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Surveillance for acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) cases are essential for polio eradication. However, as most poliovirus infections are asymptomatic and some regions of the world are inaccessible, additional surveillance tools require development. Within England and Wales, we demonstrate how inclusion of environmental sampling (ENV) improves the sensitivity of detecting both wild and vaccine-derived polioviruses (VDPVs) when compared to current surveillance. Statistical modelling was used to estimate the spatial risk of wild and VDPV importation and circulation in England and Wales. We estimate the sensitivity of each surveillance mode to detect poliovirus and the probability of being free from poliovirus, defined as being below a pre-specified prevalence of infection. Poliovirus risk was higher within local authorities in Manchester, Birmingham, Bradford and London. The sensitivity of detecting wild poliovirus within a given month using AFP and enterovirus surveillance was estimated to be 0.096 (95% CI 0.055–0.134). Inclusion of ENV in the three highest risk local authorities and a site in London increased surveillance sensitivity to 0.192 (95% CI 0.191–0.193). The sensitivity of ENV strategies can be compared using the framework by varying sites and the frequency of sampling. The probability of being free from poliovirus slowly increased from the date of the last case in 1993. ENV within areas thought to have the highest risk improves detection of poliovirus, and has the potential to improve confidence in the polio-free status of England and Wales and detect VDPVs.
The most striking, yet poorly understood morphological features of the human cerebral cortex are the complex arrangements of its foldings: the sulci and gyri. Cortical gyrification is formed during fetal age and childhood. Thus, indices measuring the folding pattern could provide cues for the neurodevelopmental pathopsychology.
A fully-automated method was applied to T1 magnetic resonance images to extract, label and measure the sulcus area in the whole cortex. Gyrification was assessed using both global and local sulcal indices, defined respectively as the ratio between the total sulcal area, or the area of each labeled sulcus, and the outer cortex area.
As a validation, MRI datasets in controls showed that handedness modify the folding of the motor area in dominant hemisphere (Mangin 2004), and differences in left and right superior temporal sulci which may stem from language-based asymmetries (Ochiai 2004). In a sample of schizophrenia patients with treatment-resistant auditory hallucination, global sulcal surface index was decreased, and local sulci surface indices differed in language-related regions. Further analyses are performed in samples from various MR datasets. Statistics on such measurements should generalize across patients and hospitals.
The potential of the gyrification pattern for the neuroimage-based inference of developmental deviation will be examined.
In a period of growing interest in expert's guidelines on the management of psychiatric emergencies, there are few empirically validated data in the emergency settings. Based on this observation, we developed an International Research Network in Emergency Psychiatry, by connecting several European Centers (Switzerland, France, Belgium, Romania) and United States. The aims of our collaboration are to evaluate and ameliorate the quality of care, to develop European clinical guidelines, to provide a structured educational program for trainees and students and to conduct international studies focused on Emergency Psychiatry. Clinical research and the use of some standardized tools appear to be successful in improving the quality of care as an ‘effective medication’ administered to the emergency staff [Damsa et al., 2006]. Moreover, introducing new psychotherapeutic models in emergency psychiatry, could avoid unnecessary hospitalizations, by increasing the compliance of the patients to ambulatory follow-up care, and might have a positive economic impact on the health systems. In conclusion, we hope to develop new links with other emergency psychiatric teams, through the Emergency Psychiatry Section from the AEP.
Damsa C, Ikelheimer D, Adam E, Maris S, Andreoli A, Lazignac C, Allen MH. Heisenberg in the ER: observation appears to reduce involuntary intramuscular injections in a psychiatric emergency service. Gen Hosp Psychiatry. 2006; 28: 431-433.
With one in ten young people being affected by ill mental health and stigma regularly cited as a factor affecting access to early intervention services, focussing resources on school based stigma reduction strategies seems prudent. ‘Headucate’, a student society, designed a 50 minute workshop which aims to increase mental health literacy and decrease stigma.
Repeated, cross sectional surveys were carried out at three time points; 1) immediately before (n=77), 2) Immediately after (n=81) and 3) three months post workshop (n=73). The surveys were paper based versions of the Reported Intended Behaviours Score (RIBS) and Mental Health Knowledge Scale (MAKS) utilising a social distance scale.
Four year 10 classed (pupils aged 14-15) were recruited. Post hoc t-tests were carried out when one-way ANOVAS were significant.
Disorder knowledge (from MAKS) and intended contact (from RIBS) significantly increased between time points one and two (p<0.01 and <0.004 respectively) but then decreased.
Analysis of the question pertaining to knowing where to access help showed a statistically significant increase (p<0.001) between time points one and two and then a decrease at time three, albeit to a higher value than at time point one (3.45 compared to 3.13, P=0.088).
