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Dirofilariosis caused by Dirofilaria immitis (heartworm) is a zoonosis, considered an endemic disease of dogs and cats in several countries of Western Europe, including Portugal. This study assesses the levels of D. immitis exposure in humans from Northern Portugal, to which end, 668 inhabitants of several districts belonging to two different climate areas (Csa: Bragança, Vila Real and Csb: Aveiro, Braga, Porto, Viseu) were tested for anti-D. immitis and anti-Wolbachia surface proteins (WSP) antibodies. The overall prevalence of seropositivity to both anti-D. immitis and WSP antibodies was 6.1%, which demonstrated the risk of infection with D. immitis in humans living in Northern Portugal. This study, carried out in a Western European country, contributes to the characterisation of the risk of infection with D. immitis among human population in this region of the continent. From a One Health point of view, the results of the current work also support the close relationship between dogs and people as a risk factor for human infection
Over recent decades, biomass gains in remaining old-growth Amazonia forests have declined due to environmental change. Amazonia’s huge size and complexity makes understanding these changes, drivers, and consequences very challenging. Here, using a network of permanent monitoring plots at the Amazon–Cerrado transition, we quantify recent biomass carbon changes and explore their environmental drivers. Our study area covers 30 plots of upland and riparian forests sampled at least twice between 1996 and 2016 and subject to various levels of fire and drought. Using these plots, we aimed to: (1) estimate the long-term biomass change rate; (2) determine the extent to which forest changes are influenced by forest type; and (3) assess the threat to forests from ongoing environmental change. Overall, there was no net change in biomass, but there was clear variation among different forest types. Burning occurred at least once in 8 of the 12 riparian forests, while only 1 of the 18 upland forests burned, resulting in losses of carbon in burned riparian forests. Net biomass gains prevailed among other riparian and upland forests throughout Amazonia. Our results reveal an unanticipated vulnerability of riparian forests to fire, likely aggravated by drought, and threatening ecosystem conservation at the Amazon southern margins.
Item 9 of the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) queries about thoughts of death and self-harm, but not suicidality. Although it is sometimes used to assess suicide risk, most positive responses are not associated with suicidality. The PHQ-8, which omits Item 9, is thus increasingly used in research. We assessed equivalency of total score correlations and the diagnostic accuracy to detect major depression of the PHQ-8 and PHQ-9.
We conducted an individual patient data meta-analysis. We fit bivariate random-effects models to assess diagnostic accuracy.
16 742 participants (2097 major depression cases) from 54 studies were included. The correlation between PHQ-8 and PHQ-9 scores was 0.996 (95% confidence interval 0.996 to 0.996). The standard cutoff score of 10 for the PHQ-9 maximized sensitivity + specificity for the PHQ-8 among studies that used a semi-structured diagnostic interview reference standard (N = 27). At cutoff 10, the PHQ-8 was less sensitive by 0.02 (−0.06 to 0.00) and more specific by 0.01 (0.00 to 0.01) among those studies (N = 27), with similar results for studies that used other types of interviews (N = 27). For all 54 primary studies combined, across all cutoffs, the PHQ-8 was less sensitive than the PHQ-9 by 0.00 to 0.05 (0.03 at cutoff 10), and specificity was within 0.01 for all cutoffs (0.00 to 0.01).
PHQ-8 and PHQ-9 total scores were similar. Sensitivity may be minimally reduced with the PHQ-8, but specificity is similar.
Soldier operational performance is determined by their fitness, nutritional status, quality of rest/recovery, and remaining injury/illness free. Understanding large fluctuations in nutritional status during operations is critical to safeguarding health and well-being. There are limited data world-wide describing the effect of extreme climate change on nutrient profiles. This study investigated the effect of hot-dry deployments on vitamin D status (assessed from 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentration) of young, male, military volunteers. Two data sets are presented (pilot study, n 37; main study, n 98), examining serum 25(OH)D concentrations before and during 6-month summer operational deployments to Afghanistan (March to October/November). Body mass, percentage of body fat, dietary intake and serum 25(OH)D concentrations were measured. In addition, parathyroid hormone (PTH), adjusted Ca and albumin concentrations were measured in the main study to better understand 25(OH)D fluctuations. Body mass and fat mass (FM) losses were greater for early (pre- to mid-) deployment compared with late (mid- to post-) deployment (P<0·05). Dietary intake was well-maintained despite high rates of energy expenditure. A pronounced increase in 25(OH)D was observed between pre- (March) and mid-deployment (June) (pilot study: 51 (sd 20) v. 212 (sd 85) nmol/l, P<0·05; main study: 55 (sd 22) v. 167 (sd 71) nmol/l, P<0·05) and remained elevated post-deployment (October/November). In contrast, PTH was highest pre-deployment, decreasing thereafter (main study: 4·45 (sd 2·20) v. 3·79 (sd 1·50) pmol/l, P<0·05). The typical seasonal cycling of vitamin D appeared exaggerated in this active male population undertaking an arduous summer deployment. Further research is warranted, where such large seasonal vitamin D fluctuations may be detrimental to bone health in the longer-term.
