Scientifica The latest articles from Hindawi Publishing Corporation © 2016 , Hindawi Publishing Corporation . All rights reserved. Environmental Risk Factors in Patients with Noninvasive Fungal Sinusitis Wed, 04 May 2016 13:42:09 +0000 Objective. The aim of our study was to try to determine the possible environmental risk factors for noninvasive fungal sinusitis in Egyptian patients. Methods. This is a prospective epidemiological case control study on the environmental risk factors of noninvasive fungal sinusitis. It included 60 patients and 100 age and sex matched controls. Results. There was a statistically significant relation between apartment floor, surface area, exposure to dust, exposure to cockroaches, poor air conditioning, and fungal sinusitis. Yet, no statistical significance was found between allergy related occupations, exposure to animals or plants, although their percentages were higher among cases, smoking, and urban or rural residence. Conclusion. We suggest that for patients with noninvasive fungal sinusitis a change in their living environment must be implied with better exposure to sunlight, larger well ventilated homes, proper cleaning of dust and cockroach extermination, and if possible the judicious use of air conditioners. Badr Eldin Mostafa, Mohammed M. K. El Sharnoubi, Hesham A. A. El-Sersy, and Mohammed S. M. Mahmoud Copyright © 2016 Badr Eldin Mostafa et al. All rights reserved. Adaptability of Napiergrass (Pennisetum purpureum Schumach.) for Weed Control in Site of Animals Buried after Foot-and-Mouth Disease Infection Wed, 04 May 2016 11:08:06 +0000 After the infection of foot-and-mouth disease outbreaks in Miyazaki, Japan, in 2010, cattle and swine were slaughtered and buried in a site of 100 ha, where weed control is difficult and costly since lands are unlevelled and prohibited to be plowed for 3 years. To consider the adaptability of napiergrass (Pennisetum purpureum Schumach.) to the animal burial site for weed control, two napiergrass varieties, normal Wruk wona (WK) and dwarf late-heading variety (DL), were transplanted, compared with sowing of maize (MZ) and sorghum (SR) in both burial (BU) and neighboring bordered area (BO) in mid-June 2011. Even though several weed control methods were subjected to lands, MZ and SR failed to be established stably at only 1/3–1/2 due to the suppression of growth by indigenous weeds, while WK and DL successfully established as high as 82–91 and 73–85, respectively, in 2011. The poor establishment of MZ and SR after sowing tended to be increased with the year from establishment. Plant dry matter yield and cellulose concentration were the highest in WK in 2011, while overwintering ability was constantly higher in DL in the 3 years. It is necessary to consider the utilization of forage plants on the animal burial site. Yasuyuki Ishii, Yusuke Iki, Kouhei Inoue, Shuhei Nagata, Sachiko Idota, Masato Yokota, and Aya Nishiwaki Copyright © 2016 Yasuyuki Ishii et al. All rights reserved. Solo Sonographically Guided PCNL under Spinal Anesthesia: Defining Predictors of Success Tue, 03 May 2016 12:52:52 +0000 Aim. Sonography has been brought in percutaneous nephrolithotripsy (PCNL) as an adjunct to or substitute for X-ray to restrict radiation exposure. This study was designed to investigate the possible predictors for the success of the solo sonographically guided PCNL. Methods. 148 consecutive cases were prospectively enrolled. All steps of PCNL were performed solely with sonography guidance under spinal anesthesia. Residual stones were evaluated the day after surgery using sonography and plain radiography. Results. The mean age was years; 40% of kidneys had hydronephrosis. The mean stone burden was  mm2. The mean duration of surgery was minutes. The early stone-free rate was 92% in inferior or middle calyceal stones, 89.5% in single pelvic stones, 81.5% in partial staghorn stones, and 61.9% in staghorn stones. The mean residual stone size was  mm. Logistic regression showed that a lower age and a larger stone burden significantly predicted positive residual stones. Fifteen percent of patients presented with grade I or II and six percent showed grade III complication based on Clavien classification. There was no cases of organ injury or death. Conclusion. Solo ultrasonographically guided PCNL under spinal anesthesia is feasible with an acceptable stone-free rate and complication rate. Akbar Nouralizadeh, Hamid Pakmanesh, Abbas Basiri, Mohammad Aayanifard, Mohammad Hossein Soltani, Ali Tabibi, Farzaneh Sharifiaghdas, Seyed Amir Mohsen Ziaee, Naser Shakhssalim, Reza Valipour, Behzad Narouie, and Mohammad Hadi Radfar Copyright © 2016 Akbar Nouralizadeh et al. All rights reserved. Managing Sleep Disturbances in Cirrhosis Tue, 03 May 2016 09:40:43 +0000 Sleep disturbances, particularly daytime sleepiness and insomnia, are common problems reported by patients suffering from liver cirrhosis. Poor sleep negatively impacts patients’ quality of life and cognitive functions and increases mortality. Although sleep disturbances can be an early sign of hepatic encephalopathy (HE), many patients without HE still complain of poor quality sleep. The pathophysiology of these disturbances is not fully understood but is believed to be linked to impaired hepatic melatonin metabolism. This paper provides an overview for the clinician of common comorbidities contributing to poor sleep in patients with liver disease, mainly restless leg syndrome and obstructive sleep apnea. It discusses nondrug and pharmacologic treatment options in these patients, such as the use of light therapy and histamine (H1) blockers. Xun Zhao and Philip Wong Copyright © 2016 Xun Zhao and Philip Wong. All rights reserved. Sociodemographic and Obstetric Characteristics of Anaemic Pregnant Women Attending Antenatal Clinic in