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Q fever (caused by Coxiella burnetii) is thought to have an almost world-wide distribution, but few countries have conducted national serosurveys. We measured Q fever seroprevalence using residual sera from diagnostic laboratories across Australia. Individuals aged 1–79 years in 2012–2013 were sampled to be proportional to the population distribution by region, distance from metropolitan areas and gender. A 1/50 serum dilution was tested for the Phase II IgG antibody against C. burnetii by indirect immunofluorescence. We calculated crude seroprevalence estimates by age group and gender, as well as age standardised national and metropolitan/non-metropolitan seroprevalence estimates. Of 2785 sera, 99 tested positive. Age standardised seroprevalence was 5.6% (95% confidence interval (CI 4.5%–6.8%), and similar in metropolitan (5.5%; 95% CI 4.1%–6.9%) and non-metropolitan regions (6.0%; 95%CI 4.0%–8.0%). More males were seropositive (6.9%; 95% CI 5.2%–8.6%) than females (4.2%; 95% CI 2.9%–5.5%) with peak seroprevalence at 50–59 years (9.2%; 95% CI 5.2%–13.3%). Q fever seroprevalence for Australia was higher than expected (especially in metropolitan regions) and higher than estimates from the Netherlands (2.4%; pre-outbreak) and US (3.1%), but lower than for Northern Ireland (12.8%). Robust country-specific seroprevalence estimates, with detailed exposure data, are required to better understand who is at risk and the need for preventive measures.
There is a need for accurate and efficient assessment tools that cover a range of mental health and psychosocial problems. Existing, lengthy self-report assessments may reduce accuracy due to respondent fatigue. Using data from a sample of adults enrolled in a psychotherapy randomized trial in Thailand and a cross-sectional sample of adolescents in Zambia, we leveraged Item Response Theory (IRT) methods to create brief, psychometrically sound, mental health measures.
We used graded-response models to refine scales by identifying and removing poor performing items that were not well correlated with the underlying trait, and by identifying well-performing items at varying levels of a latent trait to assist in screening or monitoring purposes.
In Thailand, the original 17-item depression scale was shortened to seven items and the 30-item Posttraumatic Stress Scale (PTS) was shortened to 10. In Zambia, the Child Posttraumatic Stress Scale (CPSS) was shortened from 17 items to six. Shortened scales in both settings retained the strength of their psychometric properties. When examining longitudinal intervention effects in Thailand, effect sizes were comparable in magnitude for the shortened and standard versions.
Using Item Response Theory (IRT) we created shortened valid measures that can be used to help guide clinical decisions and function as longitudinal research tools. The results of this analysis demonstrate the reliability and validity of shortened scales in each of the two settings and an approach that can be generalized more broadly to help improve screening, monitoring, and evaluation of mental health and psychosocial programs globally.
Guidelines recommend empowering patients and families to remind healthcare workers (HCWs) to perform hand hygiene (HH). The effectiveness of empowerment tools for patients and their families in Southeast Asia is unknown.
We performed a prospective study in a pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) of a Vietnamese pediatric referral hospital. With family and HCW input, we developed a visual tool for families to prompt HCW HH. We used direct observation to collect baseline HH data. We then enrolled families to receive the visual tool and education on its use while continuing prospective collection of HH data. Multivariable logistic regression was used to identify independent predictors of HH in baseline and implementation periods.
In total, 2,014 baseline and 2,498 implementation-period HH opportunities were observed. During the implementation period, 73 families were enrolled. Overall, HCW HH was 46% preimplementation, which increased to 73% in the implementation period (P < .001). The lowest HH adherence in both periods occurred after HCW contact with patient surroundings: 16% at baseline increased to 24% after implementation. In multivariable analyses, the odds of HCW HH during the implementation period were significantly higher than baseline (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 2.94; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.54–3.41; P < .001) after adjusting for observation room, HCW type, time of observation (weekday business hours vs evening or weekend), and HH moment.
The introduction of a visual empowerment tool was associated with significant improvement in HH adherence among HCWs in a Vietnamese PICU. Future research should explore acceptability and barriers to use of similar tools in low- and middle-income settings.
We undertook a quality improvement project to address challenges with pulmonary artery catheter (PAC) line maintenance in a setting of low-baseline central-line infection rates. We observed a subsequent reduction in Staphylococcal PAC line infections and a trend toward a reduction in overall PAC infection rates over 1 year.
