Currently, cancer is the major cause of mortality and disability among the working age population of the developed countries. Early diagnosis of tumors, that involves monitoring the health of people exposed to radiation, is one of the most pressing challenges faced by radiation medicine. The study was aimed to perform quantification and functional assessment of the system of neutrophil granulocytes, monocytes and natural killers (NK cells) in people who were diagnosed with tumors after chronic radiation exposure. Certain factors of innate immunity were assessed in 104 people, chronically exposed to low-dose radiation over a wide dose range. Of them 34 exposed individuals were later diagnosed with malignant tumors (MTs). We assessed the number of white blood cells, neutrophil granulocytes, eosinophils, basophils, monocytes and NK cells (CD16+/CD56+ lymphocytes) in peripheral blood, as well as phagocytic, lysosomal activity and intracellular oxygen-dependent metabolism of neutrophils and monocytes. Individuals, chronically exposed a few years before the development of MTs, showed a significant increase in the phagocytosis rate of monocytes (median 10.50 AU vs. 6 AU; p = 0.05) and lysosomal activity of neutrophils (median 482 AU vs. 435.5 AU; p = 0.03) compared to patients with no MTs. Assessment of the the dose–response relationship in exposed people, who subsequently developed cancer, revealed a significant increase in the phagocytosis rate of monocytes as a function of the accumulated dose to thymus and peripheral lymphoid organs (ρ = 0.45; p = 0.009), and the increase in phagocytic activity of  neutrophils with the increase in the accumulated dose to red bone marrow (ρ = 0.44; p = 0.01).
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Heptyl rocket fuel and aviation kerosene are widely used in the propulsion systems of the Proton and Soyuz spacecraft. The propellant components (RFC) enter the environment, causing strong toxic effects, when the separating first stages of rockets fall away or in case of emergencies. The study was aimed to isolate strains of microorganisms-destructors of RFC, as well as to assess their safety for bioremediation of contaminated soils. Microorganisms capable of decomposing heptyl, formalin, and aviation kerosene were isolated from natural soils. An association of two strains of bacterial destructors Pseudomonas putida 5G and Rhodococcus erythropolis 62М/3 was obtained, and a method of their use in recultivation of soil contaminated with RFC was developed. The results of laboratory and field tests showed high efficiency of the microbial destruction of pollutants, the decrease in integral toxicity and phytotoxicity of the cleaned soil to safe levels, and an increase in the soil biological activity. Thus, dehydrogenase activity increased by 2.4 times, hydrolase activity by 2.1 times, and cellulase activity by 5.1 times. Microbial association can be recommended for recultivation of soil contaminated with RFC.
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To date, Streptococcus мassiliensis, the representative of human oral normobiota, was detected in the patients' blood only twice (which was confirmed by the reports published in 2004 and 2015). The patient with the demyelinating disease of the nervous system was routinely admitted to the neurological department for further examination and treatment. The diagnosis of meningoencephalitis was established based on the laboratory and instrumental tests. Meningoencephalitis was later complicated by bilateral multilobar pneumonia, systemic inflammatory response syndrome, and multisystem organ failure. After sharp deterioration of patient's health in the form of the decreased level of consciousness and brainstem symptoms, cerebrospinal fluid was tested by PCR for markers of viral and bacterial infections, and blood was cultured. Bacterial growth was detected in blood culture, and then Streptococcus massiliensis, susceptible to benzylpenicillin, vancomycin, levofloxacin, linezolid, sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim, and erythromycin, was identified by time-of-flight mass spectrometry. Thus, it seems necessary to focus attention on this case of the Str. massiliensis isolation from blood due to the near total lack of data on the Str. мassiliensis biological role and the more frequent isolation of bacteria of the genus Streptococcus from sterile human body fluids.
