• Global disability-adjusted life-year estimates of long-term health burden and undernutrition attributable to diarrhoeal diseases in children younger than 5 years

      Troeger, C.; Colombara, D.V.; Rao, P.C. (Elsevier Ltd, 2018)
      Background: Diarrhoea is a leading cause of death and illness globally among children younger than 5 years. Mortality and short-term morbidity cause substantial burden of disease but probably underestimate the true effect of diarrhoea on population health. This underestimation is because diarrhoeal diseases can negatively affect early childhood growth, probably through enteric dysfunction and impaired uptake of macronutrients and micronutrients. We attempt to quantify the long-term sequelae associated with childhood growth impairment due to diarrhoea. Methods: We used the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study framework and leveraged existing estimates of diarrhoea incidence, childhood undernutrition, and infectious disease burden to estimate the effect of diarrhoeal diseases on physical growth, including weight and height, and subsequent disease among children younger than 5 years. The burden of diarrhoea was measured in disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs), a composite metric of mortality and morbidity. We hypothesised that diarrhoea is negatively associated with three common markers of growth: weight-for-age, weight-for-height, and height-for-age Z-scores. On the basis of these undernutrition exposures, we applied a counterfactual approach to quantify the relative risk of infectious disease (subsequent diarrhoea, lower respiratory infection, and measles) and protein energy malnutrition morbidity and mortality per day of diarrhoea and quantified the burden of diarrhoeal disease due to these outcomes caused by undernutrition. Findings: Diarrhoea episodes are significantly associated with childhood growth faltering. We found that each day of diarrhoea was associated with height-for-age Z-score (–0·0033 [95% CI −0·0024 to −0·0041]; p=4·43 × 10−14), weight-for-age Z-score (–0·0077 [–0·0058 to −0·0097]; p=3·19 × 10−15), and weight-for-height Z-score (–0·0096 [–0·0067 to −0·0125]; p=7·78 × 10−11). After addition of the DALYs due to the long-term sequelae as a consequence of undernutrition, the burden of diarrhoeal diseases increased by 39·0% (95% uncertainty interval [UI] 33·0–46·6) and was responsible for 55 778 000 DALYs (95% UI 49 125 400–62 396 200) among children younger than 5 years in 2016. Among the 15 652 300 DALYs (95% UI 12 951 300–18 806 100) associated with undernutrition due to diarrhoeal episodes, more than 84·7% are due to increased risk of infectious disease, whereas the remaining 15·3% of long-term DALYs are due to increased prevalence of protein energy malnutrition. The burden of diarrhoea has decreased substantially since 1990, but progress has been greater in long-term (78·7% reduction [95% UI 69·3–85·5]) than in acute (70·4% reduction [95% UI 61·7–76·5]) DALYs. Interpretation: Diarrhoea represents an even larger burden of disease than was estimated in the Global Burden of Disease Study. In order to adequately address the burden of its long-term sequelae, a renewed emphasis on controlling the risk of diarrhoea incidence may be required. This renewed effort can help further prevent the potential lifelong cost on child health, growth, and overall potential. Copyright 2018 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an Open Access article under the CC BY 4.0 license
    • The implausible "in vivo" role of hydrogen peroxide as an antimicrobial factor produced by vaginal microbiota

      Tachedjian, G.; O'Hanlon, D.E.; Ravel, J. (BioMed Central Ltd., 2018)
      In the cervicovaginal environment, the production of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) by vaginal Lactobacillus spp. is often mentioned as a critical factor to the in vivo vaginal microbiota antimicrobial properties. We present several lines of evidence that support the implausibility of H2O2 as an "in vivo" contributor to the cervicovaginal milieu antimicrobial properties. An alternative explanation is proposed, supported by previous reports ascribing protective and antimicrobial properties to other factors produced by Lactobacillus spp. capable of generating H2O2. Under this proposal, lactic acid rather than H2O2 plays an important role in the antimicrobial properties of protective vaginal Lactobacillus spp. We hope this commentary will help future research focus on more plausible mechanisms by which vaginal Lactobacillus spp. exert their antimicrobial and beneficial properties, and which have in vivo and translational relevance. Copyright The Author(s). 2018.
    • Ribavirin as a potential therapeutic for atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumors

