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In the face of reducing reliance on in-feed antibiotics, a greater emphasis has been placed on the development of vaccines. Adjuvants play important role in vaccine refinement. Apart from conventional adjuvants, others, like cytokines and toll-like receptors (TLR), have been evaluated experimentally. For example, Pam3CSK4, Polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid are used as immunostimulatory agents which upregulate the expression of type 1 IFNs against avian influenza. The use of TLR4 (lipopolysaccharide; LPS), TLR7 (Loxoribine) and TLR21 (CpG-ODN) agonists have shown good results when used as adjuvants with the avian influenza vaccine. The LPS (TLR4) was used as an adjuvant and liposome as intranasal antigen delivery system for Newcastle's disease (NDV) antigen, which induced significant increases in secretory IgA in tracheal lavage fluid and serum IgG levels. In a challenge study it provided 80% protection against virulent challenge. When resiquimod (TLR7) was used as an adjuvant with inactivated NDV, this potentiated the protective response to 100% against virulent NDV challenge, while protection was only 80% in the vaccine alone group. When 64CpG-plasmids (TLR21) were co-administered with inactivated AIV H5N2 vaccine in chickens, it led to a higher HI titre at two and four weeks of age, and provided 100% protection against virulent challenge of avian influenza. The TLR 3 agonist (poly I:C) showed good results against NDV and avian reovirus. Other TLR agonists and cytokines used against NDV include LPS, loxoribine, CpG-ODN and ChIFN-α, IFN- γ (with an in ovo vaccine). Immunostimulatory adjuvants like LPS, chicken TLR21, have been tried with Marek's disease vaccine, and TLR 5 agonist was used against Salmonella enteritidis and Eimeria tenella. Although the study of cytokines and TLRs in avian species is still in its infancy when compared to that of mammals, huge strides have been made in recent years. In this article, recent studies involving the assessment of immunostimulatory adjuvants in poultry are reviewed.
We study the setting up of relativistic ponderomotive non-linearity in an under-dense collisionless cold plasma. Using the fluid model, coupled system of equations of the laser beam and electron plasma oscillations has been derived. We present the numerical simulation for this coupled system of equations, when the coupling arises through relativistic ponderomotive non-linearity. The filamentation of the laser beam has been found to vary appreciably with perturbation wave number. The results show that with time, localized structures become more complex and the plasma oscillation frequency spectra have several harmonic peaks at terahertz frequencies when the electron plasma frequency is in terahertz range and laser frequency is around 2.35 × 1015 rad/s. We also present the semi-analytical model to capture the underlying physics.
Biochar has received attention due to its potential for mitigating climate change through carbon sequestration in soil and improving soil quality and crop productivity. This study evaluated the effects of rice straw biochar (RSB) and rice husk ash (RHA) each applied at 5 Mg ha−1 and four N levels (0, 40, 80, and 120 kg ha−1) on soil fertility, growth, and yield of rice and wheat for three consecutive rice–wheat rotations. RSB significantly increased electrical conductivity, dehydrogenase activity, and P and K contents when compared to control (no amendment) up to 7.5 cm soil depth. Both RSB and RHA did not influence shoot N concentration in wheat plant but significantly increased P and K concentrations at 60 days after sowing. Grain yields of both rice and wheat were significantly higher in RSB as compared to control (no amendment) and RHA treatments. While the highest grain yields of rice and wheat were observed at 120 kg N ha−1 in RHA and no biochar-treated plots, a significant increase in grain yields was observed at 80 kg N ha−1 in RSB treatment, thereby saving 40 kg N ha−1 in each crop. Both agronomic and recovery N efficiencies in rice and wheat were significantly higher in RSB-amended soil compared to control. Significant positive correlations were observed between soil N, P, and K concentrations and total N, P, and K concentrations in aboveground biomass of wheat at 60 days after sowing. This study showed the potential benefits of applying RSB for improving soil fertility and yields of rice and wheat in a rice–wheat system.
To compare round window niche visibility as seen endoscopically during cochlear implant surgery with pre-operative high-resolution computed tomography of the temporal bone.
