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1.  Long-term research sites as refugia for threatened and over-harvested species 
Biology Letters  2011;7(5):723-726.
The presence of researchers, ecotourists or rangers inside protected areas is generally assumed to provide a protective effect for wildlife populations, mainly by reducing poaching pressure. However, this assumption has rarely been empirically tested. Here, we evaluate and quantify the conservation benefits of the presence of a long-term research area in Taï National Park, Côte d'Ivoire. A wildlife survey following 225 km of line transects revealed considerably higher primate and duiker encounter rates within the research area when compared with adjacent areas. This positive effect was particularly pronounced for threatened and over-harvested species, such as the endangered red colobus monkey (Procolobus badius). This pattern was clearly mirrored by a reversed gradient in signs of poaching, which decreased towards and inside the research area, a trend that was also supported with park-wide data. This study demonstrates that even relatively simple evidence-based analytical approaches can bridge the gap between conservation theory and practice. In addition, it emphasizes the value of establishing long-term research sites as an integral part of protected area management.
PMCID: PMC3169048  PMID: 21450724
conservation; research; line transect; threatened species; protected area
2.  Tularemia, plague, yersiniosis, and Tyzzer’s disease in wild rodents and lagomorphs in Canada: A review 
The Canadian Veterinary Journal  2009;50(12):1251-1256.
Information related to infection of wild rodents or lagomorphs in Canada by Francisella tularensis, Yersinia pestis, other Yersinia spp., and Clostridium piliforme was searched for this study. Reports on tularemia in humans linked to these species came from diagnostic databases, literature, wildlife health specialists, and public health agencies. Tularemia has been diagnosed in 8 species of wild rodent and 2 species in the genus Lepus in Canada. Tularemia occurred in wild animals, or in humans associated with these species, in all jurisdictions except the Yukon and Nunavut. Tularemia was diagnosed most frequently in beaver, muskrats, and snowshoe hares, and although tularemia is closely linked to cottontail rabbits in the USA, it has not been reported in cottontails in Canada. Tularemia in humans was associated with muskrats and hares more commonly than with beaver. Plague was diagnosed in bushy-tailed woodrats in British Columbia in 1988. Based on surveys, Y. pestis may occur enzootically in southern Alberta, Saskatchewan, and British Columbia. Infection with Yersinia pseudotuberculosis and Y. enterocolitica has been diagnosed in beaver, muskrats, and snowshoe hares in many provinces. Tyzzer’s disease has been diagnosed in muskrats in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Ontario, and Quebec and in snowshoe hares in Ontario. Infection with these bacteria is likely much more frequent than indicated by diagnostic records.
PMCID: PMC2777287  PMID: 20190973
3.  A Role for Dorsal and Ventral Hippocampus in Inter-Temporal Choice Cost-Benefit Decision Making 
Behavioral Neuroscience  2008;122(1):1-8.
Previous studies suggest a preferential role for dorsal hippocampus (dHPC) in spatial memory tasks, whereas ventral hippocampus (vHPC) has been implicated in aspects of fear and/or anxiety. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that vHPC may be a critical subregion for performance on a delay-based, cost-benefit decision making task. Rats chose between the two goal arms of a T maze, one containing an immediately available small reward, the other containing a larger reward that was only accessible after a delay. dHPC, vHPC, and complete hippocampal (cHPC) lesions all reduced choice of the delayed high reward (HR) in favor of the immediately available low reward (LR). The deficits were not due to a complete inability to remember which reward size was associated with which arm of the maze. When an equivalent 10-s delay was introduced in both goal arms, all rats chose the HR arm on nearly all trials. The deficit was, however, reinstated when the inequality was reintroduced. Our results suggest an important role for both dHPC and vHPC in the extended neural circuitry that underlies intertemporal choice.
PMCID: PMC2671844  PMID: 18298243
hippocampus; dorsal; ventral; response selection; intertemporal choice
5.  Loss of Translational Control in Yeast Compromised for the Major mRNA Decay Pathway 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2004;24(7):2998-3010.
