1,224 research outputs found

    Deworming drugs for soil-transmitted intestinal worms in children: effects on nutritional indicators, haemoglobin and school performance.

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    Background The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends treating all school children at regular intervals with deworming drugs in areas where helminth infection is common. As the intervention is often claimed to have important health, nutrition, and societal effects beyond the removal of worms, we critically evaluated the evidence on benefits. Objectives To summarize the effects of giving deworming drugs to children to treat soil-transmitted helminths on weight, haemoglobin, and cognition; and the evidence of impact on physical well-being, school attendance, school performance, and mortality. Search methods We searched the Cochrane Infectious Diseases Group Specialized Register (14 April 2015); Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), published in the Cochrane Library (2015, Issue 4); MEDLINE (2000 to 14 April 2015); EMBASE (2000 to 14 April 2015); LILACS (2000 to 14 April 2015); the metaRegister of Controlled Trials (mRCT); and reference lists, and registers of ongoing and completed trials up to 14 April 2015. Selection criteria We included randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and quasi-RCTs comparing deworming drugs for soil-transmitted helminths with placebo or no treatment in children aged 16 years or less, reporting on weight, haemoglobin, and formal tests of intellectual development. We also sought data on school attendance, school performance, and mortality. We included trials that combined health education with deworming programmes. Data collection and analysis At least two review authors independently assessed the trials, evaluated risk of bias, and extracted data. We analysed continuous data using the mean difference (MD) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Where data were missing, we contacted trial authors. We used outcomes at time of longest follow-up. The evidence quality was assessed using GRADE. This edition of the Cochrane Review adds the DEVTA trial from India, and draws on an independent analytical replication of a trial from Kenya. Main results We identified 45 trials, including nine cluster-RCTs, that met the inclusion criteria. One trial evaluating mortality included over one million children, and the remaining 44 trials included a total of 67,672 participants. Eight trials were in children known to be infected, and 37 trials were carried out in endemic areas, including areas of high (15 trials), moderate (12 trials), and low prevalence (10 trials). Treating children known to be infected Treating children known to be infected with a single dose of deworming drugs (selected by screening, or living in areas where all children are infected) may increase weight gain over the next one to six months (627 participants, five trials, low quality evidence). The effect size varied across trials from an additional 0.2 kg gain to 1.3 kg. There is currently insufficient evidence to know whether treatment has additional effects on haemoglobin (247 participants, two trials, very low quality evidence); school attendance (0 trials); cognitive functioning (103 participants, two trials, very low quality evidence), or physical well-being (280 participants, three trials, very low quality evidence). Community deworming programmes Treating all children living in endemic areas with a dose of deworming drugs probably has little or no effect on average weight gain (MD 0.04 kg less, 95% CI 0.11 kg less to 0.04 kg more; trials 2719 participants, seven trials, moderate quality evidence), even in settings with high prevalence of infection (290 participants, two trials). A single dose also probably has no effect on average haemoglobin (MD 0.06 g/dL, 95% CI -0.05 lower to 0.17 higher; 1005 participants, three trials, moderate quality evidence), or average cognition (1361 participants, two trials, low quality evidence). Similiarly, regularly treating all children in endemic areas with deworming drugs, given every three to six months, may have little or no effect on average weight gain (MD 0.08 kg, 95% CI 0.11 kg less to 0.27 kg more; 38,392 participants, 10 trials, low quality evidence). The effects were variable across trials; one trial from a low prevalence setting carried out in 1995 found an increase in weight, but nine trials carried out since then found no effect, including five from moderate and high prevalence areas. There is also reasonable evidence that regular treatment probably has no effect on average height (MD 0.02 cm higher, 95% CI 0.14 lower to 0.17 cm higher; 7057 participants, seven trials, moderate quality evidence); average haemoglobin (MD 0.02 g/dL lower; 95% CI 0.08 g/dL lower to 0.04 g/dL higher; 3595 participants, seven trials, low quality evidence); formal tests of cognition (32,486 participants, five trials, moderate quality evidence); exam performance (32,659 participants, two trials, moderate quality evidence); or mortality (1,005,135 participants, three trials, low quality evidence). There is very limited evidence assessing an effect on school attendance and the findings are inconsistent, and at risk of bias (mean attendance 2% higher, 95% CI 4% lower to 8% higher; 20,243 participants, two trials, very low quality evidence). In a sensitivity analysis that only included trials with adequate allocation concealment, there was no evidence of any effect for the main outcomes. Authors' conclusions Treating children known to have worm infection may have some nutritional benefits for the individual. However, in mass treatment of all children in endemic areas, there is now substantial evidence that this does not improve average nutritional status, haemoglobin, cognition, school performance, or survival

