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Detecting gastrointestinal (GI) infection transmission among men who have sex with men (MSM) in England is complicated by a lack of routine sexual behavioural data. We investigated whether gender distributions might generate signals for increased transmission of GI pathogens among MSM. We examined the percentage male of laboratory-confirmed patient-episodes for patients with no known travel history for 10 GI infections of public health interest in England between 2003 and 2013, stratified by age and region. An adult male excess was observed for Shigella spp. (annual maximum 71% male); most pronounced for those aged 25–49 years and living in London, Brighton and Manchester. An adult male excess was observed every year for Entamoeba histolytica (range 59.8–76.1% male), Giardia (53.1–57.6%) and Campylobacter (52.1–53.5%) and for a minority of years for hepatitis A (max. 69.8%) and typhoidal salmonella (max. 65.7%). This approach generated a signal for excess male episodes for six GI pathogens, including a characterised outbreak of Shigella among MSM. Stratified analyses by geography and age group were consistent with MSM transmission for Shigella. Optimisation and routine application of this technique by public health authorities elsewhere might help identify potential GI infection outbreaks due to sexual transmission among MSM, for further investigation.
M. J. Davis, School of Mathematics and Physics, University of Queensland,
T. M. Wright, School of Mathematics and Physics, University of Queensland, St. Lucia QLD 4072, Australia,
T. Gasenzer, Universität Heidelberg,
S. A. Gardiner, Department of Physics, Durham University,
N. P. Proukakis, School of Mathematics and Statistics, Newcastle University
The problem of understanding how a coherent, macroscopic Bose- Einstein condensate (BEC) emerges from the cooling of a thermal Bose gas has attracted significant theoretical and experimental interest over several decades. The pioneering achievement of BEC in weakly interacting dilute atomic gases in 1995 was followed by a number of experimental studies examining the growth of the BEC number, as well as the development of its coherence. More recently, there has been interest in connecting such experiments to universal aspects of nonequilibrium phase transitions, in terms of both static and dynamical critical exponents. Here, the spontaneous formation of topological structures such as vortices and solitons in quenched cold-atom experiments has enabled the verification of the Kibble-Zurek mechanism predicting the density of topological defects in continuous phase transitions, first proposed in the context of the evolution of the early universe. This chapter reviews progress in the understanding of BEC formation and discusses open questions and future research directions in the dynamics of phase transitions in quantum gases.
The equilibrium phase diagram of the dilute Bose gas exhibits a continuous phase transition between condensed and noncondensed phases. The order parameter characteristic of the condensed phase vanishes above some critical temperature Tc and grows continuously with decreasing temperature below this critical point. However, the dynamical process of condensate formation has proved to be a challenging phenomenon to address both theoretically and experimentally. This formation process is a crucial aspect of Bose systems and of direct relevance to all condensates discussed in this book, despite their evident system-specific properties. Important questions leading to intense discussions in the early literature include the time scale for condensate formation and the role of inhomogeneities and finite-size effects in “closed” systems. These issues are related to the concept of spontaneous symmetry breaking, its causes, and implications for physical systems (see, for example, Chapter 5 by Snoke and Daley).
In this chapter, we give an overview of the dynamics of condensate formation and describe the present understanding provided by increasingly well-controlled cold-atom experiments and corresponding theoretical advances over the past twenty years. We focus on the growth of BECs in cooled Bose gases, which, from a theoretical standpoint, requires a suitable nonequilibrium formalism.
The evidence underpinning the developmental origins of health and disease (DOHaD) is overwhelming. As the emphasis shifts more towards interventions and the translational strategies for disease prevention, it is important to capitalize on collaboration and knowledge sharing to maximize opportunities for discovery and replication. DOHaD meetings are facilitating this interaction. However, strategies to perpetuate focussed discussions and collaborations around and between conferences are more likely to facilitate the development of DOHaD research. For this reason, the DOHaD Society of Australia and New Zealand (DOHaD ANZ) has initiated themed Working Groups, which convened at the 2014–2015 conferences. This report introduces the DOHaD ANZ Working Groups and summarizes their plans and activities. One of the first Working Groups to form was the ActEarly birth cohort group, which is moving towards more translational goals. Reflecting growing emphasis on the impact of early life biodiversity – even before birth – we also have a Working Group titled Infection, inflammation and the microbiome. We have several Working Groups exploring other major non-cancerous disease outcomes over the lifespan, including Brain, behaviour and development and Obesity, cardiovascular and metabolic health. The Epigenetics and Animal Models Working Groups cut across all these areas and seeks to ensure interaction between researchers. Finally, we have a group focussed on ‘Translation, policy and communication’ which focusses on how we can best take the evidence we produce into the community to effect change. By coordinating and perpetuating DOHaD discussions in this way we aim to enhance DOHaD research in our region.
We have undertaken a study of the 3-D spatial distribution of the older (τ ≥ 1–2 Gyr) stellar population lying beyond ~ 2 kpc in projected radial distance from the centre of the SMC. The study will eventually cover 120 square degrees including six overlapping Schmidt fields. Here we present the results from an area of 80 square degrees including the western, northern and north-eastern outer parts of the SMC.
