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Tick-borne diseases (TBDs) can sometimes cause severe symptoms and lead to hospitalisation, but they often go unnoticed in the Emergency Department (ED). The aim of this study was twofold: (i) to describe the profile of patients hospitalised by TBDs; and (ii) to evaluate the data collected in the medical records from the ED in order to analyse their potential clinical consequences. A total of 84 cases that included all TBD diagnoses registered in the ED records were identified and analysed. These corresponded to all the hospitalisations by TBDs in the last 10 years (2009–2019) in two tertiary hospitals in Granada, Spain. Statistical analyses were made using RStudio. Coinciding with the absence of patient's report of exposure to ticks, 64.3% of TBDs were not suspected in the ED. Intensive care unit admission was required in 8.3% of cases, and the mortality rate was 2.4%. Non-suspected cases showed longer hospital stay (P < 0.001), treatment duration (P = 0.02) and delay in the initiation of antibiotic treatment (P < 0.001). Our findings indicate that symptoms associated with TBDs are highly non-specific. In the absence of explicit information related to potential tick exposure, TBDs are not initially suspected. As a consequence, elective treatment administration is delayed and hospitalisation time is prolonged. In conclusion, our results highlight the importance of addressing potential exposure to ticks during the ED contact with patients presenting with febrile syndrome.
We present radiocarbon (14C) in tree rings from Mexico City and a reconstruction of fossil CO2 concentrations for the last five decades, as part of a research program to understand the 14C dynamics in this complex urban area. Background values were established by 14C concentrations in tree rings from a nearby clean area. Agreement between background and NH-zone 2 values indicate Taxodium mucronatum is a good biomonitor for annual atmospheric 14C variations. Values for the urban tree rings were significantly lower than background values, indicating a 14C depletion from fossil CO2 emissions. There is an increasing trend of fossil CO2 between 1960 and 1990, in agreement with the population growth and the increasing demand for fossil fuels in Mexico City. Between 1990 and 2000, there is an apparent decrease in fossil CO2 concentration, increasing again after 2000. The decrease in 2000, despite being of the same magnitude as the overall uncertainty, may reflect environmental policies that improved the energy efficiency and reduced CO2 emissions in the area. The increase in fossil CO2 concentration between 2000 and 2010 may be attributable to the significant growth of motor vehicle usage in Mexico City, which made transportation the main energy-demanding and -emitting sector.
The improvement in porcine embryo preservation and non-surgical embryo transfer (ET) procedures achieved in recent years represents essential progress for the practical use of ET in the pig industry. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of parity, weaning-to-estrus interval (WEI) and season on reproductive and embryonic parameters at day 6 after insemination of donor sows superovulated after weaning. The selection of donor sows was based on their reproductive history, body condition and parity. The effects of parity at weaning (2 to 3, 4 to 5 or 6 to 7 litters), season (fall, winter and spring), and WEI (estrus within 3 to 4 days), and their interactions on the number of corpus luteum, cysts in sows with cysts, number and quality of viable and transferable embryos, embryo developmental stage and recovery and fertilization rates were evaluated using linear mixed effects models. The analyses showed a lack of significant effects of parity, season, WEI or their interactions on any of the reproductive and embryonic parameters examined. In conclusion, these results demonstrate that fertilization rates and numbers of viable and transferable embryos collected at day 6 of the cycle from superovulated donor sows are not affected by their parity, regardless of the time of the year (from fall to spring) and WEI (3 or 4 days).
The objective of this study was to assess the effectiveness of a catheter-related bloodstream infection (CR BSI) reduction programme and healthcare workers' compliance with recommendations. A 3-year surveillance programme of CR BSIs in all hospital settings was implemented. As part of the programme, there was a direct observation of insertion and maintenance of central venous catheters (CVCs) to determine performance. A total of 38 education courses were held over the study period and feedback reports with the results of surveillance and recommendations were delivered to healthcare workers every 6 months. A total of 6722 short-term CVCs were inserted in 4982 patients for 58 763 catheter-days. Improvements of compliance with hand hygiene was verified at the insertion (87·1–100%, P < 0·001) and maintenance (51·1–72·1%, P = 0·029) of CVCs; and the use of chlorhexidine for skin disinfection was implemented at insertion (35·7–65·4%, P < 0·001) and maintenance (33·3–45·9%, P < 0·197) of CVCs. There were 266 CR BSI incidents recorded with an annual incidence density of 5·75/1000 catheter-days in the first year, 4·38 in the second year [rate ratio (RR) 0·76, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0·57–1·01] and 3·46 in the third year (RR 0·60, 95% CI 0·44–0·81). The education programme clearly improved compliance with recommendations for CVC handling, and was effective in reducing the burden of CR BSIs.
