Publications by authors named "Emma Brown"

88 Publications

Environmental sampling for the detection of foot-and-mouth disease virus and peste des petits ruminants virus in a live goat market, Nepal.

Transbound Emerg Dis 2021 Jul 31. Epub 2021 Jul 31.

The Pirbright Institute, Pirbright, Surrey, United Kingdom.

Livestock markets are considered vital parts of the agricultural economy, particularly in developing countries where livestock keeping contributes to both food security and economic stability. Animals from diverse sources are moved to markets, they mix while they are there and are subsequently redistributed over wide geographic areas. Consequently, markets provide an opportunity for targeted surveillance for circulating pathogens. This study investigated the use of environmental sampling at a live goat market in Nepal for the detection of foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) and peste des petits ruminants virus (PPRV), both of which are endemic. Five visits to the market were carried out between November 2016 and April 2018, with FMDV RNA detected on four visits and PPRV RNA detected on all five visits. Overall, 4.1% of samples (9 out of 217) were positive for FMDV RNA and 60.8% (132 out of 217) were positive for PPRV RNA, though the proportion of positive samples varied amongst visits. These results demonstrate that non-invasive, environmental sampling methods have the potential to be used to detect circulation of high priority livestock diseases at a live animal market and, hence, to contribute to their surveillance and control. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/tbed.14257DOI Listing
July 2021

Characterising Foot-and-Mouth Disease Virus in Clinical Samples Using Nanopore Sequencing.

Front Vet Sci 2021 17;8:656256. Epub 2021 May 17.

Vesicular Disease Reference Laboratory, The Pirbright Institute, Woking, United Kingdom.

The sequencing of viral genomes provides important data for the prevention and control of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) outbreaks. Sequence data can be used for strain identification, outbreak tracing, and aiding the selection of the most appropriate vaccine for the circulating strains. At present, sequencing of FMD virus (FMDV) relies upon the time-consuming transport of samples to well-resourced laboratories. The Oxford Nanopore Technologies' MinION portable sequencer has the potential to allow sequencing in remote, decentralised laboratories closer to the outbreak location. In this study, we investigated the utility of the MinION to generate sequence data of sufficient quantity and quality for the characterisation of FMDV serotypes O, A, Asia 1. Prior to sequencing, a universal two-step RT-PCR was used to amplify parts of the 5'UTR, as well as the leader, capsid and parts of the 2A encoding regions of FMDV RNA extracted from three sample matrices: cell culture supernatant, tongue epithelial suspension and oral swabs. The resulting consensus sequences were compared with reference sequences generated on the Illumina MiSeq platform. Consensus sequences with an accuracy of 100% were achieved within 10 and 30 min from the start of the sequencing run when using RNA extracted from cell culture supernatants and tongue epithelial suspensions, respectively. In contrast, sequencing from swabs required up to 2.5 h. Together these results demonstrated that the MinION sequencer can be used to accurately and rapidly characterise serotypes A, O, and Asia 1 of FMDV using amplicons amplified from a variety of different sample matrices.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fvets.2021.656256DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8165188PMC
May 2021

Optoacoustic Imaging in Inflammation.

Biomedicines 2021 Apr 28;9(5). Epub 2021 Apr 28.

Department of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, University Hospital Erlangen, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität (FAU) Erlangen-Nürnberg, Loschgestr. 15, D-91054 Erlangen, Germany.

Optoacoustic or photoacoustic imaging (OAI/PAI) is a technology which enables non-invasive visualization of laser-illuminated tissue by the detection of acoustic signals. The combination of "light in" and "sound out" offers unprecedented scalability with a high penetration depth and resolution. The wide range of biomedical applications makes this technology a versatile tool for preclinical and clinical research. Particularly when imaging inflammation, the technology offers advantages over current clinical methods to diagnose, stage, and monitor physiological and pathophysiological processes. This review discusses the clinical perspective of using OAI in the context of imaging inflammation as well as in current and emerging translational applications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines9050483DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8145174PMC
April 2021

Apolipoprotein E (APOE) ε4 moderates the relationship between c-reactive protein, cognitive functioning, and white matter integrity.

Brain Behav Immun 2021 07 23;95:84-95. Epub 2021 Feb 23.

National Center for PTSD, VA Boston Healthcare System, Boston, MA, USA; Department of Psychiatry, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA, USA; Translational Research Center for TBI and Stress Disorders (TRACTS) and Geriatric Research Educational and Clinical Center (GRECC), VA Boston Healthcare System, Boston, MA, USA; Boston Attention and Learning Laboratory, VA Healthcare System, Boston, MA, USA.

Elevated serum C-reactive protein (CRP) and possessing an APOE ε4 allele are two of the most prominent risk factors for cognitive and neurological dysfunction in older adults, but little is known about the unique or cumulative effects of these risk factors in young-to-middle-aged adults. To further characterize these potential relationships, measures of cognition and microstructural white matter integrity were examined using data from a sample of 329 post-9/11 war veterans that was collected as part of a comprehensive evaluation that included assessment of neuropsychological functioning, MRI scanning, psychiatric diagnoses, health screening, markers of inflammation, and APOE genotypes. Hierarchical linear regression analyses revealed the CRP and APOE ε4 interaction was associated with global cognition (β = -0.633), executive functioning (β = -0.566), and global fractional anisotropy (β = -0.470), such that elevated CRP was associated with worse cognition and white matter integrity in APOE ε4 carriers. Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) was used to determine if CRP × APOE ε4 presence was associated with regionally specific fractional anisotropy in white matter tracts. Tract-based spatial statistics revealed CRP × APOE ε4 presence was associated with fractional anisotropy in the corpus callosum, right superior longitudinal fasciculus, right posterior corona radiata, as well as the bilateral anterior and superior corona radiatas. This suggests that APOE ε4 carriers may be uniquely vulnerable to the potentially negative impact of elevated systematic inflammation to cognition and microstructural white matter integrity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbi.2021.02.016DOI Listing
July 2021

Individual cognitive stimulation therapy (iCST) for people with intellectual disability and dementia: a feasibility randomised controlled trial.

