International Science Index

International Journal of Medical and Health Sciences

Lateral Cephalometric Radiograph to Determine Sex in Forensic Investigations
Forensic identification is to help investigators determine a person's identity. Personal identification is often a problem in civil and criminal cases. Orthodontists like all other dental professionals can play a major role by maintaining lateral cephalogram and thus providing important or vital information or can clues to the legal authorities in order to help them in their search. Radiographic lateral cephalometry is a measurement method which focused on the anatomical points of human lateral skull. Sex determination is one of the most important aspects of the personal identification in forensic. Lateral cephalogram is a valuable tool in identification of sex as reveal morphological details of the skull on single radiograph. This present study evaluates the role of lateral cephalogram in identification of sex that parameters of lateral cephalogram are linear measurement and angle measurement. The linear measurements are N-S ( Anterior cranial length), Sna-Snp (Palatal plane length), Me-Go (menton-gonion), N-Sna ( Midfacial anterior height ), Sna-Me (Lower anterior face height), Co-Gn (total mandibular length). The angle measurements are SNA, SNB, ANB, Gonial, Interincical, and facial.
Modelling Oxidative Damage Induced Gene Silencing from Cancer to Chlamydomonas
Background: ROS (reactive oxygen species)-induced oxidative DNA damage drives genome-wide rearrangement of multiple epigenetic silencing complexes. This drives the interaction of DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs), Polycomb (PRC2) and histone deacetylases, pathways that are conserved across human and mice models. Such altered epigenetic states eventually lead to abnormal CpG DNA methylation that silences tumour suppressor genes, a probable step in priming normal cells towards cancer. Using in silico approaches to query the evolutionary conservation of this pathway, we assayed for parallel epigenetic modulations in the unicellular green algae, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Methodology: Our approach involved sequence analysis of the catalytic subunit of PRC2 in Chlamydomonas, namely E(z), and studying structural conservation using homology modelling (iTasser). Using these in silico predictions, we assayed for quantitative phenotypes using the epigenetic assay, ROS detection methods and fluorescence microscopy, tracking molecular changes and CpG DNA methylation using MSRE. Major findings: Homology modelling of the Chlamydomonas E(z) protein against the human and yeast EZH2 structures, revealed a structural conservation in the DNMT-EED interacting domain as well as the catalytic SET and CXC domains. Our analyses predicted multiple Zn binding sites that could potentially aid catalysis. Using a dual cassette reporter design (pCG), we developed the semi-quantitative 'Epigenetic Assay' that allows us to phenotypically track gene silencing in various transgenic clones of Chlamydomonas. As reported in other model systems, upon manganese depletion and in the presence of excess copper, we were able to induce chronic oxidative stress as detected by significantly higher levels of intracellular ROS. This followed a concomitant increase in the silencing of the Paromomycin resistance transgene (PmR) as revealed by the epigenetic assay. Elevated levels of Zn also increased epigenetic silencing, thereby indirectly bearing out the structural prediction of Zn as a co-factor in modulating the activity of silencing complexes such as E (z) and other known deacetylases. We also used Methylation-Sensitive Restriction Enzyme assays (MSRE) to demonstrate increased CpG DNA methylation at the PmR gene promoter concordant with the levels of phenotypic repression observed. Finally, using DNA methylation and acetylation inhibitors as drugs, we demonstrate reversal of the silencing phenotype, thus proving Chlamydomonas to be an effective model to characterize interference using mammalian epigenetic drugs. Conclusion: We believe that the demonstration of conservation of ROS mediated (tumour suppressor) gene silencing pathways in the unicellular green algae will help provide a deeper understanding of stress induced epigenetically conserved disease mechanisms, and also serve as an inexpensive model to screen for cancer drugs that interfere with these molecular processes.
The Efficacy and Safety of Volumetric Magnetic Resonance Guided High Intensity Focused Ultrasound Ablation on Leiomyoma and Adenomyoma in Vietnam
Introduction: Leiomyoma and adenomyoma are two most common benign gynecological tumors affecting the reproductive age of women. These tumors may cause bulk effect in the pelvis, abnormal uterus bleeding and infertility. Magnetic resonance guided high-intensity focused ultrasound (MRgHIFU) is a newly non-invasive treatment alternative to conventional surgery for leiomyoma and adenomyoma patients who want to preserve the uterus. Our aim in this study was to evaluate the efficacy of MRgHIFU on both leiomyoma and adenomyoma defined as immediate non-perfused volume (NPV) ratio, the volume reduction ratio and the transformed symptom severity score (tSSS) improvement at 6-months follow-up. Moreover, adverse events, pregnancy and the Anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH) concentration were investigated as a safety profile. Materials and methods: Leiomyoma group including 100 symptomatic leiomyoma patients (39.4±5.9 years with a range of 22–52 years) and adenomyoma group including 50 symptomatic adenomyoma patients (40.7±6.9 years with a range of 30–56 years) were presented in this Vietnam single-center study. Wilcoxon test was carried out to compare the volume, the tSSS and AMH hormone before treatment and 6 months follow-up. P values less than 0.05 were considered statistically significant. Results: The NPV ratio of leiomyoma group was 85.3% ± 22.6 (4.3-100) and the NPV ratio of adenomyoma group was 75.4% ± 26.8 (10.4-100). The volume of leiomyoma group before treatment was 184.7ml ± 151.2 (6.0-794.0) and the volume of leiomyoma group at 6-months follow up was 103.7ml ± 89.1 (4.0-578.0) (p
Evaluation of Hospital Antibiotic Policy Implementation at the Oncosurgery Ward: A Six Years' Experience
The Hospital Antibiotic Policy (HAP) should be implemented to rationalize the antibiotic use and to decrease the risk of spreading of spreading of resistant bacteria. The aim of our study was to describe the antibiotic consumption patterns at the single oncosurgery ward before and after implementation of the HAP. We conducted a retrospective analysis of the antibiotic use at the Oncosurgery Ward in Warsaw (Poland) in years 2011-2016. Calculations were based on daily defined doses (DDDs), DDDs/100 hospitalizations and DDDs/100 person-days, drug utilization rates (DU 90% and DU 100%) were also analysed. After implementation of the HAP, the total antibiotic consumption increased (365.35 DDD in 2011 vs. 1359,22 DDD in 2016). The significant change was observed in antibiotic consumption patterns: the use of amoxicillin clavulanate and carbapenems or glycopeptides decreased significantly (p < 0,05), while the use of ciprofloxacin and aminoglycosides increased (p < 0,05). The DU100% rate varied from 6 in 2011 to 12 in 2016; while DU 90% rate varied from 2 in 2011 to 3-5 in 2013-2016. Although the implementation of the HAP did not result in the decreased total antibiotic consumption, it provided favorable changes in the antibiotic consumption patterns.