This study investigated the characteristics of subjective memory complaints (SMCs) and their association with current and future cognitive functions.
A cohort of 209 community-dwelling individuals without dementia aged 47–90 years old was recruited for this 3-year study. Participants underwent neuropsychological and clinical assessments annually. Participants were divided into SMCs and non-memory complainers (NMCs) using a single question at baseline and a memory complaints questionnaire following baseline, to evaluate differential patterns of complaints. In addition, comprehensive assessment of memory complaints was undertaken to evaluate whether severity and consistency of complaints differentially predicted cognitive function.
SMC and NMC individuals were significantly different on various features of SMCs. Greater overall severity (but not consistency) of complaints was significantly associated with current and future cognitive functioning.
SMC individuals present distinctive features of memory complaints as compared to NMCs. Further, the severity of complaints was a significant predictor of future cognition. However, SMC did not significantly predict change over time in this sample. These findings warrant further research into the specific features of SMCs that may portend subsequent neuropathological and cognitive changes when screening individuals at increased future risk of dementia.
The present study extends prior research on the link between neighborhood disadvantage and chronic illness by testing an integrated model in which neighborhood characteristics exert effects on health conditions through accelerated cardiometabolic aging. Hypotheses were tested using a sample of 408 African Americans from the Family and Community Health Study. Using four waves of data spanning young adulthood (ages 18–29), we first found durable effects of neighborhood disadvantage on accelerated cardiometabolic aging and chronic illness. Then, we used marginal structural modeling to adjust for potential neighborhood selection effects. As expected, accelerated cardiometabolic aging was the biopsychosocial mechanism that mediated much of the association between neighborhood disadvantage and chronic illness. This finding provides additional support for the view that neighborhood disadvantage can influence morbidity and mortality by creating social contexts that becomes biologically embedded. Perceived neighborhood collective efficacy served to buffer the relationship between neighborhood disadvantage and biological aging, identifying neighborhood-level resilience factor. Overall, our results indicate that neighborhood context serves as a fundamental cause of weathering and accelerated biological aging. Residing in a disadvantaged neighborhood increases biological wear and tear that ultimately leads to onset of chronic illness, but access to perceived collective efficacy buffers the impact of these neighborhood effects. From an intervention standpoint, identifying such an integrated model may help inform future health-promoting interventions.
Background:ATP8A2 mutations have only recently been associated with human disease. We present the clinical features from the largest cohort of patients with this disorder reported to date. Methods: An observational study of 9 unreported and 2 previously reported patients with biallelic ATP8A2 mutations was carried out at multiple centres. Results: The mean age of the cohort was 9.4 years old (range: 2.5-28 yrs). All patients demonstrated developmental delay, severe hypotonia and movement disorders: chorea/choreoathetosis (100%), dystonia (27%) or facial dyskinesia (18%). Hypotonia was apparent at birth (70%) or before 6 months old (100%). Optic atrophy was observed in 75% of patients who had a funduscopic examination. MRI of the brain was normal for most patients with a small proportion showing mild cortical atrophy (30%), delayed myelination (20%) and/or hypoplastic optic nerves (20%). Epilepsy was seen in two older patients. Conclusions:ATP8A2 gene mutations have emerged as a cause of a novel phenotype characterized by developmental delay, severe hypotonia and hyperkinetic movement disorders. Optic atrophy is common and may only become apparent in the first few years of life, necessitating repeat ophthalmologic evaluation. Early recognition of the cardinal features of this condition will facilitate diagnosis of this disorder.
