ResearchPad - czech-republic https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Subterranean biodiversity and depth distribution of myriapods in forested scree slopes of Central Europe]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_9853 The shallow underground of rock debris is a unique animal refuge. Nevertheless, the research of this habitat lags far behind the study of caves and soil, due to technical and time-consuming demands. Data on in scree habitat from eleven localities in seven different geomorphological units of the Czech and Slovak Republics were processed. Based on previous studies, as well as knowledge of cave and soil fauna, it was hypothesised that the occurrence of a varied and peculiar fauna would show a pattern of depth distribution with variations due to local specificities. From 2005–2016 (at least one year on each site), macrofauna was collected via sets of three long-term exposed subterranean traps consisting of 110 cm long perforated tube, with ten cups located in a gradient at 5–95 cm below the soil surface. In total, 14 symphylans (not identified to species level), 271 centipedes (23 spp.) and 572 millipedes (32 spp.) were sampled. The overall depth distribution of centipedes and millipedes appeared to have relatively similar pattern, with both groups being found at all depth levels. Nevertheless, this pattern depends on locations. The depth distribution trend lines are mostly in the form of an asymmetric ‘U’, with decreased abundance until the middle of the gradient, followed by increase in the deepest levels. Epigeic species were sporadically distributed along the whole depth gradient, but concentrated at the soil surface, while some subterranean species, such as the centipede and the millipedes , and , were recorded in the deepest parts of the gradient. This characterises the debris community as a mixture of soil and subterranean species with an absence of species exclusively found in caves. The use of different fixation methods in traps had a significant and selective impact on samples; millipedes were either attracted by ethylene glycol or repelled by formaldehyde. Centipedes were also captured more frequently in ethylene glycol; however, the species composition varied in each of the fixatives. Depth distribution of myriapods was similar in both fixative solutions. Traps with these fixatives could be recommended for similar ecological studies.

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<![CDATA[30-year trends in major cardiovascular risk factors in the Czech population, Czech MONICA and Czech post-MONICA, 1985 – 2016/17]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7657 Compared with Western Europe, the decline in cardiovascular (CV) mortality has been delayed in former communist countries in Europe, including the Czech Republic. We have assessed longitudinal trends in major CV risk factors in the Czech Republic from 1985 to 2016/17, covering the transition from the totalitarian regime to democracy.MethodsThere were 7 independent cross-sectional surveys for major CV risk factors conducted in the Czech Republic in the same 6 country districts within the WHO MONICA Project (1985, 1988, 1992) and the Czech post-MONICA study (1997/98, 2000/01, 2007/08 and 2016/2017), including a total of 7,606 males and 8,050 females. The population samples were randomly selected (1%, aged 25–64 years).ResultsOver the period of 31/32 years, there was a significant decrease in the prevalence of smoking in males (from 45.0% to 23.9%; p < 0.001) and no change in females. BMI increased only in males. Systolic and diastolic blood pressure decreased significantly in both genders, while the prevalence of hypertension declined only in females. Awareness of hypertension, the proportion of individuals treated by antihypertensive drugs and consequently hypertension control improved in both genders. A substantial decrease in total cholesterol was seen in both sexes (males: from 6.21 ± 1.29 to 5.30 ± 1.05 mmol/L; p < 0.001; females: from 6.18 ± 1.26 to 5.31 ± 1.00 mmol/L; p < 0.001).ConclusionsThe significant improvement in most CV risk factors between 1985 and 2016/17 substantially contributed to the remarkable decrease in CV mortality in the Czech Republic. ]]> <![CDATA[Trans-Boundary Edge Effects in the Western Carpathians: The Influence of Hunting on Large Carnivore Occupancy]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da80ab0ee8fa60b9a525

The conservation and management of wolves Canis lupus in the periphery of their distribution is challenging. Edges of wolf distribution are characterized by very few and intermittent occurrences of individuals, which are modulated by multiple factors affecting the overall population such as human-caused mortality, management targets and food availability. The knowledge of population dynamics in the edges becomes crucial when hunting takes place nearby the edges, which may preclude population expansion. Here, using as example the occurrence of wolves in the Beskydy Mountains (Czech-Slovak border), which are the edge distribution of the wolf and Eurasian lynx Lynx lynx populations in the West Carpathians, we explored how food availability and hunting in the Slovakian core area affected the dynamics of wolves in the edges of this population. During 2003–2012, we monitored large carnivore occurrence by snow-tracking surveys and tested potential differences in the occurrence of these species in Beskydy Mountains and potential mechanisms behind detected patterns. Despite the proximity to the core area, with several wolf reproductions being confirmed at least in recent years, the wolf was a very rare species in Beskydy and was recorded 14 times less often than the lynx. The expected abundance of wolves in the Beskydy Mountains was inversely related to prey availability in the Slovakian core area. Wolf hunting the year before influenced the expected abundance of wolves in Beskydy area. We discuss how different life histories and legal status of both species probably account for most of the observed difference of occurrence at range margins.

