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We provide an update on diagnostic methods for the detection of urogenital schistosomiasis (UGS) in men and highlight that satisfactory urine-antigen diagnostics for UGS lag much behind that for intestinal schistosomiasis, where application of a urine-based point-of-care strip assay, the circulating cathodic antigen (CCA) test, is now advocated. Making specific reference to male genital schistosomiasis (MGS), we place greater emphasis on parasitological detection methods and clinical assessment of internal genitalia with ultrasonography. Unlike the advances made in defining a clinical standard protocol for female genital schistosomiasis, MGS remains inadequately defined. Whilst urine filtration with microscopic examination for ova of Schistosoma haematobium is a convenient but error-prone proxy of MGS, we describe a novel low-cost sampling and direct visualization method for the enumeration of ova in semen. Using exemplar clinical cases of MGS from our longitudinal cohort study among fishermen along the shoreline of Lake Malawi, the portfolio of diagnostic needs is appraised including: the use of symptomatology questionnaires, urine analysis (egg count and CCA measurement), semen analysis (egg count, circulating anodic antigen measurement and real-time polymerase chain reaction analysis) alongside clinical assessment with portable ultrasonography.
Although researchers have described numerous risk factors for salmonellosis and for infection with specific common serotypes, the drivers of Salmonella serotype diversity among human populations remain poorly understood. In this retrospective observational study, we partition records of serotyped non-typhoidal Salmonella isolates from human clinical specimens reported to CDC national surveillance by demographic, geographic and seasonal characteristics and adapt sample-based rarefaction methods from the field of community ecology to study how Salmonella serotype diversity varied within and among these populations in the USA during 1996–2016. We observed substantially higher serotype richness in children <2 years old than in older children and adults and steadily increasing richness with age among older adults. Whereas seasonal and regional variation in serotype diversity was highest among infants and young children, variation by specimen source was highest in adults. Our findings suggest that the risk for infection from uncommon serotypes is associated with host and environmental factors, particularly among infants, young children and older adults. These populations may have a higher proportion of illness acquired through environmental transmission pathways than published source attribution models estimate.
Guillain Barré syndrome (GBS), which is triggered by autoantibodies produced in response to antigenic stimuli such as certain infections and vaccinations, is the most common cause of acute flaccid paralysis worldwide. Campylobacter, the most common bacterial enteric infection in the USA, is reported to be the most commonly diagnosed antecedent of GBS, yet little information is available about the risk of post-Campylobacter GBS. Data collected through active, population-based surveillance in the Emerging Infections Program during the 2009–2010 novel Influenza A (H1N1) vaccination campaign allowed us to compare confirmed and probable GBS cases to non-cases to determine whether antecedent Campylobacter infection (or a diarrhoeal illness consistent with campylobacteriosis) was more common among cases and to assess the risk of GBS following Campylobacter infection. We estimate that 8–12% of GBS cases in the USA are attributable to Campylobacter infection (or a diarrhoeal illness consistent with campylobacteriosis), with 434–650 cases of post-diarrhoeal GBS annually and about 49 cases of GBS per 100 000 Campylobacter infections. These results provide updated estimates for post-Campylobacter GBS incidence in the USA and highlight an important benefit of effective measures to prevent Campylobacter infections.
Analysing temporal patterns in foodborne illness is important to designing and implementing effective food safety measures. The reported incidence of illness due to Salmonella in the USA. Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet) sites has exhibited no declining trend since 1996; however, there have been significant annual trends among principal Salmonella serotypes, which may exhibit complex seasonal patterns. Data from the original FoodNet sites and penalised cubic B-spline regression are used to estimate temporal patterns in the reported incidence of illness for the top three Salmonella serotypes during 1996–2014. Our results include 95% confidence bands around the estimated annual and monthly curves for each serotype. The results show that Salmonella serotype Typhimurium exhibits a statistically significant declining annual trend and seasonality (P < 0.001) marked by peaks in late summer and early winter. Serotype Enteritidis exhibits a significant annual trend with a higher incidence in later years and seasonality (P < 0.001) marked by a peak in late summer. Serotype Newport exhibits no significant annual trend with significant seasonality (P < 0.001) marked by a peak in late summer.
