|Correction to: SEOM Clinical Guideline for treatment of muscle-invasive and metastatic urothelial bladder cancer (2016)|
Due to a technical issue, the family name of the author
|Omitting the lower neck and sparing the glottic larynx in node-negative nasopharyngeal carcinoma was safe and feasible, and improved patient-reported voice outcomes|
Worsening voice and speech quality was frequently reported in head-and-neck patients after radiotherapy to the neck; omitting the lower neck and sparing the glottic larynx in node-negative nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) patients might be safe and feasible, and improve voice and speech outcomes.
From January 2009 to January 2013, 71 patients were analyzed. All patients received bilateral neck irradiation. Upper group (UG) patients spared the glottic larynx while lower group (LG) patients did not. Voice and speech quality were evaluated at two time-points (T1 and T2) using the Communication Domain of the Head and Neck Quality of Life (HNQOL) instrument and the Speech question of the University of Washington Quality of Life instrument.
At a median follow-up time of 32 months (T1),71.6% of patients reported worsened voice and speech quality. UG patients resulted in significant decreases in glottic larynx dose. With a median follow-up time of 71 months (T2), no patients experienced out-of-field nodal recurrence;there was no difference in the 5-year overall survival and nodal recurrence-free survival between two groups (P = 0.235 and 0.750, respectively). At T1, in patients who without concurrent chemotherapy (CCT), UG patients showed significantly better patient-reported voice quality, (P = 0.022). UG patients without CCT also showed higher scores in the HNQOL communication domain and pain domain (P = 0.012 and P = 0.019).
For node-negative NPC patients, omitting the lower neck and sparing the glottic larynx was safe and feasible, and better voice outcomes were achieved in patients without CCT. Further prospective longitudinal studies to investigate whether this approach would be beneficial to node-negative patients are warranted.
|Laparoscopy adjuvant total colorectal resection for the treatment of familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP)|
To discuss and evaluate the safety and value of laparoscopy adjuvant total colorectal resection for the treatment of familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP).
From March 2010 to June 2015, 38 cases were retrospectively analyzed and divided into 2 groups, of which 17 cases used laparoscopy adjuvant total colorectal resection, and 21 cases used conventional laparotomy. Clinical data were obtained, and the safety and prognosis were observed.
Seventeen cases using laparoscopy adjuvant total colorectal resection achieved success with no conversion to laparotomy and intraoperative complications. There was no significant difference in operation time between the two groups. There were significant differences in blood loss, the length of incision, postoperative recovery time of intestinal function and postoperative hospital stay between the two groups (P < 0.05). The trauma in laparoscopy group was less, and could recover faster, and there was no significant difference in complications between the two groups. In addition, there were no recurrence, distant metastasis and death in the follow-up period from 6 to 56 months.
Laparoscopy adjuvant total colorectal resection is more safe and feasible, which has minimal invasion and can recover fast.
|Active surveillance as a successful management strategy for patients with clinical stage I germ cell testicular cancer|
Cancer-specific survival for patients with clinical stage I (CSI) germ cell testicular cancer (GCTC) is outstanding after inguinal orchidectomy regardless the treatment utilized. This study evaluated whether active surveillance (AS) of such patients yielded similar health outcomes to other therapeutic strategies such as adjuvant chemotherapy, radiotherapy or primary retroperitoneal lymphadenectomy as described in the literature.
Patients and methods
Patients with CSI GCTC were screened between January 2012 and December 2016. Patients had previously undergone inguinal orchidectomy as the primary treatment and chosen AS as their preferred management strategy after receiving information about all available strategies.
Out of 91 patients screened, 82 patients selected AS as their preferred management strategy. Relapse rate in the overall population was 20% (95% CI 12–30) and median time to relapse was 11.5 months (range 1.0–35.0). In patients with seminomatous tumors, relapse rate decreased to 13% and median time to relapse was 13 months; whereas in patients with non-seminomatous tumors, relapse rate was 33% (IA) or 29% (IB) and median time to relapse was 12 months in stage IA and 4.5 months in stage IB patients. All relapses were rescued with three or four cycles of chemotherapy and two also required a retroperitoneal lymphadenectomy. All patients are currently alive and free of disease.
