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Two types of mentalisation-based treatment (MBT) have been developed and empirically evaluated for borderline personality disorder (BPD): day hospital MBT (MBT-DH) and intensive out-patient MBT (MBT-IOP). No trial has yet compared their efficacy.
To compare the efficacy of MBT-DH and MBT-IOP 18 months after start of treatment. MBT-DH was hypothesised to be superior to MBT-IOP because of its higher treatment intensity.
In a multicentre randomised controlled trial (Nederlands Trial Register: NTR2292) conducted at three sites in the Netherlands, patients with BPD were randomly assigned to MBT-DH (n = 70) or MBT-IOP (n = 44). The primary outcome was symptom severity (Brief Symptom Inventory). Secondary outcome measures included borderline symptomatology, personality functioning, interpersonal functioning, quality of life and self-harm. Patients were assessed every 6 months from baseline to 18 months after start of treatment. Data were analysed using multilevel modelling based on intention-to-treat principles.
Significant improvements were found on all outcome measures, with moderate to very large effect sizes for both groups. MBT-DH was not superior to MBT-IOP on the primary outcome measure, but MBT-DH showed a clear tendency towards superiority on secondary outcomes.
Although MBT-DH was not superior to MBT-IOP on the primary outcome measure despite its greater treatment intensity, MBT-DH showed a tendency to be more effective on secondary outcomes, particularly in terms of relational functioning. Patients receiving MBT-DH and MBT-IOP, thus, seem to follow different trajectories of change, which may have important implications for clinical decision-making. Longer-term follow-up and cost-effectiveness considerations may ultimately determine the optimal intensity of specialised treatments such as MBT for patients with BPD.
Declaration of interest
P.L. and D.L.B. have been involved in the training and dissemination of MBT.
Atherosclerotic changes can be measured as changes in common carotid intima media thickness (CIMT). It is hypothesised that repeated infection-associated inflammatory responses in childhood contribute to the atherosclerotic process. We set out to determine whether the frequency of infectious diseases in childhood is associated with CIMT in adolescence. The study is part of the Prevention and Incidence of Asthma and Mite Allergy (PIAMA) population-based birth cohort. At age 16 years, common CIMT was measured. We collected general practitioner (GP) diagnosed infections and prescribed antibiotics. Parent-reported infections were retrieved from annual questionnaires. Linear regression analysis assessed the association between number of infections during the first 4 years of life and common CIMT. Common CIMT measurement, GP and questionnaire data were available for 221 participants. No association was observed between the infection measures and CIMT. In a subgroup analysis, significant positive associations with CIMT were observed in participants with low parental education for 2–3 or ⩾7 GP diagnosed infections (+26.4 µm, 95% CI 0.4–52.4 and +26.8 µm, 95% CI 3.6–49.9, respectively) and ⩾3 antibiotic prescriptions (+35.5 µm, 95%CI 15.8–55.3). Overall, early childhood infections were not associated with common CIMT in adolescence. However, a higher number of childhood infections might contribute to the inflammatory process of atherosclerosis in subgroups with low education, this needs to be confirmed in future studies.
A cross-sectional study was performed among 2494 adults not living or working on a farm to assess prevalence of Clostridium difficile (CD) colonization and risk factors in a livestock dense area. CD prevalence was 1·2%. Twenty-one persons were colonized with a toxigenic strain and nine with a non-toxigenic strain. CD-positive persons did not live closer to livestock farms than individuals negative for CD. Antibiotic exposure in the preceding 3 months was a risk factor for CD colonization (odds ratio 3·70; 95% confidence interval 1·25–10·95).
To assess resource allocation and costs associated with US hospitals preparing for the possible spread of the 2014–2015 Ebola virus disease (EVD) epidemic in the United States.
A survey was sent to a stratified national probability sample (n=750) of US general medical/surgical hospitals selected from the American Hospital Association (AHA) list of hospitals. The survey was also sent to all children’s general hospitals listed by the AHA (n=60). The survey assessed EVD preparation supply costs and overtime staff hours. The average national wage was multiplied by labor hours to calculate overtime labor costs. Additional information collected included challenges, benefits, and perceived value of EVD preparedness activities.
