Accurate values are a must in medicine. An important parameter in determining the quality of a medical instrument is agreement with a gold standard. Various statistical methods have been used to test for agreement. Some of these methods have been shown to be inappropriate. This can result in misleading conclusions about the validity of an instrument. The Bland-Altman method is the most popular method judging by the many citations of the article proposing this method. However, the number of citations does not necessarily mean that this method has been applied in agreement research. No previous study has been conducted to look into this. This is the first systematic review to identify statistical methods used to test for agreement of medical instruments. The proportion of various statistical methods found in this review will also reflect the proportion of medical instruments that have been validated using those particular methods in current clinical practice.
Five electronic databases were searched between 2007 and 2009 to look for agreement studies. A total of 3,260 titles were initially identified. Only 412 titles were potentially related, and finally 210 fitted the inclusion criteria. The Bland-Altman method is the most popular method with 178 (85%) studies having used this method, followed by the correlation coefficient (27%) and means comparison (18%). Some of the inappropriate methods highlighted by Altman and Bland since the 1980s are still in use.
This study finds that the Bland-Altman method is the most popular method used in agreement research. There are still inappropriate applications of statistical methods in some studies. It is important for a clinician or medical researcher to be aware of this issue because misleading conclusions from inappropriate analyses will jeopardize the quality of the evidence, which in turn will influence quality of care given to patients in the future.
Otitis media is a common reason for hearing loss, especially in children. Otitis media is a multifactorial disease and environmental factors, anatomic dysmorphology and genetic predisposition can all contribute to its pathogenesis. However, the reasons for the variable susceptibility to otitis media are elusive. MCPH1 mutations cause primary microcephaly in humans. So far, no hearing impairment has been reported either in the MCPH1 patients or mouse models with Mcph1 deficiency. In this study, Mcph1-deficient (Mcph1tm1a/tm1a) mice were produced using embryonic stem cells with a targeted mutation by the Sanger Institute's Mouse Genetics Project. Auditory brainstem response measurements revealed that Mcph1tm1a/tm1a mice had mild to moderate hearing impairment with around 70% penetrance. We found otitis media with effusion in the hearing-impaired Mcph1tm1a/tm1a mice by anatomic and histological examinations. Expression of Mcph1 in the epithelial cells of middle ear cavities supported its involvement in the development of otitis media. Other defects of Mcph1tm1a/tm1a mice included small skull sizes, increased micronuclei in red blood cells, increased B cells and ocular abnormalities. These findings not only recapitulated the defects found in other Mcph1-deficient mice or MCPH1 patients, but also revealed an unexpected phenotype, otitis media with hearing impairment, which suggests Mcph1 is a new gene underlying genetic predisposition to otitis media.
Campylobacter concisus, a Gram-negative bacterium that colonizes the human oral cavity, has been shown to be associated with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). The effects of different C. concisus strains on intestinal epithelial expression of Toll like receptors (TLR) have not been investigated. This study examined the effects of C. concisus strains isolated from patients with IBD and controls on expression of TLR4, its co-receptor myeloid differentiation factor (MD)-2; TLR2, TLR5, cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and interleukin (IL)-8 in HT-29 cells.
Fourteen oral and enteric C. concisus strains isolated from patients with IBD and healthy controls were co-incubated with HT-29 cells. Expression of TLR4, MD-2, TLR2, TLR5 and COX-2 in HT-29 cells in response to C. concisus infection was examined by Western blot, flow cytometry analysis and immunofluorescent staining visualized by confocal microscope. Production of IL-8 was evaluated by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
Both oral and enteric C. concisus strains upregulated expression of TLR4 in HT-29 cells. The levels of glycosylated TLR4 (Gly-TLR4) and surface TLR4 induced by C. concisus strains isolated from patients with IBD were significantly higher than those induced by C. concisus strains isolated from the healthy controls. Four C. concisus strains isolated from patients with IBD induced more than two-fold increase of surface expression of MD-2. C. concisus did not affect expression of TLR2 and TLR5. All C. concisus strains induced production of IL-8 and COX-2 in HT-29 cells.
This study shows that some C. concisus strains, most from patients with IBD, upregulate surface expression of TLR4 and MD-2 in HT-29 cells. These data suggest that a potential role of specific C. concisus strains in modulating the intestinal epithelial responses to bacterial LPS needs to be investigated.
