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Clostridium difficile, the most common cause of hospital-associated diarrhoea in developed countries, presents major public health challenges. The high clinical and economic burden from C. difficile infection (CDI) relates to the high frequency of recurrent infections caused by either the same or different strains of C. difficile. An interval of 8 weeks after index infection is commonly used to classify recurrent CDI episodes. We assessed strains of C. difficile in a sample of patients with recurrent CDI in Western Australia from October 2011 to July 2017. The performance of different intervals between initial and subsequent episodes of CDI was investigated. Of 4612 patients with CDI, 1471 (32%) were identified with recurrence. PCR ribotyping data were available for initial and recurrent episodes for 551 patients. Relapse (recurrence with same ribotype (RT) as index episode) was found in 350 (64%) patients and reinfection (recurrence with new RT) in 201 (36%) patients. Our analysis indicates that 8- and 20-week intervals failed to adequately distinguish reinfection from relapse. In addition, living in a non-metropolitan area modified the effect of age on the risk of relapse. Where molecular epidemiological data are not available, we suggest that applying an 8-week interval to define recurrent CDI requires more consideration.
Both direct observations and reconstructions from various datasets, suggest that conditions were radically different during the Maunder Minimum (MM) than during the space era. Using an MHD model, we develop a set of feasible solutions to infer the properties of the solar wind during this interval. Additionally, we use these results to drive a global magnetospheric model. Finally, using the 2008/2009 solar minimum as an upper limit for MM conditions, we use results from the International Reference Ionosphere (ILI) model to speculate on the state of the ionosphere. The results describe interplanetary, magnetospheric, and ionospheric conditions that were substantially different than today. For example: (1) the solar wind density and magnetic field strength were an order of magnitude lower; (2) the Earth’s magnetopause and shock standoff distances were a factor of two larger; and (3) the maximum electron density in the ionosphere was substantially lower.
Reconstructions of long-term solar variability underpin our understanding of the solar dynamo, potential tropospheric climate implications and future space weather scenarios. Prior to direct spacecraft measurements of the heliospheric magnetic field (HMF) and solar wind, accurate annual reconstructions are possible using geomagnetic and sunspot records. On longer timescales, information about the HMF can be extracted from cosmogenic radionuclide records, particularly 14C in ancient trees and 10Be in ice sheets. These proxies, and what they reveal about the HMF and solar wind, are briefly reviewed here.
Notoedric mange, caused by obligately parasitic sarcoptiform Notoedres mites, is associated with potentially fatal dermatitis with secondary systemic disease in small mammals, felids and procyonids among others, as well as an occasional zoonosis. We describe clinical spectra in non-chiropteran hosts, review risk factors and summarize ecological and epidemiological studies. The genus is disproportionately represented on rodents. Disease in felids and procyonids ranges from very mild to death. Knowledge of the geographical distribution of the mites is highly inadequate, with focal hot spots known for Notoedres cati in domestic cats and bobcats. Predisposing genetic and immunological factors are not known, except that co-infection with other parasites and anticoagulant rodenticide toxicoses may contribute to severe disease. Treatment of individual animals is typically successful with macrocytic lactones such as selamectin, but herd or wildlife population treatment has not been undertaken. Transmission requires close contact and typically is within a host species. Notoedric mange can kill half all individuals in a population and regulate host population below non-diseased density for decades, consistent with frequency-dependent transmission or spillover from other hosts. Epidemics are increasingly identified in various hosts, suggesting global change in suitable environmental conditions or increased reporting bias.
To assess alcoholic beverage intake among Australian adults and its contribution to dietary energy intake.
Secondary analysis of a national dietary survey using 24 h dietary recall.
Australian National Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey (NNPAS) conducted from May 2011 to June 2012.
Adults (n 9341) aged 19 years and over.
