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Publication
Journal: International journal of environmental research and public health
February/15/2020
Abstract
Waste management has become pertinent in urban regions, along with rapid population growth. The current ways of managing waste, such as refuse collection and recycling, are failing to minimise waste in cities. With urban populations growing worldwide, there is the challenge of increased pressure to import food from rural areas. Urban agriculture not only presents an opportunity to explore other means of sustainable food production, but for managing organic waste in cities. However, this opportunity is not taken advantage of. Besides, there is a challenge of mixed reactions from urban planners and policymakers concerning the challenges and benefits presented by using organic waste in urban agriculture. The current paper explores the perceived challenges and opportunities for organic waste utilisation and management through urban agriculture in the Durban South Basin in eThekwini Municipality in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Province of South Africa. It is anticipated that this information will be of use to the eThekwini Municipality, policymakers, researchers, urban agriculture initiatives, households and relevant stakeholders in the study areas and similar contexts globally. Two hundred (200) households involved in any urban farming activity and ten (10) key informants (six (6) staff from the Cleaning and Solid Waste Unit of the eThekwini Municipality and four (4) from the urban agricultural initiative) were selected using convenient sampling. Descriptive statistics and inductive thematic analysis were used to analyse data. The significant perceived challenges and risks associated with the utilisation of organic waste through urban agriculture included lack of a supporting policy, climatic variation, lack of land tenure rights, soil contamination and food safety concerns. Qualitative data further showed that the difficulty in segregating waste, water scarcity, difficulty in accessing inputs, limited transportation of organic waste, inadequate handling and treatment of organic waste, and being a health hazard were some important challenges. On the other hand, the significant perceived benefits associated with the utilisation of organic waste through urban agriculture were enhanced food and nutrition security, and opportunities for business incubation. Other important benefits established through qualitative data were an improved market expansion for farmers and improved productivity. Overall, despite the perceived challenges and risks, there is an opportunity to manage organic waste through urban agriculture. It is imperative for an integrated policy encompassing the food, climate and waste management to be developed to support this strategy. All stakeholders-the government, municipal authorities and urban agricultural initiatives should also, guided by the policy, support urban farmers, for example, through pieces of training on how to properly manage and recycle organic waste, land distribution, inputs availability and water usage rights among other things.
Publication
Journal: International journal of environmental research and public health
February/15/2020
Abstract
Objective: Cotinine is the preferred biomarker to validate levels of tobacco smoke exposure (TSE) in children. Compared to enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay methods (ELISA) for quantifying cotinine in saliva, the use of liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) has higher sensitivity and specificity to measure very low levels of TSE. We sought to compare LC-MS/MS and ELISA measures of cotinine in saliva samples from children overall and the associations of these measures with demographics and TSE patterns. Method: Participants were nonsmoking children (N = 218; age mean (SD) = 6.1 (5.1) years) presenting to a pediatric emergency department. Saliva samples were analyzed for cotinine using both LC-MS/MS and ELISA. Limit of quantitation (LOQ) for LC-MS/MS and ELISA was 0.1 ng/ml and 0.15 ng/ml, respectively. Results: Intraclass correlations (ICC) across methods = 0.884 and was consistent in sex and age subgroups. The geometric mean (GeoM) of LC-MS/MS = 4.1 (range: < LOQ - 382 ng/mL; 3% < LOQ) which was lower (p < 0.0001) than the ELISA GeoM = 5.7 (range: < LOQ - 364 ng/mL; 5% < LOQ). Similar associations of cotinine concentrations with age ( < -0.10, p < 0.0001), demographic characteristics (e.g., income), and number of cigarettes smoked by caregiver ( > 0.07, p < 0.0001) were found regardless of cotinine detection method; however, cotinine associations with sex and race/ethnicity were only found to be significant in models using LC-MS/MS-derived cotinine. Conclusions: Utilizing LC-MS/MS-based cotinine, associations of cotinine with sex and race/ethnicity of child were revealed that were not detectable using ELISA-based cotinine, demonstrating the benefits of utilizing the more sensitive LC-MS/MS assay for cotinine measurement when detecting low levels of TSE in children.
