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Exposure to childhood maltreatment (CM) may disrupt typical development of neural systems underlying impulse control and emotion regulation. Yet resilient outcomes are observed in some individuals exposed to CM. Individual differences in adult functioning may result from variation in inhibitory control in the context of emotional distractions, underpinned by cognitive–affective brain circuits. Thirty-eight healthy adults with a history of substantiated CM and 34 nonmaltreated adults from the same longitudinal sample performed a Go/No-Go task in which task-relevant stimuli (letters) were presented at the center of task-irrelevant, negative, or neutral images, while undergoing functional magnetic resonance imaging. The comparison group, but not the maltreated group, made increased inhibitory control errors in the context of negative, but not neutral, distractor images. In addition, the comparison group had greater right inferior frontal gyrus and bilateral frontal pole activation during inhibitory control blocks with negative compared to neutral background images relative to the CM group. Across the full sample, greater adaptive functioning in everyday contexts was associated with superior inhibitory control and greater right frontal pole activation. Results suggest that resilience following early adversity is associated with enhanced attention and behavioral regulation in the context of task-irrelevant negative emotional stimuli in a laboratory setting.
The patient experience of radiotherapy magnetic resonance (MR) simulation is unknown. This study aims to evaluate the patient experience of MR simulation in comparison to computed tomography (CT) simulation, identifying the quality of patient experience and pathway changes which could improve patient experience outcomes.
Materials and Methods:
MR simulation was acquired for 46 anal and rectal cancer patients. Patient experience questionnaires were provided directly after MR simulation. Questionnaire responses were assessed after 33 patients (cohort one). Changes to the scanning pathway were identified and implemented. The impact of changes was assessed by cohort two (13 patients).
Response rates were 85% (cohort one) and 54% (cohort two). 75% of cohort one respondents found the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) experience to be better or similar to their CT experience. Implemented changes included routine use of blankets, earplugs and headphones, music and feet-first positioning and further MRI protocol optimisation. All cohort two respondents found the MRI experience to be better or similar to the CT experience.
MR simulation can be a comfortable and positive experience that is comparable to that of standard radiotherapy CT simulation. Special attention is required due to the fundamental differences between CT and MRI scanning.
Successful management of an event where health-care needs exceed regional health-care capacity requires coordinated strategies for scarce resource allocation. Publications for rapid development, training, and coordination of regional hospital triage teams to manage the allocation of scarce resources during coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are lacking. Over a period of 3 weeks, over 100 clinicians, ethicists, leaders, and public health authorities convened virtually to achieve consensus on how best to save the most lives possible and share resources. This is referred to as population-based crisis management. The rapid regionalization of 22 acute care hospitals across 4500 square miles in the midst of a pandemic with a shifting regulatory landscape was challenging, but overcome by mutual trust, transparency, and confidence in the public health authority. Because many cities are facing COVID-19 surges, we share a process for successful rapid formation of health-care care coalitions, Crisis Standard of Care, and training of Triage Teams. Incorporation of continuous process improvement and methods for communication is essential for successful implementation. Use of our regional health-care coalition communications, incident command system, and the crisis care committee helped mitigate crisis care in the San Diego and Imperial County region as COVID-19 cases surged and scarce resource collaborative decisions were required.
Poultry production is an important way of enhancing the livelihoods of rural populations, especially in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). As poultry production in LMICs remains dominated by backyard systems with low inputs and low outputs, considerable yield gaps exist. Intensification can increase poultry productivity, production and income. This process is relatively recent in LMICs compared to high-income countries. The management practices and the constraints faced by smallholders trying to scale-up their production, in the early stages of intensification, are poorly understood and described. We thus investigated the features of the small-scale commercial chicken sector in a rural area distant from major production centres. We surveyed 111 commercial chicken farms in Kenya in 2016. We targeted farms that sell the majority of their production, owning at least 50 chickens, partly or wholly confined and provided with feeds. We developed a typology of semi-intensive farms. Farms were found mainly to raise dual-purpose chickens of local and improved breeds, in association with crops and were not specialized in any single product or market. We identified four types of semi-intensive farms that were characterized based on two groups of variables related to intensification and accessibility: (i) remote, small-scale old farms, with small flocks, growing a lot of their own feed; (ii) medium-scale, old farms with a larger flock and well located in relation to markets and (iii) large-scale recently established farms, with large flocks, (iii-a) well located and buying chicks from third-party providers and (iii-b) remotely located and hatching their own chicks. The semi-intensive farms we surveyed were highly heterogeneous in terms of size, age, accessibility, management, opportunities and challenges. Farm location affects market access and influences the opportunities available to farmers, resulting in further diversity in farm profiles. The future of these semi-intensive farms could be compromised by several factors, including the competition with large-scale intensive farmers and with importations. Our study suggests that intensification trajectories in rural areas of LMICs are potentially complex, diverse and non-linear. A better understanding of intensification trajectories should, however, be based on longitudinal data. This could, in turn, help designing interventions to support small-scale farmers.
