1,541 research outputs found

    Genes coding for enterotoxins and verotoxins in porcine Escherichia coli strains belonging to different O:K:H serotypes: Relationship with toxic phenotypes

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    Seventy-four E. coli strains isolated from piglets with diarrhea or edema disease in Spain were serotyped and examined for production of heat-labile (LT) and heat-stable (ST) enterotoxins (LT-I, LT-II, STaH, STaP, and STb) and verotoxins (VT1, VT2, and VT2v VTe) by phenotypic (Vero cell assay and infant mouse test) and genotypic (colony hybridization and PCR) methods. In general, an excellent correlation was found between the results obtained with a PCR approach and those determined with biological assays. DNA probes used in the hybridization also showed a very good agreement with phenotypic results, with the exception of a VT1 probe that initially produced 10 false-positive reactions. The gene coding for STb (58 strains) was the most prevalent gene detected by PCR, followed by those coding for STa (46 strains), LT (19 strains), VT2v (11 strains), and VT1 (1 strain). Apparently, in Spain three seropathotypes are predominant: (i) 0149:K91:H10 K88(+) LT-I+ STb+ (ii) 0141:K85ab:H- P987(+) STaP+, and (iii) 0138:K81:H14 or H-STaP+ VT2v(+). We conclude that PCR is a fast, specific, and practical method for the identification of enterotoxin and VT genes in clinical and epidemiological studies.35112958296

    Serotypes, virulence genes and intimin types of Shiga toxin (verocytotoxin)-producing Escherichia coli isolates from minced beef in Lugo (Spain) from 1995 through 2003

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    BACKGROUND: Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) have emerged as pathogens that can cause food-borne infections and severe and potentially fatal illnesses in humans, such as haemorrhagic colitis (HC) and haemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS). In Spain, like in many other countries, STEC strains have been frequently isolated from ruminants, and represent a significant cause of sporadic cases of human infection. In view of the lack of data on STEC isolated from food in Spain, the objectives of this study were to determine the level of microbiological contamination and the prevalence of STEC O157:H7 and non-O157 in a large sampling of minced beef collected from 30 local stores in Lugo city between 1995 and 2003. Also to establish if those STEC isolated from food possessed the same virulence profiles as STEC strains causing human infections. RESULTS: STEC were detected in 95 (12%) of the 785 minced beef samples tested. STEC O157:H7 was isolated from eight (1.0%) samples and non-O157 STEC from 90 (11%) samples. Ninety-six STEC isolates were further characterized by PCR and serotyping. PCR showed that 28 (29%) isolates carried stx(1 )genes, 49 (51%) possessed stx(2 )genes, and 19 (20%) both stx(1 )and stx(2). Enterohemolysin (ehxA) and intimin (eae) virulence genes were detected in 43 (45%) and in 25 (26%) of the isolates, respectively. Typing of the eae variants detected four types: γ1 (nine isolates), β1 (eight isolates), ξ1 (three isolates), and θ (two isolates). The majority (68%) of STEC isolates belonged to serotypes previously detected in human STEC and 38% to serotypes associated with STEC isolated from patients with HUS. Ten new serotypes not previously described in raw beef products were also detected. The highly virulent seropathotypes O26:H11 stx(1 )eae-β1, O157:H7 stx(1)stx(2 )eae-γ1 and O157:H7 stx(2)eae-γ1, which are the most frequently observed among STEC causing human infections in Spain, were detected in 10 of the 96 STEC isolates. Furthermore, phage typing of STEC O157:H7 isolates showed that the majority (seven of eight isolates) belonged to the main phage types previously detected in STEC O157:H7 strains associated with severe human illnesses. CONCLUSION: The results of this study do not differ greatly from those reported in other countries with regard to prevalence of O157 and non-O157 STEC in minced beef. As we suspected, serotypes different from O157:H7 also play an important role in food contamination in Spain, including the highly virulent seropathotype O26:H11 stx(1 )eae-β1. Thus, our data confirm minced beef in the city of Lugo as vehicles of highly pathogenic STEC. This requires that control measures to be introduced and implemented to increase the safety of minced beef

    Kahler Moduli Inflation Revisited

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    We perform a detailed numerical analysis of inflationary solutions in Kahler moduli of type IIB flux compactifications. We show that there are inflationary solutions even when all the fields play an important role in the overall shape of the scalar potential. Moreover, there exists a direction of attraction for the inflationary trajectories that correspond to the constant volume direction. This basin of attraction enables the system to have an island of stability in the set of initial conditions. We provide explicit examples of these trajectories, compute the corresponding tilt of the density perturbations power spectrum and show that they provide a robust prediction of n_s approximately 0.96 for 60 e-folds of inflation.Comment: 27 pages, 9 figure