Different diagnostic interviews are used as reference standards for major depression classification in research. Semi-structured interviews involve clinical judgement, whereas fully structured interviews are completely scripted. The Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI), a brief fully structured interview, is also sometimes used. It is not known whether interview method is associated with probability of major depression classification.
To evaluate the association between interview method and odds of major depression classification, controlling for depressive symptom scores and participant characteristics.
Data collected for an individual participant data meta-analysis of Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) diagnostic accuracy were analysed and binomial generalised linear mixed models were fit.
A total of 17 158 participants (2287 with major depression) from 57 primary studies were analysed. Among fully structured interviews, odds of major depression were higher for the MINI compared with the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI) (odds ratio (OR) = 2.10; 95% CI = 1.15–3.87). Compared with semi-structured interviews, fully structured interviews (MINI excluded) were non-significantly more likely to classify participants with low-level depressive symptoms (PHQ-9 scores ≤6) as having major depression (OR = 3.13; 95% CI = 0.98–10.00), similarly likely for moderate-level symptoms (PHQ-9 scores 7–15) (OR = 0.96; 95% CI = 0.56–1.66) and significantly less likely for high-level symptoms (PHQ-9 scores ≥16) (OR = 0.50; 95% CI = 0.26–0.97).
The MINI may identify more people as depressed than the CIDI, and semi-structured and fully structured interviews may not be interchangeable methods, but these results should be replicated.
Declaration of interest
Drs Jetté and Patten declare that they received a grant, outside the submitted work, from the Hotchkiss Brain Institute, which was jointly funded by the Institute and Pfizer. Pfizer was the original sponsor of the development of the PHQ-9, which is now in the public domain. Dr Chan is a steering committee member or consultant of Astra Zeneca, Bayer, Lilly, MSD and Pfizer. She has received sponsorships and honorarium for giving lectures and providing consultancy and her affiliated institution has received research grants from these companies. Dr Hegerl declares that within the past 3 years, he was an advisory board member for Lundbeck, Servier and Otsuka Pharma; a consultant for Bayer Pharma; and a speaker for Medice Arzneimittel, Novartis, and Roche Pharma, all outside the submitted work. Dr Inagaki declares that he has received grants from Novartis Pharma, lecture fees from Pfizer, Mochida, Shionogi, Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma, Daiichi-Sankyo, Meiji Seika and Takeda, and royalties from Nippon Hyoron Sha, Nanzando, Seiwa Shoten, Igaku-shoin and Technomics, all outside of the submitted work. Dr Yamada reports personal fees from Meiji Seika Pharma Co., Ltd., MSD K.K., Asahi Kasei Pharma Corporation, Seishin Shobo, Seiwa Shoten Co., Ltd., Igaku-shoin Ltd., Chugai Igakusha and Sentan Igakusha, all outside the submitted work. All other authors declare no competing interests. No funder had any role in the design and conduct of the study; collection, management, analysis and interpretation of the data; preparation, review or approval of the manuscript; and decision to submit the manuscript for publication.
The Murchison Widefield Array, and its recently developed Voltage Capture System, facilitates extending the low-frequency range of pulsar observations at high-time and -frequency resolution in the Southern Hemisphere, providing further information about pulsars and the ISM. We present the results of an initial time-resolved census of known pulsars using the Murchison Widefield Array. To significantly reduce the processing load, we incoherently sum the detected powers from the 128 Murchison Widefield Array tiles, which yields ~10% of the attainable sensitivity of the coherent sum. This preserves the large field-of-view (~450 deg2 at 185 MHz), allowing multiple pulsars to be observed simultaneously. We developed a WIde-field Pulsar Pipeline that processes the data from each observation and automatically folds every known pulsar located within the beam. We have detected 50 pulsars to date, 6 of which are millisecond pulsars. This is consistent with our expectation, given the telescope sensitivity and the sky coverage of the processed data (~17 000 deg2). For 10 pulsars, we present the lowest frequency detections published. For a subset of the pulsars, we present multi-frequency pulse profiles by combining our data with published profiles from other telescopes. Since the Murchison Widefield Array is a low-frequency precursor to the Square Kilometre Array, we use our census results to forecast that a survey using the low-frequency component of the Square Kilometre Array Phase 1 can potentially detect around 9 400 pulsars.
