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Rotavirus (RV) is the main cause of acute gastroenteritis (AGE) in young children. The San Luis province of Argentina introduced RV vaccination in May 2013. We estimate vaccine impact (RVI) using real-world data. Data on all-cause AGE cases and AGE-related hospitalisations for San Luis and the adjacent Mendoza province (control group) were obtained and analysed by interrupted time-series methods. Regardless of the model used for counterfactual predictions, we estimated a reduction in the number of all-cause AGE cases of 20–25% and a reduction in AGE-related hospitalisations of 55–60%. The vaccine impact was similar for each age group considered (<1 year, <2 years and <5 years). RV vaccination was estimated to have reduced direct medical costs in the province by about 4.5 million pesos from May 2013 to December 2014. Similar to previous studies, we found a higher impact of RV vaccination in preventing severe all-cause AGE cases requiring hospitalisation than in preventing all-cases AGE cases presenting for medical care. An assessment of the economic value of RV vaccination could take other benefits into account in addition to the avoided medical costs and the costs of vaccination.
The main objective of our study was to describe the epidemiological and microbiological features of an oligoclonal hospital-wide outbreak caused by OXA-48-producing Enterobacteriaceae (OXA-48-PE). OXA-48 is a carbapenemase belonging to Ambler class D beta-lactamases, identified frequently in the Mediterranean and Southern European countries, and associated with several Enterobacteriaceae species. An outbreak of OXA-48-PE with a complex epidemic pattern was detected in January 2011. Initial control measures included contact precautions and the reinforcement of infection control practices, but despite all efforts made, the epidemiological situation hardly changed and new measures were implemented during 2013. An observational retrospective study was performed to describe the main features of the outbreak and to analyse the cumulative incidence (CI) trends. Eight hundred and 16 patients colonised or infected by OXA-48-PE were identified during the 2-year period (January 2013–December 2014), female 46%, mean age (s.d.), 71.6 (15.2). The samples isolated in the incident cases were rectal swabs (80%), urine samples (10.7%), blood samples (2.8%) and other clinical samples (6.6%). The most frequent OXA-48-PE was Klebsiella pneumoniae. Eleven different clones were identified, but K. pneumoniae sequence types 11 and 405 were predominant: ST11 (64.2%) and ST405 (29.3%). OXA-48-PE CI trend suffered a statistically significant change in August 2013, which continued the following months. Though we could not eradicate the outbreak, we observed a statistically significant drop in CI after an intervention for OXA-48-PE control, based on patient cohort, active surveillance, electronic alerts and reinforcement of infection control measures in a tertiary hospital.
Adults of Hysteromorpha triloba (Rudolpi, 1819), Lutz, 1931 inhabit primarily the intestine of cormorants across the globe, whereas metacercariae have been found in the body cavity of freshwater fishes of the families Cyprinidae, Ictaluridae, Ariidae, Pimelodidae and Catostomidae. In this study, adults and metacercariae identified as H. triloba were collected from the Neotropical cormorant (Nannopterum brasilianus) and from the Mexican tetra fish (Astyanax mexicanus) from the Gulf of Mexico and Pacific Ocean slopes in the Neotropical region. Partial DNA sequences of the mitochondrial gene cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (cox 1) and the internal transcribed spacers (ITS1, 5.8S and ITS2) of nuclear ribosomal DNA were generated for both developmental stages, and were compared with available sequences of H. triloba from the Nearctic region. The genetic divergence between metacercariae and adults of H. triloba from the Neotropical and Nearctic region (Canada) associated with the double-crested cormorant (Nannopterum auritus), ranged from 0 to 5.5% for cox 1 and from 0 to 0.2% for ITS. Phylogenetic analyses inferred with both molecular markers using maximum likelihood and Bayesian inference placed the adults and metacercariae in a single clade, confirming that both stages are conspecific. Our data confirmed that H. triloba is a widely distributed species across the Americas, parasitizing both the Neotropical and Nearctic cormorants in Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela, Mexico, USA and Canada.
This study assessed milk productivity, demographic characteristics and workload distribution on a single high-yield dairy ewe farm in Spain (Avila, Spain; continental climate, latitude of 40.90 N, altitude of 900 m) over a 7-year period considering a transition from a herd management system involving five lambings per year (5LY) to a system involving 10 lambings per year (10LY). The 5LY system was practiced on the farm from 2010 to 2012 and the 10LY system from 2014 to 2015, with 2009 and 2013 being considered transition years. During this period, 27 415 lactations were recorded from an average of 3746 Lacaune sheep/year. Several productivity parameters were higher in 2014 to 2015 than in 2010 to 2012: milk yield/lactation (370±156 v. 349±185 l), lactation length (218±75 v. 192±75 days) and dry period length (53.5±38.3 v. 69.1±34.8 days) (all P<0.0001). During 2014 to 2015, investment in new lambing facilities was possible, workload was distributed more uniformly throughout the year, workload per worker was smaller, rate of ewe culling was lower (35.39±0.53% v. 42.51±7.51%), ewe longevity was greater and higher-order lactations were more numerous (P<0.0001). On the other hand, during 2010 to 2012, daily production was higher (1.73±1.66 v. 1.70±0.62 l/day; P=0.038), the interlambing period was shorter (283±50 v. 302±44 days; P<0.0001) and lambings/ewe per year were greater (1.42±0.01 v. 1.30±0.01; P<0.05). These results suggest that a 10LY herd management system can be compatible with profitability, productivity and good animal and worker’s welfare on a high-yield dairy farm, and may even be associated with better outcomes than a 5LY system.
