Publications by authors named "Jose Garcia"

1,101 Publications

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Arthroscopic Bristow: Assessments of Safety and Effectiveness, 12 Years of Experience.

Rev Bras Ortop (Sao Paulo) 2021 Apr 13;56(2):205-212. Epub 2019 Dec 13.

Grupo de Ombro, Núcleo Avançado de Estudos em Ortopedia e Neurocirurgia (Naeon), São Paulo, São Paulo, Brasil.

 The open Bristow procedure is a long established and effective method for treating anterior shoulder instability. Following the trends of minimally-invasive surgeries, these procedures were performed arthroscopically, and their outcomes were evaluated.  A total of 43 shoulders of patients submitted to Bristow procedures by arthroscopy, using a graft positioned horizontally and a screw, with at least two years of postoperative follow-up, were evaluated regarding quality of life, de novo dislocation index, and loss of lateral rotation.  The mean follow-up time was of 76 months (range: 129 to 24 months). The University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) score varied from 25.56 ± 0.50 (standard deviation [SD] = 3.25) to 33.23 ± 0.44 (SD = 2.91) (  < 0.0001). Two or more years after surgery, the mean Rowe score was of 94.25 ± 1.52 (SD = 1.34), whereas the good results standard is 75 (  < 0.0001). The mean value for the simple shoulder test was of 11.35 ± 0.21 (SD = 1.34), while the mean value of the lateral rotation loss was of 10.37° ± 1.36° (SD = 8.58°). There were no de novo dislocations. In total, there were 12 complications, 8 of which had no clinical repercussions. The clinically-significant complications included an infection six months after surgery with a potential hematogenous origin, a coracoid fracture that required an intraoperatively procedure change, and two patients with previous impingement who required synthesis material removal more than six months after surgery.  Although the arthroscopic Bristow procedure was effective in treating anterior shoulder instability, it is not a complication-free surgery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/s-0039-1697972DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8075650PMC
April 2021

Nursing Documentation Variation Across Different Medical Facilities Within an Integrated Healthcare System.

Comput Inform Nurs 2021 Apr 29. Epub 2021 Apr 29.

Author Affiliations: College of Nursing, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Republic of Korea (Dr Kang); Division of General Internal Medicine and Primary Care, Brigham & Women's Hospital, Boston, MA (Mr Chang, Dr Schnock, Mr Garcia, and Dr Dykes); Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA (Dr Schnock, and Dr Dykes); School of Nursing (Dr Rossetti, Mr Knaplund, and Dr Cato) and Department of Biomedical Informatics (Dr Rossetti), Columbia University, New York, NY; Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA (Ms Whalen); University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, College of Nursing and Health Sciences, Department of Community Nursing, North Dartmouth, MA (Dr Gesner).

The purpose of this study was to demonstrate nursing documentation variation based on electronic health record design and its relationship with different levels of care by reviewing how various flowsheet measures, within the same electronic health record across an integrated healthcare system, are documented in different types of medical facilities. Flowsheet data with information on patients who were admitted to academic medical centers, community hospitals, and rehabilitation centers were used to calculate the frequency of flowsheet entries documented. We then compared the distinct flowsheet measures documented in five flowsheet templates across the different facilities. We observed that each type of healthcare facility appeared to have distinct clinical care foci and flowsheet measures documented differed within the same template based on facility type. Designing flowsheets tailored to study settings can meet the needs of end users and increase documentation efficiency by reducing time spent on unrelated flowsheet measures. Furthermore, this process can save nurses time for direct patient care.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/CIN.0000000000000736DOI Listing
April 2021

Chlorpyrifos induces cell proliferation in MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cells, through cholinergic and Wnt/β-catenin signaling disruption, AChE-R upregulation and oxidative stress generation after single and repeated treatment.

Food Chem Toxicol 2021 Apr 27;152:112241. Epub 2021 Apr 27.

Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Medicine School, Complutense University of Madrid, 28040, Madrid, Spain. Electronic address:

Chlorpyrifos (CPF) biocide, is associated with breast cancer. The processes underlying this association have not been elucidated to date. CPF increases MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cell proliferation after acute and long-term treatment, partially through KIAA1363 overexpression and aryl-hydrocarbon receptor activation but also through estrogen receptor-alpha activation after 24 h exposure in MCF-7 cells, suggesting other mechanisms may be involved. CPF induces reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, acetylcholine accumulation, and overexpression of acetylcholinesterase-R/S (AChE-R/S) variants, while it also alters the Wnt/β-catenin pathway, both in vitro and in vivo, in processes different from cancer. These latter mechanisms are also linked to cell proliferation and could mediate this effect induced by CPF. Our results show that CPF (0.01-100 μM), following one-day and fourteen-days treatment, respectively, induced ROS generation and lipid peroxidation, and acetylcholine accumulation due to AChE inhibition, Wnt/β-catenin up- or downregulation depending on the CPF treatment concentration, and AChE-R and AChE-S overexpression, with the latter being mediated through GSK-3β activity alteration. Finally, CPF promoted cell division through ACh and ROS accumulation, AChE-R overexpression, and Wnt/β-catenin signaling disruption. Our results provide novel information on the effect of CPF on human breast cancer cell lines that may help to explain its involvement in breast cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fct.2021.112241DOI Listing
April 2021

Variants at the ASIP locus contribute to coat color darkening in Nellore cattle.

Genet Sel Evol 2021 Apr 28;53(1):40. Epub 2021 Apr 28.

School of Veterinary Medicine, Araçatuba, Department of Production and Animal Health, São Paulo State University (Unesp), Araçatuba, SP, Brazil.

Background: Nellore cattle (Bos indicus) are well-known for their adaptation to warm and humid environments. Hair length and coat color may impact heat tolerance. The Nellore breed has been strongly selected for white coat, but bulls generally exhibit darker hair ranging from light grey to black on the head, neck, hump, and knees. Given the potential contribution of coat color variation to the adaptation of cattle populations to tropical and sub-tropical environments, our aim was to map positional and functional candidate genetic variants associated with darkness of hair coat (DHC) in Nellore bulls.

