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Destruction of tropical rainforests reduces many unprotected habitats to small fragments of remnant forests within agricultural matrices. To date, these remnant forest fragments have been largely disregarded as wildlife habitat, and little is known about mammalian use of these areas in Sumatra. Here, we conducted camera trap surveys (2285 trap-nights) within Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park and five surrounding remnant forest fragments during 2010–2013 and used species composition metrics to compare use. We found 28 mammal species in the protected forest and 21 in the fragments. The fragments harboured a subset of species found in the protected forest and several species not observed in the protected forest. Critically endangered species such as Sunda pangolin (Manis javanica) and Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae) were found in the forest fragments, along with species of conservation concern such as marbled cat (Pardofelis marmorata) and Asiatic golden cat (Pardofelis temminckii). The biodiversity found within the fragments suggests that these small patches of remnant forest may have conservation value to certain mammal species and indicates the importance of further research into the role these habitats may play in landscape-level, multispecies conservation planning.
To assess the effectiveness of a nutrition and physical activity (PA) intervention on dietary intake (DI), nutritional knowledge (NK), blood pressure (BP), anthropometric measures and cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) of schoolchildren.
Longitudinal study. DI, NK, BMI, waist-to-height ratio (WHtR), BP and CRF were all measured/calculated prior to (October 2014) and at the end of (June 2016) intervention delivery.
Two primary schools (one intervention and one control), Cork, Ireland.
Six-year-olds (n 49; mean age = 6·09 (sd 0·33) years) and 10-year-olds (n 52; mean age = 9·90 (sd 0·37) years).
There was a large and a moderate statistically significant difference between the change in systolic (P = 0·005, effect size (ES) = 0·165) and diastolic BP (P = 0·023, ES = 0·116), respectively, for 10-year-olds in the intervention and control groups. There was also a large statistically significant difference between the change in WHtR (P = 0·0005, ES = 0·386) and a moderate statistically significant difference between the change in NK (P = 0·027, ES = 0·107) for 10-year-olds in the intervention and control groups. There was a large statistically significant difference between the change in percentage of energy from protein in 10-year-old females (P = 0·021, ES = 0·276) in the intervention and control groups.
Project Spraoi is Ireland’s first ever school-based intervention that has been evaluated and proven effective in improving DI, NK, WHtR and BP in older primary-school children in one intervention school.
Shiga-toxin producing Escherichia coli (STEC) is a pathogen that can cause bloody diarrhoea and severe complications. Cases occur sporadically but outbreaks are also common. Understanding the incubation period distribution and factors influencing it will help in the investigation of exposures and consequent disease control. We extracted individual patient data for STEC cases associated with outbreaks with a known source of exposure in England and Wales. The incubation period was derived and cases were described according to patient and outbreak characteristics. We tested for heterogeneity in reported incubation period between outbreaks and described the pattern of heterogeneity. We employed a multi-level regression model to examine the relationship between patient characteristics such as age, gender and reported symptoms; and outbreak characteristics such as mode of transmission with the incubation period. A total of 205 cases from 41 outbreaks were included in the study, of which 64 cases (31%) were from a single outbreak. The median incubation period was 4 days. Cases reporting bloody diarrhoea reported shorter incubation periods compared with cases without bloody diarrhoea, and likewise, cases aged between 40 and 59 years reported shorter incubation period compared with other age groups. It is recommended that public health officials consider the characteristics of cases involved in an outbreak in order to inform the outbreak investigation and the period of exposure to be investigated.
The aim of this study was to systematically investigate existing literature on the costs of home-based telemedicine programs, and to further summarize how the costs of these telemedicine programs vary by equipment and services provided.
We undertook a systematic review of related literature by searching electronic bibliographic databases and identifying studies published from January 1, 2000, to November 30, 2017. The search was restricted to studies published in English, results from adult patients, and evaluation of home telemedicine programs implemented in the United States. Summarized telemedicine costs per unit of outcome measures were reported.
Twelve studies were eligible for our review. The overall annual cost of providing home-based telemedicine varied substantially depending on specific chronic conditions, ranging from USD1,352 for heart failure to USD206,718 for congestive heart failure (CHF), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and diabetes as a whole. The estimated cost per-patient-visit ranged from USD24 for cancer to USD39 for CHF, COPD, or chronic wound care.
The costs of home-based telemedicine programs varied substantially by program components, disease type, equipment used, and services provided. All the selected studies indicated that home telemedicine programs reduced care costs, although detailed cost data were either incomplete or not presented in detail. A comprehensive analysis of the cost of home-based telemedicine programs and their determinants is still required before the cost efficiency of these programs can be better understood, which becomes crucial for these programs to be more widely adopted and reimbursed.
Medication is an important component of the treatment of many mental illnesses. Very little information is available about the particular medications that are being prescribed by community mental health services and how this has changed over time. We set out to obtain details of psychiatric medications being prescribed by one Irish community mental health service.
