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The current study describes the results obtained from clinical examination of over 4700 suckling piglets from 19 individual herds in Germany. In this cohort the prevalence of inflammation and necrosis in the tails, ears, claw coronary bands, heels and teats was determined using a pre-defined scoring system. Results show that already in the 1st days of life, piglets were affected by inflammation and necrosis of the heels (80%), claw coronary bands (50%) and tail base (20%). The praevalences of these alterations in piglets were influenced by genetics (P <0.001) and age, decreasing gradually in the 2nd week of life (P <0.001). Moreover, a correlation between tail length after tail docking and the prevalence of tail necrosis (P⩽0.04) was found. Tail and ear biting as a behavioural trait was not detected during this study. The early onset, appearance and multiple locations of clinical signs of inflammation and the positive correlation with the genetic background of the piglets may suggest an impairment of the innate immune system by infectious and non-infectious agents. This is in contrast to previously described behavioural abnormalities seen in fattening pigs. Considering the obvious reduction of animal welfare due to the described lesions, there is a need to create awareness among pig farmers and to understand the multifactorial causality involved in this inflammation and necrosis syndrome in piglets.
To assess the prevalence of prediabetes and metabolic abnormalities among overweight or obese clozapine- or olanzapine-treated schizophrenia patients, and to identify characteristics of the schizophrenia group with prediabetes.
A cross-sectional study assessing the presence of prediabetes and metabolic abnormalities in schizophrenia clozapine- or olanzapine-treated patients with a body mass index (BMI) ≥27 kg/m2. Procedures were part of the screening process for a randomized, placebo-controlled trial evaluating liraglutide vs placebo for improving glucose tolerance. For comparison, an age-, sex-, and BMI-matched healthy control group without psychiatric illness and prediabetes was included. Prediabetes was defined as elevated fasting plasma glucose and/or impaired glucose tolerance and/or elevated glycated hemoglobin A1c.
Among 145 schizophrenia patients (age = 42.1 years; males = 59.3%) on clozapine or olanzapine (clozapine/olanzapine/both: 73.8%/24.1%/2.1%), prediabetes was present in 69.7% (101 out of 145). While schizophrenia patients with and without prediabetes did not differ regarding demographic, illness, or antipsychotic treatment variables, metabolic abnormalities (waist circumference: 116.7±13.7 vs 110.1±13.6 cm, P = 0.007; triglycerides: 2.3±1.4 vs 1.6±0.9 mmol/L, P = 0.0004) and metabolic syndrome (76.2% vs 40.9%, P<0.0001) were significantly more pronounced in schizophrenia patients with vs without prediabetes. The age-, sex-, and BMI-matched healthy controls had significantly better glucose tolerance compared to both groups of patients with schizophrenia. The healthy controls also had higher levels of high-density lipoprotein compared to patients with schizophrenia and prediabetes.
Prediabetes and metabolic abnormalities were highly prevalent among the clozapine- and olanzapine-treated patients with schizophrenia, putting these patients at great risk for later type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. These results stress the importance of identifying and adequately treating prediabetes and metabolic abnormalities among clozapine- and olanzapine-treated patients with schizophrenia.
ESA's Gaia space astrometry mission is performing an all-sky survey of stellar objects. At the beginning of the nominal mission in July 2014, an operation scheme was adopted that enabled Gaia to routinely acquire observations of all stars brighter than the original limit of G~6, i.e. the naked-eye stars. We present the current status and extent of those observations.
Prebiotic oligosaccharides, including galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS), are used in infant formula to mimic human milk oligosaccharides, which are known to have an important role in the development of the intestinal microbiota and the immune system in neonates. The maturation of the intestines in piglets closely resembles that of human neonates and infants. Hence, a neonatal piglet model was used to study the multi-faceted effect of dietary GOS in early life. Naturally farrowed piglets were separated from the mother sow 24–48 h postpartum and received a milk replacer with or without the addition of GOS for 3 or 26 d, whereafter several indicators of intestinal colonisation and maturation were measured. Dietary GOS was readily fermented in the colon, leading to a decreased pH, an increase in butyric acid in caecum digesta and an increase in lactobacilli and bifidobacteria numbers at day 26. Histomorphological changes were observed in the intestines of piglets fed a GOS diet for 3 or 26 d. In turn, differences in the intestinal disaccharidase activity were observed between control and GOS-fed piglets. The mRNA expression of various tight junction proteins was up-regulated in the intestines of piglet fed a GOS diet and was not accompanied by an increase in protein expression. GOS also increased defensin porcine β-defensin-2 in the colon and secretory IgA levels in saliva. In conclusion, by applying a neonatal piglet model, it could be demonstrated that a GOS-supplemented milk replacer promotes the balance of the developing intestinal microbiota, improves the intestinal architecture and seems to stimulate the intestinal defence mechanism.
