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Non-tuberculous mycobacterium encephalitis is rare. Since 2013, a global outbreak of Mycobacterium chimaera infection has been attributed to point-source contamination of heater cooler units used in cardiac surgery. Disseminated M. chimaera infection has presented many unique challenges, including non-specific clinical presentations with delays in diagnosis, and a high mortality rate among predominantly immunocompetent adults. Here, we describe three patients with fatal disseminated Mycobacterium chimaera infection showing initially non-specific, progressively worsening neurocognitive decline, including confusion, delirium, depression and apathy. Autopsy revealed widespread granulomatous encephalitis of the cerebrum, brain stem and spinal cord, along with granulomatous chorioretinitis. Cerebral involvement and differentiation between mycobacterial granulomas and microangiopathic changes can be assessed best on MRI with contrast enhancement. The prognosis of M. chimaera encephalitis appears to be very poor, but might be improved by increased awareness of this new syndrome and timely antimicrobial treatment.
This presentation will enable the learner to:
1.Describe the clinical, radiological and neuropathological findings of Mycobacterium chimaera encephalitis
2.Be aware of this rare form of encephalitis, and explain its diagnosis, prognosis and management
The rocky shores of the north-east Atlantic have been long studied. Our focus is from Gibraltar to Norway plus the Azores and Iceland. Phylogeographic processes shape biogeographic patterns of biodiversity. Long-term and broadscale studies have shown the responses of biota to past climate fluctuations and more recent anthropogenic climate change. Inter- and intra-specific species interactions along sharp local environmental gradients shape distributions and community structure and hence ecosystem functioning. Shifts in domination by fucoids in shelter to barnacles/mussels in exposure are mediated by grazing by patellid limpets. Further south fucoids become increasingly rare, with species disappearing or restricted to estuarine refuges, caused by greater desiccation and grazing pressure. Mesoscale processes influence bottom-up nutrient forcing and larval supply, hence affecting species abundance and distribution, and can be proximate factors setting range edges (e.g., the English Channel, the Iberian Peninsula). Impacts of invasive non-native species are reviewed. Knowledge gaps such as the work on rockpools and host–parasite dynamics are also outlined.
The contribution of milk and dairy products to daily iodine intake is high but variable in many industrialised countries. Factors that affect iodine concentrations in milk and dairy products are only poorly understood. Our aim was to: (1) assess the effect of feed iodine concentration on milk iodine by supplementing five groups of five cows each with one of five dosages from 0–2 mg iodine/kg DM; (2) quantify iodine losses during manufacturing of cheese and yogurt from milk with varying iodine concentrations and assess the effect of cellar-ripening; and (3) systematically measure iodine partitioning during heat treatment and skimming of milk. Milk iodine reached a near-steady state after 3 weeks of feeding. Median milk iodine (17–302 μg/l for 0–2 mg iodine/kg DM) increased linearly with feed iodine (R2 0·96; P < 0·001). At curd separation, 75–84 % of iodine was lost in whey. Dairy iodine increased linearly with milk iodine (semi-hard cheese: R2 0·95; P < 0·001; fresh cheese and yogurt: R2 1·00; P < 0·001), and cellar-ripening had no effect. Heat treatment had no significant effect, whereas skimming increased (P < 0·001) milk iodine concentration by only 1–2 μg/l. Mean daily intake of dairy products by Swiss adults is estimated at 213 g, which would contribute 13–52 % of the adults’ RDA for iodine if cow feed is supplemented with 0·5–2 mg iodine/kg DM. Thus, modulation of feed iodine levels can help achieve desirable iodine concentrations in milk and dairy products, and thereby optimise their contribution to human iodine nutrition to avoid both deficiency and excess.
Item 9 of the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) queries about thoughts of death and self-harm, but not suicidality. Although it is sometimes used to assess suicide risk, most positive responses are not associated with suicidality. The PHQ-8, which omits Item 9, is thus increasingly used in research. We assessed equivalency of total score correlations and the diagnostic accuracy to detect major depression of the PHQ-8 and PHQ-9.
We conducted an individual patient data meta-analysis. We fit bivariate random-effects models to assess diagnostic accuracy.
