Patients’ knowledge on prescribed medications play a key role in the long term management of cardiac diseases and in determining their outcome. The present study evaluates the knowledge about prescribed medication among cardiac patients and aim to identify factors influencing knowledge.
A descriptive-cross-sectional study was conducted among 200 adult patients attending clinics at the Cardiology Unit of the National Hospital of Sri Lanka. Knowledge assessment focused on four different sections; drug name, dose, frequency and indication. The total score of 60 was calculated by giving each component the following weighted scores; drug name = 20, indication = 20, drug dose = 10 and frequency = 10. A binary logistic regression analysis to evaluate factors associated with ‘good knowledge’ (total score ≥ 40) was performed.
Among 200 participants 56.5% (n = 113) were males. Mean age was 59.7 ± 8.2 years and a majority (n = 170, 85.0%) were older than 50 years of age. Sinhala was the primary language of 91.5% (n = 183) of participants, while English was the primary language in only two of the study participants (1.0%). Eighty four percent of the participants were educated up to secondary education or above, while 2.5% (n = 5) had no formal education. The overall knowledge (total score-60) on prescribed medications among the study population was ‘poor’ (score ≤ 20) in 46%, ‘adequate’ (score 21–40) in 36.5% and ‘good’ (score ≥ 40) in 17.5%. The results of the binary logistic regression analysis indicates that Secondary (OR-1.53) and Tertiary levels (OR-2.79) of education, self-reported perception of illness as being Moderate (OR-1.23) or Severe (OR-1.70) and being educated by a doctor (as reported by patients) (OR-1.69) significantly increased the odds of having a ‘Good Knowledge of Drugs’. Majority of the patients were unable to read and understand the information written in English. The doctor’s contributed towards educating on drug information only in 33.0% of the patients.
In a resource-poor setting in patients with Limited English Proficiency, lower level of education and misperception of illness severity resulted in reduced knowledge on prescribed medications. Furthermore, being educated by a doctor significantly improved knowledge. However the doctors’ contribution at present to deliver quality health information to their patients was at an unsatisfactory level.
Limited English proficiency; Health literacy; Sri Lanka; Cardiac disease
Interleukin-15 (IL-15) is a pleiotropic cytokine with a broad range of biological functions in many diverse cell types. It plays a major role in the development of inflammatory and protective immune responses to microbial invaders and parasites by modulating immune cells of both the innate and adaptive immune systems. This review provides an overview of the mechanisms by which IL-15 modulates the host response to infectious agents and its utility as a cytokine adjuvant in vaccines against infectious pathogens.
IL-15; infectious diseases; vaccines; inflammation; molecular adjuvants
Botanical work since 2008 on the Sleeping Giant section of the Kamdebooberge (Sneeuberg mountain complex, Eastern Cape, South Africa) has indicated that these mountains may be of significant conservation value. Accordingly, a precursory, rapid multi-disciplinary biodiversity assessment was undertaken in January 2011, focusing on plants, tetrapod vertebrates and leafhoppers. The botanical results confirm the Kamdebooberge as being of high botanical conservation value, hosting three strict endemics, healthy populations of five other Sneeuberg endemics, and fynbos communities comprising species not found elsewhere in the Sneeuberg. The Kamdebooberge are important for herpetofauna (excluding serpentoids) and mammals, hosting several range-restricted and regional endemics. The expedition uncovered three new leafhopper species, together with several species previously only known from the Cape Floristic Region. Further detailed faunal work may provide further interesting results from these mountains, which show a high conservation value unique to the southern Escarpment.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/2193-1801-1-56) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Endemics; Great escarpment; Kamdebooberge; Plants; Invertebrates; Sneeuberg centre of floristic endemism; Vertebrates
To evaluate short- and long-term effects of Cinnamomum zeylanicum on food consumption, body weight, glycemic control, and lipids in healthy and diabetes-induced rats.
