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In the autumn of 2018, an outbreak of cryptosporidiosis affected adult employees from the same company in Western Norway. The organism was Cryptosporidium parvum, GP60 subtype IIaA14G1R1. All those infected had drunk from the same container of self-pressed apple juice. Incubation period (1 week) and clinical signs were similar among those infected, although some experienced a more prolonged duration of symptoms (up to 2–3 weeks) than others. The infections resulted after consumption from only one of 40 containers of juice and not from any of the other containers. It seems that although Cryptosporidium oocysts were detected in a sample from another container, the contamination did not affect the whole batch. This is perhaps indicative of a restricted contamination event, either from contaminated ground in the orchard, or during collection of the fruit, or during processing. Although outbreaks of food-borne cryptosporidiosis have previously been associated with consumption of contaminated apple juice, most of the more recent outbreaks of food-borne cryptosporidiosis have been associated with salad vegetables or herbs. This outbreak, the first outside USA reported to be associated with apple juice, is a timely reminder that such juice is a suitable transmission vehicle for Cryptosporidium oocysts, and that appropriate hygienic measures are essential in the production of such juice, including artisanal (non-commercial) production.
Improving quality of life (QOL) for people with dementia is a priority. In care homes, we often rely on proxy ratings from staff and family but we do not know if, or how, they differ in care homes.
We compared 1056 pairs of staff and family DEMQOL-Proxy ratings from 86 care homes across England. We explored factors associated with ratings quantitatively using multilevel modelling and, qualitatively, through thematic analysis of 12 staff and 12 relative interviews.
Staff and family ratings were weakly correlated (ρs = 0.35). Median staff scores were higher than family's (104 v. 101; p < 0.001). Family were more likely than staff to rate resident QOL as ‘Poor’ (χ2 = 55.91, p < 0.001). Staff and family rated QOL higher when residents had fewer neuropsychiatric symptoms and severe dementia. Staff rated QOL higher in homes with lower staff:resident ratios and when staff were native English speakers. Family rated QOL higher when the resident had spent longer living in the care home and was a native English. Spouses rated residents’ QOL higher than other relatives. Qualitative results suggest differences arise because staff felt good care provided high QOL but families compared the present to the past. Family judgements centre on loss and are complicated by decisions about care home placement and their understandings of dementia.
Proxy reports differ systematically between staff and family. Reports are influenced by the rater:staff and family may conceptualise QOL differently.
As urbanization increases in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), urban populations will be increasingly exposed to a range of environmental risk factors for non-communicable diseases. Inadequate living conditions in urban settings may influence mechanisms that regulate gene expression, leading to the development of non-communicable respiratory diseases. We conducted a systematic review of the literature to assess the relationship between respiratory health and epigenetic factors to urban environmental exposures observed in LMICs using MEDLINE, PubMed, EMBASE, and Google Scholar searching a combination of the terms: epigenetics, chronic respiratory diseases (CRDs), lung development, chronic obstructive airway disease, and asthma. A total of 2835 articles were obtained, and 48 articles were included in this review. We found that environmental factors during early development are related to epigenetic effects that may be associated with a higher risk of CRDs. Epigenetic dysregulation of gene expression of the histone deacetylase (HDAC) and histone acetyltransferase gene families was likely involved in lung health of slum dwellers. Respiratory-related environmental exposures influence HDAC function and deoxyribonucleic acid methylation and are important risk factors in the development of CRD. Additional epigenetic research is needed to improve our understanding of associations between environmental exposures and non-communicable respiratory diseases.
