Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Opportunities and barriers to effective operation and maintenance of public toilets in informal settlements: perspectives from toilet operators in Kampala
Ssekamatte, Tonny ; Bosco Isunju, John ; Enock Balugaba, Bonny ; Nakirya, Doreen ; Osuret, Jimmy ; Mguni, P. ; Mugambe, Richard ; Vliet, B.J.M. van - \ 2018
International Journal of Environmental Health Research (2018). - ISSN 0960-3123 - 13 p.
sanitation - occupational hazards - exposure - risk - hygiene
Although classified by the Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) as unimproved sanitation facilities, public toilets still play a critical role in eliminating open defecation in informal settlements. We explored perspectives of toilet operators on opportunities and barriers to operation and maintenance (O&M) of public toilets in informal settlements. A cross-sectional study design was used. Up to 20 in-depth interviews were used to obtain data on the experiences of public toilet operators. Thematic content analysis was used. Ressults show that opportunities for improving O&M include; operation of public toilets is a source of livelihood; operators are knowledgeable on occupational risks, and the community is involvedin sanitation activities. Barriers to effective O&M include; high operation costs, failure to break even and a lack of investments in occupational health Therefore, there is need to recognise the significance of public toilets as a viable alternative to open defecation in areas where ownership of private sanitation facilities is difficult. Failure to observe the health and safety of toilet operators may further compromise O&M.
Including multistress in the risk assessment of plant protection products : current state of knowledge, based on a literature review and an evaluation of tank mixture applications in a spraying schedule for strawberries
Arts, G.H.P. ; Beltman, W.H.J. ; Holterman, H.J. ; Vliet, P.J.M. van; Wipfler, E.L. ; Zande, J.C. van de - \ 2017
Wageningen : Wageningen Environmental Research (Wageningen Environmental Research rapport 2793) - 51
pesticides - environmental impact - risk - exposure - drift - pesticiden - milieueffect - risico - blootstelling
Fluctuations of input and output prices are major reasons causing volatile gross margins in livestock production. There are large historic differences in the period 2001-2015 between the dairy sector and fattening pig sector in volatility. Relatively large fluctuations in gross margins were observed in the fattening pig sector (median coefficient of variation (CV) value of 32%). In the dairy sector gross margin between years was more smooth (median CV values of 12%), but projections are that after the gradual reduction of EU milk price support and following the abolishment of the EU milk quota system dairy farmers will become more exposed to the world market for dairy products and are becoming more vulnerable to (supply and demand) shocks affecting world dairy markets and prices.
The Precautionary Principle and the Tolerability of Blood Transfusion Risks
Kramer, Koen ; Zaaijer, Hans L. ; Verweij, Marcel F. - \ 2017
The American Journal of Bioethics 17 (2017)3. - ISSN 1526-5161 - p. 32 - 43.
donor blood safety - MSM and blood donation - opportunity costs - precautionary principle - risk - risk-based decision-making - transfusion-transmissible infections
Tolerance for blood transfusion risks is very low, as evidenced by the implementation of expensive blood tests and the rejection of gay men as blood donors. Is this low risk tolerance supported by the precautionary principle, as defenders of such policies claim? We discuss three constraints on applying (any version of) the precautionary principle and show that respecting these implies tolerating certain risks. Consistency means that the precautionary principle cannot prescribe precautions that it must simultaneously forbid taking, considering the harms they might cause. Avoiding counterproductivity requires rejecting precautions that cause more harm than they prevent. Proportionality forbids taking precautions that are more harmful than adequate alternatives. When applying these constraints, we argue, attention should not be restricted to harms that are human caused or that affect human health or the environment. Tolerating transfusion risks can be justified if available precautions have serious side effects, such as high social or economic costs.
Pesticides in the Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT) : a scoping study of current and future use, associated risks and identification of actions for risk mitigation
Lahr, Joost ; Buij, Ralph ; Katagira, Franciska ; Valk, Harold van der - \ 2016
Wageningen : Wageningen Environmental Research (Wageningen Environmental Research rapport 2760) - 71
pesticides - environmental management - risk - health - integrated pest management - extension - tanzania - pesticiden - milieubeheer - risico - gezondheid - geïntegreerde plagenbestrijding - voorlichting
SAGCOT, the ‘Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania’, is a coordinated initiative to boost agricultural output in southern Tanzania through public and private investment, to improve food security, reduce rural poverty and sustain the environment. The ‘Sustainability and Inclusion Strategy for Growth Corridors in Africa’ (SUSTAIN-Africa) programme by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) develops and demonstrates climate resilient solutions for water security and inclusive land resource and agricultural development in growth corridors and areas of intensive economic development in Africa. To develop an efficient, competitive and sustainable agricultural sector in SAGCOT, possible adverse effects of pesticide use need to be addressed and minimized. For this purpose a scoping study was conducted, consisting of a literature survey, a scoping mission and a stakeholder workshop. The study revealed that there are many issues related to pesticide management and pesticide risks that need attention when the SAGCOT is further developed and pesticide use increases. The most important recommendations of the study are (1) better implementation and enforcement of current rules and regulations for pesticides, (2) training and awareness creation for pesticide users, (3) creation of a multi-stakeholder platform for exchange on best pest and pesticide management practices in the SAGCOT, (4) a regulatory body at the local government authority level to enforce/monitor pesticide management and life cycle, and (5) development of a monitoring and evaluation framework on pesticides for the SAGCOT.
