Matching Items (37)

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Apis Mellifera Octopamine Receptor 1 (AmOA1) Expression in Antennal Lobe Networks of the Honey Bee (Apis Mellifera) and Fruit Fly (Drosophila Melanogaster)

Description

Octopamine (OA) underlies reinforcement during appetitive conditioning in the honey bee and fruit fly, acting via different subtypes of receptors. Recently, antibodies raised against a peptide sequence of one honey

Octopamine (OA) underlies reinforcement during appetitive conditioning in the honey bee and fruit fly, acting via different subtypes of receptors. Recently, antibodies raised against a peptide sequence of one honey bee OA receptor, AmOA1, were used to study the distribution of these receptors in the honey bee brain (Sinakevitch et al., 2011). These antibodies also recognize an isoform of the AmOA1 ortholog in the fruit fly (OAMB, mushroom body OA receptor). Here we describe in detail the distribution of AmOA1 receptors in different types of neurons in the honey bee and fruit fly antennal lobes. We integrate this information into a detailed anatomical analysis of olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs), uni- and multi-glomerular projection neurons (uPNs, and mPNs) and local interneurons (LNs) in glomeruli of the antennal lobe. These neurons were revealed by dye injection into the antennal nerve, antennal lobe, medial and lateral antenno-protocerbral tracts (m-APT and l-APT), and lateral protocerebral lobe (LPL) by use of labeled cell lines in the fruit fly or by staining with anti-GABA. We found that ORN receptor terminals and uPNs largely do not show immunostaining for AmOA1. About seventeen GABAergic mPNs leave the antennal lobe through the ml-APT and branch into the LPL. Many, but not all, mPNs show staining for AmOA1. AmOA1 receptors are also in glomeruli on GABAergic processes associated with LNs. The data suggest that in both species one important action of OA in the antennal lobe involves modulation of different types of inhibitory neurons via AmOA1 receptors. We integrated this new information into a model of circuitry within glomeruli of the antennal lobes of these species.

Contributors

Created

Date Created
  • 2013-10-25

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Spatial-temporal excess mortality patterns of the 1918–1919 influenza pandemic in Spain

Description

Background
The impact of socio-demographic factors and baseline health on the mortality burden of seasonal and pandemic influenza remains debated. Here we analyzed the spatial-temporal mortality patterns of the 1918

Background
The impact of socio-demographic factors and baseline health on the mortality burden of seasonal and pandemic influenza remains debated. Here we analyzed the spatial-temporal mortality patterns of the 1918 influenza pandemic in Spain, one of the countries of Europe that experienced the highest mortality burden.
Methods
We analyzed monthly death rates from respiratory diseases and all-causes across 49 provinces of Spain, including the Canary and Balearic Islands, during the period January-1915 to June-1919. We estimated the influenza-related excess death rates and risk of death relative to baseline mortality by pandemic wave and province. We then explored the association between pandemic excess mortality rates and health and socio-demographic factors, which included population size and age structure, population density, infant mortality rates, baseline death rates, and urbanization.
Results
Our analysis revealed high geographic heterogeneity in pandemic mortality impact. We identified 3 pandemic waves of varying timing and intensity covering the period from Jan-1918 to Jun-1919, with the highest pandemic-related excess mortality rates occurring during the months of October-November 1918 across all Spanish provinces. Cumulative excess mortality rates followed a south–north gradient after controlling for demographic factors, with the North experiencing highest excess mortality rates. A model that included latitude, population density, and the proportion of children living in provinces explained about 40% of the geographic variability in cumulative excess death rates during 1918–19, but different factors explained mortality variation in each wave.
Conclusions
A substantial fraction of the variability in excess mortality rates across Spanish provinces remained unexplained, which suggests that other unidentified factors such as comorbidities, climate and background immunity may have affected the 1918–19 pandemic mortality rates. Further archeo-epidemiological research should concentrate on identifying settings with combined availability of local historical mortality records and information on the prevalence of underlying risk factors, or patient-level clinical data, to further clarify the drivers of 1918 pandemic influenza mortality.

Contributors

Created

Date Created
  • 2014-07-05

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The Age Distribution of Mortality Due to Influenza: Pandemic and Peri-Pandemic

Description

Background:
Pandemic influenza is said to 'shift mortality' to younger age groups; but also to spare a subpopulation of the elderly population. Does one of these effects dominate? Might this

Background:
Pandemic influenza is said to 'shift mortality' to younger age groups; but also to spare a subpopulation of the elderly population. Does one of these effects dominate? Might this have important ramifications?

