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Early detection and intervention strategies in patients at clinical high-risk (CHR) for syndromal psychosis have the potential to contain the morbidity of schizophrenia and similar conditions. However, research criteria that have relied on severity and number of positive symptoms are limited in their specificity and risk high false-positive rates. Our objective was to examine the degree to which measures of recency of onset or intensification of positive symptoms [a.k.a., new or worsening (NOW) symptoms] contribute to predictive capacity.
We recruited 109 help-seeking individuals whose symptoms met criteria for the Progression Subtype of the Attenuated Positive Symptom Psychosis-Risk Syndrome defined by the Structured Interview for Psychosis-Risk Syndromes and followed every three months for two years or onset of syndromal psychosis.
Forty-one (40.6%) of 101 participants meeting CHR criteria developed a syndromal psychotic disorder [mostly (80.5%) schizophrenia] with half converting within 142 days (interquartile range: 69–410 days). Patients with more NOW symptoms were more likely to convert (converters: 3.63 ± 0.89; non-converters: 2.90 ± 1.27; p = 0.001). Patients with stable attenuated positive symptoms were less likely to convert than those with NOW symptoms. New, but not worsening, symptoms, in isolation, also predicted conversion.
Results suggest that the severity and number of attenuated positive symptoms are less predictive of conversion to syndromal psychosis than the timing of their emergence and intensification. These findings also suggest that the earliest phase of psychotic illness involves a rapid, dynamic process, beginning before the syndromal first episode, with potentially substantial implications for CHR research and understanding the neurobiology of psychosis.
Dung-colonizing beetles provide a range of ecosystem services in farmland pasture systems. However, such beetles are declining in Northern temperate regions. This may, in part, be due to the widespread use of macrocyclic lactones (MLs) and synthetic pyrethroids (SPs) in livestock farming. These chemicals are used to control pests and parasites of cattle; the residues of which are excreted in dung at concentrations toxic to insects. While the lethal effects of such residues are well known, sublethal effects are less understood. Any effects, however, may have important consequences for beetle populations, particularly if they affect reproduction. To investigate, the impact of ML and SP exposure on the reproductive output of Onthophagus similis (Scriba), a Northern temperate dung beetle species, was examined. In laboratory trials, field-collected adult O. similis exposed to the ML ivermectin at 1 ppm (wet weight) over a period of 3 weeks had smaller oocytes (p = 0.016), smaller fat bodies and reduced motility compared to the control. In a farm-level investigation, cattle dung-baited pitfall trapping was undertaken on 23 beef cattle farms in SW England, which either used MLs (n = 9), SPs (n = 7) or neither chemical (n = 7). On farms that used no MLs or SPs, 24.2% of females caught were gravid. However, on farms that used MLs no gravid females were caught, and only 1% of the beetles caught on farms using SPs were gravid (p < 0.001). The association between ML and SP use and impaired reproductive output suggests that the use of such chemicals is likely to be ecologically damaging.
Folic acid (FA) supplementation is recommended in the periconceptional period, for the prevention of neural tube defects. Limited data are available on the folate status of New Zealand (NZ) pregnant women and its association with FA supplementation intake. Objectives were to examine the relationship between plasma folate (PF) and reported FA supplement use at 15 weeks’ gestation and to explore socio-demographic and lifestyle factors associated with PF. We used data and blood samples from NZ participants of the Screening for Pregnancy Endpoints cohort study. Healthy nulliparous women with singleton pregnancy (n 1921) were interviewed and blood samples collected. PF was analysed via microbiological assay. Of the participants, 73 % reported taking an FA supplement at 15 weeks’ gestation – of these, 79 % were taking FA as part of/alongside a multivitamin supplement. Of FA supplement users, 56 % reported consuming a daily dose of ≥800 μg; 39 % reported taking less than 400 µg/d. Mean PF was significantly higher in women reporting FA supplementation (54·6 (se 1·5) nmol/l) v. no FA supplementation (35·1 (se 1·6) nmol/l) (P<0·0001). Reported daily FA supplement dose and PF were significantly positively correlated (r 0·41; P<0·05). Younger maternal age, Pacific and Maori ethnicity and obesity were negatively associated with PF levels; vegetarianism was positively associated with PF. Reported FA supplement dose was significantly associated with PF after adjustment for socio-demographic, lifestyle confounders and multivitamin intake. The relationship observed between FA supplementation and PF demonstrates that self-reported intake is a reliable proxy for FA supplement use in this study population.
