high density of cattle farms, having more than one broiler house on the farm, and

  9. Backyard chickens in the United States: a survey of flock owners.

    PubMed

    Elkhoraibi, C; Blatchford, R A; Pitesky, M E; Mench, J A

    2014-11-01

    Although it has become increasingly popular to keep backyard chickens in the United States, few studies have provided information about these flocks. An online survey of backyard chicken owners was conducted, advertised through Master Gardeners' websites, social platforms, and other sites. The survey had 56 questions about flock history, husbandry, health care, and owner attitudes and demographics. Surveys received (n = 1,487) came almost equally from urban, suburban, and rural areas. Most (71%) respondents owned fewer than 10 chickens and had kept chickens for less than 5 yr (70%). Major reasons for keeping chickens were as food for home use (95%), gardening partners (63%), pets (57%), or a combination of these. Rural respondents had larger flocks (P ≤ 0.001) and were more likely to keep chickens as a source of income or for show (P ≤ 0.001) than urban and suburban respondents. Owners thought that eggs/meat from their chickens were more nutritious (86%), safer to consume (84%), and tasted better (95%) than store-bought products, and also that the health and welfare of their chickens was better (95%) than on commercial farms. The majority (59%) indicated no flock health problems in the last 12 mo. However, there was a lack of awareness about some poultry health conditions. Many knew either little or nothing about exotic Newcastle or Marek's disease, and most (61%) did not vaccinate against Marek's. Respondents wanted to learn more about various flock management topics, especially how to detect (64%) and treat (66%) health problems. The Internet was the main source of information (87%) used by backyard flock owners, followed by books/magazines (62%) and feed stores (40%). Minimizing predation was the most cited challenge (49%), followed by providing adequate feed at low cost (28%), dealing with soil management (25%), and complying with zoning regulations (23%). The evidence obtained from this survey will help to determine what information and resources are

  10. Behavioural response of European starlings exposed to video playback of conspecific flocks: effect of social context and predator threat.

    PubMed

    Zoratto, Francesca; Manzari, Leonardo; Oddi, Ludovica; Pinxten, Rianne; Eens, Marcel; Santucci, Daniela; Alleva, Enrico; Carere, Claudio

    2014-03-01

    We studied the behavioural response of European starlings to a socially mediated predation event. Adult starlings were exposed to either a video of a flock attacked by a peregrine falcon or a video of a flock not under attack. We investigated whether the social condition affected the anti-predator response under the hypothesis that in such a gregarious species singletons would increase their anti-predator behaviour more than individuals in groups, to compensate for potential increased risk. The video of the flock under attack caused an increase in immobility and vigilance, more marked in singletons, both during and after the exposure. The video of the non-threatened flock caused an increase in activity levels, especially during the exposure. Furthermore, we observed a marked increase in comfort activities in singletons as well as in social interactions and vocalizations in mini-flocks. Only birds in mini-flocks vocalized, which may be explained by an audience effect, a process of social cognition mediated by the social context, and not only by the stimulus. The results are in line with previous field studies, which showed that isolated starlings are exposed to a higher risk of predation compared to individuals in flocks. PMID:24468212

  11. Collective decision making and social interaction rules in mixed-species flocks of songbirds.

    PubMed

    Farine, Damien R; Aplin, Lucy M; Garroway, Colin J; Mann, Richard P; Sheldon, Ben C

    2014-09-01

    Associations in mixed-species foraging groups are common in animals, yet have rarely been explored in the context of collective behaviour. Despite many investigations into the social and ecological conditions under which individuals should form groups, we still know little about the specific behavioural rules that individuals adopt in these contexts, or whether these can be generalized to heterospecifics. Here, we studied collective behaviour in flocks in a community of five species of woodland passerine birds. We adopted an automated data collection protocol, involving visits by RFID-tagged birds to feeding stations equipped with antennae, over two winters, recording 91 576 feeding events by 1904 individuals. We demonstrated highly synchronized feeding behaviour within patches, with birds moving towards areas of the patch with the largest proportion of the flock. Using a model of collective decision making, we then explored the underlying decision rule birds may be using when foraging in mixed-species flocks. The model tested whether birds used a different decision rule for conspecifics and heterospecifics, and whether the rules used by individuals of different species varied. We found that species differed in their response to the distribution of conspecifics and heterospecifics across foraging patches. However, simulating decisions using the different rules, which reproduced our data well, suggested that the outcome of using different decision rules by each species resulted in qualitatively similar overall patterns of movement. It is possible that the decision rules each species uses may be adjusted to variation in mean species abundance in order for individuals to maintain the same overall flock-level response. This is likely to be important for maintaining coordinated behaviour across species, and to result in quick and adaptive flock responses to food resources that are patchily distributed in space and time. PMID:25214653

  12. Collective decision making and social interaction rules in mixed-species flocks of songbirds

    PubMed Central

    Farine, Damien R.; Aplin, Lucy M.; Garroway, Colin J.; Mann, Richard P.; Sheldon, Ben C.

    2014-01-01

    Associations in mixed-species foraging groups are common in animals, yet have rarely been explored in the context of collective behaviour. Despite many investigations into the social and ecological conditions under which individuals should form groups, we still know little about the specific behavioural rules that individuals adopt in these contexts, or whether these can be generalized to heterospecifics. Here, we studied collective behaviour in flocks in a community of five species of woodland passerine birds. We adopted an automated data collection protocol, involving visits by RFID-tagged birds to feeding stations equipped with antennae, over two winters, recording 91 576 feeding events by 1904 individuals. We demonstrated highly synchronized feeding behaviour within patches, with birds moving towards areas of the patch with the largest proportion of the flock. Using a model of collective decision making, we then explored the underlying decision rule birds may be using when foraging in mixed-species flocks. The model tested whether birds used a different decision rule for conspecifics and heterospecifics, and whether the rules used by individuals of different species varied. We found that species differed in their response to the distribution of conspecifics and heterospecifics across foraging patches. However, simulating decisions using the different rules, which reproduced our data well, suggested that the outcome of using different decision rules by each species resulted in qualitatively similar overall patterns of movement. It is possible that the decision rules each species uses may be adjusted to variation in mean species abundance in order for individuals to maintain the same overall flock-level response. This is likely to be important for maintaining coordinated behaviour across species, and to result in quick and adaptive flock responses to food resources that are patchily distributed in space and time. PMID:25214653

  13. Risk factors for ovine Johne's disease in infected sheep flocks in Australia.

    PubMed

    Dhand, Navneet K; Eppleston, Jeff; Whittington, Richard J; Toribio, Jenny-Ann L M L

    2007-11-15

    We conducted a cross-sectional study in 2004-2005 to investigate risk factors for ovine Johne's disease (OJD) involving 92 infected Merino sheep flocks in Australia. In each enrolled flock we collected pooled faecal-samples from 3- to 5-year-old sheep and cultured them for Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (MAP) to determine their OJD status. Based on pooled faecal-culture (PFC) results, three outcome variables representing different facets of disease biology were derived: pool OJD status (binomial: positive or negative), log pool MAP number (continuous) and cohort OJD prevalence level (ordinal: low (<2%), medium (2-10%) and high (>10%) prevalence). We used these outcomes in three separate multivariable analyses to identify risk factors, which were based on a questionnaire administered during a face-to-face interview with the farmer. We found higher OJD infection in sheep whose dams had been in poor condition and kept at a high stocking rate during lambing and in sheep which had experienced a longer period of growth retardation during their lifetime. Flocks that had vaccinated for >2 years (rather than only 1-2 years) with a killed MAP vaccine had significantly lower OJD infection. In addition, practices including culling low body weight sheep or selling sub-flocks experiencing high losses, sharing of roads between neighbouring farms, and greater frequency of application of super phosphate fertilizers were associated with higher OJD. Of the confounders investigated, infection was higher in flocks experiencing high mortalities; in wethers compared to ewes; and in 3-year-old sheep compared to 4-year-old sheep. PMID:17602766

  14. Comparisons of the Outcome Prediction Performance of Injury Severity Scoring Tools Using the Abbreviated Injury Scale 90 Update 98 (AIS 98) and 2005 Update 2008 (AIS 2008)

    PubMed Central

    Tohira, Hideo; Jacobs, Ian; Mountain, David; Gibson, Nick; Yeo, Allen

    2011-01-01

    The Abbreviated Injury Scale (AIS) was revised in 2005 and updated in 2008 (AIS 2008). We aimed to compare the outcome prediction performance of AIS-based injury severity scoring tools by using AIS 2008 and AIS 98. We used all major trauma patients hospitalized to the Royal Perth Hospital between 1994 and 2008. We selected five AIS-based injury severity scoring tools, including Injury Severity Score (ISS), New Injury Severity Score (NISS), modified Anatomic Profile (mAP), Trauma and Injury Severity Score (TRISS) and A Severity Characterization of Trauma (ASCOT). We selected survival after injury as a target outcome. We used the area under the Receiver Operating Characteristic curve (AUROC) as a performance measure. First, we compared the five tools using all cases whose records included all variables for the TRISS (complete dataset) using a 10-fold cross-validation. Second, we compared the ISS and NISS for AIS 98 and AIS 2008 using all subjects (whole dataset). We identified 1,269 and 4,174 cases for a complete dataset and a whole dataset, respectively. With the 10-fold cross-validation, there were no clear differences in the AUROCs between the AIS 98- and AIS 2008-based scores. With the second comparison, the AIS 98-based ISS performed significantly worse than the AIS 2008-based ISS (p<0.0001), while there was no significant difference between the AIS 98- and AIS 2008-based NISSs. Researchers should be aware of these findings when they select an injury severity scoring tool for their studies. PMID:22105401

  15. A Systems Development Life Cycle Project for the AIS Class

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wang, Ting J.; Saemann, Georgia; Du, Hui

    2007-01-01

    The Systems Development Life Cycle (SDLC) project was designed for use by an accounting information systems (AIS) class. Along the tasks in the SDLC, this project integrates students' knowledge of transaction and business processes, systems documentation techniques, relational database concepts, and hands-on skills in relational database use.…

  16. New directions for Artificial Intelligence (AI) methods in optimum design

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hajela, Prabhat

    1989-01-01

    Developments and applications of artificial intelligence (AI) methods in the design of structural systems is reviewed. Principal shortcomings in the current approach are emphasized, and the need for some degree of formalism in the development environment for such design tools is underscored. Emphasis is placed on efforts to integrate algorithmic computations in expert systems.

  17. AI/Simulation Fusion Project at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

    SciTech Connect

    Erickson, S.A.

    1984-04-25

    This presentation first discusses the motivation for the AI Simulation Fusion project. After discussing very briefly what expert systems are in general, what object oriented languages are in general, and some observed features of typical combat simulations, it discusses why putting together artificial intelligence and combat simulation makes sense. We then talk about the first demonstration goal for this fusion project.

  18. AI in CALL--Artificially Inflated or Almost Imminent?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schulze, Mathias

    2008-01-01

    The application of techniques from artificial intelligence (AI) to CALL has commonly been referred to as intelligent CALL (ICALL). ICALL is only slightly older than the "CALICO Journal", and this paper looks back at a quarter century of published research mainly in North America and by North American scholars. This "inventory taking" will provide…

  19. Artificial Intelligence: Is the Future Now for A.I.?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ramaswami, Rama

    2009-01-01

    In education, artificial intelligence (AI) has not made much headway. In the one area where it would seem poised to lend the most benefit--assessment--the reliance on standardized tests, intensified by the demands of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, which holds schools accountable for whether students pass statewide exams, precludes its use.…

  20. SPIKE: AI scheduling techniques for Hubble Space Telescope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnston, Mark D.

    1991-09-01

    AI (Artificial Intelligence) scheduling techniques for HST are presented in the form of the viewgraphs. The following subject areas are covered: domain; HST constraint timescales; HTS scheduling; SPIKE overview; SPIKE architecture; constraint representation and reasoning; use of suitability functions by scheduling agent; SPIKE screen example; advantages of suitability function framework; limiting search and constraint propagation; scheduling search; stochastic search; repair methods; implementation; and status.

  1. Risk factors for Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica contamination in 519 French laying hen flocks at the end of the laying period.

    PubMed

    Huneau-Salaün, Adeline; Marianne, Chemaly; Sophie, Le Bouquin; Françoise, Lalande; Isabelle, Petetin; Sandra, Rouxel; Virginie, Michel; Philippe, Fravalo; Nicolas, Rose

    2009-05-01

    A cross-sectional study was carried out to identify risk factors for Salmonella spp. contamination in French laying hen flocks at the end of the laying period. Five hundred and nineteen flocks were studied between October 2004 and September 2005. The Salmonella status of the flocks was assessed from 5 faeces samples (pooled faeces samples from cage flocks and foot swabs from flocks kept on the floor, i.e. in a barn, outdoors and on organic farms) and 2 dust samples analysed using a classical bacteriological method. At least one contaminated sample was found in 93 flocks and the apparent prevalence of Salmonella was 17.9% (CI 95%=14.5, 21.3). Prevalence was significantly higher in caged flocks than in on-floor flocks and logistic-regression models were built for each subpopulation. Associations between farm characteristics, managerial practices and the presence of one or more Salmonella-positive samples in a flock were assessed using a mixed logistic-regression model with a flock-specific random effect. In caged flocks (n=227) the risk of Salmonella contamination increased with flock size and when delivery trucks passed near poultry-house entrances. The risk of detecting a positive sample was lower with pooled faeces samples than with dust samples. In on-floor flocks (n=292), a higher risk of contamination was associated with multistage management (presence of hens of different ages on the farm) and contamination by Salmonella Enteritidis of a previous flock kept on the farm. However, the use of a container for dead bird disposal was a protective factor. PMID:19237216

  2. Space-based detection of spoofing AIS signals using Doppler frequency

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guo, Shanzeng

    2014-05-01

    The Automatic Identification System (AIS) is a self-reporting system based on VHF radio to transmit a vessel's identity, position, speed, heading and other parameters to improve maritime domain awareness. However, AIS information can be programmatically spoofed by terrorists or other criminals, who often choose to masquerade as innocent civilians and exploit the vulnerabilities of military and civilian infrastructures for their purposes. Therefore, detecting and localizing a spoofing AIS ship become a critical and challenging issue for maritime security. This paper presents an algorithm to detect and geolocalize a spoofing AIS emitter using space-based AIS signals with its Doppler frequency. With an AIS signal sensor on a fast orbiting satellite, the measured AIS Doppler frequency of an AIS emitter can be used to define a double-napped cone of which the satellite is at its vertex and satellite velocity coincides with its axis, such that the theoretical Doppler frequency derived from the radial velocity to the AIS emitter matches the measured Doppler frequency. All such matches can only lie on either cone extending out from the satellite, which cuts the Earth's surface in two curves, so we know that the AIS emitter must lie somewhere on these curves. Two such AIS Doppler frequency measurements for the same stationary AIS emitter produce two valid curves which intersect at the position of the AIS emitter. Multiple Doppler frequency measurements can be used to better estimate the position fix of an AIS emitter, hence determine the spoofing AIS ship if the estimated position fix unreasonably differs from the position carried in its AIS message. A set of formulas are derived which relate an AIS emitter position to its Doppler frequency measurements.

  3. Apolipoprotein A-I: A Molecule of Diverse Function.

    PubMed

    Mangaraj, Manaswini; Nanda, Rachita; Panda, Suchismita

    2016-07-01

    Apolipoprotein A-I (apo A-I) an indispensable component and a major structural protein of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), plays a vital role in reverse cholesterol transport and cellular cholesterol homeostasis since its identification. Its multifunctional role in immunity, inflammation, apoptosis, viral, bacterial infection etc. has crossed its boundary of its potential of protecting cardiovascular system and lowering cardiovascular disease risk, attributing HDL to be known as a protective fat removal particle. Its structural homology with prostacyclin stabilization factor has contributed to its anti-clotting and anti-aggregatory effect on platelet which has potentiated its cardio-protective role as well as its therapeutic efficacy against Alzheimer's disease. The binding affinity and neutralising action against endotoxin lipopolysaccharide, reduces the toxic manifestations of septic shock. As a negative acute phase protein, it blocks T-cell signalling of macrophages. However the recently identified anti-tumor activity of apo A-I has been highlighted in various models of melanoma, lung cancer, ovarian cancer, lymphoblastic leukaemia, gastric as well as pancreatic cancers. These cancer fighting effects are directed towards regression of tumor size and distant metastasis by its immuno modulatory activity as well as its clearing effect on serum lysophospholipids. This lowering effect on lysophospholipid concentration is utilized by apo A-I mimetic peptides to be used in retarding tumor cell proliferation and as a potential cancer therapeutic agent. Not only that, it inhibits the tumor associated neo-angiogenesis as well as brings down the matrix degrading enzymes associated with tumor metastasis. However this efficient therapeutic potential of apo A-I as an anti tumor agent awaits further future experimental studies in humans. PMID:27382195

  4. Detection of autoinducer (AI-2)-like activity in food samples.

    PubMed

    Sivakumar, Kirthiram K; Jesudhasan, Palmy R; Pillai, Suresh D

    2011-01-01

    The contamination, survival, and possible foodborne disease outbreaks are major issues confronting the food industry. However, from a microbial perspective, any food whether natural or processed is just another environmental niche that is available for colonization. Quorum sensing or cell-cell communication is a process by which microorganisms are thought to communicate with each other using a variety of small molecules termed autoinducers. The autoinducer AI-2 is thought to be a universal signaling molecule due to its ability to modulate the gene expression of a number of different bacterial species and genera. Pathogens such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Aeromonas hydrophila, Vibrio anguillarum, Streptococcus sp., and Burkholderia cepacia form biofilms on a variety of man-made and natural surfaces using cell-cell mechanisms. It is important to detect and study autoinducers and their activities in foods, since a better understanding of these molecules in food and food ingredients may help in designing new approaches to thwart microbial persistence and biofilm formation. The autoinducer AI-2 is thought to be involved in microbial attachment and biofilm formation leading to food spoilage. To better understand microbial cell-cell signaling in foods especially as it relates to pathogen persistence, biofilm formation, and food spoilage, methods to process, extract, and purify autoinducer molecules need to be developed. This chapter details methods to process food samples to obtain cell-free supernatants (CFS), which could subsequently be tested for the presence of AI-2 or "AI-2-like activity" in the extracted CFS using autoinducer bioassays. Additionally, the method of synthesizing AI-2 in the laboratory is also provided. The methods that are presented in this chapter are based on previously published research articles from the authors' laboratory. PMID:21031305

