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The objective of the present study was to evaluate the growth and tolerance in healthy, term infants consuming a synbiotic formula with daily weight gain as the primary outcome. In a randomised, controlled, double-blind, multicentre, intervention study infants were assigned to an extensively hydrolysed formula containing a specific combination of Bifidobacterium breve M-16V and a prebiotic mixture (short-chain galacto-oligosaccharides and long-chain fructo-oligosaccharides in a 9:1 ratio; scGOS/lcFOS; synbiotic group), or the same formula without this synbiotic concept for 13 weeks (control group). Anthropometry, formula intake, tolerance, stool characteristics, blood parameters, faecal microbiota and metabolic faecal profile were assessed. Medically confirmed adverse events were recorded throughout the study. Equivalence in daily weight gain was demonstrated for the intention-to-treat (ITT) population (n 211). In the per-protocol (PP) population (n 102), the 90 % CI of the difference in daily weight gain slightly crossed the lower equivalence margin. During the intervention period, the mean weight-for-age and length-for-age values were close to the median of the WHO growth standards in both groups, indicating adequate growth. The number of adverse events was not different between both groups. No relevant differences were observed in blood parameters indicative for liver and renal function. At 13 weeks, an increased percentage of faecal bifidobacteria (60 v. 48 %) and a reduced percentage of Clostridium lituseburense/C. histolyticum (0·2 v. 2·6 %) were observed in the synbiotic group (n 19) compared with the control group (n 27). In conclusion, this study demonstrates that an extensively hydrolysed formula with B. breve M-16V and the prebiotic mixture scGOS/lcFOS (9:1) supports an adequate infant growth.
Idiopathic intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) is a result of impaired placental nutrient supply. Newborns with IUGR exhibiting postnatal catch-up growth are of higher risk for cardiovascular and metabolic co-morbidities in adult life. Mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) was recently shown to function as a placental nutrient sensor. Thus, we determined possible correlations of members of the placental mTOR signaling cascade with auxologic parameters of postnatal growth. The protein expression and activity of mTOR-pathway signaling components, Akt, AMP-activated protein kinase α, mTOR, p70S6kinase1 and insulin receptor substrate-1 were analysed via western blotting in IUGR v. matched appropriate-for-gestational age (AGA) placentas. Moreover, mTOR was immunohistochemically stained in placental sections. Data from western blot analyses were correlated with retrospective auxological follow-up data at 1 year of age. We found significant catch-up growth in the 1st year of life in the IUGR group. MTOR and its activated form are immunohistochemically detected in multiple placental compartments. We identified correlations of placental mTOR-pathway signaling components to auxological data at birth and at 1 year of life in IUGR. Analysis of the protein expression and phosphorylation level of mTOR-pathway components in IUGR and AGA placentas postpartum, however, did not reveal pathognomonic changes. Our findings suggest that the level of activated mTOR correlates with early catch-up growth following IUGR. However, the complexity of signals converging at the mTOR nexus and its cellular distribution pattern seem to limit its potential as biomarker in this setting.
Avian trichomonosis, caused by the flagellated protozoan Trichomonas gallinae, is a recently emerged infectious disease of British passerines. The aetiological agent, a clonal epidemic strain of the parasite, has caused unprecedented finch mortality and population-level declines in Britain and has since spread to continental Europe. To better understand the potential origin of this epidemic and to further investigate its host range, T. gallinae DNA extracts were collected from parasite culture and tissue samples from a range of avian species in Britain. Sequence typing at the ITS1/5.8S rRNA/ITS2 region resolved three distinct ITS region types circulating in free-ranging British birds. Subtyping by sequence analyses at the Fe-hydrogenase gene demonstrated further strain variation within these ITS region types. The UK finch epidemic strain was preponderant amongst columbids sampled, however, wide strain diversity was encountered in isolates from a relatively small number of pigeons, suggesting further strains present in columbid populations across the UK are yet to be identified. Fe-hydrogenase gene sequence data in isolates from birds of prey with disease were predominantly identical to the UK finch epidemic strain, demonstrating its presence as a virulent strain in UK birds of prey since at least 2009.
Due to the extraordinary beam characteristics of the new PETRA III synchrotron, i.e., the high brilliance, the extremely low emittance of 1 nm rad, and the high fraction of coherent photons even in the hard X-ray range, the imaging beamline (IBL) at PETRA III will provide state of the art imaging and tomography capabilities with resolution well into the nanometer range. Novel applications of tomographic techniques allow for high speed in situ measurements as well as highest spatial and density resolutions. Additionally, the highly coherent beam enables the application of phase contrast methods in an exceptional way. Since the focus is on the energy range between 5 and 50 keV, the IBL will among others be ideally suited for microtomography and nanotomography on small engineering materials science samples as well as for studying soft matter, bones, medical implants, and biomatter.
