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Enterococcus causes clinically significant bloodstream infections (BSIs). In centers with a higher prevalence of vancomycin resistant enterococcus (VRE) colonization, a common clinical question is whether empiric treatment directed against VRE should be initiated in the setting of a suspected enterococcal BSI. Unfortunately, VRE treatment options are limited, and relatively expensive, and subject patients to the risk of adverse reactions. We hypothesized that the results of VRE colonization screening could predict vancomycin resistance in enterococcal BSI.
We reviewed 370 consecutive cases of enterococcal BSI over a 7-year period at 2 tertiary-care hospitals to determine whether vancomycin-resistant BSIs could be predicted based on known colonization status (ie, patients with swabs performed within 30 days, more remotely, or never tested). We calculated sensitivity and specificity, and we plotted negative predictives values (NPVs) and positive predictive values (PPVs) as a function of prevalence.
A negative screening swab within 30 days of infection yielded NPVs of 90% and 95% in settings where <27.0% and 15.0% of enterococcal BSI are resistant to vancomycin, respectively. In patients with known VRE colonization, the PPV for VRE in enterococcal BSI was >50% at any prevalence exceeding 25%.
The results of a negative VRE screening test result performed within 30 days can help eliminate unnecessary empiric therapy in patients with suspected enterococcal BSI. Conversely, patients with positive VRE screening swabs require careful consideration of empiric VRE-directed therapy when enterococcal BSI appears likely.
This study aimed to determine the knowledge of first year health sciences students at a South African university regarding hearing loss and symptoms attributable to personal listening devices and their practices concerning the use of personal listening devices.
This was a cross-sectional study carried out using an anonymous self-administered questionnaire.
Of 336 students, 269 (80.1 per cent) completed the questionnaire. While most participants could identify symptoms that could be caused by extensive use of personal listening devices, almost 30 per cent did not know that it could cause permanent hearing loss. Personal listening devices were used by 90.7 per cent of participants, with 77.8 per cent having used them for more than five years. Use was at a high volume in 14.9 per cent of participants and for more than 2 hours per day in 52.7 per cent.
The findings indicate the need for an educational programme to inform students as to safe listening practices when using personal listening devices.
We continue to investigate the design, synthesis, and characterization of electrically and ionically active conjugated polythiophene copolymers for integrating a variety of biomedical devices with living tissue. This paper will describe some of our most recent results, including the development of several new monomers that can tailor the surface chemistry, adhesion, and biointegration of these materials with neural cells. Our efforts have focused on copolymers of 3,4 ethylenedioxythiophene (EDOT), functionalized variants of EDOT (including EDOT-acid and the trifunctional EPh), and dopamine (DOPA). The resulting PEDOT-based copolymers have electrical, optical, mechanical, and adhesive properties that can be precisely tailored by fine tuning the chemical composition and structure. Here we present results on EDOT-dopamine bifunctional monomers and their corresponding polymers. We discuss the design and synthesis of an EDOT-cholesterol that combines the thiophene with a biological moiety known to exhibit surface-active behaviour. We will also introduce EDOT-aldehyde and EDOT-maleimide monomers and show how they can be used as the starting point for a wide variety of functionalized monomers and polymers.
Here, we adopt an attachment theoretical perspective on relationship maintenance, based on the idea that a romantic relationship is an attachment bond. In doing so, we emphasize the role of normative attachment processes. We commence by introducing the attachment behavioral system and its three functions of proximity seeking/maintenance, safe haven, and secure base. We then describe the associations between normative attachment processes and relationship maintenance, including a discussion of evolutionary functions. The following part of the chapter explains how individual differences in attachment organization emerge based on early experiences with attachment figures, and why these differences are associated with relationship maintenance. Next, we review the literature on the associations of attachment style with three maintenance behaviors that have been widely studied in relation to attachment: support, communication, and commitment-enhancing behaviors. We conclude our chapter by discussing the association between attachment style and relationship satisfaction, which is regarded as an indicator of successful relationship maintenance. Overall, the normative processes of the attachment system align well with relationship maintenance behaviors, and attachment security tends to positively predict the enactment of maintenance behaviors.
Diagnosis and classification for mental disorder are in flux. This transition has downstream consequences on the nature of clinical assessment in research and treatment settings. We begin this chapter by describing the prevailing categorical rubrics, which are the predominant guide to clinical assessment worldwide. These systems, despite their popularity, suffer from serious defects, which have prompted the development of alternate frameworks for conceptualization and assessment of psychopathology. We focus the remainder of the chapter on two prominent contenders to supplement, and perhaps eventually supplant, traditional categorical models. The Hierarchical Taxonomy of Psychopathology is an empirically derived system of the phenotypic dimensions of psychopathology and the Research Domain Criteria represent a biologically oriented approach to understanding risk processes implicated in mental disorder. We describe the promise and challenges facing these two emerging systems, and we speculate about how they will shape the future of clinical assessment.
