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Salmonella enterica serovar Wangata (S. Wangata) is an important cause of endemic salmonellosis in Australia, with human infections occurring from undefined sources. This investigation sought to examine possible environmental and zoonotic sources for human infections with S. Wangata in north-eastern New South Wales (NSW), Australia. The investigation adopted a One Health approach and was comprised of three complimentary components: a case–control study examining human risk factors; environmental and animal sampling; and genomic analysis of human, animal and environmental isolates. Forty-eight human S. Wangata cases were interviewed during a 6-month period from November 2016 to April 2017, together with 55 Salmonella Typhimurium (S. Typhimurium) controls and 130 neighbourhood controls. Indirect contact with bats/flying foxes (S. Typhimurium controls (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 2.63, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.06–6.48)) (neighbourhood controls (aOR 8.33, 95% CI 2.58–26.83)), wild frogs (aOR 3.65, 95% CI 1.32–10.07) and wild birds (aOR 6.93, 95% CI 2.29–21.00) were statistically associated with illness in multivariable analyses. S. Wangata was detected in dog faeces, wildlife scats and a compost specimen collected from the outdoor environments of cases’ residences. In addition, S. Wangata was detected in the faeces of wild birds and sea turtles in the investigation area. Genomic analysis revealed that S. Wangata isolates were relatively clonal. Our findings suggest that S. Wangata is present in the environment and may have a reservoir in wildlife populations in north-eastern NSW. Further investigation is required to better understand the occurrence of Salmonella in wildlife groups and to identify possible transmission pathways for human infections.
An integrated study of sedimentological, sequence-stratigraphic and palaeodispersal analysis was applied to the Upper-Permian clastic sedimentary succession in the Northern Sydney Basin, Australia. The succession is subdivided into fifteen facies and three facies associations. The facies associations are further subdivided into eight sub-facies associations. The sedimentary evolution involves progradation from delta-front to delta-plain to fluvial depositional environments, with a significant increase in sediment grain size across the unconformable contact that separates the deltaic from the overlying fluvial system. In contrast to the delta front that is wave/storm- and/or river-influenced, the delta plain is significantly affected by tides, with the impact of tidal currents decreasing up-sequence in the delta plain. The general lack of wave-influenced sedimentary structures suggests low wave energy in the delta plain. The abrupt termination of the tidal impact in the fluvial realm relates to the steep topographic gradients and high sediment supply, which accompanied the uplift of the New England Orogen. The sequence-stratigraphic framework includes highstand (deltaic forest and topset) and lowstand (fluvial topset) systems tracts, separated by a subaerial unconformity. In contrast to most of the mud-rich modern counterparts, this is an example of a sand-rich tidally influenced deltaic system, developed adjacent to the source region. This investigation presents a depositional model for tidal successions in regions of tectonic uplift and confinement.
OBJECTIVES/SPECIFIC AIMS: Our objective was to assess and compare the attitudes of patients with head and neck cancer and their clinicians regarding the commercialization of genetic research data. We explored whether such opinions changed when profits from such transactions were used to fund 1) cancer research, 2) academic research generally, or 3) if patients were given personalized genetic information in return. METHODS/STUDY POPULATION: This qualitative analysis was nested within a prospective precision oncology genomic sequencing study in an NCI-designated cancer center. We conducted paired, semi-structured interviews with enrolled participants with head & neck cancer and with their doctors (medical oncologists, surgical oncologists, and radiation oncologists). Interviews were recorded, transcribed, and coded for analysis. Codes were developed through an iterative process until saturation was reached, and all transcripts were double-coded (and discrepancies reconciled) to ensure reliability. RESULTS/ANTICIPATED RESULTS: We identified three main themes from the patients and clinicians: (1) Both clinicians and their patients were unclear about how the study protocol and informed consent form authorized patients’ genetic data to be used and commercialized in the future. (2) Patients with cancer were generally more comfortable than their clinician thought they were regarding the ongoing research use of their genetic data and commercialization thereof. (3) There is a strong interest among patients and clinicians in focusing academic medical center profits from commercialization back into the research program from which the data was acquired, rather than being invested into academic research more broadly. DISCUSSION/SIGNIFICANCE OF IMPACT: Given patients’ strong feelings about the commercialization of their data, our results highlight the need for greater transparency—both with patients and with their clinicians—about potential future use of research data. Clinicians appear inclined to be particularly cautious regarding access to and commercialization of patients’ data, however patients generally hope that their data may be used to help future cancer patients. Explicit discussions with patients about specific future uses of profits derived from commercialization of research data can ensure both transparency and participation in future primary and secondary precision health research programs.