The aim of this project was to investigate the cognitive abnormalities in healthy individuals (No Axis I or II disorders) at risk for bipolar disorder (BD) and schizophrenia (SZ)
Materials and Methods:
Participants were 17 BD-R and 15 SZ-R and 23 controls. All participants underwent assessment of IQ, inhibition, verbal fluency, planning and cognitive set shifting. Lack of lifetime Axis I and II disorders was screened using Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV and symptomatology was assessed with the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS).
No difference was found in IQ. Loss of inhibition was found in both SZ-R and BD-R compared to controls whereas SZ-R had slower initiation times. SZ-R also failed to inhibit relatively fast erroneous responses, leading to an effect on error rates but not in reaction times. SZ-R and BD-R produced fewer words compared to controls whereas the former group made more errors. BD-R achieved both comparable number of categories to controls and made equal number of errors whereas SZ-R underperformed compared to former groups in both measures. Effect of BPRS total score was found only for BD-R across all measures apart from inhibition.
Genetic predisposition to SZ may be mediated by deficits in both the Ventral and Dorsal Prefrontal Cortex (VPFC) and (DPFC). In BD-R impairment was limited in the VPFC whereas the DPFC function was preserved. The two disorders share inhibition deficits associated with the VPFC.
This study investigates the effect of sex and childhood trauma on affective processing in bipolar disorder (BPD) patients.
In a sample of fifty-six BPD patients, we administered the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ), and the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT) and the Affective Go/No-Go (AGNG) to measure affective processing. Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) was used to evaluate the effect of sex and childhood trauma on IGT; Repeated-Measures ANOVAs to measure accuracy and bias measures across conditions on the AGNG.
In the context of childhood abuse, females evidenced a more conservative cognitive style than males by selecting fewer cards from the disadvantageous decks [F(1, 49) = 14.218; P < 0.001] and showed an improvement throughout the task, as noted in a normal learning curve [F(1.49) = 4.385; P = 0.041)]. For the AGNG, an interaction specific to the negative valence stimuli on response bias measures was found. Abused females scored higher (mean = 8.38; SD = 6.39) than abused males (mean = 0.69; SD = 1.19) [F(1.46) = 6.348; P = 0.015].
Severity of childhood trauma was significantly different between sexes. In the context of a history of emotional abuse, male bipolar patients tended toward a more risk-taking behavior compared to female. Further investigations are needed to elucidate potential pathophysiological mechanisms underlying this interaction.
Whilst cannabis use appears to be a causal risk factor for the development of schizophrenia-related psychosis, associations with mania remain relatively unknown.
This review aimed to examine the impact of cannabis use on the incidence of manic symptoms and on their occurrence in those with pre-existing bipolar disorder
A systematic review of the scientific literature using the PRISMA guidelines. PsychINFO, Cochrane, Scopus, Embase and MEDLINE databases were searched for prospective studies.
Six articles met inclusion criteria. These sampled 2,391 individuals who had experienced mania symptoms. The mean length of follow up was 3.9 years. Studies support an association between cannabis use and the exacerbation of manic symptoms in those with previously diagnosed bipolar disorder. Furthermore, a meta-analysis of two studies suggests that cannabis use is associated with an approximately 3-fold (Odds Ratio: 2.97; 95% CI: 1.80 to 4.90) increased risk for the new onset of manic symptoms.
Our findings whilst tentative, suggest that cannabis use may worsen the occurrence of manic symptoms in those diagnosed with bipolar disorder and may also act as a causal risk factor in the incidence of manic symptoms. This underscores the importance of discouraging cannabis use among youth and those with bipolar disorder to help prevent chronic psychiatric morbidity. More high quality prospective studies are required to fully elucidate how cannabis use may contribute to the development of mania over time.
