ResearchPad - database-and-informatics-methods https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[TIM, a targeted insertional mutagenesis method utilizing CRISPR/Cas9 in <i>Chlamydomonas reinhardtii</i>]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13864 Generation and subsequent analysis of mutants is critical to understanding the functions of genes and proteins. Here we describe TIM, an efficient, cost-effective, CRISPR-based targeted insertional mutagenesis method for the model organism Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. TIM utilizes delivery into the cell of a Cas9-guide RNA (gRNA) ribonucleoprotein (RNP) together with exogenous double-stranded (donor) DNA. The donor DNA contains gene-specific homology arms and an integral antibiotic-resistance gene that inserts at the double-stranded break generated by Cas9. After optimizing multiple parameters of this method, we were able to generate mutants for six out of six different genes in two different cell-walled strains with mutation efficiencies ranging from 40% to 95%. Furthermore, these high efficiencies allowed simultaneous targeting of two separate genes in a single experiment. TIM is flexible with regard to many parameters and can be carried out using either electroporation or the glass-bead method for delivery of the RNP and donor DNA. TIM achieves a far higher mutation rate than any previously reported for CRISPR-based methods in C. reinhardtii and promises to be effective for many, if not all, non-essential nuclear genes.

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<![CDATA[Barriers and facilitating factors in the prevention of diabetes type 2 and gestational diabetes in vulnerable groups: A scoping review]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13859 Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and gestational diabetes (GDM) are globally on the rise, accompanied by comorbidities and associated health costs. Increased physical activity, healthy nutrition, and weight loss have shown the potential to prevent T2DM/GDM. Despite this, reaching vulnerable groups remains a key challenge. The aim of this scoping review was to identify barriers and facilitating factors in the prevention of T2DM/GDM in vulnerable groups.MethodsWe conducted a systematic literature search in May 2018, updated in September 2019, in several databases (e.g. PubMed, Embase) to identify barriers and facilitating factors in the prevention of T2DM/GDM in vulnerable groups. Two reviewers independently screened the results. Extracted data was charted, categorized, and summarized.ResultsWe included 125 articles. Ninety-eight studies were extracted, and eight categories of barriers and facilitating factors were formed. The most common categories of barriers were limited knowledge, family/friends, and economic factors, and the most common categories of facilitating factors were family/friends, social support, and knowledge.ConclusionThis scoping review identified various barriers and facilitating factors in vulnerable groups. Preventive interventions should consider these barriers and facilitating factors in developing preventive interventions or in adapting existing ones. ]]> <![CDATA[Using case-level context to classify cancer pathology reports]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7869 Individual electronic health records (EHRs) and clinical reports are often part of a larger sequence—for example, a single patient may generate multiple reports over the trajectory of a disease. In applications such as cancer pathology reports, it is necessary not only to extract information from individual reports, but also to capture aggregate information regarding the entire cancer case based off case-level context from all reports in the sequence. In this paper, we introduce a simple modular add-on for capturing case-level context that is designed to be compatible with most existing deep learning architectures for text classification on individual reports. We test our approach on a corpus of 431,433 cancer pathology reports, and we show that incorporating case-level context significantly boosts classification accuracy across six classification tasks—site, subsite, laterality, histology, behavior, and grade. We expect that with minimal modifications, our add-on can be applied towards a wide range of other clinical text-based tasks.

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<![CDATA[NAP (davunetide) preferential interaction with dynamic 3-repeat Tau explains differential protection in selected tauopathies]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c92b379d5eed0c4843a4107