Materials and Methods:
The study was conducted in two phases (Phase I and Phase II), using Sprague-Dawley rats in four groups. Phase I evaluated acute effects on fasting blood glucose (FBG) (Groups 1 and 2) and on post-oral glucose (Groups 3 and 4) blood glucose. Groups 1 and 3 received distilled-water and Groups 2 and 4 received cinnamon-extracts. Phase II evaluated effects on food consumption, body weight, blood glucose, and lipids over 1 month. Group A (n = 8, distilled-water) and Group B (n = 8, cinnamon-extracts) were healthy rats, while Group C (n = 5, distilled-water) and Group D (n = 5, cinnamon-extracts) were diabetes-induced rats. Serum lipid profile and HbA1c were measured on D-0 and D-30. FBG, 2-h post-prandial blood glucose, body weight, and food consumption were measured on every fifth day.
Phase I: There was no significant difference in serial blood glucose values in cinnamon-treated group from time 0 (P > 0.05). Following oral glucose, the cinnamon group demonstrated a faster decline in blood glucose compared to controls (P < 0.05). Phase II: Between D0 and D30, the difference in food consumption was shown only in diabetes-induced rats (P < 0.001). Similarly, the significant difference following cinnamon-extracts in FBG and 2-h post-prandial blood glucose from D0 to D30 was shown only in diabetes-induced rats. In cinnamon-extracts administered groups, total and LDL cholesterol levels were lower on D30 in both healthy and diabetes-induced animals (P < 0.001).
C. zeylanicum lowered blood glucose, reduced food intake, and improved lipid parameters in diabetes-induced rats.
Blood glucose; Ceylon cinnamon; Cinnamomum zeylanicum; diabetes mellitus; lipids; Sprague-Dawley rats
Despite the eradication of smallpox, there is heightened concern that it could be reintroduced as a result of intentional release of Variola major virus through an act of bioterrorism. The live vaccine that was pivotal in the eradication of smallpox though considered a gold standard for its efficacy still retains sufficient residual virulence that can cause life-threatening sequelae especially in immune deficient individuals. Therefore, a safer smallpox vaccine that can match the efficacy of first generation vaccines is urgently needed. We previously reported that the integration of human IL-15 cytokine into the genome of Wyeth strain of vaccinia (Wyeth/IL-15), the same strain as the licensed vaccine, generates a vaccine with superior immunogenicity and efficacy in a mouse model. We now demonstrate that Wyeth/IL-15 is non-lethal to athymic nude mice when administered intravenously at a dose of 107 plaque forming units and it undergoes enhanced in vivo clearance in these immune deficient mice. Furthermore, a majority of cynomolgus monkeys vaccinated with vaccinia viruses with integrated IL-15, when challenged 3 years later with a lethal dose of monkeypox virus displayed milder clinical manifestations with complete recovery supporting the utility of Wyeth/IL-15 for contemporary populations as a safer and efficacious smallpox vaccine.
Application of medicated oils on scalp had been practiced for centuries in the Ayurvedic system of medicine in diseases associated with the central nervous system. It is possible that the effectiveness of the therapy may be a result of targeted delivery of active compounds to the brain transcranially. Evidence also comes from two previous studies with positive results on brain targeted transcranial delivery of methadone base and diazepam on rat models. Possibility of transcranial drug delivery was investigated in healthy human volunteers using electroencephalography techniques by assessing the ability of transcranially administered diazepam in bringing about β activity in the electroencephalographic wave patterns and shortening of the sleep latency period. Non polar drug molecules dissolved in a non-aqueous sesame oil based vehicle is a significant feature in the transcranial dosage design. The study was under taken in two phases. In the Phase-I study scalp application of a single dose of 2 mg/3 ml of the oil was employed and in the Phase-II study repeat application of three doses 24 h apart were employed. Sleep latency changes were monitored with Multiple Sleep Latency Tests with 5 naps employing the standard electroencephalography, electroocculography and electromyography electrodes. Sleep onset was identified with the first epoch of any sleep stage non rapid eye movement 1, 2, 3, 4 or rapid eye movement using electroencephalography, electroocculography and electromyography criteria. In both phases of the study there was significant reduction in the sleep latencies. It was much more pronounced in the Phase-II study. None of the subjects however displayed beta activity in the electroencephalography. Sleep latency reduction following scalp application in both the phases are suggestive of transcranial migration of diazepam molecules to the receptor sites of the nerve tissue of the brain eliciting its pharmacological effect of sedation. Transcranial brain targeted dosage design is therefore feasible.
