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Peripheral low-grade inflammation in depression is increasingly seen as a therapeutic target. We aimed to establish the prevalence of low-grade inflammation in depression, using different C-reactive protein (CRP) levels, through a systematic literature review and meta-analysis.
We searched the PubMed database from its inception to July 2018, and selected studies that assessed depression using a validated tool/scale, and allowed the calculation of the proportion of patients with low-grade inflammation (CRP >3 mg/L) or elevated CRP (>1 mg/L).
After quality assessment, 37 studies comprising 13 541 depressed patients and 155 728 controls were included. Based on the meta-analysis of 30 studies, the prevalence of low-grade inflammation (CRP >3 mg/L) in depression was 27% (95% CI 21–34%); this prevalence was not associated with sample source (inpatient, outpatient or population-based), antidepressant treatment, participant age, BMI or ethnicity. Based on the meta-analysis of 17 studies of depression and matched healthy controls, the odds ratio for low-grade inflammation in depression was 1.46 (95% CI 1.22–1.75). The prevalence of elevated CRP (>1 mg/L) in depression was 58% (95% CI 47–69%), and the meta-analytic odds ratio for elevated CRP in depression compared with controls was 1.47 (95% CI 1.18–1.82).
About a quarter of patients with depression show evidence of low-grade inflammation, and over half of patients show mildly elevated CRP levels. There are significant differences in the prevalence of low-grade inflammation between patients and matched healthy controls. These findings suggest that inflammation could be relevant to a large number of patients with depression.
Nurse sow strategies are used to manage large litters on commercial pig farms. However, new-born piglets transferred to nurse sows in late lactation might be compromised in terms of growth and survival. We investigated the effects of two nurse sow strategies on piglet growth, suckling behaviour and sow nursing behaviour. At 1-day post-farrowing, the four heaviest piglets from large litters were transferred to a nurse sow either 21 (1STEP21, n=9 litters) or 7 (2STEP7, n=10 litters) days into lactation. The remainder of the litter remained with their mother and was either kept intact (remain intact (RI), n=10 litters) or had some piglets cross-fostered to equalise birth weights (remain equalised (RE), n=9 litters). The 7-day-old piglets from 2STEP7 were transferred onto a sow 21 days into lactation (2STEP21, n=10 litters). The growth of new-born piglets on 1STEP21 and 2STEP7 nurse sows was initially lower than in RI litters (F3,33.8=4.61; P<0.01), but weaning weights did not significantly differ (F4,32.7=0.78; P>0.5). After the 1st week of lactation, the weights and growth rates did not differ between treatments. Fighting behaviour during nursing bouts decreased over time. The frequency of fights was higher in 1STEP21 and 2STEP21 litters compared with RI litters (t122=3.06 and t123=3.00, respectively, P<0.05). The 2STEP21 litters had shorter nursing bouts than RI and 1STEP21 litters (t107=−2.81 and t81.7=2.8, respectively, P<0.05), which were more frequently terminated by 2STEP21 than RI sows (t595=2.93; P<0.05). Transferring heaviest piglets from RI and RE litters to nurse sows reduced the percentage of teat changes during nursing bouts (RI: F1,275=16.61; RE: F1,308=43.59; P<0.001). In conclusion, nurse sow strategies do not appear to compromise piglet growth. However, new-born piglets transferred onto sows in late lactation experienced more competition at the udder, suggesting that the sows’ stage of lactation is of importance to how achievable nurse sow strategies are. Thus, the two-step nurse sow strategy is likely the best option (in relation to growth and suckling behaviour), as it minimises the difference between piglet age and sow stage of lactation.
