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This cross-sectional study aimed to determine the prevalence and risk factors of S. stercoralis infection among 1142 Orang Asli primary schoolchildren in six different states of Peninsular Malaysia. Fecal samples were examined using direct smear, formalin-ether sedimentation (FES), agar plate culture (APC) and PCR techniques. Overall, 15.8% of the children were found to be infected with S. stercoralis. The prevalence was 0.2, 1.3, 15.2 and 13.7% by direct smear, FES, APC and PCR, respectively. Multivariate analysis showed that an age of >10 years, being male, belonging to a Proto-Malay tribe, belonging to the Senoi tribe, indiscriminate defecation, using an unimproved water source for drinking water and not wearing shoes when outside were the significant risk factors of infection among these children. In conclusion, we provide new evidence on the occurrence of S. stercoralis in Malaysia to show that there is a relatively high prevalence of infection among Orang Asli schoolchildren. Therefore, the use of specific methods for detecting S. stercoralis should be considered when screening these children for intestinal parasites. Moreover, prevention and control measures specific to S. stercoralis should be integrated into the intestinal parasitic infections control programme in Malaysia.
There is limited information on the roles of different age groups in propagating pertussis outbreaks, and the temporal changes in those roles since the introduction of acellular pertussis vaccines. The relative roles of different age groups in propagating the 2010 and the 2014 pertussis epidemics in California were evaluated using the relative risk (RR) statistic that measures the change in the group's proportion among all detected cases before vs. after the epidemic peak. For the 2010–11 epidemic, evidence for a predominant transmission age group was weak, with the largest RR estimates being 1.26 (95% CI 1.08–1.46) (aged 11–13 years); 1.19 (1.01–1.4) (aged 9–10 years); 1.17 (0.86–1.59) (aged 14–15 years); 1.12 (0.86–1.46) (aged 16–19 years) and 1.1 (0.89–1.36) (aged 7–8 years). The 2014 epidemic showed a strong signal of the role of older adolescents, with the highest RR estimate being in those aged 14–15 years (RR = 1.83, 1.61–2.07), followed by adolescents aged 16–19 years (RR = 1.41, 1.24–1.61) and 11–13 years (RR = 1.26, 1.12–1.41), with lower RR estimates in other age groups. As the time following introduction of acellular pertussis vaccines in California progressed, older adolescents played an increasing role in transmission during the major pertussis outbreaks. Booster pertussis vaccination for older adolescents with vaccines effective against pertussis transmission should be considered with the aim of mitigating future pertussis epidemics in the community.
We aimed to investigate hepatitis C virus (HCV) epidemiology among hemodialysis (HD) patients in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Our data source was an HCV biological measures database populated through systematic literature searches. Descriptive epidemiologic syntheses, effects meta-analyses and meta-regressions, and genotype analyses were conducted. We analyzed 289 studies, including 106 463 HD patients. HCV incidence ranged between 0 and 100% as seroconversion risk, and between 0 and 14·7 per 1000 person-years as incidence rate. The regional pooled mean estimate was 29·2% (95% CI: 25·6–32·8%) for HCV antibody positive prevalence and 63·0% (95% CI: 55·4–70·3%) for the viremic rate. Region within MENA, country income group, and year of data collection were associated with HCV prevalence; year of data collection adjusted odds ratio was 0·92 (95% CI: 0·90–0·95). Genotype diversity varied across countries with four genotypes documented regionally: genotype 1 (39·3%), genotype 2 (5·7%), genotype 3 (29·6%), and genotype 4 (25·4%). Our findings showed that one-third of HD patients are HCV antibody positive and one-fifth are chronic carriers and can transmit the infection. However, HCV prevalence is declining. In context of growing HD patient population and increasing HCV treatment availability, it is critical to improve standards of infection control in dialysis and expand treatment coverage.
Background: An increased incidence of hospital admissions coded as acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM) was noted in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, during the second wave of the influenza pandemic from October 2009 to March 2010. However, it was not clear whether this was due to heightened awareness of potential neurological complications of influenza or influenza vaccination or an actual increase in the number of cases. Methods: We extracted data from the charts of 139 patients hospitalized with an International Classification of Diseases-10 discharge code indicating ADEM (G04.0) or unspecified noninfectious encephalitis or myelitis (G04.8, G04.9) between January 2006 and December 2012. Clinical and laboratory data were reviewed by a neurologist, and diagnoses were determined using the Brighton criteria. Results: Over the entire study period, there were 22 cases of ADEM. During the peak pandemic period (April-December 2009), seven patients were hospitalized with ADEM, corresponding to a rate of 7.8/million/year; 4.7 (95% confidence interval: 1.9-11.4) times higher than the rate before or after the pandemic period. Only one patient with ADEM had received the monovalent A(H1N1)pdm09 vaccine within 12 weeks of hospitalization. Conclusions: We have found an increased incidence of ADEM during the pandemic period that may be related, at least in part, to the increased incidence of influenza during that period. However, there was no temporal relationship with the administration of A(H1N1)pdm09 or seasonal influenza vaccines. Our study provides reassurance that use of these vaccines was not associated with increased risk of ADEM.