The Role of Uterine Artery Embolization in the Management of Postpartum Hemorrhage
As an emerging alternative to hysterectomy, uterine artery embolization (UAE) has been widely used in the management of fibroids and in controlling postpartum hemorrhage (PPH) unresponsive to other therapies. Research has shown UAE to be a safe, minimally invasive procedure with few complications and minimal effects on future fertility. We present two cases highlighting the use of UAE in preventing PPH in a patient with a large fibroid at the time of cesarean section and in the treatment of secondary PPH refractory to other therapies in another patient. We present a 36-year primiparous woman who booked at 18+6 weeks gestation with a 13.7 cm subserosal fibroid at the lower anterior wall of the uterus near the cervix and a 10.8 cm subserosal fibroid in the left wall. Prophylactic internal iliac artery occlusion balloons were placed prior to the planned classical midline cesarean section. The balloons were inflated once the baby was delivered. Bilateral uterine arteries were embolized subsequently. The estimated blood loss (EBL) was 400 mls and hemoglobin (Hb) remained stable at 10 g/DL. Ultrasound scan 2 years postnatally showed stable uterine fibroids 10.4 and 7.1 cm, which was significantly smaller than before. We present the second case of a 40-year-old G2P1 with a previous cesarean section for failure to progress. There were no antenatal problems, and the placenta was not previa. She presented with term labour and underwent an emergency cesarean section for failed vaginal birth after cesarean. Intraoperatively extensive adhesions were noted with bladder drawn high, and EBL was 300 mls. Postpartum recovery was uneventful. She presented with secondary PPH 3 weeks later complicated by hypovolemic shock. She underwent an emergency examination under anesthesia and evacuation of the uterus, with EBL 2500mls. Histology showed decidua with chronic inflammation. She was discharged well with no further PPH. She subsequently returned one week later for secondary PPH. Bedside ultrasound showed that the endometrium was thin with no evidence of retained products of conception. Uterotonics were administered, and examination under anesthesia was performed, with uterine Bakri balloon and vaginal pack insertion after. EBL was 1000 mls. There was no definite cause of PPH with no uterine atony or products of conception. To evaluate a potential cause, pelvic angiogram and super selective left uterine arteriogram was performed which showed profuse contrast extravasation and acute bleeding from the left uterine artery. Superselective embolization of the left uterine artery was performed. No gross contrast extravasation from the right uterine artery was seen. These two cases demonstrated the superior efficacy of UAE. Firstly, the prophylactic use of intra-arterial balloon catheters in pregnant patients with large fibroids, and secondly, in the diagnosis and management of secondary PPH refractory to uterotonics and uterine tamponade. In both cases, the need for laparotomy hysterectomy was avoided, resulting in the preservation of future fertility. UAE should be a consideration for hemodynamically stable patients in centres with access to interventional radiology.
A Review on Future of Plant Based Medicine in Treatment of Urolithiatic Disorder
Urolithiasis is a condition in which insoluble or less soluble salts like oxalate, phosphate etc. precipitate in urinary tract and causes obstruction in ureter resulting renal colic or sometimes haematuria. It is the third most common disorder of urinary tract affecting nearly 2% of world’s population. Poor urinary drainage, microbial infection, oxalate and calcium containing diet, calciferol, hyperparathyroidism, cysteine in urine, gout, dysfunction of intestine, drought environment, lifestyle, exercise, stress etc. are risk factors for urolithiasis. Wide ranges of treatments are available in allopathic system of medicine but reoccurrence is unpreventable even with the surgical removal of stone or lithotripsy. So, people prefer alternative medicinal systems such as Unani, homeopathic, ayurvedic etc. systems of medicine due to their fewer side effects over allopathic counterpart. Different plants based ethnomedicines are being well established by their continuous effective use in human since long time in treatment of urinary problem. Many studies have scientifically proved those ethnomedicines for antiurolithiatic effect in animal and in vitro model. Plant-based remedies were found to be therapeutically effective for both prevention as well as cure of calcium oxalate urolithiasis. Plants were known to show these effects through a combination of many effects such as antioxidant, diuretic, hypocalciuric, urine alkalinizing effect in them. Berberine, triterpenoids, lupeol are the phytochemicals established for antiurolithiatic effect. Hence, plant-based medicine can be the effective herbal alternative as well as means of discovery of novel drug molecule for curing urolithiatic disorder and should be focused on further research to discover their value in coming future.
Qualitative and Quantitative Screening of Biochemical Compositions for Six Selected Marine Macroalgae from Mediterranean Coast of Egypt
Seaweeds are potential renewable resources in marine environment. They provide an excellent source of bioactive substances such as dietary fibers and various functional polysaccharides that could potentially be used as ingredients for both human and animal health applications. The observations suggested that these bioactive compounds have strong antioxidant properties, which have beneficial effects on human health. The present research aimed at finding new chemical products from local marine macroalgae for natural medicinal uses and consumption for their nutritional values. Macroalgae samples were collected manually mainly from the Mediterranean Sea at shallow subtidal zone of Abu Qir Bay, Alexandria, Egypt. The chemical compositions of lyophilized materials of six selected macroalgal species; Colpomenia sinuosa, Sargassum linifolium, Padina pavonia, Pterocladiella capillacea, Laurencia pinnatifidia, and Caulerpa racemosa, were investigated for proteins using bovine serum albumin, and carbohydrates were assayed by phenol-sulfuric acid reaction. The macroalgae lipid was extracted with chloroform, methanol and phosphate buffer. Vitamins were extracted using trichloroacetic acid. Chlorophylls and total carotenoids were determined spectrophotometrically and total phenols were extracted with methanol. In addition, lipid-soluble, and water-soluble antioxidant, and anti α-glucosidase activities were measured spectrophotometrically. The antioxidant activity of hexane extracts was investigated using phosphomolybdenum reagent. The anti-α-glucosidase effect measurement was initiated by mixing α-glucosidase solution with p-nitrophenyl α-D-glucopyranoside. The results showed that the ash contents varied from 11.2 to 35.4 % on dry weight basis for P. capillacea and Laurencia pinnatifidia, respectively. The protein contents ranged from 5.63 % in brown macroalgae C. sinuosa to 8.73 % in P. pavonia. A relative wide range in carbohydrate contents was observed (20.06–46.75 %) for the test algal species. The highest lipid percentage was found in green alga C. racemosa (5.91%) followed by brown algae P. pavonia (3.57%) and C. sinuosa (2.64%). The phenolic contents varied from 1.32 mg GAE/g for C. sinuosa to 4.00 mg GAE/g in P. pavonia. The lipid-soluble compounds exhibited higher antioxidant capacity (73.18-145.95 µM/g) than that of the water-soluble ones ranging from 24.83 µM/g in C. racemosa to 74.07 µM/g in S. linifolium. The most potent anti-α-glucosidase activity was observed for P. pavonia with IC50 of 17.12 μg/ml followed by S. linifolium (IC50 = 71.75 μg/ml), C. racemosa (IC50 = 84.73 μg/ml), P. capillacea (IC50 = 92.16 μg/ml), C. sinuosa (IC50 = 112.44 μg/ml), and L. pinnatifida (IC50 = 115.11 μg/ml).
Assessment of Cellular Metabolites and Impedance for Early Diagnosis of Oral Cancer among Habitual Smokers
Smoking is one of the leading causes of oral cancer. Cigarette smoke affects various cellular parameters and alters molecular metabolism of cells. Epithelial cells losses their cytoskeleton structure, membrane integrity, cellular polarity that subsequently initiates the process of epithelial cells to mesenchymal transition due to long exposure of cigarette smoking. It changes the normal cellular metabolic activity which induces oxidative stress and enhances the reactive oxygen spices (ROS) formation. Excessive ROS and associated oxidative stress are considered to be a driving force in alteration in cellular phenotypes, polarity distribution and mitochondrial metabolism. Noninvasive assessment of such parameters plays essential role in development of routine screening system for early diagnosis of oral cancer. Electrical cell-substrate impedance sensing (ECIS) is one of such method applied for detection of cellular membrane impedance which can be correlated to cell membrane integrity. Present study intends to explore the alteration in cellular impedance along with the expression of cellular polarity molecules and cytoskeleton distributions in oral epithelial cells of habitual smokers and to correlate the outcome to that of clinically diagnosed oral leukoplakia and oral squamous cell carcinoma patients. Total 80 subjects were categorized into four study groups: nonsmoker (NS), cigarette smoker (CS), oral leukoplakia (OLPK) and oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). Cytoskeleton distribution was analyzed by staining of actin filament and generation of ROS was measured using assay kit using standard protocol. Cell impedance was measured through ECIS method at different frequencies. Expression of E-cadherin and protease-activated receptor (PAR) proteins were observed through immune-fluorescence method. Distribution of actin filament is well organized in NS group however; distribution pattern was grossly varied in CS, OLPK and OSCC. Generation of ROS was low in NS which subsequently increased towards OSCC. Expressions of E-cadherin and change in cellular electrical impedance in different study groups indicated the hallmark of cancer progression from NS to OSCC. Expressions of E-cadherin, PAR protein, and cell impedance were decreased from NS to CS and farther OSCC. Generally, the oral epithelial cells exhibit apico-basal polarity however with cancer progression these cells lose their characteristic polarity distribution. In this study expression of polarity molecule and ECIS observation indicates such altered pattern of polarity among smoker group. Overall the present study monitored the alterations in intracellular ROS generation and cell metabolic function, membrane integrity in oral epithelial cells in cigarette smokers. Present study thus has clinical significance, and it may help in developing a noninvasive technique for early diagnosis of oral cancer amongst susceptible individuals.