Selective breeding of dogs has culminated in a large number of modern breeds distinctive in terms of size, shape and behaviour. Inadvertently, a range of breed-specific genetic disorders have become fixed in some pure-bred populations. Several inherited conditions confer chronic metabolic defects that are influenced strongly by diet, but it is likely that many less obvious breed-specific differences in physiology exist. Using Labrador retrievers and miniature Schnauzers maintained in a simulated domestic setting on a controlled diet, an experimental design was validated in relation to husbandry, sampling and sample processing for metabolomics. Metabolite fingerprints were generated from ‘spot’ urine samples using flow injection electrospray MS (FIE-MS). With class based on breed, urine chemical fingerprints were modelled using Random Forest (a supervised data classification technique), and metabolite features (m/z) explanatory of breed-specific differences were putatively annotated using the ARMeC database (http://www.armec.org). GC-MS profiling to confirm FIE-MS predictions indicated major breed-specific differences centred on the metabolism of diet-related polyphenols. Metabolism of further diet components, including potentially prebiotic oligosaccharides, animal-derived fats and glycerol, appeared significantly different between the two breeds. Analysis of the urinary metabolome of young male dogs representative of a wider range of breeds from animals maintained under domestic conditions on unknown diets provided preliminary evidence that many breeds may indeed have distinctive metabolic differences, with significant differences particularly apparent in comparisons between large and smaller breeds.
Low-frequency density and temperature oscillations (ω « νj, ωcj, where νj is the collision frequency with neutrals and ωcj is the cyclotron frequency; j = i, e) observed in magnetized radiofrequency-produced plasmas with electron density and temperature gradients across the magnetic field are analysed using a local two-fluid model. This model incorporates the electron energy equation. The resulting dispersion relation permits study of the parameter dependence of the complex angular wave frequency. Instability is found in the case where the election density and temperature gradients have opposite signs. This instability is classified as a low-frequency drift wave, and the criteria for its onset are obtained.
The nonlinear behaviour of unstable drift waves in magnetized plasmas is analysed analytically. Most attention is paid to low-frequency waves created in electron density and temperature gradients of opposite sign. This situation is typically encountered in radiofrequency-produced discharges. The model developed explains nonlinear features such as mode competition, amplitude saturation and magnetic field hysteresis, which are observed experimentally.
The objective of this case-control study was to identify the main risk factors for community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) in a German adult population. A self-administered questionnaire was given to CAP cases provided by the German competence network CAPNETZ and population-based, randomly selected controls (sex- and age-matched). Multivariate analysis showed that in addition to known risk factors such as previous CAP [odds ratio (OR) 1·6, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1·3–2·1], more than one respiratory infection during the previous year (OR 3·6, 95% CI 2·9–4·5), chronic pulmonary diseases (OR 2·3, 95% CI 1·7–3·0), number of comorbidities (OR 1·6, 95% CI 1·4–1·9), and number of children in the household (2 children: OR 2·2, 95% CI 1·5–3·4; ⩾3 children: OR 3·2, 95% CI 1·5–7·0) were independent risk factors for CAP. This was pronounced in particular in people aged ⩽65 years. The most likely explanation for this finding is higher exposure to infectious agents.
Toxic anterior segment syndrome (TASS), a complication of cataract surgery, is a sterile inflammation of the anterior chamber of the eye. An outbreak of TASS was recognized at an outpatient surgical center and its affiliated hospital in December 2002.
Medical records of patients who underwent cataract surgery during the outbreak were reviewed, and surgical team members who participated in the operations were interviewed. Potential causes of TASS were identified and eliminated. Feedwater from autoclave steam generators and steam condensates were analyzed by use of spectroscopy and ion chromatography.
During the outbreak, 8 (38%) of 21 cataract operations were complicated by TASS, compared with 2 (0.07%) of 2,713 operations performed from January 1996 through November 2002. Results of an initial investigation suggested that cataract surgical equipment may have been contaminated by suboptimal equipment reprocessing or as a result of personnel changes. The frequency of TASS decreased (1 of 44 cataract operations) after reassignment of personnel and revision of equipment reprocessing procedures. Further investigation identified the presence of impurities (eg, sulfates, copper, zinc, nickel, and silica) in autoclave steam moisture, which was attributed to improper maintenance of the autoclave steam generator in the outpatient surgical center. When impurities in autoclave steam moisture were eliminated, no cases of TASS were observed after more than 1,000 cataract operations.
