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Incidence of human yersiniosis in New Zealand has increased between 2013 and 2017. For surveillance and outbreak investigations it is essential that an appropriate level of discrimination between pathogenic Yersinia enterocolitica isolates is provided, in order to support epidemiological linking of connected cases. Subtyping of 227 Y. enterocolitica isolates was performed using a range of different typing methods, including biotyping, serotyping and seven loci multiple-locus variable-number tandem-repeat analysis (MLVA). In addition, core genome single-nucleotide polymorphism (core SNP) analysis and multi-locus sequence typing were performed on a subset of 69 isolates. Sixty-seven different MLVA types were identified. One MLVA profile was associated with an outbreak in the Bay of Plenty region, supported by epidemiological data. Core SNP analysis showed that all the outbreak-related isolates clustered together. The subtyping and epidemiological evidence suggests that the outbreak of yersiniosis in the Bay of Plenty region between October and December 2016 could be attributed to a point source. However, subtyping results further suggest that the same clone was isolated from several regions between August 2016 and March 2017. Core SNP analysis and MLVA typing failed to differentiate between Y. enterocolitica biotype 2 and biotype 3. For this reason, we propose that these biotypes should be reported as a single type namely: Y. enterocolitica biotype 2/3 and that the serotype should be prioritised as an indicator of prevalence.
Multi-sire mating of a mob of ewes is commonly used in commercial sheep production systems. However, ram mating success (defined as the number of lambs sired by an individual) can vary between rams in the mating group. If this trait was repeatable and heritable, selection of rams capable of siring larger numbers of lambs could reduce the number of rams required for mating and ultimately lead to increased genetic gain. However, genetic correlations with other productive traits, such as growth and female fertility, could influence the potential for ram mating success to be used as a selection trait. In order to investigate this trait, parentage records (including accuracy of sire assignment) from 15 commercial ram breeding flocks of various breeds were utilised to examine the repeatability and heritability of ram mating success in multi-sire mating groups. In addition, genetic and phenotypic correlations with growth and female fertility traits were estimated using ASReml. The final model used for the ram mating success traits included age of the ram and mating group as fixed effects. Older rams (3+years old) had 15% to 20% greater mating success than younger rams (1 or 2 years of age). Increasing the stringency of the criteria for inclusion of both an individual lamb, based on accuracy of sire assignment, or a whole mating group, based on how many lambs had an assigned sire, increased repeatability and heritability estimates of the ram mating success traits examined. With the most stringent criteria employed, where assignment of sire accuracy was >0.95 and the total number of lambs in the progeny group that failed to have a sire assigned was<0.05, repeatability and heritability for loge(number of lambs) was 0.40±0.09 and 0.26±0.12, respectively. For proportion of lambs sired, repeatability and heritability were both 0.30±0.09. The two ram mating traits (loge(nlamb) and proportion) were highly correlated, both phenotypically and genetically (0.88±0.01 and 0.94±0.06, respectively). Both phenotypic and genetic correlations between ram mating success and growth and other female fertility traits were low and non-significant. In conclusion, there is scope to select rams capable of producing high numbers of progeny and thus increase selection pressure on rams to increase genetic gain.