A total of 592 people reported gastrointestinal illness following attendance at Street Spice, a food festival held in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, North East England in February/March 2013. Epidemiological, microbiological and environmental investigations were undertaken to identify the source and prevent further cases. Several epidemiological analyses were conducted; a cohort study; a follow-up survey of cases and capture re-capture to estimate the true burden of cases. Indistinguishable isolates of Salmonella Agona phage type 40 were identified in cases and on fresh curry leaves used in one of the accompaniments served at the event. Molecular testing indicated entero-aggregative Escherichia coli and Shigella also contributed to the burden of illness. Analytical studies found strong associations between illness and eating food from a particular stall and with food items including coconut chutney which contained fresh curry leaves. Further investigation of the food supply chain and food preparation techniques identified a lack of clear instruction on the use of fresh uncooked curry leaves in finished dishes and uncertainty about their status as a ready-to-eat product. We describe the investigation of one of the largest outbreaks of food poisoning in England, involving several gastrointestinal pathogens including a strain of Salmonella Agona not previously seen in the UK.
Childhood obesity rates are higher among Indigenous compared with non-Indigenous Australian children. It has been hypothesized that early-life influences beginning with the intrauterine environment predict the development of obesity in the offspring. The aim of this paper was to assess, in 227 mother–child dyads from the Gomeroi gaaynggal cohort, associations between prematurity, Gestation Related-Optimal Weight (GROW) centiles, maternal adiposity (percentage body fat, visceral fat area), maternal non-fasting plasma glucose levels (measured at mean gestational age of 23.1 weeks) and offspring BMI and adiposity (abdominal circumference, subscapular skinfold thickness) in early childhood (mean age 23.4 months). Maternal non-fasting plasma glucose concentrations were positively associated with infant birth weight (P=0.005) and GROW customized birth weight centiles (P=0.008). There was a significant association between maternal percentage body fat (P=0.02) and visceral fat area (P=0.00) with infant body weight in early childhood. Body mass index (BMI) in early childhood was significantly higher in offspring born preterm compared with those born at term (P=0.03). GROW customized birth weight centiles was significantly associated with body weight (P=0.01), BMI (P=0.007) and abdominal circumference (P=0.039) at early childhood. Our findings suggest that being born preterm, large for gestational age or exposed to an obesogenic intrauterine environment and higher maternal non-fasting plasma glucose concentrations are associated with increased obesity risk in early childhood. Future strategies should aim to reduce the prevalence of overweight/obesity in women of child-bearing age and emphasize the importance of optimal glycemia during pregnancy, particularly in Indigenous women.
For livestock production systems to play a positive role in global food security, the balance between their benefits and disbenefits to society must be appropriately managed. Based on the evidence provided by field-scale randomised controlled trials around the world, this debate has traditionally centred on the concept of economic-environmental trade-offs, of which existence is theoretically assured when resource allocation is perfect on the farm. Recent research conducted on commercial farms indicates, however, that the economic-environmental nexus is not nearly as straightforward in the real world, with environmental performances of enterprises often positively correlated with their economic profitability. Using high-resolution primary data from the North Wyke Farm Platform, an intensively instrumented farm-scale ruminant research facility located in southwest United Kingdom, this paper proposes a novel, information-driven approach to carry out comprehensive assessments of economic-environmental trade-offs inherent within pasture-based cattle and sheep production systems. The results of a data-mining exercise suggest that a potentially systematic interaction exists between ‘soil health’, ecological surroundings and livestock grazing, whereby a higher level of soil organic carbon (SOC) stock is associated with a better animal performance and less nutrient losses into watercourses, and a higher stocking density with greater botanical diversity and elevated SOC. We contend that a combination of farming system-wide trials and environmental instrumentation provides an ideal setting for enrolling scientifically sound and biologically informative metrics for agricultural sustainability, through which agricultural producers could obtain guidance to manage soils, water, pasture and livestock in an economically and environmentally acceptable manner. Priority areas for future farm-scale research to ensure long-term sustainability are also discussed.