On the use of Agricultural system models for exploring technological innovations across scales in Africa: A critical review
Rötter, R.P. ; Fanou, S.G.L.P. ; Hohn, Jukka G. ; Niemi, J.K. ; Berg, M.M. van den - \ 2016
Bonn : ZEF (Zentrum fuer Entwicklungs Forschung) (ZEF - Discussion Papers on Development Policy ) - 77 p.
Africa - agriculturayl system models - agro-economic modelling - biophysical modelling - ex ante evaluation - risk - technological innovation - yield variability
The major challenge of the 21st century is to achieve food security under, roughly, a doubling in food demand by 2050 compared to present, and producing the additional food under marked shifts in climatic risks and with environmentally sound farming practices. Sustainable intensification of agricultural production is required that meets the dual goal of improved environmental sustainability and economic efficiency. Ex ante evaluation of technological innovations to support agricultural production and food security taking into account the various future risks can substantially contribute to achieve this. Here we perceive technological innovations as new or improved agro-technologies and –management practices, such as new breeds, integrated soil fertility practices or labour-saving technologies meeting the goals of sustainable intensification.
In this report we present results from three systematic reviews: one on the use of biophysical modelling, the second and third on the use of bio-economic modelling at farm scale and agro-economic modelling at higher aggregation levels, for ex ante evaluation of the effects of (agro-) Technological Innovations (ag-TIs) on sustainable agriculture and food security indicators. To this end, we searched the SCOPUS database for journal articles published between 1996 and 2015. We considered modelling studies at different spatial scales with particular attention to local to national scale studies for the twelve PARI focal countries in Africa1. But we also included studies for all other African countries as well as a few studies at supra-national/continental scale. Both, “quick wins” as well as long term benefits from ag-TIs were of interest. The various ag-TIs were furthermore grouped into four classes: (1) water/soil moisture (2) soil nutrients/conservation (3) crop/cropping system, (4) other ag-TIs or (5) combinations of 1 to 4. For each paper, we tried to identify the primary ag-TI analysed, and if there was equal emphasis to more than one, we classified them as combinations. It should be borne in mind that there is some subjectivity in classifying the papers in this way.
Results. After various steps of refining “search strings”, screening on relevance and supplementing databases from additional sources, we found 140 relevant biophysical modelling studies, whereby coverage of sub-regions and ag-TIs varied markedly. Most studies were found for East and West Africa, followed by Southern Africa; hardly anything was found for Northern and Middle Africa2. A similar pattern appeared for the integrated agro-economic modelling studies at farm scale, for which we found 40 relevant ones. Agro-economic modelling studies at higher aggregation levels showed a somewhat different pattern – and more generally contained little detail on technological innovations. Regarding the share of different primary agro-technologies explored in the biophysical studies we
1The 12 countries are, in alphabetic order: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Nigeria, Togo, Tunisia and Zambia – see, maps,e.g. Fig 10.
2 See United Nations geoscheme for composition of geographical sub-regions ( .
found 45 on crop management, 35 on combined agro-technologies, 31 on soil nutrient management and conservation, 23 on water/soil moisture management, and 6 on other technologies. We found similar shares among the various agro-technology groups for the integrated agro-economic modelling studies at farm scale.
Looking at the outcomes from ex ante evaluations we found that many studies are (mostly) positive on effects of single and “conventional” ag-Tis. The majority of biophysical studies is performed at “field scale” and focuses on the effects on productivity (sometimes yield stability); many of these studies were performed in climate variability and change /adaptation research context. Most agro-economic modelling studies that look specifically at ex ante evaluations of ag-TIs are performed at farm or regional (sub-national) scales. While the number of biophysically oriented studies has grown exponentially over the considered period 1996-2015, this is not the case for the agro-economic modelling studies.
Looking in more detail at the twelve focal countries of PARI (=Programme of Accompanying Research on Agricultural Innovations)3 we also find an unbalanced distribution, with most studies found in Kenya, Ethiopia, Mali and Ghana (biophysical modelling studies), and respectively in Kenya and Uganda (agro-economic modelling studies), whereas nothing or little was found for both types of studies in Togo, Zambia and Nigeria.
