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Seasonal influenza virus epidemics have a major impact on healthcare systems. Data on population susceptibility to emerging influenza virus strains during the interepidemic period can guide planning for resource allocation of an upcoming influenza season. This study sought to assess the population susceptibility to representative emerging influenza virus strains collected during the interepidemic period. The microneutralisation antibody titers (MN titers) of a human serum panel against representative emerging influenza strains collected during the interepidemic period before the 2018/2019 winter influenza season (H1N1-inter and H3N2-inter) were compared with those against influenza strains representative of previous epidemics (H1N1-pre and H3N2-pre). A multifaceted approach, incorporating both genetic and antigenic data, was used in selecting these representative influenza virus strains for the MN assay. A significantly higher proportion of individuals had a ⩾four-fold reduction in MN titers between H1N1-inter and H1N1-pre than that between H3N2-inter and H3N2-pre (28.5% (127/445) vs. 4.9% (22/445), P < 0.001). The geometric mean titer (GMT) of H1N1-inter was significantly lower than that of H1N1-pre (381 (95% CI 339–428) vs. 713 (95% CI 641–792), P < 0.001), while there was no significant difference in the GMT between H3N2-inter and H3N2-pre. Since A(H1N1) predominated the 2018–2019 winter influenza epidemic, our results corroborated the epidemic subtype.
Using theory and experiments, we investigate granular surface avalanching due to material outflow from a narrow silo. The assumed silo geometry is a deep rectangular box, of moderate spanwise width and small gap thickness between smooth front and back walls. A small orifice deep below the free surface lets grains drain out at a constant rate. The resulting granular flows can therefore be assumed quasi-two-dimensional and quasi-steady over most of the surface descent history. To model these flows, we couple a kinematic model of deep granular flow with a dynamic model of shallow surface avalanching. We then compare the calculated flow fields with detailed particle tracking measurements, letting the silo ascend relative to the high-speed camera to increase spatial resolution. The results show that the avalanching surface shape and near-surface flow are controlled by the spanwise gradient in subsidence velocity, and how this gradient is in turn controlled by the height above orifice and the gap thickness. Whereas the deep flow pattern is rate independent, shallow avalanching is paced by the granular rheology.
Evidence suggests that autism and schizophrenia share similarities in genetic, neuropsychological and behavioural aspects. Although both disorders are associated with theory of mind (ToM) impairments, a few studies have directly compared ToM between autism patients and schizophrenia patients. This study aimed to investigate to what extent high-functioning autism patients and schizophrenia patients share and differ in ToM performance.
Thirty high-functioning autism patients, 30 schizophrenia patients and 30 healthy individuals were recruited. Participants were matched in age, gender and estimated intelligence quotient. The verbal-based Faux Pas Task and the visual-based Yoni Task were utilised to examine first- and higher-order, affective and cognitive ToM. The task/item difficulty of two paradigms was examined using mixed model analyses of variance (ANOVAs). Multiple ANOVAs and mixed model ANOVAs were used to examine group differences in ToM.
The Faux Pas Task was more difficult than the Yoni Task. High-functioning autism patients showed more severely impaired verbal-based ToM in the Faux Pas Task, but shared similar visual-based ToM impairments in the Yoni Task with schizophrenia patients.
The findings that individuals with high-functioning autism shared similar but more severe impairments in verbal ToM than individuals with schizophrenia support the autism–schizophrenia continuum. The finding that verbal-based but not visual-based ToM was more impaired in high-functioning autism patients than schizophrenia patients could be attributable to the varied task/item difficulty between the two paradigms.
Scholars continue to argue about whether bipolar disorders (BD) and unipolar depression (UD) are distinguishable with regard to neurocognitive function. This study aims to explore the cognitive profiles of UD and BD by applying the Brief Assessment of Cognition in Affective Disorders (BAC-A) for neuropsychological assessment.
This cross-sectional study included 68 patients with UD, 67 patients with BD, and 135 healthy control subjects. We evaluated the participants’ cognitive functions at euthymic status using the BAC-A, which is made up of six traditional cognitive subtests and the Affective Processing Test. We then used a discriminant function analysis (DFA) to determine whether cognitive performance can be used to distinguish these participant groups.
Healthy controls demonstrated better performance in all subtests of the BAC-A than both the UD and BD patients, with the exception of delayed recognition of affective interference. Compared with the BD group, the UD group exhibited better performance in working memory and emotion inhibition. Furthermore, using all BAC-A indexes, a total of 70% of participants could be correctly classified using a DFA model, and the discriminating validity between UD and BD was superior to using either the traditional cognitive domains or the Affective Processing Test alone.
