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Habitat avoidance is an anti-parasite behaviour exhibited by at-risk hosts that can minimize exposure to parasites. Because environments are often heterogeneous, host decision-making with regards to habitat use may be affected by the presence of parasites and habitat quality simultaneously. In this study we examine how the ovipositing behaviour of a cactiphilic fruit fly, Drosophila nigrospiracula, is affected by the presence of an ectoparasitic mite, Macrocheles subbadius, in conjunction with other environmental factors – specifically the presence or absence of conspecific eggs and host plant tissue. We hypothesized that the trade-off between site quality and parasite avoidance should favour ovipositing at mite-free sites even if it is of inferior quality. We found that although flies avoided mites in homogeneous environments (86% of eggs at mite-free sites), site quality overwhelmed mite avoidance. Both conspecific eggs (65% of eggs at infested sites with other Drosophila eggs) and host plant tissue (78% of eggs at infested sites with cactus) overpowered mite avoidance. Our results elucidate the context-dependent decision-making of hosts in response to the presence of parasites in variable environments, and suggest how the ecology of fear and associated trade-offs may influence the relative investment in anti-parasite behaviour in susceptible hosts.
Prematurity impacts myocardial development and may determine long-term outcomes. The objective of this study was to test the hypothesis that preterm neonates develop right ventricle dysfunction and adaptive remodelling by 32 weeks post-menstrual age that persists through 1 year corrected age.
Materials and Methods:
A subset of 80 preterm infants (born <29 weeks) was selected retrospectively from a prospectively enrolled cohort and measures of right ventricle systolic function and morphology by two-dimensional echocardiography were assessed at 32 weeks post-menstrual age and at 1 year of corrected age. Comparisons were made to 50 term infants at 1 month and 1 year of age. Sub-analyses were performed in preterm-born infants with bronchopulmonary dysplasia and/or pulmonary hypertension.
In both term and preterm infants, right ventricle function and morphology increased over the first year (p < 0.01). The magnitudes of right ventricle function measures were lower in preterm-born infants at each time period (p < 0.01 for all) and right ventricle morphology indices were wider in all preterm infants by 1 year corrected age, irrespective of lung disease. Measures of a) right ventricle function were further decreased and b) morphology increased through 1 year in preterm infants with bronchopulmonary dysplasia and/or pulmonary hypertension (p < 0.01).
Preterm infants exhibit abnormal right ventricle performance with remodelling at 32 weeks post-menstrual age that persists through 1 year corrected age, suggesting a less developed intrinsic myocardial function response following preterm birth. The development of bronchopulmonary dysplasia and pulmonary hypertension leave a further negative impact on right ventricle mechanics over the first year of age.
Introduction: Emergency hospital admissions are a growing concern for patients and health systems, globally. The objective of this study was to systematically review the evidence for diagnostic, medical, and surgical interventions that reduce emergency hospital admissions. Methods: We conducted a systematic review of systematic reviews by searching MEDLINE, PubMED, the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Google Scholar, and grey literature. Systematic reviews of any diagnostic, surgical, or medical interventions examining the effect on emergency hospital admissions among adults were included. The quality of reviews was assessed using AMSTAR and the quality of evidence was assessed using GRADE. The subsequent analysis was restricted to interventions with moderate or high-quality evidence only. Results: 13 051 titles and abstracts and 1 791 full-text articles were screened from which 42 systematic reviews were included. The reviews included an underlying evidence base of 215 randomized controlled trials with 135 282 patients. Of 20 unique diagnostic, medical, and surgical interventions identified, four had moderate (n = 4) or high (n = 0) quality evidence for significant reductions in hospital admissions in five patient populations. These were: cardiac resynchronization therapy for heart failure and atrial fibrillation, percutaneous aspiration for pneumothorax, early/routine coronary angiography for acute coronary syndrome (alone or comorbid with chronic kidney disease), and natriuretic peptide guided therapy for heart failure. Conclusion: We identified four interventions across five populations that when optimized, may lead to reductions in emergency hospital admissions. These finding can therefore help guide the development of quality indicators, standards, or practice guidelines.
