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Clinical implementation of risk calculator models in the clinical high-risk for psychosis (CHR-P) population has been hindered by heterogeneous risk distributions across study cohorts which could be attributed to pre-ascertainment illness progression. To examine this, we tested whether the duration of attenuated psychotic symptom (APS) worsening prior to baseline moderated performance of the North American prodrome longitudinal study 2 (NAPLS2) risk calculator. We also examined whether rates of cortical thinning, another marker of illness progression, bolstered clinical prediction models.
Participants from both the NAPLS2 and NAPLS3 samples were classified as either ‘long’ or ‘short’ symptom duration based on time since APS increase prior to baseline. The NAPLS2 risk calculator model was applied to each of these groups. In a subset of NAPLS3 participants who completed follow-up magnetic resonance imaging scans, change in cortical thickness was combined with the individual risk score to predict conversion to psychosis.
The risk calculator models achieved similar performance across the combined NAPLS2/NAPLS3 sample [area under the curve (AUC) = 0.69], the long duration group (AUC = 0.71), and the short duration group (AUC = 0.71). The shorter duration group was younger and had higher baseline APS than the longer duration group. The addition of cortical thinning improved the prediction of conversion significantly for the short duration group (AUC = 0.84), with a moderate improvement in prediction for the longer duration group (AUC = 0.78).
These results suggest that early illness progression differs among CHR-P patients, is detectable with both clinical and neuroimaging measures, and could play an essential role in the prediction of clinical outcomes.
To determine the incidence of severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection among healthcare personnel (HCP) and to assess occupational risks for SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Prospective cohort of healthcare personnel (HCP) followed for 6 months from May through December 2020.
Large academic healthcare system including 4 hospitals and affiliated clinics in Atlanta, Georgia.
HCP, including those with and without direct patient-care activities, working during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
Incident SARS-CoV-2 infections were determined through serologic testing for SARS-CoV-2 IgG at enrollment, at 3 months, and at 6 months. HCP completed monthly surveys regarding occupational activities. Multivariable logistic regression was used to identify occupational factors that increased the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Of the 304 evaluable HCP that were seronegative at enrollment, 26 (9%) seroconverted for SARS-CoV-2 IgG by 6 months. Overall, 219 participants (73%) self-identified as White race, 119 (40%) were nurses, and 121 (40%) worked on inpatient medical-surgical floors. In a multivariable analysis, HCP who identified as Black race were more likely to seroconvert than HCP who identified as White (odds ratio, 4.5; 95% confidence interval, 1.3–14.2). Increased risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection was not identified for any occupational activity, including spending >50% of a typical shift at a patient’s bedside, working in a COVID-19 unit, or performing or being present for aerosol-generating procedures (AGPs).
In our study cohort of HCP working in an academic healthcare system, <10% had evidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection over 6 months. No specific occupational activities were identified as increasing risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection.
To describe the cumulative seroprevalence of severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) antibodies during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic among employees of a large pediatric healthcare system.
Design, setting, and participants:
Prospective observational cohort study open to adult employees at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, conducted April 20–December 17, 2020.
Employees were recruited starting with high-risk exposure groups, utilizing e-mails, flyers, and announcements at virtual town hall meetings. At baseline, 1 month, 2 months, and 6 months, participants reported occupational and community exposures and gave a blood sample for SARS-CoV-2 antibody measurement by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs). A post hoc Cox proportional hazards regression model was performed to identify factors associated with increased risk for seropositivity.
In total, 1,740 employees were enrolled. At 6 months, the cumulative seroprevalence was 5.3%, which was below estimated community point seroprevalence. Seroprevalence was 5.8% among employees who provided direct care and was 3.4% among employees who did not perform direct patient care. Most participants who were seropositive at baseline remained positive at follow-up assessments. In a post hoc analysis, direct patient care (hazard ratio [HR], 1.95; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.03–3.68), Black race (HR, 2.70; 95% CI, 1.24–5.87), and exposure to a confirmed case in a nonhealthcare setting (HR, 4.32; 95% CI, 2.71–6.88) were associated with statistically significant increased risk for seropositivity.
