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Improved survival has led to a growing population of adults with congenital heart disease (CHD), followed by numerous reports of late complications. Liver disease is a known complication in some patients, with most studies focusing on Fontan associated liver disease. Whether liver disease also exists in other patients with CHD is not fully investigated. Elevated central venous pressure is considered pivotal in the development of liver disease in Fontan associated liver disease, and other patients with alterations in central venous pressure may also be at risk for developing liver fibrosis. We wanted to see if liver fibrosis is present in patients with tetralogy of Fallot. Many patients with tetralogy of Fallot have severe pulmonary regurgitation, which can lead to elevated central venous pressure. Patients with tetralogy of Fallot may be at risk of developing liver fibrosis.
Materials and methods:
Ten patients (24–56 years) with tetralogy of Fallot and pulmonary regurgitation were investigated for liver fibrosis. All patients were examined with magnetic resonance elastography of liver, hepatobiliary iminodiacetic acid scan, indocyanine green elimination by pulse spectrophotometry, elastography via FibroScan, abdominal ultrasound including liver elastography, and blood samples including liver markers.
Three out of ten patients had findings indicating possible liver fibrosis. Two of these had a liver biopsy performed, which revealed fibrosis stage 1 and 2, respectively. The same three patients had an estimated elevated central venous pressure in previous echocardiograms.
Mild liver fibrosis was present in selected patients with tetralogy of Fallot and may be related to elevated central venous pressure.
Donkeys have been used as working animals for transport and farm activities worldwide. Recently, in European countries, there has been an increasing interest in donkeys due to their use as pets, onotherapy or milk production. During 2014–2016, a countrywide survey was conducted to determine prevalence and risk factors of principal helminth infections in 1775 donkeys in 77 Italian farms. A questionnaire on management and parasite control practices was filled out for each farm. Faecal samples were examined using a modified McMaster technique, a centrifugation/flotation method and a sedimentation technique. Pooled coprocultures were performed for differentiation of strongylid eggs. Strongyles were the most common parasites detected (84.9%), followed by Dictyocaulus arnfieldi (6.9%), Oxyuris equi (5.8%), Parascaris spp. (3.6%), Anoplocephala spp. (1.0%), Strongyloides westeri (0.3%). Coprocultures revealed an omnipresence of cyathostomins (100%), followed by Strongylus vulgaris (31.0%), Poteriostomum spp. (25.0%), Triodontophorus spp. (9.0%), Strongylus edentatus (7.0%), Strongylus equinus (5.0%). Logistic regression analysis identified breed, co-pasture with horses, living area, herd size and number of treatments as significantly associated with strongyles. Sex, age, living area and herd size were significantly associated with Parascaris spp. Dictyocaulus arnfieldi was significantly associated with sex, grass, co-pasture with horses, living area and herd size. Strongylus vulgaris was significantly associated with living area and herd size. The mean number of anthelmintic treatments/year was 1.4; most of the donkeys (71.8%) were dewormed using an ivermectin drug. It is important to design parasite programs to specifically address both D. arnfieldi and S. vulgaris in donkeys, and this is especially important if donkeys co-graze with horses.
The term “Antarctic ambassadorship” is increasingly used to represent an individual’s connection to Antarctica and their subsequent advocacy. However, there is little clarity regarding the concept. To address this, we combined a literature review with an expert elicitation workshop. We argue that (i) the concept of Antarctic ambassador has been understood in myriad ways; (ii) Antarctic ambassadors have a connection to, knowledge of and passion for Antarctica; (iii) they also have a commitment to defending and advancing Antarctic values and (iv) Antarctic ambassadorship is about more than advocacy. We propose the first comprehensive definition of Antarctic ambassadorship. We hope this will provide a cornerstone upon which future research, and a more informed governance of Antarctic tourism, can be built.
