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Background:Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia (PJP) is an opportunistic interstitial fungal pneumonia. The incidence of PJP in HIV-positive populations is decreasing, while it is increasing in HIV-negative immunocompromised populations, such as neurosurgical patients treated with high-dose corticosteroids. Morbidity and mortality can be severe owing to acute respiratory failure. Methods: Two cases are described and a literature review performed to determine the incidence of PJP in the neurosurgery population. A standardized care pathway is proposed to reduce preventable harm. Results: Long-term, high-dose corticosteroid regimens (≥4 mg dexamethasone daily for ≥4 weeks) with taper are associated with increased risk of PJP infection. Additional risk factors for infection in HIV-negative patients include CNS malignancy and concurrent radiation therapy. TMP-SMX is the first-line agent for PJP prophylaxis. Conclusions: Clinicians should maintain a high index of suspicion of PJP and adopt a standardized protocol for prophylaxis in neurosurgical patients treated with high-dose corticosteroids.
Zygogramma bicolorata Pallister is a potential biocontrol agent of Parthenium hysterophorus L. (Asteraceae). This study was carried out to understand the effect of abiotic (temperature and moisture) and biotic factors (age and reproductive status) on the induction and termination of diapause in Z. bicolorata. We also evaluated the effect of diapause on longevity and fecundity of Z. bicolorata. In Z. bicolorata the induction of diapause occurred between the months of July and December. No diapause was observed in May and June, which coincided with the commencement of the monsoon rains. The percentage of diapause induction in Z. bicolorata was found to increase from one generation to another as well as with the age of adults. Diapause significantly increased the fecundity of females as compared to the fecundity in pre-diapause conditions. Soil moisture (80% RH) played an important role in providing the conditions for initiation and termination of diapause. Similarly, 18.4 and 12.5% of diapause adults resumed their activity in 6 and 5 days when exposed to temperatures of 40° and 45° C for 2 h every day, respectively. Exposure of adults to low temperatures, i.e. 5° and 10° C induced 94.3 and 92.5% diapause, respectively, with no adult mortality. Thus, our findings reveal suitable conditions for preventing and inducing diapause in Z. bicolorata, which is of great importance in the suppression of P. hysterophorus. We discuss the implications of these findings in the control of P. hysterophorus.
Determination of critical threshold for induction and termination of diapause (hibernation) are important for better understanding the bio-ecology and population dynamics of Chilo partellus (Swinhoe) under varying climatic conditions. We studied initiation and termination of hibernation under five temperature and photoperiod regimes viz., 27°C + 12L:12D, 22°C + 11.5L:12.5D, 18°C + 11L:13D, 14°C + 10.5L:13.5D and 10°C + 10L:14D under fixed and ramping treatments, and the observations were recorded on various phenological and developmental characteristics at weekly intervals. Present studies revealed that the induction of hibernation in C. partellus larvae takes from 46 to 56 days depending upon temperature and photoperiod conditions. Induction of hibernation varied from 7.9 to 18.3% across treatment conditions, indicating that not all C. partellus larvae undergo diapause under prevailing environmental conditions. Weight, length and head capsule width of diapausing larvae were found significantly lower than the non-diapausing larvae. The non-diapausing C. partellus larvae required a thermal threshold of 1068 degree-days under ambient conditions, while in case of hibernating larvae it varied significantly across treatment conditions. Diapausing larvae underwent up to five supernumerary moults, wherein highest percentage of diapausing larvae (35.7%) exhibited two supernumerary moults. The developmental time of diapausing larvae varied from 94.9 to 160.4 days across treatments. A population loss of 17.2–28.3% was recorded in C. partellus due to hibernation, which has implications for population buildup of post-hibernation first brood and management strategies.