Introduction: The ECG diagnosis of acute coronary occlusion (ACO) in the setting of ventricular paced rhythm (VPR) is purported to be impossible. However, VPR has a similar ECG morphology to LBBB. The validated Smith-modified Sgarbossa criteria (MSC) have high sensitivity (Sens) and specificity (Spec) for ACO in LBBB. MSC consist of 1 of the following in 1 lead: concordant ST Elevation (STE) 1 mm, concordant ST depression 1 mm in V1-V3, or ST/S ratio <−0.25 (in leads with 1 mm STE). We hypothesized that the MSC will have higher Sens for diagnosis of ACO in VPR when compared to the original Sgarbossa criteria. We report preliminary findings of the Paced Electrocardiogram Requiring Fast Emergency Coronary Therapy (PERFECT) study Methods: The PERFECT study is a retrospective, multicenter, international investigation of ED patients from 1/2008 - 12/2016 with VPR on the ECG and symptoms suggestive of acute coronary syndrome (e.g. chest pain or shortness of breath). Data from four sites are presented. Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) was defined by the Third Universal Definition of AMI. A blinded cardiologist adjudicated ACO, defined as thrombolysis in myocardial infarction score 0 or 1 on coronary angiography; a pre-defined subgroup of ACO patients with peak cardiac troponin (cTn) >100 times the 99% upper reference limit (URL) of the cTn assay was also analyzed. Another blinded physician measured all ECGs. Statistics were by Mann Whitney U, Chi-square, and McNemars test. Results: The ACO and No-AMI groups consisted of 15 and 79 encounters, respectively. For the ACO and No-AMI groups, median age was 78 [IQR 72-82] vs. 70 [61-75] and 13 (86%) vs. 48 (61%) patients were male. The median peak cTn ratio (cTn/URL) was 260 [33-663] and 0.5 [0-1.3] for ACO vs. no-AMI. The Sens and Spec for the MSC and the original Sgarbossa criteria were 67% (95%CI 39-87) vs. 46% (22-72; p=0.25) and 99% (92-100) vs. 99% (92-100; p=0.5). In pre-defined subgroup analysis of ACO patients with peak cTn >100 times the URL (n=10), the Sens was 90% (54-100) for the MSC vs. 60% (27- 86) for original Sgarbossa criteria (p=0.25). Conclusion: ACO in VPR is an uncommon condition. The MSC showed good Sens for diagnosis of ACO in the presence of VPR, especially among patients with high peak cTn, and Spec was excellent. These methods and results are consistent with studies that have used the MSC to diagnose ACO in LBBB.
Introduction: Patient-reported outcome measures (PROM) are questionnaires that can be used to elicit care outcome information from patients. We sought to develop and validate the first PROM for adult patients without a primary mental health or addictions presentation receiving emergency department (ED) care and who were not hospitalized. Methods: PROM development used a multi-phase process based on national and international guidance (FDA, NQF, ISPOR). Phase 1: ED outcome conceptual framework qualitative interviews with ED patients post-discharge informed four core domains (previously published). Phase 2: Item generation scoping review of the literature and existing instruments identified candidate questions relevant for each domain for inclusion in tool. Phase 3: Cognitive debriefing existing and newly written questions were tested with ED patients post-discharge for comprehension and wording preference. Phase 4: Field and validity testing revised tool pilot tested on a national online survey panel and then again at 2 weeks (test-retest). Phase 5: Final item reduction using a Delphi process involving ED clinicians, researchers, patients and system administrators. Phase 6: Validation - psychometric testing of PROM-ED 1.0. Results: Four core outcome domains were defined in Phase 1: (1) understanding; (2) symptom relief; (3) reassurance and (4) having a plan. The domains informed a review of existing relevant questionnaires and instruments and the writing of additional questions creating an initial long-form questionnaire. Eight patients participated in cognitive debriefing of the long-form questionnaire. Expert clinicians, researchers and patient partners provided input on item refinement and reduction. Four hundred forty-four patients completed a second version of the long-form questionnaire (add in retest numbers) which informed the final item reduction process by a modified Delphi method involving 21 diverse contributors. The questionnaire was validated and underwent final revisions to create the 21 questions that constitute PROM-ED 1.0. Conclusion: Using accepted PROM instrument development methodology, we developed the first outcome questionnaire for use with adult ED patients who are not hospitalized. This questionnaire can be used to systematically gather patient-reported outcome information that could support and inform improvement work in ED care.
UK Biobank is a well-characterised cohort of over 500 000 participants that offers unique opportunities to investigate multiple diseases and risk factors.
An online mental health questionnaire completed by UK Biobank participants was expected to expand the potential for research into mental disorders.