Methods: We estimated age-specific excess mortality rates for all-years for which data were available in the 20th century for Australia, Canada, France, Japan, the UK, and the USA for people older than 44 years of age. We modeled variation with age, and standardized estimates to allow direct comparison across age groups and countries. Attack rate data for four pandemics were assembled.

Results: For nearly all seasons, an exponential model characterized mortality data extremely well. For seasons of emergence and a variable number of seasons following, however, a subpopulation above a threshold age invariably enjoyed reduced mortality. 'Immune escape', a stepwise increase in mortality among the oldest elderly, was observed a number of seasons after both the A(H2N2) and A(H3N2) pandemics. The number of seasons from emergence to escape varied by country. For the latter pandemic, mortality rates in four countries increased for younger age groups but only in the season following that of emergence. Adaptation to both emergent viruses was apparent as a progressive decrease in mortality rates, which, with two exceptions, was seen only in younger age groups. Pandemic attack rate variation with age was estimated to be similar across four pandemics with very different mortality impact.

Conclusions: In all influenza pandemics of the 20th century, emergent viruses resembled those that had circulated previously within the lifespan of then-living people. Such individuals were relatively immune to the emergent strain, but this immunity waned with mutation of the emergent virus. An immune subpopulation complicates and may invalidate vaccine trials. Pandemic influenza does not 'shift' mortality to younger age groups; rather, the mortality level is reset by the virulence of the emerging virus and is moderated by immunity of past experience. In this study, we found that after immune escape, older age groups showed no further mortality reduction, despite their being the principal target of conventional influenza vaccines. Vaccines incorporating variants of pandemic viruses seem to provide little benefit to those previously immune. If attack rates truly are similar across pandemics, it must be the case that immunity to the pandemic virus does not prevent infection, but only mitigates the consequences.

Contributors

Created

Date Created
  • 2012-12-12

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Mathematical assessment of the effect of traditional beliefs and customs on the transmission dynamics of the 2014 Ebola outbreaks

Description

Background
Ebola is one of the most virulent human viral diseases, with a case fatality ratio between 25% to 90%. The 2014 West African outbreaks are the largest and worst

Background
Ebola is one of the most virulent human viral diseases, with a case fatality ratio between 25% to 90%. The 2014 West African outbreaks are the largest and worst in history. There is no specific treatment or effective/safe vaccine against the disease. Hence, control efforts are restricted to basic public health preventive (non-pharmaceutical) measures. Such efforts are undermined by traditional/cultural belief systems and customs, characterized by general mistrust and skepticism against government efforts to combat the disease. This study assesses the roles of traditional customs and public healthcare systems on the disease spread.
Methods
A mathematical model is designed and used to assess population-level impact of basic non-pharmaceutical control measures on the 2014 Ebola outbreaks. The model incorporates the effects of traditional belief systems and customs, along with disease transmission within health-care settings and by Ebola-deceased individuals. A sensitivity analysis is performed to determine model parameters that most affect disease transmission. The model is parameterized using data from Guinea, one of the three Ebola-stricken countries. Numerical simulations are performed and the parameters that drive disease transmission, with or without basic public health control measures, determined. Three effectiveness levels of such basic measures are considered.
Results
The distribution of the basic reproduction number (R[subscript ]0) for Guinea (in the absence of basic control measures) is such that R[subscript ] 0 ∈ [0.77,1.35], for the case when the belief systems do not result in more unreported Ebola cases. When such systems inhibit control efforts, the distribution increases to R[subscript ] 0 ∈ [1.15,2.05]. The total Ebola cases are contributed by Ebola-deceased individuals (22%), symptomatic individuals in the early (33%) and latter (45%) infection stages. A significant reduction of new Ebola cases can be achieved by increasing health-care workers’ daily shifts from 8 to 24 hours, limiting hospital visitation to 1 hour and educating the populace to abandon detrimental traditional/cultural belief systems.
Conclusions
The 2014 outbreaks are controllable using a moderately-effective basic public health intervention strategy alone. A much higher (>50%) disease burden would have been recorded in the absence of such intervention.

