Twenty-nine Candida isolates were assessed with green-coloured colonies using CHROMagar Candida medium with a positive germ-tube test. Based on morphological and biochemical tests, 29 strains were isolated from the oral cavity of children with leukaemia who were undergoing chemotherapy in Basrah, Iraq. Three (10.3%) of them were identified as Candida africana. Identification of the isolated yeasts was further confirmed at the molecular level by amplifying the internal transcribed spacer sequencing (ITS) region of rDNA comprising the ITS1-5.85-ITS2 regions of fungal rRNA genes. This study represented the first recovery of C. africana from the oral cavity for immunocompromised patients with leukaemia and considered the first record of species in Iraq.
Quantum-chemical “descriptors”, including atomic partial charges, orbitals, and electrostatic potentials are powerful tools for understanding chemical reactivity. Localized defects in graphene are a particular challenge for these tools, especially to model the adsorption processes and to predict the interactions of transition metals with these defects. Such defects often have little charge polarization and a combination of localized and delocalized states. Our orbital overlap distance D(r) measures the “size” of occupied orbital lobes about point r, distinguishing the hybridization state and compact vs. diffuse character of local electronic structure. Here we apply the overlap distance to graphene defects. We find that the overlap distance clearly distinguishes differential reactivities of different atoms at intrinsic defects. Combining the overlap distance and electrostatic potential provides a rich picture of extrinsic defect reactivity, including semiquantitative predictions of transition metal binding.
Cryptic taxa have often been observed in the form of host‐associated species that diverged as the result of adaptation to alternate host plants. Untangling cryptic diversity in species complexes that encompass invasive species is a mandatory task for pest management. Moreover, investigating the evolutionary history of a species complex may help to understand the drivers of their diversification. The mealybug Hypogeococcus pungens was believed to be a polyphagous species from South America and has been reported as a pest devastating native cacti in Puerto Rico, also threatening cactus diversity in the Caribbean and North America. There is neither certainty about the identity of the pest, nor the source population from South America. Recent studies pointed to substantial genetic differentiation among local populations, suggesting that H. pungens is a species complex. In this study, we used a combination of genome-wide SNPs and mtDNA variation to investigate species diversity within H. pungens sensu lato to establish host plant ranges of each one of the putative members of the complex, to evaluate whether the pattern of host plant association drove diversification in the species complex, and to determine the source population of the Puerto Rican cactus pest. Our results suggested that H. pungens comprises at least five different species, each one strongly associated with specific host plants. We also established that the Puerto Rican cactus pest derives from southeastern Brazilian mealybugs. This is an important achievement because it will help to design reliable strategies for biological control using natural enemies of the pest from its native range.
The hemibiotrophic oomycetes are significant threats to a wide range of Cucurbitaceae species, causing substantial losses of plant productions. Particularly, Phytophthora melonis evokes severe symptoms, thus dramatically limiting yield in cucumber. However, information about cucumber–P. melonis interaction is still limited. This study explored changes in the activities of phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL), peroxidase (POX), catalase (CAT), superoxide dismutase (SOD), and polyphenol oxidase (PPO) in cucumber roots of two resistant genotypes (Soheil and Ramezz), one moderately resistant genotype (Baby) and three highly susceptible genotypes (Extrem, Mini 6-23 and Yalda), over the time courses of 7, 14 and 21 days after inoculation (DAI). The results indicated that the activities of defence‐related enzymes differed between the resistant and highly susceptible genotypes. Although, the defense-related enzymatic activities were elevated sharply in the resistant and moderately resistant genotypes after inoculation, but no significant correlations were present between the activity trends of PPO, SOD and CAT and resistance characteristics. Moreover, no significant changes in enzyme activities were found in the control plants, non-inoculated plants of the six genotypes during the testing period. Altogether, the resistance of cucumber to P. melonis is related to POX and PAL activities, but does not show relationship with PPO, SOD and CAT activities. Studying the physiological metabolic pathways of POX and PAL appears to be an important direction in research to elucidate resistance to P. melonis in cucumber genotypes.
