Genetic and antigenic variation of capsid protein VP7 of serotype G1 human rotavirus isolates.
The deduced amino acid sequences of the outer capsid protein, VP7, of serotype G1 rotavirus clinical isolates collected over a 6 year period (1990-1995) in Melbourne, Australia, were examined. Phylogenetic analysis characterized the sequences into two discrete clusters representing two of the four global lineages of human G1 VP7 proteins. Antigenic characterization using a panel of serotype G1-specific neutralizing monoclonal antibodies classified lineage II isolates (1990-1993) as monotype G1a while lineage I isolates were classified as monotype G1b (1993-1995). Examination of the sequences of the neutralization epitope regions of VP7 revealed a particular amino acid substitution at residue 94 in region A (Asp --> Ser/Thr) that correlated with lineage and monotype designation. Our results indicated that temporal genetic variation of the VP7 of serotype G1 rotaviruses was associated with changes in the antigenicity of these isolates. (+info)
Onset of adolescent eating disorders: population based cohort study over 3 years.
OBJECTIVE: To study the predictors of new eating disorders in an adolescent cohort. DESIGN: Cohort study over 3 years with six waves. SUBJECTS: Students, initially aged 14-15 years, from 44 secondary schools in the state of Victoria, Australia. OUTCOME MEASURES: Weight (kg), height (cm), dieting (adolescent dieting scale), psychiatric morbidity (revised clinical interview schedule), and eating disorder (branched eating disorders test). Eating disorder (partial syndrome) was defined when a subject met two criteria for either anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition (DSM-IV). RESULTS: At the start of the study, 3.3% (29/888) of female subjects and 0.3% (2/811) of male subjects had partial syndromes of eating disorders. The rate of development of new eating disorder per 1000 person years of observation was 21.8 in female subjects and 6.0 in male subjects. Female subjects who dieted at a severe level were 18 times more likely to develop an eating disorder than those who did not diet, and female subjects who dieted at a moderate level were five times more likely to develop an eating disorder than those who did not diet. Psychiatric morbidity predicted the onset of eating disorder independently of dieting status so that those subjects in the highest morbidity category had an almost sevenfold increased risk of developing an eating disorder. After adjustment for earlier dieting and psychiatric morbidity, body mass index, extent of exercise, and sex were not predictive of new eating disorders. CONCLUSIONS: Dieting is the most important predictor of new eating disorders. Differences in the incidence of eating disorders between sexes were largely accounted for by the high rates of earlier dieting and psychiatric morbidity in the female subjects. In adolescents, controlling weight by exercise rather than diet restriction seems to carry less risk of development of eating disorders. (+info)
Further observations on the epidemiology and spread of epizootic haematopoietic necrosis virus (EHNV) in farmed rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss in southeastern Australia and a recommended sampling strategy for surveillance.
Epizootic haematopoietic necrosis virus (EHNV) is an iridovirus confined to Australia and is known only from rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss and redfin perch Perca fluviatilis. Outbreaks of disease caused by EHNV in trout populations have invariably been of low severity, affecting only 0+ post-hatchery phase fingerlings < 125 mm in length. To date the virus has been demonstrated in very few live in-contact fish, and anti-EHNV antibodies have not been found in survivors of outbreaks, suggesting low infectivity but high case fatality rates in trout. During an on-going study on an endemically infected farm (Farm A) in the Murrumbidgee River catchment of southeastern New South Wales, EHNV infection was demonstrated in 4 to 6 wk old trout fingerlings in the hatchery as well as in 1+ to 2+ grower fish. During a separate investigation of mortalities in 1+ to 2+ trout on Farm B in the Shoalhaven River catchment in southeastern New South Wales, EHNV infection was demonstrated in both fingerlings and adult fish in association with nocardiosis. A 0.7% prevalence of antibodies against EHNV was detected by ELISA in the serum of grower fish at this time, providing the first evidence that EHNV might not kill all infected trout. EHNV infection on Farm B occurred after transfer of fingerlings from Farm C in the Murrumbidgee river catchment. When investigated, there were no obvious signs of diseases on Farm C. 'Routine' mortalities were collected over 10 d on Farm C and EHNV was detected in 2.1% of 190 fish. Tracing investigations of sources of supply of fingerlings to Farm B also led to investigation of Farm D in Victoria, where the prevalence of anti-EHNV antibodies in 3+ to 4+ fish was 1.3%. The results of this study indicate that EHNV may be found in trout in all age classes, need not be associated with clinically detectable disease in the population, can be transferred with shipments of live fish, can be detected in a small proportion of 'routine' mortalities and may be associated with specific antibodies in a small proportion of older fish. Sampling to detect EHNV for certification purposes should be based on examination of 'routine' mortalities rather than random samples of live fish. Antigen-capture ELISA can be used as a cost effective screening test to detect EHNV on a farm provided that sampling rates conform with statistical principles. (+info)
Effects of photographs and written descriptors on melanoma detection.
Two studies are reported on the effects of photographic and written information on performance in an experimental melanoma detection task. Subjects were shown slides of four types of skin lesions, including melanoma, and were asked what they would do if the lesion was on their skin. Four response options were provided from seeing a doctor immediately to doing nothing. In Experiment 1, no clear differences in performance were found as a function of prior instruction using four, eight or 16 photographs of each of the four lesion types. In Experiment 2, the effects of written and photographic instructional material were compared. The written material contained descriptions of each lesion type and details of the ABCD criteria for melanoma detection. Eight photographs were provided for each lesion type. Photographic information resulted in superior performance (P < 0.001) for seborrhoeic keratoses and a combination of both types of information was superior (P < 0.05) for melanoma. The two kinds of instructional material produced different effects, suggesting that a brochure offering a combination of photographs and written information is likely to be most useful in helping members of the public identify early melanoma as suspicious. (+info)
Ischemic stroke risk and passive exposure to spouses' cigarette smoking. Melbourne Stroke Risk Factor Study (MERFS) Group.
