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Treatment options for Hepatitis C infection have greatly improved with direct-acting antiviral (DAA) combinations achieving high cure rates. Nevertheless, the cost of this treatment is still high and access to treatment in many countries has been preferentially reserved for patients with more severe fibrosis (F3 and F4). In this French nationwide study, we investigated the epidemiological characteristics and genotype distribution of hepatitis C virus (HCV) in treatment-naive patients with METAVIR fibrosis stages between F0 and F2 in order to identify patient profiles that became eligible for unrestricted treatment in a second period. Between 2015 and 2016 we collected data from nine French university hospitals on a total of 584 HCV positive patients with absent, mild or moderate liver fibrosis. The most represented genotypes were genotype 1b (159/584; 27.2%), followed by genotype 1a (150/584; 25.7%); genotype 3 (87/584: 14.9%); genotype 4 (80/584; 13.7%). Among genotype 4: 4a was predominantly encountered with 22 patients (27.5% of genotype 4). Genotypes 1b and 1a are currently the most frequent virus types present in treatment-naive patients with mild fibrosis in France. They can be readily cured using the available DAA. Nevertheless, non-a/non-d genotype 4 is also frequent in this population and clinical data on the efficacy of DAA on these subtypes is missing. The GEMHEP is the French group for study and evaluation of viral hepatitis on a national scale. Data collection on epidemiological and molecular aspects of viral hepatitis is performed on a regular basis in all main French teaching hospitals and serves as a basis for surveillance of these infections. Analysis and trends are regularly published on behalf of the GEMHEP group. Data collection was performed retrospectively over the 2015–2016 period, covering nine main university hospitals in France. A total of 584 hepatitis C positive patients were included in this study. Genotyping of the circulating viruses showed a high prevalence of genotypes 1b and 1a in our population. The epidemiology of hepatitis C is slowly changing in France, particularly as a consequence of the rise of ‘non-a non-d’ genotype 4 viruses mainly originating from African populations. More data concerning treatment efficacy of these genotypes is needed in order to guide clinical care.
We have examined the relationship between star formation and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) by fitting the spectral energy distributions (SED) of AKARI selected galaxies. PAHs are excited by the ultraviolet (UV) photons of young stars and can trace star formation in galaxies, but they are disassociated by the strong UV radiation in starbursts. AKARI covered the mid-infrared, where the PAHs emit their radiation, with a high density of photometric bands. These observations allow us to estimate the star formation rate and the PAH mass fraction of the dust in galaxies. In the future the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will also make measurements in this wavelength range. This research can therefore be considered as a pathfinder to similar studies that will come later from JWST observations.
Ten-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV10) was recently introduced into the Brazilian Immunization Programme. Secondary data are used as a measurement of community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) burden, but their completeness and reliability need to be ascertained. We performed probabilistic linkage between hospital primary data from active prospective population-based surveillance (APS) and hospital secondary data from the Hospital Information System administrative database of the National Unified Health System (SIH-SUS). Children aged 2–23 months hospitalized during January–December 2012 were identified. Incidence rates of hospitalized CAP were estimated. Agreement of case identification was measured by kappa index. A total of 1639 (26%) CAP cases were identified in APS and 1714 (35%) in SIH-SUS. Of these 3353 records, 1127 CAP cases were present in both databases. Kappa on CAP case identification was 0·72 (95% confidence interval 0·69–0·75). CAP hospitalization incidence using administrative (5285/100 000) and hospital (5054/100 000) primary data were similar (P = 0·184). Our findings suggest that administrative databases of hospitalizations are reliable sources to assess PCV10 impact in time-series analyses.
Electron microscopy (EM), cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM), and cryo-electron tomography (cryo-ET) are essential techniques used for characterizing basic virus morphology and determining the three-dimensional structure of viruses. Enveloped viruses, which contain an outer lipoprotein coat, constitute the largest group of pathogenic viruses to humans. The purification of enveloped viruses from cell culture presents certain challenges. Specifically, the inclusion of host-membrane-derived vesicles, the complete destruction of the viruses, and the disruption of the internal architecture of individual virus particles. Here, we present a strategy for capturing enveloped viruses on affinity grids (AG) for use in both conventional EM and cryo-EM/ET applications. We examined the utility of AG for the selective capture of human immunodeficiency virus virus-like particles, influenza A, and measles virus. We applied nickel-nitrilotriacetic acid lipid layers in combination with molecular adaptors to selectively adhere the viruses to the AG surface. This further development of the AG method may prove essential for the gentle and selective purification of enveloped viruses directly onto EM grids for ultrastructural analyses.
EMU is a wide-field radio continuum survey planned for the new Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) telescope. The primary goal of EMU is to make a deep (rms ∼ 10 μJy/beam) radio continuum survey of the entire Southern sky at 1.3 GHz, extending as far North as +30° declination, with a resolution of 10 arcsec. EMU is expected to detect and catalogue about 70 million galaxies, including typical star-forming galaxies up to z ∼ 1, powerful starbursts to even greater redshifts, and active galactic nuclei to the edge of the visible Universe. It will undoubtedly discover new classes of object. This paper defines the science goals and parameters of the survey, and describes the development of techniques necessary to maximise the science return from EMU.
