Publication date: Available online 19 June 2018 Source:Environmental Toxicology and Pharmacology Author(s): Jheneffer Sonara Aguiar Ramos, Leandro Prado Felício, Alessandro Arruda Alves, Mariana Paiva Lopes, Thannya Nascimento Soares, Daniela de Melo e Silva We evaluated genetic variability of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) situated in the CYP2E1 gene promoter in alcoholics. We also compared 1000 Genomes Project of CYP2E1 polymorphisms with frequencies of genotypes and haplotypes. Eight variation points were exclusively found in Brazilians. The allelic distributions of the rs3813867, rs2031920 and rs2031921 polymorphisms in the CYP2E1 showed that the wild alleles (G, C, T, respectively) had higher frequencies in both groups, alcoholic (96%, 96%, 96%) and a control group (95.8%, 94.9%, 94.9%), when compared to the mutated allele (C, T, C, respectively). The variation points, rs3813867, rs2031920 and rs2031921 showed strong linkage disequilibrium (LOD ≥ 2, D ' = 1). South Asian populations presented larger LD blocks compared to the other populations. Our results showed that the allelic frequencies were markedly different among ethnicities and have contributed to the knowledge regarding the distribution among ethnic groups, being associated to alcohol consumption worldwide.
Publication date: Available online 1 June 2018 Source:Veterinary Microbiology Author(s): Chung-Young Lee, Se-Hee An, Ilhwan Kim, Jun-Gu Choi, Youn-Jeong Lee, Jae-Hong Kim, Hyuk-Joon Kwon The polymerase complex of the low-pathogenic avian influenza virus [A/chicken/Korea/KBNP-0028/2000] (0028) has previously been characterized, and novel amino acid residues present in the polymerase acidic protein (PA) that likely contribute to pathogenicity toward mammals have been identified. In the present study, our aims were to generate A/Puerto Rico/8/34 (PR8)-derived recombinant viruses containing the 0028-PA gene with a single amino acid mutation and to test their pathogenicity and replication ability. We found that the recombinant viruses acquired additional single mutations in the nucleoprotein (NP). Because the additional mutations in NP did not affect viral pathogenicity, but rather attenuated viral replication and polymerase activity, the incompatibility of the avian PA gene within the PR8 backbone may have induced an adaptive mutation in NP. To minimize the differences due to NP mutations, we generated 0028-PA mutants with an E375 G mutation, not affecting viral replication and pathogenicity, in the NP gene. The PR8-PA(0028)-E684 G mutant showed significantly higher viral replication in mammalian cells as compared to PR8-PA(0028) and led to 100% mortality in mice, with significantly increased interferon β expression. Thus, the E684 G mutation in the PA gene may play an important role in viral pathogenicity in mice by increasing viral replication and the host immune response.
Publication date: June 2018 Source:Animal Behaviour, Volume 140 Author(s): Angelina V. Ruiz-Lambides, Brigitte M. Weiß, Lars Kulik, Anja Widdig Extragroup paternity (EGP) is found across a wide range of species and may entail reproductive benefits, but may also entail costs to both sexes. While population and group parameters affecting the degree of EGPs are relatively well established, less is known about the individual characteristics that make males and females engage in alternative reproductive tactics such as EGP. Applying a combination of long-term demographic and genetic data from the rhesus macaque population of Cayo Santiago (Puerto Rico, U.S.A.), we investigate which male and female characteristics influence the probability of EGP to better understand the circumstances that shape the distribution and occurrence of EGP. Our results show that, against our expectations, higher-ranking females were more likely to produce EGP offspring than lower-ranking females. The probability of producing extragroup offspring was not significantly related to female or male age, male tenure or previous reproductive success. Furthermore, genetic relatedness between the parents did not affect the production of extragroup offspring, but extragroup offspring were more frequently produced early rather than late in a given mating season. Altogether, our analysis suggests that individual attributes and seasonal aspects create different opportunities and preferences for engaging in EGP as an alternative reproductive tactic. The observed patterns of EGP in rhesus macaques appear to be consistent with female mate choice for genetic benefits, which needs to be confirmed in future studies.
