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Alterations of the gut microbiome have been associated with obesity and metabolic disorders. The gut microbiota can be influenced by the intake of dietary fibres with prebiotic properties, such as inulin-type fructans. This study tested the hypothesis that obese individuals subjected for 12 weeks to a inulin-enriched versus inulin-poor diet have differential faecal fermentation patterns. The fermentation of cellulose and inulin hydrolysates, of six different inulin-rich and inulin-poor vegetables of both groups was analysed in vitro on faecal inocula. The results showed that the microbiota from obese patients who received fructan-rich diet for three weeks produce more gas and total short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) compared to the microbiota taken of the same individuals before the treatment. Obese individuals fed with a low-fructan diet produce less gas and less SCFA compared to the treated group. This study highlighted profound changes in microbiota fermentation capacity obtained by prebiotic intervention in obese individuals, which favors the production of specific bioactive metabolites.
Both blood- and milk-based biomarkers have been analysed for decades in research settings, although often only in one herd, and without focus on the variation in the biomarkers that are specifically related to herd or diet. Biomarkers can be used to detect physiological imbalance and disease risk and may have a role in precision livestock farming (PLF). For use in PLF, it is important to quantify normal variation in specific biomarkers and the source of this variation. The objective of this study was to estimate the between- and within-herd variation in a number of blood metabolites (β-hydroxybutyrate (BHB), non-esterified fatty acids, glucose and serum IGF-1), milk metabolites (free glucose, glucose-6-phosphate, urea, isocitrate, BHB and uric acid), milk enzymes (lactate dehydrogenase and N-acetyl-β-D-glucosaminidase (NAGase)) and composite indicators for metabolic imbalances (Physiological Imbalance-index and energy balance), to help facilitate their adoption within PLF. Blood and milk were sampled from 234 Holstein dairy cows from 6 experimental herds, each in a different European country, and offered a total of 10 different diets. Blood was sampled on 2 occasions at approximately 14 days-in-milk (DIM) and 35 DIM. Milk samples were collected twice weekly (in total 2750 samples) from DIM 1 to 50. Multilevel random regression models were used to estimate the variance components and to calculate the intraclass correlations (ICCs). The ICCs for the milk metabolites, when adjusted for parity and DIM at sampling, demonstrated that between 12% (glucose-6-phosphate) and 46% (urea) of the variation in the metabolites’ levels could be associated with the herd-diet combination. Intraclass Correlations related to the herd-diet combination were generally higher for blood metabolites, from 17% (cholesterol) to approximately 46% (BHB and urea). The high ICCs for urea suggest that this biomarker can be used for monitoring on herd level. The low variance within cow for NAGase indicates that few samples would be needed to describe the status and potentially a general reference value could be used. The low ICC for most of the biomarkers and larger within cow variation emphasises that multiple samples would be needed - most likely on the individual cows - for making the biomarkers useful for monitoring. The majority of biomarkers were influenced by parity and DIM which indicate that these should be accounted for if the biomarker should be used for monitoring.
Aircraft handling qualities may be influenced by wing-tip flow separations and horizontal tail (HT) reduced efficiency caused by loss of local dynamic pressure or local tailplane flow separations in high angle-of-attack manoeuvres. From the flight tester’s perspective, provided that the test aircraft presents sufficient longitudinal control authority to overcome an uncommanded nose-up motion, this characteristic should not be a safety factor. Monitoring and measuring the local airflow in the aircraft’s HT provides information for safe flight-test envelope expansion and data for early aerodynamic knowledge and model validation. This work presents the development, installation and pre-flight calibration using computational fluid dynamics (CFD), flight-test calibration, results and benefits of differential pressure based local angle-of-attack and total pressure measurements through 20 static pressure ports and a Kiel pitot. These sensors were installed in a single-aisle, four-abreast, full fly-by-wire medium-range jet airliner with twin turbofan engines and conventional HT (low vertical position).
Transition cow diseases can negatively impact animal welfare and reduce dairy herd profitability. Transition cow disease incidence has remained relatively stable over time despite monitoring and management efforts aimed to reduce the risk of developing diseases. Dairy cattle disease risk is monitored by assessing multiple factors, including certain biomarker test results, health records, feed intake, body condition score, and milk production. However, these factors, which are used to make herd management decisions, are often reviewed separately without considering the correlation between them. In addition, the biomarkers that are currently used for monitoring may not be representative of the complex physiological changes that occur during the transition period. Predictive modeling, which uses data to predict future or current outcomes, is a method that can be used to combine the most predictive variables and their interactions efficiently. The use of an effective predictive model with relevant predictors for transition cow diseases will result in better targeted interventions, and therefore lower disease incidence. This review will discuss predictive modeling methods and candidate variables in the context of transition cow diseases. The next step is to investigate novel biomarkers and statistical methods that are best suited for the prediction of transition cow diseases.
