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Diet has direct and indirect effects on health through inflammation and the gut microbiome. We investigated total dietary inflammatory potential via the literature-derived index (Dietary Inflammatory Index (DII®)) with gut microbiota diversity, composition and function. In cancer-free patient volunteers initially approached at colonoscopy and healthy volunteers recruited from the medical centre community, we assessed 16S ribosomal DNA in all subjects who provided dietary assessments and stool samples (n 101) and the gut metagenome in a subset of patients with residual fasting blood samples (n 34). Associations of energy-adjusted DII scores with microbial diversity and composition were examined using linear regression, permutational multivariate ANOVA and linear discriminant analysis. Spearman correlation was used to evaluate associations of species and pathways with DII and circulating inflammatory markers. Across DII levels, α- and β-diversity did not significantly differ; however, Ruminococcus torques, Eubacterium nodatum, Acidaminococcus intestini and Clostridium leptum were more abundant in the most pro-inflammatory diet group, while Akkermansia muciniphila was enriched in the most anti-inflammatory diet group. With adjustment for age and BMI, R. torques, E. nodatum and A. intestini remained significantly associated with a more pro-inflammatory diet. In the metagenomic and fasting blood subset, A. intestini was correlated with circulating plasminogen activator inhibitor-1, a pro-inflammatory marker (rho = 0·40), but no associations remained significant upon correction for multiple testing. An index reflecting overall inflammatory potential of the diet was associated with specific microbes, but not overall diversity of the gut microbiome in our study. Findings from this preliminary study warrant further research in larger samples and prospective cohorts.
Veno-arterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation is frequently used in patients with cardiac disease. We evaluated short-term outcomes and identified factors associated with hospital mortality in cardiac patients supported with veno-arterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation.
A retrospective review of patients supported with veno-arterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation at a university-affiliated children’s hospital was performed.
A total of 253 patients with cardiac disease managed with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation were identified; survival to discharge was 48%, which significantly improved from 39% in an earlier era (1995–2001) (p=0.01). Patients were categorised into surgical versus non-surgical groups on the basis of whether they had undergone cardiac surgery before or not, respectively. The most common indication for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation was extracorporeal cardiopulmonary resuscitation: 96 (51%) in the surgical group and 45 (68%) in the non-surgical group. In a multiple covariate analysis, single-ventricle physiology (p=0.01), duration of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (p<0.01), and length of hospital stay (p=0.03) were associated with hospital mortality. Weekend or night shift cannulation was associated with mortality in non-surgical patients (p=0.05).
We report improvement in survival compared with an earlier era in cardiac patients supported with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. Single-ventricle physiology continues to negatively impact survival, along with evidence of organ dysfunction during extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, duration of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, and length of stay.
The American College of Cardiology Quality Network enables national benchmarking and collaborative quality improvement through vetted metrics. We describe here our initial experience with the Quality Network.
Quarterly data for metrics pertaining to chest pain, Kawasaki disease, tetralogy of Fallot, elevated body mass index, and others were shared with the collaboratives for benchmarking. National improvement efforts focussed on counselling for elevated body mass index and 22q11.2 testing in tetralogy of Fallot. Improvement strategies included developing multi-disciplinary workgroups, educational materials, and electronic health record advances.
Chest pain metric performance was high compared with national means: obtaining family history (90–100% versus 51–77%), electrocardiogram (100% versus 89–99%), and echocardiogram for exertional complaints (95–100% versus 74–96%). Kawasaki metric performance was high, including obtaining coronary measurements (100% versus 85–97%), prescribing aspirin (100% versus 86–99%), follow-up with imaging (100% versus 85–98%), and documenting no activity restriction without coronary aneurysms (83–100% versus 64–93%). Counselling for elevated body mass index was variable (25–75% versus 31–50%) throughout quality improvement efforts. Testing for 22q11.2 deletion in tetralogy of Fallot patients was consistently above the national mean (60–85% versus 54–68%) with improved genetics data capture.
The Quality Network promotes meaningful benchmarking and collaborative quality improvement. Our high performance for chest pain and Kawasaki metrics is likely related to previous improvement efforts in chest pain management and a dedicated Kawasaki team. Uptake of counselling for elevated body mass index is variable; stronger engagement among numerous providers is needed. Recommendations for 22q11.2 testing in tetralogy of Fallot were widely recognised and implemented.