On the day preceding the survey, 32·8% of Australian adults consumed one or more alcoholic drinks. The median contribution to total energy intake for consumers did not differ significantly between males and females (13·7% and 12·9%, respectively; P=0·10). The prevalence of consumption of alcoholic drinks on Friday, Saturday and Sunday was 38·8 (95% CI 37·1, 40·5)%, higher than the other days (28·6 (95% CI 27·5, 29·8)%). Consumers had a median daily intake of 4·0 standard drinks on the weekend compared with 3·0 standard drinks during the week (P<0·001). Beer was the most commonly consumed alcoholic beverage for men and white wine for women. The highest prevalence of alcoholic beverage intake occurred in the highest quintile of adjusted household income (42·7 (95% CI 40·4, 45·0)%) and the ‘overweight’ BMI category (40·3 (95% CI 38·5, 42·0)%). Alcoholic beverage intake among consumers was significantly different by household income quintile (median 3·84 (highest) v. 3·05 standard drinks (lowest); P<0·05) and by waist circumference category (median 4·09 standard drinks (highest)).
Alcoholic drinks contribute substantially to the dietary energy intake of Australian adults. The type and pattern of consumption of alcoholic beverage intake should be considered in the development of strategies to improve dietary intake.
We consider two-dimensional one-sided convection of a solute in a fluid-saturated porous medium, where the solute decays via a first-order reaction. Fully nonlinear convection is investigated using high-resolution numerical simulations and a low-order model that couples the dynamic boundary layer immediately beneath the distributed solute source to the slender vertical plumes that form beneath. A transient-growth analysis of the boundary layer is used to characterise its excitability. Three asymptotic regimes are investigated in the limit of high Rayleigh number
, in which the domain is considered deep, shallow or of intermediate depth, and for which the Damköhler number
is respectively large, small or of order unity. Scaling properties of the flow are identified numerically and rationalised via the analytic model. For fully established high-
convection, analysis and simulation suggest that the time-averaged solute transfer rate scales with
and the plume horizontal wavenumber with
, with coefficients modulated by
in each case. For large
, the rapid reaction rate limits the plume depth and the boundary layer restricts the rate of solute transfer to the bulk, whereas for small
the average solute transfer rate is ultimately limited by the domain depth and the convection is correspondingly weaker.
This review article provides the state-of-art research and developments of the rectenna device and its two main components – the antenna and the rectifier. Furthermore, the history, efficiency trends, and socioeconomic impact of its research are also featured.
The rectenna (RECTifying antENNA), which was first demonstrated by William C. Brown in 1964 as a receiver for microwave power transmission, is now increasingly researched as a means of harvesting solar radiation. Tapping into the growing photovoltaic market, the attraction of the rectenna concept is the potential for devices that, in theory, are not limited in efficiency by the Shockley–Queisser limit. In this review, the history and operation of this 40-year old device concept are explored in the context of power transmission and the ever increasing interest in its potential applications at terahertz frequencies, through the infrared and visible spectra. Recent modeling approaches that have predicted controversially high efficiency values at these frequencies are critically examined. It is proposed that to unlock any of the promised potential in the solar rectenna concept, there is a need for each constituent part to be improved beyond the current best performance, with the existing nanometer scale antennas, the rectification and the impedance matching solutions all falling short of the necessary efficiencies at terahertz frequencies. Advances in the fabrication, characterization, and understanding of the antenna and the rectifier are reviewed, and common solar rectenna design approaches are summarized. Finally, the socioeconomic impact of success in this field is discussed and future work is proposed.
In this work, a laser-produced plasma extreme ultraviolet source and a free electron laser were used to create Ne photo-ionized plasmas. In both cases, a radiation beam was focused onto a gas stream injected into a vacuum chamber synchronously with the radiation pulse. Extreme ultraviolet radiation from the plasma spanned a wide spectral range with pronounced maximum centered at λ = 11 ± 1 nm while the free electron laser pulses were emitted at a wavelength of 32 nm. The power density of the focused plasma radiation was approximately 2 × 107 W/cm2 and was seven orders of magnitude lower compared with the focused free electron laser beam. Radiation fluences in both experimental conditions were comparable. Despite quite different spectral characteristics and extremely different power densities, emission spectra of both photo-ionized plasmas consist of the same spectral lines within a wavelength range of 20 to 50 nm, however, with different relative intensities of the corresponding lines. The dominating spectral lines originated from singly charged ions (Ne II); however, Ne III lines were also detected. Additionally, computer simulations of the emission spectra, obtained for photo-ionized plasmas, driven by the plasma extreme ultraviolet source, were performed. The corresponding measured and calculated spectra are presented. An electron temperature and ionic composition were estimated. Differences between the experimental spectra, obtained for both irradiation conditions, were analyzed. The differences were attributed mainly to different energies of driving photons.
