The growing attention given to H. pylori is not surprising since this pathogen colonizes more than at least half of the world’s inhabitants. In Ethiopia particularly in Gondar, there is no current study conducted about seroprevalence and trend of the prevalence of H. pylori. Therefore the aim of this study was to determine the seroprevalence and its trend of the H. pylori in three consecutive years in North Gondar, North West Ethiopia.
Retrospective study was conducted using data collected from log book of serology laboratory of Gondar University Hospital. We collected data from January 2009 to December 2011 and 1388 subjects were included whose data were registered completely.
Among all of the study subjects, 912 (65.7%) were found to be seropositive. The prevalence in male was 449/679 (66.1%) and in females it was 463/709 (65.3%). The prevalence of H.pylori infection was significantly higher (77.0%) in patients whose age is greater than 60 years and the lowest positive age group was between 0–20 in which only 59.1% were positive (X2 =14.15,p=0.0146). The seroprevalence was 86.5% in 2009 and it decreased to 51.8% in 2010. But the seroprevalence increased to 61.3% in 2011.
This study showed high seroprevalence of H .pylori among the dyspeptic patients in GUH. The trend of the seroprevalence was varied from year to year in the three consecutive years. In general it showed that the seroprevalence has started increasing.
H. pylori; Dyspeptic patients; Seroprevalence
Schistosomiasis is a major cause of morbidity and mortality, with over 200 million people infected worldwide. Eighty-five percent of cases are in Africa. The hepatosplenic form develops over time by an immune reaction to trapped Schistosoma mansoni eggs in the portal system leading to liver fibrosis, portal hypertension and oesophageal varices. Most patients presenting to the University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka with oesophageal varices, come from Western province, but no formal studies have been carried out in this area assessing the burden of hepatosplenic pathology. We aimed to define the extent of the problem in Kaoma district, western Zambia, and to correlate signs and symptoms with serology.
A symptom questionnaire, demographic survey and physical examination was conducted amongst patients presenting to Kaoma district outpatient clinics. To assess the prevalence of Schistosoma mansoni infections, blood was collected and screened for the presence of Schistosoma antibodies using Enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Of the 110 patients screened, 97 (88%) were ELISA positive. Forty-six percent (51/110) reported haematochezia and 7% experienced haematemesis (8/110). On physical examination 27% (30/110) hepatomegaly and 17% (30/110) splenomegaly was observed amongst participants but there were few correlations between serology and signs/symptoms. On questioning 68% (75/110) of participants knew nothing about schistosomiasis transmission.
Our serological and clinical data indicate a very heavy burden of schistosomiasis-related portal hypertension. Our evidence highlights a need for mass treatment in Kaoma to address and prevent extensive pathology of hepatosplenic schistosomiasis. Safe water and health education throughout Western Province are clearly also important.
Schistosomiasis; Schistosoma mansoni; Zambia; Seroepidemiology; ELISA; Hepatosplenic
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is endemic worldwide. Given significant rates of infectivity, all infants born to Hepatitis B surface antigen positive mothers need to receive treatment at birth, immunization and post-vaccination serologic testing. However, not all infants complete these requirements.
We performed a retrospective review of the management of infants born to Hepatitis B infected mothers at two large military hospitals in the United States that use a global electronic medical record to track patient results. We then compared these results to those recently published by the National Perinatal Hepatitis B Prevention Program (PHBPP), which does not include hospitals in the United States Military Healthcare System. Our results show that although all infants were managed appropriately at birth and immunization rates were very high, post vaccination follow-up testing rates were much lower than those seen in centers participating in the PHBPP. The rates of post vaccination serological testing were significantly higher for infants born to Hepatitis B e antigen positive mothers and those referred to a pediatric infectious disease specialist.
Despite use of a global electronic medical record in the United States Military Healthcare System, management of HBV-exposed infants does not always follow recommended guidelines. These infants could benefit from a more systematic method of follow-up, similar to the PHBPP, to ensure HBV serologic testing is obtained after the vaccination series is complete.
Electronic health records; HBIG; Hepatitis B; Hepatitis B vaccines; Military; Newborns
Trastuzumab is a humanized monoclonal antibody that binds to the extracellular domain of the human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER 2) and inhibits carcinoma cellular proliferation. Its use as an adjuvant for a period of one year is currently an internationally recognised standard for the treatment of localized breast cancer. Its use is generally well tolerated, with the most salient side effect being a particular cardiotoxicity that is typically manifested by an asymptomatic decrease in the left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) requiring careful monitoring before and during treatment. To evaluate the cardiac safety of trastuzumab we conducted a retrospective observational study of patients with HER2-positive localized breast cancer treated with trastuzumab between May 2008 and May 2010 in Morocco.
