Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health2014, 11(9), 9050-9067; doi:10.3390/ijerph110909050 (registering DOI) - published 1 September 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Dogs play many roles and their presence within people’s houses has increased. In rural settings dog faeces are not removed from the streets, representing an environmental pollution factor. Our aim was to evaluate the occurrence of environmental contamination with zoonotic intestinal parasites of three groups of dogs in Ponte de Lima, Portugal, with a particular emphasis on Echinococcus granulosus. We collected 592 dog faecal samples from the environment, farm and hunting dogs. Qualitative flotation coprological analysis was performed and the frequency in the positive samples ranged between 57.44% and 81.19% in different groups. We isolated up to four different parasites in one sample and detected seven intestinal parasitic species, genera or families overall. Ancylostomatidae was the most prevalent parasite, followed by Trichuris spp., Toxocara spp., Isospora spp., Dipylidium caninum, Taeniidae and Toxascaris leonina. Taeniidae eggs were analyzed with the PCR technique and revealed not to be from Echinococcus. The parasite prevalence and the diversity of zoonotic parasites found were high, which calls for a greater awareness of the problem among the population, especially hunters. Promoting research at the local level is important to plan control strategies. Health education should be developed with regard to farmers and hunters, and a closer collaboration between researchers, practitioners and public health authorities is needed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health2014, 11(9), 9038-9049; doi:10.3390/ijerph110909038 (registering DOI) - published 1 September 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The intestinal microbiota and gut immune system must constantly communicate to maintain a balance between tolerance and activation: on the one hand, our immune system should protect us from pathogenic microbes and on the other hand, most of the millions of microbes in and on our body are innocuous symbionts and some can even be beneficial. Since there is such a close interaction between the immune system and the intestinal microbiota, it is not surprising that some lymphomas such as mucosal-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphoma have been shown to be caused by the presence of certain bacteria. Animal models played an important role in establishing causation and mechanism of bacteria-induced MALT lymphoma. In this review we discuss different ways that animal models have been applied to establish a link between the gut microbiota and lymphoma and how animal models have helped to elucidate mechanisms of microbiota-induced lymphoma. While there are not a plethora of studies demonstrating a connection between microbiota and lymphoma development, we believe that animal models are a system which can be exploited in the future to enhance our understanding of causation and improve prognosis and treatment of lymphoma.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health2014, 11(9), 9024-9037; doi:10.3390/ijerph110909024 (registering DOI) - published 1 September 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Several studies have associated exposure to environmental pollutants, especially polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), with the development of cardiovascular diseases. Considering that 1-hydroxypyrene (1-OHP) is the major biomarker of exposure to pyrenes, the purpose of this study was to evaluate the potential association between 1-OHP and oxidative stress/inflammatory biomarkers in patients who had suffered an acute myocardial infarction (AMI). After adopting the exclusion criteria, 58 post-infarction patients and 41 controls were sub-divided into smokers and non-smokers. Urinary 1-OHP, hematological and biochemical parameters, oxidative stress biomarkers (MDA, SOD, CAT, GPx and exogenous antioxidants) and the inflammatory biomarker (hs-CRP) were analyzed. 1-OHP levels were increased in post-infarct patients compared to controls (p < 0.05) and were correlated to MDA (r = 0.426, p < 0.01), CAT (r = 0.474, p < 0.001) and β-carotene (r = −0.309; p < 0.05) in non-smokers. Furthermore, post-infarction patients had elevated hs-CRP, MDA, CAT and GPx levels compared to controls for both smokers and non-smokers. Besides, β-carotene levels and SOD activity were decreased in post-infarction patients. In summary, our findings indicate that the exposure to pyrenes was associated to lipid damage and alterations of endogenous and exogenous antioxidants, demonstrating that PAHs contribute to oxidative stress and are associated to acute myocardial infarction.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health2014, 11(9), 9008-9023; doi:10.3390/ijerph110909008 (registering DOI) - published 1 September 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Our study investigates the prevalence, patterns and predictors of tobacco smoking among early adolescent males in Northern Jordan and whether asthma diagnosis affects smoking patterns. A descriptive cross sectional design was used. Males in grades 7 and 8 from four randomly selected high schools in the city of Irbid were enrolled. Data on waterpipe (WP) use and cigarette smoking patterns were obtained (n = 815) using a survey in Arabic language. The overall prevalence of ever having smoked a cigarette was 35.6%, with 86.2% of this group smoking currently. Almost half of the sample reported WP use. The most common age in which adolescents started to experiment with cigarettes was 11–12 years old (49.1%), although 10 years was also common (25.3%). Significant predictors of male cigarette smoking were WP use (OR = 4.15, 95% CI = 2.99–5.76), asthma diagnosis (OR = 2.35, 95% CI = 1.46–3.78), grade 8 (OR = 1.52, 95% CI = 1.10–2.11), and having a sibling who smokes (OR = 2.23, 95% CI = 1.53–3.24). However, this cross-sectional study cannot establish causality, thus longitudinal studies are needed. Public health programs and school-based anti-tobacco smoking interventions that target children in early years at high schools are warranted to prevent the uptake of tobacco use among this vulnerable age group. High school students with asthma should be specifically targeted.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health2014, 11(9), 8996-9007; doi:10.3390/ijerph110908996 - published 29 August 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Skin and soft tissue infections caused by Staphylococcus aureus (SA-SSTIs) including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) have experienced a significant surge all over the world. Changing climatic factors are affecting the global burden of dermatological infections and there is a lack of information on the association between climatic factors and MRSA infections. Therefore, association of temperature and relative humidity (RH) with occurrence of SA-SSTIs (n = 387) and also MRSA (n = 251) was monitored for 18 months in the outpatient clinic at a tertiary care hospital located in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India. The Kirby-Bauer disk diffusion method was used for antibiotic susceptibility testing. Time-series analysis was used to investigate the potential association of climatic factors (weekly averages of maximum temperature, minimum temperature and RH) with weekly incidence of SA-SSTIs and MRSA infections. The analysis showed that a combination of weekly average maximum temperature above 33 °C coinciding with weekly average RH ranging between 55% and 78%, is most favorable for the occurrence of SA-SSTIs and MRSA and within these parameters, each unit increase in occurrence of MRSA was associated with increase in weekly average maximum temperature of 1.7 °C (p = 0.044) and weekly average RH increase of 10% (p = 0.097).
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health2014, 11(9), 8984-8995; doi:10.3390/ijerph110908984 - published 29 August 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Pesticide exposure has been implicated as an environmental risk factor for the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). The aim of this study was to investigate the association of the body burden of the pesticide hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH) with the risk of T2DM in a sample of adults from Saudi Arabia. Serum samples were obtained from 280 adult subjects. Hexachlorocyclohexane isomer residues were measured by high-resolution gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Data on lifestyle, dietary habits, and health status were gathered. Associations between exposure and T2DM were analyzed by logistic regression. Around 49% of adults enrolled in this study were diagnosed with T2DM. Among various HCH isomers, serum concentrations of the pesticides β and γ-HCH were most strongly and consistently linked to T2DM in our studied subjects. Associations of HCH varied across five components of the metabolic syndrome. It positively and significantly associated with four out of the five components, especially elevated triglycerides, high fasting glucose, high blood pressure and HOMA-IR but negatively and significantly with HDL-cholesterol. This study in line with earlier ones about diabetes associated with HCH pesticide exposure and proposes possible hormonal pathways worthy of further investigation.