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Immunocompromised patients are at risk for infections due to above-ceiling activities in hospitals. Mobile dust-containment carts are available as environmental controls, but no published data support their efficacy. Using microbial air sampling and particle counts, we provide evidence of reduced risk of fungal exposure during open ceiling activities.
This study determined farm management factors associated with long-duration bovine tuberculosis (bTB) breakdowns disclosed in the period 23 May 2016 to 21 May 2018; a study area not previously subject to investigation in Northern Ireland. A farm-level epidemiological investigation (n = 2935) was completed when one or more Single Intradermal Comparative Cervical Test (SICCT) reactors or when one or more confirmed (positive histological and/or bacteriological result) lesion at routine slaughter were disclosed. A case-control study design was used to construct an explanatory set of management factors associated with long-duration bTB herd breakdowns; with a case (n = 191) defined as an investigation into a breakdown of 365 days or longer. Purchase of infected animal(s) had the strongest association as the most likely source of infection for long-duration bTB herd breakdowns followed by badgers and then cattle-to-cattle contiguous herd spread. However, 73.5% (95% CI 61.1–85.9%) of the herd type contributing to the purchase of infection source were defined as beef fattening herds. This result demonstrates two subpopulations of prolonged bTB breakdowns, the first being beef fattening herds with main source continuous purchase of infected animals and a second group of primary production herds (dairy, beef cows and mixed) with risk from multiple sources.
The Spoon-billed Sandpiper Calidris pygmaea is a ‘Critically Endangered’ migratory shorebird. The species faces an array of threats in its non-breeding range, making conservation intervention essential. However, conservation efforts are reliant on identifying the species’ key stopover and wintering sites. Using Maximum Entropy models, we predicted Spoon-billed Sandpiper distribution across the non-breeding range, using data from recent field surveys and satellite tracking. Model outputs suggest only a limited number of stopover sites are suitable for migrating birds, with sites in the Yellow Sea and on the Jiangsu coast in China highlighted as particularly important. All the previously known core wintering sites were identified by the model including the Ganges-Brahmaputra Delta, Nan Thar Island and the Gulf of Mottama. In addition, the model highlighted sites subsequently found to be occupied, and pinpointed potential new sites meriting investigation, notably on Borneo and Sulawesi, and in parts of India and the Philippines. A comparison between the areas identified as most likely to be occupied and protected areas showed that very few locations are covered by conservation designations. Known sites must be managed for conservation as a priority, and potential new sites should be surveyed as soon as is feasible to assess occupancy status. Site protection should take place in concert with conservation interventions including habitat management, discouraging hunting, and fostering alternative livelihoods.
To aid emergency response, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) researchers monitor unplanned school closures (USCs) by conducting online systematic searches (OSS) to identify relevant publicly available reports. We examined the added utility of analyzing Twitter data to improve USC monitoring.
Georgia public school data were obtained from the National Center for Education Statistics. We identified school and district Twitter accounts with 1 or more tweets ever posted (“active”), and their USC-related tweets in the 2015-16 and 2016-17 school years. CDC researchers provided OSS-identified USC reports. Descriptive statistics, univariate, and multivariable logistic regression were computed.
A majority (1,864/2,299) of Georgia public schools had, or were in a district with, active Twitter accounts in 2017. Among these schools, 638 were identified with USCs in 2015-16 (Twitter only, 222; OSS only, 2015; both, 201) and 981 in 2016-17 (Twitter only, 178; OSS only, 107; both, 696). The marginal benefit of adding Twitter as a data source was an increase in the number of schools identified with USCs by 53% (222/416) in 2015-16 and 22% (178/803) in 2016-17.
Policy-makers may wish to consider the potential value of incorporating Twitter into existing USC monitoring systems.
Homeless and precariously housed individuals experience a high burden of comorbid illnesses, and excess mortality. Cross-sectional studies report a high rate of cognitive impairment. Long-term trajectories have not been well investigated in this group.
To longitudinally assess risks for premature and/or accelerated cognitive ageing, and the relationship with early mortality in homeless and precariously housed people.
This is a 9-year community-based study of 375 homeless and precariously housed individuals from Vancouver, Canada. Annual cognitive testing assessed verbal learning and memory, and inhibitory control. Linear mixed-effects models examined associations between clinical risk factors (traumatic brain injury, psychotic disorders, viral exposure, alcohol dependence) and cognitive change over 9 years. Cox regression models examined the association between cognition and mortality.
Traumatic brain injury and alcohol dependence were associated with decline in verbal memory. Inhibitory control declined, independent of risk factors and to a greater extent in those who died during the study. Better inhibitory control was associated with a 6.6% lower risk of mortality at study entry, with a 0.3% greater effect for each year of life. For each one-point increase in the Charlson Comorbidity Index score at study entry, the risk of mortality was 9.9% higher, and was consistent across age. Adjusting for comorbidities, inhibitory control remained a significant predictor of mortality.
Findings raise the possibility of a premature onset, and accelerated trajectory, of cognitive ageing in this group of homeless and precariously housed people. Traumatic brain injury, alcohol dependence and cognition could be treatment priorities.