The microtubule (MT) associated protein Tau is instrumental for the regulation of MT assembly and dynamic instability, orchestrating MT-dependent cellular processes. Aberration in Tau post-translational modifications ratio deviation of spliced Tau isoforms 3 or 4 MT binding repeats (3R/4R) have been implicated in neurodegenerative tauopathies. Activity-dependent neuroprotective protein (ADNP) is vital for brain formation and cognitive function. ADNP deficiency in mice causes pathological Tau hyperphosphorylation and aggregation, correlated with impaired cognitive functions. It has been previously shown that the ADNP-derived peptide NAP protects against ADNP deficiency, exhibiting neuroprotection, MT interaction and memory protection. NAP prevents MT degradation by recruitment of Tau and end-binding proteins to MTs and expression of these proteins is required for NAP activity. Clinically, NAP (davunetide, CP201) exhibited efficacy in prodromal Alzheimer’s disease patients (Tau3R/4R tauopathy) but not in progressive supranuclear palsy (increased Tau4R tauopathy). Here, we examined the potential preferential interaction of NAP with 3R vs. 4R Tau, toward personalized treatment of tauopathies. Affinity-chromatography showed that NAP preferentially interacted with Tau3R protein from rat brain extracts and fluorescence recovery after photobleaching assay indicated that NAP induced increased recruitment of human Tau3R to MTs under zinc intoxication, in comparison to Tau4R. Furthermore, we showed that NAP interaction with tubulin (MTs) was inhibited by obstruction of Tau-binding sites on MTs, confirming the requirement of Tau-MT interaction for NAP activity. The preferential interaction of NAP with Tau3R may explain clinical efficacy in mixed vs. Tau4R pathologies, and suggest effectiveness in Tau3R neurodevelopmental disorders.

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<![CDATA[Specific clones of Trichomonas tenax are associated with periodontitis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c900d3bd5eed0c48407e3b6

Trichomonas tenax, an anaerobic protist difficult to cultivate with an unreliable molecular identification, has been suspected of involvement in periodontitis, a multifactorial inflammatory dental disease affecting the soft tissue and bone of periodontium. A cohort of 106 periodontitis patients classified by stages of severity and 85 healthy adult control patients was constituted. An efficient culture protocol, a new identification tool by real-time qPCR of T. tenax and a Multi-Locus Sequence Typing system (MLST) based on T. tenax NIH4 reference strain were created. Fifty-three strains of Trichomonas sp. were obtained from periodontal samples. 37/106 (34.90%) T. tenax from patients with periodontitis and 16/85 (18.80%°) T. tenax from control patients were detected by culture (p = 0.018). Sixty of the 191 samples were tested positive for T. tenax by qPCR, 24/85 (28%) controls and 36/106 (34%) periodontitis patients (p = 0.089). By combining both results, 45/106 (42.5%) patients were positive by culture and/or PCR, as compared to 24/85 (28.2%) controls (p = 0.042). A link was established between the carriage in patients of Trichomonas tenax and the severity of the disease. Genotyping demonstrates the presence of strain diversity with three major different clusters and a relation between disease strains and the periodontitis severity (p<0.05). More frequently detected in periodontal cases, T. tenax is likely to be related to the onset or/and evolution of periodontal diseases.

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<![CDATA[Quantitative real-time PCR as a promising tool for the detection and quantification of leaf-associated fungal species – A proof-of-concept using Alatospora pulchella]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db52ab0ee8fa60bdc5cf

Traditional methods to identify aquatic hyphomycetes rely on the morphology of released conidia, which can lead to misidentifications or underestimates of species richness due to convergent morphological evolution and the presence of non-sporulating mycelia. Molecular methods allow fungal identification irrespective of the presence of conidia or their morphology. As a proof-of-concept, we established a quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) assay to accurately quantify the amount of DNA as a proxy for the biomass of an aquatic hyphomycete species (Alatospora pulchella). Our study showed discrimination even among genetically closely-related species, with a high sensitivity and a reliable quantification down to 9.9 fg DNA (3 PCR forming units; LoD) and 155.0 fg DNA (47 PCR forming units; LoQ), respectively. The assay’s specificity was validated for environmental samples that harboured diverse microbial communities and likely contained PCR-inhibiting substances. This makes qPCR a promising tool to gain deeper insights into the ecological roles of aquatic hyphomycetes and other microorganisms.

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<![CDATA[Identification of a novel archaea virus, detected in hydrocarbon polluted Hungarian and Canadian samples]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N5489318a-3499-4862-9afc-2378cea7eecb

Metagenomics is a helpful tool for the analysis of unculturable organisms and viruses. Viruses that target bacteria and archaea play important roles in the microbial diversity of various ecosystems. Here we show that Methanosarcina virus MV (MetMV), the second Methanosarcina sp. virus with a completely determined genome, is characteristic of hydrocarbon pollution in environmental (soil and water) samples. It was highly abundant in Hungarian hydrocarbon polluted samples and its genome was also present in the NCBI SRA database containing reads from hydrocarbon polluted samples collected in Canada, indicating the stability of its niche and the marker feature of this virus. MetMV, as the only currently identified marker virus for pollution in environmental samples, could contribute to the understanding of the complicated network of prokaryotes and their viruses driving the decomposition of environmental pollutants.

