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Flaviviruses include many viruses causing encephalitis, including West Nile encephalitis, St. Louis encephalitis, tick-borne encephalitis and Japanese encephalitis. Human pegivirus genotype-1 (HPgV-1) is a lesser known member of the Flaviviridae family and has been identified in human serum, cerebrospinal fluid and brain tissue. Here, we describe two adult patients with fatal HPgV-1-associated encephalitis. Neuroimaging revealed multifocal lesions, initially present in the periventricular and brain stem white matter, then one year later throughout the corona radiata bilaterally with marked involvement of the brainstem and cervical spinal cord. Phylogenetic analyses of HPgV-1 showed clustering of brain-derived sequences from both patients with other human pegiviruses. In both patients, a novel 87-nucleotide deletion in the viral NS2 gene was detected. The presence of positive and negative strand HPgV-1 RNA and viral antigens in both patients indicated viral persistence and replication in the CNS. Autopsy showed lymphocyte infiltration and gliosis predominantly in white matter of the brain and brain stem but, to a lesser extent, also in grey matter. Immunofluorescence revealed HPgV-1 NS5A antigen in lymphocytes as well as in astrocytes and oligodendrocytes. Thus, we hypothesize that the novel deletion in the NS2 coding region may have caused HPgV-1 neuroadaptation or might represent a yet unrecognized genotype of human pegivirus.
This presentation will enable the learner to:
1.Describe the clinical and neuropathological features of fatal human pegivirus-associated encephalitis
2.Recognize the importance of molecular analysis in encephalitis cases with unknown etiology
In Ireland, National Clinical Programmes are being established to improve and standardise patient care throughout the Health Service Executive. In line with internationally recognised guidelines on the treatment of first episode psychosis the Early Intervention in Psychosis (EIP) programme is being drafted with a view to implementation by mental health services across the country. We undertook a review of patients presenting with a first episode of psychosis to the Dublin Southwest Mental Health Service before the implementation of the EIP. This baseline information will be used to measure the efficacy of our EIP programme.
Patients who presented with a first episode psychosis were retrospectively identified through case note reviews and consultation with treating teams. We gathered demographic and clinical information from patients as well as data on treatment provision over a 2-year period from the time of first presentation. Data included age at first presentation, duration of untreated psychosis, diagnosis, referral source, antipsychotic prescribing rates and dosing, rates of provision of psychological interventions and standards of physical healthcare monitoring. Outcome measures with regards to rates of admission over a 2-year period following initial presentation were also recorded.
In total, 66 cases were identified. The majority were male, single, unemployed and living with their family or spouse. The mean age at first presentation was 31 years with a mean duration of untreated psychosis of 17 months. Just under one-third were diagnosed with schizophrenia. Approximately half of the patients had no contact with a health service before presentation. The majority of patients presented through the emergency department. Two-thirds of all patients had a hospital admission within 2 years of presentation and almost one quarter of patients had an involuntary admission. The majority of patients were prescribed antipsychotic doses within recommended British National Formulary guidelines. Most patients received individual support through their keyworker and family intervention was provided in the majority of cases. Only a small number received formal Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy. Physical healthcare monitoring was insufficiently recorded in the majority of patients.
There is a shortage of information on the profile and treatment of patients presenting with a first episode of psychosis in Ireland. This baseline information is important in evaluating the efficacy of any new programme for this patient group. Many aspects of good practice were identified within the service in particular with regards to the appropriate prescribing of antipsychotic medication and the rates of family intervention. Deficiencies remain however in the monitoring of physical health and the provision of formal psychological interventions to patients. With the implementation of an EIP programme it is hoped that service provision would improve nationwide and to internationally recognised standards.