Severe health anxiety is frequent and costly, yet rarely diagnosed or treated. Earlier treatment studies show problems with recruitment, dropout and recovery. In the current study, the authors aimed to test the effect of acceptance and commitment group therapy (ACT-G) compared to waitlist in patients with severe health anxiety.
During March 2010 to April 2012, 126 consecutively referred patients meeting research criteria for severe health anxiety were block-randomized (1:1) to ACT-G or a 10 months’ waitlist (Clinicaltrials.gov, no. NCT01158430). Patients allocated to ACT-G were treated in seven groups of nine patients between December 2010 and October 2012 and received nine weekly 3-h group sessions and a booster session consisting of ACT techniques. The primary outcome was decided a priori as the mean change in self-reported illness worry on the Whiteley-7 Index (WI) from baseline to 10 months’ follow-up. Secondary outcomes were improvement in emotional distress and health-related quality of life at 10 months’ follow-up.
Intention-to-treat analysis showed a statistically significant mean difference of 20.5 points [95% confidence interval (CI) 11.7–29·4, p < 0.001] on the WI between the groups at 10 months, and the between-group effect sizes were large (Cohen's d = 0.89, 95% CI 0.50–1.29). The number needed to treat was 2.4 (95% CI 1.4–3.4, p < 0.001). Diagnosis and treatment were well accepted by the patients.
ACT-G seems feasible, acceptable and effective in treating severe health anxiety.
To determine whether use of contact precautions on hospital ward patients is associated with patient adverse events
Individually matched prospective cohort study
The University of Maryland Medical Center, a tertiary care hospital in Baltimore, Maryland
A total of 296 medical or surgical inpatients admitted to non–intensive care unit hospital wards were enrolled at admission from January to November 2010. Patients on contact precautions were individually matched by hospital unit after an initial 3-day length of stay to patients not on contact precautions. Adverse events were detected by physician chart review and categorized as noninfectious, preventable and severe noninfectious, and infectious adverse events during the patient’s stay using the standardized Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s Global Trigger Tool.
The cohort of 148 patients on contact precautions at admission was matched with a cohort of 148 patients not on contact precautions. Of the total 296 subjects, 104 (35.1%) experienced at least 1 adverse event during their hospital stay. Contact precautions were associated with fewer noninfectious adverse events (rate ratio [RtR], 0.70; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.51–0.95; P=.02) and although not statistically significant, with fewer severe adverse events (RtR, 0.69; 95% CI, 0.46–1.03; P=.07). Preventable adverse events did not significantly differ between patients on contact precautions and patients not on contact precautions (RtR, 0.85; 95% CI, 0.59–1.24; P=.41).
Hospital ward patients on contact precautions were less likely to experience noninfectious adverse events during their hospital stay than patients not on contact precautions.
Infect. Control Hosp. Epidemiol. 2015;36(11):1268–1274
Kalahari Group sediments accumulated in the Kalahari basin, which started forming during the breakup of Gondwana in the early Cretaceous. These sediments cover an extensive part of southern Africa and form a low-relief landscape. Current models assume that the Kalahari Group accumulated throughout the entire Cenozoic. However, chronology has been restricted to early–middle Cenozoic biostratigraphic correlations and to OSL dating of only the past ~ 300 ka. We present a new chronological framework that reveals a dynamic nature of sedimentation in the southern Kalahari. Cosmogenic burial ages obtained from a 55 m section of Kalahari Group sediments from the Mamatwan Mine, southern Kalahari, indicate that the majority of deposition at this location occurred rapidly at 1–1.2 Ma. This Pleistocene sequence overlies the Archaean basement, forming a significant hiatus that permits the possibility of many Phanerozoic cycles of deposition and erosion no longer preserved in the sedimentary record. Our data also establish the existence of a shallow early–middle Pleistocene water body that persisted for > 450 ka prior to this rapid period of deposition. Evidence from neighboring archeological excavations in southern Africa suggests an association of high-density hominin occupation with this water body.
