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Fe is an essential nutrient for many bacteria, and Fe supplementation has been reported to affect the composition of the gut microbiota in both Fe-deficient and Fe-replete individuals outside pregnancy. This study examined whether the dose of Fe in pregnancy multivitamin supplements affects the overall composition of the gut microbiota in overweight and obese pregnant women in early pregnancy. Women participating in the SPRING study with a faecal sample obtained at 16 weeks’ gestation were included in this substudy. For each subject, the brand of multivitamin used was recorded. Faecal microbiome composition was assessed by 16S rRNA sequencing and analysed with the QIIME software suite. Dietary intake of Fe was assessed using a FFQ at 16 weeks’ gestation. Women were grouped as receiving low (<60 mg/d, n 94) or high (≥60 mg/d; n 65) Fe supplementation. The median supplementary Fe intake in the low group was 10 (interquartile range (IQR) 5–10) v. 60 (IQR 60–60) mg/d in the high group (P<0·001). Dietary Fe intake did not differ between the groups (10·0 (IQR 7·4–13·3) v. 9·8 (IQR 8·2–13·2) mg/d). Fe supplementation did not significantly affect the composition of the faecal microbiome at any taxonomic level. Network analysis showed that the gut microbiota in the low Fe supplementation group had a higher predominance of SCFA producers. Pregnancy multivitamin Fe content has a minor effect on the overall composition of the gut microbiota of overweight and obese pregnant women at 16 weeks’ gestation.
We describe the investigation of two temporally coincident illness clusters involving salmonella and Staphylococcus aureus in two states. Cases were defined as gastrointestinal illness following two meal events. Investigators interviewed ill persons. Stool, food and environmental samples underwent pathogen testing. Alabama: Eighty cases were identified. Median time from meal to illness was 5·8 h. Salmonella Heidelberg was identified from 27 of 28 stool specimens tested, and coagulase-positive S. aureus was isolated from three of 16 ill persons. Environmental investigation indicated that food handling deficiencies occurred. Colorado: Seven cases were identified. Median time from meal to illness was 4·5 h. Five persons were hospitalised, four of whom were admitted to the intensive care unit. Salmonella Heidelberg was identified in six of seven stool specimens and coagulase-positive S. aureus in three of six tested. No single food item was implicated in either outbreak. These two outbreaks were linked to infection with Salmonella Heidelberg, but additional factors, such as dual aetiology that included S. aureus or the dose of salmonella ingested may have contributed to the short incubation periods and high illness severity. The outbreaks underscore the importance of measures to prevent foodborne illness through appropriate washing, handling, preparation and storage of food.
Xpert MTB/RIF (Xpert) is the preferred first-line test for all persons with tuberculosis (TB) symptoms in South Africa in line with a diagnostic algorithm. This study evaluates pre- and post-implementation trends in diagnostic practices for drug-sensitive, pulmonary TB in adults in an operational setting, following the introduction of the Xpert-based algorithm. We retrospectively analysed data from the national TB database for Greater Tzaneen sub-district, Limpopo Province. Trends in a number of cases, diagnosis and outcome and characteristics associated with death are reported. A total of 8407 cases were treated from 2008 until 2015, with annual cases registered decreasing by 31·7% over that time period (from 1251 to 855 per year). After implementation of Xpert, 69·9% of cases were diagnosed by Xpert, 29·4% clinically, 0·6% by smear microscopy and 0·1% by culture. Cases with a recorded microbiological test increased from 76·2% to 96·4%. Cases started on treatment without confirmation, but with a negative microbiological test increased from 7·1% to 25·7%. Case fatality decreased from 15·0% to 9·8%, remaining consistently higher in empirically treated groups, regardless of HIV status. Implementation of the algorithm coincided with a reduced number of TB cases treated and improved coverage of microbiological testing; however, a substantial proportion of cases continued to start treatment empirically.
