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  • Lokki, A I; Järvelä, Irma; Israelsson, Elisabeth; Maiga, Bakary; Troye-Blomberg, Marita; Dolo, Amagana; Doumbo, Ogobara K; Meri, Seppo; Holmberg, Ville (BioMed Central Ltd, 2011)
    Abstract Background Fulani are a widely spread African ethnic group characterized by lower susceptibility to Plasmodium falciparum, clinical malaria morbidity and higher rate of lactase persistence compared to sympatric tribes. Lactase non-persistence, often called lactose intolerance, is the normal condition where lactase activity in the intestinal wall declines after weaning. Lactase persistence, common in Europe, and in certain African people with traditions of raising cattle, is caused by polymorphisms in the enhancer region approximately 14 kb upstream of the lactase gene. Methods To evaluate the relationship between malaria and lactase persistence genotypes, a 400 bp region surrounding the main European C/T-13910 polymorphism upstream of the lactase gene was sequenced. DNA samples used in the study originated from 162 Fulani and 79 Dogon individuals from Mali. Results Among 79 Dogon only one heterozygote of the lactase enhancer polymorphism was detected, whereas all others were homozygous for the ancestral C allele. Among the Fulani, the main European polymorphism at locus C/T-13910 was by far the most common polymorphism, with an allele frequency of 37%. Three other single-nucleotide polymorphisms were found with allele frequencies of 3.7%, 1.9% and 0.6% each. The novel DNA polymorphism T/C-13906 was seen in six heterozygous Fulani. Among the Fulani with lactase non-persistence CC genotypes at the C/T-13910 locus, 24% had malaria parasites detectable by microscopy compared to 18% for lactase persistent genotypes (P = 0.29). Pooling the lactase enhancer polymorphisms to a common presumptive genotype gave 28% microscopy positives for non-persistent and 17% for others (P = 0.11). Conclusions Plasmodium falciparum parasitaemia in asymptomatic Fulani is more common in individuals with lactase non-persistence genotypes, but this difference is not statistically significant. The potential immunoprotective properties of dietary cow milk as a reason for the partial malaria resistance of Fulani warrant further investigation.
  • Tanislav, Christian; Grittner, Ulrike; Misselwitz, Bjoern; Jungehuelsing, Gerhard Jan; Enzinger, Christian; von Sarnowski, Bettina; Putaala, Jukka; Kaps, Manfred; Kropp, Peter; Rolfs, Arndt; Tatlisumak, Turgut; Fazekas, Franz; Kolodny, Edwin; Norrving, Bo (BioMed Central Ltd, 2014)
    Abstract Background Translating knowledge derived from medical research into the clinical setting is dependent on the representativeness of included patients. Therefore we compared baseline data of patients included in a recent large study addressing young stroke in comparison to a large representative stroke registry. Methods We analysed baseline data of 5023 patients (age 18-55 years) with an acute cerebrovascular event included in the sifap1 (Stroke in Young Fabry Patients) study. For comparison 17007 stroke patients (age 18-55 years) documented (2004-2010) in a statutory stroke registry of the Institute of Quality Assurance Hesse of the Federal State of Hesse (GQH), Germany. Results Among 17007 juvenile (18-55 years) patients identified in the GQH registry 15997 had an ischaemic stroke or TIA (91%) or an intracranial haemorrhage (9%). In sifap1 5023 subjects were included. Sex distribution was comparable (men: 59% sifap1 versus 60.5% GQH) whereas age differed between the groups: median age was 46 years in sifap1 versus 49 years in GQH. Slightly higher percentages for diabetes mellitus and hypertension in the GQH registry were noted. There were no differences in stroke severity as assessed by NIHSS (median 3) and mRS (median 2). In patients with ischaemic stroke or TIA (n = 4467 sifap1; n = 14522 GQH) higher rates of strokes due to small artery occlusion and atherosclerosis occurred in older age groups; cardioembolism and strokes of other determined cause occurred more frequently in younger patients. Conclusions The comparison of baseline characteristics between the sifap1 study and the GQH registry revealed differences mainly determined by age.
