1,499 research outputs found

    Lung cancer in ever- and never-smokers: findings from multi-population GWAS studies.

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    BackgroundClinical, molecular, and genetic epidemiology studies displayed remarkable differences between ever- and never-smoking lung cancer.MethodsWe conducted a stratified multi-population (European, East Asian, and African descent) association study on 44,823 ever-smokers and 20,074 never-smokers to identify novel variants that were missed in the non-stratified analysis. Functional analysis including eQTL colocalization and DNA damage assays, and annotation studies were conducted to evaluate the functional roles of the variants. We further evaluated the impact of smoking quantity on lung cancer risk for the variants associated with ever-smoking lung cancer.ResultsFive novel independent loci, GABRA4, inter-genic region 12q24.33, LRRC4C, LINC01088, and LCNL1 were identified with the association at two or three populations (P 20). Different risk patterns were observed for the variants among the different groups by smoking behavior.ConclusionsWe identified novel variants associated with lung cancer in only ever- or never-smoking groups that were missed by prior main-effect association studies.ImpactOur study highlights the genetic heterogeneity between ever- and never-smoking lung cancer and provides etiological insights into the complicated genetic architecture of this deadly cancer

    Towards evolutionary predictions: Current promises and challenges

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    Evolution has traditionally been a historical and descriptive science, and predicting future evolutionary processes has long been considered impossible. However, evolutionary predictions are increasingly being developed and used in medicine, agriculture, biotechnology and conservation biology. Evolutionary predictions may be used for different purposes, such as to prepare for the future, to try and change the course of evolution or to determine how well we understand evolutionary processes. Similarly, the exact aspect of the evolved population that we want to predict may also differ. For example, we could try to predict which genotype will dominate, the fitness of the population or the extinction probability of a population. In addition, there are many uses of evolutionary predictions that may not always be recognized as such. The main goal of this review is to increase awareness of methods and data in different research fields by showing the breadth of situations in which evolutionary predictions are made. We describe how diverse evolutionary predictions share a common structure described by the predictive scope, time scale and precision. Then, by using examples ranging from SARS-CoV2 and influenza to CRISPR-based gene drives and sustainable product formation in biotechnology, we discuss the methods for predicting evolution, the factors that affect predictability and how predictions can be used to prevent evolution in undesirable directions or to promote beneficial evolution (i.e. evolutionary control). We hope that this review will stimulate collaboration between fields by establishing a common language for evolutionary predictions

    Conceptualizing trust and distrust as alternative stable states: lessons from the Flint Water Crisis

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    Despite the universally recognized importance of fostering trust and avoiding distrust in governance relationships, there remains considerable debate on core questions like the relation between (dis)trust and the evaluations of the characteristics that make a governance agent appear (un)worthy of trust. In particular, it remains unclear whether levels of (dis)trust simply follow levels of (dis)trustworthiness—such that building trust is primarily a question of increasing evidence of trustworthiness and avoiding evidence of distrustworthiness, or if their dynamics are more complicated. The current paper adds novel theory for thinking about the management of trust and distrust in the governance context through the application of principles borrowed from resilience theory. Specifically, we argue that trust and distrust exist as distinct, self-reinforcing (i.e., stable) states separated by a threshold. We then theorize as to the nature of the self-reinforcing processes and use qualitative data collected from and inductively coded in collaboration with Flint residents as part of a participatory process to look for evidence of our argument in a well-documented governance failure. We conclude by explaining how this novel perspective allows for clearer insight into the experience of this and other communities and speculate as to how it may help to better position governance actors to respond to future crises

    Community risks for SARS-CoV-2 infection among fully vaccinated US adults by rurality: A retrospective cohort study from the National COVID Cohort Collaborative.

