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To assess the utility of an automated, statistically-based outbreak detection system to identify clusters of hospital-acquired microorganisms.
Multicenter retrospective cohort study.
The study included 43 hospitals using a common infection prevention surveillance system.
A space–time permutation scan statistic was applied to hospital microbiology, admission, discharge, and transfer data to identify clustering of microorganisms within hospital locations and services. Infection preventionists were asked to rate the importance of each cluster. A convenience sample of 10 hospitals also provided information about clusters previously identified through their usual surveillance methods.
We identified 230 clusters in 43 hospitals involving Gram-positive and -negative bacteria and fungi. Half of the clusters progressed after initial detection, suggesting that early detection could trigger interventions to curtail further spread. Infection preventionists reported that they would have wanted to be alerted about 81% of these clusters. Factors associated with clusters judged to be moderately or highly concerning included high statistical significance, large size, and clusters involving Clostridioides difficile or multidrug-resistant organisms. Based on comparison data provided by the convenience sample of hospitals, only 9 (18%) of 51 clusters detected by usual surveillance met statistical significance, and of the 70 clusters not previously detected, 58 (83%) involved organisms not routinely targeted by the hospitals’ surveillance programs. All infection prevention programs felt that an automated outbreak detection tool would improve their ability to detect outbreaks and streamline their work.
Automated, statistically-based outbreak detection can increase the consistency, scope, and comprehensiveness of detecting hospital-associated transmission.
Evidence from previous small trials has suggested the effectiveness of early social communication interventions for autism.
The Preschool Autism Communication Trial (PACT) investigated the efficacy of such an intervention in the largest psychosocial autism trial to date.
To provide a stringent test of a pre-school communication intervention for autism.
152 children with core autism aged 2 years - 4 years 11 months in a 3 site 2 arm single (assessor) blinded randomised controlled trial of the parent-mediated communication-focused intervention added to treatment as usual (TAU) against TAU alone. Primary outcome; severity of autism symptoms (modified social communication algorithm from Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule-Generic, ADOS-G). Secondary outcomes; blinded measures of parent-child interaction, child language, and adaptation in school.
At 13 month endpoint the treatment resulted in strong improvement in parental synchronous response to child (adjusted between-group effect size 1.22 (95% CI 0.85, 1.59) and child initiations with parent (ES 0.41 (0.08, 0.74) but small effect on autism symptomatology (ADOS-G, ES -0.24 (95% CI -0.59, 0.11) ns). Parents (not blind to allocation) reported strong treatment effects on child language and social adaptation but effects on blinded research assessed language and school adaptation were small.
Addition of the PACT intervention showed clear benefit in improving parent-child dyadic social communication but no substantive benefit over TAU in modifying objectively rated autism symptoms. This attenuation on generalisation from ‘proximal’ intervention effects to wider symptom change in other contexts remains a significant challenge for autism treatment and measurement methodology.
The influence of pharmaceutical industry (PI) on clinical practice and research in psychiatry has been considered a serious problem. Strict rules and guidelines were developed to regulate the interactions between doctors and PI. However, there is an ongoing debate whether these were thoroughly implemented in practice and internalized by physicians. The objective of our study was to assess the attitudes and behaviors of trainees in psychiatry and child & adolescent psychiatry toward PI across Europe. Methodologically, a validated questionnaire with additional items was administered to1444 trainees in 20 European countries. The minimum response rate was set at 60%. We found a high variation across countries in number of interactions between trainees and PI representatives; Portugal and Turkey had the highest number of interactions. The majority (59.76%) agreed that interactions with PI representatives have an impact on physicians’ prescribing behavior; whereas only 29.26% and 19.79% agreed interactions with PI representatives and gifts from PI have impact on their own prescribing behavior, respectively. Most of the gifts were considered appropriate by the majority, except tickets to vacation spot and social dinner at a restaurant. Of the sample, 70.76% think they have not been given sufficient training regarding how to interact with PI representatives. Only less than 20% indicated they have guidelines at institutional or national level. In conclusion, there is substantial interaction between trainees and PI across countries. The majority feel inadequately trained regarding professional interaction with PI, and believes they are immune to the influence of PI.
Interactions between the pharmaceutical industry (PI) and psychiatrists have been under scrutiny recently, though there is little empirical evidence on the nature of the relationship and its intensity at psychiatry trainee level. We therefore studied the level of PI interactions and the underlying beliefs and attitudes in a large sample of European psychiatric trainees.
One thousand four hundred and forty-four psychiatric trainees in 20 European countries were assessed cross-sectionally, with a 62-item questionnaire.