The effects of thermal treatments on the thermoluminescent (TL) signal of NaCl (ACS reagent) induced by gamma radiation were investigated. Samples of NaCl were thermally treated at 500, 800 and 1000 °C and characterized by X-Ray diffraction and scanning electron microscopy. After their exposure 0.1 to 150 Gy of gamma radiation from a gamma-ray source of 60Co, a TL curve for each temperature of treatment was obtained. We observed a different TL behavior on the irradiated samples as a function of the temperature applied during the thermal treatments. For the sample treated at 500 °C, three peaks centered at 102, 133 and 228 °C were observed. Samples treated at 800 and 1000 °C showed two main peaks at 128 and 220 °C and 136 and 219 °C, respectively; however, the highest TL intensity signal was observed for the sample at 800 °C. All samples showed a linear dependency of the integrated TL intensity from the signal emitted as function of the irradiation time. This is an important advantage because NaCl could be applied as a very low cost thermoluminescent dosimetric material. A comparison between the TL signal induced by gamma radiation in pure and Eu doped NaCl is also reported.
ZnO was grown by Chemical Bath Deposition technique activated by microwaves (CBD-AμW) on corning glass substrates. The ZnO structural and optical properties are studied as a function of the urea concentration in the growth solution. ZnO chemical stoichiometry was determined by Energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS). The XRD analysis and Raman scattering reveal that ZnO deposited thin films showed hexagonal polycrystalline phase wurtzite type. The Raman spectra present four main peaks associated to the modes E2high, (E2high-E2low), E2low and an unidentified vibrational band observed at 444, 338, 104 and 78 cm-1. The E2low mode involves mainly Zn atoms motion in the unit cell and the E2high mode is associated to oxygen motion. The observed emission peaks in the room temperature photoluminescence spectra are associated at vacancies of zinc and oxygen in the lattice.
The mass mortality suffered by the sea urchin Diadema antillarum between 1983–1984 is considered one of the major causes of coral reef degradation in the Caribbean. Its near disappearance resulted in a disproportionate growth of macroalgae that has led to a ‘phase shift’ from coral-to-algal dominated reefs. The close relationship between this echinoid and the functioning of coral reef ecosystems makes it imperative to better understand the potential for recovery of its populations. From 2009 to 2011, we assessed the density and size structure of D. antillarum in various reefs where previous population data were available. Results indicate a modest increase in density in all localities with respect to the last time they were surveyed in 2003/2004. Nevertheless, density values are still lower than values reported for the island prior to the die-off. Overall density did not surpass 1.49 ind. per m−2, and did not change considerably during the studied period. Lack of population growth coincided with a lack of juveniles; suggesting that population growth at the studied sites may be limited by the number of individuals recruiting into the juvenile stage.
Pastes of waste glass (WG) and metakaolin (MK) were prepared by chemical activation with sodium silicate solutions of modulus Ms = 0.5, 0.75, 1 and 1.25 adjusted with sodium hydroxide. An experimental design was carried out using the Taguchi method. The compressive strength (CS) was followed for up to 120 days and then 4 selected formulations of the higher CS were further characterized by X-ray diffraction and scanning electron microscopy. The results showed that the CS depends on the experimental conditions of %WG, %Na2O and Ms and showed a maximum of 70 MPa after 120 days for the paste with 100%WG (%wt.), 8% Na2O and Ms=1.25; while a Portland cement specimen cured at 20°C reached 43MPa. The WG is more reactive than the MK under less alkaline conditions. The features of the microstructures varied notably with the %WG; however all showed relative dense matrices of reaction products, in agreement with the CS attained.
