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The present study aims to investigate the efficacy of intravenously injected mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) in treating neuropathic pain either before or after its induction by a chronic constriction injury (CCI) model. Rats were divided into four groups: control group, neuropathic group, and treated groups (pre and postinduction) with i.v. mononuclear cells (106 cell/mL). For these rats, experimental testing for both thermal and mechanical hyperalgesia was evaluated. The cerebral cortex of the rats was dissected, and immunohistochemical analysis using anti-proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA), CD117, nestin, and glial fibrillary acidic protein was performed. Our results showed that a single injection of MSCs (either preemptive/or post-CCI) produced equipotent effects on allodynia, mechanical hyperalgesia, and thermal response. Immunohistochemical analysis showed that the stem cells have reached the cerebral cortex. The injected group with MSCs before CCI showing few stem cells expressed PCNA, CD117, and nestin in the cerebral cortex. The group injected with MSCs after CCI, showing numerous recently proliferated CD117-, nestin-, PCNA-positive stem cells in the cerebral cortex. In conclusion, our findings demonstrate that the most probable effect of i.v. stem cells is the central anti-inflammatory effect, which opens concerns about how stem cells circulating in systemic administration to reach the site of injury.
During the world-wide coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak, there is an urgent need to rapidly increase the readiness of hospitals. Emergency departments (EDs) are at high risk of facing unusual situations and need to prepare extensively in order to minimize risks to health care providers (HCPs) and patients. In situ simulation is a well-known method used in training to detect system gaps that could threaten safety.
One objective is to identify gaps, test hospital systems, and inform necessary modifications to the standard processes required by patients with COVID-19 presenting at the hospital. The other objective is to improve ED staff confidence in managing such patients, and to increase their skills in basic and advanced airway management and proper personal protective equipment (PPE) techniques.
This is a quasi-experimental study in which 20 unannounced mock codes were carried out in ED resuscitation and isolation rooms. A checklist was designed, validated, and used to evaluate team performances in three areas: donning, basic and advanced airway skills, and doffing. A pre- and post-intervention survey was used to evaluate staff members’ perceived knowledge of ED procedures related to COVID-19 and their airway management skills.
A total of 20 mock codes were conducted in the ED. Overall, 16 issues that posed potential harm to staff or patients were identified and prioritized for immediate resolution. Approximately 57.4% of HCPs felt comfortable dealing with suspected/confirmed, unstable COVID-19 cases after mock codes, compared with 33.3% beforehand (P = .033). Of ED HCPs, 44.4% felt comfortable performing airway procedures for suspected/confirmed COVID-19 cases after mock codes compared with 29.6% beforehand. Performance of different skills was observed to be variable following the 20 mock codes. Skills with improved performance included: request of chest x-ray after intubation (88.0%), intubation done by the most experienced ED physician (84.5%), and correct sequence and procedure of PPE (79.0%).
Mock codes identified significant defects, most of which were easily fixed. They included critical equipment availability, transporting beds that were too large to fit through doors, and location of biohazard bins. Repeated mock codes improved ED staff confidence in dealing with patients, in addition to performance of certain skills. In situ simulation proves to be an effective method for increasing the readiness of the ED to address the COVID-19 pandemic and other infection outbreaks.
Pomegranate peels (PP) and mango leaves (ML) were analysed for nutrients and tannin contents. In an in vitro test, ten diets were prepared; six contained 2, 4 and 6% of PP or ML, three diets supplemented with mixed levels of PP and ML (1 + 1%, 2 + 2% and 3 + 3%) and control diet free of them. Gas was measured after 3, 6, 12, 24, 48 and 72 h of incubation. Methane and rumen parameters were estimated. In an in vivo experiment, 40 Ossimi lambs were divided into four groups; the first was control, other groups (T1, T2 and T3) fed diets containing 6% PP, 6% ML or mix levels (3% PP + 3%ML), respectively, for 2 months. Results showed that PP and ML were rich in tannins. In the in vitro test, a maximum reduction in gas, methane and NH3-N was in 6% PP, 6% ML and mixed levels (3% PP + 3% ML). In the in vivo experiment, there were no differences in growth and digestibility of DM and nutrients between treatment groups. Only a lowered DM intake and protein digestibility in lambs fed 6% PP. Gas and methane emission was decreased significantly in lambs fed 6% PP, compared to other groups. TVFAs and NH3-N were decreased for treatment groups. Also, all treatments did not show any pathological changes in liver function or on oxidative stress markers. In conclusion, PP and ML can be used in sheep diets at inclusion levels of 6% and mixture without detrimental effects on general health of Ossimi lambs.
Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is a re-emerging pathogen of global importance. We attempted to gain an insight into the organisation, distribution and mutational load of the virus strains reported from different parts of the world. We describe transmission dynamics and genetic characterisation of CHIKV across the globe during the last 65 years from 1952 to 2017. The evolutionary pattern of CHIKV was analysed using the E1 protein gene through phylogenetic, Bayesian and Network methods with a dataset of 265 sequences from various countries. The time to most recent common ancestor of the virus was estimated to be 491 years ago with an evolutionary rate of 2.78 × 10−4 substitutions/site/year. Genetic characterisation of CHIKV strains was carried out in terms of variable sites, selection pressure and epitope mapping. The neutral selection pressure on the E1 gene of the virus suggested a stochastic process of evolution. We identified six potential epitope peptides in the E1 protein showing substantial interaction with human MHC-I and MHC-II alleles. The present study augments global epidemiological and population dynamics of CHIKV warranting undertaking of appropriate control measures. The identification of epitopic peptides can be useful in the development of epitope-based vaccine strategies against this re-emerging viral pathogen.
This chapter addresses key questions about the basis of cancer susceptibility in African people, as well as the uniqueness of the population genetics and genotype–phenotype relationship that resulted during social transition. Social transition encompasses the change of lifestyle from a rural subsistence one into an urban market-oriented, technology dependent, and predominantly sedentary mode of life, as well as changes that occur in the population genetics as a result of changes from ethnically defined structured populations into panmictic populations of an urban nature, as currently seen in megacities. Although humans passed through several periods of transition in history, the current one is the most profound.
Adenoid hypertrophy is a common cause of upper airway obstruction, and adenoidectomy is one of the most frequently performed operations in children. Topical nasal steroids can act directly on nasopharyngeal lymphoid tissue to decrease its reactive inflammatory changes and potentially reduce its size.
To study the light microscopic changes in adenoidal lymphoid tissue after one month of topical steroid use.
Twenty-six children with adenoid hypertrophy grade 3 scheduled for adenoidectomy were randomly divided into two equal groups: one group received mometasone furoate aqueous nasal spray (Nasonex) 100 mcg/day for four weeks, and a control group received nasal normal saline 0.9 per cent for four weeks. The removed adenoids were examined histopathologically.
Adenoidal tissue from the mometasone group had less reactive germinal centres and less spongiosis compared to the control group. The latter showed proliferating, reactive, variable sized and shaped lymphoid follicles, with congested blood vessels in the interfollicular areas.
The use of intranasal mometasone furoate aqueous nasal spray (Nasonex) for one month reduced adenoidal tissue reactive cellular changes and its vascularity. This is, however, a pilot study; a longer treatment period is needed to assess the effect of treatment on adenoidal size.
To investigate a Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) outbreak event involving multiple healthcare facilities in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; to characterize transmission; and to explore infection control implications.
Cases presented in 4 healthcare facilities in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: a tertiary-care hospital, a specialty pulmonary hospital, an outpatient clinic, and an outpatient dialysis unit.
Contact tracing and testing were performed following reports of cases at 2 hospitals. Laboratory results were confirmed by real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) and/or genome sequencing. We assessed exposures and determined seropositivity among available healthcare personnel (HCP) cases and HCP contacts of cases.
In total, 48 cases were identified, involving patients, HCP, and family members across 2 hospitals, an outpatient clinic, and a dialysis clinic. At each hospital, transmission was linked to a unique index case. Moreover, 4 cases were associated with superspreading events (any interaction where a case patient transmitted to ≥5 subsequent case patients). All 4 of these patients were severely ill, were initially not recognized as MERS-CoV cases, and subsequently died. Genomic sequences clustered separately, suggesting 2 distinct outbreaks. Overall, 4 (24%) of 17 HCP cases and 3 (3%) of 114 HCP contacts of cases were seropositive.
We describe 2 distinct healthcare-associated outbreaks, each initiated by a unique index case and characterized by multiple superspreading events. Delays in recognition and in subsequent implementation of control measures contributed to secondary transmission. Prompt contact tracing, repeated testing, HCP furloughing, and implementation of recommended transmission-based precautions for suspected cases ultimately halted transmission.
This case report illustrates an unusual case of a dural arteriovenous fistula and an associated encephalocele presenting as otitis media with effusion.
