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Background: Automated testing instruments (ATIs) are commonly used by clinical microbiology laboratories to perform antimicrobial susceptibility testing (AST), whereas public health laboratories may use established reference methods such as broth microdilution (BMD). We investigated discrepancies in carbapenem minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) among Enterobacteriaceae tested by clinical laboratory ATIs and by reference BMD at the CDC. Methods: During 2016–2018, we conducted laboratory- and population-based surveillance for carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) through the CDC Emerging Infections Program (EIP) sites (10 sites by 2018). We defined an incident case as the first isolation of Enterobacter spp (E. cloacae complex or E. aerogenes), Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, K. oxytoca, or K. variicola resistant to doripenem, ertapenem, imipenem, or meropenem from normally sterile sites or urine identified from a resident of the EIP catchment area in a 30-day period. Cases had isolates that were determined to be carbapenem-resistant by clinical laboratory ATI MICs (MicroScan, BD Phoenix, or VITEK 2) or by other methods, using current Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) criteria. A convenience sample of these isolates was tested by reference BMD at the CDC according to CLSI guidelines. Results: Overall, 1,787 isolates from 112 clinical laboratories were tested by BMD at the CDC. Of these, clinical laboratory ATI MIC results were available for 1,638 (91.7%); 855 (52.2%) from 71 clinical laboratories did not confirm as CRE at the CDC. Nonconfirming isolates were tested on either a MicroScan (235 of 462; 50.9%), BD Phoenix (249 of 411; 60.6%), or VITEK 2 (371 of 765; 48.5%). Lack of confirmation was most common among E. coli (62.2% of E. coli isolates tested) and Enterobacter spp (61.4% of Enterobacter isolates tested) (Fig. 1A), and among isolates testing resistant to ertapenem by the clinical laboratory ATI (52.1%, Fig. 1B). Of the 1,388 isolates resistant to ertapenem in the clinical laboratory, 1,006 (72.5%) were resistant only to ertapenem. Of the 855 nonconfirming isolates, 638 (74.6%) were resistant only to ertapenem based on clinical laboratory ATI MICs. Conclusions: Nonconfirming isolates were widespread across laboratories and ATIs. Lack of confirmation was most common among E. coli and Enterobacter spp. Among nonconfirming isolates, most were resistant only to ertapenem. These findings may suggest that ATIs overcall resistance to ertapenem or that isolate transport and storage conditions affect ertapenem resistance. Further investigation into this lack of confirmation is needed, and CRE case identification in public health surveillance may need to account for this phenomenon.
Advanced cancer patients who are parents of minor children experience heightened psychosocial distress. Oncology social workers (OSWs) are essential providers of psychosocial support to parents with advanced cancer. Yet, little is known about the experiences and approaches of OSWs in addressing these patients’ unique needs. The purpose of this study was to characterize the attitudes, practice behaviors, and training experiences of OSWs who provide psychosocial care for advanced cancer patients with minor children.
Forty-one OSWs participated in a cross-sectional survey addressing multiple facets of their psychosocial care for parents with advanced cancer. The five assessed domains of psychosocial support were communication support, emotional support, household support, illness and treatment decision-making support, and end-of-life planning.
Participants reported greatest confidence in counseling patients on communication with children about illness and providing support to co-parents about parenting concerns. OSWs reported less confidence in counseling parents on end-of-life issues and assisting families with non-traditional household structures. The majority of participants reported needing more time in their clinical practice to sufficiently address parents’ psychosocial needs. Nearly 90% of participants were interested in receiving further training on the care of parents with advanced cancer.
Significance of results
To improve the care of parents with advanced cancer, it is critical to understand how the psychosocial oncology workforce perceives its clinical practice needs. Study findings suggest an opportunity for enhanced training, particularly with respect to end-of-life needs and in response to the changing household structure of American families.
Sleep disturbance is a symptom of and a well-known risk factor for depression. Further, atypical functioning of the HPA axis has been linked to the pathogenesis of depression. The purpose of this study was to examine the role of adolescent HPA axis functioning in the link between adolescent sleep problems and later depressive symptoms. Methods: A sample of 157 17–18 year old adolescents (61.8% female) completed the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Inventory (PSQI) and provided salivary cortisol samples throughout the day for three consecutive days. Two years later, adolescents reported their depressive symptoms via the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES-D). Results: Individuals (age 17–18) with greater sleep disturbance reported greater depressive symptoms two years later (age 19–20). This association occurred through the indirect effect of sleep disturbance on the cortisol awakening response (CAR) (indirect effect = 0.14, 95%CI [.02 -.39]). Conclusions: One pathway through which sleep problems may lead to depressive symptoms is by up-regulating components of the body’s physiological stress response system that can be measured through the cortisol awakening response. Behavioral interventions that target sleep disturbance in adolescents may mitigate this neurobiological pathway to depression during this high-risk developmental phase.
