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Although researchers have described numerous risk factors for salmonellosis and for infection with specific common serotypes, the drivers of Salmonella serotype diversity among human populations remain poorly understood. In this retrospective observational study, we partition records of serotyped non-typhoidal Salmonella isolates from human clinical specimens reported to CDC national surveillance by demographic, geographic and seasonal characteristics and adapt sample-based rarefaction methods from the field of community ecology to study how Salmonella serotype diversity varied within and among these populations in the USA during 1996–2016. We observed substantially higher serotype richness in children <2 years old than in older children and adults and steadily increasing richness with age among older adults. Whereas seasonal and regional variation in serotype diversity was highest among infants and young children, variation by specimen source was highest in adults. Our findings suggest that the risk for infection from uncommon serotypes is associated with host and environmental factors, particularly among infants, young children and older adults. These populations may have a higher proportion of illness acquired through environmental transmission pathways than published source attribution models estimate.
Thermal analysts have exploited the sensitivity of carbonate mineral decomposition to furnace atmosphere as a diagnostic tool for identifying and quantifying these minerals in mixtures and solid solutions (1-3). However, thermal analysis techniques alone cannot reveal information about the reaction products after each thermal event. In-situ high temperature x-ray diffraction is one technique that can identify these products. Using this technique, Kissinger et al. (4) identified the reaction products of the thermal decomposition of reagent grade FeCO3 (siderite) and MgCO3 (magnesite). However, the thermal behavior of analytical reagent grade carbonates differs from natural minerals (1). Milodowski and Morgan (5) used in-situ XRD to investigate the thermal behavior of the dolomite-ankerite series.
BACKGROUND: IGTS is a rare phenomenon of paradoxical germ cell tumor (GCT) growth during or following treatment despite normalization of tumor markers. We sought to evaluate the frequency, clinical characteristics and outcome of IGTS in patients in 21 North-American and Australian institutions. METHODS: Patients with IGTS diagnosed from 2000-2017 were retrospectively evaluated. RESULTS: Out of 739 GCT diagnoses, IGTS was identified in 33 patients (4.5%). IGTS occurred in 9/191 (4.7%) mixed-malignant GCTs, 4/22 (18.2%) immature teratomas (ITs), 3/472 (0.6%) germinomas/germinomas with mature teratoma, and in 17 secreting non-biopsied tumours. Median age at GCT diagnosis was 10.9 years (range 1.8-19.4). Male gender (84%) and pineal location (88%) predominated. Of 27 patients with elevated markers, median serum AFP and Beta-HCG were 70 ng/mL (range 9.2-932) and 44 IU/L (range 4.2-493), respectively. IGTS occurred at a median time of 2 months (range 0.5-32) from diagnosis, during chemotherapy in 85%, radiation in 3%, and after treatment completion in 12%. Surgical resection was attempted in all, leading to gross total resection in 76%. Most patients (79%) resumed GCT chemotherapy/radiation after surgery. At a median follow-up of 5.3 years (range 0.3-12), all but 2 patients are alive (1 succumbed to progressive disease, 1 to malignant transformation of GCT). CONCLUSION: IGTS occurred in less than 5% of patients with GCT and most commonly after initiation of chemotherapy. IGTS was more common in patients with IT-only on biopsy than with mixed-malignant GCT. Surgical resection is a principal treatment modality. Survival outcomes for patients who developed IGTS are favourable.
Ultrasound (US) detects synovitis more accurately than clinical examination (CE) in people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). This review aimed to investigate the use of US, compared to CE alone, in treatment strategies for RA, and to estimate its potential to be cost-effective in making treatment decisions.
A systematic review was conducted of studies: investigating RA treatment response or strategies that compared US with CE-assessed synovitis; and of tapering RA treatment (1). A model was constructed to investigate the potential cost-effectiveness of US in (i) selecting patients suitable for treatment tapering; and (ii) avoiding treatment escalation (2).
