Cohort study of art glass workers in Tuscany, Italy: mortality from non-malignant diseases.
This investigation studies cause-specific mortality of art glass workers employed in 17 industrial facilities in Tuscany, Italy. A cohort of 3,390 workers employed for at least 1 year was enumerated from company payrolls. Follow-up was between the start of employment in each factory and 31 December 1993. The cause-specific expected mortality was computed relative to Tuscany rates and specified for gender, 5-year age groups and calendar year. Separate analyses were carried out for the jobs of makers and formers and for batch mixers. Among males (3, 180 individuals) observed mortality for non-cancer causes was higher than expected for hypertensive disease [standardized mortality ratio (SMR) = 178, 90% confidence interval (90% CI) = 96-301], pneumoconiosis (SMR = 200, 90% CI = 94-376) and diseases of the genitourinary system (SMR = 169, 90% CI = 95-279). Increases for the above causes were shown also among makers and formers: hypertensive disease (SMR = 182, 90% CI = 85-341), pneumoconiosis (SMR = 250, 90% CI = 109-493) and diseases of the genitourinary system (SMR = 224, 90% CI = 121-380). For batch mixers an increase was present for cerebrovascular disease. The observed mortality for cancer causes was above the expected for cancers of the larynx, lung, stomach and brain. This study points to the existence for Tuscan glass workers of health effects in addition to cancer; previously observed carcinogenic effects were also confirmed. (+info)
Induction of HLA class I-restricted CD8+ CTLs specific for the major outer membrane protein of Chlamydia trachomatis in human genital tract infections.
HLA class I-restricted CD8+ CTLs specific for the major outer membrane protein (MOMP) of Chlamydia trachomatis are present in the peripheral blood of humans who acquired genital tract infections with the organism. Three HLA-A2-restricted epitopes and two HLA-B51-restricted epitopes were identified in serovar E-MOMP. One of the five epitopes spans a variable segment of MOMP and is likely a serovar E-specific epitope. The other four epitopes are localized in constant segments and are C. trachomatis species specific. CTL populations specific for one or more of the four constant segment epitopes were isolated from all 10 infected subjects tested, regardless of infecting serovars, but from only one of seven uninfected subjects tested. The CTLs failed to recognize corresponding peptides derived from Chlamydia pneumoniae MOMP, further suggesting that they indeed resulted from genital tract infections with C. trachomatis. Significantly, ME180 human cervical epithelial cells productively infected with C. trachomatis were killed by the MOMP peptide-specific CTLs. Further investigations of the ability of such CTLs to lyse normal infected epithelial cells and their presence at inflamed sites in the genital tract will help understand the protective or pathological role of CTLs in chlamydial infections. The MOMP CTL epitopes may be explored as potential components of a subunit vaccine against sexually transmitted diseases caused by C. trachomatis. Moreover, the knowledge provided here will facilitate studies of HLA class I pathways of chlamydial Ag processing and presentation in physiologically relevant human APCs. (+info)
Mortality from nonmalignant diseases of the respiratory, genitourinary and nervous systems among workers exposed to styrene in the reinforced plastics and composites industry in the United States.
OBJECTIVES: Mortality from diseases of the nervous system and nonmalignant diseases of the respiratory and genitourinary systems was examined for workers exposed to styrene. METHODS: Altogether 15,826 styrene-exposed workers in 30 plants in the reinforced plastics and composites industry were included. Vital status was ascertained through 31 December 1989. Individual exposure estimates were developed based on job functions, existing industrial hygiene data, process changes, engineering controls, work practices, and the use of personal protective equipment. Analyses were based on cause-specific standardized mortality ratios (SMR) and the Cox proportional hazards model. Mortality data were analyzed by latency, duration of exposure, average exposure, cumulative exposure, and process category. RESULTS: For diseases of the nervous system, the SMR was 0.56 [95% confidence interval (95% CI) 0.31-0.95]. Mortality from nonmalignant genitourinary diseases was not increased (SMR 0.87, 95% CI 0.46-1.50). Latency, duration of exposure, average exposure, cumulative exposure, and process category showed no association between styrene exposure and these 2 types of disease. A small increase in mortality from nonmalignant respiratory diseases was found (SMR 1.21, 95% CI 0.98-1.47), mainly due to "other nonmalignant respiratory diseases" (SMR 1.40, 95% CI 1.04-1.84). The highest increase occurred for short exposure duration (SMR 1.79 for <1 year's exposure) or low exposure (SMR 2.15 for <10 ppm-years); there were no increased risks in the high exposure categories. The Cox proportional hazard model revealed no association between styrene exposure and the diseases. CONCLUSIONS: No relationship was found between mortality from any of the diseases examined and any of the styrene exposure indices. The findings were compared with those reported in a European study of styrene-exposed workers. (+info)
Creatinine at the evaluation of urinary 1-methyladenosine and pseudouridine excretion.