In recent years, the government of Bangladesh has encouraged private sector involvement in producing mid-level health cadres including Medical Assistants (MAs). The number of MAs produced has increased significantly. We assessed students’ characteristics, educational services, competencies and perceived attitudes towards health service delivery in rural areas.
We used a mixed method approach using quantitative (questionnaire survey) and qualitative (key informant interviews and roundtable discussion) methods. Altogether, five public schools with 238 students and 30 private schools with 732 students were included. Statistical analyses were performed using STATA v-12. Qualitative data were analyzed thematically.
The majority of the students in both public (66%) and private medical assistant training schools (MATS) (61%) were from rural backgrounds. They spent the majority of their time in classroom learning (public 45% versus private 42%) and the written essay exam was the common form of a students’ performance assessment. Compared with students of public MATS, students of private MATS were more confident in different aspects of educational areas, including managing emerging health needs (P<0.001); evidence-based practice (P=0.002); critical thinking and problem solving (P=0.02), and use of IT/computer skills (P<0.001). Students were aware of not having adequate facilities in rural areas (public 71%, private 65%), but they perceived working in rural areas will offer several benefits, including use of learnt skills; friendly rural people; and opportunities for real-life problem solving, etc.
This study provides a current picture of MATS students’ characteristics, educational services, competencies and perception towards working in rural areas. The MA students in both private and public sectors showed a greater level of willingness to serve in rural health facilities. The results are promising to improve health service delivery, particularly in rural and hard-to-reach areas of Bangladesh.
Presence of Vibrio cholerae serogroups O1 and O139 in the waters of the rural area of Matlab, Bangladesh, was investigated with quantitative measurements performed with a portable flow cytometer. The relevance of this work relates to the testing of a field-adapted measurement protocol that might prove useful for cholera epidemic surveillance and for validation of mathematical models. Water samples were collected from different water bodies that constitute the hydrological system of the region, a well-known endemic area for cholera. Water was retrieved from ponds, river waters, and irrigation canals during an inter-epidemic time period. Each sample was filtered and analysed with a flow cytometer for a fast determination of V. cholerae cells contained in those environments. More specifically, samples were treated with O1- and O139-specific antibodies, which allowed precise flow-cytometry-based concentration measurements. Both serogroups were present in the environmental waters with a consistent dominance of V. cholerae O1. These results extend earlier studies where V. cholerae O1 and O139 were mostly detected during times of cholera epidemics using standard culturing techniques. Furthermore, our results confirm that an important fraction of the ponds’ host populations of V. cholerae are able to self-sustain even when cholera cases are scarce. Those contaminated ponds may constitute a natural reservoir for cholera endemicity in the Matlab region. Correlations of V. cholerae concentrations with environmental factors and the spatial distribution of V. cholerae populations are also discussed.
We evaluated syndromic indicators of influenza disease activity developed using emergency department (ED) data – total ED visits attributed to influenza-like illness (ILI) (‘ED ILI volume’) and percentage of visits attributed to ILI (‘ED ILI percent’) – and Google flu trends (GFT) data (ILI cases/100 000 physician visits). Congruity and correlation among these indicators and between these indicators and weekly count of laboratory-confirmed influenza in Manitoba was assessed graphically using linear regression models. Both ED and GFT data performed well as syndromic indicators of influenza activity, and were highly correlated with each other in real time. The strongest correlations between virological data and ED ILI volume and ED ILI percent, respectively, were 0·77 and 0·71. The strongest correlation of GFT was 0·74. Seasonal influenza activity may be effectively monitored using ED and GFT data.
Cryptosporidium is a protozoan parasite of humans and animals and has a worldwide distribution. The parasite has a unique epidemiology in Middle Eastern countries where the IId subtype family of Cryptosporidium parvum dominates. However, there has been no information on Cryptosporidium species in Yemen. Thus, this study was conducted in Yemen to examine the distribution of Cryptosporidium species and subtype families. Fecal samples were collected from 335 patients who attended hospitals in Sana'a city. Cryptosporidium species were determined by PCR and sequence analysis of the 18 s rRNA gene. Cryptosporidium parvum and C. hominis subtypes were identified based on sequence analysis of the 60 kDa glycoprotein (gp60) gene. Out of 335 samples, 33 (9·9%) were positive for Cryptosporidium. Of them, 97% were identified as C. parvum whilst 1 case (3%) was caused by C. hominis. All 7 C. parvum isolates subtyped belonged to the IIaA15G2R1 subtype. The common occurrence of the zoonotic IIa subtype family of C. parvum highlights the potential occurrence of zoonotic transmission of cryptosporidiosis in Yemen. However, this postulation needs confirmation with future molecular epidemiological studies of cryptosporidiosis in both humans and animals in Yemen.