Employee SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence rates remained below the point-prevalence rates of the surrounding community. Provision of direct patient care, Black race, and exposure to a confirmed case in a nonhealthcare setting conferred increased risk. These data can inform occupational protection measures to maximize protection of employees within the workplace during future COVID-19 waves or other epidemics.
Among 353 healthcare personnel in a longitudinal cohort in 4 hospitals in Atlanta, Georgia (May–June 2020), 23 (6.5%) had severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) antibodies. Spending >50% of a typical shift at the bedside (OR, 3.4; 95% CI, 1.2–10.5) and black race (OR, 8.4; 95% CI, 2.7–27.4) were associated with SARS-CoV-2 seropositivity.
We report the utility of whole-genome sequencing (WGS) conducted in a clinically relevant time frame (ie, sufficient for guiding management decision), in managing a Streptococcus pyogenes outbreak, and present a comparison of its performance with emm typing.
A 2,000-bed tertiary-care psychiatric hospital.
Active surveillance was conducted to identify new cases of S. pyogenes. WGS guided targeted epidemiological investigations, and infection control measures were implemented. Single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)–based genome phylogeny, emm typing, and multilocus sequence typing (MLST) were performed. We compared the ability of WGS and emm typing to correctly identify person-to-person transmission and to guide the management of the outbreak.
The study included 204 patients and 152 staff. We identified 35 patients and 2 staff members with S. pyogenes. WGS revealed polyclonal S. pyogenes infections with 3 genetically distinct phylogenetic clusters (C1–C3). Cluster C1 isolates were all emm type 4, sequence type 915 and had pairwise SNP differences of 0–5, which suggested recent person-to-person transmissions. Epidemiological investigation revealed that cluster C1 was mediated by dermal colonization and transmission of S. pyogenes in a male residential ward. Clusters C2 and C3 were genomically diverse, with pairwise SNP differences of 21–45 and 26–58, and emm 11 and mostly emm120, respectively. Clusters C2 and C3, which may have been considered person-to-person transmissions by emm typing, were shown by WGS to be unlikely by integrating pairwise SNP differences with epidemiology.
WGS had higher resolution than emm typing in identifying clusters with recent and ongoing person-to-person transmissions, which allowed implementation of targeted intervention to control the outbreak.
Strategies for the involvement of primary care in the management of patients with presumed or diagnosed dementia are heterogeneous across Europe. We wanted to explore attitudes of primary care physicians (PCPs) when managing dementia: (i) the most popular cognitive tests, (ii) who had the right to initiate or continue cholinesterase inhibitor or memantine treatment, and (iii) the relationship between the permissiveness of these rules/guidelines and PCP's approach in the dementia investigations and assessment.
Key informant survey. Setting: Primary care practices across 25 European countries. Subjects: Four hundred forty-five PCPs responded to a self-administered questionnaire. Two-step cluster analysis was performed using characteristics of the informants and the responses to the survey. Main outcome measures: Two by two contingency tables with odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals were used to assess the association between categorical variables. A multinomial logistic regression model was used to assess the association of multiple variables (age class, gender, and perceived prescription rules) with the PCPs’ attitude of “trying to establish a diagnosis of dementia on their own.”
Discrepancies between rules/guidelines and attitudes to dementia management was found in many countries. There was a strong association between the authorization to prescribe dementia drugs and pursuing dementia diagnostic work-up (odds ratio, 3.45; 95% CI 2.28–5.23).
Differing regulations about who does what in dementia management seemed to affect PCP's engagement in dementia investigations and assessment. PCPs who were allowed to prescribe dementia drugs also claimed higher engagement in dementia work-up than PCPs who were not allowed to prescribe.
