Background In low- and middle-income countries little is known about changes in women's mental health status from the perinatal period to 15 months postpartum or the factors associated with different trajectories. Aims To determine the incidence and rates of recovery from common mental disorders (CMD) among rural Vietnamese women and the risk and protective factors associated with these outcomes from the perinatal period to 15 months after giving birth. Method In a population-based prospective study, a systematically recruited cohort of women completed baseline assessments in either the last trimester of pregnancy or 4-6 weeks after giving birth and were followed up 15 months later. The common mental disorders of major depression, generalised anxiety and panic disorder were assessed by psychiatrist-administered Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Disorders at both baseline and follow-up. Results A total of 211 women provided complete data in this study. The incidence rate of CMD in the first postpartum year was 13% (95% CI 8-19), and 70% (95% CI 59-80) of women who had perinatal CMD recovered within the first postpartum year. Incidence was associated with having experienced childhood maltreatment, experiencing the intimate partner as providing little care, sensitivity, kindness or affection, and the chronic stress of household poverty. Recovery was associated with higher quality of a woman's relationships with her intimate partner and her own mother, longer period of mandated rest following birth, and sharing of domestic tasks and infant care. Conclusions Modifiable social factors, in particular the quality of a woman's closest relationships with her partner and her own mother, and participation by family members in domestic work and infant care, are closely related to women's mental health in the first year after giving birth in resource-constrained settings.
Purpose: This work proposes shear wave elastography to quantify the elastic anisotropy of the cornea. Methods: Experiments were conducted on enucleated porcine eyeballs and anesthetized swine. We used the Supersonic Shear wave Imaging (SSI) method implemented on a dedicated 15 MHz rotating linear ultrasound array. This setup allows determining the shear wave speed variations for a set of radial propagation directions. Results: All the results showed a local anisotropy with one main direction of maximal stiffness. The influence of pulsatility was observed in vivo and ECG gating was consequently performed for all anesthetized swine. On ex vivo corneas, we performed N = 27 acquisitions in the limbus region, where the collagen fibrils are reported to run tangentially to the sclera. It was shown a good match between the direction of maximal stiffness and the expected direction of the collagen fibrils. Conclusions: This preliminary study demonstrates the potential of SSI for the assessment of corneal anisotropy in both ex vivo and in vivo conditions.
A total of 231 serum samples were collected from sheep (n=9), goats (n=99) and cattle (n=123) in northeastern KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Trypanosome infection was detected using Trypanosoma brucei brucei crude antigen (TbbCA) and T. congolense crude antigen (TcoCA) ELISA assays. Recombinant antigen (T. evansi GM6 which consisted of 4 repeat domains, TeGM6-4r) ELISA and immunochromatographic test (ICT) were also used. Crude antigen ELISA, TeGM6-4r-ELISA and ICT detected 27.3%, 29% and 19.9% of trypanosome seropositive samples, respectively. Trypanosome infection prevalence in cattle and goats was 35.8-46.3% and 0-9.1%, respectively. Out of 9 sheep serum samples, 2-4 sera (22.2-44.4%) were positive. The detection performance of crude and recombinant antigen ELISAs was relatively similar (K=0.6-0.7); both are recommended for reference diagnosis and large scale epidemiological surveys. There is potential application for ICT in on-site diagnosis, but its sensitivity should be improved.
HIV resistance to the integrase inhibitor raltegravir in treated patients is characterized by distinct resistance pathways. We hypothesize that differences in the in vivo dynamics of HIV resistance to raltegravir are due to the genetic context of the integrase present at baseline.
Robust reference values for fecal egg count reduction (FECR) rates of the most widely used anthelmintic drugs in preventive chemotherapy (PC) programs for controlling soil-transmitted helminths (STHs; Ascaris lumbricoides, Trichuris trichiura, and hookworm) are still lacking. However, they are urgently needed to ensure detection of reduced efficacies that are predicted to occur due to growing drug pressure. Here, using a standardized methodology, we assessed the FECR rate of a single oral dose of mebendazole (MEB; 500 mg) against STHs in six trials in school children in different locations around the world. Our results are compared with those previously obtained for similarly conducted trials of a single oral dose of albendazole (ALB; 400 mg).
Fecal excretion of antibiotics and resistant bacteria in the environment are major public health threats associated with extensive farming and modern medical care. Innovative strategies that can reduce the intestinal antibiotic concentrations during treatments are in development. However, the effect of lower exposure on the amount of resistant enterobacteria excreted has not been quantified, making it difficult to anticipate the impact of these strategies. Here, we introduce a bacterial kinetic model to capture the complex relationships between drug exposure, loss of susceptible enterobacteria and growth of resistant strains in the feces of piglets receiving placebo, 1.5 or 15 mg/kg/day ciprofloxacin, a fluoroquinolone, for 5 days. The model could well describe the kinetics of drug susceptible and resistant enterobacteria observed during treatment, and up to 22 days after treatment cessation. Next, the model was used to predict the expected amount of resistant enterobacteria excreted over an average piglet's lifetime (150 days) when varying drug exposure and treatment duration. For the clinically relevant dose of 15 mg/kg/day for 5 days, the total amount of resistant enterobacteria excreted was predicted to be reduced by 75% and 98% when reducing treatment duration to 3 and 1 day treatment, respectively. Alternatively, for a fixed 5-days treatment, the level of resistance excreted could be reduced by 18%, 33%, 57.5% and 97% if 3, 5, 10 and 30 times lower levels of colonic drug concentrations were achieved, respectively. This characterization on in vivo data of the dynamics of resistance to antibiotics in the colonic flora could provide new insights into the mechanism of dissemination of resistance and can be used to design strategies aiming to reduce it.
Lactose is a major disaccharide by-product from the dairy industries, and production of whey alone amounts to about 200 million tons globally each year. Thus, it is of particular interest to identify improved enzymatic processes for lactose utilization. Microbial ?-glucosidases (BGL) with significant ?-galactosidase (BGAL) activity can be used to convert lactose to glucose (Glc) and galactose (Gal), and most retaining BGLs also synthesize more complex sugars from the monosaccharides by transglycosylation, such as galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS), which are prebiotic compounds that stimulate growth of beneficial gut bacteria. In this work, a BGL from the thermophilic and halophilic bacterium Halothermothrix orenii, HoBGLA, was characterized biochemically and structurally. It is an unspecific ?-glucosidase with mixed activities for different substrates and prominent activity with various galactosidases such as lactose. We show that HoBGLA is an attractive candidate for industrial lactose conversion based on its high activity and stability within a broad pH range (4.5-7.5), with maximal ?-galactosidase activity at pH 6.0. The temperature optimum is in the range of 65-70 °C, and HoBGLA also shows excellent thermostability at this temperature range. The main GOS products from HoBGLA transgalactosylation are ?-D-Galp-(1?6)-D-Lac (6GALA) and ?-D-Galp-(1?3)-D-Lac (3GALA), indicating that D-lactose is a better galactosyl acceptor than either of the monosaccharides. To evaluate ligand binding and guide GOS modeling, crystal structures of HoBGLA were determined in complex with thiocellobiose, 2-deoxy-2-fluoro-D-glucose and glucose. The two major GOS products, 3GALA and 6GALA, were modeled in the substrate-binding cleft of wild-type HoBGLA and shown to be favorably accommodated.
The mannanase gene of B. circulans NT 6.7 was cloned and expressed in an Escherichia coli expression system. The B. circulans NT 6.7 mannanase gene consists of 1,083 nucleotides encoding a 360-amino acid residue long polypeptide, belonging to glycoside hydrolase family 26. The full-length mannanase gene including its native signal sequence was cloned into the vector pET21d and expressed in E. coli BL21 (DE3). ?-Mannanase activities in the culture supernatant and crude cell extract were 37.10 and 515 U per ml, respectively, with most of the activity in the cell extract attributed to the periplasmic fraction. In contrast, expression of mannanase was much lower when using the B. circulans NT 6.7 mannanase gene without its signal sequence. The optimum temperature of recombinant ?-mannanase activity was 50°C and the optimum pH was 6.0. The enzyme was very specific for ?-mannan substrates with a preference for galactomannan. Hydrolysis products of locust bean gum were various mannooligosaccharides including mannohexaose, mannopentaose, mannotetraose, mannotriose and mannobiose, while mannose could not be detected. In conclusion, this expression system is efficient for the secretory production of recombinant ?-mannanase from B. circulans NT 6.7, which shows good characteristics for various applications.