The study comprised of 100 patients. The average in LVEF before the start of trastuzumab was 70%, and at the end of treatment 66%, a decrease in absolute terms of 4%; this difference was statistically significant. 38% of the patients exhibited cardiotoxicity. 97% of our patients have completed treatment, of whom 23% with a provisional arrest because of a regressive fall in LVEF. A final arrest has been made in 3% of cases due to a non regressive reduction in LVEF. A symptomatic heart failure was found in three patients. Analysis of risk factors toxicity found a baseline LVEF higher in the patients who met cardiotoxicity than the rest of our sample.
The cardiac safety in our study seems comparable with the literature data but located in the upper range of levels of toxicity. Cardiotoxicity is the major complication of Trastuzumab, of which LV dysfunction is the most common. Most instances are transient, asymptomatic and reversible.
Influenza A virus contributes to seasonal epidemics and pandemics and contains Global Ordered RNA structure (GORS) in the nucleoprotein (NP), non-structural (NS), PB2, and M segments. A related virus, influenza B, is also a major annual public health threat, but unlike influenza A is very selective to human hosts. This study extends the search for GORS to influenza B.
A survey of all available influenza B sequences reveals GORS in the (+) and (−)RNAs of the NP, NS, PB2, and PB1 gene segments. The results are similar to influenza A, except GORS is observed for the M1 segment of influenza A but not for PB1. In general, the folding free energies of human-specific influenza B RNA segments are less stable than allowable by the encoded amino acid sequence. This is consistent with findings in influenza A, where human-specific influenza RNA folds are less stable than avian and swine strains.
These results reveal fundamental molecular similarities and differences between Influenza A and B and suggest a rational basis for choosing segments to target with therapeutics and for viral attenuation for live vaccines by altering RNA folding stability.
RNA; RNA secondary structure; Influenza; Influenza A; Influenza B; Structural bioinformatics; GORS
The leaf-cutter ant Atta laevigata (Formicidae: Attini) is an agricultural pest largely distributed in the Neotropics and a model organism for studies of evolution, speciation and population genetics. Microsatellites are a very powerful tool for these kind of studies, but such markers are not available for studies on A. laevigata. In the present report, we describe the isolation and characterization of nine microsatellite loci in A. laevigata and the testing of these markers across other species of leaf-cutter ants.
Nine microsatellite loci, consisting of six dinucloeotide, one trinucleotide, one tetranucleotide, and one di/trinucleotide repeat motifs, were isolated and characterized. Primers and protocols were successfully designed to selectively amplify these markers. To test effectiveness of these markers for detailed population genetic studies, we genotyped female workers collected from 36 monogynic nests of A. laevigata and found that eight loci were within Hardy–Weinberg expectations, while the remaining locus had a deficiency of heterozygotes. Micro-Checker analysis of individuals from 55 monogynic nests indicated that loci Alae11, Alae24, Alae18 showed signs of null alleles. For the remaining six loci, the number of alleles per locus ranged between 2 and 11, with expected heterozygosity ranging between 0.07 and 0.88. All of these loci cross-amplified in other species of Atta.
These six polymorphic microsatellite loci should prove useful for future genetic investigations of the pest species Atta laevigata, as well as studies of other species of leaf-cutter ants in the genus Atta.
Attini; Molecular systematics; Pest ant; Population genetics; Speciation
Genetic variation at the melanocortin-1 receptor (MC1R) gene is correlated with melanin color variation in many birds. Feral pigeons (Columba livia) show two major melanin-based colorations: a red coloration due to pheomelanic pigment and a black coloration due to eumelanic pigment. Furthermore, within each color type, feral pigeons display continuous variation in the amount of melanin pigment present in the feathers, with individuals varying from pure white to a full dark melanic color. Coloration is highly heritable and it has been suggested that it is under natural or sexual selection, or both. Our objective was to investigate whether MC1R allelic variants are associated with plumage color in feral pigeons.
