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We implemented a guideline for appropriate acid suppressant use in hematology-oncology patients. This intervention resulted in a sustained reduction in proton pump inhibitor (PPI) use without an increase in rates of gastrointestinal bleeding. Practice guidelines are effective in reducing PPI use, which is associated with risk of Clostridioides difficile infection.
We used a survey to characterize contemporary infection prevention and antibiotic stewardship program practices across 64 healthcare facilities, and we compared these findings to those of a similar 2013 survey. Notable findings include decreased frequency of active surveillance for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, frequent active surveillance for carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, and increased support for antibiotic stewardship programs.
In this study we determined the probability of predator attacks on livestock around Bardia National Park, Nepal. We conducted semi-structured interviews to explore the patterns and factors affecting livestock losses in four administrative sectors of the Park's buffer zone. We developed models to investigate the overall probability of livestock loss, economic damage caused, and the respondents’ attitudes towards wildlife. The probability of leopard attacks on livestock was much higher (85% of all livestock lost to depredation) than that of tiger attacks (8%), and the northern sector experienced the highest loss of livestock (50% modelled probability of livestock loss) in the buffer zone. Livestock loss was significantly related to the number of livestock owned by respondents, their ethnic group, and village distance to the Park boundary. Economic damage was influenced by buffer zone sector, number of livestock owned, and distance to the Park boundary. Conservation attitudes depended on respondents’ knowledge of wildlife, levels of education and self-sufficiency, and the probability of livestock being killed by leopards. Respondents who were male, highly educated and self-sufficient were most likely to support conservation. Tigers are tolerated based on religious beliefs, and these cultural values, together with the sharing of conservation benefits, facilitate conservation. Leopards, however, are not tolerated in the same way and are the most damaging predators.
Norovirus, a major cause of gastroenteritis in people of all ages worldwide, was first reported in South Korea in 1999. The most common causal agents of pediatric acute gastroenteritis are norovirus and rotavirus. While vaccination has reduced the pediatric rotavirus infection rate, norovirus vaccines have not been developed. Therefore, prediction and prevention of norovirus are very important. Norovirus is divided into genogroups GI–GVII, with GII.4 being the most prevalent. However, in 2012–2013, GII.17 showed a higher incidence than GII.4 and a novel variant, GII.P17-GII.17, appeared. In this study, 204 stool samples collected in 2013–2014 were screened by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction; 11 GI (5.39%) and 45 GII (22.06%) noroviruses were identified. GI.4, GI.5, GII.4, GII.6 and GII.17 were detected. The whole genomes of the three norovirus GII.17 were sequenced. The whole genome of GII.17 consists of three open reading frames of 5109, 1623 and 780 bp. Compared with 20 GII.17 strains isolated in other countries, we observed numerous changes in the protruding P2 domain of VP1 in the Korean GII.17 viruses. Our study provided genome information that might aid in epidemic prevention, epidemiology studies and vaccine development.
Molecular dynamics simulations of different defective kaolinites under tension were performed to reveal the effects of defect location, type, density and temperature on their mechanical properties. Four types of defective kaolinite with Si vacancies were constructed. Based on the atomic-scale deformation and failure processes of defective kaolinite and its stress–strain curves, the Young's moduli and tensile strengths in three crystal directions were obtained and compared with the existing theoretical values from the literature. The defect location at each layer does not affect the mechanical properties of kaolinite and the cracks initiated at the defective sites. The atom density of each model was calculated in order to investigate the defect-type effect on the mechanical properties of kaolinite. The simulation results also showed that kaolinite exhibits brittle failure behaviour and the mechanical properties degrade significantly with increasing defect density and temperature. The influence of temperature on the mechanical properties of defective kaolinite is discussed in detail.