An awareness of the importance of nutritional status in hospital settings began more than 40 years ago. Much has been learned since and has altered care. For the past 40 years several large studies have shown that cancer patients are amongst the most malnourished of all patient groups. Recently, the use of gold-standard methods of body composition assessment, including computed tomography, has facilitated the understanding of the true prevalence of cancer cachexia (CC). CC remains a devastating syndrome affecting 50–80 % of cancer patients and it is responsible for the death of at least 20 %. The aetiology is multifactorial and complex; driven by pro-inflammatory cytokines and specific tumour-derived factors, which initiate an energy-intensive acute phase protein response and drive the loss of skeletal muscle even in the presence of adequate food intake and insulin. The most clinically relevant phenotypic feature of CC is muscle loss (sarcopenia), as this relates to asthenia, fatigue, impaired physical function, reduced tolerance to treatments, impaired quality of life and reduced survival. Sarcopenia is present in 20–70 % depending on the tumour type. There is mounting evidence that sarcopenia increases the risk of toxicity to many chemotherapy drugs. However, identification of patients with muscle loss has become increasingly difficult as 40–60 % of cancer patients are overweight or obese, even in the setting of metastatic disease. Further challenges exist in trying to reverse CC and sarcopenia. Future clinical trials investigating dose reductions in sarcopenic patients and dose-escalating studies based on pre-treatment body composition assessment have the potential to alter cancer treatment paradigms.
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a common and disabling condition with well-established heritability and environmental risk factors. Gene–environment interaction studies in MDD have typically investigated candidate genes, though the disorder is known to be highly polygenic. This study aims to test for interaction between polygenic risk and stressful life events (SLEs) or childhood trauma (CT) in the aetiology of MDD.
The RADIANT UK sample consists of 1605 MDD cases and 1064 controls with SLE data, and a subset of 240 cases and 272 controls with CT data. Polygenic risk scores (PRS) were constructed using results from a mega-analysis on MDD by the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium. PRS and environmental factors were tested for association with case/control status and for interaction between them.
PRS significantly predicted depression, explaining 1.1% of variance in phenotype (p = 1.9 × 10−6). SLEs and CT were also associated with MDD status (p = 2.19 × 10−4 and p = 5.12 × 10−20, respectively). No interactions were found between PRS and SLEs. Significant PRSxCT interactions were found (p = 0.002), but showed an inverse association with MDD status, as cases who experienced more severe CT tended to have a lower PRS than other cases or controls. This relationship between PRS and CT was not observed in independent replication samples.
CT is a strong risk factor for MDD but may have greater effect in individuals with lower genetic liability for the disorder. Including environmental risk along with genetics is important in studying the aetiology of MDD and PRS provide a useful approach to investigating gene–environment interactions in complex traits.
The dynamics of one-dimensional, piston-driven hydrogen–air detonations are predicted in the presence of physical mass, momentum and energy diffusion. The calculations are automatically verified by the use of an adaptive wavelet-based computational method which correlates a user-specified error tolerance to the error in the calculations. The predicted frequency of 0.97 MHz for an overdriven pulsating detonation agrees well with the 1.04 MHz frequency observed by Lehr in a shock-induced combustion experiment around a spherical projectile, thus giving a limited validation for the model. A study is performed in which the supporting piston velocity is varied, and the long time behaviour is examined for an initially stoichiometric mixture at 293.15 K and 1 atm. Several distinct propagation behaviours are predicted: a stable detonation, a high-frequency pulsating detonation, a pulsating detonation with two competing modes, a low-frequency pulsating detonation and a propagating detonation with many active frequencies. In the low-frequency pulsating mode, the long time behaviour undergoes a phenomenon similar to period-doubling. Harmonic analysis is used to examine how the frequency of the pulsations evolves as the supporting piston velocity is varied. It is found that the addition of viscosity shifts the neutral stability boundary by about 2 % with respect to the supporting piston velocity. As the supporting piston velocity is lowered, the intrinsic instability grows in strength, and the effect of viscosity is weakened such that the results are indistinguishable from the inviscid predictions.
Strategies to dissect phenotypic and genetic heterogeneity of major depressive disorder (MDD) have mainly relied on subphenotypes, such as age at onset (AAO) and recurrence/episodicity. Yet, evidence on whether these subphenotypes are familial or heritable is scarce. The aims of this study are to investigate the familiality of AAO and episode frequency in MDD and to assess the proportion of their variance explained by common single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP heritability).
For investigating familiality, we used 691 families with 2–5 full siblings with recurrent MDD from the DeNt study. We fitted (square root) AAO and episode count in a linear and a negative binomial mixed model, respectively, with family as random effect and adjusting for sex, age and center. The strength of familiality was assessed with intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC). For estimating SNP heritabilities, we used 3468 unrelated MDD cases from the RADIANT and GSK Munich studies. After similarly adjusting for covariates, derived residuals were used with the GREML method in GCTA (genome-wide complex trait analysis) software.
