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Typhlocoelum cucumerinum is a tracheal parasite of birds widely distributed across the globe. Nevertheless, aspects of the biology of this cyclocoelid are still poorly understood. Herein, we report the finding of T. cucumerinum in definitive and intermediate hosts from an urban waterbody of Brazil. The parasite was initially detected during the necropsy of domestic Muscovy ducks (Cairina moschata) found dead in the locality. Coproparasitological tests in live animals revealed that 12/47 (25.53%) Muscovy ducks and 2/8 (25%) mallards (Anas platyrhynchos platyrhynchos) were infected with T. cucumerinum. Moreover, rediae and metacercariae morphologically similar to T. cucumerinum were found in 3/248 (1.33%) Biomphalaria straminea collected in the same waterbody frequented by the birds. The conspecificity between the adult and the larval stages was confirmed molecularly (100% similarity in Cox-1). Moreover, the phylogenetic position of T. cucumerinum was determined for the first time based on partial fragments of the 28S, Cox-1 and Nad-1 genes. The species grouped with other members of the subfamily Typhlocoelinae with sequences available, but the data obtained do not support the distinctiveness of the genera Typhlocoelum and Tracheophilus. Further studies involving a broader range of species can result in taxonomic rearrangements in Typhlocoelinae.
The shapes of two steadily rotating, equal circulation, two-dimensional hollow vortices are determined and their properties examined. By means of a numerical scheme that accounts for the doubly connected nature of the fluid domain, it is shown that a one-parameter family of solutions exists that is a continuation of a corotating point-vortex pair. With $b=2$ set as the distance between the vortex centroids, we find that each vortex reaches a maximum possible area of $0.796$ corresponding to $a/b=0.260$ where $a$ is a measure of the vortex core radius proposed by Meunier et al. (Phys. Fluids, vol. 14, 2002, pp. 2757–2766). Results are compared to those of a previous study by Saffman & Szeto (Phys. Fluids, vol. 23, 1980, pp. 2339–2342) in which two corotating patches of uniform vorticity are considered in place of the hollow vortices studied here. The general behaviour of the two systems is seen to be similar but some differences are highlighted, especially when the vortices become close to touching due to the accumulation of vorticity in thin extended fingers emanating from each of the vortices. The numerical scheme captures the family of equilibria very close to a critical configuration where these fingers tend to touch at the centre of rotation corresponding to $a/b \approx 0.283$. By a simple adaptation of the numerical scheme to compute $2$-fold rotationally symmetric equilibria for a single rotating hollow vortex we then show that its limiting configuration is one where a thin waist forms leading to two separate parts of its single boundary drawing close together. We give evidence that the limit of this single vortex configuration coincides with the limit of the two-vortex configuration. The limiting configuration itself turns out not to be physically admissible, leading to what we refer to as a topological singularity since no physical quantities blow up, indeed they appear to be continuous as the limiting state is approached from the two topologically distinct directions.
Two randomized, controlled trials of L-methylfolate augmentation of SSRIs for major depressive disorder (MDD) were conducted using a novel study design (sequential parallel comparison design- SPCD).
To evaluate the efficacy of L-methylfolate augmentation using the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale.
In study one (TRD-1), 148 outpatients with SSRI-resistant MDD were enrolled in a 60-day, SPCD study, divided into two 30-day periods (phases 1 and 2). Patients were randomized 2:3:3 to receive L-methylfolate (7.5mg/d in phase 1, 15mg/d in phase 2), placebo in phase 1 followed by L-methylfolate 7.5mg/d in phase 2, or placebo for both phases. Study two (TRD-2) involved 75 patients and was identical in design to TRD-1 except for the dose of L-methylfolate (15mg only).
In the TRD-1 Study, L-methylfolate 7.5 mg/d was not found to be more effective than placebo. In phase 1 of the TRD-2 Study, 37% of patients on L-methylfolate 15mg/d responded and 18% of placebo patients responded, while in phase 2 among placebo non-responders, the response rates were 28% on L-methylfolate 15mg/d and 9.5% on placebo. When phases 1 and 2 were pooled according to the SPCD model, the difference in response rates was statistically significant in favor of L-methylfolate (p = 0.0399). The rates of spontaneously reported AEs and rates of study discontinuation appear r comparable between L-methylfolate and placebo in both studies. Rates of study discontinuation were also comparable
These studies suggest that L-methylfolate 15 mg/d may be a safe and effective augmentation strategy for inadequate response to SSRIs.
The COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins) project is a large international collaborative effort to analyze individual-level phenotype data from twins in multiple cohorts from different environments. The main objective is to study factors that modify genetic and environmental variation of height, body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) and size at birth, and additionally to address other research questions such as long-term consequences of birth size. The project started in 2013 and is open to all twin projects in the world having height and weight measures on twins with information on zygosity. Thus far, 54 twin projects from 24 countries have provided individual-level data. The CODATwins database includes 489,981 twin individuals (228,635 complete twin pairs). Since many twin cohorts have collected longitudinal data, there is a total of 1,049,785 height and weight observations. For many cohorts, we also have information on birth weight and length, own smoking behavior and own or parental education. We found that the heritability estimates of height and BMI systematically changed from infancy to old age. Remarkably, only minor differences in the heritability estimates were found across cultural–geographic regions, measurement time and birth cohort for height and BMI. In addition to genetic epidemiological studies, we looked at associations of height and BMI with education, birth weight and smoking status. Within-family analyses examined differences within same-sex and opposite-sex dizygotic twins in birth size and later development. The CODATwins project demonstrates the feasibility and value of international collaboration to address gene-by-exposure interactions that require large sample sizes and address the effects of different exposures across time, geographical regions and socioeconomic status.
The majority of paediatric Clostridioides difficile infections (CDI) are community-associated (CA), but few data exist regarding associated risk factors. We conducted a case–control study to evaluate CA-CDI risk factors in young children. Participants were enrolled from eight US sites during October 2014–February 2016. Case-patients were defined as children aged 1–5 years with a positive C. difficile specimen collected as an outpatient or ⩽3 days of hospital admission, who had no healthcare facility admission in the prior 12 weeks and no history of CDI. Each case-patient was matched to one control. Caregivers were interviewed regarding relevant exposures. Multivariable conditional logistic regression was performed. Of 68 pairs, 44.1% were female. More case-patients than controls had a comorbidity (33.3% vs. 12.1%; P = 0.01); recent higher-risk outpatient exposures (34.9% vs. 17.7%; P = 0.03); recent antibiotic use (54.4% vs. 19.4%; P < 0.0001); or recent exposure to a household member with diarrhoea (41.3% vs. 21.5%; P = 0.04). In multivariable analysis, antibiotic exposure in the preceding 12 weeks was significantly associated with CA-CDI (adjusted matched odds ratio, 6.25; 95% CI 2.18–17.96). Improved antibiotic prescribing might reduce CA-CDI in this population. Further evaluation of the potential role of outpatient healthcare and household exposures in C. difficile transmission is needed.
Laser-based compact MeV X-ray sources are useful for a variety of applications such as radiography and active interrogation of nuclear materials. MeV X rays are typically generated by impinging the intense laser onto ~mm-thick high-Z foil. Here, we have characterized such a MeV X-ray source from 120 TW (80 J, 650 fs) laser interaction with a 1 mm-thick tantalum foil. Our measurements show X-ray temperature of 2.5 MeV, flux of 3 × 1012 photons/sr/shot, beam divergence of ~0.1 sr, conversion efficiency of ~1%, that is, ~1 J of MeV X rays out of 80 J incident laser, and source size of 80 m. Our measurement also shows that MeV X-ray yield and temperature is largely insensitive to nanosecond laser contrasts up to 10−5. Also, preliminary measurements of similar MeV X-ray source using a double-foil scheme, where the laser-driven hot electrons from a thin foil undergoing relativistic transparency impinging onto a second high-Z converter foil separated by 50–400 m, show MeV X-ray yield more than an order of magnitude lower compared with the single-foil results.
To identify potential participants for clinical trials, electronic health records (EHRs) are searched at potential sites. As an alternative, we investigated using medical devices used for real-time diagnostic decisions for trial enrollment.
To project cohorts for a trial in acute coronary syndromes (ACS), we used electrocardiograph-based algorithms that identify ACS or ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) that prompt clinicians to offer patients trial enrollment. We searched six hospitals’ electrocardiograph systems for electrocardiograms (ECGs) meeting the planned trial’s enrollment criterion: ECGs with STEMI or > 75% probability of ACS by the acute cardiac ischemia time-insensitive predictive instrument (ACI-TIPI). We revised the ACI-TIPI regression to require only data directly from the electrocardiograph, the e-ACI-TIPI using the same data used for the original ACI-TIPI (development set n = 3,453; test set n = 2,315). We also tested both on data from emergency department electrocardiographs from across the US (n = 8,556). We then used ACI-TIPI and e-ACI-TIPI to identify potential cohorts for the ACS trial and compared performance to cohorts from EHR data at the hospitals.
Receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) curve areas on the test set were excellent, 0.89 for ACI-TIPI and 0.84 for the e-ACI-TIPI, as was calibration. On the national electrocardiographic database, ROC areas were 0.78 and 0.69, respectively, and with very good calibration. When tested for detection of patients with > 75% ACS probability, both electrocardiograph-based methods identified eligible patients well, and better than did EHRs.
Using data from medical devices such as electrocardiographs may provide accurate projections of available cohorts for clinical trials.
Simulation models are used widely in pharmacology, epidemiology and health economics (HEs). However, there have been no attempts to incorporate models from these disciplines into a single integrated model. Accordingly, we explored this linkage to evaluate the epidemiological and economic impact of oseltamivir dose optimisation in supporting pandemic influenza planning in the USA. An HE decision analytic model was linked to a pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamics (PK/PD) – dynamic transmission model simulating the impact of pandemic influenza with low virulence and low transmissibility and, high virulence and high transmissibility. The cost-utility analysis was from the payer and societal perspectives, comparing oseltamivir 75 and 150 mg twice daily (BID) to no treatment over a 1-year time horizon. Model parameters were derived from published studies. Outcomes were measured as cost per quality-adjusted life year (QALY) gained. Sensitivity analyses were performed to examine the integrated model's robustness. Under both pandemic scenarios, compared to no treatment, the use of oseltamivir 75 or 150 mg BID led to a significant reduction of influenza episodes and influenza-related deaths, translating to substantial savings of QALYs. Overall drug costs were offset by the reduction of both direct and indirect costs, making these two interventions cost-saving from both perspectives. The results were sensitive to the proportion of inpatient presentation at the emergency visit and patients’ quality of life. Integrating PK/PD–EPI/HE models is achievable. Whilst further refinement of this novel linkage model to more closely mimic the reality is needed, the current study has generated useful insights to support influenza pandemic planning.
This paper concerns feedback stabilization of point-vortex equilibria above an inclined thin plate and a three-plate configuration known as the Kasper wing in the presence of an oncoming uniform flow. The flow is assumed to be potential and is modelled by the two-dimensional incompressible Euler equations. Actuation has the form of blowing and suction localized on the main plate and is represented in terms of a sink–source singularity, whereas measurement of pressure across the plate serves as system output. We focus on point-vortex equilibria forming a one-parameter family with locus approaching the trailing edge of the main plate and show that these equilibria are either unstable or neutrally stable. Using methods of linear control theory we find that the system dynamics linearized around these equilibria is both controllable and observable for almost all actuator and sensor locations. The design of the feedback control is based on the linear–quadratic–Gaussian (LQG) compensator. Computational results demonstrate the effectiveness of this control and the key finding of this study is that Kasper wing configurations are in general not only more controllable than their single-plate counterparts, but also exhibit larger basins of attraction under LQG feedback control. The feedback control is then applied to systems with additional perturbations added to the flow in the form of random fluctuations of the angle of attack and a vorticity shedding mechanism. Another important observation is that, in the presence of these additional perturbations, the control remains robust, provided the system does not deviate too far from its original state. Furthermore, except in a few isolated cases, introducing a vorticity-shedding mechanism enhanced the effectiveness of the control. Physical interpretation is provided for the results of the controllability and observability analysis as well as the response of the feedback control to different perturbations.
Cannabis use shows a robust dose-dependent relationship with psychosis risk among the general population. Despite this, it has been difficult to link cannabis use with risk for transitioning to a psychotic disorder among individuals at ultra-high risk (UHR) for psychosis. The present study examined UHR transition risk as a function of cannabis use characteristics which vary substantially between individuals including age of first use, cannabis abuse severity and a history of cannabis-induced attenuated psychotic symptoms (APS).
Participants were 190 UHR individuals (76 males) recruited at entry to treatment between 2000 and 2006. They completed a comprehensive baseline assessment including a survey of cannabis use characteristics during the period of heaviest use. Outcome was transition to a psychotic disorder, with mean time to follow-up of 5.0 years (range 2.4–8.7 years).
