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A Canadian outbreak investigation into a cluster of Escherichia coli O121 was initiated in late 2016. When initial interviews using a closed-ended hypothesis-generating questionnaire did not point to a common source, cases were centrally re-interviewed using an open-ended approach. The open-ended interviews led cases to describe exposures with greater specificity, as well as food preparation activities. Data collected supported hypothesis generation, particularly with respect to flour exposures. In March 2017, an open sample of Brand X flour from a case home, and a closed sample collected at retail of the same brand and production date, tested positive for the outbreak strain of E. coli O121. In total, 76% (16/21) of cases reported that they used or probably used Brand X flour or that it was used or probably was used in the home during their exposure period. Crucial hypothesis-generating techniques used during the course of the investigation included a centralised open-ended interviewing approach and product sampling from case homes. This was the first outbreak investigation in Canada to identify flour as the source of infection.
Smoking rates in people with depression and anxiety are twice as high as in the general population, even though people with depression and anxiety are motivated to stop smoking. Most healthcare professionals are aware that stopping smoking is one of the greatest changes that people can make to improve their health. However, smoking cessation can be a difficult topic to raise. Evidence suggests that smoking may cause some mental health problems, and that the tobacco withdrawal cycle partly contributes to worse mental health. By stopping smoking, a person's mental health may improve, and the size of this improvement might be equal to taking antidepressants. In this article we outline ways in which healthcare professionals can compassionately and respectfully raise the topic of smoking to encourage smoking cessation. We draw on evidence-based methods such as cognitive–behavioural therapy (CBT) and outline approaches that healthcare professionals can use to integrate these methods into routine care to help their patients stop smoking.
Research in schizophrenia and pregnancy has traditionally been conducted in small samples. More recently, secondary analysis of routine healthcare data has facilitated access to data on large numbers of women with schizophrenia.
To discuss four scientific advances using data from Canada, Denmark and the UK from population-level health registers and clinical data sources.
Narrative review of research from these three countries to illustrate key advances in the area of schizophrenia and pregnancy.
Health administrative and clinical data from electronic medical records have been used to identify population-level and clinical cohorts of women with schizophrenia, and follow them longitudinally along with their children. These data have demonstrated that fertility rates in women with schizophrenia have increased over time and have enabled documentation of the course of illness in relation with pregnancy, showing the early postpartum as the time of highest risk. As a result of large sample sizes, we have been able to understand the prevalence of and risk factors for rare outcomes that would be difficult to study in clinical research. Advanced pharmaco-epidemiological methods have been used to address confounding in studies of antipsychotic medications in pregnancy, to provide data about the benefits and risks of treatment for women and their care providers.
Use of these data has advanced the field of research in schizophrenia and pregnancy. Future developments in use of electronic health records include access to richer data sources and use of modern technical advances such as machine learning and supporting team science.
Compulsory admission procedures of patients with mental disorders vary between countries in Europe. The Ethics Committee of the European Psychiatric Association (EPA) launched a survey on involuntary admission procedures of patients with mental disorders in 40 countries to gather information from all National Psychiatric Associations that are members of the EPA to develop recommendations for improving involuntary admission processes and promote voluntary care.
The survey focused on legislation of involuntary admissions and key actors involved in the admission procedure as well as most common reasons for involuntary admissions.
We analyzed the survey categorical data in themes, which highlight that both medical and legal actors are involved in involuntary admission procedures.
We conclude that legal reasons for compulsory admission should be reworded in order to remove stigmatization of the patient, that raising awareness about involuntary admission procedures and patient rights with both patients and family advocacy groups is paramount, that communication about procedures should be widely available in lay-language for the general population, and that training sessions and guidance should be available for legal and medical practitioners. Finally, people working in the field need to be constantly aware about the ethical challenges surrounding compulsory admissions.
