Leicester School of Pharmacy

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  • ItemOpen Access
    Herbal Medicine Associated Casualty and Fatality in South West Nigeria; A Retrospective Analysis
    (Annapurna Neurological Institute & Allied Sciences, 2024-02-08) Aina, Olujimi; Lata, Gautam; Simkhada, Padam; Hall, Sarah
    Introduction: Several studies have indicated that use of herbal medicines (HMs) in Nigeria and other parts of the world may harm human health. Contamination, adulteration, and the likely presence of toxic constituents in HMs have raised serious concerns regarding their safety. As a result, hospital records in Ekiti state, Nigeria, were analyzed to determine the extent to which HMs contribute to the number of hospital admissions (casualties) and deaths (fatalities) in the area. Methods: A 5-year (2010 to 2014) retrospective analysis of patient data was carried out by examining HM-associated paediatric, adult medical, and obstetric casualty and fatality figures. The findings were then triangulated with available secondary data. Results: During the studied period, out of 23,363 pediatric cases, 0.5% of casualties and 3.2% of fatalities were associated with HM use. Similarly, among 52,871 adult cases, 0.06% of casualties and 0.2% of fatalities were linked to HM use. Of the 668 obstetric stillbirth cases, 3.9% involved the use of HM. The highest number of casualties and fatalities were observed in male patients aged between 30 to 49 years, who were Christians and self-employed. Conclusion: While the number of deaths associated with HM is relatively low, the possible complications that can arise from its use make it necessary to test and promote awareness of possible dangers of HM use to prevent hospitalizations and fatalities. Better awareness and documentation of patients' HM use by healthcare providers will help gain a better insight into their usage.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Mitochondrial proteases modulate mitochondrial stress signalling and cellular homeostasis in health and disease
    (Elsevier, 2024-06-19) Moisoi, Nicoleta
    Maintenance of mitochondrial homeostasis requires a plethora of coordinated quality control and adaptations’ mechanisms in which mitochondrial proteases play a key role. Their activation or loss of function reverberate beyond local mitochondrial biochemical and metabolic remodelling into coordinated cellular pathways and stress responses that feedback onto the mitochondrial functionality and adaptability. Mitochondrial proteolysis modulates molecular and organellar quality control, metabolic adaptations, lipid homeostasis and regulates transcriptional stress responses. Defective mitochondrial proteolysis results in disease conditions most notably, mitochondrial diseases, neurodegeneration and cancer. Here, it will be discussed how mitochondrial proteases and mitochondria stress signalling impact cellular homeostasis and determine the cellular decision to survive or die, how these processes may impact disease etiopathology, and how modulation of proteolysis may offer novel therapeutic strategies.
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    “Bye-Bye Germs”: Respiratory Tract Infection Prevention—An Education Intervention for Children
    (MDPI, 2024-03-13) Younie, Sarah; Crosby, Sapphire; Charlie Firth; Johanna McNicholl; Laird, Katie
    Becoming one of the first studies in the field to do so, specially developed educational interventions (Germ’s Journey), designed to teach children about respiratory tract infection prevention, were delivered to 273 pupils aged five to six across five primary schools in the U.K. The intervention aimed to increase understanding of pathogens and respiratory tract illness, transmission and infection prevention, and preparedness for future pandemics due to a lack of such resources for young children at present. To assess the impact of the intervention, children were asked five questions related to knowledge of pathogens, transmission of infection, and infection prevention directly before and after activity-based workshops, as well as one month later. Responses were scored for pupils’ level of knowledge; differences in the frequency of responses between the time points were analysed using Pearson’s chi-squared test. Teachers also took part in semi-structured interviews to evaluate the workshop from the educators’ points of view. Children showed increased knowledge in all three areas immediately after the workshops. This improvement was retained to a lesser or equal extent one month following the learning intervention workshop. The consistent use of teaching resources and interventions such as Germ’s Journey should be implemented in the school curriculum in order to increase understanding and reduce the transmission of respiratory tract illness. Specially designed activity-based workshops using a range of learning skills can help young children to understand the link between pathogens, and infection transmission and control.
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    Nurses' attitudes, behaviours, and enablers of intravenous to oral switching (IVOS) of antibiotics: a mixed-methods survey of nursing staff in secondary care hospitals across the Midlands region of England
    (Elsevier, 2024-06-17) Hamilton, Ryan A.; Williams, N.; Ashton, C.; Gilani, S. A. D.; Hussain, S.; Jamieson, C.; Razaq, S.; Jenkins, A.