In this study, we examine a steady two-dimensional slow flow past a rigid cylinder coated with a thin layer of immiscible fluid. The Reynolds number for the external bulk flow is assumed small and flow within the film is driven by the action of the bulk fluid’s tangential viscous stress acting at the interface. Using double asymptotic expansions based on the bulk fluid’s Reynolds number and the aspect ratio of the film thickness to the cylinder’s radius, we derive the leading- and first-order equations governing the steady-state film dynamics, and obtain analytical solutions, in terms of the film thickness, for the bulk flow. We solve the governing film equations, finding that solutions feature a drained region. We briefly discuss the influence of the Capillary number and fluid viscosities, and conclude by showing how the presence of the film affects the drag on the film-coated cylinder.
A central tenet of close-contact or respiratory infection epidemiology is that infection patterns within human populations are related to underlying patterns of social interaction. Until recently, few researchers had attempted to quantify potentially infectious encounters made between people. Now, however, several studies have quantified social mixing behaviour, using a variety of methods. Here, we review the methodologies employed, suggest other appropriate methods and technologies, and outline future research challenges for this rapidly advancing field of research.
We report on experiments aimed at the generation and characterization of solid density plasmas at the free-electron laser FLASH in Hamburg. Aluminum samples were irradiated with XUV pulses at 13.5 nm wavelength (92 eV photon energy). The pulses with duration of a few tens of femtoseconds and pulse energy up to 100 µJ are focused to intensities ranging between 1013 and 1017 W/cm2. We investigate the absorption and temporal evolution of the sample under irradiation by use of XUV and optical spectroscopy. We discuss the origin of saturable absorption, radiative decay, bremsstrahlung and atomic and ionic line emission. Our experimental results are in good agreement with simulations.
The multi-Terawatt laser system, terawatt apparatus for relativistic and nonlinear interdisciplinary science, has been recently installed in the Centre for Plasma Physics at the Queen's University of Belfast. The system will support a wide ranging science program, which will include laser-driven particle acceleration, X-ray lasers, and high energy density physics experiments. Here we present an overview of the laser system as well as the results of preliminary investigations on ion acceleration and X-ray lasers, mainly carried out as performance tests for the new apparatus. We also discuss some possible experiments that exploit the flexibility of the system in delivering pump-probe capability.
Two enrichment methods were compared for their ability to recover Clostridium difficile from stool samples. One method used selective enrichment in an antibiotic-containing broth followed by detection with a latex particle agglutination (LPA) reagent. The other used enrichment in a non-selective broth following treatment of the specimen with alcohol. With clinical specimens enrichment culture was significantly more successful at detecting C. difficile than direct plating. Alcohol shock enrichment was twice as effective as direct culture, while selective broth enrichment was three times more effective. The use of LPA for screening selective enrichment broths for C. difficile should prove a cost-effective measure as only positive broths (about 20%) require subculture for confirmation.
The Sellafield Waste Vitrification Plant (WVP) immobilises highly active liquid waste (HAL) arising from the reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel in the UK. In order to optimise WVP operations a full scale working replica of a WVP processing line, the Vitrification Test Rig (VTR), was constructed to processes non-active HAL simulants. Recently the VTR has been used to determine an operational envelope for the vitrification of HAL from Magnox reprocessing at a waste oxide incorporation rate in glass of up to 35wt% (compared to a “standard” incorporation rate of 25wt%). This paper discusses the differences in operating conditions necessary to achieve acceptable waste throughput at the increased incorporation rate. The chemical durability of the resulting vitrified product is also discussed, along with the formation of secondary phases, and a comparison is drawn between 35wt% incorporation glasses and products made at the standard 25wt% incorporation.
