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We studied trends in the incidence of health care-associated infections (HAIs) in LTCFs between 2009 and 2015 and determined the effect of participation in our network. Elder-care physicians reported weekly the number of cases of influenza-like illness, gastroenteritis, (probable) pneumonia, urinary tract infections (UTIs) and all-cause mortality. Trends in the incidence of infection and mortality in relation to LTCF characteristics were calculated using multilevel univariate and multivariate logistic regression. Thirty LTCF participated for 3 years or more, 16 for 2 years and the remaining 12 LTCF for 1 year. During the study period, the median number of beds decreased from 158 to 139, whereas the percentage of residents with private bedrooms increased from 14% to 87%. UTIs were the most frequently reported infections, followed by (probable) pneumonia and gastroenteritis. Adjusted for calendar year and season, we observed a statistically significant decrease in the incidence of influenza-like illness (odds ratio (OR) = 0.8, P < 0.01) and (probable) pneumonia (OR = 0.8, P < 0.01) for each extra year an LTCF participated. Although there are other likely contributors, such as more private rooms and enhanced infection control measures, the decreasing trend of HAI in LTCFs participating in surveillance implies that surveillance is a valuable addition to current strategies to optimise infection control.
Oestrus detection remains a problem in the dairy cattle industry. Therefore, automatic detection systems have been developed to detect specific behavioural changes at oestrus. Vocal behaviour has not been considered in such automatic oestrus detection systems in cattle, though the vocalisation rate is known to increase during oestrus. The main challenge in using vocalisation to detect oestrus is correctly identifying the calling individual when animals are moving freely in large groups, as oestrus needs to be detected at an individual level. Therefore, we aimed to automate vocalisation recording and caller identification in group-housed dairy cows. This paper first presents the details of such a system and then presents the results of a pilot study validating its functionality, in which the automatic detection of calls from individual heifers was compared to video-based assessment of these calls by a trained human observer, a technique that has, until now, been considered the ‘gold standard’. We developed a collar-based cattle call monitor (CCM) with structure-borne and airborne sound microphones and a recording unit and developed a postprocessing algorithm to identify the caller by matching the information from both microphones. Five group-housed heifers, each in the perioestrus or oestrus period, were equipped with a CCM prototype for 5 days. The recorded audio data were subsequently analysed and compared with audiovisual recordings. Overall, 1404 vocalisations from the focus heifers and 721 vocalisations from group mates were obtained. Vocalisations during collar changes or malfunctions of the CCM were omitted from the evaluation. The results showed that the CCM had a sensitivity of 87% and a specificity of 94%. The negative and positive predictive values were 80% and 96%, respectively. These results show that the detection of individual vocalisations and the correct identification of callers are possible, even in freely moving group-housed cattle. The results are promising for the future use of vocalisation in automatic oestrus detection systems.
Investigations into the existence of life in other parts of the cosmos find strong parallels with studies of the origin and evolution of life on our own planet. In this way, astrobiology and paleobiology are married by their common interest in disentangling the interconnections between life and the surrounding environment. In this way, a cross-point of both sciences is paleometry, which involves a myriad of imaging and geochemical techniques, usually non-destructive, applied to the investigation of the fossil record. In the last decades, paleometry has benefited from an unprecedented technological improvement, thus solving old questions and raising new ones. This advance has been paralleled by conceptual approaches and discoveries fuelled by technological evolution in astrobiological research. In this context, we present some new data and review recent advances on the employment of paleometry to investigations on paleobiology and astrobiology in Brazil in areas such biosignatures in Ediacaran microbial mats, biogenicity tests on enigmatic Ediacaran structures, research on Ediacaran metazoan biomineralization, fossil preservation in Cretaceous insects and fish, and finally the experimental study on the decay of fish to test the effect of distinct types of sediment on soft-tissue preservation, as well as the effects of early diagenesis on fish bone preservation.
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.
