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Population growth, in vitro, of three Paramoeba perurans cultures, one polyclonal (G) and two clonal (B8, CE6, derived from G), previously shown to differ in virulence (B8 > G > CE6), was compared at 10 and 15 °C. B8 showed a significantly higher increase in attached and in suspended amoebae over time at 15 and 10 °C, respectively. CE6 and G also had significantly higher numbers of suspended amoebae at 10 °C compared with 15 °C at experiment termination. However, in contrast to B8, numbers of attached amoebae were significantly higher at 10 °C in CE6 but showed a similar trend in G at the end of the experiment. Numbers of both suspended and attached amoebae were lower in B8 compared with CE6 and G. Significant differences in bacterial community composition and/or relative abundances were found, between cultures, between temperatures and between the same culture with and without amoebae, based on 16S rRNA Illumina MiSeq sequencing. Bacterial diversity was lower in B8 and CE6 compared with G, possibly reflecting selection during clonal isolation. The results indicate that polyclonal P. perurans populations may contain amoebae displaying different growth dynamics. Further studies are required to determine if these differences are linked to differences seen in the bacterial communities.
A total of 592 people reported gastrointestinal illness following attendance at Street Spice, a food festival held in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, North East England in February/March 2013. Epidemiological, microbiological and environmental investigations were undertaken to identify the source and prevent further cases. Several epidemiological analyses were conducted; a cohort study; a follow-up survey of cases and capture re-capture to estimate the true burden of cases. Indistinguishable isolates of Salmonella Agona phage type 40 were identified in cases and on fresh curry leaves used in one of the accompaniments served at the event. Molecular testing indicated entero-aggregative Escherichia coli and Shigella also contributed to the burden of illness. Analytical studies found strong associations between illness and eating food from a particular stall and with food items including coconut chutney which contained fresh curry leaves. Further investigation of the food supply chain and food preparation techniques identified a lack of clear instruction on the use of fresh uncooked curry leaves in finished dishes and uncertainty about their status as a ready-to-eat product. We describe the investigation of one of the largest outbreaks of food poisoning in England, involving several gastrointestinal pathogens including a strain of Salmonella Agona not previously seen in the UK.
Childhood obesity rates are higher among Indigenous compared with non-Indigenous Australian children. It has been hypothesized that early-life influences beginning with the intrauterine environment predict the development of obesity in the offspring. The aim of this paper was to assess, in 227 mother–child dyads from the Gomeroi gaaynggal cohort, associations between prematurity, Gestation Related-Optimal Weight (GROW) centiles, maternal adiposity (percentage body fat, visceral fat area), maternal non-fasting plasma glucose levels (measured at mean gestational age of 23.1 weeks) and offspring BMI and adiposity (abdominal circumference, subscapular skinfold thickness) in early childhood (mean age 23.4 months). Maternal non-fasting plasma glucose concentrations were positively associated with infant birth weight (P=0.005) and GROW customized birth weight centiles (P=0.008). There was a significant association between maternal percentage body fat (P=0.02) and visceral fat area (P=0.00) with infant body weight in early childhood. Body mass index (BMI) in early childhood was significantly higher in offspring born preterm compared with those born at term (P=0.03). GROW customized birth weight centiles was significantly associated with body weight (P=0.01), BMI (P=0.007) and abdominal circumference (P=0.039) at early childhood. Our findings suggest that being born preterm, large for gestational age or exposed to an obesogenic intrauterine environment and higher maternal non-fasting plasma glucose concentrations are associated with increased obesity risk in early childhood. Future strategies should aim to reduce the prevalence of overweight/obesity in women of child-bearing age and emphasize the importance of optimal glycemia during pregnancy, particularly in Indigenous women.
The aim of the present paper is to summarise current and future applications of dietary assessment technologies in nutrition surveys in developed countries. It includes the discussion of key points and highlights of subsequent developments from a panel discussion to address strengths and weaknesses of traditional dietary assessment methods (food records, FFQ, 24 h recalls, diet history with interviewer-assisted data collection) v. new technology-based dietary assessment methods (web-based and mobile device applications). The panel discussion ‘Traditional methods v. new technologies: dilemmas for dietary assessment in population surveys’, was held at the 9th International Conference on Diet and Activity Methods (ICDAM9), Brisbane, September 2015. Despite respondent and researcher burden, traditional methods have been most commonly used in nutrition surveys. However, dietary assessment technologies offer potential advantages including faster data processing and better data quality. This is a fast-moving field and there is evidence of increasing demand for the use of new technologies amongst the general public and researchers. There is a need for research and investment to support efforts being made to facilitate the inclusion of new technologies for rapid, accurate and representative data.
