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Hendra virus (HeV) continues to cause fatal infection in horses and threaten infection in close-contact humans in eastern Australia. Species of Pteropus bats (flying-foxes) are the natural reservoir of the virus. We caught and sampled flying-foxes from a multispecies roost in southeast Queensland, Australia on eight occasions between June 2013 and June 2014. The effects of sample date, species, sex, age class, body condition score (BCS), pregnancy and lactation on HeV antibody prevalence, log-transformed median fluorescent intensity (lnMFI) values and HeV RNA status were assessed using unbalanced generalised linear models. A total of 1968 flying-foxes were sampled, comprising 1012 Pteropus alecto, 742 P. poliocephalus and 214 P. scapulatus. Sample date, species and age class were each statistically associated with HeV RNA status, antibody status and lnMFI values; BCS was statistically associated with HeV RNA status and antibody status. The findings support immunologically naïve sub-adult P. alecto playing an important role in maintaining HeV infection at a population level. The biological significance of the association between BCS and HeV RNA status, and BCS and HeV antibody status, is less clear and warrants further investigation. Contrary to previous studies, we found no direct association between HeV infection and pregnancy or lactation. The findings in P. poliocephalus suggest that HeV exposure in this species may not result in systemic infection and virus excretion, or alternatively, may reflect assay cross-reactivity with another (unidentified) henipavirus.
Determine the effectiveness of a personal protective equipment (PPE)-free zone intervention on healthcare personnel (HCP) entry hand hygiene (HH) and PPE donning compliance in rooms of patients in contact precautions.
Quasi-experimental, multicenter intervention, before-and-after study with concurrent controls.
All patient rooms on contact precautions on 16 units (5 medical-surgical, 6 intensive care, 5 specialty care units) at 3 acute-care facilities (2 academic medical centers, 1 Veterans Affairs hospital). Observations of PPE donning and entry HH compliance by HCP were conducted during both study phases. Surveys of HCP perceptions of the PPE-free zone were distributed in both study phases.
A PPE-free zone, where a low-risk area inside door thresholds of contact precautions rooms was demarcated by red tape on the floor. Inside this area, HCP were not required to wear PPE.
We observed 3,970 room entries. HH compliance did not change between study phases among intervention units (relative risk [RR], 0.92; P = .29) and declined in control units (RR, 0.70; P = .005); however, the PPE-free zone did not significantly affect compliance (P = .07). The PPE-free zone effect on HH was significant only for rooms on enteric precautions (P = .008). PPE use was not significantly different before versus after the intervention (P = .15). HCP perceived the zone positively; 65% agreed that it facilitated communication and 66.8% agreed that it permitted checking on patients more frequently.
HCP viewed the PPE-free zone favorably and it did not adversely affect PPE or HH compliance. Future infection prevention interventions should consider the complex sociotechnical system factors influencing behavior change.
Medical procedures and patient care activities may facilitate environmental dissemination of healthcare-associated pathogens such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).
Observational cohort study of MRSA-colonized patients to determine the frequency of and risk factors for environmental shedding of MRSA during procedures and care activities in carriers with positive nares and/or wound cultures. Bivariate analyses were performed to identify factors associated with environmental shedding.
A Veterans Affairs hospital.
This study included 75 patients in contact precautions for MRSA colonization or infection.
Of 75 patients in contact precautions for MRSA, 55 (73%) had MRSA in nares and/or wounds and 25 (33%) had positive skin cultures. For the 52 patients with MRSA in nares and/or wounds and at least 1 observed procedure, environmental shedding of MRSA occurred more frequently during procedures and care activities than in the absence of a procedure (59 of 138, 43% vs 8 of 83, 10%; P < .001). During procedures, increased shedding occurred ≤0.9 m versus >0.9 m from the patient (52 of 138, 38% vs 25 of 138, 18%; P = .0004). Contamination occurred frequently on surfaces touched by personnel (12 of 38, 32%) and on portable equipment used for procedures (25 of 101, 25%). By bivariate analysis, the presence of a wound with MRSA was associated with shedding (17 of 29, 59% versus 6 of 23, 26%; P = .04).
Environmental shedding of MRSA occurs frequently during medical procedures and patient care activities. There is a need for effective strategies to disinfect surfaces and equipment after procedures.