Aging Ment Health 2021 Jan 4:1-11. Epub 2021 Jan 4.

Division of Psychiatry, University College London, London, UK.

Objectives: To examine the feasibility, acceptability and fidelity of individual Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (iCST) in people with intellectual disability (ID) and dementia.

Method: We aimed to recruit forty dyads (carer and individual with dementia and ID) who were randomised to iCST or a waiting list control group. Both groups received treatment as usual. Family and paid carers delivered the manualised intervention (40 sessions over 20 weeks). Recruitment and retention of participants, intervention adherence, fidelity and acceptability were assessed. Outcome measures of cognition, adaptive functioning, quality of life (QoL) and carer outcomes were collected at baseline, midpoint (11 weeks) and at 21 weeks. Qualitative interviews were conducted with six carers about their experience of iCST.

Results: Forty dyads were recruited over 10 months from 12 National Health Service trusts. One dyad dropped out and 87.5% and 97.5% completed the midpoint and end-point assessments respectively. Assessment of fidelity indicated that the correct session structure was not followed; 70% completed at least 20 sessions and there was a high level of satisfaction with iCST. QoL was significantly higher in the iCST arm at 21 weeks (adjusted mean difference: 3.11; 95% CI: 0.64 to 5.58). There were no differences in the other outcome measures.

Conclusion: The intervention was feasible and acceptable. A full-scale trial is warranted but some modifications are needed, including improved training and supervision for carers to improve fidelity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13607863.2020.1869180DOI Listing
January 2021

Rationally derived inhibitors of hepatitis C virus (HCV) p7 channel activity reveal prospect for bimodal antiviral therapy.

Elife 2020 11 10;9. Epub 2020 Nov 10.

Leeds Institute of Medical Research, School of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health, University of Leeds, St James' University Hospital, Leeds, United Kingdom.

Since the 1960s, a single class of agent has been licensed targeting virus-encoded ion channels, or 'viroporins', contrasting the success of channel blocking drugs in other areas of medicine. Although resistance arose to these prototypic adamantane inhibitors of the influenza A virus (IAV) M2 proton channel, a growing number of clinically and economically important viruses are now recognised to encode essential viroporins providing potential targets for modern drug discovery. We describe the first rationally designed viroporin inhibitor with a comprehensive structure-activity relationship (SAR). This step-change in understanding not only revealed a second biological function for the p7 viroporin from hepatitis C virus (HCV) during virus entry, but also enabled the synthesis of a labelled tool compound that retained biological activity. Hence, p7 inhibitors (p7i) represent a unique class of HCV antiviral targeting both the spread and establishment of infection, as well as a precedent for future viroporin-targeted drug discovery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.52555DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7714397PMC
November 2020

Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology advertising guidelines: How are member clinics doing?

Fertil Steril 2021 01 14;115(1):104-109. Epub 2020 Oct 14.

Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, Rhode Islansd; Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Women & Infants Hospital, Providence, Rhode Island.

Objective: To examine whether Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART) member in vitro fertilization (IVF) centers adhere to the Society's new advertising policy, updated in January 2018, and evaluate other services advertised by region, insurance mandate and university affiliation status. Historically, a large percentage of IVF clinics have not adhered to SART guidelines for IVF clinic website advertising and have had variability in how financial incentives and other noncore fertility services are advertised.

Design: Cross-sectional study.

Setting: Not applicable.

Patient(s): None.

Intervention(s): None.

Main Outcome Measure(s): Adherence of SART participating websites to objective criteria from the 2018 SART advertising guidelines.

Result(s): All 361 SART participating clinic websites were evaluated. Approximately one third of clinics reported success rate statistics directly on their websites, but only 52.6% of those clinics reported current statistics. Similarly, only 67.5% of SART member clinics included the required disclaimer statement regarding their outcome statistics. Only 10.5% of websites were wholly compliant with SART guidelines regarding presentation of supplemental data. There were no significant differences between academic and nonacademic centers, programs in mandated versus nonmandated states, or East versus West Coast clinics in any of these areas.

Conclusion(s): Many of the SART member websites failed to adhere to core guidelines surrounding reporting IVF clinic success rates. Consideration for additional education and streamlining as well as simplifying success rate advertising guidelines is recommended.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fertnstert.2020.07.001DOI Listing
January 2021

A novel homozygous variant in REN in a family presenting with classic features of disorders involving the renin-angiotensin pathway, without renal tubular dysgenesis.

Am J Med Genet A 2020 10 17;182(10):2284-2290. Epub 2020 Aug 17.

Department of Biochemistry, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, Western University, London, Ontario, Canada.

Autosomal recessively inherited pathogenic variants in genes associated with the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) result in early onset oligohydramnios and clinical features of the Potter sequence, typically in association with proximal renal tubules dysgenesis. We describe two siblings and a first cousin who had severe oligohydramnios in the second trimester, and presented at birth with loose skin, wide fontanelles and sutures, and pulmonary insufficiency. Two had refractory hypotension during their brief lives and one received palliative care after birth. All were found to have a homozygous nonsense variant, REN: c.891delG; p.Tyr287*, on exome sequencing. Autopsy limited to the genitourinary system in two of the children revealed normal renal tubular histology in both. Immunoblotting confirmed diminished expression of renin within cultured skin fibroblasts. To our knowledge, this is the first identification of an association between biallelic variants in REN and oligohydramnios in the absence of renal tubular dysgenesis. Due to its role in the RAAS, it has previously been proposed that the decreased expression of REN results in hypotension, ischemia, and decreased urine production. We suggest sequencing of genes in the RAAS, including REN, should be considered in cases of severe early onset oligohydramnios, even when renal morphology and histology are normal.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajmg.a.61780DOI Listing
October 2020

Environmental and air sampling are efficient methods for the detection and quantification of foot-and-mouth disease virus.

J Virol Methods 2021 01 7;287:113988. Epub 2020 Oct 7.

The Pirbright Institute, Ash Road, Pirbright, Surrey, GU24 0NF, United Kingdom.

Foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) can be found in all secretions and excretions and the breath of acutely infected animals. FMDV can survive in the environment, providing an opportunity for surveillance. The objective of this study was to assess the efficiency of sampling methods for the recovery and quantification of FMDV from a range of environmental surfaces and in aerosols. Selected surfaces, based on those likely to be found on farms, were spiked with a range of concentrations of FMDV, left to dry and then the surface was swabbed with an electrostatic dust cloth. For aerosol sampling, FMDV was nebulised at different concentrations and distances from the sampler. Recovery of viral RNA and infectious virus was measured by RT-qPCR and virus isolation respectively. FMDV RNA was detected from all surfaces at all concentrations except from glass. Infectious virus was recovered from all surfaces but only at higher concentrations. The higher the starting concentration of virus the more efficient the recovery was from surfaces and recovery was more consistent from non-porous surfaces than porous surfaces. FMDV was detected in aerosol samples and the amount of virus recovered decreased as the distance between the nebuliser and sampler increased. The higher the starting concentration of virus the more efficient the recovery was from sampled aerosols. The information provided in this study could be used to direct environmental and aerosol sampling approaches in the field and improve the detection efficiency of FMDV from an environment, thus extending the toolbox available for diagnosis and surveillance of this pathogen.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jviromet.2020.113988DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7539831PMC
January 2021

A Nursery-Based Cooking Skills Programme with Parents and Children Reduced Food Fussiness and Increased Willingness to Try Vegetables: A Quasi-Experimental Study.

Nutrients 2020 Aug 28;12(9). Epub 2020 Aug 28.

Human Nutrition, School of Medicine, Dentistry and Nursing, College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G31 2ER, UK.

Children's fussy eating is associated with a reduced vegetable intake. This quasi-experimental study evaluated "Big Chef Little Chef" (BCLC), a nursery-based cooking skills programme aimed at reducing food fussiness and increasing willingness to try green vegetables by incorporating repeated exposure and sensory learning. Parent and child (3-5 years) dyads attended BCLC for four/1.5 h weekly sessions. A comparison group was recruited after BCLC completion and attended a single education session at week 1. A questionnaire measured food fussiness at week 1 and week 4. At week 4, all children were offered six green vegetables (raw and cooked) and an average score (1 = did not try; 2 = tried it/ate some; 3 = ate it all) was calculated for willingness to try vegetables. In total, 121 dyads (intervention: = 64; comparison: = 57) participated. The food fussiness score (1 min-5 max) in the intervention group decreased significantly from 3.0 to 2.6 ( < 0.01) between time points, while there was no change in the comparison group (3.1 (week 1) and 3.0 (week 4)). The intervention group was more willing to try green vegetables with significantly higher ( < 0.001) median scores for raw and cooked vegetables (2.5 for both) compared with the comparison group (2.0 and 1.7, respectively). The BCLC reduced food fussiness and increased willingness to try green vegetables.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nu12092623DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7551038PMC
August 2020

Quantifying the Transmission of Foot-and-Mouth Disease Virus in Cattle via a Contaminated Environment.

mBio 2020 08 4;11(4). Epub 2020 Aug 4.

The Pirbright Institute, Pirbright, Surrey, United Kingdom.

Indirect transmission via a contaminated environment can occur for a number of pathogens, even those typically thought of as being directly transmitted, such as influenza virus, norovirus, bovine tuberculosis, or foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV). Indirect transmission facilitates spread from multiple sources beyond the infectious host, complicating the epidemiology and control of these diseases. This study carried out a series of transmission experiments to determine the dose-response relationship between environmental contamination and transmission of FMDV in cattle from measurements of viral shedding and rates of environmental contamination and survival. Seven out of ten indirect exposures resulted in successful transmission. The basic reproduction number for environmental transmission of FMDV in this experimental setting was estimated at 1.65, indicating that environmental transmission alone could sustain an outbreak. Importantly, detection of virus in the environment prior to the appearance of clinical signs in infected cattle and successful transmission from these environments highlights there is a risk of environmental transmission even before foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is clinically apparent in cattle. Estimated viral decay rates suggest that FMDV remained viable in this environment for up to 14 days, emphasizing the requirement for stringent biosecurity procedures following outbreaks of FMD and the design of control measures that reflect the biology of a pathogen. Effective control of a disease relies on comprehensive understanding of how transmission occurs, in order to design and apply effective control measures. Foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) is primarily spread by direct contact between infected and naive individuals, although the high levels of virus shed by infected animals mean that virus can also be spread through contact with contaminated environments. Using a series of transmission experiments, we demonstrate that environmental transmission alone would be sufficient to sustain an outbreak. Key observations include that a risk of transmission exists before clinical signs of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) are apparent in cattle and that survival of virus in the environment extends the transmission risk period. This study highlights the role a contaminated environment can play in the transmission of FMDV and presents approaches that can also be applied to study the transmission of other pathogens that are able to survive in the environment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/mBio.00381-20DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7407078PMC
August 2020

Tibial Tuberosity Fracture in an Elderly Gentleman: An Unusual Injury Pattern.

Case Rep Orthop 2020 16;2020:8650927. Epub 2020 Mar 16.

Speciality Registrar in Trauma and Orthopaedics, Colchester General Hospital, Colchester, Essex CO4 5JL, UK.

Avulsion fracture of the tibial tuberosity is an infrequent injury in adolescents and an extremely rare occurrence in adults. We describe the case of an 86-year-old gentleman presenting after a fall, sustaining injury to the left knee. Radiographs of the left knee showed avulsion fracture of the tibial tuberosity. The purpose of this study was to present a rare case of tibial tuberosity avulsion fracture in an adult, the treatment performed, and the challenges faced. The case is discussed with the review of the literature.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2020/8650927DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7102450PMC
March 2020

The mechanical significance of the zonally differentiated collagen network of articular cartilage in relation to tissue swelling.

Clin Biomech (Bristol, Avon) 2020 10 23;79:104926. Epub 2019 Dec 23.

Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, University of Auckland, 2-6 Park Ave, Grafton, Auckland 1023, New Zealand. Electronic address:

Background: We hypothesise that the Benninghoff arcade fibril structure motif of cartilage is able to predict the swelling response of cartilage.

