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Oxidative stress has been strongly associated with Parkinson disease (PD) aetiology. We investigated the effects of blueberry extract (BBE) supplementation on α-synuclein induced phenotypes in a Drosophila melanogaster model of PD. Enhanced α-synuclein expression in D. melanogaster dopaminergic (DA) neurons can reduce lifespan and we have performed longevity assays to measure the effects of BBE on D. melanogaster survival. Flies expressing α-synuclein in their DA neurons fed BBE had up to an 8 day, or 15%, greater median lifespan than those fed a standard control diet. In addition, BBE improved α-synuclein-induced developmental defects in the Drosophila eye. Our biometric analyses revealed that individuals fed BBE had less atypical ommatidia as well as an increased number of mechanosensory bristle cells than those fed a control diet. We propose that BBE, rich in naturally occurring antioxidants, promotes the survival of neurons in tissues with increased levels of α-synuclein through a protective cell survival mechanism.
We conducted a study to
assess the characteristics, treatment and outcomes associated with Clostridium difficile associated
diarrhea in a Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Fifty-eight consecutive
individual cases of C. difficile infection
in 2013 were observed within the Veterans Affairs New Jersey Health Care System
(VA NJHCS). We molecularly typed all 58 individual strains and identified the
associated characteristics, treatment and
outcomes. Forty-four out of 58 specimens (76%) which
were probed had characteristics of the epidemic strain BI/NAP1/027 making
this virulent strain to be the predominate strain
at the VA NJHCS. All C. difficile BI/NAP1/027
strains were resistant to fluoroquinolones and sensitive to fidaxomicin,
metronidazole and vancomycin. Fidaxomicin had the most potent in vitro activity (MIC90 = 0.5 μg/ml) against the
BI/NAP1/027 strain. Twenty-six of 44 patients (59%) with the virulent strain were from a long-term care facility
(LTCF). Patients possessing the virulent strain from the LTCF had a mean APACHE
II score of 14.1 and a predicted death rate of 21.9%. Two-third of patients
were treated with metronidazole alone (mean APACHE II scores 9.6), and one-third required
oral vancomycin and metronidazole (mean APACHE II scores 14.1). There were no C.
difficile infection related deaths. C. difficile BI/NAP1/027, an epidemic strain, is the endemic strain at the
VA NJHCS, but no increased
mortality was seen with infection with this strain.
Acinetobacter baumannii bacteremia is becoming more prevalent and is
associated with increasing morbidity and mortality. Escalating antibacterial resistance further contributes to therapeutic
dilemmas, enhanced infection control support and poorer outcomes in patients infected with these bacteria. A
retrospective analysis of patients whose blood cultures produced A. baumannii from January 2007 through January 2013 was
regarding the epidemiologic features, antimicrobial susceptibility and outcomes
of patients with A. baumannii bacteremia were collected and
analyzed. Sixty A. baumannii isolates each
from a different patient were identified. The Charlson Comorbidity Index (≥3)
was the greatest among patients
with multi-drug resistance (MDR) compared to intermediate drug resistance
(IDR) and pan-sensitive (PS) A. baumannii.
The mean APACHE II scores for MDR, IDR and PS A. baumannii bacteremia were 21, 15 and 11, respectively (P < 0.05, MDR v. PS). Seventy-three percent of the isolates were resistant
to quinolones, 44% to piperacillin/tazobactam, 45% to amikacin, 22% to
imipenem, 0% to ticarcillin/clavulanate, and 0% to polymyxin. Among 28 patients
with MDR A.
baumannii bacteremia, 20 received inadequate empiric treatment, and 16 of these patients died (80%). Of the
remaining eight patients with MDR bacteremia who received adequate empiric
antibiotics, only two died (25%). The
severity of underlying illness, degree of antibiotic resistance and receiving
inadequate initial antibiotic therapy are associated with mortality among
patients with bacteremia due to A.