• Skeletal muscle fibre-type comparison of whole tissue and subcellular membrane phospholipids and fatty acids

      Stefanyk, Leslie Elizabeth.; Applied Health Sciences Program (Brock University, 2009-06-15)
      Membranes are dynamic structures that affect cell structure and function. Compositional changes ofmembranes have been shown with the application of a perturbation; however these are limited to whole tissue analysis. The purpose of this thesis was to compare the phospholipid (PL) fatty acid (FA) composition of rat whole muscle (Wm) to 1) purified and non-purified subsarcolemmal (SS) mitochondria in soleus, plantaris, and red gastrocnemius, and 2) sarcolemma, transverse-tubules, SS and intermyofibrillar (IMF) mitochondria fix)m whole hindlimb. The major findings were that 1) contamination significantly altered the PL FA composition of the SS mitochondrial membrane fraction, 2) Wm and SS mitochondria compositions differed between muscle types, and 3) Wm did not accurately reflect the PL FA composition of any isolated subcellular membranes, with each being unique from each other. As such, the relevancy of the trends reported in the literature of the effects of perturbations on Wm may be limited.
    • Skeletal muscle protein content of lipolytic inhibitor G(0)/G(1) switch gene-2 protein: the effect of endurance training

      Turnbull, Patrick Carson; Applied Health Sciences Program (Brock University, 2014-10-29)
      The first and rate-limiting step of lipolysis is the removal of the first fatty acid from a triglyceride molecule; it is catalyzed by adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL). ATGL is co-activated by comparative gene identification-58 (CGI-58) and inhibited by the G(0)/G(1) switch gene-2 protein (G0S2). G0S2 has also recently been identified as a positive regulator of oxidative phosphorylation within the mitochondria. Previous research has demonstrated in cell culture, a dose dependent mechanism for inhibition by G0S2 on ATGL. However our data is not consistent with this hypothesis. There was no change in G0S2 protein content during an acute lipolytic inducing set of contractions in both whole muscle, and isolated mitochondria yet both ATGL and G0S2 increase following endurance training, in spite of the fact that there should be increased reliance on intramuscular lipolysis. Therefore, inhibition of ATGL by G0S2 appears to be regulated through more complicated intracellular or post-translation regulation.
    • Social physique anxiety across physical activity settings : a meta-analytical review

      Waddell, Lindsay.; Applied Health Sciences Program (Brock University, 2006-05-21)
      The purpose of this meta-analytic investigation was to review the empirical evidence specific to the effect of physical activity context on social physique anxiety (SP A). English language studies were located from computer and manual literature searches. A total of 146 initial studies were coded. Studies included in the meta-analysis presented at least one empirical effect for SPA between physical activity participants (i.e., athletes or exercisers) and non-physical activity participants. The final sample included thirteen studies, yielding 14 effect sizes, with a total sample size of 2846. Studies were coded for mean SPA between physical activity participants and non-physical activity participants. Moderator variables related to demographic and study characteristics were also coded. Using Hunter and Schmidt's (2004) protocol, statistical artifacts were corrected. Results indicate that, practically speaking, those who were physically active reported lower levels of SPA than the comparison group (dcorr = -.12; SDeorr.-=-;22). Consideration of the magnitude of the ES, the SDeorr, and confidence interval suggests that this effect is not statistically significant. While most moderator analyses reiterated this trend, some differences were worth noting. Previous research has identified SPA to be especially salient for females compared to males, however, in the current investigation, the magnitude of the ES' s comparing physical activity participants to the comparison group was similar (deorr = -.24 for females and deorr = -.23 for males). Also, the type of physical activity was investigated, and results showed that athletes reported lower levels of SP A than the comparison group (deorr = -.19, SDeorr = .08), whereas exercisers reported higher levels of SPA than the comparison group (deorr = .13, SDeorr = .22). Results demonstrate support for the dispositional nature of SP A. Consideration of practical significance suggests that those who are involved in physical activity may experience slightly lower levels of SPA than those not reporting physical activity participation. Results potentially offer support for the bi-directionality of the relationship between physical activity and SP A; however, a causality may not be inferred. More information about the type of physical activity (i.e., frequency/nature of exercise behaviour, sport classificationllevel of athletes) may help clarify the role of physical activity contexts on SPA.
    • Socio-demographic factors, smoking, symptoms, morbidities and pulmonary function and quality of life in individuals with a heavy smoking history