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    BackgroundWhile COVID-19 vaccines reduce adverse outcomes, post-vaccination SARS-CoV-2 infection remains problematic. We sought to identify community factors impacting risk for breakthrough infections (BTI) among fully vaccinated persons by rurality.MethodsWe conducted a retrospective cohort study of US adults sampled between January 1 and December 20, 2021, from the National COVID Cohort Collaborative (N3C). Using Kaplan-Meier and Cox-Proportional Hazards models adjusted for demographic differences and comorbid conditions, we assessed impact of rurality, county vaccine hesitancy, and county vaccination rates on risk of BTI over 180 days following two mRNA COVID-19 vaccinations between January 1 and September 21, 2021. Additionally, Cox Proportional Hazards models assessed the risk of infection among adults without documented vaccinations. We secondarily assessed the odds of hospitalization and adverse COVID-19 events based on vaccination status using multivariable logistic regression during the study period.ResultsOur study population included 566,128 vaccinated and 1,724,546 adults without documented vaccination. Among vaccinated persons, rurality was associated with an increased risk of BTI (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR] 1.53, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.42-1.64, for urban-adjacent rural and 1.65, 1.42-1.91, for nonurban-adjacent rural) compared to urban dwellers. Compared to low vaccine-hesitant counties, higher risks of BTI were associated with medium (1.07, 1.02-1.12) and high (1.33, 1.23-1.43) vaccine-hesitant counties. Compared to counties with high vaccination rates, a higher risk of BTI was associated with dwelling in counties with low vaccination rates (1.34, 1.27-1.43) but not medium vaccination rates (1.00, 0.95-1.07). Community factors were also associated with higher odds of SARS-CoV-2 infection among persons without a documented vaccination. Vaccinated persons with SARS-CoV-2 infection during the study period had significantly lower odds of hospitalization and adverse events across all geographic areas and community exposures.ConclusionsOur findings suggest that community factors are associated with an increased risk of BTI, particularly in rural areas and counties with high vaccine hesitancy. Communities, such as those in rural and disproportionately vaccine hesitant areas, and certain groups at high risk for adverse breakthrough events, including immunosuppressed/compromised persons, should continue to receive public health focus, targeted interventions, and consistent guidance to help manage community spread as vaccination protection wanes

    Transgender women in Kenya experience greater stigma, depressive symptoms, alcohol and drug use and risky sexual practices than cis-gendered men who have sex with men

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    Abstract Background Worldwide, sexual and gender minority individuals have disproportionate burden of HIV. There are limited quantitative data from sub-Saharan Africa on the intersection of risks experienced by transgender women (TGW) in comparison to cis-men who have sex with men (MSM). This analysis addresses this gap by comparing reported stigma, psychosocial measures of health, and sexual risk practices between TGW and cis-MSM in Kenya. Methods We analyzed data from the baseline visit of an ongoing prospective cohort study taking place in three diverse metropolitan areas. Eligible participants were HIV-negative, assigned male at birth, ages 18–29 years, and reported anal intercourse in the past 3 months with a man or TGW. Data collected by audio computer assisted self-interview included sociodemographic measures, and sexual practices occurring in the past 3 months. Multivariable regressions assessed differences between TGW and cis-MSM in selected sexual practices, depressive symptoms, alcohol and drug use, and stigma. Results From September, 2019, through May, 2021, 838 participants were enrolled: 108 (12.9%) TGW and 730 (87.1%) cis-MSM. Adjusting for sociodemographic variables, TGW were more likely than cis-MSM to report: receptive anal intercourse (RAI; adjusted prevalence ratio [aPR] = 1.59, 95% CI: 1.32 – 1.92), engaging in group sex (aPR = 1.15, 95% CI: 1.04 – 1.27), 4 or more male sex partners (aPR = 3.31, 95% CI: 2.52 – 4.35), and 3 or more paying male sex partners (aPR = 1.58, 95% CI: 1.04 – 2.39). TGW were also more likely to report moderate to severe depressive symptoms (aPR = 1.42, 95% CI: 1.01 – 1.55), and had similar alcohol and drug abuse scores as cis-MSM. In sensitivity analysis, similar to TGW, male-identifying individuals taking feminizing gender affirming therapy had an increased likelihood of reporting RAI and group sex, and greater numbers of male sex partners and paying male sex partners relative to cis-MSM. Conclusions Across three metropolitan areas in Kenya, TGW were more likely to report depressive symptoms and increased sexual risk taking. We identified a need for research that better characterizes the range of gender identities. Our analysis affirms the need for programmatic gender-affirming interventions specific to transgender populations in Kenya and elsewhere in Africa

    "Palliative care is so much more than that” : a qualitative study exploring experiences of hospice staff and bereaved carers during the COVID-19 pandemic

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    Background: The way in which end-of-life care was provided changed significantly during the first 2 years of the COVID-19 pandemic. The national lockdown restrictions reduced formal care support services and increased the burden on many carers taking on the caring role for the first time. We aimed to explore decision-making about the place of care during the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact on experience from the perspectives of carers and hospice staff caring for people at the end-of-life. Methods: A qualitative study using virtual interviews was conducted between October 2020 and April 2021. Data were analyzed thematically using framework analysis, an analytical framework that enables qualitative research to be organized into defined themes derived from the research question. Findings were presented to stakeholders in policy roundtables between March 2022 and March 2023 and discussed collaboratively with staff, stakeholders, and the public to inform policy and practice change. Findings: A total of 37 participants (15 bereaved carers and 22 staff) were recruited via hospice services in England and Scotland. Four key themes were identified: (1) changing preferences relating to decision-making about the place of care and the impact at the time of death and into bereavement; (2) missed opportunities related to not being there, not having others around, and being robbed of memory-making; (3) the lone carer during a period of high intensity and reduced home support; (4) process vs. person-centered care resulting from changing rules and restrictions and prioritization of regulations over essential palliative care. Conclusion: The study provides valuable global implications for all involved in end-of-life care. Despite great efforts to provide dignified, quality care, palliative care during the pandemic changed, focusing on essential ‘physical care'. The psychological suffering experienced by staff and carers may need longer-term support mechanisms put in place, which will benefit from a public health approach. Policymakers should consider improving carer identification and resources for wider end-of-life care education to support the needs of carers, health and social care staff, and citizens

