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A greater understanding of the rumen microbiota and its function may help find new strategies to improve feed efficiency in cattle. This study aimed to investigate whether the cattle breed affects specific ruminal taxonomic microbial groups and functions associated with feed conversion ratio (FCR), using two genetically related Angus breeds as a model. Total RNA was extracted from 24 rumen content samples collected from purebred Black and Red Angus bulls fed the same forage diet and then subjected to metatranscriptomic analysis. Multivariate discriminant analysis (sparse partial least square discriminant analysis (sPLS-DA)) and analysis of composition of microbiomes were conducted to identify microbial signatures characterizing Black and Red Angus cattle. Our analyses revealed relationships among bacterial signatures, host breeds and FCR. Although Black and Red Angus are genetically similar, sPLS-DA detected 25 bacterial species and 10 functions that differentiated the rumen microbial signatures between those two breeds. In Black Angus, we identified bacterial taxa Chitinophaga pinensis, Clostridium stercorarium and microbial functions with large and small subunits ribosomal proteins L16 and S7 exhibiting a higher abundance in the rumen microbiome. In Red Angus, nonetheless, we identified the poorly characterized bacterial taxon Oscillibacter valericigenes with a higher abundance and pathways related to carbohydrate metabolism. Analysis of composition of microbiomes revealed that C. pinensis and C. stercorarium exhibited a higher abundance in Black Angus compared to Red Angus associated with FCR, suggesting that these bacterial species may play a key role in the feed conversion efficiency of forage-fed bulls. This study highlights how the discovery of signatures of bacterial taxa and their functions can be used to harness the full potential of the rumen microbiome in Angus cattle.
Bipolar disorder (BD) is associated with attentional and processing abnormalities. Such abnormalities are also seen in healthy subjects with sleep disruption. We hypothesised cognitive abnormalities in BD patients would be worse in those with objectively verified sleep abnormalities.
Forty-six BD patients and 42 controls had comprehensive sleep/circadian rhythm assessment over 21 days alongside mood questionnaires. Cognitive function was assessed with a range of tasks including Psychomotor Vigilance Test (PVT), Attention Network Task (ANT) and Digit Symbol Substitution Test (DSST). BD participants with normal and abnormal sleep were compared with age- and sex-matched controls.
BD patients had longer response times and made more lapses (responses >500 ms) than controls on the PVT (both p < 0.001). However, patients with normal sleep patterns did not differ from controls while those with sleep abnormalities did (p < 0.001). An identical pattern of effects were seen with the ANT response times, with the abnormality in bipolar abnormal sleepers related to the executive attentional network. Similarly, patients made fewer correct responses on the DSST compared with the controls (p < 0.001). Bipolar normal sleepers did not differ while those with abnormal sleep did (p < 0.001). All these differences were seen in bipolar abnormal sleepers who were euthymic (p < 0.01) and across the main abnormal sleep phenotypes.
We confirm impairment in attention and processing speed in BD. Rather than sleep abnormalities exacerbating such dysfunction, the impairments were confined to bipolar abnormal sleepers, consistent with sleep disturbance being the main driver of cognitive dysfunction.
Subjective reports of insomnia and hypersomnia are common in bipolar disorder (BD). It is unclear to what extent these relate to underlying circadian rhythm disturbance (CRD). In this study we aimed to objectively assess sleep and circadian rhythm in a cohort of patients with BD compared to matched controls.
Forty-six patients with BD and 42 controls had comprehensive sleep/circadian rhythm assessment with respiratory sleep studies, prolonged accelerometry over 3 weeks, sleep questionnaires and diaries, melatonin levels, alongside mood, psychosocial functioning and quality of life (QoL) questionnaires.
Twenty-three (50%) patients with BD had abnormal sleep, of whom 12 (52%) had CRD and 29% had obstructive sleep apnoea. Patients with abnormal sleep had lower 24-h melatonin secretion compared to controls and patients with normal sleep. Abnormal sleep/CRD in BD was associated with impaired functioning and worse QoL.
BD is associated with high rates of abnormal sleep and CRD. The association between these disorders, mood and functioning, and the direction of causality, warrants further investigation.