Parent–child relationships have long-term effects on health, particularly later inflammation and depression. We hypothesized that these effects would be mediated by later romantic partner relationships and elevated stressors in young adulthood, helping promote chronic, low grade, inflammation as well as depressive symptoms, and driving their covariation. It has been proposed recently that youth experiencing harsher parenting may also develop a stronger association between inflammation and depressive symptoms in adulthood and altered effects of stressors on outcomes. In the current investigation, we test these ideas using an 18-year longitudinal study of N = 413 African American youth that provides assessment of the parent–child relationship (at age 10), pro-inflammatory cytokine profile and depressive symptoms (at age 28), and potential mediators in early young adulthood (assessed at ages 21 and 24). As predicted, the effect of harsher parent–child relationships (age 10) on pro-inflammatory state and increased depressive symptoms at age 28 were fully mediated through young adult stress and romantic partner relationships. In addition, beyond these mediated effects, parent–child relationships at age 10 moderated the concurrent association between inflammation and depressive symptoms, as well as the prospective association between romantic partner relationships and inflammation, and resulted in substantially different patterns of indirect effects from young adult mediators to outcomes. The results support theorizing that the association of depression and inflammation in young adulthood is conditional on earlier parenting, and suggest incorporating this perspective into models predicting long-term health outcomes.
Background: Measurement of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) competency is often resource intensive. A popular emerging alternative to independent observers’ ratings is using other perspectives for rating competency. Aims: This pilot study compared ratings of CBT competency from four perspectives – patient, therapist, supervisor and independent observer using the Cognitive Therapy Scale (CTS). Method: Patients (n = 12, 75% female, mean age 30.5 years) and therapists (n = 5, female, mean age 26.6 years) completed the CTS after therapy sessions, and clinical supervisor and independent observers rated recordings of the same session. Results: Analyses of variance revealed that therapist average CTS competency ratings were not different from supervisor ratings, and supervisor ratings were not different from independent observer ratings; however, therapist ratings were higher than independent observer ratings and patient ratings were higher than all other raters. Conclusions: Raters differed in competency ratings. Implications for potential use and adaptation of CBT competency measurement methods to enhance training and implementation are discussed.
Historical records are valuable for assessing glacier change in the Canadian High Arctic. Ommanney’s (1969) detailed inventory of Axel Heiberg Island glaciers, based on photography from 1958–59, has been revisited, converted into digital format and compared to glacier extents mapped from 1999–2000 satellite imagery. Our results show that the island-wide ice coverage decreased by 15.92 km2 in the 42 year period, a loss of <1%. However, two trends are apparent: one of advance or minor retreat from basins hosting outlet glaciers from Müller and Steacie Ice Caps, and one of significant retreat, on the order of 50–80%, for independent ice masses, which include valley glaciers, mountain glaciers, glacierets, and ice caps smaller than 25 km2. If the contributions to ice advance of only three surging glaciers are removed, then the island-wide ice loss approaches 60 km2. Furthermore, it is notable that 90% of ice masses smaller than 0.2 km2 disappeared entirely during the 42 year study period, an observation confirmed by field studies. Successful predictions from the original inventory are highlighted and the likely mechanisms driving the observed advances and retreats are discussed.
As part of a multi-epoch and multi-wavelength study of the physics of core dominated radio sources we have investigated the occurrence of apparent superluminal motion and other indications for bulk relativistic motion (b.r.m) in a statistically complete, flux density limited (S5GHz ≥ 1Jy) sample of 13 objects with flat radio spectra These sources come from the S5-survey (Kühr et al., 1981) and are optically identified as 7 quasars and 6 BL-Lac objects. They have been observed over a wide range of frequencies, from radio through X-rays (s. Eckart et al., 1986 and references therein). Radiomaps have been obtained at frequencies from 327 MHz to 22.2 GHz with resolutions from arcseconds to 0.2 mas, using the VLA, MERLIN and telescopes of the US- and European-VLBI networks. A recent status report on the VLBI-observations is given by Witzel (1987). In this paper we summarize the results on the direct evidence for b.r.m. in this sample as derived from repeated VLBI-observations at 5 GHz, as well as supporting evidence from SSC-calculations and flux density variability of the 5GHz VLBI core components (Table 1).
