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Prisons/jails are thought to amplify the transmission of Staphylococcus aureus (SA) particularly methicillin-resistant SA infection and colonisation. Two independently pooled cross-sectional samples of detainees being admitted or discharged from two New York State maximum-security prisons were used to explore this concept. Private interviews of participants were conducted, during which the anterior nares and oropharynx were sampled and assessed for SA colonisation. Log-binomial regression and correspondence analysis (CA) were used to evaluate the prevalence of colonisation at entry as compared with discharge. Approximately 51% of admitted (N = 404) and 41% of discharged (N = 439) female detainees were colonised with SA. Among males, 59% of those admitted (N = 427) and 49% of those discharged (N = 393) were colonised. Females had a statistically significant higher prevalence (1·26: P = 0·003) whereas males showed no significant difference (1·06; P = 0·003) in SA prevalence between entry and discharge. CA demonstrated that some strains, such as spa types t571 and t002, might have an affinity for certain mucosal sites. Contrary to our hypothesis, the prison setting did not amplify SA transmission, and CA proved to be a useful tool in describing the population structure of strains according to time and/or mucosal site.
Vitamin D is obtained by cattle from the diet and from skin production via UVB exposure from sunlight. The vitamin D status of the cow impacts the vitamin D content of the milk produced, much like human breast milk, with seasonal variation in the vitamin D content of milk well documented. Factors such as changes in husbandry practices therefore have the potential to impact the vitamin D content of milk. For example, a shift to year-round housing from traditional practices of cattle being out to graze during the summer months and housed during the winter only, minimises exposure to the sun and has been shown to negatively influence the vitamin D content of the milk produced. Other practices such as changing dietary sources of vitamin D may also influence the vitamin D content of milk, and evidence exists to suggest genetic factors such as breed can cause variation in the concentrations of vitamin D in the milk produced. The present review aims to provide an overview of the current understanding of how genetic and environmental factors influence the vitamin D content of the milk produced by dairy cattle. A number of environmental and genetic factors have previously been identified as having influence on the nutritional content of the milk produced. The present review highlights a need for further research to fully elucidate how farmers could manipulate the factors identified to their advantage with respect to increasing the vitamin D content of milk and standardising it across the year.
Diverse strain types of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) cause infections in community settings worldwide. To examine heterogeneity of spread within households and to identify common risk factors for household transmission across settings, primary data from studies conducted in New York (USA), Breda (The Netherlands), and Melbourne (Australia) were pooled. Following MRSA infection of the index patient, household members completed questionnaires and provided nasal swabs. Swabs positive for S. aureus were genotyped by spa sequencing. Poisson regression with robust error variance was used to estimate prevalence odds ratios for transmission of the clinical isolate to non-index household members. Great diversity of strain types existed across studies. Despite differences between studies, the index patient being colonized with the clinical isolate at the home visit (P < 0·01) and the percent of household members aged <18 years (P < 0·01) were independently associated with transmission. Targeted decolonization strategies could be used across geographical settings to limit household MRSA transmission.
To assess the prevalence and risk factors for colonization with Staphylococcus aureus in inmates entering two maximum-security prisons in New York State, USA, inmates (N = 830) were interviewed and anterior nares and oropharyngeal samples collected. Isolates were characterized using spa typing. Overall, 50·5% of women and 58·3% of men were colonized with S. aureus and 10·6% of women and 5·9% of men were colonized with MRSA at either or both body sites. Of MSSA isolates, the major subtypes were spa type 008 and 002. Overall, risk factors for S. aureus colonization varied by gender and were only found in women and included younger age, fair/poor self-reported general health, and longer length of prior incarceration. Prevalence of MRSA colonization was 8·2%, nearly 10 times greater than in the general population. Control of epidemic S. aureus in prisons should consider the constant introduction of strains by new inmates.
To explore the views of individuals recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in relation to self-management of dietary intake and physical activity, and to compare these with the views of health professionals (HPs).