We studied trends in the incidence of health care-associated infections (HAIs) in LTCFs between 2009 and 2015 and determined the effect of participation in our network. Elder-care physicians reported weekly the number of cases of influenza-like illness, gastroenteritis, (probable) pneumonia, urinary tract infections (UTIs) and all-cause mortality. Trends in the incidence of infection and mortality in relation to LTCF characteristics were calculated using multilevel univariate and multivariate logistic regression. Thirty LTCF participated for 3 years or more, 16 for 2 years and the remaining 12 LTCF for 1 year. During the study period, the median number of beds decreased from 158 to 139, whereas the percentage of residents with private bedrooms increased from 14% to 87%. UTIs were the most frequently reported infections, followed by (probable) pneumonia and gastroenteritis. Adjusted for calendar year and season, we observed a statistically significant decrease in the incidence of influenza-like illness (odds ratio (OR) = 0.8, P < 0.01) and (probable) pneumonia (OR = 0.8, P < 0.01) for each extra year an LTCF participated. Although there are other likely contributors, such as more private rooms and enhanced infection control measures, the decreasing trend of HAI in LTCFs participating in surveillance implies that surveillance is a valuable addition to current strategies to optimise infection control.
Background: We assessed long-term health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and functioning in adults receiving onabotulinumtoxinA for CM. Methods: Interim analysis of multicentre, prospective, observational study in adults naïve to botulinum toxin (NCT02502123). Mean change from baseline in Migraine-Specific Quality of Life (MSQ) score (primary); healthcare resource utilization (HRU) and work productivity (secondary) assessed in patients receiving 4 of 7 onabotulinumtoxinA treatments (Tx4; ~10 months). Results: Across treatments (baseline, n=196, post-Tx2, n=173, post-Tx4, n=137), the mean (SD) between-session interval and onabotulinumtoxinA dose was 13.1 weeks and 170.4 (17.2) U, respectively. MSQ scores increased significantly (P<0.0001) (baseline to post-Tx4; all role function domains). Patient percentages declined from baseline to post-Tx2 and post-Tx4 for emergency room visits (17.3%; 9.3%; 6.6%), hospital admissions (3.6%; 2.9%; 1.5%), and headache-related diagnostic testing (35.9%; 15.9%; 8.1%). The percentages of patients employed at baseline (73.5%) and post-Tx4 (72.3%) were similar. Hours worked increased slightly from baseline to post-Tx4 (28.0 [SD=15.4]; 29.4 [SD=16.0]). Headache-related missed work hours decreased (5.9 [SD=9.5]; 2.5 [SD=5.9]). Patients reported less headache-related impact on work productivity from baseline to post-Tx4 (5.4 [SD=2.1] vs 3.9 [SD=2.6]) and ability to perform daily activities (6.1 [SD=2.1] vs 4.2 [SD=2.8]). Conclusions: OnabotulinumtoxinA for CM improved HRQoL and work productivity and reduced HRU.
Maternal mental health during pregnancy and postpartum predicts later emotional and behavioural problems in children. Even though most perinatal mental health problems begin before pregnancy, the consequences of preconception maternal mental health for children's early emotional development have not been prospectively studied.
We used data from two prospective Australian intergenerational cohorts, with 756 women assessed repeatedly for mental health problems before pregnancy between age 13 and 29 years, and during pregnancy and at 1 year postpartum for 1231 subsequent pregnancies. Offspring infant emotional reactivity, an early indicator of differential sensitivity denoting increased risk of emotional problems under adversity, was assessed at 1 year postpartum.
Thirty-seven percent of infants born to mothers with persistent preconception mental health problems were categorised as high in emotional reactivity, compared to 23% born to mothers without preconception history (adjusted OR 2.1, 95% CI 1.4–3.1). Ante- and postnatal maternal depressive symptoms were similarly associated with infant emotional reactivity, but these perinatal associations reduced somewhat after adjustment for prior exposure. Causal mediation analysis further showed that 88% of the preconception risk was a direct effect, not mediated by perinatal exposure.
Maternal preconception mental health problems predict infant emotional reactivity, independently of maternal perinatal mental health; while associations between perinatal depressive symptoms and infant reactivity are partially explained by prior exposure. Findings suggest that processes shaping early vulnerability for later mental disorders arise well before conception. There is an emerging case for expanding developmental theories and trialling preventive interventions in the years before pregnancy.
