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Foodborne salmonellosis causes approximately 1 million illnesses annually in the United States. In the summer of 2017, we investigated four multistate outbreaks of Salmonella infections associated with Maradol papayas imported from four Mexican farms. PulseNet initially identified a cluster of Salmonella Kiambu infections in June 2017, and early interviews identified papayas as an exposure of interest. Investigators from Maryland, Virginia and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) collected papayas for testing. Several strains of Salmonella were isolated from papayas sourced from Mexican Farm A, including Salmonella Agona, Gaminara, Kiambu, Thompson and Senftenberg. Traceback from two points of service associated with illness sub-clusters in two states identified Farm A as a common source of papayas, and three voluntary recalls of Farm A papayas were issued. FDA sampling isolated four additional Salmonella strains from papayas sourced from Mexican Farms B, C and D. In total, four outbreaks were identified, resulting in 244 cases with illness onset dates from 20 December 2016 to 20 September 2017. The sampling of papayas and the collaborative work of investigative partners were instrumental in identifying the source of these outbreaks and preventing additional illnesses. Evaluating epidemiological, laboratory and traceback evidence together during investigations is critical to solving and stopping outbreaks.
Apolipoprotein E (APOE) E4 is the main genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Due to the consistent association, there is interest as to whether E4 influences the risk of other neurodegenerative diseases. Further, there is a constant search for other genetic biomarkers contributing to these phenotypes, such as microtubule-associated protein tau (MAPT) haplotypes. Here, participants from the Ontario Neurodegenerative Disease Research Initiative were genotyped to investigate whether the APOE E4 allele or MAPT H1 haplotype are associated with five neurodegenerative diseases: (1) AD and mild cognitive impairment (MCI), (2) amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, (3) frontotemporal dementia (FTD), (4) Parkinson’s disease, and (5) vascular cognitive impairment.
Genotypes were defined for their respective APOE allele and MAPT haplotype calls for each participant, and logistic regression analyses were performed to identify the associations with the presentations of neurodegenerative diseases.
Our work confirmed the association of the E4 allele with a dose-dependent increased presentation of AD, and an association between the E4 allele alone and MCI; however, the other four diseases were not associated with E4. Further, the APOE E2 allele was associated with decreased presentation of both AD and MCI. No associations were identified between MAPT haplotype and the neurodegenerative disease cohorts; but following subtyping of the FTD cohort, the H1 haplotype was significantly associated with progressive supranuclear palsy.
This is the first study to concurrently analyze the association of APOE isoforms and MAPT haplotypes with five neurodegenerative diseases using consistent enrollment criteria and broad phenotypic analysis.
Recent infection testing algorithms (RITA) for HIV combine serological assays with epidemiological data to determine likely recent infections, indicators of ongoing transmission. In 2016, we integrated RITA into national HIV surveillance in Ireland to better inform HIV prevention interventions. We determined the avidity index (AI) of new HIV diagnoses and linked the results with data captured in the national infectious disease reporting system. RITA classified a diagnosis as recent based on an AI < 1.5, unless epidemiological criteria (CD4 count <200 cells/mm3; viral load <400 copies/ml; the presence of AIDS-defining illness; prior antiretroviral therapy use) indicated a potential false-recent result. Of 508 diagnoses in 2016, we linked 448 (88.1%) to an avidity test result. RITA classified 12.5% of diagnoses as recent, with the highest proportion (26.3%) amongst people who inject drugs. On multivariable logistic regression recent infection was more likely with a concurrent sexually transmitted infection (aOR 2.59; 95% CI 1.04–6.45). Data were incomplete for at least one RITA criterion in 48% of cases. The study demonstrated the feasibility of integrating RITA into routine surveillance and showed some ongoing HIV transmission. To improve the interpretation of RITA, further efforts are required to improve completeness of the required epidemiological data.
Functional circuits of the human brain emerge and change dramatically over the second half of gestation. It is possible that variation in neural functional system connectivity in utero predicts individual differences in infant behavioral development, but this possibility has yet to be examined. The current study examines the association between fetal sensorimotor brain system functional connectivity and infant postnatal motor ability. Resting-state functional connectivity data was obtained in 96 healthy human fetuses during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy. Infant motor ability was measured 7 months after birth using the Bayley Scales of Infant Development. Increased connectivity between the emerging motor network and regions of the prefrontal cortex, temporal lobes, posterior cingulate, and supplementary motor regions was observed in infants that showed more mature motor functions. In addition, females demonstrated stronger fetal-brain to infant-behavior associations. These observations extend prior longitudinal research back into prenatal brain development and raise exciting new ideas about the advent of risk and the ontogeny of early sex differences.