    Background Intravenous (IV) antibiotic use in secondary care in England is widespread. Timely appropriate intravenous to oral switch (IVOS) has the potential to deliver significant clinical and operational benefits. To date, antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) efforts around IVOS have not focused on the nursing staff who administer antibiotics, which represents a significant gap in AMS programmes. Aim To determine the involvement of bedside nurses in acute trusts in the Midlands region of England in IVOS in their organizations and describe their views regarding how to improve IVOS. Methods An anonymous self-administered mixed-methods online survey was developed and distributed to nursing staff in acute trusts via antimicrobial stewardship networks between March and May 2023. Quantitative data was analysed to describe participant demographics and behaviours, whereas barriers and enablers to IVOS were explored through thematic content analysis of responses to open-ended questions. Findings A total of 545 nursing staff responded to the survey. The majority (65.3%) routinely suggested IVOS to clinicians, despite only 50.6% being aware of local IVOS policies. One-third (34.7%) did not suggest IVOS, relying on doctors, believing their patients needed IV treatment, or lacked knowledge and skills to request IVOS. Content analysis of suggestions for improving the rate of IVOS proposed three major themes (People, Process, System) and identified that education and training, improved confidence and interprofessional relationships, and prompts were important drivers. Conclusion Nursing staff suggest IVOS to other clinicians, but more education and resources are needed to enable and empower them in this role.
  • ItemEmbargo
    Integrating microneedles and sensing strategies for diagnostic and monitoring applications: the state of the art
    (Elsevier, 2024-05-24) Pei, Shihao; Babity, Samuel; Cordeiro, Ana Sara; Brambilla, Davide
    Microneedles (MNs) offer minimally-invasive access to interstitial fluid (ISF) — a potent alternative to blood in terms of monitoring physiological analytes. This property is particularly advantageous for the painless detection and monitoring of drugs and biomolecules. However, the complexity of the skin environment, coupled with the inherent nature of the analytes being detected and the inherent physical properties of MNs, pose challenges when conducting physiological monitoring using this fluid. In this review, we discuss different sensing mechanisms and highlight advancements in monitoring different targets, with a particular focus on drug monitoring. We further list the current challenges facing the field and conclude by discussing aspects of MN design which serve to enhance their performance when monitoring different classes of analytes.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Excitation Wavelength-Dependent Photochemistry
    (MDPI, 2024-06-07) Maafi, Mounir
    The dependence of photochemistry on excitation wavelength is not a recently observed phenomenon; nonetheless, it has, surprisingly enough, been largely ignored in the field. The reasons for this situation are not fully understood but might be related to a provisional extension of Kasha’s rule to photochemistry, or perhaps to a difficulty to justify the kind of short time-scales implied in such photochemistry, that challenges the usually held view giving predominance to fast internal conversion and vibrational relaxation. Regardless of the reasons, it is still a matter of fact that a complete and satisfactory interpretation for experimentally proven wavelength-dependent photochemistry is not yet available and the community endeavor to build a holistic understanding and a comprehensive view of the phenomenon. The present review is a non-exhaustive overview of the published data in the field, reporting on some of the most prominent features, issues, and interpretations.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Pre-Existing, Multimodal, Creative Data Analysis: Is It All Just a Mess?
    (20th International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry, 2024-05-30) Oliveira, Gisela
    This paper will discuss the challenges in the analysis of data from a project on education undergraduate students’ placement experiences, at one UK university. The data set included individual and group activities that the students completed in 7 workshops that took place alongside the placement, reflective accounts, placement logs, and semi-structured interviews with 7 students (Oliveira and Daya, forthcoming). More precisely, the data set included textual and visual data that was not all designed for the research, but was part of the placement module that the students attended. The reflective nature and variety of the data posed challenges to the researcher that had to figure out what to do with it (Wolcott, 1994) – How to incorporate the different types of data? How to approach individual and group tasks? The paper will problematize these choices and expand on how thematic analysis (Braun and Clarke, 2023) was combined with a systematic visuo-textual approach (Brown and Collins, 2021) to analyse the data.
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    Jabs to tabs goes global: point-prevalence of doses of intravenous antibiotic administered as a function of daily census
    (ECCMID, 2024-04) Jenkins, Abi; Gilani, S.; Ashton, Corrine; Hamilton, Ryan A.; Hussain, S.; Hughes, Stephen; Khadern, T.; Yakemowicz, C.; Pogue, J.; McCreary, E.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Beach Ball Viewpoints
    (2023-11-30) Nichols-Drew, L.
  • ItemOpen Access
  • ItemEmbargo
    Switching the script: nurses perceptions of IV-to-oral switch in acute care
    (European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, 2024-04-29) Razaq, A.; Jenkins, A.; Ashton, C.; Gilani, S.; Hussain, S.; Williams, N.; Hamilton, Ryan A.; Jamieson, C.
