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Introduced species can have strong ecological, social and economic effects on their non-native environment. Introductions of megafaunal species are rare and may contribute to rewilding efforts, but they may also have pronounced socio-ecological effects because of their scale of influence. A recent introduction of the hippopotamus Hippopotamus amphibius into Colombia is a novel introduction of a megaherbivore onto a new continent, and raises questions about the future dynamics of the socio-ecological system into which it has been introduced. Here we synthesize current knowledge about the Colombian hippopotamus population, review the literature on the species to predict potential ecological and socio-economic effects of this introduction, and make recommendations for future study. Hippopotamuses can have high population growth rates (7–11%) and, on the current trajectory, we predict there could be 400–800 individuals in Colombia by 2050. The hippopotamus is an ecosystem engineer that can have profound effects on terrestrial and aquatic environments and could therefore affect the native biodiversity of the Magdalena River basin. Hippopotamuses are also aggressive and may pose a threat to the many inhabitants of the region who rely upon the Magdalena River for their livelihoods, although the species could provide economic benefits through tourism. Further research is needed to quantify the current and future size and distribution of this hippopotamus population and to predict the likely ecological, social and economic effects. This knowledge must be balanced with consideration of social and cultural concerns to develop appropriate management strategies for this novel introduction.
Seroprevalence estimation using cross-sectional serosurveys can be challenging due to inadequate or unknown biological cut-off limits of detection. In recent years, diagnostic assay cut-offs, fixed assay cut-offs and more flexible approaches as mixture modelling have been proposed to classify biological quantitative measurements into a positive or negative status. Our objective was to estimate the prevalence of anti-HCV antibodies among drug users (DU) in France in 2011 using a biological test performed on dried blood spots (DBS) collected during a cross-sectional serosurvey. However, in 2011, we did not have a cut-off value for DBS. We could not use the values for serum or plasma, knowing that the DBS value was not necessarily the same. Accordingly, we used a method which consisted of applying a two-component mixture model with age-dependent mixing proportions using penalised splines. The component densities were assumed to be log-normally distributed and were estimated in a Bayesian framework. Anti-HCV prevalence among DU was estimated at 43.3% in France and increased with age. Our method allowed us to provide estimates of age-dependent prevalence using DBS without having a specified biological cut-off value.
Background: Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a children’s neuromuscular disorder. Although motor neuron loss is a major feature of the disease, we have identified fatty acid abnormalities in SMA patients and in preclinical animal models, suggesting metabolic perturbation is also an important component of SMA. Methods: Biochemical, histological, proteomic, and high resolution respirometry were used. Results: SMA patients are more susceptible to dyslipidemia than the average population as determined by a standard lipid profile in a cohort of 72 pediatric patients. As well, we observed a non-alcoholic liver disease phenotype in apreclinical mouse model. Denervation alone was not sufficient to induce liver steatosis, as a mouse model of ALS, did not develop fatty liver. Hyperglucagonemia in Smn2B/-mice could explain the hepatic steatosis by increasing plasma substrate availability via glycogen depletion and peripheral lipolysis. Proteomic analysis identified mitochondrion and lipid metabolism as major clusters. Alterations in mitochondrial function were revealed by high-resolution respirometry. Finally, low-fat diets led to increased survival in Smn2B/-mice. Conclusions: These results provide strong evidence for lipid metabolism defects in SMA. Further investigation will be required to establish the primary mechanism of these alterations and understand how they lead to additional co-morbidities in SMA patients.
The disease caused by the influenza virus is a global public health problem due to its high rates of morbidity and mortality. Thus, analysis of the information generated by epidemiological surveillance systems has vital importance for health decision making. A retrospective analysis was performed using data generated by the four molecular diagnostic laboratories of the Mexican Social Security Institute between 2010 and 2016. Demographics, influenza positivity, seasonality, treatment choices and vaccination status analyses were performed for the vaccine according to its composition for each season. In all cases, both the different influenza subtypes and different age groups were considered separately. The circulation of A/H1N1pdm09 (48.7%), influenza A/H3N2 (21.1%), influenza B (12.6%), influenza A not subtyped (11%) and influenza A/H1N1 (6.6%) exhibited well-defined annual seasonality between November and March, and there were significant increases in the number of cases every 2 years. An inadequate use of oseltamivir was determined in 38% of cases, and the vaccination status in general varied between 12.1 and 18.5% depending on the season. Our results provide current information about influenza in Mexico and demonstrate the need to update both operational case definitions and medical practice guidelines to reduce the inappropriate use of antibiotics and antivirals.
