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Characterisation of genetic diversity in a large number of European pig populations has been undertaken with EC support. The populations sampled included local (rare) breeds, national varieties of the major international breeds, commercial lines and the Chinese Meishan breed. A second phase of the project will sample a further 50 Chinese breeds. Neutral genetic markers (AFLP and microsatellites), with individual or bulk typing, were used and compared.
DNA from 59 European pig populations was extracted on samples of about 50 individuals per population. Individuals were typed for 50 microsatellites and for 148 AFLP bands. A subset of 25 populations was typed for 20 microsatellites on pools of DNA. Allele frequencies were estimated by direct allele counting for the co-dominant markers. Frequencies of AFLP negative alleles (absent bands) were obtained by taking the square root of absent band frequencies. Within-breed variability was summarised using standard statistics: expected and observed heterozygosity, mean observed and effective numbers of alleles, and F statistics. Between-breed diversity analysis was based on a bootstrapped Neighbor-Joining (NJ) tree derived from Reynolds distances (DR). The standard distance of Nei (DS) was also calculated.
To describe the frequency of urine cultures performed in inpatients without additional testing for pyuria
Retrospective cohort study
A 1,250-bed academic tertiary referral center
This study included urine cultures drawn on 4 medical and 2 surgical wards from 2009 to 2013 and in the medical and surgical intensive care units (ICUs) from 2012 to 2013. Patient and laboratory data were abstracted from the hospital’s medical informatics database. We identified catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs) in the ICUs by routine infection prevention surveillance. Cultures without urinalysis or urine microscopy were defined as “isolated.” The primary outcome was the proportion of isolated urine cultures obtained. We used multivariable logistic regression to assess predictors of isolated cultures.
During the study period, 14,743 urine cultures were obtained (63.5 cultures per 1,000 patient days) during 11,820 patient admissions. Of these, 2,973 cultures (20.2%) were isolated cultures. Of the 61 CAUTIs identified, 31 (50.8%) were identified by an isolated culture. Predictors for having an isolated culture included male gender (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.22; 95%; confidence interval [CI], 1.11–1.35], urinary catheterization (aOR, 2.15; 95% CI, 1.89–2.46), ICU admission (medical ICU aOR, 1.72; 95% CI, 1.47–2.00; surgical ICU aOR, 1.82; 95% CI, 1.51–2.19), and obtaining the urine culture ≥1 calendar day after admission (1–7 days aOR, 1.91; 95% CI. 1.71–2.12; >7 days after admission aOR, 2.81; 95% CI, 2.37–3.34).
Isolated urine cultures are common in hospitalized patients, particularly in patients with urinary catheters and those in ICUs. Interventions targeting inpatient culturing practices may improve the diagnosis of urinary tract infections.
Problems of making a device for directional measurements of extraterrestrial gamma rays in the MeV-range are discussed – especially background counting rates. A detector system is described which is planned to be flown in a series of balloon experiments in order to provide a better understanding of the sources of background and their elimination.
Although DSM-IV attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is known to be associated with numerous adverse outcomes, uncertainties exist about how much these associations are mediated temporally by secondary co-morbid disorders.
The US National Comorbidity Survey Replication Adolescent Supplement (NCS-A), a national survey of adolescents aged 13–17 years (n = 6483 adolescent–parent pairs), assessed DSM-IV disorders with the World Health Organization (WHO) Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI). Statistical decomposition was used to compare direct effects of ADHD with indirect effects of ADHD through temporally secondary mental disorders (anxiety, mood, disruptive behavior, substance disorders) in predicting poor educational performance (suspension, repeating a grade, below-average grades), suicidality (ideation, plans, attempts) and parent perceptions of adolescent functioning (physical and mental health, interference with role functioning and distress due to emotional problems).
ADHD had significant gross associations with all outcomes. Direct effects of ADHD explained most (51.9–67.6%) of these associations with repeating a grade in school, perceived physical and mental health (only girls), interference with role functioning and distress, and significant components (34.5–44.6%) of the associations with school suspension and perceived mental health (only boys). Indirect effects of ADHD on educational outcomes were predominantly through disruptive behavior disorders (26.9–52.5%) whereas indirect effects on suicidality were predominantly through mood disorders (42.8–59.1%). Indirect effects on most other outcomes were through both mood (19.8–31.2%) and disruptive behavior (20.1–24.5%) disorders, with anxiety and substance disorders less consistently important. Most associations were comparable for girls and boys.