The clinical outcomes of patients with CSI GCTC managed by AS in this series were excellent. This strategy limited the administration of active treatments specifically to the minority of patients who relapsed without compromising performance.
|Improvement of appropriate pharmacological prophylaxis in hospitalised cancer patients with a multiscreen e-alert system: a single-centre experience|
Thromboprophylaxis use among medical inpatients, including cancer patients, is suboptimal. We aimed to evaluate the impact of a novel multiscreen version (v2.0) of an e-alert system for VTE prevention in hospitalised cancer medical patients compared to the original software.
Prospective study including 989 consecutive adult cancer patients with high-risk of VTE. Patients were followed-up 30 days post-discharge. Two periods were defined, according to the operative software.
E-alert v2.0 was associated with an increase in the use of LMWH prophylaxis (65.5% vs. 72.0%); risk difference (95% CI) 0.064 (0.0043–0.12). Only 16% of patients in whom LMWH prophylaxis was not prescribed lacked a contraindication. No significant differences in the rates of VTE (2.9% vs. 3.2%) and major bleeding (2.7% vs. 4.0%) were observed.
E-alert v2.0 further increased the use of appropriate thromboprophylaxis in hospitalised cancer patients, although was not associated with a reduction in VTE incidence.
|The dual effect of morphine on tumor development|
Morphine is a classic opioid drug used for reducing pain and is commonly prescribed as an effective drug to control cancer pain. Morphine has a direct role in the central nervous system to relieve pain, but because of its peripheral functions, morphine also has some side effects, such as nausea, constipation, and addiction (Gupta et al. in Sci World J 2015:10, 2015). In addition to its analgesic effect, the role of morphine in tumor development is an important question that has been investigated for many years with conflicting results. Numerous studies suggest that morphine has a role in both promoting and inhibiting tumor growth. In this extensive review, we attempt to comprehensively understand the effects of morphine and summarize both its positive and negative influences on various aspects of tumors, including tumor growth, angiogenesis, metastasis, inflammation, and immunomodulation.
|Cancer immunotherapy of patients with HIV infection|
Cancer immunotherapy with antibodies against immune checkpoints has made impressive advances in the last several years. The most relevant drugs target programmed cell death 1 (PD-1) expressed on T cells or its ligand, the programmed cell death ligand 1 (PD-L1), expressed on cancer cells, and cytotoxic T lymphocyte-associated protein 4 (CTLA-4). Unfortunately, cancer patients with HIV infection are usually excluded from cancer clinical trials, because there are concerns about the safety and the anti-tumoral activity of these novel therapies in patients with HIV infection. Several retrospective studies and some case reports now support the notion that antibodies against immune checkpoints are safe and active in cancer patients with HIV infection, but prospective data in these patients are lacking. In addition, signs of antiviral activity with increase in CD4 T cell counts, plasma viremia reduction or decrease in the viral reservoir have been reported in some of the patients treated, although no patient achieved a complete clearance of the viral reservoir. Here we briefly summarize all clinical cases reported in the literature, as well as ongoing clinical trials testing novel immunotherapy drugs in cancer patients with HIV infection.
|The protective effects of melatonin on blood cell counts of rectal cancer patients following radio-chemotherapy: a randomized controlled trial|
We aimed to examine the radioprotective effects of melatonin on the blood cell counts of patients with rectum cancer undergoing radiotherapy.
Materials and methods
This double-blind placebo-controlled study was conducted on 60 rectal cancer patients who were referred to Rajaii Hospital of Babolsar, Iran. An equal number of patients were randomly assigned to the control group which received placebo and study group which received 20 mg melatonin a day as an intervention. The melatonin was administered 5 days a week for 28 days. Blood samples were taken before melatonin received on day 1 and also day 28; then, to measure the changes in blood cell counts representing our primary outcomes, the samples were analyzed by Sysmex K810i auto-analyzer.
