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The diurnal feeding patterns of dairy cows affects the 24 h robot utilisation of pasture-based automatic milking systems (AMS). A decline in robot utilisation between 2400 and 0600 h currently occurs in pasture-based AMS, as cow feeding activity is greatly reduced during this time. Here, we investigate the effect of a temporal variation in feed quality and quantity on cow feeding behaviour between 2400 and 0600 h as a potential tool to increase voluntary cow trafficking in an AMS at night. The day was allocated into four equal feeding periods (0600 to 1200, 1200 to 1800, 1800 to 2400 and 2400 to 0600 h). Lucerne hay cubes (CP = 19.1%, water soluble carbohydrate = 3.8%) and oat, ryegrass and clover hay cubes with 20% molasses (CP = 11.8%, water soluble carbohydrate = 10.7%) were offered as the ‘standard’ and ‘preferred’ (preference determined previously) feed types, respectively. The four treatments were (1) standard feed offered ad libitum (AL) throughout 24 h; (2) as per AL, with preferred feed replacing standard feed between 2400 and 0600 h (AL + P); (3) standard feed offered at a restricted rate, with quantity varying between each feeding period (20:10:30:60%, respectively) as a proportion of the (previously) measured daily ad libitum intake (VA); (4) as per VA, with preferred feed replacing standard feed between 2400 and 0600 h (VA + P). Eight non-lactating dairy cows were used in a 4 × 4 Latin square design. During each experimental period, treatment cows were fed for 7 days, including 3 days habituation and 4 days data collection. Total daily intake was approximately 8% greater (P < 0.001) for the AL and AL + P treatments (23.1 and 22.9 kg DM/cow) as compared with the VA and VA + P treatments (21.6 and 20.9 kg DM/cow). The AL + P and VA treatments had 21% and 90% greater (P < 0.001) dry matter intake (DMI) between 2400 and 0600 h, respectively, compared with the AL treatment. In contrast, the VA + P treatment had similar DMI to the VA treatment. Our experiment shows ability to increase cow feeding activity at night by varying feed type and quantity, though it is possible that a penalty to total DMI may occur using VA. Further research is required to determine if the implementation of variable feed allocation on pasture-based AMS farms is likely to improve milking robot utilisation by increasing cow feeding activity at night.
Dromedary camels have been shown to be the main reservoir for human Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) infections. This systematic review aims to compile and analyse all published data on MERS-coronavirus (CoV) in the global camel population to provide an overview of current knowledge on the distribution, spread and risk factors of infections in dromedary camels. We included original research articles containing laboratory evidence of MERS-CoV infections in dromedary camels in the field from 2013 to April 2018. In general, camels only show minor clinical signs of disease after being infected with MERS-CoV. Serological evidence of MERS-CoV in camels has been found in 20 countries, with molecular evidence for virus circulation in 13 countries. The seroprevalence of MERS-CoV antibodies increases with age in camels, while the prevalence of viral shedding as determined by MERS-CoV RNA detection in nasal swabs decreases. In several studies, camels that were sampled at animal markets or quarantine facilities were seropositive more often than camels at farms as well as imported camels vs. locally bred camels. Some studies show a relatively higher seroprevalence and viral detection during the cooler winter months. Knowledge of the animal reservoir of MERS-CoV is essential to develop intervention and control measures to prevent human infections.
Co-circulation of Chikungunya and Dengue viral infections (CHIKV and DENV) have been reported mainly due to transmission by common Aedes vector. The purpose of the study was to identify and characterise the circulating strains of CHIKV and DENV in DENV endemic region of New Delhi during 2016. CHIKV and DENV were identified in the blood samples (n = 130) collected from suspected patients by RT-PCR. CHIKV was identified in 26 of 65 samples (40%). Similarly, DENV was detected in 48 of 120 samples (40%). Co-infection with both the viruses was identified in five (9%) of the samples. Interestingly, concurrent infection with DENV, CHIKV and Plasmodium vivax was detected in two samples. CHIKV strains (n = 11) belonged to the ECSA genotype whereas DENV-3 sequences (n = eight) clustered in Genotype III by phylogenetic analysis. Selection pressure of E1 protein of CHIKV and CprM protein of DENV-3 revealed purifying selection with four and two positive sites, respectively. Four amino acids of the CHIKV were positively selected and had high entropy suggesting probable variations. Co-circulation of both viruses in DENV endemic regions warrants effective monitoring of these emerging pathogens via comprehensive surveillance for implementation of effective control measures.
