Publications by authors named "Muhammad Anwar"

321 Publications

An Undiagnosed Case of Chronic Pancreatitis With Multiple Visceral Arteries Pseudoaneurysm.

Cureus 2021 May 1;13(5):e14789. Epub 2021 May 1.

General Medicine, Rehman Medical Institute, Peshawar, PAK.

Visceral artery aneurysms, which could be either true or pseudo, are abnormal focal dilations of vessels supplying the abdominal organs. True aneurysms, by definition, suggest dilation of the vessel in response to increased blood flow, ultimately causing a blood-filled sac to form. Pseudoaneurysm, however, is the pooling of blood in surrounding tissues secondary to trauma or rupture. A 43-year-old woman G9 P9, known hypertensive was admitted electively for investigation of melena, hematemesis, hematochezia for one week along with weight loss and epigastric pain. Laboratory studies showed mild anemia with a hemoglobin level of 9.6 g/dL, hematocrit 29.5%, mean corpuscular hemoglobin (MCH) 26.7, upon which she was transfused two pints of blood and commenced at Injectable Vitamin K, injectable transamine, and infusion omeprazole. Two days later her levels improved to HB 12.4 g/dL, hematocrit 37.5%, MCH 26.7 pg, RBC 4.64 × 10*12/L. while being on treatment, a computed tomography (CT) mesenteric angiography was also conducted that showed multiple splanchnic pseudoaneurysms involving celiac axis trifurcation, gastroduodenal artery, superior/inferior pancreaticoduodenal artery, and jejunoileal branch of the superior mesenteric artery, and a large partially thrombosed pseudoaneurysm arising from superior pancreaticoduodenal branch causing significant mass effect on the second part of duodenum. On the basis of such findings, it was advised to perform coiling and embolization of the corresponding arteries. Multiple other small aneurysms with secondary arteriovenous malformations (AVM) were also seen. The whole circuit of flow retrograde and antegrade along with the aneurysm sac was blocked with multiple coils of variable sizes. An angiogram was repeated that revealed a good outcome. Pseudoaneurysms of the visceral arteries are very rare and affect mainly the splenic artery. The rarest of which is gastroduodenal artery (1.5%), pancreaticoduodenal artery (2%), and coeliac truck (4%). Therefore, this can be an incidental finding. The diagnosis is usually made with an angiography combined with clinical presentation. Variable treatment options are available depending on the patient's fitness and hemodynamic stability. The endovascular approach, however, is mostly used in such cases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7759/cureus.14789DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8169010PMC
May 2021

Challenges for implementing WFME standards for accreditation in health professions education in low and middle-income countries: A scoping review.

J Pak Med Assoc 2021 Mar;71(3):966-976

Department of Surgery, Holy family Hospital, Rawalpindi Medical University, Rawalpindi, Pakistan.

Objective: The accreditation standards developed by the World Federation of Medical Education (WFME) are acknowledged as regulatory mechanism for quality assurance of medical education programmes. The scoping review was planned to collect all the literature for identification of the barriers affecting the implementation of quality curriculum defined by WFME.

Methods: The literature was searched in electronic databases for relevant peer-reviewed studies over the last ten years. The search terms used were, `challenges of WFME accreditation', `barriers to accreditation', `challenges to accreditation in healthcare system', `hindrances to WFME accreditation standards', and `barriers to WFME standards', in PubMed, ERIC, PsycINFO databases, and in Google Scholar for grey literature. After screening and assessing for eligibility, 922 publications were retrieved and only 19 articles were included in study. The QualSyst appraisal tool was used to appraise the quality of studies. Data was synthsized to present the findings.

Results: The themes identified after data synthesis broadly described the barriers to implementation in various domains of WFME standards. The themes were social and political support, process of curriculum development, involvement of students in curricular planning, organizational setup, infrastructure, technical issues/ management of curriculum. The social and political support referred to leadership and governance, a prime barrier to address. Similarly, organizational setup, infrastructure and technical issues should also be looked for apart from students and curriculum.

Conclusions: The scoping review will inform and lay the foundation for more empirical studies on quality improvement in health professional education, particularly in low and middle-income countries.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.47391/JPMA.795DOI Listing
March 2021

Lepra reactions in new leprosy cases at diagnosis: A study of 50 Pakistani patients.

J Pak Med Assoc 2021 Mar;71(3):838-842

Marie Adelaide Leprosy Centre, Karachi, Pakistan.

Objective: To determine the occurrence and characteristics of the two types of lepra reactions in new leprosy cases at initial diagnosis.

Methods: The retrospective descriptive study was conducted at the Marie Adelaide Leprosy Centre, Karachi, and comprised all new leprosy cases registered from January 1, 2016, to June 30, 2018. Data was collected from the medical record database using a predesigned proforma.

Results: Of the 50 cases, 2(4%) were children and 48 (96%) were adults, with overall age ranging from 12 to 85 years. There were 41(82%) males and 9(18%) females.. Of the total, 30(60%) cases presented with type 1 reaction and 20(40%) with type 2. Further, 30(60%) cases were classified as borderline lepromatous. Among them, 17(57%) had type 2 reaction. Inflamed plaques were the main feature in 27(90%) cases of type 1. Crops of painful, erythematous nodules were seen in 19(95%) cases of type 2.

Conclusion: Lepra reactions were found to be a presenting feature in a significant number of new leprosy cases at initial diagnosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.47391/JPMA.878DOI Listing
March 2021

Evaluation of anti-EGFR potential of quinazoline derivatives using molecular docking: An in silico approach.

Biotechnol Appl Biochem 2021 May 24. Epub 2021 May 24.

Dr. Zafar H. Zaidi Center for Proteomics, University of Karachi, Karachi, Pakistan.

