Articles

SARS-CoV-2 antibody response to third dose vaccination in a healthy cohort

Published on: 23rd November, 2022

Determining the extent of immunity induced by booster doses of COVID-19 vaccinations is crucial for informing recommendations for booster dose regimens as well as constant adjustments of immunization strategies amongst different groups of people within the population. The study involved 31 healthy volunteers (majority were healthcare professionals) who completed either vaccination course with Pfizer or Moderna mRNA vaccines and received a third dose of the vaccine. Here we report results on the evaluation of an antibody response to four different SARS-CoV-2 antigens: RBD, S1, S2 and nucleocapsid prior to third dose and two and four weeks after a booster vaccination. We detected a peak of high titers of antibodies after the third dose with a gradual decline after four weeks. No significant differences were seen between the two vaccines in terms of antibody response. There were no gender discrepancies between the two vaccines. Our results suggest that: third doses are necessary due to the emergence of different SARS-CoV-2 variants and postvaccination antibody testing continues be essential in determining possible standardization of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines regimens.
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Determination of the in vivo activity of leaves extract of Zanthoxylum Chiloperone var. Angustifolium (Tembetary hú) orally and intralesionally administered to BALB/c mice experimentally infected with Leishmania

Published on: 23rd November, 2022

Natural products are becoming increasingly important as an unlimited source for obtaining chemical substances with possible pharmacological potential. Current existing drugs for the treatment of cutaneous leishmaniosis produce major side effects; therefore the search for new drugs is justified. The stem bark of Zanthoxylum chiloperone var. Angustifolium Engl. (Rutaceae) is traditionally used in Paraguay for its antiparasitic properties. The leaf extract was evaluated for the first time to determine its leishmanicidal activity in BALB/c mice infected with amastigote forms of Leishmania amazonensis (PH8). The mice were treated orally with the extract at three concentrations (100, 50 and 10 mg/mL), intralesional (50 mg/mL), and subcutaneously using glucantime as a control (100 mg/mL). The percentage of decrease in parasite load was measured and with intralesional 50 mg/kg a reduction of 72% occurred, with the reference drug (Glucantime) a reduction of 62% was obtained with the same oral dose a reduction of 50%, while with an oral dose of 10 mg/mL the percentage of reduction was 55%. When the oral dose was increased to 100 mg/mL, the reduction percentage of the parasitic load was only 16%. These results indicated that the leaf extract of Z. chiloperone var. angustifolium Engl. at low oral concentrations (50 and 10 mg/mL) had very good activity against L. amazonensis, and it was even more efficacious intralesionally at 50 mg/mL but at the oral dose of 100 mg/kg has very reduced antiparasitic activity. This study showed the efficacy of the extract leaves of Z. chiloperone in reducing the parasite load in an in vivo test, so its use as a potential leishmanicidal could be suggested to develop and evaluate new drugs for the oral treatment of leishmaniosis disease with fewer side effects and lower cost.
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Biopesticides use on cotton and their harmful effects on human health & environment

Published on: 22nd November, 2022

Cotton crop is infested with different kinds of insects in the production cycle. Jassids, thrips, aphids and whiteflies are among the sucking pests, and bollworms (American and spotted) and Spodoptera caterpillars attack leaves and bolls. Bollworms can cause up to 40% - 50% crop losses in severe incidences.
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Climate change - a review of the mass balance of biogenic and fossil carbon

