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Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is a zoonotic disease transmitted from dromedary camels to people, which can result in outbreaks with human-to-human transmission. Because it is a subclinical infection in camels, epidemiological measures other than prevalence are challenging to assess. This study estimated the force of infection (FOI) of MERS-CoV in camel populations from age-stratified serological data. A cross-sectional study of MERS-CoV was conducted in Kenya from July 2016 to July 2017. Seroprevalence was stratified into four age groups: <1, 1–2, 2–3 and >3 years old. Age-independent and age-dependent linear and quadratic generalised linear models were used to estimate FOI in pastoral and ranching camel herds. Models were compared based on computed AIC values. Among pastoral herds, the age-dependent quadratic FOI was the best fit model, while the age-independent FOI was the best fit for the ranching herd data. FOI provides an indirect estimate of infection risk, which is especially valuable where direct estimates of incidence and other measures of infection are challenging to obtain. The FOIs estimated in this study provide important insight about MERS-CoV dynamics in the reservoir species, and contribute to our understanding of the zoonotic risks of this important public health threat.
Background: While recent clinical trials have demonstrated immense efficacy of mechanical thrombectomy (MT) in the setting of acute stroke, there remains debate over the safety in performing this procedure under general anesthesia (GA). In the Saskatchewan Acute Stroke Pathway, all patients presenting with LVO have endovascular thrombectomy performed under GA. Methods: Data was retrospectively reviewed on 108 consecutive LVO in 2016-2017. All MT were done under GA. Anatomical location of LVO, pre-MT ASPECTS score, post-MT TICI scores and 90-day NIHSS and mRS were recorded. Results: Of 108 LVO, 103 went on to have MT. 44 were right anterior circulation, 50 were left anterior circulation and 9 were posterior circulation. Of 94 anterior circulation strokes, 47 (50.0%), 43 (45.7%) and 4 (4.3%) had good, moderate and poor collateral circulation respectively, and the average pre-MT ASPECTS was 8.6. The average pre-MT NIHSS was 14.7. 81/90 (90.0%) achieved thrombolysis in cerebral infarction (TICI) perfusion scale grade of 2b/3 after recanalization. Average documented 90-day NIHSS was 2.4 and mRS was 2.5. Overall mortality was 21/103 (20.4%). Conclusions: In the Saskatchewan acute stroke pathway, general anesthesia is a safe modality for MT. This adds to the body of evidence supporting GA as a viable option for sedation in MT.
The Monte Carlo simulation method that has been previously developed and demonstrated for EDXRF analysis with annular radioisotope excitation sources is extended to systems using secondary fluorescer X-ray machines for excitation. Comparisons of the Monte Carlo predictions with experimental results indicate that the modification is valid.
The least-squares method with complete component library spectra is applied to the quantitative analysis of X-ray fluorescence spectral intensities. An approach is outlined for application to the general case of thick homogeneous samples at high counting rates, A simplified approach can be taken with the more specific case represented, by atmospheric particulates collected on filters. The details and sample results of this approach for this specific case are given for an energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence analyzer. The results indicate that the least-squares method as developed and applied here is valid and should prove generally useful to X-ray analysts.
A procedure to obtain analytical models for the elemental X-ray pulse-height distribution libraries necessary in the library least-squares analysis of energy-dispersive x-ray fluorescence spectra is outlined. This is accomplished by first obtaining the response function of Si(Li) detectors for incident photons in the energy range of interest. Subsequently this response function is used to generate the desired elemental library standards for use in the least-squares analysis of spectra, or it can be used directly within a least-squares computer program, thus eliminating the large amount of computer storage required for the standards.