Introduction: Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is a common diagnostic consideration among patients presenting to the emergency department (ED) and often requires the use of diagnostic testing. A normal d-dimer (DD) blood test can exclude VTE and eliminate the need for costly imaging and the associated contrast medium and radiation exposure. The purpose of this quality improvement initiative was to increase the use of DD testing for patients with a low and intermediate clinical pretest probability of VTE, increase the use of ventilation perfusion scans (VQ) as an alternative to CT pulmonary angiogram (CTPA) and decrease the use of CTPA and venous doppler ultrasound (VDUS) at St. Michael’s hospital. Methods: A multispecialty team developed an ED specific algorithm set for appropriate VTE testing that were posted on the ED online portal along with a poster in each zone of the ED after an ED launch campaign with request for feedback. A run chart was used to track DD, CTPA, VQ and VDUS utilization. Two-sided T-test comparison was conducted to compare pre- and post-implementation utilization. Results: Physician feedback was positive regarding the use of: DD in VTE intermediate risk patients and the VTE algorithm set. Feedback was negative for DD turnaround time. We found a significant increase in DD use (77 tests per month to 93; p=0.013), but no significant change in the use of CTPA (27.3 per month to 30; p=0.38), VDUS, or VQ. Number of monthly ED visits remained constant. Conclusion: This intervention increased DD utilization, but measuring appropriateness will require prospective collection of clinical pre-test probability. Integrated risk stratification and decision aids into computer physician order entry may be necessary to track and improve appropriateness.
During 1990 we surveyed the southern sky using a multi-beam receiver at frequencies of 4850 and 843 MHz. The half-power beamwidths were 4 and 25 arcmin respectively. The finished surveys cover the declination range between +10 and −90 degrees declination, essentially complete in right ascension, an area of 7.30 steradians. Preliminary analysis of the 4850 MHz data indicates that we will achieve a five sigma flux density limit of about 30 mJy. We estimate that we will find between 80 000 and 90 000 new sources above this limit. This is a revised version of the paper presented at the Regional Meeting by the first four authors; the surveys now have been completed.
Cognitive dysfunction is common in major depressive disorder (MDD) and a critical determinant of health outcome. Anhedonia is a criterion item toward the diagnosis of a major depressive episode (MDE) and a well-characterized domain in MDD. We sought to determine the extent to which variability in self-reported cognitive function correlates with anhedonia.
A post hoc analysis was conducted using data from (N=369) participants with a Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR)-defined diagnosis of MDD who were enrolled in the International Mood Disorders Collaborative Project (IMDCP) between January 2008 and July 2013. The IMDCP is a collaborative research platform at the Mood Disorders Psychopharmacology Unit, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada, and the Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio. Measures of cognitive function, anhedonia, and depression severity were analyzed using linear regression equations.
A total of 369 adults with DSM-IV-TR–defined MDD were included in this analysis. Self-rated cognitive impairment [ie, as measured by the Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale (ASRS)] was significantly correlated with a proxy measure of anhedonia (r=0.131, p=0.012). Moreover, total depression symptom severity, as measured by the total Montgomery–Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) score, was also significantly correlated with self-rated measures of cognitive dysfunction (r=0.147, p=0.005). The association between anhedonia and self-rated cognitive dysfunction remained significant after adjusting for illness severity (r=0.162, p=0.007).
These preliminary results provide empirical data for the testable hypothesis that anhedonia and self-reported cognitive function in MDD are correlated yet dissociable domains. The foregoing observation supports the hypothesis of overlapping yet discrete neurobiological substrates for these domains.
Obesity is increasingly prevalent in bipolar disorder (BD) but data about the impact of elevated body mass index (BMI) on brain white-matter integrity in BD are sparse. Based on extant literature largely from structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies, we hypothesize that increased BMI is associated with decreased fractional anisotropy (FA) in the frontal, temporal, parietal and occipital brain regions early in the course of BD.
A total of 26 euthymic adults (12 normal weight and 14 overweight/obese) with remitted first-episode mania (FEM) and 28 controls (13 normal weight and 15 overweight/obese) matched for age, handedness and years of education underwent structural MRI and diffusion tensor imaging scans.
