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Describe the epidemiological and molecular characteristics of an outbreak of Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase (KPC)–producing organisms and the novel use of a cohorting unit for its control.
A 566-room academic teaching facility in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Solid-organ transplant recipients.
Infection control bundles were used throughout the time of observation. All KPC cases were intermittently housed in a cohorting unit with dedicated nurses and nursing aids. The rooms used in the cohorting unit had anterooms where clean supplies and linens were placed. Spread of KPC-producing organisms was determined using rectal surveillance cultures on admission and weekly thereafter among all consecutive patients admitted to the involved units. KPC-positive strains underwent pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and whole-genome sequencing.
A total of 8 KPC cases (5 identified by surveillance) were identified from April 2016 to April 2017. After the index patient, 3 patients acquired KPC-producing organisms despite implementation of an infection control bundle. This prompted the use of a cohorting unit, which immediately halted transmission, and the single remaining KPC case was transferred out of the cohorting unit. However, additional KPC cases were identified within 2 months. Once the cohorting unit was reopened, no additional KPC cases occurred. The KPC-positive species identified during this outbreak included Klebsiella pneumoniae, Enterobacter cloacae complex, and Escherichia coli. blaKPC was identified on at least 2 plasmid backbones.
A complex KPC outbreak involving both clonal and plasmid-mediated dissemination was controlled using weekly surveillances and a cohorting unit.
Introduction: Acute aortic syndrome (AAS) is a time sensitive aortic catastrophe that is often misdiagnosed. There are currently no Canadian guidelines to aid in diagnosis. Our goal was to adapt the existing American Heart Association (AHA) and European Society of Cardiology (ESC) diagnostic algorithms for AAS into a Canadian evidence based best practices algorithm targeted for emergency medicine physicians. Methods: We chose to adapt existing high-quality clinical practice guidelines (CPG) previously developed by the AHA/ESC using the GRADE ADOLOPMENT approach. We created a National Advisory Committee consisting of 21 members from across Canada including academic, community and remote/rural emergency physicians/nurses, cardiothoracic and cardiovascular surgeons, cardiac anesthesiologists, critical care physicians, cardiologist, radiologists and patient representatives. The Advisory Committee communicated through multiple teleconference meetings, emails and a one-day in person meeting. The panel prioritized questions and outcomes, using the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) approach to assess evidence and make recommendations. The algorithm was prepared and revised through feedback and discussions and through an iterative process until consensus was achieved. Results: The diagnostic algorithm is comprised of an updated pre test probability assessment tool with further testing recommendations based on risk level. The updated tool incorporates likelihood of an alternative diagnosis and point of care ultrasound. The final best practice diagnostic algorithm defined risk levels as Low (0.5% no further testing), Moderate (0.6-5% further testing required) and High ( >5% computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, trans esophageal echocardiography). During the consensus and feedback processes, we addressed a number of issues and concerns. D-dimer can be used to reduce probability of AAS in an intermediate risk group, but should not be used in a low or high-risk group. Ultrasound was incorporated as a bedside clinical examination option in pre test probability assessment for aortic insufficiency, abdominal/thoracic aortic aneurysms. Conclusion: We have created the first Canadian best practice diagnostic algorithm for AAS. We hope this diagnostic algorithm will standardize and improve diagnosis of AAS in all emergency departments across Canada.
We are investigating a complete sample of flat-spectrum extragalactic radio quasars drawn from the Parkes 2.7 GHz survey. The sample is being used to map the space distribution of radio quasars and to determine their luminosity function. Accurate positions are being measured for a selection of the brighter quasars in order to establish an extragalactic position reference frame in the Southern Hemisphere.
We are investigating complete samples of southern hemisphere flat spectrum extra-galactic radio sources drawn from the Parkes 2.7 GHz Survey (see Bolton et al. 1979 and references therein). These samples are being used for a variety of investigations, including a determination of the space distribution and luminosity function of radio QSOs, their radio size distribution, as well as the structures of the individual sources. Accurate positions are being determined, as well, in order to establish an extra-galactic position reference frame in the southern hemisphere.