Compassion and self-compassion can be protective factors against mental health difficulties, in particular depression. The cultivation of the compassionate self, associated with a range of practices such as slow and deeper breathing, compassionate voice tones and facial expressions, and compassionate focusing, is central to compassion focused therapy (Gilbert, 2010). However, no study has examined the processes of change that mediate the impact of compassionate self-cultivation practices on depressive symptoms.
The aim of this study is to investigate the impact of a brief compassionate self training (CST) intervention on depressive symptoms, and explore the psychological processes that mediate the change at post intervention.
Using a longitudinal design, participants (general population and college students) were randomly assigned to one of two conditions: Compassionate self training (n = 56) and wait-list control (n = 37). Participants in the CST condition were instructed to practice CST exercises for 15 minutes everyday or in moments of stress during two weeks. Self-report measures of depression, self-criticism, shame and compassion, were completed at pre and post in both conditions.
Results showed that, at post-intervention, participants in the CST condition decreased depression, self-criticism and shame, and increased self-compassion and openness to receive compassion from others. Mediation analyses revealed that changes in depression from pre to post intervention were mediated by decreases in self-criticism and shame, and increases in self-compassion and openness to the compassion from others.
These findings support the efficacy of compassionate self training components on lessening depressive symptoms and promoting mental health.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Preliminary investigations of cross-sectional samples have linked trait mindfulness with measures related to the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA)-mediated stress response and to the inflammatory system, suggesting that this is one potential pathway linking mindfulness based interventions and health. However, no previous studies explored the association between the trait mindfulness construct and markers of cellular ageing.
In the current study we examined in a sample of healthy mothers (n = 92) of a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder (i.e. women showing high levels of chronic psychological stress) the prospective associations between a multidimensional scale of trait mindfulness, the Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ), and telomerase activity (TA), a marker of cellular ageing and telomere homeostasis. Participants’ trait mindfulness and TA were assessed at baseline as well as 9 and 18 month follow-up.
Analysis showed that higher levels of baseline mindfulness on FFMQ observation and describe subscales were related to increase in TA from baseline to 9 month (r = 0.27, P = 0.03 and r = 0.24, P = .04, respectively). Additionally, the FFMQ Describe subscale was related to increase in TA from baseline to 18 month (r = .30, P = .02). Results are reported following covariate adjustment of age, BMI, ethnicity, and education.
Our results showed that higher levels of baseline mindfulness are associated with higher increases in TA after 9 months and 18 months, with increased TA reportedly being associated with decreased oxidative damage, increased telomere length and overall more functional cellular physiology. These findings support a role of mindfulness-related interventions to increase general and mental health.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
The partition of the total genetic variance into its additive and non-additive components can differ from trait to trait, and between purebred and crossbred populations. A quantification of these genetic variance components will determine the extent to which it would be of interest to account for dominance in genomic evaluations or to establish mate allocation strategies along different populations and traits. This study aims at assessing the contribution of the additive and dominance genomic variances to the phenotype expression of several purebred Piétrain and crossbred (Piétrain × Large White) pig performances. A total of 636 purebred and 720 crossbred male piglets were phenotyped for 22 traits that can be classified into six groups of traits: growth rate and feed efficiency, carcass composition, meat quality, behaviour, boar taint and puberty. Additive and dominance variances estimated in univariate genotypic models, including additive and dominance genotypic effects, and a genomic inbreeding covariate allowed to retrieve the additive and dominance single nucleotide polymorphism variances for purebred and crossbred performances. These estimated variances were used, together with the allelic frequencies of the parental populations, to obtain additive and dominance variances in terms of genetic breeding values and dominance deviations. Estimates of the Piétrain and Large White allelic contributions to the crossbred variance were of about the same magnitude in all the traits. Estimates of additive genetic variances were similar regardless of the inclusion of dominance. Some traits showed relevant amount of dominance genetic variance with respect to phenotypic variance in both populations (i.e. growth rate 8%, feed conversion ratio 9% to 12%, backfat thickness 14% to 12%, purebreds-crossbreds). Other traits showed higher amount in crossbreds (i.e. ham cut 8% to 13%, loin 7% to 16%, pH semimembranosus 13% to 18%, pH longissimus dorsi 9% to 14%, androstenone 5% to 13% and estradiol 6% to 11%, purebreds-crossbreds). It was not encountered a clear common pattern of dominance expression between groups of analysed traits and between populations. These estimates give initial hints regarding which traits could benefit from accounting for dominance for example to improve genomic estimated breeding value accuracy in genetic evaluations or to boost the total genetic value of progeny by means of assortative mating.