There are significant effects of diagnosis by BMI interactions observed especially in the right parietal lobe (adjusted F1,48 = 5.02, p = 0.030), occipital lobe (adjusted F1,48 = 10.30, p = 0.002) and temporal lobe (adjusted F1,48 = 7.92, p = 0.007). Specifically, decreased FA is found in the right parietal (F1,23 = 5.864, p = 0.023) and occipital lobes (F1,23 = 4.397, p = 0.047) within overweight/obese patients compared with normal-weight patients with FEM. Compared with overweight/obese controls, decreased FA is observed in right parietal (F1,25 = 6.708, p = 0.015), temporal (F1,25 = 10.751, p = 0.003) and occipital (F1,25 = 9.531, p = 0.005) regions in overweight/obese patients with FEM.
Our findings suggest that increased BMI affects temporo-parietal-occipital brain white-matter integrity in FEM. This highlights the need to further elucidate the relationship between obesity and other neural substrates (including subcortical changes) in BD which may clarify brain circuits subserving the association between obesity and clinical outcomes in BD.
Major depressive disorder (MDD) and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) have the highest co-morbidity rates within the internalizing disorders cluster, yet no Internet-based cognitive behavioural therapy (iCBT) programme exists for their combined treatment.
We designed a six-lesson therapist-assisted iCBT programme for mixed anxiety and depression. Study 1 was a randomized controlled trial (RCT) comparing the iCBT programme (n = 46) versus wait-list control (WLC; n = 53) for patients diagnosed by structured clinical interview with MDD, GAD or co-morbid GAD/MDD. Primary outcome measures were the Patient Health Questionnaire nine-item scale (depression), Generalized Anxiety Disorder seven-item scale (generalized anxiety), Kessler 10-item Psychological Distress scale (distress) and 12-item World Health Organization Disability Assessment Schedule II (disability). The iCBT group was followed up at 3 months post-treatment. In study 2, we investigated the adherence to, and efficacy of the same programme in a primary care setting, where patients (n = 136) completed the programme under the supervision of primary care clinicians.
The RCT showed that the iCBT programme was more effective than WLC, with large within- and between-groups effect sizes found (>0.8). Adherence was also high (89%), and gains were maintained at 3-month follow-up. In study 2 in primary care, adherence to the iCBT programme was low (41%), yet effect sizes were large (>0.8). Of the non-completers, 30% experienced benefit.
Together, the results show that iCBT is effective and adherence is high in research settings, but there is a problem of adherence when translated into the ‘real world’. Future efforts need to be placed on developing improved adherence to iCBT in primary care settings.
A new and unique radiocarbon accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) facility has been constructed at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. The defining characteristic of the new system is its large-gap optical elements that provide a larger-than-standard beam acceptance. Such a system is ideally suited for high-throughput, high-precision measurements of 14C. Details and performance of the new system are presented.
The risk of classical scrapie in sheep is associated with polymorphisms in the prion protein (PrP) gene. In recent years, large-scale selective breeding programmes for sheep at lower risk of disease have been undertaken across the European Union. We analysed large-scale datasets on scrapie and sheep demography to investigate additional effects of sheep breed on scrapie risk. There was evidence for variation between certain breeds in the scrapie risk of some PrP genotypes, which could be caused by innate breed differences or distinct scrapie strains circulating within them. While the PrP genotypes of cases are generally consistent across breeds, some exceptions provide evidence that scrapie strain may influence affected PrP genotypes to a greater extent than innate breed differences. There was a significant association between the breed-level incidence of scrapie and the frequency of susceptible PrP genotypes in breeds. Our results lend support to selective breeding programmes which aim to reduce the frequency of high-risk PrP genotypes with measures not varying by sheep breed.
Extensive surveillance for classical scrapie has been carried out in Great Britain since 1993, the results of which can be used for monitoring the effect of control measures introduced since 2001. A back-calculation approach was used to estimate the prevalence of sheep infected with classical scrapie, which integrates data on reported clinical cases (1993–2007) and the results of fallen stock and abattoir surveys (2002–2007). The prevalence of classical scrapie in GB was fairly constant until 2003, although the estimates depended on assumptions made about the performance of diagnostic tests used in the surveys. If infected animals could be detected in the final quarter of the incubation period, the estimated prevalence was 0·6–0·7%, while if they could be detected in the final half of the incubation period, it was 0·3–0·4%. Between 2003 and 2007 the prevalence declined by around 40%, and the magnitude of the reduction was independent of assumptions made about the diagnostic tests.