  • Tommiska, Johanna; Sorensen, Kaspar; Aksglaede, Lise; Koivu, Rosanna; Puhakka, Lea; Juul, Anders; Raivio, Taneli (BioMed Central Ltd, 2011)
    Abstract Background Pubertal timing is a strongly heritable trait, but no single puberty gene has been identified. Thus, the genetic background of idiopathic central precocious puberty (ICPP) is poorly understood. Overall, the genetic modulation of pubertal onset most likely arises from the additive effect of multiple genes, but also monogenic causes of ICPP probably exist, as cases of familial ICPP have been reported. Mutations in KISS1 and KISSR, coding for kisspeptin and its receptor, involved in GnRH secretion and puberty onset, have been suggested causative for monogenic ICPP. Variation in LIN28B was associated with timing of puberty in genome-wide association (GWA) studies. LIN28B is a human ortholog of the gene that controls, through microRNAs, developmental timing in C. elegans. In addition, Lin28a transgenic mice manifest the puberty phenotypes identified in the human GWAS. Thus, both LIN28B and LIN28A may have a role in pubertal development and are good candidate genes for monogenic ICPP. Methods Thirty girls with ICPP were included in the study. ICPP was defined by pubertal onset before 8 yrs of age, and a pubertal LH response to GnRH testing. The coding regions of LIN28B, LIN28A, KISS1, and KISS1R were sequenced. The missense change in LIN28B was also screened in 132 control subjects. Results No rare variants were detected in KISS1 or KISS1R in the 30 subjects with ICPP. In LIN28B, one missense change, His199Arg, was found in one subject with ICPP. However, this variant was also detected in one of the 132 controls. No variation in LIN28A was found. Conclusions We did not find any evidence that mutations in LIN28B or LIN28A would underlie ICPP. In addition, we confirmed that mutations in KISS1 and KISS1R are not a common cause for ICPP.
  • Raj, R; Kivisaari, R; Siironen, J; SkrifVars, M (BioMed Central Ltd, 2014)
  • Rodger, Marc A; Langlois, Nicole J; de Vries, Johanna IP; Rey, Évelyne; Gris, Jean-Christophe; Martinelli, Ida; Schleussner, Ekkehard; Ramsay, Timothy; Mallick, Ranjeeta; Skidmore, Becky; Middeldorp, Saskia; Bates, Shannon; Petroff, David; Bezemer, Dick; van Hoorn, Marion E; Abheiden, Carolien NH; Perna, Annalisa; de Jong, Paulien; Kaaja, Risto (BioMed Central Ltd, 2014)
    Abstract Background Placenta-mediated pregnancy complications include pre-eclampsia, late pregnancy loss, placental abruption, and the small-for-gestational age newborn. They are leading causes of maternal, fetal, and neonatal morbidity and mortality in developed nations. Women who have experienced these complications are at an elevated risk of recurrence in subsequent pregnancies. However, despite decades of research no effective strategies to prevent recurrence have been identified, until recently. We completed a pooled summary-based meta-analysis that strongly suggests that low-molecular-weight heparin reduces the risk of recurrent placenta-mediated complications. The proposed individual patient data meta-analysis builds on this successful collaboration. The project is called AFFIRM, An individual patient data meta-analysis oF low-molecular-weight heparin For prevention of placenta-medIated pRegnancy coMplications. Methods/Design We conducted a systematic review to identify randomized controlled trials with a low-molecular-weight heparin intervention for the prevention of recurrent placenta-mediated pregnancy complications. Investigators and statisticians representing eight trials met to discuss the outcomes and analysis plan for an individual patient data meta-analysis. An additional trial has since been added for a total of nine eligible trials. The primary analyses from the original trials will be replicated for quality assurance prior to recoding the data from each trial and combining it into a common dataset for analysis. Using the anonymized combined data we will conduct logistic regression and subgroup analyses aimed at identifying which women with previous pregnancy complications benefit most from treatment with low-molecular-weight heparin during pregnancy. Discussion The goal of the proposed individual patient data meta-analysis is a thorough estimation of treatment effects in patients with prior individual placenta-mediated pregnancy complications and exploration of which complications are specifically prevented by low-molecular-weight heparin. Systematic review registration PROSPERO (International Prospective Registry of Systematic Reviews) 23 December 2013, CRD42013006249
