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Dirofilariosis caused by Dirofilaria immitis (heartworm) is a zoonosis, considered an endemic disease of dogs and cats in several countries of Western Europe, including Portugal. This study assesses the levels of D. immitis exposure in humans from Northern Portugal, to which end, 668 inhabitants of several districts belonging to two different climate areas (Csa: Bragança, Vila Real and Csb: Aveiro, Braga, Porto, Viseu) were tested for anti-D. immitis and anti-Wolbachia surface proteins (WSP) antibodies. The overall prevalence of seropositivity to both anti-D. immitis and WSP antibodies was 6.1%, which demonstrated the risk of infection with D. immitis in humans living in Northern Portugal. This study, carried out in a Western European country, contributes to the characterisation of the risk of infection with D. immitis among human population in this region of the continent. From a One Health point of view, the results of the current work also support the close relationship between dogs and people as a risk factor for human infection
Human subcutaneous dirofilariosis has several clinical presentations. Many cases present as subcutaneous nodules, as a consequence of a local inflammatory reaction that encapsulates and destroys the worms. In addition, there are cases in which migrating worms located in the ocular area remain unencapsulated. In the present work, the levels of two pro-inflammatory eicosanoids, thromboxane B2 (TxB2) and leukotriene B4 (LTB4) are analysed by commercial Enzime-Linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) in serum samples from 43 individuals, 28 diagnosed as having subcutaneous dirofilariasis presenting a subcutaneous nodule, five diagnosed as having dirofilariasis, in which the worms remained unencapsulated in the periphery of the eye, and ten healthy individuals living in a non-endemic area, used as controls. The worms were surgically removed, identifying Dirofilaria repens as the causative agent in all cases, by Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR). Individuals with nodules showed significantly higher levels of TxB2 and LTB4 than healthy controls, whereas significant differences in LTB4 levels were observed between individuals with unencapsulated worms and healthy controls. It is speculated that the absence of LTB4 may contribute to the fact that worms remain unencapsulated as a part of immune evasion mechanisms.
Ceramics are strong but brittle. According to the classical theories, ceramics are brittle mainly because dislocations are suppressed by cracks. Here, the authors report the combined elastic and plastic deformation measurements of nanoceramics, in which dislocation-mediated stiff and ductile behaviors were detected at room temperature. In the synchrotron-based deformation experiments, a marked slope change is observed in the stress–strain relationship of MgAl2O4 nanoceramics at high pressures, indicating that a deformation mechanism shift occurs in the compression and that the nanoceramics sample is elastically stiffer than its bulk counterpart. The bulk-sized MgAl2O4 shows no texturing at pressures up to 37 GPa, which is compatible with the brittle behaviors of ceramics. Surprisingly, substantial texturing is seen in nanoceramic MgAl2O4 at pressures above 4 GPa. The observed stiffening and texturing indicate that dislocation-mediated mechanisms, usually suppressed in bulk-sized ceramics at low temperature, become operative in nanoceramics. This makes nanoceramics stiff and ductile.
The objectives of the research described here were to describe the persistence of intramammary infections (IMI) caused by coagulase negative staphylococci (CNS) in goats using strain-typing, and to evaluate the relationship between species-specific CNS IMI and somatic cell score (SCS) at the udder-half level. Udder-half milk samples were collected from all 909 lactating goats (1817 halves; 1 blind half) in a single herd. Milk samples were cultured on Columbia blood agar, and 220 goats with at least one half yielding a single colony type CNS were enrolled for two additional half-level samplings at approximately 1-month intervals. Isolates were identified to the species level by matrix-assisted laser desorption-ionisation time-of-flight mass spectrometry or PCR amplification and partial sequencing of tuf or rpoB. An IMI was defined as persistent when ≥1 follow-up sample yielded the same species and strain as on Day 0 based on pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. A generalised mixed linear model was used to evaluate the odds of persistence as a function of CNS species. A mixed linear model was used to evaluate the relationship between IMI status on a given day and SCS. Among 192 IMI, 69.8% were persistent based on species and strain-type. Staphylococcus simulans IMI had higher odds of persistence than Staphylococcus arlettae IMI. In primiparous goats, Staphylococcus epidermidis IMI was associated with higher SCS than S. arlettae, Staphylococcus xylosus and ‘other CNS’ IMI. The differences detected in the present study between CNS species, with regard to persistence of IMI and association with SCS, highlight the need to study CNS at the species and strain level to understand the pathogenicity and epidemiology of CNS in goats.
The Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAMD) and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) are the most frequently used observer-rated and self-report scales of depression, respectively. It is important to know what a given total score or a change score from baseline on one scale means in relation to the other scale.