Overexpression of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is commonly reported in epithelial malignancies such as oral squamous cell carcinoma. Inhibition of EGFR is, therefore, considered a potential therapeutic strategy. Among various anti-EGFR drugs, quinazoline-based tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) have gained increasing attention. Present study focused to investigate anti-EGFR potential of quinazoline-based compounds using in silico approach. Two widely used docking programs GOLD and AutoDock Vina were used for the study. Four drugs were docked on the X-ray crystallographic EGFR structure (1XKK). GOLD and AutoDock Vina produced results in terms of fitness score and binding affinity, respectively. GOLD prioritized varlitinib and AutoDock Vina preferred imatinib over other drugs. To reach the consensus from both software, all four drugs coupled with EGFR were studied rigorously. GOLD demonstrated varlitinib to be the best inhibitor with highest fitness score of 109, whereas AutoDock Vina revealed imatinib as the potent ligand with least binding energy of -10.9 kcal/mol. Most stable hydrogen bonds observed by GOLD and maximum number of hydrophobic contacts along with strong ionic interaction exhibited by varlitinib through both software have led us to conclude varlitinib as the most potent EGFR inhibitor in the studied group.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/bab.2199DOI Listing
May 2021

Comparison of Ultrasonic Dissection and Suture Ligation for Mesoappendix in Laparoscopic Appendectomy.

Cureus 2021 Apr 6;13(4):e14316. Epub 2021 Apr 6.

Surgery, Rawalpindi Medical University, Rawalpindi, PAK.

Objective To compare the use of ultrasonic dissector and suture ligation for mesoappendix in laparoscopic appendectomy in terms of mean operative time and per-operative bleed. Methodology This was a randomized controlled trial conducted at Surgical Unit II, Holy Family Hospital over a period of six months. All patients with the diagnosis of acute appendicitis who presented in the emergency department of Holy Family Hospital on the call days of Surgical Unit II undergoing laparoscopic appendectomy were included in the study. After taking informed consent about the respective procedure, patients were allocated to two groups using computer-generated random numbers. Group A was operated using harmonic scalpel and in Group B suture ligation was done. Total time required to ligate the mesoappendix or to cauterize it using the harmonic scalpel was measured in minutes. Data was entered and analyzed in SPSS version 21.0 (IBM Corp., Armonk, NY). Results A total of 110 patients were enrolled in the study according to the inclusion criteria of the study. Patients were randomly divided into two equal groups. Patients in Group A were operated using harmonic scalpel whereas patients in Group B were operated by suture ligation for dealing the mesoappendix in laparoscopic appendectomy. Mean operative time to ligate the mesoappendix for Group A patients was 1.56 (SD = 0.68) minutes while that of Group B was 21.07 (SD = 2.84) minutes. There was no per-operative bleeding in case of Group A while its incidence was 24% of patients in Group B. Results were statistically significant. Conclusion The conclusion of the study is that the use of harmonic scalpel was better than suture ligation for ligating the mesoappendix in laparoscopic appendectomy in terms of mean operative time and per operative bleed, hence it's preferable over the later in laparoscopic appendectomy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7759/cureus.14316DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8101508PMC
April 2021

A basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor CabHLH113 positively regulate pepper immunity against Ralstonia solanacearum.

Microb Pathog 2021 Jul 6;156:104909. Epub 2021 May 6.

Innovative Institute for Plant Health, Zhongkai University of Agriculture and Engineering, Guangzhou, 510225, People's Republic of China; College of Agriculture and Biology, Zhongkai University of Agriculture and Engineering, Guangzhou, 510225, People's Republic of China. Electronic address:

Pepper's (Capsicum annum) response to bacterial pathogen Ralstonia solanacearm inoculation (RSI) and abiotic stresses is known to be synchronized by transcriptional network; however, related molecular mechanisms need extensive experimentation. We identified and characterized functions of CabHLH113 -a basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor-in pepper immunity to R. solanacearum infection. The RSI and foliar spray of phytohormones, including salicylic acid (SA), methyl jasmonate (MeJA), ethylene (ETH), and absicic acid (ABA) induced transcription of CabHLH113 in pepper. Loss of function of CabHLH113 by virus-induced-gene-silencing (VIGS) compromised defense of pepper plants against RSI and suppressed relative expression levels of immunity-associated marker genes, i.e., CaPR1, CaNPR1, CaDEF1, CaHIR1 and CaABR1. Pathogen growth was significantly increased after loss of function of CabHLH113 compared with un-silenced plants with remarkable increase in pepper susceptibility. Besides, transiently over-expression of CabHLH113 induced HR-like cell death, HO accumulation and up-regulation of defense-associated marker genes, e.g. CaPR1, CaNPR1, CaDEF1, CaHIR1 and CaABR1. Additionally, transient over-expression of CabHLH113 enhanced the transcriptional levels of CaWRKY6, CaWRKY27 and CaWRKY40. Conversely, transient over-expression of CaWRKY6, CaWRKY27 and CaWRKY40 enhanced the transcriptional levels of CabHLH113. Collectively, our results indicate that newly characterized CabHLH113 has novel defense functions in pepper immunity against RSI via triggering HR-like cell death and cellular levels of defense linked genes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.micpath.2021.104909DOI Listing
July 2021

A New Sequential Forward Feature Selection (SFFS) Algorithm for Mining Best Topological and Biological Features to Predict Protein Complexes from Protein-Protein Interaction Networks (PPINs).

Interdiscip Sci 2021 May 6. Epub 2021 May 6.

Department of Computer Science, COMSATS University Islamabad, Lahore, Pakistan.