Clinical Cases of Rare Types of 'Maturity Onset Diabetes of the Young' Diabetes
In Siberia endocrinologists increasingly noted young patients with the course of diabetes mellitus differing from 1 and 2 types. Therefore we did a molecular genetic study for this group of patients to verify the monogenic forms of diabetes mellitus in them and researched the characteristics of this pathology. When confirming the monogenic form of diabetes, we performed a correction therapy for many patients (transfer from insulin to tablets), prevented specific complications, examined relatives and diagnosed their diabetes at the preclinical stage, revealed phenotypic characteristics of the pathology which led to the high significance of this work. Materials and Methods: We observed 5 patients (4 families). We diagnosed MODY (Maturity Onset Diabetes of the Young) during the molecular genetic testing (direct automatic sequencing). All patients had a full clinical examination, blood samples for biochemical research, determination of C-peptide and TSH, antibodies to b-cells, microalbuminuria, abdominal ultrasound, heart and thyroid ultrasound, examination of ophthalmologist. Results: We diagnosed 3 rare types of MODY: two women had MODY8, one man – MODY6 and man and his mother - MODY12. Patients with types 8 and 12 had clinical features. Age of onset hyperglycemia ranged from 26 to 34 years. In a patient with MODY6 fasting hyperglycemia was detected during a routine examination. Clinical symptoms, complications were not diagnosed. The patient observes a diet. In the first patient MODY8 was detected during first pregnancy, she had itchy skin and mostly postprandial hyperglycemia. Upon examination we determined glycated hemoglobin 7.5%, retinopathy, non-proliferative stage, peripheral neuropathy. She uses a basic bolus insulin therapy. The second patient with MODY8 also had clinical manifestations of hyperglycemia (pruritus, thirst), postprandial hyperglycemia and diabetic nephropathy, a stage of microalbuminuria. The patient was diagnosed autoimmune thyroiditis. She used inhibitors of DPP-4. The patient with MODY12 had an aggressive course. In the detection of hyperglycemia he had complaints of visual impairment, intense headaches, leg cramps. The patient had a history of childhood convulsive seizures of non-epileptic genesis, without organic pathology, which themselves were stopped at the age of 12 years. When we diagnosed diabetes a patient was 28 years, he had hypertriglyceridemia, atherosclerotic plaque in the carotid artery, proliferative retinopathy (lacerocoagulation). Diabetes and early myocardial infarction were observed in three cases in family. We prescribe therapy with sulfonylureas and SGLT-2 inhibitors with a positive effect. At the patient's mother diabetes began at a later age (30 years) and a less aggressive course was observed. She also has hypertriglyceridemia and uses oral hypoglycemic drugs. Conclusions: 1) When young patients with hyperglycemia have extrapancreatic pathologies and diabetic complications with a short duration of diabetes we can assume they have one of type of MODY diabetes. 2) In patients with monogenic forms of diabetes mellitus, the clinical manifestations of hyperglycemia in each succeeding generation are revealed at an earlier age. Research had increased our knowledge of the monogenic forms of diabetes. The reported study was supported by RSCF, research project No. 14-15-00496-P.
Influential Health Care System Rankings Can Conceal Maximal Inequities: A Simulation Study
Background: Comparative rankings are increasingly used to evaluate health care systems. These rankings combine discrete attribute rankings into a composite overall ranking. Health care equity is a component of overall rankings, but excelling in other categories can counterbalance low inequity grades. Highly ranked inequitable health care would commend systems that disregard human rights. We simulated the ranking of a maximally inequitable health care system using a published, influential ranking methodology. Methods: We used The Commonwealth Fund’s ranking of eleven health care systems to simulate the rank of a maximally inequitable system. Eighty performance indicators were simulated, assuming maximal ineptitude in equity benchmarks. Maximal rankings in all non-equity subcategories were assumed. Subsequent stepwise simulations lowered all non-equity rank positions by one. Results: The maximally non-equitable health care system ranked first overall. Three subsequent stepwise simulations, lowering non-equity rankings by one, each resulted in an overall ranking within the top three. Discussion: Our results demonstrate that grossly inequitable health care systems can rank highly in comparative health care system rankings. These findings challenge the validity of ranking methodologies that subsume equity under broader benchmarks. We advocate limiting maximum overall rankings of health care systems to their individual equity rankings. Such limits are logical given the insignificance of health care system improvements to those lacking adequate health care.
A Case Study of Response to Dual Genotype Chronic Hepatitis C/HIV Co-Infection to Fixed Dose Sofosbuvir/Ledipasvir
HIV/Hepatitis C co-infection treatments have evolved substantially and they have similar sustained virologic response rates as those of Hepatitis C monoinfected population. There are a few studies on therapy of patients with dual genotypes, especially in HIV/Hepatic C coinfected group. Most studies portrayed case reports of dual genotype chronic Hepatitis C coinfection treatment with Sofosbuvir/Ledipasvir and Ribavirin. A 79-year-old male with a history of HIV on Truvada and Isentress had chronic Hepatitis C with 1a and 2 genotypes. The patient has a history of alcohol intake for 40 years but recently stopped drinking alcohol. He has a history of intravenous drug use in the past and currently is not using any recreational drugs. Patient has Fibro score of 0.7 with Metavir score F2 to F4. AFP is 3.2. The HCV RNA is 493,034 IU/ML. The HBV viral DNA is < 1.30 (not detected). The CD4 is 687CU/MM. The FIB 4 is 3.34 with APRI index 0.717. The HIV viral load is 101 copies/ML. MRI abdomen did not show any liver abnormality. Fixed dose Sofosbuvir/Ledipasvir was used for therapy without Ribavirin. He tolerated medication except for some minor gastrointestinal side effects like abdominal bloating. He demonstrated 100% adherence rate. Patient completed 12 weeks of therapy. HCV RNA was undetectable at 4 and 12 weeks. He achieved SVR at week 12 and subsequently had undetectable RNA for 2 years. Dual genotype prevalence in chronic hepatitis C population is rare, especially in HIV/hepatic coinfection. Our case demonstrates that dual genotypic cases can still be successfully treated with Direct Acting Antiviral agents. The newer agents for therapy for pan genotypes were not available at the time the patient was being treated. We demonstrated that dual agent therapy was still able to maintain SVR in our patient.