Publication
Journal: International journal of environmental research and public health
February/15/2020
Abstract
Breast cancer is the most common cancer spread among women worldwide. Whereas many studies have discussed the significance of breast cancer screening among women in various countries, few have attempted to discuss this topic among female school teachers. As teachers educate and communicate with students, this may play an essential role in health education and in promoting healthy behavior, such as breast cancer screening. The primary goal of this study is to develop and implement an educational intervention of breast cancer screening and evaluate its effectiveness among Yemeni female school teachers in Malaysia. This was carried out as per the health belief model. A cluster-randomized controlled trial was conducted among 183 Yemeni female school teachers in twelve schools in Klang Valley, Malaysia. A random assignment of the target schools was made to include them within the intervention or control group. Participants in the intervention group were offered a 90-minute session for one-day educational intervention on breast cancer screening. On the other hand, participants in the control group were offered the same educational materials at the end of the study. Relevant data was collected at baseline, one month following the intervention, and then three- and six-months follow-up assessments. Analysis of such data was done via IBM SPSS software 25.0 by generalized estimating equations (GEE) to assess the differential changes over time. A primary outcome embodied in breast cancer screening practice uptake was expected. Secondary outcomes include the target group's knowledge on and beliefs of breast cancer screening. This study intends to contribute to the credibility and effectiveness of utilizing a theory-based breast cancer screening intervention in order to raise the awareness of women on conducting breast cancer screening.
Publication
Journal: International journal of environmental research and public health
February/15/2020
Abstract
Cultivated land systems have an enormous ecological function value with respect to water conversation, nutrient circulation and climate regulation. The people's cognition, willingness and behavior may prove to be pivotal in ecologically protecting cultivated land. The purpose of this paper is to explore suppliers' and demanders' cognition, willingness and behavior with respect to the ecological protection of cultivated land. The second-order structural equation model was employed, and a five-point Likert scale was designed. Based on data obtained from a questionnaire surveyed on a sample of 460 (farming and no-farming households) from Caidian district, Wuhan, China, the results show that within/between suppliers and demanders, there are mismatches in willingness as well as behavior to ecologically protect cultivated land. In the suppliers group and in the demanders group, there are mismatches with respect to the interactive mechanism of cognition, willingness and behavior in the ecological protection of cultivated land. Three factors, subjective norms, attitude toward behavior, and perceived behavior control, affect willingness and behavior with respect to protection differently between the suppliers and the demanders. The "intermediary" effects of willingness and behavior in the ecological protection of cultivated land only appear in the demanders model, and are not significant in the suppliers model. In addition, another finding was that farmers' behavior as suppliers and demanders of ecological protection of cultivated land were mismatched. The article contributes firstly to exploring the ecological protection of cultivated land from the perspective of suppliers' and demanders' subjective psychology. Farmers with "dual roles" as suppliers and demanders should pay more attention to the ecological protection of cultivated land. Their cognition and skills in the ecological protection of cultivated land are in need of improvement. It is also necessary to bridge the gap between suppliers and demanders; access to the knowledge of the ecological value of cultivated land will incentivize their behavior with respect to the ecological protection of cultivated land.
Publication
Journal: International journal of environmental research and public health
February/15/2020
Abstract
Promoting tourism in China using sustainable practices has become a very important issue. In order to analyze temporal characteristics and spatial regularities of green total factor productivity (GTFP), carbon emissions and the consumption of energy related to tourism in China were estimated using a "bottom-up" method. The construction of a measurement framework (including carbon emissions and energy consumption) of GTFP for the tourism industry was also undertaken. The data envelopment analysis (DEA) model and the Malmquist-Luenberger (ML) index were used to measure and calculate tourism GTFP in China between 2007 and 2018, as well as analyze spatio-temporal differences. Results indicate that: (1) carbon emissions and the consumption of energy are increasing, and they have not yet peaked, with traffic associated with tourism accounting for the largest proportion among tourism sectors; the spatial distribution of carbon emissions and the consumption of energy is not balanced; (2) green development of tourism in China has achieved a good level of performance during the study period, driven by technical efficiency. Since 2014, pure technical efficiency (PE) has been >1, indicating that the tourism industry in China has entered a stage of change and promotion; (3) significant spatial differences exist in tourism GTFP in China. For example, the overall pattern of being strongest in the east and weakest in the west has not changed. Currently, eastern, central, and western regions in China rely on different dynamic mechanisms to promote tourism green development. In addition, some provinces have become the core or secondary growth poles of tourism green development in China.
