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1.  Virus infections and sports performance--a prospective study. 
There are numerous anecdotal reports relating infection to deterioration in sporting performance. Unexplained failures by top sportsmen are often attributed to recent or current infections. We have carried out a prospective investigation to determine the effect of viral infections on the performance of a group of 68 elite track and field athletes. Athletes were monitored for evidence of viral infection during winter training and their form was assessed subjectively and also semi-objectively by analogue scale questionnaires. Static elevated titres of neutralising antibody to Coxsackie B 1-5 were present in 54% of the athletes and 79% had serological evidence of past viral infection. The raised titres did not relate to poor performance. There was no evidence that loss of form was related to subclinical infection. Elevated antibody levels to Coxsackie B and other common viruses should be interpreted with great caution when assessing athletes complaining of poor performance.
PMCID: PMC1478736  PMID: 2852528
2.  Activation of protease-constitutive recA proteins of Escherichia coli by all of the common nucleoside triphosphates. 
Journal of Bacteriology  1988;170(10):4816-4822.
To understand why the RecA proteins of the protease-constitutive recA1202 and recA1211 mutants show very high protease activities in vivo without the usual need for DNA damage (E. S. Tessman and P. Peterson, J. Bacteriol. 163:677-687, 1985), we examined the activation of the mutant proteins by nucleoside triphosphates (NTPs) in vitro. In vivo, the mutant protease activities are resistant to inhibition by cytidine plus guanosine (C + G) in the growth medium, in contrast to the activities of weaker mutants, such as recA441, which are sensitive to C + G inhibition. We found that RecA1202 and RecA1211 proteins, in contrast to RecA+, can use natural NTPs other than ATP and dATP as cofactors in the cleavage of LexA repressor. The effectiveness of NTPs in promoting LexA cleavage by RecA1202 and RecA1211 proteins decreased in roughly the following order: dATP greater than ATP greater than UTP greater than ATP-gamma S greater than dCTP greater than CTP greater than dGTP greater than GTP greater than TTP. These mutant proteins showed higher affinities for ATP and single-stranded DNA and higher repressor cleavage activities than RecA+ protein. With the various effectors (single-stranded DNA or NTPs), the RecA1202 protein always showed more activity than RecA1211 in the cleavage of LexA repressor in vitro, which is consistent with the greater activity of the recA1202 mutant in vivo. The results explain, in part, why some recA mutants have unusually high constitutive RecA protease activity and why that activity is more or less resistant to C + G inhibition.
PMCID: PMC211525  PMID: 3049549
3.  Use of abbreviated mental status examination in the initial assessment of overdose patients. 
Archives of Emergency Medicine  1988;5(3):139-145.
Application of formal mental status testing in the emergency department (ED) to assess cognitive function has been hampered by the lack of a rapidly applied instrument. An Abbreviated Mental Status Examination (AMSE) with 10 test items that can be administered within five minutes by nursing personnel is described. Evaluation of the instrument on 296 ambulatory ED patients with grossly normal neurologic function showed that 93% of patients had a total score of seven or more correct answers and 83% of patients had eight or more correct answers. Application of the AMSE to 375 acute drug overdose patients at the same hospital showed a significant correlation with Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score. An AMSE score of seven or less was found to be more sensitive than a GCS score of 13 or less for admission to the intensive care unit (ICU) and complications in the ICU (P less than 0.001). The AMSE score may serve as a useful tool for stratifying cognitive function in acute drug overdose patients and for identifying patients at increased risk for an adverse outcome from their overdose.
PMCID: PMC1285516  PMID: 3178971
4.  Quantitative bacterial flora of acute appendicitis. 
Archives of Disease in Childhood  1988;63(5):536-540.
A quantitative bacteriological study of the appendix wall of 43 children admitted to this unit showed no significant differences between the flora of the histologically normal and acutely inflamed appendices. Bacteroides species, Escherichia coli, and streptococcal species were the commonest organisms isolated and were found in counts of 10(3) to 10(8) organisms per gram of tissue. Bacteroides species were most commonly the dominant flora in both normal and inflamed appendices. The lack of increased counts of organisms in acute inflammation of the appendix suggests an unfavourable environment to bacterial proliferation making primary bacterial infection an unlikely aetiological factor in the pathogenesis of appendicitis.
PMCID: PMC1778900  PMID: 3389871
5.  SOS-like induction in Bacillus subtilis: induction of the RecA protein analog and a damage-inducible operon by DNA damage in Rec+ and DNA repair-deficient strains. 
Journal of Bacteriology  1988;170(4):1467-1474.
