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05 mar 2015 02:00

Small ruminant lentivirus (SRLV) infections of sheep are influenced by genetics on both the host and pathogen sides. Genetic variation in the ovine transmembrane 154 (TMEM154) gene associates with infection susceptibility, and distinct SRLV genetic subgroups infect sheep in association with their TMEM154 diplotypes. In this study, a novel SRLV subgroup was identified that naturally infected sheep with various TMEM154 diplotypes, including those homozygous for a rare frameshift mutation (A4 delta53), which is predicted to abolish TMEM154 protein function. Thus, these SRLVs may infect sheep that lack functional TMEM154, and may not be restricted by TMEM154 diplotypes in establishing infections.

biologia | biomed central - latest articles

05 mar 2015 02:00

Background: It is important for pharmacists to manage cancer chemotherapy regimens in order to achieve safe treatment. We examined whether there was a useful pharmacoeconomic benefit of compliance the exclusion criteria of neutropenia, and the importance of a pharmacist's intervention was considered. Methods: A prospective observational cohort study was conducted at a community-based medical center. Among 374 patients who received chemotherapy between April 2010 and March 2011, 108 patients developed neutropenia and pharmacists recommended suspension of chemotherapy. These patients were divided into a group in whom chemotherapy was suspended (complying group) and a group in whom it was continued (non-complying group). Then the relative dose intensity (RDI) was compared between the two groups, and medical expenses related to the treatment of neutropenia (neutropenia-related costs: NRC) were compared. Analysis was carried out from the perspective of the health insurance provider, so only the direct medical costs were evaluated. Results: There was a significant difference of the RDI between a complying group (85.2 ± 10.0%) and a non-complying group (79.3 ± 15.0%) (P = 0.021). The average NRC per patient showed a significant difference between the two groups (complying group: 1,944 ± 412 dollars, non-complying group: 4,394 ± 837 dollars, P = 0.044). The economic effect over one year was 54,205 dollars. Conclusion: The present findings suggest that ensuring compliance with chemotherapy regimens (including the criteria for neutropenia) is effective from a pharmacoeconomic perspective. Accordingly, pharmacists should intervene as required to improve regimen compliance.

biologia | biomed central - latest articles

05 mar 2015 02:00

Background: Inverse docking technology has been a trend of drug discovery, and bioinformatics approaches have been used to predict target proteins, biological activities, signal pathways and molecular regulating networks affected by drugs for further pharmacodynamic and mechanism studies. Methods: In the present paper, inverse docking technology was applied to screen potential targets from potential drug target database (PDTD). Then, the corresponding gene information of the obtained drug-targets was applied to predict the related biological activities, signal pathways and processes networks of the compound by using MetaCore platform. After that, some most relevant regulating networks were considered, which included the nodes and relevant pathways of dioscin. Results: 71 potential targets of dioscin from humans, 7 from rats and 8 from mice were screened, and the prediction results showed that the most likely targets of dioscin were cyclin A2, calmodulin, hemoglobin subunit beta, DNA topoisomerase I, DNA polymerase lambda, nitric oxide synthase and UDP-N-acetylhexosamine pyrophosphorylase, etc. Many diseases including experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis of human, temporal lobe epilepsy of rat and ankylosing spondylitis of mouse, may be inhibited by dioscin through regulating immune response alternative complement pathway, G-protein signaling RhoB regulation pathway and immune response antiviral actions of interferons, etc. The most relevant networks (5 from human, 3 from rat and 5 from mouse) indicated that dioscin may be a TOP1 inhibitor, which can treat cancer though the cell cycle– transition and termination of DNA replication pathway. Dioscin can down regulate EGFR and EGF to inhibit cancer, and also has anti-inflammation activity by regulating JNK signaling pathway. Conclusions: The predictions of the possible targets, biological activities, signal pathways and relevant regulating networks of dioscin provide valuable information to guide further investigation of dioscin on pharmacodynamics and molecular mechanisms, which also suggests a practical and effective method for studies on the mechanism of other chemicals.