The average amount spent by hospitals on combined supply and overtime labor costs was $80,461 (n=133; 95% confidence interval [CI], $56,502–$104,419). Multivariate analysis indicated that small hospitals (mean, $76,167) spent more on staff overtime costs per 100 beds than large hospitals (mean, $15,737; P<.0001). The overall cost for acute-care hospitals in the United States to prepare for possible EVD cases was estimated to be $361,108,968. The leading challenge was difficulty obtaining supplies from vendors due to shortages (83%; 95% CI, 78%–88%) and the greatest benefit was improved knowledge about personal protective equipment (89%; 95% CI, 85%–93%).
The financial impact of EVD preparedness activities was substantial. Overtime cost in smaller hospitals was >3 times that in larger hospitals. Planning for emerging infectious disease identification, triage, and management should be conducted at regional and national levels in the United States to facilitate efficient and appropriate allocation of resources in acute-care facilities.
Genetic–epidemiological studies that estimate the contributions of genetic factors to variation in tic symptoms are scarce. We estimated the extent to which genetic and environmental influences contribute to tics, employing various phenotypic definitions ranging between mild and severe symptomatology, in a large population-based adult twin-family sample.
In an extended twin-family design, we analysed lifetime tic data reported by adult mono- and dizygotic twins (n = 8323) and their family members (n = 7164; parents and siblings) from 7311 families in the Netherlands Twin Register. We measured tics by the abbreviated version of the Schedule for Tourette and Other Behavioral Syndromes. Heritability was estimated by genetic structural equation modeling for four tic disorder definitions: three dichotomous and one trichotomous phenotype, characterized by increasingly strictly defined criteria.
Prevalence rates of the different tic disorders in our sample varied between 0.3 and 4.5% depending on tic disorder definition. Tic frequencies decreased with increasing age. Heritability estimates varied between 0.25 and 0.37, depending on phenotypic definitions. None of the phenotypes showed evidence of assortative mating, effects of shared environment or non-additive genetic effects.
Heritabilities of mild and severe tic phenotypes were estimated to be moderate. Overlapping confidence intervals of the heritability estimates suggest overlapping genetic liabilities between the various tic phenotypes. The most lenient phenotype (defined only by tic characteristics, excluding criteria B, C and D of DSM-IV) rendered sufficiently reliable heritability estimates. These findings have implications in phenotypic definitions for future genetic studies.
Radio-wave scattering in the Vela supernova remnant acts as an imperfect lens to resolve the pulsar’s radio emission region. We use this lens to measure the pulsar’s emission region. We suggest that refraction of radiation within the pulsar’s magnetosphere is responsible for the observed size.
Current ultra-high-risk (UHR) criteria appear insufficient to predict imminent onset of first-episode psychosis, as a meta-analysis showed that about 20% of patients have a psychotic outcome after 2 years. Therefore, we aimed to develop a stage-dependent predictive model in UHR individuals who were seeking help for co-morbid disorders.
Baseline data on symptomatology, and environmental and psychological factors of 185 UHR patients (aged 14–35 years) participating in the Dutch Early Detection and Intervention Evaluation study were analysed with Cox proportional hazard analyses.
At 18 months, the overall transition rate was 17.3%. The final predictor model included five variables: observed blunted affect [hazard ratio (HR) 3.39, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.56–7.35, p < 0.001], subjective complaints of impaired motor function (HR 5.88, 95% CI 1.21–6.10, p = 0.02), beliefs about social marginalization (HR 2.76, 95% CI 1.14–6.72, p = 0.03), decline in social functioning (HR 1.10, 95% CI 1.01–1.17, p = 0.03), and distress associated with suspiciousness (HR 1.02, 95% CI 1.00–1.03, p = 0.01). The positive predictive value of the model was 80.0%. The resulting prognostic index stratified the general risk into three risk classes with significantly different survival curves. In the highest risk class, transition to psychosis emerged on average ⩾8 months earlier than in the lowest risk class.
Predicting a first-episode psychosis in help-seeking UHR patients was improved using a stage-dependent prognostic model including negative psychotic symptoms (observed flattened affect, subjective impaired motor functioning), impaired social functioning and distress associated with suspiciousness. Treatment intensity may be stratified and personalized using the risk stratification.
Minimal efficacy differences have been found between cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and psychodynamic therapies for depression, but little is known about patient characteristics that might moderate differential treatment effects. We aimed to generate hypotheses regarding such potential prescriptive factors.
We conducted post-hoc model-based recursive partitioning analyses alongside a randomized clinical trial comparing the efficacy of CBT and short-term psychodynamic supportive psychotherapy (SPSP). Severely depressed patients received additional antidepressant medication. We included 233 adults seeking treatment for a major depressive episode in psychiatric outpatient clinics, who completed post-treatment assessment. Post-treatment mean Hamilton Depression Rating Scale scores constituted the main outcome measure.
