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Holman L.,not available
Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences | Year: 2013

Polyandry, by elevating sexual conflict and selecting for reduced male care relative to monandry, may exacerbate the cost of sex and thereby seriously impact population fitness. On the other hand, polyandry has a number of possible population-level benefits over monandry, such as increased sexual selection leading to faster adaptation and a reduced mutation load. Here, we review existing information on how female fitness evolves under polyandry and how this influences population dynamics. In balance, it is far from clear whether polyandry has a net positive or negative effect on female fitness, but we also stress that its effects on individuals may not have visible demographic consequences. In populations that produce many more offspring than can possibly survive and breed, offspring gained or lost as a result of polyandry may not affect population size. Such ecological 'masking' of changes in population fitness could hide a response that only manifests under adverse environmental conditions (e.g. anthropogenic change). Surprisingly few studies have attempted to link mating system variation to population dynamics, and in general we urge researchers to consider the ecological consequences of evolutionary processes.


Ralph A.P.,not available
Current topics in microbiology and immunology | Year: 2013

Group A streptococcus (GAS) or Streptococcus pyogenes has been recognised as an important human pathogen since early days of modern microbiology, and it remains among the top ten causes of mortality from an infectious disease. Clinical manifestations attributable to this organism are perhaps the most diverse of any single human pathogen. These encompass invasive GAS infections, with high mortality rates despite effective antimicrobials, toxin-mediated diseases including scarlet fever and streptococcal toxic shock syndrome, the autoimmune sequelae of rheumatic fever and glomerulonephritis with potential for long-term disability, and nuisance manifestations of superficial skin and pharyngeal infection, which continue to consume a sizable proportion of healthcare resources. Although an historical perspective indicates major overall reductions in GAS infection rates in the modern era, chiefly as a result of widespread improvements in socioeconomic circumstances, this pathogen remains as a leading infectious cause of global morbidity and mortality. More than 18 million people globally are estimated to suffer from serious GAS disease. This burden disproportionally affects least affluent populations, and is a major cause of illness and death among children and young adults, including pregnant women, in low-resource settings. We review GAS transmission characteristics and prevention strategies, historical and geographical trends and report on the estimated global burden disease attributable to GAS. The lack of systematic reporting makes accurate estimation of rates difficult. This highlights the need to support improved surveillance and epidemiological research in low-resource settings, in order to enable better assessment of national and global disease burdens, target control strategies appropriately and assess the success of control interventions.


Webster J.,not available
The Cochrane database of systematic reviews | Year: 2013

US Centers for Disease Control guidelines recommend replacement of peripheral intravenous (IV) catheters no more frequently than every 72 to 96 hours. Routine replacement is thought to reduce the risk of phlebitis and bloodstream infection. Catheter insertion is an unpleasant experience for patients and replacement may be unnecessary if the catheter remains functional and there are no signs of inflammation. Costs associated with routine replacement may be considerable. This is an update of a review first published in 2010. To assess the effects of removing peripheral IV catheters when clinically indicated compared with removing and re-siting the catheter routinely. For this update the Cochrane Peripheral Vascular Diseases (PVD) Group Trials Search Co-ordinator searched the PVD Specialised Register (December 2012) and CENTRAL (2012, Issue 11). We also searched MEDLINE (last searched October 2012) and clinical trials registries. Randomised controlled trials that compared routine removal of peripheral IV catheters with removal only when clinically indicated in hospitalised or community dwelling patients receiving continuous or intermittent infusions. Two review authors independently assessed trial quality and extracted data. Seven trials with a total of 4895 patients were included in the review. Catheter-related bloodstream infection (CRBSI) was assessed in five trials (4806 patients). There was no significant between group difference in the CRBSI rate (clinically-indicated 1/2365; routine change 2/2441). The risk ratio (RR) was 0.61 but the confidence interval (CI) was wide, creating uncertainty around the estimate (95% CI 0.08 to 4.68; P = 0.64). No difference in phlebitis rates was found whether catheters were changed according to clinical indications or routinely (clinically-indicated 186/2365; 3-day change 166/2441; RR 1.14, 95% CI 0.93 to 1.39). This result was unaffected by whether infusion through the catheter was continuous or intermittent. We also analysed the data by number of device days and again no differences between groups were observed (RR 1.03, 95% CI 0.84 to 1.27; P = 0.75). One trial assessed all-cause bloodstream infection. There was no difference in this outcome between the two groups (clinically-indicated 4/1593 (0.02%); routine change 9/1690 (0.05%); P = 0.21). Cannulation costs were lower by approximately AUD 7.00 in the clinically-indicated group (mean difference (MD) -6.96, 95% CI -9.05 to -4.86; P ≤ 0.00001). The review found no evidence to support changing catheters every 72 to 96 hours. Consequently, healthcare organisations may consider changing to a policy whereby catheters are changed only if clinically indicated. This would provide significant cost savings and would spare patients the unnecessary pain of routine re-sites in the absence of clinical indications. To minimise peripheral catheter-related complications, the insertion site should be inspected at each shift change and the catheter removed if signs of inflammation, infiltration, or blockage are present.


There is conflicting literature on the effect of maternal asthma on congenital malformations and neonatal outcomes. This review and meta-analysis sought to determine if maternal asthma is associated with an increased risk of adverse neonatal outcomes. We searched electronic databases for: (asthma or wheeze) and (pregnan* or perinat* or obstet*). Cohort studies published between 1975 and March 2012 reporting at least one perinatal outcome of interest (congenital malformations, neonatal complications, perinatal mortality). In all, 21 studies met inclusion criteria in pregnant women with and without asthma. Further analysis was conducted on 16 studies where asthmatic women were stratified by exacerbation history, corticosteroid use, bronchodilator use or asthma severity. Maternal asthma was associated with a significantly increased risk of congenital malformations (relative risk [RR] 1.11, 95% confidence interval [95% CI] 1.02-1.21, I(2)  = 59.5%), cleft lip with or without cleft palate (RR 1.30, 95% CI 1.01-1.68, I(2)  = 65.6%), neonatal death (RR 1.49, 95% CI 1.11-2.00, I(2)  = 0%), and neonatal hospitalisation (RR 1.50, 95% CI 1.03-2.20, I(2)  = 64.5%). There was no significant effect of asthma on major malformations (RR 1.31, 95% CI 0.57-3.02, I(2)  = 70.9%) or stillbirth (RR 1.06, 95% CI 0.9-1.25, I(2)  = 35%). Exacerbations and use of bronchodilators and inhaled corticosteroids were not associated with congenital malformation risk. Despite limitations related to the observational nature of the primary studies, this review demonstrates a small increased risk of neonatal complications among pregnant women with asthma. Further investigations into mechanisms and potential preventive interventions to improve infant outcomes are required. © 2013 The Authors BJOG An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology © 2013 RCOG.


Dunkel J.,not available
Physical review letters | Year: 2013

Self-sustained turbulent structures have been observed in a wide range of living fluids, yet no quantitative theory exists to explain their properties. We report experiments on active turbulence in highly concentrated 3D suspensions of Bacillus subtilis and compare them with a minimal fourth-order vector-field theory for incompressible bacterial dynamics. Velocimetry of bacteria and surrounding fluid, determined by imaging cells and tracking colloidal tracers, yields consistent results for velocity statistics and correlations over 2 orders of magnitude in kinetic energy, revealing a decrease of fluid memory with increasing swimming activity and linear scaling between kinetic energy and enstrophy. The best-fit model allows for quantitative agreement with experimental data.

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