Publications by authors named "Carla Perrotta"

34 Publications

General practice attendances among patients attending a post-COVID-19 clinic: a pilot study.

BJGP Open 2021 May 11. Epub 2021 May 11.

School of Medicine, University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland.

Background: About 10-35% of people with COVID-19 need medical care within 3 weeks of infection. However, the prevalence of ongoing care needs among those experiencing severe COVID-19 illness is unclear.

Aim: This pilot study aimed to address this knowledge gap by examining GP attendance trends among patients attending a post-COVID-19 hospital follow-up clinic, 3-6 months after an initial clinic visit.

Design & Setting: Data were collected from adult patients attending a post-COVID-19 follow-up clinic at the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital (MMUH), Dublin, Ireland.

Method: Participants completed questionnaires outlining their demographics; medical histories; emergency hospital admissions and readmissions where applicable; and, where relevant, GP attendances following hospital discharge. Analyses were conducted using descriptive and inferential statistics.

Results: Participants' ( = 153) median age was 43.5 years (interquartile range [IQR] = 30.9-52.1 years). There were 105 females (68.6%, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 61.3% to 75.9%). Various medical histories were reported among participants. Sixty-seven (43.2%, 95% CI = 35.9% to 51.6%) received emergency COVID-19 hospital care. Older adults, males, intensive care unit [ICU] admissions, and readmissions were common among hospital attendees. Of the hospital attendees, 16 (24%, 95% CI = 13.7% to 34.2%) attended GPs within 7 days of hospital discharge, and 26 (39%, 95% CI = 27.3% to 50.7%) within 30 days. Older adults, people with pre-existing medical conditions, and individuals admitted to ICU and/or readmitted to hospital were common among general practice attendees.

Conclusion: Persistent health issues appear to be common among patients with severe COVID-19, particularly those who are older adults, have pre-existing health problems, and who had been in ICU and/or readmission care. Larger scale studies of ongoing COVID-19 care needs in primary care and general practice are required.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3399/BJGPO.2021.0016DOI Listing
May 2021

Optimizing the use of cesarean section in Argentina: design and methodology of a formative research for the development of interventions.

Reprod Health 2021 Jan 26;18(1):23. Epub 2021 Jan 26.

Department of Reproductive Health and Research, UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF, WHO, World Bank Special Programme of Research, Development and Research Training in Human Reproduction, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland.

Background: While cesarean section is an essential life-saving strategy for women and newborns, its current overuse constitutes a global problem. The aim of this formative research is to collect information from hospitals, health professionals and women regarding the use of cesarean section in Argentina. This article describes the methodology of the study, the characteristics of the hospitals and the profile of the participants.

Methods: This formative research is a mixed-method study that will be conducted in seven provinces of Argentina. The eligibility criteria for the hospitals are (a) use of the Perinatal Information System, (b) cesarean section rate higher than 27% in 2016, (c) ≥ 1000 deliveries per year. Quantitative and qualitative research techniques will be used for data collection and analysis. The main inquiry points are the determining factors for the use of cesarean section, the potential interventions to optimize the use of cesarean section and, in the case of women, their preferred type of delivery.

Discussion: It is expected that the findings will provide a situation diagnosis to help a context-sensitive implementation of the interventions recommended by the World Health Organization to optimize cesarean section use. Trial registration IS002316 Cesarean section is an essential medical tool for mothers and their children, but nowadays its overuse is a problem worldwide. Our purpose is to get information from hospitals, health professionals and women about how cesarean section is used in Argentina. In this protocol we describe how we will carry out the study and the characteristics of the hospitals and participants. We will implement this study in seven provinces of Argentina, in hospitals that have more than 1,000 births each year, had a cesarean section rate higher than 27% in 2016 and use the Perinatal Information System. We will gather information using forms, surveys and interviews. We want to identify the factors that decide the use of a cesarean section, the potential interventions that can improve the use of cesarean section and, in the case of women, the type of delivery they prefer. We expect that this study will give us a diagnosis of how cesarean section is used in Argentina, and that this will help to apply the interventions that the World Health Organization recommends to optimize the use of cesarean section in our specific context.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12978-021-01080-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7836162PMC
January 2021

Characteristics and determinants of high volume dispensing in long-term oral nutritional supplement users in primary care: a secondary analysis.

BJGP Open 2021 Apr 26;5(2). Epub 2021 Apr 26.

School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sports Science, University College Dublin, Dublin, Republic of Ireland

Background: Oral nutritional supplements (ONS) are recommended for patients who are malnourished or at risk of malnutrition. Appropriate ONS prescribing requires regular monitoring to assess its continued requirement. Previous research identified long-term ONS prescriptions (>6 months) without review, with 70% of these influenced by social factors.

Aim: To investigate the characteristics of long-term ONS users in Ireland and the determinants of larger volumes of ONS dispensing.

Design & Setting: Secondary analysis of anonymous dispensed pharmacy claims data of patients dispensed standard ONS for 12 consecutive months in 2018 ( = 912).

Method: Factors showing significant (<0.05) univariate associations with above the median consumption of ONS units were entered into a multivariable model.

Results: Median age was 76 (range 18 to 101) years, with 66.9% of the sample being ≥65 years. Almost 70% of the samples were on polypharmacy (45.6%; ≥5 medications) or excessive polypharmacy (21.5%; ≥10 medications). Younger age and being on polypharmacy for drugs having an effect on the central nervous system (CNS) were significantly associated with being dispensed more ONS units in univariate and multivariate analysis. Those patients in the age range 18 to 44 were 2.5 fold more likely to be prescribed more ONS units (odds ratio [OR] 2.5; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.5 to 4.3; <0.001). Patients using CNS drugs or on CNS polypharmacy were more likely to be prescribed more ONS units (ORs 1.2 and 2.4; 95% CI 0.9 to 1.4 and 1.3 to 4.4 respectively; = 0.029) CONCLUSION: Older age and polypharmacy characterise long-term ONS users in this study. Younger age and CNS medication polypharmacy are predictors of more ONS units prescribed over a year
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3399/BJGPO.2020.0131DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8170613PMC
April 2021

An investigation of community-dwelling older adults' opinions about their nutritional needs and risk of malnutrition; a scoping review.

Clin Nutr 2021 May 23;40(5):2936-2945. Epub 2020 Dec 23.

School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sports Science, University College Dublin, Dublin 4, Republic of Ireland; UCD Institute of Food and Health, University College Dublin, Dublin 4, Republic of Ireland. Electronic address:

Background & Aims: Understanding how older adults perceive their nutritional needs and malnutrition risk is important to inform strategies to improve prevention and management of the condition. This scoping review aimed to identify, characterize and summarize the findings from studies analysing community-dwelling older adults' opinions and perceptions towards their nutritional needs and malnutrition risk.