Hippocampal volume reductions in major depression have been frequently reported. However, evidence for functional abnormalities in the same region in depression has been less clear. We investigated hippocampal function in depression using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and neuropsychological tasks tapping spatial memory function, with complementing measures of hippocampal volume and resting blood flow to aid interpretation.
A total of 20 patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) and a matched group of 20 healthy individuals participated. Participants underwent multimodal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): fMRI during a spatial memory task, and structural MRI and resting blood flow measurements of the hippocampal region using arterial spin labelling. An offline battery of neuropsychological tests, including several measures of spatial memory, was also completed.
The fMRI analysis showed significant group differences in bilateral anterior regions of the hippocampus. While control participants showed task-dependent differences in blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) signal, depressed patients did not. No group differences were detected with regard to hippocampal volume or resting blood flow. Patients showed reduced performance in several offline neuropsychological measures. All group differences were independent of differences in hippocampal volume and hippocampal blood flow.
Functional abnormalities of the hippocampus can be observed in patients with MDD even when the volume and resting perfusion in the same region appear normal. This suggests that changes in hippocampal function can be observed independently of structural abnormalities of the hippocampus in depression.
A number of sophisticated modelling approaches are available to investigate potential associations between antimicrobial use (AMU) and resistance (AMR) in animal health settings. All have their advantages and disadvantages, making it unclear as to which model is most appropriate. We used advanced regression modelling to investigate AMU-AMR associations in faecal non-type-specific Escherichia coli (NTSEC) isolates recovered from 275 pens of feedlot cattle. Ten modelling strategies were employed to investigate AMU associations with resistance to chloramphenicol, ampicillin, sulfisoxazole, tetracycline and streptomycin. Goodness-of-fit statistics did not show a consistent advantage for any one model type. Three AMU-AMR associations were significant in all models. Recent parenteral tetracycline use increased the odds of finding tetracycline-resistant NTSEC [odds ratios (OR) 1·1–3·2]; recent parenteral sulfonamide use increased the odds of finding sulfisoxazole-resistant NTSEC (OR 1·4–2·5); and recent parenteral macrolide use decreased the odds of recovering ampicillin-resistant NTSEC (OR 0·03–0·2). Other results varied markedly depending on the modelling approach, emphasizing the importance of exploring and reporting multiple modelling methods based on a balanced consideration of important factors such as study design, mathematical appropriateness, research question and target audience.
Attentional impairment is a core cognitive feature of major depressive disorder (MDD) and bipolar disorder (BD). However, little is known of the characteristics of response time (RT) distributions from attentional tasks. This is crucial to furthering our understanding of the profile and extent of cognitive intra-individual variability (IIV) in mood disorders.
A computerized sustained attention task was administered to 138 healthy controls and 158 patients with a mood disorder: 86 euthymic BD, 33 depressed BD and 39 medication-free MDD patients. Measures of IIV, including individual standard deviation (iSD) and coefficient of variation (CoV), were derived for each participant. Ex-Gaussian (and Vincentile) analyses were used to characterize the RT distributions into three components: mu and sigma (mean and standard deviation of the Gaussian portion of the distribution) and tau (the ‘slow tail’ of the distribution).
Compared with healthy controls, iSD was increased significantly in all patient samples. Due to minimal changes in average RT, CoV was only increased significantly in BD depressed patients. Ex-Gaussian modelling indicated a significant increase in tau in euthymic BD [Cohen's d = 0.39, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.09–0.69, p = 0.011], and both sigma (d = 0.57, 95% CI 0.07–1.05, p = 0.025) and tau (d = 1.14, 95% CI 0.60–1.64, p < 0.0001) in depressed BD. The mu parameter did not differ from controls.
Increased cognitive variability may be a core feature of mood disorders. This is the first demonstration of differences in attentional RT distribution parameters between MDD and BD, and BD depression and euthymia. These data highlight the utility of applying measures of IIV to characterize neurocognitive variability and the great potential for future application.