The cytoplasmic fate of mRNAs is dictated by the relative activities of the intimately connected mRNA decay and translation initiation pathways. In this study, we have found that yeast strains compromised for stages downstream of deadenylation in the major mRNA decay pathway are incapable of inhibiting global translation initiation in response to stress. In the past, the paradigm of the eIF2α kinase-dependent amino acid starvation pathway in yeast has been used to evaluate this highly conserved stress response in all eukaryotic cells. Using a similar approach we have found that even though the mRNA decay mutants maintain high levels of general translation, they exhibit many of the hallmarks of amino acid starvation, including increased eIF2α phosphorylation and activated GCN4 mRNA translation. Therefore, these mutants appear translationally oblivious to decreased ternary complex abundance, and we propose that this is due to higher rates of mRNA recruitment to the 40S ribosomal subunit.
PMCID: PMC371117  PMID: 15024087
6.  Molecular evidence supports an african affinity of the neotropical freshwater gastropod, Biomphalaria glabrata, say 1818, an intermediate host for Schistosoma mansoni. 
Freshwater snails of the genus Biomphalaria, Preston 1910, are the most important and widely distributed intermediate hosts of Schistosoma mansoni, the blood fluke responsible for human intestinal schistosomiasis, in Africa and the Neotropics. S. mansoni is thought to have been imported repeatedly into the Americas during the last 500 years with the African slave trade. Surprisingly considering that the New and Old World separated 95-106 million years (Myr) ago, the disease rapidly became established due to the presence of endemic susceptible hosts. Reconstructing the phylogenetic relationships within Biomphalaria may provide insights into the successful intercontinental spread of S. mansoni. Parsimony and distance analyses of mitochondrial and nuclear sequences show African taxa to be monophyletic and Neotropical species paraphyletic, with Biomphalaria glabrata forming a separate clade from other Neotropical Biomphalaria, and ancestral to the African taxa. A west to east trans-Atlantic dispersal of a B. glabrata-like taxon, possibly as recently as the Plio-Pleistocene (1.8-3.6 Myr ago) according to a general mitochondrial clock, would fit these observations. Vicariance or an African origin for B. glabrata followed by multiple introductions to South America over the past 500 years with the African slave trade seem unlikely explanations. Knowledge of the phylogenetic relationships among important intermediate host species may prove useful in furthering control measures which exploit genetic differences in susceptibility to parasites, and in elucidating the evolution of schistosome resistance.
PMCID: PMC1690836  PMID: 11133023
7.  West Nile encephalitis in Israel, 1999: the New York connection. 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2001;7(4):659-661.
We describe two cases of West Nile (WN) encephalitis in a married couple in Tel Aviv, Israel, in 1999. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction performed on a brain specimen from the husband detected a WN viral strain nearly identical to avian strains recovered in Israel in 1998 (99.9% genomic sequence homology) and in New York in 1999 (99.8%). This result supports the hypothesis that the 1999 WN virus epidemic in the United States originated from the introduction of a strain that had been circulating in Israel.
PMCID: PMC2631756  PMID: 11585528
8.  Widespread West Nile virus activity, eastern United States, 2000. 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2001;7(4):730-735.
In 1999, the U.S. West Nile (WN) virus epidemic was preceded by widespread reports of avian deaths. In 2000, ArboNET, a cooperative WN virus surveillance system, was implemented to monitor the sentinel epizootic that precedes human infection. This report summarizes 2000 surveillance data, documents widespread virus activity in 2000, and demonstrates the utility of monitoring virus activity in animals to identify human risk for infection.
PMCID: PMC2631748  PMID: 11585539
9.  The identification of salicylates as normal constituents of serum: a link between diet and health? 
Journal of Clinical Pathology  1998;51(7):502-505.