The β titanium alloys are highly attractive metallic materials for biomedical applications due to their high specific strength, high corrosion resistance and excellent biocompatibility, including low elastic modulus. The aim of this work is the evaluation of hardening mechanism through phase separation in β Ti-35Nb-7Zr-5Ta (TNZT) and Ti-35Nb-7Ta (TNT) alloys. Ingots (50 g) of TNZT and TNT alloys were arc-furnace melted in Ar(g)atmosphere. XRD using synchrotron radiation together with TEM and HRTEM analysis showed the coexistence of two separated phases (β and β’) with similar crystalline structures and slightly different lattice parameters in TNZT and TNT alloys. It was detected a heterogeneous microstructure alternating nanosized dark and bright regions (∼10 nm) with different compositions (Nb-rich β and Ta-Zr-rich β’).In aged condition (400ºC/4h), TNZT and TNT alloys undergoes coherent spinodal decomposition of β phase into two solid solution phases with coherent interface, different compositions and elastic strain associated with nanometric domains of Nb-rich β and Ta-(Zr)-rich β’ phases.
The objective of this paper is to critically review and summarize available scientific and lay literature, and ongoing studies on human and porcine cysticercosis in Mozambique to identify knowledge gaps and direct immediate and long-term research efforts. Data on the spatial distribution and prevalence of the disease in human and swine populations are scarce and fragmented. Human serological studies have shown that 15–21% of apparently healthy adults were positive for cysticercosis antibodies or antigen, while in neuropsychiatric patients seroprevalence was as high as 51%. Slaughterhouse records indicate a countrywide occurrence of porcine cysticercosis, while studies have shown that 10–35% of pigs tested were seropositive for cysticercosis antibodies or antigen. Current research in Mozambique includes studies on the epidemiology, molecular biology, diagnosis and control of the disease. Future research efforts should be directed at better understanding the epidemiology of the disease in Mozambique, particularly risk factors for its occurrence and spread in human and swine populations, documenting the socio-economic impact of the disease, identifying critical control points and evaluating the feasibility and epidemiological impact of control measures and development of local level diagnostic tools for use in humans and swine.
Knowledge of the factors affecting the presence of Toxoplasma gondii in wildlife is limited. Here we analyse which local landscape characteristics are associated with the presence of toxoplasmosis in wild boar, Sus scrofa, on the island of Corsica, France. Meat juice samples from 1399 wild boars collected during two hunting seasons were tested for T. gondii antibodies using the modified agglutination test (titre 1:4). The overall seroprevalence was 0·55 (95% CI 0·50–0·59) for the first year and 0·33 (95% CI 0·29–0·35) for the second year. Seroprevalence varied according to age and county. At the county level, seropositivity in adults was related to farm density during year 1, and to habitat fragmentation, farm density and altitude during year 2. The exposure of wild boar to T. gondii is thus variable according to landscape characteristics and probably results in a variable risk of transmission of toxoplasmosis to humans.
In order to investigate the importance of the host microbiota on differentiation of T cell subsets in response to infection, Swiss/NIH germ-free mice and conventional (microbiota-bearing) mice were infected with Leishmania major, and lesion development, parasite loads, and cytokine production were assessed. Germ-free mice failed to heal lesions and presented a higher number of parasites at the site of infection than their conventional counterparts. In addition, histopathological analysis indicated a higher density of parasitized macrophages in lesions from germ-free mice than in conventional mice. The initial production of interleukin (IL)-12 and interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) in germ-free mice was comparable to the conventional controls. Also, germ-free mice produced elevated levels of IFN-γ and lower levels of IL-4 throughout the course of infection, suggesting the development of a Th1 response. Macrophages from germ-free mice exposed to IFN-γ and infected with amastigotes in vitro were not as efficient at killing parasites as macrophages from conventional animals. These observations indicate that the microbiota is not essential for the development of Th1 immune responses, but seems to be important for macrophage activation.
Complex nonlinear optical materials comprising elemental, compound or alloy quantum dots embedded in appropriate dielectric or semiconducting hosts may be suitable for deployment in photonic devices. Ion implantation, ion exchange followed by ion implantation, and pulsed laser deposition have all been used to synthesize these materials. However, the correlation between the parameters of energetic-beam synthesis and the nonlinear optical properties is still very rudimentary when one starts to ask what is happening at nanoscale dimensions. Systems integration of corplex nonlinear optical materials requires that the mesoscale materials science be well understood within the context of device structures. We discuss the effects of beam energy and energy density on quantum-dot size and spatial distribution, thermal conductivity, quantum-dot composition, crystallinity and defects — and, in turn, on the third-order optical susceptibility of the composite material. Examples from recent work in our laboratories are used to illustrate these effects.
Structural transformations induced in amorphous Ge films by picosecond laser pulses are studied by means of Raman spectroscopy and their dependence on parameters like the pulse fluence or the thermal conductivity of the substrate are analyzed. A correlation length model is used for studying the crystallization process, while the average bond angle distortion is used for determining the state of relaxation of the amorphous phase. Silicon and glass substrates are compared.
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