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Due to concerns over increasing fluoroquinolone (FQ) resistance among gram-negative organisms, our stewardship program implemented a preauthorization use policy. The goal of this study was to assess the relationship between hospital FQ use and antibiotic resistance.
Large academic medical center.
We performed a retrospective analysis of FQ susceptibility of hospital isolates for 5 common gram-negative bacteria: Acinetobacter spp., Enterobacter cloacae, Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Primary endpoint was the change of FQ susceptibility. A Poisson regression model was used to calculate the rate of change between the preintervention period (1998–2005) and the postimplementation period (2006–2016).
Large rates of decline of FQ susceptibility began in 1998, particularly among P. aeruginosa, Acinetobacter spp., and E. cloacae. Our FQ restriction policy improved FQ use from 173 days of therapy (DOT) per 1,000 patient days to <60 DOT per 1,000 patient days. Fluoroquinolone susceptibility increased for Acinetobacter spp. (rate ratio [RR], 1.038; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.005–1.072), E. cloacae (RR, 1.028; 95% CI, 1.013–1.044), and P. aeruginosa (RR, 1.013; 95% CI, 1.006–1.020). No significant change in susceptibility was detected for K. pneumoniae (RR, 1.002; 95% CI, 0.996–1.008), and the susceptibility for E. coli continued to decline, although the decline was not as steep (RR, 0.981; 95% CI, 0.975–0.987).
A stewardship-driven FQ restriction program stopped overall declining FQ susceptibility rates for all species except E. coli. For 3 species (ie, Acinetobacter spp, E. cloacae, and P. aeruginosa), susceptibility rates improved after implementation, and this improvement has been sustained over a 10-year period.
Tuberculosis (TB) has been known to affect elephants for thousands of years. It was put into spotlight when few circus elephants were diagnosed carrying Mycobacterium (M.) tuberculosis. Because of the zoonotic risk and high susceptibility to M. tuberculosis, periodic testing was enacted since, in captive breeding programmes. Presently, trunk wash is the recommended diagnostic procedure for TB. Trunk wash, however, puts the operator at risk, has low sensitivity, and is prone to contamination. Here, bronchoalveolar lavage is described for the first time for TB diagnosis in elephants. Bronchial, trunk and mouth fluids were investigated using bacterial culture, M. tuberculosis complex (MTC)-specific real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR) and mycobacterial genus-specific qPCR for overall presence of mycobacteria or mycobacterial DNA including bacteria or DNA of closely related genera, respectively, in 14 elephants. Neither bacteria of the MTC nor their DNA were identified in any of the elephants. Yet, 25% of the cultures grew non-tuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) or closely related bacterial species. Furthermore, 85% of the samples contained DNA of NTM or closely related bacterial genera. This finding might explain continued false-positive results from various serological tests. From a zoonotic point of view, bronchoalveolar lavage is safer for the testing personal, has higher probability of capturing MTC and, through PCR, identifies DNA NTM in elephants. Yet, necessary endoscopic equipment, animal sedation and access to a TB reference laboratory might pose challenging requirements in remote conditions in some elephant range countries.
Semantic memory may be impaired in clinically recognized states of cognitive impairment. We investigated the relationship between semantic memory and depressive symptoms (DS) in patients with cognitive impairment.
323 cognitively healthy controls and 848 patients with subjective cognitive decline (SCD), mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and Alzheimer's disease (AD) dementia were included. Semantic knowledge for famous faces, world capitals, and word vocabulary was investigated.
Compared to healthy controls, we found a statistically significant difference of semantic knowledge in the MCI groups and the AD group, respectively. Results of the SCD group were mixed. However, two of the three semantic memory measures (world capitals and word vocabulary) showed a significant association with DS.
We found a difference in semantic memory performance in MCI and AD as well as an association with DS. Results suggest that the difference in semantic memory is due to a storage loss rather than to a retrieval problem.
Obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) patients typically overmonitor their own behavior, as shown by symptoms of excessive doubt and checking. Although this is well established for the patients’ relationship with external stimuli in the environment, no study has explored their monitoring of internal body signals, a process known to be affected in anxiety-related syndromes. Here, we explored this issue through a cardiac interoception task that measures sensing of heartbeats. Our aim was to explore key behavioral and electrophysiological aspects of internal-cue monitoring in OCD, while examining their potential distinctiveness in this condition.
