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Silvery-Thread Moss (Bryum argenteum Hedw.) is an undesirable invader of golf course putting greens across North America, establishing colonies and proliferating despite practices to suppress it. The goal was to grow genotypes of green (growing in putting greens) and native (growing in habitats outside of putting greens) B. argenteum in a common garden experiment, allowing an experimental test of life-history traits between genotypes from these two habitats. Seventeen collections of green and 17 collections of native B. argenteum were cloned to single genotypes and raised through a minimum of two asexual generations in the lab. A culture of each genotype was initiated using a single detached shoot apex and was allowed to grow for 6 mo under conditions of inorganic nutrients present and absent. Compared with genotypes from native habitats, genotypes of B. argenteum from putting greens exhibited earlier shoot regeneration and shoot induction, faster protonemal extension, longer (higher) shoots, lower production of gemmae and bulbils, and greater aerial rhizoid cover, and showed similar tendencies of chlorophyll fluorescence properties and chlorophyll content. Cultures receiving no inorganic nutrients produced less chlorophyll content, greatly reduced growth, and bleaching of shoots. Mosses from putting greens establish more quickly, grow faster, produce more abundant rhizoids, and yet do not produce as many specialized asexual propagules compared with mosses of the same species from native habitats. The highly managed putting green environment has either selected for a suite of traits that allow the moss to effectively compete with grasses, or genotypic diversity is very high in this species, allowing a set of specialized genotypes to colonize the putting green from native habitats. Successful golf course weeds have been able to adapt to this highly competitive environment by selection acting on traits or genotypes to produce plants more successful in competing with golf course grasses.
Antimicrobial use in pig farming is influenced by a range of risk factors, including herd characteristics, biosecurity level, farm performance, occurrence of clinical signs and vaccination scheme, as well as farmers’ attitudes and habits towards antimicrobial use. So far, the effect of these risk factors has been explored separately. Using an innovative method called multiblock partial least-squares regression, this study aimed to investigate, in a sample of 207 farrow-to-finish farms from Belgium, France, Germany and Sweden, the relative importance of the six above mentioned categories or ‘blocks’ of risk factors for antimicrobial use in pig production. Four country separate models were developed; they showed that all six blocks provided useful contribution to explaining antimicrobial use in at least one country. The occurrence of clinical signs, especially of respiratory and nervous diseases in fatteners, was one of the largest contributing blocks in all four countries, whereas the effect of the other blocks differed between countries. In terms of risk management, it suggests that a holistic and country-specific mitigation strategy is likely to be more effective. However, further research is needed to validate our findings in larger and more representative samples, as well as in other countries.
Evidence suggests adolescent self-esteem is influenced by beliefs of how individuals in their reference group perceive them. However, few studies examine how gender- and violence-related social norms affect self-esteem among refugee populations. This paper explores relationships between gender inequitable and victim-blaming social norms, personal attitudes, and self-esteem among adolescent girls participating in a life skills program in three Ethiopian refugee camps.
Ordinary least squares multivariable regression analysis was used to assess the associations between attitudes and social norms, and self-esteem. Key independent variables of interest included a scale measuring personal attitudes toward gender inequitable norms, a measure of perceived injunctive norms capturing how a girl believed her family and community would react if she was raped, and a peer-group measure of collective descriptive norms surrounding gender inequity. The key outcome variable, self-esteem, was measured using the Rosenberg self-esteem scale.
Girl's personal attitudes toward gender inequitable norms were not significantly predictive of self-esteem at endline, when adjusting for other covariates. Collective peer norms surrounding the same gender inequitable statements were significantly predictive of self-esteem at endline (ß = −0.130; p = 0.024). Additionally, perceived injunctive norms surrounding family and community-based sanctions for victims of forced sex were associated with a decline in self-esteem at endline (ß = −0.103; p = 0.014). Significant findings for collective descriptive norms and injunctive norms remained when controlling for all three constructs simultaneously.
Findings suggest shifting collective norms around gender inequity, particularly at the community and peer levels, may sustainably support the safety and well-being of adolescent girls in refugee settings.
