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  • Background In animals with altricial offspring, most growth occurs after birth and may be optimized by post-natal maternal care. Maternal effects on growth may be influenced by individual characteristics of the mothers, such as social status, individual investment strategies and the length of association with offspring. The prolonged juvenile dependence seen in humans is a distinctive life history adaptation, which may have evolved to facilitate sustained somatic and brain growth. In chimpanzees, offspring are typically weaned at approximately 4 years old, yet immature individuals continue to associate with their mothers for up to 10 years beyond weaning. Whether this lengthy association or the individual characteristics of mothers influences growth patterns in this species is not clear. The relationship between urinary creatinine and specific gravity is an established non-invasive measure of muscle mass in humans and chimpanzees. We analysed the urinary creatinine and specific gravity of 1318 urine samples from 70 wild chimpanzees from the Taï Forest, Ivory Coast aged 4 to 15 years. Results We showed a clear increase in urinary creatinine levels with age in both males and females, replicating established growth curves in this species and reaffirming this measure as a reliable proxy for lean body mass. Comparing those who experience maternal loss (orphans) with non-orphan chimpanzees, maternal presence beyond weaning age and into late juvenility positively influenced offspring muscle mass throughout ontogeny such that orphans had significantly less muscle mass than age-matched non-orphans. In age-matched offspring with mothers, those with high-ranking mothers had greater muscle mass. Accounting for variation in muscle mass attributable to maternal presence, we found no effect of maternal investment (length of inter birth interval, from own birth to birth of following sibling) on offspring muscle mass. Conclusion Chimpanzee mothers have an extended and multi-faceted influence on offspring phenotypes. Our results suggest that maternal investment extends beyond lactation and into early adulthood and has clear benefits to offspring physical development. Therefore, prolonged juvenile dependence, although unique in its form in human societies, may be a trait with deeper evolutionary origins.
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  • Since 2015, the number of hepatitis B virus (HBV) cases increased substantially in Germany. In 2015, a more sensitive HBV case definition was introduced. This coincided with an asylum seeker influx with differing screening strategies. Information on the asylum seeker status has been collected since 09/2015. We investigated this increase to interpret HBV notification data in Germany. We compared HBV surveillance data from 2010–2013 (baseline) with 2015–2016, excluding 2014 due to beginning of asylum seeker influx. We estimated the excess above the mean case number (baseline) using Poisson regression and compared asylum seeker cases and the excess of cases with the unknown asylum seeker status. HBV cases increased from 1855 (mean baseline) to 3873 (2015) and 3466 (2016) with 1903 asylum seeker cases and 1099 excess-cases with the unknown asylum seeker status in 2015–2016. Cases only fulfilling the changed case definition increased from 60% (1119) in baseline to 81% (P < 0.01) in 2015–2016; 69% of asylum seeker cases and 61% of excess-cases were males <40 years compared to 27% (baseline) (P < 0.01). Changed case definition increased the number of cases in official statistics substantially. Demographic and geographical distributions suggest that screening of asylum seekers increased the case numbers even to a higher extent than surveillance data indicates.