  5. Risk factors associated with sero-positivity to Toxoplasma gondii in captive neotropical felids from Brazil.

    PubMed

    Ramos Silva, Jean Carlos; Marvulo, Maria Fernanda Vianna; Dias, Ricardo Augusto; Ferreira, Fernando; Amaku, Marcos; Adania, Cristina Harumi; Ferreira Neto, José Soares

    2007-03-17

    From September 1995 to February 2001, blood samples were collected from 865 neotropical felids belonging to 8 different species. These animals were housed in 86 institutions located in 78 cities of 20 Brazilian states. Our goal was to identify the risk factors associated with sero-positivity to Toxoplasma gondii in captive neotropical felids from Brazil. All serum samples were tested by the modified agglutination test (MAT), using formalin-fixed whole tachyzoites and mercaptoethanol. For each animal an individual questionnaire was filled with questions about tattoo number, felid species, age, sex, origin, number of animals in the group, introduction of new animals in the group, time in the institution, eating meat previously frozen for a period <7 days in the last 6 months, eating meat of run-over or euthanized animals in the last 6 months, predation of rodents or birds in the last 6 months and presence of domestic cats near the enclosures in the last 6 months. The total sero-prevalence was 55% (95% CI: 52%, 57%). We estimated a prevalence of 46% (95% CI: 40%, 54%) for jaguarundi (Puma yagouaroundi); 58% (95% CI: 53%, 63%) for ocelot (Leopardus pardalis); 50% (95% CI: 45%, 56%) for oncilla (L. tigrinus); 54% (95% CI: 46%, 62%) for margay (L. wiedii); 12% (95% CI: 4%, 31%) for Pampas-cat (L. colocolo); 83% (95% CI: 65%, 93%) for Geoffroy's-cat (L. geoffroyi); 64% (95% CI: 50%, 68%) for jaguar (Panthera onca) and 48% (95% CI: 42%, 54%) for puma (Puma concolor). Multiple logistic regression was used to evaluate the association between the variables in the questionnaire and sero-positivity to T. gondii. We concluded that the independent risk factors for toxoplasmosis were: age >3 years (OR=4.75 [2.75; 8.2]), eating meat previously frozen for a period <7 days (OR=2.23 [1.24; 4.01]), and consumption of animals that were run-over or euthanized (OR=1.64; [1.14; 2.37]). PMID:17140683

  6. 77 FR 68150 - Meeting of the SANE/SART AI/AN Initiative Committee

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-11-15

    ... Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) American Indian/Alaskan Native (AI/AN...) Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) American Indian/Alaskan Native (AI/AN) Initiative (``SANE/SART...

  7. PCR activity of CMV in healthy CMV-seropositive individuals: does latency need redefinition?

    PubMed

    Toro, A I; Ossa, J

    1996-01-01

    To demonstrate a possible association between stress factors and the presence of human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) DNA in leukocytes and in cell-free body fluids, at 2-week intervals over a 6-month period, specimens were taken for HCMV DNA testing from 11 healthy CMV-seropositive individuals who were also surveyed for stress-producing events occurring during the previous week. A positive polymerase chain reaction (PCR) signal was given in 104/127 (81.9%) urines, 73/127 (57.3%) throat washings and 68/127 (53.6%) leukocyte samples. An association was found between HCMV DNA in urine and a stress-producing event at work (p < 0.04). An association was also found between detection of HCMV DNA in throat washings and alcohol ingestion (P < 0.006) and between the presence of oral herpes lesions and the detection of HCMV DNA in leukocytes (p < 0.0019). The results suggest that viral reactivation is more common than previously thought and that stress may be a triggering event. PMID:8837231

  8. Mental health of HIV-seropositive women during pregnancy and postpartum period: a comprehensive literature review.

    PubMed

    Kapetanovic, Suad; Dass-Brailsford, Priscilla; Nora, Diana; Talisman, Nicholas

    2014-06-01

    With growing numbers of HIV-seropositive (HIV+) women of child-bearing age and increased access to effective clinical protocols for preventing mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of HIV, mental health-related factors have become increasingly relevant due to their potential to affect the women's quality of life, obstetric outcomes and risk of MTCT. This review synthesizes evidence from 53 peer-reviewed publications examining mental health-related variables in pregnant and postpartum HIV+ women. The presentation of results is organized by the level of socioeconomic resources in the countries where studies were conducted (i.e., high-, middle-, and low-income countries). It is concluded that psychiatric symptoms, particularly depression, and mental health vulnerabilities (e.g., inadequate coping skills) are widespread among pregnant HIV+ women globally and have a potential to affect psychological well-being, quality of life and salient clinical outcomes. The current body of evidence provides rationale for developing and evaluating clinical and structural interventions aimed at improving mental health outcomes and their clinical correlates in pregnant HIV+ women. PMID:24584458

  9. Predictors of Sharing Injection Equipment by HIV-Seropositive Injection Drug Users

    PubMed Central

    Latkin, Carl A.; Buchanan, Amy S.; Metsch, Lisa R.; Knight, Kelly; Latka, Mary H.; Mizuno, Yuko; Knowlton, Amy R.

    2009-01-01

    Among HIV-positive injection drug users (IDUs), we examined baseline predictors of lending needles and syringes, and sharing cookers, cotton, and rinse water in the prior 3 months at follow-up. Participants were enrolled in INSPIRE, a secondary prevention intervention for sexually active HIV-positive IDUs in four US cities during 2001–2005. The analyses involved 357 participants who reported injecting drugs in the prior six months at either the 6- or 12-months follow-up visit. About half (49%) reported at least one sharing episode. In adjusted analyses, peer norms supporting safer injection practices, and having primary HIV medical care visits in the prior 6 months were associated with reporting no sharing of injection equipment. Higher levels of psychological distress was associated with a greater likelihood of reporting drug paraphernalia sharing. These findings suggest that intervention approaches for reducing HIV-seropositive IDUs’ transmission of blood-borne infections should include peer-focused interventions to alter norms of drug paraphernalia sharing and promoting primary HIV care and mental health services. PMID:19186356

  10. Clinical Features of 705 Borrelia burgdorferi Seropositive Patients in an Endemic Area of Northern Italy

    PubMed Central

    Ruscio, Maurizio; Trotter, Davide

    2014-01-01

    Background. Lyme Borreliosis is a multisystemic infection caused by spirochetes of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato complex. The features of Lyme Borreliosis may differ in the various geographical areas, primarily between the manifestations found in America and those found in Europe and Asia. Objective. to describe the clinical features of Lyme Borreliosis in an endemic geographic area such as Friuli-Venezia Giulia in the Northeastern part of Italy. Methods. The medical records of patients resulted seropositive for Borrelia burgdorferi have been retrospectively recorded and analyzed. Results. Seven hundred and five patients met the inclusion criteria, 363 males and 342 females. Erythema migrans was the most common manifestation, detected in 437 patients. Other classical cutaneous manifestations included 58 cases of multiple erythema migrans, 7 lymphadenosis benigna cutis, and 18 acrodermatitis chronica atrophicans. The musculoskeletal system was involved in 511 patients. Four hundred and sixty patients presented a neurological involvement. Flu-like symptoms preceded or accompanied or were the only clinical feature in 119 patients. Comments. The manifestations of Lyme borreliosis recorded in this study are similar to the ones of other endemic areas in Europe, even if there are some peculiar features which are different from those reported in Northern Europe and in the USA. PMID:24550705

  11. A Coding Variant of ANO10, Affecting Volume Regulation of Macrophages, Is Associated with Borrelia Seropositivity

    PubMed Central

    Hammer, Christian; Wanitchakool, Podchanart; Sirianant, Lalida; Papiol, Sergi; Monnheimer, Mathieu; Faria, Diana; Ousingsawat, Jiraporn; Schramek, Natalie; Schmitt, Corinna; Margos, Gabriele; Michel, Angelika; Kraiczy, Peter; Pawlita, Michael; Schreiber, Rainer; Schulz, Thomas F; Fingerle, Volker; Tumani, Hayrettin; Ehrenreich, Hannelore; Kunzelmann, Karl

    2015-01-01

    In a first genome-wide association study (GWAS) approach to anti-Borrelia seropositivity, we identified two significant single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) (rs17850869, P = 4.17E-09; rs41289586, P = 7.18E-08). Both markers, located on chromosomes 16 and 3, respectively, are within or close to genes previously connected to spinocerebellar ataxia. The risk SNP rs41289586 represents a missense variant (R263H) of anoctamin 10 (ANO10), a member of a protein family encoding Cl− channels and phospholipid scram-blases. ANO10 augments volume-regulated Cl− currents (IHypo) in Xenopus oocytes, HEK293 cells, lymphocytes and macrophages and controls volume regulation by enhancing regulatory volume decrease (RVD). ANO10 supports migration of macrophages and phagocytosis of spirochetes. The R263H variant is inhibitory on IHypo, RVD and intracellular Ca2+ signals, which may delay spirochete clearance, thereby sensitizing adaptive immunity. Our data demonstrate for the first time that ANO10 has a central role in innate immune defense against Borrelia infection. PMID:25730773

  12. Diagnostic implications of Ga-67 chest-scan patterns in human immunodeficiency virus-seropositive patients

    SciTech Connect

    Kramer, E.L.; Sanger, J.H.; Garay, S.M.; Grossman, R.J.; Tiu, S.; Banner, H.

    1989-03-01

    Consecutive gallium-67 scans (n = 237) of 180 human immunodeficiency virus-seropositive patients with suspected pulmonary infections were evaluated for intensity and pattern of gallium distribution. Scan findings were correlated with the history, chest radiographic findings, and clinicopathologic diagnoses. Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP) occurred significantly more often with heterogeneous diffuse uptake than with homogeneous diffuse uptake. Heterogeneous diffuse uptake had an 87% positive predictive value for PCP, which was higher than that of other patterns. Localized pulmonary uptake was most commonly due to bacterial pneumonia or PCP; ill-defined, perihilar uptake, to cytomegalovirus or PCP; and focal (lymph node) uptake, to tuberculosis or lymphoma. The positive predictive value of any pulmonary uptake for lung pathology was 93%, and the negative predictive value of a negative scan was 96%. These findings confirm the utility of gallium scanning in the detection of lung pathology related to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, particularly PCP. Furthermore, identification of a diffuse pattern may permit the use of a less invasive test more specifically directed at the confirmation of a diagnosis of PCP.

  13. [Pulmonary tuberculosis and HIV seropositivity at the Principal Hospital of Dakar (Senegal)].

    PubMed

    Brucker-Davis, F; Le Guenno, B; Bah, A; Griffet, P; Launois, P

    1993-01-01

    In a prospective survey conducted in 1990 in the Principal Hospital of Dakar, pulmonary tuberculosis was 2.3 times more frequent in HIV seropositive patients (12.5%) than in HIV seronegative patients. We studied 22 cases of pulmonary tuberculosis in HIV+ patients and compared them with a control group of HIV- patients admitted for pulmonary tuberculosis. Tuberculosis occurred in 6 out of 22 asymptomatic HIV+ patients, in 15 out of 22 patients with clinical AIDS and in 1 patient with ARC syndrome. Clinical signs were the same as in controls, except for patients with advanced AIDS who developed cardinal signs. TB intra-dermal reactions were more often negative in HIV+ patients, notably those with HDV1, expressing immunodepression. Radiological images were typical in 81% of patients and in 86% of controls. However, concomitant infections were common in both groups, with atypical radiology and hyperleukocytosis. At light microscopy, there was no difference in the frequency of acid and alcohol fast bacilli between the two groups. The mortality rate was increased in HIV+ patients, but this was not due to tuberculosis. Relapses were frequent in both groups, due to poor compliance with treatment. PMID:8362103

  14. Delay discounting is greater among drug users seropositive for hepatitis C but not HIV

    PubMed Central

    Martin, Eileen; Gonzalez, Raul; Vassileva, Jasmin; Bechara, Antoine

    2015-01-01

    Objective Substance dependent individuals (SDIs) typically overvalue immediate and undervalue (discount) delayed rewards, and level of discounting significantly predicts post-treatment relapse and other behavioral outcomes. Delay discounting has potential significance for studies of HIV prevention and adherence to antiretroviral therapy; but effects of HIV infection on delay discounting rates among SDIs are not well understood, although discounting rates are higher among individuals infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV). In this study, we investigated potential additive or interactive effects of HIV and HCV infection on delay discounting performance among a group of 239 SDIs with verified HIV and HCV serostatus. Method All participants were verified abstinent from drugs and alcohol at testing. All participants completed measures of substance abuse characteristics and comorbid disorders, and the Monetary Choice Questionnaire, a well-known measure used to derive k coefficients, which index discounting rates. Results Groups were comparable on demographic, substance use, and comorbid characteristics. Compared to uninfected controls, discounting rates were significantly higher among individuals seropositive for HCV but not HIV. Additionally, no significant group differences in discounting rates were observed among HCV+ individuals with or without coinfection with HIV. Group differences could not be attributed to aging or nonspecific effects of drug addiction. Additionally, increased discounting rates were associated with riskier injection practices. Conclusions Potential mechanisms contributing to this discrepancy in discounting rates between HIV+ and HCV+ SDIs, including decision making, are discussed and await further study. PMID:25984995

  15. Characteristics of pulmonary tuberculosis in HIV seropositive and seronegative patients in a Northeastern region of Brazil.

    PubMed

    Liberato, Isabella Ramos de Oliveira; de Albuquerque, Maria de Fatima P Militão; Campelo, Antônio Roberto Leite; de Melo, Heloísa Ramos Lacerda

    2004-01-01

    The aim of this study was to analyse the clinical, epidemiological and bacteriological features present in 60 pulmonary tuberculosis patients who were also infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and to compare these with 120 TB patients who were not infected with HIV. The patients with pulmonary tuberculosis and HIV coinfection were mostly male (p = 0.001), showed a higher frequency of weight loss >10 kilos (p <0.001), had a higher rate of non-reaction result to the tuberculin skin test (p <0.001), a higher frequency of negative sputum smear examination for acid-fast bacilli (p = 0.001) and negative sputum culture for Mycobacterium tuberculosis (p = 0.001). Treatment failure was more common in those who were HIV positive (p <0.000). No higher frequency of resistance to antituberculosis drugs was found to be associated with TB/HIV coinfection (p = 0.407). Association between extrapulmonary and pulmonary tuberculosis was more frequent in those seropositive to HIV than those without HIV virus, 30% and 1.6% respectively. These findings showed a predominance of atypical clinical laboratory features in co-infected patients, and suggest that health care personnel should consider the possibility this diagnosis. PMID:15042183

  16. A positive role of multiplicative noise on the emergence of flocking in a stochastic Cucker-Smale system

    SciTech Connect

    Sun, Yongzheng; Lin, Wei

    2015-08-15

    In this article, we investigate the flocking of a stochastic Cucker-Smale system with multiplicative measurement noise. We show that there is a noise strength, below which the flocking occurs and the convergence time is a decreasing function of noise strength. Specifically, we find a power-law relationship between the convergence time and the density of group. We also investigate the influence of control parameter and an optimal value is found that minimizes the convergence time.

  17. A positive role of multiplicative noise on the emergence of flocking in a stochastic Cucker-Smale system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, Yongzheng; Lin, Wei

    2015-08-01

    In this article, we investigate the flocking of a stochastic Cucker-Smale system with multiplicative measurement noise. We show that there is a noise strength, below which the flocking occurs and the convergence time is a decreasing function of noise strength. Specifically, we find a power-law relationship between the convergence time and the density of group. We also investigate the influence of control parameter and an optimal value is found that minimizes the convergence time.

  18. 78 FR 17232 - Meeting of the SANE/SART AI/AN Initiative Committee

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-03-20

    ... of Justice Programs Meeting of the SANE/SART AI/AN Initiative Committee AGENCY: Office for Victims of... Indian/ Alaska Native (AI/AN) Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE)--Sexual Assault Response Team (SART..., victim-centered responses to sexual violence within AI/AN communities. DATES AND LOCATIONS: The...

  19. 47 CFR 80.231 - Technical Requirements for Class B Automatic Identification System (AIS) equipment.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... Identification System (AIS) equipment. 80.231 Section 80.231 Telecommunication FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION... § 80.231 Technical Requirements for Class B Automatic Identification System (AIS) equipment. (a) Class B Automatic Identification System (AIS) equipment must meet the technical requirements of...

  20. Apolipoprotein AI levels are increased in part as a consequence of reduced catabolism in nephrotic rats.

    PubMed

    Kaysen, G A; Hoye, E; Jones, H

    1995-03-01

    Apolipoprotein AI (apo AI) synthesis, measured as the turnover of 125I-labeled apo AI-labeled high-density lipoprotein (HDL), was increased significantly in rats with Heymann nephritis (HN) vs. control Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats. However, fractional apo AI catabolic rate was also significantly less in HN vs. SD. We used 125I-apo AI tyramine cellobiose HDL, a marker retained at the catabolic site, to establish where apo AI catabolism decreased in six HN rats, seven rats with adriamycin (Adria)-induced nephrosis, and six control SD. Total renal apo AI catabolism, plus urinary losses, were the same in all three groups, despite significant urinary apo AI in HN and Adria rats. Apo AI catabolism was reduced in skin in both nephrotic groups, accounting for approximately 44% of reduced in apo AI catabolism. Thus a significant fraction of apo AI is catabolized in skin of normal male rats. Reduced apo AI catabolism in skin contributes to increased plasma levels in nephrotic rats. PMID:7900854

  1. Ictalurus punctatus apolipoprotein A-I (ApoA1) mRNA, complete cds

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The complete coding sequence of channel catfish apolipoprotein A-I is 777 bp in length, encoding 258 amino acids. The publishing of this coding sequence will also allow phylogenetic comparison between catfish ApoAI and ApoAI genes from other species. The availability of this complete coding sequence...