Results of in situ U–Pb dating of calcite spherulites, cone-in-cone (CIC) calcite and calcite fibres from a calcareous concretion of the upper Ediacaran of Finnmark, Arctic Norway, are reported. Calcite spherulites from the innermost layers of the concretion yielded a lower intercept age of 563 ± 70 Ma, which, although imprecise, is within uncertainty of the age of sedimentation based on fossil assemblages. Non-deformed CIC calcite from the bottom part of the concretion yielded an age of 475 ± 25 Ma, which is interpreted as the age of CIC calcite formation during a period of fluid overpressure induced during burial of the sediments. Deformed CIC calcite from the top part of the concretion yielded an age of 418 ± 23 Ma, which overlaps with a known Caledonian tectono-metamorphic event, and indicates a potential post-depositional overprint at this time. Calcite fibres that grew in small fissures along spherulite rims, which are interpreted as a recrystallization feature during deformation and formation of a cleavage, gave an imprecise age of 486 ± 161 Ma. Our results show that U–Pb dating of calcite can provide age constraints for ancient carbonates and syn- to post-depositional processes that operated during burial and metamorphic overprinting.
Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a devastating rare disease that affects individuals regardless of ethnicity, gender, and age. The first-approved disease-modifying therapy for SMA, nusinursen, was approved by Health Canada, as well as by American and European regulatory agencies following positive clinical trial outcomes. The trials were conducted in a narrow pediatric population defined by age, severity, and genotype. Broad approval of therapy necessitates close follow-up of potential rare adverse events and effectiveness in the larger real-world population.
The Canadian Neuromuscular Disease Registry (CNDR) undertook an iterative multi-stakeholder process to expand the existing SMA dataset to capture items relevant to patient outcomes in a post-marketing environment. The CNDR SMA expanded registry is a longitudinal, prospective, observational study of patients with SMA in Canada designed to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of novel therapies and provide practical information unattainable in trials.
The consensus expanded dataset includes items that address therapy effectiveness and safety and is collected in a multicenter, prospective, observational study, including SMA patients regardless of therapeutic status. The expanded dataset is aligned with global datasets to facilitate collaboration. Additionally, consensus dataset development aimed to standardize appropriate outcome measures across the network and broader Canadian community. Prospective outcome studies, data use, and analyses are independent of the funding partner.
Prospective outcome data collected will provide results on safety and effectiveness in a post-therapy approval era. These data are essential to inform improvements in care and access to therapy for all SMA patients.
OBJECTIVES/GOALS: Active surveillance (AS) is a recognized strategy to manage low-risk prostate cancer (PCa) in the absence of cancer progression. Little prospective data exists on the decisional factors associated with selecting and adhering to AS in the absence of cancer progression. We developed a survey instrument to predict AS uptake and adherence. METHODS/STUDY POPULATION: We utilized a three-step process to develop and refine a survey instrument designed to predict AS uptake and adherence among men with low-risk PCa: 1) We identified relevant conceptual domains based on prior research and a literature review. 2) We conducted 21 semi-structured concept elicitation interviews to identify patient-perceived barriers and facilitators to AS uptake and adherence among men with a low-risk PCa who had been on AS for ≥1 year. The identified concepts became the basis of our draft survey instrument. 3) We conducted two rounds of cognitive interviews with men with low-risk PCa (n = 12; n = 6) to refine and initially validate the instrument. RESULTS/ANTICIPATED RESULTS: Relevant concepts identified from the initial interviews included the importance of patient: knowledge of their PCa risk, value in delaying treatment, trust in urologist and the AS surveillance protocol, and perceived social support. Initially, the survey was drafted as a single instrument to be administered after a patient had selected AS comprising sections on patient health, AS selection, and AS adherence. Based on the first round of cognitive interviews, we revised the single instrument into two surveys to track shifts in patient preference and experience. The first, administered at diagnosis, focuses on selection, and the second, a 6-month follow up, focuses on adherence. Following revisions, participants indicated the revised 2-part instrument was clear and not burdensome to complete. DISCUSSION/SIGNIFICANCE OF IMPACT: The instrument’s content validity was evaluated through cognitive interviews, which supported that the survey items’ intended and understood meanings were isomorphic. In the next phase, we plan to conduct a large-scale prospective cohort study to evaluate the predictive validity, after which it will be available for public research use.
