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1.  Blood Oxygen Depletion Is Independent of Dive Function in a Deep Diving Vertebrate, the Northern Elephant Seal 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(12):e83248.
Although energetics is fundamental to animal ecology, traditional methods of determining metabolic rate are neither direct nor instantaneous. Recently, continuous blood oxygen (O2) measurements were used to assess energy expenditure in diving elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris), demonstrating that an exceptional hypoxemic tolerance and exquisite management of blood O2 stores underlie the extraordinary diving capability of this consummate diver. As the detailed relationship of energy expenditure and dive behavior remains unknown, we integrated behavior, ecology, and physiology to characterize the costs of different types of dives of elephant seals. Elephant seal dive profiles were analyzed and O2 utilization was classified according to dive type (overall function of dive: transit, foraging, food processing/rest). This is the first account linking behavior at this level with in vivo blood O2 measurements in an animal freely diving at sea, allowing us to assess patterns of O2 utilization and energy expenditure between various behaviors and activities in an animal in the wild. In routine dives of elephant seals, the blood O2 store was significantly depleted to a similar range irrespective of dive function, suggesting that all dive types have equal costs in terms of blood O2 depletion. Here, we present the first physiological evidence that all dive types have similarly high blood O2 demands, supporting an energy balance strategy achieved by devoting one major task to a given dive, thereby separating dive functions into distinct dive types. This strategy may optimize O2 store utilization and recovery, consequently maximizing time underwater and allowing these animals to take full advantage of their underwater resources. This approach may be important to optimizing energy expenditure throughout a dive bout or at-sea foraging trip and is well suited to the lifestyle of an elephant seal, which spends > 90% of its time at sea submerged making diving its most “natural” state.
PMCID: PMC3871621  PMID: 24376671
2.  Individual Foraging Strategies Reveal Niche Overlap between Endangered Galapagos Pinnipeds 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(8):e70748.
Most competition studies between species are conducted from a population-level approach. Few studies have examined inter-specific competition in conjunction with intra-specific competition, with an individual-based approach. To our knowledge, none has been conducted on marine top predators. Sympatric Galapagos fur seals (Arctocephalus galapagoensis) and sea lions (Zalophus wollebaeki) share similar geographic habitats and potentially compete. We studied their foraging niche overlap at Cabo Douglas, Fernandina Island from simultaneously collected dive and movement data to examine spatial and temporal inter- and intra-specific competition. Sea lions exhibited 3 foraging strategies (shallow, intermediate and deep) indicating intra-specific competition. Fur seals exhibited one foraging strategy, diving predominantly at night, between 0–80 m depth and mostly at 19–22 h. Most sea lion dives also occurred at night (63%), between 0–40 m, within fur seals' diving depth range. 34% of sea lions night dives occurred at 19–22 h, when fur seals dived the most, but most of them occurred at dawn and dusk, when fur seals exhibited the least amount of dives. Fur seals and sea lions foraging behavior overlapped at 19 and 21 h between 0–30 m depths. Sea lions from the deep diving strategy exhibited the greatest foraging overlap with fur seals, in time (19 h), depth during overlapping time (21–24 m), and foraging range (37.7%). Fur seals foraging range was larger. Cabo Douglas northwest coastal area, region of highest diving density, is a foraging “hot spot” for both species. Fur seals and sea lions foraging niche overlap occurred, but segregation also occurred; fur seals primarily dived at night, while sea lions exhibited night and day diving. Both species exploited depths and areas exclusive to their species. Niche breadth generally increases with environmental uncertainty and decreased productivity. Potential competition between these species could be greater during warmer periods when prey availability is reduced.
PMCID: PMC3744541  PMID: 23967096
3.  Pandemic H1N1 Influenza Isolated from Free-Ranging Northern Elephant Seals in 2010 off the Central California Coast 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(5):e62259.