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<![CDATA[Serogroup and Clonal Characterization of Czech Invasive Neisseria meningitidis Strains Isolated from 1971 to 2015]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da40ab0ee8fa60b89b17

Background

This study presents antigenic and genetic characteristics of Neisseria meningitidis strains recovered from invasive meningococcal disease (IMD) in the Czech Republic in 1971–2015.

Material and Methods

A total of 1970 isolates from IMD, referred to the National Reference Laboratory for Meningococcal Infections in 1971–2015, were studied. All isolates were identified and characterized by conventional biochemical and serological tests. Most isolates (82.5%) were characterized by multilocus sequence typing method.

Results

In the study period 1971–2015, the leading serogroup was B (52.4%), most often assigned to clonal complexes cc32, cc41/44, cc18, and cc269. A significant percentage of strains were of serogroup C (41.4%), with high clonal homogeneity due to hyperinvasive complex cc11, which played an important role in IMD in the Czech Republic in the mid-1990s. Serogroup Y isolates, mostly assigned to cc23, and isolates of clonally homogeneous serogroup W have also been recovered more often over the last years.

Conclusion

The incidence of IMD and distribution of serogroups and clonal complexes of N. meningitidis in the Czech Republic varied over time, as can be seen from the long-term monitoring, including molecular surveillance data. Data from the conventional and molecular IMD surveillance are helpful in refining the antimeningococcal vaccination strategy in the Czech Republic.

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<![CDATA[From Regional to National Clouds: TV Coverage in the Czech Republic]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db35ab0ee8fa60bd2bd9

Media, and particularly TV media, have a great impact on the general public. In recent years, spatial patterns of information and the relevance of intangible geographies have become increasingly important. Gatekeeping plays a critical role in the selection of information that is transformed into media. Therefore, gatekeeping, through national media, also co-forms the generation of mental maps. In this paper, correspondence analysis (a statistical method) combined with cloud lines (a new visual analytics technique) is used to analyze how individual major regional events in one of the post-communist countries, the Czech Republic, penetrate into the media on a national scale. Although national news should minimize distortions about regions, this assumption has not been verified by our research. Impressions presented by the media of selected regions that were markedly influenced by one or several events in those regions demonstrate that gatekeepers, especially news reporters, functioned as a filter by selecting only a few specific, and in many cases, unusual events for dissemination.

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<![CDATA[International Collaboration and Spatial Dynamics of US Patenting in Central and Eastern Europe 1981-2010]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daeaab0ee8fa60bbedeb

How did post-socialist transition and a parallel shift in international labor division restructure regional innovation systems in Central and Eastern Europe? This question is increasingly important, because current EU innovation policy is combined with regional development in Smart Specialization Strategies; however, spatial trends of innovation in Central and Eastern Europe are not fully understood which might lead to less than perfectly efficient policy. In this paper we describe the spatial dynamics of inventor activity in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia between 1981 and 2010 –a period that covers both the late socialist era and the post-socialist transition. Cleaning and analyzing the publicly available data from the United States Patent and Trademark Office we illustrate that Central and Eastern European patents made in international co-operations with partners outside the region receive more citations than those Central and Eastern European patents that lack international co-operation. Furthermore, the technological portfolio of the former patents has become increasingly independent from the technological portfolio of the latter class. A town-level analysis of the applicant-inventor ties reveals that inventors have started to work for foreign assignees in those towns where no innovation activity had been recorded before. However, the positive effect does not last long and patenting seems to be only periodic in the majority of these towns. Therefore, innovation policy in Central and Eastern European countries, as well as in other less developed regions, shall foster synergies between international and domestic collaborations in order to decrease regional disparities in patenting.

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<![CDATA[Molecular typing of Treponema pallidum isolates from Buenos Aires, Argentina: Frequent Nichols-like isolates and low levels of macrolide resistance]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db50ab0ee8fa60bdbf6d

A total of 54 clinical samples, including genital lesion swabs, whole blood and cerebrospinal fluid from patients diagnosed with syphilis were collected in 2006 and in 2013 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Treponemal DNA was detected in 43 of the analyzed samples (79.6%) and further analyzed using Sequencing-based molecular typing (SBMT) and Enhanced CDC-typing (ECDCT). By SBMT, 10 different Treponema pallidum subsp. pallidum (TPA) genotypes were found, of which six were related to the TPA SS14 strain, and four to the TPA Nichols strain. The 23S rRNA gene was amplified in samples isolated from 42 patients, and in six of them (14.3%), either the A2058G (four patients, 9.5%) or the A2059G (two patients, 4.8%) mutations were found. In addition to Taiwan, Madagascar and Peru, Argentina is another country where the prevalence of Nichols-like isolates (26.8%) is greater than 10%.