Early maturation, indexed by pubertal development (PD), has been associated with earlier initiation and greater frequency of adolescent substance use, but this relationship may be biased by confounding factors and effects that change across development. Using a population-based Finnish twin sample (N = 3,632 individuals), we conducted twin modeling and multilevel structural equation modeling of the relationship between PD and substance use at ages 12–22. Shared environmental factors contributed to early PD and heavier substance use for females. Biological father absence was associated with early PD for boys but not girls, and did not account for the relationship between PD and substance use. The association between early PD and heavier substance use was partially due to between-family confounds, although early PD appeared to qualitatively alter long-term trajectories for some substances (nicotine), but not others (alcohol). Mediation by peer and parental factors did not explain this relationship within families. However, higher peer substance use and lower parental monitoring were themselves associated with heavier substance use, strengthening the existing evidence for these factors as targets for prevention/intervention efforts. Early maturation was not supported as a robust determinant of alcohol use trajectories in adolescence and young adulthood, but may require longer term follow-up. Subtle effects of early PD on nicotine and illicit drug use trajectories throughout adolescence and adulthood merit further investigation.
Differences by ethnic group in STI diagnosis rates have long been recognized in England. We investigated whether these may be explained by ethnic disparities in socioeconomic deprivation (SED). Data on all diagnoses made in sexual health clinics in England in 2013 were obtained from the mandatory STI surveillance system. Poisson regression was used to calculate incidence rate ratios (IRRs) of STIs, by ethnicity, with and without adjustment for index of multiple deprivation (IMD) a measure of area-level deprivation. Unadjusted IRRs (95% confidence intervals) were highest for gonorrhoea [8·18 (7·77–8·61) and 5·76 (5·28–6·29)] and genital herpes [4·24 (3·99–4·51) and 3·58 (3·23–3·98)] for people of black Caribbean and non-Caribbean/non-African black ethnicity and IRRs were highest for syphilis [8·76 (7·97–9·63)] and genital warts [2·23 (2·17–2·29)] for people of non-British/non-Irish white ethnicity compared to white British ethnicity. After adjustment for IMD, IRRs for gonorrhoea [5·76 (5·47–6·07)] and genital herpes [3·73 (3·50–3·97)] declined but remained highest for black Caribbeans and IRRs for syphilis [7·35 (6·68–8·09)] and genital warts [2·10 (2·04–2·16)] declined but remained highest for non-British/non-Irish white compared to white British. In England, ethnic disparities in STI diagnosis rates are partially explained by SED, but behavioural and contextual factors likely contribute. Clinic and community-based interventions should involve social peer networks to ensure they are targeted and culturally sensitive.
During 1990, the Parkes radio telescope made a new, deep survey of the southern sky at 4850 MHz (the PMN Survey: see e.g. Griffith and Wright, 1993; Wright et al., 1994). The declination coverage of the survey was from δ = −87° to +10°. The flux limit of the survey was around 30 mJy, although dependent on declination. This survey increased the number of known, southern radio sources by a factor of about 6 to over 65,000.
The Parkes-MIT-NRAO (PMN) 4.85 GHz continuum radio survey of the southern sky was undertaken in 1990 June and November. This survey was performed on the Parkes 64 m telescope using the NRAO seven-beam receiver. A point-source catalogue of 36,640 radio sources has been produced for the Southern Survey zone −87.5° ≤δ ≤ −37° and for the Tropical Survey zone −29° ≤δ ≤ −9.5°. The flux limit of this survey varies with declination and is typically about 30 mJy.
We have begun to cross-correlate the PMN data with sources contained in catalogues compiled at radio, and other, wavelengths. We have found associations for 96% of the PKSCAT90 2700 MHz database sources, and 95% of the Molonglo 408 MHz Catalogue sources within in the PMN Southern and Tropical Survey zones.