Neonates with CHD are at increased risk of developing necrotising enterocolitis due to mesenteric hypoperfusion. Necrotising enterocolitis results in repeated feed interruptions contributing to poor growth during the early post-operative phase. Poor weight gain and longer hospital stay are risk factors for death in neonates with CHD. Abdominal radiography is used as a diagnostic tool for necrotising enterocolitis; however, its utility is limited in the early stages of necrotising enterocolitis when pneumatosis intestinalis is absent. Calprotectin is a neutrophil activation biomarker, and elevated levels are evident in inflammatory diseases such as necrotising enterocolitis. The aim of this study was to determine whether there is a correlation between faecal calprotectin concentration and gut inflammation in neonates with CHD. This prospective single-centre study recruited newly diagnosed term patients with duct-dependent CHD between March 2018 and March 2019. Faecal calprotectin concentrations were measured in post-surgical patients using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay methods. A total of 30 patients were included in the analysis. Calprotectin concentration for patients who developed necrotising enterocolitis was 3528 µg/g compared with 390 µg/g without, compared with 1339 µg/g in patients with suspected necrotising enterocolitis (p = 0.0001). Patients with suspected necrotising enterocolitis had a significantly longer length of hospital stay, on average 18 days longer compared to patients without necrotising enterocolitis (p = 0.03). Faecal calprotectin concentrations may reflect severity of gut inflammation in neonates with CHD. Suspected necrotising enterocolitis contributes to longer days nil by mouth and an increase in length of hospital stay.
Gut microbiota data obtained by DNA sequencing are not only complex because of the number of taxa that may be detected within human cohorts, but also compositional because characteristics of the microbiota are described in relative terms (e.g., “relative abundance” of particular bacterial taxa expressed as a proportion of the total abundance of taxa). Nutrition researchers often use standard principal component analysis (PCA) to derive dietary patterns from complex food data, enabling each participant's diet to be described in terms of the extent to which it fits their cohort's dietary patterns. However, compositional PCA methods are not commonly used to describe patterns of microbiota in the way that dietary patterns are used to describe diets. This approach would be useful for identifying microbiota patterns that are associated with diet and body composition. The aim of this study is to use compositional PCA to describe gut microbiota profiles in 5 year old children and explore associations between microbiota profiles, diet, body mass index (BMI) z-score, and fat mass index (FMI) z-score. This study uses a cross-sectional data for 319 children who provided a faecal sample at 5 year of age. Their primary caregiver completed a 123-item quantitative food frequency questionnaire validated for foods of relevance to the gut microbiota. Body composition was determined using dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry, and BMI and FMI z-scores calculated. Compositional PCA identified and described gut microbiota profiles at the genus level, and profiles were examined in relation to diet and body size. Three gut microbiota profiles were found. Profile 1 (positive loadings on Blautia and Bifidobacterium; negative loadings on Bacteroides) was not related to diet or body size. Profile 2 (positive loadings on Bacteroides; negative loadings on uncultured Christensenellaceae and Ruminococcaceae) was associated with a lower BMI z-score (r = -0.16, P = 0.003). Profile 3 (positive loadings on Faecalibacterium, Eubacterium and Roseburia) was associated with higher intakes of fibre (r = 0.15, P = 0.007); total (r = 0.15, P = 0.009), and insoluble (r = 0.13, P = 0.021) non-starch polysaccharides; protein (r = 0.12, P = 0.036); meat (r = 0.15, P = 0.010); and nuts, seeds and legumes (r = 0.11, P = 0.047). Further regression analyses found that profile 2 and profile 3 were independently associated with BMI z-score and diet respectively. We encourage fellow researchers to use compositional PCA as a method for identifying further links between the gut, diet and obesity, and for developing the next generation of research in which the impact on body composition of dietary interventions that modify the gut microbiota is determined.
