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Clonal Mycobacterium mucogenicum isolates (determined by molecular typing) were recovered from 19 bronchoscopic specimens from 15 patients. None of these patients had evidence of mycobacterial infection. Laboratory culture materials and bronchoscopes were negative for Mycobacteria. This pseudo-outbreak was caused by contaminated ice used to provide bronchoscopic lavage. Control was achieved by transitioning to sterile ice.
Although the science of team science is no longer a new field, the measurement of team science and its standardization remain in relatively early stages of development. To describe the current state of team science assessment, we conducted an integrative review of measures of research collaboration quality and outcomes.
Collaboration measures were identified using both a literature review based on specific keywords and an environmental scan. Raters abstracted details about the measures using a standard tool. Measures related to collaborations with clinical care, education, and program delivery were excluded from this review.
We identified 44 measures of research collaboration quality, which included 35 measures with reliability and some form of statistical validity reported. Most scales focused on group dynamics. We identified 89 measures of research collaboration outcomes; 16 had reliability and 15 had a validity statistic. Outcome measures often only included simple counts of products; publications rarely defined how counts were delimited, obtained, or assessed for reliability. Most measures were tested in only one venue.
Although models of collaboration have been developed, in general, strong, reliable, and valid measurements of such collaborations have not been conducted or accepted into practice. This limitation makes it difficult to compare the characteristics and impacts of research teams across studies or to identify the most important areas for intervention. To advance the science of team science, we provide recommendations regarding the development and psychometric testing of measures of collaboration quality and outcomes that can be replicated and broadly applied across studies.
Background: To determine whether exosomal microRNAs (miRNAs) in CSF of patients with FTD can serve as diagnostic biomarkers, we assessed miRNA expression in the Genetic FTD Initiative (GENFI) cohort and in sporadic FTD. Methods: GENFI participants were either carriers of a pathogenic mutation or at risk of carrying a mutation because a first-degree relative was a symptomatic mutation carrier. Exosomes were isolated from CSF of 23 -pre-symptomatic and 15 symptomatic mutation carriers, and 11 healthy non-mutation carriers. Expression of miRNAs was measured using qPCR arrays. MiRNAs differentially expressed in symptomatic compared to pre-symptomatic mutation carriers were evaluated in 17 patients with sporadic FTD, 13 patients with sporadic Alzheimer’s disease (AD), and 10 healthy controls (HCs). Results: In the GENFI cohort, miR-204-5p and miR-632 were significantly decreased in symptomatic compared to pre-symptomatic mutation carriers. Decrease of miR-204-5p and miR-632 revealed receiver operator characteristics with an area of 0.89 [90% CI: 0.79-0.98] and 0.81 [90% CI: 0.68-0.93], and when combined an area of 0.93 [90% CI: 0.87-0.99]. In sporadic FTD, only miR-632 was significantly decreased compared to sporadic AD and HCs. Decrease of miR-632 revealed an area of 0.89 [90% CI: 0.80-0.98]. Conclusions: Exosomal miR-204-5p and miR-632 have potential as diagnostic biomarkers for genetic FTD and miR-632 also for sporadic FTD.
Background: Longitudinal data on health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and fatigue in paediatric Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) are limited. Recently, fatigue was reported to be the greatest predictor of poor HRQOL in paediatric DMD. Understanding the trajectory of HRQOL and its relationship with fatigue may facilitate the development of improved therapeutic strategies. Our objective was to describe three-year changes in HRQOL and fatigue in children with DMD. Methods: Patients identified via the Canadian Neuromuscular Disease Registry received mailed questionnaires (2013–2016). HRQOL was assessed using the PedsQLTM GCS and NMM domains, and fatigue was assessed using the MFS domain (patient- and parent-report). Mean three-year change in scores were computed. Pearson correlations were computed between three-year change in HRQOL and fatigue. Results: Mean decline in MFS scores for patient- and parent-reports were 1.03 and 1.19, respectively. Mean decline in GCS scores for patient- and parent-report were 1.75 and 4.13, respectively. Mean change in NMM scores for patient- and parent-report were 0.72 and -8.36, respectively. Change in MFS score was associated with changes in GCS (r=0.72, p<0.001) and NMM scores (r=0.84, p<0.001) by patient-report. Conclusions: Children with DMD experience worse fatigue and HRQOL over time. Parents perceive a greater decline in HRQOL over time compared to patients.
