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Abstract

The aim of this study was to evaluate the utility of the pathological personality traits in predicting suicidal ideation, especially in combination with other risk factors, such as the level of depression, prior attempts of suicide, low self-esteem, low level of perceived social support and self-esteem-by-social support interaction, both in general and in psychiatric inpatient samples. Data were analysed within two samples: non-clinical general sample (n = 461) and psychiatric inpatient sample (n = 131). Latvian Clinical Personality Inventory (LCPI) was used as the instrument for data collection. LCPI is a comprehensive multi-scale multi-item inventory, which consists of nine clinical scales (including Depression Symptom Scale), 33 pathological personality scales, five functioning scales, and five additional scales, including a Suicidal Ideation Scale, Low Self-esteem Scale and Lack of Perceived Social Support Scale. Results of the hierarchical regression analysis showed that several facet-level pathological personality traits (depressivity, self-harm, dissociation proneness, submissiveness, and suspiciousness) added significant incremental variance to the prediction of suicidal ideation above and beyond the well-known main risk factors of suicidal ideation, such as depression and prior suicide attempt. This effect remained stable even after taking into account additional interpersonal risk factors, such as low self-esteem, low level of perceived social support and self-esteem-by-perceived social support interaction. The incremental effect of personality traits was medium in the psychiatric inpatient sample and small in the general sample. Findings of the study may assist in early screening for persons with suicide risk and for developing prevention programmes in different settings.

Abstract

The aim of the study was to determine whether the Alvarado score (AS) together with laboratory tests could be used to distinguish patients with acute appendicitis (AA) from acute mesenteric lymphadenitis (AML). Fifty-seven patients (7–18 years) with suspected AA were included in the prospective study (October 2010 – October 2013). Thirty-one patients underwent surgery for AA and 26 were not treated surgically and were diagnosed AML on ultrasonography. AS, white blood cell count (WBC), C – reactive protein (CRP) and serum cytokines (EGF, IL-10, IL-12(p70), IL-1β, IL-4, IL-6, IL-8, IL-17, MCP-1, TNF-α) were obtained on admission and were compared between groups. Mean age of the 57 patients was 12.9 (SD 3.2). Accuracy (AR) for AS ≥ 7 alone was 73.7% for AA. Modified AS with certain serum cytokines seemed to be a reliable tool for initial differential diagnosis between AA and AML in school-age children. Based on these results, AS ≥ 7, WBC ≥ 10.7 × 103/µL and serum IL-6 ≥ 4.3 pg/mL assessed altogether will yield more sensitivity for AA. Also for further advanced diagnostics, we propose to take into account the serum IL-6, IL-8, MCP-1, CRP cut-off levels in the differential diagnosis between complicated and uncomplicated AA to decide whether the treatment should be conservative or surgical.

Abstract

The aim of the study was to evaluate the role of ultrasound guided fine needle aspiration cytology (FNAC) in the restaging of node positive breast cancer after neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC). From January 2016 – October 2018, 90 node positive stage IIA-IIIC breast cancer cases undergoing NAC were included in the study. The largest, most superficial and the most caudal axillary node metastasis confirmed by fine needle aspiration cytology (FNAC) was marked with clip. After NAC, restaging of axilla was performed with ultrasound and FNAC of the marked and/or the most suspicious axillary node. Of the 90 cases, 58 with available ultrasound guided percutaneous needle biopsy data were further evaluated. Axilla conserving surgery was performed in 37 of 58 cases and axillary lymph node dissection (ALND) in 21 of 58 cases. False Positive Rate (FPR) of FNAC after NAC was 12%, False Negative Rate (FNR) — 58%, sensitivity — 54%, specificity — 82%, accuracy 62%. FNAC after NAC had low FPR and was found to be useful in predicting residual axillary disease and to streamline surgical decision making regarding ALND. However, FNR was unacceptably high and FNAC alone was not able to predict ypCR and omission of further axillary surgery.

