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The prevalence of many diseases in pigs displays seasonal distributions. Despite growing concerns about the impacts of climate change, we do not yet have a good understanding of the role that weather factors play in explaining such seasonal patterns. In this study, national and county-level aggregated abattoir inspection data were assessed for England and Wales during 2010–2015. Seasonally-adjusted relationships were characterised between weekly ambient maximum temperature and the prevalence of both respiratory conditions and tail biting detected at slaughter. The prevalence of respiratory conditions showed cyclical annual patterns with peaks in the summer months and troughs in the winter months each year. However, there were no obvious associations with either high or low temperatures. The prevalence of tail biting generally increased as temperatures decreased, but associations were not supported by statistical evidence: across all counties there was a relative risk of 1.028 (95% CI 0.776–1.363) for every 1 °C fall in temperature. Whilst the seasonal patterns observed in this study are similar to those reported in previous studies, the lack of statistical evidence for an explicit association with ambient temperature may possibly be explained by the lack of information on date of disease onset. There is also the possibility that other time-varying factors not investigated here may be driving some of the seasonal patterns.
Evidence from animal models indicates that exposure to an obesogenic or hyperglycemic intrauterine environment adversely impacts offspring kidney development and renal function. However, evidence from human studies has not been evaluated systematically. Therefore, the aim of this systematic review was to synthesize current research in humans that has examined the relationship between gestational obesity and/or diabetes and offspring kidney structure and function. Systematic electronic database searches were conducted of five relevant databases (CINAHL, Cochrane, EMBASE, MEDLINE and Scopus). Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analysis guidelines were followed, and articles screened by two independent reviewers generated nine eligible papers for inclusion. Six studies were assessed as being of ‘neutral’ quality, two of ‘negative’ and one ‘positive’ quality. Observational studies suggest that offspring exposed to a hyperglycemic intrauterine environment are more likely to display markers of renal dysfunction and are at higher risk of end-stage renal disease. There was limited and inconsistent evidence for a link between exposure to an obesogenic intrauterine environment and offspring renal outcomes. Offspring renal outcome measures across studies were diverse, with a large variation in offspring age at follow-up, limiting comparability across studies. The collective current body of evidence suggests that intrauterine exposure to maternal obesity and/or diabetes adversely impacts renal programming in offspring, with an increased risk of kidney disease in adulthood. Further high-quality, longitudinal, prospective cohort studies that measure indicators of offspring renal development and function, including fetal kidney volume and albuminuria, at standardized follow-up time points, are warranted.
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 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.
Verotoxin-producing Escherichia coli (VTEC) is a significant problem in the under-six population in the Midlands, Ireland. VTEC spreads by person-to-person transmission and children attending childcare facilities are excluded until they achieve two consecutive negative stool samples. This report analyses 10 years data on the number of days children under the age of six take to microbiologically clear VTEC. We identified from our data that the median clearance time for VTEC was 39 days, interquartile range (IQR) 27–56 days, maximum clearance time 283 days. At 70 days from onset of infection, 90% of children had cleared the infection. These findings were slightly more prolonged but consistent with international literature on VTEC clearance times for children. Asymptomatic children cleared VTEC infection significantly faster (median time 25 days IQR 13–43 days) than symptomatic children (median time 43 days IQR 31–58 days). Symptomatic children older than 1 year of age cleared VTEC infection significantly faster (median time 42 days IQR 31–57) than symptomatic children year under 1 year (median time 56 days IQR 35–74 days). This report identifies clear data which can be used to more accurately advise parents on time periods required to achieve microbiological clearance from VTEC.