      Ventresca, Matthew; Applied Health Sciences Program
      Objective: To determine which socio-demographic, exposure, morbidity and symptom variables are associated with health-related quality of life among former and current heavy smokers. Methods: Cross sectional data from 2537 participants were studied. All participants were at ≥2% risk of developing lung cancer within 6 years. Linear and logistic regression models utilizing a multivariable fractional polynomial selection process identified variables associated with health-related quality of life, measured by the EQ-5D. Results: Upstream and downstream associations between smoking cessation and higher health-related quality of life were evident. Significant upstream associations, such as education level and current working status and were explained by the addition of morbidities and symptoms to regression models. Having arthritis, decreased forced expiratory volume in one second, fatigue, poor appetite or dyspnea were most highly and commonly associated with decreased HRQoL. Discussion: Upstream factors such as educational attainment, employment status and smoking cessation should be targeted to prevent decreased health-related quality of life. Practitioners should focus treatment on downstream factors, especially symptoms, to improve health-related quality of life.
    • Soil-Transmitted Helminth Infections, Nutrition and Growth in School-age Children from Rural Communities in Honduras

      Usuanlele, Mary-Theresa; Applied Health Sciences Program (Brock University, 2012-10-11)
      Background: Soil-transmitted helminth (STH) infections are endemic in Honduras but their impact on children’s health is not well studied. Objectives: To evaluate the prevalence and intensity of STH infections and their association with nutrition and growth in a sample of Honduran children. Methodology: A cross-sectional study was done among Honduran rural school-age children in 2011. Blood and stool samples and anthropometric measurements were obtained to determine nutritional status, STH infection and growth status, respectively. Results: The STH prevalence among 320 studied children was 72.5%. Prevalence by species was 30%, 67% and 16% for Ascaris, Trichuris and 16% hookworms, respectively. High intensity infections were associated with decreased growth scores but regardless of intensity, co-infections negatively affected growth indicators. Conclusions: The health burden of STH infections is related to high parasitic load but also to the presence of low-intensity concurrent infections. The synergistic effects of polyparasitism in underprivileged children warrants more attention.
    • The Structural and Functional Changes of Blood Vessels during Aging

      Ratsep, Matthew T; Applied Health Sciences Program (Brock University, 2011-02-28)
      The vascular adventitia is recognized as a dynamic mediator of vascular structure and function, yet its role in aging is not understood. The purpose of this thesis was to examine the age-related changes of the vascular adventitia and determine the underlying mediators responsible. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were aged to 15, 30, 50 and 80 weeks before being anesthetised and euthanized by exsanguination. Thoracic aortas, mesenteric and pudental arteries were isolated, formalin fixed, and embedded in paraffin then sectioned at 5μm. Vessels were examined by microscopy and protein expression was determined by indirect immunofluorescence. The thickness of the adventitia increased dramatically with age. Immunofluorescence revealed a robust expression of endothelin system proteins in the adventitia. Additionally, extracellular matrix proteins collagen and fibronectin, and the proliferation marker Ki67 showed strong adventitial origin. The changes observed in the vascular adventitia with aging clearly demonstrate an important role in the process of vascular aging.
    • The structural and functional changes of blood vessels during aging

      Rätsep, Matthew T.; Applied Health Sciences Program (2012-07-05)
      The vascular adventitia is recognized as a dynamic mediator of vascular structure and function, yet its role in aging is not understood. The purpose of this thesis was to examine the age-related changes of the vascular adventitia and determine the underlying mediators responsible. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were aged to 15,30,50 and 80 weeks before being anesthetised and euthanized by exsanguination. Thoracic aortas, mesenteric and pudental arteries were isolated, formalin fixed, and embedded in paraffin then sectioned at 51lm. Vessels were examined by microscopy and protein expression was determined by indirect immunofluorescence. The thickness of the adventitia increased dramatically with age. Immunofluorescence revealed a robust expression of endothelin system proteins in the adventitia. Additionally, extracellular matrix proteins collagen and fibronectin, and the proliferation marker Ki67 showed strong adventitial origin. The changes observed in the vascular adventitia with aging clearly demonstrate an important role in the process of vascular aging.
    • Structural Equation Model of Father Involvement in Infant Development in Vietnam using Identity Theory

