Europe was officially declared free from malaria in 1975; nevertheless, this disease remains a potential problem related to the presence of former vectors, belonging to the Anopheles maculipennis complex. Autochthonous-introduced malaria cases, recently reported in European countries, together with the predicted climatic and environmental changes, have increased the concern of health authorities over the possible resurgence of this disease in the Mediterranean Basin. In Italy, to study the distribution and bionomics of indigenous anopheline populations and to assess environmental parameters that could influence their dynamics, an entomological study was carried out in 2005-2006 in an at-risk study area. This model area is represented by the geographical region named the Maremma, a Tyrrhenian costal plain in Central Italy, where malaria was hyperendemic up to the 1950s. Fortnightly, entomological surveys (April-October) were carried out in four selected sites with different ecological features. Morphological and molecular characterization, blood meal identification, and parity rate assessment of the anophelines were performed. In total, 8274 mosquitoes were collected, 7691 of which were anophelines. Six Anopheles species were recorded, the most abundant of which were Anopheles labranchiae and An. maculipennis s.s. An. labranchiae is predominant in the coastal plain, where it is present in scattered foci. However, this species exhibits a wider than expected range: in fact it has been recorded, for the first time, inland where An. maculipennis s.s. is the most abundant species. Both species fed on a wide range of animal hosts, also showing a marked aggressiveness on humans, when available. Our findings demonstrated the high receptivity of the Maremma area, where the former malaria vector, An. labranchiae, occurs at different densities related to the kind of environment, climatic parameters, and anthropic activities.
In the summers of 2001 and 2002, we quantitatively sampled human-biting flies in twelve sites located 1.6 to 63 km from a large copper-nickel smelter at Monchegorsk on the Kola Peninsula, Russia. We collected 429 specimens of three species of Ceratopogonidae, 92 specimens of seven species of Culicidae, 76 specimens of seven species of Tabanidae, and 4,788 specimens of 19 species of Simuliidae. Culicoides chiropterus was for the first time reported from the Kola Peninsula. Catches of Culicidae and Simuliidae decreased near the smelter, presumably due to the combined action of toxicity of pollutants, pollution-induced forest damage, and decline in vertebrate density. An abundance of Ceratopogonidae and Tabanidae, the size of the most common black fly species, Simulium pusillum, and the diversity of all families did not change along the pollution gradient.
To determine whether there were differences in waiting time for a consultation for a nonurgent cardiology problem among specialists in an academic centre compared with those in community practice.
Cross-sectional telephone survey.
Academically affiliated and community-based specialists in cardiology or internal medicine with an interest in cardiology.
Waiting period in weeks for outpatient consultation.
Among community specialists, those with cardiology training had significantly longer waiting times than those without for nonurgent cardiology consultation (median 8.6 versus 3.8 weeks, P=0.0077). Waiting times for consultation were significantly longer for academic specialists than for those in community practice (median 9.1 versus 4.1 weeks, P=0.0013). Significantly longer waiting times exist in communities with a population greater than 100,000 (median 9.1 versus 4.0 weeks, P=0.0005).
Waiting times for consultation for a nonurgent cardiology problem are long. Waiting times are longer for physicians with certification in cardiology, in the academic medical centre and in larger communities.
Existing methods for estimating historical effective population size from genetic data have been unable to accurately estimate effective population size during the most recent past. We present a non-parametric method for accurately estimating recent effective population size by using inferred long segments of identity by descent (IBD). We found that inferred segments of IBD contain information about effective population size from around 4 generations to around 50 generations ago for SNP array data and to over 200 generations ago for sequence data. In human populations that we examined, the estimates of effective size were approximately one-third of the census size. We estimate the effective population size of European-ancestry individuals in the UK four generations ago to be eight million and the effective population size of Finland four generations ago to be 0.7 million. Our method is implemented in the open-source IBDNe software package.
Cites: Genetics. 1971 Aug;68(4):581-975166069
Cites: Proc Biol Sci. 2013 Oct 7;280(1768):2013133923926150
Cites: Am J Hum Genet. 2013 Nov 7;93(5):840-5124207118
The rate and nocturnal rhythm of mosquito attacks of birds and human beings were studied in the open biotopes of Volgograd and its vicinity in 2004. Thirteen and 11 species of the subfamily Culicinae were collected under the Berezantsev bell and from the traps containing a chicken (a hen), respectively; of them 9 species were common. The mosquitoes of an Anopheles maculipennis complex were caught in a small portion to the traps of both types. Most species of Aedes were highly anthropophilic, showed the minimum activity at night and their abundance considerably decreased by the early transmission period. Among the species that were active during the transmission period, Ae. vexans, Coq. richiardii, and Cx. modestus more intensively attacked a human being than birds and Cx. pipiens was frequently attracted into the hen traps. The attraction of each species of the caught varied during the transmission period. The maximum attacks of Cx. modestus and Cx. pipiens on man and birds coincide and those of Coq. Richiardii and Cx. pipiens on man was observed earlier than on birds. A possible role of mosquitoes of different species in the epizootic and epidemiological processes is discussed.
