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The Herbarium of the National School of the Biological Science (ENCB) of the Mexican National Polytechnics Institute is the second collection in size and importance among the herbaria of Mexico. According to its catalogue published in 1996 more than 1,000 type specimens of vascular plants are registered in it. In the year 2003 several undetermined collections were revised by the first author belonging to the Rubiaceae family. The result of this work was the description of 7 new species: Arachnothryx latiloba, A. michoacana, A. monticola, Bouvardia lottae, Guettarda guerrerensis, Psychotria diegoae, Rogiera variiflora and Psychotria rzedowskiana as a new name for P. izabalensis subsp. oaxacana.

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Bird migration constitutes a redistribution of bird diversity that radically changes the composition of the bird community worldwide. It comprises about 19% of the world’s bird species. Several studies have indicated that changes in avian community structure and differences in bird richness in different seasons are mainly driven by seasonality and by winter harshness, and that the associated costs increase with the distance involved. Western Mexico is an important wintering area for most passerines that breed in western North America, and that travel long on the long-distance Central and Pacific migration routes. In this study, we examined bird species richness and diversity during the breeding and wintering seasons in the Central Sierra Madre Occidental (SMO), North Durango (Mexico) in relation to i) tree species diversity, ii) tree dimension, iii) forest stand density and site quality, iv) density and dimension of snag trees, and v) various climate variables. The overall aim of the study was to determine how the observed associations between bird species diversity and variables i-v are affected by the season considered (breeding or wintering). The diversity of bird species in the breeding season was not affected by any of the climate and forest stand variables considered. In contrast, bird species diversity in the wintering season was significantly and weakly to moderately associated with climate variables, tree species diversity and stand density, although not with density or dimension of snag trees. Bird species diversity was higher at lower elevations and in drier and warmer locations of the SMO. The association detected is therefore mainly a local migratory phenomenon.

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The use of melatonin as antioxidant has been extensively established. But what would the antioxidant function be if one were to go one step back in the anabolism of that amine, and orally administer its precursor — the amino acid tryptophan? Diurnal animals ( Streptopelia roseogrisea ) were administered orally capsules containing 125 or 300 mg L-tryptophan/kg b.w. for 7 days at the end of the light period (20 h ). A control group received capsules with methylcellulose. The antioxidant function was studied through the reduction of nitroblue tetrazolium (NBT) by superoxide anion, and through the levels of malonaldehyde (MDA) produced in the lipoperoxidation that occurs from the respiratory burst in response to the presence of a foreign particle in phagocytic cells (heterophils), which were extracted at 2 h — at the acrophase of melatonin in the blood stream. In the heterophils extracted from the group that received 125 mg kg −1 b.w. tryptophan, there was less oxidative stress as determined by the NBT reduction than in those from the 300 mg kg −1 b.w. group. In the study of the lipoperoxidation of the membranes as determined by the levels of MDA, however, no significant variations were observed between the different groups. The lower concentration (125 mg L-tryptophan/kg b.w.), administered orally, succeeded in diminishing the free radicals produced in the heterophils for the destruction of the ingested foreign agent, but not fully or maximally. The possible solution to this prooxidant/antioxidant imbalance would be to administer a lower concentration of tryptophan to attain the perfect balance for application in nutritional treatments.

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Acta Alimentaria
Authors: O.N. Campas-Baypoli, D.I. Sánchez-Machado, C. Bueno-Solano, A.A. Escárcega-Galaz, and J. López-Cervantes

Moringa oleifera tree has been recognized internationally for its nutritional, therapeutic and medicinal properties. Dry seeds are rich sources of oil with a high potential of commercial exploitation. The present study reports the physicochemical characterization, polyphenol content, DPPH radical scavenging capacity and fatty acid profile of moringa seed oil, and the chemical composition of the seed cultivated in Sonora, Mexico. Moisture, ash, protein and lipid contents in the seed were found to be 4.7, 5.8, 26 and 39%, respectively. The oil showed a refractive index of 1.4642. The saponification number was 183 mg KOH/g oil, iodine value: 75 g I/100 g of oil, acid value: 0.49 (% oleic acid). The polyphenol content was 0.137 mg of gallic acid equivalent/g and DPPH radical scavenging capacity was 87.39%. The moringa seed oil was rich (68%) in the major fatty acid, oleic acid (C18:1n9). Moringa oil extracted by sonication showed a fatty acid profile and physicochemical properties comparable to the oil from seeds grown in different regions of the world. The optimization of the oil extraction process on a large scale shows high potential, as the oil could be marketed as edible vegetable oil, for frying purposes, or as a functional ingredient.

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European Journal of Microbiology and Immunology
Authors: Cosme Alvarado-Esquivel, Ada A. Sandoval-Carrillo, Fernando Vazquez-Alaniz, José M. Salas-Pacheco, Jesús Hernández-Tinoco, Luis Francisco Sánchez-Anguiano, and Elizabeth Irasema Antuna-Salcido

It is not clear whether infection with cytomegalovirus (CMV) is associated with hypertensive disorders in pregnant women. Through a case-control study design, 146 women suffering from hypertensive disorders in pregnancy (cases) and 146 age-matched normotensive pregnant women (controls) were examined for the presence of anti-CMV IgG and IgM antibodies with enzyme-linked immunoassays. IgM seropositive samples were further assayed by enzyme-linked fluorescent assay (ELFA).

Anti-CMV IgG antibodies were found in 138 (94.5%) controls and in 136 (93.2%) cases (odds ratio [OR] = 0.78; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.30–2.05; P = 0.62). High (>18 IU/ml) levels of anti-CMV IgG antibodies were found in 37.7% of the 138 seropositive controls and in 34.6% of the 136 seropositive cases (OR = 0.87; 95% CI: 0.53–1.43; P = 0.59). Anti-CMV IgM antibodies were found in 1 (0.7%) of the controls but in none of the cases using ELFA (P = 1.0). Seropositivity to CMV was not associated with a previous preeclampsia and was similar among cases regardless their mean systolic and diastolic blood pressures, and mean arterial blood pressure.