Methods: An electronic literature search was carried out using three databases, Pubmed, Embase, and CINAHL up to January 2020. Articles were reviewed following PRISMA guidelines.

Results: A total of 16,190 records were identified and reviewed with 15 studies being included, all of which were conducted in high income countries. Common conceptual categories that were identified included; older community-dwelling adults consider that a healthy diet for them is the same as that recommended for the general population, consisting of fruits, vegetables, reduced fat and reduced sugar. Weight loss was seen as a positive outcome and a normal component of the ageing process. Lack of appetite was identified by participants in the majority of studies as a barrier to food intake.

Conclusions: This review shows how older community-dwelling adults, with a high risk of malnutrition, follow dietary public health recommendations for the general population and have a greater awareness of the risks of overweight. The implementation of nutritional guidelines that consider the nutritional needs of all older adults and education of non-dietetic community healthcare professionals on providing appropriate nutritional advice to this population are warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clnu.2020.12.024DOI Listing
May 2021

New gene functions are involved in the thermotolerance of the wild wheat relative Aegilops umbellulata.

Plant Physiol Biochem 2020 Nov 3;156:115-124. Epub 2020 Sep 3.

Department of Chemistry, Life Sciences and Environmental Sustainability, University of Parma, Parco Area delle Scienze, 11/A, 43124, Parma, Italy.

Wheat is one of the most important food crops in the world for human consumption, like all plants it is exposed to environmental stresses including high temperatures. The deleterious effect of high temperatures negatively affects plant growth and development, leading to reduced viability and yield. These effects can be reduced by improvement of thermotolerance through innovative breeding strategies, based on the expansion of the genetic pool available, by exploring important genetic functions from wheat wild progenitors. Improving the genetic thermotolerance characteristics of wheat requires greater understanding of genetic bases of thermotolerance, through identification of high temperature stress related genes. A good source of new useful alleles is given by Aegilops species characterized by thermotolerant habits. In this study we have classified as thermotolerant or thermosensitive, on the basis of physiologic tests, some accessions of wheat wild relative species belonging to Aegilops and Triticum genera. A thermotolerant accession of Aegilops umbellulata (AUM5) was selected, subjected to different thermal treatments and analyzed at transcriptional level. By differential display reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (DDRT-PCR), we investigated modulation of gene expression elicited by heat treatments. This approach allowed the identification of various transcript-derived fragments (TDFs) produced by AUM5 in response to different thermal treatments. The functions of the inducible unique genes in the molecular determination of thermotolerance process are discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.plaphy.2020.09.005DOI Listing
November 2020

What exercise prescription is optimal to improve body composition and cardiorespiratory fitness in adults living with obesity? A network meta-analysis.

Obes Rev 2021 02 8;22(2):e13137. Epub 2020 Sep 8.

School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sports Science, University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland.

Current international guidelines recommend people living with obesity should be prescribed a minimum of 300 min of moderately intense activity per week for weight loss. However, the most efficacious exercise prescription to improve anthropometry, cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) and metabolic health in this population remains unknown. Thus, this network meta-analysis was conducted to assess and rank comparative efficacy of different exercise interventions on anthropometry, CRF and other metabolic risk factors. Five electronic databases were searched for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that compared different exercise modalities to improve anthropometry, CRF and/or metabolic health in adults living with obesity. RCTs were evaluated using the Cochrane risk of bias tool. A random effects network meta-analysis was performed within a frequentist framework. Of the 6663 articles retrieved, 45 studies with a total 3566 participants were included. Results reveal that while any type of exercise intervention is more effective than control, weight loss induced is modest. Interventions that combine high-intensity aerobic and high-load resistance training exert beneficial effects that are superior to any other exercise modality at decreasing abdominal adiposity, improving lean body mass and increasing CRF. Clinicians should consider this evidence when prescribing exercise for adults living with obesity, to ensure optimal effectiveness.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/obr.13137DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7900983PMC
February 2021

Interventions for preventing venous thromboembolism in adults undergoing knee arthroscopy.

Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2020 05 6;5:CD005259. Epub 2020 May 6.

Department of Orthopedics, Hospital Británico de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Background: Knee arthroscopy (KA) is a routine orthopedic procedure recommended to repair cruciate ligaments and meniscus injuries and in eligible patients, to assist the diagnosis of persistent knee pain. KA is associated with a small risk of thromboembolic events. This systematic review aims to assess if pharmacological or non-pharmacological interventions may reduce this risk. This review is the second update of the review first published in 2007.

Objectives: To assess the efficacy and safety of interventions, whether mechanical, pharmacological, or in combination, for thromboprophylaxis in adult patients undergoing KA.

Search Methods: For this update, the Cochrane Vascular Information Specialist searched the Cochrane Vascular Specialised Register, the CENTRAL, MEDLINE, Embase and CINAHL databases, and the World Health Organization International Clinical Trials Registry Platform and ClinicalTrials.gov trials registries, on 14 August 2019.

Selection Criteria: We included randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and controlled clinical trials (CCTs), whether blinded or not, of all types of interventions used to prevent deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in males and females aged 18 years and older undergoing KA. There were no restrictions on language or publication status.

Data Collection And Analysis: Two authors independently selected studies for inclusion, assessed trial quality with the Cochrane 'Risk of bias' tool, and extracted data. A third author addressed discrepancies. We contacted study authors for additional information when required. We used GRADE to assess the certainty of the evidence.