Methods: A total of ten healthy adult bovine patellae were used for this study, yielding 20 paired full depth cartilage samples (half with surface layer intact and half with surface layer removed). Following excision from the bone, samples were allowed to equilibrate first in physiological saline for 2 h, and then in distilled water for another 2 h to maximise the swelling response. Images were captured using a stereomicroscope to measure strain and the fully-swollen samples were fixed in 10% formalin to retain shape for microscopic and ultrastructural imaging.

Findings: We expected all swelling samples with an intact 'strain-limiting' surface layer to curl upwards, instead only 70% of them did. For samples without a surface layer, we expected the swelling to be evenly distributed and to remain relatively uncurled; but in 40% of the samples there was a downward curvature (i.e. opposite to that of the previous group). Micro-to-ultrastructural imaging, to determine fibrillar structure and organisation, revealed the deep zone cartilage was an additional counter layer limiting swelling strain, and was the likely cause of the unexpected swelling responses.

Interpretation: Our expectations that the surface layer alone will influence the swelling response, was based on the assumptions of the Benninghoff arcade model. This study highlights the additional importance of sub-micron scale fibrillar interconnectivity and the role of the deep zone.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clinbiomech.2019.12.008DOI Listing
October 2020

Test-retest reliability of FreeSurfer automated hippocampal subfield segmentation within and across scanners.

Neuroimage 2020 04 21;210:116563. Epub 2020 Jan 21.

Neuroimaging Research for Veterans (NeRVe) Center, VA Boston Healthcare System, Boston, MA, USA; Translational Research Center for TBI and Stress Disorders (TRACTS), VA Boston Healthcare System, Boston, MA, USA; Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Department of Radiology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Charlestown, MA, USA; Brain Aging and Dementia (BAnD) Laboratory, A. A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Department of Radiology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Charlestown, MA, USA; Department of Radiology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.

The human hippocampus is vulnerable to a range of degenerative conditions and as such, accurate in vivo measurement of the hippocampus and hippocampal substructures via neuroimaging is of great interest for understanding mechanisms of disease as well as for use as a biomarker in clinical trials of novel therapeutics. Although total hippocampal volume can be measured relatively reliably, it is critical to understand how this reliability is affected by acquisition on different scanners, as multiple scanning platforms would likely be utilized in large-scale clinical trials. This is particularly true for hippocampal subregional measurements, which have only relatively recently been measurable through common image processing platforms such as FreeSurfer. Accurate segmentation of these subregions is challenging due to their small size, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) signal loss in medial temporal regions of the brain, and lack of contrast for delineation from standard neuroimaging procedures. Here, we assess the test-retest reliability of the FreeSurfer automated hippocampal subfield segmentation procedure using two Siemens model scanners (a Siemens Trio and Prisma Trio upgrade). T1-weighted images were acquired for 11 generally healthy younger participants (two scans on the Trio and one scan on the Prisma). Each scan was processed through the standard cross-sectional stream and the recently released longitudinal pipeline in FreeSurfer v6.0 for hippocampal segmentation. Test-retest reliability of the volumetric measures was examined for individual subfields as well as percent volume difference and Dice overlap among scans and intra-class correlation coefficients (ICC). Reliability was high in the molecular layer, dentate gyrus, and whole hippocampus with the inclusion of three time points with mean volume differences among scans less than 3%, overlap greater than 80%, and ICC >0.95. The parasubiculum and hippocampal fissure showed the least improvement in reliability with mean volume difference greater than 5%, overlap less than 70%, and ICC scores ranging from 0.78 to 0.89. Other subregions, including the CA regions, were stable in their mean volume difference and overlap (<5% difference and >75% respectively) and showed improvement in reliability with the inclusion of three scans (ICC ​> ​0.9). Reliability was generally higher within scanner (Trio-Trio), however, Trio-Prisma reliability was also high and did not exhibit an obvious bias. These results suggest that the FreeSurfer automated segmentation procedure is a reliable method to measure total as well as hippocampal subregional volumes and may be useful in clinical applications including as an endpoint for future clinical trials of conditions affecting the hippocampus.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2020.116563DOI Listing
April 2020

Association of Borderline Intellectual Functioning and Adverse Childhood Experience with adult psychiatric morbidity. Findings from a British birth cohort.

BMC Psychiatry 2019 12 5;19(1):387. Epub 2019 Dec 5.

Centre for Disability Research & Policy, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia.

Background: To examine whether Borderline Intellectual Functioning (BIF) and Adverse Childhood Experiences independently predict adult psychiatric morbidity.

Methods: We performed a secondary analysis of longitudinal data derived from the 1970 British Birth Cohort Study to examine whether BIF and Adverse Childhood Experiences independently predict adult mental distress as measured by the Malaise Inventory. Factor analysis was used to derive a proxy measure of IQ from cognitive testing at age 10 or 5. Variables that could be indicators of exposure to Adverse Childhood Experiences were identified and grouped into health related and socio-economic related adversity.

Results: Children with BIF were significantly more likely than their peers to have been exposed to Adverse Childhood Experiences (BIF mean 5.90, non-BIF mean 3.19; Mann-Whitney z = 31.74, p < 0.001). As adults, participants with BIF were significantly more likely to score above the cut-off on the Malaise Inventory. We found statistically significant relationships between the number of socio-economic Adverse Childhood Experiences and poorer adult psychiatric morbidity (r range 0.104-0.141, all p < 001). At all ages the indirect mediating effects of Adverse Childhood Experiences were significantly related to adult psychiatric morbidity.

Conclusions: The relationship between BIF and adult psychiatric morbidity appears to be partially mediated by exposure to Adverse Childhood Experiences. Where possible, targeting Adverse Childhood Experiences through early detection, prevention and interventions may improve psychiatric morbidity in this population group.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12888-019-2376-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6896708PMC
December 2019

Psychosocial effects of whole-body MRI screening in adult high-risk pathogenic mutation carriers: a case-controlled study (SIGNIFY).

J Med Genet 2020 04 12;57(4):226-236. Epub 2019 Nov 12.

Department of Diagnostic Radiology, The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK.

