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Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) is an effective therapy in recurrent Clostridium difficile infection (rCDI). It is only recommended for this indication by European and American guidelines. Other indications of FMT are being studied, such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and they have shown promising results.
To identify and review published FMT-related economic evaluations (EEs) to assess their quality and the economic impact of FMT in the treatment of these diseases.
The systematic literature research was conducted in both PubMed and Cochrane to identify EEs published before July 1, 2019.
Study eligibility criteria:
Articles were included if they concerned FMT (whatever the disease and its line of treatment), if they reported full or partial EEs, and if they were written in English. Articles were excluded if they did not concern FMT; if they did not report an EE; or if they were a systematic review, editorial, comment, letter to the editor, practice point, or poster.
A measurement tool, AMSTAR, was used to optimize the quality of this systematic review. Based on the CHEERS checklist, data were identified and extracted from articles. The quality of each EE was assessed using the Drummond checklist.
Overall, 9 EEs were included: all EEs were full evaluations and 8 were cost-utility analyses (CUAs). All EEs had a Drummond score ≥ 7, which indicated high quality. All CUAs related to rCDI and IBD concluded that FMT was cost-effective compared with other reference treatments, at a threshold ≤$50,000/QALY. One EE about initial CDI showed that FMT was dominated by metronidazole.
Despite a limited number of EEs, FMT seems to be a promising and cost-effective treatment for rCDI. More EE studies on other diseases like IBD are necessary to address FMT efficiency for new indications. Therefore, our systematic review provides a framework for healthcare decision making.
Black swallowwort [Vincetoxicum nigrum (L.) Moench] and pale swallowwort [Vincetoxicum rossicum (Kleopow) Barb.] are perennial vines of European origin that invade natural areas and perennial cropping systems in the northeastern United States and southeastern Canada. Both species reproduce via wind-dispersed seeds in the form of achenes with comas, but little is known about the extent of dispersal of these seeds. We studied the relationship of seed release height (0.75 m, 2 m), wind speed at the time of release, seed mass, and settling rate on distance traveled. Vincetoxicum nigrum and V. rossicum seeds traveled up to 72.1 and 79.6 m, respectively. Seeds of both species released from 2 m traveled greater distances than seeds released from 0.75 m, which fell within 20 m of the release point. Release height was the most important factor influencing long-distance dispersal events. Wind speed also strongly interacted with release height for long-distance dispersal of V. nigrum. Vincetoxicum nigrum seed mass was greater and settling rates faster than for V. rossicum. Increasing seed mass generally increased settling rate, which in turn decreased distance traveled, except in V. rossicum, for which longer distance–dispersing seeds had a faster settling rate. Our findings suggest that management efforts focus on reducing the presence of these two vines, especially if there is potential for them to climb up taller vegetation such as trees. Seeds released from these greater heights are more likely to travel far from source populations and initiate new populations. Preventing seed production in small, nonclimbing patches will also help suppress the expansion of these two vines, as seeds can still disperse up to 20 m away from parent plants.
We report on small-scale instabilities in a thermally driven rotating annulus filled with a liquid with moderate Prandtl number. The study is based on direct numerical simulations and an accompanying laboratory experiment. The computations are performed independently with two different flow solvers, that is, first, the non-oscillatory forward-in-time differencing flow solver EULAG and, second, a higher-order finite-difference compact scheme (HOC). Both branches consistently show the occurrence of small-scale patterns at both vertical sidewalls in the Stewartson layers of the annulus. Small-scale flow structures are known to exist at the inner sidewall. In contrast, short-period waves at the outer sidewall have not yet been reported. The physical mechanisms that possibly trigger these patterns are discussed. We also debate whether these small-scale structures are a gravity wave signal.
FFQ, food diaries and 24 h recall methods represent the most commonly used dietary assessment tools in human studies on nutrition and health, but food intake biomarkers are assumed to provide a more objective reflection of intake. Unfortunately, very few of these biomarkers are sufficiently validated. This review provides an overview of food intake biomarker research and highlights present research efforts of the Joint Programming Initiative ‘A Healthy Diet for a Healthy Life’ (JPI-HDHL) Food Biomarkers Alliance (FoodBAll). In order to identify novel food intake biomarkers, the focus is on new food metabolomics techniques that allow the quantification of up to thousands of metabolites simultaneously, which may be applied in intervention and observational studies. As biomarkers are often influenced by various other factors than the food under investigation, FoodBAll developed a food intake biomarker quality and validity score aiming to assist the systematic evaluation of novel biomarkers. Moreover, to evaluate the applicability of nutritional biomarkers, studies are presently also focusing on associations between food intake biomarkers and diet-related disease risk. In order to be successful in these metabolomics studies, knowledge about available electronic metabolomics resources is necessary and further developments of these resources are essential. Ultimately, present efforts in this research area aim to advance quality control of traditional dietary assessment methods, advance compliance evaluation in nutritional intervention studies, and increase the significance of observational studies by investigating associations between nutrition and health.