Perovskite ferroelectric thin films in the paraelectric state exhibit outstanding dielectric properties, even at high frequencies (>1 GHz). The tunable dielectric constant of ferroelectric thin films can be used to design frequency and phase agile components. High dielectric constant thin film ferroelectric materials in the paraelectric state have received enormous attention due to their feasibility in applications such as decoupling capacitors and tunable microwave capacitors; the latter application has been fueled by the recent explosion in wireless and satellite communications. This paper reportsBa0.96Ca 0.04Ti0.84Zr0.16O3 (BCTZ) thin films that were deposited on Pt electrodes using radio frequency magnetron sputtering at a low (450 °C) substrate temperature. Sputtered thin film BCTZ at low substrate temperature is compatible with conventional integrated circuit technology. The structural characterization of the deposited films was performed by x-ray diffraction. The electrical characterization of the films was achieved by capacitance-voltage, current-voltage, and S-parameter (via vector network analyzer) measurements. In addition, the effect of post annealing on the deposited films was investigated. A detailed understanding of both their processing and material properties is discussed for successful implementation in high frequency applications.
The Bangladesh Integrated Nutrition Programme (BINP) experimented with two models of delivery: the first model uses the Government of Bangladesh's (GOB) own management structure and the second uses the non-government organisations (NGOs) working in the local community. This study compares the relative efficiency of GOB and NGO management in the provision of nutrition services.
A detailed costing survey was carried out to estimate the cost of delivering nutrition services from the Community Nutrition Centres (CNCs). The number of individuals enrolled, the number actually participating in the programme and person-days of service delivered were used as effectiveness measures.
Thirty-five CNCs were randomly selected from five BINP areas, of which 21 were in GOB-run areas and 14 in NGO-run areas.
The cost of providing nutrition services per enrolee was US$ 24.43 for GOB-run CNCs and US$ 29.78 for NGO-run CNCs.
Contrary to the widely held view, the analysis implies that the NGO facilities are not more efficient in the delivery of nutrition services when cost per person-days of service delivered is considered. The food cost component of BINP is so high that, irrespective of the delivery mode, policy makers should examine carefully the components of BINP in order to find the most cost-effective mix of services.
Detectability of close reflection peaks in ultrasonic NDT system has been
significantly enhanced by using a diverse field algorithm. The CLEAN algorithm,
which is popular in image processing of radio astronomy data, has been
proposed in the case of ultrasonic testing. The feasibility study of the algorithm
has been performed successfully in the application of ultrasonic signal
processing and it is conceived that the algorithm might have good potential in
ultrasonic NDT for distinguishing between close peaks and removing sidelobes.
The small cancellation theory over free products with amalgamation and HNN groups is extended to groups acting on trees in which the action with inversions is possible. This will include the case of tree products of groups and treed-HNN groups.
The clinical and biochemical findings are presented of two brothers suffering from McArdle's Disease (Myophosphorylase Deficiency). Tissue enzyme estimations and lactate levels were done in affected and non-affected members of the family. Affected members showed absence of phosphorylase enzyme by histochemical and quantitative estimation. No quantitative abnormalities were found in other enzyme systems of glycolytic pathways in the family investigated. Various other aspects of clinical features, biochemical abnormalities and inheritance are discussed.
Nitrification of urea and its loss through the volatilization of NH3 were studied under different soil conditions. Under all conditions less urea was nitrified and more time was needed for its nitrification in sandy than in sandy loam soil. Nitrification was favoured at lower concentration of urea, onethird moisture of the moisture-holding capacity and at neutrality or the alkaline pH.
Loss of NH3 was found to be twice as much from the sandy loam as from the sandy soil. It was also found that half of the total loss occurred during first drying. Loss of NH3 from urea was found to be proportional to its concentration. The loss increased with the increase in soil moisture and temperature; but it decreased with the decrease in pH on the acid side and the increase in depth of its placement.
A theoretical approach of some factors influencing the intensity diffracted by a polycrystalline material at a definite Bragg angle has been confirmed by experimental data obtained with a high-angle Norelco diffractometer. The factors mainly considered are the focusing arrangement of the goniometer which delineates the geometric shape of the volume fraction of the sample being irradiated and the absorption of the latter.
Tests have been performed (a) with quartz mixed in samples covering a large range of absorption coefficients, (b) with two different K radiations using copper and molybdenum targets, (c) with three different angles of beam divergence of 1, ½, and ¼°, respectively, and (d) with the sample packed and leveled in a copper grid with openings of about 350 μ. As this test with copper grids was to demonstrate that each opening was acting like a volume of sample irradiated by a beam of extremely small divergence (0.1°), it also shows that more accuracy in the measurement of the exact Bragg angle can be reached in these conditions as compared to that obtained with conventional sample holders.
A general equation, suitable for qualitative and quantitative analysis when these factors have to be taken into consideration, is proposed.
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