The influence of combined corrosion and vibration to the anti-loosening performance of a precision locknut used in a machine tool is investigated. Firstly, the locknut was submerged in 5% NaCl solution according to ASTM B895 standard for corrosion testing. The locknuts, after submerged in 1-hr, 2-hr and 4-hr periods, respectively, were then installed on the rotating spindle in a vertical dynamic impact tester for performing anti-loosening test. The initial installed pretension was 9800 N and the spindle was rotating in a constant speed of 1000 rpm. Turmogrease Li 802 EP lubricant was used on the contact surface between spindle thread and locknut. The set screws on the locknut were tightened sequentially and evenly in three-stage of torque: 1.96 N-m, 3.92 N-m and 5.88 N-m. Its real-time pretension variation with the periodic transverse impact and its final loosening torque were measured. Accordingly, the axial force ratio and anti-loosening torque ratio were calculated and discussed. It was found that corrosion treatment had similar influence on both the axial force ratio and the anti-loosening torque ratio. More corrosion on the locknut with longer submersion in NaCl solution deteriorated its anti-loosening characteristics. The result could serve as the reference for evaluating the fastening performance of precision locknut and guide the design and manufacturing for the application improvement.
We developed a tilt sensor for studying ice deformation and installed our tilt sensor systems in two boreholes drilled close to the shear margin of Jarvis Glacier, Alaska to obtain kinematic measurements of streaming ice. We used the collected tilt data to calculate borehole deformation by tracking the orientation of the sensors over time. The sensors' tilts generally trended down-glacier, with an element of cross-glacier flow in the borehole closer to the shear margin. We also evaluated our results against flow dynamic parameters derived from Glen's exponential flow law and explored the parameter space of the stress exponent n and enhancement factor E. Comparison with values from ice deformation experiments shows that the ice on Jarvis is characterized by higher n values than that is expected in regions of low stress, particularly at the shear margin (~3.4). The higher n values could be attributed to the observed high total strains coupled with potential dynamic recrystallization, causing anisotropic development and consequently sped up ice flow. Jarvis' n values place the creep regime of the ice between basal slip and dislocation creep. Tuning E towards a theoretical upper limit of 10 for anisotropic ice with single-maximum fabric reduces the n values by 0.2.
Perceived loneliness, an increasingly prevalent social issue, is closely associated with major depressive disorder (MDD). However, the neural mechanisms previously implicated in key cognitive and affective processes in loneliness and MDD still remain unclear. Such understanding is critical for delineating the psychobiological basis of the relationship between loneliness and MDD.
We isolated the unique and interactive cognitive and neural substrates of loneliness and MDD among 27 MDD patients (mean age = 51.85 years, 20 females), and 25 matched healthy controls (HCs; mean age = 48.72 years, 19 females). We assessed participants' behavioral performance and neural regional and network functions on a Stroop color-word task, and their resting-state neural connectivity.
Behaviorally, we found greater incongruence-related accuracy cost in MDD patients, but reduced incongruence effect on reaction time in lonelier individuals. When performing the Stroop task, loneliness positively predicted prefrontal-anterior cingulate-parietal connectivity across all participants, whereas MDD patients showed a decrease in connectivity compared to controls. Furthermore, loneliness negatively predicted parietal and cerebellar activities in MDD patients, but positively predicted the same activities in HCs. During resting state, MDD patients showed reduced parietal-anterior cingulate connectivity, which again positively correlated with loneliness in this group.
We speculate the distinct neurocognitive profile of loneliness might indicate increase in both bottom-up attention and top-down executive control functions. However, the upregulated cognitive control processes in lonely individuals may eventually become exhausted, which may in turn predispose to MDD onset.
Abnormal effort-based decision-making represents a potential mechanism underlying motivational deficits (amotivation) in psychotic disorders. Previous research identified effort allocation impairment in chronic schizophrenia and focused mostly on physical effort modality. No study has investigated cognitive effort allocation in first-episode psychosis (FEP).
