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Healthcare personnel (HCP) were recruited to provide serum samples, which were tested for antibodies against Ebola or Lassa virus to evaluate for asymptomatic seroconversion.
From 2014 to 2016, 4 patients with Ebola virus disease (EVD) and 1 patient with Lassa fever (LF) were treated in the Serious Communicable Diseases Unit (SCDU) at Emory University Hospital. Strict infection control and clinical biosafety practices were implemented to prevent nosocomial transmission of EVD or LF to HCP.
All personnel who entered the SCDU who were required to measure their temperatures and complete a symptom questionnaire twice daily were eligible.
No employee developed symptomatic EVD or LF. EVD and LF antibody studies were performed on sera samples from 42 HCP. The 6 participants who had received investigational vaccination with a chimpanzee adenovirus type 3 vectored Ebola glycoprotein vaccine had high antibody titers to Ebola glycoprotein, but none had a response to Ebola nucleoprotein or VP40, or a response to LF antigens.
Patients infected with filoviruses and arenaviruses can be managed successfully without causing occupation-related symptomatic or asymptomatic infections. Meticulous attention to infection control and clinical biosafety practices by highly motivated, trained staff is critical to the safe care of patients with an infection from a special pathogen.
Nearly half of care home residents with advanced dementia have clinically significant agitation. Little is known about costs associated with these symptoms toward the end of life. We calculated monetary costs associated with agitation from UK National Health Service, personal social services, and societal perspectives.
Prospective cohort study.
Thirteen nursing homes in London and the southeast of England.
Seventy-nine people with advanced dementia (Functional Assessment Staging Tool grade 6e and above) residing in nursing homes, and thirty-five of their informal carers.
Data collected at study entry and monthly for up to 9 months, extrapolated for expression per annum. Agitation was assessed using the Cohen-Mansfield Agitation Inventory (CMAI). Health and social care costs of residing in care homes, and costs of contacts with health and social care services were calculated from national unit costs; for a societal perspective, costs of providing informal care were estimated using the resource utilization in dementia (RUD)-Lite scale.
After adjustment, health and social care costs, and costs of providing informal care varied significantly by level of agitation as death approached, from £23,000 over a 1-year period with no agitation symptoms (CMAI agitation score 0–10) to £45,000 at the most severe level (CMAI agitation score >100). On average, agitation accounted for 30% of health and social care costs. Informal care costs were substantial, constituting 29% of total costs.
With the increasing prevalence of dementia, costs of care will impact on healthcare and social services systems, as well as informal carers. Agitation is a key driver of these costs in people with advanced dementia presenting complex challenges for symptom management, service planners, and providers.
The rocky shores of the north-east Atlantic have been long studied. Our focus is from Gibraltar to Norway plus the Azores and Iceland. Phylogeographic processes shape biogeographic patterns of biodiversity. Long-term and broadscale studies have shown the responses of biota to past climate fluctuations and more recent anthropogenic climate change. Inter- and intra-specific species interactions along sharp local environmental gradients shape distributions and community structure and hence ecosystem functioning. Shifts in domination by fucoids in shelter to barnacles/mussels in exposure are mediated by grazing by patellid limpets. Further south fucoids become increasingly rare, with species disappearing or restricted to estuarine refuges, caused by greater desiccation and grazing pressure. Mesoscale processes influence bottom-up nutrient forcing and larval supply, hence affecting species abundance and distribution, and can be proximate factors setting range edges (e.g., the English Channel, the Iberian Peninsula). Impacts of invasive non-native species are reviewed. Knowledge gaps such as the work on rockpools and host–parasite dynamics are also outlined.
Antenna-pattern measurements obtained from a double-metal supra-terahertz-frequency (supra-THz) quantum cascade laser (QCL) are presented. The QCL is mounted within a mechanically micro-machined waveguide cavity containing dual diagonal feedhorns. Operating in continuous-wave mode at 3.5 THz, and at an ambient temperature of ~60 K, QCL emission has been directed via the feedhorns to a supra-THz detector mounted on a multi-axis linear scanner. Comparison of simulated and measured far-field antenna patterns shows an excellent degree of correlation between beamwidth (full-width-half-maximum) and sidelobe content and a very substantial improvement when compared with unmounted devices. Additionally, a single output has been used to successfully illuminate and demonstrate an optical breadboard arrangement associated with a future supra-THz Earth observation space-borne payload. Our novel device has therefore provided a valuable demonstration of the effectiveness of supra-THz diagonal feedhorns and QCL devices for future space-borne ultra-high-frequency Earth-observing heterodyne radiometers.
