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Several studies have reported evidence of interference between respiratory viruses: respiratory viruses rarely reach their epidemic peak concurrently and there appears to be a negative association between infection with one respiratory virus and co-infection with another. We used results spanning 16 years (2002–2017) of a routine diagnostic multiplex panel that tests for nine respiratory viruses to further investigate these interactions in Victoria, Australia. Time series analyses were used to plot the proportion positive for each virus. The seasonality of all viruses included was compared with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and influenza A virus using cross-correlations. Logistic regression was used to explore the likelihood of co-infection with one virus given infection with another. Seasonal peaks were observed each year for influenza A and RSV and less frequently for influenza B, coronavirus and parainfluenza virus. RSV circulated an average of 6 weeks before influenza A. Co-infection with another respiratory virus was less common with picornavirus, RSV or influenza A infection. Our findings provide further evidence of a temporal relationship in the circulation of respiratory viruses. A greater understanding of the interaction between respiratory viruses may enable better prediction of the timing and magnitude of respiratory virus epidemics.
Describe the epidemiological and molecular characteristics of an outbreak of Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase (KPC)–producing organisms and the novel use of a cohorting unit for its control.
A 566-room academic teaching facility in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Solid-organ transplant recipients.
Infection control bundles were used throughout the time of observation. All KPC cases were intermittently housed in a cohorting unit with dedicated nurses and nursing aids. The rooms used in the cohorting unit had anterooms where clean supplies and linens were placed. Spread of KPC-producing organisms was determined using rectal surveillance cultures on admission and weekly thereafter among all consecutive patients admitted to the involved units. KPC-positive strains underwent pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and whole-genome sequencing.
A total of 8 KPC cases (5 identified by surveillance) were identified from April 2016 to April 2017. After the index patient, 3 patients acquired KPC-producing organisms despite implementation of an infection control bundle. This prompted the use of a cohorting unit, which immediately halted transmission, and the single remaining KPC case was transferred out of the cohorting unit. However, additional KPC cases were identified within 2 months. Once the cohorting unit was reopened, no additional KPC cases occurred. The KPC-positive species identified during this outbreak included Klebsiella pneumoniae, Enterobacter cloacae complex, and Escherichia coli. blaKPC was identified on at least 2 plasmid backbones.
A complex KPC outbreak involving both clonal and plasmid-mediated dissemination was controlled using weekly surveillances and a cohorting unit.
Introduction: Depending on the time and day of initial Emergency Department (ED) presentation, some patients may require a return to the ED the following day for ultrasound examination. Return visits for ultrasound may be time and resource intensive for both patients and the ED. Qualitative experience suggests that a percentage of return ultrasounds could be performed at a non-ED facility. Our objective was to undertake a retrospective audit of return for ultrasound usage, patterns and outcomes at 2 academic EDs. Methods: A retrospective review of all adult patients returning to the ED for ultrasound at both LHSC ED sites in 2016 was undertaken. Each chart was independently reviewed by two emergency medicine consultants. Charts were assessed for day and time of initial presentation and return, type of ultrasound ordered, and length of ED stay on initial presentation and return visit. Opinion based questions were considered by reviewers, including urgency of diagnosis clarification required, if symptoms were still present on return, and if any medical or surgical treatment or follow up was arranged based on ultrasound results. Agreement between reviewers was assessed. Results: After eliminating charts for which the return visit was not for a scheduled ultrasound examination, 328 patient charts were reviewed. 63% of patients were female and median [IQR] age was 40 years [27-56]. Abdomen/pelvis represented 50% of the ultrasounds; renal 24%; venous Doppler 15.9%. Symptoms were still present and documented in 79% of cases. 22% of cases required a medical intervention and 9% an immediate surgical intervention. 11% of patients were admitted to hospital on their return visit. Outpatient follow-up based on US results was initiated in 29% of cases. Median [IQR] combined LOS was 479.5 minutes [358.5-621.75]. Agreement between reviewers for opinion based questions was poor (63%-96%). Conclusion: Ideally, formal ultrasound should be available on a 24 hour basis for ED patients in order to avoid return visits. A percentage of return for ultrasound examinations do not result in any significant change in treatment. Emergency departments should consider the development of pathways to avoid return visits for follow up ultrasound when possible. The low incidence of surgical treatment in those returning for US suggests that this population could be served in a non-hospital setting. Further research is required to support this conclusion.
