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Christchurch, New Zealand

Nelson W.,88 Management Ltd | Harris B.,Southern Community Laboratories
New Zealand Medical Journal | Year: 2011

Aim Campylobacteriosis is highly characterised by a strongly seasonal rate of incidence. Age is also known to be a risk factor for sporadic campylobacteriosis, but little has been done to quantify age-related rates of campylobacteriosis. This study investigates age-related incidence across countries and up to 12 years of data, as well as differences in seasonality within age groups. Methods Graphical and statistical analysis of officially collected campylobacteriosis reports from three countries available from official websites. Results For Australia, New Zealand and Canada, rates of campylobacteriosis show marked peaks at <4 years and 20-29 year age bands. These peaks indicate that stable age-related factors impact on campylobacteriosis epidemiology in all three countries. Seasonality is expressed differently across these age bands, and in years of extremes of incidence. Conclusion Campylobacteriosis is highly seasonal, but overlying this is a stable agerelated pattern of incidence, with two peaks approximately 20 years apart. Highest seasonal differences occur with ages between the two peaks. Source


Barron J.,Labtests | Ng C.,Labtests | Aspin L.,Labtests | Robinson L.-J.,Labtests | Smith G.,Southern Community Laboratories
Annals of Clinical Biochemistry | Year: 2012

Background: Critical values are required to be phoned 24/7. Other abnormal results fall short of the thresholds used to define critical values and may only be required to be phoned during the day. Community-based requestors prefer not to be contacted unless a result is critical and contacting them requires substantial staff resource. It is common practice to add tests to requests to expedite diagnosis or clarify the significance of a particular result using algorithms. Methods: We devised algorithms for reflex addition of tests which allowed the differentiation of significantly abnormal results as either critical values or those that only require day phoning. Results: Algorithms identified 158 out of 309 tests as being critical (51%) over nine months. Reflex addition of serum bicarbonate identified 4% of serum glucose (24.9-37.9 mmol/L) as critical. Use of estimated glomerular filtration rate by reflex addition of serum creatinine identified 68% of serum lithium (1.49-1.99 mmol/L) as critical. Addition of serum potassium, calcium and magnesium identified 21% of serum digoxin (>2.49 nmol/L) as critical and addition of serum potassium and calcium to all samples with serum magnesium (<0.31 mmol/L) identified hypocalcaemia in all cases. The addition of serum creatinine and potassium as markers for rhabdomyolysis-induced acute renal failure did not help in the differentiation of serum creatine kinase .>4999 μ/L. Conclusions: Use of reflex tests helped inform a phoning system based on the division of results into critical values and non-emergency abnormal values. This avoids disturbing requestors unnecessarily and conserves staff time at night. Source


Christian C.,Southern Community Laboratories
New Zealand Journal of Medical Laboratory Science | Year: 2011

Immunoglobulins recognize the antigens and initiate mechanism that destroys them. There are five groups of immunoglobulins in the serum which are IgG, IgA, IgM, IgD, and IgE. Immunodeficiency can be classified to primary or inherited and secondary. One of the most frequently encountered primary immunodeficiency is the autosomal dominant common variable immunodeficiency (CVID), which is characterized by hypogammaglobulinaemia and recurring infections with associated lymphocyte abnormalities. A nine year old Caucasian female presented with chronic cough, lethargy, anorexia, and weight loss. Initial laboratory investigation showed a low IgA concentrations with a normal IgG concentrations due to Intragam infusion given in the previous month. Further testing such as lymphocyte surface markers and B-cell memory cell studies indicate a low number of LGL/NK cells and a B-cell maturation defect suggestive of CVID. A month later, the same patient presented with three days history of becoming unwell following her most recent Intragam therapy. In addition to the blood count results (a low haemoglobin level and an elevated reticulocytes count), an elevated total bilirubin, a very low haptoglobin level and a positive direct antiglobulin test (Coombs test) indicated autoimmune haemolytic anaemia (AIHA). Together with antibiotics therapy, immunoglobulin therapy has greatly improved the prognosis of patients with CVID. This case demonstrates the importance of early diagnosis of CVID and treatment to ensure better prognosis. Source


Robinson A.M.,University of Otago | Ussher J.E.,University of Otago | Ussher J.E.,Southern Community Laboratories
Journal of Microbiological Methods | Year: 2016

MALDI-ToF MS can be used to identify microorganisms directly from blood cultures. This study compared two methods of sample preparation. Similar levels of genus- (91% vs 90%) and species-level identifications (79% vs 74%) were obtained with differential centrifugation and SDS methods. The SDS method is faster and requires minimal handling. © 2016. Source


Ahmadi O.,University of Otago | De L Nicholson M.,Southern Community Laboratories | Gould M.L.,University of Otago | Mitchell A.,University of Otago | Stringer M.D.,University of Otago
Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology (Australia) | Year: 2010

Background and Aims: Interstitial cells of Cajal (ICC) are distributed with smooth muscle throughout the gastrointestinal tract and are involved in regulating motility. ICC were recently discovered in the wall of the human gallbladder. This study sought to determine whether ICC are present in human bile ducts. Methods: Biliary tract samples were obtained from several sources: surgical specimens (n = 16, 11 women, mean age 61 years); archival post-mortem specimen (n = 1, 86 years, man); and cadavers (n = 2, 68 and 80 years, men). Paraffin-embedded sections (3 μm) from the gallbladder (fundus, body and neck) and both extrahepatic and intrahepatic bile ducts were investigated. A double immunofluorescence protocol using polyclonal and monoclonal c-kit antibodies and mast cell tryptase was used to distinguish c-kit-positive cells with typical ICC morphology from c-kit-positive mast cells. Small bowel samples were used as positive controls. ICC in the gallbladder were confirmed by ultrastructural study. Results: c-kit-positive cells with characteristic ICC morphology were identified in the subepithelial and muscular layers of the gallbladder and extrahepatic bile ducts. They were most prominent within the muscle layer of the extrahepatic bile ducts where they were organized into loosely arranged laminae running parallel to circular smooth muscle fibers. ICC were not found in intrahepatic bile ducts. Conclusion: This study demonstrates for the first time that ICC are present in human extrahepatic bile ducts where they are more densely aggregated than in the gallbladder. This cellular network is likely to be involved in biliary tract motility and its related disorders. © 2009 Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology Foundation and Blackwell Publishing Asia Pty Ltd. Source

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