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Cats represent a potential source of Coxiella burnetii, the aetiological agent of Q fever in humans. The prevalence and risk factors of C. burnetii infection in farm, pet and feral cats were studied in Quebec, Canada, using a cross-sectional study. Serum samples were tested using a specific enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for the presence of antibodies against C. burnetii, whereas rectal swabs were assayed using real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) for the molecular detection of the bacteria. Potential risk factors for farm cats were investigated using clinical examinations, questionnaires and results from a concurrent study on C. burnetii farm status. A total of 184 cats were tested: 59 from ruminant farms, 73 pets and 52 feral cats. Among farm cats, 2/59 (3.4%) were ELISA-positive, 3/59 (5.1%) were ELISA-doubtful and 1/59 (1.7%) was qPCR-positive. All pets and feral cats were negative to C. burnetii ELISA and qPCR. Farm cat positivity was associated with a positive C. burnetii status on the ruminant farm (prevalence ratio = 7.6, P = 0.03). Our results suggest that although pet and feral cats do not seem to pose a great C. burnetii risk to public health, more active care should be taken when in contact with cats from ruminant farms.
Elevated levels of organochlorines (OC) have been reported in Inuit populations in the Arctic. We hypothesized that prenatal exposure to a Canadian Arctic OC mixture adversely affects male reproductive function and health with age. Sprague–Dawley female rats (F0) were gavaged with an environmentally relevant concentration of an Arctic OC mixture or corn oil (Control) during mating with untreated males until parturition (F1 litters). After postnatal day (PND) 90, the weights of the OC F1 males differed dramatically relative to Controls (P<0.05; n=10) and they exhibited respiratory distress. Except for possible thinning of the alveolar barrier, histological observation of the lungs revealed no apparent pathology to explain the respiratory distress. At PND 365, OC F1 males had reduced relative reproductive organ weights and lower sperm quality than Controls (P<0.05). At PND 90, OC F1 males were subfertile (P<0.05), but were infertile at PND 365. In conclusion, environmentally relevant prenatal OC exposure reduced reproductive function and health in aging male rats, providing new insight into the effects of early-life exposures to these contaminants.
Based on the data from the Next Generation Virgo cluster Survey (NGVS), we statistically study the photometric properties of globular clusters (GCs), ultra-compact dwarfs (UCDs) and dwarf nuclei in the Virgo core (M87) region. We found an obvious negative color (g - z) gradient in GC system associate with M87, i.e. GCs in the outer regions are bluer. However, such color gradient does not exist in UCD system, neither in dwarf nuclei system around M87. In addition, we found that many UCDs are surrounded by extended, low surface brightness envelopes. The dwarf nuclei and UCDs show different spatial distributions from GCs, with dwarf nuclei and UCDs (especially for the UCDs with visible envelopes) lying at larger distances to the Virgo center. These results support the view that UCDs (at least for a fraction of UCDs) are more tied to dwarf nuclei than to GCs.