Brain targeted; electroencephalography; emissary veins; diazepam; sesame oil; sleep latency; transcranial
Tuberculosis caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis is responsible for nearly two million deaths every year globally. A single licensed vaccine derived from Mycobacterium bovis, bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG) administered perinatally as a prophylactic vaccine has been in use for over 80 years and confers substantial protection against childhood tuberculous meningitis and miliary tuberculosis. However, the BCG vaccine is virtually ineffective against the adult pulmonary form of tuberculosis that is pivotal in the transmission of tuberculosis that has infected almost 33% of the global population. Thus, an effective vaccine to both prevent tuberculosis and reduce its transmission is urgently needed. We have generated a multi-valent, vectored vaccine candidate utilizing the modified virus Ankara (MVA) strain of vaccinia virus to tandemly express five antigens, ESAT6, Ag85A, Ag85B, HSP65 and Mtb39A of Mycobacterium tuberculosis that have been reported to be protective individually in certain animal models together with an immunostimulatory cytokine interleukin 15 (MVA/IL-15/5Mtb). Although, immunological correlates of protection against tuberculosis in humans remain to be established, we demonstrate that our vaccine induced comparable CD4+ T cell and greater CD8+ T cell and antibody responses against Mycobacterium tuberculosis in vaccinated mice in a direct comparison with the BCG vaccine and conferred protection against an aerogenic challenge of M. tuberculosis, thus warranting its further preclinical development.
Tuberculosis; vaccine; IL-15
The potential for a global influenza pandemic remains significant with epidemiologic and ecologic indicators revealing the entrenchment of highly pathogenic avian influenza A H5N1 in both wild bird populations and domestic poultry flocks in Asia and in many African and European countries. Indisputably, the single most effective public health intervention in mitigating the devastation such a pandemic could unleash is the availability of a safe and effective vaccine that can be rapidly deployed for pre-exposure vaccination of millions of people. We have developed two vaccinia-based influenza vaccines that are molecularly adjuvanted with the immune-stimulatory cytokine IL-15. The pentavalent Wyeth/IL-15/5Flu vaccine expresses the hemagglutinin, neuraminidase, and nucleoprotein, derived from the H5N1 influenza virus A/Vietnam/1203/2004 and the matrix proteins M1 and M2 from H5N1 A/CK/Indonesia/PA/2003 virus on the backbone of a currently licensed smallpox vaccine. The bivalent MVA/IL-15/HA/NA vaccine expresses only the H5 hemagglutinin and N1 neuraminidase on the modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA) backbone. Both vaccines induced cross-neutralizing antibodies and robust cellular immune responses in vaccinated mice and conferred sterile cross-clade protection when challenged with H5N1 virus of a different clade. In addition to having the potential as a universal influenza vaccine, in the event of an impending pandemic, the Wyeth/IL-15/5Flu is also readily amenable for bulk production to cover the global population. For those individuals for whom the use of Wyeth vaccine is contraindicated, our MVA/IL-15/HA/NA offers a substitute or a prevaccine to be used in a mass vaccination campaign similar to the smallpox eradication campaigns of few decades ago.
Viral; Cytokines; vaccination
Most medical schools use simulated patients (SPs) for teaching. In this context the authenticity of role play and quality of feedback provided by SPs is of paramount importance. The available literature on SP training mostly addresses instructor led training where the SPs are given direction on their roles. This study focuses on the use of peer and self evaluation as a tool to train SPs.
SPs at the medical school participated in a staff development and training programme which included a) self-assessment of their performance while observing video-tapes of their role play using a structured guide and b) peer group assessment of their performance under tutor guidance. The pre and post training performance in relation to authenticity of role play and quality of feedback was blindly assessed by students and tutors using a validated instrument and the scores were compared. A focus group discussion and a questionnaire assessed acceptability of the training programme by the SPs.
