OBJECTIVES: In 1994, WHO/International Council for the Control of Iodine Deficiency Disorders recommended replacing the WHO 1960 four-grade goiter classification with a simplified two-grade system. The effect of this change in criteria on the estimation of goiter prevalence in field studies is unclear. In areas of mild iodine deficiency disorders (IDD) where goiters are small, ultrasound is preferable to palpation to estimate goiter prevalence. However, in areas of moderate to severe IDD, goiter screening by palpation may be an acceptable alternative to thyroid ultrasound. To address these two issues, we compared WHO 1960 and 1994 criteria with thyroid ultrasound for determination of goiter prevalence in areas of mild and severe IDD in Morocco. DESIGN: A cross-sectional study of 400 six- to 13-year-old children from two mountain villages (Ait M'hamed and Brikcha) in rural Morocco was carried out. METHODS: Urinary iodine concentration (UI), whole blood TSH and serum thyroxine were measured. Thyroid size was graded by inspection and palpation by two examiners using both WHO 1960 and 1994 criteria. Thyroid volume was determined by ultrasound. Variation between examiners and examination methods was assessed. Sensitivity and specificity of the two classification systems compared with ultrasound were calculated. RESULTS: Median UIs in Ait M'hamed and Brikcha were 183 and 24 microg/l respectively. In Ait M'hamed, using 1960 and 1994 criteria, goiter prevalence was 21 and 26% respectively, compared with 13% by ultrasound. In Brikcha, with 1960 and 1994 criteria, goiter prevalence was 64 and 67% respectively, compared with 64% by ultrasound. Agreement between observers was better with the 1994 criteria than with the 1960 criteria in Ait M'hamed (kappa=0.53 and 0.47 respectively), while in Brikcha observer agreement was similar with the two systems (kappa=0.67). Using either the 1994 or 1960 criteria, agreement with ultrasound was only moderate in Ait M'hamed (kappa=0.41-0.44), but good in Brikcha (kappa=0.55-0.64). Overall, compared with ultrasound, sensitivity increased 3-4% using 1994 criteria, while specificity decreased 4-5%. CONCLUSIONS: The WHO 1994 criteria are simpler to use than the 1960 criteria and provide increased sensitivity with only a small reduction in specificity. Agreement between observers is better with the 1994 criteria than with the 1960 criteria, particularly in areas of mild IDD. Like the 1960 criteria, the 1994 criteria overestimate goiter prevalence in areas of mild IDD, compared with ultrasound. However, the 1994 palpation criteria provide an accurate estimate of goiter prevalence in areas of severe IDD, and may be an acceptable and affordable alternative to thyroid ultrasound in these areas. (+info)
(10/413) The moroccan food snail, Helix aspersa, as a source of Salmonella.
A total of 270 samples, nine lots of 30 samples each, of imported Moroccan food snails was examined for the presence of Salmonella. Eighty-four samples (an overall incidence of 31.11%) and all nine lots contained Salmonella. No significant difference (P greater than 0.25) in the number of positive samples was observed by using either selenite cystine both or tetrathionate broth when the samples had been pre-enriched in lactose broth. When used as direct selective enrichments with samples not pre-enriched in lactose broth, tetrathionate broth was significantly (P less than 0.05) more productive than selenite cystine broth. The overall detection of Salmonella-positive samples by direct enrichment was significantly greater (P less than 0.001) than by pre-enrichment. A variety of uncommon serotypes occurrence and incidence, and the concomitant human health potential, of Salmonella in one species of live, imported food snails. (+info)
(11/413) Distinctive genetic signatures in the Libyan Jews.
Unlinked autosomal microsatellites in six Jewish and two non-Jewish populations were genotyped, and the relationships among these populations were explored. Based on considerations of clustering, pairwise population differentiation, and genetic distance, we found that the Libyan Jewish group retains genetic signatures distinguishable from those of the other populations, in agreement with some historical records on the relative isolation of this community. Our methods also identified evidence of some similarity between Ethiopian and Yemenite Jews, reflecting possible migration in the Red Sea region. We suggest that high-resolution statistical methods that use individual multilocus genotypes may make it practical to distinguish related populations of extremely recent common ancestry. (+info)
(12/413) A nucleotide insertion and frameshift cause albumin Kenitra, an extended and O-glycosylated mutant of human serum albumin with two additional disulfide bridges.
Albumin Kenitra is a new type of genetic variant of human serum albumin that has been found in two members of a family of Sephardic Jews from Kenitra (Morocco). The slow-migrating variant and the normal protein were isolated by anion-exchange chromatography and, after treatment with CNBr, the digests were analyzed by two-dimensional electrophoresis in a polyacrylamide gel. The CNBr peptides of the variant were purified by reverse-phase high performance liquid chromatography and submitted to sequence analysis. Albumin Kenitra is peculiar because it has an elongated polypeptide chain, 601 residues instead of 585, and its sequence is modified beginning from residue 575. DNA structural studies showed that the variant is caused by a single-base insertion, an adenine at nucleotide position 15 970 in the genomic sequence, which leads to a frameshift with the subsequent translation to the first termination codon of exon 15. Mass spectrometric analyses revealed that the four additional cysteine residues of the variant form two new S-S bridges and showed that albumin Kenitra is partially O-glycosylated by a monosialylated HexHexNAc structure. This oligosaccharide chain has been located to Thr596 by amino-acid sequence analysis of the tryptic fragment 592-597. (+info)
(13/413) The effect of a health promotion campaign on mortality in children.