The Western diet is typically high in salt and fructose, which have pressor activity. Maternal diet can affect offspring blood pressure, but the extent to which maternal intake of excess salt and fructose may influence cardiovascular function of the offspring is unknown. We sought to determine the effect of moderate maternal dietary intake of salt and/or fructose on resting and stimulated cardiovascular function of the adult male and female offspring. Pregnant rats were fed purified diets (±4 % salt) and water (±10 % fructose) before and during gestation and through lactation. Male and female offspring were weaned onto standard laboratory chow. From 9 to 14 weeks of age, cardiovascular parameters (basal, circadian and stimulated) were assessed continuously by radiotelemetry. Maternal salt intake rendered opposite-sex siblings with a 25-mmHg difference in blood pressure as adults; male offspring were hypertensive (15 mmHg mean arterial pressure (MAP)) and female offspring were hypotensive (10 mmHg MAP) above and below controls, respectively. Sex differences were unrelated to endothelial nitric oxide activity in vivo, but isolation-induced anxiety revealed a significantly steeper coupling between blood pressure and heart rate in salt-exposed male offspring but not in female offspring. MAP of all offspring was refractory to salt loading but sensitive to subsequent dietary fructose, an effect exacerbated in female offspring from fructose-fed dams. Circadian analyses of pressure in all offspring revealed higher mean set-point for heart rate and relative non-dipping of nocturnal pressure. In conclusion, increased salt and fructose in the maternal diet has lasting effects on offspring cardiovascular function that is sex-dependent and related to the offspring’s stress–response axis.
We present a systematic review providing estimates of the overall and regional burden of infectious complications following prostate biopsy. A directly standardized prevalence estimate was used because it reflects the burden of disease more explicitly. Complications included sepsis, hospitalization, bacteraemia, bacteriuria, and acute urinary retention after biopsy. There were 165 articles, comprising 162 577 patients, included in the final analysis. Our findings demonstrate that transrectal biopsy was associated with a higher burden of hospitalization (1·1% vs. 0·9%) and sepsis (0·8% vs. 0·1%) compared to transperineal biopsy, while acute urinary retention was more prevalent after transperineal than transrectal biopsy (4·2% vs. 0·9%). The differences were statistically non-significant because of large heterogeneity across countries. We also demonstrate and discuss regional variations in complication rates, with Asian studies reporting higher rates of sepsis and hospitalization.
Insight into dynamic electrochemical processes can be obtained with in situ electrochemical-scanning/transmission electron microscopy (ec-S/TEM), a technique that utilizes microfluidic electrochemical cells to characterize electrochemical processes with S/TEM imaging, diffraction, or spectroscopy. The microfluidic electrochemical cell is composed of microfabricated devices with glassy carbon and platinum microband electrodes in a three-electrode cell configuration. To establish the validity of this method for quantitative in situ electrochemistry research, cyclic voltammetry (CV), choronoamperometry (CA), and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) were performed using a standard one electron transfer redox couple [Fe(CN)6]3−/4−-based electrolyte. Established relationships of the electrode geometry and microfluidic conditions were fitted with CV and chronoamperometic measurements of analyte diffusion coefficients and were found to agree with well-accepted values that are on the order of 10−5 cm2/s. Influence of the electron beam on electrochemical measurements was found to be negligible during CV scans where the current profile varied only within a few nA with the electron beam on and off, which is well within the hysteresis between multiple CV scans. The combination of experimental results provides a validation that quantitative electrochemistry experiments can be performed with these small-scale microfluidic electrochemical cells provided that accurate geometrical electrode configurations, diffusion boundary layers, and microfluidic conditions are accounted for.
Drugs that kill or inhibit the sexual stages of Plasmodium in order to prevent transmission are important components of malaria control programmes. Reducing gametocyte carriage is central to the control of Plasmodium falciparum transmission as infection can result in extended periods of gametocytaemia. Unfortunately the number of drugs with activity against gametocytes is limited. Primaquine is currently the only licensed drug with activity against the sexual stages of malaria parasites and its use is hampered by safety concerns. This shortcoming is likely the result of the technical challenges associated with gametocyte studies together with the focus of previous drug discovery campaigns on asexual parasite stages. However recent emphasis on malaria eradication has resulted in an upsurge of interest in identifying compounds with activity against gametocytes. This review examines the gametocytocidal properties of currently available drugs as well as those in the development pipeline and examines the prospects for discovery of new anti-gametocyte compounds.
