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Oligosaccharides are broadly present on Leishmania cell surfaces. They can be useful for the leishmaniases diagnosis and also helpful in identifying new cell markers for the disease. The disaccharide Galα1-3Galβ is the immunodominant saccharide in Leishmania cell surface and is the unique non-reducing terminal glycosphingolipids structure recognized by anti-α-Gal. This study describes an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) used to measure serum levels of anti-α-galactosyl (α-Gal) antibodies in patients with cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL). Optimal ELISA conditions were established and two neoglycoproteins (NGP) containing the Galα1-3Gal terminal fraction (Galα1-3Galβ1-4GlcNAc-HAS and Galα1-3Gal-HAS) and one Galα1-3Gal NGP analogue (Galα1-3Galβ1-3GlcNAc-HAS) were used as antigens. Means of anti-α-Gal antibody titres of CL patients were significantly higher (P < 0.05) than the healthy individuals for all NGPs tested. Sensitivity and specificity of all NGPs ranged from 62.2 to 78.4% and 58.3 to 96.7%, respectively. In conclusion, the NGPs can be used for CL diagnosis.
There are no available medications for the management of alcohol dependence for patients with alcoholic liver disease (ALD).
To conduct a multisite, double blind, placebo-controlled, randomised clinical trial of baclofen in the treatment of alcohol dependence, with or without liver disease (trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT01711125).
Patients (n = 104) were randomised to placebo, baclofen 30 mg/day or 75 mg/day for 12 weeks. Primary outcomes included survival time to lapse (any drinking), relapse (≥5 drinks per day in men and ≥4 in women), and the composite outcome of drinks per drinking day, number of heavy drinking days, and percentage days abstinent.
There was a significant effect of baclofen (composite groups) on time to lapse (χ2 = 6.44, P<0.05, Cohen's d = 0.56) and relapse (χ2 = 4.62, P<0.05, d = 0.52). A significant treatment effect of baclofen was observed for percentage days abstinent (placebo 43%, baclofen 30 mg 69%, baclofen 75 mg 65%; P<0.05). There was one serious adverse event (overdose) directly related to medication (75 mg).
Baclofen may be an effective treatment option for patients with ALD. However, given the profile of adverse events, the role for this medication might be best limited to specialist services.
Binding of promastigotes to the sand fly midgut epithelium is regarded as an essential part of the Leishmania life cycle in the vector. Among Leishmania surface molecules putatively involved in attachment to the sand fly midgut, two GPI-anchored molecules are the most prominent: lipophosphoglycan (LPG) and promastigote surface protease gp63. In this work, we examined midgut attachment of Leishmania lines mutated in GPI-anchored molecules and compared results from 2 different techniques: in vivo development in sand flies and in vitro competitive binding assays using fluorescently labelled parasites. In combination with previous studies, our data provide additional support for (1) an LPG-independent parasite-binding mechanism of Leishmania major within the midgut of the permissive vector Phlebotomus perniciosus, and provide strong support for (2) the crucial role of L. major LPG in specific vector Phlebotomus papatasi, and (3) a role for Leishmania amazonensis gp63 in Lutzomyia longipalpis midgut binding. Moreover, our results suggest a critical role for GPI-anchored proteins and gp63 in Leishmania mexicana attachment to L. longipalpis midguts, as the wild type (WT) line accounted for over 99% of bound parasites.
We have seen that Africa's geography has distinctively shaped its opportunities. Two-thirds of Africa's population live in countries that are either dominated by natural resource wealth, or are landlocked and resource-scarce. Both of these conditions are difficult to cope with, and both are far more common in Africa than in other parts of the developing world. In this chapter we suggest that not only have Africa's opportunities been shaped by its geography, but that to a significant extent so have its choices.
Policy choices do not lend themselves to quantitative analysis: they are highly multifaceted with no obvious procedure for aggregation, and they are often continuous but ordinal, lying on the qualitative spectrum better–worse. In addition, individual variables often measure policy outcomes rather than policy settings: they become endogenous to growth. We have reduced this complexity to a manageable set of “syndromes” – patterns of policy choice that are plausibly causally prior to growth outcomes and that an economist would expect to be seriously dysfunctional for growth. This simplification has naturally come at the price of a substantial loss of information. However, as we saw in chapter 2, the syndromes are associated with a substantial part of Africa's growth shortfall. If this association is causal, which we shall investigate, then the loss of information is not overly severe, at least in terms of the impact of policies on growth. Attention then properly shifts to explaining policy choices, and here the syndrome structure provides a powerful focal point for analysis.
The period from 1960 to 2000 was one of remarkable growth and transformation in the world economy. Why did most of Sub-Saharan Africa fail to develop over this period? Why did a few small African economies succeed spectacularly? The Political Economy of Economic Growth in Africa, 1960–2000 is by far the most ambitious and comprehensive assessment of Africa's post-independence economic performance to date. Volume 1 examines the impact of resource wealth and geographical remoteness on Africa's growth and develops a new dataset of governance regimes covering all of Sub-Saharan Africa. Separate chapters analyze the dominant patterns of governance observed over the period and their impact on growth, the ideological formation of the political elite, the roots of political violence and reform, and the lessons of the 1960–2000 period for contemporary growth strategy.