Bipolar disorder is a highly heritable polygenic disorder. Recent
enrichment analyses suggest that there may be true risk variants for
bipolar disorder in the expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL) in the
We sought to assess the impact of eQTL variants on bipolar disorder risk
by combining data from both bipolar disorder genome-wide association
studies (GWAS) and brain eQTL.
To detect single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that influence
expression levels of genes associated with bipolar disorder, we jointly
analysed data from a bipolar disorder GWAS (7481 cases and 9250 controls)
and a genome-wide brain (cortical) eQTL (193 healthy controls) using a
Bayesian statistical method, with independent follow-up replications. The
identified risk SNP was then further tested for association with
hippocampal volume (n = 5775) and cognitive performance
(n = 342) among healthy individuals.
Integrative analysis revealed a significant association between a brain
eQTL rs6088662 on chromosome 20q11.22 and bipolar disorder (log Bayes
factor = 5.48; bipolar disorder P =
5.85×10–5). Follow-up studies across multiple independent
samples confirmed the association of the risk SNP (rs6088662) with gene
expression and bipolar disorder susceptibility (P =
3.54×10–8). Further exploratory analysis revealed that
rs6088662 is also associated with hippocampal volume and cognitive
performance in healthy individuals.
Our findings suggest that 20q11.22 is likely a risk region for bipolar
disorder; they also highlight the informative value of integrating
functional annotation of genetic variants for gene expression in
advancing our understanding of the biological basis underlying complex
disorders, such as bipolar disorder.
Hot subdwarf stars (sdO/Bs) are the stripped cores of red giants located at the bluest extension of the horizontal branch. They constitute the dominant population of UV-bright stars in old stellar environments and are most likely formed by binary interactions. We perform the first systematic, spectroscopic analysis of a sample of those stars in the Galactic halo based on data from SDSS. In the course of this project we discovered 177 close binary candidates. A significant fraction of the sdB binaries turned out to have close substellar companions, which shows that brown dwarfs and planets can significantly influence late stellar evolution. Close hot subdwarf binaries with massive white dwarf companions on the other hand are good candidates for the progenitors of type Ia supernovae. We discovered a hypervelocity star, which not only turned out to be the fastest unbound star known in our Galaxy, but also the surviving companion of such a supernova explosion.
Solubilizing alkyl chains play a crucial role in the design of semiconducting polymers because they define the materials solubility and processability as well as both the crystallinity and solid-state microstructure. In this paper, we present a scarcely explored design approach by attaching the alkyl side chains on one side (cis-) or on both sides (trans-) of the conjugated backbone. We further investigate the effects of this structural modification on the solid-state properties of the polymers and on the charge-carrier mobilities in organic thin-film transistors.
Whereas broad-scale Amazonian forest types have been shown to influence the structure of the communities of medium- to large-bodied vertebrates, their natural heterogeneity at smaller scale or within the terra firme forests remains poorly described and understood. Diversity indices of such communities and the relative abundance of the 21 most commonly observed species were compared from standardized line-transect data across 25 study sites distributed in undisturbed forests in French Guiana. We first assessed the relevance of a forest typology based on geomorphological landscapes to explain the observed heterogeneity. As previously found for tree beta-diversity patterns, this new typology proved to be a non-negligible factor underlying the beta diversity of the communities of medium- to large bodied vertebrates in French Guianan terra firme forests. Although the species studied are almost ubiquitous across the region, they exhibited habitat preferences through significant variation in abundance and in their association index with the different landscape types. As terra firme forests represent more than 90% of the Amazon basin, characterizing their heterogeneity – including faunal communities – is a major challenge in neotropical forest ecology.
March 11, 2011, was declared on Facebook a “Day of Rage” in Saudi Arabia, in imitation of the various popular uprisings that were taking place throughout the Arab world in the spring of that year. By this time two Arab dictators had fallen in Tunisia and Egypt and unrest was spreading to Bahrain, Libya, and Yemen. Several online petitions also were urging political reform, and some Shiite demonstrations were taking place in the Eastern Province. Many predicted that Saudi Arabia was not immune to revolution and that the regime would succumb to the same forces that had effected change elsewhere. However, no mass protests or mobilizations occurred, and over the following months the Saudi government was able to contain and ward off any significant opposition.
This is not the first time that observers had wrongly predicted the demise of the Al Saud, the royal family that has ruled all or parts of the country since the eighteenth century. In the 1960s, Arab nationalism under the leadership of President Nasser of Egypt was expected to sweep the royals away. Later in 1979, with the Iranian revolution and the uprisings in Mecca and those of the Shiites in the Eastern Province, the Saudis were again given a short lease on life. In the early 1990s, an indigenous Islamist movement called the Sahwa was again challenging the regime. And in the early 2000s al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula stoked fears of instability through a series of violent attacks and muscular propaganda. In each of these cases, the Saudi regime weathered the storm through a complex set of policies and tactics that today are being deployed again.