Schizophrenia is associated with lower intelligence and poor educational performance relative to the general population. This is, to a lesser degree, also found in first-degree relatives of schizophrenia patients. It is unclear whether bipolar disorder I (BD-I) patients and their relatives have similar lower intellectual and educational performance as that observed in schizophrenia.
This cross-sectional study investigated intelligence and educational performance in two outpatient samples [494 BD-I patients, 952 schizophrenia spectrum (SCZ) patients], 2231 relatives of BD-I and SCZ patients, 1104 healthy controls and 100 control siblings. Mixed-effects and regression models were used to compare groups on intelligence and educational performance.
BD-I patients were more likely to have completed the highest level of education (odds ratio 1.88, 95% confidence interval 1.66–2.70) despite having a lower IQ compared to controls (β = −9.09, s.e. = 1.27, p < 0.001). In contrast, SCZ patients showed both a lower IQ (β = −15.31, s.e. = 0.86, p < 0.001) and lower educational levels compared to controls. Siblings of both patient groups had significantly lower IQ than control siblings, but did not differ on educational performance. IQ scores did not differ between BD-I parents and SCZ parents, but BD-I parents had completed higher educational levels.
Although BD-I patients had a lower IQ than controls, they were more likely to have completed the highest level of education. This contrasts with SCZ patients, who showed both intellectual and educational deficits compared to healthy controls. Since relatives of BD-I patients did not demonstrate superior educational performance, our data suggest that high educational performance may be a distinctive feature of bipolar disorder patients.
Impairment of response inhibition has been implicated in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Dopamine neurotransmission has been linked to the behavioural and neural correlates of response inhibition. The current study aimed to investigate the relationship of polymorphisms in two dopamine-related genes, the catechol-O-methyltransferase gene (COMT) and the dopamine transporter gene (SLC6A3 or DAT1), with the neural and behavioural correlates of response inhibition.
Behavioural and neural measures of response inhibition were obtained in 185 adolescents with ADHD, 111 of their unaffected siblings and 124 healthy controls (mean age 16.9 years). We investigated the association of DAT1 and COMT variants on task performance and whole-brain neural activation during response inhibition in a hypothesis-free manner. Additionally, we attempted to explain variance in previously found ADHD effects on neural activation during response inhibition using these DAT1 and COMT polymorphisms.
The whole-brain analyses demonstrated large-scale neural activation changes in the medial and lateral prefrontal, subcortical and parietal regions of the response inhibition network in relation to DAT1 and COMT polymorphisms. Although these neural activation changes were associated with different task performance measures, no relationship was found between DAT1 or COMT variants and ADHD, nor did variants in these genes explain variance in the effects of ADHD on neural activation.
These results suggest that dopamine-related genes play a role in the neurobiology of response inhibition. The limited associations between gene polymorphisms and task performance further indicate the added value of neural measures in linking genetic factors and behavioural measures.
To design effective food safety programmes we need to estimate how many sporadic foodborne illnesses are caused by specific food sources based on case-control studies. Logistic regression has substantive limitations for analysing structured questionnaire data with numerous exposures and missing values. We adapted random forest to analyse data of a case-control study of Salmonella enterica serotype Enteritidis illness for source attribution. For estimation of summary population attributable fractions (PAFs) of exposures grouped into transmission routes, we devised a counterfactual estimator to predict reductions in illness associated with removing grouped exposures. For the purpose of comparison, we fitted the data using logistic regression models with stepwise forward and backward variable selection. Our results show that the forward and backward variable selection of logistic regression models were not consistent for parameter estimation, with different significant exposures identified. By contrast, the random forest model produced estimated PAFs of grouped exposures consistent in rank order with results obtained from outbreak data, with egg-related exposures having the highest estimated PAF (22·1%, 95% confidence interval 8·5–31·8). Random forest might be structurally more coherent and efficient than logistic regression models for attributing Salmonella illnesses to sources involving many causal pathways.
We explored the overall impact of foodborne disease caused by seven leading foodborne pathogens in the United States using the disability adjusted life year (DALY). We defined health states for each pathogen (acute illness and sequelae) and estimated the average annual incidence of each health state using data from public health surveillance and previously published estimates from studies in the United States, Canada and Europe. These pathogens caused about 112 000 DALYs annually due to foodborne illnesses acquired in the United States. Non-typhoidal Salmonella (32 900) and Toxoplasma (32 700) caused the most DALYs, followed by Campylobacter (22 500), norovirus (9900), Listeria monocytogenes (8800), Clostridium perfringens (4000), and Escherichia coli O157 (1200). These estimates can be used to prioritize food safety interventions. Future estimates of the burden of foodborne disease in DALYs would be improved by addressing important data gaps and by the development and validation of US-specific disability weights for foodborne diseases.
