2,683 research outputs found

    Accelarated immune ageing is associated with COVID-19 disease severity

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    Background The striking increase in COVID-19 severity in older adults provides a clear example of immunesenescence, the age-related remodelling of the immune system. To better characterise the association between convalescent immunesenescence and acute disease severity, we determined the immune phenotype of COVID-19 survivors and non-infected controls. Results We performed detailed immune phenotyping of peripheral blood mononuclear cells isolated from 103 COVID-19 survivors 3–5 months post recovery who were classified as having had severe (n = 56; age 53.12 ± 11.30 years), moderate (n = 32; age 52.28 ± 11.43 years) or mild (n = 15; age 49.67 ± 7.30 years) disease and compared with age and sex-matched healthy adults (n = 59; age 50.49 ± 10.68 years). We assessed a broad range of immune cell phenotypes to generate a composite score, IMM-AGE, to determine the degree of immune senescence. We found increased immunesenescence features in severe COVID-19 survivors compared to controls including: a reduced frequency and number of naïve CD4 and CD8 T cells (p < 0.0001); increased frequency of EMRA CD4 (p < 0.003) and CD8 T cells (p < 0.001); a higher frequency (p < 0.0001) and absolute numbers (p < 0.001) of CD28−ve CD57+ve senescent CD4 and CD8 T cells; higher frequency (p < 0.003) and absolute numbers (p < 0.02) of PD-1 expressing exhausted CD8 T cells; a two-fold increase in Th17 polarisation (p < 0.0001); higher frequency of memory B cells (p < 0.001) and increased frequency (p < 0.0001) and numbers (p < 0.001) of CD57+ve senescent NK cells. As a result, the IMM-AGE score was significantly higher in severe COVID-19 survivors than in controls (p < 0.001). Few differences were seen for those with moderate disease and none for mild disease. Regression analysis revealed the only pre-existing variable influencing the IMM-AGE score was South Asian ethnicity ( = 0.174, p = 0.043), with a major influence being disease severity ( = 0.188, p = 0.01). Conclusions Our analyses reveal a state of enhanced immune ageing in survivors of severe COVID-19 and suggest this could be related to SARS-Cov-2 infection. Our data support the rationale for trials of anti-immune ageing interventions for improving clinical outcomes in these patients with severe disease

    Stakeholders’ perspectives on clinical trial acceptability and approach to consent within a limited timeframe: a mixed methods study

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    Objectives The Bronchiolitis Endotracheal Surfactant Study (BESS) is a randomised controlled trial to determine the efficacy of endo-tracheal surfactant therapy for critically ill infants with bronchiolitis. To explore acceptability of BESS, including approach to consent within a limited time frame, we explored parent and staff experiences of trial involvement in the first two bronchiolitis seasons to inform subsequent trial conduct.Design A mixed-method embedded study involving a site staff survey, questionnaires and interviews with parents approached about BESS.Setting Fourteen UK paediatric intensive care units.Participants Of the 179 parents of children approached to take part in BESS, 75 parents (of 69 children) took part in the embedded study. Of these, 55/69 (78%) completed a questionnaire, and 15/69 (21%) were interviewed. Thirty-eight staff completed a questionnaire.Results Parents and staff found the trial acceptable. All constructs of the Adapted Theoretical Framework of Acceptability were met. Parents viewed surfactant as being low risk and hoped their child’s participation would help others in the future. Although parents supported research without prior consent in studies of time critical interventions, they believed there was sufficient time to consider this trial. Parents recommended that prospective informed consent should continue to be sought for BESS. Many felt that the time between the consent process and intervention being administered took too long and should be ‘streamlined’ to avoid delays in administration of trial interventions. Staff described how the training and trial processes worked well, yet patients were missed due to lack of staff to deliver the intervention, particularly at weekends.Conclusion Parents and staff supported BESS trial and highlighted aspects of the protocol, which should be refined, including a streamlined informed consent process. Findings will be useful to inform proportionate approaches to consent in future paediatric trials where there is a short timeframe for consent discussions.Trial registration number ISRCTN11746266

    SAGA1 and SAGA2 promote starch formation around proto-pyrenoids in Arabidopsis chloroplasts