    Tropical Data: Approach and Methodology as Applied to Trachoma Prevalence Surveys

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    Population-based prevalence surveys are essential for decision-making on interventions to achieve trachoma elimination as a public health problem. This paper outlines the methodologies of Tropical Data, which supports work to undertake those surveys. Tropical Data is a consortium of partners that supports health ministries worldwide to conduct globally standardised prevalence surveys that conform to World Health Organization recommendations. Founding principles are health ministry ownership, partnership and collaboration, and quality assurance and quality control at every step of the survey process. Support covers survey planning, survey design, training, electronic data collection and fieldwork, and data management, analysis and dissemination. Methods are adapted to meet local context and needs. Customisations, operational research and integration of other diseases into routine trachoma surveys have also been supported. Between 29th February 2016 and 24th April 2023, 3373 trachoma surveys across 50 countries have been supported, resulting in 10,818,502 people being examined for trachoma. This health ministry-led, standardised approach, with support from the start to the end of the survey process, has helped all trachoma elimination stakeholders to know where interventions are needed, where interventions can be stopped, and when elimination as a public health problem has been achieved. Flexibility to meet specific country contexts, adaptation to changes in global guidance and adjustments in response to user feedback have facilitated innovation in evidence-based methodologies, and supported health ministries to strive for global disease control targets.</p

    Behavioural intervention to reduce sexually transmitted infections in people aged 16–24 years in the UK: the safetxt RCT

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    BACKGROUND: The prevalence of genital chlamydia and gonorrhoea is higher in the 16–24 years age group than those in other age group. With users, we developed the theory-based safetxt intervention to reduce sexually transmitted infections. OBJECTIVES: To establish the effect of the safetxt intervention on the incidence of chlamydia/gonorrhoea infection at 1 year. DESIGN: A parallel-group, individual-level, randomised superiority trial in which care providers and outcome assessors were blinded to allocation. SETTING: Recruitment was from 92 UK sexual health clinics. PARTICIPANTS: Inclusion criteria were a positive chlamydia or gonorrhoea test result, diagnosis of non-specific urethritis or treatment started for chlamydia/gonorrhoea/non-specific urethritis in the last 2 weeks; owning a personal mobile phone; and being aged 16–24 years. ALLOCATION: Remote computer-based randomisation with an automated link to the messaging system delivering intervention or control group messages. INTERVENTION: The safetxt intervention was designed to reduce sexually transmitted infection by increasing partner notification, condom use and sexually transmitted infection testing before sex with new partners. It employed educational, enabling and incentivising content delivered by 42–79 text messages over 1 year, tailored according to type of infection, gender and sexuality. COMPARATOR: A monthly message regarding trial participation. Main outcomes: The primary outcome was the incidence of chlamydia and gonorrhoea infection at 12 months, assessed using nucleic acid amplification tests. Secondary outcomes at 1 and 12 months included self-reported partner notification, condom use and sexually transmitted infection testing prior to sex with new partner(s). RESULTS: Between 1 April 2016 and 23 November 2018, we assessed 20,476 people for eligibility and consented and randomised 6248 participants, allocating 3123 to the safetxt intervention and 3125 to the control. Primary outcome data were available for 4675 (74.8%) participants. The incidence of chlamydia/gonorrhoea infection was 22.2% (693/3123) in the intervention group and 20.3% (633/3125) in the control group (odds ratio 1.13, 95% confidence interval 0.98 to 1.31). There was no evidence of heterogeneity in any of the prespecified subgroups. Partner notification was 85.6% in the intervention group and 84.0% in the control group (odds ratio 1.14, 95% confidence interval 0.99 to 1.33). At 12 months, condom use at last sex was 33.8% in the intervention group and 31.2% in the control group (odds ratio 1.14, 95% confidence interval 1.01 to 1.28) and condom use at first sex with most recent new partner was 54.4% in the intervention group and 48.7% in the control group (odds ratio 1.27, 95% confidence interval 1.11 to 1.45). Testing before sex with a new partner was 39.5% in the intervention group and 40.9% in the control group (odds ratio 0.95, 95% confidence interval 0.82 to 1.10). Having two or more partners since joining the trial was 56.9% in the intervention group and 54.8% in the control group (odds ratio 1.11, 95% confidence interval 1.00 to 1.24) and having sex with someone new since joining the trial was 69.7% in the intervention group and 67.4% in the control group (odds ratio 1.13, 95% confidence interval 1.00 to 1.28). There were no differences in safety outcomes. Additional sensitivity and per-protocol analyses showed similar results. LIMITATIONS: Our understanding of the mechanism of action for the unanticipated effects is limited. CONCLUSIONS: The safetxt intervention did not reduce chlamydia and gonorrhoea infections, with slightly more infections in the intervention group. The intervention increased condom use but also increased the number of partners and new partners. Randomised controlled trials are essential for evaluating health communication interventions, which can have unanticipated effects