Improving robustness of farm animals is one of the goals in breeding programmes. However, robustness is a complex trait and not measurable directly. The objective of this study was to quantify and characterize (elements of) robustness in growing pigs. Robustness can be analysed by examining the animal’s response to perturbations. Although the origin of perturbations may not be known, their effect on animal performance can be observed, for example, through changes in voluntary feed intake. A generic model and data analysis procedure was developed (1) to estimate the target trajectory of feed intake, which is the amount of feed that a pig desires to eat when it is not facing any perturbations; (2) to detect potential perturbations, which are deviations of feed intake from the estimated target trajectory; and (3) to characterize and quantify the response of the growing pigs to the perturbations using voluntary feed intake as response criterion. The response of a pig to a perturbation is characterized by four parameters. The start and end times of the perturbation are ‘imposed’ by the perturbing factor, while two other parameters describe the resistance and resilience potential of the pig. One of these describes the immediate reduction in daily feed intake at the start of the perturbation (i.e., a ‘resistance’ trait) while another parameter describes the capacity of the pig to adapt to the perturbation through compensatory feed intake to rejoin the target trajectory of feed intake (i.e., a ‘resilience’ trait). The procedure has been employed successfully to identify the target trajectory of feed intake in growing pigs and to quantify the pig’s response to a perturbation.
Powder X-ray diffraction patterns for three forms of MIL-53(Al), a metal organic framework (MOF) compound with breathing characteristics, were investigated using the Rietveld refinement method. These three samples are referred to as the MIL-53(Al)as-syn (the as synthesized sample), orthorhombic, Pnma, a = 17.064(2) Å, b = 6.6069(9) Å, c = 12.1636(13) Å, V = 1371.3(2) Å3, Z = 4), MIL-53(Al)LT-H (low-temperature hydrated phase, monoclinic P21/c, a = 19.4993(8) Å, b = 15.2347(6) Å, c = 6.5687(3) Å, β = 104.219(4) °, V = 1891.55(10) Å3, Z = 8), and MIL-53(Al)HT-D (high-temperature dehydrated phase, Imma, a = 6.6324(5) Å, b = 16.736(2) Å, c = 12.840(2), V = 1425.2(2) Å3, Z = 4). The crystal structures of the “as-syn” sample and the HT-D sample are confirmed to be the commonly adopted ones. However, the structure of the MIL-53(Al)LT-H phase is confirmed to be monoclinic with a space group of P21/c instead of the commonly accepted space group Cc, resulting in a cell volume double in size. The structure has two slightly different types of channel. The pore volumes and pore surface area were estimated to be 0.11766 (8) cm3/g and 1461.3(10) m2/g for MIL-53(Al)HT-D (high-temperature dehydrated phase), and 0.08628 (5) cm3/g and 1401.6 (10) m2/g for MIL-53(Al)as-syn phases, respectively. The powder patterns for the MIL-53(Al)as-syn and MIL-53(Al)HT-D phases are reported in this paper.
Fasciola jacksoni is a significant contributor to the health and mortality of Asian elephants, particularly those in Sri Lanka. Despite the impact of fascioliasis on elephant populations, it is a neglected veterinary disease with limited taxonomic understanding. Molecular characterization and phylogenetic analysis of F. jacksoni were carried out to evaluate its suggested basal position in the Fasciolidae. Adult worms were collected during post-mortem of elephants, and eggs were collected from living elephants in National parks across Sri Lanka. Using the mitochondrial genes nicotinamide dehydrogenase subunit 1 (nad1) and cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (cox1), and a partial 28S ribosomal DNA (28S rDNA), DNA sequences were generated from the F. jacksoni adult and egg material. Maximum likelihood (ML) phylogenetic analyses did not resolve F. jacksoni to be basal to the Fasciolidae. Furthermore, the ML analyses showed that the genus Fasciola was not monophyletic and that F. jacksoni was a sister species to the deer liver fluke Fascioloides magna. A clear framework is required to determine the taxonomic status of F. jacksoni and this current study provides the first detailed application of molecular techniques from multiple hosts across Sri Lanka with the production of reference DNA sequences for this important parasite.
