96 research outputs found

    Evidence of orthohantavirus and leptospira infections in small mammals in an endemic area of Gampaha district in Sri Lanka

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    Background: Orthohantaviruses and leptospira are emerging zoonotic pathogens of high public health significance. The epidemiology of orthohantavirus infections and leptospirosis is similar and presents related clinical pictures in humans. However, a paucity of data on actual reservoir hosts for orthohantaviruses and leptospira exists. Therefore, this study aimed at determining the occurrence of orthohantaviruses and leptospira in small mammals captured in an endemic region of Sri Lanka. Methods: Rodents and shrews were morphologically and/or genetically identified using morphological keys and DNA barcoding techniques targeting the cytochrome oxidase b subunit gene (Cytb). Lung tissues and sera were subsequently analyzed for the presence of orthohantavirus RNA using qRT-PCR. Sera of rats were tested for IgG antibodies against orthohantaviruses and leptospira. Results: Forty-three (43) small mammals representing: Rattus (R.) rattus (black rat) or R. tanezumi (Asian rat), Suncus murinus (Asian house shrew), R. norvegicus (brown rat) and Mus musculus (house mouse) were investigated. No orthohantavirus RNA was detected from the lung tissue or serum samples of these animals. Elevated levels of IgG antibodies against Puumala orthohantavirus (PUUV) and/or Seoul orthohantavirus (SEOV) antigens were detected in sera of 28 (72%) out of the 39 rats analysed. Interestingly, 36 (92%) of the 39 rats also showed presence of anti leptospira-IgG antibodies in their serum, representing dual infection or dual exposure in 26/39 (66.7%) of examined rats. Conclusions: This project targets important public health questions concerning the occupational risk of orthohantavirus infections and/or leptospirosis in an endemic region of Sri Lanka. Most rats (72%) in our study displayed antibodies reacting to orthohantavirus NP antigens, related to PUUV and/or SEOV. No correlation between the orthohantavirus and leptospira IgG antibody levels were noticed. Finally, a combination of both morphological and DNA barcoding approaches revealed that several species of rats may play a role in the maintenance and transmission of orthohantavirus and leptospira in Sri Lanka

    Incidence of hypertension in people with HIV who are treated with integrase inhibitors versus other antiretroviral regimens in the RESPOND cohort consortium

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    Objective: To compare the incidence of hypertension in people living with HIV receiving integrase strand transfer inhibitor (INSTI)-based antiretroviral therapy (ART) versus non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs) or boosted protease inhibitors (PIs) in the RESPOND consortium of HIV cohorts. Methods: Eligible people with HIV were aged ≥18 years who initiated a new three-drug ART regimen for the first time (baseline), did not have hypertension, and had at least two follow-up blood pressure (BP) measurements. Hypertension was defined as two consecutive systolic BP measurements ≥140 mmHg and/or diastolic BP ≥90 mmHg or initiation of antihypertensives. Multivariable Poisson regression was used to determine adjusted incidence rate ratios (aIRRs) of hypertension, overall and in those who were ART naïve or experienced at baseline. Results: Overall, 4606 people living with HIV were eligible (INSTIs 3164, NNRTIs 807, PIs 635). The median baseline systolic BP, diastolic BP, and age were 120 (interquartile range [IQR] 113–130) mmHg, 78 (70–82) mmHg, and 43 (34–50) years, respectively. Over 8380.4 person-years (median follow-up 1.5 [IQR 1.0–2.7] years), 1058 (23.0%) participants developed hypertension (incidence rate 126.2/1000 person-years, 95% confidence interval [CI] 118.9–134.1). Participants receiving INSTIs had a higher incidence of hypertension than those receiving NNRTIs (aIRR 1.76; 95% CI 1.47–2.11), whereas the incidence was no different in those receiving PIs (aIRR 1.07; 95% CI 0.89–1.29). The results were similar when the analysis was stratified by ART status at baseline. Conclusion: Although unmeasured confounding and channelling bias cannot be excluded, INSTIs were associated with a higher incidence of hypertension than were NNRTIs, but rates were similar to those of PIs overall, in ART-naïve and ART-experienced participants within RESPOND

    The Sydney Declaration – Revisiting the essence of forensic science through its fundamental principles

