ResearchPad - Medical https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Effect of an editorial intervention to improve the completeness of reporting of randomised trials: a randomised controlled trial]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_12549 To evaluate the impact of an editorial intervention to improve completeness of reporting of reports of randomised trials.DesignRandomised controlled trial (RCT).SettingBMJ Open’s quality improvement programme.Participants24 manuscripts describing RCTs.InterventionsWe used an R Shiny application to randomise manuscripts (1:1 allocation ratio, blocks of 4) to the intervention (n=12) or control (n=12) group. The intervention was performed by a researcher with expertise in the content of the Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) and consisted of an evaluation of completeness of reporting of eight core CONSORT items using the submitted checklist to locate information, and the production of a report containing specific requests for authors based on the reporting issues found, provided alongside the peer review reports. The control group underwent the usual peer review.OutcomesThe primary outcome is the number of adequately reported items (0–8 scale) in the revised manuscript after the first round of peer review. The main analysis was intention-to-treat (n=24), and we imputed the scores of lost to follow-up manuscripts (rejected after peer review and not resubmitted). The secondary outcome is the proportion of manuscripts where each item was adequately reported. Two blinded reviewers assessed the outcomes independently and in duplicate and solved disagreements by consensus. We also recorded the amount of time to perform the intervention.ResultsManuscripts in the intervention group (mean: 7.01; SD: 1.47) were more completely reported than those in the control group (mean: 5.68; SD: 1.43) (mean difference 1.43, 95% CI 0.31 to 2.58). We observed the main differences in items 6a (outcomes), 9 (allocation concealment mechanism), 11a (blinding) and 17a (outcomes and estimation). The mean time to perform the intervention was 87 (SD 42) min.ConclusionsWe demonstrated the benefit of involving a reporting guideline expert in the editorial process. Improving the completeness of RCTs is essential to enhance their usability.Trial registration numberNCT03751878. ]]> <![CDATA[ANRIL rs1333049 C/G polymorphism and coronary artery disease in a North Indian population - Gender and age specific associations]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_12483 Many studies conducted worldwide substantiate a role of genetic polymorphisms in non-coding regions linked with coronary artery disease (CAD). One such single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) of a non-coding RNA in the INK4 locus (ANRIL) i.e. rs1333049 C/G in the vicinity of cell cycle regulating genes is documented to have a role in CAD risk. In this study we aimed to determine the association of ANRIL rs1333049 C/G with CAD in a North Indian population. Five hundred disease free controls and 500 CAD patients were genotyped using allele specific ARMS-PCR method. High risk association of rs1333049 was seen in both heterozygous and mutant genotypes (OR=2.883, 95% CI=1.475-5.638 and p=0.002 and OR=6.717, 95% CI=3.444-13.102 and p < 0.001 respectively). Gender stratified analysis revealed risk association in both heterozygous and mutant genotypes in males. However, risk association in the mutant genotype and females was documented. Similarly, risk association was seen in subjects above 40 years of age in heterozygous and mutant genotypes. Similarly, risk association was reported in obese, sedentary lifestyle, positive family history and smoking in the heterozygous and mutant genotype and with diabetes in the mutant GG genotype. The study revealed high risk association of ANRIL rs1333049 with CAD and other risk factors.

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<![CDATA[Genetic variants in the fat mass and obesity-associated (<i>FTO</i>) gene confer risk for extreme obesity and modulate adiposity in a Brazilian population]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_12476 Obesity is a major public health problem worldwide. It has a complex etiology, influenced by environmental and genetic factors. FTO has been recognized as an important genetic factor for obesity development. This study evaluated the contribution of FTO polymorphisms (rs9939609 and rs17817449) for extreme obesity in terms of the period of obesity onset, anthropometric, and biochemical parameters. The haplotype and the combined effects of FTO risk alleles on obesity susceptibility were evaluated. We investigated 169 normal-weight subjects (body mass index, BMI: 22.8 [21.0; 24.0] kg/m2) and 123 extremely obese individuals (BMI: 47.6 [44.1; 53.1] kg/m2). Genotyping was performed by real time PCR. Our results showed a strong association between FTO variants and extreme obesity. Carriers of the AT haplotype had an increased risk for extreme obesity. Gene scores suggested that the risk of developing extreme obesity was increased 1.37-fold per risk allele added. Both polymorphisms also influenced BMI and body weight. Additionally, rs17817449 influenced triglyceride levels. No effect of FTO variants on the period of obesity onset was found. In conclusion, the FTO polymorphisms showed a strong association with development of extreme phenotype of obesity and adiposity modulation in a Brazilian population.