The objectives of this study were to determine: (1) the effect of wheat dried distillers grain with solubles (DDGS) inclusion, and (2) dietary feed enzyme (FE; Econase XT) supplementation in a finishing diet containing wheat DDGS on fatty acid profile of the pars costalis diaphragmatis muscle of beef cattle. A total of 160 crossbred yearling steers with initial BW of 495±38 kg were blocked by BW and randomized into 16 pens (10 head/pen). The pens were randomly assigned to one of the four treatments: (1) control (CON; 10% barley silage and 90% barley grain-based concentrate, dry matter (DM) basis); (2) diet containing 30% wheat DDGS in place of barley grain without FE (WDG); (3) WDG diet supplemented with low FE (WDGL; 1 ml FE/kg DM); and (4) WDG diet supplemented with high FE (2 ml FE/kg DM). The pars costalis diaphragmatis muscle samples were collected from cattle at slaughter at the end of the finishing period (120 days) with a targeted live weight of 650 kg. No differences in organic matter intake, final BW and average daily gain were observed among treatments. However, steers fed WDG had greater (P<0.01) feed conversion ratio than those fed CON, and increasing FE application in wheat DDGS-based diets tended (P<0.10) to linearly decrease feed conversion ratio. In assessing the effects of including WDG diets without FE, concentration of total polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) in muscle tended to be greater (P<0.10) for steers fed WDG than steers fed CON. In addition, inclusion of wheat DDGS into the diet increased (P<0.05) concentration of CLA and vaccenic acid (VA) in muscle and also resulted in a higher (P<0.05) ratio of n-6/n-3 PUFA compared with that from steers fed CON diet. Increasing FE application in wheat DDGS-based diets did not modify the concentrations of individual or total fatty acids. These results suggest that inclusion of wheat DDGS in finishing diets may improve fatty acid profile of beef muscle which could benefit human health.
In vitro batch cultures were used to screen four fibrolytic enzyme mixtures at two dosages added to a 60 : 40 silage : concentrate diet containing the C4 tropical grass Andropogon gayanus grass ensiled at two maturities – vegetative stage (VS) and flowering stage (FS). Based on these studies, one enzyme mixture was selected to treat the same diets and evaluate its impact on fermentation using an artificial rumen (Rusitec). In vitro batch cultures were conducted as a completely randomized design with two runs, four replicates per run and 12 treatments in a factorial arrangement (four enzyme mixtures×three doses). Enzyme additives (E1, E2, E3 and E4) were commercial products and contained a range of endoglucanase, exoglucanase and xylanase activities. Enzymes were added to the complete diet 2 h before incubation at 0, 2 and 4 μl/g of dry matter (DM). Gas production (GP) was measured after 3, 6, 12, 24 and 48 h of incubation. Disappearance of DM (DMD), NDF (NDFD) and ADF (ADFD) were determined after 24 and 48 h. For all four enzyme mixtures, a dosage effect (P<0.05) was observed for NDFD and ADFD after 24 h and for DMD, NDFD and ADFD after 48 h of incubation of the VS diet. For the FS diet, a dosage effect was observed for GP and NDFD after 24 h and for GP, DMD, NDFD and ADFD after 48 h of incubation. There was no difference among enzyme mixtures nor was there an enzyme×dose interaction for the studied parameters. Because of the greatest numerical effect on NDF disappearance and the least cost price, enzyme mixture E2 at 4 µl/g of diet DM was selected for the Rusitec experiment. The enzyme did not impact (P>0.05) DM, N, NDF or ADF disappearance after 48 h of incubation nor daily ammonia-N, volatile fatty acids or CH4 production. However, enzyme application increased (P<0.05) microbial N production in feed particle-associated (loosely-associated) and silage feed particle-bound (firmly associated) fractions. With A. gayanus silage diets, degradation may not be limited by microbial colonization, but rather by the ability of fibrolytic enzymes to degrade plant cell walls within this recalcitrant forage.
