To send content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about sending content to .
To send content items to your Kindle, first ensure email@example.com
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about sending to your Kindle.
Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
The aim of this retrospective review was to assess the overall burden and trend in spinal tuberculosis (TB) at tertiary hospitals in the Western Cape Province of South Africa. All spinal TB cases seen at the province's three tertiary hospitals between 2012 and 2015 were identified and clinical records of each case assessed. Cases were subsequently classified as bacteriologically confirmed or clinically diagnosed and reported with accompanying clinical and demographic information. Odds ratios (OR) for severe spinal disease and corrective surgery in child vs. adult cases were calculated. A total of 393 cases were identified (319 adults, 74 children), of which 283 (72%) were bacteriologically confirmed. Adult cases decreased year-on-year (P = 0.04), however there was no clear trend in child cases. Kyphosis was present in 60/74 (81%) children and 243/315 (77%) adults with available imaging. Corrective spinal surgery was performed in 35/74 (47%) children and 80/319 (25%) adults (OR 2.7, 95% confidence interval 1.6–4.5, P = 0.0003). These findings suggest that Western Cape tertiary hospitals have experienced a substantial burden of spinal TB cases in recent years with a high proportion of severe presentation, particularly among children. Spinal TB remains a public health concern with increased vigilance required for earlier diagnosis, especially of child cases.
The effects of obesity on reproduction have been widely reported in humans and mice. The present study was designed to compare the reproductive performance of lean and fat chicken lines, divergently selected for abdominal fat content. The following parameters were determined and analyzed in the two lines: (1) reproductive traits, including age at first egg and total egg numbers from generations 14 to 18, absolute and relative testicular weights at 7, 14, 25, 30, 45 and 56 weeks of age, semen quality at 30, 45 and 56 weeks of age in generation 18, and fertility and hatchability from generations 14 to 18; (2) reproductive hormones at 7, 14, 25, 30, 45 and 56 weeks of age in generation 18; (3) and the relative mRNA abundance of genes involved in reproduction at 7, 14, 25, 30, 45 and 56 weeks of age in generation 18. In females, birds in the lean line laid more eggs from the first egg to 40 weeks of age than the birds in the fat line. In male broilers, the birds in the lean line had higher absolute and relative testicular weights at 7, 14 and 25 weeks of age, but lower absolute and relative testicular weights at 56 weeks of age than the birds in the fat line. Male birds in the lean line had greater sperm concentrations and larger numbers of motile and morphologically normal sperms at 30, 45 and 56 weeks of age than the birds in the fat line. Fertility and hatchability were also higher in the lean line than in the fat line. Significant differences in the plasma levels of reproductive hormones and the expression of reproduction-associated genes were also found at different ages in the lean and fat birds, in both males and females. These results suggest that reproductive performance is better in lean birds than in fat birds. In view of the unique divergent lines used in this study, these results imply that selecting for abdominal fat deposition negatively affects the reproductive performance of birds.
Long baseline optical interferometry has been successfully employed to measure the diameters of stars. In this technique, bandwidth smearing can affect the measurement accuracy. These bandwidth smearing effects can be, to some extent, eliminated by dividing the whole observing spectral band into sub-bands and calculating the star's diameter based on the visibilities and spatial frequencies at the corresponding sub-bands. In the visible range, dividing the whole spectral band can be implemented by introducing a spectrograph, while in the IR domain, this operation can be performed efficiently with the technique of double Fourier interferometry (DFI) without losing the advantage of multiplexing. In particular, the use of IR single-mode fiber optics for DFI will make the interferometer extremely compact, light, insensitive to surrounding conditions, etc. We established an IR single-mode fiber optic double Fourier interferometer in the laboratory, in which the optical path difference modulations are generated by stretching fiber arms and the beam combination is carried out with a fiber optic directional coupler. In this paper, we report on experiments and experimental results from measurements of the diameter of an artificial star with the technique of fiber optic DFI.
An outbreak of respiratory diphtheria occurred in two health districts in the province of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa in 2015. A multidisciplinary outbreak response team was involved in the investigation and management of the outbreak. Fifteen cases of diphtheria were identified, with ages ranging from 4 to 41 years. Of the 12 cases that were under the age of 18 years, 9 (75%) were not fully immunized for diphtheria. The case fatality was 27%. Ninety-three household contacts, 981 school or work contacts and 595 healthcare worker contacts were identified and given prophylaxis against Corynebacterium diphtheriae infection. A targeted vaccination campaign for children aged 6–15 years was carried out at schools in the two districts. The outbreak highlighted the need to improve diphtheria vaccination coverage in the province and to investigate the feasibility of offering diphtheria vaccines to healthcare workers.
