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Cardiac disease has been the leading cause of overall maternal mortality in the UK since the 2002–2004 triennium. The maternal death rate from cardiac disease has increased from 1.65 per 100,000 maternities in the 1997–1999 triennium to 2.34 per 100,000 maternities in the 2013–2015 triennium. This is thought to be due to increasing maternal age, increasing levels of obesity and better recognition of cardiac pathology at autopsy.
Continued reliance on chemical methods for controlling annual bluegrass has resulted in many populations evolving resistance to PRE and POST herbicides, particularly in warm-season turfgrass species such as zoysiagrass. Soil seedbank management is critically important when managing herbicide-resistant weeds. Fraise mowing (also spelled fraze, frase, and fraize) is a new turfgrass cultivation practice designed to remove aboveground biomass while allowing turf to regrow vegetatively. We hypothesized that this process would remove annual bluegrass seed and therefore be a mechanical means of controlling annual bluegrass in turfgrass. Zoysiagrass field plots were fraise-mowed in June 2015 only, June 2016 only, June 2015 and June 2016, or left untreated. The fraise mower was configured to remove the uppermost 25 mm of plot surface (i.e., 15-mm verdure and 10-mm soil). Annual bluegrass infestation was quantified in April following fraise mowing via grid count. Soil cores (10.8 cm diameter) were extracted from each plot after grid count data were collected to assess effects of fraise mowing on the soil seedbank. Moreover, replicated subsamples (7.6 L) of debris generated during fraise mowing were collected to better understand weed seed content removed during the fraise mowing process. Fraise mowing in June offered a slight reduction (24%) in annual bluegrass cover the following April. Whereas 28% of the seed in fraise-mowing debris consisted of annual bluegrass, there was no difference in the quantity of annual bluegrass seed remaining in the soil seedbank among fraise-mowed and non–fraise-mowed plots. Although fraise mowing may help to temporarily reduce existing annual bluegrass infestations via mechanical removal, the frequency and depth we studied did not effectively reduce the seedbank. Fraise mowing is a useful tool for providing mechanical suppression of annual bluegrass but it is not a replacement for properly timed herbicide applications.
Cardiac Fibromas are primary cardiac tumours more common in children than in adults. Surgical intervention is often not required except in the case of limited cardiac output or significant arrhythmia burden. We present a symptomatic 3-month-old infant who had successful surgical intervention for a giant right ventricle fibroma found on prenatal imaging.
Maternal inflammation in early pregnancy has been identified epidemiologically as a prenatal pathogenic factor for the offspring's later mental illness. Early newborn manifestations of the effects of maternal inflammation on human fetal brain development are largely unknown.
Maternal infection, depression, obesity, and other factors associated with inflammation were assessed at 16 weeks gestation, along with maternal C-reactive protein (CRP), cytokines, and serum choline. Cerebral inhibition was assessed by inhibitory P50 sensory gating at 1 month of age, and infant behavior was assessed by maternal ratings at 3 months of age.
Maternal CRP diminished the development of cerebral inhibition in newborn males but paradoxically increased inhibition in females. Similar sex-dependent effects were seen in mothers' assessment of their infant's self-regulatory behaviors at 3 months of age. Higher maternal choline levels partly mitigated the effect of CRP in male offspring.
The male fetal-placental unit appears to be more sensitive to maternal inflammation than females. Effects are particularly marked on cerebral inhibition. Deficits in cerebral inhibition 1 month after birth, similar to those observed in several mental illnesses, including schizophrenia, indicate fetal developmental pathways that may lead to later mental illness. Deficits in early infant behavior follow. Early intervention before birth, including prenatal vitamins, folate, and choline supplements, may help prevent fetal development of pathophysiological deficits that can have life-long consequences for mental health.
High-resolution Chirp sub-bottom data were obtained offshore from the Northern Channel Islands (NCI), California, to image submerged paleoshorelines and assess local uplift rates. Although modern bathymetry is often used for modeling paleoshorelines, Chirp data image paleoshorelines buried beneath sediment that obscures their seafloor expression. The NCI were a unified landmass during the last glacial maximum (LGM; ~20 ka), when eustatic sea level was ~120 m lower than present. We identified seven paleoshorelines, ranging from ~28 to 104 m in depth, across this now-submerged LGM platform. Paleoshoreline depths were compared to local sea-level curves to estimate ages, which suggest that some were reoccupied over multiple sea-level cycles. Additionally, previous studies determined conflicting uplift rates for the NCI, ranging from 0.16 to 1.5 m/ka. Our results suggest that a rate on the lower end of this range better fits the observed submerged paleoshorelines. Using the uplift rate of ~0.16 m/ka, we estimate that paleoshorelines formed during Marine Oxygen Isotope Stage 3, the LGM, and the Younger Dryas stade are preserved on the NCI platform. These results help clarify uplift rates for the NCI and illustrate the importance of sub-bottom data for mapping submerged paleoshorelines.