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  • Cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) is an established predictor of adverse health outcomes. The aim of this study is to investigate potential behavioral, interpersonal and socioeconomic correlates of CRF among men and women living in Germany using data from a population-based nationwide cross-sectional study. 1,439 men and 1,486 women aged 18–64 participated in the German Health Interview and Examination Survey (2008–2011) and completed a standardized sub-maximal cycle ergometer test. Maximal oxygen consumption (V˙O2max) in ml·min−1·kg−1 was estimated. Mean values of VO2max for various anthropometric, behavioral, interpersonal, and sociodemographic variables were estimated. Linear regression analyses using multiple imputations technique for missing values was performed to analyze the influence of potential correlates on CRF. Women with high alcohol consumption had higher V˙O2max, (β = 2.20; 95% CI 0.98 to 3.42) than women with low alcohol consumption and women with high occupational status had higher V˙O2max (β = 1.83; 95% CI 0.21 to 3.44) in comparison to women with low occupational status. Among men, high fruit intake (β = 1.52; 95% CI 0.63 to 2.40), compared to low or medium fruit intake and performing at least 2.5 hours of total PA per week (β = 2.19; 95% CI 1.11 to 3.28), compared to less than 2.5 hours was associated with higher V˙O2max. Among both men and women, lower body mass index, lower waist circumference and higher levels of physical exercise were considerably associated with higher V˙O2max. Among women, those in higher age groups showed a considerably lower level of V˙O2max compared with those aged 18–24. Furthermore, mean estimated V˙O2max was higher among men (36.5; 95% CI 36.0 to 37.0) than among women (30.3; 95% CI 29.8 to 30.7). Despite the cross-sectional nature of the current study, we conclude that several behavioral, anthropometric, and sociodemographic factors are associated with CRF in the general adult population in Germany. These results can provide evidence to tailor prevention measures according to the needs of specific subgroups.
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  • Campylobacter is the major bacterial agent of human gastroenteritis worldwide and represents a crucial global public health burden. Species differentiation of C. jejuni and C. coli and phylogenetic analysis is challenged by inter-species horizontal gene transfer. Routine real-time PCR on more than 4000 C. jejuni and C. coli field strains identified isolates with ambiguous PCR results for species differentiation, in particular, from the isolation source eggs. K-mer analysis of whole genome sequencing data indicated the presence of C. coli hybrid strains with huge amounts of C. jejuni introgression. Recombination events were distributed over the whole chromosome. MLST typing was impaired, since C. jejuni sequences were also found in six of the seven housekeeping genes. cgMLST suggested that the strains were phylogenetically unrelated. Intriguingly, the strains shared a stress response set of C. jejuni variant genes, with proposed roles in oxidative, osmotic and general stress defence, chromosome maintenance and repair, membrane transport, cell wall and capsular biosynthesis and chemotaxis. The results have practical impact on routine typing and on the understanding of the functional adaption to harsh environments, enabling successful spreading and persistence of Campylobacter.
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  • Bei vielen schwer erkrankten Menschen muss mit einer im Verhältnis zu anderen schweren ARE längeren Behandlung mit Beatmung/zusätzlichem Sauerstoffbedarf gerechnet werden. Da weder eine Impfung noch eine spezifische Therapie derzeit zur Verfügung stehen, müssen wie das Epidemiologische Bulletin 12/2020 mitteilt alle Maßnahmen darauf ausgerichtet sein, die Verbreitung der Erkrankung so gut wie möglich zu verlangsamen. Es gibt 3 Komponenten: A) Verhinderung der Ausbreitung durch Fallfindung und Absonderung von engen Kontaktpersonen, B) soziale Distanz schaffen und C) gezielter Schutz von vulnerablen Gruppen, die aktiviert und intensiviert werden müssen entsprechend der jeweils aktuellen Lage.
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  • Zwischen 2013 und 2017 wurden im Landkreis Görlitz bei Lehrern und Kindern der 6. Klassenstufe die Impfpässe jährlich kontrolliert. Die Ergebnisse dieser Kontrollen wurden vom GA Görlitz seit 2013 im Epidemiologischen Bulletin veröffentlicht. Es wurden zunächst nur Pertussis-Impfungen und ab 2014 zusätzlich Masern-Impfungen kontrolliert. Im Jahr 2017 wurden 36 Schulen mit 1.931 Sechstklässlern kontrolliert. 885 (46 %) Schüler gaben ihre Impfpässe ab. Insgesamt waren 63 % der Untersuchten ausreichend gegen Keuchhusten geschützt. Gegen Masern waren insgesamt 95 % altersgerecht vollständig geimpft. Die Impfpass-Kontrollen wurden 2017 letztmalig durchgeführt.
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