Psychosocial stress during childhood and adolescence is associated with alterations in the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis and with heightened inflammation, both of which are implicated in poor health; however, factors that may protect against these effects relatively early in life are not well understood. Thus, we examined whether psychosocial resources protect against stress-related alterations in the HPA axis and heightened inflammation in a sample of 91 late adolescents. Participants completed measures of various stressors (major life events, daily interpersonal stress, early adversity), and psychosocial resources (mastery, optimism, self-esteem, and positive reappraisal). They also completed the Trier Social Stress Test and provided saliva and blood samples for the assessment of cortisol and interleukin-6 reactivity. Each of the stressors was associated with lower cortisol reactivity. Additionally, associations with major life events and daily stress were moderated by psychological resources, such that more life events and daily stress were associated with decreased HPA reactivity among adolescents with lower levels of psychological resources, but not among those with higher levels of psychological resources. This pattern of findings was observed only for cortisol reactivity and not for interleukin-6 reactivity. Findings suggest that psychological resources may counteract the effects of certain adversity-related decreases in cortisol reactivity.
Prior studies suggest that the influenza vaccine is protective against some outcomes in hospitalized patients infected with influenza despite vaccination. We utilized surveillance data from Columbus, Ohio to investigate this association over multiple influenza seasons and age groups. Data on laboratory-confirmed influenza-associated hospitalizations were collected as a part of the Influenza Hospitalization Surveillance Project for the 2012–2013, 2013–2014, and 2014–2015 influenza seasons. The association between influenza vaccination status was examined in relation to the outcomes of severe influenza and diagnosis of pneumonia among patients receiving antiviral treatment. Data were analyzed using multivariable logistic regression. We observed no overall association between influenza vaccination status and severe influenza among hospitalized patients. During the 2013–2014 season, those who were vaccinated were 41% less likely to be diagnosed with pneumonia compared with those who were unvaccinated (OR = 0·59 95% CI 0·41–0·86). The influenza vaccine may provide a secondary preventive function against pneumonia among influenza cases requiring hospitalization. However, a protective effect was only observed in 2013–2014, an influenza H1N1 dominant year. Differences in circulating influenza virus strains and vaccine matching to the circulating strains during influenza seasons may impact this association.
Within acute psychiatric inpatient services, patients exhibiting severely disturbed behaviour can be transferred to a psychiatric intensive care unit (PICU) and/or secluded in order to manage the risks posed to the patient and others. However, whether specific patient groups are more likely to be subjected to these coercive measures is unclear. Using robust methodological and statistical techniques, we aimed to determine the demographic, clinical and behavioural predictors of both PICU and seclusion.
Data were extracted from an anonymised database comprising the electronic medical records of patients within a large South London mental health trust. Two cohorts were derived, (1) a PICU cohort comprising all patients transferred from general adult acute wards to a non-forensic PICU ward between April 2008 and April 2013 (N = 986) and a randomly selected group of patients admitted to general adult wards within this period who were not transferred to PICU (N = 994), and (2) a seclusion cohort comprising all seclusion episodes occurring in non-forensic PICU wards within the study period (N = 990) and a randomly selected group of patients treated in these wards who were not secluded (N = 1032). Demographic and clinical factors (age, sex, ethnicity, diagnosis, admission status and time since admission) and behavioural precursors (potentially relevant behaviours occurring in the 3 days preceding PICU transfer/seclusion or random sample date) were extracted from electronic medical records. Mixed effects, multivariable logistic regression analyses were performed with all variables included as predictors.
PICU cases were significantly more likely to be younger in age, have a diagnosis of bipolar disorder and to be held on a formal section compared with patients who were not transferred to PICU; female sex and longer time since admission were associated with lower odds of transfer. With regard to behavioural precursors, the strongest predictors of PICU transfer were incidents of physical aggression towards others or objects and absconding or attempts to abscond. Secluded patients were also more likely to be younger and legally detained relative to non-secluded patients; however, female sex increased the odds of seclusion. Likelihood of seclusion also decreased with time since admission. Seclusion was significantly associated with a range of behavioural precursors with the strongest associations observed for incidents involving restraint or shouting.
Whilst recent behaviour is an important determinant, patient age, sex, admission status and time since admission also contribute to risk of PICU transfer and seclusion. Alternative, less coercive strategies must meet the needs of patients with these characteristics.