    The AFLOW Fleet for Materials Discovery

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    The traditional paradigm for materials discovery has been recently expanded to incorporate substantial data driven research. With the intent to accelerate the development and the deployment of new technologies, the AFLOW Fleet for computational materials design automates high-throughput first principles calculations, and provides tools for data verification and dissemination for a broad community of users. AFLOW incorporates different computational modules to robustly determine thermodynamic stability, electronic band structures, vibrational dispersions, thermo-mechanical properties and more. The AFLOW data repository is publicly accessible online at aflow.org, with more than 1.7 million materials entries and a panoply of queryable computed properties. Tools to programmatically search and process the data, as well as to perform online machine learning predictions, are also available.Comment: 14 pages, 8 figure

    Developing standards for the development of glaucoma virtual clinics using a modified Delphi approach

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    PURPOSE: To obtain consensus opinion for the development of a standards framework for the development and implementation of virtual clinics for glaucoma monitoring in the UK using a modified Delphi methodology. METHODS: A modified Delphi technique was used that involved sampling members of the UK Glaucoma and Eire Society (UKEGS). The first round scored the strength of agreement to a series of standards statements using a 9-point Likert scale. The revised standards were subjected to a second round of scoring and free-text comment. The final standards were discussed and agreed by an expert panel consisting of seven glaucoma subspecialists from across the UK. A version of the standards was submitted to external stakeholders for a 3-month consultation. RESULTS: There was a 44% response rate of UKEGS members to rounds 1 and 2, consisting largely of consultant ophthalmologists with a specialist interest in glaucoma. The final version of the standards document was validated by stakeholder consultation and contains four sections pertaining to the patient groups, testing methods, staffing requirements and governance structure of NHS secondary care glaucoma virtual clinic models. CONCLUSIONS: Use of a modified Delphi approach has provided consensus agreement for the standards required for the development of virtual clinics to monitor glaucoma in the UK. It is anticipated that this document will be useful as a guide for those implementing this model of service delivery

    Insights into the regulation of DMSP synthesis in the diatom Thalassiosira pseudonana through APR activity, proteomics and gene expression analyses on cells acclimating to changes in salinity, light and nitrogen

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    Despite the importance of dimethylsulphoniopropionate (DMSP) in the global sulphur cycle and climate regulation, the biological pathways underpinning its synthesis in marine phytoplankton remain poorly understood. The intracellular concentration of DMSP increases with increased salinity, increased light intensity and nitrogen starvation in the diatom Thalassiosira pseudonana. We used these conditions to investigate DMSP synthesis at the cellular level via analysis of enzyme activity, gene expression and proteome comparison. The activity of the key sulphur assimilatory enzyme, adenosine 5′- phosphosulphate reductase was not coordinated with increasing intracellular DMSP concentration. Under all three treatments coordination in the expression of sulphur assimilation genes was limited to increases in sulphite reductase transcripts. Similarly, proteomic 2D gel analysis only revealed an increase in phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase following increases in DMSP concentration. Our findings suggest that increased sulphur assimilation might not be required for increased DMSP synthesis, instead the availability of carbon and nitrogen substrates may be important in the regulation of this pathway. This contrasts with the regulation of sulphur metabolism in higher plants, which generally involves upregulation of several sulphur assimilatory enzymes. In T. pseudonana changes relating to sulphur metabolism were specific to the individual treatments and, given that little coordination was seen in transcript and protein responses across the three growth conditions, different patterns of regulation might be responsible for the increase in DMSP concentration seen under each treatment

    Postglacial expansion of the arctic keystone copepod calanus glacialis

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    Calanus glacialis, a major contributor to zooplankton biomass in the Arctic shelf seas, is a key link between primary production and higher trophic levels that may be sensitive to climate warming. The aim of this study was to explore genetic variation in contemporary populations of this species to infer possible changes during the Quaternary period, and to assess its population structure in both space and time. Calanus glacialis was sampled in the fjords of Spitsbergen (Hornsund and Kongsfjorden) in 2003, 2004, 2006, 2009 and 2012. The sequence of a mitochondrial marker, belonging to the ND5 gene, selected for the study was 1249 base pairs long and distinguished 75 unique haplotypes among 140 individuals that formed three main clades. There was no detectable pattern in the distribution of haplotypes by geographic distance or over time. Interestingly, a Bayesian skyline plot suggested that a 1000-fold increase in population size occurred approximately 10,000 years before present, suggesting a species expansion after the Last Glacial Maximum.GAME from the National Science Centre, the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education Iuventus Plus [IP2014 050573]; FCT-PT [CCMAR/Multi/04326/2013]; [2011/03/B/NZ8/02876