The aim of this study was to investigate the socioeconomic and demographic factors influencing the body mass index (BMI) of non-pregnant married Bangladeshi women of reproductive age. Secondary (Hierarchy) data from the 2011 Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey, collected using two-stage stratified cluster sampling, were used. Two-level linear regression analysis was performed to remove the cluster effect of the variables. The mean BMI of married non-pregnant Bangladeshi women was 21.60±3.86 kg/m2, and the prevalence of underweight, overweight and obesity was 22.8%, 14.9% and 3.2%, respectively. After removing the cluster effect, age and age at first marriage were found to be positively (p<0.01) related with BMI. Number of children was negatively related with women’s BMI. Lower BMI was especially found among women from rural areas and poor families, with an uneducated husband, with no television at home and who were currently breast-feeding. Age, total children ever born, age at first marriage, type of residence, education level, level of husband’s education, wealth index, having a television at home and practising breast-feeding were found to be important predictors for the BMI of married Bangladeshi non-pregnant women of reproductive age. This information could be used to identify sections of the Bangladeshi population that require special attention, and to develop more effective strategies to resolve the problem of malnutrition.
We conducted a longitudinal assessment in 466 underweight and 446 normal-weight children aged 6–24 months living in the urban slum of Dhaka, Bangladesh to determine the association between vitamin D and other micronutrient status with upper respiratory tract infection (URI) and acute lower respiratory infection (ALRI). Incidence rate ratios of URI and ALRI were estimated using multivariable generalized estimating equations. Our results indicate that underweight children with insufficient and deficient vitamin D status were associated with 20% and 23–25% reduced risk of URI, respectively, compared to children with sufficient status. Underweight children, those with serum retinol deficiency were at 1·8 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1·4–2·4] times higher risk of ALRI than those with retinol sufficiency. In normal-weight children there were no significant differences between different vitamin D status and the incidence of URI and ALRI. However, normal-weight children with zinc insufficiency and those that were serum retinol deficient had 1·2 (95% CI 1·0–1·5) times higher risk of URI and 1·9 (95% CI 1·4–2·6) times higher risk of ALRI, respectively. Thus, our results should encourage efforts to increase the intake of retinol-enriched food or supplementation in this population. However, the mechanisms through which vitamin D exerts beneficial effects on the incidence of childhood respiratory tract infection still needs further research.
Conservation agriculture (CA) is inadequately developed for rice-based cropping systems widely practiced in Bangladesh. The current drawback is the implementation of CA for all crops including rice (Oryza sativa L., ecotype ‘transplanted aman’ [T. aman]) to increase rice–wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) rotation productivity. It is important to identify the best combination of tillage types and cropping systems to achieve a high yield of component crops and improve soil health. Three tillage practices, assigned to main experimental plots [namely, zero tillage (ZT), conventional tillage using a rotary tiller (CT) and deep tillage using a chisel plough (DT)] and three different cropping systems, assigned to sub-plots [namely, WFT: wheat–fallow–T. aman, WMT: wheat–mungbean (Vigna radiata L. Wilczek)–T. aman and WDT: wheat–dhaincha (Sesbania rostrata)–T. aman], were tested. After 4 years, ZT under WDT and WMT significantly increased soil organic matter (SOM) at 0–150 mm depth, and these replicates also held the highest levels of total organic carbon. Soil organic carbon (C) increased at a rate of 1.17 and 1.14 t/ha/y in ZT under WDT and WMT, respectively, while CT and DT under WFT were almost unchanged. After 4 years, SOM build-up by the three-crop system (WDT and WMT) under ZT helped conserve soil moisture and improve other soil properties, such as reduction in soil strength and bulk density and increase plant available water content, thus maintaining an optimum soil water infiltration rate. Zero tillage under WMT and WDT showed significant improvements in root mass density of rice and wheat at increased soil depth. The WDT and WMT plots under DT consistently gave the highest yield followed by WDT and WMT under CT, in contrast with ZT under WMT or WDT, which showed the highest improvement in crop yields over the years. In summary, minimum soil disturbance together with incorporation of a legume/green manure crop into the rice–wheat system as well as the retention of their residues increased soil C status, improved soil properties and maximized grain yields.
