Re-analysis of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 isolates from Cyprus and Greece, initially designated 'subtype I', reveals a unique complex A/G/H/K/? mosaic pattern.
Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) has been classified into three main groups and 11 distinct subtypes. Moreover, several circulating recombinant forms (CRFs) of HIV-1 have been recently documented to have spread widely causing extensive HIV-1 epidemics. A subtype, initially designated I (CRF04_cpx), was documented in Cyprus and Greece and was found to comprise regions of sequence derived from subtypes A and G as well as regions of unclassified sequence. Re-analysis of the three full-length CRF04_cpx sequences that were available revealed a mosaic genomic organization of unique complexity comprising regions of sequence from at least five distinct subtypes, A, G, H, K and unclassified regions. These strains account for approximately 2% of the total HIV-1-infected population in Greece, thus providing evidence of the great capability of HIV-1 to recombine and produce highly divergent strains which can be spread successfully through different infection routes. (+info)
Haemoglobin Lepore in Cyprus.
Structural analysis documented the presence of haemoglobin LeporeWashington (=LeporeBoston) in a Greek Cypriot family and provided further evidence that, of the various types of Lepore mutants, only one is common in the Mediterranean area. Two individuals in this family were heterozygous for both Hb Lepore and beta thalassaemia, but they exhibited striking differences in the clinical severity and course of the disease. The data illustrate that additional environmental or genetic factors play roles in determining or modifying the pathophysiological consequences of highly specific molecular defects and, thus, their ultimate clinical phenotypes. (+info)
Surveillance of HIV in the army of the Republic of Cyprus (SHARC); rationale, design, and implementation of an inexpensive system.
OBJECTIVES: To design and implement an HIV surveillance system using periodic cross sectional prevalence surveys in National Guard recruits of the Republic of Cyprus. METHODS: HIV infection surveillance used unlinked anonymous screening (UAS) methodology, which tested residual blood originally collected for other purposes. Residual blood from samples collected for ABO blood group typing at intake and samples from blood collected for hepatitis testing at discharge was used. Screening was unlinked and anonymous. RESULTS: The system operated for four semiannual recruitment seasons: summer 1998 to the end of winter 2000. No recruits screened at entry into the ranks tested positive. CONCLUSIONS: This was the first large scale HIV surveillance project in Cyprus. Without nationwide HIV surveys, periodic measurements of prevalence could lead to estimates of HIV incidence and provide insights on temporal changes in HIV infection rates. The prevalence data collected provide useful epidemiological information about the status of the HIV epidemic in this segment of the population in Cyprus. (+info)
Accessibility of health and social services to immigrant elders: the Islington Study.
BACKGROUND: Numbers of immigrant elders are increasing and it is unclear whether they can access services. AIMS: To examine service utilisation of older immigrants compared with their UK-born counterparts and relate it to health difficulties. Method Cross-sectional study in inner London measuring service use, mental health and disability. RESULTS: A total of 1085 people aged > or = 65 years were interviewed. Independent predictors of contact with a general practitioner included being born in Cyprus. Cypriots were the only immigrant population to report significantly more somatic symptoms than those born in the UK (P=0.005). Africans and Caribbeans used day care and other social services most frequently. CONCLUSIONS: Immigrants could access services. Africans and Caribbeans appear to have poorer physical health and thus have greater contact with services. Cypriots who experience depression may present with prominent somatic symptoms. This is likely to be due to a different idiom of distress. (+info)
Isolation of Coxiella burnetii by a centrifugation shell-vial assay from ticks collected in Cyprus: detection by nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and by PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism analyses.
Ticks are the principal vectors and reservoirs of Coxiella burnetii. The identification of isolates is necessary for understanding the clinical diversity of Q fever in different geographic areas. This is the first report of isolation of C. burnetii from ticks by the shell-vial assay and by nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay for the detection of this pathogen in ticks. Of 141 ticks collected in Cyprus (Rhipicephalus sanguineus and Hyalloma spp.), 10% were found to be infected with C. burnetii. Three ticks were positive by hemolymph test, and 11 triturated ticks were positive by nested PCR. Three isolates were obtained by the centrifugation shell-vial technique. Analysis by PCR, then restriction fragment length polymorphism showed that the 3 Cyprus isolates had identical restriction profiles to reference strains Nine Mile and Q212. The methods described are useful in studying the epidemiology and ecology of C. burnetii. (+info)
Autosomal-dominant medullary cystic kidney disease type 1: clinical and molecular findings in six large Cypriot families.
