Riga Stradiņš University

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    Local Defense Factors in Cleft-Affected Palate in Children before and during Milk Dentition Age : A Pilot Study

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    One of the most frequent congenital orofacial defects is the cleft lip and palate. Local tissue defense factors are known to be important in immune response and inflammatory and healing processes in the cleft tissue; however, they have only been researched in older children during mixed dentition. Thus, the aim of this study is to assess the distribution of LL-37, CD-163, IL-10, HBD-2, HBD-3, and HBD-4 in children before and during milk dentition. The unique and rare material of palate tissue was obtained from 13 patients during veloplastic surgeries during the time span of 20 years. Immunohistochemistry, light microscopy, semi-quantitative evaluation, and non-parametric statistical analysis were used. A significant decrease in HBD-3 and HBD-4 in the connective tissue was found, as well as several mutual statistically significant and strong correlations between HBD-2, HBD-3, HBD-4, and LL-37. Deficiency of HBD-3 and HBD-4 suggests promotion of chronic inflammation. The scarcity of HBD-4 could be connected to the different signaling pathways of dental pulp cells. Mutual correlations imply changes in the epithelial barrier, amplified healing efficiency, and increased antibacterial line of defense. Deprivation of changes in IL-10 quantity points to possible suppression of the factor. The presence of similar CD-163 immunoreactive substances produced by M2 macrophages was also observed.Peer reviewe

    Structure of the Borrelia burgdorferi ATP-dependent metalloprotease FtsH in its functionally relevant hexameric form

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    Publisher Copyright: © 2023 The AuthorsATP-dependent proteases FtsH are conserved in bacteria, mitochondria, and chloroplasts, where they play an essential role in degradation of misfolded/unneeded membrane and cytosolic proteins. It has also been demonstrated that the FtsH homologous protein BB0789 is crucial for mouse and tick infectivity and in vitro growth of the Lyme disease-causing agent Borrelia burgdorferi. This is not surprising, considering B. burgdorferi complex life cycle, residing in both in mammals and ticks, which requires a wide range of membrane proteins and short-lived cytosolic regulatory proteins to invade and persist in the host organism. In the current study, we have solved the crystal structure of the cytosolic BB0789 166 - 614, lacking both N-terminal transmembrane α-helices and the small periplasmic domain. The structure revealed the arrangement of the AAA+ ATPase and the zinc-dependent metalloprotease domains in a hexamer ring, which is essential for ATPase and proteolytic activity. The AAA+ domain was found in an ADP-bound state, while the protease domain showed coordination of a zinc ion by two histidine residues and one aspartic acid residue. The loop region that forms the central pore in the oligomer was poorly defined in the crystal structure and therefore predicted by AlphaFold to complement the missing structural details, providing a complete picture of the functionally relevant hexameric form of BB0789. We confirmed that BB0789 is functionally active, possessing both protease and ATPase activities, thus providing novel structural-functional insights into the protein, which is known to be absolutely necessary for B. burgdorferi to survive and cause Lyme disease.Peer reviewe

    Structural studies of chromosomally encoded outer surface lipoprotein BB0158 from Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto

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    Publisher Copyright: © 2023 The Author(s)Lyme disease, or also known as Lyme borreliosis, is caused by the spirochetes belonging to the Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato complex, which can enter the human body following the bite of an infected tick. Many membrane lipid-bound proteins, also known as lipoproteins, are located on the surface of B. burgdorferi sensu lato and play a crucial role in the spirochete to interact with its environment, whether in ticks or mammals. Since the spirochete needs to perform various tasks, such as resisting the host's immune system or spreading throughout the organism, it is not surprising that numerous surface proteins have been found to be essential for B. burgdorferi sensu lato complex bacteria in causing Lyme disease. In this study, we have determined (at 2.4 Å resolution) and characterized the 3D structure of BB0158, one of the few chromosomally encoded outer surface proteins from B. burgdorferi sensu stricto. BB0158 belongs to the paralogous gene family 44 (PFam44), consisting of four other members (BB0159, BBA04, BBE09 and BBK52). The characterization of BB0158, which appears to form a domain-swapped dimer, in conjunction with the characterization of the corresponding PFam44 members, certainly contribute to our understanding of B. burgdorferi sensu stricto proteins.Peer reviewe