Management strategies are needed to optimise the number of piglets weaned from hyper-prolific sows. Nurse sow strategies involve transferring supernumerary new-born piglets onto a sow whose own piglets are either weaned or fostered onto another sow. Such ‘nurse sows’ have extended lactations spent in farrowing crates, which could have negative implications for their welfare. This study used 47 sows, 20 of which farrowed large litters and had their biggest piglets fostered onto nurse sows which were either 1 week (2STEP7, n=9) or 3 weeks into lactation (1STEP21, n=10). Sows from which piglets were removed (R) were either left with the remainder of the litter intact (I) (remain intact (RI) sows, n=10), or had their litters equalised (E) for birth weight using piglets of the same age from non-experimental sows (remain equalised (RE) sows, n=9). Piglets from 2STEP7 were fostered onto another nurse sow which was 3 weeks into lactation (2STEP21, n=9). Back-fat thickness was measured at entry to the farrowing house, at fostering (nurse sows only) and weaning. Sows were scored for ease of locomotion and skin and claw lesions at entry to the farrowing house and weaning. Salivary cortisol samples were collected and tear staining was scored at 0900 h weekly from entry until weaning. Saliva samples were also taken at fostering. Data were analysed using GLMs with appropriate random and repeated factors, or non-parametric tests were applied where appropriate. Back-fat thickness decreased between entry and weaning for all sows (F1,42=26.59, P<0.001) and tended to differ between treatments (F4,16=2.91; P=0.06). At weaning RI sows had lower limb lesion scores than 2STEP7 and RE sows (χ24=10.8, P<0.05). No treatment effects were detected on salivary cortisol concentrations (P>0.05) and all nurse sows had a higher salivary cortisol concentration at fostering, compared with the other days (F10,426=3.47; P<0.05). Acute effects of fostering differed between nurse sow treatments (F2,113=3.45, P<0.05); 2STEP7 sows had a higher salivary cortisol concentration than 1STEP21 and 2STEP21 sows on the day of fostering. 2STEP7 sows had a higher salivary cortisol concentration at fostering, compared with 1STEP21 and 2STEP21 sows. Tear staining scores were not influenced by treatment (P>0.05). In conclusion, no difference was detected between nurse sows and non-nurse sows in body condition or severity of lesions. Although some nurse sows experienced stress at fostering, no long-term effect of the nurse sow strategies was detected on stress levels compared with sows that raised their own litter.
There is currently a lack of research investigating the effectiveness of commercial broiler enrichments, and in particular the ability of these additions to create opportunities for positive welfare. One aim of this study was to investigate whether offering broiler chickens enrichments that have recently been found to be preferred leads to increased levels of activity. A second aim was to investigate the emotional effects of provision of these enrichments by assessing levels of fearfulness and play-like activity. Commercially housed broilers were assigned to treatment houses containing either: (1) platform perches, (2) platform perches+peat dust baths, (3) no enrichment (control). Activity levels and play behaviours in unenriched areas of the house were measured in weeks 3, 4 and 5. Levels of active behaviours, such as foraging and locomotion, were determined from video recordings of undisturbed birds in unenriched areas of the house. To stimulate play-like behaviours an observer walked through the birds, displacing them and creating a space. The broilers using the space were then filmed for 5 min and the occurrences of frolicking, sparring and food-running were recorded. Fearfulness of broilers in unenriched areas of the house, and also when using enrichments, was measured using observer avoidance tests in week 5. We found that creating space among the broilers was a successful method of stimulating play (largely sparring and frolicking), with play being observed in 93% of videos, however the presence of enrichments did not have an effect on the level of play recorded (P>0.05). There was also no treatment effect on activity levels of broilers in unenriched areas (P>0.05), however levels of overall activity decreased as broilers aged. Compared with the control, flight distances in unenriched areas were significantly lower in the perches+dust bath treatment (P=0.026), and were numerically lower in the perches treatment. This suggests a reduction in fearfulness with increased environmental complexity, and thus possible welfare benefits. It is suggested that further research should investigate whether increasing the level of provision of these enrichments leads to more marked improvements in welfare.
Producers are interested in utilising farrowing systems with reduced confinement to improve sow welfare. However, concerns of increased mortality may limit commercial uptake. Temporary confinement systems utilise a standard crate which is opened 3 to 7 days postpartum, providing protection for neonatal piglets at their most vulnerable age and later increased freedom of movement for sows. However, there is anecdotal evidence that piglet mortality increases immediately after the temporary crate is opened. The current study aims were to determine if piglet mortality increases post-opening, to trial different opening techniques to reduce post-opening piglet mortality and to identify how the different opening techniques influence sow behaviour. Three opening treatments were implemented across 416 sows: two involved opening crates individually within each farrowing house when each litter reached 7 days of age, in either the morning or afternoon (AM or PM), with a control of the standard method used on the farm to open all crates in each farrowing house simultaneously once the average litter age reached 7 days (ALL). Behavioural observations were performed on five sows from each treatment during the 6 h after crate opening, and during the same 6 h period on the previous and subsequent days. Across all treatments, piglet mortality was significantly higher in the post-opening than pre-opening period (P<0.0005). Between opening treatments, there were significant differences in piglet mortality during the 2 days after crate opening (P<0.05), whilst piglet mortality also tended to differ from crate opening until weaning (P=0.052), being highest in ALL and lowest in PM. Only sows in the PM treatment showed no increase in standing behaviour but did show an increased number of potentially dangerous posture changes after crate opening (P=0.01), which may be partly attributed to the temporal difference in observation periods. Sow behaviour only differed between AM and ALL on the day before crate opening, suggesting the AM treatment disrupted behaviour pre-opening. Sows in AM and PM treatments showed more sitting behaviour than ALL, and therefore may have been more alert. In conclusion, increases in piglet mortality after crate opening can be reduced by opening crates individually, more so in the afternoon. Sow habituation to disturbance before crate opening may have reduced post-opening piglet mortality, perhaps by reducing the difference in pre- and post-opening sow behaviour patterns.