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<![CDATA[Prevalence of hepatitis C virus in adult population in the Czech Republic – time for birth cohort screening]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db52ab0ee8fa60bdc68f

Chronic hepatitis C is curable disease. Low detection rate could be one of the reasons of poor treatment uptake. It is important to identify HCV prevalence and anti-hepatitis C virus (HCV) positive patients in population by effective screening strategy such as risk-based or birth cohort screening programs. There are no national population-based estimates of the HCV prevalence in the Czech Republic (CZ). The most recent seroprevalence survey determined a prevalence of positive anti-HCV antibodies of 0.2% (in 2001). The aim of the study was to determine the seroprevalence of HCV, HCV viraemia and HCV genotype in the CZ adult population. We also estimated the number of persons living with chronic hepatitis C in CZ. The examined group included 3000 adults, 18–90 years of age enrolled in 2015. All serum samples were examined to determined anti-HCV antibodies positivity, HCV-RNA positivity and genotypes. Of the 3000 samples, 50 were found to be anti-HCV-positive, for a seroprevalence of 1.67% (2.39% in males, 0.98% in females). The overall prevalence of positive HCV RNA was 0.93%: 1.5% in males, 0.39% in females. HCV genotype (GT) 1a was determined in 25%, GT 1b in 25% and GT 3a in 46%. Since 2001, the HCV seroprevalence has increased 8-fold. The highest HCV seroprevalence occurred in males aged 30–44 years. We can estimate that there are more than 140,000 people with HCV antibodies and more than 80,000 people with chronic hepatitis C living in the CZ. The introduction of birth cohort HCV screening could be beneficial for the country.

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<![CDATA[Decreasing Seroprevalence of Measles Antibodies after Vaccination – Possible Gap in Measles Protection in Adults in the Czech Republic]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dabaab0ee8fa60bae532

Aims

In recent years, Europe has recorded an increase in the number of measles outbreaks despite the implementation of vaccination into the National Immunization Programs. The Czech Republic introduced vaccination against measles into National Immunization Program in 1969. The aim of this study was to determine seroprevalence of IgG antibodies against measles in adults.

Methods

Our study was designed as a prospective, multicenter cohort study. Samples of blood were taken from adults aged 18 years and over. Specific IgG antibodies were determined by ELISA method.

Results

A number of 1911 sera samples were obtained. The total seropositivity reached 83.3%, 14.3% of the results were negative and 2.4% were borderline. When comparing the individual age groups, the highest antibody seropositivity (> 96%) was detected in persons aged 50 years and over who were naturally infected in pre-vaccine era. The lowest seropositivity was recorded in the age groups 30–39 years (61.5%), 40–49 years (77.5%) and 18–29 years (81.1%).

Conclusions

A long term high rate of seropositivity persists after natural measles infection. By contrast, it decreases over time after vaccination. Similarly, the concentrations of antibodies in persons with measles history persist for a longer time at a higher level than in vaccinated persons. Our results indicate possible gap in measles protection in adults born after implementation of vaccination into the National Immunization Programs. There are two probable reasons, decrease of measles antibody seropositivity in time after vaccination in setting of limited natural booster and one-dose vaccination schedule used in the first years after implementation.

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<![CDATA[Suicidality and Hostility following Involuntary Hospital Treatment]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da21ab0ee8fa60b7ef9e

Background

Psychiatric patients showing risk to themselves or others can be involuntarily hospitalised. No data is available on whether following hospitalisation there is a reduction in psychopathological indicators of risk such as suicidality and hostility. This study aimed to assess changes in suicidality and hostility levels following involuntary admission and their patient-level predictors.

Methods

A pooled analysis of studies on involuntary treatment, including 11 countries and 2790 patients was carried out. Suicidality and hostility were measured by the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale.