Interventions aimed at reducing the adverse effects of ADHD might profitably target prevention or treatment of temporally secondary co-morbid disorders.
In 2008, nationwide investigations of a Salmonella serotype Saintpaul outbreak led first to consumer warnings for Roma and red round tomatoes, then later for jalapeño and serrano peppers. In New Mexico, where there were a large number of cases but no restaurant-based clusters, the NM Department of Health and the Indian Health Service participated with CDC in individual-level and household-level case-control studies of infections in New Mexico and the Navajo Nation. No food item was associated in the individual-level study. In the household-level study, households with an ill member were more likely to have had jalapeño peppers present during the exposure period and to have reported ever having serrano peppers in the household. This report illustrates the complexity of this investigation, the limitations of traditional individual-level case-control studies when vehicles of infection are ingredients or commonly eaten with other foods, and the added value of a household-level study.
Human rights violations are commonly experienced by people in psychiatric and social care institutions. States and private organizations providing such health and social services must comply with international human rights law. Monitoring of such compliance is increasingly recognized as a vital component in ensuring that rights are respected and violations are brought out in the open, remedied and prevented.
The Institutional Treatment, Human Rights and Care Assessment (ITHACA) project produced a method to document violations and good practice with the aim of preventing human rights violations and improving general health care practice in psychiatric and social care institutions (www.ithacastudy.eu).
A methodological and implementation study conducted across 15 European countries developed and assessed the ITHACA Toolkit in monitoring visits to 87 mental health organizations.
The toolkit is available in 13 European languages and has demonstrated applicability in a range of contexts and conditions. The information gathered through monitoring visits can document both good practice and areas for improvement.
The ITHACA Toolkit is an acceptable and feasible method for the systematic monitoring of human rights and general health care in psychiatric and social care institutions that explicitly calls for the participation of service users in the monitoring of human rights violations and general health care practice.
Academic performance during the first years of school lays the groundwork for subsequent trajectories of academic success throughout childhood and adolescence. The current study tests a model according to which a gene–parenting correlation in the first 3 years of life is associated with subsequent psychosocial adjustment and then academic performance in the first grade (as indicated by teachers' assessment of academic behavior and two subscales of the Woodcock–Johnson Test of Achievement, Third Edition). Drawing on multiple waves of data from the Durham Child Health and Development Study, we find that risk alleles for dopamine receptor genes (dopamine receptor D4 for girls, dopamine receptor D2 for boys) are associated with less sensitive parenting. For girls, parenting mediates the link between dopamine receptor D4 and all academic outcomes. There is some indication that parenting also influences girls' withdrawn behavior in the classroom, which in turn influences teachers' assessments of academic performance. For boys, some evidence suggests that parenting is associated with emotion regulation, which is associated with teachers' assessments of academic behavior and both subscales of the Woodcock–Johnson. Replications of this exploratory study are necessary, but these findings provide a first step in understanding how evocative correlations in the home may predict indicators of psychosocial adjustment that in turn influence performance and achievement at school.
The techniques, Particle Induced X-ray Emission (PIXE) and Rutherford Backscattering Spectrometry (RBS) have been used to investigate compositional and thickness uniformity of Hg1-xCdxTe (MCT) grown on GaAs substrates by Metal Organic Chemical Vapour Deposition (MOCVD). Composition and thickness variations are reported for orientations perpendicular and parallel to gas flow in the MOCVD reactor. Crystalline quality of the MCT layer was also determined by RBS channelling analysis.
Two magnetic latex preparations have been measured by polarized and depolarized dynamic light scattering. The adherence of the latexes to a simple physical model, that of a bar magnet embedded in a plastic sphere, is judged adequate in one case, but not the other. Preliminary efforts to use the latex spheres as probes of sodium polystyrene sulfonate solutions are described. A few observations are made concerning the dynamic light scattering behavior of the magnetic latex under the influence of an externally applied, oscillating magnetic field.
Breakdown voltage, static current-voltage, spectroscopic ellipsometry (SE), electrolyte electroreflectance (EER) and high resolution transmission electron microscopic (HRTEM) studies of thermally grown thin films of SiO2 on silicon (800°C - dry) are reported here. The investigation of the electrical properties of these films lead us to suggest the criteria for determining the breakdown voltage of these 20nm thick SiO2 films. The Fowler-Nordheim tunneling contribution to current conduction mechanisms in SiO2 has been considered in evaluating these criteria. SE, EER & HRTEM studies have been performed on SiO2 films of thicknesses in the range of 1–20 nm. These studies lead us to determine the thickness of the non-stoichiometric silicon-rich oxide existing at the Si-SiO2 interface. EER studies show that the relative surface state densities for different film thicknesses can be determined. The role of the transition region in determining the dielectric strength of thin SiO2 films is discussed.