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<![CDATA[Drug induced pancreatitis: A systematic review of case reports to determine potential drug associations]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N8c4889da-2d62-467b-8b66-b271dff2cf8d

Objective

A current assessment of case reports of possible drug-induced pancreatitis is needed. We systematically reviewed the case report literature to identify drugs with potential associations with acute pancreatitis and the burden of evidence supporting these associations.

Methods

A protocol was developed a priori (PROSPERO CRD42017060473). We searched MEDLINE, Embase, the Cochrane Library, and additional sources to identify cases of drug-induced pancreatitis that met accepted diagnostic criteria of acute pancreatitis. Cases caused by multiple drugs or combination therapy were excluded. Established systematic review methods were used for screening and data extraction. A classification system for associated drugs was developed a priori based upon the number of cases, re-challenge, exclusion of non-drug causes of acute pancreatitis, and consistency of latency.

Results

Seven-hundred and thirteen cases of potential drug-induced pancreatitis were identified, implicating 213 unique drugs. The evidence base was poor: exclusion of non-drug causes of acute pancreatitis was incomplete or poorly reported in all cases, 47% had at least one underlying condition predisposing to acute pancreatitis, and causality assessment was not conducted in 81%. Forty-five drugs (21%) were classified as having the highest level of evidence regarding their association with acute pancreatitis; causality was deemed to be probable or definite for 19 of these drugs (42%). Fifty-seven drugs (27%) had the lowest level of evidence regarding an association with acute pancreatitis, being implicated in single case reports, without exclusion of other causes of acute pancreatitis.

Discussion

Much of the case report evidence upon which drug-induced pancreatitis associations are based is tenuous. A greater emphasis on exclusion of all non-drug causes of acute pancreatitis and on quality reporting would improve the evidence base. It should be recognized that reviews of case reports, are valuable scoping tools but have limited strength to establish drug-induced pancreatitis associations.

Registration

CRD42017060473.

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<![CDATA[Transcriptomic analysis of polyketide synthases in a highly ciguatoxic dinoflagellate, Gambierdiscus polynesiensis and low toxicity Gambierdiscus pacificus, from French Polynesia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nca210627-69b7-4a50-96ce-ecb4ce1a2ae1

Marine dinoflagellates produce a diversity of polyketide toxins that are accumulated in marine food webs and are responsible for a variety of seafood poisonings. Reef-associated dinoflagellates of the genus Gambierdiscus produce toxins responsible for ciguatera poisoning (CP), which causes over 50,000 cases of illness annually worldwide. The biosynthetic machinery for dinoflagellate polyketides remains poorly understood. Recent transcriptomic and genomic sequencing projects have revealed the presence of Type I modular polyketide synthases in dinoflagellates, as well as a plethora of single domain transcripts with Type I sequence homology. The current transcriptome analysis compares polyketide synthase (PKS) gene transcripts expressed in two species of Gambierdiscus from French Polynesia: a highly toxic ciguatoxin producer, G. polynesiensis, versus a non-ciguatoxic species G. pacificus, each assembled from approximately 180 million Illumina 125 nt reads using Trinity, and compares their PKS content with previously published data from other Gambierdiscus species and more distantly related dinoflagellates. Both modular and single-domain PKS transcripts were present. Single domain β-ketoacyl synthase (KS) transcripts were highly amplified in both species (98 in G. polynesiensis, 99 in G. pacificus), with smaller numbers of standalone acyl transferase (AT), ketoacyl reductase (KR), dehydratase (DH), enoyl reductase (ER), and thioesterase (TE) domains. G. polynesiensis expressed both a larger number of multidomain PKSs, and larger numbers of modules per transcript, than the non-ciguatoxic G. pacificus. The largest PKS transcript in G. polynesiensis encoded a 10,516 aa, 7 module protein, predicted to synthesize part of the polyether backbone. Transcripts and gene models representing portions of this PKS are present in other species, suggesting that its function may be performed in those species by multiple interacting proteins. This study contributes to the building consensus that dinoflagellates utilize a combination of Type I modular and single domain PKS proteins, in an as yet undefined manner, to synthesize polyketides.