The toxigenic bacterium Vibrio cholerae belonging to the O1 and O139 serogroups is commonly associated with epidemic diarrhea in tropical settings; other diseases caused by this environmental pathogen are seldom identified. Here we report two unassociated cases of nonfatal, nontoxigenic V. cholerae non-O1, non-O139 bacteremia in patients with comorbidities in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, that occurred within a 4-week period.
Human umbilical cord blood-derived mesenchymal stem cells (UCB-MSCs) are a promising stem cell source with the potential to modulate the immune system as well as the capacity to differentiate into osteoblasts, chondrocytes, and adipocytes. In previous publications, UCB-MSCs have been successfully differentiated into cardiomyocytes. This study aimed to improve the efficacy of differentiation of UCB-MSCs into cardiomyocytes by combining 5-azacytidine (Aza) with mouse fetal heart extract (HE) in the induction medium. UCB-MSCs were isolated from umbilical cord blood according to a published protocol. Murine fetal hearts were used to produce fetal HE using a rapid freeze-thaw procedure. MSCs at the 3rd to 5th passage were differentiated into cardiomyocytes in two kinds of induction medium: complete culture medium plus Aza (Aza group) and complete culture medium plus Aza and fetal HE (Aza + HE group). The results showed that the cells in both kinds of induction medium exhibited the phenotype of cardiomyocytes. At the transcriptional level, the cells expressed a number of cardiac muscle-specific genes such as Nkx2.5, Gata 4, Mef2c, HCN2, hBNP, ?-Ca, cTnT, Desmin, and ?-MHC on day 27 in the Aza group and on day 18 in the Aza + HE group. At the translational level, sarcomic ?-actin was expressed on day 27 in the Aza group and day 18 in the Aza + HE group. Although they expressed specific genes and proteins of cardiac muscle cells, the induced cells in both groups did not contract and beat spontaneously. These properties are similar to properties of heart muscle precursor cells in vivo. These results demonstrated that the fetal HE facilitates the differentiation process of human UCB-MSCs into heart muscle precursor cells.
Ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) is a serious healthcare-associated infection that affects up to 30?% of intubated and mechanically ventilated patients in intensive care units (ICUs) worldwide. The bacterial aetiology and corresponding antimicrobial susceptibility of VAP is highly variable, and can differ between countries, national provinces and even between different wards in the same hospital. We aimed to understand and document changes in the causative agents of VAP and their antimicrobial susceptibility profiles retrospectively over an 11 year period in a major infectious disease hospital in southern Vietnam. Our analysis outlined a significant shift from Pseudomonas aeruginosa to Acinetobacter spp. as the most prevalent bacteria isolated from quantitative tracheal aspirates in patients with VAP in this setting. Antimicrobial resistance was common across all bacterial species and we found a marked proportional annual increase in carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter spp. over a 3 year period from 2008 (annual trend; odds ratio 1.656, P?=?0.010). We further investigated the possible emergence of a carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii clone by multiple-locus variable number tandem repeat analysis, finding a blaOXA-23-positive strain that was associated with an upsurge in the isolation of this pathogen. We additionally identified a single blaNDM-1-positive A. baumannii isolate. This work highlights the emergence of a carbapenem-resistant clone of A. baumannii and a worrying trend of antimicrobial resistance in the ICU of the Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
This manuscript describes technical advances allowing manipulation and quantitative analyses of human DC migratory behavior in lung epithelial tissue. DCs are hematopoietic cells essential for the maintenance of tissue homeostasis and the induction of tissue-specific immune responses. Important functions include cytokine production and migration in response to infection for the induction of proper immune responses. To design appropriate strategies to exploit human DC functional properties in lung tissue for the purpose of clinical evaluation, e.g., candidate vaccination and immunotherapy strategies, we have developed a live-imaging assay based on our previously described organotypic model of the human lung. This assay allows provocations and subsequent quantitative investigations of DC functional properties under conditions mimicking morphological and functional features of the in vivo parental tissue. We present protocols to set up and prepare tissue models for 4D (x, y, z, time) fluorescence-imaging analysis that allow spatial and temporal studies of human DCs in live epithelial tissue, followed by flow cytometry analysis of DCs retrieved from digested tissue models. This model system can be useful for elucidating incompletely defined pathways controlling DC functional responses to infection and inflammation in lung epithelial tissue, as well as the efficacy of locally administered candidate interventions.
Errors during the prescribing process can cause problems for patients. When the pharmacist intercepts a prescribing error, it can cause a delay, as the patient may not receive the medication until the problem is resolved. Electronic prescriptions are purported to reduce prescribing errors. However, studies have shown that electronic prescriptions can be prone to certain types of errors. Compounding pharmacies may present an additional obstacle for e-prescribing, as the prescribed medications are not commercially available and may not be listed in the e-prescribing software. The objectives of this study were to estimate the electronic prescription error rate in a compounding pharmacy, determine the most common error types, list the most common interventions pharmacists made, and estimate how long it took to resolve these errors. The study design was quality improvement with descriptive data. During the four weeks of data collection, the pharmacists were trained to complete a standardized data collection form when they identified an electronic prescription error. Percentages were calculated for new prescriptions, electronic prescriptions with errors, error types, and error resolution methods. In the four-week period of the study, there were 982 new prescriptions, 111 of which were electronic prescriptions. Of those 111 electronic prescriptions, 70 had errors. The electronic prescriptions error rate was 63%. The most common type of error was wrong entry field (70.3%). For this project, wrong entry field was defined to mean that the drug name was in the wrong field (81%) or that multiple entries were in the wrong field (7%). Pharmacists usually used their own judgment to resolve an error (67%). Many e-prescription errors were identified in this compounding pharmacy. When prescription errors happen, workflow and patient care are disrupted. Our goal is to discuss these findings with Surescripts and e-prescribing software companies to seek systems-based solutions.
Hemagglutination inhibiting (HI) antibodies correlate with influenza vaccine protection but their association with protection induced by natural infection has received less attention and was studied here.
NAC transcription factors are known to be involved in regulation of plant responses to drought stress. In this study, the expression of 23 drought-responsive GmNAC genes was assessed in the shoot tissues of DT51 and MTD720, the two soybean varieties with contrasting drought-responsive phenotypes, by real-time quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) under normal and drought conditions. Results indicated that expression profile of GmNAC genes was genotype-dependent, and six GmNACs (GmNAC019, 043, 062, 085, 095 and 101) had higher transcript levels in the shoots of the drought-tolerant DT51 in comparison with the drought-sensitive MTD720 under drought. Our study suggests a positive correlation between the higher drought tolerance degree of DT51 versus MTD720 and the up-regulation of at least these six drought-responsive GmNACs in the shoot tissues. Furthermore, on the basis of our analysis, three genes, GmNAC043, 085 and 101, were identified as promising candidates for development of drought-tolerant soybean cultivars by genetic engineering.
In this study, TiO2 particles were used as photocatalysts for the degradation of aqueous p-chlorophenol (p-CP) under UV irradiation. The effect of TiO2 dose (0-3 g/L), initial p-CP concentration, H2O2 concentration (2-45 mM), solution pH (4.6-9.5), and UV light intensity on the degradation of p-CP were examined. Four oxidative degradation processes, which utilized UV alone (direct photolysis), H2O2/UV, TiO2/UV, and H2O2/TiO2/UV, were compared in a batch photoreactor with a 100-W high-pressure mercury lamp. The photodegradation of p-CP could be described by the pseudo-first-order kinetics according to the Langmuir-Hinshelwood model. Moreover, the apparent degradation rate constants increased considerably from 3.5 × 10(-)(3) min(-)(1) (direct photolysis) to 19.9 × 10(-)(3) min(-)(1) (H2O2/TiO2/UV system).