Healthy diet has been linked to better age-related functioning, but evidence on the relationship of diet quality in late midlife and measures of physical capability in later life is limited. Research on potential sex differences in this relationship is scarce. The aim was to investigate the prospective association between overall diet quality, as assessed by the Healthy Eating Index-2015 (HEI-2015) at 60–64 years and measures of walking speed 7 years later, among men and women from the Insight 46, a neuroscience sub-study of the Medical Research Council National Survey of Health and Development. Diet was assessed at 60–64 years using 5-d food diaries, from which total HEI-2015 was calculated. At 69–71 years, walking speed was estimated during four 10-m walks at self-selected pace, using inertial measurement units. Multivariable linear regression models with sex as a modifier, controlling for age, follow-up, lifestyle, health/social variables and physical performance, were used. The final sample consists of 164 women and 167 men (n 331). Women had higher HEI-2015 and slower walking speed than men. A 10-point increase in HEI-2015 was associated with faster walking speed among women (B 0·024, 95 % CI 0·006, 0·043), but not men. The association remained significant in the multivariable model (B 0·021, 95 % CI 0·003, 0·040). In women, higher diet quality in late midlife is associated with faster walking speed. A healthy diet in late midlife is likely to contribute towards better age-related physical capability, and sex differences are likely to affect this relationship.
Stone was a critical resource for prehistoric hunter-gatherers. Archaeologists, therefore, have long argued that these groups would actively have sought out stone of ‘high quality’. Although the defining of quality can be a complicated endeavour, researchers in recent years have suggested that stone with fewer impurities would be preferred for tool production, as it can be worked and used in a more controllable way. The present study shows that prehistoric hunter-gatherers at the Holocene site of Welling, in Ohio, USA, continuously selected the ‘purest’ stone for over 9000 years.
Diet, obesity and adipokines play important roles in diabetes and CVD; yet, limited studies have assessed the relationship between diet and multiple adipokines. This cross-sectional study assessed associations between diet, adiposity and adipokines in Mexican Americans. The cohort included 1128 participants (age 34·7±8·2 years, BMI 29·5±5·9 kg/m2, 73·2 % female). Dietary intake was assessed by 12-month food frequency questionnaire. Adiposity was measured by BMI, total percentage body fat and percentage trunk fat using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Adiponectin, apelin, C-reactive protein (CRP), dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-IV), IL-1β, IL-1ra, IL-6, IL-18, leptin, lipocalin, monocyte chemo-attractant protein-1 (MCP-1), resistin, secreted frizzled protein 4 (SFRP-4), SFRP-5, TNF-α and visfatin were assayed with multiplex kits or ELISA. Joint multivariate associations between diet, adiposity and adipokines were analysed using canonical correlations adjusted for age, sex, energy intake and kinship. The median (interquartile range) energy intake was 9514 (7314, 11912) kJ/d. Overall, 55 % of total intake was accounted for by carbohydrates (24 % from sugar). A total of 66 % of the shared variation between diet and adiposity, and 34 % of diet and adipokines were explained by the top canonical correlation. The diet component was most represented by sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB), fruit and vegetables. Participants consuming a diet high in SSB and low in fruits and vegetables had higher adiposity, CRP, leptin, and MCP-1, but lower SFRP-5 than participants with high fruit and vegetable and low SSB intake. In Mexican Americans, diets high in SSB but low in fruits and vegetables contribute to adiposity and a pro-inflammatory adipokine profile.
The spoon-billed sandpiper Calidris pygmaea, a migratory Arctic-breeding shorebird, is one of the rarest birds and its population has declined since the 1970s. We surveyed its most important known wintering area in the Upper Gulf of Mottama in Myanmar to estimate recent (2009–2016) changes in its numbers there. The total number of small shorebirds present in the Upper Gulf was counted and the proportion of them that were spoon-billed sandpipers was estimated from sample scans. These two quantities were multiplied together to give the estimated number of spoon-billed sandpipers in each of 4 years. Total numbers of combined small shorebird species tripled from 21,000 to 63,000 between 2009 and 2016, coincident with efforts to reduce hunting pressure on waterbirds. However, the proportion of small shorebirds that were spoon-billed sandpipers declined and their estimated absolute numbers fell by about half, from 244 to 112 individuals. It is probable that loss of intertidal habitat and shorebird hunting elsewhere on the migration route of the spoon-billed sandpipers wintering at Mottama is causing a continued decline, although this is occurring at a less rapid rate than that recorded from Arctic Russia before 2010. The number of spoon-billed sandpipers wintering on the Upper Gulf of Mottama remains the highest single-site total for this species from any known wintering site. Preventing resurgence of illegal shorebird hunting and ensuring long-term protection of the intertidal feeding habitats and roost sites in the Gulf are high priorities if extinction of this species is to be averted.
Individuals with schizophrenia have deficits in social cognition that are associated with poor functional outcome. Unfortunately, current treatments result in only modest improvement in social cognition. Oxytocin, a neuropeptide with pro-social effects, has significant benefits for social cognition in the general population. However, studies examining the efficacy of oxytocin in schizophrenia have yielded inconsistent results. One reason for inconsistency may be that oxytocin has typically not been combined with psychosocial interventions. It may be necessary for individuals with schizophrenia to receive concurrent psychosocial treatment while taking oxytocin to have the context needed to make gains in social cognitive skills.
The current study tested this hypothesis in a 24-week (48 session) double-blind, placebo-controlled trial that combined oxytocin and Cognitive-Behavioral Social Skills Training (CBSST), which included elements from Social Cognition and Interaction Training (SCIT). Participants included 62 outpatients diagnosed with schizophrenia (placebo n = 31; oxytocin n = 31) who received 36 IU BID, with supervised administration 45 min prior to sessions on CBSST group therapy days. Participants completed a battery of measures administered at 0, 12, and 24 weeks that assessed social cognition.
CBSST generally failed to enhance social cognition from baseline to end of study, and there was no additive benefit of oxytocin beyond the effects of CBSST alone.
Findings suggest that combined CBSST and oxytocin had minimal benefit for social cognition, adding to the growing literature indicating null effects of oxytocin in multi-dose trials. Methodological and biological factors may contribute to inconsistent results across studies.