Retreatment of tuberculosis (TB) often fails in China, yet the risk factors associated with the failure remain unclear. To identify risk factors for the treatment failure of retreated pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) patients, we analyzed the data of 395 retreated PTB patients who received retreatment between July 2009 and July 2011 in China. PTB patients were categorized into ‘success’ and ‘failure’ groups by their treatment outcome. Univariable and multivariable logistic regression were used to evaluate the association between treatment outcome and socio-demographic as well as clinical factors. We also created an optimized risk score model to evaluate the predictive values of these risk factors on treatment failure. Of 395 patients, 99 (25·1%) were diagnosed as retreatment failure. Our results showed that risk factors associated with treatment failure included drug resistance, low education level, low body mass index (<18·5), long duration of previous treatment (>6 months), standard treatment regimen, retreatment type, positive culture result after 2 months of treatment, and the place where the first medicine was taken. An Optimized Framingham risk model was then used to calculate the risk scores of these factors. Place where first medicine was taken (temporary living places) received a score of 6, which was highest among all the factors. The predicted probability of treatment failure increases as risk score increases. Ten out of 359 patients had a risk score >9, which corresponded to an estimated probability of treatment failure >70%. In conclusion, we have identified multiple clinical and socio-demographic factors that are associated with treatment failure of retreated PTB patients. We also created an optimized risk score model that was effective in predicting the retreatment failure. These results provide novel insights for the prognosis and improvement of treatment for retreated PTB patients.
Dilated cardiomyopathy in children causes heart failure and has a poor prognosis. Health-related quality of life in this patient group is unknown. Moreover, results may provide detailed information of parents’ sense of their child’s functioning. We hypothesised that health-related quality of life, as rated by parents, and the paediatric heart failure score, as assessed by physicians, have both predictive value on outcome.
Methods and results
In this prospective study, health-related quality of life was assessed by parent reports: the Infant Toddler Quality of Life questionnaire (0–4 years) or Child Health Questionnaire-Parent Form 50 (4–18 years) at 3–6-month intervals. We included 90 children (median age 3.8 years, interquartile range (IQR) 0.9–12.3) whose parents completed 515 questionnaires. At the same visit, physicians completed the New York University Pediatric Heart Failure Index. Compared with Dutch normative data, quality of life was severely impaired at diagnosis (0–4 years: 7/10 subscales and 4–18 years: 8/11 subscales) and ⩾1 year after diagnosis (3/10 and 6/11 subscales). Older children were more impaired (p<0.05). After a median follow-up of 3 years (IQR 2–4), 15 patients underwent transplantation. Using multivariable time-dependent Cox regression, “physical functioning” subscale and the Heart Failure Index were independently predictive of the risk of death and heart transplantation (hazard ratio 1.24 per 10% decrease of predicted, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.06–1.47 and hazard ratio 1.38 per unit, 95% CI 1.19–1.61, respectively).
Physical impairment rated by parents and heart failure severity assessed by physicians independently predicted the risk of death or heart transplantation in children with dilated cardiomyopathy.
Schizophrenia patients have a higher prevalence of type 2 diabetes mellitus with impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) than normals. We examined the relationship between IGT and clinical phenotypes or cognitive deficits in first-episode, drug-naïve (FEDN) Han Chinese patients with schizophrenia.
A total of 175 in-patients were compared with 31 healthy controls on anthropometric measures and fasting plasma levels of glucose, insulin and lipids. They were also compared using a 75 g oral glucose tolerance test and the homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR). Neurocognitive functioning was assessed using the MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery (MCCB). Patient psychopathology was assessed using the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS).
Of the patients, 24.5% had IGT compared with none of the controls, and they also had significantly higher levels of fasting blood glucose and 2-h glucose after an oral glucose load, and were more insulin resistant. Compared with those patients with normal glucose tolerance, the IGT patients were older, had a later age of onset, higher waist or hip circumference and body mass index, higher levels of low-density lipoprotein and triglycerides and higher insulin resistance. Furthermore, IGT patients had higher PANSS total and negative symptom subscale scores, but no greater cognitive impairment except on the emotional intelligence index of the MCCB.