Significant inter-centre variability in the intensity of endomyocardial biopsy surveillance for rejection following paediatric cardiac transplantation has been reported. Our aim was to determine if low-intensity biopsy surveillance with two scheduled biopsies in the first year would produce outcomes similar to published registry outcomes.
A retrospective study of paediatric recipients transplanted between 2008 and 2014 using a low-intensity biopsy protocol consisting of two surveillance biopsies at 3 and 12–13 months in the first post-transplant year, then annually thereafter. Additional biopsies were performed based on echocardiographic and clinical surveillance. Excluded were recipients that were re-transplanted or multi-organ transplanted or were followed at another institution.
A total of 81 recipients in the first 13 months after transplant underwent an average of 2 (SD ± 1.3) biopsies, 24 ± 6.8 echocardiograms, and 17 ± 4.4 clinic visits per recipient. During the 13-month period, 19 recipients had 24 treated rejection episodes, with the first at an average of 2.8 months post-transplant. The 3-, 12-, 36-, and 60-month conditional on discharge graft survival were 100%, 98.8%, 98.8%, and 90.4%, respectively, comparable to reported figures in major paediatric registries. At a mean follow-up of 4.7 ± 2.1 years, four patients (4.9%) developed cardiac allograft vasculopathy, three (3.7%) developed a malignancy, and seven (8.6%) suffered graft loss.
Rejection surveillance with a low-intensity biopsy protocol demonstrated similar intermediate-term outcomes and safety measures as international registries up to 5 years post-transplant.
Introduction: Ureteral colic is a common painful disorder. Early surgical intervention is an attractive management option but existing evidence does not clarify which patients benefit. Based on lack of evidence, current national specialty guidelines provide conflicting recommendations regarding who is a candidate for early intervention. We compared treatment failure rates in patients receiving early intervention to those in patients offered spontaneous passage to identify subgroups that benefit from early intervention. Methods: We used administrative data and structured chart review to study consecutive patients attending one of nine hospitals in two provinces with an index emergency department (ED) visit and a confirmed 2.0-9.9 mm ureteral stone. We described patient, stone and treatment variables, and used multivariable regression to identify factors associated with treatment failure, defined as the need for rescue intervention or hospitalization within 60 days. Our secondary outcome was ED revisit rate. Results: Overall, 1168 (37.9%) of 3081 eligible patients underwent early intervention. Patients with small stones <5mm experienced more treatment failures (31.5% v. 9.9%) and more ED revisits (38.5% v. 19.7%) with early intervention than with spontaneous passage. Patients with large stones ≥7.0mm experienced fewer treatment failures (34.7% v. 58.6%) and similar ED revisit rates with early intervention. Patients with intermediate-sized 5.0-6.9mm stones had fewer treatment failures with intervention (37.4% v. 55.5%), but only if stones were in the proximal or middle ureter. Conclusion: This study clarifies stone characteristics that identify patients likely to benefit from early intervention. We recommend low-risk patients with uncomplicated stones <5mm generally undergo initial trial of spontaneous passage, while high-risk patients with proximal or middle stones >5mm, or any stone >7mm, be offered early intervention.
Introduction: The optimal initial management approach for ureteral colic is unclear. Guidelines recommend spontaneous passage for most patients, but early stone intervention may rapidly terminate acute episodes. We compared 60-day treatment failure rates in matched patients undergoing early intervention versus spontaneous passage. Methods: We used administrative data and structured chart review to study all emergency department (ED) patients at nine Canadian hospitals who had an index ureteral colic visit and a computed tomography (CT) confirmed 2.0-9.9 mm stone during 2014. Using Cox Proportional Hazards models, we assessed 60-day treatment failure, defined as hospitalization or rescue intervention, in patients undergoing early intervention compared to propensity-score matched controls undergoing trial of spontaneous passage. Results: From 3,081 eligible patients, mean age 51 years and 70% male, we matched 577 patients in each group (total 1154). Control and intervention cohorts were balanced on all parameters and propensity scores, which reflect the conditional probability a patient would undergo early intervention, were similarly distributed. In the time to event analysis, 21.8% in both groups experienced the composite primary outcome of treatment failure (difference = 0%; 95% CI, -4.8 to 4.8%). Early intervention patients required more ED revisits (36.1% v. 25.5%; difference 10.6%; 95% CI 5.3 to 15.9%) and more 60-day hospitalizations (20.1% v. 12.8%). The strongest predictors of adverse outcome were stone size, proximal or middle stone location, and ED length of stay. Conclusion: If applied broadly to patients with 2.0-9.9mm ureteral stones, an early interventional approach was associated with similar rates of treatment failure, but more hospitalizations and emergency revisits. Research clarifying subgroups most likely to benefit will facilitate better targeting of early intervention, potentially reducing patient morbidity and improving system utilization.
