952 research outputs found

    Variance component estimation uncertainty for unbalanced data: Application to a continent-wide vertical datum

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    Variance component estimation (VCE) is used to update the stochastic model in least-squares adjustments, but the uncertainty associated with the VCE-derived weights is rarely considered. Unbalanced data is where there is an unequal number of observations in each heterogeneous dataset comprising the variance component groups. As a case study using highly unbalanced data, we redefine a continent-wide vertical datum from a combined least-squares adjustment using iterative VCE and its uncertainties to update weights for each data set. These are: (1) a continent-wide levelling network, (2) a model of the ocean’s mean dynamic topography and mean sea level observations, and (3) GPS-derived ellipsoidal heights minus a gravimetric quasigeoid model. VCE uncertainty differs for each observation group in the highly unbalanced data, being dependent on the number of observations in each group. It also changes within each group after each VCE iteration, depending on the magnitude of change for each observation group’s variances. It is recommended that VCE uncertainty is computed for VCE updates to the weight matrix for unbalanced data so that the quality of the updates for each group can be properly assessed. This is particularly important if some groups contain relatively small numbers of observations. VCE uncertainty can also be used as a threshold for ceasing iterations, as it is shown—for this data set at least—that it is not necessary to continue time-consuming iterations to fully converge to unity

    Are Tanzanian patients attending public facilities or private retailers more likely to adhere to artemisinin-based combination therapy?

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    BACKGROUND: Artemisinin combination therapy (ACT) is first-line treatment for malaria in most endemic countries and is increasingly available in the private sector. Most studies on ACT adherence have been conducted in the public sector, with minimal data from private retailers. METHODS: Parallel studies were conducted in Tanzania, in which patients obtaining artemether-lumefantrine (AL) at 40 randomly selected public health facilities and 37 accredited drug dispensing outlets (ADDOs) were visited at home and questioned about doses taken. The effect of sector on adherence, controlling for potential confounders was assessed using logistic regression with a random effect for outlet. RESULTS: Of 572 health facility patients and 450 ADDO patients, 74.5% (95% CI: 69.8, 78.8) and 69.8% (95% CI: 64.6, 74.5), respectively, completed treatment and 46.0% (95% CI: 40.9, 51.2) and 34.8% (95% CI: 30.1, 39.8) took each dose at the correct time ('timely completion'). ADDO patients were wealthier, more educated, older, sought care later in the day, and were less likely to test positive for malaria than health facility patients. Controlling for patient characteristics, the adjusted odds of completed treatment and of timely completion for ADDO patients were 0.65 (95% CI: 0.43, 1.00) and 0.69 (95% CI: 0.47, 1.01) times that of health facility patients. Higher socio-economic status was associated with both adherence measures. Higher education was associated with completed treatment (adjusted OR = 1.68, 95% CI: 1.20, 2.36); obtaining AL in the evening was associated with timely completion (adjusted OR = 0.35, 95% CI: 0.19, 0.64). Factors associated with adherence in each sector were examined separately. In both sectors, recalling correct instructions was positively associated with both adherence measures. In health facility patients, but not ADDO patients, taking the first dose of AL at the outlet was associated with timely completion (adjusted OR = 2.11, 95% CI: 1.46, 3.04). CONCLUSION: When controlling for patient characteristics, there was some evidence that the adjusted odds of adherence for ADDO patients was lower than that for public health facility patients. Better understanding is needed of which patient care aspects are most important for adherence, including the role of effective provision of advice

    Gender-Related Differences in the Prevalence of Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors and their Correlates in Urban Tanzania.

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    \ud Urban areas in Africa suffer a serious problem with dual burden of infectious diseases and emerging chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and diabetes which pose a serious threat to population health and health care resources. However in East Africa, there is limited literature in this research area. The objective of this study was to examine the prevalence of cardiovascular disease risk factors and their correlates among adults in Temeke, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Results of this study will help inform future research and potential preventive and therapeutic interventions against such chronic diseases. The study design was a cross sectional epidemiological study. A total of 209 participants aged between 44 and 66 years were included in the study. A structured questionnaire was used to evaluate socioeconomic and lifestyle characteristics. Blood samples were collected and analyzed to measure lipid profile and fasting glucose levels. Cardiovascular risk factors were defined using World Health Organization criteria. The age-adjusted prevalence of obesity (BMI > or = 30) was 13% and 35%, among men and women (p = 0.0003), respectively. The prevalence of abdominal obesity was 11% and 58% (p < 0.0001), and high WHR (men: >0.9, women: >0.85) was 51% and 73% (p = 0.002) for men and women respectively. Women had 4.3 times greater odds of obesity (95% CI: 1.9-10.1), 14.2-fold increased odds for abdominal adiposity (95% CI: 5.8-34.6), and 2.8 times greater odds of high waist-hip-ratio (95% CI: 1.4-5.7), compared to men. Women had more than three-fold greater odds of having metabolic syndrome (p = 0.001) compared to male counterparts, including abdominal obesity, low HDL-cholesterol, and high fasting blood glucose components. In contrast, female participants had 50% lower odds of having hypertension, compared to men (95%CI: 0.3-1.0). Among men, BMI and waist circumference were significantly correlated with blood pressure, triglycerides, total, LDL-, and HDL-cholesterol (BMI only), and fasting glucose; in contrast, only blood pressure was positively associated with BMI and waist circumference in women. The prevalence of CVD risk factors was high in this population, particularly among women. Health promotion, primary prevention, and health screening strategies are needed to reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease in Tanzania.\u