We administered a heartbeat detection (HBD) task (with related interoceptive confidence and awareness measures) to three matched groups (OCD patients, panic disorder patients, healthy controls) and recorded ongoing modulations of two task-relevant electrophysiological markers: the heart evoked potential (HEP) and the motor potential (MP).
Behaviorally, OCD patients outperformed controls and panic patients in the HBD task. Moreover, they exhibited greater amplitude modulation of both the HEP and the MP during cardiac interoception. However, they evinced poorer confidence and awareness of their interoceptive skills.
Convergent behavioral and electrophysiological data showed that overactive monitoring in OCD extends to the sensing of internal bodily signals. Moreover, this pattern discriminated OCD from panic patients, suggesting a condition-distinctive alteration. Our results highlight the potential of exploring interoceptive processes in the OCD spectrum to better characterize the population's cognitive profile. Finally, these findings may lay new bridges between somatic theories of emotion and cognitive models of OCD.
Long-term records of wildfires and their controlling factors are important sources of information for informing land management practices. Here, dendrochronology and lake sediment analyses are used to develop a 3500-yr fire and vegetation history for a montane forest in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada. The tree-ring record (AD 1771-2012) indicates that this region historically experienced a mixed-severity fire regime, and that effective fire suppression excluded widespread fire events from the study area during the 20th century. A sediment core collected from Little Trefoil Lake, located near the Jasper townsite, is analyzed for subfossil pollen and macroscopic charcoal (>150 μm). When comparing the tree-ring record to the 3500-yr record of sediment-derived fire events, only high-severity fires are represented in the charcoal record. Comparisons between the charcoal record and historical climate and pollen data indicate that climate and vegetation composition have been important controls on the fire regime for most of the last 3500 yr. Although fire frequency is presently within the historical range of variability, the fire return interval of the last 150 yr is longer than expected given modern climate and vegetation conditions, indicating that humans have become the main control on fire activity around Little Trefoil Lake.
Health-related quality of life (HRQOL) is an important issue in the context of dementia care. The purpose of this study was to investigate the association between HRQOL and depressive symptoms in patients with subjective cognitive decline (SCD) and subtypes of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer´s disease (AD).
In this cross-sectional, observational study, a control group and four experimental groups (SCD, non-amnestic MCI, amnesticMCI, AD) were compared. Neuropsychological measurers (NTBV) and psychological questionnaires were used for data collection.
The control group scored higher than patients with SCD, naMCI, aMCI, or AD for the Mental Health Component Score (MHCS) of the Short Form of the Health Survey (SF-36). The Physical Health Component Score (PHCS) of the SF-36 differed only between some groups. Furthermore, cognitive variables were more strongly associated with the physical aspects of HRQOL, whereas depressive symptoms were more strongly related with the mental aspects of HRQOL.
HRQOL and depressive symptoms are closely related in patients with cognitive impairments. Therefore, it is of great importance to assess patients with subjective impairment carefully in terms of depressive symptoms.
Impairments in facial emotion recognition (FER) have been detected in patients with Parkinson disease (PD). Presently, we aim at assessing differences in emotion recognition performance in PD patient groups with and without mild forms of cognitive impairment (MCI) compared to healthy controls.
Performance on a concise emotion recognition test battery (VERT-K) of three groups of 97 PD patients was compared with an age-equivalent sample of 168 healthy controls. Patients were categorized into groups according to two well-established classifications of MCI according to Petersen's (cognitively intact vs. amnestic MCI, aMCI, vs. non-amnestic MCI, non-aMCI) and Litvan's (cognitively intact vs. single-domain MCI, sMCI, vs. multi-domain MCI, mMCI) criteria. Patients and controls underwent individual assessments using a comprehensive neuropsychological test battery examining attention, executive functioning, language, and memory (Neuropsychological Test Battery Vienna, NTBV), the Beck Depression Inventory, and a measure of premorbid IQ (WST).