Previous research has shown that in the Netherlands there is a certain degree of preventable mortality associated with long-distance travel, particularly among children of ethnic minority descent. In 1985 a health promotion campaign was launched in Amsterdam with the aim of reducing travel-related deaths by increasing knowledge in ethnic minority communities about the risks involved in travel. In the present study, two data sets are used to examine the possible effects of this health promotion campaign on travel-related mortality in children. The first data set, which was collected locally, indicates that the number of Amsterdam children dying abroad has dropped considerably since 1985. This is particularly true within one group which is highly likely to exhibit risky travel behavior. The second data set, which was collected nationally, shows that an upward trend in mortality among children aged 0-14 years before 1985 has in fact changed into a downward trend since 1985. A similar pattern is observed in the Netherlands as a whole, but to a significantly less pronounced degree than in Amsterdam. Although the influence of extraneous factors can never be fully dismissed, the analysis provides support for the conclusion that the health promotion campaign did in fact succeed in reducing the number of travel-related deaths. (+info)
(14/413) Diet culture and obesity in northern Africa.
The etiology of obesity in North Africa is not well understood and few studies shed any light on its development among women. This study compiles what is known about the prevalence of obesity and its determinants in Morocco and Tunisia. Results from the authors' two surveys on nutrition-related disease among reproductive-age women (sample size: 2800) and their children (1200 children under 5 y and 500 adolescents) were combined with data from four national income and expenditure surveys (dating from 1980) to assess obesity trends and development in Morocco and Tunisia. Overall levels of obesity, identified by body mass index (BMI) > or = 30 kg/m(2), were 12.2% in Morocco and 14.4% in Tunisia. Obesity is significantly higher among women than among men in both countries (22.7% vs. 6.7% in Tunisia and 18% vs. 5.7% in Morocco) and prevalence among women has tripled over the past 20 y. Half of all women are overweight or obese (BMI > 25) with 50.9% in Tunisia and 51.3% in Morocco. Overweight increases with age and seems to take hold in adolescence, particularly among girls. In Tunisia, 9.1% of adolescent girls are at risk for being overweight (BMI/age > or = 85th percentile). Prevalence of overweight and obesity are greater for women in urban areas and with lower education levels. Obese women in both countries take in significantly more calories and macronutrients than normal-weight women. The percentage contribution to calories from fat, protein and carbohydrates seems to be within normal limits, whereas fat intake is high (31%) in Tunisia and carbohydrate intake (65-67%) is high in Morocco. These are alarming trends for public health professionals and policy makers in countries still grappling with the public health effects of malnutrition and micronutrient deficiencies. Health institutions in these countries have an enormous challenge to change cultural norms that do not recognize obesity, to prevent significant damage to the public's health from obesity. (+info)
(15/413) High-resolution analysis of human Y-chromosome variation shows a sharp discontinuity and limited gene flow between northwestern Africa and the Iberian Peninsula.
In the present study we have analyzed 44 Y-chromosome biallelic polymorphisms in population samples from northwestern (NW) Africa and the Iberian Peninsula, which allowed us to place each chromosome unequivocally in a phylogenetic tree based on >150 polymorphisms. The most striking results are that contemporary NW African and Iberian populations were found to have originated from distinctly different patrilineages and that the Strait of Gibraltar seems to have acted as a strong (although not complete) barrier to gene flow. In NW African populations, an Upper Paleolithic colonization that probably had its origin in eastern Africa contributed 75% of the current gene pool. In comparison, approximately 78% of contemporary Iberian Y chromosomes originated in an Upper Paleolithic expansion from western Asia, along the northern rim of the Mediterranean basin. Smaller contributions to these gene pools (constituting 13% of Y chromosomes in NW Africa and 10% of Y chromosomes in Iberia) came from the Middle East during the Neolithic and, during subsequent gene flow, from Sub-Saharan to NW Africa. Finally, bidirectional gene flow across the Strait of Gibraltar has been detected: the genetic contribution of European Y chromosomes to the NW African gene pool is estimated at 4%, and NW African populations may have contributed 7% of Iberian Y chromosomes. The Islamic rule of Spain, which began in a.d. 711 and lasted almost 8 centuries, left only a minor contribution to the current Iberian Y-chromosome pool. The high-resolution analysis of the Y chromosome allows us to separate successive migratory components and to precisely quantify each historical layer. (+info)
(16/413) Intraspecific variation of 18S-5.8S-26S rDNA sites revealed by FISH and RFLP in wild oat, Avena agadiriana.
The tetraploid species Avena agadiriana that was first described in 1985 is distributed on the Atlantic coastal strip south of Casablanca in Morocco. Five accessions of this species (M55, M59, M60, M71 and M74) were compared by using FISH and RFLP analysis of 18S-5.8S-26S rDNA. The FISH data indicated that three pairs of major hybridization sites of the rDNA were located on satellite chromosomes in accessions M55, M59, M60 and M71. Accession M74, however, had only two pairs of major sites of hybridization. A pair of the major rDNA sites in M71 was very small and closely located at the terminal region of Nor-ST (Nucleolar organizing region of subtelocentrics) chromosomes. RFLP analysis of the rDNA sequence fragments identified differences among M55, M71 and M74, whilst M59 and M60 were the same with regard to the four restriction enzyme fragments utilized. M74 always lost single rDNA fragments in four restriction enzyme digests. The RFLP data made it possible to distinguish M55 from M59 and M60 in the northern Haut-Atlas Mountains group. A unique 20 kb EcoRI fragment characterized M71. Thus, a combination of FISH and RFLP analysis of rDNA was a good tool for inferring intraspecific evolutionary relationship of A. agadiriana. (+info)