Cognitive effort allocation was examined in 40 FEP patients and 44 demographically-matched healthy controls, using Cognitive Effort-Discounting (COGED) paradigm which quantified participants’ willingness to expend cognitive effort in terms of explicit, continuous discounting of monetary rewards based on parametrically-varied cognitive demands (levels N of N-back task). Relationship between reward-discounting and amotivation was investigated. Group differences in reward-magnitude and effort-cost sensitivity, and differential associations of these sensitivity indices with amotivation were explored.
Patients displayed significantly greater reward-discounting than controls. In particular, such discounting was most pronounced in patients with high levels of amotivation even when N-back performance and reward base amount were taken into consideration. Moreover, patients exhibited reduced reward-benefit sensitivity and effort-cost sensitivity relative to controls, and that decreased sensitivity to reward-benefit but not effort-cost was correlated with diminished motivation. Reward-discounting and sensitivity indices were generally unrelated to other symptom dimensions, antipsychotic dose and cognitive deficits.
This study provides the first evidence of cognitive effort-based decision-making impairment in FEP, and indicates that decreased effort expenditure is associated with amotivation. Our findings further suggest that abnormal effort allocation and amotivation might primarily be related to blunted reward valuation. Prospective research is required to clarify the utility of effort-based measures in predicting amotivation and functional outcome in FEP.
The Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) Consortium and the National Center for Advancing Translational Science (NCATS) undertook a Common Metrics Initiative to improve research processes across the national CTSA Consortium. This was implemented by Tufts Clinical and Translational Science Institute at the 64 CTSA academic medical centers. Three metrics were collaboratively developed by NCATS staff, CTSA Consortium teams, and outside consultants for Institutional Review Board Review Duration, Careers in Clinical and Translational Research, and Pilot Award Publications and Subsequent Funding. The implementation program included training on the metric operational guidelines, data collection, data reporting system, and performance improvement framework. The implementation team provided small-group coaching and technical assistance. Collaborative learning sessions, driver diagrams, and change packages were used to disseminate best and promising practices. After 14 weeks, 84% of hubs had produced a value for one metric and about half had produced an initial improvement plan. Overall, hubs reported that the implementation activities facilitated their Common Metrics performance improvement process. Experiences implementing the first three metrics can inform future directions of the Common Metrics Initiative and other research groups implementing standardized metrics and performance improvement processes, potentially including other National Institutes of Health institutes and centers.
Online self-reported 24-h dietary recall systems promise increased feasibility of dietary assessment. Comparison against interviewer-led recalls established their convergent validity; however, reliability and criterion-validity information is lacking. The validity of energy intakes (EI) reported using Intake24, an online 24-h recall system, was assessed against concurrent measurement of total energy expenditure (TEE) using doubly labelled water in ninety-eight UK adults (40–65 years). Accuracy and precision of EI were assessed using correlation and Bland–Altman analysis. Test–retest reliability of energy and nutrient intakes was assessed using data from three further UK studies where participants (11–88 years) completed Intake24 at least four times; reliability was assessed using intra-class correlations (ICC). Compared with TEE, participants under-reported EI by 25 % (95 % limits of agreement −73 % to +68 %) in the first recall, 22 % (−61 % to +41 %) for average of first two, and 25 % (−60 % to +28 %) for first three recalls. Correlations between EI and TEE were 0·31 (first), 0·47 (first two) and 0·39 (first three recalls), respectively. ICC for a single recall was 0·35 for EI and ranged from 0·31 for Fe to 0·43 for non-milk extrinsic sugars (NMES). Considering pairs of recalls (first two v. third and fourth recalls), ICC was 0·52 for EI and ranged from 0·37 for fat to 0·63 for NMES. EI reported with Intake24 was moderately correlated with objectively measured TEE and underestimated on average to the same extent as seen with interviewer-led 24-h recalls and estimated weight food diaries. Online 24-h recall systems may offer low-cost, low-burden alternatives for collecting dietary information.
Maternal systemic inflammation during pregnancy may restrict embryo−fetal growth, but the extent of this effect remains poorly established in undernourished populations. In a cohort of 653 maternal−newborn dyads participating in a multi-armed, micronutrient supplementation trial in southern Nepal, we investigated associations between maternal inflammation, assessed by serum α1-acid glycoprotein and C-reactive protein, in the first and third trimesters of pregnancy, and newborn weight, length and head and chest circumferences. Median (IQR) maternal concentrations in α1-acid glycoprotein and C-reactive protein in the first and third trimesters were 0.65 (0.53–0.76) and 0.40 (0.33–0.50) g/l, and 0.56 (0.25–1.54) and 1.07 (0.43–2.32) mg/l, respectively. α1-acid glycoprotein was inversely associated with birth size: weight, length, head circumference and chest circumference were lower by 116 g (P = 2.3 × 10−6), and 0.45 (P = 3.1 × 10−5), 0.18 (P = 0.0191) and 0.48 (P = 1.7 × 10−7) cm, respectively, per 50% increase in α1-acid glycoprotein averaged across both trimesters. Adjustment for maternal age, parity, gestational age, nutritional and socio-economic status and daily micronutrient supplementation failed to alter any association. Serum C-reactive protein concentration was largely unassociated with newborn size. In rural Nepal, birth size was inversely associated with low-grade, chronic inflammation during pregnancy as indicated by serum α1-acid glycoprotein.