Ganoderma lucidum is a popular medicinal mushroom used in traditional medicine for preventing or treating a variety of diseases. In the present study, we investigated the anti-inflammatory and heme oxygenase (HO)-1 inducing effects of 12 lanostane triterpenes from G. lucidum in RAW264.7 cells. Of these, seven triterpenes, butyl lucidenateE2, butyl lucidenateD2 (GT-2), butyl lucidenate P, butyl lucidenateQ, Ganoderiol F, methyl ganodenate J and butyl lucidenate N induced HO-1 expression and suppressed lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced nitric oxide (NO) production. Inhibiting HO-1 activity abrogated the inhibitory effects of these triterpenes on the production of NO in LPS-stimulated RAW264.7 cells, suggesting the involvement of HO-1 in the anti-inflammatory effects of these triterpenes. We further studied the anti-inflammatory and HO-1 inducing effects of GT-2. Mitogen-activated protein kinase inhibitors or N-acetylcysteine, an antioxidant, did not suppress GT-2-mediated HO-1 induction; however, LY294002, a phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) inhibitor, blocked GT-2-induced HO-1 mRNA and protein expression. GT-2 increased nuclear translocation of nuclear factor-E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) and knockdown of Nrf2 by small interfering RNA blocked GT-2-mediated HO-1 induction, suggesting that GT-2 induced HO-1 expression via the PI3K/AKT-Nrf2 pathway. Consistent with the notion that HO-1 has anti-inflammatory properties, GT-2 inhibited the production of tumor necrosis factor-? and interleukin-6, as well as inducible nitric oxide synthase and cyclooxygenase-2 expression. These findings suggest that HO-1 inducing activities of these lanostane triterpenes may be important in the understanding of a novel mechanism for the anti-inflammatory activity of G. lucidum.
Colorectal cancer is one of the most common cancers in the United States with an early detection rate of only 39%. Colorectal cancer cells along with other cancer cells exhibit many deficiencies in cell-to-cell communication, particularly gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC). GJIC has been reported to diminish as cancer cells progress. Gap junctions are intercellular channels composed of connexin proteins, which mediate the direct passage of small molecules from one cell to the next. They are involved in the regulation of the cell cycle, cell differentiation, and cell signaling. Since the regulation of gap junctions is lost in colorectal cancer cells, the goal of this study is to determine the effect of GJIC restoration in colorectal cancer cells.
This study investigated whether a large dengue epidemic that struck Hanoi in 2009 also affected a nearby semirural area. Seroconversion (dengue virus-reactive immunoglobulin G enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) was high during 2009 compared with 2008, but neutralization assays showed that it was caused by both dengue virus and Japanese encephalitis virus infections. The findings highlight the importance of continued Japanese encephalitis virus vaccination and dengue surveillance.
Important advances during the last decade have been made in understanding the complex etiopathogenesis of Crohn's disease (CD). While many gaps in our knowledge still exist, it has been suggested that the etiology of CD is multifactorial including genetic, environmental and infectious factors. The most widely accepted theory states that CD is caused by an aggressive immune response to infectious agents in genetically predisposed individuals. The rise of genome-wide association studies allowed the identification of loci and genetic variants in several components of host innate and adaptive immune responses to microorganisms in the gut, highlighting an implication of intestinal microbiota in CD etiology. Moreover, numerous independent studies reported a dysbiosis, i.e., a modification of intestinal microbiota composition, with an imbalance between the abundance of beneficial and harmful bacteria. Although microorganisms including viruses, yeasts, fungi and bacteria have been postulated as potential CD pathogens, based on epidemiological, clinicopathological, genetic and experimental evidence, their precise role in this disease is not clearly defined. This review summarizes the current knowledge of the infectious agents associated with an increased risk of developing CD. Therapeutic approaches to modulate the intestinal dysbiosis and to target the putative CD-associated pathogens, as well as their potential mechanisms of action are also discussed.
We report on the use of phase-sensitive optical coherence tomography (PhS-OCT) to detect and track temporal and spatial shear wave propagation within tissue, induced by ultrasound radiation force. Kilohertz-range shear waves are remotely generated in samples using focused ultrasound emission and their propagation is tracked using PhS-OCT. Cross-sectional maps of the local shear modulus are reconstructed from local estimates of shear wave speed in tissue-mimicking phantoms. We demonstrate the feasibility of combining ultrasound radiation force and PhS-OCT to perform high-resolution mapping of the shear modulus.
Human milk oligosaccharides (HMO) are prominent among the functional components of human breast milk. While HMO have potential applications in both infants and adults, this potential is limited by the difficulties in manufacturing these complex structures. Consequently, functional alternatives such as galacto-oligosaccharides are under investigation, and nowadays, infant formulae are supplemented with galacto-oligosaccharides to mimic the biological effects of HMO. Recently, approaches toward the production of defined human milk oligosaccharide structures using microbial, fermentative methods employing single, appropriately engineered microorganisms were introduced. Furthermore, galactose-containing hetero-oligosaccharides have attracted an increasing amount of attention because they are structurally more closely related to HMO. The synthesis of these novel oligosaccharides, which resemble the core of HMO, is of great interest for applications in the food industry.
Leprosy is caused by infection with Mycobacterium leprae and is classified clinically into paucibacillary (PB) or multibacillary (MB) subtypes based on the number of skin lesions and the bacillary index detected in skin smears. We previously identified a major PB susceptibility locus on chromosome region 10p13 in Vietnamese families by linkage analysis. In the current study, we conducted high-density association mapping of the 9.5 Mb linkage peak on chromosome region 10p13 covering 39 genes. Using leprosy per se and leprosy subtypes as phenotypes, we employed 294 nuclear families (303 leprosy cases, 63 % MB, 37 % PB) as a discovery sample and 192 nuclear families (192 cases, 55 % MB, 45 % PB) as a replication sample. Replicated significant association signals were revealed in the genes for cubilin (CUBN) and nebulette (NEBL). In the combined sample, the C allele (frequency 0.26) at CUBN SNP rs10904831 showed association [p = 1 × 10(-5); OR 0.52 (0.38-0.7)] with MB leprosy only. Likewise, allele T (frequency 0.42) at NEBL SNP rs11012461 showed association [p = 4.2 × 10(-5); OR 2.51 (1.6-4)] with MB leprosy only. These associations remained valid for the CUBN signal when taking into account the effective number of tests performed (type I error significance threshold = 2.4 × 10(-5)). We used the results of our analyses to propose a new model for the genetic control of polarization of clinical leprosy.
Drought is one of the greatest constraints to soybean production in many countries, including Vietnam. Although a wide variety of the newly produced cultivars have been produced recently in Vietnam through classical breeding to cope with water shortage, little knowledge of their molecular and physiological responses to drought has been discovered. This study was conducted to quickly evaluate drought tolerance of thirteen local soybean cultivars for selection of the best drought-tolerant cultivars for further field test. Differences in drought tolerance of cultivars were assessed by root and shoot lengths, relative water content, and drought-tolerant index under both normal and drought conditions. Our data demonstrated that DT51 is the strongest drought-tolerant genotype among all the tested cultivars, while the highest drought-sensitive phenotype was observed with MTD720. Thus, DT51 could be subjected to further yield tests in the field prior to suggesting it for use in production. Due to their contrasting drought-tolerant phenotypes, DT51 and MTD720 provide excellent genetic resources for further studies underlying mechanisms regulating drought responses and gene discovery. Our results provide vital information to support the effort of molecular breeding and genetic engineering to improve drought tolerance of soybean.
Trypanosoma congolense is a major livestock pathogen in Africa, causing large economic losses with serious effects on animal health. Reliable serodiagnostic tests are therefore urgently needed to control T. congolense infection. In this study, we have identified one T. congolense protein as a new candidate serodiagnostic antigen. The 46.4 kDa protein (TcP46, Gene ID: TcIL3000.0.25950) is expressed 5.36 times higher in metacyclic forms than epimastigote forms. The complete nucleotide sequences of TcP46 contained an open reading frame of 1,218 bp. Southern blot analysis indicated that at least two copies of the TcP46 gene were tandemly-arranged in the T. congolense genome. The recombinant TcP46 (rTcP46) was expressed in Escherichia coli as a glutathione S-transferase (GST) fusion protein. Western blot analysis and confocal laser scanning microscopy revealed that the native TcP46 protein is expressed in the cytoplasm during all life-cycle stages of the parasite. Moreover, an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) based on rTcP46 detected the specific antibodies as early as 8 days post-infection from mice experimentally infected with T. congolense. No cross-reactivity was observed in the rTcP46-based ELISA against serum samples from cattle experimentally infected with Babesia bigemina, B. bovis and Anaplasma marginale. These results suggest that rTcP46 could be used as a serodiagnostic antigen for T. congolense infection.