  • Moilanen, Ulla; Kellock, Miriam; Várnai, Anikó; Andberg, Martina; Viikari, Liisa (BioMed Central Ltd, 2014)
    Abstract Background The recalcitrance of softwood to enzymatic hydrolysis is one of the major bottlenecks hindering its profitable use as a raw material for platform sugars. In softwood, the guaiacyl-type lignin is especially problematic, since it is known to bind hydrolytic enzymes non-specifically, rendering them inactive towards cellulose. One approach to improve hydrolysis yields is the modification of lignin and of cellulose structures by laccase-mediator treatments (LMTs). Results LMTs were studied to improve the hydrolysis of steam pre-treated spruce (SPS). Three mediators with three distinct reaction mechanisms (ABTS, HBT, and TEMPO) and one natural mediator (AS, that is, acetosyringone) were tested. Of the studied LMTs, laccase-ABTS treatment improved the degree of hydrolysis by 54%, while acetosyringone and TEMPO increased the hydrolysis yield by 49% and 36%, respectively. On the other hand, laccase-HBT treatment improved the degree of hydrolysis only by 22%, which was in the same order of magnitude as the increase induced by laccase treatment without added mediators (19%). The improvements were due to lignin modification that led to reduced adsorption of endoglucanase Cel5A and cellobiohydrolase Cel7A on lignin. TEMPO was the only mediator that modified cellulose structure by oxidizing hydroxyls at the C6 position to carbonyls and partially further to carboxyls. Oxidation of the reducing end C1 carbonyls was also observed. In contrast to lignin modification, oxidation of cellulose impaired enzymatic hydrolysis. Conclusions LMTs, in general, improved the enzymatic hydrolysis of SPS. The mechanism of the improvement was shown to be based on reduced adsorption of the main cellulases on SPS lignin rather than cellulose oxidation. In fact, at higher mediator concentrations the advantage of lignin modification in enzymatic saccharification was overcome by the negative effect of cellulose oxidation. For future applications, it would be beneficial to be able to understand and modify the binding properties of lignin in order to decrease unspecific enzyme binding and thus to increase the mobility, action, and recyclability of the hydrolytic enzymes.
  • Krogius-Kurikka, Lotta; Lyra, Anna; Malinen, Erja; Aarnikunnas, Johannes; Tuimala, Jarno; Paulin, Lars; Mäkivuokko, Harri; Kajander, Kajsa; Palva, Airi (BioMed Central Ltd, 2009)
    Abstract Background A growing amount of scientific evidence suggests that microbes are involved in the aetiology of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and the gastrointestinal (GI) microbiota of individuals suffering from diarrhoea-predominant IBS (IBS-D) is distinguishable from other IBS-subtypes. In our study, the GI microbiota of IBS-D patients was evaluated and compared with healthy controls (HC) by using a high-resolution sequencing method. The method allowed microbial community analysis on all levels of microbial genomic guanine plus cytosine (G+C) content, including high G+C bacteria. Methods The collective faecal microbiota composition of ten IBS-D patients was analysed by examining sequences obtained using percent G+C (%G+C) -based profiling and fractioning combined with 16S rRNA gene clone library sequencing of 3267 clones. The IBS-D library was compared with an analogous healthy-control library of 23 subjects. Real-time PCR analysis was used to identify phylotypes belonging to the class Gammaproteobacteria and the order Coriobacteriales. Results Significant differences were found between clone libraries of IBS-D patients and controls. The microbial communities of IBS-D patients were enriched in Proteobacteria and Firmicutes, but reduced in the number of Actinobacteria and Bacteroidetes compared to control. In particular, 16S rDNA sequences belonging to the family Lachnospiraceae within the phylum Firmicutes were in greater abundance in the IBS-D clone library. Conclusions In the microbiota of IBS-D sufferers, notable differences were detected among the prominent bacterial phyla (Firmicutes, Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, and Proteobacteria) localized within the GI tract.