Publication
Journal: International journal of environmental research and public health
February/15/2020
Abstract
A previous study in Japan found that monthly mean K index values were related to the monthly number of male, but not female, suicides. Correlations between geomagnetic disturbances and suicide/depression have also been reported in countries such as Canada, South Africa, Finland, Australia, Russia, and Japan. We have previously shown that stronger geomagnetism is linked to a higher standardized mortality ratio for suicide. To date, however, no published studies have reported the correlation between geomagnetic disturbances and suicide attempts in Taiwan.Data on the monthly number of suicide attempts in Taiwan from January 1997 to December 2013 were obtained. We performed a multivariable analysis, with the number of suicide attempts as the response variable and monthly Kp10 index, F10.7 index, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, ozone, fine particulate matter (PM2.5), temperature, humidity, unemployment rate, and cosmic rays as the explanatory variables.The multivariable analysis showed that Kp10 index, temperature, humidity, unemployment rate, and cosmic rays were associated with the number of male suicide attempts and that Kp10 index, F10.7 index, carbon monoxide, temperature, humidity, and unemployment rate were associated with the number of female suicide attempts.This is the first article reporting statistically significant relationships between the monthly number of male and female suicide attempts and the monthly mean Kp10 value in Taiwan.
Publication
Journal: Genes
February/15/2020
Abstract
In order to preserve genome integrity and their ploidy, cells must ensure that the duplicated genome has been faithfully replicated and evenly distributed before they complete their division by mitosis. To this end, cells have developed highly elaborated checkpoints that halt mitotic progression when problems in DNA integrity or chromosome segregation arise, providing them with time to fix these issues before advancing further into the cell cycle. Remarkably, exit from mitosis constitutes a key cell cycle transition that is targeted by the main mitotic checkpoints, despite these surveillance mechanisms being activated by specific intracellular signals and acting at different stages of cell division. Focusing primarily on research carried out using Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a model organism, the aim of this review is to provide a general overview of the molecular mechanisms by which the major cell cycle checkpoints control mitotic exit and to highlight the importance of the proper regulation of this process for the maintenance of genome stability during the distribution of the duplicated chromosomes between the dividing cells.
Publication
Journal: International journal of environmental research and public health
February/15/2020
Abstract
Visitor environmentally responsible behavior (ERB) is helpful for promoting the sustainable development of tourist destinations. Existing studies on visitor ERB tend to either focus on restraining visitors' environmental misconducts or rely on visitors' psychological factors. Based on the theory of engagement, this paper constructs a theoretical model to explain visitors' self-conscious ERB. Visitor engagement with the destination is investigated as an independent variable which leads to the improvement of relationship quality and visitor ERB. Relationship quality is explored to mediate the impact of visitor engagement on ERB. In addition, the moderating role of environmental clue on the tested relationships is also examined. This study adopts partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM) to investigate a total of 410 valid questionnaires. The results show that (1) visitor engagement with the destination positively affects visitor ERB; (2) relationship quality mediates the impact of visitor engagement on visitor ERB; (3) environmental clue plays a significant moderating role in the effects of engagement and relationship quality on visitor ERB. The study extends theoretical perspectives on visitor ERB and customer engagement, and provides managerially practical value to better understand visitors' self-conscious ERB.