Headucate workshops offer a low resource option which is well accepted by students. Like other school based stigma reduction strategies, a dramatic increase was seen between immediately before and after indicating that the workshop resonates with the pupils, but there was little sustained change in attitudes.
Children with CHD who undergo cardiopulmonary bypass are at an increased risk of acute kidney injury. This study evaluated the association of end-organ specific injury plasma biomarkers for brain: glial fibrillary acidic protein and heart: Galectin 3, soluble suppression of tumorgenicity 2, and N-terminal pro b-type natriuretic peptide with acute kidney injury in children undergoing cardiopulmonary bypass.
Materials and Methods:
We enrolled consecutive children undergoing cardiac surgery with cardiopulmonary bypass. Blood samples were collected pre-bypass in the operating room and in the immediate post-operative period. Acute kidney injury was defined as a rise of serum creatinine ≥50% from pre-operative baseline within 7 days after surgery.
Overall, 162 children (mean age 4.05 years, sd 5.28 years) were enrolled. Post-operative acute kidney injury developed in 55 (34%) children. Post-operative plasma glial fibrillary acidic protein levels were significantly higher in patients with acute kidney injury (median 0.154 (inter-quartile range 0.059–0.31) ng/ml) compared to those without acute kidney injury (median 0.056 (inter-quartile range 0.001–0.125) ng/ml) (p = 0.043). After adjustment for age, weight, and The Society of Thoracic Surgeons-European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery category, each natural log increase in post-operative glial fibrillary acidic protein was significantly associated with a higher risk for subsequent acute kidney injury (adjusted odds ratio glial fibrillary acidic protein 1.25; 95% confidence interval 1.01–1.59). Pre/post-operative levels of galectin 3, soluble suppression of tumorgenicity 2, and N-terminal pro b-type natriuretic peptide did not significantly differ between patients with and without acute kidney injury.
Higher plasma glial fibrillary acidic protein levels measured in the immediate post-operative period were independently associated with subsequent acute kidney injury in children after cardiopulmonary bypass. Elevated glial fibrillary acidic protein likely reflects intraoperative brain injury which may occur in the context of acute kidney injury-associated end-organ dysfunction.
CACNA1I (hCaV3.3) encodes the α1 pore-forming subunit of human voltage-gated T-type calcium channels. CaV3.3 is expressed in a limited subset of neurons including GABAergic neurons of the thalamic reticular nucleus (TRN) where they support oscillatory activity essential for sleep spindle generation. CACNA1I is implicated in schizophrenia risk by emerging genetics including genome-wide association studies (PGC, 2014), and exome sequencing of trio samples (Gulsuner et al., 2013). In order to understand the impact of disease-associated sequence variation on the function of CaV3.3, we set out to analyze a complete set of rare mis-sense coding variations in CACNA1I in a Swedish cohort, including 15 variations identified in patients, 20 identified in control subjects, and 23 in both. We established a heterologous expression system of isogenic cell lines, each carrying single-copy inducible cDNA variants of hCaV3.3, and evaluated their functional impact on channel function by electrophysiology, calcium imaging, and biochemistry. We found at least five coding variations impaired overall channel protein abundance, as well as whole cell current density. In addition, we identified hCaV3.3 variants with altered voltage-dependence of channel activation and inactivation. Overall, we found that reduced calcium influx through hCaV3.3 is associated with the group of variants identified in patients, compared to those in both patients and controls. Our findings suggest that patient-specific rare variations of CACNA1I may influence channel-dependent functions, including rebound bursting in TRN neurons, with potential implications for schizophrenia pathophysiology.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Surgical site infections (SSIs) are among the most common healthcare-associated infections in low- and middle-income countries. To encourage establishment of actionable and standardized SSI surveillance in these countries, we propose simplified surveillance case definitions. Here, we use NHSN reports to explore concordance of these simplified definitions to NHSN as ‘reference standard.’
Yukon Territory (YT) is a remote region in northern Canada with ongoing spread of tuberculosis (TB). To explore the utility of whole genome sequencing (WGS) for TB surveillance and monitoring in a setting with detailed contact tracing and interview data, we used a mixed-methods approach. Our analysis included all culture-confirmed cases in YT (2005–2014) and incorporated data from 24-locus Mycobacterial Interspersed Repetitive Units-Variable Number of Tandem Repeats (MIRU-VNTR) genotyping, WGS and contact tracing. We compared field-based (contact investigation (CI) data + MIRU-VNTR) and genomic-based (WGS + MIRU-VNTR + basic case data) investigations to identify the most likely source of each person's TB and assessed the knowledge, attitudes and practices of programme personnel around genotyping and genomics using online, multiple-choice surveys (n = 4) and an in-person group interview (n = 5). Field- and genomics-based approaches agreed for 26 of 32 (81%) cases on likely location of TB acquisition. There was less agreement in the identification of specific source cases (13/22 or 59% of cases). Single-locus MIRU-VNTR variants and limited genetic diversity complicated the analysis. Qualitative data indicated that participants viewed genomic epidemiology as a useful tool to streamline investigations, particularly in differentiating latent TB reactivation from the recent transmission. Based on this, genomic data could be used to enhance CIs, focus resources, target interventions and aid in TB programme evaluation.