Background: Greater than 80% of patient visits to emergency departments (EDs) are for a pain-related concerns. Approximately 38,000 patients per year have such complaints in our academic hospital ED. 3,300 (8.6%) of those visits are for musculoskeletal (MSK) pain (i.e. back or extremity injury/pain), which are typically triaged as low-acuity presentations, leading to longer times to clinician assessment. Delays to adequate analgesia result in unnecessary suffering, worse patient care and satisfaction, and increased patient complaints. Aim Statement: We aimed to reduce the time-to-analgesia (TTA; time from patient triage to receipt of analgesia) for patients with MSK pain in our ED by 55% (to under 60 minutes) in 9 months’ time (May 2018). Measures & Design: Our outcome measures were TTA (in minutes) and ED length of stay (LOS; in minutes). Process measures included nurses’ use of medical directive and rate of analgesia administration. Balancing measures included patient adverse events and time spent triaging for nurses. We utilized weekly data capture for the Statistical Process Control (SPC) chart, and we used Mann-Whitney U test for our before-and-after evaluation. Utilizing the Model for Improvement, we performed wide stakeholder engagement and root cause analyses, and we created a Pareto chart. This led to our Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) cycles: 1) nurse-initiated analgesia (NIA) at triage; 2) new triage documentation aid for medication administration; 3) quick reference medical directive badge tag for nurses; 4) weekly targeted feedback of the project's progress at clinical team huddle. Evaluation/Results: TTA decrease from 129 minutes (n = 153) to 100 minutes (22.5%; n = 87, p < 0.05). ED LOS decreased from 580 minutes (n = 361) to 519 minutes (10.5%; n = 187; p = 0.77). Special cause variation was identified on the ED LOS SPC chart with eight consecutive points below the midline, after PDSA 1. The number of patients who received any analgesia increased from 42% (n = 361) to 47% (n = 187; p = 0.13). The number of patients who received medications via medical directives increased from 22% (n = 150) to 44% (n = 87; p < 0.001). Balancing measures were unchanged. Discussion/Impact: The significant reduction in the TTA and increase in the use of medical directives in the before-and-after analyses were likely due to our front-line focused improvements and deliberate nursing engagement. With continued success and sustainable processes, we are planning to spread our project to other EDs and broaden our initiative to all pain-related concerns.
Background: Adults with long-term neurological conditions can face complex challenges including anxiety and depression. Emerging research suggests the utility of third-wave approaches (the third development of psychotherapies) in working transdiagnostically with these difficulties.
Aims: This systematic review sought to summarise and appraise the quality of published empirical studies using third-wave therapies such as Compassion Focused Therapy; Acceptance and Commitment Therapy; and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy or Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction.
Method: Review procedures followed PRISMA guidelines, with 437 abstracts screened, 24 full-text articles retrieved and 19 studies found to meet inclusion criteria. Six out of seven randomised studies had unclear or high risk of bias, whilst the majority of non-randomised studies were considered moderate quality.
Results: Overall, studies reported a statistically significant reduction in emotional distress. Of the 13 studies that used model-specific process measures, 10 found statistically significant improvements in transdiagnostic factors.
Discussion: The findings indicate that third-wave therapies show promise in addressing transdiagnostic difficulties within neurological conditions. A number of methodological and conceptual issues for the included studies were highlighted during the quality appraisal process. Clinical implications include consideration of intervention length and use of outcome measures. Research implications are discussed by considering the progressive stages of development for behavioural treatments.
