904 research outputs found

    Pregnant women’s experiences and perceptions of participating in the EVERREST prospective study; a qualitative study

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    Background: The EVERREST Prospective Study is a multicentre observational cohort study of pregnancies affected by severe early-onset fetal growth restriction. The study recruits women with singleton pregnancies where the estimated fetal weight is less than the 3rd centile and below 600 g, between 20 + 0 and 26 + 6 weeks of pregnancy, in the absence of a known chromosomal, structural or infective cause. Method: The reported study was retrospective descriptive qualitative interview study of women who had participated in the EVERREST Prospective Study. The aim of this study was to explore the experiences and perceptions of pregnant women taking part in research during a pregnancy affected by severe early-onset fetal growth restriction. Audio-recorded semi-structured telephone interviews were conducted with a purposive sample of 12 women, at least 1 year after delivery of their baby. Two of these pregnancies had ended in stillbirth and one in neonatal death, reflecting the outcomes seen in the EVERREST Prospective Study. Participants gave informed consent, were 16 years or older and were interviewed in English. A topic guide was used to ensure a consistent approach. Questions focused on pregnancy experiences, involvement with the EVERREST study and potential involvement in future research. Recordings were transcribed verbatim for thematic analysis using NVivo10. Results: Four broad themes were identified; ‘before joining the EVERREST Prospective Study’, ‘participating in research’, ‘information and support’ and ‘looking back and looking forwards’. Each broad theme incorporated several subthemes. All participants recalled their reaction to being told their baby was smaller than expected. The way this news was given had a lasting impact. A range of benefits of participation in the EVERREST Prospective Study were described and the participants were positive about the way it was conducted. As a consequence, they were receptive to participating in future research. However, the findings suggest that research teams should be sensitive when approaching families at a difficult time or when they are already participating in other research. Conclusions: This study highlights the willingness of pregnant women to participate in research and identifies strategies for researchers to engage participants

    Sexual reproduction of human fungal pathogens

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    We review here recent advances in our understanding of sexual reproduction in fungal pathogens that commonly infect humans, including Candida albicans, Cryptococcus neoformans/gattii, and Aspergillus fumigatus. Where appropriate or relevant, we introduce findings on other species associated with human infections. In particular, we focus on rapid advances involving genetic, genomic, and population genetic approaches that have reshaped our view of how fungal pathogens evolve. Rather than being asexual, mitotic, and largely clonal, as was thought to be prevalent as recently as a decade ago, we now appreciate that the vast majority of pathogenic fungi have retained extant sexual, or parasexual, cycles. In some examples, sexual and parasexual unions of pathogenic fungi involve closely related individuals, generating diversity in the population but with more restricted recombination than expected from fertile, sexual, outcrossing and recombining populations. In other cases, species and isolates participate in global outcrossing populations with the capacity for considerable levels of gene flow. These findings illustrate general principles of eukaryotic pathogen emergence with relevance for other fungi, parasitic eukaryotic pathogens, and both unicellular and multicellular eukaryotic organisms

    Case Notes

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    Toxicity and pathophysiology of palytoxin congeners after intraperitoneal and aerosol administration in rats

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    Author Posting. © The Author(s), 2018. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here under a nonexclusive, irrevocable, paid-up, worldwide license granted to WHOI. It is made available for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Toxicon 150 (2018): 235-250, doi:10.1016/j.toxicon.2018.06.067.Preparations of palytoxin (PLTX, derived from Japanese Palythoa tuberculosa) and the congeners 42-OH-PLTX (from Hawaiian P. toxica) and ovatoxin-a (isolated from a Japanese strain of Ostreopsis ovata), as well as a 50:50 mixture of PLTX and 42-OH-PLTX derived from Hawaiian P. tuberculosa were characterized as to their concentration, composition, in-vitro potency and interaction with an anti-PLTX monoclonal antibody (mAb), after which they were evaluated for lethality and pathophysiological effects by intraperitoneal (IP) and aerosol administration to rats. Once each preparation was characterized as to its toxin composition by LC-HRMS and normalized to a total PLTX/OVTX concentration using HPLC-UV, all four preparations showed similar potency towards mouse erythrocytes in the erythrocyte hemolysis assay and interactions with the anti-PLTX mAb. The IP LD50 values derived from these experiments (1-3 μg/kg for all) were consistent with published values, although some differences from the published literature were seen. The aerosol LD50 values (.03-.06 μg/kg) confirmed the exquisite potency of PLTX suggested by the literature. The pathophysiological effects of the different toxin preparations by IP and aerosol administration were similar, albeit with some differences. Most commonly affected tissues were the lungs, liver, heart, kidneys, salivary glands, and adrenal glands. Despite some differences, these results suggest commonalities in potency and mechanism of action among these PLTX congeners.This work was supported by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, through the Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical and Biological Defense, Contract number CB10396. Additional support to DMA and DLK was provided by National Science Foundation (Grant OCE-1314642) and National Institutes of Health (NIEHS-1P50-ES021923-01) through the Woods Hole Center for Oceans and Human Health

