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There is now a clear focus on incorporating, and integrating, multiple levels of analysis in developmental science. The current study adds to research in this area by including markers of the immune and neuroendocrine systems in a longitudinal study of temperament in infants. Observational and parent-reported ratings of infant temperament, serum markers of the innate immune system, and cortisol reactivity from repeated salivary collections were examined in a sample of 123 infants who were assessed at 6 months and again when they were, on average, 17 months old. Blood from venipuncture was collected for analyses of nine select innate immune cytokines; salivary cortisol collected prior to and 15 min and 30 min following a physical exam including blood draw was used as an index of neuroendocrine functioning. Analyses indicated fairly minimal significant associations between biological markers and temperament at 6 months. However, by 17 months of age, we found reliable and nonoverlapping associations between observed fearful temperament and biological markers of the immune and neuroendocrine systems. The findings provide some of the earliest evidence of robust biological correlates of fear behavior with the immune system, and identify possible immune and neuroendocrine mechanisms for understanding the origins of behavioral development.
In 2013–2014, the Public Health Agency of Sweden developed a web-based participatory surveillance system, Hӓlsorapport, based on a random sample of individuals reporting symptoms weekly online, to estimate the community incidence of self-reported acute gastrointestinal (AGI), acute respiratory (ARI) and influenza-like (ILI) illnesses and their severity. We evaluated Hӓlsorapport's acceptability, completeness, representativeness and its data correlation with other surveillance data. We calculated response proportions and Spearman correlation coefficients (r) between (i) incidence of illnesses in Hӓlsorapport and (ii) proportions of specific search terms to medical-advice website and reasons for calling a medical advice hotline. Of 34 748 invitees, 3245 (9·3%) joined the cohort. Participants answered 81% (139 013) of the weekly questionnaires and 90% (16 351) of follow-up questionnaires. AGI incidence correlated with searches on winter-vomiting disease [r = 0·81, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0·69–0·89], and ARI incidence correlated with searches on cough (r = 0·77, 95% CI 0·62–0·86). ILI incidence correlated with the web query-based estimated incidence of ILI patients consulting physicians (r = 0·63, 95% CI 0·42–0·77). The high response to different questionnaires and the correlation with other syndromic surveillance systems suggest that Hӓlsorapport offers a reasonable representation of AGI, ARI and ILI patterns in the community and can complement traditional and syndromic surveillance systems to estimate their burden in the community.
In Sweden, acute gastrointestinal illness (AGI) incidence, severity, impact on productivity, related healthcare usage and associated costs are not ascertained. We measured these in 2013–2014 using a population-based cohort reporting weekly. We defined AGI as ⩾3 episodes of loose stools or vomiting/24 h; or loose stools or vomiting with ⩾2 other gastrointestinal symptoms. After each AGI episode, we collected information about perceived severity, healthcare use and absenteeism. We calculated incidence rates, AGI absenteeism and costs comprising direct healthcare costs and productivity loss due to work/school absenteeism. A total of 3241 participants reported 1696 AGI episodes [incidence 360/1000 person-years, 95% confidence interval (CI) 326–395; highest in the <5 years age group]. In the <5 years age group, 31% of episodes were perceived as mild, 61% as moderate and 8% as severe; 9·4% led to primary-care consultations, and 1·4% to hospital admissions. In the ⩾5 years age group, 18% of episodes were perceived as mild, 64% as moderate and 18% as severe; 6·4% led to primary-care consultations, and 1·9% to hospital admissions. AGI caused 8 891 000 days of absenteeism (95% CI 6 009 000–12 780 000). AGI cost €1 005 885 000 (95% CI 754 309 000–1 257 195 000) nationally for the year. In Sweden, a minority of cases perceive AGI as a mild illness. AGI is a burden on the healthcare system and causes productivity loss, with high costs. Countries may consider these estimates when prioritizing health interventions.
Immune system and inflammatory responses are affected by α-linolenic acid (αLA: 18:3 ω-3). The objective of this study was to determine the effects of αLA-enriched rations on gene expression of systemic (blood) and local (mammary gland) inflammatory markers in Holstein dairy cattle. Further, the effect of dietary treatments was evaluated on the concentration of αLA in serum phospholipids. Camelina (Camelina sativa) meal (containing 24·2% αLA) was fed at 0, 3, 6, and 9% (dry matter basis) replacing canola meal (rich in 18:1 ω-9) to provide rations with incremental concentrations of αLA. Lactating primiparous Holstein cows (n = 18) were randomly assigned to a treatment sequence in a 4 × 4 Latin square design. Each period lasted 16 d and milk and blood samples were collected during the final 2 d of each period. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) and milk cells (MC) were harvested, and RNA extracted and converted to complementary DNA for quantitative real time PCR analysis. The effect of dietary treatments (αLA) on the relative abundance of pro- and anti-inflammatory genes in the PBMC and MC was tested by the MIXED procedure of SAS. Expression of pro-inflammatory tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α in MC was linearly reduced (up to 40%) as dietary αLA increased. Expression of pro-inflammatory markers interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-8, and TNF-α was reduced (29, 20, and 27%, respectively) in PBMC isolated from cows fed 6% camelina meal ration as compared with cows fed 0% (control). Expression of IL-6 was, however, increased with inclusion of camelina meal. Greater dietary αLA linearly increased serum phospholipids αLA contents, and when fed up to 6% DM down-regulated expression of some of the local (milk) and systemic (blood) pro-inflammatory markers in vivo.