A history of cannabis abuse was reported in 58% of the sample. Of these, 26% reported a history of cannabis-induced APS. These individuals were 4.90 (95% confidence interval 1.93–12.44) times more likely to transition to a psychotic disorder (p = 0.001). Greater severity of cannabis abuse also predicted transition to psychosis (p = 0.036). However, this effect was mediated by higher abuse severity among individuals with a history of cannabis-induced APS.
Findings suggest that cannabis use poses risk in a subpopulation of UHR individuals who manifest cannabis-induced APS. Whether this reflects underlying genetic vulnerability requires further study. Nevertheless, findings reveal an important early marker of risk with potentially significant prognostic utility for UHR individuals.
We aim to discover the accuracy of photometric mass ratios (qph) determined for eclipsing binary stars, in the case of the system having at least one ‘flat bottom’ as a minimum profile, as well as the accuracy of data used in that sense. Within this context, we present the results of two-dimensional grid search (q – i) for some W UMa-type eclipsing binaries showing total eclipses, based on the high precision photometric data provided by the KEPLER Mission. The radial velocity data obtained for KIC10618253 in this study, enables us to compare both qph and the corresponding spectroscopic mass ratio (qsp) values. The results indicate that the high precision photometric data for overcontact eclipsing binaries showing total eclipses allow us to obtain the photometric mass ratios as accurate as the spectroscopic values.
Not only is depression associated with increased inflammation but inflammation is a risk factor for the genesis of depression. Many of the environmental risk factors for depression are transduced through inflammatory signaling. Anti-inflammatory agents show promise for the management of depression in preclinical, epidemiological, and early clinical studies. This opens the door to the potential for anti-inflammatory agents to treat and prevent depression. There are no evidence-based pharmacotherapies for depression prevention.
ASPREE-D, aspirin in the prevention of depression in the elderly, is a sub study of ASPREE, which explores the potential of aspirin to prevent a range of inflammation related disorders in the elderly. With a sample size of 19,114, and a duration of 5 years, this placebo controlled study will be one of the largest randomized controlled trials in psychiatry and will provide definitive evidence on the ability of aspirin to prevent depression.
This paper presents the rationale for the study and presents a summary of the study design.
ASPREE-D may not only define novel therapy but will provide mechanistic proof of concept of the role of inflammation in depression.
The Parkes 64 m telescope has been used to survey a complete sample of nearby red giants (i.e. not members of close binaries or showing strong emission lines of CaII). The sample consisted of all 82 stars in the Bright Star Catalogue within 30 pc having spectral types G, K, M and luminosity classes I, II, III south of the celestial equator.
We describe bright microwave events that were first detected with the Parkes 64-m telescope at 8.4 or 22 GHz from six active-chromosphere stars. In some flares spectral data were obtained over a large frequency range from simultaneous measurements with the Parkes reflector (8.4 or 22 GHz), the Tidbinbilla interferometer (8.4 and 2.29 GHz), the Fleurs synthesis telescope (1.42 GHz) and the Molonglo Observatory synthesis telescope (0.843 GHz). Data on circular polarization were obtained from the Parkes observations at 8.4 GHz.
The stars were in a wide variety of evolutionary states, ranging from a single pre-main-sequence star (HD 36705), two RS CVn binaries (HD 127535, HD 128171), an Algol (HD 132742) and two apparently single K giants (HD 32918 and HD 196818). Their high brightness temperatures, positive spectral indices and low polarization are consistent with optically thick gyrosynchrotron emission from mildly relativistic electrons with average energies 0.5 to 3 MeV gyrating in inhomogeneous magnetic fields of 5 to 100 G.
We present an overview of the survey for radio emission from active stars that has been in progress for the last six years using the observatories at Fleurs, Molonglo, Parkes and Tidbinbilla. The role of complementary optical observations at the Anglo-Australian Observatory, Mount Burnett, Mount Stromlo and Siding Spring Observatories and Mount Tamborine are also outlined. We describe the different types of star that have been included in our survey and discuss some of the problems in making the radio observations.
Properties of the microwave emission from HR1099 are examined in an attempt to determine whether the emission arises as gyro-synchrotron radiation from mildly relativistic electrons trapped in magnetic fields above starspots on the active K subgiant component. It is shown that radio curves do not exhibit a systematic variation in phase with the rotation rate, as one might expect for emission from a source situated above a long-lived starspot. However, there is some evidence that the radio flaring occurs at two preferred longitude zones. Whether these zones agree with starspot locations remains to be determined by light curve modelling. What we can say with confidence is that the measured spectral index of the microwave emission does not fit a simple gyro-synchrotron source model, such as that proposed to explain the observed reversal with frequency of the sense of circular polarization.
