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  • Kukkonen, Anna Kaarina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2008)
    The rapid increase in allergic diseases in developed, high-income countries during recent decades is attributed to several changes in the environment such as urbanization and improved hygiene. This relative lack of microbial stimulation is connected to a delay in maturation of the infantile immune system and seems to predispose especially genetically prone infants to allergic diseases. Probiotics, which are live ingestible health-promoting microbes, may compensate for the lack of microbial stimulation of the developing gut immune system and may thus be beneficial in prevention of allergies. Prebiotics, which are indigestible nutrients by us, promote the growth and activity of a number of bacterial strains considered beneficial for the gut. In a large cohort of 1 223 infants at hereditary risk for allergies we studied in a double-blind placebo-controlled manner whether probiotics administered in early life prevent allergic diseases from developing. We also evaluated their safety and their effects on common childhood infections, vaccine antibody responses, and intestinal immune markers. Pregnant mothers used a mixture of four probiotic bacteria or a placebo, from their 36th week of gestation. Their infants received the same probiotics plus prebiotic galacto-oligosaccharides for 6 months. The 2-year follow-up consisted of clinical examinations and allergy tests, fecal and blood sampling, and regular questionnaires. Among the 925 infants participating in the 2-year follow-up the cumulative incidence of any allergic disease (food allergy, eczema, asthma, rhinitis) was comparable in the probiotic (32%) and the placebo (35%) group. However, eczema, which was the most common manifestation (88%) of all allergic diseases, occurred less frequently in the probiotic (26%) than in the placebo group (32%). The preventive effect was more pronounced against atopic (IgE-associated) eczema which, of all atopic diseases, accounted for 92%. The relative risk reduction of eczema was 26% and of atopic eczema 34%. To prevent one case of eczema, the number of mother-infant pairs needed to treat was 16. Probiotic treatment was safe without any undesirable outcome for neonatal morbidity, feeding-related behavior, serious adverse events, growth, or for vaccine-induced antibody responses. Fewer infants in the probiotic than in the placebo group received antibiotics during their first 6 months of life and thereafter to age 2 years suffered from fewer respiratory tract infections. As a novel finding, we discovered that high fecal immunoglobulin A (IgA) concentrations at age 6 months associated with reduced risk for atopic (IgE-associated) diseases by age 2 years. In conclusion, although feeding probiotics to high-risk newborn infants showed no preventive effect on the cumulative incidence of any allergic diseases by age 2, they apparently prevented eczema. This probiotic effect was more pronounced among IgE-sensitized infants. The treatment was safe and seemed to stimulate maturation of the immune system as indicated by increased resistance to respiratory infections and improved vaccine antibody responses.
  • Lehtoranta, Liisa (Helsingin yliopisto, 2012)
    Viral respiratory and gastrointestinal infections are a major health problem, in particular among children. A large range of etiologic agents and increasing antiviral and antibiotic resistance, challenge the development of efficient therapies. Accumulating evidence suggests that specific probiotic bacteria are able to decrease the risk and symptoms of these infections. This thesis investigated the effects of specific probiotics, in particular Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, on respiratory and gastrointestinal virus infections in a cell model in vitro, in a rat model in vivo, and in children. A particular focus was on questions, whether viability of a probiotic is an important factor in probiotic-virus interaction, and whether a combination of probiotics is more effective than single strains. A novel colorimetric neutralization assay was developed for measuring influenza virus antibodies in human sera. The method was applied to measure antibody response after the administration of a seasonal, inactivated, trivalent influenza vaccine. The results were compared with those obtained with a traditional hemagglutinin inhibition test. The results obtained with both assays correlated well. Moreover, neutralization test proved to be more sensitive and specific than the hemagglutinin inhibition test. Thus, the method is valid for influenza virus research, and it could be applied for studying immune adjuvant effects of probiotics on serum influenza antibody titers in the future. Immunomodulatory effects of probiotics