Bolgatanga Regional Hospital Tue, 03 May 2016 09:27:18 +0000 The study determined the sociodemographic and obstetric characteristics of pregnant women which contribute to the risk of developing anaemia. A cross-sectional study was conducted among 400 pregnant women attending their first antenatal visit at the Bolgatanga Regional Hospital Antenatal Clinic. Anaemia was significantly associated () with younger maternal age, parity, gravidity, trimester of pregnancy, and source of drinking water. Multivariate logistic regression identified the following factors with adjusted odds ratios (aOR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI): unemployment (aOR = 4.76 (CI: 2.26–11.33); ), rural dwelling (aOR = 3.10 (CI: 2.16–4.91); ), primigravida (aOR = 2.13 (CI: 1.34–3.18); ), nulliparity (aOR = 1.92 (CI: 1.23–2.86); ), first antenatal visit at second trimester (aOR = 1.71 (CI: 1.33–3.12); ) and first antenatal visit at third trimester (aOR = 2.73 (CI: 1.24–4.35); ), drinking from well and boreholes (aOR = 2.78 (CI: 2.27–5.21); ), and the presence of domestic livestock (aOR = 2.15 (CI: 1.33–3.68); ). This study has shown the various sociodemographic and obstetric factors which significantly contribute to anaemia in pregnancy. Benjamin Ahenkorah, Kwabena Nsiah, and Peter Baffoe Copyright © 2016 Benjamin Ahenkorah et al. All rights reserved. Biodegradation and Environmental Impacts of Pesticides Tue, 03 May 2016 07:51:51 +0000 Pesticides are widely used for the control of weeds, diseases, and pests of cultivated plants all over the world, mainly since the period after the Second World War. The use of pesticides is very extensive to control harm of pests all over the globe. Persistent nature of most of the synthetic pesticides causes serious environmental concerns. Decontamination of these hazardous chemicals is very essential. This review paper elaborates the potential of various biological agents in decontamination of agricultural soils. The agricultural crop fields are contaminated by the periodic applications of pesticides. Biodegradation is an ecofriendly, cost-effective, highly efficient approach compared to the physical and chemical methods which are expensive as well as unfriendly towards environment. Biodegradation is sensitive to the concentration levels of hydrogen peroxide and nitrogen along with microbial community, temperature, and pH changes. Experimental work for optimum conditions at lab scale can provide very fruitful results about specific bacterial, fungal strains. This study revealed an upper hand of bioremediation over physicochemical approaches. Further studies should be carried out to understand mechanisms of biotransformation. Muhammad Kashif Javaid, Mehrban Ashiq, and Muhammad Tahir Copyright © 2016 Muhammad Kashif Javaid et al. All rights reserved. Foodborne Listeria monocytogenes: A Real Challenge in Quality Control Sat, 30 Apr 2016 14:34:13 +0000 Listeria monocytogenes is a foodborne pathogen, and the detection and differentiation of this bacterium from the nonpathogenic Listeria species are of great importance to the food industry. Differentiation of Listeria species is very difficult, even with the sophisticated MALDI-TOF MS technique because of the close genetic relationship of the species and the usual gene transfer. The present paper emphasizes the difficulties of the differentiation through the standardized detection and confirmation according to ISO 11290-1:1996 and basic available L. monocytogenes detection methods and tests (such as API Listeria test, MALDI-TOF MS analysis, and hly gene PCR). With the increase of reports on the pathogenesis of atypical Listeria strains in humans, the significance of species level determination has become questionable, especially in food quality control, and the detection of pathogenic characteristics seems to be more relevant. Tünde Pusztahelyi, Judit Szabó, Zsuzsanna Dombrádi, Szilvia Kovács, and István Pócsi Copyright © 2016 Tünde Pusztahelyi et al. All rights reserved. Utility of the Measurement of Carboxyhemoglobin Level at the Site of Acute Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in Rural Areas Sat, 30 Apr 2016 13:17:54 +0000 Objective. This study examined the hypothesis that correlations exist between the carbon monoxide exposure time and the carboxyhemoglobin concentration at the site of carbon monoxide poisoning, using a pulse carbon monoxide oximeter in rural areas or the carboxyhemoglobin concentration measured at a given medical institution. Background. In previous studies, no definitive relationships between the arterial blood carboxyhemoglobin level and the severity of carbon monoxide poisoning have been observed. Method. The subjects included patients treated for acute carbon monoxide poisoning in whom a medical emergency team was able to measure the carboxyhemoglobin level at the site of poisoning. We examined the relationship between the carboxyhemoglobin level at the site of poisoning and carbon monoxide exposure time and the relationships between the arterial blood carboxyhemoglobin level and carbon monoxide exposure time. Results. A total of 10 patients met the above criteria. The carboxyhemoglobin levels at the site of poisoning were significantly and positively correlated with the exposure time (rs = 0.710, ), but the arterial blood carboxyhemoglobin levels were not correlated with the exposure time. Conclusion. In rural areas, the carboxyhemoglobin level measured at the site of carbon monoxide poisoning correlated with the exposure time. Makoto Onodera, Yasuhisa Fujino, Satoshi Kikuchi, Masayuki Sato, Kiyofumi Mori, Takaaki Beppu, and Yoshihiro Inoue Copyright © 2016 Makoto Onodera et al. All rights reserved. Nanotechnology Based Approaches for Enhancing Oral Bioavailability of Poorly Water Soluble Antihypertensive Drugs Sat, 30 Apr 2016 