We quantitated the induction of the Bacillus subtilis Rec protein (the analog of Escherichia coli RecA protein) and the B. subtilis din-22 operon (representative of a set of DNA damage-inducible operons in B. subtilis) following DNA damage in Rec+ and DNA repair-deficient strains. After exposure to mitomycin C or UV irradiation, each of four distinct rec (recA1, recB2, recE4, and recM13) mutations reduced to the same extent the rates of both Rec protein induction (determined by densitometric scanning of immunoblot transfers) and din-22 operon induction (determined by assaying beta-galactosidase activity in din-22::Tn917-lacZ fusion strains). The induction deficiencies in recA1 and recE4 strains were partially complemented by the E. coli RecA protein, which was expressed on a plasmid in B. subtilis; the E. coli RecA protein had no effect on either induction event in Rec+, recB2, or recM13 strains. These results suggest that (i) the expression of both the B. subtilis Rec protein and the din-22 operon share a common regulatory component, (ii) the recA1 and recE4 mutations affect the regulation and/or activity of the B. subtilis Rec protein, and (iii) an SOS regulatory system like the E. coli system is highly conserved in B. subtilis. We also showed that the basal level of B. subtilis Rec protein is about 4,500 molecules per cell and that maximum induction by DNA damage causes an approximately fivefold increase in the rate of Rec protein accumulation.
PMCID: PMC210990  PMID: 3127374
6.  Mechanism of selection of class II recombinant murine leukemia viruses in the highly leukemic strain CWD. 
Journal of Virology  1988;62(4):1158-1166.
The development of spontaneous lymphomas in CWD mice is associated with the expression of endogenous ecotropic murine leukemia viruses (MuLV) and the formation of recombinant viruses. However, the pattern of substitution of nonecotropic sequences within the envelope genes of the CWD class II recombinant viruses differs from that seen in class I recombinant MuLVs of AKR, C58, and HRS mice. To determine how CWD host genes might influence the envelope gene structure of the recombinant viruses, we characterized the responses of these mice to two different types of exogenous MuLVs. Neonatal mice injected the HRS class I recombinant PTV-1 became infected and developed T-cell lymphomas more rapidly than controls did. The inoculation of CWD mice with the leukemogenic AKR ecotropic virus SL3-3 led to the formation of recombinant MuLVs with a novel genetic structure and class II-like envelope genes, although SL3-3 generates class I recombinants in other strains. These results suggest that the absence of class I recombinant MuLVs in CWD mice is not related to the restriction of the replication or oncogenicity of class I viruses or to the absence of an appropriate ecotropic virus that can generate class I recombinants. More likely, the genes of CWD mice that direct the formation or selection of class II recombinant viruses affect the process of recombination between the ecotropic and nonecotropic envelope gene sequences.
PMCID: PMC253123  PMID: 2831378
9.  Heterosexual spread of human immunodeficiency virus in Edinburgh 
Heterosexual transmission of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) was investigated in 123 subjects with no apparent risk factor for infection other than having had heterosexual intercourse with a person who was either infected with HIV or at high risk of being infected with it. Seven subjects were found to be infected with the virus. Risk factors for transmission included being the regular sexual partner of an abuser of intravenous drugs and having a sexual relationship of more than 18 months' duration. Anal intercourse was not a risk factor in the three subjects who admitted to it. There were 41 regular partnerships with abusers of intravenous drugs in which the antibody state and history were fully known for both partners. In these partnerships male to female transmission of the virus occurred in five out of 34 (15%) and female to male in one out of seven. In 30 couples in whom one partner was known to be positive for HIV and an abuser of intravenous drugs four female partners were found to be seropositive at first testing, but there were no new positive results on subsequent serial testing. In six of these 30 couples both partners abused intravenous drugs but the partner who was negative for HIV remained so. Few of the partnerships always practised safe sexual techniques, even after a partner was known to be positive for HIV.
Heterosexual transmission of HIV occurred but was incomplete and may be related to the timing of the relationship with the infection.
PMCID: PMC2545169  PMID: 3126891
10.  Maternal immunization with P fimbriae for the prevention of neonatal pyelonephritis. 
Infection and Immunity  1988;56(1):1-6.
Rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) were immunized with purified P fimbriae from Escherichia coli during the last trimester of pregnancy. Infants born of these mothers were compared with those from nonimmunized rhesus mothers. A delay in the onset of renal disease after bladder infection showed protection from passive immunization. This was associated with a high antibody titer in serum. In addition to delayed onset of renal infection, a decreased number of immunized monkeys developed pyelonephritis.
PMCID: PMC259223  PMID: 2891616
11.  Simplifying infusion chemotherapy: preliminary communication. 
A low-intervention policy for Hickman catheter maintenance has been evaluated and found to be safe and cost effective. A simple, lightweight, disposable device has been used for 24-hour ambulatory home infusion. Implementation of this policy as part of a prospective randomized trial of single-agent chemotherapy in advanced breast cancer has demonstrated that slow intravenous infusion reduces the acute toxicity of epirubicin when compared with bolus injection.
PMCID: PMC1291419  PMID: 3422694

Results 1-11 (11)