  • Long, Georgina V; Atkinson, Victoria; Ascierto, Paolo A; Brady, Benjamin; Dutriaux, Caroline; Maio, Michele; Mortier, Laurent; Hassel, Jessica C; Rutkowski, Piotr; McNeil, Catriona; Kalinka-Warzocha, Ewa; Savage, Kerry J; Hernberg, Micaela; Lebbé, Celeste; Charles, Julie; Mihalcioiu, Catalin; Chiarion-Sileni, Vanna; Mauch, Cornelia; Schmidt, Henrik; Schadendorf, Dirk; Gogas, Helen; Horak, Christine; Sharkey, Brian; Waxman, Ian M; Robert, Caroline (BioMed Central Ltd, 2015)
  • Rahmanian, Abdolkarim; Seifzadeh, Babak; Razmkon, Ali; Petramfar, Peyman; Kivelev, Juri; Alibai, Ehsan-Ali; Hernesniemi, Juha (Springer, 2014)
    Abstract Background Malignant cerebral infarction is a well-recognized disease, comprising 10-15% of all cases with cerebral infarction and causing herniation and death in 80% of cases. In this study, we compare the effects of decompressive craniectomy versus conventional medical treatment on mortality rate and functional and neurological outcome in patients with malignant MCA infarction. Methods We performed a prospective case–control study on 60 patients younger than 80years of age suffering malignant MCA cerebral infarction. The case group underwent decompressive craniectomy in addition to routine aggressive medical care; while the control group received routine medical treatment. Patient outcome was assessed using Glasgow outcome scale and modified Rankin scale within three months of follow-up. The data were analyzed by SPSS version 16.0 software using Chi Square, One-way ANOVA and Mann–Whitney tests. Results There were 27 male and 33 female patients with a mean age of 60.6 years (SD = 12.3). Glasgow outcome scale score averaged 2.93 in the surgical versus 1.53 in the medical group; this difference was significant (p = 0.001). Outcome in modified Rankin scale was also significantly lower in the surgical (3.27) versus medical (5.27) group (p < 0.001). Surgery could decrease the mortality rate about 47%. Conclusion In this study, decompressive craniectomy could decrease mortality rate, and improve neurological and functional outcome, and decrease long-term disability in patients with malignant MCA infarction.
  • Calteau, Alexandra; Fewer, David P; Latifi, Amel; Coursin, Thérèse; Laurent, Thierry; Jokela, Jouni; Kerfeld, Cheryl A; Sivonen, Kaarina; Piel, Jörn; Gugger, Muriel (BioMed Central Ltd, 2014)
    Abstract Background Cyanobacteria are an ancient lineage of photosynthetic bacteria from which hundreds of natural products have been described, including many notorious toxins but also potent natural products of interest to the pharmaceutical and biotechnological industries. Many of these compounds are the products of non-ribosomal peptide synthetase (NRPS) or polyketide synthase (PKS) pathways. However, current understanding of the diversification of these pathways is largely based on the chemical structure of the bioactive compounds, while the evolutionary forces driving their remarkable chemical diversity are poorly understood. Results We carried out a phylum-wide investigation of genetic diversification of the cyanobacterial NRPS and PKS pathways for the production of bioactive compounds. 452 NRPS and PKS gene clusters were identified from 89 cyanobacterial genomes, revealing a clear burst in late-branching lineages. Our genomic analysis further grouped the clusters into 286 highly diversified cluster families (CF) of pathways. Some CFs appeared vertically inherited, while others presented a more complex evolutionary history. Only a few horizontal gene transfers were evidenced amongst strongly conserved CFs in the phylum, while several others have undergone drastic gene shuffling events, which could result in the observed diversification of the pathways. Conclusions Therefore, in addition to toxin production, several NRPS and PKS gene clusters are devoted to important cellular processes of these bacteria such as nitrogen fixation and iron uptake. The majority of the biosynthetic clusters identified here have unknown end products, highlighting the power of genome mining for the discovery of new natural products.
