University General - Research Publications
Now showing items 1-12 of 781
Fecal colonization with vancomycin-resistant enterococci in Australia
(CENTER DISEASE CONTROL, 2000-09-01)
To assess the rate of fecal vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) colon ization in Austalia, we examined specimens from 1,085 healthy volunteers. VRE was cultured from 2(0.2%) of 1,085 specimens; both were vanB Enter ococcus faecium, identical by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, but with a pattern rare in Melbourne hospitals.
The distribution of the effects of genes affecting quantitative traits in livestock
(E D P SCIENCES, 2001-05-01)
Meta-analysis of information from quantitative trait loci (QTL) mapping experiments was used to derive distributions of the effects of genes affecting quantitative traits. The two limitations of such information, that QTL effects as reported include experimental error, and that mapping experiments can only detect QTL above a certain size, were accounted for. Data from pig and dairy mapping experiments were used. Gamma distributions of QTL effects were fitted with maximum likelihood. The derived distributions were moderately leptokurtic, consistent with many genes of small effect and few of large effect. Seventeen percent and 35% of the leading QTL explained 90% of the genetic variance for the dairy and pig distributions respectively. The number of segregating genes affecting a quantitative trait in dairy populations was predicted assuming genes affecting a quantitative trait were neutral with respect to fitness. Between 50 and 100 genes were predicted, depending on the effective population size assumed. As data for the analysis included no QTL of small effect, the ability to estimate the number of QTL of small effect must inevitably be weak. It may be that there are more QTL of small effect than predicted by our gamma distributions. Nevertheless, the distributions have important implications for QTL mapping experiments and Marker Assisted Selection (MAS). Powerful mapping experiments, able to detect QTL of 0.1sigma(p), will be required to detect enough QTL to explain 90% the genetic variance for a quantitative trait.
A randomized, blinded, controlled trial investigating the gastrointestinal health effects of drinking water quality
(US DEPT HEALTH HUMAN SCIENCES PUBLIC HEALTH SCIENCE, 2001-08-01)
A double-blinded, randomized, controlled trial was carried out in in Melbourne, Australia, to determine the contribution of drinking water to gastroenteritis. Melbourne is one of the few major cities in the world that draws drinking water from a protected forest catchment with minimal water treatment (chlorination only). Six hundred families were randomly allocated to receive either real or sham water treatment units (WTUs) installed in their kitchen. Real units were designed to remove viruses, bacteria, and protozoa. Study participants completed a weekly health diary reporting gastrointestinal symptoms during the 68-week observation period. There were 2,669 cases of highly credible gastroenteritis (HCG) during the study (0.80 cases/person/year). The ratio of HCG episode rates for the real WTU group compared to the sham WTU group was 0.99 (95% confidence interval, 0.85-1.15, p = 0.85). We collected 795 fecal specimens from participants with gastroenteritis, and pathogens were not more significantly common in the sham WTU group. We found no evidence of waterborne disease in Melbourne. The application of this methodology to other water supplies will provide a better understanding of the relationship between human health and water quality.
Structural comparison of allogeneic and syngeneic T cell receptor-peptide-major histocompatibility complex complexes: A buried alloreactive mutation subtly alters peptide presentation substantially increasing V-beta interactions
(ROCKEFELLER UNIV PRESS, 2002-05-06)
The crystal structures of the 2C/H-2K(bm3)-dEV8 allogeneic complex at 2.4 A and H-2K(bm3)-dEV8 at 2.15 A, when compared with their syngeneic counterparts, elucidate structural changes that induce an alloresponse. The Asp77Ser mutation that imbues H-2K(bm3)-dEV8 with its alloreactive properties is located beneath the peptide and does not directly contact the T cell receptor (TCR). However, the buried mutation induces local rearrangement of the peptide itself to preserve hydrogen bonding interactions between the peptide and the alpha(1) 77 residue. The COOH terminus of the peptide main chain is tugged toward the alpha(1)-helix such that its presentation to the TCR is altered. These changes increase the stability of the allogeneic peptide-major histocompatibility complex (pMHC) complex and increase complementarity in the TCR-pMHC interface, placing greater emphasis on recognition of the pMHC by the TCR beta-chain, evinced by an increase in shape complementarity, buried surface area, and number of TCR-pMHC contacting residues. A nearly fourfold increase in the number of beta-chain-pMHC contacts is accompanied by a concomitant 64% increase in beta-chain-pMHC shape complementarity. Thus, the allogeneic mutation causes the same peptide to be presented differently, temporally and spatially, by the allogeneic and syngeneic MHCs.
Dok-related protein negatively regulates T cell development via its RasGTPase-activating protein and Nck docking sites
(ROCKEFELLER UNIV PRESS, 2002-07-08)
Downstream of kinase (Dok)-related protein (DokR, also known as p56(dok)/FRIP/Dok-R) is implicated in cytokine and immunoreceptor signaling in myeloid and T cells. Tyrosine phosphorylation induces DokR to bind the signal relay molecules, RasGTPase-activating protein (RasGAP) and Nck. Here, we have examined the function of DokR during hematopoietic development and the requirement for RasGAP and Nck binding sites in its biological function. Retroviral-mediated expression of DokR in bone marrow cells dramatically inhibited their capacity to form colonies in vitro in response to the cytokines macrophage colony-stimulating factor and stem cell factor, whereas responses to interleukin-3 and granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor were only weakly affected. When introduced into lethally irradiated mice, hematopoietic cells expressing DokR showed a drastically reduced capacity to repopulate lymphoid tissues. Most notably, DokR dramatically reduced repopulation of the thymus, in part by reducing the number of T cell precursors seeding in the thymus, but equally, through inhibiting the transition of CD4(-)CD8(-) to CD4(+)CD8(+) T cells. Consequently, the number of mature peripheral T cells was markedly reduced. In contrast, a minimal effect on B cell and myeloid lineage development was observed. Importantly, functional RasGAP and Nck binding sites were found to be essential for the biological effects of DokR in vitro and in vivo.