Protein-protein interaction plays an important role in the understanding of biological processes in the body. A network of dynamic protein complexes within a cell that regulates most biological processes is known as a protein-protein interaction network (PPIN). Complex prediction from PPINs is a challenging task. Most of the previous computation approaches mine cliques, stars, linear and hybrid structures as complexes from PPINs by considering topological features and fewer of them focus on important biological information contained within protein amino acid sequence. In this study, we have computed a wide variety of topological features and integrate them with biological features computed from protein amino acid sequence such as bag of words, physicochemical and spectral domain features. We propose a new Sequential Forward Feature Selection (SFFS) algorithm, i.e., random forest-based Boruta feature selection for selecting the best features from computed large feature set. Decision tree, linear discriminant analysis and gradient boosting classifiers are used as learners. We have conducted experiments by considering two reference protein complex datasets of yeast, i.e., CYC2008 and MIPS. Human and mouse complex information is taken from CORUM 3.0 dataset. Protein interaction information is extracted from the database of interacting proteins (DIP). Our proposed SFFS, i.e., random forest-based Brouta feature selection in combination with decision trees, linear discriminant analysis and Gradient Boosting Classifiers outperforms other state of art algorithms by achieving precision, recall and F-measure rates, i.e. 94.58%, 94.92% and 94.45% for MIPS, 96.31%, 93.55% and 96.02% for CYC2008, 98.84%, 98.00%, 98.87 % for CORUM humans and 96.60%, 96.70%, 96.32% for CORUM mouse dataset complexes, respectively.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12539-021-00433-8DOI Listing
May 2021

Recycling and Utilization of Polymers for Road Construction Projects: An Application of the Circular Economy Concept.

Polymers (Basel) 2021 Apr 19;13(8). Epub 2021 Apr 19.

National Center for Environmental Technology (NCET), Life Science and Environment Research Institute (LSERI), King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST), Riyadh 11442, Saudi Arabia.

Numerous environmental issues arise as a result of a linear economy strategy: reserves become scarce and end up in landfills and as greenhouse gases. Utilizing waste as a resource or shifting towards a circular economy are among the effective strategies for addressing these issues. To track this shift, appropriate measures that concentrate on sustainable development while taking practical contexts into consideration are required. In this paper, we utilize plastic wastes as a replacement for bitumen for reuse aiming at a circular economy. The use of plastic waste materials, i.e., plastic bottles (PET) and gas pipes (PE) in asphalt materials as a bitumen modifier was studied through series of experimental lab test methods. Marshall samples were prepared using a conventional Marshall method containing five different percentages (0%, 5%, 10%, 15%, and 20%) of plastic content by total weight of bitumen. Samples were tested after 1 and 30 days and the result shows that the stability of plastic-modified asphalt concrete was increased after 30 days, while still meeting standard criteria with plastic contents up to 20%. Moreover, the addition of waste plastic in road construction is a very effective strategy for reusing plastic waste, which also provides economic and social benefits for a sustainable approach to road pavements.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/polym13081330DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8073561PMC
April 2021

Forestation, renewable energy and environmental quality: Empirical evidence from Belt and Road Initiative economies.

J Environ Manage 2021 Aug 27;291:112684. Epub 2021 Apr 27.

Rajagiri Business School, Rajagiri Valley Campus, Kochi, India; South Ural State University, Lenin Prospect 76, Chelyabinsk, Russian Federation. Electronic address:

The project of Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) was initiated by China to enhance the level of economic cooperation among partner economies. The study empirically evaluates the link between renewable energy consumption, forest area and emissions of CO among 33 partner economies of BRI for the period of 1986-2018. Study utilizes cointegration and heterogeneous Granger causality framework to explore the long-run and causal linkage among variables. Empirical evidence suggests that expansion in renewable energy consumption and increase in forestation will help to reduce the emissions of CO among the economies of BRI. However, the estimated findings of Granger causality reveal feedback causation between renewable energy consumption and forest area and unidirectional causation running from per capita income to environmental quality. The study signifies the importance of investment in renewable energy projects and forest management areas among the partner economies of BRI.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2021.112684DOI Listing
August 2021

Structures, properties and applications of Cu(II) complexes with tridentate donor ligands.

Dalton Trans 2021 Apr;50(15):5099-5108

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Windsor, 401 Sunset Ave, Windsor, ON N9B3P4, Canada.

Tridentate ligands offer theree donor atoms to coordinate to metal ions. The remaining vacant coordination sites on the metal ions provided opportunities to implement additional co-ligands to generate complexes with desired properties. Herein we discuss selected examples of Cu(ii) complexes with tridentate ligands utilizing combinations of N, O, S, and Se donors, focusing on effects of ligand flexibility/rigidity on their coordination modes, properties and applications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/d1dt00483bDOI Listing
April 2021

Wolfram-like syndrome with bicuspid aortic valve due to a homozygous missense variant in CDK13.

J Hum Genet 2021 Apr 21. Epub 2021 Apr 21.

Center for Statistical Genetics, Gertrude H. Sergievsky Center, and the Department of Neurology, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY, USA.

Background: Wolfram syndrome (WFS) is characterized by deafness, diabetes mellitus, and diabetes insipidus along with optic atrophy. WFS has an autosomal recessive mode of inheritance and is due to variants in WFS1 and CISD2.

Methods: We evaluated the underlying molecular etiology of three affected members of a consanguineous family with hearing impairment, bicuspid aortic valve, diabetes mellitus and insipidus, clinodactyly, and gastrointestinal tract abnormalities via exome sequencing approach. We correlated clinical and imaging data with the genetic findings and their associated phenotypes.