OBJECTIVES/SPECIFIC AIMS: To evaluate the NIH-sponsored Best Practices for Social and Behavioral Research e-learning course. METHODS/STUDY POPULATION: Four universities partnered in a pilot study to evaluate this new course. Outcomes from 294 participants completing the course included efficient progress through the training, perceived relevance of the course to current work, level of engagement with the course material, intent to work differently as a result of the course, and downloading digital resources. RESULTS/ANTICIPATED RESULTS: Participants rated the course as relevant and engaging (6.4 and 5.8 on a 7-point Likert scale) and 96% of respondents said they would recommend the course to colleagues. Qualitative analysis of participant testimonials suggested that most respondents had a readiness to change in the way they worked as a result of the course. Overall, results suggest participants completed the course efficiently, perceived outcomes positively and worked differently after the training. DISCUSSION/SIGNIFICANCE OF IMPACT: These results will inform new guidelines for future participants (e.g., average time to complete, expectations for knowledge checks in the training). Future studies should include larger samples and closer coordination and communication between study sites.
The Meat Standards Australia (MSA) grading scheme has the ability to predict beef eating quality for each ‘cut×cooking method combination’ from animal and carcass traits such as sex, age, breed, marbling, hot carcass weight and fatness, ageing time, etc. Following MSA testing protocols, a total of 22 different muscles, cooked by four different cooking methods and to three different degrees of doneness, were tasted by over 19 000 consumers from Northern Ireland, Poland, Ireland, France and Australia. Consumers scored the sensory characteristics (tenderness, flavor liking, juiciness and overall liking) and then allocated samples to one of four quality grades: unsatisfactory, good-every-day, better-than-every-day and premium. We observed that 26% of the beef was unsatisfactory. As previously reported, 68% of samples were allocated to the correct quality grades using the MSA grading scheme. Furthermore, only 7% of the beef unsatisfactory to consumers was misclassified as acceptable. Overall, we concluded that an MSA-like grading scheme could be used to predict beef eating quality and hence underpin commercial brands or labels in a number of European countries, and possibly the whole of Europe. In addition, such an eating quality guarantee system may allow the implementation of an MSA genetic index to improve eating quality through genetics as well as through management. Finally, such an eating quality guarantee system is likely to generate economic benefits to be shared along the beef supply chain from farmers to retailors, as consumers are willing to pay more for a better quality product.
Preparing and responding to the needs of children during public health emergencies continues to be challenging. The purpose of this study was to assess the usefulness of a tabletop exercise in initiating pediatric preparedness strategies and assessing the impact of the exercise on participants’ understanding of and confidence in their roles during pediatric public health emergencies.
A tabletop exercise was developed to simulate a public health emergency scenario involving smallpox in a child, with subsequent spread to multiple states. During the exercise, participants discussed and developed communication, collaboration, and medical countermeasure strategies to enhance pediatric public health preparedness. Exercise evaluation was designed to assess participants’ knowledge gained and level of confidence surrounding pediatric public health emergencies.
In total, 22 participants identified over 100 communication and collaboration strategies to promote pediatric public health preparedness during the exercise and found that the most beneficial aspect during the exercise was the partnership between pediatricians and public health officials. Participants’ knowledge and level of confidence surrounding a pediatric public health emergency increased after the exercise.
The tabletop exercise was effective in identifying strategies to improve pediatric public health preparedness as well as enhancing participants’ knowledge and confidence surrounding a potential pediatric public health emergency. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2018;12:582–586)
Accurately quantifying a consumer’s willingness to pay (WTP) for beef of different eating qualities is intrinsically linked to the development of eating-quality-based meat grading systems, and therefore the delivery of consistent, quality beef to the consumer. Following Australian MSA (Meat Standards Australia) testing protocols, over 19 000 consumers from Northern Ireland, Poland, Ireland, France and Australia were asked to detail their willingness to pay for beef from one of four categories that best described the sample; unsatisfactory, good-every-day, better-than-every-day or premium quality. These figures were subsequently converted to a proportion relative to the good-every-day category (P-WTP) to allow comparison between different currencies and time periods. Consumers also answered a short demographic questionnaire. Consumer P-WTP was found to be remarkably consistent between different demographic groups. After quality grade, by far the greatest influence on P-WTP was country of origin. This difference was unable to be explained by the other demographic factors examined in this study, such as occupation, gender, frequency of consumption and the importance of beef in the diet. Therefore, we can conclude that the P-WTP for beef is highly transferrable between different consumer groups, but not countries.