The relationship between depression and sexual behaviour among men who have sex with men (MSM) is poorly understood.
To investigate prevalence and correlates of depressive symptoms (Patient Health Questionnaire-9 score ≥10) and the relationship between depressive symptoms and sexual behaviour among MSM reporting recent sex.
The Attitudes to and Understanding of Risk of Acquisition of HIV (AURAH) is a cross-sectional study of UK genitourinary medicine clinic attendees without diagnosed HIV (2013–2014).
Among 1340 MSM, depressive symptoms (12.4%) were strongly associated with socioeconomic disadvantage and lower supportive network. Adjusted for key sociodemographic factors, depressive symptoms were associated with measures of condomless sex partners in the past 3 months (≥2 (prevalence ratio (PR) 1.42, 95% CI 1.17–1.74; P=0.001), unknown or HIV-positive status (PR 1.43, 95% CI 1.20–1.71; P<0.001)), sexually transmitted infection (STI) diagnosis (PR 1.46, 95% CI 1.19–1.79; P<0.001) and post-exposure prophylaxis use in the past year (PR 1.83, 95% CI 1.33–2.50; P<0.001).
Management of mental health may play a role in HIV and STI prevention.
Monolithic integrated thin film tandem solar cells consisting of a high bandgap perovskite top cell and a low bandgap thin film bottom cell are expected to reach higher power conversion efficiencies (PCEs) with lower manufacturing cost and environmental impacts than the market-dominant crystalline silicon photovoltaics. There have been several demonstrations of 4-terminal and 2-terminal perovskite tandem devices with CuInGaSe2 (CIGS) or CuInSe2 (CIS) and, similar to the other tandem structures, the optimization of this device relies on optimal choice for the perovskite bandgap and thickness. Therefore, further advancement will be enabled by tuning the perovskite absorber to maximize the photocurrent limited by the current match condition. Here, we systematically study the optical absorption and transmission of perovskite thin films with varying absorber band gap. Based on these results, we model the photocurrent generations in both perovskite and CIS subcells and estimate the performances of projected tandem devices by considering the ideally functioning perovskite and CIS device. Our results show that for perovskite layers with 500 nm thickness the optimal bandgap is around 1.6 eV. With these configurations, PCEs above 20% could be achieved by monolithically integrated perovskite/CIS tandem solar cells. Also by modelling the absorption at every layer we calculate the quantum efficiency at each subcell in addition to tracking optical losses.
Objectives: The aim of this study was to describe cognitive, academic, and psychosocial outcomes after an incident demyelinating event (acquired demyelinating syndromes, ADS) in childhood and to investigate the contribution of brain lesions and confirmed MS diagnosis on outcome. Methods: Thirty-six patients with ADS (mean age=12.2 years, SD=2.7, range: 7–16 years) underwent brain MRI scans at presentation and at 6-months follow-up. T2-weighted lesions on MRI were assessed using a binary classification. At 6-months follow-up, patients underwent neuropsychological evaluation and were compared with 42 healthy controls. Results: Cognitive, academic, and behavioral outcomes did not differ between the patients with ADS and controls. Three of 36 patients (8.3%) were identified with cognitive impairment, as determined by performance falling ≤1.5 SD below normative values on more than four independent tests in the battery. Poor performance on a visuomotor integration task was most common, observed among 6/32 patients, but this did not differ significantly from controls. Twelve of 36 patients received a diagnosis of MS within 3 years post-ADS. Patients with MS did not differ from children with monophasic ADS in terms of cognitive performance at the 6-months follow-up. Fatigue symptoms were reported in 50% of patients, irrespective of MS diagnosis. Presence of brain lesions at onset and 6 months post-incident demyelinating event did not associate with cognitive outcome. Conclusions: Children with ADS experience a favorable short-term neurocognitive outcome, even those confirmed to have MS. Longitudinal evaluations of children with monophasic ADS and MS are required to determine the possibility of late-emerging sequelae and their time course. (JINS, 2016, 22, 1050–1060)
Altered hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis function and reduced hippocampal volume (HV) are established correlates of stress vulnerability. We have previously shown an attenuated cortisol awakening response (CAR) and associations with HV specifically in male first-episode psychosis patients. Findings in individuals at ultra-high risk (UHR) for psychosis regarding these neurobiological markers are inconsistent, and assessment of their interplay, accounting for sex differences, could explain incongruent results.
