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The spread of African swine fever virus (ASFV) threatens to reach further parts of Europe. In countries with a large swine production, an outbreak of ASF may result in devastating economic consequences for the swine industry. Simulation models can assist decision makers setting up contingency plans. This creates a need for estimation of parameters. This study presents a new analysis of a previously published study. A full likelihood framework is presented including the impact of model assumptions on the estimated transmission parameters. As animals were only tested every other day, an interpretation was introduced to cover the weighted infectiousness on unobserved days for the individual animals (WIU). Based on our model and the set of assumptions, the within- and between-pen transmission parameters were estimated to βw = 1·05 (95% CI 0·62–1·72), βb = 0·46 (95% CI 0·17–1·00), respectively, and the WIU = 1·00 (95% CI 0–1). Furthermore, we simulated the spread of ASFV within a pig house using a modified SEIR-model to establish the time from infection of one animal until ASFV is detected in the herd. Based on a chosen detection limit of 2·55% equivalent to 10 dead pigs out of 360, the disease would be detected 13–19 days after introduction.
This study examined whether musical training, ethnicity, and experience with a natural tone language influenced sensitivity to tone while listening to an artificial tone language. The language was designed with three tones, modeled after level-tone African languages. Participants listened to a 15-min random concatenation of six 3-syllable words. Sensitivity to tone was assessed using minimal pairs differing only in one syllable (nonword task: e.g., to-kà-su compared to ca-fí-to) or only in tone (tone task: e.g., to-kà-su compared to to-ká-su). Proficiency in an East Asian heritage language was the strongest predictor of success on the tone task. Asians without tone language experience were no better than other ethnic groups. We conclude by considering implications for research on second language learning, especially as approached through artificial language learning.
To examine inappropriate antibiotic prescribing for acute respiratory tract infections (RTIs) in ambulatory care to help target antimicrobial stewardship interventions.
Design and Setting
Retrospective analysis of RTI visits within general internal medicine (GIM) and family medicine (FM) ambulatory practices at an inner-city academic medical center from 2008 to 2010.
Patient, physician, and practice characteristics were analyzed using multivariable logistic regression to determine factors predictive of inappropriate prescribing; physicians in the highest and lowest antibiotic-prescribing quartiles were compared using χ2 analysis.
Visits with FM providers, female gender, and self-reported race/ethnicity as white or Hispanic were significantly associated with inappropriate antibiotic prescribing. Physicians in the lowest quartile prescribed antibiotics for 5%–28% (mean, 21%) of RTI visits; physicians in the highest quartile prescribed antibiotics for 54%–85% (mean, 65%) of RTI visits. High prescribers had fewer African-American patients and more patients who were younger and privately insured. High prescribers had more patients with chronic lung disease. A GIM practice pod with a low prescriber was 3.0 times more likely to have a second low prescriber than other practice pods, whereas pods with a high prescriber were 1.3 times more likely to have a second high prescriber.
Medical specialty was the only physician factor predictive of inappropriate prescribing when patient gender, race, and comorbidities were taken into account. Possible disparities in care need further study. Stewardship education in medical school, enlisting low prescribers as physician leaders, and targeting interventions to the highest prescribers might be more effective approaches to antimicrobial stewardship.
Over the last 60 years, the resources and the research in the Danish Twin Registry (DTR) have periodically been summarized. Here, we give a short overview of the DTR and a more comprehensive description of new developments in the twenty-first century. First, we outline our experience over the last decade of combining questionnaire and survey data with national demographic, social, and health registers in Statistics Denmark. Second, we describe our most recent data collection effort, which was conducted during the period 2008–2011 and included both in-person assessments of 14,000+ twins born 1931–1969 and sampling of biological material, hereby expanding and consolidating the DTR biobank. Third, two examples of intensively studied twin cohorts are given. The new developments in the DTR in the last decade have facilitated the ongoing research and laid the groundwork for new research directions.