Based on the analysis of CpxP genes among Escherichia coli strains, CpxP gene-targeting short guide RNA (sgRNA) was designed and inserted into the pGL3-MGP-RNA. The donor sequences (MG-HR) for homologous repair were designed and cloned by PCR. MG-HR and pGL3-MGP-RNA were transformed into E. coli MG1655 (pCas9). The CpxP gene expression cassette was amplified by PCR and subcloned into pBBR1MCS-2. Then the pBBR-CpxP was independently transformed into E. coli MG1655. The results of motility experiment suggest that CpxP gene had a significant effect on the movement ability of E. coli strain. The CpxP protein had a significant inhibition of bacterial activity. The lastest 81 CpxP proteins sequences were selected and analyzed by multi-sequence alignment and molecular cluster. The CpxP proteins were roughly divided into three categories. Our results suggest that the CpxP protein was involved in bacterial motility, infection and pathogenicity.
The aim of this meta-analysis is to investigate the effectiveness of chloroquine in treating coronavirus, in general not only novel coronavirus (COVID¬-19), by pooling the results of randomized controlled clinical trials (RCTs). Only 28 publications were identified; none of which was a RCT. Identified studies were published between 1987 and March 15, 2020. Of these 28 publications, 7 were published in 2020 and discussed the effectiveness of chloroquine against COVID-19. In conclusion, this meta-analysis could not prove that chloroquine is an effective treatment against coronavirus in general or COVID-19 in particular. Expanded access trials should be encouraged especially that chloroquine is available, cheap and relatively safe drug.
The relative roles of rivers and refugia in shaping the high levels of species diversity in tropical rainforests has been widely debated for decades. Only recently has it become possible to take an integrative approach to answer these questions with genomic sequencing and paleo-species distribution modeling. Here, we tested the predictions of the classic river, refuge, and river-refuge hypotheses on diversification in the arboreal West and Central African snake genus Toxicodryas. We used dated phylogeographic inferences, population clustering analyses, machine learning-based demographic model selection, species paleo-distribution range estimates, and climate stability modeling to conduct a comprehensive phylogenomic and historical demographic analysis of this genus. Our results revealed significant population genetic structure within both Toxicodryas species, corresponding geographically to river barriers, and divergence times ranging from the mid to late Miocene. Our demographic and migration analyses supported our interpretation that rivers have represented strong barriers to gene flow among populations since their divergence. Additionally, we found no support for a major contraction of suitable habitat during the last glacial maximum, allowing us to reject both the refuge and river-refuge hypotheses in favor of the river barrier hypothesis. This study highlights the complexity of diversification dynamics in the African tropics and the advantage of integrative approaches to studying speciation in tropical regions.
Rationale, aims and objectives: The Getting It Right First Time (GIRFT) programme was set up to reduce unwarranted variation in healthcare practice and outcomes in England. The aim of this study was to investigate early changes in practice in urology based on the recommendations made. Key recommendations included: 1) to increase rates of day-case surgery for transurethral resection of bladder tumour (TURBT), 2) to reduce use of stenting as a primary procedure for emergency presentations with ureteric stones and 3) to reduce waiting times for male bladder outflow tract surgery following emergency presentation with urinary retention. Methods: Data on patient age, the treatment provider, dates of admission and discharge, diagnoses and procedures conducted were extracted from the Hospital Episodes Statistics database from January 2014 to December 2019. The dates of visits by members of the GIRFT team was taken as the intervention point. Interrupted time series analysis was used to identify trends pre- and post-intervention. Results: There was evidence of a significant increase in the proportion of patients seen as day-cases for TURBT and decreased use of stents and increased use of ureteroscopy or extracorporeal shock-wave lithotripsy on first presentation with ureteric stones following GIRFT visits. However, there was no significant change in waiting times for surgery to treat patients who had an emergency presentation with urinary retention. Conclusions: In the first 18 months following the last of the GIRFT visits, there is some evidence that the recommendations made are already having an impact on clinical practice. The reasons why some recommendation appear to be harder to implement requires further investigation.
