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  • Author or Editor: T. Kovács x
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Chronic kidney diseases (CKDs) are the most common forms of kidney disease all around the world. The incidence of CKD is rising, which is mainly driven by population aging as well as by a global rise in hypertension, metabolic syndrome, and metabolic risk factors, particularly obesity and type-2 diabetes. The high mortality, morbidity of CKD, and the health care costs of the renal replacement therapy have led investigators to seek recent and potentially modifiable risk factors such as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). NAFLD is the hepatic manifestation of metabolic syndrome and the most common cause of chronic liver disease. It incorporates a spectrum of liver diseases ranging from simple steatosis to steatohepatitis, liver cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma. On the basis of recent publications, the prevalence of CKD is significantly increased among patients with NAFLD, and the prevalence of NAFLD is also higher in CKD patients than in patients without NAFLD. These findings suggest that patients with NAFLD should be screened for CKD and patients with CKD and metabolic syndrome should be screened for NAFLD. Patients with NAFLD and CKD should be treated and followed up by a multidisciplinary team that involves specialists in hepatology, nephrology, diabetes, and cardiology.

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The influence of atrophic rhinitis (AR) and pneumonia on growth performance was assessed in a conventional farrow-to-finish pig farm affected by both diseases. All tested pigs (n = 138) were individually weighed at birth, at weaning, at moving to the growing/finishing unit, and at slaughtering. The extent (grade) of turbinate atrophy and lung consolidation attributable to pneumonia was determined in each pig at slaughter. A negative correlation was found between birth weight and the prevalence of nasal lesions at slaughter, suggesting that pigs born with smaller weight may be more susceptible to AR. The growth performance of the pigs also showed a negative correlation with the degree of turbinate atrophy. In the nursery period, the average daily gain (ADG) of pigs with moderate/severe turbinate atrophy was 13.3% lower than that of animals with healthy snouts. In the finishing period, pigs with mild AR lesions had an ADG reduction of 6.2%, while pigs with severe AR lesions had a significant, 9.4% reduction in ADG as compared to the AR-free pigs. The extent of weight gain reduction over the whole life cycle was very similar (approximately 6%) in the pigs having either AR or pneumonia alone. In those pigs where both respiratory diseases were present, their effects seemed to be added up (11.5%); however, nasal lesion scores and percentage of lung consolidation did not show statistically apparent interactive effects on growth performance.

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The aim of the present study is a better understanding of the distribution and formation of salt efflorescences by mineralogical examination. Dominant sodium sulphate and sodium chloride surface efflorescences were selected for investigation. 24 samples were collected between 1999 and 2005 from 16 sites. The soil types were solonchak and meadow solonetz.Basic soil and groundwater analyses were performed according to the standard methods. Minerals were determined by X-ray diffractometry and SEM combined with microanalysis. The evaporation experiments were carried out in a Sanyo Versatile 350 HT environmental test chamber.It was concluded that common sulphate salts form rare and unique mineral associations on salt affected soils in Hungary.Comparing the groundwater compositions and the mineral associations of surface efflorescences or that of precipitated evaporites of groundwaters, the conclusion can be drawn that groundwater composition is reflected much better by the mineral association of experimentally precipitated evaporates of the groundwater than by the mineral associations of surface efflorescences. These differences suggest that the soil matrix may have an effect on the crystallization of minerals (e.g. gypsum, thenardite) in the efflorescences. The differences also suggest that in the surface efflorescences the precipitation process does not come to the end in all cases (minerals with high solubility are missing).Concerning the data on groundwater level depths in case of different (sodium carbonate versus sodium sulphate and sodium chloride) efflorescences, there is a tendency of declining groundwater table in the sequence of these soils. This difference can be explained by the difference (increase) in the solubility of various salt minerals.It was recognized that the change in the major component of surface efflorescenes in time (i.e. the sodium carbonate and sodium carbonate chloride versus sodium sulphate efflorescences before and after 1998) can be explained by the decline of the groundwater level and by the decreasing hydromorphic influence in the lowland area during the 19th and 20th century.Finally it can be stated that the presented research — which mainly focused on mineralogical aspects — has contributed to the earlier knowledge on surface salt efflorescences, which was based only on their chemical composition.