    Self-Esteem and Occupational Factors as Predictors of the Incidence of Anxiety and Depression among Healthcare Workers during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Latvia

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    The prevalence of depression and anxiety among healthcare workers (HCWs) during the COVID-19 pandemic is high. The aim of the study is to identify the importance of self-esteem and occupational factors in association with the incidence of depression and anxiety among HCWs through a longitudinal cohort study during the COVID-19 pandemic in Latvia. Participants received seven questionnaires during the COVID-19 pandemic on demographic parameters, work-related information, and contact with COVID-19 patients, and three standardized questionnaires that evaluated symptoms of anxiety (GAD-7), depression (PHQ-9), and self-esteem (Rosenberg’s self-esteem scale). The Generalized Linear Mixed Model (GLMM) was used to identify factors associated with the incidence of depression and anxiety among HCWs. A total of 322 participants were included in the data analysis for depression and 352 for anxiety. HCWs with low self-esteem were 83% more likely to experience depression and 76% more likely to experience anxiety. Working at a general practitioner practice is associated with twice the risk of developing depression and anxiety. A 31% increase in the odds of depression is observed among HCWs with direct contact with COVID-19 patients. The organizational and government levels must look for opportunities to facilitate the mental health of HCWs to ensure better-quality healthcare.Peer reviewe

    Ten-year safety and clinical benefit from open-label etanercept treatment in children and young adults with juvenile idiopathic arthritis

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    © The Author(s) 2023. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Society for Rheumatology. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: [email protected]: CLIPPER2 was an 8-year, open-label extension of the phase 3b, 2-year CLIPPER study on the safety and efficacy of etanercept in patients with JIA, categorized as extended oligoarticular arthritis (eoJIA), enthesitis-related arthritis (ERA) or PsA. METHODS: Participants with eoJIA (2-17 years old), ERA or PsA (each 12-17 years old) who received ≥1 etanercept dose (0.8 mg/kg weekly; maximum 50 mg) in CLIPPER could enter CLIPPER2. Primary end point was occurrence of malignancy. Efficacy assessments included proportions achieving JIA ACR 30/50/70/90/100 criteria and ACR inactive disease criteria, and clinical remission (ACR criteria) or Juvenile Arthritis DAS (JADAS) ≤1. RESULTS: Overall, 109/127 (86%) CLIPPER participants entered CLIPPER2 [n = 55 eoJIA, n = 31 ERA, n = 23 PsA; 99 (78%) on active treatment]; 84 (66%) completed 120 months' follow-up [32 (25%) on active treatment]. One malignancy (Hodgkin's disease in 18-year-old patient with eoJIA treated with methotrexate for 8 years) was reported; there were no cases of active tuberculosis or deaths. Numbers and incidence rates (events per 100 patient-years) of TEAEs (excluding infections/ISRs) decreased from 193 (173.81) in Year 1 to 9 (27.15) in Year 10; TE infections and serious infections also decreased. Over 45% of participants (n = 127) achieved JIA ACR50 responses from Month 2 onwards; 42 (33%) and 34 (27%) participants achieved JADAS and ACR clinical remission, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Etanercept treatment up to 10 years was well tolerated, consistent with the known safety profile, with durable response in the participants still on active treatment. The benefit-risk assessment of etanercept in these JIA categories remains favourable. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov IDs: CLIPPER (NCT00962741); CLIPPER2 (NCT01421069).Peer reviewe

    Long-Term Immunological Memory of SARS-CoV-2 Is Present in Patients with Primary Antibody Deficiencies for up to a Year after Vaccination