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    Developing a mode for decision-making around antibiotic prescribing for patients with COVID-19 pneumonia in acute NHS hospitals during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic: Qualitative results from the PEACH study
    (European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, 2024-04-29) Henley, Josie; Brookes-Howell, Lucy; Euden, Joanne; Thomas Jones, Emma; Pallmann, Philip; Llewelyn, Martin; Howard, Philip; Powell, Neil; Dark, Paul; Szakmany, Tamas; Hellyer, Thomas; Albur, Mahableshwar; Hamilton, Ryan A.; Prestwich, Graham; Ogden, Margaret; Maboshe, Wakunyambo; Sandoe, Jonathan; Carrol, Enitan D.
  • ItemEmbargo
    A retrospective propensity-score-matched cohort study of the impact of procalcitonin testing on antibiotic use in hospitalised patients during the first wave of COVID-19
    (European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, 2024-04-29) Euden, Joanne; Sandoe, Jonathan; Grozeva, Deletina; Albur, Mahableshwar; Bond, Stuart E.; Brookes-Howell, Lucy; Dark, Paul; Hamilton, Ryan A.; Hellyer, Thomas; Henley, Josie; Hopkins, Susan; Howard, Philip; Howden, Daniel; Knox-Macaulay, Chikezie; Llewelyn, Martin; Maboshe, Wakunyambo; McCullagh, Iain; Ogden, Margaret; Parsons, Helena; Partridge, David; Powell, Neil; Prestwich, Graham; Shaw, Dominick; Shinkins, Bethany; Szakmany, Tamas; Thomas-Jones, Emma; Todd, Stacy; West, Robert; Carrol, Enitan D; Pallmann, Philip
  • ItemOpen Access
    On photokinetics under polychromatic light
    (Frontiers in Chemistry, 2024-04-22) Maafi, Mounir
    Since the dawn of photochemistry 150 years ago, photoreactions have been conducted under polychromatic light. However, despite the pivotal role that photokinetics should naturally play for such reactive photosystems, the literature lacks a comprehensive description of that area. Indeed, one fails to identify explicit model integrated rate laws for these reactions, a characteristic type for their kinetic behavior, or their kinetic order. In addition, there is no consensus in the community on standardized investigative tools to evaluate the reactivity of these photosystems, nor are there venues for the discussion of such photokinetic issues. The present work is a contribution addressing some of these knowledge gaps. It proposes an unprecedented general formula capable of mapping out the kinetic traces of photoreactions under polychromatic light irradiation. This article quantitatively discusses several reaction situations, including the effects of initial reactant concentration and the presence of spectator molecules. It also develops a methodology for standardizing actinometers and defines and describes both the spectral range of highest reactivity and the photonic yield. The validity of the model equation has been proven by comparing its results to both theoretical counterparts and those generated by fourth-order Runge–Kutta numerical calculations. For the first time, a confirmation of the Φ-order character of the kinetics under polychromatic light was established.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Six Sustainability Themes for the DMU Block Curriculum.
    (2023-02-07) Nichols-Drew, L.
    This is a visual concept designed to articulate sustainability in the DMU curriculum via six themes: Future Facing Outlook, Lifelong Learning, Environmental Stewardship, Wellbeing + Cultural, Global Citizenship, Social Justice + Ethics + Economic
  • ItemOpen Access
    Further research into alternative carrier solvents for the detection of latent fingermarks.
    (Elsevier, 2024-04-02) Able, Joel; Armitage, Rachel; Deacon, Paul; Farrugia, Kevin J.
    A number of solvents, (Solstice PF, Opteon SF33 and Amolea AS-300), are compared to the recommended carrier solvent of HFE7100 for the ninhydrin and 1,2-indandione formulations. As the supply of HFE7100 will cease by the end of 2025, suitable alternatives are required in the short-term to ensure the detection of latent fingermarks on porous surfaces is still effective. Although these solvents, with the exception of Amolea AS-300, are classified as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS); they are not classed as hazardous. The alternatives in this study have a low global warming potential and atmospheric lifetime and are volatile, non-flammable and non-ozone depleting, in addition to other desirable properties such as a high wetting-index. During Phase 2 trials with deposited fingermarks, HFE7100 provided the best performing results followed by Opteon SF33, Solstice PF and Amolea AS-300. A significant difference with a negligible effect size was observed for ninhydrin formulations (p-value 0.00179; ε 0.00418) while a significant difference with a weak effect size was observed for 1,2-indanedione formulations (p-value 2.095 E-10 ; ε 0.0167). Furthermore, HFE7100 provided the least ink diffusion and the brightest 1,2-indanedione luminosity (significant difference with a moderate effect size p-value 1.772 E-13; ε 0.0434) but the HFE formulation turned cloudy more quickly and needed regular replacements. Phase 3 pseudo-operational trials of 100 porous items followed a similar trend whereby HFE7100 formulations detected the highest number of marks followed by Opteon SF33 and Solstice PF. Although HFE7100 is still the best performing carrier solvent, this study demonstrates that, in the short-term, Opteon SF33 and Solstice PF may have potential as non-flammable replacement carrier solvents while developing the long-term goal of solvent-less methods.