Interspecies transmission of influenza A is an important factor in the evolution and ecology of influenza viruses. Marine mammals are in contact with a number of influenza reservoirs, including aquatic birds and humans, and this may facilitate transmission among avian and mammalian hosts. Virus isolation, whole genome sequencing, and hemagluttination inhibition assay confirmed that exposure to pandemic H1N1 influenza virus occurred among free-ranging Northern Elephant Seals (Mirounga angustirostris) in 2010. Nasal swabs were collected from 42 adult female seals in April 2010, just after the animals had returned to the central California coast from their short post-breeding migration in the northeast Pacific. Swabs from two seals tested positive by RT-PCR for the matrix gene, and virus was isolated from each by inoculation into embryonic chicken eggs. Whole genome sequencing revealed greater than 99% homology with A/California/04/2009 (H1N1) that emerged in humans from swine in 2009. Analysis of more than 300 serum samples showed that samples collected early in 2010 (n = 100) were negative and by April animals began to test positive for antibodies against the pH1N1 virus (HI titer of ≥1∶40), supporting the molecular findings. In vitro characterizations studies revealed that viral replication was indistinguishable from that of reference strains of pH1N1 in canine kidney cells, but replication was inefficient in human epithelial respiratory cells, indicating these isolates may be elephant seal adapted viruses. Thus findings confirmed that exposure to pandemic H1N1 that was circulating in people in 2009 occurred among free-ranging Northern Elephant Seals in 2010 off the central California coast. This is the first report of pH1N1 (A/Elephant seal/California/1/2010) in any marine mammal and provides evidence for cross species transmission of influenza viruses in free-ranging wildlife and movement of influenza viruses between humans and wildlife.
PMCID: PMC3655164  PMID: 23690933
4.  Read-Right: a “web app” that improves reading speeds in patients with hemianopia 
Journal of Neurology  2012;259(12):2611-2615.
Effective behavioral therapies exist for patients with brain injury. The main issue is one of access. Can the internet be used as a resource so that suitable patients can build up enough practice to improve? We tested this hypothesis using a web-based application for patients with a right-sided hemianopia causing slow text reading. We studied 33 patients aged 26–81 years who fitted the entry criteria and accessed the therapy website between May 2010 and December 2011, in a longitudinal cohort study. The therapy consisted of reading animated, laterally scrolling text whose content and form was selected by the patients. Reading speeds on static text (main outcome) were assessed after every 5-h period of practice had been accrued. Statistical analysis was carried out using a repeated measures ANOVA. Read-Right therapy produced significant improvements in text reading speeds at all time points with a clear dose effect: 10 % at 5 h, 20 % at 10 h, 39 % at 15 h and 46 % at 20 h. Sub-analyses demonstrated that this was unlikely to be due to either multiple exposure to the testing materials (familiarity) or to the simple passage of time. This is the first example of a clinically proven therapy being delivered effectively to stroke patients over the internet. As therapists’ time is more limited than patients’ capacity to improve, carefully designed, web-based resources like Read-Right represent a realistic way of delivering a sufficient therapy dose to patients so they can obtain clinically meaningful improvements.
PMCID: PMC3506196  PMID: 22688568
Hemianopia; Alexia; Stroke; Internet; Rehabilitation
5.  Foraging Behavior and Success of a Mesopelagic Predator in the Northeast Pacific Ocean: Insights from a Data-Rich Species, the Northern Elephant Seal 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(5):e36728.
The mesopelagic zone of the northeast Pacific Ocean is an important foraging habitat for many predators, yet few studies have addressed the factors driving basin-scale predator distributions or inter-annual variability in foraging and breeding success. Understanding these processes is critical to reveal how conditions at sea cascade to population-level effects. To begin addressing these challenging questions, we collected diving, tracking, foraging success, and natality data for 297 adult female northern elephant seal migrations from 2004 to 2010. During the longer post-molting migration, individual energy gain rates were significant predictors of pregnancy. At sea, seals focused their foraging effort along a narrow band corresponding to the boundary between the sub-arctic and sub-tropical gyres. In contrast to shallow-diving predators, elephant seals target the gyre-gyre boundary throughout the year rather than follow the southward winter migration of surface features, such as the Transition Zone Chlorophyll Front. We also assessed the impact of added transit costs by studying seals at a colony near the southern extent of the species’ range, 1,150 km to the south. A much larger proportion of seals foraged locally, implying plasticity in foraging strategies and possibly prey type. While these findings are derived from a single species, the results may provide insight to the foraging patterns of many other meso-pelagic predators in the northeast Pacific Ocean.