Publication
Journal: Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)
February/15/2020
Abstract
Recently developed super nested array families have drawn much attention owing to their merits on keeping the benefits of the standard nested arrays while further mitigating coupling in dense subarray portions. In this communication, a new mutual coupling model for nested arrays is constructed. Analyzing the structure of the newly formed mutual coupling matrix, a transformation of the distorted steering vector to separate angular information from the mutual coupling coefficients is revealed. By this property, direction of arrival (DOA) estimates can be determined via a grid search for the minimum of a determinant function of DOA, which is induced by the rank reduction property. We also extend the robust DOA estimation method to accommodate the unknown mutual coupling and gain-phase mismatches in the nested array. Compared with the schemes of super nested array families on reducing the mutual coupling effects, the solutions presented in this paper has two advantages: (a) It is applicable to the standard nested arrays without rearranging the configuration to increase the inter-element spacing, alleviating the cross talk in dense uniform linear arrays (ULAs) as well as gain-phase errors in sparse ULA parts; (b) Perturbations in nested arrays are estimated in colored noise, which is significant but rarely discussed before. Simulations results corroborate the superiority of the proposed methods using fourth-order cumulants.
Related with
Publication
Journal: International journal of environmental research and public health
February/15/2020
Abstract
This Special Issue on Healing Spaces includes eight articles consisting of studies at the interface between design and health. The articles address some of the latest findings using state-of-the-art technologies, important outcomes for human health and wellbeing, and suggest exciting directions for the future of this research field.
Related with
Publication
Journal: Biosensors
February/15/2020
Abstract
Infections pose a serious global public health problem and are a major cause of premature mortality worldwide. One of the most challenging objectives faced by modern medicine is timely and accurate laboratory-based diagnostics of infectious diseases. Being a key factor of timely initiation and success of treatment, it may potentially provide reduction in incidence of a disease, as well as prevent outbreak and spread of dangerous epidemics. The traditional methods of laboratory-based diagnostics of infectious diseases are quite time- and labor-consuming, require expensive equipment and qualified personnel, which restricts their use in case of limited resources. Over the past six decades, diagnostic technologies based on lateral flow immunoassay (LFIA) have been and remain true alternatives to modern laboratory analyzers and have been successfully used to quickly detect molecular ligands in biosubstrates to diagnose many infectious diseases and septic conditions. These devices are considered as simplified formats of modern biosensors. Recent advances in the development of label-free biosensor technologies have made them promising diagnostic tools that combine rapid pathogen indication, simplicity, user-friendliness, operational efficiency, accuracy, and cost effectiveness, with a trend towards creation of portable platforms. These qualities exceed the generally accepted standards of microbiological and immunological diagnostics and open up a broad range of applications of these analytical systems in clinical practice immediately at the site of medical care (point-of-care concept, POC). A great variety of modern nanoarchitectonics of biosensors are based on the use of a broad range of analytical and constructive strategies and identification of various regulatory and functional molecular markers associated with infectious bacterial pathogens. Resolution of the existing biosensing issues will provide rapid development of diagnostic biotechnologies.
Publication
Journal: Micromachines
February/15/2020
Abstract
In this paper, ZnO@MoS2 core-shell heterojunction arrays were successfully prepared by the two-step hydrothermal method, and the growth mechanism was systematically studied. We found that the growth process of molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) was sensitively dependent on the reaction temperature and time. Through an X-ray diffractometry (XRD) component test, we determined that we prepared a 2H phase MoS2 with a direct bandgap semiconductor of 1.2 eV. Then, the photoelectric properties of the samples were studied on the electrochemical workstation. The results show that the ZnO@MoS2 heterojunction acts as a photoanode, and the photocurrent reaches 2.566 mA under the conditions of 1000 W/m2 sunshine and 0.6 V bias. The i-t curve also illustrates the perfect cycle stability. Under the condition of illumination and external bias, the electrons flow to the conduction band of MoS2 and flow out through the external electrode of MoS2. The holes migrate from the MoS2 to the zinc oxide (ZnO) valence band. It is transferred to the external circuit through the glass with fluorine-doped tin oxide (FTO) together with the holes on the ZnO valence band. The ZnO@MoS2 nanocomposite heterostructure provides a reference for the development of ultra-high-speed photoelectric switching devices, photodetector(PD) devices, and photoelectrocatalytic technologies.
