24 research outputs found

    UTILITIES AND LIMITATIONS OF CURRENT ANIMAL MODELS OF DEPRESSION

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      Depression is one of the most debilitating medical conditions in the world today, yet its etiologies remain imprecise, and current treatments are not wholly helpful. Depression is more than just a feeling of sadness. Depression can affect the daily routine of an individual disrupting work, play, and overall ability to concentrate. People with depression usually experience a lack of interest and enjoyment in daily activities, notable weight loss or gain, sleeplessness or excessive sleeping, lack of energy, inability to concentrate, feelings of worthlessness or shame, and recurrent thoughts of suicide (diagnostic and statistical manual-V). It is projected to be the second leading cause of disability worldwide by 2020. It is estimated that depression currently affects 350 million people from around the world. There are a number of drugs of different pharmacological classes being used in the treatment of clinical depression. Animal models are indispensable tools in the search to identify new antidepressant drugs and to provide insights into the neuropathology that underlies the idiopathic disease state of depression. Animal models of depression can be used for a variety of purposes, including use as a tool for investigating aspects of the neurobiology and pathophysiology of depression, as an experimental model for studying the mechanism of action of antidepressant drugs and for screening antidepressant activity. None of existing animal models currently fulfil the existing criteria for an ideal animal model, and therefore, demands an insight view of the existing models of depression. This article attempts to review the most widely used animal models and highlights their important features with respect to different pharmacological classes of antidepressant drugs

    Electronic Cigarette Use Among Emerging and Young West Indian Adults

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    Currently, evidence concerning electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) use in the West Indies is unavailable. This study examines the prevalence and associated factors of e-cigarette use in young Trinidadian adults, 6 years after e-cigarettes were introduced in Trinidad. Young adults between the ages of 18 and 40 years were surveyed from May–June 2016. Based on the survey results, descriptive statistics and logistic regression models were used to identify correlations in e-cigarette use. The prevalence of those who had used e-cigarettes was 24.6%, and 41.9% of these people had used both e-cigarettes and tobacco cigarettes. A high proportion (16.95%) of those who had never used tobacco cigarettes had used e-cigarettes. Males were twice as likely as females to have used e-cigarettes (odds ratio [OR]: 2.60; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.85–3.68), and participants aged 18–25 years were more likely than those aged 36–40 years to use e-cigarettes (OR: 0.37; 95% CI: 0.14–0.81). The predictors of e-cigarette use as assessed by univariate analysis were current tobacco cigarette smoking (OR: 9.34; 95% CI: 6.14–14.39; p<0.001) and the belief that e-cigarettes are dangerous to health (OR: 0.61; 95% CI: 0.44–0.85; p=0.004). The predictors as assessed by multivariate logistic regression (adjusted OR) were ethnicity (p=0.043), education (p=0.012), and age group (p=0.007). Those who quit using tobacco cigarettes were 7.98 times more likely to use e-cigarettes (95% CI: 4.21–15.45), and those who knew that e-cigarettes contain nicotine were 2.70 times more likely to use them (95% CI: 1.53–4.86; p<0.001). Two summative scales were constructed that measured knowledge and perception. The perception scale, but not the knowledge scale (Cronbach’s alpha=0.736), was a significant predictor of e-cigarette use. The number of e-cigarette users is high (24.6%) in young adults in Trinidad and in those who have never smoked tobacco (16.95%). Current smokers, as well as those who have quit smoking, are at an increased risk of e-cigarette use. This study established that young adults have a low level of knowledge regarding e-cigarettes and shows that they should be educated on e-cigarette use. Further research to examine the reasons for, and susceptibility to, e-cigarette use is necessary

    Prevalence of self-reported diabetes, hypertension and heart disease in individuals seeking State funding in Trinidad and Tobago, West Indies

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    AbstractObjectiveDiabetes, hypertension and heart disease inflict a heavy health burden on the Caribbean Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. This study assessed the prevalence of self- reported diabetes, hypertension and heart disease in lower socioeconomically placed individuals accessing welfare grants.MethodData collected between July 2008 and June 2009 were analyzed from 14,793 responses. The survey sought information on education, average monthly income, health, housing, and household facilities.ResultsSelf-reported disease prevalence was 19.5% (95% CI: 18.9–20.2) for diabetes mellitus; 30.2% (95% CI: 29.5–30.9) for hypertension; and 8.2% (95% CI: 7.7–8.6) for cardiac disease. Diabetes and cardiac disease had equivalent gender frequency; hypertension was more prevalent in women (p<.001). Disease prevalence was highest in Indo-Trinidadians, married and divorced subjects, non-Christians and increased with age. Those with primary education alone were at greatest risk.ConclusionTrinidad and Tobago have a high prevalence of hypertension, diabetes and heart disease. Hypertension showed gender specificity in women. Prevalence was highest in Indo-Trinidadians, increased with age, and primary education alone was a risk factor. Interventions to arrest the high prevalence of chronic non-communicable diseases to promote wellness are needed in Trinidad and Tobago

