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Prior studies have suggested a relationship between atopy and mental health, although methodological barriers have limited the generalizability of these findings. The objective of this study was to investigate the relationship between early-life atopy and vulnerability to mental health problems among youth in the community.
Data were drawn from the Raine Study (N = 2868), a population-based birth cohort study in Western Australia. Logistic regression and generalized estimating equations were used to examine the relationship between atopy at ages 1–5 years [using parent report and objective biological confirmation (sera IgE)], and the range of internalizing and externalizing mental health problems at ages 5–17 years.
Atopy appears to be associated with increased vulnerability to affective and anxiety problems, compared to youth without atopy. These associations remained significant after adjusting for a range of potential confounders. No relationship was evident between atopy and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or externalizing problems.
Findings are the first linking atopy (measured by both parent report and objective verification) with increased vulnerability to affective and anxiety problems. Therefore, replication is required. If replicated, future research aimed at understanding the possible biological and/or social and environmental pathways underlying these links is needed. Such information could shed light on shared pathways that could lead to more effective treatments for both atopy and internalizing mental health problems.
Impetigo is common in remote Indigenous children of northern Australia, with the primary driver in this context being Streptococcus pyogenes [or group A Streptococcus (GAS)]. To reduce the high burden of impetigo, the transmission dynamics of GAS must be more clearly elucidated. We performed whole genome sequencing on 31 GAS isolates collected in a single community from children in 11 households with ⩾2 GAS-infected children. We aimed to determine whether transmission was occurring principally within households or across the community. The 31 isolates were represented by nine multilocus sequence types and isolates within each sequence type differed from one another by only 0–3 single nucleotide polymorphisms. There was evidence of extensive transmission both within households and across the community. Our findings suggest that strategies to reduce the burden of impetigo in this setting will need to extend beyond individual households, and incorporate multi-faceted, community-wide approaches.
Non-typhoidal Salmonella is estimated to be the most common bacterial cause of foodborne illness in the United States, causing an estimated one million domestically acquired foodborne illnesses annually. Recent, large outbreaks have highlighted the importance of ground beef as an important source of multidrug-resistant Salmonella. We analysed the epidemiology of salmonellosis outbreaks that were attributed to beef in the United States reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from 1973 to 2011. During 1973–2011, of the 1965 outbreaks of Salmonella where a food vehicle was implicated, 96 were attributed to beef, accounting for 3684 illnesses. We observed a shift in the type of beef implicated in salmonellosis outbreaks, from roast to ground beef. Delicatessen-style roast beef cooked in commercial processing establishments was the predominant type during the 1970s and early 1980s; regulations on cooking and processing essentially eliminated this problem by 1987. Ground beef emerged as an important vehicle in the 2000s; it was implicated in 17 (45%) of the 38 beef-attributed outbreaks reported during 2002–2011. Although this emergence was likely due in part to increased participation in CDC's PulseNet, which was established in 1996, and proactive decisions by the United States Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service, stronger measures are needed to decrease contamination of ground beef with Salmonella.
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.
Ensembles of indium phosphide nanowires were grown on amorphous quartz substrates and their optical properties were examined at various cryogenic temperatures. Complex dynamics result from the large areal densities, random orientation, combination of both zincblende and wurtzite phases, and the geometries of the nanowires. Those complex dynamics are discussed in relation to their effect on the temperature dependence of photoluminescence and Raman spectroscopy. Five peaks are found to exist in the photoluminescence spectra at low temperatures which are attributed to radiative recombinations associated with quantum confined zinc blende, quantum confined excitons in zinc blende, quantum confined wurtzite, excitons in bulk zinc blende and impurity states. An energy transfer mechanism between two types of radiative recombinations among the five is proposed to explain intensity variations and the temperature dependence of the PL peaks is discussed. The Raman spectra is observed to have peaks created by a combination of zinc blende and wurtzite vibrational modes which is explained by folding the phonon dispersion.
A collaborative exercise, supervised by the World Health Organisation, was set up to compare ELISAs used for the serological detection of Salmonella enteritica serotype Enteritidis in chickens. The aim was to ascertain how far agreement could be reached on the interpretation of optical density readings for high titre, intermediate titre and low titre sera. Two sets of sera were sent to 14 participants. The first set compared high, medium and low titre sera raised in specified-pathogen-free and commercial broiler breeder chickens. The second set comprised 20 sera of different antibody titres raised in commercial birds reared under laboratory conditions and sent blind. Both indirect and double-antibody sandwich blocking ELISAs were used with a number of different detecting antigens. With a few exceptions good agreement was reached on the interpretation of results obtained from high and low titre sera from the optical density obtained with a single serum dilution. Differences were observed in the interpretation of medium titre sera. The results suggested that most ELISAs produce reasonably comparable results and that practical problems may arise from interpretation of the results mainly as a result of the choice of the criteria used for differentiating sera obtained from infected and uninfected chickens. These problems are discussed.