Delays in rotavirus vaccine schedule could improve performance in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). However, delaying the first dose could be detrimental if infants experience severe rotavirus gastroenteritis (RVGE) early in life. Our objective was to describe the timing and predictors of severe RVGE in unvaccinated children in LMICs. We analysed the placebo arms from two clinical trials (cohort 1: NCT00241644; cohort 2: NCT00362648). We estimated the rate, cumulative incidence (per 1000 infants) and age distribution of severe RVGE episodes. Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for the association between baseline factors and severe RVGE. Cumulative incidence at 6 months of age was 23/1000 (95% CI 15–30) in cohort 1 and 6/1000 (95% CI 3–8) in cohort 2. Early antibiotic use (compared with no use) was associated with 2.03 (95% CI 1.18–3.48) and 1.41 (95% CI 0.80–2.51) times the rate of severe RVGE in cohorts 1 and 2, respectively. The cumulative incidence of severe RVGE was low at 6 months of age, suggesting that a 4-week delay in the vaccination schedule may not result in a large number of severe RVGE episodes prior to vaccine receipt.
The calving interval (CI) can potentially impact the economic results of dairy farms. This study highlighted the most profitable CI and innovated by describing this optimum as a function of the feeding system of the farm. On-farm data were used to represent real farm conditions. A total of 1832 accounts of farms recorded from 2007 to 2014 provided economic, technical and feeding information per herd and per year. A multiple correspondence analysis created four feeding groups: extensive, low intensive, intensive and very intensive herds. The gross margin and some of its components were corrected to account for the effect of factors external to the farm, such as the market, biological status, etc. Then the corrected gross margin (cGMc) and its components were modelled by CI parameters in each feeding system by use of GLM. The relationship between cGMc and the proportion of cows with CI<380 days in each feeding group showed that keeping most of the cows in the herd with CI near to 1 year was not profitable for most farms (for the very intensive farms there was no effect of the proportion). Moreover, a low proportion of cows (0% to 20%) with a near-to-1-year CI was not profitable for the extensive and low intensive farms. Extending the proportion of cows with CI beyond 459 days until 635 days (i.e. data limitation) caused no significant economic loss for the extensive and low intensive farms, but was not profitable for the intensive and very intensive farms. Variations of the milk and feeding components explained mainly these significant differences of gross margin. A link between the feeding system and persistency, perceptible in the milk production and CI shown by the herd, could explain the different relationships observed between the extent of CI and the economic results in the feeding groups. This herd-level study tended to show different economic optima of CI as a function of the feeding system. A cow-level study would specify these tendencies to give CI objectives to dairy breeders as a function of their farm characteristics.
Balancing the supply of nitrogen and energy-yielding substrates to rumen micro-organisms was proposed as a mechanism to maximise the capture of rumen degradable nitrogen (RDN) and to optimise microbial growth rate and efficiency. The objective of this study was to examine the effect of various time periods of imbalance between nitrogen and energy supplies for the rumen micro-organisms on the microbial protein synthesis (SPM) in growing double-muscled Belgian Blue bulls. This was realised by giving the same feedstuffs according to different meal patterns, which is one of the most robust test of the ‘synchrony’ hypothesis (Dewhurst et al., 2000).
We present sea-ice surface roughness estimates, i.e. the standard deviation of relative surface elevation, in the Arctic regions of Fram Strait and the Nansen Basin north of Svalbard acquired by an airborne laser scanner and a single-beam laser altimeter in 2010. We compare the scanner to the altimeter and compare the differences between the two survey regions. We estimate and correct sensor roll from the scanner data using the hyperbolic response of the scanner over a flat surface. Measurement surveys had to be longer than 5 km north of Svalbard and longer than 15 km in Fram Strait before the statistical distribution in surface roughness from the scanner and altimeter became similar. The shape of the surface roughness probability distributions agrees with those of airborne electromagnetic induction measurements of ice thickness. The ice in Fram Strait had a greater mean surface roughness, 0.16 m vs 0.09 m, and a wider distribution in roughness values than the ice in the Nansen Basin. An increase in surface roughness with increasing ice thickness was observed over fast ice found in Fram Strait near the coast of Greenland but not for the drift ice.