Introduction: Trauma and injury play a significant role in the population's burden of disease. Limited research exists evaluating the role of trauma bypass protocols. The objective of this study was to assess the impact and effectiveness of a newly introduced prehospital field trauma triage (FTT) standard, allowing paramedics to bypass a closer hospital and directly transport to a trauma centre (TC) provided transport times were within 30 minutes. Methods: We conducted a 12-month multi-centred health record review of paramedic call reports and emergency department health records following the implementation of the 4 step FTT standard (step 1: vital signs and level of consciousness, step 2: anatomical injury, step 3: mechanism and step 4: special considerations) in nine paramedic services across Eastern Ontario. We included adult trauma patients transported as an urgent transport to hospital, that met one of the 4 steps of the FTT standard and would allow for a bypass consideration. We developed and piloted a standardized data collection tool and obtained consensus on all data definitions. The primary outcome was the rate of appropriate triage to a TC, defined as any of the following: injury severity score ≥12, admitted to an intensive care unit, underwent non-orthopedic operation, or death. We report descriptive and univariate analysis where appropriate. Results: 570 adult patients were included with the following characteristics: mean age 48.8, male 68.9%, attended by Advanced Care Paramedic 71.8%, mechanisms of injury: MVC 20.2%, falls 29.6%, stab wounds 10.5%, median initial GCS 14, mean initial BP 132, prehospital fluid administered 26.8%, prehospital intubation 3.5%, transported to a TC 74.6%. Of those transported to a TC, 308 (72.5%) had bypassed a closer hospital prior to TC arrival. Of those that bypassed a closer hospital, 136 (44.2%) were determined to be “appropriate triage to TC”. Bypassed patients more often met the step 1 or step 2 of the standard (186, 66.9%) compared to the step 3 or step 4 (122, 39.6%). An appropriate triage to TC occurred in 104 (55.9%) patients who had met step 1 or 2 and 32 (26.2%) patients meeting step 3 or 4 of the FTT standard. Conclusion: The FTT standard can identify patients who should be bypassed and transported to a TC. However, this is at a cost of potentially burdening the system with poor sensitivity. More work is needed to develop a FTT standard that will assist paramedics in appropriately identifying patients who require a trauma centre.
Age at sexual debut is known to have implications for future sexual behaviours and health outcomes, including HIV infection, early pregnancy and maternal mortality, but may also influence educational outcomes. Longitudinal data on schooling and sexual behaviour from a demographic surveillance site in Karonga district, northern Malawi, were analysed for 3153 respondents between the ages of 12 and 25 years to examine the association between sexual debut and primary school dropout, and the role of prior school performance. Time to dropout was modelled using the Fine and Gray survival model to account for the competing event of primary school completion. To deal with the time-varying nature of age at sexual debut and school performance, models were fitted using landmark analyses. Sexual debut was found to be associated with a five-fold increase in rate of subsequent dropout for girls and a two-fold increase in dropout rate for boys (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR] of 5.27, CI 4.22–6.57, and 2.19, CI 1.77–2.7, respectively). For girls who were sexually active by age 16, only 16% ultimately completed primary schooling, compared with 70% aged 18 or older at sexual debut. Prior to sexual debut, girls had primary completion levels similar to those of boys. The association between sexual debut and school dropout could not be explained by prior poor school performance: the effect of sexual debut on dropout was as strong among those who were not behind in school as among those who were overage for their school grade. Girls who were sexually active were more likely to repeat a grade, with no effect being seen for boys. Pathways to dropout are complex and may differ for boys and girls. Interventions are needed to improve school progression so children complete primary school before sexual debut, and to improve sex education and contraception provision.
Recommending nitrofurantoin to treat uncomplicated cystitis was associated with increased nitrofurantoin use from 3.53 to 4.01 prescriptions per 1,000 outpatient visits, but nitrofurantoin resistance in E. coli isolates remained stable at 2%. Concomitant levofloxacin resistance was a significant risk for nitrofurantoin resistance in E. coli isolates (odds ratio [OR], 2.72; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.04–7.17).
Breakthrough Listen is a 10-yr initiative to search for signatures of technologies created by extraterrestrial civilisations at radio and optical wavelengths. Here, we detail the digital data recording system deployed for Breakthrough Listen observations at the 64-m aperture CSIRO Parkes Telescope in New South Wales, Australia. The recording system currently implements two modes: a dual-polarisation, 1.125-GHz bandwidth mode for single-beam observations, and a 26-input, 308-MHz bandwidth mode for the 21-cm multibeam receiver. The system is also designed to support a 3-GHz single-beam mode for the forthcoming Parkes ultra-wideband feed. In this paper, we present details of the system architecture, provide an overview of hardware and software, and present initial performance results.
