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Sharaby Y.,Haifa University | Rodriguez-Martinez S.,Haifa University | Oks O.,Haifa University | Pecellin M.,Helmholtz Center for Infection Research | And 6 more authors.
Applied and Environmental Microbiology | Year: 2017

Legionella pneumophila causes waterborne infections resulting in severe pneumonia. High-resolution genotyping of L. pneumophila isolates can be achieved by multiple-locus variable-number tandem-repeat analysis (MLVA). Recently, we found that different MLVA genotypes of L. pneumophila dominated different sites in a small drinking-water network, with a genotype-related temperature and abundance regime. The present study focuses on understanding the temperature-depen dent growth kinetics of the genotypes that dominated the water network. Our aim was to model mathematically the influence of temperature on the growth kinetics of different environmental and clinical L. pneumophila genotypes and to compare it with the influence of their ecological niches. Environmental strains showed a distinct temperature preference, with significant differences among the growth kinetics of the three studied genotypes (Gt4, Gt6, and Gt15). Gt4 strains exhibited superior growth at lower temperatures (25 and 30°C), while Gt15 strains appeared to be best adapted to relatively higher temperatures (42 and 45°C). The temperature-dependent growth traits of the environmental genotypes were consistent with their distribution and temperature preferences in the water network. Clinical isolates exhibited significantly higher growth rates and reached higher maximal cell densities at 37°C and 42°C than the environmental strains. Further research on the growth preferences of L. pneumophila clinical and environmental genotypes will result in a better understanding of their ecological niches in drinking-water systems as well as in the human body. © 2017 American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

Abbas J.,Tel Aviv University | Abbas J.,Zefat Academic College | Slon V.,Tel Aviv University | May H.,Tel Aviv University | And 5 more authors.
BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders | Year: 2016

Background: The condition of paraspinal muscles is known to be associated with some variables such as age, gender, and low back pain. It is generally agreed that these muscles play an important role in the stability and functional movements of the lumbar vertebral column. Although spinal instability has been shown to play an essential role in degenerative lumbar spinal stenosis (DLSS), the role of paraspinal muscles remains elusive. The main purpose of this study was to shed light on the relationship between the condition of paraspinal muscles and symptomatic DLSS. Methods: Two sample populations were studied. The first included 165 individuals with DLSS (age range: 40-88, sex ratio: 80 M/85 F) and the second 180 individuals without spinal stenosis related symptoms and low back pain (age range: 40-99, sex ratio: 90 M/90 F). Measurements were taken at the middle part of L3 vertebral body, using CT axial images (Philips Brilliance 64). Muscles density was measured in Hounsfield units (HU) using a 50 mm2 circle of the muscle mass at three different locations and the mean density was then calculated. The cross-sectional area (CSA) was also measured using the quantitative CT angiography method. Analysis of Covariance (adjusted for body mass index and age) was performed in order to determine the relationship between the condition of paraspinal muscles and symptomatic DLSS. Results: Individuals in the stenosis group had higher muscle density as compared to the control group. The CSA values for the erector spinae (both sexes) and psoas (males) muscles were significantly greater in the stenosis group as compared to their counterparts in the control group. Additionally, density of multifidus (both sexes) and erector spinae (males) muscles was significantly associated with symptomatic DLSS. Conclusions: Our results show that individuals with symptomatic DLSS manifest greater paraspinal muscles density and CSA (erector spinae), compared to the control group. Density of multifidus increases the likelihood of symptomatic DLSS. © 2016 The Author(s).

Dahan I.,Baruch Padeh Poriya Medical Center | Farber E.,Baruch Padeh Poriya Medical Center | Thauho N.,Baruch Padeh Poriya Medical Center | Nakhoul N.,Baruch Padeh Poriya Medical Center | And 6 more authors.
Journal of Diabetes Research | Year: 2015

Elevated systolic pulmonary artery pressure (s-PAP, ≥35 mmHg) serves as an independent predictor of mortality in hemodialysis (HD) and diabetic (DM) patients. A polymorphism in the antioxidant Haptoglobin (Hp) gene has been shown to regulate the bioavailability of nitric oxide (NO), a major mediator of pulmonary vascular tone. We therefore set out to test the hypothesis that the Hp polymorphism may be a determinant of developing elevated s-PAP specifically in the DM state due to a decreased bioavailability of NO. To test our hypothesis we Hp typed and performed transthoracic echocardiography on a series of HD patients and stratified them into elevated and normal s-PAP groups and then evaluated whether there was a significant association between the Hp type, elevated s-PAP, and decreased NO bioavailability as defined by low plasma nitrite. We found a statistically significant interaction between the Hp type and DM on the prevalence of elevated s-PAP and lower mean nitrite levels with the combination of elevated s-PAP and low nitrite levels being significantly more prevalent in Hp 2-2 DM individuals. We conclude that the Hp 2 type is associated with elevated s-PAP levels and low plasma nitrite levels in HD patients specifically in the DM state. © 2015 Inbal Dahan et al.