We sequenced 888 bp of the coding sequence of MC1R among pigeons varying both in the type, eumelanin or pheomelanin, and the amount of melanin in their feathers. We detected 10 non-synonymous substitutions and 2 synonymous substitution but none of them were associated with a plumage type. It remains possible that non-synonymous substitutions that influence coloration are present in the short MC1R fragment that we did not sequence but this seems unlikely because we analyzed the entire functionally important region of the gene.
Our results show that color differences among feral pigeons are probably not attributable to amino acid variation at the MC1R locus. Therefore, variation in regulatory regions of MC1R or variation in other genes may be responsible for the color polymorphism of feral pigeons.
Columba livia; Feral pigeon; MC1R; Pigmentation; Color; Birds
Genetic linkage maps are important tools in breeding programmes and quantitative trait analyses. Traditional molecular markers used for genotyping are limited in throughput and efficiency. The advent of next-generation sequencing technologies has facilitated progeny genotyping and genetic linkage map construction in the major grains. However, the applicability of the approach remains untested in the fungal system.
Shiitake mushroom, Lentinula edodes, is a basidiomycetous fungus that represents one of the most popular cultivated edible mushrooms. Here, we developed a rapid genotyping method based on low-coverage (~0.5 to 1.5-fold) whole-genome resequencing. We used the approach to genotype 20 single-spore isolates derived from L. edodes strain L54 and constructed the first high-density sequence-based genetic linkage map of L. edodes. The accuracy of the proposed genotyping method was verified experimentally with results from mating compatibility tests and PCR-single-strand conformation polymorphism on a few known genes. The linkage map spanned a total genetic distance of 637.1 cM and contained 13 linkage groups. Two hundred sequence-based markers were placed on the map, with an average marker spacing of 3.4 cM. The accuracy of the map was confirmed by comparing with previous maps the locations of known genes such as matA and matB.
We used the shiitake mushroom as an example to provide a proof-of-principle that low-coverage resequencing could allow rapid genotyping of basidiospore-derived progenies, which could in turn facilitate the construction of high-density genetic linkage maps of basidiomycetous fungi for quantitative trait analyses and improvement of genome assembly.
Assembly; Basidiomycota; Mapping; Mushroom; NGS; Pyrosequencing; QTL; Shiitake
Wall lizards of genus Podarcis are abundant and conspicuous reptiles inhabiting Europe and North Africa. In recent years, they have become a popular lizard model for phylogeographical and evolutionary ecology studies. However a lack of suitable nuclear markers currently presents a limitation on analyses of molecular evolution within this genus. We address this limitation by developing twenty-one new primer pairs for polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification and sequencing of anonymous sequence markers in Podarcis vaucheri and performed an assay of their cross-amplification and polymorphism levels in two closely- (P. bocagei and P. liolepis) and two distantly-related (P. muralis and P. tiliguerta) congeners.
Cross-amplification and sequencing was straightforward among members of the Iberian and North-African group within genus Podarcis (which includes P. vaucheri), and somewhat less successful in species belonging to other groups (one and four loci out of 21 failed to amplify in P. muralis and P. tiliguerta, respectively, and overall success rates were lower). Nucleotide diversity for the five species examined ranged from 0.35% to 3.5%, with an average of 1.5% across all loci. Insertion and deletion polymorphisms were found in all but three loci.
Given the high cross-amplification rates, these markers constitute a valuable addition to set of genomic resources available for Podarcis, especially in studies dealing with phylogenetics, species delimitation, population genetics and phylogeography.
Podarcis; Polymorphism; Lizards; Squamata; Lacertidae; Nuclear sequence marker; Genetic diversity
The aim of this case series/control study is to investigate the presence of the Advanced Glycation End products (AGEs) and oxidative stress in periimplantitis.
The study group was composed of five dental implants, failed within 6 months after implantation, taken from 5 subjects (3 M/2 F) aged between 43–57 years and stored in isotonic liquid before freezing at -80°C, according to literature. All the implants had been placed using traditional submerged technique. The whole saliva was also collected using Salimetrics device and stored at -80°C, to assess molecular analysis. Two age-matched control groups were examined: they consisted of 5 subjects encountering dental extraction for chronic periodontal disease (2 M/3 F) and 5 healthy subjects (3 M/2 F) who needed extraction for dental trauma. Their whole saliva was collected with the same method. The implants and the tooth of control groups were processed to assess Western Blotting for identification of AGEs. The case/control whole saliva was used to perform ThioBarbituric Acid Reactive Substances (TBARS) for oxidative stress evaluation.