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    The pyrenoid is a chloroplastic microcompartment in which most algae and some terrestrial plants condense the primary carboxylase, Rubisco (ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase) as part of a CO2-concentrating mechanism that improves the efficiency of CO2 capture. Engineering a pyrenoid-based CO2-concentrating mechanism (pCCM) into C3 crop plants is a promising strategy to enhance yield capacities and resilience to the changing climate. Many pyrenoids are characterized by a sheath of starch plates that is proposed to act as a barrier to limit CO2 diffusion. Recently, we have reconstituted a phase-separated “proto-pyrenoid” Rubisco matrix in the model C3 plant Arabidopsis thaliana using proteins from the alga with the most well-studied pyrenoid, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii [N. Atkinson, Y. Mao, K. X. Chan, A. J. McCormick, Nat. Commun.11, 6303 (2020)]. Here, we describe the impact of introducing the Chlamydomonas proteins StArch Granules Abnormal 1 (SAGA1) and SAGA2, which are associated with the regulation of pyrenoid starch biogenesis and morphology. We show that SAGA1 localizes to the proto-pyrenoid in engineered Arabidopsis plants, which results in the formation of atypical spherical starch granules enclosed within the proto-pyrenoid condensate and adjacent plate-like granules that partially cover the condensate, but without modifying the total amount of chloroplastic starch accrued. Additional expression of SAGA2 further increases the proportion of starch synthesized as adjacent plate-like granules that fully encircle the proto-pyrenoid. Our findings pave the way to assembling a diffusion barrier as part of a functional pCCM in vascular plants, while also advancing our understanding of the roles of SAGA1 and SAGA2 in starch sheath formation and broadening the avenues for engineering starch morphology

    International consensus statement on allergy and rhinology: Sinonasal tumors

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    Background: Sinonasal neoplasms, whether benign and malignant, pose a significant challenge to clinicians and represents a model area for multidisciplinary collaboration in order to optimize patient care. The International Consensus Statement on Allergy and Rhinology: Sinonasal Tumors (ICSNT) aims to summarize the best available evidence and presents 48 thematic and histopathology-based topics spanning the field. Methods: In accordance with prior ICAR documents, ICSNT assigned each topic as an Evidence-Based Review with Recommendations, Evidence-Based Review, and Literature Review based on level of evidence. An international group of multidisciplinary author teams were assembled for the topic reviews using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses format, and completed sections underwent a thorough and iterative consensus-building process. The final document underwent rigorous synthesis and review prior to publication. Results: The ICNST document consists of 4 major sections: general principles, benign neoplasms and lesions, malignant neoplasms, and quality of life and surveillance. It covers 48 conceptual and/or histopathology-based topics relevant to sinonasal neoplasms and masses. Topics with a high level of evidence provided specific recommendations, while other areas summarized the current state of evidence. A final section highlights research opportunities and future directions, contributing to advancing knowledge and community intervention. Conclusion: As an embodiment of the multidisciplinary and collaborative model of care in sinonasal neoplasms and masses, ICSNT was designed as a comprehensive, international, and multidisciplinary collaborative endeavor. Its primary objective is to summarize the existing evidence in the field of sinonasal neoplasms and masses. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved

    Refinements in Infant/Pediatric Perfusion

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    Little has been written in recent years to update the pediatric perfusion literature. This paper is a review of the perfusion techniques we use with 200 children a year in Denver and we believe it is a reflection of the state-of-the-art. We will discuss equipment selection (including a method of streamlining inventory), circuit prime, anticoagulation, temperature control, blood flow, myocardial protection, blood conservation, patient safety, and cost containment. Deep hypothermia and circulatory arrest are used with most children under 8 Kg. and acid-base status is managed to maintain respiratory alkalosis with the help of on-line monitoring. Pulsatile flow is used on all patients and hollow fiber membrane oxygenators and blood cardioplegia are used on most. The choice of oxygenator size, and subsequent priming volume, is influenced by the decrease in gas exchange efficiency (− 20%) at this altitude and must be understood in that context. All other information is appropriate at any altitude and will be helpful to a team who does few pediatric cases or is starting up a program