Stress and Distress among Physician Trainees: A Wellbeing Workshop
Introduction: Doctors experience high levels of burnout, stress and psychiatric morbidity. This can affect the health of the doctor and impact patient care. Study Aims: To evaluate the effectiveness of a workshop intervention to promote wellbeing for Australian Physician Trainees. Methods: A workshop was developed in consultation with specialist clinicians to promote health and wellbeing for physician trainees. The workshop objectives were to improve participant understanding about factors affecting their health and wellbeing, to outline strategies on how to improve health and wellbeing and to encourage participants to apply these strategies in their own lives. There was a focus on building resilience and developing long term healthy behaviours as part of the physician trainee daily lifestyle. Trainees had the opportunity to learn practical strategies for stress management, gain insight into their behaviour and take steps to improve their health and wellbeing. The workshop also identified resources and support systems available to trainees. The workshop duration was four and a half hours including a thirty- minute meal break where a catered meal was provided for the trainees. Workshop evaluations were conducted at the end of the workshop. Sixty-seven physician trainees from Adult Medicine and Paediatric training programs in Sydney Australia were randomised into intervention and control groups. The intervention group attended a workshop facilitated by specialist clinicians and the control group did not. Baseline and post intervention measurements were taken for both groups to evaluate the impact and effectiveness of the workshop. Forty-six participants completed all three measurements (69%). Demographic, personal and self-reported data regarding work/life patterns was collected. Outcome measures include Depression Anxiety Stress Scale (DASS), Professional Quality of Life Scale (ProQOL) and Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT). Results: The workshop was well received by the physician trainees and workshop evaluations showed that the majority of trainees strongly agree or agree that the training was relevant to their needs (96%) and met their expectations (92%). All trainees strongly agree or agree that they would recommend the workshop to their medical colleagues. In comparison to the control group we observed a reduction in alcohol use, depression and burnout but an increase in stress, anxiety and secondary traumatic stress in the intervention group, at the primary endpoint measured at 6 months. However, none of these differences reached statistical significance (p > 0.05). Discussion: Although the study did not reach statistical significance, the workshop may be beneficial to physician trainees. Trainees had the opportunity to share ideas, gain insight into their own behaviour, learn practical strategies for stress management and discuss approach to work, life and self-care. The workshop discussions enabled trainees to share their experiences in a supported environment where they learned that other trainees experienced stress and burnout and they were not alone in needing to acquire successful coping mechanisms and stress management strategies. Conclusion: These findings suggest that physician trainees are a vulnerable group who may benefit from initiatives that promote wellbeing and from a more supportive work environment.
Effects of Narghile Smoking in Tongue, Trachea and Lung
The effects that may be related to narghile smoking in the tissues of the oral cavity, trachea and lung and associated inflammation has been the question raised lately. The objective of this study was to identify histopathological changes and the presence of inflammation through the exposure of mice to narghile smoking through a whole-body study. The animals were divided in 4 groups with 5 animals in each group, being: one control group, one with 7 days of exposure, 15 days and the last one with 30 days. The animals were exposed to the conventional hookah smoke from Mizo brand with 0.5% percentage of unwashed tobacco and the EcOco brand coconut fiber having a dimension of 2cm × 2cm. The duration of the session was 30 minutes / day per 7, 15 and 30 days. The tobacco smoke concentration at which test animals were exposed was 35 ml every two seconds while the remaining 58 seconds were pure air. Afterward, the mice were sacrificed and submitted to histological evaluation through slices. It was found in the tongue of the 7-day group the presence in epithelium areas with acanthosis, hyperkeratosis and epithelial projections. In-depth, more intense inflammation was observed. All alteration processes increased significantly as the days of exposure increased. In trachea, with the 7-day group, there was a decrease in thickening of the pseudostratified epithelium and a slight decrease in lashes, giving rise to the metaplasia process, a process that was established in the 31-day sampling when the epithelium became stratified. In the conjunctive tissue, it was observed the presence of defense cells and formation of new vessels, evidencing the chronic inflammatory process, which decreased in the course of the samples due to the deposition of collagen fibers as seen in the 15 and 31 days groups. Among the structures of the lung, the study focused on the bronchioles and alveoli. From the 7-day group, intra-alveolar septum thickness increased, alveolar space decreased, inflammatory infiltrate with mononuclear and defense cells and new vessels formation were observed, increasing the number of red blood cells in the region. The results showed that with the passing of the days a progressive increase of the signs of changes in the region was observed, a factor that shows that narghile smoking stimulates alterations mainly in the alveoli (place where gas exchanges occur that should not present alterations) calling attention to the harmful and aggressive effect of narghile smoking. These data also highlighted the harmful effect of smoking, since the presence of acanthosis, hyperkeratosis, epithelial projections and inflammation evidences the cellular alteration process for the tongue tissue protection. Also, the narghile smoking stimulates both epithelial and inflammatory changes in the trachea, in addition to a process of metaplasia, a factor that reinforces the harmful effect and the carcinogenic potential of the narghile smoking.
A Review of the Literature on Nutritional Supplements for the Treatment of Obesity
The problem of obesity is one that continues to be faced in the United States health care system and across the developing world. Prescription medications are available, but are often very expensive with minimal insurance coverage. The over-the-counter diet aid industry is a robust one, selling billions of dollars in products every year. It is important for clinicians to understand the myriad of different nutritional supplements marketed for obesity, and to weigh the evidence behind these products. This manuscript outlines the most commonly used nutritional supplements currently marketed for weight loss, reviewing the evidence with a focus on efficacy and safety of these products.
Lipid Ratios and Obesity Indices in Children
Obesity is a low-grade inflammatory disease and may lead to health problems such as hypertension, dyslipidemia, diabetes. It is also associated with important risk factors for cardiovascular diseases. This requires detailed evaluation of obesity particularly in children. The aim of this study is to enlighten the potential associations between lipid ratios and obesity indices and to introduce those with discriminating features among children with obesity and metabolic syndrome (MetS). A total of 408 children (aged between six and eighteen years) participated in the scope of the study. Informed consent forms were taken from the participants and their parents. Ethical Committee approval was obtained. Anthropometric measurements, such as weight, height as well as waist, hip, head, neck circumferences (Cs) and body fat mass were taken. Systolic and diastolic blood pressure values were recorded. Body mass index (BMI), diagnostic obesity notation model assessment index-II (D2 index), waist-to-hip, head-to-neck ratios were calculated. Total cholesterol (TChol), triglycerides (TRG), high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDLChol), low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDLChol) analyses were performed in blood samples drawn from 110 children with normal body weight (NW), 164 morbid obese (MO) children and 134 children with MetS. Age- and sex-adjusted BMI percentiles tabulated by WHO were used to classify groups; NW, MO and MetS. 15th-to-85th percentiles were used to define NW children. Children, whose values were above 99th percentile, were described as MO. Metabolic syndrome criteria were defined. Data were evaluated statistically by SPSS Version 20. The degree for statistical significance was accepted as p≤0.05. Mean±SD values of BMI for NW children, MO children and those with MetS were 15.7±1.1, 27.1±3.8 and 29.1±5.3, respectively. Corresponding values for D2 index were calculated as 3.4±0.9, 14.3±4.9 and 16.4±6.7. Both BMI and D2 indices were capable of discriminating the groups from one another (p≤0.01). As far as other obesity indices were considered, waist-to hip and head-to-neck ratios did not exhibit any statistically significant difference between MO and MetS groups (p≥0.05). D2 index was correlated with TRG-to-HDLChol ratio in NW and MO (r=0.413, p≤0.01 and r=0.261, (p≤0.05, respectively). TChol-to-HDLChol and LDLChol-to-HDLChol showed statistically significant differences between NW and MO as well as MO and MetS (p≤0.05). The only group in which these two ratios were significantly correlated with waist-to-hip ratio was MetS group (r=0.332 and r=0.334, p≤0.01, respectively). Lack of correlation between D2 index and TRG-to-HDLChol ratio was another important finding in MetS group. In this study, parameters and ratios, whose associations were defined previously with increased cardiovascular risk or cardiac death, have been evaluated along with obesity indices in children with morbid obesity and MetS. Their profiles during childhood have been investigated. Aside from the nature of correlation between D2 index and TRG-to-HDLChol ratio, TChol-to-HDLChol as well as LDLChol-to-HDLChol ratios along with their correlations with waist-to-hip ratio showed that the combination of obesity-related parameters predicts better than one parameter and appear to be helpful for discriminating MO children from MetS group. This work was supported by Istanbul University Scientific Research Fund Coordination Unit Project No: BYP-2017-23713.