Our results showed that the platelet, white blood cells, lymphocyte, and neutrophil population reduction induced by radiotherapy were slighter or even insignificant in melatonin recipients compared to control. However, the difference between red blood cells in both groups was not significant.
Our results are indicating that melatonin could prevent or minimize the unfavorable effects of radiotherapy on blood cell count reductions by attenuating the adverse influence of radiation, probably through stimulation of cellular antioxidant potential as previously reported in animal models.
Iranian Registry of Clinical Trials (IRCT)
Registry No. IRCT2016021626586N1.
|Oncologic outcomes of nephron-sparing surgery in patients with T1 multifocal renal cell carcinoma|
This study is performed to explore the pathological characteristics and oncologic outcomes of T1 multifocal renal cell carcinoma (RCC).
The clinical data of 600 patients (442 males and 158 females) between the age of 29 and 73 years, diagnosed with T1 RCC were collected from three hospitals in China, out of which 421 cases had undergone nephron-sparing surgery (NSS) and 179 cases had undergone radical nephrectomy (RN) between December 2010 and January 2015.
Tumor was identified with multifocality in 32 patients (5.33%), out of which 21 were set to receive NSS, and 11 to receive RN, respectively; 21 cases of clear cell tumor, 8 cases of papillary tumor, 1 case of chromophobe tumor and 2 cases of Xp.11.2 translocation RCC. Among 568 cases of monofocal tumors, 400 patients underwent NSS, and the remaining 168 patients underwent RN, respectively. After a median follow-up of 5 years, 13 patients were found with recurrent tumors out of those who had undergone NSS, 11 with monofocal tumors and 2 with multifocal tumors containing satellite tumor nodules (p = 0.13). Out of the 32 individuals with multifocal RCC, 4 cases were reported to have died of cancer, 2 of NSS and 2 of RN. From these findings, the cancer-specific survival for NSS and RN was estimated to be 90.48% and 81.82%, respectively (p = 0.48).
The findings from the study suggested that there were pathological differences in multifocal renal tumors, and that papillary carcinoma may be more common than clear cell carcinoma. The recurrence rate and survival rate of multifocal RCC were similar to monofocal tumors. Tumor recurrence may be related to satellite tumor nodules, which can only be detected once surgery is performed.
|Metronomic oral vinorelbine for the treatment of advanced non-small cell lung cancer: a multicenter international retrospective analysis|
Metronomic oral vinorelbine (MOV) could be a treatment option for unfit patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) based on its safety profile and high patient compliance.
We retrospectively collected data on 270 patients [median age 76 (range 48–92) years, M/F 204/66, PS 0 (27)/1 (110)/≥ 2 (133), median of 3 serious comorbidities] with stage IIIB-IV NSCLC treated with MOV as first (T1) (67%), second (T2) (19%) or subsequent (T3) (14%) line. Schedules consisted of vinorelbine 50 mg (138), 40 mg (68) or 30 mg (64) three times a week continuously.
Patients received an overall median of 6 (range 1–25) cycles with a total of 1253 cycles delivered. The overall response rate was 17.8% with 46 partial and 2 complete responses and 119 patients (44.1%) experienced stable disease > 12 weeks with an overall disease control rate of 61.9%. Median overall time to progression was 5 (range 1–21) months [T1 7 (1–21), T2 5.5 (1–19) and T3 4 (1–19) months] and median overall survival 9 (range 1–36) months [T1 10 (1–31), T2 8 (1–36) and T3 6.5 (2–29) months]. Treatment was extremely well tolerated with 2% (25/1253) G3/4 toxicity (mainly G3 fatigue and anemia) and no toxic deaths. We observed the longer OS 14 (range 7–36) months in a subset of squamous NSCLC patients receiving immunotherapy after metronomic oral vinorelbine.
We confirmed MOV as an extremely safe treatment in a large real world population of advanced NSCLC with an interesting activity mainly consisting of long-term disease stabilization. We speculate the possibility of a synergistic effect with subsequent immunotherapy.