In low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) in general and sub-Sahara African (SSA) countries in particular, there is both a large treatment gap for mental disorders and a relative paucity of empirical evidence about how to fill this gap. This is more so for severe mental disorders, such as psychosis, which impose an additional vulnerability for human rights abuse on its sufferers. A major factor for the lack of evidence is the few numbers of active mental health (MH) researchers on the continent and the distance between the little evidence generated and the policy-making process.
The Partnership for Mental Health Development in Africa (PaM-D) aimed to bring together diverse MH stakeholders in SSA, working collaboratively with colleagues from the global north, to create an infrastructure to develop MH research capacity in SSA, advance global MH science by conducting innovative public health-relevant MH research in the region and work to link research to policy development. Participating SSA countries were Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria and South Africa. The research component of PaM-D focused on the development and assessment of a collaborative shared care (CSC) program between traditional and faith healers (T&FHs) and biomedical providers for the treatment of psychotic disorders, as a way of improving the outcome of persons suffering from these conditions. The capacity building component aimed to develop research capacity and appreciation of the value of research in a broad range of stakeholders through bespoke workshops and fellowships targeting specific skill-sets as well as mentoring for early career researchers.
In the research component of PaM-D, a series of formative studies were implemented to inform the development of an intervention package consisting of the essential features of a CSC for psychosis implemented by primary care providers and T&FHs. A cluster randomised controlled trial was next designed to test the effectiveness of this package on the outcome of psychosis. In the capacity-building component, 35 early and mid-career researchers participated in the training workshops and several established mentor-mentee relationships with senior PaM-D members. At the end of the funding period, 60 papers have been published and 21 successful grant applications made.
The success of PaM-D in energising young researchers and implementing a cutting-edge research program attests to the importance of partnership among researchers in the global south working with those from the north in developing MH research and service in LMIC.
To determine the effect of mandatory and nonmandatory influenza vaccination policies on vaccination rates and symptomatic absenteeism among healthcare personnel (HCP).
Retrospective observational cohort study.
This study took place at 3 university medical centers with mandatory influenza vaccination policies and 4 Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare systems with nonmandatory influenza vaccination policies.
The study included 2,304 outpatient HCP at mandatory vaccination sites and 1,759 outpatient HCP at nonmandatory vaccination sites.
To determine the incidence and duration of absenteeism in outpatient settings, HCP participating in the Respiratory Protection Effectiveness Clinical Trial at both mandatory and nonmandatory vaccination sites over 3 viral respiratory illness (VRI) seasons (2012–2015) reported their influenza vaccination status and symptomatic days absent from work weekly throughout a 12-week period during the peak VRI season each year. The adjusted effects of vaccination and other modulating factors on absenteeism rates were estimated using multivariable regression models.
The proportion of participants who received influenza vaccination was lower each year at nonmandatory than at mandatory vaccination sites (odds ratio [OR], 0.09; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.07–0.11). Among HCP who reported at least 1 sick day, vaccinated HCP had lower symptomatic days absent compared to unvaccinated HCP (OR for 2012–2013 and 2013–2014, 0.82; 95% CI, 0.72–0.93; OR for 2014–2015, 0.81; 95% CI, 0.69–0.95).
These data suggest that mandatory HCP influenza vaccination policies increase influenza vaccination rates and that HCP symptomatic absenteeism diminishes as rates of influenza vaccination increase. These findings should be considered in formulating HCP influenza vaccination policies.
Early life stress (ELS) is a significant risk factor for the emergence of internalizing problems in adolescence. Beginning in adolescence, females are twice as likely as males to experience internalizing disorders. The present study was designed to examine sex differences in the association between ELS and internalizing problems in early pubertal adolescents, and whether and how corticolimbic function and connectivity may underlie these associations. Fifty-nine early pubertal males and 78 early pubertal females, ages 9–13 years (all Tanner Stage 3 or below) underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging as they performed an emotion label task that robustly interrogates corticolimbic function. Participants were also interviewed about their experience of ELS. Females exhibited a positive association between ELS and internalizing problems, whereas males exhibited no such association. Whole-brain and amygdala region of interest analyses indicated that whereas females exhibited a positive association between ELS and the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex during implicit emotion regulation, males showed no such association. Activation in these regions was positively associated with internalizing problems in females but not males; however, activation in these regions did not mediate the association between ELS and internalizing problems. Finally, both boys and girls exhibited an association between ELS and increased negative connectivity between the right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex and bilateral amygdala. Using a carefully characterized sample of early pubertal adolescents, the current study highlights important sex differences in the development of corticolimbic circuitry during a critical period of brain development. These sex differences may play a significant role in subsequent risk for internalizing problems.