In recent years, the government of Bangladesh has encouraged private sector involvement in producing mid-level health cadres including Medical Assistants (MAs). The number of MAs produced has increased significantly. We assessed students’ characteristics, educational services, competencies and perceived attitudes towards health service delivery in rural areas.
We used a mixed method approach using quantitative (questionnaire survey) and qualitative (key informant interviews and roundtable discussion) methods. Altogether, five public schools with 238 students and 30 private schools with 732 students were included. Statistical analyses were performed using STATA v-12. Qualitative data were analyzed thematically.
The majority of the students in both public (66%) and private medical assistant training schools (MATS) (61%) were from rural backgrounds. They spent the majority of their time in classroom learning (public 45% versus private 42%) and the written essay exam was the common form of a students’ performance assessment. Compared with students of public MATS, students of private MATS were more confident in different aspects of educational areas, including managing emerging health needs (P<0.001); evidence-based practice (P=0.002); critical thinking and problem solving (P=0.02), and use of IT/computer skills (P<0.001). Students were aware of not having adequate facilities in rural areas (public 71%, private 65%), but they perceived working in rural areas will offer several benefits, including use of learnt skills; friendly rural people; and opportunities for real-life problem solving, etc.
This study provides a current picture of MATS students’ characteristics, educational services, competencies and perception towards working in rural areas. The MA students in both private and public sectors showed a greater level of willingness to serve in rural health facilities. The results are promising to improve health service delivery, particularly in rural and hard-to-reach areas of Bangladesh.
Cholera is an important public health problem in Bangladesh. Interventions to prevent cholera depend on their cost-effectiveness which in turn depends on cholera incidence. Hospital-based diarrhoeal disease surveillance has been ongoing in six Bangladeshi hospitals where a systematic proportion of patients admitted with diarrhoea were enrolled and tested for Vibrio cholerae. However, incidence calculation using only hospital data underestimates the real disease burden because many ill persons seek treatment elsewhere. We conducted a healthcare utilization survey in the catchment areas of surveillance hospitals to estimate the proportion of severe diarrhoeal cases that were admitted to surveillance hospitals and estimated the population-based incidence of severe diarrhoea due to V. cholerae by combining both hospital surveillance and catchment area survey data. The estimated incidence of severe diarrhoea due to cholera ranged from 0·3 to 4·9/1000 population in the catchment area of surveillance hospitals. In children aged <5 years, incidence ranged from 1·0 to 11·0/1000 children. Diarrhoeal deaths were most common in the Chhatak Hospital's catchment area (18·5/100 000 population). This study provides a credible estimate of the incidence of severe diarrhoea due to cholera in Bangladesh, which can be used to assess the cost-effectiveness of cholera prevention activities.
Drinking raw date palm sap is the primary route of Nipah virus (NiV) transmission from bats to people in Bangladesh; subsequent person-to-person transmission is common. During December 2010 to March 2011, we investigated NiV epidemiology by interviewing cases using structured questionnaires, in-depth interviews, and group discussions to collect clinical and exposure histories. We conducted a case-control study to identify risk factors for transmission. We identified 43 cases; 23 were laboratory-confirmed and 20 probable. Thirty-eight (88%) cases died. Drinking raw date palm sap and contact with an infected person were major risk factors; one healthcare worker was infected and for another case transmission apparently occurred through contact with a corpse. In absence of these risk factors, apparent routes of transmission included drinking fermented date palm sap. For the first time, a case was detected in eastern Bangladesh. Identification of new epidemiological characteristics emphasizes the importance of continued NiV surveillance and case investigation.
