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Diseases, Volume 8, Issue 1 (March 2020) – 7 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Rabies ranked 12th on the WHO list of major killer diseases, and it is under the OIE category of multiple species diseases, infections, and infestations. Currently, it remains an ongoing threat to human populations and animals in many parts of the world. The etiologic agent of this disease is the rabies virus, belonging to the genus Lyssavirus and family Rhabdoviridae. Rabies is one of the most serious zoonotic diseases. Once clinical signs develop, the disease results in almost 100% fatality. Next to Asia, Africa is the continent most affected by rabies, with an estimated 24,000 (44%) of the 55,000 annual rabies deaths worldwide, which has been estimated to increase to 59,000 annual rabies deaths after 10 years. Domestic dogs are considered to be the main sources (>90%) of human rabies in Africa and more than 88% of the exposure cases in Ethiopia were due to dog bites. In the study [...] Read more.
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Article
Chronic Stress and Cardiovascular Disease among Individuals Exposed to Lead: A Pilot Study
Diseases 2020, 8(1), 7; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/diseases8010007 - 15 Mar 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1627
Abstract
Chronic stress and cardiovascular disease risk were explored in a predominately middle-aged adult population exposed to elevated lead levels in this cross-sectional study using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) from the period 2007-2010. Elevated lead exposure was defined [...] Read more.
Chronic stress and cardiovascular disease risk were explored in a predominately middle-aged adult population exposed to elevated lead levels in this cross-sectional study using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) from the period 2007-2010. Elevated lead exposure was defined using the epidemiological threshold of a blood lead level (BLL) > 5 μg/dL as defined by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Allostatic load (AL), a measure of chronic stress, was operationalized using 10 clinical markers. The geometric mean values for clinical cardiovascular disease risk markers of interest (a) Gamma glutamyl-transferase (GGT) (a marker of oxidative stress), and (b) non-HDL cholesterol (non-HDL-c) (a marker of cardiovascular disease risk) were explored among lead-exposed and less lead-exposed individuals with differential chronic stress (AL) levels. Associations between AL and GGT/non-HDL-C were analyzed using linear regression models. The likelihood of increased clinical markers in lead-exposed individuals with high compared to low AL was explored using binary logistic regression models. In analyzing lead-exposed as compared to less lead-exposed populations, the geometric mean of the variables of interest showed significant elevations among lead-exposed individuals as compared to less lead-exposed individuals. Simple linear regression revealed that AL was positively associated with the variables of interest among the lead-exposed. In binary logistic regression among the lead-exposed, those with high AL, as compared to those with low AL, had significantly higher odds of having elevated non-HDL-C. This study submits that those exposed to lead with increasing AL may experience adverse cardiovascular health outcomes. Full article
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Article
Are Steroid Hormones Dysregulated in Autistic Girls?
Diseases 2020, 8(1), 6; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/diseases8010006 - 14 Mar 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1470
Abstract
Evidence of altered cholesterol and steroid hormones in autism is increasing. However, as boys are more often affected, evidence mainly relates to autistic males, whereas evidence for affected autistic girls is sparse. Therefore, a comprehensive gas chromatography mass spectrometry-based steroid hormone metabolite analysis [...] Read more.
Evidence of altered cholesterol and steroid hormones in autism is increasing. However, as boys are more often affected, evidence mainly relates to autistic males, whereas evidence for affected autistic girls is sparse. Therefore, a comprehensive gas chromatography mass spectrometry-based steroid hormone metabolite analysis was conducted from autistic girls. Results show increased levels of several steroid hormones, especially in the class of androgens in autistic girls such as testosterone or androstenediol. The increase of the majority of steroid hormones in autistic girls is probably best explained multifactorially by a higher substrate provision in line with the previously developed cholesterol hypothesis of autism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomarkers in Neuropsychiatric Disorders)
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Article
Rabies: Knowledge, Attitude and Practices in and Around South Gondar, North West Ethiopia
Diseases 2020, 8(1), 5; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/diseases8010005 - 24 Feb 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1220
Abstract
A cross-sectional study was conducted from February 2017 to April 2017 to assess knowledge, attitude and practices of the community towards rabies in south Gondar zone, Ethiopia. A structured closed ended questionnaire was used to collect the data through face to face interviews [...] Read more.
A cross-sectional study was conducted from February 2017 to April 2017 to assess knowledge, attitude and practices of the community towards rabies in south Gondar zone, Ethiopia. A structured closed ended questionnaire was used to collect the data through face to face interviews among 384 respondents. The data were then analyzed using SPSS statistical software version 20. Almost all (91.5%) surveyed individuals were aware of rabies. Bite was known as mode of rabies transmission by majority of the respondents (71.1%) with considerable means of transmission through wound contact with saliva of diseased animals. Sudden change of behavior was described as a major clinical sign of rabies in animals by the majority of the respondents. Nearly half of the respondents (48.2%) believed that consumption of rabid animal’s meat can be a medicine for human rabies and majority of the respondents (66.7%) indicated crossing a river before 40 days after dog bite increases severity of the disease. More than eighty percent of the respondents prefer traditional medicines for treating rabies in humans. In total, 51% of the respondents had poor Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices (KAP) level about the disease rabies. Educational status (χ2 = 21.152), Monthly income (χ2 = 23.059), Sex (χ2 = 11.249), source of information (χ2 = 8.594) and Residence (χ2 = 4.109) were significantly associated with KAP scores (p < 0.05). Education and awareness creation should be given to increase communities KAP about the disease with special focus to traditional healers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Infectious Disease)
Article
One Single Nucleotide Polymorphism of the TRPM2 Channel Gene Identified as a Risk Factor in Bipolar Disorder Associates With Autism Spectrum Disorder in a Japanese Population
Diseases 2020, 8(1), 4; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/diseases8010004 - 07 Feb 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1281
Abstract
The transient receptor potential melastatin 2 (TRPM2) is a non-specific cation channel, resulting in Ca2+ influx at warm temperatures from 34 °C to 47 °C, thus including the body temperature range in mammals. TRPM2 channels are activated by β-NAD+, ADP-ribose [...] Read more.
