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As part of the international joint projects working towards the control of taeniosis/cysticercosis in Asia Pacific, epidemiological studies on Taenia solium cysticercosis have been carried out in high-incidence populations, such as minority groups in Thailand. To assess the epidemiology of cysticercotic infections in pigs in the hill-tribe minority villages (Karen) in Tak province, Thailand, we conducted serological screening and necropsies. The patterns of antibody response to T. solium antigens were then investigated using immunoblot assays. Of the 188 pig serum samples tested for antibody responses to partially purified low-molecular-weight antigens of T. solium cyst fluid, positive responses were detected in 37 samples (19.7%). Based on these results, 16 pigs (10 seropositive and 6 seronegative) were necropsied for investigation of cysticerci and intestinal parasites. All seropositive pigs were coinfected with both T. solium and Taenia hydatigena cysticerci, except one, which was infected with T. hydatigena alone. Three of the six seronegative pigs were confirmed to be infected with T. hydatigena. Pigs infected with T. solium showed much stronger antibody responses than those infected with T. hydatigena. Our results demonstrate the co-occurrence of two swine cysticercoses due to T. solium and T. hydatigena in the studied areas. This study also reveals the importance of direct confirmation of the presence of cysticerci by necropsy after serological screening. In addition to the prevalence of swine cysticercosis in these endemic areas, our findings also reveal potential implications for the development of serological diagnostic assays for swine cysticercosis.
A backend processor has been constracted which is a pipeline for calculating the gravitational force exerted on one particle from the rest in an astrophysical many-body system (Sugimoto et al. '90). The first version of the processor, GRAPE-1 (GRAvity PipE), was designed with 8 bits floating point format for use in collision-free systems (Ito et al. '90). It is in operation at the speed of 120M flops equivalent.
We report on the formation of shallow junctions with high activation in both n+/p and p+/n Ge junctions using ion implantation and Flash Lamp Annealing (FLA). The shallowest junction depths (Xj) formed for the n+/p and p+/n junctions were 7.6 nm and 6.1 nm with sheet resistances (Rs) of 860 ohms/sq. and 704 ohms/sq., respectively. By reducing knocked-on oxygen during ion implantation in the n+/p junctions, Rs was decreased by between 5% and 15%. The lowest Rs observed was 235 ohms/sq. with a junction depth of 21.5 nm. Hall measurements clearly revealed that knocked-on oxygen degraded phosphorus activation (carrier concentration). In the p+/n Ge junctions, we show that ion implantation damage induced high boron activation. Using this technique, Rs can be reduced from 475 ohms/sq. to 349 ohms/sq. These results indicate that the potential for forming ultra-shallow n+/p and p+/n junctions in the nanometer range in Ge devices using FLA is very high, leading to realistic monolithically-integrated Ge CMOS devices that can take us beyond Si technology.
Workplace dietary intervention studies in low- and middle-income countries using psychometrically sound measures are scarce. This study aimed to validate a nutrition knowledge questionnaire (NQ) and its utility in evaluating the changes in knowledge among participants of a Nutrition Education Program (NEP) conducted at the workplace. A NQ was tested for construct validity, internal consistency and discriminant validity. It was applied in a NEP conducted at six workplaces, in order to evaluate the effect of an interactive or a lecture-based education programme on nutrition knowledge. Four knowledge domains comprising twenty-three items were extracted in the final version of the NQ. Internal consistency of each domain was significant, with Kuder–Richardson formula values>0·60. These four domains presented a good fit in the confirmatory factor analysis. In the discriminant validity test, both the Expert and Lay groups scored>0·52, but the Expert group scores were significantly higher than those of the Lay group in all domains. When the NQ was applied in the NEP, the overall questionnaire scores increased significantly because of the NEP intervention, in both groups (P<0·001). However, the increase in NQ scores was significantly higher in the interactive group than in the lecture group, in the overall score (P=0·008) and in the healthy eating domain (P=0·009). The validated NQ is a short and useful tool to assess gain in nutrition knowledge among participants of NEP at the workplace. According to the NQ, an interactive nutrition education had a higher impact on nutrition knowledge than a lecture programme.
Little is known about the economic benefits of cognitive remediation and supported employment (CR + SE). The present study aimed to investigate the cost-effectiveness of CR + SE compared with traditional vocational services (TVS).
Individuals with mental illness and low cognitive function were recruited at six sites in Japan. A total of 111 participants were randomly allocated to the CR + SE group or the TVS group. Clinical and vocational outcomes were assessed at baseline and 12-month follow-up. Service utilization data were collected monthly. The data on outcomes and costs were combined to examine cost-effectiveness.