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    Funding Information: This research was funded by the Latvian Council of Science project Nr.lzp-2020/1–0269. Publisher Copyright: © 2023 by the authors.Some studies have found increased coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19)-related morbidity and mortality in patients with primary antibody deficiencies. Immunization against COVID-19 may, therefore, be particularly important in these patients. However, the durability of the immune response remains unclear in such patients. In this study, we evaluated the cellular and humoral response to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) antigens in a cross-sectional study of 32 patients with primary antibody deficiency (n = 17 with common variable immunodeficiency (CVID) and n = 15 with selective IgA deficiency) and 15 healthy controls. Serological and cellular responses were determined using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and interferon-gamma release assays. The subsets of B and T lymphocytes were measured using flow cytometry. Of the 32 patients, 28 had completed the vaccination regimen with a median time after vaccination of 173 days (IQR = 142): 27 patients showed a positive spike-peptide-specific antibody response, and 26 patients showed a positive spike-peptide-specific T-cell response. The median level of antibody response in CVID patients (5.47 ratio (IQR = 4.08)) was lower compared to healthy controls (9.43 ratio (IQR = 2.13)). No difference in anti-spike T-cell response was found between the groups. The results of this study indicate that markers of the sustained SARS-CoV-2 spike-specific immune response are detectable several months after vaccination in patients with primary antibody deficiencies comparable to controls.Peer reviewe

    Capital raising opportunities for businesses in Latvia 

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    Starptautiskais bizness un ilgtspējīga ekonomikaVadība, administrēšana un nekustamo īpašumu pārvaldībaInternational Business and Sustainable EconomyManagement, Administration and Real Estate ManagementŠajā bakalaura darbā tiek pētīta Latvijas finanšu vides sarežģītība, koncentrējoties uz šķēršļiem un iespējām, ar kādām saskaras Latvijas uzņēmumi, piesaistot kapitālu. Pamattēma, kas tiek aplūkota, ir kapitāla finansēšanas iespēju daudzveidība, kas pieejama Latvijas uzņēmumiem, kā arī populārākās izvēles starp šīm iespējām. Pētījumā izmantotā pieeja ir daudzveidīga, aptverot monogrāfisko metodi, kvalitatīvo pētījumu, datu apstrādes, analīzes un sintēzes metodoloģiju. Šīs metodoloģijas ir izmantotas, lai precīzi un metodiski apkopotu un analizētu datus, ļaujot detalizēti izprast Latvijas finanšu situāciju. Pētījuma rezultāti liecina par pārmērīgu paļaušanos uz banku aizdevumiem Latvijas kapitāla piesaistes nozarē, kas norāda uz diezgan ierobežotu finanšu iespēju diversifikāciju. Šāda paļaušanās uz tradicionālajām banku iestādēm rada būtisku ievainojamību, kā tas bija vērojams COVID-19 epidēmijas laikā, kad bankas pastiprināta un steidzama finansējuma pieprasījuma periodā uzņēmumiem pastiprināja kreditēšanas standartus. Šis apstāklis izgaismoja kritisko nepieciešamību pēc daudzveidīgiem finansēšanas risinājumiem, lai palīdzētu Latvijas uzņēmumiem augt un izturēt radušos krīzes situāciju. Ekspertu interviju rezultāti liecina par Latvijas steidzamo nepieciešamību paplašināt un dažādot finanšu