Κυριακή, 19 Μαΐου 2019
|First report of a Hypoderma diana infestation in alpaca ( Vicugna pacos ) in Germany|
A Hypoderma larva was removed from a painful swelling in the lumbar region of a 17-month-old male alpaca kept on a farm in the Brandenburg district, eastern Germany. Morphological analysis and sequencing of the 18S rRNA gene demonstrated it was a second instar larvae of Hypoderma diana. The main host of H. diana is the roe deer (Capreolus capreolus). This is the first description of hypodermosis caused by H. diana in a camelid species.
|Is species identification of Echinostoma revolutum using mitochondrial DNA barcoding feasible with high-resolution melting analysis?|
The taxonomic evaluation of Echinostoma species is controversial. Echinostoma species are recognized as complex, leading to problems associated with accurate identification of these species. The aim of this study was to test the feasibility of using DNA barcoding of cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) and NADH dehydrogenase subunit 1 (ND1) conjugated with high-resolution melting (HRM) analysis to identify Echinostoma revolutum. HRM using COI and ND1 was unable to differentiate between species in the "revolutum complex" but did distinguish between two isolates of 37-collar-spined echinostome species, including E. revolutum (Asian lineage) and Echinostoma sp. A from different genera, e.g., Hypoderaeum conoideum, Haplorchoides mehrai, Fasciola gigantica, and Thapariella anastomusa, based on the Tm values derived from HRM analysis. Through phylogenetic analysis, a new clade of the cryptic species known as Echinostoma sp. A was identified. In addition, we found that the E. revolutum clade of ND1 phylogeny obtained from the Thailand strain was from a different lineage than the Eurasian lineage. These findings reveal the complexity of the clade, which is composed of 37-collar-spined echinostome species found in Southeast Asia. Taken together, the systematic aspects of the complex revolutum group are in need of extensive investigation by integrating morphological, biological, and molecular features in order to clarify them, particularly in Southeast Asia.
|Protein extract from head-foot tissue of Oncomelania hupensis promotes the growth and development of mother sporocysts of Schistosoma japonicum via upregulation of parasite aldolase gene|
Previous studies showed that protein extract from head-foot tissue of Oncomelania hupensis (O. hupensis) (PhfO), when cocultured with mother sporocysts of Schistosoma japonicum (S. japonicum), was beneficial for parasite's growth and development but the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. One possible strategy for PhfO to promote the growth and development of mother sporocysts of S. japonicum is to upregulate parasite's survival genes. Fructose-1,6-bisphosphate aldolase (ALD), an essential enzyme of glycometabolism in the energy metabolism process, plays an important role in the survival and the growth and development of schistosomes. Using an in vitro coculture system, in this study, we analyzed the potential involvement of the ald gene in the growth and development of mother sporocysts of S. japonicum following coculture with PhfO. We found that coculture with PhfO promoted the growth and development and the survival of mother sporocysts, and increased parasites' ATP consumption level. Mother sporocysts cocultured with PhfO showed a significantly increased expression of the ald gene at both RNA and protein levels. The ALD protein mainly expressed in the cytoplasm of mother sporocysts. Knockdown of ald gene in parasites decreased the ALD protein expression and the ATP consumption level, suppressed the growth and development, and attenuated the survival of mother sporocysts. In ald knockdown mother sporocysts, the effects of PhfO on the ALD expression, the ATP consumption level, the growth and development, and the survival of larvae were significantly abolished. Therefore, the data suggest that PhfO could promote the growth and development, and the survival of mother sporocysts of S. japonicum via upregulating the expression of the ald gene.