The main goal of this work consisted in cloning, purifying and characterizing a protein phosphatase 2C (PP2C) from promastigotes of Leishmania major. The gene was cloned and amplified by PCR using specific oligonucleotides and the recombinant protein was purified by affinity chromatography. The peak with maximal protein concentration was analysed by sodium dodecyl sulphate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and revealed a protein of 44·9 kDa with PP2C activity. This activity was dependent on divalent cations (Mg+2 and Mn+2) and was optimal at pH of 8·5, using phosphothreonine as the substrate. Sanguinarine inhibited the activity of the recombinant LmPP2C, while protein tyrosine phosphatase inhibitors had no effect. The recombinant LmPP2C was used to generate polyclonal antibodies. These antibodies recognized a protein of 44·9 kDa in different Leishmania species; the LmPP2C was localized in the flagellar pocket and the flagellum of promastigotes.
Astrobiology seeks to understand the limits of life and to determine the physiology of organisms in order to better assess the habitability of other worlds. To successfully achieve these goals we require microorganisms from environments on Earth that approximate to extraterrestrial environments in terms of physical and/or chemical conditions. The most challenging of these environments with respect to sample collection, isolation and cultivation of microorganisms are anoxic environments. In this paper, an approach to this challenge was implemented within the European Union's MASE (Mars Analogues for Space Exploration) project. In this review paper, we aim to provide a set of methods for future field work and sampling campaigns. A number of anoxic environment based on characteristics that make them analogous to past and present locations on Mars were selected. They included anoxic sulphur-rich springs (Germany), the salt-rich Boulby Mine (UK), a lake in a basaltic context (Iceland), acidic sediments in the Rio Tinto (Spain), glacier samples (Austria) and permafrost samples (Russia and Canada). Samples were collected under strict anoxic conditions to be used for cultivation and genomic community analysis. Using the samples, a culturing approach was implemented to enrich anaerobic organisms using a defined medium that would allow for organisms to be grown under identical conditions in future physiological comparisons. Anaerobic microorganisms were isolated and deposited with the DSMZ (Deutsche Sammlung von Mikroorganismen und Zellkulturen GmbH) culture collection to make them available to other scientists. In MASE, the selected organisms are studied with respect to survival and growth under Mars relevant stresses. They are artificially fossilized and the resulting biosignatures studied and used to investigate the efficacy of life detection instrumentation for planetary missions. Some of the organisms belong to genera with medical and environmental importance such as Yersinia spp., illustrating how astrobiology field research can be used to increase the availability of microbial isolates for applied terrestrial purposes.
Saccocoelioides olmecae n. sp. is described from specimens recovered from the intestine of the fat sleeper Dormitator maculatus (Bloch) (Perciformes: Eleotridae) collected in six localities along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. The new species is mainly distinguished from the other three described species of Saccocoelioides Szidat, 1954 from North and Middle America (i.e. S. sogandaresi Lumsden, 1963, S. chauhani Lamothe-Argumedo, 1974 and S. lamothei Aguirre-Macedo & Violante-González, 2008) by having an elongated body, a sac-like caecum, a uterus that extends to the first third of body and by having vitelline follicles longitudinally elongated reaching the posterior end of the body. Sequences of the large subunit (LSU) of the ribosomal DNA, including the domain D1–D3, and the internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2) were used independently and concatenated to corroborate the morphological distinction among S. olmecae n. sp., S. chauhani and S. lamothei from freshwater and brackish-water fish from Middle America. The genetic divergence estimated among the three species of Saccocoelioides was very low: 1% for LSU and from 1 to 4% for ITS2. Maximum likelihood and Bayesian inference analyses for each dataset and both datasets combined revealed that S. olmecae n. sp. represents an independent clade with moderate bootstrap support and posterior probabilities. This is the third species of Saccocoelioides described in Mexico, and the 17th species from the Americas.
The catalytic activity of disordered binary alloy metal surfaces is investigated for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) by generating free energy diagrams and performing calculations on d-band centers of alloys. The disorder was simulated using virtual crystal approximation; then, based on periodic, self-consistent density functional theory (DFT) methods, we calculated adsorption energies of reaction intermediates. Alternative pathway for ORR mechanism, involving proton/electron transfer to adsorbed oxygen and hydroxyl, is considered. The methodology was applied to (111) surface of PdxCu1-x disordered binary alloys, with different values of x concentration. This study found that at the ORR equilibrium potential of 1.23 V, the reactivity of all surfaces is shown to be limited by the rate of OH removal from the surface. Among the surfaces studied, the surface of Pd0.80Cu0.20 shows the highest reactivity and is more active than other non-Pt alloys. These results are in excellent agreement with earlier experimental and theoretical work.
Micromegas detectors, thanks to their good spatial and temporal discrimination capabilities, are good candidates for rare event search experiments. Recent X-ray background levels achieved by these detectors in the CAST experiment have motivated further studies in the nature of the background levels measured. In particular, different shielding configurations have been tested at the Canfranc Underground Laboratory, using a microbulk type detector which was previously running at the CAST experiment. The first results underground show that this technology, which is made of low radiative materials, is able to reach background levels down to 2 × 10-7 keV-1 s-1 cm-2 with a proper shielding. Moreover, the experimental background measurements are complemented with Geant4 simulations which allow to understand the origin of the background, and to optimize future shielding set-ups.
The T-REX project aims at developing novel readout techniques for Time Projection Chambers in experiments searching for rare events. The enhanced performance of the latest Micromegas readouts in issues like energy resolution, gain stability, homogeneity, material budget, combined with low background techniques, is opening new windows of opportunity for their application in this field. Here we review the latest results regarding the use and prospects of Micromegas readouts in axion physics (CAST and the future helioscope), as well as the R&D carried out within NEXT, to search for the neutrinoless double-beta decay.