  2. Association of antibodies against Neospora caninum in mares with reproductive problems and presence of seropositive dogs as a risk factor.

    PubMed

    Abreu, R A; Weiss, R R; Thomaz-Soccol, V; Locatelli-Dittrich, R; Laskoski, L M; Bertol, M A F; Koch, M O; Alban, S M; Green, K T

    2014-05-28

    Sera from 112 mares from 5 horse-breeding farms was examined for the presence of antibodies to Neospora caninum and Toxoplasma gondii by an indirect fluorescent antibody test (IFAT), as well as from dogs and cattle present on these properties for the presence of antibodies to N. caninum. Among the 112 mares, 35 had a history of reproductive problems in the last breeding season and 77 had no reproductive problems. The rates of seroprevalence of N. caninum in mares with and without a history of reproductive problems were 25.71% and 6.49% and from T. gondii 2.85% and 1.29%, respectively. In dogs and cattle, the rates of seroprevalence of N. caninum were 10.52% and 15.55%, respectively. A positive correlation was found between the presence of antibodies against N. caninum (p=0.010) in mares and the occurrence of reproductive problems using the Fisher's exact test. Significantly higher seroprevalence for N. caninum in mares was observed on the farm that had seropositive dogs (p=0.018). Cattle on this farm were also seropositive. No significant differences in seropositivity were found on farms where dogs were seronegative, or absent. This result suggests, for the first time, the presence of seropositive dogs as a risk factor for N. caninum in mares and the necessity for further investigation of the epidemiology of this parasite in horse-breeding farms with reproductive problems and the presence of cattle and dogs. This is the first report on the occurrence of antibodies against N. caninum in horses from the state of Santa Catarina, Brazil. PMID:24731383

  3. Seropositivity of Toxoplasma gondii in domestic donkeys (Equus asinus) and isolation of T. gondii from farm cats.

    PubMed

    Dubey, J P; Ness, S L; Kwok, O C H; Choudhary, S; Mittel, L D; Divers, T J

    2014-01-17

    Donkeys (Equus asinus) are used as both companion and working animals throughout the world and in some countries, their meat and milk are used for human consumption. Here we report the first serological survey of Toxoplasma gondii in donkeys in the United States. Serum samples from 373 donkeys from eight farms in five states were tested for T. gondii antibodies by the modified agglutination test (MAT). Twenty-four of 373 (6.4%) of donkeys were seropositive, with MAT titers ranging from 25 to ≥ 200. All seropositive donkeys were Miniature breed. Seropositivity prevalence was 7.0% in female donkeys (20/282) and 4.1% in male donkeys (4/91). No donkeys less than 24 months of age (129) were seropositive, suggesting postnatal transmission of infection. Domestic cats were present on six of the eight farms. Three cats from one farm had MAT titers of 200. Viable T. gondii was isolated from the hearts of two cats, but not from brain tissues. Genotyping of isolate DNA extracted from culture-derived tachyzoites using 10 PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) markers (SAG1, SAG2, SAG3, BTUB, GRA6, c22-8, c29-2, PK1, L358 and Apico loci) revealed that both isolates were clonal Type II (ToxoDB PCR-RFLP genotype #1). This is the first serological survey for T. gondii in donkeys in the United States, and suggests that donkey milk and meat should be considered as a potential source for human infection. The role of barn cats in the transmission of T. gondii to donkeys on farms warrents further investigation. PMID:24140163

  4. HCV seropositivity in inmates and in the general population: an averaging approach to establish priority prevention interventions

    PubMed Central

    Roux, P; Sagaon-Teyssier, L; Lions, C; Fugon, L; Verger, P; Carrieri, M P

    2014-01-01

    Objectives Despite the fact that a considerable portion of hepatitis C virus (HCV) positive individuals are viraemic, the risk of transmitting HCV to others is context dependent. Prison is a particularly risky environment as HCV prevention tools are often unavailable. Using data from a cross-sectional study conducted in centres for HCV testing in southeastern France, we aimed to compare the patterns of risk factors in HCV-positive inmates with those in the general population. Setting 26 centres for HIV/HCV testing in southeastern France (23 in the general population and 3 in prison). Primary outcome measure HCV seropositivity measured with ELISA test. Methods A propensity score method to ensure that the general and inmate populations could be compared and a multimodel averaging to estimate the degree (strong, weak, none) of the association of a number of specific factors with HCV seropositivity in each group. Results Among the 52 082 participants, HCV infection prevalence was 1.5% and 5.2% in the general (n=46 125) and inmate (n=5957) populations, respectively. In both populations, ‘drug injection without snorting’ and ‘drug injection with snorting’ were very strongly associated with HCV seropositivity. Among inmates, ‘drug snorting alone’ (OR (95% CI) 2.21 (1.39 to 3.52) was also a strong correlate while tattoos, piercings (OR (95% CI) 1.22 (0.92 to 1.61)) and the sharing of toiletry items (OR (95% CI) 1.44 (0.84 to 2.47)) were weak correlates. Conclusions The pattern of risk factors associated with HCV seropositivity is different between the general and prison populations, injection and snorting practices being more prevalent in the latter. Access to prevention measures in prisons is not only a public health issue but also a human right for inmates who deserve equity of care and prevention. PMID:25331969

  5. Community Knowledge, Health Beliefs, Practices and Experiences Related to Dengue Fever and Its Association with IgG Seropositivity

    PubMed Central

    Wong, Li Ping; AbuBakar, Sazaly; Chinna, Karuthan

    2014-01-01

    Background Demographic, economic and behavioural factors are central features underpinning the successful management and biological control of dengue. This study aimed to examine these factors and their association with the seroprevalence of this disease. Methodology We conducted a cross-sectional telephone survey of households in a 3 km radius of the schools where we had conducted serological tests on the student population in a previous study. Households were surveyed about their socio-demographics, knowledge, practices, and Health Belief Model (HBM) constructs. The results were then associated with the prevalence rate of dengue in the community, as marked by IgG seropositivity of the students who attended school there. Results A total of 1,400 complete responses were obtained. The community's IgG seropositivity was significantly positively associated with high household monthly income, high-rise residential building type, high surrounding vegetation density, rural locality, high perceived severity and susceptibility, perceived barriers to prevention, knowing that a neighbour has dengue, frequent fogging and a higher level of knowledge about dengue. In the multivariate analyses, three major correlates of the presence of IgG seropositivity in the community: (1) high-rise residential apartment house type or condominium buildings; (2) the main construct of the HBM, perceived severity and susceptibility; and (3) the additional constructs of the HBM, lack of preventive measures from the community level and having a neighbour with dengue as a cue to action. Weak correlations were found between self-practices to prevent dengue and the level of dengue seropositivity in the community, and between HBM constructs and knowledge (r = 0.09). Conclusions The residential environment factor and the constructs of the HBM are useful and important elements in developing interventions to prevent and control dengue. The study also sheds light on the importance of the need for

  6. Providing ART to HIV Seropositive Persons Who Use Drugs: Progress in New York City, Prospects for "Ending the Epidemic".

    PubMed

    Jarlais, Don C Des; Arasteh, Kamyar; McKnight, Courtney; Feelemyer, Jonathan; Hagan, Holly; Cooper, Hannah L F; Campbell, Aimee N C; Tross, Susan; Perlman, David C

    2016-02-01

    New York City has experienced the largest HIV epidemic among persons who use psychoactive drugs. We examined progress in placing HIV seropositive persons who inject drugs (PWID) and HIV seropositive non-injecting drug users (NIDU) onto antiretroviral treatment (ART) in New York City over the last 15 years. We recruited 3511 PWID and 3543 NIDU from persons voluntarily entering drug detoxification and methadone maintenance treatment programs in New York City from 2001 to 2014. HIV prevalence declined significantly among both PWID and NIDU. The percentage who reported receiving ART increased significantly, from approximately 50 % (2001-2005) to approximately 75 % (2012-2014). There were no racial/ethnic disparities in the percentages of HIV seropositive persons who were on ART. Continued improvement in ART uptake and TasP and maintenance of other prevention and care services should lead to an "End of the AIDS Epidemic" for persons who use heroin and cocaine in New York City. PMID:25731661

  7. Prevalence of Abnormalities in Vestibular Function and Balance among HIV-Seropositive and HIV-Seronegative Women and Men

    PubMed Central

    Cohen, Helen S.; Cox, Christopher; Springer, Gayle; Hoffman, Howard J.; Young, Mary A.; Margolick, Joseph B.; Plankey, Michael W.

    2012-01-01

    Background Most HIV-seropositive subjects in western countries receive highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). Although many aspects of their health have been studied, little is known about their vestibular and balance function. The goals of this study were to determine the prevalences of vestibular and balance impairments among HIV-seropositive and comparable seronegative men and women and to determine if those groups differed. Methods Standard screening tests of vestibular and balance function, including head thrusts, Dix-Hallpike maneuvers, and Romberg balance tests on compliant foam were performed during semiannual study visits of participants who were enrolled in the Baltimore and Washington, D. C. sites of the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study and the Women's Interagency HIV Study. Results No significant differences by HIV status were found on most tests, but HIV-seropositive subjects who were using HAART had a lower frequency of abnormal Dix-Hallpike nystagmus than HIV-seronegative subjects. A significant number of nonclassical Dix-Hallpike responses were found. Age was associated with Romberg scores on foam with eyes closed. Sex was not associated with any of the test scores. Conclusion These findings suggest that HAART-treated HIV infection has no harmful association with vestibular function in community-dwelling, ambulatory men and women. The association with age was expected, but the lack of association with sex was unexpected. The presence of nonclassical Dix-Hallpike responses might be consistent with central nervous system lesions. PMID:22675462

  8. Effect of metal and sampling rate on accuracy of Flock of Birds electromagnetic tracking system.

    PubMed

    LaScalza, Suzanne; Arico, Jane; Hughes, Richard

    2003-01-01

    Electromagnetic tracking devices are used in many biomechanics applications. Previous studies have shown that metal located within the working field of direct current electromagnetic tracking devices produces significant errors. However, the effect of sampling rate on the errors produced in a metallic environment has never been studied. In this study, the accuracy of Ascension Technologies' Flock of Birds was evaluated at sampling rates of 20, 60, 100, and 140 Hz, in the presence of both aluminum and steel. Aluminum interference caused an increase in measurement error as the sampling rate increased. Conversely, steel interference caused a decrease in measurement error as the sampling rate increased. We concluded that the accuracy of the Flock of Birds tracking system can be optimized in the presence of metal by careful choice in sampling rate. PMID:12485650

  9. Clinical outbreak of Bordetella avium infection in two turkey breeder flocks.

    PubMed

    Kelly, B J; Ghazikhanian, G Y; Mayeda, B

    1986-01-01

    An acute upper respiratory disease was observed in two broad-breasted white (BBW) turkey primary breeder flocks. Associated clinical signs included sneezing, depression, and a deep dry cough originating from large conducting airways. Morbidity reached approximately 15-20% of the hens in an affected house. None of the turkeys died, and total feed consumption was not affected. A minimal effect upon egg production was noticed. Sera from an acutely affected flock exhibited a marked rise in titer to Bordetella avium compared with preinfection sera samples. In Case 1, B. avium was isolated in pure culture from affected birds. In Case 2, B. avium was diagnosed by serological results and clinical signs; bacteriological examination was not attempted. The findings presented here are consistent with an acute clinical outbreak of B. avium-induced turkey rhinotracheitis (turkey coryza) in BBW turkey breeder hens. PMID:3729868

  10. Route-dependent switch between hierarchical and egalitarian strategies in pigeon flocks.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Hai-Tao; Chen, Zhiyong; Vicsek, Tamás; Feng, Guanjun; Sun, Longsheng; Su, Riqi; Zhou, Tao

    2014-01-01

    The mechanisms that underlie fascinating inter-individual interactions among animal groups have attracted increasing attention from biologists, physicists, and system scientists. There are two well-known types of interaction patterns: hierarchical and egalitarian. In the former type, individuals follow their leaders, whereas they follow their neighbors in the latter. Using high-resolution spatiotemporal data derived from the free flights of a flock of pigeons, we show that pigeon flocks actually adopt a mode that switches between the two aforementioned strategies. To determine its flight direction, each pigeon tends to follow the average of its neighbors while moving along a smooth trajectory, whereas it switches to follow its leaders when sudden turns or zigzags occur. By contrast, when deciding how fast to fly, each pigeon synthesizes the average velocity of its neighbors. This switching mechanism is promising for possible industrial applications in multi-robot system coordination, unmanned vehicle formation control, and other areas. PMID:25055832

  11. Route-dependent switch between hierarchical and egalitarian strategies in pigeon flocks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Hai-Tao; Chen, Zhiyong; Vicsek, Tamás; Feng, Guanjun; Sun, Longsheng; Su, Riqi; Zhou, Tao

    2014-07-01

    The mechanisms that underlie fascinating inter-individual interactions among animal groups have attracted increasing attention from biologists, physicists, and system scientists. There are two well-known types of interaction patterns: hierarchical and egalitarian. In the former type, individuals follow their leaders, whereas they follow their neighbors in the latter. Using high-resolution spatiotemporal data derived from the free flights of a flock of pigeons, we show that pigeon flocks actually adopt a mode that switches between the two aforementioned strategies. To determine its flight direction, each pigeon tends to follow the average of its neighbors while moving along a smooth trajectory, whereas it switches to follow its leaders when sudden turns or zigzags occur. By contrast, when deciding how fast to fly, each pigeon synthesizes the average velocity of its neighbors. This switching mechanism is promising for possible industrial applications in multi-robot system coordination, unmanned vehicle formation control, and other areas.

  12. Technology integration and synergies: radar, optics, and AIS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abellard, J. N.; Chen, Y.; Gonzalez Chevere, D.; Shahid, H.

    2015-05-01

    Various technologies were used to detect, track, and classify vessels on the Hudson River. Broadband radar was used to detect and track vessels. Visible light cameras, infrared cameras, and image processing techniques were used to detect, track, and classify vessels. Automatic Identification System (AIS) was used to track and classify vessels. The technologies, collectively referred to as the Integrated Technology System (ITS), were used in conjunction with each other to achieve synergies and to overcome individual system limitations. These limitations included a narrow field of view, false alarms, and misdetections. The suite of technologies successfully fulfilled its purpose. The radar was effective despite some errors. The cameras allowed for software development including automatic slewing and image processing. While AIS was considered the most reliable tool, it was determined not to be infallible. Future work includes integration of passive acoustics into the system and wake analysis for vessel detection.

  13. Oil spills and AI: How to manage resources through simulation

    SciTech Connect

    Giribone, P.; Bruzzone, A.G.; Caddeo, S.

    1995-12-31

    Today, in the Mediterranean theater of the Upper Tyrrhenian, the ecological risk involving oil installations is still quite high. This is due to the fact that valuable environmental and tourist areas exist together with large industrial and port structures; in particular, recent events have demonstrated the danger involving oil spills along the Ligurian coastline. This study proposes an approach to plan the operations that should be performed when accidents occur, based on the use of AI techniques.

  14. AiResearch QCGAT engine performance and emissions tests

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Norgren, W. M.

    1980-01-01

    Results of aerodynamic performance and emission tests, conducted on a specially designed QCGAT engine in the 17,793-N (4,000 lb) thrust class, are presented. Performance of the AiResearch QCGAT engine was excellent throughout all testing. No serious mechanical malfunctions were encountered, and no significant test time was lost due to engine-related problems. Emissions were drastically reduced over similar engines, and the engine exhibited good smoke performance.

  15. Chromosome fragility in two sheep flocks exposed to dioxins during pasturage.

    PubMed

    Iannuzzi, L; Perucatti, A; Di Meo, G P; Polimeno, F; Ciotola, F; Incarnato, D; Peretti, V; Caputi-Jambrenghi, A; Pecoraro, A; Manniti, F; D'Alessandro, A; Vonghia, G

    2004-09-01

    In the last 3 years several farms raising cattle, river buffalo and sheep have been unable to sell dairy milk due to the presence of high levels of dioxins. Furthermore, several cases of abortion (around 25% of total births) and abnormal foetuses (2.5% of total births) were recorded in two flocks of sheep raised in the province of Naples where a higher level of dioxins (5.27 pg/g fat, as human WHO TCDD equivalent) have been found in the milk mass than that permitted (3.0 pg/g fat, as human WHO TCDD equivalent). Cytogenetic investigations were carried out on 24 sheep (all females), randomly sampled from the two different flocks, one abnormal foetus and 11 female sheep (control) raised approximately 80 km from the area where the two exposed flocks were raised. Frequencies of aneuploid cells, gaps, chromatid breaks, chromosome breaks, fragments and sister chromatid exchange (SCE) were determined. While no differences were observed between the number of aneuploid cells (15% of total cell population) of both exposed animals and controls, significant (P < 0.001) increases in the frequencies of other chromosome abnormalities (mean chromosome abnormality/cell = 0.76 +/- 1.1) and SCEs (mean SCE/cell = 9.4 +/- 3.7) were found in the exposed animals, compared with the control (mean chromosome abnormality/cell = 0.18 +/- 0.4; mean SCE/cell = 7.1 +/- 3.0). Significantly higher values of SCEs (mean SCE/cell = 10.9 +/- 4.4) were also found in the abnormal foetus compared with the control. Chemical analyses on soil, grass and water at two sites where the two flocks were pastured established that doses of dioxins (17 different types) were below the legally permitted limits. PMID:15388807

  16. Cutaneous Microenvironment of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)-Seropositive and HIV-Seronegative Individuals, with Special Reference to Staphylococcus aureus Colonization

    PubMed Central

    Shapiro, Michael; Smith, Kathleen J.; James, William D.; Giblin, Walter J.; Margolis, David J.; Foglia, Arlene N.; McGinley, Kenneth; Leyden, James J.