|Novel data from Italian Vermamoeba vermiformis isolates from multiple sources add to genetic diversity within the genus|
Vermamoeba vermiformis represents one of the most common free-living amoebae identified in worldwide environmental surveys. We analyzed 56 water samples with varying characteristics, including temperature and the particular settings in which humans may be exposed to water, plus one corneal scraping from a keratitis patient, with the following aims: (i) to investigate the presence of V. vermiformis; (ii) to identify the isolate subtypes; (iii) to place the Italian isolates in the broader picture of the genetic diversity within V. vermiformis. Twenty-two isolates were identified upon culturing and sequencing of > 600 bp in the 18S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene sequence, bringing to 27 the number of sequences recovered from Italian sources. By adding deposited sequences, we assembled a dataset of 74 isolates. Three of our isolates were characterized by allelic code 7-5-1-1, never reported before, and two showed 100% identity with an uncultured eukaryote and carried the 719T>C variant. We show that the variable segments E5, E3, F, and G convey most of the information on diversity, enabling the clustering of the isolates in a replicable fashion. The presence of different strains in natural thermal waters and in distribution systems indicated heterogeneity of the amoebic populations. Also, ours and the only other sequence from human infection were mapped in different clades. Overall, we enlarged the repertoire of single nucleotide and indel variants and the list of allelic codes, proceeding one step further in the description of the diversity within the genus.
|Efficacy of silver nanoparticles against the adults and eggs of monogenean parasites of fish|
Monogeneans are a diverse group of parasites that are commonly found on fish. Some monogenean species are highly pathogenic to cultured fish. The present study aimed to determine the in vitro anthelmintic effect of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) against adults and eggs of monogeneans in freshwater using Cichlidogyrus spp. as a model organism. We tested two types of AgNPs with different synthesis methodologies and size diameters: ARGOVIT (35 nm) and UTSA (1–3 nm) nanoparticles. Damage to the parasite tegument was observed by scanning electron microscopy. UTSA AgNPs were more effective than ARGOVIT; in both cases, there was a concentration-dependent effect. A concentration of 36 μg/L UTSA AgNPs for 1 h was 100% effective against eggs and adult parasites, causing swelling, loss of corrugations, and disruption of the parasite's tegument. This is an interesting result considering that monogenean eggs are typically tolerant to antiparasite drugs and chemical agents. To the best of our knowledge, no previous reports have assessed the effect of AgNPs on any metazoan parasites of fish. Therefore, the present work provides a basis for future research on the control of fish parasite diseases.
|Cloning, expression, characterization, and immunological properties of citrate synthase from Echinococcus granulosus|
The larval stages of the tapeworm Echinococcus granulosus (Cestoda: Taeniidae) are the causative agent of cystic echinococcosis, one of the most important parasitic zoonoses worldwide. E. granulosus has a complete pathway for the tricarboxylic acid cycle (TCA), in which citrate synthase (CS) is the key enzyme. Here, we cloned and expressed CS from E. granulosus (Eg-CS) and report its molecular characterization. The localization of this protein during different developmental stages and mRNA expression patterns during H2O2 treatment were determined. We found that Eg-CS is a highly conserved protein, consisting of 466 amino acids. In western blotting assays, recombinant Eg-CS (rEg-CS) reacted with E. granulosus-positive sheep sera and anti-rEg-CS rabbit sera, indicating that Eg-CS has good antigenicity and immunoreactivity. Localization studies, performed using immunohistochemistry, showed that Eg-CS is ubiquitously expressed in the larva, germinal layer, and adult worm sections of E. granulosus. Eg-CS mRNA expression levels increased following H2O2 exposure. In conclusion, citrate synthase might be involved in the metabolic process in E. granulosus. An assessment of the serodiagnostic potential of rEg-CS based on indirect ELISA showed that, although sensitivity (93.55%) and specificity (80.49%) are high, cross-reactivity with other parasites precludes its use as a diagnostic antigen.
|Detection and genotypic characterization of Toxoplasma gondii DNA within the milk of Mongolian livestock|
Toxoplasma gondii is a global, zoonotic parasite capable of infecting any warm-blooded host. Toxoplasmosis can cause a variety of illnesses including abortions and congenital defects in humans, sheep, and goats. Congenital toxoplasmosis is considered to have the highest global disease burden of any foodborne illness in humans. This study examined the potential role of milk as a route of T. gondii transmission between livestock and humans within Mongolian herders, a little-studied population which relies heavily on animals. Milk of Mongolian sheep, goats and Bactrian camels was tested for the presence of T. gondii DNA, and a survey was conducted to ascertain what behavioral and environmental factors were present that might potentiate T. gondii infection within these Mongolian communities. T. gondii DNA was detected in samples from one sheep and five camels. Sequence analysis of DNA from camel milk revealed that two were from potentially virulent T. gondii genotypes. This has implications for public health in the region, as milk is an extremely important source of nutrition and our survey results imply that some people believe consumption of raw camel milk carries health benefits. This is the first report of T. gondii DNA in Bactrian camel milk as well as the first genotypic characterization of T. gondii within Mongolia.