A program to identify the optical counterparts of PMN Southern Survey point sources, S4.85 GHz ≥ 70 mJy, using the COSMOS database, is under way. To facilitate this programme we are improving the positional accuracy of PMN sources with observations made at the Australia Telescope National Facility compact array. We have developed a new “snapshot” mode of observing to process the large number of sources (~ 8000) in our sample. It is possible to obtain accurate positions from three snapshots efficiently with a total integration of < 3 minutes.
During 1990 we surveyed the southern sky using a multi-beam receiver at frequencies of 4850 and 843 MHz. The half-power beamwidths were 4 and 25 arcmin respectively. The finished surveys cover the declination range between +10 and −90 degrees declination, essentially complete in right ascension, an area of 7.30 steradians. Preliminary analysis of the 4850 MHz data indicates that we will achieve a five sigma flux density limit of about 30 mJy. We estimate that we will find between 80 000 and 90 000 new sources above this limit. This is a revised version of the paper presented at the Regional Meeting by the first four authors; the surveys now have been completed.
A study has been carried out to investigate whether the action of triclabendazole (TCBZ) against Fasciola hepatica is altered by inhibition of P-glycoprotein (Pgp)-linked drug efflux pumps. The Sligo TCBZ-resistant fluke isolate was used for these experiments and the Pgp inhibitor selected was R(+)-verapamil [R(+)-VPL]. In the first experiment, flukes were initially incubated for 2 h in R(+)-VPL (100 μm), then incubated in R(+)-VPL+triclabendazole sulphoxide (TCBZ.SO) (50 μg mL−1, or 133·1 μm) until flukes ceased movement (at 9 h post-treatment). In a second experiment, flukes were incubated in TCBZ.SO alone and removed from the incubation medium following cessation of motility (after 15 h). In the third experiment, flukes were incubated for 24 h in R(+)-VPL on its own. Changes to the testis tubules and vitelline follicles following drug treatment and following Pgp inhibition were assessed by means of light microscope histology and transmission electron microscopy. Incubation of the Sligo isolate in either R(+)-VPL or TCBZ.SO on their own had a limited impact on the morphology of the two tissues. Greater disruption was observed when the drugs were combined, in terms of the block in development of the spermatogenic and vitelline cells and the apoptotic breakdown of the remaining cells. Sperm formation was severely affected and abnormal. Large spaces appeared in the vitelline follicles and synthesis of shell protein was disrupted. The results of this study support the concept of altered drug efflux in TCBZ-resistant flukes and indicate that drug transporters may play a role in the development of drug resistance.
The Australian Imaging, Biomarkers and Lifestyle (AIBL) Flagship Study of Ageing is a prospective study of 1,112 individuals (211 with Alzheimer's disease (AD), 133 with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and 768 healthy controls (HCs)). Here we report diagnostic and cognitive findings at the first (18-month) follow-up of the cohort. The first aim was to compute rates of transition from HC to MCI, and MCI to AD. The second aim was to characterize the cognitive profiles of individuals who transitioned to a more severe disease stage compared with those who did not.
Eighteen months after baseline, participants underwent comprehensive cognitive testing and diagnostic review, provided an 80 ml blood sample, and completed health and lifestyle questionnaires. A subgroup also underwent amyloid PET and MRI neuroimaging.
The diagnostic status of 89.9% of the cohorts was determined (972 were reassessed, 28 had died, and 112 did not return for reassessment). The 18-month cohort comprised 692 HCs, 82 MCI cases, 197 AD patients, and one Parkinson's disease dementia case. The transition rate from HC to MCI was 2.5%, and cognitive decline in HCs who transitioned to MCI was greatest in memory and naming domains compared to HCs who remained stable. The transition rate from MCI to AD was 30.5%.
There was a high retention rate after 18 months. Rates of transition from healthy aging to MCI, and MCI to AD, were consistent with established estimates. Follow-up of this cohort over longer periods will elucidate robust predictors of future cognitive decline.
