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The seroprevalence of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-Coronavirus-2 (SARS-COV-2) IgG antibody was evaluated among employees of a Veterans Affairs Healthcare System to assess potential risk factors for transmission and infection.
All employees were invited to participate in a questionnaire and serological survey to detect antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 M protein as part of a facility-wide quality improvement and infection prevention initiative regardless of clinical or non-clinical duties. The initiative was conducted from June 8 to July 8, 2020.
Of the 2900 employees, 50.9% participated in the study, revealing a positive SARS-COV-2 seroprevalence of 4.9% (72/1476), [95% CI of 4.04% - 5.89%]. There were no statistically significant differences in the presence of antibody based on gender, age, frontline worker status, job title, performance of aerosol generating procedures or exposure to known patients with coronavirus infectious disease 2019 (COVID-19) within the hospital. Employees who reported exposure to a known COVID-19 case outside of work had a significantly higher seroprevalence at 14.84% (23/155) compared to those that did not 3.70% (48/1296), OR 4.53 [95% CI 2.67-7.68] p<0.0001. Notably, 29% of seropositive employees reported no history of symptoms for SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Seroprevalence of SARS-COV-2 among employees was not significantly different among those who provided direct patient care and those who did not, suggesting facility-wide infection control measures based were effective. Employees who reported direct personal contact with COVID-19 positive persons outside of work were more likely to have SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. Employee exposure to SARS-CoV-2 outside of work may introduce infection into hospitals.
Antarctica's ice shelves modulate the grounded ice flow, and weakening of ice shelves due to climate forcing will decrease their ‘buttressing’ effect, causing a response in the grounded ice. While the processes governing ice-shelf weakening are complex, uncertainties in the response of the grounded ice sheet are also difficult to assess. The Antarctic BUttressing Model Intercomparison Project (ABUMIP) compares ice-sheet model responses to decrease in buttressing by investigating the ‘end-member’ scenario of total and sustained loss of ice shelves. Although unrealistic, this scenario enables gauging the sensitivity of an ensemble of 15 ice-sheet models to a total loss of buttressing, hence exhibiting the full potential of marine ice-sheet instability. All models predict that this scenario leads to multi-metre (1–12 m) sea-level rise over 500 years from present day. West Antarctic ice sheet collapse alone leads to a 1.91–5.08 m sea-level rise due to the marine ice-sheet instability. Mass loss rates are a strong function of the sliding/friction law, with plastic laws cause a further destabilization of the Aurora and Wilkes Subglacial Basins, East Antarctica. Improvements to marine ice-sheet models have greatly reduced variability between modelled ice-sheet responses to extreme ice-shelf loss, e.g. compared to the SeaRISE assessments.
Dinosaur body fossil material is rare in Scotland, previously known almost exclusively from the Great Estuarine Group on the Isle of Skye. We report the first unequivocal dinosaur fossil from the Isle of Eigg, belonging to a Bathonian (Middle Jurassic) taxon of uncertain affinity. The limb bone NMS G.2020.10.1 is incomplete, but through a combination of anatomical comparison and osteohistology, we determine it most likely represents a stegosaur fibula. The overall proportions and cross-sectional geometry are similar to the fibulae of thyreophorans. Examination of the bone microstructure reveals a high degree of remodelling and randomly distributed longitudinal canals in the remaining primary cortical bone. This contrasts with the histological signal expected of theropod or sauropod limb bones, but is consistent with previous studies of thyreophorans, specifically stegosaurs. Previous dinosaur material from Skye and broadly contemporaneous sites in England belongs to this group, including Loricatosaurus and Sarcolestes and a number of indeterminate stegosaur specimens. Theropods such as Megalosaurus and sauropods such as Cetiosaurus are also known from these localities. Although we find strong evidence for a stegosaur affinity, diagnostic features are not observed on NMS G.2020.10.1, preventing us from referring it to any known genera. The presence of this large-bodied stegosaur on Eigg adds a significant new datapoint for dinosaur distribution in the Middle Jurassic of Scotland.