16 742 participants (2097 major depression cases) from 54 studies were included. The correlation between PHQ-8 and PHQ-9 scores was 0.996 (95% confidence interval 0.996 to 0.996). The standard cutoff score of 10 for the PHQ-9 maximized sensitivity + specificity for the PHQ-8 among studies that used a semi-structured diagnostic interview reference standard (N = 27). At cutoff 10, the PHQ-8 was less sensitive by 0.02 (−0.06 to 0.00) and more specific by 0.01 (0.00 to 0.01) among those studies (N = 27), with similar results for studies that used other types of interviews (N = 27). For all 54 primary studies combined, across all cutoffs, the PHQ-8 was less sensitive than the PHQ-9 by 0.00 to 0.05 (0.03 at cutoff 10), and specificity was within 0.01 for all cutoffs (0.00 to 0.01).
PHQ-8 and PHQ-9 total scores were similar. Sensitivity may be minimally reduced with the PHQ-8, but specificity is similar.
Elevated left ventricular end diastolic pressure is a risk factor for ventricular arrhythmias in patients with tetralogy of Fallot. The objective of this retrospective study was to identify echocardiographic measures associated with left ventricular end diastolic pressure >12 mmHg in this population. Repaired tetralogy of Fallot patients age ≥13 years, who underwent a left heart catheterisation within 7 days of having an echocardiogram were evaluated. Univariate comparison was made in echocardiographic and clinical variables between patients with left ventricular end diastolic pressure >12 versus ≤12 mmHg. Ninety-four patients (54% male) with a median age of 24.6 years were included. Thirty-four (36%) had left ventricular end diastolic pressure >12 mmHg. Patients with left ventricular end diastolic pressure >12mmHg were older (median 32.9 versus 24.0 years, p = 0.02), more likely to have a history of an aortopulmonary shunt (62% versus 38%, p = 0.03), and have a diagnosis of hypertension (24% versus 7%, p = 0.03) compared to those with left ventricular end diastolic pressure ≤12 mmHg. There were no significant differences in mitral valve E/A ratio, annular e’ velocity, or E/e’ ratio between patients with left ventricular end diastolic pressure >12 versus ≤12 mmHg. Patients with left ventricular end diastolic pressure >12mmHg had larger left atrial area (mean 17.7 versus 14.0 cm2, p = 0.03) and larger left atrium anterior–posterior diameter (mean 36.0 versus 30.6 mm, p = 0.004). In conclusion, typical echocardiographic measures of left ventricular diastolic dysfunction may not be reliable in tetralogy of Fallot patients. Prospective studies with the use of novel echocardiographic measures are needed.
Quality Improvement and Patient Safety (QIPS) plays an important role in addressing shortcomings in optimal healthcare delivery. However, there is little published guidance available for emergency department (ED) teams with respect to developing their own QIPS programs. We sought to create recommendations for established and aspiring ED leaders to use as a pathway to better patient care through programmatic QIPS activities, starting internally and working towards interdepartmental collaboration.
An expert panel comprised of ten ED clinicians with QIPS and leadership expertise was established. A scoping review was conducted to identify published literature on establishing QIPS programs and frameworks in healthcare. Stakeholder consultations were conducted among Canadian healthcare leaders, and recommendations were drafted by the expert panel based on all the accumulated information. These were reviewed and refined at the 2018 CAEP Academic Symposium in Calgary using in-person and technologically-supported feedback.
Recommendations include: creating a sense of urgency for improvement; engaging relevant stakeholders and leaders; creating a formal local QIPS Committee; securing funding and resources; obtaining local data to guide the work; supporting QIPS training for team members; encouraging interprofessional, cross-departmental, and patient collaborations; using an established QIPS framework to guide the work; developing reward mechanisms and incentive structures; and considering to start small by focusing on a project rather than a program.
A list of 10 recommendations is presented as guiding principles for the establishment and sustainable deployment of QIPS activities in EDs throughout Canada and abroad. ED leaders are encouraged to implement our recommendations in an effort to improve patient care.
Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) infection can cause serious illness including haemolytic uraemic syndrome. The role of socio-economic status (SES) in differential clinical presentation and exposure to potential risk factors amongst STEC cases has not previously been reported in England. We conducted an observational study using a dataset of all STEC cases identified in England, 2010–2015. Odds ratios for clinical characteristics of cases and foodborne, waterborne and environmental risk factors were estimated using logistic regression, stratified by SES, adjusting for baseline demographic factors. Incidence was higher in the highest SES group compared to the lowest (RR 1.54, 95% CI 1.19–2.00). Odds of Accident and Emergency attendance (OR 1.35, 95% CI 1.10–1.75) and hospitalisation (OR 1.71, 95% CI 1.36–2.15) because of illness were higher in the most disadvantaged compared to the least, suggesting potential lower ascertainment of milder cases or delayed care-seeking behaviour in disadvantaged groups. Advantaged individuals were significantly more likely to report salad/fruit/vegetable/herb consumption (OR 1.59, 95% CI 1.16–2.17), non-UK or UK travel (OR 1.76, 95% CI 1.40–2.27; OR 1.85, 95% CI 1.35–2.56) and environmental exposures (walking in a paddock, OR 1.82, 95% CI 1.22–2.70; soil contact, OR 1.52, 95% CI 2.13–1.09) suggesting other unmeasured risks, such as person-to-person transmission, could be more important in the most disadvantaged group.
Micronutrient supplementation is recommended in Ebola Virus Disease (EVD). However, there is limited data on its therapeutic impacts. This study evaluated the association between vitamin A supplementation and mortality outcomes in EVD patients.
This retrospective cohort study accrued patients with EVD admitted to five International Medical Corps run Ebola Treatment Units (ETU) in two countries from 2014-2015. Protocolized treatments with antimicrobials and micronutrients were used at all ETUs. However, due to resource limitations and care variations, only a subset of patients received vitamin A. Standardized data on demographics, clinical characteristics, malaria status, and Ebola virus RT-PCR cycle threshold (CT) values were collected. The outcome of interest was mortality compared between cases treated with 200,000 International Units of vitamin A on care days one and two and those not. Propensity scores (PS) based on the first 48-hours of care were derived using the covariates of age, duration of ETU function, malaria status, CT values, symptoms of confusion, hemorrhage, diarrhea, dysphagia, and dyspnea. Treated and non-treated cases were matched 1:1 based on nearest neighbors with replacement. Covariate balance met predefined thresholds. Mortality proportions between cases treated and untreated with vitamin A were compared using generalized estimating equations to calculate relative risks (RR) with associated 95% confidence intervals (CI).
There were 424 cases analyzed, with 330 (77.8%) being vitamin A-treated cases. The mean age was 30.5 years and 57.0% were female. The most common symptoms were diarrhea (86%), anorexia (81%), and vomiting (77%). Mortality proportions among cases untreated and treated with vitamin A were 71.9% and 55.0%, respectively. In a propensity-matched analysis, mortality was significantly lower among cases receiving vitamin A (RR = 0.77 95%; CI:0.59-0.99; p = 0.041).
Early vitamin A supplementation was associated with reduced mortality in EVD patients and should be provided routinely during future epidemics.
Chemical weed control remains a widely used component of integrated weed management strategies because of its cost-effectiveness and rapid removal of crop pests. Additionally, dicamba-plus-glyphosate mixtures are a commonly recommended herbicide combination to combat herbicide resistance, specifically in recently commercially released dicamba-tolerant soybean and cotton. However, increased spray drift concerns and antagonistic interactions require that the application process be optimized to maximize biological efficacy while minimizing environmental contamination potential. Field research was conducted in 2016, 2017, and 2018 across three locations (Mississippi, Nebraska, and North Dakota) for a total of six site-years. The objectives were to characterize the efficacy of a range of droplet sizes [150 µm (Fine) to 900 µm (Ultra Coarse)] using a dicamba-plus-glyphosate mixture and to create novel weed management recommendations utilizing pulse-width modulation (PWM) sprayer technology. Results across pooled site-years indicated that a droplet size of 395 µm (Coarse) maximized weed mortality from a dicamba-plus-glyphosate mixture at 94 L ha–1. However, droplet size could be increased to 620 µm (Extremely Coarse) to maintain 90% of the maximum weed mortality while further mitigating particle drift potential. Although generalized droplet size recommendations could be created across site-years, optimum droplet sizes within each site-year varied considerably and may be dependent on weed species, geographic location, weather conditions, and herbicide resistance(s) present in the field. The precise, site-specific application of a dicamba-plus-glyphosate mixture using the results of this research will allow applicators to more effectively utilize PWM sprayers, reduce particle drift potential, maintain biological efficacy, and reduce the selection pressure for the evolution of herbicide-resistant weeds.
