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Trypanosomes are blood-borne parasites that can infect a variety of different vertebrates, including animals and humans. This study aims to broaden scientific knowledge about the presence and biodiversity of trypanosomes in Australian bats. Molecular and morphological analysis was performed on 86 blood samples collected from seven different species of microbats in Western Australia. Phylogenetic analysis on 18S rDNA and glycosomal glyceraldehyde phosphate dehydrogenase (gGAPDH) sequences identified Trypanosoma dionisii in five different Australian native species of microbats; Chalinolobus gouldii, Chalinolobus morio, Nyctophilus geoffroyi, Nyctophilus major and Scotorepens balstoni. In addition, two novels, genetically distinct T. dionisii genotypes were detected and named T. dionisii genotype Aus 1 and T. dionisii genotype Aus 2. Genotype Aus 2 was the most prevalent and infected 20.9% (18/86) of bats in the present study, while genotype Aus 1 was less prevalent and was identified in 5.8% (5/86) of Australian bats. Morphological analysis was conducted on trypomastigotes identified in blood films, with morphological parameters consistent with trypanosome species in the subgenus Schizotrypanum. This is the first report of T. dionisii in Australia and in Australian native bats, which further contributes to the global distribution of this cosmopolitan bat trypanosome.
Evidence from observational studies indicates that seaweed consumption may reduce the risk of non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular disease, type two diabetes, and obesity. Accumulating evidence from in vitro and animal studies suggest seaweed have antihyperlipidemic, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties which may in part be attributed to the high content of soluble dietary fibre in seaweeds. The viscosity of seaweed fibres is suggested to mediate antihyperlipdiemic effects via the alteration of lipid/bile acid absorption kinetics to decrease low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL). Thus, there is a need to evaluate the efficacy of seaweed derived dietary fibre in the management of dyslipidemia. Therefore, the aim of this study was to determine the effect of a fibre rich extract from Palmaria palmata on the lipid profile as well as markers of inflammation and oxidative stress in healthy adults. A total of 60 healthy participants (30 male and 30 female) aged 20 to 58 years, were assigned to consume the Palmaria palmata fibre extract (5g/day), Synergy-1 and the placebo (maltodextrin) for a duration of 4 weeks with a minimum 4 week washout between each treatment in a double blind, randomised crossover study conducted over 5 months. Fasting concentrations of cholesterol, triglycerides and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL) were analysed and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL) and LDL: HDL ratio was calculated. C-reactive protein (CRP) and Ferric Reducing Ability of Plasma (FRAP) were analysed as markers of inflammation and oxidative stress, respectively. Supplementation for 4 weeks with Palmaria palmata resulted in favourable changes to lipid profiles with a reduced LDL:HDL ratio; however intention-to-treat univariate ANCOVA identified no significant difference between the treatment groups over time on any of the lipid profile markers. A non-significant increase in CRP and triglyceride concentration along with lower FRAP was also observed with Palmaria palmata supplementation. Evidence from this study suggests that Palmaria palmata may have effects on lipid metabolism and appears to mobilise triglycerides. More research is needed in individuals with dyslipidaemia to fully elucidate these effects.
Codex published the ‘Guidelines for Risk Analysis of Foodborne Antimicrobial Resistance’ to standardise the approach for evaluating risk posed by foodborne antimicrobial-resistant bacteria. One of the first steps in the guidelines is to compile a risk profile, which provides the current state of knowledge regarding a food safety issue, describes risk management options and recommends next steps. In Canada, ceftiofur/ceftriaxone-resistant Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar Heidelberg from poultry was identified as an antimicrobial resistance (AMR) food safety issue. The first objective of this article was to contextualise this food safety issue, using the risk profile format of the Codex Guidelines. A second objective was to evaluate the applicability of the Codex Guidelines. This risk profile indicated that ceftiofur/ceftriaxone-resistant S. Heidelberg (CSH) was commonly isolated from poultry and was associated with severe disease in humans. Ceftiofur use in poultry hatcheries temporally mirrored the prevalence of CSH from poultry meat at retail and from people with salmonellosis. The evidence was sufficient to indicate the need for risk management options, such as restricting the use of ceftiofur in poultry. The Codex Guidelines provided a useful approach to summarise data for decision-makers to evaluate an AMR food safety issue.
