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In a crossover trial, a gown designed to increase skin coverage at the hands and wrists significantly reduced contamination of personnel during personal protective equipment (PPE) removal, and education on donning and doffing technique further reduced contamination. Simple modifications of PPE and education can reduce contamination during PPE removal.
Ongoing challenges in maintaining optimum manual cleaning and disinfection of hospital rooms have created increased interest in “no-touch” decontamination technologies including the use of ultraviolet light (UV). Trials have shown that some UV devices can decrease surface contamination and reduce healthcare-associated infections. Despite substantial marketing of these devices for use in healthcare settings, few data are available regarding the doses of UV-C necessary to yield desired reductions in healthcare pathogens and the ability of mobile devices to deliver adequate doses to various surfaces in patient rooms. This review summarizes the physical aspects of UV that affect the doses delivered to surfaces, the UV-C doses needed to yield 3 log10 reductions of several important healthcare-associated pathogens, the doses of UV-C that can be achieved in various locations in patient rooms using mobile UV-C devices, and methods for measuring UV doses delivered to surfaces.
Porphyrins are vital pigments involved in biological energy transduction processes. Their abilities to absorb light, then convert it to energy, have raised the interest of using porphyrin nanoparticles as photosensitizers in photodynamic therapy. A recent study showed that self- assembled porphyrin-silica composite nanoparticles can selectively destroy tumor cells, but detection of the cellular uptake of porphyrin-silica composite nanoparticles was limited to imaging microscopy. Here we developed a novel method to rapidly identify porphyrin-silica composite nanoparticles using Atmospheric Solids Analysis Probe-Mass Spectrometry (ASAP-MS). ASAP-MS can directly analyze complex mixtures without the need for sample preparation. Porphyrin-silica composite nanoparticles were vaporized using heated nitrogen desolvation gas, and their thermo-profiles were examined to identify distinct mass- to-charge (M/Z) signatures. HeLa cells were incubated in growth media containing the nanoparticles, and after sufficient washing to remove residual nanoparticles, the cell suspension was loaded onto the end of ASAP glass capillary probe. Upon heating, HeLa cells were degraded and porphyrin-silica composite nanoparticles were released. Vaporized nanoparticles were ionized and detected by MS. The cellular uptake of porphyrin-silica composite nanoparticles was identified using this ASAP-MS method.
We describe the production of photovoltaic modules with high-quality large-grain copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) thin films obtained with the unique combination of low-cost ink-based precursors and a reactive transfer printing method. The proprietary metal-organic inks contain a variety of soluble Cu-, In- and Ga- multinary selenide materials; they are called metal-organic decomposition (MOD) precursors, as they are designed to decompose into the desired precursors. Reactive transfer is a two-stage process that produces CIGS through the chemical reaction between two separate precursor films, one deposited on the substrate and the other on a printing plate in the first stage. In the second stage, these precursors are rapidly reacted together under pressure in the presence of heat. The use of two independent thin films provides the benefits of independent composition and flexible deposition technique optimization, and eliminates pre-reaction prior to the synthesis of CIGS. In a few minutes, the process produces high quality CIGS films, with large grains on the order of several microns, and preferred crystallographic orientation, as confirmed by compositional and structural analysis by XRF, SIMS, SEM and XRD. Cell efficiencies of 14% and module efficiencies of 12% were achieved using this method. The atmospheric deposition processes include slot die extrusion coating, ultrasonic atomization spraying, pneumatic atomization spraying, inkjet printing, direct writing, and screen printing, and provide low capital equipment cost, low thermal budget, and high throughput.
Chemically defended benthic macroalgae that dominate shallow, hard bottom communities along the western Antarctic Peninsula support very high densities of mesograzers, particularly amphipods but also small gastropods. Previous studies have demonstrated that the macroalgae and amphipods form a mutualistic relationship. The chemically defended macroalgae provide the amphipods with a refuge from predation while the macroalgae benefit from the amphipods greatly reducing surface fouling by smaller algae. One of the three most important macroalgae in terms of overstory cover, Himantothallus grandifolius, forms huge blades that can carpet the benthos. Field observations suggest that gastropods may be higher in relative abundance in proportion to amphipods on H. grandifolius than on other overstory macroalgae. The present study documents the finding that natural abundances of gastropods on H. grandifolius maintained in mesocosms reduce fouling by microscopic algae, primarily diatoms. However, amphipods are probably also important in keeping the macroalga clean of diatoms in nature. In a smaller scale experiment, three gastropod species were differentially effective at reducing diatom coverage on H. grandifolius. The hypothesis that gastropods benefit from associating with H. grandifolius in potentially gaining a refuge from sea-star predation was also tested but not supported by the experimental results.