    Effect of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor and angiotensin receptor blocker initiation on organ support-free days in patients hospitalized with COVID-19

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    IMPORTANCE Overactivation of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) may contribute to poor clinical outcomes in patients with COVID-19. Objective To determine whether angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor or angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB) initiation improves outcomes in patients hospitalized for COVID-19. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS In an ongoing, adaptive platform randomized clinical trial, 721 critically ill and 58 non–critically ill hospitalized adults were randomized to receive an RAS inhibitor or control between March 16, 2021, and February 25, 2022, at 69 sites in 7 countries (final follow-up on June 1, 2022). INTERVENTIONS Patients were randomized to receive open-label initiation of an ACE inhibitor (n = 257), ARB (n = 248), ARB in combination with DMX-200 (a chemokine receptor-2 inhibitor; n = 10), or no RAS inhibitor (control; n = 264) for up to 10 days. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES The primary outcome was organ support–free days, a composite of hospital survival and days alive without cardiovascular or respiratory organ support through 21 days. The primary analysis was a bayesian cumulative logistic model. Odds ratios (ORs) greater than 1 represent improved outcomes. RESULTS On February 25, 2022, enrollment was discontinued due to safety concerns. Among 679 critically ill patients with available primary outcome data, the median age was 56 years and 239 participants (35.2%) were women. Median (IQR) organ support–free days among critically ill patients was 10 (–1 to 16) in the ACE inhibitor group (n = 231), 8 (–1 to 17) in the ARB group (n = 217), and 12 (0 to 17) in the control group (n = 231) (median adjusted odds ratios of 0.77 [95% bayesian credible interval, 0.58-1.06] for improvement for ACE inhibitor and 0.76 [95% credible interval, 0.56-1.05] for ARB compared with control). The posterior probabilities that ACE inhibitors and ARBs worsened organ support–free days compared with control were 94.9% and 95.4%, respectively. Hospital survival occurred in 166 of 231 critically ill participants (71.9%) in the ACE inhibitor group, 152 of 217 (70.0%) in the ARB group, and 182 of 231 (78.8%) in the control group (posterior probabilities that ACE inhibitor and ARB worsened hospital survival compared with control were 95.3% and 98.1%, respectively). CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE In this trial, among critically ill adults with COVID-19, initiation of an ACE inhibitor or ARB did not improve, and likely worsened, clinical outcomes. TRIAL REGISTRATION ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT0273570

    Inborn errors of OAS–RNase L in SARS-CoV-2–related multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children

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    International audienceMultisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) is a rare and severe condition that follows benign COVID-19. We report autosomal recessive deficiencies of OAS1 , OAS2 , or RNASEL in five unrelated children with MIS-C. The cytosolic double-stranded RNA (dsRNA)–sensing OAS1 and OAS2 generate 2â€Č-5â€Č-linked oligoadenylates (2-5A) that activate the single-stranded RNA–degrading ribonuclease L (RNase L). Monocytic cell lines and primary myeloid cells with OAS1, OAS2, or RNase L deficiencies produce excessive amounts of inflammatory cytokines upon dsRNA or severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) stimulation. Exogenous 2-5A suppresses cytokine production in OAS1-deficient but not RNase L–deficient cells. Cytokine production in RNase L–deficient cells is impaired by MDA5 or RIG-I deficiency and abolished by mitochondrial antiviral-signaling protein (MAVS) deficiency. Recessive OAS–RNase L deficiencies in these patients unleash the production of SARS-CoV-2–triggered, MAVS-mediated inflammatory cytokines by mononuclear phagocytes, thereby underlying MIS-C
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