Consumption of diets containing medium-chain TAG (MCT) has been shown to confer neuroprotective effects. We aim to identify the global metabolic perturbations associated with consumption of a ketogenic diet (medium-chain TAG diet (MCTD)) in dogs with idiopathic epilepsy. We used ultra-performance liquid chromatography-MS (UPLC-MS) to generate metabolic and lipidomic profiles of fasted canine serum and made comparisons between the MCTD and standardised placebo diet phases. We identified metabolites that differed significantly between diet phases using metabolite fragmentation profiles generated by tandem MS (UPLC–MS/MS). Consumption of the MCTD resulted in significant differences in serum metabolic profiles when compared with the placebo diet, where sixteen altered lipid metabolites were identified. Consumption of the MCTD resulted in reduced abundances of palmitoylcarnitine, octadecenoylcarnitine, stearoylcarnitine and significant changes, both reduced and increased abundances, of phosphatidylcholine (PC) metabolites. There was a significant increase in abundance of the saturated C17 : 0 fatty acyl moieties during the MCTD phase. Lysophosphatidylcholine (17 : 0) (P=0·01) and PC (17:0/20:4) (P=0·03) were both significantly higher in abundance during the MCTD. The data presented in this study highlight global changes in lipid metabolism, and, of particular interest, in the C17 : 0 moieties, as a result of MCT consumption. Elucidating the global metabolic response of MCT consumption will not only improve the administration of current ketogenic diets for neurological disease models but also provides new avenues for research to develop better diet therapies with improved neuroprotective efficacies. Future studies should clarify the involvement and importance of C17 : 0 moieties in endogenous MCT metabolic pathways.
The supplementing of sow diets with lipids during pregnancy and lactation has been shown to reduce sow condition loss and improve piglet performance. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of supplemental palm oil (PO) on sow performance, plasma metabolites and hormones, milk profiles and pre-weaning piglet development. A commercial sow ration (C) or an experimental diet supplemented with 10% extra energy in the form of PO, were provided from day 90 of gestation until weaning (24 to 28 days postpartum) in two groups of eight multiparous sows. Gestation length of PO sows increased by 1 day (P<0.05). Maternal BW changes were similar throughout the trial, but loss of backfat during lactation was reduced in PO animals (C: −3.6±0.8 mm; PO: −0.1±0.8 mm; P<0.01). Milk fat was increased by PO supplementation (C day 3: 8.0±0.3% fat; PO day 3: 9.1±0.3% fat; C day 7: 7.8±0.5% fat; PO day 7: 9.9±0.5% fat; P<0.05) and hence milk energy yield of PO sows was also elevated (P<0.05). The proportion of saturated fatty acids was greater in colostrum from PO sows (C: 29.19±0.31 g/100 g of fat; PO: 30.77±0.36 g/100 g of fat; P<0.01). Blood samples taken on 105 days of gestation, within 24 h of farrowing, day 7 of lactation and at weaning (28±3 days post-farrowing) showed there were no differences in plasma concentrations of triacylglycerol, non-esterified fatty acids, insulin or IGF-1 throughout the trial. However, circulating plasma concentrations of both glucose and leptin were elevated during lactation in PO sows (P<0.05 and P<0.005, respectively) and thyroxine was greater at weaning in PO sows (P<0.05). Piglet weight and body composition were similar at birth, as were piglet growth rates throughout the pre-weaning period. A period of 7 days after birth, C piglets contained more body fat, as indicated by their lower fat-free mass per kg (C: 66.4±0.8 arbitrary units/kg; PO: 69.7±0.8 arbitrary unit/kg; P<0.01), but by day 14 of life this situation was reversed (C: 65.8±0.6 arbitrary units/kg; PO: 63.6±0.6 arbitrary units/kg; P<0.05). Following weaning, PO sows exhibited an increased ratio of male to female offspring at their subsequent farrowing (C: 1.0±0.3; PO: 2.2±0.2; P<0.05). We conclude that supplementation of sow diets with PO during late gestation and lactation appears to increase sow milk fat content and hence energy supply to piglets. Furthermore, elevated glucose concentrations in the sow during lactation may be suggestive of impaired glucose homoeostasis.