The Western Blotting analysis on periimplantitis and periodontal disease tissues showed marked increase of AGEs when compared to healthy control tissues. Also TBARS assay of whole saliva confirmed the expectations, showing higher oxidative stress levels in periimplantitis and periodontitis groups than in healthy group.
With the limitation of the sample size, these results showed that oxidative stress could be involved in the aetiology of periimplantitis. This hypothesis could lead to new therapeutic strategies in periimplantitis, using antioxidant approach in addition to conventional treatments.
Dental implants; Periimplantitis; Oxidative stress; Glycation; Advanced glycation end products; AGEs; ROS
Child Death Overview Panels (CDOP) provide a multidisciplinary and confidential forum to learn from and reduce deaths in those under 18 years. How well they perform and how to improve their effectiveness is a question posed at both local and national levels in England. With this in mind, this study looked at the child death review process in two London boroughs with a joint CDOP.
Data on cases reviewed from April 2008 to January 2011 were analysed focusing on cause of death and modifiable factors. Key stakeholders involved in the child death review process were interviewed regarding the effectiveness of the local death review process with responses analysed thematically.
105 (50.5%) of all notified deaths were reviewed to completion by CDOP of which 26.7% had modifiable factors. Neonates were the largest group of deaths (42.8%). Stakeholders found reviews time consuming, required significant administration and better integration with related processes e.g. hospital mortality meetings. Too much time was spent analysing cases of limited modifiability such as neonates. Implementation of recommendations needed strengthening and inclusion into the wider health and social care economy including joint strategic needs assessments and commissioning processes. Delayed reporting of information on cases contributed to a backlog.
The current process is bureaucratic, should better address neonatal deaths and needs more focus on implementing recommendations. Solutions include simpler forms, neonates-only subgroups, and linking recommendations to strategic initiatives such as Health and Wellbeing Boards.
Child death review; Overview panel; Modifiable
The Candida albicans cell wall is the first point of contact with the host, and its outer surface is heavily enriched in mannoproteins modified through the addition of N- and O-mannan. Previous work, using mutants with gross defects in glycosylation, has clearly identified the importance of mannan in the host-pathogen interaction, immune recognition and virulence. Here we report the first analysis of the MNN1 gene family, which contains six members predicted to act as α-1,3 mannosyltransferases in the terminal stages of glycosylation.
We generated single null mutants in all members of the C. albicans MNN1 gene family, and disruption of MNN14 led to both in vitro and in vivo defects. Null mutants in other members of the family demonstrated no phenotypic defects, suggesting that these members may display functional redundancy. The mnn14Δ null mutant displayed hypersensitivity to agents associated with cell wall and glycosylation defects, suggesting an altered cell wall structure. However, no gross changes in cell wall composition or N-glycosylation were identified in this mutant, although an extension of phosphomannan chain length was apparent. Although the cell wall defects associated with the mnn14Δ mutant were subtle, this mutant displayed a severe attenuation of virulence in a murine infection model.
Mnn14 plays a distinct role from other members of the MNN1 family, demonstrating that specific N-glycan outer chain epitopes are required in the host-pathogen interaction and virulence.
Candida albicans; Glycosylation; Mannoproteins; Cell wall; MNN1; Virulence
Genetic variants of the genes encoding Human Immunodeficiency Virus-1 (HIV-1) co-receptors and their ligands, like CC-Chemokine Receptor 5 delta 32 mutation (CCR5-Delta32), CCR5 promoter A/G (Adenine/Guanine), CC-Chemokine Receptor 2 mutation 64 isoleucine (CCR2-64I) and the Stromal cell-derived Factor 3’A mutation (SDF1-3’A), are involved in the susceptibility to HIV-1 infection and progression. The prevalence of these mutations varies by Region. However, little is known about their distribution in the population of Dschang, located in the West Region of Cameroon. The prevalence of HIV in the West Region of Cameroon is lower than elsewhere in Cameroon. The objectives of this study were to determine the distribution of four AIDS Related Gene (ARG) variants in HIV-infected and non-infected population of Cameroon especially in the West Region and to estimate the contribution of these variants to the susceptibility or resistance to HIV infection. We also aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of genotyping using dried blood spot (DBS) samples.