Main Results: This update adds four new studies, bringing the total of included studies to eight and involving 3818 adult participants with no history of thromboembolic disease undergoing KA. Studies compared daily subcutaneous (sc) low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) versus control (five studies); oral rivaroxaban 10 mg versus placebo (one study); daily sc LMWH versus graduated compression stockings (GCS) (one study); and aspirin versus control (one study). The incidence of pulmonary embolism (PE) in all trials combined was low, with seven cases in 3818 participants.There were no deaths in any of the intervention or control groups. LMWH versus control When compared with control, LMWH probably results in little to no difference in the incidence of PE in patients undergoing KA (risk ratio (RR) 1.81, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.49 to 6.65; 1820 participants; 3 studies; moderate-certainty evidence). LMWH showed no reduction of the incidence of symptomatic DVT (RR 0.61, 95% CI 0.18 to 2.03; 1848 participants; 4 studies; moderate-certainty evidence). LMWH may reduce the risk of asymptomatic DVT but the evidence is very uncertain (RR 0.14, 95% CI 0.03 to 0.61; 369 participants; 2 studies; very low-certainty evidence). There was no evidence of an increased risk of all adverse events combined (RR 1.85, 95% CI 0.95 to 3.59; 1978 participants; 5 studies; moderate-certainty evidence). No evidence of a clear effect on major bleeding (RR 0.98, 95% CI 0.06 to 15.72; 1451 participants; 1 study; moderate-certainty evidence), or minor bleeding was observed (RR 1.79, 95% CI 0.84 to 3.84; 1978 participants; 5 studies; moderate-certainty evidence). Rivaroxaban versus placebo One study with 234 participants compared oral rivaroxaban 10 mg versus placebo. No evidence of a clear impact on the risk of PE (no events in either group), symptomatic DVT (RR 0.16, 95% CI 0.02 to 1.29; moderate-certainty evidence); or asymptomatic DVT (RR 0.95, 95% CI 0.06 to 15.01; very low-certainty evidence) was detected. Only bleeding adverse events were reported. No major bleeds occurred in either group and there was no evidence of differences in minor bleeding between the groups (RR 0.63, 95% CI 0.18 to 2.19; moderate-certainty evidence). Aspirin versus control One study compared aspirin with control. No PE, DVT or asymptomatic events were detected in either group. Adverse events including pain and swelling were reported but it was not clear what groups these were in. No bleeds were reported. LMWH versus GCS One study with 1317 participants compared the use of LMWH versus GCS. There was no clear difference in the risk of PE (RR 1.00, 95% CI 0.14 to 7.05; low-certainty evidence). LMWH use did reduce the risk of DVT compared to people using GCS (RR 0.17, 95% CI 0.04 to 0.75; low-certainty evidence). No clear difference in effects was seen between the groups for asymptomatic DVT (RR 0.47, 95% CI 0.21 to 1.09; very low-certainty evidence); major bleeding (RR 3.01, 95% CI 0.61 to 14.88; moderate-certainty evidence) or minor bleeding (RR 1.16, 95% CI 0.64 to 2.08; moderate-certainty evidence). Levels of thromboembolic events were higher in the GCS group than in any other group. We downgraded the certainty of the evidence for imprecision resulting from overall small event numbers; risk of bias due to concerns about lack of blinding, and indirectness as we were uncertain about the direct clinical relevance of asymptomatic DVT detection.

Authors' Conclusions: There is a small risk that healthy adult patients undergoing KA will develop venous thromboembolism (PE or DVT). There is moderate- to low-certainty evidence of no benefit from the use of LMWH, aspirin or rivaroxaban in reducing this small risk of PE or symptomatic DVT. There is very low-certainty evidence that LMWH use may reduce the risk of asymptomatic DVT when compared to no treatment but it is uncertain how this directly relates to incidence of DVT or PE in healthy patients. No evidence of differences in adverse events (including major and minor bleeding) was seen, but data relating to this were limited due to low numbers of events in the studies reporting within the comparisons.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD005259.pub4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7202465PMC
May 2020

CesA6 and PGIP2 Endocytosis Involves Different Subpopulations of TGN-Related Endosomes.

Front Plant Sci 2020 27;11:350. Epub 2020 Mar 27.

Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences and Technologies (DiSTeBA), University of Salento, Lecce, Italy.

Endocytosis is an essential process for the internalization of plasma membrane proteins, lipids and extracellular molecules into the cells. The mechanisms underlying endocytosis in plant cells involve several endosomal organelles whose origins and specific role needs still to be clarified. In this study we compare the internalization events of a GFP-tagged polygalacturonase-inhibiting protein of (PGIP2-GFP) to that of a GFP-tagged subunit of cellulose synthase complex of (secGFP-CesA6). Through the use of endocytic traffic chemical inhibitors (tyrphostin A23, salicylic acid, wortmannin, concanamycin A, Sortin 2, Endosidin 5 and BFA) it was evidenced that the two protein fusions were endocytosed through distinct endosomes with different mechanisms. PGIP2-GFP endocytosis is specifically sensitive to tyrphostin A23, salicylic acid and Sortin 2; furthermore, SYP51, a tSNARE with interfering effect on late steps of vacuolar traffic, affects its arrival in the central vacuole. SecGFP-CesA6, specifically sensitive to Endosidin 5, likely reaches the plasma membrane passing through the Golgi network (TGN), since the BFA treatment leads to the formation of BFA bodies, compatible with the aggregation of TGNs. BFA treatments determine the accumulation and tethering of the intracellular compartments labeled by both proteins, but PGIP2-GFP aggregated compartments overlap with those labeled by the endocytic dye FM4-64 while secGFP-CesA6 fills different compartments. Furthermore, secGFP-CesA6 co-localization with RFP-NIP1.1, marker of the direct ER-to-Vacuole traffic, in small compartments separated from ER suggests that secGFP-CesA6 is sorted through TGNs in which the direct contribution from the ER plays an important role. All together the data indicate the existence of a heterogeneous population of Golgi-independent TGNs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2020.00350DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7118220PMC
March 2020

General practitioners' views on malnutrition management and oral nutritional supplementation prescription in the community: A qualitative study.

Clin Nutr ESPEN 2020 04 6;36:116-127. Epub 2020 Feb 6.

School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sports Science, University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland; UCD Institute of Food and Health, University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland.

Background & Aims: Malnutrition or undernutrition, arising from a deficiency of energy and protein intake, occurs commonly among community-dwelling individuals in developed countries. Once identified, malnutrition can be effectively treated in the majority of cases with dietary advice and the prescription of oral nutritional supplements (ONS) for patients who can eat and drink orally. However, previous research has reported inadequate screening and treatment of malnutrition in the community. The aim of this qualitative study was to explore general practitioners' (GPs) experiences and opinions on the management of malnutrition and the prescription of ONS in the primary care/community setting in Ireland.

Methods: Sixteen semi-structured interviews including chart stimulated recalls (CSR) were conducted with GPs. The interviews and CSRs explored, among others, the following domains; barriers and facilitators in the management of malnutrition, ONS prescribing in the primary care/community setting, and future directions in the management of malnutrition and ONS prescribing. Recorded interviews were transcribed and analysed following a generic qualitative approach with inductive thematic analysis using NVIVO 12 to facilitate data management.

Results: Three main themes were identified. Theme 1: 'Malnutrition is a secondary concern', encapsulating the idea that the identification of malnutrition is usually secondary to other clinical issues or disease rather than an independent clinical outcome. This theme also includes the idea that obesity is viewed as a dominant nutritional issue for GPs. Theme 2: 'Responsibility for malnutrition and ONS management in the community', highlighting that GPs feel they do not know who is responsible for the management of malnutrition in the community setting and expressed their need for more support from other healthcare professionals (HCPs) to effectively monitor and treat malnutrition. Theme 3: 'Reluctance to prescribe ONS', emerging from the GPs reported lack of knowledge to prescribe the appropriate ONS, their concern that ONS will replace the patient's meals and the costs associated with the prescription of ONS.