Clostridium difficile, the most common cause of hospital-associated diarrhoea in developed countries, presents major public health challenges. The high clinical and economic burden from C. difficile infection (CDI) relates to the high frequency of recurrent infections caused by either the same or different strains of C. difficile. An interval of 8 weeks after index infection is commonly used to classify recurrent CDI episodes. We assessed strains of C. difficile in a sample of patients with recurrent CDI in Western Australia from October 2011 to July 2017. The performance of different intervals between initial and subsequent episodes of CDI was investigated. Of 4612 patients with CDI, 1471 (32%) were identified with recurrence. PCR ribotyping data were available for initial and recurrent episodes for 551 patients. Relapse (recurrence with same ribotype (RT) as index episode) was found in 350 (64%) patients and reinfection (recurrence with new RT) in 201 (36%) patients. Our analysis indicates that 8- and 20-week intervals failed to adequately distinguish reinfection from relapse. In addition, living in a non-metropolitan area modified the effect of age on the risk of relapse. Where molecular epidemiological data are not available, we suggest that applying an 8-week interval to define recurrent CDI requires more consideration.
Salmonella enterica serovar Wangata (S. Wangata) is an important cause of endemic salmonellosis in Australia, with human infections occurring from undefined sources. This investigation sought to examine possible environmental and zoonotic sources for human infections with S. Wangata in north-eastern New South Wales (NSW), Australia. The investigation adopted a One Health approach and was comprised of three complimentary components: a case–control study examining human risk factors; environmental and animal sampling; and genomic analysis of human, animal and environmental isolates. Forty-eight human S. Wangata cases were interviewed during a 6-month period from November 2016 to April 2017, together with 55 Salmonella Typhimurium (S. Typhimurium) controls and 130 neighbourhood controls. Indirect contact with bats/flying foxes (S. Typhimurium controls (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 2.63, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.06–6.48)) (neighbourhood controls (aOR 8.33, 95% CI 2.58–26.83)), wild frogs (aOR 3.65, 95% CI 1.32–10.07) and wild birds (aOR 6.93, 95% CI 2.29–21.00) were statistically associated with illness in multivariable analyses. S. Wangata was detected in dog faeces, wildlife scats and a compost specimen collected from the outdoor environments of cases’ residences. In addition, S. Wangata was detected in the faeces of wild birds and sea turtles in the investigation area. Genomic analysis revealed that S. Wangata isolates were relatively clonal. Our findings suggest that S. Wangata is present in the environment and may have a reservoir in wildlife populations in north-eastern NSW. Further investigation is required to better understand the occurrence of Salmonella in wildlife groups and to identify possible transmission pathways for human infections.
Evidence from animal models indicates that exposure to an obesogenic or hyperglycemic intrauterine environment adversely impacts offspring kidney development and renal function. However, evidence from human studies has not been evaluated systematically. Therefore, the aim of this systematic review was to synthesize current research in humans that has examined the relationship between gestational obesity and/or diabetes and offspring kidney structure and function. Systematic electronic database searches were conducted of five relevant databases (CINAHL, Cochrane, EMBASE, MEDLINE and Scopus). Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analysis guidelines were followed, and articles screened by two independent reviewers generated nine eligible papers for inclusion. Six studies were assessed as being of ‘neutral’ quality, two of ‘negative’ and one ‘positive’ quality. Observational studies suggest that offspring exposed to a hyperglycemic intrauterine environment are more likely to display markers of renal dysfunction and are at higher risk of end-stage renal disease. There was limited and inconsistent evidence for a link between exposure to an obesogenic intrauterine environment and offspring renal outcomes. Offspring renal outcome measures across studies were diverse, with a large variation in offspring age at follow-up, limiting comparability across studies. The collective current body of evidence suggests that intrauterine exposure to maternal obesity and/or diabetes adversely impacts renal programming in offspring, with an increased risk of kidney disease in adulthood. Further high-quality, longitudinal, prospective cohort studies that measure indicators of offspring renal development and function, including fetal kidney volume and albuminuria, at standardized follow-up time points, are warranted.