We have found that UD patients may exhibit an intermediate performance between healthy subjects and BD patients in working memory and emotional inhibition tests. The BAC-A can potentially assist in differentiating BD patients from UD patients at euthymic status in clinical settings.
For nearly a century, the incidence of cancer in people with schizophrenia was lower than in the general population. In the recent decade, the relationship between cancer and schizophrenia has become obscured. Thus, we investigated the cancer risk among young and middle-aged patients with schizophrenia.
Records of newly admitted patients with schizophrenia (n = 32 731) from January 2000 through December 2008 were retrieved from the Psychiatric Inpatient Medical Claims database in Taiwan, and the first psychiatric admission of each patient during the same period was defined as the baseline. We obtained 514 incident cancer cases that were monitored until December 2010. Standardised incidence ratios (SIRs) were calculated to compare the risk of cancer between those with schizophrenia and the general population. Stratified analyses of cancer incidences were performed by gender, site of cancers and duration since baseline (first psychiatric admission).
The incidence of cancer for all sites was slightly higher than that of the general population for the period (SIR = 1.15 [95% CI 1.06–1.26], p = 0.001). Men had a significantly higher incidence of colorectal cancer (SIR = 1.48 [95% CI 1.06–2.06], p = 0.019). Women had a higher incidence of breast cancer (SIR = 1.47 [95% CI 1.22–1.78], p < 0.001). Intriguingly, the risk for colorectal cancer was more pronounced 5 years after the first psychiatric admission rather than earlier (SIR = 1.94 [1.36–2.75], p < 0.001) and so was the risk for breast cancer (SIR = 1.85 [1.38–2.48], p < 0.001). The cancer incidence was higher in patients with schizophrenia contradicting the belief that schizophrenia was protective of cancers.
Our analyses suggest that men and women with schizophrenia were more vulnerable to certain types of cancers, which indicates the need for gender-specific cancer screening programs. The fact that risk of colorectal cancer was more pronounced 5 years after the first psychiatric admission could imply the impact of unhealthy lifestyles or the possibility of delayed diagnoses.
To study the association between gastrointestinal colonization of carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE) and proton pump inhibitors (PPIs).
We analyzed 31,526 patients with prospective collection of fecal specimens for CPE screening: upon admission (targeted screening) and during hospitalization (opportunistic screening, safety net screening, and extensive contact tracing), in our healthcare network with 3,200 beds from July 1, 2011, through December 31, 2015. Specimens were collected at least once weekly during hospitalization for CPE carriers and subjected to broth enrichment culture and multiplex polymerase chain reaction.
Of 66,672 fecal specimens collected, 345 specimens (0.5%) from 100 patients (0.3%) had CPE. The number and prevalence (per 100,000 patient-days) of CPE increased from 2 (0.3) in 2012 to 63 (8.0) in 2015 (P<.001). Male sex (odds ratio, 1.91 [95% CI, 1.15–3.18], P=.013), presence of wound or drain (3.12 [1.70–5.71], P<.001), and use of cephalosporins (3.06 [1.42–6.59], P=.004), carbapenems (2.21 [1.10–4.48], P=.027), and PPIs (2.84 [1.72–4.71], P<.001) in the preceding 6 months were significant risk factors by multivariable analysis. Of 79 patients with serial fecal specimens, spontaneous clearance of CPE was noted in 57 (72.2%), with a median (range) of 30 (3–411) days. Comparing patients without use of antibiotics and PPIs, consumption of both antibiotics and PPIs after CPE identification was associated with later clearance of CPE (hazard ratio, 0.35 [95% CI, 0.17–0.73], P=.005).
Concomitant use of antibiotics and PPIs prolonged duration of gastrointestinal colonization by CPE.
Limitations in sample size, overly inclusive antibiotic classes, lack of adjustment of key risk variables, and inadequate assessment of cases contribute to widely ranging estimates of risk factors for Clostridium difficile infection (CDI).
To incorporate all key CDI risk factors in addition to 27 antibiotic classes into a single comprehensive model.
Retrospective cohort study.
Kaiser Permanente Southern California.
Members of Kaiser Permanente Southern California at least 18 years old admitted to any of its 14 hospitals from January 1, 2011, through December 31, 2012.
