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Legionnaires’ disease (LD) incidence in the USA has quadrupled since 2000. Health departments must detect LD outbreaks quickly to identify and remediate sources. We tested the performance of a system to prospectively detect simulated LD outbreaks in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, USA. We generated three simulated LD outbreaks based on published outbreaks. After verifying no significant clusters existed in surveillance data during 2014–2016, we embedded simulated outbreak-associated cases into 2016, assigning simulated residences and report dates. We mimicked daily analyses in 2016 using the prospective space-time permutation scan statistic to detect clusters of ⩽30 and ⩽180 days using 365-day and 730-day baseline periods, respectively. We used recurrence interval (RI) thresholds of ⩾20, ⩾100 and ⩾365 days to define significant signals. We calculated sensitivity, specificity and positive and negative predictive values for daily analyses, separately for each embedded outbreak. Two large, simulated cooling tower-associated outbreaks were detected. As the RI threshold was increased, sensitivity and negative predictive value decreased, while positive predictive value and specificity increased. A small, simulated potable water-associated outbreak was not detected. Use of a RI threshold of ⩾100 days minimised time-to-detection while maximizing positive predictive value. Health departments should consider using this system to detect community-acquired LD outbreaks.
Animal and cross-sectional epidemiological studies suggest that prenatal lead exposure is related to delayed menarche, but this has not been confirmed in longitudinal studies. We analyzed this association among 200 girls from Mexico City who were followed since the first trimester of gestation. Maternal blood lead levels were analyzed once during each trimester of pregnancy, and daughters were asked about their first menstrual cycle at a visit between the ages of 9.8 and 18.1 years. We estimated hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for probability of menarche over the follow-up period using interval-censored Cox models, comparing those with prenatal blood lead level ⩾5 µg/dl to those with prenatal blood lead <5 µg/dl. We also estimated HRs and 95% CI with conventional Cox regression models, which utilized the self-reported age at menarche. In adjusted analyses, we accounted for maternal age, maternal parity, maternal education, and prenatal calcium treatment status. Across trimesters, 36−47% of mothers had blood lead levels ⩾5 µg/dl. Using interval-censored models, we found that during the second trimester only, girls with ⩾5 µg/dl prenatal blood lead had a later age at menarche compared with girls with prenatal blood lead levels <5 µg/dl (confounder-adjusted HR=0.59, 95% CI 0.28–0.90; P=0.05). Associations were in a similar direction, although not statistically significant, in the conventional Cox regression models, potentially indicating measurement error in the self-recalled age at menarche. In summary, higher prenatal lead exposure during the second trimester could be related to later onset of sexual maturation.
This study investigates relations of maternal N-3 and N-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) intake during pregnancy with offspring body mass index (BMI), height z-score and metabolic risk (fasting glucose, C-peptide, leptin, lipid profile) during peripuberty (8–14 years) among 236 mother–child pairs in Mexico. We used food frequency questionnaire data to quantify trimester-specific intake of N-3 alpha-linolenic acid, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA); N-6 linoleic acid and arachidonic acid (AA); and N-6:N-3 (AA:EPA+DHA), which accounts for the fact that the two PUFA families have opposing effects on physiology. Next, we used multivariable linear regression models that accounted for maternal education and parity, and child’s age, sex and pubertal status, to examine associations of PUFA intake with the offspring outcomes. In models where BMI z-score was the outcome, we also adjusted for height z-score. We found that higher second trimester intake of EPA, DHA and AA were associated with lower offspring BMI and height z-score. For example, each 1-s.d. increment in second trimester EPA intake corresponded with 0.25 (95% CI: 0.03, 0.47) z-scores lower BMI and 0.20 (0.05, 0.36) z-scores lower height. Accounting for height z-score in models where BMI z-score was the outcome attenuated estimates [e.g., EPA: −0.16 (−0.37, 0.05)], suggesting that this relationship was driven by slower linear growth rather than excess adiposity. Maternal PUFA intake was not associated with the offspring metabolic biomarkers. Our findings suggest that higher PUFA intake during mid-pregnancy is associated with lower attained height in offspring during peripuberty. Additional research is needed to elucidate mechanisms and to confirm findings in other populations.
Previous studies have demonstrated that several major psychiatric disorders are influenced by shared genetic factors. This shared liability may influence clinical features of a given disorder (e.g. severity, age at onset). However, findings have largely been limited to European samples; little is known about the consistency of shared genetic liability across ethnicities.
The relationship between polygenic risk for several major psychiatric diagnoses and major depressive disorder (MDD) was examined in a sample of unrelated Han Chinese women. Polygenic risk scores (PRSs) were generated using European discovery samples and tested in the China, Oxford, and VCU Experimental Research on Genetic Epidemiology [CONVERGE (maximum N = 10 502)], a sample ascertained for recurrent MDD. Genetic correlations between discovery phenotypes and MDD were also assessed. In addition, within-case characteristics were examined.