were screened in human macrophage model in vitro. After 24 hours of bacterial stimulation, probiotic combination of L. rhamnosus GG and L. rhamnosus Lc705 was not able to significantly induce higher macrophage cytokine and chemokine production (TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6, IL-10, and IL-12, MCP-1, IP-10) over individual L. rhamnosus strains. However, cytokine responses induced by this combination were stronger than responses induced by traditional starter culture bacterium Lactococcus lactis ARH74, highlighting that immunomodulatory effects of probiotics are strain specific. The effects of viable and unviable L. rhamnosus GG in rotavirus infection were investigated in a neonatal rat model. Consistency of feces, animal weight, colon weight and the rotavirus colonization of plasma and intestinal tissues were considered as indexes of infection severity. Nonviable L. rhamnosus GG had beneficial effects in rotavirus infection in terms of reducing rotavirus induced body weight reduction and colon weight increase. However, viable L. rhamnosus GG was more effective in reducing significantly viral load in the gastrointestinal tract. The effects of L. rhamnosus GG alone or probiotic combination containing L. rhamnosus GG on the occurrence of viral respiratory infections was assessed in a six month intervention trial in children or in otitis-prone children. Children receiving only L. rhamnosus GG had fewer days with respiratory tract symptoms during the intervention period. However, L. rhamnosus GG did not reduce viral occurrence in the nasopharynx, suggesting that L.rhamnosus GG is able to reduce respiratory virus symptoms through enhancing immune response. In otitis-prone children, L. rhamnosus GG in a combination with L. rhamnosus Lc705, Bifidobacterium breve 99, and Propionibacterium freudenreichii ssp. shermanii JS significantly reduced human bocavirus load in the nasopharynx three to six months after intervention. In conclusion, probiotics and their combinations differ in their ability to elicit immunomodulatory effects in vitro. Viability of a probiotic is an important factor in virus infection. The probiotic L. rhamnosus GG reduced days with respiratory tract symptoms. In children, L. rhamnosus GG alone was not effective in reducing viral occurrence in the nasopharynx. However in otitis-prone children, L. rhamnosus GG in a combination reduced the numbers of human bocavirus.
  • Hatakka, Katja (Helsingin yliopisto, 2007)
    Infectious diseases put an enormous burden on both children and the elderly in the forms of respiratory, gastrointestinal and oral infections. There is evidence suggesting that specific probiotics may be antagonistic to pathogens and may enhance the immune system, but the clinical evidence is still too sparce to make general conclusions on the disease-preventive effects of probiotics. This thesis, consisting of four independent, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials, investigated whether Lactobacillus GG (LGG) or a specific probiotic combination containing LGG would reduce the risk of common infections or the prevalence of pathogens in healthy and infection-prone children and in independent and institutionalised elderly people. In healthy day-care children, the 7-month consumption of probiotic milk containing Lactobacillus GG appeared to postpone the first acute respiratory infection (ARI) by one week (p=0.03, adjusted p=0.16), and to reduce complicated infections (39% vs. 47%, p<0.05, adjusted p=0.13), as well as the need for antibiotic treatment (44% vs. 54%, p=0.03, adjusted p=0.08) and day-care absences (4.9 vs. 5.8 days, p=0.03, adjusted p=0.09) compared to the placebo milk. In infection-prone children, the 6-month consumption of a combination of four probiotic bacteria (LGG, L. rhamnosus LC705, Propionibacterium freudenreichii JS, Bifidobacterium breve 99) taken in capsules appeared to reduce recurrent ARIs (72% vs. 82%, p<0.05; adjusted p=0.06), and the effect was particularly noticeable in a subgroup of children with allergic diseases (12% vs. 33%, p=0.03), although no effect on the presence of nasopharyngeal rhinovirus or enterovirus was seen. The 5-month consumption of the same probiotic combination did not show any beneficial effects on the respiratory infections in frail, institutionalised elderly subjects. In healthy children receiving Lactobacillus GG, the reduction in complications resulted in a marginal reduction in the occurrence of acute otitis media (AOM) (31% vs. 39%, p=0.08; adjusted p=0.19), and the postponement of the first AOM episode by 12 days (p=0.04; adjusted p=0.09). However, in otitis-prone children, a probiotic combination did not reduce the occurrence of AOM or the total prevalence of common AOM pathogens (Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, Moraxella catarrhalis), except in the