Formation of a low barrier back contact plays a critical role in improving the photoconversion efficiency of the CdTe solar cells. Incorporating a buffer layer to minimize the band bending at the back of the CdTe device can significantly lower the barrier for the hole current, improving open circuit voltage (VOC) and the fill factor. Over the past years, researchers have incorporated the both ZnTe and Te as buffer layers to improve CdTe device performance. Here we compare device performance using these two materials as buffer layers at the back of CdTe devices. We show that using Te in contact to CdTe results in higher performance than using ZnTe in contact to the CdTe. Low temperature current density-voltage measurements show that Te results is a lower barrier with CdTe than ZnTe, indicating that Te has better band alignment, resulting in less downward bending in the CdTe at the back interface, than ZnTe does.
The effects of growing pinto peanut mixed with elephant grass-based pastures are still little known. The aim of the current research was to evaluate the performance of herbage yield, nutritive value of forage and animal responses to levels of pinto peanut forage mass mixed with elephant grass in low-input systems. Three grazing systems were evaluated: (i) elephant grass-based (control); (ii) pinto peanut, low-density forage yield (63 g/kg of dry matter – DM) + elephant grass; and (iii) pinto peanut, high-density dry matter forage yield (206 g/kg DM) + elephant grass. The experimental design was completely randomized with the three treatments (grazing systems) and three replicates (paddocks) in split-plot grazing cycles. Forage samples were collected to evaluate the pasture and animal responses. Leaf blades of elephant grass and the other companion grasses of pinto peanut were collected to analyse the crude protein, in vitro digestible organic matter and total digestible nutrients. The pinto peanut, high-density dry matter forage yield + elephant grass treatment was found to give the best results in terms of herbage yield, forage intake and stocking rate, as well as having higher crude protein contents for both elephant grass and the other grasses, followed by pinto peanut with low-density forage yield + elephant grass and finally elephant grass alone. Better results were found with the grass–legume system for pasture and animal responses.
We observed pediatric S. aureus hospitalizations decreased 36% from 26.3 to 16.8 infections per 1,000 admissions from 2009 to 2016, with methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) decreasing by 52% and methicillin-susceptible S. aureus decreasing by 17%, among 39 pediatric hospitals. Similar decreases were observed for days of therapy of anti-MRSA antibiotics.
Absorbed residue studies have been used in subsistence research for decades. Only more recently have the chemical methods employed been used to explore the consumption of ritual concoctions such as those including cacao, yaupon holly, and alcohol. In this article we use mass spectrometry to identify Datura residues in prehistoric contexts from western Mexico and the American Southeast. Datura is a genus of flowering plants that contain hallucinogenic alkaloids. Their use in both regions is known historically and still continues today. This study sampled 55 pottery vessels and 18 shell vessels using both a traditional burr method and a water-based sonicator sampling method. Datura residues were found in 13 pottery vessels and 14 shell vessels using both sampling approaches. These results demonstrate that it is possible to identify Datura residue in pottery and shell vessels and that the use of Datura extends back into prehistory in both regions. The form and decoration of pottery vessels with Datura residues show correlations with specific motifs and themes. Historically, shell vessels were used in the Southeast for the consumption of another ritual beverage, called the Black Drink. The presence of Datura shows that those vessels were used for other kinds of beverages as well.
Photoluminescence (PL) spectroscopy has been used to study the defect levels in thin film copper indium diselenide (CuInSe2, CIS) which we are developing as the absorber layer for the bottom cell of a monolithically grown perovskite/CuInSe2 tandem solar cell. Temperature and laser power dependent PL measurements of thin film CIS for two different Cu/In ratios (0.66 and 0.80) have been performed. The CIS film with Cu/In = 0.80 shows a prominent donor-to-acceptor peak (DAP) involving a shallow acceptor of binding energy ∼22 meV, with phonon replica at ∼32 meV spacing. In contrast, PL measurement of CIS film for Cu/In = 0.66 taken at 20 K exhibited an asymmetric and broad PL spectrum with peaks at 0.845 eV and 0.787 eV. Laser intensity dependent PL revealed that the observed peaks 0.845 eV and 0.787 eV shift towards higher energy (aka j-shift) at ∼11.7 meV/decade and ∼ 8 meV/decade with increase in laser intensity respectively. The asymmetric and broad spectrum together with large j-shift suggests that the observed peaks at 0.845 eV and 0.787 eV were related to band-to-tail (BT) and band-to-impurity (BI) transition, respectively. Such a band-tail-related transition originates from the potential fluctuation of defect states at low temperature. The appearance of band related transition in CIS film with Cu/In = 0.66 is the indicator of the presence of large number of charged defect states.