OBJECTIVES/SPECIFIC AIMS: Negative symptoms of schizophrenia, including motivational deficits, social withdrawal, poverty of speech, decreased emotional reactivity, and psychomotor retardation, have been shown to be most predictive of functional impairment and poor outcome in patients with schizophrenia. Furthermore, these symptoms tend not to be responsive to antipsychotic medications. Inflammation could be one mechanism underlying these difficult to treat symptoms. METHODS/STUDY POPULATION: Three cohorts of patients, reflecting different phases of disease, were studied. One cohort was comprised of a sample of patients with deficit schizophrenia (characterized by primary and enduring negative symptoms; n=17), nondeficit patients (n=39), and healthy controls (n=28). ANOVA and multivariate general linear models were used to compare groups, and linear regression models were used to examine relationships between inflammatory cytokines and negative symptoms. The second cohort was comprised of 80 individuals at clinical high risk for psychosis from the North American Prodromal Longitudinal Study. Linear regression models examined the relationship between baseline inflammatory markers and subsequent negative symptoms at follow-up visits up to 2 years. The third cohort consisted of patients with treatment-resistant schizophrenia (TRS) on clozapine (n=10). Correlations were performed to examine relationships between inflammatory markers and negative symptoms. In a subgroup of patients from this third sample, resting state functional connectivity analyses were performed on fMRI data to explore relationships between inflammatory markers and connectivity in brain reward circuitry. RESULTS/ANTICIPATED RESULTS: In a sample of patients with the deficit syndrome of schizophrenia (n=17), a subtype of the disorder characterized by primary and enduring negative Symptoms, tumor necrosis factor (TNF) was significantly increased relative to nondeficit patients (n=39) and healthy controls (n=28; F2,57=3.51, p=0.036), and predicted total negative symptoms (β=0.31, p=0.012), alogia (β=0.30, p=0.024), and blunted affect (β=0.31, p=0.018) items of the Positive and Negative Symptom Scale in linear regression models while controlling for antipsychotics. In another sample of individuals at clinical-high risk for psychosis (n=80), baseline concentrations of TNF significantly predicted negative symptoms, including anhedonia, apathy, and loss of interest in linear regression models, at the 6-month (β=0.25, p=0.011) and 12-month follow-up (β=0.39, p=0.001). Interleukin (IL)-1 receptor antagonist also predicted these symptoms at the 6-month follow-up (β=0.21, p=0.037). In a third sample (n=10) of patients with TRS treated with clozapine, IL-1β was correlated with passive/apathetic social withdrawal (r=0.657, p=0.039) and disturbance of volition (r=0.686, p=0.029) items of the Positive and Negative Symptom Scale and the global avolition-apathy scores of the Scale for the Assessment of Negative Symptoms (r=0.751, p=0.012). Finally, in a small subsample (n=5) of patients from this TRS cohort for whom we collected fMRI data, we found resting-state functional connectivity from a right nucleus accumbens seed to a cluster in medial prefrontal cortex. We found relationships between higher inflammation and decreased connectivity for TNF (r=−0.64) and CRP (r=−0.89). DISCUSSION/SIGNIFICANCE OF IMPACT: Taken together, these preliminary data show the predicted relationship between inflammatory markers and negative symptoms and demonstrate the reproducibility of TNF and other monocytic-derived cytokines as reliably elevated in schizophrenia and associated with negative symptoms across samples of patients with schizophrenia and individuals at high risk for psychosis. Cytokines may exert their effects via their impact on brain reward circuitry, and could represent novel treatment targets for motivational deficits and negative symptoms of schizophrenia.
During 1990 we surveyed the southern sky using a multi-beam receiver at frequencies of 4850 and 843 MHz. The half-power beamwidths were 4 and 25 arcmin respectively. The finished surveys cover the declination range between +10 and −90 degrees declination, essentially complete in right ascension, an area of 7.30 steradians. Preliminary analysis of the 4850 MHz data indicates that we will achieve a five sigma flux density limit of about 30 mJy. We estimate that we will find between 80 000 and 90 000 new sources above this limit. This is a revised version of the paper presented at the Regional Meeting by the first four authors; the surveys now have been completed.
Epidemiological evidence regarding the association between carbohydrate intake, glycaemic load (GL) and glycaemic index (GI) and risk of ovarian cancer has been mixed. Little is known about their impact on ovarian cancer risk in African-American women. Associations between carbohydrate quantity and quality and ovarian cancer risk were investigated among 406 cases and 609 controls using data from the African American Cancer Epidemiology Study (AACES). AACES is an ongoing population-based case–control study of ovarian cancer in African-Americans in the USA. Cases were identified through rapid case ascertainment and age- and site-matched controls were identified by random-digit dialling. Dietary information over the year preceding diagnosis or the reference date was obtained using a FFQ. Multivariable logistic regression models were used to estimate odds ratios and 95 % CI adjusted for covariates. The OR comparing the highest quartile of total carbohydrate intake and total sugar intake v. the lowest quartile were 1·57 (95 % CI 1·08, 2·28; Ptrend=0·03) and 1·61 (95 % CI 1·12, 2·30; Ptrend<0·01), respectively. A suggestion of an inverse association was found for fibre intake. Higher GL was positively associated with the risk of ovarian cancer (OR 1·18 for each 10 units/4184 kJ (1000 kcal); 95 % CI 1·04, 1·33). No associations were observed for starch or GI. Our findings suggest that high intake of total sugars and GL are associated with greater risk of ovarian cancer in African-American women.