Study participants were 42 antipsychotic-naive UHR subjects (24 men) and 46 healthy community controls (23 men). Saliva samples for the assessment of CAR were collected at 0, 30 and 60 min after awakening. HV was determined from high-resolution structural magnetic resonance imaging scans using a semi-automatic segmentation protocol.
Cortisol measures and HV were not significantly different between UHR subjects and controls in total, but repeated-measures multivariate regression analyses revealed reduced cortisol levels 60 min after awakening and smaller left HV in male UHR individuals. In UHR participants only, smaller left and right HV was significantly correlated with a smaller total CAR (ρ = 0.42, p = 0.036 and ρ = 0.44, p = 0.029, respectively), corresponding to 18% and 19% of shared variance (medium effect size).
Our findings suggest that HV reduction in individuals at UHR for psychosis is specific to men and linked to reduced post-awakening cortisol concentrations. Abnormalities in the neuroendocrine circuitry modulating stress vulnerability specifically in male UHR subjects might explain increased psychosis risk and disadvantageous illness outcomes in men compared to women.
Indigenous Australians continue to experience disparities in chronic diseases, many of which have nutrition-related trajectories. Optimal nutrition throughout the lifespan is protective for a number of adverse health outcomes, however little is known about current dietary intakes and related anthropometric outcomes of Indigenous women and their infants. Research is required to identify nutrition issues to target for health promotion activities. The Gomeroi gaaynggal programme is an ongoing, prospective cohort of pregnant Indigenous Australian women and their children. A cross-sectional examination of postnatal dietary intakes and anthropometric outcomes of mothers and children are reported. To date, 73 mother–child dyads have participated postpartum. Breastfeeding initiation was 85.9% and median (interquartile range) duration of any breastfeeding was 1.4 (0.5–4.0) months. Infants were introduced to solid foods at 5.0 months (4.0–6.0) and cow’s milk at 12.0 (10.0–13.0) months. At 12 months postpartum, 66.7% of women were overweight or obese, 63.7% at 2 years. Compared with recommendations, reported median maternal nutrient intakes from 24-h recall were low in fibre, folate, iodine, calcium, potassium and vitamin D and high in proportions of energy from total and saturated fat. Limitations of this study include a small sample size and incomplete data for the cohort at each time point. Preliminary data from this ongoing cohort of Indigenous Australian women and children suggest that women may need support to optimize nutrient intakes and to attain a healthy body weight for themselves and their children.
The evidence underpinning the developmental origins of health and disease (DOHaD) is overwhelming. As the emphasis shifts more towards interventions and the translational strategies for disease prevention, it is important to capitalize on collaboration and knowledge sharing to maximize opportunities for discovery and replication. DOHaD meetings are facilitating this interaction. However, strategies to perpetuate focussed discussions and collaborations around and between conferences are more likely to facilitate the development of DOHaD research. For this reason, the DOHaD Society of Australia and New Zealand (DOHaD ANZ) has initiated themed Working Groups, which convened at the 2014–2015 conferences. This report introduces the DOHaD ANZ Working Groups and summarizes their plans and activities. One of the first Working Groups to form was the ActEarly birth cohort group, which is moving towards more translational goals. Reflecting growing emphasis on the impact of early life biodiversity – even before birth – we also have a Working Group titled Infection, inflammation and the microbiome. We have several Working Groups exploring other major non-cancerous disease outcomes over the lifespan, including Brain, behaviour and development and Obesity, cardiovascular and metabolic health. The Epigenetics and Animal Models Working Groups cut across all these areas and seeks to ensure interaction between researchers. Finally, we have a group focussed on ‘Translation, policy and communication’ which focusses on how we can best take the evidence we produce into the community to effect change. By coordinating and perpetuating DOHaD discussions in this way we aim to enhance DOHaD research in our region.