Influenza household transmission studies are required to guide prevention strategies but most passively recruit index cases that seek healthcare. We investigated A(H1N1)pdm09 transmission in a household-based cohort during 2009.
Assessing the biomechanical properties of soft tissue provides clinically valuable information to supplement conventional structural imaging. In the previous studies, we introduced a dynamic elastography technique based on phase-sensitive optical coherence tomography (PhS-OCT) to characterize submillimetric structures such as skin layers or ocular tissues. Here, we propose to implement a pulse compression technique for shear wave elastography. We performed shear wave pulse compression in tissue-mimicking phantoms. Using a mechanical actuator to generate broadband frequency-modulated vibrations (1 to 5 kHz), induced displacements were detected at an equivalent frame rate of 47 kHz using a PhS-OCT. The recorded signal was digitally compressed to a broadband pulse. Stiffness maps were then reconstructed from spatially localized estimates of the local shear wave speed. We demonstrate that a simple pulse compression scheme can increase shear wave detection signal-to-noise ratio (>12??dB gain) and reduce artifacts in reconstructing stiffness maps of heterogeneous media.
BPH/2J mice are recognized as a neurogenic model of hypertension primarily based on overactivity of the sympathetic nervous system and greater neuronal activity in key autonomic cardiovascular regulatory brain regions. The medial amygdala (MeAm) is a forebrain region that integrates the autonomic response to stress and is the only region found to have greater Fos during the night and daytime in BPH/2J compared with BPN/3J mice. To determine the contribution of the MeAm to hypertension, the effect of neuronal ablation on blood pressure (BP) was assessed in BPH/2J (n=7) and normotensive BPN/3J mice (n=7). Mice were preimplanted with radiotelemetry devices to measure 24-hour BP and cardiovascular responses to stress, before and 1 to 3 weeks after bilateral lesions of the MeAm. Baseline BP was 121±4 mm Hg in BPH/2J and 101±2 mm Hg in BPN/3J mice (Pstrain<0.001). MeAm lesions reduced BP by 11±2 mm Hg in BPH/2J mice (Plesion<0.001) but had no effect in BPN/3J mice. The hypotensive effect of lesions in BPH/2J mice was similar during both day and night, suggesting that the MeAm has tonic effects on BP, but the pressor response to stress was maintained in both strains. Midfrequency BP power was attenuated in both strains (Plesion<0.05) and the depressor responses to pentolinium after enalaprilat pretreatment was attenuated after lesions in BPH/2J mice (Plesion<0.001; n=3). These findings indicate that the MeAm provides a tonic contribution to hypertension in BPH/2J mice, which is independent of its role in stress reactivity or circadian BP influences.
Trypanosoma evansi infection, or surra, is currently affecting various species of animals, especially water buffaloes. Since diagnosis is an important aspect of surra control, development of novel diagnostic antigens is of interest to implement and improve the currently utilized methods. Our study evaluated the tandem repeat antigen TeGM6-4r in T. evansi antibody detection in water buffaloes. TeGM6-4r-based ELISA was performed with 20 positive and 8 negative controls and 484 field samples from water buffaloes in Northern Vietnam. To examine cross-reactivity, sera from Japanese cattle that had been experimentally infected with Theileria orientalis (n=10), Babesia bovis (n=3), Babesia bigemina (n=7) and Trypanosoma theileri (n=59) were included in the study. The sensitivity of the test was 80%. TeGM6-4r did not react with Theileria or Babesia infected sera, however it showed cross reactivity with 11/59 T. theileri infected samples. The reference test, CATT/T. evansi also reacted with 3/59 T. theileri infected sera. The lysate antigen-based ELISA reacted with 4/59 T. theileri, 9/10 Theileria and 3/10 Babesia infected sera. In contrast, TeGM6-4r-based ELISA was 86.3% sensitive and 58.3% specific in the screening of field samples. The average seroprevalence of T. evansi infection among water buffaloes in Northern Vietnam was 27.1% by CATT/T. evansi and 53.7% by TeGM6-4r. Seroprevalence in the five surveyed provinces ranged from 17.4% to 39.8% in the reference test, and 47.3% to 67.3% in the recombinant antigen based test. The finding indicated that the disease is still widely endemic in the area and that surveillance programs need to be carried out regularly to better control surra. We proposed TeGM6-4r as a useful serodiagnostic antigen for the detection and epidemiological surveillance of T. evansi infection among water buffaloes.
The proteolytic activity of a cancer-related enzyme cathepsin B is measured with alternating current voltammetry (ACV) using ferrocene (Fc) labeled tetrapeptides attached to nanoelectrode arrays (NEAs) fabricated with vertically aligned carbon nanofibers (VACNFs). This combination enables the use of high AC frequencies (~1kHz) with enhanced electrochemical signals. The specific proteolysis of the Fc-peptide by cathepsin B produces decay in the ACV peak current versus the reaction time. The exponential component of the raw data can be extracted and defined as the "extracted proteolytic signal" which allows consistent quantitative analyses using a heterogeneous Michaelis-Menten model. A "specificity constant" kcat/KM = (3.68 ± 0.50) × 10(4)M(-1)s(-1) for purified cathepsin B was obtained. The detections of cathepsin B activity in different concentrations of whole lysate of human breast tissue, tissue lysate spiked with varied concentrations of cathepsin B, and the tissue lysate after immunoprecipitation showed that there is ~13.4 nM higher cathepsin B concentration in 29.1 µg mL(-1) of whole tissue lysate than the immunoprecipitated sample. The well-defined regular VACNF NEAs by e-beam lithography show a much faster kinetics for cathepsin B proteolysis with kcat/KM = 9.2 × 10(4)M(-1)s(-1). These results illustrate the potential of this technique as a portable multiplex electronic system for cancer diagnosis by rapid protease profiling of serum or blood samples.
Little is known about the effect of common mental disorders (CMD) among women in the perinatal period on infant development in low-income countries. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of exposures to maternal symptoms of ante- and post-natal CMD on infant social-emotional development in a low-income setting.
Two ?-galactosidases, ?-gal I and ?-gal II, from Bifidobacterium breve DSM 20213, which was isolated from the intestine of an infant, were overexpressed in Escherichia coli with co-expression of the chaperones GroEL/GroES, purified to electrophoretic homogeneity and biochemically characterized. Both ?-gal I and ?-gal II belong to glycoside hydrolase family 2 and are homodimers with native molecular masses of 220 and 211 kDa, respectively. The optimum pH and temperature for hydrolysis of the two substrates o-nitrophenyl-?-D-galactopyranoside (oNPG) and lactose were determined at pH 7.0 and 50°C for ?-gal I, and at pH 6.5 and 55°C for ?-gal II, respectively. The kcat/Km values for oNPG and lactose hydrolysis are 722 and 7.4 mM-1s-1 for ?-gal I, and 543 and 25 mM-1s-1 for ?-gal II. Both ?-gal I and ?-gal II are only moderately inhibited by their reaction products D-galactose and D-glucose. Both enzymes were found to be very well suited for the production of galacto-oligosaccharides with total GOS yields of 33% and 44% of total sugars obtained with ?-gal I and ?-gal II, respectively. The predominant transgalactosylation products are ?-D-Galp-(1?6)-D-Glc (allolactose) and ?-D-Galp-(1?3)-D-Lac, accounting together for more than 75% and 65% of the GOS formed by transgalactosylation by ?-gal I and ?-gal II, respectively, indicating that both enzymes have a propensity to synthesize ?-(1?6) and ?-(1?3)-linked GOS. The resulting GOS mixtures contained relatively high fractions of allolactose, which results from the fact that glucose is a far better acceptor for galactosyl transfer than galactose and lactose, and intramolecular transgalactosylation contributes significantly to the formation of this disaccharide.