Seven prospective cohort studies suggested US-detected synovitis was significantly associated with a treatment response or tapering failure, whereas in most cases clinical examination alone was not. Two randomized controlled trials (RCTs) identified suggested that US added to the Disease Activity Index (DAS)-based treatment strategies but did not significantly improve primary outcomes, but was associated with improved rate of DAS remission. The evidence showed that some patients (proportions varied widely) who had achieved low disease activity could have treatment tapered, with no, or little, short-term harm to the patient.
The model estimated that an average reduction of 2.5 percent in the costs of biological disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug (bDMARDs) was sufficient to cover the costs of performing US every three months. This value increased to 4 percent and 13 percent for the costs of conventional disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug (cDMARDs) depending on the assumed regimen.
Use of US to monitor synovitis could potentially be a cost-effective approach, given that low proportions of patients for whom clinicians consider amending treatment, would need to taper treatment, or remain on therapy without escalation. US could provide clinicians with more confidence in reducing the drug burden. However, there is considerable uncertainty in this conclusion due to lack of robust data relating to key parameters.
Insulin-like growth factor-1 has been positively associated components of growth in pigs, such as protein deposition. Therefore, serum insulin-like growth factor-1 concentration (IGF-1) was measured in lines of pigs divergently selected for daily food intake (DFI) or for efficient lean growth rate (LGS) to determine if there was a non-zero genetic association between IGF-1 and the selection criteria. If a genetic association did exist, then IGF-1 could be used as a physiological predictor of genetic merit in a breeding programme. The presence of a major gene effect on IGF-1 was also examined in the study.
Evidence suggests that autism and schizophrenia share similarities in genetic, neuropsychological and behavioural aspects. Although both disorders are associated with theory of mind (ToM) impairments, a few studies have directly compared ToM between autism patients and schizophrenia patients. This study aimed to investigate to what extent high-functioning autism patients and schizophrenia patients share and differ in ToM performance.
Thirty high-functioning autism patients, 30 schizophrenia patients and 30 healthy individuals were recruited. Participants were matched in age, gender and estimated intelligence quotient. The verbal-based Faux Pas Task and the visual-based Yoni Task were utilised to examine first- and higher-order, affective and cognitive ToM. The task/item difficulty of two paradigms was examined using mixed model analyses of variance (ANOVAs). Multiple ANOVAs and mixed model ANOVAs were used to examine group differences in ToM.
The Faux Pas Task was more difficult than the Yoni Task. High-functioning autism patients showed more severely impaired verbal-based ToM in the Faux Pas Task, but shared similar visual-based ToM impairments in the Yoni Task with schizophrenia patients.
The findings that individuals with high-functioning autism shared similar but more severe impairments in verbal ToM than individuals with schizophrenia support the autism–schizophrenia continuum. The finding that verbal-based but not visual-based ToM was more impaired in high-functioning autism patients than schizophrenia patients could be attributable to the varied task/item difficulty between the two paradigms.