Indigenous Australians have high rates of chronic diseases, the causes of which are complex and include social and environmental determinants. Early experiences in utero may also predispose to later-life disease development. The Gomeroi gaaynggal study was established to explore intrauterine origins of renal disease, diabetes and growth in order to inform the development of health programmes for Indigenous Australian women and children. Pregnant women are recruited from antenatal clinics in Tamworth, Newcastle and Walgett, New South Wales, Australia, by Indigenous research assistants. Measures are collected at three time points in pregnancy and from women and their children at up to eight time points in the child’s first 5 years. Measures of fetal renal development and function include ultrasound and biochemical biomarkers. Dietary intake, infant feeding and anthropometric measurements are collected. Standardized procedures and validated tools are used where available. Since 2010 the study has recruited over 230 women, and retained 66 postpartum. Recruitment is ongoing, and Gomeroi gaaynggal is currently the largest Indigenous pregnancy-through-early-childhood cohort internationally. Baseline median gestational age was 39.1 weeks (31.5–43.2, n=110), median birth weight was 3180 g (910–5430 g, n=110). Over one third (39.3%) of infants were admitted to special care or neonatal nursery. Nearly half of mothers (47.5%) reported tobacco smoking during pregnancy. Results of the study will contribute to knowledge about origins of chronic disease in Indigenous Australians and nutrition and growth of women and their offspring during pregnancy and postpartum. Study strengths include employment and capacity-building of Indigenous staff and the complementary ArtsHealth programme.
Studies using acute tryptophan depletion (ATD) to examine the effects of a rapid reduction in serotonin function have shown a reduction in global cognitive status during ATD in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Parkinson's disease (PD). Based on the severe cholinergic loss evident in dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) and Parkinson's disease and dementia (PDD), we predicted that a reduction of global cognitive status during ATD would be greater in these conditions than in AD.
Patients having DLB or PDD underwent ATD in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized, counterbalanced, crossover design.
While the study intended to test 20 patients, the protocol was poorly tolerated and terminated after six patients attempted, but only four patients – three with DLB and one with PDD – completed the protocol. The Modified Mini-Mental State Examination (3MSE) score was reduced in all three DLB patients and unchanged in the PDD and dementia patient during ATD compared with placebo.
This reduction in global cognitive function and the poor tolerability may fit with the hypothesis that people with dementia with Lewy bodies have sensitivity to the effects of reduced serotonin function.
The increasing use of unconventional feedstuffs in chicken’s diets results in the substitution of starch by lipids as the main dietary energy source. To evaluate the responses of genetically fat or lean chickens to these diets, males of two experimental lines divergently selected for abdominal fat content were fed isocaloric, isonitrogenous diets with either high lipid (80 g/kg), high fiber (64 g/kg) contents (HL), or low lipid (20 g/kg), low fiber (21 g/kg) contents (LL) from 22 to 63 days of age. The diet had no effect on growth performance and did not affect body composition evaluated at 63 days of age. Glycolytic and oxidative energy metabolisms in the liver and glycogen storage in liver and Sartorius muscle at 63 days of age were greater in chicken fed LL diet compared with chicken fed HL diet. In Pectoralis major (PM) muscle, energy metabolisms and glycogen content were not different between diets. There were no dietary-associated differences in lipid contents of the liver, muscles and abdominal fat. However, the percentages of saturated (SFA) and monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) in tissue lipids were generally higher, whereas percentages of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) were lower for diet LL than for diet HL. The fat line had a greater feed intake and average daily gain, but gain to feed ratio was lower in that line compared with the lean line. Fat chickens were heavier than lean chickens at 63 days of age. Their carcass fatness was higher and their muscle yield was lower than those of lean chickens. The oxidative enzyme activities in the liver were lower in the fat line than in the lean line, but line did not affect energy metabolism in muscles. The hepatic glycogen content was not different between lines, whereas glycogen content and glycolytic potential were higher in the PM muscle of fat chickens compared with lean chickens. Lipid contents in the liver, muscles and abdominal fat did not differ between lines, but fat chickens stored less MUFA and more PUFA in abdominal fat and muscles than lean chickens. Except for the fatty acid composition of liver and abdominal fat, no interaction between line and diet was observed. In conclusion, the amount of lipids stored in muscles and fatty tissues by lean or fat chickens did not depend on the dietary energy source.