Sellafield Ltd operates a Waste Vitrification Plant (WVP) to immobilise the arisings from the reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel. Washout of solids from the base of waste storage tanks in preparation for decommissioning is likely to produce feeds enriched in molybdenum to the WVP. Vitrification of such feeds in the borosilicate glass formulation currently used by the WVP for vitrification of reprocessing waste has been investigated to determine the maximum achievable loading of MoO3.
The vitrification of molybdenum in the absence and presence of reprocessing waste was studied. A number of glasses were manufactured in the laboratory containing various waste loadings. The resultant glasses were examined both visually and under the scanning electron microscope for the presence of any phase separation. Additional aluminium was added to the glasses manufactured in the absence of reprocessing waste to improve the durability of the glass. In borosilicate glass containing 3.5 wt% Al2O3 the onset of a molybdenum phase separation was observed in glasses containing 2.6 wt% MoO3. In the presence of Magnox reprocessing waste, phase separation was observed when the product contained >3.8 wt% MoO3. Soxhlet durability testing of a selection of the glasses manufactured was carried out. The Soxhlet durability of glasses in the absence of phase separation was good.
We report spectrally resolved X-ray scattering data from shock compressed foils illustrating the feasibility of X-ray Thomson scattering experiment on a sub-kilo joule laser system. Sandwich targets consisting of CH/Al/CH were shock compressed using ∼1 ns laser pulses. Separate 270 ps laser pulses were used to generate an intense source of Ti-He-α (1s2-1s2p1P) radiation which was used as a probing source of 4.75 keV photons. The spectrum of scattered photons was recorded at a scattering angle of 82° with a CCD fitted spectrometer using a PET crystal in von-Hamos geometry. Although spectral resolution was used to separate the scatter from any background, the resolution was limited by source broadening. The relative level of scatter at different times in the sample history was measured by varying the delay between the shock driving beams and the back-lighter beams. We have compared the scatter spectra with simulations based on two different models of the L-shell bound-free contribution.
Motivated by applications in rapidly rotating machinery, we have previously extended the lubrication model of the thin-film flow on the inside of a rotating circular cylinder to incorporate the effect of a constant shear applied to the free surface of the film and discovered a system rich in film profiles featuring shock structures. In this paper, we extend our model to include the effects of surface tension at leading order and take into account higher-order effects produced by gravity in order to resolve issues regarding existence, uniqueness and stability of such weak solutions to our lubrication model. We find, by analytical and numerical means, a set of feasible steady two-dimensional solutions that fit within a rational asymptotic framework. Having identified mathematically feasible solutions, we study their stability to infinitesimal two-dimensional disturbances. based on our findings, we conjecture which of the possible weak solutions are physically meaningful.
A multidrug-resistant clonal group (CgA) of Escherichia coli was shown to cause half of all trimethoprim–sulphamethoxazole (TMP–SMZ)-resistant urinary tract infections (UTIs) in a college community between October 1999 and January 2000. This second study was conducted to determine the fate of CgA. Urine E. coli isolates from women with UTI, collected between October 2000 and January 2001, were tested for antibiotic susceptibility, O serogroup, ERIC2 PCR and DNA macrorestriction patterns using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. The proportion of UTIs caused by CgA declined by 38% (P<0·001) but the prevalence of resistance to TMP–SMZ did not change. Six additional clonal groups were identified and these were responsible for 32% of TMP–SMZ-resistant UTIs. The temporal decline in the proportion of UTIs caused by CgA provides evidence that CgA caused a community outbreak of UTI. The fluctuation and occurrence of other E. coli clonal groups in this community suggest that a proportion of community-acquired UTIs may be caused by E. coli disseminated from one or more point sources.