      Casaos, J.; Huq, S.; Lott, T. (Impact Journals LLC, 2018)
      Atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumors (AT/RT) are highly aggressive, malignant tumors and are the most common malignant brain tumor in children under 6 months of age. Currently, there is no standard treatment for AT/RT. Recent studies have reported potential anti-tumoral properties of ribavirin, a guanosine analog and anti-viral molecule approved by the Food and Drug Administration for treatment of hepatitis C. We previously demonstrated that ribavirin inhibited glioma cell growth in vitro and in vivo. Based on these results and the fact that no pre-clinical model of ribavirin in AT/RT exists, we decided to investigate the effect of ribavirin on several human AT/RT cell lines (BT12, BT16, and BT37) both in vitro and in vivo. We provide evidence that ribavirin has a significant impact on AT/RT cell growth and increases cell cycle arrest and cell death, potentially through modulation of the eIF4E and/or EZH2 pathways. Interestingly, using scratch wound and transwell Boyden chamber assays, we observed that ribavirin also impairs AT/RT cell migration, invasion, and adhesion. Finally, we demonstrate that ribavirin significantly improves the survival of mice orthotopically implanted with BT12 cells. Our work establishes that ribavirin is effective against AT/RT by decreasing tumoral cell growth and dissemination and could represent a new therapeutic option for children with this deadly disease. Copyright Casaos et al.
    • Preservation of myocardial contractility during acute hypoxia with OMX-CV, a novel oxygen delivery biotherapeutic

      Boehme, J.; Le Moan, N.; Kameny, R.J. (Public Library of Science, 2018)
      The heart exhibits the highest basal oxygen (O2) consumption per tissue mass of any organ in the body and is uniquely dependent on aerobic metabolism to sustain contractile function. During acute hypoxic states, the body responds with a compensatory increase in cardiac output that further increases myocardial O2 demand, predisposing the heart to ischemic stress and myocardial dysfunction. Here, we test the utility of a novel engineered protein derived from the heme-based nitric oxide (NO)/oxygen (H-NOX) family of bacterial proteins as an O2 delivery biotherapeutic (Omniox-cardiovascular [OMX-CV]) for the hypoxic myocardium. Because of their unique binding characteristics, H-NOX-based variants effectively deliver O2 to hypoxic tissues, but not those at physiologic O2 tension. Additionally, H-NOX-based variants exhibit tunable binding that is specific for O2 with subphysiologic reactivity towards NO, circumventing a significant toxicity exhibited by hemoglobin (Hb)-based O2 carriers (HBOCs). Juvenile lambs were sedated, mechanically ventilated, and instrumented to measure cardiovascular parameters. Biventricular admittance catheters were inserted to perform pressure-volume (PV) analyses. Systemic hypoxia was induced by ventilation with 10% O2. Following 15 minutes of hypoxia, the lambs were treated with OMX-CV (200 mg/kg IV) or vehicle. Acute hypoxia induced significant increases in heart rate (HR), pulmonary blood flow (PBF), and pulmonary vascular resistance (PVR) (p < 0.05). At 1 hour, vehicle-treated lambs exhibited severe hypoxia and a significant decrease in biventricular contractile function. However, in OMX-CV-treated animals, myocardial oxygenation was improved without negatively impacting systemic or PVR, and both right ventricle (RV) and left ventricle (LV) contractile function were maintained at pre-hypoxic baseline levels. These data suggest that OMX-CV is a promising and safe O2 delivery biotherapeutic for the preservation of myocardial contractility in the setting of acute hypoxia.
    • Clinical, environmental, and behavioral characteristics associated with Cryptosporidium infection among children with moderate-to-severe diarrhea in rural western Kenya, 2008-2012: The Global Enteric Multicenter Study (GEMS)