Hospital-acquired CDI cases were identified by polymerase chain reaction assay. Exposure to major outpatient antibiotics (10 classes) and those administered during inpatient stays (27 classes) was assessed. Age, sex, self-identified race/ethnicity, Charlson Comorbidity Score, previous hospitalization, transfer from a skilled nursing facility, number of different antibiotic classes, statin use, and proton pump inhibitor use were also assessed. Poisson regression estimated adjusted risk of CDI.
A total of 401,234 patients with 2,638 cases of incident CDI (0.7%) were detected. The final model demonstrated highest CDI risk associated with increasing age, exposure to multiple antibiotic classes, and skilled nursing facility transfer. Factors conferring the most reduced CDI risk were inpatient exposure to tetracyclines and first-generation cephalosporins, and outpatient macrolides.
Although type and aggregate antibiotic exposure are important, the factors that increase the likelihood of environmental spore acquisition should not be underestimated. Operationally, our findings have implications for antibiotic stewardship efforts and can inform empirical and culture-driven treatment approaches.
Infect. Control Hosp. Epidemiol. 2015;36(12):1409–1416
Flowing over erodible beds, channelized granular avalanches can alter their volume by entraining or detraining basal grains. In detail, entrainment results from a gradual adjustment of stress and velocity profiles over depth, bringing bed material past yield (and vice versa for detrainment). To capture this process, we propose new depth-integrated equations that balance kinetic energy in addition to mass and momentum. The equations require a local granular rheology, assumed viscoplastic, but no extra erosion law. Entrainment rates are instead deduced from the depth-integrated layer dynamics. To check the approach, we obtain solutions for non-equilibrium heap flows, and compare them with experiments conducted in a seesaw channel.
Despite evidence on the short-term benefits of early intervention (EI) service for psychosis, long-term outcome studies are limited by inconsistent results. This study examined the 10-year outcomes of patients with first-episode psychosis who received 2-year territory-wide EI service compared to those who received standard care (SC) in Hong Kong using an historical control design.
Consecutive patients who received the EI service between 1 July 2001 and 30 June 2002, and with diagnosis of schizophrenia-spectrum disorders, were identified and matched with patients who received SC first presented to the public psychiatric service from 1 July 2000 to 30 June 2001. In total, 148 matched pairs of patients were identified. Cross-sectional information on symptomatology and functioning was obtained through semi-structured interview; longitudinal information on hospitalization, functioning, suicide attempts, mortality and relapse over 10 years was obtained from clinical database. There were 70.3% (N = 104) of SC and 74.3% (N = 110) of EI patients interviewed.
Results suggested that EI patients had reduced suicide rate (χ2(1) = 4.35, p = 0.037), fewer number [odds ratio (OR) 1.56, χ2 = 15.64, p < 0.0001] and shorter duration of hospitalization (OR 1.29, χ2 = 4.06, p = 0.04), longer employment periods (OR −0.28, χ2 = 14.64, p < 0.0001) and fewer suicide attempts (χ2 = 11.47, df = 1, p = 0.001) over 10 years. At 10 years, no difference was found in psychotic symptoms, symptomatic remission and functional recovery.
The short-term benefits of the EI service on number of hospitalizations and employment was sustained after service termination, but the differences narrowed down. This suggests the need to evaluate the optimal duration of the EI service.
Atom probe is a powerful technique for studying the composition of nano-precipitates, but their morphology within the reconstructed data is distorted due to the so-called local magnification effect. A new technique has been developed to mitigate this limitation by characterizing the distribution of the surrounding matrix atoms, rather than those contained within the nano-precipitates themselves. A comprehensive chemical analysis enables further information on size and chemistry to be obtained. The method enables new insight into the morphology and chemistry of niobium carbonitride nano-precipitates within ferrite for a series of Nb-microalloyed ultra-thin cast strip steels. The results are supported by complementary high-resolution transmission electron microscopy.
To investigate and compare the performance of head mirrors and headlights during otolaryngological examination.
The illuminance and illumination field of each device were measured and compared. Visual identification and visual acuity were also measured, in 13 medical students and 10 otolaryngology specialists.
The illuminance (mean ± standard deviation) of the LumiView, Kimscope 1 W and Kimscope 3 W headlights and a standard head mirror were 352.3 ± 9, 92.3 ± 4.5, 438 ± 15.7 and 68.3 ± 1.2 lux, respectively. The illumination field of the head mirror (mean ± standard deviation) was 348 ± 29.8 grids, significantly greater than that of the Kimscope 3 W headlight (183 ± 9.2 grids) (p = 0.0017). The student group showed no statistically significant difference between visual identification with the best headlight and the head mirror (score means ± standard deviations: 56.2 ± 9 and 53.3 ± 14.1, respectively; p = 0.3). The expert group scored significantly higher for visual identification with head mirrors versus headlights (59.7 ± 3.3 vs 55.2 ± 5.8, respectively; p = 0.0035), but showed no difference for visual acuity.