  • Skrifvars, MB; Raj, R; Bendel, S; Selander, T; Kivisaari, R; Siironen, J; Reinikainen, M (BioMed Central Ltd, 2014)
  • Pohjola, Leena; Rossow, Laila; Huovilainen, Anita; Soveri, Timo; Hänninen, Marja-Liisa; Fredriksson-Ahomaa, Maria (BioMed Central Ltd, 2015)
    Abstract Background Although modern commercial poultry production today is based on large farms and intensive husbandry, keeping backyard poultry has regained popularity in industrialized countries. However, the health status of backyard flocks is still relatively poorly documented. A questionnaire was sent to the owners of 376 backyard poultry flocks (<500 birds) in order to study health management procedures and characterize backyard poultry populations in Finland. Information was also collected on the postmortem findings from non-commercial flocks using necropsy data from the Finnish Food Safety Authority (Evira). Results Backyard flocks in Finland are small in size (<50 birds), comprising mainly chickens. Based on the results of the questionnaire, the health of such flocks is good, mortality low and vaccinations are not commonly used. Most of the flocks were registered in the national poultry register. The standard biosecurity practices are not generally applied and contact with wild birds, pets and farm animals is frequent, which can make the flocks more prone to infectious diseases. We conducted an 11-year retrospective study of the postmortem necropsy findings of the Evira in order to document the diseases, which caused mortality in backyard chickens in Finland. Necropsy was performed on a total of 132 non-commercial laying hens during 2000 – 2011. The most common postmortem findings were Marek’s disease (27%) and colibacillosis (17%). Conclusions This study is the first to report data on characteristics of and management practices for backyard chicken flocks in Finland. Close connections with commercial flocks are rare and farms are usually distantly located suggesting that the risk that these backyard flocks pose to commercial poultry is low.
  • Hemilä, Harri; Al-Biltagi, Mohammed; Baset, Ahmed A (BioMed Central Ltd, 2012)
    AbstractWe reported that the effect of vitamin C on asthma in Egyptian children was modified by age, exposure to dampness and the severity of asthma, Clinical & Translational Allergy 2011, 1:9. After our paper was published, we found out severe problems in the data set. There were 60 children in the study. The ages were by accident duplicated between the upper and lower halves of the database. Thus, the ages for the first 30 children in the data set were identical and in the same order with the ages for the second set of 30 children. Similar duplication was also found for C-ACT and FEV1 measurements after vitamin C supplementation and for exposure to dampness. This duplication thus directly invalidates the second part of the data set, and thus the reported outcome. We have not been able to sort out the reason for this duplication. The files with the original data are not available any more, making it impossible to reconstruct a valid data set for reanalysis. Therefore we have to retract our paper. The authors deeply regret the inconvenience this has caused to the journal and the scientific community.
