Minerva

Minerva

BMJ 2008; 337 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.a2772 (Published 02 December 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a2772

The natural host of Vibrio cholera is the copepod, a tiny planktonic crustacean that lives in rivers, estuaries, and oceans. Climatic factors that influence the dynamics of copepod populations have knock on effects on the risk of cholera epidemics. Using newly developed predictive models, data gathered by satellites about sea surface temperature and other sea water variables might provide an early warning (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 2008;105:17676-81, doi:10.1073/pnas.0809654105).

Alpha 1 antitrypsin is a glycoprotein produced in the liver and released into the circulation. One of its important functions is protection of lung tissue against degradation by neutrophil elastase. Individuals with the rare genetically determined deficiency of alpha 1 antitrypsin are at high risk of emphysema, particularly if they smoke. A registry study from Sweden, however, shows that non-smokers with a severe deficiency alpha 1 antitrypsin identified by screening have a mortality no higher than that of the general population (Thorax 2008;63:1091-5, doi:10.1136/thx.2008.095497).

Another registry study, this time in Puglia …

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