There is a paucity of information on the risk from potable water in non-passenger merchant vessels (NPMVs) particularly with regard to Legionella and other bacteria. This retrospective study examined water samples from 550 NPMVs docked in eight UK ports. A total of 1027 samples from 412 NPMVs were examined for total aerobic colony counts (ACC), coliforms, Escherichia coli and enterococci; 41% of samples yielded ACC above the action level (>1 × 103 c.f.u./ml) and 4·5% contained actionable levels (>1 c.f.u./100 ml) of faecal indicator bacteria. Eight hundred and three samples from 360 NPMVs were cultured specifically for Legionella and 58% of vessels proved positive for these organisms with 27% of samples showing levels greater than the UK upper action limit of 1 × 103 c.f.u./l. Cabin showers (49%) and hospital shower (45%) were frequently positive. A subset of 106 samples was analysed by quantitative polymerase chain reaction for Legionella and identified a further 11 Legionella-positive NPMVs, returning a negative predictive value of 100%. There was no correlation between NPMV age or size and any microbial parameters (P > 0·05). Legionella pneumophila serogroup 1 was isolated from 46% of NPMVs and sequence-based typing of 17 isolates revealed four sequence types (STs) previously associated with human disease. These data raise significant concerns regarding the management of microbial and Legionella risks on board NPMVs and suggest that better guidance and compliance are required to improve control.
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.
As part of the Z-PAndAS Keck II DEIMOS survey of resolved stars in our neighboring galaxy, Andromeda (M31), we have built up a unique data set of measured velocities and chemistries for thousands of stars in the Andromeda stellar halo, particularly probing its rich and complex substructure. In this contribution, we will discuss the structural, dynamical and chemical properties of Andromeda's dwarf spheroidal galaxies, and how there is no observational evidence for a difference in the evolutionary histories of those found on and off M31's vast plane of satellites. We will also discuss a possible extension to the most significant merger event in M31 - the Giant Southern Stream - and how we can use this feature to refine our understanding of M31's mass profile, and its complex evolution.
In the United States alone, ∼14,000 children are hospitalised annually with acute heart failure. The science and art of caring for these patients continues to evolve. The International Pediatric Heart Failure Summit of Johns Hopkins All Children’s Heart Institute was held on February 4 and 5, 2015. The 2015 International Pediatric Heart Failure Summit of Johns Hopkins All Children’s Heart Institute was funded through the Andrews/Daicoff Cardiovascular Program Endowment, a philanthropic collaboration between All Children’s Hospital and the Morsani College of Medicine at the University of South Florida (USF). Sponsored by All Children’s Hospital Andrews/Daicoff Cardiovascular Program, the International Pediatric Heart Failure Summit assembled leaders in clinical and scientific disciplines related to paediatric heart failure and created a multi-disciplinary “think-tank”. The purpose of this manuscript is to summarise the lessons from the 2015 International Pediatric Heart Failure Summit of Johns Hopkins All Children’s Heart Institute, to describe the “state of the art” of the treatment of paediatric cardiac failure, and to discuss future directions for research in the domain of paediatric cardiac failure.
Intercropping cantaloupe and cotton can improve grower profits over traditional monoculture practices because crops share resources and production costs. However, developing effective programs to control weeds with herbicides that are safe to both crops can be challenging. Research was conducted to (1) identify herbicide systems to manage Palmer amaranth in cantaloupe–cotton intercropping production while minimizing crop injury, and (2) determine the profitability of cantaloupe–cotton intercropping. Ethalfluralin applied preplant did not injure cantaloupe or cotton, but Palmer amaranth was not controlled. The addition of fomesafen preplant improved Palmer amaranth control to at least 92% without injuring cotton, but cantaloupe necrosis and chlorosis of up to 20% was recorded. Halosulfuron-methyl was safely applied over cantaloupe, but its residual activity reduced cotton growth by 12% at 4 wk after planting; halosulfuron-methyl did not improve Palmer amaranth control beyond that noted with ethalfluralin plus fomesafen preplant. Intercropping systems that controlled Palmer amaranth at least 92% produced cantaloupe yields (25,760 to 25,890 fruit ha−1) similar to the weed-free monoculture system (24,120 fruit ha−1) but produced lint cotton yields that were 170 to 275 kg ha−1 less than the weed-free monoculture cotton system. Although cotton production was less in the intercropping system, the returns over variable costs with intercropping systems ($21,670 to 21,920 ha−1) exceeded those of cantaloupe monoculture ($18,070 ha−1) or cotton monoculture ($1,890 to $1,955 ha−1), as long as Palmer amaranth was controlled. Intercropping cantaloupe and cotton is an effective approach to share land resources and production inputs as well as to improve grower profitability and is being rapidly adopted by Georgia growers.
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.