Adipokine Indices In Pediatric Obesity
Obesity is associated with cardiovascular disease risk factors and metabolic syndrome (MetS). In this study, associations between adipokines and adipokine as well as obesity indices were evaluated. Plasma adipokine levels may exhibit variations according to body adipose tissue mass. Besides, upon consideration of obesity as an inflammatory disease, adipokines may play some roles in this process. The ratios of proinflammatory adipokines to adiponectin may act as highly sensitive indicators of body adipokine status.The aim of the study is to introduce some new adipokine indices, which have not been described before and are thought to be helpful for the evaluation of childhood obesity and also to determine the best discriminators in the diagnosis of MetS. Eighty prepubertal children (aged between 6-9.5 years) included in the study were divided into three groups; 30 children with normal weight (NW), 25 morbid obese (MO) children and 25 MO children with MetS. Physical examinations were performed. Written informed consent forms were obtained from the parents of the children. The study protocol was approved by Ethics Committee of Namik Kemal University Medical Faculty. Anthropometric measurements, such as weight, height, waist circumference (C), hip C, head C, neck C were recorded. Values for body mass index (BMI), diagnostic obesity notation model assessment Index-II(D2 index) as well as waist-to-hip, head-to-neck ratios were calculated. Adiponectin, resistin, leptin, chemerin, vaspin, progranulin assays were performed by ELISA. Adipokine-to-adiponectin ratios were obtained. SPSS Version 20 was used for the evaluation of data. p values ≤ 0.05 were acceptedas statistically significant. Values of BMI and D2 index, waist-to-hip, head-to-neck ratios did not differ between MO and MetS groups (p≥0.05). Except progranulin (p≤0.01), similar patterns were observed for plasma levels of each adipokine. There was not any difference in vaspin as well as resistin levels between NW and MO groups. Significantly increased leptin-to-adiponectin, chemerin-to- adiponectin and vaspin-to-adiponectin values were noted in MO in comparison with those of NW. The most valuable adipokine index was progranulin-to-adiponectin (p≤0.01).This index was strongly correlated with vaspin-to-adiponectin ratio in all groups (p≤0.05). There was no correlation between vaspin-to-adiponectin and chemerine-to-adiponectin in NW group. However, a correlation existed in MO group (r= 0.486; p≤0.05). Much stronger correlation (r= 0.609; p≤0.01) was observed in MetS group between these two adipokine indices. No correlations were detected between vaspin and progranulin as well as vaspin and chemerine levels. Correlation analyses showed a unique profile confined to MetS children. Adiponectin was found to be correlated with waist-to-hip (r=-0.435; p≤0.05) as well as head-to-neck (r= 0.541; p≤0.05) ratios only in MetS children. In this study, it has been investigated if adipokine indices, which have been introduced for the first time, have priority over adipokine levels. In conclusion, vaspin-to-adiponectin, progranulin-to-adiponectin,chemerine-to-adiponectin along with waist-to-hip and head-to-neckratios were the optimal combinations. Adiponectin, waist-to-hip, head-to-neck, vaspin-to-adiponectin, chemerine-to-adiponectin ratios had appropriate discriminatory capability for MetS children. This work was supported by Istanbul University Scientific Research Fund Coordination Unit Project No: BYP-2017-24501.
Overcoming Barriers to Improve HIV Education and Public Health Outcomes in the Democratic Republic of Congo
Approximately 37 million people worldwide are infected with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), with the majority located in sub-Saharan Africa. The relationship existing between HIV incidence and socioeconomic inequity confirms the critical need for programs promoting HIV education, prevention, and treatment access. This literature review analyzed 36 sources with a specific focus on the Democratic Republic of Congo, whose critically low socioeconomic status and education rate have resulted in a drastically high HIV rates. Relationships between HIV testing and treatment and barriers to care were explored. Cultural and religious considerations were found to be vital when creating and implementing HIV education and testing programs. Partnerships encouraging active support from community-based spiritual leaders to implement HIV educational programs were also key mechanisms to reach communities and individuals. Gender roles were highlighted as a key component for implementation of effective community trust-building and successful HIV education programs. The efficacy of added support by hospitals and clinics in rural areas to facilitate access to HIV testing and care for people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) was discussed. This review highlighted the need for health care providers to provide a network of continued education for PLWHA in clinical settings during disclosure and throughout the course of treatment to increase retention in care and promote medication adherence for viral load suppression. Implementation of culturally sensitive models that rely on community familiarity with HIV educators such as ‘train-the-trainer’ were also proposed as efficacious tools for educating rural communities about HIV. Further research is needed to promote community partnerships for HIV education, understand the cultural context of gender roles as barriers to care, and empower local health care providers to be successful within the HIV Continuum of Care.
Bivariate Analyses of Factors That May Influence HIV Testing among Women Living in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
The HIV Continuum of Care has become a universal model to provide context for the process of HIV testing, linkage to care, treatment, and viral suppression. HIV testing is the first step in moving toward community viral suppression. Countries with a lower socioeconomic status experience the lowest rates of testing and access to care. The Democratic Republic of the Congo is located in the heart of sub-Saharan Africa, where testing and access to care are low and women experience higher HIV prevalence compared to men. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo there is only a 21.6% HIV testing rate among women. Because a critical gap exists between a woman’s risk of contracting HIV and the decision to be tested, this study was conducted to obtain a better understanding of the relationship between factors that could influence HIV testing among women. The data sets analyzed were from the 2013-14 Democratic Republic of the Congo Demographic and Health Survey Program. The data was a subset for women with an age range of 18-49 years. All missing cases were removed and one variable was recoded. The total sample size analyzed was 14,982 women. The results showed that there did not seem to be a difference in HIV testing by mean age. Out of 11 religious categories (Catholic, Protestant, Armee de salut, Kimbanguiste, Other Christians, Muslim, Bundu dia kongo, Vuvamu, Animist, no religion, and other), those who identified as Other Christians had the highest testing rate of 25.9% and those identified as Vuvamu had a 0% testing rate (p < 0.001). There was a significant difference in testing by religion. Only 0.7% of women surveyed identified as having no religious affiliation. This suggests partnerships with key community and religious leaders could be a tool to increase testing. Over 60% of women who had never been tested for HIV did not know where to be tested. This highlights the need to educate communities on where testing facilities can be located. Almost 80% of women who believed HIV could be transmitted by supernatural means and/or witchcraft had never been tested before (p=0.08). Cultural beliefs could influence risk perception and testing decisions. Consequently, misconceptions need to be considered when implementing HIV testing and prevention programs. Location by province, years of education, and wealth index were also analyzed to control for socioeconomic status. Kinshasa had the highest testing rate of 54.2% of women living there, and both Equateur and Kasai-Occidental had less than a 10% testing rate (p < 0.001). As the education level increased up to 12 years, testing increased (p < 0.001). Women within the highest quintile of the wealth index had a 56.1% testing rate, and women within the lowest quintile had a 6.5% testing rate (p < 0.001). This study concludes that further research is needed to identify culturally competent methods to increase HIV education programs, build partnerships with key community leaders, and improve knowledge on access to care.
