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Both blood- and milk-based biomarkers have been analysed for decades in research settings, although often only in one herd, and without focus on the variation in the biomarkers that are specifically related to herd or diet. Biomarkers can be used to detect physiological imbalance and disease risk and may have a role in precision livestock farming (PLF). For use in PLF, it is important to quantify normal variation in specific biomarkers and the source of this variation. The objective of this study was to estimate the between- and within-herd variation in a number of blood metabolites (β-hydroxybutyrate (BHB), non-esterified fatty acids, glucose and serum IGF-1), milk metabolites (free glucose, glucose-6-phosphate, urea, isocitrate, BHB and uric acid), milk enzymes (lactate dehydrogenase and N-acetyl-β-D-glucosaminidase (NAGase)) and composite indicators for metabolic imbalances (Physiological Imbalance-index and energy balance), to help facilitate their adoption within PLF. Blood and milk were sampled from 234 Holstein dairy cows from 6 experimental herds, each in a different European country, and offered a total of 10 different diets. Blood was sampled on 2 occasions at approximately 14 days-in-milk (DIM) and 35 DIM. Milk samples were collected twice weekly (in total 2750 samples) from DIM 1 to 50. Multilevel random regression models were used to estimate the variance components and to calculate the intraclass correlations (ICCs). The ICCs for the milk metabolites, when adjusted for parity and DIM at sampling, demonstrated that between 12% (glucose-6-phosphate) and 46% (urea) of the variation in the metabolites’ levels could be associated with the herd-diet combination. Intraclass Correlations related to the herd-diet combination were generally higher for blood metabolites, from 17% (cholesterol) to approximately 46% (BHB and urea). The high ICCs for urea suggest that this biomarker can be used for monitoring on herd level. The low variance within cow for NAGase indicates that few samples would be needed to describe the status and potentially a general reference value could be used. The low ICC for most of the biomarkers and larger within cow variation emphasises that multiple samples would be needed - most likely on the individual cows - for making the biomarkers useful for monitoring. The majority of biomarkers were influenced by parity and DIM which indicate that these should be accounted for if the biomarker should be used for monitoring.
Analysis of human remains and a copper band found in the center of a Late Archaic (ca. 5000–3000 cal BP) shell ring demonstrate an exchange network between the Great Lakes and the coastal southeast United States. Similarities in mortuary practices suggest that the movement of objects between these two regions was more direct and unmediated than archaeologists previously assumed based on “down-the-line” models of exchange. These findings challenge prevalent notions that view preagricultural Native American communities as relatively isolated from one another and suggest instead that wide social networks spanned much of North America thousands of years before the advent of domestication.
Paediatric hearing loss rates in Ghana are currently unknown.
A cross-sectional study was conducted in peri-urban Kumasi, Ghana; children (aged 3–15 years) were recruited from randomly selected households. Selected children underwent otoscopic examination prior to in-community pure tone screening using the portable ShoeBox audiometer. The LittlEars auditory questionnaire was also administered to caregivers and parents.
Data were collected from 387 children. After conditioning, 362 children were screened using monaural pure tones presented at 25 dB. Twenty-five children could not be conditioned to behavioural audiometric screening. Eight children were referred based on audiometric screening results. Of those, four were identified as having hearing loss. Four children scored less than the maximum mark of 35 on the LittleEars questionnaire. Of those, three had hearing loss as identified through pure tone screening. The predominant physical finding on otoscopy was ear canal cerumen impaction.
Paediatric hearing loss is prevalent in Ghana, and should be treated as a public health problem warranting further evaluation and epidemiology characterisation.
To assess variability in antimicrobial use and associations with infection testing in pediatric ventilator-associated events (VAEs).
Descriptive retrospective cohort with nested case-control study.
Pediatric intensive care units (PICUs), cardiac intensive care units (CICUs), and neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) in 6 US hospitals.
Children≤18 years ventilated for≥1 calendar day.
We identified patients with pediatric ventilator-associated conditions (VACs), pediatric VACs with antimicrobial use for≥4 days (AVACs), and possible ventilator-associated pneumonia (PVAP, defined as pediatric AVAC with a positive respiratory diagnostic test) according to previously proposed criteria.
Among 9,025 ventilated children, we identified 192 VAC cases, 43 in CICUs, 70 in PICUs, and 79 in NICUs. AVAC criteria were met in 79 VAC cases (41%) (58% CICU; 51% PICU; and 23% NICU), and varied by hospital (CICU, 20–67%; PICU, 0–70%; and NICU, 0–43%). Type and duration of AVAC antimicrobials varied by ICU type. AVAC cases in CICUs and PICUs received broad-spectrum antimicrobials more often than those in NICUs. Among AVAC cases, 39% had respiratory infection diagnostic testing performed; PVAP was identified in 15 VAC cases. Also, among AVAC cases, 73% had no associated positive respiratory or nonrespiratory diagnostic test.