The total number of PI interactions in the preceding two months varied between countries, with least interactions in The Netherlands (M (Mean) = 0.92, SD = 1.44, range = 0–12) and most in Portugal (M = 19.06, SD = 17.44, range = 0–100). Trainees were more likely to believe that PI interactions have no impact on their own prescribing behaviour than that of other physicians (M = 3.30, SD = 1.26 vs. M = 2.39, SD = 1.06 on a 5-point Likert scale: 1 “completely disagree” to 5 “completely agree”). Assigning an educational role to the pharmaceutical industry was associated with more interactions and higher gift value (IRR (incidence rate ratio) = 1.21, 95%CI = 1.12–1.30 and OR = 1.18, 95%CI = 1.02–1.37).
There are frequent interactions between European psychiatric trainees and the PI, with significant variation between countries. We identified several factors affecting this interaction, including attribution of an educational role to the PI. Creating alternative educational opportunities and specific training dedicated to PI interactions may therefore help to reduce the impact of the PI on psychiatric training.
This is the first European psychiatric exchange programme and it aims to promote an intercultural professional exchange and cooperation among psychiatric trainees across Europe, with a focus on individual experience.
To provide trainees with the opportunities to:
promote awareness of intercultural aspects of psychiatry
engage in clinical, and/or research, and/or teaching activities
become acquainted with different mental health systems
gain experience of different illness manifestations and treatment options
experience a different training programme
socialise with peer group, promote networking and discuss coping strategies regarding work life balance
The programme was developed by the exchange working group of the EFPT in 2011 and it offers 2-6 weeks in observational placements across Europe in diverse areas.
Feedback from pilot phase (January-July 2012) has shown excellent overall satisfaction of participants in the project. In the 2nd phase (August-December 2012) the programme has expanded offering more observational placements in 8 countries such as: Croatia, Denmark, France, Italy, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain and UK. In the 3rd phase (January-July 2013) it expanded further to include Ireland, Netherlands and Romania in a total of 11 hosting countries. Placements are offered in many subspecialties such as: psychotherapy, emergency psychiatry, child and adolescent psychiatry, eating disorders, family therapy, liaison psychiatry and psychosomatics, drug addictions, learning disabilities, forensic psychiatry and old age psychiatry.
We hope that the diversity of placements offered by this innovative programme will constitute a new approach to the improvement of psychiatric training and practice across Europe.
Mountain passes have played a key role in past mobility, facilitating transhumance, intra-regional travel and long-distance exchange. Current global warming has revealed an example of such a pass at Lendbreen, Norway. Artefacts exposed by the melting ice indicate usage from c. AD 300–1500, with a peak in activity c. AD 1000 during the Viking Age—a time of increased mobility, political centralisation and growing trade and urbanisation in Northern Europe. Lendbreen provides new information concerning the socio-economic factors that influenced high-elevation travel, and increases our understanding of the role of mountain passes in inter- and intra-regional communication and exchange.
By the middle of the first millennium CE in China the notion that the unseen world, while capable of offering respite from the perils of our world, was itself full of danger was shared both by Daoists drawing on earlier local ways of thinking and by Buddhists who incorporated beliefs originating in South Asia. In reality the this-worldly economic success of the monastic establishments of the latter tradition attracted occasional episodes of forced, often violent laicization at the hands of the state, while eschatological ideas drawn from both traditions nourished for some alternative visions of the future that also triggered violent clashes with the authorities. Exhortations to devoutness meanwhile could spur self-inflicted violence, whereas the summoning of demons to injure others was recognised and forbidden in the legal code. As our sources become more plentiful from the end of the first millennium onward, we learn more of the sometimes sanguinary content of popular religious eschatology, while it also becomes clear that the imagery of violence was commonplace in a wide range of religious contexts and that in situations such as those of foreign invasion or political collapse fear of demons could prompt unrestrained and merciless violence against outsiders.
Fe is an essential nutrient for many bacteria, and Fe supplementation has been reported to affect the composition of the gut microbiota in both Fe-deficient and Fe-replete individuals outside pregnancy. This study examined whether the dose of Fe in pregnancy multivitamin supplements affects the overall composition of the gut microbiota in overweight and obese pregnant women in early pregnancy. Women participating in the SPRING study with a faecal sample obtained at 16 weeks’ gestation were included in this substudy. For each subject, the brand of multivitamin used was recorded. Faecal microbiome composition was assessed by 16S rRNA sequencing and analysed with the QIIME software suite. Dietary intake of Fe was assessed using a FFQ at 16 weeks’ gestation. Women were grouped as receiving low (<60 mg/d, n 94) or high (≥60 mg/d; n 65) Fe supplementation. The median supplementary Fe intake in the low group was 10 (interquartile range (IQR) 5–10) v. 60 (IQR 60–60) mg/d in the high group (P<0·001). Dietary Fe intake did not differ between the groups (10·0 (IQR 7·4–13·3) v. 9·8 (IQR 8·2–13·2) mg/d). Fe supplementation did not significantly affect the composition of the faecal microbiome at any taxonomic level. Network analysis showed that the gut microbiota in the low Fe supplementation group had a higher predominance of SCFA producers. Pregnancy multivitamin Fe content has a minor effect on the overall composition of the gut microbiota of overweight and obese pregnant women at 16 weeks’ gestation.