Despite the advances in diagnosis and treatment of oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC), mortality and morbidity rates have not improved over the past decade. A major drawback in diagnosis and treatment of OSCC is the lack of knowledge relating to how genetic instability in oral cancer genomes affects oral carcinogenesis. Hence, the key aim of this study was to identify copy number alterations (CNAs) that may be cancer associated in OSCC using high-resolution array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH). To our knowledge this is the first study to use ultra-high density aCGH microarrays to profile a large number of OSCC genomes (n = 46). The most frequently amplified CNAs were located on chromosome 11q11(52%), 2p22.3(52%), 1q21.3–q22(54%), 6p21.32(59%), 20p13(61%), 7q34(52% and 72%),8p11.23–p11.22(80%), 8q11.1–q24.4(54%), 9q13–q34.3(54%), 11q23.3–q25(57%); 14q21.3–q31.1(54%); 14q31.3–q32.33(57%), 20p13–p12.3(54%) and 20q11.21–q13.33(52%). The most frequently deleted chromosome region was located on 3q26.1 (54%). In order to verify the CNAs from aCGH using quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), the three top most amplified regions and their associated genes, namely ADAM5P (8p11.23–p11.22), MGAM (7q34) and SIRPB1 (20p13.1), were selected in this study. The ADAM5P locus was found to be amplified in 39 samples and deleted in one; MGAM (24 amplifications and 3 deletions); and SIRPB1 (12 amplifications, others undetermined). On the basis of putative cancer-related annotations, two genes, namely ADAM metallopeptidase domain 9 (ADAM9) and maltase-glucoamylase alpha-glucosidase (MGAM), that mapped to CNA regions were selected for further evaluation of their mRNA expression using reverse transcriptase qPCR. The over-expression of MGAM was confirmed with a 6.6 fold increase in expression at the mRNA level whereas the fold change in ADAM9 demonstrated a 1.6 fold increase. This study has identified significant regions in the OSCC genome that were amplified and resulted in consequent over-expression of the MGAM and ADAM9 genes that may be utilized as biological markers for OSCC.
The present study aimed at investigating whether neuromotor development, from birth to 14 months of age, shows seasonal, cyclic patterns in association with months of birth. Study participants were 742 infants enrolled in the Hamamatsu Birth Cohort (HBC) Study and followed-up from birth to the 14th month of age. Gross motor skills were assessed at the ages of 6, 10, and 14 months, using Mullen Scales of Early Learning. The score at each assessment was regressed onto a trigonometric function of months of birth, with an adjustment for potential confounders. Gross motor scores at the 6th and 10th months showed significant 1-year-cycle variations, peaking among March- and April-born infants, and among February-born infants, respectively. Changes in gross motor scores between the 10th and 14th months also showed a cyclic variation, peaking among July- and August-born infants. Due to this complementary effect, gross motor scores at the 14th month did not show seasonality. Neuromotor development showed cyclic seasonality during the first year of life. The effects brought about by month of birth disappeared around 1 year of age, and warmer months seemed to accelerate the neuromotor development.
The role of T-cells in immunity against Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tuberculosis) infection has been extensively studied, however, that of B-cells still remains comparatively unexplored. In this study, we determined the presence and frequencies of mycobacteria-specific memory B-cells (MBCs) in peripheral blood from clinically healthy, Bacillus Calmette Guerin (BCG) vaccinated (n = 79) and unvaccinated (n = 14) donors. Purified protein derivative (PPD)-specific MBCs were present in most donors (both vaccinated and unvaccinated) but their frequencies were significantly higher in vaccinated than in unvaccinated donors. MBCs specific for other mycobacterial antigens [antigen-85A (Ag85A), antigen-85B (Ag85B), 6 kDalton early secretory antigenic target (ESAT-6) and the 10 kDalton-culture filtrate protein (CFP-10)] were less prevalent than those recognising PPD. Furthermore, PPD-specific MBCs were detected in BCG vaccinated donors without ESAT-6 and CFP-10 specific responses. Together, these results indicate that BCG vaccination induces long-lived MBC responses. Similar patterns of response were seen when we examined mycobacteria-specific antibody and T-cell responses in these donors. Our data show for the first time that BCG vaccination elicits long-lived mycobacteria-specific MBC responses in healthy individuals, suggesting a more substantial role of B-cells in the response to BCG and other mycobacterial infections than previously thought.