PMCID: PMC3352920  PMID: 22615801
6.  Effects of Tipranavir, Darunavir, and Ritonavir on Platelet Function, Coagulation, and Fibrinolysis in Healthy Volunteers 
Current HIV Research  2011;9(4):237-246.
The use of HIV protease inhibitors (PIs) as part of antiretroviral therapy in the treatment of HIV-1 infection may be associated with an increased risk of bleeding. This prospective, randomized, open-label trial in healthy volunteers compared the effects of tipranavir/ritonavir (TPV/r), darunavir/ritonavir (DRV/r), and ritonavir (RTV) alone on platelet aggregation after a single dose and at steady-state concentrations. Subjects were selected on the basis of normal platelet aggregation and arachidonic acid (AA)-induced platelet aggregation inhibition after administration of a single 325-mg dose of aspirin. All 3 PI therapies were administered twice daily for 10 days.
In some but not all subjects, TPV/r inhibited AA-induced platelet aggregation and prolonged PFA-100® closure time with collagen-epinephrine cartridge, which was of lesser magnitude and consistency compared with aspirin, but greater when compared to DRV/r and RTV. At least 2 subjects in each treatment arm showed complete inhibition of AA-induced platelet aggregation on treatment, and the magnitude of change in all platelet-function tests did not correlate with PI plasma concentrations. Effects of TPV/r on platelet aggregation were reversed 24 hours after the last TPV/r dose. None of the PI treatments tested were associated with increases in bleeding time, decreases in plasma coagulation factors, or increase in fibrinolysis. There was large inter-patient variability in antiplatelet effect for all PI treatments, ranging from no effect to complete inhibition of AA-induced platelet aggregation.
PMCID: PMC3343416  PMID: 21671884
Aggregation; aspirin; bleeding time; coagulation; fibrinolysis; platelet; protease inhibitor.
7.  Accuracy of ARGOS Locations of Pinnipeds at-Sea Estimated Using Fastloc GPS 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(1):e8677.
ARGOS satellite telemetry is one of the most widely used methods to track the movements of free-ranging marine and terrestrial animals and is fundamental to studies of foraging ecology, migratory behavior and habitat-use. ARGOS location estimates do not include complete error estimations, and for many marine organisms, the most commonly acquired locations (Location Class 0, A, B, or Z) are provided with no declared error estimate.
Methodology/Principal Findings
We compared the accuracy of ARGOS locations to those obtained using Fastloc GPS from the same electronic tags on five species of pinnipeds: 9 California sea lions (Zalophus californianus), 4 Galapagos sea lions (Zalophus wollebaeki), 6 Cape fur seals (Arctocephalus pusillus pusillus), 3 Australian fur seals (A. p. doriferus) and 5 northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris). These species encompass a range of marine habitats (highly pelagic vs coastal), diving behaviors (mean dive durations 2–21 min) and range of latitudes (equator to temperate). A total of 7,318 ARGOS positions and 27,046 GPS positions were collected. Of these, 1,105 ARGOS positions were obtained within five minutes of a GPS position and were used for comparison. The 68th percentile ARGOS location errors as measured in this study were LC-3 0.49 km, LC-2 1.01 km, LC-1 1.20 km, LC-0 4.18 km, LC-A 6.19 km, LC-B 10.28 km.
The ARGOS errors measured here are greater than those provided by ARGOS, but within the range of other studies. The error was non-normally distributed with each LC highly right-skewed. Locations of species that make short duration dives and spend extended periods on the surface (sea lions and fur seals) had less error than species like elephant seals that spend more time underwater and have shorter surface intervals. Supplemental data (S1) are provided allowing the creation of density distributions that can be used in a variety of filtering algorithms to improve the quality of ARGOS tracking data.
PMCID: PMC2806907  PMID: 20090942
8.  Hepatic profile analyses of tipranavir in Phase II and III clinical trials 
The risk and course of serum transaminase elevations (TEs) and clinical hepatic serious adverse event (SAE) development in ritonavir-boosted tipranavir (TPV/r) 500/200 mg BID recipients, who also received additional combination antiretroviral treatment agents in clinical trials (TPV/r-based cART), was determined.