Sleep disturbance is a symptom of and a well-known risk factor for depression. Further, atypical functioning of the HPA axis has been linked to the pathogenesis of depression. The purpose of this study was to examine the role of adolescent HPA axis functioning in the link between adolescent sleep problems and later depressive symptoms. Methods: A sample of 157 17–18 year old adolescents (61.8% female) completed the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Inventory (PSQI) and provided salivary cortisol samples throughout the day for three consecutive days. Two years later, adolescents reported their depressive symptoms via the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES-D). Results: Individuals (age 17–18) with greater sleep disturbance reported greater depressive symptoms two years later (age 19–20). This association occurred through the indirect effect of sleep disturbance on the cortisol awakening response (CAR) (indirect effect = 0.14, 95%CI [.02 -.39]). Conclusions: One pathway through which sleep problems may lead to depressive symptoms is by up-regulating components of the body’s physiological stress response system that can be measured through the cortisol awakening response. Behavioral interventions that target sleep disturbance in adolescents may mitigate this neurobiological pathway to depression during this high-risk developmental phase.
A national need is to prepare for and respond to accidental or intentional disasters categorized as chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, or explosive (CBRNE). These incidents require specific subject-matter expertise, yet have commonalities. We identify 7 core elements comprising CBRNE science that require integration for effective preparedness planning and public health and medical response and recovery. These core elements are (1) basic and clinical sciences, (2) modeling and systems management, (3) planning, (4) response and incident management, (5) recovery and resilience, (6) lessons learned, and (7) continuous improvement. A key feature is the ability of relevant subject matter experts to integrate information into response operations. We propose the CBRNE medical operations science support expert as a professional who (1) understands that CBRNE incidents require an integrated systems approach, (2) understands the key functions and contributions of CBRNE science practitioners, (3) helps direct strategic and tactical CBRNE planning and responses through first-hand experience, and (4) provides advice to senior decision-makers managing response activities. Recognition of both CBRNE science as a distinct competency and the establishment of the CBRNE medical operations science support expert informs the public of the enormous progress made, broadcasts opportunities for new talent, and enhances the sophistication and analytic expertise of senior managers planning for and responding to CBRNE incidents.
All accredited cancer institutions are required to screen patients for psychosocial distress. This paper describes the development, implementation, and preliminary outcomes of the University of California San Diego Health Moores Cancer Center Wellbeing Screening Program.
Essential steps learned in a formal National Cancer Institute–funded training workshop entitled “Implementing Comprehensive Biopsychosocial Screening” were followed to ensure successful program implementation. These steps included identification of stakeholders; formation of a working committee; establishment of a vision, process, and implementation timeline; creation of a screening tool; development of patient educational material; tool integration into an electronic medical record system; staff training and pilot testing of tool administration; and education about tool results and appropriate follow-up actions. Screening data were collected and analyzed retrospectively for preliminary results and rapid cycle improvement of the wellbeing screening process.
Over an 8-month implementation and assessment period, the screening tool was administered 5,610 times of 7,664 expected administrations (73.2%.) to 2,394 unique patients. Visits in which the questionnaire was administered averaged 39.6 ± 14.8 minutes, compared with 40.3 ± 15.2 minutes for visits in which the questionnaire was not administered (t = −1.76, df = 7,662, p = 0.079).
Significance of results
This program provides a process and a tool for successful implementation of distress screening in cancer centers, in a meaningful way for patients and providers, while meeting accreditation standards. Further, meaningful data about patient distress and tool performance were able to be collected and utilized.
Factors associated with relapse among children who are discharged after reaching a threshold denoted ‘recovered’ from moderate acute malnutrition (MAM) are not well understood. The aim of this study was to identify factors associated with sustained recovery, defined as maintaining a mid-upper-arm circumference≥12·5 cm for 1 year after release from treatment. On the basis of an observational study design, we analysed data from an in-depth household (HH) survey on a sub-sample of participants within a larger cluster randomised controlled trial (cRCT) that followed up children for 1 year after recovery from MAM. Out of 1497 children participating in the cRCT, a subset of 315 children participated in this sub-study. Accounting for other factors, HH with fitted lids on water storage containers (P=0·004) was a significant predictor of sustained recovery. In addition, sustained recovery was better among children whose caregivers were observed to have clean hands (P=0·053) and in HH using an improved sanitation facility (P=0·083). By contrast, socio-economic status and infant and young child feeding practices at the time of discharge and HH food security throughout the follow-up period were not significant. Given these results, we hypothesise that improved water, sanitation and hygiene conditions in tandem with management of MAM through supplemental feeding programmes have the possibility to decrease relapse following recovery from MAM. Furthermore, the absence of associations between relapse and nearly all HH-level factors indicates that the causal factors of relapse may be related mostly to the child’s individual, underlying health and nutrition status.
4MOST is a new wide-field, high-multiplex spectroscopic survey facility for the VISTA telescope of ESO. Starting in 2022, 4MOST will deploy 2400 fibres in a 4.1 square degree field-of-view using a positioner based on the tilting spine principle. In this contribution we give an outline of the major science goals we wish to achieve with 4MOST in the area of Galactic Archeology. The 4MOST Galactic Archeology surveys have been designed to address long-standing and far-reaching problems in Galactic science. They are focused on four major themes: 1) Near-field cosmology tests, 2) Chemo-dynamical characterisation of the major Milky Way stellar components, 3) The Galactic Halo and beyond, and 4) Discovery and characterisation of extremely metal-poor stars. In addition to a top-level description of the Galactic surveys we provide information about how the community will be able to join 4MOST via a call for Public Spectroscopic Surveys that ESO will launch.
