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The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has resulted in shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) underscoring the urgent need for simple, efficient, and inexpensive methods to decontaminate SARS-CoV-2-exposed masks and respirators. We hypothesized that methylene blue (MB) photochemical treatment, which has various clinical applications, could decontaminate PPE contaminated with coronavirus.
The two arms of the study included: 1) PPE inoculation with coronaviruses followed by MB with light (MBL) decontamination treatment, and 2) PPE treatment with MBL for 5 cycles of decontamination (5CD) to determine maintenance of PPE performance.
MBL treatment was used to inactivate coronaviruses on three N95 filtering facepiece respirator (FFR) and two medical mask (MM) models. We inoculated FFR and MM materials with three coronaviruses, including SARS-CoV-2, and treated with 10 µM MB and exposed to 50,000 lux of white light or 12,500 lux of red light for 30 minutes. In parallel, integrity was assessed after 5CD using multiple US and international test methods and compared to the FDA-authorized vaporized hydrogen peroxide plus ozone (VHP+O3) decontamination method.
Overall, MBL robustly and consistently inactivated all three coronaviruses with 99.8 - to >99.9% virus inactivation across all FFRs and MMs tested. FFR and MM integrity was maintained after 5 cycles of MBL treatment, whereas one FFR model failed after 5 cycles of VHP+O3.
MBL treatment decontaminated respirators and masks by inactivating three tested coronaviruses without compromising integrity through 5CD. MBL decontamination is effective, low-cost and does not require specialized equipment, making it applicable in all-resource settings.
The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of milk composition changes on the in vitro growth of bovine mastitis pathogens. Nutritional requirements of three major bovine mastitis pathogens Escherichia coli (E. coli), Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus), and Streptococcus uberis (S. uberis) were investigated in vitro. We used ultra-high temperature (UHT) treated milk with different contents of fat, protein, and carbohydrates to test the influence of the availability of various milk constituents on pathogen growth characteristics. Additionally, the bacterial growth was investigated under experimentally modified nutrient availability by dilution and subsequent supplementation with individual nutrients (carbohydrates, different nitrogen sources, minerals, and different types of B vitamins) either to milk or to a conventional medium (thioglycolate broth, TB). Varying contents of fat, protein or lactose did not affect bacterial growth with the exception of growth of S. uberis being promoted in protein-enriched milk. The addition of nutrients to diluted whole milk and TB partly revealed different effects, indicating that there are media-specific growth limiting factors after dilution. Supplementation of minerals to diluted milk did not affect growth rates of all studied bacteria. Bacterial growth in diluted whole milk was decreased by the addition of high concentrations of amino acids in S. aureus, and by urea and additional B vitamins in E. coli and S. aureus. The growth rate of S. uberis was increased by the addition of B vitamins to diluted whole milk. The present results demonstrate that growth-limiting nutrients differ among pathogen types. Because reduced bacterial growth was only shown in diluted milk or TB, it is unlikely that alterations in nutrient availability occurring as a consequence of physiological changes of milk composition in the cow's udder would directly affect the susceptibility or course of bovine mastitis.
The purpose of this study was to examine whether self-efficacy predicted pediatric concussion symptom severity and explore whether affective mood states (e.g., depression) influenced this relationship.
Children (8–17 years) who were diagnosed with a concussion within 30 days of injury participated in the study (n = 105). Following a clinical assessment, participants and caregivers completed questionnaires that assessed overall concussion symptom severity and current depression symptoms. Participants also completed ratings capturing self-efficacy for managing concussion recovery.
Linear regression models revealed that greater levels of self-efficacy predicted lower parent- (R2 = 0.10, p = .001) and youth-rated (R2 = 0.23, p < .001) concussion symptom severity. Interestingly, depression symptoms moderated the relationship between self-efficacy and concussion symptom severity.
Findings provide initial support for a relationship between self-efficacy and concussion outcomes and highlight the influence of depressive symptoms. Interventions that optimize youth’s self-efficacy have the potential to increase treatment adherence, reduce concussion symptom severity, and improve recovery prognosis.