European-based polygenic risk for several major psychiatric disorder phenotypes was significantly associated with the MDD case status in CONVERGE. Risk for clinically significant indicators (neuroticism and subjective well-being) was also associated with case–control status. The variance accounted for by PRS for both psychopathology and for well-being was similar to estimates reported for within-ethnicity comparisons in European samples. However, European-based PRS were largely unassociated with CONVERGE family history, clinical characteristics, or comorbidity.
The shared genetic liability across severe forms of psychopathology is largely consistent across European and Han Chinese ethnicities, with little attenuation of genetic signal relative to within-ethnicity analyses. The overall absence of associations between PRS for other disorders and within-MDD variation suggests that clinical characteristics of MDD may arise due to contributions from ethnicity-specific factors and/or pathoplasticity.
To determine the impact of recurrent Clostridium difficile infection (RCDI) on patient behaviors following illness.
Using a computer algorithm, we searched the electronic medical records of 7 Chicago-area hospitals to identify patients with RCDI (2 episodes of CDI within 15 to 56 days of each other). RCDI was validated by medical record review. Patients were asked to complete a telephone survey. The survey included questions regarding general health, social isolation, symptom severity, emotional distress, and prevention behaviors.
In total, 119 patients completed the survey (32%). On average, respondents were 57.4 years old (standard deviation, 16.8); 57% were white, and ~50% reported hospitalization for CDI. At the time of their most recent illness, patients rated their diarrhea as high severity (58.5%) and their exhaustion as extreme (30.7%). Respondents indicated that they were very worried about getting sick again (41.5%) and about infecting others (31%). Almost 50% said that they have washed their hands more frequently (47%) and have increased their use of soap and water (45%) since their illness. Some of these patients (22%–32%) reported eating out less, avoiding certain medications and public areas, and increasing probiotic use. Most behavioral changes were unrelated to disease severity.
Having had RCDI appears to increase prevention-related behaviors in some patients. While some behaviors are appropriate (eg, handwashing), others are not supported by evidence of decreased risk and may negatively impact patient quality of life. Providers should discuss appropriate prevention behaviors with their patients and should clarify that other behaviors (eg, eating out less) will not affect their risk of future illness.
We are investigating complete samples of southern hemisphere flat spectrum extra-galactic radio sources drawn from the Parkes 2.7 GHz Survey (see Bolton et al. 1979 and references therein). These samples are being used for a variety of investigations, including a determination of the space distribution and luminosity function of radio QSOs, their radio size distribution, as well as the structures of the individual sources. Accurate positions are being determined, as well, in order to establish an extra-galactic position reference frame in the southern hemisphere.
Analysis of in situ neutron powder diffraction data collected for the porous framework material Zn(hba) during gas adsorption reveals a two-stage response of the host lattice to increasing CO2 guest concentration, suggesting progressive occupation of multiple CO2 adsorption sites with different binding strengths. The response of the lattice to moderate CH4 guest concentrations is virtually indistinguishable from the response to CO2, demonstrating that the influence of host–guest interactions on the Zn(hba) framework is defined more strongly by the concentration than by the identity of the guests.
Antigenic variation in malaria was discovered in Plasmodium knowlesi studies involving longitudinal infections of rhesus macaques (M. mulatta). The variant proteins, known as the P. knowlesi Schizont Infected Cell Agglutination (SICA) antigens and the P. falciparum Erythrocyte Membrane Protein 1 (PfEMP1) antigens, expressed by the SICAvar and var multigene families, respectively, have been studied for over 30 years. Expression of the SICA antigens in P. knowlesi requires a splenic component, and specific antibodies are necessary for variant antigen switch events in vivo. Outstanding questions revolve around the role of the spleen and the mechanisms by which the expression of these variant antigen families are regulated. Importantly, the longitudinal dynamics and molecular mechanisms that govern variant antigen expression can be studied with P. knowlesi infection of its mammalian and vector hosts. Synchronous infections can be initiated with established clones and studied at multi-omic levels, with the benefit of computational tools from systems biology that permit the integration of datasets and the design of explanatory, predictive mathematical models. Here we provide an historical account of this topic, while highlighting the potential for maximizing the use of P. knowlesi – macaque model systems and summarizing exciting new progress in this area of research.