Antimicrobial use is common in pediatric VAC, with variability in spectrum and duration of antimicrobials within hospitals and across ICU types, while PVAP is uncommon. Prolonged antimicrobial use despite low rates of PVAP or positive laboratory testing for infection suggests that AVAC may provide a lever for antimicrobial stewardship programs to improve utilization.
Improving milk nitrogen efficiency through a reduction of CP supply without detrimental effect on productivity requires usage of feeding systems estimating both the flows of digestible protein, the exported true proteins and from these predict milk protein yield (MPY). Five feeding systems were compared in their ability to predict MPY v. observed MPY in two studies where either protein supply or protein and energy supply were changed. The five feedings systems were: Cornell Net Carbohydrate and Protein System (v6.5.5), Dutch protein evaluation system (1991 and 2007), Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique in France (INRA), National Research Council and NorFor. The key characteristic of the systems with the best predicted MPY was the inclusion of a variable efficiency of utilisation of protein supply taking into account the supply of both protein and energy. The systems still using a fixed efficiency had the highest slope bias in their prediction of MPY. Therefore, the development of new feeding systems or improvement of existing systems should include a variable efficiency of utilisation of the protein related to both the protein and energy supply. The limitation of the current comparison did not allow determining if additional factors, as used in INRA, were beneficial. This concept should also probably be transferred to essential amino acids.
Unbalanced metabolic status in the weeks after calving predisposes dairy cows to metabolic and infectious diseases. Blood glucose, IGF-I, non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA) and β-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) are used as indicators of the metabolic status of cows. This work aims to (1) evaluate the potential of milk mid-IR spectra to predict these blood components individually and (2) to evaluate the possibility of predicting the metabolic status of cows based on the clustering of these blood components. Blood samples were collected from 241 Holstein cows on six experimental farms, at days 14 and 35 after calving. Blood samples were analyzed by reference analysis and metabolic status was defined by k-means clustering (k=3) based on the four blood components. Milk mid-IR analyses were undertaken on different instruments and the spectra were harmonized into a common standardized format. Quantitative models predicting blood components were developed using partial least squares regression and discriminant models aiming to differentiate the metabolic status were developed with partial least squares discriminant analysis. Cross-validations were performed for both quantitative and discriminant models using four subsets randomly constituted. Blood glucose, IGF-I, NEFA and BHB were predicted with respective R2 of calibration of 0.55, 0.69, 0.49 and 0.77, and R2 of cross-validation of 0.44, 0.61, 0.39 and 0.70. Although these models were not able to provide precise quantitative values, they allow for screening of individual milk samples for high or low values. The clustering methodology led to the sharing out of the data set into three groups of cows representing healthy, moderately impacted and imbalanced metabolic status. The discriminant models allow to fairly classify the three groups, with a global percentage of correct classification up to 74%. When discriminating the cows with imbalanced metabolic status from cows with healthy and moderately impacted metabolic status, the models were able to distinguish imbalanced group with a global percentage of correct classification up to 92%. The performances were satisfactory considering the variables are not present in milk, and consequently predicted indirectly. This work showed the potential of milk mid-IR analysis to provide new metabolic status indicators based on individual blood components or a combination of these variables into a global status. Models have been developed within a standardized spectral format, and although robustness should preferably be improved with additional data integrating different geographic regions, diets and breeds, they constitute rapid, cost-effective and large-scale tools for management and breeding of dairy cows.
Avian influenza virus (AIV) subtypes H5 and H7 can infect poultry causing low pathogenicity (LP) AI, but these LPAIVs may mutate to highly pathogenic AIV in chickens or turkeys causing high mortality, hence H5/H7 subtypes demand statutory intervention. Serological surveillance in the European Union provides evidence of H5/H7 AIV exposure in apparently healthy poultry. To identify the most sensitive screening method as the first step in an algorithm to provide evidence of H5/H7 AIV infection, the standard approach of H5/H7 antibody testing by haemagglutination inhibition (HI) was compared with an ELISA, which detects antibodies to all subtypes. Sera (n = 1055) from 74 commercial chicken flocks were tested by both methods. A Bayesian approach served to estimate diagnostic test sensitivities and specificities, without assuming any ‘gold standard’. Sensitivity and specificity of the ELISA was 97% and 99.8%, and for H5/H7 HI 43% and 99.8%, respectively, although H5/H7 HI sensitivity varied considerably between infected flocks. ELISA therefore provides superior sensitivity for the screening of chicken flocks as part of an algorithm, which subsequently utilises H5/H7 HI to identify infection by these two subtypes. With the calculated sensitivity and specificity, testing nine sera per flock is sufficient to detect a flock seroprevalence of 30% with 95% probability.