Brain Metastases (BM) represent a leading cause of cancer mortality. While metastatic lesions contain subclones derived from their primary lesion, their functional characterization has been limited by a paucity of preclinical models accurately recapitulating the stages of metastasis. This work describes the isolation of a unique subset of metastatic stem-like cells from primary human patient samples of BM, termed brain metastasis initiating cells (BMICs). Utilizing these BMICs we have established a novel patient-derived xenograft (PDX) model of BM that recapitulates the entire metastatic cascade, from primary tumor initiation to micro-metastasis and macro-metastasis formation in the brain. We then comprehensively interrogated human BM to identify genetic regulators of BMICs using in vitro and in vivo RNA interference screens, and validated hits using both our novel PDX model as well as primary clinical BM specimens. We identified SPOCK1 and TWIST2 as novel BMIC regulators, where in our model SPOCK1 regulated BMIC self-renewal and tumor initiation, and TWIST2 specifically regulated cell migration from lung to brain. A prospective cohort of primary lung cancer specimens was used to establish that SPOCK1 and TWIST2 were only expressed in patients who ultimately developed BM, thus establishing both clinical and functional utility for these gene products. This work offers the first comprehensive preclinical model of human brain metastasis for further characterization of therapeutic targets, identification of predictive biomarkers, and subsequent prophylactic treatment of patients most likely to develop BM. By blocking this process, metastatic lung cancer would effectively become a localized, more manageable disease.
We present a progress report on the analysis of time-resolved spectrophotometric observations of the cataclysmic variable V1315 Aql. The spectral range of the data covers the entire Balmer series up to and including the Balmer jump. We aim to use these data to test the steady-state accretion disk model.
We analyse orbitally-resolved spectra of the Na I doublet in the dwarf nova IP Peg, using the newly developed technique of Roche tomography. We show that Roche tomography can be successfully employed to image the secondary stars in CVs, and that it also serves as an independent aid for determining binary system parameters. Our preliminary results suggest that the mass of the white-dwarf primary is 1.2 M⊙, significantly higher than previous estimates.
Bitter gourd (Momordica charantia L.) is an important market vegetable in the tropics. The objectives of this study were to (1) conduct a preliminary evaluation of genetic diversity in bitter gourd flesh (without seeds) for phytonutrient (carotenoid, ascorbic acid and tocopherol) contents with the aim to understand which phytonutrients might be increased through breeding, (2) assess the association between fruit traits and phytonutrient contents and (3) evaluate the effect of the fruit harvest stage on phytonutrient contents. A total of 17 diverse bitter gourd entries of various commercial market types were evaluated for fruit traits and phytonutrient contents for 2 years. Significant differences (P= 0.05) among the entries were detected for total carotenoids, total tocopherols, dry matter and fruit traits. Mean total carotenoid contents of the entries ranged from 10 to 1335 μg/100 g fresh weight in year 1 and 10 to 1185 μg/100 g fresh weight in year 2. Mean ascorbic acid contents were 69 and 61 mg/100 g fresh weight in year 1 and year 2, respectively. Total tocopherol contents among the entries ranged from 480 to 1345 and 445 to 2145 μg/100 g fresh weight in year 1 and year 2, respectively. Total carotenoid and ascorbic acid contents were highest at 12 days after fruit set (DAFS), but total tocopherol contents were highest from 14 to 20 DAFS. A 100 g portion of bitter gourd fruit can meet 190, 17 and 8% of the recommended daily allowances of vitamin C, vitamin E and vitamin A, respectively, for adults.
This study aimed to report the bone-anchored hearing aid uptake and the reasons for their rejection by unilateral sensorineural deafness patients.
A retrospective review of 90 consecutive unilateral sensorineural deafness patients referred to the Greater Manchester Bone-Anchored Hearing Aid Programme between September 2008 and August 2011 was performed.
In all, 79 (87.8 per cent) were deemed audiologically suitable: 24 (30.3 per cent) eventually had a bone-anchored hearing aid implanted and 55 (69.6 per cent) patients declined. Of those who declined, 26 (47.3 per cent) cited perceived limited benefits, 18 (32.7 per cent) cited reservations regarding surgery, 13 (23.6 per cent) preferred a wireless contralateral routing of sound device and 12 (21.8 per cent) cited cosmetic reasons. In all, 32 (40.5 per cent) suitable patients eventually chose the wireless contralateral routing of sound device.
The uptake rate was 30 per cent for audiologically suitable patients. Almost half of suitable patients did not perceive a sufficient benefit to proceed to device implantation and a significant proportion rejected it. It is therefore important that clinicians do not to rush to implant all unilateral sensorineural hearing loss patients with a bone-anchored hearing aid.