Suboptimal reprocessing of cataract surgical equipment may evolve over time in busy, multidisciplinary surgical centers. Clinically significant contamination of surgical equipment may result from inappropriate maintenance of steam sterilization systems. Standardization of protocols for reprocessing of cataract surgical equipment may prevent outbreaks of TASS and may be of assistance during outbreak investigations.
The purpose of this section is to document the stratigraphic distributions of smaller benthic and planktic foraminifera in the Early Cretaceous of eastern Venezuela and their correlation with a planktic foraminiferal zonal scheme. The complexity of the Early Cretaceous in this area as regards lithologies, stratigraphic subdivisions and lateral facies changes has led to differing interpretations by the numerous investigators particularly from the point of view of correlation.
Most of the studies were carried out as oil company projects, some using internal company formational names. Some of these results were later published. One of them is Rod & Maync's (1954) paper ‘Revision of Lower Cretaceous stratigraphy of Venezuela’. In the part on eastern Venezuela the authors proposed a number of new lithologic and stratigraphic units and gave lists of foraminifera and ammonites occurring in the different formations. They also proposed a zonal scheme based on foraminifera which will be discussed in more detail below.
Of the published larger scale investigations only in one (Guillaume, Bolli & Beckmann, 1972) was the occurrence and distribution of benthic and planktic foraminifera followed in detail through all lithologic units investigated (Fig. 66) and tied into a predominantly planktic foraminiferal zonal scheme (Fig. 68). This publication is a shortened and revised version of Guillaume's (1961) oil company report. Before considering the foraminiferal results of this publication and report, a brief overview on the Early Cretaceous formations of eastern Venezuela and their faunal content is given below.
This section deals with the Middle Cretaceous (Late Albian) to Early Eocene benthic foraminifera of Central and South Trinidad. This time interval includes, from bottom to top, the Gautier, Naparima Hill, Guayaguayare and Lizard Springs formations, as defined in the Stratigraphic Lexicon of Trinidad (Kugler 1956). Their position within the stratigraphic framework of the southern Caribbean area is shown on the regional correlation charts (Fig. 2 and Fig. 3). This complex of four formations consists of a marine sequence of calcareous to argillaceous rocks which has a compound thickness of approximately 1500 metres; its actual thickness, however, may vary considerably due to local or regional hiatuses and/or tectonic disturbances. It lies above a Lower Cretaceous group of formations, of which the youngest is the Maridale Formation (Late Aptian-Early Albian) and is, in turn, overlain by the Navet Formation (mostly of Middle to Late Eocene age). The underlying and overlying formations form the subject of the preceding and the following chapter, respectively, of this volume.
The rocks which nowadays represent the Gautier, Naparima Hill, Guayaguayare and Lizard Springs formations have for a long time been known from relatively small and isolated surface outcrops such as those described by Wall & Sawkins (1860), Waring (1926), Liddle (1928; 2nd edition 1946), Jarvis (1929) and Skelton (1929). These authors have reported various megafossils, usually indicative of a Cretaceous age. Gradually, attention was also focussed on micro-fossils, usually foraminifera, particularly since the pioneer papers on the Lizard Springs area by Cush-man & Jarvis (1928, 1932).
The Falcon Basin (Fig. 70) is one of the classical regions where both Oligocene and Miocene benthic and planktic foraminifera and their correlation with established planktic zonal schemes have been studied. The rich and well-preserved Miocene foraminiferal faunas, in particular those of the eastern part of the basin, have since the 1920s attracted the attention of micropaleontologists and stratigraphers. Their work was initiated and supported mainly by interests of the oil industry.
Following earlier investigations, mostly unpublished, it was in particular the monographic studies by Renz (1948) and Blow (1959) that provided the base for a correlation of the distribution of the benthic and planktic foraminifera in the continuous Miocene sections of southeastern Falcon.
The most recent investigations on foraminifera in Falcon are those published by Diaz de Gamero (1985a, b) from the northeastern part of the basin, an area to the North of that previously studied by Renz (1948) and Blow (1959).
The benthic and planktic foraminifera in the central part of the Falcon Basin, ranging in age from Middle Oligocene to Early Miocene were studied by Diaz de Gamero (1977). Here conditions are not nearly as favourable as in the northeastern part of the basin. Despite these drawbacks Diaz de Gamero was able to obtain results comparable to those of eastern Falcon, though on a reduced scale.
The above quoted investigations by Renz (1948), Blow, (1959) and Diaz de Gamero (1977a) complemented by unpublished observations by one of the present authors (HMB) form the base for this chapter.