OBJECTIVES/GOALS: The role of the vaginal microbiome (VM) in HIV disease progression is poorly understood. We examined VMs of HIV+ Elite Controllers (ECs) and HIV+ Long-Term Non-Progressors (LTNPs) compared to controls: HIV-positive antiretroviral (ARV) treated (HIV+ATs) and HIV-negative women in the Women’s Interagency HIV Study (DC/Chicago/Atlanta sites). METHODS/STUDY POPULATION: VMs were surveyed via both V3/V4 region of 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing and metagenomics sequencing in 67 women across 4 study groups: 1) LTNPs (CD4 >500 cells/mL for 5+ years without ARVs) (n = 7) and 2) ECs (HIV RNA <80 copies/mL for 2+ years without ARVs) (n = 8), matched with 3) HIV+ ATs (on ARVs for ≥1 year with CD4 increase ≥100 cells/mm3) (n = 34), and 4) HIV- women (n = 18). Metagenomes were characterized from specimens collected at two time points: 1) vaginal swabs collected 2016-2017 (n = 62) and 2) cervicovaginal lavage collected 2002-2016 (n = 35; DC/Chicago only). We used VIRGO (human vaginal non-redundant gene catalog), a newly developed referencing framework to comprehensively catalog VM gene content, taxonomy and functions. RESULTS/ANTICIPATED RESULTS: Women were 89% African American with a mean age of 46 years (SD 8.8). The most prevalent species were Gardnerella vaginalis (predominant in 34%), Lactobacillus iners (predominant in 21%), and L. crispatus (predominant in 14%). 90% of LTNP and 45% of EC samples were Lactobacillus-dominant vs. 28% of HIV- and 30% of HIV+ATs. L. crispatus and L. iners in ECs/LTNPs had significantly different gene content and greater gene richness vs. controls. G. vaginalis-predominant communities were found in 66% of HIV- and 68% of HIV+ATs, compared to 46% of EC and 0% of LTNP. The G. vaginalis strains present in EC/LTNP also showed significantly lower gene richness and different gene content vs. controls. DISCUSSION/SIGNIFICANCE OF IMPACT: These results suggest unique VM communities among EC/LTNP, and led us to hypothesize that differential regulation of vaginal immunity drives the observed differences. The similarity between VMs of HIV- and HIV+ATs warrants further study. Larger longitudinal VM studies are needed to assess associated functional pathways and understand the etiology of VM association with HIV progression. CONFLICT OF INTEREST DESCRIPTION: The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.
This chapter explores the effects of the Trump presidency in human rights foreign policy. Taking into account the mixed character of U.S. foreign policy in previous decades, it provides a measured account of how the populist rhetoric of “America First” was translated into concrete actions, initially under Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and more intensely under National Security Adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. The disorganization of the administration has left room for career officers to implement a relatively traditional human rights policy in some areas. The Trump administration has departed most significantly from past administrations in declining to embrace the core principles on which human rights policy is based. Its support of strongmen because of – not in spite of – their authoritarian qualities may leave its most distinct (and damaging) human rights legacy.
Self-reported activity restriction is an established correlate of depression in dementia caregivers (dCGs). It is plausible that the daily distribution of objectively measured activity is also altered in dCGs with depression symptoms; if so, such activity characteristics could provide a passively measurable marker of depression or specific times to target preventive interventions. We therefore investigated how levels of activity throughout the day differed in dCGs with and without depression symptoms, then tested whether any such differences predicted changes in symptoms 6 months later.
Design, setting, participants, and measurements:
We examined 56 dCGs (mean age = 71, standard deviation (SD) = 6.7; 68% female) and used clustering to identify subgroups which had distinct depression symptom levels, leveraging baseline Center for Epidemiologic Studies of Depression Scale–Revised Edition and Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) measures, as well as a PHQ-9 score from 6 months later. Using wrist activity (mean recording length = 12.9 days, minimum = 6 days), we calculated average hourly activity levels and then assessed when activity levels relate to depression symptoms and changes in symptoms 6 months later.
Clustering identified subgroups characterized by: (1) no/minimal symptoms (36%) and (2) depression symptoms (64%). After multiple comparison correction, the group of dCGs with depression symptoms was less active from 8 to 10 AM (Cohen’s d ≤ −0.9). These morning activity levels predicted the degree of symptom change on the PHQ-9 6 months later (per SD unit β = −0.8, 95% confidence interval: −1.6, −0.1, p = 0.03) independent of self-reported activity restriction and other key factors.
These novel findings suggest that morning activity may protect dCGs from depression symptoms. Future studies should test whether helping dCGs get active in the morning influences the other features of depression in this population (i.e. insomnia, intrusive thoughts, and perceived activity restriction).