Cognitively intact PD patients and patients with MCI in PD (PD-MCI) showed significantly worse emotion recognition performance when compared to healthy controls. Between-groups effect sizes were substantial, showing non-trivial effects in all comparisons (Cohen's ds from 0.31 to 1.22). Moreover, emotion recognition performance was higher in women, positively associated with premorbid IQ and negatively associated with age. Depressive symptoms were not related to FER.
The present investigation yields further evidence for impaired FER in PD. Interestingly, our data suggest FER deficits even in cognitively intact PD patients indicating FER dysfunction prior to the development of overt cognitive dysfunction. Age showed a negative association whereas IQ showed a positive association with FER.
Vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) infections are a public health threat associated with increased patient mortality and healthcare costs. Antibiotic usage, particularly cephalosporins, has been associated with VRE colonization and VRE bloodstream infections (VRE BSI). We examined the relationship between antimicrobial usage and incident VRE colonization at the individual patient level. Prospective, weekly surveillance was undertaken for incident VRE colonization defined by negative admission but positive surveillance swab in a medical intensive care unit over a 17-month period. Antimicrobial exposure was quantified as days of therapy (DOT)/1000 patient-days. Multiple logistic regression was used to analyse incident VRE colonization and antibiotic DOT, controlling for demographic and clinical covariates. Ninety-six percent (1398/1454) of admissions were swabbed within 24 h of intensive care unit (ICU) arrival and of the 380 patients in the ICU long enough for weekly surveillance, 83 (22%) developed incident VRE colonization. Incident colonization was associated in bivariate analysis with male gender, more previous hospital admissions, longer previous hospital stay, and use of cefepime/ceftazidime, fluconazole, azithromycin, and metronidazole (P < 0·05). After controlling for demographic and clinical covariates, metronidazole was the only antibiotic independently associated with incident VRE colonization (odds ratio 2·0, 95% confidence interval 1·2–3·3, P < 0·009). Our findings suggest that risk of incident VRE colonization differs between individual antibiotic agents and support the possibility that antimicrobial stewardship may impact VRE colonization and infection.
Deficits in facial emotion recognition (FER) have been shown to substantially impair several aspects in everyday life of affected individuals (e.g. social functioning). Presently, we aim at assessing differences in emotion recognition performance in three patient groups suffering from mild forms of cognitive impairment compared to healthy controls.
Performance on a concise emotion recognition test battery (VERT-K) of 68 patients with subjective cognitive decline (SCD), 44 non-amnestic (non-aMCI), and 25 amnestic patients (aMCI) with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) was compared with an age-equivalent sample of 138 healthy controls all of which were recruited within the framework of the Vienna Conversion to Dementia Study. Additionally, patients and controls underwent individual assessment using a comprehensive neuropsychological test battery examining attention, executive functioning, language, and memory (NTBV), the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), and a measure of premorbid IQ (WST).
Type of diagnosis showed a significant effect on emotion recognition performance, indicating progressively deteriorating results as severity of diagnosis increased. Between-groups effect sizes were substantial, showing non-trivial effects in all comparisons (Cohen's ds from −0.30 to −0.83) except for SCD versus controls. Moreover, emotion recognition performance was higher in women and positively associated with premorbid IQ.
Our findings indicate substantial effects of progressive neurological damage on emotion recognition in patients. Importantly, emotion recognition deficits were observable in non-amnestic patients as well, thus conceivably suggesting associations between decreased recognition performance and global cognitive decline. Premorbid IQ appears to act as protective factor yielding lesser deficits in patients showing higher IQs.
We describe a laboratory plasma physics experiment at Los Alamos National Laboratory that uses two merging supersonic plasma jets formed and launched by pulsed-power-driven railguns. The jets can be formed using any atomic species or mixture available in a compressed-gas bottle and have the following nominal initial parameters at the railgun nozzle exit: ne ≈ ni ~ 1016 cm−3, Te ≈ Ti ≈ 1.4 eV, Vjet ≈ 30–100 km/s, mean charge
≈ 1, sonic Mach number Ms ≡ Vjet/Cs > 10, jet diameter = 5 cm, and jet length ≈20 cm. Experiments to date have focused on the study of merging-jet dynamics and the shocks that form as a result of the interaction, in both collisional and collisionless regimes with respect to the inter-jet classical ion mean free path, and with and without an applied magnetic field. However, many other studies are also possible, as discussed in this paper.