    2000-01-01

    A cross-sectional quantitative study of cutaneous bacterial and yeast flora at seven body sites in 99 human immunodeficiency virus-seropositive and 50 seronegative military personnel was performed. Statistically significant differences in carriage rates were only observed for Staphylococcus aureus on the foreheads of seropositive individuals. Seronegative individuals demonstrated staphylococcal carriage rates 1.3 to 2 times as great as those of historical controls (defined as healthy individuals not receiving any medications) at five of six body sites. We conclude that seropositive military personnel do not exhibit statistically significant elevations in densities and carriage rates of the microorganisms examined (except Staphylococcus aureus), relative to seronegative individuals. Seropositive individuals may be predisposed to staphylococcal carriage. The elevated staphylococcal carriage rates of military personnel undergoing basic training warrants a formal evaluation of the impact of training exercises on cutaneous flora. The information gained may serve to limit the spread of infection during training exercises and battlefield conditions. PMID:10970352

  17. Extracting uranium from seawater: Promising AI series adsorbents

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Das, Sadananda; Oyola, Y.; Mayes, Richard T.; Janke, Christopher James; Kuo, Li-Jung; Gill, Gary; Wood, Jordana; Dai, Sheng

    2015-11-10

    A series of adsorbent (AI10 through AI17) were successfully developed at ORNL by radiation induced graft polymerization (RIGP) of acrylonitrile (AN) and vinylphosphonic acid (VPA) (at different mole/mole ratios) onto high surface area polyethylene fiber, with higher degree of grafting which ranges from 110 300%. The grafted nitrile groups were converted to amidoxime groups by reaction with 10 wt% hydroxylamine at 80 C for 72 hours. The amidoximated adsorbents were then conditioned with 0.44M KOH at 80 C followed by screening at ORNL with simulated seawater spiked with 8 ppm uranium. Uranium adsorption capacity in simulated seawater screening ranged frommore » 171-187 g-U/kg-ads irrespective of %DOG. The performance of the adsorbents for uranium adsorption in natural seawater was also carried out using flow-through-column at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). The three hours KOH conditioning was better for higher uranium uptake than one hour. The adsorbent AI11 containing AN and VPA at the mole ration of 3.52, emerged as the potential candidate for higher uranium adsorption (3.35 g-U/Kg-ads.) after 56 days of exposure in the seawater in the flow-through-column. The rate vanadium adsorption over uranium was linearly increased throughout the 56 days exposure. The total vanadium uptake was ~5 times over uranium after 56 days.« less

  18. Extracting uranium from seawater: Promising AI series adsorbents

    SciTech Connect

    Das, Sadananda; Oyola, Y.; Mayes, Richard T.; Janke, Christopher James; Kuo, Li-Jung; Gill, Gary; Wood, Jordana; Dai, Sheng

    2015-11-10

    A series of adsorbent (AI10 through AI17) were successfully developed at ORNL by radiation induced graft polymerization (RIGP) of acrylonitrile (AN) and vinylphosphonic acid (VPA) (at different mole/mole ratios) onto high surface area polyethylene fiber, with higher degree of grafting which ranges from 110 300%. The grafted nitrile groups were converted to amidoxime groups by reaction with 10 wt% hydroxylamine at 80 C for 72 hours. The amidoximated adsorbents were then conditioned with 0.44M KOH at 80 C followed by screening at ORNL with simulated seawater spiked with 8 ppm uranium. Uranium adsorption capacity in simulated seawater screening ranged from 171-187 g-U/kg-ads irrespective of %DOG. The performance of the adsorbents for uranium adsorption in natural seawater was also carried out using flow-through-column at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). The three hours KOH conditioning was better for higher uranium uptake than one hour. The adsorbent AI11 containing AN and VPA at the mole ration of 3.52, emerged as the potential candidate for higher uranium adsorption (3.35 g-U/Kg-ads.) after 56 days of exposure in the seawater in the flow-through-column. The rate vanadium adsorption over uranium was linearly increased throughout the 56 days exposure. The total vanadium uptake was ~5 times over uranium after 56 days.

  19. LUT observations of the mass-transferring binary AI Dra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liao, Wenping; Qian, Shengbang; Li, Linjia; Zhou, Xiao; Zhao, Ergang; Liu, Nianping

    2016-06-01

    Complete UV band light curve of the eclipsing binary AI Dra was observed with the Lunar-based Ultraviolet Telescope (LUT) in October 2014. It is very useful to adopt this continuous and uninterrupted light curve to determine physical and orbital parameters of the binary system. Photometric solutions of the spot model are obtained by using the W-D (Wilson and Devinney) method. It is confirmed that AI Dra is a semi-detached binary with secondary component filling its critical Roche lobe, which indicates that a mass transfer from the secondary component to the primary one should happen. Orbital period analysis based on all available eclipse times suggests a secular period increase and two cyclic variations. The secular period increase was interpreted by mass transfer from the secondary component to the primary one at a rate of 4.12 ×10^{-8}M_{⊙}/yr, which is in agreement with the photometric solutions. Two cyclic oscillations were due to light travel-time effect (LTTE) via the presence of two cool stellar companions in a near 2:1 mean-motion resonance. Both photometric solutions and orbital period analysis confirm that AI Dra is a mass-transferring binary, the massive primary is filling 69 % of its critical Roche lobe. After the primary evolves to fill the critical Roche lobe, the mass transfer will be reversed and the binary will evolve into a contact configuration.

  20. The AI Bus architecture for distributed knowledge-based systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schultz, Roger D.; Stobie, Iain

    1991-01-01

    The AI Bus architecture is layered, distributed object oriented framework developed to support the requirements of advanced technology programs for an order of magnitude improvement in software costs. The consequent need for highly autonomous computer systems, adaptable to new technology advances over a long lifespan, led to the design of an open architecture and toolbox for building large scale, robust, production quality systems. The AI Bus accommodates a mix of knowledge based and conventional components, running on heterogeneous, distributed real world and testbed environment. The concepts and design is described of the AI Bus architecture and its current implementation status as a Unix C++ library or reusable objects. Each high level semiautonomous agent process consists of a number of knowledge sources together with interagent communication mechanisms based on shared blackboards and message passing acquaintances. Standard interfaces and protocols are followed for combining and validating subsystems. Dynamic probes or demons provide an event driven means for providing active objects with shared access to resources, and each other, while not violating their security.

  1. Artificial Intelligence (AI) Based Tactical Guidance for Fighter Aircraft

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McManus, John W.; Goodrich, Kenneth H.

    1990-01-01

    A research program investigating the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) techniques to aid in the development of a Tactical Decision Generator (TDG) for Within Visual Range (WVR) air combat engagements is discussed. The application of AI programming and problem solving methods in the development and implementation of the Computerized Logic For Air-to-Air Warfare Simulations (CLAWS), a second generation TDG, is presented. The Knowledge-Based Systems used by CLAWS to aid in the tactical decision-making process are outlined in detail, and the results of tests to evaluate the performance of CLAWS versus a baseline TDG developed in FORTRAN to run in real-time in the Langley Differential Maneuvering Simulator (DMS), are presented. To date, these test results have shown significant performance gains with respect to the TDG baseline in one-versus-one air combat engagements, and the AI-based TDG software has proven to be much easier to modify and maintain than the baseline FORTRAN TDG programs. Alternate computing environments and programming approaches, including the use of parallel algorithms and heterogeneous computer networks are discussed, and the design and performance of a prototype concurrent TDG system are presented.

  2. Short-range interactions versus long-range correlations in bird flocks.

    PubMed

    Cavagna, Andrea; Del Castello, Lorenzo; Dey, Supravat; Giardina, Irene; Melillo, Stefania; Parisi, Leonardo; Viale, Massimiliano

    2015-07-01

    Bird flocks are a paradigmatic example of collective motion. One of the prominent traits of flocking is the presence of long range velocity correlations between individuals, which allow them to influence each other over the large scales, keeping a high level of group coordination. A crucial question is to understand what is the mutual interaction between birds generating such nontrivial correlations. Here we use the maximum entropy (ME) approach to infer from experimental data of natural flocks the effective interactions between individuals. Compared to previous studies, we make a significant step forward as we retrieve the full functional dependence of the interaction on distance, and find that it decays exponentially over a range of a few individuals. The fact that ME gives a short-range interaction even though its experimental input is the long-range correlation function, shows that the method is able to discriminate the relevant information encoded in such correlations and single out a minimal number of effective parameters. Finally, we show how the method can be used to capture the degree of anisotropy of mutual interactions. PMID:26274201

  3. Flocking and Turning: a New Model for Self-organized Collective Motion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cavagna, Andrea; Del Castello, Lorenzo; Giardina, Irene; Grigera, Tomas; Jelic, Asja; Melillo, Stefania; Mora, Thierry; Parisi, Leonardo; Silvestri, Edmondo; Viale, Massimiliano; Walczak, Aleksandra M.

    2015-02-01

    Birds in a flock move in a correlated way, resulting in large polarization of velocities. A good understanding of this collective behavior exists for linear motion of the flock. Yet observing actual birds, the center of mass of the group often turns giving rise to more complicated dynamics, still keeping strong polarization of the flock. Here we propose novel dynamical equations for the collective motion of polarized animal groups that account for correlated turning including solely social forces. We exploit rotational symmetries and conservation laws of the problem to formulate a theory in terms of generalized coordinates of motion for the velocity directions akin to a Hamiltonian formulation for rotations. We explicitly derive the correspondence between this formulation and the dynamics of the individual velocities, thus obtaining a new model of collective motion. In the appropriate overdamped limit we recover the well-known Vicsek model, which dissipates rotational information and does not allow for polarized turns. Although the new model has its most vivid success in describing turning groups, its dynamics is intrinsically different from previous ones in a wide dynamical regime, while reducing to the hydrodynamic description of Toner and Tu at very large length-scales. The derived framework is therefore general and it may describe the collective motion of any strongly polarized active matter system.

  4. Short-range interactions versus long-range correlations in bird flocks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cavagna, Andrea; Del Castello, Lorenzo; Dey, Supravat; Giardina, Irene; Melillo, Stefania; Parisi, Leonardo; Viale, Massimiliano

    2015-07-01

    Bird flocks are a paradigmatic example of collective motion. One of the prominent traits of flocking is the presence of long range velocity correlations between individuals, which allow them to influence each other over the large scales, keeping a high level of group coordination. A crucial question is to understand what is the mutual interaction between birds generating such nontrivial correlations. Here we use the maximum entropy (ME) approach to infer from experimental data of natural flocks the effective interactions between individuals. Compared to previous studies, we make a significant step forward as we retrieve the full functional dependence of the interaction on distance, and find that it decays exponentially over a range of a few individuals. The fact that ME gives a short-range interaction even though its experimental input is the long-range correlation function, shows that the method is able to discriminate the relevant information encoded in such correlations and single out a minimal number of effective parameters. Finally, we show how the method can be used to capture the degree of anisotropy of mutual interactions.

  5. Flocking small smart machines: An experiment in cooperative, multi-machine control

    SciTech Connect

    Klarer, P.R.

    1998-03-01

    The intent and purpose of this work was to investigate and demonstrate cooperative behavior among a group of mobile robot machines. The specific goal of this work was to build a small swarm of identical machines and control them in such a way as to show a coordinated movement of the group in a flocking manner, similar to that observed in nature. Control of the swarm`s individual members and its overall configuration is available to the human user via a graphic man-machine interface running on a base station control computer. Any robot may be designated as the nominal leader through the interface tool, which then may be commanded to proceed to a particular geographic destination. The remainder of the flock follows the leader by maintaining their relative positions in formation, as specified by the human controller through the interface. The formation`s configuration can be altered manually through an interactive graphic-based tool. An alternative mode of control allows for teleoperation of one robot, with the flock following along as described above.

  6. The Study of Cooperative Obstacle Avoidance Method for MWSN Based on Flocking Control

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Zuo; Ding, Lei; Chen, Kai; Li, Renfa

    2014-01-01

    Compared with the space fixed feature of traditional wireless sensor network (WSN), mobile WSN has better robustness and adaptability in unknown environment, so that it is always applied in the research of target tracking. In order to reach the target, the nodes group should find a self-adaptive method to avoid the obstacles together in their moving directions. Previous methods, which were based on flocking control model, realized the strategy of obstacle avoidance by means of potential field. However, these may sometimes lead the nodes group to fall into a restricted area like a trap and never get out of it. Based on traditional flocking control model, this paper introduced a new cooperative obstacle avoidance model combined with improved SA obstacle avoidance algorithm. It defined the tangent line of the intersection of node's velocity line and the edge of obstacle as the steering direction. Furthermore, the cooperative obstacle avoidance model was also improved in avoiding complex obstacles. When nodes group encounters mobile obstacles, nodes will predict movement path based on the spatial location and velocity of obstacle. And when nodes group enters concave obstacles, nodes will temporarily ignore the gravity of the target and search path along the edge of the concave obstacles. Simulation results showed that cooperative obstacle avoidance model has significant improvement on average speed and time efficiency in avoiding obstacle compared with the traditional flocking control model. It is more suitable for obstacle avoidance in complex environment. PMID:24683348

  7. Epidemiological survey on Mycoplasma synoviae infection in Portuguese broiler breeder flocks.

    PubMed

    Moreira, Fernando Alberto; Cardoso, Luís; Coelho, Ana Cláudia

    2015-01-01

    Since modernization and expansion of the poultry industry, infections with Mycoplasma spp. bacteria have been reported as a cause of considerable economic losses. The prevalence of Mycoplasma synoviae infection in 974,000 Portuguese broiler breeders, belonging to 36 flocks, was investigated from December 2008 to March 2012. This study was conducted using a commercial indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for the analysis of serum antibodies, and a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for the tracheal tissue. Twenty-four flocks were simultaneously found positive by ELISA and PCR [66.7%, 95% confidence interval (CI): 43.5-76.9%]. The M. synoviae prevalence among chickens averaged 40.3% (483/1,200), with values ranging from 0.0 to 83.3% per flock. The prevalence of farms where M. synoviae positive birds have been found was determined in different poultry categories such as density, biosecurity, strains, offspring quality, premises'age, and others husbandry factors. Prevalence values were significantly higher among birds housed in new facilities (less than 3 years old) and were also significantly higher in the production period. The high prevalence of M. synoviae infection detected in the present study suggests the need to adopt appropriate control measures. PMID:26129659

  8. Co-infection with Multiple Respiratory Pathogens Contributes to Increased Mortality Rates in Algerian Poultry Flocks.

    PubMed

    Sid, Hicham; Benachour, Karine; Rautenschlein, Silke

    2015-09-01

    Respiratory infections are a common cause for increased mortality rates in poultry worldwide. To improve intervention strategies, circulating pathogens have to be identified and further characterized. Because of the lack of diagnostic tools, it was not known what pathogens contribute to the high mortality rates in association with respiratory disease in Algeria. Our objective was to determine if primary pathogens including Mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG), Mycoplasma synoviae (MS), avian influenza virus (AIV), infectious bronchitis virus (IBV), and avian metapneumovirus (aMPV), known to be present in neighboring countries, can also be detected in Algerian chicken and turkey flocks. Results demonstrate the circulation of the investigated pathogens in Algerian poultry flocks as multi-infections. Phylogenetic characterization of the Algerian IBV strains confirmed the circulation of nephropathogenic viruses that are different from the strains isolated in neighboring countries. This could suggest the existence of a new IBV genotype in North Africa. Additionally, we detected for the first time an aMPV subtype B field strain and avian influenza virus. Interestingly, all viral pathogens were present in co-infections with MG, which could exacerbate clinical disease. Additional pathogens may be present and should be investigated in the future. Our results suggest that multiple respiratory infections may be responsible for high mortality in Algerian poultry flocks and very probably also in other regions of the world, which demonstrates the need for the establishment of more comprehensive control strategies. PMID:26478165

  9. Pathology of renal dysplasia and bladder aplasia-hypoplasia in a flock of sheep.

    PubMed

    O'Toole, D; Jeffrey, M; Jones, T; Morgan, G; Green, R

    1993-10-01

    Congenital renal disease was detected in a flock of sheep in the English Midlands over 2 successive years (1982 and 1983). A Suffolk ram was removed from the flock and test mated to unrelated Suffolk ewes in another flock; 14 of the resulting 43 lambs born in 1984 had an identical congenital renal disease. Kidneys were examined microscopically from 60 clinically affected neonatal lambs. Kidneys from 7 of the 60 clinically affected neonatal lambs (1, 1983; 6, 1984) were examined ultrastructurally and compared with kidneys from 3 healthy unrelated neonatal lambs. Most affected lambs examined (52/60) had bilaterally small kidneys (< or = 2 g) with fine intracortical cysts and distinct cortical and medullary zones. Kidneys were either grossly normal (3/60 lambs) or multicystic and of normal size to markedly enlarged (5/60 lambs). The bladder was absent or vestigial in most lambs. Microscopically, poorly differentiated ("primitive") tubules were present in renal cortex and medulla. Proximal convoluted tubules, where present, were formed by epithelial cells with distinctive round weakly autofluorescent intracytoplasmic inclusions with the ultrastructural appearance of atypical lysosomes. Loops of Henle, distal convoluted tubules, and juxtaglomerular-peripolar cell complexes were largely absent. Glomerular changes were minimal. Cystic dilatation of nephrons was restricted to proximal convoluted tubules lined by vacuolated epithelium. This distinctive congenital renal dysplasia of sheep was most likely inherited as a dominant trait with complete penetrance. PMID:8286460

  10. Relationship Among Chlamydia and Mycoplasma Pneumoniae Seropositivity, IKZF1 Genotype and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease in A General Japanese Population: The Nagahama Study.