Conclusions: GPs in Ireland do not routinely screen for malnutrition in their clinics as they feel unsupported in treating and managing malnutrition in the community due to limited or no dietetic service availability and time constraints. GPs also view malnutrition as a secondary concern to disease management and prioritise referral to dietetic services for patients with overweight and obesity. GPs reported that they have insufficient knowledge to change or discontinue ONS prescriptions. This study demonstrates that there is a clear need for primary care training in malnutrition identification, treatment and management and more community dietetic services are needed in order to support GPs and deliver high quality care to patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clnesp.2020.01.006DOI Listing
April 2020

Exploitation of Prunus mahaleb fruit by fermentation with selected strains of Lactobacillus plantarum and Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

Food Microbiol 2019 Dec 8;84:103262. Epub 2019 Jul 8.

CNR, Institute of Sciences of Food Production (ISPA), via Prov.le Lecce-Monteroni, 73100, Lecce, Italy. Electronic address:

The organoleptic attributes of Prunus mahaleb, a fruit representing a new source of bioactive compounds, are so pronounced that it can be consider non-edible. This study was designed to evaluate the acceptance of P. mahaleb fruits after fermentation with different Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Lactobacillus plantarum protechnological strains. Four different bacterial and one yeast strains, as single or mixed starter formulation, were used to inoculate an aqueous suspension of P. mahaleb fruits. The fermented fruits and fermentation broths were subjected to physico-chemical characterization and the organoleptic properties of both samples were also assessed by a hedonic panel. The obtained results indicated that all the employed strains were able to grow and to ferment the matrix. However, the mixed starter FG69 + Li180-7 (L. plantarum/S. cerevisiae) had the best impact on sensory characteristics of P. mahaleb fruit and fermented medium. The adopted protocol allowed us to attain edible fruits and a new fermented non-dairy drink with valuable probiotic health-promoting properties. In our knowledge, this is the first study concerning the exploitation of P. mahaleb fruits. This investigation confirmed the potential of yeasts and lactic acid bacteria co-inoculation in the design of starter tailored for this kind of food applications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fm.2019.103262DOI Listing
December 2019

Intragenic Deletion in MACROD2: A Family with Complex Phenotypes Including Microcephaly, Intellectual Disability, Polydactyly, Renal and Pancreatic Malformations.

Cytogenet Genome Res 2019 3;158(1):25-31. Epub 2019 May 3.

Diagnosing a complex genetic syndrome and correctly assigning the concomitant phenotypic traits to a well-defined clinical form is often a medical challenge. In this work, we report the analysis of a family with complex phenotypes, including microcephaly, intellectual disability, dysmorphic features, and polydactyly in the proband, with the aim of adding new aspects for obtaining a clear diagnosis. We performed array-comparative genomic hybridization and quantitative reverse transcriptase PCR (qRT-PCR) analyses. We identified a deletion of chromosome 20p12.1 involving the macrodomain containing 2/mono-ADP ribosylhydrolase 2 gene (MACROD2) in several members of the family. This gene is actually not associated with a specific syndrome but with congenital anomalies of multiple organs. qRT-PCR showed higher levels of a MACROD2 mRNA isoform in the individuals carrying the deletion. Our results, together with other data reported in the literature, support the hypothesis that the deletion in MACROD2 can affect correct embryonic development and that the presence of another associated event, such as epigenetic modifications at the MACROD2 locus, can influence the level of severity of the pathology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000499886DOI Listing
August 2019

CGH array for the identification of a compound heterozygous mutation in the CYP1B1 gene in a patient with bilateral anterior segment dysgenesis.

Clin Chem Lab Med 2019 03;57(4):e63-e66

Dipartimento di Medicina Molecolare e Biotecnologie Mediche, Università di Napoli "Federico II", Naples, Italy.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/cclm-2017-1106DOI Listing
March 2019

Early Ongoing Speciation of Within the Grape Ecosystem Revealed by the Internal Variability Among the rDNA Operon Repeats.

Front Microbiol 2018 3;9:1687. Epub 2018 Aug 3.

Institute of Sciences of Food Production (ISPA), National Research Council (CNR), Lecce, Italy.

A yeast strain was isolated during a study on vineyard-associated yeast strains from Apulia in Southern Italy. ITS and LSU D1/D2 rDNA sequences showed this strain not to belong to any known species and was described as the type strain of , a close relative of . Several secondary peaks appeared in the sequences, suggesting internal heterogeneity among the copies of the rDNA. This hypothesis was tested by sequencing single clones of the marker region. The analyses showed different levels of variability throughout the operon with differences between the rRNA encoding genes and the internally transcribed regions. and share high frequency variants, i.e., variants frequently found in many clones, whereas there is a large variability of the low frequency polymorphisms, suggesting that the mechanism of homogenization is more active with the former than with the latter type of variation. These findings indicate that low frequency variants are detected in Sanger sequencing as secondary peaks whereas in Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) of metagenomics DNA would lead to an overestimate of the alpha diversity. For the first time in our knowledge, this investigation shed light on the variation of the copy number of the rDNA cistron during the yeast speciation process. These polymorphisms can be used to investigate on the processes occurring in these taxonomic markers during the separation of fungal species, it being a genetic process highly frequent in the complex microbial ecosystem existing in grape, must and wine.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2018.01687DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6085423PMC
August 2018

Td4IN2: A drought-responsive durum wheat (Triticum durum Desf.) gene coding for a resistance like protein with serine/threonine protein kinase, nucleotide binding site and leucine rich domains.

Plant Physiol Biochem 2017 Nov 16;120:223-231. Epub 2017 Oct 16.

Dipartimento di Scienze e Tecnologie Biologiche ed Ambientali, Università del Salento, Lecce, Italy.

Wheat, the main food source for a third of world population, appears strongly under threat because of predicted increasing temperatures coupled to drought. Plant complex molecular response to drought stress relies on the gene network controlling cell reactions to abiotic stress. In the natural environment, plants are subjected to the combination of abiotic and biotic stresses. Also the response of plants to biotic stress, to cope with pathogens, involves the activation of a molecular network. Investigations on combination of abiotic and biotic stresses indicate the existence of cross-talk between the two networks and a kind of overlapping can be hypothesized. In this work we describe the isolation and characterization of a drought-related durum wheat (Triticum durum Desf.) gene, identified in a previous study, coding for a protein combining features of NBS-LRR type resistance protein with a S/TPK domain, involved in drought stress response. This is one of the few examples reported where all three domains are present in a single protein and, to our knowledge, it is the first report on a gene specifically induced by drought stress and drought-related conditions, with this particular structure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.plaphy.2017.10.010DOI Listing
November 2017

Drought and Heat Differentially Affect XTH Expression and XET Activity and Action in 3-Day-Old Seedlings of Durum Wheat Cultivars with Different Stress Susceptibility.