The effect of furnace grown SiO2 layers on the optical properties of p- on p+ (100) Si substrates are investigated. The real part, n, of the complex refractive index n* = n + ik is calculated for radiation measured in the infra-red (IR) region between 3000 and 8000 cm−1 where the extinction coefficient, k, is negligible. The expression for n is obtained using the Fresnel coefficients for a three medium air-oxide-Si model. Strain in the silicon, which affects n, and caused by the stress in the SiO2 layer, increases with oxide thickness. X-ray diffraction (XRD) was used to measure the strain in Si for oxides layers ranging from native to 5124Å. The data showed a monotonically increasing normal compressive strain, εN (up to 0.47%) with oxide thickness, however, the corresponding change in n due to strain was not well defined. The effect of strain on the direct optical gap, Ed, at 3.46 eV when determined from results of other investigators by electroreflectance, suggests an average shift in Ed of about 25 meV.
A reliable evaluation of crop nutritional status is crucial for supporting fertilization aiming at maximizing qualitative and quantitative aspects of production and reducing the environmental impact of cropping systems. Most of the available simulation models evaluate crop nutritional status according to the nitrogen (N) dilution law, which derives critical N concentration as a function of above-ground biomass. An alternative approach, developed during a project carried out with students of the Cropping Systems Masters course at the University of Milan, was tested and compared with existing models (N dilution law and approaches implemented in EPIC and DAISY models). The new model (MAZINGA) reproduces the effect of leaf self-shading in lowering plant N concentration (PNC) through an inverse of the fraction of radiation intercepted by the canopy. The models were tested using data collected in four rice (Oryza sativa L.) experiments carried out in Northern Italy under potential and N-limited conditions. MAZINGA was the most accurate in identifying the critical N concentration, and therefore in discriminating PNC of plants growing under N-limited and non-limited conditions, respectively. In addition, the present work proved the effectiveness of crop models when used as tools for supporting education.
Cognitive impairment, particularly in memory and executive function, is a core feature of psychosis. Moreover, psychosis is characterized by a more prominent history of stress exposure, and by dysregulation of the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis. In turn, stress exposure and abnormal levels of the main HPA axis hormone cortisol are associated with cognitive impairments in a variety of clinical and experimental samples; however, this association has never been examined in first-episode psychosis (FEP).
In this study, 30 FEP patients and 26 controls completed assessment of the HPA axis (cortisol awakening response and cortisol levels during the day), perceived stress, recent life events, history of childhood trauma, and cognitive function. The neuropsychological battery comprised general cognitive function, verbal and non-verbal memory, executive function, perception, visuospatial abilities, processing speed, and general knowledge.
Patients performed significantly worse on all cognitive domains compared to controls. In patients only, a more blunted cortisol awakening response (that is, more abnormal) was associated with a more severe deficit in verbal memory and processing speed. In controls only, higher levels of perceived stress and more recent life events were associated with a worse performance in executive function and perception and visuospatial abilities.
These data support a role for the HPA axis, as measured by cortisol awakening response, in modulating cognitive function in patients with psychosis; however, this association does not seem to be related to the increased exposure to psychosocial stressors described in these patients.
To measure the interobserver agreement, sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value of data submitted to a statewide surveillance system for identifying central line-associated bloodstream infection (BSI).
Retrospective review of hospital medical records comparing reported data with gold standard according to definitions of central line–associated BSI.
Six Victorian public hospitals with more than 100 beds.
Reporting of surveillance outcomes was undertaken by infection control practitioners at the hospital sites. Retrospective evaluation of the surveillance process was carried out by independent infection control practitioners from the Victorian Hospital Acquired Infection Surveillance System (VICNISS). A sample of records of patients reported to have a central line-associated BSI were assessed to determine whether they met the definition of central line–associated BSI. A sample of records of patients with bacteremia in the intensive care unit during the assessment period who were not reported as having central line–associated BSI were also assessed to see whether they met the definition of central line-associated BSI.