We obtained individual participant data from the randomised controlled trials of psychological and pharmacological treatments for major depressive disorders. We then identified corresponding scores of the HAMD and the BDI (369 patients from seven trials) or the BDI-II (683 patients from another seven trials) using the equipercentile linking method.
The HAMD total scores of 10, 20 and 30 corresponded approximately with the BDI scores of 10, 27 and 42 or with the BDI-II scores of 13, 32 and 50. The HAMD change scores of −20 and −10 with the BDI of −29 and −15 and with the BDI-II of −35 and −16.
The results can help clinicians interpret the HAMD or BDI scores of their patients in a more versatile manner and also help clinicians and researchers evaluate such scores reported in the literature or the database, when scores on only one of these scales are provided. We present a conversion table for future research.
Distinguishing a disorder of persistent and impairing grief from normative grief allows clinicians to identify this often undetected and disabling condition. As four diagnostic criteria sets for a grief disorder have been proposed, their similarities and differences need to be elucidated.
Participants were family members bereaved by US military service death (N = 1732). We conducted analyses to assess the accuracy of each criteria set in identifying threshold cases (participants who endorsed baseline Inventory of Complicated Grief ⩾30 and Work and Social Adjustment Scale ⩾20) and excluding those below this threshold. We also calculated agreement among criteria sets by varying numbers of required associated symptoms.
All four criteria sets accurately excluded participants below our identified clinical threshold (i.e. correctly excluding 86–96% of those subthreshold), but they varied in identification of threshold cases (i.e. correctly identifying 47–82%). When the number of associated symptoms was held constant, criteria sets performed similarly. Accurate case identification was optimized when one or two associated symptoms were required. When employing optimized symptom numbers, pairwise agreements among criteria became correspondingly ‘very good’ (κ = 0.86–0.96).
The four proposed criteria sets describe a similar condition of persistent and impairing grief, but differ primarily in criteria restrictiveness. Diagnostic guidance for prolonged grief disorder in International Classification of Diseases, 11th Edition (ICD-11) functions well, whereas the criteria put forth in Section III of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) are unnecessarily restrictive.
Carrion in the form of dead seal pups and algal mats placed on soft bottom habitats at Explorers Cove and Salmon Bay, McMurdo Sound, attract scavenging invertebrates that are driven away by hydrogen sulphide produced by sulphate-reducing bacteria sequestered below a layer of Beggiatoa/Thioploca-like filamentous bacteria. This system is usually found for lipid-rich marine mammal carrion, but also occurred with natural algal mats.
Current trends intensify the longstanding problem of how the rule of law should be institutionalized in the welfare state. Welfare programs are being redesigned to increase their capacities to adapt to rapidly changing conditions and to tailor their responses to diverse clienteles. These developments challenge the understanding of legal accountability developed in the Warren Court era. This article reports on an emerging model of accountable administration that strives to reconcile programmatic flexibility with rule‐of‐law values. The model has been developed in the reform of state child protective services systems, but it has potentially broad application to public law. It also has novel implications for such basic rule‐of‐law issues as the choice between rules and standards, the relation of bureaucratic and judicial control, the proper scope of judicial intervention into dysfunctional public agencies, and the justiciability of “positive” (or social and economic) rights.
Carbon-14 (radiocarbon, 14C) is a long-lived radionuclide (5730 yr) of interest regarding the safety for the management of intermediate level wastes (ILW). The present study gives an overview of the release of 14C from irradiated Zircaloy cladding in alkaline media. 14C is found either in the alloy part of Zircaloy cladding due to the neutron activation of 14N impurities by 14N(n,p)14C reaction, or in the oxide layer (ZrO2) formed at the metal surface by the neutron activation of 17O from UO2 or (U-Pu)O2 fuel and water from the primary circuit in the reactor by 17O(n,α)14C reaction. Various irradiated and unirradiated Zircaloys have been studied. The total 14C inventory has been determined both experimentally and by calculations. The results seem to be in good agreement. Leaching experiments were conducted in alkaline media for several time durations. 14C was mainly released as carboxylic acids. Further, corrosion measurements were performed by using both hydrogen measurements and electrochemical measurements. The corrosion rate (CR) ranges from a few nm/yr to 100 nm/yr depending on the surface conditions and the method used for measurement. From a safety assessment point of view, the instant release fraction (IRF) was determined on irradiated Zircaloy-2. The results showed that the 14C inventory in the oxide was significantly below the 20% commonly used in safety case assessments.