AIM: To examine sera for the presence of salicylic acid and 2,3- and 2,5-dihydroxybenzoic acids (2,3- and 2,5-DHBA), in individuals not taking salicylate drugs. METHODS: Extracts of acidified serum samples were analysed by high performance liquid chromatography with electro-chemical detection. The chromatographic conditions were altered, and the retention times of the unknown compounds compared against authentic salicylic acid, 2,3-DHBA, and 2,5-DHBA. Serum samples (some spiked with salicylic acid) were incubated with salicylate hydroxylase and analyses undertaken. An extract of acidified serum was derivatised using N-methyl-N-trimethylsilyltrifluoroacetamide and the salicylic acid derivative identified by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. RESULTS: Salicylic acid, 2,3-DHBA, and 2,5-DHBA were identified as being normal constituents of serum. CONCLUSIONS: Salicylic acid, 2,3-DHBA, and 2,5-DHBA possess anti-inflammatory properties. The finding that these compounds are present as normal constituents of serum, possibly arising from diet, raises important questions as to their role in the promotion of health.
PMCID: PMC500801  PMID: 9797725
10.  Hygiene at winter bird feeders in a southwestern Ontario city. 
The Canadian Veterinary Journal  2000;41(9):695-698.
To further understand the source of the epidemic of salmonellosis in some species of birds using bird feeders in southern Ontario in the winter of 1997-1998, 124 bird feeder stations were examined for their state of hygiene and for Salmonella on 5 occasions during the winter of 1999 in a city of 100,000 people in southwestern Ontario. No Salmonella were isolated from feed contaminated with feces recovered from the feeders. Squirrel-proof feeders were significantly less contaminated with feces than were other feeder types (hopper, platform, silo), which did not differ significantly in their hygiene scores. Contamination of squirrel-proof feeders increased significantly through the course of the study, but other feeder types showed no significant change. Hygiene was poorer if feeders were maintained equally by both male and female household members, particularly as they grew older, but no age or gender effect was observed if only one person was largely responsible for maintaining the feeders. We concluded that winter bird feeder stations in a southern Ontario city were not contaminated with Salmonella but that bird feeder stations could be designed better to reduce fecal contamination of feed.
PMCID: PMC1476403  PMID: 10992987
11.  The role of pathology in an investigation of an outbreak of West Nile encephalitis in New York, 1999. 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2000;6(4):370-372.
An outbreak of encephalitis occurred in New York City in late August 1999, the first caused by West Nile virus in North America. Histopathologic and immunopathologic examinations performed on human autopsy materials helped guide subsequent laboratory and epidemiologic investigations that led to identification of the etiologic agent.
PMCID: PMC2640902  PMID: 10905969
12.  Non-heart-beating organ donors as a source of kidneys for transplantation: a chart review 
BACKGROUND: Organ transplantation is the treatment of choice for patients with end-stage organ failure, but the supply of organs has not increased to meet demand. This study was undertaken to determine the potential for kidney donation from patients with irremediable brain injuries who do not meet the criteria for brain death and who experience cardiopulmonary arrest after withdrawal of ventilatory support (controlled non-heart-beating organ donors). METHODS: The charts of 209 patients who died during 1995 in the Emergency Department and the intensive care unit at the Foothills Hospital in Calgary were reviewed. The records of patients who met the criteria for controlled non-heart-beating organ donation were studied in detail. The main outcome measure was the time from discontinuation of ventilation until cardiopulmonary arrest. RESULTS: Seventeen potential controlled non-heart-beating organ donors were identified. Their mean age was 62 (standard deviation 19) years. Twelve of the patients (71%) had had a cerebrovascular accident, and more than half (10 [59%]) did not meet the criteria for brain death because one or more brain stem reflexes were present. At the time of withdrawal of ventilatory support, the mean serum creatinine level was 71 (29) mumol/L, mean urine output was 214 (178) mL/h, and 9 (53%) patients were receiving inotropic agents. The mean time from withdrawal of ventilatory support to cardiac arrest was 2.3 (5.0) hours; 13 of the 17 patients died within 1 hour, and all but one died within 6 hours. For the year for which charts were reviewed, 33 potential conventional donors (people whose hearts were beating) were identified, of whom 21 (64%) became donors. On the assumption that 40% of the potential controlled non-heart-beating donors would not in fact have been donors (25% because of family refusal and 15% because of nonviability of the organs), there might have been 10 additional donors, which would have increased the supply of cadaveric kidneys for transplantation by 48%. INTERPRETATION: A significant number of viable kidneys could be retrieved and transplanted if eligibility for kidney donation was extended to include controlled non-heart-beating organ donors.