Despite the advantages of headlight illumination, head mirrors provided better, shadow-free illumination. Despite no differences amongst students, head mirrors performed better than headlights in experienced hands.
This research experimentally investigates the rotor aerodynamics of horizontal-axis, micro-wind turbines. Specifically, the aerodynamic characteristics of large-tip, non-twisted blades are studied. The study is conducted in a wind tunnel system to obtain the relations between the power coefficient (CP) and tip speed ratio (TSR), the torque coefficient (CT) and TSR. Effects of rotor position inside a flanged diffuser, rotor solidity and blade number on rotor performance are investigated. The blade cross-section is NACA4415 airfoil. The pitch angle of the blades is fixed at 30°, and the chord length ratio between the blade root and tip (Cr / Ct) is fixed at 0.3. Results show that larger power output is obtained when the rotor placed closer to the diffuser inlet. The 60%-solidity rotor, in general, achieves better power and torque outputs among the test rotor solidities. The higher the blade number is, the larger the power output is, but the difference is small. Comparisons between the present and previous relatively short-tip blades (Cr / Ct = 0.5) show that the present blades have better power and torque outputs at lower rotor rotational speed. These results suggest that the large-tip blades are suitable for micro-wind turbine applications, and make rotor-generator matching more flexible.
In this paper, the first-order ordinary differential constitutive equations of endochronic theory were combined with the principle of virtual work for simulating the response of creep (moment is kept constant for a period of time) or relaxation (curvature is kept constant for a period of time) of thin-walled tubes subjected to pure bending with different curvature-rates at the preloading stage. A group of Fourier series was used to describe the circumferential displacements of the tube. Thus, a system of nonlinear algebraic equations was determined. This system of equations can be solved by numerical method. Experimental data tested by Pan and Fan  were compared with the theoretical simulations in this study. It is shown that the theoretical formulations effectively simulate the experimental data.
Nosocomial outbreaks of norovirus infection pose a great challenge to the infection control team.
Between November 1, 2009, and February 28, 2010, strategic infection control measures were implemented in a hospital network. In addition to timely staff education and promotion of directly observed hand hygiene, reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction for norovirus was performed as an added test by the microbiology laboratory for all fecal specimens irrespective of the request for testing. Laboratory-confirmed cases were followed up by the infection control team for timely intervention. The incidence of hospital-acquired norovirus infection per 1,000 potentially infectious patient-days was compared with the corresponding period in the preceding 12 months, and the incidence in the other 6 hospital networks in Hong Kong was chosen as the concurrent control. Phylogenetic analysis of norovirus isolates was performed.
Of the 988 patients who were tested, 242 (25%) were positive for norovirus; 114 (47%) of those 242 patients had norovirus detected by our added test. Compared with the corresponding period in the preceding 12 months, the incidence of hospital-acquired norovirus infection decreased from 131 to 16 cases per 1,000 potentially infectious patient-days (P < .001 ), although the number of hospital-acquired infections was low in both the study period (n = 8) and the historical control periods (n = 11). The incidence of hospital-acquired norovirus infection in our hospital network (0.03 cases per 1,000 patient-days) was significantly lower than that of the concurrent control (0.06 cases per 1,000 patient-days) (P = .015). Forty-three (93%) of 46 norovirus isolates sequenced belonged to the genogroup II.4 variant.
Strategic infection control measures with an added test maybe useful in controlling nosocomial transmission of norovirus.
In this paper, an experimental investigation on the variation of ovalization for sharp-notched circular tubes subjected to cyclic bending is discussed. The tube bending machine and curvature-ovalization measurement apparatus were used to test the unnotched and sharp-notched 304 stainless steel tubes. For sharp-notched tubes, five different notch depths (0.2, 0.4, 0.6, 0.8 and 1.0mm) were considered in this study. It was found that the experimental curve of the ovalization and the number of cycles could be divided into three stages-an initial, secondary and tertiary stage. An empirical relationship was proposed for simulating the aforementioned curve for the initial and secondary stages in this study. It has been shown that the derived empirical relationship was in good agreement with the experimental data.