    Error sources and data limitations for the prediction ofsurface gravity: a case study using benchmarks

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    Gravity-based heights require gravity values at levelled benchmarks (BMs), whichsometimes have to be predicted from surrounding observations. We use EGM2008 andthe Australian National Gravity Database (ANGD) as examples of model and terrestrialobserved data respectively to predict gravity at Australian national levelling network(ANLN) BMs. The aim is to quantify errors that may propagate into the predicted BMgravity values and then into gravimetric height corrections (HCs). Our results indicatethat an approximate ±1 arc-minute horizontal position error of the BMs causesmaximum errors in EGM2008 BM gravity of ~ 22 mGal (~55 mm in the HC at ~2200 melevation) and ~18 mGal for ANGD BM gravity because the values are not computed atthe true location of the BM. We use RTM (residual terrain modelling) techniques toshow that ~50% of EGM2008 BM gravity error in a moderately mountainous regioncan be accounted for by signal omission. Non-representative sampling of ANGDgravity in this region may cause errors of up to 50 mGals (~120 mm for the Helmertorthometric correction at ~2200 m elevation). For modelled gravity at BMs to beviable, levelling networks need horizontal BM positions accurate to a few metres, whileRTM techniques can be used to reduce signal omission error. Unrepresentative gravitysampling in mountains can be remedied by denser and more representative re-surveys,and/or gravity can be forward modelled into regions of sparser gravity

    Phylogenetic relationships of cone snails endemic to Cabo Verde based on mitochondrial genomes

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    Background: Due to their great species and ecological diversity as well as their capacity to produce hundreds of different toxins, cone snails are of interest to evolutionary biologists, pharmacologists and amateur naturalists alike. Taxonomic identification of cone snails still relies mostly on the shape, color, and banding patterns of the shell. However, these phenotypic traits are prone to homoplasy. Therefore, the consistent use of genetic data for species delimitation and phylogenetic inference in this apparently hyperdiverse group is largely wanting. Here, we reconstruct the phylogeny of the cones endemic to Cabo Verde archipelago, a well-known radiation of the group, using mitochondrial (mt) genomes. Results: The reconstructed phylogeny grouped the analyzed species into two main clades, one including Kalloconus from West Africa sister to Trovaoconus from Cabo Verde and the other with a paraphyletic Lautoconus due to the sister group relationship of Africonus from Cabo Verde and Lautoconus ventricosus from Mediterranean Sea and neighboring Atlantic Ocean to the exclusion of Lautoconus endemic to Senegal (plus Lautoconus guanche from Mauritania, Morocco, and Canary Islands). Within Trovaoconus, up to three main lineages could be distinguished. The clade of Africonus included four main lineages (named I to IV), each further subdivided into two monophyletic groups. The reconstructed phylogeny allowed inferring the evolution of the radula in the studied lineages as well as biogeographic patterns. The number of cone species endemic to Cabo Verde was revised under the light of sequence divergence data and the inferred phylogenetic relationships. Conclusions: The sequence divergence between continental members of the genus Kalloconus and island endemics ascribed to the genus Trovaoconus is low, prompting for synonymization of the latter. The genus Lautoconus is paraphyletic. Lautoconus ventricosus is the closest living sister group of genus Africonus. Diversification of Africonus was in allopatry due to the direct development nature of their larvae and mainly triggered by eustatic sea level changes during the Miocene-Pliocene. Our study confirms the diversity of cone endemic to Cabo Verde but significantly reduces the number of valid species. Applying a sequence divergence threshold, the number of valid species within the sampled Africonus is reduced to half.Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation [CGL2013-45211-C2-2-P, CGL2016-75255-C2-1-P, BES-2011-051469, BES-2014-069575, Doctorado Nacional-567]info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersio

    Impact of Community-Based Larviciding on the Prevalence of Malaria Infection in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