case of children with allergic diseases, in whom probiotics reduced recurrent AOM episodes (0% vs. 14%, p=0.03). In addition, interaction between probiotics and bacterial carriage was seen: probiot-ics reduced AOM in children who did not carry any bacterial pathogens (63% vs. 83%), but the effect was the reverse in children carrying bacteria in the nasopharynx (74% vs 62%) (p<0.05). Long-term probiotic treatment, either LGG given in milk to healthy children for 7 months or a combination of probiotics given in capsules to institutionalised elderly subjects for 5 months, did not reduce the occurrence of acute diarrhoea. However, when the probiotic combination (LGG, L. rhamnosus LC705, Propionibacterium JS) was given in cheese to independent elderly subjects for 4 months, the oral carriage of high Candida counts was reduced in the probiotic group vs. the placebo group (21% vs. 34%, p=0.01, adjusted p=0.004). The risk of hyposalivation was also reduced in the probiotic group (p=0.05). In conclusion, probiotics appear to slightly alleviate the severity of infections by postponing their appearance, by reducing complications and the need for antimicrobial treatments. In addition, they appear to prevent recurrent infections in certain subgroups of children, such as in infection-prone children with allergic diseases. Alleviating ARI by probiotics may lead to a marginal reduction in the occurrence of AOM in healthy children but not in infection-prone children with disturbed nasopharyngeal microbiota. On the basis of these results it could be supposed that Lactobacillus GG or a specific combination containing LGG are effective against viral but not against bacterial otitis, and the mechanism is probably mediated through the stimulation of the immune system. A specific probiotic combination does not reduce respiratory infections in frail elderly subjects. Acute diarrhoea, either in children or in the elderly, is not prevented by the continuous, long-term consumption of probiotics, but the consumption of a specific probiotic combination in a food matrix is beneficial to the oral health of the elderly, through the reduction of the carriage of Candida.
  • Terzi, Evimaria (Helsingin yliopisto, 2006)
    The analysis of sequential data is required in many diverse areas such as telecommunications, stock market analysis, and bioinformatics. A basic problem related to the analysis of sequential data is the sequence segmentation problem. A sequence segmentation is a partition of the sequence into a number of non-overlapping segments that cover all data points, such that each segment is as homogeneous as possible. This problem can be solved optimally using a standard dynamic programming algorithm. In the first part of the thesis, we present a new approximation algorithm for the sequence segmentation problem. This algorithm has smaller running time than the optimal dynamic programming algorithm, while it has bounded approximation ratio. The basic idea is to divide the input sequence into subsequences, solve the problem optimally in each subsequence, and then appropriately combine the solutions to the subproblems into one final solution. In the second part of the thesis, we study alternative segmentation models that are devised to better fit the data. More specifically, we focus on clustered segmentations and segmentations with rearrangements. While in the standard segmentation of a multidimensional sequence all dimensions share the same segment boundaries, in a clustered segmentation the multidimensional sequence is segmented in such a way that dimensions are allowed to form clusters. Each cluster of dimensions is then segmented separately. We formally define the problem of clustered segmentations and we experimentally show that segmenting sequences using this segmentation model, leads to solutions with smaller error for the same model cost. Segmentation with rearrangements is a novel variation to the segmentation problem: in addition to partitioning the sequence we also seek to apply a limited amount of reordering, so that the overall representation error is minimized. We formulate the problem of segmentation with rearrangements and we show that it is an NP-hard problem to solve or even to approximate. We devise effective algorithms for the proposed problem, combining ideas from dynamic programming and outlier detection algorithms in sequences. In the final part of the thesis, we discuss the problem of aggregating results of segmentation algorithms on the same set of data points. In this case, we are interested in producing a partitioning of the data that agrees as much as possible with the input partitions. We show that this problem can be solved optimally in polynomial time using dynamic programming. Furthermore, we show that not all data points are candidates for segment boundaries in the optimal solution.
