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Quaternary processes and environmental changes are often difficult to assess in remote subantarctic islands due to high surface erosion rates and overprinting of sedimentary products in locations that can be a challenge to access. We present a set of high-resolution, multichannel seismic lines and complementary multibeam bathymetry collected off the eastern (leeward) side of the subantarctic Auckland Islands, about 465 km south of New Zealand's South Island. These data constrain the erosive and depositional history of the island group, and they reveal an extensive system of sediment-filled valleys that extend offshore to depths that exceed glacial low-stand sea level. Although shallow, marine, U-shaped valleys and moraines are imaged, the rugged offshore geomorphology of the paleovalley floors and the stratigraphy of infill sediments suggests that the valley floors were shaped by submarine fluvial erosion, and subsequently filled by lacustrine, fjord, and fluvial sedimentary processes.
Infective endocarditis is a microbial infection of the endothelial surface of the heart, predominantly the heart valves, that is associated with high mortality and morbidity. Few contemporary data exist regarding affected children in our context.
Aims and Objectives:
We aimed to describe the profile and treatment outcomes of infant and childhood endocarditis at our facilities.
This is a retrospective analysis of infants and children with endocarditis at two public sector hospitals in the Western Cape Province of South Africa over a 5-year period. Patients with “definite” and “possible” endocarditis according to Modified Duke Criteria were included in the review.
Forty-nine patients were identified for inclusion; 29 had congenital heart disease as a predisposing condition; 64% of patients met “definite” and 36% “possible” criteria. The in-hospital mortality rate was 20%; 53% of patients underwent surgery with a post-operative mortality rate of 7.7%. The median interval from diagnosis to surgery was 20 days (interquartile range, 9–47 days). Valve replacement occurred in 28% and valve repair in 58%. There was a significant reduction in valvular dysfunction in patients undergoing surgery and only a marginal improvement in patients treated medically. Overall, 43% of patients had some degree of residual valvular dysfunction.
Endocarditis is a serious disease with a high in-hospital mortality and presents challenges in making an accurate diagnosis. Despite a significant reduction in valvular dysfunction, a portion of patients had residual valvular dysfunction. Early surgery is associated with a lower mortality rate, but a higher rate of valve replacement compared with delayed surgery.
As demonstrated by neuroimaging data, the human brain contains systems that control responses to threat. The revised Reinforcement Sensitivity Theory of personality predicts that individual differences in the reactivity of these brain systems produce anxiety and fear-related personality traits. Here we discuss some of the challenges in testing this theory and, as an example, present a pilot study that aimed to dissociate brain activity during pursuit by threat and goal conflict. We did this by translating the Mouse Defense Test Battery for human fMRI use. In this version, dubbed the Joystick Operated Runway Task (JORT), we repeatedly exposed 24 participants to pursuit and goal conflict, with and without threat of electric shock. The runway design of JORT allowed the effect of threat distance on brain activation to be evaluated independently of context. Goal conflict plus threat of electric shock caused deactivation in a network of brain areas that included the fusiform and middle temporal gyri, as well as the default mode network core, including medial frontal regions, precuneus and posterior cingulate gyrus, and laterally the inferior parietal and angular gyri. Consistent with earlier research, we also found that imminent threat activated the midbrain and that this effect was significantly stronger during the simple pursuit condition than during goal conflict. Also consistent with earlier research, we found significantly greater hippocampal activation during goal conflict than pursuit by imminent threat. In conclusion, our results contribute knowledge to theories linking anxiety disorders to altered functioning in defensive brain systems and also highlight challenges in this research domain.
Metacognition refers to the ability to evaluate and control our cognitive processes. While studies have investigated metacognition in schizophrenia and clinical high risk for psychosis (CHR), less is known about the potential mechanisms which result in metacognitive deficits.
We aimed to investigate whether neurocognitive functions including attention, working memory, verbal learning and executive functions predicted the tendency to focus on one’s thoughts (cognitive self-consciousness) and beliefs in the efficacy of one’s cognitive skills (cognitive confidence).
Participants (130 CHR individuals) were recruited as part of the multi-site PREDICT study. They were assessed using the Metacognitions Questionnaire (MCQ) as well as measures of executive function (WCST), attention (N-Back), working memory (LNS) and verbal learning (AVLT).