Euclid is the next ESA mission devoted to cosmology. It aims at observing most of the extragalactic sky, studying both gravitational lensing and clustering over ~15,000 square degrees. The mission is expected to be launched in year 2020 and to last six years. The sheer amount of data of different kinds, the variety of (un)known systematic effects and the complexity of measures require efforts both in sophisticated simulations and techniques of data analysis. We review the mission main characteristics, some aspects of the the survey and highlight some of the areas of interest to this meeting.
In this article we study the morphodynamics of the Slufter on the short-term (months) and long-term (years to decades). The Slufter is a small, shallow tidal inlet located on the island of Texel, the Netherlands. A narrow (tens of meters) channel connects the North Sea with a dune valley of 400 ha. This narrow channel is located in between a 400-700 m wide opening in the dunes. Approximately 80% of the basin of the Slufter is located above mean high water level and is flooded only during storms, when a threshold water level is exceeded.
Analysis of historical aerial photographs revealed that the inlet channel migrates about 100 m per year. In the 1970's it migrated to the south, while since 1980 it is migrating to the north. When the channel reached the dunes at the north side of the dune breach the channel was relocated to the south by man. The channel inside the backbarrier basin was less dynamic. It shows a gradual growth and southward migration of a meander on a decadal time scale.
The short-term dynamics of the Slufter were studied during a field campaign in 2008. The campaign aimed at identifying the dominant hydrodynamic processes and morphological change during fair weather conditions and during storm events. During fair weather flow velocities in the main inlet channel were 0.5-0.8 m/s at water depths of 0-1.5 m, slightly ebb-dominant and associated morphological change was small. When water levels were above critical levels during a storm period the hydrodynamics in the main channel drastically changed. The flow in the main channel was highly ebb dominant. Long ebb periods with typical flow velocities of 2 m/s were alternated by much shorter flood periods with typical velocities of 0.5-1 m/s. This resulted in a net outflow of water via the main channel, while we measured a net inflow of water at the beach plain. During the storm period in 2008 we measured a 10 m migration of the channel to the north.
We conclude that the Slufter is a storm-dominated tidal inlet system.
To examine the association between adherence to the Dutch Guidelines for a Healthy Diet created by the Dutch Health Council in 2006 and overall and smoking-related cancer incidence.
Prospective cohort study.
Adherence to the guidelines, which includes one recommendation on physical activity and nine on diet, was measured using an adapted version of the Dutch Healthy Diet (DHD) index. The score ranged from 0 to 90 with a higher score indicating greater adherence to the guidelines. We estimated the hazard ratios (HR) and 95 % confidence intervals for the association between the DHD index (in tertiles and per 20-point increment) at baseline and cancer incidence at follow-up.
We studied 35 608 men and women aged 20–70 years recruited into the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition–Netherlands (EPIC-NL) study during 1993–1997.
After an average follow-up of 12·7 years, 3027 cancer cases were documented. We found no significant association between the DHD index (tertile 3 v. tertile 1) and overall (HR = 0·97; 95 % CI 0·88, 1·07) and smoking-related cancer incidence (HR = 0·89; 95 % CI 0·76, 1·06) after adjustment for relevant confounders. Excluding the components physical activity or alcohol from the score did not change the results. None of the individual components of the DHD index was significantly associated with cancer incidence.
In the present study, participants with a high adherence to the Dutch Guidelines for a Healthy Diet were not at lower risk of overall or smoking-related cancer. This does not exclude that other components not included in the DHD index may be associated with overall cancer risk.
The results of twin and sibling studies suggest that executive functioning is a prime candidate endophenotype in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). However, studies have not assessed the co-segregation of executive function (EF) deficits from parents to offspring directly, and it is unclear whether executive functioning is an ADHD endophenotype in adolescents, given the substantial changes in prefrontal lobe functioning, EF and ADHD symptoms during adolescence.