      Salaeva, Dinara; Applied Health Sciences Program
      Child development is an important determinant of global health, and fathers’ involvement can enhance child behavioural, social, and cognitive development. However, fathers’ involvement varies between cultures, and research on fatherhood in Asia is limited, especially in developing countries such as Vietnam. The aim of this study was to examine fathers’ involvement using identity theory including the following constructs: fathers’ affective and interactional commitment, psychological centrality and role performance. In addition, socioeconomic status and marital relationship quality were examined in the context of the fathers’ involvement. Ultimately, the influence of the fathers’ involvement on infants’ developmental outcomes was analyzed. To achieve the objectives of the study, control group (N = 370) data from a longitudinal father involvement intervention study in Vietnam was used. Indicators of the fathers’ role performance and child development were examined using structural equation modeling. Psychological centrality was strongly positively associated with the role performance and infants’ development. Furthermore, marital relationship quality predicted the fathers’ psychological centrality and role performance. These findings suggest that fathers’ emotional relationship with their spouses and infants and the centrality of the father’s role identity to a man has a significant influence on the fathers’ involvement and infants’ development. The present study contributes to understanding of the factors that affect fathers’ involvement and infants’ development in the Asian context. In addition, the present study provides support to development and implementation of social programs aiming to increase fathers’ involvement in Vietnam and globally.
    • The surface electromyography-force relationship during isometric dorsiflexion in males and females

      Lenhardt, Sean Alexander.; Applied Health Sciences Program (Brock University, 2009-06-15)
      This study evaluated sex-related differences in the tibialis anterior (TA) surface electromyography (EMG) to force relationship. One-hundred participants (50 males and 50 females) performed three isometric contractions at 20, 40, 60, 80, and 100% of maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) in an apparatus designed to isolate the action of the dorsiflexors. The surface EMG signal was amplified (lOOOx), band-pass filtered (10-500Hz), and sampled at 2048 Hz. The load cell signal was low-passed filtered at 100 Hz and sampled at the same rate. Males were stronger than females {P <0.05). However, there was no significant difference in root-mean-square (RMS) values between sexes {P <0.05). Both sexes exhibited a quadratic increase in RMS across force levels (P <0.05). The mean power frequency (MNF) for males was greater than for females {P <0.05). Males and females exhibited a linear increase in both frequency measures up to 80% of MVC (P <0.05). Between 80 and 100% MVC, the frequency values for the females plateaued while males showed a decrease {P <0.05). The magnitude of the difference in MNF between males and females was consistent with sex-specific TA physiology. In general, the pattern of means for RMS and MNF between males and females revealed no sex-related differences in the surface EMG/force relationship. We therefore conclude that there are no sex-related differences in the gradation of muscle force.
    • A systematic observation of hostile aggression in Junior B hockey

      Gee, Chris J.; Applied Health Sciences Program (Brock University, 2004-07-14)
      Aggressive behaviours within the sport of hockey appear to be increasing in both prevalence and consequence (Biasca, Wirth, & Tegner, 2002). Accordingly, this area of inquiry is currently garnering a considerable amount of attention from society and academics alike. The problem however, is that our current understanding of these behaviours has been deemed both incomplete and unreliable. The inconsistencies inherent within this body of knowledge have been traced back to a variety of methodological shortcomings. The purpose of this investigation was to assess hostile aggression using a more ecologically valid and comprehensive research design. Ten Junior B hockey games were tapped and subsequently coded by three independent observers, using a validated operational list. Two hundred and fifty-nine behaviours were extrapolated and examined according to the score differential, period, position of the aggressor, status of the aggressor's team, and whether the aggressor was a member of the home or visiting team. It was concluded that the frequency of aggressive behaviours significantly differed according to the score differential, and status of the aggressor's team (p < .01). However, these hostile acts did not differ according the aggressor's position, period, and the home versus away status of the aggressor's team (p > .01). It was also determined that the majority of aggressive acts (69.1 1%) across these ten games went unsanctioned. This highlights the profound influence that "positive misses" have on penalty measures of aggression, while concurrently highlighting the ecological validity present with observational designs. Consequently, by assessing aggressive behaviour in a more inclusive and ecologically valid manner, a more accurate picture of the frequency and distribution of hostile aggression may be provided.
    • Taenia solium transmission in a rural community in Honduras : an examination of risk factors and knowledge