Mechanized dredging impact on discards was assessed along the northern Alboran Sea (W Mediterranean Sea). Data from 101 dredging operations were analysed for contrasting spatial and seasonal variability of damage, with the use of a three-level damage scale. 4.5% of discarded individuals displayed intermediate damage, whereas 11.3% displayed severe damage. Echinoderms displayed the highest level of damage (~75% of total collected individuals) and Echinocardium cf. mediterraneum was the most susceptible discarded species (85% with severe damage), followed by bivalves (7.3%) and crustaceans (3.3%). The target Chamelea gallina showed a low proportion of damaged individuals, probably due to their thick protective shell, which promotes the survival of discarded undersized target individuals. Spatial differences in damage level on discards were linked to some gear characteristics, to the higher amount of gravels and to longer tow durations, whereas damage was generally higher in cold months and partly related to higher quantities of hard shelled molluscs, in both cases increasing the abrasion and damage to retained organisms. Data suggest that dredges with a lower number of narrower iron teeth and towed for a shorter time could decrease the damage rate in discards of this fishery. A spatial management plan based on the type of grounds would be useful in order to improve efficiency of these fisheries and minimize their impact to soft bottoms with different commercial catches and biological communities.
Seven half-day regional listening sessions were held between December 2016 and April 2017 with groups of diverse stakeholders on the issues and potential solutions for herbicide-resistance management. The objective of the listening sessions was to connect with stakeholders and hear their challenges and recommendations for addressing herbicide resistance. The coordinating team hired Strategic Conservation Solutions, LLC, to facilitate all the sessions. They and the coordinating team used in-person meetings, teleconferences, and email to communicate and coordinate the activities leading up to each regional listening session. The agenda was the same across all sessions and included small-group discussions followed by reporting to the full group for discussion. The planning process was the same across all the sessions, although the selection of venue, time of day, and stakeholder participants differed to accommodate the differences among regions. The listening-session format required a great deal of work and flexibility on the part of the coordinating team and regional coordinators. Overall, the participant evaluations from the sessions were positive, with participants expressing appreciation that they were asked for their thoughts on the subject of herbicide resistance. This paper details the methods and processes used to conduct these regional listening sessions and provides an assessment of the strengths and limitations of those processes.
Herbicide resistance is ‘wicked’ in nature; therefore, results of the many educational efforts to encourage diversification of weed control practices in the United States have been mixed. It is clear that we do not sufficiently understand the totality of the grassroots obstacles, concerns, challenges, and specific solutions needed for varied crop production systems. Weed management issues and solutions vary with such variables as management styles, regions, cropping systems, and available or affordable technologies. Therefore, to help the weed science community better understand the needs and ideas of those directly dealing with herbicide resistance, seven half-day regional listening sessions were held across the United States between December 2016 and April 2017 with groups of diverse stakeholders on the issues and potential solutions for herbicide resistance management. The major goals of the sessions were to gain an understanding of stakeholders and their goals and concerns related to herbicide resistance management, to become familiar with regional differences, and to identify decision maker needs to address herbicide resistance. The messages shared by listening-session participants could be summarized by six themes: we need new herbicides; there is no need for more regulation; there is a need for more education, especially for others who were not present; diversity is hard; the agricultural economy makes it difficult to make changes; and we are aware of herbicide resistance but are managing it. The authors concluded that more work is needed to bring a community-wide, interdisciplinary approach to understanding the complexity of managing weeds within the context of the whole farm operation and for communicating the need to address herbicide resistance.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a DNA virus linked to mucosal and cutaneous carcinogenesis. More than 200 different HPV types exist. We carried out a transversal study to investigate the prevalence of HPV types in two regions of Mexico. A total of 724 genital and non-genital samples from women (F) and men (M) were studied; 241 (33%) from North-Eastern (NE) and 483 (66%) from South-Central (SC) Mexico. The overall prevalence was 87%. In genital lesions from females, the NE group showed a prevalence of HPV types 16 (37%), 6 (13%), 59 (6%), 11, 18 and 66 (5.4% each); and the SC group showed types 6 (17%), 16 (15%), 11 (14.5%), 18 (12%) and 53 (6%). In the genital lesions from males, NE group showed types 16 (38%), 6 (21%), 11 (13%) and 59 plus 31 (7.5%) and the SC group showed types 6 (25%), 11 (22%), 18 (17%) and 16 (11.5%). When the two regions were compared, a higher prevalence of low-risk HPV 6 and 11 was found in the SC region and of high-risk HPV 59, 31 and 66 (the latter can also be present in benign lesions) in the NE region. Our findings complement efforts to understand HPV demographics as a prerequisite to guide and assess the impact of preventive interventions.