Results: We identified a homozygous missense variant p.(Asn1097Lys) in CDK13, a gene previously associated with autosomal dominant congenital heart defects, dysmorphic facial features, clinodactyly, gastrointestinal tract abnormalities, intellectual developmental disorder, and seizures with variable phenotypic features.

Conclusion: We report a homozygous variant in CDK13 and suggest that this gene causes an autosomal recessive disorder with hearing impairment, bicuspid aortic valve, diabetes mellitus and insipidus, clinodactyly, and gastrointestinal tract abnormalities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s10038-021-00922-0DOI Listing
April 2021

Outer Membrane Protein-Coated Nanoparticles as Antibacterial Vaccine Candidates.

Int J Pept Res Ther 2021 Apr 8:1-9. Epub 2021 Apr 8.

Institute of Physiology and Pharmacology, University of Agriculture Faisalabad, Faisalabad, Pakistan.

Nanoformulations are novel therapeutic strategies as compared to traditional treatments. The development of biomimetic nanoparticles by combining the natural cellular material with synthetic nanoparticles has inspired innovative vaccine strategies for modifying the antibacterial immunity. A lot of work has been done in which synthetic nanoparticles are coated with biomimetic cellular membranes for enhancement of biological functions and treatments. Outer membrane protein of bacteria not only act as adjuvant but also contain a large number of immunogenic antigens that play an important role in motivating the native immunity and stimulating the immune responses of the body. Outer membrane protein coating onto the surfaces of synthetic nanoparticles has synergistic effects to produce antibacterial responses. This article reviews the recent improvements related to the bacterial membrane-coated nanoparticles for antibacterial immunization.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10989-021-10201-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8027978PMC
April 2021

A competitive nature-derived multilayered scaffold based on chitosan and alginate, for full-thickness wound healing.

Carbohydr Polym 2021 Jun 8;262:117921. Epub 2021 Mar 8.

Laboratory for Stem Cell & Regenerative Medicine, Natural and Medical Sciences Research Center, University of Nizwa, Nizwa, P. O. Box: 33, PC 616, Oman. Electronic address:

The aim of this study was to evaluate a bioactive multilayer wound dressing, based on chitosan and alginate. To enhance healing potential, Dracaena Cinnabari and Aloe Vera were loaded as separate layers into the scaffold. The bare and bioactive multilayered scaffolds were fabricated by an iterative layering freeze-drying technique. Following of topographical, chemical, and physical assessment, the performance of the scaffolds was evaluated in vitro and in vivo. The results revealed adequate attachment, and proliferation of human foreskin fibroblasts, indicating excellent biocompatibility of the bioactive scaffold. In vivo, the performance of the multi-layered scaffold loaded with the bioactive materials was comparable with Comfeel plus®. The wounds treated with the bioactive scaffold exhibited superior hypergranulation, fibroblast maturation, epithelization, and collagen deposition, with minimal inflammation, and crust formation. It is concluded that the synergism of extracellular matrix-mimicking multi-layered scaffolding with Aloe Vera and Dracaena Cinnabari could be considered as a supportive wound dressing.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.carbpol.2021.117921DOI Listing
June 2021

Newcastle Disease Virus Induced Pathologies Severely Affect the Exocrine and Endocrine Functions of the Pancreas in Chickens.

Genes (Basel) 2021 Mar 29;12(4). Epub 2021 Mar 29.

Shanghai Veterinary Research Institute (SHVRI), Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS), Shanghai 200241, China.

Newcastle disease virus (NDV) causes a highly contagious and devastating disease in poultry. ND causes heavy economic losses to the global poultry industry by decreasing the growth rate, decrease in egg production high morbidity and mortality. Although significant advances have been made in the vaccine development, outbreaks are reported in vaccinated birds. In this study, we report the damage caused by NDV infection in the pancreatic tissues of vaccinated and specific-pathogen-free chickens. The histopathological examination of the pancreas showed severe damage in the form of partial depletion of zymogen granules, acinar cell vacuolization, necrosis, apoptosis, congestion in the large and small vessels, sloughing of epithelial cells of the pancreatic duct, and mild perivascular edema. Increased plasma levels of corticosterone and somatostatin were observed in NDV-infected chicken at three- and five- days post infection (DPI). A slight decrease in the plasma concentrations of insulin was noticed at 5 DPI. Significant changes were not observed in the plasma levels of glucagon. Furthermore, NDV infection decreased the activity and mRNA expression of amylase, lipase, and trypsin from the pancreas. Taken together, our findings highlight that NDV induces extensive tissue damage in the pancreas, decreases the activity and expression of pancreatic enzymes, and increases plasma corticosterone and somatostatin. These findings provide new insights that a defective pancreas may be one of the reasons for decreased growth performance after NDV infection in chickens.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/genes12040495DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8067305PMC
March 2021

Dural Venous Sinus Thrombosis Leading to Subarachnoid Hemorrhage.

Cureus 2021 Feb 22;13(2):e13497. Epub 2021 Feb 22.

Critical Care, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, USA.

Dural venous sinus thrombosis (DVST) leading to subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) is rarely reported in the literature. A 25-year-old primigravida with a history of pre-eclampsia presented with sudden onset headache, confusion, and loss of consciousness. Examination revealed bilateral equivocal planters and bilateral papillary edema. MRI and magnetic resonance venography (MRV) showed the right sinus thrombosis with elements of SAH. The coagulation profile was unremarkable. She was commenced on low molecular weight heparin with periodic monitoring of her Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS). Her condition started improving gradually. Repeat MRI and MRV after 10 days showed resolution of thrombosis and SAH. She was discharged with follow-up, and she was doing well on her recent visit two weeks later.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7759/cureus.13497DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7989973PMC
February 2021

Changes in Hematological Parameters and Liver Enzymes During Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy.