While treatment differences (CBT v. SPSP) were minimal in the total sample of patients (d = 0.04), model-based recursive partitioning indicated differential treatment efficacy in certain subgroups of patients. SPSP was found more efficacious among moderately depressed patients receiving psychotherapy only who showed low baseline co-morbid anxiety levels (d = −0.40) and among severely depressed patients receiving psychotherapy and antidepressant medication who reported a duration of the depressive episode of ⩾1 year (d = −0.31), while CBT was found more efficacious for such patients reporting a duration <1 year (d = 0.83).
Our findings are observational and need validation before they can be used to guide treatment selection, but suggest that knowledge of prescriptive factors can help improve the efficacy of psychotherapy for depression. Depressive episode duration and co-morbid anxiety level should be included as stratification variables in future randomized clinical trials comparing CBT and psychodynamic therapy.
We evaluated the association between urinary arsenic and the seroprevalence of total hepatitis A antibodies (total anti-HAV: IgG and IgM) in 11 092 participants aged ⩾6 years using information collected in the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2003–2012). Multivariate logistic regression models evaluated associations between total anti-HAV and total urinary arsenic defined as the sum of arsenite, arsenate, monomethylarsonate and dimethylarsinate (TUA1). Effect modification by self-reported HAV immunization status was evaluated. Total anti-HAV seroprevalence was 35·1% [95% confidence interval (CI) 33·3–36·9]. Seropositive status was associated with higher arsenic levels and this association was modified by immunization status (P = 0·03). For participants that received ⩾2 vaccine doses or did not know if they had received any doses, a positive dose-response association was observed between increasing TUA1 and odds of total anti-HAV [odds ratio (OR) 1·42, 95% CI 1·11–1·81; and OR 1·75, 95% CI 1·22–2·52], respectively. A positive but not statistically significant association was observed in those who received <2 doses (OR 1·46, 95% CI 0·83–2·59) or no dose (OR 1·12, 95% CI 0·98–1·30). Our analysis indicates that prevalent arsenic exposure was associated with positive total anti-HAV seroprevalence. Further studies are needed to determine if arsenic increases the risk for incident hepatitis A infection or HAV seroconversion.
Tic disorders are moderately heritable common psychiatric disorders that can be highly troubling, both in childhood and in adulthood. In this study, we report results obtained in the first epigenome-wide association study (EWAS) of tic disorders. The subjects are participants in surveys at the Netherlands Twin Register (NTR) and the NTR biobank project. Tic disorders were measured with a self-report version of the Yale Global Tic Severity Scale Abbreviated version (YGTSS-ABBR), included in the 8th wave NTR data collection (2008). DNA methylation data consisted of 411,169 autosomal methylation sites assessed by the Illumina Infinium HumanMethylation450 BeadChip Kit (HM450k array). Phenotype and DNA methylation data were available in 1,678 subjects (mean age = 41.5). No probes reached genome-wide significance (p < 1.2 × 10−7). The strongest associated probe was cg15583738, located in an intergenic region on chromosome 8 (p = 1.98 × 10−6). Several of the top ranking probes (p < 1 × 10−4) were in or nearby genes previously associated with neurological disorders (e.g., GABBRI, BLM, and ADAM10), warranting their further investigation in relation to tic disorders. The top significantly enriched gene ontology (GO) terms among higher ranking methylation sites included anatomical structure morphogenesis (GO:0009653, p = 4.6 × 10−15) developmental process (GO:0032502, p = 2.96 × 10−12), and cellular developmental process (GO:0048869, p = 1.96 × 10−12). Overall, these results provide a first insight into the epigenetic mechanisms of tic disorders. This first study assesses the role of DNA methylation in tic disorders, and it lays the foundations for future work aiming to unravel the biological mechanisms underlying the architecture of this disorder.
Metacognitive training (MCT) for schizophrenia spectrum is widely implemented. It is timely to systematically review the literature and to conduct a meta-analysis.
Eligible studies were selected from several sources (databases and expert suggestions). Criteria included comparative studies with a MCT condition measuring positive symptoms and/or delusions and/or data-gathering bias. Three meta-analyses were conducted on data gathering (three studies; 219 participants), delusions (seven studies; 500 participants) and positive symptoms (nine studies; 436 participants). Hedges’ g is reported as the effect size of interest. Statistical power was sufficient to detect small to moderate effects.