Cognitive competence was negatively correlated with N-Back while cognitive self-consciousness was positively correlated with N-Back and LNS. Linear regression analysis with N-Back, AVLT, LNS and WCST as predictors showed that neurocognition significantly predicted cognitive self-consciousness, with N-Back, LNS and WCST as significant predictors. The model accounted for 14% of the variance in cognitive self-consciousness. However, neurocognition did not result in a significant predictive model of cognitive competence.
Neurocognition was associated with an increased focus on one’s thoughts, but it was not associated with higher confidence in one’s cognitive skills. Neurocognition accounted for less than one-sixth of the variance in metacognition, suggesting that interventions that target neurocognition are unlikely to improve metacognitive abilities.
Acute tonsillitis represents a significant proportion of admissions to ENT departments nationally. Given current hospital pressures, it is vital to look for safe alternatives to admission. This study explores the safe management of patients in an ambulatory medical unit, without the need for admission.
A retrospective review of 48 patients’ notes was carried out. Following the development and implementation of a guideline for acute tonsillitis, a prospective re-audit of 41 patients was carried out, measuring length of stay, overnight admissions and re-admissions.
The rate of overnight admission following implementation of the guideline fell from 0.75 to 0.29, and average length of stay dropped from 19.2 to 9.5 hours. There were two re-admissions in each cycle of the audit, which represents a non-significant increase.
The tonsillitis guideline has significantly reduced admissions and length of stay. Re-admissions remain low, demonstrating that this is a safe and cost-effective intervention.
Water exposures in healthcare settings and during healthcare delivery can place patients at risk for infection with water-related organisms and can potentially lead to outbreaks. We aimed to describe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) consultations involving water-related organisms leading to healthcare-associated infections (HAIs).
Retrospective observational study.
We reviewed internal CDC records from January 1, 2014, through December 31, 2017, using water-related terms and organisms, excluding Legionella, to identify consultations that involved potential or confirmed transmission of water-related organisms in healthcare. We determined plausible exposure pathways and routes of transmission when possible.
Of 620 consultations during the study period, we identified 134 consultations (21.6%), with 1,380 patients, that involved the investigation of potential water-related HAIs or infection control lapses with the potential for water-related HAIs. Nontuberculous mycobacteria were involved in the greatest number of investigations (n = 40, 29.9%). Most frequently, investigations involved medical products (n = 48, 35.8%), and most of these products were medical devices (n = 40, 83.3%). We identified a variety of plausible water-exposure pathways, including medication preparation near water splash zones and water contamination at the manufacturing sites of medications and medical devices.
Water-related investigations represent a substantial proportion of CDC HAI consultations and likely represent only a fraction of all water-related HAI investigations and outbreaks occurring in US healthcare facilities. Water-related HAI investigations should consider all potential pathways of water exposure. Finally, healthcare facilities should develop and implement water management programs to limit the growth and spread of water-related organisms.
Congenital and acquired heart diseases are highly prevalent in developing countries despite limited specialised care. Namibia established a paediatric cardiac service in 2009 with significant human resource and infrastructural constraints. Therefore, patients are referred for cardiac interventions to South Africa.
To describe the diagnoses, clinical characteristics, interventions, post-operative morbidity and mortality, and follow-up of patients referred for care.
Demographics, diagnoses, interventions, intra- and post-operative morbidity and mortality, as well as longitudinal follow-up data of all patients referred to South Africa, were recorded and analysed.
The total cohort constituted 193 patients of which 179 (93%) had CHD and 7% acquired heart disease. The majority of patients (78.8%) travelled more than 400 km to Windhoek before transfer. There were 28 percutaneous interventions. Palliative and definitive surgery was performed in 27 and 129 patients, respectively. Out of 156 patients, 80 (51.3%) had post-operative complications, of which 15 (9.6%) were a direct complication of surgery. Surgical mortality was 8/156 (5.1%, 95% confidence interval 2.2–9.8), with a 30-day mortality of 3.2%. Prolonged ICU stay was associated with a 5% increased risk of death with hazard ratio 1.05, 95% confidence interval 1.02–1.08, p=0.001. Follow-up was complete in 151 (78%) patients for more than 7 years.