    PubMed

    Muro, Shigeo; Tabara, Yasuharu; Matsumoto, Hisako; Setoh, Kazuya; Kawaguchi, Takahisa; Takahashi, Meiko; Ito, Isao; Ito, Yutaka; Murase, Kimihiko; Terao, Chikashi; Kosugi, Shinji; Yamada, Ryo; Sekine, Akihiro; Nakayama, Takeo; Chin, Kazuo; Mishima, Michiaki; Matsuda, Fumihiko

    2016-04-01

    Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a possible risk factor for cardiovascular disease. The association of COPD with the pathogenicity of infection with Chlamydia pneumoniae and Mycoplasma pneumoniae is controversial. We conducted a cross-sectional study to clarify the association between atypical pneumoniae seropositivity and COPD in a general population. We also investigated genetic polymorphisms conferring susceptibility to a pneumonia titer. The study included 9040 Japanese subjects (54 ± 13 years). COPD was defined as a ratio of forced expiratory volume in 1 second to forced vital capacity of less than 70%. Serum levels of IgA and IgG antibodies to C pneumoniae were determined using an enzyme-linked immunoassay, and M pneumoniae seropositivity was assessed by a particle agglutination test. Subjects seropositive for C pneumoniae (26.1%) had a higher prevalence of COPD (seropositive, 5.8%; seronegative, 3.1%; P < 0.001) after adjustment for age, sex, height, weight, and smoking status. The association between M pneumoniae seropositivity (20.4%) and COPD was also significant in covariate-adjusted analysis (P < 0.001). A genome-wide association analysis of the C pneumoniae IgA index identified a susceptible genotype (rs17634369) near the IKZF1 gene, and the seropositive rate of C pneumoniae significantly differed among genotypes (AA, 22.5; AG, 25.3; GG, 29.7%, P < 0.001). On multiple regression analysis, seropositivity for both C pneumoniae (odds ratio = 1.41, P = 0.004) and M pneumoniae (odds ratio = 1.60, P = 0.002) was an independent determinant for COPD, while no direct association was found with the rs17634369 genotype. Seropositivity for both C pneumoniae and M pneumoniae is an independent risk factor for COPD in the general population. PMID:27082601

  11. Absolute parameters for AI Phoenicis using WASP photometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kirkby-Kent, J. A.; Maxted, P. F. L.; Serenelli, A. M.; Turner, O. D.; Evans, D. F.; Anderson, D. R.; Hellier, C.; West, R. G.

    2016-06-01

    Context. AI Phe is a double-lined, detached eclipsing binary, in which a K-type sub-giant star totally eclipses its main-sequence companion every 24.6 days. This configuration makes AI Phe ideal for testing stellar evolutionary models. Difficulties in obtaining a complete lightcurve mean the precision of existing radii measurements could be improved. Aims: Our aim is to improve the precision of the radius measurements for the stars in AI Phe using high-precision photometry from the Wide Angle Search for Planets (WASP), and use these improved radius measurements together with estimates of the masses, temperatures and composition of the stars to place constraints on the mixing length, helium abundance and age of the system. Methods: A best-fit ebop model is used to obtain lightcurve parameters, with their standard errors calculated using a prayer-bead algorithm. These were combined with previously published spectroscopic orbit results, to obtain masses and radii. A Bayesian method is used to estimate the age of the system for model grids with different mixing lengths and helium abundances. Results: The radii are found to be R1 = 1.835 ± 0.014 R⊙, R2 = 2.912 ± 0.014 R⊙ and the masses M1 = 1.1973 ± 0.0037 M⊙, M2 = 1.2473 ± 0.0039 M⊙. From the best-fit stellar models we infer a mixing length of 1.78, a helium abundance of YAI = 0.26 +0.02-0.01 and an age of 4.39 ± 0.32 Gyr. Times of primary minimum show the period of AI Phe is not constant. Currently, there are insufficient data to determine the cause of this variation. Conclusions: Improved precision in the masses and radii have improved the age estimate, and allowed the mixing length and helium abundance to be constrained. The eccentricity is now the largest source of uncertainty in calculating the masses. Further work is needed to characterise the orbit of AI Phe. Obtaining more binaries with parameters measured to a similar level of precision would allow us to test for relationships between helium

  12. A Case-Control Study of Risk Factors for Bovine Brucellosis Seropositivity in Peninsular Malaysia

    PubMed Central

    Anka, Mukhtar Salihu; Hassan, Latiffah; Khairani-Bejo, Siti; Zainal, Mohamed Abidin; Mohamad, Ramlan bin; Salleh, Annas; Adzhar, Azri

    2014-01-01

    Bovine brucellosis was first reported in Peninsular Malaysia in 1950. A subsequent survey conducted in the country revealed that the disease was widespread. Current knowledge on the potential risk factors for brucellosis occurrence on cattle farms in Malaysia is lacking. Therefore, we conducted a case-control study to identify the potential herd-level risk factors for bovine brucellosis occurrence in four states in the country, namely Kelantan, Pahang, Selangor and Negeri Sembilan. Thirty-five cases and 36 controls of herds were selected where data on farm management, biosecurity, medical history and public health were collected. Multivariable logistic regression identified that Brucella seropositive herds were more likely to; have some interaction with wildlife (OR 8.9, 95% CI = 1.59–50.05); originated from farms where multiple species such as buffalo/others (OR 41.8, 95% CI = 3.94–443.19) and goat/sheep (OR 8.9, 95%Cl = 1.10–71.83) were reared, practice extensive production system (OR 13.6, 95% CI 1.31–140.24) and have had episodes of abortion in the past (OR 51.8, 95% CI = 4.54–590.90) when compared to seronegative herds. Considering the lack of information on the epidemiology of bovine brucellosis in peninsular Malaysia and absence of information on preventing the inception or spread of the disease, this report could contribute to the on-going area-wise national brucellosis eradication program. PMID:25265020

  13. A study of Hepatitis A and E virus seropositivity profile amongst young healthy adults in India

    PubMed Central

    Kotwal, Atul; Singh, Harpreet; Verma, A.K.; Gupta, R.M.; Jain, Shishir; Sinha, S.; Joshi, R.K.; Teli, Prabhakar; Khunga, Vijay; Bhatnagar, Anuj; Ranjan, Richa

    2014-01-01

    Background Various Serosurveys and studies provide ample evidence of differing perspectives regarding epidemiology of HAV and HEV in India. This study was conducted to assess the seroprevalence of HAV and HEV and its associated factors with an aim to provide inputs to planners regarding requirement of HAV vaccine. Methods A multi-centric cross sectional survey amongst 4175 healthy trainees (young adults) was carried out in training centres, selected by multistage random sampling, giving equal representation to all regions of India. Sample size was calculated by taking prevalence of HAV seropositivity amongst adults as 60% and alpha 0.05. Results Seroprevalence for HAV and HEV was 92.68% (95% CI 91.82, 93.47) and 17.05% (15.90, 18.26), respectively. Logistic regression showed that hand washing without soap, regular close contact with domestic animals, consumption of unpasteurized milk and regular consumption of food outside home were risk factors for HAV (p < 0.05). For HEV, irregular hand washing, consumption of unpasteurized milk and irregular consumption of freshly prepared food were risk factors (p < 0.05). Conclusion High level of immunity against HAV among the healthy young adults clearly demonstrates that vaccination against HAV is not required at present in our country. The large proportion being susceptible to HEV points towards the requirement of preventive strategies in the form of safe drinking water supply, hygiene, sanitation, increasing awareness and behaviour change with respect to personal hygiene especially hand and food hygiene. PMID:25378774

  14. A case-control study of risk factors for bovine brucellosis seropositivity in Peninsular Malaysia.

    PubMed

    Anka, Mukhtar Salihu; Hassan, Latiffah; Khairani-Bejo, Siti; Zainal, Mohamed Abidin; Mohamad, Ramlan Bin; Salleh, Annas; Adzhar, Azri

    2014-01-01

    Bovine brucellosis was first reported in Peninsular Malaysia in 1950. A subsequent survey conducted in the country revealed that the disease was widespread. Current knowledge on the potential risk factors for brucellosis occurrence on cattle farms in Malaysia is lacking. Therefore, we conducted a case-control study to identify the potential herd-level risk factors for bovine brucellosis occurrence in four states in the country, namely Kelantan, Pahang, Selangor and Negeri Sembilan. Thirty-five cases and 36 controls of herds were selected where data on farm management, biosecurity, medical history and public health were collected. Multivariable logistic regression identified that Brucella seropositive herds were more likely to; have some interaction with wildlife (OR 8.9, 95% CI = 1.59-50.05); originated from farms where multiple species such as buffalo/others (OR 41.8, 95% CI = 3.94-443.19) and goat/sheep (OR 8.9, 95%Cl = 1.10-71.83) were reared, practice extensive production system (OR 13.6, 95% CI 1.31-140.24) and have had episodes of abortion in the past (OR 51.8, 95% CI = 4.54-590.90) when compared to seronegative herds. Considering the lack of information on the epidemiology of bovine brucellosis in peninsular Malaysia and absence of information on preventing the inception or spread of the disease, this report could contribute to the on-going area-wise national brucellosis eradication program. PMID:25265020

  15. Bovine CLEC7A genetic variants and their association with seropositivity in Johne's disease ELISA.

    PubMed

    Pant, S D; Verschoor, C P; Schenkel, F S; You, Q; Kelton, D F; Karrow, N A

    2014-03-10

    Mycobacterium avium ssp. paratuberculosis (MAP) infection in cattle causes significant economic losses to the dairy and beef industries resulting from reduced productivity, premature culling and mortality. Bovine Dectin-1, an important pattern recognition molecule that is able to generate a proinflammatory response by acting alongside Toll like receptor (TLR) signaling, is known to co-operate with TLR2 to specifically activate a macrophage proinflammatory response against mycobacterial infections. Therefore, the goal of this study was to identify single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the gene encoding bovine Dectin-1 (CLEC7A) and to assess their association with susceptibility to MAP infection in dairy cattle. Blood and milk samples, collected from commercial dairy operations, were tested for MAP infection using blood and milk ELISAs and a resource population consisting of 197 infected and 242 healthy cattle was constructed. Pooled DNA was used for sequencing and eight single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were identified. Identified SNPs were genotyped on the resource population using the iPLEX MassARRAY system and statistical analysis was performed using logistic regression fitting the additive and dominance effects of each SNP in the model. Out of a total of eight identified SNPs, five were successfully genotyped, and three out of these five SNPs were found to be in complete linkage. Statistical analysis revealed a strong association between a non-synonymous SNP c.589A>G (p=0.008), and MAP infection status of the resource population inferred by seropositivity in MAP antibody specific ELISAs. This SNP c.589A>G was located in the geneic region that encodes the carbohydrate recognition domain of bovine Dectin-1. Therefore, further investigation of its functional relevance is warranted. PMID:24393710

  16. Seropositivity to a major allergen of Anisakis simplex, Ani s 1, in dyspeptic patients with Helicobacter pylori infection: histological and laboratory findings and clinical significance.

    PubMed

    Toro, C; Caballero, M L; Baquero, M; García-Samaniego, J; Casado, I; Martínez, P; Alarcón, T; Moneo, I

    2006-05-01

    Previous studies have demonstrated a high prevalence of seropositivity to the Ani s 1 protein in dyspeptic patients with Helicobacter pylori infection, but it is not known whether this represents episodes of anisakiasis misdiagnosis or previous exposure to the parasite without clinical relevance. To investigate the clinical significance of seropositivity to the Ani s 1 protein, a cohort study was performed with 87 consecutive dyspeptic patients who were treated for H. pylori infection. Fourteen (16.5%) patients were seropositive for the Ani s 1 protein, which was associated with the consumption of uncooked fish (p 0.0002). There were no differences in histological findings between subjects seropositive or seronegative for Ani s 1, but seropositive patients had increased eosinophil and basophil leukocyte counts (p < 0.05). Anti-Ani s 1 IgE was associated with a lack of improvement in the group of patients with non-ulcer dyspepsia after successful eradication of H. pylori (p 0.016). Thus, in at least a subset of patients with H. pylori infection, seropositivity to Ani s 1 could have clinical relevance. In addition, these data highlight that only anisakiasis associated with severe allergic or gastric symptoms is currently being diagnosed. PMID:16643522

  17. Comparison of AIS 1990 update 98 versus AIS 2005 for describing PMHS injuries in lateral and oblique sled tests

    PubMed Central

    Yoganandan, Narayan; Pintar, Frank A.; Humm, John R.; Stadter, Gregory W.; Curry, William H.; Brasel, Karen J.

    2013-01-01

    This study analyzed skeletal and organ injuries in pure lateral and oblique impacts from 20 intact post mortem human surrogate (PMHS) sled tests at 6.7 m/s. Injuries to the shoulder, thorax, abdomen, pelvis and spine were scored using AIS 1990–1998 update and 2005. The Injury Severity Scores (ISS) were extracted for both loadings from both versions. Mean age, stature, total body mass and body mass index for pure lateral and oblique tests: 58 and 55 years, 1.7 and 1.8 m, 69 and 66 kg, and 24 and 21 kg/m2. Skeletal injuries (ribs, sternum) occurred in both impacts. However, oblique impacts resulted in more injuries. Pure lateral and oblique impacts ISS: 0 to 16 and 0 to 24, representing a greater potential for injury-related consequences in real-world situations in oblique impacts. Internal organs were more involved in oblique impacts. ISS decreased in AIS 2005, reflecting changes to scoring and drawing attention to potential effects for pre-hospital care/medical aspects. Mean AIS scores for the two load vectors and two AIS coding schemes are included. From automotive crashworthiness perspectives, decreases in injury severities might alter injury risk functions with a shift to lower metrics for the same risk level than current risk estimations. This finding influences dummy-based injury criteria and occupant safety as risk functions are used for countermeasure effectiveness and cost-benefit analyses by regulatory bodies. Increase in organ injuries in oblique loading indicate the importance of this vector as current dummies and injury criteria used in regulations are based on pure lateral impact data. PMID:24406958

  18. Comparison of AIS 1990 update 98 versus AIS 2005 for describing PMHS injuries in lateral and oblique sled tests.

    PubMed

    Yoganandan, Narayan; Pintar, Frank A; Humm, John R; Stadter, Gregory W; Curry, William H; Brasel, Karen J

    2013-01-01

    This study analyzed skeletal and organ injuries in pure lateral and oblique impacts from 20 intact post mortem human surrogate (PMHS) sled tests at 6.7 m/s. Injuries to the shoulder, thorax, abdomen, pelvis and spine were scored using AIS 1990-1998 update and 2005. The Injury Severity Scores (ISS) were extracted for both loadings from both versions. Mean age, stature, total body mass and body mass index for pure lateral and oblique tests: 58 and 55 years, 1.7 and 1.8 m, 69 and 66 kg, and 24 and 21 kg/m(2). Skeletal injuries (ribs, sternum) occurred in both impacts. However, oblique impacts resulted in more injuries. Pure lateral and oblique impacts ISS: 0 to 16 and 0 to 24, representing a greater potential for injury-related consequences in real-world situations in oblique impacts. Internal organs were more involved in oblique impacts. ISS decreased in AIS 2005, reflecting changes to scoring and drawing attention to potential effects for pre-hospital care/medical aspects. Mean AIS scores for the two load vectors and two AIS coding schemes are included. From automotive crashworthiness perspectives, decreases in injury severities might alter injury risk functions with a shift to lower metrics for the same risk level than current risk estimations. This finding influences dummy-based injury criteria and occupant safety as risk functions are used for countermeasure effectiveness and cost-benefit analyses by regulatory bodies. Increase in organ injuries in oblique loading indicate the importance of this vector as current dummies and injury criteria used in regulations are based on pure lateral impact data. PMID:24406958

  19. Drug use and antimicrobial resistance among Escherichia coli and Enterococcus spp. isolates from chicken and turkey flocks slaughtered in Quebec, Canada

    PubMed Central

    Boulianne, Martine; Arsenault, Julie; Daignault, Danielle; Archambault, Marie; Letellier, Ann; Dutil, Lucie

    2016-01-01

    An observational study was conducted of chicken and turkey flocks slaughtered at federal processing plants in the province of Quebec, Canada. The objectives were to estimate prevalence of drug use at hatchery and on farm and to identify antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in cecal Escherichia coli and Enterococcus spp. isolates and factors associated with AMR. Eighty-two chicken flocks and 59 turkey flocks were sampled. At the hatchery, the most used antimicrobial was ceftiofur in chickens (76% of flocks) and spectinomycin in turkeys (42% of flocks). Virginiamycin was the antimicrobial most frequently added to the feed in both chicken and turkey flocks. At least 1 E. coli isolate resistant to third-generation cephalosporins was present in all chicken flocks and in a third of turkey flocks. Resistance to tetracycline, streptomycin, and sulfisoxazole was detected in > 90% of flocks for E. coli isolates. Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) was observed to bacitracin, erythromycin, lincomycin, quinupristin-dalfopristin, and tetracycline in both chicken and turkey flocks for Enterococcus spp. isolates. No resistance to vancomycin was observed. The use of ceftiofur at hatchery was significantly associated with the proportion of ceftiofur-resistant E. coli isolates in chicken flocks. In turkey flocks, ceftiofur resistance was more frequent when turkeys were placed on litter previously used by chickens. Associations between drug use and resistance were observed with tetracycline (turkey) in E. coli isolates and with bacitracin (chicken and turkey), gentamicin (turkey), and tylosin (chicken) in Enterococcus spp. isolates. Further studies are needed to provide producers and veterinarians with alternative management practices and tools in order to reduce the use of antimicrobial feed additives in poultry. PMID:26733732

  20. Drug use and antimicrobial resistance among Escherichia coli and Enterococcus spp. isolates from chicken and turkey flocks slaughtered in Quebec, Canada.