To achieve functional but also productive females, we hypothesised that it is possible to modulate acquisition and allocation of animals from different genetic types by varying the main energy source of the diet. To test this hypothesis, we used 203 rabbit females belonging to three genetic types: H (n=66), a maternal line characterised by hyper-prolificacy; LP (n=67), a maternal line characterised by functional hyper-longevity; R (n=79), a paternal line characterised by growth rate. Females were fed with two isoenergetic and isoprotein diets differing in energy source: animal fat (AF) enhancing milk yield; cereal starch (CS) promoting body reserves recovery. Feed intake, weight, perirenal fat thickness (PFT), milk yield and blood traits were controlled during five consecutive reproductive cycles (RCs). Females fed with CS presented higher PFT (+0.2 mm, P<0.05) and those fed AF had higher milk yield (+11.7%, P<0.05). However, the effect of energy source varied with the genetic type and time. For example, R females presented a decrease in PFT at late lactation (−4.3%; P<0.05) significantly higher than that observed for H and LP lines (on av. −0.1%; P>0.05), particularly for those fed with AF. Moreover, LP females fed with AF progressively increased PFT across the RC, whereas those fed with CS increased PFT during early lactation (+7.3%; P<0.05), but partially mobilised it during late lactation (−2.8%; P<0.05). Independently of the diet offered, LP females reached weaning with similar PFT. H females fed with either of the two diets followed a similar trajectory throughout the RC. For milk yield, the effect of energy source was almost constant during the whole experiment, except for the first RC of females from the maternal lines (H and LP). These females yielded +34.1% (P<0.05) when fed with CS during this period. Results from this work indicate that the resource acquisition capacity and allocation pattern of rabbit females is different for each genetic type. Moreover, it seems that by varying the main energy source of the diet it is possible to modulate acquisition and allocation of resources of the different genetic types. However, the response of each one depends on its priorities over time.
Literature suggests an association between loneliness and mortality for both males and females. Yet, the linkage of loneliness to mortality is not thoroughly examined, and need to be replicated with a long follow-up time. This study assessed the association between loneliness and mortality, including associations to gender, in 1363 adult swedes.
This community-based prospective cohort study from the Swedish Lundby Study included 1363 individuals of whom 296 individuals (21.7%) were identified as lonely with use of semi-structured interviews in 1997. The cohort was followed until 2011 and survival analyses were used to estimate the relative risk of death.
Death occurred with an incidence rate of 2.63 per 100 person-years and 2.09 per 100 person-years for lonely and non-lonely individuals, respectively. In crude analysis, loneliness was associated with a significant increased mortality risk of 27% compared with non-lonely individuals [hazard ratio (HR) 1.27; 95% CI 1.01–1.60]. Unadjusted, lonely females had a significant increased risk (HR 1.76; 95% CI 1.31–2.34) and adjusted insignificant increased mortality risk of 27% (HR 1.27; 95% CI 0.92–1.74), compared with non-lonely females. Lonely males were found to have an adjusted significant decreased risk of mortality (HR 0.50; 95% CI 0.32–0.80), compared with non-lonely males.
Findings suggest an association between loneliness and increased risk of mortality and that gender differences may exist, which have not been previously reported. If replicated, our results indicate that loneliness may have differential physical implications in some subgroups. Future studies are needed to further investigate the influence of gender on the relationship.
The spread of African swine fever virus (ASFV) threatens to reach further parts of Europe. In countries with a large swine production, an outbreak of ASF may result in devastating economic consequences for the swine industry. Simulation models can assist decision makers setting up contingency plans. This creates a need for estimation of parameters. This study presents a new analysis of a previously published study. A full likelihood framework is presented including the impact of model assumptions on the estimated transmission parameters. As animals were only tested every other day, an interpretation was introduced to cover the weighted infectiousness on unobserved days for the individual animals (WIU). Based on our model and the set of assumptions, the within- and between-pen transmission parameters were estimated to βw = 1·05 (95% CI 0·62–1·72), βb = 0·46 (95% CI 0·17–1·00), respectively, and the WIU = 1·00 (95% CI 0–1). Furthermore, we simulated the spread of ASFV within a pig house using a modified SEIR-model to establish the time from infection of one animal until ASFV is detected in the herd. Based on a chosen detection limit of 2·55% equivalent to 10 dead pigs out of 360, the disease would be detected 13–19 days after introduction.
