The purpose was to determine the prevalence and related factors of vitamin D (VitD) insufficiency in adolescents and young adults with perinatally acquired human immunodeficiency virus. A cohort of 65 patients (17.6 ± 2 years) at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, were examined for pubertal development, nutrition, serum parathormone and serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [s25(OH)D]. s25(OH)D levels < 30 ng/mL (< 75 nmol/L) were defined as VitD insufficiency. CD4+ T-cell counts and viral load, history of worst clinical status, immunologic status as nadir, current immunologic status, and antiretroviral (ART) regimen were also evaluated as risk factors for VitD insufficiency. Mean s25(OH)D was 37.7 ± 13.9 ng/mL and 29.2% had VitD insufficiency. There was no difference between VitD status and gender, age, nutritional status, clinical and immunological classification, and type of ART. Only VitD consumption showed tendency of association with s25(OH)D (p = 0.064). Individuals analysed in summer/autumn season had a higher s25(OH)D compared to the ones analysed in winter/spring (42.6 ± 14.9 vs. 34.0 ± 11.9, p = 0.011). Although, the frequency of VitD insufficiency did not differ statistically between the groups (summer/autumn 17.9% vs. winter/spring 37.8%, p = 0.102), we suggest to monitor s25(OH)D in seropositive adolescents and young adults, especially during winter/spring months, even in sunny regions.
AbstractBackground Extremely low-frequency (50 Hz) electromagnetic field (ELF-EMF) is produced by electric power transmission lines and electronic devices of everyday use. Some phenomena are proposed as “first effects” of ELF-EMF: the discrete changes in the membrane potential and the increase of the calcium channel activity as well as the intracellular concentration of Ca 2+ . Interaction of the scorpion alpha toxin with the sodium channel depends on the orientation of the charges and may be perturbed by changes in the membrane polarization. The toxin induces overexcitability in the nervous system and an increase in the neurotransmitters released with different consequences, mainly the paralysis of muscles. We assumed that the exposure to ELF-EMF 0.7 mT will change the effects of the insect selective scorpion alpha toxin (recombinant LqhαIT from Leiurus quinquestriatus hebraeus) at the level of the cercal nerve function, the synaptic transmission and on the level of entire insect organism. Taking into account the compensatory mechanisms in organisms, we tested in addition ten times higher ELF-EMF on whole insects.Methods Experiments were performed in vivo on cockroaches (Periplaneta americana) and in vitro – on isolated cockroach abdominal nerve cord with cerci. In biotests, the effects of LqhαIT (10 −8 M) were estimated on the basis of the insect ability to turn back from dorsal to ventral side. Three groups were compared: the control one and the two exposed to ELF-EMF – 0.7 and 7 mT. Bioelectrical activity of the cercal nerve and of the connective nerve that leaves the terminal abdominal ganglion was recorded using extracellular electrodes. LqhαIT (5 × 10 −8 M) induced modifications of neuronal activity that were observed in the control cockroach preparations and in the ones exposed to ELF-EMF (0.7 mT). The exposure to ELF-EMF was carried out using coils with a size appropriate to the examined objects.Results The exposure to ELF-EMF (0.7 mT) modified the effects of LqhαIT (5 × 10−8 M) on activity of the cercal nerve and of the connective nerve. We observed a decrease of the toxin effect on the cercal nerve activity, but the toxic effect of LqhαIT on the connective nerve was increased. Biotests showed that toxicity of LqhαIT (10 −8 M) on cockroaches was reduced by the exposure to ELF-EMF (0.7 and 7 mT).Conclusions The exposure to 50 Hz ELF-EMF modified the mode of action of the anti-insect scorpion alpha toxin LqhαIT at cellular level of the cockroach nervous system and in biotests. Toxin appeared as a usefull tool in distinguishing between the primary and the secondary effects of ELF-EMF.
Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-positive) pregnant women require specific prophylactic and therapeutic approaches. The efficacy of established approaches is further challenged by co-infection with other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of co-infections in pregnant women infected with different HIV-1 subtypes and to relate these findings, together with additional demographic and clinical parameters, to maternal and infant outcomes. Blood samples from pregnant women were collected and tested for syphilis, hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV). Human papillomavirus (HPV) diagnosis was evaluated by the presence of alterations in the cervical epithelium detected through a cytopathological exam. Medical charts provided patient data for the mothers and children. Statistical analyses were conducted with STATA 9.0. We found a prevalence of 10.8% for HCV, 2.3% for chronic HBV, 3.1% for syphilis and 40.8% for HPV. Of those co-infected with HPV, 52.9% presented high-grade intraepithelial lesions or in situ carcinoma. Prematurity, birth weight, Apgar 1' and 5' and Capurro scores were similar between co-infected and non-co-infected women. The presence of other STDs did not impact maternal and concept outcomes. More than half of the patients presenting cervical cytology abnormalities suggestive of HPV had high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions or cervical cancer, evidencing an alarming rate of these lesions.