  • Halla-aho, Jussi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2006)
    In this study I offer a diachronic solution for a number of difficult inflectional endings in Old Church Slavic nominal declensions. In this context I address the perhaps most disputed and the most important question of the Slavic nominal inflectional morphology: whether there was in Proto-Slavic an Auslautgesetz (ALG), a law of final syllables, that narrowed the Proto-Indo-European vowel */o/ to */u/ in closed word-final syllables. In addition, the work contains an exhaustive morphological classification of the nouns and adjectives that occur in canonical Old Church Slavic. I argue that Proto-Indo-European */o/ became Proto-Slavic */u/ before word-final */s/ and */N/. This conclusion is based on the impossibility of finding credible analogical (as opposed to phonological) explanations for the forms supporting the ALG hypothesis, and on the survival of the neuter gender in Slavic. It is not likely that the */o/-stem nominative singular ending */-u/ was borrowed from the accusative singular, because the latter would have been the only paradigmatic form with the stem vowel */-u-/. It is equally unlikely that the ending */-u/ was borrowed from the */u/-stems, because the latter constituted a moribund class. The usually stated motivation for such an analogical borrowing, i.e. a need to prevent the merger of */o/-stem masculines with neuters of the same class, is not tenable. Extra-Slavic, as well as intra-Slavic evidence suggests that phonologically-triggered mergers between two semantically opaque genders do not tend to be prevented, but rather that such mergers lead to the loss of the gender opposition in question. On the other hand, if */-os/ had not become */-us/, most nouns and, most importantly, all adjectives and pronouns would have lost the formal distinction between masculines and neuters. This would have necessarily resulted in the loss of the neuter gender. A new explanation is given for the most apparent piece of evidence against the ALG hypothesis, the nominative-accusative singular of the */es/-stem neuters, e.g. nebo 'sky'. I argue that it arose in late Proto-Slavic dialects, replacing regular nebe, under the influence of the */o/- and */yo/-stems where a correlation had emerged between a hard root-final consonant and the termination -o, on the one hand, and a soft root-final consonant and the termination -e, on the other.
  • Lipsanen, Tanja (Helsingin yliopisto, 2008)
    Fluid bed granulation is a key pharmaceutical process which improves many of the powder properties for tablet compression. Dry mixing, wetting and drying phases are included in the fluid bed granulation process. Granules of high quality can be obtained by understanding and controlling the critical process parameters by timely measurements. Physical process measurements and particle size data of a fluid bed granulator that are analysed in an integrated manner are included in process analytical technologies (PAT). Recent regulatory guidelines strongly encourage the pharmaceutical industry to apply scientific and risk management approaches to the development of a product and its manufacturing process. The aim of this study was to utilise PAT tools to increase the process understanding of fluid bed granulation and drying. Inlet air humidity levels and granulation liquid feed affect powder moisture during fluid bed granulation. Moisture influences on many process, granule and tablet qualities. The approach in this thesis was to identify sources of variation that are mainly related to moisture. The aim was to determine correlations and relationships, and utilise the PAT and design space concepts for the fluid bed granulation and drying. Monitoring the material behaviour in a fluidised bed has traditionally relied on the observational ability and experience of an operator. There has been a lack of good criteria for characterising material behaviour during spraying and drying phases, even though the entire performance of a process and end product quality are dependent on it. The granules were produced in an instrumented bench-scale Glatt WSG5 fluid bed granulator. The effect of inlet air humidity and granulation liquid feed on the temperature measurements at different locations of a fluid bed granulator system were determined. This revealed dynamic changes in the measurements and enabled finding the most optimal sites for process control. The moisture originating from the granulation liquid and inlet air affected the temperature of the mass and pressure difference over granules. Moreover, the effects of inlet air humidity and granulation liquid feed rate on granule size were evaluated and compensatory techniques used to optimize particle size. Various end-point indication techniques of drying were compared. The ∆T method, which is based on thermodynamic principles, eliminated the effects of humidity variations and resulted in the most precise estimation of the drying end-point. The influence of fluidisation behaviour on drying end-point detection was determined. The feasibility of the ∆T method and thus the similarities of end-point moisture contents were found to be dependent on the variation in fluidisation between manufacturing batches. A novel parameter that describes behaviour of material in a fluid bed was developed. Flow rate of the process air and turbine fan speed were used to calculate this parameter and it was compared to the fluidisation behaviour and the particle size results. The design space process trajectories for smooth fluidisation based on the fluidisation parameters were determined. With this design space it is possible to avoid excessive fluidisation and improper fluidisation and bed collapse. Furthermore, various process phenomena and failure modes were observed with the in-line particle size analyser. Both rapid increase and a decrease in granule size could be monitored in a timely manner. The fluidisation parameter and the pressure difference over filters were also discovered to express particle size when the granules had been formed. The various physical parameters evaluated in this thesis give valuable information of fluid bed process performance and increase the process understanding.