instrumentus. Tiek ierosināts, ka aktīvai valdības iesaistei varētu būt galvenā loma finanšu pratības palielināšanā un daudzveidīgāku finanšu instrumentu ieviešanai labvēlīgas atmosfēras veicināšanā. Šis pētījums ir nozīmīgs ar to, ka tas var sniegt informāciju un norādījumus politiķiem, finanšu iestādēm un pašiem uzņēmumiem. Tas sniedz būtisku ieskatu Latvijas unikālajā kapitāla piesaistes ekosistēmā, kas var palīdzēt uzņēmumiem optimizēt finansēšanas pieejas grūtos ekonomiskos apstākļos, īpaši pēc COVID-19 pandēmijas. Turklāt pētījumā uzsvērts, cik svarīgi ir paaugstināt finanšu pratību un dažādot finanšu iespējas, lai atbalstītu Latvijas uzņēmējdarbības nozares ilgtermiņa izaugsmi un noturību. Šajā visaptverošajā 58 lappušu pētījumā aplūkotas kapitāla piesaistes iespējas Latvijas uzņēmumiem, kas papildināts ar 4 attēliem un 5 tabulām (no kurām viena atrodas pielikumā). Seši pielikumi, tostarp piecas ekspertu intervijas, kas papildina analīzi, kas tiek pamatota ar 74 akadēmiskām atsaucēm.This bachelor's paper delves into the complexities of the financial environment in Latvia, specifically focusing on the challenges and prospects local companies face when raising finance. The central question under investigation is the range of capital funding options available to Latvian companies and the prevalent choices among these options. The research employs a diverse methodology, encompassing the monographic method, qualitative research, data processing, and analysis and synthesis methods. These methods have been harnessed to gather and examine data in a comprehensive and meticulous manner, thus enabling a thorough understanding of the financial landscape of Latvia. The results of the research reveal an over-reliance on bank lending in the Latvian capital-raising market, demonstrating a somewhat limited diversity of financial options. This heavy dependence on traditional banking systems exposes a critical vulnerability, as seen during the COVID-19 pandemic when banks tightened lending criteria during a period of heightened and urgent funding needs for companies. This situation underscored the urgent need for diversified financing options to support the growth and resilience of Latvian companies. The findings derived from expert interviews emphasize the pressing need for Latvia to expand and diversify its financial instruments. It is suggested that active government intervention could play a significant role in broadening financial literacy and fostering an environment conducive to the introduction of more varied financial instruments. This paper's significance lies in its potential to inform and guide policymakers, financial institutions, and businesses themselves. By shedding light on the unique capital-raising ecosystem in Latvia, it provides valuable insights that can help companies strategize their financing approaches in a challenging economic climate, especially in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, the research underscores the urgency of expanding financial literacy and diversifying financial options to facilitate sustainable growth and resilience in the Latvian business sector. This comprehensive 58-page study delves into capital raising opportunities for Latvian companies, enhanced by 4 figures and 5 tables, (with one located in the appendices). Six appendices, including expert interviews, add to the robust analysis, which is backed up by 74 academic references