Illicit trade carries the potential to magnify existing tobacco-related health care costs through increased availability of untaxed and inexpensive cigarettes. What is known with respect to the magnitude of illicit trade for Vietnam is produced primarily by the industry, and methodologies are typically opaque. Independent assessment of the illicit cigarette trade in Vietnam is vital to tobacco control policy. This paper measures the magnitude of illicit cigarette trade for Vietnam between 1998 and 2010 using two methods, discrepancies between legitimate domestic cigarette sales and domestic tobacco consumption estimated from surveys, and trade discrepancies as recorded by Vietnam and trade partners. The results indicate that Vietnam likely experienced net smuggling in during the period studied. With the inclusion of adjustments for survey respondent under-reporting, inward illicit trade likely occurred in three of the four years for which surveys were available. Discrepancies in trade records indicate that the value of smuggled cigarettes into Vietnam ranges from $100 million to $300 million between 2000 and 2010 and that these cigarettes primarily originate in Singapore, Hong Kong, Macao, Malaysia, and Australia. Notable differences in trends over time exist between the two methods, but by comparison, the industry estimates consistently place the magnitude of illicit trade at the upper bounds of what this study shows. The unavailability of annual, survey-based estimates of consumption may obscure the true, annual trend over time. Second, as surveys changed over time, estimates relying on them may be inconsistent with one another. Finally, these two methods measure different components of illicit trade, specifically consumption of illicit cigarettes regardless of origin and smuggling of cigarettes into a particular market. However, absent a gold standard, comparisons of different approaches to illicit trade measurement serve efforts to refine and improve measurement approaches and estimates.
Extended-spectrum ?-lactamases (ESBLs) are enzymes capable of hydrolyzing oxyimino-?-lactams and inducing resistance to third generation cephalosporins. The genes encoding ESBLs are widespread and generally located on highly transmissible resistance plasmids. We aimed to investigate the complement of ESBL genes in E. coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae causing nosocomial infections in hospitals in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Dengue virus transmission occurs in both epidemic and endemic cycles across tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world. Incidence is particularly high in much of Southeast Asia, where hyperendemic transmission plagues both urban and rural populations. However, endemicity has not been established in some areas with climates that may not support year-round viral transmission. An understanding of how dengue viruses (DENV) enter these environments and whether the viruses persist in inapparent local transmission cycles is central to understanding how dengue emerges in areas at the margins of endemic transmission. Dengue is highly endemic in tropical southern Vietnam, while increasingly large seasonal epidemics have occurred in northern Viet Nam over the last decade. We have investigated the spread of DENV-1 throughout Vietnam to determine the routes by which the virus enters northern and central regions of the country. Phylogeographic analysis of 1,765 envelope (E) gene sequences from Southeast Asia revealed frequent movement of DENV between neighboring human populations and strong local clustering of viral lineages. Long-distance migration of DENV between human population centers also occurred regularly and on short time-scales, indicating human-mediated viral invasion into northern Vietnam. Human populations in southern Vietnam were found to be the primary source of DENV circulating throughout the country, while central and northern Vietnam acted as sink populations, likely due to reduced connectedness to other populations in the case of the central regions and to the influence of temperature variability on DENV replication and vector survival and competence in the north. Finally, phylogeographic analyses suggested that viral movement follows a gravity model and indicates that population immunity and physical and economic connections between populations may play important roles in shaping patterns of DENV transmission.
Food packaging in general and packaging incorporating health messages in particular have been active areas of inquiry, receiving attention from policymakers and food manufacturers alike. This study explores the effects of package seals and claims on perceived product healthfulness as a function of dietary restraint status. A laboratory experiment using realistic three-dimensional packaging shows that for restrained eaters (i.e., those who try to restrict their food intake), nutrition claims on "healthy" products and nutrition seals on "unhealthy" products are effective at enhancing perceptions of product healthfulness. Unrestrained eaters, in contrast, are largely unaffected by nutrition seals and claims. These results provide insights into restrained eaters purchase motivations, as well as guidance for policymakers seeking to regulate the use of seals and claims.
Reciprocal relationships between endothelial dysfunction and insulin resistance result in a vicious cycle of cardiovascular, renal, and metabolic disorders. The mechanisms underlying these impairments are unclear. The peptide hormones prokineticins exert their angiogenic function via prokineticin receptor-1 (PKR1). We explored the extent to which endothelial PKR1 contributes to expansion of capillary network and the transcapillary passage of insulin into the heart, kidney, and adipose tissues, regulating organ functions and metabolism in a specific mice model.
K+ channels, which are overexpressed in several cancers, have been identified as regulators of cell proliferation and migration, key processes in cancer development/propagation. Their role in lung cancer has not been studied extensively; but we showed previously that KvLQT1 channels are involved in cell migration, proliferation and repair of normal lung epithelial cells. We now investigated the role of these channels in lung cancer cell lines and their expression levels in human lung adenocarcinoma (AD) tissues. First, we observed that the wound-healing rates of A549 lung adenocarcinoma cell monolayers were reduced by clofilium and chromanol or after silencing with KvLQT1-specific siRNA. Dose-dependent decrease of A549 cell growth and cell accumulation in G0/G1 phase were seen after KvLQT1 inhibition. Clofilium also affected 2D and 3D migration of A549 cells. Similarly, H460 cell growth, migration and wound healing were diminished by this drug. Because K+ channel overexpression has been encountered in some cancers, we assessed KvLQT1 expression levels in tumor tissues from patients with lung AD. KvLQT1 protein expression in tumor samples was increased by 1.5- to 7-fold, compared to paired non-neoplastic tissues, in 17 of 26 patients. In summary, our data reveal that KvLQT1 channel blockade efficiently reduces A549 and H460 cell proliferation and migration. Moreover, KvLQT1 overexpression in AD samples suggests that it could be a potential therapeutic target in lung cancer.
The plant-specific NAC transcription factors play important roles in plant response to drought stress. Here, we have compared the expression levels of a subset of GmNAC genes in drought-tolerant DT51 and drought-sensitive MTD720 under both normal and drought stress conditions aimed at identifying correlation between GmNAC expression levels and drought tolerance degree, as well as potential GmNAC candidates for genetic engineering. The expression of 23 selected dehydration-responsive GmNACs was assessed in both stressed and unstressed root tissues of DT51 and MTD720 using real-time quantitative PCR. The results indicated that expression of GmNACs was genotype-dependent. Seven and 13 of 23 tested GmNACs showed higher expression levels in roots of DT51 in comparison with MTD720 under normal and drought stress conditions, respectively, whereas none of them displayed lower transcript levels under any conditions. This finding suggests that the higher drought tolerance of DT51 might be positively correlated with the higher induction of the GmNAC genes during water deficit. The drought-inducible GmNAC011 needs to be mentioned as its transcript accumulation was more than 76-fold higher in drought-stressed DT51 roots relative to MTD720 roots. Additionally, among the GmNAC genes examined, GmNAC085, 092, 095, 101 and 109 were not only drought-inducible but also more highly up-regulated in DT51 roots than in that of MTD720 under both treatment conditions. These data together suggest that GmNAC011, 085, 092, 095, 101 and 109 might be promising candidates for improvement of drought tolerance in soybean by biotechnological approaches.
This article proposes recommendations for the use of whole-genome and whole-exome (WGS/WES) sequencing in clinical practice, endorsed by the board of directors of the Canadian College of Medical Geneticists. The publication of statements and recommendations by several international and national organisations on clinical WGS/WES has prompted a need for Canadian-specific guidance.
Intimate partner violence against women (IPV) is regarded increasingly as a public health problem worldwide. The overall aim of this study was to examine the associations between different exposures to IPV and womens mental health during pregnancy and after childbirth in rural Vietnam.