    Ten Years of Experience Training Non-Physician Anesthesia Providers in Haiti.

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    Surgery is increasingly recognized as an effective means of treating a proportion of the global burden of disease, especially in resource-limited countries. Often non-physicians, such as nurses, provide the majority of anesthesia; however, their training and formal supervision is often of low priority or even non-existent. To increase the number of safe anesthesia providers in Haiti, Médecins Sans Frontières has trained nurse anesthetists (NAs) for over 10 years. This article describes the challenges, outcomes, and future directions of this training program. From 1998 to 2008, 24 students graduated. Nineteen (79%) continue to work as NAs in Haiti and 5 (21%) have emigrated. In 2008, NAs were critical in providing anesthesia during a post-hurricane emergency where they performed 330 procedures. Mortality was 0.3% and not associated with lack of anesthesiologist supervision. The completion rate of this training program was high and the majority of graduates continue to work as nurse anesthetists in Haiti. Successful training requires a setting with a sufficient volume and diversity of operations, appropriate anesthesia equipment, a structured and comprehensive training program, and recognition of the training program by the national ministry of health and relevant professional bodies. Preliminary outcomes support findings elsewhere that NAs can be a safe and effective alternative where anesthesiologists are scarce. Training non-physician anesthetists is a feasible and important way to scale up surgical services resource limited settings

    Molecular Basis of Increased Serum Resistance among Pulmonary Isolates of Non-typeable Haemophilus influenzae

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    Non-typeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi), a common commensal of the human pharynx, is also an opportunistic pathogen if it becomes established in the lower respiratory tract (LRT). In comparison to colonizing isolates from the upper airway, LRT isolates, especially those associated with exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, have increased resistance to the complement- and antibody-dependent, bactericidal effect of serum. To define the molecular basis of this resistance, mutants constructed in a serum resistant strain using the mariner transposon were screened for loss of survival in normal human serum. The loci required for serum resistance contribute to the structure of the exposed surface of the bacterial outer membrane. These included loci involved in biosynthesis of the oligosaccharide component of lipooligosaccharide (LOS), and vacJ, which functions with an ABC transporter encoded by yrb genes in retrograde trafficking of phospholipids from the outer to inner leaflet of the cell envelope. Mutations in vacJ and yrb genes reduced the stability of the outer membrane and were associated with increased cell surface hyrophobicity and phospholipid content. Loss of serum resistance in vacJ and yrb mutants correlated with increased binding of natural immunoglobulin M in serum as well as anti-oligosaccharide mAbs. Expression of vacJ and the yrb genes was positively correlated with serum resistance among clinical isolates. Our findings suggest that NTHi adapts to inflammation encountered during infection of the LRT by modulation of its outer leaflet through increased expression of vacJ and yrb genes to minimize recognition by bactericidal anti-oligosaccharide antibodies

    Nontypable Haemophilus influenzae Displays a Prevalent Surface Structure Molecular Pattern in Clinical Isolates

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    Non-typable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi) is a Gram negative pathogen that causes acute respiratory infections and is associated with the progression of chronic respiratory diseases. Previous studies have established the existence of a remarkable genetic variability among NTHi strains. In this study we show that, in spite of a high level of genetic heterogeneity, NTHi clinical isolates display a prevalent molecular feature, which could confer fitness during infectious processes. A total of 111 non-isogenic NTHi strains from an identical number of patients, isolated in two distinct geographical locations in the same period of time, were used to analyse nine genes encoding bacterial surface molecules, and revealed the existence of one highly prevalent molecular pattern (lgtF+, lic2A+, lic1D+, lic3A+, lic3B+, siaA−, lic2C+, ompP5+, oapA+) displayed by 94.6% of isolates. Such a genetic profile was associated with a higher bacterial resistance to serum mediated killing and enhanced adherence to human respiratory epithelial cells