Homocysteine (Hcy) is an intermediary sulphur amino acid recognised for pro-oxidative properties in several species which may weaken immune competence in piglets. In this species, there is an acute 10-fold increase of concentrations of plasma Hcy (pHcy) during the first 2 weeks of life. The present experiment aimed to determine if pHcy in piglets can be regulated by oral supplementations of betaine as a methyl group supplier, creatine for reducing the demand for methyl groups, choline with both previous functions and vitamin B6 as enzymic co-factor for Hcy catabolism. A total of seventeen sows (second parity) were fed gestation and lactation diets supplemented with folic acid (10 mg/kg) and vitamin B12 (150 µg/kg). Eight piglets in each litter received daily one of the eight following oral treatments (mg/kg body weight): (1) control (saline); (2) betaine (50); (3) choline (70); (4) creatine (300); (5) pyridoxine (0·2); (6) treatments 2 and 5; (7) treatments 3 and 4; and (8) treatments 2, 3, 4 and 5. According to age, pHcy increased sharply from 2·48 µm at birth to 17·96 µm at 21 d of age (P < 0·01). Concentrations of pHcy tended to be lower (P = 0·09) in treated than in control piglets but the highest and sole pairwise significant decrease (23 %) was observed between treatments 1 and 8 (P = 0·03). Growth from birth to 21 d of age was not influenced by treatments (P > 0·70). Therefore, it appears possible to reduce pHcy concentrations in suckling piglets but a combination of all chosen nutrients is required.
Discovery of ultra-compact dwarfs (UCDs) in the past 15 years blurs the once thought clear division between classic globular clusters (GCs) and early-type galaxies. The intermediate nature of UCDs, which are larger and more massive than typical GCs but more compact than typical dwarf galaxies, has triggered hot debate on whether UCDs should be considered galactic in origin or merely the most extreme GCs. Previous studies of various scaling relations, stellar populations and internal dynamics did not give an unambiguous answer to the primary origin of UCDs. In this contribution, we present the first ever detailed study of global dynamics of 97 UCDs (rh ≳ 10 pc) associated with the central cD galaxy of the Virgo cluster, M87. We found that UCDs follow a different radial number density profile and different rotational properties from GCs. The orbital anisotropies of UCDs are tangentially-biased within ~ 40 kpc of M87 and become radially-biased with radius further out. In contrast, the blue GCs, which have similar median colors to our sample of UCDs, become more tangentially-biased at larger radii beyond ~ 40 kpc. Our analysis suggests that most UCDs in M87 are not consistent with being merely the most luminous and extended examples of otherwise normal GCs. The radially-biased orbital structure of UCDs at large radii is in general agreement with the scenario that most UCDs originated from the tidally threshed dwarf galaxies.
Longitudinal, patient-level data on resource use and costs after an ischemic stroke are lacking in Canada. The objectives of this analysis were to calculate costs for the first year post-stroke and determine the impact of disability on costs.
The Economic Burden of Ischemic Stroke (BURST) Study was a one-year prospective study with a cohort of ischemic stroke patients recruited at 12 Canadian stroke centres. Clinical history, disability, health preference and resource utilization information was collected at discharge, three months, six months and one year. Resources included direct medical costs (2009 CAN$) such as emergency services, hospitalizations, rehabilitation, physician services, diagnostics, medications, allied health professional services, homecare, medical/assistive devices, changes to residence and paid caregivers, as well as indirect costs. Results were stratified by disability measured at discharge using the modified Rankin Score (mRS): non-disabling stroke (mRS 0-2) and disabling stroke (mRS 3-5).