When Hurricane Harvey landed along the Texas coast on August 25, 2017, it caused massive flooding and damage and displaced tens of thousands of residents of Harris County, Texas. Between August 29 and September 23, Harris County, along with community partners, operated a megashelter at NRG Center, which housed 3365 residents at its peak. Harris County Public Health conducted comprehensive public health surveillance and response at NRG, which comprised disease identification through daily medical record reviews, nightly “cot-to-cot” resident health surveys, and epidemiological consultations; messaging and communications; and implementation of control measures including stringent isolation and hygiene practices, vaccinations, and treatment. Despite the lengthy operation at the densely populated shelter, an early seasonal influenza A (H3) outbreak of 20 cases was quickly identified and confined. Influenza outbreaks in large evacuation shelters after a disaster pose a significant threat to populations already experiencing severe stressors. A holistic surveillance and response model, which consists of coordinated partnerships with onsite agencies, in-time epidemiological consultations, predesigned survey tools, trained staff, enhanced isolation and hygiene practices, and sufficient vaccines, is essential for effective disease identification and control. The lessons learned and successes achieved from this outbreak may serve for future disaster response settings. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2019;13:97-101)
For patients with bifascicular block and syncope of unknown origin, different American Heart Association guidelines give Class 2A recommendations for two treatments: the implantable loop recorder (ILR) and empiric pacemaker insertion (PM). Equipoise reflected in guidelines may contribute to uncertainty in management and inefficient resource use. The objective of this analysis is to determine the cost-effectiveness of ILR compared to PM in the management of older adults (age>50 years) with bifascicular block and syncope over two years, from the perspective of a Canadian publicly funded health care system, in the Syncope: Pacing or Recording In ThE Later Years (SPRITELY) trial.
Resource utilization data was collected throughout the trial, and unit costs were assigned (2017 Canadian dollars). Utility was measured at baseline and annually with the EQ-5D-3L. Quality adjusted life years (QALYs) were calculated as area-under-the-curve, and adjusted for baseline imbalances in utility. Confidence intervals for the incremental cost effectiveness ratio were generated with non-parametric bootstrapping.
Mean cost in participants randomized to PM was CAD 9,759 (USD 7,400), compared to CAD 13,453 (USD 10,200) in participants randomized to ILR. The ILR strategy resulted in 0.020 QALYs more than the PM strategy. The incremental cost effectiveness ratio was CAD 186,553 (95% CI: −831,950–1,191,816) (USD 141,900, 95% CI: −632,740–906,440) per additional QALY. In 1,000 bootstrapped replicates, the cost of the ILR strategy was always greater than that of the PM strategy. At the threshold of CAD 50,000 (USD 38,000) per additional QALY, the probability that the ILR strategy is the cost effective option is 0.504.
ILR costs were greater than PM costs, with little difference in QALY outcomes over two-years. Findings are generalizable to patients similar to SPRITELY participants, from the perspective of the Canadian health care system. However, practice pattern variation and payment systems inhibit generalizability to other countries. Future analysis will explore cost and QALY outcomes in countries that participated in the SPRITELY trial.
Unbalanced metabolic status in the weeks after calving predisposes dairy cows to metabolic and infectious diseases. Blood glucose, IGF-I, non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA) and β-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) are used as indicators of the metabolic status of cows. This work aims to (1) evaluate the potential of milk mid-IR spectra to predict these blood components individually and (2) to evaluate the possibility of predicting the metabolic status of cows based on the clustering of these blood components. Blood samples were collected from 241 Holstein cows on six experimental farms, at days 14 and 35 after calving. Blood samples were analyzed by reference analysis and metabolic status was defined by k-means clustering (k=3) based on the four blood components. Milk mid-IR analyses were undertaken on different instruments and the spectra were harmonized into a common standardized format. Quantitative models predicting blood components were developed using partial least squares regression and discriminant models aiming to differentiate the metabolic status were developed with partial least squares discriminant analysis. Cross-validations were performed for both quantitative and discriminant models using four subsets randomly constituted. Blood glucose, IGF-I, NEFA and BHB were predicted with respective R2 of calibration of 0.55, 0.69, 0.49 and 0.77, and R2 of cross-validation of 0.44, 0.61, 0.39 and 0.70. Although these models were not able to provide precise quantitative values, they allow for screening of individual milk samples for high or low values. The clustering methodology led to the sharing out of the data set into three groups of cows representing healthy, moderately impacted and imbalanced metabolic status. The discriminant models allow to fairly classify the three groups, with a global percentage of correct classification up to 74%. When discriminating the cows with imbalanced metabolic status from cows with healthy and moderately impacted metabolic status, the models were able to distinguish imbalanced group with a global percentage of correct classification up to 92%. The performances were satisfactory considering the variables are not present in milk, and consequently predicted indirectly. This work showed the potential of milk mid-IR analysis to provide new metabolic status indicators based on individual blood components or a combination of these variables into a global status. Models have been developed within a standardized spectral format, and although robustness should preferably be improved with additional data integrating different geographic regions, diets and breeds, they constitute rapid, cost-effective and large-scale tools for management and breeding of dairy cows.