Although the impact of diarrhoeal disease on paediatric health in Nigeria has decreased in recent years, it remains an important cause of morbidity and mortality in children under 5 years. Rotavirus is recognised as an important aetiological agent, but information on the contribution of intestinal protozoa to watery diarrhoea in this age group in Nigeria is scarce. In this cross-sectional study, faecal samples from children admitted to healthcare centres in Abakaliki, Nigeria with acute watery diarrhoea (N = 199) and faecal samples from age-matched controls (N = 37) were examined for Cryptosporidium and Giardia using immunofluorescent antibody testing and molecular methods. Cryptosporidium was identified in 13 case samples (6.5%) and no control samples. For three samples, molecular characterisation indicated C. hominis, GP60 subtypes IaA30R3, IaA14R3 and IdA11. Giardia was not detected in any samples. This contrast in prevalence between the two intestinal protozoa may reflect their variable epidemiologies and probably differing routes of infection. Given that these two parasitic infections are often bracketed together, it is key to realise that they not only have differing clinical spectra but also that the importance of each parasite is not the same in different age groups and/or settings.
The emergence of callous unemotional (CU) traits, and associated externalizing behaviors, is believed to reflect underlying dysfunction in the amygdala. Studies of adults with CU traits or psychopathy have linked characteristic patterns of amygdala dysfunction to reduced amygdala volume, but studies in youths have not thus far found evidence of similar amygdala volume reductions. The current study examined the association between CU traits and amygdala volume by modeling CU traits and externalizing behavior as independent continuous variables, and explored the relative contributions of callous, uncaring, and unemotional traits.
CU traits and externalizing behavior problems were assessed in 148 youths using the Inventory of Callous Unemotional Traits (ICU) and the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL). For a subset of participants (n = 93), high-resolution T1-weighted images were collected and volume estimates for the amygdala were extracted.
Analyses revealed that CU traits were associated with increased externalizing behaviors and decreased bilateral amygdala volume. These results were driven by the callous and uncaring sub-factors of CU traits, with unemotional traits unrelated to either externalizing behaviors or amygdala volume. Results persisted after accounting for covariation between CU traits and externalizing behaviors. Bootstrap mediation analyses indicated that CU traits mediated the relationship between reduced amygdala volume and externalizing severity.
These findings provide evidence that callous-uncaring traits account for reduced amygdala volume among youths with conduct problems. These findings provide a framework for further investigation of abnormal amygdala development as a key causal pathway for the development of callous-uncaring traits and conduct problems.
Background: To determine whether exosomal microRNAs (miRNAs) in CSF of patients with FTD can serve as diagnostic biomarkers, we assessed miRNA expression in the Genetic FTD Initiative (GENFI) cohort and in sporadic FTD. Methods: GENFI participants were either carriers of a pathogenic mutation or at risk of carrying a mutation because a first-degree relative was a symptomatic mutation carrier. Exosomes were isolated from CSF of 23 -pre-symptomatic and 15 symptomatic mutation carriers, and 11 healthy non-mutation carriers. Expression of miRNAs was measured using qPCR arrays. MiRNAs differentially expressed in symptomatic compared to pre-symptomatic mutation carriers were evaluated in 17 patients with sporadic FTD, 13 patients with sporadic Alzheimer’s disease (AD), and 10 healthy controls (HCs). Results: In the GENFI cohort, miR-204-5p and miR-632 were significantly decreased in symptomatic compared to pre-symptomatic mutation carriers. Decrease of miR-204-5p and miR-632 revealed receiver operator characteristics with an area of 0.89 [90% CI: 0.79-0.98] and 0.81 [90% CI: 0.68-0.93], and when combined an area of 0.93 [90% CI: 0.87-0.99]. In sporadic FTD, only miR-632 was significantly decreased compared to sporadic AD and HCs. Decrease of miR-632 revealed an area of 0.89 [90% CI: 0.80-0.98]. Conclusions: Exosomal miR-204-5p and miR-632 have potential as diagnostic biomarkers for genetic FTD and miR-632 also for sporadic FTD.