Nineteen patients scheduled for cochlear implantation, aged 2–20 years, were referred for computed tomography from October 2016 to March 2018. Angles were measured between the lines passing through the mid-sagittal plane and cochlear basal turn on the scans. Endoscopic round window niche visibility during posterior tympanotomy was categorised as: type I = 100 per cent, type IIa = more than 50 per cent, type IIb = less than 50 per cent or type III = 0 per cent. Pre-operative computed tomography measurements were used to predict round window niche visibility before surgery and correlated with intra-operative findings.
The mean (range) of pre-operative angles on computed tomography for endoscopic visibility types I, IIa and IIb, were 64.06° (61.16–69.37°), 63.81° (58.61–71.35°) and 56.48° (50.37–59.05°), respectively, a statistically significant finding (one-way analysis of variance test, p = 0.016).
Pre-operative high-resolution temporal bone computed tomography measurements are useful in predicting round window niche visualisation as viewed endoscopically during posterior tympanotomy. The angle was more acute in type IIb compared to type I.
Background: Biallelic variants in POLR1C are associated with POLR3-related leukodystrophy (POLR3-HLD), or 4H leukodystrophy (Hypomyelination, Hypodontia, Hypogonadotropic Hypogonadism), and Treacher Collins syndrome (TCS). The clinical spectrum of POLR3-HLD caused by variants in this gene has not been described. Methods: A cross-sectional observational study involving 25 centers worldwide was conducted between 2016 and 2018. The clinical, radiologic and molecular features of 23 unreported and previously reported cases of POLR3-HLD caused by POLR1C variants were reviewed. Results: Most participants presented between birth and age 6 years with motor difficulties. Neurological deterioration was seen during childhood, suggesting a more severe phenotype than previously described. The dental, ocular and endocrine features often seen in POLR3-HLD were not invariably present. Five patients (22%) had a combination of hypomyelinating leukodystrophy and abnormal craniofacial development, including one individual with clear TCS features. Several cases did not exhibit all the typical radiologic characteristics of POLR3-HLD. A total of 29 different pathogenic variants in POLR1C were identified, including 13 new disease-causing variants. Conclusions: Based on the largest cohort of patients to date, these results suggest novel characteristics of POLR1C-related disorder, with a spectrum of clinical involvement characterized by hypomyelinating leukodystrophy with or without abnormal craniofacial development reminiscent of TCS.
Background: Continuous electroencephalographic (cEEG) monitoring is essential to diagnosing non-convulsive seizures (NCS), reported to occur in 7-46% of at-risk critically ill patients. However, cEEG is labour-intensive, and given scarcity of resources at most centres cEEG is feasible in only selected patients. We aim to evaluate the clinical utility of cEEG at our centre in order to optimize further cEEG allocation among critically ill patients. Methods: Using a clinical database, we identified critically ill children who underwent cEEG monitoring in 2016, 2017 and 2018. We abstracted underlying diagnoses, indication for cEEG monitoring, cEEG findings, and associated changes in management. Results: Over this three year period, 928 cEEGs were performed. Among the 100 studies analyzed to date, primary indications for monitoring were characterization of events of unclear etiology (32%), diagnosis of NCS (30%), and monitoring of therapy for seizures (17%). Seizures were captured in 31% of patients (22% subclinical only, 5% electroclinical only, 4% both), which resulted in a treatment change in 90% of cases. Non-epileptic events were captured in 26% of patients. Conclusions: cEEG yielded clinically meaningful information in 57% of cases, frequently resulting in management changes. Subgroup analyses by cEEG indication and ICU location will be presented.