Ischemia/reperfusion injury occurring during liver transplantation is mainly due to the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) upon revascularization. Thus, delivery of antioxidant enzymes might reduce the deleterious effects of ROS and improve liver graft initial function. Mangafodipir trisodium (MnDPDP), a contrast agent currently used in magnetic resonance imaging of the liver, has been shown to be endowed with powerful antioxidant properties. We hypothesized that MnDPDP could have a protective effect against liver ischemia reperfusion injury when administrated to the donor prior to harvesting. Livers from Sprague Dawley rats pretreated or not with MnDPDP were harvested and subsequently preserved for 24 h in Celsior® solution at 4°C. Organs were then perfused ex vivo for 120 min at 37°C with Krebs Henseleit solution. In MnDPDP (5 µmol/kg) group, we observed that ATP content was significantly higher at the end of the cold preservation period relative to untreated group. After reperfusion, livers from MnDPDP-treated rats showed better tissue integrity, less hepatocellular and endothelial cell injury. This was accompanied by larger amounts of bile production and higher ATP recovery as compared to untreated livers. The protective effect of MnDPDP was associated with a significant decrease of lipid peroxidation, mitochondrial damage, and apoptosis. Interestingly, MnDPDP-pretreated livers exhibited activation of Nfr2 and HIF-1α pathways resulting in a higher catalase and HO-1 activities. MnDPDP also increased total nitric oxide (NO) production which derived from higher expression of constitutive NO synthase and lower expression of inducible NO synthase. In conclusion, our results show that donor pretreatment with MnDPDP protects the rat liver graft from cold ischemia/reperfusion injury and demonstrate for the first time the potential interest of this molecule in the field of organ preservation. Since MnDPDP is safely used in liver imaging, this preservation strategy holds great promise for translation to clinical liver transplantation.
Knee injury is one of the major problems in sports medicine, and the use of prophylactic knee braces is an attempt to reduce the occurrence and/or severity of injuries to the knee joint ligament(s) without inhibiting knee mobility. The aim of the present study was to examine the effect of one recently designed prophylactic knee brace and two neoprene knee sleeves upon performance of healthy athletes. Thirty-one healthy male athletes (age = 21.2±1.5) volunteered as participants to examine the effect of prophylactic knee brace/sleeves on performance using isokinetic and functional tests. All subjects were tested in four conditions in a random order: 1. nonbraced (control) 2. using a neoprene knee sleeve 3. using a knee sleeve with four bilateral metal supports and 4. using a prophylactic knee brace. The study design was a crossover, randomized, controlled trial. Subjects completed single leg vertical jump, cross-over hop, and the isokinetic knee flexion and extension (at 60, 180, 300°/sec). Data were collected from the above tests and analyzed for jump height, cross-over hop distance, peak torque to body weight ratio and average power, respectively. Comparisons of these variables in the four testing conditions revealed no statistically significant difference (p>0.05). The selected prophylactic brace/sleeves did not significantly inhibit athletic performance which might verify that their structure and design have caused no complication in the normal function of the knee joint. Moreover, it could be speculated that, if the brace or the sleeves had any limiting effect, our young healthy athletic subjects were well able to generate a mean peak torque large enough to overcome this possible restriction. Further studies are suggested to investigate the long term effect of these prophylactic knee brace and sleeves as well as their possible effect on the adjacent joints to the knee.
Steady two dimensional MHD laminar free convective boundary layer flows of an electrically conducting Newtonian nanofluid over a solid stationary vertical plate in a quiescent fluid taking into account the Newtonian heating boundary condition is investigated numerically. A magnetic field can be used to control the motion of an electrically conducting fluid in micro/nano scale systems used for transportation of fluid. The transport equations along with the boundary conditions are first converted into dimensionless form and then using linear group of transformations, the similarity governing equations are developed. The transformed equations are solved numerically using the Runge-Kutta-Fehlberg fourth-fifth order method with shooting technique. The effects of different controlling parameters, namely, Lewis number, Prandtl number, buoyancy ratio, thermophoresis, Brownian motion, magnetic field and Newtonian heating on the flow and heat transfer are investigated. The numerical results for the dimensionless axial velocity, temperature and nanoparticle volume fraction as well as the reduced Nusselt and Sherwood number have been presented graphically and discussed. It is found that the rate of heat and mass transfer increase as Newtonian heating parameter increases. The dimensionless velocity and temperature distributions increase with the increase of Newtonian heating parameter. The results of the reduced heat transfer rate is compared for convective heating boundary condition and found an excellent agreement.