Results: We performed a genome-wide association study (GWAS) for DHC using data from 432 Nellore bulls that were genotyped for more than 777 k single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers. A single major association signal was detected in the vicinity of the agouti signaling protein gene (ASIP). The analysis of whole-genome sequence (WGS) data from 21 bulls revealed functional variants that are associated with DHC, including a structural rearrangement involving ASIP (ASIP-SV1). We further characterized this structural variant using Oxford Nanopore sequencing data from 13 Australian Brahman heifers, which share ancestry with Nellore cattle; we found that this variant originates from a 1155-bp deletion followed by an insertion of a transposable element of more than 150 bp that may impact the recruitment of ASIP non-coding exons.

Conclusions: Our results indicate that the variant ASIP sequence causes darker coat pigmentation on specific parts of the body, most likely through a decreased expression of ASIP and consequently an increased production of eumelanin.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12711-021-00633-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8082809PMC
April 2021

Safe and effective protocol for discharge 3 days after cardiac surgery.

Sci Rep 2021 04 26;11(1):8979. Epub 2021 Apr 26.

Hospital Samaritano Paulista, São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.

The Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) protocol affected traditional cardiac surgery processes and COVID-19 is expected to accelerate its scalability. The aim of this study was to assess the impact of an ERAS-based protocol on the length of hospital stay after cardiac surgery. From January 2019 to June 2020, 664 patients underwent consecutive cardiac surgery at a Latin American center. Here, 46 patients were prepared for a rapid recovery through a multidisciplinary institutional protocol based on the ERAS concept, the "TotalCor protocol". After the propensity score matching, 46 patients from the entire population were adjusted for 12 variables. Patients operated on the TotalCor protocol had reduced intensive care unit time (P < 0.025), postoperative stay (P ≤ 0.001) and length of hospital stay (P ≤ 0.001). In addition, there were no significant differences in the occurrence of complications and death between the two groups. Of the 10-central metrics of TotalCor protocol, 6 had > 70% adherences. In conclusion, the TotalCor protocol was safe and effective for a 3-day discharge after cardiac surgery. Postoperative atrial fibrillation and renal failure were predictors of postoperative stay > 5 days.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-88582-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8076282PMC
April 2021

Photocontrolled Strain in Polycrystalline Ferroelectrics via Domain Engineering Strategy.

ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 2021 May 21;13(17):20858-20864. Epub 2021 Apr 21.

Department of Physics, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, BarcelonaTech, Barcelona 08034, Spain.

The use of photonic concepts to achieve nanoactuation based on light triggering requires complex architectures to obtain the desired effect. In this context, the recent discovery of reversible optical control of the domain configuration in ferroelectrics offers a light-ferroic interplay that can be easily controlled. To date, however, the optical control of ferroelectric domains has been explored in single crystals, although polycrystals are technologically more desirable because they can be manufactured in a scalable and reproducible fashion. Here we report experimental evidence for a large photostrain response in polycrystalline BaTiO that is comparable to their electrostrain values. Domains engineering is performed through grain size control, thereby evidencing that charged domain walls appear to be the functional interfaces for the light-driven domain switching. The findings shed light on the design of high-performance photoactuators based on ferroelectric ceramics, providing a feasible alternative to conventional voltage-driven nanoactuators.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsami.1c03162DOI Listing
May 2021

Ethereal Extract of Pepper: Preventing Atherosclerosis and Left Ventricle Remodeling in LDL Receptor Knockout Mice.

Prev Nutr Food Sci 2021 Mar;26(1):51-57

Postgraduate Program in Food Science and Technology, Federal Institute of Southern Minas Gerais (IFSULDEMINAS) ‒ Campus Machado, Machado, MG 37750-000, Brazil.

Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of mortality and morbidity worldwide. In this study we compared the effects of oral treatment with red pepper ethereal extracts or simvastatin on dyslipidemia, left ventricle remodeling, and atherosclerotic lesions of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) receptor knockout mice (LDLr) fed a hyperlipidic diet. Forty 3-month-old male mice were distributed into four groups: control (C; animals fed a standard diet), HL (ani-mals fed a hyperlipidic diet), and HL+P or HL+S (animals fed a hyperlipidic diet plus red pepper ethereal extracts or simvastatin, respectively). After 60 days, treatment with both red pepper ethereal extracts and simvastatin prevented dyslipidemia, atherosclerotic lesion progression, and left ventricle hypertrophy. Our results suggest a cardioprotective effect of red pepper ethereal extracts in LDLr mice, which is comparable to the well-known effects of simvastatin.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3746/pnf.2021.26.1.51DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8027052PMC
March 2021

Evaluation of the RSNA and CORADS classifications for COVID-19 on chest computed tomography in the Brazilian population.

Clinics (Sao Paulo) 2021;76:e2476. Epub 2021 Mar 26.

Hospital das Clinicas HCFMUSP, Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade de Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, SP, BR.

Objective: To determine the correlation between the two tomographic classifications for coronavirus disease (COVID-19), COVID-19 Reporting and Data System (CORADS) and Radiological Society of North America Expert Consensus Statement on Reporting Chest Computed Tomography (CT) Findings Related to COVID-19 (RSNA), in the Brazilian population and to assess the agreement between reviewers with different experience levels.

Methods: Chest CT images of patients with reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR)-positive COVID-19 were categorized according to the CORADS and RSNA classifications by radiologists with different levels of experience and who were initially unaware of the RT-PCR results. The inter- and intra-observer concordances for each of the classifications were calculated, as were the concordances between classifications.

Results: A total of 100 patients were included in this study. The RSNA classification showed an almost perfect inter-observer agreement between reviewers with similar experience levels, with a kappa coefficient of 0.892 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.788-0.995). CORADS showed substantial agreement among reviewers with similar experience levels, with a kappa coefficient of 0.642 (95% CI, 0.491-0.793). There was inter-observer variation when comparing less experienced reviewers with more experienced reviewers, with the highest kappa coefficient of 0.396 (95% CI, 0.255-0.588). There was a significant correlation between both classifications, with a Kendall coefficient of 0.899 (p<0.001) and substantial intra-observer agreement for both classifications.

Conclusion: The RSNA and CORADS classifications showed excellent inter-observer agreement for reviewers with the same level of experience, although the agreement between less experience reviewers and the reviewer with the most experience was only reasonable. Combined analysis of both classifications with the first RT-PCR results did not reveal any false-negative results for detecting COVID-19 in patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.6061/clinics/2021/e2476DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7979034PMC
April 2021

Identification of trans-AT polyketide clusters in two marine bacteria reveals cryptic similarities between distinct symbiosis factors.

