Abstract Local medicinal plants knowledge varies in relation to factors as age, gender, education, and income. Understanding this variation enables the identification of weaknesses in local medical systems, since access to knowledge is well distributed in different social classes. Socioeconomic variables can influence the quantity of known medicinal plants, and therefore, there may be a qualitative variation in the plant and disease repertoire of different social groups. Thus, we aimed to identify if socioeconomic variables influence the set of known medicinal plants and diseases by people in the Boa Vista community, São José of Tapera, Alagoas. A total of 33 semi-structured interviews were conducted, using the free-listing technique for data collection. There were no significant differences between the knowledge of men and women from a quantitative point of view. We observed that older interviewees knew more medicinal plants than younger, and there was a significant difference between the medicinal plants known to older and younger people. In terms of cited diseases, there was no difference between gender or age. Therefore, making inferences about qualitative-quantitative aspects of medicinal plant and disease knowledge requires understanding the social structure of the studied community, since people with similar social roles tend to have homogeneous knowledge.
Resumo O conhecimento local sobre plantas medicinais varia em relação a fatores como: idade, sexo, educação e renda. A compreensão dessa variação permite a identificação de pontos fracos nos sistemas médicos locais, já que o acesso ao conhecimento é bem distribuído em diferentes classes sociais. As variáveis socioeconômicas podem influenciar a quantidade de plantas medicinais conhecidas e, portanto, pode haver uma variação qualitativa no repertório de plantas e doenças de diferentes grupos sociais. Assim, objetivou-se identificar se variáveis socioeconômicas influenciam o conjunto de plantas e doenças medicinais conhecidas tratadas por pessoas da comunidade rural de Boa Vista, São José de Tapera, Alagoas. Foram realizadas 33 entrevistas semiestruturadas, utilizando a técnica de listagem livre para coleta de dados. Não houve diferenças significativas entre o conhecimento de homens e mulheres do ponto de vista quantitativo. Observamos que os entrevistados mais velhos conheciam mais plantas medicinais do que os mais jovens, e houve uma diferença significativa entre as plantas medicinais conhecidas por pessoas mais velhas e mais jovens. Em relação às doenças citadas, não houve diferença entre gênero ou idade. Portanto, fazer inferências sobre aspectos qualitativo-quantitativos do conhecimento de plantas medicinais e doenças requer a compreensão da estrutura social da comunidade estudada, uma vez que pessoas com papéis sociais semelhantes tendem a ter conhecimento homogêneo.
ABSTRACT The similarity in traditional knowledge of medicinal plants was evaluated to draw inferences about the most important models for local knowledge transmission. The following questions were addressed: (1) Do related individuals possess greater similarity in knowledge of medicinal plants than unrelated individuals? (2) Do related individuals of the same generation possess greater similarity in knowledge than do related individuals of different generations? Semi-structured interviews were conducted on the medicinal plants known by the residents of a rural community in western Bahia. Mann-Whitney tests were used to compare Jaccard similarity values between related and unrelated individuals and between relatives of the same generation and relatives of different generations. Related individuals were found to have more similar knowledge than unrelated individuals, and relatives of the same generation were found to have more similar knowledge than relatives of different generations. These findings suggest that there are factors that favor cultural transmission between relatives of the same generation other than just vertical transmission.
BACKGROUND Only benznidazole (Bnz) (1) and nifurtimox (Nfx) (2) are licensed for the treatment of Chagas disease although their safety and efficacy profile are far from ideal. Farmanguinhos from Fiocruz has developed seven nitroimidazole compounds (4-10) analogs of megazol (3). OBJECTIVES To evaluate whether the genotoxic effect of 3 was abolished in the seven nitroimidazoles (4-10) analogs using the in vitro alkaline comet assay (CA) and the in vitro cytokinesis-block micronucleus assay (CBMN) in whole human blood cells (WHBC) and correlate this effect with their trypanocidal activity using bloodstream trypomastigote forms of Trypanosoma cruzi. METHODS The toxicity of 3-10 to WHBC in the in vitro CA was determined using the fluorescein diacetate/ethidium bromide assay. DNA damage in the in vitro CA was evaluated according to tail size in four classes (0-3) and methyl methane-sulfonate (MMS) was used as a positive control. The cytotoxicity of 3-10 to WHBC in the CBMN was measured using the cytokinesis-block proliferation index and the replication index. The number of the micronucleate cells in 2,000 binucleate cells by experimental group was determined. Mitomycin C and N-deacetyl-N-methylcolchicine were used as positive controls. FINDINGS Compound 3 showed a significant DNA strand break effect through the in vitro CA and highly significant clastogenic and/or aneugenic effect in the CBMN. Compounds 5, 6, 8, 9 and 10 showed negative results in the CBMN and positive results in the in vitro CA, while the inverse effect was observed for 4 and 7. MAIN CONCLUSIONS Compound 10 was the most promising to proceed with the development as a drug candidate in the treatment of Chagas disease showing absence of chromosomal cytogenetic damage and high activity against T. cruzi, about two times higher than 3 and the clinical drug 1.