  • Storgårds, Erna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2000)
  • Kekoni, Jouni (Helsingin yliopisto, 1999)
    In the present work, effects of stimulus repetition and change in a continuous stimulus stream on the processing of somatosensory information in the human brain were studied. Human scalp-recorded somatosensory event-related potentials (ERPs) and magnetoencephalographic (MEG) responses rapidly diminished with stimulus repetition when mechanical or electric stimuli were applied to fingers. On the contrary, when the ERPs and multi-unit a ctivity (MUA) were directly recorded from the primary (SI) and secondary (SII) somatosensory cortices in a monkey, there was no marked decrement in the somatosensory responses as a function of stimulus repetition. These results suggest that this rate effect is not due to the response diminution in the SI and SII cortices. Obviously the responses to the first stimulus after a long "silent" period are nhanced due to unspecific initial orientation, originating in more broadly distributed and/or deeper neural structures, perhaps in the prefrontal cortices. With fast repetition rates not only the late unspecific but also some early specific somatosensory ERPs were diminished in amplitude. The fast decrease of the ERPs as a function of stimulus repetition is mainly due to the disappearance of the orientation effect and with faster repetition rates additively due to stimulus specific refractoriness. A sudden infrequent change in the continuous stimulus stream also enhanced somatosensory MEG responses to electric stimuli applied to different fingers. These responses were quite similar to those elicited by the deviant stimuli alone when the frequent standard stimuli were omitted. This enhancement was obviously due to the release from refractoriness because the neural structures generating the responses to the infrequent deviants had more time to recover from the refractoriness than the respective structures for the standards. Infrequent deviant mechanical stimuli among frequent standard stimuli also enhanced somatosensory ERPs and, in addition, they elicited a new negative wave which did not occur in the deviants-alone condition. This extra negativity could be recorded to deviations in the stimulation site and in the frequency of the vibratory stimuli. This response is probably a somatosensory analogue of the auditory mismatch negativity (MMN) which has been suggested to reflect a neural mismatch process between the sensory input and the sensory memory trace.
  • Toppinen-Tanner, Salla (Helsingin yliopisto, 2011)
    The major changes that have been witnessed in today's workplaces are challenging the mental well-being of employed people. Stress and burnout are considered to be modern epidemics, and their importance to physical health and work ability has been acknowledged world-wide. The aim of the thesis was to study the concept of burnout as a process proceeding from its antecedents, through the development of the syndrome, and to its outcomes. Several work-related factors considered antecedents of burnout were studied in different occupational groups. The syndrome of burnout is seen as consisting of three dimensions - exhaustion, cynicism and lack of professional efficacy - and different alternatives for the sequential development of these dimensions were tested. Furthermore, several indicators of the severely detrimental health and work ability outcomes of burnout were investigated in a longitudinal study design. The research questions were as follows. 1) Is burnout, as measured with the Maslach Burnout Inventory - General Survey (MBI-GS), a three-dimensional construct and how invariant is the factorial structure across occupations (Finnish) and national samples (Finnish, Swedish and Dutch)? How persistent is exhaustion over time? 2) What is the sequential process of burnout? Is it similar across occupations? How do work stressors relate to the process? 3) How does burnout relate to severe health consequences as well as temporary and chronic work disability according to hospitalization periods, sick-leave episodes and receiving disability pensions? The data were collected between 1986 and 2005. The population of the study consisted of respondents to a company-wide questionnaire survey carried out in 1996-1997 (N=9705, response rate 63%). The participants comprised 6025 blue-collar workers and 3680 white-collar workers. The majority were men (N=7494) and the average age was 43.7 years. In addition, a sample from the population had responded to a questionnaire survey in 1988, which was combined with the 1996 data to form panel data on 713 respondents. The register-based data were collected between 1986 and 2005 from 1) the company's occupational health services' records for a sample of respondents from the 1996 questionnaire survey (sick-leave data), 2) hospitalization records from the Hospital discharge register, and 3) disability pension records from the Finnish Centre for Pensions. These data were combined person by person with the 1996 questionnaire survey data with the help of personal identification numbers which were saved with the study numbers by the researchers. The results showed that burnout consists of three separate but correlating symptoms: exhaustion, cynicism and lack of professional efficacy. As a syndrome, burnout was strongly related to job stressors at work, and seemed to develop from exhaustion through cynicism to lack of professional efficacy in a similar manner among white-collar and blue-collar employees. The results also showed that exhaustion persisted even after eight years of follow-up but did not predict cynicism or lack of professional efficacy after that amount of time. Nor were job stressors longitudinally related to burnout. Longitudinal results were obtained for the severe health-related consequences of burnout. The investigated outcomes represented different phases of health deterioration ranging from sick-leaves and hospitalization periods to receiving work disability pensions. The results showed that burnout syndrome, and its elements of exhaustion and cynicism, were related to future mental and cardiovascular disorders as indicated by hospitalization periods. Burnout was also related to future sick-leave periods due to mental, cardiovascular and musculoskeletal disorders. Of the separate elements, exhaustion was related to the same three categories of disorder, cynicism to mental, musculoskeletal and digestive disorders, and lack of professional efficacy to mental and musculoskeletal disorders. Burnout also predicted receiving disability pensions due to mental and musculoskeletal disorders among initially healthy subjects. Exhaustion was related to receiving disability pensions even when self-reported chronic illness was taken into account. The results suggest that burnout is a multidimensional, chronic, work-related syndrome, which may have serious consequences for health and work ability.