Aggregated transaminase and hepatic SAE data through 96 weeks of TPV/r-based cART from five Phase IIb/III trials were analyzed. Patients were categorized by the presence or absence of underlying liver disease (+LD or -LD). Kaplan-Meier (K-M) probability estimates for time-to-first US National Institutes of Health, Division of AIDS (DAIDS) Grade 3/4 TE and clinical hepatic SAE were determined and clinical actions/outcomes evaluated. Risk factors for DAIDS Grade 3/4 TE were identified through multivariate Cox regression statistical modeling.
Grade 3/4 TEs occurred in 144/1299 (11.1%) patients; 123/144 (85%) of these were asymptomatic; 84% of these patients only temporarily interrupted treatment or continued, with transaminase levels returning to Grade ≤ 2. At 96 weeks of study treatment, the incidence of Grade 3/4 TEs was higher among the +LD (16.8%) than among the -LD (10.1%) patients. K-M analysis revealed an incremental risk for developing DAIDS Grade 3/4 TEs; risk was greatest through 24 weeks (6.1%), and decreasing thereafter (>24-48 weeks: 3.4%, >48 weeks-72 weeks: 2.0%, >72-96 weeks: 2.2%), and higher in +LD than -LD patients at each 24-week interval. Treatment with TPV/r, co-infection with hepatitis B and/or C, DAIDS grade >1 TE and CD4+ > 200 cells/mm3 at baseline were found to be independent risk factors for development of DAIDS Grade 3/4 TE; the hazard ratios (HR) were 2.8, 2.0, 2.1 and 1.5, respectively. Four of the 144 (2.7%) patients with Grade 3/4 TEs developed hepatic SAEs; overall, 14/1299 (1.1%) patients had hepatic SAEs including six with hepatic failure (0.5%). The K-M risk of developing hepatic SAEs through 96 weeks was 1.4%; highest risk was observed during the first 24 weeks and decreased thereafter; the risk was similar between +LD and -LD patients for the first 24 weeks (0.6% and 0.5%, respectively) and was higher for +LD patients, thereafter.
Through 96 weeks of TPV/r-based cART, DAIDS Grade 3/4 TEs and hepatic SAEs occurred in approximately 11% and 1% of TPV/r patients, respectively; most (84%) had no significant clinical implications and were managed without permanent treatment discontinuation. Among the 14 patients with hepatic SAE, 6 experienced hepatic failure (0.5%); these patients had profound immunosuppression and the rate appears higher among hepatitis co-infected patients. The overall probability of experiencing a hepatic SAE in this patient cohort was 1.4% through 96 weeks of treatment. Independent risk factors for DAIDS Grade 3/4 TEs include TPV/r treatment, co-infection with hepatitis B and/or C, DAIDS grade >1 TE and CD4+ > 200 cells/mm3 at baseline.
Trial registration
US-NIH Trial registration number: NCT00144170
PMCID: PMC2803791  PMID: 20003457
9.  Efficacy of Short-Course AZT Plus 3TC to Reduce Nevirapine Resistance in the Prevention of Mother-to-Child HIV Transmission: A Randomized Clinical Trial 
PLoS Medicine  2009;6(10):e1000172.
Neil Martinson and colleagues report a randomized trial of adding short-course zidovudine+lamivudine to reduce drug resistance from single-dose nevirapine used to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV.
Single-dose nevirapine (sdNVP)—which prevents mother-to-child transmission of HIV—selects non-nucleoside reverse-transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI) resistance mutations in the majority of women and HIV-infected infants receiving it. This open-label, randomised trial examined the efficacy of short-course zidovudine (AZT) and lamivudine (3TC) with sdNVP in reducing NNRTI resistance in mothers, and as a secondary objective, in infants, in a setting where sdNVP was standard-of-care.
Methods and Findings
sdNVP alone, administered at the onset of labour and to the infant, was compared to sdNVP with AZT plus 3TC, given as combivir (CBV) for 4 (NVP/CBV4) or 7 (NVP/CBV7) days, initiated simultaneously with sdNVP in labour; their newborns received the same regimens. Women were randomised 1∶1∶1. HIV-1 resistance was assessed by population sequencing at: baseline, 2, and 6 wk after birth. An unplanned interim analysis resulted in early stopping of the sdNVP arm. 406 pregnant women were randomised and took study medication (sdNVP 74, NVP/CBV4 164, and NVP/CBV7 168). HIV-1 resistance mutations emerged in 59.2%, 11.7%, and 7.3% of women in the sdNVP, NVP/CBV4, and NVP/CBV7 arms by 6 wk postpartum; differences between NVP-only and both NVP/CBV arms were significant (p<0.0001), but the difference between NVP/CBV4 and NVP/CBV7 was not (p = 0.27). Estimated efficacy comparing combined CBV arms with sdNVP was 85.6%. Similar resistance reductions were seen in infants who were HIV-infected by their 6-wk visit.