Children vary in the extent to which they benefit from parenting programs for conduct problems. How does parental mental health change if children benefit less or more? We assessed whether changes in conduct problems and maternal depressive symptoms co-occur following participation in the Incredible Years parenting program. We integrated individual participant data from 10 randomized trials (N = 1280; children aged 2–10 years) and distinguished latent classes based on families' baseline and post-test conduct problems and maternal depressive symptoms, using repeated measures latent class analysis (RMLCA) and latent transition analysis (LTA). Classes differed mainly in severity of conduct problems and depression (RMLCA; 4 classes). Conduct problems reduced in all classes. Depressive symptoms did not change in most classes, except in a class of families where conduct problems and depression were particularly severe. Incredible Years led to a greater likelihood of families with particularly severe conduct problems and depression moving to a class with mild problems (LTA; 3 classes). Our findings suggest that for the majority of families, children's conduct problems reduce, but maternal depressive symptoms do not, suggesting relative independence, with the exception of families with severe depression and severe conduct problems where changes for the better do co-occur.
Concerns have repeatedly been expressed about the quality of physical healthcare that people with psychosis receive.
To examine whether the introduction of a financial incentive for secondary care services led to improvements in the quality of physical healthcare for people with psychosis.
Longitudinal data were collected over an 8-year period on the quality of physical healthcare that people with psychosis received from 56 trusts in England before and after the introduction of the financial incentive. Control data were also collected from six health boards in Wales where a financial incentive was not introduced. We calculated the proportion of patients whose clinical records indicated that they had been screened for seven key aspects of physical health and whether they were offered interventions for problems identified during screening.
Data from 17 947 people collected prior to (2011 and 2013) and following (2017) the introduction of the financial incentive in 2014 showed that the proportion of patients who received high-quality physical healthcare in England rose from 12.85% to 31.65% (difference 18.80, 95% CI 17.37–20.21). The proportion of patients who received high-quality physical healthcare in Wales during this period rose from 8.40% to 13.96% (difference 5.56, 95% CI 1.33–10.10).
The results of this study suggest that financial incentives for secondary care mental health services are associated with marked improvements in the quality of care that patients receive. Further research is needed to examine their impact on aspects of care that are not incentivised.
We correlated antibiotic consumption measured by point prevalence survey with defined daily doses (DDD) across multiple hospitals. Point prevalence survey had a higher correlation (1) with monthly DDDs than annual DDDs, (2) in nonsurgical versus surgical wards, and (3) on high- versus low-utilization wards. Findings may be hospital specific due to hospital differences.
Much of the peace agreement durability literature assumes that stronger peace agreements are more likely to survive the trials of the post-conflict environment. This work does an excellent job identifying which provisions indicate that agreements are more likely to endure. However, there is no widely accepted way to directly measure the strength of agreements, and existing measures suffer from a lack of nuance or reliance on subjective weighting. We use a Bayesian item response theory model to develop a principled measure of the latent strength of peace agreements in civil conflicts from 1975 to 2005. We illustrate the measure's utility by exploring how various international factors such as sanctions and mediation contribute to the strength or weakness of agreements.
Micronutrient supplementation is recommended in Ebola Virus Disease (EVD). However, there is limited data on its therapeutic impacts. This study evaluated the association between vitamin A supplementation and mortality outcomes in EVD patients.
This retrospective cohort study accrued patients with EVD admitted to five International Medical Corps run Ebola Treatment Units (ETU) in two countries from 2014-2015. Protocolized treatments with antimicrobials and micronutrients were used at all ETUs. However, due to resource limitations and care variations, only a subset of patients received vitamin A. Standardized data on demographics, clinical characteristics, malaria status, and Ebola virus RT-PCR cycle threshold (CT) values were collected. The outcome of interest was mortality compared between cases treated with 200,000 International Units of vitamin A on care days one and two and those not. Propensity scores (PS) based on the first 48-hours of care were derived using the covariates of age, duration of ETU function, malaria status, CT values, symptoms of confusion, hemorrhage, diarrhea, dysphagia, and dyspnea. Treated and non-treated cases were matched 1:1 based on nearest neighbors with replacement. Covariate balance met predefined thresholds. Mortality proportions between cases treated and untreated with vitamin A were compared using generalized estimating equations to calculate relative risks (RR) with associated 95% confidence intervals (CI).
There were 424 cases analyzed, with 330 (77.8%) being vitamin A-treated cases. The mean age was 30.5 years and 57.0% were female. The most common symptoms were diarrhea (86%), anorexia (81%), and vomiting (77%). Mortality proportions among cases untreated and treated with vitamin A were 71.9% and 55.0%, respectively. In a propensity-matched analysis, mortality was significantly lower among cases receiving vitamin A (RR = 0.77 95%; CI:0.59-0.99; p = 0.041).