BACKGROUND: Autosomal-dominant medullary cystic kidney disease (ADMCKD), a hereditary chronic interstitial nephropathy, recently attracted attention because of the cloning or mapping of certain gene loci, namely NPHP1, NPHP2 and NPHP3 for familial juvenile nephronophthisis (NPH) and MCKD1 and MCKD2 for the adult form of medullary cystic kidney disease. Our aim was to present and discuss the clinical, biochemical, sonographic and histopathological findings in six large Cypriot families in whom molecular analysis has confirmed linkage to the MCKD1 locus on chromosome 1q21. METHODS: The clinical, biochemical, sonographic and histopathological findings in 186 members of six large Cypriot families with ADMCKD-1 are presented. Creatinine clearance was calculated according to the Cockroft-Gault formula and was corrected to a body surface area (BSA) of 1.73 m2. DNA linkage analysis was performed with previously identified flanking polymorphic markers. RESULTS: This disease is characterized by the absence of urinary findings in the vast majority of patients, leading to end-stage renal failure (ESRF) at a mean age of 53.7 years. Hypertension and hyperuricemia are common, especially in males, the former encountered more frequently in advanced chronic renal failure (CRF). Gout has been noted in a small percentage of male patients. Loss of urinary concentrating ability was not a prominent early feature of the disease, while severe natriuresis was observed in a few males toward ESRF. Renal cysts are mainly corticomedullary or medullary, and they are present in about 40.3% of patients and appear more frequently near ESRF. CONCLUSION: ADMCKD type 1 is a common cause of ESRF among our dialysis population. The disease is difficult to diagnose clinically, particularly in the early stage when renal cysts are not usually present, making them a weak diagnostic finding. A dominant pattern of inheritance and DNA linkage analysis are helpful in the diagnosis of this disease. (+info)
Differences in physical activity levels between urban and rural school children in Cyprus.
This study attempted to examine differences in physical activity levels between urban and rural primary school children. The sample consisted of 256 Greek-Cypriot children and their parents from two schools representing urban areas and three schools representing rural areas. Children's activity levels were assessed for 4 weekdays in the winter and for 4 weekdays in the summer using a pedometer (DW-200; Yamax, Tokyo, Japan). Daily step counts were used to describe children's activity levels. Parents completed a questionnaire assessing environmental variables in both seasons. Two-way ANOVAs indicated that urban school children were significantly more active in winter than rural school children (means = 13,583 +/- 4,313 versus 12 436 +/- 3610, P < 0.001) and that rural school children were significantly more active in the summer (means = 16,450 +/- 5134 versus 14,531 +/- 4,901, P < 0.001). Parents of children in rural schools reported more space available in the garden and in the neighbourhoods, and safer neighbourhoods than parents of children in urban schools, whereas children in urban schools had more exercise equipment available at home and were transported more frequently to places where they could be physically active. Results of this study suggest that intervention programmes to promote physical activity need to consider seasonal and geographical location differences in physical activity levels. (+info)
A scrapie epidemic in Cyprus.
Scrapie is endemic in the sheep flocks of many countries, but good epidemiological information on this disease is scarce. Data on the initial stages of an epidemic are even more rare. We describe the ongoing epidemic of scrapie in Cyprus that has been tracked since it began in the mid-1980s. The early stages of the spread of scrapie from farm to farm, between 1985 and 2000, is analysed with a simple mathematical model. The flock-to-flock basic reproductive number (R0) for the spread of scrapie was estimated at between 1.4 and 1.8. The impact of interventions on the control of the epidemic are discussed from an epidemiological and economic point of view. Early identification of scrapie cases on farms can have a large impact on the number of farms affected. The long period before detection of disease in a flock means that policies based on whole-flock slaughter can be inefficient in preventing spread. Under a range of scenarios, a concentration of resources on early detection and quarantine may be more effective in terms of both the costs and control of the epidemic. (+info)