Sheep blowfly strike (ovine cutaneous myiasis) is a widespread economic and welfare problem in sheep husbandry in many parts of the world. Strike incidence is determined by a complex interaction of fly abundance, host susceptibility and climate, combined with farmer husbandry and intervention strategies. Sheep farmers adopt a range of approaches to the type and timing of the management used for the control of blowfly strike, the rational basis for which is often not robust. Here a deterministic model, based on existing data relating to fly abundance, seasonal risk and strike incidence, is used to compare the variable costs associated with different strike management strategies. The model shows that not employing prophylactic treatment is the lowest cost strategy only where strike risk is low. In all other circumstances, prophylactic treatment incurs lower costs than not doing so, because the deaths associated with strike outweigh the costs of prophylactic treatment. Lamb treatment, in particular, has a substantial effect on strike and cost reduction, since lambs are the most abundant age-class of animals and are at the highest risk over the period when fly abundance is the greatest. Early-season treatment of ewes before shearing is also an important component of the lowest cost strategies, particularly when the blowfly season is extended. While the rational choice of the most appropriate strike management strategy is essential in the context of farm economics, welfare considerations lend added importance to treatment decisions that reduce strike incidence.
The second year of life is a period of nutritional vulnerability. We aimed to investigate the dietary patterns and nutrient intakes from 1 to 2 years of age during the 12-month follow-up period of the Growing Up Milk – Lite (GUMLi) trial. The GUMLi trial was a multi-centre, double-blinded, randomised controlled trial of 160 healthy 1-year-old children in Auckland, New Zealand and Brisbane, Australia. Dietary intakes were collected at baseline, 3, 6, 9 and 12 months post-randomisation, using a validated FFQ. Dietary patterns were identified using principal component analysis of the frequency of food item consumption per d. The effect of the intervention on dietary patterns and intake of eleven nutrients over the duration of the trial were investigated using random effects mixed models. A total of three dietary patterns were identified at baseline: ‘junk/snack foods’, ‘healthy/guideline foods’ and ‘breast milk/formula’. A significant group difference was observed in ‘breast milk/formula’ dietary pattern z scores at 12 months post-randomisation, where those in the GUMLi group loaded more positively on this pattern, suggesting more frequent consumption of breast milk. No difference was seen in the other two dietary patterns. Significant intervention effects were seen on nutrient intake between the GUMLi (intervention) and cows’ milk (control) groups, with lower protein and vitamin B12, and higher Fe, vitamin D, vitamin C and Zn intake in the GUMLi (intervention) group. The consumption of GUMLi did not affect dietary patterns, however, GUMLi participants had lower protein intake and higher Fe, vitamins D and C and Zn intake at 2 years of age.
To simulate effects of different scenarios of folic acid fortification of food on dietary folate equivalents (DFE) intake in an ethnically diverse sample of pregnant women.
A forty-four-item FFQ was used to evaluate dietary intake of the population. DFE intakes were estimated for different scenarios of food fortification with folic acid: (i) voluntary fortification; (ii) increased voluntary fortification; (iii) simulated bread mandatory fortification; and (iv) simulated grains-and-rice mandatory fortification.
Ethnically and socio-economically diverse cohort of pregnant women in New Zealand.
Pregnant women (n 5664) whose children were born in 2009–2010.
Participants identified their ethnicity as European (56·0 %), Asian (14·2 %), Māori (13·2 %), Pacific (12·8 %) or Others (3·8 %). Bread, breakfast cereals and yeast spread were main food sources of DFE in the two voluntary fortification scenarios. However, for Asian women, green leafy vegetables, bread and breakfast cereals were main contributors of DFE in these scenarios. In descending order, proportions of different ethnic groups in the lowest tertile of DFE intake for the four fortification scenarios were: Asian (39–60 %), Others (41–44 %), European (31–37 %), Pacific (23–26 %) and Māori (23–27 %). In comparisons within each ethnic group across scenarios of food fortification with folic acid, differences were observed only with DFE intake higher in the simulated grains-and-rice mandatory fortification v. other scenarios.