|Synthesis and in vitro activity of new biguanide-containing dendrimers on pathogenic isolates of Acanthamoeba polyphaga and Acanthamoeba griffini|
The genus Acanthamoeba can cause Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK) and granulomatous amoebic encephalitis (GAE). The treatment of these illnesses is hampered by the existence of a resistance stage that many times causes infection relapses. In an attempt to add new agents to our chemotherapeutic arsenal against acanthamebiasis, two Acanthamoeba isolates were treated in vitro with newly synthesized biguanide dendrimers. Trophozoite viability analysis and ultrastructural studies showed that dendrimers prevent encystment by lysing the cellular membrane of the amoeba. Moreover, one of the dendrimers showed low toxicity when tested on mammalian cell cultures, which suggest that it might be eventually used as an amoebicidal drug or as a disinfection compound in contact lens solutions.
|Molecular characterization of a new Trypanosoma (Megatrypanum) theileri isolate supports the two main phylogenetic lineages of this species in Japanese cattle|
Trypanosoma (Megatrypanum) theileri is a cosmopolitan, usually non-pathogenic, trypanosome of cattle transmitted by blood-sucking arthropods, mainly tabanid flies. Several T. theileri strains isolated from domestic and wild ruminants via co-culturing with mammalian feeder cells or blood cells have been characterized morphologically and genetically. Here, we cultured a new trypanosome isolate from a Holstein cow in Hokkaido, Japan, and performed morphological and molecular characterization studies. The new isolate (Obihiro strain) was co-cultivated with Madin–Darby bovine kidney (MDBK) cells in GIT medium supplemented with 10% fetal bovine serum. Trypomastigotes and epimastigotes, but not intracellular parasites, were identified in the culture. Analysis of the V7-V8 region of 18S rRNA sequences showed that the Obihiro strain is positioned within the subgenus Megatrypanum. A dendrogram based on whole internal transcribed spacer rDNA sequence showed that the Obihiro strain clustered in the lineage TthII together with the Japanese isolates of T. theileri, Esashi 9, and Esashi 12, and isolates from Zambia and the USA. T. theileri of the KM strain and a T. theileri-like trypanosome isolated from deer (TSD1 strain) clustered in the lineage TthI, separate from the Obihiro strain. Based on a partial cathepsin L-like protein gene analysis, the Obihiro strain clustered with isolates of the TthIIF genotype, which includes T. theileri from Vietnam, Sri Lanka, and Brazil. Our analyses of the T. theileri Obihiro strain provide relevant insights into its genetic diversity in Japanese cattle and corroborate the host specificity of cattle and deer trypanosomes of the subgenus Megatrypanum.