Contributors

Created

Date Created
  • 2015-04-23

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Identifying robustness in the regulation of collective foraging of ant colonies using an interaction-based model with backward bifurcation

Description

Collective behaviors in social insect societies often emerge from simple local rules. However, little is known about how these behaviors are dynamically regulated in response to environmental changes. Here, we

Collective behaviors in social insect societies often emerge from simple local rules. However, little is known about how these behaviors are dynamically regulated in response to environmental changes. Here, we use a compartmental modeling approach to identify factors that allow harvester ant colonies to regulate collective foraging activity in response to their environment. We propose a set of differential equations describing the dynamics of: (1) available foragers inside the nest, (2) active foragers outside the nest, and (3) successful returning foragers, to understand how colony-specific parameters, such as baseline number of foragers, interactions among foragers, food discovery rates, successful forager return rates, and foraging duration might influence collective foraging dynamics, while maintaining functional robustness to perturbations. Our analysis indicates that the model can undergo a forward (transcritical) bifurcation or a backward bifurcation depending on colony-specific parameters. In the former case, foraging activity persists when the average number of recruits per successful returning forager is larger than one. In the latter case, the backward bifurcation creates a region of bistability in which the size and fate of foraging activity depends on the distribution of the foraging workforce among the model׳s compartments. We validate the model with experimental data from harvester ants (Pogonomyrmex barbatus) and perform sensitivity analysis. Our model provides insights on how simple, local interactions can achieve an emergent and robust regulatory system of collective foraging activity in ant colonies.

Contributors

Created

Date Created
  • 2015-02-21

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How Does a Divided Population Respond to Change?

Description

Most studies on the response of socioeconomic systems to a sudden shift focus on long-term equilibria or end points. Such narrow focus forgoes many valuable insights. Here we examine the

Most studies on the response of socioeconomic systems to a sudden shift focus on long-term equilibria or end points. Such narrow focus forgoes many valuable insights. Here we examine the transient dynamics of regime shift on a divided population, exemplified by societies divided ideologically, politically, economically, or technologically. Replicator dynamics is used to investigate the complex transient dynamics of the population response. Though simple, our modeling approach exhibits a surprisingly rich and diverse array of dynamics. Our results highlight the critical roles played by diversity in strategies and the magnitude of the shift. Importantly, it allows for a variety of strategies to arise organically as an integral part of the transient dynamics-as opposed to an independent process-of population response to a regime shift, providing a link between the population's past and future diversity patterns. Several combinations of different populations' strategy distributions and shifts were systematically investigated. Such rich dynamics highlight the challenges of anticipating the response of a divided population to a change. The findings in this paper can potentially improve our understanding of a wide range of socio-ecological and technological transitions.

Contributors

Created

Date Created
  • 2015-07-10

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A Population Based Study of Seasonality of Skin and Soft Tissue Infections: Implications for the Spread of CA-MRSA

Description

Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is currently a major cause of skin and soft tissue infections (SSTI) in the United States. Seasonal variation of MRSA infections in hospital settings has

Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is currently a major cause of skin and soft tissue infections (SSTI) in the United States. Seasonal variation of MRSA infections in hospital settings has been widely observed. However, systematic time-series analysis of incidence data is desirable to understand the seasonality of community acquired (CA)-MRSA infections at the population level. In this paper, using data on monthly SSTI incidence in children aged 0–19 years and enrolled in Medicaid in Maricopa County, Arizona, from January 2005 to December 2008, we carried out time-series and nonlinear regression analysis to determine the periodicity, trend, and peak timing in SSTI incidence in children at different age: 0–4 years, 5–9 years, 10–14 years, and 15–19 years. We also assessed the temporal correlation between SSTI incidence and meteorological variables including average temperature and humidity. Our analysis revealed a strong annual seasonal pattern of SSTI incidence with peak occurring in early September. This pattern was consistent across age groups. Moreover, SSTIs followed a significantly increasing trend over the 4-year study period with annual incidence increasing from 3.36% to 5.55% in our pediatric population of approximately 290,000. We also found a significant correlation between the temporal variation in SSTI incidence and mean temperature and specific humidity. Our findings could have potential implications on prevention and control efforts against CA-MRSA.

Contributors

Created

Date Created
  • 2013-04-02

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Optimizing Treatment Regimes to Hinder Antiviral Resistance in Influenza across Time Scales

Description

The large-scale use of antivirals during influenza pandemics poses a significant selection pressure for drug-resistant pathogens to emerge and spread in a population. This requires treatment strategies to minimize total

The large-scale use of antivirals during influenza pandemics poses a significant selection pressure for drug-resistant pathogens to emerge and spread in a population. This requires treatment strategies to minimize total infections as well as the emergence of resistance. Here we propose a mathematical model in which individuals infected with wild-type influenza, if treated, can develop de novo resistance and further spread the resistant pathogen. Our main purpose is to explore the impact of two important factors influencing treatment effectiveness: i) the relative transmissibility of the drug-resistant strain to wild-type, and ii) the frequency of de novo resistance. For the endemic scenario, we find a condition between these two parameters that indicates whether treatment regimes will be most beneficial at intermediate or more extreme values (e.g., the fraction of infected that are treated). Moreover, we present analytical expressions for effective treatment regimes and provide evidence of its applicability across a range of modeling scenarios: endemic behavior with deterministic homogeneous mixing, and single-epidemic behavior with deterministic homogeneous mixing and stochastic heterogeneous mixing. Therefore, our results provide insights for the control of drug-resistance in influenza across time scales.