This paper presents a novel solution for precision draping of prepreg composite fabrics onto double curved molds. Our contributions relate to system design, including hardware and software components, and to system integration. On the hardware side, design and implementation of a drape tool with up to 120 suction cups positioned individually by linear actuators are described. On the software side, design and implementation of the software architecture are presented, along with necessary algorithms within sensor technologies and mathematical modeling. The essential system’s components were verified individually, and the entire integrated system was successfully validated in the Proof-of-Concept experiments, performed on an experimental physical model of the system.
The COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins) project is a large international collaborative effort to analyze individual-level phenotype data from twins in multiple cohorts from different environments. The main objective is to study factors that modify genetic and environmental variation of height, body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) and size at birth, and additionally to address other research questions such as long-term consequences of birth size. The project started in 2013 and is open to all twin projects in the world having height and weight measures on twins with information on zygosity. Thus far, 54 twin projects from 24 countries have provided individual-level data. The CODATwins database includes 489,981 twin individuals (228,635 complete twin pairs). Since many twin cohorts have collected longitudinal data, there is a total of 1,049,785 height and weight observations. For many cohorts, we also have information on birth weight and length, own smoking behavior and own or parental education. We found that the heritability estimates of height and BMI systematically changed from infancy to old age. Remarkably, only minor differences in the heritability estimates were found across cultural–geographic regions, measurement time and birth cohort for height and BMI. In addition to genetic epidemiological studies, we looked at associations of height and BMI with education, birth weight and smoking status. Within-family analyses examined differences within same-sex and opposite-sex dizygotic twins in birth size and later development. The CODATwins project demonstrates the feasibility and value of international collaboration to address gene-by-exposure interactions that require large sample sizes and address the effects of different exposures across time, geographical regions and socioeconomic status.
In vitro maintenance of helminth parasites enables a variety of molecular, pharmaceutical and immunological analyses. Currently, the nutritional and environmental in vitro requirements of the equine ascarid parasite, Parascaris spp., have not been determined. Additionally, an objective method for assessing viability of Parascaris spp. intestinal stages does not exist. The purpose of this study was to ascertain the in vitro requirements of intestinal stages of Parascaris spp., and to develop a viability assessment method. A total of 1045 worms were maintained in a total of 212 cultures. Worms obtained from naturally infected foals at necropsy were immediately placed in culture flasks containing 200 mL of culture media. A variety of media types, nutrient supplementation and environmental conditions were examined. A motility-based scoring system was used to assess worm viability. Worms maintained in Roswell Park Memorial Institute-1640 had significantly better viability than any other media (P < 0.0001) and all media types supplemented with any of the nutrients examined (P < 0.0001). The use of a platform rocker also significantly improved viability (P = 0.0305). This is the first study to examine the requirements for maintaining Parascaris spp. intestinal stages in vitro and to evaluate their viability based on movement using an objective scoring system.
The spread of African swine fever virus (ASFV) threatens to reach further parts of Europe. In countries with a large swine production, an outbreak of ASF may result in devastating economic consequences for the swine industry. Simulation models can assist decision makers setting up contingency plans. This creates a need for estimation of parameters. This study presents a new analysis of a previously published study. A full likelihood framework is presented including the impact of model assumptions on the estimated transmission parameters. As animals were only tested every other day, an interpretation was introduced to cover the weighted infectiousness on unobserved days for the individual animals (WIU). Based on our model and the set of assumptions, the within- and between-pen transmission parameters were estimated to βw = 1·05 (95% CI 0·62–1·72), βb = 0·46 (95% CI 0·17–1·00), respectively, and the WIU = 1·00 (95% CI 0–1). Furthermore, we simulated the spread of ASFV within a pig house using a modified SEIR-model to establish the time from infection of one animal until ASFV is detected in the herd. Based on a chosen detection limit of 2·55% equivalent to 10 dead pigs out of 360, the disease would be detected 13–19 days after introduction.
Adverse psychosocial working environments characterized by job strain (the combination of high demands and low control at work) are associated with an increased risk of depressive symptoms among employees, but evidence on clinically diagnosed depression is scarce. We examined job strain as a risk factor for clinical depression.
