Now showing items 1-20 of 10996

    • The short-and long-term impacts of hurricane irma on florida agricultural leaders as early emergency responders: The importance of workplace stability

      Grattan, L.M.; Lindsay, A.; Liang, Y. (MDPI AG, 2020)
      The impacts of hurricane-related disasters in agricultural communities include extensive losses of fields, orchards, and livestock, the recovery of which could span many years. Agricultural Extension Agents (EAs) try to manage and mitigate these losses, while simultaneously overseeing emergency shelter operations. These non-professional emergency responders face numerous potential stressors, the outcomes of which are minimally known. This study examined the short-and long-term medical and behavioral outcome of 36 University of Florida Agricultural Extension Agents within two months and one year after Hurricane Irma, Florida, USA, taking into consideration personal/home and work-related hurricane impacts. Regression analyses indicated that combined home and work hurricane impacts were associated with greater anxiety, depression, and medical symptoms controlling for age and number of prior hurricane experiences within two months of landfall. One year later, depression symptoms increased as well as the use of negative disengagement coping strategies for which stability of the work environment was protective. The findings suggest that advanced training in emergency response, organization and time management skills, time off and temporary replacement for personally impacted EAs, and workplace stability, including enhanced continuity of operations plans, represent critical elements of health prevention and early intervention for this occupational group. Copyright 2020 by the authors.
    • Cost effective, experimentally robust differential-expression analysis for human/mammalian, pathogen and dual-species transcriptomics

      Shetty, A.C.; Mattick, J.; Chung, M.; McCracken, C.; Mahurkar, A.; Fraser, C.M.; Rasko, D.A.; Bruno, V.M.; Hotopp, J.C.D. (Microbiology Society, 2020)
      As sequencing read length has increased, researchers have quickly adopted longer reads for their experiments. Here, we examine 14 pathogen or host-pathogen differential gene expression data sets to assess whether using longer reads is warranted. A variety of data sets was used to assess what genomic attributes might affect the outcome of differential gene expression analysis including: gene density, operons, gene length, number of introns/exons and intron length. No genome attribute was found to influence the data in principal components analysis, hierarchical clustering with bootstrap support, or regression analyses of pairwise comparisons that were undertaken on the same reads, looking at all combinations of paired and unpaired reads trimmed to 36, 54, 72 and 101 bp. Read pairing had the greatest effect when there was little variation in the samples from different conditions or in their replicates (e.g. little differential gene expression). But overall, 54 and 72 bp reads were typically most similar. Given differences in costs and mapping percentages, we recommend 54 bp reads for organisms with no or few introns and 72 bp reads for all others. In a third of the data sets, read pairing had absolutely no effect, despite paired reads having twice as much data. Therefore, single-end reads seem robust for differential-expression analyses, but in eukaryotes paired-end reads are likely desired to analyse splice variants and should be preferred for data sets that are acquired with the intent to be community resources that might be used in secondary data analyses. Copyright 2020 The Authors.
    • Detection and quantification of renal fibrosis by computerized tomography

      Cohen, E.P.; Olson, J.D.; Tooze, J.A. (Public Library of Science, 2020)
      Objectives Reliable biomarkers for renal fibrosis are needed for clinical care and for research. Existing non-invasive biomarkers are imprecise, which has limited their utility. Methods We developed a method to quantify fibrosis by subject size-adjusted CT Hounsfield units. This was accomplished using CT measurements of renal cortex in previously irradiated nonhuman primates. Results Renal cortex mean CT Hounsfield units that were adjusted for body size had a very good direct correlation with renal parenchymal fibrosis, with an area under the curve of 0.93. Conclusions This metric is a promising and simple non-invasive biomarker for renal fibrosis. Copyright 2020 Carvalho et al.
    • Clinical experience with a novel assay measuring cytomegalovirus (CMV)-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell immunity by flow cytometry and intracellular cytokine staining to predict clinically significant CMV events

      Rogers, R.; Saharia, K.; Chandorkar, A. (BioMed Central Ltd., 2020)
      Background: Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection is one of the most common opportunistic infections following organ transplantation, despite administration of CMV prophylaxis. CMV-specific T-cell immunity (TCI) has been associated with reduced rates of CMV infection. We describe for the first time clinical experience using the CMV T-Cell Immunity Panel (CMV-TCIP), a commercially available assay which measures CMV-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell responses, to predict clinically significant CMV events. Methods: Adult (> 18-year-old) patients with CMV-TCIP results and ? 1 subsequent assessment for CMV DNAemia were included at Brown University and the University of Maryland Medical Center-affiliated hospitals between 4/2017 and 5/2019. A clinically significant CMV event was defined as CMV DNAemia prompting initiation of treatment. We excluded indeterminate results, mostly due to background positivity, allogeneic hematopoetic cell transplant (HCT) recipients, or patients who were continued on antiviral therapy against CMV irrespective of the CMV-TCIP result, because ongoing antiviral therapy could prevent a CMV event. Results: We analyzed 44 samples from 37 patients: 31 were solid organ transplant recipients, 4 had hematologic malignancies, 2 had autoimmune disorders. The CMV-protection receiver operating characteristic (ROC) area under the curve (AUC) was significant for %CMV-specific CD4+ (AUC: 0.78, P < 0.001) and borderline for CD8+ (AUC: 0.66, P = 0.064) T-cells. At a cut-off value of 0.22% CMV-specific CD4+ T-cells, positive predictive value (PPV) for protection against CMV was 85% (95%CI 65-96%), and negative predictive value (NPV) was 67% (95%CI 41-87%). Conclusions: The CMV-TCIP, in particular %CMV-specific CD4+ T-cells, showed good diagnostic performance to predict CMV events. The CMV-TCIP may be a useful test in clinical practice, and merits further validation in larger prospective studies. Copyright 2020 The Author(s).
    • Quantitatively relating brain endothelial cell-cell junction phenotype to global and local barrier properties under varied culture conditions via the Junction Analyzer Program