In recent years, progress in information and communication technology (ICT) has caused many structural changes such as reorganizing of economics, globalization, and trade extension, which leads to capital flows and enhancing information availability. Moreover, ICT plays a significant role in development of each economic sector, especially during liberalization process. Growth economists predict that economic growth is driven by investments in ICT. However, empirical studies on this issue have produced mixed results, regarding to different research methodology and geographical configuration of the study. This paper examines the impact of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) use on economic growth using the Generalized Method of Moments (GMM) estimator within the framework of a dynamic panel data approach and applies it to 159 countries over the period 2000 to 2009. The results indicate that there is a positive relationship between growth rate of real GDP per capita and ICT use index (as measured by the number of internet users, fixed broadband internet subscribers and the number of mobile subscription per 100 inhabitants). We also find that the effect of ICT use on economic growth is higher in high income group rather than other groups. This implies that if these countries seek to enhance their economic growth, they need to implement specific policies that facilitate ICT use.
Valve interstitial cells populate aortic valve cusps and have been implicated in aortic valve calcification. Here we investigate a common in vitro model for aortic valve calcification by characterizing nodule formation in porcine aortic valve interstitial cells (PAVICs) cultured in osteogenic (OST) medium supplemented with transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGF-β1). Using a combination of materials science and biological techniques, we investigate the relevance of PAVICs nodules in modeling the mineralised material produced in calcified aortic valve disease. PAVICs were grown in OST medium supplemented with TGF-β1 (OST+TGF-β1) or basal (CTL) medium for up to 21 days. Murine calvarial osteoblasts (MOBs) were grown in OST medium for 28 days as a known mineralizing model for comparison. PAVICs grown in OST+TGF-β1 produced nodular structures staining positive for calcium content; however, micro-Raman spectroscopy allowed live, noninvasive imaging that showed an absence of mineralized material, which was readily identified in nodules formed by MOBs and has been identified in human valves. Gene expression analysis, immunostaining, and transmission electron microscopy imaging revealed that PAVICs grown in OST+TGF-β1 medium produced abundant extracellular matrix via the upregulation of the gene for Type I Collagen. PAVICs, nevertheless, did not appear to further transdifferentiate to osteoblasts. Our results demonstrate that ‘calcified’ nodules formed from PAVICs grown in OST+TGF-β1 medium do not mineralize after 21 days in culture, but rather they express a myofibroblast-like phenotype and produce a collagen-rich extracellular matrix. This study clarifies further the role of PAVICs as a model of calcification of the human aortic valve.
Diarrhoea is an important cause of death in the developing world, and rotavirus is the single most important cause of diarrhoea associated mortality. Two vaccines (Rotarix and RotaTeq) are available to prevent rotavirus disease. This analysis was undertaken to aid the decision in Kenya as to which vaccine to choose when introducing rotavirus vaccination.
Cost-effectiveness modelling, using national and sentinel surveillance data, and an impact assessment on the cold chain.
The median estimated incidence of rotavirus disease in Kenya was 3015 outpatient visits, 279 hospitalisations and 65 deaths per 100,000 children under five years of age per year. Cumulated over the first five years of life vaccination was predicted to prevent 34% of the outpatient visits, 31% of the hospitalizations and 42% of the deaths. The estimated prevented costs accumulated over five years totalled US$1,782,761 (direct and indirect costs) with an associated 48,585 DALYs. From a societal perspective Rotarix had a cost-effectiveness ratio of US$142 per DALY (US$5 for the full course of two doses) and RotaTeq US$288 per DALY ($10.5 for the full course of three doses). RotaTeq will have a bigger impact on the cold chain compared to Rotarix.
Vaccination against rotavirus disease is cost-effective for Kenya irrespective of the vaccine. Of the two vaccines Rotarix was the preferred choice due to a better cost-effectiveness ratio, the presence of a vaccine vial monitor, the requirement of fewer doses and less storage space, and proven thermo-stability.