Multiple studies have demonstrated that daily chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) bathing is associated with a significant reduction in infections caused by gram-positive pathogens. However, there are limited data on the effectiveness of daily CHG bathing on gram-negative infections. The aim of this study was to determine whether daily CHG bathing is effective in reducing the rate of gram-negative infections in adult intensive care unit (ICU) patients.
We searched MEDLINE and 3 other databases for original studies comparing daily bathing with and without CHG. Two investigators extracted data independently on baseline characteristics, study design, form and concentration of CHG, incidence, and outcomes related to gram-negative infections. Data were combined using a random-effects model and pooled relative risk ratios (RRs), and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were derived.
In total, 15 studies (n = 34,895 patients) met inclusion criteria. Daily CHG bathing was not significantly associated with a lower risk of gram-negative infections compared with controls (RR, 0.89; 95% CI, 0.73–1.08; P = .24). Subgroup analysis demonstrated that daily CHG bathing was not effective for reducing the risk of gram-negative infections caused by Acinetobacter, Escherichia coli, Klebsiella, Enterobacter, or Pseudomonas spp.
The use of daily CHG bathing was not associated with a lower risk of gram-negative infections. Further, better designed trials with adequate power and with gram-negative infections as the primary end point are needed.
Medical procedures and patient care activities may facilitate environmental dissemination of healthcare-associated pathogens such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).
Observational cohort study of MRSA-colonized patients to determine the frequency of and risk factors for environmental shedding of MRSA during procedures and care activities in carriers with positive nares and/or wound cultures. Bivariate analyses were performed to identify factors associated with environmental shedding.
A Veterans Affairs hospital.
This study included 75 patients in contact precautions for MRSA colonization or infection.
Of 75 patients in contact precautions for MRSA, 55 (73%) had MRSA in nares and/or wounds and 25 (33%) had positive skin cultures. For the 52 patients with MRSA in nares and/or wounds and at least 1 observed procedure, environmental shedding of MRSA occurred more frequently during procedures and care activities than in the absence of a procedure (59 of 138, 43% vs 8 of 83, 10%; P < .001). During procedures, increased shedding occurred ≤0.9 m versus >0.9 m from the patient (52 of 138, 38% vs 25 of 138, 18%; P = .0004). Contamination occurred frequently on surfaces touched by personnel (12 of 38, 32%) and on portable equipment used for procedures (25 of 101, 25%). By bivariate analysis, the presence of a wound with MRSA was associated with shedding (17 of 29, 59% versus 6 of 23, 26%; P = .04).
Environmental shedding of MRSA occurs frequently during medical procedures and patient care activities. There is a need for effective strategies to disinfect surfaces and equipment after procedures.
We demonstrated that hand washing resulted in frequent dispersal of gram-negative bacilli from colonized sink drains in hospitals to cover gowns and hands. A plastic drain cover reduced but did not eliminate the risk for contamination. This mechanism of dispersal could result in contamination of healthcare personnel and patients.
To evaluate the efficacy of multiple ultraviolet (UV) light decontamination devices in a radiology procedure room.
We compared the efficacy of 8 UV decontamination devices with a 4-minute UV exposure time in reducing recovery of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE), and Clostridium difficile spores on steel disk carriers placed at 5 sites on a computed tomography patient table. Analysis of variance was used to compare reductions for the different devices. A spectrometer was used to obtain irradiance measurements for the devices.
Four standard vertical tower low-pressure mercury devices achieved 2 log10CFU or greater reductions in VRE and MRSA and ~1 log10CFU reductions in C. difficile spores, whereas a pulsed-xenon device resulted in less reduction in the pathogens (P<.001). In comparison to the vertical tower low-pressure mercury devices, equal or greater reductions in the pathogens were achieved by 3 nonstandard low-pressure mercury devices that included either adjustable bulbs that could be oriented directly over the exam table, a robotic base allowing movement along the side of the table during operation, or 3 vertical towers operated simultaneously. The low-pressure mercury devices produced primarily UV-C light, whereas the pulsed-xenon device produced primarily UV-A and UV-B light. The time required to move the devices from the corner of the room and set up for operation varied from 18 to 59 seconds.
Many currently available UV devices could provide an effective and efficient adjunct to manual cleaning and disinfection in radiology procedure rooms.
A DNA marker inoculated onto portable equipment on a medical ward was disseminated to other wards when equipment was shared and to a physician work room and the hospital cafeteria by personnel. These results demonstrate the plausibility of pathogen transmission in healthcare facilities in the absence of shared ward exposure.
In 4 hospitals, we demonstrated frequent dispersal of fluorescent tracer and fluoroquinolone-resistant gram-negative bacilli from sink drains to sink bowls and to surfaces outside the bowl. Fluorescent tracer dispersal correlated inversely with the depth of the sink bowl. Modifications in sink design could substantially reduce the risk for pathogen dissemination.