A short course of AZT plus 3TC, supplementing maternal and infant sdNVP, reduces emergent NNRTI resistance mutations in both mothers and their infants. However, this trial was not powered to detect small differences between the CBV arms.
Trial registration NCT 00144183
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Currently, about 33 million people are infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which causes AIDS. HIV can be treated with combination antiretroviral therapy (ART), commonly three individual antiretroviral drugs that together efficiently suppress the replication of the virus. HIV infection of a child by an HIV-positive mother during pregnancy, labor, delivery, or breastfeeding is called mother-to-child transmission (MTCT). In 2007, an estimated 420,000 children were newly infected with HIV, the majority through MTCT. Most of these mothers and children live in sub-Saharan Africa where child and maternal mortality rates are high and mortality in HIV-infected children is extremely high. MTCT is preventable and there is a global commitment, agreed at the UN General Assembly Session on HIV/AIDS in 2001, to reduce the proportion of infants infected with HIV by 50% by 2010.
Why Was This Study Done?
In many resource-limited settings, MTCT is prevented by giving a single dose of nevirapine (an antiretroviral drug which has a long duration in the body and protects the fetus during labor and delivery only) to HIV-infected women in labor and also to a baby within 72 hours of birth. However, nevirapine, a non-nucleoside reverse-transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI), which suppresses the replication of the virus, is associated with increased resistance of HIV, in mother and child, to NNRTI. This resistance reduces the effectiveness of future treatments of both mother and child with combination ART that includes an NNRTI; such regimens are the mainstay for long-term treatment of HIV in developing countries. The researchers investigated whether giving other antiretroviral drugs with nevirapine, during labor and delivery, to both mother and her newborn reduced the chances of them developing resistance to NNRTIs.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers selected 406 HIV-positive pregnant women for study across five sites in South Africa between February 2003 and May 2007. The women and their newborn babies were randomly assigned to receive, either (i) a single dose of nevirapine, (ii) a single dose of nevirapine plus combivir (zidovudine combined with lamivudine) for four days, or (iii) a single dose of nevirapine plus combivir for seven days. At two days, two weeks, and six weeks after delivery blood was collected from mothers and babies. HIV virus from blood samples was analyzed for resistance mutations, and mothers and children with resistance mutations were monitored for a further 96 weeks until no resistance was detected or combination ART (also called “HAART”) was started. Enrollment into the single-dose nevirapine arm was stopped early because a very high rate of NNRTI resistance mutations was found and other investigators reported long-term bad consequences of NNRTI-resistance on subsequent ART. The two nevirapine plus combivir arms were continued. The researchers found that selection of resistance mutations by single-dose nevirapine was reduced in mother and child by the addition of zidovudine and lamivudine for a short period; resistance mutations were found in 59.2% of women who got nevirapine only but only 11.7%, and 7.3% of women treated nevirapine plus four days combivir, and nevirapine plus seven days combivir respectively. A reduction was also seen in new NNRTI resistant mutations in the HIV-infected infants that received combivir. The study did not have enough women to show that there was a real difference between the resistance in the four-day and seven-day combivir regimens.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings show that a short-course treatment of zidovudine and lamivudine in addition to a single dose of nevirapine during labor and birth reduces the selection of NNRTI resistance mutations in both mother and child. The drug regimens appeared safe, and easy to provide and adhere to. Preliminary results from this study contributed to a change in clinical practice for the care of pregnant women with HIV; in 2004 the World Health Organisation guidelines introduced a short course of combivir with nevirapine for the management of pregnant HIV-infected women. However, the study had some limitations. It used HIV-positive women who were mainly infected with a subtype of HIV called HIV-1 clade C and who had a lot of virus in their blood. NNRTI resistance after treatment with nevirapine is more common in clade C than in others and this study does not address the effect of these combinations for preventing NNRTI resistance in other HIV subtypes. Also, World Health Organization, national, and international guidelines recommend combination ART during pregnancy, as it decreases HIV transmission from mother to child in the uterus to <2% in resource-limited settings. Although long-term combination treatment may not be available in all locations, this study does not tell us how the short-term combinations during and after delivery tested would compare to longer-term combinations given to pregnant women in reducing both HIV transmission and HIV drug resistance.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at