11:31:28 +0000 Oral administration is the most convenient route among various routes of drug delivery as it offers high patient compliance. However, the poor aqueous solubility and poor enzymatic/metabolic stability of drugs are major limitations in successful oral drug delivery. There are several approaches to improve problems related to hydrophobic drugs. Among various approaches, nanotechnology based drug delivery system has potential to overcome the challenges associated with the oral route of administration. Novel drug delivery systems are available in many areas of medicine. The application of these systems in the treatment of hypertension continues to broaden. The present review focuses on various nanocarriers available in oral drug administration for improving solubility profile, dissolution, and consequently bioavailability of hydrophobic antihypertensive drugs. Mayank Sharma, Rajesh Sharma, and Dinesh Kumar Jain Copyright © 2016 Mayank Sharma et al. All rights reserved. Role of Wheat Based Diet on the Pathology of Necrotic Enteritis in Turkeys Thu, 28 Apr 2016 13:30:48 +0000 The study was conducted to investigate the effects of wheat based diet on the pathology of necrotic enteritis in turkeys. Turkeys were divided into four groups. Groups A and B were kept as noninoculated and fed normal commercial diet while groups C and D were challenged orally with C. perfringens and fed wheat based diet to promote the development of experimental disease. Infected turkeys showed clinical signs of depression, ruffled feathers, and dark yellowish faeces showing the most prominent disease signs in turkeys of group D with 30% mortality. Similarly, turkeys of group D showed more striking gross and histopathologic lesions as compared to turkeys of group C. The most severe gross lesions comprised intestinal distension, small necrotic spots and haemorrhages on intestine, fragile intestinal wall, and gas bubble formation in the small intestine. Histologically, inoculated turkeys showed patchy necrosis, desquamation of intestinal epithelium, and intense leukocyte infiltration in the intestine. Microscopic examination showed significant decrease in the height of intestinal villi of inoculated birds. Haematological studies showed significant influence of necrotic enteritis on the blood profile of turkeys in group D. The findings revealed that simultaneous feeding of wheat enhanced the pathology of necrotic enteritis in turkeys. Sajid Umar, Muhammad Younus, Muhammad Shahzad, Kiran Aqil, Rizwan Qayyum, Aqsa Mushtaq, Muhammad Ali Abdullah Shah, and Muhammad Tanveer Munir Copyright © 2016 Sajid Umar et al. All rights reserved. Status and Trend of Regal Fritillary (Speyeria idalia) (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae) in the 4th of July Butterfly Count Program in 1977–2014 Thu, 28 Apr 2016 09:44:36 +0000 Regal Fritillary (Speyeria idalia) primarily inhabits prairie, a native grassland of central North America, and occurs rarely in nonprairie grasslands further east. This butterfly has experienced widespread decline and marked range contraction. We analyze Regal Fritillary incidence and abundance during 1977–2014 in 4th of July Butterfly Counts, an annual census of butterflies in North America. Volunteers count within the same 24 km diameter circle each year. Only 6% of counts in range reported a Regal, while 18% of counts in core range in the Midwest and Great Plains did. 99.9% of Regal individuals occurred in core range. Only four circles east of core range reported this species, and only during the first half of the study period. All individuals reported west of its main range occurred in two circles in Colorado in the second half of the study. The number of counts per year and survey effort per count increased during the study. During 1991–2014, >31 counts occurred per year in core Regal range, compared to 0–23 during 1975–1990. During 1991–2014, all measures of Regal presence and abundance declined, most significantly. These results agree with other sources that Regal Fritillary has contracted its range and declined in abundance. Scott R. Swengel and Ann B. Swengel Copyright © 2016 Scott R. Swengel and Ann B. Swengel. All rights reserved. Effects of Temperature and Precipitation on Breeding Migrations of Amphibian Species in Southeastern Norway Thu, 28 Apr 2016 08:51:01 +0000 To reveal the effects of climate, a generalized linear mixed model was used to explore the variation in onset of spawning migration for the two newt species T. cristatus and L. vulgaris in southern Norway. Amphibians are highly influenced by the physical environment, such as temperature and rainfall. The first migrating newts were observed subsequently to the three first consecutive days with mean temperature close to or above 4°C. Further, migration of L. vulgaris was facilitated at lower temperatures compared to T. cristatus, but the migration was dependent on higher precipitation levels. Northern populations of T. cristatus and L. vulgaris may already benefit from a warmer climate due to increased recruitment and juvenile survival. However, an offset in the migration phenology due to climate change might further alter the recruitment and survival rates with either positive or negative outcome. Thus, variations in migration phenology for newts due to climate change may have implications for management and protection status in many systems. In a general context, we should increase emphasis on protecting newts and support increased populations and distribution. Børre K. Dervo, Kim Magnus Bærum, Jostein Skurdal, and Jon Museth Copyright © 2016 Børre K. Dervo et al. All rights reserved. Examination of Hearing in a Rheumatoid Arthritis Population: Role of Extended-High-Frequency Audiometry in the Diagnosis of Subclinical Involvement Wed, 27 Apr 2016 16:07:25 +0000 Objective. The aim of this study is to analyze the high-frequency hearing levels in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and to determine the relationship between hearing loss, disease duration, and immunological parameters. Materials and Methods. A descriptive cross-sectional study including fifty-three patients with rheumatoid arthritis was performed. The control group consisted of 71 age- and sex-matched patients from the study population (consecutively recruited in Madrid “Area 9,” from January 2010 to February 2011). Both a pure tone audiometry and an extended-high-frequency audiometry were performed. Results. Extended-high-frequency audiometry diagnosed sensorineural hearing loss in 69.8% of the patients which exceeded the results obtained with pure tone audiometry (43% of the patients). This study found significant correlations in patients with sensorineural hearing loss related to age, sex, and serum anti-cardiolipin (aCL) antibody levels. Conclusion. Sensorineural hearing loss must be considered within the clinical context of rheumatoid arthritis. Our results demonstrated that an extended-high-frequency audiometry is a useful audiological test that must be performed within the diagnostic and follow-up testing of patients with rheumatoid arthritis, providing further insight into a disease-modifying treatment or a hearing loss preventive treatment. Mar Lasso de la Vega, Ithzel Maria Villarreal, Julio Lopez-Moya, and Jose Ramon Garcia-Berrocal Copyright © 2016 Mar Lasso de la Vega et al. All rights reserved. Assessing Risk in Patients with Stable Coronary Disease: When Should We Intensify Care and Follow-Up? Results from a Meta-Analysis of Observational Studies of the COURAGE and FAME Era Wed, 27 Apr 2016 11:10:41 +0000 Background. A large number of clinical and laboratory markers have been appraised to predict prognosis in patients with stable angina, but uncertainty remains regarding which variables are the best predictors of prognosis. Therefore, we performed a meta-analysis of studies in patients with stable angina to assess which variables predict prognosis. Methods. MEDLINE and PubMed were searched for eligible studies published up to 2015, reporting multivariate predictors of major adverse cardiac events (MACE, a composite endpoint of death, myocardial infarction, and revascularization) in patients with stable angina. Study features, patient characteristics, and prevalence and predictors of such events were abstracted and pooled with random-effect methods (95% CIs). Major adverse cardiovascular event (MACE) was the primary endpoint. Results. 42 studies (104,559 patients) were included. After a median follow-up of 57 months, cardiovascular events occurred in 7.8% of patients with MI in 6.2% of patients and need for repeat revascularization (both surgical and percutaneous) in 19.5% of patients. Male sex, reduced EF, diabetes, prior MI, and high C-reactive protein were the most powerful predictors of cardiovascular events. Conclusions. We show that simple and low-cost clinical features may help clinicians in identifying the most appropriate diagnostic and therapeutic approaches within the broad range of outpatients presenting with stable coronary artery disease. Umberto Barbero, Fabrizio D’Ascenzo, Freek Nijhoff, Claudio Moretti, Giuseppe Biondi-Zoccai, Marco Mennuni, Davide Capodanno, Marco Lococo, Michael J. Lipinski, and Fiorenzo Gaita Copyright © 2016 Umberto Barbero et al. All rights reserved. Gentamicin Induced Nephrotoxicity: The Role of Sex Hormones in Gonadectomized Male and Female Rats Tue, 26 Apr 2016 08:52:57 +0000 Background. Gentamicin (GM) induced nephrotoxicity may be sex hormones related. The effects of sex hormones on GM induced nephrotoxicity in gonadectomized rats were investigated. Methods. Ovariectomized rats received 0.25, 0.5, or 1 mg/kg/week of estradiol (ES) alone or accompanied with 10 mg/kg/week of progesterone (Pro) for two weeks followed by GM (100 mg/kg/day) for 9 days. Castrated rats were also treated with 10, 50, or 100 mg/kg/week of testosterone (TS) for two weeks and then received GM. In addition, a single castrated group received 0.25 mg/kg/week of ES plus GM. Results. GM increased the serum levels of blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and creatinine (Cr) and kidney tissue damage score (KTDS) (). TS had no effect on the serum levels of BUN and Cr and KTDS, while low dose of ES intensified these parameters in male (). ES (0.5 mg/kg) without Pro ameliorated KTDS in female () while ES (1 mg/kg) with or without Pro exacerbated the BUN values and Cr values, KTDS, and body weight loss (). Conclusion. ES (0.5 mg/kg) without Pro ameliorated kidney damage induced by GM in female while neither TS nor ES had beneficial effect on nephrotoxicity induced by GM in male, although ES aggravated it. Fatemeh Eshraghi-Jazi, Ardeshir Talebi, Fatemeh Sadat Mirsaeedi, Sarina Ahmadian, Fatemeh Moslemi, and Mehdi Nematbakhsh Copyright © 2016 Fatemeh Eshraghi-Jazi et al. All rights reserved. Clinical Profile of Dengue Fever in Children: A Study from Southern Odisha, India Sun, 24 Apr 2016 12:31:00 +0000 Background. In India, dengue epidemics are becoming more frequent (WHO, 2008). The majority of dengue viral infections are self-limiting, but complications may cause high morbidity and mortality. Objectives. To assess the clinical profile of the dengue infection in children less than 14 years of age and to evaluate the outcomes of dengue fever from September 2013 to August 2015 at the Pediatric Department of Maharaja Krishna Chandra Gajapati Medical College, the largest tertiary care hospital of southern Odisha. Results. A total of 97 cases were classified into 84 (86.59%) nonsevere and 13 (13.40%) severe dengue cases. The most common age of presentation was above 11 yrs. The