Significant familial clustering was found for both AAO (ICC = 0.28) and episodicity (ICC = 0.07). We calculated from respective ICC estimates the maximal additive heritability of AAO (0.56) and episodicity (0.15). SNP heritability of AAO was 0.17 (p = 0.04); analysis was underpowered for calculating SNP heritability of episodicity.
AAO and episodicity aggregate in families to a moderate and small degree, respectively. AAO is under stronger additive genetic control than episodicity. Larger samples are needed to calculate the SNP heritability of episodicity. The described statistical framework could be useful in future analyses.
The future of centimetre and metre-wave astronomy lies with the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), a telescope under development by a consortium of 17 countries that will be 50 times more sensitive than any existing radio facility. Most of the key science for the SKA will be addressed through large-area imaging of the Universe at frequencies from a few hundred MHz to a few GHz. The Australian SKA Pathfinder (ASKAP) is a technology demonstrator aimed in the mid-frequency range, and achieves instantaneous wide-area imaging through the development and deployment of phased-array feed systems on parabolic reflectors. The large field-of-view makes ASKAP an unprecedented synoptic telescope that will make substantial advances in SKA key science. ASKAP will be located at the Murchison Radio Observatory in inland Western Australia, one of the most radio-quiet locations on the Earth and one of two sites selected by the international community as a potential location for the SKA. In this paper, we outline an ambitious science program for ASKAP, examining key science such as understanding the evolution, formation and population of galaxies including our own, understanding the magnetic Universe, revealing the transient radio sky and searching for gravitational waves.
Although usually thought of as external environmental stressors, a significant heritable component has been reported for measures of stressful life events (SLEs) in twin studies.
We examined the variance in SLEs captured by common genetic variants from a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of 2578 individuals. Genome-wide complex trait analysis (GCTA) was used to estimate the phenotypic variance tagged by single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). We also performed a GWAS on the number of SLEs, and looked at correlations between siblings.
A significant proportion of variance in SLEs was captured by SNPs (30%, p = 0.04). When events were divided into those considered to be dependent or independent, an equal amount of variance was explained for both. This ‘heritability’ was in part confounded by personality measures of neuroticism and psychoticism. A GWAS for the total number of SLEs revealed one SNP that reached genome-wide significance (p = 4 × 10−8), although this association was not replicated in separate samples. Using available sibling data for 744 individuals, we also found a significant positive correlation of R2 = 0.08 in SLEs (p = 0.03).
These results provide independent validation from molecular data for the heritability of reporting environmental measures, and show that this heritability is in part due to both common variants and the confounding effect of personality.
The dynamics of a one-dimensional detonation predicted by a one-step irreversible Arrhenius kinetic model are investigated in the presence of mass, momentum and energy diffusion. A study is performed in which the activation energy is varied and the length scales of diffusion and reaction are held constant. As the activation energy is increased, the system goes through a series of period-doubling events and eventually undergoes a transition to chaos. The rate at which these bifurcation points converge is calculated and shown to be in agreement with the Feigenbaum constant. Within the chaotic regime, there exist regions in which there are limit cycles consisting of a small number of oscillatory modes. When an appropriately fine grid is used to capture mass, momentum and energy diffusion, predictions are independent of the differencing scheme. Diffusion affects the behaviour of the system by delaying the onset of instability and strongly influencing the dynamics in the unstable regime. The use of the reactive Euler equations to predict detonation dynamics in the unstable and marginally stable regimes is called into question as the selected reactive and diffusive length scales are representative of real physical systems; reactive Navier–Stokes is a more appropriate model in such regimes.
