168 research outputs found

    Morphological and molecular characterization of Curvularia and related species associated with leaf spot disease of rice in Peninsular Malaysia

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    Curvularia species are important phytopathogens reported worldwide. They are closely related; consist of major destructive pathogens mainly for grasses and cereal plants including rice (Oryza sativa). A leaf spot symptom of rice is one of the common symptoms found in the rice field and caused reduction of rice yield. However, there are no reports on Curvularia species associated with rice leaves showing spot symptoms. The objectives are to isolate and characterize Curvularia and related species from leaf spot of rice by using morphological and molecular characterization and to determine the phylogenetic relationship between the isolated fungi. Fungal isolation was done from diseased rice leaves showing leaf spot symptoms collected throughout Peninsular Malaysia. Thirty-three isolates were recovered and identified based on their morphological characteristics such as conidia morphology, colony appearance, pigmentation and growth rate for species delimitation. Internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region was amplified to confirm the species identification. The 33 isolates were identified as Bipolaris sorokiniana (10 isolates), Curvularia hawaiiensis (8 isolates), C. geniculata (6 isolates), C. eragrostidis (6 isolates), C. aeria (2 isolates) and C. lunata (1 isolate). A phylogenetic tree was constructed based on ITS sequences using neighbour-joining method. The tree grouped members of Curvularia and Bipolaris into different clades. The phylogenetic tree indicated that the presence of two groups of fungi species; highly virulent and mild pathogens. In conclusion, Curvularia species and Bipolaris sorokiniana were present in rice field in Malaysia and associated with leaf spot of rice

    High Degree of Heterogeneity in Alzheimer's Disease Progression Patterns

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    There have been several reports on the varying rates of progression among Alzheimer's Disease (AD) patients; however, there has been no quantitative study of the amount of heterogeneity in AD. Obtaining a reliable quantitative measure of AD progression rates and their variances among the patients for each stage of AD is essential for evaluating results of any clinical study. The Global Deterioration Scale (GDS) and Functional Assessment Staging procedure (FAST) characterize seven stages in the course of AD from normal aging to severe dementia. Each GDS/FAST stage has a published mean duration, but the variance is unknown. We use statistical analysis to reconstruct GDS/FAST stage durations in a cohort of 648 AD patients with an average follow-up time of 4.78 years. Calculations for GDS/FAST stages 4–6 reveal that the standard deviations for stage durations are comparable with their mean values, indicating the presence of large variations in the AD progression among patients. Such amount of heterogeneity in the course of progression of AD is consistent with the existence of several sub-groups of AD patients, which differ by their patterns of decline

    Noninvasive Diagnosis of Visceral Leishmaniasis:Development and Evaluation of Two Urine-Based Immunoassays for Detection of Leishmania donovani Infection in India

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    Visceral leishmaniasis (VL), one of the most prevalent parasitic diseasesin the developing world causes serious health concerns. Post kala-azar dermal leishmaniasis (PKDL) is a skin disease which occurs after treatment as a sequel to VL. Parasitological diagnosis involves invasive tissue aspiration which is tedious and painful. Commercially available immunochromatographic rapid diagnostic test such as rK39-RDT is used for field diagnosis of VL, detects antibodiesin serum samples. Urine sample is however, much easier in collection,storage and handling than serum and would be a better alternative where collection of tissue aspirate or blood is impractical. In this study, we have developed and evaluated the performance of two urine-based diagnostic assays, ELISA and dipstick test, and compared the results with serologicalrK39-RDT. Our study shows the capability of urinebased tests in detecting anti-Leishmania antibodies effectively for both VL and PKDL diagnosis. The ability of dipstick test to demonstrate negative results after six months in 90% of the VL cases after treatment could be useful as a test of clinical cure. Urine-based tests can therefore replace the need for invasive practices and ensure better diagnosi