The transient receptor potential melastatin 2 (TRPM2) is a non-specific cation channel, resulting in Ca2+ influx at warm temperatures from 34 °C to 47 °C, thus including the body temperature range in mammals. TRPM2 channels are activated by β-NAD+, ADP-ribose (ADPR), cyclic ADPR, and 2′-deoxyadenosine 5′-diphosphoribose. It has been shown that TRPM2 cation channels and CD38, a type II or type III transmembrane protein with ADP-ribosyl cyclase activity, simultaneously play a role in heat-sensitive and NAD+ metabolite-dependent intracellular free Ca2+ concentration increases in hypothalamic oxytocinergic neurons. Subsequently, oxytocin (OT) is released to the brain. Impairment of OT release may induce social amnesia, one of the core symptoms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The risk of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and variants of TRPM2 have been reported in bipolar disorder, but not in ASD. Therefore, it is reasonable to examine whether SNPs or haplotypes in TRPM2 are associated with ASD. Here, we report a case-control study with 147 ASD patients and 150 unselected volunteers at Kanazawa University Hospital in Japan. The sequence-specific primer-polymerase chain reaction method together with fluorescence correlation spectroscopy was applied. Of 14 SNPs examined, one SNP (rs933151) displayed a significant p-value (OR = 0.1798, 95% CI = 0.039, 0.83; Fisher’s exact test; p = 0.0196). The present research data suggest that rs93315, identified as a risk factor for bipolar disorder, is a possible association factor for ASD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomarkers in Neuropsychiatric Disorders)
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Editorial
Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Diseases in 2019
Diseases 2020, 8(1), 3; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/diseases8010003 - 19 Jan 2020
Viewed by 884
Abstract
The editorial team greatly appreciates the reviewers who have dedicated their considerable time and expertise to the journal’s rigorous editorial process over the past 12 months, regardless of whether the papers are finally published or not [...] Full article
Article
Genetic Analysis of Peroxisomal Genes Required for Longevity in a Yeast Model of Citrin Deficiency
Diseases 2020, 8(1), 2; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/diseases8010002 - 09 Jan 2020
Viewed by 1240
Abstract
Citrin is a liver-specific mitochondrial aspartate–glutamate carrier encoded by SLC25A13. Citrin deficiency caused by SLC25A13 mutation results in carbohydrate toxicity, citrullinemia type II, and fatty liver diseases, the mechanisms of some of which remain unknown. Citrin shows a functional homolog in yeast [...] Read more.
Citrin is a liver-specific mitochondrial aspartate–glutamate carrier encoded by SLC25A13. Citrin deficiency caused by SLC25A13 mutation results in carbohydrate toxicity, citrullinemia type II, and fatty liver diseases, the mechanisms of some of which remain unknown. Citrin shows a functional homolog in yeast aspartate-glutamate carrier (Agc1p) and agc1Δ yeasts are used as a model organism of citrin deficiency. Here, we found that agc1Δ yeasts decreased fat utilization, impaired NADH balance in peroxisomes, and decreased chronological lifespan. The activation of GPD1-mediated NAD+ regeneration in peroxisomes by GPD1 over-expression or activation of the malate–oxaloacetate NADH peroxisomal shuttle, by increasing flux in this NADH shuttle and over-expression of MDH3, resulted in lifespan extension of agc1Δ yeasts. In addition, over-expression of PEX34 restored longevity of agc1Δ yeasts as well as wild-type cells. The effect of PEX34-mediated longevity required the presence of the GPD1-mediated NADH peroxisomal shuttle, which was independent of the presence of the peroxisomal malate–oxaloacetate NADH shuttle and PEX34-induced peroxisome proliferation. These data confirm that impaired NAD+ regeneration in peroxisomes is a key defect in the yeast model of citrin deficiency, and enhancing peroxisome function or inducing NAD+ regeneration in peroxisomes is suggested for further study in patients’ hepatocytes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Rare Syndrome)
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Article
“I Actually Don’t Know What HIV Is”: A Mixed Methods Analysis of College Students’ HIV Literacy
Diseases 2020, 8(1), 1; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/diseases8010001 - 02 Jan 2020
Viewed by 1400
Abstract
Objective: Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) remains a major public health issue with young adults facing a disproportionately higher rate of the burden. Our goal was to address the current literacy related to HIV, including biomedical prevention methods and barriers to care, such as [...] Read more.
Objective: Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) remains a major public health issue with young adults facing a disproportionately higher rate of the burden. Our goal was to address the current literacy related to HIV, including biomedical prevention methods and barriers to care, such as cultural factors, from a sample of college students. Methods: We conducted a convergent parallel mixed methods analysis where both qualitative and quantitative data were collected and analyzed separately. A thematic analysis was conducted to assess qualitative results, while descriptive statistics were conducted to assess quantitative survey results. Results: HIV literacy was limited, with several participants reporting that they did not understand what HIV meant. While the majority knew the use of condoms, knowledge of other biomedical prevention methods was limited, as was the understanding the risk factors of HIV, with participants noting sharing a toilet seat and promiscuity as risk factors. Self-efficacy for HIV prevention was low among participants with many reporting that cultural barriers prevented discussion of risky behaviors and prevention methods in their families and social groups. Conclusion: Targeted, culturally sensitive, health education initiatives are needed to understand the high, low, or no risks of HIV as well as address stigmas related to HIV. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Infectious Disease Epidemiology)
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