Foodborne non-typhoidal salmonellosis causes approximately 1 million illnesses annually in the USA. In April 2015, we investigated a multistate outbreak of 65 Salmonella Paratyphi B variant L(+) tartrate(+) infections associated with frozen raw tuna imported from Indonesia, which was consumed raw in sushi. Forty-six (92%) of 50 case-patients interviewed ate sushi during the week before illness onset, and 44 (98%) of 45 who specified ate sushi containing raw tuna. Two outbreak strains were isolated from the samples of frozen raw tuna. Traceback identified a single importer as a common source of tuna consumed by case-patients; this importer issued three voluntary recalls of tuna sourced from one Indonesian processor. Four Salmonella Weltevreden infections were also linked to this outbreak. Whole-genome sequencing was useful in establishing a link between Salmonella isolated from ill people and tuna. This outbreak highlights the continuing foodborne illness risk associated with raw seafood consumption, the importance of processing seafood in a manner that minimises contamination with pathogenic microorganisms and the continuing need to ensure imported foods are safe to eat. People at higher risk for foodborne illness should not consume undercooked animal products, such as raw seafood.
We report on the results of coherent X-ray diffraction imaging (CXDI) and ptychography measurements of two individual core-shell-shell GaAs/(In,Ga)As/GaAs nanowires (NWs) grown by molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) on patterned Si(111) substrate. CXDI at the axial GaAs 111 Bragg reflection was applied at different positions along the NW axis in order to characterize the NWs in terms of structural homogeneity along the radial directions. At each positon 3D reciprocal space maps have been recoded and inverted using phase retrieval algorithms. The CXDI were complemented by 2D ptychography measurements at GaAs 111 Bragg reflection probing the same NWs with respect to their structural homogeneity. Both methods provide structural homogeneity for NW1 and NW2 except at the bottom part of the NWs. In case of NW2 CXDI and ptychography show changes in the structure of the top part of the NW indicated by 60° rotation of the indicated three-fold rotational symmetry in the observed diffraction patterns and changes in the strain field reconstructed from ptychography.
Anthocyanins are flavonoids widely spread in various plant species as a major phyto-pigment. In recent years, interest in using anthocyanins as a feed ingredient has increased markedly owing to their health and other benefits. Anthocyanins possess various pharmacological properties, including anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, anticancer, antidiabetic, neuroprotective, anti-obesity and antioxidant effects. Dietary consumption of anthocyanins has revealed benefits in animal performance. Little is known about health-promoting effects of anthocyanins in avian species, but anthocyanin-rich dried fruits have shown positive effects on certain pathological conditions and health promoting markers in human and other animals. This review aims to gather information regarding health benefits of anthocyanins and highlight therapeutic and potential health beneficial effects of anthocyanins for poultry. Additionally, it explores these biologically important flavonoids as alternative ingredients in poultry feed to replace synthetic nutrients and medicines. The available literature reports studies involving use of anthocyanins focused on human, mice and in vitro models. However, there is a need to explore mechanism of action at molecular level to understand potential beneficial effects of anthocyanins in avian species.
To describe the frequency, characteristics, and exposure associated with influenza in hospitalized patients in a Toronto hospital
Prospective data collected for consenting patients with laboratory-confirmed influenza and a retrospective review of infection control charts for roommates of cases over 3 influenza seasons
Of the 661 patients with influenza (age range: 1 week–103 years), 557 were placed on additional precautions upon admission. Of 104 with symptoms detected after admission, 57 cases were community onset and 47 were nosocomial (10 nosocomial were part of outbreaks). A total of 78 cases were detected after admission exposing 143 roommates. Among roommates tested for influenza after exposure, no roommates of community-onset cases and 2 of 16 roommates of nosocomial cases were diagnosed with influenza. Of 637 influenza-infected patients, 25% and 57% met influenza-like illness definitions from the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), respectively, and 70.3% met the Provincial Infectious Diseases Advisory Committee (PIDAC) febrile respiratory illness definition. Among the 56 patients with community-onset influenza detected after admission, only 13%, 23%, and 34%, met PHAC, CDC, and PIDAC classifications, respectively.
In a setting with extensive screening and testing for influenza, 1 in 6 patients with influenza was not diagnosed until patients and healthcare workers had been exposed for >24 hours. Only 30% of patients with community-onset influenza detected after admission met the Ontario definition intended to identify cases, hampering efforts to prevent patient and healthcare worker exposures and reinforcing the need for prevention through vaccination.
The intracortical neural interface (INI) is a key component of brain machine interfaces (BMI) which offer the possibility to restore functions lost by patients due to severe trauma to the central or peripheral nervous system. Unfortunately today’s neural electrodes suffer from a variety of design flaws, mainly the use of non-biocompatible materials based on Si or W with polymer coatings to mask the underlying material. Silicon carbide (SiC) is a semiconductor that has been proven to be highly biocompatible, and this chemically inert, physically robust material system may provide the longevity and reliability needed for the INI community. The design, fabrication, and preliminary testing of a prototype all-SiC planar microelectrode array based on 4H-SiC with an amorphous silicon carbide (a-SiC) insulator is described. The fabrication of the planar microelectrode was performed utilizing a series of conventional micromachining steps. Preliminary data is presented which shows a proof of concept for an all-SiC microelectrode device.
