283 research outputs found

    Integrated syphilis/HIV screening in China: a qualitative analysis

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>The last decade has seen enormous advances in HIV treatment and care, but how to implement scaled up HIV testing, prevention, and treatment in low-income areas still presents a formidable public health challenge. South China faces expanding syphilis and sexually transmitted HIV epidemics, but health systems characteristics important for scaling up syphilis and HIV testing have not been defined.</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>A purposive sample to ensure public, private, and public-private hybrid STI clinic inclusion was selected in a South China city. Eight key informant interviews were conducted with the STI clinic manager, followed by eight focus group discussions with physicians. Data collection relied on a semi-structured format that included questions in each of the following domains: 1) clinical facilities; 2) laboratory capacity with a focus on syphilis/HIV diagnosis; 3) clinic personnel; 4) physical space with a focus on locations to disclose confidential results; 5) financial support.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>Public STI clinics had free syphilis testing/treatment and laboratory facilities to perform essential syphilis and HIV tests. However, despite serving a large number of STI patients, private STI clinics lacked nontreponemal syphilis testing, HIV testing, and had fewer connections to the public health infrastructure. Formally trained assistant physicians were 2.5 times as common as physicians at STI clinics. Only one of the 8 sites had onsite voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) services available.</p> <p>Conclusion</p> <p>These STI case studies reveal the potential for expanding integrated syphilis/HIV services at public STI clinics in China. More health services research is needed to guide scale-up of syphilis/HIV testing in China.</p

    Structural and Mechanistic Studies of Measles Virus Illuminate Paramyxovirus Entry

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    Measles virus (MeV), a member of the paramyxovirus family of enveloped RNA viruses and one of the most infectious viral pathogens identified, accounts for major pediatric morbidity and mortality worldwide although coordinated efforts to achieve global measles control are in place. Target cell entry is mediated by two viral envelope glycoproteins, the attachment (H) and fusion (F) proteins, which form a complex that achieves merger of the envelope with target cell membranes. Despite continually expanding knowledge of the entry strategies employed by enveloped viruses, our molecular insight into the organization of functional paramyxovirus fusion complexes and the mechanisms by which the receptor binding by the attachment protein triggers the required conformational rearrangements of the fusion protein remain incomplete. Recently reported crystal structures of the MeV attachment protein in complex with its cellular receptors CD46 or SLAM and newly developed functional assays have now illuminated some of the fundamental principles that govern cell entry by this archetype member of the paramyxovirus family. Here, we review these advances in our molecular understanding of MeV entry in the context of diverse entry strategies employed by other members of the paramyxovirus family

    Phospholipase D signaling: orchestration by PIP2 and small GTPases

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    Hydrolysis of phosphatidylcholine by phospholipase D (PLD) leads to the generation of the versatile lipid second messenger, phosphatidic acid (PA), which is involved in fundamental cellular processes, including membrane trafficking, actin cytoskeleton remodeling, cell proliferation and cell survival. PLD activity can be dramatically stimulated by a large number of cell surface receptors and is elaborately regulated by intracellular factors, including protein kinase C isoforms, small GTPases of the ARF, Rho and Ras families and, particularly, by the phosphoinositide, phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP2). PIP2 is well known as substrate for the generation of second messengers by phospholipase C, but is now also understood to recruit and/or activate a variety of actin regulatory proteins, ion channels and other signaling proteins, including PLD, by direct interaction. The synthesis of PIP2 by phosphoinositide 5-kinase (PIP5K) isoforms is tightly regulated by small GTPases and, interestingly, by PA as well, and the concerted formation of PIP2 and PA has been shown to mediate receptor-regulated cellular events. This review highlights the regulation of PLD by membrane receptors, and describes how the close encounter of PLD and PIP5K isoforms with small GTPases permits the execution of specific cellular functions

    Robust estimation of bacterial cell count from optical density

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    Optical density (OD) is widely used to estimate the density of cells in liquid culture, but cannot be compared between instruments without a standardized calibration protocol and is challenging to relate to actual cell count. We address this with an interlaboratory study comparing three simple, low-cost, and highly accessible OD calibration protocols across 244 laboratories, applied to eight strains of constitutive GFP-expressing E. coli. Based on our results, we recommend calibrating OD to estimated cell count using serial dilution of silica microspheres, which produces highly precise calibration (95.5% of residuals &lt;1.2-fold), is easily assessed for quality control, also assesses instrument effective linear range, and can be combined with fluorescence calibration to obtain units of Molecules of Equivalent Fluorescein (MEFL) per cell, allowing direct comparison and data fusion with flow cytometry measurements: in our study, fluorescence per cell measurements showed only a 1.07-fold mean difference between plate reader and flow cytometry data

    Accelerated surgery versus standard care in hip fracture (HIP ATTACK): an international, randomised, controlled trial

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    Search for dark matter produced in association with bottom or top quarks in √s = 13 TeV pp collisions with the ATLAS detector