Guangxi, a province in southwestern China, has the second highest reported number of HIV/AIDS cases in China. This study aimed to develop an accurate and effective model to describe the tendency of HIV and to predict its incidence in Guangxi. HIV incidence data of Guangxi from 2005 to 2016 were obtained from the database of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Long short-term memory (LSTM) neural network models, autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA) models, generalised regression neural network (GRNN) models and exponential smoothing (ES) were used to fit the incidence data. Data from 2015 and 2016 were used to validate the most suitable models. The model performances were evaluated by evaluating metrics, including mean square error (MSE), root mean square error, mean absolute error and mean absolute percentage error. The LSTM model had the lowest MSE when the N value (time step) was 12. The most appropriate ARIMA models for incidence in 2015 and 2016 were ARIMA (1, 1, 2) (0, 1, 2)12 and ARIMA (2, 1, 0) (1, 1, 2)12, respectively. The accuracy of GRNN and ES models in forecasting HIV incidence in Guangxi was relatively poor. Four performance metrics of the LSTM model were all lower than the ARIMA, GRNN and ES models. The LSTM model was more effective than other time-series models and is important for the monitoring and control of local HIV epidemics.
Antenna-pattern measurements obtained from a double-metal supra-terahertz-frequency (supra-THz) quantum cascade laser (QCL) are presented. The QCL is mounted within a mechanically micro-machined waveguide cavity containing dual diagonal feedhorns. Operating in continuous-wave mode at 3.5 THz, and at an ambient temperature of ~60 K, QCL emission has been directed via the feedhorns to a supra-THz detector mounted on a multi-axis linear scanner. Comparison of simulated and measured far-field antenna patterns shows an excellent degree of correlation between beamwidth (full-width-half-maximum) and sidelobe content and a very substantial improvement when compared with unmounted devices. Additionally, a single output has been used to successfully illuminate and demonstrate an optical breadboard arrangement associated with a future supra-THz Earth observation space-borne payload. Our novel device has therefore provided a valuable demonstration of the effectiveness of supra-THz diagonal feedhorns and QCL devices for future space-borne ultra-high-frequency Earth-observing heterodyne radiometers.
In 2017, we surveyed long-term care facilities in Pennsylvania regarding antimicrobial stewardship and infection prevention and control (IPC) practices. Among 244 responding facilities, 93% had IPC programs and 47% had antimicrobial stewardship programs. There was significant variation in practices across facilities, and a number of program implementation challenges were identified.
To ascertain opinions regarding etiology and preventability of hospital-onset bacteremia and fungemia (HOB) and perspectives on HOB as a potential outcome measure reflecting quality of infection prevention and hospital care.
Hospital epidemiologists and infection preventionist members of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) Research Network.
A web-based, multiple-choice survey was administered via the SHEA Research Network to 133 hospitals.
A total of 89 surveys were completed (67% response rate). Overall, 60% of respondents defined HOB as a positive blood culture on or after hospital day 3. Central line-associated bloodstream infections and intra-abdominal infections were perceived as the most frequent etiologies. Moreover, 61% thought that most HOB events are preventable, and 54% viewed HOB as a measure reflecting a hospital’s quality of care. Also, 29% of respondents’ hospitals already collect HOB data for internal purposes. Given a choice to publicly report central-line–associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) and/or HOB, 57% favored reporting either HOB alone (22%) or in addition to CLABSI (35%) and 34% favored CLABSI alone.
Among the majority of SHEA Research Network respondents, HOB is perceived as preventable, reflective of quality of care, and potentially acceptable as a publicly reported quality metric. Further studies on HOB are needed, including validation as a quality measure, assessment of risk adjustment, and formation of evidence-based bundles and toolkits to facilitate measurement and improvement of HOB rates.
Many patients with advanced serious illness or at the end of life experience delirium, a potentially reversible form of acute brain dysfunction, which may impair ability to participate in medical decision-making and to engage with their loved ones. Screening for delirium provides an opportunity to address modifiable causes. Unfortunately, delirium remains underrecognized. The main objective of this pilot was to validate the brief Confusion Assessment Method (bCAM), a two-minute delirium-screening tool, in a veteran palliative care sample.