Bovine herpes virus 1 (BHV-1) manifests as a latent viral infection putatively affecting bovines. Understanding its effect on cattle herds is critical to maintaining sustainable beef and dairy production systems, as well as aiding in the development of herd health policies. The primary objective of the current study was, therefore, to use a whole-farm bio-economic model to evaluate the effect of herd seroprevalence to BHV-1 on the productive and economic performance of a spring calving beef cow herd. As part of a wider epidemiological study of herd pathogen status, a total of 4240 cows from 134 spring calving beef cow herds across the Republic of Ireland were blood sampled to measure the seroprevalence to BHV-1. Using data from a national breeding database, productive and reproductive performance indicators were used to parameterize a single year, static and deterministic whole-farm bio-economic model. A spring-calving, pasture-based suckler beef cow production system with an emphasis on calf-to-weanling production was simulated. The impact of BHV-1 seropositivity on whole-farm technical and economic performance was relatively small, with a marginal drop in the net margin of 4% relative to a baseline seronegative herd. Subsequent risk factors for increased pathogenicity were considered such as total herd size, percentage of intra-herd movements and vaccination status for BHV-1. In contrast to all others, scenarios representing herds that were either small in size or those which indicated an active vaccination policy for BHV-1 had no reduction in net margin against the baseline as a result of seropositivity to BHV-1.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) affects ~7% of reproductive age women. Although its etiology is unknown, in animals, excess prenatal testosterone (T) exposure induces PCOS-like phenotypes. While measuring fetal T in humans is infeasible, demonstrating in utero androgen exposure using a reliable newborn biomarker, anogenital distance (AGD), would provide evidence for a fetal origin of PCOS and potentially identify girls at risk. Using data from a pregnancy cohort (The Infant Development and Environment Study), we tested the novel hypothesis that infant girls born to women with PCOS have longer AGD, suggesting higher fetal T exposure, than girls born to women without PCOS. During pregnancy, women reported whether they ever had a PCOS diagnosis. After birth, infant girls underwent two AGD measurements: anofourchette distance (AGD-AF) and anoclitoral distance (AGD-AC). We fit adjusted linear regression models to examine the association between maternal PCOS and girls’ AGD. In total, 300 mother–daughter dyads had complete data and 23 mothers reported PCOS. AGD was longer in the daughters of women with a PCOS diagnosis compared with daughters of women with no diagnosis (AGD-AF: β=1.21, P=0.05; AGD-AC: β=1.05, P=0.18). Results were stronger in analyses limited to term births (AGD-AF: β=1.65, P=0.02; AGD-AC: β=1.43, P=0.09). Our study is the first to examine AGD in offspring of women with PCOS. Our results are consistent with findings that women with PCOS have longer AGD and suggest that during PCOS pregnancies, daughters may experience elevated T exposure. Identifying the underlying causes of PCOS may facilitate early identification and intervention for those at risk.
Hendra virus (HeV) was first described in 1994 in an outbreak of acute and highly lethal disease in horses and humans in Australia. Equine cases continue to be diagnosed periodically, yet the predisposing factors for infection remain unclear. We undertook an analysis of equine submissions tested for HeV by the Queensland government veterinary reference laboratory over a 20-year period to identify and investigate any patterns. We found a marked increase in testing from July 2008, primarily reflecting a broadening of the HeV clinical case definition. Peaks in submissions for testing, and visitations to the Government HeV website, were associated with reported equine incidents. Significantly differing between-year HeV detection rates in north and south Queensland suggest a fundamental difference in risk exposure between the two regions. The statistical association between HeV detection and stockhorse type may suggest that husbandry is a more important risk determinant than breed per se. The detection of HeV in horses with neither neurological nor respiratory signs poses a risk management challenge for attending veterinarians and laboratory staff, reinforcing animal health authority recommendations that appropriate risk management strategies be employed for all sick horses, and by anyone handling sick horses or associated biological samples.