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Wilson G.S.,University of Sydney | Hu Z.,Lanzhou University | Duan W.,Deakin University | Tian A.,University of Sydney | And 6 more authors.
Stem Cells and Development | Year: 2013

Recent evidence suggests that a subset of hepatocellular carcinomas (HCCs) are derived from liver cancer stem cells (LCSCs). In order to isolate and characterize LCSCs, reliable markers that are specific to these cells are required. We evaluated the efficacy of a range of cancer stem cell (CSC) markers in isolating and characterizing LCSCs. We show that the most widely used CSC markers are not specific to LCSCs. By western analysis, protein expression of the common markers showed no significant difference between HCC tumor tissues and adjacent non-cancerous liver. Further, isolation of LCSCs from common HCC cell lines using FACScan and microbeads showed no consistent marker expression pattern. We also show that LCSCs have unique subtypes. Immunohistochemistry of HCC tissues showed that different HCCs express unique combinations of LCSC markers. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction analysis showed that LCSCs isolated using different markers in the same HCC phenotype had different expression profiles. Likewise, LCSCs isolated from different HCC phenotypes with the same marker also had unique expression profiles and displayed varying resistance profiles to Sorafenib. Thus, using a range of commonly used CSC markers in HCCs and cell lines, we demonstrate that currently available markers are not specific for LCSCs. LCSCs have unique subtypes that express distinctive combinations of LCSC markers and altered drug resistance profiles, making their identification problematic. © Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. Source

MacIntyre C.R.,University of New South Wales | Wang Q.,U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention | Seale H.,University of New South Wales | Yang P.,U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention | And 8 more authors.
American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine | Year: 2013

Rationale: We compared three policy options for the use of medical masks and N95 respirators in healthcare workers (HCWs). Objectives: A cluster randomized clinical trial of 1, 669 hospital-based HCWs in Beijing, China in the winter of 2009-2010. Methods: Participants were randomized to medical masks, N95 respirators, or targeted use of N95 respirators while doing high-risk procedures or barrier nursing. Outcomes included clinical respiratory illness (CRI) and laboratory-confirmed respiratory pathogens in symptomatic subjects. Measurements and Main Results: The rate of CRI was highest in the medical mask arm (98 of 572; 17%), followed by the targeted N95 arm (61 of 516; 11.8%), and the N 95 arm(42 of 581; 7.2%)(P<0.05). Bacterial respiratory tract colonization in subjects with CRI was highest in the medical mask arm (14.7%; 84 of 572), followed by the targeted N95 arm (10.1%; 52 of 516), and lowest in the N95 arm (6.2%; 36 of 581) (P = 0.02). After adjusting for confounders, only continuous use of N 95 remained significant against CRI and bacterial colonization, and for just CRI compared with targeted N95 use. Targeted N95 use was not superior to medical masks. Conclusions: Continuous use of N95 respirators was more efficacious against CRI than intermittent use of N95 or medical masks. Most policies for HCWs recommend use of medical masks alone or targeted N95 respirator use. Continuous use of N95s resulted in significantly lower rates of bacterial colonization, a novel finding that points to more research on the clinical significance of bacterial infection in symptomatic HCWs. This study provides further data to inform occupational policy options for HCWs. Clinical trial registered with Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry http://www.anzctr.org.au (ACTRN 12609000778280). Copyright © 2013 by the American Thoracic Society. Source

MacIntyre C.R.,University of New South Wales | Wang Q.,U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention | Cauchemez S.,Imperial College London | Seale H.,University of New South Wales | And 10 more authors.
Influenza and other Respiratory Viruses | Year: 2011

Background We compared the efficacy of medical masks, N95 respirators (fit tested and non fit tested), in health care workers (HCWs). Methods A cluster randomized clinical trial (RCT) of 1441 HCWs in 15 Beijing hospitals was performed during the 2008/2009 winter. Participants wore masks or respirators during the entire work shift for 4weeks. Outcomes included clinical respiratory illness (CRI), influenza-like illness (ILI), laboratory-confirmed respiratory virus infection and influenza. A convenience no-mask/respirator group of 481 health workers from nine hospitals was compared. Findings The rates of CRI (3·9% versus 6·7%), ILI (0·3% versus 0·6%), laboratory-confirmed respiratory virus (1·4% versus 2·6%) and influenza (0·3% versus 1%) infection were consistently lower for the N95 group compared to medical masks. By intention-to-treat analysis, when P values were adjusted for clustering, non-fit-tested N95 respirators were significantly more protective than medical masks against CRI, but no other outcomes were significant. The rates of all outcomes were higher in the convenience no-mask group compared to the intervention arms. There was no significant difference in outcomes between the N95 arms with and without fit testing. Rates of fit test failure were low. In a post hoc analysis adjusted for potential confounders, N95 masks and hospital level were significant, but medical masks, vaccination, handwashing and high-risk procedures were not. Interpretation Rates of infection in the medical mask group were double that in the N95 group. A benefit of respirators is suggested but would need to be confirmed by a larger trial, as this study may have been underpowered. The finding on fit testing is specific to the type of respirator used in the study and cannot be generalized to other respirators. Trial registration Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ANZCTR), ACTRN: ACTRN12609000257268 (http://www.anzctr.org.au). © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd. Source