A 53-year-old man presented with right-sided hearing loss and aural fullness of 2 years’ duration. Examination revealed ipsilateral post-auricular pulsatile tenderness. Computed tomography showed transcalvarial channels suggestive of dural arteriovenous fistula. Further magnetic resonance imaging demonstrated the presence of a temporal encephalocele herniating through the tegmen tympani defect, as well as the abnormal vascularity. Angiography confirmed a Cognard type I dural arteriovenous fistula, which is being managed conservatively. Surgical repair of the encephalocele was recommended but declined by the patient.
Dural arteriovenous fistula is an uncommon intracranial vascular malformation rarely seen by otolaryngologists, with pulsatile tinnitus being the usual presentation. To our knowledge, this is the first reported case of dural arteriovenous fistula presenting with conductive hearing loss and otalgia.
Lead halide perovskite solar cells (PSCs) with a structure of glass/FTO/TiO2/CH3NH3PbI3 with single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNT) as the transparent top electrodes, followed by polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) over-coating were fabricated. The SWNT-based PSCs do not require expensive metal electrodes and hole-transporting materials yet produce a decent power conversion efficiency of 11.8%, owing to the densifying effect of SWNTs by PMMA. The resulting devices demonstrate reduced hysteresis, improved stability, and increased power conversion efficiency.
Co-circulation of Chikungunya and Dengue viral infections (CHIKV and DENV) have been reported mainly due to transmission by common Aedes vector. The purpose of the study was to identify and characterise the circulating strains of CHIKV and DENV in DENV endemic region of New Delhi during 2016. CHIKV and DENV were identified in the blood samples (n = 130) collected from suspected patients by RT-PCR. CHIKV was identified in 26 of 65 samples (40%). Similarly, DENV was detected in 48 of 120 samples (40%). Co-infection with both the viruses was identified in five (9%) of the samples. Interestingly, concurrent infection with DENV, CHIKV and Plasmodium vivax was detected in two samples. CHIKV strains (n = 11) belonged to the ECSA genotype whereas DENV-3 sequences (n = eight) clustered in Genotype III by phylogenetic analysis. Selection pressure of E1 protein of CHIKV and CprM protein of DENV-3 revealed purifying selection with four and two positive sites, respectively. Four amino acids of the CHIKV were positively selected and had high entropy suggesting probable variations. Co-circulation of both viruses in DENV endemic regions warrants effective monitoring of these emerging pathogens via comprehensive surveillance for implementation of effective control measures.
Improving understanding of the pathogen-specific seasonality of enteric infections is critical to informing policy on the timing of preventive measures and to forecast trends in the burden of diarrhoeal disease. Data obtained from active surveillance of cohorts can capture the underlying infection status as transmission occurs in the community. The purpose of this study was to characterise rotavirus seasonality in eight different locations while adjusting for age, calendar time and within-subject clustering of episodes by applying an adapted Serfling model approach to data from a multi-site cohort study. In the Bangladesh and Peru sites, within-subject clustering was high, with more than half of infants who experienced one rotavirus infection going on to experience a second and more than 20% experiencing a third. In the five sites that are in countries that had not introduced the rotavirus vaccine, the model predicted a primary peak in prevalence during the dry season and, in three of these, a secondary peak during the rainy season. The patterns predicted by this approach are broadly congruent with several emerging hypotheses about rotavirus transmission and are consistent for both symptomatic and asymptomatic rotavirus episodes. These findings have practical implications for programme design, but caution should be exercised in deriving inferences about the underlying pathways driving these trends, particularly when extending the approach to other pathogens.
Poultry can be exposed to different kinds of immunosuppressive agents that impair health and welfare by destroying innate and acquired immunity leading to diminished genetic potential of poultry for efficient production. Immunosuppression is a condition characterised by humoral and cellular immune dysfunction that leads to increased susceptibility to secondary infections and vaccine failure. Immune dysfunction at the humoral level is largely due to change in soluble factors mediated by complement or chemokines for innate immunity or due to alterations in antibodies or cytokines for adaptive immunity. In contrast, immune dysfunctions at cellular levels include alterations in neutrophils, monocyte/macrophage, and natural killer cells for innate immunity or changes in B or T lymphocytes for adaptive immunity. In poultry, stress-induced immunosuppression is manifested by failure in vaccination, and increased morbidity and mortality of flocks. Immunosuppressive agents can have cytolytic effects on lymphocyte populations leading to atrophied and depleted lymphoid organs. Immunosuppression can be due to infectious agents or non-infectious agents or due to a combination of them. At present, several modern cellular and molecular approaches are being used to determine the status of the immune system during stress and disease. Comprehensive methodologies for the evaluation of immunosuppression by combined non-infectious and infectious aetiologies have not found general application. Currently, investigations are being developed in order to detect genetic expression of immunologic mediators and receptors by microarray technology. It is likely that this new technique will initiate the development of new strategies for the control and prevention of immunosuppression in poultry. A long term immunosuppression preventive approach involves genetic selection for resistance to immunosuppressive diseases. In general, intervention approaches for immunosuppressive diseases largely rely on minimising stress, reducing exposure to infectious agents through biosecurity, and increasing immune responses by vaccination against immunosuppressive agents.