Publication date: Available online 23 May 2018 Source:Gastroenterology Author(s): Marcia Cruz-Correa, Linda M. Hylind, Jessica Hernandez Marrero, Marianna L. Zahurak, Tracy Murray-Stewart, Robert A. Casero, Elizabeth A. Montgomery, Christine Iacobuzio-Donahue, Lodewijk A. Brosens, G. Johan Offerhaus, Asad Umar, Luz M. Rodriguez, Francis M. Giardiello Background & Aims Familial adenomatous polyposis is an autosomal dominant disorder characterized by development of hundreds of colorectal adenomas and eventually colorectal cancer. Oral administration of the spice curcumin has been followed by regression of polyps in patients with this disorder. We performed a double-blind, randomized trial to determine the safety and efficacy of curcumin in patients with familial adenomatous polyposis. Methods Our study comprised 44 patients with familial adenomatous polyposis (18 to 85 years old) who had either not undergone colectomy or had undergone colectomy with ileorectal anastomosis or ileal anal pouches and had 5 or more intestinal adenomatous polyps, enrolled in Puerto Rico or the United States from September 2011 through November 2016. Patients were randomly assigned (1:1) to groups given 100% pure curcumin (1500 mg orally, twice per day), or identical-appearing placebo capsules, for 12 months. The number and size of lower gastrointestinal tract polyps were evaluated every 4 months for 1 year. The primary outcome was the number of polyps in the curcumin and placebo groups at 12 months or at the time of withdrawal from the study according to the intention-to-treat principle. Results After 1 year of treatment the average rate of compliance was 83% in the curcumin group and 91% in the placebo group. After 12 weeks, there was no significant difference between the mean number of polyps in the placebo group (18.6; 95% CI, 9.3–27.8) vs the curcumin group (22.6; 95% CI, 12.1–33.1) (P=.58). We found no significant difference between mean polyp size in the curcumin group (2.3 mm; 95% CI, 1.8–2.8) vs the placebo group (2.1 mm; 95% CI, 1.5–2.7) (P=.76). Adverse events were few with no significant differences between the groups. Conclusions In a double-blind, randomized trial of patients with familial adenomatous polyposis, we found no difference in mean number or size of lower intestinal tract adenomas between groups of patients given 3000 mg/day curcumin vs placebo for 12 weeks. Clinicaltrials.gov no: NCT00641147
Publication date: July 2018 Source:Public Health, Volume 160 Author(s): E.S. Hall, M. Lee, E.A. DeFranco Objectives Although US-born Hispanics experience infant mortality rates (IMRs) which are lower than the national rate, within the Hispanic population, infants of Puerto Rican origin experience higher IMRs than other Hispanics. We aimed to describe the contribution of deaths among previable live-born infants to disparity in IMRs comparing Puerto Rican infants to infants of other Hispanic origins. Study design Retrospective, descriptive analysis. Methods We analyzed data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) WONDER online database representing linked US live births and infant deaths from 2005 to 2014. Data were stratified by race and ethnicity as well as by Puerto Rican and non–Puerto Rican Hispanic origin. Live births <23 weeks of gestation were classified as previable. Ten-year IMRs were calculated as the number of deaths divided by the number of live births for each group over the entire decade. Results Puerto Rican IMR of 7.34 (per 1000 live births) was higher than the US rate of 6.34 as well as the non–Puerto Rican Hispanic IMR of 5.15. Approximately 22% of US deaths were attributable to previable live births compared with 27% among Puerto Ricans and 20% among non–Puerto Rican Hispanics. The contribution to IMR of previable births among Puerto Ricans measuring 1.96 per 1000 total live births was 42% higher than the US rate of 1.38 and 90% higher than the non–Puerto Rican Hispanic rate of 1.03. Conclusions Further research is needed to develop interventions to reduce disparity in previable birth rates, particularly among infants of Puerto Rican origin.
Publication date: Available online 9 May 2018 Source:Primary Care Diabetes Author(s): Rachel P. Ogilvie, Shivani A. Patel, K.M. Venkat Narayan, Neil K. Mehta Aims Although U.S. territories fall within the mandate outlined by Healthy People 2020, they remain neglected in diabetes care research. We compared the prevalence and secular trends of four recommended diabetes care practices in the U.S. territories of Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands to the 50 United States and D.C. (“U.S. States”) in 2001–2015. Methods Data were from 390,268 adult participants with self-reported physician diagnosed diabetes in the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. Diabetes care practices included biannual HbA1c tests, attendance of diabetes education classes, daily self-monitoring of blood glucose, and receipt of annual foot examination. Practices were compared by U.S. territory and between territories and U.S. states. Multivariable models accounted for age, sex, education, and year. Results Of adults with diagnosed diabetes, 7% to 11% in the U.S. territories engaged in all four recommended diabetes care practices compared with 25% for those, on average, in U.S. states. Relative to the U.S. states, on average, the proportion achieving biannual HbA1c testing was lower in Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands (45.6% and 44.9% vs. 62.2%), while annual foot examinations were lower in Puerto Rico (45.9% vs 66.1% in the U.S. states). Diabetes education and daily glucose self-monitoring were lower in all three territories. Conclusions U.S. territories lag behind U.S. states in diabetes care practices. Policies aimed at improving diabetes care practices are needed in the U.S. territories to achieve Healthy People 2020 goals and attain parity with U.S. states.