Diagnostic Delays and Treatment Dilemmas: A Case of Drug-Resistant HIV and Tuberculosis
Introduction: We report a case of delayed diagnosis of extra-pulmonary INH-mono-resistant Tuberculosis (TB) in a South African patient with drug-resistant HIV. Case Presentation: A 36-year old male was initiated on 1st line (NNRTI-based) anti-retroviral therapy (ART) in September 2009 and switched to 2nd line (PI-based) ART in 2011, according to local guidelines. He was following up at the outpatient wellness unit of a public hospital, where he was diagnosed with Protease Inhibitor resistant HIV in March 2016. He had an HIV viral load (HIVVL) of 737000 copies/mL, CD4-count of 10 cells/µL and presented with complaints of productive cough, weight loss, chronic diarrhoea and a septic buttock wound. Several investigations were done on sputum, stool and pus samples but all were negative for TB. The patient was treated with antibiotics and the cough and the buttock wound improved. He was subsequently started on a 3rd-line ART regimen of Darunavir, Ritonavir, Etravirine, Raltegravir, Tenofovir and Emtricitabine in May 2016. He continued losing weight, became too weak to stand unsupported and started complaining of abdominal pain. Further investigations were done in September 2016, including a urine specimen for Line Probe Assay (LPA), which showed M. tuberculosis sensitive to Rifampicin but resistant to INH. A lymph node biopsy also showed histological confirmation of TB. Management and outcome: He was started on Rifabutin, Pyrazinamide and Ethambutol in September 2016, and Etravirine was discontinued. After 6 months on ART and 2 months on TB treatment, his HIVVL had dropped to 286 copies/mL, CD4 improved to 179 cells/µL and he showed clinical improvement. Pharmacy supply of his individualised drugs was unreliable and presented some challenges to continuity of treatment. He successfully completed his treatment in June 2017 while still maintaining virological suppression. Discussion: Several laboratory-related factors delayed the diagnosis of TB, including the unavailability of urine-lipoarabinomannan (LAM) and urine-GeneXpert (GXP) tests at this facility. Once the diagnosis was made, it presented a treatment dilemma due to the expected drug-drug interactions between his 3rd-line ART regimen and his INH-resistant TB regimen, and specialist input was required. Conclusion: TB is more difficult to diagnose in patients with severe immunosuppression, therefore additional tests like urine-LAM and urine-GXP can be helpful in expediting the diagnosis in these cases. Patients with non-standard drug regimens should always be discussed with a specialist in order to avoid potentially harmful drug-drug interactions.
Quality of Care of Medical Male Circumcisions: A Non-Negotiable for Right to Care
Background: Medical Male Circumcision (MMC) is part of a comprehensive HIV prevention strategy. The quality of MMC done at Right To Care (RtC) sites is maintained by Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) based on findings of assessments by internal and independent external assessors who evaluate such parameters as the quality of the surgical procedure, infection control, etc. There are 12 RtC MMC teams in Mpumalanga, two of which are headed by Medical Officers and 10 by Clinical Associates (Clin A). Objectives: To compare the quality (i) of care rendered at doctor headed sites (DHS) versus Clin A headed sites (CHS); (ii) of CQI assessments (external versus internal). Methodology: A retrospective review of data from RightMax™ (a novel RtC data management system) and CQI reports (external and internal) was done. CQI assessment scores of October 2015 and October 2016 were taken as the baseline and latest respectively. Four sites with 745-810 circumcisions per annum were purposively selected; the two DHS (group A) and two CHS (group B). Statistical analyses were conducted using R (2017 version). Results: There were no significant difference in latest CQI scores between the two groups (DHS and CHS) (Anova, F = 1.97, df = 1, P = 0.165); between internal and external CQI assessment scores (Anova, F = 2.251, df = 1, P = 0.139) or among the individual sites (Anova, F = 1.095, df = 2, P = 0.341). Of the total of 16 adverse events reported by the four sites in the 12 months reviewed (all were infections), there was no statistical evidence that the documented severity of the infection was different for DHS and CHS (Fisher’s exact test, p-value = 0.269). Conclusion: At RtC VMMC sites in Mpumalanga, internal and external/independent CQI assessments are comparable, and quality of care of VMMC is standardized with the performance of well-supervised clinical associates comparing well with those of medical officers.
Effects of Calcineurin Inhibitors on Ionic Status Early after Haematopoetic Stem Cell Transplan
The calcineurin inhibitors cyclosporine and tacrolimus are widely used in recipients of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Since limited data is available from India in this area, the objective of this study was to retrospectively evaluate the impact of CNI use on the post-transplant level of magnesium, potassium, and creatinine, and compare the toxicity profile of the two commonly used CNIs cyclosporine and tacrolimus. We observed that 20/31 (64.5%), 15/31 (48.3%) and 8/31 (25.8%) patients had low magnesium, potassium, and high creatinine respectively. At a 5% level of significance, serum magnesium showed a significant decline over a four week period in patients on cyclosporine (p value:0.017). The dosage of cyclosporine also correlated significantly with the maximal decrease in serum magnesium in the third-week post-transplant (r: -0.620, p value: 0.014). We, therefore, conclude that detection of serum hypomagnesemia before any significant alteration in other parameters on initiation of CNIs may serve as an early predictor of an underlying /impending renal injury. It's appropriate correction and maintenance may help prevent multiple comorbid conditions in patients on follow up post- HSCT. The evaluation of magnesium as an integral part of the therapeutic regimen in the immediate post transplant period, therefore, assumes greater significance.
Bacteriological Safety of Sachet Drinking Water Sold in Benin City, Nigeria
Access to safe drinking water remains a major challenge in Nigeria, and where available, the quality of the water is often in doubt. An alternative to the inadequate clean drinking water is being found in treated drinking water packaged in electrically heated sealed nylon and commonly referred to as “sachet water”. “Sachet water” is a common thing in Nigeria as the selling price is within the reach of members of the low socio- economic class and the setting up of a production unit does not require huge capital input. The bacteriological quality of selected “sachet water” stored at room temperature over a period of 56 days was determined to evaluate the safety of the sachet drinking water. Test for the detection of coliform bacteria was performed, and the result showed no coliform bacteria that indicates the absence of fecal contamination throughout 56 days. Heterotrophic plate count (HPC) was done at an interval 14 days, and the samples showed HPC between 0 cfu/mL and 64 cfu/mL. The highest count was observed on day 1. The count decreased between day 1 and 28, while no growths were observed between day 42 and 56. The decrease in HPC suggested the presence of residual disinfectant in the water. The organisms isolated were identified as Staphylococcus epidermis and S. aureus. The presence of these microorganisms in sachet water is indicative for contamination during processing and handling.
Patients’ Perspectives on the Usability of a Mobile App for Self-Management following Spinal Cord Injury
With decreasing inpatient lengths of stay following spinal cord injury (SCI), newly injured patients may be discharged into the community without the self-management skills needed to prevent secondary complications. Building on the success of mobile health apps (e.g. for individuals with diabetes and asthma) in delivering self-management interventions, a mobile app had been designed to facilitate self-management skills following SCI in the inpatient rehabilitation and early community settings. The objective of this study was to explore patients’ perspectives on the usability of this self-management app. A mixed-methods study design was used. The app was trialed at a local rehabilitation centre with 20 inpatients who experienced their first SCI. They received training to use the app and follow-up sessions throughout their inpatient rehabilitation. Participants’ tool usage data were collated and descriptive statistics were calculated (i.e., means, standard deviation, proportions). A content analysis was performed on qualitative data. Feedback was gathered from participants via exit questionnaires at discharge and researchers’ field notes were taken throughout the study at each follow-up session. Based on the exit questionnaire, participants rated all tools on average as good-very good. Furthermore, the five most used tools were the medication tracker, daily moods, bladder journal, symptom tracker, and bladder tracker. Participants’ feedback identified three ways to improve the app: (1) incorporating journaling tools (i.e., to allow users to regularly log, update, reflect on health information stored into the app), (2) integrating a pain tracking tool (i.e., to provide a pain tool for different types of pain [e.g. neuropathic and mechanical pain), and (3) modifying the exercise tool to be SCI-focused (i.e., to design an SCI-specific rather than generic exercise tool that can improve physical recovery as individuals transition into the community). These results show that participants appear to find the app acceptable for use in inpatient rehabilitation and community settings. Patients’ suggestions for journal, pain tracker, and exercise tools can potentially offer a more functional and relevant mobile app for individuals with SCI.