Severe mood dysregulation is common in childhood and can be highly impairing. The Dysregulation Profile (DP) can be considered as a broader phenotype of emotional dysregulation, including affect, cognition and behaviour. Since mood dysregulation may persist, but differently in boys and girls, the gender associated course needs to be considered longitudinally to gain a better insight in order to support the children more adequately. This study is focusing on gender associated subgroup trajectories of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire-Dysregulation Profile (SDQ-DP) in middle childhood (9–13 years of age) and includes the potential impact of clinical and psychosocial characteristics.
The data set was available from the BELLA study on mental health and well-being in children and adolescents, which is the mental health module of the German Health Interview and Examination Survey for Children and Adolescents (KiGGS). A representative epidemiological sample of 564 children living in Germany was examined at three assessment points over 2 years (data collection 2003–2006). The SDQ-DP of children aged 9–13 years was evaluated using Latent Class Growth Analysis (LCGA).
For both genders three trajectories with low (girls 67.0% and boys 59.5%), moderate (girls 28.0% and boys 31.7%) and high SDQ-DP (girls 5.0% and boys 8.8%) scores were detected. The courses of low and moderate subgroups were stable, while in the high SDQ-DP subgroup boys showed a decreasing and girls an increasing trend in symptom severity on a descriptive level. The results of the multinomial logistic regression analyses revealed a significant influence of mainly externalising but also internalising problems both increasing the risk of moderate and high SDQ-DP in both genders. Good quality of life was a protective factor for the SDQ-DP course in all subgroups.
In addition to the known clinical and scientific value of the SDQ-DP, three distinguishable trajectories of SDQ-DP in boys and girls could be found. High externalising problems at the beginning of the trajectory were associated with an undesirable course of SDQ-DP. These findings might be helpful for better psychoeducation, counselling and monitoring in clinical cases and public health.
Invasive species management is often more successful if desirable species are seeded after the target weed is controlled. However, control of invasive plants must be maintained following reseeding or the seeded species may fail to establish. A regional study conducted in Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota evaluated the effect of aminopyralid, clopyralid, or picloram applied in the fall prior to fall-dormant seeding or seeding the following spring on cool- and warm-season native grass species establishment. Herbicides were applied at standard rates used to control invasive broadleaf weeds in the upper midwestern tallgrass prairie region of the United States. Cool-season species included Canada wildrye, green needlegrass, and intermediate wheatgrass. Warm-season species included big bluestem, little bluestem, sideoats grama, switchgrass, and Indiangrass. Aminopyralid did not reduce seedling establishment in either fall or spring seeding. Grasses generally were not affected by a pretreatment of the pyridine standards clopyralid or picloram either, with the exception of a slight reduction in fall-seeded establishment of intermediate wheatgrass. Picloram also slightly reduced fall-seeded establishment of Canada wildrye. Application of aminopyralid can safely be used to control susceptible invasive species preceding grass species establishment, with a safety margin similar to or slightly better than that with the pyridine standards clopyralid or picloram.
Norovirus is detected in one in five diarrhoea episodes in children, yet little is known about environmental risk factors associated with this disease, especially in low-income settings. The objective of this study was to examine environmental risk factors, and spatial and seasonal patterns of norovirus diarrhoea episodes in children in León, Nicaragua. We followed a population-based cohort of children under age 5 years for norovirus diarrhoea over a 1-year period. At baseline, characteristics of each household were recorded. Households were geocoded and spatial locations of garbage dumps, rivers, and markets were collected. In bivariate analysis we observed younger children and those with animals in their households were more likely to have experienced norovirus episodes. In adjusted models, younger children remained at higher risk for norovirus episodes, but only modest associations were observed with family and environmental characteristics. We next identified symptomatic children living in the same household and within 500 m buffer zones around the household of another child infected with the same genotype. Norovirus diarrhoea episodes peaked early in the rainy season. These findings contribute to our understanding of environmental factors and norovirus infection.