A common perception about Multidisciplinary team (MDT) approach is that it improves quality of care to hospitalized patients, particularly those who are dying. However, there is paucity of information on challenges in implementing such approach in end-of-life care (eolc). The present study explores barriers to MDT functioning in the context of ‘eolc’. Data collected through interviews of physicians, nurses and other staff, and review of case records of deceased patients of a multispecialty hospital in Kolkata (India) suggest that the MDT approach fails to live up to its rhetoric. One of the major challenges is professional boundary that is intrinsic to MDT. Due to this, specialist physicians fail to make consensus end-of-life decisions by overcoming disciplinary boundaries. Moreover, holistic caregiving is compromised in the physician-dominant medical team, where nurses and other non-clinical caregivers feel marginalized. The hospital environment is also not conducive to multidisciplinary teamwork. Application of a disease-specific treatment protocol in ‘eolc’ settings aggravates team coordination. ‘Eolc’ referrals and care transfers becomes very difficult. Dying patients and their families are specially affected by such discordant care. Based on the findings, the study suggests that while team approach is imperative to effective ‘eolc’, there is a need to shift focus from multidisciplinary to transdisciplinary approach to enhance care integration and patient-centric care to terminally ill patients.
Rationale and objective: Occupation-based practice (OBP) is a treatment approach unique to occupational therapy. It harnesses the power of occupation to achieve health and well-being. Most hand therapists are occupational therapists, however, current hand therapy treatment methods are component-based, focussing on physical impairments. This is despite an emerging body of evidence that supports the effectiveness of OBP with hand conditions. To explore the use of OBP in hand therapy, the knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAP) of South African occupational therapists towards OBP needed to be first established. There was no contextually-relevant instrument for this, thus this paper reports on the development processes of a new instrument to capture KAP in OBP in South African hand therapists. Method: Questionnaire development followed the Burns et al (2008) methodology. Items were identified following a comprehensive literature search. Face and content validity, clinical utility, and validation of the subsequent Afrikaans translation were undertaken by two purposively-selected sets of participants (experts and peers). Data collection involved cognitive interviewing, iterative email correspondence, face-to-face discussions, and member checking. Final adjustments to questionnaire wording were made through consensus discussion between the first and second authors. Results: Four therapists participated. Seventy-nine questionnaire items were retained, with three items being removed as they were unclear, or did not measure constructs appropriately for context. The final survey instrument had face and content validity and consisted of 63 KAP items and 16 demographic questions. Conclusion: This is believed to be the first instrument designed to capture valid information on KAP in OBP in hand therapy in South Africa. It will assist in identifying gaps in practice quality, and underpin design of effective strategies for education about, and implementation of, OBP within hand therapy. The instrument is suitable for adaptation to other fields of occupational therapy practice in South Africa, and internationally.
In district Haripur, KPk, Pakistan Treepie Dendrocitta vagabunda parvula (Latham, 1790) (Passeriformes: Corvidae), is a widespread resident bird commonly found. Feeding and Food habits of Treepie were studied by direct focal observation method analysis of gut content and faecal matter. Treepie prefers tree and cultivation areas insects for foraging activities, feeding on animal and plant is an omnivore items ranging from vertebrate species to invertebrate. Feeding upon like red palm weevil, grasshopper, cockroaches, banana stem weevil, nestlings of squirrel and house rat, it feeds up on many pests of agricultural crops Treepie is an important biocontrol agent in the agro ecosystem of the region
Continuous improvements of cell-free synthesis (CFS) systems have generated interest in adopting the technology for the manufacture of biologics. This paper provides an evaluation of the manufacturing cost-effectiveness of CFS for a range of commercial scenarios. The evaluation was performed using an advanced techno-economic engine (TEE) built in Python. The TEE is programmed in an object-oriented environment capable of simulating a plethora of process flowsheets and predicting size and cost metrics for the process and the facility. A case study was formulated to compare the economics of whole bioprocesses based on either a CFS system or a mammalian cell system (CHO) for the manufacture of an antibody drug conjugate (ADC) at different commercial product demand levels (100 – 1000kg/year). The analysis demonstrated the potential of CFS for the commercial manufacture of biologics and identified key cost drivers related with the system. The CFS system showed approximately a two-fold increase in the cost of goods compared to CHO with a significant cost attributed to the in-house manufacture of the bacterial cell extract, necessary for the CFS reaction step in the process. A sensitivity and target analysis highlighted the impetus for further process improvements especially in the titre for the CFS process to become more competitive against well-established systems.
