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Malama S.,University of Zambia | Johansen T.B.,Norwegian Veterinary Institute | Muma J.B.,University of Zambia | Mwanza S.,Tropical Diseases Research Center | And 2 more authors.
Tropical Animal Health and Production | Year: 2014

Bovine tuberculosis (BTB) is a chronic bacterial disease caused by Mycobacterium bovis. Infections due to M. bovis, which serves as a stable reservoir, can pose serious challenge to control and eradicate in both wildlife and livestock at the interface. This study aimed at isolating and characterizing M. bovis from Kafue lechwe (Kobus leche kafuensis) and black lechwe (Kobus leche smithemani) at the animal/human interface in Zambia. The samples with lesions compatible with BTB collected during the hunting seasons of 2009 and 2010 were cultured for isolation of mycobacteria using Stonebrink with pyruvate (BD Diagnostics, MD, USA) and Middlebrook 7H10 (BD Diagnostics) slants. Isolated mycobacteria were identified using IS6110 polymerase chain reaction and deletion analysis. Molecular characterization of the isolates was performed using spoligotyping and mycobacteria interspersed repetitive unit- variable number tandem repeat (MIRU-VNTR) with nine loci. Data was analyzed using BioNumerics software 6.1. Out of the 39 samples, acid fast bacilli were detected in 27 (69.2 %) based on smear microscopy. Seven isolates were found to belong to Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex, and all were identified as M. bovis based on deletion analysis. All seven isolates were identical on spoligotyping as belonging to the SB0120 (SIT 482). MIRU-VNTR differentiated the isolates into five different patterns. This study has confirmed that M. bovis circulates in the Kafue lechwe, and nontuberculous mycobacteria were detected in the black lechwe in Zambia which represents a wildlife reservoir, with a potential to spillover to cattle and humans. Isolates of M. bovis from lechwe antelopes are much conserved as only one spoligotype was detected. The study has shown that three loci differentiated fairly well. This option is cheap and less laborious, and hence a better option in resource-strained country like Zambia. The study further showed that some of the loci recommended by the European Reference Laboratory are not suitable for typing M. bovis in Zambia. © Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013.

Marsit C.J.,Geisel Medical School at Dartmouth | Koestler D.C.,Section of Epidemiology and Biostatistics | Watson-Smith D.,Fetal Treatment Program of New England | Watson-Smith D.,Brown University | And 4 more authors.
Clinical Epigenetics | Year: 2013

Background: Epigenetic mechanisms are thought to be critical in mediating the role of the intrauterine environment on lifelong health and disease. Twin-twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS) is a rare condition wherein fetuses share the placenta and develop vascular anastomoses, which allow blood to flow between the fetuses. The unequal flow results in reciprocal hypo- and hypervolemia in the affected twins, striking growth differences and physiologic adaptations in response to this significant stressor. The donor twin in the TTTS syndrome can be profoundly growth restricted and there is likely a nutritional imbalance between the twins. The consequences of TTTS on fetal programming are unknown. This condition can now be effectively treated through the use of fetal laparoscopic procedures, but the potential for lifelong morbidity related to this condition during development is apparent. As this condition and the resulting uteroplacental discordance can play a role in the epigenetic process, we sought to investigate the DNA methylation profiles of childhood survivors of TTTS (n = 14). We focused on differences in both global measures and genome-wide CpG specific DNA methylation between donor and recipient children in this pilot study in order to generate hypotheses for further research. Results: We identified significant hypomethylation of the LINE1 repetitive element in the peripheral blood of donor children and subtle variation in the genome-wide profiles of CpG specific methylation most prominent at CpG sites which are targets for polycomb group repressive complexes. Conclusions: These preliminary results suggest that coordinated epigenetic alterations result from the intrauterine environment experienced by infants with TTTS and may, at least in part, be responsible for downstream health conditions experienced by individuals surviving this condition. © 2013 Marsit et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Hosking J.,Section of Epidemiology and Biostatistics | Jones R.,Kupenga Hauora Maori | Turner N.,University of Auckland | Ameratunga S.,Section of Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health | Year: 2011

Children are particularly vulnerable to the health effects of climate change, the biggest global health threat of the 21st century. However, the worst effects on child health can be avoided, and well-designed climate policies can have important benefits for child health and equity. We call on child health professionals to seize opportunities to prevent climate change, improve child health and reduce inequalities, and suggest useful actions that can be taken. © 2011 Paediatrics and Child Health Division (Royal Australasian College of Physicians).

Kiemeney L.A.,Biostatistics and Health Technology Assessment | Kiemeney L.A.,Radboud University Nijmegen | Kiemeney L.A.,Comprehensive Cancer Center East | Sulem P.,DeCODE Genetics Inc. | And 80 more authors.
Nature Genetics | Year: 2010

Previously, we reported germline DNA variants associated with risk of urinary bladder cancer (UBC) in Dutch and Icelandic subjects. Here we expanded the Icelandic sample set and tested the top 20 markers from the combined analysis in several European case-control sample sets, with a total of 4,739 cases and 45,549 controls. The T allele of rs798766 on 4p16.3 was found to associate with UBC (odds ratio = 1.24, P = 9.9 × 10 12). rs798766 is located in an intron of TACC3, 70 kb from FGFR3, which often harbors activating somatic mutations in low-grade, noninvasive UBC. Notably, rs798766[T] shows stronger association with low-grade and low-stage UBC than with more aggressive forms of the disease and is associated with higher risk of recurrence in low-grade stage Ta tumors. The frequency of rs798766[T] is higher in Ta tumors that carry an activating mutation in FGFR3 than in Ta tumors with wild-type FGFR3. Our results show a link between germline variants, somatic mutations of FGFR3 and risk of UBC. © 2010 Nature America, Inc. All rights reserved.

Denny S.J.,University of Auckland | Grant S.,University of Auckland | Utter J.,Section of Epidemiology and Biostatistics | Robinson E.M.,Section of Epidemiology and Biostatistics | And 9 more authors.
Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health | Year: 2011

Aim: To describe the changes in the health and well-being of secondary school students from 2001 to 2007. Methods: A total of 9107 secondary school students were randomly selected to participate in a comprehensive health and well-being survey using Internet tablets conducted in 2007. Comparisons are made with the first health and well-being survey conducted in 2001. Results: Students from 2007 reported good relationships with their families, people in their schools and neighbourhoods. Compared with the 2001 survey, students surveyed in 2007 were more likely to report positive mental health, better nutritional habits and higher levels of physical activity, and were less likely to report using tobacco and marijuana than students in 2001. In addition, the proportion of students who reported significant depressive symptoms and suicidal behaviours had decreased since 2001. However, concerning proportions of students in 2007 reported: binge drinking, experience of physical and sexual abuse, and witnessing violence in their homes. Conclusion: While students' health and well-being have significantly improved from 2001 to 2007, there remain significant areas of concern. © 2011 The Authors. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health © 2011 Paediatrics and Child Health Division (Royal Australasian College of Physicians).

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