Very few of the biophysically-oriented studies include other information than effects on crop yields, and there are few studies for both biophysical and agro-economic modelling that comprise multi-scale or higher scale analyses; if multi-scale, there are more studies that scale up from field/farm to regional/sub-national level than from field/farm to nation scale or beyond. There is definitely a need to overcome the lack of meaningful integrated multi-scale modelling along the lines proposed in chapters 5-6 of this report. Moreover, less than half of all integrated /agro-economic modelling studies at farm scale explicitly address risk – another clear shortcoming, which requires attention by the research community.
A more general conclusion is that there is no application yet of true transdisciplinary research approaches in practice. Hence, there is need for participatory, collaborative (cross-sectoral) and combined modelling approaches with adequate stakeholder involvement throughout the research process. In this respect, some lessons might be learned from pioneering work conducted in Asia and Europe.
Applying weather index insurance to agricultural pest and disease risks
Norton, Michael ; Sprundel, Gert Jan van; Turvey, Calum G. ; Meuwissen, Miranda P.M. - \ 2016
International Journal of Pest Management 62 (2016)3. - ISSN 0967-0874 - p. 195 - 204.
Insurance - Karnal bunt - market-based - pesticide use efficiency - risk - Stewart's disease - weather

In this paper, we explore the application of weather index insurance to plant pest and disease management strategies using two distinct models: (1) insuring crop loss due to disease incidence (“Crop Insurance”) and (2) insuring the use of pesticides (“Pesticide Insurance”). We find that despite the seeming ease of applying weather-based pest incidence models to an insurance product, insuring plant disease incidence models is presently unsuitable for the insurance market for both scientific and behavioral reasons. However, derivative-like applications of weather index insurance to insure pesticide use offer a means to introduce financial leverage into pesticide usage decisions. Risk management with weather index insurance would thus function as a complement to existing risk management strategies using pesticides, and offer a market-based mechanism for pesticide abatement. We conclude that more interdisciplinary collaboration is needed to develop weather index insurance for remuneration of losses due to plant pests and diseases, but weather index insurance offers a potential mechanism to reduce inefficiencies and negative externalities in agricultural markets if pesticide expenditures are insured instead of crop losses.

Monitoring van ecologische risico’s bij actief bodembeheer van slootdempingen in de Krimpenerwaard : afrondende rapportage T1-monitoring Ecologie
Lange, H.J. de; Hout, A. van der; Faber, J.H. - \ 2016
Alterra, Wageningen-UR (Alterra-rapport 2703) - 61 p.
bodemverontreiniging - zware metalen - polychloorbifenylen - bodemsanering - ecologische risicoschatting - risico - aardwormen - talpidae - krimpenerwaard - zuid-holland - soil pollution - heavy metals - polychlorinated biphenyls - soil remediation - ecological risk assessment - risk - earthworms
In de Krimpenerwaard liggen circa 6500 slootdempingen en vuilstorten. Het dempingsmateriaal bevat
regelmatig verontreinigingen, zodat voor de hele regio sprake is van een geval van ernstige
bodemverontreiniging. Het gebiedsgericht bodembeheerplan voorziet in het afdekken van de
verontreinigde slootdempingen met gebiedseigen schone grond. De effectiviteit van de sanering wordt
geëvalueerd op basis van monitoring van ecologische risico’s. Dit rapport beschrijft de resultaten van
de T1-monitoring, waarin in een relatief korte tijd na afdekken (twee tot vier jaar) de effectiviteit van
de maatregel wordt beoordeeld. De saneringsmaatregel blijkt de meeste nadelige effecten van de
slootdemping op soortensamenstelling en aantallen regenwormen te hebben weggenomen. De
gehalten zware metalen in twee onderzochte regenwormsoorten zijn na sanering over het algemeen
lager dan de gebiedseigen referentie in de T0-monitoring. De saneringsmaatregel is dus op de korte
termijn effectief om de risico’s voor doorvergiftiging van zware metalen terug te brengen tot
gebiedseigen niveau. De PCB-gehalten in de twee soorten regenwormen vertonen veel variatie tussen
de jaren. De tendens is dat de gehalten in dempingmonsters lager zijn dan in referentiemonsters.
Vanwege de grote variatie en het beperkt aantal onderzochte locaties zijn deze conclusies alleen met
voorzichtigheid te trekken. Het PCB-gehalte in mollen bleek ook sterk variabel, in ruimte en in tijd.