      Delahoy, M.J.; Omore, R.; Ayers, T.L. (Public Library of Science, 2018)
      Background Cryptosporidium is a leading cause of moderate-to-severe diarrhea (MSD) in young children in Africa. We examined factors associated with Cryptosporidium infection in MSD cases enrolled at the rural western Kenya Global Enteric Multicenter Study (GEMS) site from 2008-2012. Methodology/Principal findings At health facility enrollment, stool samples were tested for enteric pathogens and data on clinical, environmental, and behavioral characteristics collected. Each child’s health status was recorded at 60-day follow-up. Data were analyzed using logistic regression. Of the 1,778 children with MSD enrolled as cases in the GEMS-Kenya case-control study, 11% had Cryptosporidium detected in stool by enzyme immunoassay; in a genotyped subset, 81% were C. hominis. Among MSD cases, being an infant, having mucus in stool, and having prolonged/persistent duration diarrhea were associated with being Cryptosporidium-positive. Both boiling drinking water and using rainwater as the main drinking water source were protective factors for being Cryptosporidium-positive. At follow-up, Cryptosporidium-positive cases had increased odds of being stunted (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 1.65, 95% CI: 1.06–2.57), underweight (aOR = 2.08, 95% CI: 1.34–3.22), or wasted (aOR = 2.04, 95% CI: 1.21–3.43), and had significantly larger negative changes in height- and weight-for-age z-scores from enrollment. Conclusions/Significance Cryptosporidium contributes significantly to diarrheal illness in young children in western Kenya. Advances in point of care detection, prevention/control approaches, effective water treatment technologies, and clinical management options for children with cryptosporidiosis are needed. Copyright 2018, Public Library of Science. All rights reserved. https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/.
    • The impact of biological sex on the response to noise and otoprotective therapies against acoustic injury in mice

      Milon, B.; Mitra, S.; Song, Y. (BioMed Central Ltd., 2018)
      Background: Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is the most prevalent form of acquired hearing loss and affects about 40 million US adults. Among the suggested therapeutics tested in rodents, suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid (SAHA) has been shown to be otoprotective from NIHL; however, these results were limited to male mice. Methods: Here we tested the effect of SAHA on the hearing of 10-week-old B6CBAF1/J mice of both sexes, which were exposed to 2 h of octave-band noise (101 dB SPL centered at 11.3 kHz). Hearing was assessed by measuring auditory brainstem responses (ABR) at 8, 16, 24, and 32 kHz, 1 week before, as well as at 24 h and 15-21 days following exposure (baseline, compound threshold shift (CTS) and permanent threshold shift (PTS), respectively), followed by histologic analyses. Results: We found significant differences in the CTS and PTS of the control (vehicle injected) mice to noise, where females had a significantly smaller CTS at 16 and 24 kHz (p < 0.0001) and PTS at 16, 24, and 32 kHz (16 and 24 kHz p < 0.001, 32 kHz p < 0.01). This sexual dimorphic effect could not be explained by a differential loss of sensory cells or synapses but was reflected in the amplitude and amplitude progression of wave I of the ABR, which correlates with outer hair cell (OHC) function. Finally, the frequency of the protective effect of SAHA differed significantly between males (PTS, 24 kHz, p = 0.002) and females (PTS, 16 kHz, p = 0.003), and the magnitude of the protection was smaller in females than in males. Importantly, the magnitude of the protection by SAHA was smaller than the effect of sex as a biological factor in the vehicle-injected mice. Conclusions: These results indicate that female mice are significantly protected from NIHL in comparison to males and that therapeutics for NIHL may have a different effect in males and females. The data highlight the importance of analyzing NIHL experiments from males and females, separately. Finally, these data also raise the possibility of effectors in the estrogen signaling pathway as novel therapeutics for NIHL. Copyright 2018 The Author(s).
    • The Streptococcus agalactiae stringent response enhances virulence and persistence in human blood

      Hooven, T.A.; Catomeris, A.J.; Bonakdar, M. (American Society for Microbiology, 2018)
      Streptococcus agalactiae (group B Streptococcus [GBS]) causes serious infections in neonates. We previously reported a transposon sequencing (Tn-seq) system for performing genomewide assessment of gene fitness in GBS. In order to identify molecular mechanisms required for GBS to transition from a mucosal commensal lifestyle to bloodstream invasion, we performed Tn-seq on GBS strain A909 with human whole blood. Our analysis identified 16 genes conditionally essential for GBS survival in blood, of which 75% were members of the capsular polysaccharide (cps) operon. Among the non-cps genes identified as conditionally essential was relA, which encodes an enzyme whose activity is central to the bacterial stringent response—a conserved adaptation to environmental stress. We used blood coincubation studies of targeted knockout strains to confirm the expected growth defects of GBS deficient in capsule or stringent response activation. Unexpectedly, we found that the relA knockout strains demonstrated decreased expression of β-hemolysin/cytolysin, an important cytotoxin implicated in facilitating GBS invasion. Furthermore, chemical activation of the stringent response with serine hydroxamate increased β-hemolysin/cytolysin expression. To establish a mechanism by which the stringent response leads to increased cytotoxicity, we performed transcriptome sequencing (RNA-seq) on two GBS strains grown under stringent response or control conditions. This revealed a conserved decrease in the expression of genes in the arginine deiminase pathway during stringent response activation. Through coincubation with supplemental arginine and the arginine antagonist canavanine, we show that arginine availability is a determinant of GBS cytotoxicity and that the pathway between stringent response activation and increased virulence is arginine dependent. Copyright 2017 American Society for Microbiology.
    • Metaviz: interactive statistical and visual analysis of metagenomic data