All analyses yielded small non-significant effect sizes (0.26 for positive symptoms; 0.22 for delusions; 0.31 for data-gathering bias). Corrections for publication bias further reduced the effect sizes to 0.21 for positive symptoms and to 0.03 for delusions. In blinded studies, the corrected effect sizes were 0.22 for positive symptoms and 0.03 for delusions. In studies using proper intention-to-treat statistics the effect sizes were 0.10 for positive symptoms and −0.02 for delusions. The moderate to high heterogeneity in most analyses suggests that processes other than MCT alone have an impact on the results.
The studies so far do not support a positive effect for MCT on positive symptoms, delusions and data gathering. The methodology of most studies was poor and sensitivity analyses to control for methodological flaws reduced the effect sizes considerably. More rigorous research would be helpful in order to create enough statistical power to detect small effect sizes and to reduce heterogeneity. Limitations and strengths are discussed.
It is well known that web-based interventions can be effective treatments for depression. However, dropout rates in web-based interventions are typically high, especially in self-guided web-based interventions. Rigorous empirical evidence regarding factors influencing dropout in self-guided web-based interventions is lacking due to small study sample sizes. In this paper we examined predictors of dropout in an individual patient data meta-analysis to gain a better understanding of who may benefit from these interventions.
A comprehensive literature search for all randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of psychotherapy for adults with depression from 2006 to January 2013 was conducted. Next, we approached authors to collect the primary data of the selected studies. Predictors of dropout, such as socio-demographic, clinical, and intervention characteristics were examined.
Data from 2705 participants across ten RCTs of self-guided web-based interventions for depression were analysed. The multivariate analysis indicated that male gender [relative risk (RR) 1.08], lower educational level (primary education, RR 1.26) and co-morbid anxiety symptoms (RR 1.18) significantly increased the risk of dropping out, while for every additional 4 years of age, the risk of dropping out significantly decreased (RR 0.94).
Dropout can be predicted by several variables and is not randomly distributed. This knowledge may inform tailoring of online self-help interventions to prevent dropout in identified groups at risk.
Effects of a marine oil-based n-3 LCPUFA supplement (mLCPUFA) fed from weaning until the end of the next lactation to sows with a predicted low litter birth weight (LBW) phenotype on growth performance and carcass quality of litters born to these sows were studied, based on the hypothesis that LBW litters would benefit most from mLCPUFA supplementation. Sows were allocated to be fed either standard corn/soybean meal-based gestation and lactation diets (CON), or the same diets enriched with 0.5% of the mLCPUFA supplement at the expense of corn. The growth performance from birth until slaughter of the litters with the lowest average birth weight in each treatment (n=24 per treatment) is reported in this paper. At weaning, each litter was split between two nursery pens with three to six pigs per pen. At the end of the 5-week nursery period, two barrows and two gilts from each litter that had individual birth weights closest to their litter average birth weight, were moved to experimental grow–finish pens (barn A), where they were housed as two pigs per pen, sorted by sex within litter. Remaining pigs in each litter were moved to another grow–finish barn (barn B) and kept in mixed-sex pens of up to 10 littermates. After 8 weeks, one of the two pigs in each pen in barn A was relocated to the pens holding their respective littermates in barn B. The remaining barrows and gilts were individually housed in the pens in barn A until slaughter. Maternal mLCPUFA supplementation increased docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) concentration in the brain, liver and Semitendinosus muscle of stillborn pigs (P<0.01), did not affect eicosapentaenoic acid and DHA concentrations in sow serum at the end of lactation, and did not affect average daily gain, average daily feed intake or feed utilization efficiency of the offspring. BW was higher (P<0.01) in the second half of the grow–finish phase in pigs from mLCPUFA sows compared with controls in barn A, where space and competition for feed was minimal, but not barn B. Carcass quality was not affected by treatment for pigs from barn A, but maternal mLCPUFA supplementation negatively affected carcass quality in pigs from barn B. Collectively, these results suggest that nutritional supplementation of sows can have lasting effects on litter development, but that feeding mLCPUFA to sows during gestation and lactation was not effective in improving growth rates or carcass quality of LBW litters.
Although there is evidence for the effectiveness of interventions for psychosis among ultra-high-risk (UHR) groups, health economic evaluations are lacking. This study aimed to determine the cost effectiveness and cost–utility of cognitive–behavioural therapy (CBT) to prevent first-episode psychosis.