The Arcminute Cosmology Bolometer Array Receiver (Acbar) is a multifrequency millimeter-wave receiver optimized for observations of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) and the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich (SZ) effect in clusters of galaxies. Acbar was installed on the 2.1 m Viper telescope at the South Pole in January 2001 and the results presented here incorporate data through July 2002. The power spectrum of the CMB at 150 GHz over the range ℓ = 150 — 3000 measured by Acbar is presented along with estimates for the values of the cosmological parameters within the context of ΛCDM models. The inclusion of ΩΛ greatly improves the fit to the power spectrum. Three-frequency images of the SZ decrement/increment are also presented for the galaxy cluster 1E0657–67.
The transmission of parasites can be influenced by their co-occurrence with other parasites, in some cases increasing or reducing transmission. Trypanosoma cruzi, aetiologic agent of Chagas disease, often co-occurs with Trypanosoma rangeli, a parasite not pathogenic for mammal hosts. Both parasites can reduce the fitness of their insect vectors (the triatomine bugs; Hemiptera: Reduviidae), with T. rangeli being more pathogenic for some species. Here, we study the prevalence of T. cruzi and T. rangeli in the triatomine Rhodnius pallescens across a heterogeneously transformed landscape in Panamá. We found that single T. rangeli infections were more common in contiguously forested habitats, while single T. cruzi infections predominated in anthropogenically disturbed habitats. Trypanosoma cruzi–T. rangeli co-infections were more common in contiguous forests and in peridomiciliary areas. Furthermore, adult insects were more likely to be co-infected than nymphs. Our results suggest that human-mediated landscape transformation might have increased the predominance of single infections with T. cruzi within vectors. An important mechanism driving changes in trypanosome infection patterns in triatomines at a landscape scale includes alterations in host species composition that may vary with different degrees of deforestation. Trypanosome co-infection may also confer a survival advantage for R. pallescens to and/or throughout adulthood.
Henbit is a facultative broadleaf winter annual in the Lamiaceae family. Acetolactate synthase (ALS) inhibitors are primarily used to control a broad spectrum of weeds, including henbit. During 2012 to 2013, field applications of ALS-inhibiting herbicides were ineffective in controlling a henbit population from Marion County, KS (MCK). To confirm field-evolved resistance to ALS inhibitors, response of MCK henbit and a known susceptible henbit population from Kansas (DPS) to varying doses of three different ALS inhibitors were examined: chlorsulfuron, imazamox, and propoxycarbazone. Results of the dose–response experiments suggest that the MCK population is highly resistant to chlorsulfuron (resistance index [R/S] > 1,000) and propoxycarbazone (R/S = 331) but is susceptible to imazamox. A full-length ALS gene sequence obtained using the 5′- and 3′- rapid amplification of complementary DNA ends approach revealed a Pro197 to Arg point mutation (a common mutation that confers resistance to sulfonylurea herbicides, e.g., chlorsulfuron) in the MCK henbit. No other known resistance-conferring mutations were found in the study. Evolved resistance to major classes of ALS inhibitors in the MCK henbit will reduce herbicide options for its control. To our knowledge, this is the first case of evolution of herbicide resistance in henbit.
A rapid and dramatic change in our views of the Universe which we have witnessed during the past two decades or so is often compared with what happened at the time of Galileo. Revolutionary role of the optical telescope then may be analogized with that of space-astronomy today which has drastically opened the new observational window to the Universe. The revolution is ongoing with a rapid pace or even being accelerated.
Waterhemp is an increasingly problematic weed in the U.S. Midwest, having now evolved resistances to herbicides from six different site-of-action groups. Glyphosate-resistant waterhemp in the Midwest is especially concerning given the economic importance of glyphosate in corn and soybean production. Amplification of the target-site gene, 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase (EPSPS) was found to be the mechanism of glyphosate resistance in Palmer amaranth, a species closely related to waterhemp. Here, the relationship between glyphosate resistance and EPSPS gene amplification in waterhemp was investigated. Glyphosate dose response studies were performed at field sites with glyphosate-resistant waterhemp in Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, and Nebraska, and relative EPSPS copy number of survivors was determined via quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). Waterhemp control increased with increasing glyphosate rate at all locations, but no population was completely controlled even at the highest rate (3,360 g ae ha−1). EPSPS gene amplification was present in plants from four of five locations (Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska) and the proportion of plants with elevated copy number was generally higher in survivors from glyphosate-treated plots than in plants from the untreated control plots. Copy number magnitude varied by site, but an overall trend of increasing copy number with increasing rate was observed in populations with gene amplification, suggesting that waterhemp plants with more EPSPS copies are more resistant. Survivors from the Kentucky population did not have elevated EPSPS copy number. Instead, resistance in this population was attributed to the EPSPS Pro106Ser mutation. Results herein show a quantitative relationship between glyphosate resistance and EPSPS gene amplification in some waterhemp populations, while highlighting that other mechanisms also confer glyphosate resistance in waterhemp.
