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Neospora caninum is a commonly diagnosed cause of reproductive losses in farmed ruminants worldwide. This study examined 495 and 308 samples (brain, heart and placenta) which were collected from 455 and 119 aborted cattle and sheep fetuses, respectively. DNA was extracted and a nested Neospora ITS1 PCR was performed on all samples. The results showed that for bovine fetuses 79/449 brain [17.6% (14.2–21.4)], 7/25 heart [28.0% (12.1–49.4)] and 5/21 placenta [23.8% (8.2–47.2)] were PCR positive for the presence of Neospora DNA. Overall 82/455 [18.0% (14.6–21.7)] of the bovine fetuses tested positive for the presence of N. caninum DNA in at least one sample. None (0/308) of the ovine fetal samples tested positive for the presence of Neospora DNA in any of the tissues tested. The results show that N. caninum was associated with fetal losses in cattle (distributed across South-West Scotland), compared to sheep in the same geographical areas where no parasite DNA was found. Neospora is well distributed amongst cattle in South-West Scotland and is the potential cause of serious economic losses to the Scottish cattle farming community; however, it does not appear to be a problem amongst the Scottish sheep flocks.
Staying socially engaged is known to improve health and longevity in older people. As the population ages, maintaining levels of social engagement among older people becomes increasingly important. Nevertheless, advancing age brings with it many challenges to social engagement, especially in rural areas. A three-year Australian Research Council Linkage Project sought to improve understandings of age-related triggers to social disengagement in six Tasmanian communities that are representative of rural Australian experience, and thus of wider salience. A collaboration between academics and health and social professionals, the project investigated design solutions for service frameworks that may be useful before ageing individuals become isolated and dependent, and that may support those individuals to actively contribute to and benefit from social life. The purpose of this paper is to report on perspectives about diminishing levels of social engagement held by older rural participants and service providers, and to advance a number of key insights on ways in which to nurture social engagement and improve the experience of ageing.
Urinary incontinence has been defined by the International Continence Society as 'the involuntary loss of urine which is a social and hygienic problem and can be objectively demonstrated'. This is a useful definition, although the subjective component leaves it open to variable interpretation, with consequent difficulty in establishing its prevalence. This is further contributed to by prevalence differences between populations and inconsistency of questions used. Thus, for example, studies have used such diverse questions as 'do you have difficulty in controlling your water?', 'do you have involuntary loss of urine on two or more occasions per month?', 'have you had involuntary loss of urine at any time in the previous year?' or 'have you ever suffered from bladder problems?'.
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