The Dutch Early Detection and Intervention Evaluation study was a randomized controlled trial of 196 UHR patients with an 18-month follow-up. All participants were treated with routine care (RC) for non-psychotic disorders. The experimental group (n = 95) received add-on CBT to prevent first-episode psychosis. We report the intervention, medical and travel costs, as well as costs arising from loss of productivity. Treatment response was defined as psychosis-free survival and quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) gained.
In the cost-effectiveness analysis, the proportion of averted psychoses was significantly higher in the CBT condition (89.5% v. 76.2%). CBT showed a 63.7% probability of being more cost effective, because it was less costly than RC by US$844 (£551) per prevented psychosis. In the cost–utility analysis, QALY health gains were slightly higher for CBT than for RC (0.60 v. 0.57) and the CBT intervention had a 52.3% probability of being the superior treatment because, for equal or better QALY gains, the costs of CBT were lower than those of RC.
Add-on preventive CBT for UHR resulted in a significant reduction in the incidence of first psychosis. QALY gains show little difference between the two conditions. The CBT intervention proved to be cost saving.
The effects of a marine oil-based n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid (mLCPUFA) supplement fed to the sow from weaning, through the rebreeding period, during gestation and until end of lactation on litter characteristics from birth until weaning were studied in sows with known litter birth weight phenotypes. It was hypothesized that low birth weight (LBW) litters would benefit more from mLCPUFA supplementation than high birth weight litters. A total of 163 sows (mean parity=4.9±0.9) were rebred after weaning. Sows were pair-matched by parity and litter average birth weight of the previous three litters. Within pairs, sows were allocated to be fed either standard corn/soyabean meal-based gestation and lactation diets (CON), or the same diets enriched with 0.5% of the mLCPUFA supplement at the expense of corn. Each litter between 9 and 16 total pigs born was classified as LBW or medium/high average birth weight (MHBW) litter and there was a significant correlation (P<0.001) between litter average birth weight of the current and previous litters within sows (r=0.49). Sow serum was harvested at day 113 of gestation for determination of immunoglobulin G (IgG) concentrations. The number of pigs born total and alive were lower (P=0.01) in mLCPUFA than CON sows, whereas the number of stillborn and mummified pigs were similar between treatments. Number of stillborns (trend) and mummies (P<0.01) were higher in LBW than MHBW litters. Tissue weights and brain : tissue weight ratios were similar between treatments, but LBW litters had decreased tissue weights and increased brain : tissue weight ratios compared with MHBW litters. Placental weight was lower (P=0.01) in LBW than MHBW litters, but was not different between treatments. Average and total litter weight at day 1 was similar between treatments. mLCPUFA increased weaning weight (P=0.08) and average daily gain (P<0.05) in MHBW litters, but not in LBW litters. Pre-weaning mortality was similar between treatments, but was higher (P<0.01) in LBW than MHBW litters. IgG concentration in sow serum was similar between treatments and litter birth weight categories. In conclusion, litter birth weight phenotype was repeatable within sows and LBW litters showed the benchmarks of intra-uterine growth retardation (lower placental weight and brain sparing effects). As maternal mLCPUFA supplementation decreased litter size overall, only improved litter growth rate until weaning in MHBW litters, and did not affect pre-weaning mortality, maternal mLCPUFA supplementation was not an effective strategy in our study for mitigating negative effects of a LBW litter phenotype.
To investigate trajectories of cognitive decline in patients with different types of dementia compared to controls in a longitudinal study.
In 199 patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD), 10 with vascular dementia (VaD), 26 with dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), 20 with behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD), 15 with language variant frontotemporal dementia (lvFTD) and 112 controls we assessed five cognitive domains: memory, language, attention, executive and visuospatial functioning, and global cognition (Mini-Mental State Examination, MMSE). All subjects had at least two neuropsychological assessments (median 2, range 2–7). Neuropsychological data were standardized into z scores using baseline performance of controls as reference. Linear mixed models (LMMs) were used to estimate baseline cognitive functioning and cognitive decline over time for each group, adjusted for age, gender and education.
At baseline, patients with dementia performed worse than controls in all cognitive domains (p < 0.05) except visuospatial functioning, which was only impaired in patients with AD and DLB (p < 0.001). During follow-up, patients with AD declined in all cognitive domains (p < 0.001). DLB showed decline in every cognitive domain except language and global cognition. bvFTD showed rapid decline in memory, language, attention and executive functioning (all p < 0.01) whereas visuospatial functioning remained fairly stable. lvFTD declined mostly in attention and executive functioning (p < 0.01). VaD showed decline in attention and executive functioning.