X-ray fluorescence (XRF) has been employed as one of several orthogonal means of screening materials to prevent counterfeit and adulterated products from entering the product stream. We document the use of principal component analysis (PCA) of XRF data on compositionally similar and dissimilar stainless steels for the purpose of testing the feasibility of employing XRF spectra to parse and bin these alloys as the same or significantly different alloy materials. The results indicate that XRF spectra can separate and assign alloys via PCA, but that important corrections for detector drift and scaling must be performed in order to achieve valid results.
A significant minority of people presenting with a major depressive episode (MDE) experience co-occurring subsyndromal hypo/manic symptoms. As this presentation may have important prognostic and treatment implications, the DSM–5 codified a new nosological entity, the “mixed features specifier,” referring to individuals meeting threshold criteria for an MDE and subthreshold symptoms of (hypo)mania or to individuals with syndromal mania and subthreshold depressive symptoms. The mixed features specifier adds to a growing list of monikers that have been put forward to describe phenotypes characterized by the admixture of depressive and hypomanic symptoms (e.g., mixed depression, depression with mixed features, or depressive mixed states [DMX]). Current treatment guidelines, regulatory approvals, as well the current evidentiary base provide insufficient decision support to practitioners who provide care to individuals presenting with an MDE with mixed features. In addition, all existing psychotropic agents evaluated in mixed patients have largely been confined to patient populations meeting the DSM–IV definition of “mixed states” wherein the co-occurrence of threshold-level mania and threshold-level MDE was required. Toward the aim of assisting clinicians providing care to adults with MDE and mixed features, we have assembled a panel of experts on mood disorders to develop these guidelines on the recognition and treatment of mixed depression, based on the few studies that have focused specifically on DMX as well as decades of cumulated clinical experience.
To determine the impact of total household decolonization with intranasal mupirocin and chlorhexidine gluconate body wash on recurrent methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection among subjects with MRSA skin and soft-tissue infection.
Three-arm nonmasked randomized controlled trial.
Five academic medical centers in Southeastern Pennsylvania.
Adults and children presenting to ambulatory care settings with community-onset MRSA skin and soft-tissue infection (ie, index cases) and their household members.
Enrolled households were randomized to 1 of 3 intervention groups: (1) education on routine hygiene measures, (2) education plus decolonization without reminders (intranasal mupirocin ointment twice daily for 7 days and chlorhexidine gluconate on the first and last day), or (3) education plus decolonization with reminders, where subjects received daily telephone call or text message reminders.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES
Owing to small numbers of recurrent infections, this analysis focused on time to clearance of colonization in the index case.
Of 223 households, 73 were randomized to education-only, 76 to decolonization without reminders, 74 to decolonization with reminders. There was no significant difference in time to clearance of colonization between the education-only and decolonization groups (log-rank P=.768). In secondary analyses, compliance with decolonization was associated with decreased time to clearance (P=.018).
Total household decolonization did not result in decreased time to clearance of MRSA colonization among adults and children with MRSA skin and soft-tissue infection. However, subjects who were compliant with the protocol had more rapid clearance
The extent to which indices of maternal physiological arousal (skin conductance augmentation) and regulation (vagal withdrawal) while parenting predict infant attachment disorganization and behavior problems directly or indirectly via maternal sensitivity was examined in a sample of 259 mothers and their infants. Two covariates, maternal self-reported emotional risk and Adult Attachment Interview attachment coherence were assessed prenatally. Mothers' physiological arousal and regulation were measured during parenting tasks when infants were 6 months old. Maternal sensitivity was observed during distress-eliciting tasks when infants were 6 and 14 months old, and an average sensitivity score was calculated. Attachment disorganization was observed during the Strange Situation when infants were 14 months old, and mothers reported on infants' behavior problems when infants were 27 months old. Over and above covariates, mothers' arousal and regulation while parenting interacted to predict infant attachment disorganization and behavior problems such that maternal arousal was associated with higher attachment disorganization and behavior problems when maternal regulation was low but not when maternal regulation was high. This effect was direct and not explained by maternal sensitivity. The results suggest that maternal physiological dysregulation while parenting places infants at risk for psychopathology.