Cureus 2021 Feb 3;13(2):e13098. Epub 2021 Feb 3.

Surgery, Rawalpindi Medical University, Rawalpindi, PAK.

Background Changes in hematological parameters, such as neutrophils, leukocytes, neutrophil-lymphocyte ratio, platelet lymphocyte ratio, and mean platelet volume, have been observed during laparoscopic surgeries. Objectives The objectives of this research were to assess the changes in hematological parameters and liver enzymes during laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC). Methods This prospective observational study included patients undergoing laparoscopic cholecystectomy for symptomatic cholelithiasis. Patients with comorbidities, including hepatitis, diabetes, and where laparoscopic cholecystectomy was converted to open cholecystectomy, were excluded. Preoperative and postoperative baseline hematological parameters and liver function tests (LFTs) were recorded. Characteristics like age, gender, body mass index (BMI), indication for surgery, duration of surgery, the pressure of pneumoperitoneum, and the duration of hospital stay were noted. A paired sample t-test was applied to assess the difference between the mean pre and postoperative values of different hematological parameters. Results It was observed that hemoglobin (Hb), hematocrit (Hct), platelets, and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) decreased postoperatively. However, mean corpuscular volume (MCV), mean platelet volume (MPV), leukocytes, and alanine transaminase (ALT) increased postoperatively. The difference in mean Hb, MCV, Hct, leukocytes, MPV, and ALT was statistically significant (p<0.05). Conclusion There were significant changes in the levels of hematological parameters and liver enzymes during LC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7759/cureus.13098DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7934604PMC
February 2021

Mechanistic insights of snake venom disintegrins in cancer treatment.

Eur J Pharmacol 2021 May 13;899:174022. Epub 2021 Mar 13.

Department of Pathobiology, Faculty of Veterinary Sciences, Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan, Pakistan.

Snake venoms are a potential source of various enzymatic and non-enzymatic compounds with a defensive role for the host. Various peptides with significant medicinal properties have been isolated and characterized from these venoms. Few of these are FDA approved. They inhibit tumor cells adhesion, migration, angiogenesis and metastasis by inhibiting integrins on transmembrane cellular surfaces. This plays important role in delaying tumor growth, neovascularization and development. Tumor targeting and smaller size make them ideal candidates as novel therapeutic agents for cancer treatment. This review is based on sources of these disintegrins, their targeting modality, classification and underlying anti-cancer potential.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejphar.2021.174022DOI Listing
May 2021

Palmitoylated acyl protein thioesterase APT2 deforms membranes to extract substrate acyl chains.

Nat Chem Biol 2021 04 11;17(4):438-447. Epub 2021 Mar 11.

Global Health Institute, School of Life Sciences, EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland.

Many biochemical reactions require controlled recruitment of proteins to membranes. This is largely regulated by posttranslational modifications. A frequent one is S-acylation, which consists of the addition of acyl chains and can be reversed by poorly understood acyl protein thioesterases (APTs). Using a panel of computational and experimental approaches, we dissect the mode of action of the major cellular thioesterase APT2 (LYPLA2). We show that soluble APT2 is vulnerable to proteasomal degradation, from which membrane binding protects it. Interaction with membranes requires three consecutive steps: electrostatic attraction, insertion of a hydrophobic loop and S-acylation by the palmitoyltransferases ZDHHC3 or ZDHHC7. Once bound, APT2 is predicted to deform the lipid bilayer to extract the acyl chain bound to its substrate and capture it in a hydrophobic pocket to allow hydrolysis. This molecular understanding of APT2 paves the way to understand the dynamics of APT2-mediated deacylation of substrates throughout the endomembrane system.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41589-021-00753-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7610442PMC
April 2021

Valorisation and emerging perspective of biomass based waste-to-energy technologies and their socio-environmental impact: A review.

J Environ Manage 2021 Jun 6;287:112257. Epub 2021 Mar 6.

Chemical Engineering Department, King Saud University, P.O. Box 800, Riyadh, 11421, Saudi Arabia.

The economic developments around the globe resulted in the increased demand of energy, which overburdened the supply chain sources of energy. Fossil fuel reserves are exploited to meet the high demand of energy and their combustion is becoming the main source of environmental pollution. So there is dire need to find safe, renewable and sustainable energy resources. Waste to energy (WtE) may be viewed as a possible alternate source of energy, which is economically and environmentally sustainable. Municipal solid waste (MSW) is a major contributor to the development of renewable energy and sustainable environment. At present the scarcity of renewable energy resources and disposal of MSW is a challenging problem for the developing countries, which has generated a wide ranging socioeconomic and environmental problems. This situation stimulates the researchers to develop alternatives for converting WtE under a variety of scenarios. Herein, the present scenario in developing the WtE technologies such as, thermal conversion methods (Incineration, Gasification, Pyrolysis, Torrefaction), Plasma technology, Biochemical methods, Chemical and Mechanical methods, Bio-electrochemical process, Mechanical biological treatment (MBT), Photo-biological processes for efficacious energy recovery and the challenges confronted by developing and developed countries. In this review, a framework for the evaluation of WtE technologies has been presented for the ease of researchers working in the field. Furthermore, this review concluded that WtE is a potential renewable energy source that will partially satisfy the demand for energy and ensure an efficient MSW management to overcome the environmental pollution.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2021.112257DOI Listing
June 2021

Prophylactic external beam radiation therapy for keloid prevention in thyroid surgery patients.

Gland Surg 2021 Jan;10(1):65-72

Department of Surgery, Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, LA, USA.