Background: Germline gene pathogenic variants (pv) cause a very high lifetime risk of developing cancer, almost 100% for women and 75% for men. In the UK, annual MRI breast screening is recommended for female pv carriers. The SIGNIFY study (Magnetic Resonance Imaging screening in Li Fraumeni syndrome: An exploratory whole body MRI) study reported outcomes of whole-body MRI (WB-MRI) in a cohort of 44 pv carriers and 44 matched population controls. The results supported the use of a baseline WB-MRI screen in all adult pv carriers. Here we report the acceptability of WB-MRI screening and effects on psychosocial functioning and health-related quality of life in the short and medium terms.

Methods: Psychosocial and other assessments were carried out at study enrolment, immediately before MRI, before and after MRI results, and at 12, 26 and 52 weeks' follow-up.

Results: WB-MRI was found to be acceptable with high levels of satisfaction and low levels of psychological morbidity throughout. Although their mean levels of cancer worry were not high, carriers had significantly more cancer worry at most time-points than controls. They also reported significantly more clinically significant intrusive and avoidant thoughts about cancer than controls at all time-points. There were no clinically significant adverse psychosocial outcomes in either carriers with a history of cancer or in those requiring further investigations.

Conclusion: WB-MRI screening can be implemented in pv carriers without adverse psychosocial outcomes in the short and medium terms. A previous cancer diagnosis may predict a better psychosocial outcome. Some carriers seriously underestimate their risk of cancer. Carriers of pv should have access to a clinician to help them develop adaptive strategies to cope with cancer-related concerns and respond to clinically significant depression and/or anxiety.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jmedgenet-2019-106407DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7146942PMC
April 2020

Cattle movements in Northern Ireland form a robust network: implications for disease management.

Prev Vet Med 2019 Oct 31;170:104740. Epub 2019 Jul 31.

Veterinary Sciences Division, Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute, Belfast, Ireland; School of Biological Sciences, Queen's University Belfast, Ireland.

The movements of undetected infected animals can facilitate long-distance pathogen spread, making control and eradication difficult by (re)infecting disease-free populations. Characterising movement patterns is essential in understanding pathogen spread and how potential interventions, particularly animal movement restrictions, could help as a control mechanism. In Northern Ireland (NI), cattle movements are important contributors to a significant portion of agricultural trade. They can be disrupted due to statutory interventions, for example, during bovine tuberculosis (bTB) control. Identifying populations at risk of becoming infected would allow for improved resource allocation. This could be through targeting herds with an above-average risk of becoming infected or spreading (amplifying) infection, and restricting their movement to manage future outbreaks. In this study, cattle movements were investigated using social network analysis (SNA) at the monthly temporal scale across NI during 2010-2015. Targeted and random herd restrictions were compared and their impact on the structure and connectivity of the networks' was assessed (e.g. connected component subgraphs). This work was contextualised in relation to bTB, the most persistent infectious disease currently impacting agriculture in NI, where reduced connectivity would represent potential reduced vulnerability from infection introduction. There was seasonal variation in network size and level of connectivity with spring and autumn being the largest and most connected due to common farming practices in NI. Across the study period, there was limited inter-annual variation in global network metrics. On average there were 6.28 movements between each pair of nodes each month, low reciprocity (mean of 0.155) and the networks were moderately accessible with an average path length of 4.28. Movements were not confined to within each disease management area but frequently occurred between these areas (mean assortativity of -0.0731) and herds with high degree interacted with herds of low degree (mean assortativity of -0.351). The Giant Weakly Connected Component (GWCC) spanned most of the networks (between 75% and 100% of nodes); however the Giant Strongly Connected Component (GSCC) included, at most, 23% of the network. There was heterogeneous contributions across NI with little participation in the GSCC from some disease management areas, and the GSCC was comprised predominantly of 'beef breeders', 'beef rearers', and 'other/mixed' type herds. Targeted restrictions were more effective at fragmenting the network than randomly restricting movements when 25% of nodes or more were removed. Cattle networks in NI are extremely interconnected and robust to movement restrictions, suggesting potential vulnerability to movement-facilitated pathogen spread, such as bTB.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.prevetmed.2019.104740DOI Listing
October 2019

Photoacoustic imaging as a tool to probe the tumour microenvironment.

Dis Model Mech 2019 07 16;12(7). Epub 2019 Jul 16.

Department of Physics, University of Cambridge, JJ Thomson Avenue, Cambridge CB3 0HE, UK

The tumour microenvironment (TME) is a complex cellular ecosystem subjected to chemical and physical signals that play a role in shaping tumour heterogeneity, invasion and metastasis. Studying the roles of the TME in cancer progression would strongly benefit from non-invasive visualisation of the tumour as a whole organ , both preclinically in mouse models of the disease, as well as in patient tumours. Although imaging techniques exist that can probe different facets of the TME, they face several limitations, including limited spatial resolution, extended scan times and poor specificity from confounding signals. Photoacoustic imaging (PAI) is an emerging modality, currently in clinical trials, that has the potential to overcome these limitations. Here, we review the biological properties of the TME and potential of existing imaging methods that have been developed to analyse these properties non-invasively. We then introduce PAI and explore the preclinical and clinical evidence that support its use in probing multiple features of the TME simultaneously, including blood vessel architecture, blood oxygenation, acidity, extracellular matrix deposition, lipid concentration and immune cell infiltration. Finally, we highlight the future prospects and outstanding challenges in the application of PAI as a tool in cancer research and as part of a clinical oncologist's arsenal.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1242/dmm.039636DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6679374PMC
July 2019

Association of Focused Medication Review With Optimization of Psychotropic Drug Prescribing: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.

JAMA Netw Open 2018 10 5;1(6):e183750. Epub 2018 Oct 5.

Division of Psychiatry, University College London, London, United Kingdom.

Importance: Medication review has been proposed to achieve improved use of psychotropic drugs, but benefits have not been confirmed.

Objective: To synthesize evidence for focused psychotropic medication review in medication optimization.

Data Sources: Medline, PsycINFO, EMBASE, and CINAHL Plus were searched from inception to February 2018 using the index terms "drug utilization review" and "psychotropic drugs" and synonyms. Additional articles were retrieved using citation tracking and reference checking.