Introduction: Emergency department (ED) return visits are used for quality monitoring. Health information technology (HIT) has historically supported return visit programs in the same hospital or hospital system. The Emergency Department Return Visit Quality Program (EDRVQP) is a novel population level continuous quality improvement (QI) program connecting EDs across Ontario that leverages HIT. We sought to describe the EDRVQP HIT architecture, experience of participants, enabling program factors and barriers. Methods: The Informatics Stack conceptual framework was used to describe the HIT architecture. A literature review of peer-reviewed background literature, and stakeholder organization reports was conducted. Purposive sampling identified key informants. Semi-structured interviews were conducted until saturation. Common themes were identified by inductive qualitative thematic analysis. Results: Twenty-three participants from 15 organizations were interviewed. The EDRVQP architecture description is presented across the Informatics Stack. The levels from most comprehensive to most basic are world, organization, perspectives/roles, goals/functions, workflow/behaviour/adoption, information systems, modules, data/information/knowledge/algorithms, and technology. Enabling factors were a high rate of EHR adoption, provincial legislative mandate for data collection and program membership, use of functional and data standards, local variability, phased deployment, and QI and patient safety culture. Two main barriers were increased case turnaround time and privacy legislation. Conclusion: The Informatics Stack framework provides a robust approach to thoroughly describe the HIT architecture of this population health programs. The EDRVQP is a population health program that illustrates the pragmatic use of continuous QI methodology across a population (provincial) level.
The majority of paediatric Clostridioides difficile infections (CDI) are community-associated (CA), but few data exist regarding associated risk factors. We conducted a case–control study to evaluate CA-CDI risk factors in young children. Participants were enrolled from eight US sites during October 2014–February 2016. Case-patients were defined as children aged 1–5 years with a positive C. difficile specimen collected as an outpatient or ⩽3 days of hospital admission, who had no healthcare facility admission in the prior 12 weeks and no history of CDI. Each case-patient was matched to one control. Caregivers were interviewed regarding relevant exposures. Multivariable conditional logistic regression was performed. Of 68 pairs, 44.1% were female. More case-patients than controls had a comorbidity (33.3% vs. 12.1%; P = 0.01); recent higher-risk outpatient exposures (34.9% vs. 17.7%; P = 0.03); recent antibiotic use (54.4% vs. 19.4%; P < 0.0001); or recent exposure to a household member with diarrhoea (41.3% vs. 21.5%; P = 0.04). In multivariable analysis, antibiotic exposure in the preceding 12 weeks was significantly associated with CA-CDI (adjusted matched odds ratio, 6.25; 95% CI 2.18–17.96). Improved antibiotic prescribing might reduce CA-CDI in this population. Further evaluation of the potential role of outpatient healthcare and household exposures in C. difficile transmission is needed.
Most studies underline the contribution of heritable factors for psychiatric disorders. However, heritability estimates depend on the population under study, diagnostic instruments, and study designs that each has its inherent assumptions, strengths, and biases. We aim to test the homogeneity in heritability estimates between two powerful, and state of the art study designs for eight psychiatric disorders.
We assessed heritability based on data of Swedish siblings (N = 4 408 646 full and maternal half-siblings), and based on summary data of eight samples with measured genotypes (N = 125 533 cases and 208 215 controls). All data were based on standard diagnostic criteria. Eight psychiatric disorders were studied: (1) alcohol dependence (AD), (2) anorexia nervosa, (3) attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), (4) autism spectrum disorder, (5) bipolar disorder, (6) major depressive disorder, (7) obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and (8) schizophrenia.
Heritability estimates from sibling data varied from 0.30 for Major Depression to 0.80 for ADHD. The estimates based on the measured genotypes were lower, ranging from 0.10 for AD to 0.28 for OCD, but were significant, and correlated positively (0.19) with national sibling-based estimates. When removing OCD from the data the correlation increased to 0.50.
Given the unique character of each study design, the convergent findings for these eight psychiatric conditions suggest that heritability estimates are robust across different methods. The findings also highlight large differences in genetic and environmental influences between psychiatric disorders, providing future directions for etiological psychiatric research.