Little is known about violence against children in refugee camps and settlements, and the evidence-base concerning mental health outcomes of youth in refugee settings in low and middle-income countries is similarly small. Evidence is needed to understand patterns of violence against children in refugee camps, and associations with adverse mental health outcomes.
Surveys were conducted with adolescent refugees (aged 13–17) in two refugee contexts – Kiziba Camp, Rwanda (n = 129) (refugees from Democratic Republic of Congo) and Adjumani and Kiryandongo refugee settlements, Uganda (n = 471) (refugees from South Sudan). Latent Class Analysis was utilized to identify classes of violence exposure (including exposure to witnessing household violence, verbal abuse, physical violence and sexual violence). Logistic regressions explored the association between latent class of violence exposure and symptoms of depression and anxiety.
In Rwanda, a two-class solution was identified, with Class 1 (n = 33) representing high levels of exposure to violence and Class 2 (n = 96) representing low levels of exposure. In Uganda, a three-class solution was identified: Class 1 (high violence; n = 53), Class 2 (low violence, n = 100) and Class 3 (no violence, n = 317). Logistic regression analyses indicated that latent violence class was associated with increased odds of high anxiety symptoms in Rwanda (AOR 3.56, 95% CI 1.16–0.95), and high v. no violence class was associated with depression (AOR 3.97, 95% CI 1.07–7.61) and anxiety symptoms (AOR 2.04, 95% CI 1.05–3.96) in Uganda.
The present results support the existing evidence-base concerning the association between violence and adverse mental health outcomes, while identifying differences in patterns and associations between refugee youth in two different contexts.
The ballgame, played in an open-air public facility, was an integral institution for most major Mesoamerican centers. Although its social roles likely included political and social mediation among polities or communities, who could witness a game? Our estimates of the numbers of viewers derive from lines of sight toward the playing alley from nearby construction and plazas or other open ground. Focusing on centers in south-central and southern Veracruz, Mexico, we assess court viewership relative to people accommodated in the main plaza to determine the degree to which prime ballgame viewership was restricted. Ratios of prime viewers to plaza capacities for primary and secondary centers show that relative limitations in viewership did not covary consistently with the settlement hierarchy. We show that viewership was markedly curtailed compared to public assembly space in plazas and likely favored the upper echelons of society.
Girls at early stages of adolescence are vulnerable to violence victimization in humanitarian contexts, but few studies examine factors that affect girls’ hope in these settings. We assessed attitudes toward traditional gender norms as an effect modifier of the relationship between violence exposure and future orientation in displaced girls.
Secondary analysis, using multivariable regression of cross-sectional data from girls ages 10–14 in South Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo. Key variables of interest were attitudes toward intimate partner violence (IPV), Children's Hope Scale (CHS) score, and exposure to physical, emotional, and sexual violence within the last 12 months. Additional covariates included age, educational status, and territory.
The interaction of exposure to violence and attitudes toward IPV magnified the association between violence exposure and lower CHS score for physical violence (β = −0.09, p = 0.040) and unwanted sexual touching (β = −0.20, p = 0.003) among girls age 10–14, when adjusting for other covariates. The interaction of exposure to violence and attitudes toward IPV magnified the association between violence exposure and lower CHS score for forced sex (β = −0.22, p = 0.016) among girls age 13–14, when adjusting for covariates. Findings for emotional violence, any form of sexual violence, and coerced sex trended toward lower CHS scores for girls who reported higher acceptance of IPV, but did not reach significance.
Findings support the utility of gender norms-transformative programming in increasing resilience of girls who have experienced sexual violence in humanitarian contexts.