Rib bone biopsy samples are often used to estimate changes in skeletal mineral reserves in cattle but differences in sampling procedures and the bone measurements reported often make interpretation and comparisons among experiments difficult. ‘Full-core’ rib bone biopsy samples, which included the external cortical bone, internal cortical bone and trabecular bone (CBext, CBint and Trab, respectively), were obtained from cattle known to be in phosphorus (P) adequate (Padeq) or severely P-deficient (Pdefic) status. Experiments 1 and 2 examined growing steers and Experiment 3 mature breeder cows. The thickness of cortical bone, specific gravity (SG), and the amount and concentration of ash and P per unit fresh bone volume, differed among CBext, CBint and Trab bone. P concentration (mg/cc) was closely correlated with both SG and ash concentrations (pooled data, r=0.99). Thickness of external cortical bone (CBText) was correlated with full-core P concentration (FC-Pconc) (pooled data, r=0.87). However, an index, the amount of P in CBext per unit surface area of CBext (PSACB; mg P/mm2), was more closely correlated with the FC-Pconc (pooled data, FC-Pconc=37.0+146×PSACB; n=42, r=0.94, RSD=7.7). Results for measured or estimated FC-Pconc in 10 published studies with cattle in various physiological states and expected to be Padeq or in various degrees of Pdefic status were collated and the ranges of FC-Pconc indicative of P adequacy and P deficiency for various classes of cattle were evaluated. FC-Pconc was generally in the range 130 to 170 and 100 to 120 mg/cc fresh bone in Padeq mature cows and young growing cattle, respectively. In conclusion, the FC-Pconc could be estimated accurately from biopsy samples of CBext. This allows comparisons between studies where full-core or only CBext biopsy samples of rib bone have been obtained to estimate changes in the skeletal P status of cattle and facilitates evaluation of the P status of cattle.
Skilled nursing home facilities (SNFs) house a vulnerable population frequently exposed to respiratory pathogens. Our study aims to gain a better understanding of the transmission of nursing home-acquired viral respiratory infections in non-epidemic settings. Symptomatic surveillance was performed in three SNFs for residents exhibiting acute respiratory symptoms. Environmental surveillance of five high-touch areas was performed to assess possible transmission. All resident and environmental samples were screened using a commercial multiplex polymerase chain reaction platform. Bayesian methods were used to evaluate environmental contamination. Among nursing home residents with respiratory symptoms, 19% had a detectable viral pathogen (parainfluenza-3, rhinovirus/enterovirus, RSV, or influenza B). Environmental contamination was found in 20% of total room surface swabs of symptomatic residents. Environmental and resident results were all concordant. Target period prevalence among symptomatic residents ranged from 5.5 to 13.3% depending on target. Bayesian analysis quantifies the probability of environmental shedding due to parainfluenza-3 as 92.4% (95% CI: 86.8–95.8%) and due to rhinovirus/enterovirus as 65.6% (95% CI: 57.9–72.5%). Our findings confirm that non-epidemic viral infections are common among SNF residents exhibiting acute respiratory symptoms and that environmental contamination may facilitate further spread with considerable epidemiological implications. Findings further emphasise the importance of environmental infection control for viral respiratory pathogens in long-term care facilities.
The epitheliochorial placenta of the pig does not allow the passage of immunoglobulin to the foetus and thus the young piglet is born without passive immune protection. During the first 36 h of life there is a massive transmission of macromolecules across the intestine, virtually all that are present in the gut may be effectively endocytosed and transmitted into the blood stream. The postnatal transmission of antibody from colostrum during this period provides the young animal with a spectrum of serum antibodies indistinguishable from that of its mother. It is established that even in utero the piglet is capable of mounting some response to antigenic challenge. Despite this, the ability of the young animal to respond may be influenced profoundly by the absorption of macromolecules (antibodies and antigens in colostrum and in sow's milk as well as antigens in the farrowing house) during the first hours after birth. These effects range from passive protection from infectious agents during the neonatal period to determining the precise nature of the immune response to antigens during later periods (e.g. at weaning).
At birth all cellular components of the immune system are represented but during the first few weeks of life dramatic changes occur in the number and distribution of these cells. Our histological studies have shown that shortly after birth the predominant T lymphocytes in the small intestine are T2+, T4− and T8−; whilst in other organs there are large numbers of conventional T4+ and T8+ cells. By 1 week of age there is a dramatic increase in the numbers of T4+ cells, whilst T8+ cells remain low, and only start to increase by week 7. Thus, changes in lymphocyte populations are occurring concurrent with increasing exposure to environmental antigens. The functional capacity of these cells also changes during this period and this process may be particularly affected by early weaning.
During the neonatal period an animal is presented with a vast array of antigenic material for the first time. How and when these antigens are presented may profoundly influence the capacity of the immune system to respond to them.