We show cognitive trajectories of different types of dementia. These estimations of natural disease course have important value for the design of clinical trials as neuropsychological measures are increasingly being used as outcome measures.
There is an increasing interest in cognitive–behavioural therapy (CBT) interventions targeting negative symptoms in schizophrenia. To date, CBT trials primarily focused on positive symptoms and investigated change in negative symptoms only as a secondary outcome. To enhance insight into factors contributing to improvement of negative symptoms, and to identify subgroups of patients that may benefit most from CBT directed at ameliorating negative symptoms, we reviewed all available evidence on these outcomes.
A systematic search of the literature was conducted in PsychInfo, PubMed and the Cochrane register to identify randomized controlled trials reporting on the impact of CBT interventions on negative symptoms in schizophrenia. Random-effects meta-analyses were performed on end-of-treatment, short-term and long-term changes in negative symptoms.
A total of 35 publications covering 30 trials in 2312 patients, published between 1993 and 2013, were included. Our results showed studies’ pooled effect on symptom alleviation to be small [Hedges’ g = 0.093, 95% confidence interval (CI) −0.028 to 0.214, p = 0.130] and heterogeneous (Q = 73.067, degrees of freedom = 29, p < 0.001, τ2 = 0.081, I2 = 60.31) in studies with negative symptoms as a secondary outcome. Similar results were found for studies focused on negative symptom reduction (Hedges’ g = 0.157, 95% CI −0.10 to 0.409, p = 0.225). Meta-regression revealed that stronger treatment effects were associated with earlier year of publication, lower study quality and with CBT provided individually (as compared with group-based).
The co-occurring beneficial effect of conventional CBT on negative symptoms found in older studies was not supported by more recent studies. It is now necessary to further disentangle effective treatment ingredients of older studies in order to guide the development of future CBT interventions aimed at negative symptom reduction.
The expression of oestrous behaviour in Holstein Friesian dairy cows has
progressively decreased over the past 50 years. Reduced oestrus expression is
one of the factors contributing to the current suboptimal reproductive
efficiency in dairy farming. Variation between and within cows in the expression
of oestrous behaviour is associated with variation in peripheral blood
oestradiol concentrations during oestrus. In addition, there is evidence for a
priming role of progesterone for the full display of oestrous behaviour. A
higher rate of metabolic clearance of ovarian steroids could be one of the
factors leading to lower peripheral blood concentrations of oestradiol and
progesterone in high-producing dairy cows. Oestradiol acts on the brain by
genomic, non-genomic and growth factor-dependent mechanisms. A firm base of
understanding of the ovarian steroid-driven central genomic regulation of female
sexual behaviour has been obtained from studies on rodents. These studies have
resulted in the definition of five modules of oestradiol-activated genes in the
brain, referred to as the GAPPS modules. In a recent series of studies, gene
expression in the anterior pituitary and four brain areas (amygdala,
hippocampus, dorsal hypothalamus and ventral hypothalamus) in oestrous and
luteal phase cows, respectively, has been measured, and the relation with
oestrous behaviour of these cows was analysed. These studies identified a number
of genes of which the expression was associated with the intensity of oestrous
behaviour. These genes could be grouped according to the GAPPS modules,
suggesting close similarity of the regulation of oestrous behaviour in cows and
female sexual behaviour in rodents. A better understanding of the central
genomic regulation of the expression of oestrous behaviour in dairy cows may in
due time contribute to improved (genomic) selection strategies for appropriate
oestrus expression in high-producing dairy cows.
Our aim was to assess progress towards measles elimination from The Netherlands by studying humoral measles immunity in the Dutch population. A population-based seroepidemiological study was conducted in 2006–2007 (N = 7900). Serum samples were analysed by a bead-based multiplex immunoassay. IgG levels ⩾0·2 IU/ml were considered protective. The overall seroprevalence in the Dutch population was 96%. However, 51% of socio-geographically clustered orthodox Protestant individuals aged <10 years were susceptible. Infants might be susceptible to measles between ages 4 months and 14 months, the age at which maternal antibodies have disappeared and the first measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccination is administered, respectively. Waning of antibody concentrations was slower after the second MMR vaccination than after the first. The Netherlands is at an imminent risk of a measles outbreak in the orthodox Protestant minority. To prevent subsequent transmission to the general population, efforts to protect susceptible age groups are needed.