      Pang, Haiyan.; Applied Health Sciences Program (Brock University, 2004-11-04)
      Taenia soliurn taeniasis and cysticercosis are recognized as a major public health problem in Latin America. T. soliurn transmission not only affects the health of the individual, but also social and economic development, perpetuating the cycle of poverty. To determine prevalence rates, population knowledge and risk factors associated with transmission, an epidemiological study was undertaken in the rural community of Jalaca. Two standardized questionnaires were used to collect epidemiological and T. soli urn general knowledge data. Kato-Katz technique and an immunoblot assay (EITB) were used to determine taeniasis and seroprevalence, respectively. In total, 139 individuals belonging to 56 households participated in the study. Household characteristics were consistent with conditions of poverty of rural Honduras: 21.4% had no toilet or latrines, 19.6% had earthen floor, and 51.8% lacked indoor tap water. Pigs were raised in 46.4% of households, of which 70% allowed their pigs roaming freely. A human seroprevalence rate of 18.7% and a taeniasis prevalence rate of 2.4% were found. Only four persons answered correctly 2: 6 out of ten T. soliurn knowledge questions, for an average passing score of 2.9%. In general, a serious gap exists in knowledge regarding how humans acquire the infections, especially neurocysticercosis was identified. After regression analysis, the ability to recognize adult tapeworms and awareness of the clinical importance of taeniasis, were found to be significant risk factors for T. soliurn seropositivity. These results demonstrate a high level of transmission and a low level of kn~,wledge about Taenia soliurn in Jalaca. Consequently, intervention measures integrated with health education are necessary to decrease the burden caused by this parasite.
    • Teamwork and leadership : competitive youth soccer as a context for positive youth development

      Kingsley, Bethan.; Applied Health Sciences Program (Brock University, 2008-06-01)
      The purpose of this study was to examine processes and interactions that characterized positive developmental experiences in sport. A highly competitive and reputable U-17 girls' soccer team was chosen for the study through purposeful sampling, providing an information rich case from which data could be derived (Patton, 2002). Seventeen players and three coaches participated in this study. Based on an ethnographic methodology data were collected via observations and both informal and formal semi-structured interviews. Tlie data were coded according to the three procedures outlined by Seidel and Kelle (1995): a) noticing relevant phenomena, b) collecting examples of those phenomena, and c) analyzing those phenomena in order to find commonalities, differences, patterns and structures. Significant events and underlying themes were recounted chronologically through a collection of vignettes, aimed to provide a contextual lens for the reader. Results revolved around two prominent themes: Teamwork and leadership. These were closely related concepts that required players to demonstrate a wide range of developmental skills for the team to move collectively towards their end goal. Furthermore, teamwork and leadership experiences took both desirable and undesirable forms. For example, at the beginning of the season competition existed amongst the players at the expense of teamwork and leadership. As the season progressed the pursuit of a shared goal allowed the players to view each other as collaborators and teamwork and leadership skills became increasingly evident. At times, however, success on the field was prioritized above maintaining relationships off the field, requiring the coaches to intervene and re-establish equilibrium.
    • Testing the IZOF directionality model in a team sport

      Brachlow, Manuela C.; Applied Health Sciences Program (Brock University, 2007-05-21)

      Lui, Adrian; Applied Health Sciences Program (Brock University, 2011-07-11)
      Extracellular hyper-osmotic (HYPER) stress increases glucose uptake to defend cell volume, when compared to iso-osmotic (ISO) conditions in skeletal muscle. The purpose of this study was to determine a time course for changes in common signaling proteins involved in glucose uptake during acute hyper-osmotic stress in isolated mammalian skeletal muscle. Rat extensor digitorum longus (EDL) muscles were excised and incubated in a media formulated to mimic ISO (290 ± 10 mmol/kg) or HYPER (400 ± 10 mmol/kg) extracellular condition (Sigma Media-199). Signaling mechanisms were investigated by determining the phosphorylation states of Akt, AMPK, AS160, cPKC and ERK after 30, 45 and 60 minutes of incubation. AS160 was found to be significantly more phosphorylated in HYPER conditions compared to ISO after 30 minutes (p<0.01). It is speculated that AS160 phosphorylation increases glucose transporter 4 (GLUT4) content at the cell surface thereby facilitating an increase in glucose uptake under hyper-osmotic stress.
    • Tone it Down or Tune it Out? The Focus of Instructor Cues on Body Image Outcomes during an Exercise Class in Older Adults