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Successful management cannot take place without soft skills. The study was aimed to assess the frequency of using soft skills by heads of clinical departments based on feedback from physicians working at the departments. For that an online survey of 433 physicians was conducted with the use of the questionnaire taken from the 360 Sample Competencies Guide. The questionnaire included 20 statements divided into five items: self-awareness, drive for results, leadership, communication, teamwork. The respondents were given five response options per statement: from “always” to “never”. The clue referred the assessed individual to one of five groups based on the frequency of using soft skills: leaders, key management, typical management, underachievers, outsiders. Nonparametric methods of analysis were used for data processing. Based on the survey data, 8.6% of assessed individuals joined the group of leaders, while 15.8% were referred to the group of key management, 23.4% to the group of typical management, 30.3% to the group of underachievers, and 21.9% to the group of outsiders. The scores of items correlated with each other (0.973 ≤ R ≥ 0.967; р < 0.001). The respondents’ age, years of service and gender (р > 0.05), as well as the assessed individuals’ gender (р > 0.05) provided no significant differences between the scores. The scores obtained for “communication”, “teamwork”, emotional control, setting challenging goals, and prioritizing work were lower in the hospital-based physicians than in those who worked in outpatient settings (р < 0.05). The questionnaire can be recommended as a feedback tool. Soft skills of the department heads require further development. Soft skills that belong to the items “drive for results”, “leadership”, and “self-awareness” are worst affected.
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Pneumolabyrinth is characterized by the presence of air in the inner ear due to intrusion from the tympanic cavity. It is a rare complication of stapedoplasty. Currently, there is no clear algorithm for treatment of this complication. The paper reports two cases of pneumolabyrinth being the short-term and long-term postoperative complications. In the first case, the patient, who had undergone stapedoplasty in the left ear, suddenly developed rapid hearing loss and tinnitus in the left ear with dizziness three weeks after physical activity. Physical examination revealed no evidence of the tympanic membrane defect. Audiometry revealed left-sided IV degree of sensorineural hearing loss. Pneumolabyrinth was detected on the temporal bone CT scans. In the second case, vestibulocochlear symptoms developed three days after stapedoplasty in the right ear. Pure tone audiometry revealed right-sided IV degree of mixed hearing loss. CT scan of the temporal bone confirmed the diagnosis of pneumolabyrinth. In both cases the correct position of the stapedial prosthesis, "empty" vestibule and perilymphatic fistula were found during revision tympanotomy. The prosteses were removed during surgery, Dexamethasone solution was introduced into the vestibule; stapedoplasty with autocartilage on the perichondrium was performed. After surgery, vestibular symptoms disappeared, and hearing improved.
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In addition to damaging the genetic apparatus of the cell, ionizing radiation can cause epigenetic alterations. DNA methylation that plays a vital part in regulation of cellular processes is a common epigenetic modification. DNA methylation ensured by DNA methyltransferases occurs in the CpG-rich sequences. The study was aimed to assess mRNA expression of genes encoding DNA methyltransferases (DNMT1, DNMT3A, DNMT3B) in the chronically exposed individuals who live along the River Techa over a long-term period. A total of 112 people were examined more than 65 years after the beginning of chronic exposure. The average accumulated dose to red bone marrow (RBM) was 782.0 ± 82.3 mGy, and the average accumulated dose to thymus and peripheral lymphoid organs was 93.2 ± 13.6 mGy. The subjects' age at the time of examination was 67.9 ± 0.8 years (54–83 years). The relative mRNA levels for the studied genes were assessed by realtime polymerase chain reaction (real-time PCR). mRNA expression of DNMT1 correlated positively with the dose to RBM (p = 0.04), thymus and peripheral lymphoid organs (p = 0.02), as well as with the dose rate in these organs (p = 0.05, p = 0.04, respectively) during the period of the highest levels of radiation exposure. In individuals exposed in the high dose range (over 1000 mGy) there was a significant increase in the expression of DNMT1 mRNA compared to the comparison group (p = 0.02). The findings may indicate the DNMT1 gene involvement in epigenetic alterations that occur in the chronically exposed people in the long term.
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