Publication
Journal: Geriatrics (Basel, Switzerland)
February/15/2020
Abstract
The current dietary recommendation for protein intake in the UK is 0.75 g/kg/day, however, this population-wide recommendation does not necessarily reflect altered requirements for older adults to maintain muscle protein synthesis, nor does it encompass the potential impact of intake timing. Optimal muscle protein synthesis in older adults requires both higher intake requirements and a distribution of protein intake above a 25 g threshold, three times across the day. This study aimed to describe the protein intake of older adults in a UK region and compare the results to recommendations. The study re-assessed two existing datasets with rich diet information for older adults in the South Yorkshire area. Data were extracted from food diaries of 256 adults aged between 65 and 89 years old (mean ± SD 72.4 ± 5.3 years). Quantity and timing of intake were coded using Nutritics software and compared to recommendations. The relationship between body mass index (BMI), age, and protein intake was explored. Fewer than 50% of the participants met current UK recommendations (0.75 g/kg/day) and fewer than 15% met the ESPEN 1.2 g/kg/day age-specific recommendation. Only one participant met the 25 g/meal recommendation across three meals. These findings suggest that the older adult population is not achieving recommendations to maintain muscle protein synthesis. Nonetheless it identifies several straightforward opportunities for improvement, notably elevation of morning intake.
Publication
Journal: Micromachines
February/15/2020
Abstract
This paper presents the development of a metal oxide semiconductor (MOS) sensor for the detection of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which are of great importance in many applications involving either control of hazardous chemicals or noninvasive diagnosis. In this study, the sensor is fabricated based on tin dioxide (SnO2) and poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO) using electrospinning. The sensitivity of the proposed sensor is further improved by calcination and gold doping. The gold doping of composite nanofibers is achieved using sputtering, and the calcination is performed using a high-temperature oven. The performance of the sensor with different doping thicknesses and different calcination temperatures is investigated to identify the optimum fabrication parameters resulting in high sensitivity. The optimum calcination temperature and duration are found to be 350 °C and 4 h, respectively and the optimum thickness of the gold dopant is found to be 10 nm. The sensor with the optimum fabrication process is then embedded in a microchannel coated with several metallic and polymeric layers. The performance of the sensor is compared with that of a commercial sensor. The comparison is performed for methanol and a mixture of methanol and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which is the primary psychoactive constituent of cannabis. It is shown that the proposed sensor outperforms the commercial sensor when it is embedded inside the channel.
Publication
Journal: Animals : an open access journal from MDPI
February/15/2020
Abstract
Using animals in scientific research is commonly justified on the utilitarian basis that the benefits of scientific progress to human health and society exceed by far the harm inflicted on animals. In an attempt to ensure that this is indeed the case for every research project, legislation and guidelines increasingly demand the application of harm-benefit analysis (HBA) as part of the approval process of animal research protocols. The ethical principle of HBA asserts that the costs of an action should be weighed against the expected benefits. Any action that may inflict harm can only be approved if it is associated with a greater benefit. This principle is intuitively appealing but how to use it as a practical rule for ethical decisions is a difficult question. The main difficulty is that the future benefits of most scientific research are unmeasurable, unpredictable and are not manifested at the level of the individual project. Applying HBA in such cases may impede scientific progress by inducing a bias against basic research. Moreover, it can lead to the toleration of unnecessary harm to animals in research. Given these caveats of HBA, I call policy-makers to reconsider the place of HBA in animal research. Instead, I support an alternative guideline which is based on replacing the HBA principle (that the expected benefits of the research must exceed the harms caused to the animals) with two independent but mutually necessary principles: (1) any research using an animal must carry a benefit for society and (2) the harm inflicted to an animal in an experiment must be minimal and scientifically justified. I argue that rigorous harm-analysis, which is not weighted against obscure benefits, can increase the over-all benefits of research while reducing the harms to animals.