Publication date: June 2018 Source:International Immunopharmacology, Volume 59 Author(s): Nianping Song, Pei Li, Yuting Jiang, Hong Sun, Jing Cui, Guangyu Zhao, Dan Li, Yan Guo, Yuehong Chen, Jimin Gao, Shihui Sun, Yusen Zhou Influenza A virus is an important human pathogen that causes 3 to 5 million severe cases of influenza worldwide each year. An aberrant innate immune response, particularly hypercytokinemia, is thought to play an important role in the disease, although the pathogenesis of severe influenza virus infection remains unclear and no specific and efficacious immunotherapy is available. This study reports dysregulated complement activation in mice after infection with A/Puerto Rico/8/34 (PR8). C5aR1-deficient mice and mice treated with an anti-C5aR1 antibody were used as models to study the C5a-C5aR1 axis during acute lung injury (ALI) induced by influenza virus infection. The results showed that blocking the C5a-C5aR1 axis alleviated ALI by inhibiting endothelial cell activation and dampening the host immune response (i.e., reduced TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6, IP-10, MCP-1, IL-12p70, and IFN-γ concentrations in plasma), particularly CTL-mediated immunopathology. Furthermore, blockade of the C5a-C5aR1 axis inhibited viral replication in lung tissue. Taken together, the results indicate that the C5a-C5aR1 axis plays an important role in the outcome of ALI induced by influenza virus infection and that regulation of complement activation, particularly the C5aR1 inhibition, is a promising intervention and adjunctive treatment.
Publication date: 2018 Source:Exotic Fruits Author(s): Fadzilah Awang-Kanak, Mohd Fadzelly Abu Bakar Pouteria campechiana or canistel is a tropical fruit and a member of Sapotaceae family. This fruit is a native plant to Central America region, namely the Bahamas, Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Southern Mexico. The distribution is well spread around the region including Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, and Cuba. Previously the spread was as far south as to reach Brazil. In the United States, this fruit was introduced in Florida. It is also planted in East Africa countries such as Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda, Egypt, in the Middle East, South Asia countries such as Sri Lanka and India, and also introduced into the Philippines, and later in most countries in South East Asia region; Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia. The introduction of this fruit has reached further east to Taiwan and further south to Australia.
Publication date: June 2018 Source:Acta Tropica, Volume 182 Author(s): Nicola Pratt, Sreekumari Rajeev This systematic review summarises the data published on the Leptospira seroprevalence, serovar diversity and distribution among animal species in the Caribbean region. Following Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) guidelines, and checklist, relevant articles were identified and data were extracted and recorded. The review provided Leptospira seroprevalence data from 16 Caribbean islands (Barbados, Trinidad, Grenada, Puerto Rico, Saint Croix, St. Kitts and Nevis, Jamaica, Antigua, Carriacou, Dominica, Guadalupe, Martinique, Monserrat, St. Lucia, St. Maarten, and St. Vincent) in a variety of animal species. Reviewing the literature highlighted the limited amount of data available from limited number of islands. Many of the studies conducted have recorded seroprevalences based on variable and small samples sizes. Besides, serovar panels used for MAT were not consistent between studies. The review indicates that the Leptospira exposure in a given geographic location may change with time and climatic and environmental conditions, and highlights the need to conduct continual surveillance in tropical countries where the climate supports the survival of Leptospira in the environment. Specific attention must be given to standardization of MAT panels and protocols and providing training across laboratories involved in testing. Further, animal and environment testing to isolate and identify circulating Leptospira spp. in a geographic region must actively be pursued. This knowledge is important to implement geographically specific control programs, as risk factors of Leptospira transmission is favoured by various factors such as change in climatic conditions, urbanization, encroachment of wildlife inhabitation, import/export of animals, increase in adventure travel, and water related recreational activities.