We enrolled 232 ischemic stroke patients (age 69.4 ± 15.4 years; 51.3% male) and 113 (48.7%) were disabled at hospital discharge. The average annual cost was $74,353; $107,883 for disabling strokes and $48,339 for non-disabling strokes.
An average annual cost for ischemic stroke was calculated in which a disabling stroke was associated with a two-fold increase in costs compared to NDS. Costs during the hospitalization to three months phase were the highest contributor to the annual cost. A “back of the envelope” calculation using 38,000 stroke admissions and the average annual cost yields $2.8 billion as the burden of ischemic stroke.
According to a popular scenario supported by numerical models, the mass assembly and growth of massive galaxies, in particular the Early-Type Galaxies (ETGs), is, below a redshift of 1, mainly due to the accretion of multiple gas–poor satellites. In order to get observational evidence of the role played by minor dry mergers, we are obtaining extremely deep optical images of a complete volume limited sample of nearby ETGs. These observations, done with the CFHT as part of the ATLAS3D, NGVS and MATLAS projects, reach a stunning 28.5 – 29 mag.arcsec−2 surface brightness limit in the g' band. They allow us to detect the relics of past collisions such as faint stellar tidal tails as well as the very extended stellar halos which keep the memory of the last episodes of galactic accretion. Images and preliminary results from this on-going survey are presented, in particular a possible correlation between the fine structure index (which parametrizes the amount of tidal perturbation) of the ETGs, their stellar mass, effective radius and gas content.
The aim of this study was to evaluate whether magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can be used as a noninvasive approach to assessment of disease severity and muscle damage in Myotonic Dystrophy type 1 (DM1).
The MRI findings in legs of 41 patients with DM1 were evaluated with respect to the tibialis anterior (TA) skeletal muscle impairment. Magnetic resonance imaging findings were compared with TA strength measurements obtained by quantitative manual testing, duration of the disease and with the length of the CTG repeats.
Muscle MRI abnormalities were observed in 80% of DM1 patients, ranging from edema-like abnormalities alone to severe atrophy / fatty replacement. Edema-like abnormalities seem to be an earlier MRI marker of the disease. Fatty infiltration/atrophy correlated with the TA muscle force (r = 0.95), the severity (P = 0.00001) of the disease but not with the duration of the disease (P = 0.3) or the length of the CTG repeats (P > 0.10), measured in peripheral leukocytes. Evaluation of other muscles of the legs revealed that the medial gastrocnemius and soleus muscles were the most frequently and severely affected muscles, while tibialis posterior muscles were relatively spared. Edema-like abnormalities are most frequently observed in the skeletal muscles of the anterior compartment.
Muscle MRI is helpful to depict muscle abnormalities but does not seem to be a reliable indicator of skeletal muscle involvement in DM1 since the decrease in TAmuscle force is not correlated with MRI abnormalities in some patients.
Graphene oxide sheets have recently gained immense interest as a building block for graphene based materials and devices. Rapid developments have been made in the chemistry and applications of GO. However, assembly, too, plays a critical role in the final properties of bulk graphene based materials as it determines the microstructures of the 2D sheets. There is thus a pressing need for controllable assembly strategies. Based on the recent identification of the pH dependent surfactant-like behavior of GO sheets, we are now able to control the tiling morphologies of such sheets to produce thin films with either wrinkled or overlapped types of microstructures. This allows for the deconvolution of the effects of these two basic morphological features in the electrical and optical properties of the resulting thin films, providing a well-defined example of the processing-microstructure-properties relationship for this unique soft material building block.
The Next Generation Virgo Cluster Survey (NGVS) is a CFHT Large Program that is using the wide field of view capabilities of the MegaCam camera to map the entire Virgo Cluster from its core to virial radius. The observing strategy has been optimized to detect very low surface brightness structures in the cluster, including intracluster stellar streams and faint dwarf spheroidal galaxies. We present here the current status of this ongoing survey, with an emphasis on the detection and analysis of the very low-mass galaxies in the cluster that have been revealed by the NGVS.