      Galway, Sarah; Applied Health Sciences Program
      In group exercise settings, many factors influence body image, including instructors and the motivational cues they use. The purpose of the present study was to examine the impact of appearance versus functionality-focused cues used by an instructor in an exercise class on state body image, enjoyment and intentions to return in older adults. One hundred and seven participants (26 males, 81 females, Mage = 69 years) took part in two visits. During visit one, participants completed demographic and trait body image questionnaires and had anthropometric measures taken. During visit two, participants were randomly assigned to an appearance or functionality-focused exercise class. In the appearance-focused class, the instructor’s cues emphasized the exercises as a way to alter the body’s appearance, whereas in the functionality- focused class, cues focused on exercise as a way to improve function and health. Participants completed state measures of body image immediately before and after participating in the exercise class. Following the exercise class participants also completed measures of enjoyment and intentions to return. Repeated-measures ANCOVAs were conducted for each state body image measure (body appreciation, functional appreciation, body dissatisfaction, body satisfaction with appearance and functionality, self-objectification, and social physique anxiety) controlling for appropriate demographic and trait body image variables. Participants assigned to the functionality-focused condition reported significantly greater decreases in body dissatisfaction [F (1,101) = 6.35, p = .013] compared to those in the appearance-focused condition, and regardless of condition, participants reported significant decreases in state self- objectification pre-to-post exercise [F (1,105) = 7.85, p = .006]. All other time by condition and time effects were non-significant (ps > .05). ANCOVAs to examine between-group differences on enjoyment and intentions to return showed no significant differences (ps > .05). It is possible that older adults, who place a greater focus on the health and functionality of their bodies, may be protected from negative effects of appearance-related commentary within group exercise settings (in contrast to young-women). Findings also suggest that exercise may be particularly beneficial for improving body dissatisfaction and self-objectification in populations across the lifespan. Future studies should continue to examine psychological outcomes of acute exercise in older adults.
    • Tourism and the precautionary principle : a survey of academic and government stakeholders

      Ebert, Kevin K.; Applied Health Sciences Program (Brock University, 2003-05-21)
      The purpose of this exploratory investigation was to provide a more precise understanding and basis from which to assess the potential role of the precautionary principle in tourism. The precautionary principle, analogous to the ideal of sustainable development, is a future-focused planning and regulatory mechanism that emphasizes pro-action and recognizes the limitations of contemporary scientific methods. A total of 100 respondents (80 tourism academics, 20 regional government tourism officials) from Canada, United States, United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand completed the webbased survey between May and June 2003. Respondents reported their understanding of the precautionary principle, rated stakeholder involvement and education strategies, assessed potential barriers in implementation, and appraised steps of a proposed fi-amework for implementation. Due to low sub sample numbers, measures of central tendency were primarily used to compare groups, while inferential statistics were applied when warranted. Results indicated that most respondents (79%) felt the principle could be a guiding principle for tourism, while local and regional government entities were reported to have the most power in the implementation process. Findings suggested close links between the precautionary principle and sustainability, as concern for future generations was the most critical element of the principle for tourism. Overall, tourism academics were more supportive of the precautionary principle in tourism than were regional government tourism officials. Only minor variation was found in responses among regional groups across all variables. This study established basic ground for understanding the precautionary principle in tourism and has been effective in formulating more precise questions for future research.
    • Toxocariasis in Honduras: Seroprevalence and Risk of Infection in Schoolchildren from a Coastal Community in Tela, Honduras

      Hernández, Sergio A.; Applied Health Sciences Program
      Background: Human toxocariasis is a globally distributed zoonotic disease mainly caused by Toxocara canis, a common intestinal parasite of domestic dogs. In Honduras, favorable conditions for T. canis are widespread and dog infection is widely known. However, epidemiological data for animal and human infection are severely lacking. Objectives: To determine the prevalence of anti-Toxocara antibodies in rural Honduran schoolchildren and to identify socioeconomic and biological factors associated with seropositivity. A secondary objective of comparing performance of the screening with the confirmatory test was also set. Methods: Two cross-sectional studies conducted in 2015 and 2017 among schoolchildren living in rural Honduras. Demographic and socio-epidemiological data were collected though individual interviews. A blood sample was drawn to determine serum anti-Toxocara antibodies using a screening and a confirmatory test, TES-ELISA and Western blotting (WB), respectively. Eosinophilia was determined by complete haematological assay. Results: Eighty-eight children completed the study. An overall prevalence of 90.9% was found by the TESELISA however, the confirmatory Western blot revealed a prevalence of 88.6% for anti-Toxocara antibodies. TES-ELISA and WB showed an agreement of k = 0.87, an indicator of an almost perfect agreement between the two diagnostic tools. Most WB-positive children were so for the lower molecular protein bands, suggesting specificity for T. canis infection. Higher levels of eosinophilia were observed in immunoreactive children and a statistically significant difference between the geometric means of circulating eosinophils in seropositive versus seronegative children was found. None of the socioeconomic factors analyzed were found statistically associated with antibody positivity. Conclusions: The study confirms that T. canis transmission is present in Honduras and is affecting children in the rural countryside. The high exposure as determined by high antibody titres and eosinophilia levels among the studied children is a serious concern. Clinical examination of these children to assess their health status is warranted.
    • Training distribution and the acquisition of maximal isometric elbow flexion strength