Objectives: Research has shown that analyzing intrusion errors generated on verbal learning and memory measures is helpful for distinguishing between the memory disorders associated with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and other neurological disorders, including Huntington’s disease (HD). Moreover, preliminary evidence suggests that certain clinical populations may be prone to exhibit different types of intrusion errors. Methods: We examined the prevalence of two new California Verbal Learning Test-3 (CVLT-3) intrusion subtypes – across-trial novel intrusions and across/within trial repeated intrusions – in individuals with AD or HD. We hypothesized that the encoding/storage impairment associated with medial-temporal involvement in AD would result in a greater number of novel intrusions on the delayed recall trials of the CVLT-3, whereas the executive dysfunction associated with subcortical-frontal involvement in HD would result in a greater number of repeated intrusions across trials. Results: The AD group generated significantly more across-trial novel intrusions than across/within trial repeated intrusions on the delayed cued-recall trials, whereas the HD group showed the opposite pattern on the delayed free-recall trials. Conclusions: These new intrusion subtypes, combined with traditional memory analyses (e.g., recall versus recognition performance), promise to enhance our ability to distinguish between the memory disorders associated with primarily medial-temporal versus subcortical-frontal involvement.
Surgery for CHD has been slow to develop in parts of the former Soviet Union. The impact of an 8-year surgical assistance programme between an emerging centre and a multi-disciplinary international team that comprised healthcare professionals from developed cardiac programmes is analysed and presented.
Material and methods
The international paediatric assistance programme included five main components – intermittent clinical visits to the site annually, medical education, biomedical engineering support, nurse empowerment, and team-based practice development. Data were analysed from visiting teams and local databases before and since commencement of assistance in 2007 (era A: 2000–2007; era B: 2008–2015). The following variables were compared between periods: annual case volume, operative mortality, case complexity based on Risk Adjustment for Congenital Heart Surgery (RACHS-1), and RACHS-adjusted standardised mortality ratio.
A total of 154 RACHS-classifiable operations were performed during era A, with a mean annual case volume by local surgeons of 19.3 at 95% confidence interval 14.3–24.2, with an operative mortality of 4.6% and a standardised mortality ratio of 2.1. In era B, surgical volume increased to a mean of 103.1 annual cases (95% confidence interval 69.1–137.2, p<0.0001). There was a non-significant (p=0.84) increase in operative mortality (5.7%), but a decrease in standardised mortality ratio (1.2) owing to an increase in case complexity. In era B, the proportion of local surgeon-led surgeries during visits from the international team increased from 0% (0/27) in 2008 to 98% (58/59) in the final year of analysis.
The model of assistance described in this report led to improved adjusted mortality, increased case volume, complexity, and independent operating skills.
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a leading cause of disease burden worldwide, with lifetime prevalence in the United States of 17%. Here we present the results of the first prospective, large-scale, patient- and rater-blind, randomized controlled trial evaluating the clinical importance of achieving congruence between combinatorial pharmacogenomic (PGx) testing and medication selection for MDD.
1,167 outpatients diagnosed with MDD and an inadequate response to ≥1 psychotropic medications were enrolled and randomized 1:1 to a Treatment as Usual (TAU) arm or PGx-guided care arm. Combinatorial PGx testing categorized medications in three groups based on the level of gene-drug interactions: use as directed, use with caution, or use with increased caution and more frequent monitoring. Patient assessments were performed at weeks 0 (baseline), 4, 8, 12 and 24. Patients, site raters, and central raters were blinded in both arms until after week 8. In the guided-care arm, physicians had access to the combinatorial PGx test result to guide medication selection. Primary outcomes utilized the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D17) and included symptom improvement (percent change in HAM-D17 from baseline), response (50% decrease in HAM-D17 from baseline), and remission (HAM-D17<7) at the fully blinded week 8 time point. The durability of patient outcomes was assessed at week 24. Medications were considered congruent with PGx test results if they were in the ‘use as directed’ or ‘use with caution’ report categories while medications in the ‘use with increased caution and more frequent monitoring’ were considered incongruent. Patients who started on incongruent medications were analyzed separately according to whether they changed to congruent medications by week8.