As part of further investigations into three linked haemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) cases in Wales and England, 21 rats from a breeding colony in Cherwell, and three rats from a household in Cheltenham were screened for hantavirus. Hantavirus RNA was detected in either the lungs and/or kidney of 17/21 (81%) of the Cherwell rats tested, higher than previously detected by blood testing alone (7/21, 33%), and in the kidneys of all three Cheltenham rats. The partial L gene sequences obtained from 10 of the Cherwell rats and the three Cheltenham rats were identical to each other and the previously reported UK Cherwell strain. Seoul hantavirus (SEOV) RNA was detected in the heart, kidney, lung, salivary gland and spleen (but not in the liver) of an individual rat from the Cherwell colony suspected of being the source of SEOV. Serum from 20/20 of the Cherwell rats and two associated HFRS cases had high levels of SEOV-specific antibodies (by virus neutralisation). The high prevalence of SEOV in both sites and the moderately severe disease in the pet rat owners suggest that SEOV in pet rats poses a greater public health risk than previously considered.
Seed-dispersal ecology in tropical montane forests (TMF) differs in some predictable ways from tropical lowland forests (TLF). Environmental, biogeographic and biotic factors together shape dispersal syndromes which in turn influence forest structure and community composition. Data on diaspore traits along five elevational gradients from forests in Thailand, the Philippines, Tanzania, Malawi and Nigeria showed that diaspore size decreases with increasing altitude, fleshy fruits remain the most common fruit type but the relative proportion of wind-dispersed diaspores increases with altitude. Probably corresponding to diaspore size decreasing with increasing elevation, we also provide evidence that avian body size and gape width decrease with increasing altitude. Among other notable changes in the frugivorous fauna across elevational gradients, we found quantitative evidence illustrating that the proportion of bird versus mammalian frugivores increases with altitude, while TMF primates decrease in diversity and density, and switch diets to include less fruit and more leaf proportionately. A paucity of studies on dispersal distance and seed shadows, the dispersal/predation balance and density-dependent mortality thwart much-needed conclusive comparisons of seed dispersal ecology between TMF and TLF, especially from understudied Asian forests. We examine the available evidence, reveal knowledge gaps and recommend research to enhance our understanding of seed dispersal ecology in tropical forests. This review demonstrates that seed dispersal is a more deterministic and important process in tropical montane forests than has been previously appreciated.
Repeat rectal chlamydia infection is common in men who have sex with men (MSM) following treatment with 1 g azithromycin. This study describes the association between organism load and repeat rectal chlamydia infection, genovar distribution, and efficacy of azithromycin in asymptomatic MSM. Stored rectal chlamydia-positive samples from MSM were analysed for organism load and genotyped to assist differentiation between reinfection and treatment failure. Included men had follow-up tests within 100 days of index infection. Lymphogranuloma venereum and proctitis diagnosed symptomatically were excluded. Factors associated with repeat infection, treatment failure and reinfection were investigated. In total, 227 MSM were included – 64 with repeat infections [28·2%, 95% confidence interval (CI) 22·4–34·5]. Repeat positivity was associated with increased pre-treatment organism load [odds ratio (OR) 1·7, 95% CI 1·4–2·2]. Of 64 repeat infections, 29 (12·8%, 95% CI 8·7–17·8) were treatment failures and 35 (15·4%, 95% CI 11·0–20·8) were reinfections, 11 (17·2%, 95% CI 8·9–28·7) of which were definite reinfections. Treatment failure and reinfection were both associated with increased load (OR 2·0, 95% CI 1·4–2·7 and 1·6, 95% CI 1·2–2·2, respectively). The most prevalent genovars were G, D and J. Treatment efficacy for 1 g azithromycin was 83·6% (95% CI 77·2–88·8). Repeat positivity was associated with high pre-treatment organism load. Randomized controlled trials are urgently needed to evaluate azithromycin's efficacy and whether extended doses can overcome rectal infections with high organism load.