All prescribing by the Cluain Mhuire Community Mental Health Service became electronic during 2004. Using Business Intelligence software, we obtained details of all psychiatric medications prescribed from 2005 to 2016. We compared numbers of prescriptions written in the first 6 years (2005–2010) with the following 6 (2011–2016).
Olanzapine was the most commonly prescribed medication throughout but its use declined by one-quarter over the study period. Clozapine, quetiapine, aripiprazole and haloperidol prescribing increased. Prescriptions for mood stabilisers and antidepressants fell by 25%. Sedative prescriptions declined by almost 50%. Absolute numbers of prescriptions written for methylphenidate and pregabalin were small but increased dramatically over the time period.
This community mental health service prescribed less of most psychiatric medications in 2016, than had been the case in 2005. This is despite an increase in the numbers of patients seen over the same period. It is not clear if this pattern is echoed in other services.
We have detected maser emission from the 36.2 GHz (4−1 → 30E) methanol transition towards NGC 4945. This emission has been observed in two separate epochs and is approximately five orders of magnitude more luminous than typical emission from this transition within our Galaxy. NGC 4945 is only the fourth extragalactic source observed hosting class I methanol maser emission. Extragalactic class I methanol masers do not appear to be simply highly-luminous variants of their galactic counterparts and instead appear to trace large-scale regions where low-velocity shocks are present in molecular gas.
Providing care for a person with dementia or other chronic illness at home often places stress on the primary caregiver. In an Irish population, ~67% of carers reported experiencing extreme physical or mental tiredness. This study aimed to identify factors that influence carer burden and identify the sub-populations of carers who are most susceptible to burden.
Consecutive carers referred to a local carers’ support organisation completed the following measurements: the Neuropsychiatric Inventory, Zarit Burden Interview, Social Network Index, General Health Questionnaire, Short Form Survey, Hamilton Depression Rating Scale, Brown’s Locus of Control scale and provided demographic data on themselves and their patient.
The sample consisted 53 carers, mean age: 64.5±11.7, of whom 43 (81.1%) were females. A linear regression model found significant independent (p<0.05) factors for carer burden were: increased behavioural problems of the patient, carer characteristics including female gender, younger age, high number of contacts, lower physical functioning and emotional problems, while protective factors were marriage and higher number of embedded networks.
The ability to predict which carers are more susceptible to burden allows service providers to more quickly and accurately identify ‘higher risk’ carers, facilitating routine check-ups by physicians and carer support services.
The type identity of strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa from primary and recurrent blood stream infection (BSI) has not been widely studied. Twenty-eight patients were identified retrospectively from 2008 to 2013 from five different laboratories; available epidemiological, clinical and microbiological data were obtained for each patient. Isolates were genotyped by iPLEX MassARRAY MALDI-TOF MS and rep-PCR. This showed that recurrent P. aeruginosa BSI was more commonly due to the same genotypically related strain as that from the primary episode. Relapse due to a genotypically related strain occurred earlier in time than a relapsing infection from an unrelated strain (median time: 26 vs. 91 days, respectively). Line related infections were the most common source of suspected BSI and almost half of all BSI episodes were associated with neutropenia, possibly indicating translocation of the organism from the patient's gut in this setting. Development of meropenem resistance occurred in two relapse isolates, which may suggest that prior antibiotic therapy for the primary BSI was a driver for the subsequent development of resistance in the recurrent isolate.
Recent cases of acute kidney injury due to Seoul hantavirus infection from exposure to wild or pet fancy rats suggest this infection is increasing in prevalence in the UK. We conducted a seroprevalence study in England to estimate cumulative exposure in at-risk groups with contact with domesticated and wild rats to assess risk and inform public health advice. From October 2013 to June 2014, 844 individual blood samples were collected. Hantavirus seroprevalence amongst the pet fancy rat owner group was 34.1% (95% CI 23·9–45·7%) compared with 3·3% (95% CI 1·6–6·0) in a baseline control group, 2·4% in those with occupational exposure to pet fancy rats (95% CI 0·6–5·9) and 1·7% with occupational exposure to wild rats (95% CI 0·2–5·9). Variation in seroprevalence across groups with different exposure suggests that occupational exposure to pet and wild rats carries a very low risk, if any. However incidence of hantavirus infection among pet fancy rat owners/breeders, whether asymptomatic, undiagnosed mild viral illness or more severe disease may be very common and public health advice needs to be targeted to this at-risk group.
An outbreak of respiratory diphtheria occurred in two health districts in the province of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa in 2015. A multidisciplinary outbreak response team was involved in the investigation and management of the outbreak. Fifteen cases of diphtheria were identified, with ages ranging from 4 to 41 years. Of the 12 cases that were under the age of 18 years, 9 (75%) were not fully immunized for diphtheria. The case fatality was 27%. Ninety-three household contacts, 981 school or work contacts and 595 healthcare worker contacts were identified and given prophylaxis against Corynebacterium diphtheriae infection. A targeted vaccination campaign for children aged 6–15 years was carried out at schools in the two districts. The outbreak highlighted the need to improve diphtheria vaccination coverage in the province and to investigate the feasibility of offering diphtheria vaccines to healthcare workers.
