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News Article | May 12, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Shearing the animals on the floor or on a special tilt table also resulted in changed clinical parameters such as heart rate. These values remained at normal levels only when the animals were sheared in a standing position. But shearing animals in the standing position is only possible if the alpacas do not resist being restrained with a risk of injury to themselves or to their handlers. These animals should be restrained on a mattress on the ground or on a tilt table. The study was published in Veterinary Record with organisational and financial support from the Alpaca Association e.V. of Germany and the Austrian Buiatric Association. Alpacas are members of the camel family and, like llamas, guanacos and vicuñas, belong to the New World camelids. Domesticated they are of great importance in South America, especially in Peru, where they have been kept and bred for their wool for thousands of years. In Europe, on the other hand, alpaca breeding is relatively uncommon. But the number of animals and breeders has been growing for years. Just like sheep, alpacas must be shorn regularly to harvest their wool. The procedure is an unusual one for the animals and thus a source of stress. An interdisciplinary team of researchers from Vetmeduni Vienna has now investigated for the first time which shearing position produces the least amount of stress for the animals and therefore represents the least stressful method from the point of view of the animal's wellbeing. Unlike sheep, which are usually turned onto their backs, alpaca breeders use several different methods of restraint. The animals are either held by assistants in a standing position, restrained on a mattress on the ground or placed on special shearing tables. Previously, there had been no studies as to which method produced the least stress among the animals. "The stress of the animals can be determined based on clinical parameters, by observing the animals' behaviour or through the laboratory analysis of saliva and faeces," explains senior author Susanne Waiblinger of the Institute of Animal Husbandry and Animal Welfare. Saliva and faeces contain cortisol, which is an important stress marker. Saliva cortisol is considered to reflect a short-term stress response, whereas faecal cortisol shows longer-lasting stress responses. Besides measuring stress-induced hormonal levels, the researchers also looked at clinical parameters, such as heart rate, respiratory rate and body temperature, as well as the animals' behaviour. Clinical parameters nearly unchanged when shearing in standing position To describe the impact of shearing on the alpacas, the team divided its study into two parts. Part one studied the level of stress caused by each of the restraining methods, as the shearing itself represents a separate stress factor. In part two, the animals were divided into groups and shorn using one of the methods. Animals that were restrained without shearing exhibited no significant changes in terms of the clinical parameters. Both the respiratory rate and heart rate remained at normal levels. "The body temperature was unchanged during this part of the study. But if the animals were restrained and also shorn, the clinical values changed significantly in the animals that were restrained on the floor or on the table. For all restraining methods, however, body temperature remained unchanged. This makes alpacas different from sheep or from the alpaca's relative, the vicuña," says first author Thomas Wittek of the University Clinic for Ruminants. Stress hormone shows that alpacas are only stressed by the restraint The analysis of the cortisol concentrations in saliva and faeces, on the other hand, showed that the animals were also stressed in the first part of the study despite the almost unchanged clinical parameters. Saliva cortisol levels were clearly higher after just 20 minutes and increased even further within 40 minutes. The cortisol concentrations then remained unchanged, although the higher levels could be demonstrated in faeces even 33 hours later. During restraint and shearing, the cortisol values also increased regardless of the shearing position. When animals were restrained on the ground, however, this led to a more significant increase of hormone levels over time compared to the other two methods. Faecal cortisol levels remained at the same high levels in all three groups. Animal behaviour just as important for choice of restraining method "At first glance, it appears difficult to compare or associate the two experiments," says Wittek. "But we can assume that just the sound of the shearing machine and the duration of the restraint cause stress for the animals. This means that you can practically add the values." Merely positioning the animals is a source of stress, which then increases further through the act of shearing. The standing position was tolerated the best by the alpacas in terms of the clinical parameters. Restraining the animals in the standing position, however, only makes sense and is only possible if the alpacas remain calm. If they resist from the beginning, the risk of injury to themselves or to one of the handlers is too great, says first author Wittek. These animals should therefore be restrained on a table. The handlers usually know the behaviour of their animals and can decide in advance which method to use. The University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna (Vetmeduni Vienna) is one of the leading veterinary, academic and research facilities in Europe. Its main focus is on the research fields of animal health, food safety, animal husbandry and animal welfare as well as biomedical fundamentals. The Vetmeduni Vienna has 1,300 employees and is currently training 2,300 students. The campus in Floridsdorf, Vienna has five university hospitals and numerous research institutions at its disposal. Two research institutes at Wilhelminenberg, Vienna and a Teaching and Research in Lower Austria also belong to the Vetmeduni Vienna. http://www. Wittek, T., Salaberger, T., Palme, R., Becker, S., Hajek, F., Lambacher, B., Waiblinger, S. (2017) Clinical parameters and adrenocortical activity to assess stress responses of alpacas using different methods of restraint either alone or with shearing Univ.-Prof. Dr. med. vet. Thomas Wittek Head of the Clinical Unit of Ruminant Medicine University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna (Vetmeduni Vienna) T +43 1 25077- 5200 thomas.wittek@vetmeduni.ac.at Ao.Univ.Prof., Dr.med.vet. Susanne Waiblinger Institute of Animal Husbandry and Animal Welfare University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna (Vetmeduni Vienna) T: +43 1 25077 4906 susanne.waiblinger@vetmeduni.ac.at


