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Antibodies at gastrointestinal mucosal membranes play a vital role in immunological protection against a range of pathogens, including helminths. Gastrointestinal health is central to efficient livestock production, and such infections cause significant losses. Fecal samples were taken from 114 cattle, across three beef farms, with matched blood samples taken from 22 of those animals. To achieve fecal antibody detection, a novel fecal supernatant was extracted. Fecal supernatant and serum samples were then analysed, using adapted enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay protocols, for levels of total immunoglobulin (Ig)A, IgG, IgM, and Teladorsagia circumcincta-specific IgA, IgG, IgM and IgE (in the absence of reagents for cattle-specific nematode species). Fecal nematode egg counts were conducted on all fecal samples. Assays performed successfully and showed that IgA was the predominant antibody in fecal samples, whereas IgG was predominant in serum. Total IgA in feces and serum correlated within individuals (0.581, P = 0.005), but other Ig types did not. Results support the hypothesis that the tested protocols are an effective method for the non-invasive assessment of cattle immunology. The method could be used as part of animal health assessments, although further work is required to interpret the relationship between results and levels of infection and immunity.
Introduction: NSAIDS offer more effective analgesia than opioids, require less rescue medication, and decrease the incidence of nausea and vomiting in renal colic patients. Alpha blockers and Opioids are also prescribed frequently, but doses used and treatment durations are not well described. Our objective was to investigate ED prescribing decisions and medication compliance by patients with acute renal colic. Methods: In this prospective two-city cohort study, we invited patients with a first ED visit for image-confirmed 2-10 mm ureteric stones to consent to a telephone survey 10 days after their ED visit. During follow-up interviews, patients were asked what drugs they were prescribed and how many doses they required. This study was REB approved. Results: A convenience sample of 224 patients, including 152 males (67.9%) and 72 females (median age= 52.4 years) completed 10-day surveys. NSAIDS were prescribed for 48.7%, tamsulosin for 65.2% and opioids for 81.7%. One-third received a tamsulosin-NSAID combination, 40% an opioid-NSAID combination and 28% a tamsulosin-NSAID-opioid combination. Of 109 patients prescribed an NSAID, only 70 (64.2%) took 1 dose/day; however an additional 28 who were not prescribed NSAIDs took 1 NSAID dose/day. Mean (sd) NSAID intake in the overall study group was 1.1 (1.5) doses/day from day 1-5 and 0.6 (1.1) doses/day on days 6-10, with 90%ile values of 3.0 and 2.0 doses/day. NSAID compliance was more common in patients who stated they received high quality discharge instructions (63.8% vs. 32.6%; RR=1.95; 95% CI 1.47-2.60). Mean opioid intake in the overall study group was 1.2 (1.7) doses/day from day 1-5 and 0.5 (1.3) doses/day on days 6-10, with 90%ile values of 4.0 and 2.0 doses/day. Among patients prescribed tamsulosin, the average was 4.0 days of compliance (sd=4.3), with a 90%ile value of 10 days. Conclusion: This study provides estimates for the amount of drug actually used by renal colic patients during the 10-days after their ED visit. Patients used fewer opioid doses than expected, and NSAID and tamsulosin compliance appears relatively poor. NSAID compliance was better in patients who perceived high quality discharge instructions. This study suggests there is room for improvement in medication prescribing and discharge instructions for ED patients with an acute episode of ureteral colic.
Lebanon has a need for innovative approaches to increase access to mental health care to meet the country's current high demand. E-mental health has been included in its national mental health strategy while in parallel the World Health Organization has produced an online intervention called ‘Step-by-Step’ to treat symptoms of depression that is being tested in Lebanon over the coming years.
The primary aim of this study is to conduct bottom-up, community-driven qualitative cognitive interviewing from a multi-stakeholder perspective to inform the cultural adaptation of an Internet-delivered mental health intervention based on behavioural activation in Lebanon.
National Mental Health Programme staff conducted a total of 11 key informant interviews with three mental health professionals, six front-line workers in primary health care centres (PHCCs) and two community members. Also, eight focus group discussions, one with seven front-line workers and seven others with a total of 66 community members (Lebanese, Syrians and Palestinians) were conducted in several PHCCs to inform the adaptation of Step-by-Step. Results were transcribed and analysed thematically by the project coordinator and two research assistants.
