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Antibiotics have been widely used in piglet diets to promote growth performance and reduce diarrhea incidence. However, the resistance of pathogens to antibiotics and the risk of residues of antibiotics in animal products induced a growing interest in the use of alternatives to in-feed antibiotics. Chito-oligosaccharide (COS), a natural alkaline polymer of glucosamine is currently being tested as a substitute for in-feed antibiotics. In weaned piglets, COS has positive effects on promoting growth, which may be related to its action on intestinal morphology, immune ability and beneficial microbiota. However, previous studies shown variable results with effective doses ranging from 30 mg/kg to 5 g/kg. Therefore, the goal of this study was to test the hypothesis that the use of COS can be an alternative to in-feed antibiotics by improve the intestinal morphology of piglets, using the jejunal explant model. The intestinal explants were exposed for 4 h to following treatments: control – only culture media and culture media with COS in doses of 0.025 mg/ml, 0.05 mg/ml, 0.1 mg/ml and 0.15 mg/ml. After the incubation period the explants were processed for histological and morphometrical analysis. The histological changes were evaluated using an adapted histological score based on the intensity and severity of lesions. Mild histological changes were observed in jejunal explants exposed to different treatments; however, no significant difference in the histological score, villi height, crypt depth or villus : crypt ratio were observed between the COS-groups and the control. In addition, goblet cells density in intestinal explants exposed to COS remained statistically similar to control group. Our results indicate that COS exposure in levels ranging from 0.025 to 0.15 mg/ml induced no effect on intestinal morphology of pig’s explants. The research will provide guidance on the low dosage of COS supplementation on weaning pigs.
In the original publication of this article, the title was printed as “Four Preceramic Points Newly Discovered in Belize: A Comment on Stemp et al. (1996:279–299).” The article has been updated to the correct title. The authors apologize for this error.
Piroplasms are intraerythrocytic parasites that are often transmitted by ixodid ticks, but vertical transmission is an alternative route for some species. In the USA, raccoons (Procyon lotor) are hosts for two known species, a Babesia microti-like sp. and Babesia lotori (in Babesia sensu stricto group). To better understand the natural history of Babesia in raccoons, we tested young raccoons from Minnesota and Colorado for Babesia spp., examined them for ticks, and assessing for splenomegaly as a sign of clinical disease. Raccoons from both states were infected with B. microti-like sp. and Babesia sensu stricto spp. Infections of B. microti-like were common, even in 1-week-old raccoons, suggesting vertical transmission. Babesia sensu stricto infections were more common in older raccoons. Raccoons infected with Babesia sensu stricto had significantly higher spleen:body weight ratios compared with uninfected or B. microti-like sp.-infected raccoons. Ticks were only found on raccoons from Minnesota. The most common and abundant tick was Ixodes texanus but Ixodes scapularis and Dermacentor variabilis were also found on raccoons. We report piroplasm infections and infestations with several tick species in very young raccoons. Young raccoons infected with Babesia sensu stricto spp. had higher spleen:body weight ratios, suggesting a disease risk.
Stemp et al. (2016) published data on 81 preceramic (Archaic) points from Belize, Central America. In this comment, we report four more chipped chert bifaces recently recovered in Belize (Figure 1). Based on metrics (Table 1), technology, and style, three are classified as Lowe and one as a Sawmill point (Kelly 1993; Lohse et al. 2006; Stemp et al. 2016).
Ceropales bipunctata Say (Hymenoptera: Pompilidae) is a cleptoparasitic spider wasp that has declined significantly in parts of its range. New survey work has revealed that the species is common and widespread in dune habitat along the Gulf of Saint Lawrence in New Brunswick, Canada. Its host was determined as Anoplius cleora (Banks) (Hymenoptera: Pompilidae), with Arctosa littoralis (Hentz) (Araneae: Lycosidae) as prey, the first host record for this species. The relative abundance of C. bipunctata in coastal New Brunswick sharply contrasts with a decline in Ontario, Canada, where it was thought to be extirpated. Based on body size, habitat, and locality overlap we postulate that the primary host of C. bipunctata in Ontario and western Québec, Canada, is a different species, Anoplius aethiops (Cresson), with A. atrox (Dahlbom) as a likely secondary host in southwestern Ontario. Both species are closely related to A. cleora and have undergone a decline in eastern Canada. Based on these new findings, we reassess the conservation status of C. bipunctata in Canada.
Individuals with chronic respiratory conditions may be at increased risk for pertussis. We conducted a retrospective administrative claims analysis to examine the incidence and economic burden of diagnosed pertussis among adolescents and adults in the USA with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or asthma. Patients aged ⩾11 years with diagnosed pertussis and pre-existing COPD (n = 343) or asthma (n = 1041) were matched 1:1 to patients with diagnosed pertussis but without COPD or asthma. Differences in all-cause costs (‘excess’ costs) during the 45-day and 3-month and 6-month periods before and after the pertussis index date were calculated; adjusted excess costs were estimated via multivariate regressions. The incidence of diagnosed pertussis was higher among patients with COPD or asthma than among matched patients. Compared with matched patients, patients with pertussis and pre-existing COPD or asthma accrued greater all-cause adjusted costs across study periods ($3694 and $1193 more, respectively, in the 45-day period; $4173 and $1301 more in the 3-month period; and $6154 and $1639 more in the 6-month period; all P < 0·0001). Patients with pre-existing COPD or asthma experience an increased economic burden after diagnosed pertussis and may especially benefit from targeted tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis vaccination strategies.
