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We investigated the clinical predictors of methicillin-resistance and their impact on mortality in 371 patients with Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia identified from two prospective multi-centre studies. Methicillin resistant S. aureus (MRSA) accounted for 42.2% of community-onset and 74.5% of hospital-onset cases. No significant clinical difference was found between patients infected with MRSA vs. methicillin-sensitive S. aureus (MSSA), except that the former were more likely to have had hospital-onset bacteraemia and received antibiotics in the preceding 90 days. After stratifying according to the acquisition site, prior antibiotic use was the only independent predictor of having MRSA in both community-onset and hospital-onset cases. The frequency of inappropriate empirical antibiotic therapy was higher in patients with MRSA than in those with MSSA bacteraemia. However, methicillin resistance was not a predictor of mortality in patients and the clinical characteristics and outcomes of both MRSA and MSSA bacteraemia were similar. This study indicates that there are no definitive clinical or epidemiological risk factors which could distinguish MRSA from MSSA cases with the exception of the previous use of antibiotics for having MRSA bacteraemia, which emphasises the prudent use of glycopeptide treatment of patients at risk for invasive MRSA infections.
Little is known about the combined use of benzodiazepines and antidepressants in older psychiatric patients. This study examined the prescription pattern of concurrent benzodiazepines in older adults treated with antidepressants in Asia, and explored its demographic and clinical correlates.
The data of 955 older adults with any type of psychiatric disorders were extracted from the database of the Research on Asian Psychotropic Prescription Patterns for Antidepressants (REAP-AD) project. Demographic and clinical characteristics were recorded using a standardized protocol and data collection procedure. Both univariate and multiple logistic regression analyses were performed.
The proportion of benzodiazepine and antidepressant combination in this cohort was 44.3%. Multiple logistic regression analysis revealed that higher doses of antidepressants, younger age (<65 years), inpatients, public hospital, major comorbid medical conditions, antidepressant types, and country/territory were significantly associated with more frequent co-prescription of benzodiazepines and antidepressants.
Nearly, half of the older adults treated with antidepressants in Asia are prescribed concurrent benzodiazepines. Given the potentially adverse effects of benzodiazepines, the rationale of benzodiazepines and antidepressants co-prescription needs to be revisited.
An updated compilation of published and new data of major-ion (Ca, Cl, K, Mg, Na, NO3, SO4) and methylsulfonate (MS) concentrations in snow from 520 Antarctic sites is provided by the national ITASE (International Trans-Antarctic Scientific Expedition) programmes of Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Norway, the United Kingdom, the United States and the national Antarctic programme of Finland. The comparison shows that snow chemistry concentrations vary by up to four orders of magnitude across Antarctica and exhibit distinct geographical patterns. The Antarctic-wide comparison of glaciochemical records provides a unique opportunity to improve our understanding of the fundamental factors that ultimately control the chemistry of snow or ice samples. This paper aims to initiate data compilation and administration in order to provide a framework for facilitation of Antarctic-wide snow chemistry discussions across all ITASE nations and other contributing groups. The data are made available through the ITASE web page (http://www2.umaine.edu/itase/content/syngroups/snowchem.html) and will be updated with new data as they are provided. In addition, recommendations for future research efforts are summarized.
The study aims to assess whether supplementation with the probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus HN001 (HN001) can reduce the prevalence of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). A double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled parallel trial was conducted in New Zealand (NZ) (Wellington and Auckland). Pregnant women with a personal or partner history of atopic disease were randomised at 14–16 weeks’ gestation to receive HN001 (6×109 colony-forming units) (n 212) or placebo (n 211) daily. GDM at 24–30 weeks was assessed using the definition of the International Association of Diabetes and Pregnancy Study Groups (IADPSG) (fasting plasma glucose ≥5·1 mmol/l, or 1 h post 75 g glucose level at ≥10 mmol/l or at 2 h ≥8·5 mmol/l) and NZ definition (fasting plasma glucose ≥5·5 mmol/l or 2 h post 75 g glucose at ≥9 mmol/l). All analyses were intention-to-treat. A total of 184 (87 %) women took HN001 and 189 (90 %) women took placebo. There was a trend towards lower relative rates (RR) of GDM (IADPSG definition) in the HN001 group, 0·59 (95 % CI 0·32, 1·08) (P=0·08). HN001 was associated with lower rates of GDM in women aged ≥35 years (RR 0·31; 95 % CI 0·12, 0·81, P=0·009) and women with a history of GDM (RR 0·00; 95 % CI 0·00, 0·66, P=0·004). These rates did not differ significantly from those of women without these characteristics. Using the NZ definition, GDM prevalence was significantly lower in the HN001 group, 2·1 % (95 % CI 0·6, 5·2), v. 6·5 % (95 % CI 3·5, 10·9) in the placebo group (P=0·03). HN001 supplementation from 14 to 16 weeks’ gestation may reduce GDM prevalence, particularly among older women and those with previous GDM.
Extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL) production has been very rare in serotype K1 Klebsiella pneumoniae ST23 strains, which are well-known invasive community strains. Among 92 ESBL-producing strains identified in 218 isolates from nine Asian countries, serotype K1 K. pneumoniae strains were screened. Two ESBL-producing K. pneumoniae isolates from Singapore and Indonesia were determined to be serotype K1 and ST23. Their plasmids, which contain CTX-M-15 genes, are transferable rendering the effective transfer of ESBL resistance plasmids to other organisms.
The accelerator mass spectrometry facility at the Seoul National University (SNU-AMS) was completed in December 1998 and a report was presented at the Vienna AMS conference in September 1999. At the conference, we described the basic components of our accelerator system and reported the results of the performance test. Since then, extensive testing of the accuracy and reproducibility of the system has been carried out, and about 200 unknown samples have been measured so far. We obtained a precision of 4‰ for modern samples, and an accuracy of approximately 40 yr was demonstrated by analyzing samples that were previously dated with a conventional technique and by other AMS laboratories. We present these results here, together with detailed descriptions of our data-taking and analysis procedures.
The accelerator mass spectrometry facility at Seoul National University (SNU-AMS) began functioning in December 1998 and was first reported at the Vienna AMS conference in October 1999 and at the 17th International Radiocarbon Conference in Israel in June 2000. At the Vienna conference, we reported our accelerator system (Kim et al. 2000) and details of the basic sample preparation system (Lee et al. 2000), such as the combustion line to produce CO2; the catalytic reduction line for the graphitization of CO2; and the pretreatment procedures for wood, charcoal, and peat samples. The recent progress of the AMS facility (Kim et al. 2001) and the extension of the sample pretreatment system to iron and bone samples were reported at the 17th International Radiocarbon Conference (Cheoun et al. 2001). In the meantime, extensive testing of accuracy and reproducibility has been carried out, and ∼1000 unknown archaeological and geological samples have been measured every year. In this report, the archaeological, geological, and environmental data carried out in 1999 are presented in terms of yr BP.
The accelerator mass spectrometry facility at Seoul National University (SNU-AMS) began functioning in December 1998 and was first reported at the Vienna AMS conference in October 1999 and at the 17th Radiocarbon Conference in Israel in June 2000. At the Vienna conference, we reported our accelerator system (Kim et al. 2000) and the basic sample preparation system (Lee et al. 2000), including the combustion line to produce CO2; the catalytic reduction line for the graphitization of CO2; and also pretreatment procedures for wood, charcoal, and peat samples. Recent progress of the AMS facility (Kim et al. 2001) and extension of the sample pretreatment system to iron and bone samples were reported at the 17th Radiocarbon Conference (Cheoun et al. 2001). In the meantime, extensive testing of accuracy and reproducibility has been carried out, and ∼1000 unknown archaeological and geological samples have been measured every year. A report of data carried out in 1999 is presented by Kim et al. (this issue). In this report, the archaeological, geological, and environmental data carried out in 2000 are presented in terms of yr BP.
The accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) facility at Seoul National University (SNU-AMS) was accepted in December 1998 and results reported first at the Vienna AMS conference in October 1999 and at the 17th Radiocarbon Conference in Israel, June 2000. At the Vienna conference, we reported our accelerator system and sample preparation systems (Kim et al. 2000). Recent developments of the AMS facility have been regularly reported at AMS conferences (Kim et al. 2001, 2004, 2007). Meanwhile, about 1000 unknown archaeological, geological, and environmental samples have been measured every year. In this report, the archaeological and geological data carried out in 2001 are presented in terms of years BP (before present, AD 1950), following the SNU-AMS date lists I and II published in Radiocarbon (Kim et al. 2006a,b).
The accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) facility at Seoul National University (SNU-AMS) was accepted in December 1998 and results reported first at the Vienna AMS conference in October 1999 and at the 17th Radiocarbon Conference in Israel, June 2000. At the Vienna conference, we reported our accelerator system and sample preparation systems (Kim et al. 2000). Recent developments of the AMS facility have been regularly reported at AMS conferences (Kim et al. 2001, 2004, 2007). Meanwhile, about 1000 unknown archaeological, geological, and environmental samples have been measured every year. In this report, the archaeological and geological data carried out in 2002 are presented in terms of years BP (before present, AD 1950), following the SNU-AMS date lists I and II published in Radiocarbon (Kim et al. 2006a,b).
We present the current status of accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) dating of iron artifacts at Seoul National University (SNU). In ancient iron production, charcoal was widely used as carbon for the smelting process, whereas coal is used in modern times. If reliable data could be obtained from carbon by using AMS, ancient iron artifacts could be traced to their production age. In normal acid treatment, it is not easy to extract carbon due to its colloidal property. The negative charge property of the carbon colloid, however, makes it possible for it to be precipitated with positive ions by dissolving the iron chemically. An extraction yield of the carbon incorporated in modern cast iron of about 70% is attained. More refined methods to increase the extraction rate are under progress for archaeological applications.
It has been reported that the characteristics of a very old wood charcoal sample are different from those of modern wood charcoal according to its state of preservation (Cohen-Ofri et al. 2006; Rebollo et al. 2008). It can be assumed that these differences may lead to some difficulties when radiocarbon dating very old wood charcoal samples. To investigate this problem, we studied a carbonized trunk of Prunus pendula for. acendens tree buried in lava and found at the Hantan River lava plateau on the Korean Peninsula. The 14C date of this sample was previously measured as >30,000 BP. However, separate 14C results of its outer crust and inner wood showed a considerable difference, exceeding the estimated age differences by tree-ring counting. To study the reason for this discrepancy, optical microscopy and FTIR (Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy) were performed to examine the differences in the structural and chemical states of the samples. For reference data and to expand our understanding of very old wood charcoal, we applied the same analysis tools (AMS, FTIR, FE-SEM, EDS, and optical microscopy) to a variety of wood charcoals and original wood. From these analyses, we noticed considerable chemical changes in the outer crust sample, and this might explain the age discrepancy. Although it seems that the age difference might be due to the digestion of 14C-free CO2 from a volcanic environment, this explanation would not account for such a large value in the age difference.
Two cases of hospital-acquired listeriosis were linked to a commercially produced, pasteurized ice cream mix. Manufacturers should implement safety measures from the Food Safety Modernization Act to minimize the risk of Listeria contamination. Dietary guidelines for persons at high risk of listeriosis may need revision to recognize the potential risk from pasteurized products.
The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of maternal protein or energy restriction on hormonal and metabolic status of pregnant goats during late gestation and their postnatal male kids. Forty-five pregnant goats were fed a control (CON), 40% protein-restricted (PR) or 40% energy-restricted (ER) diet from 90 days of gestation until parturition. Plasma of mothers (90, 125 and 145 days of gestation) and kids (6 weeks of age) were sampled to determine metabolites and hormones. Glucose concentration for pregnant goats subjected to PR or ER was less (P<0.001) than that of CON goats at 125 and 145 days of gestation. However, plasma nonesterified fatty acids concentration was greater (P<0.01) at 125 and 145 days for PR and ER than CON. Protein restriction increased (P<0.01) maternal cortisol concentration by 145 days of gestation, and ER decreased (P<0.01) maternal insulin concentration at 125 days of gestation. Moreover, maternal amino acid (AA) concentrations were affected by nutritional restriction, with greater (P<0.05) total AA (TAA) and nonessential AA (NEAA) for PR goats but less (P<0.05) TAA and NEAA for ER goats at 125 days of gestation. After 6 weeks of nutritional recovery, plasma concentrations of most metabolic and hormonal parameters in restricted kids were similar to CON kids, except for reduced (P<0.05) insulin concentration in ER, and reduced (P<0.05) Asp concentration in PR and ER kids. These results provide information on potential metabolic mechanisms responsible for fetal programming.