Global interest in alternative indoor farrowing systems is increasing, leading to a growing number of farms utilising such systems alongside standard crates. There is evidence that interchanging sows between different farrowing systems affects maternal behaviour, whilst the subsequent effect of this on piglet mortality is unknown. The current study hypothesised that second parity piglet mortality would be higher if a sow farrowed in a different farrowing system to that of her first parity. Retrospective farm performance records were used from 753 sows during their first and second parities. Sows farrowed in either standard crates (crates), temporary crates (360s) or straw-bedded pens (pens), with mortality recorded as occurring either pre- or post-processing. Inter- and intra-parity sow consistency in performance were also investigated. Overall, total piglet mortality reduced from the first to the second parity, being significantly higher in the crates and higher in the 360s during the first or second parity, respectively. In the second parity, an interaction of the current and previous farrowing systems resulted in the lowest incidence of crushing for sows housed in the same system as their first parity for the crates and pens, but not the 360s. Post-processing mortality was significantly higher in the crates if a sow previously farrowed in the 360s and vice versa. Sows which previously farrowed in a pen had a significantly larger litter size and lower pre-processing mortality from crushing in their second parity than sows previously housed in the crates or the 360s. No inter-parity consistency of sow performance was found, whilst intra-parity consistency was found in the first but not second parity. In conclusion, returning sows to the same farrowing system appears to reduce piglet mortality, whilst farrowing in a pen during the first parity significantly increased second parity litter size without increasing piglet mortality.
Provision of an appropriate dustbathing substrate may allow broiler chickens to satisfy a natural motivation and give them an opportunity to exercise. The main aim of this study was to evaluate the extent to which different substrates promote dustbathing behaviour in broilers. The trial was replicated over three production cycles in one commercial broiler house, with ~22 000 Ross broilers housed per cycle. The birds were provided with access to five experimental substrates from day 10 of the 6-week production cycle. The substrates included the following: (1) peat (P), (2) oat hulls (OH), (3) straw pellets (SP), (4) clean wood shavings (WS), and (5) litter control (C). The substrates were provided in 15 steel rings (1.1 m in diameter, three rings per substrate) dispersed throughout the house. The level of occupancy of the rings, behaviours performed in each substrate, and the effect of ring position (central or edge of house) were assessed in weeks 3, 4, 5 and 6 using scan sampling from video footage. Where substrates successfully promoted dustbathing, the length and components of the bouts (including number of vertical wing shakes and ground pecks) were also assessed. Results showed that birds used P significantly more than the remaining substrates for dustbathing (P<0.001). Oat hulls were the second most preferred substrate for dustbathing, with significantly more birds dustbathing in the OH compared with SP, WS and C (P<0.001). The least sitting inactive was also seen in the P and OH rings compared with the SP, WS and C (P<0.001). The highest levels of foraging were recorded in the P, OH and WS compared with SP and the C. Position of the rings did not affect the types of behaviours performed in any substrate, although overall more birds were counted in the central compared with edge rings (P=0.001). More detailed information on dustbathing behaviour was only recorded in the P and OH treatments, and there were no differences in the length of dustbathing bout, or components of the bout between them (P>0.05). The use of OH is likely to be more environmentally sustainable than that of P, and our results suggest that this substrate is relatively successful in promoting dustbathing. However, a preference was still observed for P and further work should investigate whether other suitable substrates could better reflect its qualities.
Piglet survival is based on a complex interaction between the piglets own genetic component (direct genetic effects), the dams genetic contribution (maternal genetic effects) and environmental effects (systematic environmental such as year-season, common litter and individual environmental effects). Disentanglement of direct and maternal genetic effects needs a powerful design of genetic relationships. In order to accomplish this, a two generation selection experiment was designed with different selection groups for direct and maternal effects and cross-classification of these selection groups. Survival at birth and survival during the nursing period may have genetically independent components and would then be treated as different traits. In addition, piglet survival traits are reported to have low direct and maternal heritabilities and traits genetically associated with survival, such as birth weight, may result in a more efficient change in survival than using survival per se. Therefore, the objective of the research was to estimate the genetic parameters of direct and maternal genetic effects of survival and birth weight in order to enhance the selection strategies for piglet survival.