|CpG enhances the immunogenicity of heterologous DNA-prime/protein-boost vaccination with the heavy chain myosin of Brugia malayi in BALB/c mice|
The recombinant heavy chain myosin of Brugia malayi (Bm-Myo) has earlier been reported as a potent vaccine candidate in our lab. Subsequently, we further enhanced its efficacy employing heterologous DNA prime/protein boost (Myo-pcD+Bm-Myo) immunization approach that produced superior immune-protection than protein or DNA vaccination. In the present study, we evaluated the efficacy of heterologous prime boost vaccination in combination with CpG, synthetic oligodeoxynucleotides (ODN) adjuvant in BALB/c mice. The results showed that CpG/Myo-pcD+Bm-Myo conferred 84.5 ± 0.62% protection against B. malayi infective larval challenge which was considerably higher than Myo-pcD+Bm-Myo (75.6 ± 1.10%) following immunization. Although, both the formulations of immunization elicited robust production of specific IgG antibody and their isotypes (IgG1, IgG2a, IgG2b, and IgG3); however, CpG/Myo-pcD+Bm-Myo predominantly enhanced the level of IgG2a suggesting Th1 biased immune response in presence of CpG. Furthermore, spleen isolated from mice that immunized with CpG/Myo-pcD+Bm-Myo had greater accumulation of CD4+, CD8+, and CD19+ B cells and there was an augmented expression of co-stimulatory molecules CD40, CD86 on host dendritic cells (DCs). In contrast to Myo-pcD+Bm-Myo group, the splenocytes of CpG/Myo-pcD+Bm-Myo immunized mice developed comparatively higher pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-2 and IFN-γ leaving anti-inflammatory cytokine levels unchanged. Moreover, CpG formulation also upregulated the RNA expression of IL-12 and TNF-α in spleenocytes. The current findings suggest that the use of CpG would be more advantageous as an adjuvant predominantly in DNA/protein prime boost vaccine against Bm-Myo and presumably also for filarial infection.
|Historical Ecologies of Pastoralist Overgrazing in Kenya: Long-Term Perspectives on Cause and Effect|
The spectre of 'overgrazing' looms large in historical and political narratives of ecological degradation in savannah ecosystems. While pastoral exploitation is a conspicuous driver of landscape variability and modification, assumptions that such change is inevitable or necessarily negative deserve to be continuously evaluated and challenged. With reference to three case studies from Kenya – the Laikipia Plateau, the Lake Baringo basin, and the Amboseli ecosystem – we argue that the impacts of pastoralism are contingent on the diachronic interactions of locally specific environmental, political, and cultural conditions. The impacts of the compression of rangelands and restrictions on herd mobility driven by misguided conservation and economic policies are emphasised over outdated notions of pastoralist inefficiency. We review the application of 'overgrazing' in interpretations of the archaeological record and assess its relevance for how we interpret past socio-environmental dynamics. Any discussion of overgrazing, or any form of human-environment interaction, must acknowledge spatio-temporal context and account for historical variability in landscape ontogenies.
|Local Fishers' Knowledge of Target and Incidental Seahorse Catch in Southern Vietnam|
Many vulnerable marine species are caught in small-scale fisheries that lack long-term records, thereby limiting the development of effective evidence-based management measures. To uncover recent trends in fish landings and value in the absence of historical data, we interviewed 77 fishers and five buyers on Phu Quoc Island in Southern Vietnam regarding their current and past fishing practices, with a focus on seahorse catches. Seahorses (Hippocampus spp.) are caught using multiple gear types (including trawls, crab nets, and compressor diving) and have both cultural and financial value. Most fishers catch seahorses incidentally, though 14 targeted them and made the majority of their income from their sale. Fishers reported that seahorse catch rates decreased by 86–95% from 2004 to 2014, while landed value simultaneously increased by 534%. If these reports are accurate, seahorse fishing on Phu Quoc is unsustainable and requires immediate management controls.
|Correction to: Hiding in the Dark: Local Ecological Knowledge about Slow Loris in Sarawak Sheds Light on Relationships between Human Populations and Wild Animals|
The article Hiding in the dark: Local ecological knowledge about slow loris in Sarawak sheds light on relationships between human populations and wild animals, written by Priscillia Miard, K. A. I. Nekaris and Hatta Ramlee, was originally published electronically with open access.
|Pumping Yemen Dry: A History of Yemen's Water Crisis|
Yemen, located on the southwestern corner of the Arabian Peninsula, is one of the most water-scarce countries in the world. Quite apart from the continuing catastrophic conflict, the massive overdraw of existing groundwater due to unregulated drilling of tube wells since the 1970s has created a major water crisis that affects the future of the county's estimated 28 million people. While once known for its rich traditions of agriculture due to its extensive highland terrace systems, spate flow and runoff water harvesting, Yemen is now food insecure, relying almost entirely on food imports. This article surveys the range of water resources in Yemen and their sustainability in light of climate change predictions. I examined government and development aid reports to highlight the causes of the water crisis and the failure of previous governments to resolve it. The situation is even more critical today, given the ongoing war between a Saudi-led coalition and a Huthi alliance that has created one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world. I conclude with priorities for mitigating the water crisis and promoting sustainable agriculture for Yemen's post-conflict future.