Tropical signalgrass (TSG) is one of the most problematic weeds found on golf courses, sports fields, and sod farms in south Florida. The recent ban of monosodium methane-arsonate (MSMA), an organic arsenical herbicide, from urban areas in Florida has left turfgrass managers searching for effective management options. In an effort to avoid relying solely on POST chemical control, this research examined the effect of combining a cultural practice, verticutting, along with PRE and POST herbicides as an integrated weed management approach to controlling TSG in hybrid bermudagrass. Field experiments were conducted at multiple locations over 2 yr in south Florida to: (1) determine whether verticutting before herbicide applications increases TSG control and (2) identify herbicide programs that effectively control TSG. No interactions between verticutting and herbicide programs were detected, but verticutting consistently provided a slight reduction (8% averaged across herbicide treatments) in TSG cover. Treatments containing a PRE herbicide resulted in a significant reduction (20% to 50%) in TSG cover at 52 wk after initial treatment (WAIT), while some POST herbicide treatments reduced TSG cover to <20% at 52 WAIT. A study was conducted to determine which POST herbicide combinations were most efficacious in controlling TSG. Amicarbazone alone provided ≤35% TSG control at 8 and 12 WAIT, but synergistic responses were observed between amicarbazone and mesotrione, trifloxysulfuron, and thiencarbazone+foramsulfuron+halosulfuron. Two- and three-way combinations of amicarbazone with these POST herbicides resulted in >80% TSG control at 4, 8, and 12 WAIT, with some reaching 100% TSG control at 4 WAIT. Based on these data, verticutting may provide limited complementary control, but certain combinations of POST herbicides exhibited excellent (>95%) TSG control.
Introduction: Treat and Release (T&R) patients are seen and discharged home from the emergency department (ED), and asked to return within 12-72 hours for follow-up care (e.g., ultrasound, repeat blood work). Our two academic teaching hospitals see approximately 2,000 T&R patients per year. Handover of care for T&R patientsdone through charting only and therefore dependent on the charts adequacy and completenessis crucial to the safety and quality of care they receive. An 18-month retrospective chart audit at our sites identified quality gaps, including suboptimal documentation that ultimately impedes patient disposition. Our projects aim was to reduce the time-to-disposition (TTD; time spent by patients between provider initial assessment and discharge from the ED) by a third (from 70min) in 6-months time (March 2017), a target felt to be both meaningful and realistic by our stakeholder team. Methods: Our primary outcome measure was the TTD (in minutes). Our process measure was the quality of documentation, using a modified version of QNOTE, a validated tool used to assess the quality of health-care documentation. PDSA cycles included: 1) Involvement of stakeholders for the creation and refinement of an improved T&R handover tool to cue more specific documentation; 2) Education of health-care providers (HCPs) about T&R patients; 3) Replacement of the previous T&R handover tool with a newly designed and mandatory tool (i.e. a forcing function); 4) Refinement of the process for T&R patients and chart hold-over. Results: Run charts for both the median TTD and median modified QNOTE scores over time demonstrate a shift (i.e., run chart rule) associated with the second and third clustered PDSA cycles. After the first three clusters of PDSA cycles (i.e., before-and-after), mean TTD was reduced by 40% (70min to 42min, p=0.005). The quality of documentation (mean modified QNOTE scores) was also significantly improved (all results p<0.0001): patient assessment from 81% to 92%, plan of care from 58% to 85% and follow-up plan from 67% to 90%. Conclusion: We reduced the time-to-disposition for T&R patients by identifying gaps in the quality of documentation of their chart. Using iterative PDSA cycles, we improved their time-to-disposition through improved communication between health-care providers and a new T&R handover tool working as a forcing function. Other centers could use similar assessment methods and interventions to improve the care of T&R patients.