Results

2790 patients were included; 2129 followed-up after one month and 1864 after three months. 387 (13.9%) patients showed at least moderate suicidality when involuntarily admitted, 107 (5.0%) after one month and 97 (5.2%) after three months. Moderate or higher hostility was found in 1287 (46.1%) patients after admission, 307 (14.5%) after one month, and 172 (9.2%) after three months. Twenty-three (1.2%) patients showed suicidality, and 53 (2.8%) patients hostility at all time-points. Predictors of suicidality three months after admission were: suicidality at baseline, not having a diagnosis of psychotic disorder and being unemployed. Predictors of hostility were: hostility at baseline, not having a psychotic disorder, living alone, and having been hospitalized previously.

Conclusions

After involuntary hospital admission, the number of patients with significant levels of suicidality and hostility decreases substantially over time, and very few patients show consistently moderate or higher levels of these symptoms. In patients with psychotic disorders these symptoms are more likely to improve. Social factors such as unemployment and isolation could hamper suicidality and hostility reduction and may be targeted in interventions to reduce risk in involuntarily admitted patients.

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<![CDATA[Detecting Coppice Legacies from Tree Growth]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da89ab0ee8fa60b9d5fb

In coppice-with-standards, once a common type of management in Central European lowland forests, selected trees (standards) were left to grow mature among the regularly harvested coppice stools to obtain construction wood. After the underwood was harvested, the forest canopy opened rapidly, giving standard trees an opportunity to benefit from reduced competition. Although this silvicultural system virtually disappeared after WWII, historical management cycles can still be traced in the tree-rings of remaining standards. Our research aims at answering the question whether tree-ring series of standard trees can be used to reconstruct past management practices. The study was carried out on 117 oak standard trees from five sites situated in formerly coppiced calcareous oak-hornbeam and acidophilous oak forests in the Bohemian Karst Protected Landscape Area, Czech Republic. The evaluation was based on the analysis of growth releases representing the response of the standards to coppicing events, and comparison to the archival records of coppice events. Our results showed that coppicing events can be successfully detected by tree-ring analysis, although there are some limitations. Altogether 241 releases were identified (49% of major releases). Large number of releases could be related to historical records, with the major ones giving better results. The overall probability of correct detection (positive predictive power) was 58%, ranging from 50 to 67%, probability for major releases was 78%, ranging from 63 to 100% for different sites. The ability of individual trees to mirror past coppice events was significantly affected by competition from neighboring trees (their number and the sum of distance-weighted basal areas). A dendro-ecological approach to the study of forest management history can serve as an input for current attempts of coppice reintroduction and for conservation purposes.

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<![CDATA[Large-scale structure prediction by improved contact predictions and model quality assessment]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b4cf0bf463d7e123c5b8540

Abstract

Motivation

Accurate contact predictions can be used for predicting the structure of proteins. Until recently these methods were limited to very big protein families, decreasing their utility. However, recent progress by combining direct coupling analysis with machine learning methods has made it possible to predict accurate contact maps for smaller families. To what extent these predictions can be used to produce accurate models of the families is not known.

Results

We present the PconsFold2 pipeline that uses contact predictions from PconsC3, the CONFOLD folding algorithm and model quality estimations to predict the structure of a protein. We show that the model quality estimation significantly increases the number of models that reliably can be identified. Finally, we apply PconsFold2 to 6379 Pfam families of unknown structure and find that PconsFold2 can, with an estimated 90% specificity, predict the structure of up to 558 Pfam families of unknown structure. Out of these, 415 have not been reported before.

Availability and Implementation

Datasets as well as models of all the 558 Pfam families are available at http://c3.pcons.net/. All programs used here are freely available.

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<![CDATA[Genetic Diversity of Blumeria graminis f. sp. hordei in Central Europe and Its Comparison with Australian Population]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daa3ab0ee8fa60ba6664

Population surveys of Blumeria graminis f. sp. hordei (Bgh), a causal agent of more than 50% of barley fungal infections in the Czech Republic, have been traditionally based on virulence tests, at times supplemented with non-specific Restriction fragment length polymorphism or Random amplified polymorphic DNA markers. A genomic sequence of Bgh, which has become available recently, enables identification of potential markers suitable for population genetics studies. Two major strategies relying on transposable elements and microsatellites were employed in this work to develop a set of Repeat junction markers, Single sequence repeat and Single nucleotide polymorphism markers. A resolution power of the new panel of markers comprising 33 polymorphisms was demonstrated by a phylogenetic analysis of 158 Bgh isolates. A core set of 97 Czech isolates was compared to a set 50 Australian isolates on the background of 11 diverse isolates collected throughout the world. 73.2% of Czech isolates were found to be genetically unique. An extreme diversity of this collection was in strong contrast with the uniformity of the Australian one. This work paves the way for studies of population structure and dynamics based on genetic variability among different Bgh isolates originating from geographically limited regions.

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