IGT occurs with greater frequency in FEDN schizophrenia, and shows association with demographic and anthropometric parameters, as well as with clinical symptoms but minimally with cognitive impairment during the early course of the disorder.
Skin and soft tissue infections (SSTIs) due to Staphylococcus aureus have become increasingly common in the outpatient setting; however, risk factors for differentiating methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) and methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA) SSTIs are needed to better inform antibiotic treatment decisions. We performed a case-case-control study within 14 primary-care clinics in South Texas from 2007 to 2015. Overall, 325 patients [S. aureus SSTI cases (case group 1, n = 175); MRSA SSTI cases (case group 2, n = 115); MSSA SSTI cases (case group 3, n = 60); uninfected control group (control, n = 150)] were evaluated. Each case group was compared to the control group, and then qualitatively contrasted to identify unique risk factors associated with S. aureus, MRSA, and MSSA SSTIs. Overall, prior SSTIs [adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 7·60, 95% confidence interval (CI) 3·31–17·45], male gender (aOR 1·74, 95% CI 1·06–2·85), and absence of healthcare occupation status (aOR 0·14, 95% CI 0·03–0·68) were independently associated with S. aureus SSTIs. The only unique risk factor for community-associated (CA)-MRSA SSTIs was a high body weight (⩾110 kg) (aOR 2·03, 95% CI 1·01–4·09).
Wolbachia is an intracellular symbiotic bacterium that infects various spider mite species and is associated with alterations in host reproduction, which indicates the potential role in mite evolution. However, studies of Wolbachia infections in the spider mite Tetranychus pueraricola, a major agricultural pest, are limited. Here, we used multilocus sequence typing to determine Wolbachia infection status and examined the relationship between Wolbachia infection status and mitochondrial diversity in T. pueraricola from 12 populations in China. The prevalence of Wolbachia ranged from 2.8 to 50%, and three strains (wTpue1, wTpue2, and wTpue3) were identified. We also found double infections (wTpue1 + wTpue3) within the same individuals. Furthermore, the wTpue1 strain caused weak cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI) (egg hatchability ~55%), whereas another widespread strain, wTpue3, did not induce CI. There was no reduction in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) or nuclear DNA diversity among infected individuals, and mtDNA haplotypes did not correspond to specific Wolbachia strains. Phylogenetic analysis and analysis of molecular variance revealed that the distribution of mtDNA and nuclear DNA haplotypes were significantly associated with geography. These findings indicate that Wolbachia infection in T. pueraricola is complex, but T. pueraricola genetic differentiation likely resulted from substantial geographic isolation.
Background: Despite the ease of intraoperative injection, intrathecal morphine (ITM) is rarely provided in lumbar spine surgery. We therefore sought to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of ITM following lumbar fusion. Methods: In this double-blind trial, 150 patients undergoing elective instrumented lumbar fusion were randomly assigned to receive a single injection of ITM (0.2 mg) or placebo (saline) prior to wound closure. Primary outcomes were postoperative pain on the visual-analog scale during the inital 24 hours after surgery and respiratory depression. Secondary outcomes included related adverse events, opioid requirements, and length of stay. Outcome curves were estimated in an intention-to-treat, repeated-measures analysis. Results: Age, disability, operative times, and pre-operative pain were similar in both groups. ITM was associated with less pain both at rest (p<0.002) and with movement (p<0.02) during the initial 24 hours following surgery. ITM did not increase the cumulative incidence of respiratory depression (hazard ratio 0.86, p=0.66). While ITM reduced postoperative opioid requirements (p<0.03), there was no significant difference in length of stay (p=0.67). Adverse events did not significantly differ between groups. The early benefits of ITM on postoperative pain were no longer apparent after 48 hours. Conclusions: A single ITM injection safety reduces postoperative pain following lumbar fusion. (ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01053039)
It has become widely accepted that the immune system, and specifically increased levels of inflammation, play a role in the development of depression. However, not everyone with increased inflammation develops depression, and as with all other diseases, there are risk factors that may contribute to an increased vulnerability in certain individuals. One such risk factor could be the timing of an inflammatory exposure. Here, using a combination of PubMed, EMBASE, Ovid Medline and PsycINFO, we systematically reviewed whether exposure to medically related inflammation in utero, in childhood, and in adolescence, increases the risk for depression in adulthood. Moreover, we tried to determine whether there was sufficient evidence to identify a particular time point during the developmental trajectory in which an immune insult could be more damaging. While animal research shows that early life exposure to inflammation increases susceptibility to anxiety- and depressive-like behaviour, human studies surprisingly find little evidence to support the notion that medically related inflammation in utero and in adolescence contributes to an increased risk of developing depression in later life. However, we did find an association between childhood inflammation and later life depression, with most studies reporting a significantly increased risk of depression in adults who were exposed to inflammation as children. More robust clinical research, measuring direct markers of inflammation throughout the life course, is greatly needed to expand on, and definitively address, the important research questions raised in this review.