This study is further discussed in a PLoS Medicine Perspective by Lehman et al.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provide information for HIV treatment and prevention
MedlinePlus provides extensive information on symptoms and treatment for HIV/AIDS as well as access to related clinical trials and medical literature
aidsmap, a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization provides information on HIV and supporting those living with HIV
The World Health Organization gives information on the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV
PMCID: PMC2760761  PMID: 19859531
10.  Pharmacokinetics of BILR 355 after Multiple Oral Doses Coadministered with a Low Dose of Ritonavir ▿  
The pharmacokinetics and safety of BILR 355 following oral repeated dosing coadministered with low doses of ritonavir (RTV) were investigated in 12 cohorts of healthy male volunteers with a ratio of 6 to 2 for BILR 355 versus the placebo. BILR 355 was given once a day (QD) coadministered with 100 mg RTV (BILR 355/r) at 5 to 50 mg in a polyethylene glycol solution or at 50 to 250 mg as tablets. BILR 355 tablets were also dosed at 150 mg twice a day (BID) coadministered with 100 mg RTV QD or BID. Following oral dosing, BILR 355 was rapidly absorbed, with the mean time to maximum concentration of drug in serum reached within 1.3 to 5 h and a mean half-life of 16 to 20 h. BILR 355 exhibited an approximately linear pharmacokinetics for doses of 5 to 50 mg when given as a solution; in contrast, when given as tablets, BILR 355 displayed a dose-proportional pharmacokinetics, with a dose range of 50 to 100 mg; from 100 to 150 mg, a slightly downward nonlinear pharmacokinetics occurred. The exposure to BILR 355 was maximized at 150 mg and higher due to a saturated dissolution/absorption process. After oral dosing of BILR 355/r, 150/100 mg BID, the values for the maximum concentration of drug in plasma at steady state, the area under the concentration-time curve from 0 to the dose interval at steady state, and the minimum concentration of drug in serum at steady state were 1,500 ng/ml, 12,500 h·ng/ml, and 570 ng/ml, respectively, providing sufficient suppressive concentration toward human immunodeficiency virus type 1. Based on pharmacokinetic modeling along with the in vitro virologic data, several BILR 355 doses were selected for phase II trials using Monte Carlo simulations. Throughout the study, BILR 355 was safe and well tolerated.
PMCID: PMC2612136  PMID: 18955519
11.  Pharmacokinetic and Safety Evaluation of BILR 355, a Second-Generation Nonnucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitor, in Healthy Volunteers▿  
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy  2008;52(12):4300-4307.
BILR 355 is a second-generation nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI) under clinical development for the treatment of human immunodeficiency virus infection, particularly in those who harbor virus resistant to the currently available NNRTIs. Two single-center, double-blinded, placebo-controlled, parallel dose-escalation studies were conducted to evaluate the pharmacokinetics and safety of oral BILR 355 administration alone and after coadministration with ritonavir (RTV) at 100 mg. Following a single dose of BILR 355 in oral solution, the mean half life (t1/2) was 2 to 4 h, with peak concentrations occurring at 0.5 to 1 h postadministration. The mean apparent clearance (CL/F) ranged from 79.2 to 246 liters/h for administered doses of 12.5 mg to 100 mg. This observed nonlinearity in CL/F resulted from the increased bioavailability attributed to a saturated absorption and/or elimination process at higher doses. In contrast, after the coadministration of single doses of 5 mg to 87.5 mg of BILR 355 with RTV, the mean CL/F ranged from 5.88 to 8.47 liters/h. Over the dose range (5 to 87.5 mg) studied, systemic BILR 355 exposures were approximately proportional to the doses administered when they were coadministered with RTV. With RTV coadministration, the mean t1/2 increased to 10 to 16 h, and the mean time of the maximum concentration in plasma lengthened to 1.5 to 5 h. Compared to the values for BILR 355 given alone, the mean area under the concentration-time curve from time zero to infinity, the maximum concentration in plasma, and the t1/2 of BILR 355 achieved after coadministration with RTV increased 15- to 30-fold, 2- to 5-fold, and 3- to 5-fold, respectively. In both studies, BILR 355 appeared to be safe and well tolerated in healthy volunteers when the outcomes in the treated volunteers were compared with those in the placebo group.