    PubMed

    Boulianne, Martine; Arsenault, Julie; Daignault, Danielle; Archambault, Marie; Letellier, Ann; Dutil, Lucie

    2016-01-01

    An observational study was conducted of chicken and turkey flocks slaughtered at federal processing plants in the province of Quebec, Canada. The objectives were to estimate prevalence of drug use at hatchery and on farm and to identify antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in cecal Escherichia coli and Enterococcus spp. isolates and factors associated with AMR. Eighty-two chicken flocks and 59 turkey flocks were sampled. At the hatchery, the most used antimicrobial was ceftiofur in chickens (76% of flocks) and spectinomycin in turkeys (42% of flocks). Virginiamycin was the antimicrobial most frequently added to the feed in both chicken and turkey flocks. At least 1 E. coli isolate resistant to third-generation cephalosporins was present in all chicken flocks and in a third of turkey flocks. Resistance to tetracycline, streptomycin, and sulfisoxazole was detected in > 90% of flocks for E. coli isolates. Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) was observed to bacitracin, erythromycin, lincomycin, quinupristin-dalfopristin, and tetracycline in both chicken and turkey flocks for Enterococcus spp. isolates. No resistance to vancomycin was observed. The use of ceftiofur at hatchery was significantly associated with the proportion of ceftiofur-resistant E. coli isolates in chicken flocks. In turkey flocks, ceftiofur resistance was more frequent when turkeys were placed on litter previously used by chickens. Associations between drug use and resistance were observed with tetracycline (turkey) in E. coli isolates and with bacitracin (chicken and turkey), gentamicin (turkey), and tylosin (chicken) in Enterococcus spp. isolates. Further studies are needed to provide producers and veterinarians with alternative management practices and tools in order to reduce the use of antimicrobial feed additives in poultry. PMID:26733732

  1. Flocking and feeding in the fiddler crab ( UCA tangeri): Prey availability as risk-taking behaviour

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ens, B. J.; Klaassen, M.; Zwarts, L.

    For a full understanding of prey availability, it is necessary to study risk-taking behaviour of the prey. Fiddler crabs are ideally suited for such a study, as they have to leave their safe burrow to feed on the surface of the intertidal flats during low tide, thereby exposing themselves to avian predators. A study in an intertidal area along the coast of Mauritania showed that small crabs always stayed in the vicinity of their burrow, but large crabs wandered in large flocks (also referred to as droves) to feed on sea-grass beds downshore. Transplanting downshore feeding substrate to the burrowing zone of the small crabs proved that they too preferred to feed on it. Since small crabs can be preyed upon by more species of birds, this suggests that the decision not to leave the burrowing zone might be related to the risk of being fed upon by birds. We calculated predation risk from measurements on the density and feeding activity of the crabs, as well as the feeding density, the intake rate and the size selection of the avian predators. Per hour on the surface, crabs in a flock were more at risk than crabs feeding near their burrow. Thus, though flocking crabs may have benefited from 'swamping the predator' by emerging in maximum numbers during some tides only, this did not reduce their risk of predation below that of non-flocking crabs. Furthermore we found that irrespective of activity, large crabs suffered a higher mortality per tide from avian predators than small crabs. This suggests that large crabs could not sufficiently reduce their foraging time to compensate for the increased risk while foraging in a flock, even though they probably experienced better feeding conditions than small crabs staying near their burrow. The greater energy demands of large crabs were reflected in a greater surface area grazed. Thus, with increasing size a fiddler crab has to feed further away from its burrow and so may derive less protection from staying near to it. It seems that

  2. The species flocks of East African cichlid fishes: recent advances in molecular phylogenetics and population genetics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salzburger, Walter; Meyer, Axel

    With more than 3,000 species, the fish family Cichlidae is one of the most species-rich families of vertebrates. Cichlids occur in southern and central America, Africa, Madagascar, and India. The hotspot of their biodiversity is East Africa, where they form adaptive radiations composed of hundreds of endemic species in several lakes of various sizes and ages. The unparalleled species richness of East African cichlids has been something of a conundrum for evolutionary biologists and ecologists, since it has been in doubt whether these hundreds of species arose by allopatric speciation or whether it is necessary to invoke somewhat less traditional models of speciation, such as micro-allopatric, peripatric, or even sympatric speciation or evolution through sexual selection mediated by female choice. Ernst Mayr's analyses of these evolutionary uniquely diverse species assemblages have contributed to a more direct approach to this problem and have led to a deeper understanding of the patterns and processes that caused the formation of these huge groups of species. We review here recent molecular data on population differentiation and phylogenetics, which have helped to unravel, to some extent, the patterns and processes that led to the formation and ecological maintenance of cichlid species flocks. It is becoming apparent that sexually selected traits do play an important role in speciation in micro-allopatric or even sympatric settings. Species richness seems to be roughly correlated with the surface area, but not the age, of the lakes. We observe that the oldest lineages of a species flock of cichlids are often less species-rich and live in the open water or deepwater habitats. While the species flocks of the Lake Malawai and the Lake Victoria areas were shown to be monophyletic, the cichlid assemblage of Lake Tanganyika seems to consist of several independent species flocks. Cichlids emerge as an evolutionary model system in which many fundamental questions in

  3. Anthelmintic resistance in Northern Ireland. II: Variations in nematode control practices between lowland and upland sheep flocks.

    PubMed

    McMahon, C; Barley, J P; Edgar, H W J; Ellison, S E; Hanna, R E B; Malone, F E; Brennan, G P; Fairweather, I

    2013-02-18

    A questionnaire to obtain information on nematode control practices and sheep management was sent to over 1000 farmers in Northern Ireland. Replies were received from 305 flock owners, and data from 252 of them were analysed. Farms were divided into lowland and upland areas. Sizes of pasture and stocking rates on lowland and upland farms were 59.5 hectares, 6.99 sheep/hectare and 62.9 hectares and 10.01 sheep/hectare, respectively. Mean drenching rates for lambs and adults were 2.33 and 2.44, respectively, in lowland flocks and 2.73 and 2.71, respectively, in upland flocks. Between 2008 and 2011, the most frequently identified compounds in use were benzimidazoles and moxidectin in lowland flocks, and benzimidazoles and avermectins in upland flocks. Over the same period the most frequently identified commercial formulations were Tramazole(®), Panacur(®) and Allverm(®) (white drench), Levacide(®) (yellow drench), Oramec(®) (clear drench; avermectin), Cydectin(®) (clear drench; moxidectin) and Monepantel(®) (orange drench). Most respondents (56.35%) treated their lambs at weaning and the most common time to treat ewes was identified to be pre-mating (67.86% of respondents). The results of the questionnaire survey revealed that lowland annual drench frequency was 2.33 and 2.44 in lambs and ewes, respectively, although drench frequencies were higher in upland flocks: 2.73 and 2.71 for lambs and ewes, respectively. Annual drench rotation was practiced by 43.96% of flock owners, but whether this was true rotation or pseudo-rotation (i.e., substitution of one anthelmintic product by another product belonging to the same chemical group of anthelmintics) could not be explicitly determined. PMID:23228496

  4. Enumeration of Salmonella and Campylobacter spp. in Environmental Farm Samples and Processing Plant Carcass Rinses from Commercial Broiler Chicken Flocks

    PubMed Central

    Thayer, Stephan G.; Law, Bibiana F.; Mild, Rita M.; Hofacre, Charles L.; Singer, Randall S.

    2013-01-01

    A prospective cohort study was performed to evaluate the prevalences and loads of Salmonella and Campylobacter spp. in farm and processing plant samples collected from 55 commercial broiler chicken flocks. Environmental samples were collected from broiler houses within 48 h before slaughter, and carcass rinses were performed on birds from the same flocks at 4 different stages of processing. Salmonella was detected in farm samples of 50 (90.9%) flocks and in processing samples of 52 (94.5%) flocks. Campylobacter was detected in farm samples of 35 (63.6%) flocks and in processing samples of 48 (87.3%) flocks. There was a significant positive relationship between environmental farm samples and processing plant carcass rinses with respect to both Salmonella and Campylobacter prevalences and loads. Campylobacter loads were significantly higher than Salmonella loads, and the correlations between samples collected from the same flocks were higher for Campylobacter than they were for Salmonella. Boot socks were the most sensitive sample type for detection of Salmonella on the farm, whereas litter samples had the strongest association with Salmonella loads in pre- and postchill carcass rinses. Boot socks, drag swabs, and fecal samples all had similar sensitivities for detecting Campylobacter on the farm, and all were more strongly associated with Campylobacter loads in carcass rinses than were litter samples. Farm samples explained a greater proportion of the variability in carcass rinse prevalences and loads for Campylobacter than they did for Salmonella. Salmonella and Campylobacter prevalences and loads both decreased significantly as birds progressed through the processing plant. PMID:23624481

  5. Testicular Feminization or Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome (AIS) in Iran: a Retrospective Analysis of 30-Year Data

    PubMed Central

    FARHUD, Dariush. D; ZARIF YEGANEH, Marjan; SADIGHI, Hosein; ZANDVAKILI, Shahram

    2016-01-01

    Background: Androgen insensitivity syndrome (AIS) or testicular feminization is a partial or complete inability of cell response to androgen. The cause is enzymatic defect in synthesis of testosterone, resulting sexually immature phenotypically female, with primary amenorrhea. There are three categories of AIS, complete, partial and mild, depending on the degree of external genital masculinization. The aim of this study was to find out chromosomal abnormalities, and correlation between AIS and maternal/paternal age, parents’ consanguineous marriage, family history and clinical observation, in Iranian AIS patients. Method: This study includes a retrospective data analysis of 72,000 families’ medical records in the Genetic Clinic in Tehran, during a 30-yr period (1984–2014). The essential basis for the patients’ referral to the clinic by gynecologists was primary amenorrhea. Cytogenetic abnormalities has been confirmed by chromosome G-banding and conventional staining methods. Results: Seventy AIS female patients with 46XY pattern were cytogenetically diagnosed and the frequency of AIS syndrome was estimated about 0.05% (∼70/140000). The results showed no association between AIS and maternal or paternal age nor were the marital pattern of the parents. The clinical findings illustrated that primary amenorrhea had the highest indication for referral of AIS patients for genetic counseling and cytogenetic study. Conclusion: No correlation was observed between AIS and maternal or paternal age or consanguineous marriages. Amenorrhea is the most clinically observed sign of AIS patients. PMID:27057514

  6. Hypertension and Obesity as Cardiovascular Risk Factors among HIV Seropositive Patients in Western Kenya

    PubMed Central

    Bloomfield, Gerald S.; Hogan, Joseph W.; Keter, Alfred; Sang, Edwin; Carter, E. Jane; Velazquez, Eric J.; Kimaiyo, Sylvester

    2011-01-01

    Background There is increased risk of cardiovascular disease among HIV seropositive individuals. The prevalence of HIV is highest in sub-Saharan Africa; however, HIV-related cardiovascular risk research is largely derived from developed country settings. Herein, we describe the prevalence of hypertension and obesity in a large HIV treatment program in Kenya. Methods We performed a retrospective analysis of the electronic medical records of a large HIV treatment program in Western Kenya between 2006 and 2009. We calculated the prevalence of hypertension and obesity among HIV+ adults as well as utilized multiple logistic regression analyses to examine the relationship between clinical characteristics, HIV-related characteristics, and hypertension. Results Our final sample size was 12,194. The median systolic/diastolic blood pressures were similar for both sexes (male: 110/70 mmHg, female: 110/70 mmHg). The prevalence of hypertension among men and women were 11.2% and 7.4%, respectively. Eleven percent of men and 22.6% of women were overweight/obese (body mass index ≥25 kg/m2). Ordinal logistic regression analyses showed that overweight/obesity was more strongly associated with hypertension among HIV+ men (OR 2.41, 95% CI 1.88–3.09) than a higher successive age category (OR 1.62, 95% CI 1.40–1.87 comparing 16–35, 36–45 and >45 years categories). Among women, higher age category and overweight/obesity were most strongly associated with hypertension (age category: OR 2.21, 95% CI 1.95–2.50, overweight/obesity: OR 1.80, 95% CI 1.50–2.16). Length of time on protease inhibitors was not found to be related to hypertension for men (OR 1.62, 95% CI 0.42–6.20) or women (OR 1.17, 95% CI 0.37–2.65) after adjustment for CD4 count, age and BMI. Conclusion In Western Kenya, there is a high prevalence of hypertension and overweight/obesity among HIV+ patients with differences observed between men and women. The care of HIV+ patients in sub-Saharan Africa should

  7. Genome Wide Association Study (GWAS) of Chagas Cardiomyopathy in Trypanosoma cruzi Seropositive Subjects

    PubMed Central

    Deng, Xutao; Sabino, Ester C.; Cunha-Neto, Edecio; Ribeiro, Antonio L.; Ianni, Barbara; Mady, Charles; Busch, Michael P.; Seielstad, Mark; Component, International

    2013-01-01

    Background Familial aggregation of Chagas cardiac disease in T. cruzi–infected persons suggests that human genetic variation may be an important determinant of disease progression. Objective To perform a GWAS using a well-characterized cohort to detect single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and genes associated with cardiac outcomes. Methods A retrospective cohort study was developed by the NHLBI REDS-II program in Brazil. Samples were collected from 499 T. cruzi seropositive blood donors who had donated between1996 and 2002, and 101 patients with clinically diagnosed Chagas cardiomyopathy. In 2008–2010, all subjects underwent a complete medical examination. After genotype calling, quality control filtering with exclusion of 20 cases, and imputation of 1,000 genomes variants; association analysis was performed for 7 cardiac and parasite related traits, adjusting for population stratification. Results The cohort showed a wide range of African, European, and modest Native American admixture proportions, consistent with the recent history of Brazil. No SNPs were found to be highly (P<10−8) associated with cardiomyopathy. The two mostly highly associated SNPs for cardiomyopathy (rs4149018 and rs12582717; P-values <10−6) are located on Chromosome 12p12.2 in the SLCO1B1 gene, a solute carrier family member. We identified 44 additional genic SNPs associated with six traits at P-value <10-6: Ejection Fraction, PR, QRS, QT intervals, antibody levels by EIA, and parasitemia by PCR. Conclusion This GWAS identified suggestive SNPs that may impact the risk of progression to cardiomyopathy. Although this Chagas cohort is the largest examined by GWAS to date, (580 subjects), moderate sample size may explain in part the limited number of significant SNP variants. Enlarging the current sample through expanded cohorts and meta-analyses, and targeted studies of candidate genes, will be required to confirm and extend the results reported here. Future studies should also

  8. Analysis of SSME inspection imagery using AI approaches

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Finegan, Michael K., Jr.; Wee, W. G.

    The automated analysis of SSME injector assemblies has been investigated for the cases of LOX post surface defects and injector-baffle deterioration. Defects are isolated via 2D feature extraction from borescope and camera images; temporal-frequency transforms are then used to create a multiresolution set of feature vectors representing image contents. The potential flaws thus discriminated are then segmented and classified according to known categories. AI is applied in the form of a blackboard architecture that is controlled by a rule-based production system.

  9. AiResearch QCGAT engine: Acoustic test results

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kisner, L. S.

    1980-01-01

    The noise levels of the quiet, general aviation turbofan (QCGAT) engine were measured in ground static noise tests. The static noise levels were found to be markedly lower than the demonstrably quiet AiResearch model TFE731 engine. The measured QCGAT noise levels were correlated with analytical noise source predictions to derive free-field component noise predictions. These component noise sources were used to predict the QCGAT flyover noise levels at FAR Part 36 conditions. The predicted flyover noise levels are about 10 decibels lower than the current quietest business jets.

  10. An AIS-Based E-mail Classification Method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qing, Jinjian; Mao, Ruilong; Bie, Rongfang; Gao, Xiao-Zhi

    This paper proposes a new e-mail classification method based on the Artificial Immune System (AIS), which is endowed with good diversity and self-adaptive ability by using the immune learning, immune memory, and immune recognition. In our method, the features of spam and non-spam extracted from the training sets are combined together, and the number of false positives (non-spam messages that are incorrectly classified as spam) can be reduced. The experimental results demonstrate that this method is effective in reducing the false rate.

  11. Pavlovian, Skinner, and Other Behaviourists' Contributions to AI. Chapter 9

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kosinski, Withold; Zaczek-Chrzanowska, Dominika

    2007-01-01

    A version of the definition of intelligent behaviour will be supplied in the context of real and artificial systems. Short presentation of principles of learning, starting with Pavlovian s classical conditioning through reinforced response and operant conditioning of Thorndike and Skinner and finishing with cognitive learning of Tolman and Bandura will be given. The most important figures within behaviourism, especially those with contribution to AI, will be described. Some tools of artificial intelligence that act according to those principles will be presented. An attempt will be made to show when some simple rules for behaviour modifications can lead to a complex intelligent behaviour.

  12. Urban, Forest, and Agricultural AIS Data: Fine Spectral Structure

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vanderbilt, V. C.

    1985-01-01

    Spectra acquired by the Airborne Imaging Spectrometer (AIS) near Lafayette, IN, Ely, MN, and over the Stanford University campus, CA were analyzed for fine spectral structure using two techniques: the ratio of radiance of a ground target to the radiance of a standard and also the correlation coefficient of radiances at adjacent wavelengths. The results show ramp like features in the ratios. These features are due to the biochemical composition of the leaf and to the optical scattering properties of its cuticle. The size and shape of the ramps vary with ground cover.

  13. STAR - A computer language for hybrid AI applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Borchardt, G. C.

    1986-01-01

    Constructing Artificial Intelligence application systems which rely on both symbolic and non-symbolic processing places heavy demands on the communication of data between dissimilar languages. This paper describes STAR (Simple Tool for Automated Reasoning), a computer language for the development of AI application systems which supports the transfer of data structures between a symbolic level and a non-symbolic level defined in languages such as FORTRAN, C and PASCAL. The organization of STAR is presented, followed by the description of an application involving STAR in the interpretation of airborne imaging spectrometer data.