Mollen die in de T1-monitoring gevangen zijn op afgedekte Shredder en Huishoudelijk afval
dempingen hebben significant hogere PCB-gehalten dan de dieren op de referentiepercelen. Het
afdekken van de demping heeft voor deze dempingcategorieën de ecologische risico’s onvoldoende
weggenomen. De effectiviteit op langere termijn met betrekking tot het al dan niet optreden van
herverontreiniging als gevolg van bioturbatie en capillaire opstijging werd niet onderzocht
National security risks? Uncertainty, austerity and other logics of risk in the UK government’s National Security Strategy
Hammerstad, A. ; Boas, I.J.C. - \ 2015
Cooperation and Conflict 50 (2015)4. - ISSN 0010-8367 - p. 475 - 491.
concept of security - national security strategy - risk - securitisation - threat - UK
Risk scholars within Security Studies have argued that the concept of security has gone through a fundamental transformation away from a threat-based conceptualisation of defence, urgency
and exceptionality to one of preparedness, precautions and prevention of future risks, some of which are calculable, others of which are not. This article explores whether and how the
concept of security is changing due to this ‘rise of risk’, through a hermeneutically grounded conceptual and discourse analysis of the United Kingdom government’s National Security
Strategy (NSS) from 1998 to 2011. We ask how risk-security language is employed in the NSS; what factors motivate such discursive shifts; and what, if any, consequences of these shifts
can be discerned in UK national security practices. Our aim is twofold: to better understand shifts in the security understandings and policies of UK authorities; and to contribute to the
conceptual debate on the significance of the rise of risk as a component of the concept of security.
Human milk composition differs in healthy mothers and mothers with celiac disease
Olivares, M. ; Albrecht, S. ; Palma, G. de; Desamparados Ferrer, M. ; Castillejo, G. ; Schols, H.A. ; Sanz, Y. - \ 2015
European Journal of Nutrition 54 (2015). - ISSN 1436-6207 - p. 119 - 128.
breast-milk - cytokine production - allergic disease - ce-lif - childhood - risk - oligosaccharides - infant - metaanalysis - bacteria
Purpose To investigate whether breast-milk composition and microbiota differ in healthy mothers and mothers with celiac disease (CD) to ultimately contribute to identify additional factors determining CD risk. Methods Breast-milk samples from healthy mothers (n = 12) and mothers with CD (n = 12) were collected. Cytokines and secretory immunoglobulin A (sIgA) were analyzed by bead-arrays and flow cytometry and human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) were assessed by capillary electrophoresis with laser-induced fluorescence (CE-LIF) detection. Breast-milk microbiota composition was analyzed by conventional and quantitative real-time PCR. Result Breast milk from CD mothers showed significantly lower levels of interleukin (IL) 12p70 (P\\0.042), transforming growth factor (TGF)-b1 (P\\0.018) and sIgA (P\\0.003) and almost significantly lower levels of interferon (IFN)-c (P\\0.058). Six mothers in each group belonged to the secretor Le(a-b?) type, one to the secretor Le(a-b-) type and five to the non-secretor Le(a?b-) type. CD mothers of non-secretor Le(a?b-) type showed increased Lacto-N-tetraose content (P\\0.042) compared with healthy mothers. CD mothers’ milk showed reduced gene copy numbers of Bifidobacterium spp. (P\\0.026) and B. fragilis group (P\\0.044). Conclusion CD mothers’ breast milk is characterized by a reduced abundance of immunoprotective compounds (TGF-b1 and sIgA) and bifidobacteria. The reduction in these components could theoretically diminish the protective effects of breast-feeding on the child’s future risk of developing CD.
Exploiting the Spur of the Moment to Enhance Healthy Consumption: Verbal Prompting to Increase Fruit Choices in a Self-Service Restaurant
Kleef, E. van; Broek, O. van den; Trijp, J.C.M. van - \ 2015
Applied Psychology : Health and Well-Being 7 (2015)2. - ISSN 1758-0846 - p. 149 - 166.