PMCID: PMC2592860  PMID: 18824608
12.  A Parsimonious Approach to Modeling Animal Movement Data 
PLoS ONE  2009;4(3):e4711.
Animal tracking is a growing field in ecology and previous work has shown that simple speed filtering of tracking data is not sufficient and that improvement of tracking location estimates are possible. To date, this has required methods that are complicated and often time-consuming (state-space models), resulting in limited application of this technique and the potential for analysis errors due to poor understanding of the fundamental framework behind the approach. We describe and test an alternative and intuitive approach consisting of bootstrapping random walks biased by forward particles. The model uses recorded data accuracy estimates, and can assimilate other sources of data such as sea-surface temperature, bathymetry and/or physical boundaries. We tested our model using ARGOS and geolocation tracks of elephant seals that also carried GPS tags in addition to PTTs, enabling true validation. Among pinnipeds, elephant seals are extreme divers that spend little time at the surface, which considerably impact the quality of both ARGOS and light-based geolocation tracks. Despite such low overall quality tracks, our model provided location estimates within 4.0, 5.5 and 12.0 km of true location 50% of the time, and within 9, 10.5 and 20.0 km 90% of the time, for above, equal or below average elephant seal ARGOS track qualities, respectively. With geolocation data, 50% of errors were less than 104.8 km (<0.94°), and 90% were less than 199.8 km (<1.80°). Larger errors were due to lack of sea-surface temperature gradients. In addition we show that our model is flexible enough to solve the obstacle avoidance problem by assimilating high resolution coastline data. This reduced the number of invalid on-land location by almost an order of magnitude. The method is intuitive, flexible and efficient, promising extensive utilization in future research.
PMCID: PMC2650804  PMID: 19262755
15.  Estimating resource acquisition and at-sea body condition of a marine predator 
The Journal of Animal Ecology  2013;82(6):1300-1315.
Body condition plays a fundamental role in many ecological and evolutionary processes at a variety of scales and across a broad range of animal taxa. An understanding of how body condition changes at fine spatial and temporal scales as a result of interaction with the environment provides necessary information about how animals acquire resources.However, comparatively little is known about intra- and interindividual variation of condition in marine systems. Where condition has been studied, changes typically are recorded at relatively coarse time-scales. By quantifying how fine-scale interaction with the environment influences condition, we can broaden our understanding of how animals acquire resources and allocate them to body stores.Here we used a hierarchical Bayesian state-space model to estimate the body condition as measured by the size of an animal's lipid store in two closely related species of marine predator that occupy different hemispheres: northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris) and southern elephant seals (Mirounga leonina). The observation model linked drift dives to lipid stores. The process model quantified daily changes in lipid stores as a function of the physiological condition of the seal (lipid:lean tissue ratio, departure lipid and departure mass), its foraging location, two measures of behaviour and environmental covariates.We found that physiological condition significantly impacted lipid gain at two time-scales – daily and at departure from the colony – that foraging location was significantly associated with lipid gain in both species of elephant seals and that long-term behavioural phase was associated with positive lipid gain in northern and southern elephant seals. In northern elephant seals, the occurrence of short-term behavioural states assumed to represent foraging were correlated with lipid gain. Lipid gain was a function of covariates in both species. Southern elephant seals performed fewer drift dives than northern elephant seals and gained lipids at a lower rate.We have demonstrated a new way to obtain time series of body condition estimates for a marine predator at fine spatial and temporal scales. This modelling approach accounts for uncertainty at many levels and has the potential to integrate physiological and movement ecology of top predators. The observation model we used was specific to elephant seals, but the process model can readily be applied to other species, providing an opportunity to understand how animals respond to their environment at a fine spatial scale.
PMCID: PMC4028992  PMID: 23869551
resource acquisition; Bayesian; elephant seals; Markov chain Monte Carlo; satellite telemetry; state-space model; body condition; Año Nuevo; Macquarie Island

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