Environ Microbiol 2021 Mar 18. Epub 2021 Mar 18.

Department of Microbial and Plant Biotechnology, Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas Margarita Salas, Agencia Estatal Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), Madrid, Spain.

Glutarimide-containing polyketides are known as potent antitumoral and antimetastatic agents. The associated gene clusters have only been identified in a few Streptomyces producers and Burkholderia gladioli symbiont. The new glutarimide-family polyketides, denominated sesbanimides D, E and F along with the previously known sesbanimide A and C, were isolated from two marine alphaproteobacteria Stappia indica PHM037 and Labrenzia aggregata PHM038. Structures of the isolated compounds were elucidated based on 1D and 2D homo and heteronuclear NMR analyses and ESI-MS spectrometry. All compounds exhibited strong antitumor activity in lung, breast and colorectal cancer cell lines. Subsequent whole genome sequencing and genome mining revealed the presence of the trans-AT PKS gene cluster responsible for the sesbanimide biosynthesis, described as sbn cluster. Strikingly, the modular architecture of downstream mixed type PKS/NRPS, SbnQ, revealed high similarity to PedH in pederin and Lab13 in labrenzin gene clusters, although those clusters are responsible for the production of structurally completely different molecules. The unexpected presence of SbnQ homologues in unrelated polyketide gene clusters across phylogenetically distant bacteria, raises intriguing questions about the evolutionary relationship between glutarimide-like and pederin-like pathways, as well as the functionality of their synthetic products.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1462-2920.15470DOI Listing
March 2021

Nasopharyngeal Panbio COVID-19 Antigen Performed at Point-of-Care Has a High Sensitivity in Symptomatic and Asymptomatic Patients With Higher Risk for Transmission and Older Age.

Open Forum Infect Dis 2021 Mar 2;8(3):ofab059. Epub 2021 Feb 2.

Infectious Diseases Unit, Hospital General Universitario de Elche, Elche, Alicante, Spain.

Background: Performance of point-of-care tests in different clinical scenarios and on different samples remains undetermined. We comprehensively evaluated the performance of the nasopharyngeal Panbio COVID-19 Ag Rapid Test Device.

Methods: This is a prospective study that includes consecutive patients attending 3 primary care centers (PCCs) and an emergency department. The antigen test was performed at point-of-care in nasopharyngeal and nasal swabs and in saliva. Positive percent agreement (PPA) and negative percent agreement (NPA) were calculated with the reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay as reference standard.

Results: Of 913 patients included, 296 (32.3%) were asymptomatic and 690 (75.6%) came from the PCC. Nasopharyngeal swabs were collected from 913 patients, nasal swabs were collected from 659 patients, and saliva was collected from 611 patients. The RT-PCR was positive in 196 (21.5%) nasopharyngeal samples (NPS). Overall, PPA (95% CI) in NPS was 60.5% (53.3-67.4), and it was lower in nasal swabs (44.7%) and saliva (23.1%). Test performance in NPS was largely dependent on the cycle threshold (Ct) in RT-PCR, with PPA of 94% for Ct ≤25 and 80% for Ct <30. In symptomatic patients, the PPA was 95% for Ct ≤25, 85% for Ct <30, and 89% for the symptom triad of fever, cough, and malaise. Performance was also dependent on age, with a PPA of 100% in symptomatic patients >50 years with Ct <25. In asymptomatic patients, the PPA was 86% for Ct <25. In all cases, NPA was 100%.

Conclusions: The nasopharyngeal Panbio COVID-19 Ag test performed at point-of-care has a good sensitivity in symptomatic patients with Ct <30 and older age. The test was useful to identify asymptomatic patients with lower Ct values.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ofid/ofab059DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7928615PMC
March 2021

Loss of forest cover and host functional diversity increases prevalence of avian malaria parasites in the Atlantic Forest.

Int J Parasitol 2021 Mar 13. Epub 2021 Mar 13.

Programa de Pós-graduação em Ecologia e Conservação, Universidade Federal do Paraná, Curitiba, PR 80210-170, Brazil.

Host phylogenetic relatedness and ecological similarity are thought to contribute to parasite community assembly and infection rates. However, recent landscape level anthropogenic changes may disrupt host-parasite systems by impacting functional and phylogenetic diversity of host communities. We examined whether changes in host functional and phylogenetic diversity, forest cover, and minimum temperature influence the prevalence, diversity, and distributions of avian haemosporidian parasites (genera Haemoproteus and Plasmodium) across 18 avian communities in the Atlantic Forest. To explore spatial patterns in avian haemosporidian prevalence and taxonomic and phylogenetic diversity, we surveyed 2241 individuals belonging to 233 avian species across a deforestation gradient. Mean prevalence and parasite diversity varied considerably across avian communities and parasites responded differently to host attributes and anthropogenic changes. Avian malaria prevalence (termed herein as an infection caused by Plasmodium parasites) was higher in deforested sites, and both Plasmodium prevalence and taxonomic diversity were negatively related to host functional diversity. Increased diversity of avian hosts increased local taxonomic diversity of Plasmodium lineages but decreased phylogenetic diversity of this parasite genus. Temperature and host phylogenetic diversity did not influence prevalence and diversity of haemosporidian parasites. Variation in the diversity of avian host traits that promote parasite encounter and vector exposure (host functional diversity) partially explained the variation in avian malaria prevalence and diversity. Recent anthropogenic landscape transformation (reduced proportion of native forest cover) had a major influence on avian malaria occurrence across the Atlantic Forest. This suggests that, for Plasmodium, host phylogenetic diversity was not a biotic filter to parasite transmission as prevalence was largely explained by host ecological attributes and recent anthropogenic factors. Our results demonstrate that, similar to human malaria and other vector-transmitted pathogens, prevalence of avian malaria parasites will likely increase with deforestation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijpara.2021.01.001DOI Listing
March 2021

Emerging Technologies for Monitoring Plant Health in Vivo.

ACS Omega 2021 Mar 12;6(8):5101-5107. Epub 2021 Feb 12.

Department of Bioengineering and Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of California, 900 University Avenue, Riverside, California 92521, United States.