Feedback generated from the cognitive interviewing mainly revolved around amending the story, illustrations and the delivery methods to ensure relevance and sensitivity to the local context. The results obtained have informed major edits to the content of Step-by-Step and also to the model of provision. Notably, the intervention was made approximately 30% shorter; it includes additional videos of content alongside the originally proposed comic book-style delivery; there is less emphasis on total inactivity as a symptom of low mood and more focus on enjoyable activities to lift mood; the story and ways to contact participants to provide support were updated in line with local gender norms; and many of the suggested or featured activities have been revised in line with suggestions from community members.
These findings promote and advocate the use of community-driven adaptation of evidence-based psychological interventions. Some of the phenomena recorded mirror findings from other research about barriers to care seeking in the region and so changes made to the intervention should be useful in improving utility and uptake of ‘Step-by-Step’.
Objectives: This study examines the selective, sustained, and executive attention abilities of very preterm (VPT) born children in relation to concurrent structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) measures of regional gray matter development at age 12 years. Methods: A regional cohort of 110 VPT (≤32 weeks gestation) and 113 full term (FT) born children were assessed at corrected age 12 years on the Test of Everyday Attention-Children. They also had a structural MRI scan that was subsequently analyzed using voxel-based morphometry to quantify regional between-group differences in cerebral gray matter development, which were then related to attention measures using multivariate methods. Results: VPT children obtained similar selective (p=.85), but poorer sustained (p=.02) and executive attention (p=.01) scores than FT children. VPT children were also characterized by reduced gray matter in the bilateral parietal, temporal, prefrontal and posterior cingulate cortices, bilateral thalami, and left hippocampus; and increased gray matter in the occipital and anterior cingulate cortices (family-wise error–corrected p<.05). Poorer sustained auditory attention was associated with increased gray matter in the anterior cingulate cortex (p=.04). Poor executive shifting attention was associated with reduced gray matter in the right superior temporal cortex (p=.04) and bilateral thalami (p=.05). Poorer executive divided attention was associated with reduced gray matter in the occipital (p=.001), posterior cingulate (p=.02), and left temporal (p=.01) cortices; and increased gray matter in the anterior cingulate cortex (p=.001). Conclusions: Disturbances in regional gray matter development appear to contribute, at least in part, to the poorer attentional performance of VPT children at school age. (JINS, 2017, 23, 539–550)
Group B streptococcus (GBS) is an increasing cause of disease in adults. We present long-term trends in incidence of overall infections and identify characteristics of patients with GBS cellulitis, bone and joint infections. Active, population-based surveillance was conducted from 1995–2012 in three California counties and the data were analysed retrospectively. All cases had isolation of GBS from a normally sterile site. Cases of cellulitis were classified based on clinical diagnosis. GBS bone or joint infection was defined as isolation of GBS from a bone or joint or a diagnosis of osteomyelitis or septic arthritis. Medical charts were reviewed for demographic and clinical information. There were 3917 cases of GBS; the incidence of disease increased from 5·8 to 8·3 cases/100 000 persons (P < 0·001) from 1995 to 2012. In adults aged ⩾40 years, the overall incidence of GBS increased from 8·5 to 14·2 cases/100 000 (P < 0·001) persons during the study period. The incidence of cellulitis increased from 1·6 to 3·8 cases/100 000 (P < 0·001), bone infection increased from 0·7 to 2·6 cases/100 000 (P < 0·001), and the incidence of joint infection remained approximately constant at an average rate of 1·0 case/100 000. The highest incidence rates were observed in men, persons aged ⩾80 years, non-Hispanic blacks and Hispanics. Diabetes was the most common underlying condition (51·2% cellulitis cases, 76·3% bone infections, 29·8% joint infections).
An epitaxial shell of cadmium sulphide is grown on lead sulphide quantum dots in order to reduce the concentration of surface defects. Thin solid films of these core/shell materials are found to have low carrier concentrations due to effective surface passivation which reduces the number of dangling bonds. In this paper PbS/CdS is used as a quasi-intrinsic layer in p-i-n photovoltaic devices where PbS acts as the p-layer and ZnO the n-layer. By studying different permutations of these layers and the degree of PbS p-type doping by annealing we optimise fill factor and open-circuit voltage.