An expert working group designed the questionnaire, using established measures where possible, and consulting with a patient group regarding acceptability. Case definitions were defined using operational criteria for lifetime depression, mania, anxiety disorder, psychotic-like experiences and self-harm, as well as current post-traumatic stress and alcohol use disorders.
157 366 completed online questionnaires were available by August 2017. Comparison of self-reported diagnosed mental disorder with a contemporary study shows a similar prevalence, despite respondents being of higher average socioeconomic status than the general population across a range of indicators. Thirty-five per cent (55 750) of participants had at least one defined syndrome, of which lifetime depression was the most common at 24% (37 434). There was extensive comorbidity among the syndromes. Mental disorders were associated with high neuroticism score, adverse life events and long-term illness; addiction and bipolar affective disorder in particular were associated with measures of deprivation.
The questionnaire represents a very large mental health survey in itself, and the results presented here show high face validity, although caution is needed owing to selection bias. Built into UK Biobank, these data intersect with other health data to offer unparalleled potential for crosscutting biomedical research involving mental health.
Declaration of interest
G.B. received grants from the National Institute for Health Research during the study; and support from Illumina Ltd. and the European Commission outside the submitted work. B.C. received grants from the Scottish Executive Chief Scientist Office and from The Dr Mortimer and Theresa Sackler Foundation during the study. C.S. received grants from the Medical Research Council and Wellcome Trust during the study, and is the Chief Scientist for UK Biobank. M.H. received grants from the Innovative Medicines Initiative via the RADAR-CNS programme and personal fees as an expert witness outside the submitted work.
Korea has the highest suicide rate of developed countries, two times higher than the USA. Suicide trends among Koreans Americans living in the USA during the same period have not yet been described. We report suicide mortality rates and trends for four groups: (1) Korean Americans, (2) non-Hispanic White (NHW) Americans, (3) selected Asian American subgroups and (4) Koreans living in the Republic of Korea.
We used US national (n = 18 113 585) and World Health Organization (WHO) (n = 232 919 253) mortality records for Korea from 2003 to 2012 to calculate suicide rates, all expressed per 100 000 persons. We assessed temporal trends and differences in age, gender and race/ethnicity using binomial regression.
Suicide rates are highest in Koreans living in the Republic of Korea (32.4 for men and 14.8 for women). Suicide rates in Korean Americans (13.9 for men and 6.5 for women) have nearly doubled from 2003 to 2012 and exceed rates for all other Asian American subgroups (5.4–10.7 for men and 1.6–4.2 for women). Suicide rates among NHWs (21.0 for men and 5.6 for women) remain high. Among elders, suicide in Korean Americans (32.9 for men and 15.4 for women) is the highest of all examined racial/ethnic groups in the USA.
Suicide in Korean Americans is higher than for other Asian Americans and follows temporal patterns more similar to Korea than the USA. Interventions to prevent suicide in Korean American populations, particularly among the elderly, are needed.
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.
Infectious bovine keratoconjunctivitis (IBK) is a common and important disease of calves. Without effective vaccines, antibiotic therapy is often implemented to minimize the impact of IBK. This review updates a previously published systematic review regarding comparative efficacy for antibiotic treatments of IBK. Available years of Centre for Biosciences and Agriculture International and MEDLINE databases were searched, including non-English results. Also searched were the American Association of Bovine Practitioners and World Buiatrics Congress conference proceedings from 1996 to 2016, reviews since 2013, reference lists from relevant trials, and U.S. Food and Drug Administration New Animal Drug Application summaries. Eligible studies assessed antibiotic treatment of naturally-occurring IBK in calves randomly allocated to group at the individual level. Outcomes of interest were clinical score, healing time, unhealed ulcer risk, and ulcer surface area. A mixed-effects model comparing active drug with placebo was employed for all outcomes. Heterogeneity was assessed visually and using Cochran's Q-test. Thirteen trials assessing nine treatments were included. Compared with placebo, most antibiotic treatments were effective. There was evidence that the treatment effect differed by day of outcome measurement. Visually, the largest differences were observed 7–14 days post-treatment. These results indicate improved IBK healing with many antibiotics and suggest the need for randomized trials comparing different antibiotic treatments.