A multi-scale analysis, ranging from μm → nm → Å-scaie on the influence of thermal treatment on the thermotropic copolyester based on 60 mol% (l,4)-hydroxybenzoic acid (B), 5 mol% (2,6)-hydroxynaphthoic acid (N), 17.5 mol% terephthalic acid (T) and 17.5 mol% biphenol (BP) - COTBP- was carried out. The Å and nm-scale structure was investigated by synchrotron scattering (WAXS and SAXS). Extruded tapes ca. 30 μm thick were annealed at 300 °C under air, without tension. WAXS revealed fibre-like structure with crystalline order, whereas SAXS patterns exhibited diamond-shaped diffuse scattering and discrete meridional scattering elucidating structures along the fibre axis and periodic crystallites. Heat treatment produced roughness reduction, and WAXS patterns showed reflections sharpening indicating an improvement of molecular register and packing (molecular alignment and degree of crystallinity Χ increased). Thermal treatment increased the thermal stability, melting transition and tensile Young’s modulus, E, along extrusion axis, whereas nanoindentation showed decrease of hardness and elastic modulus. Hence, a thermally-induced seif-reinforcing effect was evidenced, with microstructure reorganization correlating with improved thermo-mechanical properties.
We examine supervisor-subordinate (dis)agreement regarding perceptions of the supervisor’s ethical leadership and its relationship to organizational deviance. We find that, on average, supervisors rate themselves more favorably on ethical leadership compared to how followers rate them. In addition, polynomial regression results reveal that unit-level organizational deviance is higher when there is agreement about lower levels of ethical leadership, and disagreement when supervisors rate themselves higher on ethical leadership than subordinates’ ratings of the supervisors. Finally, drawing on social influence theories, we look at antecedents of (dis)agreement and find that supervisors’ beliefs about themselves (that they were “better-than-average” ethical leaders) and others (their assumptions about whether the morality of their subordinates is malleable or not) are associated with self-other (dis)agreement on ethical leadership.
The optimal approach to unifocalisation in pulmonary atresia with ventricular septal defect and major aortopulmonary collateral arteries (pulmonary artery/ventricular septal defect/major aortopulmonary collaterals) remains controversial. Moreover, the impact of collateral vessel disease burden on surgical decision-making and late outcomes remains poorly defined. We investigated our centre’s experience in the surgical management of pulmonary artery/ventricular septal defect/major aortopulmonary collaterals.
Materials and methods
Between 1996 and 2015, 84 consecutive patients with pulmonary artery/ventricular septal defect/major aortopulmonary collaterals underwent unifocalisation. In all, 41 patients received single-stage unifocalisation (Group 1) and 43 patients underwent multi-stage repair (Group 2). Preoperative collateral vessel anatomy, branch pulmonary artery reinterventions, ventricular septal defect status, and late right ventricle/left ventricle pressure ratio were evaluated.
Median follow-up was 4.8 compared with 5.7 years for Groups 1 and 2, respectively, p = 0.65. Median number of major aortopulmonary collaterals/patient was 3, ranging from 1 to 8, in Group 1 compared with 4, ranging from 1 to 8, in Group 2, p = 0.09. Group 2 had a higher number of lobar/segmental stenoses within collateral vessels (p = 0.02). Group 1 had fewer catheter-based branch pulmonary artery reinterventions, with 5 (inter-quartile range from 1 to 7) per patient, compared with 9 (inter-quartile range from 4 to 14) in Group 2, p = 0.009. Among patients who achieved ventricular septal defect closure, median right ventricle/left ventricle pressure was 0.48 in Group 1 compared with 0.78 in Group 2, p = 0.03. Overall mortality was 6 (17%) in Group 1 compared with 9 (21%) in Group 2.
Single-stage unifocalisation is a promising repair strategy in select patients, achieving low rates of reintervention for branch pulmonary artery restenosis and excellent mid-term haemodynamic outcomes. However, specific anatomic substrates of pulmonary artery/ventricular septal defect/major aortopulmonary collaterals may be better suited to multi-stage repair. Preoperative evaluation of collateral vessel calibre and function may help inform more patient-specific surgical management.