If grain and rice fortification with folic acid was mandatory in New Zealand, DFE intakes would be more evenly distributed among pregnant women of different ethnicities, potentially reducing ethnic group differences in risk of lower folate intakes.
The authors developed a practical and clinically useful model to predict the risk of psychosis that utilizes clinical characteristics empirically demonstrated to be strong predictors of conversion to psychosis in clinical high-risk (CHR) individuals. The model is based upon the Structured Interview for Psychosis Risk Syndromes (SIPS) and accompanying clinical interview, and yields scores indicating one's risk of conversion.
Baseline data, including demographic and clinical characteristics measured by the SIPS, were obtained on 199 CHR individuals seeking evaluation in the early detection and intervention for mental disorders program at the New York State Psychiatric Institute at Columbia University Medical Center. Each patient was followed for up to 2 years or until they developed a syndromal DSM-4 disorder. A LASSO logistic fitting procedure was used to construct a model for conversion specifically to a psychotic disorder.
At 2 years, 64 patients (32.2%) converted to a psychotic disorder. The top five variables with relatively large standardized effect sizes included SIPS subscales of visual perceptual abnormalities, dysphoric mood, unusual thought content, disorganized communication, and violent ideation. The concordance index (c-index) was 0.73, indicating a moderately strong ability to discriminate between converters and non-converters.
The prediction model performed well in classifying converters and non-converters and revealed SIPS measures that are relatively strong predictors of conversion, comparable with the risk calculator published by NAPLS (c-index = 0.71), but requiring only a structured clinical interview. Future work will seek to externally validate the model and enhance its performance with the incorporation of relevant biomarkers.
Since 2012–2016 an increased number of listeriosis cases, especially from one region of the Czech Republic, were observed. Most of them were caused by strains of serotype 1/2a, clonal complex 8, indistinguishable by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. Twenty-six human cases were reported, including two neonatal cases in twins. Three cases were fatal. The typing of Listeria monocytogenes isolates from food enabled to confirm a turkey meat delicatessen as the vehicle of infection for this local outbreak in the Moravian-Silesian Region. The food strains belonging to identical pulsotype were isolated from ready-to-eat turkey meat products packaged by the same producer between 2012 and 2016. This fact confirms that the described L. monocytogenes outbreak strain probably persisted in the environment of the aforementioned food-processing plant over several years. Whole-genome sequencing confirmed a very close relationship (zero to seven different alleles) between isolates from humans, foods and swabs from the environment of the food-processing plant under investigation.
A cadmium chloride activation treatment is essential for the production of high efficiency cadmium telluride (CdTe) solar cells. However, the effects of the treatment on the distributions of chlorine and sulphur within the device are not fully understood. Here, the detailed locations of chlorine and sulphur in a treated CdTe cell are determined in three dimensions by high resolution dynamic SIMS measurements. Chlorine is found to be present in grain boundaries, grain interiors, extended defects within the grain interiors, at the front interface, and in the cadmium sulphide layer. In each of these regions, the chlorine is likely to have significant effects on local electronic properties of the material, and hence overall device performance. Sulphur is found to have a U-shaped diffusion profile within CdTe grains, indicating a mixed grain boundary and lattice diffusion regime.
Evidence in support of the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD) hypothesis has reached the level where it can appropriately be used to inform practice. DOHaD informed interventions supporting primary noncommunicable disease risk reduction should target the pre- and periconceptional periods, pregnancy, lactation, childhood and adolescence. Such interventions are dependent on a health workforce (including dietitians, nurses, midwives, doctors, and nutrition teachers), that has a deep understanding of DOHaD concepts. This study assessed development of awareness of DOHaD concepts during undergraduate health professional training programs. Using a cross-sectional design, a standardized questionnaire was completed by Year 1–4 undergraduate students studying nutrition in Japan (n=309) and Year 1–3 nursing students in New Zealand (n=151). On entry to undergraduate study, most students had no awareness of the terms ‘DOHaD’ or ‘First 1000 Days’. While awareness reached 60% by Year 3 in courses that included DOHaD-related teaching, this remains inadequate. More than 95% of Year 1 undergraduates in both countries demonstrated an appreciation of associations between maternal nutrition and fetal health. However, awareness of associations between parental health status and/or nutritional environment and later-life health was low. While levels of awareness increased across program years, overall awareness was less than optimal. These results indicate evidence of some focus on DOHaD-related content in curricula. We argue that DOHaD principles should be one pillar around which health training curricula are built. This study indicates a need for the DOHaD community to engage with faculties in curriculum development.