    Distribution and seasonality of rhinovirus and other respiratory viruses in a cross-section of asthmatic children in Trinidad, West Indies

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>Childhood asthma in the Caribbean is advancing in prevalence and morbidity. Though viral respiratory tract infections are reported triggers for exacerbations, information on these infections with asthma is sparse in Caribbean territories. We examined the distribution of respiratory viruses and their association with seasons in acute and stable asthmatic children in Trinidad.</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>In a cross-sectional study of 70 wheezing children attending the emergency department for nebulisation and 80 stable control subjects (2 to 16 yr of age) in the asthma clinic, nasal specimens were collected during the dry (<it>n </it>= 38, January to May) and rainy (<it>n </it>= 112, June to December) seasons. A multitarget, sensitive, specific high-throughput Respiratory MultiCode assay tested for respiratory-virus sequences for eight distinct groups: human rhinovirus, respiratory syncytial virus, parainfluenza virus, influenza virus, metapneumovirus, adenovirus, coronavirus, and enterovirus.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>Wheezing children had a higher [χ<sup>2 </sup>= 5.561, <it>p </it>= 0.018] prevalence of respiratory viruses compared with stabilized asthmatics (34.3% (24) versus (vs.) 17.5% (14)). Acute asthmatics were thrice as likely to be infected with a respiratory virus (OR = 2.5, 95% CI = 1.2 – 5.3). The predominant pathogens detected in acute versus stable asthmatics were the rhinovirus (RV) (<it>n </it>= 18, 25.7% vs. <it>n </it>= 7, 8.8%; <it>p </it>= 0.005), respiratory syncytial virus B (RSV B) (<it>n </it>= 2, 2.9% vs. <it>n </it>= 4, 5.0%), and enterovirus (<it>n </it>= 1, 1.4% vs. <it>n </it>= 2, 2.5%). Strong odds for rhinoviral infection were observed among nebulised children compared with stable asthmatics (<it>p </it>= 0.005, OR = 3.6, 95% CI = 1.4 – 9.3,). RV was prevalent throughout the year (Dry, <it>n </it>= 6, 15.8%; Rainy, <it>n </it>= 19, 17.0%) and without seasonal association [χ<sup>2 </sup>= 0.028, <it>p </it>= 0.867]. However it was the most frequently detected virus [Dry = 6/10, (60.0%); Rainy = 19/28, (67.9%)] in both seasons.</p> <p>Conclusion</p> <p>Emergent wheezing illnesses during childhood can be linked to infection with rhinovirus in Trinidad's tropical environment. Viral-induced exacerbations of asthma are independent of seasons in this tropical climate. Further clinical and virology investigations are recommended on the role of infections with the rhinovirus in Caribbean childhood wheeze.</p

    Achado de bactérias selecionadas em crianças de Trinidad com doença amigdaliana crônica Selected bacterial recovery in Trinidadian children with chronic tonsillar disease