At the lowest radio frequencies (≤30 MHz), the Earth's ionosphere transmits poorly or not at all. This relatively unexplored region of the electromagnetic spectrum is thus an area where high resolution, high sensitivity observations can open a new window for astronomical investigations. Also, extending observations down to very low frequencies brings astronomy to a fundamental physical limit where the Milky Way becomes optically thick over relatively short path lengths due to diffuse free-free absorption.
Occasional cases of classical bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) still continue to occur within the European Union (EU) for animals born after reinforced feed bans (BARBs), which should in theory have eliminated all risk of infection. The study aimed to determine (i) whether a common rate of decline of BSE infection was evident across EU member states, i.e. to determine whether control measures have been equally effective in all member states, (ii) whether there was any evidence of spontaneous occurrence of BSE in the data and (iii) the expected date for the last BSE case in UK. It was found that there was no significant difference in the rate of decline of BSE prevalence between member states, with a common rate of decline of 33·9% per annum (95% CI 30·9–37%) in successive annual birth cohorts. Trend analysis indicated an ultimate decline to 0 prevalence, suggesting that spontaneous occurrence does not explain the majority of cases. Projecting forward the trends from the back-calculation model indicated that there was approximately a 50% probability of further cases in the UK, and should the current rate of decline continue, there remains the possibility of further occasional cases up until 2026.
We present low-frequency spectral energy distributions of 60 known radio pulsars observed with the Murchison Widefield Array telescope. We searched the GaLactic and Extragalactic All-sky Murchison Widefield Array survey images for 200-MHz continuum radio emission at the position of all pulsars in the Australia Telescope National Facility (ATNF) pulsar catalogue. For the 60 confirmed detections, we have measured flux densities in 20 × 8 MHz bands between 72 and 231 MHz. We compare our results to existing measurements and show that the Murchison Widefield Array flux densities are in good agreement.
White dwarfs are becoming useful tools for many areas of astronomy. They can be used as accurate chronometers over Gyr timescales. They are also clues to the history of star formation in our galaxy. Many of these studies require accurate estimates of the mass of the white dwarf. The theoretical mass-radius relation is often invoked to provide these mass estimates. While the theoretical mass-radius relation is well developed, observational tests of this relation show a much larger scatter in the results than expected. High precision observational tests to confirm this relation are required. Gaia is providing distance measurements which will remove one of the main source of uncertainty affecting most previous observations. We combine Gaia distances with spectra from the Hubble and FUSE satelites to make precise tests of the white dwarf mass-radius relation.
Synthetic pyrochlore samples Y2Ti2-xSnxO7 (x=0.4, 0.8, 1.2, 1.6), Nd2Zr2O7, Nd2Zr1.2Ti0.8O7, and La1.6Y0.4Hf2O7, were irradiated in-situ using the IVEM-TANDEM microscope facility at the Argonne National Laboratory. The critical temperatures for amorphisation have revealed a dramatic increase in tolerance with increasing Sn content for the Y2Ti2-xSnxO7 series. This change has also found to be linear with increasing Sn content. Nd2Zr1.2Ti0.8O7 and La1.6Y0.4Hf2O7 were both found to amorphise, while Nd2Zr2O7 was found to be stable to high doses (2.5×10^15 ions cm-2). The observed results are presented with respect to previously published results for irradiation stability predictions and structural disorder.
Leishmaniasis are diseases caused by parasites of the genus Leishmania and transmitted to humans by the bite of infected insects of the subfamily Phlebotominae. Current drug therapy shows high toxicity and severe adverse effects. Recently, two oligopeptidases (OPBs) were identified in Leishmania amazonensis, namely oligopeptidase B (OPB) and oligopeptidase B2 (OPB2). These OPBs could be ideal targets, since both enzymes are expressed in all parasite lifecycle and were not identified in human. This work aimed to identify possible dual inhibitors of OPB and OPB2 from L. amazonensis. The three-dimensional structures of both enzymes were built by comparative modelling and used to perform a virtual screening of ZINC database by DOCK Blaster server. It is the first time that OPB models from L. amazonensis are used to virtual screening approach. Four hundred compounds were identified as possible inhibitors to each enzyme. The top scored compounds were submitted to refinement by AutoDock program. The best results suggest that compounds interact with important residues, as Tyr490, Glu612 and Arg655 (OPB numbers). The identified compounds showed better results than antipain and drugs currently used against leishmaniasis when ADMET in silico were performed. These compounds could be explored in order to find dual inhibitors of OPB and OPB2 from L. amazonensis.