      Gray, K.M.; Huang, H.-C.; Stroka, K.M. (Springer Nature, 2020)
      BACKGROUND: The endothelial cell-cell junctions of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) play a pivotal role in the barrier's function. Altered cell-cell junctions can lead to barrier dysfunction and have been implicated in several diseases. Despite this, the driving forces regulating junctional protein presentation remain relatively understudied, largely due to the lack of efficient techniques to quantify their presentation at sites of cell-cell adhesion. Here, we used our novel Junction Analyzer Program (JAnaP) to quantify junction phenotype (i.e., continuous, punctate, or perpendicular) in response to various substrate compositions, cell culture times, and cAMP treatments in human brain microvascular endothelial cells (HBMECs). We then quantitatively correlated junction presentation with barrier permeability on both a "global" and "local" scale. METHODS: We cultured HBMECs on collagen I, fibronectin, collagen IV, laminin, fibronectin/collagen IV/laminin, or hyaluronic acid/gelatin for 2, 4, and 7 days with varying cAMP treatment schedules. Images of immunostained ZO-1, VE-cadherin, and claudin-5 were analyzed using the JAnaP to calculate the percent of the cell perimeter presenting continuous, punctate, or perpendicular junctions. Transwell permeability assays and resistance measurements were used to measure bulk ("global") barrier properties, and a "local" permeability assay was used to correlate junction presentation proximal to permeable monolayer regions. RESULTS: Substrate composition was found to play little role in junction presentation, while cAMP supplements significantly increased the continuous junction architecture. Increased culture time required increased cAMP treatment time to reach similar ZO-1 and VE-cadherin coverage observed with shorter culture, though longer cultures were required for claudin-5 presentation. Prolonged cAMP treatment (6 days) disrupted junction integrity for all three junction proteins. Transwell permeability and TEER assays showed no correlation with junction phenotype, but a local permeability assay revealed a correlation between the number of discontinuous and no junction regions with barrier penetration. CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that cAMP signaling influences HBMEC junction architecture more than matrix composition. Our studies emphasized the need for local barrier measurement to mechanistically understand the role of junction phenotype and supported previous results that continuous junctions are indicative of a more mature/stable endothelial barrier. Understanding what conditions influence junction presentations, and how they, in turn, affect barrier integrity, could lead to the development of therapeutics for diseases associated with BBB dysfunction.
    • It's the fiber, not the fat: significant effects of dietary challenge on the gut microbiome

      Morrison, K.E.; Howard, C.D.; Bale, T.L.; Jašarević, E. (Springer Nature, 2020)
      BACKGROUND: Dietary effects on the gut microbiome play key roles in the pathophysiology of inflammatory disorders, metabolic syndrome, obesity, and behavioral dysregulation. Often overlooked in such studies is the consideration that experimental diets vary significantly in the proportion and source of their dietary fiber. Commonly, treatment comparisons are made between animals fed a purchased refined diet that lacks soluble fiber and animals fed a standard vivarium-provided chow diet that contains a rich source of soluble fiber. Despite the well-established critical role of soluble fiber as the source of short chain fatty acid production via the gut microbiome, the extent to which measured outcomes are driven by differences in dietary fiber is unclear. Further, the interaction between sex and age in response to dietary transition is likely important and should also be considered. RESULTS: We compared the impact of transitioning young adult and 1-year aged male and female mice from their standard chow diet to a refined low soluble fiber diet on gut microbiota community composition. Then, to determine the contribution of dietary fat, we also examined the impact of transitioning a subset of animals from refined low-fat to refined high-fat diet. We used a serial sampling strategy coupled with 16S rRNA marker gene sequencing to examine consequences of recurrent dietary switching on gut microbiota community dynamics. Analysis revealed that the transition from a chow diet to a refined diet that lacks soluble fiber accounted for most of the variance in community structure, diversity, and composition across all groups. This dietary transition was characterized by a loss of taxa within the phylum Bacteroidetes and expansion of Clostridia and Proteobacteria in a sex- and age-specific manner. Most notably, no changes to gut microbiota community structure and composition were observed between mice consuming either refined low- or high-fat diet, suggesting that transition to the refined diet that lacks soluble fiber is the primary driver of gut microbiota alterations, with limited additional impact of dietary fat on gut microbiota. CONCLUSION: Collectively, our results show that the choice of control diet has a significant impact on outcomes and interpretation related to diet effects on gut microbiota. As the reduction of soluble fiber may influence synthesis of microbial metabolites that are important for regulating metabolic, immune, behavioral, and neurobiological outcomes, additional studies are now needed to fully delineate the contribution of fat and fiber on the gut microbiome. Video Abtract.
    • Atomic structures of anthrax toxin protective antigen channels bound to partially unfolded lethal and edema factors