Necrotising enterocolitis (NEC) is a common disease in premature infants characterised by intestinal ischaemia and necrosis. The only effective preventative strategy against NEC is the administration of breast milk, although the protective mechanisms remain unknown. We hypothesise that an abundant human milk oligosaccharide (HMO) in breast milk, 2′-fucosyllactose (2′FL), protects against NEC by enhancing intestinal mucosal blood flow, and we sought to determine the mechanisms underlying this protection. Administration of HMO-2′FL protected against NEC in neonatal wild-type mice, resulted in a decrease in pro-inflammatory markers and preserved the small intestinal mucosal architecture. These protective effects occurred via restoration of intestinal perfusion through up-regulation of the vasodilatory molecule endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), as administration of HMO-2′FL to eNOS-deficient mice or to mice that received eNOS inhibitors did not protect against NEC, and by 16S analysis HMO-2′FL affected the microbiota of the neonatal mouse gut, although these changes do not seem to be the primary mechanism of protection. Induction of eNOS by HMO-2′FL was also observed in cultured endothelial cells, providing a link between eNOS and HMO in the endothelium. These data demonstrate that HMO-2′FL protects against NEC in part through maintaining mesenteric perfusion via increased eNOS expression, and suggest that the 2′FL found in human milk may be mediating some of the protective benefits of breast milk in the clinical setting against NEC.
Barb goatgrass is an invasive annual grass from the Mediterranean region that negatively affects both native plant biodiversity and the forage quality of grasslands. Prescribed burning may be the best landscape-level tool available to manage invasive species like barb goatgrass while also enhancing biodiversity, but few studies have quantified the long-term effects of fire on goatgrass and the rest of the plant community. We assessed the effects of fire on an invading front of barb goatgrass on a private ranch in Sacramento County, CA. We established burned and unburned treatment plots within the goatgrass-infested area and used prescribed fire to burn the treatment plots in June 2005. We monitored plant-community composition before burning and for 7 consecutive yr following the burn. Additionally, we tested the viability of goatgrass seeds in both burned and unburned plots. One year after the burn, goatgrass cover in burned plots was 3% compared with 21% in unburned plots. This reduction in goatgrass cover was still strong 2 yr after the burn (burned, 6%; unburned, 27%) and weaker but still statistically significant for 4 of the next 5 yr. The burn also reduced germination of goatgrass seed by 99% as indicated by seed-viability tests conducted in the laboratory. The native plant community responded positively to the burn treatment in the first year following the burn with an increase in native diversity in burned plots vs. unburned plots, but the effect was not detectable in subsequent years. Nonnative annual forb species cover also increased in the first year following the burn. Our study shows that a single springtime burn can result in a short-term boost in native species diversity, reduced seed germination of barb goatgrass to near zero, and reduced cover of barb goatgrass for at least 7 yr after the burn.
Geoengineering has been broadly and helpfully defined as “the intentional manipulation of the earth's climate to counteract anthropogenic climate change or its warming effects” (Corner and Pidgeon 2010, 26). Although there exists a rapidly growing literature on the ethics of geoengineering, very little has been written about its gender dimensions. The authors consider four contexts in which geoengineering appears to have important gender dimensions: (1) the demographics of those pushing the current agenda, (2) the overall vision of control it involves, (3) the design of the particular technologies, and (4) whom geoengineering will most affect and benefit. After detailing these four gender dimensions, we consider three ways in which the geoengineering discourse could be enriched if it became more sensitive to issues of gender. These include increasing the focus on the concrete other, recognizing the socially transformative potential of geoengineering technologies, and engaging in value‐sensitive design. Although ultimately remaining agnostic on the desirability of geoengineering, the paper brings gender considerations into a discussion from which they have been conspicuously absent.