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    Faringoamigdalite na população pediátrica é largamente tratada com antibióticos. OBJETIVO: Estudar a microflora presente na superfície e no núcleo de amígdalas após adenoamigdalectomia eletiva em crianças. MÉTODO: Amígdalas de 102 crianças de Trinidad foram prospectivamente estudadas por meio de culturas e identificações bacteriológicas feitas a partir de amostras das superfícies e núcleos de suas amígdalas entre 2005-2006. RESULTADOS: A partir de 360 amígdalas, foram isolados Streptococcus spp. (51,3%), Staphylococcus spp. (42,3%) e Gram-Negativos (6,4%). A identificação de estafilococos e estreptococos tanto na superfície quanto no núcleo foi semelhante (p>0,05). Encontramos mais (p<0,001) Streptococcus spp. nas superfícies (82,2%) do que nos núcleos (63,3%); a prevalência de estreptococos alfa-hemolíticos foi maior (p<0,001) do que aquela de estreptococos beta-hemolíticos nas superfícies (74,4% vs. 18,6%) do que nos núcleos (58,9% vs. 13,7%). Não houve concordância entre superfícies e núcleos com relação a estreptococos (p<0,0004) e estreptococos alfa-hemolíticos (p<0,007). Estreptococos beta-hemolíticos foram mais identificados (p<0,05) em crianças dentre 6-16 anos do que naquelas entre 1-5 anos de idade (31% e 23,8% vs 12,5% e 8%). A prevalência de S. pyogenes na superfície e no núcleo foi de (84,6% vs 70%) e (50,0% vs 25,0%) em crianças de maior faixa etária e crianças mais novas, respectivamente. Klebsiella spp. (6,6%, 2,2%), Proteus (4,4%, 4,4%) e Pseudomonas (4,4 %, 1,1%) cresceram nas superfícies e núcleos, respectivamente. CONCLUSÃO: As superfícies amigdalianas tinham mais estreptococos e estreptococos hemolíticos do que seus núcleos. Crianças mais velhas tiveram mais estreptococos beta-hemolíticos, e são altamente colonizadoras de S. pyogenes. Sugerimos estudos que investiguem os mecanismos de aderência estreptocócica em crianças de Trinidad.<br>Pharyngotonsillitis in children is widely treated with antibiotics. AIM: To examine tonsil surface and core microflora following elective adenotonsillectomy in children. METHODS: Tonsils of 102 Trinidadian children were prospectively examined for surface and core bacteriological culture and identification between 2005-2006. RESULTS: Tonsils (360) yielded 800 isolates of Streptococcus spp. (51.3%), Staphylococcus spp. (42.3%) and Gram-negative genera (6.4%). Surface and core recovery of staphylococci and streptococci were similar (p>0.05). More (p<0.001) surfaces (82.2%) than cores (63.3%) grew Streptococcus spp.; &#945;-haemolytic Streptococcus prevalence was higher (p<0.001) than ß-haemolytic Streptococcus on surfaces (74.4% vs. 18.6%) than cores (58.9% vs. 13.7%). Surfaces and cores were not concordant for streptococci (p<0.0004) and &#945;-haemolytic Streptococcus (p<0.007). Surface and core ß-haemolytic Streptococcus yield was higher (p<0.05) in 6-16 than 1-5 year olds (31% and 23.8% vs 12.5% and 8%). S. pyogenes surface and core prevalence was (84.6% vs 70%) and (50.0% vs 25.0%) in older and younger children respectively. Klebsiella spp. (6.6 %, 2.2%), Proteus (4.4%, 4.4%) and Pseudomonas (4.4 %, 1.1%) grew on surfaces and cores respectively. CONCLUSION: Tonsil surfaces yield higher surface than core carriage for streptococci overall and for &#945; haemolytic streptococci. Older children grow more &#946;-haemolytic streptococci and are high colonizers of S. pyogenes. Studies probing the mechanisms of streptococcal adhesions in Trinidadian children are suggested

    Pesticide regulation, utilization, and retailers' selling practices in Trinidad and Tobago, West Indies: current situation and needed changes Regulación, utilización y prácticas de venta minorista de los pesticidas en Trinidad y Tobago, Indias Occidentales: situación actual y cambios necesarios