Diabetes education has become a priority area in primary and secondary care, and many education programmes are now embedded within a patient's care package. There are few contemporaneous explorations of patients’ views about lifestyle self-management. Such research is vital in order to identify areas that require further support, refinement or enhancement in terms of patient education.
Focus groups were held with patients recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes (n = 16, 38% female, aged 45–73 years). In-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with HPs (n = 7). Discussions focussed on self-management specifically in relation to making dietary and physical activity changes. All discussions were tape recorded, transcribed and analysed by emergent themes analysis using NVivo to manage the coded data.
Barriers were divided into six main categories: difficulty changing well-established habits, negative perception of the ‘new’ or recommended regimen, barriers relating to social circumstances, lack of knowledge and understanding, lack of motivation and barriers relating to the practicalities of making lifestyle changes. HPs generally echoed the views of patients. In conclusion, even against a background of diabetes education, recently diagnosed patients with type 2 diabetes discussed a wide range of barriers to self-management of diet and physical activity. The findings could help to provide HPs with a deeper understanding of the needs of recently diagnosed patients and may help refine current diabetes education activities and inform the development of educational resources.
Immobilized polymerized electroactive vesicles (IPEVs) are submicron biocapsules capable of storing charge in confined environments and chemisorbing on surfaces. Methods to immobilize stable submicron sized electroactive vesicles and the means to measure electroactivity of IPEVs at nanolevels have been demonstrated. IPEVs can withstand steep potential gradients applied across their membrane, maintain their structural integrity against surfaces poised at high/low electrical potentials, retain electroactive material over several days, and reversibly mediate (within the membrane) electron flow between the electrode surface and vesicle interior. IPEVs have strong potential to be used for charge storage and electron coupling applications that operate on the submicron scale and smaller.
The effect of a maternal diet high in fat, similar to Western foods, and of diabetes on liver essential fatty acid composition of the mother and the newborn and sucking pups was investigated. Female Sprague-Dawley rats were fed on either a low-fat (42 g/kg) or a high-fat (329 g/kg) diet for 10 d before mating, throughout pregnancy and post-partum. On the first day of pregnancy, diabetes was induced by intravenous administration of streptozotocin in half the animals from the two diet groups. Half the pups were killed at birth, and the remaining pups and mothers at days 15 and 16 respectively. At birth, there was a significant reduction in the proportions of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in the liver phosphoglycerols and neutral lipids of the pups of both high-fat control and diabetic mothers compared with those of low-fat control and diabetic mothers. Diabetes decreased arachidonic (AA) and linoleic acid values in both the low- and high-fat groups at birth. The sucking pups of both the high-fat control and diabetic mothers exhibited a significant reduction in DHA and a concomitant compensatory increase in AA and a lowering in DHA–AA balance. In the mothers, the high-fat diet significantly increased the proportions of DHA in ethanolamine phosphoglycerols but had no observable effect in choline phosphoglycerols and neutral lipids. In the fetus the DHA level (g/100 g total fatty acids) was disproportionately reduced by the maternal high-fat diet. The adverse effect of the high-fat diet on the level of DHA (g/100 g total fatty acids) was greater in the neonate (and by implication the fetus) than in the sucking pups or mothers. It is concluded that a distortion of the biochemistry is induced in the offspring through a maternal high-fat diet, without genetic predisposition.
It is well known that the smooth adductors of lamellibranch molluscs can hold the shells closed against the tension exerted by the elastic hinge ligament for prolonged periods without visible signs of fatigue. Two opposing hypotheses have been put forward to explain this phenomenon. One postulates that tonic contraction is a tetanic phenomenon and that the economy of lamellibranch smooth muscles is due to their slow speed of relaxation (Ritchie, 1928); whilst the other proposes the existence of a ‘catch mechanism’ which enables tension to be maintained without expenditure of energy, so that no excitation is needed during tonic contraction (Jordan, 1938).
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