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The transmission rate of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) to gloves or gowns of healthcare personnel (HCP) caring for MRSA patients in a non–intensive care unit setting was 5.4%. Contamination rates were higher among HCP performing direct patient care and when patients had detectable MRSA on their body. These findings may inform risk-based contact precautions.
Infectious diseases, such as Helicobacter pylori, which produce systemic inflammation may be one key factor in the onset of autoimmunity. The association between H. pylori and antinuclear antibodies (ANA), a marker of autoimmunity, has been understudied. Data from the 1999–2000 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey were used to evaluate the cross-sectional association between H. pylori seroprevalence and ANA positivity in US adults aged ≥20 years. ANA was measured in a 1:80 dilution of sera by indirect immunofluorescence using HEp-2 cells (positive ⩾3). H. pylori immunoglobulin G enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays were used to categorise individuals as seropositive or seronegative. H. pylori seropositivity and ANA positivity were common in the adult US population, with estimated prevalences of 33.3% and 9.9%, respectively. Both were associated with increasing age. H. pylori seropositivity was associated with higher odds of ANA (prevalence odds ratio = 1.89, 95% confidence interval = 1.08–3.33), adjusted for age, sex, race/ethnicity, educational attainment and body mass index. H. pylori infection may be one key factor in the loss of self-tolerance, contributing to immune dysfunction.
Coxiella burnetii, the causative agent of Q fever, is widely present in dairy products around the world. It has been isolated from unpasteurised milk and cheese and can survive for extended periods of time under typical storage conditions for these products. Although consumption of contaminated dairy products has been suggested as a potential route for transmission, it remains controversial. Given the high prevalence of C. burnetii in dairy products, we sought to examine the feasibility of transmitting the major sequence types (ST16, ST8 and ST20) of C. burnetii circulating in the United States. We delivered three strains of C. burnetii, comprising each sequence type, directly into the stomachs of immunocompetent BALB/c mice via oral gavage (OG) and assessed them for clinical symptoms, serological response and bacterial dissemination. We found that mice receiving C. burnetii by OG had notable splenomegaly only after infection with ST16. A robust immune response and persistence in the stomach and mesenteric lymph nodes were observed in mice receiving ST16 and ST20 by OG, and dissemination of C. burnetii to peripheral tissues was observed in all OG infected mice. These findings support the oral route as a mode of transmission for C. burnetii.
Worldwide, there is a trend towards increased herd sizes, and the animal-to-stockman ratio is increasing within the beef and dairy sectors; thus, the time available to monitoring individual animals is reducing. The behaviour of cows is known to change in the hours prior to parturition, for example, less time ruminating and eating and increased activity level and tail-raise events. These behaviours can be monitored non-invasively using animal-mounted sensors. Thus, behavioural traits are ideal variables for the prediction of calving. This study explored the potential of two sensor technologies for their capabilities in predicting when calf expulsion should be expected. Two trials were conducted at separate locations: (i) beef cows (n = 144) and (ii) dairy cows (n = 110). Two sensors were deployed on each cow: (1) Afimilk Silent Herdsman (SHM) collars monitoring time spent ruminating (RUM), eating (EAT) and the relative activity level (ACT) of the cow, and (2) tail-mounted Axivity accelerometers to detect tail-raise events (TAIL). The exact time the calf was expelled from the cow was determined by viewing closed-circuit television camera footage. Machine learning random forest algorithms were developed to predict when calf expulsion should be expected using single-sensor variables and by integrating multiple-sensor data-streams. The performance of the models was tested using the Matthew’s correlation coefficient (MCC), the area under the curve, and the sensitivity and specificity of predictions. The TAIL model was slightly better at predicting calving within a 5-h window for beef cows (MCC = 0.31) than for dairy cows (MCC = 0.29). The TAIL + RUM + EAT models were equally as good at predicting calving within a 5-h window for beef and dairy cows (MCC = 0.32 for both models). Combining data-streams from SHM and tail sensors did not substantially improve model performance over tail sensors alone; therefore, hour-by-hour algorithms for the prediction of time of calf expulsion were developed using tail sensor data. Optimal classification occurred at 2 h prior to calving for both beef (MCC = 0.29) and dairy cows (MCC = 0.25). This study showed that tail sensors alone are adequate for the prediction of parturition and that the optimal time for prediction is 2 h before expulsion of the calf.
The Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) is an open access telescope dedicated to studying the low-frequency (80–300 MHz) southern sky. Since beginning operations in mid-2013, the MWA has opened a new observational window in the southern hemisphere enabling many science areas. The driving science objectives of the original design were to observe 21 cm radiation from the Epoch of Reionisation (EoR), explore the radio time domain, perform Galactic and extragalactic surveys, and monitor solar, heliospheric, and ionospheric phenomena. All together
programs recorded 20 000 h producing 146 papers to date. In 2016, the telescope underwent a major upgrade resulting in alternating compact and extended configurations. Other upgrades, including digital back-ends and a rapid-response triggering system, have been developed since the original array was commissioned. In this paper, we review the major results from the prior operation of the MWA and then discuss the new science paths enabled by the improved capabilities. We group these science opportunities by the four original science themes but also include ideas for directions outside these categories.
Uninsured patients are more likely than the general population to use tobacco and less likely to quit.
To determine if the mode of delivering the PHS Guidelines influenced the effectiveness of smoking cessation among patients in a safety net setting.
Six free clinics were randomly assigned to a training program delivered by an academic physician or community partner plus video support. A repeated cross-sectional survey of patients was conducted at three waves to assess effectiveness to promote quitting.
Tobacco use was triple the rate of the US population: 57.7% (Wave 1), 44.7% (Wave 2), and 48.9% (Wave 3). Patients were more likely to report receipt of at least one evidence-based strategy to promote quitting at Wave 2 (AOR = 2.33, 95% CI (1.18–4.58)). Patients treated in clinics trained by the community partner were significantly more likely to report receiving cessation assistance at Wave 2 (AOR 2.54, 95%CI 1.29–5.00) and the trend was similar, but not significant at Wave 3. Patients in the community partner-led arm were significantly less likely to report tobacco use at Wave 3 (AOR 0.59, 95% CI 0.35–0.99).
Implementation of the PHS Guidelines in free clinics demonstrates preliminary efficacy, with delivery by community partners offering greater scalability.
We studied the association between chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) concentration on skin and resistant bacterial bioburden. CHG was almost always detected on the skin, and detection of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus on skin sites was infrequent. However, we found no correlation between CHG concentration and bacterial bioburden.
Although the science of team science is no longer a new field, the measurement of team science and its standardization remain in relatively early stages of development. To describe the current state of team science assessment, we conducted an integrative review of measures of research collaboration quality and outcomes.
Collaboration measures were identified using both a literature review based on specific keywords and an environmental scan. Raters abstracted details about the measures using a standard tool. Measures related to collaborations with clinical care, education, and program delivery were excluded from this review.
We identified 44 measures of research collaboration quality, which included 35 measures with reliability and some form of statistical validity reported. Most scales focused on group dynamics. We identified 89 measures of research collaboration outcomes; 16 had reliability and 15 had a validity statistic. Outcome measures often only included simple counts of products; publications rarely defined how counts were delimited, obtained, or assessed for reliability. Most measures were tested in only one venue.
Although models of collaboration have been developed, in general, strong, reliable, and valid measurements of such collaborations have not been conducted or accepted into practice. This limitation makes it difficult to compare the characteristics and impacts of research teams across studies or to identify the most important areas for intervention. To advance the science of team science, we provide recommendations regarding the development and psychometric testing of measures of collaboration quality and outcomes that can be replicated and broadly applied across studies.
The association between lower birth weight and increased disease risk in adulthood has drawn attention to the physiological processes that shape the gestational environment. We implement genome-wide transcriptional profiling of maternal blood samples to identify subsets of genes and associated transcription control pathways that predict offspring birth weight. Female participants (N = 178, mean = 27.0 years) in a prospective observational birth cohort study were contacted between 2009 and 2014 to identify new pregnancies. An in-home interview was scheduled for early in the third trimester (mean = 30.3 weeks) to collect pregnancy-related information and a blood sample, and birth weight was measured shortly after delivery. Transcriptional activity in white blood cells was determined with a whole-genome gene expression direct hybridization assay. Fifty transcripts were differentially expressed in association with offspring birth weight, with 18 up-regulated in relation to lower birth weight, and 32 down-regulated. Examination of transcription control pathways identified increased activity of NF-κB, AP-1, EGR1, EGR4, and Gfi families, and reduced the activity of CEBP, in association with lower birth weight. Transcript origin analyses identified non-classical CD16+ monocytes, CD1c+ myeloid dendritic cells, and neutrophils as the primary cellular mediators of differential gene expression. These results point toward a systematic regulatory shift in maternal white blood cell activity in association with lower offspring birth weight, and they suggest that analyses of gene expression during gestation may provide insight into regulatory and cellular mechanisms that influence birth outcomes.