At week 8, symptom improvement for individuals in the guided-care arm was not significantly different than TAU (27.2% versus 24.4%, p=0.11). However, individuals in the guided-care arm were more likely than those in TAU to achieve remission (15% versus 10%; p<0.01) and response (26% versus 20%; p=0.01). Remission rates, response rates, and symptom reductions continued to improve in the guided-treatment arm until the 24week time point. Congruent prescribing increased to 91% in the guided-care arm by week 8. Among patients who were taking one or more incongruent medication at baseline, those who changed to congruent medications by week 8 demonstrated significantly greater symptom improvement (p<0.01), response (p=0.04), and remission rates (p<0.01) compared to those who persisted on incongruent medications.
Combinatorial PGx testing improves short- and long-term response and remission rates for MDD compared to standard of care. In addition, prescribing congruency with PGx-guided medication recommendations is important for achieving symptom improvement, response, and remission for MDD patients.
Funding Acknowledgements: This study was supported by Assurex Health, Inc.
When a metal oxide surface is immersed in aqueous solution, it has the ability to bind, orient, and order interfacial water, affecting both chemical and physical interactions with the surface. Structured interfacial water thus possesses time-averaged, spatially varying polarization charge and potential that are comparable to those arising due to ion accumulation. It is well established that interfacial water structure propagates from the surface into bulk solution. Here, we show that interfacial water structure also propagates laterally, with important consequences. The constant pH molecular dynamics was used to impose a pH difference between opposite faces of a model goethite (α-FeOOH) nanoparticle and quantify water polarization charge on intervening faces. We find that the structure of water on one face is strongly affected by the structure on nearby surfaces, revealing the importance of long-range lateral hydrogen bonding networks with implications for particle aggregation, oriented attachment, and processes such as dissolution and growth.
In product design engineering (PDE), ideation involves the generation of technical behaviours and physical structures to address specific functional requirements. This differs from generic creative ideation tasks, which emphasise functional and technical considerations less. To advance knowledge about the neural basis of PDE ideation, we present the first fMRI study on professional product design engineers practising in industry. We aimed to explore brain activation during ideation, and compare activation in open-ended and constrained tasks. Imagery manipulation tasks were contrasted with ideation tasks in a sample of 29 PDE professionals. The key findings were: (1) PDE ideation is associated with greater activity in left cingulate gyrus; (2) there were no significant differences between open-ended and constrained tasks; and (3) a preliminary association with activity in the right superior temporal gyrus was also observed. The results are consistent with existing fMRI work on generic creative ideation, suggesting that PDE ideation may share a number of similarities at the neural level. Future work includes: functional connectivity analysis of open-ended and constrained ideation to further investigate potential differences; investigating the effects of aspects of design expertise/training on processing; and the use of novelty measures directly linked to the designer’s internal processing in fMRI analysis.
Objectives: The third edition of the California Verbal Learning Test (CVLT-3) includes a new index termed List A versus Novel/Unrelated recognition discriminability (RD) on the Yes/No Recognition trial. Whereas the Total RD index incorporates false positive (FP) errors associated with all distractors (including List B and semantically related items), the new List A versus Novel/Unrelated RD index incorporates only FP errors associated with novel, semantically unrelated distractors. Thus, in minimizing levels of source and semantic interference, the List A versus Novel/Unrelated RD index may yield purer assessments of yes/no recognition memory independent of vulnerability to source memory difficulties or semantic confusion, both of which are often seen in individuals with primarily frontal-system dysfunction (e.g., early Huntington’s disease [HD]). Methods: We compared the performance of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and HD in mild and moderate stages of dementia on CVLT-3 indices of Total RD and List A versus Novel/Unrelated RD. Results: Although AD and HD subgroups exhibited deficits on both RD indices relative to healthy comparison groups, those with HD generally outperformed those with AD, and group differences were more robust on List A versus Novel/Unrelated RD than on Total RD. Conclusions: Our findings highlight the clinical utility of the new CVLT-3 List A versus Novel/Unrelated RD index, which (a) maximally assesses yes/no recognition memory independent of source and semantic interference; and (b) provides a greater differentiation between individuals whose memory disorder is primarily at the encoding/storage level (e.g., as in AD) versus at the retrieval level (e.g., as in early HD). (JINS, 2018, 24, 833–841)
