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West Africa

Aurélie Bechoff, Keith Ian Tomlins, Ugo Chijioke, Paul Ilona, Andrew Westby, Erick Boy
Gari, a fermented and dried semolina made from cassava, is one of the most common foods in West Africa. Recently introduced biofortified yellow cassava containing provitamin A carotenoids could help tackle vitamin A deficiency prevalent in those areas. However there are concerns because of the low retention of carotenoids during gari processing compared to other processes (e.g. boiling). The aim of the study was to assess the levels of true retention in trans-β-carotene during gari processing and investigate the causes of low retention...
2018: PloS One
Folachodé U G Akogou, Heidy M W den Besten, A P Polycarpe Kayodé, Vincenzo Fogliano, Anita R Linnemann
Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) extract is traditionally used as red biocolorant in West Africa to colour foods, among which wagashi, a soft cheese. This biocolorant is a source of the phytoalexin apigeninidin and phenolic acids, and users claim that it has preservative effects next to its colouring properties. If such a claim can be scientifically substantiated, it adds a valuable functional property to this natural red colorant, thereby increasing its potential applications in the food industry. Hence, the present study evaluated the antimicrobial properties of dye sorghum extracts using challenge tests in broth and wagashi as a model of a popular food application...
2018: PloS One
Pavla Bartošová-Sojková, Alena Lövy, Cecile C Reed, Martina Lisnerová, Tereza Tomková, Astrid S Holzer, Ivan Fiala
INTRODUCTION: Intertidal rock pools where fish and invertebrates are in constant close contact due to limited space and water level fluctuations represent ideal conditions to promote life cycles in parasites using these two alternate hosts and to study speciation processes that could contribute to understanding the roles of parasitic species in such ecosystems. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Gall bladder and liver samples from five clinid fish species (Blenniiformes: Clinidae) were morphologically and molecularly examined to determine the diversity, prevalence, distribution and host specificity of Ceratomyxa parasites (Cnidaria: Myxozoa) in intertidal habitats along the coast of South Africa...
2018: PloS One
Joseph R Fauver, James Weger-Lucarelli, Lawrence S Fakoli, Kpehe Bolay, Fatorma K Bolay, Joseph W Diclaro, Doug E Brackney, Brian D Foy, Mark D Stenglein, Gregory D Ebel
BACKGROUND: Novel surveillance strategies are needed to detect the rapid and continuous emergence of infectious disease agents. Ideally, new sampling strategies should be simple to implement, technologically uncomplicated, and applicable to areas where emergence events are known to occur. To this end, xenosurveillance is a technique that makes use of blood collected by hematophagous arthropods to monitor and identify vertebrate pathogens. Mosquitoes are largely ubiquitous animals that often exist in sizable populations...
March 21, 2018: PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
Pierre Onodje Agbani, Konoutan Médard Kafoutchoni, Kolawolé Valère Salako, Rodrigue Castro Gbedomon, Ahuéfa Mauricel Kégbé, Hahn Karen, Brice Sinsin
BACKGROUND: Atakora mountains in Benin are a unique but fragile ecosystem, harboring many endemic plant species. The ecosystem is undergoing degradation, and the woody vegetation is dramatically declining due to high anthropogenic actions and recurrent drought. This study aimed to (i) assess the diversity of threatened woody species and (ii) identify their potential substitutes in the three regions of the Atakora mountains namely East Atakora, Central Atakora, and West Atakora. METHODS: The data were collected during expeditions on surveyed localities through semi-structured individual interviews...
March 20, 2018: Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine
Maria Dolores Fernandez-Garcia, Romain Volle, Marie-Line Joffret, Serge Alain Sadeuh-Mba, Ionela Gouandjika-Vasilache, Ousmane Kebe, Michael R Wiley, Manasi Majumdar, Etienne Simon-Loriere, Anavaj Sakuntabhai, Gustavo Palacios, Javier Martin, Francis Delpeyroux, Kader Ndiaye, Maël Bessaud
We analyzed whole-genome sequences of 8 enterovirus A71 isolates (EV-A71). We confirm the circulation of genogroup C and the new genogroup E in West Africa. Our analysis demonstrates wide geographic circulation and describes genetic exchanges between EV-A71 and autochthonous EV-A that might contribute to the emergence of pathogenic lineages.