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<![CDATA[Association between boarding in the emergency department and in-hospital mortality: A systematic review]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N48ef4c13-827b-4694-911d-7d7581473712

Importance

Boarding in the emergency department (ED) is a critical indicator of quality of care for hospitals. It is defined as the time between the admission decision and departure from the ED. As a result of boarding, patients stay in the ED until inpatient beds are available; moreover, boarding is associated with various adverse events.

Study objective

The objective of our systematic review was to determine whether ED boarding (EDB) time is associated with in-hospital mortality (IHM).

Methods

A systematic search was conducted in academic databases to identify relevant studies. Medline, PubMed, Scopus, Embase, Cochrane, Web of Science, Cochrane, CINAHL and PsychInfo were searched. We included all peer-reviewed published studies from all previous years until November 2018. Studies performed in the ED and focused on the association between EDB and IHM as the primary objective were included. Extracted data included study characteristics, prognostic factors, outcomes, and IHM. A search update in PubMed was performed in May 2019 to ensure the inclusion of recent studies before publishing.

Results

From the initial 4,321 references found through the systematic search, the manual screening of reference lists and the updated search in PubMed, a total of 12 studies were identified as eligible for a descriptive analysis. Overall, six studies found an association between EDB and IHM, while five studies showed no association. The last remaining study included both ICU and non-ICU subgroups and showed conflicting results, with a positive association for non-ICU patients but no association for ICU patients. Overall, a tendency toward an association between EDB and IHM using the pool random effect was observed.

Conclusion

Our systematic review did not find a strong evidence for the association between ED boarding and IHM but there is a tendency toward this association. Further well-controlled, international multicenter studies are needed to demonstrate whether this association exists and whether there is a specific EDB time cut-off that results in increased IHM.

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<![CDATA[Chalcone synthase (CHS) family members analysis from eggplant (Solanum melongena L.) in the flavonoid biosynthetic pathway and expression patterns in response to heat stress]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N0c4703df-5c43-4557-a077-ba839b092c8d

Enzymes of the chalcone synthase (CHS) family participate in the synthesis of multiple secondary metabolites in plants, fungi and bacteria. CHS showed a significant correlation with the accumulation patterns of anthocyanin. The peel color, which is primarily determined by the content of anthocyanin, is an economically important trait for eggplants that is affected by heat stress. A total of 7 CHS (SmCHS1-7) putative genes were identified in a genome-wide analysis of eggplants (S. melongena L.). The SmCHS genes were distributed on 7 scaffolds and were classified into 3 clusters. Phylogenetic relationship analysis showed that 73 CHS genes from 7 Solanaceae species were classified into 10 groups. SmCHS5, SmCHS6 and SmCHS7 were continuously down-regulated under 38°C and 45°C treatment, while SmCHS4 was up-regulated under 38°C but showed little change at 45°C in peel. Expression profiles of key anthocyanin biosynthesis gene families showed that the PAL, 4CL and AN11 genes were primarily expressed in all five tissues. The CHI, F3H, F3’5’H, DFR, 3GT and bHLH1 genes were expressed in flower and peel. Under heat stress, the expression level of 52 key genes were reduced. In contrast, the expression patterns of eight key genes similar to SmCHS4 were up-regulated at a treatment of 38°C for 3 hour. Comparative analysis of putative CHS protein evolutionary relationships, cis-regulatory elements, and regulatory networks indicated that SmCHS gene family has a conserved gene structure and functional diversification. SmCHS showed two or more expression patterns, these results of this study may facilitate further research to understand the regulatory mechanism governing peel color in eggplants.

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<![CDATA[Evidence for both sequential mutations and recombination in the evolution of kdr alleles in Aedes aegypti]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N8479e8f6-b6ad-4aa7-91b1-bf6bde90184a

Background

Aedes aegypti is a globally distributed vector of human diseases including dengue, yellow fever, chikungunya, and Zika. Pyrethroid insecticides are the primary means of controlling adult A. aegypti populations to suppress arbovirus outbreaks, but resistance to pyrethroid insecticides has become a global problem. Mutations in the voltage-sensitive sodium channel (Vssc) gene are a major mechanism of pyrethroid resistance in A. aegypti. Vssc resistance alleles in A. aegypti commonly have more than one mutation. However, our understanding of the evolutionary dynamics of how alleles with multiple mutations arose is poorly understood.

