REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202108.0232.v1
Subject: Biology, Agricultural Sciences & Agronomy Keywords: Cyperus exculentus; Neglected/Underutilized Crop species; Biology; Uses; Production constraints
Online: 10 August 2021 (12:33:44 CEST)
Food security relies mainly on a few major crop such as wheat, maize, rice and yam. Many of the cultivated plant such as Cyperus exculentus are still considered invasive plants and are neglected and underutilized. In the perspective to valorization of the species, this systematic review aimed at identifying the biology, production constraints and uses of tigernut for future research directions. Extensive searches were carried out and studies were screened and extracted using established systematic review methods. A total of 175 papers met the inclusion criteria. Approximately 52% and 21.71% of the studies were undertaken in Europe and Africa respectively. Most of the papers reviewed for the study were published between [2010-2015[. The review highlighted the critical research gaps in genetic diversity using SSR makers and evolutionary biology. Further, production constraints and solution approaches for the promotion of the species were the other gaps identified in the reviewed studies. Production constraints were specifically related to the insufficient mineral fertilizers and difficult in harvesting. Tigernut is used in more fields such as food, medicinal, cosmetic, biofuel and fishing and fish breeding. Such investigations would help in decision-making and elaboration of breeding strategies, and advancing steps towards sustainable use of the species.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202101.0213.v1
Subject: Biology, Anatomy & Morphology Keywords: crop diversification; C3 xerophtyes; food security; underutilized crops; drought adaptation strategies
Online: 12 January 2021 (10:19:08 CET)
Citron watermelon (Citrullus lanatus var. citroides) is an underexploited and under-researched crop species with potential to contribute to crop diversification in sub-Saharan Africa and beyond. The species is commonly cultivated in the drier parts of Southern Africa, mainly by smallholder farmers who maintain a wide range of landraces. Understanding the molecular and morpho-physiological basis for drought adaptation of Citron watermelon in these dry environments can aid in screening local germplasm, identification of suitable traits for crop improvement and improving food system resilience among smallholder farmers by adding to crop diversification. This paper reviews literature on drought adaptation of C. lanatus spp. (C3 xerophytes), using the systematic review approach. The review discusses; (i) the potential role of citron watermelon in adding to crop diversification, (ii) alternative food uses and potential by-products that can be processed from citron watermelon and (iii) the role of Sub-Saharan farmers as key actors in conserving citron watermelon germplasm and biodiversity. Finally, the review provides a summary of significant findings and identifies critical knowledge gaps for further research.
DATA DESCRIPTOR | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0349.v1
Online: 18 August 2022 (11:12:25 CEST)
The Peruvian creole cattle (PCC) is a neglected breed, and is an essential livestock resource in the Andean region of Peru. To develop a modern breeding program and conservation strategies for the PCC, a better understanding of the genetics of this breed is needed. We sequenced the whole genome of the PCC using a paired-end 150 strategy on the Illumina HiSeq 2500 platform, obtaining 320 GB of sequencing data. The obtained genome size of the PCC was 2.77 Gb with a contig N50 of 108Mb and 92.59% complete BUSCOs. Also, we identified 40.22% of repetitive DNA of the genome assembly, of which retroelements occupy 32.39% of the total genome. A total of 19,803 protein-coding genes were annotated in the PCC genome. We downloaded proteomes and genomes of the Bovinae subfamily, and conducted a comparative analysis with our draft genome. Phylogenomic analysis showed that PCC is related to Bos indicus. Also, we identified 7,746 family genes shared among the Bovinae subfamily. This first PCC genome is expected to contribute to a better understanding of its genetics to adapt to the tough conditions of the Andean ecosystem, and evolution.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201910.0028.v1
Subject: Keywords: care; neglected childhood; charity; philanthropy; newspaper publications; monarchy; First Republic; Faial; Portugal
Online: 2 October 2019 (09:29:10 CEST)
The aim of this article is to understand the symbolic representations of the assistance strategies aimed at disabled children, expressed in two newspapers published on the island of Faial, in the Azores, in the second half of the 19th and early 20th centuries (covering the time horizon between the end of the monarchic period and the implementation of the First Republic). The technique of documentary analysis and a subsequent qualitative thematic content analysis of childcare news collected in two local newspapers was used. The discursive records produced by the press on the assistance strategies value, on the one hand, an axiological dimension and forms of charitable intervention and, on the other hand, aggregate and reconcile the discourses and techniques inherent to charitable and philanthropic models. This mutual assimilation underlies the achievement of the same objective: the moralisation and integration of invalid childhood and, above all, the protection of the existing social order. We conclude that, perhaps contrary to what would be expected, the charitable logic articulated in a concomitant way with the philanthropic logic survived even with the stabilization of the republican period (result of a revolution that deposed the regime of the constitutional monarchy and implemented the republican regime in 1910 in Portugal whose political elites mobilized an official discourse that advocated the separation between the State and Religion, assigning the State the function of social assistance for children and youth). This demonstrates a certain dissociation, as well as a relative autonomy of conceptions about child and youth care between republican political ideology and current social practices at least in this specific context.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0249.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: Neglected tropical diseases; Latin America and the Caribbean; Bibliometric analysis; HIV/AIDS; Malaria; Tuberculosis.