Fetal growth restriction (FGR) and preterm birth are frequent co-morbidities, both are independent risks for brain injury. However, few studies have examined the mechanisms by which preterm FGR increases the risk of adverse neurological outcomes. We aimed to determine the effects of prematurity and mechanical ventilation (VENT) on the brain of FGR and appropriately grown (AG, control) lambs. We hypothesized that FGR preterm lambs are more vulnerable to ventilation-induced acute brain injury. FGR was surgically induced in fetal sheep (0.7 gestation) by ligation of a single umbilical artery. After 4 weeks, preterm lambs were euthanized at delivery or delivered and ventilated for 2 h before euthanasia. Brains and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) were collected for analysis of molecular and structural indices of early brain injury. FGRVENT lambs had increased oxidative cell damage and brain injury marker S100B levels compared with all other groups. Mechanical ventilation increased inflammatory marker IL-8 within the brain of FGRVENT and AGVENT lambs. Abnormalities in the neurovascular unit and increased blood–brain barrier permeability were observed in FGRVENT lambs, as well as an altered density of vascular tight junctions markers. FGR and AG preterm lambs have different responses to acute injurious mechanical ventilation, changes which appear to have been developmentally programmed in utero.
Introduction: In the rural setting, Point-of-Care Ultrasound (POCUS) can dramatically impact rural acute care. In Saskatchewan, many rural clinicians have undertaken POCUS training, but widespread integration into rural emergency care remains elusive. We aimed to explore of the obstacles limiting adoption and their possible solutions to inform the development of a robust and innovative rural POCUS program in Saskatchewan. Methods: We conducted a mixed methods Participatory Action Research (PAR) study using surveys and focus groups. Our rural co-investigators identified 4 key realms relating to rural POCUS use: equipment, access to training, quality assurance (QA), and research. These guided the design of an online survey sent out to rural clinicians throughout Saskatchewan. Results of the survey informed the development of three approaches (centralized, hub-and-spoke, and decentralized) to training, QA, and research which were discussed at focus group sessions held at Saskatchewan’s Emergency Medicine Annual Conference (Regina, SK. 2016). The focus groups were facilitated by the study investigators. Responses were analyzed using a simple thematic analysis to identify relevant themes and subthemes. Results: 34 rural clinicians responded to the online survey. There was general agreement that POCUS is valuable in rural acute care, training is difficult to access and should be standardized, and that QA and research are desired but impractical in the current environment. 11 rural clinicians attended the focus groups. Analysis of focus groups yielded seven distinct themes/needs: infrastructure needs, peer networks, common standards, both local and regional training opportunities, academic support, access to resources, and culture change. Seventeen sub-themes were identified and noted as having either a positive or negative and direct or indirect effect on the above themes. Broadly speaking, participants supported a distributed “spoke-hub” model where training, research and QA occurs within distributed, regional hubs with support from academic sites. Conclusion: The adoption of POCUS for emergency care in rural Saskatchewan faces significant opportunities and obstacles. There is interest on the part of rural clinicians to overcome these challenges to improve patient care.
The objective of this study was to determine whether hatha yoga is an efficacious adjunctive intervention for individuals with continued depressive symptoms despite antidepressant treatment.
We conducted a randomized controlled trial of weekly yoga classes (n = 63) v. health education classes (Healthy Living Workshop; HLW; n = 59) in individuals with elevated depression symptoms and antidepressant medication use. HLW served as an attention-control group. The intervention period was 10 weeks, with follow-up assessments 3 and 6 months afterwards. The primary outcome was depression symptom severity assessed by blind rater at 10 weeks. Secondary outcomes included depression symptoms over the entire intervention and follow-up periods, social and role functioning, general health perceptions, pain, and physical functioning.
At 10 weeks, we did not find a statistically significant difference between groups in depression symptoms (b = −0.82, s.e. = 0.88, p = 0.36). However, over the entire intervention and follow-up period, when controlling for baseline, yoga participants showed lower levels of depression than HLW participants (b = −1.38, s.e. = 0.57, p = 0.02). At 6-month follow-up, 51% of yoga participants demonstrated a response (⩾50% reduction in depression symptoms) compared with 31% of HLW participants (odds ratio = 2.31; p = 0.04). Yoga participants showed significantly better social and role functioning and general health perceptions over time.
Although we did not see a difference in depression symptoms at the end of the intervention period, yoga participants showed fewer depression symptoms over the entire follow-up period. Benefits of yoga may accumulate over time.
Obtaining accurate age determinations from minerals in archaeological ash is a major unsolved issue in radiocarbon (14C) dating. This is because the original 14C content of calcite, the main component of ash, is altered by isotopic exchange. Pyrogenic aragonite, another mineral phase recently discovered in ash, might preserve its 14C signature through time. Using a new method based on density separation and step combustion, we were able to isolate and date aragonitic ash from an archaeological destruction horizon of known age. Here we show that the 14C age of aragonite matches the age of the destruction horizon. Our results demonstrate that pyrogenic aragonite is a short-lived material suitable for 14C dating and directly related to human activities involving the use of fire, thus bearing major implications for the establishment of absolute chronologies for the past 50,000 yr.