We introduced a long-term care facility (LTCF) infectious disease (ID) consultation service (LID service) that provides on-site consultations to residents of a Veterans Affairs (VA) LTCF. We determined the impact of the LID service on antimicrobial use and Clostridium difficile infections at the LTCF.
A 160-bed VA LTCF.
Systemic antimicrobial use and positive C. difficile tests at the LTCF were compared for the 36 months before and the 18 months after the initiation of the ID consultation service through segmented regression analysis of an interrupted time series.
Relative to that in the preintervention period, total systemic antibiotic administration decreased by 30% (P<.001), with significant reductions in both oral (32%; P<.001) and intravenous (25%; P = .008) agents. The greatest reductions were seen for tetracyclines (64%; P<.001), clindamycin (61%; P<.001), sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim (38%; P<.001), fluoroquinolones (38%; P<.001), and β lactam/β-lactamase inhibitor combinations (28%; P<.001). The rate of positive C. difficile tests at the LTCF declined in the postintervention period relative to preintervention rates (P = .04).
Implementation of an LTCF ID service led to a significant reduction in total antimicrobial use. Bringing providers with ID expertise to the LTCF represents a new and effective means to achieve antimicrobial stewardship.
Many vector-borne pathogens whose primary vectors are generalists, such as Ixodid ticks, can infect a wide range of host species and are often zoonotic. Understanding their transmission dynamics is important for the development of disease management programmes. Models exist to describe the transmission dynamics of such diseases, but are necessarily simplistic and generally limited by knowledge of vector population dynamics. They are typically deterministic SIR-type models, which predict disease dynamics in a single, non-spatial, closed patch. Here we explore the limitations of such a model of louping-ill virus dynamics by challenging it with novel field data. The model was only partially successful in predicting Ixodes ricinus density and louping-ill virus prevalence at 6 Scottish sites. We extend the existing multi-host model by forming a two-patch model, incorporating the impact of roaming hosts. This demonstrates that host movement may account for some of the discrepancies between the original model and empirical data. We conclude that insights into the dynamics of multi-host vector-borne pathogens can be gained by using a simple two-patch model. Potential improvements to the model, incorporating aspects of spatial and temporal heterogeneity, are outlined.
The results of typing of 121 strains in the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex by PFGE are presented. Every isolate from patients in Scotland over a 3-month period for M. tuberculosis and for 1 year for M. bovis were included along with several laboratory strains including those of BCG. The PFGE results suggest that the population structure of all the strains in this complex is distinctly simple with limited genetic diversity and also suggest that M. bovis is not a distinct species.
In August 1988 an increase was noted in the number of cases of cryptosporidiosis identified by the microbiology laboratory at Doncaster Royal Infirmary. By 31 October, 67 cases had been reported. Preliminary investigations implicated the use of one of two swimming pools at a local sports centre and oocysts were identified in the pool water. Inspection of the pool revealed significant plumbing defects which had allowed ingress of sewage from the main sewer into the circulating pool water. Epidemiological investigation confirmed an association between head immersion and illness. The pools were closed when oocysts were identified in the water and extensive cleaning and repair work was undertaken. The pool water was retested for cryptosporidial oocysts and found to be negative before the pool re-opened.
Six serologically negative sows were infected by intranasal instillation of porcine cytomegalovirus (PCMV) between 31 and 85 days of pregnancy. Four sows showed an afebrile anorexia and lethargy 14–25 days after infection and all 6 developed significant increases in indirect immunofluorescent (IIF) antibody titres within 35 days. Virus was recovered from nasal and/or cervical swabs from 2 sows during life and from lung macrophage cultures after death.
At term the sows were killed and their fetuses harvested by caesarean section. The number of mummified and stillborn fetuses increased from 4/63 in 6 previous litters to 18/60 in the 6 present litters. Nine of 43 fetuses born alive were reared in isolators for up to 6 weeks but the majority were killed for examination on the day of birth. Virus was isolated from 16 piglets from 4 of the 6 litters examined; it was isolated most frequently from lungs and liver but also from spleen, kidney, brain and nasal mucosa. Unsuckled day-old pigs had insignificant IIF titres, irrespective of whether they were excreting virus or not. The 5 congenital excretors which were reared all died within 7 days but no deaths occurred among their 4 litter-mates. Post-natal infection of 2 of these piglets reared in contact with congenitally infected pigs was suggested by the recovery of virus from nasal swabs 17 and 27 days after birth and the subsequent rise in IIF titre to 1/256 by day 42.