Children with latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) represent a huge reservoir for future disease. We wished to determine Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M.tb) infection prevalence among BCG-immunised five-year-old children in Entebbe, Uganda, but there are limited data on the performance of immunoassays for diagnosis of tuberculosis infection in children in endemic settings. We therefore evaluated agreement between a commercial interferon gamma release assay (T-SPOT.TB) and the tuberculin skin test (TST; 2 units RT-23 tuberculin; positive defined as diameter ≥10 mm), along with the reproducibility of T-SPOT.TB on short-term follow-up, in this population.
We recruited 907 children of which 56 were household contacts of TB patients. They were tested with T-SPOT.TB at age five years and then re-examined with T-SPOT.TB (n = 405) and TST (n = 319) approximately three weeks later. The principal outcome measures were T-SPOT.TB and TST positivity. At five years, 88 (9.7%) children tested positive by T-SPOT.TB. More than half of those that were T-SPOT.TB positive at five years were negative at follow-up, whereas 96% of baseline negatives were consistently negative. We observed somewhat better agreement between initial and follow-up T-SPOT.TB results among household TB contacts (κ = 0.77) than among non-contacts (κ = 0.39). Agreement between T-SPOT.TB and TST was weak (κ = 0.28 and κ = 0.40 for T-SPOT.TB at 5 years and follow-up, respectively). Of 28 children who were positive on both T-SPOT.TB tests, 14 (50%) had a negative TST. Analysis of spot counts showed high levels of instability in responses between baseline and follow-up, indicating variability in circulating numbers of T cells specific for certain M.tb antigens.
We found that T-SPOT.TB positives are unstable over a three-week follow-up interval, and that TST compares poorly with T-SPOT.TB, making the categorisation of children as TB-infected or TB-uninfected difficult. Existing tools for the diagnosis of TB infection are unsatisfactory in determining infection among children in this setting.
The approximately 300 (298, 95% CI: 152–581) elephants in the Lower Kinabatangan Managed Elephant Range in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo are a priority sub-population for Borneo's total elephant population (2,040, 95% CI: 1,184–3,652). Habitat loss and human-elephant conflict are recognized as the major threats to Bornean elephant survival. In the Kinabatangan region, human settlements and agricultural development for oil palm drive an intense fragmentation process. Electric fences guard against elephant crop raiding but also remove access to suitable habitat patches. We conducted expert opinion-based least-cost analyses, to model the quantity and configuration of available suitable elephant habitat in the Lower Kinabatangan, and called this the Elephant Habitat Linkage. At 184 km2, our estimate of available habitat is 54% smaller than the estimate used in the State's Elephant Action Plan for the Lower Kinabatangan Managed Elephant Range (400 km2). During high flood levels, available habitat is reduced to only 61 km2. As a consequence, short-term elephant densities are likely to surge during floods to 4.83 km−2 (95% CI: 2.46–9.41), among the highest estimated for forest-dwelling elephants in Asia or Africa. During severe floods, the configuration of remaining elephant habitat and the surge in elephant density may put two villages at elevated risk of human-elephant conflict. Lower Kinabatangan elephants are vulnerable to the natural disturbance regime of the river due to their limited dispersal options. Twenty bottlenecks less than one km wide throughout the Elephant Habitat Linkage, have the potential to further reduce access to suitable habitat. Rebuilding landscape connectivity to isolated habitat patches and to the North Kinabatangan Managed Elephant Range (less than 35 km inland) are conservation priorities that would increase the quantity of available habitat, and may work as a mechanism to allow population release, lower elephant density, reduce human-elephant conflict, and enable genetic mixing.
The association of Insulin-like growth factor 2 mRNA-binding protein 2 (IGF2BP2) common variants (rs4402960 and rs1470579) with type 2 diabetes (T2D) has been performed in different populations. The aim of this study was to evaluate the association of alternative variants of IGF2BP2; rs6777038, rs16860234 and rs7651090 with glutamic acid decarboxylase antibodies (GADA) negative diabetes in Malaysian Subjects.
IGF2BP2; rs6777038, rs16860234 and rs7651090 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were genotyped in 1107 GADA negative diabetic patients and 620 control subjects of Asian from Malaysia. The additive genetic model adjusted for age, race, gender and BMI showed that alternative variants; rs6777038, rs16860234 and rs7651090 of IGF2BP2 associated with GADA negative diabetes (OR = 1.21; 1.36; 1.35, P = 0.03; 0.0004; 0.0002, respectively). In addition, the CCG haplotype and diplotype CCG-TCG increased the risk of diabetes (OR = 1.51, P = 0.01; OR = 2.36, P = 0.009, respectively).