  • Castellsagué, Xavier; Paavonen, Jorma; Jaisamrarn, Unnop; Wheeler, Cosette M; Skinner, S Rachel; Lehtinen, Matti; Naud, Paulo; Chow, Song-Nan; Del Rosario-Raymundo, Maria R; Teixeira, Julio C; Palmroth, Johanna; de Carvalho, Newton S; Germar, Maria JV; Peters, Klaus; Garland, Suzanne M; Szarewski, Anne; Poppe, Willy AJ; Romanowski, Barbara; Schwarz, Tino F; Tjalma, Wiebren AA; Bosch, F X; Bozonnat, Marie-Cecile; Struyf, Frank; Dubin, Gary; Rosillon, Dominique; Baril, Laurence; for the HPV PATRICIA Study Group (BioMed Central Ltd, 2014)
    Abstract Background More information is needed about time between sexual initiation and human papillomavirus (HPV) infection and development of cervical precancer. Methods The objectives were to investigate the time between first sexual activity and detection of first cervical HPV infection or development of first cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN), and associated factors in women from the double-blind, multinational, 4-year PATRICIA trial. PATRICIA enroled women aged 15–25 years with no more than 6 lifetime sexual partners. Women were randomized 1:1 to the HPV-16/18 AS04-adjuvanted vaccine or to control, but only women from the control arm who began sexual intercourse during the study or within 6 months before enrolment, and had no HPV infection detected before the recorded date of their first sexual intercourse, were included in the present analysis. The time between onset of sexual activity and detection of the first cervical HPV infection or development of the first CIN lesion was analyzed using Kaplan-Meier and univariate and multivariable Cox proportional-hazards models. Results A total of 9337 women were enroled in the control arm of PATRICIA of whom 982 fulfilled the required inclusion criteria for analysis. A cumulative total of 28%, 44%, and 62% of the subjects had HPV infection within 12, 24, and 48 months, respectively. The overall incidence rate was 27.08 per 100 person-years. The most common oncogenic types associated with 6-month persistent infection were HPV-16 (incidence rate: 2.74 per 100 person-years), HPV-51 (2.70), HPV-52 (1.66), HPV-66 (1.14), and HPV-18 (1.09). Increased infection risk was associated with more lifetime sexual partners, being single, Chlamydia trachomatis history, and duration of hormone use. CIN1+ and CIN2+ lesions were most commonly associated with HPV-16, with an overall incidence rate of 1.87 and 1.07 per 100 person-years, respectively. Previous cervical HPV infection was most strongly associated with CIN development. Conclusions More than 25% of women were infected with HPV within 1 year of beginning sexual activity. Without underestimating the value of vaccination at older ages, our findings emphasize its importance before sexual initiation. Trial registration clinicaltrials.gov: NCT00122681.
  • Sidoroff, Marianne; Kolho, Kaija-Leena (BioMed Central Ltd, 2014)
    Abstract Background Pharmacological doses of corticoids may result in adrenal suppression but with individual sensitivity. In paediatric inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), glucocorticoids are needed in the majority of the patients but there are less studies related to tapering off the drugs. The objective of this study was to estimate the frequency of adrenal insufficiency in children with IBD that were at the end of their systemic glucocorticoid therapy course. Methods The study was a retrospective case series of 59 consecutive paediatric IBD patients (median age 14.1 years; Crohn’s disease n = 22, ulcerative colitis n = 26, unclassified colitis n = 11) that were on oral prednisolone therapy about to be discontinued. The study patients were treated in a tertiary university hospital setting. Serum morning cortisol was measured with Immulite 2000 cortisol kit. Values < 20 nmol/l are undetectable and indicate adrenal suppression, values > 69 nmol/l are considered to represent normal basal secretion. Results The morning cortisol was below the reference range in 20% of the patients and undetectable in 10%. Low cortisol levels associated with higher daily glucocorticoid doses (median 7.2 mg/m2 vs. 3.0 mg/m2 in patients with normal cortisol levels, p < 0.05) and with the long duration of the treatment (median 11 months vs. 4 months, p < 0.05). Patients with undetectable cortisol levels recovered within few weeks (median 5.6 weeks). Conclusions In paediatric IBD prolonged courses of glucocorticoids are frequent due to the steroid-dependent nature of the disease in a considerable proportion of patients. Adrenal suppression may occur in at least one fifth of the patients despite slowly tapering off the glucocorticoids. Notably, this is based on a set of serum cortisol measurements by request of experienced clinicians. All paediatric IBD patients receiving conventional doses of oral glucocorticoids should be subjected to screening for adrenal suppression when anticipated discontinuation of the drug.
