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    Perceptions of dietitians and key role players regarding their role in reporting food labelling transgressions in South Africa
    (Taylor & Francis Group, 2024-05-16) Profe-Fuchsloch, M; Koen, N; Wicks, M
    Objectives: A study was undertaken to describe South African dietitians and key role players’ perceptions regarding their role in reporting food labelling legislation transgressions. Design: A multimethod study design was employed to explore a previously unstudied topic. Setting: Dietitians registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) together with key role players in food labelling in South Africa. Methods: Quantitative data were collected using a self-administered electronic questionnaire and qualitative data using a semi-structured interview guide. Quantitative data were analysed using Microsoft Excel and qualitative data using ATLAS.ti software. Data were analysed independently in the results section but integrated for interpretation of the findings. Results: In total, only 6% (n = 7) of the included dietitians (n = 126) reported food labelling transgressions, and 12% (n = 15) believed dietitians have a role to play in reporting transgressions. Interestingly, half of the included dietitians (50%, n = 63) stated they would report an identified transgression. Dietitians demonstrated a lack of awareness of the current food labelling regulations, with 43% wrongly identifying the draft regulation to consult. Almost all (99%, n = 125) of the included dietitians reported that their transgression reporting practices would improve if a clear guideline from the Department of Health: Directorate Food Control (DoH DFC) was available. Key role players (n = 8) cited enforcement issues and a perceived gap in dietitians’ understanding of legislation and reporting processes as barriers to reporting non-compliance. Key role players identified enablers such as awareness of regulations, contacts within the DoH DFC and familiarity with the reporting process for transgressions. They also provided insight on the proper procedure for reporting food labelling transgressions. Conclusion: The low prevalence of food labelling transgression reporting by dietitians stems from several barriers, including a perceived lack of confidence regarding the current regulation, awareness of the applicable legislation, uncertainty regarding the correct reporting procedure and scepticism that transgression reports will be acted upon. Regular communication regarding food and nutrition regulations and the development of an easy-to-use transgression reporting framework could support the implementation and impact of food labelling regulations in South Africa.
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    BA.2.12.1, BA.4 and BA.5 escape antibodies elicited by Omicron infection
    (Springer Nature, 2022-06-17) Cao, Yunlong; Yisimayi, Ayijiang; Jian, Fanchong; Song, Weiliang; Xiao, Tianhe; Wang, Lei; Du, Shuo; Wang, Jing; Li, Qianqian; Chen, Xiaosu; Yu, Yuanling; Wang, Peng; Zhang, Zhiying; Liu, Pulan; An, Ran; Hao, Xiaohua; Wang, Yao; Wang, Jing; Feng, Rui; Sun, Haiyan; Zhao, Lijuan; Zhang, Wen; Zhao, Dong; Zheng, Jiang; Yu, Lingling; Li, Can; Zhang, Na; Wang, Rui; Niu, Xiao; Yang, Sijie; Song, Xuetao; Chai, Yangyang; Hu, Ye; Shi, Yansong; Zheng, Linlin; Li, Zhiqiang; Gu, Qingqing; Shao, Fei; Huang, Weijin; Jin, Ronghua; Shen, Zhongyang; Wang, Youchun; Wang, Xiangxi; Xiao, Junyu; Xie, Xiaoliang Sunney
    Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) Omicron sublineages BA.2.12.1, BA.4 and BA.5 exhibit higher transmissibility than the BA.2 lineage1. The receptor binding and immune-evasion capability of these recently emerged variants require immediate investigation. Here, coupled with structural comparisons of the spike proteins, we show that BA.2.12.1, BA.4 and BA.5 (BA.4 and BA.5 are hereafter referred collectively to as BA.4/BA.5) exhibit similar binding affinities to BA.2 for the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor. Of note, BA.2.12.1 and BA.4/BA.5 display increased evasion of neutralizing antibodies compared with BA.2 against plasma from triple-vaccinated individuals or from individuals who developed a BA.1 infection after vaccination. To delineate the underlying antibody-evasion mechanism, we determined the escape mutation profiles2, epitope distribution3 and Omicron-neutralization efficiency of 1,640 neutralizing antibodies directed against the receptor-binding domain of the viral spike protein, including 614 antibodies isolated from people who had recovered from BA.1 infection. BA.1 infection after vaccination predominantly recalls humoral immune memory directed against ancestral (hereafter referred to as wild-type (WT)) SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. The resulting elicited antibodies could neutralize both WT SARS-CoV-2 and BA.1 and are enriched on epitopes on spike that do not bind ACE2. However, most of these cross-reactive neutralizing antibodies are evaded by spike mutants L452Q, L452R and F486V. BA.1 infection can also induce new clones of BA.1-specific antibodies that potently neutralize BA.1. Nevertheless, these neutralizing antibodies are largely evaded by BA.2 and BA.4/BA.5 owing to D405N and F486V mutations, and react weakly to pre-Omicron variants, exhibiting narrow neutralization breadths. The therapeutic neutralizing antibodies bebtelovimab4 and cilgavimab5 can effectively neutralize BA.2.12.1 and BA.4/BA.5, whereas the S371F, D405N and R408S mutations undermine most broadly sarbecovirus-neutralizing antibodies. Together, our results indicate that Omicron may evolve mutations to evade the humoral immunity elicited by BA.1 infection, suggesting that BA.1-derived vaccine boosters may not achieve broad-spectrum protection against new Omicron variants.