      Wagner, J.; Chelaru, F.; Kancherla, J. (Oxford University Press, 2018)
      Large studies profiling microbial communities and their association with healthy or disease phenotypes are now commonplace. Processed data from many of these studies are publicly available but significant effort is required for users to effectively organize, explore and integrate it, limiting the utility of these rich data resources. Effective integrative and interactive visual and statistical tools to analyze many metagenomic samples can greatly increase the value of these data for researchers. We present Metaviz, a tool for interactive exploratory data analysis of annotated microbiome taxonomic community profiles derived from marker gene or whole metagenome shotgun sequencing. Metaviz is uniquely designed to address the challenge of browsing the hierarchical structure of metagenomic data features while rendering visualizations of data values that are dynamically updated in response to user navigation. We use Metaviz to provide the UMD Metagenome Browser web service, allowing users to browse and explore data for more than 7000 microbiomes from published studies. Users can also deploy Metaviz as a web service, or use it to analyze data through the metavizr package to interoperate with state-of-the-art analysis tools available through Bioconductor. Metaviz is free and open source with the code, documentation and tutorials publicly accessible. C The Author(s) 2018.
    • Cigarette smoking is associated with an altered vaginal tract metabolomic profile

      Nelson, T.M.; Borgogna, J.C.; Michalek, R.D. (Nature Publishing Group, 2018)
      Cigarette smoking has been associated with both the diagnosis of bacterial vaginosis (BV) and a vaginal microbiota lacking protective Lactobacillus spp. As the mechanism linking smoking with vaginal microbiota and BV is unclear, we sought to compare the vaginal metabolomes of smokers and non-smokers (17 smokers/19 non-smokers). Metabolomic profiles were determined by gas and liquid chromatography mass spectrometry in a cross-sectional study. Analysis of the 16S rRNA gene populations revealed samples clustered into three community state types (CSTs) - - CST-I (L. crispatus-dominated), CST-III (L. iners-dominated) or CST-IV (low-Lactobacillus). We identified 607 metabolites, including 12 that differed significantly (q-value < 0.05) between smokers and non-smokers. Nicotine, and the breakdown metabolites cotinine and hydroxycotinine were substantially higher in smokers, as expected. Among women categorized to CST-IV, biogenic amines, including agmatine, cadaverine, putrescine, tryptamine and tyramine were substantially higher in smokers, while dipeptides were lower in smokers. These biogenic amines are known to affect the virulence of infective pathogens and contribute to vaginal malodor. Our data suggest that cigarette smoking is associated with differences in important vaginal metabolites, and women who smoke, and particularly women who are also depauperate for Lactobacillus spp., may have increased susceptibilities to urogenital infections and increased malodor. Copyright 2018 The Author(s).
    • Contrast-enhanced endoscopic ultrasound for differentially diagnosing autoimmune pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer

      Cho, M.K.; Moon, S.-H.; Song, T.J. (Editorial Office of Gut and Liver, 2018)
      Background/Aims: Differentially diagnosing focal-type autoimmune pancreatitis (f-AIP) and pancreatic cancer (PC) is challenging. Contrast-enhanced harmonic endoscopic ultrasound (CEH-EUS) may provide information for differentiating pancreatic masses. In this study, we evaluated the usefulness of CEH-EUS in differentiating f-AIP from PC. Methods: Data were collected prospectively and analyzed on patients who underwent CEH-EUS between May 2014 and May 2015. Eighty consecutive patients were diagnosed with f-AIP or PC. PC and f-AIP were compared for enhancement intensity, contrast agent distribution, and internal vasculature. Results: The study group comprised 53 PC patients and 27 f-AIP patients (17 with type-1 AIP [15 definite and two probable], two with probable type-2 AIP, and eight with AIP, not otherwise specified). Hyper- to iso-enhancement in the arterial phase (f-AIP, 89% vs PC, 13%; p<0.05), homogeneous contrast agent distribution (f-AIP, 81% vs PC, 17%; p<0.05), and absent irregular internal vessels (f-AIP, 85% vs PC, 30%; p<0.05) were observed more frequently in the f-AIP group. The combination of CEH-EUS and enhancement intensity, absent irregular internal vessels improved the specificity (94%) in differentiating f-AIP from PC. Conclusions: CEH-EUS may be a useful noninvasive modality for differentially diagnosing f-AIP and PC. Combined CEH-EUS findings could improve the specificity of CEH-EUS in differentiating f-AIP from PC. Copyright 2018 Editorial Office of Gut and Liver. All rights reserved.
    • Erratum to: Fc-apelin fusion protein attenuates lipopolysaccharide-induced liver injury in mice (Scientific Reports, (2018), 8, 1, (11428), 10.1038/s41598-018-29491-7)

      Zhou, H.; Yang, R.; Wang, W. (Nature Publishing Group, 2018)
      A correction to this article has been published and is linked from the HTML and PDF versions of this paper. The error has not been fixed in the paper. Copyright 2018, The Author(s).
    • Induction and recovery of the viable but nonculturable state of hop-resistance lactobacillus brevis

      Liu, J.; Deng, Y.; Soteyome, T. (Frontiers Media S.A., 2018)
      Lactobacillus brevis is a major hop-resistance bacterium which poses significant challenge for the brewing industry, mainly due to the difficulty or incapability in detection by routine culturing methodology and its beer spoilage ability.This study aimed at investigating the VBNC state of a hop-resistance strain, L. brevis BM-LB13908. The culturable, total and viable numbers of L. brevis cells were calculated by MRS agar plate counting, acridine orange direct count (AODC) method and Live/Dead BacLight bacterial viability kit with fluorescence microscope. VBNC formation was induced by 189 ± 5.7 days under low-temperature storage or 27 ± 1.2 subcultures by continuous passage in beer, and VBNC cells induced by both strategies were recovered by adding catalase. In addition, insignificant difference in beer-spoilage ability was found in 3 states of L. brevis, including logarithmic growing, VBNC and recovered cells. This is the first study on the formation of VBNC state for L. brevis and beer-spoilage ability of both VBNC and recovered cells, which indicate L. brevis strain could cause beer spoilage without being detected by routine methodologies. The results derived from this study may support further study on L. brevis and other hop-resistance bacteria, and guidance on beer spoilage prevention and control, such as improvement for brewers on the microbiological quality control by using the improved culture method with catalase supplementation. Copyright 2018 Liu, Deng, Soteyome, Li, Su, Li, Li, Shirtliff, Xu and Peters. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
    • Therapeutic and transmission-blocking efficacy of dihydroartemisinin/ piperaquine and chloroquine against Plasmodium vivax Malaria, Cambodia

      Popovici, J.; Vantaux, A.; Primault, L. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2018)
      We assessed the efficacy of standard 3-day courses of chloroquine and dihydroartemisinin/piperaquine against Plasmodium vivax malaria. Compared with chloroquine, dihydroartemisinin/piperaquine was faster in clearing asexual P. vivax parasites and blocking human-to-mosquito transmission. This drug combination was also more effective in preventing potential recurrences for >2 months. Copyright 2018, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). All rights reserved.
    • Multispecies transcriptomics data set of brugia malayi, its wolbachia endosymbiont wBm, and aedes aegypti across the B. Malayi life cycle

      Chung, M.; Teigen, L.; Libro, S. (American Society for Microbiology, 2018)
      Here, we present a comprehensive transcriptomics data set of Brugia malayi, its Wolbachia endosymbiont wBm, and its vector host. This study samples from 16 stages across the entire B. malayi life cycle, including stage 1 through 4 larvae, adult males and females, embryos, immature microfilariae, and mature microfilariae. Copyright Copyright 2018 Chung et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.
    • The Efficacy of liposomal bupivacaine in lumbar spine surgery