Many astrophysical disks, such as protoplanetary disks, are in a regime where non-ideal, plasma-specific magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) effects can significantly influence the behaviour of the magnetorotational instability (MRI). The possibility of studying these effects in the plasma Couette experiment (PCX) is discussed. An incompressible, dissipative global stability analysis is developed to include plasma-specific two-fluid effects and neutral collisions, which are inherently absent in analyses of Taylor–Couette flows (TCFs) in liquid metal experiments. It is shown that with boundary driven flows, a ion-neutral collision drag body force significantly affects the azimuthal velocity profile, thus limiting the flows to regime where the MRI is not present. Electrically driven flow (EDF) is proposed as an alternative body force flow drive in which the MRI can destabilize at more easily achievable plasma parameters. Scenarios for reaching MRI relevant parameter space and necessary hardware upgrades are described.
This study assessed seroprevalence and risk factors for Leptospira (serovars Hardjo, Pomona, Ballum, Copenhageni, Tarassovi) exposure in New Zealand veterinarians. Veterinarians (n = 277) at one of two conferences were voluntarily enrolled and blood samples taken. Microscopic agglutination test (MAT) titres ⩾48 were considered seropositive. Fourteen veterinarians (5·1%, 95% confidence interval 2·8−8·3) were seropositive to Leptospira. Home slaughter of cattle or pigs were significant risk factors for Leptospira exposure. There were no clear relationships between the animal species handled at work and serostatus. However, veterinarians spending a ‘mid to high’ proportion of their time (>50% to ⩽75%) with pets had higher odds of being seropositive than those not working with pets. A borderline positive association (P = 0·09) was observed between seropositivity and clinical influenza-like illness (⩾3 days off work) in the 18 months before the study. Assuming causality, this suggests that 8·3% of these cases may be attributed to Leptospira exposure.
Millions of people throughout the tropics consume wild meat. Overhunting reduces food security for people and large predators, yet little is known of the impact of hunting in systems where people and predators target the same prey species. We collate published data on predator diet in Belize with interview data about the consumption of wild and domestic meat by Belizeans, to compare the wild-meat diets of humans, jaguars Panthera onca and pumas Puma concolor and assess the sustainability of the combined offtake by humans and jaguars. Six wild mammal species (nine-banded armadillo Dasypus novemcinctus, paca Cuniculus paca, collared peccary Pecari tajacu, white-lipped peccary Tayassu pecari, red brocket deer Mazama americana and white-tailed deer Odocoileus virginianus) comprised 7% of the animal-protein meals eaten by Belizeans. Overall, 80% of these meals were eaten by 20% of interviewees, suggesting a necessary role of wild meat for the minority. The same species were found in 69 and 86% of jaguar and puma scats, respectively. We estimate a national annual harvest of c. 4,000 tonnes of these six wild mammals by humans and jaguars, of which 78% is hunted by people. Sustainability is difficult to evaluate because prey population data are lacking in Belize. However, simple models suggest that a sustainable harvest at this rate would require higher prey population densities than averages recorded in hunted Neotropical forests. We emphasize the need for robust regional estimates of game species densities, to improve assessments of sustainability and inform hunting regulations. We recommend that the requirements of predators as well as those of people be considered when assessing wild meat harvests.
The aims of this study were to determine the annual incidence of infection with Leptospira interrogans serovar Pomona and/or Leptospira borgpetersenii serovar Hardjo and its association with influenza-like illness (ILI) in meat workers in New Zealand. Sera were collected twice, 50–61 weeks apart, from 592 workers at eight abattoirs slaughtering sheep (n = 4), cattle (n = 2) and deer (n = 2), and tested by the microscopic agglutination test for Hardjo and Pomona. Forty-nine (8·3%) participants either seroconverted or had at least a twofold increased serological titre against either serovar. The worker infection risk was higher in sheep abattoirs (11·9%) than in abattoirs processing deer (0%) or cattle (1·2%) (P < 0·01). The annualized risk of mild (ILI) or severe clinical disease attributable to the two Leptospira serovars was 2·7%. This study has demonstrated that meat workers are at substantial risk of infection and clinical disease, suggesting further investigation of infection sources and preventive measures are warranted.