Publication date: June 2018 Source:American Journal of Ophthalmology Case Reports, Volume 10 Author(s): Mandeep S. Singh, Maria Carolina Marquezan, Revaz Omiadze, Ashvini K. Reddy, Rubens Belfort, William N. May Purpose Zika virus infection is associated with vision-threatening ocular complications including uveitis and outer retinopathy. The aim of this report is to describe a case of an adult patient with serologically confirmed Zika infection who presented with retinal vascular abnormalities that coincided with systemic post-viral neurological manifestations of the disease. Observations A 34-year-old white female presented with symptoms of peripheral neuropathy following serologically confirmed Zika virus infection that was acquired in Puerto Rico four months prior to presentation. Ocular evaluation revealed perifoveal microaneurysms which were not associated with visual symptoms. Conclusions and importance These data potentially expand the phenotypic spectrum of Zika virus retinopathy. In addition to outer retinal abnormalities which are well-described in infants and adults, inner retinal vascular abnormalities may also occur and may be temporally associated with post-viral neurological sequelae of Zika virus infection. Clinicians should be aware of potential retinal involvement in affected patients who present with neurological symptoms after recovery from acute Zika virus infection.
Publication date: June 2018 Source:Ecological Indicators, Volume 89 Author(s): Michael Martínez-Colón, Pamela Hallock, Carlos R. Green-Ruíz, Joseph M. Smoak Torrecillas Lagoon, on the north coast of Puerto Rico, has experienced extensive anthropogenic influence over the past 200 years. Elevated concentrations of Potentially Toxic Elements (PTEs) in bulk sediment (Cu, Zn, Pb, Ni, Cr, Li, V, Fe, As, Se, and Mn) have been reported in surficial sediments and have relatively uniform spatial distributions. Areas with higher concentrations are associated with a higher percentage of total organic carbon (TOC) and percent mud (mud), as well as anoxic conditions. Ammonia beccarii, Quinqueloculina rhodiensis, and Triloculina oblonga are the dominant foraminifers in the lagoon and are characteristic of stressed coastal environments. Bulk concentrations of Cu-Zn-Fe are negatively correlated with numerous foraminiferal taxa, absolute abundances, and diversity indices, though very few correlations with the bioavailable counterparts (F2Tess-bioavailable) are observed. Similarly, relative abundances of Quinqueloculina and Triloculina positively correlate with bulk Cu-Zn-Fe but not with F2Tess-bioavailable. The waters in Torrecillas lagoon show strong stratification, with hypoxic/anoxic (dissolved oxygen <3mg/L) and corrosive (pH<7.4) conditions below 4m depth. The presence of such strong gradients in very shallow water represents a dynamic chemical environment, with changes occurring on day-night cycles, tidal cycles, and especially with storm activity that induces mixing of otherwise highly stratified, very localized waters. Recognizing the potential for sequestered PTEs to be remobilized is an essential insight for coastal management agencies that must assess the risks of existing PTEs during coastal engineering activities (e.g., dredge and fill activities) and major storm events. Exchangeable and oxidizable fractions are likely more bioavailable than acid-soluble fractions in influencing the ecology of foraminifers under most circumstances.
Publication date: June 2018 Source:Environmental Pollution, Volume 237 Author(s): Norma I. Torres, Xue Yu, Ingrid Y. Padilla, Raul E. Macchiavelli, Reza Ghasemizadeh, David Kaeli, Jose F. Cordero, John D. Meeker, Akram N. Alshawabkeh This study investigates the occurrence of six phthalates and distribution of the three most-detected phthalates in the karst region of northern Puerto Rico (KRNPR) using data from historical records and current field measurements. Statistical data analyses, including ANOVA, Chi-Square, and logistic regression models are used to examine the major factors affecting the presence and concentrations of phthalates in the KRNPR. The most detected phthalates include DEHP, DBP, and DEP. At least one phthalate specie is detected above DL in 7% of the samples and 24% of the sampling sites. Concentrations of total phthalates average 5.08 ± 1.37 μg L−1, and range from 0.093 to 58.4 μg L−1. The analysis shows extensive spatial and temporal presence of phthalates resulting from dispersed phthalate sources throughout the karst aquifers. Hydrogeological factors are significantly more important in predicting the presence and concentrations of phthalates in eogenetic karst aquifers than anthropogenic factors. Among the hydrogeological factors, time of detection and hydraulic conductivities larger than 300 m d−1 are the most influential factors. Persistent presence through time reflects continuous sources of phthalates entering the aquifers and a high capacity of the karst aquifers to store and slowly release contaminants for long periods of time. The influence of hydraulic conductivity reveals the importance of contaminant fate and transport mechanisms from contamination sources. This study improves the understanding of factors affecting the spatial variability and fate of phthalates in karst aquifers, and allows us to better predict their occurrence based on these factors. Graphical abstract Teaser Higher detections and concentrations of phthalates are related to hydrogeological characteristics of karst aquifer systems.