Recent evidence indicates that genetic hypertension in BPH/2J mice is sympathetically mediated, but these mice also have lower body weight (BW) and elevated locomotor activity compared with BPN/3J normotensive mice, suggestive of metabolic abnormalities. The aim of the present study was to determine whether hypertension in BPH/2J mice is associated with metabolic differences. Whole-body metabolic and cardiovascular parameters were measured over 24?h by indirect calorimetry and radiotelemetry respectively, in conscious young (10-13 weeks) and older (22-23 weeks) BPH/2J, normotensive BPN/3J and C57Bl6 mice. Blood pressure (BP) was greater in BPH/2J compared with both normotensive strains at both ages (P<0.01). Metabolic rate was greater in young BPH/2J compared with BPN/3J mice (P<0.01) but similar to C57Bl6 mice indicating that high metabolic rate is not necessarily related to the hypertension per say. The slope of the BP-metabolic rate relationship was comparable between BPH/2J and normotensive mice when adjusted for activity (P>0.1) suggesting differences in this relationship are not responsible for hypertension. EchoMRI revealed that percentage body composition was comparable in BPN/3J and BPH/2J mice (P>0.1) and both strains gained weight similarly with age (P=0.3). Taken together, the present findings indicate that hypertension in BPH/2J mice does not appear to be related to altered energy metabolism.Hypertension Research advance online publication, 5 December 2013; doi:10.1038/hr.2013.156.
There is an extensively growing interest in using paper or paper-like substrates for batteries and other energy storage devices. Due to their intrinsic characteristics, paper (or paper-like) batteries show outstanding performance while retaining low cost, multifunctionality, versatility, flexibility and disposability. In this overview, we review recent achievements in paper (or paper-like) batteries as well as their applications. Various types of paper power devices are discussed including electrochemical batteries, biofuel cells, lithium-ion batteries, supercapacitors, and nanogenerators. Further scientific and technological challenges in this field are also discussed.
A cross-sectional study was conducted in Muong Lat town (Thanh Hoa province, North Vietnam), following the confirmed diagnosis of trichinellosis in six patients from that town who had eaten hunted wild boar meat during the Vietnamese lunar year celebration. All inhabitants who declared to have eaten undercooked or raw wild boar meat at the celebration and showed at least one clinical symptom compatible with trichinellosis were included in the study and blood sampled. Anti-Trichinella IgG were determined by ELISA and Western Blot. Seropositive persons were given appropriate albendazole treatment and were followed up. A total of 100 inhabitants met the inclusion criteria. Among these, 30 (30%) had antibodies to Trichinella. Serologically confirmed cases had fever (90.0%), myalgia (86.7%), facial oedema (63.3%), diarrhoea (53.3%), and pain of the masseter muscles (43.3%). Eosinophilia was detected in 83.3% of these individuals. Clinical symptoms resolved in all patients during albendazole treatment. The results suggest that only a proportion of the trichinellosis cases had sought health care during the outbreak. There is a need to implement surveillance and better diagnosis for trichinellosis and to set up educational programs to prevent infection in North Vietnam.
Antibiotics excreted into the intestinal tract, such as broad-spectrum cephalosporins, disrupt the indigenous microflora, affect colonization resistance (CR), and promote intestinal colonization by resistant bacteria. We tested whether oral DAV131, a charcoal-based adsorbent, would prevent colonization by a cefotaxime (CTX)-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae strain (PUG-2) in CTX-treated mice. Mice received CTX, saline, CTX and DAV131, or saline and DAV131 for 3 days before oral challenge with 10(6) CFU of PUG-2. The fecal CTX concentrations and counts of PUG-2 were assayed. Fecal CTX disappeared when DAV131 was given concomitantly with CTX (P < 0.05), and the area under the curve of PUG-2 fecal density was significantly reduced (P < 0.01). In conclusion, reducing intestinal antibiotic exposure with DAV131 may reduce colonization by resistant strains during treatment compared to treatment with CTX only. This might open new possibilities for decreasing the impact of antibiotics on the intestinal microbiota during treatments.
Genetically hypertensive mice (BPH/2J) are hypertensive because of an exaggerated contribution of the sympathetic nervous system to blood pressure. We hypothesize that an additional contribution to elevated blood pressure is via sympathetically mediated activation of the intrarenal renin-angiotensin system. Our aim was to determine the contribution of the renin-angiotensin system and sympathetic nervous system to hypertension in BPH/2J mice. BPH/2J and normotensive BPN/3J mice were preimplanted with radiotelemetry devices to measure blood pressure. Depressor responses to ganglion blocker pentolinium (5 mg/kg i.p.) in mice pretreated with the angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor enalaprilat (1.5 mg/kg i.p.) revealed a 2-fold greater sympathetic contribution to blood pressure in BPH/2J mice during the active and inactive period. However, the depressor response to enalaprilat was 4-fold greater in BPH/2J compared with BPN/3J mice, but only during the active period (P=0.01). This was associated with 1.6-fold higher renal renin messenger RNA (mRNA; P=0.02) and 0.8-fold lower abundance of micro-RNA-181a (P=0.03), identified previously as regulating human renin mRNA. Renin mRNA levels correlated positively with depressor responses to pentolinium (r=0.99; P=0.001), and BPH/2J mice had greater renal sympathetic innervation density as identified by tyrosine hydroxylase staining of cortical tubules. Although there is a major sympathetic contribution to hypertension in BPH/2J mice, the renin-angiotensin system also contributes, doing so to a greater extent during the active period and less during the inactive period. This is the opposite of the normal renin-angiotensin system circadian pattern. We suggest that renal hyperinnervation and enhanced sympathetically induced renin synthesis mediated by lower micro-RNA-181a contributes to hypertension in BPH/2J mice.
The nucleus of the solitary tract (NTS) is important for cardiovascular regulation and contains angiotensin type 1A (AT1A) receptors. To assess its function, we examined the effect of expressing in AT1A receptors in the NTS of mice lacking these receptors.
We report an electrochemical method for measuring the activity of proteases using nanoelectrode arrays (NEAs) fabricated with vertically aligned carbon nanofibers (VACNFs). The VACNFs of ~150 nm in diameter and 3 to 5 ?m in length were grown on conductive substrates and encapsulated in SiO2 matrix. After polishing and plasma etching, controlled VACNF tips are exposed to form an embedded VACNF NEA. Two types of tetrapeptides specific to cancer-mediated proteases legumain and cathepsin B are covalently attached to the exposed VACNF tip, with a ferrocene (Fc) moiety linked at the distal end. The redox signal of Fc can be measured with AC voltammetry (ACV) at ~1 kHz frequency on VACNF NEAs, showing distinct properties from macroscopic glassy carbon electrodes due to VACNFs unique interior structure. The enhanced ACV properties enable the kinetic measurements of proteolytic cleavage of the surface-attached tetrapeptides by proteases, further validated with a fluorescence assay. The data can be analyzed with a heterogeneous Michaelis-Menten model, giving "specificity constant" kcat /Km as (4.3 ± 0.8) × 10(4) M(-1)s(-1) for cathepsin B and (1.13 ± 0.38) × 10(4) M(-1)s(-1) for legumain. This method could be developed as portable multiplex electronic techniques for rapid cancer diagnosis and treatment monitoring.
ABSTRACT. Elasticity maps of tissue have proved to be particularly useful in providing complementary contrast to ultrasonic imaging, e.g., for cancer diagnosis at the millimeter scale. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) offers an endogenous contrast based on singly backscattered optical waves. Adding complementary contrast to OCT images by recording elasticity maps could also be valuable in improving OCT-based diagnosis at the microscopic scale. Static elastography has been successfully coupled with full-field OCT (FF-OCT) in order to realize both micrometer-scale sectioning and elasticity maps. Nevertheless, static elastography presents a number of drawbacks, mainly when stiffness quantification is required. Here, we describe the combination of two methods: transient elastography, based on speed measurements of shear waves induced by ultrasonic radiation forces, and FF-OCT, an en face OCT approach using an incoherent light source. The use of an ultrafast ultrasonic scanner and an ultrafast camera working at 10,000 to 30,000??images/s made it possible to follow shear wave propagation with both modalities. As expected, FF-OCT is found to be much more sensitive than ultrafast ultrasound to tiny shear vibrations (a few nanometers and micrometers, respectively). Stiffness assessed in gel phantoms and an ex vivo rat brain by FF-OCT is found to be in good agreement with ultrasound shear wave elastography.