safety-belt use - field-experiment - vegetable intake - strategies - consumers - children - behavior - sales - risk
Background: People often have good intentions to eat healthily, but these inten- tions may get overruled by temporary moments of temptation. The current study examined the effectiveness of “verbal prompting” as a nudge to increase fruit salad sales in a natural setting. Methods: A ¿eld experiment was conducted in a self- service restaurant during breakfast time. After an initial baseline period, the inter- vention involved four different prompts suggesting ordering a side dish (i.e. orange juice, fruit salad, pancakes) given by cashiers to visitors. The intervention phase lasted 13 weeks. Cash register and observational data were obtained. In addition, a sample of visitors (N = 393) responded to a survey. Results: A signi¿cant increase in sales of orange juice was observed during the orange juice verbal prompts intervention periods (35–42% of all breakfasts sold) compared to baseline (20% of all breakfasts sold). Similarly, sales of fruit salad (9%) and pancakes (3%) rose to a small but signi¿cant extent compared to baseline sales (3% and 1%, respectively). Survey results showed that customers did not feel pressurised into purchasing a side dish. Conclusion: Together, ¿ndings suggest that verbal prompts involving healthy side dishes are a potential useful nudge to implement in other food service settings. Keywords: choice architecture, fruit consumption, nudge, nudging, suggestive selling, verbal prompting
Health Gain by Salt Reduction in Europe: A Modelling Study
Hendriksen, M.A.H. ; Raaij, J.M.A. van; Geleijnse, J.M. ; Breda, J. ; Boshuizen, H.C. - \ 2015
PLoS One 10 (2015)3. - ISSN 1932-6203
dietary-sodium intake - h urinary sodium - cardiovascular-disease - cost-effectiveness - blood-pressure - heart-failure - adults - prevention - risk - interventions
Excessive salt intake is associated with hypertension and cardiovascular diseases. Salt intake exceeds the World Health Organization population nutrition goal of 5 grams per day in the European region. We assessed the health impact of salt reduction in nine European countries (Finland, France, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom). Through literature research we obtained current salt intake and systolic blood pressure levels of the nine countries. The population health modeling tool DYNAMO-HIA including country-specific disease data was used to predict the changes in prevalence of ischemic heart disease and stroke for each country estimating the effect of salt reduction through its effect on blood pressure levels. A 30% salt reduction would reduce the prevalence of stroke by 6.4% in Finland to 13.5% in Poland. Ischemic heart disease would be decreased by 4.1% in Finland to 8.9% in Poland. When salt intake is reduced to the WHO population nutrient goal, it would reduce the prevalence of stroke from 10.1% in Finland to 23.1% in Poland. Ischemic heart disease would decrease by 6.6% in Finland to 15.5% in Poland. The number of postponed deaths would be 102,100 (0.9%) in France, and 191,300 (2.3%) in Poland. A reduction of salt intake to 5 grams per day is expected to substantially reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease and mortality in several European countries.
Setting international standards for the management of public health pesticides
Berg, H. van den; Yadav, R.S. ; Zaim, M. - \ 2015
PLOS Medicine 12 (2015)5. - ISSN 1549-1676 - 9 p.
vector-borne diseases - insecticide resistance - malaria control - countries - africa - risk
Recent developments have highlighted the urgency of sound management of public health pesticides in vector-borne–disease–endemic countries. Major shortcomings are evident in national-level management practices throughout the pesticide life cycle from production to disposal; these shortcomings will adversely affect the cost-effectiveness and increase the risks of pesticides used. A major thrust has occurred towards developing international standards for improvement of public health pesticide management and towards expanding WHO’s global network on pesticide evaluation. However, to face current and future challenges, such as insecticide resistance in malaria vectors, the global capacity for evaluation of new insecticide products and vector-control tools should be further enhanced. Another area requiring urgent attention is the actual adoption and implementation of the recommended standards, calling for support to strengthen policy, legislation, and capacity.
Combining malaria control with house electrification: adherence to recommended behaviours for proper deployment of solar-powered mosquito trapping systems, Rusinga Island, western Kenya
Oria, P.A. ; Alaii, J. ; Ayugi, M. ; Takken, W. ; Leeuwis, C. - \ 2015
Tropical Medicine and International Health 20 (2015)8. - ISSN 1360-2276 - p. 1048 - 1056.
treated bed nets - randomized controlled-trial - lake victoria - burkina-faso - risk - prevention - hiv - acceptability - motivation - villages
objective To investigate community adherence to recommended behaviours for proper deployment of solar-powered mosquito trapping systems (SMoTS) after 3- to 10-week use. methods Solar-powered mosquito trapping system, which also provided power for room lighting and charging mobile phones, were installed in houses in Rusinga Island, western Kenya. We used a structured checklist for observations and a semi-structured questionnaire for interviews in 24 homesteads. We also analysed the subject of 224 community calls to the project team for technical maintenance of SMoTS. results Most respondents cared for SMoTS by fencing, emptying and cleaning the trap. Our observations revealed that most traps were fenced, clean and in good working condition. A significantly higher proportion of community calls was lighting-related. Lighting was the main reason respondents liked SMoTS because it reduced or eliminated expenditure on kerosene. However, some respondents observed they no longer heard sounds of mosquitoes inside their houses. All respondents reportedly slept under insecticide-treated nets (ITNs) before receiving SMoTS. After receiving SMoTS, most respondents reportedly continued to use ITNs citing that the project advised them to do so. Some beach residents stopped using ITNs because they no longer heard mosquitoes or due to heat discomfort caused by lights. conclusion Electricity-related incentives played a greater role in encouraging adherence to recommended behaviours for proper deployment of SMoTS than the potential health benefits in the early stages of the intervention. Although energy-related financial incentives may play a role, they are insufficient to ensure adherence to health advice, even in the short term. Ongoing community engagement and research monitors and addresses adherence to recommended behaviours including continuation of current malaria control strategies.