Presence of Vibrio cholerae serogroups O1 and O139 in the waters of the rural area of Matlab, Bangladesh, was investigated with quantitative measurements performed with a portable flow cytometer. The relevance of this work relates to the testing of a field-adapted measurement protocol that might prove useful for cholera epidemic surveillance and for validation of mathematical models. Water samples were collected from different water bodies that constitute the hydrological system of the region, a well-known endemic area for cholera. Water was retrieved from ponds, river waters, and irrigation canals during an inter-epidemic time period. Each sample was filtered and analysed with a flow cytometer for a fast determination of V. cholerae cells contained in those environments. More specifically, samples were treated with O1- and O139-specific antibodies, which allowed precise flow-cytometry-based concentration measurements. Both serogroups were present in the environmental waters with a consistent dominance of V. cholerae O1. These results extend earlier studies where V. cholerae O1 and O139 were mostly detected during times of cholera epidemics using standard culturing techniques. Furthermore, our results confirm that an important fraction of the ponds’ host populations of V. cholerae are able to self-sustain even when cholera cases are scarce. Those contaminated ponds may constitute a natural reservoir for cholera endemicity in the Matlab region. Correlations of V. cholerae concentrations with environmental factors and the spatial distribution of V. cholerae populations are also discussed.
We sought to examine the factors associated with bacteraemia and their outcome in children with pneumonia and severe acute malnutrition (SAM). All SAM children of either sex, aged 0–59 months, admitted to the Dhaka Hospital of the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh with radiologically confirmed pneumonia from April 2011 to July 2012 were enrolled (n = 405). Comparison was made between pneumonic SAM children with (cases = 18), and without (controls = 387) bacteraemia. The death rate was significantly higher in cases than controls (28% vs. 8%, P < 0·01). In logistic regression analysis, after adjusting for potential confounders, the SAM children with pneumonia and bacteraemia more often had a history of lack of bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccination (odds ratio 7·39, 95% confidence interval 1·67–32·73, P < 0·01). The results indicate the importance of continuation of BCG vaccination which may provide benefit beyond its primary purpose.
The activity concentrations of soil, water and fertilizer
samples were determined by using high-resolution gamma spectrometry
(HPGe detector: 40% relative efficiency) with a PC-based MCA system.
The samples were collected from the area of a urea fertilizer factory,
lagoon and Shitalakhya river in Narsingdi, Bangladesh. The activity
concentrations of 226Ra ranged from 3.16 ± 0.32 to 10.28 ± 0.55
Bq.kg-1, 1.22 ± 0.41 to 7.36 ± 0.42 Bq.L-1 and 3.55 ± 0.33 to 90.65
± 3.17 Bq.kg-1 for soil, water and fertilizer samples, respectively.
The 232Th activity concentrations ranged from 4.89 ± 0.45 to 15.82
± 0.45 Bq.kg-1, 1.21 ± 0.06 to 8.59 ± 0.37 Bq. L-1 and 4.76 ± 0.25
to 26.38 ± 1.40 Bq.kg-1 for soil, water and fertilizer samples, respectively.