Leprosy reversal reactions type 1 (T1R) are acute immune episodes that affect a subset of leprosy patients and remain a major cause of nerve damage. Little is known about the relative importance of innate versus environmental factors in the pathogenesis of T1R. In a retrospective design, we evaluated innate differences in response to Mycobacterium leprae between healthy individuals and former leprosy patients affected or free of T1R by analyzing the transcriptome response of whole blood to M. leprae sonicate. Validation of results was conducted in a subsequent prospective study. We observed the differential expression of 581 genes upon exposure of whole blood to M. leprae sonicate in the retrospective study. We defined a 44 T1R gene set signature of differentially regulated genes. The majority of the T1R set genes were represented by three functional groups: i) pro-inflammatory regulators; ii) arachidonic acid metabolism mediators; and iii) regulators of anti-inflammation. The validity of the T1R gene set signature was replicated in the prospective arm of the study. The T1R genetic signature encompasses genes encoding pro- and anti-inflammatory mediators of innate immunity. This suggests an innate defect in the regulation of the inflammatory response to M. leprae antigens. The identified T1R gene set represents a critical first step towards a genetic profile of leprosy patients who are at increased risk of T1R and concomitant nerve damage.
We performed a case-control investigation to identify risk factors for norovirus infections among children in Vietnam. Of samples from 1,419 children who had diarrhea and 609 who were asymptomatic, 20.6% and 2.8%, respectively, were norovirus positive. Risk factors included residential crowding and symptomatic contacts, indicating person-to-person transmission of norovirus.
Animal models are commonly used to analyze the mechanism of carcinogenesis as well as the development and screening of potent drugs. Here the transgenic strain FVB/N-Tg(MMTV-PyVT)634Mul/J (also known as PyVT) was used as a model system for measuring tumor burden, drug sensitivity, and metastasis of mammary carcinomas. Loss of gap junctional intercellular communication and the down regulation of connexin expression are characteristic of neoplastic cells. The substituted quinoline, 6-methoxy-8-[(3-aminopropyl)amino]-4-methyl-5-(3-trifluoromethyl-phenyloxy)quinolone (PQ1), has been shown to restore GJIC and increase connexin expression in breast cancer cell lines while not affecting normal mammary cells, suggesting that it may provide effective anticancer treatment with less detrimental effects. The PyVT spontaneous mammary tumor mouse model was used to determine the biological and histological effects of PQ1 on tumorigenesis and metastasis at three stages of development: Pretumor, early tumor and late tumor formation. Treatment with PQ1 at all three stages of development significantly reduced tumor growth. PQ1 treatment further increased Cx43 expression during pre- and early-tumor formation, while it prevented an increase in Cx46 expression during late stage tumor formation. This study shows that Cx43 expression and neoplastic cellular growth are inversely related, but that PQ1 can alter tumor growth through targeting gap junction proteins to prove clinical efficacy in the treatment of spontaneous mammary tumors.
We propose an integrated method combining low-frequency mechanics with optical imaging to map the shear modulus within the biological tissue. Induced shear wave propagating in tissue is tracked in space and time using phase-sensitive optical coherence tomography (PhS-OCT). Local estimates of the shear-wave speed obtained from tracking results can image the local shear modulus. A PhS-OCT system remotely records depth-resolved, dynamic mechanical waves at an equivalent frame rate of ?47??kHz with the high spatial resolution. The proposed method was validated by examining tissue-mimicking phantoms made of agar and light scattering material. Results demonstrate that the shear wave imaging can accurately map the elastic moduli of these phantoms.
Apoptosis, a programmed cell death, is an important control mechanism of cell homeostasis. Deficiency in apoptosis is one of the key features of cancer cells, allowing cells to escape from death. Activation of apoptotic signaling pathway has been a target of anti-cancer drugs in an induction of cytotoxicity. PQ1, 6-methoxy-8-[(3-aminopropyl)amino]-4-methyl-5-(3-trifluoromethylphenyloxy)quinoline, has been reported to decrease the viability of cancer cells and attenuate xenograft tumor growth. However, the mechanism of the anti-cancer effect is still unclear. To evaluate whether the cytotoxicity of PQ1 is related to induction of apoptosis, the effect of PQ1 on apoptotic pathways was investigated in T47D breast cancer cells. PQ1-treated cells had an elevation of cleaved caspase-3 compared to controls. Studies of intrinsic apoptotic pathway showed that PQ1 can activate the intrinsic checkpoint protein caspase-9, enhance the level of pro-apoptotic protein Bax, and release cytochrome c from mitochondria to cytosol; however, PQ1 has no effect on the level of anti-apoptotic protein Bcl-2. Further studies also demonstrated that PQ1 can activate the key extrinsic player, caspase-8. Pre-treatment of T47D cells with caspase-8 or caspase-9 inhibitor suppressed the cell death induced by PQ1, while pre-treatment with caspase-3 inhibitor completely counteracted the effect of PQ1 on cell viability. This report provides evidence that PQ1 induces cytotoxicity via activation of both caspase-8 and caspase-9 in T47D breast cancer cells.
Water buffalo (WB) is an important domestic animal in Vietnam. This study utilized a card agglutination test to investigate seroprevalence of surra in WB population. Sera were collected from 585 WB from 4 different regions in Cao Bang and Thai Nguyen Provinces. Among them, 131 samples (22.4%) were positive for surra. The highest prevalence (24.6%) was found among 3 to 5 years old WB. Buffaloes less than 3 years old had the lowest prevalence (15.6%). Among 27 abortion cases, 9 WB (33.3%) were surra positive. For treatment of surra, Berenil® demonstrated a 100% cure rate, while that of Trypamidium® was only 40%. Our findings suggest that the current control strategy has not succeeded in reducing prevalence of surra in Vietnam.
The aim of this study was to assess the management of cervical necrosis (CN) following radiotherapy (RT) and the impact of smoking status. This rare complication mimics a neoplastic recurrence, and causes concern among attending physicians.
Norovirus (NoV) is a major cause of epidemic gastroenteritis in industrialized countries, yet the epidemiological significance of NoV in industrializing countries remains poorly understood. The spatiotemporal distribution of NoV genotypes identified in 2054 enrolled children was investigated between May 2009 and December 2010, in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), Vietnam. A total of 315 NoV extracted from stool samples were genotyped and GPS mapped to their source. Genogroup II NoV, particularly GII.4, were predominant, and the GII.4 strains could be subgrouped into GII.4-2006b (Minerva) and GII.4-2010 (New Orleans) variants. There was no spatiotemporal structure among the endemic GII strains; yet a significant spatiotemporal signal corresponding with the novel introduction of GII.4-2010 variant was detected. These data show that NoV GII.4 variants are highly endemic in HCMC and describe a scenario of rapid NoV strain replacement occurring in HCMC in early 2010.
Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) with diameter about 12nm were immobilized on the surface of cotton fabrics by ?-irradiation of fabrics in the AgNO3 chitosan solution. Effects of absorbed dose, concentration of AgNO3 solution on immobilization of the AgNPs on fabrics were investigated. The optimal dose was selected to be 13.8kGy and the suitable concentration of AgNO3 was 1.5mM in 1% chitosan solution. The content of AgNPs on fabrics was of 1696±80mg/kg for these conditions. The presence of AgNPs on fabrics was confirmed from scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images and X ray diffraction (XRD) patterns. The antibacterial activity of AgNPs/cotton fabrics after 40 washings against Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli was found to be 99.99%. In addition, the AgNPs fabrics were innoxious to the skin (k=0) after 1, 5, 10, 20, 30 and 40 washings by skin-irritation testing to animal (rabbit).
Levels of microRNAs are altered in intestinal tissues of patients with Crohns disease (CD). The adherent-invasive Escherichia coli (AIEC), which colonize the ileal mucosa of patients with CD, adhere to and invade intestinal epithelial cells. We investigated the mechanism by which AIEC infection alters the expression of microRNAs and the host immune response.