OBJECTIVES: This study investigated the association between ischemic stroke risk and passive exposure to cigarette smoking. METHODS: Risk factors among 452 hospitalized cases of first-episode ischemic stroke were compared with 452 age- and sex-matched "neighbor-hood" controls. RESULTS: The risk of stroke was twice as high for subjects whose spouses smoked as for those whose spouses did not smoke (95% confidence interval = 1.3, 3.1), after adjustment for the subject's own smoking, heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, and education level. These results were confirmed when analysis was limited to those who never smoked. CONCLUSIONS: These findings provide evidence that spousal smoking may be a significant risk factor for ischemic stroke. (+info)
The need for cataract surgery: projections based on lens opacity, visual acuity, and personal concern.
AIM: To assess the projected needs for cataract surgery by lens opacity, visual acuity, and patient concern. METHODS: Data were collected as part of the Melbourne Visual Impairment Project, a population based study of age related eye disease in a representative sample of Melbourne residents aged 40 and over. Participants were recruited by a household census and invited to attend a local screening centre. At the study sites, the following data were collected: presenting and best corrected visual acuity, visual fields, intraocular pressure, satisfaction with current vision, personal health history and habits, and a standardised eye examination and photography of the lens and fundus. Lens photographs were graded twice and adjudicated to document lens opacities. Cataract was defined as nuclear greater than or equal to standard 2, 4/16 or greater cortical opacity, or any posterior subcapsular opacities. RESULTS: 3271 (83% response) people living in their own homes were examined. The participants ranged in age from 40 to 98 years and 1511 (46.2%) were men. Previous cataract surgery had been performed in 107 (3.4%) of the participants. The overall prevalence of any type of cataract that had not been surgically corrected was 18%. If the presence of cataract as defined was considered the sole criterion for cataract surgery with no reference to visual acuity, there would be 309 cataract operations per 1000 people aged 40 and over (96 eyes of people who were not satisfied with their vision, 210 eyes of people who were satisfied with their vision, and three previous cataract operations). At a visual acuity criterion of less than 6/12 (the vision required to legally drive a car), 48 cataract operations per 1000 would occur and people would be twice as likely to report dissatisfaction with their vision. CONCLUSIONS: Estimates of the need for cataract surgery vary dramatically by level of lens opacity, visual acuity, and patient concern. These data should be useful for the planning of health services. (+info)
Unintentional poisoning hospitalisations among young children in Victoria.
OBJECTIVES: To describe the epidemiology of unintentional childhood poisoning hospitalisation in Victoria, Australia, in order to monitor trends and identify areas for research and prevention. METHODS: For children under 5 years, all Victorian public hospital admissions, July 1987 to June 1995, due to unintentional poisoning by drugs, medicines, and other substances were analysed. Similar cases were also extracted from the database of the Royal Children's Hospital intensive care unit, Melbourne for the years 1979-91. Log linear regression modelling was used for trend analyses. RESULTS: The annual average childhood unintentional poisoning rate was 210.7 per 100,000. Annual rates for males consistently exceeded those for females. The most common agents were those acting on the respiratory system and on smooth and skeletal muscles (muscle relaxants, cough and cold medicines, antiasthmatics), aromatic analgesics (paracetamol), and systemic agents (including antihistamines). Further investigation is justified for cardiac agents, some respiratory agents, and asthma medications. CONCLUSIONS: Childhood poisoning hospitalisation rates have not decreased in Victoria over recent years. A focused, agent specific approach, as well as a series of generic measures for the prevention of poisoning to children under 5 is advocated. The ongoing surveillance, collection and analysis of data, in addition to research on specific poisoning agents are essential components of any prevention strategy. (+info)
Perinatal and obstetric outcomes of donor insemination using cryopreserved semen in Victoria, Australia.
This study compared the perinatal and obstetric outcomes of 1552 donor insemination pregnancies in Victoria, Australia, with a control group of 7717 normally conceived pregnancies from the general population. Data on the outcomes of pregnancies of at least 20 weeks gestation, for both groups, were obtained from the same population-based birth registry. The study showed that there were no significant differences between the donor insemination and control groups in the incidence of preterm birth, low birthweight, multiple birth, perinatal death and birth defects, or in the sex ratio. Pregnancies conceived by donor insemination were significantly more likely than controls to have an induced labour (OR = 1.6, 95% CI 1. 4-1.8), a forceps delivery (OR = 1.5, 95% CI 1.3-1.8) and/or a Caesarean section (OR = 1.6, 95% CI 1.4-1.9) and to develop pre-eclampsia (OR = 1.4, 95% CI 1.2-1.8) after adjusting for maternal age, multiple birth, parity and presentation. Reasons for the higher rate of induced and operative deliveries are not clear. Overall, the study's findings are reassuring for couples considering infertility treatment with donor insemination. The study illustrates the importance of complete follow-up in studies of pregnancy outcomes after assisted conception and the use of appropriate population-based control groups with comparable ascertainment of outcomes. (+info)