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    The Effect of ß-Glucan Prebiotic on Kidney Function, Uremic Toxins and Gut Microbiome in Stage 3 to 5 Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) Predialysis Participants: A Randomized Controlled Trial
    (MDPI, 2022-02-14) Ebrahim, Zarina; Proost, Sebastian; Tito, Raul Yhossef; Raes, Jeroen; Glorieux, Griet; Moosa, Mohammed Rafique; Blaauw, Renee
    There is growing evidence that gut dysbiosis contributes to the progression of chronic kidney disease (CKD) owing to several mechanisms, including microbiota-derived uremic toxins, diet and immune-mediated factors. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of a ß-glucan prebiotic on kidney function, uremic toxins and the gut microbiome in stage 3 to 5 CKD participants. Fifty-nine participants were randomized to either the ß-glucan prebiotic intervention group (n = 30) or the control group (n = 29). The primary outcomes were to assess kidney function (urea, creatinine and glomerular filtration rate), plasma levels of total and free levels of uremic toxins (p-cresyl sulfate (pCS), indoxyl-sulfate (IxS), p-cresyl glucuronide (pCG) and indoxyl 3-acetic acid (IAA) and gut microbiota using 16S rRNA sequencing at baseline, week 8 and week 14. The intervention group (age 40.6 ± 11.4 y) and the control group (age 41.3 ± 12.0 y) did not differ in age or any other socio-demographic variables at baseline. There were no significant changes in kidney function over 14 weeks. There was a significant reduction in uremic toxin levels at different time points, in free IxS at 8 weeks (p = 0.003) and 14 weeks (p < 0.001), free pCS (p = 0.006) at 14 weeks and total and free pCG (p < 0.001, p < 0.001, respectively) and at 14 weeks. There were no differences in relative abundances of genera between groups. Enterotyping revealed that the population consisted of only two of the four enterotypes: Bacteroides 2 and Prevotella. The redundancy analysis showed a few factors significantly affected the gut microbiome: these included triglyceride levels (p < 0.001), body mass index (p = 0.002), high- density lipoprotein (p < 0.001) and the prebiotic intervention (p = 0.002). The ß-glucan prebiotic significantly altered uremic toxin levels of intestinal origin and favorably affected the gut microbiome.
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    The effectiveness of a first-year module presented as an accelerated learning programme to repeating students for subsequent learning
    (University of the Free State, 2022-12-23) Ontong, Juan M.; Bruwer, Armand; Schonken, Chrystal
    The use of an accelerated learning programme as an intervention to allow failing students to repeat a module in an accelerated format instead of having to redo a module over a semester or academic year has various academic, economic, and social benefits. Accelerated learning programmes are, however, often criticised in the literature for surface learning that may influence subsequent learning. Using a quantitative approach, this study statistically analysed the grades achieved by three distinct groups of students for a first-year financial accounting module and their subsequent second-year financial accounting module. The study found no statistical difference between students who repeated a module over the traditional academic period and those who repeated the module in an accelerated format. This study contributes to the limited research on accelerated learning programmes for repeating a module. The results provide empirical evidence that supports the questioning of the notion that accelerated learning programmes only lead to surface learning, and results are presented that advocate for the implementation of accelerated learning programmes as an effective mode for repeating students to follow to achieve academic success, given the various benefits.
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    Advancing the science of health professions education through a shared understanding of terminology: A content analysis of terms for “faculty”
    (Elsevier B.V., 2021-09-10) Teunissen, Pim W.; Atherle, Anique; Clelan, Jennifer J.; Holmboe, Eric; Hu. Wendy C. Y.; Durning, Steven J.; Nishigor, Hiroshi; Samaraseke, Dujeepa D.; Schuwirth, Lambert; Van Schalkwyk, Susan; Maggi, Lauren A.
    Introduction: Health professions educators risk misunderstandings where terms and concepts are not clearly defined, hampering the field’s progress. This risk is especially pronounced with ambiguity in describing roles. This study explores the variety of terms used by researchers and educators to describe “faculty”, with the aim to facilitate definitional clarity, and create a shared terminology and approach to describing this term. Methods: The authors analyzed journal article abstracts to identify the specific words and phrases used to describe individuals or groups of people referred to as faculty. To identify abstracts, PubMed articles indexed with the Medical Subject Heading “faculty” published between 2007 and 2017 were retrieved. Authors iteratively extracted data and used content analysis to identify patterns and themes. Results: A total of 5,436 citations were retrieved, of which 3,354 were deemed eligible. Based on a sample of 594 abstracts (17.7%), we found 279 unique terms. The most commonly used terms accounted for approximately one-third of the sample and included faculty or faculty member/s (n = 252; 26.4%); teacher/s (n = 59; 6.2%) and medical educator/s (n = 26; 2.7%) were also well represented. Content analysis highlighted that the different descriptors authors used referred to four role types: healthcare (e.g., doctor, physician), education (e.g., educator, teacher), academia (e.g., professor), and/or relationship to the learner (e.g., mentor). Discussion: Faculty are described using a wide variety of terms, which can be linked to four role descriptions. The authors propose a template for researchers and educators who want to refer to faculty in their papers. This is important to advance the field and increase readers’ assessment of transferability.