Introduction: In 2008 British Columbia created a nurse (RN) staffed telephone triage service, (TTS) to provide timely advice to non-911 callers (811). A perception exists that some callers are inappropriately directed to emergency departments (EDs) thereby worsening crowding. We sought to determine whether supplementary emergency physician (EP) triage would decrease ED visits while preserving caller safety and satisfaction. Methods: TTS RNs use computer algorithms and judgment to triage callers. Potentially sick callers are directed to “seek care now” (red calls). Often this is to an ED depending on acuity and time of day. In the Vancouver Health Region from April-September 2016 between 8:00-24:00 hours, a co-located EP also spoke with “red” callers to provide further guidance. Callers were followed up with 1 week and satisfaction was evaluated on a 5-point Likert scale. The TTS data was linked to the regional ED database to assess ED attendance within 7 days, and the provincial vital statistics database for 30-day mortality. Our primary outcome was the proportion of unique “red” callers who did not attend the ED compared with a historical cohort one year earlier without EP triage in place. Secondary outcomes were the proportion of “red” callers advised not to attend the ED but (a) attended, (b) admitted, or (c) died. Results: In the study period there were 5105 “red” calls of which 3440 were transferred to the EP (67.4%), 2958 of EP assessed callers (86.0%) had a family doctor, but only one-quarter of such patients could contact their family doctor. Overall, 2301/3440 “red” callers did not attend an ED (67.0%) compared to 2508/4770 in the control period (52.6%), for an absolute reduction of 14.4% (95% CI 12.2 to 16.4%, p<0.0001). In callers for those <17 years old there was a 20.3% (95% CI 16.5 to 24.1%) reduction in ED visits compared to the control group: 771/1520 (50.7%) vs 364/1067 (30.4%). 40% of callers attending an ED (458/1139) were advised to try non-ED follow up by the MD and 108 (9.5%) were admitted, with no difference in 30-day mortality between groups. Age and CTAS distribution were similar between the two groups and the non MD-transferred cohort. Mean caller satisfaction was excellent (4.7/5.0). Conclusion: EP supplementation of a RN advice service has the potential to reduce ED visits by almost 15% while providing excellent safety and satisfaction.
Improving neurocognitive outcomes following treatment for brain metastases have become increasingly important. We propose that a brief telephone-based neurocognitive assessment may improve follow-up cognitive assessments in this palliative population. Aim: To prospectively assess the feasibility and reliability of a telephone based brief neurocognitive assessment compared to the same tests delivered face-to-face. Methods: Brain metastases patients to be treated with whole brain radiotherapy (WBRT) were assessed using a brief validated neurocognitive battery at baseline, at 1 month and 3 months following WBRT (in person and over the phone). The primary outcome was feasibility and inter-procedural (in person versus telephone) reliability. The secondary objective was to evaluate the change in neurocognitive function before and after WBRT. Results: Out of 39 patients enrolled, 82% of patients completed the baseline in-person and telephone neurocognitive assessments. However, at 1 month, only 41% of enrolled patients completed the in-person and telephone cognitive assessments and at 3 months, only 10% of patients completed them. Results pertaining to reliability and change in neurocognitive function will be updated. Conclusion: The pre-defined definition of feasibility (at least 80% completion for face to face and telephone neurocognitive assessments) was met at baseline. However, a large proportion of participants did not complete either telephone or in person neurocognitive follow-up at 1 month and at 3 months post-WBRT. Attrition remained a challenge for neurocognitive testing in this population even when a telephone-based brief assessment was used.
During the past three years radiocarbon assay has emerged as a primary tool in the quantitative assignment of sources of urban and rural particulate pollution. Its use in several major field studies has come about because of its excellent (fossil/biogenic) discriminating power, because of advances in 14C measurements of small samples, and because of the increased significance of carbonaceous particles in the atmosphere. The problem is especially important in the cities, where increased concentrations of fine particles lead to pollution episodes characterized by poor visibility and changes in the radiation balance (absorption, scattering), and immediate and possibly long-term health effects. Efforts in source apportionment in such affected areas have been based on emissions inventories, dispersion modeling, and receptor modeling – ie, chemical and physical (and statistical) characterization of particles collected at designated receptor sites. It is in the last category that 14C has become quite effective in helping to resolve particle sources. Results are presented for studies carried out in Los Angeles, Denver, and Houston which incorporated 14C measurements, inorganic and organic chemical characterization, and receptor modeling. The 14C data indicated wide ranging contributions of biogenic and fossil carbon sources – eg, <10% to 60% contemporary (biogenic) in Houston – depending on meteorological, biological, and anthropological activity. The combined (chemical, isotopic, statistical) data point to sources such as vehicles, wood combustion, power plants, and vegetation.