mean age of admission was 8.7 yrs. The most common presenting symptom was fever seen in 100% and hepatomegaly (43.8%), the most common physical finding. Gastrointestinal bleeding was markedly seen in severe dengue (76.9%). Elevation in aspartate transaminase (SGOT) was found in 47.42% and thrombocytopenia in 27.5%. The correlation between hepatomegaly and elevated SGOT was significant ( value 0.0346). Case fatality rate (CFR) was 1.03%. The mean duration of hospitalisation was 3.8 days. Conclusion. In children, if symptoms like fever, pain, rashes, and vomiting are associated with hepatomegaly and elevated SGOT in context of low TPC, a strong possibility of dengue fever is present, especially in an epidemic setting. Early suspicion and effective management can reduce the severity. Shubhankar Mishra, Ramya Ramanathan, and Sunil Kumar Agarwalla Copyright © 2016 Shubhankar Mishra et al. All rights reserved. Prevalence of Coccidiosis in Free-Range Chicken in Sidi Thabet, Tunisia Sun, 24 Apr 2016 11:41:51 +0000 Background. Enteric diseases are an important concern to the poultry industry and coccidiosis is imposing a significant economic burden worldwide. Objectives. The main goal of the present study was to investigate the prevalence of coccidiosis in free-range chicken in Sidi Thabet, northeast Tunisia. Methods. Six hundred and thirty free-range chickens along with fecal samples were collected from 15 flocks in this region and two hundred chickens were found positive for oocysts of Eimeria spp. Intestines were dissected and examined for macroscopic lesions. The mucosa of small intestine and the caeca were examined for the presence and identification of parasitic forms using parasitology methods. The mean lesion scores were usually low (<2+) in different intestinal portions of different types of chicken and high scores (>2+) were attributed mainly to the caeca. Results. The overall rate of coccidiosis was 31.8%: E. tenella (61.5%), E. maxima (12%), and E. acervulina (1.5%). Mixed Eimeria species infection was observed with overall prevalence 26.5%. There was a statistically significant difference () among infection rates, age groups, season, diarrhea, and type of chicken. Conclusion. This is the first report of coccidiosis rate in free-range chicken in this region. Further additional studies are needed to develop better preventive measures against coccidiosis in the country. Khaled Kaboudi, Sajid Umar, and Muhammad Tanveer Munir Copyright © 2016 Khaled Kaboudi et al. All rights reserved. Correlation between Focal Nodular Low Signal Changes in Hoffa’s Fat Pad Adjacent to Anterior Femoral Cartilage and Focal Cartilage Defect Underlying This Region and Its Possible Implication Sun, 24 Apr 2016 09:53:40 +0000 Purpose. This study investigates the association between focal nodular mass with low signal in Hoffa’s fat pad adjacent to anterior femoral cartilage of the knee (FNMHF) and focal cartilage abnormality in this region. Method. The magnetic resonance fast imaging employing steady-state acquisition sequence (MR FIESTA) sagittal and axial images of the B1 and C1 region (described later) of 148 patients were independently evaluated by two reviewers and categorized into four categories: normal, FNMHF with underlying focal cartilage abnormality, FNMHF with normal cartilage, and cartilage abnormality with no FNMHF. Results. There was a significant association () between FNMHF and immediate adjacent focal cartilage abnormality with high interobserver agreement. The absence of focal nodular lesions next to the anterior femoral cartilage has a very high negative predictive value for chondral injury (97.8%). Synovial biopsy of focal nodular lesion done during arthroscopy revealed some fibrocollagenous tissue and no inflammatory cells. Conclusion. We postulate that the FNMHF adjacent to the cartilage defects is a form of normal healing response to the cartilage damage. One patient with FHMHF and underlying cartilage abnormality was rescanned six months later. In this patient, the FNMHF disappeared and normal cartilage was observed in the adjacent region which may support this theory. Chermaine Deepa Antony, John George, Wuey Min Ng, and Manimalar Selvi Naicker Subramaniam Copyright © 2016 Chermaine Deepa Antony et al. All rights reserved. Can Impaired Elasticity of Aorta Predict the Success of Vardenafil Treatment in Patients with Erectile Dysfunction? Thu, 21 Apr 2016 13:32:02 +0000 Objective. Vardenafil is used in treatment of erectile dysfunction (ED) but reveals variable clinical outcomes. Here, we aimed to evaluate the role of aortic elasticity in predicting vardenafil success among patients with ED. Methods. Sixty-one consecutive male subjects with primary ED and indication for vardenafil treatment were included. All subjects fulfilled 5-item version of the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF-5) before the vardenafil treatment. Pretreatment aortic stiffness index (ASI) and aortic distensibility (AD) were obtained echocardiographically. Following two-month vardenafil treatment, the patients were reevaluated with IIEF-5. Pretreatment, posttreatment, and ΔIIEF-5 scores and ASI values were compared. Results. Average age was years. Pretreatment and posttreatment IIEF-5 and ΔIIEF-5 scores were ; ; and , respectively. Mean ASI and AD values were and 1/(103  ×  mmHg) accordingly. ASI value of severe pretreatment ED () was significantly higher than that of mild-moderate pretreatment ED () (). All pretreatment IIEF-5 scores increased significantly compared to posttreatment IIEF-5 scores (). ASI values were significantly correlated to pretreatment IIEF-5 scores () and ΔIIEF-5 value () but not to posttreatment IIEF-5 score. Conclusion. Aortic elasticity was impaired in accordance with degree of ED. The subjects with higher ASI values obtained