Publication date: June 2018 Source:Papillomavirus Research, Volume 5 Author(s): A.P. Ortiz, G. Tortolero-Luna, J. Romaguera, C.M. Pérez, D. González, C. Muñoz, L. González, E. Marrero, E. Suárez, J.M. Palefsky, G. Panicker, E.R. Unger Background To understand risk factors for HPV exposure in Puerto Rican women, we evaluated HPV 6, 11, 16, and 18 serology in women aged living in the San Juan metropolitan area. Methods As part of a cross-sectional study, a population-based sample of 524 HPV unvaccinated Hispanic women ages 16–64 years completed face-to-face and computer assisted interviews and provided blood and self-collected anal and cervical specimens. Serology used multiplex virus-like particle based-IgG ELISA and HPV DNA was detected with L1-consensus PCR. Results 32% and 47% were seropositive to HPV types included in the bivalent (16/18) and quadrivalent (6/11/16/18) vaccines, respectively. Type-specific seroprevalence was HPV6 − 29%, HPV11 − 18%, HPV16 − 23%, and HPV18 − 17%; seroprevalence was high in the youngest age-group (16–19: 26–37%). HPV seropositivity was associated with having ≥ 3 lifetime sexual partners (OR=2.5, 95% CI=1.7–3.9) and detection of anogenital HPV DNA (OR=1.8, 95% CI=1.2–2.6). Conclusions The high cumulative exposure of HPV vaccine types 6/11/16/18 in this Hispanic population was influenced by factors related to HPV exposure through sexual behavior. High seroprevalence in the youngest age-group indicates early age of exposure to HPV in Puerto Rico, highlighting the need for HPV vaccination starting prior to age 16.
Publication date: 1 April 2018 Source:Drug and Alcohol Dependence, Volume 185 Author(s): Raul Caetano, Patrice A.C. Vaeth, Glorisa Canino Background Data on the prevalence and correlates of illegal drug use in Puerto Rico are now almost 20 years old. Objectives This study sought to estimate the 12-month prevalence of illegal and non-prescribed medical drug use in San Juan, Puerto Rico and identify sociodemographic correlates of use. Methods Data are from a random household sample of 1510 individuals, 18–64 years of age in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Results The 12-month prevalence of any illegal or non-prescribed drug use was 16.5%. Prevalence among men (20.7%) was higher than among women (12.9%; chi2 = 16.308; df = 1; p < .01). Prevalence for specific drugs ranged from 11.2% for marijuana to 0.2% for methadone. Results of the multiple logistic regression analysis showed that male gender (OR = 1.67, 95CI = 1.21–2.3; p < .01), age 18–29 (OR = 2.39; 95CI = 1.35–4.23; p < .01), age 30–39 (OR = 1.93; 95CI = 1.01–3.69; p < .05), low (OR = 2.03; 95CI = 1.36–3.02; p < .001) and medium (OR = 1.50; 95CL = 1.01–2.23; p < .05) family cohesion/pride, and no religious preference (OR = 1.99; 95CI = 1.23–3.22; p < .01) increased the odds of drug use. Annual family income of $40,000–$60,000 (OR = 0.45; 95CI = 0.21–0.93; p < .05) and $60,001 and more (OR = 0.35; 95CI = 0.13–0.94; p > .05) were negatively associated with drug use compared to annual income up to $10,000. Conclusions As in many other places in the U.S., drug use in San Juan, Puerto Rico is high, affecting about 1 in 6 adults in the population. The highest prevalence is for marijuana use, which cannot be medically prescribed and of which recreational use is illegal on the island.
Publication date: 1 April 2018 Source:Ocean Engineering, Volume 153 Author(s): Jialong Jiao, Chaohe Chen, Shuzheng Sun, Christiaan Adika Adenya, Huilong Ren The novel testing technique for ship seakeeping behavior, which includes conducting large-scale model trial in realistic sea waves, has been given special attention by naval architects in recent years. Large-scale model measurement provides obvious advantages in the investigation of ship hydrodynamics in many aspects. However, there still exist some challenges that need addressing to improve this kind of testing technique. One of the great challenges is the reproduction of full-scale ocean waves when conducting downscaled model experiments in natural sea environment. This paper aims to explore the possibility of reproduction of full-scale wave states in coastal sea areas. Criteria, such as significant wave height, mean period, spectral shape and directional spreading, are involved in the wave similarity judgment. Various factors including season, climate, model scaling, coastal space and time are taken into account to determine suitable waves for model measurement. The wave selection principle and methodology proposed in this paper are demonstrated through a case study using coastal wave data of the Puerto Rico & Virgin Islands and the Gulf of Maine.