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We evaluated the impact of an electronic health record based 72-hour antimicrobial time-out (ATO) on antimicrobial utilization. We observed that 6 hours after the ATO, 21% of empiric antimicrobials were discontinued or de-escalated. There was a significant reduction in the duration of antimicrobial therapy but no impact on overall antimicrobial usage metrics.
The role that vitamin D plays in pulmonary function remains uncertain. Epidemiological studies reported mixed findings for serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D)–pulmonary function association. We conducted the largest cross-sectional meta-analysis of the 25(OH)D–pulmonary function association to date, based on nine European ancestry (EA) cohorts (n 22 838) and five African ancestry (AA) cohorts (n 4290) in the Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology Consortium. Data were analysed using linear models by cohort and ancestry. Effect modification by smoking status (current/former/never) was tested. Results were combined using fixed-effects meta-analysis. Mean serum 25(OH)D was 68 (sd 29) nmol/l for EA and 49 (sd 21) nmol/l for AA. For each 1 nmol/l higher 25(OH)D, forced expiratory volume in the 1st second (FEV1) was higher by 1·1 ml in EA (95 % CI 0·9, 1·3; P<0·0001) and 1·8 ml (95 % CI 1·1, 2·5; P<0·0001) in AA (Prace difference=0·06), and forced vital capacity (FVC) was higher by 1·3 ml in EA (95 % CI 1·0, 1·6; P<0·0001) and 1·5 ml (95 % CI 0·8, 2·3; P=0·0001) in AA (Prace difference=0·56). Among EA, the 25(OH)D–FVC association was stronger in smokers: per 1 nmol/l higher 25(OH)D, FVC was higher by 1·7 ml (95 % CI 1·1, 2·3) for current smokers and 1·7 ml (95 % CI 1·2, 2·1) for former smokers, compared with 0·8 ml (95 % CI 0·4, 1·2) for never smokers. In summary, the 25(OH)D associations with FEV1 and FVC were positive in both ancestries. In EA, a stronger association was observed for smokers compared with never smokers, which supports the importance of vitamin D in vulnerable populations.
Entamoeba histolytica is an enteric parasite that infects approximately 50 million people worldwide. Although E. histolytica is a zoonotic parasite that has the potential to infect nonhuman primates, such transmission is poorly understood. Consequently, this study examined whether E. histolytica is present among humans, chimpanzees and baboons living in the Greater Gombe Ecosystem (GGE), Tanzania. The primary aims were to determine patterns of E. histolytica infection in a system with human-nonhuman primate overlap and to test associations between infection status and potential risk factors of disease. Entamoeba spp. occurred in 60.3% of human, 65.6% of chimpanzee and 88.6% of baboon samples. Entamoeba histolytica occurred in 12.1% of human, 34.1% of chimpanzee and 10.9% of baboon samples. Human E. histolytica infection was associated with gastrointestinal symptoms. This was the first study to confirm the presence of E. histolytica in the GGE. The high sample prevalence of E. histolytica in three sympatric primates suggests that zoonotic transmission is possible and stresses the need for further phylogenetic studies. Interventions targeting better sanitation and hygiene practices for humans living in the GGE can help prevent E. histolytica infection in humans, while also protecting the endangered chimpanzees and other primates in this region.
Hill (Twin Research and Human Genetics, Vol. 21, 2018, 84–88) presented a critique of our recently published paper in Cell Reports entitled ‘Large-Scale Cognitive GWAS Meta-Analysis Reveals Tissue-Specific Neural Expression and Potential Nootropic Drug Targets’ (Lam et al., Cell Reports, Vol. 21, 2017, 2597–2613). Specifically, Hill offered several interrelated comments suggesting potential problems with our use of a new analytic method called Multi-Trait Analysis of GWAS (MTAG) (Turley et al., Nature Genetics, Vol. 50, 2018, 229–237). In this brief article, we respond to each of these concerns. Using empirical data, we conclude that our MTAG results do not suffer from ‘inflation in the FDR [false discovery rate]’, as suggested by Hill (Twin Research and Human Genetics, Vol. 21, 2018, 84–88), and are not ‘more relevant to the genetic contributions to education than they are to the genetic contributions to intelligence’.
Traditional ambulatory rhythm monitoring in children can have limitations, including cumbersome leads and limited monitoring duration. The ZioTM patch ambulatory monitor is a small, adhesive, single-channel rhythm monitor that can be worn up to 2 weeks. In this study, we present a retrospective cross-sectional analysis of the ZioTM monitor’s impact in clinical practice. Patients aged 0–18 years were included in the study. A total of 373 studies were reviewed in 332 patients. In all, 28.4% had structural heart disease, and 16.9% had a prior surgical, catheterisation, or electrophysiology procedure. The most common indication for monitoring was tachypalpitations (41%); 93.5% of these patients had their symptoms captured during the study window. The median duration of monitoring was 5 days. Overall, 5.1% of ZioTM monitoring identified arrhythmias requiring new intervention or increased medical management; 4.0% identified arrhythmias requiring increased clinical surveillance. The remainder had either normal-variant rhythm or minor rhythm findings requiring no change in management. For patients with tachypalpitations and no structural heart disease, 13.2% had pathological arrhythmias, but 72.9% had normal-variant rhythm during symptoms, allowing discharge from cardiology care. Notably, for patients with findings requiring intervention or increased surveillance, 56% had findings first identified beyond 24 hours, and only 62% were patient-triggered findings. Seven studies (1.9%) were associated with complications or patient intolerance. The ZioTM is a well-tolerated device that may improve what traditional Holter and event monitoring would detect in paediatric cardiology patients. This study shows a positive clinical impact on the management of patients within a paediatric cardiology practice.