We investigate the effect of constant-vorticity background shear on the properties of wavetrains in deep water. Using the methodology of Fokas (A Unified Approach to Boundary Value Problems, 2008, SIAM), we derive a higher-order nonlinear Schrödinger equation in the presence of shear and surface tension. We show that the presence of shear induces a strong coupling between the carrier wave and the mean-surface displacement. The effects of the background shear on the modulational instability of plane waves is also studied, where it is shown that shear can suppress instability, although not for all carrier wavelengths in the presence of surface tension. These results expand upon the findings of Thomas et al. (Phys. Fluids, vol. 24 (12), 2012, 127102). Using a modification of the generalized Lagrangian mean theory in Andrews & McIntyre (J. Fluid Mech., vol. 89, 1978, pp. 609–646) and approximate formulas for the velocity field in the fluid column, explicit, asymptotic approximations for the Lagrangian and Stokes drift velocities are obtained for plane-wave and Jacobi elliptic function solutions of the nonlinear Schrödinger equation. Numerical approximations to particle trajectories for these solutions are found and the Lagrangian and Stokes drift velocities corresponding to these numerical solutions corroborate the theoretical results. We show that background currents have significant effects on the mean transport properties of waves. In particular, certain combinations of background shear and carrier wave frequency lead to the disappearance of mean-surface mass transport. These results provide a possible explanation for the measurements reported in Smith (J. Phys. Oceanogr., vol. 36, 2006, pp. 1381–1402). Our results also provide further evidence of the viability of the modification of the Stokes drift velocity beyond the standard monochromatic approximation, such as recently proposed in Breivik et al. (J. Phys. Oceanogr., vol. 44, 2014, pp. 2433–2445) in order to obtain a closer match to a range of complex ocean wave spectra.
In hospital sinks, a novel plastic drain cover was effective in preventing dispersal of gram-negative bacilli and fluorescent gel associated with splattering of flowing water. Our findings suggest that the sink drain covers could provide a simple means to reduce dissemination of pathogens from contaminated sinks.
Marc Connelly's The Green Pastures play was one of the longest running dramas in Broadway history. Responses to the play by blacks and whites demonstrate its contested nature. Whites generally lauded the drama for its simplicity and its childlike depiction of black religion in the rural South. African Americans, though hopeful that its allblack cast would lead to more opportunities for blacks on stage, were divided between a general appreciation of the extraordinary display of talent by its actors and worries about the implications of a play that seemed to idealize the rural South as the natural environment of carefree overly religious blacks. Connelly's widely popular drama became a site of cultural debates about the significance of black migration to the urban North, the nature and importance of religion in black communities, and the place of blacks in the nation. Precisely when black social scientists were urging rural black Christians to abandon an otherworldly and emotional religion, white dramatists and literary artists were making more widely available what they saw as a picturesque and deeply rooted aspect of black folk culture.
To test the hypothesis that long-term care facility (LTCF) residents with Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) or asymptomatic carriage of toxigenic strains are an important source of transmission in the LTCF and in the hospital during acute-care admissions.
A 6-month cohort study with identification of transmission events was conducted based on tracking of patient movement combined with restriction endonuclease analysis (REA) and whole-genome sequencing (WGS).
Veterans Affairs hospital and affiliated LTCF.
The study included 29 LTCF residents identified as asymptomatic carriers of toxigenic C. difficile based on every other week perirectal screening and 37 healthcare facility-associated CDI cases (ie, diagnosis >3 days after admission or within 4 weeks of discharge to the community), including 26 hospital-associated and 11 LTCF-associated cases.
Of the 37 CDI cases, 7 (18·9%) were linked to LTCF residents with LTCF-associated CDI or asymptomatic carriage, including 3 of 26 hospital-associated CDI cases (11·5%) and 4 of 11 LTCF-associated cases (36·4%). Of the 7 transmissions linked to LTCF residents, 5 (71·4%) were linked to asymptomatic carriers versus 2 (28·6%) to CDI cases, and all involved transmission of epidemic BI/NAP1/027 strains. No incident hospital-associated CDI cases were linked to other hospital-associated CDI cases.
Our findings suggest that LTCF residents with asymptomatic carriage of C. difficile or CDI contribute to transmission both in the LTCF and in the affiliated hospital during acute-care admissions. Greater emphasis on infection control measures and antimicrobial stewardship in LTCFs is needed, and these efforts should focus on LTCF residents during hospital admissions.
The study uses interval regression to investigate factors affecting farmers’ willingness to pay for soil testing services in Northern Haiti. The model reveals that factors such as the type of crops grown, group membership, farmers’ educational level, access to credit, gender, contact with extension services or any institution, type of soils, income level, participation in soil testing program and farm size affect the amount to be paid for soil testing services. These results imply that the training module on soil testing and financial support in form of subsidies or access to credit should be provided to farmers.