LINE-1 (L1) retrotransposons are mobile genetic elements comprising ~17% of the human genome. New L1 insertions can profoundly alter gene function and cause disease, though their significance in cancer remains unclear. Here, we applied enhanced retrotransposon capture sequencing (RC-seq) to 19 hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) genomes and elucidated two archetypal L1-mediated mechanisms enabling tumorigenesis. In the first example, 4/19 (21.1%) donors presented germline retrotransposition events in the tumor suppressor mutated in colorectal cancers (MCC). MCC expression was ablated in each case, enabling oncogenic ?-catenin/Wnt signaling. In the second example, suppression of tumorigenicity 18 (ST18) was activated by a tumor-specific L1 insertion. Experimental assays confirmed that the L1 interrupted a negative feedback loop by blocking ST18 repression of its enhancer. ST18 was also frequently amplified in HCC nodules from Mdr2(-/-) mice, supporting its assignment as a candidate liver oncogene. These proof-of-principle results substantiate L1-mediated retrotransposition as an important etiological factor in HCC.
Three-dimensional (3D) cell culture plays an invaluable role in tumor biology by providing in vivo like microenviroment and responses to therapeutic agents. Among many established 3D scaffolds, hydrogels demonstrate a distinct property as matrics for 3D cell culture. Most of the existing pre-gel solutions are limited under physiological conditions such as undesirable pH or temperature. Here, we report a peptide hydrogel that shows superior physiological properties as an in vitro matrix for 3D cell culture. The 3D matrix can be accomplished by mixing a self-assembling peptide directly with a cell culture medium without any pH or temperature adjustment. Results of dynamic rheological studies showed that this hydrogel can be delivered multiple times via pipetting without permanently destroying the hydrogel architecture, indicating the deformability and remodeling ability of the hydrogel. Human epithelial cancer cells, MCF-7, are encapsulated homogeneously in the hydrogel matrix during hydrogelation. Compared with two-dimensional (2D) monolayer culture, cells residing in the hydrogel matrix grow as tumor-like clusters in 3D formation. Relevant parameters related to cell morphology, survival, proliferation, and apoptosis were analyzed using MCF-7 cells in 3D hydrogels. Interestingly, treatment of cisplatin, an anti-cancer drug, can cause a significant decrease of cell viability of MCF-7 clusters in hydrogels. The responses to cisplatin were dose- and time-dependent, indicating the potential usage of hydrogels for drug testing. Results of confocal microscopy and Western blotting showed that cells isolated from hydrogels are suitable for downstream proteomic analysis. The results provided evidence that this peptide hydrogel is a promising 3D cell culture material for drug testing.
This qualitative study aims to explore how HIV positive women living in a northern province of Vietnam experience seeking antiretroviral (ARV) treatment in the public health system, and how they address obstacles encountered along the way. Despite the fact that antiretroviral drugs were freely provided, they were not always accessible for women in need. A variety of factors at the population and health system level interacted in ways that often made access to ARV drugs a complicated and time-consuming process. We have suggested changes that could be made at the health system level that may help facilitate womens ability to access treatment.
Prompt and accurate diagnosis of malarial patients is a crucial factor in controlling the morbidity and mortality of the disease. Effective treatment decisions require a correct diagnosis among mixed-species malarial patients. Differential diagnosis is particularly important in cases of Plasmodium vivax, a species that shares endemicity with P. falciparum in most endemic areas. Moreover, it is difficult to identify P. knowlesi on the basis of morphology alone, and rapid diagnostic tests are still not available for this malaria species. Therefore, the development of diagnostic tests applicable to the field is urgently needed. 1-Cys peroxiredoxin (1-Cys-Prx) in P. falciparum is abundantly expressed in the mature asexual stages, making it a promising candidate as a diagnostic antigen. In this study, we produced five monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) against P. falciparum 1-Cys-Prx (Pf1-Cys-Prx) by immunizing BALB/c mice with recombinant Pf1-Cys-Prx and subsequent hybridoma production. Cross reactivity of established mAbs with the orthologous molecule of Pf1-Cys-Prx in P. vivax (Pv1-Cys-Prx) and P. knowlesi (Pk1-Cys-Prx) was examined. Western blot analyses showed that three mAbs reacted with Pv1-Cys-Prx and Pk1-Cys-Prx but two mAbs did not. These results indicate that the two mAbs were effective in differentiating P. falciparum from P. vivax and P. knowlesi and could be used in differential diagnosis as well as comparative molecular studies of human Plasmodium species.
MicroRNAs, a key class of gene expression regulators, have emerged as crucial players in various biological processes such as cellular proliferation and differentiation, development and apoptosis. In addition, microRNAs are coming to light as crucial regulators of innate and adaptive immune responses, and their abnormal expression and/or function in the immune system have been linked to multiple human diseases including inflammatory disorders, such as inflammatory bowel disease, and cancers. In this review, we discuss our current understanding of microRNAs with a focus on their role and mode of action in regulating the immune system during inflammation and carcinogenesis.
Leprosy is a persistent infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium leprae that still affects over 200,000 new patients annually. The host genetic background is an important risk factor for leprosy susceptibility and the PARK2 gene is a replicated leprosy susceptibility candidate gene. The protein product of PARK2, Parkin, is an E3 ubiquitin ligase that is involved in the development of various forms of Parkinsonism. The human macrophage is both a natural host cell of M. leprae as well as a primary mediator of natural immune defenses, in part by secreting important pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines. Here, we report that down-regulation of Parkin in THP-1 macrophages, human monocyte-derived macrophages and human Schwann cells resulted in a consistent and specific decrease in interleukin-6 (IL-6) and monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 (MCP-1/CCL2) production in response to mycobacteria or LPS. Interestingly, production of IL-6 at 6 hours by THP-1 cells stimulated with live M. leprae and M. bovis BCG was dependent on pretreatment with 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D(3) (VD). Parkin knockdown in VD-treated cells blocked IL-6 induction by mycobacteria. However, I?B-? phosphorylation and levels of I?B-?, a nuclear protein required for IL-6 expression, were not affected by Parkin silencing. Phosphorylation of MAPK ERK1/2 and p38 was unaffected by Parkin silencing while JNK activation was promoted but did not explain the altered cytokine production. In a final set of experiments we found that genetic risk factors of leprosy located in the PARK2 promoter region were significantly correlated with M. leprae sonicate triggered CCL2 and IL6 transcript levels in whole blood assays. These results associated genetically controlled changes in the production of MCP-1/CCL2 and IL-6 with known leprosy susceptibility factors.
Advances in genetics have shed light on the molecular basis of Crohns disease (CD) predisposition and pathogenesis, via linkage disequilibrium analysis to genome-wide association studies. The discovery of genetic variants of NOD2, an intracellular pathogen molecular sensor, as risk factors for CD has paved the way for further research on innate immunity in this disease. Remarkably, polymorphisms in autophagy genes, such as ATG16L1 and IRGM, have been identified, allowing the pivotal role of autophagy in innate immunity to be uncovered. In this review, we summarize recent studies on the CD-associated NOD2, ATG16L1 and IRGM risk variants and their contribution to the autophagy functions that have most influenced our understanding of CD pathophysiology.
Compressive sensing is a sampling method which provides a new approach to efficient signal compression and recovery by exploiting the fact that a sparse signal can be suitably reconstructed from very few measurements. One of the most concerns in compressive sensing is the construction of the sensing matrices. While random sensing matrices have been widely studied, only a few deterministic sensing matrices have been considered. These matrices are highly desirable on structure which allows fast implementation with reduced storage requirements. In this paper, a survey of deterministic sensing matrices for compressive sensing is presented. We introduce a basic problem in compressive sensing and some disadvantage of the random sensing matrices. Some recent results on construction of the deterministic sensing matrices are discussed.
Tbx2 is a member of the T-box family of transcription factors essential for embryo- and organogenesis. A deficiency in the zebrafish paralogue tbx2a causes abnormalities of the pharyngeal arches in a p53-independent manner. The pharyngeal arches are formed by derivatives of all three embryonic germ layers: endodermal pouches, mesenchymal condensations and neural crest cells. While tbx2a expression is restricted to the endodermal pouches, its function is required for the normal morphogenesis of the entire pharyngeal arches. Given the similar function of Tbx1 in craniofacial development, we explored the possibility of an interaction between Tbx1 and Tbx2a. The use of bimolecular fluorescence complementation revealed the interaction between Tbx2a and Tbx1, thus providing support for the idea that functional interaction between different, co-expressed Tbx proteins could be a common theme across developmental processes in cell lineages and tissues. Together, this work provides mechanistic insight into the role of TBX2 in human disorders affecting the face and neck.
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