Ten-Year Blood Pressure Trajectories, Cardiovascular Mortality, and Life Years Lost in 2 Extinction Cohorts: the Minnesota Business and Professional Men Study and the Zutphen Study
Tielemans, S.M.A.J. ; Geleijnse, J.M. ; Menotti, A. ; Boshuizen, H.C. ; Soedamah-Muthu, S.S. ; Jacobs, D.R. ; Blackburn, H. ; Kromhout, D. - \ 2015
Journal of the American Heart Association 4 (2015). - ISSN 2047-9980 - 12 p.
follow-up - disease - risk - age - adulthood
Background Blood pressure (BP) trajectories derived from measurements repeated over years have low measurement error and may improve cardiovascular disease prediction compared to single, average, and usual BP (single BP adjusted for regression dilution). We characterized 10-year BP trajectories and examined their association with cardiovascular mortality, all-cause mortality, and life years lost. Methods and Results Data from 2 prospective and nearly extinct cohorts of middle-aged men—the Minnesota Business and Professional Men Study (n=261) and the Zutphen Study (n=632)—were used. BP was measured annually during 1947–1957 in Minnesota and 1960–1970 in Zutphen. BP trajectories were identified by latent mixture modeling. Cox proportional hazards and linear regression models examined BP trajectories with cardiovascular mortality, all-cause mortality, and life years lost. Associations were adjusted for age, serum cholesterol, smoking, and diabetes mellitus. Mean initial age was about 50 years in both cohorts. After 10 years of BP measurements, men were followed until death on average 20 years later. All Minnesota men and 98% of Zutphen men died. Four BP trajectories were identified, in which mean systolic BP increased by 5 to 49 mm Hg in Minnesota and 5 to 20 mm Hg in Zutphen between age 50 and 60. The third systolic BP trajectories were associated with 2 to 4 times higher cardiovascular mortality risk, 2 times higher all-cause mortality risk, and 4 to 8 life years lost, compared to the first trajectory. Conclusions Ten-year BP trajectories were the strongest predictors, among different BP measures, of cardiovascular mortality, all-cause mortality, and life years lost in Minnesota. However, average BP was the strongest predictor in Zutphen.
Exposing the grey seal as a major predator of harbour porpoises
Leopold, M.F. ; Begeman, L. ; Bleijswijk, J. van; IJsseldijk, L. ; Witte, H.J. ; Grone, A. - \ 2015
Proceedings of the Royal Society. B: Biological Sciences 282 (2015)1798. - ISSN 0962-8452 - 7 p.
halichoerus-grypus - phocoena-phocoena - natural mortality - escape tactics - southern gulf - st-lawrence - risk - dna
Harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) stranding in large numbers around the southern North Sea with fatal, sharp-edged mutilations have spurred controversy among scientists, the fishing industry and conservationists, whose views about the likely cause differ. The recent detection of grey seal (Halichoerus grypus) DNA in bite marks on three mutilated harbour porpoises, as well as direct observations of grey seal attacks on porpoises, have identified this seal species as a probable cause. Bite mark characteristics were assessed in a retrospective analysis of photographs of dead harbour porpoises that stranded between 2003 and 2013 (n = 1081) on the Dutch coastline. There were 271 animals that were sufficiently fresh to allow macroscopic assessment of grey seal-associated wounds with certainty. In 25% of these, bite and claw marks were identified that were consistent with the marks found on animals that had tested positive for grey seal DNA. Affected animals were mostly healthy juveniles that had a thick blubber layer and had recently fed. We conclude that the majority of the mutilated harbour porpoises were victims of grey seal attacks and that predation by this species is one of the main causes of death in harbour porpoises in The Netherlands. We provide a decision tree that will help in the identification of future cases of grey seal predation on porpoises.
Common variants and haplotypes in the TF, TNF-a, and TMPRSS6 genes are associated with iron status in a female black South African population
Gichohi-Wainaina, W.N. ; Boonstra, A. ; Swinkels, D.W. ; Zimmermann, M.B. ; Feskens, E.J.M. ; Towers, G.W. - \ 2015
The Journal of Nutrition 145 (2015)5. - ISSN 0022-3166 - p. 945 - 953.