April 2018: Emerging Infectious Diseases
Yolanda Revilla, Daniel Pérez-Núñez, Juergen A Richt
African swine fever (ASF) is an acute and often fatal disease affecting domestic pigs and wild boar, with severe economic consequences for affected countries. ASF is endemic in sub-Saharan Africa and the island of Sardinia, Italy. Since 2007, the virus emerged in the republic of Georgia, and since then spread throughout the Caucasus region and Russia. Outbreaks have also been reported in Belarus, Ukraine, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Romania, Moldova, Czech Republic, and Poland, threatening neighboring West European countries...
2018: Advances in Virus Research
Ricardo J Lopes, Joana Correia, Helena Batalha, Gonçalo C Cardoso
Exotic species can experience fast expansion in new environments, especially if they left their pathogens behind (Enemy Release hypothesis) or brought novel pathogens to the native competitors (Novel Weapon hypothesis). Common waxbills (Estrilda astrild) are native to sub-Saharan Africa and invaded west Iberia since the 1960s. Past haemosporidian parasite surveys at four locations in Portugal showed that waxbills can be infected with parasites, though with very low prevalence. However, it is not known if this pattern generalizes across their distribution range, or if there are geographic differences in parasite prevalence...
March 19, 2018: Parasitology
Lindsay P Galway, Yubraj Acharya, Andrew D Jones
Deforestation worldwide could have important consequences for diet quality and human nutrition given the numerous ecosystem services that are provided by forests and biodiverse landscapes. Yet, empirical research assessing the links between deforestation and diets is lacking. In this study, we examined the association between deforestation and diet diversity among children using geolocated Demographic and Health Survey data for 33,777 children across 15 countries of sub-Saharan Africa coupled with remotely-sensed data on forest cover loss...
March 15, 2018: Health & Place
(no author information available yet)
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
March 16, 2018: Relevé épidémiologique Hebdomadaire
Marieke van de Loosdrecht, Abdeljalil Bouzouggar, Louise Humphrey, Cosimo Posth, Nick Barton, Ayinuer Aximu-Petri, Birgit Nickel, Sarah Nagel, El Hassan Talbi, Mohammed Abdeljalil El Hajraoui, Saaïd Amzazi, Jean-Jacques Hublin, Svante Pääbo, Stephan Schiffels, Matthias Meyer, Wolfgang Haak, Choongwon Jeong, Johannes Krause
North Africa is a key region for understanding human history, but the genetic history of its people is largely unknown. We present genomic data from seven 15,000-year-old modern humans from Morocco, attributed to the Iberomaurusian culture. We find a genetic affinity with early Holocene Near Easterners, best represented by Levantine Natufians, suggesting a pre-agricultural connection between Africa and the Near East. We do not find evidence for gene flow from Paleolithic Europeans into Late Pleistocene North Africans...
March 15, 2018: Science
A Kane Dia, O Kalsom Guèye, E Amadou Niang, S Mocote Diédhiou, M Demba Sy, Abdoulaye Konaté, Badara Samb, Abdoulaye Diop, Lassana Konaté, Ousmane Faye
BACKGROUND: Urban malaria is an increasing concern in most of the sub-Saharan Africa countries. In Dakar, the capital city of Senegal, the malaria epidemiology has been complicated by recurrent flooding since 2005. The main vector control measure for malaria prevention in Dakar is the community use of long-lasting insecticide-treated nets. However, the increase of insecticide resistance reported in this area needs to be better understood for suitable resistance management. This study reports the situation of insecticide resistance and underlying mechanisms in Anopheles arabiensis populations from Dakar and its suburbs...
March 15, 2018: Malaria Journal
Arran Hamlet, Kévin Jean, William Perea, Sergio Yactayo, Joseph Biey, Maria Van Kerkhove, Neil Ferguson, Tini Garske
BACKGROUND: Yellow fever virus (YFV) is a vector-borne flavivirus endemic to Africa and Latin America. Ninety per cent of the global burden occurs in Africa where it is primarily transmitted by Aedes spp, with Aedes aegypti the main vector for urban yellow fever (YF). Mosquito life cycle and viral replication in the mosquito are heavily dependent on climate, particularly temperature and rainfall. We aimed to assess whether seasonal variations in climatic factors are associated with the seasonality of YF reports...
March 2018: PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
Kara N Durski, Andrea M McCollum, Yoshinori Nakazawa, Brett W Petersen, Mary G Reynolds, Sylvie Briand, Mamoudou Harouna Djingarey, Victoria Olson, Inger K Damon, Asheena Khalakdina
The recent apparent increase in human monkeypox cases across a wide geographic area, the potential for further spread, and the lack of reliable surveillance have raised the level of concern for this emerging zoonosis. In November 2017, the World Health Organization (WHO), in collaboration with CDC, hosted an informal consultation on monkeypox with researchers, global health partners, ministries of health, and orthopoxvirus experts to review and discuss human monkeypox in African countries where cases have been recently detected and also identify components of surveillance and response that need improvement...