biologia | biomed central - latest articles

05 mar 2015 02:00

Background: Biofuel use is one of many means of addressing global change caused by anthropogenic release of fossil fuel carbon dioxide into Earth’s atmosphere. To make a meaningful reduction in fossil fuel use, bioethanol must be produced from the entire plant rather than only its starch or sugars. Enzymes produced by fungi constitute a significant percentage of the cost of bioethanol production from non-starch (i.e., lignocellulosic) components of energy crops and agricultural residues. We, and others, have reasoned that fungi that naturally deconstruct plant walls may provide the best enzymes for bioconversion of energy crops. Results: Previously, we have reported on the isolation of 106 fungi from decaying leaves of Miscanthus and sugarcane (Appl Environ Microbiol 77:5490–504, 2011). Here, we thoroughly analyze 30 of these fungi most often found on decaying leaves and stems of these plants, as well as four fungi chosen because they are well-studied for their plant cell wall deconstructing enzymes, for wood decay, or for genetic regulation of plant cell wall deconstruction. We extend our analysis to assess not only their ability over an 8-week period to bioconvert Miscanthus cell walls but also their ability to secrete total protein, to secrete enzymes with the activities of xylanases, exocellulases, endocellulases, and beta-glucosidases, and to remove specific parts of Miscanthus cell walls, that is, glucan, xylan, arabinan, and lignin. Conclusion: This study of fungi that bioconvert energy crops is significant because 30 fungi were studied, because the fungi were isolated from decaying energy grasses, because enzyme activity and removal of plant cell wall components were recorded in addition to biomass conversion, and because the study period was 2 months. Each of these factors make our study the most thorough to date, and we discovered fungi that are significantly superior on all counts to the most widely used, industrial bioconversion fungus, Trichoderma reesei. Many of the best fungi that we found are in taxonomic groups that have not been exploited for industrial bioconversion and the cultures are available from the Centraalbureau voor Schimmelcultures in Utrecht, Netherlands, for all to use.

biologia | biomed central - latest articles

05 mar 2015 02:00

Parental stress and the onset and course of childhood asthma

The influence of a caregiver’s stress on the development of childhood asthma is an important aspect of the treatment and prevention of illness. Many cross-sectional studies have investigated the association between parenting attitude and/or caregiver’s stress and childhood asthma morbidity, but prospective studies are more advantageous than cross-sectional studies in interpreting a causal relationship from the results. We here present an overview of prospective studies that have reported a relationship between parental stress and the morbidity or course of childhood asthma and discuss the role of parental mental health in its prevention and treatment. Almost all of the studies referred to in this paper show that caregiver (mostly mothers) stress contributed to the onset and to a poor prognosis, while only a few studies have examined the adverse effect of paternal stress on childhood asthma. Their results are inconsistent, and there is insufficient data examining specific stress-related properties that can be targeted in intervention studies. Not only maternal but also paternal influence should be considered in future studies, and it will be important to assess specific stress-related properties that can be the foundation of specific intervention methods.

biologia | biomed central - latest articles

05 mar 2015 02:00

BMC Cancer reviewer acknowledgement 2014

Contributing reviewersThe editors of BMC Cancer would like to thank all our reviewers who have contributed to the journal in Volume 14 (2014).

biologia | biomed central - latest articles

05 mar 2015 02:00

Background: Antiretroviral treatment (ART) has been effective in reducing HIV/AIDS related morbidity and mortality. However, the use and uptake of ART has resulted in adverse reactions, due mainly to the medicine’s toxicity and interactions with other medicines. The timing of adverse drug reactions (ADRs) among these patients is a critical public health issue for antiretroviral (ARV) treatment adherence and retention. Reliable monitoring of HIV patients on ART is through a structured pharmacovigilance surveillance system. However, recurrent nature of these data pose challenges in their analyses. This study aimed at modelling the timing of ADR events in HIV patients on ART using correlated time-to-event models. Methods: The data concern 590 HIV patients registered onto the Medunsa National ARV Pharmacovigilance Surveillance System within 6 months of ART initiation between February 2007 and July 2011. Recurrent times of ADRs and baseline characteristics: patient gender, and age, ART regimen, clinic and initiation period were extracted from the data. The recurrent ADR events data were modelled using both shared frailty and marginal models on the five patients’ characteristics as covariates. Results: Out of 590 patients, 67% were female, 68% started on regimen: Stavudine, Lamivudine and Efavirenz; 37% had experienced at least one ADR and 67% started ART in 2009–2011. Age (p-value = 0.0210), clinic (p-value < 0.0001) and period of ART initiation (p-value = 0.0002) were significantly associated with timing of first ADR. There was a significantly higher rates of ADR recurrences in patients aged 38–44 years [HR = 2.45; 95% CI = (1.47; 4.10)] vs. 30 years and less, patients taking regimen: Zidovudine, Lamivudine and Nevarapine) vs. regimen: Stavudine, Lamivudine and Efavirenz [HR = 2.09; 95% CI = (1.35; 3.22)], while the rate was lower among those who started ART in 2009–2011 vs. those who initiated in 2007–2008 [HR = 0.55; 95% CI = (0.40; 0.76)]. Conclusion: More realistic time-to-event models for recurrent events data have been used to analyse timing of ADR events in HIV patients taking ARV treatment. Age, antiretroviral regimen type and period of initiation of ART were associated with the timing of HIV/AIDS drug related adverse reactions regardless of the analysis model used. This study has public health policy implications in addressing the added morbidity among HIV patients taking ARV treatment in the context of universal scaling up of ARV treatment.

biologia | biomed central - latest articles