In the coming decades, increasing agricultural productivity is all-important. As the global population is growing rapidly and putting increased demand on food supply, poor soil quality, drought, flooding, increasing temperatures, and novel plant diseases are negatively impacting yields worldwide. One method to increase yields is plant health monitoring and rapid detection of disease, nutrient deficiencies, or drought. Monitoring plant health will allow for precise application of agrichemicals, fertilizers, and water in order to maximize yields. In vivo plant sensors are an emerging technology with the potential to increase agricultural productivity. In this mini-review, we discuss three major approaches of in vivo sensors for plant health monitoring, including genetic engineering, imaging and spectroscopy, and electrical.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsomega.0c05850DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7931179PMC
March 2021

Totally laparoscopic simultaneous resection of colorectal cancer and synchronous liver metastases: a single-center case series.

Surg Endosc 2021 Mar 5. Epub 2021 Mar 5.

Hepatobiliary Surgery and Liver Transplantation Unit, Cruces University Hospital, Biocruces Bizkaia Health Research Institute, Plaza Cruces S/N, Barakaldo, 48903, Spain.

Background: The aim of the study is to analyze the feasibility, the safety and short- and medium-term survival of totally laparoscopic simultaneous resections (LSR) of colorectal cancer (CRC) and synchronous liver metastases (LM).

Methods: This is a retrospective study of a single-center series. Patients ASA IV, ECOG ≥ 2, major hepatectomies (≥ 3 segments), symptomatic CRC as well as low rectal tumors were excluded from indication. The difficulty level of all liver resections was classified as low or intermediate according to the Iwate Criteria. Dindo-Clavien classification for postoperative complications evaluation was used.

Results: 15 Patients with 21 liver lesions were included. Laparoscopic liver surgery was performed first in every case. Median size of the lesions was 20 mm (r 8-69). Major complications (Dindo-Clavien ≥ 3) occurred in 3 patients (20%); median hospital stay was 7 days (r 4-35), and only one patient (6.6%) was readmitted upon the first month from the surgery. 90-day mortality rate was 0%. After a median follow-up of 24 months (r 7-121), disease-free survival at 1, 2 and 3 years was 58%, 36% and 24%, respectively; overall survival at 1, 2 and 3 years was 92.3%.

Conclusions: In selected patients, LSR of CRC and LM is technically feasible and has an acceptable morbidity rate and mid-term survival.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00464-021-08362-9DOI Listing
March 2021

Production of 11α-hydroxysteroids from sterols in a single fermentation step by Mycolicibacterium smegmatis.

Microb Biotechnol 2021 Mar 4. Epub 2021 Mar 4.

Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas Margarita Salas, Agencia del Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Madrid, Spain.

11α-hydroxylated steroid synthons are one of the most important commercially pharmaceutical intermediates used for the production of contraceptive drugs and glucocorticoids. These compounds are currently produced by biotransformation using fungal strains in two sequential fermentation steps. In this work, we have developed by a rational design new recombinant bacteria able to produce 11α-hydroxylated synthons in a single fermentation step using cholesterol (CHO) or phytosterols (PHYTO) as feedstock. We have designed a synthetic operon expressing the 11α-hydroxylating enzymes from the fungus Rhizopus oryzae that was cloned into engineered mutant strains of Mycolicibacterium smegmatis that were previously created to produce 4-androstene-3,17-dione (AD), 1,4-androstadiene-3,17-dione (ADD) from sterols. The introduction of the fungal synthetic operon in these modified bacterial chassis has allowed producing for the first time 11αOH-AD and 11αOH-ADD with high yields directly from sterols in a single fermentation step. Remarkably, the enzymes of sterol catabolic pathway from M. smegmatis recognized the 11α-hydroxylated intermediates as alternative substrates and were able to efficiently funnel sterols to the desired hydroxylated end-products.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1751-7915.13735DOI Listing
March 2021

Experience of a Pituitary Clinic for US Military Veterans With Traumatic Brain Injury.

J Endocr Soc 2021 Apr 25;5(4):bvab005. Epub 2021 Jan 25.

Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center (GRECC), VA Puget Sound Health Care System, and Department of Medicine, Division of Gerontology & Geriatric Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, Washington, USA.

Context: Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is considered the "signature" injury of veterans returning from wartime conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. While moderate/severe TBI is associated with pituitary dysfunction, this association has not been well established in the military setting and in mild TBI (mTBI). Screening for pituitary dysfunction resulting from TBI in veteran populations is inconsistent across Veterans Affairs (VA) institutions, and such dysfunction often goes unrecognized and untreated.

Objective: This work aims to report the experience of a pituitary clinic in screening for and diagnosis of pituitary dysfunction.

Methods: A retrospective analysis was conducted in a US tertiary care center of veterans referred to the VA Puget Sound Healthcare System pituitary clinic with a history of TBI at least 12 months prior. Main outcome measures included demographics, medical history, symptom burden, baseline hormonal evaluation, brain imaging, and provocative testing for adrenal insufficiency (AI) and adult-onset growth hormone deficiency (AGHD).

Results: Fatigue, cognitive/memory problems, insomnia, and posttraumatic stress disorder were reported in at least two-thirds of the 58 patients evaluated. Twenty-two (37.9%) were diagnosed with at least one pituitary hormone deficiency, including 13 (22.4%) AI, 12 (20.7%) AGHD, 2 (3.4%) secondary hypogonadism, and 5 (8.6%) hyperprolactinemia diagnoses; there were no cases of thyrotropin deficiency.

Conclusion: A high prevalence of chronic AI and AGHD was observed among veterans with TBI. Prospective, larger studies are needed to confirm these results and determine the effects of hormone replacement on long-term outcomes in this setting.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1210/jendso/bvab005DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7903186PMC
April 2021

Antibacterial Activity of Photocatalytic Metal Oxide Thin Films Deposited by Layer-by-Layer Self-Assembly.

J Nanosci Nanotechnol 2021 May;21(5):2855-2863

Engineering Department, Public University of Navarre, Campus Arrosadía S/N, 31006, Pamplona, Spain.