Public Health England conducts enhanced national surveillance of tetanus, a potentially life-threatening vaccine-preventable disease. A standardized questionnaire was used to ascertain clinical and demographic details of individuals reported with clinically suspected tetanus. The 96 cases identified between 2001 and 2014 were analysed. The average annual incidence was 0·13/million (95% confidence interval 0·10–0·16) of which 50·0% were male. Where reported, 70·3% of injuries occurred in the home/garden (45/64). Overall, 40·3% (31/77) cases were in people who inject drugs (PWID), including a cluster of 22 cases during 2003–2004. Where known (n = 68), only 8·8% were age-appropriately immunized. The overall case-fatality rate was 11·0% (9/82). All tetanus-associated deaths occurred in adults aged >45 years, none of whom were fully immunized. Due to the success of the childhood immunization programme, tetanus remains a rare disease in England with the majority of cases occurring in older unimmunized or partially immunized adults. Minor injuries in the home/garden were the most commonly reported likely sources of infection, although cases in PWID increased during this period. It is essential that high routine vaccine coverage is maintained and that susceptible individuals, particularly older adults, are protected through vaccination and are offered timely post-exposure management following a tetanus-prone wound.
Management of threatened and endangered populations of wildlife increasingly relies upon active intervention such as predator control, habitat manipulation, and ex situ breeding or care. One tool that has received consideration for the management of declining or threatened avian populations is headstarting, or the artificial incubation of eggs and subsequent placement of newly hatched chicks in original or foster nests. We assessed the feasibility of implementing a headstarting program for the American Oystercatcher Haematopus palliatus, a species of high conservation concern in the eastern USA. Annual productivity is often low and lost during incubation, suggesting artificial incubation could enhance annual productivity. We used a control-impact approach to assign nests as either control or headstart and measured daily survival rate, success of parents accepting headstarted chicks, attendance patterns and behaviours of parents, and chick survival. We also implemented a transparent scoring process to rate the success of each step and the overall program. Daily survival rates of nests were significantly higher at headstart compared to control nests, and parents continued to incubate when eggs were well secured at nest sites. Attendance patterns and behaviour did not differ between headstart and control parents, and parents readily accepted healthy chicks whether they were returned to original or foster nests. Chick survival and subsequently annual productivity were, however, not higher at headstart compared to control nests suggesting that although we were able to enhance nest survival, low chick survival was still limiting annual productivity. Ultimately, headstarting may be most appropriate for American Oystercatchers where productivity is lost primarily to flooding, predation, or disturbance during the incubation stage but not during the chick-rearing stage. If, for example, high rates of nest loss are due to predators that also may prey upon chicks, then headstarting may not be an effective conservation tool.
The evidence underpinning the developmental origins of health and disease (DOHaD) is overwhelming. As the emphasis shifts more towards interventions and the translational strategies for disease prevention, it is important to capitalize on collaboration and knowledge sharing to maximize opportunities for discovery and replication. DOHaD meetings are facilitating this interaction. However, strategies to perpetuate focussed discussions and collaborations around and between conferences are more likely to facilitate the development of DOHaD research. For this reason, the DOHaD Society of Australia and New Zealand (DOHaD ANZ) has initiated themed Working Groups, which convened at the 2014–2015 conferences. This report introduces the DOHaD ANZ Working Groups and summarizes their plans and activities. One of the first Working Groups to form was the ActEarly birth cohort group, which is moving towards more translational goals. Reflecting growing emphasis on the impact of early life biodiversity – even before birth – we also have a Working Group titled Infection, inflammation and the microbiome. We have several Working Groups exploring other major non-cancerous disease outcomes over the lifespan, including Brain, behaviour and development and Obesity, cardiovascular and metabolic health. The Epigenetics and Animal Models Working Groups cut across all these areas and seeks to ensure interaction between researchers. Finally, we have a group focussed on ‘Translation, policy and communication’ which focusses on how we can best take the evidence we produce into the community to effect change. By coordinating and perpetuating DOHaD discussions in this way we aim to enhance DOHaD research in our region.
Indigenous Australians have high rates of chronic diseases, the causes of which are complex and include social and environmental determinants. Early experiences in utero may also predispose to later-life disease development. The Gomeroi gaaynggal study was established to explore intrauterine origins of renal disease, diabetes and growth in order to inform the development of health programmes for Indigenous Australian women and children. Pregnant women are recruited from antenatal clinics in Tamworth, Newcastle and Walgett, New South Wales, Australia, by Indigenous research assistants. Measures are collected at three time points in pregnancy and from women and their children at up to eight time points in the child’s first 5 years. Measures of fetal renal development and function include ultrasound and biochemical biomarkers. Dietary intake, infant feeding and anthropometric measurements are collected. Standardized procedures and validated tools are used where available. Since 2010 the study has recruited over 230 women, and retained 66 postpartum. Recruitment is ongoing, and Gomeroi gaaynggal is currently the largest Indigenous pregnancy-through-early-childhood cohort internationally. Baseline median gestational age was 39.1 weeks (31.5–43.2, n=110), median birth weight was 3180 g (910–5430 g, n=110). Over one third (39.3%) of infants were admitted to special care or neonatal nursery. Nearly half of mothers (47.5%) reported tobacco smoking during pregnancy. Results of the study will contribute to knowledge about origins of chronic disease in Indigenous Australians and nutrition and growth of women and their offspring during pregnancy and postpartum. Study strengths include employment and capacity-building of Indigenous staff and the complementary ArtsHealth programme.