The Second Evidence Aid Conference took place in Brussels, Belgium, in October 2012, jointly organized by Evidence Aid and the Belgian Red Cross–Flanders. It provided an opportunity to build on the discussions from the 2011 First Evidence Aid Conference in Oxford, England, and prioritize the future work of Evidence Aid. Within the plenary presentations, discussions, and small work groups, the more than 80 international participants addressed issues regarding the need, use, and prioritization of evidence. Three parallel workshops focused on the prioritization of research, systematic reviews, and data to be collected during disasters, leading to a suggested prioritization framework and a commitment to identify key areas for evidence in disasters. Working with a wide variety of people and organizations from the disaster and humanitarian sectors, Evidence Aid will take this framework and develop a list of top priority questions in need of research and systematic reviews. Although Evidence Aid will not be able to address all of the research questions that will be identified in this process, it will collect them for sharing with relevant agencies. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2013;7:593-596)
Background: Children with decompensated heart failure are at high risk for arrhythmias, and ventricular assist device placement is becoming a more common treatment strategy. The impact of ventricular assist devices on arrhythmias and how arrhythmias affect the clinical course of this population are not well described. Methods and results: A single-centre retrospective analysis of children receiving a ventricular assist device between 1998 and 2011 was performed. In all, 45 patients received 56 ventricular assist devices. The median age at initial placement was 13 years (interquartile range 6–15). The median duration of support was 10 days (range 2–260). The aetiology of heart failure included cardiomyopathy, transplant rejection, myocarditis, and congenital heart disease. In all, 32 patients (71%) had an arrhythmia; 19 patients (42%) had an arrhythmia before ventricular assist device and eight patients (18%) developed new arrhythmias on ventricular assist device. Ventricular tachycardia was most common (25/32, 78%). There was no correlation between arrhythmia and risk of death or transplantation (p=0.14). Of the 15 patients who weaned from ventricular assist device, post-ventricular assist device arrhythmias occurred in nine (60%), with five (33%) having their first arrhythmia after weaning. Patients with ventricular dysfunction after ventricular assist device were more likely to have arrhythmias (p<0.02). Conclusions: Arrhythmias, especially ventricular, are common in children requiring ventricular assist device. They frequently persist for those able to wean from ventricular assist device.
The IntCal09 and Marine09 radiocarbon calibration curves have been revised utilizing newly available and updated data sets from 14C measurements on tree rings, plant macrofossils, speleothems, corals, and foraminifera. The calibration curves were derived from the data using the random walk model (RWM) used to generate IntCal09 and Marine09, which has been revised to account for additional uncertainties and error structures. The new curves were ratified at the 21st International Radiocarbon conference in July 2012 and are available as Supplemental Material at www.radiocarbon.org. The database can be accessed at http://intcal.qub.ac.uk/intcal13/.
This article outlines the Bayesian models and methods used to facilitate construction of the 2013 internationally agreed radiocarbon calibration curves known as IntCal13, Marine13, and SHCal13. The models build on those used for the 2004 and 2009 estimates of the curves and, as in 2009, arc implemented using Markov chain Monte Carlo sampling, specifically a Metropolis-within-Gibbs sampler. In addition to the data structures accounted for within the 2004 and 2009 models, the approach outlined here also allows for: the presence of additional uncertainty that the data providers have been unable to quantify; tree-ring data that derive their calendar age from wiggle-matching (in addition to ring counting); varve-counted data that exhibit zero increase in calendar age error between 2 or more consecutive layers; and any data source for which we have dependent calendar age uncertainties.
The Southern Hemisphere SHCal04 radiocarbon calibration curve has been updated with the addition of new data sets extending measurements to 2145 cal BP and including the ANSTO Younger Dryas Huon pine data set. Outside the range of measured data, the curve is based upon the ern Hemisphere data sets as presented in IntCal13, with an interhemispheric offset averaging 43 ± 23 yr modeled by an autoregressive process to represent the short-term correlations in the offset.
High-quality data from appropriate archives are needed for the continuing improvement of radiocarbon calibration curves. We discuss here the basic assumptions behind 14C dating that necessitate calibration and the relative strengths and weaknesses of archives from which calibration data are obtained. We also highlight the procedures, problems, and uncertainties involved in determining atmospheric and surface ocean 14C/12C in these archives, including a discussion of the various methods used to derive an independent absolute timescale and uncertainty. The types of data required for the current IntCal database and calibration curve model are tabulated with examples.
Longitudinal, patient-level data on resource use and costs after an ischemic stroke are lacking in Canada. The objectives of this analysis were to calculate costs for the first year post-stroke and determine the impact of disability on costs.
The Economic Burden of Ischemic Stroke (BURST) Study was a one-year prospective study with a cohort of ischemic stroke patients recruited at 12 Canadian stroke centres. Clinical history, disability, health preference and resource utilization information was collected at discharge, three months, six months and one year. Resources included direct medical costs (2009 CAN$) such as emergency services, hospitalizations, rehabilitation, physician services, diagnostics, medications, allied health professional services, homecare, medical/assistive devices, changes to residence and paid caregivers, as well as indirect costs. Results were stratified by disability measured at discharge using the modified Rankin Score (mRS): non-disabling stroke (mRS 0-2) and disabling stroke (mRS 3-5).
We enrolled 232 ischemic stroke patients (age 69.4 ± 15.4 years; 51.3% male) and 113 (48.7%) were disabled at hospital discharge. The average annual cost was $74,353; $107,883 for disabling strokes and $48,339 for non-disabling strokes.
An average annual cost for ischemic stroke was calculated in which a disabling stroke was associated with a two-fold increase in costs compared to NDS. Costs during the hospitalization to three months phase were the highest contributor to the annual cost. A “back of the envelope” calculation using 38,000 stroke admissions and the average annual cost yields $2.8 billion as the burden of ischemic stroke.