The data were obtained from a total of 92 participants. The CR + SE group resulted in better vocational and clinical outcomes (employment rate, 62.2%; work tenures, 78.6 days; cognitive improvement, 0.5) than the TVS group (19.1%, 24.9 days and 0.2). There was no significant difference in mean total costs between the groups (CR + SE group: $9823, s.d. = $6372, TVS group: $11 063, s.d. = $11 263) with and without adjustment for covariates. However, mean cost for medical services in the CR + SE group was significantly lower than that in the TVS group after adjusting covariates (Β = −$3979, 95% confidence interval −$7816 to −$143, p = 0.042). Cost-effectiveness acceptability curves for vocational outcomes illustrated the high probabilities (approximately 70%) of the CR + SE group being more cost-effective than TVS when society is not willing to pay additional costs.
CR + SE appears to be a cost-effective option for people with mental illness who have low cognitive functioning when compared with TVS.
In this study, we used an online survey to assess knowledge, attitudes, and practices related to environmental cleaning and other infection prevention strategies among environmental services workers (ESWs) at 5 hospitals. Our findings suggest that ESWs could benefit from additional education and feedback as well as new strategies to address workflow challenges.
We previously reported an association between human parechovirus type 3 (HPeV3) and epidemic myalgia with myositis in adults during summers in which an HPeV3 outbreak occurred in children. However, this disease association has not yet been reported elsewhere. We have since continued our surveillance to accumulate data on this disease association and to confirm whether myalgia occurs in children as well as adults. Between June and August 2014, we collected 380 specimens from children with infectious diseases. We also collected clinical specimens from two adult and three paediatric patients suspected of myalgia. We then performed virus isolation and reverse-transcription–PCR using the collected specimens. We detected HPeV3 in 26 children with infectious diseases, which we regarded as indicating an outbreak. We also confirmed HPeV3 infection in all patients suspected of myalgia. In particular the symptoms in two boys, complaining of myalgia and fever, closely matched the criteria for adult myalgia. Based on our findings from 2008, 2011 and 2014, we again urge that clinical consideration be given to the relationship between myalgia and HPeV3 infections during HPeV3 outbreaks in children. Furthermore, our observations from 2014 suggest that epidemic myalgia and myositis occur not only in adults but also in children.
Oxidation tests of Cr containing Co-based superalloys with compositions of Co-20at.%Ni-9at.%Al-9at.%W-x at.%Cr (x = 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10) have been carried out at 1173 and 1273 K in air. Oxidation resistance is improved upon alloying with Cr not only at 1173 K but also at 1273 K. The weight gain of the 10at.%Cr alloy oxidized at 1173 K is similar to that of the 5th generation Ni-based superalloy of TMS-173. Alloying with Cr is efficient to improve oxidation resistance, however, the shape of γ’ precipitates is rounded and the alignment of the precipitates along the <100> direction becomes less pronounced upon alloying with Cr.
Partial sequences of the DNA polymerase delta (pold) gene from Taenia saginata-like adult worms were sequenced. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that pold gene sequences were clearly divided into two clades, differing from each other in five to seven nucleotides. There is little doubt that T. saginata and Taenia asiatica were once separated into two distinct taxa as has been concluded in previous studies. On the other hand, most of the adult worms, which were identified as T. asiatica using mitochondrial DNA, were homozygous for an allele that originated from the allele of T. saginata via single nucleotide substitution. These results indicate that most of the adult worms, which had been called T. asiatica, are not actually ‘pure T. asiatica’ but instead originated from the hybridization of ‘pure T. saginata’ and ‘pure T. asiatica’.
In Russia, both alveolar and cystic echinococcoses are endemic. This study aimed to identify the aetiological agents of the diseases and to investigate the distribution of each Echinococcus species in Russia. A total of 75 Echinococcus specimens were collected from 14 host species from 2010 to 2012. Based on the mitochondrial DNA sequences, they were identified as Echinococcus granulosus sensu stricto (s.s.), E. canadensis and E. multilocularis. E. granulosus s.s. was confirmed in the European Russia and the Altai region. Three genotypes, G6, G8 and G10 of E. canadensis were detected in Yakutia. G6 was also found in the Altai region. Four genotypes of E. multilocularis were confirmed; the Asian genotype in the western Siberia and the European Russia, the Mongolian genotype in an island of Baikal Lake and the Altai Republic, the European genotype from a captive monkey in Moscow Zoo and the North American genotype in Yakutia. The present distributional record will become a basis of public health to control echinococcoses in Russia. The rich genetic diversity demonstrates the importance of Russia in investigating the evolutionary history of the genus Echinococcus.