    Cutibacterium acnes antibakteriālās rezistences izvērtēšana acne vulgaris pacientiem

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    MedicīnaVeselības aprūpeMedicineHealth CareIevads: Kombinētā terapija tiek plaši izmantota acne vulgaris (AV) ārstēšanai, ieskaitot vietējos pretiekaisuma medikamentus, kas satur pretmikrobu līdzekļus, piemēram, klindamicīnu vai eritromicīnu, lai kavētu Cutibacterium acnes (C. acnes) augšanu un vienlaikus samazinātu iekaisuma mediatoru ražošanu. Pētījuma mērķis ir salīdzināt C. acnes antibakteriālo jutību pret klindamicīnu un eritromicīnu AV pacientiem, salīdzinot ar veseliem pacientiem kontroles grupā (CG). Metodes: prospektīvajā pētījumā tika iekļauti 56 pacienti ar klīniski diagnosticētiem AV simptomiem un 12 pacienti tika iekļauti CG, kuriem nebija AV. AV grupā no pacienta paņemtais paraugs bija pustulu saturs, kas iegūts, izspiežot pustulas, bet CG, paraugā bija tauku dziedzeru saturs. Visi paraugi tika kultivēti kombinētajā Muellera-Hintona cietajā vidē. Identifikācija tika veikta ar VITEK2, kam sekoja izolēto C. acnes celmu antibakteriālās jutības noteikšana ar E-testu. Rezultāti: C. acnes tika izolētas no 28 (50%) paraugiem AV grupā, savukārt CG, C. acnes tika izolētas no 10 paraugiem (80%). Abās grupās rezistence pret klindamicīnu bija līdzīga, 6 (21,4%) paraugos no AV grupas pacientiem un 2 (20,0%) paraugos CG, bet rezistence pret eritromicīnu AV pacientiem bija augstāka, salīdzinot ar CG, attiecīgi 8 (28,6%) un 1 (10%). Secinājumi: pacientiem ar AV ir augstāks rezistences līmenis pret eritromicīnu nekā CG, savukārt rezistence pret klindamicīnu ir līdzīga. Rezistences dati statistiski neuzrādīja nozīmīgu saikni starp eritromicīna un klindamicīna lietošanu un rezistences attīstību. CG tika konstatēts vairāk C. acnes nekā AV grupā.Introduction: Combination therapy is widely used for the treatment of acne vulgaris (AV), including local anti-inflammatory drugs containing antimicrobials, such as clindamycin or erythromycin, to inhibit Cutibacterium acnes (C. acnes) growth and at the same time reduce the production of inflammatory mediators. The aim of the study is to compare the antibacterial susceptibility of C. acnes to clindamycin and erythromycin in AV patients compared with healthy patients in the control group (CG). Methods: The prospective study included 56 patients with clinically diagnosed AV symptoms and 12 patients were included in the CG who did not have AV. In the AV group, patient specimen was contents of pustules obtained by squeezing pustules, but in the CG, the specimen was content of sebaceous glands. All specimens were cultivated on a combined Mueller–Hinton solid medium. Identification was done by VITEK2 and followed by determination of antibacterial susceptibility of the isolated C. acnes strains by E-test. Results: C. acnes was isolated from samples of 28 (50%) in the AV group, whereas in the CG, C. acnes was isolated from 10 samples (80%). Resistance to clindamycin in both groups was similar, in 6 (21.4%) samples from patients in the AV group and in 2 (20.0%) samples in the CG, but resistance to erythromycin in the AV patients was higher compared to the CG, in 8 (28.6%) and 1 (10%) accordingly. Conclusion: Patients with AV have higher rates of resistance to erythromycin than the CG, while resistance to clindamycin is comparable. Resistance data showed no statistically significant association between use of erythromycin and clindamycin and the development of resistance. More C. acnes were identified in the CG than in the AV group

    Brain plasticity. Neurogenesis. Literature review.

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    MedicīnaVeselības aprūpeMedicineHealth CarePētnieciskais darbs-literatūras apskats ’’Smadzeņu plasticitāte. Neiroģenēze’’ sniedz ieskatu par neiroģenēzes mehānismiem, neiropeptīdiem, neirotransmiteriem un to receptoriem, un anatomiskajām lokācijām, kas piedalās tās procesā un regulācijā pieauguša cilvēka galvas smadzenēs. Tāpat tiek aprakstīti jaunākie mēģinājumi pielietot cilmes šūnas neirodeģeneratīvu slimību, tādas kā Alcheimera slimība un Parkinsona slimība, ārstēšanā. Sadaļā par smadzeņu plasticitāti uzsvars tiek likts uz Kennārdas principu, analizējot pacientu valodas funkciju atjaunošanās pakāpi pēc hemisfērektomijas operācijām.Research paper-literature review ’’Brain plasticity. Neurogenesis’’ analyses the mechanisms, neuropeptides, neurotransmitters and its receptors, and anatomical locations that participate in and regulate neurogenesis in an adult human brain. The paper highlights recent progress in neurodegenerative disease, like Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, therapy using stem cells. Kennard’s principle is emphasised regarding brain plasticity, analyzing patients and their language functional recovery after hemispherectomy

    The impact of Ltd. "Omniva's" organizational culture and values on customer satisfaction.