This paper reports the use of the Layer-by-Layer self-assembly (LbL) as an efficient technique for the fabrication of thin-films with antibacterial activity. The LbL coatings are composed of a positive polyelectrolyte such as Poly(allylamine hydrochloride) (PAH) and an anionic polyelectrolyte such as Poly(sodium 4-styrene sulfonate) solution (PSS). In addition, these polyelectrolytes can be also used as an adequate encapsulating agent of specific metal oxide precursors such as titanium dioxide (TiO₂) and iron oxide (Fe₂O₃) nanoparticles, making possible the fabrication of hybrid thin films composed of organic polymeric chains related to the polyelectrolytes and inorganic structure associated to the metal oxide nanoparticles. Four different LbL coatings have been fabricated and a comparative study about the resultant topographical, optical and wettability properties is presented by using light interferometry, atomic force microscopy (AFM), UV-Vis spectroscopy and water contact angle (WCA) measurements. In addition, X-ray fluorescence (XRF) has been also employed in order to corroborate the presence of metal oxide precursors inside the polymeric chains of the polyelectrolytes. Finally, the antibacterial tests have demonstrated that LbL coatings composed of metal oxide nanoparticles produce an enhancement in the efficacy and antibacterial activity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1166/jnn.2021.19051DOI Listing
May 2021

Seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibody among healthcare workers in a university hospital in Mallorca, Spain, during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Int J Infect Dis 2021 Apr 27;105:482-486. Epub 2021 Feb 27.

Internal Medicine Department, Son Llatzer University Hospital, Balearic Islands, Spain; Research Group in Infectious Diseases and HIV, Health Research Institute of the Balearic Islands (IdISBa), Spain.

Objective: To estimate the SARS-CoV-2 antibody seroprevalence in healthcare workers (HCWs) at a university hospital in Mallorca, Spain.

Methods: All HCWs received an e-mail inviting them to take part in the study. Participants had a nasopharyngeal swab test performed for reverse transcriptase quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) and serological tests to detect SARS-CoV-2 antibodies (primary study). Additionally, they were invited to complete a questionnaire on their exposure to COVID-19 individuals and their COVID-19-related symptoms (secondary study). Prevalence of antibodies (IgG, IgM, or both) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated.

Results: Seventy-nine percent of the hospital's HCWs (N = 2210) took part in the primary study. Antibodies were detected in 61 participants, a prevalence of 2.8% (95% CI: 2.5-3.1). The prevalence was slightly higher in nurses (3.4%), registrars (3.9%), and wardens (3.4%). Thirty-nine percent of the primary study participants completed the secondary study questionnaire. Those with positive antibody test results had closer contact with COVID-19 individuals (60% vs. 92%; p < 0.001).

Conclusion: After the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Spain, the seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in our university hospital HCWs was around 2.8%, which is slightly higher than the seroprevalence in the general population in our region. We believe it would be advisable to perform additional seroprevalence studies during the second wave of the epidemic.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijid.2021.02.104DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7910131PMC
April 2021

A bladder cancer patient-derived xenograft displays aggressive growth dynamics in vivo and in organoid culture.

Sci Rep 2021 Feb 25;11(1):4609. Epub 2021 Feb 25.

Department of Urology, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA, USA.

Bladder cancer is among the most prevalent cancers worldwide. Currently, few bladder cancer models have undergone thorough characterization to assess their fidelity to patient tumors, especially upon propagation in the laboratory. Here, we establish and molecularly characterize CoCaB 1, an aggressive cisplatin-resistant muscle-invasive bladder cancer patient-derived xenograft (PDX) and companion organoid system. CoCaB 1 was a subcutaneous PDX model reliably transplanted in vivo and demonstrated an acceleration in growth upon serial transplantation, which was reflected in organoid and 2D cell culture systems. Transcriptome analysis revealed progression towards an increasingly proliferative and stem-like expression profile. Gene expression differences between organoid and PDX models reflected expected differences in cellular composition, with organoids enriched in lipid biosynthesis and metabolism genes and deprived of extracellular components observed in PDXs. Both PDX and organoid models maintained the histological fidelity and mutational heterogeneity of their parental tumor. This study establishes the CoCaB 1 PDX and organoid system as companion representative tumor models for the development of novel bladder cancer therapies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-83662-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7907272PMC
February 2021

Double-Blinded Randomized Study of the Correlation between Simple Radiography and Magnetic Resonance Imaging in the Evaluation of the Critical Shoulder Angle: Reproducibility and Learning Curve.

Rev Bras Ortop (Sao Paulo) 2021 Feb 27;56(1):78-82. Epub 2020 Apr 27.

Instituto NAEON, São Paulo, SP, Brasil.

 To evaluate the feasibility of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to obtain the critical shoulder angle (CSA) comparing the results obtained through radiography and MRI, and assess the learning curves.  In total, 15 patients were evaluated in a blinded and randomized way. The CSA was measured and compared among groups and subgroups.  The mean angles measured through the radiographic images were of 34.61 ± 0.67 and the mean angles obtained through the MRI scans were of 33.85 ± 0.53 (  = 0.29). No significant differences have been found among the groups. The linear regression presented a progressive learning curve among the subgroups, from fellow in shoulder surgery to shoulder specialist and radiologist.  There was no statistically significant difference in the X-rays and MRI assessments. The MRI seems to have its efficacy associated with more experienced evaluators. Data dispersion was smaller for the MRI data regardless of the experience of the evaluator.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/s-0040-1701288DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7895620PMC
February 2021

Healthcare Process Modeling to Phenotype Clinician Behaviors for Exploiting the Signal Gain of Clinical Expertise (HPM-ExpertSignals): Development and evaluation of a conceptual framework.

J Am Med Inform Assoc 2021 Feb 24. Epub 2021 Feb 24.

School of Nursing, Columbia University, New York, New York, USA.

Objective: There are signals of clinicians' expert and knowledge-driven behaviors within clinical information systems (CIS) that can be exploited to support clinical prediction. Describe development of the Healthcare Process Modeling Framework to Phenotype Clinician Behaviors for Exploiting the Signal Gain of Clinical Expertise (HPM-ExpertSignals).

Materials And Methods: We employed an iterative framework development approach that combined data-driven modeling and simulation testing to define and refine a process for phenotyping clinician behaviors. Our framework was developed and evaluated based on the Communicating Narrative Concerns Entered by Registered Nurses (CONCERN) predictive model to detect and leverage signals of clinician expertise for prediction of patient trajectories.