The intermittent energy restriction (IER) approach to weight loss involves short periods of substantial (>70 %) energy restriction (ER) interspersed with normal eating. Studies to date comparing IER to continuous energy restriction (CER) have predominantly measured fasting indices of cardiometabolic risk. This study aimed to compare the effects of IER and CER on postprandial glucose and lipid metabolism following matched weight loss. In all, twenty-seven (thirteen male) overweight/obese participants (46 (sem 3) years, 30·1 (sem 1·0) kg/m2) who were randomised to either an IER intervention (2638 kJ for 2 d/week with an overall ER of 22 (sem 0·3) %, n 15) or a CER intervention (2510 kJ below requirements with overall ER of 23 (sem 0·8) %) completed the study. Postprandial responses to a test meal (over 360 min) and changes in anthropometry (fat mass, fat-free mass, circumferences) were assessed at baseline and upon attainment of 5 % weight loss, following a 7-d period of weight stabilisation. The study found no statistically significant difference in the time to attain a 5 % weight loss between groups (median 59 d (interquartile range (IQR) 41–80) and 73 d (IQR 48–128), respectively, P=0·246), or in body composition (P≥0·437). For postprandial measures, neither diet significantly altered glycaemia (P=0·266), whereas insulinaemia was reduced comparatively (P=0·903). The reduction in C-peptide tended (P=0·057) to be greater following IER (309 128 (sem23 268) to 247781 (sem20 709) pmol×360 min/l) v. CER (297 204 (sem25 112) to 301 655 (sem32 714) pmol×360 min/l). The relative reduction in TAG responses was greater (P=0·045) following IER (106 (sem30) to 68 (sem 15) mmol×360 min/l) compared with CER (117 (sem 43) to 130 (sem 31) mmol×360 min/l). In conclusion, these preliminary findings highlight underlying differences between IER and CER, including a superiority of IER in reducing postprandial lipaemia, which now warrant targeted mechanistic evaluation within larger study cohorts.
Callous–unemotional (CU) traits characterize a subgroup of youths with conduct problems who exhibit low empathy, fearlessness, and elevated externalizing behaviors. The current study examines the role of aberrant amygdala activity and functional connectivity during a socioemotional judgment task in youths with CU traits, and links these deficits to externalizing behaviors. Functional magnetic resonance imaging was used to compare neural responses in 18 healthy youths and 30 youths with conduct problems and varying levels of CU traits as they evaluated the acceptability of causing another person to experience each of several emotions, including fear. Neuroimaging analyses examined blood oxygenation level dependent responses and task-dependent functional connectivity. High-CU youths exhibited left amygdala hypoactivation relative to healthy controls and low-CU youths primarily during evaluations of causing others fear. CU traits moderated the relationship between externalizing behavior and both amygdala activity and patterns of functional connectivity. The present data suggest that CU youths' aberrant amygdala activity and connectivity affect how they make judgments about the acceptability of causing others emotional distress, and that these aberrations represent risk factors for externalizing behaviors like rule breaking and aggression. These findings suggest that reducing externalizing behaviors in high-CU youths may require interventions that influence affective sensitivity.
Nexus is the official publication of the biennial German Jewish Studies Workshop, which was inaugurated at Duke University in 2009, and is now held at the University of Notre Dame. Together, Nexus and the Workshop constitute the first ongoing forum in North America for German Jewish Studies. Nexus publishes innovative research in German Jewish Studies, introducing new directions, analyzing the development and definition of the field, and considering its place vis-à-vis both German Studies and Jewish Studies. Additionally, it examines issues of pedagogy and programming at the undergraduate, graduate, and community levels. Nexus 3 features special forum sections on Heinrich Heine and Karl Kraus. Renowned Heine scholar Jeffrey Sammons offers a magisterial critical retrospective on this towering "German Jewish" author, followed by a response from Ritchie Robertson, while the dean of Kraus scholarship, Edward Timms, reflects on the challenges and rewards oftranslating German Jewish dialect into English. Paul Reitter provides a thoughtful response.
Contributors: Angela Botelho, Jay Geller, Abigail Gillman, Jeffrey A. Grossman, Leo Lensing, Georg Mein, Paul Reitter, Ritchie Robertson, Jeffrey L. Sammons, Egon Schwarz, Edward Timms, Liliane Weissberg, Emma Woelk.