The development of laser wakefield accelerators (LWFA) over the past several years has led to an interest in very compact sources of X-ray radiation – such as “table-top” free electron lasers. However, the use of conventional undulators using permanent magnets also implies system sizes which are large. In this work, we assess the possibilities for the use of novel mini-undulators in conjunction with a LWFA so that the dimensions of the undulator become comparable with the acceleration distances for LWFA experiments (i.e., centimeters). The use of a prototype undulator using laser machining of permanent magnets for this application is described and the emission characteristics and limitations of such a system are determined. Preliminary electron propagation and X-ray emission measurements are taken with a LWFA electron beam at the University of Michigan.
Red Supergiant Stars (RSGs) are important probes of stellar and chemical evolution in star-forming environments. They represent the brightest near-IR stellar components of external galaxies and probe the most recent stellar population to provide robust, independent abundance estimates. The Local Group dwarf irregular galaxy, NGC6822, is a reasonably isolated galaxy with an interesting structure and turbulent history. Using RSGs as chemical abundance probes, we estimate metallicities in the central region of NGC6822, finding a suggestion of a metallicity gradient (in broad agreement with nebular tracers), however, this requires further study for confirmation. With intermediate resolution Multi-object spectroscopy (from e.g. KMOS, EMIR, MOSFIRE) combined with state-of-the-art stellar model atmospheres, we demonstrate how RSGs can be used to estimate stellar abundances in external galaxies. In this context, we compare stellar and nebular abundance tracers in NGC 6822 and by combining stellar and nebular tracers we estimate an abundance gradient of −0.18 ± 0.05 dex/kpc.
We distributed a 16-question survey concerning noxious weed abundance, impacts, and management to livestock producers grazing on privately owned or leased grazing lands in Montana. The noxious weeds most commonly reported as being present on respondents’ grazing units were Canada thistle [Cirsium arvense (L.) Scop.] (64% of grazing units) and leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula L.) (45% of grazing units), and these species also reportedly caused the greatest reductions in livestock forage. Houndstongue (Cynoglossum officinale L.) was more prevalent than either spotted knapweed (Centaurea stoebe L.) or diffuse knapweed (Centaurea diffusa Lam.) (39% vs. 32% and 10%, respectively, of grazing units), but collectively C. stoebe and C. diffusa were reported to cause greater forage reductions than C. officinale. The top three strategies used to manage noxious weeds were chemical control, grazing, and biological control. Combining survey responses with forage-loss models derived from field data for C. stoebe and E. esula, we estimated the combined cost of noxious weed management and forage losses on privately owned rangeland to be $3.54 ha−1 yr−1, or $7,243 annually for an average size grazing unit (i.e., 2,046 ha [5,055 ac]). Our estimates of economic losses are lower than many estimates from previous studies, possibly because we focused only on direct costs related to private grazing land, while other studies often consider indirect impacts. Nonetheless, our estimates are substantial; for example, our estimated loss equates to 24% of the average per-hectare lease rate for Montana grazing land.
Introduction: When ventricular fibrillation (VF) cannot be terminated with conventional external defibrillation, it is classified as refractory VF (RVF). There is a paucity of information regarding prehospital or patient factors that may be associated with RVF. The objectives of this study were to determine factors that may be associated with RVF, the initial ED rhythm for patients with prehospital RVF, and the incidence of survival in patients who had RVF and were transported to hospital. Methods: Ambulance Call Records (ACRs) of patients with out of hospital cardiac arrest between Mar. 1 2012 and Apr. 1 2016 were reviewed. Cases of RVF (≥5 consecutive shocks delivered) were determined by manual review of the ACR. ED and hospital records were analyzed to determine outcomes of patients who were in RVF and transported to hospital. Descriptive statistics were calculated and all variables were tested for an association with initial ED rhythm, survival to admission, and survival to discharge. Results: Eighty-five cases of RVF were identified. A history of coronary artery disease (47.10%) and hypertension (50.60%) were the most common comorbidities in patients transported to the ED with RVF. Upon arrival to the ED, 24 (28.2%) remained in RVF, 38 (44.7%) had a non-shockable rhythm, and 23 (27.1%) had return of spontaneous circulation. Thirty-four (40%) survived to admission, while only 18 (21.2%) survived to discharge. Pre-existing comorbidities, time to first shock, time on scene, and transport time were not statistically associated with initial ED rhythm, survival to admission or discharge. Patient age was statistically associated with improved rhythm on ED arrival (p=0.013) and survival to discharge (58.24 yrs vs 67.40 yrs, Δ9.17, 95% CI 1.82 to 16.52, p=0.015). Conclusion: The majority of patients with prehospital RVF have a rhythm deterioration by the time care is transferred to the ED. Of these patients with a rhythm deterioration, few survive to hospital discharge. Younger patients are more likely to remain in RVF and survive to discharge. Further research is required to determine prehospital treatment strategies for RVF, as well as patient populations that may benefit from those treatments.