Methodology/Principal findings

We examined the geographic distribution and association between the common Vssc mutations (V410L, S989P, V1016G/I and F1534C) in A. aegypti by analyzing the relevant Vssc fragments in 25 collections, mainly from Asia and the Americas. Our results showed all 11 Asian populations had two types of resistance alleles: 1534C and 989P+1016G. The 1534C allele was more common with frequencies ranging from 0.31 to 0.88, while the 989P+1016G frequency ranged from 0.13 to 0.50. Four distinct alleles (410L, 1534C, 410L+1534C and 410L+1016I+1534C) were detected in populations from the Americas. The most common was 410L+1016I+1534C with frequencies ranging from 0.50 to 1.00, followed by 1534C with frequencies ranging from 0.13 to 0.50. Our phylogenetic analysis of Vssc supported multiple independent origins of the F1534C mutation. Our results indicated the 410L+1534C allele may have arisen by addition of the V410L mutation to the 1534C allele, or by a crossover event. The 410L+1016I+1534C allele was the result of one or two mutational steps from a 1534C background.

Conclusions/Significance

Our data corroborated previous geographic distributions of resistance mutations and provided evidence for both recombination and sequential accumulation of mutations contributing to the molecular evolution of resistance alleles in A. aegypti.

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<![CDATA[Antibiotic use for Australian Aboriginal children in three remote Northern Territory communities]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N999fa4e6-a15c-456a-862e-2e1ce88316a9

Objective

To describe antibiotic prescription rates for Australian Aboriginal children aged <2 years living in three remote Northern Territory communities.

Design

A retrospective cohort study using electronic health records.

Setting

Three primary health care centres located in the Katherine East region.

Participants

Consent was obtained from 149 mothers to extract data from 196 child records. There were 124 children born between January 2010 and July 2014 who resided in one of the three chosen communities and had electronic health records for their first two years of life.

Main outcome measures

Antibiotic prescription rates, factors associated with antibiotic prescription and factors associated with appropriate antibiotic prescription.

Results

There were 5,675 Primary Health Care (PHC) encounters for 124 children (median 41, IQR 25.5, 64). Of the 5,675 PHC encounters, 1,542 (27%) recorded at least one infection (total 1,777) and 1,330 (23%) had at least one antibiotic prescription recorded (total 1,468). Children had a median five (IQR 2, 9) prescriptions in both their first and second year of life, with a prescription rate of 5.99/person year (95% CI 5.35, 6.63). Acute otitis media was the most common infection (683 records, 38%) and Amoxycillin was the most commonly prescribed antibiotic (797 prescriptions, 54%). Of the 1,468 recorded prescriptions, 398 (27%) had no infection recorded and 116 (8%) with an infection recorded were not aligned with local treatment guidelines.

Conclusion

Prescription rates for Australian Aboriginal children in these communities are significantly higher than that reported nationally for non-Aboriginal Australians. Prescriptions predominantly aligned with treatment guidelines in this setting where there is a high burden of infectious disease.

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<![CDATA[Analysis of the nucleocytoplasmic shuttling RNA-binding protein HNRNPU using optimized HITS-CLIP method]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nb5a6160c-8969-498c-b6ff-671487ce7810

RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) control many types of post-transcriptional regulation, including mRNA splicing, mRNA stability, and translational efficiency, by directly binding to their target RNAs and their mutation and dysfunction are often associated with several human neurological diseases and tumorigenesis. Crosslinking immunoprecipitation (CLIP), coupled with high-throughput sequencing (HITS-CLIP), is a powerful technique for investigating the molecular mechanisms underlying disease pathogenesis by comprehensive identification of RBP target sequences at the transcriptome level. However, HITS-CLIP protocol is still required for some optimization due to experimental complication, low efficiency and time-consuming, whose library has to be generated from very small amounts of RNAs. Here we improved a more efficient, rapid, and reproducible CLIP method by optimizing BrdU-CLIP. Our protocol produced a 10-fold greater yield of pre-amplified CLIP library, which resulted in a low duplicate rate of CLIP-tag reads because the number of PCR cycles required for library amplification was reduced. Variance of the yields was also reduced, and the experimental period was shortened by 2 days. Using this, we validated IL-6 expression by a nuclear RBP, HNRNPU, which directly binds the 3’-UTR of IL-6 mRNA in HeLa cells. Importantly, this interaction was only observed in the cytoplasmic fraction, suggesting a role of cytoplasmic HNRNPU in mRNA stability control. This optimized method enables us to accurately identify target genes and provides a snapshot of the protein-RNA interactions of nucleocytoplasmic shuttling RBPs.