We assessed vascular programming in genetically identical monochorionic twin pairs with twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS) treated differently in utero by serial amnioreduction or fetal laser arterial photocoagulation. This case–control study re-assessed four twin groups at median 11 years comprising 20 pairs of monochorionic diamniotic twins: nine treated by amnioreduction (TTTS-amnio) and eleven by laser (TTTS-laser) with seven monochorionic and six dichorionic control pairs. Outcome measures were current blood pressure (BP), brachio-radial arterial stiffness derived from pulse wave velocity (PWV), resting microcirculation (Flux) and response to heating and post-occlusive reactive hyperaemia measured using laser Doppler. Potential confounders [PWV and BP at first study, current height, weight, heart rate and twin type (ex-recipient, ex-donor or heavier/lighter of pair)] were accounted for by Mixed Linear Models statistical methodology. PWV dichorionic > monochorionic (P = 0.024); systolic and diastolic BP dichorionic > TTTS-amnio and TTTS-laser (P = 0.004, P = 0.02 and P = 0.005, P = 0.02, respectively). Within-twin pair pattern of PWV discordance was similar in laser treated and dichorionic controls (heavier-born > lighter), opposite to TTTS-amnio and monochorionic controls. Flux monochorionic > dichorionic (P = 0.044) and heavier > lighter-born (P = 0.024). TTTS-laser and dichorionic diamniotic showed greatest hyperaemic responses (dichorionic > TTTS-amnio or monochorionic controls (P = 0.007, P = 0.025). Hyperaemic responses were slower in heavier-born twins (P = 0.005). In summary, monochorionic twins had lower BP, arterial stiffness and increased resting vasodilatation than dichorionic twins implying shared fetal circulation affects vascular development. Vascular responses in laser-TTTS were similar to dichorionic and opposite to TTTS-amnio suggesting a lasting effect of fetal therapy on vascular health.
A total of 72 male weaned pigs were used in a 110-day study to investigate the effect of feeding genetically modified (GM) Bt MON810 maize on selected growth and health indicators. It was hypothesised that in pigs fed Bt maize, growth and health are not impacted compared with pigs fed isogenic maize-based diets. Following a 12-day basal period, pigs (10.7 ± 1.9 kg body weight (BW); ∼40 days old) were blocked by weight and ancestry and randomly assigned to treatments: (1) non-GM maize diet for 110 days (non-GM), (2) GM maize diet for 110 days (GM), (3) non-GM maize diet for 30 days followed by GM maize diet up to day 110 (non-GM/GM) and (4) GM maize diet for 30 days followed by non-GM maize diet up to day 110 (GM/non-GM). BW and daily feed intake were recorded on days 0, 30, 60 and 110 (n = 15). Body composition was determined by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (n = 10) on day 80. Following slaughter on day 110, organs and intestines were weighed and sampled for histological analysis and urine was collected for biochemical analysis (n = 10). Serum biochemistry analysis was performed on days 0, 30, 60, 100 and 110. Growth performance and serum biochemistry were analysed as repeated measures with time and treatment as main factors. The slice option of SAS was used to determine treatment differences at individual time points. There was no effect of feeding GM maize on overall growth, body composition, organ and intestinal weight and histology or serum biochemistry on days 60 and 100 and on urine biochemistry on day 110. A treatment × time interaction was observed for serum urea (SU; P < 0.05), creatinine (SC; P < 0.05) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST; P < 0.05). On day 30, SU was lower for the non-GM/GM treatment compared with the non-GM, GM and GM/non-GM treatments (P < 0.05). On day 110, SC was higher for the non-GM/GM and GM/non-GM treatments compared with non-GM and GM treatments (P < 0.05). Overall, serum total protein was lower for the GM/non-GM treatment compared with the non-GM/GM treatment (P < 0.05). The magnitude of change observed in some serum biochemical parameters did not indicate organ dysfunction and the changes were not accompanied by histological lesions. Long-term feeding of GM maize to pigs did not adversely affect growth or the selected health indicators investigated.
An appropriate foetal cardiovascular (CV) response to reduced substrate supply (e.g. oxygen or other nutrients) is vital for growth and development, and may impact on CV control. The prevailing nutritional environment and associated CV changes may influence subsequent CV responses to challenges during late gestation, for example, umbilical cord occlusion (UCO). We investigated the effect of low-circulating glucose on foetal CV control mechanisms and response to UCO. Under general anaesthesia, late gestation foetal sheep (n = 7, 119 days gestational age (dGA), term ∼147 days) were implanted with vascular catheters, a bladder catheter, electrocardiogram electrodes and an umbilical cord occluder. Mean arterial pressure (MAP), heart rate (HR) and kidney function were monitored during maternal saline (MSAL, 125dGA) and insulin (MINS, 126dGA) infusion, and foetal CV responses were assessed during incremental doses of angiotensin II, a 90-s total UCO, and administration of phenylephrine to assess baroreflex function. During MINS infusion, the decrease in maternal and foetal blood glucose was associated with a small but significant decrease in foetal HR and reduced foetal baroreflex sensitivity (P < 0.05). The increase in foetal MAP during a 90-s UCO was greater during hypoglycaemia (P < 0.05). The MAP response to angiotensin II was not affected by hypoglycaemia. Decreased foetal HR and baroreflex sensitivity and increased CV responsiveness to UCO during hypoglycaemia indicates altered CV homoestatic mechanisms. The combination of altered nutrition and a CV challenge, such as UCO, during late gestation may have a cumulative effect on foetal CV function.