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Exogenous testosterone increases men's perceptions of their own physical dominance. - Psychoneuroendocrinology
Men's testosterone is associated with several constructs that are linked to dominance rank, such as risk-taking, mating success, and aggression. However, no study has directly tested the relationship between men's self-perceived dominance and testosterone using an experimental design. We employed a within-subjects, double-blind, placebo-controlled paradigm to assess whether testosterone influences men's self-perceived dominance. Exogenous testosterone or a placebo was administered to healthy adult men and self-perceptions of physical dominance were subsequently assessed by having participants select what they believed to be their true face from an array of images digitally manipulated in masculinity. Men picked a more masculine version of their own face after testosterone versus placebo-an effect that was particularly pronounced among men with relatively low baseline testosterone. These findings indicate that a single administration of testosterone can rapidly modulate men's perceptions of their own physical dominance, which may explain links between testosterone and dominance-related behaviors.Copyright Â© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Humanized Mouse Model of Ebola Virus Disease Mimics the Immune Responses in Human Disease. - The Journal of infectious diseases
Animal models recapitulating human Ebola virus disease (EVD) are critical for insights into virus pathogenesis. Ebola virus (EBOV) isolates derived directly from human specimens do not, without adaptation, cause disease in immunocompetent adult rodents. Here, we describe EVD in mice engrafted with human immune cells (hu-BLT). hu-BLT mice developed EVD following wild-type EBOV infection. Infection with high-dose EBOV resulted in rapid, lethal EVD with high viral loads, alterations in key human antiviral immune cytokines and chemokines, and severe histopathologic findings similar to those shown in the limited human postmortem data available. A dose- and donor-dependent clinical course was observed in hu-BLT mice infected with lower doses of either Mayinga (1976) or Makona (2014) isolates derived from human EBOV cases. Engraftment of the human cellular immune system appeared to be essential for the observed virulence, as nonengrafted mice did not support productive EBOV replication or develop lethal disease. hu-BLT mice offer a unique model for investigating the human immune response in EVD and an alternative animal model for EVD pathogenesis studies and therapeutic screening.Published by Oxford University Press for the Infectious Diseases Society of America 2015. This work is written by (a) US Government employee(s) and is in the public domain in the US.
Utility of Oral Swab Sampling for Ebola Virus Detection in Guinea Pig Model. - Emerging infectious diseases
To determine the utility of oral swabs for diagnosing infection with Ebola virus, we used a guinea pig model and obtained daily antemortem and postmortem swab samples. According to quantitative reverse transcription PCR analysis, the diagnostic value was poor for antemortem swab samples but excellent for postmortem samples.
Identification of Nocardia Species by Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization-Time of Flight Mass Spectrometry. - Journal of clinical microbiology
Matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry for identification of Nocardia species remains challenging. By identifying 83.1% (64 of 77) and 80% (8 of 10) to the species and complex levels, respectively, and 94.3% (82 of 87) to the genus level, we show that an approach using routine sample preparation, an up-to-date commercial database minimally augmented with custom spectra, and testing at an early stage of growth is promising.Copyright Â© 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.
Ebola Virus Diagnostics: The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Laboratory in Sierra Leone, August 2014 to March 2015. - The Journal of infectious diseases
In August 2014, the Viral Special Pathogens Branch of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention established a field laboratory in Sierra Leone in response to the ongoing Ebola virus outbreak. Through March 2015, this laboratory tested >12 000 specimens from throughout Sierra Leone. We describe the organization and procedures of the laboratory located in Bo, Sierra Leone.Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Infectious Diseases Society of America 2015. This work is written by (a) US Government employee(s) and is in the public domain in the US.