The post-training performance assessment scores were significantly higher (p < 0.05) than the pre-training scores. The degree of improvement in the quality of feedback provided to students was more when compared to the improvement of role play. The acceptability of the training by the SPs was very satisfactory scoring an average of 7.6 out of 10. The majority of the SPs requested the new method of training to be included in their current training programme as a regular feature.
Use of structured self-reflective and peer-interactive, practice based methods of SP training is recommended to improve SP performance. More studies on these methods of training may further refine SP training and lead to improvement of SP performance which in turn may positively impact medical education.
The prevalence of macrovascular disease and hyperlipidaemia was examined in 500 patients with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus attending a diabetic clinic in a Sri Lankan teaching hospital and 250 controls matched for age and gender. Macrovascular disease was assessed using a modified World Health Organisation questionnaire and modified Minnesota coding of electrocardiogram recordings. Twenty-one per cent of diabetic patients and 14.3% of controls had hypercholesterolaemia (P < 0.05). Macrovascular disease was present in 13.4% of diabetic patients and 8.2% of controls. Significant differences were seen in the prevalence of hypertension (15.6% vs 4.8%, P < 0.05), obesity (16.2% vs 9.7%, P < 0.05), peripheral vascular disease (5.6% vs 2%, P < 0.05) and electrocardiographic abnormalities (12% vs 6%, P < 0.05) in diabetic patients when compared to controls. Hyperlipidaemia and macrovascular disease is common in non-insulin-dependent diabetic patients in Sri Lanka and accounts for significant morbidity.
The identification of potent and selective modulators of protein kinase function remains a challenge and new strategies are needed for generating these useful ligands. Here, we describe the generation of bivalent inhibitors of three unrelated protein kinases: the CAMK family kinase Pim1, the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) p38α, and the receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). These bivalent inhibitors consist of an ATP-competitive inhibitor that is covalently tethered to an engineered form of the self-labeling protein O6-alkylguanine-DNA alkyltransferase (SNAP-tag). In each example, SNAP-tag is fused to a peptide ligand that binds to a signaling interaction site of the kinase being targeted. These interactions increase the overall selectivity and potency of the bivalent inhibitors that were generated. The ability to exploit disparate binding sites in diverse kinases points to the generality of the method described. Finally, we demonstrate that ATP-competitive inhibitors that are conjugated to the bio-orthogonal tag O4-benzyl-2-chloro-6-aminopyrimidine (CLP) are cell permeable. The selective labeling of SNAP-tag with CLP conjugates allows the rapid assembly of bivalent inhibitors in living cells.
Toxoplasmosis is a disease of prominent health concern that is caused by the protozoan parasite, Toxoplasma gondii. Proliferation of T. gondii is dependent on its ability to invade host cells, which is mediated, in part, by calcium-dependent protein kinase 1 (CDPK1). We have developed ATP competitive inhibitors of TgCDPK1 that block invasion of parasites into host cells, preventing their proliferation. The presence of a unique glycine gatekeeper residue in TgCDPK1 permits selective inhibition of the parasite enzyme over human kinases. These potent TgCDPK1 inhibitors do not inhibit the growth of human cell lines and represent promising candidates as toxoplasmosis therapeutics.
The continuing increase in the incidence of multi drug resistant pathogenic bacteria and shortage of new antimicrobial agents are the prime driver in efforts to identify the novel antimicrobial classes. In vitro antibacterial activity of 4-phenyl-1-(2-phenylallyl) pyridinium bromide was tested against Gram positive Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus species, Bacillus subtilis, and Gram negative Klebsiella aerogenes and Escherichia coli using disk diffusion method. Among them S. aureus showed strong antibacterial activity (21.99 ± 0.03 mm) while E. coli showed very little activity (8.97 ± 0.06 mm) towards the compound. The MIC of 4-phenyl-1-(2-phenyl-allyl)-pyridinium bromide for 90% S. aureus was ≤20 μg/ml and was compared with phenoxymethylpenicillin, cloxacillin, erythromycin and vancomycin. When 4-phenyl-1-(2-phenyl-allyl)pyridinium bromide showed MIC at ≤20 μg/ml, all others showed MIC at ≤100 μg/ml. Strong antibacterial activity of 4-phenyl-1-(2-phenyl-allyl)pyridinium bromide against S. aureus indicates that there is a possibility to use it as an effective antibacterial agent.