Graphene oxide (GO) is a nonstoichiometric two-dimensional material obtained from the chemical oxidation and exfoliation of graphite, which has recently attracted intense research interest as a precursor for bulk production of graphene. GO has long been believed to be hydrophilic due to its dispersibility in water. Recent work in our group, however, has found that GO is actually a two-dimensional amphiphile; the edge of the sheet-like material is hydrophilic, while the basal plane of the material contains more hydrophobic graphitic nanodomains. To prove the concept, we demonstrate GO’s surface activity at an air-water interface, as well as its utility in dispersing insoluble aromatic materials such as toluene, graphite, and carbon nanotubes in water. As a colloidal surfactant which can be converted to a conducting material, GO presents unique possibilities for aqueous solution processing of organic electronic materials.
The mass assembly of galaxies leaves various imprints on their surroundings, such as shells, streams and tidal tails. The frequency and properties of these fine structures depend on the mechanism driving the mass assembly: e.g. a monolithic collapse, rapid cold-gas accretion followed by violent disk instabilities, minor mergers or major dry/wet mergers. Therefore, by studying the outskirts of galaxies, one can learn about their main formation mechanism. I present here our on-going work to characterize the outskirts of Early-Type Galaxies (ETGs), which are powerful probes at low redshift of the hierarchical mass assembly of galaxies. This work relies on ultra–deep optical images obtained at CFHT with the wide-field of view MegaCam camera of field and cluster ETGs obtained as part of the ATLAS3D and NGVS projects. State of the art numerical simulations are used to interpret the data. The images reveal a wealth of unknown faint structures at levels as faint as 29 mag arcsec−2 in the g-band. Initial results for two galaxies are presented here.
The cognitive profile of early onset Parkinson’s disease (EOPD) has not been clearly defined. Mutations in the parkin gene are the most common genetic risk factor for EOPD and may offer information about the neuropsychological pattern of performance in both symptomatic and asymptomatic mutation carriers. EOPD probands and their first-degree relatives who did not have Parkinson’s disease (PD) were genotyped for mutations in the parkin gene and administered a comprehensive neuropsychological battery. Performance was compared between EOPD probands with (N = 43) and without (N = 52) parkin mutations. The same neuropsychological battery was administered to 217 first-degree relatives to assess neuropsychological function in individuals who carry parkin mutations but do not have PD. No significant differences in neuropsychological test performance were found between parkin carrier and noncarrier probands. Performance also did not differ between EOPD noncarriers and carrier subgroups (i.e., heterozygotes, compound heterozygotes/homozygotes). Similarly, no differences were found among unaffected family members across genotypes. Mean neuropsychological test performance was within normal range in all probands and relatives. Carriers of parkin mutations, whether or not they have PD, do not perform differently on neuropsychological measures as compared to noncarriers. The cognitive functioning of parkin carriers over time warrants further study. (JINS, 2011, 17, 1–10)
Canada's health system is a unique combination of public financing and private provision. With the significant government role in financing health services, health technology assessment (HTA) has found a ready audience as a form of policy research. In addition, Canada has been a leader in HTA and is entering a phase of deepening and maturation of HTA activities. The relative absence of dramatic change in the overall health system, coupled with public faith in the Canadian approach has been favorable to HTA's development in Canada. Emerging issues, beyond the demographic and economic pressures facing all Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development health systems, include the convergence of assessment modalities and organizations for drug and nondrug technologies, increasing public concerns about the viability of Canada's approach to healthcare services, and the transition of HTA from an activity targeting macro-level policy makers to a management tool for healthcare facilities and providers.
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in women. The hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (HDP) are the most common medical complication of pregnancy, complicating up to 10% of pregnancies worldwide. They represent a leading cause of maternal mortality and morbidity in pregnancy. The most common of these disorders is gestational hypertension (5–6%). Using population-based data, approximately 1% of pregnancies are complicated by pre-existing hypertension, 5–6% by gestational hypertension without proteinuria, and 1–2% by pre-eclampsia.