Better understanding of interplay among symptoms, cognition and functioning in first-episode psychosis (FEP) is crucial to promoting functional recovery. Network analysis is a promising data-driven approach to elucidating complex interactions among psychopathological variables in psychosis, but has not been applied in FEP.
This study employed network analysis to examine inter-relationships among a wide array of variables encompassing psychopathology, premorbid and onset characteristics, cognition, subjective quality-of-life and psychosocial functioning in 323 adult FEP patients in Hong Kong. Graphical Least Absolute Shrinkage and Selection Operator (LASSO) combined with extended Bayesian information criterion (BIC) model selection was used for network construction. Importance of individual nodes in a generated network was quantified by centrality analyses.
Our results showed that amotivation played the most central role and had the strongest associations with other variables in the network, as indexed by node strength. Amotivation and diminished expression displayed differential relationships with other nodes, supporting the validity of two-factor negative symptom structure. Psychosocial functioning was most strongly connected with amotivation and was weakly linked to several other variables. Within cognitive domain, digit span demonstrated the highest centrality and was connected with most of the other cognitive variables. Exploratory analysis revealed no significant gender differences in network structure and global strength.
Our results suggest the pivotal role of amotivation in psychopathology network of FEP and indicate its critical association with psychosocial functioning. Further research is required to verify the clinical significance of diminished motivation on functional outcome in the early course of psychotic illness.
In this study, the pull-in phenomenon of a Nano-actuator is investigated employing a nonlocal Bernoulli-Euler beam model with clamped-clamped conditions. The model accounts for viscous damping, residual stresses, the van der Waals (vdW) force and electrostatic forces with nonlocal effects. The hybrid differential transformation/finite difference method (HDTFDM) is used to analyze the nonlocal effects on a graphene sheet nanobeam, which is electrostatically actuated under the influence of the coupling effect, the von Kármán nonlinear strains and the fringing field effect. The pull-in voltage as calculated by the presented model deviates by no more than 0.29% from previous literature, verifying the validity of the HDTFDM. Furthermore, the nonlocal nonlinear behavior of the electrostatically actuated nanobeam is investigated, and the effects of viscous damping, residual stresses, and length-gap ratio are examined in detail. Overall, the results reveal that small scale effects significantly influence the characteristics of the graphene sheet nanobeam actuator.
The COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins) project is a large international collaborative effort to analyze individual-level phenotype data from twins in multiple cohorts from different environments. The main objective is to study factors that modify genetic and environmental variation of height, body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) and size at birth, and additionally to address other research questions such as long-term consequences of birth size. The project started in 2013 and is open to all twin projects in the world having height and weight measures on twins with information on zygosity. Thus far, 54 twin projects from 24 countries have provided individual-level data. The CODATwins database includes 489,981 twin individuals (228,635 complete twin pairs). Since many twin cohorts have collected longitudinal data, there is a total of 1,049,785 height and weight observations. For many cohorts, we also have information on birth weight and length, own smoking behavior and own or parental education. We found that the heritability estimates of height and BMI systematically changed from infancy to old age. Remarkably, only minor differences in the heritability estimates were found across cultural–geographic regions, measurement time and birth cohort for height and BMI. In addition to genetic epidemiological studies, we looked at associations of height and BMI with education, birth weight and smoking status. Within-family analyses examined differences within same-sex and opposite-sex dizygotic twins in birth size and later development. The CODATwins project demonstrates the feasibility and value of international collaboration to address gene-by-exposure interactions that require large sample sizes and address the effects of different exposures across time, geographical regions and socioeconomic status.
Antimicrobial stewardship programs typically use days of therapy to assess antimicrobial use. However, this metric does not account for the antimicrobial spectrum of activity. We applied an antibiotic spectrum index to a population of very-low-birth-weight infants to assess its utility to evaluate the impact of antimicrobial stewardship interventions.