    The inflammatory and normal transcriptome of mouse bladder detrusor and mucosa

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    BACKGROUND: An organ such as the bladder consists of complex, interacting set of tissues and cells. Inflammation has been implicated in every major disease of the bladder, including cancer, interstitial cystitis, and infection. However, scanty is the information about individual detrusor and urothelium transcriptomes in response to inflammation. Here, we used suppression subtractive hybridizations (SSH) to determine bladder tissue- and disease-specific genes and transcriptional regulatory elements (TRE)s. Unique TREs and genes were assembled into putative networks. RESULTS: It was found that the control bladder mucosa presented regulatory elements driving genes such as myosin light chain phosphatase and calponin 1 that influence the smooth muscle phenotype. In the control detrusor network the Pax-3 TRE was significantly over-represented. During development, the Pax-3 transcription factor (TF) maintains progenitor cells in an undifferentiated state whereas, during inflammation, Pax-3 was suppressed and genes involved in neuronal development (synapsin I) were up-regulated. Therefore, during inflammation, an increased maturation of neural progenitor cells in the muscle may underlie detrusor instability. NF-κB was specifically over-represented in the inflamed mucosa regulatory network. When the inflamed detrusor was compared to control, two major pathways were found, one encoding synapsin I, a neuron-specific phosphoprotein, and the other an important apoptotic protein, siva. In response to LPS-induced inflammation, the liver X receptor was over-represented in both mucosa and detrusor regulatory networks confirming a role for this nuclear receptor in LPS-induced gene expression. CONCLUSION: A new approach for understanding bladder muscle-urothelium interaction was developed by assembling SSH, real time PCR, and TRE analysis results into regulatory networks. Interestingly, some of the TREs and their downstream transcripts originally involved in organogenesis and oncogenesis were also activated during inflammation. The latter represents an additional link between inflammation and cancer. The regulatory networks represent key targets for development of novel drugs targeting bladder diseases

    Health-related quality of life as measured with EQ-5D among populations with and without specific chronic conditions: A population-based survey in Shaanxi province, China

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    © 2013 Tan et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.Introduction: The aim of this study was to examine health-related quality of life (HRQoL) as measured by EQ-5D and to investigate the influence of chronic conditions and other risk factors on HRQoL based on a distributed sample located in Shaanxi Province, China. Methods: A multi-stage stratified cluster sampling method was performed to select subjects. EQ-5D was employed to measure the HRQoL. The likelihood that individuals with selected chronic diseases would report any problem in the EQ-5D dimensions was calculated and tested relative to that of each of the two reference groups. Multivariable linear regression models were used to investigate factors associated with EQ VAS. Results: The most frequently reported problems involved pain/discomfort (8.8%) and anxiety/depression (7.6%). Nearly half of the respondents who reported problems in any of the five dimensions were chronic patients. Higher EQ VAS scores were associated with the male gender, higher level of education, employment, younger age, an urban area of residence, access to free medical service and higher levels of physical activity. Except for anemia, all the selected chronic diseases were indicative of a negative EQ VAS score. The three leading risk factors were cerebrovascular disease, cancer and mental disease. Increases in age, number of chronic conditions and frequency of physical activity were found to have a gradient effect. Conclusion: The results of the present work add to the volume of knowledge regarding population health status in this area, apart from the known health status using mortality and morbidity data. Medical, policy, social and individual attention should be given to the management of chronic diseases and improvement of HRQoL. Longitudinal studies must be performed to monitor changes in HRQoL and to permit evaluation of the outcomes of chronic disease intervention programs. © 2013 Tan et al.National Nature Science Foundation (No. 8107239
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