William Collins Donahue is the John J. Cavanaugh Professor of the Humanities at the University of Notre Dame, where he chairs the Department of German and Russian. Martha B. Helfer is Professor of German and an affiliate member of the Department of Jewish Studies at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.
Changes in seroprevalence of cysticercosis diagnosed in Chandigarh, India between 1998 and 2014 were investigated by extraction and analysis of data from records held at the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research in Chandigarh. Among the total number of samples for which cysticercosis had been suspected during this period (N = 9650), 1716 (17·8%) were seropositive. Adults were more likely to be seropositive than children, and women were more likely to be seropositive than men. In addition to there being fewer patients with suspicion of cysticercosis over the data analysis period, the proportion of patients seropositive also reduced significantly. Despite these reductions, which are probably associated with improved infrastructure and sanitation within Chandigarh, and despite meat consumption being relatively rare in this area, the extent of cysticercosis in this population remains problematic. Further efforts should be made to reduce transmission of this infection, with particular emphasis on women. Such efforts should follow the One Health concept, and involve medical efforts (including diagnosis and treatment of T. solium tapeworm carriers), veterinary efforts directed towards meat inspection and prevention of infection of pigs, and environmental health and sanitation engineers (to minimize environmental contamination with human waste).
Two intermittent fasting variants, intermittent energy restriction (IER) and time-restricted feeding (TRF), have received considerable interest as strategies for weight-management and/or improving metabolic health. With these strategies, the pattern of energy restriction and/or timing of food intake are altered so that individuals undergo frequently repeated periods of fasting. This review provides a commentary on the rodent and human literature, specifically focusing on the effects of IER and TRF on glucose and lipid metabolism. For IER, there is a growing evidence demonstrating its benefits on glucose and lipid homeostasis in the short-to-medium term; however, more long-term safety studies are required. Whilst the metabolic benefits of TRF appear quite profound in rodents, findings from the few human studies have been mixed. There is some suggestion that the metabolic changes elicited by these approaches can occur in the absence of energy restriction, and in the context of IER, may be distinct from those observed following similar weight-loss achieved via modest continuous energy restriction. Mechanistically, the frequently repeated prolonged fasting intervals may favour preferential reduction of ectopic fat, beneficially modulate aspects of adipose tissue physiology/morphology, and may also impinge on circadian clock regulation. However, mechanistic evidence is largely limited to findings from rodent studies, thus necessitating focused human studies, which also incorporate more dynamic assessments of glucose and lipid metabolism. Ultimately, much remains to be learned about intermittent fasting (in its various forms); however, the findings to date serve to highlight promising avenues for future research.
Universal screening for postpartum depression is recommended in many countries. Knowledge of whether the disclosure of depressive symptoms in the postpartum period differs across cultures could improve detection and provide new insights into the pathogenesis. Moreover, it is a necessary step to evaluate the universal use of screening instruments in research and clinical practice. In the current study we sought to assess whether the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS), the most widely used screening tool for postpartum depression, measures the same underlying construct across cultural groups in a large international dataset.
Ordinal regression and measurement invariance were used to explore the association between culture, operationalized as education, ethnicity/race and continent, and endorsement of depressive symptoms using the EPDS on 8209 new mothers from Europe and the USA.
Education, but not ethnicity/race, influenced the reporting of postpartum depression [difference between robust comparative fit indexes (∆*CFI) < 0.01]. The structure of EPDS responses significantly differed between Europe and the USA (∆*CFI > 0.01), but not between European countries (∆*CFI < 0.01).
Investigators and clinicians should be aware of the potential differences in expression of phenotype of postpartum depression that women of different educational backgrounds may manifest. The increasing cultural heterogeneity of societies together with the tendency towards globalization requires a culturally sensitive approach to patients, research and policies, that takes into account, beyond rhetoric, the context of a person's experiences and the context in which the research is conducted.