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    OBJECTIVE: To explore pesticide regulation in Trinidad and Tobago, and to ascertain pesticide utilization and retailers' selling practices on Trinidad, which is the larger of twin islands that constitute the republic of Trinidad and Tobago. METHODS: Between February and June 2005, agrochemical retailers in Trinidad were surveyed about the most frequently sold pesticides and their knowledge and practices of pesticide sale. The Poisons and Toxic Chemicals Control Board of the Ministry of Health informed on legislature. RESULTS: Of 107 actively trading licensed pesticide outlets, 97 participated (91% response rate) in the survey. Currently only 2.9% (21) of 720 registered products from four chemical classes are frequently utilized. Paraquat, methomyl, and alpha-cypermethrin (respective trade names are Gramoxone, Lannate, and Fastac) from World Health Organization (WHO) Hazard Classes I and II, and glyphosate isopropylamine (Swiper, Class U) are the most frequently purchased pesticides. Pet shops constitute 39.2% (38) of retail shops selling pesticides. No regulations guide pesticide sale to agriculturists, and children may purchase them. Inadequate human and technical resources render legislative controls ineffective and disciplinary action against offenders is weak. Extensive governmental resources are employed in legislative procedures and product approval for the very low, 2.9% utilization rate, negatively impacting on monitoring pesticide sales. The Poisons Information Centre (PIC) does not liaise with the Poisons and Toxic Chemicals Control Board or provide educational interventions for the community. As a result of this survey, it was possible to develop the first database to include the chemical, brand, and colloquial names of pesticides used in Trinidad and Tobago; WHO classification of approved pesticides; manufacturers; packaging; and antidotes and their availability for use by the Board and health professionals in Trinidad. CONCLUSIONS: Urgent critical evaluation of legislation regarding pesticide imports and use, and partnership with the Rotterdam Convention are recommended for Trinidad and Tobago. A strengthened Poisons Information Centre can provide educational initiatives and information on early management of pesticide exposure.<br>OBJETIVO: Analizar la regulación de los pesticidas en Trinidad y Tobago y verificar la utilización y las prácticas de venta minorista de pesticidas en Trinidad, la mayor de las dos islas que componen la República de Trinidad y Tobago. MÉTODOS: Entre febrero y junio de 2005 se realizó una encuesta a los vendedores minoristas de sustancias químicas de Trinidad sobre los pesticidas más frecuentemente vendidos, así como sobre sus conocimientos y las prácticas de venta de pesticidas. La Junta de Control de Venenos y Sustancias Tóxicas (JCVST) del Ministerio de Salud informó sobre la legislación vigente. RESULTADOS: De 107 tiendas autorizadas que comerciaban activamente con pesticidas, 97 participaron en este estudio (tasa de respuesta de 91%). Solo 21 (2,9%) de los 720 productos registrados de cuatro clases de sustancias se utilizan con frecuencia. Los productos paraquat, metomil y alfacipermetrina (cuyos nombres comerciales respectivos son Gramoxone, Lannate y Fastac) pertenecientes a las clases de riego I y II de la Organización Mundial de la Salud (OMS) y la isopropilamina de glifosato (Swiper, Clase U) son los pesticidas más frecuentemente adquiridos. Las tiendas de mascotas constituyen 39,2% (38 unidades) de las tiendas minoristas que participaron en el estudio. No hay regulaciones que normen la venta de pesticidas a los agricultores y los niños pueden comprarlos. Los recursos humanos y técnicos inadecuados hacen inefectivos los controles legislativos y las medidas disciplinarias contra los infractores son débiles. Se emplean considerables recursos gubernamentales en procedimientos legislativos y en la aprobación de productos de muy baja (2,9%) tasa de utilización, lo que afecta negativamente en el monitoreo de las ventas de pesticidas. El Centro de Información sobre Venenos no coordina sus acciones con la JCVST ni ofrece intervenciones educativas para la comunidad. Como resultado de este estudio, se pudo elaborar la primera base de datos con los nombres químicos, de marcas y vernáculos de los pesticidas utilizados en Trinidad y Tobago; la clasificación de la OMS de los pesticidas aprobados; los productores; los empacadores; y los antídotos y su disponibilidad, tanto para el uso de la Junta como de los profesionales sanitarios de Trinidad. CONCLUSIONES: Se recomienda realizar una urgente evaluación crítica de la legislación relacionada con la importación y el uso de los pesticidas en Trinidad y Tobago, así como la asociación con la Convención de Rotterdam. Un fortalecido Centro de Información sobre Venenos podría promover iniciativas educativas y ofrecer información sobre el tratamiento temprano de las personas expuestas a pesticidas

    Catharanthus roseus flower extract has wound-healing activity in Sprague Dawley rats

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    BACKGROUND: Catharanthus roseus L (C. roseus) has been used to treat a wide assortment of diseases including diabetes. The objective of our study was to evaluate the antimicrobial and wound healing activity of the flower extract of Catharanthus in rats. METHODS: Wound healing activity was determined in rats, after administration (100 mg kg(-1 )day(-1)) of the ethanol extract of C. roseus flower, using excision, incision and dead space wounds models. The animals were divided into two groups of 6 each in all the models. In the excision model, group 1 animals were topically treated with carboxymethyl cellulose as placebo control and group 2 received topical application of the ethanol extract of C. roseus at a dose of 100 mg/kg body weight/day. In an incision and dead space model group 1 animals were given normal saline and group 2 received the extract orally at a dose of 100 mg kg(-1 )day(-1). Healing was assessed by the rate of wound contraction, period of epithelization, tensile strength (skin breaking strength), granulation tissue weight, and hydoxyproline content. Antimicrobial activity of the flower extract against four microorganisms was also assessed RESULTS: The extract of C. roseus significantly increased the wound breaking strength in the incision wound model compared with controls (P < 0.001). The extract-treated wounds were found to epithelialize faster, and the rate of wound contraction was significantly increased in comparison to control wounds (P < 0.001), Wet and dry granulation tissue weights, and hydroxyproline content in a dead space wound model increased significantly (p < 0.05). Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus demonstrated sensitivity to C. roseus CONCLUSION: Increased wound contraction and tensile strength, augmented hydroxyproline content along with antimicrobial activity support the use of C. roseus in the topical management of wound healing