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    The use of larval source management is not prioritized by contemporary malaria control programs in sub-Saharan Africa despite historical success. Larviciding, in particular, could be effective in urban areas where transmission is focal and accessibility to Anopheles breeding habitats is generally easier than in rural settings. The objective of this study is to assess the effectiveness of a community-based microbial larviciding intervention to reduce the prevalence of malaria infection in Dar es Salaam, United Republic of Tanzania. Larviciding was implemented in 3 out of 15 targeted wards of Dar es Salaam in 2006 after two years of baseline data collection. This intervention was subsequently scaled up to 9 wards a year later, and to all 15 targeted wards in 2008. Continuous randomized cluster sampling of malaria prevalence and socio-demographic characteristics was carried out during 6 survey rounds (2004-2008), which included both cross-sectional and longitudinal data (N = 64,537). Bayesian random effects logistic regression models were used to quantify the effect of the intervention on malaria prevalence at the individual level. Effect size estimates suggest a significant protective effect of the larviciding intervention. After adjustment for confounders, the odds of individuals living in areas treated with larviciding being infected with malaria were 21% lower (Odds Ratio = 0.79; 95% Credible Intervals: 0.66-0.93) than those who lived in areas not treated. The larviciding intervention was most effective during dry seasons and had synergistic effects with other protective measures such as use of insecticide-treated bed nets and house proofing (i.e., complete ceiling or window screens). A large-scale community-based larviciding intervention significantly reduced the prevalence of malaria infection in urban Dar es Salaam

    Using models of the ocean's mean dynamic topography to identify errors in coastal geodetic levelling

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    Identifying errors (blunders and systematic errors) in coastal geodetic levelling networks has often been problematic. This is because (1) mean sea level (MSL) at tide gauges cannot be directly compared to height differences from levelling because the geoid/quasigeoid and MSL are not parallel, being separated by the ocean’s mean dynamic topography (MDT) and (2) the lack of redundancy at the edge of the levelling network. This paper sets out a methodology to independently identify blunders and/or systematic errors (over long distances) in geodetic levelling using MDT models to account for the separation between the geoid/quasigeoid and MSL at tide gauges. This method is then tested in a case study using an oceanographic MDT model, MSL observations, GNSS data and a quasigeoid model. The results are significant because the errors found could not be detected by standard levelling misclosure checks alone, with supplementary data from an MDT model, with cross-validation from GNSS-quasigeoid allowing their detection. In addition, it appears that an oceanographic-only MDT is as effective as GNSS and a quasigeoid model for detecting levelling errors, which could be particularly useful for countries with coastal levelling errors in their levelling networks that cannot be identified by conventional levelling closure checks

    Plantations, outgrowers and commercial farming in Africa: agricultural commercialisation and implications for agrarian change

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    Whether or not investments in African agriculture can generate quality employment at scale,avoid dispossessing local people of their land,promote diversified and sustainable livelihoods, and catalyse more vibrant local economies depends on what farming model is pursued. In this Forum, we build on recent scholarship by discussing the key findings of our recent studies in Ghana, Kenya and Zambia. We examined cases of three models of agricultural commercialisation, characterised by different sets of institutional arrangements that link land, labour and capital. The three models are: plantations or estates with on-farm processing; contract farming and outgrower schemes; and medium-scale commercial farming areas. Building on core debates in the critical agrarian studies literature, we identify commercial farming areas and contract farming as producing the most local economic linkages, and plantations/estates as producing more jobs, although these are of low quality and mostly casual. We point to the gender and generational dynamics emerging in the three models, which reflect the changing demand for family and wage labour. Models of agricultural commercialisation do not always deliver what is expected of them in part because local conditions play a critical role in the unfolding outcomes for land relations, labour regimes, livelihoods and local economies

    Fluorescence in-situ hybridisation on biopsies from clam ileocystoplasties and on a clam cancer

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    The incidence of carcinoma following an enterocystoplasty increases with time and is a major concern after such procedures. The aim of this study was to investigate genetic instability (in the form of numerical chromosomal aberrations) at the enterovesical anastomosis in patients who had undergone a clam ileocystoplasty using fluorescent in-situ hybridisation (FISH). Fluorescent in-situ hybridisation was performed on touch preparation samples prepared from fresh endoscopic biopsies obtained from the enterovesical anastomosis and native bladder remnant (control specimens) of 15 patients who had undergone a clam ileocystoplasty. Fluorescent in-situ hybridisation was also performed on one squamous cell cancer specimen. Significant aneusomic changes were found at the enterovesical anastomosis in all 15 patients. Alterations in chromosome 18 copy number were the most frequent abnormal finding (trisomy 18, n=8; monosomy 18, n=7). Nine patients were monosomic for chromosome 9. Isolated monosomy 8 and trisomy 8 were each found in one patient. The control specimens were all normal. An unusually high incidence of polysomic cells was found in the clam tumour specimen, reflecting the aggressive nature of this cancer. Chromosomal numerical abnormalities occur at the enterovesical anastomosis following a clam ileocystoplasty and chromosome 18 appears to be a particularly good marker of genetic instability. The results of this study indicate that morphologically normal tissue obtained from the enterovesical anastomosis displays evidence of chromosomal instability that may predispose to tumour formation. However, further prospective, blinded, longitudinal studies are required to establish whether predetermined FISH signal patterns in enterocystoplasty cells in urine or obtained by biopsy predict the presence or absence of tumour
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