The subsurface exploration of other planetary bodies can be used to unravel their geological history and assess their habitability. On Mars in particular, present-day habitable conditions may be restricted to the subsurface. Using a deep subsurface mine, we carried out a program of extraterrestrial analog research – MINe Analog Research (MINAR). MINAR aims to carry out the scientific study of the deep subsurface and test instrumentation designed for planetary surface exploration by investigating deep subsurface geology, whilst establishing the potential this technology has to be transferred into the mining industry. An integrated multi-instrument suite was used to investigate samples of representative evaporite minerals from a subsurface Permian evaporite sequence, in particular to assess mineral and elemental variations which provide small-scale regions of enhanced habitability. The instruments used were the Panoramic Camera emulator, Close-Up Imager, Raman spectrometer, Small Planetary Linear Impulse Tool, Ultrasonic drill and handheld X-ray diffraction (XRD). We present science results from the analog research and show that these instruments can be used to investigate in situ the geological context and mineralogical variations of a deep subsurface environment, and thus habitability, from millimetre to metre scales. We also show that these instruments are complementary. For example, the identification of primary evaporite minerals such as NaCl and KCl, which are difficult to detect by portable Raman spectrometers, can be accomplished with XRD. By contrast, Raman is highly effective at locating and detecting mineral inclusions in primary evaporite minerals. MINAR demonstrates the effective use of a deep subsurface environment for planetary instrument development, understanding the habitability of extreme deep subsurface environments on Earth and other planetary bodies, and advancing the use of space technology in economic mining.
Monitoring infections and risk in people who inject drugs (PWID) is important for informing public health responses. In 2011, a novel hepatitis C antibody (anti-HCV) avidity-testing algorithm to identify samples compatible with recent primary infection was introduced into a national surveillance survey. PWID are recruited annually, through >60 needle-and-syringe programmes and prescribing services. Of the 980 individuals that could have been at risk of HCV infection, there were 20 (2%) samples that were compatible with recent primary infection. These were more common among: those imprisoned ⩾5 times [8/213; adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 8·7, 95% confidence interval (CI) 2·04–37·03]; women (8/230; aOR 3·8, 95% CI 1·41–10·38); and those ever-infected with hepatitis B (5/56; aOR 6·25, 95% CI 2·12–18·43). This study is the first to apply this algorithm and to examine the risk factors associated with recently acquired HCV infection in a national sample of PWID in the UK. These findings highlight underlying risks and suggest targeted interventions are needed.
Rapid and wide dispersal of passengers after flights makes investigation of flight-related outbreaks challenging. An outbreak of Salmonella Heidelberg was identified in a group of Irish travellers returning from Tanzania. Additional international cases sharing the same flight were identified. Our aim was to determine the source and potential vehicles of infection. Case-finding utilized information exchange using experts' communication networks and national surveillance systems. Demographic, clinical and food history information was collected. Twenty-five additional cases were identified from Ireland, The Netherlands, Norway, USA and Canada. We conducted a case-control study which indicated a significant association between illness and consumption of milk tart (OR 10·2) and an egg dish (OR 6) served on-board the flight. No food consumed before the flight was associated with illness. Cases from countries other than Ireland provided supplementary information that facilitated the identification of likely vehicles of infection. Timely, committed international collaboration is vital in such investigations.