Human anthrax cases reported in the country of Georgia increased 75% from 2011 (n = 81) to 2012 (n = 142). This increase prompted a case-control investigation using 67 culture- or PCR-confirmed cases and 134 controls matched by residence and gender to investigate risk factor(s) for infection during the month before case onset. Independent predictors most strongly associated with disease in the multivariable modelling were slaughtering animals [odds ratio (OR) 7·3, 95% confidence interval (CI) 2·9–18·1, P < 0·001] and disposing of dead animals (OR 13·6, 95% CI 1·5–119·8, P = 0·02). Participants owning or working with livestock (n = 131) were additionally interviewed about livestock management practices during the previous 6 months: 53 (44%) of 121 respondents vaccinated livestock against anthrax; 19 (16%) of 116 moved livestock >1 km; 15 (12%) of 125 had sick livestock; and 11 (9%) of 128 respondents reported finding dead livestock. We recommend joint public health and veterinary anthrax case investigations to identify areas of increased risk for livestock anthrax outbreaks, annual anthrax vaccination of livestock in those areas, and public awareness education.
The Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) will give us an unprecedented opportunity to investigate the transient sky at radio wavelengths. In this paper we present VAST, an ASKAP survey for Variables and Slow Transients. VAST will exploit the wide-field survey capabilities of ASKAP to enable the discovery and investigation of variable and transient phenomena from the local to the cosmological, including flare stars, intermittent pulsars, X-ray binaries, magnetars, extreme scattering events, interstellar scintillation, radio supernovae, and orphan afterglows of gamma-ray bursts. In addition, it will allow us to probe unexplored regions of parameter space where new classes of transient sources may be detected. In this paper we review the known radio transient and variable populations and the current results from blind radio surveys. We outline a comprehensive program based on a multi-tiered survey strategy to characterise the radio transient sky through detection and monitoring of transient and variable sources on the ASKAP imaging timescales of 5 s and greater. We also present an analysis of the expected source populations that we will be able to detect with VAST.
Although basic research on neuroimmune interactions suggests that inflammatory processes may play a role in the development of fatigue, population-based evidence on this association is limited. This study examined whether plasma C-reactive protein (CRP) and interleukin-6 (IL-6), biomarkers of systemic inflammation, predict fatigue onset.
The Whitehall II study is a large-scale cohort study conducted in 20 civil service departments in London. Plasma CRP and IL-6 were measured in 4847 non-fatigued participants at phase 3 (1991–1993, aged 39–63 years). Fatigue was assessed using the Vitality subscale of the 36-item Short Form Health Survey (SF-36) at phase 3 and phase 4 (1995–1996).
During a mean follow-up of 3.1 years, 957 new fatigue cases (19.7%) were identified using the pre-established cut-off score of ⩽50 on the Vitality subscale. CRP values were dichotomized as low (<1.0 mg/l ) or high (⩾1.0 mg/l) using the Centers for Disease Control/American Heart Association recommendations. Similarly, IL-6 values were also dichotomized as low (<1.5 pg/ml) or high (⩾1.5 pg/ml). After full adjustment for sociodemographic and biobehavioral covariates, the odds ratios for new-onset fatigue were 1.28 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.09–1.49, p = 0.003] for high CRP and 1.24 (95% CI 1.06–1.45, p = 0.008) for high IL-6. Similar results were found when CRP and IL-6 were treated as continuous variables.
Plasma CRP and IL-6 were prospectively associated with new-onset fatigue, supporting the hypothesis that low-grade inflammation has a role in the development of fatigue.
Postpartum depression (PPD) is a relatively common and often severe mood disorder that develops in women after childbirth. The aetiology of PPD is unclear, although there is emerging evidence to suggest a psychoneuroimmune connection. Additionally, deficiencies in n-3 PUFA, B vitamins, vitamin D and trace minerals have been implicated. This paper reviews evidence for a link between micronutrient status and PPD, analysing the potential contribution of each micronutrient to psychoneuroimmunological mechanisms of PPD. Articles related to PPD and women's levels of n-3 PUFA, B vitamins, vitamin D and the trace minerals Zn and Se were reviewed. Findings suggest that while n-3 PUFA levels have been shown to vary inversely with PPD and link with psychoneuroimmunology, there is mixed evidence regarding the ability of n-3 PUFA to prevent or treat PPD. B vitamin status is not clearly linked to PPD, even though it seems to vary inversely with depression in non-perinatal populations and may have an impact on immunity. Vitamin D and the trace minerals Zn and Se are linked to PPD and psychoneuroimmunology by intriguing, but small, studies. Overall, evidence suggests that certain micronutrient deficiencies contribute to the development of PPD, possibly through psychoneuroimmunological mechanisms. Developing a better understanding of these mechanisms is important for guiding future research, clinical practice and health education regarding PPD.