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    Organizāciju un menedžmenta socioloģijaSocioloģija, politoloģija un antropoloģijaSociology of Organisations and ManagementSociology, Politics and AnthropologyBakalaura darba “Organizācijas SIA “Omniva” kultūras un vērtību ietekme uz klientu apmierinātību” mērķis ir izpētīt organizācijas SIA “Omniva” kultūras un vērtību ietekmi uz klientu apmierinātību, iegūstot SIA “Omniva” vadītāju viedokli par organizācijas kultūru, tās vērtībām un to ietekmi uz klientu apmierinātību un tās rādītājiem, lai veiktu secinājumus par to, kā noritējusi vērtību maiņa organizācijas iekšienē, kā tas ir ietekmējis organizācijas kultūru un klientu apmierinātības rādītājus un izvirzīt priekšlikumus, kā raudzīties uz organizācijas kultūras un vērtību korelāciju ar klientu apmierinātību. Teorētiskajā darba daļā ir apskatīts organizāciju kultūras un vērtību raksturojums un tas, cik daudz un dažādu organizācijas veidu pastāv, kā tas ietekmē organizācijas darbiniekus un klientu apmierinātību. Tāpat raksturots vērtību jēdziens un vērtību veidi un nozīme organizācijas iekšienē, kā arī apskatīta organizāciju kultūra socioloģisko teoriju kontekstā. Veikta organizācijas “Omniva” organizācijas kultūras un vērtību analīze un klientu apmierinātības jēdziena metodoloģijas apskats. Empīriskajā darba daļā veiktas 3 intervijas ar organizācijas “Omniva” ekspertiem, lai noskaidrotu viņu viedokli par organizācijas kultūru un vērtībām, kā arī tikusi veikta klientu apmierinātības rādītāju analīze, veicot pārskata salīdzinājumu par diviem identiskiem laika periodiem pirms un pēc jauno vērtību ieviešanas, lai analizētu to, kā vērtību maiņa ir ietekmējusi klientu apmierinātību visās trīs Baltijas valstīs. Papildus apskatīti 2022. gada un 2023. gada “Omniva zīmola un klientu apmierinātības pētījums Baltijas valstīs” pētījuma rezultāti, salīdzinot klientu apmierinātības rādītājus un kopējās tendences pirms un pēc vērtību un organizācijas kultūras maiņas. Bakalaura darbā ir 5 nodaļas, 7 apakšnodaļas un 7 grafiskie attēli. Atslēgvārdi: organizāciju kultūra, organizāciju kultūru veidi, organizāciju vērtības, klientu apmierinātība, klientu apmierinātības mērījumiThe aim of the bachelor's thesis “The impact of Ltd. “Omniva’s” organizational culture and values on customer satisfaction” is to investigate the influence of the culture and values of the organization “Omniva” on customer satisfaction, obtaining the opinion of the managers of “Omniva” about the culture of the organization, its values and their impact on the customer satisfaction and its indicators, in order to make conclusions about how the change of values within the organization has been introduced, how it has affected the organizational culture and customer satisfaction indicators and put forward proposals on how to look at the correlation of organizational culture and values with customer satisfaction. The theoretical part of the work examines the characteristics of the culture and values of organizations and how many and different types of organizations exist, how this affects the organization’s employees and customer satisfaction. The concept of values and the types and importance of values within the organization are also characterized, as well as the culture of organizations in the context of sociological theories. An analysis of the organizational culture and values of the “Omniva” organization and a review of the methodology of the concept of customer satisfaction were carried out. In the empirical part of the work, 3 interviews were conducted with experts of the “Omniva” organization in order to find out their opinion about the culture and values of the organization, as well as an analysis of customer satisfaction indicators was carried out, comparing the report for two identical time periods before and after the introduction of the new values. This was done in order to analyze how the change of values has affected customer satisfaction in all 3 Baltic countries. In addition, the results of the 2022 and 2023 “Omniva Brand and Customer Satisfaction Study in the Baltic States” surveys are reviewed, comparing customer satisfaction indicators and general trends before and after the change of values and organizational culture. The bachelor thesis has 5 chapters, 7 subsections and 7 graphic images. Keywords: organizational culture, types of organizational cultures, organizational values, customer satisfaction, customer satisfaction measurement

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    Riga Stradins university is based in Latvia
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