|Greg Mitman, Marco Armiero, Robert S. Emmett, Editors. Future Remains: a Cabinet of Curiosities for the Anthropocene|
|Andy Bruno: The Nature of Soviet Power. An Arctic Environmental History|
|Divine Placebo: Health and the Evolution of Religion|
In this paper, I draw on knowledge from several disciplines to explicate the potential evolutionary significance of health effects of religiosity. I present three main observations. First, traditional methods of religious healers seldom rely on active remedies, but instead focus on lifestyle changes or spiritual healing practices that best can be described as placebo methods. Second, actual health effects of religiosity are thus mainly traceable to effects from a regulated lifestyle, social support networks, or placebo effects. Third, there are clear parallels between religious healing practices and currently identified methods that induce placebo effects. Physiological mechanisms identified to lie behind placebo effects activate the body's own coping strategies and healing responses. In combination, lifestyle, social support networks, and placebo effects thus produce both actual and perceived health effects of religiosity. This may have played an important role in the evolution and diffusion of religion through two main pathways. First, any real positive health effects of religiosity would have provided a direct biological advantage. Second, any perceived health effects, both positive and negative, would further have provided a unique selling point for 'religiosity' per se. Actual and perceived health effects of religiosity may therefore have played an underestimated role during the evolution of religiosity through both biological and cultural pathways.
|Spatial Distribution and Abundance of Acacia mangium on Indigenous Lands in the Serra da Lua Region, Roraima State, Brazil|
|Variability and Change in Maasai Views of Wildlife and the Implications for Conservation|
Surveys conducted across sections of the pastoral Maasai of Kenya show a wide variety of values for wildlife, ranging from utility and medicinal uses to environmental indicators, commerce, and tourism. Attitudes toward wildlife are highly variable, depending on perceived threats and uses. Large carnivores and herbivores pose the greatest threats to people, livestock, and crops, but also have many positive values. Attitudes vary with gender, age, education, and land holding, but most of all with the source of livelihood and location, which bears on relative abundance of useful and threatening species. Traditional pastoral practices and cultural views that accommodated coexistence between livestock and wildlife are dwindling and being replaced by new values and sensibilities as pastoral practices give way to new livelihoods, lifestyles, and aspirations. Human-wildlife conflict has grown with the transition from mobile pastoralism to sedentary livelihoods. Unless the new values offset the loss of traditional values, wildlife will continue to decline. New wildlife-based livelihoods show that continued coexistence is possible despite the changes underway.
|Exploring Diversity in Forest Management Outlooks of African American Family Forest Landowners for Ensuring Sustainability of Forestry Resources in the Southern United States|
African American forest landowners in the southern United States (US) are typically considered a homogenous group in current studies. Our research challenges this assumption by identifying four distinct forest management outlooks among African American forest landowners using Q Method. Sustainable Harvesters focus on balanced land use with a long-term outlook; Back 40ers appreciate the presence of forests on their property but focus on alternative land use; Land Use Pragmatists are also interested in alternative land use and primarily view forest as an economic resource; Recreationalists value their forestland not for economic value but as a place for personal use. Finally, Indecisive landowners are not sure about how to best manage their forestland. We argue that an understanding of different forest management outlooks will improve sustainable forest management by better targeting extension and outreach efforts for African American forest landowners.
Critical Care Medicine,Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise,Anaesthesiology,Allergy and Clinical Immunology,Biochimica et Biophysica Acta,Ear and Hearing
|Ear and Hearing|
|Biochimica et Biophysica Acta|
|Allergy and Clinical Immunology|
|Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise|
|Critical Care Medicine|
|Pediatric Critical Care Medicine|