When infants are at risk of being born at a very premature gestation (22–25 weeks), parents face important life-support decisions because of the high mortality for such infants. Concurrently, providers are challenged with providing parents a supportive environment within which to make these decisions. Practice guidelines for medical care of these infants and the principles of perinatal palliative care for families can be resources for providers, but there is limited research to bridge these medical and humanistic approaches to infant and family care. The purpose of this article is to describe how parents at risk of delivering their infant prior to 26 weeks gestation interpreted the quality of their interpersonal interactions with healthcare providers.
Directed content analysis was employed to perform secondary analysis of data from 54 parents (40 mothers and 14 fathers) from the previously coded theme “Quality of Interactions.” These categorized data described parents' encounters, expectations, and experiences of interactions that occurred prenatally with care providers. For this analysis, Swanson's theory of caring was selected to guide analysis and to delineate parents' descriptions of caring and uncaring interactions.
Parents' expectations for caring included: (a) respecting parents and believing in their capacity to make the best decisions for their family (maintaining belief); (b) understanding parents' experiences and their continued need to protect their infant (knowing); (c) physically and emotionally engaging with the parents (being with); (d) providing unbiased information describing all possibilities (enabling); and (e) helping parents navigate the system and creating a therapeutic environment for them in which to make decisions (doing for).
Significance of Results:
Understanding parents' prenatal caring expectations through Swanson's theory gives deeper insights, aligning their expectations with the palliative care movement.
A study was carried out to investigate whether the action of triclabendazole sulphoxide (TCBZ.SO) against the liver fluke, Fasciola hepatica is altered by inhibition of P-glycoprotein (Pgp)-linked drug efflux pumps. The Oberon TCBZ-resistant and Cullompton TCBZ-susceptible fluke isolates were used for this in vitro study and the Pgp inhibitor selected was R(+)-verapamil [R(+)-VPL]. For experiments with the Oberon isolate, flukes were incubated for 24 h with either R(+)-VPL (1×10−4m) on its own, TCBZ.SO (15 μg mL−1) alone, a combination of R(+)-VPL (1×10−4m) plus TCBZ.SO (15 μg mL−1), TCBZ.SO (50 μg mL−1) on its own, or a combination of TCBZ.SO (50 μg mL−1) plus R(+)-VPL (1×10−4m). They were also incubated in TCBZ.SO (50 μg mL−1) alone or in combination with R(+)-VPL (1×10−4m) until they became inactive; and in TCBZ.SO (50 μg mL−1) alone for a time to match that of the combination inactivity time. Flukes from the Cullompton isolate were treated with either TCBZ.SO (50 μg mL−1) alone or in combination with R(+)-VPL (1×10−4m) until they became inactive, or with TCBZ.SO (50 μg mL−1) alone time-matched to the combination inactivity time. Morphological changes resulting from drug treatment and following Pgp inhibition were assessed by means of scanning electron microscopy. Incubation in R(+)-VPL alone had a minimal effect on either isolate. TCBZ.SO treatment had a relatively greater impact on the TCBZ-susceptible Cullompton isolate. When R(+)-VPL was combined with TCBZ.SO in the incubation medium, however, the surface disruption to both isolates was more severe than that seen after TCBZ.SO treatment alone; also, the time taken to reach inactivity was shorter. More significantly, though, the potentiation of drug activity was greater in the Oberon isolate; also, it was more distinct at the higher concentration of TCBZ.SO. So, the Oberon isolate appears to be particularly sensitive to efflux pump inhibition. The results of this study suggest that enhanced drug efflux in the Oberon isolate may be involved in the mechanism of resistance to TCBZ.