    Brane-World Gravity

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    The observable universe could be a 1+3-surface (the "brane") embedded in a 1+3+\textit{d}-dimensional spacetime (the "bulk"), with Standard Model particles and fields trapped on the brane while gravity is free to access the bulk. At least one of the \textit{d} extra spatial dimensions could be very large relative to the Planck scale, which lowers the fundamental gravity scale, possibly even down to the electroweak (∟\sim TeV) level. This revolutionary picture arises in the framework of recent developments in M theory. The 1+10-dimensional M theory encompasses the known 1+9-dimensional superstring theories, and is widely considered to be a promising potential route to quantum gravity. At low energies, gravity is localized at the brane and general relativity is recovered, but at high energies gravity "leaks" into the bulk, behaving in a truly higher-dimensional way. This introduces significant changes to gravitational dynamics and perturbations, with interesting and potentially testable implications for high-energy astrophysics, black holes, and cosmology. Brane-world models offer a phenomenological way to test some of the novel predictions and corrections to general relativity that are implied by M theory. This review analyzes the geometry, dynamics and perturbations of simple brane-world models for cosmology and astrophysics, mainly focusing on warped 5-dimensional brane-worlds based on the Randall--Sundrum models. We also cover the simplest brane-world models in which 4-dimensional gravity on the brane is modified at \emph{low} energies -- the 5-dimensional Dvali--Gabadadze--Porrati models. Then we discuss co-dimension two branes in 6-dimensional models.Comment: A major update of Living Reviews in Relativity 7:7 (2004) "Brane-World Gravity", 119 pages, 28 figures, the update contains new material on RS perturbations, including full numerical solutions of gravitational waves and scalar perturbations, on DGP models, and also on 6D models. A published version in Living Reviews in Relativit

    Clinical and radiographic outcomes of the treatment of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis with segmental pedicle screws and combined local autograft and allograft bone for spinal fusion: a retrospective case series

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>High morbidity has been reported with iliac crest bone graft harvesting; however, donor bone is typically necessary for posterior spinal fusion. Autograft bone combined with allograft may reduce the morbidity associated with iliac crest bone harvesting and improve the fusion rate. Our aim in this study was to determine the presence of complications, pseudarthrosis, non-union, and infection using combined <it>in situ </it>local autograft bone and freeze-dried cancellous allograft bone in patients undergoing posterior spinal fusion for the treatment of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis.</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>A combination of <it>in situ </it>local autograft bone and freeze-dried cancellous allograft blocks were used in 50 consecutive patients with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis treated by posterior fusion and Moss Miami pedicle screw instrumentation. Results were assessed clinically and radiographically and quality of life and functional outcome was evaluated by administration of a Chinese version of the SRS-22 survey.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>There were 41 female and 9 male patients included for analysis with an average age of 14.7 years (range, 12-17). All patients had a minimum follow-up of 18 months (range, 18 to 40 months). The average preoperative Cobb angle was 49.8° (range, 40° to 86°). The average number of levels fused was 9.8 (range, 6-15). Patients had a minimum postoperative follow-up of 18 months. At final follow-up, the average Cobb angle correction was 77.8% (range, 43.4 to 92.5%). There was no obvious loss in the correction, and the average loss of correction was 1.1° (range, 0° to 4°). There was no pseudarthrosis and no major complications.</p> <p>Conclusions</p> <p><it>In situ </it>autograft bone combined with allograft bone may be a promising method enhances spinal fusion in AIS treated with pedicle screw placement. By eliminating the need for iliac crest bone harvesting, significant morbidity may be avoided.</p

    Multiple populations in globular clusters. Lessons learned from the Milky Way globular clusters

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    Recent progress in studies of globular clusters has shown that they are not simple stellar populations, being rather made of multiple generations. Evidence stems both from photometry and spectroscopy. A new paradigm is then arising for the formation of massive star clusters, which includes several episodes of star formation. While this provides an explanation for several features of globular clusters, including the second parameter problem, it also opens new perspectives about the relation between globular clusters and the halo of our Galaxy, and by extension of all populations with a high specific frequency of globular clusters, such as, e.g., giant elliptical galaxies. We review progress in this area, focusing on the most recent studies. Several points remain to be properly understood, in particular those concerning the nature of the polluters producing the abundance pattern in the clusters and the typical timescale, the range of cluster masses where this phenomenon is active, and the relation between globular clusters and other satellites of our Galaxy.Comment: In press (The Astronomy and Astrophysics Review
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