A spectral line survey for interstellar NH3 is being carried out using the 64-m telescopes at Parkes and Tidbinbilla. Both telescopes are equipped with K-band masers yielding system temperatures below 100 K. The preliminary survey was to be made with the Parkes antenna (beam = 1.5′ arc) with follow-up mapping of the more interesting sources at Tidbinbilla (beam = 0.9′ arc). Sources have in general been H II regions from the H2CO surveys made at Parkes. Approximately 70 sources (out of a target of (∼ 100) have been observed simultaneously in the metastable (1,1), (2,2) and (3,3) transitions. The (1,1) line has been detected in about 70% of the sources surveyed. The other lines which involve higher excitation are detected primarily in the more compact sources, particularly those associated with OH and H2O masers. Examples are given of spectra for different types of source.
The role of the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii in the pathogenesis of liver disease has recently gained much interest. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence and risk factors associated with T. gondii infection in patients with liver disease from three cities in Shandong and Henan provinces, China. A case–control study was conducted from December 2014 to November 2015 and included 1142 patients with liver disease and 1142 healthy controls. Serum samples were collected from all individuals and were examined with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for the presence of anti-T. gondii IgG and IgM antibodies. Information on the demographics, clinical, and lifestyle characteristics of the participants was collected from the medical records and by the use of a questionnaire. The prevalence of anti-T. gondii IgG was 19·7% in patients with liver disease compared with 12·17% in the controls. Only 13 patients had anti-T. gondii IgM antibodies compared with 12 control individuals (1·14% vs. 1·05%, respectively). The highest seroprevalence was detected in patients with liver cancer (22·13%), followed by hepatitis patients (20·86%), liver cirrhosis patients (20·42%), and steatosis patients (20%). Multivariate logistic regression analysis indicated that consumption of raw meat (odds ratio (OR) = 1·32; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1·01–1·71; P = 0·03) and source of drinking water from wells (OR = 1·56; 95% CI 1·08–2·27; P = 0·01) were independent risk factors for T. gondii infection in liver disease patients. These findings indicate that T. gondii infection is more likely to be present in patients with liver disease. Therefore, efforts should be directed toward health education of populations at high risk of T. gondii infection and measures should be taken to protect vulnerable patients with liver disease.
The phenotype of the human embryo conceived through in vitro fertilization (IVF), that is its morphology, developmental kinetics, physiology and metabolism, can be affected by numerous components of the laboratory and embryo culture system (which comprise the laboratory environment). The culture media formulation is important in determining embryo phenotype, but this exists within a culture system that includes oxygen, temperature, pH and whether an embryo is cultured individually or in a group, all of which can influence embryo development. Significantly, exposure of an embryo to one suboptimal component of the culture system of laboratory typically predisposes the embryo to become more vulnerable to a second stressor, as has been well documented for atmospheric oxygen and individual culture, as well as for oxygen and ammonium. Furthermore, the inherent viability of the human embryo is derived from the quality of the gametes from which it is created. Patient age, aetiology, genetics, lifestyle (as well as ovarian stimulation in women) are all known to affect the developmental potential of gametes and hence the embryo. Thus, as well as considering the impact of the IVF laboratory environment, one needs to be aware of the status of the infertile couple, as this impacts how their gametes and embryos will respond to an in vitro environment. Although far from straight forward, analysing the interactions that exist between the human embryo and its environment will facilitate the creation of more effective and safer treatments for the infertile couple.