We identified published cohort studies from a systematic literature search in PubMed and PsycNET and obtained 14 cohort studies with unpublished individual-level data from the Individual-Participant-Data Meta-analysis in Working Populations (IPD-Work) Consortium. Summary estimates of the association were obtained using random-effects models. Individual-level data analyses were based on a pre-published study protocol.
We included six published studies with a total of 27 461 individuals and 914 incident cases of clinical depression. From unpublished datasets we included 120 221 individuals and 982 first episodes of hospital-treated clinical depression. Job strain was associated with an increased risk of clinical depression in both published [relative risk (RR) = 1.77, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.47–2.13] and unpublished datasets (RR = 1.27, 95% CI 1.04–1.55). Further individual participant analyses showed a similar association across sociodemographic subgroups and after excluding individuals with baseline somatic disease. The association was unchanged when excluding individuals with baseline depressive symptoms (RR = 1.25, 95% CI 0.94–1.65), but attenuated on adjustment for a continuous depressive symptoms score (RR = 1.03, 95% CI 0.81–1.32).
Job strain may precipitate clinical depression among employees. Future intervention studies should test whether job strain is a modifiable risk factor for depression.
Dietary long-chain n-3 PUFA (n-3 LCPUFA) in infancy may have long-term effects on lifestyle disease risk. The present follow-up study investigated whether maternal fish oil (FO) supplementation during lactation affected growth and blood pressure in adolescents and whether the effects differed between boys and girls. Mother–infant pairs (n 103) completed a randomised controlled trial with FO (1·5 g/d n-3 LCPUFA) or olive oil (OO) supplements during the first 4 months of lactation; forty-seven mother–infant pairs with high fish intake were followed-up for 4 months as the reference group. We also followed-up 100 children with assessment of growth, blood pressure, diet by FFQ and physical activity by 7-d accelerometry at 13·5 (sd 0·4) years of age. Dried whole-blood fatty acid composition was analysed in a subgroup (n 49). At 13 years of age, whole-blood n-3 LCPUFA, diet, physical activity and body composition did not differ between the three groups. The children from the FO group were 3·4 (95 % CI 0·2, 6·6) cm shorter (P=0·035) than those from the OO group, and tended to have less advanced puberty (P=0·068), which explained the difference in height. There was a sex-specific effect on diastolic blood pressure (Psex×group=0·020), which was driven by a 3·9 (95 % CI 0·2, 7·5) mmHg higher diastolic blood pressure in the FO compared with the OO group among boys only (P=0·041). Our results indicate that early n-3 LCPUFA intake may reduce height in early adolescence due to a delay in pubertal maturation and increase blood pressure specifically in boys, thereby tending to counteract existing sex differences.
We analyzed birth order differences in means and variances of height and body mass index (BMI) in monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins from infancy to old age. The data were derived from the international CODATwins database. The total number of height and BMI measures from 0.5 to 79.5 years of age was 397,466. As expected, first-born twins had greater birth weight than second-born twins. With respect to height, first-born twins were slightly taller than second-born twins in childhood. After adjusting the results for birth weight, the birth order differences decreased and were no longer statistically significant. First-born twins had greater BMI than the second-born twins over childhood and adolescence. After adjusting the results for birth weight, birth order was still associated with BMI until 12 years of age. No interaction effect between birth order and zygosity was found. Only limited evidence was found that birth order influenced variances of height or BMI. The results were similar among boys and girls and also in MZ and DZ twins. Overall, the differences in height and BMI between first- and second-born twins were modest even in early childhood, while adjustment for birth weight reduced the birth order differences but did not remove them for BMI.