    Calculating Stage Duration Statistics in Multistage Diseases

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    Many human diseases are characterized by multiple stages of progression. While the typical sequence of disease progression can be identified, there may be large individual variations among patients. Identifying mean stage durations and their variations is critical for statistical hypothesis testing needed to determine if treatment is having a significant effect on the progression, or if a new therapy is showing a delay of progression through a multistage disease. In this paper we focus on two methods for extracting stage duration statistics from longitudinal datasets: an extension of the linear regression technique, and a counting algorithm. Both are non-iterative, non-parametric and computationally cheap methods, which makes them invaluable tools for studying the epidemiology of diseases, with a goal of identifying different patterns of progression by using bioinformatics methodologies. Here we show that the regression method performs well for calculating the mean stage durations under a wide variety of assumptions, however, its generalization to variance calculations fails under realistic assumptions about the data collection procedure. On the other hand, the counting method yields reliable estimations for both means and variances of stage durations. Applications to Alzheimer disease progression are discussed

    Panel 7: otitis media:treatment and complications

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    Objective: We aimed to summarize key articles published between 2011 and 2015 on the treatment of (recurrent) acute otitis media, otitis media with effusion, tympanostomy tube otorrhea, chronic suppurative otitis media and complications of otitis media, and their implications for clinical practice. Data Sources: PubMed, Ovid Medline, the Cochrane Library, and Clinical Evidence (BMJ Publishing). Review Methods: All types of articles related to otitis media treatment and complications between June 2011 and March 2015 were identified. A total of 1122 potential related articles were reviewed by the panel members; 118 relevant articles were ultimately included in this summary. Conclusions: Recent literature and guidelines emphasize accurate diagnosis of acute otitis media and optimal management of ear pain. Watchful waiting is optional in mild to moderate acute otitis media; antibiotics do shorten symptoms and duration of middle ear effusion. The additive benefit of adenoidectomy to tympanostomy tubes in recurrent acute otitis media and otitis media with effusion is controversial and age dependent. Topical antibiotic is the treatment of choice in acute tube otorrhea. Symptomatic hearing loss due to persistent otitis media with effusion is best treated with tympanostomy tubes. Novel molecular and biomaterial treatments as adjuvants to surgical closure of eardrum perforations seem promising. There is insufficient evidence to support the use of complementary and alternative treatments. Implications for Practice: Emphasis on accurate diagnosis of otitis media, in its various forms, is important to reduce overdiagnosis, overtreatment, and antibiotic resistance. Children at risk for otitis media and its complications deserve special attention

    The Binding of Triclosan to SmeT, the Repressor of the Multidrug Efflux Pump SmeDEF, Induces Antibiotic Resistance in Stenotrophomonas maltophilia

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    The wide utilization of biocides poses a concern on the impact of these compounds on natural bacterial populations. Furthermore, it has been demonstrated that biocides can select, at least in laboratory experiments, antibiotic resistant bacteria. This situation has raised concerns, not just on scientists and clinicians, but also on regulatory agencies, which are demanding studies on the impact that the utilization of biocides may have on the development on resistance and consequently on the treatment of infectious diseases and on human health. In the present article, we explored the possibility that the widely used biocide triclosan might induce antibiotic resistance using as a model the opportunistic pathogen Stenotrophomonas maltophilia. Biochemical, functional and structural studies were performed, focusing on SmeDEF, the most relevant antibiotic- and triclosan-removing multidrug efflux pump of S. maltophilia. Expression of smeDEF is regulated by the repressor SmeT. Triclosan released SmeT from its operator and induces the expression of smeDEF, thus reducing the susceptibility of S. maltophilia to antibiotics in the presence of the biocide. The structure of SmeT bound to triclosan is described. Two molecules of triclosan were found to bind to one subunit of the SmeT homodimer. The binding of the biocide stabilizes the N terminal domain of both subunits in a conformation unable to bind DNA. To our knowledge this is the first crystal structure obtained for a transcriptional regulator bound to triclosan. This work provides the molecular basis for understanding the mechanisms allowing the induction of phenotypic resistance to antibiotics by triclosan

    Dark Energy Survey Year 3 results: Cosmology from cosmic shear and robustness to data calibration