Front Plant Sci 2016 10;7:1686. Epub 2016 Nov 10.

Dipartimento di Scienze e Tecnologie Biologiche ed Ambientali, Università del Salento Lecce, Italy.

Heat and drought stress have emerged as major constraints for durum wheat production. In the Mediterranean area, their negative effect on crop productivity is expected to be exacerbated by the occurring climate change. Xyloglucan endotransglucosylase/hydrolases (XTHs) are chief enzymes in cell wall remodeling, whose relevance in cell expansion and morphogenesis suggests a central role in stress responses. In this work the potential role of XTHs in abiotic stress tolerance was investigated in durum wheat. The separate effects of dehydration and heat exposure on XTH expression and its endotransglucosylase (XET) activity and action have been monitored, up to 24 h, in the apical and sub-apical root regions and shoots excised from 3-day-old seedlings of durum wheat cultivars differing in stress susceptibility/tolerance. Dehydration and heat stress differentially influence the XTH expression profiles and the activity and action of XET in the wheat seedlings, depending on the degree of susceptibility/tolerance of the cultivars, the organ, the topological region of the root and, within the root, on the gradient of cell differentiation. The root apical region was the zone mainly affected by both treatments in all assayed cultivars, while no change in XET activity was observed at shoot level, irrespective of susceptibility/tolerance, confirming the pivotal role of the root in stress perception, signaling, and response. Conflicting effects were observed depending on stress type: dehydration evoked an overall increase, at least in the apical region of the root, of XET activity and action, while a significant inhibition was caused by heat treatment in most cultivars. The data suggest that differential changes in XET action in defined portions of the root of young durum wheat seedlings may have a role as a response to drought and heat stress, thus contributing to seedling survival and crop establishment. A thorough understanding of the mechanisms underlying these variations could represent the theoretical basis for implementing breeding strategies to develop new highly productive hybrids adapted to future climate scenarios.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2016.01686DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5102909PMC
November 2016

Functional, textural and sensory properties of dry pasta supplemented with lyophilized tomato matrix or with durum wheat bran extracts produced by supercritical carbon dioxide or ultrasound.

Food Chem 2016 Dec 5;213:545-553. Epub 2016 Jul 5.

Dipartimento di Scienze e Tecnologie Biologiche ed Ambientali, Università del Salento, 73100 Lecce, Italy.

A study was carried out to produce functional pasta by adding bran aqueous extract (BW) and bran oleoresin (BO) obtained using ultrasound and supercritical CO2, respectively, or a powdery lyophilized tomato matrix (LT). The bioactive compounds, hydrophilic and lipophilic antioxidant activity (HAA and LAA) in vitro, were evaluated. BW supplementation did not improve antioxidant activity, whilst LT pasta showed unconventional taste and odor. BO pasta had good levels of tocochromanols (2551μg/100g pasta f.w.) and carotenoids (40.2μg/100g pasta f.w.), and the highest HAA and LAA. The oleoresin altered starch swelling and gluten network, as evidenced by scanning electron microscopy, therefore BO pasta had structural characteristics poor compared with the control (4.8% vs. 3.2% cooking loss), although this difference did not affect significantly overall sensory judgment (74 vs. 79 for BO and control, respectively). BO supplementation was most effective for increasing antioxidant activity without jeopardizing pasta quality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2016.07.006DOI Listing
December 2016

Chest physiotherapy for acute bronchiolitis in paediatric patients between 0 and 24 months old.

Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2016 Feb 1;2:CD004873. Epub 2016 Feb 1.

Iberoamerican Cochrane Centre, Biomedical Research Institute Sant Pau (IIB Sant Pau), CIBER Epidemiología y Salud Pública (CIBERESP), Sant Antoni Maria Claret 171, Edifici Casa de Convalescència, Barcelona, Catalunya, Spain, 08041.

Background: This Cochrane review was first published in 2005 and updated in 2007, 2012 and now 2015. Acute bronchiolitis is the leading cause of medical emergencies during winter in children younger than two years of age. Chest physiotherapy is sometimes used to assist infants in the clearance of secretions in order to decrease ventilatory effort.

Objectives: To determine the efficacy of chest physiotherapy in infants aged less than 24 months old with acute bronchiolitis. A secondary objective was to determine the efficacy of different techniques of chest physiotherapy (for example, vibration and percussion and passive forced exhalation).

Search Methods: We searched CENTRAL (2015, Issue 9) (accessed 8 July 2015), MEDLINE (1966 to July 2015), MEDLINE in-process and other non-indexed citations (July 2015), EMBASE (1990 to July 2015), CINAHL (1982 to July 2015), LILACS (1985 to July 2015), Web of Science (1985 to July 2015) and Pedro (1929 to July 2015).

Selection Criteria: Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) in which chest physiotherapy was compared against no intervention or against another type of physiotherapy in bronchiolitis patients younger than 24 months of age.

Data Collection And Analysis: Two review authors independently extracted data. Primary outcomes were change in the severity status of bronchiolitis and time to recovery. Secondary outcomes were respiratory parameters, duration of oxygen supplementation, length of hospital stay, use of bronchodilators and steroids, adverse events and parents' impression of physiotherapy benefit. No pooling of data was possible.

Main Results: We included 12 RCTs (1249 participants), three more than the previous Cochrane review, comparing physiotherapy with no intervention. Five trials (246 participants) evaluated conventional techniques (vibration and percussion plus postural drainage), and seven trials (1003 participants) evaluated passive flow-oriented expiratory techniques: slow passive expiratory techniques in four trials, and forced passive expiratory techniques in three trials.Conventional techniques failed to show a benefit in the primary outcome of change in severity status of bronchiolitis measured by means of clinical scores (five trials, 241 participants analysed). Safety of conventional techniques has been studied only anecdotally, with one case of atelectasis, the collapse or closure of the lung resulting in reduced or absent gas exchange, reported in the control arm of one trial.Slow passive expiratory techniques failed to show a benefit in the primary outcomes of severity status of bronchiolitis and in time to recovery (low quality of evidence). Three trials analysing 286 participants measured severity of bronchiolitis through clinical scores, with no significant differences between groups in any of these trials, conducted in patients with moderate and severe disease. Only one trial observed a transient significant small improvement in the Wang clinical score immediately after the intervention in patients with moderate severity of disease. There is very low quality evidence that slow passive expiratory techniques seem to be safe, as two studies (256 participants) reported that no adverse effects were observed.Forced passive expiratory techniques failed to show an effect on severity of bronchiolitis in terms of time to recovery (two trials, 509 participants) and time to clinical stability (one trial, 99 participants analysed). This evidence is of high quality and corresponds to patients with severe bronchiolitis. Furthermore, there is also high quality evidence that these techniques are related to an increased risk of transient respiratory destabilisation (risk ratio (RR) 10.2, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.3 to 78.8, one trial) and vomiting during the procedure (RR 5.4, 95% CI 1.6 to 18.4, one trial). Results are inconclusive for bradycardia with desaturation (RR 1.0, 95% CI 0.2 to 5.0, one trial) and bradycardia without desaturation (RR 3.6, 95% CI 0.7 to 16.9, one trial), due to the limited precision of estimators. However, in mild to moderate bronchiolitis patients, forced expiration combined with conventional techniques produced an immediate relief of disease severity (one trial, 13 participants).

