1,678 research outputs found

    Engaging with community researchers for exposure science: lessons learned from a pesticide biomonitoring study

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    A major challenge in biomonitoring studies with members of the general public is ensuring their continued involvement throughout the necessary length of the research. The paper presents evidence on the use of community researchers, recruited from local study areas, as a mechanism for ensuring effective recruitment and retention of farmer and resident participants for a pesticides biomonitoring study. The evidence presented suggests that community researchers' abilities to build and sustain trusting relationships with participants enhanced the rigour of the study as a result of their on-the-ground responsiveness and flexibility resulting in data collection beyond targets expected

    Classical Effective Field Theory for Weak Ultra Relativistic Scattering

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    Inspired by the problem of Planckian scattering we describe a classical effective field theory for weak ultra relativistic scattering in which field propagation is instantaneous and transverse and the particles' equations of motion localize to the instant of passing. An analogy with the non-relativistic (post-Newtonian) approximation is stressed. The small parameter is identified and power counting rules are established. The theory is applied to reproduce the leading scattering angle for either a scalar interaction field or electro-magnetic or gravitational; to compute some subleading corrections, including the interaction duration; and to allow for non-zero masses. For the gravitational case we present an appropriate decomposition of the gravitational field onto the transverse plane together with its whole non-linear action. On the way we touch upon the relation with the eikonal approximation, some evidence for censorship of quantum gravity, and an algebraic ring structure on 2d Minkowski spacetime.Comment: 29 pages, 2 figures. v4: Duration of interaction is determined in Sec 4 and detailed in App C. Version accepted for publication in JHE

    Low pH immobilizes and kills human leukocytes and prevents transmission of cell-associated HIV in a mouse model

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    BACKGROUND: Both cell-associated and cell-free HIV virions are present in semen and cervical secretions of HIV-infected individuals. Thus, topical microbicides may need to inactivate both cell-associated and cell-free HIV to prevent sexual transmission of HIV/AIDS. To determine if the mild acidity of the healthy vagina and acid buffering microbicides would prevent transmission by HIV-infected leukocytes, we measured the effect of pH on leukocyte motility, viability and intracellular pH and tested the ability of an acidic buffering microbicide (BufferGel(®)) to prevent the transmission of cell-associated HIV in a HuPBL-SCID mouse model. METHODS: Human lymphocyte, monocyte, and macrophage motilities were measured as a function of time and pH using various acidifying agents. Lymphocyte and macrophage motilities were measured using video microscopy. Monocyte motility was measured using video microscopy and chemotactic chambers. Peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) viability and intracellular pH were determined as a function of time and pH using fluorescent dyes. HuPBL-SCID mice were pretreated with BufferGel, saline, or a control gel and challenged with HIV-1-infected human PBMCs. RESULTS: Progressive motility was completely abolished in all cell types between pH 5.5 and 6.0. Concomitantly, at and below pH 5.5, the intracellular pH of PBMCs dropped precipitously to match the extracellular medium and did not recover. After acidification with hydrochloric acid to pH 4.5 for 60 min, although completely immotile, 58% of PBMCs excluded ethidium homodimer-1 (dead-cell dye). In contrast, when acidified to this pH with BufferGel, a microbicide designed to maintain vaginal acidity in the presence of semen, only 4% excluded dye at 10 min and none excluded dye after 30 min. BufferGel significantly reduced transmission of HIV-1 in HuPBL-SCID mice (1 of 12 infected) compared to saline (12 of 12 infected) and a control gel (5 of 7 infected). CONCLUSION: These results suggest that physiologic or microbicide-induced acid immobilization and killing of infected white blood cells may be effective in preventing sexual transmission of cell-associated HIV

    Therapeutic DNA vaccine induces broad T cell responses in the gut and sustained protection from viral rebound and AIDS in SIV-infected rhesus macaques.