We performed spectroscopy of globular clusters associated with NGC 1399 and measured radial velocities of about 450 clusters, the largest sample ever obtained for dynamical studies. In this progress report, we present the sample and the first preliminary results. Red and blue clusters have slightly different velocity dispersions in accordance with their different density profiles in the case of a spherical and isotropic model. We then measure a constant circular velocity of 422 ± 20 km/s, which agrees well with that of the inner luminous component.
Maternal exposures to fever and infections in pregnancy have been linked to subsequent psychiatric morbidity in the child. This study examined whether fever and common infections in pregnancy were associated with psychosis-like experiences (PLEs) in the child.
A longitudinal study of 46 184 children who participated in the 11-year follow-up of the Danish National Birth Cohort was conducted. Pregnant women were enrolled between 1996 and 2002 and information on fever, genitourinary infections, respiratory tract infection, and influenza-like illness during pregnancy was prospectively collected in two interviews during pregnancy. PLEs were assessed using the seven-item Adolescent Psychotic-Like Symptom Screener in a web-based questionnaire completed by the children themselves at age 11.
PLEs were reported among 11% of the children. Multinomial logistic regression models with probability weights to adjust for potential selection bias due to attrition suggested that maternal fever, genitourinary infections and influenza-like illness were associated with a weak to moderate increased risk of subclinical psychosis-like symptoms in the offspring, whereas respiratory tract infections were not. No clear pattern was observed between the strengths of the associations and the timing of exposure, or the type of psychosis-like symptom.
In this study, maternal exposures to fevers and common infections in pregnancy were generally associated with a subtle excess risk of PLEs in the child. A more pronounced association was found for influenza-like illness under an a priori definition, leaving open the possibility that certain kinds of infections may constitute important risk factors.
Our previous work revealed substantial heterogeneity in the cognitive profile of bipolar disorder (BD) due to the presence of three underlying cognitive subgroups characterized as: globally impaired, selectively impaired, or cognitively intact. In an effort to determine whether these subgroups are differentially related to genetic risk for the illness, we investigated whether cognitive deficits were more pronounced in unaffected siblings (UAS) of BD probands within identified clusters.
Cluster analysis was used to identify cognitive clusters in BD (N = 60). UAS (N = 49) were classified into groups according to their proband sibling's cluster assignment; comparisons were made across all clusters and healthy controls (HCs; N = 71).
Three cognitive clusters in BD emerged: a globally impaired (36.7%), a selectively impaired (30%), and a cognitively intact cluster (33.3%). UAS showed a qualitatively similar pattern to their BD siblings; UAS of the globally impaired BD cluster showed verbal memory and general cognitive impairments relative to HCs. In contrast, UAS of the other two clusters did not differ from HCs.
This study corroborates findings from prior work regarding the presence of cognitive heterogeneity in BD. UAS of subjects in the globally impaired BD cluster presented with a qualitatively similar cognitive profile to their siblings and performed worse than all other BD clusters and UAS groups. This suggests that inherited risk factors may be contributing to cognitive deficits more notably in one subgroup of patients with BD, pointing toward differential causes of cognitive deficits in discrete subgroups of patients with the disorder.
Background: Verbal memory (VM) impairment is prominent in bipolar disorder (BD) and is linked to functional outcomes. However, the intricacies of VM impairment have not yet been studied in a large sample of BD patients. Moreover, some have proposed VM deficits that may be mediated by organizational strategies, such as semantic or serial clustering. Thus, the exact nature of VM break-down in BD patients is not well understood, limiting remediation efforts. We investigated the intricacies of VM deficits in BD patients versus healthy controls (HCs) and examined whether verbal learning differences were mediated by use of clustering strategies. Methods: The California Verbal Learning Test (CVLT) was administered to 113 affectively stable BD patients and 106 HCs. We compared diagnostic groups on all CVLT indices and investigated whether group differences in verbal learning were mediated by clustering strategies. Results: Although BD patients showed significantly poorer attention, learning, and memory, these indices were only mildly impaired. However, BD patients evidenced poorer use of effective learning strategies and lower recall consistency, with these indices falling in the moderately impaired range. Moreover, relative reliance on semantic clustering fully mediated the relationship between diagnostic category and verbal learning, while reliance on serial clustering partially mediated this relationship. Conclusions: VM deficits in affectively stable bipolar patients were widespread but were generally mildly impaired. However, patients displayed inadequate use of organizational strategies with clear separation from HCs on semantic and serial clustering. Remediation efforts may benefit from education about mnemonic devices or “chunking” techniques to attenuate VM deficits in BD. (JINS, 2017, 23, 358–366)
A relatively lightweight and simple airborne system for surface elevation profiling of glaciers in narrow mountain valleys has been developed and tested. The aircraft position is determined by kinematic global positioning system (GPS) methods. The distance to the glacier surface is determined with a laser ranger. The accuracy is about 0.3 m, sufficient to permit future changes to be observed over short time intervals. Long-term changes can be estimated by comparison of profiles with existing maps. Elevation profiles obtained in 1993–94 from three glaciers in central and south-central Alaska are compared with maps made about 1950. The resulting area-averaged, seasonally corrected thickness changes during the interval are: Gulkana Glacier (central Alaska Range)–11 m, Worthington Glacier (central Chugach Mountains) +7 m, and Bear Lake Glacier (Kenai Mountains) −12 m. All three glaciers retreated during the interval of comparison. The estimated uncertainty in the average thickness change is ±5 m. which is mainly due to errors in the existing maps. Constraints on the accuracy of the maps are obtained by profiling in proglacial areas.