ABSTRACT The algaroba (Prosopis juliflora (Sw) D.C.) is an exotic species whose leaves have great potential for use in human and animal feeding, being highly nutritious, besides being considered efficient in the recovery of degraded areas and impoverished soils. Despite the growing demand for seeds and seedlings of this species, little is known about the physiological quality of their seeds. Therefore, the objective of this work was to characterize the fruit and seed biometry of the species, as well as to determine the temperatures and substrates for the germination and early development of seedlings. The number of seeds per kilogram and the water content of the seeds were determined. The length, diameter, weight, and number of seeds in each fruit and the thickness, width, length and weight of the seeds were analyzed. In the germination test, three temperatures (20, 30 and 20-30°C) were used under the regime of 14 hours of white light and two substrates (on paper and paper roll). Seed embedding curves, germination, germination speed index, shoot length, root length and seedling dry mass were determined. The biometric data indicate wide variability for the characteristics evaluated for fruits, however, the seeds present less variability. Temperatures of 30 and 20-30 °C and both substrates tested are efficient for conducting the germination test of algaroba seeds in the laboratory.
RESUMO A algaroba (Prosopis juliflora (Sw) D.C.) é uma espécie exótica cujas folhas têm grande potencial para utilização na alimentação humana e animal, sendo altamente nutritivas, além de ser considerada eficiente na recuperação de áreas degradadas e solos empobrecidos. Apesar da procura crescente por sementes e mudas desta espécie, pouco se conhece sobre a qualidade fisiológica de suas sementes. Diante disto, o objetivo deste trabalho foi caracterizar a biometria de frutos e sementes da espécie, além de determinar as temperaturas e substratos para a germinação e desenvolvimento inicial de plântulas. Foi determinada a quantidade de sementes por quilograma e o teor de água das sementes. Analisou-se o comprimento, o diâmetro, o peso, e o número de sementes em cada fruto e a espessura, a largura, o comprimento e o peso das sementes. No teste de germinação foram utilizadas três temperaturas (20, 30 e 20-30°C) sob o regime de 14 horas de luz branca e dois substratos (sobre papel e rolo de papel). Determinaram-se as curvas de embebição das sementes, a germinação, o índice de velocidade de germinação, o comprimento da parte aérea, o comprimento da raiz e a massa seca das plântulas. Os dados biométricos indicam ampla variabilidade para as características avaliadas para frutos, entretanto, as sementes apresentam menor variabilidade. As temperaturas de 30 e 20-30°C e ambos os substratos testados são eficientes para a condução do teste de germinação de sementes de algaroba em laboratório.
ABSTRACT The increasing loss of local ecological knowledge may have negative impacts on the resilience of socio-ecological systems and may also negatively impact bioprospecting efforts, since local ecological knowledge is an important source of information for searching new drugs. Recent studies try to evaluate whether communities are experiencing loss of local ecological knowledge. However, some of them make conclusions which are erroneously based on specific analyses of a single indicator. We propose an integrative analysis of three indicators, namely: number of plants cited by young people and elders, therapeutic choices and people's connectance in terms of medicinal plant learning. The study was carried out in the community of Sucruiuzinho (Bahia, Brazil). We conducted semistructured interviews and a therapeutic recall with 24 local dwellers. We did not find evidence of local ecological knowledge loss in the studied community. Although younger people know fewer plants, they are well connected in terms of knowledge transmission. Moreover, in illness events, young people and adults have similar proportions of choice for plants when compared to allopathy. Concomitant use of the three indicators leads to a more realistic scenario of local ecological knowledge loss than the use of only one of them.
This study aimed to define the current status of ethnobotanical research in Brazil based on published scientific articles and to detect current knowledge gaps in Brazil's ethnobotany. A database, including articles published in national and international scientific journals from 1988 to 2013, was gathered for this purpose. This report discusses the growing number of publications in ethnobotanical research and the main techniques used in the discipline. To identify current knowledge gaps, his report emphasizes the main focus of the different studies, target regions, and communities targeted or involved in the original study. Most publications focused on the northeast and southeast Brazil, and the most frequently studied biomes were the Caatinga and Atlantic forest. Further, the most frequently studied communities were located in rural areas, although the number of studies focused in urban areas has been steadily increasing. A lack of human resources in ethnobotanical research and a lack of current studies in the Amazon, Cerrado, Pampa, and Pantanal regions were the main identified gaps. These data provide a basis for future studies and investments aimed at strengthening ethnobotanical research in Brazil.