The co-occurring development of internalizing and externalizing problems were examined in an inception cohort of 392 children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder at age 3 who were assessed on four occasions. Results indicated that internalizing and externalizing problems were stable over time and highly comorbid. Joint trajectory analysis suggested that 13% of the sample followed a dual high-risk trajectory. High risk was not found to be associated with intellectual ability or autism spectrum disorder symptom severity but was linked to lower income and gender: more girls than boys were found in the high/stable internalizing problems trajectory. The results suggest that 1 in 4 preschoolers followed a trajectory of internalizing or externalizing problems (or a combination of the two) that could be characterized as clinically elevated.
To identify risk factors for recurrent methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) colonization.
Prospective cohort study conducted from January 1, 2010, through December 31, 2012.
Five adult and pediatric academic medical centers.
Subjects (ie, index cases) who presented with acute community-onset MRSA skin and soft-tissue infection.
Index cases and all household members performed self-sampling for MRSA colonization every 2 weeks for 6 months. Clearance of colonization was defined as 2 consecutive sampling periods with negative surveillance cultures. Recurrent colonization was defined as any positive MRSA surveillance culture after clearance. Index cases with recurrent MRSA colonization were compared with those without recurrence on the basis of antibiotic exposure, household demographic characteristics, and presence of MRSA colonization in household members.
The study cohort comprised 195 index cases; recurrent MRSA colonization occurred in 85 (43.6%). Median time to recurrence was 53 days (interquartile range, 36–84 days). Treatment with clindamycin was associated with lower risk of recurrence (odds ratio, 0.52; 95% CI, 0.29–0.93). Higher percentage of household members younger than 18 was associated with increased risk of recurrence (odds ratio, 1.01; 95% CI, 1.00–1.02). The association between MRSA colonization in household members and recurrent colonization in index cases did not reach statistical significance in primary analyses.
A large proportion of patients initially presenting with MRSA skin and soft-tissue infection will have recurrent colonization after clearance. The reduced rate of recurrent colonization associated with clindamycin may indicate a unique role for this antibiotic in the treatment of such infection.
Infect. Control Hosp. Epidemiol. 2015;36(7):786–793
Variation in human cognitive ability is of consequence to a large number of health and social outcomes and is substantially heritable. Genetic linkage, genome-wide association, and copy number variant studies have investigated the contribution of genetic variation to individual differences in normal cognitive ability, but little research has considered the role of rare genetic variants. Exome sequencing studies have already met with success in discovering novel trait-gene associations for other complex traits. Here, we use exome sequencing to investigate the effects of rare variants on general cognitive ability. Unrelated Scottish individuals were selected for high scores on a general component of intelligence (g). The frequency of rare genetic variants (in n = 146) was compared with those from Scottish controls (total n = 486) who scored in the lower to middle range of the g distribution or on a proxy measure of g. Biological pathway analysis highlighted enrichment of the mitochondrial inner membrane component and apical part of cell gene ontology terms. Global burden analysis showed a greater total number of rare variants carried by high g cases versus controls, which is inconsistent with a mutation load hypothesis whereby mutations negatively affect g. The general finding of greater non-synonymous (vs. synonymous) variant effects is in line with evolutionary hypotheses for g. Given that this first sequencing study of high g was small, promising results were found, suggesting that the study of rare variants in larger samples would be worthwhile.
The demand for a stable and compatible redox shuttles for use in lithium-ion batteries has prompted us to explore strategies to tune and improve the properties of redox shuttles. We have studied over 50 new diarylamine derivatives synthesized in our laboratory including one compound in which we introduced trifluoromethyl groups (–CF3) at the positions para to the nitrogen atom in N-ethylphenothiazine (EPT). The high electronegativity of the CF3 group raises the oxidation potential, and its incorporation also significantly increases solubility in battery electrolyte. Here we report 3,7-bis(trifluoromethyl)-N-ethylphenothiazine (BCF3EPT) as a new redox shuttle, which we have observed to have the highest reported solubility in battery electrolyte of all redox shuttles that maintain extended overcharge performance. We have compared its performance with 1,3-di-tert-butyl-2,5-dimethoxybenzene (DBB), EPT, and other robust redox shuttles. In our hands, overcharge cycling of BCF3EPT far surpasses any reported redox shuttle, and – because it can be dissolved at higher concentrations – it tolerates faster charging rates than both DBB and EPT.