Delays in rotavirus vaccine schedule could improve performance in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). However, delaying the first dose could be detrimental if infants experience severe rotavirus gastroenteritis (RVGE) early in life. Our objective was to describe the timing and predictors of severe RVGE in unvaccinated children in LMICs. We analysed the placebo arms from two clinical trials (cohort 1: NCT00241644; cohort 2: NCT00362648). We estimated the rate, cumulative incidence (per 1000 infants) and age distribution of severe RVGE episodes. Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for the association between baseline factors and severe RVGE. Cumulative incidence at 6 months of age was 23/1000 (95% CI 15–30) in cohort 1 and 6/1000 (95% CI 3–8) in cohort 2. Early antibiotic use (compared with no use) was associated with 2.03 (95% CI 1.18–3.48) and 1.41 (95% CI 0.80–2.51) times the rate of severe RVGE in cohorts 1 and 2, respectively. The cumulative incidence of severe RVGE was low at 6 months of age, suggesting that a 4-week delay in the vaccination schedule may not result in a large number of severe RVGE episodes prior to vaccine receipt.
Thalénite-(Y), ideally Y3Si3O10F, is a heavy-rare-earth-rich silicate phase occurring in granite pegmatites that may help to illustrate rare-earth element (REE) chemistry and behaviour in natural systems. The crystal structure and mineral chemistry of thalénite-(Y) were analysed by electron microprobe analysis, X-ray diffraction and micro-Raman spectroscopy from a new locality in the peralkaline granite of the Golden Horn batholith, Okanogan County, Washington State, USA, in comparison with new analyses from the White Cloud pegmatite in the Pikes Peak batholith, Colorado, USA. The Golden Horn thalénite-(Y) occurs as late-stage sub-millimetre euhedral bladed transparent crystals in small miarolitic cavities in an arfvedsonite-bearing biotite granite. It exhibits growth zoning with distinct heavy-rare-earth element (HREE) vs. light-rare-earth element (LREE) enriched zones. The White Cloud thalénite-(Y) occurs in two distinct anhedral and botryoidal crystal habits of mostly homogenous composition. In addition, minor secondary thalénite-(Y) is recognized by its distinct Yb-rich composition (up to 0.8 atoms per formula unit (apfu) Yb). Single-crystal X-ray diffraction analysis and structure refinement reveals Y-site ordering with preferential HREE occupation of Y2 vs. Y1 and Y3 REE sites. Chondrite normalization shows continuous enrichment of HREE in White Cloud thalénite-(Y), in contrast to Golden Horn thalénite-(Y) with a slight depletion of the heaviest REE (Tm, Yb and Lu). The results suggest a hydrothermal origin of the Golden Horn miarolitic thalénite-(Y), compared to a combination of both primary magmatic followed by hydrothermal processes responsible for the multiple generations over a range of spatial scales in White Cloud thalénite-(Y).
In vitromethods for laboratory estimation of food degradation are important tools for nutritionists.These methods either measure substrate disappearance by quantifying incubation residues or record fermentation products such as microbial biomass, short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) or gas volume (Blümmel et al., 1997a). Recently, the surge of interest in the efficient utilization of roughage diets has caused an increase in the use of gas methods because of the possibility of estimating the extent and rate of degradation in one sample by time series measurements of the accumulating gas volume. We combined gas measurements with residue determinations (truly degraded substrate) or microbial mass determination after fermentation to study the effects of natural plant products, in particular tannins and saponins, on the availability and partitioning of nutrients.