An outbreak of keratoconjunctivitis is described which involved at least 186 people; adenovirus type 8 was identified in 50 of the cases. Topical human fibroblast interferon was assessed in a double-blind, placebo-controlled study in which 34 patients participated. Seventeen of the 34 trial patients yielded adenovirus type 8; three were infected with adenovirus type 7. The outbreak was curtailed by control of infection measures: principally careful hand-washing by medical personnel between cases and by discouraging attendance of new cases at the Eye Infirmary. Consequently the trial numbers are small. In addition there was a wide interpatient variation in the severity of infection. Therefore it was not possible to make any statistically valid conclusions concerning the recovery rate of patients receiving interferon or placebo.
DE CVn is a relatively unstudied eclipsing binary where one of the components is an M dwarf and the other is a white dwarf. Its brightness makes it an ideal system for a detailed study in the context of common-envelope evolution of a detached white dwarf – red dwarf binary with a relatively short orbital period (∼8.7 hours). We present a detailed study of the basic parameters (e.g. orbital period, components' masses and spectral types) for this system from photometric and spectroscopic studies. The eclipses observed during several photometric observing runs were used to derive the ephemeris. We have used spectroscopic data to derive the radial velocity variations of the emission lines and these are used to determine the components' masses and the orbital separation. The secondary component in DE CVn is an M3 main-sequence star and the primary star, which only contributes to the blue continuum, is a cool white dwarf with a temperature of ∼8000 K. From the photometry and spectroscopy together, we have set a limit on the binary inclination. This system is a post-common-envelope system where the progenitor of the present day white dwarf was a low-mass star (M≤2M⊙). The time before DE CVn becomes a semi-detached system is longer than the Hubble time.
Internal jugular vein ectasia is a venous anomaly commonly presenting as a unilateral neck swelling in children and adults. Literature reports of bilateral presentation are rare. Bilateral Doppler ultrasonography is the diagnostic investigation of choice. The possible pathology, aetiology and management are discussed. Conservative management of bilateral cases is recommended in uncomplicated cases
An experiment to study the effect of row direction on the light interception, growth and yield of three wheat cultivars sown at three different dates was conducted at Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana during rabi seasons 1982–3 and 1983–4. The results showed that sowing in a north-south direction resulted in 0·20 and 0·22 t/ha higher yield than sowing east-west. Bi-directional sowing gave further increases of 0·30 and 0·18 t/ha over north-south direction during 1982–3 and 1983–4 respectively. Late sowing significantly reduced yield.
Studies on the effect of body weight at calving on body-weight losses during early lactation and the post-partum reproductive performance of large, medium and small buffaloes revealed that the large buffaloes (weighing more than 550 kg at calving) lost most weight (45·9 kg) and the small buffaloes (weighing less than 475 kg at calving) least weight (4·9 kg) during the first 5 months of lactation. The body-weight loss was maximal in the 1st month of lactation. The reproductive performance (measured as conception rate, number of services per conception and service period) of small buffaloes was significantly (P < 0·05) better than the large buffaloes. These results indicate that body–weight losses during early lactation are affected by the body weight at calving and these losses play an important role in influencing the post-partum reproductive performance. It is therefore suggested that, to improve the reproductive performance, the feeding regimen of buffaloes during pregnancy and after calving should be such that body-weight losses after calving are small.
Eight hundred and ninety-eight records of the interval between calving and conception (service period) of 349 Hariana cows, the progeny of 79 sires, were analysed by fitting constants for the effects of year, month of calving, calving sequence, sex of the calf, weight of the cow at calving and weight of the calf at birth. The average service period was 272·7 days with a coefficient of variability of 50·7%.
The service period was longest after the first calving. Animals calving in the months of February to August had a longer service period than those calving during the months of September to January. Heavier cows tended to have a shorter service period. Sex of the calf, calving sequence and birth weight of the calf did not affect this trait significantly.
Heritability of service period estimated from the paternal half-sib correlation using repeated records was 0·06 ± 0·018 and repeatability was 0·250 ± 0·039. It seems likely therefore that a shortening of the service period may not be possible through direct selection.
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