    Lectin-Based Food Poisoning: A New Mechanism of Protein Toxicity

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    BACKGROUND: Ingestion of the lectins present in certain improperly cooked vegetables can result in acute GI tract distress, but the mechanism of toxicity is unknown. In vivo, gut epithelial cells are constantly exposed to mechanical and other stresses and consequently individual cells frequently experience plasma membrane disruptions. Repair of these cell surface disruptions allows the wounded cell to survive: failure results in necrotic cell death. Plasma membrane repair is mediated, in part, by an exocytotic event that adds a patch of internal membrane to the defect site. Lectins are known to inhibit exocytosis. We therefore tested the novel hypothesis that lectin toxicity is due to an inhibitory effect on plasma membrane repair. METHODS AND FINDINGS: Repair of plasma membrane disruptions and exocytosis of mucus was assessed after treatment of cultured cell models and excised segments of the GI tract with lectins. Plasma membrane disruptions were produced by focal irradiation of individual cells, using a microscope-based laser, or by mechanical abrasion of multiple cells, using a syringe needle. Repair was then assessed by monitoring the cytosolic penetration of dyes incapable of crossing the intact plasma membrane. We found that cell surface-bound lectins potently inhibited plasma membrane repair, and the exocytosis of mucus that normally accompanies the repair response. CONCLUSIONS: Lectins potently inhibit plasma membrane repair, and hence are toxic to wounded cells. This represents a novel form of protein-based toxicity, one that, we propose, is the basis of plant lectin food poisoning

    General practitioners apply the usual care for shoulder complaints better than expected – analysis of videotaped consultations

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    BACKGROUND: The education and activation program (EAP) is a newly developed intervention to prevent the development of chronic shoulder complaints (SCs). Trained general practitioners (GPs) administer the EAP. The EAP addresses inadequate cognitions and maladaptive behavior related to the SCs. The effect of the EAP is evaluated in a randomized clinical trial. The aim of the present study is to use videotaped consultations to study (1) the performance of trained GPs administering the EAP and (2) the presence of key features of the EAP already embedded in usual care (UC). METHODS: Five trained GPs were videotaped while treating a standardized patient with EAP. Additionally, five GPs administering UC were videotaped. Two blinded observers evaluated the videotapes in relation to key features of the EAP which were scored on the EAP checklist. RESULTS: The mean total score on the EAP checklist was 4.7 (SD = 2.9) for the UC group and 7.1 (SD = 2.1) for the EAP group. Neither group reached a score higher than 8, which was considered to reflect an acceptable number of key EAP features. CONCLUSION: Our comparison of the presence of key features of EAP shows that the UC and EAP groups differed less than was expected. GPs in the UC group performed above expectation, with a mean total score of 4.7. Moreover, the low number of key features present in the EAP group may very well have led to a reduced effectiveness of the EAP. The results of this study can be used to optimize the training of GPs using the EAP

    Evaluation of an education and activation programme to prevent chronic shoulder complaints: design of an RCT [ISRCTN71777817]

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    BACKGROUND: About half of all newly presented episodes of shoulder complaints (SC) in general practice are reported to last for at least six months. Early interventions aimed at the psychological and social determinants of SC are not common in general practice, although such interventions might prevent the development of chronic SC. The Education and Activation Programme (EAP) consists of an educational part and a time-contingent activation part. The aim of the EAP is to provide patients with the proper cognitions by means of education, and to stimulate adequate behaviour through advice on activities of daily living. DESIGN: The article describes the design of a randomised clinical trial (RCT) to evaluate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of an EAP in addition to usual care, compared to usual care only, in the prevention of chronic SC after six months. It also describes the analysis of the cost and effect balance. Patients suffering from SC for less than three months are recruited in general practice and through open recruitment. A trained general practitioner or a trained therapist administers the EAP. Primary outcome measures are patient-perceived recovery, measured by self-assessment on a seven-point scale, and functional limitations in activities of daily living. Questionnaires are used to study baseline measures, prognostic measures, process measures and outcome measures. DISCUSSION: The inclusion of patients in the study lasted until December 31(st )2003. Data collection is to end in June 2004