more benefits from vardenafil. Hüseyin Ede, Serhat Tanik, Barış Yaylak, Kürşad Zengın, Sebahattin Albayrak, Suleyman Akkaya, Cegergun Polat, Yaşar Turan, and Alirıza Erbay Copyright © 2016 Hüseyin Ede et al. All rights reserved. Appraisal of Chicken Production with Associated Biosecurity Practices in Commercial Poultry Farms Located in Jos, Nigeria Thu, 21 Apr 2016 08:41:34 +0000 A questionnaire-based study of chicken production system with on-farm biosecurity practices was carried out in commercial poultry farms located in Jos, Nigeria. Commercial and semicommercial farms had 75.3% and 24.5% of 95,393 birds on 80 farms, respectively. Farms using deep litter and battery cage systems were 69 (86.3%) and 10 (12.5%), respectively. In our biosecurity scoring system, a correct practice of each indicator of an event scored 1.00 and biosecurity score (BS) of each farm was the average of the scores of biosecurity indicators for the farm, giving BS of zero and 1.00 as absence of biosecurity and optimal biosecurity, respectively. Semicommercial farms had higher BS than commercial farms. The flock size did not significantly () affect the mean BS. Disease outbreaks correlated () with BS, showing a tendency of reduction of disease outbreaks with increasing BS. Outbreaks were significantly () associated with deep litter system. In conclusion, the chicken production system requires increased drive for excellent biosecurity practices and weak points in the biosecurity could be ameliorated by extension of information to farmers in order to support expansion of chicken production with robust biosecurity measures that drastically reduce risk of disease outbreak. C. V. Maduka, I. O. Igbokwe, and N. N. Atsanda Copyright © 2016 C. V. Maduka et al. All rights reserved. Study on GIS Visualization in Evaluation of the Human Living Environment in Shenyang-Dalian Urban Agglomeration Wed, 20 Apr 2016 13:54:57 +0000 Analysis of human living environmental quality of Shenyang-Dalian urban agglomerations has important theoretical and practical significance in rapid development region. A lot of investigations have been carried for Shenyang-Dalian urban agglomerations, including 38 counties. Based on the carrying capacity of resources, natural and socioeconomic environmental factors and regional changes of human living environmental evaluation are analyzed with the application of geographic information systems (GIS) software. By using principal component analysis (PCA) model and natural breaks classification (NBC) method, the evaluation results are divided into five categories. The results show that the human living environmental evaluation (HLEE) indexes of Dalian, Shenyang, and Liaoyang are higher than other counties. Among these counties, the human living environmental evaluation (HLEE) indexes of coastal counties are significantly higher than inland counties. The range of the human living environmental evaluation index in most of the study area is at III, IV, and V levels, accounting for 80.01%. Based on these results, it could illustrate the human living environment is in relatively suitable condition in Shenyang-Dalian urban agglomeration. Kang Hou, Jieting Zhou, Xuxiang Li, and Shengbin Ge Copyright © 2016 Kang Hou et al. All rights reserved. Assessment of the Potential Biological Activity of Low Molecular Weight Metabolites of Freshwater Macrophytes with QSAR Wed, 20 Apr 2016 13:12:37 +0000 The paper focuses on the assessment of the spectrum of biological activities (antineoplastic, anti-inflammatory, antifungal, and antibacterial) with PASS (Prediction of Activity Spectra for Substances) for the major components of three macrophytes widespread in the Holarctic species of freshwater, emergent macrophyte with floating leaves, Nuphar lutea (L.) Sm., and two species of submergent macrophyte groups, Ceratophyllum demersum L. and Potamogeton obtusifolius (Mert. et Koch), for the discovery of their ecological and pharmacological potential. The predicted probability of anti-inflammatory or antineoplastic activities above 0.8 was observed for twenty compounds. The same compounds were also characterized by high probability of antifungal and antibacterial activity. Six metabolites, namely, hexanal, pentadecanal, tetradecanoic acid, dibutyl phthalate, hexadecanoic acid, and manool, were a part of the major components of all three studied plants, indicating their high ecological significance and a certain universalism in their use by various species of water plants for the implementation of ecological and biochemical functions. This report underlines the role of identified compounds not only as important components in regulation of biochemical and metabolic pathways and processes in aquatic ecological systems, but also as potential pharmacological agents in the fight against different diseases. Evgeny A. Kurashov, Elena V. Fedorova, Julia V. Krylova, and Galina G. Mitrukova Copyright © 2016 Evgeny A. Kurashov et al. All rights reserved. Effects of Cadmium and Zinc on the Gamete Viability, Fertilization, and Embryonic Development of Tripneustes gratilla (Linnaeus) Wed, 20 Apr 2016 11:35:41 +0000 Heavy metals are frequently reported for their mutagenic and teratogenic effects on benthic organisms. Thus, this study aimed to determine the toxicity of cadmium (Cd) and zinc (Zn) in the gametes of T. gratilla and to compare its fertilization and embryonic development under the highest nongametotoxic concentrations of these heavy metals. Gamete viability of T. gratilla under CdCl2 and ZnSO4 treatments was assayed through resazurin reduction test (RRT) and was confirmed through gamete morphology assay. ZnSO4 was more toxic to T. gratilla gametes than CdCl2 and egg cells were more sensitive to both than the sperm cells. Higher concentrations of CdCl2 and ZnSO4 induced gamete apoptosis