      Brown, L.; Weir, T.; Shasti, M. (ISASS, 2018)
      Background: Postoperative pain management in spine surgery holds unique challenges. The purpose of this study is to determine if the local anesthetic liposomal bupivacaine (LB) reduces the total opioid requirement in the first 3 days following posterior lumbar decompression and fusion (PLDF) surgery for degenerative spondylosis. Methods: Fifty patients underwent PLDF surgery in a prospective randomized control pilot trial between August 2015 and October 2016 and were equally allocated to either a treatment (LB) or a control (saline) group. Assessments included the 72-hour postoperative opioid requirement normalized to 1 morphine milligram equivalent (MME), visual analog scale (VAS), and hospital length of stay. Results: LB did not significantly alter the 72-hour postoperative opioid requirement compared to saline (11.6 vs. 13.4 MME, P = .40). In a subgroup analysis, there was also no significant difference in opioid consumption among narcotic-naive patients with either LB or saline. Among narcotic tolerant patients, however, opioid consumption was higher with saline than LB (20.6 MME vs. 13.3 MME, P=.048). Additionally, pre- and postoperative VAS scores and hospital length of stay were not significantly different with either LB or saline. Conclusions: In the setting of PLDF surgery, LB injections did not significantly reduce the consumption of opioids in the first 3 postoperative days, nor did the hospital length of stay or VAS pain scores, compared to saline. However, LB could be beneficial in reducing the consumption of opioids in narcotic-tolerant populations. Level of Evidence: 2. Copyright International Society for the Advancement of Spine Surgery.
    • Correction: Integrating multiple data sources (MUDS) for meta-analysis to improve patient-centered outcomes research: A protocol [Syst Rev. 4, (2015) (143)] DOI: 10.1186/s13643-015-0134-z.

      Mayo-Wilson, E.; Hutfless, S.; Li, T. (BioMed Central Ltd., 2018)
      Erratum for “Integrating multiple data sources (MUDS) for meta-analysis to improve patient-centered outcomes research: a protocol for a systematic review” [Syst Rev. 2015] (https://www.doi.org/10.1186/s13643-015-0134-z) The correct title of the article should be "Integrating multiple data sources (MUDS) for meta-analysis to improve patient-centered outcomes research: a protocol". The article is a protocol for a methodological study, not a systematic review. Copyright 2018 The Author(s).
    • The mitochondrial transporter SLC25A25 links ciliary TRPP2 signaling and cellular metabolism

      Hofherr, A.; Seger, C.; Fitzpatrick, F. (Public Library of Science, 2018)
      Cilia are organelles specialized in movement and signal transduction. The ciliary transient receptor potential ion channel polycystin-2 (TRPP2) controls elementary cilia-mediated physiological functions ranging from male fertility and kidney development to left–right patterning. However, the molecular components translating TRPP2 channel–mediated Ca2+ signals into respective physiological functions are unknown. Here, we show that the Ca2+-regulated mitochondrial ATP-Mg/Pi solute carrier 25 A 25 (SLC25A25) acts downstream of TRPP2 in an evolutionarily conserved metabolic signaling pathway. We identify SLC25A25 as an essential component in this cilia-dependent pathway using a genome-wide forward genetic screen in Drosophila melanogaster, followed by a targeted analysis of SLC25A25 function in zebrafish left–right patterning. Our data suggest that TRPP2 ion channels regulate mitochondrial SLC25A25 transporters via Ca2+ establishing an evolutionarily conserved molecular link between ciliary signaling and mitochondrial metabolism. Copyright 2018 Hofherr et al. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
    • Including all voices in international datasharing governance