Humans are infected by 2 genetic assemblages (A and B) of Giardia duodenalis, a protozoan parasite that causes gastro-intestinal disease. Sub-assemblages AI, AII, BIII and BIV are commonly identified in human cases. Detection requires amplification of G. duodenalis loci. Subsequent DNA sequencing or restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) identifies sub-assemblages but is expensive (DNA sequencing) or insensitive (RFLP). This study investigated a fluorescence-based detection method, using terminal-restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) of the glutamate dehydrogenase gene to characterize human infections. Clinical samples (n=73), positive for Giardia were collected in New South Wales, Australia, and were used to evaluate T-RFLP detection. The accuracy and sensitivity of T-RFLP detection was established by comparison to DNA sequencing and RFLP. Sub-assemblage assignment by T-RFLP identified BIV as the common subtype in N.S.W cases, whilst AI, AII and BIII were also detected. When compared to DNA sequencing and RFLP, analysis by T-RFLP was a reliable and reproducible method. Automated fluorescent detection enabled accurate sizing of restriction fragments and provided a sensitive alternative to RFLP. Discrimination of sub-assemblages by T-RFLP was comparable to DNA sequencing, but was efficient and inexpensive. The protocol described here provides a rapid and sensitive diagnostic tool for routine sample screenings in epidemiological research.
It has been proposed that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may interfere with the efficacy of antidepressants and contribute to treatment resistance in major depressive disorder (MDD). This effect requires replication and a test of whether it is specific to serotonin-reuptake inhibiting (SRI) antidepressants.
We tested the effect of concomitant medication with NSAIDs on the efficacy of escitalopram, a SRI antidepressant, and nortriptyline, a tricyclic antidepressant, among 811 subjects with MDD treated for up to 12 weeks in the GENDEP study. Effects of NSAIDs on improvement of depressive symptoms were tested in mixed-effect linear models. Effects on remission were tested in logistic regression. Age, sex, baseline severity and centre of recruitment were considered as potential confounding factors.
Ten percent (n=78) of subjects were taking NSAIDs during the antidepressant treatment. Older subjects were significantly more likely to take NSAIDs. After controlling for age, sex, centre of recruitment and baseline severity, concomitant medication with NSAIDs did not significantly influence the efficacy of escitalopram [β=0.035, 95% confidence interval (CI) −0.145 to 0.215, p=0.704] or nortriptyline (β=0.075, 95% CI −0.131 to 0.281, p=0.476). Although slightly fewer subjects who took NSAIDs reached remission [odds ratio (OR) 0.80, 95% CI 0.49–1.31, p=0.383], this non-significant effect was reversed after controlling for age, sex, baseline severity and recruitment centre effects (OR 1.04, 95% CI 0.61–1.77, p=0.882).
NSAIDs are unlikely to affect the efficacy of SRI or other antidepressants. Concurrent use of NSAIDs and antidepressants does not need to be avoided.
Phonons and crystalline structures of Hg1−xCdxSe alloys (0 ≤ x ≤ 0.5) were studied by Raman spectroscopy and X-ray powder diffraction patterns at 298K. The crystalline alloys were prepared by a special combination of synthesis and the Bridgman method. Experimental data showed a face-centered cubic structure, (No. 216), for all samples, exhibiting a linear dependence for Cd molar fraction, x, for cell parameters, a, and the mass densities, ρ. Phonon frequencies were analyzed using the Romevi-Romevi model for phonons in multicomponent alloys, obtaining a fair agreement with experimental data. Furthermore, an algorithm to implement the Romevi-Romevi model is proposed.
Major depressive disorder (MDD) during pregnancy increases the risk of adverse maternal and infant outcomes. Maternal nutritional status may be a modifiable risk factor for antenatal depression. We evaluated the association between patterns in mid-pregnancy nutritional biomarkers and MDD.
Prospective cohort study.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.
Women who enrolled at ≤20 weeks’ gestation and had a diagnosis of MDD made with the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition) at 20-, 30- and 36-week study visits. A total of 135 women contributed 345 person-visits. Non-fasting blood drawn at enrolment was assayed for red cell essential fatty acids, plasma folate, homocysteine and ascorbic acid; serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D, retinol, vitamin E, carotenoids, ferritin and soluble transferrin receptors. Nutritional biomarkers were entered into principal components analysis.
Three factors emerged: Factor 1, Essential Fatty Acids; Factor 2, Micronutrients; and Factor 3, Carotenoids. MDD was prevalent in 21·5 % of women. In longitudinal multivariable logistic models, there was no association between the Essential Fatty Acids or Micronutrients pattern and MDD either before or after adjustment for employment, education or pre-pregnancy BMI. In unadjusted analysis, women with factor scores for Carotenoids in the middle and upper tertiles were 60 % less likely than women in the bottom tertile to have MDD during pregnancy, but after adjustment for confounders the associations were no longer statistically significant.