No discipline has been impacted more by war and armed conflict than health care has. Health systems and health care providers are often the first victims, suffering increasingly heinous acts that cripple the essential health delivery and public health infrastructure necessary for the protection of civilian and military victims of the state at war. This commentary argues that current instructional opportunities to prepare health care providers fall short in both content and preparation, especially in those operational skill sets necessary to manage multiple challenges, threats, and violations under international humanitarian law and to perform triage management in a resource-poor medical setting. Utilizing a historical framework, the commentary addresses the transformation of the education and training of humanitarian health professionals from the Cold War to today followed by recommendations for the future. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2019;13:383-396)
The poetics of drink is a poetics of conflict. On the one hand, there are the bull-roarers of Bacchus, the orgiastic Maenads, the mystical priests of the vine, the poets and prophets whose drinking songs or sacraments celebrate the inspiring and perhaps entheogenic virtues of consciousness-transforming intoxication. On the other hand, there are the Malvolios, the hatchet-wielding Carrie Nations, the temperance workers, and–most telling of all–the recovering alcoholics, who testify to the disease and dis-ease of drunkenness. This essay offers an exploration of poetic inspiration and intoxication. The confusion of spirit as alcohol with spirit as soul or breath helps explain why a poetics of drink seems to have shaped or shadowed the poetry–and fiction–of so many writers. Her analysis includes “alcoholic writers” from a long list of Nobel prize winners (Sinclair Lewis, Eugene O’Neill, Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner) and beyond the Nobel winners, Hart Crane, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Louise Bogan, Dylan Thomas, Delmore Schwartz, Philip Larkin, Robert Lowell, John Berryman, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Raymond Carver, Elizabeth Bishop, John Cheever, Dorothy Parker, among others.
The importance of parasites as a selective force in host evolution is a topic of current interest. However, short-term ecological studies of host–parasite systems, on which such studies are usually based, provide only snap-shots of what may be dynamic systems. We report here on four surveys, carried out over a period of 12 years, of helminths of spiny mice (Acomys dimidiatus), the numerically dominant rodents inhabiting dry montane wadis in the Sinai Peninsula. With host age (age-dependent effects on prevalence and abundance were prominent) and sex (female bias in abundance in helminth diversity and in several taxa including Cestoda) taken into consideration, we focus on the relative importance of temporal and spatial effects on helminth infracommunities. We show that site of capture is the major determinant of prevalence and abundance of species (and higher taxa) contributing to helminth community structure, the only exceptions being Streptopharaus spp. and Dentostomella kuntzi. We provide evidence that most (notably the Spiruroidea, Protospirura muricola, Mastophorus muris and Gongylonema aegypti, but with exceptions among the Oxyuroidae, e.g. Syphacia minuta), show elements of temporal-site stability, with a rank order of measures among sites remaining similar over successive surveys. Hence, there are some elements of predictability in these systems.
The analysis of stable isotopes of carbon and nitrogen has been used as a fingerprint for understanding the trophic interactions of organisms. Most of these studies have been applied to free-living organisms, while parasites have largely been neglected. Studies dealing with parasites so far have assessed the carbon and nitrogen signatures in endoparasites or ectoparasites of different hosts, without showing general trends concerning the nutritional relationships within host–parasite associations. Moreover, in most cases such systems involved a single host and parasite species. The present study is therefore the first to detail the trophic interactions of a freshwater monogenean–host model using δ13C and δ15N, where a single monogenean species infects two distinctly different hosts. Host fishes, Labeobarbus aeneus and Labeobarbus kimberleyensis from the Vaal Dam, South Africa, were assessed for the monogenean parasite Paradiplozoon ichthyoxanthon, individuals of which were removed from the gills of the hosts. The parasites and host muscle samples were analysed for signatures of δ13C and δ15N using an elemental analyser connected to an isotope ratio mass spectrometer. Host fish appear to use partly different food sources, with L. aeneus having slightly elevated δ13C signatures compared to L. kimberleyensis, and showed only small differences with regard to their nitrogen signatures, suggesting that both species range on the same trophic level. Carbon and nitrogen signatures in P. ichthyoxanthon showed that the parasites mirrored the small differences in dietary carbon sources of the host but, according to δ15N signatures, the parasite ranged on a higher trophic level than the hosts. This relationship resembles predator–prey relationships and therefore suggests that P. ichthyoxanthon might act as a micropredator, similar to blood-sucking arthropods such as mites and fleas.