      Calder, Kristina M.; Applied Health Sciences Program (Brock University, 2004-07-14)
      Twenty-six sedentary, college-aged females were matched and randomly assigned to one of two groups. The massed group (n=13) completed 15 maximal isometric elbow flexion strength trials in one session, while the distributed group (n=13) performed five such contractions on three successive days. After a two-week and three month rest interval, both groups returned to perfonn another five maximal isometric elbow flexion strength trials to assess retention of any potential strength gains. Elbow flexion torque and surface electromyography (SEMG) of the biceps and triceps were monitored concurrently. There was a significant (P < 0.05) increase in strength in both groups from block one (first five contractions) to block four (first retest) and from block one to block five (second retest). Both groups exhibited a similar linear increasing (P < 0.05) trend in biceps root-mean-square (RMS) SEMG amplitude. A significant (P < 0.05) decrease in triceps RMS SEMG amplitude was found between block one and block four for the distributed group. However, a significant (P < 0.05) increase was then found between block one and five for the massed group, and between blocks four and five for distributed group. These results suggest that there is flexibility in resistive exercise schedules. An increase in neural drive to the agonist muscle continued throughout testing. This was accompanied by a reduction in antagonist co activation that was a short-tenn (two weeks) training effect, dissipated over the longer rest interval (three months).
    • Transmission of West Nile virus in the Niagara Region among a population at risk for exposure