On May 22, 1989 the Japanese Ginga Team discovered a new X-ray source that was cataloged as GS 2023+338. This source was subsequently identified as coincident in position with a previously known nova cataloged as V404 Cygni. Its last recorded outburst was in 1938 when it rose to about 12th mag. Spectroscopic data were obtained and confirmed the nature of the outburst. Additional ground based data were obtained by us at CTIO and the VLA. The X-ray behavior of this object has been reported to be very unusual and it reached a peak of about 17 crab about one week after discovery. Since then it has varied widely in magnitude at all wavelengths at which it has been studied. We present a brief summary of the observations that have been obtained up to the time of the meeting and shortly thereafter.
In June 2014 Public Health England confirmed a case of Legionnaires' disease (LD) in a neonate following birth at home in a hired birthing pool incorporating a heater and a recirculation pump which had been filled in advance of labour. The case triggered a public health investigation and a microbiological survey of an additional ten heated birthing pools hired or recently hired to the general public across England. The birthing pool used by the parent of the confirmed case was identified as the source of the neonate's infection following detection of Legionella pneumophila ST48 in both patient and environmental samples. Legionella species were detected by quantitative polymerase chain reaction but not culture in a further three pools together with other opportunistic pathogens identified by culture and matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization–time of flight (MALDI–ToF) mass spectrometry. A Patient Safety Alert from NHS England and Public Health England was issued stating that heated birthing pools filled in advance of labour should not be used for home births. This recommendation remains in place. This investigation in conjunction with other recent reports has highlighted a lack of awareness regarding the microbiological safety of heated birthing pools and their potential to be a source of LD and other opportunistic infections. Furthermore, the investigation raised important considerations with regards to microbiological sampling and testing in such incidents. Public health authorities and clinicians should consider LD in the differential diagnosis of severe respiratory infection in neonates within 14 days of a water birth.
Suicide is a devastating public health problem and very few biological treatments have been found to be effective for quickly reducing the intensity of suicidal ideation (SI). We have previously shown that a single dose of ketamine, a glutamate N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist, is associated with a rapid reduction in depressive symptom severity and SI in patients with treatment-resistant depression.
We conducted a randomized, controlled trial of ketamine in patients with mood and anxiety spectrum disorders who presented with clinically significant SI (n = 24). Patients received a single infusion of ketamine or midazolam (as an active placebo) in addition to standard of care. SI measured using the Beck Scale for Suicidal Ideation (BSI) 24 h post-treatment represented the primary outcome. Secondary outcomes included the Montgomery–Asberg Depression Rating Scale – Suicidal Ideation (MADRS-SI) score at 24 h and additional measures beyond the 24-h time-point.
The intervention was well tolerated and no dropouts occurred during the primary 7-day assessment period. BSI score was not different between the treatment groups at 24 h (p = 0.32); however, a significant difference emerged at 48 h (p = 0.047). MADRS-SI score was lower in the ketamine group compared to midazolam group at 24 h (p = 0.05). The treatment effect was no longer significant at the end of the 7-day assessment period.
The current findings provide initial support for the safety and tolerability of ketamine as an intervention for SI in patients who are at elevated risk for suicidal behavior. Larger, well-powered studies are warranted.
We investigate the settling speeds and root mean square (r.m.s.) velocities of inertial particles in isotropic turbulence with gravity using experiments with water droplets in air turbulence from 32 loudspeaker jets and direct numerical simulations (DNS). The dependence on particle inertia, gravity and the scales of both the smallest and largest turbulent eddies is investigated. We isolate the mechanisms of turbulence settling modification and find that the reduced settling speeds of large particles in experiments are due to nonlinear drag effects. We demonstrate using DNS that reduced settling speeds with linear drag (e.g. see Nielsen, J. Sedim. Petrol., vol. 63, 1993, pp. 835–838) only arise in artificial flows that, by design, eliminate preferential sweeping by the eddies. Gravity and inertia both reduce the particle r.m.s. velocities and falling particles are more responsive to vertical than to horizontal fluctuations. The model by Wang & Stock (J. Atmos. Sci., vol. 50, 1993, pp. 1897–1913) captures these trends.