Results: Seven themes-identified during development and simulation testing of the CONCERN model-informed framework development. The HPM-ExpertSignals conceptual framework includes a 3-step modeling technique: (1) identify patterns of clinical behaviors from user interaction with CIS; (2) interpret patterns as proxies of an individual's decisions, knowledge, and expertise; and (3) use patterns in predictive models for associations with outcomes. The CONCERN model differentiated at risk patients earlier than other early warning scores, lending confidence to the HPM-ExpertSignals framework.

Discussion: The HPM-ExpertSignals framework moves beyond transactional data analytics to model clinical knowledge, decision making, and CIS interactions, which can support predictive modeling with a focus on the rapid and frequent patient surveillance cycle.

Conclusions: We propose this framework as an approach to embed clinicians' knowledge-driven behaviors in predictions and inferences to facilitate capture of healthcare processes that are activated independently, and sometimes well before, physiological changes are apparent.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jamia/ocab006DOI Listing
February 2021

SARS-CoV-2 Seroconversion and Viral Clearance in Patients Hospitalized With COVID-19: Viral Load Predicts Antibody Response.

Open Forum Infect Dis 2021 Feb 5;8(2):ofab005. Epub 2021 Jan 5.

Hospital General Universitario de Elche and Universidad Miguel Hernández, Elche, Alicante, Spain.

Background: The interdependencies of viral replication and the host immune response in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) remain to be defined. We investigated the viral determinants of antibody response, the predictors of nonseroconversion, and the role of antibodies on viral dynamics.

Methods: This was a prospective study in patients hospitalized with COVID-19 that was microbiologically confirmed by real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Serial nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal swabs and plasma samples were obtained for measuring severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) RNA and antibodies (total and S-IgG/N-IgG), respectively.

Results: Of 132 patients included, 99 (75%) showed positive antibody titers after a median (Q1-Q3) of 11 (8-14) days. The median (Q1-Q3) follow-up was 74.5 (63.0-87.0) days. In an adjusted linear regression model, time to seropositivity was inversely associated with peak log SARS-CoV-2 viral load ( = .009) and positively with time to viral clearance ( = .004). Adjusted predictors of S-IgG levels were time to viral clearance ( < .001), bilateral lung infiltrates on admission ( = .011), and the time-dependent SARS-CoV-2 RNA ( < .001) and SARS-CoV-2 RNA area under the curve ( = .001). Thirty-three (25%) patients showed undetectable antibody titers. Patients who did not seroconvert had higher cycle threshold values of RT-PCR (38.0 vs 28.0; < .001), had shorter time to viral clearance (3.0 vs 41.0; < .001), and were more likely to have SARS-CoV-2 only detected on fecal samples ( < .001). Nonseroconvertors had also lower levels of blood inflammatory biomarkers on admission and lower disease severity.

Conclusions: Viral replication determines the magnitude of antibody response to SARS-CoV-2, which, in turn, contributes to viral clearance. COVID-19 patients who do not seroconvert exhibit a differential virological and clinical profile.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ofid/ofab005DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7881755PMC
February 2021

Single-Nucleotide Polymorphism Variations Associated With Specific Genes Putatively Identified Enhanced Genetic Predisposition for 305-Day Milk Yield in the Girolando Crossbreed.

Front Genet 2020 15;11:573344. Epub 2021 Jan 15.

Mestrado em Genética, Núcleo de Pesquisas Replicon, Escola de Ciências Agrárias e Biológicas, Pontifícia Universidade Católica de Goiás, Goiânia, Brazil.

Milk production phenotypes are the main focus of genetic selection in dairy herds, and although there are many genes identified as related to the biology of these traits in pure breeds, little is known about crossbreed animals. This study aimed to identify potential genes associated with the 305-day milk yield in 337 crossbreed Gir × Holstein (Girolando) animals. Milk production records were genotyped for 45,613 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). This dataset was used for a genome-wide association study (GWAS) using the 305-day milk yield adjusted for the fixed effects of herd and year and linear and quadratic effects of age at calving (in days) and calving factor averaged per animal. Genes within the significant SNPs were retrieved from the ARS-UCD1.2 assembly (bosTau9) for gene ontology analysis. In summary, the GWAS identified 52 SNPs associated [ ≤ 10, false discovery rate (FDR) = 8.77%] with milk production, including NUB1 and SLC24A2, which were previously described as related to milk production traits in cattle. The results suggest that SNPs associated mainly with NUB1 and SLC24A2 could be useful to understand milk production in Girolando and used as predictive markers for selecting genetic predisposition for milk yield in Girolando.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fgene.2020.573344DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7876550PMC
January 2021

Risk factors associated with testing positive for tuberculosis in high-yielding Holstein cows.

Trop Anim Health Prod 2021 Feb 2;53(1):149. Epub 2021 Feb 2.

Department of Animal Nutrition, Autonomous Agrarian University Antonio Narro, Saltillo, Mexico.

Tuberculosis remains a significant infectious disease of farm animals and humans worldwide. The objective of this study was to assess various risk factors associated with testing positive for bovine tuberculosis (bTB) in high-yielding Holstein cows in an intensive dry-lot dairy operation. In a retrospective observational study, 9312 records from Holstein cows from a large dairy herd in northern Mexico were used. The incidence rate of lactating cows reactor to bTB was 7.3 cases/100 cow years (95% CI = 6.7-7.9%). Multiple logistic regression models indicated that cows with total milk yield during the first lactation >10,200 kg were 1.3 times (95% confidence intervals (CI) for odds ratio (OR) = 1.2-1.6) more likely to be detected as bTB reactors than cows with total milk yield <10,200 kg (8.2 vs. 6.4%; P < 0.01). The risk of being reactor to bTB increased with x̅ total milk yield/lactation >11,500 kg (OR=2.7, 95% CI = 2.3-3.3; 10.4 vs. 4.2%) compared with cows with x̅ total milk yield/lactation <11,500 kg. Cows with >10,200 kg 305-day milk yield in the last lactation was associated (P < 0.01) with 1.3 times higher odds (95% CI for OR = 1.1-1.5) of being classed as reactors than cows with <10,200 kg. Cows with peak milk yield >48 kg were 1.9 times (95% CI for OR = 1.6-2.2) more likely to be reactor to bTB than cows with peak milk yield <48 kg (9.2 vs. 5.1%; P < 0.01). Cows with either puerperal metritis (OR = 0.07, 95% CI = 0.5-0.9) or carrying twins (OR = 0.05, 95% CI = 0.01-0.19) had a protective role for being reactor to bTB. This study showed that increased milk production was associated with a higher risk of becoming positive to tuberculin skin test in high-yielding Holstein cows.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11250-021-02599-1DOI Listing
February 2021

Genetic Background and Inbreeding Depression in Romosinuano Cattle Breed in Mexico.