The straw itch mite, Pyemotes tritici Lagrèze-Fossat and Montané (Acari: Pyemotidae), was discovered parasitising the goldspotted oak borer, Agrilus auroguttatus Schaeffer (Coleoptera: Buprestidae), an invasive exotic species to California, United States of America, and the Mexican goldspotted oak borer, Agrilus coxalis Waterhouse (Coleoptera: Buprestidae), during surveys for natural enemies for a classical biological control programme for A. auroguttatus. Pyemotes tritici caused low levels of mortality to each species of flatheaded borer, but it will likely not be a good candidate for a biological control programme because it is a generalist parasitoid with deleterious human health effects.
The goals of this study were to establish prevalence of subjective memory complaints (SMC) and depressive symptoms (DS) and their relation to cognitive functioning and cognitive status in an outpatient memory clinic cohort.
Two hundred forty-eight cognitively healthy controls and 581 consecutive patients with cognitive complaints who fulfilled the inclusion criteria were included in the study.
A statistically significant difference (p < 0.001) between control group and patient group regarding mean SMC was detected. 7.7% of controls reported a considerable degree of SMC, whereas 35.8% of patients reported considerable SMC. Additionally, a statistically significant difference (p < 0.001) between controls and patient group regarding Beck depression score was detected. 16.6% of controls showed a clinical relevant degree of DS, whereas 48.5% of patients showed DS. An analysis of variance revealed a statistically significant difference across all four groups (control group, SCI group, naMCI group, aMCI group) (p < 0.001). Whereas 8% of controls reported a considerable degree of SMC, 34% of the SCI group, 31% of the naMCI group, and 54% of the aMCI group reported considerable SMC. A two-factor analysis of variance with the factors cognitive status (controls, SCI group, naMCI group, aMCI group) and depressive status (depressed vs. not depressed) and SMC as dependent variable revealed that both factors were significant (p < 0.001), whereas the interaction was not (p = 0.820).
A large proportion of patients seeking help in a memory outpatient clinic report considerable SMC, with an increasing degree from cognitively healthy elderly to aMCI. Depressive status increases SMC consistently across groups with different cognitive status.
A fast moving infrared excess source (G2) which is widely interpreted as a core-less gas and dust cloud approaches Sagittarius A* (Sgr A*) on a presumably elliptical orbit. VLT Ks-band and Keck K′-band data result in clear continuum identifications and proper motions of this ∼19m Dusty S-cluster Object (DSO). In 2002-2007 it is confused with the star S63, but free of confusion again since 2007. Its near-infrared (NIR) colors and a comparison to other sources in the field speak in favor of the DSO being an IR excess star with photospheric continuum emission at 2 microns than a core-less gas and dust cloud. We also find very compact L′-band emission (<0.1″) contrasted by the reported extended (0.03″ up to ∼0.2″ for the tail) Brγ emission. The presence of a star will change the expected accretion phenomena, since a stellar Roche lobe may retain a fraction of the material during and after the peri-bothron passage.
We aim at modeling small groups of young stars such as IRS 13N, 0.1 pc away from Sgr A*, which is suggested to contain a few embedded massive young stellar objects. We perform hydrodynamical simulations to follow the evolution of molecular clumps orbiting around a 4 × 106 M⊙ black hole, to constrain the formation and the physical conditions of such groups.
We find that the strong compression due to the black hole along the orbital radius vector of clumps evolving on highly eccentric orbits causes the clumps densities to increase to higher than the tidal density of Sgr A* and required for star formation. This suggests that the tidal compression from the black hole could support star formation.
Additionally, we speculate that the infrared excess source G2/DSO approaching Sgr A* on a highly eccentric orbit could be associated with a dust enshrouded star that may have been formed recently through the mechanism supported by our models.