  • ItemEmbargo
    Oestrogen
    (Bloomsbury, 2024-04-07) Fearon, Kriss; Jones, Charlotte
    This chapter explores the conceptualisation of oestrogen ‘deficit’ for women with variations in sex characteristics (VSCs), and their relationship with the biomedical replacement therapies designed to supplement or restore their hormone levels (i.e. HRT). Low levels of oestrogen may be stigmatised when social norms are not fulfilled on time, or at all, meaning that some people repeatedly ‘misfit’ with the social timing of their peers throughout the life course. We explore how the medical interventions intended to remedy low oestrogen levels can also be stigmatising, and how stigmatisation may be resisted, examining the strategies deployed to achieve this, and the way this circumvents, negotiates and reframes a sense of (mis)fitting with social timing norms.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Menthacarin treatment attenuates nociception in models of visceral hypersensitivity.
    (Wiley, 2024-02-15) Omoloye, Adesina; Weisenburger, Sabrina; Lehner, Martin D.; Gronier, Benjamin
    Background: Chronic visceral hypersensitivity is closely associated with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a very common disorder which significantly impairs quality of life, characterized by abdominal pain, and distension. Imaging studies have found that IBS patients show higher metabolic activities and functional differences from normal controls in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), in response to visceral pain stimulation. Non-clinical data and clinical data suggest that medicinal products containing essential oils such as peppermint or caraway oil exert beneficial effects on IBS symptoms. Methods: We assessed acute and long-term treatment effects of a mixture of peppermint and caraway essential oils (Menthacarin) on brain electrophysiological markers of gut pain sensitivity in two rat models of visceral hypersensitivity. Key results: Chronic administration of corticosteroids and acute repeated mechanical hyperstimulation under anesthesia induced hyperalgesia and hypersensitivity, characterized by an increase in electrophysiological excitatory responses of ACC neurons to colorectal distension (CRD) and an increase in the proportion of neurons responding to otherwise subthreshold stimulation, respectively. Long-term, but not acute, oral administration of Menthacarin (60 mg kg-1 day-1) significantly reduced the net excitatory response to CRD in normally responsive control animals and counteracted the development of visceral hyperalgesia and hypersensitivity induced by repeated corticosterone administration and acute mechanical stimulation. Conclusions & inferences: The present study shows that, using the CRD method, chronic Menthacarin administration at a clinically relevant dose attenuates the neuronal discharge associated with visceral pain stimuli in the rat ACC, particularly in models of hypersensitivity, suggesting a potential for treating exaggerated visceral pain sensitivity.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Latest advances in glucose-responsive microneedle-based systems for transdermal insulin delivery
    (Elsevier, 2024-02-20) Martinez-Navarrete, Miquel; Pérez-López, Alexandre; Guillot García, Antonio José; Cordeiro, Ana Sara; Melero, Ana; Aparicio-Blanco, Juan
    The development of a self-regulated minimally invasive system for insulin delivery can be considered as the holy grail in the field of diabetes mellitus. A delivery system capable of releasing insulin in response to blood glucose levels would significantly improve the quality of life of diabetic patients, eliminating the need for frequent finger-prick tests and providing better glycaemic control with lower risk of hypoglycaemia. In this context, the latest advances in glucose-responsive microneedle-based transdermal insulin delivery are here compiled with a thorough analysis of the delivery mechanisms and challenges lying ahead in their clinical translation. Two main groups of microneedle-based systems have been developed so far: glucose oxidase-containing and phenylboronic acid-containing systems. Both strategies in combination have also been tested and two other novel strategies are under development, namely electronic closed-loop and glucose transporter-based systems. Results from preclinical studies conducted using these different types of glucose-triggered release systems are comprehensively discussed. Altogether, this analysis from both a mechanistic and translational perspective will provide rationale and/or guidance for future trends in the research hotspot of glucose-responsive microneedle-based insulin delivery systems.