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Read J.M.,University of Liverpool | Read J.M.,NIHR Health Protection Research Unit in Emerging and Zoonotic Infections | Smith V.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | Gething P.W.,University of Oxford | And 2 more authors.
Malaria Journal | Year: 2014

Background: An increasing proportion of malaria cases diagnosed in UK residents with a history of travel to malaria endemic areas are due to Plasmodium falciparum. Methods. In order to identify travellers at most risk of acquiring malaria a proportional hazards model was used to estimate the risk of acquiring malaria stratified by purpose of travel and age whilst adjusting for entomological inoculation rate (EIR) and duration of stay in endemic countries. Results: Travellers visiting friends and relatives and business travellers were found to have significantly higher hazard of acquiring malaria (adjusted hazard ratio (HR) relative to that of holiday makers 7.4, 95% CI 6.4-8.5, p < 0. 0001 and HR 3.4, 95% CI 2.9-3.8, p < 0. 0001, respectively). All age-groups were at lower risk than children aged 0-15 years. Conclusions: These estimates of the increased risk for business travellers and those visiting friends and relatives should be used to inform programmes to improve awareness of the risks of malaria when travelling. © 2014 Pinsent et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Liu L.,Northwest University, China | Lear Z.,University of Leeds | Hughes D.J.,University of Leeds | Wu W.,University of Liverpool | And 6 more authors.
Veterinary Microbiology | Year: 2015

Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) is a major threat to the swine industry and food security worldwide. The nucleocapsid (N) protein is a major structural protein of PRRSV. The primary function of this protein is to encapsidate the viral RNA genome, and it is also thought to participate in the modulation of host cell biology and recruitment of cellular factors to facilitate virus infection. In order to the better understand these latter roles the cellular interactome of PRRSV N protein was defined using label free quantitative proteomics. This identified several cellular factors that could interact with the N protein including poly [ADP-ribose] polymerase 1 (PARP-1), a cellular protein, which can add adenosine diphosphate ribose to a protein. Use of the PARP-1 small molecule inhibitor, 3-AB, in PRRSV infected cells demonstrated that PARP-1 was required and acted as an enhancer factor for virus biology. Serial growth of PRRSV in different concentrations of 3-AB did not yield viruses that were able to grow with wild type kinetics, suggesting that by targeting a cellular protein crucial for virus biology, resistant phenotypes did not emerge. This study provides further evidence that cellular proteins, which are critical for virus biology, can also be targeted to ablate virus growth and provide a high barrier for the emergence of drug resistance. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.

Caminade C.,University of Liverpool | van Dijk J.,University of Liverpool | Baylis M.,University of Liverpool | Baylis M.,NIHR Health Protection Research Unit in Emerging and Zoonotic Infections | Williams D.,University of Liverpool
Geospatial Health | Year: 2015

Fasciola hepatica is a parasitic worm responsible for fasciolosis in grazed ruminants in Europe. The free-living stages of this parasite are sensitive to temperature and soil moisture, as are the intermediate snail hosts the parasite depends on for its life-cycle. We used a climate-driven disease model in order to assess the impact of recent and potential future climate changes on the incidence of fasciolosis and to estimate the related uncertainties at the scale of the European landmass. The current climate appears to be highly suitable for fasciolosis throughout the European Union with the exception of some parts of the Mediterranean region. Simulated climatic suitability for fasciolosis significantly increased during the 2000s in central and north-western Europe, which is consistent with an observed increased in ruminant infections. The simulation showed that recent trends are likely to continue in the future with the estimated pattern of climate change for northern Europe, possibly extending the season suitable for development of the parasite in the environment by up to four months. For southern Europe, the simulated burden of disease may be lower, but the projected climate change will increase the risk during the winter months, since the simulated changes in temperature and moisture support the development of the free-living and intra-molluscan stages between November and March. In the event of predicted climate change, F. hepatica will present a serious risk to the health, welfare and productivity of all ruminant livestock. Improved, bespoke control programmes, both at farm and region levels, will then become imperative if problems, such as resistance of the parasite associated with increased drug use, are to be mitigated. © 2015, Page Press Publications. All rights reserved.

Fisher D.L.,Queen Mary, University of London | Defres S.,University of Liverpool | Solomon T.,University of Liverpool | Solomon T.,NIHR Health Protection Research Unit in Emerging and Zoonotic Infections | Solomon T.,The Walton Center Neurology Foundation Trust
QJM | Year: 2015

Encephalitis is the most frequent neurological complication of measles virus infection. This review examines the pathophysiology of measles infection and the presentations, diagnosis and treatment of the four types of measles-induced encephalitis including primary measles encephalitis, acute post-measles encephalitis, measles inclusion body encephalitis and subacute sclerosing panencephalitis. The early symptoms of encephalitis may be non-specific and can be mistakenly attributed to a systemic infection leading to a delay in diagnosis. This review provides a summary of the symptoms that should cause health care workers to suspect measles-induced encephalitis. © The Author 2014.

Westgarth C.,University of Liverpool | Christley R.M.,University of Liverpool | Christley R.M.,NIHR Health Protection Research Unit in Emerging and Zoonotic Infections | Christian H.E.,University of Western Australia
International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity | Year: 2014

Background: Physical inactivity and sedentary behaviour are major threats to population health. A considerable proportion of people own dogs, and there is good evidence that dog ownership is associated with higher levels of physical activity. However not all owners walk their dogs regularly. This paper comprehensively reviews the evidence for correlates of dog walking so that effective interventions may be designed to increase the physical activity of dog owners.Methods: Published findings from 1990-2012 in both the human and veterinary literature were collated and reviewed for evidence of factors associated with objective and self-reported measures of dog walking behaviour, or reported perceptions about dog walking. Study designs included cross-sectional observational, trials and qualitative interviews.Results: There is good evidence that the strength of the dog-owner relationship, through a sense of obligation to walk the dog, and the perceived support and motivation a dog provides for walking, is strongly associated with increased walking. The perceived exercise requirements of the dog may also be a modifiable point for intervention. In addition, access to suitable walking areas with dog supportive features that fulfil dog needs such as off-leash exercise, and that also encourage human social interaction, may be incentivising.Conclusion: Current evidence suggests that dog walking may be most effectively encouraged through targeting the dog-owner relationship and by providing dog-supportive physical environments. More research is required to investigate the influence of individual owner and dog factors on 'intention' to walk the dog as well as the influence of human social interaction whilst walking a dog. The effects of policy and cultural practices relating to dog ownership and walking should also be investigated. Future studies must be of a higher quality methodological design, including accounting for the effects of confounding between variables, and longitudinal designs and testing of interventions in a controlled design in order to infer causality. © 2014 Westgarth et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

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