The effects of source field plates on AlGaN/GaN High Electron Mobility Transistor reliability under off-state stress conditions were investigated using step-stress cycling. The source field plate enhanced the drain breakdown voltage from 55V to 155V and the critical voltage for off-state gate stress from 40V to 65V, relative to devices without the field plate. Transmission electron microscopy was used to examine the degradation of the gate contacts. The presence of cracking that appeared on both source and drain side of the gate edges was attributed to the inverse piezoelectric effect. In addition, a thin oxide layer was observed between the Ni gate contact and the AlGaN layer, and both Ni and oxygen had diffused into the AlGaN layer. The critical degradation voltage of AlGaN/GaN High Electron Mobility Transistors during off-state electrical stress was determined as a function of Ni/Au gate dimensions (0.1-0.17μm). Devices with different gate length and gate-drain distances were found to exhibit the onset of degradation at different source-drain biases but similar electric field strengths, showing that the degradation mechanism is primarily field-driven. The temperature dependence of sub-threshold drain current versus gate voltage at a constant drain bias voltage were used to determine the trap densities in AlGaN/GaN high electron mobility transistors (HEMTs) before and after the off-state stress. Two different trap densities were obtained for the measurements conducted at 300-493K and 493-573K, respectively.
We report the results of photoluminescence measurements on ZnO bulk crystals implanted with both stable and radioactive species involving the group IV impurities Ge, Si and Sn. We previously confirmed the identity of a line emerging at 3.3225 eV as being related to Ge and present here uniaxial stress data which show that the defect responsible has trigonal symmetry. Experiments with Si provide circumstantial evidence of a connection with the well-known line at 3.333 eV. Our measurements indicate that for the case of Sn on the Zn site luminescence is not observed. We also confirm that the I9 and I2 lines are due to substitutional In impurities.
Experts have proposed removing obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) from the anxiety disorders section and grouping it with putatively related conditions in DSM-5. The current study uses co-morbidity and familiality data to inform these issues.
Case family data from the OCD Collaborative Genetics Study (382 OCD-affected probands and 974 of their first-degree relatives) were compared with control family data from the Johns Hopkins OCD Family Study (73 non-OCD-affected probands and 233 of their first-degree relatives).
Anxiety disorders (especially agoraphobia and generalized anxiety disorder), cluster C personality disorders (especially obsessive–compulsive and avoidant), tic disorders, somatoform disorders (hypochondriasis and body dysmorphic disorder), grooming disorders (especially trichotillomania and pathological skin picking) and mood disorders (especially unipolar depressive disorders) were more common in case than control probands; however, the prevalences of eating disorders (anorexia and bulimia nervosa), other impulse-control disorders (pathological gambling, pyromania, kleptomania) and substance dependence (alcohol or drug) did not differ between the groups. The same general pattern was evident in relatives of case versus control probands. Results in relatives did not differ markedly when adjusted for demographic variables and proband diagnosis of the same disorder, though the strength of associations was lower when adjusted for OCD in relatives. Nevertheless, several anxiety, depressive and putative OCD-related conditions remained significantly more common in case than control relatives when adjusting for all of these variables simultaneously.
On the basis of co-morbidity and familiality, OCD appears related both to anxiety disorders and to some conditions currently classified in other sections of DSM-IV.
This study aimed to determine the age at which various ethnic groups present with thyroid cancer.
Retrospective, observational study based at three district general hospitals in the West Midlands, serving a widely diverse ethnic population. We assessed all patients undergoing an operative or core biopsy procedure for a thyroid nodule from 1 January 1998 to 31 December 2009. Only patients diagnosed with thyroid cancer were included. Variables examined included the patient's ethnic origin, sex and age at presentation.
We identified 263 patients diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Papillary carcinoma predominated. Ethnicity was categorised as Caucasian, Asian, black or other. Thyroid cancer was predominantly seen in women, in all ethnic groups. The mean age of thyroid cancer presentation was 50 years in Asians and 56 years in Caucasians, for both sexes combined. The mean presentation age of Asian women was significantly younger (46 years) than that of Caucasian women (56 years) (p = 0.01).
In this population, Asian women presented with thyroid cancer at a significantly younger mean age than Caucasian women.