The carpenter ant Camponotus rufipes has intracellular bacteria in bacteriocytes scattered in the midgut epithelium, which have different amounts of endosymbionts, according to the developmental stages. However, there are no detailed data about the midgut cells in adult workers. The present work aimed to evaluate the morphology and cellular events that coordinate the abundance of endosymbionts in the midgut cells in C. rufipes workers. The midgut epithelium has digestive cells, bacteriocytes, and cells with intermediate morphology. The latter is similar to bacteriocytes, due to the abundance of endosymbionts, and similar to digestive cells, due to their microvilli. The digestive and intermediate cells are rich in autophagosomes and autolysosomes, both with bacteria debris in the lumen. These findings suggest that midgut cells of C. rufipes control the endosymbiont level by the autophagy pathway.
The aim of this study was to determine the level of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) risk perceptions in Indonesia and characterize predictors of perceptions.
An online cross-sectional study was conducted. A questionnaire assessed perceived risk and collected independent variables, including sociodemographic data. A multivariable linear regression model was used to characterize the relationship between independent variables and perceived risk.
We included 1379 respondents in the final analysis with the mean and median of perceived risk score was 19.21% and 10.0%, respectively. Respondents aged between 21 and 30 years had the highest perceived risk, and those who were unmarried had 4.3% higher perceived risk compared with those who were married. Compared with the lowest monthly income group, those making Indonesian Rupiah (IDR) 6-10 million and more than IDR 10 million a month believed they had 4.2% and 8.8% higher risk, respectively. Citizens who lived in cities and health-care workers also had a higher perceived risk compared with those in the rural areas and non–health-care workers, respectively.
Perceived risk of COVID-19 in Indonesia is relatively low, and this could hamper the adoption of preventive measures of COVID-19. Efforts to increase the awareness and perceived risk are important to prevent the pandemic from escalating.
Diet has a major influence on the composition and metabolic output of the gut microbiome. Higher-protein diets are often recommended for older consumers; however, the effect of high-protein diets on the gut microbiota and faecal volatile organic compounds (VOC) of elderly participants is unknown. The purpose of the study was to establish if the faecal microbiota composition and VOC in older men are different after a diet containing the recommended dietary intake (RDA) of protein compared with a diet containing twice the RDA (2RDA). Healthy males (74⋅2 (sd 3⋅6) years; n 28) were randomised to consume the RDA of protein (0⋅8 g protein/kg body weight per d) or 2RDA, for 10 weeks. Dietary protein was provided via whole foods rather than supplementation or fortification. The diets were matched for dietary fibre from fruit and vegetables. Faecal samples were collected pre- and post-intervention for microbiota profiling by 16S ribosomal RNA amplicon sequencing and VOC analysis by head space/solid-phase microextraction/GC-MS. After correcting for multiple comparisons, no significant differences in the abundance of faecal microbiota or VOC associated with protein fermentation were evident between the RDA and 2RDA diets. Therefore, in the present study, a twofold difference in dietary protein intake did not alter gut microbiota or VOC indicative of altered protein fermentation.
Although a series of DNA-sequence variants in proposed disposition genes for schizophrenia have been identified, the mechanisms to translate the genetic vulnerability for schizophrenia to the manifestation of the disease remain obscure. The analysis of the relationship of disease-associated alleles and combinations of alleles (haplotypes) to the clinical features and associated neurobiological correlates offer a tool to increase our understanding of the aetiology of schizophrenia.
We will explore this relationship in a series of case-control samples by (1) extracting schizophrenia-associated alleles and haplotypes of postulated susceptibility and modifying genes, (2) testing these identified genetic markers for association with neuropsychological and neuroimaging features of schizophrenia.