A trend toward greater body size in dizygotic (DZ) than in monozygotic (MZ) twins has been suggested by some but not all studies, and this difference may also vary by age. We analyzed zygosity differences in mean values and variances of height and body mass index (BMI) among male and female twins from infancy to old age. Data were derived from an international database of 54 twin cohorts participating in the COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins), and included 842,951 height and BMI measurements from twins aged 1 to 102 years. The results showed that DZ twins were consistently taller than MZ twins, with differences of up to 2.0 cm in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.9 cm in adulthood. Similarly, a greater mean BMI of up to 0.3 kg/m2 in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.2 kg/m2 in adulthood was observed in DZ twins, although the pattern was less consistent. DZ twins presented up to 1.7% greater height and 1.9% greater BMI than MZ twins; these percentage differences were largest in middle and late childhood and decreased with age in both sexes. The variance of height was similar in MZ and DZ twins at most ages. In contrast, the variance of BMI was significantly higher in DZ than in MZ twins, particularly in childhood. In conclusion, DZ twins were generally taller and had greater BMI than MZ twins, but the differences decreased with age in both sexes.
For over 100 years, the genetics of human anthropometric traits has attracted scientific interest. In particular, height and body mass index (BMI, calculated as kg/m2) have been under intensive genetic research. However, it is still largely unknown whether and how heritability estimates vary between human populations. Opportunities to address this question have increased recently because of the establishment of many new twin cohorts and the increasing accumulation of data in established twin cohorts. We started a new research project to analyze systematically (1) the variation of heritability estimates of height, BMI and their trajectories over the life course between birth cohorts, ethnicities and countries, and (2) to study the effects of birth-related factors, education and smoking on these anthropometric traits and whether these effects vary between twin cohorts. We identified 67 twin projects, including both monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins, using various sources. We asked for individual level data on height and weight including repeated measurements, birth related traits, background variables, education and smoking. By the end of 2014, 48 projects participated. Together, we have 893,458 height and weight measures (52% females) from 434,723 twin individuals, including 201,192 complete twin pairs (40% monozygotic, 40% same-sex dizygotic and 20% opposite-sex dizygotic) representing 22 countries. This project demonstrates that large-scale international twin studies are feasible and can promote the use of existing data for novel research purposes.
This study assesses the contribution of different sources of human campylobacteriosis in Denmark using two different source-attribution approaches. In total, 794 non-human isolates and 406 isolates from human cases (domestic, travel related, and cases with unknown travel history) were collected. Isolates were characterized by multilocus sequence typing, flaA typing and susceptibility to antibiotics. Both models used indicate that the major burden of human campylobacteriosis in Denmark originates from the domestic broiler chicken reservoir. The second most important reservoir was found to be cattle. The Asymmetric Island model attributed 52% [95% credibility interval (CrI) 37–67] to Danish chicken, 17% (95% CrI 3–33) to imported chicken, and 17% (95% CrI 7–28) to cattle. Similarly, the Campylobacter source-attribution model apportioned 38% (95% CrI 28–47) to Danish chicken, 14% (95% CrI 10–18) to imported chicken, and 16% (95% CrI 7–25) to cattle. The addition of flaA type as an extra discriminatory typing parameter did not change the attribution of cases markedly.
To identify risk factors for Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) in Danish patients consulting general practice with gastrointestinal symptoms, a prospective matched case-control study was performed; cases (N = 259) had positive cultures for toxigenic C. difficile and controls (N = 455) negative cultures. Data were analysed by conditional logistic regression. In patients aged ⩾2 years (138 cases), hospitalization [odds ratio (OR) 8·4, 95% confidence interval (CI) 3·1–23], consumption of beef (OR 5·5, 95% CI 2·0–15), phenoxymethylpenicillin (OR 15, 95% CI 2·7–82), dicloxacillin (OR 27, 95% CI 3·6–211), and extended spectrum penicillins (OR 9·2, 95% CI 1·9–45) were associated with CDI. In patients aged <2 years none of these were associated with CDI, but in a subgroup analysis contact with animals was associated with CDI (OR 8·1, 95% CI 1·0–64). This study emphasizes narrow-spectrum penicillins, and suggests beef consumption, as risk factors for CDI in adults, and indicates a different epidemiology of CDI in infants.