The Kepler Mission was designed to measure the frequency of Earth-like planets in the habitable zone of Sun-like stars. A requirement for determining the underlying planet population from a sample of detected planets is understanding the completeness of that sample—what fraction of the planets that could have been discovered in a given data set were actually detected. Here we describe an experiment designed to address a specific aspect of that question, which is the issue of signal throughput efficiency. We investigate the extent to which the Kepler pipeline preserves transit signals by injecting simulated transit signals into the pixel-level data, processing the modified pixels through the pipeline, and measuring their detection statistics. For the single channel that we examine initially, we inject simulated transit signal trains into the pixel time series of each of the 1801 targets for the 89 days that constitute Quarter 3. For the 1680 that behave as expected in the pipeline, on average we find the strength of the injected signal is recovered at 99.6% of the strength of the original signal. Finally we outline the further work required to characterise the completeness of the Kepler pipeline.
Intercropping is a common practice in Africa, but the advantage compared to sole cropping depends on the crop plants and local agro-ecological conditions. The potential of intercropping maize (Zea mays) or sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) with watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) was tested in two on-farm trials in southern Mozambique under semi-arid conditions in an area with low and unpredictable rainfall. In the first experiment, plant density, yield and monetary value of sole and intercropping plots of maize with watermelon were determined in 17 farmers' fields in an area where all crops developed to maturity and harvest. There was a significant reduction in yield of both maize (28.8%) and watermelon (57.8%) in the intercrop compared with the sole crop yields. However, the mean land equivalent ratio of 1.13 for yield showed that intercropping had advantages as, on average, an area planted with sole crops would require 13% more land than an intercrop production to generate the same outcome. In the second experiment, carried out in another area with 16 farmers' fields, drought was more pronounced and only watermelon developed to maturity. Intercroppings with maize and sorghum resulted in 70% and 69% yield reduction, respectively. In conclusion, watermelon is a good companion crop for intercropping with cereals to mitigate the risk of total crop failure due to drought.
On-farm yield experiments were carried out in the Tombouctou region of Mali in 2009/10 under heat- and drought-prone desert conditions with three local landraces of seed-type watermelons. The landraces, named Fombou, Kaneye and Musa Musa by the farmers, exhibited distinct characteristics for fruit morphology, but in particular for seed traits. On average, the three landraces produced a fruit yield of 11·6 t/ha and an estimated seed yield of 364 kg/ha, with no significant differences among landraces. Kaneye showed the highest stability of fruit number/ha in different field environments, suggesting this landrace is the best among the three for a poor growing environment, whereas Fombou and especially Musa Musa responded positively to more favourable environments. Seed weight revealed a different trend, with Fombou as the most responsive to favourable conditions, while Kaneye and Musa Musa were less responsive. The yields obtained suggest that these local landraces of watermelon are valuable plant genetic resources for securing food supply in arid, heat- and drought-prone areas.
There is a lack of specific knowledge about the dose–response effect of multiple parental risk factors for suicide attempts among children and adolescents. The aim of this study was to determine the dose–response effect of multiple parental risk factors on an offspring's risk for suicide attempt.
We designed a population-based two-generation nested case–control study and used Danish register data. A population of 403 431 individuals born between 1983 and 1989 was sampled. Among these, 3465 (0.8%) were registered as having had a suicide attempt. Twenty controls were matched to each case and a link to the offspring's biological parents was established.
There was a dose–response relationship between the number of exposures and the risk of suicide attempts, with the increased risk seeming to be a multiplicative effect. Parental suicide, suicide attempt, psychiatric illness and low level of income were all significant independent risk factors for offspring's suicide attempts.
Knowledge of the effect of multiple risk factors on the likelihood of suicide attempts in children and adolescents is important for risk assessment. Dose–response effects of multiple parental risk factors are multiplicative, but it is rare for children and adolescents to be exposed to multiple parental risk factors simultaneously. Nevertheless, they should be considered along with the offspring's own multiple risk factors in determining the overall risk of a suicide attempt. Further research incorporating both parental and offspring's risk factors is indicated to determine the overall dose–response effect of multiple risk factors.