Escherichia coli O157:H7 is the largest cause of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). Previous studies proposed that HUS risk varies across the E. coli O157:H7 phylogenetic tree (hypervirulent clade 8), but the role of age in the association is unknown. We determined phylogenetic lineage of E. coli O157:H7 isolates from 1160 culture-confirmed E. coli O157:H7 cases reported in Washington State, 2004–2015. Using generalised estimating equations, we tested the association between phylogenetic lineage and HUS. Age was evaluated as an effect modifier. Among 1082 E. coli O157:H7 cases with both phylogenetic lineage and HUS status (HUS n = 76), stratified analysis suggested effect modification by age. Lineages IIa and IIb, relative to Ib, did not appear associated with HUS in children 0–9-years-old. For cases 10–59-years-old, lineages IIa and IIb appeared to confer increased risk of HUS, relative to lineage Ib. The association reversed in ⩾60-year-olds. Results were similar for clade 8. Phylogenetic lineage appears to be associated with HUS risk only among those ⩾10-years-old. Among children <10, the age group most frequently affected, lineage does not explain progression to HUS. However, lineage frequency varied across age groups, suggesting differences in exposure and/or early disease manifestation.
To test the hypothesis that long-term care facility (LTCF) residents with Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) or asymptomatic carriage of toxigenic strains are an important source of transmission in the LTCF and in the hospital during acute-care admissions.
A 6-month cohort study with identification of transmission events was conducted based on tracking of patient movement combined with restriction endonuclease analysis (REA) and whole-genome sequencing (WGS).
Veterans Affairs hospital and affiliated LTCF.
The study included 29 LTCF residents identified as asymptomatic carriers of toxigenic C. difficile based on every other week perirectal screening and 37 healthcare facility-associated CDI cases (ie, diagnosis >3 days after admission or within 4 weeks of discharge to the community), including 26 hospital-associated and 11 LTCF-associated cases.
Of the 37 CDI cases, 7 (18·9%) were linked to LTCF residents with LTCF-associated CDI or asymptomatic carriage, including 3 of 26 hospital-associated CDI cases (11·5%) and 4 of 11 LTCF-associated cases (36·4%). Of the 7 transmissions linked to LTCF residents, 5 (71·4%) were linked to asymptomatic carriers versus 2 (28·6%) to CDI cases, and all involved transmission of epidemic BI/NAP1/027 strains. No incident hospital-associated CDI cases were linked to other hospital-associated CDI cases.
Our findings suggest that LTCF residents with asymptomatic carriage of C. difficile or CDI contribute to transmission both in the LTCF and in the affiliated hospital during acute-care admissions. Greater emphasis on infection control measures and antimicrobial stewardship in LTCFs is needed, and these efforts should focus on LTCF residents during hospital admissions.
A novel, alloy-agnostic, nanofunctionalization process has been utilized to produce metal matrix composites (MMCs) via additive manufacturing, providing new geometric freedom for MMC design. MMCs were produced with the addition of tungsten carbide nanoparticles to commercially available AlSi10Mg alloy powder. Tungsten carbide was chosen due to the potential for coherent crystallographic phases that were identified utilizing a lattice-matching approach to promote wetting and increase dislocation interactions. Structures were produced with evenly distributed strengthening phases leading to tensile strengths >385 MPa and a 50% decrease in wear rate over the commercially available AlSi10Mg alloy at only 1 vol% loading of tungsten carbide.
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.
Coinfection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and viral hepatitis is associated with high morbidity and mortality in the absence of clinical management, making identification of these cases crucial. We examined characteristics of HIV and viral hepatitis coinfections by using surveillance data from 15 US states and two cities. Each jurisdiction used an automated deterministic matching method to link surveillance data for persons with reported acute and chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) or hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections, to persons reported with HIV infection. Of the 504 398 persons living with diagnosed HIV infection at the end of 2014, 2.0% were coinfected with HBV and 6.7% were coinfected with HCV. Of the 269 884 persons ever reported with HBV, 5.2% were reported with HIV. Of the 1 093 050 persons ever reported with HCV, 4.3% were reported with HIV. A greater proportion of persons coinfected with HIV and HBV were males and blacks/African Americans, compared with those with HIV monoinfection. Persons who inject drugs represented a greater proportion of those coinfected with HIV and HCV, compared with those with HIV monoinfection. Matching HIV and viral hepatitis surveillance data highlights epidemiological characteristics of persons coinfected and can be used to routinely monitor health status and guide state and national public health interventions.