Results are presented from our ongoing studies of Titan using ALMA during the period 2012-2015, including a confirmation of the previous detection of vinyl cyanide (C2H3CN), as well as the first spatial map for this species on Titan. Simultaneous mapping of HC3N, CH3CN and C2H5CN reveal characteristic abundance patterns for each species that provide insight into their individual photochemical lifetimes, and help inform our understanding of Titan’s unique, time-variable atmospheric chemistry and global circulation. A time-sequence of HC3N maps covering 38 months reveals a dramatic change in the distribution of this gas consistent with high-altitude photochemical production followed by advection towards the southern (winter) pole, combined with rapid loss in the north after Titan’s 2009 seasonal equinox. The 2015 C2H3CN and C2H5CN maps show abundance peaks in Titan’s southern hemisphere, similar to those observed for the short-lived HC3N molecule. The longer-lived CH3CN, on the other hand, remains more concentrated in the north.
Wapusk National Park is part of the Hudson Bay Lowlands in Manitoba and covers 11 475 km2. Lichen surveys were initiated in 2002 but none have reported all species incorporating broad habitat types or a baseline on which to make management decisions. The objectives of this study were: 1) to determine species diversity, including species richness and evenness of the lichens present; 2) to explore species distributions; and 3) to compare lichen growth form and substratum relationships among physiographic regions. Fifty-six locations in four habitat types (physiographic regions: open coastal beach ridge, forested coastal beach ridge, boreal transition forest, and peat plateau bog) and three burned locations were visited over nine years and specimens were collected at each location. A total of 276 species and subspecies were collected. One species is new to Canada (Buellia uberior Anzi) and ten species are new to Manitoba. Species diversity, evenness, and richness were highest in the coastal beach ridge. The open coastal beach ridge, boreal transition forest, and peat plateau bogs formed separate clusters in the non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMS) but the forested coastal beach ridge overlapped with the open coastal beach ridge. Unique species in each region may serve as indicators to monitor long-term changes. While the coastal beach ridge facilitates travel along the coast, it also represents the region with the highest need for intervention to conserve species diversity.
Background: Post concussion syndrome (PCS) can affect up to 30% of patients with concussion. Biomarkers of this condition would be beneficial for diagnosis and management. We hypothesized that eye tracking parameters would correlate with microstructural changes of white matter integrity, as measured by diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), in patients with PCS. Methods: Sixty patients with PCS and at least 2 concussions participated in our prospective study. Attention and executive function were tested using Visual Attention Scanning Technology (VAST). In a matching task, the normalized number of visits to master image before making the first selection is used as a surrogate of working memory. We related performance on VAST to white matter integrity using Tract-Based Spatial Statistics of diffusion tensor imaging data. Results: 60 participants (mean age 34.3 years, SD 13.8) had a mean of 4 concussions. There were negative correlations between fractional anisotropy (FA) of the genu, body, and splenium of the corpus callosum and normalized number of visits to master image before first selection (r=-0.432, p=0.001; r=-0.504, p<0.001; and r=-0.388, p=0.002; respectively). A negative correlation was also seen between right cingulum FA and the global processing index (r=-0.349, p=0.006). Conclusions: Impaired performance on eye tracking measures of attention and executive function may reflect alterations in white matter tracts.
Background: The ketogenic diet (KD) is used to treat severe childhood-onset epileptic encephalopathies, such as Infantile Spasms (IS). Unfortunately, limited resources for KD initiation result in treatment delays. We ask if earlier KD treatment of early-onset drug-resistant epilepsy results in better seizure outcomes. Methods: Children who started KD before age 4 years between 2000-present at SickKids Hospital were identified. Six-month seizure outcome was calculated as percent of pre-diet baseline seizure frequency (BSF). Results: 67 children were identified. 30 (44.8%) started KD <2 years old, 37 (55.2%) started KD 2-4 years old. Among <2 years old group, 83.3% achieved 50% reduction in BSF and 36.7% achieved 90% reduction. Among 2-4 year old group, 62.2% achieved 50% reduction in BSF and 24.3% achieved 90% reduction. 38 children had a history of IS; 17 with IS at diet initiation and 21 with past history of IS. 41.2% of the spasms cohort achieved 90% reduction in BSF, compared to 23.8% of the post-spasms cohort. Conclusions: KD was more effective when started before age 2 years than 2-4 years, and more effective in children with IS than in children with past history of IS. A rapid protocol for KD initiation in young infants and children may improve long-term outcomes
The multi-object spectroscopic facility FOCAP at the Anglo-Australian Telescope has been used to obtain spectra centred at the Ca II IR triplet of 14 stars in the field of the Sextans dwarf spheroidal (dSph) galaxy. This satellite of our own Galaxy was recently discovered by Irwin et al. (1990) from APM measures of UK Schmidt Telescope photographic plates.