Background: Poor cosmesis, secondary to keloid or hypertrophic scar, following thyroid surgery may cause considerable patient distress and be a significant challenge to treat. In this case series we examined the efficacy of prophylactic external beam radiation therapy (EBRT) for prevention of keloid formation in keloid-prone patients undergoing thyroid surgery. While much has been published about documenting the efficacy in reducing keloid formation following keloid excision, very little literature exists documenting prophylactic use related to surgeries with the goal of prevent keloid formation.

Methods: We retrospectively evaluated a series of ten patients, who underwent a prophylactic EBRT for keloid prevention after thyroid surgery between January 2013 and February 2019. Patient demographics, primary diagnosis, surgical procedure, EBRT dosage, and post-operative visit records were reviewed.

Results: All ten patients who received EBRT for keloid prophylaxis following a thyroid surgery were female. Half of the patients were African Americans, 40% Caucasians, and 10% Hispanic. The mean age was 46.40±15.63 years with BMI of 31.5±5.5 kg/m. Radiation was initiated within 6 hours of the surgery with an average radiation dose per session of 5.7±1.7 Gy. The total average EBRT dose delivered was 17.4±4.2 Gy. Mean follow-up period was 13 months post-thyroidectomy, with the longest follow-up at 23 months. One patient, who underwent a lateral neck dissection in addition to thyroid surgery, developed hypertrophic scar in less than 10% of her incision length. Nine other patients (90%) showed no post-surgical keloid nor hypertrophic scar formation and patients were satisfied with postsurgical cosmesis.

Conclusions: We examined the efficacy of prophylactic EBRT in keloid-prone patients undergoing thyroid surgery. Prophylactic EBRT following thyroid surgery is effective in achieving a satisfactory cosmetic outcome in patients at high risk for keloid formation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21037/gs-20-511DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7882325PMC
January 2021

A Metagenomic Analysis of Mosquito Virome Collected From Different Animal Farms at Yunnan-Myanmar Border of China.

Front Microbiol 2020 8;11:591478. Epub 2021 Feb 8.

Shanghai Veterinary Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Shanghai, China.

Metagenomic analysis of mosquito-borne and mosquito-specific viruses is useful to understand the viral diversity and for the surveillance of pathogens of medical and veterinary importance. Yunnan province is located at the southwest of China and has rich abundance of mosquitoes. Arbovirus surveillance is not conducted regularly in this province particularly at animal farms, which have public health as well as veterinary importance. Here, we have analyzed 10 pools of mosquitoes belonging to , , , and species, collected from different animal farms located at Yunnan province of China by using metagenomic next-generation sequencing technique. The generated viral metagenomic data reveal that the viral community matched by the reads was highly diverse and varied in abundance among animal farms, which contained more than 19 viral taxonomic families, specific to vertebrates, invertebrates, fungi, plants, protozoa, and bacteria. Additionally, a large number of viral reads were related to viruses that are non-classified. The viral reads related to animal viruses included parvoviruses, anelloviruses, circoviruses, flaviviruses, rhabdoviruses, and seadornaviruses, which might be taken by mosquitoes from viremic animal hosts during blood feeding. Notably, the presence of viral reads matched with Japanese encephalitis virus, Getah virus, and porcine parvoviruses in mosquitoes collected from different geographic sites suggested a potential circulation of these viruses in their vertebrate hosts. Overall, this study provides a comprehensive knowledge of diverse viral populations present at animal farms of Yunnan province of China, which might be a potential source of diseases for humans and domestic animals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2020.591478DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7898981PMC
February 2021

Therapeutic potential of N-substituted thiosemicarbazones as new urease inhibitors: Biochemical and in silico approach.

Bioorg Chem 2021 Apr 2;109:104691. Epub 2021 Feb 2.

Institute of Chemical Sciences, Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan 60800, Pakistan. Electronic address:

Urease enzyme plays a key role in pathogenesis of gastritis and peptic ulcers. Its inhibition averts our bodies from many disorders including formation of urinary calculi. In agriculture, the high urease content causes severe environmental and hence economic problems. Due to deficiency of effective and safer drugs to tackle the aforementioned disorders, the quest for new scaffolds becomes mandatory in the field of medicinal chemistry. In this regard, we herein report a new series of N-substituted thiosemicarbazones 3a-v as potential candidates for urease inhibition. These new N-substituted thiosemicarbazones 3a-v of distant chemical scaffolds were characterized by advanced spectroscopic techniques, such as FTIR, HNMR, CNMR, ESI-MS and in the case of compound 3g by single crystal X-ray analysis. The compounds were evaluated for their urease inhibitory potential. All newly synthesized compounds showed significant urease inhibitions with IC values in range of 2.7 ± 0.320-109.2 ± 3.217 μM. Molecular docking studies were used for interactions pattern and structure-activity relationship for all compounds, which demonstrated excellent binding interactions with the active site residues, such as hydrogen bonding, π-π interactions, π-H and nickel atom coordination.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bioorg.2021.104691DOI Listing
April 2021

Direct observation of long chain enrichment in flow-induced nuclei from molecular dynamics simulations of bimodal blends.

Soft Matter 2021 Mar;17(10):2872-2882

School of Mathematical Sciences, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, NG9 4DP, UK.