Immunolabelling of Transforming Growth Factor β during Muscle Regeneration
Muscle regeneration after injury (as irradiation) is of great importance. However, the molecular and cellular mechanisms are still unclear. Cytokines are believed to play fundamental role in the different stages of muscle regeneration and are made by many cell populations, but the predominant producers are macrophages and helper T cells. It has been shown that adipose tissue derived stromal/stem cell (ASC) injection could improve muscle regeneration. Stem cells probably induce the coordinated modulations of gene expression in different macrophage cells. We investigated the patterns and timing of changes in gene expression of different cytokines occurring upon stem cells loading. We characterized the macrophages of different muscles (76 days after local irradiation with 50 Gy γ rays, minipig animal model) with immunolabeling (irradiated and treated with ASCs, IRR+ASC; irradiated not-treated with ASCs, IRR; and non-irradiated no-IRR). In our study, we found mostly M2 (a,c and b) and a few M1 macrophages in the IRR+ASC samples. However, no macrophages were noticed in the IRR and no-IRR muscles. In addition, we found intensive fibrosis in the IRR samples. With in situ hybridization we analyzed the cytokine expression of the different macrophages, and we showed exactly which M2 macrophage participates in the regeneration. By in situ hybridization and with immunolabeling the expression of the transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) was observed only in the IRR+ASC but not in the IRR and no-IRR muscles. Therefore, we investigated the MMP expressions in the different muscles. Our data showed that the M2 macrophages of the IRR+ASC muscle expressed MMP2 proteins. Our working hypothesis is that MMP2 expression of the M2 macrophages can decrease fibrosis in the IRR+ASC muscle by capturing TGF-β.
The Protective Role of Decoy Receptor 3 Analogue on Rat Steatotic Liver against Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury by Blocking M1/Th1 Polarization and Multiple Upstream Pathogenic Cascades
TNF superfamily-stimulated pathogenic cascades and macrophage (M1)/kupffer cells (KC) polarization are important in the pathogenesis of ischemia-reperfusion (IR) liver injury in animals with hepatic steatosis (HS). Decoy receptor 3 (DcR3) is a common upstream inhibitor of the above-mentioned pathogenic cascades. The study evaluated whether modulation of these DcR3-related cascades was able to protect steatotic liver from IR injury. Serum and hepatic DcR3 levels were lower in patients and animals with HS. Accordingly, the effects of pharmacologic and genetic DcR3 replacement on the IR-related pathogenic changes were measured. Significantly, DcR3 replacement protected IR-Zucker(HS) rats and IR-DcR3-Tg(HS) mice from IR liver injury. The beneficial effects of DcR3 replacement were accompanied by decreased serum/hepatic TNF, soluble TNF-like cytokine 1A (TL1A), Fas ligand (Fas-L) and LIGHT, T-helper-cell-1 cytokine (INF) levels, neutrophil infiltration, M1 polarization, neutrophil-macrophage/KC-T-cell interaction, hepatocyte apoptosis and improved hepatic microcirculatory failure among animals with IR-injured steatotic livers. Additionally, TL1A, Fas-L, LIGHT and TLR4/NFB signals were found to mediate the DcR3-related protective effects of steatotic livers from IR injury. Using multimodal in vivo and in vitro approaches, we found that DcR3 was a potential agent to protect steatotic livers from IR injury by simultaneous blocking the multiple IR injury-related pathogenic changes.
Mechanical Advantages of the ‘KZ Bag’ on Spine and Posture of School Aged Children
Background and Purpose: The effects of backpack on 'school-age' children (Age 9–12) years, have been a critical subject of discussion throughout the past years. It has been one of the factors that contribute to a bad posture for 40% to 70% of developed countries. A child carrying a heavy backpack for a prolonged period, on a daily base has shown significant changes in the child's spinal posture, foot shape, and gait. The back pain caused by the compensatory posture, or "Backpack syndrome", is also known for its headaches, fatigue, cervical and lumber pain caused by the abnormal body posture. The child tends to balance himself by bending forward to match the heavy backpack, moving his Centre of Gravity forward, resulting in decreased lumber lordosis and increased thoracic kyphosis. Since currently available bags have not addressed the weight distribution issue till now. Therefore, KZ bag is believed to prevent the huge backward shift of COG due to the load, and hence all the symptoms accompanied. This is thought to be possible by combining the design of a normal backpack with a messenger bag. The purpose of this study is to investigate the improvement of the child's spine and to minimize the compensatory posture after using the KZ bag. Materials and Methods: KZ bag would compromise the pros of a messenger bag (keeping the COG in place) by a diagonal load strap and of a backpack (distributing the load on both shoulders) by connecting another load strap parallel to the sagittal plane of the body. The design would be made adjustable to match the child's height, and the bag load kept within limits, (10-15%) of the child's body weight. Measurements of Postural angles (Cervical, shoulders, and Trunk) would be taken after the use of KZ bag for a specified period. Conclusion: KZ bag will prove an improved distribution of weight of the bag on the child's body, and reduce the degree of the compensatory posture, that occurs in the attempt to balance the external weight of the bag.
Textile Wastewater Ecotoxicity Abatement after Aerobic Granular Sludge Treatment and Advanced Oxidation Process
Textile effluents are usually heavily loaded with organic carbon and color compounds, the latter being azo dyes in an estimated 70% of the case effluent posing a major challenge in environmental protection. In this study, the ecotoxicity of simulated textile effluent after biological treatment with anaerobic and aerobic phase (aerobic granular sludge, AGS) and after advanced oxidation processes (AOP) namely ozonation and UV irradiation as post-treatment, were tested to evaluate the fitness of this treatments for ecotoxicity abatement. AGS treatment achieved an 80% removal in both COD and color. AOP was applied with the intention to mineralize the metabolites resulting from biodecolorization of the azo dye Acid Red 14, especially the stable aromatic amine (4-amino-1-naphthalenesulfonic acid, 4A1NS). The ecotoxicity evaluation was based on growth inhibition of the algae Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata following OECD TG 201 except regarding the medium, MBL medium was used instead. Five replicate control cultures and samples were performed with an average STD of 2.7% regarding specific algae growth rate determination. It was found that untreated textile effluent holds an inhibition of specific growth rate of 82%. AGS treatment by itself is able to lower ecotoxicity to 53%. This is probably due to the high color removal of the treatment. AOP post-treatment with Ozone and UV irradiation improves the ecotoxicity abatment to 49 and 43% inhibition respectively, less significantly than previously thought. Since over 85% of 4A1NS was removed by either of the AOP (followed by HPLC), an individual ecotoxicity test of 4A1NS was performed showing that 4A1NS does not inhibit algae growth (0% inhibition). It was concluded that AGS treatment is able by itself to achieve a significant ecotoxicity abatement of textile effluent. The cost-benefit of AOP as a post-treatment have to be better accessed since their application resulted in an improvement of only 10% regarding ecotoxicity effluent removal. It was also found that the 4A1NS amine had no apparent effect on ecotoxicity. Further studies will be conducted to study where ecotoxicity is coming from after AGS biological treatment and how to eliminate it.