Neurodevelopment is sensitive to genetic and pre/postnatal environmental influences. These effects are likely mediated by epigenetic factors, yet current knowledge is limited. Longitudinal twin studies can delineate the link between genetic and environmental factors, epigenetic state at birth and neurodevelopment later in childhood. Building upon our study of the Peri/postnatal Epigenetic Twin Study (PETS) from gestation to 6 years of age, here we describe the PETS 11-year follow-up in which we will use neuroimaging and cognitive testing to examine the relationship between early-life environment, epigenetics and neurocognitive outcomes in mid-childhood. Using a within-pair twin model, the primary aims are to (1) identify early-life epigenetic correlates of neurocognitive outcomes; (2) determine the developmental stability of epigenetic effects and (3) identify modifiable environmental risk factors. Secondary aims are to identify factors influencing gut microbiota between 6 and 11 years of age to investigate links between gut microbiota and neurodevelopmental outcomes in mid-childhood. Approximately 210 twin pairs will undergo an assessment at 11 years of age. This includes a direct child cognitive assessment, multimodal magnetic resonance imaging, biological sampling, anthropometric measurements and a range of questionnaires on health and development, behavior, dietary habits and sleeping patterns. Data from complementary data sources, including the National Assessment Program — Literacy and Numeracy and the Australian Early Development Census, will also be sought. Following on from our previous focus on relationships between growth, cardiovascular health and oral health, this next phase of PETS will significantly advance our understanding of the environmental interactions that shape the developing brain.
Twins Research Australia (TRA) is a community of twins and researchers working on health research to benefit everyone, including twins. TRA leads multidisciplinary research through the application of twin and family study designs, with the aim of sustaining long-term twin research that, both now and in the future, gives back to the community. This article summarizes TRA’s recent achievements and future directions, including new methodologies addressing causation, linkage to health, economic and educational administrative datasets and to geospatial data to provide insight into health and disease. We also explain how TRA’s knowledge translation and exchange activities are key to communicating the impact of twin studies to twins and the wider community. Building researcher capability, providing registry resources and partnering with all key stakeholders, particularly the participants, are important for how TRA is advancing twin research to improve health outcomes for society. TRA provides researchers with open access to its vibrant volunteer membership of twins, higher order multiples (multiples) and families who are willing to consider participation in research. Established four decades ago, this resource facilitates and supports research across multiple stages and a breadth of health domains.
Dietary Zn has significant impacts on the growth and development of breeding rams. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the effects of dietary Zn source and concentration on serum Zn concentration, growth performance, wool traits and reproductive performance in rams. Forty-four Targhee rams (14 months; 68 ± 18 kg BW) were used in an 84-day completely randomized design and were fed one of three pelleted dietary treatments: (1) a control without fortified Zn (CON; n = 15; ~1 × NRC); (2) a diet fortified with a Zn amino acid complex (ZnAA; n = 14; ~2 × NRC) and (3) a diet fortified with ZnSO4 (ZnSO4; n = 15; ~2 × NRC). Growth and wool characteristics measured throughout the course of the study were BW, average daily gain (ADG), dry matter intake (DMI), feed efficiency (G : F), longissimus dorsi muscle depth (LMD), back fat (BF), wool staple length (SL) and average fibre diameter (AFD). Blood was collected from each ram at four time periods to quantify serum Zn and testosterone concentrations. Semen was collected 1 to 2 days after the trial was completed. There were no differences in BW (P = 0.45), DMI (P = 0.18), LMD (P = 0.48), BF (P = 0.47) and AFD (P = 0.9) among treatment groups. ZnSO4 had greater (P ≤ 0.03) serum Zn concentrations compared with ZnAA and CON treatments. Rams consuming ZnAA had greater (P ≤ 0.03) ADG than ZnSO4 and CON. There tended to be differences among groups for G : F (P = 0.06), with ZnAA being numerically greater than ZnSO4 and CON. Wool staple length regrowth was greater (P < 0.001) in ZnSO4 and tended to be longer (P = 0.06) in ZnAA treatment group compared with CON. No differences were observed among treatments in scrotal circumference, testosterone, spermatozoa concentration within ram semen, % motility, % live sperm and % sperm abnormalities (P ≥ 0.23). Results indicated beneficial effects of feeding increased Zn concentrations to developing Targhee rams, although Zn source elicited differential responses in performance characteristics measured.
