Kovalishyn, Vasyl; Abramenko, Natalia; Kopernyk, Iryna; Charochkina, Larysa; Metelytsia, Larysa; Tetko, Igor V; Peijnenburg, Willie; Kustov, Leonid (2017-08-09)
Inorganic nanomaterials have become one of the new areas of modern knowledge and technology and have already found an increasing number of applications. However, some nanoparticles show toxicity to living organisms, and can potentially have a negative influence on environmental ecosystems. While toxicity can be determined experimentally, such studies are time consuming and costly. Computational toxicology can provide an alternative approach and there is a need to develop methods to reliably assess Quantitative Structure-Property Relationships for nanomaterials (nano-QSPRs). Importantly, development of such models requires careful collection and curation of data. This article overviews freely available nano-QSPR models, which were developed using the Online Chemical Modeling Environment (OCHEM). Multiple data on toxicity of nanoparticles to different living organisms were collected from the literature and uploaded in the OCHEM database. The main characteristics of nanoparticles such as chemical composition of nanoparticles, average particle size, shape, surface charge and information about the biological test species were used as descriptors for developing QSPR models. QSPR methodologies used Random Forests (WEKA-RF), k-Nearest Neighbors and Associative Neural Networks. The predictive ability of the models was tested through cross-validation, giving cross-validated coefficients q2 = 0.58-0.80 for regression models and balanced accuracies of 65-88% for classification models. These results matched the predictions for the test sets used to develop the models. The proposed nano-QSPR models and uploaded data are freely available online at http://ochem.eu/article/103451 and can be used for estimation of toxicity of new and emerging nanoparticles at the early stages of nanomaterial development.
Freidl, Gudrun S; Tostmann, Alma; Curvers, Moud; Ruijs, Wilhelmina L M; Smits, Gaby; Schepp, Rutger; Duizer, Erwin; Boland, Greet; de Melker, Hester; van der Klis, Fiona R M; et al. (2018-02-14)
Asylum seekers are a vulnerable population for contracting infectious diseases. Outbreaks occur among children and adults. In the Netherlands, asylum seeker children are offered vaccination according to the National Immunization Program. Little is known about protection against vaccine-preventable diseases (VPD) in adult asylum seekers. In this 2016 study, we assessed the immunity of adult asylum seekers against nine VPD to identify groups that might benefit from additional vaccinations. We invited asylum seekers from Syria, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Eritrea and Ethiopia to participate in a serosurvey. Participants provided informed consent and a blood sample, and completed a questionnaire. We measured prevalence of protective antibodies to measles, mumps, rubella, varicella, diphtheria, tetanus, polio type 1-3 and hepatitis A and B, stratified them by country of origin and age groups. The median age of the 622 participants was 28 years (interquartile range: 23-35), 81% were male and 48% originated from Syria. Overall, seroprotection was 88% for measles (range between countries: 83-93%), 91% for mumps (81-95%), 94% for rubella (84-98%), 96% for varicella (92-98%), 82% for diphtheria (65-88%), 98% for tetanus (86-100%), 91% (88-94%) for polio type 1, 95% (90-98%) for polio type 2, 82% (76-86%) for polio type 3, 84% (54-100%) for hepatitis A and 27% for hepatitis B (anti-HBs; 8-42%). Our results indicate insufficient protection against certain VPD in some subgroups. For all countries except Eritrea, measles seroprotection was below the 95% threshold required for elimination. Measles seroprevalence was lowest among adults younger than 25 years. In comparison, seroprevalence in the Dutch general population was 96% in 2006/07. The results of this study can help prioritizing vaccination of susceptible subgroups of adult asylum seekers, in general and in outbreak situations.
Modelling studies have been widely used to inform human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination policy decisions; however, many models exist and it is not known whether they produce consistent predictions of population-level effectiveness and herd effects. We did a systematic review and meta-analysis of model predictions of the long-term population-level effectiveness of vaccination against HPV 16, 18, 6, and 11 infection in women and men, to examine the variability in predicted herd effects, incremental benefit of vaccinating boys, and potential for HPV-vaccine-type elimination.
Helsper, Charles W; Janssen, Mart P; van Essen, Gerrit A; Croes, Esther A; van der Veen, Clary; de Wit, Ardine G; de Wit, Niek J (2017-09)
Hepatitis C virus infection (HCV) is a serious, but underdiagnosed disease that can generally be treated successfully. Therefore, a nationwide HCV awareness campaign was implemented in the Netherlands targeting people who inject drugs (PWID) in addiction care ('PWID intervention') and high-risk groups in the general population ('public intervention'). The objective of this study is to assess the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of the interventions used in this campaign.
Kopáček, Jiří; Hejzlar, Josef; Porcal, Petr; Posch, Maximilian (2017-11-15)
We show how concentrations of water solutes in the Vltava River (Czech Republic) and their riverine outputs from the catchment were modified by socio-economic changes, land use, and hydrology between 1960 and 2015. In the early 1960s, HCO3 and Ca were the dominant ions. During 1960-1989 (a period of planned economy with an over-use of synthetic fertilizers, excessive draining of agricultural land and little environmental protection), the riverine concentrations of strong acid anions (SAAs: SO4, NO3, and Cl) increased 2-4-fold and their leaching was accompanied for by a 1.4-1.8-fold increase in concentrations of Ca, Mg, K, and Na. SAAs mostly originated from diffuse agricultural sources (synthetic fertilizers and mineralization of organic matter in freshly drained and deeply tilled agricultural land) and their annual average concentrations (as well as those of Ca, Mg, and K) were positively correlated with discharge. During 1990-2015 (a period of a re-established market economy, reduced fertilization, ceased drainage, partial conversion of arable land to pastures, and increasing environmental protection), concentrations of SO4 and NO3 significantly decreased due to reduced agricultural production and atmospheric pollution, and their positive correlations with discharge disappeared. In contrast, Na and Cl concentrations increased due to more intensive road de-icing, and their concentrations became negatively correlated with discharge. Trends in phosphorus concentrations reflected changes in its input by both diffuse (fertilizers) and point (wastewater) sources and were discharge independent.
In recent years several OECD test guidelines have been updated and some will be updated shortly with the requirement to measure thyroid hormone levels in the blood of mammalian laboratory species. There is, however, an imperative need for clarification and guidance regarding the collection, assessment, and interpretation of thyroid hormone data for regulatory toxicology and risk assessment. Clarification and guidance is needed for 1) timing and methods of blood collection, 2) standardization and validation of the analytical methods, 3) triggers for additional measurements, 4) the need for T4 measurements in postnatal day (PND) 4 pups, and 5) the interpretation of changes in thyroid hormone levels regarding adversity. Discussions on these topics have already been initiated, and involve expert scientists from a number of international multisector organizations. This paper provides an overview of existing issues, current activities and recommendations for moving forward.
van der Heiden, Marieke; Duizendstra, Aafke; Berbers, Guy A M; Boots, Annemieke M H; Buisman, Anne-Marie (2017-10-09)
Vaccines frequently induce suboptimal immune responses in the elderly, due to immunological ageing. Timely vaccination may be a strategy to overcome this problem, which classifies middle-aged adults asan interesting target group for future vaccine interventions. However, the immunological fitness of the middle-aged population is ill-defined. It is currently unknown whether effective T-cell help towards B-cells is initiated by conjugate-carrier vaccines at middle-age.
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