The aims of this study were to determine the annual incidence of infection with Leptospira interrogans serovar Pomona and/or Leptospira borgpetersenii serovar Hardjo and its association with influenza-like illness (ILI) in meat workers in New Zealand. Sera were collected twice, 50–61 weeks apart, from 592 workers at eight abattoirs slaughtering sheep (n = 4), cattle (n = 2) and deer (n = 2), and tested by the microscopic agglutination test for Hardjo and Pomona. Forty-nine (8·3%) participants either seroconverted or had at least a twofold increased serological titre against either serovar. The worker infection risk was higher in sheep abattoirs (11·9%) than in abattoirs processing deer (0%) or cattle (1·2%) (P < 0·01). The annualized risk of mild (ILI) or severe clinical disease attributable to the two Leptospira serovars was 2·7%. This study has demonstrated that meat workers are at substantial risk of infection and clinical disease, suggesting further investigation of infection sources and preventive measures are warranted.
The findings of the Clinical Antipsychotic Trials of Intervention Effectiveness (CATIE) study and the Cost Utility of the Latest Antipsychotic Drugs in Schizophrenia Study (CUtLASS) called previous trials of antipsychotics into question, including pre-licensing trials. Concerns regarding methodological robustness and quality of reporting increased. This systematic review aimed to examine the quality of reporting of phase II and III trials for new antipsychotics in the aftermath of the CATIE and CUtLASS studies.
Electronic searches were conducted in EMBASE, Medline and Cochrane databases and also ClinicalTrials.gov for antipsychotic trials (published between January 2006 and February 2012). Phase II and III randomized controlled trials (RCTs) for iloperidone, asenapine, paliperidone, olanzapine, lurasidone and pomaglumetad methionil were selected for schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder. The reporting of the methodology was evaluated in accordance with Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) guidelines.
Thirty-one articles regarding 32 studies were included. There was insufficient reporting of design in 47% of studies and only 13% explicitly stated a primary hypothesis. Exclusion criteria were poorly reported for diagnosis in 22% of studies. Detail regarding comparators, particularly placebos, was suboptimal for 56% of studies, and permitted concomitant medication was often not reported (19%). Randomization methods were poorly described in 56% of studies and reporting on blinding was insufficient in 84% of studies. Sample size calculations were insufficiently reported in 59% of studies.
The quality of reporting of phase II and III trials for new antipsychotics does not reach the standards outlined in the CONSORT guidelines. Authors often fail to adequately report design and methodological processes, potentially impeding the progress of research on antipsychotic efficacy. Both policymakers and clinicians require high quality reporting before decisions are made regarding licensing and prescribing of new antipsychotics.
The excavations of the cemetery groups at Balneaves, Loanleven and Park of Tongland facilitate an examination of many aspects of Bronze Age burial practices in Scotland. They are notable as much for the differences in burial ritual they imply as for the very narrow chronological period in which they were used. The three sites produced a total of seventeen 14C dates, two of which are aberrant, with means of the remaining fifteen falling within a period of 250 years (3370–3610 bp in radiocarbon years). The excavations were sponsored by Historic Scotland (formerly Historic Buildings and Monuments, Scotland).
At Balneaves, a penannular ditch enclosed sixteen features, including a group of seven pits with cremation burials, four of which were associated with a distinctive assemblage of collared urns. The cremated bone was well preserved. At least one large standing stone had been erected on the site, and this was buried in the medieval period.
At Loanleven, only a segment of the enclosing ring-ditch survived, within which were four cists, two containing inhumations and two cremations, one of the latter (Cist 2) associated with a fragment of a food vessel. A decorated slab, in so-called ‘Passage Grave Style’, was recovered from Cist 1, and the same cist produced palynological evidence for grave furnishings in the form of a mat of plant material which probably underlay the body. 14C dates give a terminus ante quem of 3620±50 bp (GU–2543) for the re-use of the decorated slab, and a terminus post quem of 3410±50 bp (GU–2542) for the food vessel grave.
Park of Tongland, regarded as a Four-Poster stone circle, was excavated after the fall of a standing stone. It was shown to be of multi-period construction, consisting of a cairn which overlay seven pits containing fragmentary cremation burials, two associated with collared urns. The standing stones may not all have been erect at the same time. A series of 14C dates fell within the range of 1480–1530 bc.