Online: 10 December 2020 (10:56:11 CET)
(1) Background: Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) have been overlooked on the global health agenda and in the priorities of national systems in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). In 2012, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were created to ensure healthy lives and promoting well-being for all. This roadmap set out to accelerate work to overcome the global impact of NTDs. Almost a decade has passed since NTDs were re-launched as a global priority. Investment in research and development, as well as the production of scientific literature on NTDs, is expected to have increased significantly. (2) Methods: A bibliometric analysis of the scientific production of Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) was carried out in relation to 19 endemic NTDs. These data were compared with the scientific production in malaria, tuberculosis and HIV / AIDS. The database available from Thomson Reuters Web of Science (WoS) was used. In addition, the average annual growth percentage was calculated for each disease. (3) Results: In the last decade, the NTDs with the highest number of publications in the world were dengue and leishmaniasis. The United States was the most prolific country in the world in 15 out of 19 NTDs analyzed. In the LAC region, Brazil was the largest contributor for 16 of the 19 NTDs analyzed. Arboviral diseases showed the highest average annual growth. The number of publications for malaria, tuberculosis and HIV /AIDS was considerably higher than for NTDs. The contribution of most LAC countries, especially those considered as LMICs, is inadequate and does not reflect the relevance of NTDs for the public health of the population. (4) Conclusion: This is the first bibliometric analysis to assess the trend of scientific documents on endemic NTDs in LAC. Our results could be used by decision makers both to strengthen investment policies in research and development in NTDs.
CONCEPT PAPER | doi:10.20944/preprints201804.0358.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pharmacology & Toxicology Keywords: snakebite; antidote; inhibitor; small molecule therapeutics; SMT; secretory phospholipase; sPLA2; Neglected Tropical Disease; NTD
Online: 27 April 2018 (09:00:55 CEST)
The World Health Organization (WHO) recently added snakebite envenoming to the priority list of Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD). It is thought that ~75% of mortality following snakebite occurs outside the hospital setting, making the temporal gap between a bite and antivenom administration a major therapeutic challenge. Small molecule therapeutics (SMTs) have been proposed as potential pre-referral treatments for snakebite to help address this gap. Herein, we discuss the characteristics, potential uses and development of SMTs as potential treatments for snakebite envenomation. We focus on SMTs that are secretory phospholipase A2 (sPLA2) inhibitors and metalloprotease (MP) inhibitors.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202202.0301.v1
Subject: Biology, Ecology Keywords: deep learning; U-Net; semantic segmentation; schistosomiasis; aquatic vegetation; Neglected Tropical Diseases; Senegal River Basin
Online: 24 February 2022 (07:38:13 CET)
Schistosomiasis is a debilitating parasitic disease of poverty that affects more than 200 million people worldwide, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa, and is clearly associated with the construction of dams and water resource management infrastructure in tropical and subtropical areas. Changes to hydrology and salinity linked to water infrastructure development may create conditions favorable to the aquatic vegetation that is suitable habitat for the intermediate snail hosts of schistosome parasites. With thousands of small and large water reservoirs, irrigation canals, and dams developed or under construction in Africa, it is crucial to accurately assess the spatial distribution of high-risk environments that are habitat for freshwater snail intermediate hosts of schistosomiasis in rapidly changing ecosystems. Yet, standard techniques for monitoring snails are labor-intensive, time-consuming, and provide information limited to the small areas that can be manually sampled. Consequently, in low-income countries where schistosomiasis control is most needed, there are formidable challenges to identify potential transmission hotspots for targeted medical and environmental interventions. In this study, we developed a new framework to map the spatial distribution of suitable snail habitat across large spatial scales in the Senegal River Basin by integrating satellite data, high-definition, low-cost drone imagery, and an artificial intelligence (AI)-powered computer vision technique called semantic segmentation. A deep learning model (U-Net) was built to automatically analyze high-resolution satellite imagery to produce segmentation maps of aquatic vegetation, with a fast and robust generalized prediction that proved more accurate than a more commonly used random forest approach. Accurate and up-to-date knowledge of areas at highest risk for disease transmission can increase the effectiveness of control interventions by targeting habitat of disease-carrying snails. With the deployment of this new framework, local governments or health actors might better target environmental interventions to where and when they are most needed in an integrated effort to reach the goal of schistosomiasis elimination.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202002.0325.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Microbiology Keywords: Leishmaniases; Chagas disease; Human African Trypanosomiasis; Animal trypanosomiasis; Diagnosis; non-invasive; Meta-analysis; Vector Born diseases; Neglected tropical disease; Diagnosis
