Novel endotheliotropic herpesviruses fatal for Asian and African elephants.
A highly fatal hemorrhagic disease has been identified in 10 young Asian and African elephants at North American zoos. In the affected animals there was ultrastructural evidence for herpesvirus-like particles in endothelial cells of the heart, liver, and tongue. Consensus primer polymerase chain reaction combined with sequencing yielded molecular evidence that confirmed the presence of two novel but related herpesviruses associated with the disease, one in Asian elephants and another in African elephants. Otherwise healthy African elephants with external herpetic lesions yielded herpesvirus sequences identical to that found in Asian elephants with endothelial disease. This finding suggests that the Asian elephant deaths were caused by cross-species infection with a herpesvirus that is naturally latent in, but normally not lethal to, African elephants. A reciprocal relationship may exist for the African elephant disease. (+info)
Short course antiretroviral regimens to reduce maternal transmission of HIV.(2/2725)
Obstetric and neonatal outcome following chronic hypertension in pregnancy among different ethnic groups.
We retrospectively studied pre-eclampsia rate and obstetric outcome in a cohort of 436 pregnancies amongst 318 women of different ethnic backgrounds attending an antenatal hypertension clinic from 1980-1997, identifying 152 women (213 pregnancies) with chronic essential hypertension. The ethnic breakdown was: White, 64 (30.0%) pregnancies in 48 (31.5%) women; Black/Afro-Caribbean, 79 (37.1%) pregnancies in 56 (36.8%) women; and Indo-Asians, 70 (32.3%) pregnancies in 48 (31.6%) women. The prevalences of pre-eclampsia in White, Black and Indo-Asian women were 17.2%, 12.7% and 18.6%, respectively (p = 0.58). Pregnancies of Indo-Asian women were of shorter gestation, and babies in this group also had lower birth weight and ponderal index compared to those of White and Black women (all p < 0.05). The proportions of overall perinatal mortality were 1.6% for Whites (1/64), 3.8% for Blacks (3/79) and 10.0% for Indo-Asians (7/70), suggesting increased risk in the Indo-Asian group. Indo-Asian women with chronic essential hypertension need careful antenatal care and observation during pregnancy. (+info)
Candidate parasitic diseases.
This paper discusses five parasitic diseases: American trypanosomiasis (Chagas disease), dracunculiasis, lymphatic filariasis, onchocerciasis and schistosomiasis. The available technology and health infrastructures in developing countries permit the eradication of dracunculiasis and the elimination of lymphatic filariasis due to Wuchereria bancrofti. Blindness due to onchocerciasis and transmission of this disease will be prevented in eleven West African countries; transmission of Chagas disease will be interrupted. A well-coordinated international effort is required to ensure that scarce resources are not wasted, efforts are not duplicated, and planned national programmes are well supported. (+info)
Relative influences of sex, race, environment, and HIV infection on body composition in adults.
BACKGROUND: The factors that control body composition in disease are uncertain. OBJECTIVE: We planned to compare the relative influences of HIV infection, sex, race, and environment on body composition. METHODS: We analyzed results of body composition studies performed by bioelectrical impedance analysis in 1415 adults from 2 cohorts: white and African American men and women from the United States, and African men and women (279 HIV-infected and 1136 control). The effects of sex and HIV infection on weight, body cell mass, and fat-free mass were analyzed by using both unadjusted and age-, weight-, and height-adjusted data. RESULTS: Control men weighed more and had more body cell mass and fat-free mass than did control women, although control women had more fat. The strongest correlates with body composition were height and weight, followed by sex. HIV infection, age, environment, and race. Control men and women weighed more and had more body cell mass, fat-free mass, and fat than did HIV-infected men. However, differences in body composition between HIV-infected and control groups were strongly influenced by sex. Of the differences in weight between HIV-infected and uninfected subjects, fat-free mass accounted for 51% in men but only 18% in women, in whom the remainder was fat. Sex effects were similar in African and American groups. CONCLUSIONS: Sex has a marked effect on the changes in body composition during HIV infection, with women losing disproportionately more fat than men. Sex-related differences in body composition were narrower in the HIV-infected groups. Race and environment had smaller effects than sex and HIV infection. (+info)
X chromosome evidence for ancient human histories.
Diverse African and non-African samples of the X-linked PDHA1 (pyruvate dehydrogenase E1 alpha subunit) locus revealed a fixed DNA sequence difference between the two sample groups. The age of onset of population subdivision appears to be about 200 thousand years ago. This predates the earliest modern human fossils, suggesting the transformation to modern humans occurred in a subdivided population. The base of the PDHA1 gene tree is relatively ancient, with an estimated age of 1.86 million years, a late Pliocene time associated with early species of Homo. PDHA1 revealed very low variation among non-Africans, but in other respects the data are consistent with reports from other X-linked and autosomal haplotype data sets. Like these other genes, but in conflict with microsatellite and mitochondrial data, PDHA1 does not show evidence of human population expansion. (+info)
Geographic distribution and evolution of Sindbis virus in Australia.
The molecular epidemiology and evolution of Sindbis (SIN) virus in Australia was examined. Several SIN virus strains isolated from other countries were also included in the analysis. Two regions of the virus genome were sequenced including a 418 bp region of the E2 gene and a 484 bp region containing part of the junction region and the 5' end of the C gene. Analysis of the nucleotide and deduced amino acid sequence data from 40 SIN virus isolates clearly separated the Paleoarctic/Ethiopian and Oriental/Australian genetic types of SIN virus. Examination of the Australian strains showed a temporal rather than geographic relationship. This is consistent with the virus having migratory birds as the major vertebrate host, as it allows for movement of virus over vast areas of the continent over a relatively short period of time. The results suggest that the virus is being periodically redistributed over the continent from an enzootic focus of evolving SIN virus. However, SIN virus strains isolated from mosquitoes collected in the south-west of Australia appear to represent a new SIN virus lineage, which is distinct from the Paleoarctic/Ethiopian and Oriental/Australian lineages. Given the widespread geographic dispersal of the Paleoarctic/Ethiopian and Oriental/Australian lineages, it is surprising that the South-west genetic type is so restricted in its area of circulation. Nucleotide sequence data from the C gene of the prototype strain of the alphavirus Whataroa were also determined. This virus was found to be genetically distinct from the SIN virus isolates included in the present study; however, it is clearly SIN-like and appears to have evolved from a SIN-like ancestral virus. (+info)
Reforming the health sector in developing countries: the central role of policy analysis.
Policy analysis is an established discipline in the industrialized world, yet its application to developing countries has been limited. The health sector in particular appears to have been neglected. This is surprising because there is a well recognized crisis in health systems, and prescriptions abound of what health policy reforms countries should introduce. However, little attention has been paid to how countries should carry out reforms, much less who is likely to favour or resist such policies. This paper argues that much health policy wrongly focuses attention on the content of reform, and neglects the actors involved in policy reform (at the international, national sub-national levels), the processes contingent on developing and implementing change and the context within which policy is developed. Focus on policy content diverts attention from understanding the processes which explain why desired policy outcomes fail to emerge. The paper is organized in 4 sections. The first sets the scene, demonstrating how the shift from consensus to conflict in health policy established the need for a greater emphasis on policy analysis. The second section explores what is meant by policy analysis. The third investigates what other disciplines have written that help to develop a framework of analysis. And the final section suggests how policy analysis can be used not only to analyze the policy process, but also to plan. (+info)