A total of 179 participants were recruited from two hospitals in Dschang in the West Region of Cameroon. Their genotypes for CCR5-Delta32, CCR5 promoter 59029A/G, CCR2-64I and SDF1-3’A were analyzed using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and restriction fragment length polymorphisms.
A total of 179 participants were enrolled in the study. Among them, 32 (17.9%) were HIV positive and 147 (82.1%) were HIV negative. The allelic frequencies of these genes were: 0%, 49.72%, 17.6% and 100% respectively for CCR5-Delta32, CCR5 promoter 59029A/G, CCR2-64I and SDF1-3’A. No individual was found to carry the CCR5-Delta 32 mutation. All participants recruited were heterozygous for the SDF1-3’A allele.
Our data suggest that the CCR5-Delta32 cannot account for the protection as it was completely absent in our population. SDF1-3’A variants, may be in association with other polymorphisms, may account for the overall protection from HIV-1 infection in participants recruited as everyone carries this allele. The CCR5 promoter 59029 G/G genotype may be associated with the risk for HIV-1 infection in this population, while the CCR2-64I (A/A genotype) may account for the protection against HIV infection. The results of genotyping from fresh blood and DBS were comparable.
HIV; AIDS related gene variants; Allelic frequency; Cameroon
Long term oxygen therapy improves survival in hypoxemic patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Because pressure support ventilation with a home care ventilator is largely unsupervised, there is considerable risk of leakage occurring, which could affect delivered FiO2. We have therefore conducted a bench study in order to measure the effect of different levels of O2 supply and degrees of leakage on delivered FiO2. Ventilator tested: Legendair® (Airox™, Pau, France). Thirty-six measures were performed in each four ventilators with zero, 5 and 10 l.min-1 leakage and 1,2,4 and 8 l O2 flow.
FiO2 decreased significantly with 5 l.min-1 leakage for all O2 flow rates, and with 10 l.min-1 at 4 and 8 l.min-1 O2.
During application of NIV on home ventilators, leakage can dramatically decrease inspired FiO2 making it less effective. It is important to know the FiO2 dispensed when NIV is used for COPD at home. We would encourage industry to develop methods for FiO2 regulation Chronic use of NIV for COPD with controlled FiO2 or SpO2 requires further studys.
NIV; Leaks; Home ventilation; COPD; FiO2
3-bromopyruvate (3-BrPA) is a glycolytic inhibitor that affects cancer cells by targeting energy metabolism. Preclinical reports have established that a 1.75 mM dose of 3-BrPA is effective and sufficient to inhibit tumor growth when administered under a loco-regional approach (intraarterial and intratumoral). This loco-regional therapeutic dose was found to be nontoxic when given systemically as well. Yet, the mechanism underlying this lack of toxicity of 1.75 mM 3-BrPA during systemic delivery is unknown. Here, we investigated the mechanism associated with the lack of organ toxicity when 1.75 mM 3-BrPA was administered systemically using radiolabeled (14C)-3-BrPA in Sprague–Dawley rats.
Data obtained from tissue-autoradiography of rats infused with 14C-3-BrPA showed strong 14C-signal in tissue sections of various organs except the brain corroborating that 3-BrPA does not cross the blood–brain barrier. Significantly, Hematoxylin & Eosin staining and apoptosis assay of tissue sections positive for 14C-signal showed no signs of toxicity or apoptosis. Convincingly, the 14C-signal observed in tissue-autoradiography emanates from 3-BrPA that is non-reactive or non-toxic, hence we further investigated whether the lack of toxicity is due to its interaction or alkylation with serum components. Analysis of serum proteins by 1D and 2D-gel electrophoretic autoradiography showed that 14C-BrPA selectively binds to peptides of molecular mass ~50-60 kDa. Mass spectrometry data suggested that 14C-BrPA could interact with alpha1-antitrypsin and a peptide of albuminoid-family.
Our data indicate that selective interaction of 3-BrPA with serum proteins could contribute to the apparent lack of tissue-toxicity at the indicated close when the drug is given systematically in Sprague–Dawley rats.
3-bromopyruvate; LC-MS/MS; Alpha1 antitrypsin; 2D gel electrophoresis
High concentrations of plasma leptin and the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines in leptin-resistance in obesity have been reported to trigger endothelial dysfunction. The objective of this study was to elucidate the role of quercetin in modulating leptin-induced inflammation as assessed by the levels of Ob-Ra expression, ERK1/2 phosphorylation, NF-kappa B activation and TNF-alpha secretion in umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) in vitro.