Neuropsychological deficits are considered endophenotypes for schizophrenia, because they are not only found in patients but also in many of their unaffected relatives, albeit in attenuated form. It is not yet clear which of these deficits in relatives are related to genetic or to environmental causes. We tested effects of inferred genetic liability for schizophrenia on neurocognitive variables to address this problem.
Twenty-eight patients with schizophrenia, 129 non-affected biological parents and 143 matched controls were assessed with an extensive neuropsychological test battery including tests of attention, memory, executive functioning and motor soft signs. Twenty-two parents had an ancestral history of schizophrenia and therefore were hypothesized to be more likely than their spouses without such a history (n = 17) to carry a genetic risk for schizophrenia.
Unaffected parents of schizophrenic patients showed significant deficits in a wide array of neuropsychological tasks and task domains. However, comparison of more likely and less likely carriers of illness-related genes showed specifically attentional and executive functioning, but not memory, to vary with degree of inferred genetic loading.
Attentional and executive (frontal) impairments vary with genetic loading for schizophrenia and can be considered true endophenotypes for this disorder. Consequently, these functions are particularly suited to evaluate the functional impact of candidate genes for schizophrenia in future studies.
Disturbances of the oculomotor system are promising endophenotypes for schizophrenia. In two separate studies, we examined antisaccade task performance, a measure of inhibitory control, in first degree relatives of schizophrenic patients (genetic risk without manifest disorder) and in clinical high risk subjects with symptoms suggestive of a prodromal phase of schizophrenia.
In the first study, 41 parents of schizophrenia patients and 22 controls were tested with with a prosaccade task and an antisaccade task. Parents were grouped into more likely, less likely, and indeterminate risk carriers. The second study involved 160 subjects clinically at risk for schizophrenia, 32 first episode schizophrenic patients, and 76 healthy controls.
In study 1 we found an increase of antisaccade latencies and error rates in parents of schizophrenics which varied with inferred genetic load, more likely gene carriers performing worst. In study 2, antisaccade performance varied with symptom load: subjects at risk with basic symptoms only were unimpaired, while at-risk subjects who had experienced brief psychotic episodes (BLIPS) showed deficits similar to first episode patients.
Reduced inhibitory control of oculomotor performance is associated with genetic loading for schizophrenia, and also with symptoms placing subjects at imminent risk of psychosis.
Depression rating scales play a decisive role in the assessment of the severity of depression and the evaluation of the efficacy of antidepressant treatments. The Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAMD) is regarded as the ‘gold standard’; nevertheless, studies suggest that the Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology (IDS) is more sensitive to detect symptom changes. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether the IDS is more sensitive in detecting changes in depression symptoms in patients with mild major, minor or subsyndromal depression (MIND).
Biweekly IDS-C28 and HAMD17 data from 340 patients of a 10-week randomized, placebo-controlled trial comparing the effectiveness of sertraline and cognitive-behavioural therapy in patients with MIND were analysed. We investigated sensitivity to change for both scales
1) from assessment-to-assessment,
2) in relation to depression severity level, and
3) in relation to DSM-IV depression criterion symptoms.
The IDS-C28 was more sensitive in detecting changes in depression symptomatology over the treatment course as well as for different severity levels, especially in patients with a low depression severity. It assesses the DSM-IV criteria more thoroughly, is better able to track the change of cognitive symptoms and to identify residual symptoms.
Both scales are well able to assess depressive symptomatology. However, the IDS-C28 surpasses the HAMD17 in detecting small changes especially in the core symptoms of depression. This is important for an optimal treatment by capturing early improvements, enabling prompt reactions and detecting residual symptoms.
Implicit memories like consumption habits and conditioned reactions to drug-related stimuli are operational in addiction and relapse. The affective startle paradigm is an attractive tool for the measurement of the incentive salience of drug-related cues. We tested whether the stronger appetitive valence of drug cues, shown in two recent startle studies in smokers, does persist after prolonged abstinence, and may thus contribute to relapse.