Whole-grain cereal breakfast consumption has been associated with beneficial effects on glucose and insulin metabolism as well as satiety. Pearl millet is a popular ancient grain variety that can be grown in hot, dry regions. However, little is known about its health effects. The present study investigated the effect of a pearl millet porridge (PMP) compared with a well-known Scottish oats porridge (SOP) on glycaemic, gastrointestinal, hormonal and appetitive responses. In a randomised, two-way crossover trial, twenty-six healthy participants consumed two isoenergetic/isovolumetric PMP or SOP breakfast meals, served with a drink of water. Blood samples for glucose, insulin, glucagon-like peptide 1, glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP), peptide YY, gastric volumes and appetite ratings were collected 2 h postprandially, followed by an ad libitum meal and food intake records for the remainder of the day. The incremental AUC (iAUC2h) for blood glucose was not significantly different between the porridges (P > 0·05). The iAUC2h for gastric volume was larger for PMP compared with SOP (P = 0·045). The iAUC2h for GIP concentration was significantly lower for PMP compared with SOP (P = 0·001). Other hormones and appetite responses were similar between meals. In conclusion, the present study reports, for the first time, data on glycaemic and physiological responses to a pearl millet breakfast, showing that this ancient grain could represent a sustainable alternative with health-promoting characteristics comparable with oats. GIP is an incretin hormone linked to TAG absorption in adipose tissue; therefore, the lower GIP response for PMP may be an added health benefit.
The COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins) project is a large international collaborative effort to analyze individual-level phenotype data from twins in multiple cohorts from different environments. The main objective is to study factors that modify genetic and environmental variation of height, body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) and size at birth, and additionally to address other research questions such as long-term consequences of birth size. The project started in 2013 and is open to all twin projects in the world having height and weight measures on twins with information on zygosity. Thus far, 54 twin projects from 24 countries have provided individual-level data. The CODATwins database includes 489,981 twin individuals (228,635 complete twin pairs). Since many twin cohorts have collected longitudinal data, there is a total of 1,049,785 height and weight observations. For many cohorts, we also have information on birth weight and length, own smoking behavior and own or parental education. We found that the heritability estimates of height and BMI systematically changed from infancy to old age. Remarkably, only minor differences in the heritability estimates were found across cultural–geographic regions, measurement time and birth cohort for height and BMI. In addition to genetic epidemiological studies, we looked at associations of height and BMI with education, birth weight and smoking status. Within-family analyses examined differences within same-sex and opposite-sex dizygotic twins in birth size and later development. The CODATwins project demonstrates the feasibility and value of international collaboration to address gene-by-exposure interactions that require large sample sizes and address the effects of different exposures across time, geographical regions and socioeconomic status.
The National Academy of Sciences-National Research Council (NAS-NRC) Twin Registry is one of the oldest, national population-based twin registries in the USA. It comprises 15,924 White male twin pairs born in the years 1917–1927 (N = 31.848), both of whom served in the armed forces, chiefly during World War II. This article updates activities in this registry since the most recent report in Twin Research and Human Genetics (Page, 2006). Records-based data include information from enlistment charts and Veterans Administration data linkages. There have been three major epidemiologic questionnaires and an education and earnings survey. Separate data collection efforts with the NAS-NRC registry include the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) subsample, the Duke Twins Study of Memory in Aging and a clinically based study of Parkinson’s disease. Progress has been made on consolidating the various data holdings of the NAS-NRC Twin Registry. Data that had been available through the National Academy of Sciences are now freely available through National Archive of Computerized Data on Aging (NACDA).