HUVECs were exposed to either control levels (0 ng/ml) or 500 ng/mL leptin (L) for 48 hours, followed by control or 125 uM quercetin (Q) for another 6 h. The experimental groups were as follows: L0Q0, L0Q125, L500Q0, L500Q125. The presence of the short chain leptin receptor isoform Ob-Ra in HUVECs was determined by Western blot and immunocytochemistry analyses. Ob-Ra expression, ERK1/2 phosphorylation, NF-kappa B activation and TNF-alpha secretion were quantified by ELISA, and NF-kappa B activationby immunofluorescence staining. Our results showed that Ob-Ra expression, ERK1/2 phosphorylation and NF-kappa B activation increased significantly after 500 ng/mL leptin exposure (1.8x, 1.5x, 6.2x for Ob-Ra, ERK1/2 and NF-kappa B, respectively), but were reduced by addition of 125 uM quercetin (0.7x, 0.3x and 0.4x for Ob-Ra, ERK1/2 and NF-kappa B, respectively), and that quercetin could also partially suppress leptin-induced TNF-alpha secretion (3.8x) by 0.8x.
Exposure of HUVECs to leptin up-regulated Ob-Ra expression and elevated ERK1/2 phosphorylation and NFkB activation, and increased TNF-alpha secretion. These effects strongly suppressed by quercetin, with the exception of TNF-alpha which was partially suppressed. The findings might be of clinical significance, as endothelial dysfunction that could lead to cardiovascular disease is preventable, and quercetin is a natural compound found in various plants and fruits.
Leptin; Quercetin; Ob-Ra; ERK1/2; NFκB; TNFα; HUVECs
Bacterial DNA gyrase is a validated target for antibacterial chemotherapy. It consists of two subunits, GyrA and GyrB, which form an A2B2 complex in the active enzyme. Sequence alignment of Mycobacterium tuberculosis GyrB with other bacterial GyrBs predicts the presence of 40 potential additional amino acids at the GyrB N-terminus. There are discrepancies between the M. tuberculosis GyrB sequences retrieved from different databases, including sequences annotated with or without the additional 40 amino acids. This has resulted in differences in the GyrB sequence numbering that has led to the reporting of previously known fluoroquinolone-resistance mutations as novel mutations.
We have expressed M. tuberculosis GyrB with and without the extra 40 amino acids in Escherichia coli and shown that both can be produced as soluble, active proteins. Supercoiling and other assays of the two proteins show no differences, suggesting that the additional 40 amino acids have no effect on the enzyme in vitro. RT-PCR analysis of M. tuberculosis mRNA shows that transcripts that could yield both the longer and shorter protein are present. However, promoter analysis showed that only the promoter elements leading to the shorter GyrB (lacking the additional 40 amino acids) had significant activity.
We conclude that the most probable translational start codon for M. tuberculosis GyrB is GTG (Val) which results in translation of a protein of 674 amino acids (74 kDa).
Gyrase; Topoisomerase; Mycobacterium tuberculosis
There is a growing use of mobile devices to access the Internet. We examined whether participants who used a mobile device to access a brief online survey were quicker to respond to the survey but also, less likely to complete it than participants using a traditional web browser.
Using data from a recently completed online intervention trial, we found that participants using mobile devices were quicker to access the survey but less likely to complete it compared to participants using a traditional web browser. More concerning, mobile device users were also less likely to respond to a request to complete a six week follow-up survey compared to those using traditional web browsers.
With roughly a third of participants using mobile devices to answer an online survey in this study, the impact of mobile device usage on survey completion rates is a concern.
Internet; Brief intervention; Alcohol; College; University; Mobile device
Cystathionine β-lyase performs an essential role in the transsulfuration pathway by its primary reaction of forming homocysteine from cystathionine. Understanding how the Neurospora crassa met-2+ gene, which encodes cystathionine β-lyase, is regulated is important in determining the basis of the cellular control of transsulfuration. The aim of this study was to determine the nature of a potential regulatory connection of met-2+ to the Neurospora sulfur regulatory network.