Introduction: Endotracheal intubation (ETI) is a lifesaving procedure commonly performed by emergency department (ED) physicians that may lead to patient discomfort or adverse events (e.g., unintended extubation) if sedation is inadequate. No ED-based sedation guidelines currently exist, so individual practice varies widely. This study's objective was to describe the self-reported post-ETI sedation practice of Canadian adult ED physicians. Methods: An anonymous, cross-sectional, web-based survey featuring 7 common ED scenarios requiring ETI was distributed to adult ED physician members of the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians (CAEP). Scenarios included post-cardiac arrest, hypercapnic and hypoxic respiratory failure, status epilepticus, polytrauma, traumatic brain injury, and toxicology. Participants indicated first and second choice of sedative medication following ETI, as well as bolus vs. infusion administration in each scenario. Data was presented by descriptive statistics. Results: 207 (response rate 16.8%) ED physicians responded to the survey. Emergency medicine training of respondents included CCFP-EM (47.0%), FRCPC (35.8%), and CCFP (13.9%). 51.0% of respondents work primarily in academic/teaching hospitals and 40.4% work in community teaching hospitals. On average, responding physicians report providing care for 4.9 ± 6.8 (mean ± SD) intubated adult patients per month for varying durations (39.2% for 1–2 hours, 27.8% for 2–4 hours, and 22.7% for ≤1 hour). Combining all clinical scenarios, propofol was the most frequently used medication for post-ETI sedation (38.0% of all responses) and was the most frequently used agent except for the post-cardiac arrest, polytrauma, and hypercapnic respiratory failure scenarios. Ketamine was used second most frequently (28.2%), with midazolam being third most common (14.5%). Post-ETI sedation was provided by > 98% of physicians in all situations except the post-cardiac arrest (26.1% indicating no sedation) and toxicology (15.5% indicating no sedation) scenarios. Sedation was provided by infusion in 74.6% of cases and bolus in 25.4%. Conclusion: Significant practice variability with respect to post-ETI sedation exists amongst Canadian emergency physicians. Future quality improvement studies should examine sedation provided in real clinical scenarios with a goal of establishing best sedation practices to improve patient safety and quality of care.
We investigated the impact of discontinuation of contact precautions for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus infected or colonized patients on central-line associated bloodstream infection rates at an academic children’s hospital. Discontinuation of contact precautions with a bundled horizontal infection prevention platform resulted in no adverse impact on CLABSI rates.
The Research Domain Criteria initiative was launched by the US National Institute of Mental Health to establish a multi-level framework for understanding psychological constructs relevant to human psychiatric disorders, and identified ‘effort valuation/willingness to work’ as a clinically useful construct worthy of further study. This construct encompasses the processes by which the cost(s) of obtaining an outcome are calculated, and the tendency to overcome response costs to obtain a reinforcer. The current study aims to examine effort valuation as a correlate of psychopathology in children and adults, and the moderating effects of sex on this relationship.
Participants were 1215 children aged 6–12 and their parents (n = 1044). All participants completed the Effort Expenditure for Rewards Task as a measure of effort expenditure. Child psychopathology was measured via the Child Behavior Checklist, while adult psychopathology was measured via the Adult Self Report. Additionally, the Social Adjustment Inventory for Children and Adolescents and Injury Behavior Checklist were used to examine child social impairments/problem behaviors.
In children, significant interactions between reward sensitivity and sex were observed in association with anxiety and thought problems, specifically at low reward sensitivity levels. In adults, main effects of effort expenditure were seen in drug and alcohol abuse, where higher effort was associated with higher degrees of abuse.
These results establish effort valuation as a relevant psychological construct for understanding psychopathology, but with different profiles of associated psychopathology across sex in children and adults.
Given the range and reach of psychosocial support (PSS) interventions in humanitarian settings, within the continuum of mental health and psychosocial support services, evaluation of their impact is critical. Understanding stakeholders' perspectives on which PSS interventions of unknown effectiveness warrant rigorous evaluation is essential to identify research priorities. This project aimed to facilitate a process with stakeholders to reach consensus on PSS interventions that are of high priority for further research based on existing evidence and stakeholders' opinions.
Interviews with 109 stakeholders working on PSS programming in humanitarian settings served as the foundation for two in-person regional meetings and four webinars. Nominal Group Technique (NGT) was used to develop a priority PSS program list. The top five priorities from each meeting were combined for a final online survey distributed globally.
Seventy participants across six meetings contributed to the prioritization process. Eighty-seven individuals completed the final online survey. ‘Community based PSS’ was the top-ranked research priority, followed by PSS integrated into basic services, providing PSS to caregivers to improve child wellbeing, PSS-focused gender-based violence programming, and classroom-based PSS interventions.
NGT and online surveys were effective methods to engage stakeholders in a priority setting exercise to development a research agenda. Information from this stage of the project will be combined with findings from a concurrent systematic review to form the base of a second phase of work, which will include the development and implementation of a research strategy to strengthen the evidence base for those prioritized interventions.
Sintered tape-cast yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ) was evaluated for its elemental composition, crystal structure, and imaged with atomic force microscopy (AFM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Human bone marrow stem cells (hBMSC) were cultured on the ceramic and differentiated into the osteoblast lineage; alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity was tracked as a differentiation marker. The YSZ was composed of purely tetragonal grains with a median equivalent circular diameter of 283 nm. Zirconium, yttrium, oxygen, and adventitious carbon was detected on the substrate with no other elements in significant quantities detected. YSZ samples had an RMS roughness value of 27 nm, elastic modulus of 206 ± 14 GPa, and hardness of 14 ± 2 GPa. hBMSC were observed to attach and proliferate on the YSZ surfaces and had significantly increased ALP versus the undifferentiated control cultured on glass. This method for producing a YSZ ceramic yields a typical material of this type and supports attachment and differentiation of hBMSC; thus, making it useful as a bone implant material.