    OME-Zarr : A cloud-optimized bioimaging file format with international community support

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    A growing community is constructing a next-generation file format (NGFF) for bioimaging to overcome problems of scalability and heterogeneity. Organized by the Open Microscopy Environment (OME), individuals and institutes across diverse modalities facing these problems have designed a format specification process (OME-NGFF) to address these needs. This paper brings together a wide range of those community members to describe the cloud-optimized format itself-OME-Zarr-along with tools and data resources available today to increase FAIR access and remove barriers in the scientific process. The current momentum offers an opportunity to unify a key component of the bioimaging domain-the file format that underlies so many personal, institutional, and global data management and analysis tasks

    Determinants of recovery from post-COVID-19 dyspnoea: analysis of UK prospective cohorts of hospitalised COVID-19 patients and community-based controls

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    Background The risk factors for recovery from COVID-19 dyspnoea are poorly understood. We investigated determinants of recovery from dyspnoea in adults with COVID-19 and compared these to determinants of recovery from non-COVID-19 dyspnoea. Methods We used data from two prospective cohort studies: PHOSP-COVID (patients hospitalised between March 2020 and April 2021 with COVID-19) and COVIDENCE UK (community cohort studied over the same time period). PHOSP-COVID data were collected during hospitalisation and at 5-month and 1-year follow-up visits. COVIDENCE UK data were obtained through baseline and monthly online questionnaires. Dyspnoea was measured in both cohorts with the Medical Research Council Dyspnoea Scale. We used multivariable logistic regression to identify determinants associated with a reduction in dyspnoea between 5-month and 1-year follow-up. Findings We included 990 PHOSP-COVID and 3309 COVIDENCE UK participants. We observed higher odds of improvement between 5-month and 1-year follow-up among PHOSP-COVID participants who were younger (odds ratio 1.02 per year, 95% CI 1.01–1.03), male (1.54, 1.16–2.04), neither obese nor severely obese (1.82, 1.06–3.13 and 4.19, 2.14–8.19, respectively), had no pre-existing anxiety or depression (1.56, 1.09–2.22) or cardiovascular disease (1.33, 1.00–1.79), and shorter hospital admission (1.01 per day, 1.00–1.02). Similar associations were found in those recovering from non-COVID-19 dyspnoea, excluding age (and length of hospital admission). Interpretation Factors associated with dyspnoea recovery at 1-year post-discharge among patients hospitalised with COVID-19 were similar to those among community controls without COVID-19. Funding PHOSP-COVID is supported by a grant from the MRC-UK Research and Innovation and the Department of Health and Social Care through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) rapid response panel to tackle COVID-19. The views expressed in the publication are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the National Health Service (NHS), the NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care. COVIDENCE UK is supported by the UK Research and Innovation, the National Institute for Health Research, and Barts Charity. The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the funders

    Two Outbreaks of Foodborne Gastrointestinal Infection Linked to Consumption of Imported Melons, United Kingdom, March to August 2021

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    The aim of this study was to describe two foodborne outbreaks caused by contaminated imported melon and make recommendations for future practice. Between March and July 2021, there was an outbreak of 113 cases of Salmonella Braenderup in the UK (62% female, median age 61 years, 33% hospitalized). Analytical epidemiological studies identified Galia melons as the vehicle of infection (OR 671.9, 95% CI 39.0–58,074.0, p < 0.001). Subsequently, the outbreak strain was isolated from two samples of Galia melon imported from Latin America. In July and August 2021, there was an outbreak of 17 cases of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) O157:H7 in the UK (53% female, median age 21 years, 35% were hospitalized). Review of the STEC surveillance questionnaire data, followed by the analysis of responses from a modified hypothesis-generating questionnaire, implicated eating precut watermelon from retailer B sourced from Europe as the vehicle of infection. Outbreaks of gastrointestinal pathogens caused by contaminated food of nonanimal origin are a global public health concern. Given the difficulty in removing pathogens from the flesh of ready-to-eat fruit and vegetables, public health interventions should target all steps of the food chain prior to consumption, from cultivation on the farm to processing/packing and distribution
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