Contributors

Created

Date Created
  • 2013-03-29

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Epidemiological Characteristics and Underlying Risk Factors for Mortality During the Autumn 2009 Pandemic Wave in Mexico

Description

Background: Elucidating the role of the underlying risk factors for severe outcomes of the 2009 A/H1N1 influenza pandemic could be crucial to define priority risk groups in resource-limited settings in future

Background: Elucidating the role of the underlying risk factors for severe outcomes of the 2009 A/H1N1 influenza pandemic could be crucial to define priority risk groups in resource-limited settings in future pandemics.

Methods: We use individual-level clinical data on a large series of ARI (acute respiratory infection) hospitalizations from a prospective surveillance system of the Mexican Social Security medical system to analyze clinical features at presentation, admission delays, selected comorbidities and receipt of seasonal vaccine on the risk of A/H1N1-related death. We considered ARI hospitalizations and inpatient-deaths, and recorded demographic, geographic, and medical information on individual patients during August-December, 2009.

Results: Seasonal influenza vaccination was associated with a reduced risk of death among A/H1N1 inpatients (OR = 0.43 (95% CI: 0.25, 0.74)) after adjustment for age, gender, geography, antiviral treatment, admission delays, comorbidities and medical conditions. However, this result should be interpreted with caution as it could have been affected by factors not directly measured in our study. Moreover, the effect of antiviral treatment against A/H1N1 inpatient death did not reach statistical significance (OR = 0.56 (95% CI: 0.29, 1.10)) probably because only 8.9% of A/H1N1 inpatients received antiviral treatment. Moreover, diabetes (OR = 1.6) and immune suppression (OR = 2.3) were statistically significant risk factors for death whereas asthmatic persons (OR = 0.3) or pregnant women (OR = 0.4) experienced a reduced fatality rate among A/H1N1 inpatients. We also observed an increased risk of death among A/H1N1 inpatients with admission delays >2 days after symptom onset (OR = 2.7). Similar associations were also observed for A/H1N1-negative inpatients.

Conclusions: Geographical variation in identified medical risk factors including prevalence of diabetes and immune suppression may in part explain between-country differences in pandemic mortality burden. Furthermore, access to care including hospitalization without delay and antiviral treatment and are also important factors, as well as vaccination coverage with the 2008–09 trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine.

Contributors

Created

Date Created
  • 2012-07-16

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Mitigating effects of vaccination on influenza outbreaks given constraints in stockpile size and daily administration capacity

Description

Background
Influenza viruses are a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Vaccination remains a powerful tool for preventing or mitigating influenza outbreaks. Yet, vaccine supplies and daily administration capacities

Background
Influenza viruses are a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Vaccination remains a powerful tool for preventing or mitigating influenza outbreaks. Yet, vaccine supplies and daily administration capacities are limited, even in developed countries. Understanding how such constraints can alter the mitigating effects of vaccination is a crucial part of influenza preparedness plans. Mathematical models provide tools for government and medical officials to assess the impact of different vaccination strategies and plan accordingly. However, many existing models of vaccination employ several questionable assumptions, including a rate of vaccination proportional to the population at each point in time.
Methods
We present a SIR-like model that explicitly takes into account vaccine supply and the number of vaccines administered per day and places data-informed limits on these parameters. We refer to this as the non-proportional model of vaccination and compare it to the proportional scheme typically found in the literature.
Results
The proportional and non-proportional models behave similarly for a few different vaccination scenarios. However, there are parameter regimes involving the vaccination campaign duration and daily supply limit for which the non-proportional model predicts smaller epidemics that peak later, but may last longer, than those of the proportional model. We also use the non-proportional model to predict the mitigating effects of variably timed vaccination campaigns for different levels of vaccination coverage, using specific constraints on daily administration capacity.
Conclusions
The non-proportional model of vaccination is a theoretical improvement that provides more accurate predictions of the mitigating effects of vaccination on influenza outbreaks than the proportional model. In addition, parameters such as vaccine supply and daily administration limit can be easily adjusted to simulate conditions in developed and developing nations with a wide variety of financial and medical resources. Finally, the model can be used by government and medical officials to create customized pandemic preparedness plans based on the supply and administration constraints of specific communities.

Contributors

Created

Date Created
  • 2011-08-01