Silicon (Si) has been the dominating material platform of microelectronics over half century. Continuous technological advances in circuit design and manufacturing enable complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) chips with increasingly high integration complexity to be fabricated in an unprecedently scale and economical manner. Conventional Si-based planar lightwave circuits (PLCs) has benefited from advanced CMOS technology but only demonstrate passive functionalities in most circumstances due to poor light emission efficiency and weak major electro-optic effects (e.g., Pockels effect, the Kerr effect and the Franz–Keldysh effect) in Si. Recently, a new hybrid III-V-on-Si integration platform has been developed, aiming to bridge the gap between Si and III-V direct-bandgap materials for active Si photonic integrated circuit applications. Since then high-performance lasers, amplifiers, photodetectors and modulators, etc. have been demonstrated. Here we review the most recent progress on hybrid Si lasers and high-speed hybrid Si modulators. The former include distributed feedback (DFB) lasers showing over 10 mW output power and up to 85 oC continuous-wave (cw) operation, compact hybrid microring lasers with cw threshold less than 4 mA and over 3 mW output power, and 4-channel hybrid Si AWG lasers with channel space of 360 GHz. Recently fabricated traveling-wave electro-absorption modulators (EAMs) and Mach-Zehnder interferometer modulators (MZM) on this platform support 50 Gb/s and 40 Gb/s data transmission with over 10 dB extinction ratio, respectively.
Experiments demonstrate the ~77× amplification of 0.5 to 3.5-ps pulses of seed light by interaction with Langmuir waves in a low density (1.2 × 1019 cm−3) plasma produced by a 1-ns, 230-J, 1054-nm pump beam with 1.2 × 1014 W/cm2 intensity. The waves are strongly damped (kλD = 0.38, Te = 244 eV) and grow over a ~ 1 mm length, similar to what is experienced by scattered light when it interacts with crossing beams as it exits an ignition target. The amplification reduces when the seed intensity increases above ~1 × 1011 W/cm2, indicating that saturation of the plasma waves on the electron kinetic time scale (<0.5 ps) limits the scatter to ~1% of the available pump energy. The observations are in agreement with 2D PIC simulations in this case.
The ecological effects of Chinese tallowtree are well documented in the southeastern United States, yet this known invasive plant continues to be planted extensively in California's Central Valley, where it has recently naturalized in several locations. Climate modeling suggests that most of California's lowland riparian habitat is susceptible to invasion by Chinese tallowtree; however, no field tests are available to corroborate this result for California or to identify local environmental constraints that might limit potential habitats. We used observational and experimental methods to evaluate invasion potential of Chinese tallowtree in riparian habitats in California's Central Valley. High invasion potential, indicated by an intersection of the maxima of dispersal probability, germination, and survivorship of seedlings, occurred at low elevations immediately next to perennial waters. The main factor limiting Chinese tallowtree invasion potential in more elevated habitats appears to be lack of seedling drought tolerance. These findings suggest that California's riparian habitats are vulnerable to invasion by Chinese tallowtree, especially downstream of current naturalized populations where water or bird dispersal will deposit seeds in environments ideal for germination and growth.
We report the fabrication and characterization of segmented element power generator modules of 16 x 16 thermoelectric elements consisting of 0.8 mm thick Bi2Te3 and 50 μm thick ErAs:(InGaAs)1-x(InAlAs)x with 0.6% ErAs by volume. Erbium Arsenide metallic nanoparticles are incorporated to create scattering centers for middle and long wavelength phonons, and to form local potential barriers for electron filtering. The thermoelectric properties of ErAs:(InGaAs)1-x(InAlAs)x were characterized in terms of electrical conductivity and Seebeck coefficient from 300 K up to 830 K. Generator modules of Bi2Te3 and ErAs:(InGaAs)1-x(InAlAs)x segmented elements were fabricated and an output power of 6.3 W was measured. 3D finite modeling shows that the performance of thermoelectric generator modules can further be enhanced by the improvement of the thermoelectric properties of the element materials, and reducing the electrical and thermal parasitic losses.
We report the fabrication and characterization of segmented element power generator modules of 254 thermoelectric elements. The element is 1 mm × 1 mm in area, which consists of 300 μm thickness Bi2Te3 and 50 μm thickness ErAs:(InGaAs)1-x(InAlAs)x, so that each segment can work at different temperature ranges. Erbium arsenide metallic nanoparticles are incorporated to create scattering centers for middle and long wavelength phonons, provide charge carriers, and form local Schottky barriers for electron filtering. The thermoelectric properties of ErAs:InGaAlAs were characterized by variable temperature measurements of thermal conductivity, electrical conductivity and Seebeck coefficient from 300 K to 600 K. Generator modules of Bi2Te3 and ErAs:InGaAlAs segmented elements were fabricated and an output power over 5.5 W was measured. The performance of the thermoelectric generator modules can further be improved by improving the thermoelectric properties of the element material, and reducing the electrical and thermal parasitic losses.