The elevation of urinary modified nucleosides levels in urine is found in patients with cancers. In the present study, we have tested 616 urine samples randomly collected from non-malignant cases. Thirty-two percent (194/616) and 11% (68/616) had elevated levels of 1-methyladenosine and pseudouridine, respectively (They are designated as false-positive cases). To elucidate the cause on non-specific elevation of the nucleosides, the correlation between creatinine excretion level and urinary nucleosides levels were determined. The result revealed that false-positive cases were frequently detected in patients with lower creatinine excretion levels. The mean creatinine levels of false-positive cases were significantly lower than those of negative cases. From these results, the false-positive of urinary 1-methyladenosine and pseudouridine might be due to the low creatinine excretion mainly caused by the renal dysfunction. Creatinine excretion in each individual should be taken into consideration in case of determining urinary modified nucleosides. (+info)
Etiology of genital ulcer disease in Dakar, Senegal, and comparison of PCR and serologic assays for detection of Haemophilus ducreyi.
We used PCR assays to determine the etiology of genital ulcers in patients presenting to a sexually transmitted disease clinic in Dakar, Senegal, and evaluated the ability of two PCR tests (groEL and recD) and two serological tests (adsorption enzyme immunoassay [EIA] and lipooligosaccharide [LOS] EIA) to detect current Haemophilus ducreyi infection. We found that in this population, H. ducreyi, T. pallidum, and herpes simplex virus HSV DNA were detected in 56, 15, and 13% of 39 genital ulcer specimens, respectively, and H. ducreyi DNA was detected in 60% (3 of 5) of samples from ulcerated bubos. Among 40 consecutive patients with genital ulcer disease and with sufficient sample for both PCR assays, the recD and groEL H. ducreyi PCR assays were 83% concordant, with the recD PCR assay detecting six (15%) additional positive specimens and the groEL assay detecting one (3%) additional positive specimen. Compared to PCR, the adsorption EIA and LOS EIA tests had sensitivities of 71 and 59% and specificities of 57 and 90%, respectively, for the diagnosis of current H. ducreyi infection. While these differences in specificity could be due either to previous infection with H. ducreyi or to the detection of cross-reacting antibodies, only 6% of patients from a nearby family planning clinic gave a positive reaction in both the adsorption EIA and LOS EIA assays, indicating that cross-reacting antibodies are not prevalent among clinic attendees in this city. Our studies indicate that the adsorption EIA detects both current and past infection, while the LOS EIA assay is more specific for current infection with H. ducreyi in this population. (+info)
A systematic history for the patient with chronic pelvic pain.
Chronic pelvic pain is a source of frustration to both the physician and the patient. Physicians have been ill equipped by their training to confront the multifaceted nature of the complaints of patients with chronic pelvic pain. Patients have experienced a repetitive dismissal of their complaints by physicians too busy in their practices to address their problems comprehensively. The approach to the patient with chronic pelvic pain must take into account six major sources of the origin of this pain: 1) gynecological, 2) psychological, 3) myofascial, 4) musculoskeletal, 5) urological, and 6) gastrointestinal. Only by addressing and evaluating each of these components by a very careful history and physical examination and by approaching the patient in a comprehensive manner can the source of the pain be determined and appropriate therapy be administered. This article was developed to provide the clinician with a set of tools and a methodology by which the patient with this complaint can be approached. (+info)
Considerations for use of probiotic bacteria to modulate human health.
Oral consumption of probiotic bacteria has the potential to support the health of American consumers. This paper will discuss the rationale of the probiotic theory, several health targets for probiotic bacteria, probiotic products in the U.S. and, finally, issues pertaining to communication about probiotic products to the consumer. (+info)
Detection of Chlamydia trachomatis-specific antibodies in human sera by recombinant major outer-membrane protein polyantigens.
This study was performed to generate and evaluate recombinant antigens for use in a species-specific Chlamydia trachomatis immunoassay. In a molecular genetic approach, fragments of the C. trachomatis major outer-membrane protein (MOMP) were produced as fusion proteins to create three different constructs encompassing the variable domains I, II and IV of selected C. trachomatis serovars. The recombinant MOMP polyantigens were affinity-purified and used in an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Antibody detection was evaluated with 103 patient sera and the results were compared with titres obtained in the micro-immunofluorescence test. The results showed that the generated MOMP polyantigens detected the presence of C. trachomatis-specific human antibodies with little cross-reaction to C. pneumoniae-specific antibodies. When compared to the micro-immunofluorescence assay the MOMP polyantigen detected the presence of anti-C. trachomatis IgG antibodies with a sensitivity of 80% and a specificity of 91%. (+info)