We have observed the G23 field of the Galaxy AndMass Assembly (GAMA) survey using the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) in its commissioning phase to validate the performance of the telescope and to characterise the detected galaxy populations. This observation covers ~48 deg2 with synthesised beam of 32.7 arcsec by 17.8 arcsec at 936MHz, and ~39 deg2 with synthesised beam of 15.8 arcsec by 12.0 arcsec at 1320MHz. At both frequencies, the root-mean-square (r.m.s.) noise is ~0.1 mJy/beam. We combine these radio observations with the GAMA galaxy data, which includes spectroscopy of galaxies that are i-band selected with a magnitude limit of 19.2. Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) infrared (IR) photometry is used to determine which galaxies host an active galactic nucleus (AGN). In properties including source counts, mass distributions, and IR versus radio luminosity relation, the ASKAP-detected radio sources behave as expected. Radio galaxies have higher stellar mass and luminosity in IR, optical, and UV than other galaxies. We apply optical and IR AGN diagnostics and find that they disagree for ~30% of the galaxies in our sample. We suggest possible causes for the disagreement. Some cases can be explained by optical extinction of the AGN, but for more than half of the cases we do not find a clear explanation. Radio sources aremore likely (~6%) to have an AGN than radio quiet galaxies (~1%), but the majority of AGN are not detected in radio at this sensitivity.
In March 2017, the New Jersey Department of Health received reports of 3 patients who developed septic arthritis after receiving intra-articular injections for osteoarthritis knee pain at the same private outpatient facility in New Jersey. The risk of septic arthritis resulting from intra-articular injection is low. However, outbreaks of septic arthritis associated with unsafe injection practices in outpatient settings have been reported.
An infection prevention assessment of the implicated facility’s practices was conducted because of the ongoing risk to public health. The assessment included an environmental inspection of the facility, staff interviews, infection prevention practice observations, and a medical record and office document review. A call for cases was disseminated to healthcare providers in New Jersey to identify patients treated at the facility who developed septic arthritis after receiving intra-articular injections.
We identified 41 patients with septic arthritis associated with intra-articular injections. Cultures of synovial fluid or tissue from 15 of these 41 case patients (37%) recovered bacteria consistent with oral flora. The infection prevention assessment of facility practices identified multiple breaches of recommended infection prevention practices, including inadequate hand hygiene, unsafe injection practices, and poor cleaning and disinfection practices. No additional cases were identified after infection prevention recommendations were implemented by the facility.
Aseptic technique is imperative when handling, preparing, and administering injectable medications to prevent microbial contamination.
This investigation highlights the importance of adhering to infection prevention recommendations. All healthcare personnel who prepare, handle, and administer injectable medications should be trained in infection prevention and safe injection practices.
A national need is to prepare for and respond to accidental or intentional disasters categorized as chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, or explosive (CBRNE). These incidents require specific subject-matter expertise, yet have commonalities. We identify 7 core elements comprising CBRNE science that require integration for effective preparedness planning and public health and medical response and recovery. These core elements are (1) basic and clinical sciences, (2) modeling and systems management, (3) planning, (4) response and incident management, (5) recovery and resilience, (6) lessons learned, and (7) continuous improvement. A key feature is the ability of relevant subject matter experts to integrate information into response operations. We propose the CBRNE medical operations science support expert as a professional who (1) understands that CBRNE incidents require an integrated systems approach, (2) understands the key functions and contributions of CBRNE science practitioners, (3) helps direct strategic and tactical CBRNE planning and responses through first-hand experience, and (4) provides advice to senior decision-makers managing response activities. Recognition of both CBRNE science as a distinct competency and the establishment of the CBRNE medical operations science support expert informs the public of the enormous progress made, broadcasts opportunities for new talent, and enhances the sophistication and analytic expertise of senior managers planning for and responding to CBRNE incidents.