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Vitamin D deficiency is associated with an increased risk of acute respiratory infection. There is an excess of respiratory infections and deaths in schizophrenia, a condition where vitamin D deficiency is especially prevalent. This potentially offers a modifiable risk factor to reduce the risk for and the severity of respiratory infection in people with schizophrenia, although there is as yet no evidence regarding the risk of COVID-19. In this narrative review, we describe the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in schizophrenia, report the research examining the relationship between vitamin D levels and COVID-19 and discuss the associations between vitamin D deficiency and respiratory infection, including its immunomodulatory mechanism of action.
TwinsUK is the largest cohort of community-dwelling adult twins in the UK. The registry comprises over 14,000 volunteer twins (14,838 including mixed, single and triplets); it is predominantly female (82%) and middle-aged (mean age 59). In addition, over 1800 parents and siblings of twins are registered volunteers. During the last 27 years, TwinsUK has collected numerous questionnaire responses, physical/cognitive measures and biological measures on over 8500 subjects. Data were collected alongside four comprehensive phenotyping clinical visits to the Department of Twin Research and Genetic Epidemiology, King’s College London. Such collection methods have resulted in very detailed longitudinal clinical, biochemical, behavioral, dietary and socioeconomic cohort characterization; it provides a multidisciplinary platform for the study of complex disease during the adult life course, including the process of healthy aging. The major strength of TwinsUK is the availability of several ‘omic’ technologies for a range of sample types from participants, which includes genomewide scans of single-nucleotide variants, next-generation sequencing, metabolomic profiles, microbiomics, exome sequencing, epigenetic markers, gene expression arrays, RNA sequencing and telomere length measures. TwinsUK facilitates and actively encourages sharing the ‘TwinsUK’ resource with the scientific community — interested researchers may request data via the TwinsUK website (http://twinsuk.ac.uk/resources-for-researchers/access-our-data/) for their own use or future collaboration with the study team. In addition, further cohort data collection is planned via the Wellcome Open Research gateway (https://wellcomeopenresearch.org/gateways). The current article presents an up-to-date report on the application of technological advances, new study procedures in the cohort and future direction of TwinsUK.
The Glen Rose and Walnut formations of southcentral and northcentral Texas comprise shallow-water carbonates deposited during the late Aptian to middle Albian on a carbonate platform. The formations are famous for their rich fossil faunas. Although bryozoans are absent in late Aptian sediments, they are frequently found encrusting bivalve shells from the early to middle Albian parts of these formations. Here, we describe the cyclostome bryozoan fauna, which includes six species; Stomatopora sp., Oncousoecia khirar n. sp., Reptomultisparsa mclemoreae n. sp., Hyporosopora keera n. sp., Mesonopora bernardwalteri n. sp., and ?Unicavea sp. Most cyclostomes are found encrusting rudist shells from Unit 2 of the Lower Member of the Glen Rose Formation and units 3 and 6 of the Upper Member of the Glen Rose Formation.
Gymnolaemate bryozoans are common encrusters on bivalve shells from the early to middle Albian parts of the Glen Rose and Walnut formations of southcentral and northcentral Texas. Here, we report for the first time the presence of seven gymnolaemate bryozoans, all of which represent new species. They include the bioimmured ctenostome Simplicidium jontoddi n. sp., and the cheilostomes Rhammatopora glenrosa n. sp., Iyarispora ikaanakiteeh n. gen. n. sp., Iyarispora chiass n. gen. n. sp., Charixa bispinata n. sp., Charixa sexspinata n. sp., and Charixa emanuelae n. sp. The Glen Rose bryozoans slightly antedate the commencement of an explosive bryozoan radiation and the first appearance of neocheilostomes in the late Albian. Although the diversity of cheilostomes in the Glen Rose and Walnut formations is similar to that of cyclostomes, cheilostomes are more abundant and produced larger colonies. These formations therefore yield the oldest known bryozoan assemblage dominated in terms of biomass by cheilostomes. The genus concept of Charixa is discussed and amended.
Salmonella is a leading cause of bacterial foodborne illness. We report the collaborative investigative efforts of US and Canadian public health officials during the 2013–2014 international outbreak of multiple Salmonella serotype infections linked to sprouted chia seed powder. The investigation included open-ended interviews of ill persons, traceback, product testing, facility inspections, and trace forward. Ninety-four persons infected with outbreak strains from 16 states and four provinces were identified; 21% were hospitalized and none died. Fifty-four (96%) of 56 persons who consumed chia seed powder, reported 13 different brands that traced back to a single Canadian firm, distributed by four US and eight Canadian companies. Laboratory testing yielded outbreak strains from leftover and intact product. Contaminated product was recalled. Although chia seed powder is a novel outbreak vehicle, sprouted seeds are recognized as an important cause of foodborne illness; firms should follow available guidance to reduce the risk of bacterial contamination during sprouting.
The aim of this study was to estimate the amount of childhood hepatitis B virus transmission in children born in the UK, a very low-prevalence country, that is preventable only by universal hepatitis B immunization of infants. Oral fluid specimens were collected from schoolchildren aged 7–11 years in four inner city multi-ethnic areas and tested for the presence of antibody to hepatitis B core antigen (anti-HBc). Those found positive or indeterminate were followed up with testing on serum to confirm their hepatitis B status. The overall prevalence of anti-HBc in children was low [0·26%, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0·14–0·44]. The estimated average annual incidence of hepatitis B was estimated to be 29·26/100 000 children (95% CI 16·00–49·08). The total incidence that is preventable only by a universal infant immunization programme in the UK was estimated to be between 5·00 and 12·49/100 000. The study demonstrates that the extent of horizontal childhood hepatitis B virus transmission is low in children born in the UK and suggests that schools in the UK are an uncommon setting for the transmission of the virus. Targeted hepatitis B testing and immunization of migrants from intermediate- and high-prevalence countries is likely to be a more effective measure to reduce childhood transmission than a universal infant immunization programme.