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Abstract  

It is suggested to spend some time in a cave for curing respiratory diseases. Some ascribe the healing effect partly to radon. In Hungary in the Hospital Cave of Tapolca the mean radon concentration shows 17 times difference in the winter and in the summer period. The change of the forced exhaled volume in 1 s (FEV1) values was examined measured by 1824 patients in this cave. By 70% of the patients the FEV1 value improved, by 30% it became worse but these were independent from the radon concentration of the cave. Therefore, radon concentration has no positive effect during the treatments performed in Tapolca.

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Authors: T. Magyar, F. Kovács, T. Donkó, H. Bíró, R. Romvári, Melinda Kovács and I. Repa

Computed tomography (CT), a non-invasive visualisation technique was applied for imaging the bony structures of the nasal cavity of pigs, and compared to the traditional scoring system of turbinate atrophy in swine. Twenty-three 27-week-old pigs representing various stages of turbinate atrophy were used. Nasal structures were visually scored on CT scans and transversal cuts of the noses at the level of the first upper premolar teeth using the same scoring system in both cases. A tissue/air area ratio was also determined based on density differences. A highly significant correlation was found between visual scoring of CT images and transversal cuts of pig noses (r = 0.98, p < 0.0001) as well as between visual scoring of CT images and tissue/air area ratio determination (r = -0.82, p < 0.0001).

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Authors: T. Kovács, Z. Bihari, A. Hargitai, I. Mécs and K. L. Kovács

The changes of cell surface hydrophilicity in Bacillus subtilis were analyzed in response to oxygen-limitation, heat shock, salt stress, pH-shock, phosphate- and carbon-limitation.  Although cell surface hydrophilicity varied during growth phases, an increase of surface hydrophilicity was observed under several of these stress conditions.  An observed drop in intracellular GTP and/or ATP may be an element of the signal transduction pathway leading to an increase in surface hydrophilicity in response to environmental stresses.  Attachment of cells to soil particles under salt stress conditions is strongly influenced by the degS/degU two-component system, which thereby provides a mechanism for the bacteria to escape from the hostile environment.

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Authors: E. Lellei-Kovács, E. Kovács-Láng, T. Kalapos, Z. Botta-Dukát, S. Barabás and C. Beier

The influence of simulated climate change on soil respiration was studied in a field experiment on 4 m × 5 m plots in the semiarid temperate Pannonian sand forest-steppe. This ecosystem type has low productivity and soil organic matter content, and covers large areas, yet data on soil carbon fluxes are still limited. Soil respiration rate — measured monthly between April and November from 2003 to 2006 — remained very low (0.09 — 1.53 μmol CO 2 m −2 s −1 ) in accordance with the moderate biological activity and low humus content of the nutrient poor, coarse sandy soil. Specific soil respiration rate (calculated for unit soil organic matter content), however, was relatively high (0.36–7.92 μmol CO 2 g −1 C org h −1 ) suggesting substrate limitation for soil biological activity. During the day, soil respiration rate was significantly lower at dawn than at midday, while seasonally clear temperature limitation in winter and water limitation in summer were detected. Between years, annual precipitation appeared to be important in determining soil carbon efflux intensity. Nocturnal warming increased soil temperature in 1 cm depth at dawn by 1.6°C on the average, and decreased topsoil (0–11 cm) moisture content by 0.45 vol%. Drought treatment decreased soil moisture content by an average of 0.81 vol%. Soil respiration rate tended to decrease by 7–15% and 13–15% in response to heat and drought treatment, respectively, although the changes were not statistically significant. Nocturnal warming usually prevented dew formation, and that probably also influenced soil respiration. Based on these results, we expect a reduction in the volume and rate of organic matter turnover in this ecosystem in response to the anticipated climate change in the region.

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Large numbers of wheat genotypes were grown under field conditions and screened for biotic stress tolerance and certain protective compounds. It was found that both the salicylic acid and polyamine contents of the investigated genotypes varied over a wide range, while the antioxidant enzyme activities showed a similar pattern in the different genotypes. In order to investigate stress-induced changes in salicylic acid and polyamine contents, samples were collected from plants artificially inoculated with leaf rust (Puccinia triticina), on which natural powdery mildew [Blumeria graminis (DC.) Speer f. sp. tritici Em. Marchal] infection also appeared. Biotic stress mostly resulted in elevated levels of total salicylic acid and polyamines in all the genotypes. The activities of various antioxidant enzymes showed similar changes after infection regardless of the genotype. The investigation was aimed at detecting a relationship between the level of stress tolerance and the contents of protective compounds, in particular salicylic acid and polyamines.

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