    Dual Action of lysophosphatidate- functionalised titanium: Interactions with human (MG63) osteoblasts and methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus

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    © 2015 Skindersoe 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. Titanium (Ti) is a widely used material for surgical implants; total joint replacements (TJRs), screws and plates for fixing bones and dental implants are forged from Ti. Whilst Ti integrates well into host tissue approximately 10% of TJRs will fail in the lifetime of the patient through a process known as aseptic loosening. These failures necessitate revision arthroplasties which are more complicated and costly than the initial procedure. Finding ways of enhancing early (osseo)integration of TJRs is therefore highly desirable and continues to represent a research priority in current biomaterial design. One way of realising improvements in implant quality is to coat the Ti surface with small biological agents known to support human osteoblast formation and maturation at Ti surfaces. Lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) and certain LPA analogues offer potential solutions as Ti coatings in reducing aseptic loosening. Herein we present evidence for the successful bio-functionalisation of Ti using LPA. This modified Ti surface heightened the maturation of human osteoblasts, as supported by increased expression of alkaline phosphatase. These functionalised surfaces also deterred the attachment and growth of Staphylococcus aureus, a bacterium often associated with implant failures through sepsis. Collectively we provide evidence for the fabrication of a dual-action Ti surface finish, a highly desirable feature towards the development of next-generation implantable devices

    Impaired working speed and executive functions as frontal lobe dysfunctions in young first-degree relatives of schizophrenic patients

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    The aim of the investigation was to detect neuropsychological markers, such as sustained and selective attention and executive functions, which contribute to the vulnerability to schizophrenia especially in young persons. Performance was assessed in 32 siblings and children of schizophrenic patients and 32 matched controls using Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, Colour-Word-Interference-Test, Trail Making Test, and d2-Concentration-Test. The first-degree relatives showed certain impairments on all four tests, in particular, slower times on all time-limited tests. These results suggest the need for more time when completing neuropsychological tasks involving selected and focused attention, as well as cognitive flexibility, as a possible indicator of genetic vulnerability to schizophrenia

    Tissue stiffening coordinates morphogenesis by triggering collective cell migration in vivo.

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    Collective cell migration is essential for morphogenesis, tissue remodelling and cancer invasion. In vivo, groups of cells move in an orchestrated way through tissues. This movement involves mechanical as well as molecular interactions between cells and their environment. While the role of molecular signals in collective cell migration is comparatively well understood, how tissue mechanics influence collective cell migration in vivo remains unknown. Here we investigated the importance of mechanical cues in the collective migration of the Xenopus laevis neural crest cells, an embryonic cell population whose migratory behaviour has been likened to cancer invasion. We found that, during morphogenesis, the head mesoderm underlying the cephalic neural crest stiffens. This stiffening initiates an epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition in neural crest cells and triggers their collective migration. To detect changes in their mechanical environment, neural crest cells use mechanosensation mediated by the integrin-vinculin-talin complex. By performing mechanical and molecular manipulations, we show that mesoderm stiffening is necessary and sufficient to trigger neural crest migration. Finally, we demonstrate that convergent extension of the mesoderm, which starts during gastrulation, leads to increased mesoderm stiffness by increasing the cell density underneath the neural crest. These results show that convergent extension of the mesoderm has a role as a mechanical coordinator of morphogenesis, and reveal a link between two apparently unconnected processes-gastrulation and neural crest migration-via changes in tissue mechanics. Overall, we demonstrate that changes in substrate stiffness can trigger collective cell migration by promoting epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition in vivo. More broadly, our results raise the idea that tissue mechanics combines with molecular effectors to coordinate morphogenesis
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