Introduction: Analyzing the charts of patients who have a return visit to an emergency department (ED) requiring hospital admission (termed ‘RV’) is an efficient way to identify adverse events (AEs). Investigating these AEs can inform efforts to improve the quality of care provided. The ED RV Quality Program (RVQP) is a new initiative supported by Ontario’s Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and managed by Health Quality Ontario. It aims to promote a culture of continuous quality improvement through routine audit/investigation of RVs. Methods: The provincial program is mandatory for high-volume EDs and requires auditing of some 72-hour RVs and all 7-day RVs involving ‘sentinel diagnoses’ (subarachnoid hemorrhage [SAH], acute myocardial infarction [AMI], or pediatric sepsis [PS]). A standardized audit template is followed that includes assessment of the type/severity and underlying causes of AEs, and potential actions for improvement. Results: 73 high-volume EDs and 16 smaller EDs (collectively receiving 90% of all ED visits in Ontario) are participating in the program. Nine months’ data have been released to date, comprising 33,956 RVs (1.05% of 3,235,751 ED visits). Of these, 233 RVs (0.69%) were for a sentinel diagnosis (SAH=11, AMI=191, PS=31). The most common presenting complaint on the index visit was abdominal pain (18%). The most common discharge diagnosis following RV admission was acute appendicitis (3.8%). Conclusion: The ED RVQP aims to improve the quality of care provided in Ontario’s EDs by requiring hospitals to conduct audits of RVs and plan actions for improvement when quality gaps are identified. Participating hospitals have completed hundreds of audits to date.
Bamboo shoots and leaves are valuable food sources for both humans and livestock. The USDA-ARS NPGS (National Plant Germplasm System) collections hold 93 bamboo species in 20 genera. Total leaf protein, amino acid composition and elemental content for these important genetic resources had never been quantified. Lack of nutrition information hinders germplasm utilization. The above-mentioned nutritional traits were evaluated from these 93 species in this study. Leaf protein content among bamboo species ranged from 8.12 to 16.33% with an average of 12.84%. This average was higher than 9.0% observed for switchgrass leaves, but considerably lower than 32.48% in cassava leaves. For 18 quantified amino acids, there was more than a twofold variation among the samples evaluated. For 12 quantified mineral elements, there was significant variability from the low end (4.2-fold, 2.27–9.52 mg/g calcium; 4.4-fold, 56.17–246.43 µg/g sodium) to the high end (61.5-fold, 17.67–1087.0 µg/g manganese; 40.8-fold, 42.0–1713.5 µg/g aluminium). Due to their variability in leaf nutritive value, bamboo species should be carefully chosen when they are used as a feedstock. The results from this study will be useful for the bamboo industry, producers and consumers.
We conducted a prospective cohort study between 1 January 2010 and 31 December 2012 at five adult and paediatric academic medical centres to identify factors associated with persistent methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) colonisation. Adults and children presenting to ambulatory settings with a MRSA skin and soft tissue infection (i.e. index cases), along with household members, performed self-sampling for MRSA colonisation every 2 weeks for 6 months. Clearance of colonisation was defined as two consecutive negative sampling periods. Subjects without clearance by the end of the study were considered persistently colonised and compared with those who cleared colonisation. Of 243 index cases, 48 (19·8%) had persistent colonisation and 110 (45·3%) cleared colonisation without recurrence. Persistent colonisation was associated with white race (odds ratio (OR), 4·90; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1·38–17·40), prior MRSA infection (OR 3·59; 95% CI 1·05–12·35), colonisation of multiple sites (OR 32·7; 95% CI 6·7–159·3). Conversely, subjects with persistent colonisation were less likely to have been treated with clindamycin (OR 0·28; 95% CI 0·08–0·99). Colonisation at multiple sites is a risk factor for persistent colonisation and may require more targeted decolonisation efforts. The specific effect of clindamycin on MRSA colonisation needs to be elucidated.
To evaluate if n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) and lipid levels are associated with episodes of self-harm or depression over a 10-year period.
We included 40 individuals who self-harmed and 40 controls. Episodes of self-harm and depression were ascertained and levels of depression, impulsivity, suicidal ideation and plasma lipid levels measured at baseline and at 10-year follow-up.