No serological evidence of an association between CMV infection and hypertensive disorders of pregnancy was found. Further research to elucidate the role of CMV in hypertensive disorders in pregnancy should be conducted.

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European Journal of Microbiology and Immunology
Authors: C. Alvarado-Esquivel, S. J. Pacheco-Vega, M. Salcedo-Jaquez, L. F. Sánchez-Anguiano, J. Hernández-Tinoco, E. Rábago-Sánchez, M. M. Centeno-Tinoco, I. D. Flores-Garcia, A. Ramos-Nevarez, S. M. Cerrillo-Soto, C. A. Guido-Arreola, I. Beristain-García, O. Liesenfeld, L. O. Berumen-Segovia, L. Saenz-Soto, and A. Sifuentes-Álvarez

Through a cross-sectional study design, 150 women attending public health centers with a history of stillbirths were examined for anti-Toxoplasma gondii IgG and IgM antibodies in Durango City, Mexico. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were used to assess the association of T. gondii seropositivity with the characteristics of the women with stillbirth history.

Of the 150 women (mean age: 32.09 ± 9.16 years) studied, 14 (9.3%) had anti-T. gondii IgG antibodies and six (42.9%) of them were also positive for anti-T. gondii IgM antibodies. Multivariate analysis showed that T. gondii seropositivity was associated with high frequency (4–7 days a week) of eating meat (OR = 5.52; 95% CI: 1.48–20.59; P = 0.01), history of lymphadenopathy (OR = 4.52; 95% CI: 1.14–17.82; P = 0.03), and history of surgery (OR = 8.68; 95% CI: 1.04–72.15; P = 0.04).

This is the first study on the seroepidemiology of T. gondii infection in women with a history of stillbirths in Mexico. The association of T. gondii exposure with a history of surgery warrants for further research. Risk factors for T. gondii infection found in the present survey may help to design optimal educational programs to avoid T. gondii infection.

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European Journal of Microbiology and Immunology
Authors: Dr. Cosme Alvarado-Esquivel, J. Hernández-Tinoco, L. F. Sánchez-Anguiano, A. Ramos-Nevárez, S. M. Cerrillo-Soto, L. Sáenz-Soto, and O. Liesenfeld



The seroprevalence of infection with the parasite Toxoplasma gondii and the association with risk factors has not been determined in inmates. Through a case-control study, 166 inmates from a state correctional facility in Durango City, Mexico and 166 age- and gender-matched non-incarcerated subjects were examined for the presence of anti-T. gondii IgG and IgM antibodies using enzyme-linked immunoassays.


Seroprevalence of anti-T. gondii IgG antibodies was higher in inmates (35, 21.1%) than in controls (14, 8.4%) (OR = 2.90; 95% CI: 1.43–5.94; P = 0.001). Anti-T. gondii IgM antibodies were detected in two (1.2%) inmates and in seven (4.2%) controls (P = 0.17). Multivariate analysis of socio-demographic, incarceration, and behavioral characteristics of inmates revealed that T. gondii seropositivity was associated with being born out of Durango State (OR = 3.91; 95% CI: 1.29–11.79; P = 0.01). In addition, T. gondii seroprevalence was higher (P = 0.03) in inmates that had suffered from injuries (17/56: 30.4%) than those without such history (18/110: 16.4%).


The seroprevalence of T. gondii infection in inmates in Durango City is higher than the seroprevalences found in the general population in the same city, indicating that inmates may represent a new risk group for T. gondii infection. Further research on T. gondii infection in inmates is needed.

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European Journal of Microbiology and Immunology
Authors: Dora Romero-Salas, Cosme Alvarado-Esquivel, Gladys Domínguez-Aguilar, Anabel Cruz-Romero, Nelly Ibarra-Priego, Carolina Barrientos-Salcedo, Mariel Aguilar-Domínguez, Rodolfo Canseco-Sedano, Luz Teresa Espín-Iturbe, Luis Francisco Sánchez-Anguiano, Jesús Hernández-Tinoco, and Adalberto A. Pérez de León

We aimed to determine the seroprevalence of infection with Neospora caninum, Leptospira, and bovine herpesvirus type 1 and risk factors associated with these infections in water buffaloes in Veracruz State, Mexico. Through a cross-sectional study, 144 water buffaloes (Bubalus bubalis) raised in 5 ranches of Veracruz were examined for anti-N. caninum and anti-bovine herpesvirus type 1 antibodies by enzyme immunoassays, and anti-Leptospira interrogans antibodies by microscopic agglutination test.

Of the 144 buffaloes studied, 35 (24.3%) were positive for N. caninum, 50 (34.7%) for Leptospira, and 83 (57.6%) for bovine herpes virus. The frequencies of leptospiral serovars in buffaloes were as follows: 18.7% for Muenchen (n = 27), 10.4% for Hardjo LT (n = 15), 9.0% for Pyrogenes (n = 13), and 4.8% for Icterohaemorrhagiae (n = 7). Seropositive buffaloes were found in all 5 ranches studied. Logistic regression showed that cohabitation of buffaloes with cows was associated with infection with Leptospira (odds ratio [OR], 2.2; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.04–4.5; P = 0.03) and bovine herpesvirus (OR, 12.0; 95% CI, 4.0–36.2; P >; 0.01).

This is the first study that provides serological evidence of N. caninum, Leptospira, and bovine herpesvirus type 1 infections in water buffaloes in Mexico. Our findings could be used to enhance preventive measures against these infections.

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