Field studies were conducted in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Tennessee during 2010 and 2011 to determine the effect of glufosinate application rate on LibertyLink and WideStrike cotton. Glufosinate was applied in a single application (three-leaf cotton) or sequential application (three-leaf followed by eight-leaf cotton) at 0.6, 1.2, 1.8, and 2.4 kg ai ha−1. Glufosinate application rate did not affect visual injury or growth parameters measured in LibertyLink cotton. No differences in LibertyLink cotton yield were observed because of glufosinate application rate; however, LibertyLink cotton treated with glufosinate yielded slightly more cotton than the nontreated check. Visual estimates of injury to WideStrike cotton increased with each increase in glufosinate application rate. However, the injury was transient, and by 28 d after the eight-leaf application, no differences in injury were observed. WideStrike cotton growth was adversely affected during the growing season following glufosinate application at rates of 1.2 kg ha−1 and greater; however, cotton height and total nodes were unaffected by glufosinate application rate at the end of the season. WideStrike cotton maturity was delayed, and yields were reduced following glufosinate application at rates of 1.2 kg ha−1 and above. Fiber quality of LibertyLink and WideStrike cotton was unaffected by glufosinate application rate. These data indicate that glufosinate may be applied to WideStrike cotton at rates of 0.6 kg ha−1 without inhibiting cotton growth, development, or yield. Given the lack of injury or yield reduction following glufosinate application to LibertyLink cotton, these cultivars possess robust resistance to glufosinate. Growers are urged to be cautious when increasing glufosinate application rates to increase control of glyphosate-resistant Palmer amaranth in WideStrike cotton. However, glufosinate application rates may be increased to maximum labeled rates when making applications to LibertyLink cotton without fear of reducing cotton growth, development, or yield.
The island fox (Urocyon littoralis) is one of few reportedly endemic terrestrial mammals on California's Channel Islands. Questions remain about how and when foxes first colonized the islands, with researchers speculating on a natural, human-assisted, or combined dispersal during the late Pleistocene and/or Holocene. A natural dispersal of foxes to the northern Channel Islands has been supported by reports of a few fox bones from late Pleistocene paleontological localities. Direct AMS 14C dating of these “fossil” fox bones produced dates ranging from ∼ 6400 to 200 cal yr BP, however, postdating human colonization of the islands by several millennia. Although one of these specimens is the earliest securely dated fox from the islands, these new data support the hypothesis that Native Americans introduced foxes to all the Channel Islands in the early to middle Holocene. However, a natural dispersal for the original island colonization cannot be ruled out until further paleontological, archaeological, and genetic studies (especially aDNA [ancient DNA]) are conducted.
Based on seven measured sections from Svalbard, the marine strata of the Permian Kapp Starostin Formation are arranged into seven transgressive–regressive sequences (TR1–TR7) of c. 4–5 Ma average duration, each bound by a maximum regressive surface. Facies, including heterozoan-dominated limestones, spiculitic cherts, sandstones, siltstones and shales, record deposition within inner, middle and outer shelf areas. The lowermost sequence, TR1, comprises most of the basal Vøringen Member, which records a transgression across the Gipshuken Formation following a hiatus of unknown duration. Temperate to cold, storm-dominated facies established in inner to middle shelf areas between the latest Artinskian and Kungurian. Prolonged deepening during sequences TR2 and TR3 was succeeded by a long-term shallowing-upward trend that lasted until the latest Permian (TR4–TR7). A major depocentre existed in central and western Spitsbergen while to the north, Dickson Land remained a shallow platform, leading to a shallow homoclinal ramp in NE Spitsbergen and Nordaustlandet. The Middle Permian extinction (late Capitanian) is recorded near the base of TR6 in deeper parts of the basin only; elsewhere this sequence is not recorded. Likewise the youngest sequence, TR7, extending to the upper formational contact of latest Permian age, is found only in the basin depocentre. Comparison with age-equivalent strata in the Sverdrup Basin of Canada reveals a remarkably similar depositional history, with, for example, two (third-order) sea-level cycles recorded in the Late Permian of both regions, in keeping with the global record. Sequence stratigraphy may therefore be a powerful correlative tool for onshore and offshore Permian deposits across NW Pangaea.