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<![CDATA[LoAdaBoost: Loss-based AdaBoost federated machine learning with reduced computational complexity on IID and non-IID intensive care data]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Na533cb35-b26a-447b-bd62-8e125a165db4

Intensive care data are valuable for improvement of health care, policy making and many other purposes. Vast amount of such data are stored in different locations, on many different devices and in different data silos. Sharing data among different sources is a big challenge due to regulatory, operational and security reasons. One potential solution is federated machine learning, which is a method that sends machine learning algorithms simultaneously to all data sources, trains models in each source and aggregates the learned models. This strategy allows utilization of valuable data without moving them. One challenge in applying federated machine learning is the possibly different distributions of data from diverse sources. To tackle this problem, we proposed an adaptive boosting method named LoAdaBoost that increases the efficiency of federated machine learning. Using intensive care unit data from hospitals, we investigated the performance of learning in IID and non-IID data distribution scenarios, and showed that the proposed LoAdaBoost method achieved higher predictive accuracy with lower computational complexity than the baseline method.

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<![CDATA[First description of a herpesvirus infection in genus Lepus]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N2b9a02c7-7220-4716-8700-9456c07e4236

During the necropsies of Iberian hares obtained in 2018/2019, along with signs of the nodular form of myxomatosis, other unexpected external lesions were also observed. Histopathology revealed nuclear inclusion bodies in stromal cells suggesting the additional presence of a nuclear replicating virus. Transmission electron microscopy further demonstrated the presence of herpesvirus particles in the tissues of affected hares. We confirmed the presence of herpesvirus in 13 MYXV-positive hares by PCR and sequencing analysis. Herpesvirus-DNA was also detected in seven healthy hares, suggesting its asymptomatic circulation. Phylogenetic analysis based on concatenated partial sequences of DNA polymerase gene and glycoprotein B gene enabled greater resolution than analysing the sequences individually. The hare’ virus was classified close to herpesviruses from rodents within the Rhadinovirus genus of the gammaherpesvirus subfamily. We propose to name this new virus Leporid gammaherpesvirus 5 (LeHV-5), according to the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses standards. The impact of herpesvirus infection on the reproduction and mortality of the Iberian hare is yet unknown but may aggravate the decline of wild populations caused by the recently emerged natural recombinant myxoma virus.

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<![CDATA[Identification of NUDT15 gene variants in Amazonian Amerindians and admixed individuals from northern Brazil]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N0a09703b-e69a-40d3-8ae4-dfe23e56b45d

Introduction

The nudix hydrolase 15 (NUDT15) gene acts in the metabolism of thiopurine, by catabolizing its active metabolite thioguanosine triphosphate into its inactivated form, thioguanosine monophosphate. The frequency of alternative NUDT15 alleles, in particular those that cause a drastic loss of gene function, varies widely among geographically distinct populations. In the general population of northern Brazilian, high toxicity rates (65%) have been recorded in patients treated with the standard protocol for acute lymphoblastic leukemia, which involves thiopurine-based drugs. The present study characterized the molecular profile of the coding region of the NUDT15 gene in two groups, non-admixed Amerindians and admixed individuals from the Amazon region of northern Brazil.

Methods

The entire NUDT15 gene was sequenced in 64 Amerindians from 12 Amazonian groups and 82 admixed individuals from northern Brazil. The DNA was extracted using phenol-chloroform. The exome libraries were prepared using the Nextera Rapid Capture Exome (Illumina) and SureSelect Human All Exon V6 (Agilent) kits. The allelic variants were annotated in the ViVa® (Viewer of Variants) software.

Results

Four NUDT15 variants were identified: rs374594155, rs1272632214, rs147390019, andrs116855232. The variants rs1272632214 and rs116855232 were in complete linkage disequilibrium, and were assigned to the NUDT15*2 genotype. These variants had high frequencies in both our study populations in comparison with other populations catalogued in the 1000 Genomes database. We also identified the NUDT15*4 haplotype in our study populations, at frequencies similar to those reported in other populations from around the world.

Conclusion

Our findings indicate that Amerindian and admixed populations from northern Brazil have high frequencies of the NUDT15 haplotypes that alter the metabolism profile of thiopurines.