      Mergl, Ronald; Applied Health Sciences Program (Brock University, 2010-03-09)
      Background. West Nile Virus (WNV), a mosquito-borne flavivirus, is one of an increasing number of infectious diseases that have been emerging or re-emerging in the last two decades. Since the arrival ofWNV to Canada to present date, the Niagara Region has only reported 30 clinical cases, a small number compared to the hundreds reported in other regions of similar conditions. Moreover, the last reported human case in Niagara was in 2006. As it has been demonstrated that the majority of WNV infections are asymptomatic, the question remains whether the lack of clinical cases in Niagara truly reflects the lack of transmission to humans or if infections are still occurring but are mostly asymptomatic. Objectives. The general objective of this study was to establish whether or not active WNV transmission could be detected in a human population residing in Niagara for the 2007 transmission season. To fullfil this objective, a cross-sectional seroprevalence study was designed to investigate for the presence of anti-WNV antibodies in a sample of Mexican migrant agricultural workers employed in farms registered with the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program (SAWP). Due to the Mexican origin of the study participants, three specific research objectives were proposed: a) determine the seroprevalence ofanti-WNV antibodies as well as anti-Dengue virus antibodies (a closely related virus prevalent in Mexico and likely to confound WNV serology); b) analyze risk factors associated with WNV and Dengue virus seropositivity; and c) assess the awareness of study participants about WNV infection as well as their understanding of the mode of transmission and clinical importance of the infection. Methodology: After obtaining ethics clearance from Brock University, farms were visited and workers invited to participate. Due to time constraints, only a small number of farms were enrolled with a resulting convenience and non-randomized study sample. Workers' demographic and epidemiological data were collected using a standardized questionnaire and blood samples were drawn to determine serum anti-WNV and anti- Dengue antibodies with a commercial ELISA. All positive samples were sent to the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg, Manitoba for confirmation with the Plaque Reduction Neutralization Test (PRNT). Data was analyzed with Stata 10.0. Antibody determinations were reported as seroprevalence proportions for both WNV and Dengue. Logistic regression was used to analyze risk factors that may be associated with seropositivity and awareness was reported as a proportion of the number of individuals possessing awareness over the total number of participants. Results and Discussion. In total 92 participants working in 5 farms completed the study. Using the commercial ELISA, seropositivity was as follows: 2.2% for WNV IgM, 20.7% for WNV IgG, and 17.1 % for Dengue IgG. Possible cross-reactivity was demonstrated in 15/20 (75.0%) samples that were positive for both WNV IgG and Dengue IgG. Confirmatory testing with the PRNT demonstrated that none of the WNV ELISA positive samples had antibodies to WNV but 13 samples tested positive for anti-Dengue antibodies (14.1 % Dengue sereoprevalence). The findings showed that the ELISA performance was very poor for assessing anti-WNV antibodies in individuals previously exposed to Dengue virus. However, the ELISA had better sensitivity and specificity for assessing anti-Dengue antibodies. Whereas statistical analysis could not be done for WNV seropositivity, as all samples were PRNT negative, logistic regression demonstrated several risk factors for Dengue exposure_ The first year coming to Canada appeared to be significantly associated with increased exposure to Dengue while lower socio-economic housing and the presence of a water basin in the yard in Mexico appeared to be significantly associated with a decreased exposure to Dengue_ These seemingly contradictory results illustrate that in mobile populations such as migrant workers, risk factors for exposure to Dengue are not easily identified and more research is needed. Assessing the awareness of WNV and its clinical importance showed that only 23% of participants had some knowledge of WNV, of which 76% knew that the infection was mosquito-borne and 47% recognized fever as a symptom. The identified lack of understanding and awareness was not surprising since WNV is not a visible disease in Mexico. Since WNV persists in an enzootic cycle in Niagara and the occurrence of future outbreaks is unpredictable, the agricultural workers remain at risk for transmission. Therefore it important they receive sufficient health education regarding WNV before leaving Mexico and during their stay in Canada. Conclusions. Human transmission of WNV could not be proven among the study participants even when due to their occupation they are at high risk for mosquito bites. The limitations of the study sample do not permit generalizable conclusions, however, the study findings are consistent with the absence of clinical cases in the Niagara Region, so it is likely that human transmission is indeed neglible or absent. As evidenced by our WNV serology results, PRNT must be utilized as a confirmatory test since false positivity occurs frequently. This is especially true when previous exposure to Dengue virus is likely.
    • Understanding space, place and leisure of women over 85 living in the community

      Bergman, Nicole U. H.; Applied Health Sciences Program (Brock University, 2007-11-04)
      There is an increase in the number of older adults 85 and over, who are choosing to live alone within the community. Moreover, older adults who live alone are reportedly spending an extensive amount of time alone within the home environment. In an effort to provide additional support and resources to older adults living in the community, a compliment of services are being offered through public and private organizations. These in-home supports focus on the instrumental or functional tasks of daily living, such as personal and rehabilitative care, nourishment, maintenance and upkeep of the home, as well as volunteer social visitation. However leisure resources and programs are not included among these services. Consequently, this creates a gap in leisure provision among this segment of the population. Throughout the life course, an individual's identity, role and purpose are developed and sustained through instrumental work roles in the formal and informal sector, as well as through personally meaningful leisure pastimes and experiences. Although roles shift post retirement, participation in instrumental and expressive activities can provide opportunities through which older adults are able to fulfill their need for agency (individuality and autonomy) and affiliation (social relatedness). Therefore barriers that inhibit instrumental or leisure experiences can negatively impact older adults' quality of life. This study explored the leisure lifestyles of four older adults, all of whom were over 85, lived alone within the community and were oriented to person, time and place. It became apparent that participants ordered their lives around a routine that consisted of instrumental, expressive and socially integrated tasks and activities. Moreover participants purposely chose to remain at home because their home environment facilitated freedom, choice and independence. As a result all four participants viewed their independence within the home as a critical determinant to their overall quality of life. Challenges associated with the home environment, participants' personal capacities and relationships were negotiated on a daily basis. Failure to positively adapt to these challenges inhibited meaningful engagement and personal fulfillment. Traditionally, leisure service delivery has been offered within institutions and through various community based venues. As a result leisure provision has been focused on the needs of the frail elderly who reside in institutions or the well elderly who are able to access leisure amenities within the community. However the growing number of older adults electing to live alone is on the rise. As individuals age the home becomes the preferred context for leisure experiences. If older adults are choosing to live alone, then both their instrumental and leisure needs must be addressed. As a result, it is imperative that leisure professionals extend the scope of service delivery to include home centered older adults.