Animals (Basel) 2021 Jan 28;11(2). Epub 2021 Jan 28.

Departamento de Zootecnia, Posgrado en Producción Animal, Universidad Autónoma Chapingo, Chapingo 56230, Mexico.

The ultimate goal of genetic selection is to improve genetic progress by increasing favorable alleles in the population. However, with selection, homozygosity, and potentially harmful recessive alleles can accumulate, deteriorating genetic variability and hampering continued genetic progress. Such potential adverse side effects of selection are of particular interest in populations with a small effective population size like the Romosinuano beef cattle in Mexico. The objective of this study was to evaluate the genetic background and inbreeding depression in Mexican Romosinuano cattle using pedigree and genomic information. Inbreeding was estimated using pedigree (FPED) and genomic information based on the genomic relationship matrix (FGRM) and runs of homozygosity (FROH) of different length classes. Linkage disequilibrium (LD) was evaluated using the correlation between pairs of loci, and the effective population size (Ne was calculated based on LD and pedigree information. The pedigree file consisted of 4875 animals born between 1950 and 2019, of which 71 had genotypes. LD decreased with the increase in distance between markers, and Ne estimated using genomic information decreased from 610 to 72 animals (from 109 to 1 generation ago), the Ne estimated using pedigree information was 86.44. The reduction in effective population size implies the existence of genetic bottlenecks and the decline of genetic diversity due to the intensive use of few individuals as parents of the next generations. The number of runs of homozygosity per animal ranged between 18 and 102 segments with an average of 55. The shortest and longest segments were 1.0 and 36.0 Mb long, respectively, reflecting ancient and recent inbreeding. The average inbreeding was 2.98 ± 2.81, 2.98 ± 4.01, and 7.28 ± 3.68% for FPED, FGRM, and FROH, respectively. The correlation between FPED and FGRM was -0.25, and the correlations among FPED and FROH of different length classes were low (from 0.16 to 0.31). The correlations between FGRM and FROH of different length classes were moderate (from 0.44 to 0.58), indicating better agreement. A 1% increase in population inbreeding decreased birth weight by 0.103 kg and weaning weight by 0.685 kg. A strategy such as optimum genetic contributions to maximize selection response and manage the long-term genetic variability and inbreeding could lead to more sustainable breeding programs for the Mexican Romosinuano beef cattle breed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ani11020321DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7911603PMC
January 2021

RISK FACTORS ASSOCIATED WITH HEPATIC ARTERY THROMBOSIS: ANALYSIS OF 1050 LIVER TRANSPLANTS.

Arq Bras Cir Dig 2021 25;33(4):e1556. Epub 2021 Jan 25.

Department of Surgery, Federal University of Ceará, Fortaleza, CE, Brazil.

Background: Hepatic artery thrombosis is an important cause of graft loss and ischemic biliary complications. The risk factors have been related to technical aspects of arterial anastomosis and non-surgical ones.

Aim: To evaluate the risk factors for the development of hepatic artery thrombosis.

Methods: The sample consisted of 1050 cases of liver transplant. A retrospective and cross-sectional study was carried out, and the variables studied in both donor and recipient.

Results: Univariate analysis indicated that the variables related to hepatic artery thrombosis are: MELD (p=0.04) and warm time ischemia (p=0.005). In the multivariate analysis MELD=14.5 and warm ischemia time =35 min were independent risk factors for hepatic artery thrombosis. In the prevalence ratio test for analysis of the anastomosis as a variable, it was observed that patients with continuous suture had an increase in thrombosis when compared to interrupted suture.

Conclusions: Prolonged warm ischemia time, calculated MELD and recipient age were independent risk factors for hepatic artery thrombosis after liver transplantation in adults. Transplanted patients with continuous suture had an increase in thrombosis when compared to interrupted suture. Re-transplantation due to hepatic artery thrombosis was associated with higher recipient mortality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/0102-672020200004e1556DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7836077PMC
February 2021

Beneficial Effects of Spirulina Aqueous Extract on Vasodilator Function of Arteries from Hypertensive Rats.

Int J Vasc Med 2020 8;2020:6657077. Epub 2020 Dec 8.

Departamento de Fisiología, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Madrid, Spain.

Hypertension is a multifactorial disorder considered one of the major causes of premature death worldwide. This pathology is associated with vascular functional/structural alterations in which nitric oxide (NO) and oxygen reactive species participate. On the other hand, the use of microalgae extracts in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases is increasing. Based on the antioxidant and antihypertensive properties of Spirulina, this study aims to investigate the effect of an aqueous extract of Spirulina on the vasodilator function of the aorta from spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR), analyzing the functional role of NO. For this, aortic segments from male SHR were divided into two groups, one control and the other exposed to an Spirulina aqueous extract (0.1% w/v, for 3 hours), to analyze (i) the production of NO, superoxide anion, and hydrogen peroxide; (ii) the vasodilator response induced by acetylcholine (ACh), by the NO donor and sodium nitroprusside (SNP), and by the K channel opener and pinacidil; and (iii) the expression of the p-Akt, p-eNOS, and HO-1 proteins. The results showed that the aqueous Spirulina extract (i) increased the production of NO, did not significantly modify that of superoxide, while decreased that of hydrogen peroxide; (ii) increased the vasodilatory responses induced by ACh, NPS, and pinacidil; and (iii) increased the expression of p-Akt and HO-1. These results suggest that incubation with the aqueous Spirulina extract improves the vascular function of arteries from SHR by increasing the release/bioavailability/function of NO. Increased K channel activation and expression of pAkt and HO-1 appear to be participating in these actions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2020/6657077DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7787865PMC
December 2020

Microvascular Transposition Without Teflon: A Single Institution's 17-Year Experience Treating Trigeminal Neuralgia.