We report the angular diameter measurements of seven classical Cepheids, X Sgr, η Aql, W Sgr, ζ Gem, β Dor, Y Oph, and l Car, that we have obtained with the VLT Interferometer Commissioning Instrument, installed at ESO’s VLT Interferometer. For four of these stars, η Aql, W Sgr, β Dor, and l Car, we detect the pulsational variation of their angular diameter. This enables us to compute directly their distances using a modified version of the Baade-Wesselink method. For X Sgr, ς Gem, and Y Oph, we apply a hybrid method that makes use of published estimates of their linear diameters to derive their distances.
The association between harmful use of alcohol and HIV infection is well documented. To address this dual epidemic, the US President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) developed and implemented a multi-pronged approach primarily in Namibia and Botswana. We present the approach and preliminary results of the public health investigative and programmatic activities designed, initiated and supported by PEPFAR to combat the harmful use of alcohol and its association as a driver of HIV morbidity and mortality from 2008 to 2013.
PEPFAR supported comprehensive alcohol programming using a matrix model approach that combined the socio-ecological framework and the Alcohol Misuse Prevention and Intervention Continuum. This structure enabled seven component objectives: (1) to quantify harmful use of alcohol through rapid assessments; (2) to develop and evaluate alcohol-based interventions; (3) to promote screening programs and alcohol abuse resource services; (4) to support stakeholder networks; (5) to support policy interventions and (6) structural interventions; and (7) to institutionalize universal prevention messages.
Targeted PEPFAR support for alcohol activities resulted in several projects to address harmful alcohol use and HIV. Components are graphically conceptualized within the matrix model, demonstrating the intersections between primary, secondary and tertiary prevention activities and individual, interpersonal, community, and societal factors. Key initiative successes included leveraging alcohol harm prevention activities that enabled projects to be piloted in healthcare settings, schools, communities, and alcohol outlets. Primary challenges included the complexity of multi-sectorial programming, varying degrees of political will, and difficulties monitoring outcomes over the short duration of the program.
What does being money consist in? We argue that something is money if, and only if, it is typically acquired in order to realise the reduction in transaction costs that accrues in virtue of agents coordinating on acquiring the same thing when deciding what thing to acquire in order to exchange. What kinds of things can be money? We argue against the common view that a variety of things (notes, coins, gold, cigarettes, etc.) can be money. All monetary systems are best interpreted as implementing the same basic protocol. Money, i.e. the thing that we coordinate on acquiring in order to lower our transaction costs, is, in all cases, a set of positions on an abstract mathematical object, namely a relative ratio scale. The things that we ordinarily call ‘money’ are merely records of positions on such a scale.
The abundance and cross-linking of intramuscular connective tissue contributes to the background toughness of meat, and is thus undesirable. Connective tissue is mainly synthesized by intramuscular fibroblasts. Myocytes, adipocytes and fibroblasts are derived from a common pool of progenitor cells during the early embryonic development. It appears that multipotent mesenchymal stem cells first diverge into either myogenic or non-myogenic lineages; non-myogenic mesenchymal progenitors then develop into the stromal-vascular fraction of skeletal muscle wherein adipocytes, fibroblasts and derived mesenchymal progenitors reside. Because non-myogenic mesenchymal progenitors mainly undergo adipogenic or fibrogenic differentiation during muscle development, strengthening progenitor proliferation enhances the potential for both intramuscular adipogenesis and fibrogenesis, leading to the elevation of both marbling and connective tissue content in the resulting meat product. Furthermore, given the bipotent developmental potential of progenitor cells, enhancing their conversion to adipogenesis reduces fibrogenesis, which likely results in the overall improvement of marbling (more intramuscular adipocytes) and tenderness (less connective tissue) of meat. Fibrogenesis is mainly regulated by the transforming growth factor (TGF) β signaling pathway and its regulatory cascade. In addition, extracellular matrix, a part of the intramuscular connective tissue, provides a niche environment for regulating myogenic differentiation of satellite cells and muscle growth. Despite rapid progress, many questions remain in the role of extracellular matrix on muscle development, and factors determining the early differentiation of myogenic, adipogenic and fibrogenic cells, which warrant further studies.