Study Selection: Full-length, peer-reviewed articles that reported focused psychotropic medication review were included. Inclusion was determined against prespecified criteria and assessed independently.

Data Extraction And Synthesis: Study quality was assessed using National Institutes for Health appraisal tools and informed a structured synthesis of results. Meta-analysis using a random effects model was conducted.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Change in the number or dosage of psychotropic medications, change in clinical parameters, change in patient-reported outcomes, and economic data were collected.

Results: A total of 26 studies met the inclusion criteria. Four studies were randomized clinical trials (n = 712 participants), while the remainder were before-after studies (n = 7844 participants). Most studies were conducted in elderly individuals, people with dementia, and adults with intellectual disability. Focused psychotropic medication review is a complex intervention; the professional(s) involved, target drug, degree of integration with usual care, and participant involvement varied greatly among the studies. Meta-analysis included 3 studies (n = 652 participants). Psychotropic medication review was associated with a reduction in prescribing of psychotropic drugs compared with control (pooled odds ratio, 0.24; 95% CI, 0.14-0.39) in elderly participants with cognitive impairment living in nursing homes. Before-after studies consistently reported a change in psychotropic drug prescribing after medication review, regardless of the population. Studies that reported the effects of psychotropic medication review on clinical outcomes failed to demonstrate benefit. Economic implications of focused psychotropic medication review were not adequately assessed. The quality of evidence is poor and studies are at risk of bias.

Conclusions And Relevance: Focused psychotropic medication review was associated with a reduction in prescribing of psychotropic drugs, but has not been shown to improve clinical outcomes or to provide economic benefit. More robust evidence is needed before programs of focused psychotropic medication review can be recommended as part of routine care for any patient group.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2018.3750DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6324597PMC
October 2018

Individual cognitive stimulation therapy for people with intellectual disability and dementia: protocol of a feasibility randomised controlled trial.

BMJ Open 2018 12 9;8(12):e022136. Epub 2018 Dec 9.

Division of Psychiatry, University College London, London, UK.

Introduction: Cognitive stimulation therapy (CST) is a psychosocial intervention for dementia. Group CST is effective in reducing cognitive decline and improving quality of life in patients with dementia. There is some evidence that individual CST (iCST) may be beneficial in reducing cognitive decline. People with intellectual disability (ID) have an increased risk of dementia. However, there are no published studies of CST in people with ID and dementia. This protocol describes the feasibility and acceptability of a randomised controlled trial of iCST delivered by carers to people with ID and dementia, compared with treatment as usual (TAU). The results of this study will inform the design of a future definitive randomised controlled trial.

Methods And Analysis: The iCST intervention has been adapted for this trial. Forty dyads (individuals with ID and their carer) will be randomised to either iCST or TAU. The manualised intervention comprises 40 iCST sessions delivered by a carer for 30 min, twice a week, over 20 weeks. The primary outcome will be process measures assessing the feasibility and acceptability of the intervention and trial procedures. The secondary outcome will be changes in the scores of outcome measures (cognition, functional ability and quality of life in individuals with ID, and caregiver burden, competence in managing dementia, and anxiety and depression in carers). Data will be collected at baseline, 11 weeks and at 21 weeks. A process evaluation will examine adherence to iCST and will include qualitative interviews with participants to identify aspects of the intervention that were or were not successful.

Ethics And Dissemination: The study has received ethical approval. The results of the study will be presented at conferences and submitted to a peer reviewed journal.

Trial Registration Number: ISRCTN18312288; Pre-results.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2018-022136DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6292419PMC
December 2018

Using evidence from hair and other soft tissues to infer the need for and receipt of health-related care provision.

Int J Paleopathol 2019 06 31;25:91-98. Epub 2018 Aug 31.

School of Archaeological and Forensic Sciences, University of Bradford, Richmond Road, Bradford, BD7 1DP, United Kingdom.

The Bioarchaeology of Care approach developed by Tilley is usually applied to skeletalized human remains, given the usual constraints of preservation bias that are seen with archaeological assemblages. However, other tissues, such as hair are sometimes preserved and can provide a wealth of information that can supplement the skeletal data. Archaeological hair has been analysed for drug compounds for almost thirty years. This article integrates data from hair analyses for coca metabolites, stable light isotope analysis and aDNA to expand the potential of the Bioarchaeology of Care approach using the example of a spontaneously mummified adult female from northern Chile.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijpp.2018.08.008DOI Listing
June 2019

Self-Incentives Uniquely Boost Cessation in Community-Based Stop Smoking Programs: Randomized Controlled Trial.

Ann Behav Med 2019 03;53(5):442-452

Division of Psychology and Mental Health, School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health, The University of Manchester, Manchester Centre for Health Psychology, Oxford Road, UK.

Background: Self-incentives offer a plausible alternative to paying smokers to quit but have not yet been tested in a randomized controlled trial.

Purpose: The present study tested whether, compared with a control group, prompting smokers explicitly to self-incentivize if they abstain from smoking for a week or a month encouraged sustained abstinence.

Method: One hundred and fifty-nine smokers were recruited from stop smoking clinics and randomized to an active control condition (asked to form a plan to quit, n = 65) or one of two intervention conditions in which they were asked to form implementation intentions designed to ensure that they incentivized themselves if they had not smoked at all by the end of (a) the week (n = 44) or (b) the month (n = 50). The main outcome measure was self-reported abstinence at 3- and 6-month follow-ups, which was biochemically verified at baseline and in a subsample at 3-month follow-up.

Results: At 3-month follow-up, 34% (15/44; p < .05, d = 0.45) and 36% (18/50; p < .05, d = 0.49) of smokers abstained in the weekly and monthly self-incentivizing conditions respectively, compared with 15% (10/65) in the control. The same pattern of findings was observed at 6-month follow-up: 30% (13/44; p < .05, d = 0.35), 34% (17/50; p < .05, d = 0.45) and 15% (10/65) of smokers remained abstinent in the two intervention groups and control group, respectively.