The single G8V active chromosphere star HD36705 (AB Dor) was observed at 8.4 GHz with the Parkes 64 m telescope during three observing sessions involving a total of 21 days in the interval 1985 December to 1986 February. Subsequent photometric observations were made of the star with the 0.25 m and 0.45 m telescopes of the Monash Observatory in 1986 March-April. Two strong radio flares, each lasting three days, were detected; they yielded peak radio powers of P8.4≈4×109 W Hz-1, comparable with the microwave power emitted by the RS CVn binaries. Significant circular polarization of 13% left-hand was measured on only one of the six active days. The 8.4 GHz flux density showed smooth variation over an interval of several hours, consistent with the flare source being partly occulted by the stellar disk as the star rotated. When all the radio data was phase-binned using the known rotation period of 0.514 day we found two radio maxima corresponding to radio sources at stellar longitudes ~180° apart. The subsequent photometric data showed intensity variations that were consistent with the starspots at the same approximate longitudes. We thus interpret our radio curve as showing the presence of comparatively small (<0.5 D*) radio sources in the corona above the star spots. The upper limit to source diameter gives a peak brightness temperature ≥2×l010 K, which can be achieved by gyro-synchrotron emission only if the source is optically thick and the electrons, with average energy ~ 2 MeV, have a hard energy spectrum. The observed radiation can be due only to very high harmonics of the gyro-frequency, leading to an estimate for the magnetic field strength of ~30G.
Orchid seeds are among the smallest seeds in nature and they are naturally rich in fatty acids. However, the fatty acid composition of orchid seeds has not been investigated because the sample masses utilized for widely used methods for fatty acid profiling would generally require prohibitively large numbers (i.e. 10,000s) of seeds. The present work aimed to develop a method for fatty acid analysis using gas chromatography–mass spectrometry on small quantities (mg) of seeds. The method was developed using the seeds of two species, Dactylorhiza fuchsii, a temperate terrestrial, and Grammatophyllum speciosum, a tropical epiphyte. A range of sample masses was tested to determine the minimum mass required to achieve reliable fatty acid composition data. A direct transesterification method was used, which did not require extraction of fatty acids from seeds prior to analysis, and the effects of seed processing (crushed versus intact seeds) and incubation time in toluene on fatty acid yield were tested. Stable fatty acid profiles were obtained using as little as 10 mg of seeds. Neither crushing the seeds nor extending the toluene incubation step had much effect on the fatty acid yield. The simple direct transesterification method presented will enable the fatty acid composition of orchid seeds, and possibly other small seeds, to be determined reliably for studies into seed development, storage and germination.
Individuals identified as at ultra-high risk (UHR) for psychosis are at risk of poor functional outcome regardless of development of psychotic disorder. Studies examining longitudinal predictors of poor functioning have tended to be small and report only medium-term follow-up data. We sought to examine clinical predictors of functional outcome in a long-term longitudinal study.
Participants were 268 (152 females, 116 males) individuals identified as UHR 2–14 years previously. A range of clinical and sociodemographic variables were assessed at baseline. Functioning at follow-up was assessed using the Social and Occupational Functioning Assessment Scale (SOFAS).
Baseline negative symptoms, impaired emotional functioning, disorders of thought content, low functioning, past substance use disorder and history of childhood maltreatment predicted poor functioning at follow-up in univariate analyses. Only childhood maltreatment remained significant in the multivariate analysis (p < 0.001). Transition to psychosis was also significantly associated with poor functioning at long-term follow-up [mean SOFAS score 59.12 (s.d. = 18.54) in the transitioned group compared to 70.89 (s.d. = 14.00) in the non-transitioned group, p < 0.001]. Childhood maltreatment was a significant predictor of poor functioning in both the transitioned and non-transitioned groups.
Childhood maltreatment and transition to psychotic disorder independently predicted poor long-term functioning. This suggests that it is important to assess history of childhood maltreatment in clinical management of UHR individuals. The finding that transition to psychosis predicts poor long-term functioning strengthens the evidence that the UHR criteria detect a subgroup at risk for schizophrenia.