Detectable allelic variation at the Gpi-1 loci on the short arms of the homoeologous group 1 chromsomes in wheat is not common. However, a variant null allele at the Gpi-D1 locus is present in some stocks of Chinese Spring. This has allowed the locus to be mapped between the ω-gliadin locus carried distally on the short arm of chromosome 1D, Gli-D1 (34·5%) and the high-molecular-weight glutenin subunit locus carried near the centromere on the long arm, Glu-D1 (36·2%). The origin of this isoenzyme polymorphism in Chinese Spring stocks is described and its potential significance is discussed in relation to quantitative analysis of aneuploids, alien chromosome addition and substitution lines and intervarietal chromosome substitution lines involving Chinese Spring.
Recent work suggests that heavy use of cannabis is associated with an increased risk of schizophrenia-like psychosis. However, there is a dearth of experimental studies of the effects of the constituents of cannabis, such as Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). In a study of intravenous (i.v.) synthetic THC in healthy humans, we aimed to study the relationship of the psychotic symptoms induced by THC to the consequent anxiety and neuropsychological impairment.
Twenty-two healthy adult males aged 28±6 years (mean±s.d.) participated in experimental sessions in which i.v. THC (2.5 mg) was administered under double-blind, placebo-controlled conditions. Self-rated and investigator-rated measurements of mood and psychosis [the University of Wales Institute of Science and Technology Mood Adjective Checklist (UMACL), the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) and the Community Assessment of Psychic Experiences (CAPE)] were made at baseline and at 30, 80 and 120 min post-injection. Participants also completed a series of neuropsychological tests [the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Task (RAVLT), Digit Span, Verbal Fluency and the Baddeley Reasoning Task] within 45 min of injection.
THC-induced positive psychotic symptoms, and participant- and investigator-rated measurements of these were highly correlated. Participants showed an increase in anxiety ratings but there was no relationship between either self- or investigator-rated positive psychotic symptoms and anxiety. THC also impaired neuropsychological performance but once again there was no relationship between THC-induced positive psychotic symptoms and deficits in working memory/executive function.
These findings confirm that THC can induce a transient, acute psychotic reaction in psychiatrically well individuals. The extent of the psychotic reaction was not related to the degree of anxiety or cognitive impairment.
Biological markers or ‘biomarkers’ of organ damage and dysfunction occupy a central position in the armamentarium of the clinician that is used for the screening, diagnosis and management of disease. Our knowledge of the pathophysiological basis of individual diseases continues to increase inexorably and the discoveries emanating from the Human Genome Project are set to enhance this knowledge immeasurably. Understanding the aetiopathogenesis of changes that take place in individual tissues, organs or compartments of the body can help in the search for markers that reflect these changes. Some of these changes may be directly related to the pathological abnormality while others might be a secondary consequence of the abnormality.
Basic research into the pathophysiology of a disease provides the foundation of knowledge that can lead to the discovery of valuable biomarkers. This foundation can also act as the starting point for the discovery of pharmaceutical interventions. Increasingly, with a more systematic approach to biomarker development and drug discovery, we are seeing the measurement of the biomarker playing a greater role in monitoring the efficacy and/or side effects of the therapeutic intervention. From a clinical standpoint, this can have a major benefit in assessing compliance with therapy, which is acknowledged to be one of the key determinants of efficacy, especially when there is no other ready means to judge the patient's response.
The discovery of a new biomarker is complemented by the development and validation of appropriate analytical technology.
This publication takes a critical, evidence-based look at the efficacy of diagnostic tests which are increasingly being used to evaluate organ damage and dysfunction. The use of biomarkers is growing, with a steady stream of products being brought out by the pharmaceutical industry. Some of these assist in diagnosis, others provide a means of monitoring the state of progression of disease and the effectiveness of therapeutic options. However, in many cases the evidence which supports the use of these methods as opposed to traditional biochemical tests has not yet been demonstrated, and it is intended that this volume will help clarify the strengths and weaknesses of using these biomarkers across a wide range of applications and in the various organs of the body. This approach will provide pathologists, clinical biochemists and medical laboratory scientists with an invaluable overview of the diverse applications of biomarkers in medicine.