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<![CDATA[Growth Hormone insensitivity (Laron syndrome): Report of a new family and review of Brazilian patients]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_12471 Laron’s syndrome (LS) is a rare genetic disorder characterized by insensitivity to growth hormone (GH). Up to the present time, over 70 mutations of GH receptor (GHR) gene have been identified leading to GH/insulin-like growth factor type 1 (IGF1) signaling pathway defect. The number of LS patients worldwide is unknown, as many are probably undiagnosed. We report two sibs from a consanguineous family from Minas Gerais, southeastern Brazil. The parents have three children. The older, a 4-years-old girl was 80.2 cm tall (-5.7 SDS height/age), and the youngest sister, aged 3 years, was 73.2 cm tall (-5.82 SDS height/age). Their clinical and biochemical features are typical of LS patients, such as high serum level of GH and low IGF1 concentrations. A homozygous c.1A>T nucleotide substitution in GHR exon 2 in the probands’ samples was identified. Their parents and healthy sister are heterozygous for the same variant that abolishes the translation initiation codon of GHR. This mutation has not been reported in Brazilian patients and was previously associated with an LS phenotype in a single 29-year-old Spanish man. In addition to this case report, we summarize the main characteristics and molecular data of the 21 LS Brazilian patients who have been published to date.

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<![CDATA[Epistasis of polymorphisms related to the articular cartilage extracellular matrix in knee osteoarthritis: Analysis-based multifactor dimensionality reduction]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_12464 Osteoarthritis (OA) is a complex disease with a multifactorial etiology. The genetic component is one of the main associated factors, resulting from interactions between genes and environmental factors. The aim of this study was to identify gene-gene interactions (epistasis) of the articular cartilage extracellular matrix (ECM) in knee OA. Ninety-two knee OA patients and 147 healthy individuals were included. Participants were genotyped in order to evaluate nine variants of eight genes associated with ECM metabolism using the OpenArray technology. Epistasis was analyzed using the multifactor dimensionality reduction (MDR) method. The MDR analysis showed significant gene-gene interactions between MMP3 (rs679620) and COL3A1 (rs1800255), and between COL3A1 (rs1800255) and VEGFA (rs699947) polymorphisms, with information gain values of 3.21% and 2.34%, respectively. Furthermore, in our study we found interactions in high-risk genotypes of the HIF1AN, MMP3 and COL3A1 genes; the most representative were [AA+CC+GA], [AA+CT+GA] and [AA+CT+GG], respectively; and low-risk genotypes [AA+CC+GG], [GG+TT+GA] and [AA+TT+GA], respectively. Knowing the interactions of these polymorphisms involved in articular cartilage ECM metabolism could provide a new tool to identify individuals at high risk of developing knee OA.

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<![CDATA[A genetic variant in microRNA-146a is associated with sporadic breast cancer in a Southern Brazilian Population]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_12447 MicroRNAs (miRNAs) play an essential role in gene expression and affect the development of tumours, including breast cancer (BC). Polymorphisms in miRNA genes can affect the interaction of miRNAs with their target messenger RNA by interfering, creating or disrupting target sites. The single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs2910164, located in the seed region of miR146a, was shown to be associated with BC among different populations. In the present study, we investigated whether rs2910164 is associated with BC in 326 patients and 411 controls from a Brazilian population of predominantly European ancestry. The presence of the allele rs2910164*C was associated with an increased risk of BC (OR=1.4, 95% CI=1.03-1.85, p = 0.03). We also analysed publicly available RNA-seq data to evaluate if miR146a is differentially expressed in different subtypes of BC. Genotyping was performed by polymerase chain reaction with sequence-specific primers (PCR-SSP). By leveraging public data from TCGA database, we analysed 461 patients and found that miR146a is significantly more expressed in BC than in non-tumor tissue (1.47 fold, p = 0.02) and is expressed to a greater degree in aggressive BC subtypes.