An erosion rate of 0.5 to 0.6 mm a−1 is deduced for a Younger Dryas cirque glacier. The erosion period of 700 a was determined from the laminated glaciolacustrine sediments in a small lake just outside the end moraine of the cirque and radiocarbon dates obtained below and above these sediments. The volume of eroded bedrock was calculated from measurements of the deposited sediments, of which the end moraine, the glaciofluvial delta, and the glaciolacustrine sediments are most important. With a constant erosion rate, the cirque could have formed in 83 to 125 000 a.
A transverse profile of velocity was measured across Ice Stream B, West Antarctica, in order to determine the role of the margins in the force balance of an active ice stream. The profile extended from near the ice-stream center line, through a marginal shear zone and on to the slow-moving ice sheet. The velocity profile exhibits a high degree of shear deformation within a marginal zone, where intense, chaotic crevassing occurs. Detailed analysis of the profile, using analytical and numerical models of ice flow, leads to the following conclusions regarding the roles of the bed and the margins in ice-stream dynamics:
(i)The overall resistive drag on the ice stream is partitioned nearly equally between the margins and the bed and, thus, both are important in the force balance of the ice stream.
(ii)The ice within the chaotic zone must be about 10 times softer than the ice in the central part of the ice stream.
(iii)The average basal shear stress is 0.06 × 105 Pa. This implies that the entire bed cannot be blanketed by the weak, deformable till observed by Engelhardt and others (1990) near the center of the ice stream — there must be regions of increased basal drag.
(iv)High strain rates and shear stresses in the marginal zones indicate that strain heating in the margins may be significant.
While the exact quantitative values leading to these conclusions are somewhat model and location-dependent, the overall conclusions are robust. As such, they are likely to have importance for ice-stream dynamics in general.
Adult ventilator-associated event (VAE) definitions include ventilator-associated conditions (VAC) and subcategories for infection-related ventilator-associated complications (IVAC) and possible ventilator-associated pneumonia (PVAP). We explored these definitions for children.
Pediatric, cardiac, or neonatal intensive care units (ICUs) in 6 US hospitals
Patients ≤18 years old ventilated for ≥1 day
We identified patients with pediatric VAC based on previously proposed criteria. We applied adult temperature, white blood cell count, antibiotic, and culture criteria for IVAC and PVAP to these patients. We matched pediatric VAC patients with controls and evaluated associations with adverse outcomes using Cox proportional hazards models.
In total, 233 pediatric VACs (12,167 ventilation episodes) were identified. In the cardiac ICU (CICU), 62.5% of VACs met adult IVAC criteria; in the pediatric ICU (PICU), 54.2% of VACs met adult IVAC criteria; and in the neonatal ICU (NICU), 20.2% of VACs met adult IVAC criteria. Most patients had abnormal white blood cell counts and temperatures; we therefore recommend simplifying surveillance by focusing on “pediatric VAC with antimicrobial use” (pediatric AVAC). Pediatric AVAC with a positive respiratory diagnostic test (“pediatric PVAP”) occurred in 8.9% of VACs in the CICU, 13.3% of VACs in the PICU, and 4.3% of VACs in the NICU. Hospital mortality was increased, and hospital and ICU length of stay and duration of ventilation were prolonged among all pediatric VAE subsets compared with controls.
We propose pediatric AVAC for surveillance related to antimicrobial use, with pediatric PVAP as a subset of AVAC. Studies on generalizability and responsiveness of these metrics to quality improvement initiatives are needed, as are studies to determine whether lower pediatric VAE rates are associated with improvements in other outcomes.