Over 1000 species of arthropods have been recorded from cadavers worldwide. While conducting a study on the diversity and abundance of insects associated with pig (Sus scrofa Linnaeus; Mammalia: Suidae) carrion in the highlands of Chiapas, Mexico, we noticed the presence of thrips (Thysanoptera) in the collecting containers of traps. The thrips collected comprised the following species: Aeolothrips species (Aeolothripidae), Frankliniella brunnea Priesner (Thripidae), Frankliniella fusca (Hinds), Frankliniella trinidadensis Hood, Neohydatothrips portoricensis (Morgan) (Thripidae), Thrips simplex (Morison) (Thripidae), Wegenerithrips admirabilis Johansen (Thripidae), and Stephanothrips bradleyi Hood (Phlaeothripidae). These species were taken in Schoenly traps, a device designed to catch sarcosaprophagous insects. The thrips species reported in the present study have not previously been recovered from decomposing cadavers, and their occurrence suggests an attraction to one or more components of the trap, rather than an incidental presence. Albeit thrips are not considered forensically important, more studies are needed to elucidate their role in carrion ecology.
Introduction: Emerging evidence suggests a heightened interest in healthy behaviour changes, including smoking cessation, at the beginning of the week. Evidence from Google searches, quitlines, and cessation websites show greater information-seeking and interest in early week quitting.
Aims: This pilot assesses the comparative effectiveness of a smoking cessation intervention that encourages participants to use Mondays as a day to quit or recommit to quitting smoking.
Methods: We partnered with existing smoking cessation group programs to conduct a quasi-experimental, pre–post study. Both comparison and intervention groups received the same standard-care curriculum from program instructors. Intervention group participants received Monday materials including a wallet card and a mantra card during enrolment. On Mondays, intervention participants received an emailed tip-of-the-week and were encouraged to quit or recommit to quitting. Quit buddies were recommended in both groups, but intervention participants were encouraged to check-in with quit buddies on Mondays. The outcomes of smoking abstinence, number and length of quit attempts, and self-efficacy were assessed at the final program session and three months later.
Results: At the last session, intervention group participants who were still smoking had a higher self-efficacy of quitting in the future, rated their programs as more helpful in quitting smoking, and were more likely to rate quit buddies as very helpful. Differences in self-efficacy were no longer observed at the second follow-up. No differences were observed between intervention and standard group participants in abstinence, number of quits, length of quits, or self-efficacy of staying quit at either follow-up.
Conclusions: Encouraging results from this pilot study indicate that further research is needed to explore how Monday messaging may improve smoking cessation programs.
Two separate experiments were conducted in 2015 and 2016 in Citra, FL to investigate the effects of preplant application timing of 2,4-D and dicamba on sesame stand and yield. Nonlinear regression analysis was performed to determine the application timing that caused 10% stand or yield reduction (GR10) compared to the nontreated control (NTC) and expressed as d before planting (DBP; longer intervals indicate more injury). Likewise, regression analysis was used to determine sesame stand that resulted in 10% yield reduction (YR10) expressed as plants m−1 row. Stand measured 3 wk after planting (WAP) revealed 2,4-D applied at 0.53 kg ae ha−1 to be the least injurious treatment to sesame stand (GR10=6.4 DBP). Conversely, dicamba at 1.12 kg ha−1 produced a GR10 of 15.7 DBP for sesame stand at 3 WAP. 2,4-D applied at 0.53 and 1.06 kg ha−1 and dicamba applied at 0.56 kg ha−1 had the lowest GR10 for yield of 2, 3.7, and 3 DBP, respectively. Dicamba applied at 1.12 kg ha−1 proved to be the most injurious treatment to yield, which produced a GR10 value of 10.3 DBP. To simulate possible stand losses associated with dicamba or 2,4-D and the subsequent effect on yield, a separate experiment was conducted in which sesame was thinned to various plant densities and yield was recorded to determine the relationship between plant stand and seed yield. The regression analysis of these data was then compared to that of the experiment treated with 2,4-D and dicamba to separate any physiological effects of the herbicides that would lead to yield reduction from yield effects due to stand loss only. Rate constants were compared and no statistical differences were detected between herbicide and non-herbicide treatments, suggesting that yield reductions that occur from preplant applications of 2,4-D and dicamba were purely due to stand reductions.