  • Ilveskero, Sorella (Helsingin yliopisto, 2005)
  • Salo, Hanna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2004)
  • Uittamo, Johanna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2012)
    Oral cancer is the seventh most common cancer worldwide and its incidence is increasing. The most important risk factors for oral cancer are chronic alcohol consumption and tobacco smoking, up to 80 % of oral carcinomas are estimated to be caused by alcohol and tobacco. They both trigger an increased level of salivary acetaldehyde, during and after consumption, which is believed to lead to carcinogenesis. Acetaldehyde has multiple mutagenic features and it has recently been classified as a Group 1 carcinogen for humans by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. Acetaldehyde is metabolized from ethanol by microbes of oral microbiota. Some oral microbes possess alcohol dehydrogenase enzyme (ADH) activity, which is the main enzyme in acetaldehyde production. Many microbes are also capable of acetaldehyde production via alcohol fermentation from glucose. However, metabolism of ethanol into acetaldehyde leads to production of high levels of this carcinogen. Acetaldehyde is found in saliva during and after alcohol consumption. In fact, rather low ethanol concentrations (2-20mM) derived from blood to saliva are enough for microbial acetaldehyde production. The high acetaldehyde levels in saliva after alcohol challenge are explained by the lack of oral microbiota and mucosa to detoxify acetaldehyde by metabolizing it into acetate and acetyl coenzymeA. The aim of this thesis project was to specify the role of oral microbes in the in vitro production of acetaldehyde in the presence of ethanol. In addition, it was sought to establish whether microbial metabolism could also produce acetaldehyde from glucose. Furthermore, the potential of xylitol to inhibit ethanol metabolism and acetaldehyde production was explored. Isolates of oral microbes were used in the first three studies. Acetaldehyde production was analyzed after ethanol, glucose and fructose incubation with gas chromatography measurement. In studies I and III, the ADH enzyme activity of some microbes was measured by fluorescence. The effect of xylitol was analyzed by incubating microbes with ethanol and xylitol. The fourth study was made ex vivo and microbial samples obtained from different patient groups were analyzed. This work has demonstrated that isolates of oral microbiota are able to produce acetaldehyde in the presence of clinically relevant ethanol and glucose concentrations. Significant differences were found between microbial species and isolates from different patient groups. In particular, the ability of candidal isolates from APECED patients to produce significantly more acetaldehyde in glucose incubation compared to healthy and cancer patient isolates is an interesting observation. Moreover, xylitol was found to reduce their acetaldehyde production significantly. Significant ADH enzyme activity was found in the analyzed high acetaldehyde producing streptococci and candida isolates. In addition, xylitol was found to reduce the ADH enzyme activity of C. albicans. Some results from the ex vivo study were controversial, since acetaldehyde production did not correlate as expected with the amount of microbes in the samples. Nevertheless, the samples isolated from patients did produce significant amounts of acetaldehyde with a clinically relevant ethanol concentration.