Optimism is associated with reduced cardiovascular disease risk; however, few prospective studies have considered optimism in relation to hypertension risk specifically. We investigated whether optimism was associated with a lower risk of developing hypertension in U.S. service members, who are more likely to develop high blood pressure early in life. We also evaluated race/ethnicity, sex and age as potential effect modifiers of these associations.
Participants were 103 486 hypertension-free U.S. Army active-duty soldiers (mean age 28.96 years, 61.76% White, 20.04% Black, 11.01% Hispanic, 4.09% Asian, and 3.10% others). We assessed optimism, sociodemographic characteristics, health conditions, health behaviours and depression status at baseline (2009–2010) via self-report and administrative records, and ascertained incident hypertension over follow-up (2010–2014) from electronic health records and health assessments. We used Cox proportional hazards regression models to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs), and adjusted models for a broad range of relevant covariates.
Over a mean follow-up of 3.51 years, 15 052 incident hypertension cases occurred. The highest v. lowest optimism levels were associated with a 22% reduced risk of developing hypertension, after adjusting for all covariates including baseline blood pressure (HR = 0.78; 95% CI = 0.74–0.83). The difference in hypertension risk between the highest v. lowest optimism was also maintained when we excluded soldiers with hypertension in the first two years of follow-up and, separately, when we excluded soldiers with prehypertension at baseline. A dose–response relationship was evident with higher optimism associated with a lower relative risk (p < 0.001). Higher optimism was consistently associated with a lower risk of developing hypertension across sex, age and most race/ethnicity categories.
In a diverse cohort of initially healthy male and female service members particularly vulnerable to developing hypertension, higher optimism levels were associated with reduced hypertension risk independently of sociodemographic and health factors, a particularly notable finding given the young and healthy population. Results suggest optimism is a health asset and a potential target for public health interventions.
Non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) for the detection of foetal aneuploidy through analysis of cell-free DNA (cfDNA) in maternal blood is offered routinely by many healthcare providers across the developed world. This testing has recently been recommended for evaluative implementation in the UK National Health Service (NHS) foetal anomaly screening pathway as a contingent screen following an increased risk of trisomy 21, 18 or 13. In preparation for delivering a national service, we have implemented cfDNA-based NIPT in our Regional Genetics Laboratory. Here, we describe our validation and verification processes and initial experiences of the technology prior to rollout of a national screening service.
Data are presented from more than 1000 patients (215 retrospective and 840 prospective) from ‘high- and low-risk pregnancies’ with outcome data following birth or confirmatory invasive prenatal sampling. NIPT was by the Illumina Verifi® test.
Our data confirm a high-fidelity service with a failure rate of ~0.24% and a high sensitivity and specificity for the detection of foetal trisomy 13, 18 and 21. Secondly, the data show that a significant proportion of patients continue their pregnancies without prenatal invasive testing or intervention after receiving a high-risk cfDNA-based result. A total of 46.5% of patients referred to date were referred for reasons other than high screen risk. Ten percent (76/840 clinical service referrals) of patients were referred with ultrasonographic finding of a foetal structural anomaly, and data analysis indicates high- and low-risk scan indications for NIPT.
NIPT can be successfully implemented into NHS regional genetics laboratories to provide high-quality services. NHS provision of NIPT in patients with high-risk screen results will allow for a reduction of invasive testing and partially improve equality of access to cfDNA-based NIPT in the pregnant population. Patients at low risk for a classic trisomy or with other clinical indications are likely to continue to access cfDNA-based NIPT as a private test.
Although widely used in cardiology, relation of heart failure biomarkers to cardiac haemodynamics in patients with CHD (and in particular with pulmonary insufficiency undergoing pulmonary valve replacement) remains unclear. We hypothesised that the cardiac function biomarkers N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP), soluble suppressor of tumorigenicity 2, and galectin-3 would have significant associations to right ventricular haemodynamic derangements.
Consecutive patients ( n = 16) undergoing cardiac catheterisation for transcatheter pulmonary valve replacement were studied. NT-proBNP, soluble suppressor of tumorigenicity 2, and galectin-3 levels were measured using a multiplex enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay from a pre-intervention blood sample obtained after sheath placement. Spearman correlation was used to identify significant correlations (p ≤ 0.05) of biomarkers with baseline cardiac haemodynamics. Cardiac MRI data (indexed right ventricular and left ventricular end-diastolic volumes and ejection fraction) prior to device placement were also compared to biomarker levels.