Recent estimates of total pre-weaning piglet mortality range between 16-19% (MLC 2006). With environmental modification using the farrowing crate reaching its potential to decrease mortality, as well as raising serious welfare concerns, a different approach to effectively address piglet survival is needed. Genetic breeding programmes implemented in alternative farrowing systems could prove a viable option.
Severe longitudinally extensive transverse myelitis (LETM) can cause quadriplegia, marked sensory dysfunction, and respiratory failure. Some patients are unresponsive to conventional immune therapy. We report two cases of severe immune-mediated LETM requiring intensive care admission that failed to respond to high-dose corticosteroids, plasma exchange, intravenous immunoglobulin, and rituximab. Disease cessation and significant recovery was achieved after cyclophosphamide induction. In patients with severe acute immune-mediated LETM who fail to respond to corticosteroids and plasma exchange, cyclophosphamide induction should be considered. This agent and regimen provides a robust immunosuppressive response and can be induced rapidly. Cyclophosphamide effects and supportive evidence are discussed.
Oregon's Fort Rock Cave is iconic in respect to both the archaeology of the northern Great Basin and the history of debate about when the Great Basin was colonized. In 1938, Luther Cressman recovered dozens of sagebrush bark sandals from beneath Mt. Mazama ash that were later radiocarbon dated to between 10,500 and 9350 cal B.P. In 1970, Stephen Bedwell reported finding lithic tools associated with a date of more than 15,000 cal B.P., a date dismissed as unreasonably old by most researchers. Now, with evidence of a nearly 15,000-year-old occupation at the nearby Paisley Five Mile Point Caves, we returned to Fort Rock Cave to evaluate the validity of Bedwell's claim, assess the stratigraphic integrity of remaining deposits, and determine the potential for future work at the site. Here, we report the results of additional fieldwork at Fort Rock Cave undertaken in 2015 and 2016, which supports the early Holocene occupation, but does not confirm a pre–10,500 cal B.P. human presence.
The following list presents results obtained during 1968-69 on a series of samples chosen to investigate temporal variations of C14 concentrations in the atmosphere during the past century. Together with data presented previously (Radiocarbon, 1969, v. 11, p. 45-52) they constitute a study of annual variations of C14 activities at N temperate latitudes.
Two radiocarbon counting systems have been established in the Chemistry Department, University of Glasgow, since late 1967.
The counting gas is methane, at pressures up to 10 atm, and 2 alternative procedures are followed for methane production, (a) high pressure synthesis in a stainless steel 4.5 1 reactor and (b) low pressure synthesis in an all glass flow-reactor. Both systems employ 0.5% ruthenium on alumina pellets as catalyst (Engelhard Industries Ltd.). Early samples synthesized with Air Products' hydrogen showed evidence of tritium contamination. This gas supply was later replaced with tritium-free hydrogen supplied by Messrs. Griesheim, Düsseldorf, Germany. Both detectors used for routine measurements are 0.5 1 internal gas counters supplied by Beckman Instruments Inc., California. The detectors are surrounded by a concentric-wall multiple anode anticoincidence counter. The entire counter assembly is encased within a 4-in.-thick lead shield manufactured from aged lead by J. Girdler and Co., London. Counter electronics, anticoincidence system and power supply are of Beckman design (Sharp and Ellis, 1965).
The International Collaborative Study involved a wide range of sample materials and ages and, on completion, assessed each stage independently (Scott et al 1989; Aitchison et al 1990). We combine here the three stages of the study and provide an overview of the uncertainties in the dating procedure as a whole and in its component processes. Three key optimal performance indices, related to internal and external precision and to bias, have been defined to allow quantitative assessment of Internal Consistency and External Consistency (Aitchison et al 1990). We believe that these measures provide quantitative descriptions of a laboratory's reproducibility, accuracy and precision.
For the internal consistency, we have defined the Internal Error Multiplier of the quoted error and, for the external consistency of any laboratory relative to an appropriate baseline, we have defined two indices, the Systematic Bias and External Error Multiplier of the quoted error. We have evaluated the three indices over the three stages and have assessed the relative performances of gas counting, accelerator and liquid scintillation laboratories. The quoted errors describe adequately the variability in duplicate results, but there is evidence of systematic biases and underestimation of interlaboratory variability. We have considered the contribution of pretreatment, synthesis counting to the overall variability for each laboratory type. We found that, for liquid scintillation (LS) and gas counting (GC) laboratories, ca 66% of the total variation is due to counting and sample synthesis whereas, for accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) laboratories, the major sources of variability are the sampling and pretreatment processes.