  • Joensuu, Jussi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2006)
    F4 fimbriae of enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) are highly stable multimeric structures with a capacity to evoke mucosal immune responses. With these characters F4 offer a unique model system to study oral vaccination against ETEC-induced porcine postweaning diarrhea. Postweaning diarrhea is a major problem in piggeries worldwide and results in significant economic losses. No vaccine is currently available to protect weaned piglets against ETEC infections. Transgenic plants provide an economically feasible platform for large-scale production of vaccine antigens for animal health. In this study, the capacity of transgenic plants to produce FaeG protein, the major structural subunit and adhesin of F4 fimbria, was evaluated. Using the model plant tobacco, the optimal subcellular location for FaeG accumulation was examined. Targeting of FaeG into chloroplasts offered a superior accumulation level of 1% of total soluble proteins (TSP) over the other investigated subcellular locations, namely, the endoplasmic reticulum and the apoplast. Moreover, we determined whether the FaeG protein, when isolated from its fimbrial background and produced in a plant cell, would retain the key properties of an oral vaccine, i.e. stability in gastrointestinal conditions, binding to porcine intestinal F4 receptors (F4R), and inhibition of the F4-possessing (F4+) ETEC attachment to F4R. The chloroplast-derived FaeG protein did show resistance against low pH and proteolysis in the simulated gastrointestinal conditions and was able to bind to the F4R, subsequently inhibiting the F4+ ETEC binding in a dose-dependent manner. To investigate the oral immunogenicity of FaeG protein, the edible crop plant alfalfa was transformed with the chloroplast-targeting construct and equally to tobacco plants, a high-yield FaeG accumulation of 1% of TSP was obtained. A similar yield was also obtained in the seeds of barley, a valuable crop plant, when the FaeG-encoding gene was expressed under an endosperm-specific promoter and subcellularly targeted into the endoplasmic reticulum. Furthermore, desiccated alfalfa plants and barley grains were shown to have a capacity to store FaeG protein in a stable form for years. When the transgenic alfalfa plants were administred orally to weaned piglets, slight F4-specific systemic and mucosal immune responses were induced. Co-administration of the transgenic alfalfa and the mucosal adjuvant cholera toxin enhanced the F4-specific immune response; the duration and number of F4+ E. coli excretion following F4+ ETEC challenge were significantly reduced as compared with pigs that had received nontransgenic plant material. In conclusion, the results suggest that transgenic plants producing the FaeG subunit protein could be used for production and delivery of oral vaccines against porcine F4+ ETEC infections. The findings here thus present new approaches to develop the vaccination strategy against porcine postweaning diarrhea.
  • Kudashev, Igor (Helsingin yliopisto, 2007)
    The methodology of designing normative terminological products has been described in several guides and international standards. However, this methodology is not always applicable to designing translation-oriented terminological products which differ greatly from normative ones in terms of volume, function, and primary target group. This dissertation has three main goals. The first is to revise and enrich the stock of concepts and terms required in the process of designing an LSP dictionary for translators. The second is to detect, classify, and describe the factors which determine the characteristics of an LSP dictionary for translators and affect the process of its compilation. The third goal is to provide recommendations on different aspects of dictionary design. The study is based on an analysis of dictionaries, dictionary reviews, literature on translation-oriented lexicography, material from several dictionary projects, and the results of questionnaires. Thorough analysis of the concept of a dictionary helped us to compile a list of designable characteristics of a dictionary. These characteristics include target group, function, links to other resources, data carrier, list of lemmata, information about the lemmata, composition of other parts of the dictionary, compression of the data, structure of the data, and access structure. The factors which determine the characteristics of a dictionary have been divided into those derived from the needs of the intended users and those reflecting the restrictions of the real world (e.g. characteristics of the data carrier and organizational factors) and attitudes (e.g. traditions and scientific paradigms). The designer of a dictionary is recommended to take the intended users' needs as the starting point and aim at finding the best compromise between the conflicting factors. When designing an LSP dictionary, much depends on the level of knowledge of the intended users about the domain in question as well as their general linguistic competence, LSP competence, and lexicographic competence. This dissertation discusses the needs of LSP translators and the role of the dictionary in the process of translation of an LSP text. It also emphasizes the importance of planning lexicographic products and activities, and addresses many practical aspects of dictionary design.