There is growing basic-science interest in the mechanisms underpinning the positive effects of exercise on brain function and cognitive-affective performance. There is also increasing clinical evidence that exercise may prevent and treat various neuropsychiatric disorders. At the same time, there is growing awareness that athletic performance is mediated in crucial ways by central nervous system mechanisms. The relevant mechanisms in all these cases requires further exploration, but likely includes neurotrophic, neuroendocrine, and neurotransmitter systems, which in turn are crucial mediators of psychopathology and resilience. The hypothesis that Homo sapiens evolved as a specialist endurance runner provides an intriguing context against which to research the proximal mechanisms relevant to a cognitive-affective neuroscience of exercise.
The montane inselbergs of northern Mozambique have been comparatively little-studied, yet recent surveys have shown they have a rich biodiversity with numerous endemic species. Here we present the main findings from a series of scientific expeditions to one of these inselbergs, Mt Mabu, and discuss the conservation implications. Comprehensive species lists of plants, birds, mammals and butterflies are presented. The most significant result was the discovery of a c. 7,880 ha block of undisturbed rainforest, most of it at medium altitude (900–1,400 m), a forest type that is not well represented elsewhere. It is possibly the largest continuous block of this forest type in southern Africa. To date, 10 new species (plants, mammals, reptiles and butterflies) have been confirmed from Mt Mabu, even though sampling effort for most taxonomic groups has been low. The species assemblages indicate a relatively long period of isolation and many species found are at the southern limit of their range. Conservationists are now faced with the challenge of how best to protect Mt Mabu and similar mountains in northern Mozambique, and various ways that this could be done are discussed.
An essential aspect of carbon (C) accounting is the development of methods and technologies for measurement and monitoring of C pools and fluxes. Forest and agricultural systems are key to the C cycle, as they hold and rapidly exchange large amounts of C, and human-influenced dynamics of C in these systems are very large. Wetlands, streams, and rivers are important reservoirs and exchange points for C, with C in land and hydrologic systems vulnerable to land-use impacts and other natural disturbance forces. In the context of climate change, the sizes of C pools and magnitudes of C fluxes (see Chapter 2) need to be both well understood for modeling purposes and accurately monitored to quantify and attribute changes driven by land-change processes and confounded by climate-change forces.
Direct-measurement methods for C accounting, such as a ground-based inventories, can be inappropriate for covering large landscapes to document extensive C pools or for repeating measurements needed to adequately account for C dynamics. However, if properly deployed, remote sensing systems can be used to provide the spatially synoptic and temporally frequent coverage needed to document land conditions and changes over time (Cohen and Goward 2004; Houghton and Goetz 2008). Remote sensing tools and techniques have developed since the first airborne sensors (photographic cameras) were deployed in the early 1900s. They have progressed from simple passive recording devices to advanced passive and active sensing systems operating from airborne and spaceborne platforms. Remote sensing science includes the data collection technologies and data analysis techniques developed to use remotely sensed data within the framework of spatial data analyses.
Studies in adults with multiple sclerosis (MS) have associated regional brain abnormalities with memory impairment. While memory problems in children with MS are often reported, little is known about the neural correlates that may contribute to these difficulties. We measured verbal and nonverbal memory using the Test of Memory and Learning (TOMAL-2) in 32 children and adolescents with MS and 26 age- and sex-matched healthy controls. Memory performance was correlated with volumetric measures of the whole brain, hippocampus, amygdala, and thalamus. Brain volumes were normalized for age and sex using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data from the National Institutes of Health MRI Study of Normal Brain development. With the exception of story recall, performance on memory tests was similar to that of the control group. Relative to controls, patient with MS showed reduced volume in the whole brain (p < .001), amygdala (p < .005), and thalamus (p < .001), but not the hippocampus. In the patient group, word-list learning correlated with whole brain volume (r = .53) and hippocampal volume (r = .43), whereas visual recognition memory correlated with thalamic volume (r = .48). Findings are consistent with the well-established role of the hippocampus in learning and consolidation and also highlight the importance of diffuse brain pathology on memory function. (JINS, 2012, 18, 471–480)