Batch cultures of mixed rumen micro-organisms were used to evaluate varying enzyme products with high xylanase activity (EPX), four of which were recombinant single xylanase activity developmental enzyme products (EPX1–EPX4, products of xylanase genes derived from Trichoderma harzianum, Trichoderma reesei, Orpinomyces and Aspergillus oryzae, respectively), for their potential to improve in vitro ruminal fermentation of three forages [maize (Zea mays) stover (MS), rice (Oryza sativa) straw (RS) and Guimu No. 1 grass (Pennisetum americanum×Pennisetum purpureum, GM)]. The enzyme product EPX5, derived from Trichoderma longibrachiatum, was used as a positive control that could improve in vitro fermentation of forages. Enzymes were supplied at dose rates of 0 (control), 20 (low), 50 (medium) and 80 (high) enzymic units of xylanase/g of dry matter (DM). There were no interactions between EPX and dose for the fermentation characteristics evaluated. Increasing EPX dose linearly increased gas production (GP) kinetic characters [i.e. asymptotic GP (VF), half time when GP is half of the theoretical maximum GP (t0·5), and initial fractional rate of degradation (FRD0)] and methane (CH4) production from RS and GM at 24 h, and increased degradability of DM at 24 h for MS and RS. A linear increase in degradability of neutral detergent fibre (NDF) of the three forages at 24 h was observed with increasing dose of EPX, but at 48 h only NDF degradability of RS was increased. There were differences in the effects of EPX on degradability of DM and NDF from RS at 24 h, with EPX4 having the highest and EPX1 having the lowest. In addition, increasing EPX dose linearly increased acetate proportion at 24 h and total volatile fatty acids (TVFA) at 48 h in MS. Increasing EPX dose linearly increased TVFA at 24 h, and ammonia-nitrogen (NH3-N) concentration at 48 h in RS. For GM, linear or quadratic effects of dose on acetate and butyrate concentration were observed at 24 and 48 h. The present study indicates that applying EPX to low-quality forages has the potential to improve rumen degradability and utilization. Furthermore, EPX from different sources differed in their effects when applied at the same dose rate, with the responses being forage-specific. For RS, the EPX derived from A. oryzae showed the greatest positive effects on forage degradation; whereas for MS and GM, the source of micro-organism where EPX gene was derived did not affect the degradation, with little difference among the EPX evaluated.
Depression is common after acute coronary syndrome (ACS) with adverse effects on prognosis. There is little evidence on whether depression treatment improves quality of life (QoL) in ACS patients. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of co-morbid depression and its treatment on QoL in ACS.
In total, 1152 patients were recruited at baseline, 2–14 weeks after a confirmed ACS episode, and 828 were followed 1 year thereafter. Of 446 baseline participants with co-morbid depressive disorders, 300 were randomized to a 24-week double blind trial of escitalopram or placebo, while the remaining 146 received medical treatment only (MTO). QoL was measured by the World Health Organization Quality of Life –Abbreviated form (WHOQOL-BREF).
At baseline, QoL was significantly lower in patients with co-morbid depressive disorder than those without. QoL improvement was significantly greater in those receiving escitalopram than those receiving placebo over the 24-week treatment period. In the 1-year follow-up, the better outcomes associated with escitalopram remained evident against both placebo and MTO.
Depression was significantly associated with worse QoL even in patients with recently developed ACS. Depression treatment was associated with QoL improvement in ACS patients in the 24-week treatment period, the effects of which extended to 1 year.