Further episode(s) of self-harm occurred in 26% of cases. Omega-3 PUFAs or lipids were not predictive of depressive or self-harm episodes. Baseline eicosapentaenoic acid levels were modestly correlated with suicidal ideation at follow-up and dihomo-γ-linolenic acid and arachidonic acid were modestly correlated with motor impulsivity at follow-up in cases.
Despite significant negative correlations at baseline between plasma lipids, n-3 PUFAs and psychopathology, these levels were not predictive of clinical outcome over a 10-year period. Further research however is required due to the relatively low sample size and the risk of selection bias due to loss to follow-up in this study.
Medulloblastoma (MB) is the most common malignant pediatric brain tumour, and is categorized into four molecular subgroups, with Group 3 MB having the worst prognosis due to the highest rate of metastatic dissemination and relapse. In this work, we describe the epigenetic regulator Bmi1 as a novel therapeutic target for treatment of recurrent Group 3 MB. Through comparative profiling of primary and recurrent MB, we show that Bmi1 defines a treatment-refractory cell population that is uniquely targetable by a novel class of small molecule inhibitors. We have optimized an in vivo mouse-adapted therapy model that has the advantage of generating recurrent, human, treatment-refractory MBs. Our preliminary studies showed that although chemoradiotherapy administered to mice engrafted with human MB showed reduction in tumour size, Bmi1 expression was enriched in the post-treatment residual tumour. Furthermore, we found that knockdown of Bmi1 in human recurrent MB cells decreases proliferation and self-renewing capacities of MB cells in vitro as well as both tumour size and extent of spinal leptomeningeal metastases in vivo. Oral administration of a potent Bmi1 inhibitor, PTC 028, resulted in a marked reduction in tumour burden and an increased survival in treatment cohort. Bmi1 inhibitors showed high specificity for MB cells and spared normal human neural stem cells, when treated with doses relevant for MB cells. As Group 3 medulloblastoma is often metastatic and uniformly fatal at recurrence, with no current or planned trials of targeted therapy, an efficacious agent such as Bmi1 inhibitor could be rapidly transitioned to clinical trials.
Approximately half of the variation in wellbeing measures overlaps with variation in personality traits. Studies of non-human primate pedigrees and human twins suggest that this is due to common genetic influences. We tested whether personality polygenic scores for the NEO Five-Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI) domains and for item response theory (IRT) derived extraversion and neuroticism scores predict variance in wellbeing measures. Polygenic scores were based on published genome-wide association (GWA) results in over 17,000 individuals for the NEO-FFI and in over 63,000 for the IRT extraversion and neuroticism traits. The NEO-FFI polygenic scores were used to predict life satisfaction in 7 cohorts, positive affect in 12 cohorts, and general wellbeing in 1 cohort (maximal N = 46,508). Meta-analysis of these results showed no significant association between NEO-FFI personality polygenic scores and the wellbeing measures. IRT extraversion and neuroticism polygenic scores were used to predict life satisfaction and positive affect in almost 37,000 individuals from UK Biobank. Significant positive associations (effect sizes <0.05%) were observed between the extraversion polygenic score and wellbeing measures, and a negative association was observed between the polygenic neuroticism score and life satisfaction. Furthermore, using GWA data, genetic correlations of -0.49 and -0.55 were estimated between neuroticism with life satisfaction and positive affect, respectively. The moderate genetic correlation between neuroticism and wellbeing is in line with twin research showing that genetic influences on wellbeing are also shared with other independent personality domains.
The mechanism of trailing vortex wandering has long been debated and is often attributed to either wind-tunnel effects or an instability. Using particle image velocimetry data obtained in the wake of a NACA0012 airfoil, we remove the effect of wandering from the measured velocity field and, through a triple decomposition, recover the coherent wandering motion. Based on this wandering motion, the most energetic structures are computed using the proper orthogonal decomposition (POD) and exhibit a helical mode with an azimuthal wavenumber of
whose kinetic energy grows monotonically in the downstream direction. To investigate the nature of the vortex wandering, we perform a spatial stability analysis of a matched Batchelor vortex. The primary stability mode is found to be marginally stable and nearly identical in both size and structure to the leading POD mode. The strikingly similar structure, coupled with the measured energy growth, supports the proposition that the vortex wandering is the result of an instability. We conclude that the cause of the wandering is the non-zero radial velocity of the
mode on the vortex centreline, which acts to transversely displace the trailing vortex, as observed in experiments. However, the marginal nature of the stability mode prevents a definitive conclusion regarding the specific type of instability.