The following paper presents the 19th volume on German Studies Kronstädter Beiträge zur Germanistischen Forschung 2019. The volume is dedicated to Bertolt Brecht and it contains papers about him andon his activity as a poet, theatre practitioner, playwright and film director, as well as papers on different fields and versatile aspects of German Studies.
The global climatic changes consisting of the increased in the average air temperature and changes in the rainfall regime have led in the last decades to the extension of the agricultural areas affected by the drought phenomenon, both worldwide and in Romania. During the last half century, the drought and the phenomena associated with it, namely aridization and desertification, are a major problem for mankind. The limiting factor affecting field crops on the largest surface is the drought, the extent and intensity of this type of risk causing annual reduction of agricultural production by at least 30-50%. Drought represents the natural phenomenon determined by the amounts of precipitations below the normal values. The absence of rainfall is due to the predominance of the anti-cyclonic type. The most frequent phenomena occur in the extra-Carpathian agricultural regions of southern and south-eastern Romania Muntenia is located in the drought-sensitive area, where the influx of continental anti-cyclones is higher. Although this phenomena is possible in all seasons and in all agricultural areas, it doesn’t occur simultaneously and doesn’t have the same intensity. In the 21st century, the agricultural years 2001-2002, 2002-2003, 2006-2007, 2011-2012 and 2014-2015 are included in the list of the most recent years in terms of rainfall quantities, the heat units recorded in the warm season, as well as the soil moisture reserve available to winter wheat and maize plants during maximum water consumption. The objective of this paper is to highlight the correlation between the pluviometric regime analyzed during periods of maximum consumption of water from winter wheat and maize crops, the phenomenon of "heat" and the soil moisture reserve. The analysis of these specific indices helped us characterize the mentioned agricultural years, in the context of analysing the phenomenon of pedological drought with an impact in agriculture in Muntenia Region. An important element in the development of agricultural management strategies is to improve scientific knowledge and capacities to better manage climate variability by examining climate data and risks and opportunities analysis. The decrease in production of winter wheat and maize wheat crops occurs in extreme dry agricultural years due to the shortening of the vegetation season as a result of the increase in air temperature and water stress during the period of accumulation of the dry matter in the grain (the filling phase grain) caused by the reduction of precipitation amounts. Drought periods are increasingly common in Romania and are a major problem for agriculture with high impact on the agricultural production.
Background: Desquamative gingivitis (DG) is a non-plaque-induced, blistering and painful condition occurring most frequently on the labial aspect of the attached gingiva of anterior teeth. The incidence of DG is highest around 50 years of age, and usually indicates the presence of oral or systemic diseases. The purpose of our study was to determine the impact of DG on periodontal health by recording the plaque index, gingival index and gingival bleeding index in a group of patients with DG, compared to healthy controls. Materials and methods: Recordings of specific indices were performed in a group of 26 patients with DG and compared with 24 healthy individuals. These were followed by radiographic examinations in order to assess the loss of marginal alveolar bone. Results: The results showed that patients with DG had a statistically significant increase in periodontal indices, with more gingival inflammation and plaque retention compared to the control group (p <0.05). The highest scores for gingival inflammation were recorded in patients with DG, but on radiographic evaluation the difference was related only to gender, men being more affected by alveolar bone loss in both groups (p <0.05). Conclusions: The incidence and severity of gingival inflammation proved to be higher in patients with DG, which calls for better preventive and maintenance treatment protocols in this group of patients. Early diagnosis and initial-phase periodontal treatment are very important in preventing further tissue breakdown.
Background: Gaucher disease (GD) is caused by a recessively inherited deficiency of glucocerebrosidase which is encoded by the GBA gene in which nearly 450 mutations have been described. However, only a few genotype- phenotype correlations have been clearly established. The aim of this study was to investigate molecular features of GD in Romanian patients and to evaluate their impact on treatment response. Material and methods: 69 patients, diagnosed between 1997 and 2014 at our national referral laboratory, were included in this study. Frequent point mutations (N370S, L444P, 84GG, R463C) were detected by amplification and restriction enzyme digestion. Recombinant alleles (recTL, recNciI, recA456P) were screened by DNA sequencing. Plasma chitotriosidase served as a biomarker of disease severity throughout the follow-up period. Results: 66 patients had the non-neuronopathic (type 1) form of GD and 3 had the chronic neuronopathic (type 3) phenotype. We identified 79% of the mutant alleles, among which the most frequent mutations were N370S (54%) and L444P (18%). We found a statistically significant (p<0.001) and moderate to good correlation between the total therapeutic dose and the residual chitotriosidase activity (R = 0.621). After two years of treatment, we noticed statistically significant variations in chitotriosidase activity corresponding to the most frequent genotypes (N370S/ unknown allele, N370S/L444P, N370S/N370S and N370S/R463Q). Conclusions: Allele distribution displayed specific features in Romanian GD patients, such as the high prevalence of the N370S allele. Chitotriosidase activity measurement allowed the investigation of genotype influence on treatment outcome.
Introduction. Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic autoimmune disease of unknown origin, characterized by multisystemic involvement and a potentially severe evolution. Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a rare complication of SLE, with low 5-year survival.
Case presentation. We are presenting the case of a female patient, aged 56 years old, diagnosed in 1992 with SLE with cutaneous manifestations (butterfly-shaped erythematous rash), joint manifestations (polyarthritis), serositis manifestations (massive pleuropericarditis), and immunological manifestations (positive anti-dsDNA antibodies, decreased C3), ignored therapeutically for a long time. In 2010 she complained of dyspnea on medium exertion and leg edemas, with marked increase of PAPs by echocardiography. She was diagnosed with severe PAH (confirmed by right heart catheterization) and in the “Marius Nasta” National Institute of Pneumology she started a treatment with an endothelin receptor antagonist (Bosentan) in combination with a prostacyclin receptor agonist (Selexipag). Since 2013 the patient is on oral anticoagulant treatment for permanent atrial fibrillation.
In 2015 she was referred back to out clinic as she complained of recurrent episodes of massive ascites with evacuatory paracenteses in amounts of about 6-9L per paracentesis. After excluding other causes, ascites was considered to be secondary to the SLE, and a treatment was initiated with Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) and pulse therapy with Methylprednisolone, on which the remission of the ascites was achieved during the following months. Currently, the SLE is well controlled without recurrence of ascites on treatment with HCQ and gradual decrease until stopping of cortisone doses, and the PAH is stable.
Conclusion. PAH is a rare complication of the SLE, with a complex pathophysiological immune mechanism, for which - together with the specific vasodilator treatment - the increase of immune suppression is recommended.
The current practice in the field of forensic medicine imposes the use of modern investigation techniques. The complexity of laboratory investigation methods needed for a final result of the investigation in forensic medicine needed new biomarkers of higher specificity and selectivity. Such biomarkers are the microRNAs (miRNAs), short, non-coding RNAs composed of 19–24 nucleotides. Their characteristics, such as high stability, selectivity, and specificity for biological fluids, differ from tissue to tissue and for certain pathologies, turning them into the ideal candidate for laboratory techniques used in forensic medicine. In this paper, we wish to highlight the biochemical properties and the usefulness of miRNAs in forensic medicine.