While meaningful patterns were derived using nutritional biomarkers, significant associations with MDD were not observed in multivariable adjusted analyses. Larger, more diverse samples are needed to understand nutrition–depression relationships during pregnancy.
Selective breeding is an effective tool to improve livestock. Several selection experiments have been conducted to study direct selection responses as well as correlated responses in traits of skeletal muscle growth and function. Moreover, comparisons of domestic with wild-type species and of extreme breeds provide information on the genetic background of the skeletal muscle phenotype. Structural muscular components that differed with increasing distance in lean growth or meat quality in mammals were found to be myofibre number, myofibre size, proportions of fibre types as well as the numbers and proportions of secondary and primary fibres. Furthermore, markers of satellite cell proliferation, metabolic enzyme activities, glycogen and fat contents, the expression of myosin heavy chain isoforms, of activated AMPKα and other proteins in skeletal muscle tissue and circulating IGF1 and IGF-binding proteins have been identified to be involved in selection responses observed in pigs, cattle and/or chicken. The use of molecular methods for selective breeding of fish has only recently been adopted in aquaculture and studies of the genetic basis of growth and flesh quality traits are scarce. Some of the molecular markers of muscle structure/metabolism in livestock have also been identified in fish, but so far no studies have linked them with selection response. Genome scans have been applied to identify genomic regions exhibiting quantitative trait loci that control traits of interest, for example, muscle structure and meat quality in pigs and growth rate in chicken. As another approach, polymorphisms in candidate genes reveal the relationship between genetic variation and target traits. Thus, in large-scale studies with pigs’ associations of polymorphisms in the HMGA2, CA3, EPOR, NME1 and TTN genes with traits of carcass and meat quality were detected. Other studies revealed the significance of mutations in the IGF2 and RYR1 genes for carcass lean and muscle fibre traits in pigs. Mutations in the myostatin (MSTN) gene in fish were also examined. Advances in research of the genetic and environmental control of traits related to meat quality and growth have been made by the application of holistic ‘omics’ techniques that studied the whole muscle-specific genome, transcriptome and proteome in relation to muscle and meat traits, the development of new methods for muscle fibre typing and the adaptation of biophysical measures to develop parameters of muscle fibre traits as well as the application of in vitro studies. Finally, future research priorities in the field are defined.
Skeletal muscle development in vertebrates – also termed myogenesis – is a highly integrated process. Evidence to date indicates that the processes are very similar across mammals, poultry and fish, although the timings of the various steps differ considerably. Myogenesis is regulated by the myogenic regulatory factors and consists of two to three distinct phases when different fibre populations appear. The critical times when myogenesis is prone to hormonal or environmental influences depend largely on the developmental stage. One of the main mechanisms for both genetic and environmental effects on muscle fibre development is via the direct action of the growth hormone–insulin-like growth factor (GH–IGF) axis. In mammals and poultry, postnatal growth and function of muscles relate mainly to the hypertrophy of the fibres formed during myogenesis and to their fibre-type composition in terms of metabolic and contractile properties, whereas in fish hyperplasia still plays a major role. Candidate genes that are important in skeletal muscle development, for instance, encode for IGFs and IGF-binding proteins, myosin heavy chain isoforms, troponin T, myosin light chain and others have been identified. In mammals, nutritional supply in utero affects myogenesis and the GH–IGF axis may have an indirect action through the partitioning of nutrients towards the gravid uterus. Impaired myogenesis resulting in low skeletal myofibre numbers is considered one of the main reasons for negative long-term consequences of intrauterine growth retardation. Severe undernutrition in utero due to natural variation in litter or twin-bearing species or insufficient maternal nutrient supply may impair myogenesis and adversely affect carcass quality later in terms of reduced lean and increased fat deposition in the progeny. On the other hand, increases in maternal feed intake above standard requirement seem to have no beneficial effects on the growth of the progeny with myogenesis not or only slightly affected. Initial studies on low and high maternal protein feeding are published. Although there are only a few studies, first results also reveal an influence of nutrition on skeletal muscle development in fish and poultry. Finally, environmental temperature has been identified as a critical factor for growth and development of skeletal muscle in both fish and poultry.