The Wisconsin Plasma Astrophysics Laboratory (WiPAL) is a flexible user facility designed to study a range of astrophysically relevant plasma processes as well as novel geometries that mimic astrophysical systems. A multi-cusp magnetic bucket constructed from strong samarium cobalt permanent magnets now confines a
, fully ionized, magnetic-field-free plasma in a spherical geometry. Plasma parameters of
provide an ideal testbed for a range of astrophysical experiments, including self-exciting dynamos, collisionless magnetic reconnection, jet stability, stellar winds and more. This article describes the capabilities of WiPAL, along with several experiments, in both operating and planning stages, that illustrate the range of possibilities for future users.
We used the winter of 2009–2010, which had minimal influenza circulation due to the earlier 2009 influenza A(H1N1) pandemic, to test the accuracy of ecological trend methods used to estimate influenza-related deaths and hospitalizations. We aggregated weekly counts of person-time, all-cause deaths, and hospitalizations for pneumonia/influenza and respiratory/circulatory conditions from seven healthcare systems. We predicted the incidence of the outcomes during the winter of 2009–2010 using three different methods: a cyclic (Serfling) regression model, a cyclic regression model with viral circulation data (virological regression), and an autoregressive, integrated moving average model with viral circulation data (ARIMAX). We compared predicted non-influenza incidence with actual winter incidence. All three models generally displayed high accuracy, with prediction errors for death ranging from −5% to −2%. For hospitalizations, errors ranged from −10% to −2% for pneumonia/influenza and from −3% to 0% for respiratory/circulatory. The Serfling and virological models consistently outperformed the ARIMAX model. The three methods tested could predict incidence of non-influenza deaths and hospitalizations during a winter with negligible influenza circulation. However, meaningful mis-estimation of the burden of influenza can still result with outcomes for which the contribution of influenza is low, such as all-cause mortality.
Pyroxasulfone (KIH-485) is a seedling growth-inhibiting herbicide developed by Kumiai America that has the potential to control weeds in sunflower. However, little is known about how this herbicide will interact with various soil types and environments when combined with sulfentrazone. The objective of this research was to evaluate sunflower injury and weed control with pyroxasulfone applied with and without sulfentrazone across the Great Plains sunflower production area. A multisite study was initiated in spring 2007 to evaluate sunflower response to pyroxasulfone applied PRE at 0, 167, 208, or 333 g ai ha−1. In 2008, pyroxasulfone was applied alone and in tank mixture with sulfentrazone. In 2007, no sunflower injury was observed with any rate of pyroxasulfone at any location except Highmore, SD, where sunflower injury was 17%, 4 wk after treatment (WAT) with 333 g ha−1. In 2008, sunflower injury ranged from 0 to 4% for all treatments. Adding sulfentrazone did not increase injury. Sunflower yield was only reduced in treatments in which weeds were not effectively controlled. These treatments included the untreated control and pyroxasulfone at 167 g ha−1. Sunflower yield did not differ among the other treatments of pyroxasulfone or sulfentrazone applied alone or in combination. The addition of sulfentrazone to pyroxasulfone improved control of foxtail barley, prostrate pigweed, wild buckwheat, Palmer amaranth, and marshelder, but not large crabgrass or green foxtail. The combination of pyroxasulfone and sulfentrazone did not reduce control of any of the weeds evaluated.
SrTiO3 (STO) is a potential buffer layer material for use in YBa2Cu3Oy (YBCO) coated conductors based on the IBAD MgO process. However, the interactions with YBCO are not yet fully understood and little information exists in the way of phase diagrams. With this in mind, the tie-line between STO and SrCuO2 in the pseudo-ternary system SrO-CuO-TiO2 was investigated. Phase assemblages and compositions were determined by x-ray diffraction and electron microscopy in the temperature range of 1000°C to 1100°C in oxygen partial pressures of 1%, 10%, and 100%. Preliminary results showed that an appreciable amount of copper substitutes into the STO crystal structure. Conversely, Ti substitution into the SrCuO2 phase was not detected.
We studied the influence of sample preparation and defects in the superconducting properties samples using atomic ratios of Mg:B=1:1 and Mg:B=1:2. Samples were characterized by SEM, and XRD, and the magnetization properties were examined in a SQUID magnetometer. The presence of Mg vacancies was determined by Rietveld analysis. Most of the samples exhibited sharp superconducting transitions with Tcs between 37–39 K.
We found a strong correlation between the crystal strain and the Tc. This strain was related to the presence of Mg vacancies. In addition, results showed that some samples degraded with time when exposed to ambient conditions. In these samples the Tc did not change with time, but the superconducting transition became broader and the Meissner fraction decreased. This effect was only present in samples with poor connectivity between grains and smaller grain sizes. The degradation was related to a surface decomposition as observed by X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy. No correlation was found between this effect and the presence of Mg vacancies.