The cystathionine β-lyase (met-2+) gene was cloned by the identification of a cosmid genomic clone capable of transforming a met-2 mutant to methionine prototrophy and subsequently characterized. The gene contains a single intron and encodes a protein of 457 amino acids with conserved residues predicted to be important for catalysis and pyridoxal-5′-phosphate co-factor binding. The expression of met-2+ in wild-type N. crassa increased 3.1-fold under sulfur-limiting growth conditions as compared to the transcript levels seen under high sulfur growth conditions (i.e., repressing conditions). In a Δcys-3 strain, met-2+ transcript levels were substantially reduced under either low- or high-sulfur growth conditions. In addition, the presence of CYS3 activator binding sites on the met-2+ promoter was demonstrated by gel mobility shift assays.
In this report, we demonstrate the sulfur-regulated expression of the met-2+ gene and confirm its connection to the N. crassa sulfur regulatory circuit by the reduced expression observed in a Δcys-3 mutant and the in vitro detection of CYS3 binding sites in the met-2+ promoter. The data further adds to our understanding of the regulatory dynamics of transsulfuration.
Cystathionine β-lyase; met-2+; Transsulfuration; Sulfur gene regulation; CYS3 regulator; Neurospora crassa
Post partum hemorrhage is defined as blood loss of 500 ml or above. It is the most common cause of pre-mature mortality of women world wide. Our objective was to evaluate the most common etiology and method of management of Post partum Hemorrhage in a tertiary care hospital of Karachi.
It was a cross sectional study conducted at Liaquat National Hospital Karachi, during the period of July 2011 to May 2012. Review include mode of delivery, possible cause of postpartum hemorrhage, supportive, medical and surgical interventions. All the women admitted with post partum hemorrhage or develop PPH in hospital after delivery were included in our study. Bleeding disorder and use of anticoagulants were set as exclusion criteria. Diagnosis was made on the basis of blood loss assessment which was made via subjective and objective evaluation.
During the targeted months, out of total 1493 deliveries (26/1493 = 1.741%) 26 cases of post partum hemorrhage were reported with a mean age of 26.153 ± 7.37. No deaths were reported and all cases were referred and unbooked cases. All Patients were conscious, tachycardiac and hypotensive. Most of the women were suffering from hemorrhage during or after the birth of their 1st child. Primary post partum hemorrhage emerge as the most common type of post partum hemorrhage and uterine atony was detected as the most common cause of primary post partum hemorrhage. Retained products of conception was the most common cause of secondary post partum hemorrhage and hysterectomy was found to be the most frequent method of management of post partum hemorrhage.
This study highlights the existing variable practices for the management of postpartum hemorrhage. Hemorrhage associated morbidity and mortality can be prevented by critical judgment, early referral and resuscitation by attendants. Introduction of an evidence-based management model can potentially reduce the practice variability and improve the quality of care.
Postpartum hemorrhage; Uterine atony; Hysterectomy
Taenia solium taeniasis/cysticercosis is a zoonotic helminth infection mainly found in rural regions of Africa, Asia and Latin America. In endemic areas, diagnosis of cysticercosis largely depends on serology, but these methods have their drawbacks and require improvement. This implies better knowledge of the proteins secreted and excreted by the parasite. In a previous study, we used a custom protein database containing protein sequences from related helminths to identify T. solium metacestode excretion/secretion proteins. An alternative or complementary approach would be to use expressed sequence tags combined with BLAST and protein mapping to supercontigs of Echinococcus granulosus, a closely related cestode. In this study, we evaluate this approach and compare the results to those obtained in the previous study.
We report 297 proteins organized in 106 protein groups based on homology. Additional classification was done using Gene Ontology information on biological process and molecular function. Of the 106 protein groups, 58 groups were newly identified, while 48 groups confirmed previous findings. Blast2GO analysis revealed that the majority of the proteins were involved in catalytic activities and binding.
In this study, we used translated expressed sequence tags combined with BLAST and mapping strategies to both confirm and complement previous research. Our findings are comparable to recent studies on other helminth genera like Echinococcus, Schistosoma and Clonorchis, indicating similarities between helminth excretion/secretion proteomes.
Expressed sequence tag; Excretion/secretion proteins; Taenia solium; Proteomics
Methamphetamine-abuse is a worldwide health problem for which no effective therapy is available. Inhibition of methamphetamine-induced transporter-mediated dopamine (DA) release could be a useful approach to treat methamphetamine-addiction. We assessed the potencies of bupropion, methylphenidate, and 3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) to block DA uptake or to inhibit methamphetamine-induced DA release in HEK-293 cells expressing the human DA transporter.