Authors' Conclusions: None of the chest physiotherapy techniques analysed in this review (conventional, slow passive expiratory techniques or forced expiratory techniques) have demonstrated a reduction in the severity of disease. For these reasons, these techniques cannot be used as standard clinical practice for hospitalised patients with severe bronchiolitis. There is high quality evidence that forced expiratory techniques in severe patients do not improve their health status and can lead to severe adverse events. Slow passive expiratory techniques provide an immediate and transient relief in moderate patients without impact on duration. Future studies should test the potential effect of slow passive expiratory techniques in mild to moderate non-hospitalised patients and patients who are respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) positive. Also, they could explore the combination of chest physiotherapy with salbutamol or hypertonic saline.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD004873.pub5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6458017PMC
February 2016

Different stress responsive strategies to drought and heat in two durum wheat cultivars with contrasting water use efficiency.

BMC Genomics 2013 Nov 22;14:821. Epub 2013 Nov 22.

Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences and Technologies, University of Salento, Prov,le Lecce Monteroni, I-73100 Lecce, Italy.

Background: Durum wheat often faces water scarcity and high temperatures, two events that usually occur simultaneously in the fields. Here we report on the stress responsive strategy of two durum wheat cultivars, characterized by different water use efficiency, subjected to drought, heat and a combination of both stresses.

Results: The cv Ofanto (lower water use efficiency) activated a large set of well-known drought-related genes after drought treatment, while Cappelli (higher water use efficiency) showed the constitutive expression of several genes induced by drought in Ofanto and a modulation of a limited number of genes in response to stress. At molecular level the two cvs differed for the activation of molecular messengers, genes involved in the regulation of chromatin condensation, nuclear speckles and stomatal closure. Noteworthy, the heat response in Cappelli involved also the up-regulation of genes belonging to fatty acid β-oxidation pathway, glyoxylate cycle and senescence, suggesting an early activation of senescence in this cv. A gene of unknown function having the greatest expression difference between the two cultivars was selected and used for expression QTL analysis, the corresponding QTL was mapped on chromosome 6B.

Conclusion: Ofanto and Cappelli are characterized by two opposite stress-responsive strategies. In Ofanto the combination of drought and heat stress led to an increased number of modulated genes, exceeding the simple cumulative effects of the two single stresses, whereas in Cappelli the same treatment triggered a number of differentially expressed genes lower than those altered in response to heat stress alone. This work provides clear evidences that the genetic system based on Cappelli and Ofanto represents an ideal tool for the genetic dissection of the molecular response to drought and other abiotic stresses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2164-14-821DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4046701PMC
November 2013

Multiple myeloma and occupation: a pooled analysis by the International Multiple Myeloma Consortium.

Cancer Epidemiol 2013 Jun 9;37(3):300-5. Epub 2013 Feb 9.

Family and Community Medicine Department, Hospital Italiano de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Objective: We investigated occupational risk of multiple myeloma (MM) in a pooled analysis of five international case-control studies.

Methods: We calculated the odds ratio and its 95% confidence interval for selected occupations with unconditional regression analysis in 1959 MM cases and 6192 controls, by pooling study-specific risks using random-effects meta-analysis. Exposure to organic solvents was assessed with a job-exposure matrix (JEM).

Results: Gardeners and nursery workers combined, most likely exposed to pesticides, showed a 50% increase in risk (OR = 1.50, 95% CI 0.9-2.3), while other farming jobs did not. Metal processors (OR = 1.55, 95% CI 0.9-2.3), female cleaners (OR = 1.32, 95% CI 1.0-1.8), and high level exposure to organic solvents (OR = 1.38, 95% CI 0.96-1.8) also showed moderately increased risks.

Conclusions: Additional case-control studies of MM aetiology are warranted to further investigate the nature of the repeatedly reported increase in MM risk in several occupational groups.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.canep.2013.01.008DOI Listing
June 2013

Multiple Myeloma and lifetime occupation: results from the EPILYMPH study.

J Occup Med Toxicol 2012 Dec 14;7(1):25. Epub 2012 Dec 14.

Medicina Familiar y Comunitaria, Hospital Italiano de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Unlabelled:

Background: The EPILYMPH study applied a detailed occupational exposure assessment approach to a large multi-centre case-control study conducted in six European countries. This paper analysed multiple myeloma (MM) risk associated with level of education, and lifetime occupational history and occupational exposures, based on the EPILYMPH data set.

Methods: 277 MM cases and four matched controls per each case were included. Controls were randomly selected, matching for age (+/- 5 years), centre and gender. Lifetime occupations and lifetime exposure to specific workplace agents was obtained through a detailed questionnaire. Local industrial hygienists assessed likelihood and intensity for specific exposures. The odds ratio and 95% confidence intervals (OR, 95% CI) were calculated for level of education, individual occupations and specific exposures. Unconditional logistic regression models were run for individual occupations and exposures.

Results: A low level of education was associated with MM OR=1.68 (95% CI 1.02-2.76). An increased risk was observed for general farmers (OR=1.77; 95% CI 1.05-2.99) and cleaning workers (OR=1.69; 95% CI 1.04-2.72) adjusting for level of education. Risk was also elevated, although not significant, for printers (OR=2.06; 95% CI 0.97-4.34). Pesticide exposure over a period of ten years or more increased MM risk (OR=1.62; 95% CI 1.01-2.58).

Conclusion: These results confirm an association of MM with farm work, and indicate its association with printing and cleaning. While prolonged exposure to pesticides seems to be a risk factor for MM, an excess risk associated with exposure to organic solvents could not be confirmed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1745-6673-7-25DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3557218PMC
December 2012

Production of recombinant Agaricus bisporus tyrosinase in Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells.

J Ind Microbiol Biotechnol 2012 Dec 21;39(12):1875-80. Epub 2012 Sep 21.

Dipartimento di Scienze e Tecnologie Biologiche ed Ambientali, Università del Salento, Via Prov. Lecce-Monteroni, 73100 Lecce, Italy.