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    Unlike other more established disciplines, a shared understanding and broad acceptance of the essence of forensic science, its purpose, and fundamental principles are still missing or mis-represented. This foundation has been overlooked, although recognised by many forensic science forefathers and seen as critical to this discipline's advancement. The Sydney Declaration attempts to revisit the essence of forensic science through its foundational basis, beyond organisations, technicalities or protocols. It comprises a definition of forensic science and seven fundamental principles that emphasise the pivotal role of the trace as a vestige, or remnant, of an investigated activity. The Sydney Declaration also discusses critical features framing the forensic scientist’s work, such as context, time asymmetry, the continuum of uncertainties, broad scientific knowledge, ethics, critical thinking, and logical reasoning. It is argued that the proposed principles should underpin the practice of forensic science and guide education and research directions. Ultimately, they will benefit forensic science as a whole to be more relevant, effective and reliable

    How to RESPOND to modern challenges for people living with HIV: A profile for a new cohort consortium

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    Background: the International Cohort Consortium of Infectious Disease (RESPOND) is a collaboration dedicated to research on HIV and other infectious diseases. Methods: RESPOND is a flexible organization, with several independent substudies operating under one shared governance. HIV-related variables, including full antiretroviral therapy (ART) history, are collected annually for all participants and merged with substudy specific data into a shared data pool. Incident clinical events are reported using standardized forms. Prospective follow-up started 1/10/17 (enrolment) with retrospective data collected back to 01/01/12. Results: Overall, 17 cohorts from Europe and Australia provided data on 26,258 people living with HIV (PLWH). The majority (43.3%) of the population were white, with men-sex-with-men accounting for 43.3% of the risk for HIV acquisition. The median age was 48 years (IQR 40–56) and 5.2% and 25.5% were known to be co-infected with hepatitis B or C. While 5.3% were ART-naïve, the median duration on ART was 10.1 years (4.8–17.6), with 89.5% having a VL <200 copies/mL and the median CD4 count being 621 cells/µL (438–830). Malignancies (n = 361) and cardiovascular disease (n = 168) were the predominant reported clinical events. Conclusion: RESPOND’s large, diverse study population and standardized clinical endpoints puts the consortium in a unique position to respond to the diverse modern challenges for PLWH

    Optimization of plasma amplifiers

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    Plasma amplifiers offer a route to side-step limitations on chirped pulse amplification and generate laser pulses at the power frontier. They compress long pulses by transferring energy to a shorter pulse via the Raman or Brillouin instabilities.We present an extensive kinetic numerical study of the three-dimensional parameter space for the Raman case. Further particle-in-cell simulations find the optimal seed pulse parameters for experimentally relevant constraints. The high-efficiency self-similar behavior is observed only for seeds shorter than the linear Raman growth time. A test case similar to an upcoming experiment at the Laboratory for Laser Energetics is found to maintain good transverse coherence and high-energy efficiency. Effective compression of a 10 kJ, nanosecond-long driver pulse is also demonstrated in a 15-cm-long amplifier

    Robustness of raman plasma amplifiers and their potential for attosecond pulse generation

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    Raman back-scatter from an under-dense plasma can be used to compress laser pulses, as shown by several previous experiments in the optical regime. A short seed pulse counter-propagates with a longer pump pulse and energy is transferred to the shorter pulse via stimulated Raman scattering. The robustness of the scheme to non-ideal plasma density conditions is demonstrated through particle-in-cell simulations. The scale invariance of the scheme ensures that compression of XUV pulses from a free electron laser is also possible, as demonstrated by further simulations. The output is as short as 300 as, with energy typical of fourth generation sources

    Robustness of raman plasma amplifiers and their potential for attosecond pulse generation

    No full text
    Raman back-scatter from an under-dense plasma can be used to compress laser pulses, as shown by several previous experiments in the optical regime. A short seed pulse counter-propagates with a longer pump pulse and energy is transferred to the shorter pulse via stimulated Raman scattering. The robustness of the scheme to non-ideal plasma density conditions is demonstrated through particle-in-cell simulations. The scale invariance of the scheme ensures that compression of XUV pulses from a free electron laser is also possible, as demonstrated by further simulations. The output is as short as 300 as, with energy typical of fourth generation sources
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