The beef industry must become more responsive to the changing market place and consumer demands. An essential part of this is quantifying a consumer’s perception of the eating quality of beef and their willingness to pay for that quality, across a broad range of demographics. Over 19 000 consumers from Northern Ireland, Poland, Ireland and France each tasted seven beef samples and scored them for tenderness, juiciness, flavour liking and overall liking. These scores were weighted and combined to create a fifth score, termed the Meat Quality 4 score (MQ4) (0.3×tenderness, 0.1×juiciness, 0.3×flavour liking and 0.3×overall liking). They also allocated the beef samples into one of four quality grades that best described the sample; unsatisfactory, good-every-day, better-than-every-day or premium. After the completion of the tasting panel, consumers were then asked to detail, in their own currency, their willingness to pay for these four categories which was subsequently converted to a proportion relative to the good-every-day category (P-WTP). Consumers also answered a short demographic questionnaire. The four sensory scores, the MQ4 score and the P-WTP were analysed separately, as dependant variables in linear mixed effects models. The answers from the demographic questionnaire were included in the model as fixed effects. Overall, there were only small differences in consumer scores and P-WTP between demographic groups. Consumers who preferred their beef cooked medium or well-done scored beef higher, except in Poland, where the opposite trend was found. This may be because Polish consumers were more likely to prefer their beef cooked well-done, but samples were cooked medium for this group. There was a small positive relationship with the importance of beef in the diet, increasing sensory scores by about 4% in Poland and Northern Ireland. Men also scored beef about 2% higher than women for most sensory scores in most countries. In most countries, consumers were willing to pay between 150 and 200% more for premium beef, and there was a 50% penalty in value for unsatisfactory beef. After quality grade, by far the greatest influence on P-WTP was country of origin. Consumer age also had a small negative relationship with P-WTP. The results indicate that a single quality score could reliably describe the eating quality experienced by all consumers. In addition, if reliable quality information is delivered to consumers they will pay more for better quality beef, which would add value to the beef industry and encourage improvements in quality.
Quantifying consumer responses to beef across a broad range of demographics, nationalities and cooking methods is vitally important for any system evaluating beef eating quality. On the basis of previous work, it was expected that consumer scores would be highly accurate in determining quality grades for beef, thereby providing evidence that such a technique could be used to form the basis of and eating quality grading system for beef. Following the Australian MSA (Meat Standards Australia) testing protocols, over 19 000 consumers from Northern Ireland, Poland, Ireland, France and Australia tasted cooked beef samples, then allocated them to a quality grade; unsatisfactory, good-every-day, better-than-every-day and premium. The consumers also scored beef samples for tenderness, juiciness, flavour-liking and overall-liking. The beef was sourced from all countries involved in the study and cooked by four different cooking methods and to three different degrees of doneness, with each experimental group in the study consisting of a single cooking doneness within a cooking method for each country. For each experimental group, and for the data set as a whole, a linear discriminant function was calculated, using the four sensory scores which were used to predict the quality grade. This process was repeated using two conglomerate scores which are derived from weighting and combining the consumer sensory scores for tenderness, juiciness, flavour-liking and overall-liking, the original meat quality 4 score (oMQ4) (0.4, 0.1, 0.2, 0.3) and current meat quality 4 score (cMQ4) (0.3, 0.1, 0.3, 0.3). From the results of these analyses, the optimal weightings of the sensory scores to generate an ‘ideal meat quality 4 score (MQ4)’ for each country were calculated, and the MQ4 values that reflected the boundaries between the four quality grades were determined. The oMQ4 weightings were far more accurate in categorising European meat samples than the cMQ4 weightings, highlighting that tenderness is more important than flavour to the consumer when determining quality. The accuracy of the discriminant analysis to predict the consumer scored quality grades was similar across all consumer groups, 68%, and similar to previously reported values. These results demonstrate that this technique, as used in the MSA system, could be used to predict consumer assessment of beef eating quality and therefore to underpin a commercial eating quality guarantee for all European consumers.