Ebola Virus Epidemiology, Transmission, and Evolution during Seven Months in Sierra Leone. - Cell
The 2013-2015 Ebola virus disease (EVD) epidemic is caused by the Makona variant of Ebola virus (EBOV). Early in the epidemic, genome sequencing provided insights into virus evolution and transmission and offered important information for outbreak response. Here, we analyze sequences from 232 patients sampled over 7 months in Sierra Leone, along with 86 previously released genomes from earlier in the epidemic. We confirm sustained human-to-human transmission within Sierra Leone and find no evidence for import or export of EBOV across national borders after its initial introduction. Using high-depth replicate sequencing, we observe both host-to-host transmission and recurrent emergence of intrahost genetic variants. We trace the increasing impact of purifying selection in suppressing the accumulation of nonsynonymous mutations over time. Finally, we note changes in the mucin-like domain of EBOV glycoprotein that merit further investigation. These findings clarify the movement of EBOV within the region and describe viral evolution during prolonged human-to-human transmission.Copyright Â© 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
A Recently Discovered Pathogenic Paramyxovirus, Sosuga Virus, is Present in Rousettus aegyptiacus Fruit Bats at Multiple Locations in Uganda. - Journal of wildlife diseases
In August 2012, a wildlife biologist became ill immediately following a 6-wk field trip to collect bats and rodents in South Sudan and Uganda. After returning to the US, the biologist was admitted to the hospital with multiple symptoms including fever, malaise, headache, generalized myalgia and arthralgia, stiffness in the neck, and sore throat. Soon after admission, the patient developed a maculopapular rash and oropharynx ulcerations. The patient remained hospitalized for 14 d. Several suspect pathogens, including viral hemorrhagic fever viruses such as Ebola viruses and Marburg viruses, were ruled out through standard diagnostic testing. However, deep sequencing and metagenomic analyses identified a novel paramyxovirus, later named Sosuga virus, in the patient's blood. To determine the potential source, bat tissues collected during the 3-wk period just prior to the onset of symptoms were tested for Sosuga virus, and several Egyptian rousette bats (Rousettus aegyptiacus) were found to be positive. Further analysis of archived Egyptian rousette tissues collected at other localities in Uganda found additional Sosuga virus-positive bats, suggesting this species could be a potential natural reservoir for this novel paramyxovirus.
Oral shedding of Marburg virus in experimentally infected Egyptian fruit bats (Rousettus aegyptiacus). - Journal of wildlife diseases
Marburg virus (Marburg marburgvirus; MARV) causes sporadic outbreaks of Marburg hemorrhagic fever (MHF) in Africa. The Egyptian fruit bat (Rousettus aegyptiacus) has been identified as a natural reservoir based most-recently on the repeated isolation of MARV directly from bats caught at two locations in southwestern Uganda where miners and tourists separately contracted MHF from 2007-08. Despite learning much about the ecology of MARV through extensive field investigations, there remained unanswered questions such as determining the primary routes of virus shedding and the severity of disease, if any, caused by MARV in infected bats. To answer these questions and others, we experimentally infected captive-bred R. aegyptiacus with MARV under high (biosafety level 4) containment. These experiments have shown infection profiles consistent with R. aegyptiacus being a bona fide natural reservoir host for MARV and demonstrated routes of viral shedding capable of infecting humans and other animals.
Local tumour ablative therapies: opportunities for maximising immune engagement and activation. - Biochimica et biophysica acta
The relationship between cancer and the immune system is a complex one. The immune system can prevent tumour growth by eliminating cancer cells but this editing process ultimately results in poorly immunogenic cells remaining allowing for unchallenged tumour growth. In light of this, the focus of cancer treatment should be to maximise cancer elimination and the prevention of escape mechanisms. In this review we will examine current and emerging ablative treatment modalities that induce Immunogenic Cell Death (ICD), a special type of cell death that allows for immune cell involvement and the generation of an anti-tumour specific immune response. When paired with immune modulating agents, capable of potentiating the immune response and reversing the immune-suppressive environment created by tumours, we may be looking at the future of anti-cancer therapy.Copyright Â© 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Kyasanur Forest disease virus infection in mice is associated with higher morbidity and mortality than infection with the closely related Alkhurma hemorrhagic fever virus. - PloS one
Kyasanur Forest disease virus (KFDV) and Alkhurma hemorrhagic fever virus (AHFV) are closely related members of the Flavivirus genus and are important causes of human disease in India and the Arabian Peninsula, respectively. Despite high genetic similarity, the viruses have distinctly different host ranges and ecologies. Human cases of KFDV or AHFV develop a spectrum of disease syndromes ranging from liver pathology to neurologic disease. Case reports suggest KFDV is more commonly associated with hepatic and gastrointestinal manifestations whereas AHFV is more commonly associated with neurologic disease.Inoculation of three immunocompetent laboratory mouse strains revealed that KFDV was consistently more lethal than AHFV. In subsequent studies utilizing C57BL/6J mice, we demonstrated that KFDV infection was associated with higher viral loads and significantly higher mortality. KFDV-infected mice rapidly developed more severe disease than AHFV-infected mice, as evidenced by significant abnormalities on clinical chemistry panels and more severe pathology in the brain and gastrointestinal tract.Infections of C57BL/6J mice with KFDV or AHFV resulted in clinical disease syndromes that closely approximate the diseases seen in human cases. Despite high genetic similarity, there were clear differences in survival, viral kinetics, clinical chemistry data and histology. These results suggest that distinct mouse models for AHFV and KFDV are necessary in order to gain a better understanding of the unique pathogenesis of each virus, as well as to provide platforms for testing promising vaccines and therapeutics.
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