  14. Collective Decision-Making in Homing Pigeons: Larger Flocks Take Longer to Decide but Do Not Make Better Decisions.

    PubMed

    Santos, Carlos D; Przybyzin, Sebastian; Wikelski, Martin; Dechmann, Dina K N

    2016-01-01

    Social animals routinely are challenged to make consensus decisions about movement directions and routes. However, the underlying mechanisms facilitating such decision-making processes are still poorly known. A prominent question is how group members participate in group decisions. We addressed this question by examining how flocks of homing pigeons (Columba livia) decide their homing direction. We released newly formed flocks varying in size and determined the time taken to choose a homing direction (decision-making period) and the accuracy of that choice. We found that the decision-making period increases exponentially with flock size, which is consistent with a participatory decision-making process. We additionally found that there is no effect of flock size on the accuracy of the decisions made, which does not match with current theory for democratic choices of flight directions. Our combined results are better explained by a participatory choice of leaders that subsequently undertake the flock directional decisions. However, this decision-making model would only entirely fit with our results if leaders were chosen based on traits other than their navigational experience. Our study provides rare empirical evidence elucidating decision-making processes in freely moving groups of animals. PMID:26863416

  15. Collective Decision-Making in Homing Pigeons: Larger Flocks Take Longer to Decide but Do Not Make Better Decisions

    PubMed Central

    Santos, Carlos D.; Przybyzin, Sebastian; Wikelski, Martin; Dechmann, Dina K. N.

    2016-01-01

    Social animals routinely are challenged to make consensus decisions about movement directions and routes. However, the underlying mechanisms facilitating such decision-making processes are still poorly known. A prominent question is how group members participate in group decisions. We addressed this question by examining how flocks of homing pigeons (Columba livia) decide their homing direction. We released newly formed flocks varying in size and determined the time taken to choose a homing direction (decision-making period) and the accuracy of that choice. We found that the decision-making period increases exponentially with flock size, which is consistent with a participatory decision-making process. We additionally found that there is no effect of flock size on the accuracy of the decisions made, which does not match with current theory for democratic choices of flight directions. Our combined results are better explained by a participatory choice of leaders that subsequently undertake the flock directional decisions. However, this decision-making model would only entirely fit with our results if leaders were chosen based on traits other than their navigational experience. Our study provides rare empirical evidence elucidating decision-making processes in freely moving groups of animals. PMID:26863416

  16. Flocking for multi-agent systems with unknown nonlinear time-varying uncertainties under a fixed undirected graph

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luo, Jie; Cao, Chengyu

    2015-05-01

    This paper presents a flocking algorithm for networked multi-agent systems with unknown, nonlinear, time-varying uncertainties by integrating cooperative control and ? adaptive control methods. An ideal multi-agent system without uncertainties is introduced first. The cooperative control law, based on an artificial potential function, is designed to make the ideal multi-agent system achieve flocking under a fixed and connected undirected graph. Information of ideal states, instead of real states, is exchanged among agents through a communication network. The presence of uncertainties will lead to the degeneration of the performance or even destabilize the entire multi-agent system. The ? adaptive control law is therefore introduced to handle unknown, nonlinear, time-varying uncertainties. By integrating the cooperative control law with the adaptive control law, the real multi-agent system stays close to the ideal multi-agent system which achieves flocking asymptotically under a connected graph. Simulation results of two-dimensional flocking with uncertainties are provided to demonstrate the presented flocking algorithm.

  17. The long-term dynamics of Campylobacter colonizing a free-range broiler breeder flock: an observational study.

    PubMed

    Colles, Frances M; McCarthy, Noel D; Bliss, Carly M; Layton, Ruth; Maiden, Martin C J

    2015-04-01

    A free-range broiler breeder flock was studied in order to determine the natural patterns of Campylobacter colonization over a period of 63 weeks. Campylobacter sequence types (STs) were not mutually exclusive and on average colonized only 17.7% of the birds tested at any time. Campylobacter STs typically reached a peak in prevalence upon initial detection in the flock before tailing off, although the ST and antigenic flaA short variable region in combination were stable over a number of months. There was evidence that, with a couple of exceptions, the ecology of C. jejuni and C. coli differed, with the latter forming a more stable population. Despite being free range, no newly colonizing STs were detected over a 6-week period in autumn and a 10-week period in winter, towards the end of the study. There was limited evidence that those STs identified among broiler chicken flocks on the same farm site were likely to colonize the breeder flock earlier (R(2) 0.16, P 0.01). These results suggest that there is natural control of Campylobacter dynamics within a flock which could potentially be exploited in designing new intervention strategies, and that the two different species should perhaps be considered separately. PMID:25588789

  18. Infection risk factors associated with seropositivity for Toxoplasma gondii in a population-based study in the Central Region, Ghana.

    PubMed

    Abu, E K; Boampong, J N; Ayi, I; Ghartey-Kwansah, G; Afoakwah, R; Nsiah, P; Blay, E

    2015-07-01

    About 20-90% of the world's population has had contact with Toxoplasma gondii parasites. The aim of this study was to determine the seroprevalence and risk factors associated with T. gondii infection in the Central Region, Ghana. A community-based cross-sectional study was conducted in three selected communities. Serum samples were tested for the presence of anti-T. gondii IgG and IgM antibodies by ELISA. A serological criterion for seropositivity was a positive test result for any of the two anti-Toxoplasma IgG or IgM antibodies or a combination of both. In all, 390 participants of mean age 47.0 years consisting of 118 (30.%) males and 272 (69.7%) females were tested. The overall seroprevalence of T. gondii was 85% (333/390) where fishermen, farmers and fishmongers, respectively, had the highest seropositivity. IgG and IgM antibodies were detected in 329 (84%) and 25 (6%), respectively, while both IgG and IgM antibodies were detected in 21 (5%) of the participants. Respectively, 1% (4/390) and 79% (308/390) of participants tested positive for IgM-only and IgG-only antibodies. There was a significant relationship between Toxoplasma seropositivity and contact with soil, presence of a cat in the surrounding area, age, sources of drinking water, level of formal education, and socioeconomic status. The results suggest that the seashore may serve as a good ground for sporulation and survival of Toxoplasma oocysts. PMID:25373611

  19. Genetic relatedness and netB prevalence among environmental Clostridium perfringens strains associated with a broiler flock affected by mild necrotic enteritis.

    PubMed

    Engström, Björn E; Johansson, Anders; Aspan, Anna; Kaldhusdal, Magne

    2012-09-14

    In a previous study we investigated pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) genotype diversity and prevalence of the netB toxin gene in Clostridium perfringens (CP) isolates recovered from a broiler flock (flock 1) affected by necrotic enteritis (NE). In this follow-up work, we examined samples collected before placement of flock 1, to see if NE during rearing could be traced back to the cleaned and empty building or the day-old chicks. Litter from the next flock in the same building (flock 2) was also examined. We detected 25 different PFGE genotypes, five of which were found only in litter from flock 2. Six genotypes which had been found in flock 1 during rearing were detected in samples collected before placement. NetB positive isolates belonging to two of these genotypes had been recovered from NE lesions during rearing, suggesting that virulent strains were transmitted from the cleaned and disinfected broiler house. NetB frequency among isolates from the empty building was 45%, indicating that netB positive strains were prevalent in a building that previously had housed a healthy flock offered in-feed narasin (flock 0). NetB frequency among isolates from litter used by flock 2 was 22%, indicating that netB positive strains were present in the environment of a 14-days-old healthy flock offered in-feed narasin. Two prevalent genotypes were consistently either netB negative or netB positive. However, the presence of genotypes represented by both negative and positive isolates may suggest that the gene can spread horizontally among different CP strains. PMID:22516191

  20. Leptospira spp. in Domestic Cats from Different Environments: Prevalence of Antibodies and Risk Factors Associated with the Seropositivity

    PubMed Central

    Azócar-Aedo, Lucía; Monti, Gustavo; Jara, Ronald

    2014-01-01

    Simple Summary Although Leptospira infection occurs in domestic cat populations, studies on leptospirosis are very limited in felines and the role of cats in the epidemiology of this zoonosis has not received much attention. The present work is an epidemiologic study intended to determine the prevalence of anti-Leptospira antibodies and risk factors related with the seropositivity in cats from urban and rural environments. A higher prevalence in rural cats was detected (25.2%) compared with urban animals (1.8%). Characteristics of the habitat of the animals and some agricultural activities performed by cat’s owners were found to be risk factors associated with the seropositivity. Abstract Leptospirosis is an emerging zoonotic disease of worldwide distribution. A cross-sectional study was conducted in urban and rural environments in southern Chile (1) to detect domestic cats with serologic evidence of exposure to Leptospira spp.; (2) to determine the prevalence of anti-Leptospira antibodies; (3) to describe seroprevalences according to different characteristics of the animals, and (4) to identify risk factors associated with the seropositivity in the Microscopic Agglutination Test (MAT). Blood samples were taken from 124 owned cats. A frequentist and Bayesian approach were applied for prevalence estimation. The overall apparent prevalence of anti-Leptospira antibodies was 8.1% (95% Confident Interval = 3.9–4.3). With the Bayesian approach, the overall True Prevalence (TP) was 5.2% (95% Credibility Interval (CrI) = 0.6–12.4). The TP for urban cats was 1.8% (95% CrI = 0.1–7.2) and the TP for rural felines was 25.2% (95% CrI = 9.3–46.6). Cats that live in a place where agricultural activities are performed with water that flows in streams or backwater and cats that live in places near flooded areas had a higher risk of seropositivity in MAT. The exposure to Leptospira spp. in domestic cats of urban and rural origin in Southern Chile is a public health concern

  1. Dynamical modeling of collective behavior from pigeon flight data: flock cohesion and dispersion.

    PubMed

    Dieck Kattas, Graciano; Xu, Xiao-Ke; Small, Michael

    2012-01-01

    Several models of flocking have been promoted based on simulations with qualitatively naturalistic behavior. In this paper we provide the first direct application of computational modeling methods to infer flocking behavior from experimental field data. We show that this approach is able to infer general rules for interaction, or lack of interaction, among members of a flock or, more generally, any community. Using experimental field measurements of homing pigeons in flight we demonstrate the existence of a basic distance dependent attraction/repulsion relationship and show that this rule is sufficient to explain collective behavior observed in nature. Positional data of individuals over time are used as input data to a computational algorithm capable of building complex nonlinear functions that can represent the system behavior. Topological nearest neighbor interactions are considered to characterize the components within this model. The efficacy of this method is demonstrated with simulated noisy data generated from the classical (two dimensional) Vicsek model. When applied to experimental data from homing pigeon flights we show that the more complex three dimensional models are capable of simulating trajectories, as well as exhibiting realistic collective dynamics. The simulations of the reconstructed models are used to extract properties of the collective behavior in pigeons, and how it is affected by changing the initial conditions of the system. Our results demonstrate that this approach may be applied to construct models capable of simulating trajectories and collective dynamics using experimental field measurements of herd movement. From these models, the behavior of the individual agents (animals) may be inferred. PMID:22479176

  2. A pharmaco-epidemiological analysis of factors associated with antimicrobial consumption level in turkey broiler flocks.

    PubMed

    Chauvin, Claire; Bouvarel, Isabelle; Beloeil, Pierre-Alexandre; Orand, Jean-Pierre; Guillemot, Didier; Sanders, Pascal

    2005-01-01

    An on-farm pharmaco-epidemiological survey of 246 turkey broiler flocks from 131 farms was carried out to assess the homogeneity of antimicrobial use between flocks on the same farm and to explore the possible relationships between farm and farmer characteristics and the level of antimicrobial use. The antimicrobial use in each flock was quantified by an invoice study, expressed as the number of national animal daily doses (ADD)/turkey broiler and characterised as "high", "medium" or "low" according to the tertiles of the resulting distribution. Antimicrobial use was then correlated with variables collected from the farmer by means of an alternating logistic regression method which calculates the pairwise odds ratio (PWOR) for within-farm clustering. Two independent models were fitted: (1) "low" versus "medium" + "high" antimicrobial consumption and (2) "high" versus "medium" + "low" antimicrobial consumption. PWOR from the null models were significant (P < 0.005), but only remained significant in the first final model (P = 0.002). Four explanatory variables were retained for both models. Prophylactic antimicrobial administration and veterinarian antimicrobial prescription attaining the farm technical staff's expectation were associated with a higher antimicrobial consumption level. Administration of competitive exclusion flora and compliance with biosecurity rules of changing clothes and shoes before entering the facilities, were associated with a lower antimicrobial consumption level. In the first model, the number of full-time jobs devoted to the turkey production unit (1 versus more than 1) was also found to be associated with the antimicrobial consumption level. The study tends to confirm the feasibility of the adopted approach to quantify antimicrobial use and to determine the factors likely to influence antimicrobial consumption. PMID:15720973

  3. Survey of Enterobacteriaceae contamination of table eggs collected from layer flocks in Australia.

    PubMed

    Gole, V C; Chousalkar, K K; Roberts, J R

    2013-06-17

    In the present study, eggs from commercial caged layer flocks at different stages of lay in Australia were collected. Enterobacteriaceae populations from eggshell surface and eggshell pore were enumerated and these populations characterized using API® Rapid 20E strips. The eggshell surface, eggshell pore and egg internal content samples were also processed for the isolation of Salmonella and these isolates were tested for the presence or absence of several virulence genes (prgH, sopB, spiC, orfL, invA, sifA, sitC, misL). Results indicated that there was no significant difference in total Enterobacteriaceae count on the eggs of the flock from early, mid or late lay flocks. Enterobacteriaceae isolates were of 11 different genera which included: Cedecea, Citrobacter, Enterobacter, Escherichia, Klebsiella, Kluyvera, Leclercia, Pantoea, Salmonella, Serratia and Yersinia. Out of all 153 identified Enterobacteriaceae isolates, the Escherichia genus was reported most frequently (60.78%). Results also indicated that overall there were 4.51% (14/310) Salmonella positive pooled samples. In this study, 14 Salmonella strains were isolated, serotyping confirmed that 12 out of them were Salmonella Infantis and the 2 others were Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar 4,12:d: Polymerase chain reaction results indicated that all Salmonella Infantis isolates harboured invA, misL, orfL, prgH, sifA, sitC, sopB and spiC genes which suggests that Salmonella Infantis strains isolated from eggshell surface may have the capacity to invade and survive in macrophages. PMID:23680799

  4. Dynamical Modeling of Collective Behavior from Pigeon Flight Data: Flock Cohesion and Dispersion

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Xiao-Ke; Small, Michael

    2012-01-01

    Several models of flocking have been promoted based on simulations with qualitatively naturalistic behavior. In this paper we provide the first direct application of computational modeling methods to infer flocking behavior from experimental field data. We show that this approach is able to infer general rules for interaction, or lack of interaction, among members of a flock or, more generally, any community. Using experimental field measurements of homing pigeons in flight we demonstrate the existence of a basic distance dependent attraction/repulsion relationship and show that this rule is sufficient to explain collective behavior observed in nature. Positional data of individuals over time are used as input data to a computational algorithm capable of building complex nonlinear functions that can represent the system behavior. Topological nearest neighbor interactions are considered to characterize the components within this model. The efficacy of this method is demonstrated with simulated noisy data generated from the classical (two dimensional) Vicsek model. When applied to experimental data from homing pigeon flights we show that the more complex three dimensional models are capable of simulating trajectories, as well as exhibiting realistic collective dynamics. The simulations of the reconstructed models are used to extract properties of the collective behavior in pigeons, and how it is affected by changing the initial conditions of the system. Our results demonstrate that this approach may be applied to construct models capable of simulating trajectories and collective dynamics using experimental field measurements of herd movement. From these models, the behavior of the individual agents (animals) may be inferred. PMID:22479176

  5. Dynamics of the natural transmission of bovine spongiform encephalopathy within an intensively managed sheep flock.

    PubMed

    Jeffrey, Martin; Witz, Janey P; Martin, Stuart; Hawkins, Steve A C; Bellworthy, Sue J; Dexter, Glenda E; Thurston, Lisa; González, Lorenzo

    2015-01-01

    Sheep are susceptible to the bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) agent and in the UK they may have been exposed to BSE via contaminated meat and bone meal. An experimental sheep flock was established to determine whether ovine BSE could be naturally transmitted under conditions of intensive husbandry. The flock consisted of 113 sheep of different breeds and susceptible PRNP genotypes orally dosed with BSE, 159 sheep subsequently born to them and 125 unchallenged sentinel controls. BSE was confirmed in 104 (92%) orally dosed sheep and natural transmission was recorded for 14 of 79 (18%) lambs born to BSE infected dams, with rates varying according to PRNP genotype. The likelihood of natural BSE transmission was linked to stage of incubation period of the dam: the attack rate for lambs born within 100 days of the death of BSE infected dams was significantly higher (9/22, 41%) than for the rest (5/57, 9%). Within the group of ewes lambing close to death, those rearing infected progeny (n = 8, for 9/12 infected lambs) showed a significantly greater involvement of lymphoid tissues than those rearing non-infected offspring (n = 8, for 0/10 infected lambs). Horizontal transmission to the progeny of non-infected mothers was recorded only once (1/205, 0.5%). This low rate of lateral transmission was attributed, at least partly, to an almost complete absence of infected placentas. We conclude that, although BSE can be naturally transmitted through dam-lamb close contact, the infection in this study flock would not have persisted due to low-efficiency maternal and lateral transmissions. PMID:26511838