The first QSO with a redshift z > 4 was found using a combination of UK Schmidt Telescope (UKST) plates and the APM automatic plate measuring machine (Warren et al. 1987a). By continuing to make use of UKST survey plates plus the APM facility we have added substantially to the number of known QSOs with z > 4. A brief description of the general survey technique is presented together with a preliminary discussion of some of the results obtained so far.
To assess and compare the nutrition environment and practices (as they relate to pre-schoolers) of centre- and home-based child-care facilities.
Using a cross-sectional study design, nineteen child-care facilities (ten centre-based, nine home-based) were assessed for one full day using the Environment and Policy Assessment and Observation (EPAO) tool (consisting of a day-long observation/review of the nutrition environment, practices and related documents). Specifically, eight nutrition-related subscales were considered.
Child-care facilities in London, Ontario, Canada.
Child-care facilities were recruited through directors at centre-based programmes and the providers of home-based programmes.
The mean total nutrition environment EPAO scores for centre- and home-based facilities were 12·3 (sd 1·94) and 10·8 (sd 0·78) out of 20 (where a higher score indicates a more supportive environment with regard to nutrition), respectively. The difference between the total nutrition environment EPAO score for centre- and home-based facilities was approaching significance (P=0·055). For both types of facilities, the highest nutrition subscale score (out of 20) was achieved in the staff behaviours domain (centre mean=17·4; home mean=17·0) and the lowest was in the nutrition training and education domain (centre mean=3·6; home mean=2·0).
Additional research is needed to confirm these findings. In order to better support child-care staff and enhance the overall nutrition environment in child care, modifications to food practices could be adopted. Specifically, the nutritional quality of foods/beverages provided to pre-schoolers could be improved, nutrition-related training for child-care staff could be provided, and a nutrition curriculum could be created to educate pre-schoolers about healthy food choices.
Stars in low-mass dwarf galaxies show a larger range in their chemical properties than those in the Milky Way halo. The slower star formation efficiency make dwarf galaxies ideal systems for testing nucleosynthetic yields. Not only are alpha-poor stars found at lower metallicities, and a higher fraction of carbon-enhanced stars, but we are also finding stars in dwarf galaxies that appear to be iron-rich. These are compared with yields from a variety of supernova predictions.
Trypanosomes are blood-borne parasites that can cause severe disease in both humans and animals, yet little is known of the pathogenicity and life-cycles of trypanosomes in native Australian mammals. Trypanosoma copemani is known to be infective to a variety of Australian marsupials and has recently been shown to be potentially zoonotic as it is resistant to normal human serum. In the present study, in vivo and in vitro examination of blood and cultures from Australian marsupials was conducted using light microscopy, immunofluorescence, scanning electron microscopy and fluorescence in situ hybridization. Promastigote, sphaeromastigote and amastigote life-cycle stages were detected in vivo and in vitro. Novel trypanosome-like stages were also detected both in vivo and in vitro representing an oval stage, an extremely thin stage, an adherent stage and a tiny round stage. The tiny round and adherent stages appeared to adhere to erythrocytes causing potential haematological damage with clinical effects similar to haemolytic anaemia. The present study shows for the first time that trypomastigotes are not the only life-cycle stages circulating within the blood stream of trypanosome infected Australian native marsupials and provides insights into possible pathogenic mechanisms of this potentially zoonotic trypanosome species.
In postdisaster settings, health care providers encounter secondary surges of unmet primary care and mental health needs that evolve throughout disaster recovery phases. Whatever a community’s predisaster adequacy of health care, postdisaster gaps are similar to those of any underserved region. We hypothesize that existing practice and evidence supporting medical homes and care coordination in primary care for the underserved provide a favorable model for improving health in disrupted communities. Elements of medical home services can be offered by local or temporary providers from outside the region, working out of mobile clinics early in disaster recovery. As repairs and reconstruction proceed, local services are restored over weeks or years. Throughout recovery, major tasks include identifying high-risk patients relative to the disaster and underlying health conditions, assisting displaced families as they transition through housing locations, and tracking their evolving access to health care and community services as they are restored. Postdisaster sources of financial assistance for the disaster-exposed population are often temporary and evolving, requiring up-to-date information to cover costs of care until stable services and insurance coverage are restored. Evidence to support disaster recovery health care improvement will require research funding and metrics on structures, processes, and outcomes of the disaster recovery medical home and care coordination, based on adaptation of standard validated methods to crisis environments. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2015;9:337–343)