Manipur, an international border region has the highest incidence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 infection in India. Nevertheless, there have been no analytical reviews of research article published within this region. In this review, the authors aim to draw the attention of policy makers, medical practitioners and researchers in adopting new strategies to limit the expansion of HIV/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) not only in Manipur but also in other international border areas. A systematic search for published literature in last decade was performed based on the keywords ‘Manipur’ and ‘HIV’ using the PubMed. Twenty-six articles were selected and reviewed. There were high incidence of drug resistance (53%), emergence of recombinant virus (32%) and increased incidence of co-infection with hepatitis C virus. The prime cause of the HIV is due to the uses of ‘heroin’ smuggled from the ‘South Asia Golden Triangle’ and complex patterns of cross-border movement for trade and commerce. The drug abuse, social stigma, geographical location and resource limitation and socio-political problem of the region have contributed strongly on spreading and failure of preventively programme of HIV/AIDS. This review will provide vital knowledge for the policy makers and clinicians for sentinel surveillance of AIDS pandemic in Manipur and other international border regions.
Obstructive sleep apnoea is a common chronic sleep disorder characterised by collapse of the upper airway during sleep. The nasal airway forms a significant part of the upper airway and any obstruction is thought to have an impact on obstructive sleep apnoea. A systematic review was performed to determine the role of rhinological surgical interventions in the management of obstructive sleep apnoea.
A systematic review of current literature was undertaken; studies were included if they involved comparison of a non-surgical and/or non-rhinological surgical intervention with a rhinological surgical intervention for treatment of obstructive sleep apnoea.
Sixteen studies met the selection criteria. The pooled data suggest that there are reductions in the apnoea/hypopnea index and respiratory disturbance index following nasal surgery. However, the current body of studies is too heterogeneous for statistically significant meta-analysis to be conducted.
Nasal surgery may have limited benefit for a subset of patients based on current evidence.
Mental health and wellbeing, including addressing impacts of historical trauma and substance use among young people, has been identified as a key priority by Indigenous communities and leaders across Canada and globally. Yet, research to understand mental health among young Indigenous people who have used drugs is limited.
To examine longitudinal risk and strengths-based factors associated with psychological distress among young Indigenous people who use drugs.
The Cedar Project is an ongoing cohort study involving young Indigenous people who use drugs in Vancouver, Prince George, and Chase, British Columbia, Canada. This study included participants who completed the Symptom Checklist-90-Revised, returned for follow-up between 2010 and 2012, and completed the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire. Adjusted linear mixed-effects models estimated effects of study variables on changes in area T-scores of psychological distress.
Of 202 eligible participants, 53% were women and the mean age was 28 years. Among men, childhood maltreatment (emotional abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, physical neglect), any drug use, blackouts from drinking, and sex work were associated with increased distress. Among women, childhood maltreatment (emotional abuse, physical abuse, physical neglect), blackouts from drinking, and sexual assault were associated with increased distress, while having attempted to quit using drugs was associated with reduced distress. Marginal associations were observed between speaking their traditional language and living by traditional culture with lower distress among men.
Culturally safe mental wellness interventions are urgently needed to address childhood trauma and harmful coping strategies that exacerbate distress among young Indigenous people who use drugs.
The study primarily aimed to calculate the orientation of the cochlea pre-operatively, using high-resolution computed tomography of the temporal bone, and predict the ease of electrode insertion.
Pre-operatively, high-resolution computed tomography scans were conducted on children scheduled for cochlear implantation, and two angles, α and β, were calculated. The values of α and β were then correlated with intra-operative difficulty in insertion of the electrode array.
Ninety-six children were included in the study. Of the seven patients who had an α angle of less than 50 degrees, the surgeon experienced difficulties in electrode insertion. However, there were four patients with an α angle of more than 50 degrees for whom the surgeon also experienced difficulties in electrode insertion. In all these patients, the β angle was more than 20 degrees.
Calculation of cochlear orientation and its angle with the surgical axis (α and β) can aid the planning of surgery, particularly with regard to the cochleostomy site and preservation of residual hearing.