Dietary long-chain n-3 PUFA (n-3 LCPUFA) in infancy may have long-term effects on lifestyle disease risk. The present follow-up study investigated whether maternal fish oil (FO) supplementation during lactation affected growth and blood pressure in adolescents and whether the effects differed between boys and girls. Mother–infant pairs (n 103) completed a randomised controlled trial with FO (1·5 g/d n-3 LCPUFA) or olive oil (OO) supplements during the first 4 months of lactation; forty-seven mother–infant pairs with high fish intake were followed-up for 4 months as the reference group. We also followed-up 100 children with assessment of growth, blood pressure, diet by FFQ and physical activity by 7-d accelerometry at 13·5 (sd 0·4) years of age. Dried whole-blood fatty acid composition was analysed in a subgroup (n 49). At 13 years of age, whole-blood n-3 LCPUFA, diet, physical activity and body composition did not differ between the three groups. The children from the FO group were 3·4 (95 % CI 0·2, 6·6) cm shorter (P=0·035) than those from the OO group, and tended to have less advanced puberty (P=0·068), which explained the difference in height. There was a sex-specific effect on diastolic blood pressure (Psex×group=0·020), which was driven by a 3·9 (95 % CI 0·2, 7·5) mmHg higher diastolic blood pressure in the FO compared with the OO group among boys only (P=0·041). Our results indicate that early n-3 LCPUFA intake may reduce height in early adolescence due to a delay in pubertal maturation and increase blood pressure specifically in boys, thereby tending to counteract existing sex differences.
Animal health surveillance enables the detection and control of animal diseases including zoonoses. Under the EU-FP7 project RISKSUR, a survey was conducted in 11 EU Member States and Switzerland to describe active surveillance components in 2011 managed by the public or private sector and identify gaps and opportunities. Information was collected about hazard, target population, geographical focus, legal obligation, management, surveillance design, risk-based sampling, and multi-hazard surveillance. Two countries were excluded due to incompleteness of data. Most of the 664 components targeted cattle (26·7%), pigs (17·5%) or poultry (16·0%). The most common surveillance objectives were demonstrating freedom from disease (43·8%) and case detection (26·8%). Over half of components applied risk-based sampling (57·1%), but mainly focused on a single population stratum (targeted risk-based) rather than differentiating between risk levels of different strata (stratified risk-based). About a third of components were multi-hazard (37·3%). Both risk-based sampling and multi-hazard surveillance were used more frequently in privately funded components. The study identified several gaps (e.g. lack of systematic documentation, inconsistent application of terminology) and opportunities (e.g. stratified risk-based sampling). The greater flexibility provided by the new EU Animal Health Law means that systematic evaluation of surveillance alternatives will be required to optimize cost-effectiveness.
From the late nineteenth century onwards there emerged an increasingly diverse response to escalating patenting activity. Inventors were generally supportive of legislation that made patenting more accessible, while others, especially manufacturers, saw patenting culture as an impediment. The medical profession claimed that patenting represented ‘a barrier to medical treatment’ and was thus detrimental to the nation's health, yet, as I argue, the profession's development of strict codes of conduct forbidding practitioners from patenting resulted in rebellion from some members, who increasingly sought protection for their inventions. Such polarized opinions within the medical trade continue to affect current medical practice today.
Disease prevention through biosecurity measures is believed to be an important factor for improvement of the overall health status in animal production. This study aimed at assessing the levels of implementation of biosecurity measures in pig production in four European Union (EU) countries and to describe possible associations between the biosecurity level and farm and production characteristics. A cross-sectional study was conducted in 232 farrow-to-finish pig herds in Belgium, France, Germany and Sweden between December 2012 and December 2013. The biosecurity status in each of these herds was described and quantified by using the risk-based scoring tool Biocheck.UGentTM (www.biocheck.ugent.be). Production and management characteristics, obtained from the herd management system and by interviewing the farmer, were analysed for their association with the biosecurity level. A causal path was designed to study statistical associations. The results showed that there was substantial room for improvement in the biosecurity status on many pig farms. Significant differences (P<0.01) both in internal and external biosecurity levels were observed between countries. The external biosecurity status, combining all measures taken to prevent disease introduction into the herd, was highest in Germany and lowest in France. The internal biosecurity status, combining all measures taken to prevent within herd disease transmission, was highest in Sweden and lowest, with a large variation, in Belgium. External biosecurity scores were in general higher compared to internal biosecurity scores. The number of pathogens vaccinated against was significantly associated with internal biosecurity status, suggesting an overall more preventive approach towards the risk of disease transmission. A higher external biosecurity was associated with more weaned piglets per sow per year. Furthermore also the weaning age and the mortality till weaning were highly associated with the number of weaned piglets per sow per year. The negative association observed between the biosecurity level and the estimated frequency of treatment against certain clinical signs of disease as a proxy for disease incidence is consistent with the hypothesis that a higher biosecurity level results in healthier animals. These findings promote an improved biosecurity status at pig farms and are of relevance in the discussion on alternative ways to keep animals healthy with a reduced necessity of antimicrobials; Prevention is better than cure!