Abstract

Since its discovery in 2005, human bocavirus 1 (HBoV1) has globally been one of the most common respiratory viruses. It is currently accepted that HBoV1 is a pathogen, causing upper and lower respiratory tract infections (LRTIs) in children. However, due to the prolonged HBoV1 DNA shedding from the upper airways and the subsequent high rate of co-detections with other respiratory viruses, the interpretation of positive polymerase chain reaction results is challenging. The aim of this study was to identify acute HBoV1 infections by the presence of HBoV1-specific IgM and IgG measured by competition enzyme immunoassay, to elucidate the induction of Th1/Th2 cytokines, and to describe the clinical characteristics associated with acute HBoV1 infection in hospitalised children less than five years of age with LRTI. HBoV1 IgM was detected in 19/102 (18.6%) and IgG in 66/102 (64.7%) patients. HBoV1 IgM was most frequently found in patients aged 13 to 24 months. Pneumonia and acute wheezing were the most common clinical diagnoses among HBoV1 IgM positive patients. The seroprevalence of HBoV1-specific IgG increased with age, reaching 85% by the age of five years. INF-γ, IL-4, IL-5, and IL-10 were observed to be higher in patients with acute HBoV1 infection.

Abstract

The role of inflammation in the development of osteoarthritic joint degeneration is not completely understood. Recent data suggest that processes that cause and orchestrate inflamed synovial lesions may be implicated in the development of the disease. The morphological changes of the synovium in patients with osteoarthritis (OA), as well as the level of synovial inflammation cautiously graded, in association to the presence of human parvovirus B19 (B19V) infection markers, were evaluated. Qualitative and quantitative detection of B19V genomic sequence was performed in OA and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) groups. The expression of CD68, S100 (Ca2+ binding proteins soluble in 100% ammonium sulfate) and B19 VP1/VP2 capsid proteins found in the synovium were investigated by single and double immunolabeling, whereas fine features of synoviocytes — by electron microscopy. One-third of OA and RA patients demonstrated synovial expression of B19V antigen, which was confirmed in both types of synoviocytes. The overall expression of B19V in OA patients was weaker than that found in RA subjects. Positive correlation between B19V-positive vascular endothelial cells, sublining infiltrating lymphocytes, macrophages, and B19V-positive synoviocytes was established. No correlation between synovitis score indices as well as the expression of S100 and expression of B19V was found. The results suggest that the synovial membrane maintains local joint homeostasis, and that virus mediated synovitis is implicated in the development of OA.

Abstract

Health care personnel (HCP) are at high risk of acquiring influenza due to exposure to patients. However, vaccination in HCP is lower than 40% for most European countries. The aim of this study was to determine the attitude towards influenza vaccination and possible reasons for this attitude in HCP. A cross-sectional study was performed in a multidisciplinary hospital of Latvia. The sample (n = 1099) included doctors (239), nurses (418), care services (236), administrative staff (108), and technical support staff (98). Five questions addressed vaccination of planned patients and HCP, knowledge of etiological anti-influenza drugs, and their storage at the hospital for immediate use. The results revealed that the level of regular vaccination against influenza in HCP was relatively low (14%). This contrasted with a more positive attitude towards vaccination of patients (53%) and personnel (60%). This contrast provided evidence for a low level of proactive action. High expectations regarding medications covered by the hospital (82%) indicated transferring of part of personal responsibility to the organisation. Doctors demonstrated a better understanding of the problem and a higher level of vaccination. However, some of doctors’ attitudes showed underestimation of influenza-associated risk.

Abstract

All growers prefer to obtain a first harvest as soon as possible. The aim of this study was to identify an effective tree training system for new Latvian plum cultivars, which provides the highest yield and fruit quality. The trial was established in 2012 at the Institute of Horticulture (formerly Latvia State Institute of Fruit-Growing) and included cultivars ‘Ance’, ‘Adelyn’, and ‘Sonora’; and the controls ‘Victoria’ and ‘Jubileum’. Planting distances were 4 × 2.5 m, and the rootstock was Prunus cerasifera. Tree training was done using four systems: two systems with branch bending (Heka espalier and spindle); and two systems without bending (standard (round) and flat crown). Evaluation of average fruit weight and yield per trunk cross section area (TCSA) was done from 2015 to 2017. The Heka espalier and spindle systems had first yield in 2015, but systems without bending had first yield only in 2016. Average yield per TCSA was significantly higher for the Heka espalier system (0.49 kg·cm−2) than for the spindle system (0.24 kg·cm−2), standard crown system (0.17 kg·cm−2), and flat crown system (0.30 kg·cm−2). Cultivar ‘Victoria’ had the highest yield among all systems. Average fruit size showed the same results: the biggest fruits were obtained with the Heka espalier system, and the smallest for systems without bending in the standard crown.