To characterise subjective symptoms in patients undergoing surgical repair of superior semicircular canal dehiscence.
Questionnaires assessing symptom severity and impact on function and quality of life were administered to patients before superior semicircular canal dehiscence surgery, between June 2011 and March 2016. Questionnaire sections included general quality of life, internal amplified sounds, dizziness and tinnitus, with scores of 0–100 points.
Twenty-three patients completed the questionnaire before surgery. Section scores (mean±standard deviation) were: 38.2 ± 25.2 for general quality of life, 52.5 ± 23.9 for internal amplified sounds, 35.1 ± 28.8 for dizziness, 33.3 ± 30.7 for tinnitus, and 39.8 ± 22.2 for the composite score. Cronbach's α statistic averaged 0.93 (range, 0.84–0.97) across section scores, and 0.83 for the composite score.
The Gopen–Yang Superior Semicircular Canal Dehiscence Questionnaire provides a holistic, patient-centred characterisation of superior semicircular canal dehiscence symptoms. Internal consistency analysis validated the questionnaire and provided a quantitative framework for further optimisation in the clinical setting.
A cluster of Salmonella Paratyphi B variant L(+) tartrate(+) infections with indistinguishable pulsed-field gel electrophoresis patterns was detected in October 2015. Interviews initially identified nut butters, kale, kombucha, chia seeds and nutrition bars as common exposures. Epidemiologic, environmental and traceback investigations were conducted. Thirteen ill people infected with the outbreak strain were identified in 10 states with illness onset during 18 July–22 November 2015. Eight of 10 (80%) ill people reported eating Brand A raw sprouted nut butters. Brand A conducted a voluntary recall. Raw sprouted nut butters are a novel outbreak vehicle, though contaminated raw nuts, nut butters and sprouted seeds have all caused outbreaks previously. Firms producing raw sprouted products, including nut butters, should consider a kill step to reduce the risk of contamination. People at greater risk for foodborne illness may wish to consider avoiding raw products containing raw sprouted ingredients.
The pressure–strain-rate correlation and pressure fluctuations in convective and near neutral atmospheric surface layers are investigated. Their scaling properties, spectral characteristics, the contributions from the different source terms in the pressure Poisson equation and the effects of the wall are investigated using high-resolution (up to
) large-eddy simulation fields and through spectral predictions. The pressure–strain-rate correlation was found to have the mixed-layer and surface-layer scaling in the strongly convective and near neutral atmospheric surface layers, respectively. Its apparent surface-layer scaling in the moderately convective surface layer is due to the slow variations of the mixed-layer contribution, and is an inherent problem for single-point statistics in a multi-scale surface layer. In the strongly convective surface layer the pressure spectrum has an approximate
scaling range for small wavenumbers (
) due to the turbulent–turbulent contribution, and does not follow the surface-layer scaling, where
are the horizontal wavenumber and the distance from the surface respectively. The pressure–strain-rate cospectrum components have a
scaling range, consistent with our prediction using the surface layer parameters. It is dominated by the buoyancy contribution. Thus the anisotropy in the surface layer is due to the energy redistribution caused by the density fluctuations of the large eddies, rather than the turbulent–turbulent (inertial) effects. In the near neutral surface layer, the turbulent–turbulent and rapid contributions are primarily responsible for redistribution of energy from the streamwise velocity component to the vertical and spanwise components, respectively. The pressure–strain-rate cospectra peak near
, and have some similarities to those in the strongly convective surface layer for
. For the moderately convective surface layer, the pressure–strain-rate cospectra change signs at scales of the order of the Obukhov length, thereby imposing it as a horizontal length scale in the surface layer. This result provides strong support to the multipoint Monin–Obukhov similarity recently proposed by Tong & Nguyen (J. Atmos. Sci., vol. 72, 2015, pp. 4337–4348). We further decompose the pressure into the free-space (infinite domain), the wall reflection and the harmonic contributions. In the strongly convective surface layer, the free-space contribution to the pressure–strain-rate correlation is dominated by the buoyancy part, and is the main cause of the surface-layer anisotropy. The wall reflection enhances the anisotropy for most of the surface layer, suggesting that the pressure source has a large coherence length. In the near neutral surface layer, the wall reflection is small, suggesting a much smaller source coherence length. The present study also clarifies the understanding of the role of the turbulent–turbulent pressure, and has implications for understanding the dynamics and structure as well as modelling the atmospheric surface layer.