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Doyle R.M.,Institute of Child Health | Alber D.G.,Institute of Child Health | Jones H.E.,Institute of Child Health | Harris K.,Camelia Botnar Laboratories | And 3 more authors.
Placenta | Year: 2014

Infection is considered a possible trigger for preterm labour, supported by evidence showing the presence of bacteria in the placenta and placental membranes from preterm births. In this study, 16S rDNA pyrosequencing was used to identify bacteria in placental membranes. Caesarean sections and vaginal deliveries at term were found to harbour common genera. Mycoplasma hominis, Aerococcus christensenii, Gardnerella vaginalis and Fusobacterium nucleatum were either only present in preterm membranes or in greater abundance than at term. These data support previous studies that used either targeted qPCR or broad-range 16S rDNA PCR and cloning but not a recent microbiome analysis of placental tissue using high-throughput sequencing. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Xerry J.,Public Health England | Gallimore C.I.,Public Health England | Cubitt D.,Camelia Botnar Laboratories | Gray J.J.,Public Health England
Journal of Clinical Microbiology | Year: 2010

Norovirus strains were detected in two patients and in environmental swabs from a pediatric primary immunodeficiency unit in London, United Kingdom, during an infection control incident in November and December 2007. Detailed analyses of the gene encoding the P2 domain demonstrated that the majority of the strains were not related to the patients and that the environmental contamination was most likely due to secondary transfer by the hands of staff or visitors. Copyright © 2010, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

Fitzgerald F.,Middlesex University | Fitzgerald F.,University College London | Harris K.,Camelia Botnar Laboratories | Doyle R.,University College London | And 2 more authors.
AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses | Year: 2013

Microbial translocation (MT) from the gut is implicated in driving immune activation, increasing morbidity and mortality in HIV. We used bacterial 16S rDNA PCR, Sanger sequencing, and high-throughput sequencing to identify microbial DNA in the bloodstream of HIV-infected children in London, United Kingdom. Blood samples were collected from sequential children attending the HIV clinic at Great Ormond Street Hospital, London. DNA extraction, broad range 16S rDNA PCR, and standard Sanger sequencing were carried out. A subset of positive samples was analyzed by high-throughput sequencing (Roche 454 platform). Of 105 samples collected from sequential children, nine were positive using broad range 16S rDNA PCR (8.6%; 95% CI 4.4-16%). From three amplicons, 16S rDNA sequences were identified as Streptococcus, Propionibacterium acnes, and coagulase-negative Staphylococcus. Four positive samples were analyzed by high-throughput sequencing. In the three samples in which organisms were identified by Sanger sequencing, the same species were identified. Further species, in differing proportions, were identified in all four samples. The identified organisms included known gut orders Bifidobacteriaceae, Lactobacillaceae, Bacteroidales, and Clostridiales. In immunocompetent children of equivalent age, no bacterial DNA was detected in blood using this approach. This is the first study to our knowledge using molecular techniques to identify MT in children in the developed world. Our data indicate that 16S rDNA is detectable in 8.6% of HIV-infected children. Levels of DNA were low and from multiple bacterial species. Further studies are needed to ascertain the importance of MT in HIV-infected children. © 2013 Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.

Pathak S.,University of Cambridge | Lees C.C.,University of Cambridge | Hackett G.,University of Cambridge | Jessop F.,University of Cambridge | Sebire N.J.,Camelia Botnar Laboratories
Virchows Archiv | Year: 2011

Associations between specific placental histological abnormalities and obstetric outcomes are reported. However, most data are based either on high-risk cases or relate to case-control studies selected from those with abnormal placental histology findings, with the unavoidable biases that these approaches entail. This study reports the frequency of the several common, objective and predefined histological abnormalities of the placenta as identified by pathologists blinded to all clinical information. A total 1,153 women were recruited from an unselected population delivering at 34-43 weeks. Histological findings in common obstetric outcome groups were compared to those of the unselected population, and odds ratios and predictive values were calculated. Normal histological findings were present in 72.1% of pregnancies with normal outcomes and in 79.1%, 66.6%, 80%, and 74.8% of pregnancies affected by pre-eclampsia (PET), pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH), gestational diabetes (GDM), and small for gestational age (SGA), respectively. Chronic placental underperfusion was seen more frequently in PIH (odds ratio (OR) 2) and SGA (OR 1.4), while villitis of unknown aetiology was observed more commonly in cases with PIH (OR 3.2). Fetal thrombotic vasculopathy was twice as common in cases with GDM whilst massive perivillous fibrin deposition was much more frequent in those with PET (OR 20.2) and SGA (OR 8.9). Chorangiomata were 13 times more common in pregnancies with PET. However, in all cases, positive predictive values were low, with the majority of cases with histological abnormalities being associated with normal outcome. At term, specific placental histological lesions are significantly more common in complicated pregnancies, but the clinical significance of such lesions in a specific case remains uncertain, since the majority will be identified from clinically uncomplicated normal pregnancies. © 2011 Springer-Verlag.

Ashworth M.,Camelia Botnar Laboratories
Fetal and Maternal Medicine Review | Year: 2013

In the European Union, it is estimated that 36,000 children are born every year with congenital heart disease and that a further 3000 who are diagnosed with congenital heart disease die as a result of termination of pregnancy, late fetal death or early neonatal death. In a normal population, the risk of a woman having a child with a congenital heart malformation is of the order of 0.8-1%, the risk rising to 2-3%, if a previous pregnancy was affected by heart disease and approaching 6% if the mother herself has a congenital heart defect. There is great variation between countries in the antenatal detection of heart defects, being lowest in those countries without ultrasound antenatal screening programmes (8-11%), but in Western Europe the detection rates vary between 19% and 48%. High-resolution echocardiography enables assessment of precise structures during the second trimester or even earlier. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2013.

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