We examined the auditory startle reflex magnitude of mildly deprived (4-6 hours) heavy smokers (n = 24), former smokers (n = 16, mean abstinence interval 18 months), and non-smokers (n = 24) while they viewed smoking-related scenes or standardized unpleasant, neutral and pleasant control scenes from the International Affective Picture System.
As expected, non-smokers showed no appetitive reactions toward smoking-cues. In smokers, smoking-cues had both appetitive implicit (startle suppression) and explicit (ratings for valence and craving) motivational effects, resembling those of pleasant scenes and differing from neutral and unpleasant scenes. This effect was more pronounced in smokers who later relapsed after a smoking cessation program, and in smokers consuming less than 20 cigarettes per day. Former smokers, despite reporting no craving and negative reactions to smoking cues, still showed evidence of implicit appetitive valence of these cues.
Nicotine addiction results in automatic appetitive reactions to drug-cues, which does not vanish after prolonged abstinence and which may thus contribute to relapses. Heavy smoking may result in a progressive internalization of smoking habits and a decline in reactivity towards external smoking-associated cues.
To assess the differences in comorbid lifetime substance use (tobacco, alcohol and drug use) between eating disorder (ED) patients and healthy controls.
Participants were a consecutive series of 779 ED cases, who had been referred to specialised ED units in five European countries. The ED cases were compared to a balanced control group of 785 healthy individuals. Assessment: Participants completed the Substance Use Subscale of the Cross Cultural Questionnaire (CCQ), a measure of lifetime tobacco, alcohol and drug use. In the control group, also the GHQ-28, the SCID-I interview and the EAT-26 were used.
ED patients had higher lifetime consumption of tobacco and drugs (p <0.01). The only insignificant result was obtained for alcohol (OR= 1.29; δ =0.157; N.S.) and cannabis use (OR= 1.21; δ = 0.037, N.S.). Significant differences across ED sub diagnoses also emerged for all of the assessed variables (p<0.01), with the BN and AN-BP patients generally presenting the highest prevalence rates. The only exception was detected for alcohol consumption where EDNOS patients demonstrated the highest values (p=0.008). Only a few cultural differences between countries emerged (p<0.05).
Lifetime tobacco and drug use but not alcohol consumption are more prevalent in ED patients than healthy controls. While alcohol appears to be more common in EDNOS, smoking and drug use are more frequent in patients with bulimic symptomatology. The differential risk observed in patients with bulimic features might be related to differences in temperament or might be the result of increased sensitivity to reward.
Surface based MRI methods are a promising approach for the identification of cerebral shape alterations in schizophrenia . In particular, investigating gyrification might offer important evidence for disturbed neurodevelopmental mechanisms in schizophrenia.
The present study is the first to compare on a vertex - wise basis mean curvature as a sensitive parameter for the identification of local gyrification changes in first episode schizophrenia.
54 patients with first-episode schizophrenia and 54 healthy control subjects underwent high-resolution T1-weighted MRI scans. Surface extraction and mean curvature calculation was performed using the Freesurfer Software package. Statistical cortical maps were created to estimate gyrification differences between groups.
A significantly increased gyrification was detected in patients relative to controls in a large right parahippocampal-lingual cortex area. A further analysis of cortical thickness of this cluster revealed concurrent significant reduced cortical thickness in patients.
This is the first study to reveal an aberrant gyrification of the medial surface in first episode schizophrenia on basis of a vertex - wise analysis of local gyrification changes of the entire cortex. Both affected areas, the parahippocampal and the lingual cortex, are of high pathophysiological relevance for schizophrenia. Thus, our data provided new in vivo evidence for an early maturational deficit of these cortical areas in schizophrenia .
Psychosis is preceded by cognitive and physiological alterations. This may be useful in the risk assessment in subjects with putatively prodromal symptoms, and could contribute to better understand the temporal unfolding of the disease.