The international long-term cement studies (LCS) project aims to increase the understanding of the behaviour of cement within a radioactive waste disposal system and how hyper-alkaline leachates may interact with host rock. Such an understanding enables confident, robust and safety-relevant statements to be made concerning future system behaviour, irrespective of host rock, engineered barrier system, or waste type. The LCS project involves laboratory experiments, in situ tests and numerical modelling to address these issues. The agencies participating are Nagra (Switzerland), JAEA (Japan), the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, Radioactive Waste Mangement Directorate (UK), Posiva (Finland) and SKB (Sweden).
Project activities have included: the development of conceptual and theoretical models of cement–rock interaction; testing of numerical models against data from laboratory experiments and industrial and natural analogues of cement–rock reaction; and the synthesis and incorporation of performance assessment (PA) relevant data from analogue studies. Key threads running through these studies include an analysis of issues relating to upscaling of processes and data to the greater temporal and spatial scales relevant to PA, and investigations of modelling the changes in physical properties that accompany geochemical reaction. Here we present examples of the results from model test cases, highlighting the important issues that have arisen.
Herpes virus infections can cause cognitive impairment during and after acute encephalitis. Although chronic, latent/persistent infection is considered to be relatively benign, some studies have documented cognitive impairment in exposed persons that is untraceable to encephalitis. These studies were conducted among schizophrenia (SZ) patients or older community dwellers, among whom it is difficult to control for the effects of co-morbid illness and medications. To determine whether the associations can be generalized to other groups, we examined a large sample of younger control individuals, SZ patients and their non-psychotic relatives (n=1852).
Using multivariate models, cognitive performance was evaluated in relation to exposures to herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) and cytomegalovirus (CMV), controlling for familial and diagnostic status and sociodemographic variables, including occupation and educational status. Composite cognitive measures were derived from nine cognitive domains using principal components of heritability (PCH). Exposure was indexed by antibodies to viral antigens.
PCH1, the most heritable component of cognitive performance, declines with exposure to CMV or HSV-1 regardless of case/relative/control group status (p = 1.09 × 10−5 and 0.01 respectively), with stronger association with exposure to multiple herpes viruses (β = −0.25, p = 7.28 × 10−10). There were no significant interactions between exposure and group status.
Latent/persistent herpes virus infections can be associated with cognitive impairments regardless of other health status.
X-ray diffraction has been used to quantify the interface roughness of GaAs/AlxGa1-xAs multilayers. X-ray measurements, both θ-2θ and rocking-curve analyses, quantitatively determine the correlated and random components of the interface roughness as well as the correlation length of the roughness along the interface. The multilayer structures of GaAs/Al0.3Ga0.7As and GaAs/AlAs differ substantially in the amplitude and correlation length of the interface roughness. The change in interfacial roughness is compared to that determined from low temperature photoluminescence (PL) measurements, the conventional measure of interface uniformity.
Background: Exposure-based therapy for anxiety disorders is believed to operate on the basis of fear extinction. Studies have shown acute administration of D-cycloserine (DCS) enhances fear extinction in animals and facilitates exposure therapy in humans, but the neural mechanisms are not completely understood. To date, no study has examined neural effects of acute DCS in anxiety-disordered populations.
Methods: Two hours prior to functional magnetic resonance imaging scanning, 23 spider-phobic and 23 non-phobic participants were randomized to receive DCS 100 mg or placebo. During scanning, participants viewed spider, butterfly, and Gaussian-blurred baseline images in a block-design paradigm. Diagnostic and treatment groups were compared regarding differential activations to spider versus butterfly stimuli.
Results: In the phobic group, DCS enhanced prefrontal (PFC), dorsal anterior cingulate (ACC), and insula activations. For controls, DCS enhanced ventral ACC and caudate activations. There was a positive correlation between lateral PFC and amygdala activation for the placebo-phobic group. Reported distress during symptom provocation was correlated with amygdala activation in the placebo-phobic group and orbitofrontal cortex activation in the DCS-phobic group.
Conclusions: Results suggest that during initial phobic symptom provocation DCS enhances activation in regions involved in cognitive control and interoceptive integration, including the PFC, ACC, and insular cortices for phobic participants.