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  • Author: Ion Toma x
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Rapid Detection of Human Torque Teno Viruses Using High-Resolution Melting Analysis

Abstract

Torque teno viruses (TTVs) are recently discovered DNA viruses, with heterogeneous genomes, highly prevalent in populations worldwide. The species that infect humans are Torque teno virus (TTV), Torque teno midi virus (TTMDV) and Torque teno mini virus (TTMV). High-resolution melting analysis (HRMA) is a sensitive and effective method for genotyping and mutation scanning. Up to now, HRMA has not been utilized for detection of TTVs.

The aim of this study was to asses if HRMA is suitable for detecting TTVs variants. DNA was extracted from the blood and saliva of 13 healthy subjects for method optimization. Additionally, saliva samples from 100 healthy individuals were collected for estimating the TTVs’ prevalence. Viral DNA was amplified by heminested polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Second round amplicons were used for the HRMA. The samples were analyzed using two fluorescent dyes, SYBR® Green I and EvaGreen®.

The prevalence values for TTV, TTMDV and TTMV were 71.0, 31.0 and 54.0%, respectively. The three major melting curve patterns corresponding to TTV, TTMDV and TTMV on HRMA can be easily distinguished regardless of kit used. Our results showed that HRMA is a rapid and efficient method of detecting human TTVs.

Open access
Efficacy of physical exercise program in patients with work-related knee osteoarthritis

Abstract

Quality of life studies in patients with knee osteoarthritis (OA) attest to the significant impact of the disease on day-to-day activities and social interactions. The aim of this study was to assess the efficacy of a physical exercise program on functional status and quality of life in patients with work-related knee osteoarthritis. The present study included 144 participants with knee osteoarthritis, 72% women, mean age (SD) 47.2 (11.1) years. The patients were randomly assigned in two lots based on the type of kinetic treatment: lot A-with knee OA and medication (72 patients) and lot B- with knee OA, medication and exercise program (72 patients). They followed for 12 days ambulatory exercise programs based on increasing knee flexion, muscular strength and endurance, improving balance, coordination, and respiratory exercises. The patients in the control group continued their daily living activities. The evaluation was made at the beginning of the study (T0), after 2 weeks (T1) and 8 weeks after the 12 days of exercise program (T2) and was based on the following parameters: knee mobility (knee flexion), muscular strength, pain assessment on a Visual Analogue Scale (VAS), functional status (Western Ontario &McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index - WOMAC) and quality of life evaluation using SF-36 Questionnaire (36-Item Short Form Survey). Out of 144 participants who completed the initial evaluation, 138 also completed the 2 weeks and the 8 weeks follow-up assessments: 70 patients from the control lot and 68 patients from the exercise lot. The benefits of the kinetic programs were shown by a significant improvement in knee mobility and muscular strength for knee extensors (quadriceps muscle) and knee flexor muscles. Testing the linear correlations between the SF-36 score and the VAS (r=0.71, p<0.05) and WOMAC (r=0.83, p<0.05) indicators demonstrates a highly positive relationship between the quality of life expression, the pain assessment score and the functional status score in patients with knee OA. The physical exercise program improves both functional status and quality of life in patients with work-related knee osteoarthritis by increasing the range of motion and muscular strength and by reducing pain.

Open access
Creative economies in Romania – spatial projections and trends

Abstract

Creative economies are at the heart of the knowledge-based economy. The main objectives of the study are to present the spatial design of the regional systems of creativity in Romania and to identify the evolutionary trends, by creating spatial models for key economic indicators, specific to such economic activities. This paper focuses on how creative economies are concentrated in the national network of settlements and how they differentiate in terms of regional profile. Consequently, a yearly nationwide database was created for 2000-2012, which includes four-digit creative economic activities, according to the Classification of National Economy Activities, for each administrative unit in Romania. The analyses, conducted for the same period, show a concentration of creative economies as a national polycentric network which includes the capital city and cities with over 300,000 inhabitants, as well as their structured territorial systems emerging around them, representing the local and regional polycentric networks. The analysis of the economic profiles highlights the growing share of creative economies in the national economy that tends to contribute more and more to the increase of the operational complexity of the local and regional economies.

Open access