- ItemOpen AccessA cross-sectional survey exploring HIV and HCV prevalence among men who purchase sex in Dnipro, Ukraine(BMC, 2023-10-20) Lazarus, Lisa; Herpai, Nicole; Pavlova, Daria; Gill, Amaanat; Cholette, Francois; McClarty, Leigh; Isac, Shajy; Lopatenko, Anna; Pickles, Michael; Mishra, Sharmistha; Shaw, Souradet; Lorway, Robert; McKinnon, Lyle R.; Sandstrom, Paul; Blanchard, James; Balakireva, Olga; Becker, Marissa L.Background HIV programming in Ukraine largely targets “key population” groups. Men who purchase sex are not directly reached. The aim of our study was to explore the prevalence of sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections (STBBIs) among men who purchase sex from female sex workers. Methods Following geographic mapping and population size estimation at each “hotspot”, we conducted a cross-sectional bio-behavioural survey with men who purchase sex between September 2017 and March 2018 in Dnipro, Ukraine. Eligibility criteria included purchasing sex services at a “hotspot” and being ≥ 18 years. Participants completed a structured questionnaire, followed by HIV/HCV rapid testing and a dried blood spot (DBS) sample collection for confirmatory serology. Results The study enrolled 370 participants. The median age was 32 (interquartile range [IQR] = 27–38) and the median age of first purchase of sexual services was 22 (IQR = 19–27). Over half (56%) of participants reported ever testing for HIV; four participants (2%, N = 206) reported having tested positive for HIV, with three out of the four reporting being on ART. Forty percent of participants had ever tested for HCV, with three (2%, N = 142) having ever tested positive for HCV. In DBS testing, nine participants (2.4%) tested positive for HIV and 24 (6.5%) tested positive for ever having an HCV infection. Conclusion Prevalence of HIV and HCV in this population was high. Given high rates of study enrolment and testing, efforts should be made to reach men who purchase sex with expanded STBBI programming.
- ItemOpen AccessEffects of four drying methods on the quality, antioxidant activity and anthocyanin components of blueberry pomace(BMC, 2023-08-02) Zhang, Lixia; Zhang, Chenyan; Wei, Zhaohui; Huang, Wuyang; Yan, Zheng; Luo, Zisheng; Beta, Trust; Xu, XuemingThe effects of drying on the quality, antioxidant activity and anthocyanin components of blueberry pomace were investigated using hot air drying (HAD), freeze-drying (FD), microwave vacuum drying (MVD) and microwave freeze vacuum drying (MFD). The quality, antioxidant activity, and individual anthocyanin compositions of blueberry pomace were evaluated and compared with the non-dried control. MVD produced the highest levels of total phenols, total anthocyanins, total sugars and color values in blueberry pomace while HAD gave the lowest. The ABTS +and DPPH radical scavenging abilities of blueberry pomace were significantly high when MVD was used. Moreover, FD, MVD, and MFD resulted in the retention of significantly more anthocyanin species than HAD as determined by HPLC coupled to the mass spectrometer. Overall, MVD proved to be the best technique for preservation of antioxidant capacity and natural color. Therefore, MVD of blueberry pomace can improve efficiency and productivity of the blueberry fruit processing industry while reducing the environmental burden.