Compulsory admission can be experienced as devaluing and stigmatising by people with mental illness. Emotional reactions to involuntary hospitalisation and stigma-related stress may affect recovery, but longitudinal data are lacking. We, therefore, examined the impact of stigma-related emotional reactions and stigma stress on recovery over a 2-year period.
Shame and self-contempt as emotional reactions to involuntary hospitalisation, stigma stress, self-stigma and empowerment, as well as recovery were assessed among 186 individuals with serious mental illness and a history of recent involuntary hospitalisation.
More shame, self-contempt and stigma stress at baseline were correlated with increased self-stigma and reduced empowerment after 1 year. More stigma stress at baseline was associated with poor recovery after 2 years. In a longitudinal path analysis more stigma stress at baseline predicted poorer recovery after 2 years, mediated by decreased empowerment after 1 year, controlling for age, gender, symptoms and recovery at baseline.
Stigma stress may have a lasting detrimental effect on recovery among people with mental illness and a history of involuntary hospitalisation. Anti-stigma interventions that reduce stigma stress and programs that enhance empowerment could improve recovery. Future research should test the effect of such interventions on recovery.
Sugarcane is an important forage resource in sub-tropical and tropical areas as it is used during the winter or dry season when the growth rate of pastures is significantly reduced. The current research study assessed the effect of four vertical sections of sugarcane in a pen trial and the level of sugarcane utilization in a grazing trial on the ingestive behaviour and forage intake of two age groups of steers (1 and 2 years old). The pen trial was comprised of two simultaneous 4 × 4 balanced Latin square designs (one for each age group of animals) of four periods, four animals and four feeding treatments, which consisted of four equal vertical sections of sugarcane. Dry matter (DM) and digestible DM (DDM) intake per kilogram of metabolic weight declined gradually from top to bottom of the sugarcane, with no significant differences between the age groups of steers. This difference in intake was associated with a decline in intake of neutral detergent fibre (NDF) as a proportion of the liveweight of the animal and an increase of total chewing time per kilogram of DM or NDF from top to bottom of the sugarcane. It was concluded that the toughness of plant material played a significant role regulating intake, which was higher for the top sections of sugarcane. In the grazing trial, steers of both age groups grazed down sugarcane in three plots over 9 days. Steers grazed up to four distinctive grazing strata. Digestible DM intake (DDM intake) was high at low levels of horizontal utilization of the top grazing stratum but DDM intake started to decline sharply when this stratum was removed in 0·92 of paddock area (i.e. equivalent to 0·08 of the pasture area remaining un-grazed). It was concluded that the proportion of un-grazed area of the pasture can be used as a grazing management strategy to control forage intake for sugarcane.
The paper analyzes the issues relating to the applicability of innovative material systems for flexible composite armors. The authors made several samplings of aramid fibers (Kevlar 49) by replacing the epoxy resin base, which is often described in the literature, with the thermoplastic matrix - polyethylene (HDPE) and polypropylene (PP). The samples were fired with .38 Special Full Metal Jacketed (FMJ) ammunition produced by the S&B Company, and then the process of firing was modeled in the ABAQUS program. The advantages and disadvantages of the new material system including the possibility of its use in the construction of hybrid composite armors have been presented on the basis of the results of numerical analyses and ballistic tests.
There is no doubt that family carers who look after a family member with dementia or with a functional mental illness fulfill an important role, not only for their loved one, but also for the health and aged care systems of the countries they live in. Due to increasing life expectancy, but also improved healthcare the number of family carers supporting older care recipients with functional mental illness or dementia is on the rise. While the carer role often can offer rewarding experiences caregivers are at increased risk of stress, depression, sleep problems, and often experience poor health outcomes with increased morbidity and mortality (Oyebode, 2003). Next to the stressors directly associated with the carer role, they often do not have the time to engage in healthy behavior to protect their physical, mental, and cognitive health (Loi et al., 2014). There is a wealth of literature providing evidence about effective strategies to support carers and the recent Lancet Commission on Dementia prevention, intervention, and care highlighted the importance of exploring how the use of technological innovations could support carers better (Livingston et al., 2017). The use of modern technology in this context can mean a variety of approaches, such as internet-based programs to provide education and skill-building, virtual support to assist with monitoring and managing challenging behavior, online support groups, and the use of assistive or therapeutic technology to improve safety, enable positive activities, and support communication between carer and care recipient, to name just a few (D'Onofrio et al., 2017; Ienca et al., 2017; Livingston et al., 2017). More specifically, telehealth approaches via videoconferences have the potential to better support carers who live in rural or remote regions (O'Connell et al., 2014) or who cannot attend face-to-face support programs for other reasons such as inability to leave the care recipient alone at home, being a multiple carer or having a disability themselves to give just some examples.