This paper is based on a report commissioned by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, which aims to provide information on cultural aspects of mental health and psychosocial wellbeing relevant to care and support for Syrians affected by the crisis. This paper aims to inform mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) staff of the mental health and psychosocial wellbeing issues facing Syrians who are internally displaced and Syrian refugees.
We conducted a systematic literature search designed to capture clinical, social science and general literature examining the mental health of the Syrian population. The main medical, psychological and social sciences databases (e.g. Medline, PubMed, PsycInfo) were searched (until July 2015) in Arabic, English and French language sources. This search was supplemented with web-based searches in Arabic, English and French media, and in assessment reports and evaluations, by nongovernmental organisations, intergovernmental organisations and agencies of the United Nations. This search strategy should not be taken as a comprehensive review of all issues related to MHPSS of Syrians as some unpublished reports and evaluations were not reviewed.
Conflict affected Syrians may experience a wide range of mental health problems including (1) exacerbations of pre-existing mental disorders; (2) new problems caused by conflict related violence, displacement and multiple losses; as well as (3) issues related to adaptation to the post-emergency context, for example living conditions in the countries of refuge. Some populations are particularly vulnerable such as men and women survivors of sexual or gender based violence, children who have experienced violence and exploitation and Syrians who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex. Several factors influence access to MHPSS services including language barriers, stigma associated with seeking mental health care and the power dynamics of the helping relationship. Trust and collaboration can be maximised by ensuring a culturally safe environment, respectful of diversity and based on mutual respect, in which the perspectives of clients and their families can be carefully explored.
Sociocultural knowledge and cultural competency can improve the design and delivery of interventions to promote mental health and psychosocial wellbeing of Syrians affected by armed conflict and displacement, both within Syria and in countries hosting refugees from Syria.
This study advances understanding of predictors of child abuse and neglect at multiple levels of influence. Mothers, fathers, and children (N = 1,418 families, M age of children = 8.29 years) were interviewed annually in three waves in 13 cultural groups in nine countries (China, Colombia, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, Philippines, Sweden, Thailand, and the United States). Multilevel models were estimated to examine predictors of (a) within-family differences across the three time points, (b) between-family within-culture differences, and (c) between-cultural group differences in mothers' and fathers' reports of corporal punishment and children's reports of their parents' neglect. These analyses addressed to what extent mothers' and fathers' use of corporal punishment and children's perceptions of their parents' neglect were predicted by parents' belief in the necessity of using corporal punishment, parents' perception of the normativeness of corporal punishment in their community, parents' progressive parenting attitudes, parents' endorsement of aggression, parents' education, children's externalizing problems, and children's internalizing problems at each of the three levels. Individual-level predictors (especially child externalizing behaviors) as well as cultural-level predictors (especially normativeness of corporal punishment in the community) predicted corporal punishment and neglect. Findings are framed in an international context that considers how abuse and neglect are defined by the global community and how countries have attempted to prevent abuse and neglect.
Within the World Health Organization 2012–2020 roadmap for control and elimination of schistosomiasis, the scale-up of mass drug administration with praziquantel is set to change the epidemiological landscape across Africa and Arabia. Central in measuring progress is renewed emphasis upon diagnostics which operate at individual, community and environmental levels by assessing reductions in disease, infections and parasite transmission. However, a fundamental tension is revealed between levels for present diagnostic tools, and methods applied in control settings are not necessarily adequate for application in elimination scenarios. Indeed navigating the transition from control to elimination needs careful consideration and planning. In the present context of control, we review current options for diagnosis of schistosomiasis at different levels, highlighting several strengths and weaknesses therein. Future challenges in elimination are raised and we propose that more cost-effective diagnostics and clinical staging algorithms are needed. Using the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as a contemporary example, embedding new diagnostic methods within the primary care health system is discussed with reference to both urogenital and intestinal schistosomiasis.
A cross-sectional study was conducted from 10 January to 9 April 2012, to determine the seroprevalence of tuberculosis (TB) of all captive Asian elephants and their handlers in six locations in Peninsular Malaysia. In addition, trunk-wash samples were examined for tubercle bacillus by culture and polymerase chain reaction (PCR). For 63 elephants and 149 elephant handlers, TB seroprevalence was estimated at 20·4% and 24·8%, respectively. From 151 trunk-wash samples, 24 acid-fast isolates were obtained, 23 of which were identified by hsp65-based sequencing as non-tuberculous mycobacteria. The Mycobacterium tuberculosis-specific PCR was positive in the trunk-wash samples from three elephants which were also seropositive. Conversely, the trunk wash from seven seropositive elephants were PCR negative. Hence, there was evidence of active and latent TB in the elephants and the high seroprevalence in the elephants and their handlers suggests frequent, close contact, two-way transmission between animals and humans within confined workplaces.