To evaluate the sociodemographic and lifestyle factors associated with insufficient and excessive use of folic acid supplements (FAS) among pregnant women.
A pregnancy cohort to which multinomial logistic regression models were applied to identify factors associated with duration and dose of FAS use.
The Growing Up in New Zealand child study, which enrolled pregnant women whose children were born in 2009–2010.
Pregnant women (n 6822) enrolled into a nationally generalizable cohort.
Ninety-two per cent of pregnant women were not taking FAS according to the national recommendation (4 weeks before until 12 weeks after conception), with 69 % taking insufficient FAS and 57 % extending FAS use past 13 weeks’ gestation. The factors associated with extended use differed from those associated with insufficient use. Consistent with published literature, the relative risks of insufficient use were increased for younger women, those with less education, of non-European ethnicities, unemployed, who smoked cigarettes, whose pregnancy was unplanned or who had older children, or were living in more deprived households. In contrast, the relative risks of extended use were increased for women of higher socio-economic status or for whom this was their first pregnancy and decreased for women of Pacific v. European ethnicity.
In New Zealand, current use of FAS during pregnancy potentially exposes pregnant women and their unborn children to too little or too much folic acid. Further policy development is necessary to reduce current socio-economic inequities in the use of FAS.
Early detection of karyotype abnormalities, including aneuploidy, could aid producers in identifying animals which, for example, would not be suitable candidate parents. Genome-wide genetic marker data in the form of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are now being routinely generated on animals. The objective of the present study was to describe the statistics that could be generated from the allele intensity values from such SNP data to diagnose karyotype abnormalities; of particular interest was whether detection of aneuploidy was possible with both commonly used genotyping platforms in agricultural species, namely the Applied BiosystemsTM AxiomTM and the Illumina platform. The hypothesis was tested using a case study of a set of dizygotic X-chromosome monosomy 53,X sheep twins. Genome-wide SNP data were available from the Illumina platform (11 082 autosomal and 191 X-chromosome SNPs) on 1848 male and 8954 female sheep and available from the AxiomTM platform (11 128 autosomal and 68 X-chromosome SNPs) on 383 female sheep. Genotype allele intensity values, either as their original raw values or transformed to logarithm intensity ratio (LRR), were used to accurately diagnose two dizygotic (i.e. fraternal) twin 53,X sheep, both of which received their single X chromosome from their sire. This is the first reported case of 53,X dizygotic twins in any species. Relative to the X-chromosome SNP genotype mean allele intensity values of normal females, the mean allele intensity value of SNP genotypes on the X chromosome of the two females monosomic for the X chromosome was 7.45 to 12.4 standard deviations less, and were easily detectable using either the AxiomTM or Illumina genotype platform; the next lowest mean allele intensity value of a female was 4.71 or 3.3 standard deviations less than the population mean depending on the platform used. Both 53,X females could also be detected based on the genotype LRR although this was more easily detectable when comparing the mean LRR of the X chromosome of each female to the mean LRR of their respective autosomes. On autopsy, the ovaries of the two sheep were small for their age and evidence of prior ovulation was not appreciated. In both sheep, the density of primordial follicles in the ovarian cortex was lower than normally found in ovine ovaries and primary follicle development was not observed. Mammary gland development was very limited. Results substantiate previous studies in other species that aneuploidy can be readily detected using SNP genotype allele intensity values generally already available, and the approach proposed in the present study was agnostic to genotype platform.
Pre-school nutrition-related behaviours influence diet and development of lifelong eating habits. We examined the prevalence and congruence of recommended nutrition-related behaviours (RNB) in home and early childhood education (ECE) services, exploring differences by child and ECE characteristics.
Telephone interviews with mothers. Online survey of ECE managers/head teachers.
Children (n 1181) aged 45 months in the Growing Up in New Zealand longitudinal study.