One of the observing modes available with the ESO Very Large Telescope will be coherent combination of the light received by up to four 8 m unit telescopes and several 1.8 m auxiliary telescopes. The location of the main telescopes is fixed, while auxiliary telescopes can be moved among some 30 observing stations. The locations of these stations were chosen to augment the (u, v) coverage of the unit telescopes as well as to function as an independent interferometric array.
The 8 m telescopes will be equipped with adaptive optics to correct for seeing-induced wavefront aberrations. This wavefront correction will be complete at near-infrared wavelengths, giving the interferometer very high sensitivity in this spectral regime. This paper gives a brief description of the VLT Interferometer and an update on its status.
Since our publication of the high-precision calibration curve for the larger part of the 4th millennium BC (de Jong, Becker & Mook, 1986), we found that the dendrochronologic scale (cal bc) needs a correction of 26 years. Instead of using the zero-point of the Niederwill chronology (4039 bc) which was floating at the time, our dendrochronologic scale was erroneously based on the zero-point of the Hohenheim master chronology, which, in its 1986 stage, extended to 4065 bc.
This paper briefly describes the principle of operation and science goals of the AMANDA high energy neutrino telescope located at the South Pole, Antarctica. Results from an earlier phase of the telescope, called AMANDA-BIO, demonstrate both reliable operation and the broad astrophysical reach of this device, which includes searches for a variety of sources of ultrahigh energy neutrinos: generic point sources, Gamma-Ray Bursts and diffuse sources. The predicted sensitivity and angular resolution of the telescope were confirmed by studies of atmospheric muon and neutrino backgrounds. We also report on the status of the analysis from AMANDA-II, a larger version with far greater capabilities. At this stage of analysis, details of the ice properties and other systematic uncertainties of the AMANDA-II telescope are under study, but we have made progress toward critical science objectives. In particular, we present the first preliminary flux limits from AMANDA-II on the search for continuous emission from astrophysical point sources, and report on the search for correlated neutrino emission from Gamma Ray Bursts detected by BATSE before decommissioning in May 2000. During the next two years, we expect to exploit the full potential of AMANDA-II with the installation of a new data acquisition system that records full waveforms from the in-ice optical sensors.
Patient transfers among medical facilities are high-risk situations. Despite this, there is very little training of physicians regarding the medical and legal aspects of transport medicine.
To examine the effects of a one hour, educational intervention on Emergency Medicine (EM) residents’ and Critical Care (CC) fellows’ knowledge regarding the medical and legal aspects of interfacility patient transfers.
Prior to the intervention, physician knowledge regarding 12 key concepts in patient transfer was assessed using a pre-test instrument. A one hour, interactive, educational session followed immediately thereafter. Following the intervention, a post-intervention test was given between two and four weeks after delivery. Participants were also asked to describe any prior transportation-medicine-related education, their opinions as they relate to the relevance of the topic, and their comfort levels with patient transfers before and after the intervention.
Only a minority of participants had received any formal training in patient transfers prior to the intervention, despite dealing with patient transfers on a frequent, often daily, basis. Both groups improved in several categories on the post-intervention test. They reported improved comfort levels with the medicolegal aspects of interfacility patient transfers after the intervention and felt well-prepared to manage transfers in their daily practice.
A one hour, educational intervention objectively increased EM and CC physician trainees’ understanding of some of the medicolegal aspects of interfacility patient transfers. The study demonstrated a lack of previous training on this important topic and improved levels of comfort with transfers after study participation.
BeckerTK, SkibaJF, SozenerCB. An Educational Measure to Significantly Increase Critical Knowledge Regarding Interfacility Patient Transfers. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2015;30(3):1-5