  6. Step selection techniques uncover the environmental predictors of space use patterns in flocks of Amazonian birds

    PubMed Central

    Potts, Jonathan R; Mokross, Karl; Stouffer, Philip C; Lewis, Mark A

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the behavioral decisions behind animal movement and space use patterns is a key challenge for behavioral ecology. Tools to quantify these patterns from movement and animal–habitat interactions are vital for transforming ecology into a predictive science. This is particularly important in environments undergoing rapid anthropogenic changes, such as the Amazon rainforest, where animals face novel landscapes. Insectivorous bird flocks are key elements of avian biodiversity in the Amazonian ecosystem. Therefore, disentangling and quantifying the drivers behind their movement and space use patterns is of great importance for Amazonian conservation. We use a step selection function (SSF) approach to uncover environmental drivers behind movement choices. This is used to construct a mechanistic model, from which we derive predicted utilization distributions (home ranges) of flocks. We show that movement decisions are significantly influenced by canopy height and topography, but depletion and renewal of resources do not appear to affect movement significantly. We quantify the magnitude of these effects and demonstrate that they are helpful for understanding various heterogeneous aspects of space use. We compare our results to recent analytic derivations of space use, demonstrating that the analytic approximation is only accurate when assuming that there is no persistence in the animals' movement. Our model can be translated into other environments or hypothetical scenarios, such as those given by proposed future anthropogenic actions, to make predictions of spatial patterns in bird flocks. Furthermore, our approach is quite general, so could potentially be used to understand the drivers of movement and spatial patterns for a wide variety of animal communities. PMID:25558353

  7. Step selection techniques uncover the environmental predictors of space use patterns in flocks of Amazonian birds.

    PubMed

    Potts, Jonathan R; Mokross, Karl; Stouffer, Philip C; Lewis, Mark A

    2014-12-01

    Understanding the behavioral decisions behind animal movement and space use patterns is a key challenge for behavioral ecology. Tools to quantify these patterns from movement and animal-habitat interactions are vital for transforming ecology into a predictive science. This is particularly important in environments undergoing rapid anthropogenic changes, such as the Amazon rainforest, where animals face novel landscapes. Insectivorous bird flocks are key elements of avian biodiversity in the Amazonian ecosystem. Therefore, disentangling and quantifying the drivers behind their movement and space use patterns is of great importance for Amazonian conservation. We use a step selection function (SSF) approach to uncover environmental drivers behind movement choices. This is used to construct a mechanistic model, from which we derive predicted utilization distributions (home ranges) of flocks. We show that movement decisions are significantly influenced by canopy height and topography, but depletion and renewal of resources do not appear to affect movement significantly. We quantify the magnitude of these effects and demonstrate that they are helpful for understanding various heterogeneous aspects of space use. We compare our results to recent analytic derivations of space use, demonstrating that the analytic approximation is only accurate when assuming that there is no persistence in the animals' movement. Our model can be translated into other environments or hypothetical scenarios, such as those given by proposed future anthropogenic actions, to make predictions of spatial patterns in bird flocks. Furthermore, our approach is quite general, so could potentially be used to understand the drivers of movement and spatial patterns for a wide variety of animal communities. PMID:25558353

  8. Deletion variant near ZNF389 is associated with control of ovine lentivirus in multiple sheep flocks.

    PubMed

    White, S N; Mousel, M R; Reynolds, J O; Herrmann-Hoesing, L M; Knowles, D P

    2014-04-01

    Ovine lentivirus (OvLV) is a macrophage-tropic lentivirus found in many countries that causes interstitial pneumonia, mastitis, arthritis and cachexia in sheep. There is no preventive vaccine and no cure, but breed differences suggest marker-assisted selective breeding might improve odds of infection and control of OvLV post-infection. Although variants in TMEM154 have consistent association with odds of infection, no variant in any gene has been associated with host control of OvLV post-infection in multiple animal sets. Proviral concentration is a live-animal diagnostic measure of OvLV control post-infection related to severity of OvLV-induced lesions. A recent genome-wide association study identified a region including four zinc finger genes associated with proviral concentration in one Rambouillet flock. To refine this region, we tested additional variants and identified a small insertion/deletion variant near ZNF389 that showed consistent association with proviral concentration in three animal sets (P < 0.05). These animal sets contained Rambouillet, Polypay and crossbred sheep from multiple locations and management conditions. Strikingly, one flock had exceptionally high prevalence (>87%, including yearlings) and mean proviral concentration (>950 copies/μg), possibly due to needle sharing. The best estimate of proviral concentration by genotype, obtained from all 1310 OvLV-positive animals tested, showed insertion homozygotes had less than half the proviral concentration of other genotypes (P < 0.0001). Future work will test additional breeds, management conditions and viral subtypes, and identify functional properties of the haplotype this deletion variant tracks. To our knowledge, this is the first genetic variant consistently associated with host control of OvLV post-infection in multiple sheep flocks. PMID:24303974

  9. Discrimination of Coastal Vegetation and Biomass Using AIS Data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gross, M. F.; Klemas, V.

    1985-01-01

    The Airborne Imaging Spectrometer (AIS) was flown over a coastal wetlands region near Lewes, Delaware, adjacent to the Delaware Bay on 16 August 1984. Using the AIS data, it was possible to discriminate between four different types of wetland vegetation canopies: (1) trees; (2) broadleaf herbaceous plants (e.g., Acnida cannabina, Hisbiscus moscheutos); (3) the low marsh grass Spartina alterniflora; and (4) the high marsh grasses Distichlis spicata and Spartina patens. The single most useful region of the spectrum was that between 1.40 and 1.90 microns, where slopes of portions of the radiance curve and ratios of radiance at particular wavelengths were significantly different for the four canopy types. The ratio between the highest digital number in the 1.40 to 1.90 microns and .84 to .94 microns regions and a similar ratio between the peaks in radiance in the 1.12 to 1.40 microns and .84 to .94 microns spectral regions were also very effective at discriminating between vegetation types. Differences in radiance values at various wavelengths between samples of the same vegetation type could potentially be used to estimate biomass.

  10. Building distributed rule-based systems using the AI Bus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schultz, Roger D.; Stobie, Iain C.

    1990-01-01

    The AI Bus software architecture was designed to support the construction of large-scale, production-quality applications in areas of high technology flux, running heterogeneous distributed environments, utilizing a mix of knowledge-based and conventional components. These goals led to its current development as a layered, object-oriented library for cooperative systems. This paper describes the concepts and design of the AI Bus and its implementation status as a library of reusable and customizable objects, structured by layers from operating system interfaces up to high-level knowledge-based agents. Each agent is a semi-autonomous process with specialized expertise, and consists of a number of knowledge sources (a knowledge base and inference engine). Inter-agent communication mechanisms are based on blackboards and Actors-style acquaintances. As a conservative first implementation, we used C++ on top of Unix, and wrapped an embedded Clips with methods for the knowledge source class. This involved designing standard protocols for communication and functions which use these protocols in rules. Embedding several CLIPS objects within a single process was an unexpected problem because of global variables, whose solution involved constructing and recompiling a C++ version of CLIPS. We are currently working on a more radical approach to incorporating CLIPS, by separating out its pattern matcher, rule and fact representations and other components as true object oriented modules.

  11. AI techniques for a space application scheduling problem

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thalman, N.; Sparn, T.; Jaffres, L.; Gablehouse, D.; Judd, D.; Russell, C.

    1991-01-01

    Scheduling is a very complex optimization problem which can be categorized as an NP-complete problem. NP-complete problems are quite diverse, as are the algorithms used in searching for an optimal solution. In most cases, the best solutions that can be derived for these combinatorial explosive problems are near-optimal solutions. Due to the complexity of the scheduling problem, artificial intelligence (AI) can aid in solving these types of problems. Some of the factors are examined which make space application scheduling problems difficult and presents a fairly new AI-based technique called tabu search as applied to a real scheduling application. the specific problem is concerned with scheduling application. The specific problem is concerned with scheduling solar and stellar observations for the SOLar-STellar Irradiance Comparison Experiment (SOLSTICE) instrument in a constrained environment which produces minimum impact on the other instruments and maximizes target observation times. The SOLSTICE instrument will gly on-board the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS) in 1991, and a similar instrument will fly on the earth observing system (Eos).

  12. Discovery and phylogenetic analysis of a riverine species flock of African electric fishes (Mormyridae: Teleostei).

    PubMed

    Sullivan, John P; Lavoué, Sébastien; Hopkins, Carl D

    2002-03-01

    The evolution of species-specific mate recognition signals is of particular interest within speciose monophyletic groups with restricted distributions (known as "species flocks"). However, the explosive nature of speciation in these clades makes difficult the reconstruction of their phylogenetic history. Here we describe a species flock of riverine mormyrid fishes from west-central Africa in which electric signals may play a role in the reproductive isolation of sympatric species. In our recent field collections, totaling more than 1400 specimens from many localities, we recognize 38 forms that are distinct in their morphologies and electric organ discharge (EOD) characteristics. Of these 38, only four clearly correspond to described species. Here we treat these forms as operational taxonomic units (OTUs) in a phylogenetic analysis of cytochrome b sequence data from a sample of 86 specimens. We examined support in the molecular data for the monophyly of these 38 OTUs considered together, the monophyly of each phenotypically delimited OTU considered individually, and for relationships among OTUs congruent with those inferred from the distribution of morphological and EOD character states. Trees obtained by both maximum-parsimony and maximum-likelihood analyses, rooted with sequence data from outgroup taxa, provide evidence for the monophyly of these 38 OTUs with respect to other mormyrid fishes. The small genetic distances between many distinct forms suggest their recent divergence. However, in many instances the cytochrome b tree topology fails to support the monophyly of individual OTUs and close relationships between OTUs that are similar in morphology and EOD characteristics. In other cases, individuals from distinct OTUs share identical or nearly identical haplotypes. Close examination of these cases suggests that unnatural OTU definition is not the sole cause of this pattern, and we infer an incongruence between the mitochondrial gene tree and the organismal

  13. An outbreak of duck virus enteritis (duck plague) in a captive flock of mixed waterfowl

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Montgomery, R.D.; Stein, G., Jr.; Novilla, M.N.; Hurley, Sarah S.; Fink, R.J.

    1981-01-01

    An outbreak of duck virus enteritis occurred in a flock of captive waterfowl composed of mallards (Anas platyrhynchos), black ducks (Anas rubripes), and Canada geese (Branta canadensis). Although all three species were housed together, morbidity and mortality were confined to the 227 black ducks and Canada geese, of which 180 died and the rest were left in a weakened condition. Lesions are given for 20 black ducks and 4 Canada geese dying from DVE. In addition, both horizontal and vertical transmission are discussed as possible sources of the virus that caused this outbreak.

  14. Molecular detection and characterization of infectious laryngotracheitis virus (Gallid herpesvirus-1) from clinical samples of commercial poultry flocks in India.

    PubMed

    Gowthaman, Vasudevan; Singh, Sambhu Dayal; Dhama, Kuldeep; Barathidasan, Rajamani; Mathapati, Basavaraj S; Srinivasan, Palani; Saravanan, Sellappan; Ramakrishnan, Muthannan Andavar

    2014-01-01

    Although the existence of infectious laryngotracheitis virus (ILTV) in India was first reported in 1964, no reports are available regarding its molecular detection and characterization. The present study was aimed to detect and characterize ILTV from recent respiratory disease complex (RDC) outbreaks of commercial poultry flocks in different parts of the country by using envelope glycoprotein G gene (US4 gene) based PCR and sequencing. A total of thirty two flocks with a history of RDC were investigated. Overall, all the strains/breeds of birds and all ages of birds are equally susceptible and depending on the severity, the clinical signs and gross lesions were varied. Out of 32 flocks investigated 10 were found positive for ILTV infection by PCR. The phylogenetic analyses of eight representative sequences in the present study deciphered that Indian ILT viruses are closely related to chicken embryo origin vaccine strains of Italy, USA, China and Brazil. PMID:25674602

  15. A novel alignment repulsion algorithm for flocking of multi-agent systems based on the number of neighbours per agent

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kahani, R.; Sedigh, A. K.; Mahjani, M. Gh.

    2015-12-01

    In this paper, an energy-based control methodology is proposed to satisfy the Reynolds three rules in a flock of multiple agents. First, a control law is provided that is directly derived from the passivity theorem. In the next step, the Number of Neighbours Alignment/Repulsion algorithm is introduced for a flock of agents which loses the cohesion ability and uniformly joint connectivity condition. With this method, each agent tries to follow the agents which escape its neighbourhood by considering the velocity of escape time and number of neighbours. It is mathematically proved that the motion of multiple agents converges to a rigid and uncrowded flock if the group is jointly connected just for an instant. Moreover, the conditions for collision avoidance are guaranteed during the entire process. Finally, simulation results are presented to show the effectiveness of the proposed methodology.

  16. Prevalence of types of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in turkey flocks and personnel attending the animals.

    PubMed

    Richter, A; Sting, R; Popp, C; Rau, J; Tenhagen, B-A; Guerra, B; Hafez, H M; Fetsch, A

    2012-12-01

    Livestock-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (LA-MRSA) have been isolated from a number of livestock species and persons involved in animal production. We investigated the prevalence of LA-MRSA in fattening turkeys and people living on farms that house fattening turkeys. Eighteen (90%) of 20 investigated flocks were positive for MRSA, and on 12 of the farms 22 (37·3%) of 59 persons sampled were positive for MRSA. People with frequent access to the stables were more likely to be positive for MRSA. In most flocks MRSA that could be assigned to clonal complex (CC) 398 were detected. In five flocks MRSA of spa-type t002 that is not related to CC398 were identified. Moreover, other methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus spp. were detected on 11 farms and in eight people working on the farms. PMID:22321516

  17. Interpretation of AIS Images of Cuprite, Nevada Using Constraints of Spectral Mixtures

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, M. O.; Adams, J. B.

    1985-01-01

    A technique is outlined that tests the hypothesis Airborne Imaging Spectrometer (AIS) image spectra are produced by mixtures of surface materials. This technique allows separation of AIS images into concentration images of spectral endmembers (e.g., surface materials causing spectral variation). Using a spectral reference library it was possible to uniquely identify these spectral endmembers with respect to the reference library and to calibrate the AIS images.

  18. Is traumatic axonal injury (AI) associated with an early microglial activation? Application of a double-labeling technique for simultaneous detection of microglia and AI.

    PubMed

    Oehmichen, M; Theuerkauf, I; Meissner, C

    1999-05-01

    The aim of the present study was to determine whether axonal injury (AI) induces a microglial reaction within 15 days after brain trauma. In 40 selected cases of confirmed AI, the topographical relation of AI and microglial reaction was assessed using an immunohistochemical double-labeling technique for simultaneous demonstration of AI using beta-amyloid precursor protein (beta-APP) antibody and of microglia using CD68 antibody. Although traumatic injury was usually followed by a moderate early diffuse rise in the number of CD68-reactive cells in the white matter, increases in macrophages in areas of AI accumulation were only sporadic and did not occur until after 4 days. At survival intervals of 5-15 days a moderate microglial reaction in regions of beta-APP-positive injured axons was detected, at maximum, in half of the case material. During this interval AI-associated satellitosis-like clusters or stars described by other authors after a survival time of more than 7 weeks were an isolated phenomenon. The prolonged microglial reaction as well as the reduction of beta-APP-positive AI during longer survival periods supports the hypothesis that AI is not primarily chemotactically attractive and that the damage to a portion of beta-APPstained axons may be partly reversible. Most cases clearly require a prolonged interval of more than 15 days before initiation of the final scavenger reaction. For forensic purposes the increase in the number of microglial cells within the region of AI accumulation after a survival time of more than 5 days and the multiple and distinct demonstration of star-like microglial reactions within the white matter after survival times exceeding 7 weeks may provide valuable postmortem information on the timing of a traumatic event. PMID:10334486

  19. Field estimation of the flock-level diagnostic specificity of an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for Avian metapneumovirus antibodies in turkeys.

    PubMed

    Muñoz-Zanzi, Claudia; Trampel, Darrell; Hanson, Tim; Harrison, Kristen; Goyal, Sagar; Cortinas, Roberto; Lauer, Dale

    2009-03-01

    Routine serologic testing for Avian metapneumovirus (AMPV) infection of turkey flocks at slaughter is currently being used to monitor changes in the occurrence of AMPV infection in endemic areas and can also be used to detect the emergence of infection in currently unaffected areas. Because of the costs associated with false-positive results, particularly in areas that are free of AMPV infection, there is a need to obtain improved estimates of flock-level specificity (SP). The objective of this study was to estimate flock-level SP of a program to monitor AMPV infection in turkey flocks at processing using a standard enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). A study was carried out in which 37 AMPV-free flocks from 7 Midwest operations were followed serologically. Six percent, 3%, and 0.2% of total samples tested AMPV positive at 8 weeks, 12 weeks, and at processing, respectively. Overall, flock-level SP increased as the cutoff increased and as age increased. Flock-level SP at processing was 97%, if a cutoff of 1 was used (the flock was classified as positive if at least 1 sample tested positive), and 100%, if any other cutoff was used. Administration of antibiotics (P = 0.02) and vaccination for Bordetella avium (P = 0.08) were positively associated with the probability of (false) positive test results. These findings suggest possible cross-reactions with other infections and highlight the need to consider variable diagnostic performance depending on farm conditions. PMID:19286505

  20. Analysis of AIS data of the Bonanza Creek Experimental Forest, Alaska

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Spanner, M. A.; Peterson, D. L.

    1986-01-01

    Airborne Imaging Spectrometer (AIS) data were acquired in 1985 over the Bonanza Creek Experimental Forest, Alaska for the analysis of canopy characteristics including biochemistry. Concurrent with AIS overflights, foliage from fifteen coniferous and deciduous forest stands were analyzed for a variety of biochemical constituents including nitrogen, lignin, protein, and chlorophyll. Preliminary analysis of AIS spectra indicates that the wavelength region between 1450 to 1800 namometers (nm) displays distinct differences in spectral response for some of the forest stands. A flat field subtraction (forest stand spectra - flat field spectra) of the AIS spectra assisted in the interpretation of features of the spectra that are related to biology.