Despite the challenges associated with a cardiac programme for referring patients seeking intervention in a neighbouring country and the adverse characteristics of multiple lesions and complexity associated with late presentation, we report good surgical and interventional outcomes. Our goal remains to develop a comprehensive sustainable cardiac service in Namibia.
Autoinflation devices are commonly used for otitis media with effusion and Eustachian tube dysfunction. Generally, these are very safe devices, with few or no complications.
This paper presents a case study of pneumocephalus and orbital emphysema, associated with the use of an autoinflation device, in a 73-year-old woman with Eustachian tube dysfunction and otitis media with effusion, and a history of extensive endoscopic sinus surgery 13 years previously.
A literature review showed autoinflation-related pneumocephalus in patients with skull base defects relating to cranial surgery or tumours; however, this has not been described previously with the Otovent system or its use in relation to functional endoscopic sinus surgery. Given the theoretical risk of undetected bony abnormalities in post-operative functional endoscopic sinus surgery patients, it is suggested that autoinflation devices are used cautiously in patients with a history of sinus surgery.
Much of the interest in youth at clinical high risk (CHR) of psychosis has been in understanding conversion. Recent literature has suggested that less than 25% of those who meet established criteria for being at CHR of psychosis go on to develop a psychotic illness. However, little is known about the outcome of those who do not make the transition to psychosis. The aim of this paper was to examine clinical symptoms and functioning in the second North American Prodrome Longitudinal Study (NAPLS 2) of those individuals whose by the end of 2 years in the study had not developed psychosis.
In NAPLS-2 278 CHR participants completed 2-year follow-ups and had not made the transition to psychosis. At 2-years the sample was divided into three groups – those whose symptoms were in remission, those who were still symptomatic and those whose symptoms had become more severe.
There was no difference between those who remitted early in the study compared with those who remitted at one or 2 years. At 2-years, those in remission had fewer symptoms and improved functioning compared with the two symptomatic groups. However, all three groups had poorer social functioning and cognition than healthy controls.
A detailed examination of the clinical and functional outcomes of those who did not make the transition to psychosis did not contribute to predicting who may make the transition or who may have an earlier remission of attenuated psychotic symptoms.
Early nutrition of the neonatal pig has a major impact on its survival and subsequent development (Cieslak et al., 1983). The success of maternal nutrition trials has been limited in improving the survival and growth performance of piglets. Milk yield and composition has been altered (Jackson et al., 1995; Averette et al., 1999), which subsequently enhanced piglet health and growth performance but feeding supplemental fat had little or no effect on the birth weight of piglets. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of supplementing palm and/or soya oil directly to the piglet on its subsequent growth performance.
A substantial and continual economic loss within the pig industry is the 5-20% pre-weaning mortality rate that occurs during the neonatal period (MLC, 2002). The principal causes of piglet death are low birth weight in conjunction with insufficient amounts of body fat reserves (Herpin et al., 1993; Varley, 1995). Studies by Rooke et al. (2000) have demonstrated that the fatty acid profiles of the sows diet during late pregnancy and lactation is an important factor influencing piglet performance. The benefits of dietary manipulations aimed at improving piglet survival, however, remain controversial. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of supplementing the maternal diet with palm and/or soya oil during late gestation on piglet growth performance.
Attenuated positive symptom syndrome (APSS), characterized by ‘putatively prodromal’ attenuated psychotic-like pathology, indicates increased risk for psychosis. Poor premorbid social adjustment predicts severity of APSS symptoms and predicts subsequent psychosis in APSS-diagnosed individuals, suggesting application for improving detection of ‘true’ prodromal youth who will transition to psychosis. However, these predictive associations have not been tested in controls and therefore may be independent of the APSS diagnosis, negating utility for improving prediction in APSS-diagnosed individuals.
Association between premorbid social maladjustment and severity of positive, negative, disorganized, and general APSS symptoms was tested in 156 individuals diagnosed with APSS and 76 help-seeking (non-APSS) controls enrolled in the Enhancing the Prospective Prediction of Psychosis (PREDICT) study using prediction analysis.