Objective: Patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) can show impaired self-awareness of motor deficits (ISAm). We developed a new scale that measures ISAm severity of hyper- and hypokinetic movements in PD during medication on state and defined its psychometric criteria. Method: Included were 104 right-handed, non-depressed, non-demented patients. Concerning ISAm, 38 motor symptoms were assessed using seven tasks, which were performed and self-rated concerning presence of deficit (yes/no) by all patients. The whole procedure was videotaped. Motor symptoms were then evaluated by two independent experts, blinded for patient’s ratings, concerning presence, awareness of deficit, and severity. Exploratory principal component analysis (promax rotation) was applied to reduce items. Principal axis factoring was conducted to extract factors. Reliability was examined regarding internal consistency, split-half reliability, and interrater reliability. Validity was verified by applying two additional measures of ISAm. Results: Of the initial 38 symptoms, 15 remained, assessed in five motor tasks and merged to a total severity score. Factor analysis resulted in a four factor solution (dyskinesia, resting tremor right hand, resting tremor left hand, bradykinesia). For all subscales and the total score, measures of reliability (values 0.64–0.89) and validity (effect sizes>0.3) were satisfactory. Descriptive results showed that 66% of patients had signs of ISAm (median 2, range 0–15), with ISAm being most distinct for dyskinesia. Conclusions: We provide the first validation of a test for ISAm in PD. Using this instrument, future studies can further analyze the pathophysiology of ISAm, the psychosocial sequelae, therapeutic strategies and compliance with therapy. (JINS, 2015, 21, 1–10)
Somatoform disorders are costly for society in terms of increased healthcare expenditure. Patients' illness perceptions have been found to play a role in somatoform disorders. However, it is unclear whether illness perceptions predict higher health costs in these patients.
A total of 1785 primary care patients presenting a new health complaint completed a questionnaire on their illness perceptions and emotional distress before the consultation. The physicians completed a questionnaire for each patient on diagnostics after the consultation. In a stratified subsample, physician interviewers established diagnoses of DSM-IV somatization and undifferentiated somatoform disorders (n = 144) using the Schedules for Clinical Assessment in Neuropsychiatry. Healthcare expenditure was obtained from Danish health registers for a 2-year follow-up period.
Patients had more negative perceptions of their well-defined physical health problems when they had a co-morbid somatoform disorder. A strong illness identity [β = 0.120, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.029–0.212, p = 0.012], perceived negative consequences (β = 0.010, 95% CI 0.001–0.019, p = 0.024), a long timeline perspective (β = 0.013, 95% CI 0.005–0.021, p = 0.001), low personal control (β = − 0.009, 95% CI –0.015 to −0.002, p = 0.011) and negative emotional representations (β = 0.009, 95% CI 0.002–0.017, p = 0.020) predicted healthcare expenditure in somatoform disorders.
The results suggest that illness perceptions play a role in the perpetuation of symptoms in somatoform disorders and predict higher future healthcare expenditure among a subgroup of these patients.
The discovery of γ-ray emission from 5 radio-loud narrow-line Seyfert 1 galaxies revealed the presence of a possible emerging third class of AGNs with relativistic jets, in addition to blazars and radio galaxies. The existence of relativistic jets also in this subclass of Seyfert galaxies opened an unexplored research space for our knowledge of the radio-loud AGNs. Here, we discuss the radio-to-γ-rays properties of the γ-ray emitting narrow-line Seyfert 1 galaxies, also in comparison with the blazar scenario.
Of the 13 US vancomycin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (VRSA) cases, 8 were identified in southeastern Michigan, primarily in patients with chronic lower-extremity wounds. VRSA infections develop when the vanA gene from vancomycin-resistant enterococcus (VRE) transfers to S. aureus. Incl8-like plasmids in VRE and pSK41-like plasmids in S. aureus appear to be important precursors to this transfer.
Identify the prevalence of VRSA precursor organisms.
Prospective cohort with embedded case-control study.
Southeastern Michigan adults with chronic lower-extremity wounds.
Adults presenting to 3 southeastern Michigan medical centers during the period February 15 through March 4, 2011, with chronic lower-extremity wounds had wound, nares, and perirectal swab specimens cultured for S. aureus and VRE, which were tested for pSK41-like and Incl8-like plasmids by polymerase chain reaction. We interviewed participants and reviewed clinical records. Risk factors for pSK41-positive S. aureus were assessed among all study participants (cohort analysis) and among only S. aureus-colonized participants (case-control analysis).
Of 179 participants with wound cultures, 26% were colonized with methicillin-susceptible S. aureus, 27% were colonized with methicillin-resistant S. aureus, and 4% were colonized with VRE, although only 17% consented to perirectal culture. Six participants (3%) had pSK41-positive S. aureus, and none had Incl8-positive VRE. Having chronic wounds for over 2 years was associated with pSK41-positive S. aureus colonization in both analyses.