Sieberts S.K.,Sage Bionetworks | Zhu F.,University of Michigan | Garcia-Garcia J.,University Pompeu Fabra | Stahl E.,Mount Sinai School of Medicine | And 124 more authors.
Nature Communications | Year: 2016

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) affects millions world-wide. While anti-TNF treatment is widely used to reduce disease progression, treatment fails in 1/4one-third of patients. No biomarker currently exists that identifies non-responders before treatment. A rigorous community-based assessment of the utility of SNP data for predicting anti-TNF treatment efficacy in RA patients was performed in the context of a DREAM Challenge (http://www.synapse.org/RA-Challenge). An open challenge framework enabled the comparative evaluation of predictions developed by 73 research groups using the most comprehensive available data and covering a wide range of state-of-the-art modelling methodologies. Despite a significant genetic heritability estimate of treatment non-response trait (h 2 =0.18, P value=0.02), no significant genetic contribution to prediction accuracy is observed. Results formally confirm the expectations of the rheumatology community that SNP information does not significantly improve predictive performance relative to standard clinical traits, thereby justifying a refocusing of future efforts on collection of other data. © The Author(s) 2016.


Elfakir A.,Biometrics and Epidemiology Unit | Ezzedine K.,University of Paris 13 | Ezzedine K.,Bordeaux University Hospital Center | Latreille J.,Biometrics and Epidemiology Unit | And 10 more authors.
Journal of Investigative Dermatology | Year: 2010

The objective of this study was to assess the association between melanocortin-1 receptor (MC1R) variants and the severity of facial skin photoaging. The study population comprised 530 middle-aged French women. A trained dermatologist graded the severity of facial skin photoaging from photographs using a global scale. Logistic regressions were performed to assess the influence of MC1R polymorphisms on severe photoaging with adjustment for possible confounders (demographic and phenotypic data and sun exposure intensity). Among the fifteen MC1R variants identified, the nine most common were V60L, V92M, R151C, R160W, R163Q, R142H, D294H, D84E, and I155T. One hundred and eighty-five individuals (35%) were WT homozygotes, 261 (49%) had one common variant, 78 (15%) had two common variants, and six (1%) had at least one rare variant. After adjustment for possible confounders, the presence of two common variants was already a risk factor for severe photoaging (AOR (95% confidence interval): 2.33 (1.17-4.63)). This risk reached 5.61 (1.43-21.96) when two major diminished-function variants were present. Surprisingly, the minor variant, V92M, was associated with increased risk of photoaging (2.57 (1.23-5.35)). Our results suggest that genetic variations of MC1R are important determinants for severe photoaging. © 2010 The Society for Investigative Dermatology.