Accumulating evidence suggests that the experience of early life adversity is a risk factor for a range of poor outcomes across development, including poor physical health in adulthood. The biological embedding model of early adversity (Miller, Chen, & Parker, 2011) suggests that early adversity might become embedded within immune cells known as monocytes/macrophages, programming them to be overly aggressive to environmental stimuli and insensitive to inhibitory signals, creating a “proinflammatory phenotype” that increases vulnerability to chronic diseases across the life span. We tested this hypothesis in the present study. Adolescent girls (n = 147) had blood drawn every 6 months across a 2.5-year period. To assess inflammatory responses to challenge, their monocytes were stimulated in vitro with a bacterial product, and production of the cytokine interleukin-6 was quantified. Hydrocortisone was added to cultures to assess the cells’ sensitivity to glucocorticoids’ anti-inflammatory signal. Using cluster analyses, we found that early life adversity was associated with greater odds of displaying a proinflammatory phenotype characterized by relatively larger interleukin-6 responses and relatively less sensitivity to glucocorticoids. In contrast, ongoing social stress was not associated with increasing odds of being categorized in the proinflammatory cluster. These findings suggest that early life adversity increases the probability of developing a proinflammatory phenotype, which, if sustained, could forecast risk for health problems later in life.
The Dark Energy Survey is undertaking an observational programme imaging 1/4 of the southern hemisphere sky with unprecedented photometric accuracy. In the process of observing millions of faint stars and galaxies to constrain the parameters of the dark energy equation of state, the Dark Energy Survey will obtain pre-discovery images of the regions surrounding an estimated 100 gamma-ray bursts over 5 yr. Once gamma-ray bursts are detected by, e.g., the Swift satellite, the DES data will be extremely useful for follow-up observations by the transient astronomy community. We describe a recently-commissioned suite of software that listens continuously for automated notices of gamma-ray burst activity, collates information from archival DES data, and disseminates relevant data products back to the community in near-real-time. Of particular importance are the opportunities that non-public DES data provide for relative photometry of the optical counterparts of gamma-ray bursts, as well as for identifying key characteristics (e.g., photometric redshifts) of potential gamma-ray burst host galaxies. We provide the functional details of the DESAlert software, and its data products, and we show sample results from the application of DESAlert to numerous previously detected gamma-ray bursts, including the possible identification of several heretofore unknown gamma-ray burst hosts.
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.
Sample materials issued to participants in the interlaboratory calibration exercise are defined and in context of their intended interpretational significance. Preparation of the benzene and calcium carbonate standards as issued for stage 1 is described in detail; likewise, the source and pretreatment/extraction of the environmental samples dispatched for stages 2 and 3.
We describe a new compilation of radiocarbon age measurements performed by the NERC Radiocarbon Laboratory that is freely available to access over the World Wide Web. The database contains 1000 14C measurements performed using the liquid scintillation counting method between 1996 and 2005, and further results will be added as the information is compiled. Contextual information including sampling location and the nature of sample material is provided, alongside 14C age results and publications codes. Hypertext links provide access to the original 14C age report associated with the samples, providing additional details. The 14C measurements were originally performed for earth and environmental science NERC projects and are therefore likely to be most relevant to the Quaternary research community.
The major findings of the Intercomparison Study (ICS) have already been published (Scott, Long & Kra 1990), but a number of questions remain unresolved. We address here some issues of user and technical relevance, which include: 1) further investigation of the quoted errors and their relation to the perceived precision and accuracy, which is of interest to users of 14C dates; 2) the analysis of the known-age wood samples provided in Stages 2 and 3 of the ICS; 3) an investigation of the corresponding δ13C data base, of more technical relevance to laboratories.
The success of any intercomparison exercise depends largely on participation and cooperation of a sufficient number of laboratories and the selection of a suitable suite of samples. Unless the latter is satisfactorily devised, the former cannot be guaranteed. The hierarchical nature of this study has necessarily resulted in a far more comprehensive set of sample types than has previously been employed. The exercise was structured to satisfy the following criteria: 1) to enable the participating laboratories to assess the experimental precision and accuracy of the component stages of the dating process; 2) samples should be typical of those routinely dated by the laboratories. This takes on a particular significance in Stage 1 where they should resemble as closely as possible the counting medium; 3) an objective statistical analysis of the results at each component stage of the study.