and necrosis while highest nongametotoxic concentrations were determined at 1 × 10−3 M and 1 × 10−4 M, respectively, and were used in an in vitro fertilization and embryonic development experiment. ZnSO4 treatment inhibited fertilization more than CdCl2 and yielded more deformed embryos, while both induced abnormalities and hindered further embryonic development. This study gives the first report on the specific concentrations of Cd and Zn that are toxic to T. gratilla gametes and has confirmed the teratogenic effects of these heavy metals. Ivan Patrick B. Tualla and Jayzon G. Bitacura Copyright © 2016 Ivan Patrick B. Tualla and Jayzon G. Bitacura. All rights reserved. In Utero Nutritional Manipulation Provokes Dysregulated Adipocytokines Production in F1 Offspring in Rats Wed, 20 Apr 2016 07:35:53 +0000 Background. Intrauterine environment plays a pivotal role in the origin of fatal diseases such as diabetes. Diabetes and obesity are associated with low-grade inflammatory state and dysregulated adipokines production. This study aims to investigate the effect of maternal obesity and malnutrition on adipokines production (adiponectin, leptin, and TNF-α) in F1 offspring in rats. Materials and Methods. Wistar rats were allocated in groups: F1 offspring of control mothers under control diet (CF1-CD) and under high-fat diet (CF1-HCD), F1 offspring of obese mothers under CD (OF1-CD) and under HCD (OF1-HCD), and F1 offspring of malnourished mothers under CD (MF1-CD) and under HCD (MF1-HCD). Every 5 weeks postnatally, blood samples were obtained for biochemical analysis. Results. At the end of the 30-week follow-up, OF1-HCD and MF1-HCD exhibited hyperinsulinemia, moderate dyslipidemia, insulin resistance, and impaired glucose homeostasis compared to CF1-CD and CF1-HCD. OF1-HCD and MF1-HCD demonstrated low serum levels of adiponectin and high levels of leptin compared to CF1-CD and CF1-HCD. OF1-CD, OF1-HCD, and MF1-HCD had elevated serum levels of TNF-α compared to CF1-CD and CF1-HCD (). Conclusion. Maternal nutritional manipulation predisposes the offspring to development of insulin resistance in their adult life, probably via instigating dysregulated adipokines production. Mervat Y. Hanafi, Mohamed I. Saad, Taha M. Abdelkhalek, Moustafa M. Saleh, and Maher A. Kamel Copyright © 2016 Mervat Y. Hanafi et al. All rights reserved. Modulation of Drug Resistance in Staphylococcus aureus with Coumarin Derivatives Tue, 19 Apr 2016 08:53:21 +0000 Semisynthetic and commercial coumarins were investigated for their antibacterial and adjuvant properties with antibiotic agents against norfloxacin, erythromycin, and tetracycline resistant Staphylococcus aureus as based on efflux mechanisms. The coumarins and certain commercial antibiotics had their Minimum Inhibitory Concentrations determined by broth microdilution assay against resistant S. aureus strains which overexpress efflux pump proteins. For evaluation of the modulatory activity, the antibiotics MICs were determined in the presence of the coumarin derivatives at subinhibitory concentration. Although the coumarins did not display relevant antibacterial activity (MIC ≥ 128 µg/mL), they did modulate the antibiotics activities. Various coumarins, especially the alkylated derivatives in combination with antibiotics at subinhibitory concentrations, modulated antibiotic activity, reducing the MIC for tetracycline and norfloxacin by 2 to 8 times. Polar Surface Area (PSA) studies were performed and the fact that the presence of apolar groups is an important factor for the modulatory activity of coumarins was corroborated. Docking on the Penicillin-Binding Protein from MRSA identified that 18 is a potential ligand presenting low . The results indicate that coumarin derivatives modulated antibiotic resistance and may be used as potential antibiotic adjuvants, acting by bacterial efflux pump inhibition in S. aureus. Rodrigo Santos Aquino de Araújo, José Maria Barbosa-Filho, Marcus Tullius Scotti, Luciana Scotti, Ryldene Marques Duarte da Cruz, Vivyanne dos Santos Falcão-Silva, José Pinto de Siqueira-Júnior, and Francisco Jaime Bezerra Mendonça-Junior Copyright © 2016 Rodrigo Santos Aquino de Araújo et al. All rights reserved. A FACS Based Case Study on Two HbE-β Thalassaemia Members of a Family, Having Similar Mutational Background Mon, 18 Apr 2016 09:21:46 +0000 In this report we have tried to explain the reasons behind the difference in the pattern of transfusion requirement between two members of a family with similar β-globin mutation. The father and younger son both are HbE-β, but the father never had transfusion, whereas the younger son takes transfusion monthly. Mother and the elder son are HbEE without any history of transfusion. β-globin mutations of all family members were determined by ARMS-PCR. These were reconfirmed by direct sequencing of β-globin gene. Father and younger son were found to be Cod 26 (G-A)/IVS 1-5 (G-C), whereas mother and elder son were found to be Cod 26 (G-A)/Cod 26 (G-A). XmnI sequencing also revealed that all members of the family were CC. Then, flow cytometry study of red blood cells (RBCs) was performed to measure the oxidative stress of the RBCs. This study was also done on the light and dense fractions of the RBC population of the father and younger son. It was seen that the younger son suffers severe oxidative stress, which can be explained by his higher transfusion requirement. From our work, we have established the importance of taking oxidative stress of RBCs into consideration to explain the clinical manifestation and progression of haemoglobin related diseases like thalassaemia. Tridip Chatterjee, Suchismita Halder, Amit Chakravarty, Sudipa Chakravarty, and Abhijit Chakrabarti Copyright © 2016 Tridip Chatterjee et al. All rights reserved. Structural Exploration and