This investigation is on alternative cementitious materials of low cost, energy and environmental emissions. Portland cement (PC) was replaced by different types of calcium sulphate (hemihydrate HH, or anhydrite AN), fly ash (PFA) and cupola slag (CS) from an iron foundry. Pastes of blends of (HH or AN) – CS – PC and (HH or AN) – PFA – PC were characterized. The compositions varied within the ranges of 0 – 35% PC, 15 – 80% HH or AN, 10 – 80% CS and 10 – 80% PFA. The water/solids ratio was kept at 0.45 for HH blends and 0.37 for those of AN. The pastes were cured in dry and for some time under water. Selected blends of CS were repeated with blast furnace slag (BFS) for comparison. CS showed better results over PFA and less than BFS, perhaps as derived from its chemical composition, phase configuration and physical characteristics. These and other results of microstructural characterization will be discussed. This work is part of a broader research on the development of alternative environment friendly hydraulic composite cements of Portland cement highly replaced by calcium sulphate and industrial byproducts.
In this work was studied the partial substitution in the design of a refractory mix of the fine crystalline graphite for prefabricate nanoparticles of the seam source of graphite, improving the refractory properties of the material, getting a better resistant to the chemical attack by the slag and steel liquid metal. The raw materials and nanoparticles of crystalline graphite were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), Sherrer equation, and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The nanoparticles size determines the crystalline of the graphite used in the mixes obtained after different steps of mechanic milling. The nanoparticles of materials were added to the mixes in different proportions. The commercial raw materials used for this investigation were: commercial silicon carbide high purity (97% SiC), calcined bauxite (85% Al2O3), alpha calcined alumina, and crystalline graphite (94% C). Additionally, six different sizes of graphite nanoparticles were selected. The particle size of the initial commercial graphite was 0.044mm and the final nanoparticles obtained in this investigation by mechanic milling was 18 nm. The measurement of the particle size of the nanoparticles was made by the Scherrer equation, XRD and SEM.
Natural pozzolans are supplementary cementitious materials (SCMs) that may be used to improve the properties of mortar and concrete, through the formation of additional hydration products by pozzolanic action. Water reducers (WR) play a main role in high performance concrete in terms of durability, strength and surface finishing. A first optimization of constituent proportions in paste and/or mortar is convenient to assess the compatibility between the WR and the cementitious materials. The compatibility between cement and WR may be affected by SCMs, as they can also interact with the molecules of the admixture. However, the practical implication may be variable. This paper deals with the influence of different types and dosages of WRs in mortars made with pozzolanic Portland cement. Both medium and high ranges WRs have been used. Mortar fluidity has been tested by the spread and the slump tests. Results show different fluidizing capacities of WRs, among which polycarboxylate-based WR was the most compatible with the pozzolanic cement.
The different incidence rates of, and risk factors for, depression in different countries argue for the need to have a specific risk algorithm for each country or a supranational risk algorithm. We aimed to develop and validate a predictD-Spain risk algorithm (PSRA) for the onset of major depression and to compare the performance of the PSRA with the predictD-Europe risk algorithm (PERA) in Spanish primary care.
A prospective cohort study with evaluations at baseline, 6 and 12 months. We measured 39 known risk factors and used multi-level logistic regression and inverse probability weighting to build the PSRA. In Spain (4574), Chile (2133) and another five European countries (5184), 11 891 non-depressed adult primary care attendees formed our at-risk population. The main outcome was DSM-IV major depression (CIDI).
Six variables were patient characteristics or past events (sex, age, sex×age interaction, education, physical child abuse, and lifetime depression) and six were current status [Short Form 12 (SF-12) physical score, SF-12 mental score, dissatisfaction with unpaid work, number of serious problems in very close persons, dissatisfaction with living together at home, and taking medication for stress, anxiety or depression]. The C-index of the PSRA was 0.82 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.79–0.84]. The Integrated Discrimination Improvement (IDI) was 0.0558 [standard error (s.e.)=0.0071, Zexp=7.88, p<0.0001] mainly due to the increase in sensitivity. Both the IDI and calibration plots showed that the PSRA functioned better than the PERA in Spain.
The PSRA included new variables and afforded an improved performance over the PERA for predicting the onset of major depression in Spain. However, the PERA is still the best option in other European countries.