Colonization with VRSA precursor organisms was rare. Having long-standing chronic wounds was a risk factor for pSK41-positive S. aureus colonization. Additional investigation into the prevalence of VRSA precursors among a larger cohort of patients is warranted.
Several progenitor scenarios have been suggested for Type Ia supernovae. Here we discuss the consequences for the explosion mechanism and for observables of some of them, which are explored by means of multi-dimensional hydrodynamic and radiation transfer simulations. While the observables predicted from delayed detonations of Chandrasekhar-mass white dwarfs agree reasonably well with the data, the corresponding progenitor systems may be too rare to account for the observed rate of Type Ia supernovae. Several alternatives are investigated of which violent mergers of two white dwarfs and, perhaps, double detonations of sub-Chandrasekhar mass white dwarfs hold promise for reproducing the observables of normal Type Ia supernovae.
We argue that detonations of sub-Chandrasekhar mass white dwarfs can lead to bright explosions with light curves and spectra similar to those of observed Type Ia supernovae. Given that binary systems containing accreting sub-Chandrasekhar mass white dwarfs should be common, this suggests that a non-negligible fraction of the observed Type Ia supernova rate may arise from sub-Chandrasekhar mass explosions, if they can be ignited. We discuss aspects of how such explosions might be realized in nature and both merits and challenges associated with invoking sub-Chandrasekhar mass explosion models to account for observed Type Ia supernovae.
A facile and efficient, one step method using high-energy ball milling (HEBM) to produce chloroalkyl-functionalized silicon nanoparticles is described. HEBM causes silicon wafers to fracture and exposes reactive silicon surfaces. Nanometer-sized, functionalized particles with alkyl-linked chloro groups are synthesized by milling the silicon precursor in presence of an ω-chloroalkyne in either hexene or hexyne. This process allows tuning of the concentration of the exposed, alkyl-linked chloro groups, simply by varying the relative amounts of the coreactants. The silicon nanoparticles formed serve as a starting point for a wide variety of chemical reactions, which may be used to alter the surface properties of the functionalized nanoparticles.
Current rodent models emphasize the joint action of the stress mediators noradrenaline (NE) and cortisol (CORT) in conferring a memory advantage of emotional over neutral stimuli.
Using a pharmacological strategy of tackling this stress-related mechanism to enhance human episodic (autobiographical) memory, we measured amygdala-hippocampal responses during encoding of emotional and neutral stimuli with functional magnetic resonance imaging in 51 healthy subjects under four pharmacological conditions in a double-blind parallel group design: (i) placebo; (ii) the NE-reuptake inhibitor reboxetine (4 mg); (iii) hydrocortisone (synthetic CORT) (30 mg); or (iv) both agents in combination.
Differential drug effects were found in the left hippocampus, whereas hydrocortisone alone selectively decreased hippocampal responses to emotional relative to neutral stimuli, reboxetine potentiated hippocampal responses to these stimuli. Importantly, the inhibitory influence of hydrocortisone was reversed by co-administration of reboxetine.
Our results imply that stress levels of CORT alone attenuate hippocampal responses to emotional stimuli, an effect possibly related to a regulatory negative feedback loop. However, when simultaneously elevated to stress levels, NE and CORT act together to synergistically enhance hippocampal activity during encoding of emotional stimuli, a mechanism that may turn maladaptive under circumstances of traumatic stress.
Following the end of the Cold War, there was a remarkable silence about religious persecution. The atrocities of the Jewish Holocaust during World War II were well known, and Stalin's vicious attack on religion in the Soviet Union was common knowledge, but this all seemed safely distant from a world moving away from Communism. As the 1990s progressed, however, the silence was broken. The Bosnian war quickly revealed the savagery of which humans were still capable as the world witnessed thousands of Bosnian Muslims facing brutal persecution and being driven from their homes. Religion was only one of many elements in this “ethnic cleansing,” but in a growing number of instances, religion was at the core of physical persecution. As reviewed in Chapter 1, Michael Horowitz led an unlikely alliance in revealing religious persecution around the globe. But as the awareness of persecution became greater, explanations for the occurrence of violent religious persecution and conflict remained scarce.
Many of the most compelling and highly regarded explanations for conflict around the globe give scant attention to the role of religion. Moreover, religion is seldom included as a force in large cross-national studies of social conflict. Economic and political interests are typically treated as the powerful forces fueling the flames of dissent, with religion merely marking the boundaries for political alliances and economic concerns. Despite a mounting number of credible studies highlighting its significance, religion is seldom at the center of mainstream academic discussions on conflict.