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<![CDATA[Investigation of <i>SIRT1</i> gene variants in HIV-associated lipodystrophy and metabolic syndrome]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_12438 HIV-infected individuals on chronic use of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) are more likely to develop adipose tissue and metabolic disorders, such as lipodystrophy (LD) and metabolic syndrome (MetS). The development of these phenotypes is known to be multifactorial. Thus, variants in genes implicated in adipogenesis and lipid metabolism may increase susceptibility to LD and MetS. Sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) may influence the outcome of these disturbances due to its role in the regulation of transcription factors involved in energy regulation. Therefore, we genotyped four polymorphisms located in SIRT1 (rs2273773 T>C, rs12413112 G>A, rs7895833 A>G, rs12049646 T>C) in 832 HIV-infected patients receiving HAART by real-time polymerase chain reaction. The prevalence of LD was 55.8% and MetS was 35.3%. Lipoatrophy was the most prevalent subtype in all samples (38.0%) and showed significant difference between white and non-white individuals (P = 0.002). None of the genetic variants investigated in SIRT1 was associated with LD and MetS. White individuals and those in longer time of HAART use were more likely to develop LD. We concluded that these SIRT1 polymorphisms are not predictive factors to the development of lipodystrophy and metabolic syndrome in HIV-infected individuals from Brazil.

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<![CDATA[Large miRNA survival analysis reveals a prognostic four-biomarker signature for triple negative breast cancer]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_12430 Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) is currently the only major breast tumor subtype without effective targeted therapy and, as a consequence, usually presents a poor outcome. Due to its more aggressive phenotype, there is an urgent clinical need to identify novel biomarkers that discriminate individuals with poor prognosis. We hypothesize that miRNAs can be used to this end because they are involved in the initiation and progression of tumors by altering the expression of their target genes. To identify a prognostic biomarker in TNBC, we analyzed the miRNA expression of a cohort composed of 185 patients diagnosed with TNBC using penalized Cox regression models. We identified a four-biomarker signature based on miR-221, miR-1305, miR-4708, and RMDN2 expression levels that allowed for the subdivision of TNBC into high- or low-risk groups (Hazard Ratio – HR = 0.32; 95% Confidence Interval - CI = 0.11–0.91; p = 0.03) and are also statistically associated with survival outcome in subgroups of postmenopausal status (HR = 0.19; 95% CI = 0.04–0.90; p= 0.016), node negative status (HR = 0.12; 95% CI = 0.01–1.04; p = 0.026), and tumors larger than 2cm (HR = 0.21; 95% CI = 0.05–0.81; p = 0.021). This four-biomarker signature was significantly associated with TNBC as an independent prognostic factor for survival.

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<![CDATA[-866G/A and Ins/Del polymorphisms in the <i>UCP2</i> gene and diabetic kidney disease: case-control study and meta-analysis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_12426 Uncoupling protein 2 (UCP2) decreases reactive oxygen species (ROS). ROS overproduction is a key contributor to the pathogenesis of diabetic kidney disease (DKD). Thus, UCP2 polymorphisms are candidate risk factors for DKD; however, their associations with this complication are still inconclusive. Here, we describe a case-control study and a meta-analysis conducted to investigate the association between UCP2 -866G/A and Ins/Del polymorphisms and DKD. The case-control study comprised 385 patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM): 223 patients without DKD and 162 with DKD. UCP2 -866G/A (rs659366) and Ins/Del polymorphisms were genotyped by real-time PCR and conventional PCR, respectively. For the meta-analysis, a literature search was conducted to identify all studies that investigated associations between UCP2 polymorphisms and DKD in patients with T1DM or type 2 diabetes mellitus. Pooled odds ratios were calculated for different inheritance models. Allele and genotype frequencies of -866G/A and Ins/Del polymorphisms did not differ between T1DM case and control groups. Haplotype frequencies were also similar between groups. Four studies plus the present one were eligible for inclusion in the meta-analysis. In agreement with case-control data, the meta-analysis results showed that the -866G/A and Ins/Del polymorphisms were not associated with DKD. In conclusion, our case-control and meta-analysis studies did not indicate an association between the analyzed UCP2 polymorphisms and DKD.

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<![CDATA[Non-mosaic partial duplication 12p in a patient with dysmorphic characteristics and developmental delay]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_12421 Duplication of the short arm of chromosome 12 is a rare chromosomal abnormality that may arise de novo or result from malsegregation of a balanced parental translocation. This study comprises the clinical description, cytogenetic and cytogenomic analyses and genotype-phenotype correlation in a patient with facial dysmorphism, developmental delay and intellectual impairment caused by non-mosaic partial duplication and a paracentric inversion 12p. The patient’s GTG-banded karyotype was 46,XX,invdup(12)(pter → p13.32::p11.1 → p13.31::p13.31 → qter). A genetic gain of approximately 28 Mb was detected in the chromosomal region arr[GRCh37]12p13.31-p11.1(6914072_34756209)x3. The chromosomal alteration seen in our patient is described as “pure” partial duplication 12p. In most cases, duplication 12p phenotype is characterized by dysmorphic features, multiple congenital anomalies and intellectual disability. A small number of cases in literature have described genes associated with neurodevelopmental disease, such as ING4, CHD4, MFAP5, GRIN2B, SOX5, SCN8A and PIANP. In our patient the duplication 12p was de novo. This study should contribute to the genotype-phenotype correlation in partial duplication 12p cases.