Abstract

The issue of the influence of rootstock on winter-hardiness of plum (Prunus × rossica Erem.) tree flower buds in the Baltic region is becoming important. The choice of rootstock is the main precondition for obtaining a high yielding and sustainable plum orchard. Freezing of flower buds is one of the most significant damages in winter for stone fruits. The aim of the investigation was to determine the relationship between concentration of dry matter and reducing sugars in annual shoots during winter and wintering ability of trees. The dynamics of reducing sugar concentration in one-year-old shoots during winter was investigated during two successive seasons in two locations. Orchards were planted in 2001 in Latvia and in Estonia. The well-known plum cultivar ‘Kubanskaya Kometa’ (Prunus rossica Erem.) was grafted on eight clonal rootstocks (‘St. Julien A’, ‘Brompton’, ‘Ackermann’, ‘Pixy’, GF8/1, G5/22, GF655/2, and ‘Hamyra’) and eight generative propagated rootstocks (‘St. Julien INRA 2’, ‘St. Julien d’Orleans’, ‘St. Julien Noir’, ‘Brompton’, ‘Wangenheims Zwetsche’, ‘St. Julien Wädenswill’, ‘Myrobalan’ and Prunus cerasifera var. divaricate). Shoot samples were harvested two times during winter — at the end of January and at the end of March. Dry matter concentration (mg·g−1) and the concentration of reducing sugars (mg·g−1 DM) by Fehling’s solution method was determined. Tree flowering intensity was scored using a scale from 1 to 5, where 1 = no flowers and 5 = abundant flowering. Dry matter concentration in plum shoots varied among rootstocks, years and growing location. In Pūre, Latvia, the largest differences in dry matter concentration were found for trees grafted on ‘St. Julien INRA2’ (in 2011–2012) and ‘Brompton’ cuttings (in 2012–2013) but in Polli, Estonia for trees grafted on G5/22 (in 2011–2012) and ‘Myrobalan’ (in 2012–2013). One of the most stable rootstock/graft combinations in the trial when GF655/2 was used as rootstock, where dry matter concentration was between 491 and 525 mg·g−1, and reducing sugars between 37.5–49.2 mg·g−1, and flowering intensity between 2.5 and 4.

Abstract

Prunus necrotic ring spot ilarvirus (PNRSV) and Apple chlorotic leaf spot trichovirus (ACLSV) are common in plum orchards. The aim of the study was to obtain virus-free planting material of Prunus domestica L. by chemotherapy in vitro. Ribavirin at concentrations of 10 to 50 mg·l−1 was added to Murashige–Skoog (MS) nutrition medium for virus eradication from microshoots. After a two-week period of chemotherapy, meristems were subcultured monthly on MS medium and proliferation index of shoots was estimated. Microshoots were retested by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction for presence of virus. At lowest concentrations of 10 mg·l−1 ribavirin was entirely ineffective for ACLSV and 10 to 30 mg·l−1 was ineffective for PNRSV elimination. Ribavirin concentrations of 40 and 50 mg·l−1 destroyed both pathogens. However, at higher concentrations of 40 and 50 mg·l−1 ribavirin exhibited some signs of phytotoxicity on microshoots in the first sub-cultivation period. In order to test the genetic stability of the microplants after chemotherapy the amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) method was applied. Plant genome stability in ‘Magna Glauca’ at concentrations of 40 mg·l−1 was damaged, as the presence of polymorphic AFLP markers were observed.