Fluctuations in Zn metabolism throughout gestation and lactation might affect Zn requirements. However, scientific data on Zn requirements for breeding sows are limited. The objective of the present study was to assess the Zn status of primiparous and multiparous sows using different Zn status biomarkers, to identify periods of critical Zn status throughout the reproductive cycle at different parities. Blood samples were taken after overnight fasting before feeding in the morning from five primiparous and ten multiparous sows at fixed time intervals during gestation (days − 5, 0 (insemination), 21, 42, 63 and 84), around parturition (days 108, 112, 115 (parturition) and 118) and during lactation (days 122, 129 and 143 (weaning)). At parturition, blood samples were collected from two randomly selected piglets per sow before colostrum intake. Plasma was analysed for Zn and Cu contents, whereas serum was analysed for alkaline phosphatase, metallothionein and albumin concentrations. Independently of parity, all biomarkers fluctuated differently during gestation and lactation (P< 0·050). This reflects their different roles in Zn metabolism, and suggests that the choice of a Zn status biomarker necessitates careful consideration. Low average plasma Zn concentration at the end of gestation and throughout lactation seem to be replenished towards weaning.
Se bioavailability in commercial pet foods has been shown to be highly variable. The aim of the present study was to identify dietary factors associated with in vitro accessibility of Se (Se Aiv) in pet foods. Se Aiv is defined as the percentage of Se from the diet that is potentially available for absorption after in vitro digestion. Sixty-two diets (dog, n 52; cat, n 10) were in vitro enzymatically digested: fifty-four of them were commercially available (kibble, n 20; pellet, n 8; canned, n 17; raw meat, n 6; steamed meat, n 3) and eight were unprocessed (kibble, n 4; canned, n 4) from the same batch as the corresponding processed diets. The present investigation examined if Se Aiv was affected by diet type, dietary protein, methionine, cysteine, lysine and Se content, DM, organic matter and crude protein (CP) digestibility. Se Aiv differed significantly among diet types (P< 0·001). Canned and steamed meat diets had a lower Se Aiv than pelleted and raw meat diets. Se Aiv correlated positively with CP digestibility in extruded diets (kibbles, n 19; r 0·540, P =0·017) and negatively in canned diets (n 16; r − 0·611, P =0·012). Moreover, the canning process (n 4) decreased Se Aiv (P =0·001), whereas extrusion (n 4) revealed no effect on Se Aiv (P =0·297). These differences in Se Aiv between diet types warrant quantification of diet type effects on in vivo Se bioavailability.
Background: Intrathecal morphine (ITM) is an efficacious method of providing post-operative analgesia. Despite adoption in many surgical fields, ITM has yet to become a standard of care in lumbar spine surgery. This may in part be attributed to concerns over precipitating a cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leak following dural puncture. Methods: The dural sac is penetrated obliquely at a 30° angle to prevent overlap of dural and arachnoid puncture sites. Oblique injection in instances of limited dural exposure is made possible by introducing a 60° bend to a standard 30-gauge needle. Participating spinal surgeons were provided with brief instructions outlining the injection technique. Adherence and complications were collected prospectively. Results: The technique was applied to 98 cases of elective lumbar fusion at our institution. Two cases (2.0%) of non-adherence followed pre-injection dural tear. 96 cases of oblique ITM injection resulted in no attributable instances of post-operative CSF leakage. Two cases (2.1%) of transient, self-limited CSF leakage immediately following ITM injection were observed without associated sequelae or requirement for further intervention. Conclusions: Oblique dural puncture is not associated with increased incidence of post-operative CSF leakage. This safe and reliable method of delivery of ITM should be routinely considered in lumbar spine surgery.