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<![CDATA[Expression of miR-148b-3p is correlated with overexpression of biomarkers in prostate cancer]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_12419 Prostate cancer (PCa) is one of the leading causes of death among men. Genes such as PCA3, PSA, and Fra-1 are suggested to serve as potential tools for the detection of PCa, as they are deregulated during this pathology. A similar event occurs with small non-coding RNAs, called miRNAs, specifically miR-195-5p, miR-133a-3p, and miR-148b-3p, which were analyzed in a Chinese population and suggested to be possible candidates for PCa diagnosis. We evaluated the expression levels of three miRNAs and three genes in tissue samples of PCa and benign prostate disease, such as benign prostatic hyperplasia, or prostatitis, in order to determine their potential as candidates for PCa detection. Our results showed a statistically significant overexpression of 279-fold increase in PSA levels and a 1,012-fold increase in PCA3 levels in PCa patients compared to benign prostate disease patients (p = 0.001 and p = 0.002, respectively). We observed a positive correlation between the expression of miR-148b-3p and the expression of PSA and PCA3 genes, two established biomarkers in PCa. The expression of miR-148b-3p was not related to clinical characteristics, such as age and weight, as observed for the other miRNAs analyzed, suggesting its potential as a biomarker for detection of this pathology.

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<![CDATA[Targeting STAT-3 signaling pathway in cancer for development of novel drugs: Advancements and challenges]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_12414 Signal transducers and activators of transcription 3 (STAT-3) is a transcription factor that regulates the gene expression of several target genes. These factors are activated by the binding of cytokines and growth factors with STAT-3 specific receptors on cell membrane. Few years ago, STAT-3 was considered an acute phase response element having several cellular functions such as inflammation, cell survival, invasion, metastasis and proliferation, genetic alteration, and angiogenesis. STAT-3 is activated by several types of inflammatory cytokines, carcinogens, viruses, growth factors, and oncogenes. Thus, the STAT3 pathway is a potential target for cancer therapeutics. Abnormal STAT-3 activity in tumor development and cellular transformation can be targeted by several genomic and pharmacological methodologies. An extensive review of the literature has been conducted to emphasize the role of STAT-3 as a unique cancer drug target. This review article discusses in detail the wide range of STAT-3 inhibitors that show antitumor effects both in vitro and in vivo. Thus, targeting constitutive STAT-3 signaling is a remarkable therapeutic methodology for tumor progression. Finally, current limitations, trials and future perspectives of STAT-3 inhibitors are also critically discussed.

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<![CDATA[Engineered scPDL1-DM1 drug conjugate with improved <i>in vitro</i> analysis to target PD-L1 positive cancer cells and intracellular trafficking studies in cancer therapy]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_12409 Antibody-drug conjugates (ADC), precisely deliver a cytotoxic agent to antigen-expressing tumor cells by using specific binding strategies of antibodies. The ADC has shown the ability of potent bio-therapeutics development but indefinite stoichiometric linkage and full-length antibody penetration compromised the field of its advancement. Single chain variable fragments convention instead of the full-length antibody may overcome the challenge of rapid penetration and internalization. Programmed cell death ligand-1 interaction with PD-1 has recently revolutionized the field of immunotherapy. We systematically designed scPDL1-DM1 drug conjugate by linking scFv-PD-L1 proteins (scFv) with maytansinoids (DM1) cytotoxic agent through succinimidyl trans-4-maleimidylmethyl cyclohexane-1- carboxylate (SMCC) linker. Binding affinity was confirmed by immunocytochemistry, spectrophotometry and gel electrophoresis analysis. The scPDL1-DM1 showed specific binding with PD-L1 positive tumor cells and retained in vitro anti-cell proliferation activity. The intracellular trafficking of the drug was evaluated in A549 cancer cell lines, and maximum trafficking was observed after two hours of incubation. The generated drug can be utilized as a potent tool for site-specific conjugation, predicting specificity in vitro activities with extended range against PD-L1 positive cancer cells and can be utilized for further in vivo testing and clinical therapeutics development.