The Asian fish tapeworm, Schyzocotyle acheilognathi (syn. Bothriocephalus acheilognathi) represents a threat to freshwater fish, mainly cyprinids, across the globe. This tapeworm possesses an extraordinary ability to adapt to different environmental conditions and, because of that, from its natural geographical origin in mainland Asia, it has colonized every continent except Antarctica. It is thought that this pathogenic tapeworm was first co-introduced into Mexico in 1965 from China, with the grass carp Ctenopharyngodon idella, although the first formal record of its presence was published in 1981. Over the past 35 years, the Asian fish tapeworm has invaded about 22% of the freshwater fish in Mexico. Because fish communities in Mexico are characterized by high species richness and levels of endemism, S. acheilognathi is considered as a co-introduced and co-invasive species. In this review, we update the geographic distribution and host spectrum of the Asian fish tapeworm in Mexico. Up until December 2016, the tapeworm had been recorded in 110 freshwater fish species (96 native and 14 introduced), included in 51 genera, 11 families and 4 orders; it was also widely distributed in all types of aquatic environments, and has been found in 214 localities. We present novel data from a survey aimed at establishing the distribution pattern of the tapeworm in native freshwater fishes of two rivers in north-central Mexico, and the genetic variation among individuals of this co-invasive species collected from different host species and localities. We discuss briefly the factors that have determined the remarkable invasive success of this parasite in freshwater systems in Mexico.
Introduction: The emergence of electronic cigarettes (ECs) has become a growing phenomenon that has sharply split opinion among the public health community, physicians, and lawmakers.
Aims: We sought to determine chest physician perceptions regarding ECs.
Methods: We conducted a web-based survey of 18,000 American College of Chest Physician (CHEST) members to determine health care provider experiences with EC users and to characterise provider perceptions regarding ECs.
Results/Findings: There were 994 respondents. Eighty-eight per cent reported that patients had asked their opinion of ECs, and 31% reported EC use among at least 10% of their patients. More disagreed than agreed (41% vs. 21%) that patients could improve their health by switching from tobacco smoking to daily EC use. Respondents were split on whether ECs promote tobacco cessation (32% agree vs. 33% disagree).
Conclusions: Current perceptions of ECs are variable among providers. More than 1/3 of respondents felt that EC's could be used for smoking cessation for smokers who failed prior quit attempts with approved therapies. However, many respondents were not convinced that ECs will reduce harms from tobacco use. There is an urgent need to generate additional high quality scientific data regarding ECs to inform chest physicians, health professionals, and the general public.
Introduction: Adherence to transdermal nicotine patches, one of the most popular and effective treatments for nicotine dependence, remains very low and is a strong predictor of cessation rates.
Aims: This study examined individual factors related to adherence as well as differences over time between adherent (>85% of daily patch use) and non-adherent participants (<85% of daily patch use).
Methods: We analysed data from 440 participants who received 8 weeks of 21 mg transdermal nicotine and four behavioural counselling sessions within an effectiveness trial that examined the effects of long-term treatment. Multiple logistical regression assessed baseline variables associated with patch adherence and generalised estimating equations (GEE) were used to evaluate changes in craving and withdrawal, depressive and anxiety symptoms, substitute and complementary reinforcers, and side effects between participants who were or were not adherent.
Results: Adherence to patch use was strongly associated with smoking cessation at week 8 (p < 0.05). In a logistic regression model, being female, living with a child or children, and higher self-reported anxiety symptoms were predictive of lower patch adherence (p < 0.05). In the GEE analysis, adherence was significantly associated with a greater reduction in craving, a greater engagement in substitute reinforcers, and a greater decrease in complementary reinforcers over time (p < 0.05).
Conclusions: Difficulties adhering to transdermal nicotine patches may be related to psychiatric comorbidity, difficulty managing nicotine craving, and challenges with engaging in substitute reinforcers and reducing exposure to complementary reinforcers. These constructs may serve as targets for interventions designed to increase treatment adherence.