MIC; Antibiotics; 4-Phenyl-1-(2-phenyl-allyl)pyridinium bromide; Zone of inhibition; Staphylococcus aureus
Silver diamine fluoride (SDF) has clinical success in arresting dentin caries, this study aimed to investigate its mechanism of action.
Using a computer-controlled artificial mouth, we studied the effect of 38% SDF on cariogenic biofilms and dentin carious lesions. We used five common cariogenic bacteria (Streptococcus mutans, Streptococcus sobrinus, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Actinomyces naeslundii) to form a cariogenic biofilm that generated carious lesions with a depth of approximately 70 um on human dentin blocks. We applied 38% SDF to the lesions in the test group and water to those in the control group. The blocks were incubated in the artificial mouth for 21 days before evaluation. Microbial kinetics, architecture, viability and distribution were evaluated every 7 days using colony forming unit (CFU), scanning electron microscopy and confocal laser scanning microscopy. The physical properties of the carious lesions were evaluated with microhardness testing, energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) and Fourier transform infra-red spectroscopy (FTIR).
The CFU results revealed fewer colony forming units in the test group compared with the control group (p < 0.01). Scanning electron microscopy and confocal microscopy showed less bacterial growth in the test group, and confluent cariogenic biofilm in the control group (p < 0.01). The microhardness and weight percentages of calcium and phosphorus in the test group from the outermost 50mum were higher than in the control group (p < 0.05). EDS showed that calcium and phosphous were higher in outer 50 mum in test groups than in the control FTIR revealed less exposed collagen I in the test lesions compared with the control group (p < 0.01).
38% SDF inhibits multi-species cariogenic biofilm formation on dentin carious lesions and reduces the demineralization process.
An implementation of the Hirshfeld (HD) and Hirshfeld-Iterated (HD-I) atomic charge density partitioning schemes is described. Atomic charges and atomic multipoles are calculated from the HD and HD-I atomic charge densities for arbitrary atomic multipole rank lmax on molecules of arbitrary shape and size. The HD and HD-I atomic charges/multipoles are tested by comparing molecular multipole moments and the electrostatic potential (ESP) surrounding a molecule with their reference ab initio values. In general, the HD-I atomic charges/multipoles are found to better reproduce ab initio electrostatic properties over HD atomic charges/multipoles. A systematic increase in precision for reproducing ab initio electrostatic properties is demonstrated by increasing the atomic multipole rank from lmax = 0 (atomic charges) to lmax = 4 (atomic hexadecapoles). Both HD and HD-I atomic multipoles up to rank lmax are shown to exactly reproduce ab initio molecular multipole moments of rank L for L ≤ lmax. In addition, molecular dipole moments calculated by HD, HD-I, and ChelpG atomic charges only (lmax = 0) are compared with reference ab initio values. Significant errors in reproducing ab initio molecular dipole moments are found if only HD or HD-I atomic charges used.
Atomic multipoles; Hirshfeld charges; dipole; quadrupole
Little is known about genetic contributors to higher than usual warfarin dose requirements, particularly for African Americans. This study tested the hypothesis that the γ-glutamyl carboxylase (GGCX) genotype contributes to warfarin dose requirements >7.5 mg/day in an African American population.
A total of 338 African Americans on a stable dose of warfarin were enrolled. The GGCX rs10654848 (CAA)n, rs12714145 (G>A), and rs699664 (p.R325Q); VKORC1 c.-1639G>A and rs61162043; and CYP2C9*2, *3, *5, *8, *11, and rs7089580 genotypes tested for their association with dose requirements >7.5 mg/day alone and in the context of other variables known to influence dose variability.