Online: 23 February 2020 (13:44:05 CET)
Unicellular eukaryotes of the Trypanosomatidae family include human and animal pathogens that belong to the Trypanosoma and Leishmania genera. Diagnosis of the diseases they caused requires the sampling of body fluids (blood, lymph, peritoneal fluid, cerebrospinal fluid, etc.) or organ biopsies (bone marrow, spleen, etc.), which are mostly obtained through invasive methods. Body fluids or appendages can be alternatives to these invasive biopsies but appropriateness remains poorly studied. To further address this question, we perform a systematic review on clues evidencing the presence of parasites, genetic material, antibodies, and antigens in body secretions, appendages, or the organs or proximal tissues that produce these materials. Paper selection was based on searches in PubMed, Web of Science, WorldWideScience, SciELO, Embase, Google. The information of each selected article (n=333) was classified into different sections and data were extracted from 77 papers. The presence of Trypanosomatidae parasites has been tracked in most of organs or proximal tissues that produce body secretions or appendages, in naturally or experimentally infected hosts. The meta-analysis highlights the paucity of studies on Human African Trypanosomiasis and a the absence on animal Trypanosomiasis. Among the collected data high heterogeneity in terms of the I2 statistic (100%) is recorded. A high positivity is recorded for antibody and genetic material detection in urine of patients and dogs suffering leishmaniasis, and of antigen for leishmaniasis and Chagas disease. Data on conjunctival swab can be analyzed with molecular methods solely for dogs suffering canine visceral leishmaniasis. Saliva and hair/bristle showed a pretty good positivity that support their potential to be used for leishmaniasis diagnosis. In conclusion, our study pinpoints significant gaps that need to be filled in order to properly address the interest of body secretion and hair or bristle for the diagnosis of infections caused by Leishmania and by other Trypanosomatidae parasites.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201811.0111.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Other Keywords: helminthiasis dynamics in Ghana, preventive chemotherapy, school-aged children, high-risk adults, neglected tropical diseases, age-structure, infection risk, cost analysis
Online: 5 November 2018 (11:43:33 CET)
Soil-transmitted helminthiasis (STH), a neglected tropical disease (NTD) remains a major health problem all over the world including Ghana, which has STH prevalence of 25.4%. To control the disease, the government of Ghana currently concentrates on implementing mass drug administration (MDA) efforts focusing only among school-aged children. However, various studies have suggested that focusing on only a specific group for MDA may not be cost-effective. Moreover, some adults such as teachers and school-workers spend large fraction of their time with children, who shed more parasite in environment due to unhygienic behavior, and thus have a higher risk of getting infected as compared to other adults. In this study we use a mathematical model to evaluate age-structured and risk-based policies for implementing MDA while capturing transmission dynamics of STH in Ghana. A cost model was developed that included various costs related to MDA to study cost-effectiveness of current policies of MDA in Ghana against novel policies to control STH in Ghana. We carry out analysis for five different scenarios— I: no MDA (baseline), II: current MDA policy (focusing children) in Ghana, III: MDA for different age groups (adults and children groups) for unlimited budget, IV: MDA for different age groups with limitations of number of individuals treated, and, V: MDA for different groups based on their risk of getting infected (adults school workers (high-risk group), adults non-school workers and children groups). Our results suggest that it might be more cost-effective to allocate treatment through MDA to at least some proportion of adults along with children. In case of unlimited budget, the best strategy in Scenario IV would be to treat approximately 22% of adults and approximately 45% of children. The most cost-effective among the 5 scenarios is suggested through scenario V, where high-risk adults group and children are provided MDA at higher level than low-risk adults. In conclusion, age-structured and risk-based allocation of treatment and resources is crucial to reducing STH load in developing countries.