We recruited 259 ADHD and 98 control families with an offspring average age of 17.3 years. All participants were assessed for ADHD and EF [inhibition, verbal (VWM) and visuospatial working memory (VsWM)]. Data were analysed using generalized estimating equations (GEEs).
Parental ADHD was associated with offspring ADHD and parental EF was associated with offspring EF but there were no cross-associations (parental ADHD was not associated with offspring EF or vice versa). Similar results were found when siblings were compared. EF deficits were only found in affected adolescents and not in their unaffected siblings or (un)affected parents.
The core EFs proposed to be aetiologically related to ADHD, that is working memory and inhibition, seem to be aetiologically independent of ADHD in adolescence. EF deficits documented in childhood in unaffected siblings were no longer present in adolescence, suggesting that children ‘grow out’ of early EF deficits. This is the first study to document ADHD and EF in a large family sample with adolescent offspring. The results suggest that, after childhood, the majority of influences on ADHD are independent from those on EF. This has potential implications for current aetiological models of causality in ADHD.
Common sources of shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) O157 infection have been identified by investigating outbreaks and by case-control studies of sporadic infections. We conducted an analysis to attribute STEC O157 infections ascertained in 1996 and 1999 by the Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet) to sources. Multivariable models from two case-control studies conducted in FoodNet and outbreak investigations that occurred during the study years were used to calculate the annual number of infections attributable to six sources. Using the results of the outbreak investigations alone, 27% and 15% of infections were attributed to a source in 1996 and 1999, respectively. Combining information from both data sources, 65% of infections in 1996 and 34% of infections in 1999 were attributed. The results suggest that methods to incorporate data from multiple surveillance systems and over several years are needed to improve estimation of the number of illnesses attributable to exposure sources.
In 2004 the Netherlands Twin Register (NTR) started a large scale biological sample collection in twin families to create a resource for genetic studies on health, lifestyle and personality. Between January 2004 and July 2008, adult participants from NTR research projects were invited into the study. During a home visit between 7:00 and 10:00 am, fasting blood and morning urine samples were collected. Fertile women were bled on day 2–4 of the menstrual cycle, or in their pill-free week. Biological samples were collected for DNA isolation, gene expression studies, creation of cell lines and for biomarker assessment. At the time of blood sampling, additional phenotypic information concerning health, medication use, body composition and smoking was collected. Of the participants contacted, 69% participated. Blood and urine samples were collected in 9,530 participants (63% female, average age 44.4 (SD 15.5) years) from 3,477 families. Lipid profile, glucose, insulin, HbA1c, haematology, CRP, fibrinogen, liver enzymes and creatinine have been assessed. Longitudinal survey data on health, personality and lifestyle are currently available for 90% of all participants. Genome-wide SNP data are available for 3,524 participants, with additional genotyping ongoing. The NTR biobank, combined with the extensive phenotypic information available within the NTR, provides a valuable resource for the study of genetic determinants of individual differences in mental and physical health. It offers opportunities for DNA-based and gene expression studies as well as for future metabolomic and proteomic projects.
The incidence of gastrointestinal diseases was studied in a community-based study in four regions of The Netherlands. Two grades of severity were distinguished − 1: diarrhoea or vomiting and at least 2 additional symptoms within the period of 1 week, and 2: diarrhoea or vomiting and at least 2 additional symptoms occurring on the same day lasting at least 2 days within the period of 1 week. The incidence of gastrointestinal episodes was calculated to be 630 for grade 1 and 180 for grade 2 disease per 1000 person-years, after correction for age and sex. The incidence was higher for women than for men (relative risk 1·25) and lower for those in the 19–64-year-old age group when compared to those younger or older (relative risk 0·75 and 0·40. respectively). Independent of the degree of severity of the symptoms, about 20% of the patients had consulted a general practitioner, about half in person and half by telephone. It is concluded that community studies are essential to assess the real incidence of gastrointestinal diseases in the population.
Chromosomal E. coli DNA appears to be sensitive towards in vivo DNA restriction when transformed to a restrictive E. coli recipient. It is therefore concluded that transforming chromosomal donor DNA is present in a double-stranded form immediately after uptake.