This was a pilot prospective, observational study that included hospitalized patients evaluated by the palliative care service at a single Veterans’ Administration Medical Center. The bCAM was compared against the reference standard, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fifth edition. Both assessments were blinded and conducted within 30 minutes of each other.
We enrolled 36 patients who were a median of 67 years (interquartile range 63–73). The primary reasons for admission to the hospital were sepsis or severe infection (33%), severe cardiac disease (including heart failure, cardiogenic shock, and myocardial infarction) (17%), or gastrointestinal/liver disease (17%). The bCAM performed well against the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fifth edition, for detecting delirium, with a sensitivity (95% confidence interval) of 0.80 (0.4, 0.96) and specificity of 0.87 (0.67, 0.96).
Significance of Results
Delirium was present in 27% of patients enrolled and never recognized by the palliative care service in routine clinical care. The bCAM provided good sensitivity and specificity in a pilot of palliative care patients, providing a method for nonpsychiatrically trained personnel to detect delirium.
Resistance to extended-spectrum cephalosporins (ESC) among Enterobacteriaceae (EB) is increasingly prevalent. We sought to determine the clinical outcomes associated with community-onset ESC-resistant (ESC-R) EB urinary tract infections (UTIs) in a US health system.
Retrospective cohort study.
All patients presenting to the emergency departments (EDs) or outpatient practices with EB UTIs between 2010 and 2013 were included. Exposed patients had ESC-R EB UTIs. Unexposed patients had ESC-susceptible EB UTIs and were matched to exposed subjects 1:1 on study year. Multivariable logistic regression analyses were performed to evaluate the association between ESC-R EB UTI and the outcomes of clinical failure and inappropriate initial antibiotic therapy (IIAT).
A total of 302 patients with community-onset EB UTI were included, with 151 exposed and unexposed. On multivariable analyses, UTI due to an ESC-R EB was significantly associated with clinical failure (odds ratio [OR], 7.07; 95% confidence interval [CI], 3.16–15.82; P<.01). Other independent risk factors for clinical failure included infection with Citrobacter spp and need for hemodialysis. UTI due to an ESC-R EB was also significantly associated with IIAT (OR, 4.40; 95% CI, 2.64–7.33; P<.01).
Community-onset UTI due to an ESC-R EB organism is significantly associated with clinical failure, which may be due in part to IIAT. Further studies are needed to determine which patients in the community are at high risk for drug-resistant infection to help inform prompt diagnosis and appropriate antibiotic prescribing for ESC-R EB.
To investigate whether amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) identified with visual memory tests conveys an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease (risk-AD) and if the risk-AD differs from that associated with aMCI based on verbal memory tests.
4,771 participants aged 70.76 (SD = 6.74, 45.4% females) from five community-based studies, each a member of the international COSMIC consortium and from a different country, were classified as having normal cognition (NC) or one of visual, verbal, or combined (visual and verbal) aMCI using international criteria and followed for an average of 2.48 years. Hazard ratios (HR) and individual patient data (IPD) meta-analysis analyzed the risk-AD with age, sex, education, single/multiple domain aMCI, and Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) scores as covariates.
All aMCI groups (n = 760) had a greater risk-AD than NC (n = 4,011; HR range = 3.66 – 9.25). The risk-AD was not different between visual (n = 208, 17 converters) and verbal aMCI (n = 449, 29 converters, HR = 1.70, 95%CI: 0.88, 3.27, p = 0.111). Combined aMCI (n = 103, 12 converters, HR = 2.34, 95%CI: 1.13, 4.84, p = 0.023) had a higher risk-AD than verbal aMCI. Age and MMSE scores were related to the risk-AD. The IPD meta-analyses replicated these results, though with slightly lower HR estimates (HR range = 3.68, 7.43) for aMCI vs. NC.
Although verbal aMCI was most common, a significant proportion of participants had visual-only or combined visual and verbal aMCI. Compared with verbal aMCI, the risk-AD was the same for visual aMCI and higher for combined aMCI. Our results highlight the importance of including both verbal and visual memory tests in neuropsychological assessments to more reliably identify aMCI.