Comparative Proteomic Profiling of Planktonic and Biofilms from Staphylococcus aureus Using Tandem Mass Tag-Based Mass Spectrometry
Introduction and Objectives: Staphylococcus aureus and coagulase-negative staphylococci comprises approximately 65% of infections associated with medical devices and are well known for their biofilm formatting ability. Biofilm-related infections are extremely difficult to eradicate owing to their high tolerance to antibiotics and host immune defences. Currently, there is no efficient method for early biofilm detection. A better understanding to enable detection of biofilm specific proteins in vitro and in vivo can be achieved by studying planktonic and different growth phases of biofilms using a proteome analysis approach. Our goal was to construct a reference map of planktonic and biofilm associated proteins of S. aureus. Methods: S. aureus reference strain (ATCC 25923) was used to grow 24 hours planktonic, 3-day wet biofilm (3DWB), and 12-day wet biofilm (12DWB). Bacteria were grown in tryptic soy broth (TSB) liquid medium. Planktonic growth was used late logarithmic bacteria, and the Centres for Disease Control (CDC) biofilm reactor was used to grow 3 days, and 12-day hydrated biofilms, respectively. Samples were subjected to reduction, alkylation and digestion steps prior to Multiplex labelling using Tandem Mass Tag (TMT) 10-plex reagent (Thermo Fisher Scientific). The labelled samples were pooled and fractionated by high pH RP-HPLC which followed by loading of the fractions on a nanoflow UPLC system (Eksigent UPLC system, AB SCIEX). Mass spectrometry (MS) data were collected on an Orbitrap Elite (Thermo Fisher Scientific) Mass Spectrometer. Protein identification and relative quantitation of protein levels were performed using Proteome Discoverer (version 1.3, Thermo Fisher Scientific). After the extraction of protein ratios with Proteome Discoverer, additional processing, and statistical analysis was done using the TMTPrePro R package. Results and Discussion: The present study showed that a considerable proteomic difference exists among planktonic and biofilms from S. aureus. We identified 1636 total extracellular secreted proteins, of which 350 and 137 proteins of 3DWB and 12DWB showed significant abundance variation from planktonic preparation, respectively. Of these, simultaneous up-regulation in between 3DWB and 12DWB proteins such as extracellular matrix-binding protein ebh, enolase, transketolase, triosephosphate isomerase, chaperonin, peptidase, pyruvate kinase, hydrolase, aminotransferase, ribosomal protein, acetyl-CoA acetyltransferase, DNA gyrase subunit A, glycine glycyltransferase and others we found in this biofilm producer. On the contrary, simultaneous down-regulation in between 3DWB and 12DWB proteins such as alpha and delta-hemolysin, lipoteichoic acid synthase, enterotoxin I, serine protease, lipase, clumping factor B, regulatory protein Spx, phosphoglucomutase, and others also we found in this biofilm producer. In addition, we also identified a big percentage of hypothetical proteins including unique proteins. Therefore, a comprehensive knowledge of planktonic and biofilm associated proteins identified by S. aureus will provide a basis for future studies on the development of vaccines and diagnostic biomarkers. Conclusions: In this study, we constructed an initial reference map of planktonic and various growth phase of biofilm associated proteins which might be helpful to diagnose biofilm associated infections.
Temporal Delays along the Neurosurgical Care Continuum for Traumatic Brain Injury Patients in Mulago Hospital in Kampala Uganda
Background: While delays to care exist in resource rich settings, greater delays are seen along the care continuum in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) largely due to limited healthcare capacity to address the disproportional rates of traumatic brain injury (TBI) in Sub Saharan Africa (SSA). While many LMICs have government subsidized systems to offset surgical costs, the burden of securing funds by the patients for medications, supplies, and CT diagnostics poses a significant challenge to timely surgical interventions. In Kampala Uganda, the challenge of obtaining timely CT scans is twofold. First, due to a lack of a functional CT scanner at the tertiary hospital, patients need to arrange their own transportation to the nearby private facility for CT scans. Second, self-financing for the private CT scans ranges from $80 - $130, which is near the average monthly income in Kampala. These bottlenecks contribute significantly to the care continuum delays and are associated with poor TBI outcomes. Objective: The objectives of this study are to 1) describe the temporal delays through a modified three delays model that fits the context of neurosurgical interventions for TBI patients in Kampala and 2) investigate the association between delays and mortality. Methods: Prospective data were collected for 563 TBI patients presenting to a tertiary hospital in Kampala from 1 June – 30 November 2016. Four time intervals were constructed along five time points: injury, hospital arrival, neurosurgical evaluation, CT results, and definitive surgery. Time interval differences among mild, moderate and severe TBI and their association with mortality were analyzed. Results: The mortality rate of all TBI patients presenting to MNRH was 9.6%, which ranged from 4.7% for mild and moderate TBI patients receiving surgery to 81.8% for severe TBI patients who failed to receive surgery. The duration from injury to surgery varied considerably across TBI severity with the largest gap seen between mild TBI (174 hours) and severe TBI (69 hours) patients. Further analysis revealed care continuum differences for interval 3 (neurosurgical evaluation to CT result) and 4 (CT result to surgery) between severe TBI patients (7 hours for interval 3 and 24 hours for interval 4) and mild TBI patients (19 hours for interval 3, and 96 hours for interval 4). These post-arrival delays were associated with mortality for mild (p=0.05) and moderate TBI (p=0.03) patients. Conclusions: To our knowledge, this is the first analysis using a modified ‘three delays’ framework to analyze the care continuum of TBI patients in Uganda from injury to surgery. We found significant associations between delays and mortality for mild and moderate TBI patients. As it currently stands, poorer outcomes were observed for these mild and moderate TBI patients who were managed non-operatively or failed to receive surgery while surgical services were shunted to more severely ill patients. While well intentioned, high mortality rates were still observed for the severe TBI patients managed surgically. These results suggest the need for future research to optimize triage practices, understand delay contributors, and improve pre-hospital logistical referral systems.
Maternal Mental Health and Patient Reported Outcomes: Identifying At-Risk Pregnant and Postpartum Patients
Aim: The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Screen (EPDS) is a mental health screening for pregnant women that has been widely used over the last 30 years. This screen is typically given in clinic on paper to patients throughout pregnancy and postpartum. The screen helps identify patients who may be at risk for pregnancy related depression or postpartum depression. In early 2016, University of Utah Health implemented an electronic version of the EPDS as well as the PROMIS Depression v1.0 instrument for all pregnant and postpartum patients. We asked patients both instruments to understand coverage of patients identified as at risk for each instrument. Methods: The EPDS is currently administered as part of our PRO template for pregnant and postpartum women. We also administer the PROMIS Depression as part of a standard PRO assessment to all patients. Patients are asked to complete an assessment no more often than every eight weeks. PRO assessments are either completed at home or in clinic with a tablet computer. Patients with a PROMIS score of ≥ 65 or a EPDS score of ≥ 10 were identified as at risk for depression Results: From April 2016 to April 2017, 1,330 unique patients were screened at University of Utah Health in OBGYN clinics with both the EPDS and PROMIS depression instrument on the same day. There were 28 (2.1%) patients were identified as at risk for depression using the PROMIS depression screen, while 262 (19.7%) patients were identified as at risk for postpartum depression using the EPDS screen. Overall, 27 (2%) patients were identified as at risk on both instruments. Conclusion: The EPDS identified a higher percent (19.7%) of patients at risk for depression when compared to the PROMIS depression (2.1%). Ninety-six percent of patients who screened positive on the PROMIS depression screen also screened positive on the EPDS screen. Mental health is an important component to a patient’s overall wellbeing. We want to ensure all patients, particularly pregnant or post-partum women, receive screening and treatment when necessary. A combination of screenings may be necessary to provide the overall best care for patients and to identify the highest percentage of patients at risk.