      Kaye, J.; Terry, S.F.; Juengst, E. (BioMed Central Ltd., 2018)
      Background: Governments, funding bodies, institutions, and publishers have developed a number of strategies to encourage researchers to facilitate access to datasets. The rationale behind this approach is that this will bring a number of benefits and enable advances in healthcare and medicine by allowing the maximum returns from the investment in research, as well as reducing waste and promoting transparency. As this approach gains momentum, these data-sharing practices have implications for many kinds of research as they become standard practice across the world. Main text: The governance frameworks that have been developed to support biomedical research are not well equipped to deal with the complexities of international data sharing. This system is nationally based and is dependent upon expert committees for oversight and compliance, which has often led to piece-meal decisionmaking. This system tends to perpetuate inequalities by obscuring the contributions and the important role of different data providers along the data stream, whether they be low- or middle-income country researchers, patients, research participants, groups, or communities. As research and data-sharing activities are largely publicly funded, there is a strong moral argument for including the people who provide the data in decision-making and to develop governance systems for their continued participation. Conclusions: We recommend that governance of science becomes more transparent, representative, and responsive to the voices of many constituencies by conducting public consultations about data-sharing addressing issues of access and use; including all data providers in decision-making about the use and sharing of data along the whole of the data stream; and using digital technologies to encourage accessibility, transparency, and accountability. We anticipate that this approach could enhance the legitimacy of the research process, generate insights that may otherwise be overlooked or ignored, and help to bring valuable perspectives into the decision-making around international data sharing. Copyright The Author(s). 2018.
    • Effectiveness of informational decision aids and a live donor financial assistance program on pursuit of live kidney transplants in African American hemodialysis patients

      Boulware, L.E.; Ephraim, P.L.; Ameling, J. (BioMed Central Ltd., 2018)
      Background: African Americans have persistently poor access to living donor kidney transplants (LDKT). We conducted a small randomized trial to provide preliminary evidence of the effect of informational decision support and donor financial assistance interventions on African American hemodialysis patients' pursuit of LDKT. Methods: Study participants were randomly assigned to receive (1) Usual Care; (2) the Providing Resources to Enhance African American Patients' Readiness to Make Decisions about Kidney Disease (PREPARED); or (3) PREPARED plus a living kidney donor financial assistance program. Our primary outcome was patients' actions to pursue LDKT (discussions with family, friends, or doctor; initiation or completion of the recipient LDKT medical evaluation; or identification of a donor). We also measured participants' attitudes, concerns, and perceptions of interventions' usefulness. Results: Of 329 screened, 92 patients were eligible and randomized to Usual Care (n = 31), PREPARED (n = 30), or PREPARED plus financial assistance (n = 31). Most participants reported interventions helped their decision making about renal replacement treatments (62%). However there were no statistically significant improvements in LDKT actions among groups over 6 months. Further, no participants utilized the living donor financial assistance benefit. Conclusions: Findings suggest these interventions may need to be paired with personal support or navigation services to overcome key communication, logistical, and financial barriers to LDKT. Copyright 2018 The Author(s).
    • Transcriptomics reveal potential vaccine antigens and a drastic increase of upregulated genes during Theileria parva development from arthropod to bovine infective stages

      Tonui, T.; Corredor-Moreno, P.; Kanduma, E. (Public Library of Science, 2018)
      Theileria parva is a protozoan parasite transmitted by the brown ear tick Rhipicephalus appendiculatus that causes East Coast fever (ECF) in cattle, resulting in substantial economic losses in the regions of southern, eastern and central Africa. The schizont form of the parasite transforms the bovine host lymphocytes into actively proliferating cancer-like cells. However, how T. parva causes bovine host cells to proliferate and maintain a cancerous phenotype following infection is still poorly understood. On the other hand, current efforts to develop improved vaccines have identified only a few candidate antigens. In the present paper, we report the first comparative transcriptomic analysis throughout the course of T. parva infection. We observed that the development of sporoblast into sporozoite and then the establishment in the host cells as schizont is accompanied by a drastic increase of upregulated genes in the schizont stage of the parasite. In contrast, the ten highest gene expression values occurred in the arthropod vector stages. A comparative analysis showed that 2845 genes were upregulated in both sporozoite and schizont stages compared to the sporoblast. In addition, 647 were upregulated only in the sporozoite whereas 310 were only upregulated in the schizont. We detected low p67 expression in the schizont stage, an unexpected finding considering that p67 has been reported as a sporozoite stage-specific gene. In contrast, we found that transcription of p67 was 20 times higher in the sporoblast than in the sporozoite. Using the expression profiles of recently identified candidate vaccine antigens as a benchmark for selection for novel potential vaccine candidates, we identified three genes with expression similar to p67 and several other genes similar to Tp1Tp10 schizont vaccine antigens. We propose that the antigenicity or chemotherapeutic potential of this panel of new candidate antigens be further investigated. Structural comparisons of the transcripts generated here with the existing gene models for the respective loci revealed indels. Our findings can be used to improve the structural annotation of the T. parva genome, and the identification of alternatively spliced transcripts. Copyright 2018 Tonui et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.