News Article | November 4, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

The comfort and wellbeing of the animals is an important consideration when dairy cows are kept in barns. The freedom afforded by loose housing systems such as freestall cubicle barns promotes the natural behaviour and health of the animals. The widespread switch from tie-stall housing to loose housing has seen a change in the type of claw lesions, but the frequency of claw disorders has been on the rise. Wood chips and sawdust instead of straw International studies have identified the compost bedded barn as the beneficial for claw health. Compost bedded barns use wood chips or sawdust as bedding instead of straw. The wood residue binds the excrement and daily aerating incorporates the manure and starts the composting process. This makes an even concrete floor important in the roaming area. Slatted flooring, in which manure and urine fall into a separate area beneath the floor, should only be installed in the feed alley. Fresh bedding should also be added daily following aeration. A team of researchers from Vetmeduni Vienna, led by Johann Burgstaller from the Clinical Unit of Ruminant Medicine, has for the first time compared the frequency of claw disorders and lameness in compost bedded barns and the more common freestall cubicle barns in Austria. The researchers investigated the frequency and severity of claw lesions in five compost bedded barns and five freestall barns. "Lesions of low severity were categorized as grade 1, severe lesions as grade 3. The results for the individual lesions were weighted and subsequently added together to calculate an index value for the claw health per barn," Burgstaller explains. "A high value indicates poor claw health; a low value indicates good claw health. This value, however, is also influenced by factors such as frequency of care, feeding and genetics." Compost bedding reduces the number of cases of claw lesions The compost bedded barns exhibited about one half the number claw disorders, such as foot rot or white line disease, as the freestall barns. Both the frequency and severity were lower. Lesions of grades 2 and 3 were seen only rarely. The compost bedding thus has a proven beneficial effect on claw health. Lameness, on the other hand, occurred at nearly the same frequency in both barn types. At about 18 percent, however, the average of the freestall and compost bedded barns was below the international and previous Austrian level of 25 percent. Even if modern barn types give dairy cows more freedom to roam, the animals must still stand in manure and urine for longer periods of time. The excrement increases the floor humidity and has negative consequences for claw health. The result are claw lesions, such as foot rot or white line disease. "Floor humidity softens the skin between the claws, which makes it susceptible to bacterial infections. The reduced horn quality can lead to lesions and, in serious cases, sole haemorrhages," Burgstaller explains. White line disease occurs when floor humidity attacks the sensitive junction between the sole and the wall of the claw. Sudden or rotating movements create pressure on the affected junction and the sole slowly separates from the wall. This type of claw disorder is one of the main causes of lameness. Compost bedded barns that are aerated and refilled daily can counter claw damage over the long term. This requires more work and effort on the part of the farmers. But after one year of composting, they can use the bedding as fertilizer. According to Burgstaller, the situation for dairy cows living in freestall barns can also be improved with more frequent re-bedding to keep the area dry. The main difference between the compost bedded barn and the freestall barn is that the former has just one large area for roaming. "There are no cubicles. This is more in keeping with the pronounced social behaviour of cattle," Burgstaller explains. A dairy herd is organized hierarchically. If a cow is forced to leave its place for an animal of a higher rank, it can get up quickly and move out of the way without any obstacles. The stable and nonslip surface also allows weaker animals to get up or lie down safely, which is an enormous advantage in cases of milk fever. Service: The article "Claw health and prevalence of lameness in cows from compost bedded and cubicle freestall dairy barns in Austria" by J. Burgstaller, J. Raith, S. Kuchling, V. Mandl, A. Hund and J. Kofler was published in The Veterinary Journal. http://www. About the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna The University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna in Austria is one of the leading academic and research institutions in the field of Veterinary Sciences in Europe. About 1,300 employees and 2,300 students work on the campus in the north of Vienna which also houses five university clinics and various research sites. Outside of Vienna the university operates Teaching and Research Farms. http://www.


O'Reilly D.,Royal Center for Defence Medicine | O'Reilly D.,University of Birmingham | Lordan J.,University of Birmingham | Streets C.,University of Bristol | And 3 more authors.
Journal of the Royal Army Medical Corps | Year: 2016

The closure of the Medical Treatment facility in Camp BASTION and the return to contingency operations presents a new challenge in training and maintaining the skills of military surgeons. Multivisceral organ retrieval presents a unique opportunity to practice some of the more unusual techniques required in military surgery in the National Health Service. This article details the experience that organ retrieval offers and matches this to the needs of military surgeons. National Organ Retrieval Service teams need skilled surgeons, and a mutually beneficial partnership is in prospect. © 2016, BMJ Publishing Group. All rights reserved.


Vella S.,Laboratory of Angiogenesis | Pomella S.,Instituto Dermopatico Dellimmacolata | Leoncini P.P.,Laboratory of Angiogenesis | Colletti M.,Laboratory of Angiogenesis | And 10 more authors.
Clinical Epigenetics | Year: 2015

Background: Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) is a pediatric soft tissue sarcoma arising from myogenic precursors that have lost their capability to differentiate into skeletal muscle. The polycomb-group protein EZH2 is a Lys27 histone H3 methyltransferase that regulates the balance between cell proliferation and differentiation by epigenetically silencing muscle-specific genes. EZH2 is often over-expressed in several human cancers acting as an oncogene. We previously reported that EZH2 inhibition induces cell cycle arrest followed by myogenic differentiation of RMS cells of the embryonal subtype (eRMS). MiR-101 is a microRNA involved in a negative feedback circuit with EZH2 in different normal and tumor tissues. To that, miR-101 can behave as a tumor suppressor in several cancers by repressing EZH2 expression. We, therefore, evaluated whether miR-101 is de-regulated in eRMS and investigated its interplaying with EZH2 as well as its role in the in vitro tumorigenic potential of these tumor cells. Results: Herein, we report that miR-101 is down-regulated in eRMS patients and in tumor cell lines compared to their controls showing an inverse pattern of expression with EZH2. We also show that miR-101 is up-regulated in eRMS cells following both genetic and pharmacological inhibition of EZH2. In turn, miR-101 forced expression reduces EZH2 levels as well as restrains the migratory potential of eRMS cells and impairs their clonogenic and anchorage-independent growth capabilities. Finally, EZH2 recruitment to regulatory region of miR-101-2 gene decreases in EZH2-silenced eRMS cells. This phenomenon is associated to reduced H3K27me3 levels at the same regulatory locus, indicating that EZH2 directly targets miR-101 for repression in eRMS cells. Conclusions: Altogether, our data show that, in human eRMS, miR-101 is involved in a negative feedback loop with EZH2, whose targeting has been previously shown to halt eRMS tumorigenicity. They also demonstrate that the re-induction of miR-101 hampers the tumor features of eRMS cells. In this scenario, epigenetic dysregulations confirm their crucial role in the pathogenesis of this soft tissue sarcoma. © 2015, Vella et al.