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<![CDATA[Birth defects in Brazil: Outcomes of a population-based study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_12405 Birth defects (BDs) are functional and structural alterations in embryonic or fetal development. With an incidence of approximately 3-5%, BDs are a leading cause of infant mortality and lifelong disability. A population-based prospective case-control study was conducted for one year with 5204 infants, between March 1st, 2011 and February 29th, 2012 in the city of São José do Rio Preto, State of São Paulo, Brazil. The incidence of BDs was 3.2% [95% confidence interval (95%CI): 2.8-3.8%]. The most common congenital anomalies were heart diseases in isolation (11.2%; 95%CI: 7.3-16.9%) followed by Down syndrome (9.5%; 95%CI: 5.9-14.8%), neural tube defects (8.9%; 95%CI: 5.4-14.1), urinary tract anomalies (7.7%; 95%CI: 4.4-12.7%), and polydactyly (7.0%; 95%CI: 4.0-12.0%). The majority of mothers with Down syndrome babies had advanced age. Family members with the same BD, maternal alcohol consumption, gestational diabetes, and previous miscarriages were the most frequent risk factors. The results were similar to published data from other countries except for the incidence of Down syndrome, which was twice as high as reported by other authors and is probably due to the high sociocultural level of the region where the current study was performed, leading to pregnancies at older maternal age.

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<![CDATA[Biochemical diagnosis of mucopolysaccharidosis in a Mexican reference center]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_12403 Mucopolysaccharidoses (MPS) are a group of genetic disorders, each resulting from the deficiency of one of the lysosomal enzymes that catabolizes mucopolysaccharides. For the accurate diagnosis of the disease, the quantification of a specific enzymatic activity is needed. In the present study, we analyzed seven MPS over several periods of time ranging from 2 to 5 years in a reference center in Mexico. During this time, a total of 761 samples belonging to 505 individuals with suspected MPS were analyzed. A total of 198 (26.01%) positive results were found. Among these, MPS IVA accounted for the highest frequency of positive results (49.10%), followed by MPS III (17.69%, IIIA: 11.80% and IIIB: 5.89%). Adjusting for the number of births per year, the estimated incidence per 100,000 births for MPS analyzed were as follows: MPS I: 0.19, MPS II: 0.15, MPS IIIA: 0.26, MPS IIIB: 0.13, MPS IVA: 1.10, MPS VI: 0.17 and MPS VII: 0.23, and the combined estimated incidence of MPS was 2.23 per 100,000 births; however, this incidence seems to be highly underestimated when compared with the results of newborn screenings.

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<![CDATA[The combined risk effect among <i>BIN1</i>, <i>CLU,</i> and <i>APOE</i> genes in Alzheimer’s disease]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_12397 Genome-wide associations studies (GWAS) are detecting new variants associated with late-onset of Alzheimer’s disease (LOAD), a multifactorial neurodegenerative disorder. The variants rs744373 BIN1, rs11136000 CLU and rs3764650 ABCA7 uncovered by GWAS led to different AD pathways, such as metabolism, trafficking and endocytosis of lipids and inflammation. However, most of the association studies did not replicate these variants with significance. This could be due to a small power effect evident when these variants are tested independently with LOAD. Therefore, we aimed to investigate whether the combination of different variants would additively modify the risk of association with LOAD that is observed in GWAS. We performed an association study testing pairwise variants in metabolism, trafficking and endocytosis of lipid (rs429358 and rs7412 APOE, rs744373 BIN1, rs3764650 ABCA7 and rs11136000 CLU) pathways with LOAD in samples from southeastern Brazil. Our data suggest a risk effect for LOAD between APOE with CLU and APOE with BIN1 genes.

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<![CDATA[Qualities Important in the Selection of Chief Residents]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_11611 Background

Chief resident selection occurs by numerous methods. Chief residents also fulfill multiple roles, requiring a broad skill set. However, there is little literature on which qualities various stakeholders value in chief resident selection. The objective of this study was to identify the qualities that residents and faculty believe are important for chief residents.

Methods

Following a literature review, educational experts conducted a multi-institutional survey that asked participants to name the qualities they felt were most important in chief residents and to rank-order a predefined list of 10 qualities. Associations were calculated between rank-order and participant age, gender, institutional position, and history of serving as a chief resident.