Conclusions: Ensuring that smokers self-incentivized boosted significantly the effectiveness of the stop smoking program. Self-incentivizing implementation intentions could be implemented at low cost with high public health "reach" to change many health behaviors beyond smoking.

Trial Registration: ISRCTN11610200.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/abm/kay056DOI Listing
March 2019

Environmental Sampling as a Low-Technology Method for Surveillance of Foot-and-Mouth Disease Virus in an Area of Endemicity.

Appl Environ Microbiol 2018 08 1;84(16). Epub 2018 Aug 1.

The Pirbright Institute, Pirbright, Surrey, United Kingdom.

Environmental sampling enables disease surveillance beyond regular investigation of observed clinical cases, extending data on the circulation of a pathogen in a specific area. Developing straightforward, low-technology methods suitable for use under field conditions is key to the inclusion of such approaches alongside traditional surveillance techniques. Foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) is an economically important livestock pathogen, affecting cloven-hoofed livestock in many countries. Countries with FMDV face severe trade restrictions, and infections can have long-term effects on the productivity of affected animals. Environmental contamination by the virus in excretions and secretions from infected individuals promotes transmission but also presents an opportunity for noninvasive sample collection, facilitating diagnostic and surveillance activities. We present environmental sampling methods that have been tested in the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal, where FMDV is endemic. A total of nine sites were visited and sampled between November 2016 and November 2017. Environmental swabs collected from sites with reported outbreaks of FMD were used to demonstrate successful detection of FMDV RNA from the environment. The development of methods that can reliably detect FMDV RNA in the environment is significant, since this possibility extends the toolbox available for surveillance for this disease. Similar methods have already been deployed in the effort to eradicate polio, and with FMDV, such methods could easily be deployed in the event of an outbreak to provide additional resources for detection that would relieve pressure on veterinary services. The development of low-technology, straightforward surveillance methods such as these can support a robust response to outbreaks. Prompt confirmation and diagnosis of disease are key factors in controlling outbreaks. The development of sampling techniques to detect FMDV RNA from the environment will extend the tool kit available for the surveillance of this pathogen. The methods presented in this article broaden surveillance opportunities using accessible techniques. Pairing these methods with existing and novel diagnostic tests will improve the capability for rapid detection of outbreaks and implementation of timely interventions to control outbreaks. In areas of endemicity, these methods can be implemented to extend surveillance beyond the investigation of clinical cases, providing additional data for the assessment of virus circulation in specific areas.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/AEM.00686-18DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6070757PMC
August 2018

Efficacy of a high-potency multivalent foot-and-mouth disease virus vaccine in cattle against heterologous challenge with a field virus from the emerging A/ASIA/G-VII lineage.

Vaccine 2018 03 2;36(14):1901-1907. Epub 2018 Mar 2.

The Pirbright Institute, Ash Road, Pirbright, Woking, Surrey GU24 0NF, United Kingdom.

In 2015, outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in the Middle East were discovered to be caused by a viral lineage (A/ASIA/G-VII), which has recently emerged from the Indian sub-continent. In vitro vaccine matching data generated by the World Reference Laboratory (WRLFMD) indicated that A/ASIA/G-VII field viruses were poorly matched with vaccines (A-SAU-95, A22 IRQ and A-IRN-05) that are already used in the region. In order to assess the likely performance of one of these commercially available FMD vaccines, sixteen cattle were vaccinated with a polyvalent vaccine which contained two serotype A components (A-SAU-95 and A-IRN-05) with a homologous potency of at least 6PD, and two cattle were left unvaccinated as controls. Twenty-one days later, all 18 cattle were challenged by tongue inoculation with an FMDV field isolate A/IRN/22/2015 from the A/ASIA/G-VII lineage, in line with the European Pharmacopeia PPG test conditions. The two control animals developed generalised FMD, and 7/16 vaccinated animals developed at least one foot lesion, thus only 56.3% were defined as protected. For the vaccine components, there was a significant increase in the probability of protection with increasing serological titres for A-SAU-95 (p = 0.03), but not for A-IRN-05 (p = 0.42). Analysis of FMDV in blood and nasal swabs suggested that vaccination reduced shedding and potential onward spread of FMD virus even if the animal developed foot lesions. In summary, the results from this study suggest that whilst this vaccine would not be appropriate for use in an emergency situation (in previously FMD-free countries), it may be partially effective in the field in endemic countries where repeat prophylactic vaccination is practiced. For emergency reactive vaccination, the findings from this study support the idea that a new vaccine strain should be developed that is tailored to the A/ASIA/G-VII lineage.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2018.02.016DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5864508PMC
March 2018

Do Self-Incentives and Self-Rewards Change Behavior? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

Behav Ther 2018 01 15;49(1):113-123. Epub 2017 Sep 15.

University of Manchester and NIHR Manchester Biomedical Research Centre. Electronic address:

Encouraging people to self-incentivize (i.e., to reward themselves in the future if they are successful in changing their behavior) or self-reward (i.e., prompt people to reward themselves once they have successfully changed their behavior) are techniques that are frequently embedded within complex behavior change interventions. However, it is not clear whether self-incentives or self-rewards per se are effective at bringing about behavior change. Nine databases were searched alongside manual searching of systematic reviews and online research registers. One thousand four hundred papers were retrieved, spanning a range of behaviors, though the majority of included papers were in the domain of "health psychology". Ten studies matched the inclusion criteria for self-incentive but no studies were retrieved for self-reward. The present systematic review and meta-analysis is therefore the first to evaluate the unique effect of self-incentives on behavior change. Effect sizes were retrieved from 7 of the 10 studies. Analysis of the 7 studies produced a very small pooled effect size for self-incentives (k = 7, N = 1,161), which was statistically significant, d = 0.17, CI [0.06, 0.29]. The weak effect size and dearth of studies raises the question of why self-incentivizing is such a widely employed component of behavior change interventions. The present research opens up a new field of inquiry to establish: (a) whether or not self-incentivizing and self-rewarding are effective behavior change techniques, (b) whether self-incentives and self-rewards need to be deployed alongside other behavior change techniques, and, (c) when and for whom self-incentives and self-rewards could support effective behavior change.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.beth.2017.09.004DOI Listing
January 2018

Humoral and cellular immune response in mice induced by the classical swine fever virus E2 protein fused to the porcine CD154 antigen.