    Third generation cephalosporin use in a tertiary hospital in Port of Spain, Trinidad: need for an antibiotic policy

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    BACKGROUND: Tertiary care hospitals are a potential source for development and spread of bacterial resistance being in the loop to receive outpatients and referrals from community nursing homes and hospitals. The liberal use of third-generation cephalosporins (3GCs) in these hospitals has been associated with the emergence of extended-spectrum beta- lactamases (ESBLs) presenting concerns for bacterial resistance in therapeutics. We studied the 3GC utilization in a tertiary care teaching hospital, in warded patients (medical, surgical, gynaecology, orthopedic) prescribed these drugs. METHODS: Clinical data of patients (≥ 13 years) admitted to the General Hospital, Port of Spain (POSGH) from January to June 2000, and who had received 3GCs based on the Pharmacy records were studied. The Sanford Antibiotic Guide 2000, was used to determine appropriateness of therapy. The agency which procures drugs for the Ministry of Health supplied the cost of drugs. RESULTS: The prevalence rate of use of 3GCs was 9.5 per 1000 admissions and was higher in surgical and gynecological admissions (21/1000) compared with medical and orthopedic (8 /1000) services (p < 0.05). Ceftriaxone was the most frequently used 3GC. Sixty-nine (36%) patients without clinical evidence of infection received 3Gcs and prescribing was based on therapeutic recommendations in 4% of patients. At least 62% of all prescriptions were inappropriate with significant associations for patients from gynaecology (p < 0.003), empirical prescribing (p < 0.48), patients with undetermined infection sites (p < 0.007), and for single drug use compared with multiple antibiotics (p < 0.001). Treatment was twice as costly when prescribing was inappropriate CONCLUSIONS: There is extensive inappropriate 3GC utilization in tertiary care in Trinidad. We recommend hospital laboratories undertake continuous surveillance of antibiotic resistance patterns so that appropriate changes in prescribing guidelines can be developed and implemented. Though guidelines for rational antibiotic use were developed they have not been re-visited or encouraged, suggesting urgent antibiotic review of the hospital formulary and instituting an infection control team. Monitoring antibiotic use with microbiology laboratory support can promote rational drug utilization, cut costs, halt inappropriate 3GC prescribing, and delay the emergence of resistant organisms. An ongoing antibiotic peer audit is suggested

    Physician behaviour for antimicrobial prescribing for paediatric upper respiratory tract infections: a survey in general practice in Trinidad, West Indies

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    BACKGROUND: Upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs) are among the most frequent reasons for physician office visits in paediatrics. Despite their predominant viral aetiology, URTIs continue to be treated with antimicrobials. We explored general practitioners' (GPs) prescribing behaviour for antimicrobials in children (≤ 16 years) with URTIs in Trinidad, using the guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as a reference. METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted on 92 consenting GPs from the 109 contacted in Central and East Trinidad, between January to June 2003. Using a pilot-tested questionnaire, GPs identified the 5 most frequent URTIs they see in office and reported on their antimicrobial prescribing practices for these URTIs to trained research students. RESULTS: The 5 most frequent URTIs presenting in children in general practice, are the common cold, pharyngitis, tonsillitis, sinusitis and acute otitis media (AOM) in rank order. GPs prescribe at least 25 different antibiotics for these URTIs with significant associations for amoxicillin, co-amoxiclav, cefaclor, cefuroxime, erythromycin, clarithromycin and azithromycin (p < 0.001). Amoxicillin alone or with clavulanate was the most frequently prescribed antibiotic for all URTIs. Prescribing variations from the CDC recommendations were observed for all URTIs except for AOM (50%), the most common condition for antibiotics. Doctors practicing for >30 years were more likely to prescribe antibiotics for the common cold (p = 0.014). Severity (95.7%) and duration of illness (82.5%) influenced doctors' prescribing and over prescribing in general practice was attributed to parent demands (75%) and concern for secondary bacterial infections (70%). Physicians do not request laboratory investigations primarily because they are unnecessary (86%) and the waiting time for results is too long (51%). CONCLUSIONS: Antibiotics are over prescribed for paediatric URTIs in Trinidad and amoxicillin with co-amoxiclav were preferentially prescribed. Except for AOM, GPs' prescribing varied from the CDC guidelines for drug and duration. Physicians recognise antibiotics are overused and consider parents expecting antibiotics and a concern for secondary bacterial infections are prescribing pressures. Guidelines to manage URTIs, ongoing surveillance programs for antibiotic resistance, public health education on non-antibiotic strategies, and postgraduate education for rational pharmacotherapy in general practice would decrease inappropriate antibiotic use in URTIs
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