Modelling of flow-induced nucleation in polymers suggest that long chains are enriched in nuclei, relative to their melt concentration. This enrichment has important consequences for the nucleation rate and mechanism, but cannot be directly observed with current experimental techniques. Instead, we ran united atom molecular dynamics simulations of bimodal polyethylene blends, comprising linear chains at a 50 : 50 mix of long (1000 carbon) and short (500-125 carbon) chains, under shear flow. We developed a method to extract the nucleus composition during a transient start-up flow. Our simulations show significant and systematic enrichment of long-chains for all nucleus sizes up to and beyond the critical nucleus. This enrichment is quantitatively predicted by the recent polySTRAND model [Read et al. Phys. Rev. Lett. 2020, 124, 147802]. The same model parameters also correctly capture the nucleus induction time in our simulations. All parameters of the model were fitted to a small subset of our data in which long chain enhancement was absent. We conclude that long-chain enrichment is central to the mechanism of flow-induced nucleation and that this enrichment must be captured to correctly predict the nucleation rate.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/d0sm01361gDOI Listing
March 2021

Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of CD19-Specific CAR-T Cell Therapy in Relapsed/Refractory Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in the Pediatric and Young Adult Population: Safety and Efficacy Outcomes.

Clin Lymphoma Myeloma Leuk 2021 Apr 17;21(4):e334-e347. Epub 2020 Dec 17.

Department of Adult Medicine, Khyber Teaching Hospital, Peshawar, Pakistan.

Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) typically responds better when treated with multiagent chemotherapy in the pediatric and young adolescent populations. Treatment of relapsed/refractory (RR) ALL remains a challenge. Even after stem-cell transplantation and intensive chemotherapy, the prognosis of RR-ALL remains grave. The advent of chimeric antigen receptors has demonstrated promising results in RR-ALL. Chimeric antigen receptor-modified T cells (CAR-T) and engineered T cells are used to target cancer cells. In 2017, the US Food and Drug Administration approved CD19-specific CAR-T (tisagenlecleucel) therapy for RR-B-cell ALL in patients under 25 years old. In this systematic review, we discuss the efficacy and safety of CD19-specific CAR-T therapy in RR-B-cell ALL in the pediatric and young adult population. We searched the PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, Cochrane Library, and clinical trials databases. A total of 448 patients received a CD19-specific CAR-T product, and 446 patients had evaluable data. The age range was 0 to 30 years. The incidence rate of complete remission was 82%. The cumulative incidence of relapse after CD19-specific CAR-T therapy is 36%. Similarly, the incidence rate of grade 3 or higher adverse events of neutropenia, thrombocytopenia, neurotoxicity, infections, and cytokine release syndrome were 38%, 23%, 18%, 29%, and 19%, respectively. Our subgroup analysis shows the incidence rate of minimal residual negative complete remission was 69% with the CD28z costimulatory domain, 81% with the 4-1BB domain, and 77% with fourth-generation CD19-specific CAR-T therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clml.2020.12.010DOI Listing
April 2021

The Critical Role of Small RNAs in Regulating Plant Innate Immunity.

Biomolecules 2021 01 29;11(2). Epub 2021 Jan 29.

Guangdong Technology Research Center for Marine Algal Bioengineering, Guangdong Key Laboratory of Plant Epigenetics, College of Life Sciences and Oceanography, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen 518060, China.

Plants, due to their sessile nature, have an innate immune system that helps them to defend against different pathogen infections. The defense response of plants is composed of a highly regulated and complex molecular network, involving the extensive reprogramming of gene expression during the presence of pathogenic molecular signatures. Plants attain proper defense against pathogens through the transcriptional regulation of genes encoding defense regulatory proteins and hormone signaling pathways. Small RNAs are emerging as versatile regulators of plant development and act in different tiers of plant immunity, including pathogen-triggered immunity (PTI) and effector-triggered immunity (ETI). The versatile regulatory functions of small RNAs in plant growth and development and response to biotic and abiotic stresses have been widely studied in recent years. However, available information regarding the contribution of small RNAs in plant immunity against pathogens is more limited. This review article will focus on the role of small RNAs in innate immunity in plants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/biom11020184DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7912340PMC
January 2021

Expression and functional characterization in yeast of an endoglucanase from Bacillus sonorensis BD92 and its impact as feed additive in commercial broilers.

Int J Biol Macromol 2021 Apr 4;176:364-375. Epub 2021 Feb 4.

Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN, USA. Electronic address:

Some ingredients used in poultry feed formulation contain carbohydrate polymers which are difficult to digest and thus hinder nutritional feed value. Toward overcoming this limitation, exogenous enzymes have been added to poultry feed to improve its nutritive value. The present study was designed to provide first enzymatic characterization of endoglucanase (BsEgl) from the genome of B. sonorensis BD92 expressed in Pichia pastoris. Further, we tested its impact alone and in combination with a β-glucosidase (Bteqβgluc) on growth in commercial broilers as feed additive. The expressed enzyme displayed features of GH5 family and had optimum activity against carboxymethyl cellulose at pH 5 and 50 °C. The BsEgl was stable at a range of pH from 4 to 8 for 60 min and at 50 °C for 180 min. Supplementing broilers diet with BsEgl alone or in combination with Bteqβgluc resulted in better feed conversion ratio among treatments during a five weeks testing period. Moreover, meat percentage was also highest for this treatment, and all treatments with recombinant enzymes increased intestinal length in birds compared to treatment control group. Blood parameters and serum biochemistry profile showed non-significant difference among groups. These results support that recombinant cellulolytic enzymes supplement high fiber diets improve their nutritional performance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2021.02.022DOI Listing
April 2021

Identification of Cleavage Sites Proteolytically Processed by NS2B-NS3 Protease in Polyprotein of Japanese Encephalitis Virus.

Pathogens 2021 Jan 21;10(2). Epub 2021 Jan 21.

Shanghai Veterinary Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Shanghai 200241, China.