- ItemOpen AccessWhy a distinct medical stream is necessary to support patients using cannabis for medical purposes(BMC, 2023-07-04) Costiniuk, Cecilia; MacCallum, Caroline A.; Boivin, Michael; Rueda, Sergio; Lacasse, Gary; Walsh, Zach; Daeninck, Paul ; Margolese, Shari; Mandarino, Enrico; Deol, Jagpaul K.; Sanchez, Tatiana; Bell, Alan D.Background Since 2001, Canadians have been able to obtain cannabis for medical purposes, initially through the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR). The Cannabis Act (Bill C-45) came into force on October 17, 2018, replacing the ACMPR. The Cannabis Act enables Canadians to possess cannabis purchased from a licensed retailer without authorization for either medical or nonmedical purposes. The Cannabis Act is currently the guiding legislation which governs both medical and nonmedical access. The Cannabis Act contains some improvements for patients but is essentially the same as its previous legislation. Beginning in October 2022, the federal government is conducting a review of the Cannabis Act and is questioning whether a distinct medical cannabis stream is still required, given the ease of access to cannabis and cannabis products. Although there is overlap in the reasons for medical and recreational cannabis use, the distinct legislation of medical versus recreational use of cannabis in Canada may be under threat. Main body A large segment of the medical, academic, research, and lay communities agree that there is a need for distinct medical and recreational cannabis streams. Perhaps most importantly, separation of these streams is necessary to ensure that both medical cannabis patients and healthcare providers receive the required support needed to optimize benefits while minimizing risks associated with medical cannabis use. Preservation of distinct medical and recreational streams can help to ensure that needs of different stakeholders are met. For example, patients require guidance in the form of assessing the appropriateness of cannabis use, selection of appropriate products and dosage forms, dosing titration, screening for drug interactions, and safety monitoring. Healthcare providers require access to undergraduate and continuing health education as well as support from their professional organizations to ensure medical cannabis is appropriately prescribed. Although there are challenges in conducing research, as motives for cannabis use frequently straddle boundaries between medical versus recreational cannabis use, maintenance of a distinct medical stream is also necessary to ensure adequate supply of cannabis products appropriate for medical use, to reduce stigma associated with cannabis in both patients and providers, to help enable reimbursement for patients, to facilitate removal of taxation on cannabis used for medical purposes, and to promote research on all aspects of medical cannabis. Conclusion Cannabis products for medical and recreational purposes have different objectives and needs, requiring different methods of distribution, access, and monitoring. HCPs, patients, and the commercial cannabis industry would serve Canadians well to continue to advocate to policy makers to ensure the continued existence of two distinct streams and must strive to make ongoing improvements to the current programs.
- ItemOpen AccessCorrection: UPLC–ESI–QTOF–MS profiling, antioxidant, antidiabetic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiproliferative activities and in silico molecular docking analysis of Barleria strigosa(SpringerOpen, 2023-09-15) Lei, Ming; Wang, Lei; Olatunde, Oladipupo Odunayo; Singh, Sudarshan; Ovatlarnporn, Chitchamai; Basit, Abdul; Olatunji, Opeyemi J.No abstract available
- ItemOpen AccessA bioavailable form of curcumin suppresses cationic host defence peptides cathelicidin and calprotectin in a murine model of collagen-induced arthritis(BMC, 2023-09-04) Hemshekhar, Mahadevappa; Lloyd, Dylan; El-Gabalawy, Hani; Mookherjee, NeelofferCurcumin, a component of the South-Asian spice turmeric, elicits anti-inflammatory functions. We have previously demonstrated that a highly bioavailable formulation of cucurmin, Cureit/Acumin™ (CUR), can suppress disease onset and severity, in a collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) mouse model. In a previous study, we have also shown that the abundance of antimicrobial host defence peptides, specifically cathelicidin (CRAMP) and calprotectin (S100A8 and S100A9), is significantly increased in the joint tissues of CIA mice. Elevated levels of cathelicidin and calprotectin have been associated with the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis. Therefore, in this study, we examined the effect CUR administration on the abundance of cathelicidin and calprotectin in the joints, in a CIA mouse model. Here, we demonstrate that daily oral administration of CUR significantly reduces the elevated levels of CRAMP and calprotectin to baseline in the joints of CIA mice. We also show a linear correlation between the abundance of these peptides in the joints with serum inflammatory cytokines TNFα, IFNγ, and MCP-1. Overall, our results suggest that oral administration of a bioavailable CUR can suppress cathelicidin and calprotectin in the joints and regulate both local (joints) and systemic (serum) inflammation, in inflammatory arthritis.