The objective was to investigate the association between early and late maternal smoking during pregnancy on offspring body mass index (BMI). We undertook a retrospective cohort study using linked records from the Women’s and Children’s Health Network in South Australia. Among a cohort of women delivering a singleton, live-born infants between January 2000 and December 2005 (n=7658), 5961 reported not smoking during pregnancy, 297 reported quitting smoking during the first trimester of pregnancy, and 1400 reported continued smoking throughout pregnancy. Trained nurses measured the height and weight of the children at preschool visits in a state-wide surveillance programme. The main outcome measure was age- and sex-specific BMI z-score. At 4 to 5 years, mean (s.d.) BMI z-score was 0.40 (1.05), 0.60 (1.07) and 0.65 (1.18) in children of mothers who reported never smoking, quitting smoking and continued smoking during pregnancy, respectively. Compared with the group of non-smokers, both quitting smoking and continued smoking were associated with an increase in child BMI z-score of 0.15 (95% confidence interval: 0.01–0.29) and 0.21 (0.13–0.29), respectively. A significant dose–response relationship was also observed between the number of cigarettes smoked per day on average during the second half of pregnancy and the increase in offspring BMI z-score (P<0.001). In conclusion, any maternal smoking in pregnancy, even if mothers quit, is associated with an increase in offspring BMI at 4 to 5 years of age.
The photochemistry of CO and its isotoplogues affects the structure and evolution of many astronomical environments, including interstellar clouds, circumstellar disks around newly formed stars, and the envelopes surrounding highly evolved stars. When in the presence of a strong ultraviolet field, the primary destruction mechanism for interstellar and circumstellar CO is photodissociation, which is entirely governed by discrete line absorption into predissociating levels in the wavelength range 91.2 to 111.8 nm. Because the CO spectrum consists primarily of resolved line features, self-shielding effects in high-column density environments can lead to strong isotopic fractionation signatures in both CO and elemental oxygen and carbon; for example, CO self-shielding in the solar nebula has been invoked to explain the unusual oxygen isotope ratios observed in the earliest solar system condensates, viz. calcium-aluminum inclusions (CAIs) in primitive meteorites.
This systematic review–meta-analysis appraises and summarizes all the available research (128 papers) on the zoonotic potential of Mycobacterium avium ssp. paratuberculosis. The latter has been debated for a century due to pathogenic and clinical similarities between Johne's disease in ruminants and Crohn's disease (108 studies) in humans and recently for involvement in other human diseases; human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection (2), sarcoidosis (3), diabetes mellitus type 1 (T1DM) (7) and type 2 (3), multiple sclerosis (5) and Hashimoto's thyroiditis (2). Meta-analytical results indicated a significant positive association, consistently across different laboratory methods for Crohn's disease [odds ratio (OR) range 4·26–8·44], T1DM (OR range 2·91–9·95) and multiple sclerosis (OR range 6·5–7·99). The latter two and the thyroiditis hypothesis require further investigation to confirm the association. Meta-regression of Crohn's disease studies using DNA detection methods indicated that choice of primers and sampling frame (e.g. general population vs. hospital-based sample) explained a significant proportion of heterogeneity. Other epidemiological studies demonstrated a lack of association between high-risk occupations and development of Crohn's disease. Due to knowledge gaps in understanding the role of M. paratuberculosis in the development or progression of human disease, the evidence at present is not strong enough to inform the potential public health impact of M. paratuberculosis exposure.