Twenty ruminally cannulated beef heifers were fed a high corn grain diet in a randomized block design to determine the effect of three direct fed microbial (DFM) strains of Propionibacterium on ruminal fermentation, nutrient digestibility and methane (CH4) emissions. The heifers were blocked in five groups on the basis of BW and used in five 28-day periods. Dietary treatments included (1) Control and three strains of Propionibacterium (2) P169, (3) P5, and (4) P54. Strains were administered directly into the rumen at 5×109 CFU with 10 g of a maltodextrin carrier in a gel capsule; Control heifers received carrier only. All heifers were fed the basal diet (10 : 90 forage to concentrate, dry matter basis). Rumen contents were collected on days 15 and 18, ruminal pH was measured continuously between days 15 and 22, enteric CH4 emissions were measured between days 19 and 22 and diet digestibility was measured from days 25 to 28. Mean ruminal pH was 5.91 and was not affected by treatments. Similarly, duration of time that pH<5.8 and 5.6 was not affected by treatment. Likewise, total and major volatile fatty acid profiles were similar among all treatments. No effects were observed on dry matter intake and total tract digestibility of nutrients. Total enteric CH4 production (g/day) was not affected by Propionibacterium strains and averaged 139 g/day. Similarly, mean CH4 yield (g CH4/kg of dry matter intake) was similar for all the treatments. The relative abundance of total Propionibacteria in the rumen increased with administration of DFM and were greater 3 h post-dosing relative to Control, but returned to baseline levels before feeding. Populations of Propionibacterium P169 were higher at 3 and 9 h as compared with the levels at 0 h. In conclusion, moderate persistency of the inoculated strains within the ruminal microbiome and pre-existing high propionate production due to elevated levels of starch fermentation might have reduced the efficacy of Propionibacterium strains to increase molar proportion of propionate and subsequently reduce CH4 emissions.
Regulating environmental pollution in industrializing middle income countries (IMICs) is more challenging than in either high income countries (HICs) or low income countries (LICs). With their limited industrialization and relatively minor industrial pollution problems, LICs generally require less regulation and regulatory capacity. HICs, for their part, often have high levels of regulatory capacity supported by widespread environmental awareness. In many HICs, years of combined social and state pressures have helped internalize the costs of pollution prevention into market prices.
In IMICs, significant industrial pollution problems are often accompanied by low levels of regulatory capacity and environmental awareness. As a national economy industrializes, economic interests greatly overwhelm environmental interests, undermining various forms of legal, political, and social action against polluting firms. A combination of weak enforcement and pervasive noncompliance tend to create a vicious circle that works against pollution mitigation and control. The prevalence of noncompliance creates a situation in which norm violation is the rule and the costs of pollution are not internalized into market prices.
The study objective was to use Bayesian latent class analysis to evaluate the accuracy of susceptibility test results obtained from disk diffusion and broth microdilution using bacteria recovered from beef feedlot cattle. Isolates of Escherichia coli and Mannheimia haemolytica were tested for susceptibility to ampicillin, ceftiofur, streptomycin, sulfisoxazole, tetracycline, and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole. Results showed that neither testing method was always or even generally superior to the other. Specificity (ability to correctly classify non-resistant isolates) was extremely high for both testing methods, but sensitivity (ability to correctly classify resistant isolates) was lower, variable in the drugs evaluated, and variable between the two bacterial species. Predictive values estimated using Bayesian Markov chain Monte Carlo models showed that the ability to predict true susceptibility status was equivalent for test results obtained with the two testing methods for some drugs, but for others there were marked differences between results obtained from disk diffusion and broth microdilution tests.
Of the 13 US vancomycin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (VRSA) cases, 8 were identified in southeastern Michigan, primarily in patients with chronic lower-extremity wounds. VRSA infections develop when the vanA gene from vancomycin-resistant enterococcus (VRE) transfers to S. aureus. Incl8-like plasmids in VRE and pSK41-like plasmids in S. aureus appear to be important precursors to this transfer.
Identify the prevalence of VRSA precursor organisms.
Prospective cohort with embedded case-control study.
Southeastern Michigan adults with chronic lower-extremity wounds.
Adults presenting to 3 southeastern Michigan medical centers during the period February 15 through March 4, 2011, with chronic lower-extremity wounds had wound, nares, and perirectal swab specimens cultured for S. aureus and VRE, which were tested for pSK41-like and Incl8-like plasmids by polymerase chain reaction. We interviewed participants and reviewed clinical records. Risk factors for pSK41-positive S. aureus were assessed among all study participants (cohort analysis) and among only S. aureus-colonized participants (case-control analysis).