Gonsalves L.,Australian Catholic University | Bicknell B.,Australian Catholic University | Law B.,Australian Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries | Webb C.,Institute for Clinical Pathology and Medical Research | And 2 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

Insectivorous bats have often been touted as biological control for mosquito populations. However, mosquitoes generally represent only a small proportion of bat diet. Given the small size of mosquitoes, restrictions imposed on prey detectability by low frequency echolocation, and variable field metabolic rates (FMR), mosquitoes may not be available to or profitable for all bats. This study investigated whether consumption of mosquitoes was influenced by bat size, which is negatively correlated with echolocation frequency but positively correlated with bat FMR. To assess this, we investigated diets of five eastern Australian bat species (Vespadelus vulturnus Thomas, V. pumilus Gray, Miniopterus australis Tomes, Nyctophilus gouldi Tomes and Chalinolobus gouldii Gray) ranging in size from 4-14 g in coastal forest, using molecular analysis of fecal DNA. Abundances of potential mosquito and non-mosquito prey were concurrently measured to provide data on relative prey abundance. Aedes vigilax was locally the most abundant mosquito species, while Lepidoptera the most abundant insect order. A diverse range of prey was detected in bat feces, although members of Lepidoptera dominated, reflecting relative abundance at trap sites. Consumption of mosquitoes was restricted to V. vulturnus and V. pumilus, two smaller sized bats (4 and 4.5 g). Although mosquitoes were not commonly detected in feces of V. pumilus, they were present in feces of 55 % of V. vulturnus individuals. To meet nightly FMR requirements, Vespadelus spp. would need to consume ~600-660 mosquitoes on a mosquito-only diet, or ~160-180 similar sized moths on a moth-only diet. Lower relative profitability of mosquitoes may provide an explanation for the low level of mosquito consumption among these bats and the absence of mosquitoes in feces of larger bats. Smaller sized bats, especially V. vulturnus, are likely to be those most sensitive to reductions in mosquito abundance and should be monitored during mosquito control activities. © 2013 Gonsalves et al. Source

Toki D.,University of Sydney | Zhang W.,Mount Sinai School of Medicine | Hor K.L.M.,University of Sydney | Liuwantara D.,University of Sydney | And 7 more authors.
American Journal of Transplantation | Year: 2014

The aim of this study was to investigate the role of infiltrating macrophages in renal allograft fibrosis. Forty-six protocol renal allograft biopsies obtained 1 year after transplantation were stained with Sirius red to quantify fibrosis and double stained with CD68 and CD206 to identify the proportion of alternatively activated (M2) macrophages. Biopsies were analyzed for gene expression by microarray, which was correlated with macrophage infiltration and the severity of fibrosis. The number of infiltrating CD68+ cells strongly correlated with the percentage of interstitial fibrosis (r = 0.73, p < 0.0001). Macrophage infiltration at 1 year correlated with renal dysfunction at 1, 12 and 36 months posttransplant (estimated GFR low vs. high: 1 month 78 ± 26 vs. 54 ± 19 mL/min, p < 0.01; 12 months 87 ± 29 vs. 64 ± 19 mL/min, p < 0.05; 36 months 88 ± 33 vs. 60 ± 24 mL/min, p < 0.05). Ninety-two percent of infiltrating macrophages exhibited an M2 phenotype with CD68+ CD206+ dual staining. Gene microarrays demonstrated an alloimmune response with up-regulation of interferon-γ-response genes despite the lack of rejection or inflammatory infiltrate. Consistent with this was the presence of CXCL10 in proximal tubular cells at 3 months. This suggests that M2 macrophage proliferation, or infiltration, was associated with subclinical alloimmune inflammation, tubular injury and progression of fibrosis. The authors' analysis of 12-month protocol renal biopsies using immunohistochemistry and gene microarray identifies an association among M2 macrophage proliferation or infiltration, subclinical alloimmunity, tubular injury, and fibrosis. © Copyright 2014 The American Society of Transplantation and the American Society of Transplant Surgeons. Source

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