The region where two active tributaries feed into the now stagnant Ice Stream C (ISC), West Antarctica, is thickening. In this region, we observe a correlation between faster ice flow (the tributaries) and elevated topography. We conclude that stagnation of ISC resulted in compression and thickening along the tributaries, eventually forming a “bulge” on the ice-sheet surface. Modern hydraulic potential gradients would divert basal meltwater from ISC to Ice Stream B (ISB). These gradients are primarily controlled by the bulge topography, and so likely formed subsequent to trunk stagnation. As such, we argue against “water piracy” as being the cause for ISC’s stagnation. Kinematic-wave theory suggests that thickness perturbations propagate downstream over time, but that kinematic-wave speed decreases near the stagnant trunk. This and modest diffusion rates combine to trap most of the tributary-fed ice in the bulge region. Using interfero-metric synthetic aperture radar velocity measurements, we observe that half of the ice within ISC’s southern tributary flows into ISB. That flow pattern and other observations of non-steady flow in the region likely result from stagnation-induced thickening along upper ISC combined with a longer period of thinning on upper ISB. If current trends in thickness change continue, more ice from upper ISC will be diverted to ISB.
Limitations of access have long restricted exploration and investigation of the cavities beneath ice shelves to a small number of drillholes. Studies of sea-ice underwater morphology are limited largely to scientific utilization of submarines. Remotely operated vehicles, tethered to a mother ship by umbilical cable, have been deployed to investigate tidewater-glacier and ice-shelf margins, but their range is often restricted. The development of free-flying autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) with ranges of tens to hundreds of kilometres enables extensive missions to take place beneath sea ice and floating ice shelves. Autosub2 is a 3600 kg, 6.7 m long AUV, with a 1600 m operating depth and range of 400 km, based on the earlier Autosub1 which had a 500 m depth limit. A single direct-drive d.c. motor and five-bladed propeller produce speeds of 1–2 m s−1. Rear-mounted rudder and stern-plane control yaw, pitch and depth. The vehicle has three sections. The front and rear sections are free-flooding, built around aluminium extrusion space-frames covered with glass-fibre reinforced plastic panels. The central section has a set of carbon-fibre reinforced plastic pressure vessels. Four tubes contain batteries powering the vehicle. The other three house vehicle-control systems and sensors. The rear section houses subsystems for navigation, control actuation and propulsion and scientific sensors (e.g. digital camera, upward-looking 300 kHz acoustic Doppler current profiler, 200 kHz multibeam receiver). The front section contains forward-looking collision sensor, emergency abort, the homing systems, Argos satellite data and location transmitters and flashing lights for relocation as well as science sensors (e.g. twin conductivity–temperature–depth instruments, multibeam transmitter, sub-bottom profiler, AquaLab water sampler). Payload restrictions mean that a subset of scientific instruments is actually in place on any given dive. The scientific instruments carried on Autosub are described and examples of observational data collected from each sensor in Arctic or Antarctic waters are given (e.g. of roughness at the underside of floating ice shelves and sea ice).
Using in situ data from 2011 and 2013, we evaluate the ability of CryoSat-2 (CS-2) to retrieve sea-ice freeboard over fast ice in McMurdo Sound. This provides the first systematic validation of CS-2 in the coastal Antarctic and offers insight into the assumptions currently used to process CS-2 data. European Space Agency Level 2 (ESAL2) data are compared with results of a Waveform Fitting (WfF) procedure and a Threshold-First-Maximum-Retracker-Algorithm employed at 40% (TFMRA40). A supervised freeboard retrieval procedure is used to reduce errors associated with sea surface height identification and radar velocity in snow. We find ESAL2 freeboards located between the ice and snow freeboard rather than the frequently assumed snow/ice interface. WfF is within 0.04 m of the ice freeboard but is influenced by variable snow conditions causing increased radar backscatter from the air/snow interface. Given such snow conditions and additional uncertainties in sea surface height identification, a positive bias of 0.14 m away from the ice freeboard is observed. TFMRA40 freeboards are within 0.03 m of the snow freeboard. The separation of freeboard estimates is primarily driven by the different assumptions of each retracker, although waveform alteration by variations in snow properties and surface roughness is evident. Techniques are amended where necessary, and automatic freeboard retrieval procedures for ESAL2, WfF and TFMRA40 are presented. CS-2 detects annual fast-ice freeboard trends using all three automatic procedures that are in line with known sea-ice growth rates in the region.