Background: To attain the most comprehensive view of the quality of life (QoL) of a child with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), the completion of a pediatric QoL measure by the child and his/her parent and the assessment of QoL and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) as separate constructs is crucial. Previous QoL research has not assessed HRQoL as a separate construct. By using the Quality of My Life (QoML) questionnaire, our objective was to describe QoL and HRQoL in boys with DMD based on child-and parent-reports. Methods: Parent and child dyads identified via the Canadian Neuromuscular Disease Registry received QoML questionnaires (2013-2016). Children and parent-proxy each completed the QoL and HRQoL Visual Analog Scales. Responses were marked on a 10-cm line, with higher scores (max=10) reflecting higher QoL and HRQoL. Descriptive statistics were computed for child- and parent-reports of QoL and HRQoL at three time-points. Results: Mean(SD) QoL and HRQoL scores for child- and parent-reports were: 1) Baseline (n=20 dyads), 8.32(1.72) vs. 6.73(2.23) and 7.63(2.51) vs. 6.73(2.19); 2)18-months (n=10 dyads, n=9 dyads), 7.83(2.05) vs 7.66(1.66) and 7.62(2.41) vs 7.41(2.16); 3) 36-months (n=15 dyads) 7.38(2.00) vs. 6.99(1.77) and 7.19(2.70) vs. 6.76(2.26). Conclusions: Boys with DMD report higher QoL and HRQoL compared to their parents.
To establish high intake of free sugars and its related disease burden as a significant public health challenge in Australia.
We discuss five key actions to reduce intake of free sugars tailored to the Australian context. These strategies are informed by reviewing the global scientific evidence on the effectiveness of a range of policy responses to reduce intake of free sugars at the population level.
The five key actions to reduce population levels for intake of free sugars tailored to the Australian context include prioritising health in trade agreements and policy; introducing a fiscal policy supporting health and promoting food reformulation; regulating advertising and improving labelling; strengthening the current dietary guidelines; and encouraging healthy choices.
The adoption and implementation of the strategies discussed in the current commentary would aid in tackling the rising health burden from the intake of free sugars in Australia.
Introduction: Abdominal pain is one of the most frequent reasons for an emergency department (ED) visit. Most cases are functional and no therapy has proven effective. Our objective was to determine if hyoscine butylbromide (HBB) (BuscopanTM) is effective for children who present to the ED with functional abdominal pain. Methods: We conducted a randomized, blinded, superiority trial comparing HBB 10 mg plus acetaminophen placebo to oral acetaminophen 15 mg/kg (max 975 mg) plus HBB placebo using a double-dummy approach. We included children 8-17 years presenting to the ED at London Health Sciences Centre with colicky abdominal pain rated >40 mm on a 100 mm visual analog scale (VAS). The primary outcome was VAS pain score at 80 minutes post-administration. Secondary outcomes included adverse effects; caregiver satisfaction with pain management using a five-item Likert scale; recidivism and missed surgical diagnoses within 24-hours of discharge. Analysis was based on intention to treat. Results: We analyzed 225 participants (112 acetaminophen; 113 HBB). The mean (SD) age was 12.4 (3.0) years and 148/225 (65.8%) were females. Prior to enrollment, the median (IQR) duration of pain prior was 2 (4.5) hours and analgesia was provided to 101/225 (44.9%) of participants. The mean (SD) pre-intervention pain scores in the acetaminophen and HBB groups were 62.7 (15.9) mm and 60.3 (17.3) mm, respectively. At 80 minutes, the mean (SD) pain scores in the acetaminophen and HBB groups were 30.1 (28.8) mm and 29.4 (26.4) mm, respectively and there were no significant differences adjusting for pre-intervention scores (p = 0.96). The median (IQR) caregiver satisfaction was high in the acetaminophen [5 (2)] and HBB [5 (1)] groups (p = 0.79). The median (IQR) length of stay between acetaminophen [235 (101)] and HBB [234 (103)] was not significantly different (p = 0.53). The proportion of participants with a return visit for abdominal pain was 4/112 (3.5%) in the acetaminophen group and 6/113 (5.3%) in the HBB group. The most common adverse effect was nausea (9% in each group) and there were no significant differences in adverse effects between acetaminophen (26/112, 23.2%) and HBB (31/113, 27.4%) (p = 0.52). There were no missed surgical diagnoses. Conclusion: For children with presumed functional abdominal pain who present to the ED, both acetaminophen and HBB produce a clinically important (VAS < 30 mm) reduction in pain and should be routinely considered in this clinical setting.