Genetic analysis of E. coli transformants, obtained with UV-irradiated donor DNA under conditions that exclude photorepair, show, especially in a uvrB recipient, loss of donor DNA information compared with the situation where DNA was not subjected to UV-irradiation. Similar conclusions were arrived at after genetic analysis of transductants obtained with UV-irradiated particles of the generalized transducing phage P1. The processing in E. coli of DNA after P1 transduction is thus similar to that of transforming DNA. The observations are discussed and a possible explanation based on single-stranded DNA integration is presented in detail.
Many crop genetic resources collections have been established without a clearly defined conservation goal or mandate, which has resulted in collections of considerable size, unbalanced composition and high levels of duplication. Attempts to improve the composition of collections are hampered by the fact that conceptual views to optimize collection composition are very rare. An optimization strategy is proposed herein, which largely builds on the concepts of core collection and core selection. The proposed strategy relies on hierarchically structuring the crop gene pool and assigning a relative importance to each of its different components. Comparison of the resulting optimized distribution of the number of accessions with the actual distribution allows identification of under- and over-representation within a collection. Application of this strategy is illustrated by an example using potato. The proposed optimization strategy is applicable not only to individual genebanks, but also to consortia of cooperating genebanks, which makes it relevant for ongoing activities within projects that aim at sharing responsibilities among institutions on the basis of rational conservation, such as a European genebank integrated system and the global cacao genetic resources network CacaoNet.
Use of well persons as the comparison group for laboratory-confirmed cases of sporadic salmonellosis may introduce ascertainment bias into case-control studies. Data from the 1996–1997 FoodNet case-control study of laboratory-confirmed Salmonella serogroups B and D infection were used to estimate the effect of specific behaviours and foods on infection with Salmonella serotype Enteritidis (SE). Persons with laboratory-confirmed Salmonella of other serotypes acted as the comparison group. The analysis included 173 SE cases and 268 non-SE controls. SE was associated with international travel, consumption of chicken prepared outside the home, and consumption of undercooked eggs prepared outside the home in the 5 days prior to diarrhoea onset. SE phage type 4 was associated with international travel and consumption of undercooked eggs prepared outside the home. The use of ill controls can be a useful tool in identifying risk factors for sporadic cases of Salmonella.
Based on results from a survey study in a sample of Australian parents of twins, Raj and Morley (2007) reported that questions concerning the mode of conception of twins may be offensive to parents. We looked at the willingness to reply to questions about mode of conception of twin pregnancies in a large survey study that was completed by 20,150 mothers of twins from the Netherlands Twin Registry. Data collection took place in 2005/2006. The amount of missing data was examined and by using data from earlier survey studies, responders and nonresponders were compared with respect to their answers to questions on assisted reproduction techniques. In addition, we assessed the reliability of the question on mode of conception by comparing the survey data with hospital records in a subsample of 80 mothers of twins. We found no indication that mothers of twins were not prepared to reply to questions on mode of conception. Only a small number of mothers did not fill in the question on mode of conception (0.8%). Also, the use of artificial fertility techniques did not differ between mothers who returned and mothers who did not return the 2005/2006 survey. The comparison of the survey data with the hospital records showed that mothers can accurately report on the mode of conception of their twins.
Our objective was to examine the overlap between autistic traits and other behavioral problems in a general population sample, and explore the extent to which this overlap is due to genetic or environmental factors. Youth Self Report (YSR) data were collected in a general population sample of 424 twin pairs at 18 years of age, and their nontwin siblings. In 197 of these twin families, self-report ratings on the Autism-spectrum Quotient (AQ) were collected. Stepwise backward regression analyses revealed that of all 8 YSR syndrome scales, the Withdrawn Behavior (WB) and Social Problems (SOC) scale were the most important predictors of AQ scores, and together with sex, explained 23% of the variance in AQ scores. Genetic structural equation modeling showed that the overlap between AQ and WB and SOC was mainly due to genetic effects. About half of the genetic variance in AQ scores was specific to the AQ, with the remaining half shared with genetic variance in WB and SOC. Endorsement of autistic traits in a general population sample is associated with social and withdrawn behavioral problems and these problems partly share a common genetic etiology with autistic traits. However, most of the variance in AQ scores remains unexplained by YSR scores, and half of the genetic variance in AQ is unshared with WB and SOC. These results indicate that autistic traits have specific characteristics that are substantially genetically independent from other common but related behavioral domains such as social problems and withdrawn behavior.