The 40K activity concentrations ranged from 24.96 ± 0.23 to 60.49
± 0.56 Bq.kg-1, 7.48 ± 0.53 to 35.48 ± 0.24 Bq.L-1 and 3.55 ± 0.05
to 3051.71 ± 19.53 Bq.kg-1 for these samples, respectively. The
radium equivalent activity, the hazard indices, the gamma activity
concentration index, the indoor absorbed dose rate and the corresponding
annual effective dose were estimated for the potential radiological hazard
of the collected samples. The calculated values of the representative
level index values (Igr) for all samples of the study area are lower
than unity except the MOP sample. The activity ratios were also
measured. These values are compared with reported values for other
countries of the world. The results of the comparison studies show
that the radioactivity concentrations and other radioactive indices
of the samples of the study area are below the internationally accepted
maximum permissible values. Therefore, this region is safe from
any radiation hazard and no significant radiological threat was observed
to the population of the study area.
There has been major concern about the ‘over-representation’ of Black and ethnic minority groups amongst people detained under the Mental Health Act (MHA). We explored the effect of patient ethnicity on detention following an MHA assessment, once confounding variables were controlled for.
Prospective data were collected for all MHA assessments over 4-month periods in the years 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 each in three regions in England: Birmingham, West London and Oxfordshire. Logistic regression modelling was conducted to predict the outcome of MHA assessments – either resulting in ‘detention’ or ‘no detention’.
Of the 4423 MHA assessments, 2841 (66%) resulted in a detention. A diagnosis of psychosis, the presence of risk, female gender, level of social support and London as the site of assessment predicted detention under the MHA. Ethnicity was not an independent predictor of detention.
There is no evidence for that amongst those assessed under the MHA, ethnicity has an independent effect on the odds of being detained.
Escherichia coli, a prominent waterborne pathogen, causes a variety of gastrointestinal and extraintestinal infections that depend on virulence determinants. To monitor natural aquatic systems for virulence-associated genes of E. coli, multiplex PCR was used in a survey covering 46 major natural water bodies in Bangladesh. DNA was extracted directly from water samples as well as from pre-enriched and enriched cultures during three successive seasons and assessed for E. coli virulotype distribution. From the five virulotypes, genes from the enterotoxigenic (ETEC), enteropathogenic (EPEC), and enterohaemorrhagic (EHEC) virulotypes were detected consistently, but genes from the enteroinvasive (EIEC) and enteroaggregative (EAEC) virulotypes were traced only occasionally. ETEC was the most prevalent virulotype, followed by EPEC. However, EIEC and EAEC virulotypes could not be detected in winter or the rainy season, respectively. Specific regional distribution patterns of different E. coli virulotypes and their temporal fluctuations were identified. These observations may assist with assessing seasonal risk and identifying vulnerable areas of the country prone to E. coli-associated outbreaks.
The Advanced Laser–Plasma High-Energy Accelerators towards X-rays (ALPHA-X) programme at the University of Strathclyde is developing laser–plasma accelerators for the production of ultra-short high quality electron bunches. Focussing such LWFA bunches into an undulator, for example, requires particular attention to be paid to the emittance, electron bunch duration and energy spread. On the ALPHA-X wakefield accelerator beam line, a high intensity ultra-short pulse from a 30 TW Ti:Sapphire laser is focussed into a helium gas jet to produce femtosecond duration electron bunches in the range of 90–220 MeV. Measurements of the electron energy spectrum, obtained using a high resolution magnetic dipole spectrometer, show electron bunch r.m.s. energy spreads down to 0.5%. A pepper-pot mask is used to obtain transverse emittance measurements of a 128 ± 3 MeV mono-energetic electron beam. An average normalized emittance of ϵrms,x,y = 2.2 ± 0.7, 2.3 ± 0.6 π-mm-mrad is measured, which is comparable to that of a conventional radio-frequency accelerator. The best measured emittance of ϵrms,x, = 1.1 ± 0.1 π-mm-mrad corresponds to the resolution limit of the detection system. 3D particle-in-cell simulations of the ALPHA-X accelerator partially replicate the generation of low emittance, low energy spread bunches with charge less than 4 pC and gas flow simulations indicate both long density ramps and shock formation in the gas jet nozzle.