NT-proBNP and soluble suppressor of tumorigenicity 2 were significantly correlated (p < 0.01) with baseline mean right atrial pressure and right ventricular end-diastolic pressure. Only NT-proBNP was significantly correlated with age. Galectin-3 did not have significant associations in this cohort. Cardiac MRI measures of right ventricular function and volume were not correlated to biomarker levels or right heart haemodynamics.
NT-proBNP and soluble suppressor of tumorigenicity 2, biomarkers of myocardial strain, significantly correlated to invasive pressure haemodynamics in transcatheter pulmonary valve replacement patients. Serial determination of soluble suppressor of tumorigenicity 2, as it was not associated with age, may be superior to serial measurement of NT-proBNP as an indicator for timing of pulmonary valve replacement.
Consanguineous marriages potentially play an important role in the transmission of β-thalassaemia in many communities. This study aimed to determine the rate and socio-demographic associations of consanguineous marriages and to assess the influence on the prevalence of β-thalassaemia in Sri Lanka. Three marriage registrars from each district of Sri Lanka were randomly selected to prospectively collect data on all couples who registered their marriage during a 6-month period starting 1st July 2009. Separately, the parents of patients with β-thalassaemia were interviewed to identify consanguinity. A total of 5255 marriages were recorded from 22 districts. The average age at marriage was 27.3 (±6.1) years for males and 24.1 (±5.7) years for females. A majority (71%) of marriages were ‘love’ marriages, except in the Moor community where 84% were ‘arranged’ marriages. Overall, the national consanguinity rate was 7.4%. It was significantly higher among ethnic Tamils (22.4%) compared with Sinhalese (3.8%) and Moors (3.2%) (p < 0.001). Consanguinity rates were also higher in ‘arranged’ as opposed to ‘love’ marriages (11.7% vs 5.6%, p < 0.001). In patients with β-thalassaemia, the overall consanguinity rate was 14.5%; it was highest among Tamils (44%) and lowest among Sinhalese (12%). Parental consanguinity among patients with β-thalassaemia was double the national average. Although consanguinity is not the major factor in the transmission of the disease in the country, emphasis should be given to this significant practice when conducting β-thalassaemia prevention and awareness campaigns, especially in high-prevalence communities.
Our ability to reliably use radiocarbon (14C) dates of mollusk shells to estimate calendar ages may depend on the feeding preference and habitat of a particular species and the geology of the region. Gastropods that feed by scraping are prone to incorporation of carbon from the substrate into their shells as evidenced by studies comparing the radiocarbon dates of shells and flesh from different species on different substrates (Dye 1994; Hogg et al. 1998). Limpet shells (Patella sp.) are commonly found in prehistoric midden deposits in the British Isles and elsewhere, however these shells have largely been avoided for radiocarbon dating in regions of limestone outcrops. Results from limpets (Patella vulgata) collected alive on limestone and volcanic substrates on the coasts of Ireland indicate that the shells were formed in equilibrium with the seawater, with no significant 14C offsets. Limpets collected from the east coast of Northern Ireland have elevated 14C due to the output of Sellafield nuclear fuel reprocessing plant. In all locations, the flesh was depleted in 14C compared to the shells. The results will have an important consequence for radiocarbon dating of midden deposits as well as the bone of humans and animals who fed on the limpets.
Additional crystallographic data are given for the recently reported mineral middlebackite, which has been described for discoveries at Iron Knob in South Australia and Passo di San Lugano near Trento, Italy. The material examined in the present study was from a third finding of the mineral, viz. from a quartz outcrop at Mooloo Downs Station in Western Australia within which it was co-located with the chemically- and structurally-related mineral moolooite, CuIIC2O4·nH2O, reported by Clarke and Williams (1986). In this study, the crystal structure was elucidated independently of the other studies using a combination of the a priori charge flipping and simulated annealing methods with synchrotron radiation diffraction (SRD) powder data. The principal crystal data for the Mooloo Downs material are: space group P21/c with lattice parameters a = 7.2659(18) Å, b = 5.7460(11) Å, c = 5.6806(11) Å, β = 104.588(3)°; Vc = 229.46(18) Å3; empirical formula CuII2C2O4(OH)2 with 2 formula units per unit cell; and calculated density = 3.605 g cm−3. The lattice parameters agree approximately with values given for the other studies, but not within the reported error estimates. The atom coordinates, interatomic distances, and angles for the Mooloo Downs material are compared with those from the other studies using single crystal data, with the values from all three studies agreeing approximately, but again not within the reported uncertainties. The crystal chemistry found for middlebackite received strong confirmation through the synthesis for the first time of di-copper oxalate di-hydroxide. Laboratory X-ray diffraction powder data for the synthetic form of the mineral from this study agree closely with the SRD data for the natural mineral.