Several European countries have timely all-cause mortality monitoring. However, small changes in mortality may not give rise to signals at the national level. Pooling data across countries may overcome this, particularly if changes in mortality occur simultaneously. Additionally, pooling may increase the power of monitoring populations with small numbers of expected deaths, e.g. younger age groups or fertile women. Finally, pooled analyses may reveal patterns of diseases across Europe. We describe a pooled analysis of all-cause mortality across 16 European countries. Two approaches were explored. In the ‘summarized’ approach, data across countries were summarized and analysed as one overall country. In the ‘stratified’ approach, heterogeneities between countries were taken into account. Pooling using the ‘stratified’ approach was the most appropriate as it reflects variations in mortality. Excess mortality was observed in all winter seasons albeit slightly higher in 2008/09 than 2009/10 and 2010/11. In the 2008/09 season, excess mortality was mainly in elderly adults. In 2009/10, when pandemic influenza A(H1N1) dominated, excess mortality was mainly in children. The 2010/11 season reflected a similar pattern, although increased mortality in children came later. These patterns were less clear in analyses based on data from individual countries. We have demonstrated that with stratified pooling we can combine local mortality monitoring systems and enhance monitoring of mortality across Europe.
We have developed a sheep model to facilitate studies of the fetal programming effects of mismatched perinatal and postnatal nutrition. During the last trimester of gestation, twenty-one twin-bearing ewes were fed a normal diet fulfilling norms for energy and protein (NORM) or 50 % of a normal diet (LOW). From day 3 postpartum to 6 months (around puberty) of age, one twin lamb was fed a conventional (CONV) diet and the other a high-carbohydrate–high-fat (HCHF) diet, resulting in four groups of offspring: NORM-CONV; NORM-HCHF; LOW-CONV; LOW-HCHF. At 6 months of age, half of the lambs (all males and three females) were slaughtered for further examination and the other half (females only) were transferred to a moderate sheep diet until slaughtered at 24 months of age (adulthood). Maternal undernutrition during late gestation reduced the birth weight of LOW offspring (P< 0·05), and its long-term effects were increased adrenal size in male lambs and adult females (P< 0·05), increased neonatal appetite for fat-(P= 0·004) rather than carbohydrate-rich feeds (P< 0·001) and reduced deposition of subcutaneous fat in both sexes (P< 0·05). Furthermore, LOW-HCHF female lambs had markedly higher visceral:subcutaneous fat ratios compared with the other groups (P< 0·001). Postnatal overfeeding (HCHF) resulted in obesity (>30 % fat in soft tissue) and widespread ectopic lipid deposition. In conclusion, our sheep model revealed strong pre- and postnatal impacts on growth, food preferences and fat deposition patterns. The present findings support a role for subcutaneous adipose tissue in the development of visceral adiposity, which in humans is known to precede the development of the metabolic syndrome in human adults.
We present preliminary results on fitting of SEDs to 142 z < 1 quasars selected in the mid-infrared. Our quasar selection finds objects ranging in extinction from highly obscured, type-2 quasars, through more lightly reddened type-1 quasars and normal type-1s. We find a weak tendency for the objects with the highest far-infrared emission to be obscured quasars, but no bulk systematic offset between the far-infrared properties of dusty and normal quasars as might be expected in the most naive evolutionary schemes. The hosts of the type-2 quasars have stellar masses comparable to those of radio galaxies at similar redshifts. Many of the type-1s, and possibly a one of the type-2s require a very hot dust component in addition to the normal torus emission.
Orang-utans (Pongo spp.) are primarily frugivorous (Morrogh-Bernard et al. 2009) and are often regarded as important seed dispersers (Corlett 1998). In Tanjung Puting, Borneo, Galdikas (1982) found intact seeds in 94% of faecal samples, with a median 111 seeds per defecation; and in Ketambe, Sumatra, Rijksen (1978) found seeds in 44% of faecal samples. Furthermore, orang-utans have large day ranges (e.g. mean = 968 m, range = 280–2834 m across adults in Sabangau; Harrison 2009) and slow passage rates of digesta through the gut (Caton et al. 1999), and, hence, may disperse seeds far from parent trees. Many seeds are also spat out or discarded at distances up to 75 m from parent trees (Galdikas 1982).