Vertically oriented, highly dense ZnO nanowires (NWs) array was successfully grown on both glass and silicon substrates using hydrothermal technique. A systematic study was carried out to investigate the effects of growth parameters including growth time and thickness of ZnO seed layer on the quality of ZnO NWs in terms of their homogeneity and orientation in the vertical direction. The diameter as well as the length of grown ZnO NWs was found to be closely dependent on the thickness of the pre-coated ZnO seed layer. The structures of ZnO NWs and electron-beam evaporated AgGa0.5In0.5Se2 (AGIS) thin film have been characterized by X-ray diffraction measurements and optical properties were measured by transmission measurement. The optic band gap of AGIS thin film was found to be almost optimum (1.56 eV) to match the abundant part of solar cell spectrum. AGIS thin film was deposited on the synthesized ZnO NWs to form p-n heterojunction based inorganic solar cell, which exhibited photovoltaic behavior with a power conversion efficiency of 0.37 % under A.M (1.5) illumination.
Variant anatomy of the hypoglossal nerve is very rare. We report an unusual intra-operative finding of an aberrant branch of the hypoglossal nerve, encountered during a facial reanimation procedure.
A 50-year-old man was referred to the head and neck surgery department by the neurosurgeons for hypoglossal-facial nerve anastomosis to treat his facial paralysis, which had occurred following the removal of an intracranial neoplasm. During surgery, we identified an aberrant branch of the hypoglossal nerve, which took a more ventral and superior course in the carotid triangle, prior to entering the base of the tongue. Following further dissection, we found the main trunk of the ‘true’ hypoglossal nerve. Several interconnecting strands were seen in the proximal aspect of both the aberrant branch and the main trunk of the hypoglossal nerve. These interconnecting fibres appeared to have tethered the main trunk into an abnormal anatomical position.
As far as we can ascertain, this is the first report of an aberrant branch of the hypoglossal nerve. Although this variant would appear to be extremely rare, surgeons must consider all variations of this nerve during head and neck procedures, in order to minimise iatrogenic complications.
Uptake of oestrogens into breast tissue and their subsequent metabolism can be studied by infusing radio-labelled steroids into volunteer patients. Such studies show that oestradiol is preferentially accumulated in breast tumours, oestradiol concentrations exceeding those of oestrone. This contrasts with plasma, in which oestrone concentrations in postmenopausal women are greater than those of the oestradiol. This observation suggests that tissue factors can modulate local oestrogen metabolism, and thus local steroid concentrations.
We have studied the local production of oestrogens from androgen, and also the interconversion of the major oestrogens, oestrone and oestradiol. Using isotopic techniques, it is possible to calculate the proportion of endogenous oestrogen produced from androgen, as opposed to uptake from the circulation. These studies suggest that a very variable proportion of tissue oestrogen derives from endogenous synthesis. After administration of aromatase inhibitors, aromatase activity is substantially inhibited, both in vivo and in vitro.
Relative oestrogen concentrations are determined in part by the activity of oestradiol dehydrogenase. In breast tissue, dehydrogenase activity is present and this is modified by various factors, including androgens. In addition, we have demonstrated that normal, benign and malignant breast tissues produce factors which can modulate both growth and dehydrogenase activity of cancer cells in vitro.
We conclude that breast tissue is a site of synthesis of oestrogens, and that a number of factors can affect their local concentration. Tumour cells produce growth factors which can influence steroid metabolism, and may thus be able to enhance favourably their own endocrine environment.
Unprecedented high rates of anthrax outbreaks have been observed recently in cattle and humans in Bangladesh, with 607 human cases in 2010. By enrolling 15 case and 15 control cattle smallholdings in the spatial zone in July–September 2010, we conducted a case-control study, data of which were analysed by matched-pair analysis and multivariable conditional logistic regression. Feeding animals with uprooted and unwashed grass [odds ratio (OR) 41·2, 95% confidence interval (CI) 3·7–458·8, P=0·003], and feeding water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) (OR 22·2, 95% CI 1·2–418·7, P=0·039) were independent risk factors for anthrax in cattle.