Conformational Transitions in MDM2 upon DHFR Interaction from Homo sapiens: A Computational Outlook for Malignancy via Epigenetic Disruption Sun, 17 Apr 2016 13:10:00 +0000 Structural basis for exploration into MDM2 and MDM2-DHFR interaction plays a vital role in analyzing the obstruction in folate metabolism, nonsynthesis of purines, and further epigenetic regulation in Homo sapiens. Therefore, it leads to suppression of normal cellular behavior and malignancy. This has been earlier documented via yeast two-hybrid assays. So, with a novel outlook, this study explores the molecular level demonstration of the best satisfactory MDM2 model selection after performing manifold modeling techniques. -scores and other stereochemical features were estimated for comparison. Further, protein-protein docking was executed with MDM2 and the experimentally validated X-ray crystallographic DHFR. Residual disclosure from the best suited simulated protein complex disclosed 18 side chain and 3 ionic interactions to strongly accommodate MDM2 protein into the pocket-like zone in DHFR due to the positive environment by charged residues. Lysine residues from MDM2 played a predominant role. Moreover, evaluation from varied energy calculations, folding rate, and net area for solvent accessibility implied the active participation of MDM2 with DHFR. Fascinatingly, conformational transitions from coils to helices and β-sheets after interaction with DHFR affirm the conformational strength and firmer interaction of human MDM2-DHFR. Therefore, this probe instigates near-future clinical research and interactive computational investigations with mutations. Arundhati Banerjee and Sujay Ray Copyright © 2016 Arundhati Banerjee and Sujay Ray. All rights reserved. The Use of Heparin during Endovascular Peripheral Arterial Interventions: A Synopsis Sun, 17 Apr 2016 11:33:07 +0000 A large variety exists for many aspects of the use of heparin as periprocedural prophylactic antithrombotics (PPAT) during peripheral arterial interventions (PAI). This variation is present, not only within countries, but also between them. Due to a lack of (robust) data, no systematic review on the use of heparin during PAI could be justified. A synopsis of all available literature on heparin during PAI describes that heparin is used on technical equipment to reduce the thrombogenicity and in the flushing solution with saline. Heparin could have a cumulative anticoagulant effect when used in combination with ionic contrast medium. No level-1 evidence exists on the use of heparin. A measurement of actual anticoagulation status by means of an activated clotting time should be mandatory. Arno M. Wiersema, Christopher Watts, Alexandra C. Durran, Michel M. P. J. Reijnen, Otto M. van Delden, Frans L. Moll, and Jan Albert Vos Copyright © 2016 Arno M. Wiersema et al. All rights reserved. Efficacy of a Novel Topical Combination of Fipronil 9.8% and (S)-Methoprene 8.8% against Ticks and Fleas in Naturally Infested Dogs Sun, 17 Apr 2016 08:07:26 +0000 The efficacy of a novel topical combination of fipronil 9.8% (w/v) and (S)-methoprene 8.8% (w/v) (Fiprofort® Plus) was tested against ticks and fleas in naturally infested dogs. A total of fifty dogs were allocated in the study with ticks infestation () and fleas infestation (). On day 0, thirty-five tick and fifteen flea infested dogs received the test formulation, a combination of fipronil 9.8% (w/v) and (S)-methoprene 8.8% (w/v) spot-on solution. Ticks and flea counts were taken on days 0 (pretreatment) and 3, 7, 14, 21, 28, and 35 after treatment. Blood samples were collected for evaluation of haematological parameters on days 0 (pretreatment) and 7, 21, and 35 after treatment. All the adult ticks and fleas collected were identified as Rhipicephalus sanguineus and Ctenocephalides felis, respectively. The efficacy of spot-on formulation against ticks was 34.00% (day 3), 53.14% (day 7), 62.71% (day 14), 65.48% (day 21), 59.80% (day 28), and 58.82% (day 35), whereas against fleas it was 38.00% (day 3), 64.34% (day 7), 89.67% (day 14), 95.40% (day 21), 100.00% (day 28), and 100.00% (day 35). Haematological parameters for ticks and fleas infested dogs were statistically nonsignificant as compared to control. The combination of fipronil and (S)-methoprene eliminated the existing ticks and fleas infestation and prevented the dogs from flea and tick infestation for four weeks. Ayyanampakkam Pandurangan Nambi, Badal Rathi, Kavitha S, Ghanshyam Dudhatra, Hamsa S. Yamini, and Abid Ali Bhat Copyright © 2016 Ayyanampakkam Pandurangan Nambi et al. All rights reserved. Broad Spectrum Anti-Quorum Sensing Activity of Tannin-Rich Crude Extracts of Indian Medicinal Plants Thu, 14 Apr 2016 14:17:13 +0000 Quorum sensing (QS) mechanisms have been demonstrated to have significance in expression of pathogenicity in infectious bacteria. In Gram negative bacteria the autoinducer molecules that mediate QS are acyl homoserine lactones (AHL) and in Gram positive bacteria they are peptides called autoinducing peptides (AIP). A screening of tannin-rich medicinal plants was attempted to identify extracts that could interrupt the QS mechanisms in both Gram positive and Gram negative bacteria over a wide range of concentrations and therefore potentially be potent agents that could act as broad spectrum QS inhibitors. Six out of the twelve Indian medicinal plant extracts that were analyzed exhibited anti-QS activity in Chromobacterium violaceum 12472 and in S. aureus strain with agr:blaZ fusion over a broad range of subinhibitory concentrations, indicating that the extracts contain high concentration of molecules that can interfere with the QS mechanisms mediated by AHL as well as AIP. Varsha Shukla and Zarine Bhathena Copyright © 2016 Varsha Shukla and Zarine Bhathena. All rights reserved.