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    Immunotherapies that induce durable immune control of chronic HIV infection may eliminate the need for life-long dependence on drugs. We investigated a DNA vaccine formulated with a novel genetic adjuvant that stimulates immune responses in the blood and gut for the ability to improve therapy in rhesus macaques chronically infected with SIV. Using the SIV-macaque model for AIDS, we show that epidermal co-delivery of plasmids expressing SIV Gag, RT, Nef and Env, and the mucosal adjuvant, heat-labile E. coli enterotoxin (LT), during antiretroviral therapy (ART) induced a substantial 2-4-log fold reduction in mean virus burden in both the gut and blood when compared to unvaccinated controls and provided durable protection from viral rebound and disease progression after the drug was discontinued. This effect was associated with significant increases in IFN-γ T cell responses in both the blood and gut and SIV-specific CD8+ T cells with dual TNF-α and cytolytic effector functions in the blood. Importantly, a broader specificity in the T cell response seen in the gut, but not the blood, significantly correlated with a reduction in virus production in mucosal tissues and a lower virus burden in plasma. We conclude that immunizing with vaccines that induce immune responses in mucosal gut tissue could reduce residual viral reservoirs during drug therapy and improve long-term treatment of HIV infection in humans

    Pneumococcal carriage in sub-Saharan Africa--a systematic review.

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    BACKGROUND: Pneumococcal epidemiology varies geographically and few data are available from the African continent. We assess pneumococcal carriage from studies conducted in sub-Saharan Africa (sSA) before and after the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) era. METHODS: A search for pneumococcal carriage studies published before 2012 was conducted to describe carriage in sSA. The review also describes pneumococcal serotypes and assesses the impact of vaccination on carriage in this region. RESULTS: Fifty-seven studies were included in this review with the majority (40.3%) from South Africa. There was considerable variability in the prevalence of carriage between studies (I-squared statistic = 99%). Carriage was higher in children and decreased with increasing age, 63.2% (95% CI: 55.6-70.8) in children less than 5 years, 42.6% (95% CI: 29.9-55.4) in children 5-15 years and 28.0% (95% CI: 19.0-37.0) in adults older than 15 years. There was no difference in the prevalence of carriage between males and females in 9/11 studies. Serotypes 19F, 6B, 6A, 14 and 23F were the five most common isolates. A meta-analysis of four randomized trials of PCV vaccination in children aged 9-24 months showed that carriage of vaccine type (VT) serotypes decreased with PCV vaccination; however, overall carriage remained the same because of a concomitant increase in non-vaccine type (NVT) serotypes. CONCLUSION: Pneumococcal carriage is generally high in the African continent, particularly in young children. The five most common serotypes in sSA are among the top seven serotypes that cause invasive pneumococcal disease in children globally. These serotypes are covered by the two PCVs recommended for routine childhood immunization by the WHO. The distribution of serotypes found in the nasopharynx is altered by PCV vaccination

    The prevalence of anemia and its association with 90-day mortality in hospitalized community-acquired pneumonia

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>The prevalence of anemia in the intensive care unit is well-described. Less is known, however, of the prevalence of anemia in hospitalized patients with lesser illness severity or without organ dysfunction. Community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) is one of the most frequent reasons for hospitalization in the United States (US), affecting both healthy patients and those with comorbid illness, and is typically not associated with acute blood loss. Our objective was to examine the development and progression of anemia and its association with 90d mortality in 1893 subjects with CAP presenting to the emergency departments of 28 US academic and community hospitals.</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>We utilized hemoglobin values obtained for clinical purposes, classifying subjects into categories consisting of no anemia (hemoglobin >13 g/dL), at least borderline (≤ 13 g/dL), at least mild (≤ 12 g/dL), at least moderate (≤ 10 g/dL), and severe (≤ 8 g/dL) anemia. We stratified our results by gender, comorbidity, ICU admission, and development of severe sepsis. We used multivariable logistic regression to determine factors independently associated with the development of moderate to severe anemia and to examine the relationship between anemia and 90d mortality.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>A total of 8240 daily hemoglobin values were measured in 1893 subjects. Mean (SD) number of hemoglobin values per patient was 4.4 (4.0). One in three subjects (33.9%) had at least mild anemia at presentation, 3 in 5 (62.1%) were anemic at some point during their hospital stay, and 1 in 2 (54.5%) survivors were discharged from the hospital anemic. Anemia increased with illness severity and was more common in those with comorbid illnesses, female gender, and poor outcomes. Yet, even among men and in those with no comorbidity or only mild illness, anemia during hospitalization was common (~55% of subjects). When anemia was moderate to severe (≤ 10 g/dL), its development was independently associated with increased 90d mortality, even among hospital survivors.</p> <p>Conclusions</p> <p>Anemia was common in hospitalized CAP and independently associated with 90d mortality when hemoglobin values were 10 g/dL or less. Whether prevention or treatment of CAP-associated anemia would improve clinical outcomes remains to be seen.</p