We studied the temporal and spatial patterns of leptospirosis, its association with flooding and animal census data in Thailand. Flood data from 2010 to 2012 were extracted from spatial information taken from satellite images. The incidence rate ratio (IRR) was used to determine the relationship between spatio-temporal flooding patterns and the number of human leptospirosis cases. In addition, the area of flood coverage, duration of waterlogging, time lags between flood events, and a number of potential animal reservoirs were considered in a sub-analysis. There was no significant temporal trend of leptospirosis over the study period. Statistical analysis showed an inconsistent relationship between IRR and flooding across years and regions. Spatially, leptospirosis occurred repeatedly and predominantly in northeastern Thailand. Our findings suggest that flooding is less influential in leptospirosis transmission than previously assumed. High incidence of the disease in the northeastern region is explained by the fact that agriculture and animal farming are important economic activities in this area. The periodic rise and fall of reported leptospirosis cases over time might be explained by seasonal exposure from rice farming activities performed during the rainy season when flood events often occur. We conclude that leptospirosis remains an occupational disease in Thailand.
Socioeconomic conditions and health of the Roma population, the most numerous minority in Europe, are worse than that of the non-Roma population. Information about the occurrence of human toxocarosis and other parasitic diseases in the Roma population is scarce or completely missing. The aim of this study was to map the seroprevalence of toxocarosis in the population living in segregated Roma settlements and to compare the data with the occurrence of antibodies in the non-Roma population of Eastern Slovakia. The seropositivity to Toxocara in 429 examined Roma inhabitants of segregated settlements reached 22·1%, while only 4/394 samples of the non-Roma population were found to be positive (odds ratio 27·7, P < 0·0001). Headache, muscle pain, influenza-like symptoms and diarrhoea occurred significantly more often in seropositive persons than in seronegative individuals. In the Roma population positivity was not influenced by gender, level of education and poverty, but age, lack of sanitary facilities and heating with wood significantly increased the risk of infection. It can be assumed that besides the high prevalence of toxocarosis, other parasitic diseases and communicable diseases will also be more prevalent in the Roma population living in segregated settlements.
Avian influenza virus (AIV) is an important zoonotic pathogen, resulting in global human morbidity and mortality and substantial economic losses to the poultry industry. Poultry and wild birds have transmitted AIV to humans, most frequently subtypes H5 and H7, but also different strains and subtypes of H6, H9, and H10. Determining which birds are AIV reservoirs can help identify human populations that have a high risk of infection with these viruses due to occupational or recreational exposure to the reservoir species. To assess the prevalence of AIV in tropical birds, from 2010 to 2014, we sampled 40 099 birds at 32 sites in Central Africa (Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo-Brazzaville, Gabon) and West Africa (Benin, Côte d'Ivoire, Togo). In Central Africa, detection rates by real-time RT–PCR were 16·6% in songbirds (eight passerine families, n = 1257), 16·4% in kingfishers (family Alcedinidae, n = 73), 8·2% in ducks (family Anatidae, n = 564), and 3·65% in chickens (family Phasianidae, n = 1042). Public health authorities should educate human cohorts that have high exposure to these bird populations about AIV and assess their adherence to biosecurity practices, including Cameroonian farmers who raise small backyard flocks.
Dobrava-Belgrade virus (DOBV) is the most pathogenic hantavirus in Europe with a case-fatality rate of up to 12%. To detect changes in risk for humans, the prevalence of antibodies to DOBV has been monitored in a population of Apodemus flavicollis in the province of Trento (northern Italy) since 2000, and a sudden increase was observed in 2010. In the 13-year period of this study, 2077 animals were live-trapped and mean hantavirus seroprevalence was 2·7% (s.e. = 0·3%), ranging from 0% (in 2000, 2002 and 2003) to 12·5% (in 2012). Climatic (temperature and precipitation) and host (rodent population density, rodent weight and sex, and larval tick burden) variables were analysed using Generalized Linear Models and multi-model inference to select the best model. Climatic changes (mean annual precipitation and maximum temperature) and individual body mass had a positive effect on hantavirus seroprevalence. Other possible drivers affecting the observed pattern need to be studied further.