Noroviruses are an important aetiological agent of acute gastroenteritis. They are responsible for large outbreaks of disease in the community, hospitals and long-term-care facilities. The clinical manifestations of norovirus outbreaks in psychiatric units are rarely described. The disease burden and impact highlight the importance of timely notification and investigation of these outbreaks. We analysed the characteristics of four norovirus outbreaks which occurred during a 3-year period in an in-patient psychiatric care unit. A total of 184 patients were affected which included 172 hospitalized patients, seven healthcare workers (HCWs) and five psychiatric nursing-home residents. The mean incidence rate of norovirus gastroenteritis (NVG) in hospitalized patients during these outbreaks was 12·7%. These outbreaks were characterized by higher incidence in middle-aged male patients, predominant sickness of diarrhoea, short duration of illness, peaks in late winter and early spring, and higher susceptibility in acute psychiatric patients. HCWs had longer duration of illness than psychiatric patients. More than 10% of affected patients experienced ⩾2 infections. Infection control measures were instituted and a comprehensive, responsive standard operating procedure for NVG and outbreak management was developed. After implementation of these measures, no further outbreaks of NVG occurred during the study period.
A theoretical approach for an optical lens tip on a single-mode fiber end to improve power coupling from laser diode is presented in this work. The lens shape considered here is an ellipsoid. Based on scalar diffraction and Gaussian mode shapes for the laser and fiber fields, a theoretical model is developed to predict the coupling performance of this microlens. Theoretically, both a high coupling efficiency up to 77% and a large alignment tolerance for 10% off-peak are achieved. The proposed method facilitates mass production to achieve a high-yield and high-coupling efficiency that is suitable to be used in the commercial fiber transmission industry.
Low-carbohydrate diets could lead to reduced fruit and vegetable intake, which may be protective against CVD. The role of carbohydrate intake in modifying the association between fruits and vegetables and CVD has not been evaluated.
To evaluate whether carbohydrate intake affects the association between fruits and vegetables and CVD.
We included participants from two large prospective studies, the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS) and the Health Professionals’ Follow-Up Study (HPFS). We followed 70 870 eligible NHS females for 16 years and 38 918 eligible HPFS males for 14 years. Diet was assessed from an FFQ updated every 4 years. Our primary outcome was ischaemic CVD (fatal and non-fatal myocardial infarction and ischaemic stroke). We used Cox proportional hazards models to evaluate the relationship between fruits and vegetables and ischaemic CVD within groups with low, moderate or high carbohydrate intake.
Fruit intake was strongly related with carbohydrate intake, but vegetables showed a very small correlation. Vegetable intake showed stronger associations with ischaemic CVD among the low carbohydrate group (multivariate risk ratio (RR) = 0·82 for an increment of 3 servings/d; 95 % CI 0·68, 0·99); green leafy vegetables and carotene-rich fruits and vegetables followed a similar pattern. Total fruit intake was associated with a lower risk of ischaemic CVD only among participants with moderate carbohydrate intake (RR = 0·81 comparing extreme quintiles; 95 % CI 0·70, 0·94).
Total vegetables, green leafy vegetables and carotene-rich fruits and vegetables showed stronger associations with ischaemic CVD among the low carbohydrate group. No consistent trends were observed for fruit intake.
This work demonstrates the application of a Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) approach to modeling X-ray reflectometry (XRR) data taken from a sub 10 nm Hafnium oxide film. We present here a comparison of two structural models for a 6 nm HfxOy atomic layer deposition (ALD) film on Si. Using the MCMC method and two distinct structural models, we show evidence of a thin interface between the HfxOy and Si layers with a density much higher than native SiO2. Results from genetic algorithm XRR analysis and thickness measurements using cross-sectional transmission electron microscopy are included for comparison. We also demonstrate that our interpretation of HfxOy thickness differs between the two structural models (i.e., total film thicknesses may be partially additive within each model).
Twenty-one Candida albicans isolates from three HIV-infected patients were collected over a period of 3 years and characterized for fluconazole susceptibility, infectivity and genetic relatedness. Fluconazole resistance was found in five isolates, four exhibited dose-dependent susceptibility and the remainder were fully susceptible to this agent. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis of SfiI restriction digests of the genomic DNA from the isolates revealed that isolates from the same swab specimen were identical despite differences in susceptibility to fluconazole and isolates recovered over time from the three patients retained clonally related DNA fingerprints within each patient. This small-scale study confirms the persistence of oral colonization of C. albicans strains in HIV-infected patients. Clinical data also suggests that the primary infecting strain may become a persistent colonist in the oral cavity once the immune function of the patient has been restored.