  • Öz, Bahar (Helsingin yliopisto, 2011)
    According to the literature and statistical figures, professional drivers constitute a high-risk group in traffic and should be investigated in connection with the factors related to safe driving. However, safety-related behaviours and outcomes among professional drivers have attracted very little attention from safety researchers. In addition, comparing different professional and non-professional driver groups in terms of critical on-the-road characteristics and outcomes has been indicated in the literature as being necessary for a more comprehensive understanding of driver groups and the nature of driving itself. The aim of the present study was to investigate professional driving from a safety climate stand point in relation to predominant driving-related factors and by considering the differences between driver groups. Hence, four Sub-studies were conducted according to a framework emphasizing the relationships between safety climate, driver groups, driver stress, human factors (i.e., driver behaviour and performance) and accidents. Demographic information, as well as data for driver behaviour, performance, and driver stress was collected by questionnaire. The data was analysed using factor analysis, analysis of covariance as well as hierarchical and logistic regression analysis. The results revealed multi-dimensional factor structures for the safety climate measures. Considering the relationships between variables, differences were evidenced regarding on-the-road stress reactions, risky driver behaviours and penalties, between the various professional and non-professional driver groups. Driver stress was found to be related to accidents. The results also indicated that the safety climate has positive relationships with both driver behaviour and performance, and as well as involvement in accidents. The present study has a number of critical implications resulting from the fact that the way in which the effects of safety climate on professional driving were investigated, as well as the differences between professional and non-professional driver groups, was unique. Additionally, for the first time, a safety climate scale was developed specifically for professional drivers. According to the results of the study and to previous literature, a tentative model was proposed representing a possible route for the relationships between safety climate, human factors, driver stress, driver groups and accidents, by emphasizing the effects of safety climate.
  • Siironen, Päivi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2005)
  • Koskensalo, Selja (Helsingin yliopisto, 2013)
    Background and aims: The most important prognostic factor in colorectal cancer (CRC) is tumour stage. Prognosis of local tumours is good, but in tumours with lymph node or distant metastasis, the prognosis is worse. Patients with stage III (Dukes C) tumours usually receive adjuvant chemotherapy. Patients with stage IV (Dukes D) tumours cannot be treated curatively by surgery alone and usually receive chemotherapy. In stage II (Dukes B) disease, adjuvant chemotherapy is recommended for patients at risk for recurrence, such as with tumours with vascular or perineural invasion, or in cases with emergency surgery or insufficient lymph-node harvest. In order to identify better those patients requires additional prognostic factors like biomarkers. Material and methods: Clinical data came from 643 consecutive patients who underwent surgery for colorectal cancer at the Department of Surgery, Meilahti Hospital, Helsinki University Central Hospital, between 1982 and 1998. Clinical data and archival tissue specimens were available from 623 cases. For MMP-9, a validation series of 213 patients treated between 1998 and 2001 was included. Survival data came from the Population Register Centre of Finland and Statistics Finland. Tissue microarray (TMA) blocks were prepared from re-evaluated histological archive blocks. TMA slides were stained with MMP-2, MMP-7, MMP-8, MMP-9, TATI, trypsinogen-1, trypsinogen-2, p53, Ki-67, and EGFR antibodies. Correlation of immunoexpression of markers with clinicopathological variables was assessed. Survival analysis was performed by the Kaplan-Meier method, and multivariate Cox proportional hazards model. Results: Study I showed strong MMP-7 to be an independent prognostic marker for 5-year survival, but later the difference faded. In Study II, no association was observable between p53 or Ki-67 expression and survival. In Study III, TATI immunoexpression was an independent prognostic marker for improved survival, particularly in subgroups of trypsinogen-1- and trypsinogen-2-positive patients, although trypsinogen-1 and trypsinogen-2 were not prognostic factors. In Study IV, MMP-9 expression was an independent prognostic marker of favourable survival in Dukes B patients, but the validation series did not confirm these results. MMP-2 and MMP-8 immunoexpression lacked any correlation with prognosis. In Study V, EGFR+TATI+ patients had significantly better prognosis than did those with EGFR+TATI-, EGFR-TATI+, or EGFR-TATI-. Conclusion: MMP-7, MMP-9, TATI, and the TATI-EGFR combination can all serve as prognostic biomarkers in CRC.
  • Kanerva, Jukka (Helsingin yliopisto, 2002)
  • Koljonen, Virve (Helsingin yliopisto, 2004)