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    This work, together with its companion paper, Secco, Samuroff et al. [Phys. Rev. D 105, 023515 (2022)PRVDAQ2470-001010.1103/PhysRevD.105.023515], present the Dark Energy Survey Year 3 cosmic-shear measurements and cosmological constraints based on an analysis of over 100 million source galaxies. With the data spanning 4143 deg2 on the sky, divided into four redshift bins, we produce a measurement with a signal-to-noise of 40. We conduct a blind analysis in the context of the Lambda-Cold Dark Matter (ΛCDM) model and find a 3% constraint of the clustering amplitude, S8σ8(ωm/0.3)0.5=0.759-0.023+0.025. A ΛCDM-Optimized analysis, which safely includes smaller scale information, yields a 2% precision measurement of S8=0.772-0.017+0.018 that is consistent with the fiducial case. The two low-redshift measurements are statistically consistent with the Planck Cosmic Microwave Background result, however, both recovered S8 values are lower than the high-redshift prediction by 2.3σ and 2.1σ (p-values of 0.02 and 0.05), respectively. The measurements are shown to be internally consistent across redshift bins, angular scales and correlation functions. The analysis is demonstrated to be robust to calibration systematics, with the S8 posterior consistent when varying the choice of redshift calibration sample, the modeling of redshift uncertainty and methodology. Similarly, we find that the corrections included to account for the blending of galaxies shifts our best-fit S8 by 0.5σ without incurring a substantial increase in uncertainty. We examine the limiting factors for the precision of the cosmological constraints and find observational systematics to be subdominant to the modeling of astrophysics. Specifically, we identify the uncertainties in modeling baryonic effects and intrinsic alignments as the limiting systematics

    Dark Energy Survey Year 3 results: Exploiting small-scale information with lensing shear ratios

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    Using the first three years of data from the Dark Energy Survey (DES), we use ratios of small-scale galaxy-galaxy lensing measurements around the same lens sample to constrain source redshift uncertainties, intrinsic alignments and other systematics or nuisance parameters of our model. Instead of using a simple geometric approach for the ratios as has been done in the past, we use the full modeling of the galaxy-galaxy lensing measurements, including the corresponding integration over the power spectrum and the contributions from intrinsic alignments and lens magnification. We perform extensive testing of the small-scale shear-ratio (SR) modeling by studying the impact of different effects such as the inclusion of baryonic physics, nonlinear biasing, halo occupation distribution descriptions and lens magnification, among others, and using realistic N-body simulations of the DES data. We validate the robustness of our constraints in the data by using two independent lens samples with different galaxy properties, and by deriving constraints using the corresponding large-scale ratios for which the modeling is simpler. The results applied to the DES Y3 data demonstrate how the ratios provide significant improvements in constraining power for several nuisance parameters in our model, especially on source redshift calibration and intrinsic alignments. For source redshifts, SR improves the constraints from the prior by up to 38% in some redshift bins. Such improvements, and especially the constraints it provides on intrinsic alignments, translate to tighter cosmological constraints when shear ratios are combined with cosmic shear and other 2pt functions. In particular, for the DES Y3 data, SR improves S8 constraints from cosmic shear by up to 31%, and for the full combination of probes (3×2pt) by up to 10%. The shear ratios presented in this work are used as an additional likelihood for cosmic shear, 2×2pt and the full 3×2pt in the fiducial DES Y3 cosmological analysis

    Obstacles on the way to the clinical visualisation of beta cells: looking for the Aeneas of molecular imaging to navigate between Scylla and Charybdis

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    For more than a decade, researchers have been trying to develop non-invasive imaging techniques for the in vivo measurement of viable pancreatic beta cells. However, in spite of intense research efforts, only one tracer for positron emission tomography (PET) imaging is currently under clinical evaluation. To many diabetologists it may remain unclear why the imaging world struggles to develop an effective method for non-invasive beta cell imaging (BCI), which could be useful for both research and clinical purposes. Here, we provide a concise overview of the obstacles and challenges encountered on the way to such BCI, in both native and transplanted islets. We discuss the major difficulties posed by the anatomical and cell biological features of pancreatic islets, as well as the chemical and physical limits of the main imaging modalities, with special focus on PET, SPECT and MRI. We conclude by indicating new avenues for future research in the field, based on several remarkable recent results
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