The 20 → 3−1 E-type transition of 13CH3OH at 14.78 GHz has been detected towards four continuum sources: Sgr B2, two positions in Sgr A (the peaks of the ' + 20 km/s' and the '40 km/s' clouds), and W33. The NASA Deep Space Network 70-m antenna near Canberra, Australia, which has a 66 arcsec beam at this frequency, was used. A comparison of the 13C and 12C profiles for Sgr B2 indicates a rest frequency of 14,782.27 ± .03 MHz, 0.12 MHz above the laboratory value of Haque et al. (1974). For the Galactic Centre sources, the 12C/13C abundance ratios derived using the simplest assumptions lie in the range 30–40, higher than the 20–25 range derived from H2CO observations. For W33 the apparent value of ∼ 50 is lower than the value of ∼100 derived by Henkel et al. (1983) from H2CO. There may be no discrepancy, however, as W33 contains two velocity components — the higher velocity one at 36 km/s is more prominent in CH3OH and the lower 33 km/s more prominent in H2CO.
Preliminary evidence suggests that direct poultry contact may play a lesser role in transmission of avian influenza A(H7N9) than A(H5N1) to humans. To better understand differences in risk factors, we quantified the degree of poultry contact reported by H5N1 and H7N9 World Health Organization-confirmed cases. We used publicly available data to classify cases by their degree of poultry contact, including direct and indirect. To account for potential data limitations, we used two methods: (1) case population method in which all cases were classified using a range of sources; and (2) case subset method in which only cases with detailed contact information from published research literature were classified. In the case population, detailed exposure information was unavailable for a large proportion of cases (H5N1, 54%; H7N9, 86%). In the case subset, direct contact proportions were higher in H5N1 cases (70·3%) than H7N9 cases (40·0%) (χ2 = 18·5, P < 0·001), and indirect contact proportions were higher in H7N9 cases (44·6%) than H5N1 cases (19·4%) (χ2 = 15·5, P < 0·001). Together with emerging evidence, our descriptive analysis suggests direct poultry contact is a clearer risk factor for H5N1 than for H7N9, and that other risk factors should also be considered for H7N9.
The Parkes 64-m antenna has been used to map ammonia emission in the (J,K = 1,1) and (J,K = 2,2) transitions toward molecular cloud complex NGC 6334. This complex contains a number of OH and H2O masers, HII regions and IR sources, and is a rich source of molecular line emission.
Distributions of observed and derived quantities are presented with a linear resolution of ∼ 1 pc. Velocity anomalies are present near the two OH masers NGC 6334A and B, and the source of ammonia emission located near the northernmost H2O maser is one of the most intense sources of NH3 emission in the Galaxy.
As part of an extensive southern survey of interstellar NH3 with the Parkes 64-m radio telescope (with a beamwidth of 81 arcsec), the (1, 1), (2, 2), and (3, 3) transitions have been observed towards the galactic centre molecular cloud G1.6-0.025. The cloud has an overall size of 10 arcmin, and contains several concentrations with differing velocities. It has several features also observed in other galactic centre clouds, e.g. high optical depths and kinetic temperatures above 50 K.
A spectral line survey for interstellar NH3 is being carried out using the 64-m telescopes at Parkes and Tidbinbilla. Both telescopes are equipped with K-band maser receivers yielding system temperatures below 100 K. The preliminary survey is being made with the Parkes antenna (beam = 1.35 arcmin), with follow-up mapping of the more interesting sources at Tidbinbilla (beam = 0.9 arcmin). The selected sources have in general been HII regions from the H2CO surveys made at Parkes. Statistical results from initial observations of the (1, 1), (2, 2), and (3, 3) lines in the preliminary survey are presented.
The Parkes 64-m radio telescope equipped with a 3 GHz maser on loan from the Onsala Space Observatory has been used to observe the three ground-state transitions of CH (at 3264, 3335 and 3349 MHz) towards a total of 74 HII regions, mostly at southern declinations. In this paper the regions and related characteristics are listed, and the CH spectra displayed.