The Institute of Environmental Science and Research Ltd ESR

Auckland, New Zealand

The Institute of Environmental Science and Research Ltd ESR

Auckland, New Zealand

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PubMed | University of New South Wales, The Institute of Environmental Science and Research Ltd ESR, Prince of Wales Hospital, University of Sydney and 2 more.
Type: | Journal: Virology | Year: 2014

Norovirus is the leading cause of acute gastroenteritis with most infections caused by GII.4 variants. To understand the evolutionary processes that contribute to the emergence of GII.4 variants, we examined the molecular epidemiology of norovirus-associated acute gastroenteritis in Australia and New Zealand from 893 outbreaks between 2009 and 2012. Throughout the study GII.4 New Orleans 2009 was predominant; however, during 2012 it was replaced by an emergent GII.4 variant, Sydney 2012. An evolutionary analysis of capsid gene sequences was performed to determine the origins and selective pressures driving the emergence of these recently circulating GII.4 variants. This revealed that both New Orleans 2009 and Sydney 2012 share a common ancestor with GII.4 Apeldoorn 2007. Furthermore, pre-epidemic ancestral variants of each virus were identified up to two years before their pandemic emergence. Adaptive changes at known blockade epitopes in the viral capsid were also identified that likely contributed to their emergence.

Lecomte M.M.J.,The Institute of Environmental Science and Research Ltd ESR | Lecomte M.M.J.,University of Auckland | Atkinson K.R.,The New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research Ltd | Kay D.P.,Kenepuru Science Center | And 2 more authors.
Skin Research and Technology | Year: 2013

Background: The use of biomarkers in skin is a novel diagnostic tool. Interstitial fluid (ISF) from skin provides a snapshot of proteins secreted at the time of sampling giving insights into the patient's health status. Methods: A minimally invasive technique for the transdermal collection of human ISF proteins. A low frequency ultrasonic skin permeation device (SonoPrep® ultrasonic skin permeation system) was used to produce micropores in the stratum corneum through which ISF was extracted using a portable pulsed vacuum ISF collection device. Results: On average, protein concentrations recovered ranged between 0.064 and 4.792 μg/μL (mean 1.258 μg/μL). Two-dimensional gel electrophoresis revealed that this sample type was amenable to this type of analysis. Gel images indicated that both highly abundant proteins and lower abundance proteins were isolated from the skin. Western blot analysis confirmed the presence of proteins commonly found in plasma and the epidermis. Conclusion: A minimally invasive method for the transdermal recovery of ISF proteins has been developed. We have demonstrated that ISF samples obtained using this approach can be analysed with proteomic techniques, such as two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and western blots, providing another tool for the identification of disease specific protein biomarkers. © 2012 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

Williams E.,University of Auckland | Williams E.,The Institute of Environmental Science and Research Ltd. ESR | Lin M.-H.,The Institute of Environmental Science and Research Ltd. ESR | Harbison S.,The Institute of Environmental Science and Research Ltd. ESR | Fleming R.,The Institute of Environmental Science and Research Ltd. ESR
Forensic Science International: Genetics Supplement Series | Year: 2013

Messenger RNA profiling is a useful confirmatory test for body fluid identification, but there are limitations to this method including sensitivity and the difficulty in linking body fluids with the corresponding DNA profile in mixed samples. We have developed a method for RNA suspension fluorescence in situ hybridisation (RNA S-FISH) for forensic-type samples using locked nucleic acid (LNA) probes. Vaginal and buccal epithelial cells have been the primary focus, with some preliminary work performed on leucocytes and seminal round cells. We have designed probes for the KRT10 messenger RNA and the micro RNA 891a. Using these probes, we have optimised a RNA S-FISH methodology and have successfully visualised these cell types using fluorescent microscopy. © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

Pitama S.,University of Otago | Ahuriri-Driscoll A.,The Institute of Environmental Science and Research ESR Ltd | Huria T.,University of Otago | Lacey C.,University of Otago | Robertson P.,University of Otago
Journal of Primary Health Care | Year: 2011

Introduction: The influence of indigeneity is widely recognised as a health determinant; however the impact of the utilisation of the indigenous language on health care has not been closely examined. Aim: To explore the Maori language (te reo) as a determinant of health from a Maori patient's perspective. Methods: Maori patients were recruited through Maori health networks and the snowballing technique. Thirty participants participated in one of three focus group interviews. A semistructured interview explored the utilisation of health services, comfortability with service delivery and perceptions of general practice surgeries' cultural competency. Thematic analysis was utilised to interpret the data. Results: Te reo was recognised as an important cultural competency, noted by participants as contributing to the development of appropriate doctor-patient relationships and their feelings of being valued within a practice. Patient-led use of te reo was identified as most appropriate, an indicator of quality of care. Discussion: The training of primary care staff in te reo should be encouraged. developed as a competency, this will see primary care settings better able to respond to Maori patients and in turn support Maori health gains.

Osborne N.K.P.,University of Otago | Osborne N.K.P.,The Institute of Environmental Science and Research ESR Ltd | Taylor M.C.,The Institute of Environmental Science and Research ESR Ltd | Zajac R.,University of Otago
Forensic Science International | Year: 2016

During Bloodstain Pattern Analysis (BPA), an analyst may encounter various sources of contextual information. Although contextual bias has emerged as a valid concern for the discipline, little is understood about how contextual information informs BPA. To address this issue, we asked 15 experienced bloodstain pattern analysts from New Zealand and Australia to think aloud as they classified bloodstain patterns from two homicide cases. Analysts could request items of contextual information, and were required to state how each item would inform their analysis. Pathology reports and additional photographs of the scene were the most commonly requested items of information. We coded analysts' reasons for requesting contextual information-and the way in which they integrated this information-according to thematic analysis. We identified considerable variation in both of these variables, raising important questions about the role and necessity of contextual information in decisions about bloodstain pattern evidence. © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

Simons J.L.,The Institute of Environmental Science and Research ESR Ltd. | Vintiner S.K.,The Institute of Environmental Science and Research ESR Ltd.
Journal of Forensic Sciences | Year: 2011

Archived slides of cell smears treated with histological stains for sperm detection are often the only source of DNA available when cold cases are reopened. There have been conflicting reports as to the negative effects of particular histological stains on DNA recovery and quality from human cells, making stain selection an important consideration for forensic laboratories. This study investigates the effect of several staining systems on DNA recovery from histological slide samples stored from 0 to 10 weeks. DNA profiles obtained after analysis of these samples with AmpFlSTR ® Identifiler™ and increased cycle AmpFlSTR ® SGM Plus™ short tandem repeat (STR) profiling systems and the effects that these stains have on DNA quantity and quality over time are described. Results indicate that Christmas Tree and Hematoxylin and Eosin stains do not have significantly different effects on DNA quality after 10 week storage of slides. This research will assist scientists to select staining systems that have minimal deleterious effects on the DNA recovered. © 2010 American Academy of Forensic Sciences.

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