PMCID: PMC1230361  PMID: 10373998
13.  Intrapulmonary pharmacokinetics of azithromycin in healthy volunteers given five oral doses. 
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy  1996;40(11):2582-2585.
The intrapulmonary pharmacokinetics of oral azithromycin were studied in 25 healthy volunteers, each of whom received an initial dose of 500 mg and then 250 mg once daily for four additional doses. Bronchoscopy, bronchoalveolar lavage, and venipuncture were performed 4, 28, 76, 124, 172, 244, 340, and 508 h after the first dose was administered. Azithromycin concentrations in epithelial lining fluid (ELF), alveolar macrophages, peripheral blood monocytes, and serum were measured by high-performance liquid chromatography. Azithromycin was extensively concentrated in cells and ELF. Drug concentrations in AMs (peak mean +/- standard deviation, 464 +/- 65 micrograms/ml) exceeded 80 micrograms/ml up to 508 h (21 days) following the first dose, while concentrations in PBMs (peak, 124 +/- 28 micrograms/ml) exceeded 20 micrograms/ml up to 340 h (14 days). Azithromycin concentrations in ELF peaked at 124 h (3.12 +/- 0.93 micrograms/ml) and were detectable up to 172 h (7 days), when they were 20 times the concurrent serum concentrations. Although the clinical significance of antibiotic concentrations in these compartments is nuclear, the sustained lung tissue penetration and extensive phagocytic accumulation demonstrated in this study support the proven efficacy of azithromycin administered on a 5-day dosage schedule in the treatment of extracellular or intracellular pulmonary infections.
PMCID: PMC163580  PMID: 8913469
14.  Surveillance for pneumonic plague in the United States during an international emergency: a model for control of imported emerging diseases. 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  1996;2(1):30-36.
In September 1994, in response to a reported epidemic of plague in India, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) enhanced surveillance in the United States for imported pneumonic plague. Plague information materials were rapidly developed and distributed to U.S. public health officials by electronic mail, facsimile, and expedited publication. Information was also provided to medical practitioners and the public by recorded telephone messages and facsimile transmission. Existing quarantine protocols were modified to effect active surveillance for imported plague cases at U.S. airports. Private physicians and state and local health departments were relied on in a passive surveillance system to identify travelers with suspected plague not detected at airports. From September 27 to October 27, the surveillance system identified 13 persons with suspected plague; no case was confirmed. This coordinated response to an international health emergency may serve as a model for detecting other emerging diseases and preventing their importation.
PMCID: PMC2639812  PMID: 8964057
15.  Prolonging life and allowing death: infants. 
Journal of Medical Ethics  1995;21(6):339-344.
Dilemmas about resuscitation and life-prolonging treatment for severely compromised infants have become increasingly complex as skills in neonatal care have developed. Quality of life and resource issues necessarily influence management. Our Institute of Medical Ethics working party, on whose behalf this paper is written, recognises that the ultimate responsibility for the final decision rests with the doctor in clinical charge of the infant. However, we advocate a team approach to decision-making, emphasising the important role of parents and nurses in the process. Assessing the relative burdens and benefits can be troubling, but doctors and parents need to retain a measure of discretion; legislation which would determine action in all cases is inappropriate. Caution should be exercised in involving committees in decision-making and, where they exist, their remit should remain to advise rather than to decide. Support for families who bear the consequences of their decisions is often inadequate, and facilitating access to such services is part of the wider responsibilities of the intensive care team. The authors believe that allowing death by withholding or withdrawing treatment is legitimate, where those closely involved in the care of the infant together deem the burdens to be unacceptable without compensating benefits for the infant. As part of the process accurate and careful recording is essential.
PMCID: PMC1376830  PMID: 8778457
18.  Commentary (2) 
Archives of Disease in Childhood  1994;70(5):370-371.