IGF2BP2 alternative variants were associated with GADA negative diabetes. The IGF2BP2 haplotypes and diplotypes increased the risk of diabetes in Malaysian subject.
Campylobacter concisus, a bacterium colonizing the human oral cavity, has been shown to be associated with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). This study investigated if patients with IBD are colonized with specific oral C. concisus strains that have potential to cause enteric diseases.
Seventy oral and enteric C. concisus isolates obtained from eight patients with IBD and six controls were examined for housekeeping genes by multilocus sequence typing (MLST), Caco2 cell invasion by gentamicin-protection-assay, protein analysis by mass spectrometry and SDS-PAGE, and morphology by scanning electron microscopy. The whole genome sequenced C. concisus strain 13826 which was isolated from an individual with bloody diarrhea was included in MLST analysis.
MLST analysis showed that 87.5% of individuals whose C. concisus belonged to Cluster I had inflammatory enteric diseases (six IBD and one with bloody diarrhea), which was significantly higher than that in the remaining individuals (28.6%) (P<0.05). Enteric invasive C. concisus (EICC) oral strain was detected in 50% of patients with IBD and none of the controls. All EICC strains were in Cluster 1. The C. concisus strain colonizing intestinal tissues of patient No. 1 was closely related to the oral C. concisus strain from patient No. 6 and had gene recombination with the patient’s own oral C. concisus. The oral and intestinal C. concisus strains of patient No. 3 were the same strain. Some individuals were colonized with multiple oral C. concisus strains that have undergone natural recombination.
This study provides the first evidence that patients with IBD are colonized with specific oral C. concisus strains, with some being EICC strains. C. concisus colonizing intestinal tissues of patients with IBD at least in some instances results from an endogenous colonization of the patient’s oral C. concisus and that C. concisus strains undergo natural recombination.
Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi (S. Typhi) is strictly a human intracellular pathogen. It causes acute systemic (typhoid fever) and chronic infections that result in long-term asymptomatic human carriage. S. Typhi displays diverse disease manifestations in human infection and exhibits high clonality. The principal factors underlying the unique lifestyle of S. Typhi in its human host during acute and chronic infections remain largely unknown and are therefore the main objective of this study.
To obtain insight into the intracellular lifestyle of S. Typhi, a high-throughput phenotypic microarray was employed to characterise the catabolic capacity of 190 carbon sources in S. Typhi strains. The success of this study lies in the carefully selected library of S. Typhi strains, including strains from two geographically distinct areas oftyphoid endemicity, an asymptomatic human carrier, clinical stools and blood samples and sewage-contaminated rivers. An extremely low carbon catabolic capacity (27% of 190 carbon substrates) was observed among the strains. The carbon catabolic profiles appeared to suggest that S. Typhi strains survived well on carbon subtrates that are found abundantly in the human body but not in others. The strains could not utilise plant-associated carbon substrates. In addition, α-glycerolphosphate, glycerol, L-serine, pyruvate and lactate served as better carbon sources to monosaccharides in the S. Typhi strains tested.
The carbon catabolic profiles suggest that S. Typhi could survive and persist well in the nutrient depleted metabolic niches in the human host but not in the environment outside of the host. These findings serve as caveats for future studies to understand how carbon catabolism relates to the pathogenesis and transmission of this pathogen.
The gene therapy field is currently limited by the lack of vehicles that permit efficient gene delivery to specific cell or tissue subsets. Native viral vector tropisms offer a powerful platform for transgene delivery but remain nonspecific, requiring elevated viral doses to achieve efficacy. In order to improve upon these strategies, our group has focused on genetically engineering targeting domains into viral capsid proteins, particularly those based on adenovirus serotype 5 (Ad5). Our primary strategy is based on deletion of the fiber knob domain, to eliminate broad tissue specificity through the human coxsackie-and-adenovirus receptor (hCAR), with seamless incorporation of ligands to re-direct Ad tropism to cell types that express the cognate receptors. Previously, our group and others have demonstrated successful implementation of this strategy in order to specifically target Ad to a number of surface molecules expressed on immortalized cell lines. Here, we utilized phage biopanning to identify a myeloid cell-binding peptide (MBP), with the sequence WTLDRGY, and demonstrated that MBP can be successfully incorporated into a knob-deleted Ad5. The resulting virus, Ad.MBP, results in specific binding to primary myeloid cell types, as well as significantly higher transduction of these target populations ex vivo, compared to unmodified Ad5. These data are the first step in demonstrating Ad targeting to cell types associated with inflammatory disease.