Increasing feelings of satiety may reduce appetite and energy intake. The role of inulin consumption in impacting satiety is unclear. A randomised double-blind controlled crossover trial aimed to determine the effects of inulin+yogurt on satiety after 1 and 8-d consumption. The preload breakfast included 100 g vanilla yogurt with (yogurt-inulin (YI)) and without (yogurt-control (YC)) 6 g inulin. A total of nineteen healthy females (22·8 (sd 2·7) years) with non-restrained eating behaviour and taking hormonal contraceptives participated in the study. Day 1 and 8 visual analogue scale (VAS) ratings of Hunger, Fullness, Desire to Eat and Prospective Food Consumption (PFC) were collected at fasting and every 30 min for 180 min. Energy intake was calculated from a weighed ad libitum lunch and remainder of day food records. Total AUC was calculated for each VAS. Day 1 (VAS only) and 8 (VAS and energy intakes) data were compared between YI and YC using ANCOVA, and ANOVA was used to compare energy intakes on Day 1. There were no significant differences between Day 1 YI and YC AUC appetite ratings or energy intakes. However, 8-d consumption of YI v. YC was associated with lower Desire to Eat and PFC ratings but similar lunch and total day energy intakes. Therefore, the addition of 6 g inulin to a commercially available yogurt affected feelings of appetite, but not energy intake, after repeated consumption. These results suggest that inulin may be a suitable ingredient to increase dietary fibre consumption, with potential to impact appetite.
Several outbreaks of hepatitis A in men who have sex with men (MSM) were reported in the 1980s and 1990s in Australia and other countries. An effective hepatitis A virus (HAV) vaccine has been available in Australia since 1994 and is recommended for high-risk groups including MSM. No outbreaks of hepatitis A in Australian MSM have been reported since 1996. In this study, we aimed to estimate HAV transmissibility in MSM populations in order to inform targets for vaccine coverage in such populations. We used mathematical models of HAV transmission in a MSM population to estimate the basic reproduction number (R0) and the probability of an HAV epidemic occurring as a function of the immune proportion. We estimated a plausible range for R0 of 1·71–3·67 for HAV in MSM and that sustained epidemics cannot occur once the proportion immune to HAV is greater than ~70%. To our knowledge this is the first estimate of R0 and the critical population immunity threshold for HAV transmission in MSM. As HAV is no longer endemic in Australia or in most other developed countries, vaccination is the only means of maintaining population immunity >70%. Our findings provide impetus to promote HAV vaccination in high-risk groups such as MSM.
Uranium incorporation into magnetite and its behaviour during subsequent oxidation has been investigated at high pH to determine the uranium retention mechanism(s) on formation and oxidative perturbation of magnetite in systems relevant to radioactive waste disposal. Ferrihydrite was exposed to U(VI)aq containing cement leachates (pH 10.5–13.1) and crystallization of magnetite was induced via addition of Fe(II)aq. A combination of XRD, chemical extraction and XAS techniques provided direct evidence that U(VI) was reduced and incorporated into the magnetite structure, possibly as U(V), with a significant fraction recalcitrant to oxidative remobilization. Immobilization of U(VI) by reduction and incorporation into magnetite at high pH, and with significant stability upon reoxidation, has clear and important implications for limiting uranium migration in geological disposal of radioactive wastes.
Neptunium-237 will be present in radioactive wastes over extended time periods due to its long half-life (2.13 × 106 years). Understanding its behaviour under conditions relevant to radioactive waste disposal is therefore of particular importance. Here, microcosm experiments were established using sediments from a legacy lime workings with high-pH conditions as an analogue of cementitious intermediate-level radioactive waste disposal. To probe the influence of Fe biogeochemistry on Np(V) in these systems, additional Fe(III) (as ferrihydrite) was added to select experiments. Biogeochemical changes were tracked in experiments with low levels of Np(V) (20 Bq ml–1; 3.3 μM), whilst parallel higher concentration systems (2.5 KBq ml–1; 414 μM) allowed X-ray absorption spectroscopy. As expected, microbial reduction processes developed in microbially-active systems with an initial pH of 10; however, during microbial incubations the pH dropped from 10 to ∼7, reflecting the high levels of microbial metabolism occurring in these systems. In microbially-active systems without added Fe(III), 90% sorption of Np(V) occurred within one hour with essentially complete removal by one day. In the ferrihydrite-amended systems, complete sorption of Np(V) to ferrihydrite occurred within one hour. For higher-activity sediments, X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) at end points where Fe(II) ingrowth was observed confirmed that complete reductive precipitation of Np(V) to Np(IV) had occurred under similar conditions to low-level Np experiments. Finally, pre-reduced, Fe(III)-reducing sediments, with and without added Fe(III) and held at pH 10, were spiked with Np(V). These alkaline pre-reduced sediments showed significant removal of Np to sediments, and XAS confirmed partial reduction to Np(IV) with the no Fe system, and essentially complete reduction to Np(IV) in the Fe(III)-enriched systems. This suggested an indirect, Fe(II)-mediated pathway for Np(V) reduction under alkaline conditions. Microbial analyses using 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing suggested a role for alkali-tolerant, Gram-positive Firmicutes in coupled Fe(III) reduction and Np immobilization in these experiments.