It has been demonstrated that Agaricus bisporus tyrosinase is able to oxidize various phenolic compounds, thus being an enzyme of great importance for a number of biotechnological applications. The tyrosinase-coding PPO2 gene was isolated by reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) using total RNA extracted from the mushroom fruit bodies as template. The gene was sequenced and cloned into pYES2 plasmid, and the resulting pY-PPO2 recombinant vector was then used to transform Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells. Native polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis followed by enzymatic activity staining with L-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (L-DOPA) indicated that the recombinant tyrosinase is biologically active. The recombinant enzyme was overexpressed and biochemically characterized, showing that the catalytic constants of the recombinant tyrosinase were higher than those obtained when a commercial tyrosinase was used, for all the tested substrates. The present study describes the recombinant production of A. bisporus tyrosinase in active form. The produced enzyme has similar properties to the one produced in the native A. bisporus host, and its expression in S. cerevisiae provides good potential for protein engineering and functional studies of this important enzyme.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10295-012-1192-zDOI Listing
December 2012

Novel durum wheat genes up-regulated in response to a combination of heat and drought stress.

Plant Physiol Biochem 2012 Jul 21;56:72-8. Epub 2012 Apr 21.

Dipartimento di Scienze e Tecnologie Biologiche ed Ambientali, Università del Salento, Via Prov. le Monteroni, 73100 Lecce, Italy.

We report the effect of heat, drought and combined stress on the expression of a group of genes that are up-regulated under these conditions in durum wheat (Triticum turgidum subsp. durum) plants. Modulation of gene expression was studied by cDNA-AFLP performed on RNAs extracted from flag leaves. By this approach, we identified several novel durum wheat genes whose expression is modulated under different stress conditions. We focused on a group of hitherto undescribed up-regulated genes in durum wheat, among these, 7 are up-regulated by heat, 8 by drought stress, 15 by combined heat and drought stress, 4 are up-regulated by both heat and combined stress, and 3 by both drought and combined stress. The functional characterization of these genes will provide new data that could help the developing of strategies aimed at improving durum wheat tolerance to field stress.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.plaphy.2012.04.006DOI Listing
July 2012

Chest physiotherapy for acute bronchiolitis in paediatric patients between 0 and 24 months old.

Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2012 Feb 15(2):CD004873. Epub 2012 Feb 15.

Iberoamerican Cochrane Centre, Institute of Biomedical Research (IIB Sant Pau), Barcelona, CIBER Epidemiología y Salud Pública(CIBERESP), Spain, Barcelona, Spain.

Background: This is an update of the original Cochrane review published in 2005 and updated in 2007. Acute bronchiolitis is the leading cause of medical emergencies during winter in children younger than two years of age. Chest physiotherapy is thought to assist infants in the clearance of secretions and to decrease ventilatory effort.

Objectives: The main objective was to determine the efficacy of chest physiotherapy in infants aged less than 24 months old with acute bronchiolitis. A secondary objective was to determine the efficacy of different techniques of chest physiotherapy (for example, vibration and percussion and passive forced exhalation).

Search Methods: We searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) (The Cochrane Library 2011, Issue 4) which contains the Cochrane Acute Respiratory Infections Group's Specialised Register, MEDLINE (1966 to November week 3, 2011), MEDLINE in-process and other non-indexed citations (8 December 2011), EMBASE.com (1990 to December 2011), CINAHL (1982 to December 2011), LILACS (1985 to December 2011) and Web of Science (1985 to December 2011).

Selection Criteria: Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) in which chest physiotherapy was compared against no intervention or against another type of physiotherapy in bronchiolitis patients younger than 24 months of age.

Data Collection And Analysis: Two review authors independently extracted data. Primary outcomes were respiratory parameters and improvement in severity of disease. Secondary outcomes were length of hospital stay, duration of oxygen supplementation and the use of bronchodilators and steroids. No pooling of data was possible.

Main Results: Nine clinical trials including 891 participants were included comparing physiotherapy with no intervention. Five trials (246 participants) evaluated vibration and percussion techniques and four trials (645 participants) evaluated passive expiratory techniques. We observed no significant differences in the severity of disease (eight trials, 867 participants). Results were negative for both types of physiotherapy. We observed no differences between groups in respiratory parameters (two trials, 118 participants), oxygen requirements (one trial, 50 participants), length of stay (five trials, 222 participants) or severe side effects (two trials, 595 participants). Differences in mild transient adverse effects (vomiting and respiratory instability) have been observed (one trial, 496 participants).

Authors' Conclusions: Since the last publication of this review new good-quality evidence has appeared, strengthening the conclusions of the review. Chest physiotherapy does not improve the severity of the disease, respiratory parameters, or reduce length of hospital stay or oxygen requirements in hospitalised infants with acute bronchiolitis not on mechanical ventilation. Chest physiotherapy modalities (vibration and percussion or forced expiratory techniques) have shown equally negative results.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD004873.pub4DOI Listing
February 2012

[Risk of multiple myeloma and agricultural exposures].

G Ital Med Lav Ergon 2011 Jul-Sep;33(3 Suppl):106-7

Dipartimento di Sanità Pubblica, Sezione di Medicina del Lavoro, Università di Cagliari, Asse Didattico, Policlinico Universitario, SS 554, km 4,500, 09042 Monserrato, Cagliari.

We analyzed risk associated with exposure to pesticides and contact with livestock in 277 multiple myeloma (MM) cases and 2434 controls who participated in the multicentre European EPILYMPH study. Ever exposure to organic pesticides or contact with any species of livestock was not associated with an increase in risk of MM. However, risk associated with ever exposure to pesticides was elevated after adjusting for contact with sheep (OR = 2.0, 95% CI 1.2-3.3). The finding of an excess risk associated with ever exposure to any pesticides after adjusting for contact with breeding animals is most likely due to chance.
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April 2013

[Occupational risk of multiple myeloma: results from the EPILYMPH study].

G Ital Med Lav Ergon 2011 Jul-Sep;33(3 Suppl):103-5

School of Public Health, University College Dublin, Ireland.

European case-control study evaluates occupational risk of multiple myeloma (MM) in 277MM cases and 1108 matched controls, using logistic regression analysis and adjusting by age, gender, study centre and education. An increase in MM risk was observed for general farmers, cleaners, telephone and radio operators, and printers. Pesticide exposure lasting ten years or more, but not exposure to solvents, was also associated with an elevated MM risk (OR = 1.62; 95% CI 1.01-2.58). Our results confirm an association of multiple myeloma with farm work, and particularly with prolonged exposure to pesticides.
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April 2013

Identification of candidate genes associated with senescence in durum wheat (Triticum turgidum subsp. durum) using cDNA-AFLP.

Mol Biol Rep 2011 Nov 1;38(8):5219-29. Epub 2011 Jan 1.