Bupropion, methylphenidate, and MDPV inhibited methamphetamine-induced DA release with relative potencies corresponding to their potencies to block DA uptake (potency ranks: MDPV > methylphenidate > bupropion).
Bupropion and methylphenidate antagonize the effects of methamphetamine in vitro and may be potential candidates for the treatment of stimulant addiction. However, drugs that very potently antagonize the effect of methamphetamine are likely to also exhibit considerable abuse liability (MDPV > methylphenidate > bupropion).
Methamphetamine; Addiction; Dopamine; Dopamine transporter; Bupropion; Methylphenidate; MDPV
The aim of this study is determine the relative sensitivity of a panel of seven polyhydroxyalkanoate producing bacteria to a panel of seven lignocellulosic-derived fermentation inhibitors representing aliphatic acids, furans and phenolics. A further aim was to measure the polyhydroxybutyrate production of select organisms on lignocellulosic-derived monosaccharides arabinose, xylose, glucose and mannose.
We examined the sensitivity of seven polyhydroxyalkanoate producing bacteria: Azohydromonas lata, Bacillus megaterium, Bacillus cereus, Burkholderia cepacia, Pseudomonas olevorans, Pseudomonas pseudoflava and Ralstonia eutropha, against seven fermentation inhibitors produced by the saccharification of lignocellulose: acetic acid, levulinic acid, coumaric acid, ferulic acid, syringaldehyde, furfural, and hyroxymethyfurfural. There was significant variation in the sensitivity of these microbes to representative phenolics ranging from 0.25-1.5 g/L coumaric and ferulic acid and between 0.5-6.0 g/L syringaldehyde. Inhibition ranged from 0.37-4 g/L and 0.75-6 g/L with acetic acid and levulinic acid, respectively. B. cepacia and P. pseudoflava were selected for further analysis of polyhydroxyalkanoate production.
We find significant differences in sensitivity to the fermentation inhibitors tested and find these variations to be over a relevant concentration range given the concentrations of inhibitors typically found in lignocellulosic hydrolysates. Of the seven bacteria tested, B. cepacia demonstrated the greatest inhibitor tolerance. Similarly, of two organisms examined for polyhydroxybutyrate production, B. cepacia was notably more efficient when fermenting pentose substrates.
Polyhydroxyalkanoate; Fermentation inhibitors; Bioconversion
In this research, an extension to our previous work published in the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine in 2009, we studied subjects that differed in terms of age and training status and assessed the impact of prolonged exercise on systolic and left ventricular diastolic function and cardiac biomarkers levels, recognized as identifiers of cardiac damage and dysfunction. We also assessed the possible influence of event duration, exercise intensity and weight loss (dehydration) on left ventricular diastolic function.
Ninety-one male cyclists were assessed by echocardiography and serum biomarkers before and after the 2005 Quebrantahuesos cycling event (206 km long and with an accumulated slope of 3800 m). Cardiac function was assessed by echocardiography and cardiac biomarkers were assessed in blood serum. Echocardiograms measured left ventricular internal dimension during diastole and systole, left ventricular posterior wall thickness during diastole, interventricular septum thickness during diastole, left ventricular ejection fraction and diastolic filling. The heart rate of 50 cyclists was also monitored during the race to evaluate exercise intensity. Echocardiograph results indicated that left ventricular diastolic and systolic function decreased after the race, with systolic function reduced to a significant degree. Left ventricular ejection fraction was below 55% in 29 cyclists. The decrease in left ventricular systolic and diastolic function did not correlate with age, training status, race duration, weight loss or exercise intensity.
Left ventricular systolic and diastolic function was reduced and cardiac biomarkers were increased after the cycling event, but the mechanisms behind such outcomes remain unclear.
Cycling event; Cardiac biomarkers; Prolonged exercise; Strenuous exercise
Although there are established methodologies for pneumococcal carriage studies, recent studies have extended these by conducting a culture amplification step prior to pneumococcal identification or serotyping. However, few data are available comparing the growth of different serotypes.
We compared the growth of individual isolates representing 23 serotypes in serum broth, and Todd-Hewitt broth from four different manufacturers. Following overnight incubation of low inocula, there were differences in the final growth densities of individual isolates. These can be minimised with the use of optimal media.
These data caution against using broth culture amplification of nasopharyngeal samples for some applications.
Serum broth; Todd-Hewitt broth; Streptococcus pneumoniae