Dengue fever is an arthropod-borne viral infection that has become endemic in several parts of India including Delhi. We studied occurrence of co-infection with dengue viruses during an outbreak in New Delhi, India in 2014. For the present study, blood samples collected from symptomatic patients were analysed by RT–PCR. Eighty percent of the samples were positive for dengue virus. The result showed that DENV-1 (77%) was the predominant serotype followed by DENV-2 (60%). Concurrent infection with more than one serotype was identified in 43% of the positive samples. Phylogenetic analysis clustered DENV-1 strains with the American African and DENV-2 strains in Cosmopolitan genotypes. Four common amino-acid mutations were identified in the envelope gene of DENV-1 sequences (F337I, A369T, V380I and L402F) and one common mutation (N390S) in the DENV-2 sequences. Further analysis revealed purifying selection in both the serotypes. A significant number of patients were co-infected with DENV-1 and DENV-2 serotypes. Although we do not have direct evidence to demonstrate co-evolution of these two stereotypes, nonetheless their simultaneous occurrence does indicate that they are favoured by evolutionary forces. An ongoing surveillance and careful analysis of future outbreaks will strengthen the concept of co-evolution or otherwise. Whether the concurrent dengue viral infection is correlated with disease severity in a given population is another aspect to be pursued. This study is envisaged to be useful for future reference in the context of overall epidemiology.
We conducted a longitudinal assessment in 466 underweight and 446 normal-weight children aged 6–24 months living in the urban slum of Dhaka, Bangladesh to determine the association between vitamin D and other micronutrient status with upper respiratory tract infection (URI) and acute lower respiratory infection (ALRI). Incidence rate ratios of URI and ALRI were estimated using multivariable generalized estimating equations. Our results indicate that underweight children with insufficient and deficient vitamin D status were associated with 20% and 23–25% reduced risk of URI, respectively, compared to children with sufficient status. Underweight children, those with serum retinol deficiency were at 1·8 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1·4–2·4] times higher risk of ALRI than those with retinol sufficiency. In normal-weight children there were no significant differences between different vitamin D status and the incidence of URI and ALRI. However, normal-weight children with zinc insufficiency and those that were serum retinol deficient had 1·2 (95% CI 1·0–1·5) times higher risk of URI and 1·9 (95% CI 1·4–2·6) times higher risk of ALRI, respectively. Thus, our results should encourage efforts to increase the intake of retinol-enriched food or supplementation in this population. However, the mechanisms through which vitamin D exerts beneficial effects on the incidence of childhood respiratory tract infection still needs further research.
Malaysia introduced graphic health warning labels (GHWLs) on all tobacco packages in 2009. We aimed to examine if implementing GHWLs led to stronger warning reactions (e.g., thinking about the health risks of smoking) and an increase in subsequent quitting activities; and to examine how reactions changed over time since the implementation of the GHWLs in Malaysia and Thailand where GHWL size increased from 50–55% in 2010. Data came from six waves (2005–2014) of the International Tobacco Control Southeast Asia Survey. Between 3,706 and 4,422 smokers were interviewed across these two countries at each survey wave. Measures included salience of warnings, cognitive responses (i.e., thinking about the health risks and being more likely to quit smoking), forgoing cigarettes, and avoiding warnings. The main outcome was subsequent quit attempts. Following the implementation of GHWLs in Malaysia, reactions increased, in some cases to levels similar to the larger Thai warnings, but declined over time. In Thailand, reactions increased following implementation, with no decline for several years, and no clear effect of the small increase in warning size. Reactions, mainly cognitive responses, were consistently predictive of quit attempts in Thailand, but this was only consistently so in Malaysia after the change to GHWLs. In conclusion, GHWLs are responded to more frequently, and generate more quit attempts, but warning wear-out is not consistent in these two countries, perhaps due to differences in other tobacco control efforts.