Di.S.Te.B.A. Università del Salento, via prov.le Monteroni, 73100 Lecce, Italy.

Senescence is an integrated response of plants to various internal (developmental) and external (environmental) signals. It is a highly regulated process leading eventually to the death of cells, single organs such as leaves, or even whole plants. In cereals, which are monocarpic plants, senescence represents the final stage of development. In order to study senescence in durum wheat (Triticum turgidum subsp. durum), a cDNA-AFLP analysis was performed. The transcription profiles of plants at different developmental stages (flowering and senescent) were compared. About 2000 cDNA fragments, ranging in size from 160 to 1900 bp, were reproducibly detected. This allowed the identification of 57 differentially expressed cDNAs corresponding to genes belonging to different functional categories related to cellular metabolism, transcription, maintenance of DNA structure, transport and signal transduction. This paper reports the identification of novel durum wheat candidate genes involved in the senescence process, and provides new information about the senescence programme of this important crop species.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11033-010-0673-2DOI Listing
November 2011

Multiple myeloma and farming. A systematic review of 30 years of research. Where next?

J Occup Med Toxicol 2008 Nov 17;3:27. Epub 2008 Nov 17.

School of Public Health and Population Science, University College Dublin, Woodview House, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.

Background: Multiple myeloma has been linked to farming for over thirty years. However, there is little clarity about the magnitude of the risk, nor about the specific agricultural exposures which contribute to the risk.

Methods: We have carried out a systematic review of case-control studies of multiple myeloma published from 1970 to October 2007. Studies were identified through database searches and from references in the literature.Studies reporting risk estimates from farming, agricultural exposures, and exposure to animals were identified, and details abstracted. The impact of study heterogeneity, publication bias, variation in methods of case identification and exposure ascertainment between studies were considered in analysis.

Results: Case control studies showed a pooled odds ratio (OR) for working as a farmer of 1.39 95% CI 1.18 to 1.65. There was no graphic evidence of publication bias, for pesticide exposure 1.47; 95% 1.11 to 1.94, for DDT 2.19; CI 95% 1.30 to 2.95; for exposed to herbicides 1.69; 95 %CI 1.01 to 1.83. For working on a farm for more than ten years OR was 1.87; 95% CI 1.15 to 3.16.

Conclusion: Farmers seem to have increase risk for MM. However, a major limitation of this analysis is the presence of significant heterogeneity across the studies and the evidence of publication bias in some models.A pooled analysis using individual level data could provide more power and permit the harmonization of occupational and exposure coding data.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1745-6673-3-27DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2628921PMC
November 2008

Interventions for preventing venous thromboembolism in adults undergoing knee arthroscopy.

Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2008 Oct 8(4):CD005259. Epub 2008 Oct 8.

Department of Orthopedics, Hospital Británico de Buenos Aires, Dorrego 1471, Victoria, Buenos Aires, Argentina, CP 1644.

Background: Knee arthroscopy is a frequent surgical procedure. Arthroscopy procedures are considered minimally invasive. However, some patients will need extended surgical time, suffer injury and immobilization thus increasing the risk for thromboembolic events. Incidence of deep venous thrombosis (DVT) in patients undergoing knee arthroscopy is reported to be from 0.6% to 17.9% depending on the diagnostic method used. Different approaches are available for thromboprophylaxis (mechanical or pharmacological).

Objectives: To assess the effectiveness and safety of thromboprophylaxis to reduce the incidence of DVT in patients undergoing knee arthroscopy.

Search Strategy: We searched the Cochrane Peripheral Vascular Diseases Group Specialized Register (last searched October 2006) the CENTRAL (last searched Issue 4, 2006), MEDLINE (1966 to 2006), EMBASE (1980 to 2006), and Lilacs (1988 to 2006). We contacted specialists known to be involved in phlebology and interested in post thrombotic syndrome for details of unpublished and ongoing trials.

Selection Criteria: Randomized clinical trials (RCTs) and controlled clinical trials (CCTs), whether blinded or not (i.e. double blinded, single blinded or unblinded) of all type of interventions, whether mechanical or pharmacological, single or in combination, used to prevent DVT in males and females over 18 years old undergoing knee arthroscopy. There was no restriction on language.

Data Collection And Analysis: Two authors independently assessed trial quality and extracted data. Study authors were contacted for additional information.

Main Results: Four trials involving 527 predominantly male participants were included. The main weakness of the studies was the lack of correct stratification of the arthroscopic intervention.The relative risk (RR) of thrombotic events was 0.16 (95% confidence interval (CI); 0.05 to 0.52) comparing any type of low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) versus placebo. All thrombotic events but one (pulmonary embolism in the LMWH group) were distal venous thrombosis. Adverse events were most common in the intervention group than in the control group, RR 2.04 (95% CI 1.21 to 3.44). There were 66 episodes of adverse events. The number needed to harm was 20 for any adverse events.

Authors' Conclusions: This meta-analysis suggests that LMWH reduces the incidence of distal DVT diagnosed by sonogram. The clinical benefit of this is uncertain. No strong evidence was found to conclude thromboprophylaxis is effective to prevent thromboembolic events and safe, in people with unknown risk factors for thrombosis, undergoing knee arthroscopy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD005259.pub3DOI Listing
October 2008

Molecular cloning and heterologous expression of a laccase gene from Pleurotus eryngii in free and immobilized Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells.

Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 2008 Jul 29;79(5):731-41. Epub 2008 Apr 29.

Istituto di Scienze delle Produzioni Alimentari del CNR, Unità di Lecce, via Prov le Lecce-Monteroni, Lecce, Italy.

A full length cDNA encoding an extracellular laccase was isolated by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction from the mycelia of the mushroom Pleurotus eryngii. The isolated sequence, denoted Ery3, encodes for a mature laccase isoenzyme of 531 amino acid residues with a predicted molecular weight of 56.6 kDa. All sequence motifs, being the signature sequences used to identify the laccases, were found in the Ery3 protein sequence. The Ery3 cDNA was expressed in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and the effects of copper concentration and cultivation temperature were investigated. S. cerevisiae cells were immobilized in calcium alginate gel and the optimal immobilization parameters for the enhanced production of laccase were determined. The immobilization was most effective with 3% sodium alginate, 0.1 M calcium chloride and an initial biomass of 4.5 x 10(8) cells. The enzyme yield obtained with immobilized cells (139 mU ml(-1)) showed a 1.6-fold increase compared to the highest yield obtained with free cells. The alginate beads showed good stability and retained 84% capacity of enzyme production after seven repeated cycles of batch fermentation. The immobilization system proved to increase the proteolytic stability of the recombinant Ery3 protein. To our knowledge, this is the first report on S. cerevisiae whole-cell immobilization for recombinant laccase production.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00253-008-1479-1DOI Listing
July 2008