Early vitamin A supplementation was associated with reduced mortality in EVD patients and should be provided routinely during future epidemics.
Astrophysics Telescope for Large Area Spectroscopy Probe is a concept for a National Aeronautics and Space Administration probe-class space mission that will achieve ground-breaking science in the fields of galaxy evolution, cosmology, Milky Way, and the Solar System. It is the follow-up space mission to Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST), boosting its scientific return by obtaining deep 1–4 μm slit spectroscopy for ∼70% of all galaxies imaged by the ∼2 000 deg2 WFIRST High Latitude Survey at z > 0.5. Astrophysics Telescope for Large Area Spectroscopy will measure accurate and precise redshifts for ∼200 M galaxies out to z < 7, and deliver spectra that enable a wide range of diagnostic studies of the physical properties of galaxies over most of cosmic history. Astrophysics Telescope for Large Area Spectroscopy Probe and WFIRST together will produce a 3D map of the Universe over 2 000 deg2, the definitive data sets for studying galaxy evolution, probing dark matter, dark energy and modifications of General Relativity, and quantifying the 3D structure and stellar content of the Milky Way. Astrophysics Telescope for Large Area Spectroscopy Probe science spans four broad categories: (1) Revolutionising galaxy evolution studies by tracing the relation between galaxies and dark matter from galaxy groups to cosmic voids and filaments, from the epoch of reionisation through the peak era of galaxy assembly; (2) Opening a new window into the dark Universe by weighing the dark matter filaments using 3D weak lensing with spectroscopic redshifts, and obtaining definitive measurements of dark energy and modification of General Relativity using galaxy clustering; (3) Probing the Milky Way’s dust-enshrouded regions, reaching the far side of our Galaxy; and (4) Exploring the formation history of the outer Solar System by characterising Kuiper Belt Objects. Astrophysics Telescope for Large Area Spectroscopy Probe is a 1.5 m telescope with a field of view of 0.4 deg2, and uses digital micro-mirror devices as slit selectors. It has a spectroscopic resolution of R = 1 000, and a wavelength range of 1–4 μm. The lack of slit spectroscopy from space over a wide field of view is the obvious gap in current and planned future space missions; Astrophysics Telescope for Large Area Spectroscopy fills this big gap with an unprecedented spectroscopic capability based on digital micro-mirror devices (with an estimated spectroscopic multiplex factor greater than 5 000). Astrophysics Telescope for Large Area Spectroscopy is designed to fit within the National Aeronautics and Space Administration probe-class space mission cost envelope; it has a single instrument, a telescope aperture that allows for a lighter launch vehicle, and mature technology (we have identified a path for digital micro-mirror devices to reach Technology Readiness Level 6 within 2 yr). Astrophysics Telescope for Large Area Spectroscopy Probe will lead to transformative science over the entire range of astrophysics: from galaxy evolution to the dark Universe, from Solar System objects to the dusty regions of the Milky Way.
Environmental and biological factors contribute to sleep development during infancy. Parenting plays a particularly important role in modulating infant sleep, potentially via the serotonin system, which is itself involved in regulating infant sleep. We hypothesized that maternal neglect and serotonin system dysregulation would be associated with daytime sleep in infant rhesus monkeys. Subjects were nursery-reared infant rhesus macaques (n = 287). During the first month of life, daytime sleep-wake states were rated bihourly (0800–2100). Infants were considered neglected (n = 16) if before nursery-rearing, their mother repeatedly failed to retrieve them. Serotonin transporter genotype and concentrations of cerebrospinal fluid 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA) were used as markers of central serotonin system functioning. t tests showed that neglected infants were observed sleeping less frequently, weighed less, and had higher 5-HIAA than non-neglected nursery-reared infants. Regression revealed that serotonin transporter genotype moderated the relationship between 5-HIAA and daytime sleep: in subjects possessing the Ls genotype, there was a positive correlation between 5-HIAA and daytime sleep, whereas in subjects possessing the LL genotype there was no association. These results highlight the pivotal roles that parents and the serotonin system play in sleep development. Daytime sleep alterations observed in neglected infants may partially derive from serotonin system dysregulation.
Ferroelectric single-crystal-architecture-in-glass is a new class of metamaterials that would enable active integrated optics if the ferroelectric behavior is preserved within the confines of glass. We demonstrate using lithium niobate crystals fabricated in lithium niobosilicate glass by femtosecond laser irradiation that not only such behavior is preserved, the ferroelectric domains can be engineered with a DC bias. A piezoresponse force microscope is used to characterize the piezoelectric and ferroelectric behavior. The piezoresponse correlates with the orientation of the crystal lattice as expected for unconfined crystal, and a complex micro- and nano-scale ferroelectric domain structure of the as-grown crystals is revealed.