Publication
Journal: Geriatrics (Basel, Switzerland)
February/15/2020
Abstract
Patients who are discharged home following primary hip and knee arthroplasty have lower associated costs and better outcomes than patients who are discharged to skilled nursing facilities (SNFs). However, patients who live alone are more likely to be discharged to an SNF. We studied the factors that determine the discharge destination for patients who live alone after total joint arthroplasty (TJA) at an urban tertiary care academic hospital between April 2016 and April 2017. We identified 127 patients who lived alone: 79 (62.2%) were sent home, and 48 (37.8%) were sent to an SNF after surgery. Patients who went home versus to an SNF differed in age, employment status, exercise/active status, patient expectation of discharge to an SNF, ASA score, and the length of stay. After controlling for expectations of discharge to an SNF (OR: 28.98), patients who were younger (OR: 0.03) and employed (OR: 6.91) were more likely to be discharged home. In conclusion, the expectation of discharge location was the strongest predictor of discharge to an SNF even after controlling for age and employment. Future research should include a multi-hospital approach to strengthen the validity of our findings and investigate additional factors that impact discharge destination.
Publication
Journal: Materials (Basel, Switzerland)
February/15/2020
Abstract
The aim of this research was to investigate the effect of different heat treatment conditions of AA2519 friction stir welded joints on their microstructure and residual stresses. The following welding parameters have been used: 500 rpm tool rotation speed, 150 mm/min tool traverse speed, tool tilt angle 2°, pressure force 17 kN. The welded material was investigated in three different configurations: HT0, HT1, and HT2. The first type of weld (HT-0) was made using AA2519 alloy in non-precipitation hardened state and examined in such condition. The second type of weld (HT-1) has been performed on AA2519-T62, that corresponds to precipitation hardening condition. The last type of weld (HT2) was performed on annealed AA2519 and the obtained welds were subjected to the post-weld precipitation hardening process. The heat treatment was carried out in two stages: solution heat treatment (530°C/2h + cooling in cold water) and aging (165oC/10h). Residual stresses were measured using X-Ray diffraction patterns obtained from Bruker D8 Discover X-Ray diffractometer utilizing the concepts of Euler cradle and polycapillary primary beam optics. The conducted research indicates that the best material properties: homogenous microstructure and uniform distribution of microhardness and compressive state of residual stresses were obtained for the HT-2 series samples subjected to heat treatment after the friction stir welding (FSW) process.
Publication
Journal: Materials (Basel, Switzerland)
February/15/2020
Abstract
The presented work aimed to test influence of poly(L-lactide-co-glycolide)-block-poly (ethylene oxide) copolymer modification by blending with grafted dextrin or maltodextrin on the course of degradation in soil and the usefulness of such material as a matrix in the controlled release of herbicides. The modification should be to obtain homogenous blends with better susceptibility to enzymatic degradation. Among all tested blends, which were proposed as a carrier for potential use in the controlled release of plant protection agents, PLGA-block-PEG copolymer blended with grafted dextrin yielded very promising results for their future applications, and what is very importantly proposed formulations provide herbicides in unchanged form into soil within few months of release. The modification PLAGA/PEG copolymer by blending with modificated dextrins affects the improvement of the release profile. The weekly release rates for both selected herbicides (metazachlor and pendimethalin) were constant for a period of 12 weeks. Enzymatic degradation of modified dextrin combined with leaching of the degradation products into medium caused significant erosion of the polymer matrix, thereby leading to acceleration of water diffusion into the polymer matrix and allowing for easier leaching of herbicides outside the matrix.