The GGCX rs10654848 (CAA) 16 or 17 repeat occurred at a frequency of 2.6% in African Americans and was overrepresented among patients requiring >7.5mg/day versus those who required lower doses (12% vs 3%, p=0.003; odds ratio 4.0, 95% CI, 1.5–10.5). The GGCX rs10654848 genotype remained associated with high dose requirements on regression analysis including age, body size, and VKORC1 genotype. On linear regression, the GGCX rs10654848 genotype explained 2% of the overall variability in warfarin dose in African Americans. An examination of the GGCX rs10654848 genotype in warfarin-treated Caucasians revealed a (CAA)16 repeat allele frequency of only 0.27% (p=0.008 compared to African Americans).
These data support the GGCX rs10654848 genotype as a predictor of higher than usual warfarin doses in African Americans, who have a 10-fold higher frequency of the (CAA)16/17 repeat compared to Caucasians.
African American; GGCX; warfarin
Everyday ambulation requires navigation of variable terrain, transitions from wide to narrow pathways, and avoiding obstacles. While the effect of age on the transition to a narrow path has been examined briefly, little is known about the impact of fear of falling on gait during the transition to a narrow path. The purpose was to examine the effect of age and fear of falling on gait during transition to a narrow path.
In 31 young, mean age = 25.3 years, and 30 older adults, mean age = 79.6 years, step length, step time, step width and gait speed were examined during usual and transition to narrow pathway using an instrumented walkway.
During the transition to narrow walk condition, fearful older adults compared to young had a wider step width (.06 m vs. .04 m) prior to the narrow path and took shorter steps (.53 m vs .72 m, p<.001). Compared to non-fearful older adults, fearful older adults walked slower and took shorter steps during narrow path walking (gait speed: 1.1 m/s vs .82 m/s, p=.01; step length: .60 m vs .47 m, p=.03). In young and non-fearful older adults narrow path gait was similar to usual gait. Whereas older adults who were fearful, walked slower (.82 m/s vs .91 m/s, p=.001) and took shorter steps (.44 m vs .53 m, p=.004) during narrow path walking compared to usual walking.
Changes in gait characteristics with transitioning to a narrow pathway were greater for fear of falling than for age.
gait; fear of falling; aging; falls; older adults
Aging in humans is characterized by a progressive loss of muscle mass and strength known as sarcopenia. Although considered to be a normal aspect of aging, the loss of strength can have significant effects on the health, functioning, and independence of elderly individuals. Although these aspects of sarcopenia have been well studied, the molecular mechanisms leading to its development are still unclear. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans might be a novel animal model for sarcopenia as worms experience sarcopenia during aging and mutations affecting the daf-2/insulin-like signaling pathway are able to delay this process.
Via the use of RNA interference, we screened a total of 43 genes, most of which have been shown to be required for the enhanced longevity of daf-2 mutants, to assess for the effects of these genes on muscle function and worm mobility during aging.
We identified 17 novel genes that are essential for the delay in the onset of sarcopenia in daf-2 mutants. The identified genes include splicing factors, vacuolar sorting proteins, transcription factors, and metabolic enzymes. Using a transgenic strain that only responds to RNA interference in the body wall muscle, we also found that most of the identified genes act in muscle to prevent the onset of sarcopenia.
Our results demonstrate that at least in worms, specific genetic pathways that modify the development of sarcopenia can be identified. Interestingly, almost all the identified genes also have a known human homolog, and hence, our findings may offer significant leads toward the identification of genes involved in sarcopenia in people.
Sarcopenia; C elegans; daf-2; Mobility; Muscle; Aging
Cassava flowering with emphasis on flowering pattern, morphology and phenology; pollen biology on viability and dimorphism, and histology on male and female gametophyte development are demonstrated. Reduced pollen viability at anthesis and the existence of pollen tri-morphism are the key findings.
Background and aims
Cassava (Manihot esculenta), a major food staple in the tropics and subtropics, thrives even in environments undergoing threatening climate change. To satisfy the increasing demand for crop improvement and overcome the limitations of conventional breeding, the introduction of inbreeding techniques such as the production of doubled haploid lines via androgenesis or gynogenesis offers advantages. However, comprehensive studies on cassava flower bud biology or structural development are lacking and precise structural and biological information is a prerequisite to enhance the efficiency of these techniques.