PMCID: PMC1029817
19.  Provision of, and patient satisfaction with, primary care services in a relatively affluent area and a relatively deprived area of Glasgow. 
This paper presents the results of a survey of the structure of general practice in two contrasting areas within Greater Glasgow health board: the south west area had a more deprived social profile at the 1981 census and higher than average all cause and selected major cause standardized mortality ratios than the health board as a whole while the north west area had a more affluent social profile at the 1981 census and lower than average all cause and selected major cause standardized mortality ratios. The general practice survey data gathered in 1989 were supplemented with data from a survey of residents of the localities in three age cohorts carried out in 1987-88, which provided information on use of services, as well as perceived accessibility of and satisfaction with them. Despite the more deprived social and mortality profile of the south west area, and greater use of services, few systematic differences in the structure of general practices were found in the two areas. These findings support other studies which suggest that the stereotype of poorly resourced, low quality primary care in inner city areas may apply in London, but not elsewhere. Respondents in both areas were equally satisfied with services and found them accessible.
PMCID: PMC1372084  PMID: 1419258
20.  Diagnosis of early Lyme disease by polymerase chain reaction amplification and culture of skin biopsies from erythema migrans lesions. 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  1992;30(12):3082-3088.
Current laboratory diagnosis of Lyme disease relies on tests for the detection of antibodies to Borrelia burgdorferi, the etiologic agent of the disease. These tests are often unreliable because of a lack of sensitivity and specificity and test-to-test variability. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the sensitivity and specificity of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification for detection of B. burgdorferi in skin biopsy specimens. Forty-six 2-mm skin biopsy samples were obtained from 44 patients with a clinical diagnosis of erythema migrans, 9 of whom were receiving antibiotic therapy at the time of biopsy. Specimens were ground in BSK medium with separate aliquots taken for culture and PCR. Of the specimens from the untreated group, 57% (21 of 37) were positive by culture and 22% (8 of 37) were culture negative; 22% (8 of 37) of the cultures were uninformative because of contamination. By comparison, 22 (59%) of 37 specimens were positive by PCR amplification. Of 21 culture-positive samples, 13 (62%) were also positive by PCR analysis. Thus, the sensitivity of the PCR was 59 to 62%, based on either a clinical or cultural diagnosis of untreated Lyme disease. None of the nine specimens from antibiotic-treated patients grew in culture, whereas two of the nine were positive by PCR analysis. Given the complexity and time required for culture, PCR is a promising technique for the diagnosis of early Lyme disease.
PMCID: PMC270592  PMID: 1452688
21.  Use of operating theatres: the effects of case-mix and training in general surgery. 
Details of theatre occupancy times for a surgical unit in a district general hospital and associated cottage hospital were recorded over a 4-month period. The average time of the procedures individually and reclassified within the BUPA schedule showed that both the severity of the procedure and the grade of surgeon influenced future theatre needs. For almost every type of procedure, as expected, consultants were quicker than registrars, who in turn were faster than SHOs. The hidden cost of training surgeons in general surgical operative procedures can be estimated as a result. It is concluded that current measures of resource use which rely only on the bed use and ignore operating theatre needs and training requirements for non-consultant grades will be misleading, particularly in relation to the large element of minor or intermediate surgery which constitutes the bulk of most district health authorities' workload.
PMCID: PMC2499457  PMID: 1759771
22.  Host genetic background effect on the frequency of mouse mammary tumor virus-induced rearrangements of the int-1 and int-2 loci in mouse mammary tumors. 
Journal of Virology  1991;65(8):4550-4554.