Haploinsufficiency of part of human chromosome 21 results in a rare condition known as Monosomy 21. This disease displays a variety of clinical phenotypes, including intellectual disability, craniofacial dysmorphology, skeletal and cardiac abnormalities, and respiratory complications. To search for dosage-sensitive genes involved in this disorder, we used chromosome engineering to generate a mouse model carrying a deletion of the Lipi–Usp25 interval, syntenic with 21q11.2-q21.1 in humans. Haploinsufficiency for the 6 genes in this interval resulted in no gross morphological defects and behavioral analysis performed using an open field test, a test of anxiety, and tests for social interaction were normal in monosomic mice. Monosomic mice did, however, display impaired memory retention compared to control animals. Moreover, when fed a high-fat diet (HFD) monosomic mice exhibited a significant increase in fat mass/fat percentage estimate compared with controls, severe fatty changes in their livers, and thickened subcutaneous fat. Thus, genes within the Lipi–Usp25 interval may participate in memory retention and in the regulation of fat deposition.
Investigation of genetic heterogeneity and spoligotype-defined lineages of drug-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis clinical isolates collected during a three-year period in two university hospitals and National Tuberculosis Reference and Research Laboratory in Ankara, Turkey.
Methods and Findings
A total of 95 drug-resistant M. tuberculosis isolates collected from three different centers were included in this study. Susceptibility testing of the isolates to four major antituberculous drugs was performed using proportion method on Löwenstein–Jensen medium and BACTEC 460-TB system. All clinical isolates were typed by using spoligotyping and IS6110-restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) methods. Seventy-three of the 95 (76.8%) drug resistant M. tuberculosis isolates were isoniazid-resistant, 45 (47.4%) were rifampicin-resistant, 32 (33.7%) were streptomycin-resistant and 31 (32.6%) were ethambutol-resistant. The proportion of multidrug-resistant isolates (MDR) was 42.1%. By using spoligotyping, 35 distinct patterns were observed; 75 clinical isolates were grouped in 15 clusters (clustering rate of 79%) and 20 isolates displayed unique patterns. Five of these 20 unique patterns corresponded to orphan patterns in the SITVIT2 database, while 4 shared types containing 8 isolates were newly created. The most prevalent M. tuberculosis lineages were: Haarlem (23/95, 24.2%), ill-defined T superfamily (22/95, 23.2%), the Turkey family (19/95, 20%; previously designated as LAM7-TUR), Beijing (6/95, 6.3%), and Latin-America & Mediterranean (LAM, 5/95 or 5.3%), followed by Manu (3/95, 3.2%) and S (1/95, 1%) lineages. Four of the six Beijing family isolates (66.7%) were MDR. A combination of IS6110-RFLP and spoligotyping reduced the clustering rate from 79% to 11.5% among the drug resistant isolates.
The results obtained showed that ill-defined T, Haarlem, the Turkey family (previously designated as LAM7-TUR family with high phylogeographical specifity for Turkey), Beijing and LAM were predominant lineages observed in almost 80% of the drug-Resistant M. tuberculosis complex clinical isolates in Ankara, Turkey.
To determine the mean values for central corneal thickness (CCT) and intraocular pressure (IOP) and the relationship between these values, in healthy Malay children to serve as reference values in diagnosis and treatment.
A cross-sectional study.
One hundred and eight eyes (54 subjects) of Malay children without diagnosis of ocular abnormality or disease meeting our inclusion and exclusion criteria were selected. The CCT and IOP were measured by specular microscopy and non-contact air-puff tonometry respectively, for analysis and comparison with the values obtained in previous studies. Mean CCT and IOP was found to be 530.87±30.79 µm and 15.65±3.05 mm Hg respectively. CCT was found not to vary with age. A positive relationship was found between CCT and IOP; specifically, with every 100-µm increase in CCT, IOP increased by 3.5 mm Hg.
CCT and IOP are strongly related in healthy Malay children aged 8 to 16. The mean CCT of Malay children is lower than that of majority children of other ethnic groups, supporting the existence of CCT variation among different populations and that ethnicity should be a key consideration when applying CCT data to the general pediatric population.