Oper Neurosurg (Hagerstown) 2021 Mar;20(4):397-405

Department of Neurologic Surgery, Mayo Clinic, Phoenix, Arizona.

Background: Trigeminal neuralgia (TN) refractory to medical management is often treated with microvascular decompression (MVD) involving the intracranial placement of Teflon. The placement of Teflon is an effective treatment, but does apply distributed pressure to the nerve and has been associated with pain recurrence.

Objective: To report the rate of postoperative pain recurrence in TN patients who underwent MVD surgery using a transposition technique with fibrin glue without Teflon.

Methods: Patients were eligible for our study if they were diagnosed with TN, did not have multiple sclerosis, and had an offending vessel that was identified and transposed with fibrin glue at our institution. All eligible patients were given a follow-up survey. We used a Kaplan-Meier (KM) model to estimate overall pain recurrence.

Results: A total of 102 patients met inclusion criteria, of which 85 (83%) responded to our survey. Overall, 76 (89.4%) participants responded as having no pain recurrence. Approximately 1-yr pain-free KM estimates were 94.1% (n = 83), 5-yr pain-free KM estimates were 94.1% (n = 53), and 10-yr pain-free KM estimates were 83.0% (n = 23).

Conclusion: Treatment for TN with an MVD transposition technique using fibrin glue may avoid some cases of pain recurrence. The percentage of patients in our cohort who remained pain free at a maximum of 17 yr follow-up is on the high end of pain-free rates reported by MVD studies using Teflon. These results indicate that a transposition technique that emphasizes removing any compression near the trigeminal nerve root provides long-term pain-free rates for patients with TN.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ons/opaa413DOI Listing
March 2021

Unraveling the 17β-Estradiol Degradation Pathway in NBRC 16725.

Front Microbiol 2020 7;11:588300. Epub 2020 Dec 7.

Department of Microbial and Plant Biotechnology, Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas Margarita Salas, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Madrid, Spain.

We have analyzed the catabolism of estrogens in NBRC 16725, which is able to use endocrine disruptors such as 17β-estradiol, estrone, and estriol as sole carbon and energy sources. A transcriptomic analysis enabled the identification of a cluster of catabolic genes ( cluster) organized in two divergent operons that are involved in estrogen degradation. We have developed genetic tools for this estrogen-degrading bacterium, allowing us to delete by site-directed mutagenesis some of the genes of the cluster and complement them by using expression plasmids to better characterize their precise role in the estrogen catabolism. Based on these results, a catabolic pathway is proposed. The first enzyme of the pathway (17β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase) used to transform 17β-estradiol into estrone is encoded out of the cluster. A CYP450 encoded by the gene performs the second metabolic step, i.e., the 4-hydroxylation of estrone in this strain. The gene encodes a 4-hydroxyestrone-4,5-dioxygenase that opens ring A after 4-hydroxylation. The initial steps of the catabolism of estrogens and cholate proceed through different pathways. However, the degradation of estrogens converges with the degradation of testosterone in the final steps of the lower catabolic pathway used to degrade the common intermediate 3aα-H-4α(3'-propanoate)7a-β-methylhexahydro-1,5-indanedione (HIP). The TonB-dependent receptor protein EdcT appears to be involved in estrogen uptake, being the first time that this kind of proteins has been involved in steroid transport.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2020.588300DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7793797PMC
December 2020

Performance of Saliva Specimens for the Molecular Detection of SARS-CoV-2 in the Community Setting: Does Sample Collection Method Matter?

J Clin Microbiol 2021 03 19;59(4). Epub 2021 Mar 19.

Infectious Diseases Unit, Hospital General Universitario de Elche, Elche, Spain

Data on the performance of saliva specimens for diagnosing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in ambulatory patients are scarce and inconsistent. We assessed saliva-based specimens for detecting severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) by reverse transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR) in the community setting and compared three different collection methods. This prospective study was conducted in three primary care centers. RT-PCR was performed on paired nasopharyngeal swabs (NPS) and saliva samples collected from outpatients with a broad clinical spectrum of illness. To assess differences in collection methods, saliva specimens were obtained in a different way in each of the participating centers: supervised collection (SVC), oropharyngeal washing (OPW), and self-collection (SC). Pairs of NPS and saliva samples from 577 patients (median age, 39 years; 44% men; 42% asymptomatic) were collected and tested, and 120 (20.8%) gave positive results. The overall agreement with NPS results and kappa coefficients (κ) for saliva samples obtained by SVC, OPW, and SC were 95% (κ = 0.85), 93.4% (κ = 0.76), and 93.3% (κ = 0.76), respectively. The sensitivities (95% confidence intervals [95% CI]) of the saliva specimens ranged from 86% (72.6% to 93.7%) for SVC to 66.7% (50.4% to 80%) for SC samples. Sensitivity was higher for samples with lower cycle threshold ( ) values. The best RT-PCR performance was observed for SVC, with sensitivities (95% CI) of 100% (85.9% to 100%) in symptomatic individuals and 88.9% (50.7% to 99.4%) in asymptomatic individuals at values of ≤30. We conclude that saliva is an acceptable specimen for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 in the community setting. Specimens collected under supervision perform comparably to NPS and can effectively identify individuals at higher risk of transmission under real-life conditions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JCM.03033-20DOI Listing
March 2021

Canted Persistent Spin Texture and Quantum Spin Hall Effect in WTe_{2}.

Phys Rev Lett 2020 Dec;125(25):256603

Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2), CSIC and BIST, Campus UAB, Bellaterra, 08193 Barcelona, Spain.

We report an unconventional quantum spin Hall phase in the monolayer WTe_{2}, which exhibits hitherto unknown features in other topological materials. The low symmetry of the structure induces a canted spin texture in the yz plane, which dictates the spin polarization of topologically protected boundary states. Additionally, the spin Hall conductivity gets quantized (2e^{2}/h) with a spin quantization axis parallel to the canting direction. These findings are based on large-scale quantum simulations of the spin Hall conductivity tensor and nonlocal resistances in multiprobe geometries using a realistic tight-binding model elaborated from first-principle methods. The observation of this canted quantum spin Hall effect, related to the formation of topological edge states with nontrivial spin polarization, demands for specific experimental design and suggests interesting alternatives for manipulating spin information in topological materials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.125.256603DOI Listing
December 2020