A total of 592 people reported gastrointestinal illness following attendance at Street Spice, a food festival held in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, North East England in February/March 2013. Epidemiological, microbiological and environmental investigations were undertaken to identify the source and prevent further cases. Several epidemiological analyses were conducted; a cohort study; a follow-up survey of cases and capture re-capture to estimate the true burden of cases. Indistinguishable isolates of Salmonella Agona phage type 40 were identified in cases and on fresh curry leaves used in one of the accompaniments served at the event. Molecular testing indicated entero-aggregative Escherichia coli and Shigella also contributed to the burden of illness. Analytical studies found strong associations between illness and eating food from a particular stall and with food items including coconut chutney which contained fresh curry leaves. Further investigation of the food supply chain and food preparation techniques identified a lack of clear instruction on the use of fresh uncooked curry leaves in finished dishes and uncertainty about their status as a ready-to-eat product. We describe the investigation of one of the largest outbreaks of food poisoning in England, involving several gastrointestinal pathogens including a strain of Salmonella Agona not previously seen in the UK.
Photoluminescence (PL) spectroscopy has been used to study the defect levels in thin film copper indium diselenide (CuInSe2, CIS) which we are developing as the absorber layer for the bottom cell of a monolithically grown perovskite/CuInSe2 tandem solar cell. Temperature and laser power dependent PL measurements of thin film CIS for two different Cu/In ratios (0.66 and 0.80) have been performed. The CIS film with Cu/In = 0.80 shows a prominent donor-to-acceptor peak (DAP) involving a shallow acceptor of binding energy ∼22 meV, with phonon replica at ∼32 meV spacing. In contrast, PL measurement of CIS film for Cu/In = 0.66 taken at 20 K exhibited an asymmetric and broad PL spectrum with peaks at 0.845 eV and 0.787 eV. Laser intensity dependent PL revealed that the observed peaks 0.845 eV and 0.787 eV shift towards higher energy (aka j-shift) at ∼11.7 meV/decade and ∼ 8 meV/decade with increase in laser intensity respectively. The asymmetric and broad spectrum together with large j-shift suggests that the observed peaks at 0.845 eV and 0.787 eV were related to band-to-tail (BT) and band-to-impurity (BI) transition, respectively. Such a band-tail-related transition originates from the potential fluctuation of defect states at low temperature. The appearance of band related transition in CIS film with Cu/In = 0.66 is the indicator of the presence of large number of charged defect states.
In Sweden, leishmaniasis is an imported disease and its epidemiology and incidence were not known until now. We conducted a retrospective, nationwide, epidemiological study from 1993 to 2016. Probable cases were patients with leishmaniasis diagnoses reported to the Swedish Patient registry, collecting data on admitted patients in Swedish healthcare since 1993 and out-patient visits since 2001. Confirmed cases were those with a laboratory test positive for leishmaniasis during 1993–2016. 299 probable cases and 182 confirmed cases were identified. Annual incidence ranged from 0.023 to 0.35 per 100 000 with a rapid increase in the last 4 years. Of 182 laboratory-verified cases, 96 were diagnosed from 2013 to 2016, and in this group, almost half of the patients were children under 18 years. Patients presented in different healthcare settings in all regions of Sweden. Cutaneous leishmaniasis was the most common clinical manifestation and the majority of infections were acquired in Asia including the Middle East, specifically Syria and Afghanistan. Leishmania tropica was responsible for the majority of cases (42%). A combination of laboratory methods increased the sensitivity of diagnosis among confirmed cases. In 2016, one-tenth of the Swedish population were born in Leishmania-endemic countries and many Swedes travel to these countries for work or vacation. Swedish residents who have spent time in Leishmania-endemic areas, could be at risk of developing disease some time during their lives. Increased awareness and knowledge are needed for correct diagnosis and management of leishmaniasis in Sweden.