March 16, 2018: MMWR. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report
Hiroyuki Hattori, Kosei Yamauchi, Siaw Onwona-Agyeman, Thoru Mitsunaga
BACKGROUND: Grains of Paradise (GP) is the seed of Aframomum melegueta, which is widely distributed throughout West Africa and has been used as a spice and a folk remedy for a long time. The anti-obesity effect by GP intake was demonstrated in our previous report. In this present study, we tried to isolate some compounds in GP and clarify the anti-obesity mechanism. RESULTS: Ten vanilloid compounds were determined. Among ten vanilloids, 1-(4'-hydroxy-3'-methoxyphenyl)-decan-3-ol and 1-(4'-hydroxy-3'-methoxyphenyl)-3-octen-5-one were determined as novel compounds and 6-gingerol, 6-paradol, and 6-shogaol were identified as the major constituents in GP extract...
March 15, 2018: Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture
Brian Custer, Shimian Zou, Simone A Glynn, Julie Makani, Claude Tayou Tagny, Magdy El Ekiaby, Ester C Sabino, Nabajyoti Choudhury, Diana Teo, Kenrad Nelson, Emmanuel Peprah, LeShawndra Price, Michael M Engelgau
In April 2017, a workshop sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, Division of Blood Diseases and Resources, and the Center for Translation Research and Implementation Science was held to discuss blood availability and transfusion safety in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The purpose of the workshop was to identify research opportunities for implementation science (IS) to improve the availability of safe blood and blood components and transfusion practices in LMICs. IS describes the late stages of the translational research spectrum and studies optimal and sustainable strategies to deliver proven-effective interventions...
March 14, 2018: Transfusion
Kishore P Madhwani, P K Nag
Background: Use of laptops and hand-held devices increase the risk of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). More time spent on this activity adopting faulty postures, higher the risk of developing such injuries. This study addresses training on office ergonomics with emphasis on sustainable behavior change among employees to work in safe postures, as this is a top priority in the corporate environment, today. Aim: To explore training intervention methods that ensure wider coverage of awareness on office ergonomics, thereby promoting safer working and suggesting sustainable programs for behavior change and job enrichment...
May 2017: Indian Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
Dror Ben-Zeev
Although underdeveloped in mental health care, the sub-Saharan country of Ghana is advanced in telecommunications. In this context, innovative mobile health (mHealth) approaches may help to overcome limited infrastructure (lack of clinics, trained professionals, and landlines) and to address significant unmet public mental health needs. The Technology in Mental Health editor reports on travels to Ghana to assess the viability of mHealth for mental health initiatives in the region. He found that stakeholders from all sectors (patients, providers, government officials, and traditional and faith healers) were open to exploring whether mHealth approaches could promote more humane care, reduce human rights violations, and improve the clinical outcomes of those in need...
March 15, 2018: Psychiatric Services: a Journal of the American Psychiatric Association
Tessa Camenzind, Edith C Hammer, Johannes Lehmann, Dawit Solomon, Sebastian Horn, Matthias C Rillig, Stefan Hempel
The socio-economic values of fertile and carbon-rich Dark Earth soils are well described from the Amazon region. Very recently, Dark Earth soils were also identified in tropical West Africa, with comparable beneficial soil properties and plant growth-promoting effects. The impact of this management technique on soil microbial communities, however, is less well understood, especially with respect to the ecologically relevant group of arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi. Thus, we tested the hypotheses that (1) improved soil quality in African Dark Earth (AfDE) will increase soil microbial biomass and shift community composition and (2) concurrently increased nutrient availability will negatively affect AM fungal communities...
April 1, 2018: FEMS Microbiology Ecology
M J Schulze, R Henriques, K A Feldheim, R C K Bowie, S von der Heyden
Fishes belonging to the family Clinidae in South Africa display super-embryonation, a rare reproductive mode were females gestate broods at different gestational stages, but little is known regarding the mating systems of this family. Here we tested the hypothesis that multiple males would contribute not only to the offspring of each female, but that several males would contribute to each brood, by sampling Muraenoclinus dorsalis from three sampling locations along the west and south-west coast of South Africa...
March 14, 2018: Journal of Fish Biology
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