Although repeatedly associated with white matter microstructural alterations, bipolar disorder (BD) has been relatively unexplored using complex network analysis. This method combines structural and diffusion magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to model the brain as a network and evaluate its topological properties. A group of highly interconnected high-density structures, termed the ‘rich-club’, represents an important network for integration of brain functioning. This study aimed to assess structural and rich-club connectivity properties in BD through graph theory analyses.
We obtained structural and diffusion MRI scans from 42 euthymic patients with BD type I and 43 age- and gender-matched healthy volunteers. Weighted fractional anisotropy connections mapped between cortical and subcortical structures defined the neuroanatomical networks. Next, we examined between-group differences in features of graph properties and sub-networks.
Patients exhibited significantly reduced clustering coefficient and global efficiency, compared with controls globally and regionally in frontal and occipital regions. Additionally, patients displayed weaker sub-network connectivity in distributed regions. Rich-club analysis revealed subtly reduced density in patients, which did not withstand multiple comparison correction. However, hub identification in most participants indicated differentially affected rich-club membership in the BD group, with two hubs absent when compared with controls, namely the superior frontal gyrus and thalamus.
This graph theory analysis presents a thorough investigation of topological features of connectivity in euthymic BD. Abnormalities of global and local measures and network components provide further neuroanatomically specific evidence for distributed dysconnectivity as a trait feature of BD.
The burden and aetiology of type 2 diabetes (T2D) and its microvascular complications may be influenced by varying behavioural and lifestyle environments as well as by genetic susceptibility. These aspects of the epidemiology of T2D have not been reliably clarified in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), highlighting the need for context-specific epidemiological studies with the statistical resolution to inform potential preventative and therapeutic strategies. Therefore, as part of the Human Heredity and Health in Africa (H3Africa) initiative, we designed a multi-site study comprising case collections and population-based surveys at 11 sites in eight countries across SSA. The goal is to recruit up to 6000 T2D participants and 6000 control participants. We will collect questionnaire data, biophysical measurements and biological samples for chronic disease traits, risk factors and genetic data on all study participants. Through integrating epidemiological and genomic techniques, the study provides a framework for assessing the burden, spectrum and environmental and genetic risk factors for T2D and its complications across SSA. With established mechanisms for fieldwork, data and sample collection and management, data-sharing and consent for re-approaching participants, the study will be a resource for future research studies, including longitudinal studies, prospective case ascertainment of incident disease and interventional studies.
To study the effect of discontinuation of systematic surveillance for vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE) and contact isolation of colonized patients on the incidence of VRE bacteremia
A hematology-oncology unit with high prevalence of VRE colonization characterized by predominantly sporadic molecular epidemiology
Inpatients with hematologic malignancies and recipients of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation
The incidence of VRE bacteremia was measured prospectively during 2 different 3-year time periods; the first during active VRE surveillance and contact precautions and the second after discontinuation of these policies. We assessed the collateral impact of this policy change on the incidence of bacteremia due to methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Clostridium difficile infection even though we maintained contact precautions for these organisms. Incidence of infectious events was measured as number of events per 1,000 patients days per month. Time series analysis was used to evaluate trends.
The incidence of VRE bacteremia remained stable after discontinuation of VRE surveillance and contact precautions. The incidence of MRSA bacteremia and Clostridium difficile infection for which we continued contact precautions also remained stable. Aggregated antibiotic utilization and nursing hours per patient days were similar between the 2 study periods.
Active surveillance and contact precautions for VRE colonization did not appear to prevent VRE bacteremia in patients with hematologic malignancies and recipients of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation with high prevalence of VRE characterized by predominantly sporadic molecular epidemiology.
Infect. Control Hosp. Epidemiol. 2016;37(4):398–403
This paper presents a new statistical method that is well-suited to building and testing theories of change. An exploratory, robust two-way analysis of New Hampshire’s county-level presidential election returns for the past eighty years illustrates how this general technique can help to clarify theoretical concepts as well as to reveal systematic regularities in empirical data.
Because two-way analysis involves a number of novel techniques, this paper is primarily a methodological exposition. It devotes much more attention to step-by-step details of how the analysis was carried out, and the accompanying exhibits contain much more detailed information than normally would be the case for reporting results of such research.
In contrast to classical methods, the techniques presented in this paper are intended primarily for exploration of data rather than for statistical inference. They require very few assumptions about the data, and they are not unduly influenced by extreme or missing values. Graphic and semi-graphic devices keep the analyst close to the data and make it possible to display many numbers simultaneously in contrast to simple single-number summaries which can conceal information. Removing obvious regularities in the data facilitates discovery of other underlying patterns.