Of 179 participants with wound cultures, 26% were colonized with methicillin-susceptible S. aureus, 27% were colonized with methicillin-resistant S. aureus, and 4% were colonized with VRE, although only 17% consented to perirectal culture. Six participants (3%) had pSK41-positive S. aureus, and none had Incl8-positive VRE. Having chronic wounds for over 2 years was associated with pSK41-positive S. aureus colonization in both analyses.
Colonization with VRSA precursor organisms was rare. Having long-standing chronic wounds was a risk factor for pSK41-positive S. aureus colonization. Additional investigation into the prevalence of VRSA precursors among a larger cohort of patients is warranted.
Norovirus (NoV) is a leading cause of outbreaks of gastroenteritis worldwide, and a major burden for healthcare facilities. This study investigated the NoV genotypes responsible for outbreaks in Edinburgh healthcare facilities between June 2008 and July 2011, and studied their temporal distribution to enable a better understanding of the epidemiology of the outbreaks. A total of 287 samples positive for NoV genogroup II (GII) RNA by reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction (RT–PCR) during routine diagnostic testing were investigated. Nested RT–PCR (nRT–PCR) and sequencing was used to genotype the NoV strains. Overall, a total of 69 NoV strains belonging to six different genoclusters (GII.1, GII.2, GII.3, GII.4, GII.6, GII.13) were detected. The predominant genotype was GII.4 that included four variants, GII.4 2006a, GII.4 2006b, GII.4 2007 and GII.4 2010. Importantly, increases in NoV activity coincided with the emergence of new GII.4 strains, highlighting the need for an active surveillance system to allow the rapid identification of new strains.
To establish the features of Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection in the head and neck region, and to determine which investigations have the greatest diagnostic accuracy.
Region-based, retrospective cohort study.
The study included 148 patients with tuberculosis of the head and neck treated in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde region between 2000 and 2007.
The following diagnostic sensitivities were calculated: 53 per cent for fine needle aspiration, 95 per cent for core biopsy and 91 per cent for lymph node excision biopsy. There was a statistically significant difference between the sensitivity results for fine needle aspiration versus core biopsy (p = 0.0003) and fine needle aspiration versus excision biopsy (p < 0.0001). There was no statistically significant difference between the sensitivity results for core biopsy and excision biopsy.
Core biopsy has equivalent diagnostic accuracy to excision biopsy in the investigation of head and neck tuberculosis. We suggest that core biopsy should be used in preference to lymph node excision, as it can be performed under local anaesthetic outside the operating theatre. A proposed algorithm for diagnostic management is included.
Uncertainty about reporting rates of tags returned by fishermen has often prevented tagging data from being used in stock assessments. In this study we conduct a meta-analysis to estimate tag reporting rates of commercial tuna fleets by comparing their tag return data with those of the USA longline pelagic observer program. The longline fleets of Venezuela and the USA are estimated to report about 0.8% of tags caught, compared with less than 0.1% for Canadian, Spanish and Japanese longline fleets. For some fleets with sparse return data or for those that do not overlap often with the observer fleet, reporting rate estimates are sensitive to changes in the spatio-temporal resolution over which comparisons are made. Regardless of these sensitivities, the estimated reporting rates are low and there are likely to be large differences in reporting rate between different combinations of flag and gear.
Although high rates of clinical infection with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) have been reported in HIV-infected adults, data on MRSA colonization are limited. We enrolled HIV-infected adults receiving care at the Atlanta VA Medical Center. Swabs from each participant's nares and groin were cultured with broth enrichment for S. aureus. Of 600 HIV-infected adults, 79 (13%) were colonized with MRSA and 180 (30%) with methicillin-susceptible S. aureus. MRSA pulsed-field gel electrophoresis types USA300 (n=44, 54%) and USA500/Iberian (n=29, 35%) predominated. Inclusion of groin swabs increased MRSA detection by 24% and USA300 detection by 38%. In multivariate analysis, MRSA colonization compared to no MRSA colonization was associated with a history of MRSA clinical infection, rarely or never using condoms, and contact with prisons and jails. In summary, the prevalence of MRSA colonization was high in this study of HIV-infected adults and detection of USA300 was enhanced by groin culture.