The floral biology of three selected cassava lines was studied, focusing on morphology, phenology and pollen biology (quantity, viability and dimorphism). Histological studies were also conducted on microsporogenesis/microgametogenesis and megasporogenesis/megagameto-genesis to generate precise developmental data for these lines.
Male and female cyathia have distinct developmental phases. Pollen viability was high during immature stages of plant development; however, pollen mortality was common at later stages. Pollen trimorphism in male gametophytes towards the larger or smaller pollen size, as compared with normal size, was observed. Ten characteristic events were identified in male gametogenesis and six in female gametogenesis that were correlated with flower bud diameter. Male gametophyte diameter at different developmental stages was also determined.
Results indicate that the three lines did not differ significantly, except regarding a few morphological aspects such as plant height, flower colour and number of male cyathia. Pollen grains were initially viable, but viability decreased drastically at later stages of growth. Abnormal meiosis or mitosis triggered pollen trimorphism. The demonstrated sequential events of reproductive development generated valuable information at the cellular level, which will help close the current information gap for cassava improvement via breeding programmes and doubled haploid plant production.
Exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) during the early months of life reduce infant morbidity and mortality. Current recommendation in Sri Lanka is to continue exclusive breastfeeding up to six months of age. Exclusive breastfeeding rates are generally assessed by the 24 recall method which overestimates the actual rates. The objective of this study was to determine actual exclusive breast feeding rates in a cohort of Sri Lankan children and to determine the reasons that lead to cessation of breastfeeding before six months of age.
From a cohort of 2215 babies born in Gampaha district, 500 were randomly selected and invited for the study. They were followed up at two (n = 404), four (n = 395) and six (n = 286) months. An interviewer administered questionnaire asked about feeding history and socio-demographic characteristics. Child health development record was used to assess the growth.
Exclusive breastfeeding rates at two, four and six months were 98.0%, 75.4% and 71.3% respectively. The main reasons to stop exclusive breastfeeding between two to four months was concerns regarding weight gain and between four to six months were mothers starting to work. Majority of the babies that were not exclusively breastfed still continued to have breast milk. Mothers above 30 years had lower exclusive breastfeeding rates compared to younger mothers. Second born babies had higher rates than first borns. There was no significant association between maternal education and exclusive breastfeeding rates.
Exclusive breastfeeding rates were high among this cohort of children. A decrease in EBF was noted between two and four months. EBF up to six months does not cause growth failure. Mothers starting to work and concerns regarding adequacy of breast milk were the major reasons to cease EBF. The actual exclusive breastfeeding rates up to six months was 65.9%.
As part of the DNA Sequencing Research Group of the Association of Biomolecular Resource Facilities, we have tested the reproducibility of the Roche/454 GS-FLX Titanium System at five core facilities. Experience with the Roche/454 system ranged from <10 to >340 sequencing runs performed. All participating sites were supplied with an aliquot of a common DNA preparation and were requested to conduct sequencing at a common loading condition. The evaluation of sequencing yield and accuracy metrics was assessed at a single site. The study was conducted using a laboratory strain of the Dutch elm disease fungus Ophiostoma novo-ulmi strain H327, an ascomycete, vegetatively haploid fungus with an estimated genome size of 30–50 Mb. We show that the Titanium System is reproducible, with some variation detected in loading conditions, sequencing yield, and homopolymer length accuracy. We demonstrate that reads shorter than the theoretical minimum length are of lower overall quality and not simply truncated reads. The O. novo-ulmi H327 genome assembly is 31.8 Mb and is comprised of eight chromosome-length linear scaffolds, a circular mitochondrial conti of 66.4 kb, and a putative 4.2-kb linear plasmid. We estimate that the nuclear genome encodes 8613 protein coding genes, and the mitochondrion encodes 15 genes and 26 tRNAs.
massively parallel DNA sequencing; fungal genomics; Ophiostoma novo-ulmi