It is estimated that of 50000 persons in Scotland (1% of the county's population), infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV), around 90% injected drugs. This paper reviews data on the prevalence and incidence of HCV, and the methods used to generate such information, among injecting drug users (IDUs), in Scotland. The prevalence estimate for HCV among IDUs in Scotland as a whole (44% in 2000), is comparable with those observed in many European countries. Incidence rates ranged from 11·9 to 28·4/100 person-years. The data have shaped policy to prevent infection among IDUs and have informed predictions of the number of HCV-infected IDUs who will likely progress to, and require treatment and care for, severe HCV-related liver disease. Although harm reduction interventions, in particular needle and syringe exchanges and methadone maintenance therapy, reduced the transmission of HCV among IDUs during the early to mid-1990s, incidence in many parts of the country remains high. The prevention of HCV among IDUs continues to be one of Scotland's major public health challenges.
Polarization fatigue with repeated electric cycles in ferroelectric thin films is a major degradation problem in ferroelectric nonvolatile memories. However, the origin of this phenomenon is still not properly understood. The fatigue mechanism of a ferroelectric perovskite in a multilayer ferroelectric PbTiO3 thin film material has been investigated here using scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM). Z-contrast images of the interfaces show that the ferroelectric PbTiO3 layer has partly decomposed into a single crystal PbTiO3 layer and an amorphous layer. Nanometer-sized precipitates are present near the Pt electrode. Electron energy-loss spectroscopy (EELS) analysis reveals that the amorphous layer is a Ti-rich phase between TiO2 and PbTiO3. The precipitates are determined to be a Pt-Pb rich crystalline phase. It is suggested that the formation of the structure-distorted intermediate layer and precipitates may be associated with the ferroelectric degradation process by acting as a passive layer in a ferroelectric capacitor. In addition, the formation of the Pt-Pb rich precipitates may cause an interruption of the consistent Pt electrode, which may result in failure of the device.
Australia experienced a resurgence of pertussis in the 1990s despite improved vaccine coverage. Although much of the increase was attributable to increased detection of cases in older persons with waning immunity by serology, vaccine changes or alterations in circulating Bordetella pertussis strains may also have contributed. We determined the frequency of variants of B. pertussis pertactin (prn), and pertussis toxin subunit 1 (ptxS1) genes, restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) types and fimbrial serotypes prevalent in Australia prior to, and during the 1990s. Ampoules of the whole-cell vaccine in use prior to 1999 and 84 B. pertussis isolates stored between 1967 and 1998 by laboratories around Australia were analysed. One pertactin allele, Prn3, not detected before 1985, was found in 24 out of 57 (42%) isolates between 1989 and 1998 (P<0·0001). PtxS1A was found in all isolates. IS1002 type 29, found in 17 out of 31 (55%) isolates tested, was the predominant RFLP type. The only difference in fimbrial serotype distribution between the time-periods was an increase in serotype 3 (P=0·054). The whole-cell vaccine contained only the alleles prn1 and ptxS1A. Antigenic shift in B. pertussis may have contributed to the re-emergence of pertussis in Australia. Monitoring these trends will be important as acellular vaccines are introduced and changes are made to pertussis vaccine schedules.
Al substitution for Zr/Ti site of PZT was attempted using a sol-gel method, and the ferroelectric properties of 200nm-thick Al doped PZT thin films were compared with those of non- doped PZT film. The leakage current of the thin films decreased with increasing Al content. Ps and Pr also decreased with increasing Al content, whereas Ec did not show a significant change. Furthermore, a simple capacitor cell structure like FeRAM was prepared using a seed layer process. The capacitor structure was Pb(Ti0.975Al0.025)O3/ Pb1.1((Zr0.52Ti0.48)0. 975Al0.025)O3/ Pb(Ti0.975Al0.025)O3, and 2Pr was 26μC/cm2. The fatigue properties of the A1 doped PZT capacitor cell showed a little improvement, because the reduction rate of the fatigue was smaller than that of non-doped PZT thin film.