A mean 5·3 of 8 RNB were followed at home, with statistical differences by gender and ethnic group, but not socio-economic position. ECE services followed a mean 4·8 of 8 RNB, with differences by type of service and health-promotion programme participation. No congruence between adherence at home and in ECE services was found; half of children with high adherence at home attended a service with low adherence. A greater proportion of children in deprived communities attended a service with high adherence, compared with children living in the least deprived communities (20 and 12 %, respectively).
Children, across all socio-economic positions, may not experience RNB at home. ECE settings provide an opportunity to improve or support behaviours learned at home. Targeting of health-promotion programmes in high-deprivation areas has resulted in higher adherence to RNB at these ECE services. The lack of congruence between home and ECE behaviours suggests health-promotion messages may not be effectively communicated to parents/family. Greater support is required across the ECE sector to adhere to RNB and promote wider change that can reach into homes.
Fertility has been shown to have an unfavourable genetic relationship with milk production in Holsteins so continued selection for milk production will exacerbate the decline in fertility in the absence of information on daughter fertility. The only way to reverse this genetic trend is to breed dairy cows additionally for fertility. But dairy farmers have historically had no access to fertility information when they purchase semen. It is therefore vital that fertility is included in selection programmes and that farmers can choose to inseminate their cows with semen from bulls with a positive predicted transmitting ability (PTA) for daughter fertility. Although of low heritability, fertility traits have been shown to have sufficient genetic variation and have recently been made available nationally for the Holstein-Friesian breed (Wall et al., 2003). The aim of this study was to investigate the feasibility of estimating fertility indices for Ayrshire (AYR), Guernsey (GUE) and Jersey (JER) dairy cows.
Recently much research has been carried out to enhance piglet survival by genetic improvement. Heritabilities of traits associated with piglet survival are generally low, but the genetic variation is large enough to provide improvement through breeding (Knol et al., 2002). However, correlations between some traits and/or between maternal and direct genetic effects have shown contradictory results, and not many studies have considered these effects. Reports of correlations between piglet survival traits and production traits are even fewer. The aim of this study was to estimate heritabilities of piglet survival traits and their genetic associations with other reproduction traits as well as production traits, using a Bayesian approach and appropriate models and genetic statistical procedures in order to obtain more accurate genetic parameters.
The putative Thoka gene, with large effects on fecundity, originated in Icelandic sheep. The gene was introduced to the UK in 1985 through a programme of crossbreeding and established in Cheviot sheep (Russel et al., 1997). Ewes have been retained in the flock as putative Thoka gene carriers if they have lambed in each of the first three years and had at least two sets of twins. Progeny tests on a separate population of ewes have been used on two occasions to identify rams believed to carry the gene. Despite this complex breeding programme, the actual segregation of a gene for fecundity has yet to be unambiguously demonstrated in this flock. The purpose of this study is to use complex segregation analysis to demonstrate the existence of this gene, estimate the size of its effect and frequency of the favourable allele within the population.
A child's diet is an important determinant of growth and development. Because of this, the accurate assessment of dietary intake in young children remains a challenge. A systematic search of studies validating FFQ methodologies in children 12 to 36 months of age was completed. English-language articles published until March 2016 were searched using three electronic databases (MEDLINE, EMBASE and CINAHL). Quality assessment of the identified studies was carried out using The Reduced Summary Score and EURopean micronutrient RECommendations Aligned (EURRECA) scoring system. Seventeen studies were included and categorised according to whether they reflected long-term (≥7 d) or short-term (<7 d) intake, or used a biomarker. A total score for each micronutrient was calculated from the mean of the correlation coefficients weighted by the study quality score. At least three validation studies per micronutrient were required for inclusion. Fifteen studies (83 %) that considered validity of the FFQ in assessing nutrient intakes had quality scores from 2·5 to 6·0. Of those, ten (67 %) studies found FFQ to have good correlations in assessing dietary intake (>0·4). Of the nutrients with three or more studies available, FFQ validated using a reference method reflecting short-term intake had a good weighted correlation for Ca (0·51), and acceptable weighted correlations for vitamin C (0·31) and Fe (0·33). Semi-quantitative FFQ were shown to be valid and reproducible when estimating dietary intakes at a group level, and are an acceptable instruments for estimating intakes of Ca, vitamin C and Fe in children 12 to 36 months of age.