Agriculture in the Central Himalayan Region depends on the availability of suitable germplasm as well as natural conditions. Due to extreme weather conditions, food and nutrition security is a major issue for communities inhabiting these remote and inaccessible areas. Millets are common crops grown in these areas. Foxtail millet (Setaria italica (L.) P. Beauv) is an important crop and forms a considerable part of the diet in this region. The aim of the present study was to explore, collect, conserve and evaluate the untapped genetic diversity of foxtail millet at the molecular level and discover variability in their nutritional traits. A total of 30 accessions having unique traits of agronomic importance were collected and molecular profiling was performed. A total of 63 alleles were generated with an average of 2.52 alleles per locus and average expected heterozygosity of 0.37 ± 0.231. Significant genetic variability was revealed through the genetic differentiation (Fst) and gene flow (Nm) values. Structure-based analysis divided whole germplasm into three sub-groups. Rich variability was found in nutritional traits such as dietary fibre in husked grains, carbohydrate, protein, lysine and thiamine content. The collected germplasm may be useful for developing nutritionally rich and agronomically beneficial varieties of foxtail millet and also designing strategies for utilization of unexploited genetic diversity for food and nutrition security in this and other similar agro-ecological regions.
During tonsillectomy, one of the key concerns is establishing adequate haemostasis. Intra-operative haemorrhage from the upper pole of the tonsil fossae can be a challenge to deal with because of an inability to clearly visualise bleeding points. Laryngeal mirrors are readily available in an ENT operating theatre and routinely used for indirect visualisation of the post-nasal space during adenoidectomy.
This paper describes a technique, utilising a laryngeal mirror placed within the tonsil fossa (after having removed the palatine tonsil), to visualise the upper pole and any bleeding points.
Results and conclusion:
Laryngeal mirrors can be used with case to inspect the tonsil fossa post-tonsillectomy for bleeding points which may not be directly visible, so that these can be cauterised.
The study proposes a semi-analytical model for the pulse compression of two co-propagating intense laser beams having Gaussian intensity profile in the temporal domain. The high power laser beams create the relativistic nonlinearity during propagation in plasma, which leads to the modification of the refractive index profile. The co-propagating laser beams get self- compressed by virtue of group velocity dispersion and induced nonlinearity. The induced nonlinearity in the plasma broadens the frequency spectrum of the pulse via self-phase modulation, turn to shorter the pulse duration and enhancement of laser beam intensity. The nonlinear Schrodinger equations were set up for co-propagating laser beams in plasmas and have been solved in Matlab by considering paraxial approximation. The propagation characteristics of both laser beams inside plasma are divided into three regions through the critical divider curve, which has been plotted between pulse width τ01 and laser beam power P01. Based on the preferred value of critical parameters, these regions are oscillatory compression, oscillatory broadening, and steady broadening. In findings, it is observed that the compression of the laser beam depends on the combined intensity of both beams, plasma density, and initial pulse width.
Understanding species distributions, patterns of change and threats can form the basis for assessing the conservation status of elusive species that are difficult to survey. The snow leopard Panthera uncia is the top predator of the Central and South Asian mountains. Knowledge of the distribution and status of this elusive felid and its wild prey is limited. Using recall-based key-informant interviews we estimated site use by snow leopards and their primary wild prey, blue sheep Pseudois nayaur and Asiatic ibex Capra sibirica, across two time periods (past: 1985–1992; recent: 2008–2012) in the state of Himachal Pradesh, India. We also conducted a threat assessment for the recent period. Probability of site use was similar across the two time periods for snow leopards, blue sheep and ibex, whereas for wild prey (blue sheep and ibex combined) overall there was an 8% contraction. Although our surveys were conducted in areas within the presumed distribution range of the snow leopard, we found snow leopards were using only 75% of the area (14,616 km2). Blue sheep and ibex had distinct distribution ranges. Snow leopards and their wild prey were not restricted to protected areas, which encompassed only 17% of their distribution within the study area. Migratory livestock grazing was pervasive across ibex distribution range and was the most widespread and serious conservation threat. Depredation by free-ranging dogs, and illegal hunting and wildlife trade were the other severe threats. Our results underscore the importance of community-based, landscape-scale conservation approaches and caution against reliance on geophysical and opinion-based distribution maps that have been used to estimate national and global snow leopard ranges.