Small dairy breeds are challenged by low reliabilities of genomic prediction. Therefore, we evaluated the effect of including cows in the reference population for small dairy cattle populations with a limited number of sires in the reference population. Using detailed simulations, 2 types of scenarios for maintaining and updating the reference population over a period of 15yr were investigated: a turbo scheme exclusively using genotyped young bulls and a hybrid scheme with mixed use of genotyped young bulls and progeny-tested bulls. Two types of modifications were investigated: (1) number of progeny-tested bulls per year was tested at 6 levels: 15, 40, 60, 100, 250, and 500; and (2) each year, 2,000 first-lactation cows were randomly selected from the cow population for genotyping or, alternatively, an additional 2,000 first-lactation cows were randomly selected and typed in the first 2yr. The effects were evaluated in the 2 main breeding schemes. The breeding schemes were chosen to mimic options for the Danish Jersey cattle population. Evaluation criteria were annual monetary genetic gain, rate of inbreeding, reliability of genomic predictions, and variance of response. Inclusion of cows in the reference population increased monetary genetic gain and decreased the rate of inbreeding. The increase in genetic gain was larger for the turbo schemes with shorter generation intervals. The variance of response was generally higher in turbo schemes than in schemes using progeny-tested bulls. However, the risk was reduced by adding cows to the reference population. The annual genetic gain and the reliability of genomic predictions were slightly higher with more cows in the reference population. Inclusion of cows in the reference population is a rapid way to increase reliabilities of genomic predictions and hence increase genetic gain in a small population. An economic evaluation shows that genotyping of cows is a profitable investment.
The purpose of this study was to determine the factors that help or hinder the adoption of new procedures and practices by Canadian radiologists. Canadian radiologists were asked, by means of a mail survey, for information about innovations in practice adopted during the previous 2 years or planned for the next 2 years. Surveys were sent to the 1077 practising radiologists registered in the Canadian Association of Radiologists as of Sept. 30, 1991; 325 responded (30.2%). The responses were correlated with demographic information obtained in the same survey and through the Maintenance of Competence Program of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was more likely to be adopted in larger communities (those with a population of more than 500,000), computed tomography in medium-sized and larger communities (more than 100,000), mammography in medium-sized and smaller communities (500,000 or less) and ultrasonography (US) in smaller communities (100,000 or less). Radiologists with a faculty appointment at a university were more likely to adopt MRI and digital imaging, whereas those with no faculty status were more likely to adopt US and structural changes to a practice. The authors conclude that the size of the community in which a practice is located and the practitioner's faculty status both play a role in the adoption of innovations.
Predatory species' usage of different prey types is affected by both prey availability and selectivity. The diet during the breeding season may affect the reproductive success of individual pairs. We studied the prey use of a small reversed size-dimorphic raptor, the Eurasian sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus, with respect to prey weight on two organizational levels. Using 13 years of data from southern Norway, we related reproductive output of individual breeding events to prey size taken. Further, we assessed the regional variation in prey usage between five Fennoscandian populations. This was done by fitting optimum-type functions to the prey species' numbers or relative predation risks. Pairs that successfully completed the season with more fledglings displayed less variation in prey size, suggesting a possible adaptive benefit of diet specialism, or possibly a correlative effect due to higher prey availability or lower female hunting effort. This finding contrasts with earlier raptor studies, which have suggested benefits of dietary (and hence nutritional) diversity. Indeed, our results might be limited to nutritionally substitutable prey items. We also found a tendency suggesting that older females raised more fledglings than 1-year-old females. In the population-level analysis, we found that optimum-type functions with constant width and spatially variable average best described the relationship between relative predation risk and log weight. This can reflect local conditions, such as prey availability. Our findings and new methodological tools could apply to a broader spectrum of predators. They also highlight the role of viewing usage or choice of prey at several spatial scales.
Earlier studies on health characteristics in Sweden have pointed at a sudden trend change in general health indicators around 1997. The decline was worse in areas with less estimated coverage by the mobile phone system; that is, areas where the average output power from mobile phone handsets is expected to be higher. In this study, health parameters were related to the population density, which is a well defined, rather than an estimated variable. Statistics were obtained from different authorities in Sweden. Data were correlated to the population densities in the 21 different counties of Sweden as well as to estimates of average mobile phone output power. Several health quality measures showed that people in sparsely populated counties in Sweden (as well as in Denmark and Norway) have suffered more illness, and lengthier recovery than people in more densely populated areas since 1997. This is in strong contrast to the situation 20 years ago, when the countryside was the healthiest place in which to live. The indicators strongly correlated with estimated mobile phone area coverage and estimated power output. The indicator statistics suggest that the decline in health in Sweden is not a primary consequence of low population density by itself, but that other factors related to population density are causative. The two factors having the strongest correlation with decreased health quality were the estimated average power output from mobile phones (positive correlation) and the reported coverage from the global system for mobile communication base stations (negative correlation) in each county.