The frequency with which int-1 and int-2 are rearranged in mouse mammary tumors by mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV)-induced insertional mutagenesis is a consequence of the host genetic background. In 75% of C3H mammary tumors, int-1 is rearranged by MMTV insertion, whereas only 30% of BALB/cfC3H tumors contain a virus-induced rearrangement of int-1. This difference is significant (P less than 0.005) and could not be accounted for by the potentially additive effect of the genetically transmitted Mtv-1-encoded virus in C3H mice. Similarly, MMTV-induced rearrangement of the int-2 gene in mammary tumors of the R111 mouse strain (59%) occurred at a significantly (P less than 0.025) higher frequency than in BALB/cfR111 (25%) mammary tumors. Moreover, in BALB/cfR111 mammary tumors, there is evidence that rearrangement of int-1 and int-2 does not occur independently (P less than 0.025). These results suggest that the long history of inbreeding for high tumor incidence of C3H and R111 mouse strains has selected for the fixation of host mutations which either complement the action of the particular int gene or affect the sensitivity of specific subpopulations of mammary epithelium to infection by particular strains of MMTV.
PMCID: PMC248904  PMID: 1712864
23.  Polyarthritis and angioimmunoblastic lymphadenopathy. 
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  1987;46(7):555-558.
Angioimmunoblastic lymphadenopathy (AILD) is a lymphoproliferative disorder with well established clinical and histological features, one of the clinical manifestations being a peripheral polyarthritis. A case of AILD with a symmetrical non-erosive peripheral polyarthritis is described, including the findings in the synovial fluid and histology of the synovium. There was a marked reduction in the number of peripheral blood T lymphocytes bearing the CDT8 phenotype in both the peripheral blood and synovial fluid. The arthritis was difficult to control, requiring large doses of corticosteroids, which produced significant side effects. Levamisole 150 mg, one day each week, was effective in controlling the arthritis and returning the numbers of CDT8 lymphocytes to normal. The aetiology of AILD is unknown, though a defect in T cell regulation, in particular T cell suppression, with a secondary B cell proliferation has been postulated. The demonstration of reduced numbers of lymphocytes bearing the CDT8 phenotype in this patient supports that theory.
PMCID: PMC1002192  PMID: 3662644
24.  Outer membrane and porin characteristics of Serratia marcescens grown in vitro and in rat intraperitoneal diffusion chambers. 
Infection and Immunity  1990;58(5):1247-1253.
The composition and antibiotic permeability barrier of the outer membrane of Serratia marcescens were assessed in cells grown in vivo and in vitro. Intraperitoneal diffusion chambers implanted in rats were used for the in vivo cultivation of bacteria. Outer membranes isolated from log-phase bacterial cells recovered from these chambers were compared with membranes isolated from cells grown in vitro. Analysis revealed that the suspected 41-kilodalton porin and the OmpA protein were recovered on sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gels in equal quantities. Several high-molecular-weight proteins, thought to be iron starvation induced, appeared in the diffusion chamber-grown cells. The outer membrane permeability barriers to cephaloridine were similar in in vivo- and in vitro-grown cells based on permeability coefficient calculations. The permeability coefficient of cephaloridine in S. marcescens cells (30.3 x 10(-5) to 38.9 x 10(-5) cm s-1) was greater than that obtained for an Escherichia coli strain expressing only porin OmpC but smaller than those obtained for the E. coli wild type and a strain expressing only porin OmpF. Functional characterization of the suspected porin was performed by using the planar lipid bilayer technology. The sodium dodecyl sulfate-0.4 M NaCl-soluble porin from both in vitro- and in vivo-grown cells showed an average single-channel conductance in 1 M KCl of 1.6. A partial amino acid sequence (19 residues) was obtained for the S. marcescens porin. The sequence showed a very high homology to the E. coli OmpC porin. These data identified the S. marcescens outer membrane 41-kilodalton protein as a porin by both functional and amino acid analyses. Also, the methodology used allowed for efficient growth and recovery of diffusion chamber-grown bacterial cells and permitted identification of specific in vivo-induced changes in bacterial cell membrane composition.
PMCID: PMC258616  PMID: 2157667
25.  Staining bacterial flagella easily. 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  1989;27(11):2612-2615.
A wet-mount technique for staining bacterial flagella is highly successful when a stable stain and regular slides and cover slips are used. Although not producing a permanent mount, the technique is simple for routine use when the number and arrangement of flagella are critical in identifying species of motile bacteria.
PMCID: PMC267087  PMID: 2478573

Results 1-25 (105)