Although quality of life (QoL) is receiving increasing attention in bipolar disorder (BD) research and practice, little is known about its naturalistic trajectory. The dual aims of this study were to prospectively investigate: (a) the trajectory of QoL under guideline-driven treatment and (b) the dynamic relationship between mood symptoms and QoL.
In total, 362 patients with BD receiving guideline-driven treatment were prospectively followed at 3-month intervals for up to 5 years. Mental (Mental Component Score – MCS) and physical (Physical Component Score – PCS) QoL were measured using the self-report SF-36. Clinician-rated symptom data were recorded for mania and depression. Multilevel modelling was used to analyse MCS and PCS over time, QoL trajectories predicted by time-lagged symptoms, and symptom trajectories predicted by time-lagged QoL.
MCS exhibited a positive trajectory, while PCS worsened over time. Investigation of temporal relationships between QoL and symptoms suggested bidirectional effects: earlier depressive symptoms were negatively associated with mental QoL, and earlier manic symptoms were negatively associated with physical QoL. Importantly, earlier MCS and PCS were both negatively associated with downstream symptoms of mania and depression.
The present investigation illustrates real-world outcomes for QoL under guideline-driven BD treatment: improvements in mental QoL and decrements in physical QoL were observed. The data permitted investigation of dynamic interactions between QoL and symptoms, generating novel evidence for bidirectional effects and encouraging further research into this important interplay. Investigation of relevant time-varying covariates (e.g. medications) was beyond scope. Future research should investigate possible determinants of QoL and the interplay between symptoms and wellbeing/satisfaction-centric measures of QoL.
The topographic effects of differential terrain illumination in optical satellite imagery of rugged mountainous regions have serious consequences for qualitative and quantitative analysis for various snow applications. Therefore, effective removal or minimization of topographic effects is necessary in satellite image data of mountainous regions. Different methods for topographic corrections, including C-correction, Minnaert corrections (including slope) and slope-matching method, are analysed in the context of snow reflectance. Combination of dark-object subtraction models DOS1 and DOS3 is used for image-based atmospheric corrections while considering the effect of Rayleigh scattering on the transmissivity in different spectral bands of AWiFS and MODIS image data. The performance of different models is evaluated using (1) visual analysis, (2) change in snow reflectance on sunny and shady slopes after the corrections, (3) validation with in situ observations and (4) graphical analysis. The results show that the slope-matching technique could eliminate most of the shadowing effects in Himalayan rugged terrain and correctly estimate snow reflectance from AWiFS and MODIS imagery. The validation of results with in situ observations for both types of imagery suggests that all other methods significantly underestimate reflectance values after the corrections.
Due to remoteness and high altitude, only a few ground-based glacier change studies are available in high-mountain areas in the Himalaya. However, digital elevation models based on remotely sensed data (RS-DEMs) provide feasible opportunities to evaluate how fast Himalayan glaciers are changing. Here we compute elevation changes in glacier surface (total area 183.3 km2) in the Khumbu region, Nepal Himalaya, for the period 1992-2008 using multitemporal RS-DEMs and a map-derived DEM calibrated with differential GPS survey data in 2007. Elevation change is calculated by generating a weighted least-squares linear regression model. Our method enables us to provide the distribution of uncertainty of the elevation change. Debris-covered areas show large lowering rates. The spatial distribution of elevation change shows that the different wastage features of the debris-covered glaciers depend on their scale, slope and the existence of glacial lakes. The elevation changes of glaciers in the eastern Khumbu region are in line with previous studies. The regional average mass balance of -0.40 ± 0.25 m w.e.a-1 for the period 1992-2008 is consistent with a global value of about -0.55 m w.e. a-1 for the period 1996-2005.
The 98 min eclipsing cataclysmic variable EX Hya possesses a strong 67 min modulation in its light. This has led to a discussion of EX Hya in the context of intermediate polar variables. The observed P/Ṗ of the 67 min modulation provides a useful constraint on EX Hya models. Here we report additional timing data obtained over the interval 1982 to 1985 which bears on this matter.