    The ADAMTS (A Disintegrin and Metalloproteinase with Thrombospondin motifs) family

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    The ADAMTS (A Disintegrin and Metalloproteinase with Thrombospondin motifs) enzymes are secreted, multi-domain matrix-associated zinc metalloendopeptidases that have diverse roles in tissue morphogenesis and patho-physiological remodeling, in inflammation and in vascular biology. The human family includes 19 members that can be sub-grouped on the basis of their known substrates, namely the aggrecanases or proteoglycanases (ADAMTS1, 4, 5, 8, 9, 15 and 20), the procollagen N-propeptidases (ADAMTS2, 3 and 14), the cartilage oligomeric matrix protein-cleaving enzymes (ADAMTS7 and 12), the von-Willebrand Factor proteinase (ADAMTS13) and a group of orphan enzymes (ADAMTS6, 10, 16, 17, 18 and 19). Control of the structure and function of the extracellular matrix (ECM) is a central theme of the biology of the ADAMTS, as exemplified by the actions of the procollagen-N-propeptidases in collagen fibril assembly and of the aggrecanases in the cleavage or modification of ECM proteoglycans. Defects in certain family members give rise to inherited genetic disorders, while the aberrant expression or function of others is associated with arthritis, cancer and cardiovascular disease. In particular, ADAMTS4 and 5 have emerged as therapeutic targets in arthritis. Multiple ADAMTSs from different sub-groupings exert either positive or negative effects on tumorigenesis and metastasis, with both metalloproteinase-dependent and -independent actions known to occur. The basic ADAMTS structure comprises a metalloproteinase catalytic domain and a carboxy-terminal ancillary domain, the latter determining substrate specificity and the localization of the protease and its interaction partners; ancillary domains probably also have independent biological functions. Focusing primarily on the aggrecanases and proteoglycanases, this review provides a perspective on the evolution of the ADAMTS family, their links with developmental and disease mechanisms, and key questions for the future

    Mobility and other predictors of hospitalization for urinary tract infection: a retrospective cohort study

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    Abstract Background Many hospitalizations for residents of skilled nursing facilities are potentially avoidable. Factors that could prevent hospitalization for urinary tract infection (UTI) were investigated, with focus on patient mobility. Methods A retrospective cohort study was conducted using 2003–2004 data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The study included 408,192 residents of 4267 skilled nursing facilities in California, Florida, Michigan, New York, and Texas. The patients were followed over time, from admission to the skilled nursing facility to discharge or, for those who were not discharged, for 1 year. Cox proportional hazards regression was conducted with hospitalization for UTI as the outcome. Results The ability to walk was associated with a 69% lower rate of hospitalization for UTI. Maintaining or improving walking ability over time reduced the risk of hospitalization for UTI by 39% to 76% for patients with various conditions. For residents with severe mobility problems, such as being in a wheelchair or having a missing limb, maintaining or improving mobility (in bed or when transferring) reduced the risk of hospitalization for UTI by 38% to 80%. Other potentially modifiable predictors included a physician visit at the time of admission to the skilled nursing facility (Hazard Ratio (HR), 0.68), use of an indwelling urinary catheter (HR, 2.78), infection with Clostridium difficile or an antibiotic-resistant microorganism (HR, 1.20), and use of 10 or more medications (HR, 1.31). Patient characteristics associated with hospitalization for UTI were advancing age, being Hispanic or African-American, and having diabetes mellitus, renal failure, Parkinson's disease, dementia, or stroke. Conclusion Maintaining or improving mobility (walking, transferring between positions, or moving in bed) was associated with a lower risk of hospitalization for UTI. A physician visit at the time of admission to the skilled nursing facility also reduced the risk of hospitalization for UTI.http://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/2027.42/112369/1/12877_2008_Article_125.pd