Understanding the proteolytic processing of polyprotein mediated by NS2B-NS3 protease contributes to the exploration of the mechanisms underlying infection of Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV), a zoonotic flavivirus. In this study, eukaryotic and prokaryotic cell models were employed to identify the cleavage sites mediated by viral NS2B-NS3 protease in JEV polyprotein. Artificial green fluorescent protein (GFP) substrates that contained the predicted cleavage site sequences of JEV polyprotein were expressed in swine testicle (ST) cells in the presence and absence of JEV infection, or co-expressed in with the recombinant NS2B-NS3 protease that was generated by fusing the N-terminal protease domain of NS3 to the central hydrophilic domain of NS2B. The cleavage of GFP substrates was examined by western blot. Among twelve artificial GFP substrates containing the cleavage site sequences predictively processed by host cell and/or NS2B-NS3 proteases, all sites were found to be cleaved by host cell proteases with different efficiencies. The sites at internal C, NS2A/NS2B, NS2B/NS3 and NS3/NS4A junctions, but not the sites at internal NS3, internal NS4A and NS4B/NS5 junctions were identified to be cleaved by JEV NS2B-NS3 protease. These data provide insight into the proteolytic processing of polyprotein, which is useful for understanding JEV replication and pathogenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10020102DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7911949PMC
January 2021

Virulent and multidrug-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae from clinical samples in Balochistan.

Int Wound J 2021 Jan 21. Epub 2021 Jan 21.

Department of Microbiology, University of Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan.

Klebsiella pneumoniae is an important pathogen causing hospital-acquired infections in human beings. Samples from suspected patients of K pneumoniae associated with respiratory and urinary tract infections were collected at Bolan Medical Complex, Quetta, Balochistan. Clinical samples (n = 107) of urine and sputum were collected and processed for K pneumoniae isolation using selective culture media. Initially, 30 of 107 isolates resembling Klebsiella spp. were processed for biochemical profiling and molecular detection using gyrase A (gyrA) gene for conformation. The K pneumoniae isolates were analysed for the presence of drug resistance and virulence genes in their genomes. The 21 of 107 (19.6%) isolates were finally confirmed as K pneumoniae pathogens. An antibiogram study conducted against 17 different antibiotics showed that a majority of the isolates are multidrug resistant. All the isolates (100%) were resistant to amoxicillin, cefixime, amoxicillin-clavulanic acid, cefotaxime, and ceftriaxone followed by tetracycline (95.2%), ciprofloxacin and gentamicin (76.2%), sulphamethoxazol (66.7%), nalidixic acid (61.9%), norfloxacine (42.9%), piperacillin-tazobactam (23.8%), cefoperazone-sulbactam (19%), and cefotaxime-clavulanic acid (33.3%), whereas all the isolates showed sensitivity to amikacin, chloramphenicol, and imipenem. The presence of tetracycline, sulphamethoxazol-resistant genes, and extended-spectrum beta-lactamase was reconfirmed using different specific genes. The presence of virulence genes fimH1 and EntB responsible for adherence and enterobactin production was confirmed in the isolates. The high virulence and drug resistance potential of these Klebsiella isolates are of high public health concern. Multidrug resistance and virulence potential in K. pneumoniae are converting these nosocomial pathogens into superbugs and making its management harder.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/iwj.13550DOI Listing
January 2021

Intellectual capital, financial resources, and green supply chain management as predictors of financial and environmental performance.

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2021 Apr 6;28(16):19755-19767. Epub 2021 Jan 6.

Faculty of Management Sciences, International Islamic University Islamabad, Islamabad, Pakistan.

This research examines the influence of intellectual capital on financial and environmental performance with a mediating role of green supply chain management and a moderating role of financial resources. Structural model estimation was conducted on the data set of 324 Pakistani manufacturing SMEs and showed that intellectual capital significantly encourages green supply chain management as well as significantly contributes to financial and environmental performance. Green supply chain management partially mediates the relationship between intellectual capital and performance both the financial and environmental. Financial resources significantly strengthen the relationship between intellectual capital and green supply chain management. In light of the results, we suggest that firms should encourage intellectuality among their managers and employees to adopt green practices that can improve their financial and environmental performance. In addition, it is also suggested for managers and CEOs to effectively manage financial resources that are necessary for green practices.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-020-12243-4DOI Listing
April 2021

Spatial scale structure soil bacterial communities across an Arctic landscape.

Appl Environ Microbiol 2020 Dec 23. Epub 2020 Dec 23.

Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Northumbria University, Newcastle-upon-Tyne NE1 8ST, United Kingdom

Bacterial community composition is largely influenced by environmental factors, and this applies to the Arctic region. However, little is known about the role of spatial factors in structuring such communities. In this study, we evaluated the influence of spatial scale on bacterial community structure across an Arctic landscape. Our results showed that spatial factors accounted for approximately 10% of the variation at the landscape scale, equivalent to observations across the whole Arctic region, suggesting that while the role and magnitude of other processes involved in community structure may vary, the role of dispersal may be stable globally in the region. We assessed dispersal limitation by identifying the spatial autocorrelation distance, standing at approximately 60 m, which would be required in order to obtain fully independent samples and may inform future sampling strategies in the region. Finally, indicator taxa with strong statistical correlations with environment variables were identified. However, we showed that these strong taxa-environment associations may not always be reflected in the geographical distribution of these taxa. The significance of this study is threefold. It investigated the influence of spatial scale on the soil bacterial community composition across a typical Arctic landscape and demonstrated that conclusions reached when examining the influence of specific environmental variables on bacterial community composition are dependent upon the spatial scales over which they are investigated. This study identified a dispersal limitation (spatial autocorrelation) distance of approximately 60 m, required to obtain samples with fully independent bacterial communities, and therefore, should serve to inform future sampling strategies in the region and potentially elsewhere. The work also showed that strong taxa-environment statistical associations may not be reflected in the observed landscape distribution of the indicator taxa.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/AEM.02220-20DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8090890PMC
December 2020