Records of 108 patients were reviewed; the agreement between surveillance reports and the VICNISS assessment was 67.6% (κ = 0.31). Of the 46 reported central line–associated BSIs, 27 were confirmed to be central line–associated BSIs, for a positive predictive value of 59% (95% confidence interval [CI], 43%–73%). Of the 62 cases of bacteremia reviewed that were not reported as central line–associated BSIs, 45 were not associated with a central line, for a negative predictive value of 73% (95% CI, 60%–83%). Estimated sensitivity was 35%, and specificity was 87%. The positive likelihood ratio was 3.0, and the negative likelihood ratio was 0.72.
The agreement between the reporting of central line–associated BSI and the gold standard application of definitions was unacceptably low. False-negative results were problematic; more than half of central line–associated BSIs may be missed in Victorian public hospitals.
The advent of public reporting of hospital-acquired infection rates has sparked ongoing discussion about the most appropriate surveillance data to present. When we used different numerators to calculate rates of surgical site infection following coronary artery bypass graft surgery, we found that some hospitals' rates and their rankings were notably affected.
To analyze the risk factors for surgical site infection (SSI) complicating coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery and to create an alternative SSI risk score based on the results of multivariate analysis.
A prospective cohort study involving inpatient and laboratory-based surveillance of patients who underwent CABG surgery over a 27-month period from January 1, 2003 through March 31, 2005. Data were obtained from 6 acute care hospitals in Victoria, Australia, that contributed surveillance data for SSI complicating CABG surgery to the Victorian Hospital Acquired Infection Surveillance System Coordinating Centre and the Australasian Society of Cardiac and Thoracic Surgeons, also in Victoria.
A total of 4,633 (93%) of the 4,987 patients who underwent CABG surgery during this period were matched in the 2 systems databases. There were 286 SSIs and 62 deep or organ space sternal SSIs (deep or organ space sternal SSI rate, 1.33%). Univariate analysis revealed that diabetes mellitus, body mass index (BMI) greater than 35, and receipt of blood transfusion were risk factors for all types of SSI complicating CABG surgery. Six multivariate analysis models were created to examine either preoperative factors alone or preoperative factors combined with operative factors. All models revealed diabetes and BMI of 30 or greater as risk factors for SSI complicating CABG surgery. A new preoperative scoring system was devised to predict sternal SSI, which assigned 1 point for diabetes, 1 point for BMI of 30 or greater but less than 35, and 2 points for BMI of 35 or greater. Each point in the scoring system represented approximately a doubling of risk of SSI. The new scoring system performed better than the National Nosocomial Infections Surveillance System (NNIS) risk index at predicting SSI.
A new weighted scoring system based on preoperative risk factors was created to predict sternal SSI risk following CABG surgery. The new scoring system outperformed the NNIS risk index. Future studies are needed to validate this scoring system.
To measure the accuracy and determine the positive predictive value (PPV) and negative predictive value (NPV) of data submitted to a statewide surveillance system for identifying surgical site infection (SSI) complicating coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery.
Retrospective review of hospital medical records comparing SSI data with surveillance data submitted by infection control consultants (ICCs).
Victorian Hospital Acquired Infection Surveillance System (VICNISS) Coordinating Centre in Victoria, Australia.
All patients reported to have an SSI following CABG surgery and a random sample of approximately 10% of patients reported not to have an SSI following CABG surgery.
The VICNISS ascertainment rate for CABG procedures in Victoria was 95%. One hundred sixty-nine medical records were reviewed, and reviewers agreed with ICCs about 46 (96%) of the patients reported as infected by the ICCs and 31 (91%) of the patients identified with a sternal SSI by the ICCs. In one-third of SSIs, the depth of SSI documented by ICCs was discordant with that documented by the reviewers. Disagreement about patients with donor site SSI was frequent. When the review findings were used as the reference standard, the PPV for ICC-reported SSI was 96% (95% confidence interval [CI], 86%-99%), and the NPV was 97% (95% CI, 92%-99%). For ICC-reported sternal SSI, the PPV was 91% (95% CI, 76%-98%) and the NPV was 98% (95% CI, 94%-100%).
There was broad agreement on the number of infected patients and the number of patients with sternal SSI. However, discordance was frequent with respect to the depth of sternal SSI and the identification of donor site SSI. We recommend modifications to the methodology for National Noscomial Infection Surveillance System-based surveillance for SSI following CABG surgery.