Mismatch negativity (MMN) is an event-related potential (ERP) component reflecting auditory predictive coding. Repeated standard tones evoke increasing positivity (‘repetition positivity’; RP), reflecting strengthening of the standard's memory trace and the prediction it will recur. Likewise, deviant tones preceded by more standard repetitions evoke greater negativity (‘deviant negativity’; DN), reflecting stronger prediction error signaling. These memory trace effects are also evident in MMN difference wave. Here, we assess group differences and test-retest reliability of these indices in schizophrenia patients (SZ) and healthy controls (HC).
Electroencephalography was recorded twice, 2 weeks apart, from 43 SZ and 30 HC, during a roving standard paradigm. We examined ERPs to the third, eighth, and 33rd standards (RP), immediately subsequent deviants (DN), and the corresponding MMN. Memory trace effects were assessed by comparing amplitudes associated with the three standard repetition trains.
Compared with controls, SZ showed reduced MMNs and DNs, but normal RPs. Both groups showed memory trace effects for RP, MMN, and DN, with a trend for attenuated DNs in SZ. Intraclass correlations obtained via this paradigm indicated good-to-moderate reliabilities for overall MMN, DN and RP, but moderate to poor reliabilities for components associated with short, intermediate, and long standard trains, and poor reliability of their memory trace effects.
MMN deficits in SZ reflected attenuated prediction error signaling (DN), with relatively intact predictive code formation (RP) and memory trace effects. This roving standard MMN paradigm requires additional development/validation to obtain suitable levels of reliability for use in clinical trials.
Hospitalized patients placed in isolation due to a carrier state or infection with resistant or highly communicable organisms report higher rates of anxiety and loneliness and have fewer physician encounters, room entries, and vital sign records. We hypothesized that isolation status might adversely impact patient experience as reported through Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) surveys, particularly regarding communication.
Retrospective analysis of HCAHPS survey results over 5 years.
A 1,165-bed, tertiary-care, academic medical center.
Patients on any type of isolation for at least 50% of their stay were the exposure group. Those never in isolation served as controls.
Multivariable logistic regression, adjusting for age, race, gender, payer, severity of illness, length of stay and clinical service were used to examine associations between isolation status and “top-box” experience scores. Dose response to increasing percentage of days in isolation was also analyzed.
Patients in isolation reported worse experience, primarily with staff responsiveness (help toileting 63% vs 51%; adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 0.77; P = .0009) and overall care (rate hospital 80% vs 73%; aOR, 0.78; P < .0001), but they reported similar experience in other domains. No dose-response effect was observed.
Isolated patients do not report adverse experience for most aspects of provider communication regarded to be among the most important elements for safety and quality of care. However, patients in isolation had worse experiences with staff responsiveness for time-sensitive needs. The absence of a dose-response effect suggests that isolation status may be a marker for other factors, such as illness severity. Regardless, hospitals should emphasize timely staff response for this population.
Patients with Parkinson’s disease psychosis (PDP) are often treated with an atypical antipsychotic, especially quetiapine or clozapine, but side effects, lack of sufficient efficacy, or both may motivate a switch to pimavanserin, the first medication approved for management of PDP. How best to implement a switch to pimavanserin has not been clear, as there are no controlled trials or case series in the literature to provide guidance. An abrupt switch may interrupt partially effective treatment or potentially trigger rebound effects from antipsychotic withdrawal, whereas cross-taper involves potential drug interactions. A panel of experts drew from published data, their experience treating PDP, lessons from switching antipsychotic drugs in other populations, and the pharmacology of the relevant drugs, to establish consensus recommendations. The panel concluded that patients with PDP can be safely and effectively switched from atypical antipsychotics used off label in PDP to the recently approved pimavanserin by considering each agent’s pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, receptor interactions, and the clinical reason for switching (efficacy or adverse events). Final recommendations are that such a switch should aim to maintain adequate 5-HT2A antagonism during the switch, thus providing a stable transition so that efficacy is maintained. Specifically, the consensus recommendation is to add pimavanserin at the full recommended daily dose (34 mg) for 2–6 weeks in most patients before beginning to taper and discontinue quetiapine or clozapine over several days to weeks. Further details are provided for this recommendation, as well as for special clinical circumstances where switching may need to proceed more rapidly.