In this paper we provide an introduction to statistical inference for the classical linear birth‒death process, focusing on computational aspects of the problem in the setting of discretely observed processes. The basic probabilistic properties are given in Section 2, focusing on computation of the transition functions. This is followed by a brief discussion of simulation methods in Section 3, and of frequentist methods in Section 4. Section 5 is devoted to Bayesian methods, from rejection sampling to Markov chain Monte Carlo and approximate Bayesian computation. In Section 6 we consider the time-inhomogeneous case. The paper ends with a brief discussion in Section 7.
We offer a dynamic Bayesian forecasting model for multiparty elections. It combines data from published pre-election public opinion polls with information from fundamentals-based forecasting models. The model takes care of the multiparty nature of the setting and allows making statements about the probability of other quantities of interest, such as the probability of a plurality of votes for a party or the majority for certain coalitions in parliament. We present results from two ex ante forecasts of elections that took place in 2017 and are able to show that the model outperforms fundamentals-based forecasting models in terms of accuracy and the calibration of uncertainty. Provided that historical and current polling data are available, the model can be applied to any multiparty setting.
Human fascioliasis is a worldwide, pathogenic food-borne trematodiasis. Impressive clinical pictures comprising puzzling polymorphisms, manifestation multifocality, disease evolution changes, sequelae and mortality, have been reported in patients presenting with neurological, meningeal, neuropsychic and ocular disorders caused at distance by flukes infecting the liver. Proteomic and mass spectrometry analyses of the Fasciola hepatica excretome/secretome identified numerous, several new, plasminogen-binding proteins enhancing plasmin generation. This may underlie blood-brain barrier leakage whether by many simultaneously migrating, small-sized juvenile flukes in the acute phase, or by breakage of encapsulating formations triggered by single worm tracks in the chronic phase. Blood-brain barrier leakages may subsequently occur due to a fibrinolytic system-dependent mechanism involving plasmin-dependent generation of the proinflammatory peptide bradykinin and activation of bradykinin B2 receptors, after different plasminogen-binding protein agglomeration waves. Interactions between diverse parasitic situations and non-imbalancing fibrinolysis system alterations are for the first time proposed that explain the complexity, heterogeneity and timely variations of neurological disorders. Additionally, inflammation and dilation of blood vessels may be due to contact system–dependent generation bradykinin. This baseline allows for search of indicators to detect neurological risk in fascioliasis patients and experimental work on antifibrinolytic treatments or B2 receptor antagonists for preventing blood-brain barrier leakage.
We consider feedback flow control of the linearised complex Ginzburg–Landau system. The particular focus is on any trade-offs present when placing a single sensor and a single actuator. The work is presented in three parts. First, we consider the estimation problem in which a single sensor is used to estimate the entire flow field (without any control). Second, we consider the full information control problem in which the entire flow field is known, but only a single actuator is available for control. By considering the optimal sensor placement and optimal actuator placement while varying the stability of the system, a fundamental trade-off for both problems is made clear. Third, we consider the overall feedback control problem in which only a single sensor is available for measurement; and only a single actuator is available for control. By varying the stability of the system, similar fundamental trade-offs are made clear. We discuss implications for effective feedback control with a single sensor and a single actuator and compare it to previous placement methods.
Our current global food system – from food production to consumption, including manufacture, packaging, transport, retail and associated businesses – is responsible for extensive negative social and environmental impacts which threaten the long-term well-being of society. This has led to increasing calls from science–policy organizations for major reform and transformation of the global food system. However, our knowledge regarding food system transformations is fragmented and this is hindering the development of co-ordinated solutions. Here, we collate recent research across several academic disciplines and sectors in order to better understand the mechanisms that ‘lock-in’ food systems in unsustainable states.
Both internet-based cognitive–behavioural therapy (ICBT) and physical exercise are alternatives to treatment as usual (TAU) in managing mild to moderate depression in primary care.
To determine the cost-effectiveness of ICBT and physical exercise compared with TAU in primary care.
Economic evaluation of a randomised controlled trial (N = 945) in Sweden. Costs were estimated by a service use questionnaire and used together with the effects on quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs). The primary 3-month healthcare provider perspective in primary care was complemented by a 1-year societal perspective.
The primary analysis showed that incremental cost per QALY gain was €8817 for ICBT and €14 571 for physical exercise compared with TAU. At the established willingness-to-pay threshold of €21 536 (£20 000) per QALY, the probability of ICBT being cost-effective is 90%, and for physical exercise is 76%, compared with TAU.
From a primary care perspective, both ICBT and physical exercise for depression are likely to be cost-effective compared with TAU.