In the eastern Tibetan plateau both human cystic and alveolar echinococcosis (AE) caused by infection with Echincoccus granulosus or Echinococcus multilocularis, respectively are highly endemic. The domestic dog plays a key role in zoonotic transmission in this region. Our primary objective was to investigate the role of domestic dogs in maintaining transmission of E. multilocularis in Shiqu county, Sichuan. A cohort of 281 dogs was followed up over one year after a single treatment with praziquantel followed by re-infection surveillance at 2, 5 and 12 months post-treatment. Faecal samples were tested by an Echinococcus genus-specific coproantigen ELISA and two species-specific copro-PCR tests. Total Echinococcus coproantigen prevalence in Shiqu at baseline was 21% and 9·6% after 2 months. E. multilocularis copro-PCR was positive in 11·2% of dogs before treatment (vs 3·6% with E. granulosus copro-DNA), 2·9% at 2 months post-treatment, and 0% at 5 month and 12 months. The results suggest that dogs may have the potential to maintain E. multilocularis transmission within local pastoral communities, and thus dog dosing could be an effective strategy to reduce transmission of E. multilocularis as well as E. granulosus in these co-endemic Tibetan communities.
Echinococcosis is a re-emerging zoonotic disease in Kyrgyzstan, and the incidence of human infection has increased substantially since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Domestic dogs are hosts of Echinococcus spp. and play an important role in the transmission of these parasites. The demography, ecology and behaviour of dogs are therefore relevant in studying Echinococcus spp. transmission. Dog demographics, roles of dogs, dog movements and faecal environmental contamination were assessed in four rural communities in the Alay Valley, southern Kyrgyzstan. Arecoline purge data revealed for the first time that E. granulosus, E. canadensis and E. multilocularis were present in domestic dogs in the Alay Valley. Surveys revealed that many households had dogs and that dogs played various roles in the communities, as pets, guard dogs or sheep dogs. Almost all dogs were free to roam, and GPS data revealed that many moved outside their communities, thus being able to scavenge offal and consume rodents. Faecal environmental contamination was high, presenting a significant infection risk to the local communities.
Human cysticercosis, caused by accidental ingestion of eggs of Taenia solium, is one of the most pathogenic helminthiases and is listed among the 17 WHO Neglected Tropical Diseases. Controlling the life-cycle of T. solium between humans and pigs is essential for eradication of cysticercosis. One difficulty for the accurate detection and identification of T. solium species is the possible co-existence of two other human Taenia tapeworms (T. saginata and T. asiatica, which do not cause cysticercosis in humans). Several key issues for taeniasis/cysticercosis (T/C) evidence-based epidemiology and control are reviewed: (1) advances in immunological and molecular tools for screening of human and animals hosts and identification of Taenia species, with a focus on real-time detection of taeniasis carriers and infected animals in field community screenings, and (2) spatial ecological approaches that have been used to detect geospatial patterns of case distributions and to monitor pig activity and behaviour. Most recent eco-epidemiological studies undertaken in Sichuan province, China, are introduced and reviewed.
The main aim of this study is to overview the past and present situations of human taeniases and cysticercosis in Indonesia and including future perspectives. Through joint projects from 1996, we have confirmed the occurrence of Taenia saginata (beef tapeworm) in Bali, of Taenia solium (pork tapeworm) mainly in Papua and sporadically in Bali, and of Taenia asiatica in North Sumatra. These taeniases were caused through eating uncooked pork and pig viscera for T. solium and T. asiatica, respectively, and beef for T. saginata. The distribution of these tapeworms in Indonesia is basically highly restricted by the traditional cultural and religious backgrounds in each island. T. saginata is relatively common in Bali although people consume pork ‘lawar’ more than beef ‘lawar’. Taeniases due to T. saginata or T. asiatica and T. solium and cysticercosis due to T. solium have also been sporadically reported in some other islands. Among these species, T. solium is exceptional since humans can be infected not only by larval stages (cysticerci) in pork but also by eggs released from human tapeworm carriers. Cysticercosis has been confirmed in Indonesia in humans, pigs and even dogs.
Recent changes in the epidemiology of alveolar echinococcosis (AE) in Eurasia have led to increasing concerns about the risk of human AE and the need for a thorough evaluation of the epidemiological situation. The aim of this study was to explore the use of a National Register to detect complex distribution patterns on several scales. The data were human AE cases from the FrancEchino register, diagnosed in France from 1982 to 2011. We used the Kulldorff spatial scan analysis to detect non-random locations of cases. We proposed an exploratory method that was based on the successive detection of nested clusters inside each of the statistically significant larger clusters. This method revealed at least 4 levels of disease clusters during the study period. The spatial variations of cluster location over time were also shown. We conclude that National Human AE registers, although not exempted from epidemiological biases, are currently the best way to achieve an accurate representation of human AE distribution on various scales. Finally, we confirm the multi-scale clustered distribution of human AE, and we hypothesize that our study may be a reasonable starting point from which to conduct additional research and explore the processes that underlie such distributions.