Premorbid social maladjustment was associated with social anhedonia, reduced expression of emotion, restricted ideational richness, and deficits in occupational functioning, independent of the APSS diagnosis. Associations between social maladjustment and suspiciousness, unusual thought content, avolition, dysphoric mood, and impaired tolerance to normal stress were uniquely present in participants meeting APSS criteria. Social maladjustment was associated with odd behavior/appearance and diminished experience of emotions and self only in participants who did not meet APSS criteria.
Predictive associations between poor premorbid social adjustment and attenuated psychotic-like pathology were identified, a subset of which were indicative of high risk for psychosis. This study offers a method for improving risk identification while ruling out low-risk individuals.
School attendance rates in sub-Saharan Africa are among the lowest worldwide, placing children at heightened risk for poor educational and economic outcomes. One understudied risk factor for missed schooling is household water insecurity, which is linked to depression among women and may increase children's water-fetching burden at the expense of educational activities, particularly among children of depressed caregivers. In this study conducted in rural Uganda, we assessed the association between household water insecurity and child school participation and the mediating pathways behind these associations.
We conducted a population-based, cross-sectional study of female household heads (N = 257) and their children ages 5–17 (N = 551) in the rural regions surrounding the town of Mbarara, in southwestern Uganda. We used multivariable linear regressions to estimate the association between water insecurity and missed schooling. We then assessed the extent to which the association was mediated by caregiver depression.
Among children, water insecurity had a statistically significant association with the number of missed school days (a standard deviation increase in water insecurity resulted in 0.30 more missed school days in the last week). The estimated association was partially mediated by caregiver depression. When stratified by sex, this mediating pathway remained significant for boys, but not among girls.
Water insecurity is a risk factor for missed schooling among children in rural Uganda. Caregiver depression partially mediated this relationship. Also addressing caregiver mental health in water insecure families may more fully address the needs of sub-Saharan African families and promote educational participation among youth.
The soil bacterium Alcaligenes eutrophus is able to degrade phenoxy herbicides such as 2,4-D [(2,4-dichlorophenoxy)acetic acid]. It has been shown that several degradative genes are located on a large plasmid harbored by this organism. We have demonstrated by HPLC and gas chromatography that 2,4-dichlorophenol is a major metabolite resulting from 2,4-D degradation by A. eutrophus. A portion of the large plasmid carrying the 2,4-D catabolic genes has been cloned and mapped by restriction endonuclease digestion. Overlapping subclones have been produced and were used in conjugation experiments in order to identify the first gene involved in 2,4-D detoxification. Once sequenced, this gene will be transferred to dicotyledonous plant cells using available vector systems.
It is increasingly essential for medical researchers to be literate in statistics, but the requisite degree of literacy is not the same for every statistical competency in translational research. Statistical competency can range from ‘fundamental’ (necessary for all) to ‘specialized’ (necessary for only some). In this study, we determine the degree to which each competency is fundamental or specialized.
We surveyed members of 4 professional organizations, targeting doctorally trained biostatisticians and epidemiologists who taught statistics to medical research learners in the past 5 years. Respondents rated 24 educational competencies on a 5-point Likert scale anchored by ‘fundamental’ and ‘specialized.’
There were 112 responses. Nineteen of 24 competencies were fundamental. The competencies considered most fundamental were assessing sources of bias and variation (95%), recognizing one’s own limits with regard to statistics (93%), identifying the strengths, and limitations of study designs (93%). The least endorsed items were meta-analysis (34%) and stopping rules (18%).
We have identified the statistical competencies needed by all medical researchers. These competencies should be considered when designing statistical curricula for medical researchers and should inform which topics are taught in graduate programs and evidence-based medicine courses where learners need to read and understand the medical research literature.