  • Kim, Jinsil; Stirling, Kara J; Cooper, Margaret E; Ascoli, Mario; Momany, Allison M; McDonald, Erin L; Ryckman, Kelli K; Rhea, Lindsey; Schaa, Kendra L; Cosentino, Viviana; Gadow, Enrique; Saleme, Cesar; Shi, Min; Hallman, Mikko; Plunkett, Jevon; Teramo, Kari A; Muglia, Louis J; Feenstra, Bjarke; Geller, Frank; Boyd, Heather A; Melbye, Mads; Marazita, Mary L; Dagle, John M; Murray, Jeffrey C (BioMed Central Ltd, 2013)
    Abstract Background Preterm birth (PTB) is a complex disorder associated with significant neonatal mortality and morbidity and long-term adverse health consequences. Multiple lines of evidence suggest that genetic factors play an important role in its etiology. This study was designed to identify genetic variation associated with PTB in oxytocin pathway genes whose role in parturition is well known. Methods To identify common genetic variants predisposing to PTB, we genotyped 16 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the oxytocin (OXT), oxytocin receptor (OXTR), and leucyl/cystinyl aminopeptidase (LNPEP) genes in 651 case infants from the U.S. and one or both of their parents. In addition, we examined the role of rare genetic variation in susceptibility to PTB by conducting direct sequence analysis of OXTR in 1394 cases and 1112 controls from the U.S., Argentina, Denmark, and Finland. This study was further extended to maternal triads (maternal grandparents-mother of a case infant, N=309). We also performed in vitro analysis of selected rare OXTR missense variants to evaluate their functional importance. Results Maternal genetic effect analysis of the SNP genotype data revealed four SNPs in LNPEP that show significant association with prematurity. In our case–control sequence analysis, we detected fourteen coding variants in exon 3 of OXTR, all but four of which were found in cases only. Of the fourteen variants, three were previously unreported novel rare variants. When the sequence data from the maternal triads were analyzed using the transmission disequilibrium test, two common missense SNPs (rs4686302 and rs237902) in OXTR showed suggestive association for three gestational age subgroups. In vitro functional assays showed a significant difference in ligand binding between wild-type and two mutant receptors. Conclusions Our study suggests an association between maternal common polymorphisms in LNPEP and susceptibility to PTB. Maternal OXTR missense SNPs rs4686302 and rs237902 may have gestational age-dependent effects on prematurity. Most of the OXTR rare variants identified do not appear to significantly contribute to the risk of PTB, but those shown to affect receptor function in our in vitro study warrant further investigation. Future studies with larger sample sizes are needed to confirm the findings of this study.
  • Werner, Stefan; Apolinário, José A Jr.; Diniz, Paulo SR (Springer, 2007)
    Proportionate adaptive filters can improve the convergence speed for the identification of sparse systems as compared to their conventional counterparts. In this paper, the idea of proportionate adaptation is combined with the framework of set-membership filtering (SMF) in an attempt to derive novel computationally efficient algorithms. The resulting algorithms attain an attractive faster converge for both situations of sparse and dispersive channels while decreasing the average computational complexity due to the data discerning feature of the SMF approach. In addition, we propose a rule that allows us to automatically adjust the number of past data pairs employed in the update. This leads to a set-membership proportionate affine projection algorithm (SM-PAPA) having a variable data-reuse factor allowing a significant reduction in the overall complexity when compared with a fixed data-reuse factor. Reduced-complexity implementations of the proposed algorithms are also considered that reduce the dimensions of the matrix inversions involved in the update. Simulations show good results in terms of reduced number of updates, speed of convergence, and final mean-squared error.
  • Kondadi, Pradeep K; Revez, Joana; Hänninen, Marja-Liisa; Rossi, Mirko (BioMed Central Ltd, 2015)
    Abstract Sialic acid in lipopolysaccharides (LPS) of mucosal pathogens is known to be an important virulence factor. Few strains of Helicobacter pylori express sialyl-Lewis-X and we have reported that human and canine Helicobacter bizzozeronii strains express sialyl-lactoseamine in their LPS. However, the role of sialyation of Helicobacter LPS in the interaction with the host cells is still unknown. In this study H. bizzozeronii LPS is shown to activate the TLR2 in a dose and strain dependent manner in the in vitro HEK-293 cells model expressing TLR2, but not the cells expressing TLR4. These results indicate that TLR2 is the specific receptor for H. bizzozzeronii LPS, as previously described for H. pylori. To further explore the role of sialylation of H. bizzozeronii LPS on TLR2 response, H. bizzozeronii Δhbs2 mutant strains deficient in sialyltransferase activity were constructed by homologous recombination. LPS from H. bizzozeronii Δhbs2 strains enhanced the NF-ĸB induction via TLR2 compared to the respective wild types, leading to the conclusion that the sialylation of H. bizzozeronii LPS in wild-type strains may modulate host immune response.