Publication
Journal: Materials (Basel, Switzerland)
February/15/2020
Abstract
Hightemperature deformation around the glass transition temperature Tg and the dynamic mechanical behavior of La30Ce30Al15Co25 metallic glass were investigated. According to dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) results, La30Ce30Al15Co25 metallic glass exhibits a pronounced slow β relaxation process. In parallel, strainrate jump experiments around the glass transition temperature were performed in a wide range of strain rate ranges. The apparent viscosity shows a strong dependence on temperature and strain rate, which reflects the transition from nonNewtonian to Newtonian flow. At low strain or high temperature, a transition was observed from a nonNewtonian viscous flow to Newtonian viscous flow. It was found that the activation volume during plastic deformation of La30Ce30Al15Co25 metallic glass is higher than that of other metallic glasses. Higher values of activation volume in La30Ce30Al15Co25 metallic glass may be attributed to existence of a pronounced slow β relaxation. It is reasonable to conclude that slow β relaxation in La30Ce30Al15Co25 metallic glass corresponds to the "soft" regions (structural heterogeneities) in metallic glass.
Publication
Journal: Viruses
February/15/2020
Abstract
Equine infectious anemia virus (EIAV) is a persistent lentivirus that causes equine infectious anemia (EIA). In Brazil, EIAV is endemic in the Pantanal region, and euthanasia is not mandatory in this area. All of the complete genomic sequences from field viruses are from North America, Asia, and Europe, and only proviral genomic sequences are available. Sequences from Brazilian EIAV are currently available only for gag and LTR regions. Thus, the present study aimed for the first time to sequence the entire EIAV genomic RNA in naturally infected horses from an endemic area in Brazil. RNA in plasma from naturally infected horses was used for next-generation sequencing (NGS), and gaps were filled using Sanger sequencing methodology. Complete viral genomes of EIAV from two horses were obtained and annotated (Access Number: MN560970 and MN560971). Putative genes were analyzed and compared with previously described genes, showing conservation in gag and pol genes and high variations in LTR and env sequences. Amino acid changes were identified in the p26 protein, one of the most common targets used for diagnosis, and p26 molecular modelling showed surface amino acid alterations in some epitopes. Brazilian genome sequences presented 88.6% nucleotide identity with one another and 75.8 to 77.3% with main field strains, such as EIAV Liaoning, Wyoming, Ireland, and Italy isolates. Furthermore, phylogenetic analysis suggested that this Brazilian strain comprises a separate monophyletic group. These results may help to better characterize EIAV and to overcome the challenges of diagnosing and controlling EIA in endemic regions.
Publication
Journal: Viruses
February/15/2020
Abstract
In July 2018, a novel avian influenza virus (A/Mandarin duck/South Korea/KNU18-12/2018(H11N9)) was isolated from Mandarin ducks in South Korea. Phylogenetic and molecular analyses were conducted to characterize the genetic origins of the H11N9 strain. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that eight gene segments of strain H11N9 belonged to the Eurasian lineages. Analysis of nucleotide sequence similarity of both the hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA) genes revealed the highest homology with A/duck/Kagoshima/KU57/2014 (H11N9), showing 97.70% and 98.00% nucleotide identities, respectively. Additionally, internal genes showed homology higher than 98% compared to those of other isolates derived from duck and wild birds. Both the polymerase acidic (PA) and polymerase basic 1 (PB1) genes were close to the H5N3 strain isolated in China; whereas, other internal genes were closely related to that of avian influenza virus in Japan. A single basic amino acid at the HA cleavage site (PAIASR↓GLF), the lack of a five-amino acid deletion (residue 69-73) in the stalk region of the NA gene, and E627 in the polymerase basic 2 (PB2) gene indicated that the A/Mandarin duck/South Korea/KNU18-12/2018(H11N9) isolate was a typical low-pathogenicity avian influenza. In vitro viral replication of H11N9 showed a lower titer than H1N1 and higher than H9N2. In mice, H11N9 showed lower adaptation than H1N1. The novel A/Mandarin duck/South Korea/KNU18-12/2018(H11N9) isolate may have resulted from an unknown reassortment through the import of multiple wild birds in Japan and Korea in approximately 2016-2017, evolving to produce a different H11N9 compared to the previous H11N9 in Korea (2016). Further reassortment events of this virus occurred in PB1 and PA in China-derived strains. These results indicate that Japanese- and Chinese-derived avian influenza contributes to the genetic diversity of A/Mandarin duck/South Korea/KNU18-12/2018(H11N9) in Korea.