We propose that neuroscientific understanding of antisocial behavior can be advanced by focusing programmatic efforts on neurobehavioral trait constructs, that is, individual difference constructs with direct referents in neurobiology as well as behavior. As specific examples, we highlight inhibitory control and defensive reactivity as two such constructs with clear relevance for understanding antisocial behavior in the context of development. Variations in inhibitory control are theorized to reflect individual differences in the functioning of brain systems that operate to guide and inhibit behavior and regulate emotional response in the service of nonimmediate goals. Variations in defensive reactivity are posited to reflect individual differences in the sensitivity of the brain's aversive motivational (fear) system. We describe how these constructs have been conceptualized in the adult and child literatures and review work pertaining to traditional psychometric (rating and behaviorally based) assessment of these constructs and their known physiological correlates at differing ages as well as evidence linking these constructs to antisocial behavior problems in children and adults. We outline a psychoneurometric approach, which entails systematic development of neurobiological measures of target trait constructs through reference to psychological phenotypes, as a paradigm for linking clinical disorders to neurobiological systems. We provide a concrete illustration of this approach in the domain of externalizing proneness and discuss its broader implications for research on conduct disorder, antisocial personality, and psychopathy.
Resonant coupling of an optical mode confined within a microcavity and an emitter is the basic prerequisite for the observation of Bose-Einstein condensation phenomena and the development of novel optical devices based on cavity polaritons.
We demonstrate highly spatially resolved 2” wafer characterization of the reflectivity and emission properties of a nitride based multi quantum well semi microcavity (i.e. structure without top Bragg reflector) to verify resonant regions. Photoluminescence and reflectivity spectra recorded at the same positions on the wafer exhibit a strong spatial dependence of the multi quantum well emission and the center wavelength of the stop band of the bottom Bragg reflector across the sample. Resonance, i.e., matching of the emission and the center wavelength of the stop band, is found in a region 8 mm off the center of the wafer.
The thickness profile across the AlInN/GaN Bragg reflector and multi quantum well layers was obtained by x-ray mappings over the full wafer. A perfect correlation between the local optical properties and the x-ray thickness distribution is found. Additional transmission electron microscopy investigations indicate a complete crack free structure and smooth interfaces between the layers within the Bragg reflector making the structure appropriate for strong coupling applications.
Subcortical hyperintensities (SH) on neuroimaging are a prominent feature of vascular dementia (VaD) and SH severity correlates with cognitive impairment in this population. Previous studies demonstrated that SH burden accounts for a degree of the cognitive burden among VaD patients, although it remains unclear if individual factors such as cognitive reserve influence cognitive status in VaD. To address this issue, we examined 36 individuals diagnosed with probable VaD (age = 77.56; education = 12). All individuals underwent MMSE evaluations and MRI brain scans. We predicted that individuals with higher educational attainment would exhibit less cognitive difficulty despite similar levels of SH volume, compared to individuals with less educational attainment. A regression analysis revealed that greater SH volume was associated with lower scores on the MMSE. Additionally, education moderated the relationship between SH volume and MMSE score, demonstrating that individuals with higher education had higher scores on the MMSE despite similar degrees of SH burden. These results suggest that educational attainment buffers the deleterious effects of SH burden on cognitive status among VaD patients. (JINS, 2011, 17, 531–536)
Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus bloodstream infections (VRE-BSI) are a growing problem with few clinical trials to guide therapy. We conducted a retrospective study of management and predictors of mortality for VRE-BSI at a tertiary-care centre from January 2005 to August 2008. Univariate and multivariable analyses examined the relationship of patient characteristics and antibiotic therapy with 30-day all-cause mortality. Rates of VRE-BSI increased from 0·06 to 0·17 infections/1000 patient-days (P=0·03). For 235 patients, 30-day mortality was 34·9%. Patients were primarily treated with linezolid (44·2%) or daptomycin (36·5%). Factors associated with mortality were haemodialysis [odds ratio (OR) 3·2, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1·6–6·3, P=0·007], mechanical ventilation (OR 3·7, 95% CI 1·3–10·4, P=0·01), and malnutrition (OR 2·0, 95% CI 1·0–4·0, P=0·046). Use of linezolid, but not daptomycin (P=0·052) showed a trend towards an association with survival. In conclusion, VRE-BSI is a growing problem, associated with significant 30-day mortality. Multiple factors were associated with poor outcomes at our hospital.