Published on: 22nd November, 2022

Trying to understand the causes of climate change can be confusing. On the one hand, methane (CH4) emissions from cattle, and methane emissions from food wastes in landfills, are said to contribute to greenhouse gases (GHGs) that drive climate change.  People are working on feed additives for dairy cows to reduce their methane emissions. But, at the same time, cattle manure and food wastes can be fed into anaerobic digesters to convert these organic wastes to biogas; the resulting “renewable methane” or “renewable natural gas” (RNG), can be used in place of fossil natural gas and avoid extra GHG emissions and stop global warming. Can we have it both ways?  Burning gasoline in our cars and trucks generates carbon dioxide (CO2), which is said to contribute to climate change. But more than 8 billion people on planet Earth, breathe in oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide every minute of the day. And so do all the other animals who live on this planet, breathe in oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide. Is our breathing also contributing to climate change, just as the emissions from our automobile tailpipes?It is time to step back from all the hype, evaluate the various sources of CO2 and CH4 being generated and review the “mass balance” of these gases in our atmosphere. Some of these are part of the natural biogenic carbon cycle and some are simply adding to the overall mass balance. What is driving climate change - excess GHGs from the biogenic carbon cycle, excess emissions from other sources, or both? Let’s take a fresh look at the available data.  (Of course, water vapor also plays a part in the climate change story, as a “positive feedback” effect. As non-condensable GHGs rise in concentration and slightly warm the planet, slightly warming oceans add a bit more water vapor to the story and push the warming up a bit more).  During the past few decades, a great deal of pertinent data has been carefully observed and recorded, by world-class scientists and engineers. This data is available in the public domain and is now easily available on the internet. These data sources come from reputable organizations, such as NASA (National Atmospheric and Space Administration), NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), USGS (United States Geological Survey) and international organizations such as the “Global Carbon Project” and “Our-World-in-Data”.  How much of the growing concentration of CO2 (and CH4) in our atmosphere can be attributed to out-of-control emissions of biogenic carbon? How much of the CO2 rise can be attributed to fossil fuel emissions: 10%, 50%, 90%, or more?  The available data appear to show that the emissions from burning fossil fuels, more than account for all of the rise of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere during the past 60 years, or longer.  In comparison, the biogenic carbon cycle data seem to be very consistent, year after year, decade after decade and have little or no impact on climate change. But, let’s have a closer look at the available data, and let the data speak for itself.
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A retrospective observational study of mycotic keratitis in Saveetha Hospitals, Chennai

Published on: 22nd November, 2022

Aim and objective:1.    To study the manifestations of fungal corneal ulcer in different age groups and sex 2.    To study the distribution of fungal corneal ulcer in relation to occupation3.    To know the effect of Natamycin and Fluconazole as anti-fungal agents.Materials and methods: This is a retrospective analysis of microbiology records of patients presenting with suspected microbial keratitis seen between January 2021 and June 2021. Patients with positive fungal cultures were analyzed in detail for the type of fungus isolated.Results: 90 patients with suspected microbial keratitis were reviewed. A microbiological diagnosis of mycotic keratitis was established 9 (10%) patients over a period of 6 months, based on positive fungal cultures. Filamentous fungi were isolated more often than yeasts. Aspergillus species followed by Fusarium species were the commonest filamentous fungi isolated. Conclusion: Over a period of 6 months, the cumulative incidence of mycotic keratitis was 10%. The pathogenic organisms most frequently responsible for mycotic keratitis were Aspergillus species. When beginning an empirical therapy for mycotic keratitis, etiological factors were helpful. Eight of the 90 patients with corneal ulcers who were admitted to the patient department for treatment had positive fungal cultures in Sabouraud’s media. The age range of 50 to 60 years had a high prevalence of illness. There were 90 total cases of corneal ulcers. Out of those there were 8 (8.8%) incidences of fungal ulcers. More men than women were impacted. Workers in agriculture are more impacted than others. The main cause of a fungus-induced corneal ulcer was trauma.Natamycin was the better option for the treatment of fungal keratitis. Filamentous fungi (Aspergillus species, fusarium, and curvularia) responded effectively to Natamycin 5% eyedrop.
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Contamination of a water bottle warmer in neonatal Intensive care unit and Klebsiella Pneumoniae ESBL + outbreak: cases series

Published on: 22nd November, 2022

Infections caused by extended-spectrum β-lactamases (ESBLs)-producing bacteria in particular Klebsiella Pneumoniae (KPE+), are on a constant rise and are a noted cause of outbreaks in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs). In the NICU of Policlinico di Foggia, an outbreak of infections in 2018 brought to the start of a serial check of presence and favorable conditions associated with KPE+ diffusion. The outbreak was controlled by improving basic hygiene measures such as hand washing, the use of disposable gloves and gowns, and removing a potential environmental contamination source such as the water bottle warmer.
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Comparative analysis of mobile forensic proprietary tools: an application in forensic investigation

Published on: 22nd November, 2022

The utilization of the Internet and wireless communication reaches its pinnacle from one side of the planet to the other. Marking the rise of criminal activity in recent years sees enormous growth in security breaches and data theft-related cases in mobile phones. To mitigate them, the implementation of security patches, safety fixes, and updates in mobile devices is of high priority for the organization. The need to foster techniques and procedures in the field to be able to extract and precisely dissect digital crime cases, providing valuable tactical data about the investigation. Mobile forensics is a developing branch assisting the investigator in criminal trials and investigations. Acquisition, Collection, and Analysis of mobile phones settle the purpose of recovering cumulative and corroborative evidence. Upgradation and innovation of mobile devices with time imposed a challenge to mobile forensic technology to extract information from such devices. The study aims at extracting comparative and statistical approaches in the analysis of Physical data acquisition utilizing significant versatile mobile criminological proprietary tools. The proposed study also introduces newly developed utility tools along with their characteristic features which help in successful data extraction from mobile devices.
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Acute ischemic stroke for alteplase or medical care alone or intervention with/without alteplase in Palestine (AIS-AMI Palestine)