The separation of forages into a soluble fraction like cell contents and into an insoluble matrix like cell walls is an initial step in forage evaluation. Further analysis can be applied to study fermentation characteristics of soluble and insoluble fractions. Unfortunately, most laboratory in vitro techniques quantify incubation insoluble residues and are therefore inappropriate for the examination of food solubles. In vitro gas methods (for example Menke et al., 1979) reflect the production of short chain fatty acids (SCFA) and are therefore free of the disadvantages associated with gravimetric methods. However, it was recently pointed out that an inverse relationship may exist between SCFA production and microbial biomass yield (for review see Blümmel et al., 1997a). These authors suggested combining in vitro gas measurements with the quantification of substrate concomitantly degraded to calculate a partitioning factor (PF). This factor reflects the substrate-dependent variation in SCFA production and microbial biomass yield; the factor (PF) was shown to be valuable in voluntary food intake (DMI) predictions (Blümmel et al., 1997b). In the work presented here, the rate and extent of fermentation of whole roughages and extracted neutral-detergent fibres (NDF) of 54 roughages were examined in an in vitro gas test. The dry-matter degradability of extracted NDF was also quantified and the partitioning factor for NDF (PFNDF) was determined. The relevance of these findings for the analysis of extracted NDF and cell solubles is discussed and their implications for the prediction of DMI of roughages by gas tests are addressed.
As concerns for environmental damage instigated by agricultural processes increase, there is a greater need to develop more ecologically acceptable methods of producing agricultural products. Therefore, in beef production we have to minimise N excretion and maximise N retained. Urea recycling provides a mechanism by which N may be salvaged into bacterial matter that may be digested by the animal to supply amino acids for production purposes. According to Huntington and Archibeque (2000), the amount of recycled urea-N can be influenced by the ruminal ammonia concentration, the OM digestibility and the plasma concentration of urea. The objective of the present study was to examine the effect of different levels of ruminal degradable N (RDN) on nutrient digestion and N metabolism in double-muscled Belgian Blue (dm-BB) bulls fed maize silage based diet.
Bacterial adherence to host tissues is regarded as an important initial step for colonisation and infection. Hence, agents that interfere with the ability of pathogens to adhere to host cells are promising antidotes. In anti-adhesion therapy, alternative adhesion matrices are orally supplied to competitively bind enteropathogens, thus preventing colonisation and disease. A miniaturised adhesion test (Becker et al., 2007) was applied to analyse the binding capacity of food and feed ingredients for bacterial cells. Different by-products of plant processing were tested in terms of their binding capacity for bacteria in the framework of the EU-project SAFEWASTES, with the aim of turning organic waste into healthy feed. In addition, mannose-containing plant materials such as konjac and locust bean gum were tested, for the most common binding ability described with bacteria up to now is mannose-directed adhesion.
The main goal of this work consisted in cloning, purifying and characterizing a protein phosphatase 2C (PP2C) from promastigotes of Leishmania major. The gene was cloned and amplified by PCR using specific oligonucleotides and the recombinant protein was purified by affinity chromatography. The peak with maximal protein concentration was analysed by sodium dodecyl sulphate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and revealed a protein of 44·9 kDa with PP2C activity. This activity was dependent on divalent cations (Mg+2 and Mn+2) and was optimal at pH of 8·5, using phosphothreonine as the substrate. Sanguinarine inhibited the activity of the recombinant LmPP2C, while protein tyrosine phosphatase inhibitors had no effect. The recombinant LmPP2C was used to generate polyclonal antibodies. These antibodies recognized a protein of 44·9 kDa in different Leishmania species; the LmPP2C was localized in the flagellar pocket and the flagellum of promastigotes.
Bats (Order: Chiroptera) have been widely studied as reservoir hosts for viruses of concern for human and animal health. However, whether bats are equally competent hosts of non-viral pathogens such as bacteria remains an important open question. Here, we surveyed blood and saliva samples of vampire bats from Peru and Belize for hemotropic Mycoplasma spp. (hemoplasmas), bacteria that can cause inapparent infection or anemia in hosts. 16S rRNA gene amplification of blood showed 67% (150/223) of common vampire bats (Desmodus rotundus) were infected by hemoplasmas. Sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene amplicons revealed three novel genotypes that were phylogenetically related but not identical to hemoplasmas described from other (non-vampire) bat species, rodents, humans, and non-human primates. Hemoplasma prevalence in vampire bats was highest in non-reproductive and young individuals, did not differ by country, and was relatively stable over time (i.e., endemic). Metagenomics from pooled D. rotundus saliva from Peru detected non-hemotropic Mycoplasma species and hemoplasma genotypes phylogenetically similar to those identified in blood, providing indirect evidence for potential direct transmission of hemoplasmas through biting or social contacts. This study demonstrates vampire bats host several novel hemoplasmas and sheds light on risk factors for infection and basic transmission routes. Given the high frequency of direct contacts that arise when vampire bats feed on humans, domestic animals, and wildlife, the potential of these bacteria to be transmitted between species should be investigated in future work.