Measurements of snow accumulation are critical for reliable prediction of future ice mass loss and hence projections of sea level change. However, there are currently very few published in situ measurements of snow accumulation in the Pine Island–Thwaites glacier catchment of the Amundsen Sea Embayment, and none from low elevation sites west of 100.77° longitude. Here measurements of snow accumulation over an 11 month period in 2016 are reported for six sites in the Pine Island–Thwaites glacier catchment. The average accumulation rates of 0.10±0.01 to 1.26±0.22 m w.e. yr-1 are comparable with those derived from airborne radar for the period 1985–2009, suggesting very high rates of snowfall, particularly in the vicinity of the grounding line.
West Antarctic climate and surface mass balance (SMB) records are sparse. To fill this gap, regional atmospheric climate modelling is useful, providing that such models are employed at sufficiently high horizontal resolution and coupled with a snow model. Here we present the results of a high-resolution (5.5 km) regional atmospheric climate model (RACMO2) simulation of coastal West Antarctica for the period 1979–2015. We evaluate the results with available in situ weather observations, remote-sensing estimates of surface melt, and SMB estimates derived from radar and firn cores. Moreover, results are compared with those from a lower-resolution version, to assess the added value of the resolution. The high-resolution model resolves small-scale climate variability invoked by topography, such as the relatively warm conditions over ice-shelf grounding zones, and local wind speed accelerations. Surface melt and SMB are well reproduced by RACMO2. This dataset will prove useful for picking ice core locations, converting elevation changes to mass changes, for driving ocean, ice-sheet and coupled models, and for attributing changes in the West Antarctic Ice Sheet and shelves to changes in atmospheric forcing.
A new sub-seasonal chemical record is presented from the North Greenland Icecore Project (NorthGRIP) ice core during the onset of one of the longest and strongest interstadials of the last glacial period, Dansgaard–Oeschger event 8 (approximately 38 000 years ago). This is the first time that a record of such resolution has been achieved over several metres of deep glacial ice and provides a unique opportunity for using additional parameters to carry out accurate dating using annual-layer counting. The very high-resolution chemical data were used to assess the phasing of various ions and determine changes in the seasonal strength of chemical deposition and the shape of the seasonal cycle. The study shows that a change in seasonality accompanied the dramatic warming transition from stadial to interstadial conditions in Greenland.
To use next-generation sequencing (NGS) analysis to enhance epidemiological information to identify and resolve a Clostridium difficile outbreak and to evaluate its effectiveness beyond the capacity of current standard PCR ribotyping.
NGS analysis was performed as part of prospective surveillance of all detected C. difficile isolates at a university hospital. An outbreak of a novel C. difficile sequence type (ST)-295 was identified in a hospital and a community hostel for homeless adults. Phylogenetic analysis was performed of all ST-295 and closest ST-2 isolates. Epidemiological details were obtained from hospital records and the public health review of the community hostel.
We identified 7 patients with C. difficile ST-295 infections between June 2013 and April 2015. Of these patients, 3 had nosocomial exposure to this infection and 3 had possible hostel exposure. Current Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA)— Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) surveillance definitions (2010) were considered in light of our NGS findings. The initial transmission was not detectable using current criteria, because of 16 weeks between ST-295 exposure and symptoms. We included 3 patients with hostel exposure who met surveillance criteria of hospital-acquired infection due to their hospital admissions.
NGS analysis enhanced epidemiological information and helped identify and resolve an outbreak beyond the capacity of standard PCR ribotyping. In this cluster of cases, NGS was used to identify a hostel as the likely source of community-based C. difficile transmission.
Preliminary work indicates that cognitive vulnerability to depression may be associated with variants of the serotonin transporter promoter polymorphism (5-HTTLPR) and the valine to methionine at position 66 (val66met) polymorphism of the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) gene; however, existing reports come from small samples. The present study sought to replicate and extend this research in a sample of 375 community-dwelling children and their parents. Following a negative mood induction, children completed a self-referent encoding task tapping memory for positive and negative self-descriptive traits. Consistent with previous work, we found that children with at least one short variant of the 5-HTTLPR had enhanced memory for negative self-descriptive traits. The BDNF val66met polymorphism had no main effect but was moderated by maternal depression, such that children with a BDNF methionine allele had a heightened memory for negative self-descriptive traits when mothers had experienced depression during children's lifetimes; in contrast, children with a methionine allele had low recall of negative traits when mothers had no depression history. The findings provide further support for the notion that the 5-HTTLPR is associated with cognitive markers of depression vulnerability and that the BDNF methionine allele moderates children's sensitivity to contextual factors.