Childhood maltreatment is associated with increased risk for most forms of psychopathology. We examine emotion dysregulation as a transdiagnostic mechanism linking maltreatment with general psychopathology. A sample of 262 children and adolescents participated; 162 (61.8%) experienced abuse or exposure to domestic violence. We assessed four emotion regulation processes (cognitive reappraisal, attention bias to threat, expressive suppression, and rumination) and emotional reactivity. Psychopathology symptoms were assessed concurrently and at a 2-year longitudinal follow-up. A general psychopathology factor (p factor), representing co-occurrence of psychopathology symptoms across multiple internalizing and externalizing domains, was estimated using confirmatory factor analysis. Maltreatment was associated with heightened emotional reactivity and greater use of expressive suppression and rumination. The association of maltreatment with attention bias varied across development, with maltreated children exhibiting a bias toward threat and adolescents a bias away from threat. Greater emotional reactivity and engagement in rumination mediated the longitudinal association between maltreatment and increased general psychopathology over time. Emotion dysregulation following childhood maltreatment occurs at multiple stages of the emotion generation process, in some cases varies across development, and serves as a transdiagnostic mechanism linking child maltreatment with general psychopathology.
In several recently published phylogenetic analyses, two Lower Devonian taxa, Doliodus and Pucapampella, both fall on the chondrichthyan stem, very close to the base of ‘conventionally defined chondrichthyans’ (i.e., forms possessing tessellated mineralization of the cartilaginous endoskeleton). These two taxa nevertheless exhibit strongly discordant morphologies from each other. A summary of the anatomical data concerning these taxa is presented here, including new, as well as previously published, findings. A new family Pucapampellidae is erected, containing Pucapampella and a newly recognized genus from South Africa. Morphological evidence is summarized for the monophyly of crown elasmobranchs (sharks and rays), holocephalans (chimaeras) and other chondrichthyans. Based on these data, Doliodus and pucapampellids both fall outside the chondrichthyan crown, but their relative phylogenetic positions on the chondrichthyan stem are unclear. Pucapampellid interrelationships are particularly hard to assess because little is known beyond their cranial and visceral arch morphology and also because pucapampellids possess a suite of ontogenetically primitive (and thus potentially neotenic) features. By contrast, the phylogenetic position of Doliodus seems less elusive; it possessed an ‘acanthodian-like’ complex of dermal spines, including pectoral fin spines, prepectoral, admedian, and prepelvic spines, and possibly dorsal and pelvic fin spines, in conjunction with numerous ‘chondrichthyan-like’ endoskeletal features and a heterodont ‘sharklike’ dentition. Doliodus can be viewed as a quintessential component of the evolutionary transition between ‘acanthodians’ and ‘conventionally defined chondrichthyans’, leaving little doubt that the chondrichthyan total group includes ‘acanthodians’ (now widely perceived to be a paraphyletic group, populating the basal part of the chondrichthyan stem). Although Doliodus has been resolved as a basal member of the ‘conventionally defined chondrichthyans’, it could occupy a more basal position on the chondrichthyan stem.