Results

The response rate for the survey was 43.9% (385/877). Leadership, organization, and communication skills were named by all participants among the most common responses. Residents additionally named approachability, advocacy, and listening skills among their most valued qualities, whereas faculty named strong clinical skills and integrity. Dependability and trustworthiness were the most valued qualities in the rank-order list, whereas strong clinical skills and self-reflection were the least valued. Females valued the ability to manage multiple demands more whereas males valued dependability more. The faculty valued strong clinical skills more than residents.

Conclusion

A variety of qualities are seen as being valuable in chief residents. Additional research is needed to understand what qualities are associated with effective chief resident performance.

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<![CDATA[Exploring the knowledge and attitudes of Cameroonian medical students towards global surgery: A web-based survey]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_11233 Global surgery is a growing field studying the determinants of safe and affordable surgical care and advocating to gain the global health community's attention. In Cameroon, little is known about the level of knowledge and attitudes of students. Our survey aimed to describe the knowledge and attitudes of Cameroonian medical students towards global surgery.Materials and methodsWe performed an anonymous online survey of final-year Cameroonian medical students. Mann-Whitney U test and Spearman correlation analysis were used for bivariate analysis, and the alpha value was set at 0.05. Odds ratios and their 95% confidence intervals were calculated.Results204 respondents with a mean age of 24.7 years (±2.0) participated in this study. 58.3% were male, 41.6% had previously heard or read about global surgery, 36.3% had taken part in a global surgery study, and 10.8% had attended a global surgery event. Mercy Ships was well known (46.5%), and most students believed that surgical interventions were more costly than medical treatments (75.0%). The mean score of the global surgery evaluation was 47.4% (±29.6%), and being able to recognize more global surgery organizations was correlated with having assumed multiple roles during global surgery studies (p = 0.008) and identifying more global surgery indicators (p = 0.04). Workforce, infrastructure, and funding were highlighted as the top priorities for the development of global surgery in Cameroon.ConclusionMedical students are conscious of the importance of surgical care. They lack the opportunities to nurture their interest and should be taught global surgery concepts and skills. ]]> <![CDATA[Implementation of maternity protection legislation: Gynecologists’ perceptions and practices in French-speaking Switzerland]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_11226 In several countries, maternity protection legislations (MPL) confer an essential role to gynecologist-obstetricians (OBGYNs) for the protection of pregnant workers and their future children from occupational exposures. This study explores OBGYNs’ practices and difficulties in implementing MPL in the French-speaking part of Switzerland.MethodsAn online survey was sent to 333 OBGYNs. Data analysis included: 1) descriptive and correlational statistics and 2) hierarchical cluster analysis to identify patterns of practices.ResultsOBGYNs evoked several problems in MPL implementation: absence of risk analysis in the companies, difficult collaboration with employers, lack of competencies in the field of occupational health. Preventive leave was underused, with sick leave being prescribed instead. Training had a positive effect on OBGYNs’ knowledge and implementation of MPL. Hierarchical cluster analysis highlighted three main types of practices: 1) practice in line with legislation; 2) practice on a case-by-case basis; 3) limited practice. OBGYNs with good knowledge of MPL more consistently applied its provisions.ConclusionThe implementation of MPL appears challenging for OBGYNs. Collaboration with occupational physicians and training might help OBGYNs to better take on their role in maternity protection. MPL in itself could be improved. ]]> <![CDATA[A model for the assessment of bluetongue virus serotype 1 persistence in Spain]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_11225 Bluetongue virus (BTV) is an arbovirus of ruminants that has been circulating in Europe continuously for more than two decades and has become endemic in some countries such as Spain. Spain is ideal for BTV epidemiological studies since BTV outbreaks from different sources and serotypes have occurred continuously there since 2000; BTV-1 has been reported there from 2007 to 2017. Here we develop a model for BTV-1 endemic scenario to estimate the risk of an area becoming endemic, as well as to identify the most influential factors for BTV-1 persistence. We created abundance maps at 1-km2 spatial resolution for the main vectors in Spain, Culicoides imicola and Obsoletus and Pulicaris complexes, by combining environmental satellite data with occurrence models and a random forest machine learning algorithm. The endemic model included vector abundance and host-related variables (farm density). The three most relevant variables in the endemic model were the abundance of C. imicola and Obsoletus complex and density of goat farms (AUC 0.86); this model suggests that BTV-1 is more likely to become endemic in central and southwestern regions of Spain. It only requires host- and vector-related variables to identify areas at greater risk of becoming endemic for bluetongue. Our results highlight the importance of suitable Culicoides spp. prediction maps for bluetongue epidemiological studies and decision-making about control and eradication measures.

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