Publication
Journal: Viruses
February/15/2020
Abstract
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected individuals treated with anti-retroviral therapy often develop chronic non-infectious lung disease. To determine the mechanism of HIV-1-associated lung disease we evaluated the dynamics of lung leukocytes in HIV-1 transgenic (Tg) mice with integrated HIV-1 provirus. In HIV-Tg mice, lipopolysacharide (LPS) induced significantly higher levels of neutrophil infiltration in the lungs compared to wild-type (WT) mice. In WT mice, the initial neutrophil infiltration was followed by macrophage infiltration and fast resolution of leukocytes infiltration. In HIV-Tg mice, resolution of lung infiltration by both neutrophils and macrophages was significantly delayed, with macrophages accumulating in the lumen of lung capillaries resulting in a 45% higher rate of mortality. Trans-endothelial migration of HIV-Tg macrophages was significantly reduced in vitro and this reduction correlated with lower HIV-1 gene expression. HIV-1 transcription inhibitor, 1E7-03, enhanced trans-endothelial migration of HIV-Tg macrophages in vitro, decreased lung neutrophil infiltration in vivo, and increased lung macrophage levels in HIV-Tg mice. Moreover, 1E7-03 reduced levels of inflammatory IL-6 cytokine, improved bleeding score and decreased lung injury. Together this indicates that inhibitors of HIV-1 transcription can correct abnormal dynamics of leukocyte infiltration in HIV-Tg, pointing to the utility of transcription inhibition in the treatment of HIV-1 associated chronic lung disease.
Publication
Journal: Journal of clinical medicine
February/15/2020
Abstract
The impact of emotion regulation interventions on wellbeing has been extensively documented in literature, although only in recent years virtual reality (VR) technologies have been incorporated in the design of such interventions, in both clinical and non-clinical settings. A systematic search, following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) guidelines, was therefore carried out to explore the state of the art in emotion regulation interventions for wellbeing using virtual reality. The literature on this topic was queried, 414 papers were screened, and 11 studies were included, covering adults and older adults. Our findings offer an overview of the current use of VR technologies for the enhancement of emotion regulation (ER) and wellbeing. The results are promising and suggest that VR-based emotion regulation training can facilitate the promotion of wellbeing. An overview of VR-based training interventions is crucial for better understanding how to use these tools in the clinical settings. This review offers a critical debate on the structure of such intervention protocols. It also analyzes and highlights the crucial role played by the selection of the objective and subjective wellbeing assessment measures of said intervention protocols.
Publication
Journal: Animals : an open access journal from MDPI
February/15/2020
Abstract
The number of equines injured as a result of incidents during road transport is currently unknown in the United Kingdom. Although previous research has identified factors that affect an equine's behavioural and physiological responses to transportation, their contribution to incident occurrence and injury risk is unclear. The aim of this study was to identify factors associated with incident occurrence and equine injury during transportation by road. An online survey was administered between 12th May 2017 and 21st July 2017 in the UK. The survey was open to those transporting equines non-commercially and comprised two sections. Questions relating to general transport behaviour were completed by all participants. Participants who had experienced an incident then provided details of these, including outcomes. Incidents were reported by 16.2% (342/2116) of participants, with details included for 399 incidents. Those participants who had a professional/competitive involvement with equines reported more incidents than those with a predominantly leisure involvement (p < 0.01). Equine behaviour was the attributed cause of 56% of incidents reported and most incidents occurred during the first hour of travel (65%). In over 50% of the incidents reported, the equine was injured, with those incidents attributed to transport vehicle malfunction being associated with the highest percentage of injury (68%). This study highlights the need for better preparation of the equine for transportation and to identify risk factors associated with transport vehicle type, design and operation.
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