Genomic imprinting is a term applied to an epigenetic phenomenon where alleles are fully or partially inactivated depending on their parental origin. The relevance of this kind of parent-of-origin effects (POEs) for agriculturally important traits is widely known. A model (imprinting model) with a transmitting ability (TA) as sire and a TA as dam has been proposed that provides an estimate of the imprinting variance, whether the allelic inactivation is maternal, paternal, full or partial. Although the model can be used in a reduced version, large data sets still prevent the imprinting variance from being estimated. To further reduce the size of the equation system, we developed a parsimonious imprinting model with genetic effects for male ancestors only, as the TA as dam is replaced by her father’s TA. This parsimonious model was applied to 1 366 160 Simmental fattening bulls with slaughter data available on killing out percentage, net BW gain, EUROP class and fat score in a linear and generalised linear version. The pedigrees contained up to 2 637 761 ancestors. Proportion of the total genetic variance attributed to POEs ranged between 8.6% and 17.0%. On average, the maternal gamete accounted for the greater proportion of the imprinting variance. An equivalent version of the parsimonious model facilitated the estimation of POEs with reliabilities ranging between zero and 0.97.
Baltoro glacier in the Karakoram, Pakistan, is one of the world’s largest valley glaciers. It drains an area of about 1500 km2 and is >60km long. In 2004 an Italian/German expedition carried out a glaciological field program on the ablation zone of the glacier, focusing on the ablation conditions and the dynamic state of the glacier. As Baltoro glacier is a debris-covered glacier, ice ablation also depends on the debris properties. Stake measurements of ice ablation and debris cover in combination with meteorological data from automatic weather stations close by have been used to determine the local melt conditions. Results from these calculations have been combined with an analysis of different classes of surface cover and information about precipitation, using remote-sensing techniques, in order to calculate mass fluxes for the upper part of Baltoro glacier. The dynamic state of the glacier has been investigated by GPS-based surface velocity measurements along the stake network. A comparison of these short-term measurements during the melt season with surface velocities computed from feature tracking of satellite images shows a high seasonal variability of the ice motion. We have shown that this variability is up to 100% of the annual mean velocity. On the basis of these investigations, the mass fluxes at the Concordia cross-section have been quantified. This approach can now be used together with the ablation calculations to reconstruct the variability of glacier extent and volume in the past using available climate data from the central Karakoram. From the comparison of historical measurements and photographs it is shown that the snout of Baltoro glacier is oscillating back and forth a couple of hundred metres. Otherwise it seems not to react with the same magnitude as other glaciers to the climatic change. Elevation changes at Concordia are a few tens of metres at the most.
The recent dynamic behaviour of Karakoram glaciers is expected to differ from that shown by glaciers in the central and eastern Himalaya because of regional variations in precipitation and temperature trends. However, there are insufficient quantitative data to support or confute such hypotheses. We present velocity data covering the period 1993–2008 for Baltoro Glacier, one of the longest glaciers in the Karakoram. Velocity measurements were made using cross-correlation feature tracking applied to European Remote-sensing Satellite (ERS-1 and -2) and Envisat advanced synthetic aperture radar (ASAR) data, supplemented by differential global positioning system (DGPS) measurements. We find a gradual acceleration of the glacier during the early 2000s, in particular during winter months. Multi-seasonal data reveal a large difference between summer and winter flow characteristics, but only in the upper ablation zone. Summer 2005 was a particularly dynamic period following from the heavy winter snowfall of 2004, indicating the importance of basal meltwater availability for glacier flow. Transverse velocity profiles indicate that Baltoro Glacier undergoes ‘block’ flow across much of the upper ablation zone during the summer, which we interpret as evidence of widespread basal sliding. The DGPS data confirm the rapid increase in flow detected during 2005. Modelled climatic data reveal decreasing summer temperatures and increasing precipitation over the study period, helping to explain the observed dynamic variations and their differences from glaciers elsewhere in the Himalaya.