An unusual cause of spontaneous hypoglycemia is Insulin Autoimmune Syndrome (IAS) or Hirata Disease, characterized by high levels of insulinemia and circulating autoantibodies to insulin in subjects without prior insulin administration.To the best of our knowledge, this is the second case of IAS reported from India.
The analysis of environmental DNA (eDNA) allows efficient surveys of freshwater species and is being increasingly used. However, most studies generally have a limited sampling plan. Because different methods are used by different authors, all the data produced with eDNA cannot be easily pooled together for a global overview. Nevertheless, one of the promising perspectives is the standardization of the methods and protocols, for long-term monitoring, early detection of invasive species, and rare species detection. We here present the biggest dataset using eDNA metabarcoding with standardized methods for freshwater bivalves. Sampling was performed mainly in France, with over 350 localities spread over all major basins. Metabarcoding was performed using two new sets of primers, one for the Unionida and one for the Venerida. The species distributions inferred from eDNA sampling are then compared with those currently known. Results give an insight into the valuable data that eDNA analysis can provide if used at a large scale. Some species were found outside of their known range, especially invasive species but also species of conservation interest. Others were found in a surprisingly low number of localities, although currently considered widespread and of no conservation interest. This can be explained by the databases currently used to establish conservation status, which are often biased by including ancient data, shell-only data, and potentially misidentified species. The present study shows that our eDNA metabarcoding approach will be an essential tool to unveil the true species distributions, to better evaluate their status and improve conservation policymaking.
Rationale, aims, and objectives Pharmacological treatment for bronchiolitis is primarily supportive because bronchodilators, steroids, and antibiotics, show little benefit. Clinical studies have suggested that nebulized 3% HS is useful for infants with bronchiolitis. The aim of this study was to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of the HS nebulized in infant bronchiolitis in a middle-income tropical country Methods A decision tree model was used to estimate the cost-effectiveness of the use of nebulized hypertonic saline (3-7%) compared with treatment without hypertonic saline nebulization (control) in bronchiolitis. Cost data were obtained from a retrospective study on bronchiolitis from tertiary centers in Rionegro, Colombia, while utilities were collected from the literature. The analysis was carried out from a societal perspective. Results The control strategy was dominated by HS nebulized group. The expected costs per patient were US$ 200 (CI 95% US$ 178- 222) in the HS nebulized group and US$ 240 (CI 95% US$ 213- 267) in controls. The expected utilities were 0.923 (CI 95% 0.922- 0.924) in the HS nebulized group and 0.91 (CI 95% 0.918- 0.920) in controls. Sensitivity analyses of parameters in the model showed that the cost-effectiveness of HS was only sensitive to the probability of hospitalization. Conclusion The strategy treatment without hypertonic saline nebulization was dominated by the strategy with HS nebulized in infants with bronchiolitis. Our study provides evidence that should be used by decision-makers to improve clinical practice guidelines and should be replicated to validate their results in other tropical countries.
Background and Purpose. Drug resistance is a major problem in cancer treatment with traditional or targeted therapeutics. Gemcitabine, a traditional chemotherapeutics, is approved for several human cancers and the first line treatment for locally advanced or metastatic pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). However, gemcitabine resistance is frequently observed and a major problem in successful treatments of these cancers and the mechanism of gemcitabine resistance remains largely unknown. In this study, we aim to seek new and understand the molecule mechanisms of gemcitabine resistance in PDAC. Experimental Approach. Using whole genome Reduced Representation Bisulfite Sequencing analysis, we investigated a gemcitabine resistant PDAC cell line M3K compared with its parental MiaPaCa-2 cells and the resistance revertant cell line Rev followed by detailed analyses of PDGFD in gemcitabine resistance using MTT survival assay, bisulfite sequencing, Western blot, siRNA knockdown and over-expression. Key Results. We found that 65 genes had reversible methylation changes in their promoters in gemcitabine resistant PDAC cells. One of these genes, PDGFD, was further studied in detail for the reversible methylation change in its promoter and shown to reversibly up-regulate in expression, contribute to gemcitabine resistance in vitro and in vivo via activating STAT3 signaling in both autocrine and paracrine manners. Its expression also positively associates with poor outcome of PDAC patients. Conclusion and Implications. Reversible epigenetic regulation may play an important role in gemcitabine resistance and targeting PDGFD signaling may alleviate gemcitabine resistance for PDAC treatment.