The Japanese Murrelet Synthliboramphus wumizusume is a rare, globally ‘Vulnerable’ seabird, endemic to Japan and South Korea. However, little is known of its at-sea distribution, habitat or threats. We conducted several years of at-sea surveys around Japan to model Japanese Murrelet density in relation to habitat parameters, and make spatial predictions to assess the adequacy of the current Japanese marine Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA) network for the species. During a five-year period, 3,485 km of at-sea surveys recorded 3,161 Japanese Murrelets around four breeding locations. Maximum murrelet group size was 90 individuals with a mean group size of 2.9 ± 4.2 individuals. Models of Japanese Murrelet at-sea density around the two largest breeding locations predicted that almost all murrelets occur within 30 km of the breeding colony and most within 10 km. Murrelets were predicted closer to the colony in May than in April and closer to the colony at a neritic colony than at an offshore island colony. Additionally, murrelets breeding on an offshore island colony also commuted to mainland neritic habitat for foraging. The marine habitat used by Japanese Murrelets differed between each of the four surveyed colonies, however oceanographic variables offered little explanatory power in models. Models with colony, month and year generated four foraging radii (9–39 km wide) containing murrelet densities of > 0.5 birds/km2. Using these radii the Japanese marine IBA network was found to capture between 95% and 25% of Japanese Murrelet at-sea habitat while breeding and appears appropriately configured to protect near-colony murrelet distributions. Given the range of marine habitats that breeding murrelets inhabit, our simple models offer an applicable method for predicting to unsampled colonies and generating ecologically-informed seaward extension radii. However, data on colony populations and further at-sea surveys are necessary to refine models and improve predictions.
Large efforts have been deployed in developing methods to estimate methane emissions from cattle. For large scale applications, accurate and inexpensive methane predictors are required. Within a livestock precision farming context, the objective of this work was to integrate real-time data on animal feeding behaviour with an in silico model for predicting the individual dynamic pattern of methane emission in cattle. The integration of real-time data with a mathematical model to predict variables that are not directly measured constitutes a software sensor. We developed a dynamic parsimonious grey-box model that uses as predictor variables either dry matter intake (DMI) or the intake time (IT). The model is described by ordinary differential equations.
Model building was supported by experimental data of methane emissions from respiration chambers. The data set comes from a study with finishing beef steers (cross-bred Charolais and purebred Luing finishing). Dry matter intake and IT were recorded using feed bins. For research purposes, in this work, our software sensor operated off-line. That is, the predictor variables (DMI, IT) were extracted from the recorded data (rather than from an on-line sensor). A total of 37 individual dynamic patterns of methane production were analyzed. Model performance was assessed by concordance analysis between the predicted methane output and the methane measured in respiration chambers. The model predictors DMI and IT performed similarly with a Lin’s concordance correlation coefficient (CCC) of 0.78 on average. When predicting the daily methane production, the CCC was 0.99 for both DMI and IT predictors. Consequently, on the basis of concordance analysis, our model performs very well compared with reported literature results for methane proxies and predictive models. As IT measurements are easier to obtain than DMI measurements, this study suggests that a software sensor that integrates our in silico model with a real-time sensor providing accurate IT measurements is a viable solution for predicting methane output in a large scale context.
Background: Unwanted intrusive thoughts of intentionally harming one's infant (intrusive harm thoughts) are common distressing experiences among postpartum mothers and fathers. Aim: To understand infant crying as a stimulus for intrusive harm thoughts and associated emotional responses in prepartum and postpartum mothers and fathers in response to infant cry. Method: Following completion of self-report measures of negative mood and anger, prepartum (n = 48) and postpartum (n = 44) samples of mother and father pairs completed 10 minutes of listening to audio-recorded infant crying. Post-test questionnaires assessed harm thoughts, negative emotions, urges to comfort and flee, and thoughts of shaking as a soothing or coping strategy. Results: One quarter of prepartum and 44% of postpartum parents reported intrusive infant-related harm thoughts following crying. Mothers and fathers did not differ in the likelihood of reporting harm thoughts, nor in the number of thoughts reported. Women reported more internalizing emotions compared with men. Hostile emotions were stronger among postpartum parents, and parents reporting harm thoughts. All parents reported strong urges to comfort the infant. Urges to flee were stronger among parents who reported harm thoughts. The likelihood of using infant shaking as a soothing or coping strategy was minimally endorsed, albeit more strongly by fathers and parents who also reported harm thoughts. Conclusions: In response to crying, harm thoughts are common and are associated with hostile emotions, urges to flee, and increased thoughts of using infant shaking. Reassuringly, the number of participants considering infant shaking as a strategy for soothing or for coping with a crying infant was low.