The early recognition and intervention program of the German Research Network on schizophrenia defines early and late prodromal stages according to psychopathological criteria. For concurrent and prospective validation of these risk stages, subjects undergo neurocognitive, electrophysiological and oculomotor assessments of putative vulnerability markers. About 125 early prodromal subjects (defined by the presence of basic symptoms, Klosterkoetter et al. 2001), and 90 late prodromal subjects (defined by attenuated positive symptoms or by brief occurrences of psychotic symptoms) have been assessed at inclusion.
As compared to psychiatrically healthy matched controls, late prodromals have significantly inferior verbal memory, verbal fluency, visual motor skills, and working memory. Impairments are qualitatively similar, but less pronounced in subjects in an early prodromal stage, with deficits of immediate verbal memory, verbal fluency and visuomotor performance being significant. Both groups show reduced auditory startle prepulse inhibition. Impairments are not correlated with depression and general distress scores, and are also largely independent of prodromal and attenuated positive symptoms. In early prodromals, global cognitive performance is related to the occurrence of psychotic symptoms during follow-up. Auditory P 300 is reduced in both prodromal groups, and predicts transitions to psychosis.
Neurocognitive and neurophysiological assessments validate and improve psychopathological risk assessment, and allow to disentangle stable vulnerability markers from indicators of imminent risk.
Funded by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research BMBF (grant 01 GI 9934).
To analyse GxE interactions assess non-shared environmental (E) risk factors for the development of AN specific for sisters discordant for an ED, polymorphisms in the serotonin transporter (G),.
We interviewed 128 sister pairs discordant for an eating disorder using the Oxford-RFI as part of the European "Healthy Eating" multicenter study at 3 university centres (Vienna, London, Barcelona) (AN-R: 58; AN-BP: 70; 128 sisters without ED). To examine association between AN, G and E, and G x E-interaction, conditional logistic regression was used with a Cox proportional hazards regression model using the exact method.
Genotype (GT) distributions did not differ between the sister groups. Significant main effects were found for disruptive events, interpersonal problems and family dieting behaviour. The risk for AN increased with higher levels in these variables independently of the genotype. Significant interactions were found for G x parental problems and G x burden by parental psychiatric disorder. The increase of risk for AN with increasing number of problems with parents is larger for the S/S genotype than for L/L. However, a higher burden by parental psychiatric illness (subjective E according to Turkheimer 2000) increased the risk for AN-this was larger for the L/L than for the S/S GT.
This study suggests that there is an interaction between stress (problems with parents) and the ss GT which increases the risk of developing AN.
Schizophrenia patients exhibit impairments in prepulse inhibition (PPI) of the acoustic startle response (ASR). PPI is commonly used as an index of sensorimotor gating. Results of animal studies and some human data suggest that PPI deficits are in part genetically determined, such that PPI could be an endophenotypic indicator of risk for schizophrenia, Thus, PPI deficits should already be present prior to onset of psychosis. To test this assumption, we investigated PPI in individuals with prodromal symptoms of schizophrenia and patients with first-episode schizophrenia.
Startle reactivity, habituation, and PPI of ASR were assessed in 54 subjects with prodromal symptoms of schizophrenia (35 at an early prodromal stage, 19 at a late prodromal stage), 31 first episode schizophrenic patients (14 unmedicated, 17 medicated), and 28 healthy controls. Patients were also examined with the Positive and Negative Symptom Scale and the Global Assessment of Functioning Scale.
Prodromal subjects and unmedicated patients with first episode schizophrenia showed significant PPI deficits, whereas schizophrenic patients treated with risperidone had almost normal PPI. In contrast, startle reactivity decreased with severity of symptoms but was relatively unimpaired in the medicated patients. With respect to habituation, prodromal subjects and schizophrenic patients did not differ from healthy controls.
PPI disruption is present in subjects in a prodromal state likely to proceed to schizophrenia, supporting the hypothesis that PPI disruption is an endophenotype of schizophrenia. In contrast, startle reactivity and habituation deficits were not evident in the prodromal subjects, but only in unmedicated patients with diagnosis of schizophrenia.