We conducted a controlled before-and-after trial to evaluate the impact of an onsite urban sanitation intervention on the prevalence of enteric infection, soil transmitted helminth re-infection, and diarrhea among children in Maputo, Mozambique. A non-governmental organization replaced existing poor-quality latrines with pour-flush toilets with septic tanks serving household clusters. We enrolled children aged 1-48 months at baseline and measured outcomes before and 12 and 24 months after the intervention, with concurrent measurement among children in a comparable control arm. Despite nearly exclusive use, we found no evidence that intervention affected the prevalence of any measured outcome after 12 or 24 months of exposure. Among children born into study sites after intervention, we observed a reduced prevalence of Trichuris and Shigella infection relative to the same age group at baseline (<2 years old). Protection from birth may be important to reduce exposure to and infection with enteric pathogens in this setting.
All data generated or analysed during this study are included in the manuscript and supporting files. Source data files and code have been provided for all analyses and specifically for Figure 1 and Tables 1, 2, and 3. Additionally, we have archived all data and code at Open Science Framework (https://osf.io/me2tx, DOI 17605/OSF.IO/ME2TX).
- Oliver Cumming
- Joe Brown
- Oliver Cumming
- Joe Brown
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Human subjects: The study protocol was approved by the Comité Nacional de Bioética para a Saúde (CNBS),Ministério da Saúde (333/CNBS/14), the Research Ethics Committee of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (reference # 8345), and the Institutional Review Board of theGeorgia Institute of Technology (protocol # H15160).
- Joseph Lewnard, University of California Berkeley, United States
© 2021, Knee et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
Evaluating the characteristics of emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern is essential to inform pandemic risk assessment. A variant may grow faster if it produces a larger number of secondary infections ('R advantage') or if the timing of secondary infections (generation time) is better. So far, assessments have largely focused on deriving the R advantage assuming the generation time was unchanged. Yet, knowledge of both is needed to anticipate impact. Here we develop an analytical framework to investigate the contribution of both the R advantage and generation time to the growth advantage of a variant. It is known that selection on a variant with larger R increases with levels of transmission in the community. We additionally show that variants conferring earlier transmission are more strongly favoured when the historical strains have fast epidemic growth, while variants conferring later transmission are more strongly favoured when historical strains have slow or negative growth. We develop these conceptual insights into a new statistical framework to infer both the R advantage and generation time of a variant. On simulated data, our framework correctly estimates both parameters when it covers time periods characterized by different epidemiological contexts. Applied to data for the Alpha and Delta variants in England and in Europe, we find that Alpha confers a +54% [95% CI, 45-63%] R advantage compared to previous strains, and Delta +140% [98-182%] compared to Alpha, and mean generation times are similar to historical strains for both variants. This work helps interpret variant frequency dynamics and will strengthen risk assessment for future variants of concern.
Master athletes (MAs) prove that preserving a high level of physical function up to very late in life is possible, but the mechanisms responsible for their high function remain unclear.
We performed muscle biopsies in 15 octogenarian world-class track and field MAs and 14 non-athlete age/sex-matched controls (NA) to provide insights into mechanisms for preserving function in advanced age. Muscle samples were assessed for respiratory compromised fibers, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) copy number, and proteomics by liquid-chromatography mass spectrometry.
MA exhibited markedly better performance on clinical function tests and greater cross-sectional area of the vastus lateralis muscle. Proteomics analysis revealed marked differences, where most of the ~800 differentially represented proteins in MA versus NA pertained to mitochondria structure/function such as electron transport capacity (ETC), cristae formation, mitochondrial biogenesis, and mtDNA-encoded proteins. In contrast, proteins from the spliceosome complex and nuclear pore were downregulated in MA. Consistent with proteomics data, MA had fewer respiratory compromised fibers, higher mtDNA copy number, and an increased protein ratio of the cristae-bound ETC subunits relative to the outer mitochondrial membrane protein voltage-dependent anion channel. There was a substantial overlap of proteins overrepresented in MA versus NA with proteins that decline with aging and that are higher in physically active than sedentary individuals. However, we also found 176 proteins related to mitochondria that are uniquely differentially expressed in MA.
We conclude that high function in advanced age is associated with preserving mitochondrial structure/function proteins, with underrepresentation of proteins involved in the spliceosome and nuclear pore complex. Whereas many of these differences in MA appear related to their physical activity habits, others may reflect unique biological (e.g., gene, environment) mechanisms that preserve muscle integrity and function with aging.
Funding for this study was provided by operating grants from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (MOP 84408 to TT and MOP 125986 to RTH). This work was supported in part by the Intramural Research Program of the National Institute on Aging, NIH, Baltimore, MD, USA.