Published on: 22nd November, 2022

Background: Stroke is the most common cause of permanent disability and the third most common cause of death in Palestine. We aimed to examine patterns of stroke presentation, causes, management and outcomes at the largest public Mistry of health hospitals in Palestine.Methods: Comprehensive data from all patients with acute ischemic stroke who were admitted to al-Shifa hospital between November 2021 and July 2022 and treated with alteplase alone or endovascular intervention with or without alteplase were prospectively collected and compare with acute ischemic stroke patients who were treated with medical care alone at Palestine medical complex hospital at 2018. Acute ischemic stroke presentation patterns, in-hospital evaluation and management, mortality, and morbidity were evaluated. Results: Medical care alone group: 138 patients with acute ischemic stroke, mean age was 65 ± 14 years and 49% were women. Most of the patients received antiplatelet therapy (98%), although none received thrombolysis. Only 17% received physical therapy evaluation. In-hospital mortality was 13%, and a modified ranking score of 0 -2 was in 44 patients (32%). Endovascular intervention with/without alteplase group: 56 patients with acute ischemic stroke. The mean age was 61 ± 12 years and 41% were women. All patients received brain computed tomography scans, although few received other investigations such as carotid Doppler (13%). Most patients with ischemic stroke received antiplatelet therapy (99%), although 39 patients (70%) received thrombolysis. Only 61% received physical therapy evaluation. In-hospital mortality was 7%. The modified ranking score 0 - 2: 32 patients (57%).Conclusion: This study conducted in Palestine showed that among patients with acute ischemic stroke, functional outcomes according to modified ranking score 0 - 2 were better by endovascular therapy with/without alteplase than with medical care alone.
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Abnormal uterine bleeding and severe anemia cause the life-threatening condition

Published on: 22nd November, 2022

The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines anemia as a global public health problem. It is a medical condition in which the number of red blood cells or the hemoglobin concentration within them is below the physiological range. We present a case of a 40-year-old woman with Abnormal Uterine Bleeding (AUB) accompanied by malaise, weakness, and tachycardia. The patient reported heavy menstrual bleeding for the past 14 days. Speculum examination revealed that the bleeding was from the uterus. There were no pathological findings during a gynecological and transvaginal ultrasound examination. A complete blood count performed at the time of her arrival showed a low hemoglobin level of 24 g/L, a low hematocrit level of 7,4%, a mean corpuscular volume of 98,7 fL and a number of red blood cells 0,75 x 1012/L. Due to the severity of the anemia, she was given 6 units of red blood cell transfusion, 2 fresh frozen plasmas and tranexamic acid accompanied with calcium carbonate. The curettage was performed. The pathohistological finding was endometrium in proliferation. Afterward, the hemoglobin level increased to 90 g/L. Their past medical history revealed that she abused alcohol. On an abdominal CT scan, Alcohol-Related Liver Disease (ARLD) was confirmed. We should keep in mind that coagulopathy could be the underlying cause of abnormal uterine bleeding and that anemia must be analyzed for successful treatment. A multidisciplinary approach to anemia caused by AUB is required in cases of severe anemia.
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Neglected percutaneous rod extrusion following posterior occipitocervical instrumentation: a case report

Published on: 18th November, 2022

Purpose: The extrusion of implant material is a rare complication but has been reported in several cases following anterior cervical spine surgery. A posterior spontaneous percutaneous rod extrusion after rigid occipitocervical (OC) instrumentation (screw and rod construct) has not been reported yet. The authors discuss potential complications after cervical spine surgery and its clinical management.Methods: This is a case report of a 56-year-old patient after posterior OC spine surgery with initially unobserved implant failure and posterior percutaneous rod extrusion. The implant failure with a missing rod has been documented 4 years later during a routine follow-up visit.Results: At the four-year follow-up, the asymptomatic patient presented with a stable occipitocervical junction and an improved range of motion after generalized sepsis with an epidural spinal abscess, decompression and posterior OC instrumentation. A computed tomography scan of the implant failure of a broken rod was noticed two years postoperatively. The patient failed to return to the clinic. For years postoperatively he returned to the clinic and the broken rod could not be detectable in-situ on the X-rays anymore. Conclusion: The posterior percutaneous rod extrusion following an OC instrumentation not noticed by the patient, is a very rare complication that has not been described in the literature yet. Once seen back in the clinic, the patient unexpectedly reported an improved ROM without neck pain. Usually, revision surgery or implant removal is recommended if an implant failure is documented.
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