The Working Group on the Natural Planetary Satellites has been created to promote the development of high-quality ephemerides. The Working Group encourages theoretical studies, coordinated observations, and makes all data available to the users through the NSDC web site (http://www.imcce.fr/nsdc).
The Tarantula Survey is an ESO Large Programme which has obtained multi-epoch spectroscopy of over 1,000 massive stars in the 30 Doradus region of the Large Magellanic Cloud. The assembled consortium will exploit these data to address a range of fundamental questions in both stellar and cluster evolution.
697 taxa of planktonic graptolites are recorded, and their stratigraphical ranges are given, through 60 biozones and subzones in the Ordovician and Silurian strata of England, Wales and Scotland, in the first such stratigraphical compilation for Great Britain since the synthesis of Elles & Wood (1901–1918).
Detailed screening of the patients and staff in a unit specializing in liver disease was carried out over a year to ascertain whether transmission of the serum hepatitis virus was occurring and whether the situation was comparable in any way to that found in a Renal Haemodialysis Unit. Of the 154 patients with liver disease tested on admission, 6% were found to have Australia antigen in the serum and throughout the year there were rarely less than two patients in the ward at any one time with positive serum. No instances of clinical hepatitis were detected in the other patients following their stay in the ward or in their attendant medical, nursing and lay staff. Six staff members were found to have Australia antigen in their serum. In four of these, all nurses, it was present in the first sample tested and so the infection may have been acquired earlier. Temporary elevations in both plasma bilirubin and serum aspartate aminotransferase levels were found in another five staff members whose serum was negative for Australia antigen and who clinically were well. In a further eight and apparently healthy staff members, an isolated but persistent elevation of the plasma bilirubin was noted. In both groups these changes could represent the spread of subclinical infectious hepatitis and it is recommended that in units dealing with ‘liver patients’ not only should considerable care be taken during diagnostic and therapeutic procedures but the medical and nursing staff should be screened at regular intervals.
Introduction: Effective management of major depressive disorder (MDD) continues to be a challenging task for psychiatrists and primary care physicians. This trial evaluated the efficacy and safety of adjunctive aripiprazole versus antidepressant monotherapy in patients with MDD and independently replicated the positive findings of two similar trials.
Methods: Patients (N=1, 147) with MDD experiencing a major depressive episode and a history of inadequate response to antidepressant monotherapy were enrolled (week 0); 827 received single-blind adjunctive placebo plus open-label antidepressant (escitalopram, fluoxetine, paroxetine controlled release, sertraline, or venlafaxine extended release) for 8 weeks to confirm inadequate response to antidepressants; 349 patients with inadequate response were randomized (1:1) to double-blind, adjunctive placebo (n=172) or adjunctive aripiprazole (n=177; 2–20 mg/day). Primary outcome was the mean change in Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) Total score from baseline (week 8) to endpoint (week 14).
Results: Clinically significant improvements in depressive symptoms as assessed by decreases in the MADRS Total score were greater with adjunctive aripiprazole (−10.1) than placebo (−6.4; P<.001). Remission rates were greater for adjunctive aripiprazole than for adjunctive placebo (week 14, 36.8% vs 18.9%; P<.001). Completion rates with adjunctive aripiprazole and placebo were high (83% vs. 87%) and discontinuations due to adverse events were low (6.2% vs 1.7%).
Conclusion: For some patients with MDD who do not obtain adequate symptom relief with antidepressant monotherapy, adjunctive therapies can significantly improve depressive symptoms. As reported, adjunctive aripiprazole was associated with a two-fold higher remission rate than adjunctive placebo. This, and previous studies, have shown that discontinuations due to adverse events were low and completion rates were high, and has indicated that both antidepressant and aripiprazole in combination were relatively well-tolerated and safe. This is the third consecutive clinical trial, in the absence of a failed trial, to demonstrate that aripiprazole augmentation to antidepressants is an efficacious and well-tolerated treatment for patients with MDD who do not respond adequately to standard antidepressant monotherapy (ClinicalTrials.gov study NCT00105196).
Molecular analyses of 13 species of the marine bivalve family Thyasiridae, using sequences from 18S rRNA and 28S rRNA genes, showed that the family is monophyletic despite the anatomical disparity and inclusion of both chemosymbiotic and asymbiotic species. This new analysis also confirmed that the three families (Thyasiridae, Lucinidae and Ungulinidae), previously included in the Lucinoidea, were not closely related. Four species of Ungulinidae grouped within a clade containing Veneridae, Arcticidae and Mactridae. In relation to a range of other heterodont bivalves, Thyasiridae occupied a near basal position, apart from a clade comprising Carditidae/Astartidae/Crassatellidae. The earliest thyasirid recognized in the fossil record is a species from the Lower Cretaceous of England. Within the Thyasiridae, some groups can be identified but relations between these are weakly supported. Amongst the taxa analysed, those with symbiotic bacteria and two ctenidial demibranchs belong to at least three groups, while there is some support for a clade of asymbiotic taxa with single demibranchs. In recognition of the monophyletic status of the Thyasiridae, distinct from all other heterodont bivalves, we elevate the rank to superfamily Thyasiroidea.