Blum A.,Baruch Padeh Poriya Medical Center | Blum A.,University of Miami | Tamir S.,Galilee Technology Center | Hazzan D.,Carmel Hospital | And 5 more authors.
Central European Journal of Medicine | Year: 2013

Obesity, particularly abdominal obesity, is associated with increased risks of arterial hypertension, diabetes mellitus, hyperlipidemia, sleep apnea, coronary artery disease, stroke and mortality. Weight loss surgery is the most effective treatment for morbid obesity, mainly because medical and dietary treatments have been proven insufficient in the long run. Our primary end point was to study the gender effect on vascular responsiveness (endothelial function and the ankle brachial index [ABI]) 3 months post bariatric surgery. Our secondary end points were to study the effect of gender on antropometric parameters (BMI, waist circumference) and chronic diseases (diabetes mellitus type II, arterial hypertension) 3 months following bariatric surgery, and to find independent variables that may affect and predict the post-operative clinical outcome. Methods: In this prospective study, patients were evaluated one day before surgery and 3 months afterwards. Ankle brachial index was measured while the patient was supine after 15 minutes rest and measurement of the systolic blood pressure in all four extremities was done. The brachial artery method was used to measure endothelial function expressed as flow mediated diameter percent change (FMD %). FMD% more than 10% is considered a normal response. Results: Compared with diabetic females, diabetic males had a higher postoperative BMI (men with diabetes mellitus did not lose weight as much as diabetic women) (β=-0.299; P=0.04), while women with diabetes mellitus had a more significant reduction in BMI postoperatively (β=+0.287; P=0.04). Following bariatric surgery, 12 of the 21 patients with diabetes mellitus type II did not need any medications for diabetes (kept HbA1c% less than 6.5%). All other diabetic patients improved their diabetes mellitus status. Women significantly improved their ABI (average increase of 0.07, p=0.04) and their endothelial function (FMD% change was improved from -3.5±9.0% to 14.8±8.1%, an improvement of 18.3%, p<0.001). Systolic blood pressure was decreased significantly (by 6.6 mmHg, p=0.04). Men improved their endothelial function (FMD% change was improved from -1.3±10.1% to 11.7±6.2%, p<0.001), but no significant change was observed in systolic blood pressure (p=0.29) nor in ABI (P=0.8). A linear regression analysis found that a higher baseline FMD% significantly predicted a higher postoperative FMD% (β=0.294, P=0.03). In obese males, the higher the baseline BMI the worse the post operative endothelial function (β=-0.921, Pd<0.001) and the same adverse effect was documented for hypertensive men (β=-0.380, P=0.05). For females, the higher the baseline FMD% the higher the postoperative FMD% (β=+0.397; P=0.01) [a favorable outcome]. Discussion: Our study has demonstrated a possible mechanistic insight into gender effects observed in epidemiological studies through improvement in vascular response in females undergoing this operation including a better reduction in systolic blood pressure and a better weight reduction in diabetic women with improvement in ABI; unlike males, who did not improve their ABI and did not decrease systolic blood pressure, and the finding that obese diabetic males and obese hypertensive males did the worst. © 2013 Versita Warsaw and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

PubMed | Baruch Padeh Poriya Medical Center
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of vascular and interventional neurology | Year: 2012

Endothelium-dependent vasodilator function may be regarded as an index of inflammation. Endothelial dysfunction has been observed in stroke patients and has been related to stroke physiopathology, stroke subtypes, clinical severity, and outcome. Our aim was to measure systemic vascular function directly (using forearm flow mediated dilatation) in patients with acute ischemic stroke and to clarify whether recent acute ischemic stroke is associated with impaired vascular function. Patients who were not eligible for thrombolytic therapy because of delayed arrival were randomly recruited to the study after signing a consent form. All 43 patients were conscious and had an acute ischemic stroke. Brain CT was performed on admission, and clinical evaluation was carried out by a neurologist on admission and four days later. Vascular responsiveness was evaluated by ABI and by endothelial function measurements on admission. Levels of P-selectin were measured during the first 24 hrs and on day 4. Forty-three patients (28 men and 15 women) and 23 healthy men (control) were enrolled in the study. Patients were older (62.412.5 y vs 44.211.6 y, p=0.001), had worse endothelial dysfunction (-4.47.4% vs 16.67.6%, p=0.001), and had a higher BMI (286 vs 245, p=0.001). No gender effect was found in endothelial function (-5.17.8% vs -2.56.6%, p=0.25) and ABI (1.00.26 vs 1.00.5, p=0.29). However, men had lower BMIs compared to women (26.85.8 vs 31.45.5, p=0.01). The neurological scale decreased from 4.93.4 to 3.23.0 on day 4 (p=0.001). In men, it was 4.83.8 on admission, and decreased to 3.23.4 on day 4 (p=0.001). In women, it was 5.02.7, and decreased to 3.32.3 on day 4 (p=0.001). P-selectin levels were high on admission (68.055.5 pg/ml) and increased 4 days later (102.372.0 pg/ml) (p=0.01). Men had higher levels on admission (79.1 66.7 pg/ml vs 48.9 15.4 pg/ml, p=0.02) and rose on day 4 to 113.682.6 pg/ml (p=0.05); in women P-selectin increased from 48.9 15.4 pg/ml to 83.546.4 pg/ml (p=0.01), without gender effect on day 4 (113.682.6 pg/ml [men] vs 83.546.4 pg/ml [women] (p=0.08)). None of the univariate models seemed statistically significant---gender (p=0.448), age (p=0.100), BMI (p=0.607), ABI (p=0.103), FMD% (p=0.456), and P-selectin (p=0.195). Patients with acute stroke had severe endothelial dysfunction during the first 24 hrs with high P-selectin levels that further increased over the first week. Vascular instability and procoagulant activity are still in progress in the first days following acute stroke and patients are at risk to develop more vascular events at that time.

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