      Hardenbrook, N.J.; Liu, S.; Krantz, B.A. (Nature Research, 2020)
      Following assembly, the anthrax protective antigen (PA) forms an oligomeric translocon that unfolds and translocates either its lethal factor (LF) or edema factor (EF) into the host cell. Here, we report the cryo-EM structures of heptameric PA channels with partially unfolded LF and EF at 4.6 and 3.1-Å resolution, respectively. The first ? helix and ? strand of LF and EF unfold and dock into a deep amphipathic cleft, called the α clamp, which resides at the interface of two PA monomers. The α-clamp-helix interactions exhibit structural plasticity when comparing the structures of lethal and edema toxins. EF undergoes a largescale conformational rearrangement when forming the complex with the channel. A critical loop in the PA binding interface is displaced for about 4 Å, leading to the weakening of the binding interface prior to translocation. These structures provide key insights into the molecular mechanisms of translocation-coupled protein unfolding and translocation. Copyright 2020, The Author(s).
    • Feasibility of Brief Screening for At-Risk Gambling In Consumer Credit Counseling

      Sacco, Paul; Jacobson Frey, Jodi; Callahan, Christine, Ph.D.; Hochheimer, Martin; Imboden, Rachel; Hyde, Devon (Springer, 2019-02-19)
      Gambling disorder and problem gambling often lead to major suffering in the form of mental health problems, interpersonal conflict, and financial crises. One potential setting for detecting at-risk gambling is credit counseling as gambling problems may manifest themselves in the form of financial distress and bankruptcy. Research studies have not considered those seeking credit counseling as individuals at risk for gambling problems even though gambling may contribute to financial distress. Therefore, the current study sought to quantify the prevalence of at-risk gambling in credit counseling compared with national estimates, to compare at-risk gamblers in this population to lower risk individuals, and to assess the feasibility of gambling screening in these settings. Using a mixed methods approach, the current study found that almost 20% of callers to a national agency reported gambling behavior, and among those who gambled, they reported higher rates of problems related to gambling than the broader U.S. population, thus supporting the idea that screening in credit counseling may help identify those at risk. Low risk gamblers were slightly younger than non-gamblers, but no other differences in sociodemographic and financial status variables were found based on gambling risk status. Results from focus groups and individual interviews suggest that credit counselors and program administrators see the benefit to brief screening within their intake and counseling processes. Our findings suggest that gambling screening is feasible in consumer credit counseling and may be acceptable to staff and administrators at these agencies.
    • Benzocaine: Summary Report

      Yuen, Melissa; Gianturco, Stephanie L.; Pavlech, Laura L.; Storm, Kathena D.; Yoon, SeJeong; Mattingly, Ashlee N. (2020-02)
    • Ascorbyl Palmitate: Summary Report

      Yuen, Melissa; Gianturco, Stephanie L.; Pavlech, Laura L.; Storm, Kathena D.; Yoon, SeJeong; Mattingly, Ashlee N. (2020-01)
    • Amphotericin B: Summary Report

      Gianturco, Stephanie L.; Pavlech, Laura L.; Storm, Kathena D.; Yoon, SeJeong; Yuen, Melissa; Mattingly, Ashlee N. (2020-02)
    • Alpha Lipoic Acid: Summary Report

      Yoon, SeJeong; Gianturco, Stephanie L.; Pavlech, Laura L.; Storm, Kathena D.; Yuen, Melissa; Mattingly, Ashlee N. (2020-02)
    • Aluminum Chloride Hexahydrate: Summary Report

      Yuen, Melissa; Gianturco, Stephanie L.; Pavlech, Laura L.; Storm, Kathena D.; Yoon, SeJeong; Mattingly, Ashlee N. (2020-01)
    • University of Maryland School of Medicine State of the School 2019

      University of Maryland, Baltimore. School of Medicine, 2019
    • Maryland Poison Center Annual Report 2018

      University of Maryland, Baltimore. School of Pharmacy. Maryland Poison Center, 2018
    • ToxTidbits 2020

      University of Maryland, Baltimore. School of Pharmacy. Maryland Poison Center, 2020
    • Poison Prevention Press 2020

      University of Maryland, Baltimore. School of Pharmacy. Maryland Poison Center, 2020