    Severe anaemia is associated with a higher risk for preeclampsia and poor perinatal outcomes in Kassala hospital, eastern Sudan

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>Anaemia during pregnancy is major health problem. There is conflicting literature regarding the association between anaemia and its severity and maternal and perinatal outcomes.</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>This is a retrospective case-control study conducted at Kassala hospital, eastern Sudan. Medical files of pregnant women with severe anaemia (haemoglobin (Hb) < 7 g/dl, n = 303) who delivered from January 2008 to December 2010 were reviewed. Socio-demographic and obstetric data were analysed and compared with a similar number of women with mild/moderate anaemia (Hb = 7-10.9 g/dl, n = 303) and with no anaemia (Hb > 11 g/dl, n = 303). Logistic regression analysis was performed separately for each of the outcome measures: preeclampsia, eclampsia, preterm birth, low birth weight (LBW) and stillbirth.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>There were 9578 deliveries at Kassala hospital, 4012 (41.8%) women had anaemia and 303 (3.2%) had severe anaemia. The corrected risk for preeclampsia increased only in severe anaemia (OR = 3.6, 95% CI: 1.4-9.1, <it>P </it>= 0.007). Compared with women with no anaemia, the risk of LBW was 2.5 times higher in women with mild/moderate anaemia (95% CI: 1.1-5.7), and 8.0 times higher in women with severe anaemia (95% CI: 3.8-16.0). The risk of preterm delivery increased significantly with the severity of anaemia (OR = 3.2 for women with mild/moderate anaemia and OR = 6.6 for women with severe anaemia, compared with women with no anaemia). The corrected risk for stillbirth increased only in severe anaemia (OR = 4.3, 95% CI: 1.9-9.1, <it>P </it>< 0.001).</p> <p>Conclusions</p> <p>The greater the severity of the anaemia during pregnancy, the greater the risk of preeclampsia, preterm delivery, LBW and stillbirth. Preventive measures should be undertaken to decrease the prevalence of anaemia in pregnancy.</p

    Case report and summary of literature: giant perineal keloids treated with post-excisional radiotherapy

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    BACKGROUND: Keloids are common benign tumors of the dermis, typically arising after insult to the skin. While typically only impinging on cosmesis, large or recurrent keloids may require therapeutic intervention. While no single standardized treatment course has been established, several series report excellent outcomes for keloids with post-surgery radiation therapy. CASE PRESENTATION: We present a patient with a history of recurrent keloids arising in the absence of an ascribed trauma and a maternal familial history of keloid formation, whose physical examination several large perineal keloids of 6-20 cm in the largest dimension. The patient was treated with surgical extirpation and adjuvant radiation therapy. Radiotherapy was delivered to the scar bed to a total dose of 22 Gy over 11 daily fractions. Acute radiotherapy toxicity necessitated a treatment break due to RTOG Grade III acute toxicity (moderate ulceration and skin breakdown) which resolved rapidly during a 3-day treatment break. The patient demonstrated local control and has remained free of local recurrence for more than 2 years. CONCLUSION: Radiotherapy for keloids represents a safe and effective option for post-surgical keloid therapy, especially for patients with bulky or recurrent disease