tumor-necrosis-factor - transferrin g277s mutation - deficiency anemia - serum hepcidin - women - risk - disease - hfe - polymorphisms - saturation
Background: It is unknown whether single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), associated with iron status in European and Asian populations, have the same relation within the African population. Objectives: We aimed to investigate associations of reported SNPs with iron markers in a South African cohort. Methods: Blood concentrations of hemoglobin, serum ferritin (SF), serum soluble transferrin receptor (sTfR), and body iron (BI) stores were determined from women (n = 686; range, 32–86 y) who were part of the Prospective Urban and Rural Epidemiology study. Thirty-two SNPs in 12 genes were selected based on existing genome-wide association study data. Results: In the transferrin (TF) gene, SF and BI were significantly lower in the heterozygote genotype (AG) of reference SNP (rs) 1799852 (P = 0.01 and 0.03, respectively) and sTfR concentrations were significantly higher (P = 0.004) than the homozygote minor allele genotype (AA), whereas transferrin receptor and BI concentrations were significantly lower in the heterozygote genotype (AG) of rs3811647 (both P = 0.03) than the homozygote wild-type (AA) and minor allele groups (GG). The chromosome 6 allele combination (AAA) consisting of rs1799964 and rs1800629 both in tumor necrosis factor-a (TNF-a) and rs2071592 in nuclear factor ¿B inhibitor–like protein 1 (NFKBIL1) was associated with higher odds for low SF concentrations (SF <15 µg/L; OR: 1.86; 95% CI: 1.23, 2.79) than the allele combinations AGA, GGT, and AGT. The chromosome 22 allele combination (GG) consisting of rs228918 and rs228921 in the transmembrane protease serine 6 (TMPRSS6) gene was associated with lower odds for increased sTfR concentrations (sTfR > 8.3mg/L; OR: 0.79; 95% CI: 0.63, 0.98) than the allele combination AA. Conclusions: Various SNPs and allele combinations in the TF, TNF-a, and TMPRSS6 genes are associated with iron status in black South African women; however, these association patterns are different compared with European ancestry populations. This stresses the need for population-specific genomic data.
Impacts of Rainfall Variability and Expected Rainfall Changes on Cost-Effective Adaptation of Water Systems to Climate Change
Pol, T.D. van der; Ierland, E.C. van; Gabbert, S.G.M. ; Weikard, H.P. ; Hendrix, E.M.T. - \ 2015
Journal of Environmental Management 154 (2015). - ISSN 0301-4797 - p. 40 - 47.
hydrologic design - future changes - flood damage - precipitation - model - risk - netherlands - management - extremes - state
Stormwater drainage and other water systems are vulnerable to changes in rainfall and runoff and need to be adapted to climate change. This paper studies impacts of rainfall variability and changing return periods of rainfall extremes on cost-effective adaptation of water systems to climate change given a predefined system performance target, for example a flood risk standard. Rainfall variability causes system performance estimates to be volatile. These estimates may be used to recurrently evaluate system performance. This paper presents a model for this setting, and develops a solution method to identify cost-effective investments in stormwater drainage adaptations. Runoff and water levels are simulated with rainfall from stationary rainfall distributions, and time series of annual rainfall maxima are simulated for a climate scenario. Cost-effective investment strategies are determined by dynamic programming. The method is applied to study the choice of volume for a storage basin in a Dutch polder. We find that 'white noise', i.e. trend-free variability of rainfall, might cause earlier re-investment than expected under projected changes in rainfall. The risk of early re-investment may be reduced by increasing initial investment. This can be cost-effective if the investment involves fixed costs. Increasing initial investments, therefore, not only increases water system robustness to structural changes in rainfall, but could also offer insurance against additional costs that would occur if system performance is underestimated and re-investment becomes inevitable.
Economic optimization of surveillance in livestock production chains
Guo, X. - \ 2015
University. Promotor(en): Alfons Oude Lansink, co-promotor(en): Helmut Saatkamp; Frits Claassen. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462572485 - 180
agrarische economie - optimalisatie - dierziekten - risico - risicobeheersing - gevaren - economie van de veehouderij - vee- en vleesindustrie - agro-industriële ketens - nederland - vee - agricultural economics - optimization - animal diseases - risk - risk management - hazards - livestock economics - meat and livestock industry - agro-industrial chains - netherlands - livestock


Hazard surveillance in livestock production chains is an essential activity that is usually conducted by surveillance organizations. Its importance has been highlighted by the major crises that occurred in the field of livestock production and food safety during the last decades. Although extensive research has been conducted to achieve surveillance improvement in livestock production chains, they have limitations in terms of coverage of economic aspects and in the level of detail in modelling the interactions between hazard dynamics and surveillance activities. Hence, the dissertation aims to (1) improve the understanding of hazard surveillance in livestock production chains from an economic perspective, and (2) to apply the obtained knowledge for better model-based in-depth analysis of livestock hazard surveillance.