Substantial variation in phenotypic traits and ISSR fingerprinting was observed among twenty populations of Achillea fragrantissima (Forssk.) Sch. Bip. in Egypt. Such variation was reflected in the clustering of the examined populations into two major groups: one representing populations in the mountainous area of South Sinai and the other comprising populations growing at low elevations in the middle of Sinai and the desert west of the Suez Canal from Suez in the east to Cairo in the west. Five populations in the eastern part of Sinai near Nuwieba and Taba on the Gulf of Aqaba were loosely assigned to the first group. The populations growing at high elevations in South Sinai, under lower temperature and higher humidity, were characterized by a higher number of total and polymorphic ISSR markers compared with other populations. Unique ISSR markers were more often observed in the fingerprinting of seven populations including five populations growing in the high mountains of Saint Catherine in South Sinai and two populations growing at low elevations but at Wadi Hof south-east of Cairo. Interestingly, unique bands were found in the populations that possessed traits associated with larger plant size and seed yield as well as better vigour. These are important criteria for the selection of A. fragrantissima populations for conservation and sustainable commercial use.
The aim of this study was to assess the feasibility of radiographer led verification of cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) images for patients with solitary lung tumours treated with stereotactic body radiotherapy treatment (SBRT).
Material and methods
CBCT setup images of 20 patients from the first fraction of each patient were retrospectively registered by therapeutic radiographers. The displacements recorded were compared with the clinical oncologist’s original online match. The time taken by radiographers to verify the CBCT images was also recorded.
Overall agreement for all radiographers when compared with the clinical oncologist match was 91%. Interobserver variations between radiographers were X plane 0·87 (0·76–0·94); Y plane 0·74 (0·51–0·88); and Z plane 0·88 (0·78–0·95) intraclass correlation coefficient and 95% confidence interval. The average time taken for verification was 128 seconds.
Therapeutic radiographers are able to verify CBCT images for thorax SBRT with results comparable to the ‘gold standard’ clinical oncologists’ match, however additional training will be provided for online verification. The time taken was within acceptable limits.
To study (i) the current prevalence of iodine-deficiency disorders among schoolchildren in south-western Saudi Arabia after universal salt iodization and (ii) the iodine content of table salts and water.
Cross-sectional study on a stratified proportional allocation sample of children. Thyroid gland enlargement was assessed clinically and by ultrasound scanning. Urine, table salt and water samples were taken to measure iodine content.
The Aseer region, south-western Saudi Arabia.
Schoolchildren aged 8–10 years.
The study included 3046 schoolchildren. The total goitre rate amounted to 24·0 %. Prevalence of enlarged thyroid by ultrasound was 22·7 %. The median urinary iodine concentration of the study sample amounted to 17·0 µg/l. The iodine content of table salt ranged from 0 to 112 mg/kg; 22·5 % of the table salt samples were below the recommended iodine content (15 mg/kg) set by WHO. The total goitre rate increased significantly from 19·8 % among children using table salt with iodine content ≥15 mg/kg to reach 48·5 % among children using table salt with 0 mg iodine/kg. Analysis of water samples taken from schools showed that the majority of water samples (78·8 %) had an iodine content of 0 µg/l.
The study documented that 18 years after the national study, and after more than a decade of universal salt iodization in Saudi Arabia, the problem of iodine-deficiency disorders is still endemic in the Aseer region. Efforts should focus on fostering advocacy and communication and ensuring the availability of adequately iodized salt.
We sought to examine the factors associated with bacteraemia and their outcome in children with pneumonia and severe acute malnutrition (SAM). All SAM children of either sex, aged 0–59 months, admitted to the Dhaka Hospital of the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh with radiologically confirmed pneumonia from April 2011 to July 2012 were enrolled (n = 405). Comparison was made between pneumonic SAM children with (cases = 18), and without (controls = 387) bacteraemia. The death rate was significantly higher in cases than controls (28% vs. 8%, P < 0·01). In logistic regression analysis, after adjusting for potential confounders, the SAM children with pneumonia and bacteraemia more often had a history of lack of bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccination (odds ratio 7·39, 95% confidence interval 1·67–32·73, P < 0·01). The results indicate the importance of continuation of BCG vaccination which may provide benefit beyond its primary purpose.