Biologicals 2018 Mar 5;52:67-71. Epub 2018 Jan 5.

Animal Biotechnology Department, Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, POBox 6162, Havana 10600, Cuba.

The development of subunit vaccines against classical swine fever is a desirable goal, because it allows discrimination between vaccinated and infected animals. In this study, humoral and cellular immune response elicited in inbred BALB/c mice by immunization with a recombinant classical swine fever virus (CSFV) E2 protein fused to porcine CD154 antigen (E2CD154) was assessed. This model was used as a predictor of immune response in swine. Mice were immunized with E2CD154 emulsified in Montanide ISA50V2 or dissolved in saline on days 1 and 21. Another group received E2His antigen, without CD154, in the same adjuvant. Montanide ISA50V2 or saline served as negative controls for each experimental group. Animals immunized with 12.5 and 2.5 μg/dose of E2CD154 developed the highest titers (>1:2000) of CSFV neutralizing antibodies. Moreover, CSFV specific splenocyte gamma-interferon production, measured after seven and twenty-eight days of immunization, was significantly higher in mice immunized with 12.5 μg of E2CD154. As a conclusion, E2CD154 emulsified in Montanide ISA50 V2 was able to induce a potent humoral and an early cellular immune response in inbred BALB/c mice. Therefore, this immunogen might be an appropriate candidate to elicit immune response in swine, control CSF disease and to eliminate CSFV in swine.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biologicals.2017.12.004DOI Listing
March 2018

The composition of potentially bioactive triterpenoid glycosides in red raspberry is influenced by tissue, extraction procedure and genotype.

Food Funct 2017 Oct;8(10):3469-3479

Environmental and Biochemical Sciences Group, The James Hutton Institute, Invergowrie, Dundee DD2 5DA, Scotland, UK.

The beneficial effects of consumption of berry fruits on a range of chronic diseases has been attributed (at least in part) to the presence of unique phytochemicals. Recently, we identified novel ursolic acid-based triterpenoid glycosides (TTPNs) in raspberry fruit and demonstrated their survival in human ileal fluids after feeding which confirmed their colon-availability in vivo. In this paper, in vitro digestion studies demonstrated that certain TTPNs were stable under gastrointestinal conditions and confirmed that these components may have been responsible for bioactivity noted in previous studies. Sequential extractions of raspberry puree, isolated seeds and unseeded puree showed that certain TTPN components (e.g. peak T1 m/z 679, and T2 m/z 1358) had different extractabilities in water/solvent mixes and were differentially associated with the seeds. Purified seed TTPNs (mainly T1 and T2) were shown to be anti-genotoxic in HT29 and CCD841 cell based in vitro colonocyte models. Further work confirmed that the seeds contained a wider range of TTPN-like components which were also differentially extractable in water/solvent mixes. This differential extractability could influence the TTPN composition and potential bioactivity of the extracts. There was considerable variation in total content of TTPNs (∼3-fold) and TTPN composition across 13 Rubus genotypes. Thus, TTPNs are likely to be present in raspberry juices and common extracts used for bioactivity studies and substantial variation exists in both content and composition due to genetics, tissue source or extraction conditions, which may all affect observed bioactivity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c7fo00846eDOI Listing
October 2017

The involvement of the hypothalamopituitary-adrenocortical axis in stress physiology and its significance in the assessment of animal welfare in cattle.

Onderstepoort J Vet Res 2017 Apr 28;84(1):e1-e9. Epub 2017 Apr 28.

School of Life Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Westville Campus.

The intensification of cattle production has raised concern for animal welfare due to the stress that is associated with farming practices. The welfare of an animal is determined by the animal's ability to cope with or adapt to its continuously changing environment and the biological cost that is associated with this adaptation and maintenance. Stressors arise from various psychological, physiological and physical aspects of farming practices due to management and human-cattle interactions. Measuring the activity of the hypothalamopituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis with plasma cortisol levels is a useful method for determining the effects of stress on animals as it is stimulated at the onset of a perceived stress. The activation of the HPA axis affects various target tissues or systems and can result in suppression of the immune system, increased susceptibility to disease and adverse effects on reproductive success in prenatal and neonatal calves. Although some levels of stress associated with farming practices are unavoidable, improvements in farming methods need to be implemented in order to maintain or increase the efficiency of cattle production in a way that does not compromise the welfare of the animal.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/ojvr.v84i1.1398DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6238696PMC
April 2017

Predicting the Ability of Preclinical Diagnosis To Improve Control of Farm-to-Farm Foot-and-Mouth Disease Transmission in Cattle.

J Clin Microbiol 2017 06 22;55(6):1671-1681. Epub 2017 Mar 22.

The Pirbright Institute, Pirbright, Woking, United Kingdom

Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) can cause large disruptive epidemics in livestock. Current eradication measures rely on the rapid clinical detection and removal of infected herds. Here, we evaluated the potential for preclinical diagnosis during reactive surveillance to reduce the risk of between-farm transmission. We used data from transmission experiments in cattle where both samples from individual animals, such as blood, probang samples, and saliva and nasal swabs, and herd-level samples, such as air samples, were taken daily during the course of infection. The sensitivity of each of these sample types for the detection of infected cattle during different phases of the early infection period was quantified. The results were incorporated into a mathematical model for FMD, in a cattle herd, to evaluate the impact of the early detection and culling of an infected herd on the infectious output. The latter was expressed as the between-herd reproduction ratio, , where an effective surveillance approach would lead to a reduction in the value to <1. Applying weekly surveillance, clinical inspection alone was found to be ineffective at blocking transmission. This was in contrast to the impact of weekly random sampling (i.e., using saliva swabs) of at least 10 animals per farm or daily air sampling (housed cattle), both of which were shown to reduce the to <1. In conclusion, preclinical detection during outbreaks has the potential to allow earlier culling of infected herds and thereby reduce transmission and aid the control of epidemics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JCM.00179-17DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5442523PMC
June 2017
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