This list presents results obtained during 1971-1972 and is a continuation of research evaluating natural C14 levels for which data have been published previously (Baxter et al., 1969; Baxter and Walton, 1970; Farmer et al., 1972). The results of these studies are presented as δC14 and Δ values based on age-corrected activities, although this correction is very small. Errors quoted are lσ counting uncertainties only. Pretreatment procedures are outlined in the text and analytical methods are essentially unchanged. Gas proportional counting of CH4 in a 0.5L detector is employed (Baxter et al., 1969). Mass spectrometric analyses are performed to a precision of 0.1‰ (± 2σ) on a V.G. Micromass 602B stable isotope mass spectrometer.
Sample materials issued to participants in the interlaboratory calibration exercise are defined and in context of their intended interpretational significance. Preparation of the benzene and calcium carbonate standards as issued for stage 1 is described in detail; likewise, the source and pretreatment/extraction of the environmental samples dispatched for stages 2 and 3.
The radiologic impact of 14C produced by the nuclear fuel cycle is assessed at both global and local levels. In the former context, it is predicted here that the specific activity of atmospheric CO2 in the year 2050 will be ca 7.6 pCig-1 C. Although this is similar to the present level, the subsequent collective dose commitment could be highly significant.
The enhancement of 14C concentrations around the nuclear fuel-reprocessing plant at Sellafield (Windscale) in Cumbria, U K has been monitored over recent years. For example, maximum levels of 27.2 pCig-1C (∼350% above natural) during 1984 were observed < 1 km from the plant, with enhanced activities detectable to at least 29km. Nevertheless, it is clear that the radiologic significance to the local population is low. The spatial distribution of the excess 14C allows atmospheric dispersion models to be tested in the context of continuous releases and the results thus far show that the Gaussian plume model performs successfully.
The analytical facilities at Glasgow have been extended to include gas proportional (CO2 and CH4) and liquid scintillation (C6H6) counting laboratories. The results presented here were obtained during 1972-1974 using the CO2 gas counting system only. In brief, organic samples, after pretreatment as described in the text, are burned in a tube combustion unit and the evolved CO2 absorbed in KOH solution. BaCO3 is precipitated and acid-hydrolyzed in vacuo using H3PO4. Evolved CO2 is purified via adsorption/desorption on CaO and is stored prior to counting. The 2.6L proportional counter is surrounded by a gas-flow Geiger anticoincidence guard and 10cm thick Pb shielding to reduce background count rates to ca 4.9 cpm at 1 atm filling and barometric pressures. A barometric sensitivity in background of −0.01cpm/mbar is observed. Constant gas gain is ensured by monitoring the coincidence meson spectrum and normalizing the detector operating voltage. All sample activities are related to the NBS oxalic acid standard count rate which averages 14.71 cpm at 1 atm filling pressure and 15°C. Mass spectrometric assay of CO2 after counting is performed on a VG Micromass 602B instrument to a precision of 0.05% (±1σ). Since uncertainties quoted on all results represent 1σ counting errors alone, they are related to precision of measurement rather than accuracy. The bulk of data quoted here are connected with a long-term study of the medical aspects of artificial 14C from nuclear weapon tests. These results should therefore be assessed in conjunction with those pub previously (Harkness and Walton, 1972; Farmer et al, 1972).
On behalf of the organising committee, it is a great pleasure to welcome you all to this 14C workshop and indeed to Scotland. The organising committee has already indicated its ability by arranging sunshine for a place and time in which horizontal rain is more common. We plan to build on this initial success by having an outstanding week of good science and pleasant social activity. Scientifically, we have the opportunity firstly to look back and review previous research on the accuracy and precision of 14C dates. Then we will hear and discuss some important new results from the final stage of the present international intercomparison study. Finally, we will discuss and plan mechanisms and procedures by which, in future, we can improve our general level of performance. Paralleling this and of equal if not more importance, we have arranged a social programme which we hope will give us the opportunity to eat and drink well together, see some of the country, get to know each other better and discuss our science informally. So our hopes are high and our welcome sincere.
A proposal for an international collaborative study to investigate and assess the existence of inter-laboratory variability is discussed. The proposed study would be conducted over two years and would investigate each stage of the dating process in turn.