The purpose of this paper is to describe the development and initial accomplishments of a training program of young leaders in community mental health research as part of a Latin American initiative known as RedeAmericas. RedeAmericas was one of five regional ‘Hubs’ funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) to improve community mental health care and build mental health research capacity in low- and middle-income countries. It included investigators in six Latin American cities – Santiago, Chile; Medellín, Colombia; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and Córdoba, Neuquén, and Buenos Aires in Argentina – working together with a team affiliated with the Global Mental Health program at Columbia University in New York City. One component of RedeAmericas was a capacity-building effort that included an Awardee program for early career researchers in the mental health field. We review the aims of this component, how it developed, and what was learned that would be useful for future capacity-building efforts, and also comment on future prospects for maintaining this type of effort.
Lower and middle income countries (LMICs) are home to >80% of the global population, but mental health researchers and LMIC investigator led publications are concentrated in 10% of LMICs. Increasing research and research outputs, such as in the form of peer reviewed publications, require increased capacity building (CB) opportunities in LMICs. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) initiative, Collaborative Hubs for International Research on Mental Health reaches across five regional ‘hubs’ established in LMICs, to provide training and support for emerging researchers through hub-specific CB activities. This paper describes the range of CB activities, the process of monitoring, and the early outcomes of CB activities conducted by the five research hubs.
The indicators used to describe the nature, the monitoring, and the early outcomes of CB activities were developed collectively by the members of an inter-hub CB workgroup representing all five hubs. These indicators included but were not limited to courses, publications, and grants.
Results for all indicators demonstrate a wide range of feasible CB activities. The five hubs were successful in providing at least one and the majority several courses; 13 CB recipient-led articles were accepted for publication; and nine grant applications were successful.
The hubs were successful in providing CB recipients with a wide range of CB activities. The challenge remains to ensure ongoing CB of mental health researchers in LMICs, and in particular, to sustain the CB efforts of the five hubs after the termination of NIMH funding.
This paper briefly describes the principle of operation and science goals of the AMANDA high energy neutrino telescope located at the South Pole, Antarctica. Results from an earlier phase of the telescope, called AMANDA-BIO, demonstrate both reliable operation and the broad astrophysical reach of this device, which includes searches for a variety of sources of ultrahigh energy neutrinos: generic point sources, Gamma-Ray Bursts and diffuse sources. The predicted sensitivity and angular resolution of the telescope were confirmed by studies of atmospheric muon and neutrino backgrounds. We also report on the status of the analysis from AMANDA-II, a larger version with far greater capabilities. At this stage of analysis, details of the ice properties and other systematic uncertainties of the AMANDA-II telescope are under study, but we have made progress toward critical science objectives. In particular, we present the first preliminary flux limits from AMANDA-II on the search for continuous emission from astrophysical point sources, and report on the search for correlated neutrino emission from Gamma Ray Bursts detected by BATSE before decommissioning in May 2000. During the next two years, we expect to exploit the full potential of AMANDA-II with the installation of a new data acquisition system that records full waveforms from the in-ice optical sensors.
Jupiter’s microwave emission was observed throughout the SL9 impact period by many different telescopes, among which the NRAO 140-foot telescope in Green Bank (21 cm), Westerbork (92 cm), Effelsberg (6, 11 cm), Parkes (21 cm), NASA DSN (13 cm), and the Very Large Array (22, 90 cm). We determined the “average” total nonthermal flux density from the planet after having subtracted the thermal contribution, following the formulation by de Pater and Klein, (1989) and Klein et al., (1989). The flux density increased typically by 40-50% at 6 cm wavelength, 27% at 11-13 cm, 22%at 21 cm and 10-15% at 90 cm. Thus the radio spectrum hardened considerably during the week of cometary impacts. Following the week of cometary impacts, the flux density began to subside at all wavelength.
VLA images show the brightness distribution of the planet; a comparison of images taken before and during the week of impacts show marked changes in the brightness distribution. At a central meridian longitude λIII≈ 110°, the left side of the belts increased considerably and moved inwards by ~ 0.2 RJ. This suggests that the increase in flux density is caused by energization of the resident particle population.
Melioidosis is an infectious disease caused by Burkholderia pseudomallei, a bacterium endemic in Southeast Asia and northern Australia. In New Caledonia, sporadic cases were first described in 2005; since then, more cases have been identified. To improve our understanding of melioidosis epidemiology in New Caledonia, we compared the local cases and B. pseudomallei isolates with those from endemic areas. Nineteen melioidosis cases have been diagnosed in New Caledonia since 1999, mostly severe and with frequent bacteraemia, leading to three (16%) fatalities. All but one occurred in the North Province. Besides sporadic cases caused by non-clonal strains, we also identified a hotspot of transmission related to a clonal group of B. pseudomallei that is phylogenetically related to Australian strains.