The developmental course of daily functioning prior to first psychosis-onset remains poorly understood. This study explored age-related periods of change in social and role functioning. The longitudinal study included youth (aged 12–23, mean follow-up years = 1.19) at clinical high risk (CHR) for psychosis (converters [CHR-C], n = 83; nonconverters [CHR-NC], n = 275) and a healthy control group (n = 164). Mixed-model analyses were performed to determine age-related differences in social and role functioning. We limited our analyses to functioning before psychosis conversion; thus, data of CHR-C participants gathered after psychosis onset were excluded. In controls, social and role functioning improved over time. From at least age 12, functioning in CHR was poorer than in controls, and this lag persisted over time. Between ages 15 and 18, social functioning in CHR-C stagnated and diverged from that of CHR-NC, who continued to improve (p = .001). Subsequently, CHR-C lagged behind in improvement between ages 21 and 23, further distinguishing them from CHR-NC (p < .001). A similar period of stagnation was apparent for role functioning, but to a lesser extent (p = .007). The results remained consistent when we accounted for the time to conversion. Our findings suggest that CHR-C start lagging behind CHR-NC in social and role functioning in adolescence, followed by a period of further stagnation in adulthood.
This study examines the independent effects of neighbourhood context (i.e. neighbourhood poverty) and exposure to perceived discrimination in shaping risk of obesity over time. Weighted three-level hierarchical linear regression models for a continuous outcome were used to assess the independent effects of neighbourhood poverty and perceived discrimination on obesity over time in a sample of 157 non-Hispanic Black, non-Hispanic White and Hispanic adults in Detroit, USA, in 2002/2003 and 2007/2008. Independent associations were found between neighbourhood poverty and perceived discrimination with central adiposity over time. Residents of neighbourhoods with high concentrations of poverty were more likely to show increases in central adiposity compared with those in neighbourhoods with lower concentrations of poverty. In models adjusted for BMI, neighbourhood poverty at baseline was associated with a greater change in central adiposity among participants who lived in neighbourhoods in the second (B=3.79, p=0.025) and third (B=3.73, p=0.024) poverty quartiles, compared with those in the lowest poverty neighbourhoods. The results from models that included both neighbourhood poverty and perceived discrimination showed that both were associated with increased risk of increased central adiposity over time. Residents of neighbourhoods in the second (B=9.58, p<0.001), third (B=8.25, p=0.004) and fourth (B=7.66, p=0.030) quartiles of poverty were more likely to show greater increases in central adiposity over time, compared with those in the lowest poverty quartile, with mean discrimination at baseline independently and positively associated with increases in central adiposity over time (B=2.36, p=0.020). The results suggest that neighbourhood poverty and perceived discrimination are independently associated with a heightened risk of increase in central adiposity over time. Efforts to address persistent disparities in central adiposity in the USA should include strategies to reduce high concentrations of neighbourhood poverty as well as discrimination.
Introduction: As part of the multicenter C-CARE (Cross-Canada Anaphylaxis Registry) project, this study aimed to describe the characteristics of anaphylactic reactions and assess if emergency physicians follow treatment guidelines. Methods: A cohort study was conducted in the emergency department of Sacré-Cœur Hospital, a university-affiliated, urban tertiary care hospital. For each anaphylaxis case recruited by the treating physician, a standardised questionnaire was completed. The information for missed cases was collected retrospectively through chart review. Results: Between May 2012 and May 2015, 280 cases (205 prospective and 75 retrospective) of anaphylaxis were identified from a total of 182,408 ED visits. The median age was 36.21 years (IQR 27.8), 61.8% were female, and 12.5% of all patients were children (<18 years old). The majority of reactions were triggered by food [54.3% (95%CI:48.5-60.1%)], followed by medications [18.2% (95%CI:13.7-22.7%)] and venom [5.7% (95%CI:3.0-8.4%)]. Among all cases, 66.8% (95%CI:61.3-72.3%) received epinephrine; 26.1% (95%CI:21.0-31.2%) received it prior to their arrival and 46.8% (95%CI:41.0-52.6%) in-hospital. As for other in-hospital treatments, 85.4% of patients (95%CI:81.3-89.5%) received corticosteroids, 81.1% (95%CI:76.5-85.7%) received H1 antihistamines, and 41.1% (95%CI:35.3-46.9%) received H2 antihistamines. Out of all patients who had anaphylaxis, 86.4% (95%CI:82.4-90.4%) were prescribed an epinephrine auto-injector in-hospital or had already had one prescribed. Conclusion: Our results reveal that food is a major trigger of anaphylaxis and that despite current guidelines, there is under use of epinephrine and preferential use of corticosteroids and antihistamines.