To identify important risk factors for recurrent methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) to assist clinicians in identifying high-risk patients for continued surveillance and follow-up.
In this retrospective cohort study, we examined patients with MRSA bacteremia at 122 Veterans Affairs medical facilities from January 1, 2003, through December 31, 2010. Recurrent MRSA bacteremia was identified by a positive blood culture result from 2 to 180 days after index hospitalization discharge. Subset analyses were performed to evaluate risk factors for early-onset (2–60 days after discharge) and late-onset (61–180 days after discharge) recurrence. Risk factors were evaluated using Cox proportional hazards regression.
Of 18,425 patients, 1,159 (6.3%) had recurrent MRSA bacteremia. The median time to recurrence was 63 days. Longer duration of index bacteremia, increased severity of illness, receipt of only vancomycin, community-acquired infection, and several comorbidities were risk factors for recurrence. Congestive heart failure, hypertension, and rheumatoid arthritis/collagen disease were risk factors for early-onset but not late-onset recurrence. Geographic region and cardiac arrhythmias were risk factors for late-onset but not early-onset recurrence.
Risk factors for recurrent MRSA bacteremia included comorbidities, severity of illness, duration of bacteremia, and receipt of only vancomycin. Awareness of risk factors may be important at patient discharge for implementation of quality improvement initiatives including surveillance, follow-up, and education for high-risk patients.
Research findings in psychoneuroimmunology document reliable, bidirectional linkages among psychological processes, the nervous system, and the immune system. However, available data are based almost entirely on animal and adult human studies; the application to children and adolescents is uncertain. We capitalized on the experimental leverage provided by a routine vaccination to examine the link between mood symptoms and the immune response to a vaccine challenge in early adolescence. One hundred twenty-six 11-year-olds for whom vaccine response data were available were assessed at prevaccination and 4 weeks, 3 months, and 6 months following vaccination; self-report ratings of depression and anxiety as well as measures of psychosocial and somatic risk were assessed prior to vaccine response. Analyses indicated that children's internalizing mood symptoms were associated with elevated and persistently higher antibody responses, with evidence extending to two of the four serogroups. The associations remained after controlling for multiple possible confounders (social class, body mass index, sleep, psychosocial risk, and pubertal status). The observed enhanced vaccine response associated with depressive and anxious symptoms in early adolescence may reflect an important developmental difference in immune system–brain interplay between adults and children, and it underscores the need for further developmental studies of psychoneuroimmunology.
The impact of exposure to cold on individuals’ motor skills demands a deeper understanding of the ways in which cold weather influences psychomotor and haptic performance. In this study, various facets of psychomotor performance were evaluated in order to determine the impacts of ambient cold exposure on older persons. Healthy younger and older persons performed a battery of haptic psychomotor tests at room (23° C) and cold (1° C) ambient temperatures. The results indicate that older individuals do not perform as well as younger persons across the battery of tests, with cold temperature further degrading their performance in dexterity tasks (in, for example, Minnesota Manual Dexterity test placing: F [1, 16] = 10.23, p < .01) and peak precision grip force generation (F [1, 16] = 18.97, p < .01). The results suggest that cold weather may have an impact on the occupations older persons are able to perform during the winter months.
Nobody needs another summary of mass media research right now; there are plenty of fine, current surveys of the field (Kinder 2003). Our chapter discusses specifically how experimental research provides insight into the relationship between the media and the political world. We are especially interested in important questions that experimentation is well suited to address. Experimentation has been vital to the development of scholarship in this area, but we should also recognize when it is best to step away and choose another method.
Causation and experimentation go together hand in glove, and questions of causation are paramount in both lay and scholarly thought about the media (Iyengar 1990). Questions about the social, economic, and organizational factors that determine mass media content are certainly fascinating and relevant in their own right. One can argue, however, that such questions eventually beget questions about the ultimate impact of that content on individuals and political processes and institutions.
As an example of the promise and limitation of experimentation in mass media research, consider the media's constant bugbear: public perceptions of ideological bias in the news. The usual form of this complaint is that media organizations subtly stump for liberal causes (Goldberg 2001). Although this complaint often amounts to little more than strategic bluster, it is conceivable that the increasing differentiation of the media marketplace will encourage news organizations to become more forthright in displaying overt liberal or conservative commentary (Dalton, Beck, and Huckfeldt 1998).
This investigation addresses the problem of prediction of the rate of migration of redox-sensitive solution species within packing and backfill materials under conditions of variable oxidation potential. Effects of changes of oxidation potential and precipitation of stable uranium compounds during diffusion of uranium from a region of high oxidation potential into a region of low oxidation potential were simulated numerically. Questions of particular interest addressed in the investigation were the existence of a moving “redox front” and the influence of precipitation-dissolution processes on uranium migration. The simulations showed that no expanding redox fronts existed at any simulated time up to 3.2×105 years (1013 s). In simulations where precipitation of stable solids was not allowed, variations of oxidation potential did not affect total uranium concentrations in solution. Concentration profiles could be predicted simply by diffusion of the (constant) source concentrations. In simulations where precipitation of stable solids was allowed, uraninite and calcium uranate accumulated at the source-transport domain interface, while coffinite penetrated further into the transport domain. Total uranium concentrations in regions of precipitation were determined by solubilities of the precipitated solids, and were six to seven orders of magnitude lower than those in the simulations without precipitation, throughout the domain of transport.