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<![CDATA[Detection of novel coronaviruses in bats in Myanmar]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N3669ab46-787e-4c30-a451-397d479219b9

The recent emergence of bat-borne zoonotic viruses warrants vigilant surveillance in their natural hosts. Of particular concern is the family of coronaviruses, which includes the causative agents of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), and most recently, Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), an epidemic of acute respiratory illness originating from Wuhan, China in December 2019. Viral detection, discovery, and surveillance activities were undertaken in Myanmar to identify viruses in animals at high risk contact interfaces with people. Free-ranging bats were captured, and rectal and oral swabs and guano samples collected for coronaviral screening using broadly reactive consensus conventional polymerase chain reaction. Sequences from positives were compared to known coronaviruses. Three novel alphacoronaviruses, three novel betacoronaviruses, and one known alphacoronavirus previously identified in other southeast Asian countries were detected for the first time in bats in Myanmar. Ongoing land use change remains a prominent driver of zoonotic disease emergence in Myanmar, bringing humans into ever closer contact with wildlife, and justifying continued surveillance and vigilance at broad scales.

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<![CDATA[Neonatal sepsis in Iran: A systematic review and meta-analysis on national prevalence and causative pathogens]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nc80eb6d8-6c1e-4acb-a5fa-a329abafdd28

Background

Neonatal sepsis is accounted for 30–50% of annual neonatal deaths in developing countries. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis study to evaluate the national prevalence and identification of the etiological pathogens of neonatal sepsis in Iran.

Methods

A comprehensive literature search was done on the national and international databases for studies published between 2000 and 2019. The DerSimonian and Laird random-effects model was used to calculate pooled prevalence estimates, with 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Subgroup analyses and meta-regressions regarding the gender, type of sepsis and time during were also performed. Data were extracted, analyzed, and presented according to PRISMA guideline.

Results

Of 944 publications identified, 22 studies containing 14,683 neonates met the eligibility criteria. The pooled national prevalence of sepsis in Iran was 15.98% (95%CI, 11.96–20.46%; 1,367/14,683). Prevalence rate in boys (20.42%; 95%CI, 9.03–34.8%) was slightly higher than girls (18.5%; 95%CI, 7.4–32.8). A decreasing trend in prevalence of neonatal sepsis was found in recent years, although not statistically significant (c = -0.005; P value = 0.4). The most prevalent causative bacterial pathogens were Enterobacter spp. (23.04%), followed by Klebsiella pneumoniae (17.54%), coagulase-negative Staphylococci (14.06%), Escherichia coli (13.92%), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (12.67%), and Staphylococcus aureus (11.48%).

Conclusion

Our findings showed a high prevalence of neonatal sepsis in suspected neonates, suggesting the need to implement preventive measures, routine assessment, and close monitoring of neonates. Also, Enterobacter spp. and Klebsiella pneumoniae were identified as the principal bacterial pathogens responsible for neonatal septicemia in Iran.

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<![CDATA[RNAmountAlign: Efficient software for local, global, semiglobal pairwise and multiple RNA sequence/structure alignment]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N67fc2065-7e6a-4783-aab9-eb74d3ac0a95

Alignment of structural RNAs is an important problem with a wide range of applications. Since function is often determined by molecular structure, RNA alignment programs should take into account both sequence and base-pairing information for structural homology identification. This paper describes C++ software, RNAmountAlign, for RNA sequence/structure alignment that runs in O(n3) time and O(n2) space for two sequences of length n; moreover, our software returns a p-value (transformable to expect value E) based on Karlin-Altschul statistics for local alignment, as well as parameter fitting for local and global alignment. Using incremental mountain height, a representation of structural information computable in cubic time, RNAmountAlign implements quadratic time pairwise local, global and global/semiglobal (query search) alignment using a weighted combination of sequence and structural similarity. RNAmountAlign is capable of performing progressive multiple alignment as well. Benchmarking of RNAmountAlign against LocARNA, LARA, FOLDALIGN, DYNALIGN, STRAL, MXSCARNA, and MUSCLE shows that RNAmountAlign has reasonably good accuracy and faster run time supporting all alignment types. Additionally, our extension of RNAmountAlign, called RNAmountAlignScan, which scans a target genome sequence to find hits having high sequence and structural similarity to a given query sequence, outperforms RSEARCH and sequence-only query scans and runs faster than FOLDALIGN query scan.

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