The current Ebola virus disease (EVD) epidemic in West Africa is unprecedented in scale, and Sierra Leone is the most severely affected country. The case fatality risk (CFR) and hospitalization fatality risk (HFR) were used to characterize the severity of infections in confirmed and probable EVD cases in Sierra Leone. Proportional hazards regression models were used to investigate factors associated with the risk of death in EVD cases. In total, there were 17 318 EVD cases reported in Sierra Leone from 23 May 2014 to 31 January 2015. Of the probable and confirmed EVD cases with a reported final outcome, a total of 2536 deaths and 886 recoveries were reported. CFR and HFR estimates were 74·2% [95% credibility interval (CrI) 72·6–75·5] and 68·9% (95% CrI 66·2–71·6), respectively. Risks of death were higher in the youngest (0–4 years) and oldest (⩾60 years) age groups, and in the calendar month of October 2014. Sex and occupational status did not significantly affect the mortality of EVD. The CFR and HFR estimates of EVD were very high in Sierra Leone.
To examine the association between cardiorespiratory fitness and dietary patterns in adolescents.
Food choice was assessed using the validated New Zealand Adolescent FFQ. Principal components analysis was used to determine dietary patterns. Trained research assistants measured participants’ height and body mass. Cardiorespiratory fitness was assessed in a subset of participants using the multistage 20 m shuttle run. The level and stage were recorded, and the corresponding VO2max was calculated. Differences in mean VO2max according to sex and BMI were assessed using t tests, while associations between cardiorespiratory fitness and dietary patterns were examined using linear regression analyses adjusted for age, sex, school attended, socio-economic deprivation and BMI.
Secondary schools in Otago, New Zealand.
Students (n 279) aged 14–18 years who completed an online lifestyle survey during a class period.
Principal components analysis produced three dietary patterns: ‘Treat Foods’, ‘Fruits and Vegetables’ and ‘Basic Foods’. The 279 participants who provided questionnaire data and completed cardiorespiratory fitness testing had a mean age of 15·7 (sd 0·9) years. Mean VO2max was 45·8 (sd 6·9) ml/kg per min. The ‘Fruits and Vegetables’ pattern was positively associated with VO2max in the total sample (β=0·04; 95 %CI 0·02, 0·07), girls (β=0·06; 95 % CI 0·03, 0·10) and boys (β=0·03; 95 % CI 0·01, 0·05).
These results indicate that increase in cardiorespiratory fitness was associated with a healthier dietary pattern, suggesting both should be targeted as part of a global lifestyle approach. Longitudinal studies are needed to confirm this association in relation to health outcomes in New Zealand adolescents.
To examine the potential associations between diet quality and multiple measures of body composition in a sample of New Zealand adolescents aged 14–18 years.
Cross-sectional survey of eleven high schools in Otago, New Zealand. Each participant completed an online FFQ and a New Zealand Diet Quality Index for Adolescents (NZDQI-A) score was calculated based on variety and adequacy of intake for five major food groups. Besides height and waist circumference measurements, body composition was assessed using segmental bio-impedance analysis. Generalized estimating equations were used to examine associations between diet quality and body composition in models adjusted for sex, age, ethnicity and socio-economic status.
High schools in Otago, New Zealand.
High-school students (n 681, 56 % male, mean age 16·1 (sd 1·5) years) participating in the Otago School Students Lifestyle Survey Two.
Higher NZDQI-A scores were significantly associated with lower body fat percentage (β=−0·19; 95 % CI −0·35, −0·04; P=0·014), fat-to-lean mass ratio (β=−0·26; 95 % CI −0·46, −0·05; P=0·016) and lower fat mass index (β=−0·23; 95 % CI −0·45, −0·004; P=0·046) after multivariate adjustment. No association was found between NZDQI-A and BMI, waist circumference or waist-to-height ratio.
Diet quality, as measured by NZDQI-A, was associated only with measures of body fat, not measures of overall body size. Measures specific to body fat should be used for more accurate ascertainment of body composition in examining the diet–body composition associations in this age group.