A cross-sectional study into risk factors for Salmonella was undertaken using data gathered from 252 fattening turkey flocks in the UK. The data was derived from the EU baseline survey conducted during 2006 and 2007, in addition to a voluntary questionnaire. Multivariate logistic regression models identified significant risk factors for Salmonella spp. and Salmonella Typhimurium. A decreased risk of Salmonella spp. infection was associated with a history of intestinal illness in the sampled flock (OR 0·17), the use of wood shavings as litter (OR 0·21), use of disinfectant in the cleaning process (OR 0·25), incineration of dead birds on farm (OR 0·29), seasonal production (OR 0·31), farm staff also working with cattle (OR 0·31), and the presence of pigs on neighbouring farms (OR 0·38). The risk of isolating Salmonella spp. varied according to the company from which the poults were sourced. A reduced risk of S. Typhimurium infection was associated with the use of wax blocks to control rodents (OR 0·09), using mains water (OR 0·19) and having a Salmonella test programme (OR 0·23). An increased risk of S. Typhimurium infection was associated with storage of items around the turkey house (OR 5·20), evidence of mice (OR 4·71) and a soil surface surrounding the turkey house (OR 2·70). This study therefore identifies a number of important practical measures which can be implemented by farmers and veterinarians within the turkey industry to assist in the control of salmonellosis at the farm level.
Fructose consumption in the USA has increased over the past three decades. During this time, obesity, insulin resistance and the metabolic syndrome have also increased in prevalence. While diets high in fructose have been shown to promote insulin resistance and increase TAG concentrations in animals, there are insufficient data available regarding the long-term metabolic effects of fructose consumption in humans. The objective of the present study was to investigate the metabolic effects of 10-week consumption of fructose-sweetened beverages in human subjects under energy-balanced conditions in a controlled research setting. Following a 4-week weight-maintaining complex carbohydrate diet, seven overweight or obese (BMI 26·8–33·3 kg/m2) postmenopausal women were fed an isoenergetic intervention diet, which included a fructose-sweetened beverage with each meal, for 10 weeks. The intervention diet provided 15 % of energy from protein, 30 % from fat and 55 % from carbohydrate (30 % complex carbohydrate, 25 % fructose). Fasting and postprandial glucose, insulin, TAG and apoB concentrations were measured. Fructose consumption increased fasting glucose concentrations and decreased meal-associated glucose and insulin responses (P = 0·0002, P = 0·007 and P = 0·013, respectively). Moreover, after 10 weeks of fructose consumption, 14 h postprandial TAG profiles were significantly increased, with the area under the curve at 10 weeks being 141 % higher than at baseline (P = 0·04). Fructose also increased fasting apoB concentrations by 19 % (P = 0·043 v. baseline). In summary, consumption of fructose-sweetened beverages increased postprandial TAG and fasting apoB concentrations, and the present results suggest that long-term consumption of diets high in fructose could lead to an increased risk of CVD.
To describe an outbreak of invasive methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection after percutaneous needle procedures (acupuncture and joint injection) performed by a single medical practitioner.
A medical practitioner's office and 4 hospitals in Perth, Western Australia.
Eight individuals who developed invasive MRSA infection after acupuncture or joint injection performed by the medical practitioner.
We performed a prospective and retrospective outbreak investigation, including MRSA colonization surveillance, environmental sampling for MRSA, and detailed molecular typing of MRSA isolates. We performed an infection control audit of the medical practitioner's premises and practices and administered MRSA decolonization therapy to the medical practitioner.
Eight cases of invasive MRSA infection were identified. Seven cases occurred as a cluster in May 2004; another case (identified retrospectively) occurred approximately 15 months earlier in February 2003. The primary sites of infection were the neck, shoulder, lower back, and hip: 5 patients had septic arthritis and bursitis, and 3 had pyomyositis; 3 patients had bacteremia, including 1 patient with possible endocarditis. The medical practitioner was found to be colonized with the same MRSA clone [ST22-MRSA-IV (EMRSA-15)] at 2 time points: shortly after the first case of infection in March 2003 and again in May 2004. After the medical practitioner's premises and practices were audited and he himself received MRSA decolonization therapy, no further cases were identified.