After an outbreak of pandemic influenza A/H1N1 (pH1N1) virus, we had previously reported the emergence of a recombinant canine influenza virus (CIV) between the pH1N1 virus and the classic H3N2 CIV. Our ongoing routine surveillance isolated another reassortant H3N2 CIV carrying the matrix gene of the pH1N1 virus from 2012. The infection dynamics of this H3N2 CIV variant (CIV/H3N2mv) were investigated in dogs and ferrets via experimental infection and transmission. The CIV/H3N2mv-infected dogs and ferrets produced typical symptoms of respiratory disease, virus shedding, seroconversion, and direct-contact transmissions. Although indirect exposure was not presented for ferrets, CIV/H3N2mv presented higher viral replication in MDCK cells and more efficient transmission was observed in ferrets compared to classic CIV H3N2. This study demonstrates the effect of reassortment of the M gene of pH1N1 in CIV H3N2.
Glutathione peroxidase (GPx; EC 126.96.36.199) is an important antioxidant enzyme that catalyses the reduction of organic and inorganic hydroperoxides to water in oxygen-consuming organisms, using glutathione as an electron donor. Here, we report the characterization of a GPx of Cryptosporidium parvum (CpGPx). CpGPx contained a standard UGU codon for cysteine instead of a UGA opal codon for seleno-cysteine (SeCys) at the active site, and no SeCys insertion sequence (SECIS) motif was identified within the 3′-untranslated region (UTR) of CpGPx, which suggested its selenium-independent nature. In silico and biochemical analyses indicated that CpGPx is a cytosolic protein with a monomeric structure. Recombinant CpGPx was active over a wide pH range and was stable under physiological conditions. It showed a substrate preference against organic hydroperoxides, such as cumene hydroperoxide and t-butyl hydroperoxide, but it also showed activity against inorganic hydroperoxide, hydrogen peroxide. Recombinant CpGPx was not inhibited by potassium cyanide or by sodium azide. The enzyme effectively protected DNA and protein from oxidative damage induced by hydrogen peroxide, and was functionally expressed in various developmental stages of C. parvum. These results collectively suggest the essential role of CpGPx for the parasite's antioxidant defence system.
The Arabidopsis gene AVP1 encodes a vacuolar H+-translocating inorganic pyrophosphatase (enzyme classification (EC) 188.8.131.52) that functions as an electronic proton pump in the vacuolar membrane and affects growth development and the stress response in plants. The current study was conducted to evaluate the molecular properties of the Arabidopsis thaliana vacuolar H+-pyrophosphatase (AVP1) gene in rice (Oryza sativa L.). Incorporation and expression of the transgene was confirmed by semi-quantitative reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and quantitative real-time PCR. Expression of the AVP1 gene in transgenic rice plants (TRP1 and TRP2) resulted in a significantly enhanced tolerance to 5·8 g/l NaCl under greenhouse conditions when compared with the control wild-type (WT) rice plants. Augmented AVP1 expression in the transgenic rice plants (TRP) also affected total biomass and improved ion homoeostasis through increased accumulation of Na+ ions in whole tissues when compared with control WT rice plants under high salinity conditions. The photochemical yield (Fv/Fm) values of TRP were higher than those of the WT rice plants, even though the values decreased over time in both the WT and transgenic (TRP1 to TRP8) rice plants. Furthermore, rice grain yield and biomass of the TRP were at least 15% higher based on culm and root weights, and panicle and spikelet numbers when compared with those of the WT rice plants during the 2010 and 2010 growing seasons in South Korea. Thus, these results suggest that ectopic AVP1 expression conferred tolerance and stress resistance to genetically modified transgenic crop plants by improving cellular ion homoeostasis in response to saline conditions, which enhanced rice yield and biomass under natural conditions in paddy fields.
Equine influenza virus (EIV) causes a highly contagious respiratory disease in equids, with confirmed outbreaks in Europe, America, North Africa, and Asia. Although China, Mongolia, and Japan have reported equine influenza outbreaks, Korea has not. Since 2011, we have conducted a routine surveillance programme to detect EIV at domestic stud farms, and isolated H3N8 EIV from horses showing respiratory disease symptoms. Here, we characterized the genetic and biological properties of this novel Korean H3N8 EIV isolate. This H3N8 EIV isolate belongs to the Florida sublineage clade 1 of the American H3N8 EIV lineage, and surprisingly, possessed a non-structural protein (NS) gene segment, where 23 bases of the NS1-encoding region were naturally truncated. Our preliminary biological data indicated that this truncation did not affect virus replication; its effect on biological and immunological properties of the virus will require further study.