  • Kulhánová, Ivana; Menvielle, Gwenn; Bopp, Matthias; Borrell, Carme; Deboosere, Patrick; Eikemo, Terje A; Hoffmann, Rasmus; Leinsalu, Mall; Martikainen, Pekka; Regidor, Enrique; Rodríguez-Sanz, Maica; Rychtaříková, Jitka; Wojtyniak, Bogdan; Mackenbach, Johan P (BioMed Central Ltd, 2014)
    Abstract Background Cause-of-death data linked to information on socioeconomic position form one of the most important sources of information about health inequalities in many countries. The proportion of deaths from ill-defined conditions is one of the indicators of the quality of cause-of-death data. We investigated educational differences in the use of ill-defined causes of death in official mortality statistics. Methods Using age-standardized mortality rates from 16 European countries, we calculated the proportion of all deaths in each educational group that were classified as due to “Symptoms, signs and ill-defined conditions”. We tested if this proportion differed across educational groups using Chi-square tests. Results The proportion of ill-defined causes of death was lower than 6.5% among men and 4.5% among women in all European countries, without any clear geographical pattern. This proportion statistically significantly differed by educational groups in several countries with in most cases a higher proportion among less than secondary educated people compared with tertiary educated people. Conclusions We found evidence for educational differences in the distribution of ill-defined causes of death. However, the differences between educational groups were small suggesting that socioeconomic inequalities in cause-specific mortality in Europe are not likely to be biased.
  • Plug, Iris; Hoffmann, Rasmus; Artnik, Barbara; Bopp, Matthias; Borrell, Carme; Costa, Giuseppe; Deboosere, Patrick; Esnaola, Santi; Kalediene, Ramune; Leinsalu, Mall; Lundberg, Olle; Martikainen, Pekka; Regidor, Enrique; Rychtarikova, Jitka; Strand, Björn H; Wojtyniak, Bogdan; Mackenbach, Johan P (BioMed Central Ltd, 2012)
    AbstractBackgroundPrevious studies have reported large socioeconomic inequalities in mortality from conditions amenable to medical intervention, but it is unclear whether these can be attributed to inequalities in access or quality of health care, or to confounding influences such as inequalities in background risk of diseases. We therefore studied whether inequalities in mortality from conditions amenable to medical intervention vary between countries in patterns which differ from those observed for other (non-amenable) causes of death. More specifically, we hypothesized that, as compared to non-amenable causes, inequalities in mortality from amenable causes are more strongly associated with inequalities in health care use and less strongly with inequalities in common risk factors for disease such as smoking.MethodsCause-specific mortality data for people aged 30–74 years were obtained for 14 countries, and were analysed by calculating age-standardized mortality rates and relative risks comparing a lower with a higher educational group. Survey data on health care use and behavioural risk factors for people aged 30–74 years were obtained for 12 countries, and were analysed by calculating age-and sex-adjusted odds ratios comparing a low with a higher educational group. Patterns of association were explored by calculating correlation coefficients.ResultsIn most countries and for most amenable causes of death substantial inequalities in mortality were observed, but inequalities in mortality from amenable causes did not vary between countries in patterns that are different from those seen for inequalities in non-amenable mortality. As compared to non-amenable causes, inequalities in mortality from amenable causes are not more strongly associated with inequalities in health care use. Inequalities in mortality from amenable causes are also not less strongly associated with common risk factors such as smoking.ConclusionsWe did not find evidence that inequalities in mortality from amenable conditions are related to inequalities in access or quality of health care. Further research is needed to find the causes of socio-economic inequalities in mortality from amenable conditions, and caution should be exercised in interpreting these inequalities as indicating health care deficiencies.