This outbreak most likely resulted from a breakdown in sterile technique during percutaneous needle procedures, resulting in the transmission of MRSA from the medical practitioner to the patients. This report demonstrates the importance of surveillance and molecular typing in the identification and control of outbreaks of MRSA infection.
The NASA Discovery mission EPOXI, utilizing the Deep Impact flyby spacecraft, comprises two phases: EPOCh (Extrasolar Planet Observation and Characterization) and DIXI (Deep Impact eXtended Investigation). With EPOCh, we use the 30-cm high resolution visible imager to obtain ultraprecise photometric light curves of known transiting planet systems. We will analyze these data for evidence of additional planets, via transit timing variations or transits; for planetary moons or rings; for detection of secondary eclipses and the constraint of geometric planetary albedos; and for refinement of the system parameters. Over a period of four months, EPOCh observed four known transiting planet systems, with each system observed continuously for several weeks. Here we present an overview of EPOCh, including the spacecraft and science goals, and preliminary photometry results.
EPOXI (EPOCh + DIXI) is a NASA Discovery Program Mission of Opportunity using the Deep Impact flyby spacecraft. The EPOCh (Extrasolar Planet Observation and Characterization) Science Investigation will gather photometric time series of known transiting exoplanet systems from January through August 2008. Here we describe the steps in the photometric extraction of the time series and present preliminary results of the first four EPOCh targets.
Nano-technology has a lot to contribute toward efforts for a sustainable environment. In addition to the promise of sensors, monitoring devices and functional particles, there is new, fundamental information to begaine d by applying nm-scale measuring techniques to natural materials. Improved understanding of the interaction of fluids with natural solids can lead us to new solutions for some of society’s problems, especially in the realm of clean water and safe treatment of waste. Ultra-high resolution lets us define the molecular-scale processes responsible for uptake of contaminants such as transition metals (e.g. Ni and Cr), radioactive species (e.g. Np) and organic compounds (e.g. glyphosate, a pesticide), while they adsorb on minerals such as calcite and Fe oxides and in some cases, are immobilized by solid-solution formation. With molecular-level resolution, we can see changes that with our traditional methods would only be visible after years or geological time.
The Automated Patrol Telescope, operated by the University of New South Wales, has been undertaking a search for extrasolar planets using the transit method. We present lightcurves from two recent promising candidates; spectroscopic follow-up using the ANU 2.3m telescope shows that the companions are probably low mass stars rather than planets, although more data will be needed to be certain. Additionally, we outline future improvements to our transit search: a hardware upgrade scheduled for 2006, and the addition of a robust trend-filtering algorithm to the data reduction software.
A participatory on-farm research project was started at Tah village, 100 km south of Aleppo, Syria in 1984. The objective was to introduce annual medics (Medicago spp.) as a replacement for fallow in dryland wheat (Triticum durum)/fallow farming systems. About 50 farmers were directly involved in the project while an equal number were passive participants, receiving seed but no technical advice. The project did not attain its original intention of introducing a ley-farming system into Syria. The Syrian Government decided to eliminate fallow – which was to receive medics – in the agricultural planning for 1989–90. An array of profitable crops such as lentil (Lens culinaris), cumin (Cuminum cyminum), sesame (Sesamum indicum) and watermelon (Citrullus lanatus), together with price supports on wheat presented formidable economic competition to the use of pasture on cultivated land. Technical constraints include insufficient farm size, lack of a medic phase in every year, deep ploughing, overgrazing and uncontrolled grazing. The Tah project experience also suggests that feed production projects must include an assessment of how the feed benefits animals and be designed to demonstrate the economic advantages of integrating livestock and crops in dryland farming systems.