In this thesis, we first presents a conceptual framework for the economic analysis of single-hazard surveillance systems in livestock production chains which differs from most of the previous research focusing on the technical aspect of livestock hazard surveillance. We conclude that that the conceptual approach is scientifically credible for economic analysis of single-hazard surveillance systems and that the applicability of the approach critically depends on data availability. Then we present a conceptual framework for the economic optimization of a surveillance- portfolio consisting of multiple livestock hazards to survey. This framework applies the portfolio perspective to investigate the surveillance resource allocation problem, which is beyond the state of art that mainly focuses on single hazard surveillance analyses. The credibility and practicability of the framework were also checked.

To demonstrate the usefulness of the developed frameworks, two case studies are conducted. We applied the single-hazard surveillance framework to conduct a comprehensive economic analysis of classical swine fever (CSF) surveillance in the Netherlands. The results of the cost-effectiveness analysis show that the alternative surveillance setups with “PCR on rendered animals” are effective for the moderately virulent CSF strain, whereas the surveillance setups with “routine serology in slaughterhouses” or “routine serology on sow farms” are effective for the low virulent strain. Moreover, the current CSF surveillance system in the Netherlands is cost-effective for both moderately virulent and low virulent CSF strains. The results of the cost-benefit analysis for the moderately virulent CSF strain indicate that the current surveillance system in the Netherlands is adequate. From an economic perspective, there is little to be gained from intensifying surveillance. We also applied the surveillance-portfolio analysis framework to conduct economic optimization of a pig-hazard surveillance-portfolio, consisting of five pig-related hazards, in a Dutch food company. We draw the conclusion that surveillance organizations need to use a portfolio perspective to guide their surveillance resource allocation. This is because the case clearly shows that arbitrarily allocating surveillance resource can cause efficiency losses (either in terms of higher surveillance costs or low SP performance).

An exploratory analysis of land abandonment drivers in areas prone to desertification
Kosmas, C. ; Kairis, O. ; Karavitis, C. ; Hessel, R. ; Ritsema, C.J. - \ 2015
Catena 128 (2015). - ISSN 0341-8162 - p. 252 - 261.
soil-erosion - europe - indicators - patterns - spain - risk
The abandonment of land is a global problemwith environmental and socioeconomic implications. An approach to assess the relationship between land abandonment and a large set of indicators was illustrated in the present study by using data collected in the framework of the European Union DESIRE research project from 808 field sites located in 10 study sites in the Mediterranean region, Eastern Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia. A total of 48 indicators provided information for biophysical conditions and socioeconomic characteristics measured at the plot level. The selected indicators refer to farm characteristics (family status, land tenure, present and previous types of land-use, soil depth, slope gradient, tillage operations) and to site-specific characteristics including annual rainfall, rainfall seasonality and water availability. Classes were designated for each indicator and a sensitivity score was assigned to each class based on existing research or empirically assessing the importance of each indicator to the land abandonment issue. Questionnaires for each process of land degradation were prepared and datawere collected at field site level in collaboration with land users. Based on correlation statistics and multivariate analyses more than ten indicators out of 48 resulted as significant in affecting land abandonment in the studied field sites. Among them, the most important were rainfall seasonality, elderly index, land fragmentation, farm size, selected soil properties, and the level of policy implementation. Results contribute to the development of appropriate tools for assessing the effectiveness of land management practices for contrasting land abandonment.
Use of the ES-D3 cell differentiation assay, combined with the BeWo transport model, to predict relative in vivo developmenatl toxicity of antifungal compounds
Li, H. ; Rietjens, I. ; Louisse, J. ; Blok, M. ; Wang, X. ; Snijders, L. ; Ravenzwaay, B. van - \ 2015
Toxicology in Vitro 29 (2015)2. - ISSN 0887-2333 - p. 320 - 328.
dose-response curves - placental perfusion - test est - vitro - toxicology - potency - risk - rat
We investigated the applicability of the ES-D3 cell differentiation assay combined with the in vitro BeWo transport model to predict the relative in vivo developmental toxicity potencies. To this purpose, the in vitro developmental toxicity of five antifungal compounds was investigated by characterizing their inhibitory effect on the differentiation of ES-D3 cells into cardiomyocytes. The BeWo transport model, consisting of BeWo b30 cells grown on transwell inserts and mimicking the placental barrier, was used to determine the relative placental transport velocity. The ES-D3 cell differentiation data were first compared to benchmark doses (BMDs) for in vivo developmental toxicity as derived from data reported in the literature. Correlation between the benchmark concentration for 50% effect (BMCd50) values, obtained in the ES-D3 cell differentiation assay, with in vivo BMD10 values showed a reasonable correlation (R2 = 0.57). When the ES-D3 cell differentiation data were combined with the relative transport rates obtained from the BeWo model, the correlation with the in vivo data increased (R2 = 0.95). In conclusion, we show that the ES-D3 cell differentiation assay is able to better predict the in vivo developmental toxicity ranking of antifungal compounds when combined with the BeWo transport model, than as a stand-alone assay.
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