Aaben C.,Karolinska Institutet | Hammarqvist F.,Karolinska Institutet | Mabesa T.,Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital | Hardcastle T.,Clinical Unit | Hardcastle T.,University of KwaZulu - Natal
South African Journal of Clinical Nutrition | Year: 2015

Objectives: The aim of the study was to compare the incidence of complications in patients receiving enteral and parenteral nutrition (PN), and review how the early initiation of enteral feeding and early achievement of caloric goal would affect the incidence of complications. Design: The design was a retrospective audit of an ethics-approved prospective trauma registry and electronic medical record. Setting: The setting was a level one trauma centre intensive care unit. Subjects: One thousand and two consecutively treated patients were selected from 1 096 in the database. Outcome measures: Demographic data, nutrition, route of administration, time of initiation and complications in the form of sepsis, pneumonia and feed intolerance, were determined. Results: Patients receiving total PN (TPN) during their length of stay had a hazard ratio of 9.11 for the development of sepsis, compared to patients who were solely fed via the enteral route (p-value <0.001). The patients who reached their nutritional goal late showed a hazard ratio of 2.67 for the development of sepsis, compared to patients who reached the goal early (p-value < 0.001). Patients with late initiation of feeding also had a greater risk of developing sepsis, with a hazard ratio of 2.41, compared to patients with early initiation (p-value < 0.001). Patients achieving the nutritional goal late had a 17.9% increased risk of developing pneumonia (p-value < 0.001). Conclusion: This study confirms previous findings that the use of TPN is a strong predictor of the development of sepsis, compared to enteral nutrition. Causality linkage should be made with caution owing to the study design. © SAJCN.


PubMed | Autonomous University of Barcelona, Instituto Dermopatico dellImmacolata, Laboratory of Angiogenesis, University of Bologna and 2 more.
Type: | Journal: Clinical epigenetics | Year: 2015

Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) is a pediatric soft tissue sarcoma arising from myogenic precursors that have lost their capability to differentiate into skeletal muscle. The polycomb-group protein EZH2 is a Lys27 histone H3 methyltransferase that regulates the balance between cell proliferation and differentiation by epigenetically silencing muscle-specific genes. EZH2 is often over-expressed in several human cancers acting as an oncogene. We previously reported that EZH2 inhibition induces cell cycle arrest followed by myogenic differentiation of RMS cells of the embryonal subtype (eRMS). MiR-101 is a microRNA involved in a negative feedback circuit with EZH2 in different normal and tumor tissues. To that, miR-101 can behave as a tumor suppressor in several cancers by repressing EZH2 expression. We, therefore, evaluated whether miR-101 is de-regulated in eRMS and investigated its interplaying with EZH2 as well as its role in the in vitro tumorigenic potential of these tumor cells.Herein, we report that miR-101 is down-regulated in eRMS patients and in tumor cell lines compared to their controls showing an inverse pattern of expression with EZH2. We also show that miR-101 is up-regulated in eRMS cells following both genetic and pharmacological inhibition of EZH2. In turn, miR-101 forced expression reduces EZH2 levels as well as restrains the migratory potential of eRMS cells and impairs their clonogenic and anchorage-independent growth capabilities. Finally, EZH2 recruitment to regulatory region of miR-101-2 gene decreases in EZH2-silenced eRMS cells. This phenomenon is associated to reduced H3K27me3 levels at the same regulatory locus, indicating that EZH2 directly targets miR-101 for repression in eRMS cells.Altogether, our data show that, in human eRMS, miR-101 is involved in a negative feedback loop with EZH2, whose targeting has been previously shown to halt eRMS tumorigenicity. They also demonstrate that the re-induction of miR-101 hampers the tumor features of eRMS cells. In this scenario, epigenetic dysregulations confirm their crucial role in the pathogenesis of this soft tissue sarcoma.


News Article | November 21, 2016
Site: www.businesswire.com

CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--BioKinetic Europe Deploys ALPHADAS; Automates Phase I Clinical Unit in Belfast

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