The Yabelo–Mega region of southern Ethiopia's Borana region holds two threatened endemic and restricted-range species, the White-tailed Swallow Hirundo megaensis (‘Vulnerable’) and Ethiopian Bush-crow Zavattariornis stresemanni (‘Endangered’). Concern about these species’ conservation status has recently increased owing to rapid alterations to their thornbush savanna habitat. This six-week field study aimed to identify the specific habitat requirements of each species, with a view to understanding how they are likely to be affected by these changes, and to provide baseline quantitative abundance data using simple and repeatable methods. White-tailed Swallows were recorded on an overall 4.7% of transects and point counts, and in all habitats (including villages and farmland) except broadleaved Combretum–Terminalia woodland. Line transects indicated that swallows avoided dense scrub and tree cover, but this was not detected during point counts. Bush-crows were recorded on an overall 16.6% of transects and point counts, and like swallows showed a strong preference for thornbush (Acacia and Commiphora) over broadleaved woodland, avoided dense scrub cover, and were particularly frequent in the vicinity of villages. During point-counts, bush-crows were more frequently encountered inside the nominally protected Yabelo Sanctuary, whereas the reverse was true for White-tailed Swallows. Recent concern about dramatic declines in bush-crow numbers revealed by roadside counts may have been exacerbated by habitat alteration along roads alone, but the species remains under threat from habitat transformation through agricultural expansion, tree felling and bush encroachment.
An aspect which has hindered the development of ferroelectric memories is dielectric fatigue and to resolve this conducting oxides are promising candidates as an electrode material for lead zirconate titanate thin films. In this work ferroelectric films have been grown by pulsed laser deposition on ruthenium oxide electrodes. The phase distribution, microstructure and the effect of subsequent heat treatment have been studied by grazing angle X ray diffraction and electron microscopy; the results and implications for use of RuO2 as the bottom electrode during vapour phase deposition are discussed.
The effect of a randomised controlled withdrawal of home-based care was studied for half of a sample of seriously mentally ill (SMI) patients from an inner London catchment area, compared with the effects of continuing home-based care.
Patients, aged 18–64, had entered the trial at month 0 when facing emergency admission for SMI. After at least 20 months home-based care (Phase I), patients were randomised at month 30 into Phase II (months 30–45) to have either further home-based care (DLPII, n = 33) or be transferred to out-/in-patient care (DLP-control, n = 33). They were assessed at 30, 34, and 45 months. Phase I control patients (n = 10) were assessed again at month 45. Measures used were number and duration of in-patient admissions, independent ratings of clinical and social function, and patients' and relatives' satisfaction.
The slim clinical and social gains from home-based v. out-/in-patient care during Phase I were largely lost in Phase II. Duration of crisis admissions increased from Phase I to Phase II in both DLPII and DLP-control patients. During Phase II, patients' and relatives' satisfaction remained greater for home-based than out-/in-patient care patients. At 45 months, compared with the Phase I controls, DLPII patients and relatives were more satisfied with care. Such satisfaction was independent of clinical/social gains.
The loss of Phase I gains were perhaps due to attenuation of home-based care quality and to benefits of Phase I home-based care lingering into Phase II in DLP-controls. The Phase II home-based care team suffered from low morale.
Forty-four schizophrenic patients were followed up for five years after their first admission to hospital for a first episode of illness. Thirteen (30%) of 43 patients had not relapsed; 28 of the 30 patients who did relapse did so within the first 42 months. The relapses occurred despite antipsychotic drug therapy. Also, 24% of patients had at least one course of ECT. Only 19% of the patients at five years were in open employment; unemployment was strongly associated with relapse. Eighteen per cent had neither relapses nor schizophrenic symptoms at follow-up. Poor outcome at five years was associated with greater psychological distress among relatives at first admission. At five years 43% of relatives continued to show case level psychological stress.